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Title: Highways and Byways in Surrey
Author: Parker, Eric, 1870-1955
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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HIGHWAYS AND BYWAYS IN SURREY

           *     *     *     *     *

MACMILLAN AND CO., LIMITED

LONDON. BOMBAY. CALCUTTA. MELBOURNE

THE MACMILLAN COMPANY

NEW YORK. BOSTON. CHICAGO. ATLANTA. SAN FRANCISCO

THE MACMILLAN CO. OF CANADA, LTD.

TORONTO

           *     *     *     *     *


[Illustration: _High Street, Guildford._]


HIGHWAYS AND BYWAYS IN SURREY

by

ERIC PARKER

With Illustrations by Hugh Thomson



MacMillan and Co., Limited
St. Martin's Street, London
1909

Richard Clay and Sons, Limited,
Bread Street Hill, E.C., and
Bungay, Suffolk.

First Edition, 1908
Reprinted, 1909



PREFACE


A preface ought not to contain an apology. But mine must contain at
least an explanation, if only of omissions. The Highways and Byways of
Surrey belong not to one county or to one period of time, but to two
different ages, and, to-day, to two counties. London has made the
difference. What was Surrey country a hundred years ago has been
gathered into the network of London streets, and belongs, in the mind
and on the map, to London. Almost for ten miles south of the London
Thames the old Surrey countryside has disappeared, and the disappearance
has left the writer of a book of Surrey Highways a difficult choice. It
would have been easy to fill a large part of the book with the Surrey of
the past, the Surrey of Southwark, and the great church of St. Mary
Overie, and of Lambeth Palace and the Archbishops, of Vauxhall, and the
Paris Gardens, and the Bankside where Shakespeare brought out his plays.
But it is not easy to write anything new of any part of Surrey, and of
that part I could have written nothing new at all. So that it seemed
best to leave the Surrey that has disappeared to writers who have dealt
with its history far more adequately than I could, and to choose for the
Highways and Byways of this book only those which still run through open
country and through country villages and towns. That is the Surrey of
to-day.

The general plan of the book is simple. I have entered the county from
the west at Farnham, with the old Way along the chalk ridge, and I leave
it by Titsey on the east. Of course, not all the Surrey villages belong
to the ridge, though the chief towns lie along it. Other villages set
themselves along the banks of the two Surrey rivers, the Wey and the
Mole, and there are separate little groups like the villages of the Fold
country, or on the plateaux of the Downs round Epsom, or between
Chertsey and Windsor on the Thames. These group themselves in their own
chapters. But the main progress of the book is the trend of the great
Surrey highway. As to following the book through its chapters from west
to east, Surrey is threaded by such a net of railways that the
deliberate choosing of a route, with definite centres and points of
departure, is unnecessary. But those who believe that the best way to
see any country is to walk through it will find that, as a general rule,
the book and its chapters are divided, sometimes naturally, sometimes
perhaps a little perversely, into the compass of a day's walking. My own
plan has been simple enough: it has been to set out in the morning and
walk till it was dark, and then take the train back to where I came
from. Others will be able to plan far more comprehensive journeys by
motor-car, or by bicycling, or on horseback--though not many, perhaps,
ride horses by Surrey roads to-day. But only by walking would it be
possible to explore much of the country. You would never, except by
walking, come at the meaning or read the story of the ancient Way, or
the Pilgrims' Road that follows it; only on foot can you climb the hills
as you please, or follow the path where it chooses to take you. It is
only by walking that you will get to the best of the Thursley heather,
or the Bagshot pines and gorse, or the whortleberries in the wind on
Leith Hill, or the primroses of the Fold country, or the birds that call
through the quiet of the Wey Canal--though there, too, you may take a
boat; it is one of the prettiest of the byways. The walker through
Surrey sees the best; the others see not much more than the road and
what stands on the road.

The omission, or rather neglect, of Surrey in London is deliberate.
There must be many other omissions, I fear, which are not. For pointing
out some of them, and for suggesting alterations and additions, I have
to thank my friend Mr. Anthony Collett, who has kindly looked through my
proofs. I should like also to be the first to thank Mr. Hugh Thomson for
the pleasure and the help of his charming sketches.

     WEYBRIDGE, _October, 1908_           ERIC PARKER.


NOTE TO THE SECOND EDITION

I have made several additions to the second edition of this book, and, I
hope, have corrected some mistakes. I am greatly indebted to reviewers
who have pointed out errors and omissions, and to correspondents who
have kindly written to me.

                                                            E.P.

    _June, 1909._



CONTENTS


    CHAPTER I                             PAGE

    THE PILGRIMS' WAY                        1


    CHAPTER II

    FARNHAM                                 14


    CHAPTER III

    FRENSHAM AND TILFORD                    30


    CHAPTER IV

    WAVERLEY ABBEY AND MOOR PARK            43


    CHAPTER V

    THE HOG'S BACK                          55


    CHAPTER VI

    GUILDFORD                               64


    CHAPTER VII

    GUILDFORD'S ENVIRONS                    85


    CHAPTER VIII

    SHALFORD AND WONERSH                    95


    CHAPTER IX

    THE VILLAGES OF THE TILLINGBOURNE      101


    CHAPTER X

    GUILDFORD TO LEATHERHEAD               115


    CHAPTER XI

    GODALMING                              126


    CHAPTER XII

    HASLEMERE AND HINDHEAD                 139


    CHAPTER XIII

    THURSLEY AND THE MOORS                 153


    CHAPTER XIV

    THE FOLD COUNTRY                       163


    CHAPTER XV

    CRANLEIGH AND EWHURST                  173


    CHAPTER XVI

    CHERTSEY                               179


    CHAPTER XVII

    WEYBRIDGE                              190


    CHAPTER XVIII

    NORTH TO RUNEMEDE                      200


    CHAPTER XIX

    CHOBHAM AND BISLEY                     209


    CHAPTER XX

    THE WEY VILLAGES                       217


    CHAPTER XXI

    RICHMOND AND KEW                       235


    CHAPTER XXII

    KINGSTON                               244


    CHAPTER XXIII

    THE DITTONS AND WALTON                 250


    CHAPTER XXIV

    EPSOM                                  259


    CHAPTER XXV

    MID-SURREY DOWNS AND COMMONS           270


    CHAPTER XXVI

    LEATHERHEAD                            280


    CHAPTER XXVII

    STOKE D'ABERNON                        287


    CHAPTER XXVIII

    LEATHERHEAD TO DORKING                 296


    CHAPTER XXIX

    DORKING                                308


    CHAPTER XXX

    WOTTON AND LEITH HILL                  316


    CHAPTER XXXI

    DORKING TO REIGATE                     328


    CHAPTER XXXII

    UNDER LEITH HILL                       335


    CHAPTER XXXIII

    REIGATE                                344


    CHAPTER XXXIV

    CROYDON                                357


    CHAPTER XXXV

    BEDDINGTON AND CARSHALTON              365


    CHAPTER XXXVI

    CHALDON TO THE DOWNS                   373


    CHAPTER XXXVII

    HORLEY AND CHARLWOOD                   380


    CHAPTER XXXVIII

    GODSTONE AND BLETCHINGLEY              389


    CHAPTER XXXIX

    LINGFIELD AND CROWHURST                401


    CHAPTER XL

    OXTED AND LIMPSFIELD                   414


    CHAPTER XLI

    DULWICH TO WIMBLEDON                   424


    CHAPTER XLII

    THE SURREY SIDE                        432


    INDEX                                  441



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS


                                                                      PAGE

    HIGH STREET, GUILDFORD                             _Frontispiece_

    ALONG THE CHALK RIDGE.--LEITH HILL IN THE DISTANCE                   3

    THE HOG'S BACK                                                       4

    COMING IN TO PUTTENHAM                                               8

    BY SLIPSHOE LANE TO THE RED CROSS INN, REIGATE                      12

    LOOKING TOWARDS FARNHAM FROM THURSLEY COMMON                        15

    FARNHAM CASTLE FROM THE HIGH STREET                                 17

    COBBETT'S BIRTHPLACE AT FARNHAM                                     22

    WEYDON MILL, FARNHAM                                                24

    OASTHOUSES NEAR FARNHAM                                             26

    IN FARNHAM CHURCHYARD                                               28

    FRENSHAM POND                                                       30

    PIERREPONT HOUSE AND BRIDGE                                         31

    BESIDE FRENSHAM POND                                                32

    FRENSHAM POND HOTEL                                                 33

    FRENSHAM POND                                                       34

    THE DEVIL'S JUMPS, BEYOND FRENSHAM POND                             35

    THE DEVIL'S JUMPS, FROM FRENSHAM COMMON                             36

    BRIDGE AT TILFORD                                                   37

    BETWEEN TILFORD AND ELSTEAD                                         39

    THE KING'S OAK, TILFORD                                             41

    MOOR PARK                                                           44

    STELLA'S COTTAGE                                                    46

    IN MOOR PARK                                                        47

    WAVERLEY ABBEY                                                      49

    WAVERLEY ABBEY                                                      50

    IN THE GROUNDS, WAVERLEY ABBEY                                      51

    CROOKSBURY HILL AND FRENSHAM LITTLE POND, FROM FRENSHAM COMMON      53

    A DIP IN THE HOG'S BACK                                             55

    TONGHAM CHURCH, WITH WOODEN TOWER FOR BELLS                         56

    SEALE                                                               58

    WANBOROUGH CHURCH                                                   61

    BARN AT WANBOROUGH                                                  62

    THE CASTLE GATE, GUILDFORD                                          67

    ABBOT'S HOSPITAL, GUILDFORD                                         73

    ST. MARY'S CHURCH, GUILDFORD                                        77

    ST. CATHERINE'S CHAPEL                                              89

    ST. MARTHA'S CHAPEL                                                 92

    SHALFORD                                                            96

    CHIMNEYS, ALBURY                                                   106

    FIREPLACE IN THE WHITE HORSE, SHERE                                109

    SHERE CHURCH                                                       111

    SHERE                                                              112

    GOMSHALL                                                           114

    MERROW                                                             116

    SLYFIELD PLACE                                                     124

    ON THE WAY TO GODALMING FROM HASLEMERE                             127

    THE TOWN HALL, GODALMING                                           128

    TIMBERED HOUSE IN THE MARKET PLACE, GODALMING                      129

    CHURCH STREET, GODALMING                                           133

    EASHING                                                            135

    BETWEEN ELSTEAD AND PEPERHAROW                                     137

    VIEW FROM HINDHEAD                                                 139

    HASLEMERE                                                          140

    A PORCH AT HASLEMERE CHURCH                                        142

    BROOKBANK COTTAGE, SHOTTERMILL                                     146

    THE DEVIL'S PUNCH BOWL, FROM GIBBET HILL                           151

    THE POST OFFICE, CHURT                                             152

    THE RED LION, THURSLEY                                             153

    INTERIOR OF THURSLEY CHURCH                                        154

    THURSLEY                                                           155

    ELSTEAD                                                            158

    WITLEY                                                             159

    THE WHITE HART, WITLEY                                             160

    A CORNER IN THE WHITE HART, WITLEY, KNOWN AS GEORGE ELIOT'S CORNER 162

    A SURREY BYWAY                                                     166

    THE CROWN INN, CHIDDINGFOLD                                        169

    ROCK HILL, HAMBLEDON                                               170

    BLACK DOWN, FROM HAMBLEDON                                         172

    AT EWHURST                                                         175

    CHERTSEY                                                           179

    CHERTSEY BRIDGE                                                    181

    COWLEY'S COTTAGE, CHERTSEY                                         183

    A BYWAY NEAR WEYBRIDGE                                             190

    WEYBRIDGE                                                          192

    RUINS AT VIRGINIA WATER                                            201

    ENTERING EGHAM                                                     205

    THORPE                                                             207

    THE CROUCH OAK, ADDLESTONE                                         208

    HORSELL CHURCH                                                     217

    VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE, WOKING                                       220

    THE VILLAGE STREET, RIPLEY                                         223

    TREES ON THE GREEN, RIPLEY                                         224

    PRIEST'S DOOR AND NORMAN CHANCEL, RIPLEY CHURCH                    225

    OCKHAM CHURCH                                                      226

    NEWARK PRIORY                                                      228

    MILL ON THE WEY, BETWEEN PYRFORD AND RIPLEY                        230

    PYRFORD CHURCH                                                     232

    WISLEY CHURCH                                                      233

    RICHMOND BRIDGE                                                    236

    THE THAMES FROM RICHMOND HILL                                      238

    PALACE YARD, RICHMOND                                              239

    RICHMOND HILL                                                      241

    KEW CHURCH                                                         243

    KINGSTON                                                           245

    KINGSTON BRIDGE                                                    246

    THE SWAN, THAMES DITTON                                            250

    WALTON CHURCH                                                      256

    EPSOM                                                              259

    A QUIET CORNER IN WITLEY                                           269

    WOLSEY'S TOWER, ESHER                                              276

    LEATHERHEAD                                                        281

    YE OLDE RUNNING HORSE INN, LEATHERHEAD                             282

    THE MOLE AT SLYFIELD PLACE                                         287

    STOKE D'ABERNON CHURCH                                             291

    YE OLD CHURCH STILE HOUSE, COBHAM, A.D. 1432, RESTORED 1635        293

    BRIDGE OVER THE MOLE, COBHAM                                       295

    MICKLEHAM CHURCH                                                   297

    CEDARS AT JUNIPER HALL                                             302

    VIEW OF BOX HILL, MISTY DAY                                        307

    DORKING                                                            308

    DORKING                                                            310

    THE WHITE HORSE, DORKING                                           312

    WOTTON HOUSE                                                       318

    CROSSWAYS FARMHOUSE, ABINGER                                       321

    FRIDAY STREET                                                      323

    AMONG THE PINES                                                    325

    LOOKING TOWARDS DORKING FROM WESTCOTT                              328

    THE RED LION, BETCHWORTH                                           331

    BUCKLAND                                                           333

    THE ROMAN ROAD AT OCKLEY                                           335

    NEWDIGATE CHURCH                                                   342

    REIGATE                                                            345

    A REIGATE BYWAY                                                    346

    PARK LANE, NEAR REIGATE                                            347

    REIGATE HEATH                                                      349

    VIEW FROM NEAR REIGATE                                             353

    WHITGIFT'S HOSPITAL, CROYDON                                       359

    SUTTON                                                             371

    THE SIX BELLS INN, HORLEY                                          381

    THE WINDMILLS AT OUTWOOD                                           384

    CHARLWOOD                                                          386

    GODSTONE                                                           389

    OLD TIMBERED HOUSE NEAR BLETCHINGLEY                               392

    BLETCHINGLEY                                                       394

    NUTFIELD CHURCH                                                    399

    LINGFIELD                                                          401

    THE VILLAGE CAGE, LINGFIELD                                        402

    CROWHURST CHURCH AND THE OLD YEW                                   409

    THE FARMHOUSE OPPOSITE CROWHURST CHURCH                            410

    CROWHURST PLACE                                                    411

    THE BRIDGE OVER THE MOAT, CROWHURST PLACE                          412

    TANDRIDGE CHURCH                                                   415

    A STREET IN OXTED                                                  417

    OXTED CHURCH                                                       418

    THE GOLF HOUSE AND WINDMILL, WIMBLEDON COMMON                      429



HIGHWAYS AND BYWAYS

IN

SURREY



CHAPTER I

THE PILGRIMS' WAY

    The Pageant of the Road.--Canterbury Pilgrims.--Henry II.
    barefoot.--Choosing the Road.--Wind on the Hill.--Wine in the
    Valley.--_Pilgrim's Progress._--Shalford Fair.--A doubtful
    Mile.--Trespassers will be Prosecuted.--With Chaucer from the
    Tabard.


East and west through the county of Surrey runs the chalk ridge of the
North Downs, the great highway of Southern England from the Straits of
Dover to Salisbury Plain. Of all English roads, it has carried the
longest pageant. It saw the beginnings of English history; for four
centuries it was one of the best known highways in Christendom: the
vision from its windy heights is one of the widest and most gracious of
all visions of woods and fields and hills. By the trackway they made
upon the ridge came the worshippers to Stonehenge; Phoenician traders
brought bronze to barter for British tin, and the tin was carried in
ingots from Devon and Cornwall along the highway to the port of Thanet;
Greeks and Gauls came for lead and tin and furs, and the merchants rode
by the great Way to bring them. When Cæsar swept through Surrey on his
second landing, his legions marched over the Way before he turned north
to the Thames. When the Conqueror drove fire and sword through Southern
England, he went down to Winchester by the chalk ridge; and when the
great lords under the Conqueror and Rufus, Richard de Tonebrige and
William de Warenne, built their rival castles, they built them to
command the highway; so did Henry of Blois build his castle at Farnham;
and so was Guildford Castle built. Of warfare later than Norman days,
the Way saw nearly all that went through Surrey. Simon de Montfort and
his barons rode fast by the ridge the year before Lewes; they lay at
Reading on the twenty-ninth of June, and on the first of July at
Reigate. In the wars of the Parliament, Farnham west of the Way saw the
siege of an hour; Lord Holland led his little band from Dorking to
Reigate and fled back again. Last of the echoes of Stuart battles,
Monmouth, after Sedgmoor, was driven through Farnham to lodge for one
night of misery and fear at Abbot's Hospital in Guildford.

But the Way has another meaning and other memories. It is as the
Pilgrims' Way that it is best known, and as the Pilgrims' Way that it
has been written about and tracked and traced and surrounded with legend
and story and the haunting melancholy of an old road once used and now
half forgotten. The Pilgrims' Way is more than the old Way, for it runs
by more than one road. The old Way took its followers along the ridge or
just under it, high in the sun and wind where the traders and fighters
could see their route clear above the thick woods of the Weald. The
Pilgrims' Way lies as often on the low ground as on the hill. But it
follows the line of the chalk ridge, and the parallel roads, though here
and there it would be difficult to choose between them as to which was
most used by travellers, have become vaguely named the Pilgrims' Way,
and as the Pilgrims' Way they remain.

[Illustration: _Along the Chalk Ridge.--Leith Hill in the Distance._]

The Way became the Pilgrims' Way in 1174, four years after Thomas à
Becket was murdered in Canterbury Cathedral. His tomb in the Cathedral
became the second shrine in Christendom, and pilgrims came to it along
the old trackway through Surrey, from Farnham east of the Hog's Back
along the hills to Canterbury in Kent. Henry the Second, one of the
earliest pilgrims of all, made his act of repentance a few days after
landing at Southampton from France, on February 8, 1174. Or so legend
relates, and adds that he swore to walk barefoot; history is less
precise. After Henry the stream of devotees multiplied. Pilgrims
landed, like Henry, at Southampton, or between Southampton and
Chichester, and came through Winchester or Alton to Farnham; travellers
from the West of England joined the foreigners at Winchester, or came to
Farnham by the old Harrow Way, another ancient track from Salisbury
Plain. Thousands made the journey; more and more followed year by year.
At last it was determined to divide the stream. St. Thomas was murdered
on December 29, and the great pilgrimage to Canterbury and the return
centred round that date. In 1220 pilgrims were given a chance of paying
their vows in summer as well as winter. St. Thomas's body, on July 7,
was moved from the crypt under the nave to the grand altar in the nave,
and from that day forward the Feast of the Translation took its share of
the pilgrims' numbers. A constant stream journeyed east and west;
travellers with vows unpaid met travellers returning from the shrine,
and on and round the peopled highway sprang up booths and shelters to
meet the pilgrim's needs. Pedlars and merchants hawked their wares and
drove bargains by the road. Fairs were instituted in the villages along
the route; strolling musicians earned idle wages; beggars sat by the
roadside, at the churchyard corners, at the foot of the hills, and asked
for alms.

[Illustration: _The "Hog's Back."_]

And here, before we follow the pilgrims across the county from Farnham
to the lane by which they leave it east of Titsey, I want to make a
point clear. The pilgrims did not all travel to Canterbury by the same
road, along the selfsame track so many feet wide, as the Ordnance map
and some of those who have written on the Pilgrims' Way would argue.
There is not one single, separate path along which every pilgrim who set
out from Winchester to Canterbury travelled through Surrey. All that the
pilgrims did was to journey forward either on, or near, the old Way from
west to east and east to west, and it has happened that they used, more
than any other track besides the Way itself, one particular road. This
road can be followed parallel to the old Way for a long distance,
running from church to church under the chalk ridge; and it is this road
which is marked in the maps as the Pilgrims' Way. Perhaps that is
convenient, but it should be understood that not all the pilgrims went
by it. For pilgrims, after all, were as human then as walkers along
country roads are to-day. They would not all want to do the same thing
in the same way. Some of them would set out to do one thing and some
another. Some would prefer to walk alone high up on the ridge; others
would choose a bevy of companions and chatter along the road under the
hill. Some would be thin, ascetic persons, who liked to stride along and
see how far they could go without eating or drinking; some would be
pleasant, good-tempered creatures, who would amble by dusty places and
be thankful for cool beer; some would eat or drink mechanically, filled
with a single thought of prayer and pilgrimage to a shrine. Some would
be always perverse, and because most people travelled by one path, or
halted at an easy spot, would choose deliberately another path, and halt
where others passed on. Some would determine, come what might of wind or
rain or sun, to sleep at a certain village at nightfall; others would
let the weather decide for them. The weather would decide much, and it
would choose differently for different travellers. One of the writers
who has discussed the problems of the Pilgrims' Way suggests that the
main route would vary with varying degrees of heat and cold. If the
weather were cold and wet, the pilgrims would travel on the chalk ridge;
and if it were hot, they would go by the leafy woodland path below. But
if I Were a pilgrim and the weather were hot, I should go by the top of
the ridge, so as to get the air and the view; probably I would go by the
ridge in any case, whatever the weather was.

If written proof were needed that the journeying pilgrims Were not
condemned to a sort of solemn observance of the rules of
"Follow-my-leader," or bound by uncomfortable routine like so many
Cook's tourists, it would not be difficult to find. From a paper on the
Pilgrims' Way, written by Major-General E. Renouard James, you may learn
that in 1463, nearly three hundred years after the first pilgrim
followed Henry II to Canterbury, St. Martha's chapel by Guildford--St.
Martha's being a corruption of "The Martyr's," that is, St. Thomas the
Martyr's chapel--was in need of repair. And so, through the Prior of
Newark, "forty days' indulgence was granted to such as should resort to
this chapel on account of devotion, prayer, pilgrimage, or offering; and
should there say Paternoster, the Angel's Salutation, and the Apostles'
Creed; or should contribute, bequeath, or otherwise assign anything
towards the maintenance, repair, or rebuilding of the same." But what
does that mean? It must mean that not all the pilgrims went into St.
Martha's to pray, or even went by St. Martha's on their way east. The
Prior specially framed the terms of his indulgence to attract more
pilgrims.

In Mr. Hilaire Belloc's admirably interesting book _The Old Road_, in
which he describes the way in which he, sometimes with one companion and
sometimes with two, sought out the exact track of a single Pilgrims' Way
from Winchester to Canterbury, I find him writing of the compulsions of
the pilgrimage--"The pilgrim set out from Winchester: 'You must pass by
that well,' he heard, 'it is sacred.' ... 'You must, of ritual, climb
that isolated hill which you see against the sky. The spirits haunted it
and were banished by the faith, and they say that martyrs died there.'
... 'It is at the peril of the pilgrimage that you neglect this stone,
whose virtue saved our fathers and the great battle.' ... 'The church
you will next see upon your way is entered from the southern porch
sunward by all truly devout men; such has been the custom here since
custom began.' From step to step the pilgrims were compelled to take the
oldest of paths." Well, some of the pilgrims, perhaps most of them,
since human nature imitates more often than it contradicts, may have
been so compelled. But not all. I should like to set next to Mr.
Belloc's passage a passage from the book of another pilgrim. Bunyan,
when he wrote _Pilgrim's Progress_, may not have referred directly to
the Way from Winchester to Canterbury, though his 'Vanity Fair' has been
guessed to correspond with Shalford Fair, and other details of the
progress have been fitted in with other happenings, as we shall see at
Shalford. But unquestionably he reproduces the state of mind with which
a pilgrim would undertake a journey, wherever his pilgrimage would take
him. He was born only ninety years after the last pilgrim had paid his
vows; he would have talked to men whose fathers had made the pilgrimage,
and as he writes of it the keynote is voluntary choosing of the road.
Here is the passage:--

"I beheld, then, that they all went on till they came to the foot of the
hill Difficulty, at the bottom of which was a spring. There were also in
the same place two other ways, besides that which came straight from the
gate: one turned to the left hand, and the other to the right, at the
bottom of the hill; but the narrow way lay right up the hill; and the
name of that going up the side of the hill, is called Difficulty.
Christian now went to the spring and drank thereof to refresh himself,
and then began to go up the hill, saying--

    'The hill, though high, I covet to ascend;
    The difficulty will not me offend;
    For I perceive the way to life lies here.
    Come, pluck up heart, let's neither faint nor fear,
    Better, though difficult, the right way to go,
    Than wrong, though easy, where the end is woe.

The other two also came to the foot of the hill. But, when they saw that
the hill was steep and high, and that there were two other ways to go;
and supposing also that these two ways might meet again with that up
which Christian went, on the other side of the hill; therefore, they
were resolved to go in those ways. Now the name of one of those ways was
Danger, and the name of the other Destruction. So the one took the way
which is called Danger, which led him into a great wood; and the other,
took directly up the way to Destruction, which led him into a wide
field, full of dark mountains, where he stumbled and fell, and rose no
more."

Now that is exactly the way in which the pilgrims might have separated
and gone their own ways at a dozen places along the road to Canterbury.
Take, to begin with, the joining and the parting of the ways at Farnham.
Pilgrims would meet there, as we have seen, coming through Winchester,
from Normandy, or by the Harrow Way from Salisbury Plain, from Wales,
from Ireland, and all the West of England. But they would not all
necessarily leave by the road that runs straight from Farnham to the
foot of the Hog's Back. Some would have letters to the Abbot of
Waverley, would spend a night at the Abbey two miles to the south-east,
and join the others perhaps at Puttenham, six miles further along the
Way. Then, among those who chose to travel straight to the western slope
of the Hog's Back, there would be different minds at the foot of the
hill. Some would climb the hill at Whitewaysend--the white way of the
chalk would begin for them there--and would stride along in the sunlight
the seven straight miles to Guildford. Others would prefer to keep to a
path under the hill, stopping at the churches and gossiping at the inns.
You can trace the old road clearly through Seale to Puttenham, where it
must have travelled south of the church door, instead of taking the
awkward and unnecessary turn to the north which is taken by the modern
road. Then at Puttenham the pilgrims would divide again. Some would
journey straight on across Puttenham Heath, heading towards St.
Catherine's Hill--you can see the rough track; others would turn aside
to the south-east, to visit Compton church; perhaps they would come down
into Compton as you may come down into it from the east to-day, by what
is evidently an old track cut deep in the woods. They would go up north
again from Compton; perhaps they would be tired of the valley, and would
climb the Hog's Back to walk the last mile or so into Guildford in the
wind; perhaps they would join the other stream of pilgrims travelling by
the sandy lane by which you may walk to-day as slowly as they did
towards St. Catherine's Hill. Most of them, I think, would collect on
St. Catherine's Hill; St. Catherine's was more popular than the
Guildford churches. So General James has discovered, examining ancient
records of litigation. The parson of St. Nicholas, Guildford, fearing to
lose his profit from the pilgrims who visited the town, purchased from
the lord of the manor the freehold of the site of the chapel, and
rebuilt it in 1317. Perhaps the attraction of St. Catherine's was that
it was on the way to Shalford Fair. Guildford had two special fairs, on
May 4 and November 22, to catch the summer and the winter pilgrims. But
Shalford Fair was the great fair, and actually covered 140 acres of
ground.

[Illustration: _Coming in to Puttenham._]

The pilgrims would cross the Wey under St. Catherine's Hill by a ferry
or a rough plank bridge. The merchants travelling with their horses, and
the ponies driven from Weyhill Fair out towards Salisbury Plain, would
come through the water by a ford. But the ferry and the bridge were both
of almost immemorial antiquity. In 1736 there was a dispute about the
bridge. The lord of the manor of Braboeuf had built a bridge over the
Wey for a fair on St. Matthew's Day. The owner of the church lands at
Shalford ordered it to be destroyed; he claimed the right of conveying
passengers over the river. They went to law, and it was alleged that
there had been a bridge there time out of record. Judgment, however,
decided "that there had been no bridge except _per unum battellum_ (one
plank) at the mill belonging to the heirs of Henry de la Poyle (a mile
lower), laid for convenience of the pilgrims going to the chapel of St.
Katherine at the time of the fair." General James has unearthed the
decision of the Court, and incidentally added another bypath to the
Pilgrims' Way.

Opposite the ferry under St. Catherine's the line of the Way to St.
Martha's is clear enough, a green track in a green field; and once I saw
it as the pilgrims may have seen it on a spring morning. It was in May,
and there was a haze over the meadowland by the river which blurred
shapes and colours. St. Catherine's was no longer a ruin; the buildings
on the hill faded into the trees; the clothes of wanderers by the
riverside took on mediæval brightnesses, lost modern forms; and into the
foreground ran three bare-headed, yellow-haired children, and in their
brown arms great bunches of cuckoo-flowers. So might one returning from
the Martyr's chapel have seen the path to the ferry in the days when the
Clerk told the tale of Griselda.

The track crosses the road near the ferry, and by a wood named the
Chantries comes up to St. Martha's, at the foot of the hill a
close-cropped aisle of down grass, and nearer the top a loose, sandy
path among pines. At the base of the hill the pilgrims who had come by
the ferry would be joined by those who had left Guildford by Pewley
Hill, to come out through the valley past Tytings, now a private
residence, but once the dwelling of St. Martha's priest. And on the
other side of the hill a difficulty waits. Mr. Belloc traces the road
from the foot across a ploughed field, to connect with a narrow lane on
the other side of the road dropping from Newlands Corner to Albury.
Well, it is possible that some of the pilgrims strayed out in that
direction, though it means that they would have to descend a bank like
the wall of a house by the Newlands Corner road, which is a sunken
track; also, Mr. Belloc owns that a little further on this road he
chooses has a doubtful section of a mile and a half. May he not be on
the wrong road? Why should not the pilgrims drop down the road which
leads from the foot of St. Martha's Hill into Albury? The inns would
have tempted them; they would be heading straight for the church; and
the road leading to inns and church is clearly a road that led from St.
Martha's Hill into the valley of the Tillingbourne long before the hill
bore a Christian chapel. It is evidently an old British trackway. It
runs along a ridge, and yet it is sunk deep between two very high banks.
If it was there when the pilgrims came down from the Martyr's chapel,
why should they make a fresh track for themselves, especially one which,
as Mr. Belloc admits, "raises a difficulty unique in the whole course of
the way"? The track he follows goes by the wet, northward side of a
hill--"an exception to an otherwise universal rule."

I have no space to follow the way in detail through the country, but
this particular section seemed to me to illustrate clearly the need for
imagining what the pilgrims would be likely to do, rather than to try to
fit in their doings with a particular path or lane through Albury. I do
not see why the pilgrims should not have followed the same route as we
travel by to-day. Doubtless by what is now Albury Park the road has
become confused. May it not have led through Albury Park past the south
porch of the ruined church, and so come in a natural way to Shere church
by the old inn? All five would then lie in a line--the old track from
the Martyr's chapel, Albury Church, the White Horse Inn, the short road
to Shere Church, and the track that leads up from Gomshall to the flank
of the downs again. But that is only guessing; the line on the maps
tempts it.

East of Gomshall to Oxted almost on the county border the track of the
old Way and of the Pilgrims' Ways, sometimes coinciding, sometimes
running parallel to each other, runs along the crest and the southern
slopes of the chalk ridge. Yews and wind-bent thorn mark the ways,
sometimes, as east of Gomshall, by a clear cut ridge in the hill, lined
with ancient trees; sometimes, as under Denbies by Dorking, you can only
pick out the path by solitary yews studding grass fields and corn-land.
At the gap of the Mole by Dorking the old Way, perhaps, forded the Mole;
the pilgrims would cross by Burford Bridge, which joins the Roman Ermyn
Street to Stane Street beyond Dorking. Both the Way and the pilgrims'
track would join on the line of yews on Box Hill, and from Box Hill to
Reigate there is a succession of yew road-marks and hedges, with here
and there the whole face of the downs bitten out by a chalk pit;
gradually the road climbs, until the track above Reigate lies almost on
the highest point of the ridge. At Reigate the old Way carries on,
crossing the hill-road which was from the town north to London. The
slope of the modern road has been eased by cutting into the hill, and
the ancient Way now is joined, on Reigate Hill, by a suspension bridge.

But the pilgrims would drop down into the town to sleep and to eat and
drink. You may see their tracks on the chalk, streaming down from the
ridge like a bunch of white ribands in the wind. They came into Reigate
by Slipshoe Lane, and there, where the cross roads meet, they stood to
pray at St. Thomas's shrine, now no more.

[Illustration: _By Slipshoe Lane to the Red Cross Inn, Reigate._]

They would please themselves where they climbed the ridge again. Or they
joined the old Way, perhaps, in what is now Gatton Park, where the yews
point to Merstham church. After Merstham the tracks divide again. East
of an interrupting chalk pit, a thick yew hedge lines the side of the
hill, under which I once ate fine blackberries in December, as perhaps
the Wife of Bath ate them. But half way along the ridge of yews another
path climbs up a plough, and on the crest it joins a narrow lane which
is as much the Pilgrims' Way as any road on the downs; it runs by
Tollsworth Farm over the summit of White Hill, and is actually marked
"The Pilgrims' Way" twice on the sign posts, so sure are the local
painters of what they have to point out. East from White Hill you may
follow a single track, sometimes grass, sometimes modern road. There is
a puzzle at Godstone Quarry, where the chalk pits have cut the hill to
pieces, and the tiny path which perhaps still keeps the line across the
pits is a perilous slippery place in the rain. On the far side of
to-day's road by the chalk pit you may pick up the green track again,
though you will lose it rounding the spur of the hill that lies half way
between Godstone and the railway. The old Way probably still kept to the
ridge, and Sir Gilbert Scott thought he had traced the Pilgrims' Way
through the Hanging Wood north of Tandridge Hill Lane. But I think I
found it in a green track which runs westward from a gap in that same
lane. It looked like a rough cart-track through a field, and would join
the road already traced beyond. In its centre, a foot from the ground,
was placed, and doubtless remains, a blue enamelled notice board, with
the brief but usual caution to trespassers.

East of Tandridge Hill Lane, on the far side of a grass field, a curious
path, half ditch, half avenue of yews and thorns, leads down through
woodland to green trackway again. The green track crosses the railway
cutting, and so journeys on into Titsey Park on the level lowland. Under
the new Titsey church it runs, as it once ran past the old church in the
Park, and from Titsey church eastward, by a country lane through broad
and glorious cornfields, it passes out of Surrey into Kent.

By those ways they went, fur-clad Briton, ravaging Dane, Roman eagle,
traders of tin and drivers of ponies, along the ridge in the sun and the
wind and the rain; by their side and after them, along the ridge and
under it, travelled the knight and the clerk and the friar and the
summoner, as they travelled from the Tabard Inn to St. Thomas's shrine
with Chaucer; and we may follow them, beginning with Surrey's western
town, and journeying at the end from the Tabard again, with the pilgrims
passing to the east.



CHAPTER II

FARNHAM

    The joining of the ways.--Georgian poke bonnets.--The Castle.--Kings
    at Farnham.--Poet Soldiers.--A glorious battle.--The Bishop's
    artillery.--Paradise and the Bull's Eye.--Izaak Walton.--Cobbett's
    education.--An old alehouse.--Hopgrowers in difficulties.--King
    Charles's cap.--Elmer's pheasants.


Westernmost of all Surrey towns, Farnham stands at the joining of the
ways. Traders from Cornwall, pilgrims from Winchester, horse-dealers
driving their ponies from Weyhill Fair, have met on the roads that run
into Farnham from the west and south and north. Farnham Castle, for
seven centuries a Bishop's palace, links Surrey to the See of
Winchester. The Farnham oasthouses and hop-grounds bridge the crossing
from the fertile Hampshire border to the Bagshot sands and the wild and
sterile moors of Frensham and Hindhead. The town, set in its cultured
plot of vines and flower-beds, with its historic castle, its tranquil
church, and the Wey watering the pastures under its walls, stands like a
garden between the military rigidity of Aldershot and the wind that
blows over the Thursley heather.

No town in Surrey has two such old and orderly main streets as Farnham.
Here and there modern taste for a noisy pattern has broken the quiet
level; a bank has piled up a huge building of timber, handsome but out
of keeping; the new Corn Exchange is out of keeping and hideous; and in
1866 municipal enterprise pulled down the old market house, which stood
at the junction of the main streets and was a fascinating little
building perched on pillars. But much that is ancient and simple in
square red brick remains. The plain, low-roofed houses, with their flat
façades and crumpled, lichened tiles, succeed one another down Castle
Street and West Street with a delightful monotony. The elaborate carved
and painted doorways, knockers, lunettes, doors and steps are quite a
model exhibition. The two streets wear a Georgian air of poke-bonnets
and long purse-strings. Or they are Georgian, at all events, once or
twice during the day; on a sunny morning before breakfast, perhaps, or
when, perhaps in the rain, the endless traffic of wheels quiets for an
hour. For Farnham stands on the high road from London, and the motor
cars chase the eighteenth century into the side-streets.

[Illustration: _Looking towards Farnham from Thursley Common._]

Farnham is mostly of one period, and searchers for very old architecture
will be disappointed. One of the oldest buildings in the town is a tiny
set of almshouses, whose lowly gables line the road under the castle
hill. They were built by Andrew Windsor, of the parish of Bentley in
Hampshire, in 1619, and were intended, as an inscription on the wall
informs you, "For the Habitation and Relief of eight poor Honest
Impotent Old Persons." Even with four epithets, the almoners seem to
find life supportable.

The greatest and the oldest building is, of course, the castle. It
stands nobly on a hill, towards which the street rises like a carriage
drive, ending in a flight of steps. Once it must have dominated the town
as a fortress, but since Cromwell broke down the keep, Farnham has
looked up at a quieter and more episcopal pile--a fine gateway tower,
built by Bishop Fox early in the sixteenth century. Much of the castle
stands as he rebuilt it after various misfortunes in baronial and other
wars, but the front as it looks down on Farnham is less severe. Two
imposing cedar trees, out of a group of several, break the line of Fox's
massive red brick. Local legend has aged them considerably, for two
hundred years is suggested as a modest estimate of their antiquity. As a
fact, they cannot be much more than one hundred years old. They were
planted by Mrs. North, wife of Bishop North, who held the See from 1781
to 1820, and in an engraving of the castle published in 1792 there is
not a sign of them. The cedar is a very fast-growing tree--one of the
reasons why it is so brittle. The Farnham cedars are as brittle as any
others. I was told that when the present Bishop went abroad early in the
year 1908, he was hesitating over cutting off some of the larger
branches which shaded the castle wall and would not let it dry. The
April snow settled the question for him, and broke the branches he had
thought of lopping.

Farnham Castle has entertained many Kings, from Edward I to Queen
Victoria. One of its earliest bishops was a king's brother, the great
Henry of Blois. Elizabeth was often at the castle, and once, bidding the
Duke of Norfolk dine with her there, spoke to him of his intrigue to
marry Mary Queen of Scots. According to one story she warned him "to be
careful on what pillow he laid his head"; according to another, the Duke
assured the Queen that the intrigue was none of his making, and that "he
meant never to marry with such a person where he could not be sure of
his pillow." He was thinking of Darnley, and that dark February morning
with the King stretched dead on the garden grass.

James I hunted at Farnham regularly, and actually took a lease from
Bishop Bilson of the castle, which he found a convenient centre for
hunting in the Surrey bailiwick of Windsor Forest. But James was the
last of the kings to hunt from Farnham. George III and Queen Charlotte
visited the castle because Bishop Thomas had been the King's tutor, but
Farnham's entertaining of royalty was nearly at an end. Once, in the
last century, Queen Victoria rode there from Aldershot with the Prince
Consort, inspected the Bible on which she had taken her oath at the
Coronation, admired the castle, and rode back again.

[Illustration: _Farnham Castle from the High Street._]

A castle with a keep and a moat, or rather a deep dry ditch, ought to
have memories of fighting, and Farnham Castle has seen some sharp
skirmishing. It has the distinction of having been twice held by a poet,
once for the Parliament and once for the King. George Wither was its
first commander, and his command did not increase his reputation either
as a man of letters or a man of war. Probably the castle was never worth
defending. It was isolated, and its possession, as it turned out, would
have helped neither side to control the movements of the other. But
Wither thought otherwise. He had made his name as a pastoral poet,
author of _Fidelia_ and _The Shepherd's Hunting_ and he now proposed to
make another name as a brilliant soldier. He saw all sorts of
possibilities in Farnham Castle and when the war broke out and he was
made Governor, he began at once building a drawbridge and a sallyport,
digging a well, and storing provisions. Unfortunately he had no
artillery, without which no self-respecting soldier could be expected to
hold a fort, even where, as at Farnham, there was no enemy within shot.
Riding up to London, he poured a perfect shower of requests into the
unwilling ears of Sir Richard Onslow, who was the chief pillar of the
Parliamentary party in Surrey, and at last he got an order for some
demi-culverins from the Tower. But his hopes were still to be dashed.
The next day came news that Prince Rupert was already in North Surrey,
and the demi-culverins were counter-ordered for fear of capture. Then
might he have light guns, drakes or falconets, which he could take along
by-roads? Sir Richard's answer was that the fortress, since it could not
be held, must be abandoned. For this decision Wither afterwards attacked
Sir Richard Onslow as a traitor, in two tremendous effusions entitled
_Se Defendendo_ and _Justitiarius Justificatus_, of which the latter
landed him in prison and was burnt by the common hangman. Meanwhile,
still protesting at being refused his guns, he rode down to his own
house at Alton, collected what carts and cattle he could find, took them
into Farnham, brought out all the stores and men he could command
through Farnham Park, and got them all safely to Kingston. He might have
been captured by Rupert; it was really quite an exploit.

So the castle came to the Royalists. They put in command of it Sir John
Denham, who in that very same year had published, anonymously, his
famous _Cooper's Hill_. Wither had left behind him three hundred sheep
and a hundred oxen, so that the garrison was well victualled, and the
poet-Governor ought to have been able to put up a fight against an enemy
who had no artillery. Wither would have shown him how to do it. But Sir
John had no idea of what a battle should be. One December morning, a few
days after he had taken over the command, Sir William Waller, a
Parliament General, rode up at the head of his dragoons and demanded
surrender. Of course Sir John refused, and Sir William proceeded to fix
a petard to the gate, to blow it in. A military genius like Wither would
have ordered his men to fire their muskets at the enemy; but all the
soldiers on both sides escaped that day. The explosive was securely
fastened in position, the gate was shattered, the assailants rushed at
the breach, and began at once to pull down the barricade of timber
erected inside by the garrison. This done, the garrison surrendered, and
the glorious day was over.

But Sir John Denham got the best of Wither in the end. Not long
afterwards Wither was taken prisoner by the Royalists, and Denham, who
had wisely been set at liberty to rejoin the Royalist forces, begged for
his rival's life. Mr. Wither, he pleaded, should not be hanged, for
while Wither lived he was not himself the worst poet in England.

The castle keep was never to be held by a successor to Wither and
Denham. Sir William Waller blew up one of the walls when he took it from
Sir John, and the year before Charles was executed Parliament ordered it
to be dismantled altogether. The garrison fell to with enthusiasm,
stripped the building of all the lead, wood, and glass they could lay
their hands on, and sold the wreck to make up their back pay. At the
Restoration, when Bishop Duppa came to the See, he found the castle
almost uninhabitable. It cost him more than two thousand pounds to make
it fit to live in, and his successor, Bishop Morley, spent even more. He
actually laid out ten thousand pounds in improvements, only to meet with
John Aubrey's criticism that he had repaired the building "without any
regard to the rules of architecture." Doctor Peter Mew, who succeeded
Morley, set about improving the castle from outside, and planted the top
of the keep, into which the old walls had been tumbled, with fruit
trees. Bishop Sumner, who held the See for forty-two years from 1827,
turned the orchard into a garden.

Bishop Mew had a double record. He was a soldier as well as a prelate,
and he took part in the last battle fought on English soil. When King
Monmouth's Mendip miners were making their last stand at Sedgmoor, the
end of the fight came with the arrival of King James's artillery. The
heavy cannon might never have been drawn to the ground where the battle
was raging, for the artillery were unprovided with horses, had not the
Bishop offered his coach horses and traces. When they came to Sedgmoor,
he himself directed the fire.

The result of the various fortunes and misfortunes of the castle in war,
and of the different additions and alterations made by successive
Bishops, is naturally rather puzzling. The castle is a medley of the
building of eight centuries. Oldest of all is the ruined keep and the
framework, or foundations, of the castle buildings; the masonry of the
keep is the work of Henry of Blois, and belongs to the twelfth century.
Next come three pillars of the old chapel, now used as a servants' hall.
I saw it when it was set for a meal, and the severe cleanliness of the
white stone above the white tablecloth and glass and cutlery has
remained one of the distinctest of my memories of the castle. Next in
age is the outer gateway--doubtless the scene of Sir William Waller's
explosion--an imposing block of masonry. From each side of the gateway
runs the outer wall of the castle, and between the keep and the outer
wall what was once a ditch has grown into the Bishop's garden, a sloping
stretch of shaven lawn and flower borders, with a fountain and birds
bathing in it. The keep itself, almost from the broken parapet to the
tumbled stones at the base, is a mixture of wall and rock garden, in
which grow all the rock plants worth growing. Perhaps there were
wallflowers when Bishop Mew planted his orchard in the keep; but the
pasque flower and other rarer blossoms which crowd round the base belong
to the gardening of a later day. The level lawn and flower beds of the
inner garden of the keep are as serene and shining as those below, and
the view to the south over Hindhead and the south downs is finer and
freer than from anywhere in the grounds, though there are many fine
views from the castle windows. Fanny Burney, who visited Farnham in
1791, only a month released from the trammels of Court life, would
certainly have been able, as she tells us she wished, to see the hills
above her beloved Norbury. But ladies of the Court were delicate
creatures, and she could not climb to the top. "I was ready to fall
already, from only ascending the slope to reach the castle," she adds
with some humility.

Of all the bishops, Bishop Fox left the most enduring mark on the
castle. He built the noble and lofty gateway tower named after him, and
certainly altered the look of the castle as Farnham sees it to-day, more
than any other Bishop, though what it may have looked like when the
boundary walls were all landing can only be guessed. Within, one of the
chief restorers was Bishop Morley. The hall, before he made his
alterations, was a good deal larger than the present room; you can see
the old doorway in the wall of the wide entrance passage. He added the
splendid staircases, with their carved oak newels, the work of Grinling
Gibbons; and he built the chapel, which also has some fine carving. A
later and most princely Bishop, Anthony Thorold, who held the See from
1891 to 1895, laid down a mile and a hundred yards of stair carpet, and
repaired an acre and a fifth of roof. He also fitted up rooms for
ordination candidates, each room with a name. St. Francis and other
saints preside over the slumbers of some; some sleep in Paradise; a
Bishop who is an occasional visitor looks out upon the Castle garden
from the Bull's Eye.

Bishop Morley, who spent so much money on the Castle, spent very little
on himself. A tiny room, almost a cell, is shown as the chamber in which
he spent hours in prayer, and in the extreme corner is a stone couch, on
which he slept when he allowed himself sleep. He had but one full meal a
day, he never warmed himself at a fire, he never married, he was never
ill, and was found dead on his bed one morning, at the ripe age of
eighty-seven. Starved to death, you are told; the hint is almost of
suicide.

Izaak Walton knew Morley, and stayed with him at the castle. He wrote
his Lives of Hooker and Herbert under the Bishop's roof, possibly added
something to his Life of Donne; the room is shown. I like to think of
him sitting through a sunny morning writing gently about the
shortcomings of Mrs. Hooker, how she made her poor husband tend the
sheep and rock the cradle; or setting down the superb last sentences of
the Life, and then taking down his fishing rod and wandering down by the
Wey after trout and chub. Perhaps, indeed, he could get a salmon. Among
the dues collected by the Bailiffs of the Borough early in the
seventeenth century I find the following----

    "Of every fishmonger that selleth ffish at his window in the lent to
    paye at good ffriday a good lb. of samon or of the beast ffish they
    have then leaft."

The salmon, presumably, swam with the other "beast ffish" in the Wey.

[Illustration: _Cobbett's Birthplace at Farnham._]

Farnham's greatest man was not an ecclesiastic, but a politician.
William Cobbett, soldier, farmer, Radical, editor of _Peter Porcupine_
and the _Weekly Political Register_, and author of a diary unequalled of
its kind in English writing, was born at Farnham on March 9, 1762. The
house in which he was born, once a farmhouse and now the Jolly Farmer
inn, stands on the outskirts of the town near the Wey, conspicuous with
a white gable. As a boy, he must have been one of the busiest on any
farm in the neighbourhood. His father used to boast that he had four
boys, of whom the eldest was only fifteen years old--William Cobbett was
the third--and yet that they would do as much work as any three men in
Farnham. "When I first trudged a field," you read in the _The Life of
William Cobbett, by Himself_, "with my satchel swung over my shoulder, I
was hardly able to climb the gates and stiles, and at the close of day,
to reach home was a task of infinite difficulty." He was taught the
beginnings of farming at Farnham, and he first ran away from Farnham to
be a gardener. He was employed as a boy in the castle grounds, and there
he met a man who was a gardener at Kew. They talked, and the
eleven-year-old boy was fired to see for himself what gardening could
be. Next day he started off, with sixpence-halfpenny in his pocket, and
walked all day till he came to Richmond. There he should have had
supper; he had threepence left to get it with. But threepence was
exactly the price of a little book, _The Tale of a Tub_, which he spied
in a bookseller's window. He bought it, took it into a field near Kew
Gardens, and sat down to read; read on till it was dark, tumbled to
sleep under a haystack, and woke to ask the head gardener for work. He
was given work, but the gardener persuaded him to return home. Ten years
later he ran away from Farnham again, and for the last time. He was out
on the road to meet some friends on the way to Guildford Fair; the
London coach swung by, he swung up behind, and by nine that night was in
London with half-a-crown in his pocket. He left London for a soldier,
and his Farnham boyhood was over.

Riding by Farnham forty years after, Cobbett showed his son the spot
where he received his education. It was easily come by, but he was of
opinion that if he had not had it, "if I had been brought up a milksop,
with a nurserymaid everlastingly at my heels, I should have been this
day as great a fool, as inefficient a mortal, as any of those frivolous
idiots that are turned out from Winchester and Westminster School, or
from any of those dens of dunces called Colleges and Universities." The
spot is a sandy bank above the Bourne, a little stream, dry in summer,
which runs a mile south of Farnham, from Holt Forest to the Wey. This is
the education, described in _Rural Rides_:--

    "There is a little hop-garden in which I used to work when from
    eight to ten years old; from which I have scores of times run to
    follow the hounds, leaving the hoe to do the best that it could to
    destroy the weeds; but the most interesting thing was a _sand-hill_,
    which goes from a part of the heath down to the rivulet. As a due
    mixture of pleasure with toil, I, with two brothers, used
    occasionally to _disport_ ourselves, as the lawyers call it, at this
    sand-hill. Our diversion was this: we used to go to the top of the
    hill, which was steeper than the roof of a house; one used to draw
    his arms out of the sleeves of his smock-frock, and lay himself down
    with his arms by his sides; and then the others, one at head, and
    the other at feet, sent him rolling down the hill like a barrel or a
    log of wood. By the time he got to the bottom, his hair, eyes, ears,
    nose, and mouth were all full of this loose sand; then the others
    took their turn, and at every roll there was a monstrous spell of
    laughter."

[Illustration: _Weydon Mill, Farnham._]

When will _Rural Rides_ be added to the cheap editions? No other book
of the open air and open politics mixes the two with such a breezy grip
as Cobbett's. One rides with the sturdy old man over the road which he
thought the prettiest in England--the four miles between Guildford and
Godalming--or across "the most villainous spot God ever made," which was
Hindhead, and listens to him praising the bean fields and the turnips
here, and the oaks and acacias there, cursing the Wen-devils and
place-men and pensioners, the reptiles, toad-eaters and tax-eaters, and
yet the sheer honesty and affection of the man shine from every page.
There never was such a mixture of execration and the scent of
bean-blossom. But _Rural Rides_ remains a book of the library rather
than the bookshelf.

Farnham has two other authors, one a native and one a friend. Miss Ada
Bayly, known to her readers as Edna Lyall, made Farnham her holiday home
since she was four years old, and set the scenes of two of her novels in
the town. Even better known by his work, if not by his name, is Augustus
Toplady, the author of the hymn, "Rock of Ages." Toplady was born in a
little house in West Street, now pulled down, in 1740. He wrote much
that was bitter; all that is remembered is his hymn.

Every town on the Portsmouth road has its old coaching inn, and
Farnham's is the Bush. It stands modestly aloof; you must walk under an
arch to finds its oldest walls and its wistaria. It was not always the
best inn in Farnham. In 1604, in the account of the Borough, the
receipts of the Bailiffs are thus recorded:--

    "Dewes which hath bene payed accostomly paied to the Baylleffs of
    the Borrough and Towne of Farneham, beyond the memory of any man
    that now liveth as Aniale rents always as followeth:--

    For the 4 Inns                               28s
    That to saye of the Georg                     7s
        of the Whit Hart                          7s
        of the Anteolop                           7s
        of the Crown                              7s
    Of every alhouse within the Borough           2s
    Of every alhouse out of the Borough          12d
    Of every alhouse at the chosing of the
      Bayleffs, called knowledge money            1d
    Of every alhouse as will unlisensed or
      licinsed at every ffayr day every
      on of them                                  1d."

The Bush is not mentioned by name; it was a mere alehouse. Soon it
became a full-grown inn, and the Georg, the Whit Hart and the Anteolop
paled their ineffectual hearths.

[Illustration: _Oasthouses near Farnham._]

Farnham was once the greatest market in England for wheat. Now the chief
industry is hops. Farnham hops are some of the best grown, and have
always fetched long prices. In Cobbett's day, Kentish hops averaged five
pounds a hundredweight, and Hampshire hops were about the same price;
Farnham hops fetched seven pounds. English hops to-day average perhaps
less than five pounds a hundred, and the hopgrower is in distress.
Eighty years ago he was being ruined. Cobbett makes up his accounts,
writing at Chilworth on Sept. 25, 1822:--

    "The crop of hops has been very fine here, as well as every where
    else. The crop not only large, but good in quality. They expect to
    get _six_ pounds a hundred for them at Weyhill Fair. That is _one_
    more than I think they will get. The best Sussex hops were selling
    in the Borough of Southwark at three pounds a hundred a few days
    before I left London. The Farnham hops _may_ bring double that
    price; but that, I think, is as much as they will: and this is ruin
    to the hop-planter. The _tax_, with its attendant inconveniences,
    amounts to a pound a hundred; the picking, drying, and bagging to
    50s. The carrying to market not less than 5s. Here is the sum of £3
    10s. of the money. Supposing the crop to be half a ton to the acre,
    the bare tillage will be 10s. The poles for an acre cannot cost less
    than £2 a year; that is another 4s. to each hundred of hops. This
    brings the outgoings to 82s. Then comes the manure, then come the
    poor-rates, and road-rates, and county-rates; and if these leave one
    single farthing for _rent_ I think it is strange."

Hop-buyers and sellers in those days met in the old Market House, and
were doubtless familiar with the queer inscription, still remembered by
middle-aged Farnham farmers. John Clark built the Market House in 1566,
and wrote on it his riddle:--

    "You who don't like me, give money to mend me,
    You who do like me, give money to end me."

The Local Board of 1866, looking round for some worthy object on which
to spend their money, liked the old house so well that they ended its
existence on the spot.

No parish church is more difficult to drive up to than St. Andrew's at
Farnham. If you know the way you can come to a corner of the churchyard
by a side street, but Farnham goes to church chiefly by alleys and
footpaths. The churchyard is more striking than the church, much of
which is new. The thick turf, shaven and level, runs to the foot of
mossy brick walls; an avenue of pollarded elms leads from the south
door; all round stand little, old red houses. Six o'clock on a sunny
autumn evening is the time to wait in Farnham churchyard. Every three
hours the mellow, feeble bells ring a chime which suits September
twilight:--

    "Life let us cherish
    While yet the taper glows,
    And the fresh floweret
    Pluck ere it close.

    Away with every toil and care,
    And cease the rankling thorn to wear;
    With manful hearts life's conflict meet,
    Till Death sounds the retreat."

Vernon House, a Tudor building changed from its old name, Culver Hall,
and altered so as to front on West Street, has an unhappy memory of the
Parliament wars. Charles the First lodged there one December night, a
closely guarded prisoner on his way from Hurst Castle to Windsor. A
month later he was to leave Windsor for Whitehall. He had little to give
his host, and gave him all he had. It was a white morning cap of quilted
silk, which Mr. George Vernon, inheriting from his grandfather, left in
1732 to his grandson, "desiring it may always go to the next heir male
of my family, as a testimony of our steadfast loyalty and adherence to
the Crown, which is the only bounty my family ever received for all the
losses and expenses they sustained for the royal cause, which amounted
to several thousands of pounds."

[Illustration: _In Farnham Churchyard._]

I had nearly forgotten Farnham's painter. He was Stephen Elmer, and a
picture of his, "The Last Supper," hangs in the church tower. But his
forte was painting fish and game, dead and alive. In a curious old
pamphlet, "_The Earwig, or An Old Woman's Remarks on the present
Exhibition of Pictures of the Royal Academy--a critical pamphlet
published in Fleet Street_, 1781, I find the following entries. Of the
painters and subjects, Mr. Elmer and Mrs. Robinson belong to Surrey. The
rest supply the setting:--

    "10. Thais--Sir Joshua Reynolds, R.A.--The face was painted from the
    famous Emily Bertie ... It was a cruel _snouch_ in the Painter, a
    fine Girl having paid him seventy-five guineas for an hour's work,
    and being unable to pay for the other half of her portrait, to
    exhibit her with such a sarcastic allusion to her private life--to
    call her Thais--to put a torch in her hand, and direct her to set
    flames to the temple of Chastity. Such rigorous punishment seldom is
    inflicted by a rich man on a pretty woman, merely from her want of
    money.

    79. Damn'd bad.

    106. Mrs. Mahon in the character of Elvira--J. Roberts.--Painting,
    painted.

    107. Portrait of Mrs. Robinson--J. Roberts.--At some distance the
    effect nearly the same as the preceding number; but on closer
    inspection, the colour not quite so thickly laid on. We must do
    justice to the Exhibiting Artists by saying that there are no worse
    _of their size_ in the room than these Dulcineas.

    129. Brace of Pheasants--S. Elmer, A.--No artist can come nearer to
    the object he attempts. His fish, his birds, and fruit are as
    exquisitely fine as any of the Flemish masters."

The National Gallery lacks an Elmer: private collectors may be luckier.
Mr. J.E. Harting, to whom all Surrey naturalists owe a debt, reminds me
that many of Elmer's best pictures were engraved to illustrate Daniel's
_Rural Sports_, and that it was Elmer who painted the picture of the
hybrid between a blackcock and a pheasant which readers of _Selborne_
will remember was sent by Lord Stawell to Gilbert White. "It had been
found by the spaniels of one of his keepers in a coppice, and shot on
the wing."

[Illustration: _Frensham Pond._]



CHAPTER III

FRENSHAM AND TILFORD

    A Surrey Labourer.--The Witch's Caldron.--Frensham Ponds.--The Last
    of the Blackcock.--Herons and Waterlilies.--The Tilford
    Oak.--Cobbett's Mistake.--Silver Billy.--The heroic age of
    Cricketers.


Farnham has expanded to the south-east, and not prettily. But it is the
key to the great stretch of pine wood, heather and bogland which lies to
the south about Frensham, Tilford and Crooksbury Hill; and it is the
best centre from which to visit Waverley Abbey and Moor Park, and to
take long walks over some of the wildest country in the county. A week
would not be long enough to explore the dozen square miles south of the
town.

Wrecclesham lies to the south-west, almost on the Hampshire border, and
still makes green pottery of patterns which were favourites in the
sixteenth century. Further south runs the tiny Bourne, the stream by
which Cobbett and his brothers had so good an education, as we have just
seen, in the sand. The Bourne, which runs dry in summer, has few
associations as a stream; one, perhaps, will remain with it. Readers of
_The Bettesworth Book_ and _Memoirs of a Surrey Labourer_ will perhaps
not be very wrong if they fix on this sandy valley as the Surrey which
Bettesworth knew best. Than the _Memoirs_, I think, no more discerning
study of an old labourer's fight to keep on his own legs, out of the
workhouse, earning his own money with his spade and hoe, belongs to any
Surrey village.

[Illustration: _Pierrepont House and Bridge._]

Deep country begins south of the Bourne, with the first Surrey bridge
over the Wey, or rather one of the two Weys that are to join at Tilford.
Untouched as yet by any town, the little river runs here over gravel and
sand, clear and weedy. Trout lie under the bridge below Pierrepont
House, in George III's day a seat of Evelyn Duke of Kingston, who named
it after his family. He was the Duke who married the beautiful Countess
of Bristol when her lawful husband was still alive: perhaps she used to
stare into the Wey at Pierrepont and wonder whether it was worth doing.

[Illustration: _Beside Frensham Pond._]

Frensham stands a little distant from the river, just a cottage or two
and a church. But the church holds a famous relic--an enormous caldron
of beaten copper. Nobody knows its age; everybody has a story about it.
It was brought by the fairies, is one tradition; it was nothing of the
kind, is another. Mother Ludlam, the witch of Moor Park, four miles
away, used it for boilings and philtremakings, according to one story;
yet another connects it with a great stone which used to lie in the
neighbourhood. John Aubrey, the antiquary, who "perambulated" Surrey in
1673 and 1674, gives the legend in full:--

    "In the vestry of the church, on the north side of the chancel, is
    an extraordinary great kettle or caldron, which the inhabitants say,
    by tradition, was brought hither by the fairies, time out of mind,
    from Borough hill, about a mile from hence. To this place, if any
    one went to borrow a yoke of oxen, money, etc., he might have it for
    a year or longer so he kept his word to return it. There is a cave
    where some have fancied to hear music. On this Borough hill (in the
    Tithing of Cherte, in the parish of Frensham) is a great stone lying
    along, of the length of about six feet: they went to this Stone, and
    knocked at it, and declared that they would borrow, and when they
    would repay, and a Voice would answer when they should come, and
    that they should find what they desired to borrow at that Stone.
    This caldron, with the trivet, was borrowed here after the manner
    aforesaid, but not returned according to promise; and though the
    caldron was afterwards carried to the stone, it could not be
    received, and ever since that time no borrowing there....

    "The people saw a great fire one night (not long since), the next
    day they went to see if any heath was burnt there, but found
    nothing."

[Illustration: _Frensham Pond Hotel._]

"These stories," says Aubrey, "are verily believed by most of the old
women of this parish, and by many of their daughters." The daughters
ought to have known better. So ought Aubrey, according to Salmon,
another Surrey historian, writing in 1736. He cannot understand why
there should be anything astonishing about the size of the caldron,
"there having been many in England till lately to be seen, as well as
very large spits which were given for entertainment of the parish at the
wedding of poor maids." It was a notable thing to roast an ox whole.
Clearly it would be satisfactory to boil a sheep.

[Illustration: _Frensham Pond._]

From Frensham village a road runs straight across the common to the
south-west corner of the Great Pond, but the prettiest road to the water
is by the side of the Wey. The Wey runs here deep and clean, edged with
forget-me-nots through all the summer, winding and straightening through
serene and shining pastures. There is nothing quieter in all Surrey than
this little path by the tiny river, with the bank on one side rich with
roses and elderflower, and on the other the sunlight gleaming on the
chestnut coats of the cattle moving slowly through the sedge. Here is an
old oak bridge, solid and lichened; here, facing the stream, a high bank
of white sand, bored and tunnelled by sand-martins; a little further,
and the brushwood flames with the pink and crimson spires of a thousand
foxgloves. The grassy path runs on, until on a sudden bend the ground
rises, and over a wooden stile opens out the vista of the great
Frensham Pond. Could there be a deeper contrast? Behind lies green
pasture-land, rush and sedge, oak and alder; before you, the shoulder of
a hill purple with ling, the long level of grey and silver water,
dancing under the wind away to a far strip of yellow sand flecked with
patches of white foam; high above that, burnt and blackened ridges of
heather-ground and gorse. Frensham Pond has often been painted, but that
is the view I should choose, as I saw it first. To one coming up from
these green depths of pasture, the air blows across the water with the
freshness of the sea.

[Illustration: _The Devil's Jumps, beyond Frensham Pond._]

Frensham Pond still lies open and wild to the sky, though it may not be
long before its shyer visitors leave it for more secluded waters. The
motor omnibuses from Farnham have not yet frightened them all away. Coot
and moorhens paddle in and out of the reeds, and great grebes float
leisurely about its surface. It has always been famous for its fishing.
In Aubrey's time it was "well known for its carps to the London
fishmongers," and to-day it holds pike, perch and tench. I heard of no
carp. Who would eat a carp?

In the bar of the little inn that stands on the edge of Frensham Pond
there is an interesting case holding two blackcocks and a grey-hen,
whose unhappy lot it was to be shot--perhaps the last of their race seen
in this part of Surrey. They were killed nineteen years ago, in 1889.
Actually the last blackcock chronicled in Surrey were a pair seen near
Hindhead, I believe in 1906.

[Illustration: _The Devil's Jumps, from Frensham Common._]

From Frensham Great Pond one may push on to Hindhead, three or four
miles to the south-east, or may return to Farnham through Tilford by way
of the Little Pond, another broad and shining stretch of water. The way
to Farnham is the better, for it means leaving the high road for the
natural paths that run over and round the windy ridges of the commonland
to the east. From the rising ground between the two Frensham ponds there
is a fine panorama of pine and heather. Crooksbury Hill juts up dark and
commanding to the north; the level line of the ridge on the left, a few
hundred yards away, is broken and humped with barrows; far away to the
east lies Charterhouse, grey in the haze by Godalming; behind, to the
south-east, the Devil's Jumps, three little squat, conical hills whose
very oddity is one of their attractions. They edge the horizon like
inverted pudding bowls covered with bracken, and with bell-heather
kindling to crimson in the July sunlight.

[Illustration: _Bridge at Tilford._]

July is the month in which to visit Frensham Little Pond. It was an
accident which first showed me the pond as it ought to be seen, and as
few see it. I had been watching a number of herons through my glasses;
one of them eyeing me discontentedly from the reeds on a southern arm of
the water, and three more flapping majestically over the trees,
apparently dropping suddenly down into the valley of the Wey. Trying to
take a short cut to the stream I missed my way among the woodland rides,
and suddenly found myself again on the edge of the pond. It was worth
making the mistake. The northern corner of the pond by the little
boathouse is one sheet of white waterlilies. The corner runs into a
rough triangle, with two sides fifty yards in length and a base of
perhaps thirty yards. There must be nearly a thousand square yards of
lilies, and from five to ten lilies to the yard, green buds, opening
blossoms, and great white cups and gold-centred chalices, wet and
swaying in the wind. Through all the summer those lilies flower, and
there cannot be as many people see them as there are lilies.
Fortunately, it would be difficult to find them unless you were walking:
you could not drive a motor-car or ride a bicycle down those sandy
lanes, and nobody on foot would pick the lilies.

To walk from Frensham Little Pond over Tilford Common to Tilford is to
traverse some of the wildest and freshest commonland in Surrey. For some
distance from the northern corner of the pond the way runs through
woodland, crossed and recrossed by so many sandy paths that it is a good
deal easier to get lost than to find the high road running into Tilford
from the south. It is worth while getting lost, for that matter, if only
to realise the wildness of the place; though it would perhaps be better
to choose daytime for the business, for there are some awkward-looking,
though perhaps not dangerous, bogs on the lower ground near the Wey.
This lower ground, by the way, is a wonderful place for rabbits. You
come suddenly out from the wood on the border of a reedy field, and see
dozens of scampering bodies cleaving paths through the shaking rushes.
Now and then a rabbit, puzzled by the silence following the sound of the
invader's coming, sits and cocks up a pair of ears above the grass; his
head goes a little higher, his timorous eye catches yours, and the
greenery closes behind him.

Tilford to-day cannot be very different from the Tilford of the days of
Cobbett. It is a straggling little hamlet, lying about the triangle
formed by its cricket-green. The Wey runs halfway round the green, and
is crossed by two grey and ancient bridges. But the chief glory of
Tilford is its mighty oak, one of the greatest of English trees. Its age
is unknown, and perhaps would hardly be known if it were felled. It has
been claimed as "the oak at Kynghoc," mentioned in the charter given to
Waverley Abbey in 1128; but that oak is mentioned as standing on the
Abbeyland boundary, and the Tilford oak has never stood on the boundary.
These historic oaks make difficult problems. Wherever you find a great
tree, local legend gathers round it. Queen Elizabeth dined under it or
shot a stag under it; Charles II climbed in it; Wesley preached under
it; it is the boundary of the parish; it was the boundary of the
Abbeyland eight hundred years ago. But was it always, then, the greatest
tree for miles round? Eight hundred years ago, may there not have stood
another tree near where it stands to-day, as large or even larger?
Surely the traditions of one great tree pass, when the tree falls, to
its nearest great neighbour; but they pass so seldom, and so slowly,
that the villagers hardly note the change. Three generations are born
and die, and no villager living has seen the older greater oak; the
younger, slighter tree succeeds to its glories. Tilford's oak to-day is
called by all Tilford the King's Oak. On the old estate maps it is
Novel's Oak; Novel, perhaps, was a yeoman farmer.

[Illustration: _Between Tilford and Elstead._]

Cobbett made a curious mistake about the Tilford Oak. He and his son
were riding through Tilford to Farnham on an autumn day in 1822:--

    "We veered a little to the left after we came to Tilford, at which
    place on the Green we stopped to look at an _oak tree_, which, when
    I was a little boy, was but a very little tree, comparatively, and
    which is now, take it altogether, by far the finest tree that I ever
    saw in my life. The stem or shaft is short; that is to say, it is
    short before you come to the first limbs; but it is full _thirty
    feet round_, at about eight or ten feet from the ground. Out of the
    stem there come not less than fifteen or sixteen limbs, many of
    which are from five to ten feet round, and each of which would, in
    fact, be considered a decent stick of timber. I am not judge enough
    of timber to say anything about the quantity in the whole tree, but
    my son stepped the ground, and, as nearly as we could judge, the
    diameter of the extent of the branches was upwards of ninety feet,
    which would make a circumference of about three hundred feet. The
    tree is in full growth at this moment. There is a little hole in one
    of the limbs; but with that exception, there appears not the
    smallest sign of decay."

Visitors to Tilford can amuse themselves with trying over Cobbett's
measurements. I could not reach to measure it ten feet from the ground;
but at five feet I made its girth, in July, 1907, twenty-four feet nine
inches. Probably it was not much less when Cobbett was a little boy.
That independent, combative mind would not accept another's
measurements, and if he remembered the tree as a little tree, then a
little tree he was right in remembering. Since his day the signs of
decay have set in; the oak is still superb, but a Jubilee sapling has
been planted as a neighbour. Centuries hence the sapling, perhaps, will
be the King's Oak again.

Tilford has another memory of green old age. William Beldham--"Silver
Billy," because of his straw-coloured hair--lived most of his life in
the village, where he kept an inn, and died in a cottage close under the
oak. He was born at Wrecclesham on February 5, 1766, and died February
20, 1862, aged 96, having played thirty-five years' unbroken "great"
cricket, as Lillywhite calls it--a finer name than first-class. Let John
Nyren, most discerning of biographers, describe him:--

    "William Beldham was a close-set, active man, standing about five
    feet eight inches and a-half. He had light-coloured hair, a fair
    complexion, and handsome as well as intelligent features. We used to
    call him 'Silver Billy.' No one within my recollection could stop a
    ball better, or make more brilliant hits all over the ground.
    Wherever the ball was bowled, there she was hit away, and in the
    most severe, venomous style. Besides this, he was so remarkably safe
    a player; he was safer than the Bank, for no mortal ever thought of
    doubting Beldham's stability. He received his instructions from a
    gingerbread baker at Farnham, of the name of Harry Hall....

    "He would get in at the balls, and hit them away in a gallant style;
    yet, in this single feat, I think I have seen him excelled; but when
    he could cut them at the point of the bat he was in his glory; and
    upon my life, their speed was as the speed of thought."

[Illustration: _The King's Oak, Tilford._]

When were the great days of Surrey cricket? When Surrey could lend All
England William Beldham, and still win--which they did twice--a Tilford
man might answer. At all events, they were days in which cricketers
lived to heroic ages. Abarrow, who lies at Hambledon over the Hampshire
border, lived to be 88; James Aylward, "rather a bulky man for a
cricketer," was buried close to Lord's ground, aged 86; Barber, who
kept the Bat and Ball on Broad Halfpenny Down, was 71; William Fennex,
at the age of 75, walked ninety miles in three days, carrying an
umbrella, clothes, and three cricket bats (but he died soon after);
William Lambert, almost the greatest of Surrey hitters, and the first
player who ever made two centuries in the same match, died at 72; Lumpy
Stevens, who won £100 for Lord Tankerville by hitting a feather once in
four balls, and lies in Walton churchyard, was 84; John Small, who saved
his life by playing his violin to a ferocious bull, to the "admiration
and perfect satisfaction of the mischievous beast," lived to be 89; Tom
Sueter--"I have never seen a handsomer man than Tom Sueter," wrote
Nyren--lived to be 77; "Shock" White, with his bat as broad as his
stumps, "a short and rather stoutly-made man," was buried at Reigate,
aged 91; Yalden of Chertsey,--he jumped over a fence and then on his
back caught the ball--was 84; and John Wells, buried at Farnham, died at
the age of 76. John Wells shared with "Silver Billy" a curious
distinction. He was Beldham's brother-in-law, and an admiring publican
at Wrecclesham put up a sign to draw thirsty wayfarers to Wrecclesham's
best beer. It was "The Rendezvous of the Celebrated Cricketers, Beldham
and Wells." If it were still standing, it would attract a pilgrimage.

[Illustration]



CHAPTER IV

WAVERLEY ABBEY AND MOOR PARK

    Jonathan Swift, Secretary.--A new Tale of a Tub.--Sir William
    Temple, Essayist.--Swift's "Stella."--A heart under a
    sundial.--Dorothy Osborne.--Mother Ludlam's Cave--Waverley
    Abbey.--Two tons of wine.--Comfort from Cromwell.--A Surrey
    Landmark.


Hardly two miles from Farnham, and reached by a road overarched by fine
oaks, Moor Park stands on the banks of the Wey. A turn in the lane
throws open a view of rich hayfields and pasture, with the river winding
in and out under a ridge of oakwoods; much the same view, perhaps, as
Swift first had of the fields and the Wey when he came to Moor Park from
Ireland to copy out Sir William Temple's essays and to meet the
dark-eyed waiting-maid who was to inspire one of the great passions of
literary history.

Moor Park was Sir William Temple's new name for an old manor. The name
under which he bought the house and land was Compton Hall, and he
renamed it after a property in Hertfordshire. "The perfectest figure of
a garden I ever saw, either at home or abroad, was that of Moor Park in
Hertfordshire, when I knew it about thirty years ago," he wrote in his
_Essay on the Gardens of Epicures_: and he laid out his own garden in
the Dutch style which he admired. The garden has changed with the
changing tastes of later owners; the house has fared a little better,
though it was once metamorphosed into a Hydropathic Sanatorium--a new
and dismal Tale of a Tub.

[Illustration: _Moor Park._]

Moor Park, when Sir William Temple had it, saw the writing of many
books. Sir William Temple himself, deeply hurt with his sovereign, James
II, for striking his name off the Privy Council, had vowed to give up
diplomacy and turn to gardening and writing for the rest of his life.
His gardening may have been as good as his writing, and his essay on
Gardening is, of all his writings, perhaps the best. But it was in his
seclusion at Moor Park that he wrote, also, one of the most ridiculous
papers that ever brought the fame of an essayist to a retired
politician. His _Essay Upon the Ancient and Modern Learning_ remains one
of the most astonishing examples of the admirable writing down of trash
in the history of letters. Quite unnecessarily, he had taken up the task
of comparing modern writers with ancient, to the disadvantage of the
modern, and he cannot be said to have been well equipped for the
business. He had never read a word of Greek, and he achieved the
distinction of criticising modern writing without a single reference to
the works of Dante, Petrarch, Tasso, Ariosto, Molière, Racine,
Corneille, Chaucer, Spenser, Milton, and Shakespeare. The extraordinary
thing is that the book was welcomed, and when a quarrel was struck over
his claim that the Letters of Phalaris (which he could not read) were
the best Letters in the world, he found ready champions. They were
hopelessly defeated by Bentley, but Sir William Temple fortunately died
before the defeat.

Better books were written at Moor Park by Sir William's secretary.
Jonathan Swift, angry and rebellious, hating the authority and restraint
of his Irish University, came to England an uncouth, ill-balanced,
extravagant creature of twenty-one, and settled, or half-settled, to his
work as amanuensis. He threw up his post in a rage, went over to Ireland
and was ordained priest, made up his quarrel with his patron and came
back to Moor Park to write _The Tale of a Tub_ and _The Battle of the
Books_. But the books were almost incidents. The mainspring of his life
was his melancholy devotion to the pretty girl who waited on Lady
Giffard, Sir William Temple's sister. She was Esther Johnson, daughter
of Sir William's steward, but as Swift's Stella she lives in the story
of sad and mysterious passions with Héloise and Laura.

Sir William Temple died in 1699, and was buried by his wife's side in
Westminster Abbey; all but his heart, and that was laid in a silver box
under the sundial in his garden. He left his papers to Swift, who wrote
that there had died "with him all that was good and amiable among men,"
and to prove it quarrelled acrimoniously with the family.

Of another, gentler inmate of Moor Park we hear very little. Her fame
was assured her when, as Dorothy Osborne, she had waited seven years to
marry William Temple, and had sent to him, without an idea that they
would reach an English public, some of the most graceful girlish letters
ever written. After her marriage she leaves the scene, or we see her
seldom. She corresponded with Queen Mary, but Swift has little to tell
us about her. She, at least, could never have enraged him.

[Illustration: _Stella's Cottage._]

Moor Park lies along the banks of the Wey, and through it runs a drive
open to foot passengers, but not to bicycles or dogs. Nearly at the end
of the drive going towards Waverley Abbey is a curious cave, lined and
roofed at the entrance with stone, and barred and gated and spiked with
iron, evidently a fit habitation, once upon a time, for a very
witch-like old woman. The gates, or rather railings which do not open,
must have been placed there many years ago, for no initials have been
carved, or at least none are visible, on the stone within. The cave runs
back, some way from the road, into pleasantly dubious darkness. In this
case, according to the tradition of the place, lived the witch, Mother
Ludlam, whose caldron lies in the tower of Frensham Church. Another
excavation in the ground a few yards away has also its own tradition,
or rather two traditions. One is that it was the regular abode of a
hermit named Foote, who starved to death in it; another, that Foote was
a lunatic who was found dying in the hole, but actually died in the
workhouse. The details are precise. "Foote was a gentleman. He came one
day to the Unicorn Inn at Farnham. Next day he hired a man to wheel a
heavy portmanteau to Moor Park gate, when he told the man to put it
down. Foote was taken very ill, was found by old Hill the keeper and
taken to Swift's cottage where Hill lived. The union officials took
Foote and his heavy portmanteau to the Union. 'It's only buttons
inside,' said they. 'It's gold! gold!' exclaimed Foote with his dying
breath." So runs the local version.

[Illustration: _In Moor Park._]

At the gates of the entrance of Moor Park stands a charming cottage,
brick and timber embowered in roses. It has been known at different
times as "Dean Swift's Cottage" and "Stella's Cottage." Perhaps neither
lived there. Outside the park the Wey broadens out into a wide pool,
shaded by magnificent sycamores, and then drops through sluices to a
lower level, to twist back to the north-west under the walls of Waverley
Abbey.

Waverley Abbey is the greatest of the ruins in a county where ruins are
few. Once the Abbey precinct covered sixty acres of ground; to-day
nothing remains but tumbled walls and broken gates. It was not the
oldest nor the richest of Abbeys in the county, but in some ways it was
the noblest foundation of all. It was the earliest house of Cistercian
monks in England; it inherited the spirit and the traditions of one of
the finest of the monastic orders, the stricter sect of the monks of St.
Benedict; its brethren were simple, kindly men with few wants and little
money, who yet were generous hosts and the most skilful farmers of their
day; it was the elder sister of Tintern Abbey, the mother of the Abbeys
of Garendon, Ford, Combe and Thame, and the grandmother of seven others;
and its abbots had precedence in the chapters of abbots throughout the
order of Cistercians.

The White Monks, as the Cistercians were called, used to choose wild and
lonely places for their churches, and Waverley Abbey, which stands in
fields even now sometimes flooded, in its early days was more than once
in difficulties through rain and bad seasons. It was founded in 1128 by
William Giffard, the second Bishop of Winchester after the Conquest,
and the buildings were still unfinished when, in 1201, a great storm
inundated the Abbey, almost carried away its walls, and ruined all its
crops, wheat, hay, and flax. Two years later, from the failure of the
harvest after the flood, corn was so scarce that the monks had to
scatter themselves among other Convents till they could thresh another
summer's corn. In 1215 the spring from which they got all the water
suddenly failed, and the monks were without water for their wine till
one of them found a fresh spring and took it by pipes to the admiring
Abbey. Eighteen years later came another storm and vast floods; the
water rushed through the Abbey grounds, carrying away walls and bridges,
and was eight feet deep in the buildings. There were other floods; in
1265 the monks had to sleep where they could out of the water, and it
took days to clean away the silted mud. Those were some of the penalties
of being so conveniently near to a river.

[Illustration: _Waverley Abbey._]

[Illustration: _Waverley Abbey._]

Round the buildings accumulated the traditional virtues. The Annals of
Waverley record that in 1248 a youth fell by accident from the very
parapet of the church tower to the ground without receiving the smallest
injury. He was stupefied, and was thought to be dead, but after a little
while began to speak and to be sensible, and soon completely recovered.
On an earlier occasion, Aubrey tells us that "a boy of seven or eight
years of age, standing near the Abbey gate, fell into the river, on the
Feast of the Invention of the Cross, and by the rapidity of the stream
was drove through four of the bridges, and was afterwards found on the
surface of the water, dead to all outward appearance; but being taken
out and carefully attended, he was brought to life, and came to his post
at the gate from whence he had not been missed nor inquired after."

When the church was dedicated in 1278--it had taken seventy-five years
to build--there was great rejoicing and a superb banquet. Nicholas de
Ely, Bishop of Winchester, to make the occasion splendid, supplied
feasting at his own expense for nine days to all who attended; abbots,
lords, knights and noble ladies came to the dedication, and on the first
day seven thousand and sixty-six guests sat down to meat. That is
Waverley's greatest record of hospitality. Another record belongs to a
guest. King John spent four days at the Abbey in Holy Week, 1208, and on
that occasion one R. de Cornhull was ordered to be paid five marks for
"two tons of wine" carried from Pagham.

[Illustration: _In the Grounds, Waverley Abbey._]

At the Dissolution Waverley's end came quickly. The Abbey was one of the
first of the smaller monasteries to fall. The obsequious adventurer whom
Thomas Cromwell sent to Waverley to report on the Abbey establishment
was Doctor Layton, and evidently he was neither feasted nor bribed by
the simple Abbot and his monks. Thus he writes to Cromwell after his
visit:--

    To the right honorable Mr. Thomas Crumwell, chief secretary to the
    King's highness.

    It may please your mastership to understand that I have licenced the
    bringer, the Abbot of Waverley, to repair unto you for liberty to
    survey his husbandry whereupon consisteth the wealth of his
    monastery. The man is honest, but none of the children of Solomon:
    every monk within his house is his fellow, and every servant his
    master. Mr. Treasurer and other gentlemen hath put servants unto him
    whom the poor [fool?] dare neither command nor displease. Yesterday,
    early in the morning, sitting in my chamber in examination, I could
    neither get bread nor drink, neither fire of those knaves till I was
    fretished; and the Abbot durst not speak to them. I called them all
    before me, and forgot their names, but took from every man the keys
    of his office, and made new officers for my time here, perchance as
    stark knaves as the others. It shall be expedient for you to give
    him a lesson and tell the poor fool what he should do. Among his
    monks I found corruption of the worst sort, because they dwell in
    the forest from all company. Thus I pray God preserve you. From
    Waverley this morning early before day, ready to depart towards
    Chichester, by the speedy hand of your most assured servant and poor
    priest,

    RICHARD LAYTON.

It is satisfactory to learn that the weasely Doctor was "fretished,"
which must be pretty nearly the same thing as perished with cold and
hunger. The Abbot's plea for his monastery--surely one of the honestest
letters ever written--sets in contrast the characters of the monastery
and its visitor. He writes to Cromwell on June 9, 1536:--

    To the right honourable Master Secretary to the King.

    Pleaseth your mastership I received your letters of the vij^th day
    of this present month, and hath endeavoured myself to accomplish the
    contents of them, and have sent your mastership the true extent,
    value, and account of our said monastery. Beseeching your good
    mastership, for the love of Christ's passion, to help to the
    preservation of this poor monastery, that we your beadsmen may
    remain in the service of God, with the meanest living that any poor
    men may live with, in this world. So to continue in the service of
    Almighty Jesus, and to pray for the estate of our prince and your
    mastership. In no vain hope I write this to your mastership, for as
    much you put me in such boldness full gently, when I was in suit to
    you the last year at Winchester, saying, 'Repair to me for such
    business as ye shall have from time to time.' Therefore, instantly
    praying you, and my poor brethren with weeping yes!--desire you to
    help them; in this world no creatures in more trouble. And so we
    remain depending upon the comfort that shall come to us from
    you--serving God daily at Waverley. From thence the ix^th day of
    June, 1536.

    WILLIAM, the poor Abbot there, your chaplain to command.

[Illustration: _Crooksbury Hill and Frensham Little Pond, from Frensham
Common._]

The comfort that came to the White Monks was the dissolution of the
Abbey in the month following. After the dissolution the buildings fell
gradually to pieces, generously helped by builders of other houses. When
Sir William More was giving Loseley near Guildford the shape we see
to-day he carted waggon-load after waggon-load of stone from the ruined
church, and Sir William More was perhaps not the first and certainly not
the last of the spoilers. The neighbourhood quarried from the ruins
until only a few years ago. When Aubrey saw the Abbey in 1672 he found
the walls of a church, cloisters, a chapel used as a stable, and part of
the house with its window-glass intact, and paintings of St. Dunstan and
the devil, pincers, crucibles and all. To-day most of the ruins have
fallen flat. There is some beautiful vaulting left, and massive heaps of
stone show the corners and boundaries of the church and other buildings.
Ivy-stems, coils of green gigantic pythons, climb about the walls and
broken doorways; pigeons nest on the window-ledges and clatter like
frightened genii out over the field.

Above Moor Park, a landmark for miles round, Crooksbury Hill lifts like
a dark pyramid. Crooksbury Hill has a dozen different wardrobes. You may
wake to find her grey in the morning, you may leave her behind you
grey-green with the sun full on her flank, you may turn at noon to find
the sun lighting her deep emerald; she is sunniest and hottest in a
shining blue; and in the evening with the setting sun behind her she
cloaks herself in purple and black as if her pines belonged to Scotland.
She cannot see so far as Chanctonbury Ring, which is the watching
comrade of all walkers in the country of the South Downs, and she has
not the height of Leith Hill or Hindhead; but she is the grave and
constant companion of all travellers for many miles round her, and
measures for them the angle of the sun or the slope of the stars, as do
all good landmarks for those who love a landmark like a friend.

[Illustration: _A Dip in the Hog's Back._]



CHAPTER V

THE HOG'S BACK

    Whitewaysend.--Tongham.--A carillon of
    sheep-bells.--Timber-carting.--Falling on board a
    transport.--Cottages under the Hog's Back.--Puttenham. The Maypole
    at Compton.--The two-storied sanctuary.--A great
    picture.--Bird-baths.--Swarming bees.--The Hog's Back; a noble
    highway.


If any of the pilgrims from Farnham were drawn aside down the banks of
the Wey to the hospitality of Waverley Abbey, they probably rejoined the
rest at the foot of the Hog's Back, perhaps near Whitewaysend. That is a
name with some meaning, for here first the road from Farnham runs up on
to the great chalk ridge which traverses the county from west to east.
The break in the colour of the roads under the ridge is from bright
yellow sand to staring white, but the full white does not begin until
the road is almost at its highest level, at the cross-roads above
Tongham.

Tongham is the only village between Farnham and Guildford north of the
Hog's Back and near the ridge, and though there is little in it for
antiquarians, the pretty little white inn and the oasthouses have often
attracted painters, and the approach to the village from the south is
by a road pillared and canopied with lofty elms. The churchyard holds a
curious structure. A slender oak tower, recently erected as a memorial,
stands apart from the church, riveted to the ground with iron struts,
and contains a peal of thirteen small bells. A carillon is rung every
Sunday and Wednesday; I have not heard it, but have been told that it
sounds "like sheep-bells."

[Illustration: _Tongham Church, with Wooden Tower for Bells._]

Not much can have been written about the older days of Tongham, but at
least one delightful passage in a modern book belongs to it, and should
be read under the great elms by the roadside. In Mr. George Bourne's
_Memoirs of a Surrey Labourer_, Bettesworth describes an almost
incredible feat of carting timber:--

    "I see a carter once," said Bettesworth, "get three big elm-trees up
    on to a timber-carriage, with only hisself and the hosses. He put
    the runnin' chains on and all hisself."

    "And _that_ takes some doing," I said.

    "Yes, a man got to understand the way 'tis done ... I never had
    much hand in timber-cartin' myself; but this man.... 'Twas over
    there on the Hog's Back, not far from Tongham Station. We all went
    out for to see 'n do it--'cause 'twas in the dinner-time he come,
    and we never believed he'd do it single-handed. The farmer says to
    'n, 'You'll never get they up by yourself.' 'I dessay I shall,' he
    says; and so he did, too. Three great elm-trees upon that one
    carriage.... Well, he had a four-hoss team, so that'll tell ye what
    'twas. They _was_ some hosses, too. Ordinary farm hosses wouldn't
    ha' done it. But he only jest had to speak, and you'd see they
    watchin' him.... When he went forward, after he'd got the trees up,
    to see what sort of a road he'd got for gettin' out, they stood
    there with their heads stretched out and their ears for'ard. 'Come
    on,' he says, and _away_ they went, _tearin'_ away. Left great ruts
    in the road where the wheels sent in--that'll show ye they got
    something to pull."

    We got one shrub a little further, Bettesworth grunting to a heavy
    lift; then, in answer to a question:

    "No, none o' we helped 'n. We was only gone out to see 'n do it. He
    never wanted no help. He didn't say much; only 'Git back,' or 'Git
    up,' to the hosses. When it come to gettin' the last tree up, on top
    o' t'other two, I never thought he could ha' done it. But he got 'n
    up. And he was a oldish man, too: sixty, I dessay he was. But he
    jest spoke to the hosses. Never used no whip 'xcept jest to guide
    'em. Didn't the old farmer go on at his own men, too! 'You dam
    fellers, call yerselves carters,' he says; 'a man like that's worth
    a dozen o' you.' Well, they couldn' ha' done it. A dozen of 'em 'd
    ha' scrambled about, an' _then_ not done it! Besides, their _hosses_
    wouldn't. But this feller the old farmer says to 'n, 'I never
    believed you'd ha' done it.' 'I thought mos likely I should,' he
    says. But he never had much to say."

A few hundred yards further along the Hog's Back the road drops down
south-east to Seale, the first of the three ancient and interesting
villages which lie under the ridge between Farnham and Guildford. Seale
is a fascinating little place. It consists only of a few cottages, shy
and red-roofed, deep among high hedges, bushy dells and reedy meadows,
with wheatfields and barleyfields clothing the chalky slopes above. The
church has been rebuilt, but has some inscriptions worth looking at. One
is an epitaph on a young officer, Edward Noel Long, who was drowned at
sea. According to the inscription:--

    "On his way to join the British forces in Spain, he, with others of
    his regiment, perished in the sea near Cape St. Vincent, during the
    confusion of a fatal accident occasioned by the _Isis_ man-of-war
    falling on board the transport on which he was embarked on the night
    of the 6th March, 1809."

That was just after Corunna. A carved bas-relief represents the _Isis_
under full sail "falling on board" the transport.

[Illustration: _Seale._]

Here, under the Hog's Back north and south, nearly all the cottages are
old and nearly all have gardens. One perfect little building stands not
far from Seale on the road to Puttenham, bowered in vines and quaintly
chimneyed, with white-curtained windows opening on a low wall and
stone-crop and high box borders, and, when I saw it in July, bunches of
pink and white mallows glowing under an old oak door. No cottages count
sunnier hours than these that stand about the long strip of green
country under the chalk downs. This part of Surrey, perhaps, has changed
as little as any part during the last twenty or thirty years, which have
added so many miles of brick and slate to Surrey villages and towns;
probably the greatest change has been in the roads. Mrs. Henry Ady, for
instance, writing of the Pilgrims' Way just fifteen years ago, speaks of
the road that runs through Seale, Puttenham, and Compton as being "a
grassy lane, not always easy to follow, and little used in places." The
road as it runs here may not take the exact line of the Pilgrims' Way,
but no one could call it difficult to follow. Here and there it passes
through cornfields, and it is by leaving the road to take a footpath
through a cornfield that the best view is to be had of Puttenham, whose
red roofs and grey church tower are set delightfully among rich elms,
with a splash of ploughed chalk blazing white through the trees beyond.
Puttenham has added only a few new cottages to its outskirts; under the
church it is still red and mossy and lichened. The cottages are oddly
built to suit the sloping ground, for the road to the church rises on a
hill, and necessitates different levels for foundations and stone
pathways. One of the cottages has an outside staircase to its front
door, for what reason there is no guessing.

The next village under the Hog's Back on the way to Guildford is
Compton, perhaps the third stage of thirsty pilgrims journeying from
Whitewaysend. The main road enters Compton from the north, but the
prettiest way to find the village is to drop down on it by a woodland
footpath from the west. Icehouse Wood is the name of the few acres of
trees through which the path runs; an old brick-lined pocket in the side
of the hill suggests the name, but there are remains of another brick
building higher up the slope which look nothing like an icehouse. Was
the name ever Oasthouse wood, perhaps, and did they grow hops here as at
Farnham? If any pilgrims left the beaten track from Puttenham which runs
north of Compton they may have come to the church and the inn by this
footpath. It is centuries old; it is lined, before it enters the wood,
by ordered holly which may once have marked a road, and as it drops down
the hill it cuts as deep into the sand as the old trackways north of
Anstiebury Camp or west of Albury. Great beeches coil their roots about
its edge--younger than the road if ever oasthouses stood by it.

Compton looks like a village presided over by a single mind. The
cottages which add themselves to whatever is old in neighbouring
buildings are designed to fit with a scheme; the cottage gardens are
challenges of roses and phloxes, which shall be brightest. The black
beams and jutting stories of an ancient timbered house stand above the
road, an example and a guardian; the whole aspect of the village is of
the quietest country. When I was walking through Compton I was told of a
village festival which had been held in the spring, in which children
from Bermondsey--Bermondsey once a Thames-side village itself--dressed
in the old dresses and danced the old dances. They had a Queen of the
May and they twined a maypole with ribands; and as I went out of Compton
there were the Compton village children, six or seven of them, dancing
over the dances the Bermondsey children had shown them, in the same
field where the festival was held. The first of May would come round
again; they would choose their own Queen and twine their own maypole.

Compton church is one of the most interesting in the country. It must be
forgiven a hideous organ, whose blue and red pipes block the western
arch of the nave; the sanctuary is the beauty of the church. It is the
only two-storied sanctuary in England, and the origin of two-storied
sanctuaries is unknown. Mr. Lewis André, writing in the _Surrey
Archæological Collections_, is inclined to think that the dedication of
the upper sanctuary may have been to St. Michael; there are several
altars dedicated to St. Michael in the galleries of continental
churches. Another feature of the church is the wooden Norman screen
which fences off the upper sanctuary; it is the oldest known in England,
and dates back to 1180, according to the archæologists. Some Jacobean
screen work in the pulpit and the altar rails is an interesting
contrast.

Half a mile north of Compton are a chapel and a cemetery, the joint gift
of the late George Frederick Watts and Mrs. Watts; the chapel, designed
by Mrs. Watts, strikes a dominant note of terracotta and red brick.
There are strengths and splendours which belong to the building and its
frescoes, but to me, at all events, it seems to lack the peace and
mystery of quieter, duller chapels. A noble memorial of a master mind is
the picture gallery in the grounds of the terracotta designing school
founded by the late painter's wife. The gallery contains many of his
finest pictures, and in particular the last of all which he
painted--_Destiny_, a tremendous figure with a shadowed face; masses of
filmy light are about it, and power moves in the arm that holds the
book; there is a secret hidden which the grey face knows. The gallery is
lighted as no London gallery is; the ceiling and walls are washed with
old gold, which takes all the hardness from the spaces of sunshine
playing through the roof. Mrs. Watts, I believe, added this charm to the
gallery. Others besides critics owe her gratitude. Outside the gallery
stand rows of pottery, the work of her pupils. Urns, vases, basins,
cups, pedestals, fountains await translation to flower gardens. The
birds of many Surrey lawns owe a debt to Compton for wide splash-baths
of water to bathe in and drink at in the heats of summer.

Compton can be seen either from Guildford or from Godalming, and the
traveller has the choice at Puttenham either of rejoining the Hog's Back
immediately above the village, and so dropping down into Wanborough on
the other side, or going on to Compton and perhaps climbing up again to
the road on the ridge afterwards. Wanborough, a fascinating little
hamlet, is worth the extra climbs up the hill. It is little more, in
reality, than a manor house or farm homestead, wealthy with huddled
ricks and superb barns, and a simple little church, perhaps the tiniest
of all in Surrey; it measures only forty-five feet by eighteen. I found
it locked, but a village child with engaging confidence told me to "look
under the brick" for the key, and under a loose brick in the porch I
found it. It may be lying there to-day. There is little in the church
itself; but when I saw it there was a fine nest of honeybees in the
roof near the bell that hangs on the wall outside. Why do bees so often
swarm in churchyards? Country villagers believe that they like the sound
of dinning metal; perhaps they are attracted to a church by Sunday's
bell.

[Illustration: _Wanborough Church._]

Wanborough sends a rough but pleasant field-road up again to the Hog's
Back, which from here runs another four straight miles along the ridge
to Guildford. This is certainly the noblest highway in Surrey, and,
perhaps, the most characteristic of the county. You may often travel
along it and yet not see the finest of the view on either side; in the
summer, more frequently than not, the whole countryside north and south
of the ridge is swimming in a blue haze which dims and muffles the
horizon. But there is no other road on which you can walk so far and see
so much broad Surrey country open out mile after mile on either side,
and from which you can watch so many changes of woodland and common and
cultured fields, from the green and golden hops about Farnham to the
wheat and oats above Seale and Puttenham, and the long potato drills in
the chalk by Wanborough. But the view is not the single beauty of the
Hog's Back, though to walk high in the wind along open spaces is
possible only on a few roads in the county. The Hog's Back has a treble
charm belonging wholly to the roadway itself; its width, its spacious
grassy rides on each side of the broad hard riband of metal that runs
white and unswerving east and west, and most gracious of all, its deep
and exuberant hedges. All along the road in a light wind you will get
the scent of bed-straw and thyme and clover from the green border of the
road, and in the short down grass find the plants that love
chalk-ground, like the little blue milkwort, which spreads like a film
over the higher slopes of the ridge in summer. If the roadside is
scented with flowers, so are the hedges. Guelder rose and dog rose and
privet blossom side by side with elder and spindle wood; above holly and
hazel and buckthorn stand up gnarled and wind-driven yews, bent over the
road from the south-west. To the south, it is often only through the
gate-gaps in the hedge that you can see out over the flank of the hill;
on the northern side the hedge is lower--low enough, indeed, to be
broken in summer by tall spikes of mullein, yellow against the grey-blue
air over the heaths of Pirbright and Worplesdon. The highest point of
the road lies a mile beyond Wanborough on the way to Guildford; here you
are over five hundred feet up, and the road drops gradually, ending with
a sudden slope almost as soon as Guildford, bricky and cheap-looking
from this aspect, comes into view.

[Illustration: _Barn at Wanborough._]



CHAPTER VI

GUILDFORD

    The prettiest High Street in the south of England.--Guilou, Wey, and
    Wye.--The Castle.--A legend of murder.--Looking at St.
    Christopher.--Royal hunters.--Stephen Langton.--Cloth and how to
    stretch it.--Aubrey scents a swindle.--King Monmouth after
    Sedgmoor.--A pike for a baby.--The keeper at Bramshill.--Mysterious
    windows.--Admirable calm.--The Queen's.--The Regent and the
    Apse.--St. Mary's Wall-paintings.--An ancient school.--The
    Angel.--Pepys at the Red Lion.--Sparagus for supper.--A Vanished
    Heart.--The undaunted clockmaker.


To arrive at Guildford by train is like walking into a garden over a
rubbish heap. In the grace of its building, the charm of its colour, the
fascination of the prospects of its hillside High Street, no town in
Surrey, and perhaps only Oxford in England, is comparable with it. But
between the railway station and the High Street it is desolation and
blank walls. A few pretty old cottages jut out over a narrow pavement;
beyond a huddled roof or two rises the tower of St. Nicholas' Church,
umber and solid; nearly all else is tumbled down ugliness, broken
brickwork, mud and shaggy grass. A clear space, a level green, a bed of
flowers--what an introduction that might be to Guildford. But,
doubtless, the rubbish heap is, or some day will be, too valuable as
building land.

Beyond the turn of the road is the most delightful street in the south
of England. It rises from the bridge crossing the Wey steep into blue
air over the hill. Each side of it is a stairway of roofs up the slope,
a medley of façades, a jumble of architecture astonishing in sheer
extravagance and variety. Gabled houses, red-tiled and gay with
rough-cast and fresh paint; dull, sad-faced houses with sleepy windows
like half-shut eyes; square, solid Georgian houses for doctors with
white chokers and snuff-boxes, and prim old ladies with mittened wrists;
low, little dolls'-houses, red brick neatly pointed; tall, slim houses
graceful with slender casements and light shafts of wood; casements
nobly elaborate in wood-carving and heavy with leaded panes; bay windows
which should belong to nurseries and high, square-latticed windows which
should light a library, delicately fastened with wrought iron; painted
pillars supporting window seats for cats and demure young ladies;
broad-stepped entrances to hotel halls, and archways under which barrels
roll to bursting cellars; Guildford High Street is a model of what the
High Street of an English town should be. Has it a single dominating
feature, or is its air of distinction merely compact of the grace and
old-worldliness of its shops and houses? Perhaps the single extreme
impression left by the High Street is its clock, swung far out over the
road. Massive, black and gilt, and fastened to the face of the old Town
Hall with an ingenious structure of steel stays, it has told Guildford
the time for two centuries and a quarter.

Guildford High Street has its landmarks of history in its Hospital, its
School, and its Town Hall, but its oldest standing record is in one of
its churches. The tower of St. Mary's church, indeed, contains the most
ancient piece of building in the town, perhaps in the county.
Archæologists are to be found who will argue that part of it, at least,
belongs to the reign of Alfred, though there is little evidence to show
that stone was used for building in Surrey before the eleventh century.
Alfred, at all events, mentions Guildford in his will; he spells it
"Guldeford," one of the dozen old ways of spelling a name that has
always been a puzzle and a pleasure to the etymologists. What does
Guildford mean? Naturally "The Ford of the Guild." The town had a guild
of merchants, and there was a ford; nothing could be simpler. But the
simple explanations are usually wrong; and the most convincing
derivation is one which has been suggested by Mr. Ralph Nevill, who
discovered a river named Guilou in Asser's _Deeds of Alfred_, and points
to several other names along the Wey which may be traced to the same
source. There is Willey House, and Willey Mill near Farnham; Wilsham
Farm near Alton, and Willey Green on another branch of the river.
Guildford, then, is probably the "ford of the Guilou," which in Welsh is
presumably Gwili. Where, then, did the name Wey come from? It may
originally have been Wye. The corruption would be easy; indeed, Cockney
boating parties very likely get the right pronunciation, by accident,
to-day.

Older than St. Mary's tower in associations, if not in stone-work, is
Guildford Castle. The Castle stands on a mound, partly natural, perhaps,
and almost certainly partly artificial. Originally, perhaps, the mound
was used for an early English fortification; it was heightened by
scraping up earth from a ditch at its bottom, and round it was built up
a palisade of wood; possibly there was a wooden house on the top of it,
and then it would have looked precisely like one of the fortified mounds
in the Bayeux Tapestry. Later, it was enclosed in a shell keep; later
still, a Norman square keep was built inside the shell keep; to-day,
except the walls of the square keep, almost all the Castle is gone. It
was never a Castle in much more than name. It has no associations of
great battles; it never stood a siege; it never even held a royal
prisoner. In King John's reign it was already used as a gaol, and a gaol
it remained until James I, in 1612, gave it to one Francis Carter of
Guildford, who used it as a private residence. Four hundred years before
it had seen all its fighting. That was when the French Dauphin, invited
by John's angry barons, marched against it and took it from defenders
who seem to have cared little whether they kept it or not.

But the Castle still has its legend--a legend only--of cruelty and
bloody massacre. In 1036, when Harold Harefoot was king, Alfred the son
of Ethelred was travelling from Normandy to join his mother at
Winchester. He landed in Kent, and was marching with his Normans along
the Way, whether or not with the intention of eventually trying to
recover his father's kingdom is uncertain; at all events, at Guildford
he was seized and put to death. So much is history; legend supplies a
dreadful embellishment. Early in the morning after their capture,
Alfred's followers were led out into the street and condemned to death.
Nine out of every ten men were butchered, until out of six hundred
Normans sixty only were left alive. That was not enough to glut their
captors' fury. The sixty were gone through again, and all but six were
ferociously tortured to death. Alfred himself was given to Harold, who
put out his eyes, loaded him with chains, and threw him into prison,
where he died. Fortunately, nobody need believe the story.

[Illustration: _The Castle Gate, Guildford._]

An environment of meaner modern buildings has spoiled the setting in
which the castle should stand. Seen from certain points, especially from
below, the keep is not a very imposing structure; you cannot get far
enough away from it. Far the best view is to be had from the rising
ground to the south-east, where you can set the castle in outline
against the sky. Then it takes on something of the romance of a Norman
ruin, with its tumbling masses of ivy, its broken battlements, and the
mixed greys and ochres of its masonry. The interior is uninteresting,
except for the sad little carvings left by prisoners on the walls, among
them a crucifix, a hermit, St. Catherine's wheel, and St. Christopher.
If St. Christopher was not exactly the patron saint of prisoners, he was
the kindliest saint to carve on a dungeon wall. If you looked on St.
Christopher you were safe, at least for that day, from sudden death. How
many thousand days of "safety" he must have brought to the Guildford
prisoners!

The castle enceinte is now laid out as a pleasure ground, with all a
public garden's advantages and disadvantages. Public taste demands
"bedding out," even though geraniums and calceolarias fit unhappily
enough with masonry fourteen feet thick and Saxon earthworks. A bowling
green is in its proper place; thorns and old rose-trees have a right to
grow round ruined castles; wallflowers belong to stones and mortar. But
lobelias do not. Still, something even worse than bedding-out might have
befallen the Castle grounds. Dr. G.C. Williamson, in his valuable little
book _Guildford in the Olden Time_, mentions that, when the grounds were
bought for the Corporation in 1886, premiums were offered to various
landscape gardeners for plans showing the best means of laying out the
space. One of the plans which was rejected, although attractive in other
ways, "started its schedule of work with a suggestion that the ugly ruin
in the centre of the grounds should be removed, and in lieu of it should
be erected a light iron bandstand painted green, picked out with gold."
What, one wonders, were the other attractions of the "landscape"?

Just possibly Guildford Castle was for some time a royal residence.
Nearly all the old kings used to visit the country round for hunting and
hawking. Henry II, soon after he came to the throne, enclosed a large
tract of land north of Guildown and made it into a royal park, but
whether, when he came to hunt, he stayed at the Castle itself or at the
palace which was built in the park, none of the chroniclers say. The
palace has long since disappeared, though it is said that the outline
can be traced when the land on which it stood is under corn. The corn is
supposed to turn a different colour along the lines of the foundations.
In later days, the kings certainly stayed at the palace, and not at the
Castle. John was at Guildford nineteen times in eleven years, and kept
Christmas there in 1200 "with uncommon splendour and magnificence."
Henry III had his wines stored at Guildford, probably in the caverns
near the Castle, and once, with a capital eye for business, ordered that
no other wines should be sold in the bailiwick of Surrey until his had
found a buyer. Edward I, according to an untrustworthy story, brought
Adam Gordon, a highway robber, to Guildford after he had fought and
beaten him with his own royal hands, and forgiven him afterwards. The
next two Edwards were often at the palace; Henry VI and Edward IV lay
there; Henry VII made Sir Reginald Bray, ancestor of Surrey's historian,
keeper of the Park and Manor; Henry VIII hunted in the park, and
Elizabeth travelled about so frequently between the royal residences at
Guildford and elsewhere that the county actually framed a remonstrance
against having to pay so much for her carriages and horses. She was
probably the last of the sovereigns to ride through the town from north
to south, though Charles II was feasted there at the Restoration and
presented with a service of plate, a proceeding which swamped the
Corporation in debt.

One other distinction Guildford owes to its associations with kings. It
has been selected as the scene of a remarkable novel by a remarkable
writer. Martin Tupper, in his preface to _Stephan Langton_, takes a
devoted public into his confidence as to the manner in which such a book
should be, and indeed actually was, completed. He set out to write a
historical novel dealing with Guildford in the days of King John,
weaving into it various local legends and a love-story of an abbess and
an archbishop; he "began the book on November 26, 1857, and finished it
in exactly eight weeks, on January 21, 1858, reading for the work
included." The list of books which he consulted in Mr. Drummond's
library at Albury must be read in full for the mere physical labour of
the business to be appreciated; but after such abstruse searchings, to
have crammed into ninety thousand words of solid print such a
concatenation of murders, arsons, slayings, swoonings, drownings and
burnings must always remain a considerable achievement. The story itself
is sad stuff.

Apart from palaces, Guildford's history, until comparatively recent
times, has been the history of the wool trade and cloth manufacture. The
beginnings of the industry go back to the settlement in the south of
England, in the reign of Edward III, of Flemish weavers and dyers.
Guildford naturally attracted the trade, for sheep could be successfully
farmed on the downs, water-power for the fulling-mills could be had from
the Wey, and the best fuller's earth in the country was to be had from
Nutfield and elsewhere, only a few miles away. The fuller's teazle, and
woad for dyeing, also grew, and still grow, I learn from Dr. Williamson,
though I have not found either, in the neighbourhood. Before the end of
the fourteenth century the cloth industry had come to the dignity of
legislation. Nobody might buy cloth before it had been "fulled and fully
performed in its nature"; this was to prevent dishonest people from
stretching the cloth and so giving the public short measure. Later,
under the Tudors, nobody might manufacture cloth except in a market-town
where cloth had been manufactured for ten years past. This was no doubt
for the convenience of the ulnagers, officers deputed to measure and
seal all cloth brought to market. It was highly illegal to stretch cloth
in any way. Thomas West, of Guildford, in 1607, was charged with having
used "a certain instrument (a tenter) and other engines wherewith 100
cloths of white wool called kerseys, rough and unwrought and made for
sale at Guildford, were stretched and strained in breadth and length."
On another occasion five clothiers were summoned to answer a charge of
having used "a certaine engine called a rope" to stretch their cloth. So
important a part of Guildford's life had clothmaking become under
Elizabeth that the Corporation required special acknowledgment of the
fact from the innkeepers, doubtless because prosperity in the town meant
full tankards emptied at the inns. Every alehouse keeper had to have a
signboard hung above his door with a woolsack painted on it, under a
fine of six-and-eightpence; he had to buy the sign from the hall warden
at the Town Hall, and pay two shillings for it. Woolsacks were added to
the borough arms. Yet the prosperity of the trade was short-lived, after
all. The pride of Guildford's industry fell. Less than fifty years after
the alehouse signs swung woolpacks to guide thirsty clothiers, the
business came down with a run. Godalming, Farnham, and Wonersh were
other flourishing centres of the trade, and in 1630 one Samuel Vassall,
the merchant who took the Godalming and Wonersh cloth for shipment
abroad, failed his customers. He was under arrest, and no one else could
be found to take up his contracts. All the Godalming eggs were in one
basket, and Guildford and Farnham suffered in sympathy. Three thousand
workers were in distress; it was the beginning of the end. It could not
have happened, of course, if Samuel Vassall's failure had been the only
difficulty. That would have been got over somehow. But there was another
agent at work. The real cause of the destruction of the Surrey cloth
industry was the fact that for years the Company of Merchant Adventurers
and the London Drapers' Company had been working to get the cloth trade
into their own hands, and they had practically succeeded. Godalming held
on for a time; but Guildford, Wonersh, and Farnham went under.

Aubrey is not content with so simple an explanation. He scents a
swindler. The trade of Wonersh, he writes, "chiefly consisted in making
blue cloth for the Canary Islands; the decay and indeed ruin of their
trade was their avaricious method of stretching their cloth from 18
yards to 22 or 23, which being discovered abroad, they returned their
commodity on their hands and it would sell at no market. The same
fraudulent practice caused the decay of the Blews at Guildford." He
probably muddled up musty scandals with the effect of pure business
competition. He is not the last to make mistakes connected with a
vanished trade. There still lingers a superstition at Guildford that
Rack Close, not far from the Castle, is the place where unfortunate
prisoners (perhaps the Jews whom Martin Tupper describes as suffering
agonies of enforced dentistry and other tortures) were stretched upon
the rack. It is, of course, the plot of ground on which were set up the
wooden racks, or frames, on which the Guildford blue cloth was stretched
and dried in the wind and sun.

Guildford was singularly happy in its lack of history during the
Parliamentary wars. The battles over Farnham Castle we have seen.
Guildford Castle was not thought worth holding. Surrey gentlemen and
Surrey towns had been as backward as the rest of England in supplying
Charles with his ship-money; but during the whole of the war not a shot
was fired within hearing of the county capital. There was a question of
safeguarding the powdermills at Chilworth, and these were secured for
the Parliamentary Army. Otherwise, Guildford heard nothing more of the
war than the rattle of accoutrements; there were a few levies stationed
in the town, and a troop or two of horse rode through it. Perhaps
Guildford's unhappiest memory of war is an echo of Sedgmoor, forty years
later. The Duke of Monmouth, leaving his colliers and ploughmen to do
their best against the King's cannon, had ridden off the field into
Hampshire, turned his horse loose at Cranbourne Chase, and tried to hide
himself in some rough ground near Ringwood. Lord Lumley and Sir William
Portman were after him with the Militia; there was a reward of five
thousand pounds on his head, and for a day and a night he was hunted
through undergrowth and standing crops. Dogs were run through the high
oats and peas, and except oats and peas he had nothing to eat. He was
caught in the morning, shivering and grey-bearded, in a ditch; two days
later, he was on his way from Ringwood to London, his coach guarded by
strong bodies of troops, and sitting opposite him in the coach an
officer whose orders were to stab him if there was an attempt at rescue.
So they rode into Guildford on a Saturday afternoon, and that night the
terrified prisoner lay under the roof of Abbot's Hospital. Perhaps he
slept; perhaps he could only stride about the room feverishly scribbling
letters of abject entreaty to the King and the great courtiers; staring
wild-eyed at the early July sunlight beyond the hospital chimneys, and
wondering whether he should see another Sunday dawn. It was his last; on
the Wednesday morning his head was hacked from his shoulders.

Abbot's Hospital has pleasanter memories. Foremost must be the memory of
its founder, Guildford's greatest citizen, the stern, kindly old
Archbishop Abbot, son of a poor clothworker of the town, scholar of
Balliol College, Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University, and predecessor
to Laud in the See of Canterbury. It was a great career, and, according
to an old family story, it had a curious beginning. Aubrey gives this
version:--

    "His mother, when she was with child of him, dreamt, that if she
    should eat a _Jack_ or _Pike_, her son in her womb would be a great
    man, upon this she was indefatigable to satisfy her longing, as well
    as her dream: she first enquired out for the fish; but accidentally
    taking up some of the river water (that runs close by the house) in
    a pail, she took up the much desired banquet, dress'd it, and
    devour'd it almost all: This odd affair made no small noise in the
    neighbourhood, and the curiosity of it made several people of
    quality offer themselves to be sponsors at the baptismal fount when
    she was delivered; this their poverty accepted joyfully, and three
    were chosen, who maintained him at school, and at the university
    afterwards."

[Illustration: _Abbot's Hospital, Guildford._]

The great archbishop's days ended in gloom. He was shooting deer in Lord
Zouch's park at Bramshill, and by an unlucky accident killed a keeper,
one Peter Hawkins. Kingsley has pictured the scene:--

    "I went the other day" (he writes in a letter from Eversley) "to
    Bramshill Park, the home of the _seigneur de pays_ here, Sir John
    Cope. And there I saw the very tree where an ancestor of mine,
    Archbishop Abbot, in James the First's time, shot the keeper by
    accident! I sat under the tree, and it all seemed to me like a
    present reality. I could fancy the noble old man, very different
    then from his picture as it hangs in our dining room at Chelsea. I
    could fancy the deer sweeping by, and the rattle of the cross-bow,
    and the white splinters sparkling off the fated tree as the bolt
    glanced and turned--and then the death shriek, and the stagger, and
    the heavy fall of the sturdy forester--and the bow dropping from the
    old man's hands, and the blood sinking to his heart in one chilling
    rush, and his glorious features collapsing into that look of
    changeless and rigid sorrow, which haunted me in the portrait upon
    the wall in childhood. He never smiled again!"

In those jealous days, an archbishop was not forgiven an accident.
Bishops refused to be consecrated by a prelate with blood upon his
hands. A free pardon was granted him; but he never recovered his spirit,
and fasted once a month on Tuesday for the rest of his life. Peter
Hawkins's widow was by no means so disconsolate. The Archbishop settled
an annuity of £20 upon her, and she got another husband at once.

The Archbishop's great legacy is the Hospital. Unlike Whitgift's
Hospital at Croydon, it has charming surroundings; like it, it is quiet
and old and solid, of good dark red brick, with mullioned windows and
latticed panes, four turrets over the entrance gate, and the most
graceful chimneys that ever carried up smoke from pensioners'
fireplaces. There are many delightful groups of chimneys in Surrey
villages and on Surrey mansions, but Guildford's chimneys are best of
all.

In summer, the quadrangle is bright with geraniums, and through a
passage opposite the entrance is a glimpse of a simple kitchen garden.
In it, as one of the pensioners, a white-haired, blue-eyed old man, told
me, vegetables are grown for the inmates of the hospital. I gathered
that they were not allowed to manage the garden themselves, but that the
garden produce was divided. But they cook for themselves. The pride of
the hospital, however, is not the garden, but the old oak of the
staircases and dining hall and board room, the settle and table, the
copper caldron and the windows with their punning legend "Clamamus Abba
Pater." I am not sure if my old pensioner could read it, but he pointed
it out to me, and when I read it, approved. In the chapel, where there
are a number of Latin verses telling the story of the painted windows,
it was easier for him; he handed me a written explanation. But the
explanation matters very little; the real thing is the superb colour.
The story, which is of Jacob, Esau and Laban, is told on two windows,
with nine lights. There are purples and greens in those windows at which
you might gaze through a dozen sermons; but there is one robe of
burning, translucent orange that would light a cathedral.

The history of these windows would be worth knowing. They were evidently
not wholly made for the tracery, though parts of them may have been.
According to one account, they were purchased by Archbishop Abbot from
the Dominican Friary which used to stand at the end of Guildford North
Street, and which was converted into a Manor House after the dissolution
of the monasteries. But the glass belongs to more than one period, and
some of it was evidently added by the Archbishop, for among the heraldic
devices above the Jacob and Esau lights are the Abbot arms impaling the
Canterbury arms. Also--a point which the antiquarians have no doubt
noticed, but I can find no reference to it in any book--the initials
S.R., which appear in the centre top opening of the north window under
the date 1621, are evidently part of another inscription. On the left
side of the S is part of a V or U, as if the end of a Latin word ending
in "us" had had its tail chopped off. The letters must have been
selected from the original inscription for some definite reason; what
can it have been?

Archbishop Abbot's bones lie opposite his hospital, in the church of
Holy Trinity. Of the three churches which stand on the High Street,
Trinity Church is the highest up the hill, and was called the Upper
Church in the days when Puritanism preferred not to mention dedications.
It is, comparatively speaking, a modern building, red-brick and heavy;
it was built after the old church fell down in 1740. An admirable calm
must have pervaded the citizens of Guildford on that occasion. Russell,
one of Guildford's historians, observes that the inhabitants, "desirous
of improving" the church, had recently repaired it at a cost of £750. He
then adds, reflectively, that "As the arches and pillars which supported
the steeple were then taken away, it was soon after supposed to be in a
very ruinous condition." On April 18, 1740, an order was given for the
church to be inspected. On the 19th it was inspected, and the steeple
was reported to be very unsafe. On the 20th, therefore, which was
Sunday, service was performed for the last time. On the 23rd the steeple
fell in and took the roof with it; the workmen had left the church a few
minutes before. Even then there was at least one untroubled soul in
Guildford. The verger was told that the steeple had fallen. "That cannot
be," he replied, "I have the key in my pocket."

The vault in which the archbishop lies was accidentally opened in 1888,
when the church was being repaired, and some brickwork fell away.
Through the gap, it is said, the coffin could be seen on the floor; the
form of the body was distinct, and the beard was still there. The vault
was sealed again; it had been unopened for more than two hundred and
fifty years. It was during these alterations that the cenotaph standing
over the vault was removed further east to where it now stands. It is a
typical piece of Renaissance work, florid, intricate, insistent on the
ghastliness of death. The effigy of the archbishop, stern and noble,
lies on its marble bed supported by stacks of gilt-clasped books;
underneath, a grating reveals a medley of human bones, carved with the
minutest detail. The artist evidently enjoyed the work. But it is better
worth looking at, for all that, than the monument on the other side of
the church, where the recumbent form of Sir Arthur Onslow is apparently
giving vague directions to an imaginary audience. Wrapped in a Roman
toga, he waves a sleeveless right arm; his left is propped by a set of
Journals of the House of Commons. It is a relief to pass beyond such
tawdry pomposities into the solemn little chapel, sacred to one of the
great regiments of the Army, the Queen's, the old Second of the Line.
Their badge, the Lamb and Flag, and their name they get from Katherine
of Braganza, Charles the Second's queen. Later, as Kirke's Lambs, they
added to a dreadful fame at Sedgmoor; but rebellion breeds brutality,
and Kirke was probably no more ferocious than others who have had to
deal with insurgents. Since Sedgmoor, the Queen's, or to give them their
other and less distinctive name, the Royal West Surrey Regiment, have
served in practically every important campaign in which the Army has
been engaged. Their tattered banners, with the broken, proud
inscriptions of campaigns and battles, droop above long lists of dead.

Of the two other great Guildford churches, the lower, or Church of St.
Nicholas, stands at the bottom of the High Street on the far side of the
Wey. Probably it is the fourth church that has stood on this site; there
are at all events, records of three previous demolitions, though each
demolition has left one feature standing--the Loseley Chapel, belonging
to the Mores of Loseley Park. With the exception of this chapel, with
its brasses and monuments, dating back to the fourteenth century
memorial of Arnold Brocas of Beaurepaire (surely a name of names!), the
church is chiefly interesting as being a really satisfying piece of
modern architecture. It was built in 1875, and, though the interior,
with its modern glass and high colouring, has none of the quiet of age,
it dulls to the right tone at dusk.

[Illustration: _St. Mary's Church, Guildford._]

The Middle Church, St. Mary's, is the most interesting of the three. The
tower was built before the Conquest, possibly originally for defence: at
all events, there are two windows looking north and south which are
doubly splayed, after Saxon fashion, a good deal above the ground
level. The rest of the church has been built at different times,
beginning with the chancel, which is pure Norman, and there are actually
three levels to the floor, which gives rather an odd effect. The
proportions of the church have been spoiled by the cutting off of the
apse of the chancel--an entirely unwarrantable piece of destruction. The
history of the mutilation is characteristic of the days of the Regency.
George, Prince of Wales, used to drive down to Brighton, and perhaps his
coach stuck in Quarry Street, which must have been horribly narrow,
between the apse of St. Mary's and the town gaol opposite. He swore as a
Georgian prince should, offered the town a good round sum to have the
street widened, and the Corporation, who could have sliced something off
the gaol and harmed nobody, preferred to cut at the church. They never
got a penny of George's money.

But the most interesting feature of St. Mary's is the group of
wall-paintings in the chapel of St. John, north of the nave. These are
second in importance only to the famous painting at Chaldon, and have
been admirably explained by Mr. J.G. Waller, writing in the _Surrey
Archæological Collections_. They belong to that curious age when
paintings on church walls were used as texts and preached from on
Sundays, to be scratched and whitewashed out of recognition in later
years by destroyers and "restorers" alike. The subjects chosen by the
painter in St. Mary's Church are peculiar and strangely grouped. The
centre of the group is a "Majesty," the conventional representation of
the second coming of Christ. The head of the Christ has its nimbus; that
He is "in his glory" you can see by the mantle of royal purple, and "the
holy angels with Him" are represented by two little cramped figures, set
apart to make room for other drawings. Altogether there are six
medallions besides the "Majesty," and there are also designs in the
spandrils above the arch, but these are separate from the subjects of
the medallions. The medallions, Mr. Waller explains, represent certain
scenes in the lives of John the Baptist, and John the Evangelist, though
only two of the stories depicted belong to the Bible. One of them, next
to the "Majesty," shows the Evangelist seated in a caldron of boiling
oil, in which he is being held by a hideous tormentor with a pitchfork,
while a seated figure of Christ confers protection upon the Saint. In
another medallion the Evangelist is seen raising to life the dead
Drusiana, a lady of Ephesus who died just before the Apostle came to the
city; he is also shown turning sticks and stones into gold and jewels,
which he did in illustration of a sermon preached against riches. In a
third medallion the Saint drinks harmlessly from a chalice of poison
which has just killed two malefactors dead at his feet; and in a fourth
the other John, the Baptist, is painted with a rope round his neck,
dragged by an executioner before Herod. The executioner next beheads the
saint, and evidently sees some terrible portent on doing so, for his
hair stands on end, and his hand flies up in horror. The two other
medallions are separate subjects. In one, a figure with a rope round his
neck is dragged before Christ by demons; other demons, one red and one
white, scream and hold out threatening claws; perhaps their question is
"Art Thou come hitherto torment us before the time?" The other subject
is obscure. A Jew, apparently, is being baptised; and a deed with seals
is being examined by another figure, over a stream of water and blood.
Mr. Waller thinks that the reference is to a legend of a Jew who
desecrated an image of Christ with a spear, in imitation of the story of
the crucifixion, when out of the wound there gushed a stream of blood
and water. This miracle converted the Jew and his friends, who
immediately made over their synagogue to the Christian Church. That
would explain the sealed deed.

Other paintings in the spandrils--pictures of Soul-weighing and
Punishment--belong to other theologies. St. Michael holds the balance,
and a demon tries to press down one of the scales so that the soul being
weighed may kick the beam. But the subject of the painting is, of
course, older than St. Michael. The doctrine that souls are weighed, and
that devils and angels strive for the possession of them, is one of the
oldest in the history of the world's religions. It finds a place in all
the creeds; it belongs to Brahminism, to Buddhism, to Mahommedanism; it
is identical with the Ritual of the Dead of Egyptian mythology, in which
the souls of men are weighed before Osiris, and pray for mercy as they
are weighed. As at Chaldon, in another part of the painting the
condemned souls are being taken away. A demon carries them off, tied up
in a bundle, to the fires of hell. Doubtless the Guildford
congregations, listening Sunday after Sunday to the exposition of such
potent texts, came to have little taste for theology that was not served
up hot and strong.

Guildford has had other teachers besides theologians. The school, a
grey, venerable building, which fronts on the High Street above Trinity
Church, is the oldest in the county. It was founded in 1509, by one
Robert Beckingham, a rich London grocer, who owned property in
Guildford. But his benefactions did not permit any great latitude in
building, and it was not until Edward VI had given the school a charter
and a grant, and other great Guildford men had provided funds for
building and endowment, that the school, nearly at the end of the
sixteenth century, found itself in full working order. Since then it has
educated some famous scholars. Guildford's greatest man, George Abbot,
Archbishop of Canterbury; his brother, Robert Abbot, Bishop of
Salisbury; another brother, Sir Maurice Abbot, Lord Mayor of London;
John Parkhurst, Bishop of Norwich; Henry Cotton, Bishop of Norwich, and
his brother, William Cotton, Bishop of Exeter; Arthur Onslow, Speaker of
the House of Commons; Richard Valpy, author of the Greek grammar; and
Sir George Grey, the Colonial statesman, Governor in 1846 of New Zealand
and in 1855 of the Cape, are among its distinguished pupils. Of late
years, perhaps, Charterhouse has drained away some of the supply of
future Abbots and Onslows. But the school still flourishes, and the
memory of its "great" headmaster, Dr. Merriman, is kept green by
middle-aged Guildfordians.

Guildford's inns have been famous for centuries. Guildford is the only
town in Surrey which Camden mentions in his _Britannia_, as having good
inns; John Aubrey remarks that they are "the best perhaps in England;
the Red Lion particularly can make fifty beds, the White Hart is not so
big, but has more noble rooms." John Taylor, the Water Poet, in his
_Catalogue of Taverns in Ten Shires near London_, made in 1636, goes out
of his way to mention particularly that Guildford "hath very faire Innes
and good entertainment at the Tavernes, the Angell, the Crowne, the
White hart, and the Lyon"; and Guildford only, of all the towns he
mentions, has all its inns either still standing or represented under
the same names, wholly or partially rebuilt. The Angel has kept more of
what is old than the others, including a panelled hall with a
seventeenth century clock, and some fine timber and brickwork best seen
from the inn yard. Under the Angel, too, lies one of a pair of vaulted
crypts which have puzzled all the archæologists. The two crypts lie on
opposite sides of the street, and are beautiful examples of fourteenth
century work in chalk; in one of them, too, there was evidently once
some fresco work, but that has nearly all been rubbed away. What were
the crypts for? No one knows for certain. Mr. Thackeray Turner thinks
they were without doubt the undercrofts of merchants' houses; but there
is better reason for supposing that they are remains of some religious
foundation, perhaps of White Friars. At one time there stood in the
centre of the High Street, between the two crypts, the "Fyshe Crosse,"
which John Russell, the Guildford historian, tells us carried on its
summit a flying angel carved in stone, and was erected by the White
Friars in 1345. There is no evidence to prove that this was so, though
it may have been; in any case, the "Fyshe Crosse" was demolished in 1595
as being abominably in the way of the street traffic. If the White
Friars ever had a convent near the cross, possibly the Angel was
originally their guest-house, afterwards turned into an inn.

The Red Lion was the best inn, according to Pepys. It was at the Red
Lion that he "lay in the room the King lately lay in," which would have
pleased Pepys; and it was with the drawers of the inn, one Saturday
night, that he and Mr. Creed made merry over the minister of the town,
who had a girdle as red as his face, but preached next day a better
sermon than Pepys had looked for. The inn had a garden, out of which on
another occasion the gossiping little Admiralty official cut "sparagus
for supper--the best that ever I ate but in the house last year."
Doubtless the host of the Red Lion liked Pepys's recommendation, but
Pepys and his wife must have occasionally been rather noisy guests. It
was in the same inn garden that he and Mr. Creed "played the fool a
great while, trying who could go best over the edge of an old fountain
well; and I won a quart of sack of him." Afterwards, at supper, "my wife
and I did talk high, she against and I for Mrs. Pierce (that she was a
beauty) till we were both angry." Pepys's journeys to Portsmouth, where
his Admiralty business took him, seem generally to have been broken at
Guildford, which was the first stopping place after leaving "Fox Hall"
as he calls Vauxhall. The roads must have been pretty bad, for on one
occasion the coach lost its way for "three or four miles" about Cobham.
However, they ended as usual at the Red Lion, and "dined together, and
pretty merry" and so back to Fox Hall.

A gentler traveller through Guildford used to drive along the Hog's Back
in the early morning, breakfast at the Lion or the Angel, and reach
Sloane Street at half-past six or so in the evening, when she was glad
to get to bed early. That was when Jane Austen was writing at Chawton.
One of her letters, very typical of her in its regard for the pleasant
little minutiæ of a day's business, describes a drive from Chawton up to
London. At Guildford she was "very lucky in my gloves--got them at the
first shop I went to, though I went into it rather because it was near
than because it looked like a shop, and gave only four shillings for
them; after which everybody at Chawton will be hoping and predicting
that they cannot be good for anything." She was then at work on _Emma_,
whom we meet again at Leatherhead.

Guildford High Street has kept its main features for centuries. But the
town has lost one of its chief buildings, which only survives in the
name of Friary Street, and in one or two other names, such as Walnut
Tree Close. This was the old Dominican Friary probably founded by Black
Friars in the first half of the thirteenth century. Not a stone of the
old Friary remains in its place, but the building saw in its time a good
deal of Guildford history. Prince Henry, the eldest son of Edward I and
Eleanor of Castile, died there of an illness which not even the skill of
the friars could abate, though they tried their utmost and sent
messengers riding to London for syrups and candies. The friars had a
good deal to do with royalty, and had many presents from the kings.
Edward I gave them oak trees for fuel and timber; Edward II gave them
eight shillings; Henry IV and his family lodged with them and gave them
forty shillings; Henry VII let them gather fallen wood in his park, but
never gave them a penny; Henry VIII gave them many presents, of which
the largest were two of five pounds, and his daughter, Princess Mary,
gave them seven shillings and sixpence. But the friary fell, of course,
at the Dissolution and after that, apparently, Henry used the building,
which he enlarged, for his own purposes when he came to Guildford to
hunt. Later, probably before the time of James I, the old friary
buildings were demolished and another house built which went with the
Guildford Park estate through several families. One of its owners was
Daniel Colwall, a founder of the Royal Society, who conferred on its
annals the dismal distinction of a suicide. He pistolled himself in an
armchair, and the chair is still shown, black with blood, in the
master's quarters of the Abbot's Hospital. Later still, the house was
used as cavalry barracks, and three years after Waterloo, when perhaps
barracks seemed less necessary than before, the buildings were pulled to
pieces.

Guildford once had nine "gates"; eight have disappeared. They are marked
on an old map of the borough, classically described as the "Ichnography
or ground plan of Guildford." Of six "gates" or streets south of the
High Street, Ratsgate, Bookersgate, Tunsgate, Saddlersgate, Bakersgate,
and Shipgate, only Tunsgate remains; and on the north side Swangate,
Bull's Head Gate, and Coffeehouse Gate have vanished. The charm of the
chief buildings remains, but here and there modern needs have spoiled
the smaller houses. In the High Street, for instance, Number 25, not
much more than a hundred years ago, must have been a quite perfect
little house, with its large casements and their curious iron
fastenings, its noble staircase, and its delightful doorway. It was once
the private residence of the Martyr family, who were hereditary town
clerks of Guildford, but unfortunately it has now been turned into a
shop. The proprietor very courteously allows visitors to examine the
interior, but much of the fascination of the ground floor, with its
panels under the windows and its delicate iron railing, has vanished
altogether, and can only be recovered in imagination with the help of an
old drawing. This house, by the way, a century ago contained a strange
relic, strangely lost. When Peter de Rupibus, the great Bishop of
Winchester, died at his castle at Farnham, his body was buried in
Winchester Cathedral, but the heart was taken to Waverley Abbey. About
1730 it was accidentally dug up among the Abbey ruins, and brought to
Guildford, where Mr. John Martyr kept it at Number 25, safe in its
original lead case. A hundred years later the heart disappeared. No one
knows how it vanished, or where it lies.

One building has altered very little. That is the old town hall, whose
clock swings out over the road, and has been sketched more often,
perhaps, than any clock in Surrey. The original town hall belongs to the
time of Elizabeth, and was probably built into the present structure,
which dates from 1683. It is in some ways the chief feature of the High
Street, with its heavy balcony, supported by monstrous black oak
brackets, and its cupola and bell-turret. The clock has a separate
history. In the year when the town hall was built, one John Aylward, a
clockmaker, came to Guildford and asked leave to set up in business. He
was a "foreigner," that is, he came from another part of England, and
the Gild-merchant refused permission. Undaunted, he retired and set up
his shop outside the borough, made a great clock, presented it to the
governing body, and so obtained the freedom of the town.



CHAPTER VII

GUILDFORD'S ENVIRONS

    The prettiest town Cobbett ever saw.--Semaphores and the THING.--The
    Road on the Ridge.--Newlands Corner.--The Father of the
    Forest.--Pilgrims to St. Martha's.--A quiet churchyard.--Mr.
    Allnutt's poem.--St. Catherine's and the
    Hammer.--Worplesdon.--Sutton Place.--The Weston Rebus.--Lady Susan,
    the Tame Wild Sow.--The earliest mention of Cricket.


Cobbett's is the most attractive description of Guildford and its
environs. "The town of Guildford," he writes in _Rural Rides_, "taken
with its environs I, who have seen so many, many towns, think the
prettiest, and, taken all together, the most agreeable and most
happy-looking that I ever saw in my life. Here are hill and dale in
endless variety. Here are the chalk and the sand, vieing with each other
in making beautiful scenes. Here is a navigable river and fine meadows.
Here are woods and downs. Here is something of everything but _fat
marshes_ and their skeleton-making _agues_. The vale all the way down to
Chilworth from Reigate is very delightful." He has as many praises for
the neighbourhood on the other side. "Everybody that has been from
Godalming to Guildford knows that there is hardly another such a pretty
four miles in all England. The road is good; the soil is good; the
houses are neat; the people are neat; the hills, the woods, the meadows,
all are beautiful. Nothing wild or bold, to be sure, but exceedingly
pretty; and it is almost impossible to ride along these four miles
without feelings of pleasure, though you have rain for your companion,
as it happened to be with me." Would the scenery have pleased Cobbett
better if it had been "wild or bold"? Probably not, since he calls
Hindhead "the most villainously ugly spot on God's Earth." Cobbett liked
smiling pastures and well grown crops. His prettiness is good timber
and clean farming.

In Cobbett's time, there were no suburbs to Guildford; to-day the
suburbs grow. Pewley Hill, south-east of the town, which old pictures of
Guildford show you bare downland, is hardly so much spotted as hidden by
undistinguished villas and dreary brick. Perhaps it would please Cobbett
as well as it pleased him ninety years ago. Pewley Hill in his day stood
naked to the wind, except for the semaphore and its buildings, and
Cobbett deeply hated the semaphore. To us, who have the telephone and
telegram, there seems nothing hateful in it (unless we hate the
telephone), but to Cobbett the line of semaphore towers between London
and Portsmouth stood for all that was dreadful in war, debt, jobbery and
alarums. He could see nothing attractive in the cleverness and despatch
of a system which enabled news to be sent from London to Portsmouth in a
few seconds. (It took three-quarters of a minute to signal the hour of
one o'clock from Greenwich to Portsmouth and back again to Greenwich).
All he saw was bloody war and money wrongly spent. Thus, of one of the
line:--

"This building is, it seems, called a _Semaphore_, or _Semiphare_, or
something of that sort. What this word may have been hatched out of I
cannot say; but it means _a job_, I am sure. To call it an _alarm-post_
would not have been so convenient; for, people not endued with Scotch
_intellect_, might have wondered why the d---- we should have to pay for
alarm-posts and might have thought that with all our 'glorious
victories' we had 'brought our hogs to a fine market' if our dread of
the enemy were such as to induce us to have alarm-posts all over the
country!" The semaphore north of the road from Guildford to Farnham
urges him to even higher flights:--

"What can this be _for_? Why are these expensive things put up all over
the country? Respecting the movements of _whom_ is wanted this _alarm
system_? Will no member ask this in Parliament? Not one! not a man: and
yet it is a thing to ask about. Ah! it is in vain, THING, that you thus
are _making your preparations_; in vain that you are setting your
trammels! The DEBT, the blessed debt, that best ally of the people, will
break them all; will snap them, as the hornet does the cobweb; and even
these very 'Semaphores' contribute towards the force of that ever
blessed debt."

Semaphore House still stands upon Pewley Hill, a modern villa; opposite
it, which would infuriate the old reformer if he could see it, War
Office Ground, marked off with barbed wire and minatory notice-boards. A
hundred years hence, perhaps the fort on Pewley Hill will be exhibited
as one of the curiosities of nineteenth-century Guildford.

Pewley Hill is dull enough in itself to-day, when the down grass has
gone and the bricks are multiplying, but it leads to some of the wildest
and oldest and sweetest of all scenes in the county. You must go over
Pewley Hill to come to the downs, and the downs between Guildford and
Netley, by Newlands Corner, above Albury and Chilworth, are for me, at
all events, the loveliest spot in Surrey. There are other heights in
Surrey with wider views of scenery; there is Hindhead with its almost
complete circle of horizon, from Nettlebed by Henley to the Devil's Dyke
above Brighton; there is the road above Reigate, which looks out over a
thousand roofs and miles of well farmed fields; and there is Leith Hill,
the highest of all hills in south eastern England. But the stretch of
downland running from Guildford to Newlands Corner has a charm that
belongs to none of these. It is not merely the peace and sunshine of the
broad path along the ridge, with its downland flowers and Chalk Hill
Blue butterflies; not only the width and extent of the view over the
Weald, though it is of all views in Surrey one of the loveliest--unlike
the flatter panoramas of Leith Hill and Reigate in that it is a view not
only of fields and meadows, but of tree-clad hills, shouldering into
fainter greens and greys away to Hampshire and Sussex. The enchantment
is something else; the closeness of touch with so much that is dim and
old; the nearness of so much that cannot be reached in changing towns,
on modern roads. For this is unchanged, untouched, unsoiled, part of the
great Way that brought the merchants of Cornwall riding to the Roman
port of Rutupiæ in the Isle of Thanet with tin mined in the
Cassiterides. The valley below may have changed from forest to meadow
and plough, but the green road along the ridge remains what it was
before ever it felt a Roman wheel. No fresher air nor clearer sunlight
lies on any Surrey downs than on those broad aisles of shaven turf,
lichened whitethorns and wind-bent yews.

Newlands Corner has seen more than one battle. Mr. St. Loe Strachey,
editor of the _Spectator_, and one of the earliest founders of rifle
clubs in the country, has his home on the downs close by, and Newlands
Corner, the centre of the rifle clubs of Surrey, has been the scene of
assaults and the counter-attacks made by Volunteer cyclists against
defending bands of riflemen. The riflemen have held their own under the
severest fire; Ministers and distinguished soldiers have watched them.

On the downs by Newlands Corner, near the great trackway of the trading
Britons, stand some of the finest yews in England. To one of a group of
trees, a monarch whose descendants count their centuries in a ring about
him, belongs a noble poem. Mr. William Watson, under the shade of its
branches, wrote _The Father of the Forest_. These are the opening
lines:--

    Old emperor Yew, fantastic sire,
      Girt with thy guard of dotard kings,--
    What ages hast thou seen retire
      Into the dusk of alien things?
    What mighty news hath stormed thy shade,
    Of armies perished, realms unmade?

    Already wast thou great and wise,
      And solemn with exceeding eld,
    On that proud morn when England's rays,
      Wet with tempestuous joy, beheld
    Round her rough coasts the thundering main
    Strewn with the ruined dream of Spain.

    Hardly thou count'st them long ago,
      The warring faiths, the wavering land,
    The sanguine sky's delirious glow,
      And Cranmer's scorched, uplifted hand.
    Wailed not the woods their task of shame,
    Doomed to provide the insensate flame?

    Mourned not the rumouring winds, when she,
      The sweet queen of a tragic hour,
    Crowned with her snow-white memory
      The crimson legend of the Tower?
    Or when a thousand witcheries lay
    Felled with one stroke, at Fotheringay?

    Ah, thou hast heard the iron tread
      And clang of many an armoured age,
    And well recall'st the famous dead,
      Captains or counsellors brave or sage,
    Kings that on kings their myriads hurled,
    Ladies whose smile embroiled the world.

The pilgrims' road, as I have tried to show elsewhere, separates from
the Way again at Guildford. The old British track probably kept to the
northern ridge; the pilgrims who visited Guildford may have left by the
same road, but they turned away across the valley to the little chapel
of St. Martha, which stands on a hill two miles south-east of the town.
The pilgrim's track to the chapel, vanished in parts, becomes plain
enough when it crosses the road which now runs from Guildford to
Chilworth west of the chapel by perhaps half a mile. Here it is a wide
smooth path of the finest down grass, cropped close by rabbits, with
which all this breezy hill must be alive by night. Nearly at the top the
path breaks into sand, which must have tested the less elastic of the
travellers to the shrine pretty severely, but the sand breaks again into
an open plateau of as fine grass as the path below. On this plateau
stands the little church, alone in the sun and wind.

[Illustration: _St. Catherine's Chapel, Guildford._]

Sixty years ago St. Martha's was a ruin; as unhappy a little building as
St. Catherine's on the hill beyond the Wey. It was restored in 1848, and
has taken out of the past a quiet and serenity that set it in the old
years, in tranquil sunshine, in the peace of English Sundays. All the
winds blow about it; it is alone in its acre of smooth down grass;
within its churchyard wall are the graves of country labourers and their
children, lowly mounds hardly seen, without the memory of a name, at one
with the purpose of the earth they dug and sowed. Pine trees stand round
the open space of the hill; bluebells in May spread a film under them;
beyond the grasses, heather and ling die from August purples to the
bronze of autumn. The Surrey hills are to the south and west; farthest
on the horizon is the faint blue of the Sussex downs.

There are early Norman walls and arches in the restored chapel. St.
Martha's may be one of the three churches which Domesday assigns to the
manor of Bramley, belonging to Bishop Odo of Bayeux. A less trustworthy
tradition is that Stephen Langton is buried there; the lids of the old
stone coffins found in the chapel when it was restored probably account
for that legend. Martin Tupper accepted the legend as history.

St. Martha's chapel has inspired more than one poet, Tupper among them,
but none have written with more charm on the lonely little building than
Mr. Sidney Allnutt, in a poem which was published in the _Spectator_
last year. Here are six stanzas out of many:--

    A little chapel grey with years,
    And bleached with sun and rain,
    One solid four-square tower it rears
    Above strong walls which still oppose
    Firm front to elemental foes
    That rage at them in vain.

    Far southward from St. Martha's Hill,
    And to the east and west,
    The downs heave up green shoulders, till
    The distance with its magic blue
    Envelops every other hue,
    And crest is lost in crest.

    Safe sheltered by the encircling downs
    The chequered valleys show
    Their tapestry of greens and browns,
    Made rich by fields of golden grain,
    And threaded by a silver vein
    Where Wey's clear waters flow.

    A churchyard bare of shrub or tree,
    All open to the sky,
    To every wind of heaven free,
    Lies round the chapel, carpeted
    With soft, sweet turf where happy dead
    In dreamless slumber lie.

    For, far removed from camp or mart,
    Beneath the sacred sod
    Of that blest hill they sleep apart:
    Forgotten by the world below,
    After life's spendthrift toil they know
    The rest that comes from God.

    And, oh, it must be good to sleep
    Within that churchyard bare,
    While turn by turn the seasons keep
    A bedside watch, and God may see
    Safe in St. Martha's nursery
    His children pillowed there.

If I had to choose a month and an hour to visit St. Martha's, it would
be an evening late in April with the trees in the valley at their
freshest and the song of blackbirds about the hill. Others, perhaps,
would choose an August day, with the wind scented and the hill purpled
with heather; perhaps, too, in August the rabbit-cropped turf is
smoothest and greenest. Others may find the chief beauty of the hill in
the bronze and yellow of the changing leaves of October; there are no
hills where the beech glows with a deeper fire than over Albury and the
Tillingbourne. Others even might ask for the vague, wet airs of
midwinter, with the shouldering hilltops east and south and west faint
and mysterious in the clinging mist, and never a house-roof to be seen.
That is an effect of strange loneliness; but the abiding charm of St.
Martha's is the peace of clear air, in the enchantment of low spring
sunlight on the down turf and the quiet walls.

Once I saw a remarkable sight by St. Martha's. Incongruously enough, the
wooded hillsides below the chapel are preserved as game-coverts; indeed,
pheasants are shot quite close to the churchyard. There are rides cut
through the wood in which broods of young pheasants are fed by their
fostermothers' coops; and looking down one of these rides on a day early
in August, I watched for some time a curious collection of birds
feeding together in front of the coops. There were the young pheasants,
of course, there was quite a crowd of small birds, finches chiefly, but
a few thrushes and hedge-sparrows; there were seven or eight
turtle-doves, five jays, and, queerest of all companions for doves and
pheasants, a carrion crow. I thought at first he must be a rook, but
there was no doubt about it. I looked up as I walked away, and over me
sailed five herring gulls, high and slow.

[Illustration: _St. Martha's Chapel._]

St. Catherine's chapel, on the other side of Guildford, has not the same
lonely charm as St. Martha's. It has never, like St. Martha's, been
restored, and the hill on which it stands is sacred to nobody. Children
climb about its walls and windows; cockneys scratch their names, and
picnic parties bestrew the grass with paper. Yet St. Catherine's, in the
days before pilgrimages ceased and shrines were left to moulder, perhaps
heard as many Aves as her sister chapel on the hill beyond the Way. A
country legend is common to both chapels. St. Catherine and St. Martha,
in the wonderful days of the giants, were sisters who built chapels on
neighbouring hills. They had but one hammer between them, and they
hurled it high over the valley one to another, St. Martha catching it
from St. Catherine, driving in a nail and hurling it back again.

North of Guildford to the west is Worplesdon Common, a stretch of
heathery, rushy ground over which have gone many marches and
manoeuvres, and north of the common is the home of Mr. Frederick
Selous, the African traveller and naturalist. Mr. Selous throws his
collection of trophies open to the public for a small sum, and his
garden is known to the readers of the _Field_ as the home of rare and
shy birds. The owner has described, with callous disregard of the
feelings of less fortunate ornithologists, the nesting operations among
his bird boxes of half a dozen nuthatches.

To the north-east, a mile from the main road from Guildford to Ripley,
is Sutton Place, perhaps the finest piece of domestic architecture in
the south of England. Mr. Frederic Harrison has described it at length
in his _Annals of an Old Manor House_. It was built by Sir Richard
Weston about 1525. The architect is unknown, but the house is peculiarly
interesting, partly because it is the best example of the use of terra
cotta in the moulding combined with brickwork, and partly because it is
one of the earliest houses in England built as a country home rather
than a castle. Sir Richard Weston, the founder, was one of the ablest
servants and greatest friends of Henry VIII, the more astonishing a
friendship in that it was never broken. Henry VIII sent his friend's son
to the scaffold, accused as a lover of Anne Boleyn; he went to the block
protesting his innocence, and there was nothing to prove him guilty; his
last words were a defence of the queen. His son, a baby when his boyish
father was executed, married the daughter of Sir Thomas Arundell. Sir
Thomas had suffered for treason, so that husband and wife were the
children of parents who had been sent to the block. They entertained
Elizabeth at Sutton; she would have a child's memory of the founder of
the house, and doubtless praised the rebus in the terra cotta moulding,
the "R.W.," the grapes and the tun.

Later representatives of the Westons at Sutton were the Salvin family,
and it was one of these Salvins, I imagine, to whom Frank Buckland
refers in his edition of White's _Selborne_. Captain Salvin lived at
Whitmoor House, near Guildford, and was the happy owner of a tame wild
sow. Lady Susan was her name, and this is how her master describes
her:--

    "My sow originally came from Syria, and was given to me by H.H. the
    Maharajah Duleep Singh. She is a remarkably fine healthy animal,
    and her instinct and affection can only be equalled by the dog. She
    follows me almost daily in my walks like a dog, to the great
    astonishment of strangers. Of course I only take her out before the
    crops are up, and too low to injure, during the spring and summer
    months. I always have her belled, to hear when she is in the wood,
    etc.; and the bell, which is a good sheep's bell, is fastened round
    her neck with a strap and a buckle.

    "Her leaping powers are extraordinary, either over water or timber;
    indeed, only a few weeks since she cleared some palings (between
    which she had been purposely placed to secure her for a time) three
    feet ten inches in height. Knowing my pig's excellent temper, even
    when she has young pigs, and when domestic sows are always most
    savage, I was once guilty of a practical joke. I got a blacksmith
    who was quite ignorant of even the existence of my pig, to 'come and
    ring a pig.' The stye being under a building, he had to enter it at
    a low door, which was some distance from the sow's yard, where she
    was feeding. He entered, shutting the door to keep the pig in, and
    thinking his subject was an ordinary one and that assistants were
    following him to hold the cord, etc. He had not been gone a minute,
    before I heard the greatest 'rum-ti-tum' at the door, and cries of
    'For goodness' sake, sir, let me out! let me out! I never saw such a
    beast in all my life!' and out came the poor blacksmith pale with
    fright, but all the consolation he got was a jolly good laugh at his
    own expense."

All English cricket owes a debt to Guildford. It is in the annals of
Guildford that there occurs the first known mention of the game of
"crickett." In 1598 there was a dispute over the rights of a plot of
land near the north town ditch, and "John Derrick, gent., one of the
Queen's Majestie's coroners of the county of Surrey, aged fifty-nine"
was called to give evidence. He stated that he had known the land for
fifty years and more, and that when he was a boy at the Free School at
Guildford he and his fellows "did runne and plaie there at crickett and
other plaies." The evidence is interesting, because he is not asked for
an explanation. Everybody at that date evidently knew at once what
cricket meant. Besides being a cricket ground, the land was used for
baiting bears.



CHAPTER VIII

SHALFORD AND WONERSH

    Shalford and its Stocks.--The Common.--Vanity Fair.--The Court of
    Dusty-Feet.--Unstead in floodwater.--Dog Smith.--Bramley
    Mill.--Wonersh, Ignorsh, Ognersh.--A village well cared for.--A
    Grisly Barometer.--Tangley Manor.


Eight highroads converge on Guildford, and these are fed, of course, by
many minor roads. Besides the roads, five lines of railways run into and
leave the town, so that it is eminently possible, from Guildford, to do
either of two things, to take a walk in a ring and return to the town by
another road, or, what is perhaps a little more luxurious, but enables
you to cover more country, you can walk in almost any direction, and at
the end of the day take a train back to the town. The highroad runs
north to Woking and Horsell; north-east the Ripley road goes by Cobham
to Kingston and London; eastwards, under Merrow Downs, you can walk by
Clandon and the Horsleys to Leatherhead; a smaller road travels
south-west by St. Martha's Chapel to Chilworth; almost due south a road
runs through Shalford to Wonersh, or breaks off at Shalford to go east
to Dorking; another southern road is to Godalming; the great west road
passes over the Hog's Back to Farnham, and north-west lie Worplesdon
and Bisley. And the railways can be joined north, east, south, and west.

Godalming, four miles away, is a centre in itself, and has its own
chapter. But Guildford is the best centre from which to see some of
Godalming's neighbours. A good ring is by Shalford through Bramley and
Wonersh, returning by Chilworth under St. Martha's. Shalford lies a mile
to the south, and with its old mill, its inn, its white and green
cottages, and its stocks, is a charming survival perilously near the
Guildford builder. The stocks stand by the churchyard gates, side by
side with a curious little shrubbery. Shrubberies are rare ornaments of
a village, but this sets a pretty foreground to the low line of whitened
cottages behind it.

[Illustration: _Shalford._]

Shalford Common is wide and breezy; geese cackle over its grass, and you
may see more than one cricket match being played on holiday afternoons.
Once, in 1877, eleven Mitchells played eleven Heaths on the common; the
Heaths were all of the same family, but the Mitchells, though related,
were not. But the greatest tradition of Shalford Common is its
connection with a Bedfordshire man, John Bunyan. Bunyan is said to have
lived in two houses in Surrey, a cottage on Quarry Hill in Guildford,
and at Horn Hatch, now pulled down, on Shalford Common. Probably the
tradition would not have grown up without good ground; there is one
possible reason, at all events, for connecting Bunyan with this part of
Surrey. The idea of _Pilgrim's Progress_ is said to have been suggested
to him by the very Pilgrims' Way, and Vanity Fair to be the fair held on
the meadow between Shalford and Guildford below St. Catherine's Chapel.
The Rector of Shalford had the privilege of holding a fair from the days
of King John, and undoubtedly Shalford Fair was one of the largest held
on the Way; indeed, it was so popular that the Guildford clergy disputed
the Rector's right to exact fees from the Winchester merchants attending
it. They wanted the money in Guildford. But the Chief Justice of the
King's Bench gave his judgment in the Shalford Rector's favour, and at
the height of the fair's prosperity it actually covered a hundred and
forty acres of ground. If tradition is right, then, it was in the fields
by Shalford Church that Bunyan pictured Christian and Faithful seized
and brought before the Court of the fair, and poor Faithful sentenced by
Lord Hategood "to be led from the place where he was to the place from
whence he came, and there to be put to the most cruel death that could
be invented." No doubt Bunyan's description of the trial of the two
pilgrims at the fair is an exact picture of the methods of the Court of
Pie-powder, or _Pied-puldreaux_, the tribunal which could be summoned at
a moment's notice among the merchants of the fair. The Court of
Dusty-Feet certainly worked with alarming despatch.

If Bunyan really drew his _Pilgrim's Progress_ from his memories of the
pilgrims and their fairs on the Way, he may have had other scenes in his
mind which suggested other names. The Delectable Mountains may have been
the blue line of the Sussex Downs, or the hills by Black Down and
Hindhead. The Slough of Despond may have been the marshy pools of
Shalford Common, or the ponds under the hill by Chilworth; and Doubting
Castle, spelt Dowding Castle, is actually a name to be found on the
Surrey map, south of Epsom Downs on Banstead Heath. But whether Bunyan
ever saw it there is another matter.

From Shalford Common the road runs almost straight to Bramley. But it is
worth while to leave the main road as it crosses the single railway line
from Shalford to Bramley and Cranleigh, and to turn to the right down
the little road that leads to Unstead Farm, a delightful brick and
timber building, with exceptionally graceful chimney-stacks and latticed
casements, behind which, in summer, there should surely be the largest
bowls of roses. I saw the old house last in a frosty December sunset,
surrounded by floodwater, with farm horses splashing up the road, and
plovers crying round the edges of the stream. It looked desolate enough;
but three hundred years ago it was a fine house, at one time the
property of the Austens of Shalford, and later passing into the hands of
the trustees of Henry Smith, the "Dog Smith" who gave so much to Surrey
charities, and about whom Aubrey heard a quaint legend. "He had the
nickname of Dog-Smyth, because he kept no house, but dined at friends'
houses, and then desired a bit for his dog, which was to refect
himself." Was he merely a crochety old gentleman who always went about
with his dog, or did he keep the dog's dinner for himself? Another story
about him was that once, when he was a poor boy, he was whipped through
one of the Surrey parishes--accounts differ as to whether it was
Chilworth, Tatsfield, or Wanborough--and that he struck that particular
parish out of his will, but left large sums to all the others. He
certainly left a large fortune to Surrey parishes, and no bequests have
found their way to Chilworth, Tatsfield, or Wanborough, but that is the
only foundation for the old story.

A mile south-west of Unstead Farm lies Bramley, which has grown up round
the station of the single railway line running to Guildford. The
restored church holds some good glass, but the prettiest thing in
Bramley is an old mill which, with its medlar tree overhanging the
water, its ducks and pigeons, its octagonal brick dovecot and lichened
roofs, and its sweet-water grape vine clambering on the old walls, has
a rich grace of colour and age setting it, in modern Bramley, a thing
apart.

Bramley is almost joined by Wonersh to the east: Wonersh with its quaint
other names, Wogheners, which was perhaps the original form, Wonish,
Ignorsh, and Ognersh. Wonersh was once a very important village. It was
one of the centres of the wool trade in the county, and of Wonersh, as
of Guildford, Aubrey has the same sad story to tell of cheating
clothiers. But, as we have seen, the real cause of the decay of the
Surrey wool industry was something quite different. Perhaps one of
Wonersh's rival clothiers started the story of the stretched cloth;
perhaps it was never a libel.

One of the features of the village is an enormous wall, built by one of
the Lords Grantley who had Wonersh Park, and put up the wall,
apparently, to prevent neighbours and passers-by from gazing with too
great enthusiasm at his lordship's grass and trees. It was a brother of
the third Lord Grantley, George Norton, Recorder of Guildford, who
married the famous Mrs. Norton, one of the three beautiful
granddaughters of Richard Brinsley Sheridan.

Besides Lord Grantley's wall, the village holds some charming old
cottages, several of them carefully restored, and two or three
square-set, solid eighteenth-century houses. There is also a slender
brick chimney of elaborate design of which Wonersh residents are justly
proud. The village, indeed, conveys the impression of being
affectionately cared for, which is not always the case with villages
which belong so much to builders long dead; but nothing, perhaps, is a
better example of the care with which the past is preserved than the
church, which is a perfect piece of restoration and scholarly rebuilding
combined. It is the work of a Surrey architect, Sir Charles Nicholson, a
neighbour at Chilworth, who carried out his difficult task in 1901, and
has since written an interesting little pamphlet on the church's
history. Two or three peculiarities distinguish the interior. One is a
crypt, paved with fourteenth-century encaustic tiles, which Aubrey
describes as "a vault strongly barricaded with iron." Another is a
magnificent Flemish chandelier, not a common adornment of a chancel. A
third is a high tomb of Sussex marble, which bears no inscription. But
the person buried in it must have been of considerable distinction, for
the cassia in which the remains Were embalmed still sweats from the
marble in wet weather--a grisly barometer. Possibly within may rest the
remains of one of the Westons or Carylls, both of which were great
families of the neighbourhood. It was John Caryll, buried in this
church, on whom was written an epitaph quoted by Aubrey, but not now to
be found. The eight lines of rhyme ended with what was perhaps thought
appropriately cheerful resignation:--

    "And now, which long before he did desire,
    Caryll sings Carrolls in the Heavenly Choire."

North of Wonersh rises Chinthurst Hill, a knoll conspicuous for miles
round, especially in winter, when the bleached grass of its wind-swept,
pine-crowned cap gleams strangely white in the sun. North of Chinthurst
Hill, again, on the far side of the open stretch of Shalford Common,
stands one of the most perfect timbered houses--perhaps it is the most
perfect--in the county. This is the famous Tangley Manor, which
according to the legend was one of King John's hunting boxes, and is now
as delightfully picturesque a country house as is to be seen in the
south of England. Like other old mansions in the county, Crowhurst
Place, for instance, the building of it belongs to two periods. It is a
house, or rather a hall, within a house. The hall is the older part. It
was a feature of English country life previous to the sixteenth century
that the labourers and dependants of the great country estates ate, and
in the earliest days even slept, in the hall of the mansion. When that
system of common hall life ended, it nearly always happened that the
great hall was cut in two, by a floor and bedrooms built in the upper
part. This is what has happened at Tangley and at Crowhurst Place, and
in each case the remains of the hall can be traced in the superb oak
tie-beams which cross the bedrooms from side to side of the house. The
hall is cased by a more modern building, a rich timber framework with
the date 1582 carved sprawling on the wood. The garden has every charm
that can belong to lichened brick walls, loop-holed and many-gated, and
through the garden round the house runs a moat, in which trout swim, or
once swam. John Evelyn of Wotton knew the Tangley manor moat and garden;
possibly some of the daffodils which brighten the grass in April are
descendants of bulbs he planted. On a pane of glass in one of the
bedrooms he has scratched his name and the date "John Euelyn, 1641."

Beyond Tangley Manor to the north the railway runs a loose parallel to
the little Tillingbourne, through Chilworth, Albury, Shere and Gomshall.
But the villages of the Tillingbourne belong to another chapter.



CHAPTER IX

THE VILLAGES OF THE TILLINGBOURNE

    Chilworth.--Gunpowder and Banknotes.--Cashier for fifty years.--The
    Evelyns' Powdermills.--Albury's chimneys.--A Yew hedge quarter of a
    mile long.--Sherborne ponds: the Silent Pool.--King John and Sabrina
    drowned.--Trout fed on Sandwiches.--Shere.--The prettiest village of
    all.--The Tillingbourne.--William Bray, aged 97.--A Yeoman's
    Will.--Shere Registers.--From Ann to Carbetia.--Gomshall.--Starving
    a Retainer.


Four villages and a group of powdermills stand on the banks of the
Tillingbourne, which runs its short race of clear spring water from the
northern slopes of Leith Hill to the Wey by Shalford. There are scarcely
a dozen miles of the Tillingbourne altogether, but it runs through the
prettiest string of villages in the county. Friday Street is at its
source; Abinger Hammer, with two large millponds, is next; Gomshall lies
a mile to the west of Abinger Hammer, Shere a mile to the west again,
and Albury beyond Shere. Chilworth stands last on the bright little
stream, hardly a village; not much more than a station, some
powdermills, and reedy ponds.

The quickest road from Guildford to Chilworth is the railway. The best
road is over the downs. The road which Cobbett took when he came from
Kensington was over Merrow Downs to Newlands Corner, and it is worth
while to climb up Newlands Corner to look at the view as Cobbett saw it,
with the pale distances of eight counties on his horizon, and the dark,
tall chimneys of the powdermills he detested smoking below him. "Here we
looked back over Middlesex," he writes, "and into Buckinghamshire and
Berkshire, away towards the north-west, into Essex and Kent towards the
east, over part of Sussex to the south, and over part of Hampshire to
the west south-west." He might have added Oxfordshire. Nothing in Surrey
delighted Cobbett more than "the narrow and exquisitely beautiful vale
of Chilworth," at which he used to gaze from these downs. Only Hawkley
Hanger, just over the Hampshire border, filled him with greater
pleasure. But the Chilworth powdermills goaded him to fury:--

"This valley," he writes, white hot, "which seems to have been created
by a bountiful providence, as one of the choicest retreats of man; which
seems formed for a scene of innocence and happiness, has been, by
ungrateful man, so perverted as to make it instrumental in effecting two
of the most damnable of purposes; in carrying into execution two of the
most damnable inventions that ever sprang from the minds of man under
the influence of the devil! namely, the making of _gunpowder_ and of
_bank-notes_! Here in this tranquil spot, where the nightingales are to
be heard earlier and later in the year than in any other part of
England; where the first bursting of the bud is seen in spring, where no
rigour of seasons can ever be felt; where everything seems formed for
precluding the very thought of wickedness; here has the devil fixed on
as one of the seats of his grand manufactory; and perverse and
ungrateful man not only lends him aid, but lends it cheerfully! As to
the gunpowder, indeed, we might get over that. In some cases that may be
innocently and, when it sends the lead at the hordes that support a
tyrant, meritoriously employed. The alders and the willows, therefore,
one can see, without so much regret, turned into powder by the waters of
this valley; but, the _Bank-notes_! To think that the springs which God
has commanded to flow from the sides of these happy hills for the
comfort and the delight of man; to think that these springs should be
perverted into means of spreading misery over a whole nation and that,
too, under the base and hypocritical pretence of promoting its _credit_
and maintaining its _honour_ and its _faith_! There was one
circumstance, indeed, that served to mitigate the melancholy excited by
these reflections; namely, that a part of these springs have, at times,
assisted in turning rags into Registers! Somewhat cheered by the thought
of this, but, still, in a more melancholy mood than I had been for a
long while, I rode on with my friend towards Albury up the valley."

The papermills which called down Cobbett's curses were probably
originally powdermills, and were turned to their new uses first in the
reign of Queen Anne. The Bank at first issued no notes of smaller value
than £20; ten-pound notes were first issued in 1759, and five pound
notes in 1793, and one and two pound notes four years later. Local
tradition, for an explanation of the name Newlands Corner, has decided
that it must have been called after Abraham Newland, who was chief
cashier of the Bank of England for fifty years till 1807, and whose
name, therefore, would be as familiar to King George's subjects, as is
May or Owen to a later day. But local tradition is mistaken. The name
occurs on Bowen's map of the county, dedicated to Richard, third Baron
Onslow, in 1749, when Newland was an unknown boy of nineteen.

A much greater Surrey industry than paper-making is the manufacture of
gunpowder. Indeed, whenever England was at war, from the days of
Elizabeth to those of the Parliament, the control of the Surrey powder
works was a vital point in the struggle. The first gunpowder manufactory
seems to have been established at Rotherhithe, where Henry Reve had a
mill in 1554. We were then getting a considerable quantity of our
gunpowder from abroad, and that was a state of affairs which continued
till the coming of the Armada. When the Armada came, England was
dangerously unprepared for war. It was lucky that Howard's and Drake's
fireships ended the fleet so quickly, for anything like a prolonged sea
campaign would have been out of the question. We had not enough powder.
Accounts made up in the year 1600 show that up to the day when the
Armada sail was sighted, there was never more than twenty or thirty
lasts (a last was about a ton) of English powder delivered yearly into
the Queen's stores. After the Armada, the Queen's Ministers set to work
to put the gunpowder supply on a proper basis, and it was then that
Surrey and a great Surrey family became inseparably associated with the
making of explosives.

George Evelyn (grandfather of a more famous grandson, John Evelyn of
Wotton) and John, his son, were first licensed in 1589 to dig saltpetre
in Great Britain and Ireland, and set up their first powdermills on the
little Hogsmill River, which joins the Thames at Kingston. Later, George
Evelyn retired, and John, having transferred his mills to Godstone, took
his brother Robert and three others into partnership and started on a
contract by which they supplied the Queen with a hundred lasts of powder
yearly at 7d. the pound. In 1604 the firm was practically reduced to
John and Robert Evelyn, and a partner named Hardinge, the others being
dead or doing no work. The firm was now employing a thousand hands, and
was given twenty-one years' contract to supply 120 lasts yearly at 8d.
per pound--nearly £10,000 worth of powder. But James I soon broke this
contract, and after three years the contract was given to the Earl of
Worcester; though whether the Earl ever made any powder, or what he did
with his contract, nobody knows. The progress of the manufacture of
gunpowder now becomes very obscure, though probably John Evelyn kept his
mills running at Godstone, making reduced quantities. It is not till
1621 that we find John Evelyn making another large contract with the
Government, but after that date the contracts were renewed every two or
three years, until the Evelyns in 1636 ceased to supply the Government
altogether. Their difficulties must have been almost intolerable. John
Evelyn and his son, also named John, who succeeded him in 1627, appear
to have been always punctual and trustworthy in supplying the powder
required, but the King would not or could not pay for it. The history of
each contract is always the same; for a few months all goes swimmingly,
then comes the Crown's inability to pay up; next stoppage of supplies;
eventually, settling up and a new contract. The Evelyn mills made the
last pound of powder for the King in 1636, and then under protest.
Charles was used to protests.

So far very little powder had been made at Chilworth. The Evelyn mills
were at Godstone--possibly near Wotton also. But it was the Chilworth
powdermills which broke the Evelyns' business. Immediately on coming to
the throne Charles I gave leave to the East India Company to set up
powdermills on the skirts of Windsor Park; but the mills frightened the
deer and were moved to Chilworth. Here, apparently, Sir Edward Randyll
owned or built a large number of mills, which he leased to the Company,
and it was the competition of the Company which silenced Evelyn's mills.
But the Company was equally unsuccessful in keeping the business.
Charles I was struck with the idea of turning shopkeeper himself, and
gave the sole Government contract to one Cordwell, from whom he bought
powder at 7½d. the pound and sold it to the lieges at eighteenpence.
That did not last long. The Long Parliament assembled in 1641, and the
monopoly was abolished. From that date anybody might make gunpowder, and
Surrey ceased to be the single centre of the industry. But the Chilworth
mills still did a great deal of business--sometimes bad business. Sir
Polycarpus Wharton, who had a twenty-one years' lease under Charles II,
James II and William III, is said to have lost £24,000 over the mills,
simply because he could not get paid by the Government, and actually
went to a debtor's prison. Fifty years ago the industry had declined
almost to a vanishing point. It revived in 1880, when experiments were
made in new powders for heavy guns, and to-day the Chilworth Mills make
cordite, without the miserable consequences which befel Sir Polycarpus
Wharton.

It seemed worth while, at the risk of spattering the page with dates and
facts of gunpowder dryness, to attempt this short sketch of the Surrey
gunpowder industry, if only to escape from the confusion of current
legends. Chief among the traditions of the Chilworth mills is that which
makes them the property of John Evelyn of Wotton. No Evelyn owned a
powdermill at Chilworth, and John Evelyn of Wotton, though he may have
owned a casual mill or so elsewhere, is not the John Evelyn who owned
and worked the Godstone mills. Those mills belonged to the diarist's
grandfather, George Evelyn, and to George Evelyn's son and grandson,
both named John. The latter was the diarist's cousin. I ought to add
that I am indebted, for most of this history of gunpowder, to the
admirable article on the subject by Mr. Montague Giuseppi, published in
the Victoria History of the County.

Albury is nearly two miles from Chilworth station, and the Tillingbourne
runs through and under it. Albury has a number of beautiful chimneys;
chimneys that are tall and graceful, of red brick, shaped and moulded in
ingenious spirals, with patterned sides and columns, and crowsteps and
other ornaments and uses. You would not guess all that a chimney can be,
until you have seen Albury. A year or two ago there was another charm in
the village. You looked in from the main street at what seemed like half
a road, half an entrance to a square of houses, and found yourself in
the remains of an old farmyard, of which one side was a row of cottages.
The rest was old red brick--I think I remember a great dovecote--and a
quiet look of age and disuse. But now new buildings are rising in its
place.

[Illustration: _Chimneys, Albury._]

Just outside Albury is one of the Duke of Northumberland's houses, in
Albury Park. The garden holds a historic yew hedge, but it is not shown
to the public and I have not seen it. John Evelyn laid out the gardens;
Cobbett has described the yew hedge. In his day it belonged to Mr.
Drummond, a banker, and Cobbett, who had heard much of the park and
gardens, rode up to the house and asked permission to see them. So he
saw the yew hedge, and wrote about it.

"Between the house and the gardens there is a very beautiful run of
water, with a sort of little, wild, narrow sedgy meadow. The gardens are
separated from this by a hedge, running along from east to west. From
this hedge there go up the hill, at right angles, several other hedges,
which divide the land here into distinct gardens, or orchards. Along at
the top of these there goes a yew hedge, or, rather, a row of small yew
trees, the trunks of which are bare for about eight or ten feet high,
and the tops of which form one solid head of about ten feet high, while
the bottom branches come out on each side of the row about eight feet
horizontally. This hedge, or row, is a _quarter of a mile long_. There
is a nice hard sand road under this species of umbrella; and summer and
winter, here is a most delightful walk! Between this row of yews, there
is a space, or garden (a quarter of a mile long you will observe) about
thirty or forty feet wide, as nearly as I can recollect. At the back of
this garden, and facing the yew tree row, is a wall probably ten feet
high, which forms the breastwork of a terrace; and it is this terrace
which is the most beautiful thing that I ever saw in the gardening way.
It is a quarter of a mile long, and, I believe, between thirty and forty
feet wide; of the finest green sward and as level as a die."

In Albury Park is a ruined church. Its history is not very edifying. Mr.
Drummond, the banker, who built the Catholic Apostolic cathedral near
by, obtained permission to shut up the old church if he built a new one
elsewhere. He built the new church, and the old, with its graves and
memories, was abandoned. The footpath leading to it remains open to the
public, and runs under the shade of some superb Spanish chestnuts.

Perhaps half a mile from the park, in the depth of a wood of box, are
the two Sherborne Farm ponds, one of which has come by the name of the
Silent Pool. The Sherborne ponds lie somewhere near the track of the
pilgrims, and I like to think that the journeying men knew them and
drank their clear water. Legend has grown round the deeper, upper pool.
Martin Tupper, in his strange medley _Stephan Langton_, has shaped it
into his story. A lovely peasant girl used to bathe in the pool; King
John, riding by, saw her and drove his horse at her, and she, trying to
escape, fell into deep water and was drowned. That was not enough for
Martin Tupper; he decided that her brother should try to rescue her and
be drowned also. There they lay, the two of them; "the brother and
sister are locked in each other's arms in the tranquil crystal depth of
Shirebourne Pond; and the rippled surface is all smooth once more; and
you may see the trout shoaling among the still green weeds around that
naked raven-haired Sabrina, and her poor drowned brother in his cowskin
tunic." So wrote Tupper; a most moving finish of a chapter.

To gain the Silent Pool, if you are in Albury, walk eastwards right
through the village and turn to the left over the Tillingbourne. Then to
the left again, and you will spy a cottage, the gate of which bears the
legend "Key of the Pool kept here." How should a pool have a key? It
turns out to be two keys, one of a padlock shutting an iron gate leading
to a grove of box trees; you shut the padlock and find that you have
left all who come after you--and on Saturdays at least they are many--to
climb the fence. The Silent Pool, when I saw it first, a little
disappointed me. I ought to have known that it would, because everybody
could tell me where it was, even quite unintelligent people walking
about the road two miles away. I think I hoped the pool would be, not
only solitary and sequestered, but entirely deserted by human beings; a
pool on which you came suddenly, lying hidden in the heart of chalky
dells dark green with box trees; it was to be as deep as a well, and
cold with the coldness of a spring; smelling, too, of bitter wet box and
sun-warmed chalk. It was to be a pool at the side of which the stranger
should seat himself, and discover the air of the place so quiet and
enchanted that he could hear no sound of birds or beasts or men; only,
perhaps, the melodious drip of the rain-heavy boughs into the clear
peacock-green depths of water. And, in fact, the disappointment is that
this is precisely what the Silent Pool might be. It is what it used to
be, I think; but so many people have heard of it and have come on
bicycles and in carriages and motor-cars to see it, that the leaf-strewn
paths are trampled into mud round it; and it cannot be called silent,
for you will not escape hearing other people, who have quite as much
right as you to be there, talk about it and tramp round its margin.
Then, too, for the convenience of visitors, there has been built on the
edge of the pool a thatched arbour of wood, into which you admit
yourself with a very large key, only to be deafened on the spot by ten
thousand cockney names scrawled on the white walls round you. Those who
have gibbeted themselves on the walls have also thrown the newspapers
that held their lunch into the water, and bottles with the paper--a most
unhappy spectacle. Had I the right to touch the place, the arbour would
be packed up offhand for Rosherville. Only in one particular has the
arbour any claim on the wayfarer's gratitude. It enables him to watch
the large trout which swim in the clear deep water under him as closely
as if they were behind the glass of an aquarium. Trout which leap out of
the water every two minutes in a spring afternoon, and yet which are
tame enough to come and be fed under the rail of a wooden arbour by
trooping visitors, are a sight for idle fishermen to see. I have fed
them with worms, but I suspect them to be better used to sandwiches.

[Illustration: _Fireplace in White Horse, Shere._]

The road runs eastward a mile from Sherborne ponds to Shere. Who first
named the Shirebourne pond the Silent Pool? The old name is the best,
and the water of the pond ought to be added to the beauties of Shere. If
Shere is to be counted the prettiest Surrey village of all, I think it
is the Tillingbourne which decides the choice. Six or seven other
villages occur, each with its own fascination; Alfold, deep among the
primroses of the Fold Country; Chiddingfold, with its old inn and the
red cottages set round the green; Compton, with its flower gardens and
old timber; Thorpe, quiet among the elms; Oxted, lining the hill road
under the downs, and the Bell inn at the cross-ways; Betchworth and its
cottage roses; Coldharbour dotted over the sandstone; Friday Street,
hardly a village, on the banks of the tarn among the pines; but each
fails compared with Shere. Friday Street shows the reason plain. Without
the water Friday Street would pass unnoticed; it is the water which
decides for Shere. The village groups itself with the little brook
running through the middle: a low bridge crosses the stream, villagers
sit on the bridge, white ducks paddle about the current and stand upside
down among the weeds: beyond the brook are the tiny village green and
the shade of elms; on one side of the village green is the old inn, the
White Horse; and on the other the grey tower and the quiet of the
churchyard. But it is the sparkle and the chatter of the Tillingbourne
which are the first charm of all.

The White Horse is a pattern of an old village inn, with panelled rooms
and dark beams over its ceilings, and a parlour hung with oil paintings,
with the air of the Surrey countryside blowing through them. Your host
is the artist, and fellow artists come to the White Horse to sketch with
him. It is the only inn in Surrey I know which also sells a guide to the
neighbourhood, and a good guide too, so far as directions for finding
walks among the hills and woods can make a guide-book. Mr. Marriott
Watson has written an introduction to it, of which the sum is that all
walks start from the White Horse, and all walkers come back to it.

[Illustration: _Shere Church._]

Shere church is a medley of alterations; perhaps its most interesting
connection is its link with the old Surrey family of Bray. The Brays
have lived at Shere for more than four hundred years. The first Sir
Robert Bray was a knight of Richard I, and one of his descendants, Sir
Reginald, was granted the manor of Shere, in 1497. Sir Reginald was one
of the most distinguished of all the long line; he was a Knight of the
Garter, and the Bray Chapel in St. George's, Windsor, is his work; his
emblem the bray, or seed-crusher, is on the ceiling. But the member of
the family who had most to do with the country was William Bray, the
second of the two classical writers of the county history. William Bray
was born in 1736, and was a scholar whose learning was only equalled by
his astonishing vitality. He began his main work at an age when most
men's work is done. When the Rev. Owen Manning, after years of labour
at the history of Surrey, went blind and had to give up the hope of a
lifetime, William Bray finished the book. He was untiring. The first
volume appeared in 1804, when he was sixty-eight, and when the second
volume was published, five years latter, he wrote in his preface "that
there was not a parish described in it which he had not visited, and
only two churches the insides of which he had not seen, and the
monuments in which he had not personally examined, once at least, but to
many he made repeated visits." The third volume came out in 1814, and
then, at the age of seventy-eight, he edited John Evelyn's _Memoirs_
from the original MSS. at Wotton. He was to live nearly twenty years
after that, and he died at Shere at the age of ninety-seven; a tablet
stands to his memory in the chancel of the church.

[Illustration: _Shere._]

Mr. Granville Leveson-Gower, in a paper on "Shere and its Rectors" in
the _Surrey Archæological Collections_, gives the items of a will he
discovered by accident, interesting as showing the amount of stock kept
upon his farm by a yeoman of the sixteenth century. The will is dated
27th October, 1562, and the testator is John Risbridger--one of the good
old Surrey yeoman names, like Evershed and Whapshot and Enticknap. He
describes himself as "John Risbridger of Shere, yeoman, sicke of bodie
and yet walkinge. His body to be buried in Parish Church of Shere,
'without my seats ende.' 1 calf and 2 shepe, with sufficient breade and
drinke thereunto to be bestowed and spent at his burial towards the
reliefe of the poore there assembled. To every man and maid servant, 1
ewe shepe; to Alice Stydman his maid, one herfore (i.e. heifer)
bullocke, of two years and 15s: to his son William all his lease or
terme of years in lands called Stonehill, and to him 4 oxen, 2 steares
of 3 yeres, 2 horse beastes, a weane (wagon) yoke, cheynes to draw
withal, 2 keyne, half a hundreth of shepe. Children, John, William, and
Edward. To daughter Dorothie, £6. 13s. 4d.; all residue to wife
Katherine. Proved 3rd May, 1654, by William Risbridger."

Some extracts made by Mr. Leveson-Gower from the Parish Registers have
an interest which is not peculiar to Shere, but the Registers are a good
example of village history written in the names of its inhabitants. You
begin with the simplicity, almost the affection, of the early entries,
the Johns and Anns and Marys repeated year after year, and the few words
describing the older people; then comes the Georgian day when Fielding
and Richardson were on the bookshelves, and children were named after
the heroines of the novels. Here are a dozen entries out of hundreds:--

    Elizabeth Gatton (widow), neer 100 yeeres old, was Buryed 13 of July,
      1691.
    Widow Rowland (old and poor). May 18, 1701.
    Elizabeth Nye, an ancient widow. Buried 23 Mar., 1715.
    1732. Old Edward Stone, yeoman. Dec. y^e 30^th.
    1739. William Wood, a poor unfortunate lad, being drown'd, was buried
      Ap. 27.
    Mary, daughter of Thomas Evershed, bap. Ap. 30, 1729.
    Ann, daughter of Thomas Evershed, bap. Aug. 17, 1733.
    Mary, daughter of Thomas Evershed, bap. May 14, 1736.
    Ann, daughter of Mr. Robert Parkhurst, bap. Feb. 23, 1741-2.
    1779. Gosling, Tho., son of Thomas and Dinah. May 25. (Note)
      --married, child christened, wife churched the same day, by me,
      Tho^s Duncumb, Rector.
    1817. Carbetia Hall, of Shere, gentlewoman. Sep. 2, 68.
    1821. Servilla Briscoe, of Abinger. April 17, 23.

One of the later entries in the Registers is interesting to historians.
Harriet Grote, widow of George Grote, died at Shere in 1878, aged 86.
Her grave is south of the church: Grote lies in Westminster Abbey.

Shere and Gomshall are only divided by an avenue of elms--half a mile of
the pleasantest and shadiest of roads. Gomshall is a village scattered
round many lanes; it has a Black Horse inn near the station, but the
prettiest Gomshall cottages are away from the Black Horse, down the
lanes off the main road. Gomshall Manor, now a boarding-house, has
traditions of the Middle Ages. There is a story of a door leading to a
secret chamber which ought to be somewhere in Martin Tupper's books, but
I cannot find it. King John was annoyed with a retainer, shut him in
this room and turned the key in the door, and there the miserable
retainer starved to death. It was just like King John to do it, but what
he did at Gomshall only tradition knows.

[Illustration: _Gomshall._]



CHAPTER X

GUILDFORD TO LEATHERHEAD

    Merrow.--The Horse and Groom.--Mr. Kipling on Surrey downs.--Clandon
    Park.--The village mole-catcher.--A fearful battle.--February
    sunshine.--Wide Ploughs.--Thomas Goffe and Thomas Thimble.--Locked
    churches.--An atmosphere of war.--Effingham and its
    admirals.--Little Bookham.--General d'Arblay in his
    garden.--Mistletoe.


Of the two roads which run parallel to the downs east of Guildford,
doubtless the road south of the ridge runs through the prettiest
villages. Albury, Shere and Gomshall are a more charming trio than any
three that lie on the northern road, if only because of the woods about
them and the clear trout stream that runs under their walls and bridges.
The villages north of the ridge hardly have a good-sized pond between
them. But the walk from Guildford to Leatherhead, which can be shortened
at any railway station you please from Clandon to Bookham, is for all
that a walk through delightful country and villages of unchanging quiet.

Merrow is the first of the little hamlets that dot the Leatherhead road,
and though the Guildford villas are stretching out their gardens further
and further to the polite east, Merrow is still a mere group of downside
cottages. The church might have been better restored; but the chief
feature of the village is the old Horse and Groom Inn, with its gabled
front and its noble stack of chimneys, three sister shafts of peculiar
grace and mellow colour. The date, 1615, which records the age of the
inn above one of its bay windows, reads a reproach to the aggressively
modern porch and doors; and the white rough-cast with which the walls
are covered apparently conceals admirable timber and herringbone
brickwork. But the roof and the gables and windows still belong to an
inn and not a public-house, and the Horse and Groom too, swings a good
sign, vigorously drawn, of a prancing steed. Most of the signs of the
many White Horse and Black Horse inns are more like rocking-horses than
racers.

[Illustration: _Merrow._]

Above Merrow stretches some of the most perfect downland in England. If
the Sussex downs by Rottingdean inspired Mr. Kipling to his finest
poetry, the Surrey downs by Merrow taught him some of the most haunting
lines of all. I quote from eleven stanzas that ought not to be
separated:--


MERROW DOWN

    There runs a road by Merrow Down--
      A grassy track to-day it is
    An hour out of Guildford town,
      Above the river Wey it is.

    Here, when they heard the horse-bells ring,
      The ancient Britons dressed and rode
    To watch the dark Phoenicians bring
      Their goods along the Western Road.

    But long and long before that time
      (When bison used to roam on it)
    Did Taffy and her Daddy climb
      That down, and had their home on it.

    The Wey, that Taffy called Wagai,
      Was more than six times bigger then;
    And all the Tribe of Tegumai
      They cut a noble figure then!

    Of all the Tribe of Tegumai
      Who cut that figure, none remain--
    On Merrow Down the cuckoos cry--
      The silence and the sun remain.

    But as the faithful years return
      And hearts unwounded sing again,
    Comes Taffy dancing through the fern
      To lead the Surrey spring again.

    In mocassins and deer-skin cloak
      Unfearing, free and fair she flits,
    And lights her little damp-wood smoke
      To show her Daddy where she flits.

    For far--oh, very far behind,
      So far she cannot call to him,
    Comes Tegumai alone to find
      The daughter that was all to him.

Merrow to the east edges on Clandon Park, the seat of one of the great
Surrey families, the Onslows. It is a notable space, perhaps a mile
square of grass dotted with superb groups of elms. "Capability" Brown
laid out the park, and he certainly saw what the capabilities of that
sunny sward could be. The house, which stands on the south-east corner,
is an imposing cube of red brick, patched here and there with ivy, and
as square and formal as the ornamental water and the park below it is
formal and serpentine. Leoni built it, and Rysbrach designed two of its
chimney-pieces.

In the park you may chance to meet the mole-catcher of the place--an
upholder of right traditions of an old English village. I met him
searching disconsolately for a couple of his traps, which he had set too
near the pathway and which had been carried off by thieving passers-by,
on whom may malisons light. "I've got forty traps about here," he told
me with some pride, adding with resignation to a persistent fate that
"they" would not let him set a trap near the path. "They" always took it
if he did.

West Clandon church stands in the corner of the park, and is chiefly
remarkable for a very curious old sundial, belonging perhaps to the days
of Henry II, and built upside down by "restorers" into a buttress of the
south wall. Time has dealt hardly with the church, and time, perhaps,
may still restore its own dial. Under the dial, when I was last in the
carefully tended little churchyard, the level turf was studded with
snowdrops.

In a field close by the village once took place a remarkable battle. A
correspondent of the _Gentleman's Magazine_ of 1796 gives the following
account of it, which he had verbatim from an old inhabitant. "A serpent
once infested a back lane in the parish of West Clandon for a long time.
The inhabitants were much disturbed and afraid to pass that way. A
soldier who had been condemned for desertion promised, if his life was
spared, he would destroy this serpent. Accordingly he took his dog with
him. A fierce battle ensued, the dog fastened him and the soldier killed
it with his bayonet in a field belonging to the glebe called Deadacre."
According to the magazine's correspondent, an "ancient piece of carving
in wood" representing this frightful struggle, had been "preserved for
many years in the parsonage house."

Between the two Clandons, West and East, the road runs by what is surely
the finest ploughland in the county. A single field of over a hundred
acres stretches up the side of the down to a belt of firs--a field for
Cincinnatus himself to plough. I remember standing to stare at that
great reach of shining stubble and furrow when first I saw it from the
road on a day of marvellous February sunlight. Farm labourers were
topping and tailing turnips two hundred yards away; partridges newly
paired whirred up from the roadside; beyond the white stubbleland lay
the pines of Netley Heath, a thin line of palest blue; a hundred larks
filled the sky with singing, and I heard suddenly behind me the
impetuous thrill of a chaffinch, that most summery of carols. The
ploughland is Lord Onslow's, and it must need a Minister of Agriculture
to look after it.

East Clandon lies under that broad ploughland, a mile from Clandon Park.
Everything in East Clandon is what it ought to be, and everybody does
what he ought to do. The timbered cottages are old and quiet; the barn
roofs by the churchyard are long and lichened; the churchyard is
bordered by a thick holly hedge, and about its graves, little clipped
yew-trees stand like chessmen, perhaps meant to suggest a text; the
cottage gardens are full of simple flowers and fruit-trees, and the
cottagers work in them as if it were the best work to do, which
doubtless it is. There could not be a happier looking village. One
building only in the village knows, or shows, much suffering. At East
Clandon is the country branch of the Queen Alexandra Nursing Home for
children with hip disease. In fine weather the children lie in their
cots on the verandah, like broken toys, and wave happily from their red
blankets to passers-by.

In the days of Charles I East Clandon boasted a poet. He was Thomas
Goffe, a writer of tragedies, and most unhappily married. Aubrey tells
the story:--

    "His wife pretended to fall in love with him, by hearing of him
    preach: upon which, said one Thomas Thimble (one of the Squire
    Bedell's in Oxford, and his Confident) to him: '_Do not marry her:
    if thou dost, she will break thy heart_.' He was not obsequious to
    his friend's sober advice, but for her sake altered his condition,
    and cast anchor here. One time some of his Oxford friends made a
    visit to him she looked upon them with an ill eye, as if they had
    come _to eat her out of house and home_ (as they say), she provided
    a dish of milk, and some eggs for supper, and no more: They
    perceived her niggardliness, and that her husband was inwardly
    troubled at it (she wearing the breeches) so they were resolved to
    be merry at supper, and talk all in Latin, and laughed exceedingly.
    She was so vexed at their speaking Latin that she could not hold,
    but fell out a weeping, and rose from the table. The next day, Mr.
    Goffe ordered a better dinner for them, and sent for some wine: they
    were merry, and his friends took their final leave of him. 'Twas no
    long time before this Xanthippe made Mr. Thimble's prediction good;
    and when he died, the last words he spake were: '_Oracle, Oracle,
    Tom Thimble_,' and so he gave up the ghost."

Halfway from East Clandon to West Horsley is Hatchlands, a fine country
house and park with noble beeches; and next to Hatchlands one of the
prettiest and completest farmsteads in the county. The building in the
neighbourhood is, indeed, some of the best to be seen. West Horsley
itself is a fascinating collection of old cottages, vine-bowered and
fronted with clipped yews. One such yew, standing by the door of what
the picture postcards vaguely designate "old cottage, West Horsley," is
an extraordinarily elaborate piece of rustic topiary. Another feature of
the village is the now disused workhouse, a solid old brick building
overlooking a horsepond: another, the bole of a superb elm, quite
rightly stationed in the carpenter's sawyard. Of West Horsley church it
is more difficult to speak. It is possible to see from outside that
there is a beautiful three lancet east window, but the rest of the
church, with its chapel and fine monuments, is a sealed book. The door
is locked, and the keys are kept at the rectory a mile away: the sexton,
next door to the church, is not allowed a key. It is not easy to write
soberly of an authority which compels for one who should be allowed to
see the church, four journeys of a mile to ask for and to return the
keys. From West Horsley to Leatherhead is a pilgrimage by locked
churches: East Horsley is locked, though you can get the key; Effingham
and Little Bookham are locked, but I had no time to search for more keys
when I was there; possibly they are easily found. Great Bookham is open,
but Fetcham is locked; Leatherhead is more hospitable.

The great families of West Horsley are those of Berners and Nicholas.
The effigy of Sir James Berners, of West Horsley Place, is in the
church: he was one of the followers of Richard II, and was beheaded on
Tower Hill, in 1388. His daughter, according to tradition, was the
famous Dame Juliana Berners, Prioress of Sopwell, and author--or part
author--of the _Boke of St. Albans_, a "Treatyse perteynynge to
Hawkynge, Huntynge, Fysshynge, and Coote Armiris." Probably she wrote no
more than the hunting, but it is pleasant to think that she may have
watched her greyhounds "headed like a snake, and necked like a drake" on
the downs above Horsley. Another Berners, the second Baron of the name,
translated Froissart. Of the Nicholas family, Sir Edward was a Royalist
and Secretary of State under both the Charleses. Of other owners of West
Horsley Place, its mistress, Geraldine Browne, wife of Sir Anthony
Browne, is claimed to be the "Fair Geraldine" of Surrey's poem; but any
other Geraldine would suit as well, if, indeed, Geraldine ever existed.
Another doubtful tradition of West Horsley is that the head of Sir
Walter Raleigh is buried in the church with his son Carew. Certainly no
one knows that it was buried anywhere else.

Leaving West Horsley, you are immediately in an atmosphere of war. At
East Horsley, the Duke of Wellington guards the cross-roads and
dispenses excellent bread and cheese and beer; at Effingham Prince
Blücher used to stand on the main road, quite correctly placed to the
east of the Duke; he has now marched down into the village and billeted
himself as comfortably as before. The atmosphere of swords and sharpness
has even entered ecclesiastical precincts. In East Horsley church there
is a curious fresco, painted, I am told, by the late Lady Lovelace. It
shows St. Martin dressed as a soldier in high boots, cloak and hat,
cutting off the skirt of his cloak with his sword, to clothe a naked
beggar kneeling before him. It is curious that a second legend of a
cloak should belong to a neighbourhood connected with Sir Walter
Raleigh.

Horsley Towers, on the left of the road to Effingham, is a large, grey,
castellated building; its entrances might be fortifications. The park
holds some superb beeches. But the grey coldness of Horsley Towers is a
little exotic among these stretches of southern English parkland. Good
Jacobean or Georgian red-brick much better suits oaks and beeches than
the chateau-like towers of a Scottish castle.

Effingham, although so small a village, has a name that will last with
the history of the English Navy. It gave his title to the first Lord
Howard of Effingham, the illustrious father of a still more illustrious
son. The first Lord of Effingham was William Howard, son of the second
Duke of Norfolk, and one of the great men of the reigns of Mary and
Elizabeth. He was with Henry VIII at the Field of the Cloth of Gold; he
was Lord High Admiral; at Sir Thomas Wyatt's rebellion he shut Ludgate
in Wyatt's face, and more than any Englishman he helped Elizabeth to her
throne. But his son is an even greater figure. Like his father, he was
Lord High Admiral, but the father never had the son's opportunity. For
the second Lord Howard of Effingham commanded the English Navy against
the Spanish Armada, and as the victor of that tremendous fleet and the
captor of Cadiz he was made Earl of Nottingham, and held the office of
Lord High Admiral until the green old age of eighty-three, when "he
retired," we are told, "from public life, and the rest of his life was
peace and prayer." He lies with his father at Reigate, which with the
churches of Lingfield and Great Bookham holds the dust of many
generations of the Surrey Howards. Fourteen Howards have been buried at
Reigate, twelve at Lingfield, and thirty at Great Bookham; but so far as
I can find, none, curiously enough, at Effingham itself.

Scarcely half a mile separates the churches of Effingham and Little
Bookham, the latter a tiny building considerably altered by various
restorations, but containing some interesting remains of Norman work.
Almost touching the church stands, and has stood since days before
Domesday book was written, a great yew, dark and shining, with another
thousand years' life in it, if its vigorous branches tell the truth. The
village itself is not much more than a cottage or two, but Little
Bookham must always be a place of interest, at all events for those who
read and write newspapers, for the Manor House is the home of one of the
doyens of English journalism, Mr. Meredith Townsend, for forty-four
years joint-editor of the _Spectator_.

    "Master and friend, whose ardent soul
    Burns brighter as it nears the goal,
    Whose indefatigable pen
    Stirs envy in us younger men----"

So has Mr. Charles Graves addressed him, and so might others feel a
noble envy.

Great Bookham, less than a mile away, was once the home of another
writer. Fanny Burney lived there for four years after she had married
General d'Arblay, and the two of them with their baby, and an income of
£125, were superlatively happy. Here she wrote _Camilla_, which was to
build and to christen the house she lived in later, and it was from
Bookham that she set out to take the first bound copies to King George
and the Queen at Windsor. "About how much time did you give to it?"
asked the good-natured King, and "Are you much frightened? As much
frightened as you were before?" The Queen asked M. and Madame d'Arblay
to dine the next day, and in the interval the General, having been
introduced to the Queen's gardener at Frogmore, "a skilful and famous
botanist," consulted him seriously about the Bookham cabbages. M.
d'Arblay was a gardener of greater courage than science. His wife sends
her father a picture of the work done among the Bookham fruits and
flowers.

"Our garden," she writes, "is not yet quite the most profitable thing in
the world; but M. d'A. assures me it is to be the staff of our table and
existence." But M. d'Arblay had very little luck. He planted
strawberries hoping to gather fruit within three months, and was
disappointed:--

    "Another time, too, with great labour, he cleared a considerable
    compartment of weeds, and, when it looked clean and well, and he
    showed his work to the gardener, the man said he had demolished an
    asparagus bed! M. d'Arblay protested, however, nothing could look
    more like _des mauvaises herbes_.

    "His greatest passion is for transplanting. Everything we possess he
    moves from one end of the garden to another, to produce better
    effects. Roses take place of jessamines, jessamines of honeysuckles,
    and honeysuckles of lilies, till they have all danced round as far
    as the space allows; but whether the effect may not be a general
    mortality, summer only can determine."

The picture of the General turning his sword into a reaping hook is even
more alluring:--

    "I wish you had seen him yesterday, mowing down our hedge--with his
    sabre, and with an air and attitudes so military, that, if he had
    been hewing down other legions than those he encountered--_i.e._ of
    spiders--he could scarcely have had a mien more tremendous, or have
    demanded an arm more mighty. Heaven knows, I am 'the most _contente
    personne_ in the world' to see his sabre so employed!"

The garden in which these severely military operations took place still
surrounds the same windows, gay with wistaria and roses. Possibly the
gnarled apple trees which fringe the lawn are actual survivors of the
general's sabre.

Great Bookham has grown a good deal since the d'Arblays knew it. But the
splendid shell of an ancient elm still shades the churchyard gate; the
flint-walled church, with ivy bunched over its buttressed tower, and
lichens glowing on the Horsham slabs of its chapel roof, can have
changed but little. Two or three of its monuments are interesting. One
is a brass plate recounting the virtues and the pedigree of Edmund
Slyfield and his wife Elizabeth. They were of Slyfield Place; he was "a
stoute Esquire who alwaies set God's feare before his Eyes"; she was a
model of all the graces, and descended from the Paulets, Capells,
Sydneys, Gainsfords, Finches, Arundels, Whites, and Lamberts--a good
long list to bring into an epitaph, but there are twenty-eight lines of
honest doggerel to do it in. Another monument is quite as striking,
which represents Colonel Thomas Moore in the full uniform of the
commanding officer of a regiment of foot in the reign of Queen Anne,
which the sculptor's convention has idealised into a mixture of a
bathing costume, a kilt, and a plaid. The church, indeed, is a museum of
records of different times and tastes to a degree uncommon in far more
important buildings. In the east wall of the chancel is a slab
commemorating in three Latin hexameters the founding of the building by
John de Rutherwyk, the great Abbot whom we meet at Chertsey; and the
east window of the Slyfield chapel is dedicated, in a long, biographical
inscription in brass, to the memory of Lord Raglan, who as Fitzroy James
Henry Somerset, military secretary to the Duke of Wellington, lost an
arm at the Duke's side at Waterloo, and forty years later commanded the
British army in the East before Sebastopol, where he died. Lord
Raglan's connection with Great Bookham is slight: but his niece, Lady
Mary Farquhar, who put up the window, lived at Polesden, a mile or two
away.

[Illustration: _Slyfield Place._]

Last of the villages on the road from Guildford to Leatherhead is
Fetcham. A park, a road bordered by cottages and a pretty house or two,
and a battlemented church-tower deep among yews, and hollies, and
ivy-trees--Fetcham is as pleasantly small and quiet as her western
neighbours. But what a string of churches it is, along these twelve
miles of Surrey roadway; nine villages, each with its grey-walled
building and the cool whiteness of the arches, aisles, and chancels. No
pilgrim of the old centuries could tire on such a journey. To-day he
might. Only four of the church doors give him a welcome.

Above Fetcham's church, which, like Stoke D'Abernon and one or two
others, fronts on the flowers and lawns of a private garden, great
bunches of mistletoe darken the winter tree-tops. Fetcham is on the
border of the mistletoe country, which stretches from Leatherhead to
Dorking and Boxhill.



CHAPTER XI

GODALMING

    A country town.--Peter the Great's breakfast.--Pykes in the
    Wey.--Dogs and fish-carts.--Off to Botany Bay.--Owen Manning.--A
    most malignant priest.--Eashing Bridges.--Peperharow deer.--Loseley
    from a distance.--Charterhouse in the future.


The best view of Godalming is from the hill roads above Farncombe. Not
many towns group themselves so well against hills and woods; few have so
spacious and quiet a foreground. The church stands on the Wey; the
churchyard runs down to the very banks, and the noble leaded spire lifts
its chanticleer higher, I think, from the tower than any other church in
Surrey. Between the foot of the hill and the Wey spreads wide
meadowland; the Wey flows tranquilly by willow-herb and alder; beyond
the Wey are the red roofs of Godalming clustered in the trees. It is the
completest little country town; the green fields in front and the woods
beyond set it compact together, clustered as a country town should be
about its church and its High Street, with the river running clear at
its side.

[Illustration: _On the Way to Godalming from Haslemere._]

Godalming High Street has not kept the grace of Guildford, nor had it
ever the width and the air of Epsom or Farnham, but it has more than one
building of distinction, and its links with the past are in old inns,
timbered stories and forgotten courts. The White Hart still juts its
wooden beams over the pavement; the King's Arms, a later building, has a
square-set front which has watched many coaches jangle off to
Portsmouth. The King's Arms has had more than one king as a guest. The
Emperor Alexander I of Russia and King Frederick William of Prussia
dined there in the year before Waterloo; a more famous and a more
greedy monarch who knew the King's Arms was Peter the Great in the days
of Queen Anne. He had a suite of twenty with him, and the record of his
bill of fare for the day is in the Bodleian Library at Oxford. I have
not seen it, but the historians who have supply abounding details. Peter
and his twenty had for breakfast besides side-dishes, half a sheep, half
a lamb, ten pullets, a dozen chickens, seven dozen eggs and something
over a quart apiece of mulled wine, with a gallon or so of brandy.
Dinner was a better meal; three stone of ribs of beef was the main dish,
with a sheep, a lamb, and a couple of joints of veal to help it out;
capons and rabbits tempted the jaded, and four dozen of sack and wine
made up for what was lacking at breakfast.

[Illustration: _The Town Hall, Godalming._]

Besides the inns, two old houses in particular set their mark on the
High Street. One is dated 1663; both are of rich brickwork, almost
extravagantly ornate with ledges, patterned courses, elaborate parapets
and casements. The unhappy addition is the paint. If they had never been
painted, or if the paint could be done away with, the pattern would take
on twice its charm. But that is the main regret for all Godalming. If
the High Street could have its false fronts pulled down, and all its old
timber and brick shown to the road, it would fascinate as Guildford
does. It would be worth the town's while to spend money to show what it
possesses of older centuries. But that is a frequent reflection in other
towns.

[Illustration: _Timbered House in the Market Place, Godalming._]

One memory of the past has survived the attacks of Godalming's newest
and noisiest citizens. The little Town Hall, built squarely in the
middle of the road at the west end of the High Street on the site of an
older building, has been threatened by a section (I am told) of
Godalming tradesmen for many years, and would tremble still, if it were
not so solidly built of good Georgian brick. It is said to be awkward
for motor traffic, to be not handsome, and generally to be out of date
and in the way. As to its looks, it belongs to 1814, and is plain and
simple enough, but it carries a graceful clock tower and a copper
cupola, and its destruction is not to be thought of. The day has gone
for wanton throwing into the past what the past has left, and the
little Town Hall will continue to slow down the traffic and draw
visitors to the High Street, it is to be hoped, for many years to come.
The town corporation have done better for themselves than to pull down
the old Town Hall. They have set up some modern buildings for town
business, which for good work in good material are as excellent a modern
addition as could have been made to any old town.

Godalming's history, like Guildford's and Wonersh's, has been largely
the history of the wool industry. It was Godalming's careless trust in
the stability of its contractor, Samuel Vassall, which dealt the first
and shrewdest blow at its business, as we saw at Guildford. But
Godalming kept its head higher than the other two for a time. In Bowen's
map of Surrey, drawn in 1749, the printer has put a little side-note
explaining Godalming's capabilities to the curious, and you read that
for the manufacture of clothing, "it is the most considerable town in
the county. The sorts are mixed Kerseys, and Blue ones, for the Canary
Islands, which for their Colours, can't be matched in any other Part of
England." But that is not all; Bowen adds an afterthought--"Here is
plenty of good fish, especially Pykes. Here are two or three Paper
Mills, and three Corn Mills." So Godalming had food and clothing too.
She still markets woollen goods, but the pykes, I fear, gave out long
ago. Men fish in the Wey at Godalming as they fish at Guildford and
Weybridge, but they seldom catch a pyke, I know, for I have watched
them.

Fish have had other associations with Godalming besides swimming in the
Wey. Miss Gertrude Jekyll, who has written so much of Surrey gardens,
and has her own wonderful garden at Munstead not much more than a mile
away, has described in her fascinating book, _Old West Surrey_, the
carrying of fish for the London market from the seaport towns through
Godalming. It was taken in special fish-vans. "They were painted yellow
and had four horses. But some of it, as well as supplies for other
inland places, was carried in little carts drawn by dogs. The dogs were
big, strong Newfoundlands. Teams of two or four were harnessed together.
The team of four would carry three to four hundredweight of fish,
besides the driver. The man would 'cock his legs up along the sharves,'
as an old friend describes it, and away they would go at a great rate.
They not only went as fast as the coaches, but they gained time when
the coach stopped to change horses, and so got the pick of the market. A
dog-drawn cart used to bring fish from Littlehampton to Godalming, where
oysters were often to be bought for three a penny." Three a penny, fresh
oysters! Fourpence a dozen all alive! The street cries must have been
most encouraging.

Other memories of old Godalming Miss Jekyll has preserved, one of them
her own, of a carrier-cart plying between Bramley and Guildford drawn by
dogs. Then there were the coaches that stopped at the King's Arms and
the Red Lion and other inns; Godalming, on the road to Portsmouth, saw
traffic which was merry and miserable. Sometimes a coach would swing
into the town carrying sixteen sailors, four inside and twelve out, paid
off from a man-of-war and going to London to spend their money. They
would walk back. Sometimes a midnight coach would bring unhappier
passengers; gangs of convicts in chains would be given something to eat
at the Red Lion; or the yard gates of the King's Arms would be closed,
and armed warders would let out their prisoners for a little rest on the
way to Botany Bay. But the sailors were the merry folk. They would
brandish their bottles and cheer, and sometimes, when the coach swayed,
would swing with it as sailors should on a sloping deck; then the coach
turned over.

Restorers in 1840, that unhappy age for beautiful old buildings, did
what they could to spoil Godalming's parish church. They packed it from
floor to roof with pews and galleries, knocked off a porch here, a
chantry there, doubled its accommodation and quartered its charm.
Thirty-nine years later Sir Gilbert Scott and Mr. Ralph Nevill did their
best to repair the injury and show the Norman pillars as they should be,
but some of the injury done was final. Still, the church within and
without is a noble building, and the leaden spire which soars up from
the tower is the finest in the county. The church has had at least three
famous vicars. One was Owen Manning, famous perhaps against his will,
for he asked that no monument for him should be added to the church. His
epitaph should be _Si monumentum requiris_, _perlege_, for he was the
originator and part author of the history of the county which was
finished, as we saw at Shere, by William Bray. Owen Manning's was a
great mind, but he had a great heart as well; for the work he did for
his book sent him blind at seventy-five, and he bore five more years of
life knowing that he had not been suffered to finish what he had begun.
He died in 1801; and there is a curious story that he was nearly buried
alive when he was a boy. He had had the small-pox and was actually laid
out for dead. His father went in to see him, raised him in his arms
saying, "I will give my dear boy another chance," and as he did so, saw
signs of returning life.

Another vicar was Samuel Speed, grandson of the John Speed who made the
maps, and at one time he was chaplain of the fleet when Lord Ossory
fought the Dutch. Sir John Birkenhead immortalised him in a ballad on
the fight:--

    His chaplain, he plyed his wonted work,
    He prayed like a Christian, and fought like a Turk,
    Crying now for the King, and the Duke of York,
          With a thump, a thump, thump!

Another of Godalming's clergy was the Reverend Nicholas Andrewes, who
came into severe collisions with his parishioners. They petitioned
Parliament against being compelled to bear with him any longer. They
charged him among other offences with "preachinge but seldom, and then
alsoe but in a verie fruytlesse and unprofitable mann^r." They urged
that he was "a Haunter, and frequenter of tiplinge in Innes, and
tavernes, and useth gameinge both at cards and Table as well uppon the
Lords dayes as others." They accused him of having declined to church
one Mrs. Buckley "when she came to church and sate there all the tyme of
dyvine service, because she was not attyred wi^th an hanginge kerchief."
They said that he kept a curious crucifix "in a Boxe wi^th foldinge
windowes." Finally, John Monger and John Tichborne alleged "that the
said vicar and M^r. Wayferar, Parson of Compton, in the said Countie of
Surry, roade to Southampton, to eate Fishe and to make merrie togeather,
and there (dyverse tymes) drank healthes to the Pope calling him that
honest olde man." So much, and more, the parishioners had to say against
him. He was decided to be a Malignant Priest; White, in his _First
Century of Scandalous and Malignant Ministers_, arraigns him, among
other offences, for having "expressed himself to be an enemy to frequent
preaching, inveighing in his sermons against long Sermons, saying that
Peters sword cut off but one eare, but long Sermons like long swords
cut off both at once, and that the Surfeit of the Word is of all most
dangerous, and that the silliest creatures have longest eares, and that
preaching was the worst part of God's worship, and that if he left out
anything he would leave out that." And that, for Mr. Andrewes, was the
end; a man who lost his living because he would rather pray than preach.

[Illustration: _Church Street, Godalming._]

Two women have left records behind them, one strange and the other
cruel, in the parish annals. One was a remarkable person named Mary
Tofts, wife of a clothworker, who in 1726 professed to have had a
lamentable misadventure. She asserted that while she was weeding in a
field she was startled by a rabbit jumping up near her, and that
subsequently, she presented her husband, instead of a fine boy, with
quantities of rabbits. The effect of the announcement was prodigious.
More than one well-known physician believed her implicitly; pamphlets
were published on clinics, Hogarth printed a cut of the Wise Men of
Godlyman; nobody would eat a rabbit; at last Queen Caroline ended the
business by sending her own doctor to investigate, and Mary Tofts was
lodged in Bridewell. Another poor woman deceived less and was punished
more. The parish registers hold the record.

    Aprill the 26^th 1658. Heare was taken a vagrant, one Mary Parker,
    Widow with a Child, and she was wipped according to law, about the
    age of Thirty years, proper of personage; and she was to goo to the
    place of her birth, that is in Grauesend in Kent, and she is
    limitted to iiij days, and to be carried from Tithing to Tything
    tell she comes to the end of the s^d jerney.

A reformer of prison discipline, who was a native of Godalming, would
have read the entry with rage. General Oglethorpe, founder of the colony
of Georgia, and originator of the inquiry into the state of the Fleet
and Marshalsea prisons, was born at Westbrook in Godalming forty years
after Godalming beat the woman through its friendless streets. We meet
General Oglethorpe at Haslemere; perhaps if he had lived earlier he
would have dared to lift his hand against the savage Elizabethan law.

How could a town assent to such shame, and yet maintain on its outskirts
an almshouse? Godalming's almshouse is a long low building of red brick,
standing behind a white gate and some elms on the road by Farncombe. It
was founded by Richard Wyatt, a rich Londoner, three times Master of the
Carpenters' Company, and the inscription over the entrance stands as he
made it:--

    "This Oyspitall was given by M^r. Richard Wyatt of London, Esq.: for
    tenn poore men w^th sueficient lands to it for y^ier mayntenance for
    eve^r, 1622."

[Illustration: _Eashing._]

Farncombe is Godalming's suburb, and from above its hilly streets can be
had a strangely romantic view of the valley by Guildford, with St.
Martha's chapel crowning the hill. From Farncombe, too, you may take one
of the prettiest walks of all by the Wey, through rich fields of grass
ennobled with bordering elms, and with the Wey running here level with
you through meadowsweet and iris, and here below the footpath, seen
through the trees. If you push up stream, you will come to Eashing
Bridge, one of the oldest and strongest of Surrey bridges, and now a
national possession, secured from attacks of brick and iron by the
Society for Preserving Places of Historic Interest--an admirable
Society. Eashing Bridge, or rather Bridges, for it crosses the Wey
twice, and has more than five buttresses standing in the water, has
stood over the Wey for more than seven centuries. The old engineers
perhaps built over a stronger Wey than to-day's, for they made the
buttresses that point up stream to divide the water; on the other side
they are round and blunt. The time to stand on Eashing Bridge is when it
is quietest, on a Sunday morning. Up stream is the mill, humming out one
of the best of all songs of water; to the left is a row of timbered
cottages, cream-painted brick and black beams, and gay when I saw them
on a blue August morning with sweet peas and dahlias; a villager and his
wife gathered fruit in a garden banked above the road, and
white-frocked, black-stockinged children sat demurely in the cottage
doorways. But there is a patch of corrugated iron by the Eashing
cottages and bridge which calls for a Society of Destroyers.

Godalming has two fine parks for neighbours, Peperharow and Loseley.
Peperharow, which became the first Lord Midleton's in 1712, once
belonged to Sir Bernard Brocas, who was Master of the Buckhounds to
Richard II; afterwards it came to the great family of the Coverts.
Peperharow Park has its own church, but the beauty of the place is in
the parkland itself, with its noble trees and stretches of grass, and
the Wey running through it down to Eashing. Deer wander in the sunshine
there, dark and comely under the great cedars, or grazing slowly and
sedately by the banks of the stream. One might walk out from Godalming
only to watch the Peperharow deer; but a walk beyond the park brings
another pleasure. Above Peperharow the Wey is bridged again, by stone as
old, I think, as at Eashing: the buttress of the main part of the bridge
is the same shape as Eashing's. Above the bridge is a fall built across
the stream: only a few inches of masonry, but it changes the stream
completely. The higher water is a broad, shadowy pool, cooled and
darkened by alders meeting overhead and dipping in the water; below, the
shallow water ripples over stones, as clear and black as a northern
salmon stream. The difference between the Wey here and the Wey at
Eashing or Tilford is, of course its bed. The Wey runs over as many beds
as any little river in England; here it races over clean ironstone.

Loseley has a longer story than Peperharow, and Loseley House is a very
fine old Tudor building, the best, perhaps, in Surrey, after Sutton. Sir
William More built most of it, and took much of the stone from Waverley
Abbey, for which it would be difficult to forgive him if he had made a
less beautiful house. Sir William More was son of Sir Christopher,
Sheriff of Surrey and Sussex under Henry VIII. Sir Christopher first had
the estate in 1515; at the Domesday Survey the Earl of Arundel had it.
The family history of the Mores is too long for a chapter; so would be a
detailed list of the furniture and pictures of the house, some of which
are catalogued in the guide-books, though the general public may see
them but seldom. The house has had royal visitors; Queen Elizabeth came
to see Sir William More there, and King James and his son were both
guests of Sir George More, Sir William's son. It was Sir George More who
was so furious with his daughter for marrying John Donne, though he
lived to be good enough to forgive her.

[Illustration: _The Wey above Peperharow._]

I like to look at these great houses from a distance. When one enters a
house that has been used by an historic family for generations, the
first thing that demands attention is far more often than not something
new, an alteration, an adaptation of old means to new methods. The mark
set on the house is of the living, and the fascination of it belongs to
other years gone. But distance blots out all the innovations; the haze
of half a mile sets it in the landscape as it has stood for centuries. I
like to look at Loseley from the dusty, forgotten places of the old
pilgrims' road passing at the boundary of the park; not that the
pilgrims ever saw Loseley, but the old countrymen still using the road
would have seen it first, perhaps, from that ancient trackway, and have
wondered what manner of man its master might be, and how much he paid
for the building of it, and whether the King or the Queen would be
coming to Loseley again soon. That is the Loseley they would have seen;
a noble dwelling of grey gables and spacious windows, looking over broad
parkland and wide water with red cattle standing in it, flicking at the
flies with their tails. So, perhaps, would Henry Wriothesley, second
Earl of Southampton, have looked at Loseley from a distance, when
Elizabeth sent him there, the Papist prisoner of Sir William More. He
would have glanced doubtfully up and down the old road and wondered over
the hopelessness of escape.

Godalming's nearest, and in point of size, its greatest neighbour is
Charterhouse. Charterhouse is the name; the buildings are not yet forty
years old. The school moved from Aldersgate to the hill above Godalming
in 1872, and took the memories of Addison, Steele, and Thackeray with it
in its museum and library. The Charterhouse buildings belong to the
future. Centuries will add the grace of dulness to its new stone; trees
will grow round its cricket ground, distance will set a haze round the
names of its Surrey schoolboys; it will have venerable wood, there will
be legends of the passages and the stairs; the doors will have been
darkened by great men; there will be a film and a glory of years about
its chapel. To-day it is admirably arranged, hygienic beyond praise:
then it will be an old building as well as an old school.

[Illustration: _View from Hindhead._]



CHAPTER XII

HASLEMERE AND HINDHEAD

    Six hundred feet up.--Haslemere's Museum.--A strange Tomb.--The
    Lion.--The Cow.--Snipes in Conduit Street.--Shottermill
    Trout.--Hindhead.--The Riddle of a Crime.--A deserted Road.--The
    View from Gibbet Hill.--Airly Beacon.--The Broom Squire.--Highcombe
    Bottom.--Pheasants, Tadpoles, and Swifts.


Hindhead commands the south-west corner of the county, but Haslemere is
the key to it. You cannot walk away from Hindhead and take a train back
if you want to, which you ought always to be able to do from a centre.
Besides, to return to Hindhead is to end with a steep hill to climb;
coming back to Haslemere, you can either drop down the hill from
Hindhead, or the railway will carry you uphill to the little town from
Milford or Witley down the line.

It is really uphill, for Haslemere lies higher than any town in the
south of England--or is said to do so; I have not measured them all. I
think Tatsfield and Woldingham in the east of the county lie higher; but
they are villages, not towns. Haslemere is between five and six hundred
feet above sea level; as high as Newlands Corner and nearly three times
the height of St. George's or St. Anne's Hill. If Hindhead were sliced
away, Haslemere's view to the north would be superb.

[Illustration: _Haslemere._]

Haslemere has strayed higher and higher on the slopes above the old
town. The core lies round a broad street in which the White Horse faces
the Swan, and the town hall stands between them, a rather dull little
building, in the middle of the road. The town has kept less of the past
than Farnham; perhaps it had less to keep; but it has some good red
seventeenth-century houses, weather-tiled gables, and tall brick
chimneys. Toadflax and arabis climb over the old garden walls: one
little house looks as if its walls were held together by coils of
wistaria. In another, a square, comfortable building with an elaborate
doorway, lived the water-colour painter and wood engraver, Josiah Wood
Whymper, father of the Whymper whom a later generation knows best as a
painter of animals and game birds.

The most interesting interior in Haslemere is the museum. It was
presented to the town by Dr. Jonathan Hutchinson, and teaches history,
geology, botany and everything to do with Haslemere's (and other) birds,
beasts, and reptiles. You may study the development of the world from
the birth of life perhaps thirty-one million years ago--that is the age
Haslemere teaches--down to the present day. Skulls of elephants,
antelopes, hippopotamuses, rhinoceroses, gorillas and giraffes instruct
the zoologist; local vipers and grass snakes curl in spirits of wine;
stuffed quadrupeds, including a large kangaroo, illustrate climates
foreign to Haslemere; local ornithologists contribute cases of the birds
of the neighbourhood. Witley sends a case of crossbills; twenty years
ago a pair of hen harriers--or are they Montagu's harriers?--were killed
on Hindhead; a blackcock guards his grey hen, and was shot not far away.
Are blackcock extinct in Surrey? The last Lord Midleton wrote to _The
Times_ some years ago to state his belief that they were. At Frensham I
was told that the last pair were shot in 1889. But Mr. E.D. Swanton, the
curator of the Haslemere Museum, learned in everything that a museum
should hold, from Celtic pottery to caterpillars, told me when I was at
Haslemere that he had seen a pair (I write in 1908) only two years ago.
He was not at all certain that there were no more blackcocks in the
county. But I fear the villas have been too much for them.

The church stands a little apart from the town, and holds two very
different memorials. One is the Burne-Jones window to the memory of
Tennyson, who lived at Aldworth on Black Down over the border; the other
is a strange, rough heap of peat and heather, piled inside the gate of
the churchyard. Under it lies John Tyndall. He was one of the
discoverers of Hindhead as a place to live in instead of merely a hill
to climb; the tragedy of his death is a recent memory. It was his wish
that his grave should be no more than a mound of heather, but such
wishes can end unhappily. If the grave is neglected, perhaps that is
what he hoped it would be; but neglect, can grow into something worse.
When I last saw the grave--perhaps on an unfortunate day--the heather
had somehow collected newspapers and empty jampots; it looked like soon
becoming a rubbish heap.

A writer in the _Gentleman's Magazine_ visited Haslemere in 1801 and
described the painted glass in the windows. One of them he catalogued
thus:

    "Offering of the Wise Men. Among the numerous presents, I
    distinguished some fine hams, poultry, and mutton."

A recent inspection fails to distinguish among the numerous presents
either fine hams or mutton.

Years ago Haslemere had a lion. It was an old beech tree, twenty feet in
girth, and the late Louis Jennings, in his _Field Paths and Green
Lanes_, tells us that since Murray's _Handbook_ spoke of a lion, he
searched for it for long, and when he found it he was disappointed.
To-day it is a stump, or is said to be, but nobody could show it me; I
am sure I looked for it longer than Louis Jennings, but I never found
it. All I found was what will perhaps some day grow into another lion--a
beech tree and a holly apparently growing from the same root.

[Illustration: _A Porch at Haslemere Church._]

Haslemere's history is mostly political, and not always very
respectable. Elizabeth, perhaps, made the village a borough; at all
events, two members sat for Haslemere first in the Parliament of 1584,
and two members represented the borough until it was unkindly abolished
by the reforms of 1832. Some of its members came of old Surrey
families--Carews, Mores, Oglethorpes, Onslows, Evelyns; and some of its
elections were highly irregular. One of the most successful pieces of
jobbery stands to the credit of the year 1754, when the Tory sitting
members, General Oglethorpe and Peter Burrell, were opposed by two
Whigs, James More Molyneux and Philip Carteret Webb, a London lawyer.
Molyneux and Webb were elected by 73 votes to 45, but some at least of
the 73 (perhaps also some of the 45) would not have borne strict
investigation. Eight of the winning votes were faggot votes manufactured
out of the Cow Inn, of Haslemere, which inspired Dr. William King,
Principal of St. Mary Hall, Oxford, to a ballad of forty-two verses,
entitled _The Cow of Haslemere, or The Conjurer's Secretary at Oxford_.
Dr. King liked politics in poetry to be hot and strong, thus:--

    "No Man could hear,
    But he must fear
    Her loud infernal Roar,
    Such horrid Lies,
    And Blasphemies
    She bellow'd out and swore.

    But what must make
    The stoutest quake,
    And all with Horror gape,
    At one strange Birth,
    This Cow cast forth
    Eight Calves in human Shape.

    For in this Cow
    Each did somehow
    A Tenement possess,
    How big this Beast
    Must be at least
    From hence, Sirs, ye may guess.

    The Crew march'd out,
    An horrid Rout,
    No Bear's Cubs could be bolder!
    Each calf did vote,
    And swear by Rote
    He was a good Freeholder."

One, at least, of Haslemere's members was more than a mere party
politician. General James Edward Oglethorpe, who was defeated on the
occasion of the Cow's remarkable parturition, was the son of a former
member, Sir Theophilus Oglethorpe, and sat for Haslemere from 1722 till
he was beaten at the poll. He was the great philanthropist of his day;
he was the generous and active friend of imprisoned debtors; he was the
founder of the colony of Georgia, and a general who held a position with
650 men against 5,000 Spaniards. It was General Oglethorpe who obtained
an inquiry by Parliament into the management of the Fleet and Marshalsea
prisons. A friend of his named Castell had been thrown into the Fleet
for debt, and because he could not pay the warder's dues had been shut
in a house where the small-pox was raging: he took the disease and died.
Oglethorpe was thoroughly roused, and the inquiry held into the gaol
system of the country was the beginning of his work for debtors and
prisoners. Later, he got Parliamentary sanction and large sums of money
to found a colony of emigrant debtors in the New World, made friends
with the Creek and the Choctaw Indians, fought the Spaniards, and
planted the roots of his little settlement so firmly that he lived to
see Georgia acknowledged by the Mother Country as a sovereign
independent State.

Some years ago there was an exhibition of Old Haslemere held at the
Museum, of which Mr. Swanton very kindly gave me particulars. One of the
pictures lent by Mr. J.W. Penfold, an old, if not the oldest,
inhabitant, shows General Oglethorpe with the accompanying
note:-"General James Oglethorpe. Died 30th June, 1785, Aged 102, said to
be the oldest General in Europe. Sketched from life at the sale of Dr.
Johnson's books, February 18, 1785, where the General was reading a book
he had purchased without spectacles. In 1706 he had an Ensign Commission
in the Guards, and remember'd to have shot snipes in Conduit Mead, where
Conduit Street now stands." The compiler of the note may have been right
about the snipes, but he was wrong about the General's age, for he was
no more than 96. But the admirable caution of the phrase "said to be"
remains on record.

When Haslemere was finally deprived of its two members, the local
reformers were jubilant. One of them, in _The Burial of the Boroughs_,
printed at Petersfield in 1832, burst into verse:--

    "Old Borough-bridge is broken down,
      In spite of its proud pier;
    And Seaford, too, is just dry'd up,
      And so is Hasle-mere.

    It is not strange they've damn'd Newport,
      It is such cursed trash;
    And where's the gourmand would complain
      For kicking out Salt-ash.

    Toll, toll: these Boroughs ne'er will be
      By us through life forgotten;
    Nor will their patrons when they lie,
      Just like their Boroughs, rotten."

After the burial of the rotten boroughs came the railway, and a long
time after the railway the artists and authors. Most of them climbed
further, up to Hindhead, but Haslemere kept a few. Mrs. Allingham
painted the Haslemere fish-shop and other village scenes, though she
lived nearer Witley than Haslemere. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle played
cricket for Haslemere till he went up the hill: Dr. George Macdonald
built a house on the London road: the Whympers we have met. Tennyson's
memorial is in the church, but Tennyson's was a Sussex home, on
Blackdown.

Shottermill joins Haslemere on the west, and has had its own author.
George Eliot wrote much of _Middlemarch_ in a cottage near the church.
Fishermen know Shottermill, for its hillsides are ladders of small
ponds, in which tens of thousands of trout have been bred for other,
wilder streams. The Surrey Trout Farm began its existence in one of
these chains of ponds; its farmers breed their Loch Levens and rainbows
now, I think, in another chain. What is the _métier_ of a trout farm?
Who shall decide? There are fishermen who would never knowingly throw a
fly over a trout that had been hand-fed with chopped horseflesh; and
there are other fishermen who, if there were no trout farms, would never
have anything to fish for. The ponds have their own fascination; not,
perhaps, at meal-times, when the water is lashed to froth by the
darting, gleaming bodies--that is too greedy a business. But when a
passer-by on a spring morning sees a pound fish fall back into the water
with a meditative flop, he may pay the pond the compliment of wishing
himself elsewhere. One accompaniment of a trout farm he may hope to
escape--the sight of a dead kingfisher. Without wire netting,
kingfishers find out the young fry only too quickly, and a dead
kingfisher spoils all pleasure for a fisherman.

And so, from Haslemere by a rough path up the hill, or through
Shottermill by a straight main road, or a shady lane grown over with
almost every tree of hedgerows and woods, we come to Hindhead. There are
many ways to the top, and these, though in some ways the most
convenient, are not the best. But the best, which is to reach it by the
old Portsmouth road from Thursley, can be kept for later in the day. The
worst way to see Hindhead is to follow the motor-cars up the main road.
The motor-cars see the road, but never Hindhead at all.

[Illustration: _Brookbank Cottage, Shottermill, where George Eliot lived
for a time._]

Hindhead is the most superb and the most disappointing thing in Surrey.
A quarter of a century ago it was wild moorland; then Professor Tyndall
proclaimed that since he could not go to the Bel Alp, he would go to the
next best place, and from that day the hill has changed to streets,
villas, and hotels. London arrives every Saturday: London swarms on
Sunday. But you can still see, or can guess, something of the grandeur
and loneliness of the place; best, perhaps, on the east and the northern
slopes towards Thursley; most fully, alone on the highest point, Gibbet
Hill.

Hindhead, before the town came there, had a grisly sound in the name.
The Hindhead murder has grown from a sordid case of robbery and killing
into one of the great crimes of English local history. Nothing would
have seemed less likely to the murderers. Probably not one of them could
read or write; perhaps any sensible calculation of the chances of escape
was beyond them; possibly they never planned the murder at all. Their
crime, in a sense, was paltry; if it had never been discovered, there
would have been no further consequences; no one but the murdered man, so
far as can be told, was injured; the man was never missed nor owned by a
friend. The murder of a king reshapes history; an assassinated Minister
may change a Constitution; the killing of this man, apparently, mattered
to no single living soul. Yet his murderers, in all their clumsiness and
ignorance, contrived a crime which should be talked of daily for a
century, and should have its separate, distinct record in stone when a
thousand plots and passions of regicides and usurpers should be as clean
forgotten as if their record had never stained blank paper.

Where is the permanent quality? Perhaps it is murder isolated, set
exactly in the light which means and belongs to murder, in the
atmosphere in which all imagination of murderers moves and hides. It was
at night, it was in a wild place, with the horror of a great height
about it; the corpse was stripped, the man was nameless. He was a
sailor, walking from London to Portsmouth on September 23rd, 1786, to
look for a job. He had money in his pocket; at Esher he fell in with
three men, also on the road to Portsmouth, but without money; he paid
for food and drink and lodging for them, and he was last seen alive with
them at the Red Lion near Thursley. Perhaps the men were followed--one
account says they were watched--perhaps the finding of the body was by
chance. Two cottagers, coming after them over the highest stretch of the
hill, saw below them, white in the dim light, on the slope of the Punch
Bowl round which the road runs, the dead body as they thought of a
sheep. One climbed down and saw what it was. Pursuers rushed down the
road at Sheet, near Petersfield, the three were caught, trying to sell
the dead man's clothes. They were tried at Kingston, and hanged in
chains on the highest point of Hindhead; and there their bodies swung in
the wind over every coach that drove from London to Portsmouth.

The old Portsmouth road ran over the summit of the hill. The new road,
cut in 1826, winds lower down, and on the lower road the stone stands to
commemorate the crime. It was moved by the Ordnance Survey from the
higher ground, heedless of the warning engraved on it. On one side runs
the inscription:--

                       ERECTED

        In Detestation of a barbarous Murder
        Committed here on an unknown Sailor,
              On Sep^r. 24^th, 1786,
    By Edw^d. Lonegan, Michael Casey, and Ja^s. Marshall,
          Who were all taken the same day,
          And hung in Chains near this place.

The back of the stone informs us that it was erected by order and at the
cost of James Stillwell, of Cosford, 1786, and that he lays a curse on
"the man who injureth or removeth this stone." However, that had no
effect on the Ordnance Surveyors.

The gibbet stood for years. Gilbert White writes to Thomas Barker from
Selborne on New Year's Day, 1791:--

    The thunder storm on Dec. 23 in the morning before day was very
    aweful: but, I thank God, it did not do us the least harm. Two
    millers, in a wind-mill on the Sussex downs near Good-wood, were
    struck dead by lightning that morning; and part of the gibbet on
    Hind-head, on which two murderers were suspended, was beaten down.

Local art has depicted the scene; four original oil-paintings grace the
walls of the Huts Hotel. Than the drawing of the stage-coach in full
gallop up to the gibbet in the dead of night, nothing could be well more
frightful.

Louis Jennings's description, in _Field Paths and Green Lanes_, of the
Portsmouth road as he saw it in 1876, is worth reading at Hindhead on a
summer day:--

    It is with surprise that in this lonely waste one sees, between the
    Devil's Punch Bowl and the top of the hill, a fine, broad, and
    well-kept road; nor is that surprise diminished when you come upon
    it, and find that it is as hard and smooth as any road in a private
    park can possibly be. There are very few marks of wheels to be found
    upon it, but abundant traces of sheep. This is the main Portsmouth
    road, and to any one who knows what the roads are in country
    places, and even in large towns, throughout the United States, this
    splendid thoroughfare must seem one of the greatest curiosities in
    England; for the traffic of London Bridge might be driven along it,
    and even in this steep and wild country it is kept in the most
    perfect order. I declare that I stood looking at that road in
    amazement for pretty nearly quarter of an hour, and I am inclined to
    think that if I had stayed there till now I should not have seen
    anybody or anything coming along it in either direction. Will the
    tide of English summer travel ever again turn towards England
    itself?

The tide turns every Saturday and Sunday. But besides the tide, for
which policemen set traps along the level road, Hindhead maintains a
colony of its own. The western side of the hill and Grayshott on the
Hampshire slope are almost a town. Grayshott lies actually in Hampshire,
but geographically it belongs to Hindhead; so do Waggoner's Wells, a
string of ponds rather like the Shottermill trout hatchery, but set much
more prettily among trees.

Of Hindhead it is as true as of other places with magnificent views,
that you must live on the spot to be sure of getting them. It is only
the greatest good luck that allows a casual visitor full measure of the
splendour of clear air all round him, north, south, east, and west. Even
if it is clear to the south it may well be misty to the north, and, of
course, the angle of the sunlight makes all the difference to the
sharpness with which this or that detail of scenery stands out from its
surroundings. In one respect the view from the highest point of Hindhead
is never perfect. To the south-east, on a neighbouring slope, the pine
trees that crest the ridge block out the downs over Brighton and
Newhaven. It is a pity, for only from the tower on Leith Hill, not on
Leith Hill itself, is there another view in the south-east of England
with so wonderful an expanse of country seen clear away to the horizon.
St. George's Hill is blocked with trees, so is St. Anne's; Leith Hill is
almost clear, but from Hindhead, until those unlucky pines grew up, you
could see pretty nearly thirty miles on any side. Not that the Devil's
Dyke and the downs beyond cannot any longer be seen from Hindhead; you
can get a fine view of them a mile away to the north, from the old
Portsmouth road, on the other side of the new road, but from that point
the view is not nearly so fine on the other sides. The hill is not so
high. On Gibbet Hill you are 895 feet above sea level according to the
ordnance map; if you have no map, you can consult a brass disc which has
been erected on the plateau, which gives you also other interesting
information. All the distances to the neighbouring towns are marked, for
instance, with the direction in which they lie as the crow flies--an
admirable idea, due to the generosity of Mr. T.W. Erle of Bramshott
Grange, brother of the Sir William Erle who put up the granite cross
which stands close by. It will be safer, in future, perhaps, to trust to
the ordnance map rather than the disc for the exact figures, for some of
them have already been nearly rubbed out, and Cockney names have been
scratched on the brass. There they remain, the only gibbet on Gibbet
Hill.

Prose-writers have had much to say about Hindhead, among them the late
Grant Allen, who pleased a not very exacting public with the not always
accurate natural history of "Moorland Idylls," and shocked it with
Hill-top novels. But I think no poet has written of the hill, unless it
is Charles Kingsley, who surely had climbed Hindhead and looked out on
the view from its bracken and heather when he wrote _Airly Beacon_. It
was one of the first poems he made after coming to Eversley, and it
breathes the scent of June fern in the air and sun:--

    Airly Beacon, Airly Beacon;
      Oh, the pleasant sight to see
    Shires and towns from Airly Beacon,
      While my love climbed up to me!

    Airly Beacon, Airly Beacon;
      Oh, the happy hours we lay
    Deep in fern on Airly Beacon,
      Courting through the summer's day!

    Airly Beacon, Airly Beacon;
      Oh, the weary haunt for me,
    All alone on Airly Beacon,
      With his baby on my knee!

Of other writers, Mr. Baring-Gould has come nearest to catching the
spirit of the moorlands and the breeze that sometimes drifts up over
Hindhead from the great glen which local myth has named the Devil's
Punch Bowl. The _Broom Squire_ is strangely unsatisfactory as a novel,
or I find it so, with its entire needlessness and inconsequence of plot.
But it has something in it of the heather and the wind, of the sand of
Thursley and the steam of the Punch Bowl on a wet day; and you may still
meet broom squires if you like to wander down into the deep of the glen.
The best broom squire is, I think, Kingsley's, in _My Winter Garden_:--

    "The clod of these parts is the descendant of many generations of
    broom squires and deer stealers; the instinct of sport is strong
    within him still, though no more of the Queen's deer are to be shot
    in the winter turnip fields, or worse, caught by an apple-baited
    hook hung from an orchard bough. He now limits his aspirations to
    hares and pheasants, and too probably once in his life 'hits the
    keeper into the river,' and reconsiders himself for a while over a
    crank in Winchester gaol. Well, he has his faults, and I have mine.
    But he is a thoroughly good fellow nevertheless. Civil, contented,
    industrious, and often very handsome; a far shrewder fellow
    too--owing to his dash of wild forest blood from gipsy, highwayman,
    and what not--than his bullet-headed and flaxen-polled cousin, the
    pure South Saxon of the chalk downs. Dark-haired he is, ruddy, and
    tall of bone; swaggering in his youth: but when he grows old a
    thorough gentleman, reserved, stately, and courteous as a
    prince...."

[Illustration: _The Devil's Punch Bowl, from Gibbet Hill._]

Perhaps broom squires belong more properly to Thursley and the moors.
They are a disappearing race, and I have met few of them. But their
cottages, some of then mantled with ivy, some of them broken and
tumbling, some empty altogether, stand along the slopes of Highcombe
Bottom, which is the glen of the Punch Bowl, and dot themselves here and
there by the sandy lanes to the north. Compared with the loneliness of
some of these lanes, the wildest tract of Hindhead is a garden. The
flowerless, silent shade of a lane by Highcombe Bottom in August, when
no birds are singing, is the most solitary thing in the countryside.
But on Hindhead there is always wild life moving. I have seen strange
visitors there; as strange as any were a brood of pheasants, almost on
the highest ridge. Or perhaps even odder hill-dwellers are the tadpoles
which swarm in the summer in the little pools on the highest ridge
itself. What should frogs be doing on Hindhead? Perhaps they are toads.
But the happiest and the most graceful of all living things on Hindhead
are the swifts. To me, indeed, they are a part of the place; they belong
to that hot clear air over the height of the downs, to the sense of
immense distance of green fields spread south to Chanctonbury Ring and
north to Nettlebed by Henley. I never think of Hindhead without two
sights of summer; of children wandering over the hillside with their
lips stained with bilberries; and the swifts sailing in royal circles
high in the blue or screaming in pursuing companies, close and low over
the roadway down the hill.

[Illustration: _The Post Office, Churt._]

[Illustration: _The Red Lion, Thursley._]



CHAPTER XIII

THURSLEY AND THE MOORS

    Painters among heather.--The Devil's Jumps.--The Devil
    redivivus.--Cobbett at Thursley.--A superb belfry.--The Sailor's
    Grave.--Pig-iron and hammers.--The natterjack at eve.--A plank for
    bellringers.--Witley fifty years hence.--Mehetabel in the church.


Thursley lies nearly three miles north of Hindhead on the edge of the
heather, and brings artists all the summer to paint its timbered
cottages and glowing hills. Mrs. Allingham sketched as charmingly on
Thursley common as by Haslemere; Birket Foster found a background of
purple for his cottage gardens. Mrs. Allingham's sketch of Hindhead from
Witley common, which runs up to Thursley from the north-east, is all the
wild of this part of Surrey on a few inches of paper.

Thursley is Thor's ley or field, and has memories of the Danes. They
left other names near: Tuesley, or Tuesco's field, lies towards
Godalming, and Thunder Hill, near Elstead, is Thor's or Thunor's. Thor
lives in local legends. Three strange conical hills, lying close
together two miles or so west of Thursley, have been known since his day
as the Devil's Jumps. Tradition draws a frightful picture of the Devil,
horns and tail and all, jumping from hill to hill to amuse himself,
until one day Thor caught him at it and knocked him over with an
enormous stone. You can see the stone on the Devil's Jumps to-day.

[Illustration: _Interior of Thursley Church._]

The Devil jumped up again when I was last looking at the Jumps. I had
climbed to the top of Kettlebury Hill, a mile away, and was looking out
over those strange little lumps of rock and crimson heather, which
puzzled Cobbett to the end of his days, when suddenly at my feet there
started up a rabbit as black as a cinder, leapt wildly about the
heather, and disappeared. There could have been very little doubt what
that meant long after Thor's time.

[Illustration: _Thursley._]

Cobbett, riding in from Hampshire or Sussex, used to make Thursley his
first stopping-place. But one thing he would not do, and that was to
come into Thursley over Hindhead. He detested turnpike roads, and he
detested Hindhead. He liked to ride through woods, or along lanes with
trees meeting overhead. When he rides from Chiddingford to Thursley, he
writes that "the great thing was to see the centre of these woods, to
see the stems of the trees as well as the tops of them." Otherwise, the
pleasure in riding was to pass fine turnip-fields, or bean-fields;
anything rather than waste land. The heather on the hills might glow to
crimson, and the bracken fade from emerald to bronze, without touching a
chord in that sturdy farmer's heart. Hindhead, you read, "is certainly
the most villainous spot that God ever made," and Cobbett will have
nothing to do with it.

The last fifty years have altered and enlarged Thursley church, but it
still retains the distinction, unique in Surrey, of its timber tower and
steeple rising from the centre of the nave. Other churches in the
county--Dunsfold and Alfold in the neighbourhood--carry their
bell-turrets on ingenious constructions of timber, but there is no such
collection in any other Surrey church of such superb beams as are to be
seen at Thursley. The effect of these dark and majestic pillars of oak,
some of them thirty inches square, with their great crossbeams, and
their arches springing from the pillars across the nave, is one of
astonishing splendour and power. Outside, the shingled turret tells the
time with, instead of a clock, a fine old sundial.

To the north of the church stands a thing of terror. The full story of
the murder of the "unknown sailor" belongs to Hindhead; but Thursley has
his grave. It lies apart, in the centre of a stretch of green grass;
above it, a stone too tall for quietness; no other grave shares that
lonely lawn. Here is the queer, mis-spelt epitaph:--

    When pitying Eyes to see my Grave shall come,
    And with a generous Tear bedew my Tomb;
    Here shall they read my melancholy Fate,
    With Murder and Barbarity complete.
    In perfect Health, and in the Flower of Age,
    I fell a Victim to three Ruffians Rage;
    On bended Knees I mercy strove t' obtain,
    Their Thirst of Blood made all Entreaties vain.
    No dear Relation, or still dearer Friend,
    Weeps my hard Lot, or miserable End;
    Yet o'er my sad Remains, (my Name unknown,)
    A generous Public have inscrib'd this Stone.

Above the epitaph a rough carving shows the sailor kneeling to his
murderers. Mr. Baring-Gould, in the _Broom Squire_ makes Iver Verstage,
the artist, laugh at the crudely drawn figures. But the horror of this
grave, from which all the other quieter graves are gathered apart, has
very little laughter in it.

Thursley Common once rang with the picks and hammers of an iron mine; it
was one of the centres of a great industry of the Weald. The surface of
the common is scarred with the pits from which the ironstone was dug;
the hammer ponds lie in a string along a tiny tributary of the Wey. John
Ray, in his _Collection of English Words not generally Used_, published
in 1672, and printed in the _Sussex Archæological Collections_, gives an
account of the methods of the old iron smelters. A stream, or a pond
with a stream running through it, would be dammed, and the fall of water
at the lower end would then work two pairs of bellows for the blast for
the furnace and a wheel which raised and let fall a hammer. The fuel
used was charcoal. Before the ironstone was put into the furnace it was
"mollified" or broken up into small pieces by being burnt between layers
of charcoal. Then it was put into the furnace, and when melted drawn off
in long lumps, called pigs or sows. Then the sows were taken to the
forge or hammer, and beaten into square "blooms," two feet long; then
the blooms were beaten into "anconies," three feet long; then the
"anconies" had their ends nicely shaped, and the iron was ready for
market.

A very extensive "collection of English words not generally used" is
contained in an inventory of tools supplied to William Yalden, when he
took over the Thursley ironworks. Perhaps an ironmaster of to-day might
recognise some of those I have chosen:--

    Twoe fargons. A beame way anckrues. One turnsowe. One hurdgier. One
    twewer trole; one twewer hook. Two hursts and brights to them. 2
    eyron rackes. A hamer and ane bill and helfe and armes redy placed.
    Twoe boyghts about the Chafery. One quas to stopp the fyer. A neew
    locke.

Mr. Baring-Gould has described one of the natives of Thursley Common in
the _Broom Squire_:--

    "The natterjack, so rare elsewhere, differing from a toad in that
    it has a yellow band down its back, has here a paradise. It may be
    seen at eve perched on a stalk of willow herb or running--it does
    not hop--round the sundew, clearing the glutinous stamens of the
    flies that have been caught by them, and calling in a tone like the
    warning note of the nightingale."

[Illustration: _Elstead._]

I looked for the natterjack at eve, but did not find him. At Farnham, I
am told, he is called a jar-bob. Thursley children like to catch a
natterjack to sell.

Elstead is three miles away, on the northern edge of the belt of
heather; a happy little village standing round a green, with a mill, a
bridge, and a church with a wonderful ladder up to the belfry. This is
actually a single vast plank of oak, black and immoveable, sloped up
from a crossbeam and notched for steps. There are many magnificent beams
in Surrey churches, but this is the finest ladder of all of them. It
does not tempt ascent in days of more elaborate staircases; but it would
not break under the heaviest set of bellringers that ever rung a change.

[Illustration: _Witley._]

To the east is Milford, a good half mile from its station, and nothing
much besides. There is a good natural centre to the village, with four
cross roads and an inn, but no doubt Milford's future is to belong to
Godalming. A few half-timbered and weather-tiled cottages, which have
served as models for newer neighbours, some pollarded elms, a broad
smooth road and dusty jasmine--Milford is the first village on the
highway running south from Godalming, and on a summer Saturday is less a
village than a road.

[Illustration: _The White Hart, Witley._]

One of the four roads which branch off from Milford to the south runs to
Witley. Witley will look more tranquil and more seasoned fifty years
hence. To come into the village in the gathering dusk of a summer
evening, as I saw it first, is an enchantment; nothing could throw a
quieter spell than the brick and timber and tar and whitewash of the
cottages, the flowers climbing up the old inn, and the familiar noises
of a neighbouring game of cricket finishing in half darkness. But only
part of Witley will stand the full glare of sunlight. The new cottages
are finely designed, but they are too black-and-white and painty to
group easily with the older, mossier buildings and the White Hart Inn,
with its nobly ugly sign.

The church, bowered in ivy and roses, has some quaint inscriptions. One
commemorates a forgotten office:--

    "Off yo^r charite pray for the soull^e of Thomas Jonys and his wyfe
    Jane, which Thomas was one of the Sewers of the Chamber to oure
    Soverayne lorde Kynge Henry VIII."

A Sewer of the Chamber waited at the table and brought water for the
hands of the guests--an office which suggests an obvious rhyme for poets
writing of water-jugs. Another epitaph is a shining example of the
proper manner of attributing to the dead an almost crushing superfluity
of virtues. Sara Holney, first in Latin, and then in English, thus is
lamented and extolled:--

    "A better woman than here sleeps, there's none,
    Sara, Rebecca, Rahel, three in one:
    Religious, pious, thrifty, wise, fayre, and chast:
    Soe many goods in one, who finds in hast?"

One more name attracts. Mehetabel, daughter of John Leech of Lea, died
in 1816. She was doubtless a friend of Cobbett, who often rode by Lea,
and greatly admired her father's trees. The first Mehetabel was the wife
of the king of Edom, and the last, possibly, is the heroine of the
_Broom Squire_.

Witley has perhaps been a little overshadowed by the tragedy of a late
owner of Lea Park. I have heard descriptions of the new features of Lea
Park, the lakes and fountains and a billiard-room, I believe, under
water, but I have not seen them.

Before Hindhead drew authors and artists up the hill, Witley had its own
settlement of workers living deep in Surrey country. George Eliot was at
Witley Heights; J.C. Hook, who could not bear to be watched while he was
painting, sketched Witley gorse and heather; Birket Foster long lived
among the Witley pines; and Mrs. Allingham, who was at Sandhills, a
house near by, has painted few more interesting pictures than her
_Lessons_, _Pat-a-cake_, and _The Children's Tea_. At Witley she
painted most of her studies of children indoors, in the nursery and the
schoolroom; after she left Witley, she liked to set her cottage girls
and boys among bluebells and apple-blossom out of doors.

[Illustration: _A corner in the White Hart, Witley, known as George
Eliot's corner._]



CHAPTER XIV

THE FOLD COUNTRY

    The Wild Garden of Surrey.--Birds and their
    valentines.--Nightingales at Dunsfold.--Alfold Stocks.--Three yews
    in a line.--The King's Evil.--Alfold industries.--A dry
    canal.--Chiddingfold.--Red brick and Madonna lilies.--The
    Enticknaps.--Hungry scholars.--The Crown Inn.--On Highdown Ball.--A
    green ride in the woods.--The Chiddingfold Foxhounds.


The "Fold Country" is the wild garden of the Surrey weald, and the month
to walk in it is May. Alfold, Ifold, Durfold, Dunsfold, Chiddingfold,
and other "folds" lie among oakwoods and ploughlands that once were
oakwoods; the railway runs nowhere nearer than seven miles from the
heart of the woods, and in the woods the timbered cottages stand apart,
old and tranquil. To me, the associations of the "Fold Country" centre
round the memory of a First of May hotter and more glorious with flowers
than any I can remember. I had started to walk from Baynards Station
west among the woods, with the recollection of four days of north-east
winds and heavy snow that had brought April to a close. The change was
incredible. There, in the roads that ran through the oakwoods and hazel
copses, it was the heat of summer. The birds had drawn new valentines. A
cock chaffinch, gayest of suitors, danced round his demure hen in the
roadway, careless of any pedestrian in that deep country; wrens crept
like mice among the stubs of the hedge; the grass by the roadside and
the ditch was lighted with primroses. A narrow copse of cut hazel,
bordering the road on the Sussex boundary, was a carpet of primroses,
anemones, milkmaids, and dog violets; spires of purple orchids stood
above shining celandines; there could have been nothing more brilliant
in a garden. On the hedge-bank a hen pheasant rustled through the
undergrowth, caught sight of me, crept to a rabbit-scratch and crouched
on the brown earth within a yard of my hand; for the birds are tamer in
the Fold Country than beyond it. Above other hedge-banks, in other
copses, the cuckoos called all that morning, from Sussex to Surrey, over
the border road.

Two of the Fold Country farmhouses by that road, framed in that sunny
setting, belong to the memories of a Surrey May. One is a timbered house
twenty yards in Sussex, with white curtains and flower-pots behind its
diamond-paned lattices, and clumps of primroses growing about stone
causeways up to the very door. The other is Pallinghurst farm, a mile
further on the road, whose long, lichened roofs shelter red-tiled walls
and masses of ivy round a white doorway; the garden is a cluster of
gnarled apple-trees, and over it and about the tall farm chimneys, when
I saw it that morning, flew the first swallows of the year. But it was
not the swallows that made summer that May-day. Beyond Alfold, on the
road that runs out of Sidney Wood up to Dunsfold Common, there are
coppices of thick undergrowth, set about orchards of grey-lichened
fruit-trees and stretches of low cut hazel sheeted with primroses. There
I heard the first nightingale of the year, a single jet of song as the
brown tail flickered in the covert; a hundred yards further down the
road there were three singing together; Dunsfold Common came in a burst
of yellow gorse, and the song of a nightingale thrilled up from the
gorse; another bird, beyond Dunsfold, sang high in the hedgerow in full
sunlight. That is a Dunsfold lane, for me; a wild plum-tree branching
out of the hedge dressed with the whitest of delicate blossom, and in
the white blossom, with the hot blue of a May sky beyond and between, a
nightingale's throat throbbing with singing.

Alfold almost touches the Sussex boundary, and is perhaps the most
out-of-the-way little village in Surrey. I find Mr. Ralph Nevill,
writing in 1889, lamenting that it was once charmingly rural, but that
"the breath of the pestilence has passed over and vulgarised it." There
are new houses in it, and new generally means hideous; but the
pestilence has left some old work worth looking at. At the eastern end
of the village stands Alfold House, a sixteenth-century timbered
building; at the western end is the church, grey with its shingled
spire, built like Thursley and Elstead on massive oak beams. A broad
stone causeway leads to the door; in May, the springing grass shines
with daffodils.

Alfold, like Shalford, Abinger and Newdigate, still has its village
stocks. They stand at the churchyard gate, better worth sitting in, so
far as appearance goes, than the other three. Alfold, too, has a great
old yew-tree, one of a row of three in the Fold churchyards. Has it ever
been noticed that the Alfold, Dunsfold, and Hambledon yews stand almost
in a mathematically straight line? From Alfold to Hambledon is five
miles as the crow flies, and Dunsfold is almost exactly half way between
the two.

Three Alfold villagers, perhaps, made the journey to London, or to some
halting-place in the royal progress, to seek the grace of King James II.
The parish register-book contains the entry of their names on the
title-page:--

    2 May   }      {  I gave certificates to Jane Puttock, Henry
    4 --    } 1687 {  Manfield, Elizabeth Saker, to be touched
    19 July }      {  for the [King's] Evil.

Whether Jane Puttock, Henry Manfield and Elizabeth Saker were cured of
the scrofula by the highly medicinal contact of the royal hands does not
appear; but in 1710 another patient, James Napper, was certified to be
"a legal inhabitant of our parish of Alfold in the county of Surrey
aforesaid and is supposed to have the disease commonly called the Evil."
Perhaps not one of the four had much more than the country bumpkin's
natural desire to see the King and be able to talk about it afterwards;
perhaps they coveted the little gold tokens which royal physicking hung
round the sufferer's neck. Not all those who were touched for the Evil
were languishing with a fell disease. Charles II operated on nearly a
hundred thousand of his lieges, with instant success when there was
nothing the matter with them. But Anne, the divines held, did not
succeed directly to the throne, and therefore did not succeed to the
miraculous powers of the Jameses and Charleses. It was very little good
for James Napper to go to London, for, practically speaking, the queen
could cure nobody.

[Illustration: _A Surrey Byway._]

Alfold, which in Aubrey's day was Awfold--variant spellings of "old
fold"--was not always purely rustic and agricultural. There is a slab of
Sussex marble in the churchyard which is declared to cover the remains
of the last of the Surrey glass manufacturers--the "French glass men"
who are supposed to have carried on an illicit factory in the depths of
Sidney Wood. Another Alfold industry was smuggling, or assistant-smuggling.
"The gentlemen" ran their tobacco and brandy by way of some of the Alfold
farmhouses; the farmer left out "bread and beef" for the gentlemen, and the
gentlemen left kegs behind for the farmer.

Sidney Wood lies between Alfold and Dunsfold, and grows hazel and oak
for various industries, besides acres of the purest and palest
primroses. Through it runs a curious trackway, marked "disused" on the
Ordnance maps. It is a section of the Wey and Arun Junction Canal, now a
dry bed studded with hazel stubs and clumps of flowers. Dunsfold Common
joins the wood, and beyond it, round a wide green, stand the Dunsfold
cottages, seventeenth century mixed with twentieth. In the churchyard,
when I was there in May, I once saw a curious sight. From inside the
church the great yew seemed to be alive with bees; the noise was of
twenty swarms. I went out to find that they were not bees, but flies.
The western wall of the tower was black with them; so were the
gravestones and the gravel. There must have been millions, hatched, no
doubt, in the heat of the wooden belfry.

Dunsfold is too far from the railway to be crowded, but it is building
busily. The twentieth century is not as frightened of deep country as
Manning and Bray, who remark that "the common before coming to the
church is wide, and over it a road has been thrown up in a regular way,
and is tolerable, and a part near to Hascombe Hill has been done in the
same manner, but between them is a dreadful gulph." Dunsfold would
probably be thankful if to-day the "gulph" were wider.

From Dunsfold one may push on through Hascombe to rejoin the railway at
Milford or Godalming, or one may turn west to Chiddingfold. But Hascombe
is better seen from Godalming, and the natural way is to group
Chiddingfold with the other "fold" villages.

Of the three, Alfold has hardly begun to grow, Dunsfold straggles, and
Chiddingfold sits compact about its sunny green. Red-roofed, tranquil,
and uneven the little cottages stand behind their glowing flower
gardens. Here a long low brick wall edges the road, mellow and lichened;
here a double-gabled, weather-tiled building stands next to a patch of
old brick painted the newest possible yellow. Somehow the effect is not
hideous, and fits with the haphazard, sunlit tiles and whitewash.
Chiddingfold is at its best and sleepiest in high summer--a village of
weatherworn red brick and Madonna lilies.

In the church, which stands among trees, with an air of large solidity a
little graver than the small, shingle-spired churches of the other two
villages, are tablets to the memory of a number of Enticknaps, described
sturdily as "yeomen," of Upper Dunce, Pockford, and Gorbage Green, which
appears on the maps in the plainer form of Garbage Green. Enticknap is a
good Surrey name to-day, and there were Enticknaps in Chiddingfold at
the Conquest. The parish registers are full of Enticknaps; in one
century there were fifty burials in the family in Chiddingfold
churchyard.

It was by Chiddingfold churchyard that Cobbett made a discovery in the
peerage. He was riding through the village with his son Richard on a
fine frosty November morning, and saw a carriage and pair conveying an
old gentleman and some ladies to the churchyard steps. "Upon inquiry we
found that this was Lord Winterton, whose name, they told us, was
Turnour. I thought I had heard of all the Lords, first or last; but, if
ever I had heard of this one before, I had forgotten him." A little
further on, he came across some less wealthy churchgoers, a school of
poor boys in uniform:--

    "There were about twenty of them, without one single tinge of red in
    their whole twenty faces. In short, I never saw more deplorable
    objects since I was born. And can it be of any use to expend money
    in this sort of way upon poor creatures that have not half a
    bellyful of food? We had not breakfasted when we passed them. We
    felt, at that moment, what hunger was. We had some bits of bread and
    meat in our pockets, however; and these, which were merely intended
    as stay-stomachs, amounted, I dare say, to the allowance of any half
    dozen of these poor boys for the day. I could, with all my heart,
    have pulled the victuals out of my pocket and given it to them: but
    I did not like to do that which would have interrupted the march,
    and might have been construed into a sort of insult. To quiet my
    conscience, however, I gave a poor man that I met soon afterwards
    sixpence, under pretence of rewarding him for telling me the way to
    Thursley, which I knew as well as he, and which I had determined, in
    my own mind, not to follow."

[Illustration: _The Crown Inn, Chiddingfold._]

Chiddingfold's old inn is the Crown, which claims to have been standing
for more than five centuries. According to a copy of a deed dated March
22, 1383, which hangs in the coffee-room, Peter Pokeford, of the parish
of Chudyngfold, gave and granted to Richard Gofayre, "the said
tenement, namely, the Hall and the Chamber with a solar, and also the
kitchen with a small house with their appurtenances for the term of
fifty years for four shillings of yearly rent payable to the said
Peter." The inn is pleasant and solid, and dark with enormous wooden
beams. Above a fine old open hearth hang three engaging pictures--or
used to hang--of actresses of days gone by. Madame Vestris, in a feather
hat and a red cloak, plays Don Giovanni; Miss Paton, spangled, trousered
and red-slippered, would appeal to any Turk as Mandane; Belvidera, in a
sober grey gown, is an actress who knew Surrey well, Fanny Kemble.

[Illustration: _Rock Hill, Hambledon._]

To the Fold Country belong two other villages, Hascombe, two miles north
of Dunsfold, and Hambledon, a little more than two miles west of
Hascombe. The Hascombe yews, which make an arched gateway to the
churchyard, will some day be famous; the church lacks something of the
quiet of plainer, whiter walls. Half-a-mile south of the church,
Hascombe Hill once lit a beacon, and looks out over many miles of the
Fold Country. At the White Horse in the village I was told of a great
old beech-tree standing on the hill, and learned that if you went up the
hill it was impossible to miss it; however, I followed all the
directions and achieved the impossible. Once Hascombe was the home of a
divine whom the biographers briefly describe as "controversialist." He
was Doctor Conyers Middleton, the author of a famous _Life of Cicero_,
for which he stole the materials from a Scottish professor's work, _De
Tribus Luminibus Romanorum_, and for some time was not found out. His
controversies were chiefly with Bentley, who perhaps was as arrogant as
Middleton was greedy.

Hascombe Hill is the eastern of three hills which stand in a triangle
round the north of the Fold Country. Highdown Ball is the centre of the
three, fifty feet lower than Hascombe Hill, which is 644 feet; but
Highdown Ball somehow seems the higher of the two. A strange little
rhyme, or riddle, belongs to the hill:--

    "On Hydon's top there is a cup,
    And in that cup there is a drop:
    Take up the cup and drink the drop,
    And place the cup on Hydon's top."

The third hill is Hambledon's. The village is dotted over the hill and
at its foot; the church is perched on the very top, and it is worth
climbing the hill to look at the pair of yew trees in the churchyard.
One of them cannot be much smaller than the Crowhurst yew itself. Like
that monarch of trees, it is hollow; unlike it, it has not yet been
damaged by man in order to protect it from the weather.

Hambledon is best approached from Chiddingfold through Hambledon Hurst,
a stretch of cool woodland. A tiny path leaves the main road over a
strip of grass and brambles, dives into an oakwood and emerges at the
end of a long straight open ride of grass, edged and shaded by oak
trees, green, smooth and silent. Into such open glades dark fallow deer
should come, and roedeer dancing out from the shadows to listen and
snuff. If bearded men with jewelled feathers and crimson cloaks rode
across the patches of sunlight, it would be nothing strange in that deep
wood. The illusion of virgin solitude is perfect. Yet the green ride was
once the main road south from Godalming through Hambledon to Chichester.

I ought not to leave the Fold Country without mentioning the
Chiddingfold foxhounds, a pack which hunts the country south of
Guildford to the borders of Lord Leconfield's Hunt in Sussex. It is poor
riding, for there is too much woodland, and on the heather there is
hardly any jumping. "The prettier the country the poorer the hunting,"
Mr. Charles Richardson quotes in writing of the Chiddingfold foxhounds:
perhaps one might add that in a poor country there can be some pretty
hunting.

[Illustration: _Black Down, from Hambledon._]



CHAPTER XV

CRANLEIGH AND EWHURST

    A coffee-pot yew--Vachery Pond--The osprey as a guest--Baynards and
    its ghost--Ewhurst--A pet lamb--Children and a gipsy--Bilberries on
    Pitch Hill--Lost in Hurst Wood--Farley Heath--Mr. Watson's
    poem--Blackheath well named.


Cranleigh lies on the edge of the Fold country, neither in it nor of it.
In the Fold country the villages are set deep in woodlands and grass
fields, and the railway runs too far away to bring the slate for the
villas. But the railway runs through Cranleigh and stops there, and so
does the builder. The fields and woods are being "developed." But in the
heart of the village there is a touch of what is old and quiet. A
strange, towering figure of a clipped yew stands up in the middle of a
small garden, whether most like a peacock on a pillar, or a colossal
coffee-pot, I cannot determine. A wheelwright's yard is near by--one of
the best of all sights of any country village. Farm carts and their
wheels, and big spokes and shavings of white wood give as full a notion
of solid, strong outdoor work as the forge and the rickyard, and no
village is quite a country village without the three.

Two manors, Vachery and Knowle, have chapels in the church, which is
cruciform; but the Vachery chapel is seated for ordinary churchgoers.
The Knowle chapel is separated off by a fine fifteenth-century screen.
But the chief beauty of Cranleigh Church is the great sense of breadth
and light which you get from the size of the nave and the chancel arch.
The broad spaces and the massive Norman pillars set an air of strength
and quiet in the place that belongs alone to noble churches.

Of Vachery Manor one may hear little; of Vachery Pond every troutfisher
knows something. The maps mark a superb sheet of water, nearly a mile
long, and, two or three times, travelling from Guildford or Horsham, I
have tried to catch a glimpse of the water from the railway, but in
vain. When at last I stood on the edge of the water, the reason was
clear enough; the pond is surrounded by banks covered with trees. A
right of way runs from the road near Cranleigh round the south of the
pond to Baynards beyond, and the pond lies near the right of way, a
grass-edged road alive with rabbits. I saw the pond first on a July
morning; the drying leaves showed that earlier in the year the road to
it ran between carpets of primroses. The water lay without a ripple in
the sun; at the far side, two crested grebes swam low, like submarines,
diving for fish to feed their young, who asked for food without
weariness and without ceasing, and received it with excited splashings.
Under the bank danced a cotillon of tiny dragon-flies, needles of
turquoise stuck suddenly on a reed, flitting aimlessly over the clear,
shadowed water. Just in such sunlight, though later in the year, those
two glorious guests visited Vachery Pond in September, 1904. A pair of
ospreys, on their journey south for the winter, made the water their
home for a few days, to the consternation of the wildfowl and the
delight of the other troutfishers. One of them, writing to the _Field_
at the time, described the way in which the bird he saw fished the
water. It would sail up and down over the lake and then drop into the
water with a resounding crash, rising always with a trout in its talons.
But the visit did not last long. A keeper shot the male bird, and its
mate--ospreys pair for life--went on to the south alone.

On the other side of Vachery Pond is Baynards, one of the historic
Surrey houses, and a fine relic of Tudor days. Baynards once was the
home of Margaret Roper, daughter of Sir Thomas More, and the story goes
that after her father's execution she brought his head to Baynards.
Perhaps that started the Baynards' ghost. Legend plays with the aura of
Baynards as of Loseley. Once a year the two ghosts meet: the Baynards
ghost dines at Loseley, and the Loseley ghost pays back the visit next
year at Baynards.

[Illustration: _At Ewhurst._]

North-east of Baynards an old Roman road runs from Rowhook on the Stane
Street in Sussex towards Farley Heath, where there was a Roman camp.
The Roman road, now hardly traceable, cuts the road from Cranleigh near
Ewhurst. Ewhurst lives comfortably fifty years behind Cranleigh, and is
still, happily, what the late Louis Jennings called it in _Field Paths
and Green Lanes_, "a one-horse place." When Mr. Jennings was at Ewhurst
everybody was half-asleep. "At the post-office a woman and a girl turned
out in some consternation to look at me, thinking, perhaps, that I had a
letter concealed about me, and was about to post it, and thus overwhelm
them with work." Such a village would be desirable anywhere. But
Ewhurst, although it can be sleepy in the sunshine, as everything in the
country ought to be, has an eye for country business. At the door of the
post-office, when I was there on a hot day in July, a long-tailed sheep,
fat and woolly, cropped the grass. It was a pet lamb grown up,
apparently, and pleased to be patted. A cart drove up, and there was a
conversation which might have come out of _Edgeworth's Parent's
Assistant_ when Simple Susan's pet lamb was in the same evil case. From
the cart descended a butcher, who shook his head when questioned by the
lamb's caretaker, or keeper, who looked after its owner's interests from
a neighbouring dwelling. Wasn't he worth three pounds? Not three pounds;
no. Fifty-five shillings, perhaps, would be a fair price in a week's
time. A fair price in a week's time--it was impossible to listen to the
careful bargaining over the creature feeding in the sun. I went into the
shop to buy something, and within a few minutes was asked, as an obvious
admirer of the lamb, whether I would like him for fifty shillings.

Miss Edgeworth should have stayed at Ewhurst, and have seen the best of
an English village as I did that July afternoon. Opposite the church--a
church which, with its stainless glass windows, its white walls, and its
green carpet and curtains, gives you the feeling of entering a
drawing-room--are the village schools. Out of the schools as I watched
them the village children came tumbling. Half of them made for a passage
by the churchyard, where a small boy, gipsy or pedlar's child, sat in
the shadow of the wall. He was dusty and hot, and by him lay a large
bundle wrapped in a spotted blue handkerchief. One of the schoolchildren
stopped after passing him, and whispered to another. Then four little
boys went back and each dropped a penny or a halfpenny into the child's
hand. Then they ran off through the churchyard.

The Ordnance Maps mark a hill north of Ewhurst of which the country
children have never heard. Coneyhurst Hill, the map assures you, is 844
feet high, only 50 feet less than Hindhead. People who like
bell-heather, bilberries, and a magnificent view should climb it, but it
is no use asking the children the way to Coneyhurst Hill. Pitch Hill
they know, and only Pitch Hill. Nor will they recognise bilberries or
whortleberries so called; "hurts" is the name. Another point on which
the traveller wandering in these wilds should assure himself is that he
has plenty of time, or has a compass with him, or can find his way by
the sun. The woods--Hurt Wood is the general name for miles--north and
west of Pitch Hill are the loneliest places. Here and there a forest
fire has cleared openings in the trees, but where the pines have fallen
or have been cut the bracken still grows breast high, and birches have
seeded themselves into thick, thwarting plantations. The wood runs in
ridges, so that whichever way you want to go you cannot keep an
objective in sight. Missel thrushes clatter up from the open spaces;
jays bark in the birches, angry at an intrusion. Except for them the
silence, in a silent month like July or August, is profound.

When I was in Hurt Wood I wanted to walk from the windmill to Farley
Heath, two and a-half miles as the crow flies, nearer five miles as I
walked it. The perplexing thing is the number of disused rides and paths
in the wood. They cross each other perpetually at right angles, like
lines on a chessboard, and if you are walking diagonally across them the
temptation is to a succession of knights' moves which end in wrong
places. I followed one of these rides a long way, and the wood grew
thicker and thicker; suddenly it ended, and I found myself in a
clearing, with the loneliest little cottage in the corner, guarded by a
huge black retriever in an iron kennel; a woman was drawing water by the
door. Where was I, could she tell me? Where did I want to go to? she
asked in reply--probably the right answer.

Farley Heath is one of the few well-defined stations of a Roman camp in
the county. Mr. William Watson, writing in the shade of the Emperor Yew
by Newlands Corner, thought of the Roman legionaries encamped on Farley
Heath below the downs, and one of the finest passages in the poem he
made there belongs half to the yew and half to Farley:--

    Nay, hid by thee from Summer's gaze
      That seeks in vain this couch of loam,
    I should behold, without amaze,
      Camped on yon down the hosts of Rome,
    Nor start though English woodlands heard
    The selfsame mandatory word

    As by the Cataracts of the Nile
      Marshalled the legions long ago,
    Or where the lakes are one blue smile
      'Neath pageants of Helvetian snow,
    Or 'mid the Syrian sands that lie
    Sick of the day's great tearless eye,

    Or on barbaric plains afar,
      Where, under Asia's fevering ray,
    The long lines of imperial war
      O'er Tigris passed, and with dismay
    In fanged and iron deserts found
    Embattled Persia closing round,

    And 'mid their eagles watched on high
      The vultures gathering for a feast,
    Till, from the quivers of the sky,
      The gorgeous star-flight of the East
    Flamed, and the bow of darkness bent
    O'er Julian dying in his tent.

Between Farley Heath and Chilworth Station, which is the chosen end of
the walk from Cranleigh, is Blackheath, well named. In winter the
flowerless heather darkens the whole moorland; and through it the roads,
the rough roads the Roman legionaries knew well, run ribands of white
sand.

[Illustration: _Chertsey._]



CHAPTER XVI

CHERTSEY

    Through the hayfields.--The Abbey.--John de Rutherwyk.--Cowley in
    his garden.--Bill Sikes at Chertsey.--The curfew.--A duel of
    hearts.--The Chertsey legend.--St. Anne's Hill.--Digging for
    treasure.--St. Paul's like a mushroom.--Charles James Fox.--Sunshine
    and turnips.--Triumphant rooks.


Chertsey might well be taken as the centre from which to explore
north-west Surrey, but it is less generally convenient as regards the
railway than Weybridge, which allows exploration north, east, south and
west, whereas Chertsey lies on a branch line. Besides, there is the walk
from Weybridge to Chertsey to be taken, and there are few more
delightful near the Surrey Thames. The high road from the bridge over
the Wey runs between double ribands of water; on one side lies the
sunny, slow canal, edged with iris and forget-me-nots, and banked up
higher than the road; on the other, a shady stream, dun and
bleak-haunted. Before the road turns into Addlestone there is a
field-path, breaking off at right angles, which leads to a wooden bridge
crossing the clear, brown little Bourne, and beyond the bridge lies
Chertsey Mead, one huge hayfield, bounded on the left by wooded slopes,
on the right by the Thames itself. Two or three narrow paths intersect
the level of waving grass; the turf underfoot is as springy as peat, and
the standing crop scents the June wind, rich with daisies and clover.
Beyond Chertsey before you lies St. Anne's Hill, dark and incumbent over
the town; but you do not guess that the Thames edges that shining
hayfield until you catch sight of a boat-sail, leisurely dipping and
nodding under the Lombardy poplars that line the stream. The path leaves
the meadow close to Chertsey Bridge, graceful with seven stone arches.

A thousand years ago Chertsey was the centre of a very large tract
indeed. Chertsey Abbey, up to the Dissolution, was one of the greatest
religious houses in the kingdom, and one of the oldest. It was in
666--the date is suspiciously exact--that Frithwald, viceroy of Surrey
under Wulfer, king of the Mercians, gave the land on which the building
was to stand, and he and Erkenwald, its first abbot, duly founded the
Abbey. Frithwald, since he could not write, made the sign of the Cross
in delivering the deed. But Frithwald's Abbey was short-lived. Perhaps
it was then not much more than a little wooden church, with buildings
for its journeying priests; at all events, the Danes had no trouble in
sacking it two hundred years later, when they made their foray brutally
complete by murdering the Abbot and his ninety monks.

But Chertsey's Abbey was to rise again. Edgar rebuilt it, and his
building was rebuilt again by the Abbot Hugh of Winchester, early in the
twelfth century, and from that date began the great days. The Abbot and
convent were in high favour with the king, and lived as well as good
monks should. They had rights of warren and liberty of the chase, they
had the right to keep dogs, and they might take hares and foxes, the
neighbouring manor of Egham sent them fifty fat hogs a year, Chobham
sent them a hundred and thirty, Byfleet sent them 325 eels, and
Petersham contributed 1,000 eels and 1,000 lampreys.

[Illustration: _Chertsey Bridge._]

Other manors swelled the noble list. Such good living should produce a
good man, and Chertsey's great Abbot has left an abiding name. He was
John de Rutherwyk, an ardent and admirable landlord and a prelate of
enduring energy and wisdom. No squire of modern days ever did more to
improve his property. He built chapels and rebuilt churches; he laid out
roads and had pathways raised from the level of flooded meadows; he set
up mills and threw bridges over streams; he sowed oak plantations and
taught forestry; he planned barns and granges for corn, and dug stews
and ponds for fish, and he was as enthusiastic a churchman as he was
energetic as a farmer. He died in 1347, and two hundred years later,
chiefly owing to his energy and foresight, the manors which had once
been Chertsey's were paying to Henry VIII some £700 a year--perhaps
£14,000 of our money.

Of all that great Abbey there remains scarcely one stone upon another.
An arch and part of an arch, a ruined wall, and the foundations of a
barn; so much and no more can be seen as John de Rutherwyk saw it. A
number of faced and dressed stones are built in haphazard among the
bricks of neighbouring walls; and the rest of the Abbey, unseen and
unknown, drains Chertsey's foundations and paves her streets. Surely
never a great house fell so low and so far.

Chertsey's main street is wide and bright, and at its side lies a pond
through which the carthorses go plunging. But the town's most notable
building stands in the narrower road from the main street to the south.
This is the old Porch House, where Abraham Cowley, the poet laureate,
spent the last two years of his life, seeking in the solitudes of his
garden and the fields of his farm the rest and freedom which the
ingratitude of Charles II had forgotten to find for a faithful servant.
It was from Porch House that he wrote to John Evelyn, dedicating to him
his essay _The Garden_ with its pathetic opening:--"I never had any
desire so strong, and so like to covetousness as that which I have had
always, that I might be master at last of a small house and large
garden, with very moderate conveniences joined to them, and there
dedicate the remainder of my life only to the culture of them and study
of nature." Cowley was no lover of the town. _The Garden_ holds his
philosophy:--

    "Who, that has reason, and his smell,
    Would not among roses and jasmine dwell,
      Rather than all his spirits choke
    With exhalations of dirt and smoke
      And all the uncleanness which does drown
    In pestilential clouds a populous town?"

His simpler pleasures were of the orchard and the farm. The husbandman
of fruit and flowers is king:--

    "He bids the ill-natured crab produce
    The gentler apple's winy juice;
    The golden fruit that worthy is
    Of Galatea's purple kiss;
    He does the savage hawthorn teach
    To bear the medlar and the pear.
    He bids the rustic plum to rear
    A noble trunk, and be a peach.
    Even Daphne's coyness he does mock,
    And weds the cherry to her stock,
    Though she refused Apollo's suit,
    Even she, that chaste and virgin tree,
    Now wonders at herself, to see
    That she's a mother made, and blushes in her fruit."

[Illustration: _Cowley's Cottage, Chertsey._]

Poor Cowley! The country was too much for him after all. Late on a July
evening, after helping his haymakers to get in their last loads, he was
soaked with a heavy summer dew. He caught cold and died, on July 28,
1667, and the Thames bore his coffin to burial in Westminster Abbey.

Less easy to find, if in some ways more familiar, than Porch House, is
the very house into which the unwilling Oliver Twist was thrust by Bill
Sikes mounted upon the stooping Toby Crackit. You can see the window
through which Mr. Sikes pointed the pistol, and the door from which
burst the valiant Mr. Giles and Mr. Brittles in pursuit. Or, at least,
the more devout of Dickens students are thus privileged; I have been
less fortunate. Mr. Percy Fitzgerald, I believe, has identified the
house to the satisfaction of many with Pyrcroft, a dwelling north-west
of the station. But I have gone burgling after Bill Sikes and followed
the road precisely as Dickens describes it, and Pyrcroft I never came
near.

Chertsey still keeps up some fascinating customs. She has two quaintly
named fairs, "Black Cherry Fair" on August 6, and "Goose and Onion Fair"
on September 26, when she presides over the selling of horses and
poultry. But the oldest and best custom is the ringing of the curfew
bell, which still peals out to St. Anne's Hill and over Chertsey Mead
from September 29 to March 25. The Chertsey bells are some of the finest
in the country. The original curfew bell, which is supposed to have hung
in the Abbey, tolled for the funeral of Henry VI, murdered a few hours
before in the Tower of London, and hurried to Chertsey to be buried
"without priest, clerk, torch or taper, singing or saying." According to
the safer chronicles, the dead king's body was ferried to the Abbey by
water. But Shakespeare in _Richard III_ sends the corpse through London
streets "borne in an open coffin; gentlemen bearing halberds to guard
it; and Lady Anne as mourner." It is when Lady Anne, widow of the
murdered king's son, tells the bearers to go "toward Chertsey with your
holy load," that the coffin is stopped by the murderer Gloucester, and
then follows that strange duel of hearts and words between the murderer
and the prince's widow:

    GLOSTER.    Teach not thy lip such scorn; for it was made
    For kissing, lady, not for such contempt.
    If thy revengeful heart cannot forgive,
    Lo, here I lend thee this sharp-pointed sword;
    Which, if thou please to hide in this true breast,
    And let the soul forth that adoreth thee,
    I lay it open to the deadly stroke,
    And humbly beg the death upon my knee.

[_He lays his breast open. She offers at it with his sword._

    Nay, do not pause; for I did kill King Henry,--
    But 'twas thy beauty that provoked me.
    Nay, now despatch; 'twas I that stabb'd young Edward,--

[_She again offers at his breast._

    But 'twas thy heavenly face that set me on.

[_She lets fall the sword._

    Take up the sword again or take up me.

    ANNE. Arise, dissembler: though I wish thy death,
    I will not be thy executioner.

    GLO. Then bid me kill myself, and I will do it.

    ANNE. I have already.

    GLO.                  That was in thy rage;
    Speak it again, and, even with the word,
    This hand, which for thy love, did kill thy love,
    Shall, for thy love, kill a far truer love:
    To both their deaths shalt thou be necessary.

    ANNE. I would I knew thy heart.

    GLO. 'Tis figur'd in my tongue.

    ANNE. I fear me both are false.

    GLO. Then never man was true.

    ANNE. Well, well, put up your sword.

    GLO. Say, then, my peace is made.

    ANNE. That shalt thou know hereafter.

    GLO. But shall I live in hope?

    ANNE. All men, I hope, live so.

    GLO. Vouchsafe to wear this ring.

    ANNE. To take, is not to give.

[_She puts on the ring._

King Henry's funeral is history; another tale of the Chertsey curfew
bell is legend. It was first put into the form of a story and dramatised
by a now almost forgotten novelist-poet, Albert Smith, who was born at
Chertsey himself, and wrote books which were illustrated by Leech. He
called his story _Blanche Heriot: a Legend of the Chertsey Church_, and
the play in its outline follows the legend. Blanche's lover, Neville,
the nephew of Warwick the Kingmaker, had been captured by the Yorkists
and condemned to die on Chertsey Mead within twenty-four hours. There
was a hope of reprieve if he could send his ring as a token to the king.
He sent it, but the messenger returning with the pardon was late, and
the twenty-four hours were up while the reprieve was being carried over
Laleham Ferry. But the knell for the death-stroke never sounded; Blanche
had climbed the curfew tower and held the clapper of the great bell. The
story has always been popular locally, but it first reached a really
wide audience, perhaps, when Mr. Clifford Harrison embodied it in his
poem _The Legend of Chertsey_. Since then, reciters' audiences have had
their fill.

About a mile outside the town lies St. Anne's Hill, chiefly notable,
perhaps, to-day because on its southern slope stands a house which was
at one time the residence of Charles James Fox. Its older title to fame
was the magnificence of its view. On the highest point stood St. Anne's
Chapel, of which the half-buried ruin of but a single wall remains. It
is, Aubrey remarks, "a most romancy place, from whence you have the
Prospect over Middlesex and Surrey, London, to Hertfordshire and St.
Albans, Berks, Bucks, Oxfordshire, to Windsor Castle, St. Martha's
Chapel, Hampton Court, Kingston, Hampshire, etc." Eight counties is a
noble stretch of England. But to-day the view has lost most of its
grandeur. The hill has been thickly planted with trees, conifers for the
most part, and the view can only be had in peeps and patches. Forty or
fifty years ago, before the pines were planted, there stood on the hill
three sister elms, a proud mark for all the country round. One alone
remains, fenced in with iron and hollow, and still a splendid tree; but
her shade falls on altered ground. Before the middle of the last century
the level stretch of soil to the south was ploughland: it is now a level
mead of green, glowing with bordering rhododendrons in June, and bitten
close and smooth by rabbits. It is amusing to notice the fineness of the
turf within three or four yards of the rhododendrons all round the
green; the rabbits are "poor men," like Chuchundra, and afraid to come
out into the middle of the room.

Besides the ruins of St. Anne's Chapel, which is not very much to look
at, and at which very few look, there are two other relics on the hill.
One is a spring, welling up under an arch. It is still what Aubrey
describes it to be, "a fine clear spring dressed with squared stones,"
and up to within recent years the country folk round about have been
used to fetch away water from it, in the belief that it has virtues as
an eye lotion. It has a strong taste of iron; would that be good for the
eyes? Another curiosity is the so-called Devil's Stone, or Treasure
Stone. Aubrey calls this "a conglobation of gravel and sand," and says
that the inhabitants know it as "the Devil's Stone, and believe it
cannot be mov'd, and that treasure is hid underneath." There have been
many searchers after the treasure. One of them once dug down ten feet or
more, hoping to come to the base of the huge mass, but his task grew
unkinder as he got deeper, and he gave it up. He might well do so, for
what is pretty certain is that he was trying to dig up St. Anne's Hill.
All over the face of the hill there are masses of this hard pebbly
sandstone cropping up, though they are not so noticeable as the
so-called Devil's Stone because they are flat and occasionally
crumbling, and have not had their sides laid bare by energetic
treasure-seekers.

The view from the hill has not, of course, been wholly lost. To the
south the trees shut it out almost entirely, so that part of Hampshire
and all Sussex disappear. Looking to the west you can see the pines on
Chobham Common, and perhaps Bagshot Heath beyond, but you can no longer
get a sight of Windsor Castle, for the trees have grown up on Cooper's
Hill, which lies between. To the north the church spire on the hill at
Harrow stands beautifully up from the horizon; the Wembley Tower, which
used to scar the distance, has gone. Eastward lie two familiar towers;
and you are reminded of Mr. Max Beerbohm's reflective observation that
"the great danger of travelling on the South Eastern Railway is that you
might put your head out of the window and catch sight of the Crystal
Palace." So much the greater by contrast is the loss of Windsor Castle
to the north-west. I have never yet, by the way, had the good fortune to
get to the top of St. Anne's Hill on a really clear day. I have been
informed by the lodge-keeper that the best time to get a view is in the
summer immediately the sun is up and before the London fires are
lighted. You can then see all the big London buildings, the Clock Tower,
and the Houses of Parliament, and "the dome of St. Paul's as plain as a
mushroom in the field."

Fox lived at the house at St. Anne's Hill in his quieter old age. Samuel
Rogers in his _Table Talk_ draws a pleasant picture of his life among
his books and farm buildings:--

    "When I became acquainted with Fox, he had given up that kind of
    life (gambling, etc.) entirely, and resided in the most perfect
    sobriety and regularity at St. Anne's Hill. There he was very happy,
    delighting in study, in rural occupations and rural prospects. He
    would break from a criticism on Porson's _Euripides_ to look for the
    little pigs. I remember his calling out to the Chertsey hills, when
    a thick mist, which had for some time concealed them, rolled away:
    'Good morning to you! I am glad to see you again.' There was a walk
    in his grounds which led to a lane through which the farmers used to
    pass; and he would stop them, and talk to them, with great
    interest, about the price of turnips, etc. I was one day with him in
    the Louvre, when he suddenly turned from the pictures, and, looking
    out at the window, exclaimed, 'This hot sun will burn up my turnips
    at St. Anne's Hill.'"

In his later life, Fox's chief delight was almost wholly in his garden,
and in country sights and sounds. It was with the greatest difficulty
that he could be dragged to London. On one occasion, in the throes of a
political crisis, he was induced to leave St. Anne's Hill on the
understanding that he would have to remain only two nights in town. When
he heard that the debate was postponed owing to Pitt's indisposition, he
was, Lord Holland relates, "silent and overcome, as if the intelligence
of some great calamity had reached his ears. I saw tears steal down his
cheeks; so vexed was he at being detained from his garden, his books,
and his cheerful life in the country." On another occasion, begged to go
to town, Fox answered that he would do so if he thought his going would
be serviceable to the public, but the idea greatly troubled him. "Never
did a letter," he wrote, "arrive at a worse time than yours this
morning. A sweet westerly wind, a beautiful sun, all the thorns and elms
just budding, and the nightingales just beginning to sing; though the
blackbirds and thrushes would have been quite sufficient to have refuted
any arguments in your letter. Seriously speaking, I cannot conceive what
you mean by everybody agreeing that something may be now done. I beg, at
least, not to be included in the holders of that opinion."

Fox's favourite bird was the nightingale; and he used to sit for hours
on a particular seat listening to its song. The St. Anne's Hill garden
is still very much as he left it; the Temple of Peace, in which Ariosto
was his most intimate companion, stands undisturbed, a quaint testimony
to the love of summerhouses in the form of temples which Fox inherited
from his father. Another summerhouse, lined with shells and quartz, is
so like the monstrosity built by the Duke of Newcastle in Oatlands Park
at Weybridge that probably Fox copied it, on a smaller scale; and near
by stands the inscription, carved on stone, of Fox's favourite verses
from Dryden:

    "The painted birds, companions of the Spring,
    Hopping from spray to spray were heard to sing.
    Both eyes and ears received a like delight,
    Enchanting music, and a charming sight.

    On Philomel I fixed my whole desire,
    And listened for the queen of all the quire.
    Fain would I hear her heavenly voice to sing,
    And wanted yet an omen to the Spring.

           *     *     *     *     *

    So sweet, so shrill, so variously she sung
    That the grove echoed, and the valleys rung."

It must remain a problem to discover why such verse should be associated
with the singing of nightingales. Perhaps the nightingales dislike the
association; at all events, I am told that they have deserted St. Anne's
Hill. If they have, it is a strange conclusion to the years of close
protection which a former owner of St. Anne's Hill extended to her
birds. The late Lady Holland would never have a singing bird killed nor
a nest touched in all her grounds, and if one of them was found dead in
any of the shrubberies, her orders were that it was to be given a prompt
and respectable burial. Jays and magpies, however, she could not abide,
nor crows and rooks, and a curious story is told of a rookery which
these birds tried to establish near the house. Every year they decided
to build in a particular tree, and every year they were shot or
otherwise driven away. At last Lady Holland died, and the gardeners
gladly laid aside their guns. The very next spring the rookery was
firmly established, and has cawed its pæans ever since.

[Illustration: _A Byway near Weybridge._]



CHAPTER XVII

WEYBRIDGE

    A Georgian village.--The Kembles.--A prophetic lament.--Wey no
    more.--The Brooklands bucket.--Exiles.--Riddles of spelling.--A
    royal palace.--The Duchess's Monkeys.--Oatlands cedars.--Portmore
    Park.--St. George's Hill.--The Leveller's Beanfields.


There is a pleasant melancholy in trying to imagine a Georgian
Weybridge. Fanny Kemble describes the village as she saw it as a girl,
before the railway came. Then, in the twenties, it was "a rural, rather
deserted-looking, and most picturesque village, with the desolate domain
of Portmore Park, its mansion falling to ruin, on one side of it, and on
the other the empty house and fine park of Oatlands, the former
residence of the Duke of York." Eighty years have gone, and the
deserted-looking village has spread into a town and suburbs covering
more than a square mile of ground; Portmore Park has vanished; Oatlands
is a hotel. The railway has created one more residential neighbourhood.

Fanny Kemble first came to Weybridge as a fifteen-year-old school-girl,
and spent three summers with her family at Eastlands, a little cottage,
still to be seen, on the outskirts of the village, of which she has
written some amusing reminiscences. Charles Kemble, the actor, her
father, used to come down from Saturday to Monday, but had no great
appreciation of country life, or, perhaps, rather of the cottage, which
was too small for him; "he was as nearly as possible too high and too
wide, too long and too large, for every room in the house." But Fanny
Kemble herself and her mother enjoyed the country to the full. Mrs.
Kemble had a passion for fishing, and she and her children used to spend
her days on the banks of the Wey, apparently with the slightest possible
success.

A curious relic remains of the Kembles' Weybridge holidays. This is to
be seen in the Eastlands' cottage garden, and is a semi-circular heap of
earth or sand planted with trees and shrubs. Once, when it was much
larger and higher, it was "the Mound," and was the favourite playground
of the Kemble girls and boys. It grew out of a huge heap of sand which
the landlord refused to move, and which Mrs. Kemble therefore planted
and cut into shape with a walk round the top. Naturally enough,
tradition has grown up round this heap of sand. Fanny Kemble was a
famous actress, and lived here as a child; therefore this mound was a
theatre. It is locally known indeed as "the theatre." But I can find no
evidence that it was ever used as anything of the kind; certainly Fanny
Kemble never refers to it as a theatre, nor as anything else but a
"domestic fortification" and a "delightful playground." To her it is
always "the Mound."

[Illustration: _Weybridge._]

If that charming and brilliant lady could revisit these glimpses of the
moon, what would she say of that infinitely larger "mound" and its
surroundings in the new motor track, with which it is Weybridge's
unhappy fate to be linked to-day? Nearly a square mile of quiet meadow
and forest and hill slashed and scarred and scarped into a saucer of
cement; acres of pine and cedar and oak and rhododendron smashed and
sawn to fragments; the roar of thundering Napiers and Hotchkisses, where
once the reed-warblers climbed the meadowsweet and cuckoos called from
the willows--how would she have addressed the originator of that
staring blatant racecourse? Strangely enough, she saw something of the
kind befall her beloved Weybridge pinewoods sixty-seven years ago, and
wrote of it in her diary. She was staying as a guest at Oatlands, and
found one of her favourite walks among the Brooklands trees destroyed.
Her outcry is prophetic:--

    "O Lord King, Lord King (we were riding through the property of the
    Earl of Lovelace, then Lord King), if I was one of those bishops
    whom you do not love, I would curse, excommunicate and anathematize
    you for cutting down all those splendid trees and laying bare those
    deep, leafy nooks, the haunts of a thousand _Midsummer Nights'
    Dreams_, to the common air and the staring sun. The sight of the
    dear old familiar paths brought the tears to my eyes, for, stripped
    and thinned of their trees and robbed of their beauty, my memory
    restored all their former loveliness. On we went down to Byefleet to
    the mill, to Langton's through the sweet, turfy meadows, by hawthorn
    hedges musical as sweet...."

Well, she could not do that now. Let an ornithologist poet lament the
change:--

    By Brooklands hill but since a year
      Untrod the meadows lay,
    Unspanned through musk and meadowsweet
      Ran olive-bright the Wey.

    Blackbirds about that wind and wild
      Carolled a roguish choir,
    From willow green to willow grey
      Kingfishers shot sapphire!

    There gay and far the Surrey sun
      Spread cowslips far and gay,
    Lit wide the orchid's purple flame,
      The white fire of the May;

    And thither stole a happy boat
      To hear the ringdoves coo,
    To mark again the drumming snipe
      Zigzag the April blue:

    To watch the darting dragon-flies
      Live pine-needles awing--
    O Brooklands meadow, there we knew
      You first knew all the spring!

    And then--the change! Spade, engine, pick,
      The gangers' myriad Hun,
    A thousand branches' banished shade,
      Flat glare of sand and sun.

    From pine and stream to steam and stone,
      From peace to din and pain,
    From old unused to new unuse,
      But never Wey again!

The motor course led to at least one interesting discovery. When the
picks were hard at work in the sand, and day and night were enlivened
by steam-engines and casual labourers sleeping off their wages in other
people's summerhouses, there went about a word of a great find. A pot of
copper had been found, some said; of coppers, said others; of Roman gold
coins, there was a rumour, and all the coins exchanged for beer. Perhaps
some coins were found; what certainly was found was a beautifully made
bronze bucket, buried deep below clay and sand in a bed of gravel. It
has been classified by the experts as belonging to a Venetian workshop
of the seventh century B.C.--actually the early days of the Tarquins.
Prehistoric traffic between Britain and Italy may not be an entirely new
idea, but the bucket opens a new chapter.

A few years after the Kembles had given up their cottage Weybridge had
other brilliant visitors. The French Revolution of 1848 drove abroad
thinkers and writers and a royal family, and Weybridge saw most of them.
John Austin, author of _The Province of Jurisprudence Determined_,
settled with his wife at a sober, red brick building near the church,
and there they were visited by Lavergne, and Victor Cousin and de
Rémusat and Guizot: Barthélemy St. Hilaire wrote to Mrs. Austin in
1854--"I assure you that Weybridge is the place in England I love best."
There were royal exiles at Claremont near Esher, then, and they came to
mass at the Roman Catholic chapel which fronts the common; Louis
Philippe and Queen Amélie, and the Duchess of Orleans and the Comte de
Paris; there is a monument in the chapel to the Duchess of Nemours, who
died at Claremont in 1857. _Tot luctuosis domus Aurelianensis addita
funeribus_ is the inscription, and the glorious beauty of the white
marble lights the chapel; she was only thirty-four.

Weybridge's church is modern, but the registers and churchwarden's
accounts are old and amusing. The following items, taken at random from
the lengthy and exact copy made by Miss Eleanor Lloyd in the _Surrey
Archæological Collections_, are pleasant riddles of spelling:--

                                                                  £ _s. d._

    1622. Pd for a gally slabs seate for y^e parson               00 01 00

    1623. Pd for drinke for the Ringgers upon the Prince came
            out of Spain and at other tymes                       00 02 08

          Pd for 23 Bushells of Lyme and five Bushells of hare    00 11 08

    1655. Paid for an hower glass                                 00 00 06

    1658. Rec^d of John Durling for breach of y^e Saboth          00 05  0

          Rec^d of several bargemen for breach of y^e Saboth      14 08  6

    1659. Rec^d of Adlms Barg for Breach of the Saboth            04 00  0

          Rec^d for the Church grass being praised: besides X^s
            worth taken away                                      07 00  0

    Edward Ginger Junior
    carried away the grass
    worth X^s

    1667. Item given to the ringers one gunpowder treson day       0  1  0

          Item for expenses in going twice to the Justices w^th
            the fanattick                                          0  2  0

          Item for Inditing Robert Hone for takinge in an
            Inmate and Rich for not cuminge to Church for the
            space of that month for y^e fes for the same           0  9  4

    1669. paid for buring a pore man that dyed brocklands farm     0  2  6

    1671. Rest due to the parrish for the grass this yeare         1  2  9
                Mils Bucklands bill not being holy aloud

    1697. gave to John Born for a foxes hed                       00 03 04

          Sept. ye 16 gave ye ringers for Joy of ye pees          00 04 00

                      for a botel of wine                         00 03 02

    1701. payd for 3 botells of winde                             00 08 03

The political events which brought the ringers joy and shillings seem to
have been the peace of Ryswick and the return of Charles I, then Prince
of Wales, from his journey to Spain in search of a princess. Weybridge
would have always followed royal doings with interest, for Weybridge
history, bound up with its oldest and greatest mansion, goes back to the
kings almost of the middle ages. On the ground, or near it, which now
belongs to the Oatlands Park Hotel, Henry VIII built one of his finest
palaces: Elizabeth followed her father and hunted deer in the park;
James I added to the palace a silkworm room for Anne of Denmark, planted
mulberry trees to feed the silkworms, and bred pheasants to please
himself; Charles I killed his stags and encroached on private ground to
kill more; his youngest son, Prince Henry of Oatlands, was born in the
palace. But Charles was the last English king to hunt at Oatlands. After
the Civil wars the land was disparked, and the palace fell into ruins.
To-day hardly a vestige remains. Old drawings show it to have been a
large, straggling building with one great court and a number of smaller
yards and quadrangles, turreted and gabled and quaint with tall and
delicate chimneys. The oddest neighbour for Weybridge of to-day! It is
not always difficult to re-people an old house, even if it has been
greatly altered, with the ghosts of great men who have walked its
passages and worked in its rooms. But among the newness and smallness of
modern building plots there is nothing so hard as to conjure the ghost
of a great palace, vibrating with the energy and the obsequiousness, the
simplicities and the intrigues of a hunting King and his Court.

Georgian days brought another being as a visitor. Oatlands came to the
seventh Earl of Lincoln in 1716, and he built himself a house on the
higher ground overlooking a fine stretch of water and many miles of
Thameside country. From his son, who had inherited the dukedom of
Newcastle, this house was bought by the Duke of York in 1794, but was
burnt down the same year, and the royal Duke rebuilt it. He and his
duchess lived there until 1820, when she died. It must have been a
curious household. George III brought Queen Charlotte there, and the
Court with her; Georgian wits and beauties gathered in the duke's
dining-rooms and played cards in his grottoes. Charles Greville was
often at Oatlands, and Sheridan and Beau Brummell and Horace Walpole;
Mrs. Gwyn came there, and Mrs. Bunbury, Oliver Goldsmith's "Jessamy
bride" and "Little Comedy." Both were buried in Weybridge old church.
Samuel Rogers, in his _Table-talk_, gives a quaint picture of the
household:--

    "I have several times stayed at Oatlands with the Duke and Duchess
    of York--both of them most amiable and agreeable persons. We were
    generally a company of about fifteen; and our being invited to
    remain there 'another day' sometimes depended on the ability of our
    royal host and hostess to raise sufficient money for our
    entertainment. We used to have all sorts of ridiculous 'fun' as we
    roamed about the grounds. The Duchess kept (besides a number of
    dogs, for which there was a regular burial-place) a collection of
    monkeys, each of which had its own pole with a house at top. One of
    the visitors (whose name I forget) would single out a particular
    monkey, and play to it on the fiddle with such fury and perseverance
    that the poor animal, half distracted, would at last take refuge in
    the arms of Lord Alvanley.--Monk Lewis was a great favourite at
    Oatlands. One day after dinner, as the Duchess was leaving the room,
    she whispered something into Lewis's ear. He was much affected, his
    eyes filling with tears. We asked what was the matter. 'Oh,' replied
    Lewis, 'the Duchess spoke so _very_ kindly to me!'--'My dear
    fellow,' said Colonel Armstrong, 'pray don't cry; I daresay she
    didn't mean it.'"

The Duke of York died in 1827, and thirty years later Oatlands became a
hotel. The building was greatly altered, but the grounds still keep some
untouched memorials of the past. One is an extraordinary grotto, built
by the Duke of Newcastle, and used by the Duke of York and his friends,
according to local tradition, as a card-room, plentifully supplied with
wine bottles. It is lined with a profusion of crystal spar and sea
shells; it contains a deep bath, bashfully presided over by a statue of
Venus, and the steps leading up to the door are paved with horses' teeth
picked up on the battlefield of Waterloo. How the Duke of Newcastle
accomplished this feat it is difficult to imagine, for he died in 1794.
Perhaps they belonged to other horses, or perhaps the gallant Duke of
York made the addition. He was Commander-in-chief, and the grisly relics
may have been sent him as a present.

Another relic of the dead is the cemetery in which the Duchess of York
used to bury her cats and dogs and monkeys. There may be, perhaps,
thirty or forty little tombstones, each with a name.

Oatlands Park preserves a not very trustworthy legend. In the grounds
stand a number of magnificent cedars, and one of them bears a notice by
which you are informed that it was one of the first cedars of Lebanon
planted in England and was placed where it stands by Prince Henry of
Otelands. Neither statement quite fits the facts. If Prince Henry of
Oatlands planted the cedar, he must have done so either before the
outbreak of the Civil War in 1642 (in which case he would have been
hardly three years old, for he was born in 1639), or else in the summer
of 1660, the year of the Restoration, and the year in which he died. As
a matter of fact, cedars were hardly known at the time, for John Evelyn
in his _Sylva_, published in 1664, only mentions them as unsatisfactory
seedlings, difficult to grow; and the earliest cedar planted in England
is probably the Enfield cedar, which may have been set in the ground by
Dr. Uvedale, master of the Grammar-School, about that date. There are,
in any case, much finer cedars than the Oatlands Park trees in adjoining
private gardens. Probably all of them were planted by the Earl of
Lincoln or the Duke of Newcastle early in the eighteenth century.

Another of Weybridge's links with royalty is not quite so reputable.
Portmore Park is the name for a large slice of the town which lies near
the river, thickly built over with villas and cut up into new roads.
Once there stood in it Ham House, which with its park was given by James
II to his mistress Catherine Sedley, notorious at least as much for her
wit as her features. She herself, even with the brilliant eyes which
were pretty nearly all she had of good looks, could not understand the
king's infatuation. "It cannot be my beauty," she said; "for he must see
that I have none; and it cannot be my wit; for he has not enough to know
that I have any." Whatever the attraction may have been, he made her
Countess of Dorchester and gave her Ham House, and she very prudently
married David Colyear, first Lord Portmore. The gates of her park
survive her; the house has disappeared.

One great estate still remains, and on its hill the oldest settlement of
the neighbourhood. The generosity of the Egerton family throws open to
the public, in the woods of St. George's Hill, some hundreds of acres of
pine forest and heather. On the summit of the hill stands a large
prehistoric camp, where neolithic Wey-siders in Wey beaver-fur and
buckskin entrenched their wives and their cattle. There are fifteen or
sixteen of these ancient British camps in Surrey or just over the
border; this is the largest, and the height and strength of its
earthworks are admirable. It is more than three-quarters of a mile in
circumference, and since it is obviously a camp, has naturally been set
down as Cæsar's. But that is the fate of anything old which looks like a
fortification--part of the traditional method of assigning otherwise
inexplicable phenomena to their proper agents. Camps are all Cæsar's,
Cromwell made all the ruins, and all geological wonders belong to the
devil.

St. George's Hill, or rather the low-lying ground on the Cobham side of
it, was once the scene of a curious agricultural experiment. In the late
days of the Parliamentary wars the Levellers sent some thirty men, under
leaders named Everard and Winstanley, to seize part of the common land
and plant roots and beans. Fairfax sent two troops of horse after them,
and the captured Everard made him a speech, in which he claimed that he
had had a vision instructing him to dig and plough the earth for the
benefit of the poor, and that his mission was to help his oppressed
fellow-Israelites back to their rights over all landed and other
property. The Digger-Socialist did not give Fairfax much more trouble,
for the irate commoners, refusing to be delivered from bondage, drove
the Levellers from their common and pulled up the roots and beans.

The Levellers have their poet, and he made them a song with a fine lilt.
Here are the first three stanzas:

    You noble Diggers all, stand up now, stand up now,
        You noble Diggers all, stand up now,
    The wast land to maintain, seeing Cavaliers by name
    Your digging does disdaine, and persons all defame.
            Stand up now, stand up now.

    Your houses they pull down, stand up now, stand up now,
        Your houses they pull down, stand up now.
    Your houses they pull down to fright poor men in town,
    But the gentry must come down, and the poor shall wear the crown.
            Stand up now, Diggers all.

    With spades and hoes and plows, stand up now, stand up now,
        With spades and hoes and plows, stand up now,
    Your freedom to withhold, seeing Cavaliers are bold
    To kill you if they could, and rights from you to hold.
            Stand up now, Diggers all.

Although not one of the highest of Surrey hills, St. George's Hill
provides a series of delightful glimpses of distant scenery through the
trees. Windsor Castle stands up like a battleship on the horizon to the
north-west, twelve miles away: west lie the rolling open spaces of
Chobham Common and Bagshot Heath; south-west Guildford and Godalming
stand over the shining valley of the Wey; Ranmer Church spire marks
Dorking to the south: Leatherhead, Epsom, and the Crystal Palace almost
complete the ring. I have never seen St. Paul's. But the abiding charm
of St. George's Hill is not the view, which is surpassed by a dozen
others. It is the deep quiet of the place; the sound of the wind in the
trees, even on windless days, like the sound of the sea in a shell; the
scented pine-needle carpet, crinkling in the sun; the bracken and
bluebells of May, and the crimsons and purples of June's profuse
rhododendrons.



CHAPTER XVIII

NORTH TO RUNEMEDE

    Virginia Water.--Ruined Temples.--Grebes and Pheasants.--Bishop's
    Gate.--Shelley's "Alastor."--"Perdita" at Englefield Green.--Mrs.
    Oliphant's Neighbours.--Runemede rolled.--Egham's Almshouses.--Sir
    John Denham.--Frightful Monuments.--King Charles and the grateful
    stag.--The quiet of Thorpe.--The Crouch Oak.--Love Philtres.

[Illustration: _Ruins at Virginia Water._]

There is no better way of roaming through north-west Surrey than to take
the train to Virginia Water station, which is as near as you can get to
the county boundary by the railway, and then to set out almost along the
boundary northwards till the Thames turns the road south again at
Runemede. Virginia Water itself lies more than a mile from the station,
and is not at its best on Saturdays and Sundays. On quieter week days
there is no lovelier stretch of woodland lake-water. It is, of course,
not a natural sheet, but its designer had skill enough to know what
would not look unnatural. He was Thomas Sandby, Royal Academician and
Deputy-Ranger of Windsor Park, and one of the great landscape gardeners
of Georgian days. He planned the lake for the Duke of Cumberland, Ranger
of Windsor Park after Culloden, and he made it by choking back a number
of small streams that trickled through a reedy marsh, and so spreading a
single floor of shining water over the whole valley. The trees, or most
of them, that stand about the banks have grown since the Duke saw the
water. There are old oaks on the northern shore, but the southern and
eastern sides were planted with spruce and other conifers at the end of
the eighteenth century and beginning of the nineteenth, when all that
remained of the victor of Culloden was his horrible nickname and his
obelisk above the lake. The trees are glorious in December or June,
when the green leaf is high on the beeches or the copper leaf strewn
below them, and in any month of the year the thick, deep moss of the
open glades is a carpet to delight to walk upon. But not all Sandby's
landscape gardening has an equal charm. The cascade which drains the
outflow of the water is a pretentious pile which no doubt filled the eye
of the royal Ranger, and perhaps would have pleased John Evelyn, but it
suits a simpler taste very little. But "the ruins"--it is their vague
and proper name--are worse. Once, on the southern shore, stood a
classical temple. It was the genuine article; the pillars were brought
direct from Tripoli; the Ranger of the day (for they were added after
the Cumberland era) liked to have them there, and thought that the
beauty of English woodlands was enhanced by a pagan altar and Greek
porticoes. Northern rains and northern ivy have done their work, and
"the ruins" remain--capitals, columns, and pedestals shouting a thousand
Cockney scribbles, tumbled headlong under laurel and yew.

Like other large stretches of Surrey water, the lake has become the home
of wildfowl once passing from the stage of rarity to extinction, but now
increasing and more often seen. The reeds that line parts of the shore
are the happy homes of coots and water hens, but mallards and ducks are
common on the water, and I have watched more than one pair of great
grebes, conspicuous on the level lake with their gleaming necks and
chestnut ruffs, swimming and diving close in the shore.

Padlocked gates prevent you from walking precisely as you please from
the north-east of the lake through Windsor Park, and it is not
impossible to miss the right path through the trees. But if you are
walking north from the lake it is worth while to make your way to the
Cumberland obelisk--a gaunt column which the clustering ivy and shrubs
at its base will some day topple down among the grass and heather--and
to reach the Bishop's Gate through the single narrow stretch of Windsor
Great Park that lies in Surrey. In winter, pheasants crouch under the
brushwood or splutter through the trees; in summer the rhododendrons
scent and empurple the woodland rides.

Below Bishop's Gate, which is a yard or two over the Berkshire border,
lies the little hamlet of the same name where Shelley, the year before
his marriage to Mary Godwin, spent a happy summer and wrote "Alastor."
He was supposed to be dying of consumption, and was to live as much as
he could in the open air; and from Bishop's Gate he began an expedition
up the Thames, which took a fortnight of the warm July of 1815. He began
"Alastor" in the glades of Windsor Park in the summer, and that strange
and brooding poem is full of the splendour of the Windsor forest. The
poet, "led by love, or dream, or God," sought the "dearest haunt" of
Nature:--

                                  "More dark
    And dark the shades accumulate. The oak,
    Expanding its immense and knotty arms,
    Embraces the light beech. The pyramids
    Of the tall cedar overarching frame
    Most solemn domes within, and far below,
    Like clouds suspended in an emerald sky,
    The ash and the acacia floating hang
    Tremulous and pale. Like restless serpents, clothed
    In rainbow and in fire, the parasites,
    Starred with ten thousand blossoms, flow around
    The gray trunks, and, as gamesome infants' eyes,
    With gentle meanings, and most innocent wiles,
    Fold their beams round the hearts of those that love,
    These twine their tendrils with the wedded boughs
    Uniting their close union; the woven leaves
    Make net-work of the dark blue light of day,
    And the night's noontide clearness, mutable
    As shapes in the weird clouds. Soft mossy lawns
    Beneath these canopies extend their swells,
    Fragrant with perfumed herbs, and eyed with blooms
    Minute yet beautiful."

This is a corner of Surrey, indeed, which is full of links with writers
and poets. Hardly a mile to the east of Bishop's Gate is Englefield
Green, a high and breezy common surrounded by delightful old houses.
Poor "Perdita," Mrs. Robinson, died in one of them, deserted and
forgotten by the Prince for whom she had thought her name well lost.

To a later generation Englefield became familiar, if unvisited, through
Mrs. Oliphant's _Neighbours on the Green_. Two of her friends in real
life who lived there were Richard Holt Hutton, essayist and theologian,
and one of the greatest of English journalists; and Sir George Chesney,
author of _The Battle of Dorking_, whom we are to meet on the scene of
one of his hitherto bloodless battlefields. Other neighbours, perhaps
even better known, survive in the half-fiction of Mrs. Oliphant's pages.

But the most enthusiastic admirer of the neighbourhood was a poet, Sir
John Denham. What would the author of the poem in praise of Cooper's
Hill say to some of the buildings which crown that "airy mountain"
to-day? For Englefield Green stands on Cooper's Hill as Sir John saw it,
and to him the common must have been part of the hill itself. To us
Cooper's Hill has become less a hill than a college, and will become a
hill again. The buildings of the College, started with the brightest
hopes to provide a special education for the Indian Civil Service in
1870, and closed as a failure in 1905, stand untenanted and unhappy,
fenced about with placards. There is no building quite so depressing as
an empty school.

On a day of light mists one may see the view from the hill as Denham
knew it, and as it was seen and known by Surrey nobles long before his
day. For below the hill lies Runemede, and it needs the filmy gauze of
mist to spread the meadows and trees of the Thames banks into a green
carpet, untouched with the mark of the builder and the roadmaker. But
Runemede is not seen best from the hill. Best, I think, you can measure
that broad green floor by coming on it as King John might have come had
he ridden or rowed from Windsor. Then it stretches suddenly before you,
a level plain of springing grass, a single rich hayfield in June, as
perhaps John looked out over it on the day he sealed the Charter. The
meadow and the river can have changed little in seven hundred years, and
perhaps the farming of the meadow is not wholly different. But I shall
always remember the shock with which once I came upon Runemede on an
open day in March, when the farmers' men were out over all the fields
with the horses and the farm machinery. Runemede was being rolled.

South of that great meadow, Egham stands opposite Staines, separated by
the river and a mile of dull road. Egham may have once had attractions,
but they have nearly all disappeared. Nothing old or quiet could live
near the Holloway College. A building of such appalling pretensions
sears its neighbourhood like a hot iron. The town takes colour from its
flamboyant arrogance; the local builder studs his rough-cast with glass,
red and green and blue. Two old almshouses stand by the main street of
the town; one, a lowly set of cottage rooms, built by Sir John Denham in
1624, crouches quietly apart; the other, two hundred years younger, but
still good Georgian brick, stands behind a gateway in grounds which,
when I saw them last, were a miracle of untidiness. The almshouses, were
rebuilt in 1828, when perhaps the grass round them was mown also.

Epitaphs and monuments can be dull enough, but no one could call the
monuments dull which family piety has erected in Egham church to the
memory of Sir John Denham, father of the poet. Sir John, clothed in a
shroud, quits his tomb at the Last Trump; below him, among skeletons and
skulls, two grisly corpses writhe to the light. It is edifying to
conceive the satisfaction with which Sir John's descendants must have
feasted on such horrors every Sunday. A gentler memory lives on a stone
erected "to the most dutiful, engaging, and tender child of seven years
old. Miss Sarah Honywood"; and a finer epitaph is Garrick's, written to
the memory of Thomas Beighton, a former vicar:--

    "He had no foe, and CAMDEN was his friend."

[Illustration: _Entering Egham._]

Sir John Denham, the poet and unsuccessful defender of Farnham Castle in
the Parliamentary Wars, lived at the house which is now the vicarage,
and from its windows looked out on the long rising slope of Cooper's
Hill. He has been laughed at for his description of the hill as an "airy
mountain," but three hundred years ago, before the hill was cut up with
hedges and ditches, and when he could look across open grass to its
foot, Cooper's Hill may well have seemed higher than to-day. It is
higher than St. Anne's Hill, after all, and can make an imposing break
on the horizon.

Here is Runemede as Sir John Denham saw it from Cooper's Hill:--

    "There lies a spatious and a fertile Greene,
    Where from the woods, the _Dryades_ oft meet
    The Nayades, and with their nimble feet,
    Soft dances lead, although their airie shape
    All but a quicke Poeticke sight escape,
    There _Faunus_ and _Sylvanus_ keepe their Courts,
    And thither all the horrid hoast resorts,
    When like the Elixar, with his evening beames,
    The sunne has turn'd to gold the silver streames.

    Here have I seene our _Charles_, when great affaires
    Give leave to slacken, and unbend his cares,
    Chacing the royall Stagge, the gallant beast,
    Rowz'd with the noyse 'twixt hope and feare distrest,
    Resolv's 'tis better to avoyd, than meet
    His danger, trusting to his winged feet."

Which he does, a most moving business, until at last the gallant animal
turns. He stands at bay--

    "Till _Charles_ from his unerring hand lets flie
    A mortall shaft, then glad, and proud to dye
    By such a wound he fals, the Chrystall flood
    Dying he dyes, and purples with his blood."

Between Egham and Thorpe to the south is one of the few fine Elizabethan
houses in the county, pleasantly named Great Fosters. But even Great
Fosters, with all the charm of its gables, its chimneys and its
mullioned windows, does not stand in quite such sharp contrast to the
garishness of the Holloway buildings as the little village of Thorpe
itself. Thorpe has been little written about. It lacks its sacred bard.
But neither Shere, nor Gomshall, nor Thursley, nor Chiddingfold, which
have been compared and criticised as the most beautiful of all Surrey
villages, can surpass Thorpe for richness of peace of ancient homes and
quiet brooding over the past. Enter Thorpe from the north by the fields,
and you will walk by lanes over which a hundred years have passed
without adding a tile or a tree to cottages or cottage gardens; and in
Thorpe itself you can sit near the church on the edge of a stone stile,
and look round at walls and roofs which might surely have sheltered Sir
John Denham himself, walking by Thorpe to Chertsey. The stile stands
across an ancient right of way, which crosses the fields; a straight
line from the churchyard to Chertsey. John de Rutherwyk, doubtless,
often walked or rode that lonely byway; perhaps it was he who raised the
level path dry and well-drained out of the swampy, snipe-haunted meadows
that lay between the little church and the great Abbey.

[Illustration: _Thorpe._]

South of Chertsey to the Wey is rather uninteresting country. Addlestone
lies between Chertsey and Weybridge, though not in a direct line, and
was the home for years of two octogenarian authors, each of whom had a
pension from the State, and who between them wrote or edited over five
hundred books--Samuel Carter Hall and his wife Anna Maria Fielding. Both
are buried at Addlestone; so is Fanny Kemble's mother, Mrs. Charles
Kemble, who as Mademoiselle Decamp had delighted French theatres. But
Addlestone's great possession is still living, the huge Crouch Oak which
spreads vast branches over ground where Wycliff is said to have
preached, and Queen Elizabeth to have dined. Once the Crouch Oak stood
to mark the bounds of Windsor Forest; and up to years not long gone by
love-lorn young women gathered its bark to boil down into philtres to
ensnare the hearts of unwilling swains.

[Illustration: _The Crouch Oak, Addlestone._]

At Anningsley Park, two miles away, lived Thomas Day, author of
_Sandford and Merton_; Thomas Day, who took a foundling child of
thirteen and named her Sabrina, and educated her to be his wife--a
position which she, at an age to marry, refused. His fate was perverse
to the end. He taught himself to dance, wooing another lady who spurned
him; and, teaching himself to ride, he was thrown and killed.



CHAPTER XIX

CHOBHAM AND BISLEY

    Euclid in Surrey.--Chobham.--Bagshot Rhododendrons.--Vultures of the
    Road.--The Golden Farmer.--Catching the Small-pox.--A contented
    Family.--The Queen's Bon-graces.--A Gentle Hermit.--Prize
    fights.--Bisley.--Donkeytown.--A wilful brook.

Half of north-west Surrey belongs to the soldiers. Chobham Common,
Bagshot Heath, Chobham Ridges, Bisley, Pirbright, York Town, and
Camberley contain among them pretty nearly all the camps, colleges,
training grounds, and rifle-ranges that do not belong to Aldershot over
the Hampshire border. The whole aspect of the country is military; rural
outlandishness has been drilled into rigidity and pattern. The roads run
as straight as if the Romans had driven them--and, indeed, some of them
in the neighbourhood are Roman roads; the face of the hills and heather
commons is scored with roads like figures of Euclid, triangles, oblongs,
radii, rhomboids, every kind of road which enables you to go from one
place to another in the shortest space of time possible; which, for that
matter, is a thing you frequently wish to do. Nobody wants to linger on
a road as straight as a gunshot.

Camberley, perhaps, is as good a centre as any for exploring this part
of Surrey; but the border of the county is intersected with such a
network of railways that it is easy to get to Bagshot or Camberley or
Frimley from almost anywhere and to join the railway again where you
please. One of the best walks is from Chertsey over Chobham Common to
Windlesham and Bagshot, and then over Chobham Ridges down into Frimley.
Bisley is most easily visited from the railway, as thousands visit
it--or rather the rifle range--every July.

Chobham Common is at its best in July, when the heather is out. But it
has a day in May, under a hot sun, which is, in some ways, more
distinct. The scent and the glow of the heather belong to other Surrey
hills; but Chobham Common has its own features of sandy hillocks topped
by clumps of pines, which set an austere gauntness on the place unlike
the rolling flanks and ridges by Frensham and Hindhead. In May the
heather is dark and dry; there are sparse patches of gorse scattered
about the slopes, and looking across at a group of pines edging the
horizon you sometimes get a setting of black, yellow, and blue, which
belongs peculiarly to this corner of Surrey. Chobham Common and its
heather have often been compared to Scotland, and I can never catch the
likeness. The heather is there, and the scattered pines like some of the
Lowlands; but the wind is a southern wind, and never blows like
Stevenson's wind on the moors "as it blows in a ship's rigging, hard and
cold and pure." Beyond all, there is nowhere the Scottish horizon of
hills.

Windlesham lies on the western edge of the Common, and straggles over a
dozen short, crooked roads--an oasis among parallelograms. Once it had a
reputation for growing bog-myrtle, as you may learn from Aubrey:--

    "In this Parish, at Light-Water-Moor, grows great store of a plant,
    about a foot and a half high, called by the inhabitants Gole, but
    the true Name is Gale; it has a very grateful smell, like a Mixture
    of Bays and Myrtle, and in Latin it is called Myrtus Brabantica; it
    grows also in several places of this healthy Country, and is used to
    be put in their Chests among their Linnen."

Perhaps it may still be put there. Such a plant must have been a
favourite with an excellent housewife buried in the churchyard, whose
epitaph attracts wandering readers:--

    She was, but words are wanting to say "What,"
    Think what a wife should be, and she was "That."

If Aubrey were making another perambulation of Surrey to-day, he would
forget the Windlesham bog-myrtle when he had seen the Bagshot
rhododendrons. To imagine Bagshot without rhododendrons is to think of
Mitcham without lavender, Epsom without salts, Farnham without hops. The
other name that goes naturally with rhododendrons is Waterer, and the
Waterer nurseries have the magic of gardens of fairy tales. Even in
winter, on a sunny day, an Italian air blows through those tall thuias
and cypresses, down those dark aisles of shining green. But in May and
June, when the rhododendrons glow from pearl to crimson, and the azaleas
light long stretches of flaming chrome and orange, the gardens take a
glory that belongs to no other flowers.

In the days of the stage-coach Bagshot was a thriving village with an
inn, perhaps the King's Arms of to-day, where thirty coaches a day
changed horses. That rich traffic drew the vultures of the road, and
Bagshot Heath was one of the most dreaded stretches of highway in
England. Dick Turpin is said to have used the King's Arms and the Golden
Farmer further down the road; it was the Golden Farmer in his day, and
an unimaginative age has turned the farmer from Golden into Jolly. It is
a pity, for "Jolly Farmer" means no more than White Lion or a dozen
other names, but to "Golden Farmer" there belongs a story. There was a
highwayman of Bagshot Heath who never would rob a purse of banknotes; he
would touch nothing but gold. At Frimley at the same time lived a
farmer, who never paid his debts in anything but gold. The golden farmer
one day was recognised as the golden highwayman, and the inn stands
close by the spot where they hanged him in chains.

Bagshot has had dealings with Stuart and other princes hunting the deer
and putting up at the inns. Both the Charleses used to hunt in Bagshot
Park. Once there was a pretty princes' quarrel. It was at one of the
Bagshot inns that the Duke of Buckingham, at the height of his wild
career, had the coolness to turn Prince Rupert's horses out of the
stables and put in his own. Rupert complained to the King, and the Duke
of York backed him; but Charles decided for Buckingham. Twenty years or
so later, John Evelyn was at a Bagshot inn with Pepys, and went to call
on a Mrs. Graham at her house in Bagshot Park. It was "very commodious
and well-furnished, as she was an excellent housewife, a prudent and
virtuous lady." She begged him to stay to dinner and sleep the night;
she told him all about her children--how the eldest was ill with the
small-pox but going on pretty well, and the others running about among
infected people so as to catch the disease and get it over while they
were young. Evelyn quite approved; he had had small-pox in his own
family, and knew something about it.

The house in Bagshot Park was made even more commodious some forty years
ago, as a residence for the Duke of Connaught.

In the Ordnance Maps, Bagshot Heath is placed south of Bagshot; in the
old maps of the county, the Heath lies to the north and north-east, and
would merge into what is now Chobham Common. It must have covered many
more miles than the maps allow it to-day. Chobham Ridges stretch from
its south-west corner, a long, sandy scar of three miles, overlooking
the Bisley rifle ranges and the desert ground behind them. You are sure
to be invited to admire Chobham Ridges, and no doubt twenty years ago it
was fine wild country. But frequent notice-boards observing that when
the red flag is flying it is dangerous to walk any further, barbed wire,
excavations of gravel, and sand trampled by cavalry horses into a paste
like wet coaldust may temper the warmest enthusiasm. A hideous
foreground can do something to spoil even a fine view, and the view from
the Ridges is certainly wide and wild. The finest view I have had from
Chobham Ridges was a thunderstorm driving down over Brookwood. It was a
gusty, rainy day, and the rolling white and grey clouds and the lines of
driven hail rode down the sky like a charge.

I once met, on Chobham Ridges, a pleasantly contented family. In front
of a sort of bivouac of bent poles covered with cloths sat an old,
weatherbeaten man, tailor-fashion, making a straw beehive. Another
beehive, finished, with a straw handle, lay at his side. A wood fire
smoked and sputtered a yard or two away; on a flat wooden barrow near
were rough cooking utensils and a dark tabby cat; two small boys, one of
them with not much more on him than a large pair of trousers, brought
wood and bracken for the fire. It was raining, but I was wished good
afternoon with the utmost cheerfulness. Were those his boys? They were;
they generally went with him. Was there a good sale for beehives round
there? There was a pretty good sale; this one, with a handle, he should
try to sell for two shillings; he might have to take less; a farmer let
him have the straw. Yes, he was known about there. That was the boys'
cat; it generally went with them. What was that noise in the tent? That
was a pair of kittens; yes, the boys liked to have them; they generally
had kittens. One of them picked up the cat, upside down, with obvious
affection.

Chobham itself lies five or six miles away from Chobham Ridges, south by
a mile even from Chobham Common. Long before you come into the village
you catch sight of the church spire, with its lead covering washed by
the rain to a brilliant whiteness. Rising above the red tiles of the
village into a blue sky it looks as if it had been painted yesterday.
The church has been largely rebuilt, but has some fine Norman pillars,
and contains besides the tomb of the great Nicholas Heath, once
Archbishop of York. He was Lord Chancellor of England under Queen Mary,
and a sound Papist. When Elizabeth came to the throne he resigned, but
remained "so much in the Queen's Bon-graces," as an old writer puts it,
"that she visited him once a Year through his Life, believing his
mistaken Piety sincere."

Two miles behind the Ridges is Frimley, with an old inn and a church to
which Americans come often. Bret Harte lived his last years at a house
on the hillside near, and is buried in the churchyard. But the Bret
Harte of _The Luck of Roaring Camp_ and _The Heathen Chinee_ does not,
of course, belong to Frimley; those were earlier successes which he
never equalled later.

The village politician ought to flourish at Frimley. On a board near the
church I found a warning against a crime which must be becoming rarer.
"Notice is hereby given that any person or persons found damaging the
parish pump will be prosecuted," it ran, but the pump I did not find.

In Aubrey's day, Frimley had the gentlest of hermits. He fled from the
changes and chances of the Parliamentary wars, and led the simplest
possible life in the wilds. Aubrey describes his cottage:

    "At the end of this Hundred, I must not forget my noble friend, Mr.
    Charles Howard's Cottage of Retirement (which he called his Castle),
    which lay in the middle of a vast Heathy Country, far from any Road
    or Village in the _Hope_ of a healthy Mountain, where, in the
    troublesome Times, he withdrew from the wicked World, and enjoyed
    himself here, where he had only one Floor, his little Dining Room, a
    Kitchen, a Chapel, and a Laboratory. His utensils were all of Wood
    or Earth; near him were about half a Dozen Cottages more, on whom he
    shew'd much compassion and Charity."

Frimley is a convenient stopping-place at which to join the railway. A
walk for another two miles or so would bring the curious in the history
of the prize ring, if any still remain, to a classic spot on the
Hampshire border. It was in a meadow half a mile from Farnborough
station, selected because it would be easy to step out of one county
into the next and so avoid the police, that Tom Sayers fought the huge
American-Irishman Heenan, in almost the last great prize-fight fought in
England. The fight came off on April 17, 1860; the most extraordinary
care had been taken to keep the secret of the place of meeting, and the
accounts of the proceedings, when one remembers that it all took place
in the mid-Victorian quiet which was producing the _Idylls of the King_
and _Adam Bede_ are nearly unbelievable. Two monster trains carried
twelve hundred spectators, peers, members of Parliament, magistrates,
officers, clergymen, and gentlemen from London Bridge at dawn. Three
pounds each was the price of the tickets. Nobody except two or three in
the secret knew till that morning where the fight would be; the police,
mounted and on foot, lined the railway from London Bridge for sixteen
miles, all armed with cutlasses. The trains "turned off," as the account
in _Bell's Life in London_ puts it, at Reigate, took water near
Guildford, and ran into Farnborough station "after a most pleasant
journey through one of the prettiest countries in England, which,
illumined by a glorious sun, and shooting forth in vernal beauty, must
have inspired all with intense gratification." Thus _Bell's_ eloquent
reporter. Thirty-seven rounds were fought, in most of which Sayers was
knocked down; his right arm was bruised and useless; Heenan could only
see out of one eye. They were stopped at last, and in a few minutes
Heenan was blind. _Bell's Life_ next morning came out with a special
eight-page edition, the two centre pages twelve columns of tiny
print--nearly 30,000 words--describing every detail of the fight, the
men, and the history of boxing in general. There were some protests by
sentimental people against the brutality of the thing, and _Bell_,
professing a vigorous belief in this particular form of "muscular
Christianity," remarks reflectively that "the whole country is not yet
converted to the right way on the subject of pugilism."

Bisley, which lies on the other side of Chobham Ridges, opposite to
Frimley, is, as I have said, best reached by rail; indeed, there is
little inducement to any one to reach it in any other way. Twenty years
ago Bisley was a tiny village. It is now a vast rifle range. The name
has become shifted from the little group of cottages and the quaint
church standing among the cornfields half a mile away to the huge
common enclosed by the National Rifle Association, where every year in
July the great shooting prizes are won and lost. Bisley is in many ways
unique. It carries on the traditions of Wimbledon, which were greater
than any other rifle meeting. It can show more targets and better ranges
than any other range; it attracts rifle-shots from every British
possession on the face of the globe, and for a week the rain of bullets
sent into the sandy banks behind the targets is almost ceaseless.
Perhaps the most remarkable sight of the "Bisley week" is the second
stage of the shooting for the King's Prize, when three hundred
competitors are "down" at the same time opposite a hundred targets in a
row, and when the shooting is not over until 6,300 separate shots have
been fired, signalled, and chalked on the blackboards by the
range-markers. But the great occasion is, of course, the final stage;
when the winner is chaired and cheered, and asked the usual ridiculous
questions about smoking and drinking. Through all the week of the
meeting the camp is a gay sight, with its white tents and flaring
bunting, and the pennons blowing all down the long ranges to measure the
wind for prone riflemen. "Lying prone on the back," by the way, is a
phrase which creeps into many newspapers during Bisley week. It would
clearly not do to speak of a "supine" rifle-shot.

One would think that the noise of a rifle-range would make the
neighbourhood intolerable. But even with the wind blowing to you from
the range, a few hundred yards almost silences the sound of the range. I
have walked on the common between Bisley itself and the range, when
firing for the King's Prize was in full progress, and was merely
conscious of an echo chattering uneasily in the trees.

There have been plenty of ways of spelling Bisley. Busele, Buselagh,
Bushley, Busheley, Busley, Bussley, Busly, and Bisleigh are a few of
them; there are probably variations. The church has a fine old wooden
porch, with an old yew opposite it; but the door is locked, and visitors
are not allowed to look over the church unaccompanied. My guide was
courteous and obliging; but why should any one be given all this
trouble? There is a famous well near, named after St. John the Baptist,
the water of which was once used for all the christenings. It is not
very easily found, and the local harvesters could tell me nothing about
it; but I discovered it near a farmhouse a few hundred yards south-west
of the churchyard. Aubrey says that the dedication of the well made him
curious to try it with oak-galls, which turned the water purple. Why
should the name have impelled him to this particular curiosity? Aubrey
was always testing wells with oak-galls, presumably for iron. Like many
other famous wells, the water of this spring has always been said to be
"colder in summer and warmer in winter" than any other spring in the
neighbourhood.

Some of the names in this part of Surrey are curious. Cuckoo Hill, on
the borders of Bagshot Heath, is pretty enough, and so is Gracious Pond,
north-west of Chobham, though the Pond, which was once "great" and
"stocked with excellent carp," is probably much smaller than it was.
Brock Hill, near Cuckoo Hill, is of course the hill of badgers, and
Penny Pot ought to be, if it is not, a memory of good ale. But
Donkeytown! Who would live at Donkeytown? It is, however, quite a
flourishing little community, though probably it will be eventually
embraced by its larger neighbour, West End, which is the nearest village
to Bisley to the north, and the largest. Looking at the map, it is a
little difficult to understand why the cheaper forms of village building
should spread in this part of the county, which, so to speak, leads
nowhere: but possibly the presence of the Gordon Boys' Home has created
fresh needs which must be supplied locally. The large buildings, which
cost some £24,000, were set up here in 1885, and are a home for 200
boys.

Between Bisley and Chobham runs a road with rather an odd feature. For a
short distance near Chobham village the little Hale Bourne, into which
the Windle Brook has here grown, runs beside it, dark and full, but
almost invisible under its overarching alders and dog-roses. Just as it
leaves the roadside it is joined by a strange companion. Another little
stream, coming down from the north, runs into the Hale Bourne after
travelling the last hundred yards of its course over the whole breadth
of a road. The road, which is of gravel, and regularly used, is hard and
level, and the stream turns it into a bed, perhaps eight or nine feet
across. The natural course would seem to be to dig the stream a bed of
its own by the side of the road; but local ingenuity has preferred to
send the traveller dryshod over a stile through the field at the side of
the stream, which duly proceeds in the Ordnance map down the road it has
chosen.

[Illustration: _Horsell Church._]



CHAPTER XX

THE WEY VILLAGES

    Old Woking.--Behind the Veil.--A Royal Palace.--Necropolis.--When
    not to dig a grave.--"Lumpy" Stevens.--The Ripley Road.--The Anchor
    and the Talbot Dog.--An Open Box.--Teal by Twilight.--Ockham.--Seven
    Streams.--Newark.--Jackdaws two shillings the Dozen.--The Wisley
    Garden.--Byfleet.--A Ghost in Velvet.


In whatever way you may choose to travel through Surrey, it is difficult
to avoid making Woking a centre and a rendezvous. All the trains stop
there; at least, I cannot remember ever passing through the station
without stopping, either to change trains, which generally takes three
quarters of an hour, or to wait in the station until it is time to go on
again, which usually takes eleven minutes. I never found anything else
to do at Woking, unless it were at night, when the railway lights up
wonderful vistas and avenues of coloured lamps. Then the platform can be
tolerable. Once when I had a long time to wait I walked out to the
church which stands rather finely on the ridge north of the railway. I
thought then it was Woking church: it belongs to Horsell. It was that
Woking, the Woking of the station, which for many years I imagined to be
the only Woking in Surrey. One did not wish for another.

But there is another Woking, and it is as pretty and quiet as the
railway Woking is noisy and tiresome. It stands with its old church on
the banks of the Wey two miles away, a huddle of tiled roofs and old
shops and poky little corners, as out-of-the-way and sleepy and
ill-served by rail as anyone could wish. I found it first on a day in
October, and walked out from the grinding machinery of the station by a
field-path running through broad acres of purple-brown loam, over which
plough-horses tramped and turned. It was a strange and arresting sight,
for over the dark rich mould there was drawn a veil of shimmering grey
light wider and less earthly than any mist or dew. The whole plough land
was alive with gossamer; and Old Woking lay beyond the gossamer as if
that magic veil were meant to shield it from the engines and the smoke.

Old Woking, indeed, lies in country deep enough to forget the railway
altogether, and to take to the water as the highway. The Wey wanders in
and out by the village, and half-a-mile away at Send the Navigation
canal joins the Wey proper, as the little river has come to be called to
distinguish it from the canal. The canal cuts businesslike corners and
straight lines when the Wey, having plenty of time to spare, wants to
wander an extra two or three miles about a field. From Send to Weybridge
or to Guildford, down stream or up, by the canal towing-path or by boat,
is a delightful journey in spring or summer. As good a round as can be
taken walking is from Woking through Send by Newark Priory, Pyrford and
Wisley to Byfleet, where the railway can be joined or the journey
continued to Weybridge or back to Woking. But there are, of course,
twenty ways of seeing the little villages that cluster round the Wey so
closely in this corner of Surrey, either on foot or by boat, or rowing
and walking both.

But Woking has not always been quiet and old-fashioned and sleepy. Once
it was a royal manor, and contained a royal residence. William the
Conqueror held Woking in demesne himself, and it passed through the
hands of every king until James I, who gave it to one of his foresters,
Sir Edward Zouch. Sir Edward had to pay something for his privilege. He
held the manor on condition that he was to bring to the king's table, on
the Feast of St. James each year, the first dish at dinner, and with the
dish the satisfactorily large rent of a hundred pounds in coined gold of
the realm. Perhaps he still made something out of his tenants; at all
events, a further token of gratitude, he was to wind a call in Woking
Forest on Coronation Day. He may have liked the rental, but he could not
have liked the old palace, for he knocked down every brick of it. The
strangest and most melancholy fate seems to wait on every palace in
Surrey built or lived in by an English king,--even by the friend of a
king. Of Oatlands, Guildford, Woking, Nonsuch, Sheen, each a king's
palace, scarcely a stone remains; Wolsey's palace by the Mole is nothing
but a gateway; the Archbishops' palace at Croydon has sunk as low as a
wash-house. Kingston owns the stone on which English kings have been
crowned; but elsewhere in Surrey the royal hand has touched only to
destroy.

A persistent association hangs to the name of the town by the station,
undeserved but traditional. Woking, like the Duke of Plaza-toro, "likes
an interment." Much of the land near the town is owned by a company
which, while it builds villas for the living, especially those who find
advantages in a fast train service, has named itself Necropolis, which
is grim enough for anybody living or dead. But the Necropolis Company,
whether it knows it or not, did not found the tradition. That stands to
the record of an old grave-digger interviewed by Aubrey. He conversed
grimly and with authority on the places and seasons for the proper
digging of graves. He "had a rule from his father to know when not to
dig a grave." That was "when he found a certain plant about the bigness
of the middle of a tobacco-pipe, which came near the surface of the
earth, but never above it. It is very tough, and about a yard long; the
rind of it is almost black, and tender, so that when you pluck it, it
slips off and underneath is red; it hath a small button at the top, not
much unlike the top of an asparagus; of these he sometimes finds two or
three in a grave." He was "sure it was not a fern-root" and had with
diligence traced to its root; and since he had satisfied himself of its
grisly origin, he knew better than to dig a grave near where the root
grew.

[Illustration: _View from the Bridge, Woking._]

On the maps Send looks like a single tiny village, south of Woking by
half a mile. It is in reality a large parish, and since the name is
corrupted simply from Sand, it is natural enough to find it dotted all
round the neighbourhood with other names tacked on to it--Sendholme,
Sendgrove, Sendhurst, Send Heath, and Sendmarsh. The names are scattered
only less widely than the parish itself. The church stands a mile from
the little hamlet of Send, on the banks of the Wey, like the churches of
Pyrford and Woking, and the ruins of the great Priory of Newark, to
which Send Church and her chapel at Ripley both belonged. The three
villages with their churches are still, perhaps, not much larger than
they were two or three hundred years ago; the Priory is shattered; only
the village with the chapel has grown.

By Send churchyard stands the bole of a mighty elm, riven and
iron-bound. I like to imagine that it may have been climbed by one of
the great Surrey cricketers of the old days of the Hambledon Club.
Edward Stevens, the famous "Lumpy," was born at Send, and spent his
boyhood there till he went to Chertsey and became, as John Nyren
describes him, one of the two greatest bowlers he ever saw. "Lumpy" got
his queer name either because he was, in Nyren's words, "a short man,
round-shouldered and stout" or, according to another tradition, because
at one of the dinners of the Hambledon Club he ate an apple-pie whole.
Surely he must have been "Lumpy" before, besides after, that
achievement. Yet another story has it that he was given his name because
of some trick in his bowling. Certainly his methods were not what we
should call exactly orthodox to-day. It was the privilege of visiting
elevens in his day to choose the pitch on which the match should be
played, and that was "Lumpy's" opportunity. Nyren explains his plan:--

    "He would invariably choose the ground where his balls would
    _shoot_, instead of selecting a rising spot to bowl against, which
    would materially have increased the difficulty to the hitter, seeing
    that so many more would be caught out by the mounting of the ball.
    As, however, nothing delighted the old man like bowling the wicket
    down with a shooting ball, he would sacrifice the other chances to
    the glory of that achievement. Many a time have I seen our General
    twig this prejudice in the old man when matched against us, and
    chuckle at it. But I believe it was almost the only mistake he ever
    made, professional or even moral, for he was a most simple and
    amiable creature."

There is an unkind legend which speaks of "Lumpy" as a bit of a smuggler
in his young days, but Nyren, at all events, never believed it, for he
ends by declaring handsomely that "he had no trick about him, but was
as plain as a pike-staff in all his dealings." "Lumpy," whether he
smuggled or not, certainly has his niche in cricket history. It was to
him that the wicket owes its third stump. In a match played in 1775 on
the Portsmouth Artillery Ground, between five of the Hambledon Club and
five of All England, "Lumpy" three times sent the ball between the last
Hambledon man's stumps without bowling him, and after the match, which
Hambledon won in consequence, the number of the stumps was increased
from two to three.

Send lies deep among the fields, counting itself fortunate, perhaps,
that it is not on the Ripley road, a mile away. Ripley itself, perhaps,
owes its fortune, even if it owes more besides, to the road which it has
named. The story belongs to all the villages of a great highway. The
coaches brought their heyday, the railway spoiled it, the bicycle
re-made it, and now the village is being re-decorated by the motor-car.

The Ripley road, for the two days in the week when it is most used, is a
place to avoid. Yet it can be beautiful, and there is an approach to it
hardly equalled near any other highway in the county. The late Mrs.
Buxton, of Foxwarren Park, above Wisley Common, for years permitted the
public to walk and drive through her private grounds away from the high
road, and that generous lady's permission has been continued by her
successor. The carriage drive runs by oaks and bracken through which
pheasants rustle, past a strange, tall column of black wood--a
totem-pole brought from Queen Charlotte's Islands; then it rises to the
edge of a ridge overlooking a wide and level stretch of pinewood and
heather. In August, when the ling is out with the bell-heather, and the
pines stand deep in fern and rushes, no lovelier carpet spreads under
any Surrey hill. The road runs a white thread through it--a road best
viewed from afar. The weight of wheels has ground the surface to powder.

Ripley itself, but for the traffic, would be the prettiest village on
the road. A long string of low-roofed houses lines the highway; little
white gabled cottages offer tea and refreshment; two old inns share
most, I suppose, of the custom of fasting travellers. The Anchor, an inn
of many gables, has fixed itself in the affections of bicyclists since
the days when they rode velocipedes, and its black-beamed walls and
passages hold drawings of strange souls mounted on wheels which would
have scared Ixion. The Talbot, which was once the Dog (but a talbot is a
dog always), is a house of imposing squareness. You may see the dog
painted above the door, a liver-and-white fox-terrier, all proper.
Opposite the inns stretches Ripley green, a broad and shining level with
many memories of Surrey cricket, and in particular of "Lumpy" Stevens,
of Send.

[Illustration: _The Village Street, Ripley._]

The motor-car has brought prosperity, even if it is a prosperity that
can soil. But the tarnish washes off in night and rain. Ripley may look
its best early on a Saturday morning, before the flood rushes down the
road. When the little village lies clean and fresh in the sun, and the
inns are busy with white tablecloths and cooking potatoes, and the
children sit on the edge of the green before the dust comes, there is a
sense of orderly bustle and of waiting for a day of hard work and good
money that is pleasant enough.

One building only has suffered from the business of the road. The little
church stands behind arches and canopies of clipped yew, its walls
almost touching the highway. It is an interesting little building,
though much altered from its oldest form; the chancel has the remains of
clustered pillars, and a beautiful string-course of Caen stone running
round it. But those have not been the only attractions to visitors. When
I was there I noticed that the oak collection-box by the door stood with
its lid propped open. The caretaker happened to be in the church, and I
showed it to her. "Oh yes," she said in a matter-of-fact tone, "we have
to keep it like that. It has been robbed so often that we prop it open,
so as to prevent people putting anything in." The church door still
remains as wide open as the box. It would be a pious act for some
passing motor-car--or a collection from many--to present the little
church with a stronger box. Such continued hospitality, so vilely
abused, deserves a return.

[Illustration: _Trees on the Green, Ripley._]

Two miles up the road lies the Hut Pond, opposite an inn that serves
many tables. There is no quiet on the pond in the business of the day,
but I was once on it on an October evening, and as the sun went down the
sky filled suddenly with teal. Bunches of teal wheeled and circled in
the cold twilight, whizzed down among the rushes, darted up again and
round over the pines, then shot down again and settled, splashing
quietly in the sedge.

[Illustration: _Priest's door and Norman Chancel Ripley Church._]

Ockham village, with its church and park, is south-east of Ripley by a
mile or so. The charm of Ockham church lies in its tower, its east
window, and its deep and happy site among the oaks and elms of Ockham
Park. The church lies some hundred yards from the road, under the
windows of the manor-house, a building which cannot be said to owe
anything to the taste or consistency of successive architects. The
tower is thirteenth century, buttressed, mottled into cool greys and
pinks, and heavy with ivy. But the chief decoration of Ockham Church is
its thirteenth century, seven-lancet east window, and in the carving of
the capitals of its slender columns of black Sussex marble. There is
some quaint Flemish glass in one of the south windows; but the church is
spoiled by an extraordinarily ugly little chapel built on the north side
as a mausoleum for the family of the Kings. The first of the line of
these Kings was one Peter, the son of an Exeter grocer. He came up to
London, soon made his mark as a lawyer, and died Lord Chancellor. There
are several of his descendants buried with him, and their coronets hang
above the arch of the chapel. They add a peculiar tawdriness; but the
chapel itself, with its dull blue paint, and the strange, bath-like
sarcophagus below Rysbrach's statues of the first Lord King and his
lady, is the main offence.

[Illustration: _Ockham Church._]

Ockham itself, even with that humming white highway not a mile distant,
is untouched and unspoiled: nothing more than a half-dozen or so of
half-timbered or brick cottages and farm-buildings, rain-bleached and
creeper-veiled, and fronted with some of the prettiest and brightest
gardens in Surrey. One of the sleepy little buildings bears the legend
"County Police," forbidding in new blue enamel. What should anyone do
with police in Ockham?

But Ockham, perhaps, lies a little too far from the old waterway to join
the group of villages and churches which cluster along this winding
stretch of Wey. Still it belongs to Ripley, if not to Ripley's group
along the river. Rivers, here, would be the better word, for the Wey has
hardly yet made up its mind as to its right channel north of Woking, and
by Ripley runs actually in seven streams almost parallel with one
another, some of them cut artificially, but others tiny remnants of the
broad watercourse which once rolled through Surrey to the sea. No doubt
it was this abundance of water which first attracted the founder of
Newark Priory, whose ruins stand almost in the centre of the seven
streams. The monks must have had plenty of choice of fishing.

Newark Priory is generally supposed to have been founded as a house of
Black Canons by Ruald de Calva and his wife Beatrice de Sandes in the
reign of Richard I. But Ruald de Calva as a fact only re-founded or
endowed the house, which was founded long before, probably by a Bishop
of Winchester. Its older name was Aldbury, and Newark--or Newsted, as it
was once called--which for us is an aged ruin, was Aldbury rebuilt with
a new church and a new name. It is in some ways a rather uninteresting
ruin. Of the tracery of the windows, or any of the lighter and more
delicate architectural work, not a stone remains. I believe much of the
more easily used stone-work found its way into the building of
neighbouring houses, perhaps into the paving of the roads. But it has a
certain bluntness and gauntness of its own, standing solid and stark in
the plain meadowland of the Wey. Perhaps if one were to "visit it by the
pale moonlight" it would take on darker graces and dignities. As it is,
there is somewhere about it an air of protest; it is like a ghost that
cannot get back before daylight. Horses gallop about the rough field
under its walls; boating parties wonder why it should be thought worth
while to fence it off with wire. Once I caught an echo of the real
Newark, late on a dark and stormy afternoon, when a sudden snipe rose at
my feet out of one of the half-dry Priory stewponds. That wild cry must
have been familiar enough to the old monks wandering by the stream in
search of a likely run for perch or pike.

The "very old castle" which Frank Buckland, the naturalist, mentions in
the following note, taken from his edition of White's _Selborne_, must
surely be Newark Priory, which is now a happy (and I think unmolested)
home of jackdaws:--

[Illustration: _Newark Priory._]

    "At Whistley, near Weybridge, the people go in May, when the birds
    are about a fortnight old, to the ruins of a very old castle. Men
    carry long ladders, and with blunt iron hooks take out the young
    jackdaws, and if there are no buyers they throw them to the ground.
    Bird dealers take hampers down to Whistley and bring up all the
    birds caught, as many as ten dozen of young jackdaws. They cost on
    the spot 2s. per dozen. The reason why they are taken is to stop the
    increase of jackdaws in the neighbourhood. If the young jackdaws are
    taken when about a fortnight old, the old ones will not 'go to nest'
    again that season. If the eggs only were taken, the birds would lay
    again immediately."

The Canal and the Wey by Newark lie in some of the quietest and wildest
country in Surrey. It is not the wildness of Thursley Common, or the
quiet of the pinewoods; but it is the sunny peace of a waterway almost
deserted, of unploughed, rushy meadows, of waterside paths and thickets
that fill in April and May with a tide of bird life which stays here,
and elsewhere passes or is hardly seen. A May morning on the Wey Canal
rings with singing. You can count scores of cuckoos gliding in the sun
and calling from the budding branches; woodpeckers laugh from oak to
oak; plovers tumble in the wind; herons flap up lazily at a bend in the
stream, and flap lazily down again; snipe cut high arcs in the blue and
drum down from the sailing clouds; perhaps from the very heart of the
thicket the nightingale bursts into a pulsing riot of song. Surrey
varies extraordinarily widely as a shelter and a nesting ground for
birds, but most of its birds, I think, know the Wey Canal.

Of the seven streams which surround Newark Abbey the northernmost runs
under the little hill on which stands Pyrford Church. Pyrford itself, on
its outskirts, unhappily, is beginning to hear Woking. The Woking
builder's hammer is already ringing under its trees. But the heart of
Pyrford hitherto remains untouched. A cluster of red-brick
farm-buildings, a footpath over meadows of buttercups, a score of
arching elms, and a little shingle-spired Norman church on a knoll above
the stream--Pyrford is one of the smallest and sweetest of Weyside
villages. Few churches have so strong an impression of an untouched
past. In plan it is scarcely altered from its Norman design of the
twelfth century; and it stands on its knoll overlooking the meadows away
to the great Priory of which it was a chapel, the Priory in ruins, and
itself with hardly a stone loosened for nearly eight centuries. The roof
is later than the walls, but there is a fascination in staring up at the
old oak timber. It was the same vista of retreating beams of mighty wood
on which the eye of the Newark priest droning from the altar must have
rested; perhaps for his sleepy congregation there was the same glimpse
of ivy tendrils creeping in under the eaves, and on drowsy afternoons in
May the same chatter and hiss of nesting starlings. From the scanty
scraps of the paintings on the wall you can only guess vaguely at the
texts of the old Sunday sermons: manna falls in the wilderness; Moses
brings water out of the rock; probably the congregation listened with
most eagerness to the third, the death of Jezebel.

[Illustration: _Mill on the Wey, between Pyrford and Ripley._]

Donne, the poet, perhaps knew the paintings well. In the days when he
was still unforgiven by Sir George More of Loseley for having run away
with his daughter Anne, he and his bride lived for some years as the
guests of Sir John Wolley, Queen Elizabeth's secretary, at Pyrford Park.
May it not have been the seven-streamed Wey by Pyrford which gave him
his stanzas for _The Bait_, his parody of Marlowe?

    Come live with me, and be my love,
    And we will some new pleasures prove
    Of golden sands and crystal brooks,
    With silken lines and silver hooks.

    Let others freeze with angling reeds,
    And cut their legs with shells and weeds,
    Or treacherously poor fish beset
    With strangling snare, or windowy net.

    Let coarse bold hands from slimy nest
    The bedded fish in banks out-wrest;
    Or curious traitors, sleeve-silk flies,
    Bewitch poor fishes' wandering eyes.

    For thee, thou need'st no such deceit,
    For thou thyself art thine own bait;
    That fish, that is not catch'd thereby,
    Alas! is wiser far than I.

[Illustration: _Pyrford Church._]

Two miles further down the Canal--perhaps nearly four by the Wey
itself--stands another little church, almost, like Pyrford and Woking,
on the edge of the stream. Wisley church is the tiniest of the little
group between Send and the Thames, but is not otherwise remarkable. The
village is not much more than a farmhouse and a noble barn; perhaps
Wisley is better known for its pond and its garden. The garden,
unhappily, is almost a thing of the past. Experiment and officialdom
have settled heavily on its sandy soil, and the wilder charm of the old
pleasance has left it. A few years ago, when its late owner, Mr. Wilson
of Weybridge, was alive, it was a delight to many hundreds of visitors,
whom the owner generously allowed to share in his pleasure in rare and
beautiful flowers. He had collected into a few acres of ground,
protected by ingeniously laid out plantations, an almost incredible
variety of plants, especially flowering bulbs, and in his woods and
ponds, besides, had tried to establish other curious and interesting
wild life. Bird-boxes fastened to the trees were to tempt tits and
nuthatches; in the reeds of the ponds great bull-frogs used to squat
croaking, and little green frogs climbed the leaves above them. To-day
that is hardly more than a memory. When the owner died the garden was
bought by Sir Thomas Hanbury and presented to the Royal Horticultural
Society. The society came down from Kew upon the fold; and on the open
ground beside the old garden, tangled and unhappy, set down a row of
superb glasshouses, planted a number of specimen fruit trees, and
devoted itself forthwith to up-to-date research and education on the
most approved lines of modern scientific arboriculture and hybridisation
in hothouses.

[Illustration: _Wisley Church._]

Last of the little bunch of Weyside churches is Byfleet, with a belfry
built on some magnificent oak beams. Byfleet Manor House used to be a
royal hunting lodge, and was given with the right of free warren by
Edward II to Piers Gaveston. Its last royal owner was James the First's
queen, Anne of Denmark, and it was probably she who built the massive
walls and the forecourt of the garden of the present home. But the manor
house itself is early Georgian; and though it has had some ugly
additions, it still stands square and strong behind its fine old
gateway. James is supposed to have planted the Scotch firs in the
garden, to remind Queen Anne of the home she left behind her in the
north.

Such a building would be sure to have some quaint traditions. It is
known locally as the King's House, and there is a legend that Henry VIII
was nursed there. He may have been, but not in the present building. It
has no regular ghosts, but Miss Frances Mitchell, writing on the history
of the Manor in the _Surrey Archæological Collections_, tells us that
Anne of Denmark is said to have been seen moving through the lower
rooms; and there is a very dim tradition of a dwarf in purple velvet who
wanders in the forecourt. A third legend, in which the rustic historian
apparently confuses Anne of Denmark with the last Stuart Queen, relates
that Queen Anne came to Byfleet and from a neighbouring hill watched
Marlborough win the battle of Blenheim.



CHAPTER XXI

RICHMOND AND KEW

    The Woking of the Surrey Thames.--Peasants in the field.--Ham
    House.--The Cabal.--Petersham.--Richmond Hill.--_The Heart of
    Midlothian._--Deer in the sunlight.--Queen Elizabeth dying.--Kew
    Palace.--The secret of the Gardens.


Woking is the centre to which it is difficult not to return in exploring
the Wey and the Wey villages: Surbiton is the centre of the roads about
the Surrey Thames. Surbiton has tramways besides a railway, and Surbiton
station is perhaps the most convenient starting point either for Hampton
Court on the Middlesex bank, or for Kingston, or through Kingston to Ham
and Richmond and Kew. Kingston, in one direction, has its own chapter;
so have the Dittons and Walton in another; beyond Kingston lies a walk
(not often taken, perhaps), along the river bank to Ham and Petersham; a
walk that leads to Richmond Park and its deer dozing among the bracken
in the afternoon sun, and Kew Gardens waiting in the evening--the best
hour of all the day among those ordered flowers and trees.

I never saw Ham until one day, walking out from Kingston, I suddenly
found myself in the fruitful spaces of market gardens and farms. It is
the suddenest change. Kingston, with the oldest memories of all Surrey
towns, is as new and noisy as a thoroughly efficient service of tramways
can make it; and then, within a stone's throw of bricks and barracks,
you come upon acres beyond acres of level farmland, bean-fields and
cabbage-fields and all the pleasantness of tilled soil and trenched
earth and the wealth of kindly fruits. When I saw the fields by Ham on a
hot day in August there were country women gathering runner beans into
coarse aprons, stooping over the clustered plants, the humblest and
hardiest of workers of the farm. Under that hot sun, in the wide spaces
of those unfenced fields, with no English hedge to shut off neighbouring
crops and tillage, the air of those bent, lowly figures was of French
peasantry, French nearness to the difficult livelihood of the soil. They
might have gleaned for Millet; they should cease their work at the
Angelus.

[Illustration: _Richmond Bridge._]

Teddington Lock, a mile down stream from Kingston suburbs, joins Surrey
to Middlesex and the tide to the tideless river with a vast piece of
engineering. Further down, Eel Pie island breaks the stream, a bunch of
chairs, tables and trees, where, for all I know, others may still eat
and praise eel pie. But the fascination of this stretch of river is on
the Surrey bank, where Ham House stands among noble trees. Ham House is
not a "show house"; and indeed, considering its nearness to Richmond and
London, it would be impossible that it should be. There are limits to
the claims which may be made upon owners of historic houses who may also
wish to live in them. But Ham House holds other magnets than its
pictures and relics of Stuarts and Lauderdales. The guide-books
catalogue the pictures, and perhaps I need not copy the catalogues. The
real fascination is Ham House with its history, the meeting-place of the
great Cabal. But you may see that Ham House from a distance; the house
as the Duke of Lauderdale saw it from the river bank, or driving to the
door to join his fellow Ministers; the garden front, with its statue of
Father Thames, the statue at which Buckingham and Arlington used to
stare, perhaps, wondering how much longer their sinister power would be
left to them. All that they knew and saw day by day remains--the dull
red brick, the wrought iron gate, the quaint statuary of the walls; and
round the garden walls and shading the wide lawn behind the house, the
trees as later, gentler souls saw them; Thomson, walking from his
Richmond cottage, and Hood, strolling under the long avenue of elms.

Petersham has riverside houses which would dignify Georgian aldermen;
square red houses set about with wistaria and high garden walls, worthy
to be neighbours of Richmond Park; worthy, too, of a handsomer neighbour
than Petersham church, an insignificant little building which yet was
thought sufficient for the dust of the Duchess of Lauderdale. Outside in
the churchyard lies the sailor who sought for the North-west passage and
named Vancouver's Island.

[Illustration: _The Thames from Richmond Hill._]

Of Richmond Park, and the view from Richmond Terrace, and the departed
glories of Richmond's palace which was the palace of Sheen, what should
be said? How should the beauty of the view from the Terrace be measured?
Scott has set it in the pages of _The Heart of Midlothian_, and Scott,
perhaps, thought it the loveliest and richest of English landscapes. It
was "a huge sea of verdure, with crossing and intersecting promontories
of massive and tufted groves." It was "tenanted by numberless flocks and
herds, which seemed to wander unrestrained and unbounded through the
rich pastures. The Thames, here turreted with villas and there garlanded
with forests, moved on slowly and placidly, like the mighty monarch of
the scene, to whom all its other beauties were but accessories, and bore
on its bosom an hundred barks and skiffs, whose white sails and gaily
fluttering pennons gave life to the whole." That was the scene which was
shown to Jeanie Deans, arrived at Richmond to sue for pardon for her
sister, by the Duke of Argyle. "We have nothing like it in Scotland,"
said the Duke of Argyle. Is that the secret? Is it because it is all
that is typical of south country greenness and the peace of broad water
and deep woodlands that it made its appeal to the Scot used to grey
crags and barren moorland? Or is its chief appeal not to the Scot but to
the Londoner, and does the Londoner praise Sir Walter's taste because
Sir Walter has praised his? That is part of the story of the beauty of
the Richmond view, perhaps. It is so easily found from London. It has
all that the Londoner loves to look at. It is the country as he wishes
to see it. A glorious stretch of luxuriant woodland, a noble breadth of
shining water, sunlight on wide meadows; but above all, setting a
difference between this orderly beauty and the wild splendours of some
western or northern moorland valley, the presence of befriending,
comrade man. The boats, the sails, the swans, the water flashing on the
oars; the neighbouring roofs, the patterned flower gardens, the comforts
of hotels at hand, the readiness with which it is all won and
enjoyed--those are some of the secrets of the ideal. It is the country
seen from an outdoor theatre.

[Illustration: _Palace Yard, Richmond._]

Richmond Park itself would be worth visiting for any countryman because
of its deer. Deer standing about in the bracken; deer asleep in thick
fern under great oaks; deer feeding slowly up wind on a distant slope of
green; deer leaping shadows of tree-stems one after another as if the
shadows were water, which is one of the deer's prettiest games in the
sun: deer trotting off as you try to come nearer to them, with that
curious quivering, shaking amble which is born of lissom daintiness and
muscles like steel; deer with hot sunlight on their coats--it is the
Richmond Park deer which are the creatures to come and see. How many are
there? Who should count them? Sixteen hundred fallow deer and fifty red
deer, the figures are given; Farnham Park, I think, comes next in
Surrey, with three hundred fallow deer.

The great palace has left little more than an archway on Richmond Green.
More history belongs to it, or rather to the succession of palaces which
have stood at Sheen, which was the old name, than I can deal with.
Edward III died at Sheen Palace, unloved and alone. Richard II's queen,
Anne of Bohemia, died there seventeen years later, and Richard in his
grief threw the palace down. It was rebuilt by Henry V, burnt down in
1497, rebuilt and renamed Richmond by Henry VII; then the Richmond who
named it died in his new palace. But the overmastering sense of
unhappiness which somehow has set itself about the story of Richmond
Palace belongs to the closing days of Elizabeth. Elizabeth's death, and
the month that went before it, patch English history like a week of
night. She had been so strong, so untiring, so wise in her council
chamber and so magnificent in her victorious fleet, and the fortune that
followed her like a wind; the life of her body had been so unfailing,
she had jested, wittily and coarsely, with so many courtiers; she had
commanded the chivalry of young and splendid nobles, she had lived to
see one of her favourites die and to send another to the block; and now
she herself was dying. She knew it, and she would not hear of death. She
was never so ready for the gaiety she could not enjoy. Her strength left
her, she was a skeleton; still she sat with her dress unchanged, staring
before her, flashing sudden rages at her ministers, rallying at the
mention of an heir's name. Beauchamp, heir to the Suffolks, they put
forward; she cried out he was the son of a rogue. The King of Scots?
they asked; she answered nothing. Dead, propped among her pillows, an
old woman in ruff and stays, the memory of her last days shadows
Richmond Palace like a drawn blind.

[Illustration: _Richmond Hill._]

To the north beyond Richmond Hill and the huge hotel, twice burnt down,
which looks over the woods and the river, one may come by tramways and
railways to Kew and Kew Gardens. Kew, too, once had a palace, or an
attempt at a palace. Frederick Prince of Wales, George III's
father--the prince who did so much for Surrey cricket, and died,
perhaps, from the blow of a cricket ball--lived at Kew House, and so did
George III after him. George III pulled down Kew House in 1803, and
built another; to be not less royal, George IV pulled that down. A
smaller building, vaguely named Kew Palace still, stands in the Gardens;
Queen Charlotte died there; you may see the room, and look, if you wish,
on the tables and sofas she knew. But the pictures in Kew Palace were
not all Queen Charlotte's; they are catalogued to-day, and so are many
manuscripts and autograph letters of royal persons which attract careful
readers. From remarks which can be overheard in those sombre rooms, many
visitors, I think, imagine the paintings of still life, of flowers in
vases, odd representations of game and fruit, and so forth, to have
been selected and hung in the house as specially suitable for public
gardens. The portraits of royal gentlemen in blue and red puzzle them;
why should they be shown these at Kew? These are for palaces and
galleries; Kew is for a flower show.

What is the chief, the compelling fascination of Kew Gardens? What is it
that sets Kew apart, not more beautiful than other gardens, but
different from them, with a different attraction peculiarly its own? Is
it the sense of change from roaring streets to quiet lawns, noble trees,
spaces and scents of grass and flowers? There may be a sense of change,
but that is not all the secret, for Kew keeps the same charm for one who
has come fresh from the broad aisles and avenues of some great country
garden. Is it the rarity and the wealth of the Kew museums and
houses--the orchid houses with their strange, lovely, uncanny
inflorescences, flowers that have fancies and wilfulnesses, flowers that
would people the dark with faces; or the lily-houses and the superb
_Victoria regia_ that would cradle a water-baby; or the great palm
houses, where you may walk in a gallery among enormous leaves and
tropical creepers as if you were back again with your grandfathers in
the tree tops? That is an attraction, but it is not all of it. Nor is it
the achievement of the gardens in the separate spheres of gardening. The
sheets of crocuses in the low March sunlight, and of daffodils shaking
in an April wind, add a glory to the spring at Kew, but it is a glory
that can belong to other lawns and other vistas of flowers. The Kew
rose-garden has a wealth of roses, but it has, too, a wealth of old tree
stems and broken branches which a garden meant for nothing but roses
would hide. The herbaceous border grows luxuriant phloxes and
delphiniums, but the background of glass houses sets a wrong light about
it. The rock garden shows more rock and fewer masses of Alpine flowers
than other English gardens more lately made, with better knowledge of
what wall and rock flowers need.

Then what is the abiding charm? To me, at all events, Kew has much the
same appeal as the Londoner finds in Richmond Hill. It is a London
garden, the garden of a town, perfectly made for its purpose. It can
never, even with its glorious trees and its wide spaces of grass, have
the peace or know the spirit of a country garden. Too many feet tread
its lawns; too many voices chatter in its walks. It may spread its wild
flowers and grow its curious blossoms for those who know where and how
to look for them; but its main effects must be of ordered gravel, of
shaven grass, of patterned beds, of flowers that will suit artificial
lakes and buildings and stone balustrades. The keynote of Kew is by the
wide pond, with the smooth green turf and the white stone, and the
masses of pansies and heliotrope and brilliant red geraniums. Those are
the flowers which suit best the steps down to the water, and the
fountains, and the swimming ducks and the birds on the banks. There is
the right touch of artificiality about them; the right note of London.
The birds are Londoners themselves. The stately brown geese stalk over
the lawns careless of poulterers or punt-guns. The cormorant, who most
certainly knows he is being watched, dives to show off before admiring
children. Even the blackbirds have forgotten their country habits, and
will sing when country blackbirds are silent for the year. Once, late in
July, I heard four singing in evening sunshine after rain. They would
take any countryman back to the days of chestnut blossom and the scent
of Surrey may; but that indolent melody, in July sunshine, belongs to
London.

[Illustration: _Kew Church._]



CHAPTER XXII

KINGSTON

    Kingston Old and New.--The Stone.--The Sexton's Escape.--Throwing
    over the Church.--Ducking a Scold.--Aaron Evans's shot at a
    Cormorant.--The Dog Whipper.--A Feast of the Church.--Lord Francis
    Villiers's fight.

[Illustration: _Kingston._]

Kingston has kept little of the past. An old alehouse, old almshouses,
an old staircase, an old roof or two by the market place, and an old
chapel, Lovekyn's, standing apart--the survivals are the loneliest
things. Lovekyn's, once a chapel, and now a school, is one of the links.
Gibbon was a scholar there, and Gibbon belongs doubly to Surrey; he was
born at Putney. But the changes at Kingston have made it almost all new,
and the changes have come quickly. Only three or four years ago the
quaint, small Harrow Inn had two companions, the Anglers and the Three
Compasses, one with a fireside corner to warm ale and tell grandfathers'
tales in, the other with traditions of highwaymen and the road. They
were pulled down. In Market Place there was once a fine Tudor house, the
Castle Inn. The noble staircase remains, a good, thoroughgoing piece of
carving of Bacchus and full casks; the house has gone. The church is old
enough to have seen these and other losses; but the church is a mixed
building; the tower, or most of it, is eighteenth century brick. Only
one spot in the open streets of the town, I think, keeps an air of
Kingston as the customers of the Castle Inn may have known it, and that
is the little byway through which runs the water splash of the Hogsmill
river. Cart horses standing in the ford, and bare-legged children
fishing for minnows, are what Kingston saw in the old days.

The Stone remains; the Stone on which tradition says that the
Anglo-Saxon kings were crowned. Once it stood in the chapel of St. Mary,
a Saxon building adjoining the church; but St. Mary's Chapel fell in
1730. It was moved to the Market Place; afterwards in 1854, to the open
space where it now stands opposite the Court-house; on the very spot,
they say, where there was once an Anglo-Saxon palace. The railing which
surrounds it has been described as "of Saxon-like design," and perhaps
that should suffice. On the pedestal which bears up the Stone are the
names of the kings who were crowned on it: Edward the Elder, Ethelstan,
Edmund, Edred, Edwig, Edward the Martyr, and Ethelred the Unready. What
is the Kings' Stone? A morasteen, the archæologists tell you; one of a
circle of stones, on which the chief sat in council with his great men;
the predecessors of the Anglo-Saxon chiefs would have been Arch-Druids,
perhaps, or pontiff kings, acclaimed by ancient Britons centuries before
the Romans set foot in Kent.

[Illustration: _Kingston Bridge._]

Kingston church, if its architecture is confused and much of it modern,
has an imposing solemnity about it, and it contains some strange
memorials. One is a stone fragment, on which the grateful survivor of an
accident and a ruin has painted the words "Life Preserved." She was
Hester Hammerton, daughter of Abram Hammerton, sexton of the church, and
in 1729 she was helping her father to dig a grave in the churchyard
near the Saxon chapel of St. Mary. They dug too near the chapel
foundations, and the chapel fell in upon them. The sexton was killed,
almost on the spot; his daughter was saved through the jamming of a
piece of stone, and survived him as sexton for fifteen years. Another
memorial is a brass kept in the vestry; a long screed begins dismally
enough--"Ten children in one grave--a dreadful sight"; but the verse is
unequal to the opportunity. Another brass shows Robert Skern and his
wife Joan; she, according to Manning and Bray, was a daughter of Alice
Perrers, mistress of Edward III. A fourth monument, said to be in the
chancel (but I did not find it), praises Mrs. Mary Morton, daughter of
the wife of Robert Honeywood, of Charinge, Kent; she was "the Wonder of
her Sex and this Age, for she liv'd to see near 400 issued from her
Loynes." So Aubrey describes it, and so, with variations, the local
historian. Mrs. Mary Morton died in 1620.

Aubrey has another record of the giants of those days. He had heard of
one Wiltshire of the Feathers Inn at Kingston, who was a great thrower.
He would stand in the churchyard and throw a stone over the weathercock;
"he would also throw a stone over the Thames (by the bridge) and struck
the pales on the town side, which (I think) was not so difficult as the
other throw. He was then of middle stature, and about thirty years of
age." But if he had grown to greater stature? The weathercock of those
days is no more, or we might measure the throw.

Kingston has other history besides its coronation stone and its
monuments. The Parish Registers have added pictures of its past. Here is
one of two poor women allowed to beg at the church:--

    February 1571.

    24. Sonday was here ij wemen the mother and dowghter owte of Ireland
    she called Elynor Salve to gather upon the deathe of her howsbande a
    genllman slayne amongst the wylde Iryshe being Captain of Gully
    glasses and gathered xviijd.

Here is a record of a Thames flood, October 9, 1570:--

    Thursday at nyght rose a great winde and rayne that the Temps rosse
    so hye that they myght row w^t bott^s owte of the Temps a gret waye
    in to the market place and upon a sodayne.

In the year 1572 Kingston got a new cucking stool; the Kingston scolds
had become past bearing. It cost £1 3_s._ 4_d._, and as soon as it was
finished there was a very shrewish woman ducked in it.

    1572 August. On Tewsday being the xix daye of this monthe of
    August ---- Downing wyfe to ---- Downinge gravemaker of this paryshe
    she was sett on a new cukking stolle made of a grett hythe and so
    browght a bowte the markett place to Temes brydge and ther had iij
    Duckinges over hed and eres becowse she was a common scolde and
    fyghter.

Here are extracts from the burial registers:--

    June 4. 1593. John Akerleye wentte too bathe hymsellfe and was
    drownde & buryede.

    August 25. 1598. William Hall was bered being shott by thefes when
    he was Constabl at Coblers Hol.

    September 28. 1623. Richard Ratlive a Londenner which was slayne.

    17 January 1623/4 W^m Foster son of W^m a goer about.

This is hardly a burial:--

    July 11. 1629. A Bird called a Cormorant light on the top of the
    steeple and Aaron Evans shot, but mist it.

Here are items from the churchwarden's accounts. The parish dog whipper
had become an institution:--

    1561. To fawcon for di yere (half a year) whyppyng of doggs oute of
    the churche.                                                  viijd

    1578. To wrighte for beating the dogges out of the churche, for half a
    yeare.                                                         vjd.

But the morris dance--it was the dances that Kingston would spend money
upon. There were two kinds of games which brought gifts to the church,
May-games and the Kyngham. What sort of a game the Kyngham was nobody
knows, but it brought the churchwardens most of their money: four or
five pounds was a good collection. But the expenses could be heavy;
there were shoes for the morris dancers, six pairs at 8_d._ a pair;
there was silver paper for the dance, 8_d._; and there were for the
feast, besides other drinking, a quarter of malt, 4_s._; 5 goce (geese),
15_d._; eggs, 6_d._; lamb, 18_d._; sugar, cloves, and mace, 11_d._;
small raisins, 3_d._; saffern, 2_d._; vinegar and salt, 3_d._; 2 cocks,
18_d._; 2 calves, 5_s._ 8_d._; sheep, 12_d._; lamb, 16_d._; quarter of
veal, 8_d._; quarter of mutton, 6_d._; leg of veal and a neck, 4_d._ The
morris dancers did well, with silver paper and new shoes; but the church
kept a feast.

Kingston has the credit of the first and the last battles in the
Parliamentary wars, but the claim is a little shaky. There was an affair
of outposts between Rupert's cavalry and some Parliamentarian troops
between Oatlands and Kingston bridge in the year 1642--after
Edgehill--but it was not a battle. The real battle of Kingston came six
years later, and ended all the warfare that Surrey saw. That was the
battle which crushed Lord Holland's scheme of raising London for the
King. We shall meet Lord Holland at Reigate; but the fighting belongs to
Kingston. Holland, who had planned a rising on Banstead Downs, and had
hoped to capture and hold Reigate Castle, was in full retreat. At
Reigate he had feared to hold the position he had taken up; he retreated
on Dorking, and from Dorking, pursued by Major Audley of Livesey's
Horse, he fled north. On Kingston Common, a little south-east of where
Surbiton to-day takes train for London, his horse turned on their enemy;
his infantry fell back. From each side a few spurred out, "playing
valiantly," Audley writes. But the Royalists were beaten. Lord Francis
Villiers, younger brother to the Duke of Buckingham, a boy of great
personal beauty, fought alone in their rear. His horse was shot under
him; he backed towards an elm, and fought with six of them. They came up
behind him, pushed off his helmet and cut him to the ground. Report came
to London that he was wounded, and orders were sent out to care for him.
But he was found dead, and his pockets were rifled. The evening was the
end of the war in Surrey.

[Illustration: _The Swan, Thames Ditton._]



CHAPTER XXIII

THE DITTONS AND WALTON

    Surbiton trains.--Thames Ditton.--Parks for trotting ponies.--A
    forlorn garden.--The Dandies' Fête.--Graveyard poetry.--The
    Pleasance of a Ferry.--Giggs Hill cricket.--Ditton Tulips.--Hampton
    Bridge.--A dreary road.--Walton.--The Scold's Bridle.--John Selwyn
    and the Stag.--Terror at an elephant.--William Lilly, astrologer.


Surbiton is a growth of seventy years, and was born when the railway
came. Once it was called a suburb of Kingston; now it has suburbs of its
own. Tramways join it to London; the railway empties Surbiton into
London every morning and pours London back again in the evening. Nearly
seventy trains a day stop at Surbiton on their way down from Waterloo;
nearly eighty stop on their way up. It must be quite inspiriting to lose
your train, and to know that you have only three minutes to wait; or to
catch the train before your train, or to choose which you will have of
two trains. Until you realise these figures, it is difficult to
understand why so many people are rushing about late for the train in
Surbiton station. They are catching the train before.

But Surbiton is not all villas; or perhaps it is, and it would be truer
to say that what is not villas within hail of the station is not
Surbiton. Thames Ditton lies rather more than a mile away, and Long
Ditton, between Thames Ditton and the railway, straggling, too, beyond
the railway. Thames Ditton is rapidly becoming rich and prosperous. A
few years ago it was a little, twisting main street, a ferry, an inn or
two, and a church, and was flanked by two fine properties, Ember Court
and Boyle Farm. Now the villa-builder has got to work, and the old
estates are being sliced up into acres and half acres. Ember Court was
once a manor belonging to Henry VIII, who hunted over it; later, it was
the property of Sir Arthur Onslow, the first Speaker of the House of
Commons who earned the title "Great." It is now a racecourse; trotting
ponies and American "machines" dash and flash where Mr. Speaker
sauntered staidly, and theatre bills flare at the entrance gates. Boyle
Farm has fared little better. Once it was the Duchess of Gloucester's,
wife of George the Third's brother; a century later, Lord St. Leonards,
Lord Chancellor in Lord Derby's first and shortest-lived Ministry, had
it. Now the park is criss-crossed with brand new yellow roads. I walked
through it while it was still ringing with the builder's hammer; and
straying off the gravel, suddenly found myself in the forlornest little
place possible--a formal garden, box-trimmed, tiny, deserted; the
narrow, carefully-planned beds nothing but weeds, the summerhouse at the
side a ruin. A park cut to pieces looks as if it were in anguish. But a
garden cries.

The river at Thames Ditton in 1827 saw a festival which was doubtless
considered one of the most prodigious affairs of the season. Five young
bloods, of whom two were the Lords Castlereagh and Chesterfield of the
day, subscribed £500 each to organise an enormous water party, to which,
presumably, everybody was invited who was worth inviting. It was a
superb occasion, with illuminations, quadrilles on the lawn, singers
from the opera, covers for five hundred people, and all adornments
proper to such gaiety. Afterwards it came to be known as the Dandies'
Fête, and Tom Moore wrote a set of verses about it, which, perhaps,
reflect fairly accurately the wit of the company. Here are nine lines
out of many:--

    "Accordingly, with gay Sultanas,
    Rebeccas, Sapphos, Roxalanas--
    Circassian slaves, whom Love would pay
      Half his maternal realms to ransom;--
    Young nuns, whose chief religion lay
      In looking most profanely handsome!
    Muses in muslin--pastoral maids,
    With hats from the _Arcade_-ian shades;
    And fortune-tellers--rich, 'tis plain,
    As fortune-_hunters_, form'd their train."

Moore sent the verses to Mrs. Norton; she, perhaps, was a Circassian or
a nun.

But Thames Ditton has had its own poet. He has been dignified by the
criticism of Charles Lamb, and his accomplishment was the composing of
epitaphs. "What is the reason," Lamb writes to Wordsworth in 1810, "we
have no good epitaphs after all?"

    A very striking instance might be found in the churchyard of
    Ditton-upon-Thames, if you know such a place. Ditton-upon-Thames has
    been blessed by the residence of a poet, who for love or money, I do
    not well know which, has dignified every gravestone, for the last
    few years, with brand-new verses, all different, and all ingenious,
    with the author's name at the bottom of each. This sweet Swan of
    Thames has so artfully diversified his strains and his rhymes, that
    the same thought never occurs twice; more justly, perhaps, as no
    thought ever occurs at all, there was a physical impossibility that
    the same thought should recur. It is long since I saw and read these
    inscriptions, but I remember the impression was of a smug usher at
    his desk in the intervals of instruction, levelling his pen. Of
    death, as it consists of dust and worms, and mourners and
    uncertainty, he had never thought; but the word 'death' he had often
    seen separate and conjunct with other words, till he had learned to
    speak of all its attributes as glibly as Unitarian Belsham will
    discuss you the attributes of the word 'God' in a pulpit; and will
    talk of infinity with a tongue that dangles from a skull that never
    reached in thought and thorough imagination two inches, or further
    than from his hand to his mouth, or from the vestry to the
    sounding-board of the pulpit.

    But the epitaphs were trim, and sprag, and potent, and pleased the
    survivors of Thames-Ditton above the old Mumpsimus of 'Afflictions
    Sore'....

The church itself, or at all events the squat and tiny tower, has not
altered much since Lamb saw it. But the epitaphs have gone. Search among
the ivies and yews of the shady little churchyard will discover a number
of flat, weatherworn slabs of stone, but the verses and the signatures
have vanished. Fire and the wastepaper man are the common lot of poets,
but this "Swan of Thames" has come to his end by rain and hobnails. The
only Swan that remains is the inn, whose sign sits comfortably above the
front door, white and bright. Few Thames-side inns have a prettier
outlook, or look prettier from the river. Sunlight on shining brown
boats and quivering willows is a frequent memory of Thames waters, but
the Swan lies also opposite a ferry, and a ferry has a hundred
fascinations. Old fashioned rowing, running water, hailings and
signallings, quiet motion, thriving business, new arrivals; it is all
the cheerfullest of riverside traffic. None of the pleasanter services
of travel can be more directly rendered and directly paid for than being
ferried across a river.

Of Surrey village greens, the Thames Ditton Ground at Giggs Hill has had
much to do with Surrey cricket. Giggs Hill cricket has not always been
of the most scientific kind, but who shall say it was less enjoyed for
that? An old Giggs Hill cricketer tells us how the pitch used to be
prepared for a match. "I remember," he says, "seeing the late Harry
Stowell with an old beer barrel fixed on a trolley and filled with
water, wheeling it across the wicket. He would well douse the pitch, and
after running a small garden roller he had borrowed up and down a few
times the wicket was ready." This proceeding took place the day before
the match, so that batting must occasionally have been a venturesome
business. In those days a match meant what it still means in some
villages, an adjournment in the evening to the neighbouring inn, a
supper, beer, and songs. How many old inns still keep the name "The
Jolly Cricketers," and how many for little reason! In later days, Thames
Ditton cricket has become scientific enough. The Giggs Hill ground has
sent to the Oval cricketers like H.H. Stephenson, who was making
centuries for the county in the sixties; in modern times the great
Maurice Read, whom Mr. John Shuter has described as having "started a
new order among cricket professionals," learned his cricket at Thames
Ditton. But the greatest of all Thames Ditton cricketers is, of course,
Tom Richardson. He was actually born at Byfleet, but played as a boy at
Giggs Hill.

Thames Ditton's sister, Long Ditton, is probably known by sight by
thousands of people who do not know its name. You are looking at the
best of Long Ditton when you see Barr's nursery gardens from the train
window. There is hardly a month in the year, except in the deep of
midwinter, when the Ditton Hill gardens are not full of blossom. They
are never more glorious than in May and early June, when the long
parterres glow with the tall, late-flowering tulips. Of all flowers
which have been added to English gardens in the last twenty years, the
great thirty inch tulips seem to me the finest. A giant daffodil can be
superb, but it always looks like a giant. But these tulips have the
grace of slightness and the majesty of height; their open chalices burn
with the heat of jewels and the depth of the heart of wine; and here are
ten thousand of them. Perhaps the daffodils, earlier in the year, light
the gardens with a fresher lustre; but the tulips have the colour and
the glow. Railways have the good luck to run by many nursery gardens;
the tulips at Ditton Hill would help the South Western to challenge any
line.

On the other side of Thames Ditton ferry lies Hampton Court Park, a
noble stretch of ordered green. From the ferry to Hampton Court Bridge
is a mile by river, and nearly twice as much by road, which runs through
East Molesey. There is little of interest in either of the Moleseys,
East or West, but it is worth walking a dull mile or two to look down
stream from the Bridge over Henry VIII's palace, with its yews and elms,
dark and stately, in the garden beyond the imposing walls. There is a
far more comprehensive view of Hampton Court to be had from the railway
or the river, but it is still a fine pile of brick seen down stream from
the Bridge. Up stream, Hampton Church stands a mile away at the bend of
the river, grey in the sunshine; between the church and the bridge is
the lock, bright with boats in summer, and the weir, tumbling down a
roar of green water to make roach-swims and barbel-swims for patient
fishermen. In the road to the left you may catch sight or sound of one
of the London coaches, with its white-hatted driver and painted panels,
well named the Vivid. Molesey's roads carry away many of the motor cars
that run to Hampton Court; but the old Vivid still jangles hopefully
after them.

North and west of Molesey runs the ugliest road in Surrey. It begins
with the paling running round the Hurst Park racecourse, and it goes on
between the ramparts of enormous reservoirs. To stand on the edge of one
of these great basins of water (it is strictly forbidden to do so) is
to get a new meaning of desolation. They are horribly deep--you can see
how deep if you stand above one which is half empty; the sides slope so
steeply that if you fell in you could never climb out again, and they
are the loneliest stretches of water conceivable. No bird has any need
that brings him to water that has no shelter and no food. Once I watched
a sunset in November across one of these reservoirs. When the sun sank
low the water blackened; the wind drove little waves slapping with foam
against the stone bank; a single sea-gull swept up out of the dark and
fled away down wind like a scrap of torn paper; it was the most solitary
ending a day could have.

The reservoirs by Molesey stretch far back from the river. Nearer the
river the birds find them more hospitable. I remember a day in October
when I stood watching the martins making one of their last halts on the
way south over the reservoirs on the river bank at Surbiton. It was a
pouring wet afternoon, there was a high wind, and the rain drove bubbles
in the ruffled water and half blotted the greens and greys of blown
willows and the russet of thorn berries on the far side of the river. A
short trolley line ran down a stone pier from beside the road to the
edge of the water, where a barge with a bright brown sail waited; the
smoke from a clinker fire built in a pierced bucket swept fitfully about
the pier; grimy men loaded a car on the trolley line. Over the grey-blue
water hundreds of house-martins dipped and darted and chattered; my
umbrella blew inside out, a few scared birds near me tossed up into the
sky and fell down again, joining the hundreds circling and curtseying in
the wind and the rain.

The road from Molesey runs west to Walton-on-Thames, where you strike
the river high enough to find it running through something like real
country. Walton has an interesting old manor house and a Norman church a
good deal spoiled by restorers. In the vestry, preserved in a cabinet
made out of an old beam from the belfry, is a relic of days when women
talked too much--a scold's or gossip's bridle. It is a sort of cage
shaped to fit the head and made of steel, which time has rusted and
blackened. A kind of bit is arranged to go into the scold's mouth and
hold her tongue, and according to those who have been voluntarily
bridled--nobody can remember a scold in Walton--it answers its purpose
admirably. When the bit is in and the bridle properly padlocked the
most vixenish can only utter inarticulate murmurs.

[Illustration: _Walton Church._]

Among some curious old brasses in the church is one which commemorates,
"John Selwyn 'gent,' Keeper of her Matis Parke of Oteland vnder ye right
honorable Charles Howward Lord Admyrall of England his good Lord and
Mr." He died on March 22, 1587, and his brass illustrates a remarkable
incident. John Selwyn, dressed in a most workmanlike costume like a
Scots gillie with a ruff, is shown riding on the back of a stag, into
whose throat he is plunging a great hunting-knife. Two stories explain
the picture. One, told in the _Antiquarian Repertory_, is that Selwyn,
"in the heat of the chase, suddenly leaped from his horse upon the back
of the stag (both running at that time with their utmost speed), and not
only kept his seat gracefully in spite of every effort of the affrighted
beast, but, drawing his sword, with it guided him toward the Queen, and
coming near her presence, plunged it in his throat, so that the animal
fell dead at her feet." Another version told locally is that the stag
was charging Queen Elizabeth when the keeper rode up, leapt on its back
and killed it, but was killed by the stag as it fell. It does not seem
impossible. Against the story of the keeper being killed in rescuing the
Queen, Mr. F.W. Smith, a local authority, has urged that Queen Elizabeth
would hardly have been hunting six weeks after the execution of Mary
Queen of Scots, and also when the Armada was almost on its way. But
nobody in England, certainly not Drake, ever stopped doing anything
because the Armada was coming, and as for hunting six weeks after the
death of Mary Queen of Scots, that would be nothing out of the way for
Queen Elizabeth. A huge oak, thirty feet in girth, is spoken of as the
tree under which the stag was killed at the Queen's feet, but nobody
could tell me where it was. There are many superb oaks in the gardens in
Walton and Weybridge. Once the whole district was included in Windsor
Park.

Hidden in a group of obscure cottages stands the old manor-house, partly
preserved as a curiosity, partly as an addition to a garden. The house
was not improved by an experience for some years as a tenement dwelling,
crowded with more families than it should have held. It was rescued from
that indignity by its present possessor, Mr. Lowther Bridger. Heavy
beams, oak panels, and a fine chimney-piece remain, relics of the Stuart
days when John Bradshaw, President of the Council, had the house.
Tradition, certainly wrongly, says that Bradshaw signed Charles's
death-warrant in the hall. Bradshaw, no doubt, signed it at Westminster.
But the association of his name would be enough for village gossip. "The
place where they cut off the king's head," is a variant of the story.

Above Walton Bridge are Coway Stakes, where Julius Cæsar is supposed to
have crossed the Thames in pursuit of Cassivellaunus, king of the
Catuvellauni. The British chief drove sharpened stakes into the bed of
the river, to block the ford, and built a palisade along the bank, where
he waited for the enemy. They came on, cavalry and infantry, in spite of
the stakes. The Catuvellauni would have met them, but fled in horror at
the sight of an armoured elephant.

A great cricketer is buried in Walton churchyard, and a great astrologer
in the church. The cricketer was Lumpy Stevens, whom we met at Send. The
astrologer was William Lilly, author of a yearly publication, _Merlinus
Anglicus Junior_, a sort of Old Moore's Almanac. The prophecies of
storms, fires and disasters were as dull reading then as they are now,
but one or two entries in his _Life and Times_, written by himself, are
illuminating, especially his record of family amenities, thus:--

    "The 16th of February 1653/4, my second Wife died; for whose Death
    I shed no Tears. I had 500_l._ with her as a Portion, but she and
    her poor Relations spent me 1000_l._ _Gloria Patri, & Filio, &
    Spiritui Sancto: sicul erat in principio et nunc et semper, & in
    saecula saeculorum_: For the 20th of _April_ 1653, these Enemies of
    mine, _viz._ Parliament-men, were turned out of doors by _Oliver
    Cromwell_."

    "In _October_ 1654, I married the third Wife, who is signified in my
    Nativity by _Jupiter_ in _Libra_: And she is so totally in her
    Conditions, to my great Comfort."

Lilly got into trouble with the Parliament men later. He had predicted a
town in conflagration, and when the Fire of London occurred in 1666 he
was accused of having caused it. He had to appear before a Parliamentary
committee specially sitting on the matter, but he was able to satisfy
the chairman that he had nothing to do with the fire. He admitted that
he had drawn mysterious designs of persons in winding sheets and digging
graves, which were to foretell the plague, and of towers and houses on
fire, which might have meant the city of London blazing; but he had
never fixed the exact year for these things to happen. So the committee
let him off. If he had lived till the next century, when William the
Third's horse had thrown his rider, and the Jacobite toast was "the
little gentleman in black velvet," Lilly could have pointed with pride
to other cabalistic drawings in his _Merlin_ One shows a mole walking
about under a dragon; another, a mole attacking a crown.

[Illustration: _Epsom._]



CHAPTER XXIV

EPSOM

    The Widest Street in Surrey.--A lucky find.--Barbara
    Villiers.--Pepys at the Wells.--Nell Gwynne.--Aldermen and lazy
    ladies.--Epsom's fall.--A knavish apothecary.--Baron Swasso, his
    house.--Miss Wallin, bone-setter; bone-setter, Mrs. Mapp.--Epsom
    re-made at the table.--Eclipse.--The Road to the Derby.--The Ring
    round the Gibbet.--Catherine-wheels, Motor-cars, Kites, Pills.--Lord
    Rosebery.--Lord Lyttelton's ghost.


Epsom is the centre of the country between the great railway lines. It
has its own railway, but it is midway between the lines that run express
trains to Brighton and Southampton: Epsom's own expresses only run for
two weeks in the year, when the races come round. For the other fifty
weeks Epsom is a quiet town of villas, once a village, now nearly a
suburb like Esher or Weybridge. Lord Rosebery sometimes lives near the
town, at Durdans, and deplores the large numbers of lunatics who are
brought to live near the town always. But Epsom is only occasionally
ruffled by the lunatics, and has developed a dangerously good train
service.

Epsom has the widest and breeziest main street of any Surrey town, and
you do not guess the reason until you read the history of the town
pretty closely. The story of Epsom, until the two great races that
belong to its downs were founded over Lord Derby's wine, is the story of
its wells. Before Epsom Salts there was hardly an Epsom to give them a
name. There may have been a tiny village where the church stands, but
that would be all; the rector preached to a few cottagers. Then, one hot
summer day in 1618, the lucky thing happened. Henry Wicker, trying to
water his cattle on the common, found a small hole with a spring in it;
he enlarged it, and took the cattle to the water, but could not make
them drink. Then the doctors were told about it. They used it first, as
Pownall the local historian tells you, "as a vulnerary and abstersive,"
and healed wounds with it; then some labourers accidentally drank it,
and Epsom's fortune was made. The doctors agreed; Epsom salts were
bitter, diluent, absorbent, soluble, cathartic--everything that salts
should be. In two years the wells were enclosed with a wall; in twenty
years France and Germany had heard of Epsom, and distinguished
foreigners obediently paced the common. But the great days were still to
come. As yet few buildings had grown up close to the Wells, merely "a
shed to shelter the sickly visitors." Then came the year 1670, when
Charles II gave Barbara Villiers his palace of Nonsuch two miles away.
She, as careless of a king's gift and as avaricious as a king's mistress
should be, turned the palace into cash, and out of its demolished walls
the local builder piled up houses by Epsom Wells.

One of Epsom's inns was already built, the King's Head--perhaps the Old
King's Head near the church, or an inn on the same site. Pepys was there
in 1667, and gives us a glimpse of Nell Gwynne, though she was at Epsom
to amuse herself, and was not one of Pepys's party. Pepys went on July
14th (Lord's day); he got up at four in the morning, and talked to Mrs.
Turner downstairs while his wife dressed, and got angry with Mrs. Pepys
because she was so long about it. They were off in the coach by five,
with bottles of wine and beer, and a cold fowl, and talked all the way
pleasantly, Pepys writes, and so came "to Epsom, by eight o'clock, to
the well; where much company, and I drank the water: they did not but I
did drink four pints. And to the town, to the King's Head; and hear
that my Lord Buckhurst and Nelly are lodged at the next house, and Sir
Charles Sedley with them; and keep a merry house." Lord Buckhurst had
just persuaded Nell Gwynne to leave the King's playhouse for a hundred
pounds a year and his company: she was to act no more, which saddened
Pepys. However, she was back at the playhouse next month, jeered at by
the graceful Buckhurst and as poor as ever. She was less exacting than
Barbara Villiers: she never had a palace to sell.

When Nonsuch was built up again into Durdans and other houses near the
Wells, then came the full tide. Epsom was completed. About the year
1690, Pownall dates the climax: Mr. Parkhurst, lord of the manor, built
a ball-room seventy feet long, and the inns sprang up on all sides.
"Taverns at that time reputed to be the largest in England were opened;
sedan chairs and numbered coaches attended, there was a public
breakfast, with dancing and music every morning at the Wells. There was
also a ring, as in Hyde Park; and on the downs races were held daily at
noon; with cudgelling and wrestling matches, foot races, &c., in the
afternoon. The evenings were usually spent in private parties,
assemblies or cards; and we may add, that neither Bath nor Tunbridge
ever boasted of more noble visitors than Epsom, or exceeded it in
splendour, at the time we are describing." So Pownall praises the great
days; but they have not left a glamour about Epsom, as the days of Nash
and Brummell have shed on Bath.

Why has Epsom so broad a main street? In the great days the open way was
narrower. Down the centre of the road as we see it Mr. Parkhurst planted
a long walk of elms, and there they stood from James the Second's day
till the nineteenth century. Then Sir Joseph Mawbey, lord of the manor,
cut them down and sold the timber. He made a good bargain too; for the
townpeople were grieved at losing their trees, and to quiet them he
promised to give £200 to help build a market-house, but he never did it,
and kept the cash. The trunks of the fallen trees must have made a
pleasant prospect for the New Inn, the fine red-brick building which in
Parkhurst's day was built for a tavern, and which still stands, but has
now fallen to shops. But in the days when the city aldermen brought
their wives to show off their finery, and the young sparks threw their
money about at Epsom, what a bustling, handsome, pursy, turtle-soup
sort of place the Wells must have been. John Toland, writing in 1711,
describes Epsom Wells at their height. Eudoxa is his mistress, and to
Eudoxa he pictures all Epsom's charms. I quote a few passages from a
long letter:--

"Here are two bowling-greens with raffling shops and musick for the
ladies' diversion, as at Tunbridge; but the ladies do not appear every
day on the walks as there. Here you see them, on Saturdays, in the
evening, as their husbands come from London; on Sundays at church, and
on Mondays in all their splendour, when there are balls in the
Long-rooms; and many of them shake their elbows at Passage and Hazard
with a good grace."

Surely they never forgave Toland for writing that. Here he writes on the
ladies' husbands:--"By the conversation of those that walk there, you
would fancy yourself to be this minute on the Exchange, and the next at
St. James's; one while in an East India factory, and another while with
the army in Flanders, or on board the fleet in the Ocean; nor is there
any profession, trade, or calling that you can miss of here, either for
your instruction or diversion."

Thus does Toland, unkinder than Pownall, set out the glories of Epsom
without comparing them to Bath. But what could be better than the luxury
of it all? "You would think yourself in some enchanted camp, to see the
peasants ride to every house with the choicest fruits, herbs, roots and
flowers; with all sorts of tame and wild fowl, with the rarest fish and
venison, and with every kind of butcher's meat, among which
Banstead-down mutton is the most relishing dainty. Thus, to see the
fresh and artless damsels of the plain, either accompanied by their
amorous swains or aged parents, striking their bargains with the nice
court and city ladies, who, like queens in a tragedy, display all their
finery on benches before their doors (where they hourly censure, and are
censured), and to observe how the handsomest of each degree equally
admire, envy and cozen one another, is to me one of the chiefest
amusements of the place. The ladies who are too lazy, or too stately,
but especially those who sit up late at cards have their provisions
brought to their bedsides, where they conclude the bargain with the
higler; and then--perhaps after a dish of chocolate--take another nap,
till what they have thus purchased is got ready for dinner."

One single attraction Toland admits Epsom never had--it lacks a river.
"One thing is wanting--and happy is the situation that wants no more;
for in this place notwithstanding the medicinal waters, and sufficient
of sweetes for domestic use, are not to be heard the precipitant murmurs
of impetuous cascades. There are no purling streams in our groves, to
tempt the shrill notes of the warbling choristers, whose never-ceasing
concerts exceed Bononcini and Corelli."

That was in 1711; Epsom never saw better days in spite of the lack of
those miraculous concerts. And in 1715 it had all come to an end.
Epsom's glories tumbled like a pack of cards. It was the fault of one
man: Pownall has gibbeted the rascal; Epsom fell through the "knavery of
Mr. John Livingstone, an apothecary." Mr. Livingstone may have been a
knave, but he was also evidently a fool. He began admirably, as a doctor
with a speculative eye should do, by building a large house with an
assembly room for dancing and music, "and other rooms for raffling,
diceing, fairchance (what a perversion of terms!) and all sorts of
gaming; together with shops for milliners, jewellers, toymen, etc." He
was quite a heathen, for he planted a grove, and he made a
bowling-green, and then spoiled it all by sinking a well, putting a pump
to it, and calling the place the New Wells. The new water was neither
diluent, nor absorbent, nor cathartic, nor anything else that water at a
watering-place should be, and the visitors found out the difference. But
the end was the maddest thing of all. Somehow or other, John Livingstone
got a lease of the old wells, the real, genuine spring. Then he locked
up the old wells, and tried to make money with the new. It killed the
watering-place.

But Epsom revived--to relapse and revive again. First, it was brought to
life again by the South Sea Bubble, which would have brought to life
anything, and for a wild short season the quacks and alchemists and Jews
came back: the ball rooms and the gaming saloons filled again. New
houses were built; "amongst them that of Baron Swasso." To speculate as
to who Baron Swasso may have been is agreeable: but the baronial hall
could not save Epsom. Even a more powerful attraction than Baron Swasso
failed to do so; or, rather, refused to try. She was Miss Wallin, whom
the vulgar addressed as Crazy Sally; but she was not so crazy. Miss
Wallin was a bone-setter: she could put in a man's shoulder without
help, and she was not to be imposed upon. Once a cheat came to her with
his head done up in a bandage, and asked her to set his dislocated wrist
for him; it was not dislocated, and he wanted to show Miss Wallin up as
an impostor. She saw through that, and dislocated his wrist on the spot,
telling him to go back to the fools that sent him. Such a woman should
have been kept at Epsom; she was worth more than mere cathartic waters.
But Epsom could not keep her; she desired more than anything else in the
world to marry one Mr. Hill Mapp, who did not and would not live at
Epsom. She pursued him, always with an eye on the church, and Mapp
capitulated; but they were married in London. Epsom took back Mrs. Mapp,
but she could not live for ever.

After Mrs. Mapp, the end came quickly. Sea-bathing finished the little
town altogether; "the modern delightful practice of sea-bathing," as
Pownall puts it with tolerance. He does not give up hope, even in 1825;
he hopes that the medical profession will still give the wells a trial,
and believes that the waters will be found worthy. After that he comes
to the consideration of Epsom's races.

Water ended Epsom in 1715; wine began Epsom again in 1780. A party of
gentlemen, drinking at Lord Derby's table at Lambert's Oaks, a house on
the high ground above the town, lifted their glasses to the glories of
horse-racing. They founded two races, one, in 1779, for three-year-old
fillies; another, in 1780, for three-year-old colts and fillies. They
named the races after their host and the house where they drank, and
Epsom was made again. The Derby and the Oaks became national
institutions. Before that roystering party, the downs had seen racing,
but had not seen a racing crowd. Charles II had run his horses on Epsom
and Banstead downs; perhaps his horse now and then bore away the silver
bell, which was the first and simple prize when horses began racing.
Queen Anne may have entered a colt or two at Epsom: her consort, Prince
George of Denmark, loved horse-racing and drank Epsom waters. Greatest
of all memories of the Turf, Eclipse lived for years by Epsom downs, and
won poor little races for an obscure commoner. He would have won any
race he could have been asked by a king, but it was the fate of the
finest racehorse ever foaled to live before the Derby was founded, and
before he could race another horse worthy to pass the starting post with
him. Pownall, in his _History of Epsom_, has a pleasant passage
extolling Eclipse's merits. He writes in 1825: he has studied, he tells
us, Lawrence's _History of the Horse_ and Bingley's _British
Quadrupeds_, and this is the result:--

"Eclipse was withheld from the course till he was five years of age, and
was first tried at Epsom. He had considerable length of waist, and stood
over a large space of ground, in which particular he was an opposite
form to the flying Childers, a short backed, compact horse, whose reach
lay in his lower limbs; but, from the shape of his body, we are inclined
to believe that Eclipse would have beaten Childers in a race over a mile
course with equal weights. He once ran four miles in eight minutes,
carrying twelve stone, and with this weight Eclipse won eleven King's
plates.[A] He was never beaten, never had a whip flourished over him, or
felt the tickling of a spur; nor was he ever for a moment distressed by
the speed or rate of a competitor; out-footing, out-striding, and
out-lasting (says Mr. Lawrence) every horse which started against him."

Eclipse, like Homer, had many birthplaces. Mr. Theodore Cook, who has
written authoritatively of him where others have guessed or accepted
tradition, has been informed of more than seven; and, in collecting
details of relics of the great horse, he has been supplied with evidence
that Eclipse possessed no fewer than six "undoubted" skeletons, nine
"authentic" feet, sufficient "genuine" hair to have stuffed the largest
armchair in Newmarket, and "certified" portions of skin which would
easily have carpeted the yard at Tattersall's. There never was such an
omnipresent animal.

After 1780, the horse-racing crowd grew. In Pownall's time, when the
Derby and Oaks had not been established forty-five years, the Derby
attracted some sixty subscribers, and the Oaks about forty, of fifty
guineas apiece, and Epsom was full to overflowing. The watering-place
has become a circus. The race week brings down all London. "At an early
hour in the morning, persons of all ranks, and carriages innumerable,
are seen pouring into the town at every inlet. All the accommodations
and provisions that the surrounding villages can supply are put in
requisition." The royal family would come to look on; sixty thousand
spectators, Pownall thinks, met on the downs.

But Pownall has nothing to say of the road. The road must have been the
thing to see; not as we see it to-day, when motor cars start for the
course before lunch instead of before breakfast, and luxurious railway
trains draw decadent race-goers to Tattenham Corner. In the real Derby
days all racing men that were men drove to Epsom, early in the morning,
by the road. Four-in-hand coaches travelled level in the pack and the
dust by costermongers' donkeys; at every inn there were touts and
tipsters, haunting creatures with secrets of betting; they knew what
would win outright and what would certainly lose; the Duke's trainer had
whispered to them, the swindling Captain had tipped them the wink; you
merely had to pay for the knowledge. Wayside strips of green were turned
into cocoanut shies, wherever a man might wish to shy at nuts; clowns on
stilts stalked in chequered blue; bare-legged boys and girls turned
amazing Catherine wheels. There was the hill to finish with by the
course, and the plaudits of the crowd for him who took his team up in
spanking style. They still drive four-in-hand coaches up the hill; but
the motor-horn follows the coach-horn.

Frith has made the Victorian Derby day immortal; a less well-known hand
has written of what Frith painted. The author who signed himself
"Sylvanus," and wrote with an admirable gusto of racing men and racing
scenes in the forties, has set down in his _Bye-lanes and Downs of
England_ a strange picture of the Ring on Epsom downs as he saw it. In
his day it was formed "on the crest of the Down, round a post or limb of
a gibbet"--_similia similibus_, you might suppose reading the list of
heroes who met there. "The 'plunging prelate and his ponderous Grace';
my lord George, the 'bold baker,' and Mr. Unwell; Sir Xenophon
Sunflower, the Assassin, and the flash grazier; the Dollar, hellite,
billiard-marker, and bacon-factor; the ringletted O'Bluster,
double-jointed publican, Leather lungs, and Handsome Jack contrasted in
the pig's skin; and, ye Centaurs! what seats were there!" It must have
been a sight for proper men to see. Not the veriest tailor would walk on
Derby day. He "would mount a mis-teached hippogriff, and risk the chance
of a purl, rather than not show at the covert-side." Who, indeed, would
not bestride a steed when he might meet the Assassin and the O'Bluster
in the ring? But there were others:--

    At the time we write of, "Old Crutch," too, with his scaffolding
    under his arm, and disabled limb dangling like a loose girth from
    his rosinante's side, a quadruped equalling the Dollar's mount in
    beauty,--might have been seen side by side with Lord Chesterfield,
    on his thoroughbred, and addressing him in all the Timbobbinish
    horrors of his frightful vernacular. My lord was then in the zenith
    of his good looks and humour, and was, moreover, so well upon
    Cotherstone, that he saw graces in Old Crutch's physog, with the
    charming "thousand to forty" he hoped to draw him of on the Tuesday
    _prochain_,--that he joked and rattled with the uncouth old cripple
    in undisguised merriment. With these might have been noticed the
    elegant form of Lord Wilton, on his roan, shaded again by a
    round-shouldered knave from Manchester, with ungloved hands and snub
    nose, who had "potted the crack" for his special line of action. His
    yeoman Grace of Limbs, fresh and hearty as a summer gale, mounted on
    his Blue-eyed Maid, loomed in stalwart manhood by the side of some
    pallid greek or city trader, having a word of greeting and jollity
    for all alike, for _he_ was there for the sake of sport, and had no
    anxiety beyond his "pony."

    The _Heavies_, as Thornhill of Riddlesworth, Sir Hercules
    Fitzoutlawe, and poor fatty Sutherland, together with my Lord
    Miltown, from his not being particularly adapted for an equestrian
    display, appeared in their several chariots on the outskirts of the
    ring, an occasional lull in the wordy tumult permitting the
    Irishman's lisping scream to penetrate the dense and agitated
    circle, in his praiseworthy efforts to do business. Old Crocky, too,
    was there, mounted on a subdued wretch of the horse-species,
    tenanted, according to the Pythagorean doctrine, by the evil spirit
    of some defunct croupier, and ready to "return on the nick" as
    usual. In this "mess tossed up of Hockley-Hole and White's," in
    addition to our foregoing inventory, were dukes and butchers....

But these are perhaps enough. Has the crowd on the hill changed much
since the forties? The Ring roars no longer round a gibbet, of course; a
Grand Stand of vast dimensions overlooks the course from starting-gate
to paddock; dukes no longer ride side by side with butchers to make
bets. But the crowd itself, and what the crowd does, and what it sees
and feels--all that, surely, has changed hardly at all. The gipsies
still swarm, and the touts still swindle; the bookmakers, bedizened with
belts of silver coin, and outlandish hats, and flaring assertions of
personal integrity, still clamour by their blackboards; they still chalk
up the odds they offer against horses whose names they mis-spell; the
sun still shines on the jockeys' silk jackets; still, down a course
cleared empty, distracted dogs rush madly; still, before the start for
the great race, there broods over that huge concourse an intense, almost
a dreadful silence; still there is the shout as the jackets flash from
the starting-gate, still the hum as they sweep down the bend, the roar
as they rush for the straight, the yell as the leader drops back, shoots
out, thunders past the judge. All that remains, and will remain. But two
changes are insistent. One is the motor-cars, which are all over the
hill and almost everywhere else; but that is a permanent thing. The
other is the advertisements on the kites. In the old days the downs lay
under blue sky and white clouds. Now they lie, on Derby day, under
strings of kites. You may go to Epsom to see horse-racing, but you will
not escape soap, mustard, or pills.

Of Epsom's residents and neighbours, Lord Derby won the race named after
him in 1787, and doubtless others have won since. But the best record
belongs to the owner of Durdans, who won the Derby in 1894 with Ladas,
in 1895 with Sir Visto, and in 1905 with Cicero; and who, in addition to
his career as politician, man of letters, and owner of racehorses, has
added difficulties to the tasks of other writers by contributing to Mr.
Gordon Home's _Guide to Epsom_ a discouragingly brilliant preface.

Another peer has made Epsom history in a different way. At Pit Place
lived the second Lord Lyttelton, and at Pit Place he died, leaving
behind him a profligate name and a ghost story which Dr. Johnson thought
the most extraordinary he had ever heard. It was in November, 1779; Lord
Lyttelton had just returned from Ireland, and was seized with
suffocating fits. One night he dreamt a dream. A dove hovered over him,
changed to a woman in white, and spoke to him. It was a dead face, and
he knew who it was; her two daughters were under his roof. Her words
were few: "Lord Lyttelton, prepare to die!" "When?" he gasped. "In three
days," she answered, and vanished. He called his man, who found him wet
with sweat and his whole frame working. The third day came, and he
jested with his guests at breakfast--"If I live over to-night, I shall
have jockeyed the ghost." He dined at five, went to bed at eleven,
called his servant a slovenly dog for not bringing a spoon for his
medicine, and sent for a spoon. The man returned, found him in a fit,
and roused the house. But Lord Lyttelton was dead. He was thirty-five.

[Illustration: _A Quiet Corner in Witley_ (_p. 159_).]

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote A: It is generally admitted, that a horse which will run four
miles in eight minutes, carrying a weight of eight stone and a-half,
must win plates.

_Bingley._]



CHAPTER XXV

MID-SURREY DOWNS AND COMMONS

    Ewell.--A Clear Stream.--Nonsuch Palace.--The Right Use for a King's
    Gift.--Cheam.--Satin Haycocks.--A Chained
    Anachronism.--Chessington.--Dancing Round the Mulberry Tree.--A
    House of Mourning.--A Fool for a present.--Esher.--The great horse
    Bendigo.--Macaulay and the Hop-pickers.--Surrey English.--Gypsy boys
    selling a pony.


North and south of Epsom are scattered villages on downs and commons;
some, like Ewell and Cheam to the north and east, changing the word
village into town; others, like Walton-on-the-hill and Headley to the
south-west, or Chessington to the north-west, merely groups of cottages
with a church. Epsom is the centre of the Surrey churches which have
been destroyed or disused rather than restored, and the reason for the
destruction of the group is obscure. Some strange infection ran in the
destroyer's brains; Epsom, perhaps, began it; Ewell, Cheam, Headley fell
later; Esher built a new church, but stayed from destroying the old.
Walton, Woodmansterne, and Banstead have been altered almost out of
recognition of what was old; Chessington alone looks upon almost
untroubled centuries.

Ewell almost joins Epsom; Ewell with its old name Etwell, which its
historians tell you means At ye Well; the guess looks too easy. The well
is plain enough to see; Ewell has pools of the clearest water and
springs running fast by the side of the street; it is the most definite
beginning of a river that ever attracted a village to its banks, and it
runs out of the village as the little Hog's Mill river--a stream with a
sparkle in it that deserves a prettier name. But the village which the
stream drew to it has changed. The High Street has kept some of its
older houses, with upper stories jutting out over the road; but the
church which the old houses knew has gone. They pulled it down in the
forties--that unhappy decade for anything ancient and quiet in Surrey
villages; all they left was the tower, a mighty mass of stone and ivy
that stands with its nave reft from it, the forlornest and most
meaningless of ruins. If the tower might stand, why not the nave? They
pulled the nave down, and left the tower standing, so Mr. C.J. Swete,
one of Epsom's historians, tells you, in order that it "should remain to
beautify the landscape." They acted, he observes, "with good taste and
judgment" in so doing. Theirs is that praise.

But Ewell has a greater ruin. Ewell Castle preserves it in Ewell Park;
but when I was at Ewell the Castle and Park were for sale, and I could
find no one who could show it me, or even who knew where it was. Few,
perhaps, have seen it, and there can be little to see, by all accounts,
but what remains is the ruin of Nonsuch Palace--just the foundations of
the banquet hall; that is all that remains of the palace which was to be
incomparable, like no palace a king ever built before, the royalest
building in Christendom. That was what Henry VIII meant to make it, when
he began it in 1538, and he had built most of it when he died nine years
later. It stood unfinished for ten years more; then Mary sold it to the
Earl of Arundell, and he finished it. Elizabeth bought it back, and so
it came a royal palace to the Stuarts; even the Parliamentary wars left
it untouched, and it was the refuge for Charles II's Exchequer at the
fire of London. Pepys has a picture of Nonsuch, just after the
Restoration. "A very noble house," he calls it, "and a delicate park
about it, where just now there was a doe killed for the King, to carry
up to the Court." Two years later he walked in the park and admired the
house and the trees; "a great walk of an elm and a walnut set one after
another in order. And all the house on the outside filled with figures
of stories, and good painting of Rubens' or Holbein's doing. And one
great thing is that most of the house is covered, I mean the posts and
quarters in the walls, with lead, and gilded. I walked also into the
ruined garden." That is Charles II; the doe killed in the park for the
King, the ruined garden. An old print shows Nonsuch in 1582; a great
quadrangle with towers at the corners, and cupolas, which perhaps were
gilt, and bannerets round the cupolas, and countless little windows;
along the face of the building are high Tudor windows with bas-reliefs
between them; in the foreground of the park a great lady rides in a
chariot with gaily caparisoned horses; a greyhound bounds by her side,
spaniels in leash drag a huntsman after the carriage; in the far
distance, beyond the palace, hounds and men hunt a noble stag, pictured
as if the whole airy chase flew round a cupola. It was a great palace,
and it should be standing to-day, with its lead and its gilt and its
Rubenses and Holbeins. But Charles II gave it to Barbara Villiers, and
she knew the right use for a king's gift.

Cheam, east from Ewell by two miles, has kept not the tower of its old
church but its chancel. The little building stands apart in the
churchyard; you may peep through a grille at the tombs and the pedigree
of sixteen generations of Lumleys, and at a palimpsest brass mounted on
a screen. But if Cheam's church has gone, in the village there is still
the White Hall, a gabled Elizabethan house of painted timber; the
daintiest and lightest little place, with tiny ordered lawns under its
white wood, and old-fashioned flowers in the garden and in the windows.
White Hall has the graces of old books, old ladies, old lace. But its
gables and chimneys are not the only happy picture in Cheam. The road
that passes by the left of the house leads to an untouched corner of
little, white wooden cottages, as lowly and as English as anything in
deep Surrey country, and this is nearly town. They will not last long, I
am afraid; the new Cheam buildings are staring at them.

All above Cheam and Ewell are Banstead Downs, once as free and open as
the downs by the Sussex sea, and even now sunny places where you may
walk in fresh winds. But the houses are nearer every year, and they will
be lucky if they escape another asylum; the high ground gives an
opportunity to asylum architects. On Banstead Downs are Lambert's Oaks,
where Lord Derby's roystering guests founded great races with bumpers of
claret, and where Lord Stanley, when he married Lady Betty Hamilton,
gave his famous Fête Champêtre, which Horace Walpole guessed would cost
£5,000; Lord Stanley had "bought all the orange-trees round London," and
the haycocks he imagined were to be made of straw-coloured satin.
Banstead itself, like Woodmansterne, its neighbour to the east, has not
much to show of village buildings. Banstead and Woodmansterne churches
have many memorials to the Lamberts, one of the very old Surrey
families; and it is from Garratt's Hall, whose grounds border Banstead
village, that Colonel F.A.H. Lambert dedicates his _Guide to Surrey_, a
valuable little pocket-book, to Admiral Charles Mathew Buckle, head of
another ancient Surrey family. One of the oldest things near Banstead
stands in ground once owned by the Buckle family. Nork House has a field
in which stands Tumble Beacon, a mound which saw the flares run from the
hills of Hampshire to London, when the Armada was breasting the Channel
and Hampshire had caught the signal from Dunkerry and the Lizard. Tumble
Beacon would not light an alarm now; or if it did, it would burn pine
trees and elders and nettles that grow about it, and would scare a
hundred rabbits. How did the trees come there? A beacon should not be
planted; it should stand open and high and free as when the Spaniards
came, and from the same spot where Elizabeth's sailors in the Thames saw
its flame, it should wait for jubilees and coronations to send its fires
roaring up into the night.

Nork, etymologists have guessed, may be corrupted from Noverca--perhaps
it once had a Roman owner. There were Romans who lived on the high
ground near. Walton Heath, south of Banstead on the chalk plateau, has
had the pavement of a Roman villa dug from it; I have been told that you
may still find Roman pavements there, if you know where to dig. But
Walton's chief possession--the village is Walton-on-the-hill, so named
that you may never mistake it for Walton-on-the-Naze or
Walton-on-Thames--is in the church. It is a leaden font, the only leaden
font which Surrey possesses, though England has thirty; and of the
thirty English fonts, Walton's is of as fine workmanship and design as
any. Throned apostles circle the bowl, and bless with the right hand, or
hold a book in the left. The church has some interesting old glass in a
southern window, and, by an oddly deliberate anachronism, a chained
Bible dated 1803. The chain is an old and genuine guard of the printed
word, taken from Salisbury; but why should it chain Georgian printing?
But Walton has long been anachronistic; there is a tomb outside the
chancel, in a recess of the north wall, on which some modern Latin
scholar has set the inscription, "Johannes de Waltune hujus ecclesiae
fundator 1268." The weather has removed part, but the rest is in black
paint.

A neighbouring village, Headley, has separated its new and old more
definitely. The church has been taken down, all but the porch, which
holds a grave and what looks like the sign of an inn; you may just
distinguish the royal arms. The pillars of the old church have fallen,
but where they stood, little clipped box-trees mark the line--a prettier
memorial than a drawn plan to hang in the vestry, but need the old
church have fallen? These level heights, perhaps, provoke
church-building, but how few spires stand on the horizons. Ranmer spire
you may see from half over mid-Surrey, but Ranmer is high on a ridge.
Here you are on a plateau, and the heights see each other no more than
the low ground. Kingswood's is the best seen of the spires on the
plateau; a shining thing, white as the chalk of the ridge.

From Epsom to the north is quiet, empty countryside. Esher is five miles
to the north-west as the crow flies; something more by road, but the
best roads near Esher are the wild pathways of Esher common. Midway
between Epsom and Esher, but among pastures, not in the heather of the
common, is Chessington. Chessington Hall and Chessington Church are deep
in the fields. The Hall may not be to-day quite the simple little
building that Fanny Burney knew, when Samuel Crisp, "Daddy" Crisp, had
it, but the garden and the trees, and the avenue to the church where she
walked and talked over his music with Dr. Burney can be little changed.
It was at Chessington that Fanny Burney took a packet from the postman
and found herself famous. _Evelina_, which not even her father knew she
had written, had taken the town. All the talk of the great men was of
_Evelina_. Dr. Johnson was praising it; Sir Joshua Reynolds would not
let his meals interrupt him, and took it with him to table. Edmund Burke
had sat through the night to finish it. That was in 1778, and a hundred
and thirty years after that wonderful morning her delight is as
infectious as dance music. "Dr. Johnson's approbation!" she writes in
her diary, "--it almost crazed me with agreeable surprise--it gave me
such a flight of spirits that I danced a jig to Mr. Crisp, without any
preparation, music, or explanation--to his no small amazement and
diversion." She danced round the mulberry tree on the Chessington lawn,
so she told Sir Walter Scott years afterwards.

She was just twenty-six. The mulberry-tree still stands by the window,
and the fields by Chessington are still as green and quiet as when poor
Mr. Crisp, a writer whom a careless world did not want to read, retired
from his disappointments to a home where none but his friends should
find him. He lies in the churchyard, under the shadow of the quaint
little spire that sits on its bells like a candle-snuffer; Dr. Burney
has written an epitaph for him, in the formal Georgian English that was
always somewhere, too, in Fanny Burney's head. It was only the girl in
her that kept it out of _Evelina_; after _Evelina_ the girl survives
almost only in her diary and her letters. The books grow dull.

Esher, beyond Claygate, is three miles to the north-west, and Claremont
borders Esher Common. Claremont is a house of happiness and mourning.
Queen Victoria spent the brightest days of her childhood there; princes
and princesses have lived here and died before their day; a great name
darkens its memories, ennobles its history. The first house at Claremont
was built by Sir John Vanbrugh; afterwards the Duke of Newcastle had it;
on his death Lord Clive bought it, pulled it down, and built the
Claremont of to-day. A hundred thousand pounds he spent on the house and
garden, and in the serenity of his chosen home he should have ended his
days. Envy and persecution prevented that, and Clive of Arcot and
Plassey died in London. Forty-two years later, in 1816, Prince Leopold,
afterwards King of the Belgians, brought his bride, Princess Charlotte,
to Claremont; she died with her baby the next year, a girl of
twenty-one. In 1848 Louis Philippe, a refugee from the Revolution, came
to Claremont; he died there in 1850. Seven years after, in 1857,
Claremont and the countryside were in mourning for the Duchess of
Nemours, a princess of glorious beauty. Queen Amélie died at the house
in 1866. To-day the Duchess of Albany has Claremont; perhaps, as it lies
so near a great highway, it might be worth while to say that it is not
shown to the public.

[Illustration: _Wolsey's Tower, Esher._]

A ruined palace is Claremont's neighbour. The great gateway of the
building stands on the bank of the Mole, in the grounds of Esher Place.
William of Waynflete built it; Wolsey repaired it, and was sent there in
disgrace by his King; the Great Seal had been taken from him. Stow has a
story of the fallen Minister's journey to Esher; Wolsey had left the
river at Putney, and was riding along sadly enough, when a messenger
brought him a kind word from the King. In his joy and relief he looked
round for a present to send back; he fixed on Patch, his fool, and
ordered him to the Court. Patch was all rage and tears, and stormed his
unhappiness at his master. It was no good; he was for Henry, and six
yeomen--it took the tallest Wolsey had--carried him struggling back to
the King.

The Palace did not keep Wolsey long; he was allowed back at Richmond.
After him, in Elizabeth's reign, came Richard Drake, and kept Spanish
grandees prisoners there, taken from the Armada by Sir Francis Drake.
After the Drakes came the Lattons, one of whom, John, held a remarkable
number of offices under William III. Aubrey gives the list:--

    In the reign of William III, this John Latton had given him by that
    Prince the Honours and Places following--

    Equery,

    Avener,

    Master of the Buck-Beagles,

    Master of the Hariers,

    Master of the Game 10 miles round Hampton-Court, by particular
    patent, distinct from that of Justice in Eyre,

    Master of the Lodge at the Old Park at Richmond, with a lease of 30
    years from the Crown for the lands thereto belonging,

    Steward of the Manor of Richmond,

    Keeper of Windsor-House Park,

    Head-customer at Plymouth.

    All which were conferr'd upon him, without asking for, directly or
    indirectly, and were all held together during that reign.

Esher Palace as John Latton knew it survives now only in old prints;
they show a long wing on each side of William of Waynflete's gateway.
Opposite the palace a pleasure-boat, half dinghy, half barge, asks for
passengers; on the bank a fashionably dressed lady holds a long fishing
rod hopefully over the river, shaded by an enormous parasol.

Esher itself is scattered round a village green and a long broad street.
By the green is the modern church, and in the churchyard a strange tomb.
Lord Esher, the late Master of the Rolls, lies in white marble with Lady
Esher; Lord Esher designed the tomb in his lifetime, and would pass it
on his way to church. But the real Esher lies away from the village
green, along the main road to Portsmouth--a road edged with trees and
strips of grass; behind the trees stand the little, low, one-storied red
houses, and Esher's fine inn, the Bear. The Bear has been rebuilt, but
it has kept the air of a coaching inn; in the hall there is a vast pair
of boots, once worn by the postillion of Louis Philippe.

Esher's old church lies behind the Bear, the saddest little deserted
place. Sorrels and grasses wave about its forgotten graves; you open the
church door, and you are back in the days of Waterloo. The pews are
square and high, the pulpit is a three-decker, the paint is that
peculiar yellow dun which belongs to Georgian and early Victorian
æsthetics. But the value of the church is that it is untouched. No
restorer has laid a hand on the mouldering baize which lines the pews;
no one has knocked down the hideous galleries; nobody has broken into
the gallery pew in which, warmed by a fireplace and chimney in winter,
the little Princess Victoria of Kent used to sit when she was allowed to
visit Claremont. You may see at Esher, better than in any other Surrey
church, the surroundings in which our Georgian great-grandfathers
worshipped; the service might almost have ended yesterday--there should
be a forgotten prayer-book somewhere under a seat, praying for the
health of his gracious Majesty King William. Or there might be in the
body of the church; not in the Queen's pew. I think American visitors
have been there.

To racing people Esher is Sandown, and Sandown is what all travellers
see from the railway. Of the smaller racecourses few can be prettier;
the long flank of a green hill, the white pavilion under dark pines, and
the curving course picked out with fresh painted railings and green
canvas--it is as spick and span as a lawn. Either in the summer, for the
Eclipse Stakes, or in the spring for the steeplechases, most of the
great English racehorses go to Sandown. Bendigo won the Eclipse Stakes
of £10,000 for Mr. Hedworth Barclay in 1886--the first time any horse
won so huge a stake. Bendigo is surely one of the great names. Even
those who know least about horse-racing may talk of Bendigo; Bendigo
whom the crowd loved, Bendigo who never failed them, Bendigo who carried
9 stone 7 lb., and won the Jubilee Stakes at Kempton in 1887. I have for
Bendigo the affection of a schoolfellow.

What is Surrey English? Lord Macaulay heard it at Esher. He was walking
from Esher to Ditton Marsh, he writes on September 22nd, 1854, and he
listened to it in a public-house:--

"A shower came on. Afraid for my chest, I turned into a small ale-house,
and called for a glass of ginger beer. I found there a party of
hop-pickers, come back from the neighbourhood of Farnham. They had had
but a bad season, and were returning, nearly walked off their legs. I
liked their looks, and thought their English remarkably good for their
rank of life. It was in truth Surrey English, the English of the suburbs
of London, which is to the Somersetshire and Yorkshire what Castilian is
to the Andalusian, or Tuscan to Neapolitan. The poor people had a
foaming pot before them; but as soon as they heard the price, they rose
and were going to leave it untouched. They could not, they said, afford
so much. It was but fourpence halfpenny. I laid the money down, and
their delight and gratitude quite affected me. Two more of the party
soon arrived. I ordered another pot, and when the rain was over, left
them, followed by more blessings than ever, I believe, were purchased
for ninepence."

Perhaps the English of the Surrey suburbs was different in Macaulay's
days. There is little dialect left anywhere to distinguish Surrey
English from any other; even the gypsies speak the English of the
suburbs of London. There are still gypsies on Esher common; I came
across quite a settlement once, walking over the common to Cobham on a
sunny morning after late April snow. The common was patched with
sparkling white and blue; the snow lay in blue shadows unmelted under
the gorse bushes, and among the gorse and sodden bracken twenty ponies
snuffed for grass. Three gypsy boys shuffled through the fern near them.
What did they do with the ponies? I asked, and the eldest told me they
sold them; they were good ponies; he was voluble in suburban English.
What did they fetch? That depended. What was that one worth?--it was a
small chestnut creature with a child's pink pinafore for a halter. "Ah!
That one," he began, and his eyes became inscrutable. He would have sold
it well.



CHAPTER XXVI

LEATHERHEAD

    The Millpond.--Magic water.--Leatherhead Bridge.--The Running
    Horse.--The Tunnyng of Elinour Rumming.--Noppy Ale.--A penny a
    coffin.--Deflected chancels.--Judge Jeffreys and his
    daughter.--_Emma._--Mr. Woodhouse's gruel.


Leatherhead ought to be entered from the west and left by the south. To
meet the little town on the road from Fetcham is to begin with a stretch
of water, which is always a good introduction; and to leave it and
travel south is to pass through one of the most fascinating valleys of
all Surrey.

The stretch of water lying to the west is the millpond, and is unlike
any other pond I know. It is two or three hundred yards long and perhaps
eighty yards wide, slopes gradually from the sides over a chalky bottom,
and is of an intense clear green. Here and there are open spaces in the
weeds; patches of deeper blue-green, which can be seen, if you look
closely, to be moving--a most uncanny motion. The water wells up
incredibly fast and quiet, and surely incredibly cold, from some
unplumbed, invisible source below. It would be interesting to try to
find the bottom with a plummet, but probably one would be caught by a
policeman. All that I have tried to do is to throw in white stones,
which disappear as if they were swallowed. But the swallowing is a
puzzling thing. The stone strikes the surface and sends out a widening
ripple. Then you watch the stone sinking down slowly against the up-rush
of water, but distinct and white and wavering. Then another ripple--a
mere ring of light, in some way mirroring the real ripple of the
surface--leaps out apparently from the side of the pool a foot or so
under water, touches the white, wavering stone, and the stone vanishes.
There is no stirring of mud, as there would be if it struck the bottom
of an ordinary pond; it merely disappears into an invisible mouth in the
green.

[Illustration: _Leatherhead._]

No frost ever sets ice on the millpond, it is said, and in hard winters
wildfowl flock to it. I never have seen on the water any fowl that were
wild, but it is crowded with swimming and diving birds. You can count
thirty or forty coots, besides moorhens and a dozen dabchicks or so, and
at the end where the mill stands there are fat duck and a bevy of swans.
It is an arresting picture, the long, clear surface, the coots with
their white foreheads dabbling in the weeds or rushing after one another
with loud splashings, the dabchicks diving six at a time out of sight,
and the dignified swans breasting the flowing water under the red brick
and lichens of the mill. The coots, unlike all other coots, too,
actually swim up to be fed. There is a strong spell of magic over all
that strange pool. Some naiad Circe combs her hair far below the weeds,
and has bewitched the wildfowl and the green cold water.

[Illustration: _Ye Olde Running Horse Inn, Leatherhead._]

It would be easy to believe that the rushing springs of the millpond
were in reality the Mole reappearing from her dive below ground at
Mickleham, higher up the stream. But if that is so, the river must pass
through some kind of filter, for it can be thick and cloudy at
Mickleham, but is never anything but clean and pure at the mill. The
mill stream joins the Mole just below Leatherhead Bridge, a fine span of
fourteen arches. The Mole can put on many faces, but I think she is
nowhere in all her journey more fascinating than where she divides her
stream under Leatherhead, and comes dancing down by separate channels to
her broad sheet of ripples at the bridge.

Beyond the bridge on the left, is the site of a very famous old inn. The
present inn, the Running Horse, has been partly rebuilt, and has few
external attractions, but the mistress of the old inn, four hundred
years ago, was the subject of an ode written by the Poet Laureate. She
was Elinour Rumming, ale-wife of a cabaret at "Lederhede in Sothray,"
and John Skelton, perhaps to amuse Henry VIII, and perhaps to please
himself, wrote one of his pungent, tumbling romps of doggerel about her.
"The Tunning of Elinour Rumming, per Skelton Laureate," as one of the
old editions prints it, is an interminable piece of rhyme, mostly an
orgy of coarseness, but with a certain rude vigour of humour and live
truth. Here are a score of lines out of some hundreds:--

THE TUNNYNG OF ELINOUR RUMMING, PER SKELTON LAUREATE.

    "Tell you I chill
    If that ye wyll
    A while be still
    Of a comelye gyll
    That dwelt on a hyll
    But she is not gryll
    For she is somewhat sage
    And well worne in age
    For her visage
    It would asswage
    A mannes courage.

      And this comely dame
    I understande her name
    Is Elinoure Rumminge
    At home in her wonnyng
    And as men say
    She dwelt in Sothray
    In a certain stede
    By syde Lederhede
    She is a tonnish gyb
    The deuell and she be sib
      But to take up my tale
    She breweth noppy ale

    And maketh thereof poorte sale
    To travellers, to tinkers
    To sweters, to swinkers
    And all good ale drynkers
    That will nothinge spare
    But dryncke till they stare
    And bringe them selfe bare
    With now away the mare
    And let us sley care
    As wise as an hare."

The legend is that Skelton was a fisherman, and used to come over from
Nonsuch Palace by Epsom to fish in the Mole. Perhaps he did, and drank
Elinour's "noppy ale"; in any case, a portrait of the Leatherhead
ale-wife found its way into one of his books, with a rhymed couplet
beneath it:--

    "When Skelton wore the Laurell Crowne
    My Ale put all the Ale Wives downe."

The portrait is of a hag of such appalling ill-favour as would certainly
"asswage a manne's courage."

An inn of more interest, though never the subject of a Laureate's ode,
is the old coaching hostel, the Swan. It was a famous house in the
seventeenth century, and cooked the Mole trout as well as the Dorking
inns cooked their water-souchy of carp and tench. The Reverend S.N.
Sedgwick, in his ingenious little collection of Leatherhead legends,
adds a strange record to the inn property. He founds one of his stories
on a local tradition that the carrying of a dead body can establish a
right of way, and he says that in quite recent times the sum of one
penny has been charged for permission to bring a corpse through the Swan
Brewery Yard, to prevent a right of way being established.

Whether or not the right of way was established originally by carrying a
dead body over it, there is another Leatherhead tradition of a right of
way which is connected with the church. The church, with the curious
double dedication of St. Mary and St. Nicholas, stands apart from the
southern road out of Leatherhead, above the banks of the Mole. The tower
is strangely out of the axis of the nave--as much as three or four
feet--and the tradition is that it was so built to avoid encroaching on
an established right of way. Probably the explanation is something more
symbolical or superstitious. One of the most learned of all Surrey
archæologists, Mr. Philip Mainwaring Johnston, holds to the theory that
these deflections of the church axis are connected with legends of the
Crucifixion. The deflected chancel, he thinks, suggests the head bowed
upon the cross. But the deflected tower seems more difficult. The church
is interesting in other ways. It contains a leather-bound Book of
Homilies, chained in its original position to one of the northern
pillars of the nave; and in the porch is an upright gravestone erected
to the memory of Lady Diana Turner, the story being that she chose to be
buried under the very spot where her sedan-chair stood for the Sunday
service. She was paralysed, and listened to the Homilies from the porch.

Leatherhead has two faces. She shows one, which is slate and new, to the
traveller entering the town from Ashtead and Epsom to the north-east;
and another, which is the old bridge and the church road and the best of
her, to those who approach her from Feltham or Mickleham. St. John's
School, founded for the sons of poor clergy, lies on the Ashtead road, a
large modern building of red and grey patterned brick. But the best of
Leatherhead's houses stand about the Mole. One is Thorncroft, which
represents the domain of Tornecrosta in Domesday Book. Another is a fine
early Georgian building now known as Emlyn House, but formerly as "The
Mansion." Alexander Akehurst, M.D., one of the churchwardens who
presented the Book of Homilies to the church, rebuilt this house early
in the eighteenth century, but parts of the older building remain. Once
it belonged to Sir Thomas Bludworth, whose sister married Judge Jeffreys
of the Bloody Assize. According to a local tradition, Jeffreys, when his
worthy master King James had fled to France, slunk in disguise to
Leatherhead. It was one of the many roads he found closed against him in
his attempts to escape. But he did not come to Leatherhead solely
because it lay on the road to the south. His little daughter lay at the
point of death at her uncle's house, and his desire was to see her once
more before she died. The once mighty Lord Chancellor, dressed as a
common sailor with shaven eyebrows and coaldust smeared on his cheeks,
hated with a furious intensity of loathing which has never been felt for
an Englishman before or since, knocked fearfully at dead of night at the
door of the house where his dying daughter lay. So says the legend, and
history does not forbid belief. For the register dates the child's
funeral on December 2, 1688, and it was ten days afterwards that a wild
crowd nearly tore the judge limb from limb at Wapping.

A gentler memory, or rather association, belongs to the Church street
and the houses in the neighbourhood. There have been many attempts made
by Miss Austen's readers to identify Highbury, "the large and populous
village, almost amounting to a town" of _Emma_, with some Surrey town or
village. There is a school of serious students who place it at Esher;
another band of enthusiasts support Dorking. Mr. E.V. Lucas, in his
engaging introduction to a new edition of the novel, has another
suggestion. He recommends the theory that Highbury was Leatherhead,
which satisfies most of the conditions of the book. It is, as he says,
rightly placed as regards London, Kingston and Box Hill; though seven
miles, which was the drive from Hartfield to Box Hill, is surely rather
a generous estimate of the actual distance. But Leatherhead certainly
has a river and a "Randalls," and Mr. Lucas has been told that it has an
"Abbey Farm." That may be a mere coincidence; but, if so, it is the more
striking when one turns to the parish registers, and finds in them the
uncommon name of Knightley. Mr. Knightley, in 1761, raised the pulpit of
the church, and erected a new reading-desk and seat for the clerk, and
it was "hereby ordered that the thanks of this vestry be paid in the
most respectful manner to Mr. Knightley for this fresh mark of his
regard." Surely that is precisely what would have been the attitude of
Mr. Elton's parishioners to Emma's husband. If Miss Austen read the
parish literature, she may also have set eyes on a poem entitled,
"Norbury Park," which was written by a minor bard of the neighbourhood
named Woodhouse. But that is insisting too much; though, to be sure,
from the quality of his verse, Mr. Woodhouse, author of "Norbury Park,"
may well be imagined to have had, like Emma's father, a nice taste in
gruel.

[Illustration: _The Mole at Slyfield Place._]



CHAPTER XXVII

STOKE D'ABERNON

    Slyfields.--A Great Bowl of Silver.--The Heir.--The Danger of Parish
    Relief.--Stoke D'Abernon Church.--A Knightly Memorial.--Stolen
    Woad.--Sire Richard le Petit.--Long Sermons.--The Earliest
    Honeymoon.--Cobham.--A Hermit for £700.--Matthew Arnold at Pain's
    Hill.


The Mole wanders west away from Leatherhead by Randall's Farm and
Randall's Park, and perhaps Miss Austen used to imagine Emma and Mrs.
Weston walking along the rather dull road that runs up the valley by the
side of the stream. North of the road, about a mile from the town,
stands an old Roman camp, now buried in a small wood, with notice-boards
loudly forbidding access. Another mile to the west--but you must walk
two to get there--is one of the most charming of old Surrey
manor-houses, now a farmhouse, but still known by its name of Slyfields.

The Slyfields were essentially a Surrey family. They lived and worked as
gentlemen and yeomen and parsons among small Surrey villages, Send and
Great Bookham and Byfleet and Pirford and Ripley and the Clandons; one
of them, Edmond, was Sheriff of Surrey and Sussex in the time of
Elizabeth. He was the greatest of the Slyfields, and left behind him
sixteen sons and daughters, four Surrey manors, and a will as careful
and studious as himself. Some of the items are quaint reading:--

    To his son Walter, "my black velvett dublett and paire of hose of
    wrought velvet, my best night gowne, my best hatt, fower of my best
    shirtes and my best riding Cloake."

    To his son William, "my coate of Tuftaffatie and a shorte cloke of
    rashe, laide with parchment lace."

    To his son-in-law, Edward Skeete, "one shorte Cloake, called the
    Dutch cloke, of Black Damaske furred with squirrell, faced with
    caliber, and garded with velvett."

    To Elizabeth, his eldest daughter, £40, "but she not to troble
    molest or disquiett my saide wyfe, her mother, my executrix."

    To his grandson Edmond one of his great bowls of silver.

The last item is one of the most interesting. It ought to be read in
conjunction with an earlier item in the same will, in which special
directions are left to the executors not to pull down or to deface any
manner of wainscot or glass in or about the house of Slyfield. For the
end of the Slyfield family as a power in Surrey came with bitter
suddenness. Henry, the Sheriff's eldest son, succeeded his father in
1590, and died in 1598. He was succeeded by his son Edmond, who had been
left one of the "great bowls of silver." Within sixteen years Edmond
Slyfield had sold every stick and stone of the Slyfield manors, the
Slyfield house was razed to the ground to make room for a new building,
and in the new building and on the old tombstones alone the name of
Slyfield remains.

The new manor-house is nearly three hundred years old, and was built for
the possessor of another great Surrey name, George Shiers. He was the
grandfather of Sir George Shiers, baronet, who was one of the most
generous of testators to Surrey villages. Among other bequests, he left
a sum of money to the parish of Great Bookham, which was to be thus
devoted:--

    In preferring in Marriage such Maids born in this Parish as have
    lived and behaved themselves well for seven Years in any one
    Service, and whose friends are not able to do it.

    To dispose of the surplus to such Poor as by Sickness, Age, a great
    Family of Children, or otherwise, shall be in Danger of coming under
    the common relief of this Parish.

The "danger of coming under the common relief" of the parish was
evidently felt to be real--a strange dislike forerunning the hatred
which the modern English villager feels for "the House." When Louise
Michel, the leader of the _pétroleuses_ of the French Revolution, was
shown over one of the great London Unions not long before her death, she
was filled with wonder and admiration. "If we had had _that_ in France,"
she said, "we should have had no revolution." The Englishman leaves
legacies to enable poor parishioners to escape from the danger.

Slyfields Manor, picturesque though it is, is still only a remnant. Only
one side of what was once a quadrangular building remains, but the solid
symmetry of its red-brick walls and ivied gables, and the hugeness of
its ornate and lichened barns and granaries, make it as imposing as any
farmhouse well could be. Curiously enough, like the older Crowhurst
Place, the other side of the county, a farmhouse it still remains.

The Slyfields and the Shiers lie in Great Bookham church. Another church
stands not half a mile away from the house, in a smooth and green garden
on the banks of the Mole. Stoke D'Abernon church contains one of the
great possessions of Surrey--the oldest brass in England--a monument
which, besides being the oldest of its kind, is the very knightliest
memorial an English gentleman could have. A plain slab of brass, on
which has been elaborately engraved the figure of a soldier in full
chain mail, with his six-foot lance and its fringed pennon, his long
prick-spurs, and his great two-handed sword, it has lain in an English
church for nearly six centuries and a-half. The Lombardic lettering
which runs round the brass is half illegible, but the form of the old
inscription, perfect in its simple dignity, is clear enough:--

    SIRE : IOHAN : DAUBERNOUN : CHIVALER : GIST : ICY :
    DEV : DE : SA : ALME : EYT : MERCY.

By Sir John D'Abernon's brass lies that of his son, and between the
dates of the two brasses are fifty years--1277 and 1327. The D'Abernons
were a knightly family, but they never provided an English king with a
great soldier, or a great politician, or with anything much more than
the quiet services of a country gentleman. The founder of the family in
England was Roger de Abernun, who in Domesday Book is a tenant of
Richard de Bienfaite, son of Gilbert Count of Brionne. The first Sir
John D'Abernon, whose brass lies in Stoke D'Abernon church, was the most
distinguished of the family. Like Edmond Slyfield, he was Sheriff of
Surrey and Sussex.

Edmond Slyfield, dead three hundred years before our day (we can see his
brass in Great Bookham church), perhaps often stared at the brass of Sir
John D'Abernon, dead three hundred years before him. Perhaps, little
guessing that within thirty years the Slyfield manors would belong to a
stranger, and the Slyfield name be half forgotten, he reflected
comfortably on the misfortunes of his predecessor in office. For Sir
John was a most unlucky Sheriff, and lost a large sum partly by robbery
and partly in the law courts. The story of his loss is a strange medley.
One William Hod, of Normandy, in the year 1265 shipped to Portsmouth ten
hogsheads of woad. Robbers seized the woad at Portsmouth and carried it
off to Guildford; Hod, pursuing, recaptured his hogsheads and lodged
them in Guildford Castle. Immediately appeared Nicholas Picard and
others from Normandy, demanding the woad in the name of Stephen Buckarel
and others. If the woad was not given up, they threatened to destroy the
whole of Guildford by fire the next morning. The under-sheriff, whose
family lived in the neighbourhood, at once gave up the woad, whereupon
Hod instituted proceedings against Sir John D'Abernon the Sheriff, and
won his case. Sir John had to pay as damages six score marks--about
equivalent to £900 of our money.

Stoke D'Abernon church holds a number of other interesting monuments and
brasses; indeed, for its size, it is fuller of valuable work and
memorials than any other Surrey church. One of them, placed to the
memory of "Sir Richard the Little, formerly parson of this church," has
a haunting note of personal loss. It is a pleasure to puzzle out the old
Norman-French:--

    SIRE RICHARD LE PETIT IADIS PERSONE DE CEST EIGLISE ICI GIST RECEYVE
    LA ALME IESU CHRIST.

Another rare form of brass is that of a little chrysom child, Ellen
Bray; another, a curious engraving of Lady Anne Norbury, with four tiny
sons and four tiny daughters gathered at her feet in the folds of her
gown. There are imposing monuments to Sir Thomas and Lady Vincent, Sir
Thomas enormous in trunk hose and his Lady with her hair elaborately
frizzed in a Paris hood. In the body of the church, the pulpit is a
magnificent piece of early seventeenth century carving, and to the wall
near it is fastened a wrought-iron hour-glass, which must have measured
many a weary discourse. Another of Stoke D'Abernon's possessions is one
of the finest thirteenth century oak chests in the southern counties.

[Illustration: _Stoke D'Abernon Church._]

Outside, the church is interesting in other ways. You can see in the
south wall of the chancel a large slice of Roman herringbone brickwork,
perhaps brought by pre-conquest builders from some villa or other ruins
close at hand; and on the south wall of the nave, high up, is a sundial
which before the conquest probably stood above the old south door. With
so much that is old and venerable in the building and its monuments it
is dismal to add that much, also, that was old and venerable has been
destroyed. It is probably the worst restored of all old churches worth
restoring.

Stoke D'Abernon has a claim on the attention of those about to marry.
The manor-house is the first which is recorded as having been lent for a
honeymoon. So I learn from Mr. J.H. Round, writing in the _Ancestor_.
When William Marshall, in 1189, secured the hand of the heiress of the
Earls of Pembroke, who was as good as she was beautiful, he proposed
that they should be married on her own estates on the Welsh border. His
host, however, a wealthy Londoner, would not hear of such a thing, and
insisted on their being married in London and paying the cost of the
wedding himself. After the ceremony, as the Society papers of the time
might have put it, the young couple left for Stoke D'Abernon in Surrey,
the peaceful and delectable country mansion of Sir Enguerrand D'Abernon,
kindly lent for the occasion. Mr. Round has extracted this the earliest
known reference to an orthodox honeymoon in the country, from the
bridegroom's poetical biography, _L'histoire de Guillaume le
Marechal_:--

    "Quant les noces bien faites furent,
    E richement, si comme els durent,
    La dame emmena, ce savon,
    Chies sire Angeran d'Abernon,
    A Estokes, en liu paisable
    E aesie e delitable."

The bill for the trousseau of the heiress has also been discovered,
entered in the Pipe Roll of the year. It cost £9 12_s._ 1_d._

The road from Stoke D'Abernon runs north-west through the two Cobhams,
Church Cobham and Street Cobham. The little Plough Inn, which acts as
refreshment-room for Cobham railway station, suggests the proper spirit
of village revelry. A spreading yew arbour should shade good ale from
the summer suns, and by the side of the garden across the road, gay with
geraniums, see-saws and swings, runs a tiny stream, rippling down to the
Mole.

Unlike the Wey, the Mole runs by few churches. Only five, Horley,
Betchworth, Leatherhead, Stoke D'Abernon, and Cobham, stand near the
river, and only Stoke D'Abernon actually on its banks. Stoke D'Abernon,
too, has the best view from the churchyard across the stream, over a
broad stretch of grassland on which partridges call and rooks stalk
majestically. At Cobham you can scarcely see the Mole when you are in
the village, but there are few prettier glimpses of its stream than the
brimming pool by the road outside. A grey mill stands in the stream,
double-wheeled and doubly silent; swans oar themselves leisurely about
the eddies, and the meadow beyond in May is a sheet of kingcups.

[Illustration: _Ye Old Church Stile House, Cobham_, A.D. 1432,
_restored_ 1635.]

"Ye Old Church Stile House, Cobham, 1432, restored 1635," is the
engaging legend painted on a low-roofed timbered house which stands at
the churchyard gate. With its square beams, its latticed windows and red
curtains, it is a model of what a "Home of Rest for Gentlewomen"--which
is its vocation--should be. Cobham has one or two other good houses,
Georgian, red and solid, but the best perhaps is the old White Lion
posting inn at Cobham Street, half a mile away on the Portsmouth Road.
The White Lion stood by the fourth tollhouse on the highway from London,
and its oak-panelled parlours have entertained travellers for four
centuries or more--none thirstier, perhaps, than "Liberty" Wilkes, who
passed that way on a day in 1794, and drank "a large bowl of lemonade."

Pain's Hill, which rises above the Mole a little further on the road, is
a name associated with a gardener and a poet. The gardener was Charles
Hamilton, who burdened his lawns with such an astonishing variety of
temples, chapels, grottos, castles, cascades and ruins--including a
hermitage with a real live hermit--that the result was voted one of the
greatest achievements in landscape gardening of the Georgian or any
other age. The hermit, sad to relate, was a failure. He was offered £700
to live a Nebuchadnezzar-like existence in his cell, sleeping on a mat,
never speaking a word, and abandoning all the conveniences of a toilet.
He would gladly have taken the £700, but threw up his post after three
weeks.

The poet was Matthew Arnold, who spent most of the last fifteen years of
his life at Pain's Hill Cottage. He wrote little poetry there; he came
to Pain's Hill in the year after he had published _Literature and
Dogma_, when his mind was occupied with his revolution against the
sombreness and narrowness of modern English religious thought. But to
Pain's Hill, I think, belong "Geist's Grave" and "Kaiser Dead" and "Poor
Matthias;" "Geist's Grave" written for his little son, and "Poor
Matthias" for his daughter, perhaps--Matthias, bought at Hastings to
please a child, though she, childlike, would have chosen a bigger
bird:--

                    "Behold
    French canary-merchant old
    Shepherding his flock of gold
    In a low dim-lighted pen
    Scann'd of tramps and fishermen!
    There a bird, high-coloured, fat,
    Proud of port, though something squat--
    Pursy, play'd-out Philistine--
    Dazzled Nelly's youthful eyne.
    But, far in, obscure, there stirr'd
    On his perch a sprightlier bird,
    Courteous-eyed, erect and slim;
    And I whisper'd: 'Fix on _him!_'
    Home we brought him, young and fair,
    Songs to trill in Surrey air.
    Here Matthias sang his fill,
    Saw the cedars of Pain's Hill;
    Here he pour'd his little soul,
    Heard the murmur of the Mole."

And it was while Matthew Arnold was living at Pain's Hill that he chose
out his little collection of "selected poems." I like to think of him
reading over his work in his Surrey garden, and answering once more the
cuckoo calling "from the wet field, through the vext garden-trees"--

    "Too quick despairer, wherefore wilt thou go?
      Soon will the high Midsummer pomps come on,
        Soon will the musk carnations break and swell,
      Soon shall we have gold-dusted snapdragon,
        Sweet William with his homely cottage smell,
          And stocks in fragrant blow:
        Roses that down the alleys shine afar,
          And open, jasmined-muffled lattices,
          And groups under the dreaming garden trees,
        And the full moon, and the white evening star."

[Illustration: _Bridge over the Mole, Cobham._]



CHAPTER XXVIII

LEATHERHEAD TO DORKING

    The Roman road over the hill.--The Swallows of the Mole.--An
    imperial draught.--Mickleham.--Fanny Burney.--A Story of
    letters.--Juniper Hall and its cedars.--Norbury Park.--How to
    measure trout from the Mole.--Conversation Sharp.--Keats and
    Endymion.--Mr. George Meredith's poems.--The best known hill in the
    world.--A Soldier's Whim.


The best way from Leatherhead to Dorking is the longest, and hardly goes
by the high road at all. It begins at Ashtead; you can get to Ashtead
from Leatherhead or Epsom, but you must start from Ashtead out over
Ermyn Street, the old Roman road. One might begin the walk from Epsom;
but Epsom downs, with the great empty race-stand, can be depressing, and
the best of the old road lies south, nearer Mickleham.

Ashtead is growing towards the railway, but east of the main street
there is hardly a cottage. The church stands in Ashtead Park, and shows
that it once had Roman walls for neighbours by the quantity of Roman
brick and tiling mixed among its flints and stones. It has been
elaborately roofed with cedar, but otherwise contains little; the
prettiest part is the churchyard and the park beyond it, with its deer
which walk by the gates and gaze gently over the paths at strangers.

Ermyn Street or Stane Street of the maps, which English tongues here
have named Pebble Lane, skirts Ashtead Park by the south-east, at first
a wide green lane, afterwards a narrow path sometimes half-choked by
trees, sometimes, in wet weather, impassable with mud, but always
driving straight as the Roman roadmaker drove his pick towards the cap
of Mickleham Downs. The narrow lane to which the road has shrunk is less
than the Roman made it, but Mickleham Downs can look very little
different to-day from the downs which the legionary knew. He, too, like
the modern traveller tramping by the yews and box trees, saw the
sunlight on the dark, shining leaves, and watched the wind ruffle the
whitebeams on the shoulder of the hill.

[Illustration: _Mickleham Church._]

Below the downs lies Mickleham, halfway between Leatherhead and Dorking,
and famous in all the guide-books for the "swallows" of the Mole. The
"swallows" are described as deep, blue pools, into which the Mole
disappears underground, and, except from the most carefully written
accounts, you would imagine that the whole river dives completely into
the earth and jumps up again at Leatherhead. But if you ask at Mickleham
to be directed to the "Swallows," the chances are that you will have to
explain that you do not mean birds. The fact is that it is only in
seasons of great drought that they would be noticed. In summers when
there is very little rain the Mole is said to run dry between Burford
Bridge and Thorncroft Bridge near Leatherhead, but I have never happened
to see it do so, and had the greatest difficulty in discovering the
Swallows, which, when I saw them, were brimming with very muddy water;
the stream was as full as possible. The best comment on the legend of
the diving Mole is Thomas Fuller's in the _Worthies_:--

    "I listen not to the country people telling it was experimented by a
    goose, which was put in and came out again with _life_ (though
    without feathers); but hearken seriously to those who judiciously
    impute the _subsidency_ of the earth in the interstice aforesaid to
    some underground hollowness made by that water in the passage
    thereof."

The Swallows are really fissures in the chalk bed of the stream, which
runs as it were over the top of a long chalk sponge. In rainless summers
there is only enough water to fill the bottom of the sponge, and the top
channel runs dry. Brayley has some amusing calculations as to the amount
of water which the sponge drinks:--

    "From calculations made on different days, after measuring the
    height and velocity of the current received into these pools, it was
    ascertained, when both were in activity, that the swallows of the
    outer pool engulphed 72 imperial gallons per second, 4,320 per
    minute, and 259,200 per hour; and those of the inner pool, 23
    imperial gallons per second, 1,380 per minute, and 82,800 per hour."

Seventy-two gallons--a good-sized tankful--of water in a second is very
pretty swallowing; an early instance of thinking imperially. To Camden,
in the _Britannia_, the disappearing water suggests another image. The
inhabitants can boast, like the Spaniards, of having a bridge that
feeds several flocks of sheep.

Mickleham is almost the centre of the Fanny Burney country. At Mickleham
church she was married to General d'Arblay; Juniper Hall is half-a-mile
from the church; Norbury Park lies west of the Mole; Camilla Lacey south
of Norbury Park at West Humble.

Fanny Burney, retired from her post of Maid of Honour and receiving a
pension of £100 a year, met M. d'Arblay in January, 1793, when she was
staying with her friends the Locks at Norbury Park. He was living at
Juniper Hall with other French _émigrés_--a brilliant little colony;
Madame de Staël was there, and de Narbonne, and de Lally Tollendal, and
Talleyrand. The General began as tutor, and the course of Fanny Burney's
acquaintance with Juniperians, as her sister Mrs. Phillips used to call
them, and particularly with her French master, perhaps may be given in a
few extracts from her correspondence:--

    MADAME DE STAËL HOLSTEIN TO MISS BURNEY,

    _Written from_ JUNIPER HALL, DORKING, SURREY, 1793.

    "When J learned to read english J begun by milton, to know all or
    renounce all in once. J follow the same system in writing my first
    english letter to Miss burney; after such an enterprize nothing can
    affright me. J feel for her so tender a friendship that it melts my
    admiration, inspires my heart with hope of her indulgence, and
    impresses me with the idea that in a tongue even unknown J could
    express sentiments so deeply felt.

    "My servant will return for a french answer. J intreat miss burney
    to correct the words but to preserve the sense of that card.

    "Best compliments to my dear protectress, Madame Phillipe."


    MISS BURNEY TO DR. BURNEY (her father).

    "MICKLEHAM, _February 29, 1793_.

    "There can be nothing imagined more charming, more fascinating than
    this colony; between their sufferings and their _agrémens_ they
    occupy us almost wholly. M. de Narbonne, alas, has no £1000 a year!
    he got over only £4000 at the beginning, from a most splendid
    fortune; and, little foreseeing how all has turned out, he has
    lived, we fear, upon the principal....

    "M. d'Arblay is one of the most singularly interesting characters
    that can ever have been formed. He has a sincerity, a frankness, an
    ingenuous openness of nature, that I had been unjust enough to think
    could not belong to a Frenchman. With all this, which is his
    military portion, he is passionately fond of literature, a most
    delicate critic in his own language, well versed in both Italian and
    German, and a very elegant poet. He has just undertaken to become my
    French master for pronunciation, and he gives me long daily lessons
    in reading. Pray expect wonderful improvements! In return I hear him
    in English."

    MISS BURNEY TO MRS. LOCK.

    "_Thursday_, MICKLEHAM.

    "Madame de Staël has written me two English notes, quite beautiful
    in ideas, and not very reprehensible in idiom. But English has
    nothing to do with elegance such as theirs--at least, little and
    rarely. I am always exposing myself to the wrath of John Bull, when
    this côterie come into competition. It is inconceivable what a
    convert M. de Talleyrand has made of me; I think him now one of the
    first members, and one of the most charming, of this exquisite set."

    DR. BURNEY TO MISS BURNEY.

    "CHELSEA COLLEGE, _Tuesday Morning_, _February 19, 1793_.

    "Why, Fanny, what are you about, and where are you? I shall write
    _at_ you, not knowing how to write _to_ you, as Swift did to the
    flying and romantic Lord Peterborough."

    MISS BURNEY TO MRS. PHILLIPS.

    "_Friday, May 31_, CHESSINGTON.

    "My dearest Fredy, in the beginning of her knowledge of this
    transaction, told me that Mr. Lock was of opinion that the £100 per
    annum might do, as it does for many a curate. M. d'A. also most
    solemnly and affectingly declares that _le simple nécessaire_ is all
    he requires, and here, in your vicinity, would unhesitatingly be
    preferred by him to the most brilliant fortune in another _séjour_.

    "If _he_ can say that, what must _I_ be not to echo it? I, who in
    the bosom of my most chosen, most darling friends----"

    DR. BURNEY TO MISS BURNEY.

    "_May 1793._

    "Dear Fanny,--I have for some time seen very plainly that you are
    _éprise_, and have been extremely uneasy at the discovery. You must
    have observed my silent gravity, surpassing that of mere illness and
    its consequent low spirits. I had some thoughts of writing to Susan
    about it, and intended begging her to do what I must now do for
    myself--that is, beg, warn, and admonish you not to entangle
    yourself in a wild and romantic attachment which offers nothing in
    prospect but poverty and distress, with future inconvenience and
    unhappiness...."

    FROM MADAME D'ARBLAY TO MRS. ----.

    "_August 2, 1793._

    "Last Sunday (July 28) M^r and M^rs Lock, my sister and Captain
    Phillips, and my brother Captain Burney, accompanied us to the altar
    in Mickleham Church; since which the ceremony has been repeated in
    the chapel of the Sardinian Ambassador, that if, by a
    counter-revolution in France, M. d'Arblay recovers any of his
    rights, his wife may not be excluded from their participation.

    "You may be amazed not to see the name of my dear father upon this
    solemn occasion; but his apprehensions from the smallness of our
    income have made him cold and averse: and though he granted his
    consent, I could not even solicit his presence."

    FROM MADAME D'ARBLAY TO DR. BURNEY AFTER HIS FIRST VISIT TO HER AT
    BOOKHAM.

    "BOOKHAM, _August '94_.

    It is just a week since I had the greatest gratification of its kind
    I ever, I think, experienced:--so kind a thought, so sweet a
    surprise as was my dearest father's visit! How softly and soothingly
    it has rested upon my mind ever since!...

    "How thankfully did I look back, the 28^th of last month, upon a
    year that has not been blemished with one regretful moment!"

It was at Bookham that Madame d'Arblay wrote _Camilla_, and out of the
sale of the novel she built her cottage, Camilla Lacey, on a plot of
ground at West Humble leased to her by her friend Mr. Lock. _Camilla_,
which Horace Walpole thought deplorable, infinitely worse than
_Cecilia_, which was not so good as _Evelina_, was an instant success.
Within a month Madame d'Arblay had made £2,000, and Macaulay's estimate
of her whole profits was over three thousand guineas. There was never a
stranger climb down a ladder to fortune than Fanny Burney's. _Evelina_,
her first and incomparably her best novel, brought her £30; _Cecilia_,
her next, £250; then came _Camilla_; and her last novel, _The Wanderer_,
which she wrote after ten years' absence with her husband in France,
actually sold 3,600 copies in six months at two guineas a copy, and was
an absolute and hopeless failure.

Camilla Lacey, invisible from the road, has been enlarged and altered to
look like nothing the d'Arblays knew. Juniper Hall has also changed, but
the splendid cedars which stand round its lawns must have been familiar
to Talleyrand and Madame de Staël. They have grown curiously slowly;
they do not strike one as larger than many trees which are known to be
not more than a hundred and twenty years old--those, for instance, at
Farnham Castle; but John Timbs, in his _Promenade Round Dorking_,
written in 1823, speaks of them as "immense," and as "said to be of the
finest growth in England."

[Illustration: _Cedars at Juniper Hall._]

Norbury Park also has its famous trees. The Druids' Walk, a path running
under enormous yews, is no longer open to the public. But Louis
Jennings, thirty years ago, saw the trees and preserved a memory of
them in _Field Paths and Green Lanes_:--

    "As the path descends the shadows deepen, and you arrive at a spot
    where a mass of yews of great size and vast age stretch up the hill,
    and beyond to the left as far as the eye can penetrate through the
    obscurity. The trees in their long and slow growth have assumed many
    wild forms, and the visitor who stands there towards evening, and
    peers into that sombre grove, will sometimes yield to the spell
    which the scene is sure to exercise on imaginative natures; he will
    half fancy that these ghostly trees are conscious creatures, and
    that they have marked with mingled pity and scorn the long
    processions of mankind come and go like the insects of a day,
    through the centuries during which they have been stretching out
    their distorted limbs nearer and nearer to each other. Thick fibrous
    shoots spring out from their trunks, awakening in the memory
    long-forgotten stories of huge hairy giants, enemies of mankind even
    as the "double-fatal" yew itself was supposed to be in other days.
    The bark stands in distinct layers, the outer ridges mouldering
    away, like the fragments of a wall of some ruined castle. The tops
    are fresh and green, but all below in that sunless recess seems
    dead."

In another respect Norbury Park has changed--in the opportunities the
Mole running through the park offers to anglers wishing to catch large
trout. Mr. C.J. Swete, writing in his _Handbook of Epsom_, not longer
ago than 1853, is pleased to take his reader with him by the banks of
the Mole, in which he has obtained "permission from the proprietor to
gather some of the finny treasures of its liquid mines." Quite
unwarrantably, he assumes that his reader is no fisherman:--

    "Well, now, cast out your line, you have a respectable cast, for
    here the river is broad, you can scarce cast your line across it.
    Well, you must be a little patient,--You cannot expect to catch a
    fish the moment you throw in.... I see you are not a great
    proficient at the piscatory science. Cast out very little line at
    first, perhaps about the length of your rod, and then increasing by
    degrees, you will soon be able to throw full across and with
    precision. Ah! now you have a fine fish; let him down the stream a
    little. Now bring him close to the shore. Stay! It is safer to land
    him with the net. For this stream it is a very excellent fish,
    exactly three pounds weight, I find. How do I know it is just three
    pounds? I will tell you."

He proceeds to do so. He knows because he has measured the fish and
finds him nineteen inches long by ten in girth, and if you do the sum
his way, it works out at three pounds. "This is in accordance, as you
suppose, with the mathematical law that similar solids are to each other
in the triplicate ratio of one of their dimensions." That is the way to
measure trout in Norbury Park.

Two quaintly spelt epitaphs can be read on the black marble tombstones
in Mickleham Church. Under one lies the body of Peter de la Hay, "Eldest
Yeoman of his Majesties Confectionary Office, who Departed this Liee" in
1684, and under the other Thomas Tooth, "Yeaman of his Ma^ties Sculery,
who deceased this Life" a year later.

Almost opposite Juniper Hall is Fredley Farm, once the home of
"Conversation" Sharp, hat-maker, poet and member of Parliament. Fredley
Farm, in the years between 1797 and 1835, when Sharp lived there, must
have been visited by more distinguished poets, authors, politicians,
wits, scholars and artists than any other house in Surrey. Wordsworth
came there, and Scott, Coleridge, Campbell, Southey and Moore; he talked
painting with Lawrence, and sculpture with Chantrey; Macaulay talked
with him "about everything and everybody," and so did Grote and Mill and
Lockhart and Jeffrey; Porson was there, and perhaps had his favourite
porter for breakfast; and the politicians were without number--Brougham,
Sheridan, Grattan, Talleyrand, Huskisson, and almost a link with to-day,
Lord John Russell. Macaulay has left a few sentences which greater men
than Sharp might not deserve as an epitaph: "One thing I have observed
in Sharp, which is quite peculiar to him among town-wits and diners-out.
He never talks scandal. If he can say nothing good of a man, he holds
his tongue." Yet with all his virtues and all his conversation, Sharp
lacks his Boswell.

A little further towards Dorking the road crosses the Mole at Burford
Bridge. The inn at Burford Bridge, a sort of Swindon of the Dorking
Road, where everybody stops to have lunch or dinner, perhaps will again
welcome a great admiral and finish a great poem. Nelson stayed there
before leaving to command at Trafalgar; Keats came there to finish
_Endymion_. His visit, he writes to his friend Benjamin Bailey, is "to
change the scene--change the air, and give me a spur to wind up my poem,
of which there are wanting about 500 lines." Night on the hill inspired
him; in another letter he shows the way for other poets: "I went up Box
Hill this evening after the moon--'you a' seen the moon'--came down and
wrote some lines." And it is of the inn at Burford Bridge that the story
is told, by Mortimer Collins, in his "Walk through Surrey," of Keats and
the waiter. Keats was reciting _Endymion_:--

    "For wine, for wine we left our kernel tree;
    For wine we left our heath and yellow brooms,
            And cold mushrooms;"

The waiter heard, and obeyed, bringing mushrooms uncooked on a plate and
a decanter of sherry. But that story is a little too artificial.

Still, _Endymion_ owes a good deal to the trees and the solitude of the
hill above Burford Bridge. It was with the woods in his memory that
Keats wrote something very like a description of Box Hill, with the Mole
below it:--

    "Where shall our dwelling be? Under the brow
    Of some steep mossy hill, where ivy dun
    Would hide us up, although spring leaves were none;
    And where dark yew trees as we rustle through,
    Will drop their scarlet berry cups of dew?
    O thou wouldst joy to live in such a place;
    Dusk for our loves, yet light enough to grace
    Those gentle limbs on mossy bed reclin'd:
    For by one step the blue sky should'st thou find,
    And by another in deep dell below,
    See, through the trees, a little river go
    All in its midday gold and glimmering."

But the great poet and novelist of Box Hill came later. Mr. George
Meredith lived his long life and died at last, on May 18, 1909, at his
house, Flint Cottage, near Burford Bridge. It was by Box Hill that he
imagined the gayest and wisest of novels and some of the most glorious
of all English poetry. Here, in his châlet looking out over the Surrey
hills, he wrote _The Thrush in February_:--

    "I know him, February's thrush,
    And loud at eve he valentines
    On sprays that paw the naked bush
    Where soon will sprout the thorns and bines.

    Now ere the foreign singer thrills
    Our vale his plain-song pipe he pours
    A herald of the million bills;
    And heed him not, the loss is yours.

    My study, flanked with ivied fir
    And budded beech with dry leaves curled,
    Perched over yew and juniper,
    He neighbours, piping to the world:--

    The wooded pathways dank on brown,
    The branches on grey cloud a web,
    The long green roller of the down,
    An image of the deluge-ebb:"--

The lines ring with the bird's song; the light of all February evenings
is on the hill. But if you are to take the heart of the poem, you must
choose the last eight lines:--

    "For love we Earth, then serve we all;
    Her mystic secret then is ours:
    We fall, or view our treasures fall,
    Unclouded, as beholds her flowers.

    Earth, from a night of frosty wreck,
    Enrobed in morning's mounted fire,
    When lowly, with a broken neck,
    The crocus lays her cheek to mire."

The noblest philosophy of poetry belongs to this Surrey hill, and so
does the most wonderful love-song of its century, the long, enchanted
cadences of _Love in the Valley_:--

    "Lovely are the curves of the white owl sweeping
      Wavy in the dusk lit by one large star.
    Lone on the fir-branch, his rattle-note unvaried,
      Brooding o'er the gloom, spins the brown evejar.
    Darker grows the valley, more and more forgetting:
      So were it with me if forgetting could be willed.
    Tell the grassy hollow that holds the bubbling well-spring,
      Tell it to forget the source that keeps it filled."

Box Hill must be pretty nearly the best-known hill in the world. It has
all the advantages. It is within easy reach of London for school treats,
excursions, choir outings, week-ends, and all other journeys in open
air; it has a railway station at its foot, and several inns, and a
tea-garden at the top, and a hundred Bank holidays have left it
unspoiled. The box-trees that name the hill are the finest in England.
Box-trees love chalk, and here they drive their roots into the crown and
scar of a cliff of chalk, so steep on one side down to the Mole that a
stone could almost be thrown from the path round the ridge into the
water. On the grass outside the box-grove the distance to the level
valley below deceives even more strangely. It looks as if you could
drive a golf ball straight from the hill on to the green; you may
speculate as to the beauty of the arc curved in the sunlight, and the
deadness with which the ball would lie after an absolutely perpendicular
drop--to the extreme danger of those disinterested in the experiment.
But the hill is not really steep enough. The contours crowd on the map,
but they show that you would have to drive nearly a quarter of a mile.

At a distance, in spring and summer, the trees which mark Box Hill are
not box or juniper, but the whitebeams that patch the deeper green of
the oaks and beeches with glaucous grey. The box-trees, though their
thick, snaky stems look as if they might be any age, are not all of them
old. The trees have more than once been cut and sold. Sir Henry Mildmay
put them up for auction for £12,000 in 1795 and apparently sold them for
£10,000 two years later, with twelve years to cut the wood in. In later
days, the wisdom of a War Office cleared a wide space of trees and built
a fort there; the wisdom of another War Office abandoned the fort as
useless. There it remains, behind spiked railings, the idlest monument
of a whim.

[Illustration: _View of Box Hill, Misty Day._]

[Illustration: _Dorking._]



CHAPTER XXIX

DORKING

    Mr. Stiggins at the Marquis of Granby--A Ruin.--The battle of
    Dorking.--Real fighting.--The Table and Cellar.--Water-souchy, a
    delicious dish.--Wild cherries.--Dorking snails.--Sandy kine.--Women
    without roses.--Shrove Tuesday football.--Dorking's glory.--Jupp at
    Cotmandene.--An earthquake.--Giant and Dwarf.


Dorking has twice had history made for it, and travellers come to visit
the scenes. It was in the bar of the Marquis of Granby at Dorking that
Sam Weller met his mother-in-law, and watched the reverend Mr. Stiggins
make toast and sip the pineapple rum and water, and advised Mr. Weller
senior as to the best method of treating Shepherds with cold water.
Pilgrims cross the Atlantic to visit the Marquis of Granby. No Dorking
inn bears the name, nor ever has; but Americans will tell you that the
Marquis is only a name Dickens invented to cover the identity of the
White Horse, which fronts the cobbles of Dorking High Street with its
gables and white and green paint much as it must have done in the time
of Dickens. Dickens himself, in _All the Year Round_--he did not sign
the article, but in that paper none but he might have written of that
inn--conceived "the Markis" to be the King's Head, in the old days a
great coaching house on the Brighton Road. It stood at the corner of
High Street and South Street, and in South Street to-day you may still
gaze at its unhappy walls and windows. The old lattices are boarded up,
smashed with stones; the rooms are empty. When the post office came to
stand at the corner, the King's Head became a tenement house; afterwards
a ruin.

The Battle of Dorking took place on the ridge north of the town in 1871,
and resulted, after the invasion, in the conquest of Great Britain by
Germany. It all came about perfectly simply. A rising in India had taken
away part of our army; war with the United States over Canada had taken
another 10,000 troops, and half of what were left were dealing with a
Fenian revolution in Ireland. Germany put to sea and sank our fleet with
torpedoes, a new and dreadful engine of war; then the German army landed
and the end came at once. At least, it would have come, if Sir George
Chesney, who described the battle of Dorking in _Blackwood's Magazine_,
had prophesied truly. He lived till 1895, to see more than twenty years
after his battle pass without an invasion; but the battle, for some of
his readers, became a very real thing. The late Louis Jennings, in his
_Field Paths and Green Lanes_, tells us that he had a friend who,
believing most people to have very hazy notions of history, was in the
habit of saying, "Of course you remember the battle of Dorking? Well,
this was the very place where it was fought!" He was seldom
contradicted.

The real history of Dorking has traditions of the table and the cellar.
Dorking fowls perhaps first came to the neighbourhood with the Romans,
and poultry and Dorking have been associated ever since. The true
Dorking fowl is a large, well-feathered bird, and walks on five toes
instead of lesser fowls' four. He has always been a great fowl for the
table and historians have written about him since the days of
Columella. Thus a contributor to the _Gentleman's Magazine_, in 1763:--

    "An incredible quantity of poultry is sold in Dorking, and it is
    well known to the lovers of good eating for being remarkably large
    and fine. I have seen capons about Christmas which weighed between
    seven and eight pounds each out of their feathers, and were sold at
    five shillings apiece; nor are the geese brought to the market here
    about Michaelmas less excellent in their kind. The town is supplied
    with sea-fish from Brighthelmstone and Worthing, in Sussex."

[Illustration: _Dorking._]

The Dorking cooks knew well what to do with the sea-fish when they got
them from Brighton. Dorking was famous for a particular way of making
water-souchy, a delicious dish of various fishes, of which Mr. J.L.
André in the _Surrey Archæological Collections_, has preserved the
recipe rescued from an 1833 cookery book 'by a Lady':--

    "Stew two or three flounders, some parsley roots and leaves, thirty
    peppercorns, and a quart of water, till the fish are boiled to
    pieces; pulp them through a sieve. Set over the fire the pulped
    fish, the liquor that boiled them, some perch, tench, or flounders,
    and some fresh roots or leaves of parsley; simmer all till done
    enough, then serve in a deep dish. Slices of bread and butter are to
    be sent to table to eat with the souchy."

It looks rather vague, but the "Gentlemen's Dorking Club" used to
assemble every other Thursday from June to November to discuss the tench
and flounders at the Red Lion, and the King's Head used even to attract
diners-out from London, especially Dutch merchants, who were
particularly fond of the admirable dish. Wine, too, was grown in the
town. There was a particular kind of wild cherry, of which Aubrey was
told by John Evelyn that it made a most excellent wine, little inferior
to the French claret; it would even keep longer. With the cherry wine,
perhaps, you would have eaten Dorking snails. They were large, white
snails, which some said were brought to the Downs by the pilgrims,
others thought were introduced from Italy by the Earl of Arundel, Lord
Marshal of England; Lady Arundel used to cook and eat them. They roamed
the Downs by Box Hill and other chalky places, and are still to be found
there. Perhaps the Romans brought them, but they are not peculiar to
Surrey and Sussex; I have found them on chalk in Hertfordshire, and I
have heard of them on the Cotswolds.

Such good fare should have built up the constitutions of Dorking people.
But it was not so in Aubrey's time, for he picks out the Dorking men and
women as weaker and paler than others. He liked to see women with rosy
faces:--

    "Handsome women (viz. sanguine) as in Berks, Oxon, Somerset, &c. are
    rare at this market; they have a mealy complexion, and something
    hail like the French Picards; light grey eyed, and the kine
    hereabout are of sandy colour, like those in Picardy. None
    (especially those above the hill) have roses in their cheeks. The
    men and women are not so strong or of so warm a complexion as in
    Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, &c."

[Illustration: _The White Horse, Dorking._]

One, at least, of the old customs of the town survived until very recent
memory. Now it has died out with the rest. From Mr. J.S. Bright's
_History of Dorking_ I learn that the office of constable has lapsed;
the places of the 'Beggar-poker' and the 'Ale Taster' have been taken by
the local police. Parish funds are no longer dispensed at the close of
church service. The poor on St. Thomas's Day used to go out 'Gooding';
to-day they plead no more. The Ditchling Singers, which were the Dorking
Waits, no longer keep Christmas. On the 29th of May, sacred to King
Charles II of blessed memory, an oak bough used to hang from the church
tower; the tower is bare throughout the year. Guy Fawkes has been burned
for the last time; the Jack in the Green dances no longer in cowslips
and buttercups on the first of May. One ancient rite alone persisted
until the other day. Every Shrove Tuesday, in dim remembrance of the
great carnival which in ancient, pre-Reformation days, preceded the
rigours of Lent, mummers made the circuit of the town. In the afternoon
all the shops were shut and boarded up, and a game of football, started
at the church gates, rioted up and down the main street. In the
_Southern Weekly News_, an account describing the game of 1888 says that
just before midday a procession of men grotesquely attired was formed,
headed by a man bearing three footballs on a triangular frame, over
which was the motto:--

    "Kick away both Whig and Tory,
    Wind and water Dorking's glory."

The Town Crier started the game, kicked off the first ball at two
o'clock, and stopped it at six. But that was in 1888. Twenty years have
changed the Crier's duties. Fines and the police have stopped the old
custom altogether.

Fifty years ago the Dorking cricket ground at Cotmandene was hardly less
well known than the Oval. Two Dorking cricketers belong to the glorious
days of Cotmandene. Henry Jupp was born in the town, and Tom Humphrey at
Mitcham, but both kept public-houses in Dorking, and both played great
cricket for the county. Many stories are told of Jupp, who was a
favourite with the crowd, but one of the oldest belongs to Cotmandene.
The match was for his benefit, and he was batting. Playing back at a
ball, he trod on his wicket, and a bail fell. He picked up the bail,
replaced it, and was reminded that he was out. "Out! At Dorking! Not
me!" Nor did he go out, but made a hundred instead.

Another of Dorking's inhabitants made history in a different way.
Brayley's _History of Surrey_ was printed throughout in Dorking, and
Ede, the printer, is said to have spent over £10,000 in the printing.
What he made out of it is doubtful; he had made the £10,000 by his three
businesses as printer, chemist, and perfumer.

The real Dorking, apart from its battles over and to come, is
sufficiently happy to have had very little history. The Danes sacked it,
tradition says: they cannot have had much plunder. Julius Cæsar marched
through it, perhaps, if there was a Dorking then; the Roman road, at all
events, the great Stone Street, which is still an English road by Ockley
to the south, drove through the corner of Dorking churchyard. Another
event of the dark days was an earthquake in 1551, in which, according to
Henry Machyn's _Diary_, "pottes, panes, and dysys dounst and mett fell
downe abowt howse and with many odur thyngs." But an earthquake which
could do nothing more than make pots, pans and dishes dance is hardly an
earthquake at all.

Perhaps its greatest event of historical times was a funeral. On the
23rd of December, 1815, Charles Howard, eleventh Duke of Norfolk, was
buried at Dorking with the pomp and pageantry of a king. The procession
left St. James's Square in London at nine in the morning; the coach and
six horses of the Duke of Sussex and twenty carriages followed it; they
reached Dorking at five. Deputy Garter King of Arms, Norroy King of
Arms, three heralds and three pursuivants attended in tabards of state;
Deputy Garter, after the service, proclaimed the Duke's styles and
titles:--

      The Most High, Mighty, and Most Potent Prince,
          Charles Howard, Duke of Norfolk,
                   Earl Marshal,
        And Hereditary Earl Marshal of England,
                Earl of Arundel Castle,
      Earl of Surrey, Earl of Norfolk, Earl of Norwich,
                   Baron Mowbray,
          Baron of Howard, Baron of Segrave,
                Baron Brurese of Gower,
        Baron Fitzalan, Baron Warren, Baron Clun,
           Baron Oswaldestre, Baron Maltravers,
      Baron Greystock, Baron Furnival, Baron Verdon,
                Baron Lovetot, Baron Strange,
        And Premier Baron Howard of Castle Rising,
    Premier Duke, Premier Earl, Premier Baron of England,
      And Chief of the Illustrious Family of the Howards.

The parish registers add little that can have stirred the world. Eleven
years after the earthquake, on February 28, 1562, "Owyn Tonny was
christened; who (a later hand adds), scoffing at thunder, standing under
a beech was stroke to death, his clothes stinking with a sulphurious
stench, being about the age of twenty years or thereabouts."

Another entry is more personal. De Foe, perhaps, who lived near Dorking,
and knew two Dorking giants, might have liked to see the parish register
side by side with a note in his "Tour." The "Tour" gives two
measurements of the giants:--

"At this place lived another ancient gentleman and his son, of a very
good family, Augustine Bellson, Esq.; the father measured seven feet and
a half, and allowing that he might have sunk for his age, being
seventy-one years old; and the son measured two inches taller than his
father."

From the Parish Register, 1738, May 16: "Richard Madderson, aged 29
years, and was not above three feet and three inches high; but in
thickness grown as much as any other person. He was all his life
troubled with an inward griping distemper, of which he at last died very
suddenly."

Thus the quiet life of Dorking in the quiet centuries. The days before
the repeal of the Corn Laws, with the introduction of machinery for hand
labour, saw the usual terror and the usual threats. "Captain Rock" and
"Captain Swing" signed the letters which were sent to Dorking farmers;
special constables were sworn, the windows of the Red Lion were broken,
and once, on November 22, 1830, a van drawn by four horses took Dorking
prisoners to the county gaol. Cavalry patrolled the town by night; but
that November saw the end of Dorking's nearest knowledge of modern war.



CHAPTER XXX

WOTTON AND LEITH HILL

    Denbies.--Tea veniente die.--A Temple of gloom.--Wotton House.--John
    Evelyn.--A child of five.--The Crossways.--Dabchicks in the
    Tillingbourne.--Friday Street.--A Swiss tarn.--Leith Hill.--The Day
    of Days.--Forty-one spires unseen.--Anstiebury Camp.--The Black
    Adder of Leith Hill.


North-west of Dorking, and overlooking the wide greenness of the Weald
away to Leith and Holmbury Hills, is Denbies, now the residence of the
Lord Lieutenant of the County, and once the property of Mr. Jonathan
Tyers. Jonathan Tyers was the Kiralfy of a less aspiring age. He was the
founder of Vauxhall Gardens, where, as Boswell puts it, you had a form
of entertainment "peculiarly adapted to the taste of the English nation;
there being a mixture of curious show--gay exhibition--music, vocal and
instrumental, not too refined for the general ear, for all which only a
shilling is paid; and, though last, not least, good eating and drinking
for those who choose to purchase that regale." The founder of Vauxhall
Gardens was also the father of Tom Tyers, the wit who parodied Virgil
over Dr. Johnson's tea-cups--

    "Tea veniente die, tea decedente"

--a phrase which has been of incalculable service to tea-drinking
undergraduates. It was Tom Tyers who summed up Dr. Johnson, to the
Doctor's liking: "Tom Tyers described me the best: 'Sir,' said he, 'you
are like a ghost: you never speak till you are spoken to.'"

Jonathan Tyers reserved a private gloom for his own garden at Denbies.
He named one of his plantations _Il Penseroso_ and in it built a small
temple which he bespattered with dismal texts. A clock struck every
minute, to remind the visitor of the constant approach of death, and in
an alcove were two life-size paintings of a Christian and an Unbeliever
in their last moments. At the end of a walk stood a pair of pedestals,
one of which carried a "Gentleman's Scull" and the other a "Lady's
Scull" with appropriate verses; upon all of which melancholy properties
Mr. John Timbs in his _Picturesque Promenade Round Dorking_, printed in
1823, meditates thus:--

    "Such eccentric imageries, making irrefragable appeals to the
    feelings of the dissolute debauchee, might form a persuasive
    penitentiary, and urge the necessity of amendment with better effect
    than all the farcical frenzies of mere formalists and fanatics."

A later owner removed temple and all. Denbies of to-day offers the
traveller a kindlier welcome by allowing access to more than one private
roadway, from which the outlook over the country to the south is more
than worth the steady climb from Dorking.

The road runs on to Ranmer Common, where Mr. John Timbs was able to look
north to the dome and pinnacles of St. Paul's Cathedral and Westminster
Abbey, but I was not lucky enough with the weather. Ranmer has a church
more finely placed, I think, than any in the county, except perhaps St.
Martha's; but St. Martha's has no spire like Ranmer. Ranmer spire is a
landmark: you take your bearings from that graceful needle for many
miles in central Surrey, as you may from Crooksbury Hill in the west.
East Surrey has no landmark quite so friendly.

Polesden Lacey, where Sheridan lived after his second marriage, is a
mile away to the north. To the south, below Ranmer, at the foot of the
Downs, is Westcott, once a small hamlet and now something more, with a
pretty little church set on a hill. Further on the road west, is Wotton
Hatch, and at Wotton House and in the church you are with John Evelyn.
Of all the great men who belong to Surrey history, John Evelyn is first.
He had not the religious exaltation, nor the ambition of a stern divine
like Archbishop Abbot; he had the dignity, but not the desire of public
service, of a politician such as Sir Arthur Onslow; he was not a fiery
reformer like William Cobbett, or a diplomatist like Sir William
Temple; he left behind him no such monument of stately learning as
Edward Gibbon, nor a record of military service like that of the great
Howard, the general of Queen Elizabeth's navy at sea against the navy of
Spain. But what he left will endure; the fame of an English gentleman
who was honest, surrounded by intrigue; unambitious of honours and
titles, a royalist who had the friendship of kings whom courtiers
flattered; a virtuoso of learning hardly equalled in his time, a diarist
whose jottings, never meant for printing, are a classic; a pious,
honourable, shrewd, country squire of deep family affections, and set in
a niche of his own by all who live and work in the country to-day, as
one of the greatest of English woodmen and gardeners. Upon his grave, on
the two hundredth anniversary of his death, February 27, 1906, the
Society of Antiquaries placed a wreath of bays--an honour, I think,
unique in the annals of Surrey churches.

[Illustration: _Wotton House._]

The Evelyns have their own chapel in Wotton Church, locked by the same
wooden gate which opened to John Aubrey. In the little square space lie
John Evelyn and his wife, in raised tombs, and on the walls are
elaborate memorials of other Evelyns. One tomb the chapel does not hold,
though John Evelyn intended it should. His son Richard, who lived to be
scarcely five years old, died at Sayes Court, John Evelyn's property in
Kent, and lies at Deptford. The father wrote nothing sadder than his
short record of his child's few years--a strange enough comment on the
life of the nursery (if it was a nursery) of Stuart days:--

"At two years and a-half old, he could perfectly read any of the
English, Latin, French, or Gothic letters, pronouncing the three first
languages exactly. He had, before the fifth year, or in that year, not
only skill to read most written hands, but to decline all the nouns,
conjugate the verbs regular, and most of the irregular; learned out
_Puerilis_, got by heart almost the entire vocabulary of French
primitives and words, could make congruous syntax, turn English into
Latin, and _vice versâ_, construe and prove what he read and did the
government, and use of relatives, verbs, substantives, ellipses, and
many figures and tropes, and made a considerable progress in Comenius's
_Janua_; began himself to write legibly, and had a strong passion for
Greek.... He was all life, all prettiness, far from morose, sullen, or
childish in anything he said or did."

"Far from childish"--it is perverse enough. John Evelyn himself began
the dreary round of tropes and primitives almost as early. He was taught
in a little room above Wotton church porch, by one Frier, when he was
nearly four. The porch has been renewed, and the room has gone.

Wotton House stands in a dip of grassland under noble trees. It is
little like what it was in Evelyn's day, for fire has taken away part of
it, and much that is new is added. The result is partly imposing, partly
incongruous; but much of the best of the house has aged well, and the
red-brick court and walled carriage-drive stand finely from their
background. Behind the house is the terraced garden which Evelyn himself
made, and beyond it a streak of water running between wooded banks away
to the blue dimness of Leith Hill. John Evelyn shall describe Wotton as
he knew it:--

    "The house is large and ancient, suitable to those hospitable times,
    and so sweetly environed with those delicious streams and venerable
    woods, as in the judgment of strangers as well as Englishmen it may
    be compared to one of the most pleasant seats in the nation, and
    most tempting for a great person and a wanton purse to make it
    conspicuous. I will say nothing of the air, because the pre-eminence
    is universally given to Surrey, the soil being dry and sandy; but I
    should speak much of the gardens, fountains, and groves that adorn
    it, were they not generally known to be amongst the most natural,
    and (till this later and universal luxury of the whole nation, since
    abounding in expenses) the most magnificent that England afforded."

Between Wotton and Westcott is The Rookery, once the home of David
Malthus, father of the historian and economist. The name of David
Malthus hides behind his more famous son's; but he was a translator of
the _Sorrows of Werther_ and of _Paul and Virginia_, who deserves
memories of his own. He lies in Wotton churchyard.

From Wotton one might go on by Abinger Hammer to Gomshall, but the
natural round, perhaps, and certainly one of the loveliest walks in the
county, is by Abinger Hatch and Friday Street to Leith Hill. But by
neither way must anyone walking by these roads miss the Crossways, a
mile west of Wotton Hatch, with its perfect little farmhouse and the
stream running through the fields past Abinger Mill. The Crossways
farmhouse--perhaps Mr. Meredith had the name in his mind when he
imagined the most gracious of his heroines--is of all the Surrey
farmhouses I know the most fascinating. It lies behind a high wall,
which runs round a square little garden; you peep through a gateway
covered with ivy, and find an old lichened, weatherworn house, with
ornamented brickwork and latticed windows, a house which Evelyn's
grandfather may have known, and would find to-day unaltered. Crossways
farm is most like Slyfields, the old Jacobean house near Bookham, but it
is smaller, and is, I think, perfect, whereas Slyfields is a fragment.
Crossways, besides its delightful front, has a fine chimney stack, and a
strange but most satisfying buttress which ties the house to the garden
wall.

The farm lies among pasture-lands through which rushes the prettiest
possible little brook. It is the Tillingbourne, here a stripling, and
never much bigger for that matter; but here it is the meadow-brook in
its ideal form. It runs from a broken mill-wheel below an old
hammerpond, past a cottage shaded by four noble yews, and then races
through two meadows faster, I think, than any brook anywhere else in
Surrey. The water runs with the deep sparkle of cut glass;
forget-me-nots grow about it, and reed mace, and figwort and
bittersweet; waterhens wander in the shaven grass of its brim, and
dabchicks go plump in the current like cricket-balls. There may be trout
in the stream here as there are by Albury, but I am sure it runs too
fast and round too many corners for anybody to catch them.

[Illustration: _Crossways Farmhouse, Abinger._]

The road leads south and up hill from the Crossways to Abinger Hatch,
bordering deep woods of oak and beech. In July and August the glades of
the Abinger woods, like the woods about Byfleet and Woking, gleam with
the pinks and purples of rosebay. Abinger Hatch is no more a village
than Wotton Hatch: both are wayside inns, and Abinger Hatch one of the
best country inns to be found in a walk. Saturdays and Sundays in the
summer fill it with guests from almost everywhere, who sit down to a
long table; my own first visit to the inn was on an ordinary weekday,
and the surprise was to discover that there was a hot lunch ready. Such
surprises are rare. But Abinger has everything worth keeping of the old
customs. The stocks stand at the churchyard gate, mouldering, but they
are there. The inn has the old name, and the little old bar, and the
old-fashioned custom of hanging the squire's portrait in the
dining-room. Only the church is a difficulty. It is kept locked, and it
takes ten minutes to walk to the rectory to get the key--too far for the
patience of those who would merely wish for rest and refreshment in the
cool and sacredness of a country church. I was fortunate in my day, for
I found the vestry door accidentally open, and a kindly countrywoman
cleaning the church; she let me in. The nave, with its hugely thick
walls and lancet windows, is unlike any other Surrey church; Mr. Philip
Johnston, who perhaps knows more about Surrey churches than anyone else,
dates it at 1080.

Nobody should go straight from Abinger Hatch to Leith Hill. You should
turn aside to the left and let the road take you eastwards into the
woods. Then you may come upon the tiny gathering of cottages called
Friday Street with a suddenness which is a delight. You turn a corner of
the road and you are in Switzerland. A little tarn, unruffled by any
wind, mirroring a hill of pine-trees, lies below you; beyond the water
is the blue reek of wood-fires; open grass runs to the edge of the lake,
a light green rim to the dark of the pines. So do the little emerald
tarns lie like saucers full of sky and trees in pockets of the Alps. The
illusion wants but the tinkle of cowbells: it would be pleasant to
present bells to straying goats.

From Friday Street to the tower on Leith Hill is a walk through the very
depths of the wood. Heather glows in the openings of the pines, bracken
brushes rain on your sleeve, bilberries ripen in the scented heat, and
almost any path--though not the road--runs higher and higher to the open
ground at the very top. At the top, nine hundred and sixty-five feet up,
you are on the highest hill in the south-east of England.

Leith Hill is not for the multitude which climbs Box Hill. It is further
from London, and further from a railway station. But it calls its own
companies of travellers, and they are often large; the roads from
Holmwood, which is the nearest station, are lined with notices
indicating the right direction. When brakes carry excursionists from
Holmwood, the brakes halt at the foot, and the visitors climb. The
climb ends in a tower with a story. It was built by Richard Hull, eldest
bencher of the Inner Temple and member of several Irish Parliaments. He
built it, his Latin inscription informs you, for the enjoyment of
himself and his neighbours, and six years later, in 1772, he was buried
under it. Gratefully enough, the neighbourhood rifled the dead man's
tower of its doors and windows; then, by way of compensation, to prevent
more robbery, filled it half full of cement. It was left to the late
owner of Wotton, Mr. W.J. Evelyn, in 1863 to restore the building and to
add a staircase, and I believe the platform of the roof stands now
exactly a thousand feet above sea level.

[Illustration: _Friday Street._]

The full view from Leith Hill has been described by a number of very
fortunate persons. Aubrey was one of the first, and he estimated that
the whole circumference of the horizon could not be less than two
hundred miles. It is probably more. But did Aubrey ever see the full
vision? If he did, he climbed the hill on a lucky day. English weather
sends few days clear enough of mist to set a sharp outline on the
Kentish downs, the Buckinghamshire hills and the slopes of Wiltshire,
and the combination of transparent air and presence in the neighbourhood
of a great height must be rare for ordinary men. Yet Leith Hill, even on
the mistiest day, can give the true notion of height. The first day I
climbed it was after a night of July rain. A wind had sprung up and
seemed from the lower roads about the hill to have blown the distance
clear. Then came an hour of hot sunshine, and the sudden view of the
weald was of a sea of cloud. For two or three miles, perhaps, near the
hill the oaks and elms, the roofs and the roads were plain enough.
Beyond swam an infinite veil. But the sense of height, of detachment,
remained.

I have never been on Leith Hill on the day of days, nor seen the spires
of forty-one churches in London, which the Ordnance Surveyors counted in
1844, nor watched a sail on the sea through Shoreham Gap. But I was once
there on an August day of sunshine and cold rain and wind, and saw all
the southern view in a way I should like to see it again. I came to the
hill from the west by Coldharbour, and black rain brooded over all the
distance to the east. To the south-east the air was clear to the Kent
horizon; north-east the glass of the Crystal Palace winked in the sun.
Then the rain came down over the weald to the south and the west, and
the cloud rode over the fields and dotted trees like the shower of rain
in Struwelpeter, blotting out the villages and the Sussex downs one by
one. Then behind the cloud drove up blank blue air, and to the west
Hindhead and Blackdown and hills beyond them came clean cut in a cold
wind that made my eyes water; Hascombe Hill stood up dark and far, and
the Hog's Back to the north of it, edged like grey paper; I was lucky to
see the Hog's Back so plainly, the vendor of tea and melons at the tower
told me; she had seen the sea by Shoreham Gap that morning, but often
went a week without seeing the Hog's Back. Below, to the south-west,
Vachery Pond lay a gold mirror; Chanctonbury Ring faithfully marked the
south as the rain drew past, and I left Leith Hill with the rain cloud
riding down wind like night over the weald of Kent.

[Illustration: _Among the Pines._]

The unsatisfactory result of climbing a hill for a view is that you must
come down again. Leith Hill is better than other hills for the reason
that if you come down the best way, which is eastwards, you can climb up
almost as high again on the other side of the dip and walk nearly a mile
in the wind at the edge of a ridge overlooking half Kent and Sussex, and
then come to the prettiest village of all the Downs. Friday Street is
less a village than a handful of cottages, but Coldharbour has its
church and its inn, the Plough, and its scattered roofs lie on the side
of a valley of green brake and red sand. Coldharbour is almost as Swiss
as Friday Street, and the paint of its inn as bright white as any in the
sun of the Engadine. If Friday Street lacks the cowbells, Coldharbour
would be complete with the grey turbulence of snow-water.

Left and right of Leith Hill are two great camps, both of them firmly
linked in local legend with Cæsar and the Danes, and both of them
connected by history with neither. Like the camp on St. George's Hill,
the camps on Anstiebury and Holmbury Hills were ancient British
settlements; places of refuge where the men of the tribe left their
women and children and cattle while they themselves went out with their
stone-tipped arrows to find the men of other tribes. Anstiebury Camp is
the larger, and covers eleven acres or so of what is now deep beechwood.

Anstiebury has an easy and certain derivation. Hean Stige Byrig is early
English for the Bury of the High-way. Mr. H.E. Malden, in the _Surrey
Archæological Collections_, points out that this may be the Roman Stone
Street, which passes half a mile left of the hill, or it may be the
ancient British road which runs from Coldharbour to Dorking; the latter
he thinks most likely. Certainly a native with proper pride would hardly
refer to the newly engineered road in the distance in preference to the
wonderful highway close at hand. It runs from the hilltop north and
south, cut deep in the yellow sandstone as the ancient Briton liked his
pathways cut. A man twenty feet high could walk invisible between the
banks of that sheltering trackway.

Anstiebury camp came near to harbouring a modern garrison early in the
last century, when the Napoleon scare was at its wildest heights, and
good citizens went to bed praying that the next day "Boney" might not be
thundering at the town gates; it was actually proposed that the old
British Camp should be used to shelter the women and children of
Dorking. Another battle, an extra rumour or two, might have filled the
breaches with the dauntless subjects of King George. Happily, that cloud
vanished.

Round the camps and the battlefields of the heights of Leith Hill and
Holmbury cluster the names of wilder enemies than man. Bearhurst, Boars'
Hill and Wolf's Hill belong to the neighbourhood, and members of the
Surrey Archæological Society have heard Mr. Malden discourse incisively
on the scavengers' work after the battle of Ockley, when the West Saxons
buried their dead, and there were no Danes left alive to bury theirs.

Leith Hill has another curious record of an animal. On July 27, 1876, a
tourist walking over the hill trod upon a snake, which bit him; he
managed to get to Ockley, but died in two days. The interest of the
record is that Mr. J.S. Bright, the historian of Dorking, says that the
snake was a black adder, _Coronella laevis_, while Mr. Boulenger, in his
list of Surrey snakes does not admit that the _Coronella laevis_ has
ever occurred in the county.

From Anstiebury the old high road runs steep to Dorking--a road of later
memories of sudden death than British battles. On a gallows at the foot
of the hill three highwaymen once hung in chains. A house has been built
upon the very spot.

[Illustration: _Looking towards Dorking from Westcott._]



CHAPTER XXXI

DORKING TO REIGATE

    Nicknames.--Anastasius Hope.--Deepdene.--Mr. Howard's
    Garden.--Betchworth Chestnuts and Castle.--Brockham badgers.--The
    Straw-yards.--Bakers among the roses.--Leigh: Lie.--Leigh
    Place.--Ardernes and Copleys.--Sir Thomas's notion of a
    Gentleman.--Buckland's barn.


Of three dull nicknames, stuck like burrs on the mantles of Dorking's
prophets, the dullest and prosiest has stuck to the richest.
"Conversation" is a pretty severe burden for a man named plain Richard
Sharp to carry; the hideousness of the baulked elision of "Sylva" Evelyn
sets the teeth on edge (he developed into "Sylvie" as well as "Silver"
Evelyn, poor man); "Capability" Brown, the gardener, must have been
buttonholed by a thousand bores; but "Anastasius" Hope is beyond
tolerance. How should such a name be endured? Thomas Hope endured it. He
was the owner of Deepdene, the great house and garden and park a mile
west of Dorking, property that once belonged to the Howards, and in
particular to the ninth Duke of Norfolk. His father was a vastly wealthy
Amsterdam merchant, he himself a patron and a critic of art. He gave
Thorwaldsen his first commission in marble, and Thorwaldsen celebrated
the day of the order every year of his life. But he owed his name to a
romance, _Anastasius or Memoirs of a Modern Greek_, which he wrote at
his leisure, and which places him, as Mr. John Timbs, promenading around
Dorking in 1824, assures us, "in the highest list of eloquent writers
and superior men." The _Edinburgh Reviewer_ was not less effusive. Until
_Anastasius_ was published he had known Mr. Hope merely as the author of
an essay on _Household Furniture and Interior Decoration_. In
_Anastasius_ was the change from the upholsterer to the epicurean.

Deepdene still holds statues and pictures, of which Mr. Bright, in his
history of Dorking, gives a long list. Such a list belongs rightly to a
history; but since the pictures can no longer be seen, other pages need
but note that permission is occasionally granted to walk in the park.
Aubrey's engaging description of the garden as he saw it late in the
seventeenth century, a hundred years before Mr. Thomas Hope, belongs to
his century and ours:--

    "Near this place the Honourable Charles Howard of Norfolk hath very
    ingeniously contrived a long Hope (_i.e._, according to Virgil,
    _Deductus Vallis_) in the most pleasant and delightful solitude for
    house, gardens, orchards, boscages etc., that I have seen in
    England: It deserves a Poem and was a subject worthy of Mr. Cowley's
    Muse. The true name of this Hope is Dibden (quasi Deep Dene).

    Mr. Howard hath cast this Hope in the form of a theatre on the sides
    whereof he hath made seven narrow walks like the seats of a theatre,
    one above another, about six in number, done with a plough, which
    are bordered with thyme, and some cherry-trees, myrtles, etc. Here
    was a great many orange trees and syringas which were then in
    flower. In this garden are twenty-one sorts of thyme. The pit, as I
    may call it, is stored full of rare flowers and choice plants. He
    hath there two pretty lads his gardeners, who wonderfully delight in
    their occupation, and this lovely solitude, and do enjoy themselves
    so innocently in that pleasant corner, as if they were out of this
    troublesome world, and seem to live in the state of innocency."

But not the gardeners alone. The visitor had a quiet mind who could
exclaim, as John Aubrey did, that "the pleasures of the garden were so
ravishing that I can never expect any enjoyment beyond it but the
Kingdom of Heaven." Aubrey has been called ill-natured, and a
scandal-lover. Nobody ever called him that who has met him in a garden.

East of Dorking and the Deepdene are half-a-dozen Betchworths.
Betchworth Clump rides a shoulder of the downs, with a superb view to
the south; Betchworth village lies under the Clump a mile and more from
the foot of the hill; Betchworth Park and Castle are between the village
and Deepdene. Through the park runs a road, and an avenue of wonderful
limes, but the Castle, which cannot be seen from the part of the park
open to the public, is a castle no longer. It was never more than a
castle in name; Sir Thomas Browne fortified it under Henry VI, but it
saw no fighting. Thomas Hope's father, when he added Betchworth to his
purchase of the Deepdene, pulled it down, and a mere fragment remains.
Not much younger than the ruins, perhaps, are the gnarled and twisted
boles of the Betchworth sweet chestnuts. Albury Park holds some giants,
and there are a few trees quite as fine in Weybridge gardens that once
stood on royal ground, but the Betchworth chestnuts must be older than
either.

Badgers must have been common by Betchworth, for Brocks multiply in the
local names. Brockham village, with a pretty green, stands beyond
Betchworth Park on the Mole; probably the badger has left Brockham since
the bricklayer came out of Dorking.

[Illustration: _The Red Lion, Betchworth._]

Other outdoor life has survived; Brockham still plays good cricket.
Cricket was a favourite game on Brockham Green very early in its
history. Cotmandene was not far away, and no doubt Cotmandene cricket
encouraged smaller games. One of the customs of Brockham players was to
wear straw hats of a pattern made in the village, and when the eleven
went to play over at Mitcham there were derisive shouts--"Here come the
Brockham straw yards." But the straw yards won, and in an innings.

It would be quite easy for a stranger to pass through the Betchworth
that lies on the main road between Dorking and Reigate, and to believe
he had seen it all. But the best of Betchworth is by the little church,
south of the main road on a bend of the Mole. The church, cool and
white, stands deep in a ring of beeches, elms, and ash-trees, and the
baker and grocer of the village lives among roses in a little street of
cottage gardens opposite. At least one of the bequests to the parish is
curiously described on the church wall. Mrs. Margaret Fenwick left £200,
which was to be used partly in binding out poor children as apprentices,
and partly "in prefering in marriage such Maid Servants born in this
Parish as shall respectfully live Seven Years in any Service and whose
friends are not able to do it." The intention is clear, but friends
unable to live respectfully seven years in one service would, one would
think, be numerous.

The real centre from which to see the country east and south of
Betchworth is Reigate, but a walk from Dorking to Reigate might very
well take in Leigh, which is a little out of the beaten track. But if
you ask the way, do not inquire for "Lee." "Lie" is the name. The
village is very small, but it stands round a pretty little green, and
one of the old timbered cottages with a Horsham slab roof sets the right
grace to a group with the church and its trees. Leigh church has fine
brasses of the Arderne family, who had Leigh Place, once an ancient and
moated house half a mile north of the village, now a rather nondescript
but quaint building; the moat remains, the house has been partly pulled
down, partly rebuilt. Leigh Place belonged first to the great family of
de Braose, but its earliest legends are of the Ardernes. There was a Sir
Thomas de Arderne who wooed Margery, the wife of Nicholas de Poynings,
in a very rough manner; he saw no way to making her his own wife except
by making her widow of de Poynings, and so killed him. Tradition says
that she died of a broken heart, and haunts Leigh Place, a sad lady in
white; but it was probably not Sir Thomas, but a descendant of his, who
first had Leigh Place. Still, to Leigh belongs the story. After the
Ardernes, Leigh Place came to the Copleys, who were also of Gatton. One
of them, Sir Thomas Copley, had original notions as to the proper
bearing and attributes of an English gentleman. Mr. John Watney, writing
in the _Surrey Archæological Collections_, gives a long letter which Sir
Thomas wrote to Queen Elizabeth in 1575, defending himself, among other
things, for having taken to himself titles to which he had no right. His
defence is ingenious:--

    "As to the other point, where your Majesty showed to be informed,
    that I had attributed to myself in those letters of marque greater
    titles than became me or than I could well avow, that must needs be
    either in that I termed myself _nobilis Anglus_, or in that, for
    more credit both to myself and your service, I was bold to set down
    _Dominus de Gatton_, _Roughey_ etc., naming certain my Lordships.
    To the first I beseech your Majesty to consider, that there is no
    other Latin word proper to signify a gentleman born, but _nobilis_.
    As for _generosus_, as I have read in good writers _Vinum
    generosum_, for a good cup of wine and _equus generosus_ for a
    courageous horse, so I never heard _generosus_ alone so used, to
    signify a gentleman born, but only on the gross Latin current in
    Westminster Hall, and, if I had set down _generosus Anglus_, it
    would have then construed rather a gentle Englishman than an English
    gentleman. And as for _armiger_, it had yet been more barbarous, for
    surely the world here abroad would rather have understood by that
    strange term a page or a sword-bearer than a gentleman of the better
    sort, as custom has made it to be construed in England; that this is
    simply true, I doubt not, but that your Majesty, excelling in your
    knowledge of good letters, will easily judge a gracious sentence on
    my suit.... So that in setting down the term _nobilis_ used through
    the world for a gentleman, I had no intention to make myself more
    noble than I am, but to take only that which was due unto me."

[Illustration: _Buckland._]

I have taken Leigh on the way to Reigate. But the best way to see Leigh
on a short walk is to reach it from Reigate travelling west. The
introduction is by way of Reigate Heath, a wide and breezy common on
which an old black windmill stands high above heather and bracken, a
gaunt and wild neighbour to the orderly villas of the town.

Last of the little villages under the downs between Dorking and Reigate
is Buckland--a handful of cottages, a pond, and a noble barn with
upper-works like a tower. Buckland keeps tranquilly apart from Reigate,
and Reigate, considerately enough, builds her new houses towards the
railway and Redhill.

[Illustration: _The Roman Road at Ockley._]



CHAPTER XXXII

UNDER LEITH HILL

    The Battle of Ockley.--The Stone Street.--The prettiest green in
    Surrey.--Sweethearts and Roses.--When the Gentlemen went by.--An
    engaging family history.--Oakwood: a forest chapel.--Capel
    quiet.--Newdigate bells.--Martins in September.


Battlefields are not very numerous in Surrey. The Parliamentary wars
shed a little military glory on the North and the West, and attacks on
London from the Surrey side--its invulnerable side--belong to almost
every century of London's history. But the great Surrey battle, which
belongs to Ockley under Leith Hill, is of the battles of long ago, dim
and hazy in the mist of centuries, fearful with legends of blood in
rivers, and warriors laid in swathes like mown corn. Even now, country
tradition asserts, the rain that sweeps down Leith Hill sends the
rainpools red in the plain below. The great battle of Ockley was fought
when the Danes came two hundred and fifteen years before Harold fell at
Hastings. They had sailed across to Kent, the historian says, with three
hundred and fifty large ships, and had driven in Ethelstan, who was king
of Kent, Sussex, Essex, and Surrey, under his father Ethelwulf. They
sacked Canterbury, and went up the Thames to London; there they beat in
Beorhtwulf, king of the Mercians, and before them lay but one great
town, Winchester, unsacked. Down they swept over the Thames, and out of
his own country, Ethelwulf, of Wessex, overlord of the beaten Ethelstan
and Beorhtwulf, came to meet them. Up the great Stone Street, the Roman
road that runs as straight as a die from Chichester, he marched, and lay
across the front of his enemy, clear of the deep forest that spread
south of Ockley. The Danes came on. Perhaps they rested a night in the
old British camp on Anstiebury Hill, perhaps they swept straight on:
battle was joined "hard by Ockley wood." Local tradition, always apt to
associate notable deeds with easily marked places, makes the scene of
the battle Ockley Green; but the armies could not have seen each other
on the low ground, which must have been half swamp, half undergrowth.
They fought, no doubt, on the higher ground near Leith Hill. The
slaughter was prodigious; "blood stood ankle deep," and the day ended
with the great body of the Danes dead on the hills, and the rest flying
where they could along the roads and through the woods. Probably not a
Dane got away alive. It was a wonderful victory.

To-day the peace that broods over Ockley is born of wooded parks and
sunlit spaces. Ockley Green must be one of the largest in Surrey, and I
think is the prettiest of all. Along its western side runs a row of
noble elms, bordering the road, and under the shade of the elms an old
inn. This road is actually part of the Stone Street up which Ethelwulf
marched against the Danes; and it would be hardly possible to devise a
prettier road, as it passes under the Ockley elm trees, or a more
tranquil outlook for an inn. Low-roofed cottages edge the grass, warm
and sheltered; a drinking fountain on the green level suggests summer
games and thirsty cricketers; though I think Ockley has contributed no
great cricketers to the game. Beyond the green lie stretches of pasture
and rich and smiling woodland.

The church stands nearly a mile from the green, and to its quiet acre
belongs one of the prettiest traditions of bygone Surrey--the planting
of rose-trees over the graves of betrothed lovers. It was still a custom
in Aubrey's time:--

    "In the churchyard are many red rose-trees planted among the graves,
    which have been there beyond man's memory. The sweetheart (male or
    female) plants roses at the head of the grave of the lover deceased;
    a maid that had lost her dear twenty years since, yearly hath the
    grave new turfed, and continues yet unmarried."

Rose-trees still grow in the churchyard, though perhaps the planting of
them does not go back beyond man's memory.

Although so quiet a little village to-day, the neighbourhood of Ockley
has seen some wild doings. Holmbury Hill, to the north, was once one of
the principal settlements of the "Heathers," or broom squires, who still
survive, a more respectable and a weaker folk, under Hindhead and
elsewhere. Here one of their chief occupations was smuggling; indeed,
the range of hills round Ewhurst and Holmbury Common served as a kind of
halfway house for the gentlemen who were riding with silk and brandy
from the Sussex seaboard to London. It was a Burwash mother who used to
put her child to bed with the injunction, "Now, mind, if the gentlemen
come along, don't you look out of the window"; doubtless the text which
inspired Mr. Kipling's delightful verses. But there must have been many
a Ewhurst and Ockley mother who knew "the gentlemen" by sight, and
counselled confiding children to hold their tongues and look in the
proper direction as the Burwash woman bids her child in Mr. Kipling's
song:--

    "If you meet King George's men, dressed in blue and red,
    You be careful what you say, and mindful what is said.
    If they call you 'pretty maid,' and chuck you 'neath the chin,
    Don't you tell where no one is, nor yet where no one's been
    If you do as you've been told, likely there's a chance,
    You'll be give a dainty doll, all the way from France,
    With a cap of Valenciennes, and a velvet hood--
    A present from the Gentlemen, along o' being good!
          Five and twenty ponies
          Trotting through the dark--
          Brandy for the Parson,
          'Baccy for the Clerk.
    Them that asks no questions isn't told a lie--
    Watch the wall, my darling, while the Gentlemen go by!"

The memory of smuggling under Leith Hill has, indeed, lasted into the
last decade. Mr. H.E. Malden, the Surrey historian to whom all Surrey
writers and readers owe so much, tells us in a paper on Holmbury Hill
and its neighbourhood that he personally knew an old man, a native of
Coldharbour, who had actually seen the game going on. He was born, it is
true, in 1802, but he lived to be a hundred years old, and to talk to
Mr. Malden discreetly about what he had seen. In his conversation Mr.
Malden remarks with proper tranquillity "he indicated this and that
respectable neighbour. Well, he said, his grandfather, and _his_
grandfather and so on, knew something about the smuggling. He, of
course, had done nothing in that way, but he remembered his father
holding open the gate at the end of Crocker's Lane, Coldharbour, for a
body of men on horseback, each with a keg of brandy behind him, to ride
through. A man with whom he had worked told him how he was witness of a
scene when a bold gatekeeper refused to open his turnpike gate to a body
of armed men on horseback, who, after threatening him in vain, turned
aside across the fields." Relics of the past still remain in the
district. Under Holmbury Hill there is a cottage of which the cellars
run right back into the hill; tradition has placed kegs of brandy in
them. A naval cutlass was picked up some thirty years ago in a field by
Leith Hill--possibly it was used in a smugglers' fray with King George's
men. Nor was it long ago that a trackway which runs from Forest Green,
two miles to the west of Ockley, through Tanhurst over Leith Hill, was
known as the Smuggler's Way.

Surrey yeomen come nowhere of better stock than the oldest Ockley
families. Aubrey tells a story of one of the Eversheds of Ockley, who,
when the heralds made their visitation, was urged to take a coat of
arms. "He told them that he knew no difference between gentlemen and
yeomen, but that the latter were the better men, and that they were
really gentlemen only, who had longer preserved their estates and
patrimonies in the same place, without waste or dissipation; an
observation very just." Aubrey adds, as examples of yeomen families who
had land at the Conquest, the names of Steere, Harpe, Hether, and Aston.
Steere, like Evershed, is a name that occurs over and over again in the
Registers, both at Ockley and Capel.

Ockley's Parish Account Books, from which Mr. Alfred Bax--one of the
oldest of Ockley names--has made some most interesting transcripts in
the _Surrey Archæological Collections_, furnish some quaint glimpses
into the life and customs of a Surrey village in old days. I make the
following extracts, of which the first is noticeable particularly as
evidence that a post office existed at Ockley at least as early as
1722:--

    Dec y^e 29 day 1722. Then John ffanne And M^r John Pratts Clarke of
    the post offis ffanne is a Vitler at the Cox, corner of Sherban Lane
    Cox sid of the post house? boath bound In A bond of A hundred pound
    for the parish of Ockley to pay one pound for the bewrall of William
    Drew In case he dy In bed lam and Ly wise to pay the Surgant for
    Cure of his sore Legs and Lychwise to tack Drew out when cured which
    sayed Drew was put In by Henry Worsfold and Edward Bax overseers
    this year 1722.

    _Reliefs and Accidentall Charges 1718._
                                                             £. _s. d._

    Thomas Rapley when his children had y^e measles and his
    wives lying in                                             00 05 06

    Thomas Rapley more by Vestry Order                            02 06

    Thomas Rapley relief at a Vestry                           00 02 00

    Paid for Laying forth Randall's Daughter                   00 01 00

    Paid for Bread and Cheese at Randal's daughter's Buriall   00 05 02

    _Wood delivered to ye Poor, 1718._

    Paid Richard Bax for Rapley Last year                      00 04 00

    1719.

    M^r Smith for Lying Dead in his house                      00 01 00

    _Reliefs and Accidental Charges 1721._

    8^ber 29^th Paid Tho. Rapley to buy Tire                   00 06 00

    7^ber ye 11 Drink to Henry Warren                          00 01 00

    Paid for a pair of Garters for Jn[=o] Hide                 00 00 01½

    _Wood Delivered to ye Poore In ye yeare 1722._

    Thomas Rapley tow hundred of fagot by Richard Bax of
    brock, fagot                                               00 10 00

    1723.

    8^ber 30^th. To Rapley to buy a pair of Shoes              00 02 00

    To Edw^d Bax to get rid of a Boy from Jn. Coles            00 12 00

    1726.

    7^ber ye 4. Paid for airing and Cleansing Tho. Worsfold after
    the Small Pox                                              01 10 00

    ffeb. 19. Relief to Tho. Worsfold after he had the small-pox
                                                               00 01 00

    1727.

    Allowed Tho. Amey toward ffatting his Hog                  01 00 00

    To Tho. Raply for Sparr timber and Mat^rs for ye almshouse 00 01 00

    [July the 10^th]. The same Day Paid for a pair of Leading
    Strings                                                    00 00 06

    7^ber ye 4^th. Allowed to Goodwife Cole to fface Jn[=o]. Songhursts
    Girl's Boddice and to graft her Petty coate                00 01 06

    December 26. Paid Thomas Simmonds and Rob^t Lisney for
    killing a fox In y^e parish Customary                      00 03 04

    March 18. Paid for Bread and Cheese and Bran [funeral of
    R^d Bashford]                                              00 05 06½

    Paid for 7 Galls. and ½ of Beer                            00 07 06

    1729.

    Sep^r 1. Paid Francis Heathfield for Brandy Boundwalking   00 04 00

    1731.

    Paid Goody Rapley on account of ayring and cleansing her
    Daughter of the Small Pox                                  00 14 00

    1739.

    Expenses carrying Sarah Rapley to Limpsfield               01 05  0½

    Paid for four Horses and a Side Saddle                     00 13 00

    Paid for a Warrant for Sarah Rapley                        00 01 00

    Paid for a Marriage Licence for D^o Rapley                 01 08 00

    Paid for her Wedding Ring                                  00 06 00

    Paid Horsehire to Dorking for D^o Rapley                   00 01 00

    Paid Tho. Rapley's wife for nurseing Sarah Rapley's child
    this month                                                     8

    1740.

    Paid the Clark's Fee at Sarah Rapley's Marriage            00 02 06

    Paid M^r Pearson for marrying Sarah Rapley and burying
    Jno. Lipscomb y^e blind man                                00 11 00

    1745.

    Expences having Henry Rapley to ye Sea when bitt by a
    Mad Dog (Paid to Richard Rapley)                           00 12 06

How many village families could show so long a written history as that
of the Rapleys, or so engaging a record? The entries of 1739 and 1740
are a perfect climax of hopes and fears, ending, it is impossible to
doubt, in the enjoyment by Sarah Rapley of every conceivable happiness.
But the joys hidden under the cold print of the last Rapley entry are
only dimly to be imagined. Henry Rapley's return from the sea, cured of
his dog-bite, must have brought out the whole village.

Two miles south-west of Ockley, a short way off the Stone street, stands
the lonely little chapel of Oakwood. It is one of the old forest
chapels, and dates back to the thirteenth century, but was enlarged in
the fifteenth, the happy result of an accident. Sir Edward de la Hale
was hunting wild boar with his son in the forest hard by. They had
wounded a boar, the boy was thrown from his horse, and the boar charged
down. His father spurred forward, too late to save him, when suddenly an
arrow whizzed through the trees and the boar fell dead. In his joy, the
father vowed on the spot an offering to the service of God, and Oakwood
chapel was restored and endowed. The little building lies apart,
sequestered in cornfields and deep woods, the quietest treasure of
sudden discovery for the stranger walking idly by country lanes.

Beyond the railway to the east of Ockley, approached by quiet oak-shaded
roads, lies the little village of Capel, not much more than a half-mile
of main street lined with cottages. Capel instils a pleasant
restfulness. Almost its chief buildings are the admirably designed
almshouses built in memory of Mr. Charles Webb of Clapham Common. In an
age when "improvements" generally mean the destruction of something old,
and "additions" to village housing accommodation mean yellow brick boxes
and slate lids, it is a pleasure to set eyes upon a modern building
instinct with the spirit of country places. Capel people have long had
proper views as to the right rate of progress through the business of
life. They are skilled, or some of them, in topiary, and when the garden
of a tiny, red-tiled cottage contains a shaven yew tree recognisable as
a fair-sized bird, the tenour of village life must be agreeably even.

Third of the three villages which group themselves south and south-west
of Leith Hill is Newdigate, separated from Capel by over two miles of a
zig-zagging road, though the distance for a steeplechase cannot be much
more than a mile from church to church. Newdigate church is the chief
part of the little village. The tower is wholly built of oak, and the
beams supporting the belfry are almost as fine as those of the Thursley
tower; possibly they are the work of the same craftsmen. Like other
Wealden churches, Newdigate has an abiding charm in her peal of bells.
They have been re-cast, but the Newdigate bellringers have long records
of changes rung in the little tower. Some of the records are painted on
wooden panels in the belfry. To the layman who has never rung a bell the
names of the changes are stimulating. Colledge Singles, Grandsire
Doubles, College Exercise, and College Pleasure are fairly simple; but
Without a Dodge provokes thought, and Woodbine Violet must have been
named by the village poet.

[Illustration: _Newdigate Church._]

Surrey autumns invest the shingled spires of these Wealden churches
with a peculiar beauty. Grey and white, black-streaked and shining,
weatherbeaten and weather-conquering, there is nothing in architecture
lighter or more graceful than the patterned sheaths of native oak
surmounting belfries which, sometimes for centuries, have called the
villagers to church. But in late autumn, when the swallows and martins
are practising starts for their long journey, the shingled spires turn
themselves to fresh uses. On a sunny day the birds come about them in
scores, pressing their bodies flat against the warm, dry wood, darting
out for short flights, hawking gnats and midges, and flitting back
again, keeping up through it all the sweetest and gentlest of anxious
twitterings, and, when they are clinging to the chequered wood,
resembling it so closely in colour and texture as to make it hard to
count a dozen birds quickly. Martins near their time for going enter on
all kinds of engaging habits, especially just before and just after
dusk, when bands of a dozen or so seem suddenly to make up their minds
to trial flights of the most amazing speed, utterly unlike their
ordinary, quiet flittings. But there is nothing prettier in all the
pageant of the migrants' year, than a dozen score martins with the
unrest of autumn on them darting round a shingled spire.



CHAPTER XXXIII

REIGATE

    Reigate Castle.--De Warenne.--A Swashbuckler and a Swordsman.--The
    Reigate Caves.--Lord Holland's soldiering.--Pilgrims at the Red
    Cross.--General of the Royale Navey.--Olde Dutchesse Norf.--"W.
    W."--Reigate Politics.--The Marble Hall.--The White Hart.--A Race
    against Time.


Four castles stood along the ridge of the Surrey downs when the barons
were at war, and of the four nothing worth the name of a castle remains.
Farnham's keep was broken down by Cromwell: Guildford is a shell,
Reigate and Bletchingley have disappeared altogether. Betchworth, never
fortified for war, was built later than the others, but Betchworth is an
insignificant ruin. The kings and the captains have passed, and their
buildings have followed them. The castles have gone down with the
palaces. Surrey never had a castle like Arundel; but she has not been
able to keep even a Pevensey or a Bodiam.

Yet Reigate castle and its owners shaped a great deal of English
history. It belonged to the great Earls de Warenne, the rival family to
the de Clares through all the early wars and intrigues of the kings and
the barons. It stood on the ancient British track, the "Way" which runs
east and west across the country. Its place on the Way was within reach
of the Roman road, the Stone Street that ran from Chichester to London.
Its possessor held the strongest strategic position between London and
the coastline, or between Canterbury and Winchester, and when there was
any fighting forward the lord of the highway cross roads, the ridge
gate, was the first person to be taken into account. The curious thing
is that there was so little fighting along the ridge. Reigate Castle
never saw a pitched battle. When Louis of France was riding by the ridge
to Winchester after King John, Reigate surrendered to the French, and de
Warenne only got his castle back by changing sides from John to Louis.
That was in 1216, and forty-seven years later, when Simon de Montfort
took the baron's army by the ridge to Rochester, Reigate could do no
more than watch the army march by. The de Warenne of the day was at
Lewes with the king, and when the king had lost all in the battle of
Lewes that followed, the lord of Reigate castle fled to France. He came
back the next year, and when de Montfort fell at Evesham, Reigate was
once more de Warenne's.

[Illustration: _Reigate._]

The kings must have found this particular de Warenne a little difficult
to deal with. He was a bit of a swashbuckler as well as a swordsman, and
once when he found himself getting the worst of a lawsuit at
Westminster with one Alan de la Zouche, he ran him through the body in
the king's own chamber and was off to Reigate before anybody could stop
him. King Henry was furious, and sent Prince Edward, the great de Clare,
and an archbishop to bid him come out of his castle and be punished. He
came out at last, and was fined ten thousand marks for the king and two
thousand for Alan de la Zouche. But Prince Edward was not done with him.
As Edward the First he held a Court of Assize to inquire into the
warrants by which the barons held their lands. De Warenne was asked for
his warrant for Reigate. He drew a rusty sword and struck it on the
council table. "By this instrument," he said, "do I hold my lands, and
by the same I intend to keep them." He kept them, but he had to amend
his plea into something a little less swaggering.

[Illustration: _A Reigate Byway._]

Of Reigate Castle not a stone remains. But under the great mound which
bore the keep you may see what local tradition has named the Baron's
caves, where, as the story goes, the Barons met before the signing of
Magna Charta. Martin Tupper, indeed, has written a whole chapter in
_Stephan Langton_ describing the interesting scene, though as a mere
matter of history it never took place. To begin with, the de Warenne of
the day was an adherent of King John, and not of the barons, and in the
next place the barons marching to Runemede never came near Reigate at
all. Mr. Tupper errs. But the passages and chambers hollowed out of the
yellow sandstone are interesting, and so are the rough carvings of heads
of horses which ornament the walls. Mr. Malden, the Surrey historian,
thinks the caves are merely sand-quarries, sand being valuable for
making mortar. It is pleasanter, though probably wholly incorrect, to
imagine them as dungeons, or homes of early man, or even cellars. The
gardener exhibits them with a candle, and in the dark they can be eerie
enough for cave-bears.

[Illustration: _Park Lane, near Reigate._]

Long after the de Warennes' reign was over, Reigate Castle saw more
fighting. We met the leaders on both sides at Kingston. It was nearly at
the end of the Parliamentary wars, and Lord Holland, commanding the
Royalist troops, conceived the idea of a rising near London. There was
to be a horse-race on Banstead Downs, to draw the people together, and
he was to lead them. Unhappily for his followers, he was a thoroughly
incompetent soldier. He hoisted his standard at Kingston, and marched
through Dorking to Reigate, where he held the castle and posted his
vedettes on Red Hill. Sir Michael Livesey, commanding some Kentish horse
for the Parliament, was ordered up from Sevenoaks to meet him; Major
Audley, one of Livesey's officers, was moved out from Hounslow, where he
had three troops, to clear Banstead Downs. Audley reached Reigate first,
and engaged Lord Holland, but found him too strong: he drew off, and
Holland, for no soldier's reason, fell back on Dorking. He came on again
to Reigate next day, but by that time Livesey and Audley had joined, and
when Holland knew who was before him he turned again for Kingston. As we
saw, his horse faced the Parliament's troops on Kingston Common, and he
died without glory on the scaffold.

Not much remains even of the Reigate which Lord Holland's troops saw on
that luckless July day in 1648. The Parliament tumbled the old castle in
ruins, and as at Bletchingley, anybody who wanted to build a house or a
barn helped himself from the stones. To-day the steadiest modern
business fills the High Street and Bell Street, the two roads running
west and south along which old Reigate lay. Here and there the quaint
slope of a red roof, or the lichen on weather-worn tiles, has a hold on
the past, and in Slip Shoe Street, itself echoing the days of
pilgrimages, care and good paint have preserved the beams of delightful
old cottages. The Swan Inn, which may have liquored Holland's
cavaliers, has borne much from later builders, but it stands on the old
site. Nearly all the rest of old Reigate has gone. The Red Cross Inn,
where thirsty pilgrims dropping down from the chalk highway drank ale
and rested, has made way for brand-new brick and rough-cast, painted a
bright pink. The market which the pilgrims used to find at the western
end of the town was moved to the centre cross-roads at the Reformation,
and the little chapel at the cross-roads, where the pilgrims said their
Aves, came down in George the First's day to make room for what is now
called the old Town Hall. It is only two hundred years old, but even it
is not as its Georgian builder left it.

[Illustration: _Reigate Heath._]

What happened to Reigate Church in the early part of the nineteenth
century will never be quite known. There were alterations in 1818, and
it was restored in 1845; that is to say, much of its beautiful old work
was destroyed. But it has kept a few of its Norman pillars, and a
reverent rebuilding of much of the fabric by Sir Gilbert Scott in 1873
has left its noble relics enshrined under a fine tower. The vault holds
the dust of two of England's greatest men. The first and second Lords
Howard of Effingham lie there, each in his day Lord High Admiral of the
English navy. Charles, the second Lord Howard, died at Haling House near
Croydon, and was buried at dead of night in the family vault on December
23, 1624. Incredible as it sounds, from that day until 1888, the
three-hundredth anniversary of the defeat of the Armada, not a single
record of the Admiral who met and destroyed it was to be seen in Reigate
Church, except the inscription on the coffin in the Howards' vault.
Then, at last, the inscription was copied and placed on a brass in the
chancel. Its terseness fits the dead man's name:--

        Here in the vault beneath
      at midnight the Dec. 23: 1624
    lyeth the body of Charles Howarde
            Earl of Nottingham
                Admyrall of
                  Englande
      Generall of Queen Elizabeth's
          Royale Navey at sea
              Against the
          Spanyards Invinsable
                Navye
        In the Year of our Lord
        1589, who departed this
      Life at Haling House the 14
        Day of December in the
        Year of our Lorde, 1624
            Aetatis Suae 87

We saw the Howards at Effingham and Great Bookham, and shall find them
again at Lingfield. Mr. Granville Leveson-Gower, in the _Surrey
Archæological Collections_, has brought together some interesting
particulars of the antiquities of the family. The second Duke of
Norfolk, who was father of the first Lord Howard of Effingham, and now
lies at Lambeth, left a remarkable will. He was, as his epitaph informs
us, a "High and Mighty Prince," and he writes of himself in the royal
plural. He orders a tomb to be erected before the high altar of Thetford
"with pictures of us and Agnes our wife to be set together thereupon."
The Lambeth Parish Registers do not read so respectfully. This is the
entry recording the passing of the Prince's widow--"Oct. 13, 1545, my
Lady Agnes, olde Dutchesse Norf., buried."

Reigate churchyard holds the gravestones of two neighbours in name and
place. A Goose and a Gosling are buried side by side.

When Reigate had a castle, it also had a priory. It was founded for
Austin Canons by one of the de Warennes, and its first prior was an
Adam. After the Dissolution, the Priory estate saw some strangely
different owners and guests. The first Lord Howard of Effingham, Lord
High Admiral, had it; Foxe, perhaps meditating his _Book of Martyrs_,
stayed there as tutor to the son of the Earl of Surrey; a century later
the manor came to Lord Somers, the great Lord Chancellor of William of
Orange; to-day the modern house, built on the site of the old convent,
belongs to one of Lord Somers's descendants, Lady Henry Somerset. It
holds a famous oak chimney-piece, said to have been brought from Henry
VIII's vanished palace of Nonsuch.

Reigate Priory to-day means Reigate cricket, played on the Priory
ground. Three of the most famous of all Surrey cricketers belong to the
town. Stephen Dingate, first of Surrey players before Beldham, was born
there; so was William Caffyn, of the days of the giants Fuller Pilch and
Alfred Mynn, Tom Lockyer and Julius Cæsar; and so, too, was W.W. Read,
one of the very few Englishmen familiar to millions by their initials
alone. "W.G." and "W.W." belong to the great years of the game.

Politics in Reigate are a mixed memory. Like Gatton, Reigate was a
pocket borough, and sent two members to Parliament until 1832, when the
two were reduced to one. Even the one disappeared in 1867, when the
borough was disfranchised for bribery and treating--a subject of
conversation which Mr. Louis Jennings, writing three years later in
_Field Paths and Green Lanes_, notes as dangerous if introduced too
suddenly in social circles in the neighbourhood.

But an even more remarkable political record belongs to one of Reigate's
neighbours. Gatton, once a borough and now a park, had the privilege
granted to its owner in 1451 of sending two members to Parliament. The
Copleys of Leigh were lords of the manor in the days of Henry VIII, and
Sir Richard Copley was at one time the only inhabitant of the borough,
so that his voting power was considerable. When Cobbett was abroad on
his _Rural Rides_, there were Reigate, Gatton, and Bletchingley within a
few miles of one another, all of them rotten boroughs, and each of them
returning a couple of members. Cobbett, of course, boiled whenever he
heard the names; Gatton in particular, was "a very rascally spot of
earth." He lived to see a very bad bargain for Gatton's privileges. Lord
Monson, in 1830, bought the estate with its votes for two members for
£100,000. Two years later, Gatton as a borough was ended by the Reform
Bill and all Lord Monson had for his £100,000 was the land.

Lord Monson started with the intention of making Gatton House one of the
most superb in the kingdom. He began with the hall, which he built on
the lines of the Corsini chapel in the church of San Giovanni in
Laterano at Rome, though he did not add the dome. The floor he had laid
of coloured marbles, patterned in the most delicate designs; the marble
had been designed for Ferdinand VII of Spain, and cost £10,000. The
walls and arches are as richly decorated as the floor. There are four
frescoes by Joseph Severn; Eleanor of Castile represents Fortitude;
Esther, Prudence; Ruth, Meekness; Patience could only be Penelope. The
effect of the shining stone and painted arches is of extraordinary
brilliance and completeness--the completeness of an unrivalled
collection. But there is somewhere something bizarre; perhaps it is the
setting. Marble demands marble neighbours, and the setting of these
exotic treasures is the simple beauty of English parkland. The little
church fits better with the great trees and the green grass. The
building is nothing; the interior has the grace and the light of a
cathedral chapel. Lord Monson decorated Gatton Church with the
magnificence with which he imagined the hall, but his ideal for the
church was quieter. He bought carved wood of the most exquisite
workmanship and set it wherever the church could hold it; a pulpit and
an altar from Nuremberg, said to be by Dürer, but the critics dispute
it; the elaborately fitted stalls came from a monastery in Ghent, and
altar rails from Tongres. Glass for the windows, of deep and glowing
colours, he had from Aerschot, near Louvain; the east window, a strange
painting, shows the eating of the Passover. One property the little
church lacks; Lord Monson never gave it a wooden ceiling, and the
ill-shaped stone vault is too white and cold for the stalls.

[Illustration: _View from near Reigate._]

The great coaching days have many memories of Reigate. The coaches
changed horses at the Swan and the White Hart, and at the White Hart
to-day's Brighton coach stops, I think, for lunch. But when Shergold
wrote his _Recollections of Brighton in the Olden Time_, he speaks of
the inn at which the Brighton coach stopped in the days of the Regency
as the King's Arms. Inns have a most confusing habit of changing their
names. When John Taylor, the Water Poet, in 1636, made his _Catalogue of
Taverns in Ten Shires about London_, he found some seventy or eighty
taverns in Surrey, but out of the forty-nine which he mentions by name,
hardly a dozen would answer to their old signboards to-day. The Reigate
White Hart in Taylor's day was the Hart.

According to Shergold, Reigate in the old coaching days was the scene of
the most romantic episodes imaginable. He is full of comparisons between
the easy charm of conversation among riders by coach and the ungracious
silences of travelling by rail, and this is what you read about Reigate
and the fair who travelled by coach:--

"There was an advantage and an interest in travelling by coach which
travelling by rail can never communicate. In the former you saw men and
their faces, and acquired some information; in the latter you learn
nothing except the number of persons killed or injured by the last
accident. A young man who entered the coach at eight o'clock in the
morning at Brighton took his seat perhaps opposite a young lady whom he
thought pretty and interesting. When he arrived at Cuckfield he began to
be in love; at Crawley he was desperately smitten; at Reigate his
passion became irretrievable, and when he gave her an arm to ascend the
steep ridges of Reigate Hill--a just emblem, by the way, of human
life--he declared his passion, and they were married soon after. Nothing
of this sort ever occurs on railroads. Sentiment never blooms on the
iron soil of these sulky conveyances. A woman was a creature to be
looked at, admired, courted, and beloved in a stage-coach; but on a
railway a woman is nothing but a package, a bundle of goods committed to
the care of the railway company's servants, who take care of the poor
thing as they would take care of any other bale of goods. It is said
that matches are made in heaven; it may likewise be said that matches
more often begin in the old stage-coaches, and that railroads are the
antipodes of love."

The road from Reigate to Crawley, one of the straightest and levellest
in the south country, was once the scene of a remarkable horse-race. The
beginning of it was a discussion at a shooting party in the autumn of
1890 between Lord Lonsdale and Lord Shrewsbury on the pace of trotting
and galloping horses. Lord Lonsdale backed himself to drive galloping
horses for twenty miles, single, pair, four-in-hand and riding
postillion, inside an hour. Lord Shrewsbury wagered against him, but
there were difficulties about weather and the date--March 11, 1891--and
eventually Lord Shrewsbury withdrew from the match and paid £100
forfeit. Lord Lonsdale then set himself the task alone, and his
headquarters were at Reigate; he had fifteen horses in training, fifteen
men and thirteen carriages, and the cost of keeping them at Reigate came
to £150 a day. The course, a stretch of five miles of road, over which
horses were to be driven in the four different styles was measured from
Kennersley Manor, three miles south of the White Hart, nearly into
Crawley. Snow fell on the tenth, the day before the match; Lord Lonsdale
borrowed a snow plough and sent it over the road. At noon on the day of
the race the horses and carriages were taken to the course; at five and
twenty minutes to one Lord Lonsdale drove up in a pair-horse brougham;
at one o'clock to the second he trotted his single horse, War Paint, to
the starting-point, and War Paint bounded down the road. War Paint took
13 minutes 39-1/5 seconds over the five miles; it would have been twenty
seconds less, but a brewer's dray had blocked the road. The pair-horse
was waiting with Blue and Yellow, two Americans, in it; the change took
three seconds, and Blue and Yellow galloped back to the start in 12
minutes 51-2/5 seconds. It was the turn for the coach, and it took
36-3/5 seconds to change across; a groom drove the team to the starting
point, a yard before it Lord Lonsdale caught up the reins, and the four
horses swept up the rise to Crawley again. Fifteen minutes and nine
seconds and two-fifths the four horses took; the leaders were Silk and
Everton King, the wheelers Conservative and Whitechapel, and they left
their driver something over seventeen minutes to ride postillion back.
It took 40-2/5 seconds to change from coat and hat for riding, and
exactly at seventeen minutes to the hour Lord Lonsdale rode off on
Draper, a chestnut, with a bay mare, Violetta, for the pair. Draper and
Violetta went over the last five miles in 13 minutes 55-4/5 seconds, and
in 56 minutes 55-4/5 seconds the twenty miles were covered. And so the
great race ended.

The Pilgrims' Way dropping down like white ribands over the shoulder of
the down into Reigate we have already seen. On the other side of the
town the high road climbs up again to the crest of the ridge--a road
paved and metalled to stand the perpetual wear of shod wheels grating
down the hill. At the highest point of the road is one of the finest
views in England; one of the finest, Cobbett thought, in all the world.
The red roofs of the town cluster among trees below; beyond is all the
Weald to the Devil's Dyke and Chanctonbury Ring, best of all landmarks
of the Sussex downs. The separate views of the Weald along the chalk
ridge have each their own characteristic, from the Hog's Back to the
heights above Titsey. For me the view from the hill above Reigate has a
double memory; the purple and blue of the downs seen through the stems
of the beeches that line the crest, and the shadows thrown by a high
summer sun in the parks and fields below. The oaks and elms set
themselves in the open grass with little circles of darker green about
their feet, like the wooden stands of the trees of a Dutch toy farm.

Redhill joins Reigate to the east, new, red, spreading, a junction of
railways, a better sort of Woking. You do not have to wait from nine
minutes to three-quarters of an hour every time you come to Redhill. To
the schoolboy it has the merit of being a stage on the road from London
and the sea.



CHAPTER XXXIV

CROYDON

    Croydon Palace.--A Neglected Relic.--Queen Elizabeth's
    Waiters.--John Whitgift.--Hospital, chapel, and school.--A Record of
    Cricket.--Macaulay's tyrant.--Izaak Walton differs.--Queen
    Elizabeth's Little Black Husband.--Croydon colliers.--John
    Ruskin.--By the Parish Pump.--John Gilpin.


Croydon is best reached by rail. It cannot be called a convenient
centre, for one returns to centres, and Croydon has little that would
recall a traveller. But it is an easy point of departure either for the
country east, by Addington and the Kentish border, or south through
Sanderstead to Coulsdon and Chaldon, or west by Beddington and the
Carshalton trout ponds to Epsom. You may walk in any direction, except
perhaps north, where you will walk into North Croydon. But in Croydon
itself there are still two or three things worth seeing.

One is the Archbishop's Palace. An Archbishop's Palace is the very last
building which would naturally associate itself with the Croydon tram
lines and Croydon up-to-dateness, and it is the last building with which
Croydon appears to wish to associate itself. The Palace stands apart
from the bustle of the place, unhonoured, unhappy and ignored. Since the
last Archbishop left it in the reign of George II it has served its turn
as business premises for a bleacher and a calico-printer; it has been a
wash-house, and is now a girls' school. One thing it has never been--of
sufficient interest to Croydon to be rescued from sacrilege and neglect,
and to take the place which is its due among historic national
possessions. Perhaps one should be thankful that the palace of Cranmer,
Whitgift and Laud is to-day in no rougher hands than the gentle
Sisterhood of a children's day-school.

If Croydon Palace were rightly restored, how fine a relic it might be!
The great banqueting-hall, with its noble roof of Spanish chestnut,
which has even survived the steam and chemistry of a bleacher's vats;
the long, panelled gallery where tradition has set Queen Elizabeth
dancing; the guard chamber, perhaps built by Archbishop Arundell, who
burnt the Lollards; the chapel with its oak stalls, its poppy-head
carvings, and the gallery added by the archbishop who stood by Charles
the First on the scaffold; if the oak were cleaned and the paint taken
from the panels, and if under the mellow brick walls there were set out
lawns and flowers; then Croydon might justly boast of its tram lines,
its admirable sanitation, and its new Town Hall. It would possess
something else.

When Queen Elizabeth lay at Croydon Palace, it was not an easy matter to
find room for her train of courtiers. She came in July, 1573, to visit
Archbishop Parker, and wished to come again in the following May, with a
larger train than before. The steward, entrusted with the task of
finding more room where there had never been enough, was in despair, and
made out his list of lodgings for the archbishop, or, perhaps, the
Queen's chamberlain, to see. The Lord Treasurer was to be "wher he was";
the Lord Admiral "at y^e nether end of the great chamber"; the "maydes
of honnor wher they wer"; the "La Stafforde wher she was"; the
"gentylmen husshers ther olde" lodging; and so on with a very long list.
But the letter ends in a hopeless puzzle:--

    "For the Quen's Wayghters, I cannot as yet fynde anye convenyent
    romes to place them in, but I will doo the best y^t I can to place
    them elsewher, but yf y^t please you S^r y^t I doo remove them. The
    Gromes of the Privye Chamber nor Mr. Drewrye have no other waye to
    ther chambers but to pas thorowe that waye agayne that my Lady of
    Oxford should come. I cannot then tell wher to place Mr. Hatton; and
    for La Carewe here is no place with a chymeney for her, but that she
    must ley abrode by Mrs. Aparry and the rest of y^e Prvy Chambers.
    For Mrs. Shelton here is no romes with chymeneys; I shall stage one
    chamber without for her. Here is as mutche as I have any wayes able
    to doo in this house."

Of the great archbishops few, strangely enough, have left memorials
behind them at Croydon. Whitgift, Grindal, and Sheldon have their
monuments in the church; of the others, Juxon added some carving to the
Palace Chapel. Whitgift was the great Croydon archbishop, and did for
Croydon what Abbot did for Guildford. He founded a hospital, and
endowed a school.

[Illustration: _Whitgift's Hospital, Croydon._]

Whitgift's Hospital stands to-day almost as its founder left it. His
initials, I.W., worked in patterned brick into a gable, and the motto he
chose for the doorway, "Qui dat pauperi nunquam indigebit," face a
roaring thoroughfare and flaring shops, but inside the oak doors little
can have changed. Weatherbeaten red-brick, mullioned windows looking out
over flowers and shaven lawns, tiled roofs and tall chimneys make up a
picture of solid goodness which fits well with the archbishop's memory.
The chapel stands open, a dark, simple little place. The oak benches are
the same on which the first pensioners sat, and down upon them look
curious faded pictures, dingy in black and gold. One is a fine portrait
of the founder at his writing-table, with his seal, his sandbox, a bell,
quill pens and a compass (or is it a watch?). Before him lies an open
Latin Bible, and he points to his favourite text--_Cast thy bread upon
the waters_. On another wall hangs a framed poem in manuscript, some
forty or fifty lines of extravagance in which the archbishop is compared
in turn to a straight sound cedar, a lost gem, a pearl, and a "fairest
knotlesse Plant," whose death forces the poet to

      "Wish, that with a Sea of teares, my Verse
    Could make an Island of thy honour'd Herse."

Another poet writes a prodigious Latin elegy "containing the briefest
summary of the miseries and calamities of the human race." A painter
adds a picture of Death digging a grave.

Whitgift's School is an old foundation in a modern building, and has
added a record to cricket history. Mr. V.F.S. Crawford, one of the
hardest hitters of his day, was a Whitgift boy, and has done remarkable
batting as a schoolboy and since. But his most remarkable innings was
played at Cane Hill, when he scored 180 out of 215 made while he was in,
and reached his first 100 in nineteen minutes.

That the school buildings should be modern is inevitable, for the school
outgrew itself forty years ago. But the school house which Whitgift
built was pulled down in consequence--an act which doubtless sits
lightly enough on Croydon's conscience. Four years ago the Hospital
nearly followed the school, the argument being that there was
insufficient room for the tram-lines.

Croydon church, like nothing else in the town, became modern by
accident. It was burnt down in 1867, and Sir Gilbert Scott rebuilt it
into the finest church, perhaps, in the county, next to St. Mary's,
Southwark. In the fire the tombs of the archbishops almost disappeared.
Grindal's is no longer to be seen, though possibly some tumbled stones
collected into odd corners may be part of it. Sheldon's is a pile of
fragments, heaped together behind a railing, charred and broken, hideous
with the sculptured skulls, bones, worms, and winged hour-glasses with
which our ancestors grimly decked their graves. Whitgift's monument has
been restored and is a striking example of rich and intricate
decoration, even if the pomp and colour of it are too garish for a tomb.

One looks at the stern, quiet features of his effigy and wonders what
was the truth about the man. Was he what Macaulay has called him--"a
narrow-minded, mean, and tyrannical priest, who gained power by
servility and adulation, and employed it in persecuting those who agreed
with Calvin about Church Government, and those who differed from Calvin
touching the doctrine of Reprobation." Could he ever have been rightly
described--Macaulay so describes the Master of Trinity who was to be
Bishop of Worcester and Archbishop of Canterbury--as "in a chrysalis
state, putting off the worm and putting on the dragon-fly, a kind of
intermediate grub between sycophant and oppressor"? Perhaps Macaulay was
naturally unlikely to judge him well. A portrait drawn by one who lived
nearer his day is Izaak Walton--another, perhaps a gentler, I.W.:--

    "He built a large Alms-house near to his own Palace at Croydon in
    Surrey, and endowed it with maintenance for a Master and
    twenty-eight poor men and women; which he visited so often that he
    knew their names and dispositions; and was so truly humble, that he
    called them Brothers and Sisters; and whensoever the Queen descended
    to that lowliness to dine with him at his Palace in Lambeth,--which
    was very often,--he would usually the next day show the like
    lowliness to his poor Brothers and Sisters at Croydon, and dine with
    them at his Hospital; at which time, you may believe there was joy
    at the table."

Walton thought him a very tactful prelate. He managed Queen Elizabeth
admirably, and "by justifiable sacred insinuations, such as St. Paul to
Agrippa--'Agrippa, believest thou? I know thou believest,' he wrought
himself into so great a degree of favour with her, as, by his pious use
of it, hath got both of them a great degree of fame in this world, and
of glory in that into which they are now both entered." Queen Elizabeth
was devoted to him, and nicknamed him "her little black husband."
Without a licence from her little black husband she would not touch
flesh in Lent.

The archbishops left Croydon, in 1758, when Archbishop Hutton died. The
line of archbishop tenants of the Palace had been broken in the days of
the Commonwealth, when Sir William Brereton, one of the Parliamentary
Major-Generals, lived there. He was a soldier of conviction, and was
nearly torn in pieces by the mob at Chester, "for ordering a drum to be
beat for the parliament." Croydon's historian, Steinman, quotes from a
pamphlet of Cavalier days, _The Mystery of the Old Cause briefly
unfolded_, a quaint appreciation of him. He was "a notable man at a
thanksgiving dinner, having terrible long teeth, and a prodigious
stomach, to turn the archbishop's palace at Croydon into a kitchen, also
to swallow up that palace and lands at a morsel." Brereton, as a reward
for his military services, had been given several sequestrated
properties, a chief forestership, and a seneschalship.

Four hundred years ago, Croydon was the centre of a great Surrey
industry. The Croydon colliers were proverbial. They supplied London
with coal, that is, charcoal, before the days of "sea-coal," the coal
which blackens London smoke to-day. Then it reached London by sea. One
Grimes, or Grimme, the greatest of the Croydon colliers, who lived in
the reign of Edward VI, was actually sued by an archbishop for creating
a nuisance with his smoke. The collier won. He was sufficiently
celebrated to become the hero of two sixteenth-century plays, one of
which bears his name, _Grim, the Collier of Croydon_. To be "as black as
a Croydon collier," was to be as black as a sweep; and "a right Croydon
sanguine" was a deep red-brown.

Once Croydon, always Croydon. The first railway line built in the
country and sanctioned by Parliament ran from Croydon to Wandsworth. It
was part of an original scheme proposed in 1799 for linking up London
with Portsmouth by an iron railroad running through Croydon, Reigate,
and Arundel. But it was thought best to begin with the part which ran
from Croydon to Wandsworth, and perhaps it was as well that the scheme
went no further, for it cost £35,000, and was a complete failure. The
shareholders lost every penny. One feels it ought to have succeeded. The
carriages or trucks were drawn by horses, and the wheels ran along
grooved iron rails. Anybody who had a cart which fitted might put it on
the rails and let his horse pull it along, if he paid the tolls, which
were not heavy. However, its life was short. The Croydon canal, opened
in 1809, robbed it of much of its heavy goods traffic, and the London
and Brighton railway demolished it altogether. This is how "Felix
Summerley" (his real name was Sir Henry Cole, and he liked a good walk
with a good dinner at the end of it) described the change in his
_Pleasure Excursions_ in 1846.

    "A small single line, on which a miserable team of lean mules or
    donkeys, some thirty years ago, might be seen crawling at the rate
    of four miles in the hour, with small trucks of stone and lime
    behind them.... Lean mules no longer crawl leisurely along the
    little rails with trucks of stone, through Croydon, once perchance
    during the day, but the whistle and rush of the locomotive, and the
    whirr of the atmospheric, are now heard all day long."

Felix Summerley must be suspected of admiring the change. One who knew
old Croydon well, and admired its changes less, was John Ruskin, who had
relations there and visited them as a boy. Of one he writes in
_Præterita_:--

    "Of my father's ancestors I know nothing, nor of my mother's more
    than that my maternal grandmother was the landlady of the Old King's
    Head in Market Street, Croydon; and I wish she were alive again, and
    I could paint her Simone Memmi's King's Head, for a sign."

Of his aunt at Croydon he has a pleasant memory:--

    "My aunt lived in the little house still standing--or which was so
    four months ago--the fashionablest in Market Street, having actually
    two windows over the shop, in the second story; but I never troubled
    myself about that superior part of the mansion, unless my father
    happened to be making drawings in Indian ink, when I would sit
    reverently by and watch; my chosen domains being, at all other
    times, the shop, the bakehouse, and the stones round the spring of
    crystal water at the back door (long since let down into the modern
    sewer); and my chief companion, my aunt's dog, Towser, whom she had
    taken pity on when he was a snappish, starved vagrant; and made a
    brave and affectionate dog of: which was the kind of thing she did
    for every living creature that came in her way, all her life long."

The Old King's Head and the fashionablest house in Market Street have
gone. So has much else that Ruskin would have recognised. To guess at
what his Croydon was like you may open Steinman's _History_ at a little
engraving of Whitgift's Hospital, from a drawing made at the
cross-roads. The Hospital stands as it is to-day. Opposite it, a square,
two-storied inn stretches over the road a fine carved bracket with a
bunch of grapes in iron, proclaiming that here are post horses to be had
from Nich: Jayne. A tall-hatted rustic pensively wheels a barrow in the
middle of the road opposite the inn; a group of villagers in stout
boots, smocks and stockings stands at the street corner; and, precisely
on the spot where to-day's tram-lines swing north and west, a
lazy-looking person in a straw hat, perhaps a sailor ashore, leans
against a post within a yard or two of an imposing parish pump.

Croydon tradition claims John Gilpin. He is said to have lived in a
farmhouse, which Croydon pulled down in 1897. It was known as Collier's
Water Farm, and stood near what is now Thornton Heath Railway Station.
Undoubtedly a John Gilpin lived there; but the author of the local
guide-book who asserts that he was Cowper's original refers all
inquirers to Dr. Brewer for corroboration; and that admirable sage
informs me that Gilpin was Mr. Beyer, an eminent linendraper of
Paternoster Row.



CHAPTER XXXV

BEDDINGTON AND CARSHALTON

    Beddington Hall.--Careful Dissipation.--The Polite Verger.--A
    punning epitaph.--Actaeon and Artemis for sale.--Carshalton
    pools.--A dry well.--William Quelche's Apology.--The rudeness of a
    doctor.--Carshalton's greatest man.--Fighting and spelling.


According to the historians, the springs of the Wandle rose under the
walls of Croydon Palace. Croydon has seemingly decided that they shall
rise further off, and the Wandle suddenly appears, full flowing, perhaps
a quarter of a mile away. You can walk along its bank and watch young
Croydon transfer minnows from muddy water to jampots. A mile from the
town stands Beddington Hall, now an orphan asylum which sends
red-cloaked children out for walks into Croydon, but once the country
mansion of the great family of Carew. Nicholas Carew built a house at
Beddington in the reign of Edward III, but it was Sir Francis Carew,
rebuilding it under Elizabeth, who first brought greatness to
Beddington. He entertained the Queen there twice, and the orange garden
was famous for many generations of Carews. When Aubrey saw the trees at
the end of the seventeenth century, he wrote that they were 'planted in
the open ground, where they have throve to admiration for above a whole
century; but are preserved, during the winter season, under a moveable
Covert.' The hard frost of 1739 killed them.

A later Sir Nicholas Carew rebuilt much of the house, but retained the
hall. He was an exact and particular person, and never let his careful
dissipation prevent him from keeping a precise record in his account
book. One of his pocket-ledgers has found its way into the British
museum. Here are some extracts of his expenses:--

                                   £   s.  d.
    Pd. my man's Nurse             -   7   -
    For a Pocket-Book              1  16   -
    For a smelling bottle          1   1   6
    F. a table and Books           -   3   6
    G. (gave) f. verses            -  10   -
    Pd. my french marster          1  13   6
    F. fishing tackle              -   2   6
    G. f. finding my sword         -   2   6
    Pd. for a gunn                 4   -   -
    F. Herrings and oysters        -   7   3

Sept. ye 25th 1706. I bought a P^r of Coach Horses 4 years old come five
and gave four and thirty pounds for y^m.--N. Carew.

He had a nice taste in wines and tea, and was properly generous to
musicians and servants:--

                                                    £   s.  d.
    Jan. ye 5th 1706/7 for s. candy and liquorish   -   2   2
    G. ye serv^ts at Soho                           2   1   6
    F. gr. tea                                      -  12   6
    F. bohea tea                                    -  14   0
    F. asquebah                                     -   3   0
    Sp. at ye Gre(cian)
    Sp. at Jelly H                                  -   1   6
    F. swaring paper                                -   -   3
    F. a rasour case                                2  15   0
    G. ye Harper                                    -   5   -
    G. ye musick                                    -   1   -
    G. a poor woman                                 -   1   -
    G. a fool                                       -   1   -

I have met with occasional difficulties in trying to enter Surrey
churches, but Beddington, which is one of the most finely decorated,
offered the most prolonged opposition of all. I arrived there about
three o'clock in the afternoon, and finding the doors locked, inquired
of one who emerged from a stoke-hole where I might get the keys. I might
not get them, he replied; the church was being cleaned. But might I not
just look round, having come a long way to see the church? I might not:
she was cleaning the reredos. Might not one who wished to write about
the church enter while she was cleaning the reredos? One might not; much
had been written of the church already. Would he be so good as to direct
me to the rectory? He would, and did; and as I walked away shouted after
me that the rector was certainly out. But I found him in, and very
courteous to a stranger; and I learned that, as I had hoped, the rule
was that the church should be opened every day. He gave me his card, and
wrote a message on it, and with the card I went back to the church. The
verger had disappeared. He was neither in the churchyard nor the
stoke-hole. A stonemason working in the churchyard came to my
assistance. The verger was in the church and would doubtless open the
door if I knocked. I knocked. Nothing happened. The stonemason knocked;
indeed, he knocked a great deal. I begged him to stop knocking, for
passers-by stayed to see what this thing might be, but he was thoroughly
interested, and went on knocking. Perhaps he knocked for a quarter of an
hour. A young girl came up to tell us that the door would certainly open
before half-past four, for that was tea-time. Just then the door opened,
and before it was shut again in our faces I just had time to brandish
the card. He replied at once--he would let me in by another door. He did
so; he never asked to see the card, but went on industriously with his
sweeping.

Perhaps no building in Surrey has been more carefully restored than
Beddington church, nor more richly decorated. The chancel with its
frescoes and mosaics, and the carved and painted roof are probably as
fine as anything of the kind in any parish church. But is the result
attained the result aimed at? The richness, the glamour of gold and
purple and rare woods and stones are there, as they must have been in
Solomon's temple. But to me the simplicity and cool quiet of aisles and
white pillars sometimes seem to forsake such gorgeousness and glow.

There are many interesting monuments and brasses in the church,
especially in the Carew chapel, where Carews of Beddington have lain
since the fifteenth century. The strangest memorial is the punning
epitaph on the steward to Sir Nicholas Carew. He died in 1633, and his
name was Greenhill, which inspired his commemorator with a motto for his
brass, "Mors super virides montes," and ten curious lines:--

    "Vnder thy feate interrd is here
    A native born in Oxfordsheere,
    First, Life and Learning Oxford gaue;
    Surry to him his death, his graue.
    He once a HILL was, fresh and GREENE;
    Now wither'd is not to bee seene.
    Earth in Earth shovel'd up is shut,
    A HILL into a Hole is put.
    But darkesome earth by powre divine
    Bright at last as ye Sonne may shine."

A mile further west, beyond Wallington, which in spite of embracing
villadom still keeps an old inn and a pretty, shaded green, is
Carshalton. Carshalton begins magnificently. In the spacious days of
King George the First there was designed for Carshalton Park a superb
dwelling, which Leoni was to have built for the lord of the manor (he
built the Onslow house in Clandon Park). But the house was never built.
The gates remain. They formerly guarded the green glades of a deer park.
Now they stand forlornly cheek by jowl with new yellow brick. Actaeon,
from one great pillar, gazes on less divine pictures than a goddess
bathing; Artemis, on the other pillar, drapes herself for unseeing eyes.
A papered notice-board lolls against the superb ironwork of the gates.
Hunter and huntress, pillars and wrought iron, are for sale.

Few villages in Surrey are prettier to-day than they were forty years
ago. Carshalton is hardly a village, but is it less pretty than it used
to be? Let Ruskin decide, from the opening of _The Crown of Wild Olive_.

    "Twenty years ago" (he writes in 1870) "there was no lovelier piece
    of lowland scenery in South England, nor any more pathetic, in the
    world, by its expression of sweet human character and life, than
    that immediately bordering on the sources of the Wandel, and
    including the low moors of Addington, and the villages of Beddington
    and Carshalton, with all their pools and streams. No clearer or
    diviner waters ever sang with constant lips of the hand which
    'giveth rain from heaven'; no pastures ever lightened in spring-time
    with more passionate blossoming; no sweeter homes ever hallowed the
    heart of the passer-by with their pride of peaceful
    gladness,--half-hidden--yet full-confessed. The place remains (1870)
    nearly unchanged in its larger features; but with deliberate mind I
    say, that I have never seen anything so ghastly in its inner tragic
    meaning,--not in Pisan Maremma--not by Campagna tomb,--not by the
    sand-isles of the Torcellan shore,--as the slow stealing of aspects
    of reckless, indolent, animal neglect, over the delicate sweetness
    of the English scene: nor is any blasphemy or impiety, any frantic
    saying, or godless thought, more appalling to me, using the best
    power of judgment I have to discern its sense and scope, than the
    insolent defiling of those springs by the human herds that drink of
    them. Just where the welling of stainless water, trembling and pure,
    like a body of light, enters the pool of Carshalton, cutting itself
    a radiant channel down to the gravel, through warp of feathery
    weeds, all waving, which it traverses with its deep threads of
    clearness, like the chalcedony in moss-agate, starred here and there
    with the white grenouillette; just in the very rush and murmur of
    the first spreading currents, the human wretches of the place cast
    their street and house foulness; heaps of dust and slime, and broken
    shreds of old metal, and rags of putrid clothes; which, having
    neither energy to cart away, nor decency enough to dig into the
    ground, they thus shed into the stream, to diffuse what venom of it
    will float and melt, far away, in all places where God meant those
    waters to bring joy and health. And, in a little pool behind some
    houses farther in the village, where another spring rises, the
    shattered stones of the well, and of the little fretted channel
    which was long ago built and traced for it by gentler hands, lie
    scattered, each from each, under a ragged bank of mortar, and
    scoria, and bricklayer's refuse, on one side, which the clean water
    nevertheless chastises to purity; but it cannot conquer the dead
    earth beyond: and there, circled and coiled under festering scum,
    the stagnant edge of the pool effaces itself into a slope of black
    slime, the accumulation of indolent years. Half-a-dozen men with one
    day's work could cleanse those pools, and trim the flowers about
    their banks, and make every breath of summer air above them rich
    with cool balm; and every glittering wave medicinal, as if it ran,
    troubled only of angels, from the porch of Bethesda. But that day's
    work is never given, nor, I suppose, will be; nor will any joy be
    possible to heart of man, for evermore, about those wells of English
    waters."

Things are not quite so bad to-day. Ruskin himself had the smaller pool
cleaned and set about with stone, and planted with periwinkle and
daffodils. The other two larger pools are the care of a district
council, which forbids attempts to catch the big trout that cruise in
their clear, weedy waters, and otherwise looks after them for a public
which may value them more highly than in Ruskin's day, but drops in a
great many newspapers. Another so-called well--Anne Boleyn's well; her
horse put its foot into soft ground above a spring--is a well no longer.
Iron railings ward off the profane, and narcissus and ivy cluster round
its brim, but below, according to the weather, is dust or mud.

At the churchyard gate are the trunks of two ancient but still living
elms, to which is fastened a beam beset with hooks, which either hold or
once held joints of meat for the butcher's shop behind. The church,
which is a strange mixture of old and new, the new being gradually built
on to the old, is the resting-place of Gaynesfordes and Ellenbrygges,
two of the great old Surrey families, and contains at least one
remarkable inscription:

    "M.S. Under the middle stone that guards the ashes of a certain
    fryer, sometime vicar of this place, is raked up the dust of William
    Quelche, B.D., who ministred in the same since the reformation. His
    lot was through God's mercy to burn incense here about 30 years, and
    ended his course Aprill the 10, an. dñi 1654, being aged 64 years."

Mr. Quelche was vicar in troublous times, and the distractions of the
Civil War led to a hiatus in the parish registers. The fault lay with
the parish clerk, but the conscientious Mr. Quelche felt bound to clear
himself in the eyes of future ages by a long apology in the Register of
baptisms, which begins beseechingly enough:--

    "Good Reader tread gently:

    For though these vacant yeares may seeme to make me guilty of thy
    censure, neither will I symply excuse myselfe from all blemishe; yet
    if thou doe but cast thine eie uppon the former pages and se with
    what care I have kepte the annalls of mine owne tyme, and rectifyed
    sundry errors of former times thou wilt beginn to thinke ther is
    some reason why he that begann to build so well should not be able
    to make an ende."

But the entries for the years before the war broke out were occasionally
a little vague. Here are three full years' records of marriages:--

    "1640. A Londoner married mr. Kepps sister of micham on Easter
    monday.

    1641. Mr. Meece married a couple who came from fishsted whose names
    he could not remember.

    1642. Not one marryed woe to y^e vicar."

Some of the names and surnames sound odd:--

    Epaphroditus wood.  Epaphroditus Wandling.  Anne Waweker.

    Hevedebar Hill.  Wroe.  Buttonshere.  Dilcock.

    Gander.   Mustian.   Thunderman.   Nep.   Milfe.

Carshalton House, a massive pile of red brick, was built by Sir John
Fellowes, one of the directors of the South Sea Bubble. It stands on the
site of a house which belonged to the most famous doctor of his day. He
was John Radcliffe, founder of the Radcliffe Library, and so much run
after as a physician that he felt able to be intolerably rude to his
patients, even if they happened to be kings and queens. William the
Third never forgave him for telling him that he would not own his
Majesty's dropsical legs for the three kingdoms. Queen Anne refused to
make him her court physician, but sent for him when she was dying. He
would not leave Carshalton, pleading the gout; and he lived and died in
angry remorse. The Queen never recovered, and the doctor did not dare to
show his face in London.

[Illustration: _Sutton._]

Carshalton's greatest man lies in a nameless grave. Admiral Sir Edward
Whitaker, leader of the assault which first made Gibraltar a British
fortress, used to spend his summers at Carshalton, and was buried in
Carshalton churchyard, but the slab which marked his grave was moved
and lost when the church was enlarged. He was forty-four when with
Captain Jumper and Captain Hicks he led his men against the redoubt, and
he was as brilliant a fighter as he was a poor speller. I quote from a
letter he wrote describing the siege and assault to his friend Sir
Richard Haddock, Comptroller of the Navy, a day or two after the
action:--

    "There was three small ships in the old mold, one of which annoyed
    our camp by firing amongst them. One having about 10 guns, lying
    close to the mold, and just under a great bastion at the north
    corner of the towne, I proposed to Sir George the burning her in the
    night. He liked itt: accordingly ordered what boats I would have to
    my assistance: and about 12 at night I did itt effectually, w^th the
    loss of but one man, and 5 or 6 wounded.

    _July 23._--At 4 this morning, adm^l Byng began w^th his ships to
    cannonade, a Dutch rear-adm^l and 5 or 6 ships of thairs along w^th
    him, w^ch made a noble noise, being within half shott of the town.
    My ship, not being upon service, I desired Sir George to make me his
    _aducon_ to carry his commands, from tyme to tyme, to adm^l Byng,
    which he did....

    P.S. This is rite all in a hurry, sir, y^t I hope you'le excuse me."

The aide-de-camp had not forgotten the concluding formula of the
schoolboy complete letter-writer.

Beyond Carshalton is Sutton, not less exuberant than Croydon. The Cock
Hotel of coaching days has been rebuilt; the railway is convenient for
Epsom or London.



CHAPTER XXXVI

CHALDON TO THE DOWNS

    Coulsdon.--A giant Christian prince.--Chaldon.--The Ladder of
    Life.--The Brig of Whinney Moor.--Chipstead.--Merstham.--A Wizard
    Rector.--Addington.--The little churches.--Horne Tooke's
    _Diversions_.


It is possible to escape from Croydon's railway-stations. You can push
out from its ringing streets into green and quiet country, and find
little old churches within a mile or two of the railway, as undisturbed
as if no railway were yet running. You may leave the line at Purley, and
within an hour's walk find yourself in the wind on the downs, among
Anglo-Saxon barrows and immemorial yews; you may even be able (though
not without thought) to exclude from a generous view of hill and valley
the enormous lunatic asylums which fate and County Councils have piled
and multiplied in this part of Surrey.

There is a strip of country lying south of Purley in which you cannot
get more than a mile and a half or so from the railway, but which
contains tiny hamlets and lonely roads. Purley and Kenley will one day
come out to Coulsdon, perhaps, but Coulsdon's day is not yet. The
village itself is nothing more than a cottage or two with a church. But
the road to Coulsdon opens on broad slopes of grass and plough, bordered
with a line of yews--an ancient trackway, perhaps. Such a line, or
rather lines, for there are several along the sides of the downs a
little further south, would certainly be claimed as evidence of a
"pilgrims' way" if they ran east and west between Guildford, say, and
Dorking. Fields with such noble hedges to define them have their own air
of wildness and age; it is easy enough, even with Purley slate roofs
hardly a mile away, to fancy partridges calling across those open
spaces. Coulsdon, indeed, was once celebrated for its game. Aubrey tells
us that in the parish there was "a large coney-warren belonging to the
Desbouveries." They, for many years under Stuarts and Georges, were
lords of the manor.

From Coulsdon one may walk to Chaldon over Farthing Down. The horizon
changes, but Farthing Down itself remains high and free, smooth with
short down grass, and dinted with the hoofs of galloping horses. Croydon
and Purley send many riders abroad on Saturdays and Sundays. But
Farthing Down is peopled with other older forms. Along the ridge,
bordering the ancient trackways, lies a line of barrows. They were
opened in 1872 by Mr. John Wickham Flower; some were found untouched,
and contained perfect skeletons. In one grave lay the bones of a great
lady; buried with her was a beautiful wooden drinking-cup, its staves
fastened by bronze bands of an intricate Runic pattern of coiled snakes.
Another grave held the skeleton of a warrior giant, his sword lying
across him and the boss of his shield upon his foot. Mr. Flower thinks
he can add a name. Coulsdon is a corruption of Cuthredesdune, and
perhaps Cuthred, an Anglo-Saxon prince, lies buried here with his
family. Cuthred, son of Cwichelm, and grandson of Cynegils, the first
Christian king of Wessex, was baptised in 639 at Dorchester.

Farthing Down stretches for nearly three miles north and south, and
under its southern slope lies the little village of Chaldon. Chaldon
church holds the most remarkable wall-painting in the country. The
"Ladder of Life," or "Ladder of Salvation," is the subject, and it
occupies nearly the whole of the west wall of the church. In red and
white and yellow ochre paint you are shown the torments of the damned,
the salvation of heaven, the trampling of Satan. A ladder rises through
the middle; up it the poor souls of men struggle to the joys above; some
tumble headlong; a demon picks off others with a pitchfork and sets them
aside to burn or boil. An enormous dog eats a woman's hand; in life she
had thrown to dogs what she should have given to the poor. A usurer
painted without eyes, for usurers could not weep, sits among flames;
devils drive pitchforks into his head, moneybags hang round his neck, he
counts and swallows red hot coins. Other hapless souls, condemned to
walk a bridge of spikes, carry burdens over a thin plank like a saw set
on edge. Above is a nimbus of clouds, and above the nimbus, the weighing
of souls. The archangel Michael balances the souls in great scales; a
fiend tries to make them kick the beam. On the other side is the
Harrowing of Hell. Hell is the mouth of a monstrous devil; Christ
advances with the cross and banner, and thrusts the wood of the cross
into the devil's mouth. The souls rise up delivered from purgatory;
above them, a flying angel floats with a scroll. Mr. J.G. Waller,
writing in the _Surrey Archæological Collections_, explains most of the
painting, but has hardly a guess for the scroll. "The heavens depart, as
it were a scroll rolled together;" Mr. Waller does not mention the text
which to the layman seems obvious but the expert may have reasons
against it.

The punishment of the Bridge--the walking over a sharp edge, set with
spikes or narrow as a hair--is one of the oldest things of all the
religions. The Chinese had it, in the distant Eastern ages, and Mr.
Waller, in the _Collections_, prints verses which show it surviving in
Yorkshire in 1624. There was a Yorkshire tradition that a person after
death must pass over Whinney Moor; and at a funeral it was the custom
for a woman to come and chant verses over the corpse. These are an
extract:--

    When thou from hence doest pass away,
        Every night and awle,
    To Whinney Moor thou com'st at last,
        And Christ receive thy sawle.

    From Whinney Moor that thou mayest pass,
        Every night and awle,
    To Brig of dread thou com'st at last,
        And Christ receive thy sawle.
    From Brig of dread, na brader than a thread,
        Every night and awle,
    To Purgatory fire thou com'st at last,
        And Christ receive thy sawle.

East of Chaldon is Caterham, west is Chipstead and south-west is
Merstham, each two miles or so away as the crow flies and something more
as the road runs, and each with a railway station. Caterham once was a
valley; Aubrey wrote of it: "In this parish are many pleasant little
vallies, stored with wild thyme, sweet marjoram, barnell, boscage, and
beeches." I do not know barnell, but the last twenty years have set
many houses among the boscage. They have built, too, two new churches,
one of them set very finely on a hill; the old church is disused, or
used, rather, only for a Sunday school. Upon Sunday scholars, from a
Norman wall, looks down a hideous stone corbel. A clown's face stretches
a devil's mouth wide open with hands like rat's paws; the sharp teeth
grin like rat's teeth; perhaps in the Sunday school they make their own
faces at it.

Chipstead, to the west, is on a hill the other side of the railway. It
has some pretty modern cottages by a pond and shading elm-trees; a
post-office also, with the smallest possible aperture for introducing
letters to the notice of the post-mistress within. The church has some
quaint features; there are a number of oddly shaped lancet windows, a
curiously carved boss in the groining of the tower, and a strange
arrangement by which the members of the choir sit facing the east with
their backs to the pulpit. In the churchyard lies Sir Edward Banks,
perhaps Chipstead's most illustrious native. He was born poor and he
died rich; and he built three great bridges, Waterloo, Southwark, and
London. Chipstead churchyard, too, has a fine yew; but good yews are
common in the churchyards south of Croydon.

The best walk from Chaldon is over the hill to Merstham; the sign-posts
show you the path and mark it "The Pilgrims' Way" to Tollsworth Farm
with the utmost assurance. From Tollsworth Farm the path drops over a
plough down the side of the hill; before the railway and the tunnel came
the old Way perhaps went straight across to the church. Merstham itself
has little to show except one pretty little side street; but the church
is more full of curiosities than any other near. Its builders placed it
delightfully on a mound which is all air and sunlight, and though much
of the charm of the church was destroyed in 1861, much that is old and
curious remains. A queerly placed clock tells the time low down on the
tower; inside are ancient monuments, one a stone effigy recovered from
use as a pavement, others to the Elinbrygge family. That is only one
spelling of the name, and perhaps as good as any other; variations are
Elinebrigge, Elyngbrigge, Elinerugge, Ellerug, Elmerugge, Elmebrugge,
Elmridge, Elmbrige, Elmebrygge, Ellmbridge, Elinrugge, Ellyngbrugg,
Elenbrig, Elingbrig, Ellyngbrigg, and Ellynbrege. An Elinbrygge in those
days could spell practically anything. Other memorials are fragments of
stone carving, once belonging to the Southcotes and Waldegraves, and
built without reason into windows and walls. Over the west chancel arch
is a broken piece of carving from old London Bridge; and forlornest
possession of all, the north chantry is paved with a tessellated floor
which was made in prison, I was told, by an unhappy woman who hoped that
forgiveness would take and use her work. Merstham has had some famous
rectors. One was the great Thomas Linacre, King's Physician to Henry VII
and Henry VIII, founder of the Royal College of Physicians, and friend
of Melanchthon and Erasmus. He became a priest when he was fifty-eight,
four years before his death, and was only Rector of Merstham for a
month. "I much wonder," Fuller writes of him in his _Worthies_, "at what
I find in good authors, that Linacre a little before his death turned
priest and began to study the Scriptures with which he was formerly
unacquainted, in so much that reading the fifth, sixth and seventh
chapters of St. Matthew he vowed, '_That_ either this was not the Gospel
or we were not Christians.'"

Another rector, Robert Cole, once was a nonconformist, especially in the
matter of ecclesiastical vestments, but eventually got rid of his
objections. Ecclesiastical Commissioners then decided to have an object
lesson in properly dressed clergymen at Lambeth. Mr. Cole was dressed in
full clerical attire, and was then "placed as the front figure at the
meeting, while the chancellor of the Bishop of London thus harangued the
auditory: 'My masters and the ministers of London, the Council's
pleasure is, that ye strictly keep the unity of apparel, like to this
man as you now see him; that is, a square cap, a scholar's gown,
priestlike, a tippet, and in the church a linen surplice.'" The auditors
then had to sign "Volo" or "Nolo," and those who refused were deprived
of their livings. Poor Mr. Cole, priestlike in his tippet, cuts a meeker
figure than another Merstham rector, James Samborne. This reverend
gentleman was actually supposed to possess supernatural powers, and when
a thief climbed up a pear-tree in the rectory orchard, Mr. Samborne went
in pursuit, fixed his gaze upon the robber from a suitable distance and
from where he stood, using dreadful arts, fastened the robber in the
tree.

Another walk from Croydon, for those who like a string of little old
churches, and an occasional fine view, would be by Addington to the
south-east through Sanderstead to Warlingham, or further south to the
edge of the chalk ridge at Woldingham. The railway is never very far
off. There is nothing imposing among these hillside hamlets; they leave
an impression of tiny villages which felt their first need to be a
church; the congregations must have been small and poor. They, of the
Surrey churches, are nearest in heart to the "little, lost down
churches" of Sussex and Mr. Kipling's most magical poem.

Addington, perhaps, could hardly be called lost, for many archbishops
have lived at Addington Park, and two lie buried in the churchyard,
Archbishop Longley and Archbishop Tait. There are memorials to three
others--Manners-Sutton, Howleigh, and Sumner. But the most attractive
name on the church walls belongs to the wife of the builder of Addington
House. She was Mrs. Grizzel Trecothick. Addington still lies in deep
country; Sanderstead, its neighbour three miles to the south-west, is
half in the country and half in the town. Old Sanderstead, the Sandy
Place, has a large, square red-brick house overlooking a park and a
quiet churchyard, where the little church, with sloping roofs over each
aisle, looks rather like a hen brooding chickens. In the chancel is a
memorial to one of those squires who held strange offices under Tudor
kings. He kneels in painted marble, and he was "John Ownsted, esquier,
servant to y^e most excellent princesse and our dread soveraigne Queene
Elizabeth, and seriant of her ma^ties cariage by y^e space of 40 yeres."
South-east of Sanderstead are Farley and Chelsham, each with an old
church; Farley's is a tiny building by a fine farmyard, but the peace of
the little church is gone; its modest spire, as you walk to the
churchyard, is dominated and affronted by the hideous clock-tower of a
neighbouring lunatic asylum. Why should such a thing be? County Councils
have decreed that in this part of Surrey must be massed together the
thousands of poor souls who have lost the reason which county
councillors must be supposed to possess; but why insist on their unhappy
presence? A building to hold such sadness should be a quiet thing,
hidden among trees, silent, alone. But that would suit neither
councillors nor architects. For them, asylums must stare, scar, insist
that they will be seen and known; and here, in what should be tranquil
and lovely country, they violate the hills.

Two other villages, Warlingham and Woldingham, lie east of the railway.
Warlingham stands round a pretty green, and has a pleasant inn; the
church, which once lay among fields, is at the end of a chestnut avenue
which belongs to the future. It is a curious little building, with a
sense of wide light and cool stone, and has been beautifully restored by
Mr. Philip Mainwaring Johnston, who discovered, and has admirably
preserved, a particularly interesting low-side window with a circular
niche in the chancel. Woldingham, right on the edge of the chalk ridge,
has a tiny church set apart among the fields; nearer the village, a
pretty wooden chapel--almost the only pretty wooden chapel I have seen.
But the best of Woldingham is the broad and breezy grass plateau on
which it stands. On a clear day you may see London; a better view to the
south is blocked by new buildings and gardens.

The railway returns to Purley and Croydon; Purley, where Tooke lived,
and gave his name to Horne Tooke, with eight thousand pounds, for
winning him a lawsuit. From Purley Horne Tooke named his _Diversions_;
they may have diverted him, but if they did, he could be moved to mirth
by a very dreary business indeed.



CHAPTER XXXVII

HORLEY AND CHARLWOOD

    Restored church windows.--A Cow for an apprentice.--A Horley
    eleven.--Thunderfield Castle.--Horne.--Outwood Common.--A daring
    jump.--Over the Green.--Burstow's Astronomer.--Causies.--St.
    Margaret and the Devil.--A Country Sermon.


"The pretty village and church of Horley" is the opening of a
descriptive paragraph in a Surrey guide-book not thirty years old.
Horley is more than a village and a little less than pretty to-day. But
it has two good old-fashioned country inns, and it is a convenient
centre to some interesting country. It contains in itself little of
interest except the church, which has a fine tower; but which is one of
the unhappiest examples of unintelligent "restoration." The story of the
"restoration" is, indeed, hardly credible. In 1877 the Surrey
Archæological Society visited the church, and Major Heales wrote an
admirable paper on its architecture, particularly drawing attention to
the beauty of the windows in the north aisle, which dated from 1310, and
contained some rare deep ruby glass. He described the tracery as the
most beautiful in the county. Yet within five years the church was
"restored"; the windows, which were in excellent preservation and would
have lasted another five hundred years, were destroyed, every stone of
them; and the glass had disappeared, either broken up or sold.

[Illustration: _The "Six Bells" Inn, Horley._]

Horley parish registers have some pleasant entries. Stray daughters, who
ate too much at home and otherwise were hard to look after, used to be
apprenticed to persons who would undertake, for a consideration, to keep
them until they were twenty-one. The consideration might be in cash or
in kind. Thus, Jeremy Shoe, on January 13, 1604, took An Chamley,
daughter of Edmund Chamley, deceased, apprentice "until she come to xxj,
in consideracon he receives some household stuffe to the valew of vj^s
viij^d and is to be eased in not paying to the poore for iiij yeares to
come." John Chelsham had a better bargain, for he agreed to take An
Williams till she came to twenty-one, and had from her father "one mare
and a colte in full satisfaction." Sometimes the apprentices were bound
even longer. Susan Washfoord was bound to Bernard Humphry, and he
undertook "to keep her sufficient meate, drink, and apparell until she
come to the age of fower and twenty yeares." Susan's mother was a widow,
and she paid to get rid of her daughter a cow and twenty shillings from
the churchwardens.

Not many Surrey towns or villages can boast a family cricket eleven.
Horley can. Eleven Watneys of Horley have played frequent matches
against local clubs, and against eleven Wigans of Mortlake. Mr. F.S.
Ashley-Cooper has collected some other instances of family cricket teams
in the county. Eleven Bacons, a father and ten sons, played eleven
postmen at Thornton Heath in 1895, but were beaten by the postmen. In
1877 eleven Mitchells played eleven Heaths on Shalford Common. The
Heaths all belonged to the same family, but the Mitchells were only
relations. Eleven Lovells played a match at Tulse Hill in 1901, but had
much the worst of it; and, most famous name of all, twelve Cæsars of
Godalming, three fathers and their nine sons, once played the Gentlemen
of the District. The family luck was no better; they lost by 16 runs.

Hardly a mile to the south-east of Horley lies an enigma--Thunderfield
Castle. There is no castle; perhaps there never was one. A moat of brown
water, splashed with white duck-feathers; an irregular mound beyond,
thick with brushwood, and an ordinary set of farm-buildings through a
gate to the side--that is all that is to be seen of the castle to-day.
Was it an old British camp? Almost certainly not, nor a Roman camp. Mr.
Malden, the Surrey historian, thinks it may have been one of the
numberless castles built by the quarrelsome de Clares to annoy the
equally quarrelsome de Warennes. Perhaps it was built in the days when
castles sprang up like mushrooms; and perhaps it was demolished when
demolitions were so frequent that one more or less was never noticed. It
may have had a stone keep, but nobody can tell whether it had or not
unless he excavates the ground within the moat, and that is a task which
nobody, apparently, desires to try.

Another mile and a half along the west road from Horley leads to
Smallfield Place, once the manor-house of the Bysshe family, afterwards
a farmhouse, and now a private residence, with the Jacobean part of the
old house apparently well worked in with the new. Further, by another
mile, is the tiny village of Horne, not much more than a school, a
church, and an old cottage or two. In such a simple, open-air little
place it was attractive to see, on a hot September day when I was there,
a ring of schoolchildren being given their lessons out of doors in the
shade. Horne is one of those little villages in which, when the busy,
pleasant hum of the children's school first comes down the wind, you
wonder where the children spring from. It does not look as if there were
enough cottages within walking distance to provide a class, much less
four or five standards--if that is the correct expression. Horne is,
indeed, one of the most out-of-the-way little places in this part of the
county. But it makes a satisfactory objective for a walk from Horley,
and its small church contains at least two memorials of interest. One is
an elaborate piece of wood-carving, painted to look like marble, which
commemorates John Goodwine, who died when James I was king; the other is
an ingenious model of the church itself, as it stood before restoration.
The restorers altered the interior pretty thoroughly; but the old church
must have been a curious building. It had a long, large window on the
roof, especially let in to throw light on the hymn-books of the
musicians in the gallery. How was such a window cleaned?

Walking in this part of Surrey, which is chiefly pasture, is apt to be a
little monotonous, without a good view. One of the prettiest views near
Horne is at Outwood, a little more than a mile to the north-west, on the
way back to Horley. Outwood Common is delightful. Two great windmills,
black and white, spread sails to the blowing air; below them, black and
white like the mills, pigs nose quietly over the short grass, and geese
strut cackling. To the north, beyond rich and tranquil fields, lie the
grey-green wooded hills by Bletchingley and Nutfield.

[Illustration: _The Windmills at Outwood._]

Horne is pretty near the centre of the country of the Burstow foxhounds,
which stretches from Leigh, the other side of Horley, to Edenbridge in
Kent. Two good stories are told of White, the Burstow huntsman. One is
of an extraordinary jump, singular not for its height or the width of
ground covered, but for its daring and adroitness. It was on one of
the best days the Burstow ever had, when they killed a fox at Crawley
after an hour and ten minutes' run almost without a check; and went on
to find another fox near New Chapel Green, which hounds ate in Kent at
half-past five, nobody knows quite where, so bad was the light. Nearly
at the end of the second run White found himself on the edge of a
narrow, deep ghyll, with a stream at the bottom, crossed by an overgrown
footpath which went down to the stream and up again by flights of stone
steps opposite each other. Riding down two or three of the steps, he
took a standing jump over the stream and landed on the top steps the
other side. On another occasion his daring was of a different kind; he
did not know where he was riding. Hounds had crossed the golf links on
Earlswood Common, and White, close behind them, was riding straight for
one of the greens. A member of the hunt shouted to warn him, but White,
who had not the slightest notion what was meant, galloped straight over
the green, turning round to point at the hole and shout to the hunt,
"Ware hole! ware hole!"

Burstow itself, hidden among pines, has named the hounds, but has not a
large part in Surrey history. One of its rectors, the Rev. J. Flamsteed,
who is buried in the church, was the first Astronomer Royal. Charles II
made him that, when he was twenty-nine; nine years later he took orders,
and went on astronomising till his death. Newton helped him and
quarrelled with him over the publication of his observations; but it was
something, even in the days of Charles II, to be made Astronomer Royal
when Newton was alive.

Three miles on the other side of Horley lies Charlwood, once a wholly
restful little village, but of late years stiffened and discoloured by
the building contractor. The centre street of the village, near the
church, is quaintly arched by a pair of elm trees, cropped and pollarded
to meet overhead. Elms are not often selected for experiments in
topiary. But Charlwood has more than one feature peculiar to itself, or
at all events to the district. The village lies deep in Wealden clay,
which can grow luxuriant roses, but which in days when Surrey roads were
less well laid made getting about in the winter rains a matter of
difficulty for those who could not drive. So those who walked made their
own paths, which can be seen running along the side of most of the
roads in the neighbourhood. "Causies" is the local name for these
causeways, which are single slabs of flat stone set like stepping stones
in the clay, sometimes for miles together. The villagers tell you that
they have been there since no one knows when. They may be right, but
their probable date is the middle of the seventeenth century, when John
Gainsford, as we shall see, was making a causeway like these at
Crowhurst.

[Illustration: _Charlwood._]

A very curious set of wall paintings portrays, in the south aisle of
Charlwood church, the legend of St. Margaret. St. Margaret was a virgin
and a martyr, a most popular saint in the middle ages, and the heroine
of a remarkable story. She was the daughter of a pagan priest at
Antioch, and since she was a weak child, she was sent into the country
for fresh air. Her nurse brought her up as a Christian, and when she was
older she was sent into the fields to mind sheep. One day the governor
of Antioch, whose name was Olibrius, was out hunting, saw the pretty
shepherdess, fell in love with her at sight, and offered her his hand in
marriage on the spot. St. Margaret refused him; she might not wed with a
pagan. Olibrius was furious. He seized the poor shepherdess, beat her
cruelly, and threw her into prison; even there she was not safe. The
devil himself came after her in the form of a dragon, entered the prison
and swallowed the saint whole, as you may see in the picture. However,
Providence intervened, and by a miracle she escaped from the dragon's
body. Evidently Providence then gave up helping, for Olibrius succeeded
where the devil had failed. He ordered her head off at once, and the
artist has painted her soul flying to heaven in the form of a dove.

Another painting sets out a commoner story, the allegory of the Three
Living and the Three Dead. Three kings ride out hunting in the forest,
and are met by three ghastly spectres, who lecture them on the vanity of
this world's pomps and pleasures. I should think this used to be a
favourite. It must have been vastly comforting to the poor, and pretty
easy, too, for the parson. Anybody could make a sermon on the sufferings
in store for kings and other rich people, and the way they go out
hunting and shooting and not caring for anybody, and then the spectres
come at them and they see how empty life is. Even to-day those ruddled
drawings can set a spell. Stare at them, and the little church calls
back its preacher and his flock; there, in the pulpit, he stood,
gesturing at the dragon and St. Margaret; here, below him, sat the
quiet-hearted countrymen, wondering in the solemn Sunday sunshine; here,
perhaps, a child, hearing the story for the first time. St. Margaret
must have been more difficult than the Kings. She begins well enough,
and she goes on well--the village maidens would doubt whether they would
have the strength to refuse an Olibrius. Then the deliverance from the
devil would do admirably; the bumpkins would swallow that as easily as
the devil swallowed St. Margaret. But how to go on? How to explain the
failure of Providence afterwards? The preacher must have slurred that,
and got on quickly to the wings of the dove.

Two great Surrey families belong to Charlwood. One is the line of
Sander, or Saunder, settled at Charlwood as early as Edward II, and
still surviving, in name at all events, in the neighbourhood. It was
Richard Saunder who placed in the church the delicate fifteenth-century
oak screen, the most beautiful in the county; but a more famous member
of the family was Nicholas Saunder, Regius Professor and Jesuit Divine,
over whose writings many good churchmen quarrelled. The other family are
the Jordans of Gatwick, almost as old as the Saunders, and like them
surviving in cottage life to-day.

[Illustration: _Godstone._]



CHAPTER XXXVIII

GODSTONE AND BLETCHINGLEY

    The White Hart at Godstone.--Cobbett's
    violets.--Bletchingley.--Beagles and Foxhounds.--Dr. Nathaniel
    Harris.--Begging the Love of Neighbours.--A gratious woman.--Swift
    and a gentle prelate.--Bletchingley manor.--The Master of the
    Revels.--An English gentleman's Armour.--How to be buried.--Posing
    for a tombstone.--Nutfield.--Fuller's earth and its new uses.


The key to the east of Surrey is Godstone. It is true that the village
itself lies more than two miles from the railway station which bears its
name, but which might equally well have been named Tandridge or
Crowhurst. But there is no other centre in East Surrey from which so
many other villages and places of interest are easily reached. To the
west, a mile and a-half away, lies Bletchingley, and another mile
beyond that, Nutfield, which has not yet been absorbed by Redhill, and,
indeed, belongs to Surrey country as surely as Redhill belongs to the
railway and the town. To the north are Caterham and Chaldon, and
Woldingham and Warlingham; Tandridge is two miles away, Oxted a little
more, and Limpsfield not quite four; north of Limpsfield is Titsey, and
east of Limpsfield and Titsey is the Kent border. Crowhurst lies to the
south-east, and beyond that Lingfield; but Lingfield is almost Sussex,
and is perhaps a little too far for a walk from Godstone; it is best
reached by rail.

Godstone begins hospitably, at least to the traveller from the south,
with three old inns, the Bell, the Rose and Crown, and the old White
Hart, now the Clayton Arms. The Bell and the Rose and Crown have not, I
think, won any particular place in history; probably they were always a
little overshadowed by the spacious frontage of the old White Hart. The
Rose and Crown, for all that, displays an imposing board setting out the
numbers and the addresses of the many cycling clubs who have made it
their country headquarters--doubtless it has been the first stage of
many happy, dusty journeys. But the old White Hart has its place in the
classical country books. Cobbett often lunched there, and probably the
inn-parlour where he had his bread and bacon is very much the same as
when he wrote of the village in _Rural Rides_. Perhaps the rooms
upstairs hold more furniture than in the twenties--particularly the fine
dining-room with its oak-beamed ceiling, which is as full of furniture
as a room can very well be, besides serving various public uses as a
place in which audits and meetings are held and county and local account
books inspected. In the yard outside, too, although the great vats of
the brewhouse are gone, and Renault cars run under the arch which used
to echo with the shoes of spanking teams, there can be little changed
since Cobbett saw it. He wrote, in 1822:--

    "At and near Godstone the gardens are all very neat; and at the Inn,
    there is a nice garden well-stocked with beautiful flowers in the
    season. I here saw, last summer, some double violets as large as
    small pinks, and the lady of the house was kind enough to give me
    some of the roots."

The garden is still gay and full of flowers; though if I were the
landlady I should certainly stock some peculiarly pretty sorts of
violets to keep up the tradition--even if she were to find it a little
difficult to provide the flowers in bloom in high summer. The village
itself has not grown greatly during the past hundred years. Cobbett
describes it as "a beautiful village, chiefly of one street, with a fine
large green before it, and with a pond in the green." There is not much
else to be seen now; the green is as wide and sunny, the geese and
ponies graze as contentedly, and the pond is as bright under the
chestnut trees and limes. If there has been any very noticeable change,
it has been made, perhaps, nearer the church and away towards the
railway station, which lie pretty far apart. From the main road by the
Clayton Arms there runs a gravel path up to the church, which stands on
higher ground, half a mile from the green, and by the path lies a very
fine pond, broad and deep, edged with willows and bulrushes, where wild
duck swim, and on the far side opening into a shallow bay in which you
may watch plovers bathe through the summer afternoons.

The church has not quite the grace and charm of some of its simpler
neighbours; but it is interesting as containing a number of monuments to
the Evelyns. Church mice are proverbial; but Godstone has a church
robin, or had one when I was there in the autumn of 1907. Bread had been
placed conveniently for him in one of the windows, and he flew about
watching me quietly, and eventually sang a loud solo from beside the
organ--_cantoris_, I think. Outside the church are some of Godstone's
newer buildings, the almshouses erected by Mrs. Hunt of Wonham House in
memory of her daughter; like the additions to the church, they are the
work of Sir Gilbert Scott. Nothing could be more admirable than the
repose and solidity of these delightful houses, with their massive oak
beams and sturdy red chimneys. Sir Gilbert himself lived for a time at
Rokesnest, between Tandridge and Godstone.

A mile and a half to the west of Godstone lies Bletchingley, high on the
ridge that runs parallel to the downs, above Merstham, to the north.
When Mr. Jennings walked into Bletchingley, in his _Field Paths and
Green Lanes_, the population seemed to him "at first sight to be made up
of butchers and beagles." That was more than thirty years ago, but
Bletchingley still keeps up its reputation, in regard to the beagles;
indeed, it has added to its just fame, for the odds are that, in the
summer months at all events, the first animal to catch your eye in
Bletchingley will be a foxhound. The kennels of the Burstow Hunt are at
Smallfields, near Horley, but the puppies introduce themselves to other
lodgings. Another abiding feature of Bletchingley is its cobbled
gutters. The quiet, sunny main street is one of the broadest of all
Surrey village roads, and its gutters drain it admirably. It lies
between low and comfortable old houses, of which the White Hart is the
chief, as becomes an ancient and notable inn. The White Hart when I saw
it last was welcoming a couple of foxhounds; another strolled across the
road careless of a hooting horn; another stood in a shopdoor. But of all
that belongs to the past in Bletchingley the best lies away from the
main road. Brewer Street is the name of an offshoot of Bletchingley to
the north, and contains one of the most perfect small timbered houses in
the county--the gatehouse of the old manor.

[Illustration: _Old Timbered House near Bletchingley._]

Bletchingley has been given a bad character by Cobbett. "The vile rotten
borough of Bletchingley," he calls it, and adds, from a Godstone inn,
that it is "happily for Godstone out of sight." Long before Cobbett the
Bletchingley politicians were in hot water. One of them, Dr. Nathaniel
Harris, was rector of the parish in the early days of the Stuarts, and
took his politics with him, as other clergymen have done, into the
pulpit. A Mr. Lovell was the candidate he wanted in for Bletchingley,
and he did his best for a canvass. He preached a sermon specially
directed against persons who would not vote for Lovell; he took his text
out of Matthew--"Now the chief priest and elders sought false
witnesses"; and he referred generally to his opponents as lying knaves.
It must have been inspiriting to hear him. His candidate got in, but
there was a petition against him for bribery, and Dr. Harris got into
trouble. He had to kneel at the bar of the House of Commons and humbly
confess his fault and pray for pardon, and on the next Sunday he had to
confess again in church, and to beg for the love of his neighbours.

The Reform Act ended Bletchingley as a borough. It had been bought in
the reign of Charles II by Sir Robert Clayton, and was just as flagrant
a job as Gatton or Haslemere; generally a Clayton sat for it. In the
Clayton era there were not many more than a dozen electors, but the
numbers who turned out at an election were remarkable. The inns set out
their barrels in the streets, free to all drinkers; the Bletchingley
cobbles ran beer. As a disfranchised borough, it ended with a flash of
distinction; its last members were Thomas Hyde Villiers and Lord
Palmerston.

Other Rectors of Bletchingley were gentler souls than Dr. Harris. One of
them, William Hampton--he belonged to a remarkable line of Hamptons,
seven generations, and all clergymen--left a pretty passage in his will.
He bequeathed to his granddaughter, Judith Herat, a plot of ground in
Bletchingley, because, as he wrote, "she is very like her mother and
beareth the name of her great-grandmother my mother a gratious woman."
Another, Thomas Herring, rose to be Archbishop of Canterbury. Not
everybody would have recommended him. Swift abused him. Herring preached
a sermon in Lincoln's Inn and condemned Gay's _Beggar's Opera_, and
Swift went to the attack in the _Intelligencer_. "I should be very sorry
that any of the clergy," he wrote "should be so weak as to imitate a
Court Chaplain who preached against the _Beggar's Opera_, which probably
will do more good than one thousand sermons of so stupid, so
injudicious, and so prostitute a divine." Swift would have quarrelled
with his biographer, who gives him an engaging character:--

    "His person was majestic; he had a gracefulness in his behaviour and
    gravity in his countenance, that always procured him reverence. His
    pronunciation was so remarkably sweet and his address so insinuating
    that his audience immediately on his beginning to speak were
    prepossessed in his favour."

[Illustration: _Bletchingley._]

Few manors in Surrey have passed through more distinguished hands than
Bletchingley. At the Conquest it was given to the great Richard de
Tonebrige, and perhaps he built Bletchingley Castle. He was pretty well
off for land in Surrey, for he held thirty-eight manors in that county
alone. He was the head of the de Clares, and they held Bletchingley for
eight generations. The most famous of them was the Red Earl who knew how
to change sides between Simon de Montfort and Henry III so as to be
cursed as a traitor six centuries ago and recognised by later
generations as a patriot and a statesman, who could curb the barons as
well as resist the King. He was the last but one of the de Clares to
hold Bletchingley, and it was during his absence, at the battle of
Lewes, that a Royalist party destroyed the Castle. His son died at the
head of his horse at Bannockburn, and the manor came by marriage into
the Stafford family. They held it for another six generations, until the
third Duke of Buckingham, Lord High Constable under Henry VIII, ended
the splendours of the Staffords on the scaffold.

Sir Nicholas Carew had the manor next, and followed Buckingham to Tower
Hill. Then Anne of Cleves, too plain for Tower Hill, lived there, and
Sir Thomas Cawarden managed it for her and succeeded her. He is the
fascinating figure. He moves in a royal light of Courts and Kings, of
hunting and hawking in the sunshine, and plotting in dark chambers, and
guessing the value of a queen's smile. He was Henry VIII's Master of the
Revels, and Keeper of the King's tents, hales, and toyles (which were
wooden stables and traps for game), and at Bletchingley he entertained
Henry and perhaps more than one of his queens. You picture the Master of
the Revels riding in velvet by Catherine Howard, and wondering whether
her eyes would take her by the same stairway as Anne Boleyn.

When Queen Mary was proclaimed after Edward, and there were risings and
rumours of risings in support of Queen Jane, Sir Thomas Cawarden had his
difficulties. He had been getting his orders from Jane one day and Mary
the next, and suddenly there was an end; he was arrested, and all his
arms were ordered to be seized. Bletchingley Castle was searched, and
was found to contain a good deal more than the armour of a few retainers
and the artillery of a deer park. The inventory showed twenty-four
demi-lances, eighty-six horsemen's staves, one hundred pikes, one
hundred morris-pikes, one hundred bows, two handguns, and other weapons,
besides sixteen heavy pieces of cannon--enough to arm a hundred horse
and more than three hundred foot. All were seized and taken to the
Tower. Sir Thomas complained bitterly. Might not an English gentleman
keep armour in his country house if he pleased to do so? Mary could
prove nothing against him, and was obliged to let him go. But she
thought his weapons best kept in the Tower; and so, despite his
protests, did Elizabeth after her. Sir Thomas's petition for their
return and for redress is amongst the Loseley manuscripts. Here is part
of his statement:--

    "That on xxv. Jan. I. Mary he was lawfully possessed at Bletchingley
    of and in certein horses with furnyture armure artillarie and
    munitions for the warres and divers other goodes to the value of
    £2000 and that upon certein mooste untrue surmises brutes and Rumers
    raised against him was brought into divers and sundry vexations and
    troubles during which time one Sir Thomas Saunders Knight and
    William Saunders of Ewell on pretence of comande did take into their
    heads and possession the said armure and eight of his great horses
    and did convey the same in 17 great waynes thoroughly loaden and at
    the same time spent no small quantity of his corne hay and strawe
    and had only restored 4 loades and of the said 8 great horse oon of
    the best the iii^rd day after died. And the rest are in so evil
    plite and lykyng and were never since otherwise liable to serve in
    the carte to his great hindrance and undoing."

When Sir Thomas died, his funeral was prodigious. No expense was spared;
the feasting was Gargantuan; the villagers mourned with the best beef
and beer. Mr. Granville Leveson-Gower, in the _Surrey Archæological
Collections_, has obtained from the Loseley MS. a full account of the
charges, from which I make extracts. It is headed:--

    Suche CHARGES as grew the Daye of the OBSEQUIES of Sir THOMAS
    CAWARDEN, Knight, decessed; viz.--

    Fyrste to George Melleshe Mchaunt Taylor for black lxxv^li v^s.
    It^m two tonne of beare iii^li.
    It^m iiii quarters wheat iii^li xiiii^s iiii^d.
    Item ii oxen vi^li xiii^s iiii^d.
    Item iiii vealls xiii^s iiii^d.
    Item iiii muttons xvi^s viii^d.
    Item iiii piggs v^s iiii^d.
    Item iiii doz. pyghons viii^s.
    Item vii doz. conyes xvi^s.
    Item iv doz. checkens vi^s viii^d.
    Item sugere spyces and frutes v^li.
    Item wyne v^li.
    Item to one Garrett for helping in the kitchyne too days ii^s.
    Item to Richard Leys for monye borowed of him to be dystributed at
      Horselye when S^r Thom Cawarden dyed for neesorryes iii^li.
    Item for the lone of black cottons xiii^s 1^d ob.
    Item for the waste of other cotten iii^s.
    Item for xxvii yards of black cotten that conveyed the wagon wherein
      the corse was carried to Blechinglie from Horselye xv^s ix^d.

The black and the bakemeats and the beer cost altogether £149 16_s._
11_d._ But Sir Thomas had foreseen it all. There were estimates obtained
for such things in those days. Here is the estimate made by a herald of
the funeral charges of Sir Thomas's lady:--

    PREPARATION to be made for the BURYALL of the LADY CARDYN.

    First the body to be well syred (cered) and chested.
    Item a place to be appointed wher the body shall be buryed.
    Item, ordre to be takin for the hangyng of the churche withe blacke.
    Item, order to be takyn for the raylles wher the morners
      shall knele, to be hangyd with blacke; and also the churche, and the
      said raylles, to be garnyshed with scochins.
    Item, to apoint a gentylman in a blacke gowne to cary the penon of
      armes.
    Item, to apoint v women morners, wherof the chiefest to be in the
      degree of a lady.
    Item, to apoint a knyght or a squier to lede the chieff morner.
    Item, to apoint iiii gentylmen to be assystance to the body.
    Item, yeomen in blacke cottes to carry the body.
    Item, to appoint a preacher.
    Item, to appoint a paulle of blacke velvett to laye upon the body
      during the service.
    Item, prestes and clarks to by appontyd for the said service.

Clarencieulx King of Armes was to manage it, to have five yards of black
cloth for his mourning gown, five shillings a day for his services, £3
6s. 8d. for his fee, and to be paid back "his chargys to be boryn to and
fro." Men knew how to die then, and how to be buried.

Bletchingley manor, after the Cawardens, came to the Howards of
Effingham, and so to an heiress Elizabeth Countess of Peterborough, the
richest and loveliest lady of her day. Her son fought for the king
against his own father, and the House of Commons fined him £10,000 for
turning Roman Catholic. The money had to be found, and the manor was
sold to Sir Robert Clayton, Whig, Lord Mayor, plutocrat, and, according
to Dryden, extortioner. But Dryden's political satire was not always
fair. Ishban, in _Absalom and Achitophel_ is Sir Robert--

    Ishban, of conscience suited to his trade
    As good a saint as usurer ever made.

There was a suspicion that Sir Robert would have liked to purchase a
peerage, and Dryden was furious at the "shame and scandal," though a
quieter spirit, John Evelyn, dined more than once with the Mayor, and
evidently had some admiration for his hospitality. "He was a discreete
Magistrate" Evelyn writes, "and tho' envied, I think without much
cause."

If Sir Robert Clayton was criticised during his lifetime, he left plenty
of matter for dispute behind him when he died. Half Bletchingley church
is dominated by his monument. Mr. Jennings was appalled by it; "a
fearful neighbour" he calls it, and is of opinion that whatever may have
been the misdeeds of the dead, "he never could have done anything bad
enough to deserve his terrific monument." As a matter of fact the dead
man designed his own memorial, after the serenely contemplative fashion
of his time. Is the monument, after all so appalling? It cannot but be
interesting, for it is an index to the taste of a bygone age--an age
when the survivors of the dead found relief in Latin superlatives, and
the living looked into the future with the respectable vanity of an
alderman posing before a mirror. No doubt Sir Robert spent many happy
hours over his monument. Did he, or did the sculptor suggest the plump
cherubs which stand on each side, rolling stony tears from upturned
eyes? Did he decide on the particular direction in which he should throw
a leg? was it he who selected the disjointed texts which are carved
below him? or did the sculptor submit samples? It would be an arresting
spectacle; the finality of the whole thing, the weight of the choosing
would oppress even a Lord Mayor. A specimen angel would be shown him:
no, he could not approve an angel. Had the sculptor no other sizes in
cherubs? What texts were being used this season? Stone tears.... The
sculptor probably thought of those.

The church once had a fine spire. Aubrey mentions it particularly, as
measuring "more than forty feet above the battlements, with five great
bells, the tenour weighing 2000 weight, which were melted with the spire
and all the timber-work destroyed 1606." It was computed that in the
spire were 200 loads of timber. In the tower below the timber is still
magnificent and massive, and there is a new peal of bells, cast in 1780.
Bletchingley has one of the longest records of church bell ringing in
the county. On April 11, 1789, its ringers rang a full peal of 5600
changes--"college exercises"--in three hours thirty-six minutes, as you
may read in a record in the belfry. In the record the ages of the
ringers are carefully given. They range between 19 and 30. Bell ringing
is hard work.

Between Bletchingley and Redhill lies Nutfield, which has not yet been
caught into the town. Perhaps its progress into Redhill will be slow,
for it stands inconveniently high for wheeled traffic in and out of that
huddled basin of bricks, and from its own station a mile to the south
the roads up the hill are some of the steepest in east Surrey. Before
Redhill brings it more money and more bricks, it ought to be worth an
enterprising landlord's while to convert its principal inn to its old
methods. The Old Queen's Head is a posting inn with the remains of what
was once a spacious parlour, solid with oak beams big enough for a
belfry, warmed by a broad open fireplace and offering the hospitality of
two great chimney seats. The chimney seats have lapsed into cupboards
and a stove stands where once the wealden logs roared up into the night.
But if Godstone with its Clayton Arms, or Chiddingfold with its Crown,
beckons in the passer-by to look at old oak and old walls, why should
not Nutfield?

[Illustration: _Nutfield Church._]

Nutfield's chief industry, the digging of fuller's earth, dates back to
beginnings that are now quite forgotten. The Nutfield pits are still
working, and spread over the slope on which they lie a dreary stretch of
blue and grey upturned soil as if a giant gamekeeper had been digging
out colossal ferrets. The industry is old enough and important enough
for the export of fuller's earth to have been prohibited as far back as
Edward II, and in 1693 one Edmund Warren was tried in the Exchequer for
smuggling a quantity of earth out of the country, though it was proved
to be not fuller's earth but potter's clay. But there is no doubt that
great quantities were smuggled abroad, with corresponding injury--or so
it was thought at the time--to the cloth and woollen industry of
Guildford and south-west Surrey. Later days have discovered later
methods of scouring cloth of grease, and the trade no longer makes large
demands on the pits of Nutfield. But fuller's earth has still its uses
at the toilet table, and in America other uses. I have ascertained them
exactly. It is employed to dehydrate certain oils with which the
pork-packer adulterates lard.

[Illustration: _Lingfield._]



CHAPTER XXXIX

LINGFIELD AND CROWHURST

    A chapter of Hume.--The Village Cage.--The Copthorne Poachers.--A
    shop for three centuries.--The green-faced Soldan.--A griffin's
    hoof.--Second-best fish.--Eleanor Cobham and the
    Witch.--Crowhurst.--A tree and a rubbish-heap.--An iron
    tombstone.--Fifteen daughters running.--Crowhurst Place.


Lingfield is not large enough, nor enough overbuilt and railway-ridden,
to dare to the title of capital even of a distant corner of Surrey. But
it stands above and apart from the quiet country round it, like a Bible
in an old library. Near it, or in its streets, are some of the prettiest
and most ancient timber houses in the county; the churchyard with its
brick paths, its rose-beds, the red walls round it and its view of the
Weald, has the serenity of deep meadowland and sunlit cloisters; the
church itself, with its sculptured oak and baronial tombs, belongs to
all English history from Creçy. If the churches of the surrounding
parishes, with their brasses and their registers, make up an admirable
local guide-book, the records of Lingfield church are a chapter of Hume.

[Illustration: _The Village Cage, Lingfield._]

The village itself is the pleasantest mixture of every style of Surrey
cottage, brick and timber, weather-tiling, plain brick, plain wood, and
a queer row of square white-stuccoed buildings which looks as if it had
been dumped inland from opposite shingle and dancing seas. It only lacks
tamarisk to be sheer Worthing. The village centres on its pond; not a
broad nor a very limpid piece of water, but distinguished by a pair of
swans, and by a curious obelisk standing at its head which once may
have marked a shrine. Built on to the bole of an old oak by the obelisk
is an apartment engagingly labelled "Ye Village Cage." Other Surrey
villages have had their cages, but only Lingfield has kept one. The door
is massive and threatening, and you get the keys at the chemist's the
other side of the road; or rather, a guide politely accompanies you and
displays the cage's secrets. The cage not long ago fell into disuse. It
was once used as a temporary lock-up for drunk or disorderly persons, or
others who had traversed the local by-laws of morality. Local justice
descended upon them, and they were cast into durance until morning
should bring soberness with a headache, or, in more serious cases, until
proper conveyance could be got round for Godstone. The cage has seen at
least one exciting rescue. This was some fifty or sixty years ago, when
a number of desperate characters vaguely described as the Copthorne
poachers were captured and haled into prison. As to the exact number of
captives, tradition varies; but the legend which is the most respectful
to the powers of the local constable sets it at eleven. The eleven were
surrounded, the door of the dungeon closed on them, and the village
tried to go to sleep. Darkness came on, and a daring deed. Other
poachers stole into the village, got to work with picks and crowbars,
took the roof off the dungeon and hauled out their comrades exulting.
The village wisely did not attempt a recapture.

The cage saw its last tenant in 1882, and the story of the rescued
poachers may still, perhaps, be heard from the mouth of the oldest
inhabitant, who was himself at one time a constable. As an expert in
suppressing crime, he never liked the plan on which the cage was built.
The floor is higher by two steps than the ground outside, and you had to
go upstairs to it. In fact, you had to throw your prisoner upstairs--a
most perilous business. It ought to have been built so that you could
take him by the left leg and throw him downstairs like a Christian.

Caged prisoners at Lingfield were not always treated with the utmost
rigour of the law. At one time the door was pierced by a grating, and
through the grating kindly souls passed packets of tobacco. Liquor could
not be passed in packets, but found its way in somehow. Afterwards in
severer days the grating was closed, and prisoners neither drank nor
smoked, as became their miserable condition. Nine years after the last
captive languished behind the blocked grating the prison was taken over
by the village for fresh purposes. Henceforward it was to be the museum,
and was duly vested in trustees. Its collection still grows slowly.
"Anything to do with village crime--we make that our special subject,"
the curator informs you with a pleasing urbaneness. The collection
includes a man-trap, a pair of handcuffs, a canvas bed which furnishes
the museum whenever it is wanted as a mortuary, a pair of farmer's
snowboots used a hundred years ago, and a pair of farmer's ordinary
boots used more recently.

Of tiny village streets there is no more fascinating byway than the
little road which leads up to the south door of Lingfield Church. On the
right is the Star inn, taking its sign from the arms of the great lords
of Sterborough who lie in the church; and built beside the inn a row of
quiet cottages, perhaps once part of the inn. On the left one building
stands out from the rest; an early sixteenth century timber house,
admirably preserved, and of peculiar interest because after three
hundred years it is still carrying on the business for which it was
intended. It was built as a shop, and it is a shop still. Modern
preference for plate glass and easily opened doors has changed the
original plan of the ground floor, but the first floor remains almost as
its builder left it, and its heavy girders with their rounded ends
jutting out over the pavement below are a happy testimony to the worth
of wealden builders and wealden wood. Wealden paint, on the other hand,
has not improved. The girders are still dark and stained as oak (or is
it chestnut?) should be stained by age and weather. But a yard or two
away there are beams as massive and as well-seasoned which flout the
lapse of centuries with a flaring and be-varnished buff.

The church is noble and tranquil without and within. A chained Bible
stands on a lectern; another Bible, "bought May the tenth 1683," as the
inscription runs on the title-page, "by William Saxby of Surry Esq., for
the use and benefitt of all good Christians" is in use to-day. But the
chief interest of the church to-day, as it has been its chief glory in
the past, is its association with the great family of Cobham. The
Cobhams of Sterborough--their castle stood two miles east of Lingfield,
but has fallen--came of a line which through two of the most eventful
centuries of English history was represented in almost every battle,
consulted in the most difficult diplomacy, and allied at last by
marriage to an English king. Their family goes back to a Justice
itinerant who settled in Kent; but the real founder of the Surrey branch
was the Justice's grandson, the first Lord Cobham of Sterborough. He was
one of the greatest soldiers of his day, and, from the ransoms he had
for the prisoners he took in battle, one of the richest. It was to him,
with Sir John Chandos and the Earl of Warwick, that Edward III entrusted
the Black Prince at Creçy; at Poictiers he rescued the King of France;
he was Lord Admiral of the King's fleet "from the mouth of the Thames
westwards"; and to end it all, he died in his bed of the plague. His
effigy on his tomb tramples a Soldan, whose face has been duly painted
green by the artist--an interesting relic, according to Mr. J.G. Waller,
of Crusaders' traditions. There were not enough names for colours in
those days, and perhaps the soldiers trying to describe the olive skins
of the Arabs, may have called them green. For some obscure reason, too,
the Soldan with his green face and his red beard is intended by the
artist to be alive. Nobody can say why that should be, but the sculptor
doubtless knew. He was a careful and accurate man; you can still trace
below Lord Cobham's left knee the fastenings of the Garter.

Lord Cobham's wife, Joan, was the author of one of the longest wills in
existence. She remembered everybody, including the prisoners in chains
at Southwark and the sick men in the hospitals. Her executor Robert
Belknappe was to have "a horn made from a griffin's hoof with a silver
core, and the said horn has a silver rim and two silver gilt feet." But
she was most anxious, poor lady, about her soul. "Before everything
else" there were to be said 7000 masses, immediately upon her death, and
the priests were to have £29 3_s._ 4_d._ for saying them. A penny a
mass, that is, and the priests took the pence. But it was twelve years
before they had said the masses.

The second Lord Cobham had mingled experiences of love and war.
According to the inscription on his tomb, broken in the church but
preserved in the College of Arms, he was "as brave as a leopard, a
sumptuous entertainer, handsome, imperturbable, and courteous." He was a
soldier, but the great struggle of his life had nothing to do with a
battlefield. It was his attempt to secure a dispensation from the Pope
for marrying his cousin in defiance of the canon law. Almost a year
passed before the Pope gave his decision on the point, and then he
ordered the unhappy cousins a horribly tedious penance. For four years
they might not eat meat; they might not drink wine on Wednesdays, and at
the six fasts they might only eat the second-best kinds of fish, and not
those which were most agreeable to them. They had to feed four poor
persons daily, and wait upon them themselves; and these poor persons
were to have bread and meat or fish, with half a flagon of ale, and were
to have new tunics and new russet hoods every year. All this was in
addition to various heavy fines. The money part must have been the least
exasperating: but it might have been amusing to choose the less
agreeable kinds of fish.

The eldest son of this much be-penanced marriage had two distinctions.
He was for some years the warden, at Sterborough castle, of the French
heir to the throne, the Duke of Orleans who was taken prisoner at
Agincourt; and he was the founder of Lingfield College. Lingfield
College had a provost, six chaplains, four clerks, and thirteen poor
persons, but none of its walls stand to-day. The life of the college
farm alone survives, in an inventory of the implements and live stock
taken at the Dissolution. Here are some extracts:--

THE LABORERS CHAMBRE.

    Itm a mattres ii bolsters A cou'lett a payer of Shets      iiii^s
    Itm iii Axes & iii hedgying bylls                            ii^s
    Itm ii Augurs a whymble a chesell a horsecombe                x^d
    Itm a Share a culter & a Towe (chain)                     xviii^d
    Itm a pycheforke                                            iii^d
    Itm iii payer of new Trayes (? traces)                       vi^d
    Itm an old sleyng rope ii hempon alters & a spade            vi^d

_Husbondry._

    Itm ii wenes (wains) w^t weyles unshod              xiii^s iiii^d
    Itm donge pott w^t wheles                                   xvi^d
    Itm iii barrowes ii good & one bad                          xld^d
    Itm a grynstone                                              xx^d

_Cattell._

    fyrst viii Oxen price the yoke 1^s                           x^li
    Itm iiii Steres price the yoke xl^s xl^d      iiii^li vi^s viii^d
    Itm xi bolocks whereof ix be yerelyngs and ii be ii }
    yerelyngs price                                     }         l^s
    Itm iii Steres of iii yeres of age price                     xl^s
    Itm ten kene (kine) & a bull                   vii^li vi^s viii^d
    Itm vi sukkyng Calves                                         x^s
    Itm v wenyers (weaning calves)                                x^s
    Itm iiii yewes & iii lambes                           vi^s viii^d
    Itm ii old geldyns pry^d (priced for) saddell       xxvi^s viii^d
    Itm an old horse                                              v^s
    Itm a lame horse to go to myll                                v^s
    Itm iii mares ii grey & i bay                                xx^s
    Itm a grey ii yere colt gelded price                  vi^s viii^d
    Itm ii sowes and a bore                                     vii^s

_Corne._

    Itm whete in the mowe price                                 xvi^s
    Itm old Barley in the chaff                            v^s iiii^d
    Itm xii acres of whete price the acre                 vi^s viii^d
    Itm xxxiiii acres of ots price the acre ii viii^d  iiii^li viii^d

_The Garnard._

    Itm di (half) a quart of Barley                            xvi^d
    Itm halff a quart of Ots                                   xvi^d
    Itm a busshell & a shald (sholl, scoop)                   iiii^d
    Itm in the barn a pfan and a Shald                        iiii^d
    Itm xx^c of hertlatth (? heart of oak laths)         vi^s viii^d.

Warriors and statesmen though the Cobhams were, one of their women folk
has made more history than they. It was Eleanor, daughter of the founder
of Lingfield College, who married the Lord Protector, the "good duke
Humphrey" of Gloucester, and who was convicted of dire misdemeanours.
Edward Hall, the old historian, writing of 1441, tells the story:--

    "For first this yere, Dame Elyanour Cobham, wife of the said duke,
    was accused of treason, for that she, by sorcery and enchantment
    entended to destroy the kyng, to thentent to aduance and to promote
    her husbande to the crowne: upon thys she was examined in St.
    Stephen's Chappel before the Bisshop of Canterbury; and there by
    examinacion convict and judged to do open penance, in iij open
    places, within the city of London, and after that adjudged to
    perpetuall prisone in the Isle of Man, under the kepyng of Sir Jhon
    Stanley, Knyght. At the same season were arrested, as ayders and
    counsailers to the sayde duchesse, Thomas Southwel, preiste and
    chanon of St. Stephen's, in Westminster, Jhon Hum, preist, Roger
    Bolyngbroke, a conyng nycromancier, and Margerie Jourdayne, surnamed
    the witche of Eye, to whose charge it was laied y^t thei, at the
    request of the duchesse, had devised an image of waxe, representing
    the kyng, which by their sorcery, a litle and litle consumed,
    entendyng thereby in conclusion to waist, and destroy the kynges
    person, and so to bring him to death; for the which treison they
    wer adjudged to dye, and so Margery Jourdayne was brent in
    Smithfelde, and Roger Bolyngbroke was drawn and quartered at
    Tiborne, takyng upon his death, that there was neuer no such thing
    by theim ymagined; Jhon Hum had his pardon, and Southwel died in the
    toure before execution."

The beautiful duchess's penance is in all the history books. But it is
Shakespeare, and not the historians, who makes her walk through the town
in a white sheet and barefoot.

Three miles north of Lingfield is Crowhurst, one of a noble pair of
names. Crowhurst in Sussex and Crowhurst in Surrey each has its
immemorial yew, a tree of trees. But the yew of the Surrey
churchyard--is there no better way of honouring a tree than the
Crowhurst way? Who is to look at a tree like this without unhappiness?
From the road the first impression to be had of it is nothing very
imposing; a mass of deep and shining green, of no great stature, with
strong, springy branches brushing the church walls--that is all. But the
nearer view! You expect, and find, an enormous gnarled trunk, and
then--Your first idea is that someone has thrown a rubbish-heap at the
tree, and that most of the rubbish has stuck--old tea-trays, broken
kettles, saucepan-lids, the sides of tin trunks. You then perceive that
over gaps and wounds in the vast and writhen shell there have been
bound, or nailed, or otherwise fastened a number of patches of thin
sheet iron, painted a peculiarly ugly red. These patches of paint shriek
with the names of a thousand cockneys, and the names suit the method of
mending the broken tree. Gus should be the name of the man who fixed
that patch; Erb, surely, daubed on that paint; Alf, I think, drove in
that nail. Could none of the foresters of the weald have helped a great
tree better in its old age? There should be methods of preserving a tree
which are not of necessity hideous; else, it would be better for the
giant to die as it pleased.

The church stands commandingly on a hill, overlooking level pastures and
woodlands. But the view to the west, with all its breadth and quiet, is
not more happy than the nearer picture to the east. Church gates stand
opposite few more charming medleys than the multiplied gables, tumbled
triangles, and oblongs of red tiles belonging to the roofs of the house
on the other side of the road. This fine old brick building, with its
formal garden path and clipped yews is now, like the Gainsfords'
manor-house a mile away, merely a farmhouse. But it was once the family
residence of the Angells, the other great family of Crowhurst after the
Gainsfords. Like the Gainsfords, the Angell family has disappeared. The
last John Angell died in 1784, and left a very curious will. His
property was to go to anyone who could prove _himself_ (not herself)
descended from an ancestor of his who lived in the reign of Henry VI.
Many claims followed; none were proved.

[Illustration: _Crowhurst Church and the old Yew._]

The house has one record at least of unrequited hospitality. This is an
extract from the parish registers:--

    "1653. July 24.--William Hillyer sonne to ---- Hillyer of Bingfield
    in Barkshire whoe coming as a stranger to M^r. Angell's house in
    Crowhurst dyed: by whom being carefully attended by physiteans and
    others in his sicknes and decently and in good fashion buried, the
    father of the sayd William Hillyer refused to paye one farthing for
    his physitean and buriall like an unnatural father."

Inside the church is a strange monument--a slab of Sussex iron, let into
the floor near the altar, and commemorating Anne Forster, the
granddaughter of a patriarchal neighbour, Sir John Gainsford. It is odd
in more than one way; it is the only iron tombstone in the county,
though it is a tombstone that has often been copied. There are still
several reproductions of it scattered about the country in the form of
firebacks; evidently the founders considered the design convenient.
Perhaps they might have made a better job if they had been severer
scholars; for some of the lettering on it is quaint and topsy-turvy, the
S's being twisted the wrong way round and the F's lying unhappily feet
uppermost. Yet it fits well with the other old Gainsford and Angell
monuments, and is also a memorial of a dead and gone industry, the
iron-smelting of Surrey, Sussex, and Kent.

[Illustration: _The Farmhouse opposite Crowhurst Church._]

Leisured churchgoers should choose a service at Crowhurst at sunset:
September drives the sun at the right angle to light its dark oak and
the great beams of the belfry. Many churches have windows built high in
the west end, through which part of the splendour of the setting sun can
filter; but this window is set low, and the red sky floods the church.

From the church to Crowhurst Place a mile away runs an interesting
byway, the only one in Surrey, so far as I know, built by a private
gentleman of permanent material, extending for a mile from his house to
his place of worship. In the year 1631 the John Gainsford of the day, at
the fine old age of 76, determined he would walk wet to church no more.
He had a stone-flagged causeway laid from the manor-house to the
churchyard, "it being before," as the Parish Register informs you, "a
loathsom durtie way every stepp." He paid two workmen fifty pounds for
the job, and the causeway is still to be picked out across the meadows.

[Illustration: _Crowhurst Place._]

The Gainsfords were one of the best, though not the greatest of the old
Surrey families. They are first heard of in the reign of Edward III,
when John and Margery Gaynesford had the manor of Crowhurst from John de
Stangrave and Joan his wife--a delightful gathering of English names.
One of them, in Tudor days, was Sheriff of Surrey, and well in the Tudor
fashions: he had six wives. But he must have found them disappointing in
their family duties, for the first five of them brought him fifteen
daughters running, and it was only from the sixth and last that he got a
son and heir. He was one of a long succession of Johns and Erasmuses,
but the line failed at the end. There were never enough boys in the
Gainsford families, and when at last the manor went to a daughter the
spell was broken; the house was sold.

[Illustration: _The Bridge over the Moat, Crowhurst Place._]

Crowhurst Place was originally a timber house built in or near the reign
of Henry VII, and according to tradition Henry VIII used to stay there
on his way to visit Anne Boleyn at Hever Castle over the border. It was,
and still is in some respects, an admirable example of the masonry and
carpentry of the fifteenth century, but the destroying hand of later
builders has removed part of the timber and filled up the gaps with
brick and weather-tiling, so that its full character has been taken
away. The great hall, with its glorious beams, was too much for the
utilitarian. The waste of space distressed him. He therefore cut it in
two by running a floor across the length of it halfway up, and
subdivided his floor into bedrooms to accommodate the resident farmer's
numerous family. It would be difficult to ruin a fine hall more
completely.

But the house still has its own beauty, though it is the wild beauty of
poverty and neglect. It stands half a mile from the road to the
south-west of the church, approached by a rough bridle path. The first
glimpse through the trees is of gables striped white and dark; a moat,
befeathered and noisy with ducks, and a little wooden bridge crossing
the moat to a side-door. Beyond lie great barns, a flagged courtyard and
flagged paths, and round the corner a second bridge over the moat,
brickbuilt and massive; and by the garden gate a mounting-stone, which
it would be pleasant to think gave Anne Boleyn's royal wooer an easy
step into the saddle. But it came later, perhaps.

Is it not possible that Crowhurst Place may be rescued as Tangley Manor
was? It has the hall, and the kitchen and the oak panelling, and the
great fireplaces for which we search all the house-agents' catalogues;
it is moated, it has dined a king; there should be a ghost somewhere.
But it rests apart, a farmhouse only. Brambles grow about it, such as
should fence in a castle of sleep; above them timbered gables and tall
chimneys to fit the cold and spacious hearths within. The fires that lit
those hearths wait their rekindling.



CHAPTER XL

OXTED AND LIMPSFIELD

    East of Godstone.--Tandridge.--The _Notebook of a Surrey
    Justice_.--Sturdy rogues.--Oxted.--A Rustic Guildford.--Mittens and
    corduroys.--Limpsfield.--Self-criticism.--_The Old Oak
    Chair._--Titsey Park and the Roman villa.--Tatsfield above the
    downs.


East of Godstone five churches stand in a bow stretched to the Kent
boundary. Not each church has a village. Oxted and Limpsfield, in the
middle of the bow, are near by a railway station, and Limpsfield plays
golf on the common: both are little old villages with many new houses
about them. But Tandridge and Titsey, towards each point of the bow, are
churches almost without cottages, but with great parks beside them:
Tatsfield, easternmost of all Surrey villages, has houses and cottages,
but the church stands apart, looking out over the Weald.

Tandridge was once Tanrige, and had a priory, which disappeared, of
course, at the Dissolution. It was quite a little place; its earliest
record, dated somewhere near the end of the twelfth century, describes
it as the Hospital of St. James, in the Ville of Tanregge, with three
priests, in perpetuity there serving God, and Confraters of the said
Hospital. So Odo, son of William de Dammartin, writes of it in his deed
of gift of lands, a windmill, and silver cups to make a chalice. The
establishment was less a priory than a small hospice, in which poor and
needy persons were cared for, and to which wayfarers might come for
refuge; one of those gentle places for the help and refreshment of
sorrowing men that are set so strangely before the days of Tudor
cruelties and tortures. The prior's hospice welcomed and comforted the
tired poor; Elizabeth's age beat them, men and women, for sturdy rogues.

[Illustration: _Tandridge Church._]

Later Tandridge history centres round the church and Tandridge Court.
Tandridge Court has had noble owners, but perhaps the most interesting
is Bostock Fuller, who was a Justice of the Peace in the days of
Elizabeth, and who has left a notebook describing his work and the cases
that came before him, which takes his reader extraordinarily close to
Tudor times and customs. The manuscript, entitled _Note Book of a Surrey
Justice_, is in the Bodleian Library at Oxford, and Mr. Granville
Leveson-Gower in the _Surrey Archæological Collections_, has made
extracts from the Bodleian transcript. Here are some of them:--

    Apryll 1608.

    [Sidenote: 4 Rogues whypped]

    The 7^th I rode with M^r Evelyn to Sir W. Gaynsfords whoe was sycke,
    to have his testymonye versus George Turner & that day we tooke iiij
    Rogues 2 men and ij women on Blyndlye heath & had them to Godstone
    they had stolen ij duckes and accused eche other of other ffacts, &
    the 8^th daye I went to M^r Evelyns & there we sawe them whipped and
    made them pasports to Devonshire & Somersetshire.

    [Sidenote: 2 Rogues whipped]

    The 15^th daye I caused to stoute Rogues called Marye Rendoll a
    wydow, & Anne Marks a wyfe to be whipped at Tanrydg & sent to
    Rawlyns in Essex.


    June 1608

    The 22th I rode to Kyngston Assyses and there I stayed 23th and 24th
    dayes. Botley and Renfyld whom I sent to the Gaole were there hanged
    and Burges whom M^r Evelyn & I bayled was burnte in the hande.


    January 1608

    John Berrye whom I sent to the goale for stealing Colcocks and
    Whites henns was arrayned & whipt....

    Bartholomew Gander being accessarye & ... Roaker, were put into the
    Byll with the principal....


    1612. 23 Dec.

    I sent a warrant for Richard Mathewe of Reygate for hunting my lord
    admyralls Conyes.


    1613. The 4^th of June

    Amias Gullock brought to me by the offycers of Gatton the 4^th daye
    of June for stealing of a petycote which was taken with him; but the
    partie would not accuse him of ffelonye, & he said he boughte it. I
    caused him to be whipte and sent to the place of byrth at Combe by
    Chard in Somersetshire.


    Julye 19. 1613

    ... the abouebounden John Lambe is accused by Tho. Dennys for
    shooting in a gunne & vnlawfullie killing of his conyes....


    Julye 1616

    The xi^th I sent Eliz. Edsall seruant to Richard Greene to the house
    of Correction for stryking her dame and threatning her after and for
    departing from her seruice.


    19° Nov.

    ... they broughte ... Toller with a goose which he said he stole
    from Rose Harling, & I charged the Constable to laye him by the
    heeles all night & to bring him again next morning.

    He brake the stocks and ran away.

So went village life for Tandridge in the golden days. Few cottages have
been added since Mr. Bostock Fuller used to ride to the assizes. He
would see little change, perhaps, in the church, with the glorious oak
beams that bear up its belfry, and little, too, in the mighty yew whose
branches brush its tower. Over one gravestone he might be puzzled. It
has been placed in the grass, I think since his day, near the south
door, and is an ancient monument of hard sandstone with a cross carved
on it. Legend says that it was brought from Tandridge Priory, but there
are others like it at Oxted and Titsey which belong to an older date
than the priory.

[Illustration: _A Street in Oxted._]

Oxted is north-east of Tandridge; but there are two Oxteds. One is the
new village near the station, with new shops, a new inn, and the old
church. The other is the old village, set apart from the railway; a
little village clustered about a main street running up the hillside--a
rustic Guildford, a main street with cottage fronts for Guildford house
fronts, and an ancient timbered inn hanging out a golden bell instead of
Guildford's clock. Guildford's houses should hold Kate Greenaway maidens
and prim ladies with mittens: Oxted should have corduroys and aprons,
brown children and sunbonnets. So Oxted has; and it has also, I think,
more little inns than any Surrey village near its size. Each has its
sign; the street holds out a gallery of signs: stone steps and raised
alleys run to the cottage doorways, and the children play curious
village games with chalk squares and knucklebones, safe in the doorways
and on the pavement. There is a corner by the road crossing the main
street which is the prettiest in east Surrey. Weatherbeaten,
brick-and-timber cottages frame it: the Bell Inn, with its beams like
letters of a big black alphabet, hangs out its gold bell; beyond, the
road slopes to dim country greennesses and the hill of the downs.

[Illustration: _Oxted Church._]

Oxted church tower is noble and massive; a great content is about its
quiet, solid battlements. Once it had a spire, and I wish I had never
read that the spire was destroyed; now when I see it I am always
wondering what the church was like with a spire. In the churchyard are
two ancient tombstones, like the single stone at Tandridge; they, too,
are far older than the church.

Other strange monuments are in the church. One is to the memory of Ann,
wife of Charles Hoskins, who thus mourned her in 1651:--

        LET THIS
    PATTERNE OF PIETY
      MAPP OF MISERY
    MIRROUR OF PATIENCE
        HERE REST

In another memorial you may trace the history of an extremely large
family. John Aldersey "haberdas^hr and m'chant ventoror of London" died
in 1616, aged seventy-five, "and had ysue 17 childeren." The whole
seventeen are represented in marble accompanying, and from their dress
and different sizes you may guess what happened to them. There are ten
sons and seven daughters; of the ten sons, six are bearded men, who grew
up, perhaps, and were men like their father: three are younger, just
ordinary sons, and one is a baby--I suppose died as a baby. Of the seven
daughters, two are babies, and the five that wear caps you may imagine
to be girls who grew up and were married and lived happily.

In Barrow Green House, an admirable building, perhaps more Georgian than
Jacobean, once lived Grote, the historian. He lies in Westminster Abbey;
his widow, as we saw, is buried in Shere churchyard. Barrow Green Farm,
close by, is all that an old farmhouse should be, complete with barns,
an oasthouse, and a fascinating front to the road. Oasthouses begin
here, near the Kent border. Surrey grows few hops; only at Farnham and
near Oxted, I think. In the west Hampshire encourages her, and here she
takes heart from Kent.

Limpsfield is the other side of the railway. The centre is unlike old
Oxted, for it is the church; but you cannot get a picture of Limpsfield
as separate and self-contained as of old Oxted. Oxted sets itself on its
hillside more charmingly than any village of the Surrey weald; you get
the picture from halfway up the road to the station, and you should look
at it when the sun is setting. Then the white ricks in the foreground
loom larger, and the huddled roofs and gables age into another century;
the blue smoke of wood fires drifts in the wind across the hill. But you
cannot hold Limpsfield at such a pleasant distance; you must come into
the village street close to the old cottages, and close too, to a large
house with a noble frontage on the roadway; great houses are seldom set
so near to cottages and the road. But Limpsfield, with all its
attractive antiquities of timber and gables, somehow strikes a modern
note. Detilens is the name--a name one vaguely tries to scan for a Latin
verse--of a little, hidden house of great age, in the village street.
But it is the common, not Detilens or neighbouring roofs, which marks
Limpsfield, and on the common are golf links and the huge red-brick
buildings of a school.

A century ago Limpsfield held an author and a critic. He was the author
of a tiny book, _Lympsfield and its Environs_, which was republished in
1838 with an introduction by a friend, who signs himself "H.G." and
dates his preface from Westerham. At Westerham, too, the curious little
republication was issued. It is illustrated by George Cruikshank and
with pleasant prints of old pencilled drawings, and besides a poem,
contains a number of descriptions of the chief houses of the
neighbourhood. Here is one of them:--

    "CHART'S EDGE.

    On inquiring of a native, we were told that this place was the
    residence of "Mr. _Antiquary Streatfeild_." We doubt, however, if he
    has any just pretensions to that designation, a divine across the
    border assuring us that he is skilled in glamoury, and illustrating
    his account by stating that 'where there was a hill, there he would
    have a hollow, where there was a dell, there we should find a
    mound'; and, indeed, we ourselves experienced the delusion, for the
    spot which we had known for many years as a bleak desert, appeared
    sheltered and decorated with thriving plantations, a house new from
    the kiln, cheated us with its Elizabethan air; neither was the spell
    broken when we found ourselves in the interior; there we saw, or
    thought we saw, one of Raphael's loveliest easel pictures, one of
    Rembrandt's deep toned yet brilliant interiors, and a goodly row of
    ancestors in flowing wigs and ample ruffles; whilst, in fact, the
    former were no more than a foxy Italian copy of the divine Urbino,
    and a modern English attempt to mimic the glorious Fleming, and the
    latter, Cockneys and Kentish Yeomen."

Such a concatenation of studied insults might be supposed to have
finished with a libel action. But it is the only description of a
neighbouring house which has a hint of raillery, and a pencilled note in
a copy I found of the little old book adds the explanation. Chart's Edge
belonged to the author of _Lympsfield and its Environs_. I imagine,
also, that Mr. Antiquary Streatfeild was the author of _The Old Oak
Chair_, republished in the same volume by his friend "H.G.," and
described as a ballad "sung at an anniversary dinner of the Westerham
Amicable Benefit Society, to which the author has proved a steady
friend." This is the ballad of _The Old Oak Chair_:--

    My good sire sat in his old oak chair,
        And the pillow was under his head,
    And he raised his feeble voice, and ne'er
          Will the memory part
          From my living heart
        Of the last few words he said.

    "When I sit no more in this old oak chair,
        And the green grass has grown on my grave,
    And like armed men, come want and care,
          Know, my boys, that God's curse
          Will not make matters worse,
        How little soever you have.

    "The son that would sit in my old oak chair,
        And set foot on his father's spade,
    Must be of his father's spirit heir,
          And know that God's blessing
          Is still the best dressing,
        Whatever improvements are made."

    And he sat no more in his old oak chair;
        And a scape-thrift laid his hand
    On his father's plough, and he cursed the air,
          And he cursed the soil,
          For he lost his toil,
        But the fault was not in the land.

    And another set in his father's chair,
        And talked, o'er his liquor, of laws,
    Of the tyranny here and the knavery there,
          'Till the old bit of oak
          And the drunkard broke,
        But the times were not the cause.

    But I have redeemed the old ricketty chair,
        And trod in my father's ways;
    Have turned the furrow with humble prayer
          To profit my neighbours,
          And prosper my labours;
        And find my sheaves with praise.

Cruikshank draws the scape-thrift roystering over punch and
churchwardens' pipes. The careful and thrifty farmer is in another
picture. He has no pipe, and he talks kindly to his wife, and dandles
his son on his knee. There is a large ale-jug on the table, and he has
had a capital dinner.

Titsey, a mile and a half away under the downs, is not a village at all;
just a modern church outside Titsey Park, and a cottage opposite the
church which was once an inn, and could swing a sign now if it wished;
the frame is there. Once the church stood inside the park. That was when
Titsey Place belonged to the Greshams, the ancestors of its later
owners, the Leveson-Gowers. Sir John Gresham, looking one day in 1776 at
the old church, decided that it was too near his house: it was only
thirty-five feet distant. With the insolence of the day, he knocked it
down, and the modern church stands obediently outside the gates. But
Titsey Park has made amends. When the late Mr. Granville Leveson-Gower
was at Titsey he brought to light, and described in the _Surrey
Archæological Collections_, the foundations of a Roman villa discovered
in the Park, almost touching the old road used by the pilgrims on their
way to Canterbury. The foundations were interestingly complete, and from
the ground near were dug coins, pottery, and a bronze mask. To-day the
villa may be visited, but it is overgrown by weeds and elder bushes, and
the visible remains are of scanty walls and tumbled pillars; rabbits, I
think, see most of it.

From Titsey you may climb a steep road and find Tatsfield church,
separated from its scattered village, clean on the edge of the steep
hill. Tatsfield church, which is old and small, stands nearly eight
hundred feet above the weald, and its little churchyard, with a path in
it leading to no gate, but only to a hedge, lends a curious sense of a
garden. The stretch of Sussex and Kent to the south is freer and wider
than any other Surrey church sees; but Tatsfield, like other places with
a fine view, suffers continual loss in cloudy weather. When I was last
there the church stood alone on the brow, over unguessable depths of
grey mist.



CHAPTER XLI

DULWICH TO WIMBLEDON

    Growing London.--Cigars by Dulwich Valley.--Edward Allen, Actor,
    Bear-baiter, Dog-fancier and Founder of a College.--Godd's
    Guift.--Dulwich buttercups.--Dr. Johnson.--A Prayer in a
    Library.--Merton.--Wimbledon Camp.--A Miser's grave.--An opportunity
    for a duel.--Groans for George Ranger.--Memories of the Windmill.


Nothing is more capricious than a vast town pushing out into the
country. No law binds it; no power can resist it; it will not be
tempted, or denied; only one future can certainly be prophesied for it,
that where it comes it will remain. Looking at London and its
surroundings on a new map and an old, it is an arresting thing to
trace--almost to watch--the growth of the inexorable black ink on what a
decade or two before was inviolate white. There is nothing orderly about
it, nothing mathematical. London does not grow as the circles spread
from a splash in a pond, nor regularly and certainly as geologists say
stones grow in the soil--a fascinating and rather dreadful secret of
growth. London grows suddenly by fits and starts. Once, perhaps, the
town crept out quietly, a field at a time, a new road in a twelvemonth.
Now it catches great parks and manors. But which way it will go out to
catch them you cannot guess. It may walk threateningly, and it may leave
alone, as it has left the deepest of hayfields alone in Kent much nearer
London than in Surrey. One rule, perhaps, it keeps relentlessly; it will
never leave country between London old and London new. The Londons join
at once.

Ruskin, in _Præterita_, shows you London striding by Herne Hill to
Croydon. Herne Hill should be a hill with a heronry on it, but the name
is new; it was King's Hill when John Speed made his map in the days of
James I. But Herne Hill was in the country when Ruskin knew it. Norwood
was a hill; Dulwich was a valley. "Central in each amphitheatre, the
crowning glory of Herne Hill was accordingly, that, after walking along
its ridge southward from London through a mile of chestnut, lilac, and
apple trees, hanging over the wooden palings on each side--suddenly the
trees stopped on the left, and out one came on the top of the field
sloping down to the south into Dulwich valley--open field animate with
cow and buttercup, and below, the beautiful meadows and high avenues of
Dulwich; and beyond, all that crescent of the Norwood hills; a footpath,
entered by a turnstile, going down to the left, always so warm that
invalids could be sheltered there in March, when to walk elsewhere would
have been death to them; and so quiet, that whenever I had anything
difficult to compose or think of, I used to do it rather there than in
our own garden. The great field was separated from the path and road
only by light wooden open palings, four feet high, needful to keep the
cows in. Since I last composed, or meditated there, various improvements
have taken place; first the neighbourhood wanted a new church, and built
a meagre Gothic one with a useless spire, for the fashion of the thing,
at the side of the field; then they built a parsonage behind it, the two
stopping half the view in that direction. Then the Crystal Palace came,
for ever spoiling the view through all its compass, and bringing every
show-day from London a flood of pedestrians down the footpath who left
it filthy with cigar ashes for the rest of the week: then the railroads
came, and expatiating roughs by every excursion train, who knocked the
palings about, roared at the cows, and tore down what branches of
blossom they could reach over the palings on the enclosed side. Then the
residents on the enclosed side built a brick wall to defend themselves.
Then the path got to be insufferably hot as well as dirty; and was
gradually abandoned to the roughs, with a policeman on watch at the
bottom. Finally, this year, a six foot high close paling has been put
down the other side of it, and the processional excursionist has the
liberty of obtaining what notion of the country air and prospect he may,
between the wall and that, with one bad cigar before him, another behind
him, and another in his mouth."

Dulwich valley, and cows and buttercups--it has still an uneasy echo of
the town. Somewhere, surely, there always broods over Dulwich the spirit
of the founder of its college. He is the Londoner of Londoners, and the
oddest combination of characters that ever left a name as pious
benefactor of a school. Edward Allen, or Alleyn as his college spells
him, was to begin with an Elizabethan actor. He was one of a company of
strolling players before he was twenty; he was twenty-two when he had
somehow made himself a "gentleman," to be so described on a deed of
gift; and when he was twenty-six, he was such an actor that Ben Jonson
compared him to Roscius and Cicero, and Thomas Nash wrote that "Not
Roscius or Aesope, those tragedians admired before Christ was borne,
could ever performe more in action than famous Ned Allen." Perhaps he
made his money as an actor-manager; perhaps he married money, for his
wife was the daughter of a pawnbroker (who was also a theatre-proprietor
and one of the grooms of the Queen's chamber); perhaps he began lending
money early in life himself. He and his father-in-law, when James
succeeded Elizabeth, were made chief masters of "his Majesty's games of
Beares, Bulls and doggs"; they had a menagerie in the Paris Gardens at
Southwark where they kept wolves and lions; they worried bulls and had
dog-fights, and showed "pleasant sport with the horse and ape and
whipping of the blind beare." Money rolled in, with the apes and the
bears and the loans, and in October, 1605, Allen, by this time full
esquire, bought the manor and lands of Dulwich for £4,900. Eight years
later he left Southwark for Dulwich, and set about founding his college.

Aubrey has a quaint legend of the foundation. How should an actor found
a college? The devil was in it somewhere. Tradition told "that Mr.
_Alleyne_, being a Tragedian, and one of the Original Actors in many of
the celebrated _Shakespear's_ Plays, in one of which he play'd a Daemon,
with six others, and was in the midst of the Play surpriz'd by an
_Apparition_ of the _Devil_, which so worked on his Fancy, that he made
a Vow which he perform'd at this Place." That was the beginning of
Dulwich College, according to one story; according to another, it was
only because Allen had begun so earnestly, and tied himself up by so
many legal contracts that he did not repent of his vow and take back all
he had given. That was when, a widower of fifty-seven, he wanted to
marry a girl of twenty. She was John Donne's daughter Constance, and
perhaps Donne felt bound to ask for liberal settlements. However, the
settlements were arranged somehow, and the college was founded. The
"colledge of God's gift" was his name for it, and as its founder he
described himself as "chief master, ruler and overseer of all and
singular over games of beares, bulls, mastive doggs and mastive
bitches." His blood-relations were to be Master and Warden, if possible,
and so, for many years, they were.

One of the statutes explains the name "God's gift." There were to be
twelve poor scholars, chosen partly by merit and partly by chance. When
a place became vacant three or four children were to be elected by the
parish vestries, and of these two were to be chosen by the Master and
Warden, and then the two were to draw lots:--

    "The manner of drawinge of the said lot shall be thus: Two equal
    small rowleses of paper to be indifferently made and rolled up, in
    one of which rolls the wordes 'Godd's Guift' are to be written, and
    the other rowle is to be left blank and so put into a boxe; which
    boxe shalbe thrice shaken up and downe, and the elder person of
    those two that are elected to drawe the first lot, and the younger
    person the second; and whiche of them draweth the lott wherein the
    wordes 'God's Guift' are written shalbe forthwith admitted."

Another gift followed Allen's. When Sir Francis Bourgeois died early in
the last century he left his fine collection of pictures to the school.
The gallery is open to the public; but a description, in the space I
have here, could be no more than a list of names.

Dulwich still has some of its fields and buttercups; the playing fields
are a pleasant oasis which is the last vision of sunlight and grass for
the traveller on the Chatham and Dover railway before plunging into the
murk of the Penge tunnel. Of its neighbours to the west, Streatham
clusters about a tangle of railways; Streatham, which was deep country
for Dr. Johnson, knocked down, in 1863, the house and cut up the park
that Dr. Johnson knew when they belonged to the Thrales. He would not
recognise the church--the church to which he bade farewell with a
kiss--it has been rebuilt. The library, which, if it were standing
to-day with the books that Johnson read, would be the most sought for
room in Surrey, went, of course, with the house. Eighty years before it
fell Johnson had parted from it with a prayer. "Help me," he prayed,
"that I may, with humble and sincere thankfulness, remember the comforts
and conveniences which I have enjoyed at this place; and that I may
resign them with holy submission, equally trusting in Thy protection
when Thou givest, and when Thou takest away." That was the library which
was destroyed only forty-five years ago. But Streatham, when it knocked
down the Thrales' house, had very good authority for parting with all it
had of Dr. Johnson. Mrs. Thrale would not have minded. She sold all the
letters Dr. Johnson wrote her for a matter of five hundred pounds.

Between Streatham and Wimbledon London strides out in patches. It has
not yet taken in Mitcham, which has a fine green with memories of great
Surrey cricket, and which grows all manner of scented flowers, lavender
and mint and rosemary and everything old-fashioned for herbalists and
perfumers and ladies' sachets and linen-chests. But Merton, north-west
towards Wimbledon, has been caught fast. Merton church, in which Nelson
used to worship, and which has his hatchment on the wall, above fine
cross beams of oak, stands among brand-new roofs and roads. Opposite the
church is the forlornest thing; a house which once was Sheridan's, and
which is now the warehouse of a shop, and hangs in its hall and rooms
printed calico. The windows are broken and cobwebby, the garden is a
ruin, but the calico, which you may buy at a shop in the town, is fresh
and very brightly printed. Francis Nixon, the founder of Merton's
calico-printing, which is quite an industry, lies in the churchyard.

And so, by a ring from east to west, where London joins the Surrey
countryside, we come to Wimbledon; Wimbledon old and new, as old as a
camp which may have been Saxon, as young as yesterday's new villa. The
camp, it is true, exists no longer. It has had more learned essays
written over it than any in Surrey; it has been claimed as belonging to
Cassivelaunus, it has been argued to be a Roman camp, and it has been
urged that it marks the site of a battle between Saxon and Saxon for the
possession of Surrey. It was a war camp, pretty certainly, from its
shape, which was almost exactly circular. But you can see the shape no
longer. Wimbledon was unfortunate enough to see its famous camp fall
into the hands of a Mr. Sawbridge Erle Drax, and he, in 1875, dared to
level its dykes with the ground, to cut down its mound, and fill in its
ditch. Of acts of wanton and insolent destruction, this stands supreme
in the history of the county.

Wimbledon has held a great house, and has seen royal progresses which
cost the lord of the manor a fortune. Thomas Cromwell was one of the
lords of the manor, and after him came Catherine Parr: but the great
days were those of the Cecils. Lord Burghley, Elizabeth's treasurer,
lived at intervals at the Rectory House, and some of Elizabeth's summer
excursions came to Wimbledon; she stayed with her treasurer and with his
son. But the Cecil who belongs most to Wimbledon is not the treasurer
whose nod summed up the wisdom of a Parliament, nor any Lord of
Burghley; but a younger son who was a soldier and a sailor. He was
Admiral and Marshal-General of the forces sent by James I. and Charles
I. against the Spaniards; he was made Lord Wimbledon, and his memory on
the records of the army of his day is that his name of Cecil was punned
into General Sit-still when he was a soldier of almost foolhardy
personal daring, and that he re-introduced into the army the "old
English march." There was "one certaine measure," a royal warrant
informs us, which had been lost "through the negligence and carelessness
of drummers," although it had been "by the approbation of strangers
themselves, confessed and acknowledged the best of marches." This march,
at the instance of Lord Wimbledon, was beaten in the king's presence at
Greenwich in 1610 and ordered to be exactly and precisely observed by
all drummers in the kingdom of England and principality of Wales,
without any addition or alteration whatsoever. We do not hear it in
these days of battles without drums and colours; but we do not fight
much better, perhaps, without the drums.

The old Wimbledon church was demolished; the new church was built in
1786. It has many monuments, but the grave which fascinates is the tomb
neither of a great statesman nor a good man. It is apart in a far
corner; over it is laid a huge slab of black stone, perhaps half a foot
thick, and the stone tells you that under it lies the body of "John
Hopkins, Esquire, familiarly known as Vulture Hopkins." Misers have had
hard things said of them often enough; of Hopkins Pope wrote that "he
lived worthless, but died worth three hundred thousand pounds," and,
reflecting on the "Use of Riches," Pope made a couplet on his funeral:--

    "When Hopkins dies, a thousand lights attend
    The wretch who living saved a candle's end."

But those legends belong to paper and books. They are less easily
destroyed than an epithet engraved on a stone; but who of deliberation
would carve an insult, as this is carved, for a dead man?

[Illustration: _The Golf House and Windmill, Wimbledon Common._]

Wimbledon will never belong to the town so long as it keeps its common.
It is the wildest thing near London. It is almost as wild and lonely a
place to-day as when in Georgian and early Victorian days statesmen and
noblemen chose it as a fashionable and convenient ground for duelling.
The common has seen more than one historic duel. The Duke of York and
Colonel Lennox met there in 1789; the Duke received the Colonel's fire,
and the ball grazed his hair, but he did not fire in return. Pitt
fought a duel with a member of Parliament on Putney Heath north of the
common in 1798; each fired twice at twelve paces and hit nothing. Sir
Francis Burdett and Mr. John Paull fought in 1807, wounded each other
and went back together to London in the same carriage. Canning and
Castlereagh fought in 1809, and Grattan, two years after Queen Victoria
came to the throne, received Lord Londonderry's fire and himself fired
in the air. Another Grattan could meet another Irish peer to-day, and if
they chose their places well, nobody would hear a pistol at all. The
bracken and the heather slope into dells and valleys which would shelter
three duels in a morning; you could deliver a salvo and hardly scare a
nursery maid.

But Wimbledon's longest acquaintance with firearms was in the days
before the National Rifle Association moved to Bisley. Queen Victoria
fired the first shot on July 2nd, 1860, when she pulled a scarlet cord
and scored a bull's-eye with a Whitworth rifle; a red and white flag was
shown in an instant, you read, and "three points were scored to the
Queen of England." The last shot was fired in 1889. I went to that
meeting as a schoolboy, and am even now filled with an awe that belongs
to spacious days, remembering that we were told that on the last evening
the whole camp was to give three great groans for "George Ranger," the
Duke of Cambridge, whose duty it had been to declare the common unfitted
for the distant probings of misdirected Martini-Henry bullets. Those
concerted, resentful, thousand-throated groans seemed a tremendous
nightly business; there were camp-fires, one imagined, from which the
circular groan would ascend, a rumble which should expel a ministry,
unseat a prince. Not very much came of the groaning, I suppose;
certainly the Volunteers liked the Bisley ranges, next year, much
better. But the old windmill, which looked on in its time at thirty full
meetings, still surely misses the week when the dells and the long
stretches of heather rattled from the first gun to sunset with the
crackle of Martinis and match rifles. The windmill watches red-coated
golfers to-day, playing to some of the prettiest greens in the south of
England; but the days for the windmill were when the tents were white
about the heather, and when they sold Stewart's Verniers where to-day a
more leisured generation misses short putts.



CHAPTER XLII

THE SURREY SIDE

    Mortlake.--The Boat Race.--A duel.--Putney-by-the-sea.--Punch and
    Judy.--Kennington.--Gallows and faggots.--The proper way to
    subscribe to a Cricket Club.--Camberwell Beauties.--The Tradescants
    and their Dodo.--Mr. Jeffery Saffery.--The old Surrey Side.--The
    Tabard.--The Old Road.


The Surrey side begins, perhaps, if it begins anywhere definitely, at
Mortlake, where the Boat-race ends. By Kew and Richmond the Thames runs
for pleasure-boats, gigs and skiffs with shining oars. Below Mortlake
the river hears the forge and the dockyard; torpedo-boats drive out into
the tide; it is different water, London water, under their bows. The
four miles of the Thames of the Boat-race mark the gradual change. On a
rough day the two eights ride through waves which are less like a river
than a sea; and perhaps the rough water has made some of the best
history of the race. When Cambridge sank in 1859 she was waterlogged
early in the race; she could not have won, but the steamers following
the eights prevented her even from passing the winning-post, by swamping
her with their wash. Oxford won, but Cambridge's was an equal honour.
The crew rowed on as the boat went under the water; and the name that
will always belong to that race is that of a future Lord Justice, Mr.
A.L. Smith. Cambridge and Mr. A.L. Smith went on rowing in the water,
knowing that Mr. Smith could not swim. On another rough day, thirty-nine
years later, the race was lost and won by the toss; the Cambridge boat
filled at the start, and Oxford rowed in out of the wind. Other historic
races belong to the curve of the river above Barnes Bridge; three in
particular, in 1886, 1896, and 1901, when the crew that was behind at
Barnes Bridge passed the other crew at the bend of the river and won.
Of other historic races, perhaps the wins of the two crews in which a
Goldie turned the fortunes of his University will always possess
peculiar glories. The first Goldie, in 1870, ended a series of nine
Oxford wins. Another Goldie, in 1899, helped Cambridge to end another
series, also of nine. The name and the two nines in the date surely made
the feat inevitable.

The river water does not change, but the banks have altered from grass
and reeds to concrete and stone. It was a mile or so from Barnes Bridge,
in a field near Barn Elms (but who could guess where?) that the second
Duke of Buckingham fought and shot Lord Shrewsbury. The Duke left behind
him one of the wickedest lives of the most dissolute Courts of English
history; but he left nothing viler than the name of Lord Shrewsbury's
Countess, who rode in boy's clothes as a page to the duelling ground,
and then held her seducer's horse while he shot her husband. They left
him dying and rode back together. That was in 1667; an earlier and a
kindlier association of Barn Elms is a resident who afterwards died at
Chertsey, Abraham Cowley; later came Jacob Tonson, bibliophile and
publisher of Pope and Dryden. And it was at Barn Elms, too, that the
Kit-Kat Club, the thirty who dined at Christopher Kat's in the Strand,
and bound themselves to uphold the Protestant succession, met and dined
and looked at their portraits painted by Sir Godfrey Kneller. The
Kit-Kat portraits are now at Bayfordbury, near Hertford, and for the
last fifteen years Barn Elms has housed, not publishers or painters, but
polo players. The Ranelagh Club was born to help Hurlingham over the
water provide grounds for the youngest of the great games naturalised in
England. Nine years later Barnes welcomed another club, Roehampton,
which added three more grounds to the four of Hurlingham and Ranelagh.

The Boat-race finishes at Mortlake; it starts at Putney, and Putney is
the headquarters and the rendezvous of many clubs and rowing men. The
Surrey bank from Putney Bridge up stream is a string of club houses,
boat houses, and little wooden buildings that do duty for both, and
here, on sloping banks sometimes washed by brimming tides, sometimes
broad and flat by a shrunken stream on which no racing boat will set its
dainty keel, London gathers on March afternoons to wait for the return
of the practising crews, and to watch the blue-scarved oarsmen in and
out of the boathouses and the balcony windows. There is somewhere an air
of the sea-side about that stretch of gravel and open river bank; it is
the sunshine on the varnish of the boats, perhaps, or a smell of tar in
the wind, or of salt from the weeds that the tides leave dry; or is it
the banjo of the occasional nigger blacked to get pence from the waiting
crowd? On a September day a year or two ago, when Cambridge within a
week was to race Harvard, I saw on that strip of road one of the very
last of the genuine London Punch-and-Judy shows. Toby, of course, had
gone; dogs may sit no more in frills to cadge for coppers. But the rest
of it was correct enough; the chequered canvas, of the proper shade of
blue, draped the wooden frame discreetly at the right moment; there was
the old interval of suspense, the old, the piercing squeal, the
dexterous cock of the red legs over the balcony; the crocodile came and
the hangman, and the devil; I watched them all. So did two of the
Harvard crew, and did not know their luck. Nothing of English pride
stirred in the blood of those two stalwart young men; they walked off
even before the turn of the hangman.

East of Putney the river is a thoroughfare of London, and the names
along the Surrey side are London names. Lambeth Palace has already
included itself in Mrs. E.T. Cook's _Highways and Byways in London_, and
so has Vauxhall, and the church of St. Saviour's, Southwark, the finest
of all churches which once looked over Surrey fields. But Kennington, no
matter how near it lies to London omnibuses and London tube railways,
can never be anywhere but in Surrey; Kennington with its memories of the
'Forty-five, and the Chartists, and, a much stronger link with county
history than mere memories of the past, Kennington Oval, the visible,
flat, noble cricket ground which stands for the story of all Surrey
cricket of the past half century. The Oval is scarcely half a mile from
Vauxhall Bridge and the river; but it is the centre of the county for
those who watch Surrey cricket.

Once the Oval was part of Kennington Common; even in 1845 the solid road
which circles the ground was no more than a ditch and a quickset hedge.
But a hundred years before 1845! Cricket, even then, was a game in
Surrey. Frederick Louis, Prince of Wales, and father of George III, was
introducing his favourite pastime to the nobles and the gentlemen. In
1737 Kent played Surrey and London on Kennington Common, and round the
pavilion set up for the Prince of Wales there was so great a crush of
spectators that a poor woman fell and had her leg broken. The Prince
gave her ten guineas. That was a cricketer. And yet, within eight years,
Kennington was back among the vilest barbarities of the Middle Ages. The
'Forty-five was to set a mark of ferocious savagery in Kennington annals
hardly surpassed by Tyburn. The Earl of Kennington (that, with the
nickname of 'Butcher,' was one of the titles of the Duke of Cumberland)
had sent to gaol in Southwark nine officers whom he had taken prisoner
at Carlisle, fighting for Charles Edward Stuart. They were ordered for
execution, and on July 30, at eleven o'clock in the morning, were taken
on three sledges to Kennington Common. The gallows were there, the
block, the faggots. The prisoners were allowed to pray among themselves.
Then they were pinioned and placed in the cart under the gallows; the
fires were lighted, the cart moved away. Before they were dead they were
cut down, beheaded, disembowelled and their hearts burned in the fire;
the executioner, throwing in the heart of the last, who was no more than
a boy, cried 'God save King George!' Part of the crowd answered with a
shout; the rest looked on in sorrow. The boy who suffered with the elder
men was James Dawson, and Shenstone wrote a ballad on his death. He had
been engaged to be married to a young girl, who insisted on seeing her
lover's last moments. When all was over, she threw herself back in the
coach, called to him that she followed him, and as she spoke, died.

Another gathering on Kennington Common might have had more wholesale
consequences. The Chartists met there in 1848. Feargus O'Connor was
their leader, and he and the petition which the delegates were to take
to the House of Commons went out in two large cars. The petition went
first, drawn by four horses, and piled up like bales of cotton; the car
was decorated with flags, banners, and mottoes, and so were the horses.
Then came O'Connor and the delegates, equally superb in bunting. They
drove down Holborn and across Blackfriars Bridge, and on Kennington
Common an enormous crowd, between 15,000 and 50,000, the different
accounts say, received the banners and the delegates with loud cheers.
But no bloodshed followed. O'Connor was informed that the crowd could
not be allowed to march to the House of Commons, where, indeed, they
would have found the Duke of Wellington with cannon. The Chartist leader
made two eloquent speeches, and the chairman declared the meeting at an
end. The delegates' horses were whipped up so hurriedly that the
delegates fell to the bottom of the cart; three cabs drove up and took
charge of the bales of petitions, and the meeting was at an end. One
detail which the contemporary historian gives of the finish has a
fascinating echo half of Ainsworth, half of Dickens. "The horses became
restive and began to kick. Then was distinctly heard from many quarters
the peculiar cry of the young London thieves." What was it like? Can
anybody do it to-day?

The great crowds at Kennington to-day come to see better sights than
carts and banners. Surrey cricket has focussed itself at Kennington;
rather curiously, it has happened that Surrey plays cricket to-day on no
other ground. Kent and Sussex, two neighbours, play their county matches
on three grounds or four; Surrey, which has traditions at Mitcham and
Dorking, has shrunk back to Kennington only. And Kennington, long ago,
was nearly lost to cricket. A year after the Chartists had crowded over
the Common, the County Club was in debt for £70. The story of the paying
of the debt and the revival of the club has the real ring. The club met
and were in despair; they could not hope, with such a debt, to play
matches. The Bishop of Tasmania, in his entertaining little _History of
Kennington_, tells (in 1889) the story:--

"The meeting almost decided to break up the club; and I suppose, had
such a vote been carried, the Oval would have been at once built over
and some very happy memories of Kennington would never have existed at
all. It is to the present Lord Bessborough that we owe the continuance
of Cricket upon the Oval. He was Vice-President at the time, and
suggested that the £70 should be paid off by allowing six gentlemen to
become Life Members by paying down £12 apiece. A gentleman present next
said 'who would pay £12 to be a Life Member of a bankrupt Club?' 'I
will,' said Old Mr. Cressingham, one of the oldest members: and 'I
will,' said five others, of whom Mr. Ponsonby was one. Lord Bessborough,
in writing of this memorable meeting, adds--'Looking back to that
distant day I fear I have been a bad bargain to the Club by becoming a
Life Member for £12.'"

Nothing of the country and little of the past belongs to Kennington's
neighbours. Stockwell, which perhaps sees a hansom as often as a
motor-car, once named as a native one of the greatest of English
racehorses. Camberwell, when willows grew about a village stream, long
since dry, named a butterfly; but Camberwell Beauties, though they sleep
sometimes in Surrey woodstacks, and flaunt their white-laced wings in
Surrey sunshine perhaps twice in a summer, fly no more by brooks in
Camberwell. Perhaps in the old days the Tradescants, who lived near
Vauxhall, used to catch them. The Tradescants, father and son, were
great naturalists and collectors, and at their house they got together
the museum of rarities which after their death came to the Ashmolean
Museum at Oxford. John Tradescant the son made a list of them, and
though Oxford ungratefully hid the collection in an outhouse and only
discovered it again in 1882, many of the curiosities he mentions move
undergraduates to surprise to-day. In the original list are strange
fowls. 'Some kindes of birds, their egges, beaks, feathers, clawes, and
spurres' begin the list of chapters, and then come a crocodile and an
'egge given for a dragon's egge,' and 'Easter egges of the patriarchs of
Jerusalem.' 'Two feathers of the phoenix tayle' I do not remember at
Oxford, nor 'a cherrystone holding ten dozen tortoiseshell combs, made
by Edward Gibbons.' But I think the Ashmolean collection still holds the
'flea chains of silver and gold, with 300 links apiece, and yet but an
inch long,' and, of course, the Oxford dodo's skin is famous. It was not
a dodo, though, to John Tradescant. It was a 'dodar, from the island of
Mauritius: it is not able to flie, being so big.' The wrong thing about
it all is that the name of the Tradescants ought to be associated with
the collection, and not the name Ashmole. It was never Ashmole's to give
to Oxford. Ashmole was a rich and greedy neighbour, and though
Tradescant left his museum to his widow and after her death to Oxford,
he, the polite Ashmole, bullied Mrs. Tradescant until she signed a paper
stating that she had begged him to take the museum for his own. She
would have signed anything, poor lady, to get rid of him. She suffered
so much from persecution from the generous donor of her husband's museum
to Oxford, that she drowned herself in a pond; a few months before
having signed a statement that she had 'caused a great heap of earth
rubbish to be laid against his garden wall'--doubtless she caused
nothing of the sort--'so high that on the 1st day of August last, in the
night, by the help thereof, it is strongly presumed that thieves got
over the same and robbed the said Mr. Ashmole of 32 cocks and hens.'

Easternmost of Surrey in London, Rotherhithe lies about the docks of the
Pool. The Pool should have a book to itself, and will not go into mine;
but of Rotherhithe ashore there is a record which deserves keeping.
Aubrey, or his later editor, gives a list of the Rotherhithe residents
who contributed to the rebuilding of St. Mary's church, and the names,
sorted and classified, should be set aside for a future Dickens. Here
are a few of them:--Bloice, Figgins, Cuthbert Finkle, Gollop, Cronker,
Shadrick Lifter, Walter Mell, Mr. Jeremiah Rosher, Mr. Jonas Shish, Mr.
Nathaniel Stiffon, Mr. Matthias Wallraven, Mr. Scroggs, Mr. Jeffery
Saffery, Mr. Volentine Teed.

Bermondsey, which has kept the Tooley Street of the Three Tailors, but
elsewhere preserves names only instead of stones, has memories of one of
the three Surrey Abbeys. It was founded as a priory for Cluniac monks by
Alwin Child, a citizen of London, in 1082, and it became an Abbey some
three hundred years later. Bermondsey Priory had a church of some note,
for in it was a crucifix which the old chronicles describe vaguely as
having been found near the Thames. The crucifix attracted special
pilgrimages, and when the monasteries were ended, it disappeared. 'There
was the pictor of Saynte Saviour that had stood in Barmsey Abbey many
yeres in Southwarke takyn down,' a diarist writes at the time. All that
remains of the church and crucifix is the name, which has come to St.
Saviour's, or the church of St. Mary Overie--the style now is to call it
Southwark Cathedral. St. Saviour's belongs to London highways, as I have
said, but I may take for Surrey the lines, not already quoted for
London, I think, which are set on the tomb of Richard Humble, Alderman
of London and ancestor of Wards and Dudleys. The tomb has busied many
pens, the verses remain to be read--are they too well known to be
written out again?

    Like to the damask rose you see
    Or like the blossom on the tree,
    Or like the dainty flower of May,
    Or like the morning of the day,
    Or like the sun or like the shade,
    Or like the gourd which Jonas had,

    Even so is Man whose thread is spun,
    Drawn out and cut, and so is done!

    The rose withers, the blossom blasteth,
    The flower fades, the morning hasteth,
    The sun sets, the shadow flies,
    The gourd consumes, the man he dies.

Beaumont wrote the lines, legend says; perhaps wrongly, but they have
the Elizabethan life and ring.

If one had to choose a dozen square yards of London to sum up the Surrey
side, where should they be? For me, there could be no choice. One spot
would demand the first, the only place. It would be where Waterloo
Bridge touches the Surrey shore; where you may look south to a Surrey
hill by Sydenham, and north to half the panorama of London, from St.
Paul's to Westminster Abbey. There, on the first few yards of the
bridge, above the little hill which shrinks the wide roadway into a neck
and stops overladen drays like a wall, blows the aura of all London that
crowds south of the river, all Surrey that belongs to the London Thames.
The business of the town and the country mingles with the business of
the river and the sea. An afternoon in December, the month of months to
know London in, is the time to be there. Up stream from the Nore on an
east wind rides the damp of salt and of estuary fogs; about you are the
steam of sweating horses and the pungent clinging scents of malt and
hops and brewing; up on a yellow tide under the arches of the bridge
swings a string of barges, piled with bales of hay. A flock of pigeons
sways and wheels in the sky, drops to the roofs, settles with a clatter,
sails up into the sky again. Black-headed gulls, in their winter suits
of dove-colour and white, walk about the muddy edge of the rising tide,
drift on the stream like torn paper, soar and hang in the wind above the
bridge, peering this way and that for the fish and bread the Londoners
give them; or late in the afternoon wing quiet journeys into unknown
spaces of western light. Beyond the bridge the lights dot orange sparks
in the films and shades of great buildings and the Embankment roadway.
That is pure London, and London, too, is most of the Waterloo Road, with
its new hospital, and the roar of the trains from the junction, and the
old curiosity shops with the foreign names, and the wig-makers, and the
cheap furniture spoiling in the rain. But Surrey is there, too; a shop
that shows cricket bats, and another that has fruit-ladders, and, above
all, the little shops that offer boxes of pansies and delphinium roots
and hyacinth bulbs all the seasons round to Surrey men leaving London
behind them in the evening. Surrey recollects that she is not quite
London in the Waterloo Road; she plays cricket and plants pansies.

That would be the Surrey side I should choose, with the magic of the
tide water about it and somewhere, however faint, the scent of the
Surrey gardens. But the old, the oldest Surrey side? That belongs to the
river-shore south of London Bridge, where once, too, Londoners could
cross from crowded wood and brick to walk among Surrey hawthorn and
Surrey daisies. The roar and the soot of the Borough have set that strip
of country deep in London, hardly divided by the water. But it was
there, when Chaucer's nine-and-twenty pilgrims lay at the Tabard inn,
that Surrey began for Londoners and for all who had come to the 'dere
and sweete citye' of which Chaucer sings to journey south from the
Thames on a pilgrimage to Canterbury. The Tabard inn is no more; the
fire that swept over Southwark ten years after the fire of London
destroyed the building Chaucer knew. The piety of a later day raised
another Tabard, perhaps like the old Tabard with the same galleries and
balustrades to look down from upon pilgrims and minstrels and monks and
fools. But that Tabard inn became the Talbot in a careless age, and as
the Talbot it was razed to the ground forty years ago, when nobody
minded what became of the old inns and churches and the things best
worth keeping in old Surrey. The Tabard has gone, but the ancient road
remains. Smoke and stone are about it, where once it stretched out bare
among green fields; but the fields are there, for those who can see
them, behind the veil of smoke, and through them a wayfarer may still
travel with the Knight who loved freedom and courtesy, the Monk shaking
his belled bridle, the Ploughman on his mare, and the dainty fingered
Prioress with her eyes as grey as glass, riding to join other pilgrims
travelling east to Canterbury by the old road.



INDEX


    A

    Abbot, George, Archbishop of Canterbury, 72, 74-6, 80, 317, 360

    Abbot, Robert, Bishop of Salisbury, 80

    Abbot's Hospital, 65, 72-4, 83

    Abbot, Sir Maurice, 80

    À Becket, 2, 3

    Abinger, 101, 165, 320-2

    Abinger Hatch, 320-2

    _Adam Bede_, 214

    Addington, 357, 368, 378

    Addison, 138

    Addlestone, 180, 206, 208

    Ady, Mrs. Henry, 58

    _Airly Beacon_, 150

    Akehurst, Alexander, 285

    Alastor, 202

    Albany, Duchess of, 275

    Albury, 10, 59, 69, 87, 91, 100-2, 105-7
      Park, 10, 106-7, 321, 330

    Aldersey, John, 419

    Aldershot, 14, 16, 209

    Alexander I. of Russia, 126

    Alfold, 109, 156, 163-7

    Alfred, King, 65

    Alfred, son of Ethelred, 66-7

    Allen, Grant, 150

    Alleyn, Edward, 425-6

    Allingham, Mrs., 145, 153

    Allnutt, Sidney, 90

    _All the Year Round_, 309

    Alton, 18, 65

    Alvanley, Lord, 196

    Amélie, Queen, 194, 275

    _Anastasius_, 329

    _Ancestor, the_, 292

    Anchor inn, Ripley, 222

    André J.L., 60, 310

    Andrewes, Nicholas, 132-3

    Angel inn, Guildford, 80-2

    Angell family, the, 409-10

    Angler's inn, Kingston, 244

    _Annals of an Old Manor House_, 93

    Anne, Queen, 102, 124, 127, 165, 234, 264, 370
      of Bohemia, 240
      of Cleves, 395
      of Denmark, 195, 234

    Anstiebury Camp, 59, 326, 336

    _Archæological Collections, Surrey_, 60, 78, 112, 194, 234, 310,
      326, 332, 338, 350, 375, 380, 396, 415, 422

    Archbishop's Palace, Croydon, 357

    Arderne, family, 332

    Armada, the, 103, 257, 273, 277, 350

    Armstrong, Colonel, 196

    Arnold, Matthew, 294

    Arundel, family, 124
      Earl of, 136, 271, 311

    Arundell, Archbishop, 358
      Sir Thomas, 93

    Arun Junction Canal, 167

    Ashmole, Elias, 436-7

    Ashmolean Museum, 436

    Ashley-Cooper, F.S., 382

    Ashtead, 285, 296

    Aston, a yeoman family, 338

    Aubrey, John, 32-3, 35, 50, 53, 71-2, 80, 99, 119, 165, 186, 247, 277,
      210-13, 216, 219, 311, 319, 323-4, 329-30, 337-8, 365, 374-5, 398,
      425, 437

    Audley, Major, 249, 348

    Austen, Jane, 82, 286-7

    Austin, John, and Mrs., 194

    Aylward, James, 41
      John, 84


    B

    Bacon, family, 382

    Bagshot, 14, 210-12
      Heath, 187, 199, 209, 211, 216

    _Bait, the_, 231

    Bank-notes, 101

    Banstead, 270, 273
      Downs, 264, 272, 348

    Baring-Gould, S., 150, 157

    Barker, Thomas, 148

    Barley Mow inn, Tilford, 41

    Barn Elms, 432

    Barnes Bridge, 431-2

    Baron's Caves, the, 346

    Barrow Green House, 419

    Barr's Nurseries, 253

    Bat and Ball inn, 42

    Battle of Dorking, 203, 309

    Battle of the Books, the, 45

    Bax, Alfred, 338

    Bayly, Miss Ada, 25

    Baynards, 174
      Station, 163

    Bear inn, Esher, 277-8

    Bearbaiting, 94

    Bearhurst, 326

    Beaumont, 438

    Beckingham, Robert, 80

    Beddington, 357, 365, 367-8

    Beerbohm, Max, 187

    Beighton, Thomas, 205

    Beldham, William, "Silver Billy," 40-2, 351

    Belgians, king of the, 275

    Bell inn, Godstone 390
      Oxted, 109, 417

    Belloc, Hilaire, 5, 10

    _Bell's Life in London_, 214

    Bellson, Augustine, 314

    Bendigo, 278

    Bentley, 15, 45, 171

    Beorhtwulf, king of the Mercians, 336

    Bermondsey, 59
      Priory, 437

    Berners family, 120

    Bertie, Emily, 29

    Bessborough, Lord, 435

    Betchworth, 109, 292-3, 332, 344
      Castle, 330

    _Bettesworth_, 30, 56-7

    Bilson, Bishop, 16

    Birkenhead, Sir John, 132

    Bishops' Gate, 202-3

    Bisley, 95, 209, 212, 214-5, 430

    _Blanche Heriot, Legend of Chertsey Church_, 185

    Black adder, the, 327

    Black Cherry Fair, 184

    Black Down, 97, 141-5, 172, 324

    Blackheath, 178

    Black Horse, inn, Gomshall, 114

    _Blackwood's Magazine_, 309

    Bletchingley, 344, 348, 352, 383, 390-8
      Castle, 394-5

    Blois, Henry of, 2, 16

    Bloody Assizes, the, 285

    Bludworth, Sir Thomas, 285

    Boar's Hill, 326

    Boat-race, the University, 431-2
      Cambridge v. Harvard, 433

    Bodleian, the Library, 127, 415

    Bog-myrtle, 210

    _Boke of St. Aldan's_, the, 120

    Boleyn, Anne, 93, 369, 395, 412-13

    Bookham, 115, 320
      Great, 120, 122-5
      Little, 120-2

    _Book of Martyrs_, the, 351

    Borough Hill, 32

    Boswell, James, 316

    Boulenger, G.A., 327

    Bourgeois, Sir Francis, 426

    Bourne, George, 56

    Bourne, river, Chertsey, 180
      stream, 23, 30-1

    Bowen's map of Surrey, 103, 130

    Box Hill, 11, 125, 304-7

    Boyle Farm, 251

    Bradshaw, John, 257

    Braganza, Katharine of, 76

    Bramley, 90, 97-8, 131

    Bramshott Grange, 150

    Bray Chapel, St. George's, Windsor, 110
      Ellen, 290
      family, 69, 110
      William, 110-12, 131

    Brayley's _History of Surrey_, 313

    Brereton, Sir William, 362

    Brewer, Dr., 364

    Brewer Street, 392

    Bridger, Lowther, 257

    Bright, J.S., 311, 327, 329

    Bristol, Countess of, 31

    Broad Halfpenny Down, 42

    Brocas, Arnold of Beaurepaire, 77
      Sir Bernard, 136

    Brockham, 330

    Brooklands, 192-3

    Brookwood, 212

    _Broom Squire_, the, 150, 157, 161

    Broom Squires, 150-1

    Brougham, 304

    Brown, "Capability," 117, 328

    Browne, Sir Anthony and Geraldine, 120
      Sir Thomas, 330

    Brummell, Beau, 196

    Buckarel, Stephen, 290

    Buckhurst, Lord, 261

    Buckingham, Dukes of, 211, 249, 395, 432

    Buckland, 333-4

    Buckland, Frank, 93, 228

    Buckle, family, 273

    Bunyan, John, 6, 96-7

    Burdett, Sir Francis, 430

    Burford Bridge, 11, 298, 304-5

    Burghley, Lord, 428

    _Burial of the Boroughs_, the, 144

    Burke, Edmund, 274

    Burne-Jones, Edward, 141

    Burney, Dr., 274-5, 299-301
      Fanny (Madame d'Arblay), 20, 122, 274-5, 299-301

    Burrell, Peter, 142

    Burstow, 383-5, 392

    Bush inn, Farnham, 25-6

    Buxton, Mrs., 222

    Byfleet, 180, 193, 218, 233, 253, 287, 321

    Bysshe family, 383


    C

    Cabal, the, 237

    Cæsar, Julius, 1, 198, 257, 313, 326
      cricketer, 351

    Caffyn, William, 351

    Camberley, 209

    Camberwell Beauties, 436

    Cambridge, Duke of, 430

    Cambridge-Harvard boat-race, 433

    Camden, 80, 298

    _Camilla_, 122, 301

    Camilla Lacey, 299, 301

    Campbell, Thomas, 304

    Canning, 430

    Canterbury, 2-7, 336, 344, 439

    Capel, 338, 341

    Capell, family of, 124

    Carew, family of, 142, 365
      Sir Nicholas, 365, 395

    Caroline, Queen, 134

    Carshalton, 357, 365, 368-70

    Carter, Francis, 66

    Caryll, John, 99

    Cassivellaunus, 258, 428

    Castle inn, Kingston, 244

    Castlereagh, Lords, 251, 430

    Caterham, 375, 390

    Cawarden, Sir Thomas, 395-6

    Cecil family, the, 428

    _Cecilia_, 301

    Cedars, 16, 197, 301-2

    Chaldon, 78-9, 357, 374-6, 390

    Chalk Hill Blues, 87

    Chanctonbury Ring, 54, 152, 324, 356

    Chandos, Sir John, 405

    Chantrey, sculptor, 304

    Chantries, the, 9

    Charles I., 19, 27, 104, 119-20, 195, 211, 257, 358, 428
      II., 38, 69, 71, 76, 105, 120, 165, 182, 260, 271, 312, 385, 393

    Charlotte, Princess, bride of Prince Leopold, 275
      Queen, 16, 196, 241

    Charlwood, 385-8

    Charterhouse, 36, 80, 138

    Chart's Edge, 421-2

    Chaucer, 13, 45, 439

    Cheam, 270, 272

    Chelsham, 378

    Chertsey, 42, 124, 179-189, 206, 209, 221, 432
      Abbey, 180-184

    Chesney, Sir George, 203, 309

    Chessington, 270, 274-5

    Chesterfield, Lord, 251

    Chiddingfold, 109, 156, 163, 167-8, 171, 206, 399

    Child, Alwin, 437

    Chilworth, 26, 72, 85, 87, 89, 95, 98-104, 178

    Chinthurst Hill, 99

    Chipstead, 375-6

    Chobham, 180, 209-16
      Common, 187, 199, 209-10, 212-13

    Clandon, East, 118-19, 287
      Park, 117-19, 368
      West, 118, 287

    Claremont, 275

    Clark, John, 27

    Claygate, 273

    Clayton Arms, Godstone, 390-1, 399
      Sir Robert, 393, 397-8

    Clive, Lord, 275

    Cobbett, Richard, 168
      William, 22-6, 30, 38, 40, 85-6, 101, 106, 154-6, 161, 168, 317, 352,
      355, 390-2

    Cobham, 82, 95, 198, 279, 292-3
      family, of Sterborough, 404-8

    Coldharbour, 109, 324-6, 338

    Cole, Sir Henry, 362
      Robert, 377

    Coleridge, S.T., 304

    Collier's Water Farm, 364

    Collins, Mortimer, 304

    Colwall, Daniel, 83

    Colyear, David, 1st Lord Portmore, 198

    Compton, 7, 8, 43, 59-61, 109

    Connaught, Duke of, 212

    Cook, Mrs. E.T., 433
      Theodore Andrea, 265

    Cooper's Hill, 18, 187, 203-5

    Cope, Sir John, 73

    Copley family, the, 332, 352

    Copthorne poachers, 403

    Cordite, 105

    Cotmandene, 313, 329

    Coulsdon, 357, 373-4

    Court of Pie-powder, 97

    Coverts, family of, 136

    Cow inn, Haslemere, 142

    Coway Stakes, 257

    Cowley, Abraham, 182-3, 329, 432

    Cowper, 364

    Cranleigh, 97, 173-8

    Cranmer, 358

    Crawley, 354-5, 385

    Creçy, 402, 405

    Cressingham, Old Mr., 435

    Cricket, first mention of, 94

    Crisp, Samuel, 274-5

    Cromwell, Oliver, 15, 198, 258, 344
      Thomas, 52, 428

    Crooksbury Hill, 30, 36, 53-4, 317

    Crossways Farm, 320-1

    Crouch oak, 208

    Crowhurst, 386, 389-90, 408-13
      Place, 100, 289, 410-13
      yew, 171, 408-9

    Crown inn, Chiddingfold, 168-9, 399

    _Crown of Wild Olive_, the, 368

    Croydon, 74, 219, 357-64, 373-4, 376, 378-9, 423
      Palace, 357, 362, 365

    Cruikshank, George, 420, 422

    Crystal Palace, 187, 199, 324, 424

    Cuckoo Hill, 216

    Cumberland, Duke of, 200, 202, 434

    Curfew bell, 184-5

    Cuthred, a Christian prince, 374


    D

    D'Abernon family, the, 289-92

    Dandies' Fête, the, 251

    Dawson, James, 434

    d'Arblays, the, 20, 122-3, 299, 300-1

    de Arderne, Sir Thomas, 332

    de Bienfaite, Richard, 290

    de Braose, family of, 332

    de Calva, Ruald, 227

    de Clare, family, 344, 346, 382, 394

    de Dammartin, Odo and William, 414

    De Foe, 314

    de la Hale, Sir Edward, 341

    de la Hay, Peter, 303

    de la Poyle, Henry, 9

    de la Zouche, Alan, 340

    de Lally Tollendal, 299

    de Montfort, 2, 345-6, 394

    de Narbonne, 299

    de Poynings, Nicholas and Margery, 332

    de Rupibus, Peter, 83

    de Rutherwyk, John, 124, 181-2, 207

    de Stangrave, John, 411

    de Tonebrige, family, 2, 394

    de Warenne, family, 2, 344-8, 351, 382

    Dean Swift's cottage, 48

    Deans, Jeanie, 238

    Decamp, Mademoiselle, 208

    Deepdene, 328-30

    Denbies, 11, 316-7

    Denham, Sir John, 18, 19, 203-7

    Derby, horse-race, the, 264-5
      Lord, 251, 260, 264, 268, 272

    Derrick, John, 94

    Desbouveries, family, 374

    Detilens, 421

    Devil's Dyke, 87, 149, 356

    Devil's Jumps, the, 35-6, 153-4

    Devil's Punch Bowl, 147-8, 150

    Dickens, Charles, 184, 309-10

    Dingate, Stephen, 351

    Ditton Hill tulips, 254
      Marsh, 278

    _Diversions of Purley_, 379

    Donkeytown, 216

    Donne, John, 21, 137, 231, 427

    Dorchester, Countess of, 198

    Dorking, 2, 11, 95, 125, 199, 203, 249, 286, 296, 298, 304, 308-17,
      326-9, 330, 332, 348, 373, 435

    Doyle, Sir Arthur Conan, 145

    Drake, Sir Francis, 103, 257, 277
      Richard, 277

    Drax, S.E., 428

    Druids' Walk, the, 301

    Drummond, Henry, 69, 106

    Dryden, John, 188, 397, 432

    Dudley family, the, 437

    Duke of Wellington inn, East Horsley, 121

    Dulwich, 424-7

    Dunsfold, 156, 163-5, 167, 170

    Dürer, Albrecht, 352

    Durdans, 259, 261, 268

    Durfold, 163

    Dusty-Feet, Court of, 97


    E

    _Earwig, the_, pamphlet, 29

    Eashing, 135-6

    Eastlands, 191

    Eclipse, 264-5
      Stakes, 278

    Ede, printer of Brayley's Surrey, 313

    Edgehill, 249

    Edward I., 16, 69, 82, 346
      II., 69, 82, 234, 388, 400
      III., 69, 70, 240, 247, 365, 405, 411
      IV., 69
      VI., 80, 362, 395
      The Black Prince, 405
      The Elder, 246
      The Martyr, 246

    Eel Pie Island, 236

    Effingham, 120, 122, 350

    Egerton family, 198

    Egham, 180, 204-6

    Eliot, George, 145-6, 161-2

    Elizabeth, 16, 38, 69, 70, 84, 93, 103, 121, 137-8, 142, 195, 208, 213,
      231, 240, 257, 271, 273, 277, 288, 318, 332, 358, 361-2, 365, 378,
      395, 415, 425, 428

    Ellingbrygges, family of, 369, 376-7

    Elmer, S., 29

    Elstead, 39, 137, 153, 158, 165

    _Emma_, 82, 286-7

    _Endymion_, 304

    Englefield Green, 203

    Enticknaps, family of, 168

    Epsom, 97, 126, 199, 210, 259-71, 274, 284-5, 296, 357, 372

    Erle, T.W., 150
      Sir William, 150

    Ermyn Street, 11, 296

    Esher, 147, 194, 259, 274-8, 286
      Common, 275, 279
      Lord, 271

    _Essay upon the Ancient and Modern Learning_, 44

    Ethelstan, 246, 336

    Ethelwulf, 336

    _Evelina_, 274-5, 301

    Evelyn, John, of Wotton, 100, 103, 105-6, 112, 182, 197, 202, 211, 311,
      317, 319, 328, 397
      family, 103-5, 142, 319, 323, 391

    Evershed family, 338

    Ewell, 270-2

    Ewhurst, 173-8, 337


    F

    Fairfax, 198

    Farley, 378
      Heath, 174, 177-8

    Farncombe, 126, 134

    Farnham, 2, 4, 7, 14-29, 30, 36, 40-3, 48, 55, 57, 59, 62, 65, 70-1,
      83, 86, 95, 126, 140, 158, 210, 240, 344, 419
      Castle, 14, 16-8, 71, 301

    Farquhar, Lady Mary, 125

    Farthing Down, 374

    _Father of the forest, the_, 88

    Feathers inn, Kingston, 247

    Fellowes, Sir John, 370

    Fennex, William, 42

    Fenwick, Margaret, 332

    Fetcham, 120, 125, 280

    Fête Champêtre, 272

    Ferdinand VII. of Spain, 352

    _Fidelia_, 18

    Fielding, Henry, 113
      Anna Maria, 208

    _Field Paths and Green Lanes_, 142, 148, 176, 302, 309, 351, 391

    Finch, family of, 124

    Flamsteed, Rev. J., 385

    Flower, John Wickham, 374

    Flying Childers, 265

    Fold Country, the, 109, 163-173

    Forest Green, 338

    Forster, Anne, 410

    Foster, Birket, 153, 161

    Fox, Bishop, 15, 16, 20
      Charles James, 186-8

    Foxe, martyrologist, 351

    Foxwarren Park, 222

    Frederick, Prince of Wales, 241, 433-4

    Frederick William, King of Prussia, 126

    Fredley Farm, 303

    Frensham, 14, 30-42, 47, 141, 210
      Ponds, 34, 36-8, 53

    Friday Street, 109, 320, 322-3, 325-6

    Frimley, 209, 211, 213-14

    Fryer, John, Evelyn's tutor, 319

    Fuller, Bostock, 415-16
      Thomas, 298, 377

    Fuller's earth, 399-400


    G

    Gainsford, family of, 124, 369, 386, 409-12

    Garbage Green, 168

    _Garden, the_, 182

    _Gardens of Epicures_, the, Essay on, 43

    Garratt's Hall, Banstead, 273

    Garrick, David, 205

    Gatton, 332, 351-2, 393
      Park, 11

    Gaveston, Piers, 234

    Gay's _Beggar's Opera_, 393

    _Gentleman's Magazine_, the, 118, 142

    George I., 310, 349, 368
      II., 357
      III., 16, 31, 103, 122, 196, 241, 251, 433
      inn, Farnham, 25-6
      Prince of Denmark, 264
      Prince of Wales (Geo. IV.), 78, 241

    Gibbet Hill, Hindhead, 147, 149-51

    Gibbon, Edward, the historian, 244, 318

    Gibbons, Grinling, 21

    Gibraltar, capture of, 370

    Giffard, Lady, 45
      William, 48

    Giggs Hill, 253

    Gilpin, John, 364

    Giuseppi, Montague, 105

    Gloucester, Duchess of, 251
      Dukes of, 184, 407

    Godalming, 25, 36, 61, 70-1, 85, 95, 126-38, 153, 159, 167, 171, 199

    Godstone, 12, 103-4, 389-92, 399, 403, 414

    Godwin, Mary, 202

    Gofayre, Richard, 168

    Goffe, Thomas, 119

    Golden Farmer, inn, Bagshot, 211

    Goldies, the, Cambridge oarsmen, 432

    Goldsmith, Oliver, 196

    Gomshall, 10, 11, 100, 101, 114-15, 206, 320

    Goodwine, John, 383

    Goose and Onion Fair, 184

    Gordon, Adam, 69

    Gracious Pond, 216

    Grantley, Lord, 98-9

    Grattan, 304, 430

    Graves, Charles, 122

    Grayshott, 149

    Great Fosters, 206

    Greenhill, 367

    Greenwich, 86, 428

    Gresham family, the, 422

    Greville, Charles, 196

    Grey, Sir George, 80
      Lady Jane, 395

    Grimes, _Grim the Collier_, 362

    Grindal, Archbishop, 358, 361

    Grote, George, 114, 304, 419
      Harriet, 114, 419

    Guildford, 8-10, 23, 25, 53, 55, 57, 59, 61-87, 89, 93-4, 96-9, 101,
      115, 125, 129-131, 171, 174, 199, 214, 218-19, 290, 344, 360, 373,
      400, 417

    Guildford Castle, 66, 68, 71, 290

    _Guildford in the Olden Time_, 68

    Guizot, 194

    Gunpowder-making, 102-5

    Gwyn, Mrs., 196

    Gwynne, Nell, 260-1

    Gypsies, 279


    H

    Hale Bourne, river, 216

    Haling House, 350

    Hall, Edward, 407
      Harry, 41
      Samuel Carter, 208

    Ham, 235-7
      House, Portmore, 197-8

    Hambledon, 41, 165, 170-2
      Club, 221-2

    Hamilton, Charles, 294
      Lady Betty, 272

    Hammerton, Abram and Hester, 246

    Hampton Court, 186, 235, 254

    Hampton, William, 393

    Hanbury, Sir Thomas, 232

    _Handbook of Epsom_, 303

    Hanging Wood, Tanbrige Hill, 12

    Harefoot, Harold, 66-7

    Harold, 336

    Harpe, a yeoman family, 338

    Harris, Dr. Nathaniel, 392-3

    Harrison, Clifford, 185
      Frederic, 93

    Harrow, 187
      inn, Kingston, 244
      way, 3, 7

    Harte, Bret, 213

    Harvard-Cambridge boat-race, 433

    Hascombe, 167, 170-1, 324

    Haslemere, 127, 134, 139-53, 393

    Hastings, 336

    Hatchlands, 119-20

    Hawkins, Peter, 73-4

    Headley, 270, 274

    Heales, Major, 380

    _Heart of Midlothian, the_, 237

    _Heathen Chinee_, the, 213

    Heath, Nicholas, Archbishop of York, 213

    Heaths, family cricket eleven, 95, 382

    Henley-on-Thames, 87, 152

    Henry II., 2, 68, 118
      III., 69, 346, 394
      IV., 82
      V., 240
      VI., 69, 184-5, 330, 409
      VII., 69, 82, 240, 377, 412
      VIII., 69, 82, 93, 121, 136, 182, 195, 234, 254, 271, 277, 283,
        351-2, 377, 395, 413
      of Otelands, 195, 197

    _Herbert, Life of_, Walton's, 21

    Herne Hill, 423-4

    Herring, Thomas, 393

    Hether, a yeoman family, 338

    Hever Castle, 413

    Highcombe Bottom, 151

    Highdown Ball, 171

    _Highways and Byways in London_, 433

    Hindhead, 14, 25, 36, 54, 85, 87, 97, 139-53, 156, 162, 177, 210,
      324, 337

    Hod, William, 290

    Hogarth, William, 134

    Hog's Back, 7, 8, 55-63, 82, 95, 324, 356

    Hogsmill, the river, 103, 244, 270

    Holland, Lord, Royalist Leader, 2, 249, 348-9
      Lord, and Lady (Fox family), 188-9

    Holloway College, 204

    Holmbury, 316, 326, 337-8

    Holmwood, 322

    Holt Forest, 23

    Home, Gordon, 268

    Honeywood, Robert, 247

    Honywood, Sarah, 205

    Hood, Thomas, 237

    Hook, J.C., 161

    _Hooker, Life of_, Walton's, 21

    Hope, Thomas ("Anastasius"), 328-30

    Hopkins, John (Vulture Hopkins), 428-9

    Horley, 292, 380-3, 385, 392

    Horne, 383

    Horn Hatch, 96

    Horse and Groom inn, Merrow, 115-6

    Horsell, 95, 217-8

    Horsham, 174

    Horsley, East, 95, 120-1
      West, 95, 119-21

    Hoskins, Charles and Ann, 419

    Hounslow, 348

    Howard, family, 122, 329, 397
      Catherine, 395
      of Effingham, first Lord, William, 121, 350-1
      second Lord (Earl of Nottingham), 103, 121, 318, 350

    Howleigh, Archbishop, 378

    Hugh, Abbot of Winchester, 180

    Hull, Richard, 323

    Humble, Richard, 437

    Humphrey, Tom, cricketer, 313

    Hunt, Mrs., 391
      Hurts, Burstow, 383-4, 392
      Chiddingfold, 172
      Lord Leconfield's, 171

    Hurlingham, 432

    Hurst Castle, 28
      Park, 254

    Hurt Wood, 177

    Huskisson, 304

    Hutchinson, Dr. Jonathan, 141

    Hut Pond, Ripley, 224

    Huts Hotel, Hindhead, 148

    Hutton, Archbishop, 362
      Richard Holt, 203


    I

    Icehouse, Wood, 59

    _Idylls of the King_, the, 214

    Ifold, 163

    Imber Court, 251

    _Intelligencer, the_, 393

    Iron-smelting, 157, 410


    J

    James I., 16, 66, 74, 83, 104, 137, 195, 219, 234, 240, 383, 424-5, 428
      II., 19, 43, 105, 165, 197, 261, 285
      Major-General E. Renouard, 5, 8, 9

    Jeffrey, 304

    Jeffreys, Judge, 285

    Jekyll, Gertrude, 130-1

    Jennings, Louis, 142, 148, 176, 301, 309, 351, 391, 397

    "Jessamy Bride, the," 196

    John, King, 51, 66, 69, 97, 100, 107, 114, 204, 345, 347

    Johnson, Dr., 144, 268, 274, 316, 426-7

    Johnson, Esther, 45

    Johnston, Philip Mainwaring, 284, 322, 379

    Jolly Farmer inn, Farnham, 22
      Bagshot, 211

    Jonson, Ben, 426

    Jordan, Family of Gatwick, 388

    Juniper Hall, 299, 301-3

    Jupp, Henry, 313

    _Justitiarius Justificatus_, 18

    Juxon, Archbishop, 359


    K

    Keats, 304-5

    Kemble family, 170, 190-1, 194, 208

    Kenley, 373

    Kennington, 253, 313, 433-6

    Kettlebury Hill, 154

    Kew, 23, 233, 235, 244

    King, Dr. William, 143
      Family of, 193, 225-6

    King's Arms, Bagshot, 211
      Godalming, 126-7, 131

    King's Head, Dorking, 309, 311
      Epsom, 260-1

    Kingsley, Charles, 73, 150

    King's Oak, 39, 40

    King's Prize at Bisley, 215

    Kingston, 18, 103, 148, 186, 219, 235, 244-9, 250, 348

    Kingston, Evelyn, Duke of, 31

    Kingswood, 274

    Kinnersley Manor, 355

    Kipling, Rudyard, 116-7, 337, 378

    Kirke's Lambs, 76

    Kitkat Club, 432

    Kneller, Sir Godfrey, 432

    Knightley, name in Leatherhead Register, 286

    Knowle, 173

    Kyngham, the, 248


    L

    Ladder of Life, the, 374-5

    Lady Susan, a tame wild sow, 93

    Lamb, Charles, 252

    Lambert, family of, 124, 273
      William, 42

    Lambert's Oaks, 264

    Lambeth, 350-1, 377, 433

    Langton, Stephen, 69, 90, 347

    Latton family, the, 277

    Laud, Archbishop, 72, 358

    Lauderdale, Duke of, 237

    Lawrence, Sir Thomas, 304

    Layton, Dr. Richard, 52

    Lea, 151

    Leatherhead, 82, 95, 115, 120, 125, 199, 280-7, 292, 296, 298
      Church, 284-6

    Leconfield, Lord, 171

    Leech, John and Mehetabel, of Lea, 161
      draughtsman, 185

    _Legend of Chertsey, the_, 186

    Leigh, 332, 334, 352, 383

    Leith Hill, 3, 54, 87, 149, 316, 319-27, 335-8, 341

    Lennox, Colonel, 430

    Leoni, 117, 368

    Leopold, King of the Belgians, 275

    Lewes, 2, 345-6

    Lewis, Monk, 196

    Lilly, William, astrologer, 258

    Limpsfield, 390, 414, 419-21

    Linacre, Thomas, 377

    Lincoln, Earl of, 196-7

    Lingfield, 350, 390, 401-8

    _Literature and Dogma_, 294

    "Little Comedy," 196

    Livesey, Sir Michael, captain of horse, 249, 348

    Livingstone, John, 263

    Lloyd, Eleanor, 194

    Loch Leven trout, 145

    Locked churches, 120, 125

    Lockhart, Scott's biographer, 304

    Locks, family of, Norbury Park, 299-301

    Lockyer, Tom, 351

    Londonderry, Lord, 430

    Long Ditton, 251, 253

    Long, Edward Noel, 57

    Longley, Archbishop, 378

    Long Parliament, the, 104

    Lonsdale, Lord, 354-5

    Lord's cricket ground, 41

    Loseley, 53, 77, 136-8, 174, 231, 395-6

    Louis Philippe, 194, 275, 277

    _Love in the Valley_, 306

    Lovekyn's Chapel, Kingston, 244

    Lucas, E.V., 286

    _Luck of Roaring Camp, the_, 213

    Ludlam, Mother, a witch, 32, 47

    Lumley, family of, 72, 272

    Lunatic asylums, 378

    Lyall, Edna, 25

    Lyttelton, Lord, 268-9


    M

    Macaulay, Lord, 278, 301, 304, 361

    Macdonald, George, 145

    Machyn's _Diary_, 313

    Madderson, Richard, 315

    _Magna Charta_, 204, 346

    Malden, H.E., 326, 338, 348, 382

    Malthus, David, 320

    Manning, Owen, 111-2, 131

    Mapp, Hill, 264

    Marlborough, Duke of, 234

    Marlowe, 231

    Marquis of Granby inn, Dorking, 308-9

    Marshall, William, 292

    Martyr, John, 83

    Mary, Queen (1553), 82, 121, 395
      (1688), 45, 213, 271
      Queen Of Scots, 16, 257

    Mawby, Sir Joseph, 261

    May-games, 248

    Maypole Dancing, 59

    _Memoirs of a Surrey Labourer_, 30, 56

    Merchant Adventurers, Company of, 71

    Meredith, George, 305-6, 320

    _Merlinus Anglicus Junior_, 258

    Merriman, Dr., 80

    Merrow, 101, 115-7

    Merstham, 11, 375-7, 391

    Merton, 427

    Mew, Bishop Peter, 19

    Michel, Louise, 289

    Mickleham, 282, 285, 296-9, 303

    _Middlemarch_, 145

    Middleton, Dr. Conyers, 171

    Midleton, Lords, 136, 141

    Mildmay, Sir Henry, 307

    Milford, 139, 159, 160, 167

    Mill, John Stuart, 304

    Millet, Jean François, 236

    Milton, 45

    Mitcham, 210, 330, 427, 435

    Mitchell, Frances, 234

    Mitchells, a family cricket eleven, 96, 382

    Mole, the river, 11, 219, 275, 282-5, 287, 289, 292-4, 298-9,
      304-7, 330

    Molesey, East and West, 254

    Molyneux, James More, 142

    Monmouth, Duke of, 2, 19, 72

    Monson, Lord, 352-3

    Moor Park, 30, 32, 43-54

    Moore, Colonel Thomas, 124
      Tom, 251-2, 304

    _Moorland Idylls_, 150

    Morasteen, Kingston, 245-6

    More, Sir Christopher, 136
      Sir George, 137, 231
      Sir Thomas, 174
      Sir William, 53, 77, 136-8

    Mores, family of, 142

    Morley, Bishop, 19, 21

    Morris dances, 248

    Mortlake, 431-2

    Morton, Mrs. Mary, 247

    Munstead, 129

    Mynn, Alfred, 351

    _Mystery of the Old Cause, the_, 362

    _My Winter Garden_, 150


    N

    Nash, Beau, 261
      Thomas, 425

    National Gallery, 29
      Rifle Association, 215, 430

    _Neighbours on the Green_, 203

    Nelson, Lord, 304, 427

    Nemours, Duchess of, 194, 275

    Netley, 87

    Nettlebed, 87, 152

    Nevill, Ralph, 65, 131, 164

    Newark Priory, 219, 221, 227-9

    Newcastle, Duke of, 188, 196-7

    Newdigate, 165, 341-2

    Newhaven, 149

    Newland, Abraham, 103

    Newland's Corner, 10, 87-8, 101, 103, 140, 177

    Newton, Isaac, 385

    Nicholas, family, 120

    Nicholson, Sir Charles, 99

    Nixon, Francis, 427

    Nonsuch, 219, 260-1, 284, 351

    Norbury, 20
      Lady Anne, 290
      Park, 286, 299, 301, 303

    Norfolk, Dukes of, 16, 121, 313-4, 329, 350

    Nork House, 273

    North, Bishop, 16

    Northumberland, Duke of, 106

    Norton, George, 99, 252

    Norwood, 424

    _Notebook of a Surrey Justice_, 415

    Nottingham, Earl of, 103, 121

    Novel's Oak, 39

    Nutfield, 70, 383, 398-400

    Nyren, John, 40-42, 221


    O

    Oaks, historic trees, 38
      Horse-race, the, 264-5

    Oakwood, 341

    Oatlands, 188, 190-2, 195-7, 219, 249

    Ockham, 224-7

    Ockley, 313, 326-7, 335-41

    O'Connor, Feargus, 434

    Odo of Bayeux, Bishop, 90

    Oglethorpe, family of, 134, 142-4

    Ognersh, 98

    Old customs at Dorking, 311-3
      King's Head inn, Croydon, 364
      _Oak Chair_, the, 421
      Queen's Head inn, Nutfield, 399
      _Road, The_, 5
      _West Surrey_, 130
    Woking, 218

    Oliphant, Mrs., 203

    Onslow, family of, 18, 103, 117, 119, 142
      Sir Arthur, 76, 80, 251, 317

    Orleans, Duke of, 406
      Duchess of, 194

    Osborne, Dorothy (Lady Temple), 45

    Ossory, Lord, 132

    Outwood, 383-4

    Oval, Kennington, 253, 313, 433, 435

    Oxted, 11, 109, 390, 414, 416-9


    P

    Pains Hill, 294-5

    Pallinghurst Farm, 164

    Palmerston, Lord, 80, 393

    Paris, Comte de, 194

    Parker, Archbishop, 358

    Parkhurst, John, Bishop of Norwich, 80
      Mr., 261

    Parr, Katherine, 428

    _Paul and Virginia_, 320

    Paulet family, 124

    Paull, John, 430

    Penfold, J.W., 144

    Penny Pot, 216

    Peperharow, 136

    Pepys, Samuel, 81, 211, 260, 271

    Perrers, Alice, 247

    Peterborough, Countess of, 397

    _Peter Porcupine_, 22

    Petersham, 180, 235, 237

    Peter, the Great, 127

    Pevensey Castle, 344

    Pewley Hill, 10, 86-7

    Phillips, Mrs., 299, 300

    Phoenician Traders, 1

    Picard Nicholas, 290

    _Pied Puldreaux_, or Pie Powder, Court of, 97

    Pierrepont House, 31

    Pilch, Fuller, 351

    _Pilgrim s Progress_, 6, 96-7

    Pilgrim's Way, 1-13, 58, 96, 355, 373, 376

    Pirbright, 63, 209

    Pitch Hill, 177

    Pit Place, Epsom, 268

    Pitt, William, 188, 430

    _Pleasure Excursions_, 363

    Plough Inn, Cobham, 292
      Coldharbour, 325

    Pokeford, Peter, 168

    Polesden, 125, 317

    Pope, 428-9, 432

    _Porch House_, 182, 184

    Porson, 304

    Portman, Sir William, 72

    Portmore Park, 190, 197

    Portmore, First Lord, 198

    Pownall, historian of Epsom, 260-2, 264-6

    _Præterita_, 363, 423-4

    Prince Blücher inn, Effingham, 121

    Prize-fighting, 214

    _Promenade round Dorking_, 301, 317

    _Province of Jurisprudence Determined_, the, 194

    Purley, 373-4, 379

    Putney, 244, 276, 430, 432-3

    Puttenham, 7, 58-9, 61-2

    Pyrcroft, 184

    Pyrford, 218, 221, 229, 231-2, 287


    Q

    Queen Alexandra Nursing Home, 119

    Queen's, The, Regiment, 76

    Quelche, William, 369


    R

    Rack Close, 71

    Radcliffe, John, 370

    Raglan, Lord, 124-5

    Rainbow trout, 145

    Raleigh, Sir Walter, 121

    Randall's, 286-7

    Randyll, Sir Edward, 104

    Ranelagh Club, 432

    Ranmer Church and Common, 199, 274, 317

    Rapley family, the, 339-41

    Ray, John, 157

    Read, Maurice, 253
      W.W., 351

    _Recollections of Brighton_, 35

    Red Cross inn, Reigate, 349

    Redhill, 334, 356, 390, 398

    Red Lion inn, Betchworth, 331
      Dorking, 311, 315
      Godalming, 131
      Guildford, 80-2
      Thursley, 147, 153

    Reigate, 2, 11, 42, 85, 87, 122, 214, 249, 328, 330, 332, 334, 344-56
      Castle, 249, 344-6, 348, 351
      Heath, 334, 349

    Reve, Henry, 103

    Reynolds, Sir Joshua, 29, 274

    Richardson, Charles, 172
      the Novelist, 113
      Tom, 253

    Richard I., 227
      II., 120, 136, 240
      III., 184

    Richmond, 23, 235-43, 277, 431

    Rifle clubs, 88

    Ripley, 93, 221-5, 227, 287

    Risbridger, the family, 113

    Robinson, Mrs., 29, 203

    Roehampton, 432

    Rogers, Samuel, 187, 196

    Roman camps, 175, 177-8, 287
      villa at Titsey, 422

    Rookery, the, 320

    Roper, Margaret, 174

    Rose and Crown inn, Godstone, 390

    Rosebery, Lord, 259, 268

    Rotherhithe, 103, 437

    Round, J.H., 292

    Rumming, Eleanour, 283-4

    Runemede, 200, 204, 347

    Running Horse, inn, Leatherhead, 282-3

    Rupert, Prince, 18, 211, 249

    _Rural Rides_, 23-5, 85, 382, 390

    Ruskin, John, 363-4, 368-9, 423-4

    Russell, John, 75, 81
      Lord John, 80, 304

    Rysbrach, 117, 226


    S

    St. Anne's Hill, 140, 149, 180, 184, 186-9, 206

    St. Benedict, 48

    St. Catherine's Chapel, 8, 9, 90, 92, 97
      Hill, 7-9

    St. Christopher, 68

    St. Dunstan, 53

    St. Francis, 21

    St. George's Chapel, Windsor, 110
      Hill, 140, 148-9, 198-9, 326

    St. Hilaire, Barthélemy, 194

    St. John the Baptist's well, 215

    St. John's School, Leatherhead, 285

    St. Leonards, Lord, 251

    St. Martha's chapel, 5, 8-10, 88, 90-2, 95, 134, 186, 317

    St. Mary's chapel, Kingston, 245
      church, Guildford, 65-6, 77-8
        Southwark, 361, 437

    St. Nicholas, church of, Guildford, 8, 64, 77

    St. Paul's cathedral, 187, 199, 317, 438

    St. Saviour's, Southwark, 433, 437

    St. Thomas's shrine, Reigate, 11, 13

    Salisbury Plain, 1, 3, 7, 9

    Salmon, historian, 33

    Salmon in the Wey, 21

    Salvin, Captain, 93

    Samborne, James, 377

    Sandby, Thomas, 200-1

    Sanderstead, 357, 378

    Sandown, 278

    Saunder, family of, 388

    Saxby, William, 404

    Sayes Court, 319

    Scott, Sir Gilbert, 12, 131, 350, 361, 391
      Sir Walter, 237-8, 275, 304

    Seale, 7, 57-8, 62

    Sedley, Catherine, 197
      Sir Charles, 261

    Sedgmoor, 2, 19, 20, 72, 76

    Sedgwick, S.N., 284

    Selous, Frederic, 93

    Selwyn, John, 256-7

    Semaphores, 86

    Send, 218, 220-1, 231, 258, 287

    Severn, Joseph, 352

    Shackleford, 137

    Shakespeare, 45, 184, 408, 425

    Shalford, 6, 9, 95-7, 100-1, 165, 382

    Sharp, Richard ("Conversation" Sharp), 303-4, 328

    Sheen, 219, 237, 240

    Sheldon, Archbishop, 359, 361

    Shelley, the poet, 202

    Shenstone, the poet, 434

    _Shepherds Hunting, the_, 18

    Sherborne (Shirebourne) farm and ponds, 107-9

    Shere, 10, 100-1, 109-15, 131, 206, 419

    Shergold, 353-4

    Sheridan, Richard Brinsley, 99, 196, 304, 317, 427

    Shiers, family of, 288-9

    Shooting at a cormorant, 248

    Shottermill, 145-6, 149

    Shrewsbury, Lord, 354
      and Countess (temp. Charles II.), 432

    Shuter, John, 253

    Sidney Wood, 164, 166-7

    Silent Pool, the, 107-9

    Six Bells inn, Horley, 381

    Skelton, John, 283-4

    Skern, Robert, 247

    Slipshoe lane, 11, 348

    Slyfield family, 123, 287-90
      Place, 123-4, 287-90, 320

    Smallfield Place, 383, 392

    Smith, A.L., 431
      Albert, of Chertsey, 185
      Henry ("Dog" Smith), 98

    Smugglers, 166-7, 337-8

    Somers, Lord, 351

    Somerset, Lady Henry, 351

    South Sea Bubble, 263, 370

    Southcote family, 377

    Southey, Robert, 304

    Southwark, 26, 405, 425, 434, 437, 439

    _Spectator, the_, 87, 90, 122

    Speed, John, 132, 424
      Samuel, 132

    Stafford family, 394-5

    Stane Street, or Stone Street, 11, 174, 296, 313, 326, 335-6, 341, 344

    Stanley, Lord, 272

    Star inn, Lingfield, 404

    Steere, a yeoman family, 338

    Steinman, G.S., 362, 364

    "Stella," Esther Johnson, 45-6

    _Stephan Langton_, 107

    Stephenson, H.H., 253

    Sterborough, 404, 406

    Stevens, "Lumpy," 42, 221, 223, 258

    Stevenson, R.L., 210

    Stillwell, James, 148

    Stocks, village, in Surrey, 96, 165, 322

    Stockwell, 436

    Stoke D'Abernon, 125, 287-96

    Stonehenge, 1

    Strachey, John St. Loe, 87

    Streatfeild, "Mr. Antiquary," 420

    Streatham, 426-7

    Stuart, Charles Edward, 434

    Sueter, Tom, 42

    Sumner, Archbishop, 19, 378

    Surbiton, 235, 249-51, 255

    Surrey rifle clubs, 88

    Surrey Side, the, 432-40

    Sussex, Duke of, 314

    Sutton, 371-2
      Place 93, 136

    Swallows of the Mole, the, 298

    Swan inn, Haslemere, 140
      Leatherhead, 284
      Reigate, 348, 353
      Thames Ditton, 250, 253

    Swanton, E.D., 141, 144

    Swasso, Baron, 263

    Swete, C.J., 271, 303

    Swift, Jonathan, 43, 45, 48, 393

    Sydney family, the, 124


    T

    Tabard inn, 13, 439

    _Table Talk_, 187, 196

    Talbot inn, Ripley, 223
      (The Tabard), 439

    _Tale of a Tub, the_, 23, 43, 45

    Talleyrand, 300, 302, 305

    Tandridge, 389-91, 414-17
      Hill Lane, 12, 13

    Tangley Manor, 100, 413

    Tanhurst, 338

    Tankerville, Lord, 42

    Tasmania, Bishop of, 435

    Tate, Archbishop, 378

    Tatsfield, 98, 139, 414, 422

    Tattenham Corner, 266

    _Taverns in Ten Shires near London, Catalogue of_, 80, 353

    Taylor, John, 80, 353-4

    Temple, Sir William, 43, 45, 317
      Lady, 45

    Tennyson, Lord, 141, 145

    Thackeray, W.M., 138

    Thames, the, 103, 179, 180-1, 183, 202, 204, 237, 247, 258, 273, 336,
      405, 431, 437-9

    Thames Ditton, 250, 254

    Thanet, 1, 87

    Thimble, Thomas, 119

    Thomas, Bishop, 16

    Thomson, James, 237

    Thorold, Anthony, Bishop, 21

    Thorpe, 109, 206

    Thorncroft, 285, 298

    Thorwaldsen, 329

    Thrales, the, 426-7

    Three Compasses inn, Kingston, 244

    _Thrush in February, the_, 305

    Thunderfield Castle, 382

    Thunder Hill, 153

    Thursley, 14, 145, 147, 150-1, 153-61, 165, 168, 206, 229, 341

    Tilford, 30-42, 136

    Tillingbourne, the river, 10, 91, 100-1, 104-5, 107, 320

    Timbs, John, 301, 317, 329

    Titsey, 4, 13, 356, 390, 414, 416, 422

    Tofts, Mary, 133-4

    Toland, John, 262-3

    Tollsworth Farm, 11, 376

    Tongham, 55-6

    Tonson, Jacob, 432

    Tooke and Horne Tooke, 379

    Tooley Street, 437

    Tooth, Thomas, 303

    Toplady, Augustus, 25

    Tower Hill, 120, 395
      of London, 184

    Townsend, Meredith, 122

    Tradescants, the, 436-7

    Trecothick, Mrs. Grizzel, 378

    Trout Farms, 145

    Tumble Beacon, 273

    _Tunnyng of Eleanor Rumming, the_, 283-4

    Tupper, Martin, 69, 71, 90, 107, 114, 346-7

    Turner, Lady Diana, 285

    Turner, Thackeray, 81

    Turpin, Dick, 211

    Tyers, Tom, and Jonathan, 316

    Tyndall, John, 141, 146

    Tytings, 10


    U

    Unicorn inn, Farnham, 48

    Unstead Farm, 97-8


    V

    Vachery Manor and Pond, 173-4, 325

    Vanbrugh, Sir John, 275

    Vancouver's Island, 237

    'Vanity Fair,' 6, 96

    Vassall, Samuel, 71, 130

    Vauxhall, 82, 316, 433, 436

    Vernons, at Farnham, 27-8

    _Victoria History of Surrey, the_, 105

    Victoria, Queen, 16, 275, 278, 430

    Villiers, Barbara, 260-1, 272
      Lord Francis, 249
      Thomas Hyde, 393

    Vincent, Sir Thomas and Lady, 290

    Virginia Water, 200-1


    W

    Waggoner's Wells, 149

    Waldegrave family, 377

    Waller, J.G., 78-9, 375, 405
      Sir William, 18-9

    Wallin, Miss, 263

    Wallington, 368

    Wall Paintings, 78-80, 229-30, 374-5, 386-8

    Walpole, Horace, 196, 272, 301

    Walton Heath, 273
      Izaak, 21, 361
      on Thames, 42, 255-8
      on the Hill, 270, 273-4
      on the Naze, 273

    Wanborough, 61-3, 98

    _Wanderer, the_, 301

    Wandle, river, 365, 368

    Wandsworth, 362-3

    Ward, the family, 437

    Warlingham, 378-9, 390

    Warwick, Earl of, 405

    Waterer's rhododendrons, 210

    Waterloo, 83, 124, 126, 197, 278
      Bridge, 438

    Watney, John, 332
      family, Horely, 382

    Watson, Marriott, 109
      William, 88, 177

    Watts, George Frederick, 60

    Waverley Abbey, 7, 30, 38, 43-55, 83, 136
      William, Abbot of, 52-3
    Way, the, 1, 13, 66, 87-8, 97, 376

    Webb, Charles, 341
      Philip Carteret, 142

    _Weekly Political Register_, 22

    Wellington, Duke of, 124, 435

    Westcott, 317, 320, 328

    West End, 216

    West Humble, 299, 301

    Westminster Abbey, 45, 183, 317
      School, 23

    Weston, family, the, 93, 99

    Wey, the river, 9, 21-3, 34, 38, 43, 45, 48, 55, 64-6, 70, 77, 90, 92,
      101, 126, 130, 135-6, 157, 167, 179, 191, 193, 198-9, 207, 217-35,
      292, 344

    Wey Salmon, 21

    Weybridge, 130, 179, 188, 190-9, 219, 228, 257, 259, 330

    Weyhill Fair, 9, 14, 26

    Wharton, Sir Polycarpus, 105

    Whinney Moor, 375

    Whitaker, Admiral, Sir Edward, 370

    White, Burstow huntsman, 383, 385
      family of, 124
      Gilbert, 148, 228

    White Hall, Cheam, 272
      Hart inn, Bletchingley, 392
        Godalming, 126
        Guildford, 80
        Reigate, 353-5
        Wittey, 160, 162
      Hill, 11
      Horse inn, Dorking, 309, 312
        Hascombe, 170
        Haslemere, 140
        Shere, 10, 109
      Lion inn, Cobham, 29
      "_Shock_," 42

    Whitewaysend, 55, 59

    Whitgift, Archbishop, 358-9, 361

    Whitgift's Hospital, 74, 359-60, 364
      School, 360

    Whitmoor House, 93

    Whymper, C., painter, 141
      Josiah Wood, 141

    Wigan, family, Mortlake, 382

    Willey Green, House and Mill, 65

    William I., 219
      III., 105, 258, 277, 351, 370

    William of Waynflete, 276-7

    Williamson, Dr. G.C., 68, 70

    Wilsham Farm, 65

    Wiltshire, of the Feathers inn, Kingston, 247

    Wimbledon, 215, 427-30

    Winchester, 2, 4, 6, 7, 14, 23, 53, 66, 83, 97, 151, 336, 344-5

    Windle Brook, 216

    Windlesham, 209-10

    Windsor, Andrew, 15

    Windsor, 28, 110, 122, 204
      Castle, 186-7, 199
      Forest, 16, 208
      Park, 104, 200, 202, 257

    Winstanley, the "Leveller," 198

    Winterton, Lord, 168

    Wisley, 218, 222, 228, 231, 233
      Garden, 231

    Wither, George, 17-9

    Witley, 139, 141, 145, 153, 159-62
      Heights, 161

    Wogheners, 98

    Woking, 95, 217-21, 227, 229, 231, 235, 321, 356
      Forest, 219

    Woldingham, 139, 378-9, 390

    Wolfs Hill, 326

    Wolley, Sir John, 231

    Wolsey, Cardinal, 219, 276-7

    Wonersh, Wonish, 70-1, 95, 98-9, 130

    Woodhouse, local poet, 286

    Woodmansterne, 270, 273

    Wool trade in Surrey, 70-1, 130

    Worcester, Earl of, 104

    Wordsworth, William, 252, 305

    Worplesdon, 63, 93, 95

    _Worthies'_, Fullers', 298, 377

    Wotton, 100, 103-5, 112, 316-21, 323
      Hatch, 317, 321

    Wrecclesham, 30, 40, 42

    Wriothesley, Henry, second Earl of Southampton, 138

    Wyatt, Richard, 134
      Sir Thomas, 121

    Wycliff, John, 208


    Y

    Yalden, William, ironmaster, 157
      of Chertsey, cricketer, 42

    Yews, at Alfold, 165
      Crowhurst, 171, 408
      Dunsfold, 165
      Hambledon, 165, 171
      Hascombe, 170
      Newlands' Corner, 177
      Norbury Park, the Druids' Walk, 301-2
      along the Way, 11

    York, Duchess of, 196-7
      Dukes of, 190, 196-7, 430
      Town, 209


    Z

    Zouch, Sir Edward, 219
      Lord, 73



THE END


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Illustrations by JOSEPH PENNELL and HUGH THOMSON.

_DAILY CHRONICLE._--"So delightful that we would gladly fill columns
with extracts were space as elastic as imagination.... The text is
excellent; the illustrations of it are even better."

_WESTMINSTER GAZETTE._--"Will be read with intense interest by every
west-countryman from Axminster to the Land's End, and from Land's End to
Lynton, for within this triangle lie the counties of Devon and
Cornwall."

Highways and Byways in Yorkshire. By ARTHUR H. NORWAY. With
Illustrations by JOSEPH PENNELL and HUGH THOMSON.

_PALL MALL GAZETTE._--"The wonderful story of Yorkshire's past provides
Mr. Norway with a wealth of interesting material, which he has used
judiciously and well; each grey ruin of castle and abbey he has
re-erected and re-peopled in the most delightful way. A better guide and
story-teller it would be hard to find."

Highways and Byways in Donegal and Antrim. By STEPHEN GWYNN. With
Illustrations by HUGH THOMSON.

_DAILY CHRONICLE._--"Charming.... Mr. Gwynn makes some of the old
legends live again for us, he brings the peasants before us as they are,
his descriptions have the 'tear and the smile' that so well suit the
country, and with scarcely an exception he has brought his facts and his
figures up to date."

_DAILY TELEGRAPH._--"A perfect book of its kind, on which author,
artist, and publisher have lavished of their best."

Highways and Byways in Normandy. By PERCY DEARMER, M.A. With
Illustrations by JOSEPH PENNELL.

_ST. JAMES'S GAZETTE._--"A charming book.... Mr. Dearmer is as arrestive
in his way as Mr. Pennell. He has the true topographic eye. He handles
legend and history in entertaining fashion."

_ACADEMY._--"Between them Mr. Dearmer and Mr. Pennell have produced a
book which need fear no rival in its own field for many a day."

MACMILLAN AND CO., LTD., LONDON.

R. CLAY AND SONS, LTD., BREAD ST. HILL, E.C., AND BUNGAY, SUFFOLK.





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