By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: Bygone Cumberland and Westmorland
Author: Scott, Daniel
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
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.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Bygone Cumberland and Westmorland" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

produced from images generously made available by The
Internet Archive/American Libraries.)



_From a Photo by Mr. George Arkwright, Beatrice, Nebraska, U.S.A._]

  Bygone Cumberland

  By Daniel Scott




The information contained in the following pages has been derived from
many sources during the last twenty years, and in a considerable number of
cases I have examined old registers and other documents without being then
aware that some of their contents had already been published.

Few districts in the United Kingdom have been more thoroughly "worked" for
antiquarian and archæological purposes than have Cumberland and
Westmorland. The Antiquarian Society and the numerous Literary and
Scientific Societies have, during the last thirty years, been responsible
for a great amount of research. I have endeavoured to acknowledge each
source--not only as a token of my own obligation, but as a means of
directing others wishing further information on the various points.

I also desire to acknowledge the help received in various ways from
numerous friends in the two counties.


PENRITH, _June 1st, 1899_.



  AN UNPARALLELED SHERIFFWICK                    1

  WATCH AND WARD                                 9


  SOME CHURCH CURIOSITIES                       38


  OLD-TIME PUNISHMENTS                          91


  FOUR LUCKS                                   148


  OLD-TIME HOME LIFE                           169

  SPORTS AND FESTIVITIES                       188

  ON THE ROAD                                  209

  OLD CUSTOMS                                  223

  OLD SCHOOL CUSTOMS                           240

  INDEX                                        257

Bygone Cumberland and Westmorland.

An Unparalleled Sheriffwick.

For a period of 645 years--from 1204 to 1849--Westmorland, unlike other
counties in England (excluding, of course, the counties Palatine), had no
Sheriff other than the one who held the office by hereditary right. The
first Sheriff of the county is mentioned in 1160, and nine or ten other
names occur at subsequent periods, until in 1202, the fourth year of the
reign of King John, came Robert de Vetripont. Very soon afterwards the
office was made hereditary in his family "to have and to hold of the King
and his heirs." The honour and privileges were possessed by no less than
twenty-two of Robert's descendants. Their occupation of the office covers
some very exciting periods of county history, the tasks committed to the
Sheriffs in former centuries being frequently of an arduous as well as
dangerous character.

The Sheriff had very important duties of a military character to carry
out. Thus in the sixth year of Henry the Third we have the command from
the King to the Sheriff of Westmorland that without any delay he should
summon the earls, barons, knights, and freeholders of his bailiwick, and
that he should hasten to Cockermouth and besiege the castle there,
afterwards destroying it to its very foundations. This order was a
duplicate of one sent to the Sheriff of Yorkshire concerning Skipton
Castle and other places. It is not known, however, whether the
instructions respecting Cockermouth were carried out or not.

The powers of Sheriff not being confined to the male members of the
family, the histories of Westmorland contain the unusual information that
at least two women occupied, by right of office, seats on the bench
alongside the Judges. The first of these was Isabella de Clifford, widow
of Robert, and, wrote the historian Machell, "She sate as is said in
person at Apelby as Sheriff of the county, and died about 20 of Edward I."
The other case was that of the still more powerful, strenuous, and gifted
woman, Anne, Countess of Pembroke. Of her it is recorded that she not
only took her seat on the bench, but "rode on a white charger as
Sheriffess of Westmorland, before the Judges to open the Assizes." It will
not be forgotten that territorial lords and ladies in bygone times held
Courts of their own in connection with their manors and castles. The Rev.
John Wharton, Vicar of South Stainmore, in a communication to the writer
some time ago said: "From documents shown me by the late John Hill, Esq.,
Castle Bank, Appleby, the great but somewhat masculine Anne, Countess of
Pembroke and Montgomery, seemed partial to Courts of her own. She sat upon
many offenders as a judge, and it is handed down that she executed divers
persons for treasonous designs and plotting against her estate."

The Memoranda Rolls belonging to the Lord Treasurer's Remembrancer, show
the mode of presenting or nominating the Sheriff for Westmorland in the
time of the Cliffords, his admittance to the office by the Barons of the
Exchequer, and his warrant for executing it. From the Rolls of the 15th,
19th, and 23rd years of Edward the First, when the Sheriffwick passed into
the family of the Cliffords, it seems that the right of appointment was
the subject of litigation between the two daughters and heiresses of the
last of the Vetriponts. This ended in an agreement that the elder sister
should "present" to, and the younger should "approve" the appointment. In
this way Robert de Moreville was admitted to the office of Sheriff in the
fifteenth year of Edward's reign, Gilbert de Burneshead three years later,
and Ralph de Manneby in 1295, each swearing faithfully to execute his
office and answer to both daughters. On the death of the sisters the
Sheriffwick became vested in Robert de Clifford, son and heir of the
eldest, and continued in the possession of his descendants until the
attainder in 1461.

The list of Sheriffs is, of course, a very long one, and even allowing for
the large number of individuals who have left nothing more than their
names, there is much material for interesting study in the histories of
the others. The actual work was rarely done by the holders of the office.
"The functionaries who performed the duties were simply deputies for the
Sheriff, and although we find them attesting many ancient charters and
grants relating to the county, recording themselves as Vice-Comites (or
Sheriffs), they simply executed the office as Pro-Vice-Comites (or
Under-Sheriffs). The attainder of the Cliffords during the Wars of the
Roses, until its reversal in the first year of Henry the Sixth, causes a
void as regards their family, their places being filled from among the
supporters of the House of York."[1] For a considerable period Westmorland
was treated as part of Yorkshire, the Sheriff of the latter county
rendering an account of the two places jointly. From the time of John,
however, the accounts rendered for Westmorland by Yorkshire Sheriffs would
have been as Sub-Vice-Comites for the Vetriponts.

The High Sheriffs and their connections lived in considerable state when
the country was sufficiently peaceable to permit of it. This is proved by
the arrangement and size of their castles, while Sir Lancelot Threlkeld,
half-brother of Henry Clifford, used to boast that he had three noble
houses. One, at Crosby Ravensworth, where there was a park full of deer,
was for pleasure; one for profit and warmth wherein to reside in winter,
was the house at Yanwath; and the estate at Threlkeld was "well stocked
with tenants ready to go with him to the wars." The various "progresses"
of the Countess Anne also afford evidence of the state kept up, for she
frequently speaks of her journeys from one castle to another "escorted by
my gentlemen and yeomen."

Among the numerous pieces of patronage which became the prerogative of the
High Sheriffs of Westmorland, was that of the Abbey of Shap, but there
does not appear to be any record when this and other privileges passed
from them, the property being granted by Henry the Eighth to the Whartons.
Where so much power lay in the hands of one person, or of one family,
differences with other authorities was perhaps inevitable. The interests
of the burgesses of Appleby would seem to have clashed at times with those
of the Sheriff, and for very many years the parties kept up a crusade
against each other, especially during the reigns of the first three
Edwards. What the cost of those proceedings may have been to the Sheriff
cannot be told, but on the other side the result was the forfeiture of
rights for a considerable time, because the fee farm rent had got into
arrear. The Hereditary High Sheriff had the privilege of appointing the
governor of the gaol at Appleby, but he had to pay £15 per annum towards
the salary, while the magistrates appointed the other officials and made
up from the county rates the remainder of the cost of the institution.

The long period during which the holders of the Sheriffwick held the
privilege is the more remarkable--as Sir G. Duckett, Bart., reminded the
northern archæologists in 1879--because of the way in which ancient grants
and statutes have in almost all cases become a dead letter and obsolete.

A singular incident in connection with the Sheriffwick happened about
seventy years ago, and is recorded in the life of Baron Alderson, father
of the Marchioness of Salisbury. The Baron went to Appleby to hold the
half-yearly assizes, but on arriving there found that he could not carry
out his work because Lord Thanet was in France, and had omitted to send
the documents for obtaining juries. The Judge had therefore to spend his
time as best he could for several days, until a messenger could see the
High Sheriff in Paris and obtain the necessary papers.

When the eleventh and last Earl of Thanet died in June, 1849, the male
line of the family ceased, the estates passing by will to Sir Richard
Tufton, father of the present Lord Hothfield. The office of Hereditary
High Sheriff was claimed by the Rev. Charles Henry Barham, of Trecwn,
nephew of the Earl, but a question arising as to the validity of a devise
of the office, Mr. Barham relinquished his claim in favour of the Crown.
An Act was afterwards passed--in July, 1850--making the Shrievalty in
Westmorland the same as in other counties.

Watch and Ward.

The geographical position of the two counties rendered an extensive system
of watching essential for the safety of the residents. In the northern
parts of Cumberland, along the Border, this was particularly the case; but
there watch and ward was more of a military character than was necessary
elsewhere, while as it was a part of the national defence it passed into
the care of the Government for the time being. From the necessity for
"watching and warding" against the northern incursions, came the name of
the divisions of the two counties. Cumberland had for centuries five
wards; more recently for purposes of local government these were increased
to seven; and Westmorland also has four wards.

The regulations of the barony of Gilsland, in a manuscript volume
belonging to the Earl of Lonsdale, are very explicit as to what was
required of the tenants in the way of Border service. These stipulated for
good horses, efficient armour and weapons for the bailiffs, and a rigid
supervision of those of lower rank. The tenants' nags were ordered to be
"able at anye tyme to beare a manne twentie or four-and-twentie houres
without a baite, or at the leaste is able sufficientlye to beare a manne
twentie miles within Scotlande and backe againe withoute a baite." Every
tenant, moreover, had to provide himself with "a jacke, steale-cape,
sworde, bowe, or speare, such weapons as shall be thought meatest for him
to weare by the seyght of the baylife where he dwelleth or by the
land-serjeante." The rules as to the watch required that every tenant
should keep his night watch as he should be appointed by the bailiff, the
tenant breaking his watch forfeiting two shillings, which in those days
was a formidable amount. The tenants had to go to their watch before ten
o'clock, and not to return to a house till after cock-crow; they were also
required to call twice to all their neighbours within their watches, once
about midnight, and "ones after the cockes have crowen."

Detailed instructions were drawn up for the guidance of the men during
their watches. These were even less emphatic, however, than those which
referred to the maintenance and keeping of the beacons, of which fourteen
public ones (including Penrith and Skiddaw) are named in Nicolson and
Burn's History. Modernising the spelling, one of the paragraphs runs as

    "The watchers of a windy night shall watch well of beacons, because in
    a wind the fray cannot be heard, and therefore it is ordered that of a
    windy night (if a fray rise) beacons shall be burnt in every lordship
    by the watchers. One watcher shall keep the beacon burning and the
    other make speed to the next warner, to warn all the lordships, and so
    to set forwards. And if the watchers through their own default do not
    see the beacons burn, or do not burn their own beacons, as appointed,
    they shall each forfeit two shillings. If the warners have sufficient
    warning by the watchers, and do not warn all within their warning with
    great speed, if any fault be proved of the warner he shall forfeit

The "Orders of the Watch" made by Lord Wharton in October, 1553, are of
considerable local interest in connection with this subject, and the
following extracts may for that reason be quoted:--

    "Ainstable, Armathwhaite, Nunclose, and Flodelcruke to keep nightly
    Paytwath with four persons; William Skelton's bailiffs and constables
    to appoint nightly to set and search the said watch. Four fords upon
    Raven, to be watched by Kirkoswald, Laisingby, Glassenby, Little
    Salkeld, Ullesby, Melmorby, Ranwyke, and Harskew: at every ford
    nightly four persons; and the searchers to be appointed by the
    bailiffs and constables, upon the oversight of Christopher Threlkeld,
    the King's Highness's servant. Upon Blenkarn Beck are five fords, to
    be watched by Blenkarn, Culgaith, Skyrwath, Kirkland, Newbiggin,
    Sourby, Millburn, Dufton, Marton, Kirkbythore, Knock, and Milburn
    Grange; bailiffs and constables to appoint searchers: Overseers,
    Christopher Crackenthorp, and Gilbert Wharton, the King's Highness's
    servants. Upon the water of Pettrel: From Carlisle to Pettrelwray;
    bailiffs and constables there, with the oversight of the late Prior of
    Carlisle for the time being, or the steward of the lands. And from
    thence to Plompton; overseer of the search and watch nightly John
    Skelton of Appletreethwayt, and Thomas Herrington, Ednal and
    Dolphenby; Sir Richard Musgrave, knight, overseer, his deputy or
    deputies. Skelton and Hutton in the Forest; overseers thereof, William
    Hutton and John Suthake. Newton and Catterlen, John Vaux, overseer,
    nightly. For the search of the watches of all the King's Highness's
    lands, called the Queen's Hames, the steward there, his deputy or
    deputies, nightly. From the barony of Graystock; the Lord Dacre, his
    steward, deputy or deputies, overseers. This watch to begin the first
    night of October, and to continue until the 16th day of March; and the
    sooner to begin, or longer to continue at the discretion of the Lord
    Warden General or his deputy for the time being. Also the night watch
    to be set at the day-going, and to continue until the day be light;
    and the day watch, when the same is, to begin at the day light, and to
    continue until the day be gone."

[Illustration: PENRITH BEACON.

_From a Photo by Mr. John Bolton, Penrith._]

Penrith Beacon had an important place in the system of watch and ward in
the south-eastern parts of Cumberland and North Westmorland. As a
former local poet wrote:--

  "Yon grey Beacon, like a watchman brave,
  Warned of the dreaded night, and fire-fed, gave
  Heed of the threatening Scot."

The hill before being planted as it now appears, was simply a bare fell,
without enclosures of any kind. The late Rev. Beilby Porteus, Edenhall, in
one of his books,[2] after mentioning the uses of Penrith Beacon,
added:--"Before these parts were enclosed, every parish church served as a
means of communication with its neighbours; and, while the tower of
Edenhall Church bears evident tokens of such utility, there yet exist at
my other church at Langwathby, a morion, back, and breast-plate, which the
parish were obliged to provide for a man, termed the 'Jack,' whose
business it was at a certain hour in the evening to keep watch, and report
below, if he perceived any signs of alarm, or indications of incursions
from the Border."

South Westmorland had as its most important look-out station, Farleton
Knott, where "a beacon was sustained in the days of Scottish invasion, the
ruddy glow of which was responded to by the clang of arms and the war
notes of the bugle."

Wardhole, now known as Warthol, near Aspatria, was once an important
protection station, watch and ward being kept against the Scots; from this
place "the watchmen gave warning to them who attended at the beacon on
Moothay to fire the same." The ancient beacon of Moota is about three
miles from Cockermouth. Dealing with the natural position of Bothel,
Nicolson wrote over a century ago:--"The town stands on the side of a
hill, where in old time the watch was kept day and night for seawake,
which service is performed by the country beneath Derwent at this place,
and above Derwent, in Copeland, at Bothil, in Millom. It is called
_servicium de bodis_ in old evidences, whereupon this hill was named the
_Bode-hill_, and the village at the foot of it _Bode-hill-ton_ (Bolton),
or _Bodorum Collis_. The common people used to call a lantern a _bowet_,
which name and word was then in use for a light on the shore to direct
sailors in the night, properly signifying a token, and not a light or
lantern, as they call a message warranted by a token a _bodeword_, and the
watchmen were called _bodesmen_, because they had a _bode_, or watchword
given them, to prevent the enemy's fraud in the night season."

There was a noted beacon near Bootle, from which that town took its old
name--"Bothill"--the beacon being fired, upon the discovery of any ships
upon the Irish Sea which might threaten an invasion, by the watchmen who
lay in _booths_ by the beacon. For the support of this service the charge
or payment of seawake was provided. This payment occurs in connection with
various manors; thus on an inquisition of knights' fees in Cumberland it
was found that Sir William Pennington held the manor of Muncaster "of the
King as of his castle of Egremont, by the service of the sixth part of one
knight's fee rendering to the King yearly for seawake 12{d}, and the
puture of two serjeants." At the same inquiry it was certified that
William Kirkby held the manor of Bolton, in the parish of Gosforth, of the
King "by knight's service, paying yearly 10/- cornage, and seawake,
homage, suit of court, and witness-man." He also paid two shillings
seawake for other lands in the district. Many other instances of this tax
for watch and ward in old days might be quoted, but diligent search and
inquiry during the last few months have failed to show that it is now
exacted in any form, or when the payments were allowed to lapse.

Of watch and ward as applied to town and village life as distinct from
Border service there may be found in Cumberland and Westmorland records
many very interesting and suggestive reminders. By the famous statute of
Winchester it was provided that from Ascension Day to Michaelmas in every
city six men should keep watch at every gate, in every borough twelve men,
and in every other town six or four, according to the number of the
inhabitants, and that these should watch the town continually all night
from the setting to the rising of the sun. This was but one of three kinds
of watches, the others being kept by the town constable, and the other set
by authority of the justices. Every inhabitant was bound to keep watch in
his turn, or to find another. It was specially provided that the watching
and warding should be by men able of body and sufficiently weaponed, and
therefore a woman required to watch might procure one to watch for her.
While the person thus chosen had to bear sundry punishments in default of
carrying out a duty which was neither pleasant nor safe, there was the
wise provision that if a watchman were killed in the execution of his
duty, as in endeavouring to apprehend a burglar, his executors were
entitled to a reward of £40. In the standard work by Orton's best known
former Vicar may be found two copies of Westmorland warrants, one for the
keeping of watch, and the other for the commitment of a person apprehended
by the watch, while there is also a copy of an indictment for not
watching. This was no mere matter of form; for hundreds of years after
King Edward instituted the system it was the chief safeguard against
robbery, and in a great many places against incursions of the enemy.

At Kendal watch and ward was strictly maintained, not for the purpose of
keeping out marauding Scots or other undesirable characters, but for the
maintenance of quiet and order in the streets. In 1575 the Mayor and
burgesses of Kendal made the following order with reference to the
watching of the borough:--

    "It is ordered and constituted by the Alderman and head burgesses of
    this borough of Kirkby Kendal, that from henceforth nightly in the
    same borough at all times in the year, there shall be kept and
    continued one sufficient watch, the same to begin at nine of the clock
    of the night, and to continue until four of the clock in the morning,
    in which watch always there shall be six persons, viz., two for
    Sowtergate, two for Marketstead and Stricklandgate, and two for
    Stramagate, to be taken and going by course in every constablewick one
    after the other, and taking their charge and watchword nightly off the
    constables or their deputies, severally as in old times hath been
    accustomed; which six persons so appointed watchmen nightly shall be
    tall, manlike men, having and bearing with them in the same watch
    every one a halberd, ravenbill, axe, or other good and sufficient iron
    bound staff or weapon, sallett or scull upon every one his head,
    whereby the better made able to lay hands upon and apprehend the
    disordered night walkers, malefactors, and suspicious persons, and to
    prevent and stay other inconveniences, and shall continually use to go
    from place to place and through street and street within the borough
    during all the time appointed for their watch, upon pain to forfeit
    and lose to the Chamber of this borough for every default these pains
    ensuing, that is to say, every householder chargeable with the watch
    for his default 3s. 4d., and every watchman for his default such fine
    and punishment as shall be thought meet by the Alderman and head

Shortly before the end of 1582 the foregoing order was repealed and
another regulation substituted. The material part was in the following
quaint terms, the original spelling being observed:

    "And shall contynnally goo and walk ffrome place to place in and
    throughe suche streete within the same boroughe as they shal be
    opoyntyd and assigned by the Constabull or his deputy then settinge
    the watch that is to say ij of them in everie suche streete in
    companye together as they may be apoynted ffor their sayd watche vpon
    payne to forfeyte and losse to the Chamber of this Bourgh for everie
    fault dewly pved theis payns ensuinge that is to say everie
    householder and wedow and bachler Chargeable wth the watche for his
    default xijd and every watchman ffor his default such ffyne and
    punnyshmt as shal be thought mete by the Alderman or his deputye
    ffrome tyme to tyme beinge."

At Carlisle and several other places the rules for the watch were among
the most interesting and important items in the whole of the rules
concerning local government. On the coast at times very vigorous action
was both required and taken. At Whitehaven, in February, 1793, a meeting
of the authorities was held "in consequence of the daring attempts made by
the enemy in other places and the dangers to which the port was formerly
exposed." Orders were issued for mounting all the heavy guns, and for
procuring ammunition and other stores. Thirty-six weapons were mounted in
six batteries; governors of these batteries were appointed, with other
officers. A nightly watch was set, and every precaution taken to prevent a
surprise, or to resist any attack which might be made on the port.
Fortunately the precautions were not put to the test.

Coming down to a much later period, but still connected with the
protection of the two counties, a curious incident may be recalled, if for
no other reason than that it is impossible for such a contretemps ever to
occur again. In 1807, after a ballot for the Cumberland Militia, Penrith
being the headquarters, an order arrived for the recruits to be marched up
to the regiment. They were, wrote an eye witness, accordingly mustered for
that purpose in marching order, and, followed by many of the populace,
arrived at Eamont Bridge, where the sister counties of Cumberland and
Westmorland divide. Here there was a sudden halt. They would not cross the
bridge without their county guinea. After some altercation, and promises
by Colonel Lacy and other gentlemen that they should be paid on joining
the regiment, which promises were of no avail, they were counter-marched
to Penrith. For three successive days they were thus marched, and still
halted at the division of the counties. The lower orders of the populace
took part with the soldiers, and a riot ensued, in which Colonel Lacy, the
commanding officer, was very roughly handled. The consequence was that a
troop of Enniskillen Dragoons was sent for from Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and
arrived in Penrith on the morning of the third day. A hard black frost was
set in at the time, and the horses being "slape shod," they were falling
in every direction. They were marched along with the recruits, who again
stopped at the bridge. The populace was still unruly; the dragoons loaded
their firepieces; the Riot Act was read, and the word "March" was given;
but it was of no avail. A general cry was then raised that they would be
satisfied with the promise of Colonel Hasell of Dalemain, but of no other
man. Mr. Hasell came forward, and in a short, manly address, gave his
promise that they should be paid on joining the regiment, and with cheers
for the Colonel, they at once marched off.

Fighting Bishops and Fortified Churches.

The ecclesiastical history of Cumberland and Westmorland is curiously
interwoven with that of secular affairs. This to a large extent arises
from the geographical position of the diocese of Carlisle--and
particularly of the diocese before its extension in 1856, up to which year
it was the smallest in England. The Bishop of Carlisle in bygone centuries
had always to take a leading part in fighting schemes, and as the churches
would be the only substantial structures in some villages, they naturally
came to be put to other uses than those of worship.

The bishopric was indeed a unique district. Carlisle was the great Border
fortress of the West Marches; the Bishop was invariably a Lord Marcher,
and often Captain of the Castle. In copies which Halucton (Halton) caused
to be extracted from the Great Roll of the Exchequer, frequent references
are made to expenses incurred during a siege. These are believed to refer
to 1295-6, when the Earl of Buchan and Wallace assailed the city, and when
the Bishop was apparently Warden. The ecclesiasts during many hundreds of
years must have been almost as familiar with the touch of armour as with
that of their sacred robes. Writing on this subject over a century ago a
Cumberland authority said:--

    "As an example of the prevailing humour of those martial times, what
    sort of priest must we suppose Cressingham to have been, who never
    wore any coat that is accounted characteristic of a profession, but
    that in which he was killed, namely, an iron one. Beck, the fighting
    Bishop, was so turbulent a mortal that the English King, in order to
    keep him within bounds, was obliged to take from him a part of those
    possessions which he earned in battle, and in particular the livings
    of Penrith and Symond-Burne. But not to mention Thurstan, who fought
    the battle of the Standard, there are sufficient reasons for believing
    that most of the priests in the northern parts of England had a double
    profession, and they are so often mentioned as principals in these
    continual wars that one cannot help concluding that the martial one
    was more attended to. When the pastors are such, what must the people

There was a very interesting quarrel--the facts being too numerous to be
stated here--concerning the manor of Penrith, and those in some other
parts of East Cumberland. They were in the possession of John de Baliol,
by virtue of an agreement come to between the Kings of England and
Scotland, but afterwards Edward the First quarrelled with Baliol, seized
his lands, and granted them to Anthony Beck, the military Bishop of
Durham already mentioned. That prelate had assisted the King at the battle
of Falkirk, with a considerable number of soldiers, and was greatly
instrumental in obtaining the victory. When the Parliament met at
Carlisle, however, the grant was disapproved, and as the Bishop did not
attend to show by what title he had taken the lands, they were adjudged to
belong to the Crown.

The manuscripts of the Dean and Chapter of Carlisle contain many
references to the knowledge of war required by the early Bishops. When
Linstock was the episcopal residence, it lay exposed to the incursions of
the Scots, whose respect of persons, as Mr. C. J. Ferguson has reminded
us, was small. In April, 1309, Bishop Halton excused himself from obeying
a summons to Parliament, pleading both fear of a Scots invasion and bad
health as reasons. Later correspondence showed that the Bishop had been
employed by the King as his deputy in suppressing outrages in the West
March, and desired to be freed from some of his duties. The King therefore
absolved the prelate from the duties to which he objected, but begged him
to assume the remainder of the offices in his commission, so as to
restrain the lawlessness prevailing on both sides of the Border.

The difficulties of defence, or the constant annoyance, became so great
that in 1318 Edward the Second obtained from the Pope the appropriation to
the bishopric of Carlisle of the church of Horncastle, Lincolnshire, to be
a place of refuge for the Bishop and his successors during the ravages of
the northern enemy. Thomas de Lucy, upon the invasion of the Scots in
1346, "joined his strength with the Bishop of Carlisle [Welton], and so
alarmed the enemy in the night-time, by frequent entering into their
quarters, that at length they fled into their own country. And a truce
shortly after ensuing, he was again joined in commission with the same
Bishop and others to see the same duly observed." The Bishop was soon
afterwards constituted one of the commissioners for the arraying of men in
the counties of Cumberland and Westmorland for the defence of the Borders,
the French then threatening an invasion. With the growth of these troubles
from abroad, pressure was put upon those who could raise funds, of whom
Bishop Appleby was not the least important. "_Brevia de privato sigillo_
quickly succeed one another at this time," wrote the Rev. J. Brigstocke
Sheppard, in 1881,[3] when he had gone carefully through the muniments of
the Dean and Chapter. "The King, in an agony of apprehension, occasioned
by the threat of invasion, backed by a large fleet collected in the
northern ports of France, begs the Bishop again and again to raise a
defensive militia, to cause prayers to be offered in all churches, and
finally to advance him as much money as he can upon security of the
clerical _disme_ which would soon be due." In a further letter, the King
being determined to borrow from such of his subjects as could best afford
to lend, ordered the Bishop to send for six of the richest clergy and six
of the most affluent laymen in each county, and upon these twenty-four to
impose a loan of fifty marks on an average--more upon those who could
afford it, and less upon those less able to bear the tax. In 1373 Bishop
Appleby was enjoined by the King to reside continually in his diocese upon
the Marches, and to keep the inhabitants in a state of defence as a
protection to the rest of the kingdom against the Scots.

And so through all the long list of Border troubles the Bishops had to
take a conspicuous share in the proceedings, until the ludicrous incident
on Penrith Fell, which was the last occasion on which a Bishop took part
in fighting on English soil. Various local chroniclers have given
different versions, but there seems to be no room for doubt that the one
by Chancellor Ferguson is accurate. When in 1715 the Jacobites marched
from Brampton to take Penrith, the people from all the country side
(though whether the number was 4,000 or 14,000, as variously stated, is
not material), armed with guns, scythes, pitch-forks, and other handy if
not always military weapons, went on to the fell to meet the rebels. The
"_posse comitatus_ were under Lord Lonsdale and Bishop Nicolson, the
latter seated in his coach, drawn by six horses. So soon as the
Highlanders appeared, the _posse comitatus_ went away; in plain words they
skedaddled, leaving the two commanders and a few of their servants. Lord
Lonsdale presently galloped off to Appleby, and the Bishop's coachman,
whipping up his horses, carried off his master _willy nilly_ to Rose
Castle. It is said the prelate lost his wig, while shouting from the
carriage window to his coachman to stop." The result of this ignominious
retreat was that the Jacobites took possession of Penrith for the time
being, but behaved well, their most serious action being the proclamation
of James the Third, and the capture of a lot of provisions.

From fighting prelates to fortified churches is not a long step. Three or
four of these structures have come in for more notice than the rest,
although the latter cannot thereby be considered as lacking some of the
most interesting features of the others. During the last thirty years the
changes necessitated by restorations of churches have caused some of these
relics of turbulent times to be somewhat altered; there are still,
however, numerous village structures which tell their own story much more
vividly, to the trained eye, than could be done by written record. When
the late Mr. John Cory, county architect for Cumberland, read his paper on
the subject at Carlisle a quarter of a century ago, he pointed out some of
the characteristics of these ancient ecclesiastical strongholds: "The
distance from each other tells of a scanty population; the deficiency of
architectural decoration shows that the inhabitants of the district were
otherwise engaged than in peaceful occupations; while traces of continual
repairs in the fabric are evidently not to be attributed to the desire
shown in the churches of many southern counties to make good buildings
better, but have resulted from the necessity occasioned by the partial
destruction of churches through hostile aggressions. In many instances it
may be said that the church had been erected scarcely less for the safety
of the body than for the benefit of the soul."

That the abbey of Holme Cultram was once both a fortress and a church is
shown to this day by the remains of earthworks which once served for its
defence. Curious entries in the parish books also indicate the bitter
hatred of the Cumbrians for those from over the Border. The value of the
abbey is shown by a petition of the inhabitants of the lordship to
Cromwell in 1538, when they asked "for the preservation and standynge of
the Church of Holme Cultrane before saide; whiche is not onlye unto us our
parish Churche, and little ynoughe to receyve all us, your poore Orators,
but also a great ayde, socor, and defence for us agenst our neghbours the
Scots, witheaut the whiche, few or none of your Lordshipp's supplyants are
able to pay the King his saide Highness our bounden dutye and service,
ande wee shall not onelye praye for his graciouse noble estate, but also
your Lordshipp's prosperitie with increase of honour long to endure."

The tower of Burgh-by-Sands Church, close to the Solway, was built at the
west end of the structure, with walls six feet to seven feet in thickness.
A further indication of the desire for security is found in the bottoms of
the windows of the church, which were placed eight feet from the ground.
Entrance to the fortified tower could only be obtained through a ponderous
iron door six feet eight inches high, with two massive bolts, and
constructed of thick bars crossing each other, and boarded over with oak
planks. As only one person at a time could gain access to the vaulted
chamber, there was every possibility of offering effective opposition to
attacks, while the ringing of the bells would be the signal for bringing
any available help. What was true of one side of the Solway was equally
true of the other, there being still traces of fortified churches on the
Scottish side of the Firth.

Newton Arlosh Church is another noteworthy example of a building

  "Half house of God, half castle 'gainst the Scots,"

though here the bulk of the attention would seem to have been paid to
bodily danger. The doorway was made only two feet six inches wide, and as
at Burgh the lowest parts of the windows were placed above the reach of a
man's hand--in this case the sills were seven feet from the ground. Light
was of less consequence than security, and so the windows were only one
foot wide, with a height of three feet four inches.

Though further away from the Border than either of the other churches
mentioned, that at Great Salkeld was peculiarly liable to attack by the
Scottish raiders, as it occupies a strong position near the river Eden,
whose banks seem to have been much used by the undesirable visitors. The
tower is in a splendid state of preservation, although necessarily much
altered, in detail, from its former condition. There were five floors,
that on the ground level being a vaulted room, with a strong door of iron
and oak leading into the church. Three small apertures afforded light and
opportunities for watching from the first floor, and that room also
contained a fireplace. In a footnote in their "Cumberland" volume of
"Magna Britannia," the brothers Lysons suggest that Great Salkeld Church
might have been fortified about the time that Penrith Castle was built.
There is, however, no direct evidence on the point. Dr. Todd, the former
Vicar of Penrith, who was noted for his encounters with his superiors,
says in his account of Great Salkeld Church, that in his time there was a
place "called the Corryhole, for the correction and imprisonment of the
clergy, while the Archdeacon had any power within the diocese."

Prior to the restoration of Dearham Church, the structure possessed
numerous features of interest to the antiquary, some of which have
necessarily been removed or altered. The lower storey of the tower
consisted of a barrel-vaulted chamber, originally enclosed from the
church, and entered only by a small and strongly-barred doorway, similar
to that at Burgh. When the Antiquarian Society visited Dearham some twenty
years ago, the late Canon Simpson drew special attention to this part of
the church. He said it had unquestionably "been one of the old massive
fortified towers peculiar to the Border district: from it, whilst the
parishioners were being besieged, a beacon fire at the top would alarm
their friends in the surrounding country." Some oak beams then seen in the
tower showed signs of fire, one of them being charred half through. The
lower part of the tower of Brigham Church, only a few miles from Dearham,
is strongly vaulted with stone, access being obtained to the chamber above
by means of a narrow door and winding stairs. From these features it has
been concluded by archæologists that this was one of the old Border
fortified churches.

Further away from the Border, into Mid Westmorland, the searcher may still
meet with evidences of old-time church builders having a much keener eye
for the defensive qualities of their structures than for architectural
beauty. Solidity was the first consideration, and although some of them
were, after all, but ill adapted for the purpose, they must have been, as
the Rev. J. F. Hodgson[4] once pointed out, "much larger and stronger
buildings than the wretched hovels of the common people. Their enclosures
would very generally offer the best position for defence. Among the
Westmorland churches, those of Crosby Garrett (or Gerard) and Ormside,
though small, and not structurally fortified, seem unmistakably posted as
citadels. Orton Church, too, both in structure and position, is admirably
situated for defence. At Brough, the church, a massive and easily
defensible building, is situated upon the precipitous bank of the
Hellebeck, and forms a sort of outwork of the Castle." The church at
Kirkby Stephen certainly occupies a position which would give its
occupants a strong hold on the Upper Eden Valley. The old church at
Cliburn, on the banks of the Leath, was also probably placed there with
some regard to defence. It is believed that the fine old church at Barton
was used for a like purpose, and the vicar some time ago pointed out to
the writer existing evidences of a large moat having probably been formed
in case of necessity, the river Eamont being near enough to ensure an easy
means of water supply.

There are preserved in the church of Langwathby two specimens of old
Cumberland armour--a helmet and a cuirass. The villagers have versions of
their own as to the wearer of these articles, but obviously the stories
rest on no better foundation than that of tradition; the real explanation
is, doubtless, that given by the late Rev. B. Porteus, and already quoted
in the chapter on "Watch and Ward."

Above the tomb of Sir Roger Bellingham (died 1533), in Kendal Church,
there is an ancient helmet suspended, but whether it was put there
because the helmet belonged to the knight, or as a memorial of his having
been created a knight banneret on the field of battle, there has nothing
come to the knowledge of local historians to enable them to decide. The
popular name for the helmet, however, is "the Rebel's Cap," and following
the account of Machell, who was living at the time, various writers have
given different versions of a story which, though doubtless correct in its
main points, is open to question on others. The version given by the late
Mr. Cornelius Nicholson[5] may be quoted, as it is the briefest:--

    "In the Civil Wars of the Commonwealth, there resided in Kendal one
    Colonel Briggs, a leading magistrate, and an active commander in the
    Cromwellian army. At that time, also, Robert Philipson, surnamed from
    his bold and licentious character, _Robin the Devil_, inhabited the
    island on Windermere, called Belle Isle. Colonel Briggs besieged Belle
    Isle for eight or ten days, until the siege of Carlisle being raised,
    Mr. Huddleston Philipson, of Crook, hastened from Carlisle, and
    relieved his brother Robert. The next day, being Sunday, Robin, with a
    small troop of horse, rode to Kendal to make reprisals.

    "He stationed his men properly in the avenues, and himself rode
    directly into the church in search of Briggs, down one aisle and up
    another. In passing out at one of the upper doors, his head struck
    against the portal, when his helmet, unclasped by the blow, fell to
    the ground and was retained. By the confusion into which the
    congregation were thrown, he was suffered quietly to ride out. As he
    left the churchyard, however, he was assaulted; his girths were cut,
    and he himself was unhorsed. His party now returned upon the
    assailants; and the Major, killing with his own hands the man who had
    seized him, clapped the saddle upon his horse, and, ungirthed as it
    was, vaulted into it, and rode full speed through the streets, calling
    to his men to follow him; and with his party made a safe retreat to
    his asylum on the lake. The helmet was afterwards hung aloft, as a
    commemorating badge of sacrilegious temerity."

The episode was used by Sir Walter Scott for some particularly spirited
lines in "Rokeby" (stanza 33, canto vi.), and in his notes Sir Walter
explained that "This, and what follows, is taken from a real achievement
of Major Robert Philipson, called from his desperate and adventurous
courage _Robin the Devil_." A reference to the poem will show that this,
as dealing with fact, can only be applied to the first sixteen lines,
which run:--

  "The outmost crowd have heard a sound
  Like horse's hoofs on hardened ground;
  Nearer it came, and yet more near,--
  The very death's-men paused to hear.
  'Tis in the churchyard now--the tread
  Hath waked the dwelling of the dead!
  Fresh sod and old sepulchral stone
  Return the tramp in varied tone.
  All eyes upon the gateway hung,
  When through the Gothic arch there sprung
  A horseman armed, at headlong speed--
  Sable his cloak, his plume, his steed.
  Fire from the flinty floor was spurned;
  The vaults unwonted clang returned!--
  One instant's glance around he threw,
  From saddle-bow his pistol drew."

Mr. Stockdale, in his "Annals of Furness," says there was a tradition in
his time that the Parliamentarians in 1643 stabled three troops of horse
in the nave of Cartmell Church; and there can be no doubt that to similar
base uses other ecclesiastical structures in the diocese were occasionally
put in turbulent times. Carlisle Cathedral was often used for purposes of
war, and it was not free from other exciting scenes. During the
Commonwealth it was the centre of much rioting. George Fox preached there,
and files of musketeers had to be brought in to clear the place of the
rioters. After the ill-fated rebellion of '45, the cathedral was still
further degraded, being made into a prison for captured Highlanders.

Some Church Curiosities.

Under a great variety of divisions many curious facts connected with the
old-time churches of the northern counties might be noted that cannot here
be touched upon. Some of them--especially those associated with the
personal aspect--had their origin solely in the circumstances of the time;
others may be traced to personal idiosyncracies; while geographical
reasons may be found for a third class. With a few exceptions it has not
been deemed necessary in this chapter to go beyond the Reformation. Among
the records concerning Kendal Church is a reference in the Patent Rolls of
1295, in which Walter de Maydenestane is described as "parson of a moiety
of the church of Kirkeby, in Kendale." An inquiry in _Notes and
Queries_[6] brought the suggestion that probably this was one of the
places which used to have both a rector and a vicar, several instances of
that arrangement having been in force being mentioned. No information was,
however, forthcoming as to the Kendal case.

Boy bishops are not unknown, and Westmorland affords an instance of an
infant rector, the following appearing in the list for Long Marton, as
compiled by Dr. Burn:--"1299. John de Medburn, an infant, was presented by
Idonea de Leyburne, and the Bishop committed the custody of the said
infant to a priest named William de Brampton, directing him to dispose of
the profits of the rectory in such manner as to provide for the supply of
the cure, and the education of the young rector in some public school of
learning." If John de Medburn ever took up the duties of his office, it
could not have been for any extended period, as another rector was
instituted in 1330.

There was a curious dispute at Holme Cultram in 1636. The Rev. Charles
Robson, who five years previously had become vicar, being a bachelor of
divinity, demanded that the parish should provide him with a hood proper
to his degree. The parishioners objected on the ground that such a claim
had never been made before, the previous vicars having provided their own
hoods, and that Mr. Robson had on all proper occasions, as required by the
canons, worn a hood of his own until within half a year of the dispute
arising. A case was stated and a legal opinion taken; the result was
entirely against the vicar, who made his position worse, inasmuch as it
was laid down that while the churchwardens were not to provide the hood,
they could be the means, through the ordinary, of compelling a priest who
was a graduate to wear his hood, according to the 58th canon. Another
instance of a clergyman going to law with his parishioners was that of the
Rev. John Benison, vicar of Burton, who was dissatisfied with the payments
of the vicarial revenues. The dispute found its way into Chancery, and
Benison, in 1732, secured the following scale of payments:--"For burial in
the church or churchyard shall be paid 1s., except for women who die in
childbirth, for whom nothing is due. The modus for tithe lands shall be
double for the two first years after the induction of a new vicar, and
every person keeping a plough shall pay yearly 1d. in lieu and full
satisfaction of agistment of barren cattle."

Bishop Nicolson has left some curious pictures of the parsons in the
diocese of Carlisle at the time when he made his visitation in the early
years of the eighteenth century. The clergy of that time were for the most
part not remarkable for their learning, although there were some notable
exceptions. These were the victims of circumstances; they lived in what
was really a dark age, and no one can feel surprised that so many gave way
to drinking and other unclerical habits. Several, either openly or in the
names of their wives, kept ale-houses; there was one rather glaring
instance of this kind on the western side of Cross Fell. Poverty was
continually their share; an instance of the life some of them led is
recorded by James Clarke,[7] of Penrith:--

    "Langdale is as poor as any in these parts, except for the slate
    quarries, and the slaters (like the miners in Patterdale) debauch the
    natives so far that even the poor curate is obliged to sell ale to
    support himself and family. And at his house I have played 'Barnaby'
    with him on the Sabbath Day morning, when he left us with the good old

        'I'll but preach, and be with you again.'"

William Litt (1785-1847), the author of "Henry and Mary," a story of West
Cumberland life, which was very popular a generation ago, says:--"It is a
well authenticated fact that a rector of Arlecdon left his pulpit for the
purpose of bestowing manual correction on one of his parishioners, whom he
conceived was then insulting him. The surplice, however, was such an
impediment to his usual lightness of foot that his intended victim, after
a severe chase, effected his escape, and for that time eluded the
chastisement intended for him by his spiritual pastor." Although nothing
is known as to the identity of the cleric who thus endeavoured to deal
with a supposed offender, possibly it was Thomas Baxter, who was incumbent
for 62 years (1725 to 1787). He figures by name in "Henry and Mary," and
is represented as on one occasion reprimanding Squire Skelton, of Rowrah,
very severely for swearing.

In 1653 George Fox, the founder of the Society of Friends, visited
Cumberland. One Sunday afternoon he entered the church, and standing on a
seat, he preached three hours to an overflowing congregation; he says in
his journal, "Many hundreds were convinced that day." A short time
afterwards he again visited the church on a Sunday morning, and entered
into a long theological argument with Mr. Wilkinson, the vicar, who lost
his dinner in consequence. The discussion continued almost to nightfall;
the result seems to have been the conversion of the vicar and the majority
of his congregation, as it is on record that Mr. Wilkinson afterwards
became a distinguished minister of the Society of Friends.

The old customs peculiar to Cumberland and Westmorland of "Whittlegate"
and "Chapel Wage" have long since passed out of the list of obligations
imposed, although the rector of Brougham might still, if he wished, claim
whittlegate at Hornby Hall every Sunday. The parsons of the indifferently
educated class already alluded to had to be content with correspondingly
small stipends, which were eked out by the granting of a certain number of
meals in the course of twelve months at each farm or other house above the
rank of cottage, with, in some parishes, a suit of clothes, a couple of
pairs of shoes, and a pair of clogs. Clarke gives the following
explanation of the origin of the term:--

    "Whittlegate meant two or three weeks' victuals at each house,
    according to the ability of the inhabitants, which was settled among
    themselves; so that the minister could go his course as regularly as
    the sun, and complete it annually. Few houses having more knives than
    one or two, the pastor was often obliged to buy his own knife or
    'whittle.' Sometimes it was bought for him by the chapel wardens. He
    marched from house to house with his 'whittle,' seeking 'fresh fields
    and pastures new,' and as master of the herd, he had the elbow chair
    at the table head, which was often made of part of a hollow ash
    tree--a kind of seat then common. The reader at Wythburn had for his
    salary three pounds yearly, a hempen sark or shirt, a whittlegate, and
    a goosegate, or right to depasture a flock of geese on Helvellyn. A
    story is still (1789) told in Wythburn of a minister who had but two
    sermons which he preached in turn. The walls of the chapel were at
    that time unplastered, and the sermons were usually placed in a hole
    in the wall behind the pulpit. One Sunday, before the service began,
    some mischievous person pushed the sermons so far into the hole that
    they could not be got out with the hand. When the time came for the
    sermon, the priest tried in vain to get them out. He then turned to
    the congregation, and told them what had happened. He could touch
    them, he said, with his forefinger, but could not get his thumb in to
    grasp them; 'But, however,' said he, 'I can read you a chapter out of
    Job that's worth both of them put together!'"

There may be other instances of the formal appointment of females to
undertake church work usually performed by the other sex, but the writer
has only met with one local example, which occurs thus in the Kendal
churchwardens' accounts:--"1683, June 29. It is then agreed & consented
too by the major part of the churchwardens that Debora Wilkinson shall be
continued saxton till next Easter, she keeping under her so sufficient a
servant as shall please the Vicar & whole p{r}ish & she to give sufficient
security to the churchwardens for her fidelity. As alsoe it was then
granted by the major parte of church wardens that the said Debora
Wilkinson for her paines herein shall have & receive to her owne use for
every coffin in the church 2s. 6d. (she or her deputy in takeing up of
fflaggs in the church or lying them downe to place them leveally & in good
order, breaking none of them), and the said Debora or her servant shall
make clean the church att all times according to the Vicar's order, and to
keepe the font w{th} faire water, changeing itt every fforthnigh or as
often as the Vicar pleaseth."

The uses of some parts of ancient buildings have puzzled gentlemen
thoroughly acquainted with church architecture, for the simple reason that
certain of the arrangements might have been made for a variety of
purposes. Leper windows are perhaps sufficiently numerous to show the
intention of the builders, but there are instances where that is not at
all easy to define. The side windows in Bolton Church, near Wigton, one of
which has been described by the Rev. Hilderic Friend as a leper window,
was suggested by the late Mr. Cory as being "for such a purpose as giving
out alms or receiving confession," as they always had hinges and bolts for
shutters, but not glass. Chancellor Ferguson put forward the further
theory that as lepers could not come into the church, they made confession
at these windows. Dr. Simpson rejected these statements, and said that
lamps were placed in the low side windows of some churches after funerals
to scare away evil spirits--an interesting addition to North-Country
folk-lore. Leprosy was apparently a serious trouble in the two counties
five or six centuries ago. John de Vetripont gave to Shap Abbey the
hospital of St. Nicholas, near Appleby, on condition that the abbot and
convent should maintain three lepers in the hospital for ever. In 1356 Sir
Adam, rector of Castlekayroke (Castle Carrock), was cited to show cause
why, being seized with leprosy to such a degree that his parishioners dare
not resort to divine service, he ought not to have a coadjutor assigned

There are still to be found traces in some of the older churches of the
rooms of anchorites. Experts have stated that the vestry at Greystoke
seems to have been used as an anchor-hold or reclusorium. It is believed
that two reclusi, or inclusi, sometimes dwelt together there, one living
in the vestry and the other in the room above. The latter apartment may
have been used for a chantry priest, a church watcher, or a sacristan.
Among the architectural curiosities of the two counties may be noted the
church tower of Kirkoswald. The parish church is built at the foot of a
steep hill, facing the Eden, while the old market town is on the sharply
rising ground at the rear. The parishioners would thus have but a small
chance of hearing the bells when sounded for service if they occupied the
ordinary place. Consequently for a very long time--certainly before the
present church was built--the two bells have been placed in a detached
tower on the top of the hill at the rear of the church, and over a hundred
yards away from the building.

Many ecclesiastical buildings, from the cathedral down to the humblest
village chapel-of-ease, would seem to have had curious inscriptions or
pictures upon their walls. Nearly all these have disappeared, and later
comers are indebted for their knowledge of what has been to such
industrious chroniclers as Machell, Burn, and others. The former put on
paper in 1692 the following lines, which were on the walls of the south
chapel of Kirkby Lonsdale Church:--

  C.        W.
  16        68.

  "This porch by ye Banes first builded was,
  Of Heighholme Hall they weare;
  And after sould to Christopher Wood,
  By William Bains thereof last heyre;
  And is repayred as you see,
  And set in order good
  By the true owner nowe thereof
  The fore saide Christopher Wood."

As in our own day the restoration or alteration of a church frequently
caused much ill-feeling in a parish, and there are records of several such
"scenes" in Cumberland and Westmorland in bygone days. One such was at
Sebergham, where the church was rebuilt in 1825-6, and a tower built at
the west end. On the first Sunday that the edifice was opened the
following protest in rhyme was found nailed to the church door:--

        "The priest and the miller built the church steeple
        Without the consent or good will of the people.
        A tax to collect they tried to impose
        In defiance of right and subversion of laws.
        The matter remains in a state of suspension,
        And likely to be a sad bone of contention.
        If concession be made to agree with us all
        Let the tax be applied to build the church wall.

    Churchyard wall now in a ruinous state. Sebergham High Bound, July 12,

While dealing with the architectural curiosities of North-Country
churches, allusion should be made to a story connected with that at
Ambleside. A piece of painted glass on the north side of the old church
has a representation of what is locally known as the carrier's arms--a
rope, a wantey-hook, and five packing pricks, or skewers, these being the
implements used by the carriers and wool staplers for fastening their
packing sheets together. The tradition is that when the church needed
rebuilding, together with the chapels of St. Mary Holm, Ambleside,
Troutbeck, and Applethwaite, which were all destroyed or rendered unfit
for divine worship, the parish was extremely poor; the parishioners at a
general meeting agreed that one church would serve the whole. The next
question was, where it should stand. The inhabitants of Undermillbeck were
for having it at Bowness. The rest thought that as Troutbeck Bridge was
about the centre of the parish, it should be built there. Several meetings
in consequence were held, and many disputes and quarrels arose. At last a
carrier proposed that who ever would make the largest donation towards the
building should choose the situation of the church. An offer so reasonable
could hardly be refused, and many gifts were immediately named. The
carrier, who had acquired a fortune by his business, heard them all, and
at last declared that he would cover the church with lead. This offer,
which all the rest were either unable or unwilling to outdo, at once
decided the affair. The carrier chose the situation, and his arms (or more
properly his implements) were painted on the north window of the church.
Tradition adds that this man obtained the name of Bellman, from the bells
worn by the fore-horse, which he first introduced there.

Several instances of fonts having found their way from churches to private
grounds have been made known during recent years, one being at Penrith,
and others at Musgrave and Brough-under-Stainmore. On the western side of
the county, in the grounds of Mr. T. Dixon, Rheda, is the ancient font,
dated 1578, belonging to Arlecdon Church. In the third decade of this
century, says the Rev. H. Sugden in his notes on the history of the
parish, it was acting at a farm-house as a trough to catch rain-water from
the roof. Subsequently the font was found by Mr. Dixon in a stone wall at
Rowrah Hall, and was removed to its present place of safety. It seems that
the contractor who rebuilt the church in 1829, was allowed to use or
dispose of any of the material or contents. The font and an ancient
tombstone of the Dixons, were sold by him, and while the font was made
into a water-catcher, the tombstone found its way to a farm at Kirkland,
where it was utilised as a sconce in the dairy. Occasionally churchwardens
were guilty of what would seem to have been vandalism. At Kirkby Lonsdale
(1686), they recorded the last of a Norman font:--"Received for the old
font stone, 6d."

Among the regulations made by the Head Jurie of Watermillock in 1627 was
this:--"Item, It is ordered by the jurie that every tennent of this parish
shall sitt in church in their own seats that hath formerly been set forth
to their ancestors. And if any have a desire to sitt in the Lady Porch,
besides such as have their ancient Rooms therein, they shall sitt there
paying yearly for the same to the use of the Church ijd. p{r} Annum." The
churchwardens were evidently kept close to their duties by the same
authority, as may be seen by this entry in the book:--"It is ordered that
the Churchwardens of this Parish shall not be discharged of their office
in any year before the Church Stock be fully answered at the sight and
judgment of the Head Jury for the time being."

This action probably had its origin in the losses of public funds which
had to be deplored in many parishes in consequence of the money being lent
out at interest. "Culyet" is not a word to be found in the standard
dictionaries of our time, although it appears in the parochial records of
Millom. Canon Knowles took the word to mean the free-will offerings made
from house to house, being used at Christ Church, Oxford, as the
equivalent of "collecta," a collection. In some of the parishes which lent
out church funds, rather heavy rates of security were exacted--at Millom
the arrangement was seven and a half per cent. Hence there can be no room
for surprise that so many parishes have had reason to deplore "lost

Crosthwaite differed from other places in the manner of selecting and
swearing the churchwardens and sidesmen, the form being settled by the
Commissioners for Ecclesiastical Causes in Queen Elizabeth's time. They
decreed "That yearly, upon Ascension Day, the vicar, the eighteen sworn
men, the churchwardens, the owner of Derwentwater estate, the sealer and
receiver of the Queen's portion at the mines, one of the chiefest of the
company and fellowship of the partners and offices of the minerals, then
resiant at Keswick, the bailiffs of Keswick, Wythburn, Borrowdale,
Thornthwaite, Brundholme, and the forester of Derwent Fells, shall meet in
the church of Crosthwaite, and so many of them as shall be there assembled
shall chuse the eighteen men and churchwardens for the year ensuing, who
shall on the Sunday following before the vicar take their oath of office."

The seating of the men and women on different sides of the church was a
proceeding once so common as to almost remove it from the list of
curiosities. The churchwardens' books of Crosthwaite contain very minute
orders as to where every person in the parish should sit, and in other
places a similar rule obtained. In these days of "free and open churches"
it is interesting to read of the arrangements which the churchwardens and
vicar made so as to allocate every seat in St. Patrick's Church, Bampton,
in 1726. The rule appears to have been based on the land tax, and the list
begins with "The Lord Vis. Lonsdale," who had one complete stall for the
use of the tenants of Bampton Hall, another for Low Knipe, and other seats
elsewhere. The whole of the inhabitants seem to have been provided for,
the catalogue concluding with a statement of the accommodation set apart
for the school-master of Measand and the school-dame at Roughill; the
master at Bampton Grange, being an impropriator, found a place among the
aristocracy on "the Gospel side" of the chancel.

Some quaint entries concerning the provision and cost of wine for sacred
purposes--and for other uses not always answering that description--are to
be met with in several of the parochial records. In the vestry book of
Cockermouth is this entry for June, 1764:--"Ordered that all the wine for
the communicants be bought at one house where the Churchwardens can get it
the best and cheapest. Ordered that no wine be given to any clergyman to
carry home." At one of the meetings of the Cumberland and Westmorland
Antiquarian Society, the late Canon Simpson produced a paper which showed
that very heavy sums, comparatively, had been spent at Kendal in providing
Communion wine. One item was for £6, another £9, and again £11, while
opposite one of the entries was the remark: "That is exclusive of wine
used at Easter." It was customary for the vicar or rector to give the
Easter Communion wine, receiving in return Easter dues. On another
occasion, when the Bishop of Chester was to visit the church, the wardens
ordered a bottle of sack to be placed in the vestry.

An interesting ceremony has long been gone through at Dacre Church in
connection with the distribution of the Troutbeck Dole. The principal
representative of the family now living is Dr. John Troutbeck, Precentor
of Westminster. The Rev. Robert Troutbeck, in 1706, by his will gave to
the poor of Dacre parish, the place of his nativity, a sum of money, the
interest of which was ordered to be "distributed every year by the
Troutbecks of Blencowe, if there should be any living, otherwise by the
minister and churchwardens for the time being." A more curious proviso was
contained in the will of John Troutbeck, made in 1787. By that document
£200 was left to the poor of the testator's native parish, and the
interest was ordered to be "distributed every Easter Sunday, on the family
tombstone in Dacre churchyard, provided the day should be fine, by the
hands and at the discretion of a Troutbeck of Blencowe, if there should be
any living, those next in descent having prior right of distribution. If
none should be living that would distribute the money, then by a
Troutbeck as long as one could be found that would take the trouble of it;
otherwise by the minister and churchwardens of the parish for the time
being; that not less than five shillings should be given to any
individual, and that none should be entitled to it who received alms, or
any support from the parish." The custom was carried out in due form on
the "through-stone" last Easter.

Kirkby Stephen, up to about sixty years ago, had a very curious
custom--the payment, on a fixed day every year, upon a tombstone still in
the churchyard, of the parishioners' tithe. The late Mr. Cornelius
Nicholson, in a now scarce pamphlet on Mallerstang Forest, gave the
following account of the observance:--

    "The tombstone is unhewn millstone grit, covered with a limestone
    slab, whereon a heraldic shield was once traceable, supposed to
    indicate the ownership of the Whartons. Tradition says, however, that
    it is older than the tombs in the Wharton Chapel. Among the
    parishioners it went popularly by the name of the great 'truppstone,'
    a corruption perhaps of 'through-stone.' It is certain, however--and
    this is the gist of the story--that for generations, time out of mind,
    the money in lieu of tithes of hay was here regularly paid to the
    incumbent of the church on Easter Monday. The grey coats of this part
    of Westmorland assembled punctually as Easter Monday came round, and
    there and then tendered to the vicar their respective quotas of
    silver. Some agreement, oral or written, must have been made between
    the parties, which does not now appear. The practice became the law of
    custom. The payment was called a modus in lieu of hay tithe. I find
    that when Lord Wharton purchased the advowson at the dissolution of
    monasteries the tithes of corn and hay were excepted from the
    conveyance, which points to this customary modus on the 'truppstone.'
    If this reference be correct, the curious custom dates back to the
    time of Henry the Eighth, and perhaps farther back, and gives it a
    continuance of some 300 years.

    "We don't know its origin, but we do know its extinction. When the
    Rev. Thomas P. Williamson became vicar, in the first decade of this
    century, a quarrel arose between him and the tithe-payers as to this
    modus. Law proceedings were threatened, and some preliminaries were
    taken. The parishioners, notwithstanding, attended on Easter Monday as
    before, and tendered their doles. The vicar also attended, but
    determinedly refused the money, until his death in 1835, which put a
    stop to the custom. After his death, the vicar's widow set up a claim
    for the arrears, which had been offered and refused, so she took
    nothing by her motion. In 1836 all the tithes were commuted in
    England, under the provision of the Tithes Commutation Act, carried
    into execution by a Cumberland M.P., Mr. Aglionby, whom I knew very
    well, in Lord John Russell's Ministry. These particulars of the
    'truppstone' were furnished me by Mr. Matthew Thompson, Kirkby
    Stephen, one of the county magistrates, who himself--and this clenches
    it as a fact--yearly attended in the churchyard, with his quota, and
    who was present on the very last occasion."

An incident which in some respects has had at least one counterpart
within recent years is recorded as happening at Little Salkeld towards the
end of the fourteenth century. The little chapel there was "desecrated and
polluted by the shedding of blood," and as the parish church of Addingham
was a considerable distance, the vicar was allowed to officiate in his own
vicarage-house "till the interdict should be taken off from the chapel."

There is a curious story attaching to some of the wood-work of Greystoke
Church. The misereres under the choir stalls are very quaintly carved, and
one of them, "the pelican in her piety," was for many years used as the
sign of an inn near the church. From this circumstance the hostelry lost
its old name, the "Masons' Arms," and acquired the modern one of the

Although schools in churches were very common, the holding of Courts in
such buildings could not have been frequent. At Ravenstonedale, where
numerous customs peculiar to the parish or immediate district prevailed,
the people had a strong belief in home rule, and insisted on having it. In
the old church there were two rows of seats below the Communion table,
where the steward of the manor and jury sat in their Court of Judicature
in the sixteenth century. The malefactors were imprisoned in a hollow
arched vault, the ruins of which were to be seen not much more than a
quarter of a century ago on the north side of the church. There was so
much wrangling over cases, and the manifestation of such a bad spirit,
which the parishioners felt was unbecoming and unsuited to such an
edifice, that they petitioned Lord Wharton, the lord of the manor, to have
the trying of cases removed to a house belonging to him which stood near
the church. This was granted, and subsequently the Court was held in the
village inn and other places.

"A gentleman who carries out archidiaconal functions," is the familiar,
though vague, definition of an archdeacon in our own time, but a couple of
centuries ago that church official had very definite duties and powers. As
Mr. G. E. Moser, solicitor, Kendal, once reminded the members of the two
counties' Archæological Society, the visits of the Archdeacon of Richmond
to Kendal--where he sentenced offenders from his chair of state erected in
the High Quire--were looked forward to with awe and reverence. The
churchwardens' books contain the following among other entries:--"Paid for
bent to strawe in the High Quire against Sir Joseph [Cradock] came."
"Paid to the Churchwardens, which they laid out when they delivered their
presentments to Sir Joseph Cradock." "Paid for washing and sweeping the
Church against Sir Joseph's coming to sitt his Court of Correction, which
was the 7 July, 1664." "At the peremptory day, being the 18th day of
October, 1664, the general meeting of the churchwardens, whose names are
herunder written doth order that Geo. Wilkinson shall keep the clock and
chimes in better order, and shall keep swine out of the churchyard, and
whip the dogs out of the church in time of divine service and sermon, and
remove the dunghill and the stable-door which opens into the churchyard
before the next peremptory day, and reform all abuses belonging to his
office, or else the Churchwardens will make complaint so that it shall be
referred to the ordinary."

Chancellor Ferguson told the members that he had found in some documents,
relating to an unnamed Cumberland church, an order that no swine should be
allowed in the churchyard unless they had rings in their noses! There are
many reminders available of the days when rushes or other growths were put
on church floors, by such entries as that in Waberthwaite registers,
dated 1755:--"Bent bought, 12d." At Millom there are charges for dressing
the church. Between 1720 and 1783 there are several entries in the
Hawkshead registers with reference to "strawing the church"--meaning the
covering of the floor with rushes. There are also here, as at Penrith and
some other places, allusions to payments for collecting moss, with which
the rain was often kept out of the churches.

It was, even within the last half century, a common occurrence for dogs to
accompany their owners to church, but the officials did not appreciate the
custom. Mr. John Knotts, in 1734, left an estate at Maulds Meaburn for the
use of the poor of the township, from which five shillings yearly had to
be paid for keeping dogs out of Crosby Ravensworth Church. The legality of
the will was disputed on a technicality, and the heir-at-law paid a sum of
money instead, which was invested, but how long the crown was paid for
anti-dog purposes is not known. The Rev. J. Wilson wrote in his parochial
magazine a few years ago:--"In the olden days in Dalston there was an
officer whose duty it was to whip dogs out of church during service time,
and, strange as it may seem, the custom under another name and in
somewhat altered guise existed till the old church was demolished in 1890.
The parish dog-whipper had £1 a year for his salary during the latter
portion of the 18th century, when the duties of the office were extended
to other matters. In the parish accounts the following entry occurs: 'May
3, 1753 John Gate for whipping the Dogs out of church, opening and
shutting ye sashes, sweeping ye church &c. for one year, £01 00 00.' The
same entry occurs regularly every year till 1764, when his widow
undertakes the job: 'May 6th 1764 Wid: Gate for whipping ye Dogs out of ye
church, opening and shutting ye sashes, sweeping ye church £01 00 00.' The
office of dog-whipper continues to be mentioned every year till 1774, when
it disappears, and the entry is changed to: 'May 1, 1774, Wid: Gate for
cleaning ye church £01 00 00.'" The church records show that at Penrith an
annual payment of two shillings was made for many years to the
dog-whipper. Among the items bearing on church expenses contained in the
Torpenhow registers in 1759, was an annual allowance of 5s. to the sexton
for whipping dogs out of the church, and that he might the more
efficiently do his work he was granted an extra allowance of 3d. for a
whip and 2d. for a thong. There is an item in the Waberthwaite records
which runs:--"According to the canons laitly sett down, four sydmen
[synodsmen] are to be appointed every year, one of whose duties is to
keepe the dogges out of the chirche, 1605." At Hawkshead a dog-whipper was
provided from 1723 to 1784. If the following paragraph, which appeared in
the _Cumberland Pacquet_, in January, 1817, may be believed, there was at
least one dog which would not incur the wrath of either parson or
dog-whipper:--"Mr. William Wood of Asby, parish of Arlecdon, has a cur dog
which for these four years past has regularly attended church, if within
hearing of the bells; and what is more singular, the animal never misses
going to his master's seat whether any of the family attend or not."

Manorial Laws and Curiosities of Tenures.

No doubt because of the proximity of the district to the Border, the
tenures by which certain properties were held in Cumberland and
Westmorland must be regarded as quite local in their character. The
observances are, of course, all the more interesting on that account, and
even in cases for which parallels are to be found in other parts of the
kingdom, little peculiarities may sometimes be seen in local instances
which throw light on the former habits of the people. Lords of manors were
once individuals possessed of great powers. The lords of Millom held their
property for hundreds of years, and had _jura regalia_ within the
seignory, in memory of which a modern stone erected at Gallow, half a mile
below Millom Castle, has the inscription,

  "Here the Lords of Millom exercised jura regalia."

The lord of the manor of Troutbeck, Windermere, is also believed to have
formerly exercised a jurisdiction over capital offences.

Where such powers existed, it is by no means surprising that the homage
exacted from tenants and servitors on various occasions was of a character
that in modern days would be regarded as extremely degrading. Thus when a
free tenant went to his lord's residence to do homage according to custom
and duty, he was ushered into the presence of his superior without sword
or other arms, and with his head uncovered. The lord remained seated, and
the tenant with profound reverence knelt before the great man. With his
clasped or joined hands placed between those of the lord, the homager
repeated the following vow, which seems to have been in practically the
same terms in various manors:--"I become your man from this day forward,
for life, for member, and for worldly honour, and unto you shall be true
and faithful, and bear you faith for the lands that I hold of you, saving
the faith that I owe to our Sovereign Lord the King." The lord, still
sitting, then kissed the tenant, as a token of his approbation. In
Cumberland and Westmorland there are several villages named Carleton, this
being one of the reminders of the days of serfdom. The carls were simply
the basest sort of servants--practically slaves.

The former servile condition of the poor in the neighbourhood of barons'
houses is also preserved in such names as Bongate, or as it was always
written in old documents, Bondgate, at Appleby. In the great trial between
the Cliffords and the burghers, when the former claimed the services of
the freemen, it was decided that neither Robert de Vetripont nor any of
his heirs ever had seizin of the borough, where the burgesses lived, but
that King John gave to him "_Vetus Apilbi ubi villani manent_"--"Old
Appleby, where the bondmen dwell." The bondmen, or villeins, were probably
of the same social standing as those known as drenges, the Cliffords
having very many drengage tenements in various parts of their Sheriffwick.
"The drenges were pure villeins--doubtless Saxons kept in a state of the
vilest slavery, being granted by the lords of the manor, with a piece of
land, like so many oxen. In fact they were as much the property of the
lord of the manor as the negroes in the West Indian Colonies were formerly
the property of the sugar planters. It is probable that the drenges were
employed to perform all the servile and laborious offices at Brougham
Castle; for in 1359, Engayne, lord of Clifton, granted to Roger de
Clifford, by indenture, the service of John Richardson, and several
others mentioned by name, with their bodies and all that belonged to

In the reign of Richard the First there was given to the church of
Carlisle, "lands in Lorton, with a mill there, and all its rights and
appendages, and namely the miller, his wife, and children"--apparently
clear evidence of the servitors being regarded as part of the property.

Several manorial lords claimed for their tenants the right to go toll-free
throughout England. This was the case with Armathwaite, while the
privilege also pertained to the prioress and nuns at Nunnery. The manor of
Acorn Bank, near Temple Sowerby, used to have the right, or rather the
privilege was claimed. In the time of the late Mr. John Boazman (the
immediate predecessor of Mr. Henry Boazman, the present owner), the
following was written:--"The lords of this manor can still claim and
exercise for themselves and tenants all the privileges granted to the
Knights Templars, the most important of which is exemption from toll
throughout England. The tenants when travelling carry a certificate,
signed and sealed by the lord of the manor. This certificate, after
reciting part of the old charter, concludes as follows:--'Which charter
[that of Henry the Second] was confirmed by King Charles of England,
Scotland, and Ireland, in the fourth year of his reign, in witness whereof
I, the said John Boazman, as lord of the manor, have executed and set my
manorial seal.'" The burgesses of Appleby also possessed under their early
charters privileges of a like character, and these would doubtless be of
very appreciable value.

The ancient family of Hoton, or Hutton, were by Edward the Third, in
consideration of the service rendered to him by Thomas de Hoton in the
wars against Scotland, restored to the bailiwick and office of keeping the
King's land or forest in Plumpton, which was first bestowed upon them
prior to the time of Edward the First. It is believed that this led to the
family taking a horn as their badge. Besides the monetary payment of
something under £2 yearly, it was found in the reign of Henry the Seventh
that the lands were also held by the service of holding the stirrup of the
King's saddle while his Majesty mounted his horse in the Castle of
Carlisle. The adjoining manor of Newton Reigny was held in the early days
of the Lowthers by the service of finding for the King in his wars against
Scotland one horseman with a horse of the value of forty shillings, armed
with a coat of mail, an iron helmet, a lance, and a sword, abiding in the
war for forty days with the King's person. At a later date the terms were
varied; there was then the paying of two shillings per annum for cornage,
and the providing, for the King's army, "one horseman with habiliments,
one lance, and one long sword." Penrith and five other manors were once
held by the Kings of Scotland by paying one soar-hawk yearly to the
constable of the Castle of Carlisle, with some privileges concerning
rights in Inglewood Forest. The manor of Cargo, near Carlisle, was held
for many generations by the family of de Ross, by the rendering of a hawk
or a mark of silver yearly. When the same manor was the property of the
Lacys, it was held by cornage, and afterwards by the Vescys for a mew'd
hawk yearly in lieu of all services.

In the manor of Gaitsgill and Raughton were twenty-two freehold tenants in
1777, who paid 28s. 8-3/4d. yearly free rent, did suit and service at the
lord's court when called upon, and paid yearly to the Duke of Portland as
chief lord of the Forest of Inglewood £2 13s. 2d., besides sending a man
to appear for them at the Forest Court at Hesket every St. Barnabas's
Day, and that representative was to be on the inquest. This manor was at
the Conquest "all forest and waste ground," and was enclosed by one
Ughtred, who held of the King "for keeping the eyries of hawks which bred
in the Forest of Inglewood." The posterity of Ughtred took their surname
from Gatesgill, and adopted the sparhawk for their cognisance. The
neighbouring manor of High Head (Higheved) was held of Edward the Third by
William English by the service of one rose yearly. Later, in the time of
Henry the Eighth, it was held by William Restwold as an approvement of the
forest by fealty and the service of rendering at the King's exchequer of
Carlisle one red rose yearly at the feast of St. John the Baptist.

In the reign of Philip and Mary, Alexander Armstrong was granted a
considerable amount of property, including a mill, in the parish of
Gilcrux, at a very low rental, on condition of finding and maintaining
five horsemen "ready and well-furnished, whenever the King and Queen and
the successors of the Queen shall summon them within the county." In
documents belonging to the abbey of Holme Cultram, whereby Flemingby (now
known as Flimby, between Maryport and Workington) was handed over to the
monks, Gospatric, the donor, inserted a clause that he would himself do
for the monastery "noutegeld and the like due to the King; and also to the
lord of Allerdale of seawake, castleward, pleas, aids, and other
services." The nutgeld tax--an impost apparently peculiar to the Border
counties--was even last century frequently enforced in Cumberland and

The custom of providing for gilt spurs was of a practical kind, the
articles being peculiarly useful to the grantor. "Every knight (who served
on horseback) was obliged to wear gilt spurs; hence they were called
_equites aurati_." The reservation, by Gospatrick, of homage to be
performed by William de Lancastre has provided some interesting questions
for past generations of historians and antiquaries. William de Lancastre
the second gave thirty marks to the King that he might have the privilege
of fighting a duel with Gospatrick, and the theory propounded was that
this contest was caused because "the tenant's proud spirit could not brook
such a humiliation as that of doing homage." Remembering the conditions of
life, the supposition is not at all improbable, for what man of good birth
would care to submit to perform the service described in the second
paragraph of this chapter? In the same parish of Kirkby Lonsdale, William
de Pickering had the manor of Killington granted to him for the yearly
payment of a pair of gilt spurs, or sixpence, at the feast of Pentecost,
and the service of the twentieth part of one knight's service when
occasion should require.

Alice Lucy, a member of the once very powerful family of that name,
reserved out of Wythop a penny rent service, or a pair of gloves; and a
long time afterwards it was found that Sir John Lowther, knight, held the
same manor "by homage, fealty, and suit of court at Cockermouth ... and
the free rent of one penny or one red rose." The manor, now held by Sir
Henry R. Vane, Bart., Hutton-in-the-Forest, was subsequently sold to the
Fletchers under the services just mentioned. In addition to a heavy fine,
and a rental of £10 yearly, Thomas de Multon paid "one palfrey for the
office of forester of Cumberland," granted to the family by King John. One
of Multon's ancestors, Richard de Lucy, also gave money and a palfrey in
order to obtain the grant and other privileges.

At Hesket, yearly, on St. Barnabas's Day, by the highway side under a
thorn tree (according to the very ancient manner of holding assemblies in
the open air), wrote Nicolson in 1777, was kept the Court for the whole
forest of Inglewood, to which Court the manors within that vast
circumference (above twenty in number), owed suit and service; and a jury
was there impannelled and sworn for the whole forest. It is a shadow or
relic of the ancient Forest Courts; and here they pay their compositions
for improvements, purprestures, agistments, and puture of the foresters,
and the jurors being obliged to attend from the several manors, seems to
be part of that service which was called _witnesman_. "Improvements" in
this case means permission to take up open lands belonging to the manorial

Horn tenures, locally known as cornage, were common. At Brougham Hall is
preserved the old and quaintly fashioned horn which was sounded by the
former owners of the estates in complying with the requirement to blow a
horn in the van of the King and his army, when the monarch went into
Scotland, or at other times when the Scots made incursions to the southern
side of the Border. An interesting relic of the same description is
possessed at Carlisle--the "Horn of the Altar." The Charter Horn has thus
been described by Archdeacon Prescott:--"In the year 1290 a claim was made
by the King, Edward the First, and by others, to the tithes on certain
lands lately brought under cultivation in the Forest of Inglewood. The
Prior of Carlisle appeared on behalf of his convent, and urged their right
to the property on the ground that the tithes had been granted to them by
a former King, who had enfeoffed them by a certain ivory horn which he
gave to the Church of Carlisle, and which they possessed at that time. The
Cathedral of Carlisle has had in its possession for a great number of
years, two fine walrus tusks, with a portion of the skull. They appear in
ancient inventories of the goods of the cathedral as 'one horn of the
altar in two parts,' or 'two horns of the altar' (1674), together with
other articles of the altar furniture. But antiquaries came to the
conclusion that these were identical with the 'ivory horn' referred to
above.... Such Charter Horns were not uncommon in ancient days."

Blackmail used to bear a significance not fully understood by the modern
use of the word. In the north of England it signified, especially in
Cumberland, a certain rent of money, corn, or other things, anciently paid
to persons inhabiting upon or near the Border, being men of name and
power, allied with certain robbers within those counties, to be freed and
protected from the devastations of those depredators. By 43 Elizabeth,
cap. 13, it was provided that to take any such money or contribution,
called blackmail, to secure goods from rapine, was made capital felony, as
well as the offences such contribution was meant to guard against. Tenants
in those old times had nearly all the privileges of paying; their
opportunities for getting anything without cash or labour were few. One
such concession which they enjoyed was "plowbote," being the right of
tenants to take wood to repair their ploughs, carts, and harrows; and for
the making of such articles of husbandry as rakes and forks. Fire-bote was
the term applied to a right enjoyed by many tenants, being the fuel for
firing, and obtainable out of the lands granted to them. Timber-lode was a
service by which tenants were to carry to the lord's house timber felled
in his woods. The Dean and Chapter of Carlisle were formerly obliged to
provide the tenants of the manor of Morland with wood for the reparation
of their houses. This was released by an endowment of £16 per annum,
being given by the Dean and Chapter to the school.

Boon services of all kinds were common in all the manors along what is
known as the eastern fell side--the base of Cross Fell, and north and
south thereof. Before they were enfranchised by Sir Michael le Fleming,
the tenants of Skirwith had to supply such boons as reaping, mowing,
ploughing, harrowing, carrying coals, and spinning a stipulated number of
hanks of yarn. Up to the latter half of last century each tenant of the
manor of Threlkeld was obliged to find half a draught for one day's
ploughing; give one day mowing, one day shearing, one day clipping, and
one day salving sheep; one carriage load once in two years, but not to go
above ten miles; and to dig and lead two loads of peats every year, the
tenants to have sufficient meat and drink when they performed these
services. The cottagers were to perform the same services, only instead of
half a plough they were to find one horse with a harrow, and a footman
instead of a carriage load. The tenants were also bound to the lord's
mill, pay the fortieth corn, and to maintain the wall and thatch of the
mill. The tenants had house-boot (wood for repairing their houses) as set
out by the lord's bailiff; peats, turves, ling, whins, limestone, and
marl, with stones and slate for building. About 1764, half the tenants
bought off these services at a cost of five guineas each, the mill service
only excepted. The tenements paid twopence each yearly as greenhue rent,
an impost which was once a common payment by Cumberland and Westmorland
manorial tenants; along with it in the Eskdale and Mitredale manors of the
Earls of Egremont was a due called "door-toll." What may have been the
origin of the latter seems to be now unknown.

At Parsonby, near Aspatria, the tenants had to give to the parson each one
boon day yearly at reaping. In the neighbouring parish of Blennerhasset
the tenants, besides being subjected to heriots, each provided one day at
mowing, shearing, ploughing, and meadows dressing, and two days leading
coals. Higher up the fells the score of tenants at High Ireby and
Ruthwaite, under Mr. Fletcher, had to give one day a year, or pay
threepence; one would suppose the most economical alternative was to pay
cash. At Egremont the burgesses who had ploughs were obliged to till the
lord's demesne one day in the year, but every burgess was required to
find a reaper. In one of the manors of the parish of Wetheral, the
tenants, in addition to their monetary payments, had to render to the
Aglionby family, of Nunnery, boon days shearing and leading corn, with a
certain quantity of oats called foster oats, six pecks being equal to four
of Carlisle measure. Various attempts have been made within recent years
to ascertain definitely what was the origin and meaning of the term.
Nicolson says it was "perhaps heretofore for the use of the foresters,
this part being within the forest of Inglewood." That this was probable is
also shown by a rule which existed in the barony of Greystoke, which was
held of the King _in capite_ by the service of one entire barony,
rendering £4 yearly at the fairs of Carlisle, suit at the County Court
monthly, and serving the King in person against Scotland. The lord's
tenants, of whom there were some hundreds early in this century, had to
pay "a 20d. fine on the death of lord or tenant, and a 30d. fine upon
alienation; also to pay foster rents, foster corn, mill rents, greenhue,
peat silver, and boons for mowing and leading peats."

There are many curious regulations bearing upon local tenures, but there
is not lacking evidence that some of a still more noteworthy character
have either been allowed to drop out of recognition, or the duties have
been compounded for. Silver-penny fines are still enforced occasionally.
In Mr. J. E. Hasell's manor of Dacre, when a mortgagee of real estate is
admitted to the court roll, he has to pay a fine of a silver penny for
each. Heriots is a manorial impost about which some curious information
has at various times been published. Many lords of manors and landlords
have during the last half century allowed many of their rights in this
direction to drop, while others have put on small money payments in lieu
both of heriots and services. All customary property in the barony of
Greystoke, except in the manor of Watermillock, is subject to heriots.

A curious custom obtains in Mr. H. C. Howard's manor of Newbiggin (Dacre),
as shown by a case which arose about thirty years ago. A married woman,
seized in fee of customary lands, died, leaving a husband and child. The
query was raised whether the husband was entitled to the estate for his
own life "as tenant by the curtesy." It was decided that by the custom of
the manor, there being no will, the child or heir at law of a deceased
married woman should take the property absolutely, to the exclusion of the
husband. In the adjoining manor of Barton there is another interesting
rule. A Pooley Bridge man, who held certain property of the manor by
payment of a rent of a shilling per annum, died intestate and a bachelor.
His nearest relatives were two nieces, daughters of a deceased brother.
The question was asked whether the two women would be co-heiresses, as in
some other manors, but the eldest was found to take all, to the exclusion
of her sister. The custom of the manor of Inglewood is to the same effect,
the eldest daughter, sister, or other female descendant inheriting.

A question arose some forty-five years ago as to a peculiar custom
existing in the barony of Greystoke. Mr. William Bleaymire, the then
steward, stated that by custom of that barony a customary tenant might
convey such tenement without concurrence of his wife, as no widow was
entitled to free bench in lands disposed of by her husband in his
lifetime, he not dying seized thereof. Three or four years later a very
similar question arose in the manor of Glassonby, the particular point
being whether an owner could devise his customary land to his children so
as to deprive his wife (to whom he was married prior to 1834) of her dower
or free bench therein. The late Mr. Lawrence Harrison, the steward of the
manor, decided that "the man dies seized of the customary tenement;
therefore, notwithstanding his will, she is entitled to free bench
according to the custom. The Dower Act in nowise affects the custom." It
is a well-known fact that the manorial customs in one village may be
exactly contrary to those obtaining in an adjoining one. In some manors
daughters are practically unnoticed, and in this connection an interesting
point connected with the manor of Watermillock once came up. Mr. Bleaymire
decided that an eldest daughter would be entitled to certain property in
that manor, subject to her mother's free bench, which was one half.

A fruitful source of litigation, and of disputes of a less costly
character, may be found in the demands made even in quite recent times,
that purchasers should personally attend the Manorial Court in order to
have admittance. In some local cases such attendance is rigidly enforced,
but in others--the manor of Edenhall for instance--the purchaser is
admitted on production of deed of bargain and sale. The law books contain
many cases in which this point has been stubbornly fought. In the manor of
Cumwhitton no admittances are granted, but the property passes by deed of
bargain and sale with the licence of the steward endorsed on the deed, and
a simple enrolment of the purchaser. In the manors of Morland, Plumpton,
and Croglin, the parties seeking to be admitted must attend in person or
by attorney.

In the manor of Renwick, by an indenture mutually agreed upon in 1676, the
tenants, in addition to a variety of financial payments, were obliged to
scour and cleanse the water course to the lord's mill from the bottom up
to the mill trough head, and maintain the mill with wall and thatch; bring
millstones thereto, and grind their corn thereat, paying a twenty-fourth
multure. They were entitled to such house-boot as the steward might be
pleased to allot. Some of the mills were of considerable value, a fact
which will be readily understood when it is remembered how tenaciously
lords of manors clung to the right almost down to our own time. The lord
of Drigg had a mill, to which, as was so frequently the case, the tenants
were bound. In these days, fortunately, this and other requirements are
not enforced. The same manor had flotsam, jetsam, and lagan, "and so it
was adjudged upon a trial at bar between Henry, Earl of Northumberland,
and Sir Nicholas Curwen in Queen Elizabeth's time, and afterwards a decree
in Chancery for conforming the said prescription and securing that right
to the sea against the lord paramount."

The rector of Caldbeck is, or was, entitled to claim a God's penny upon
the change of tenant by death, in his manor in the lower part of the
parish. Multure ("mooter") was formerly a common form of tax in
Cumberland; very many instances of its imposition by lords of manors might
be quoted, but sometimes it extended to the markets. The following is a
copy of a bill relating to a revolt on the part of the inhabitants of
Cockermouth, but the writer has not been able to discover to what extent,
and whether immediately, the residents in the old borough succeeded in
their protest:--


    At a Meeting of the INHABITANTS of COCKERMOUTH, holden at the COURT
    HOUSE, on SATURDAY the 13th Instant, to take into consideration the
    unjust and illegal manner in which

        The TOLL of GRAIN,

    brought into Cockermouth Market, has for some years past been taken;
    and it having been admitted by the Lord of the Manor, that the Toll of
    Corn is

        _Out of each Sack sold in the
        Market, and no more_;

    It was unanimously resolved, that the undermentioned Gentlemen be
    appointed to attend the Corn Market, for the purpose of observing the
    mode in which the Toll is taken in future; also that the Landowners,
    Farmers, and others, be requested to give information to them, if more
    than the Legal Toll be hereafter required or taken by the Lessees of
    the Tolls, or if they take it from Grain _not actually sold_, in order
    that such measures may be pursued by and for the Parties aggrieved as
    the Law allows.

        Messrs. JOSEPH STEEL,  | Messrs. JOSHUA SIM,
                WILLIAM WOOD,  |         JOHN FISHER,
                JOHN HODGSON,  |         THOMAS WILSON.

    THAT a Meeting of the Inhabitants of Cockermouth, together with the
    Landowners and Farmers of its Vicinity, be holden in the Court House,

        On MONDAY the 22d Inst. at Two o'Clock

    to form an ASSOCIATION for the purpose of PROSECUTING any Person or
    Persons TAKING MORE TOLL than is allowed by the Ancient Prescription.

    _Cockermouth, March 15th, 1830._

The lordship of Millom was anciently exempted from the jurisdiction of the
Sheriff of Cumberland; the lords had power to licence their own
ale-houses, and wreck of the sea was enjoyed until a comparatively recent
period--certainly up to near the end of last century--"whereof," says
Nicolson, "much benefit is frequently made, it being almost surrounded by
the sea."

A very unusual tenure has been noted as being in existence in the township
of Kirkland, a few miles from Wigton. It was stated thus a century and a
quarter ago:--"The tenants have a lease granted to them generally by Mr.
Lancelot Salkeld, father of Sir Francis, for 999 years, paying a certain
yearly rent for every tenement, amounting in the whole to £6 15s. 1d.
yearly, and every twenty-one years they are to pay a fine to the lord,
viz., a twenty-penny fine, which they call a running gressom, and then
take new leases, but pay no general fine upon the lord's death, nor upon
change of tenant, but they pay a heriot upon the death of every tenant."
Tenures of cumin do not appear to have been common in the two counties.
The best known of the kind was in the time of Henry the Eighth, when a
yearly rent of 2-1/2d., and one pound of cumin and services was paid by
the heirs of John Reede to Fountains Abbey, for the fish garths in
Crosthwaite, Keswick.

By the custom of some places a parson might be obliged to keep a bull and
a boar, for the use of the parishioners, in consideration of his having
tithes of calves and pigs. Such a condition held in certain parishes in
Cumberland, but as the stipulation said nothing as to the quality of the
animals to be maintained, many farmers, with the progress of agriculture
and education, began to keep their own, and the requirement gradually
became a dead letter.

A peculiar obligation concerning Sparket Mill was laid on the tenants in
the hamlet of Thackthwaite, in Watermillock parish, as is explained in the
following "Verdict of the Head Jurie of Weathermelock, May 9th,
1709":--"As for the controversie betwixt the Tennents of Thackthwaite and
ye miller of Sparkhead Mill concerning the repairing of the Mill Dam and
the race, we find upon Oath and upon notice given by ye miller the
tennents of Thackthwaite are to make ye race sufficient to carry water
from the Dam to the Trough Head, upon condition that the miller give them
every time they meet to work it a Pott of ale and a pennyworth of tobacco
as they have had formerly. And as for the Dam we likewise find upon Oath
that the repairing of the same belongs to the Lord of ye Mannor."

What would owners of dogs in these days think and say were such
regulations in force as used to be enforced at the ancient Cumberland town
of Egremont? The old ordinances of Richard Lucy for the government of the
borough declared that "those who hold burgage tenure in Egremont shall
find armed men for the defence of the fortress forty days at their own
charge; shall find twelve men for the lord's military array, and be bound
to aids for his redemption from captivity, and hold watch and ward; and
that they shall not enter the forest with bow and arrow, nor cut off their
dogs' feet within the borough." The explanation of the last item is that
the inhabitants of the forest, who kept dogs to defend their dwellings,
were obliged to cut off one foot to prevent their chasing the game, but
the precaution was not considered necessary in the town.

Among the local peppercorn rents the following is interesting. The Gill
estate, in the parish of Bromfield, is said to have belonged to the Reays
"as long as any other estate in the kingdom has been in one family." The
tradition is that the head of the family had the then extensive lands of
Gill granted to him and his heirs by William the Lion, King of Scotland in
the twelfth century, not only in reward for his fidelity to his prince,
but as a memorial of his extraordinary swiftness of foot in pursuing the
deer; outstripping in fleetness most of the horsemen and dogs. The
conditions of the grant were that he should pay a peppercorn yearly, and
that the name of William should, if possible, be perpetuated in the
family. There were several eminent men among the descendants, but the
distinctive Christian name is no longer strictly adhered to.

An estate enjoying exemption from payments of tithes is that of Scale
Houses, in the parish of Renwick. This arose, declared a writer early in
the present century, "owing to an ancient owner of the land having slain a
noxious cockatrice, which the vulgar at this day call a crack-a-Christ as
they rehearse the simple fable." The document which gives this exemption
is believed to be still in existence. Among the dues to which the abbot
and convent of Shap could claim were services and money payments from
Bampton as "alms corn," and there was a similar tribute from Mauld's
Meaburn and Hoff. Burn mentions in his chapter on Bewcastle a tenant's
duty not publicly noted in any other local manor, the people having to pay
yearly customary rent, quit rents for improvements, and £2 1s. 4d.
_carriage money_, whatever that may have been.

There was a curious regulation in one of the divisions of Windermere
parish, which lasted up to about 1780:--"It was anciently customary in the
township of Applethwaite for every tenant's wife who lived below the
highway to pay 5d. yearly rent to the lord of the manor, and every other
woman above 16 years of age 2d., above the road every tenant's wife paid
3d., and every other woman above 16, a penny. How this custom originated,
or why the ladies on the low side of the road were rated higher than their
contemporaries in the opposite division, we are unable to say."[9]

Among the old manorial officers at Cockermouth chosen at the Michaelmas
Courts were a bailiff, assessors, assessors of bread and ale,
mill-lookers, moor-lookers, hedge-lookers, leather searchers,
swine-ringers, and appraisers. The jury of the Leet formed the special
jury for the government of the borough, and the bailiff was the returning
officer for elections, as well as clerk of the market. At Egremont the
officers chosen annually were a borough serjeant, two bailiffs, four
constables, two hedge and corn-viewers, and assessors of damages. Most of
the old manors, indeed, would furnish examples of quaint offices, whose
purpose is now scarcely known. A good deal might be written concerning the
old manorial and other Courts of the two counties. Occasionally these
still afford interesting proceedings, but the real purpose for holding
them has ceased to exist. The Courts of Pie Poudre, at Appleby and several
other places; the Court of Conscience, or, as it was commonly called, the
Wapentake Court, and the Court of Record at Kendal; and the many Court
Leets, are now merely matters of local history.

Old-Time Punishments.

If one feature is more prominent than another in connection with former
methods of repressing crime, or of punishing those who had been declared
guilty of breaches of the law, it is that of brutality. Refinement, even
in retribution, is perhaps not to be expected, having regard to the habits
of the people and the conditions under which they lived. In the
neighbourhood of the Border, "Jeddart justice"--to hang a man first and
try him afterwards--was doubtless often found a convenient arrangement for
dealing with those who were supposed to be delinquents. There is at least
one case on record, too, of the drowning of a supposed witch at Carlisle,
though the unfortunate woman was probably guilty of no more serious
offence than being insane.

One of the most remarkable executions on record was that of Sir Andrew de
Harcla, whose place in North-Country history is too well known to need
further reference. He offended Edward the Second--whether he was as guilty
as some historians have endeavoured to show is certainly a matter of
opinion--and that monarch sent commissioners to Carlisle to seize de
Harcla for treason. "The law" in those days was merely another name for
the caprice of the King, and de Harcla had no trial. The cedula, or
judgment, ran that Sir Andrew de Harcla, Earl of Carlisle, should be
stripped of his Earl's robes and ensigns of knighthood, his sword broken
over his head, his gilt spurs hacked from his heels, and that he should be
drawn to the place of execution, and there hanged by the neck; his heart
and bowels taken out of his body, burnt to ashes and winnowed, his body
cut into four quarters, one to be set upon the principal tower of Carlisle
Castle, another on the tower of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, a third upon the
bridge at York, and the fourth at Shrewsbury, and his head upon London

There has been doubt thrown upon the extent to which this revolting
sentence was obeyed. Dr. Burn says "it was performed accordingly," while
the monks of Lanercost record that de Harcla "suffered in the ordinary
place of execution with great fortitude, affirming to the end that in his
transactions with the King of Scotland he had meant no hurt to his own
King or country." On the scaffold, they add, he said, "You have disposed
of my body at your pleasure; my soul, which is above your disposal, I give
to God." It was customary to allow a sledge or hurdle on which persons
condemned for high treason were dragged to the gallows; there is nothing
in local records to show in what way the Earl was conveyed to the place of

A question which has occupied a good deal of the attention of local
antiquaries at various times is whether the body was dismembered and the
parts dispersed as ordered. De Harcla's sister petitioned Edward the Third
for the restitution of her brother's body for burial, and the order
addressed to de Lucy, who had been de Harcla's executioner, is still in
existence. It runs thus:--"The King to his faithful and beloved Anthony de
Lucy, Warden of Carlisle Castle, greeting. We command that you cause to be
delivered without delay the quarter of the body of Andrew de Harcla, which
hangs by the command of the Lord Edward, late King of England, our father,
upon the walls of the said Castle, to our beloved Sarah, formerly the wife
of Robert de Leyburn, sister to the aforesaid Andrew, to whom we of our
grace have granted that she may collect together the bones of the same
Andrew, and commit them to holy sepulture, whenever she wishes or her
attorney. And this you shall in no wise omit. Witness the King at York,
the 10th of August (1337), by the King himself." A portion of the body is
believed to have been buried in Kirkby Stephen Church; the tradition was
strengthened by the discovery of part of the bones of a man under peculiar
conditions when the church was rebuilt half a century ago.

Although there are several Gallows Hills in Cumberland and Westmorland,
there only seems to be one place which has retained any particular story,
and it is thus told in Mr. William Andrews' third book relating to
punishments[10]:--"It has been asserted by more than one local chronicler
that John Whitfield, of Cotehill, a notorious North-Country highwayman,
about 1768 was gibbeted alive on Barrock. He kept the countryside in a
state of terror, and few would venture out after nightfall for fear of
encountering him. He shot a man on horseback in open daylight; a boy saw
him commit the crime, and was the means of his identification and
conviction. It is the belief in the district that Whitfield was gibbeted
alive, that he hung for several days in agony, and that his cries were
heartrending, until a mail coachman passing that way put him out of his
misery by shooting him."

There is a contemporary record of the execution to be found in the _St.
James's Chronicle_, for August 12th, 1768, as follows:--"Wednesday, John
Whitfield, for murdering William Cockburn on the Highway, near
Armithwaite, was executed at Carlisle, and afterwards hung in Chains near
the Place where the Fact was committed." It will be seen that the record
makes no mention of the culprit having been put into his iron cage when
alive, and one can only hope that there is nothing beyond tradition to
support the assertion.

Next we come to the gibbeting of a Threlkeld man, one of the earliest
recorded instances of that punishment being imposed in the County
Palatine. The facts are contained in the Rydal papers, published in 1890
by the Historical Manuscripts Commission. Writing from Rydal on November
24th, 1671, to Sir Joseph Williamson, Sir Daniel Fleming said:--

    "Being lately in Lancashire I received there--as a justice of the
    peace of that county--an information against one Thomas Lancaster,
    late of Threlkeld in Cumberland, who, it is very probable, hath
    committed the most horrid act that hath been heard of in this
    countrey. He marryed the 30th of January last a wife in Lancashire,
    who was agreed to be marryed that very day, or soon after, to another;
    and her father afterwards conveyed all his reall estate to this
    Lancaster upon his giveing security to pay severall sums of money to
    himselfe and his other daughters. And through covetousness to pay
    these and other payments it is very probable that Lancaster hath
    lately poysoned--with white arsenic--his wife, her father, her three
    sisters, her aunt, her cosin-german, and a servant boy, besides poyson
    given to severall of his neighbours who are and have been sick, that
    people--as it is presumed--might think the rest dead of a violent
    fevor. I have committed him prisoner unto Lancaster Castle and shall
    take what more evidence I can meet with against the next assizes, that
    he may there have a fair triall, and--if he be found guilty--such a
    punishment as the law shall inflict upon such like offenders."

On April 3rd, of the following year, Sir Daniel, writing to Sir George
Fletcher, at Hutton, returned to the subject, after he had discussed
private affairs and the action of the Judges with regard to the Papists.
At the Lent Assizes at Lancaster, he said, "Thomas Lancaster has been
found guilty of poisoning eight persons, and is to be hanged in chains."
Three weeks later in a letter to Sir William Wilde, Justice of the Common
Pleas, the same gossip recorded that "Thomas Lancaster has confessed that
he poisoned the old woman with arsenic, for a bribe of £24 from the heir
to her estate, worth £16 per annum." It is, however, to the church
registers of Hawkshead that we must turn for an account of the final
proceedings, the entry being under date April 8th, 1672:--

    "Thomas Lancaster, who for poysonninge his owne family was adjudgt att
    the assizes att Lancaster to be carried back to his owne house att
    Hye-Wrey, where he liv'd, was there hanged before his owne doore till
    he was dead for that very facte, and then was brought with a horse and
    carr into the Coulthouse meadows and forthwithe hunge upp in iron
    chaynes on a gibbett, which was set up for that very purpose on the
    South syde, of Sawrey Casey, neare unto the Poole Stang, and there
    continued until such tymes as he rotted every bone from the other."

There are records of wholesale executions in Cumberland for what may be
called political offences. When the authorities were subduing Aske's
rebellion, for instance, little was thought of hanging a score of men, and
many readers will no doubt remember the bravery of the victims' wives on
some of those occasions, for at the risk of their own necks they removed
their executed husbands from the gallows and buried the bodies by night.
At Appleby in former days doubtless many executed men were subjected to
the further indignity of being drawn and quartered. In 1664 three of the
men who supported Captain Atkinson, of Mallerstang, were, at a special
assize in the county town, convicted of high treason for their share in
the Kaber Rigg rising, and all were hanged, drawn, and quartered. It was
not until the autumn of 1675 that Captain Atkinson was sentenced to die
the death of a traitor, and pursuant to sentence was hanged, drawn, and
quartered on September 1st. It was once common to hand over the bodies of
those who had suffered on the gallows to surgeons for dissection. Probably
the last Gallows Hill victim thus dealt with was George Mackereth, of
Kendal, who was hanged in 1748 for the murder of his sweetheart.

A more interesting study is to be found in the methods adopted by the
clergy when dealing with refractory individuals. Of excommunication, as
imposed in the diocese of Carlisle, much might be written from the records
preserved in the registry, for not only were poor folks put under the ban.
Bishops and priors were declared "excommunicate," while rectors, vicars,
and less important people by the score seem to have offended.

One case of post-mortem punishment at Penrith, by way of appeasing the
wrath of a former Bishop, may be quoted. The latter required the
Archdeacon of Carlisle to seek out and summon certain malefactors who had
insulted him while on a visit to the town. Three years seem to have passed
before anything was done, and by that time one of the culprits had died
and been buried. The Bishop ordered the body to be dug up, and to lie
unburied until the form of absolution had been gone through. In
connection, apparently, with the same affair, the Bishop "signified" to
the Court of King's Bench that John de Agliunby, who had been
excommunicated for assaulting and wounding a priest, "after the term of
forty days still remains impenitent and unabsolved," and so the aid of the
secular arm was invoked to coerce him. What the result may have been does
not appear.

There is a peculiar case, perhaps less known than any--that of the priest
or friar who officiated at the Brunskill conventicle, and made a good
harvest from the "miraculous" cures wrought by the strong iron water at
the Holy Well, Brough. The vicar obtained the Pope's authority, and the
offender was duly excommunicated.

In the Ven. Archdeacon Prescott's recently edited transcript of the
"Register of Wetherhall" may be read the full terms of a somewhat peculiar
Cumberland case of excommunication and penance. Robert Highmore, Lord of
Bewaldeth, had taken a mare, the property of John Overhouse of that place,
as a heriot, before the church of Torpenhow had got the mortuary, and he
was promptly punished in the orthodox way. Having quickly asked
absolution, and restored the mare to Sir Robert Ellargill (for the parsons
were always styled "Sir" in those days), vicar of Torpenhow, and by way of
penance given the six best oaks in his wood, the Bishop absolved him. In
some parts of the country the second best horse was due to the Church,
and, says an old historian, "was carried, by the name of mortuary, or
corse present, before the corpse, and delivered to the priest at the place
of sepulture." But in the diocese of Carlisle the Church was first served,
and the lord only got the second best. Bishop Barrow, who ascended the
episcopal throne at Carlisle in 1423, anathematized all men who took the
heriot before "the Holy Kirke" got the mortuary. The punishment of
excommunicating was far from being reserved for the lower orders. Quite a
long story might be made of the part taken in this way, in the thirteenth
century, by the Bishop of Carlisle, who excommunicated the Bishop of
Dunkeld for refusing to pay the Pope's tenth for the Holy Land.

When it became a matter of cursing wrong-doers, there was generally no
tendency towards mincing words. Christian, Bishop of Glasgow, who became a
professor of the Cistercian order, gave to the Abbey of Holme Cultram the
grange of Kirkwinny. In this grant, quoted in Dugdale's "Monasticon," the
Bishop charged all men to protect and defend the grange, as they valued
the blessing of God and of himself; threatening, if they did otherwise,
that they should incur the papal excommunication, the curses of Almighty
God and of himself, and the pains of eternal fire.

In 1361 several persons being accused of shedding blood in the church and
churchyard of Bridekirk, were decreed to be excommunicated by the greater
excommunication, and the incumbents of all the churches of the deanery of
Allerdale were ordered to publish the sentence against them on every
Sunday and holiday at high mass, when the largest number of people should
be gathered together, the bells ringing, the candles lighted and put out,
and the cross erected. The mother church of Greystoke being much out of
repair, the belfry fallen, and the wooden shingles on the roof mostly
scattered, and the inhabitants of Threlkeld and Watermillock refusing to
contribute their proportion of the charge, the Bishop, at his visitation
in 1382, issued his injunction "to all and every of them," under pain of
the greater excommunication--a proceeding which in those superstitious
times no doubt quickly had the desired effect. Indeed no great provocation
would seem to have been needed to bring the punishment of excommunication.
Complaint having been made of some unknown persons riotously breaking into
the houses and grange at Wet Sleddale, and committing disorders, a former
Bishop issued his mandate to the Dean of Westmorland, and the local
clergy, to denounce the greater excommunication at the time of high mass,
the bells to ring, and the candles to be put out, against the rioters.

One of the vicars of Appleby St. Lawrence, Thomas de Burnley, was cited to
York for neglecting to serve the chantry in Appleby Castle--doubtless the
action was taken at the instigation of the Hereditary High Sheriff. On
Burnley not appearing before the Judge of the Prerogative Court of the
abbot and convent, he was excommunicated. The sentence was ordered to be
read in the parish churches of St. Lawrence and St. Michael, Appleby, and
in other churches and public places in the dioceses of Carlisle and York,
every Sunday and holiday, so long as the abbot and convent required, or
until he should comply and make satisfaction to the judge and parties.
Burnley was not the only holder of his office who objected to the castle
service, as Sir Walter Colwyn, who was appointed vicar of the parish forty
years previously, was also sentenced (doubtless to be excommunicated) for
"having endeavoured to throw the charges of serving the chantry in the
castle upon the prior and convent of Wetheral."

About the middle of the fourteenth century, Bishop Welton sent out his
mandate to the rector of Brougham and another cleric to denounce the
sentence of greater excommunication against certain unknown persons who
had broken up a paved way and done some other outrages in the churchyard
of Penrith, reserving to himself the sole power of absolution. Thereupon
several of the inhabitants made a pilgrimage across country to Rose,
confessed themselves guilty, and prayed for a remission of the heavy
sentence. That was granted on condition of each man offering, by way of
penance, a wax candle of three pounds weight, before the image of St.
Mary in the parish church of Penrith on the following Sunday. In the same
year the vicar of Penrith had a licence granted to him, to continue from
March 8th to the Easter following, to hear the confessions of all his
parishioners, and to give absolution upon the performance of penance
injoined. Some exceptionally bad cases were, however, specially reserved
by the Bishop. Persons who suffered from the ecclesiastical ban were
deprived of the right of burial in the churchyard. Two cases of the kind
are recorded in the Penrith registers for 1623. "August 29th, Lanc. Wood,
being excommunicate, buried on the Fell. September 5th, Richd. Gibbon,
being excommunicate, buried on the Fell."

The most noteworthy instance of a man of any eminence in the Church being
visited with excommunication during the last two centuries is probably
that of Dr. Todd, who was vicar of Penrith in the first quarter of the
eighteenth century. He and Bishop Nicolson had a long and bitter quarrel
as to the rights of the prelate in local Church affairs. The diocesan at
length suspended the vicar _ab officio et beneficio_, and then
excommunicated him. The story throughout is not of a particularly
edifying character; Dr. Todd took his punishment very lightly, and
afterwards he and the Bishop seem to have been very good friends again.

Still later there are to be found records in various parish registers of
ecclesiastical pressure being brought to bear on parishioners. Without any
reason being shown in the register, Jane Curry was declared excommunicate,
December 10th, 1732, by Hugh Brown, curate of Hayton. At
Kirkandrews-on-Esk the churchwardens' book shows a list of presentments
for not bringing children to be baptised; for clandestine marriages,
fornication, and contumacy. The parties were either excommunicated, or did
penance, in the church on Sunday. One man did his penance in 1711 after
having for fornication been excommunicated for thirty years; another man
was excommunicated for refusing to be churchwarden. In 1785 two couples
were publicly rebuked in church for clandestine marriage, and Sir James
Graham, on the application of the curate, Mr. Nichol, ordered all his
tenants to pay their fees properly. Clandestine marriages of course
deprived the rector or the curate of the fees, hence the landlord's
reproof and caution.

The power of excommunication, which during the time of Charles the First
had been chiefly exercised against the Romanists, was at the commencement
of the reign of James the Second turned against the Protestant
Nonconformists, with, in some districts, results sometimes curious but
almost always sad. The names of forty-four persons were set out in the
Greystoke register on March 29th, 1685, with this announcement following
them: "Were these persons whose names and sirnames are here under written
denounced excommunicate for their offences, and other their contumacy in
not appearing at Consistorye Court for the reformation of their lives and
manners." Some of the offenders seem to have had only indifferent moral
characters, but the majority were Quakers. Quakerism had been spreading
for many years in the two counties, and during the time Dr. Gilpin was
rector of Greystoke, the Nonconformists, while holding him personally in
the deepest respect, gave him some hard puzzles to solve. "Such were their
novel phrases and cross questions and answers that the doctor seemed
sometimes at a loss what to say to them." Among those who went over to the
Quakers was a noted yeoman in his day--Henry Winder, of Green Close, who
was appointed by the "Friends" to be the Receiver of all their collections
in Cumberland. He, however, afterwards returned to the Presbyterians, and
wrote some noteworthy pamphlets on religious topics. His many quarrels did
not help to wear out his frame, for we read: "Feb. 9th, 1716/7 if was
buried Henry Winder, sen., of Hutton Soyle; who dyed of a dropsy in the
hundredth and first year of his age."

The registers of Bampton contain many curious entries, especially about
people who did not go regularly to church. One, which may be taken as an
example of other reports by the churchwardens, reads:--"We have no
presentments to make but what has been formerly presented, viz., we have
Thomas Braidley and Margret his wife, Richard Simpson, John Hottblacke,
and Syth Gibson, quakers, and noe other we have in our parish, but doe
duely resort to church, nor any other offence presentable to our
knowledge." In other cases it was further noted that "the parties stand
excommunicated." The churchwardens were evidently strict about enforcing
order, and on one occasion reported "William Stephenson for violent
beating of John Wilkinson of Shap upon the sabbath and within the
churchyard." In other ways the churchwardens exercised care; and a woman
got into trouble with them for acting as a midwife "without licence to the
prejudice of several persons." Again, "Lancelot Hogarth is presented to us
by information of Richard Brown for loading corn on the sabbath in time of
divine service." Sometimes the parish clerk had a share in the work; one
of these presented. "James Hayes of Banton, for reading two sale notices,
without leave on the Sabbath day, one in the church, the other in ye

Possibly even Dissenters were not thought to be entirely bad, so long as
they paid their tithes, and in presenting William Simpson once more the
Bampton churchwardens vouched that albeit he was a Quaker he was "a very
moderate one; tho' he absent the church yett he payes his tythes." The
Church authorities seem to have carried out their unpleasant duties with a
due amount of consideration; there is a tone of sympathy about some of the
entries; in others indifference may be noted, as where Richard Simpson and
Margaret Braidley (the latter "very old, not able to go abroad, scarcely
help herself,") are presented along with William Wilson, younger, a
Dissenter--what sort we know not, but he never comes to church. Although
the Howards of Naworth at one time owned the manor of Thornthwaite, and
lived at the Hall, the only entry in which the name is found is the
following: "We have none to present but who have been formerly presented
and doe stand excommunicated, viz., Mr. William Howard and Jane his wife,
papists, Richard Simpson and Margret Braidley, widow, quakers, all that we

Although the sentence of excommunication was frequently used by the
Nonconformist bodies, in this case the proclamation had no such serious
results as followed the sentence in earlier days. Among the records of the
Penrith Presbyterian Church are many allusions to excommunication; one
instance will suffice to illustrate the rest. In 1818, Robert McCreery, a
member of the church, had left the town in company with a woman who was
not his wife, but returning three months afterwards, he petitioned to be
re-admitted to the Presbyterian Society. Before the formalities could be
concluded McCreery seems to have changed his mind and withdrawn his
application, and he was therefore declared from the pulpit to be

At Ravenstonedale, in the days of Philip Lord Wharton, there was a ready
method of dealing with slanderers and other transgressors. The "town" was
governed by twenty-four of the principal inhabitants, called the grand
jury, and the oath which they were required to take included a promise

    "Every person or persons within this lordship which shall be convicted
    before the grand jury for the time being and by them be found to have
    offended against any person or persons within this lordship, either by
    slanderous words or other unlawful speech or report, that the same
    offender or offenders shall, upon such a Sabbath Day, before the
    celebration of the general Communion then next following the
    conviction, and in such manner before the people assembled in the
    church ... appoint the said offender or offenders in penitent manner
    to confess their fault, and to ask the party aggrieved forgiveness for
    the same, upon pain of every such offender or offenders to forfeit to
    the lord of this manor, so often as they shall contemptuously or
    obstinately deny or defer to make their reconcilements, 3s. 4d.: and
    the men in charge of the church not to fail in execution hereof upon
    pain to forfeit to the lord 12d."

Though paying 3s. 4d. seems a small punishment, it was a large sum towards
the end of the reign of Queen Bess, and would be equal to fully £3 now,
while three years after the rule was instituted the fine was doubled. Mr.
Nicholls, in a series of lectures which he delivered in the village some
twenty-four years ago, remarked:--

    "Such a law as this one would expect to be a very wholesome check
    against slander. There is a tradition that the culprit was compelled
    to stand up, wrapt in a white sheet, and confess his fault; but,
    whether this were so or no, the confession must have been a terrible
    ordeal, and I can understand that the fine was often paid. It would
    seem that notwithstanding the fine or penalty, the vice was a
    prevalent one, as its mention is followed by a homily against the sin
    of slander, in which many passages of Scripture are cleverly and
    skilfully incorporated."

The long-since dismantled Abbey of Lanercost had its origin in a tragedy.
Gils Beuth laid claim to a part of Gilsland, and Robert de Vallibus, lord
of Gilsland, slew him at a meeting for agreement appointed between them
under trust and assurance of safety. In consequence of that action
Vallibus laid down arms and began to study law with such good effect that
in time he became a judge. The murder still preyed on his mind until he
made satisfaction to Mother Church by building Lanercost Abbey, and
endowing it with the very lands which had brought about the murder.

Dr. Burn in one instance shows that not only were people allowed "the
option," in some cases, but that the money was put to good use. A silver
communion chalice belonging to Beetham Parish Church "was purchased by the
late Commissary Stratford with money paid in commutation of penance for
adultery and fornication;" its inscription being "OB POEN. MULCT.
DEDICAT. HUIC. ECCLESIÆ, 1716." Slanderers had occasionally to pay not
only a monetary penalty for the free use of their tongues, but to satisfy
the ecclesiastical authorities as well. Chancellor Paley had such a case
before him in November, 1789, where a man had "uttered words of a shameful
nature and unbecoming a Christian, in prejudice to the complainant and his
daughter." The Chancellor "decreed the defendant to do public penance in
the parish church, and to be condemned in all costs." The _Pacquet_ which
thus records the decision, is silent as to the method in which the
punishment was carried out. Penance in connection with illegitimacy was
not uncommon; therefore the following entry which occurs in the Kirby
Thore register, dated June 27th, 1779, after the baptism of an
illegitimate child, must be taken only as an example: "William Bowness, of
Bolton B[achelor]: Frances Spooner, widow, of this Parish, the parents,
underwent a public penance in this church."

The Millom records under date March 27th, 1595, say that Jenet Benson was
"to be sorye for her sins by order of Mr. Commissorye at Botle;" and in
1608 "Barnard Benson did his penance in the parishe chirche of Millom the
19th of March and payed to the poor of the chirche x{s.} which was openly
delivered in the pulpit, vi{s.} viii{d.} at Millom and iii{s.} iv{d.} at
Ulfall." The Bensons would seem to have been a troublesome lot, for
another entry is that "Myles Benson p{d} xii{d.} for sleepinge and not
goinge orderly to church." The wardens at that time could fine any
parishioners a shilling for neglecting to attend church. Insults to the
clergy were visited with such punishments as could be imposed, and the
doing of penance was perhaps the most suitable consequence of such an
action. This paragraph appears in the Greystoke register:--"1608/9
February 12th. This daye two Sermons by Mr. P'son one afforenone, and the
other afternone, and Edward Dawson taylyor did openlye conffess before the
Congregation that he had abused the mynister Sr. Matthew Gibson upon the
Sabboth daye at Evenynge prayer." Sacrilege has always been very properly
looked upon as one of the worst crimes, but instances must be
comparatively rare of an estate being forfeited through such an act.
Barwise Hall, near Appleby, descended from the family of Berewyse to that
of Ross, and the last of these is said to have forfeited his domain for
stealing a silver chalice out of the church.

Before the privilege was abolished by Parliament in the reign of James the
First, there were several places in the two counties at which sanctuary
could be obtained. One was at Ravenstonedale. The Rev. W. Nicholls, Dr.
Simpson, Mr. A. Fothergill, the Rev. R. W. Metcalfe, and others have
brought the history of that parish to an unusually complete stage, and the
first-named gentleman has told the story.[11] The tower, according to
tradition--the structure was demolished about a century and a half
ago--stood apart from the church, on the road side, and rested on pillars,
leaving openings at equal distances on each side, while from the centre
hung the rope of the refuge bell. Any person who had committed any offence
worthy of death--once a very easy matter, there being many such crimes
besides murder--after ringing the bell could not be seized by the Sheriff
or any other King's officer, but must be tried by the lord's Court at
Ravenstonedale, which doubtless at first consisted of the monks. Mr.
Fothergill recorded that in his time if a murderer fled to the church and
tolled the holy bell, he was free, and that if a stranger came within the
precincts of the manor he was safe from the pursuer. He added:--"Of our
own knowledge, and within our own memory, no felon, though a murderer, was
to be carried out of the parish for trial, and one Holme, a murderer,
lived and died in Ravenstonedale; his posterity continued there for two
generations, when the family became extinct." Some doubt has been thrown
on the local tradition that the privilege of sanctuary was possessed by
the Nunnery, on the banks of the Eden, in Ainstable parish. There is still
an upright pillar, having on one side of it a cross, round which is
inscribed "Sanctuarium, 1088." There is also near to Greystoke Church what
is called a sanctuary stone.

In the Museum at Kendal is preserved a good specimen of the scolds'
bridle, which may have come down from the days, three centuries ago, when
the Corporation set about reforming the conduct of the inhabitants. The
contents of the "Boke of Recorde" are very interesting in this connection.
Gambling in its varied forms was put down rigorously. It was ordered that
any inhabitant allowing any play at cards, dice tables, bowls, or any
other unlawful game should be fined for the first offence 6s. 8d., and
for the second offence 13s. 4d., while the players escaped with half those
penalties. These and other fines which were provided for were "over and
beside such other punishment as shall be thought mete and requisite
according to the quality of the offence."

Among the punishments provided for may be noted the following as a
specimen, there being several of the kind. Henry Wilson, a burgess and
Justice of the Peace for the borough, having been living incontinently
with Jennet Eskrigge, a married woman, "as is notoriouslye knowen to the
sclannder and offence of the magistrats off the sayd boroughe, and evil
example of the residewe off the inhabitannts heare, wherbye he is thoughte
nott mete to contynewe in the sayd roweme and offyce," it was ordered that
he should be expelled from his offices. As to the woman, it was decreed
that she should be carted through the town, "to the terror and fear of
other persons of evil disposition for the committing of the like offence
in time to come," and she was not to be permitted to remain within the
borough unless she was reconciled to and dwelt with her husband. The
punishment did not act as a warning to the woman, and further orders are
to be found in the minute-book showing how she was made liable to heavy
fines and forbidden to enter the town "otherwise than as a stranger coming
to the church or market only," while the inhabitants who gave her shelter
were liable to fines of ten shillings each.

There is a very long and verbose order passed by the Corporation in
December, 1589:--"For punishinge of a mayd servant for speakinge
slanderouse speeches of her master." They found that "Mabel Atkinson, late
servant unto Mr. Henry Dickson, and Sybell Dyckson, his wife, inhabitants
of this borough, forgetting her duty to Almighty God and the fear and awe
she ought to have had to the threatening menaces and punishments
pronounced out of His Holy Word and Commandments against such persons as
shall openly or privily unjustly slander, hurt, or impair their neighbours
in body, goods, name or report, and also that servile regard and honest,
and true favour and love she ought to have borne towards her said master
and mistress in all manner of behaviours and reports by the instigation of
our mortal enemy the Devil, the author of all falsehood and lying, hath of
late, even within this borough of Kirkbiekendall, most maliciously,
falsely, and untruly imposed, devised, framed, and brought a very
horrible, unjust, and feigned slander and misreport of and against her
master and mistress."

The punishment is worth describing in full, but the following extract will
suffice as a specimen of the whole order thereon:--"For condign punishment
in this behalf and for a terror and fear to be wrought in all others for
committing the like offence, it is ordained and constituted that Mabel
Atkinson shall be attached and taken on Monday, in the morning, next, by
the two Serjeants at Mace and ministers of this borough, where and in what
place she may be found, and shall forthwith be had, carried, and conveyed
unto the common prison or ward of the same borough, and there shall remain
and continue without any bail or delivery until Thursday then next
following, in the afternoon, having only for diet every day in the
meanwhile one slender and spare repast of meat and drink, and only two
coverlets nightly to lie in, at which time on the said Thursday, in the
afternoon, being openly called forth of prison to the bar in the Mootehall
of the same borough, if she will and do in very penitent, humble, and
sorrowful manner, unfeignedly and truly upon her knees, in the open
presence of the people then and there assembled, and before her said
master and mistress, ask and pray at God His hands mercy and forgiveness
for her said false and untrue report and slander, and pardon also of her
said master and mistress for the said offence, then she to be delivered
out of the said prison or ward, paying such fees and duties as may
appertain, and if she shall the same refuse, in whole or part, or in doing
the same not performing it with such true penitence as in such case is
requisite, and as all the people assembled may and shall therewith be
fully satisfied and resolved, that she be banished from being, tarrying,
or remaining within this borough, or the liberties or precincts of the
same, for and by the space of one whole year then next coming, and that no
person or persons during the same year shall take her into service or
suffer her to dwell in house under or with any such person or persons
(except it be in lawful wedlock) upon pain to lose and forfeit to, and for
the common use of all the inhabitants of the same for every month as much
as ten shillings, to be levied as above."

The poor drunkards met with none too considerate treatment from the
justices of the time. Here is a curious "Order against common drunkards,
how to be punished, and for common scolds":--"Whereas sundry persons
inhabiting this borough and others (of their insatiable minds without any
regard to common honesty, modesty, or fear of God, or His severe
punishment either in this life or the life to come) do give up their
bodies (which Almighty God hath ordained to honour) unto all manner of
dishonour and dissolute kind of life in quaffing immoderate and
superfluous devouring of strong ale at very many needless and unfit times,
continuing the same most foul and detestable vice so long till at length
they be so far overtaken and gone that they become beast-like and
insensible, without reason or any good understanding (besides the great
loss of time and waste of their goods, and miserable want of their
families at home, and their own beggaring at length, and lamentable grief
to all other good Christians, their neighbours, detesting and loathing
that vice) for redress whereof and preventing of sundry mischiefs which
else might happen by this occasion (besides great danger to their souls)
if the same enormity should not in time be speedily foreseen; it is
therefore ordained and constituted by the Aldermen and burgesses of this
borough that at all times hereafter when and so often as any person or
persons whatsoever shall be seen or known ... to have been or at any time
to be so far overtaken, besotted or drunken with immeasurable devouring of
strong drink that then it shall be lawful to or for any Alderman, Justice,
or Alderman's Deputy all and every such misordered person and persons to
cause to be imprisoned within the same borough, there to remain at such
diet and during the pleasure of him that committed him, to the end thereby
to reclaim and warn every one of them from lewdness and detestable
offences of drinking; and also that every such magistrate aforesaid shall
or may commit and command to be set on the cuckstool every common scold,
railer, or of notorious misdemeanour, at the like pleasure of the
Commander or Magistrate."

The turning of Thirlmere into a huge reservoir, and the necessary increase
of its depth, hid for ever a number of land-marks. There are, however,
numerous others of an interesting character left. A reminder of the days
when the manorial lord was a king in a small way is supplied by the
Steading Stone. This is supposed to mark the site where the manor court
of Wythburn was held, and its pains and penalties imposed. The Rev. S.
Barber has supplied[12] an explanation of a term which has puzzled many a
tourist as well as not a few dwellers in Lakeland:--"The City, as has been
suggested by one who is no mean scholar, is neither more nor less than a
corruption of 'Sitting,' that is, the place of session of the early
judges, when they met to adjudicate in criminal cases. We can then picture
the white bearded patriarchs seated in solemn conclave upon the
semi-circle of boulders facing the central rock, and after the giving of
sentence sternly watching the miserable captive led away to be decapitated
on that very rock, before the assembled witnesses."

Life in the old gaols for any extended period must have been a very
dreadful experience. The buildings were generally crowded; that they would
be in a perpetually insanitary condition goes without saying, and gaol
fevers were frequent. The prisoners were not treated any better in the
local gaols than in other places. They were chiefly dependent on the
charity of outsiders for subsistence, and the old Carlisle and Whitehaven
newspapers contain hundreds of paragraphs recording the gratitude of the
prisoners to the local gentry for gifts of from £1 to £20. In these days
when it is unlawful to send any tobacco or liquors into a prison, the
reader notes with particular interest the announcements of presents of
barrels of ale, prayer-books, bread, coals, and other articles to the
debtors, as well as to those who had been convicted of serious offences.

Those, too, were "the hanging days." Note the items in this concise report
of Carlisle Assizes in August, 1790:--"On Friday afternoon the Judges were
met at the usual place, near Carlisle, by Wm. Brown, High Sheriff of the
county, attended by a most respectable and numerous company of gentlemen,
in carriages and on horseback. On their arrival in the city, their
lordships proceeded to the Hall, where His Majesty's Commission being
opened in due form, the Courts were adjourned to eight o'clock the next
morning--when the business of assize proceeded. The Hon. Sir John Wilson
at the Crown End; and the Hon. Sir Alex. Thomson, in the court of _nisi
prius_. When our account left Carlisle, Wm. Bleddy, for breaking open the
shop of Miss Crossthwaite, at Keswick; and John Thompson, for horse
stealing, were found guilty--death. Bella Ramsay, for stealing wearing
apparel, to be transported. Leonard Falshea, for stealing six sheep, found
guilty--death, but ordered for transportation. Ann Wilson and Elizabeth
White, for stealing a purse, etc., to be transported."

There are no stocks standing now on the village greens of Cumberland and
Westmorland, but in Tullie House Museum, Carlisle, are local examples of
both pillory and stocks. Among the records of Greystoke, some seventy
years ago, it was stated that the village then possessed a neat cross,
"the stones of which remain piled together, and also the foot-stocks for
the punishment of evil doers." Whipping in public was so general in most
towns as to occasion no great amount of notice, and often the punishment
must have seemed out of all proportion to the offence. Thus at the assizes
of 1790, just mentioned, Walter Smith, who was convicted of stealing a
game-cock, was sentenced to be imprisoned six months and publicly whipped
in Whitehaven.

[Illustration: GIANT'S THUMB, PENRITH.]

There is a tradition among some of the old folks of Penrith that the holes
at the top of the ancient cross, known as the Giant's Thumb, in the
churchyard, were at one time used for a pillory. The only authority for
the assertion seems to have been the late Mr. William Grisenthwaite,
builder, who had quite a store of local traditions. It was on his
statement that Mr. George Watson included the information in his
"Notabilia of Old Penrith." Mr. Grisenthwaite said the last time the cross
was used for that corrective purpose was for the whipping of a young
woman, who died of a broken heart in consequence of her shameful exposure.
It is but fair to say that other old people of great intelligence declare
that they never heard of such an event, and that they do not believe it.
Moreover, Penrith possessed stocks, and doubtless a pillory also, not far
from where the Monument now stands; hence the statement as to the Thumb
being put to such a secular purpose as being used for a whipping-post is
greatly in need of confirmation. The stocks at Penrith had not ceased to
be used in 1781, having been repaired by Thomas Langhorne in that year, at
a cost of £1 14s. Those at Ravenstonedale stood outside the churchyard
wall, and near the Grammar School. The stocks at Orton were near the
church gate; those at St. Michael's, Appleby, at Bongate Cross. An iron,
with the letters "R. V. T." ("rogue, vagabond, thief"), was attached to
the dock in the Crown Court at Appleby, until the Shire Hall was improved
about 1848.

It is recorded that whipping was formerly practised in Appleby to a
considerable extent. On October 26th, 1743, it was ordered by the Mayor
and Aldermen that the stocks and pillory, then opposite to the house which
had recently belonged to a person named Knotts, should be immediately
removed to the end of the open Hall, facing the Low Cross, "that being
deemed the proper place for the same, and that there be a whipping-post,
and a convenient place for burning criminals in the hand, erected there
also." The late Mr. M. Cussons, shortly before his death early this year,
told the writer that he particularly remembered the stocks at Appleby.
They were placed at the north end of the old Moot Hall, and were removed
before 1835, in which year the Corporation fixed the present weighing
machine on the site. The stocks were so placed that the culprit undergoing
punishment had his back to the building, and faced the church. When they
were last used has not been ascertained. There were stocks also at Bongate
Cross, but these were removed about thirty years ago by the late Mr.
Richardson, the Bongate parish clerk, and given by him to the late Mr. G.
R. Thompson, Bongate Hall. From the Appleby Corporation records, Mr. W.
Hewitson, Town Clerk, finds that in 1767 the grand jury set out to William
Bewsher on a lease for 999 years a piece of ground on which to build a
smith's shop, at the north corner of Bridge End, near where the
ducking-stool stood.

The last person flogged through the Appleby streets was a man named
Johnnie Copeland, a notorious character in his time. This happened about
1819. The crime for which he suffered this punishment was a criminal
assault. Mrs. Jane Brunskill, Appleby, now in her ninetieth year, who was
an eye witness of the punishment, informed the writer a few months ago
that she remembered the occurrence perfectly. The offender was fastened by
two ropes, placed round his body, one being held by a man who walked in
front, and the other by a man walking behind the culprit. The punishment
was inflicted by a prisoner under confinement in Appleby Gaol. They
started from the High Cross and proceeded to the Gaol, the man being
flogged all the way. This took place on a market day, and the streets were
crowded. The governor of the gaol at that time was named James Bewsher,
and he combined with that office the business of blacksmith, which he
carried on in the premises already referred to as being near the place
where the ducking-stool stood.

Dishonest workmen also got a taste of the lash occasionally, as witness
this newspaper paragraph of January, 1789: "A fancy-weaver, belonging to
Messrs. Foster and Sons' manufactory in Carlisle, was publicly whipped a
few days ago, for stealing several of his masters' patterns, and sending
them to a manufactory in Glasgow."

There is believed to have been no example of riding the stang in
Cumberland or Westmorland during the last half century. Previously,
however, it would seem to have been an unpleasantly frequent punishment.
In the _Westmorland Gazette_ for December 19th, 1835, a long description
was given of "the old but now almost neglected custom." In this case an
Ambleside woman had left her husband and family, and gone with a married
man to America. After an absence of eight months she returned, and, said
the local journalistic chronicler of the period, "the young men of
Ambleside, with that manly and proper spirit which ought to actuate the
breast of every noble mind who values propriety of conduct, and that
which is decent and of good report, on Monday procured, instead of a pole,
a cart, in which were placed two of their companions, and accompanied by a
party of both young and old, proceeded through the town repeating at
certain places the following lines:--

  'It is not for my part I _ride the stang_,
  But it is for the American----just come hame.'

The fun was continued to the amusement of hundreds for about an hour, but
not being satisfied with one night's frolic, the same party, on Tuesday
evening, procured an effigy of the frail lady, and after exhibiting it in
every part of the town, publicly burnt it at the Market Cross, amidst the
loud hurras of the assembled crowd who had met to witness the sight, and
who took that opportunity of testifying their hatred and detestation of
such base and abominable conduct as the parties had been guilty of."

Some Legends and Superstitions.

The title of this chapter sufficiently indicates that the legends and
superstitions intended to be dealt with are far from including all which
might be mentioned; indeed not a tithe of those which are still well known
in the two counties can here be touched upon. Mr. Whitfield, M.P., in an
address in West Cumberland over thirty years ago,[13] said that the
superstitions in the Border country concerning fairies and brownies were
more developed, and the belief in spells and enchantments more common than
in many other parts of the country. The various circumstances attending
the growth of those beliefs led to the conclusion that in the Middle Ages
religion as then taught did not exercise any great influence on the
Border. Though monasteries were founded on each side of the Border as some
protection against the desolations of war, the English did not scruple to
ravage the Scottish monasteries during an invasion, and the Scotch treated
with corresponding violence the English foundations. At the time of the
Reformation the Border was probably the most ignorant and barbarous
district in England.

There is a pretty legend pertaining to St. Bees, which is supposed to have
derived its name from St. Bega, an Irish nun, who came to Cumberland about
the middle of the seventh century, and, with her sisters, was wrecked near
to the headland. "In her distress she went to the Lady of Egremont Castle
for relief, and obtained a place of residence at St. Bees. Afterwards she
asked Lady Egremont to beg of her lord to build them a house, and they
with others would lead a religious life together. With this the Lady
Egremont was well pleased, and she asked the lord to grant them some land.
The lord laughed at the lady, and said he would give them as much land as
snow fell upon 'the next morning in Midsummer Day.' On the next morning he
looked out from the castle towards the sea, and all the land for about
three miles was covered with snow."[14]

Another tradition associated with West Cumberland is that at Kirksanton.
There is a basin, or hollow, in the surface of the ground, assigned as a
place where once stood a church that was swallowed up by the earth
opening, and then closing over it bodily. It used to be believed by the
country people that on Sunday mornings the bells could be heard far down
in the earth, by the simple expedient of placing the ear to the ground. A
very similar legend was, in a magazine in 1883, recorded of Fisherty Brow,
Kirkby Lonsdale:--"There is a curious kind of natural hollow scooped out,
where, ages ago, a church, parson, and congregation were swallowed up by
the earth. Ever since this terrible affair it is asserted that the church
bells have been regularly heard to ring every Sunday morning."

If an old tradition is to be believed, one of the most conspicuous
land-marks in the north of England should be regarded as a memorial, so
far as its name goes. The story is that the cross was planted, by pious
hands, in the early days of Christianity, on the summit or table land of
the chain of mountains which bounds the eastern side of Cumberland,
separately known by different names along their range, but collectively
called Cross Fell. At any rate, whether or not it takes its name from its
transverse situation to the common run of the immense ridge, this
tradition, as the Rev. B. Porteus has remarked, "is preferable to another
which traces its derivative to a cross erected for the purpose of
dislodging the aërial demons which were once thought to possess these
desolate regions, and gave it the name of the Fiend's Fell." But the
cyclone (the Helm Wind) and the sending for holy men to Canterbury to
exorcise "the demon" supports the derivation. Alston Church is dedicated
to St. Augustine. Some say the bodies of Christians who had died in the
heathen eastern districts were brought "Cross t' Fell" to be buried in the
consecrated land of the primitive Christians of Cumberland and

There is a tradition that an attempt was made time after time to build a
church in what is known as Jackson's Park, Arlecdon, but as often as begun
in the day it was destroyed in the night by some unknown and invisible
hand. Eventually the attempt was abandoned, and the church built in its
present position. Then there is the familiar legend connected with the
building of the Devil's Bridge at Kirkby Lonsdale. There are several
versions of the erection of this structure, and as one is just as likely
to be wrong as another, the story told by Mr. Speight[15] may be quoted:
"The bridge was built by his Satanic Majesty, according to a compact made
between himself and a poor woman who wished to recover her cow which had
strayed at low water to the opposite side of the river, but could not do
so without the convenient means of a bridge. And so the King of Evil
agreed to erect a bridge on condition that he should have the first living
thing that crossed. He knew very well of her husband's coming home from
market, and hoped to make good booty. But the cunning woman was equal to
the occasion. Seeing the approach of her husband on the opposite hill, she
concealed a scraggy, half-starved dog under her apron, and letting it
sniff a bone, suddenly tossed the latter over the fine, new made viaduct,
and the dog at once bounding after it, she stepped back, and raising her
fingers in a vindictive, and certainly most unbecoming manner, lustily

  'Now, crafty Sir, the bargain was
  That you should have what first did pass
  Across the bridge--so now, alas!
      The dog's your right.

  The Cheater cheated, struck with shame,
  Squinted and grinned, then in a flame
      He vanished quite.'"

At least two legends have come down to us of the days of the wolves. A
lady belonging to the Lucy family--the great territorial lords of West
Cumberland--was one evening walking near to Egremont Castle when she was
devoured by a wolf at a place afterwards marked by a stone cairn, and
known as Woful Bank. The name of Wotobank is given to a place in the
parish of Beckermet. The story here is that Edgar, a lord of Beckermet,
and his lady, Edwina, and servants, were at one time hunting the wolf.
"During the chase the lord missed his lady, and after a long and painful
search the party at last found her body lying on the hill, or bank, slain
by a wolf, with the ravenous beast still in the act of tearing it to
pieces. In the first transports of his grief, the words that the
distressed husband first uttered were, 'Woe to this Bank'--a phrase since
altered and applied to the place as 'Wotobank.'" Another wolf legend of a
somewhat similar character is attached to a well called Lady's Dub, at

What can only be described as legends--for as to their authenticity it
would perhaps not be wise to inquire too closely--belong to the fortunes
of several estates in the two counties. One of the owners of Warthell (or
Warthol) Hall, in the parish of Plumbland, was notorious for his passion
for card-playing--a form of amusement, by the way, which probably for more
than two hundred years has been a favourite among all classes in the two
counties. The Lord of Warthell, Mr. Dykes, one evening lost a large sum,
and was face to face with ruin. Growing desperate, he determined to risk
all on a single game of putt, and at the last deal cried,

  "Up, now deuce, or else a tray,
  Or Warthell's gone for ever and aye."

While it would perhaps be unjust even to suggest that the people of
Cumberland and Westmorland are now more superstitious than those of other
counties, it is nevertheless a fact that many curious beliefs prevailed in
the country districts long after they had ceased in other places. The
faith in the efficacy of charms has even yet not died away. Toothache has
long been a favourite medium for testing the skill of the charmer and the
faith of the sufferer. The Rev. H. J. Bulkeley, then rector of Lanercost,
who spent much time in collecting records of the old and fleeting beliefs,
told in 1885 how the toothache charm was worked. "A boy suffering from
toothache was taken to an old blacksmith, who prodded the decayed tooth
with a rusty nail; blindfolded the boy, led him into a wood, and, taking
the bandage off his eyes, made him hammer the nail into a young oak;
blindfolded him again, and led him out, making him promise not to try and
find the tree or tell anyone of it. And that tooth never ached any more!"
Another method was to rub, with a stone, the part affected, the operation
taking place soon after sunset. While performing the rubbing, the charmer
muttered an incantation which does not seem to have been preserved in
print, although it is doubtless well known in the country districts.

Fairies have given place to more material creations, but the faith in the
"little folk" has not died out, and even yet occasionally the dairy-maid
may be seen furtively to put a pinch of salt in the fire at churning time,
"so that t' fairies mayn't stop t' butter frae comin'." The rowan-tree
branch used to be placed above doorways to keep away evil influences
throughout the north of England, and in the Lake Country the stick used
for stirring the cream to counteract the bewitching of the churn is still
frequently made of rowan or mountain ash wood.

Among the old superstitions is that of the death strokes:--

  "As with three strokes above the testered bed
  The parting spirit of its tenant fled."

The opinion once very commonly prevailed that shortly before the coming of
the last summons three distinct raps were heard on the wall immediately
over the bed head. This, of course, was nothing more than the noise made
by a small worm when trying to bore itself a passage through the decayed
woodwork where it had been bred.

"Telling the bees" is a custom in several parts of the country, and is
still believed in by some of the old people of these counties. When a
death occurred in a household where bees were kept it was deemed desirable
for some one to acquaint the occupants of the hives with the fact, and
also to tell them on the day of the funeral that the corpse was about to
be lifted. The late Mr. W. Dickinson, who by his "Cumbriana,"
"Reminiscences," and "Glossary," did much to preserve a knowledge of
old-time life in the county, said the last case of "telling the bees"
which came to his knowledge was at Asby, near Arlecdon, in 1855. To miss
taking the doleful news to the bees was held to be a certain way of
bringing ill-luck to the house.

Supposed miracle workers have not been lacking. About the middle of the
fourteenth century the abbot and canons of Shap had licence from Bishop
Kirkby to remove the body of Isabella, wife of William Langley, their
parishioner, famed for having miracles done by it, to some proper place
within the church or churchyard of Shap, that the reliques might be
reverenced by the people with freer and greater devotion.

"Boggles" have been common in all parts of the two counties; needless to
say the dreadful apparitions when inquired about in a careful manner have
invariably proved to be very commonplace and harmless creatures or
articles. "Boggle" is a Norse word, sometimes equal to personification of
diety or saint. Natural phenomena, as _ignis fatuus_, account for some;
the mist-mirage explains others. The mist is still called "the haut" (the
haunt). Witches, too, have abounded--according to report,--and some were
drowned, or otherwise persecuted because of their evil repute. Mary
Baynes, the witch of Tebay, died in 1811, aged ninety. She has been
described as a repulsive looking woman, with a big pocket tied upon her
back, and she was blamed for witching people's churns, geese, and
goslings, so that on account of her witchcraft she became a terror to her
neighbours. Many strange things which happened were laid to her charge,
and thoroughly believed by the people. Ned Sisson, of the "Cross Keys
Inn," had a mastiff which worried old Mary's favourite cat. The owner
decided to have the grimalkin respectably buried in her garden, and a man
named Willan dug a grave for it. Old Mary handed Willan an open book, and
pointed to something he was to read. But Willan, not thinking it worth
while to read anything over a cat, took pussy by the leg, and said:

  "Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.
  Here's a hole, and in thou must."

Mary grew angry, and warned her companion that he would fare no better for
his levity. Soon afterwards Willan was ploughing in his field when the
implement suddenly bounded up, and the handle struck one of his eyes,
causing blindness. Immediately Mary Baynes was given the credit for having
bewitched the plough. The old lady seems to have tried her hand also at
prophesy. Once when the scholars of Tebay School were out playing, Mary
predicted to them that some day carriages would run over Loupsfell without
the aid of horses. The railway now goes over a portion of the land to
which she referred, which was then a large stinted pasture. The best
known other "witch" was "Lizzie o' Branton," otherwise Lizzy Batty, a
remarkable woman, who, in the early years of this century, occupied a
cottage on the roadside between Brampton and Talkin. She acted in a
peculiar manner, dressed curiously, and generally "acted the part," with
the consequence that she was credited with many supernatural powers. She
died in 1817, at the age of eighty-eight. The date of her funeral in
Brampton was for long years remembered as the stormiest day the town had
ever seen. Although it was in March, yet darkness came on so suddenly that
lanterns were lighted at the grave-side, only to be again and again
extinguished by the fury of the tempest. A tradition still lingers that
those who bore the coffin to the grave solemnly affirmed that it was empty
and the body gone.

The belief in the "barguest," now practically gone, was in comparatively
recent times common enough to excite but little notice. The term was
generally used to denote any kind of ghostly visitant, but referred more
particularly to a fearsome creation which was supposed to haunt the fells
and dales, and make a horrible noise. Mr. B. Kirkby, in his "Lakeland
Words" (1899), gives the definition as known in North Westmorland: "One
who has the power of foretelling the demise of others; or one who makes a
great din." Mr. Anthony Whitehead says, "A barguest is a spirit known only
through the sense of hearing, being a something which, during the dark
hours of night, disturbed the last generations of Westmorland with its
awful howling."

There is no lack of ghostly traditions in connection with families.
Perhaps the best known is that belonging to the ancient family of Machell,
of Crackenthorpe Hall, near Appleby. Lancelot Machell--the same who in
open court tore to pieces Cromwell's new charter for Appleby--married
Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Sleddall, of Penrith. Her portrait was found
on a panel in Penrith some years ago. She was executrix of her husband's
will, and for some alleged injury to her interest in the estate it used to
be said that she paid the Machells ghostly visitations whenever the head
of the family was about to die. The country folk used to say that she is
laid under the big stone called Peg's Stone, just below Crackenthorpe
Hall, her term of incarceration being 999 years. They also say she has
been seen driving along the Appleby road at a great pace with "amber
leets" in the carriage, and disappear suddenly in Machell Wood, near the
spot called Peg Sneddle's Trough. Indeed, there is extant a most graphic
and brilliant account of her passage of the Tollbar at Crackenthorpe,
narrated by one "Brockham Dick" (Richard Atkinson, of the "Elephant Inn"),
now many years deceased, who kept the gate in his youth, and who used to
stick to it with much detail of thrilling circumstance, how one night in
each year, when the "helm" wind was blowing, Mrs. Machell made her
appearance and passed this gate in offended state. When storms come on
upon the fell, Peg is said to be angry, and _vice versâ_ in fine weather.
An old tree in the neighbourhood of Crackenthorpe called Sleddall's Oak,
is also associated with Mrs. Machell's name, and here a female figure is
supposed to be seen to sit and weep when any misfortune is about to befall
any member of the Machell family.

When farmers find disease among their cattle, whether it be tuberculosis,
pleuro-pneumonia, or other undesirable visitation, they no longer pin
their faith to the old-time observances. The progress of science has shown
better methods of dealing with the disease, and now the stock owners of
the northern counties would be the first to ridicule the means taken by
their grandfathers for stopping an outbreak. The "needfire," which has
been witnessed by many people who are not yet old, was probably the last
remnant of fire-worship in this country. "It was once," says Mr. Sullivan,
"an annual observance, and is still occasionally employed in the dales and
some other localities as a charm for the various diseases to which cattle
are liable. All the fires in the village are carefully put out--a
deputation going round to each house to see that not a spark remains. Two
pieces of wood are then ignited by friction, and within the influence of
the fire thus kindled, the cattle are brought. The scene is one of dire
bellowing and confusion: but the owner is especially anxious that his
animals should get 'plenty of the reek.' The charm being ended in one
village, may be transferred to the next, and thus propagated as far as it
is required."

Miss Martineau, in her "Guide to the Lakes," tells a story of a certain
farmer who, "When all his cattle had been passed through the fire,
subjected an ailing wife to the same potent charm." The last time the
"needfire" was used in the Keswick neighbourhood, Mr. William Wilson
says, was in 1841. In some parts of Cumberland and Westmorland there was
then an epidemic amongst the cattle. It was brought over the Raise and
transferred from farm to farm through the vales. But, at one farm a few
miles out of Keswick, the sacred fire was allowed to become extinct, the
owner, a well-known statesman, not having sufficient faith in its virtue
to take the trouble to transmit it, or even to keep it alight. He told Mr.
Wilson that he was severely rated at the time for his lack of faith. That,
however, served to kill the popular belief in needfire, and even when the
terrible ravages of the rinderpest, foot and mouth disease, and
pleuro-pneumonia, were emptying the pockets and breaking the hearts of the
farmers, not one of them thought of reviving the old "cure." The last
time, so far as the writer can find, the practice was reported in the
newspapers was this paragraph in the _Patriot_ of July 25th, 1834:--"A
sort of murrain, or pestilential fever, is at present prevalent in the
county of Westmorland, the popular remedy for which is the fumigation of
the infected animals with the smoke of needfire, accompanied by certain
mystic signs." The Rev. J. Wharton, however, well remembers the fire
being made at Long Marton about 1843-4, during a murrain. The term
"needfire" seems to be a corruption of "neatfire," neat cattle being an
old and common term.

Among the legends relating to North-Country residences, an interesting one
is concerning Corby Castle and its "Radiant Boy." This--which corresponds
to the "corpse lichten" of other countries--has been described as a
luminous apparition which made its appearance with dire results, the
tradition being that the member of the family who saw the "Radiant Boy"
would rise to great power, and afterwards die a violent death. The only
example in proof of the tradition so far made known, however, was that of
Lord Castlereagh. That statesman was given a wide margin of time after
seeing the spectre, as that was supposed to have happened when he was a
young man, and he did not commit suicide until 1822.

The superstition as to the skulls at Calgarth, Windermere, has several
parallels. Those two skulls formerly occupied a niche in Calgarth Hall,
from which they could not be kept for any long time, though they were
reputed to attend the banquets at Armboth Hall, Thirlmere, of their own
accord! Above all, "they were buried, burned, reduced to powder, dispersed
by the wind, sunk in the well, and thrown into the lake several times, all
to no purpose"--truly wonderful skulls!

The superstition concerning "first-foot" has not yet died out; but the
observance is not regarded with that seriousness which ruled half a
century ago, and to the next generation, probably, this ancient New Year's
custom and belief will have become part of the history of the bygone.

Four Lucks.

Closely associated with the legends of Cumberland and Westmorland, dealt
with in the preceding chapter, are the stories of four "Lucks." The best
known is that of Eden Hall, which has been made the theme for poems and
innumerable descriptive articles. The most popular version of the origin
of the Luck is that when a servant was going for water one night to the
Fairy Well, in front of the hall he surprised a number of fairies at their
revels, with the goblet in the centre of the ring around which they were
dancing. The servant seized the Luck, while the fairies gave the ominous
warning that

  "If this cup should break or fall,
  Farewell the luck of Eden Hall."

Numerous poets have woven pretty stories out of the tradition, without
attempting to seek the real origin of the treasured possession. The Luck
is an ancient glass vessel widening by an easy curve, and terminating in a
graceful lip. Its colour is green, with enamel of red, yellow, and blue;
one theory is that its origin was Saracenic, and that it was brought
from Palestine by a member of the family during the Crusades. Dr. Todd,
when Vicar of Penrith, supposed it to have "been used as a chalice, at a
time when it was unsafe to have those sacred vessels made of costlier
metals, on account of the predatory habits which prevailed on the
Borders." If absolute care can preserve it, the Luck is safe, for along
with its leathern case, adorned with vine leaves, and having the sacred
monogram "I.H.S." on the top, the Luck is rarely taken from its place of
security--said to be one of the strong rooms of the Bank of England.
Whenever the Luck is exhibited to privileged visitors at the hall, the
utmost precautions are taken to prevent even the slightest accident.




"The Luck of Muncaster" is reputed to have been the gift of Henry the
Sixth, who stayed for a brief space with the Penningtons, either in 1461
or 1464. The King was in sore straits, for death had robbed him of the
service of many of his most powerful adherents; howbeit he still held the
affections of large numbers of people in Cumberland and Westmorland. The
owner of Muncaster was one of those able and willing to stand by Henry in
his necessity, and kept the King in safety. The room in which the monarch
slept is still preserved with great care; he rested in a carved oak
bedstead, which bears his initials and a crown. At parting Henry gave to
Sir John Pennington a glass cup or basin, about seven inches in diameter,
ornamented with some gold and white enamelled mouldings, with--according
to tradition--the assurance that "the family shall prosper so long as they
preserve this cup unbroken." It is unnecessary to do more than mention
that this Luck has been celebrated in verse, by way of illustrating the
evil designs of a kinsman who desired to destroy both the cup and the
fortunes of the Penningtons.

That such a treasured relic should have more than normal risks of
misfortune can be well understood. Mr. Roby has mentioned[16] one of its
escapes. "The benediction attaching to its security being then uppermost
in the recollection of the family, it was considered essential to the
prosperity of the house, at the time of the usurpation, that the Luck of
Muncaster should be deposited in a safe place. It was consequently buried
till the cessation of hostilities had rendered all further care and
concealment unnecessary." The box was allowed to fall when being brought
again to the surface, which so scared the owners that they fancied that
there would be a sudden end to their prosperity. The fright must have been
of long duration, for the story is that forty years elapsed ere one daring
member of the family, having seen no ill effects from the fall, had the
box opened, and experienced the keen delight of finding the Luck
uninjured. In the castle are two paintings, one representing the King
giving the cup to Sir John Pennington, and another allowing the King with
the Luck in his hand. On an old freestone slab in Muncaster Church is the
inscription, "Holie Kynge Harrye gave Sir John a brauve workyd glass cuppe
... whyllys the famylie shold keep hit unbrecken thei shold gretelye

"The Luck of Burrell Green," near Great Salkeld, seems to have passed into
the possession of various owners. It is an ancient brass dish of early
embossed work, sixteen and a quarter inches in diameter, and one and a
half inches deep. Mr. J. Lamb, formerly of Burrell Green, read a paper on
the subject two or three years ago to the members of the Archæological
Society, and also exhibited the dish. It is circular in form, and at one
time appears to have borne two inscriptions, one in large old English
letters in an inner circle around its central ornament, and the other in
an outer circle, probably in the same style of lettering. Neither
inscription is now legible, although on close examination certain letters
may still be discerned, this being due, no doubt, to the amount of
cleaning and rubbing it has undergone during late years. Thirty years ago,
when greater care was taken of the Luck than has since been the case, and
the inscription on the inner circle was rather more distinct than it now
is, Mr. R. M. Bailey, a London antiquary, tried to decipher it, and was of
opinion that it was in Latin, of which the following is a rendering:
"Hail, Mary, Mother of Jesus, Saviour of Men." Like the two other Lucks in
Cumberland, the Luck of Burrell Green has its legend and couplet. This is
that it was given to the family residing there long ago by a "Nob i' th'
hurst," or by a witch, a soothsayer, to whom kindness had been shown, with
the injunction that

  "If e'er this dish be sold or gi'en
  Farewell the Luck of Burrell Green."

The Luck has been in the possession of the respective families residing at
Burrell Green for many generations, but its existence has not been
brought very much before the public. In 1879 the late Mr. Jacob Thompson,
of Hackthorpe, made a painting of the Luck. Mr. Lamb added:

    "Apart from the value of the Luck as an example of ancient art, it may
    be said to be still more valuable from the mysterious tradition
    associated with it, and also as appears very probable from the
    rendering of the supposed inscription in the sacred use to which in
    all probability it has at some time been applied. From the style of
    the inscriptions it appears to be of as early a date as the
    commencement of the sixteenth century, or probably earlier. On the day
    Burrell Green last changed owners the Luck fell down three times in
    succession from its usual position, a circumstance which at that time
    had not been known to have occurred before, it always having been kept
    in a secure place."

"The Luck of Levens" is of a kind quite different from the three already
mentioned. Levens Hall has attached to it one of the oldest deer parks in
England, and within its borders are some peculiarly dark fallow deer. The
local people have come to believe that whenever a white fawn is born in
the herd the event portends some change of importance in the House of
Levens. Four such cases have occurred within living memory--when Lord
Templetown came to Levens after the Crimean War, after General Upton's
death in 1883, on the day after Captain and Mrs. Bagot's wedding in 1885,
and in February, 1896, when Mrs. Bagot bore to Levens a male heir. Mr.
Curwen, in his monograph on the house, mentions the following "to
illustrate the superstition that had gathered round the white deer so
early as Lord Templetown's residence at Levens, between 1850 and 1860":--

    "A white buck which had appeared in the herd was ordered to be shot,
    but the keeper was so horrified with the deed, which he thought to be
    'waur ner robbin' a church,' that he actually went so far as to
    remonstrate with the Crimean veteran. Persuasion being of no use, he
    at last refused point blank to do the deed himself, and another man
    had to do it for him. In a few months great troubles came over the
    house. In quick succession it changed hands twice; the stewards,
    servants, and gardeners all lost their places; and the keeper firmly
    held to the belief that all was due to the shooting of this white

Some Old Trading Laws and Customs.

While some of the quaint laws connected with markets and fairs in other
parts of the country are unknown in Cumberland and Westmorland, others not
less interesting may be found in these counties. The searcher after such
old-time lore may find a good deal of it in the standard histories, but
still more in those byways of local literature which are too much
neglected. In this chapter no attempt can be made to do more than touch
the fringe of the subject.

There is in existence in the Dean and Chapter Library at Carlisle a
monition probably dated towards the end of the fourteenth century
addressed to the clergy of the diocese, requiring them to see the
constitution of Otho strictly carried out--all fairs being banished from
churchyards and suspended on Sundays and solemn feasts. Churchyard fairs
were for the emolument of the churches, and were styled by the name of the
saint whose example is inculcated by the church's name. The late Canon
Simpson, one of the most eminent antiquaries in the two counties, proved
that, in England at least, no church was ever dedicated literally to a
saint. Fairs, especially "pot fairs," still prevail in church cloisters in

Meat selling at church doors was common in the fifteenth and sixteenth
centuries, and even so late as the time of Charles the Second. The only
instance of such a thing occurring in Cumberland of which there is record
now was at Wigton. In one of the old local histories appears the following
note:--"The Rev. Thomas Warcup, who erected his monument in the churchyard
long before his death, was obliged to fly from Wigton on account of his
loyalty during the Civil Wars. After the restoration of King Charles he
returned to the Vicarage, and tradition says that the butcher market was
then held upon the Sunday. The butchers hung up carcases at the church
door, to attract the notice of customers as they went in and came out of
church, and it was not unusual to see people who made their bargains
before prayer began, hang their joints of meat over the backs of the
seats, until the pious clergyman had finished the service. The zealous
priest, after having long but ineffectually endeavoured to make his
congregation sensible of the indecency of such practices, undertook a
journey to London on foot, for the purpose of petitioning the King to
have the market day established on the Tuesday, and which he had interest
enough to obtain."

Warcup became Vicar of Wigton in 1612, and possibly on the principle that
he was the best qualified to write his own epitaph because he knew himself
better than was possible for another to know him, he prepared the
following, which he had put on a headstone many years before his death:--

  "Thomas Warcup prepar'd this stone,
  To mind him of his best home.
  Little but sin & misery here,
  Till we be carried on our bier.
  Out of the grave & earth's dust,
  The Lord will raise me up I trust;
  To live with Christ eternallie,
  Who, me to save, himself did die."

There was a keen rivalry between Crosthwaite and Cockermouth at the
beginning of the fourteenth century. The townsmen sent a petition to
Parliament in 1306, stating that owing to the sale of corn, flour, beans,
flesh, fish, and other kinds of merchandise at Crosthwaite Church on
Sundays, their market was declining so fast that the persons who farmed
the tolls from the King were unable to pay the rent. An order was soon
afterwards issued stopping the Sunday trading at Crosthwaite. But the
fairs and markets in churchyards on week-days were not prohibited by
statute for two hundred and eighty years after the Cockermothians sought
protection. The orders thus issued were not long recognised, but
collectors of scraps of local history in all parts of the county have
added to the general knowledge on this point.

The announcing of sales in churchyards was in the early part of this
century a common custom. At Crosby Ravensworth the clerk hurried from his
desk immediately the service was concluded, followed by the congregation,
and mounting the steps he announced when a person's sale by auction would
take place, and read out any notice given to him, for which service he
received a fee of fourpence. The custom has long since become obsolete;
old William Richardson called the last notice in 1837. It has been
asserted, with what amount of truth need not be too closely inquired into,
that when this method of advertising public events was forbidden, the
attendance of the parishioners at public worship showed a rapid
falling-off. The custom of churchyard proclamations prevailed at Orton in
the early part of the century, and the inscriptions on certain horizontal
tombstones have been obliterated by the hob-nails in the clerk's boots.
While necessarily there must have been a great diversity in the articles
announced in the churches or churchyards as likely to be submitted for
public competition, it would be difficult to find a parallel for this
paragraph, which appeared in the _Pacquet_ for March 8th, 1791:--"A few
months ago a person in very good circumstance at no great distance from
Ravenglass buried his wife. His son, a few days since, also became a
widower, and on Sunday, 27th ult., a sale of their wearing apparel was
published at all the neighbouring parish churches! Whether motives of
economy suggested the measure, or a wish to remove whatever could remind
the disconsolate survivors of their loss, can only be guessed at."

Among the relics treasured by Lord Hothfield at Appleby Castle, is an
article reminding the visitor of the days when free trading was unknown.
This is the principal corn measure which was used in the market at Kirkby
Stephen more than two hundred years ago; its purpose and record are stated
in the raised letters which run around the copper measure a little below
the rim:--

    "The measure of Thomas, Earle of Thanet Island, Lord Tufton, Lord
    Clifford, Westmorland, and Vescy, for the use of his Lopps
    [lordship's] market at Kirkby Stephen in Westmorland, 1685."

In the same building are two other corn measures, smaller than the Kirkby
Stephen measure just mentioned. One bears only the word "Thanet," and a
coronet. The other measure, of different design, with the monogram, "A.
P." in raised characters, indicates approximately its age, as it was
obviously the property of the Countess Anne of Pembroke. The measures,
made of bell metal, formerly in use in Sir Richard Musgrave's manor at
Kirkoswald, are still carefully preserved by Mr. John Longrigg, the last

How long the proclamation has been read at the St. Luke's Fair at Kirkby
Stephen is unknown; certainly for a couple of centuries the practice has
been observed, and possibly for a much longer period. Although some of the
terms have now no effect, nor the cautions any value, the proclamation is
still made, the following being the terms of a recent one:--

    "O yes, O yes, O yes, The Right Honourable Henry James Baron
    Hothfield, of Hothfield, Lord Lieutenant of the County of Westmorland,
    Lord of the Manor of Skipton in Craven, and Lord and Owner of this
    Fair, Doth strictly Charge and Command in Her Majesty's name that all
    persons keep Her Majesty's Peace, and not to presume to ride or go
    armed during the time of this Fair to the disturbance of Her Majesty's
    Peace, in pain to be punished according to the Statute in that case
    made and provided; and also that all persons bargain and sell lawful
    and sound goods and merchandise, and pay their due and accustomed
    tolls and stallages, use lawful weights and measures, upon pain to
    forfeit the value of their wares and merchandise; and also that buy,
    sell, or exchange any horse, mare, or gelding, that the sellers and
    buyers thereof repair to the Clerk of the Tolls, and there enter their
    names, surnames, and places of abode of all such persons as shall buy,
    sell, or exchange any such horse, mare, or gelding, together with the
    price, marks, and vouchers at their perils; and lastly if any person
    have any injury or wrong done by reason of any bargain or contract,
    during the time of this Fair, let them give information thereof, and
    the same shall be tried by a Court of Pie Poudre, according to law.

    "God save the Queen, and the Right Honourable Henry James Baron

Needless to say, the Court of Pie Poudre has not sat for many years now.

Many curious and interesting customs were once connected with the holding
of markets and fairs; a few of these survive, though not in the form once
known. The practice a little over a century ago at Ravenglass, where a
fair was held on "the eve, day, and morrow of St. James," has been thus
described: "On the first of these days in the morning, the lord's
officer, at proclaiming the fair, is attended by the serjeants of the Lord
of Egremont, with the insignia belonging thereto; and all the tenants of
the Forest of Copeland owe a customary service to meet the lord's officer
at Ravenglass to proclaim the fair, and abide with him during the
continuance thereof; and for sustentation of their horses they have two
swaiths of grass in the common field of Ravenglass in a place set out for
that purpose. On the third day at noon, the Earl's officer discharges the
fair by proclamation; immediately whereupon the Penningtons and their
tenants take possession of the town, and have races and other
divertisements during the remainder of that day."

The laws of the old Corporations at Kendal, Carlisle, and Appleby, and the
guilds and societies at other places, were very stringent, and far
surpassed the most exacting rules of the trades unions in our own day.
This statement may speedily be verified by a reference to the reprinted
Kendal "Boke of Recorde." The "shoddy cloth man" appears to have
flourished almost as much three hundred years ago as he does to-day; at
any rate he was sufficiently in evidence to cause the Corporation to pass
a very stringent order in regard to "Clothe Dightinge." The excuse for
the imposition of the regulation was that "Sundry great complaints have
been made in open Court of the insufficient and deceitful dressing and
dighting of clothes uttered and sold within the town, as well by the
inhabitants as foreigners coming to the same, therefore it is ordered by
the Alderman and head burgesses of the borough with the full assent of the
most part of the fellowship of Shearmen now dwelling within the borough,
that if any person or persons either now resident in the town or shall
hereafter be resident here or in the country adjoining, shall from
henceforth have or bring any pieces of cloth to sell or utter within this
borough to any person, not being well and sufficiently dight and dressed
throughout in all points alike, as well one place as another, in cotton,
nop, or frieze as it ought to be; the same being so found by the four
sworn men of the same occupation from time to time appointed, shall
forfeit and lose for every such piece 2s. 4d., the half thereof to the
Chamber of this borough, and the other half to the takers of the same."

A further order provided that if any piece of cloth was not "well, truly,
and sufficiently made in all places alike, and all parts thereof of like
stuff as it ought to be, or which shall not be clean washed and clean
without blemish left in it, upon the like pain of 2s. 4d., to be forwarded
by the maker to those before limited for the first fault, and for every
fault then after committed and duly proved, the fine and penalty to be
doubled." Factory and workshop inspectors, of a sort, were not unknown
three hundred years ago. The Corporation ordered the appointment of four
members of the "Company and fellowship of tayllers" to be known as
searchers or overseers, having power to have the oversight of all faults,
wrongs, and misusages happening or done in the trade. The order did not
long remain in force before the Corporation decided to repeal them, but
two or three years later they were revived by common consent, and ordered
to continue during pleasure. In still later times travelling tailors were
a brotherhood, and within the last fifty years when on their journeys
levied money on the resident fraternity.

Cordwainers, when the "Boke of Recorde" was compiled, were only allowed to
do certain kinds of work, and were forbidden to "spetche," or patch boots.
Tailors, too, could not employ any man who might apply for work, there
being a very strict law about the employment of freemen in preference to
those not free; nor could the shearmen enjoy any greater liberty in their
trading operations. One rule ran: "No countryman or person not free shall
be permitted to bargain, buy, exchange, trade, sell, or utter within this
borough or the precincts hereof, any clothes for outside as a shearman,
save only such as be occupiers now of the same trade, or such as shall
purchase their freedom, upon pain to lose ten shillings, whereof to the
Chamber 5s., and Company 5s."

There was a salutary rule about the selling of meat on Sundays: "From
henceforth no butcher, or other his servant, or factor shall sell or utter
any flesh or other victuals or meat out of any shop or stall within the
borough or liberties, or the precincts of the same, or keep any his or
their shop or warehouses open or unshut up after the ending of the third
peal or bells ringing to morning or evening prayer on any Sunday or other
festival day, upon pain to lose to the Chamber of this borough 12d."

The laws against forestalling, regrating, ingrossing, and otherwise
interfering with the due course of trade, were very strict in the markets
held under manors and also in those otherwise regulated. The practice
was, however, not peculiar to Cumberland and Westmorland. One other rule
from Kendal may be mentioned as showing the steps taken for preventing
skins being hoarded up, until prices became high: "It shall not be lawful
for any butcher or other person dwelling out of this borough or the
liberties of the same from henceforth to bring into the borough to be
sold, either on the market day or in the week-day any sheepskin (except
the same skin--having the ears upon it--be cleaving unto the head or
carcase of such flesh where upon it did grow) being so brought to be sold,
nor that they nor any of them shall sell, or offer, or put to sale, any
such skin on any market day so brought to be sold unto the borough before
ten o'clock before noon, upon pain to lose and forfeit as much as 2s."

The penalty for buying victuals before they arrived at the market was
forfeiture, while it was further ordered that "no man or woman shall
suffer any corn to be sold or measured in their houses upon pain of 6s.
8d., but that all corn shall be bargained, bought, and measured in open
market only."

An old native of the borough not long ago assured the writer that when he
was a boy, in the old coaching days, the suspicion of "poaching" extended
even to the lawyers, for, said he, "At the Assizes at Appleby the Bar had
all to enter the borough together, or not before a certain hour, lest one
individual might secure more than a fair share of the briefs."

Market-bells are still rung at various places in the two counties. That in
St. Andrew's Church, Penrith, is sounded every Tuesday morning at ten
o'clock, before which hour business is supposed to be forbidden. The same
rule prevails at Appleby, where the bell hangs in a campanile over the
Moot Hall. This, of course, is a survival of the days when forestalling
was a very serious offence--and properly so. The archives of the
Corporation of Carlisle contain documents bearing on the connection of the
bells with trading. Mention of the market-bell appears in the bye-laws of
1561, thus: "Itm that noe outman shall sell any corn to any fore nor to
such tym as the market bell be rounge on payn of forfitor." Happily it is
not possible to apply to all the saying used with reference to one old
market in West Cumberland--that "it opens at twelve o'clock and closes at
noon," the meaning, of course, being that there is little or no market
left. It was recorded by Mr. Green, the noted artist, that at Ambleside
the market was crowded by small merchants, "who were called together by
the tinkling of a small bell. Then all was bustle and animation; joy
beamed in every countenance, for all the traffic was for ready money, and
every individual lived upon the produce of his labour."

Old-Time Home Life

There is a very great store of gossip and anecdote in existence which
might be utilised to illustrate the picturesqueness of old-time life in
Cumberland and Westmorland. Whether the lack of sanitary comforts,
intellectual facilities, and of opportunities of seeing the world or of
knowing of its doings, were counterbalanced by the freedom from care and
the quiet humdrum lives, which were led by the majority of the people in
the two counties, is an open question. An anecdote told in a book
published well-nigh a century since, well illustrates the simplicity of
life among Lakeland folk generations ago. A foreign physician, eminent in
his profession, practiced in the neighbourhood of Keswick. He was one day
asked by another medical man how he liked his position. "My situation," he
replied, "is a very eligible one as a gentleman; I can enjoy every species
of country amusement in the greatest perfection; I can hunt, shoot, and
fish among a profusion of game of every kind; the neighbouring gentlemen,
too, seem to vie with each other in acts of politeness. But as a
physician I cannot say that it is so alluring to me, for the natives have
got the art of preserving their healths and prolonging their lives without
boluses or electuaries, by a plaster taken inwardly, called thick poddish.
This preserves them from the various diseases which shake the human
fabric, and makes them slide into the grave without pain by the gradual
decay of nature."

As might be supposed, a people possessing so many primitive habits, and
whose lives were so circumscribed, had numerous peculiar contrivances in
their homes. Some of these have been so long out of use that their purpose
has almost passed from memory. Before the days of mineral oils, the
general means of illumination, both in mansion and cottage, was the
rushlight. These candles were made of the pith of rushes, dipped in melted
tallow. They were fixed for use in an arrangement known as a "Tom
Candlestick," which in the early years of this century were common objects
in every village home. Mr. Anthony Whitehead, in the last edition of his
Westmorland poems (1896), mentions a curious belief in this
connection--that the rushes were not considered fit for use unless pulled
at the full moon.

A love of finery has seldom been a failing with the residents in the
country districts of Cumberland and Westmorland, and especially was this
the case before travel became easy. In the days when at the most the
ordinary folk only saw the shops of a town on "term day"--and in a vast
number of instances that would only occur on a few occasions in a
lifetime--dress was of the most homely and substantial sort. "Hodden grey"
for the men and correspondingly good wear for the females--most of it home
made--were the ordinary fabrics. Clogs were worn at one time by all
classes, from parson down to the poorest labourer, and even on Sundays the
wearing of boots or shoes was often an indication of the owner being a
person of some local consequence. The housewives had a curious method of
preserving the stocking heels, which was probably more efficacious than
cleanly. They took care to "smear the heels of the family's new stockings
with melted pitch, and dipped them immediately in the ashes of turf. The
glutinous mixture incorporated with the woollen, and altogether formed a
compound both hard and flexible, which was well adapted to resist the
united friction of wood and leather." The utility of clogs for certain
purposes is undoubted, but this useful kind of footgear is apparently
losing its popularity.

There have been plenty of descriptions left--by old-time tourists and home
historians--at various periods of the methods of life of the people, and
they generally agree that the costumes, especially of the dales-folk, were
picturesque. The homespun material was frequently undyed, black and white
fleeces being mixed to save the expense of dyeing. This homely material,
which is still made in some parts of Scotland and Ireland, has in recent
years been pronounced by fashion to be superior, for country wear, to the
most finished products of the steam loom; so that now the most elegant
ladies do not disdain to wear dresses of the self-same homespun of which
our ancestors made their "kelt coats." These coats were ornamented with
brass buttons, as were the waistcoats, which were made open in front for
best, in order to show a frilled shirt breast. Knee breeches were the
fashion for centuries. They were buttoned tight round the body above the
haunches, so as to keep up without braces. Those used for best had a knot
of ribbon and four or five bright buttons at the knee, and those who could
afford it, had them made of buckskin. Their stockings, which were a
conspicuous part of the dress, were also made from their own wool, the
colour being generally blue or grey. On their feet they wore clogs on
ordinary occasions, but when dressed in holiday costume, they had low
shoes fastened with buckles which were sometimes of silver.

That picture is a pleasant one; the life in the home was less picturesque.
Churches and farm houses (especially the bedrooms) had next to no
ventilation. The sanitary--or rather insanitary--state of country places
was deplorable, and fevers of a very fatal character were common. The
records of the desolation wrought by some of them is melancholy. Open
drains and sewers in immediate proximity to farm houses were very usual.
Bedrooms very often communicated through the length of a house. This was
economy! A passage or corridor was not required. A leading clergyman, not
finding a casement which would open in a church where he was officiating,
extemporized ventilation by smashing a pane of glass. In the country
cottages and farm houses, as well as in many habitations in the towns, the
chimneys had no flues, and were funnel-shaped, being very wide at the
bottom and gradually contracting to the top, where they had an aperture
of the size of an ordinary chimney, through which the smoke escaped. In
these open chimneys, hams, legs of beef, flitches of bacon, and whole
carcases of mutton were hung to dry for winter consumption. Clarke, in his
"Survey," mentions having seen as many as seven carcases of mutton hanging
in one chimney in Borrowdale, and was told that some chimneys in the vale
contained more. Few of these old-fashioned chimneys are now to be found in
the country.

Wheat has never been grown in large quantities in Cumberland and
Westmorland; hence the necessity in former days for oat, rye, or barley
bread being the staple foodstuffs. Certainly the Westmorland oatmeal,
which required to pass through many processes, and to be stored with very
great care, was the staff of the rural households. It was used in a
variety of ways. There was the porridge for breakfast and supper, the thin
oatcake serving the main purposes of white bread in these days, and the
"crowdy"--an excellent and invigorating species of soup, made by pouring
the liquor in which beef was boiling, over oatmeal in a basin. Oatmeal
also entered into the composition of pie-crusts and gingerbread, like the
famous Kendal "piggin bottoms"--snaps stamped out of rolled dough by the
iron rim which formed the external base of the wooden "piggin" or
"biggin," a diminutive wooden tub used as a receptacle for various
household requisites. Many good houses had either no oven or a very small
one, and pies were baked in a huge iron pan covered all round and above
the massive lid, too, with burning peats. Hence the contents were equally
cooked on all sides.

The extent to which flesh meat, both fresh and cured, was used two or
three centuries ago, must have been much less per individual than is now
the case. Leaving out of account the cost to the poor--and the mere fact
that meat was sold for a very few pence per pound does not necessarily
indicate that it was therefore low-priced--there was not a great quantity
available. The art of winter fattening of sheep and cattle was unknown,
and so artificially preserved meat had to be depended upon after
Martinmas, or at the best between Christmas and spring. One old chronicler
wrote:--"The supply of animal food proved inadequate to the demands of the
community, for the fat stock, fed in autumn, being killed off by
Christmas, very little fresh meat appeared in the markets before the
ensuing midsummer, except veal. The substantial yeomen, as well as the
manufacturers, provided against this inconvenience by curing a quantity of
beef at Martinmas, the greatest part of which they pickled in brine, and
the rest was dried in the smoke. Every family boiled a sufficient piece of
their salt provisions on Sunday morning, and had it hot to dinner,
frequently with the addition of an oatmeal pudding. The cold meat came day
after day to the table so long as any of it remained, and was as often
eaten with oat-bread alone. At the same time a wooden can, full of the
briny liquor in which the beef had been cooked, was placed, warm and
thickened with a little meal, before each person by way of broth. The
stomach was encouraged in the better sort of houses to digest these
stubborn materials by a supply of pickled red cabbage, which was prepared
for the purpose in October or November. Hogs were slaughtered between
Christmas and Candlemas, and converted principally into bacon, which, with
dried beef and dried mutton, afforded a change of salt meat in the spring.
The fresh provisions of winter consisted of eggs, poultry, geese, and
ill-fed veal."

In this connection it would be very interesting to know whether the
provisions of the will made by Thomas Williamson on December 14th, 1674,
are in any way carried out, or what has become of the charity. He
bequeathed the sum of £20 to be laid out in land to be bestowed upon poor
people, born within St. John's Chapelry, or Castlerigg, Cumberland, in
mutton or veal, at Martinmas yearly, when flesh might be thought cheapest,
to be by them pickled or hung up and dried, that they might have something
to keep them within doors during stormy days.

If animal flesh was dear, despite its small cost, there was some
compensation in another way. After the salmon season commenced, great
quantities of this modern luxury were brought from Carlisle and West
Cumberland, and sold in other markets in the two counties. The price was
frequently as low as a penny, and not often higher than twopence per
pound, the lack of carriages and roads of a decent character rendering
conveyance for long distances anything but an easy task. Then the poverty
of the people further south offered the owners of the fish no inducements
to carry the commodity into Lancashire. The abundance and cheapness of
salmon seem to have been proverbial. How far the story may be true the
writer cannot say, but it is worth while noting that a condition
concerning apprentices in some west of England towns, is also recorded as
applying to the Charity School at Kendal. The boys apprenticed from that
institution were not to be compelled to dine on salmon, or on fish in
general, oftener than three days in the week.

Much worse was the condition of the labouring folk of the lower class, who
are said to have "subsisted chiefly on porridge made of oatmeal or dressed
barley, boiled in milk, with the addition of oat-bread, butter, onions,
and a little salted meat occasionally." This meagre diet was probably the
cause of the agues which were once very common, especially in the country
districts. The disorder, to a large extent, disappeared when the culture
of vegetables became more general, and salted provisions less essential.
Up to 1730 potatoes were very sparingly used, and were chiefly grown near
Kirkby Lonsdale.

Many of the old stories of the curious methods of dealing with tea, before
it became a common and indispensable article on the tables of all classes
in this country, are obviously either untrue or exaggerated. Hence the
veracity of the following statements, which appeared in print in
Westmorland in the first decade of this century, is not vouched for:--"Not
long after the introduction of potatoes, tea became a favourite beverage
with the women, in spite of a steady opposition from the men; perhaps it
found its way into the north in form of presents. From the method of
preparing this foreign luxury not being generally understood, these
presents were sometimes turned to ridiculous uses. One old lady received a
pound of tea from her son in London, which she smoked instead of tobacco,
and did not hesitate to prefer the weed of Virginia to the herb of China.
Another mother converted a present of the same sort and magnitude into a
herb pudding; that is, she boiled the tea with dressed barley, and after
straining off the water, buttered the compound, which she endeavoured to
render palatable with salt, but in vain, for the bitter taste was not to
be subdued."

How unfavourably the introduction of tea was regarded, by some writers at
any rate, may be gathered from the following paragraph, which appeared in
the _Pacquet_ of October 23rd, 1792:--"A correspondent says that in the
neighbourhood of Greystoke, during the late harvest, added to an increase
of wages, the female reapers had regularly their tea every afternoon, and
the men, toast and ale. How different is this from the beef-steak
breakfasts of old! How degenerate is the present age, and how debilitated
may the next be!"

Oat-cake and brown bread are less favoured in the two counties than was
formerly the case, a fact which was often deplored by the late Bishop of
Carlisle, Dr. Goodwin. It is not a little curious that two articles which
formed the staple portions of the diet of the people from sixty to a
hundred years ago, should now be regarded more in the nature of luxuries.
As an example of the sparing way in which "white flour" was used, an old
Appleby native tells a story concerning what happened at a good hostelry
in the borough, sixty years ago, at a time when wheaten flour was very
scarce, but butcher meat very plentiful. Among other good substantial
things on the table was a huge meat pie, at the shilling ordinary. Just,
however, as the "head of the table" was about to cut the crust, the waiter
whispered to him, "Please, sir, missis says flour is so dear, ye must run
t' knife round t' crust and lift it clean off on to my tray to do another

From the remains of ancient structures it is still possible to draw good
pictures of the way the old inhabitants passed their lives therein. The
late Dr. M. W. Taylor by that means elaborated the story of the daily
doings of the people, from lord to vassal, who inhabited Yanwath Hall. A
similar picture has been presented by Mr. J. F. Curwen in his monograph on
Levens Hall "in the bygone":--

"Just within would be the raised dais, with its flanking window bay, and
the long table, at the higher side of which the lord with his family and
any distinguished guests took their meals, whilst on the floor below those
of an inferior rank were seated at tables ranging along each side of the
room. At the opposite, or western, end, the oaken screens, nine and a half
feet high, extended across the full width, dividing off the heck or
passage, from which opened out the kitchen, buttery, and other offices,
and from over which the musicians in the minstrels' gallery would on all
occasions of more than ordinary importance enliven the feast with their
melody. This hall was also used for the transaction of business between
the lord and his vassals, for here he would hold his royalty court,
receiving their suit and service, and administer justice according to the
powers granted to him by the Crown. At night time the retainers would
huddle together on the thickly strewn rushes in the middle of the floor,
around the fire and its convolving wreaths of smoke ascending to the open
lantern in the roof. For it must be remembered that chimneys were not
introduced into England, except to a few castles, until the fifteenth
century, about the time when the Redemans would be transferring Levens to
Alan Bellingham."

With chimneys came new taxes, and some of them were not only keenly
resented, but evaded as openly as was possible. The people seem to have
had a special dislike to the tax of two shillings a year which was passed
in the twelfth year of Charles the Second, for that was a heavy sum,
having regard to the value of money then. Among the manuscripts preserved
at Rydal Hall, Westmorland, by the le Flemings, are a great many
references to this tax. There were schemes for substituting other imposts,
as appears by a sentence contained in a letter (May 10th, 1669) by Daniel
Fleming, Rydal, to Joseph Williamson, who had just purchased the estate of
Winderwath, near Temple Sowerby:--"There are rumours one while that the
Scots are up in armes, another while that bishops and dean and chapter
lands will be sold, or annext to the crowne in the place of the excise and
hearth money, and bishops to be maintained by sallaries out of the

Another document is from the Lords Commissioners to the justices of the
peace in the Barony of Kendal, concerning the collection of the hearth
tax, and an item in a news-letter of April, 1671, says, "This day the Lord
Treasurer received proposals for the farm of the hearth money; those who
propose to keep it as it was, advancing only £100,000, are to make a new
offer." During the following summer another came "from the Court at
Whitehall" to the justices of the peace for Westmorland, "Cautioning them
against allowing exemptions from hearth money too readily. They should
consider firstly who are they whom the law intends to be exempted. Then
they should appoint petty sessions for the signing of certificates at such
times and places that the royal officers may attend and be heard. It
cannot be supposed that the law intends to oblige the justices to allow
whatsoever shall be offered them without examining the truth thereof." A
news-letter of April 23rd, 1674, gives an idea of the extent of the tax
in the following sentence:--"This day the farm of the hearth money was
made and let to Mr. Anslem, Mr. Perry, and Mr. Buckley, at £151,000 per
annum, and £25,000 advance, commencing at Michaelmas next."

Some of the entries are of special interest to Cumberland and Westmorland.
Thus in a letter to Daniel Fleming on January 8th, 1674-5, Robert Joplin,
writing from Kendal, "apologises for writing as he had not been able to
wait upon him. Has been seven weeks in the country, and surveyed and taken
account of all the hearths in most of the market towns of this county, and
in Cumberland. Had always behaved with all civility. If he will have the
duplicates of the surveys made they will be handed in at the next
sessions." A week later Robert Joplin and Richard Bell, the collectors of
the hearth tax, report to the justices of Kendal: "Have surveyed most of
the market towns in the two counties, levying the tax of 2s. on every fire
hearth. Would not proceed to distrain without the justices' permission.
Some refuse to pay because they were not charged before. All kitchens and
beerhouses refuse on the same pretence. Many hearths have been made up,
most of them lately. We trust that the justices will be very careful in
giving certificates."

A few days afterwards Nathaniel Johnson, another collector of the tax,
writes from Newcastle to Daniel Fleming that he "does not think the
determination of the justices to proceed in the matter of the hearth money
under the old survey, until the new is perfected, is consistent with the
law; nevertheless he will yield to their opinion." Johnson proves to be a
difficult official with whom to deal, and he writes to Fleming in July,
"Remonstrating against the conduct of the Kendal magistrates in the matter
of the hearth money. It has been already decided that smiths' hearths are
liable. The practice of walling up hearths in a temporary manner is
plainly fraudulent. The magistrates ought not to countenance such things,
nor refuse the evidence of officials engaged in this business, for of
course none other can be made. May reluctantly be compelled to appeal
against their proceedings."

These and similar protests did not appear to have much effect, though
frequently repeated, and ten years later came an order from the Lord High
Treasurer to the Clerk of the Peace of the county of Lancaster, to be
communicated to the justices, in view of the difficulties raised by them
in the collection of the hearth money: "The duty is to be levied on empty
houses, smiths' forges, innkeepers' and bakers' ovens, on landlords for
tenements let to persons exempt on account of poverty, on private persons
where there is a hearth and oven in one chimney. The duty may be levied on
the goods of landlords and tenants which are not on the premises whereon
the duty arises."

There is a rather amusing reference to the subject in a letter sent by
William Fleming to his brother Roger Fleming, at Coniston Hall: "Tell the
constable the same hearth man is coming again. Tell him to be as kind as
his conscience will permit to his neighbours, and play the fool no more.
The priest and he doth not know how happy they are."

The means available, in bygone days, for quenching fire were, everywhere
in the two counties, of a most primitive character. In March, 1657, the
Corporation of Kendal decreed, as there had "happened of late within this
borough great loss and damage by fire," and the Corporation had not fit
instruments and materials for speedy subduing of the flames, that the
Mayor and Alderman should each provide two leathern buckets, and each
burgess one such bucket, before May 1st following, the penalty being a
fine of 6s. 8d. in the case of the leading men, and half that amount for
default on the part of others.

Sports and Festivities.

It is almost impossible to separate the sports of the Cumberland and
Westmorland people from the festivals, inasmuch as some of the pastimes
were prominent items in gatherings even of a semi-religious character.
Wrestling, that finest of North-Country exercises, has been practically
killed by the competition of other athletic games, but more than all by
the "barneying" so often practised by the wrestlers. To this cause must be
ascribed the fall of the "mother ring" at Carlisle, and the disfavour into
which the sport has dropped in all parts of the two counties, albeit the
Grasmere exhibitions are still kept up to a fair standard of honesty. For
centuries it was the greatest amusement of fellsider, dalesman, and town
dweller, and it was no uncommon thing for men to walk, in the pre-railway
days, twenty miles to a wrestling meeting. Pure love of sport must have
been the motive, because the prize usually consisted only of a belt of the
value of from ten shillings to a sovereign--often much less--and a small
sum of money which would now be looked at with contempt even when offered
by way of "expenses." The men whose prowess gained them more than local
fame were often almost perfect specimens of what athletes should be at
their respective weights, and their skill cannot be approached by any of
the medium and light weights now in the ring. For several other reasons
the sport is entitled--unfortunately so--to be classed among things
belonging to the bygone, and to the next generation wrestling, as
understood at the Melmerby and Langwathby Rounds fifty years ago, will be

Clergymen have often been included among the best wrestlers of their time,
especially in West Cumberland, though some who as young men were noted for
their prowess in this direction gave up this sport when they took holy
orders. William Litt, whose name will always have a place in local
sporting annals through his book, "Wrestliana," was intended for the
Church. His tastes were so obviously in other directions that the plan had
to be abandoned, and he developed into one of the finest wrestlers of his
time. The Rev. G. Wilkinson, Vicar of Arlecdon, and the Rev. O. Littleton,
Vicar of Buttermere, were also ardent followers of the sport; while the
Rev. A. Brown, Egremont, and the inventor of the "chip" known as
buttocking, was described as one of the best exponents of the old game to
be found in the north of England.

A sporting custom peculiar to the two counties--for the nobleman most
concerned has immense possessions in each--is the race for the Burgh
Barony Cup. The meeting has been well described as "a singular old-world
institution, one of a number of antiquated customs mixed up with the land
laws." The races are held to celebrate the "reign" of a new Lord Lonsdale,
consequently no earl ever sees more than one--at least when he is the head
of the family. The last meeting on Burgh Marsh was in March, 1883, when
the arrangements were on a royal scale, thousands of persons being
present, an enormous number of them as the guests of his lordship.
Wrestling formed an important part of the proceedings during the two days,
but the central item was the race for the cup. The competitors were
confined to animals owned by free or customary tenants within the Barony,
and the winner of the hundred guineas trophy was greeted with frantic

Carlisle possesses a unique racing relic. The "horse courses" were
formerly held on Kingmoor, and the "Carlisle bells" were doubtless prized
as much in their day as the stakes for £10,000 are now. The articles
frequently figure in the Municipal Records as the Horse and Nage Bells,
and were for a long time lost, being ultimately found in an old box in the
Town Clerk's office. Mr. Llewellyn Jewitt, F.S.A., some twenty years ago
gave this description of the relics: "The racing bells are globular in
form, with slits at the bottom, as is usual in bells of that class. The
loose ball which would originally lie in the inside, so as to produce the
sound, has disappeared. The largest, which is two and a quarter inches in
diameter, is of silver gilt, and bears on a band round its centre the
inscription [each word being separated by a cross]:

            BEL + TO + TAK

This lady was probably Elizabeth, daughter of George Talbot, fourth Earl
of Shrewsbury, and wife of William, Lord Dacre of Gilsland, who was
Governor of Carlisle in the reign of Queen Elizabeth. The other bell, also
of silver, is smaller in size, and bears the initials H.B.M.C. (Henry
Baines, Mayor of Carlisle), 1559. On Shrove Tuesday Kingmoor became a
busy scene, and the contests created much excitement among the freemen and
others. The bell was not an uncommon prize, either in horse-racing or
cock-fighting, and was held by the victor, as challenge cups and shields
are at the present day, from one year to another, or from one race to
another. To win this race was of course a mark of honour, and gave rise to
the popular expression of 'to bear away the bell.' At York the racing
prize in 1607 was a small golden bell, and the Corporation Records of
Chester about 1600 show that in that city a silver bell was given to be
raced for on the Roodee; but I am not aware that any of them are now in
existence. Probably the Carlisle examples are unique."


There are many other evidences that racing has for several centuries been
a favourite pastime with the people of Cumberland and Westmorland. The
race meetings seem to have been made occasions for county gatherings of
other kinds, and especially for cock-fights--a sport which has not yet
entirely died out. The following advertisement of Penrith races in 1769,
which appeared in the _St. James's Chronicle_ for that year, may be quoted
as an example of many others, relating not only to Penrith but to other
towns in the two counties:--

    _Penrith Races, 1769._

    To be run for, on Wednesday, the 24th of May, 1769, on the new Race
    Ground at Penrith, Cumberland.

    Fifty Pounds, by any four Years old Horse, Mare, or Gelding, carrying
    8st. 7lb. Two-mile Heats.

    On Thursday, the 25th, Fifty Pounds, by any Horse, &c., five Years
    old, carrying 9st. Three-mile Heats.

    On Friday, the 26th, Fifty Pounds, by any five, six Years old, and
    Aged Horse, &c. Five-year Olds to carry 8st. 3lb. Six-year Olds 9st.,
    and Aged 9st 8lb. Four-mile Heats.

    All Horses, etc., that run for the above Plates, to be entered at the
    Market Cross on Saturday, the 20th Day of May, between the Hours of
    Three and Six o'Clock in the Afternoon. The Owner of each Horse, &c.,
    to subscribe and pay Three Guineas at the Time of Enterance towards
    the Races, and Two Shillings and Six-pence for the Clerk of the Race.

    Certificates of each Horse, &c., to be produced at the Time of
    Enterance. Three reputed running Horses, &c., to enter and start for
    each of the above Plates, or no Race.

    If only one Horse, &c., enters, to receive Ten Pounds, if two Fifteen
    between them, and their Subscription paid at the time of Enterance

    All the above Plates to be run for in the royal Manner, and any
    Dispute that may arise to be determined by the Stewards, or whom they
    shall appoint.

    The several Plates will be paid without any Deduction or Perquisite.

                 {CHARLES HOWARD, jun., Esq.
                 {ANDREW WHELPDALE, Esq.

    [pointing hand] A Cock Main, Ordinaries, and Assemblies, as usual.

Not less interesting than the foregoing announcement is the report of the
event. There was never much attempt at descriptions, either of races or
cock-fights, though one would like to know the names of the gentlemen
indicated in this closing paragraph of the report: "At this Meeting a Main
of Cocks was fought between the Gentlemen of Cumberland, David Smith,
Feeder, and the Gentlemen of Westmoreland, Thomas Bownas, Feeder, which
consisted of 21 Battles, 16 whereof were won by the former, and 5 by the
latter; and of the 15 Bye-Battles Smith won 6, and Bownas 9."

Dalston was long the headquarters of cock-fighting in Cumberland--"Dalston
Black-reeds" are still spoken of as the best birds of the kind in the
world. There is a tradition to the effect that cock-fighting was once
carried on at Rose Castle, in the parish of Dalston, but the Rev. J.
Wilson[17] took particular pains to disprove the assertion. Against that
must be put the following sentence which appeared in _Good Words_ for
December, 1894: "One curious adjunct to an episcopal residence, speaking
loudly of the change of manners and the amelioration of tastes, is the
cock-pit, where matches are said to have been at one time fought for the
amusement of the Bishop and his friends." The favourite day for
cock-fights was Shrove Tuesday.

Cock-fighting was far from being the only barbarous sport enjoyed by the
people of the northern counties. Bull-baiting and badger-baiting were
probably never more popular than at the time when they were prohibited by
law in 1835. There is still the bull ring at Appleby, and the spectators'
gallery was removed within living memory. At Kirkoswald and several other
market-places in the two counties the rings are still firmly fixed to
which the bulls were tethered during the baiting process. Mr. W. Wilson,
in his brochure on "Old Social Life in Cumberland," says: "In Keswick a
large iron ring was formerly fixed in a stone block in the market-place;
this was called the bull ring, and to this a bull, previous to being
slaughtered, was fastened by the ring in its nose, and then baited and
bitten by savage dogs amid dreadful bellowing till the poor beast was
almost covered with foam, and quite exhausted. Great excitement prevailed
when a bull was being baited, and large numbers assembled to witness the
sport. On such occasions the market-place at Keswick was crowded, and
many in order to obtain a good view, might be seen sitting on the roofs of
the adjoining houses. Beyond the excitement which the exhibition produced
among the spectators, the system was thought to be of great value in
improving the quality of the beef, an aged bull being especially tough
unless well baited before slaughtering. When the flesh of a bull was
exposed for sale, it was the rule in Keswick and probably elsewhere, to
burn candles during the day on the stall on which the meat was exposed for
sale, in order that customers might be aware of the quality of the meat
sold there." In some other places in the two counties the penalty for
killing and selling an unbaited bull was 6s. 8d.

For a very long period archery was practised in Cumberland and Westmorland
not only as a means of defence and attack, but also as a recreation. The
numerous places called "Butts," or bearing synonymous names, indicate that
few towns neglected to set apart a shooting ground. In his "Survey of the
Lakes" Clarke blamed the severity of the game laws for keeping up skill in
archery amongst the poachers in the forests of the north-western counties.
He added: "It was this that produced so many noted archers and outlaws in
the forest of Englewood as well as that of Sherwood. For not to mention
Adam Bell and his partners, tradition still preserves the names of Watty
of Croglin, Woodhead Andrew, Robin O'th'Moor's Gruff Elleck (Alexander),
and of several others as of persons distinguished in that line even
amongst the people who were almost to a man of the same stamp. Besides, as
their squabbles and the subsequent maraudings made the skill thus acquired
at times absolutely necessary to the inhabitants on each side of the
boundary, we may easily conclude that a necessity of this kind,
continually kept alive, must produce no small degree of dexterity.

"Whoever will consider the circumstances of the battles which were then
fought, will find that wherever the ground or circumstances favoured the
archer for a number of regular discharges, they generally produced such a
confusion, particularly amongst the enemy's horse, as gave the men-at-arms
of their own party an opportunity of easily completing it. I need cite no
further particulars of this than the battle of Homildon, when the forces
of the Northern Marches encountered the gallant Archibald, Earl of
Douglas; the men-at-arms stood still that day, and the bowmen had the
whole business upon their hands. It is recorded that no armour could
resist their arrows, though that of Earl Douglas and his associates had
been three years in making. It would seem, indeed, that the Scots excelled
in the use of the spear, and (excepting the Borderers) neglecting the bow;
since one of their own kings is thought to have recommended its more
general use by ridiculing their imperfect management of it."

The Kendal bowmen celebrated the prowess of their fore-elders of the same
name by establishing a competition and festival for September 9th in each
year. It was on that day in 1513 that the Kendal bowmen were particularly
distinguished in the battle of Flodden Field. The prizes shot for every
year were a silver arrow and a medal, the members appearing in a uniform
of green, with arrow buttons; the cape green velvet with silver arrow; the
waistcoat and breeches buff, and the shooting jacket was of green and
white striped cotton.

Whitehaven also had its Society of Archers, and in 1790 had a medal
designed by Smirke as a trophy for competition. On one side were the
bugle-horn, quiver, and bow, above them being the words, "Per Has
Victoriam," and underneath the three place-names, "Poictiers," "Cressy,"
and "Agincourt." On the reverse was the name of the shooting ground,
Parton Green, and the date, while round the edge were the words,
"Captain's Medal, Cumberland Archers."

The Kendal "Boke of Recorde" contains several references to the pastimes
of Westmerians from two to three centuries ago. On one occasion it was
ordered by the Corporation "That whosoever do play at the football in the
street and break any windows, shall forfeit upon view thereof by the Mayor
or one of the Aldermen in the ward where the fault is committed the sum of
12d. for every time every party, and 3s. 4d. for every window by the same
broken, and to be committed till it be paid, the constable looke to it to
present it presently at every Court day." That knur and spell, the game so
popular still in Yorkshire, was once a favourite pastime in Kendal is
attested by the following entry, dated April, 1657: "It is ordered by the
Court that all such persons, inhabitants within this borough, above the
age of twelve years, that hereafter shall play in the streets at a game
commonly called Kattstick and Bullvett shall forfeit and incur the penalty
of 12d. for every offence, to be levied of their goods, and where they
have no goods to be imprisoned two hours."

The somewhat questionable glories of Workington Easter football play have
passed away, partly in consequence of the occupation of a portion of the
playing ground by railways and works, and not less because of a change of
feeling. How long these Easter Tuesday matches between "Uppies" and
"Downeys" have gone on no man can tell. Half a century ago it was reported
in the _Pacquet_ that the game in 1849 "was played with all the vigour of
former days, from times beyond 'the memory of the oldest inhabitant.'" The
goals are about a mile apart, one being a capstan at the harbour, and the
other the park wall of Workingham Hall. There are no rules except those
suggested by cunning and skill, while brute force is of the greatest
importance. If the ball is "haled" over the park wall a sovereign is given
by the owner of the estate to the winners, and of course it is spent in
liquor. The players sometimes number hundreds, and thousands of people
attend as spectators.

In several places in the two counties "mock mayors" were annually elected,
and the occasion at Wreay was marked by somewhat uncommon festivities.
The Rev. A. R. Hall, Vicar of the parish, in a lecture delivered some time
ago, gave an account of these Shrovetide observances, which made the
village famous in its way. Up to 1790 the chief feature was a great
cock-fight, managed by the boys at school. A hunt of harriers subsequently
took the place of the cock-fight, this being followed by a public dinner,
and the election of the mayor. Sometimes this functionary belonged to
Wreay, and sometimes came from Carlisle; in the latter case, those who
wished to keep up the due dignity of the office chartered a coach-and-four
for the accommodation of their friends. Racing and jumping were features
in the sports, the prizes for which were hats. The old silver bell used to
ornament the mayor's wand of office. In 1872, unfortunately, the bell was
stolen, and Wreay lost this relic, which had been connected for 217 years
with its Shrovetide festivities. In 1880 the hunt and the election of
mayor both came to an end.

Befitting its importance in the calendar, Christmas seems to have always
held the first place in popularity among the holidays and festivals of the
year. In the summer season Whitsuntide--which marks the end of one term of
farm service--was the most popular. At Christmas "the treat circulated
from house to house, and every table was decorated in succession with a
profusion of dishes, including all the pies and puddings then in use. Ale
possets also constituted a favourite part of the festive suppers, and were
given to strangers for breakfast before the introduction of tea. They were
served in bowls, called doublers, into which the company dipped their
spoons promiscuously; for the simplicity of the times had not yet seen the
necessity of accommodating each guest with a basin or soup plate. The
posset cup shone as an article of finery in the better sort of houses; it
consisted of pewter, and was furnished with two, three, or more lateral
pipes, through which the liquid part of the compound might be sucked by
those who did not choose the bread. This plentiful repast was moistened
with a copious supply of malt liquor, which the guests drank out of horns
and the wooden cans already mentioned. The aged sat down to cards and
conversation for the better part of the night, while the young men amused
the company with exhibitions of maskers, amongst whom the clown was the
conspicuous character; or parties of rapier-dancers displayed their
dexterity in the sportive use of the small-sword. In the meantime the
youth of both sexes romped and gambolled promiscuously, or sat down not
unfrequently to hunt the rolling-pin."

The Gowrie Plot is brought to mind by a record in the Greystoke books that
is unusually quaint in its style: "1603, August, ffrydaye the v{th} day
was comnded for to be keapt holy daye yearely from cessation of laybour
w{th} gyvinge of thanks for the kyngs most excelent matye for his ma{tyes}
p'servation and deliverance from the Crewell Conspiracie practized against
his mat{ies} pson in Scotland that v{th} daye of August, 1600." Three
years sufficed for this celebration; then Gunpowder Plot came in for
notice, as is seen from an item dated November 5th, 1606: "The sayde daye
was Kenges holy day, and one sermon by M{r} pson the xi Isaie 2 verse."
The chronicler followed this registration of his text by a list of the
names of the chief people in the parish who attended the service.

The shearing days used to be high festivals on the fells and in the dales
of both counties. Now the gatherings have been deprived of some of their
most characteristic features; and even the chairing is almost forgotten.
Richardson's chapter on "Auld Fashint Clippins and Sec Like," in
"Stwories at Ganny uset to Tell," relates how the chairing used to be
done. The song, once an indispensable item in the programme, may now and
again be heard, lustily shouted by the dalesmen. After declaring that "the
shepherd's health--it shall go round," the chorus continues:

  "Heigh O! Heigh O! Heigh O!
  And he that doth this health deny,
  Before his face I him defy.
  He's fit for no good company,
  So let this health go round."

The coronation of a monarch was invariably made the occasion for
merry-making by the consumption of much ale by the common folk, especially
by bell-ringers and others who could have the score discharged by the
churchwardens. There is such an entry in the Crosthwaite books relating to
the coronation of George the First. In 1821, November 5th, there was
"spent in ale at Nicholas Graves 5s." This worthy who was parish clerk at
Crosthwaite for fifty-six years, was also the owner of a public-house in
the town, and among his other qualifications was that of being will-maker
for many of the inhabitants. At Penrith, Kendal, Carlisle, and many other
places the church bells were set ringing, bonfires lighted, and ale
barrels tapped--usually at the expense of the churchwardens--on very small

Among other festivals now no longer observed, and probably forgotten, was
that known as Brough Holly Night. In a little pamphlet published between
thirty and forty years ago the following note on the subject was printed,
but the writer has been unable to ascertain when the custom was last seen
in the old Westmorland town: "On Twelfth Night, at Brough, the very
ancient custom of carrying the holly-tree through the town is observed.
There are two or three inns in the town which provide for the ceremony
alternately, though the townspeople lend a hand to prepare the tree, to
every branch of which a torch composed of greased rushes is affixed. About
eight o'clock in the evening the tree is taken to a convenient part of the
town, where the torches are lighted, the town band accompanying and
playing till all is completed, when it is carried up and down the town,
preceded by the band and the crowd who have now formed in procession. Many
of the inhabitants carry lighted branches and flambeaus, and rockets,
squibs, etc., are discharged on the occasion. After the tree has been thus
paraded, and the torches are nearly burnt out, it is taken to the middle
of the town, where, amidst the cheers and shouts of the multitude, it is
thrown among them. Then begins a scene of noise and confusion, for the
crowd, watching the opportunity, rush in and cling to the branches, the
contention being to bear it to the rival inns, 'sides' having been formed
for that purpose; the reward being an ample allowance of ale, etc., to the
successful competitors. The landlord derives his benefit from the numbers
the victory attracts, and a fiddler being all ready, a merry night, as it
is called here, is got up, the lads and lasses dancing away till morning."

There were once many wells and springs in the two counties which were held
in more than common regard by the inhabitants, and corresponded to the
Holy Wells of other districts. Between sixty and seventy years ago this
was written of a custom once common at Skirsgill, about a mile from
Penrith: "Upon the sloping lawn is a remarkably fine spring; its water is
pure and sparkling, and was formerly held in such veneration that the
peasantry resorted to it, and held an annual fair round its margin. In
descending a flight of stone steps, you perceive inside a drinking cup,
and over the door-top, neatly cut in stone, the form of a water jug."
Cumberland is said to have had nearly thirty Holy Wells, and of one of
these Mr. Hope tells us[18] that "The Holy Well near Dalston, Cumberland,
was the scene of religious rites on stipulated occasions, usually Sundays.
The villagers assembled and sought out the good spirit of the well, who
was 'supposed to teach its votaries the virtues of temperance, health,
cleanliness, simplicity, and love.'"

The various well festivals in the Penrith district have all passed away,
as has a once popular gathering of another kind, known as Giant's Cave
Sunday. The assemblies were at "the hoary caves of Eamont," about three
miles from Penrith, and the late Rev. B. Porteus, then Vicar of Edenhall,
wrote of them nearly forty years ago: "The picnics are of frequent
occurrence at this picturesque and romantic spot; and have been
occasionally patronised by special culinary demonstrations by the
hospitable proprietor of the estate. Giant's Cave Sunday is still
observed, but the custom has dwindled into insignificance, the 'shaking
bottles' carried by the children at that season being the only remains of
what it has been. But it affords a pleasant walk to the people of
Penrith, as it has probably done since the time when the caves were the
residence of a holy man."

Among the festivities now to be numbered among bygone things must be
mentioned the Levens Radish Feast, which had much more than a local fame.
In the time of Colonel Grahme there was great rivalry between the houses
of Dallam Tower and Levens. The former once invited every person who
attended Milnthorpe Fair to partake of the good cheer provided in the
park, a piece of hospitality which irritated the Colonel very much. As a
consequence, the following year when the Mayor and Corporation of Kendal
went to proclaim the fair, he took them to Levens, and provided such a
royal entertainment that the civic fathers gladly accepted the invitation
for succeeding years. The fair sex were rigidly excluded. Long tables were
placed on the bowling green, and spread with oat bread, butter, radishes,
and "morocco," a kind of strong beer, for which the Hall was famed. After
the feast came the "colting" of new visitors, and various amusements that
are better to read about than witness.

[Illustration: LEVENS HALL.--_Front View._]

On the Road.

Few parts of England could have been so inaccessible as were Cumberland
and Westmorland prior to the middle of the last century. Roads were
scarce, unless the dignity of the name be given to the rough tracks which
served for the passage of pack-horses, and even these did not reach a
great number, having regard to the area which they served. There was
little to call the people away from home, to London and other great
centres of industry. The journey from the north to the Metropolis was such
a great undertaking that men who had any possessions to leave behind them
almost invariably made their wills before starting out. The richer sort,
of course, rode their horses, and an interesting account of the journey
was left by Henry Curwen, of Workington Hall, as to his trip to London in
1726. The most accessible route was very roundabout--by Penrith,
Stainmore, Barnard Castle, York, and so through the eastern counties. This
journey on horseback occupied thirteen days, including four which were
utilised for visiting friends on the way. The roads he described as being
very bad, and a ride of thirty-two miles he declared to be equal to fifty
measured miles.

People with fewer guineas to spare had of necessity to walk.
"Manufacturers made their wills, and settled their worldly affairs, before
taking a long journey, and many of them travelled on foot to London and
other places, to sell their goods, which were conveyed on the backs of
pack-horses."[19] Even more recently pedestrian excursions from Mid
Cumberland to London have been undertaken; there was the well-known case
of Mally Messenger, who died in August, 1856, at the age of ninety-three
years. Several times before she attained middle age Mally walked to London
and back to Keswick, a distance of 286 miles in each direction. On one
occasion she was passed by a Keswick man on horseback, who by way of a
parting message remarked, "Good-day, Mally; I'll tell them in Keswick
you're coming." The pedestrian, however, was the better traveller, for she
often used to boast afterwards that she reached Keswick first.

When old-time Bamptonians wanted to see the Metropolis they could not go
to Shap or Penrith and thence be carried by excursions for considerably
under a sovereign. This is how the vicar went on foot in 1697, as recorded
in the parish registers: "Feb. the 7 did Mr. Knott set forward for London,
got to Barking to Mr. Blamyres, Friday, March the fourth, to London March
the seaventh, remained there 8 weekes and 2 dayes, came out May the 5,
1698, gott to Bampton Grainge, May the 20, at night."

Even apart from the perils which beset travellers during the times of the
Border forays, there were many things which must have restrained the
average Cumbrian and Westmerian from wandering far abroad. To those who
were obliged to walk or ride far, the old hospitals must have been very
welcome institutions. One of these, of which all traces have long been
lost, was the hospital on the desolate and remote fells of Caldbeck. "Out
of Westmorland and the east parts of Cumberland there lying an highway
through Caldbeck into the west of Cumberland, it was anciently very
dangerous for passengers to travel through it, who were often robbed by
thieves that haunted those woody parts and mountains. Thereupon Ranulph
Engain, the chief forester of Englewood, granted licence to the Prior of
Carlisle to build an hospital for the relief of distressed travellers who
might happen to be troubled by those thieves, or prejudiced by the snows
or storms in winter." The Prior made the enclosure, and doubtless the
hospice was a boon to many a wayfarer; the population increased, a church
was established, and in the time of King John, the hospital being
dissolved, the property of the secular institution was handed over to the
Church, and to this day the manor is known as Kirkland. The need for
former protection of the kind is still preserved in a landmark in the
parish, "the Hawk," or as the local pronunciation has it, "Howk." This
grotto was a noted meeting-place for thieves.

Even the King's Judges were not exempted from the perils of the road.
Hutchinson's description of Brampton says that "The judges, with the whole
body of barristers, attorneys, clerks, and serving men, rode on horseback
from Newcastle to Carlisle, armed and escorted by a strong guard under the
command of the sheriffs. It was necessary to carry provisions, for the
country was a wilderness which afforded no supplies. The spot where the
cavalcade halted to dine, under an immense oak, is not yet forgotten. The
irregular vigour with which criminal justice was administered shocked
observers whose lives had been passed in more tranquil districts. Juries,
animated by hatred, and by a sense of common danger, convicted
house-breakers and cattle-stealers with the promptitude of a court-martial
in a mutiny; and convicts were hurried by scores to the gallows."

Even taxes did not, it is to be feared, prevent some of the Cumbrians
occasionally throwing in their lot with, or assisting, the vagabonds who
were the cause of all the trouble. "It was often found impossible to track
the robbers to their retreats among the hills and morasses, for the
geography of that wild country was very imperfectly known. Even after the
accession of George the Third, the path over the fells from Borrowdale to
Ravenglass was still a secret carefully kept by the dalesman, some of whom
had probably in their youth escaped from justice by the road." Such is the
record which may be gathered from Gray's "Journal of a Tour in the Lakes"
in 1769.

Coach travelling was an expensive luxury, and those who undertook the
journeys between London and the north did not do so solely for pleasure.
From an advertisement, nearly a column in length, which appeared in the
London _Star_ at the end of 1795 the following is taken:--

        With every accommodation that can lessen the fatigue,
        or add to the pleasure of the Journey, to
        most parts of England and the
        Principal Towns in Scotland,
        by the following

    Carlisle and Penrith rapid Post Coach, goes with four horses, and a
    guard all the way, passes through Brough, Appleby, Gretabridge,
    Richmond, Catterick, Boroughbridge, Wetherby, Alberford, Doncaster,
    and Grantham (the nearest way by 18 miles) sets out every morning, and
    performs the journey with the greatest ease and convenience.
    Passengers desirous to stop on the road, have the advantage of their
    seats being secured in the next Coach (with only six Coachmen).

    WILLIAM MOUNTAIN and CO. respectfully acquaint their Friends and the
    Public that, still emulous to deserve as well as preserve their
    invaluable esteem, they have provided Lamps and Guards, that travel
    throughout with all the above Coaches.

    N.B. The Proprietors of the above Coaches from the above inn, will not
    be accountable for any Parcel, Luggage, Goods, &c., of more value than
    Five Pounds (if lost) unless entered as such and paid for accordingly.

An earlier advertisement which appeared in the Cumberland newspapers of
1775 shows that the journey to London was done in three days, at a cost
of £3 10s. per passenger. The notice ran:--

    "Carlisle Post Coach.--In Three Days for London.--Sets out from the
    Bush Inn, Carlisle, every Sunday evening, at seven o'clock precisely,
    by way of Burrowbridge, being well known to the public to be the
    nearest and best road to London (and is also calculated for more ease
    and satisfaction to the passengers than any other coach). It also sets
    out from the Bell and Crown, Holborn, every Wednesday evening, at
    eight o'clock. Each inside passenger from Carlisle to London to pay £3
    10s. From the George Inn, Penrith, £3 7s. 6d., and threepence per mile
    for all passengers taken up on the road. Each passenger to be allowed
    14lb. luggage; all above to pay 4d. per pound; small parcels at 3s.
    each.... Performed by J. Garthwaite and Co."

Locomotion was still more difficult and costly in the early part of the
seventeenth century. In the Household Books of Naworth, extending from
1612 to 1640, are found such significant entries as the following:--"March
22, 1626. Hewing a way for the coach beyond Gelt Bridge, 2s. 3d." On one
occasion, Sir Francis Howard, being sick, hired a coach for his journey
from London to Bowes, which cost £18. Lord William Howard's journeys to
London were always taken on horseback, and he was generally ten or twelve
days on the road, the travelling expenses varying, according to the number
of his retinue and the direction of the route taken. A journey by way of
Shiffnal and Lydney occupied eleven days, and cost £30 7s. 1d.; whilst the
expenses of another, from Thornthwaite to London with twenty-four men and
twelve horses in his train, came to £20 15s. 4d.

In addition to the coaches, people often travelled by what were termed
"expeditious wagons," which carried goods. One notice dated November 24th,
1790, concerning these vehicles may be quoted:--

    "In ten days from Carlisle to London, and the same in return by way of
    York every week. Messrs. Handleys respectfully inform their friends
    and the public in general that they have erected stage waggons which
    leave Carlisle early on Tuesday morning and arrive at York on Thursday
    night, and Leeds on Saturday morning (where goods for all parts in the
    south are regularly forwarded by the respective carriers), arrive at
    the White Bear, Bassinghall Street, on Friday night, and set out every
    Monday morning, and arrive at and leave York on Tuesday morning,
    Bedal, Richmond, Barnard Castle, Burgh, Appleby, Penrith, and arrive
    at Carlisle on Friday evening, where goods are immediately forwarded
    to Wigton, Cockermouth, Workington, Whitehaven, and any other place in
    Cumberland; also to Annan, Dumfries, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, and
    all other principal towns in Scotland. They hope by their attention
    to business to merit the favours of all those who please to employ
    them. N.B.--Their waggon leaves Sheffield on Saturday, and Leeds on
    Monday. For further particulars apply to Robert Wilson, book-keeper,
    or J. Birkett, innkeeper, Carlisle."

A writer in 1812, on the manners and customs of the people of Westmorland
during the preceding century, stated that wheel carriages were very little
used for private intercourse or trade; for persons of both sexes made
short journeys on horseback, the women being commonly seated on pillions
behind the men. Very few made long excursions from home, except the
manufacturers of Kendal, many of whom travelled on foot in quest of orders
for their worsted stockings and linsey-woolsey. Carriers did not employ
wagons, but drove gangs of pack-horses, each gang being preceded by a
bell-horse, and the owners reckoned a young woman equivalent to half a
pack in loading their beasts of burden. The predilection for transporting
all kinds of commodities on horseback was so general, that the fuel
consumed in Kendal came to the town in this manner. Coals were brought in
sacks upon galloways from Ingleton, and the turf or peat was conveyed from
the mosses in halts. These were a pair of strong wicker hampers, which
were joined by a pack-saddle, and hung across a horse's back. They were
put to various uses in husbandry, which offices are now performed by
carts. Halts gave way to carts in the progress of general improvement.
These vehicles were ill-contrived, particularly the wheels, which
consisted of two circular boards fixed without spokes immovably to the
ends of a cylinderical axle. The injudicious nature of the construction
required the axle itself to revolve beneath the cart, where it was kept in
its place by two pairs of parallel wooden pins, that projected downward
from the frame of the bottom.

A question concerning these old "tummel wheel'd cars" was asked in the
_Carlisle Journal_ a few months ago, and a correspondent supplied this
answer:--"I have seen at least two of these old-time machines of
locomotion. They had then been many years out of use. I speak now of a
date say 58 years gone past. One of them was stored in an open shed in the
farmyard of its venerable owner--the other had less respect shown to its
remains, for it stood in a neglected and unsheltered corner. Of course, I
never saw either of them in use. The wheels were funny, not to say clumsy,
looking affairs. Without spokes or felloes, they consisted of three
segment-shaped blocks of wood, fastened together rudely but strongly with
'dowels' of the same material, so as to form a circle. The wheels again
were similarly fastened to the axle, and the whole revolved in one solid
mass. The harness consisted mostly of ropes or girthing with loops at the
ends, and having cleets like the modern 'coo-tee' to hold them in
position. Very little leather was used, and but few buckles. Here is Mr.
Dickinson's description, 'In old times the horse was yoked to the cart by
a rope from the shoulders, and an iron ring sliding on the shaft held by a
pin. This was hammerband yoking. The tummel wheelers referred to were seen
by me in the Lake District (Ullswater) in the early forties.'"

Before turnpike roads were made, or wagons came into use, the merchandise
of Kendal was transported by the following pack-horses:--

  One gang of pack-horses to and from London
    every week, of about                                20

  One gang from Wigan weekly, about                     18

  One gang from Whitehaven, about                       20

  From Cockermouth                                      15

  Two gangs from Barnard Castle                         26

  Two gangs from Penrith twice a week, about 15 each    60

  One gang from Settle twice a week, about 15 each      30

  From York weekly, about                               10

  From Ulverston                                         5

  From Hawkeshead twice a week, about 6                 12

  From Appleby twice a week, about 6                    12

  From Cartmel                                           6

  Carriages three or four times a week to and
    from Milnthorpe, computed at 40 horse load          40

  From Sedbergh, Kirkby Lonsdale, Orton, Dent,
    and other neighbouring villages, about              20
                                   Total               294

  Besides 24 every six weeks for Glasgow.

Less than sixty years ago the pillion was in constant use in the two
counties, and only the well-to-do yeomen thought of taking their wives and
daughters frequently to market in the "shandry cart." It is only a quarter
of a century since the old pack-horses ceased to traverse some parts of
Westmorland and its borders. Mr. H. Speight, in one of his books,[20]
deals with a state of things which existed, not only in the Hawes
district, but considerably northward of that place. Handloom weaving was
an old local industry, and when a sufficient number of pieces were ready,
they were gathered up and conveyed by teams of pack-horses over the
mountains to the various West Riding towns. Discharging their loads they
would return laden with warp, weft, size, and other articles. When the
traffic ceased, hundreds of these sonorous pack-horse bells were sold for
old metal, and the brokers' shops for a time were full of them. Each bell
weighed from 1lb. to 2lbs. An old resident in North Westmorland not long
ago recalled very vividly the scenes to be witnessed, and confirmed the
accuracy of the following description from Mr. Speight's volume: "In the
old pack-horse days it was a sight worth remembering to witness the
procession of men and horses with miscellaneous goods, making their way
out of the Yorkshire dales, to Kirkby Stephen and the north. The drivers
from Garsdale and Grisedale came over the moor to Shaw Paddock, and thence
on to Aisgill, and to the old Thrang Bridge in Mallerstang, where they
were met by strings of pack-horses and men coming from the east country by
Hell Gill. It was a busy and picturesque scene, and the Thrang Bridge was
well named. Sometimes on special occasions, as during Brough Hill Fair,
the thrifty wives and daughters of the dales used to go up to Hell Gill
Bridge, and spread out stalls and baskets, stored with cakes, nuts,
apples, and bottles of home-made herb beer, and other non-intoxicants, to
sell to passing travellers. And a good business they did too, for there
was a continuous stream of wayfarers, who were glad, particularly if the
day were hot, to linger awhile and hear the gossip of the country-side,
cracking many a joke along with many a nut bought from the buxom stall
women. Occasionally herds of Highland cattle passed this way, and when the
far-travelled animals showed signs of fatigue, it was no uncommon thing to
see one of the men who carried a bagpipe play some lively air as he
marched in front of the drove. The animals seemed to enjoy the music, and
evidently appreciated this relief to the tediousness of the journey, by
walking, as they often would, with a brisker step, while some of them that
had lain down in the road would quickly rise at the novel far-sounding
strains, which brought many a cottager also to his feet from his home in
the echoing glen."

Old Customs.

Possibly the custom associated with Westmorland which can claim to be at
once among the oldest, as well as having been the most carefully followed,
is that connected with the familiar Countess's Pillar in the parish of
Brougham. The famous Countess Anne of Pembroke erected this structure in
1656, as the still perfect legible inscription on the southern side tells
us, for a laudable purpose: "This pillar was erected in 1656 by Anne,
Countess Dowager of Pembroke, etc., for a memorial of her last parting in
this place with her good and pious mother, Margaret, Countess Dowager of
Cumberland, the 2nd day of April, 1616, in memory whereof she has left an
annuity of £4, to be distributed to the poor of the parish of Brougham
every second day of April for ever, upon the stone placed hard by. _Laus
Deo._" The custom is scrupulously observed, the money being distributed on
April 2nd as directed, except when that day falls, as this year, on a
Sunday, and then the little ceremony is conducted on the following day.
When asked as to the regularity of the observance shortly before this
year's distribution, the Rev. W. S. Salman, the venerable Rector of
Brougham, said the details were carefully attended to; and, he added, "we
should soon hear about it if they were not."

How far the custom of rush-bearing goes back there is nothing in local
records to show, but there are some very old entries in the registers
concerning the practice. In spite of the Puritans the villagers were
keeping up the festival at Kirkby Lonsdale; there is this item among the
churchwardens' accounts for 1680: "Paid at the rush-bearing in drink, 3s."
Although the ceremony had in each place the same general features,
different parishes varied the proceedings. Flowers as well as rushes were
carried by the children, many of the blooms being made into garlands.
After the sermon, the roses and rushes brought the preceding year were
taken out, and the fresh ones put in their places. An old writer made the
following suggestion as to the origin of the custom: "That our forefathers
appointed a day on which they rendered public thanks to the Almighty for
His kindness in causing the earth to bring forth fruit for the sustenance
of man and beast, and that on these occasions they brought rushes, or
other productions of the soil, to the sanctuary, which they spread out as
a memorial before the lord." The theory is doubtless correct, as is proved
by the fact that at Warcop and other places where "rush-bearings"--minus
the rushes--are still kept up every summer, the service and other
proceedings are in the nature of a public thanksgiving.


_From a Photo by Mr. John Bolton, Penrith._]

Nut Monday has passed into the region of forgotten things, even at such
places as the schools, where it was once a popular observance. It was,
however, kept so recently as 1861, when September 12th was held in Kendal
as a general holiday, almost every shop being closed. Possibly the failure
of the nut crop in several successive years was a factor in changing the
holiday to another time, and thus the day losing its distinctive
character. This, it will be noted, had nothing in common with another
custom observed in some other parts of the country--Crack Nut Sunday. The
latter was simply a desecrating practice, without a single good feature.

"Sunday observance" had more than a nominal meaning in bygone days, though
there is nothing to indicate that the people of the two counties had any
particular liking for the restrictions imposed. It was the practice in
nearly every town and village for the churchwardens to leave the church
during service time and walk through the town in search of people who
ought to have been at church, and special attention was paid to licensed
premises. Possibly, by the time the hostelries were reached, the
churchwardens felt the need of liquid refreshment; at any rate, they
frequently obtained it. Carlisle, in 1788, was divided into districts,
through each of which two constables and two of the principal inhabitants,
who took it in rotation, patrolled the streets from ten in the morning
till one, and from three to five in the afternoon, during which hours the
doors of all the public-houses were kept shut, the patrol having first
visited them to see that no person was tippling in them. "So much respect
is paid to this regulation," wrote a chronicler of the period, "that
during these hours no person is seen in the streets but those who are
going to or returning from some place of worship." Fines were occasionally
imposed for non-attendance at church; that does not seem to have been the
rule, moral suasion apparently sufficing to meet most requirements. The
Corporation of Kendal took powers to inflict what were then--three
hundred years ago--heavy fines for selling ale during service hours.

Among the customs and beliefs noted as prevalent at Whitbeck, in West
Cumberland, in 1794, were these: "Newly-married persons beg corn to sow
their first crop with, and are called corn-laiters. People always keep
wake with the dead. The labouring ox is said to kneel at twelve o'clock at
night, preceding the day of the Nativity; the bees are heard to sing at
the same hour. On the morn of Christmas Day breakfast early on
hack-pudding, a mess made of sheep's heart mixed with suet and sweet
fruits. To whichever quarter a bull faces in lying on All Hallows' Eve,
from thence the wind will blow the greater part of the winter." It has
been surmised that the hack-pudding resembles sweet-pie, which is not
unlike a mince-pie on a large scale, mutton being used instead of beef,
and the ingredients not finely chopped.

Here, as in other parts of the country, beating the bounds, both of
parishes and manors, was a popular, though oft-times toilsome, observance.
In a few registers, records have been preserved of the old-time landmarks,
a precaution of special value in days before the Ordnance Survey was
thought of. Dalston registers not only supply this information, but a
description of the ceremony of perambulation. Curiosities of divisions are
not lacking. An old man, once a parishioner of Dalston, told the Rev. J.
Wilson[21] that he had a vivid recollection of taking part in the ritual
of beating the bounds many years ago, and throwing a rope over a house,
part of which stands in Castle Sowerby, in order to mark the division of
the contiguous parishes. The walls of the house exist still, though
unroofed, where the inhabitants were wont to say, half a century ago, that
they always slept in Dalston and breakfasted in Castle Sowerby.

"Furth" was a word used by the inhabitants of Orton long ago. In those
days, before the era of coal burning, most of the houses had what were
called hearth fire-places, with big open chimneys but no fire-grates.
Householders had the privilege of getting turf on the moors, and during
the winter nights neighbours used to assemble in one another's houses in
succession. Orton and Ravenstonedale were famous places for knitting, and
the folks all sat round the blazing turf fire knitting away at top speed.
Both men and women were thus occupied, and made a peculiar rattling noise
with so many needles working at once. The conversations at these Furth
Neets were very amusing, the talk ranging from the state of the crops,
such as they were in those days of what would be called low farming, to
the prices of produce and the latest doings of Mary Baynes, the local

Formerly some of the inhabitants of Orton had what were called penthouses
in front of their dwellings. It was a custom on Candlemas Day for those
who had money to lend to appear under the sheds or penthouses, with
neckcloths tied round their heads, and if the weather was cold, while the
money-lenders were shivering beneath the scanty shelter, the borrowers
frequented the public-houses, where there was much carousing. This curious
custom has long been discouraged, and only one penthouse is now standing.

Reminders of Border service remained in the two counties long after the
Act of Union had been passed. Thus the secluded hamlet of Kentmere was
divided into sixty tenements for the maintenance of as many soldiers, and
so recently as the middle of this century it was written: "The vestiges of
this ancient regulation still remain, for the township is divided into
four parts, and each of these parts into fifteen tenements. For each
tenement a man serves the office of constable, and pays 2s. per annum to
the curate."

Public affairs in the village of Torpenhow used to be managed by "the
sixteen men," elected by the householders in the four quarters into which
the parish was divided, the vicar and churchwardens being apparently _ex
officio_ members of this early Parish Council. The last nomination of the
sixteen took place about 1807; they had a great variety of duties,
carrying out functions that are now discharged by School Boards, Parish,
District, and County Councils. So far as is known, the most detailed
information concerning the duties of the "sworn men" is given in the Orton
(Westmorland) registers, where, following the fourteen names of "the
sworne men of Orto' anno d'ni 1596," is this statement, so far as it can
be deciphered:--

    "_Imprimis_ that thes be diligent and careful to see and provide that
    the people be ... and behave the'selves honestlie ... feare of God
    according to the Holie word of God and the Good and wholesome laws of
    this land. _Secondlie_ to see that the Churchwardens be careful and
    diligent in executinge their office, ioyne with thes in suppressing of
    sinne and such as behave the'selves inordinatlie to reprove and
    rebuke those who be found offenders, and if they will not amend to
    p{e}sent the' to be punished. _Thirdlie_ to se that the Church and
    Churchy{d} be decentlie repaired and mainteyned. Also we as agreed
    y{t} everie p'sonnis beinge found faultie by the Churchwardens and
    p'sented to the sworn me' shall paie xij{d.} to the poor ma's box. And
    that whosoever doth not come p'sent the'selves lawfull warning being
    given either of the xij or Churchwardens to the place appointed shall
    lose xij to the poore ma's box without a sufficient cause to the
    contrarie whereof thes are to certifie the rest assembled at ...
    appointed to their meetinge. Lastly that the Churchwardes ... and take
    the sam forfat ... p'sent the offenders."

Another kind of Parish Council existed at Helton, near Lowther, about a
century ago. A chronicler of seventy years since gives this account of
it:--"At Helton, at the end of the Tythe Barn, was formerly a stone seat,
where the inhabitants met for the purpose of transacting their parochial
affairs. He who came first waited till he was joined by the rest; and it
was considered a mark of great rudeness for anyone to absent himself from
the meeting. After conferring on such matters as related to the parish
they separated, and each returned home."

There was a very noteworthy Council at Watermillock, called the Head
Jurie, and Mr. W. Hodgson, a former schoolmaster in the parish, did good
service some years ago by transcribing the records of that body, from 1610
to more than a century later. They performed all the duties--and more--now
delegated to Parish Councils; indeed they seem to have had control of
everything pertaining to the government of the parish. Among the contents
of the book on "Paines and Penalties laid by the Head Jurie" is this entry
concerning a Court held in 1629:--

    "We find for a good amongst ourselves that all the inhabitants within
    the hamlet of Weathermelock shall amend all the church ways and all
    other ways yearly, and every year, upon the first work day in
    Christmas, if the day be seasonable, at ye sight of ye Constables and
    Churchwardens for the time being upon paine of sixpence of everyone
    that maketh default. And alsoe all as aforesaid shall meet and mend
    the peat way always upon Whitsun Wednesday, and everyone to meet where
    his way lyeth, and everyone to send a sufficient man to the sight of
    the Constable for the time being upon paine of sixpence of everyone
    that maketh default. And that the Constable be there upon paine of
    sixpence to see who make default."

In the old manorial halls fools or jesters were frequently to be found
among the members of the households. The late Dr. Taylor suggested that
when Yanwath Hall was a very important link in the chain of Border
defences, such a servant was kept; and Mr. R. S. Ferguson once reminded
the members of the Archæological Society that, in 1601, both the Mayor of
Carlisle and Sir Wilfred Lawson kept fools, as probably did also the
Bishop of Carlisle. The Mayor's fool got a coat for Christmas, while Sir
Wilfred's appears in the accounts of the Corporation as being "tipped" for
bringing messages to Carlisle. A fool was also kept at Muncaster Castle.

There was a custom very common in connection with the apprenticeship
system at the beginning of the century. In a pamphlet written by John S.
Lough, a former Penrith printer, appeared this paragraph:--"Burying the
Old Wife is a custom still prevalent among the operatives in the north at
the expiration of the term of apprenticeship. The late apprentice is taken
into a room adjoining that where the party is met to celebrate the
loosening, and after an old woman's cap is put on his head, the body is
enveloped in a white sheet. He is then taken upon the shoulders of his
comrades into the banqueting room, round which he is carried a few times,
in not very solemn procession, and finally placed upon the boards whereon
the figure of a grave is chalked. A kind of funeral service is gone
through, and the old wife is buried."

"The simple annals of the poor" in the two counties contain many pathetic
accounts of their condition and treatment ere the public conscience was
awakened to the necessity of a more humane method. Here, as in many other
parts of the country, the poor were often let out to contractors. Among
the churchwardens' accounts at Hayton for 1773 there is a copy of a
contract between the churchwardens and Thomas Wharton, of The Faugh, "for
letting the poor for a year" to the latter. The Rev. R. W. Dixon, vicar of
the parish, about twenty years ago went into the history of this
transaction. A vestry meeting was called for the purpose, and conditions
were entered into between the churchwardens and the overseers on the one
part, and Thomas Wharton on the other. The parish overseers were to find
bedding and apparel for the paupers, but Wharton was to mend their clothes
and stockings, and be allowed 5s. for the purpose. A child not a year old
was to be counted as one person with the mother, and be fed and clothed by
the parish; and if a pauper died in the house he was to be buried at the
expense of the parish. Wharton was to find sufficient meat, drink,
washing, lodging, and firing for the paupers, to the satisfaction of the
parish officers, who had authority to visit the house as often as they
pleased. He was to receive a yearly salary of £12 10s., and a weekly
allowance of 1s. 2d. for each pauper, but if a pauper stayed under a week
a deduction was to be made accordingly. On these terms Wharton was
declared master of the workhouse.

The children who used to attend the ancient Robinson's School at Penrith
were sent out each day to beg, and that there might be no mistake as to
their identity, each was obliged to wear what was locally called "the
badge of poverty."

It is decidedly an unfortunate thing, from the point of view of the
antiquary, that so many of the old plague stones which used to be found in
different places should have disappeared. Penrith had two; and one of them
remains, but from observations occasionally heard it is to be feared that
only a small proportion of the townspeople have an idea of the use of the
old font-like erection. It is interesting to quote the account given by a
Penrith land surveyor and innkeeper, who wrote more than a century ago[22]
on this subject:--"Nearly half-way between Eamont Bridge and Penrith
stands an house, called from its situation Half-way House, but formerly
_Mill_ or _Meal Cross_, from the following circumstance. During the
dreadful plague which visited this country in the year 1598, and almost
depopulated Penrith (no less than 2,260 in the town falling victims to
this merciless disease), the Millers and Villagers refused to bring their
commodities into the town to market for fear of infection. The
inhabitants, therefore, were under the necessity of meeting them here, and
performing a kind of quarantine before they were allowed to buy anything.
This was said to be almost at the option of the country people. This much
is certain: No man was allowed to touch the money made use of on these
occasions, it being put into a vessel of water, whence they had a method
of taking it without touching it with their fingers. For this purpose they
erected a cross which remains to this day. For greater conveniences they
erected a cross at the town's-head, and erected shambles, etc.; the place
still retains the name of the Cross-green: they built a third cross near
the Carlisle road a little above the second, where black cattle, sheep,
hoggs, and goats were sold; and it retains yet the name of the Nolt-Fair
[Nolt: Oxen, cows, etc.], and continues to be the market for cattle."

[Illustration: PLAGUE STONE, PENRITH.]

The road was widened and improved in 1834, when the water trough was
found, and afterwards placed where it now stands. There was a somewhat
similar structure in the park at Eden Hall, and is said to mark the site
of the former village. The base is still retained, but some decades ago
there was put a memorial cross upon it. Going over the border of
Westmorland a short distance are other reminders of these old-time
epidemics. In the parish registers of Hawkshead it is stated that in 1721
the sum of 1s. 6d. was paid to the apparitor for a book concerning the
plague. Here is material for several queries. Was there an outbreak of
some disease which obtained that name so late as 1720, or was the volume
meant for a record of what had gone before? Again, if the book was ever
written, what became of it? The records of the le Flemings, the Earls of
Lonsdale, the Earls of Westmorland, and others published by the Historical
Manuscripts Commission abound in references to the plague.

A stone in the remote hamlet of Armboth, above what is now the great
reservoir of the Manchester Corporation, marks the place where the local
commerce was carried on when personal intercourse was dangerous on account
of the plague. The custom existed after the epidemic had passed away, the
people from the fells and dales continuing to take their webs and yarn to
what is still known as "the Webstone."

The registers of Dalston are particularly valuable for purposes of local
history, partly owing to the fact that Rose Castle, the residence of the
Bishops of Carlisle, is in that parish. There are also many other ways in
which they are interesting. One of the earliest houses mentioned in the
books is Bell Gate or Bellyeat. Miss Kupar, who closely studied the
records of this and some other parishes, wrote a few years ago with regard
to this house: "The people will have it that a bell hung here to announce
the arrival of the pack-horses _en route_ for Keswick, and some maintain
that it served to warn the neighbourhood of the approach of the

Although the old custom of ringing the curfew is gradually dying out, in
several places in Cumberland and Westmorland the practice is kept up
still. In the hall at Appleby Castle there is an interesting reminder of
the custom. This is the curfew-bell which was found in the tower at the
Castle, and it finds an honoured place now among the family possessions.
When swung to and fro the bell is found to have a very sweet tone, but
while it was vigorously rung in the evenings long ago the burgesses would
not have any difficulty in hearing its loud and peculiar warning note. The
inscription is not very easy to decipher, but it appears to run thus:--

  "Soli Deo Gloria. Pax Homibus, S.S. Fecit, 1661. W.S."

Nothing is known at the Castle as to the maker, though it is possible that
experts in bell-lore might be able to trace its record from the

Old School Customs.

The chequered histories of the old schools at Appleby, Kirkby Stephen,
Kendal, Crosthwaite, Carlisle, Penrith, and several other towns in the two
counties, would suffice to make a large book of an interesting character.
Some of the rules which governed the institutions in bygone days were
decidedly quaint. The nineteen long paragraphs which make up the
"Constitutions, Ordinances, and Statutes for the Free Grammar School at
Kirkby Stephen," as drawn up in 1568 by Lord Wharton, included this
curious stipulation:--

    "I will that the said Schoolmaster shall have and receive yearly £12
    as his Hire and Wages, at two Terms of the year, if he teach in manner
    and form following, viz., At the Feast of Pentecost and St. Martin, by
    equal portions, by the hands of my Son, Heir, and Heirs, and the
    Governours. And the said Schoolmaster shall, within ten dayes after he
    hath taken upon him and be installed in the said Office, before the
    said Governours, or two of them, and before my Son and Heir, or Heirs
    of my House of Wharton, for the time being, and in presence of the
    Churchwardens and Twelve men of Kirkby-Stephen Parish, or six of them,
    in the Parish Church there, make this Oath following: 'I do swear by
    the holy Contents of this Book that I will freely, without exacting
    any money, diligently teach and instruct the Children of this parish,
    and all others that resort to me, in Grammar and other Humane
    Doctrine, according to the Statutes thereof made; And shall read to
    them no corrupt or reprobate Book, or Works set forth at any time
    contrary to the Determination of the Universal Catholic Church,
    whereby they might be infected in their youth with any kind of Heresy
    or corrupt Doctrine, or else be induced to an insolent manner of
    Liveing; And further shall observe all the Statutes and Ordinances of
    this School, now made or that hereafter shall be made, which concern
    me; and shall do nothing in prejudice thereof, but help to maintain
    the same, from time to time, dureing my abode herein, to the best of
    my power. So Help me God, and the Contents of this book.'"

At six o'clock in the morning, and at the same hour in the evening, master
and scholars had to march from school to church, for prayers, afterwards
going to the tomb which Lord Wharton had erected in the quire and sing one
of fifteen psalms. This was the order for working hours:--"And the same
Scholemr., every Work-day at the least, shall begin to teach from Six a
Clock in ye morning in Summer, and from Seven a Clock in Winter; and so
shall continue in teaching until Eleven a Clock. The self same thing shall
he diligently do after Dinner, from One of the Clock till Six in Summer
and five in Winter."

The history of Appleby School extends over nearly four and a quarter
centuries. In 1478 Thomas Whinfell, one of the chantry priests, was bound
"to keep yearly a sufficient Grammar School, taking of the scholars of the
said school _scolagia et custumaria secundum antiquam consuetudinem scoloe
prædictæ_." Old school-boys living within the present decade remember that
the _scolagia et custumaria_ included a cockpenny, which had to be paid by
each boy on Easter Tuesday, for the purpose of enabling the master to
provide the pupils with a cock-fight. One of the regulations for Kendal
School was that it should be "free to all boys resident in the parish of
Kendal, for classics alone, excepting a voluntary payment of a cockpenny
as aforetime at Shrovetide." The "Literary Rambler," who contributed a
series of papers to the _Kendal Chronicle_ in 1812 (when the custom was
commonly observed), remarked:--"A stranger to the customs of the country
will suspect something whimsical in this name, but it has its foundation
in reason; for the boys of every school were divided into parties every
Shrovetide, headed by their respective captains, whom the master chose
from amongst his pupils. This was probably done in imitation of the
Romans, who appointed the _principes pivenum_ on certain occasions. These
juvenile competitors contended in a match at football, and fought a
cock-battle, called the captains' battle, in both which contests the
youthful rivals were not more interested than their parents." Though the
barbarous sport had disappeared, the payment of a cockpenny survived
certainly until the middle of this century. This is shown by Mr. W. Sayer,
who, in his History (1847), says that the endowments of Bowness
(Westmorland) School, "together with a cockpenny given by each scholar on
Shrove Tuesday," amounted to about £60 per annum.

George Smith, a relative of Dr. Smith who became Bishop of London, built
and endowed the school at Asby, and left £10, the interest of which (about
12s.) was to be disposed of on St. George's Day yearly for ever in the
following manner: 6s. to the poor of the parish; 5s. to be spent in ale by
the feofees of the school; and the remaining shilling to purchase a
football for the scholars. A custom which seems to have been peculiar to
Appleby was for each pupil leaving to pay half-a-guinea towards the
library, and Mr. R. E. Leach, the headmaster, some years ago compiled a
most interesting list of these donations. It was also an occasional
occurrence that "old boys" gave money when they were married.

It was by the ancient Parochial Council of Sixteen that the first attempt
to supply elementary education in Torpenhow was made, it being recorded
that on May 12th, 1686, a resolution was passed in favour of founding a
free school for the Bothel district. The "sixteen" from time to time drew
up various rules for the conduct of the school, one of which would greatly
astonish the present generation of certificated masters, because, in 1689,
the master of the institution at Bothel (locally pronounced "Bohl") was
ordered to "keep school from 6 in the morning till 11, and from 1 till 6
from Lady Day till Michaelmas," practically the same rule as was enforced
by Lord Wharton at Kirkby Stephen.

An instance of the uncertain position occupied by the village schoolmaster
in former days may be found among the records of Holme Cultram. In 1607
there being some controversy concerning the payment of the parish clerk or
sexton, which previously had been paid in no regular manner, and the clerk
claiming to be paid in meal, though no certain measure of it had been
ascertained, it was agreed and ordered by the sixteen men, with the
consent of the other parishioners, that for the future there should be one
person who should be both parish clerk and schoolmaster, and that he
should have for his wages for every copyhold tenement and lease within the
parish paying above 18d. rent, fourpence, and for every cottager and
under-tenant twopence, to be collected yearly at Easter by the clerk, who
was to be chosen by the sixteen men and approved by the ordinary. In
addition, the schoolmaster was to have a quarterly sum for each scholar as
the sixteen men from time to time directed. That scheme was recorded in
1777 as being still in operation.

In another place it has been shown how the sworn men had often a great
share in the selection of the churchwardens and other officials. Their
duties also extended to the procuring of money for educational purposes.
It was ordered by Commissioners in the thirteenth year of Elizabeth,
concerning the endowed school at Keswick, "that whereas two pence for
every fire-house hath been paid to the parish clerk yearly, and also
certain ordinary fees for night-watch, burials, weddings, and, moreover,
certain benevolences of lamb wool, eggs, and such like, which seem to grow
up to a greater sum than is competent for a parish clerk; the eight men
shall herafter take up the said two pence a house for the use of a
schoolmaster, paying thereout to the parish clerk yearly 46s. 8d." In the
time of King James it was found on inquiry by a Commission of Pious Uses,
"that the eighteen sworn men had from time immemorial laid a tax for the
maintenance of the schoolmaster, and other occasions of the parish, and
appointed the schoolmaster, and made orders for the government of the
school, and that the inhabitants had by a voluntary contribution raised a
school stock of £148 2s. 3-1/2d., nevertheless that Dr. Henry Robinson,
Bishop of Carlisle, Henry Woodward, his Chancellor, and Giles Robinson,
brother of the said Bishop, and Vicar of Crosthwaite, had intermeddled,
and that the said Bishop, sometimes by authority of the High Commission
for Ecclesiastical Causes, sometimes as a justice of the peace for the
county, and sometimes by his power as ordinary, had interrupted the orders
of the eighteen men, and had committed thirteen of them to prison.
Therefore the commissioners restore the eighteen men to their authority
concerning the appointing of a schoolmaster, and the government of the

Among the curious bequests known to have been made at various times by
residents in the two counties, not the least noteworthy was that of the
Vicar of Raughton Head, Mr. Sevithwaite, who, at his death in 1762, left
£20 to the school; and another £20, the interest whereof, after the death
of his widow, was to be laid out yearly in purchasing Bishop Beveridge's
"Thoughts upon Religion," and the Bishop of Man's "Essay for the
Instruction of the Indians," to be given to the poor housekeepers of the

Among the curiosities of tenure in addition to those already mentioned in
a previous chapter, was that of surrendering by the rod. In the summer of
1750 "John Sowerby surrendered to the lord of the manor (of Castle
Sowerby) by the hands of his steward _by the rod_ a messuage at Sowerby
Row ... to the use and behoof of Joseph Robinson and his assigns according
to the custom of the manor; conditioned to pay yearly to three trustees £5
for the use of a schoolmaster within the liberty of Row Bound to be chosen
by the trustees." As in most other places, the schoolmaster had to teach
certain children for a very small sum per quarter, and the parents in
better circumstances had to pay 2s. 6d. per quarter for each child.

How faithfully some of the clerical schoolmasters performed their duties
during long periods may be proved from numerous sources. One entry, a
burial, will suffice--from the Mardale register of 1799:--

    "Richard Hebson, in ye 75th year of his age. He was 53 years master of
    the Free School at Measand, and 51 years the pastor of this Chapelry.
    Singularly remarkable for his faithful, assiduous, and conscientious
    discharge of the duties of both these stations."

At the beginning of the eighteenth century there were in the diocese of
Carlisle few schools other than those held in the all too frequently
dilapidated parish churches. In most cases the curates were the only
schoolmasters, and it was as an encouragement to those clerics that the
parishioners took it in turn to provide the curate with a "whittlegate."
Much interesting information about the old-time schools and schoolmasters
may be found in Bishop Nicolson's Visitation Miscellany. One man, who
afterwards became examining chaplain to Bishop Law, used to keep school at
Sebergham in a mud hut. Of another cleric, the Rev. T. Baxter, who was
incumbent of Arlecdon in the first half of last century, it is recorded,
in Mr. W. Dickinson's "Reminiscences of West Cumberland," that he "taught
the parish school in the chancel of the parish church, on an earthern
floor, without fire either in summer or winter." Bishop Nicolson's
descriptions speak eloquently of the poverty of some parishes:--"The quire
at Warwick, as in many other places, is shamefully abused by the children
that are taught in it. Their present master is Thomas Allanson, a poor
cripple, remov'd hither from Rockliff, who has no settled salary, only
12d. per quarter and his diet, and would be thankful for ye commendum of
ye clerk's place; which, he saies, would bring him an addition of about
six shillings p. an."

Of Irthington he wrote:--"The quire is here (as before) miserably spoil'd,
on the floor, by the school boyes; and so vilely out of repair in the roof
that 'tis hazardous comeing in it."

Crosby-on-Eden was a little better than the former place:--"Mr. Pearson,
the school master, has no certain and fixed salary. He teaches the
children in the quire; where the boys and girls sit on good Wainscot
Benches, and write on the communion table, too good (were it not appointed
to a higher use) for such a service." Here is a picture with regard to
Cumwhitton, not calculated to make people really wish for the old days
about which some grow enthusiastic:--"The south window is unglazed and
starves the whole congregation as well as the poor children; who are here
taught (for the present) by the parish clerk, a man of very moderate
qualification. Mr. Robley, their new curate, is not yet resident among
them; but will shortly come, and take the office of teaching out of this
illiterate man's hand."

In a parish not far from the Cumberland border--Allendale--the curates of
West Allen High and St. Peter's Chapels were certainly as recently as
1835, and probably still later, obliged to teach the miners' children for
1s. 6d. per quarter each, in consideration of certain annual payments.
These were five shillings from each miner of one description, and
half-a-crown from those of another, which they, in common with the
incumbent of Allenheads Chapel, received as ministers of the respective

It was certified in 1717 that while at that time there was no divine
service performed in the parish of Clifton, some three miles from
Workington, "formerly every family in the two hamlets [of Great and Little
Clifton], being about forty in number, paid 6d. each to one that read
prayers, and taught the children to read, and the rector gave £2 a year,
and officiated there every sixth Sunday, but that these payments had then
ceased for above 40 years last past."

Reference was made in a previous paragraph to the custom of whittlegate as
applying to schoolmasters. From the former chapter on church curiosities
it will have been noted that the clergy occasionally had recourse to that
method of supplementing their scanty incomes. As it often happened that
the schoolmaster and parson were one and the same individual, difficulties
were thereby removed. At any rate the following extract from Clarke's
"Survey" of over a century ago has an interesting bearing on the subject.
Writing of Ambleside, of which the Rev. Isaac Knipe, M.A., was curate and
schoolmaster, he remarks:--

    "The chapel is a low, mean building, and stands in the parish of
    Grassmere. The inhabitants (who are land owners), as well as those in
    the parish of Winandermere, as those in the parish of Grassmere, have
    the right of nominating and presenting the curate. The rector of
    Grassmere usually nominated the curate, but the inhabitants of this
    and many other perpetual curacies in the north have, by custom, gotten
    it from the rectors of vicars; the reason is this: before the death
    of Queen Anne, many of the chapelries were not worth above three
    pounds a year, and the donees could not get persons properly qualified
    to serve them, so they left them to the inhabitants, who raised
    voluntary contributions for them in addition to their salary, with
    clothes yearly and whittlegate. Whittlegate is to have two or three
    weeks' victuals at each house, according to the ability of the
    inhabitants, which was settled amongst them so as that he should go
    his course as regular as the sun, and compleat it as annually."

The custom prevailed so late as 1858 in some country parishes; it is not a
little curious that it has not been found to exist in any counties except
Cumberland and Westmorland, though the Rev. J. Wharton, Stainmore, has
informed the writer that it is recognised still in some parts of the
United States.

The custom of barring out is probably unknown to the present generation of
Cumbrian and Westmerian school-boys--at any rate in the sense in which it
used to be observed. There exist numerous stories of the thoroughness with
which the boys formerly maintained their supposed rights in this
direction. The Rev. E. H. Sugden's sketch of the history of Arlecdon and
Frizington shows how the observance was followed there every
Christmas:--"The old men of the parish tell with delight their experiences
and adventures in carrying out this old custom. One says he remembers the
master entering the school by creeping down the chimney. Another tells of
a boy hiding himself in the chimney when the master had forced the door
open. It appears that during this period of expulsion the doors of the
school were strongly barricaded within, and the boys who defended it like
a besieged city were armed in general with elder pop-guns. In the meantime
the master would make several efforts, both by force and stratagem, to
regain his lost authority. If he succeeded, heavy tasks were imposed, and
the business of the school went on as usual; but it more commonly happened
that he was repulsed and defeated. The siege was continued three days,
after which the terms of capitulation were proposed by the master, who
usually pushed them under the door, and as a rule the boys accepted. These
terms stipulated what hours and times should for the ensuing year be
allotted to study, and what to relaxation and play. Securities were given
by each side for the due performance of these stipulations, and the paper
was then solemnly signed by both master and pupils.

"Mr. Sibson, of Whitehaven, formerly of this parish, relates the two
following incidents in connection with this custom. On one occasion, Mr.
C. Mossop endeavoured to enter the school. As soon as he put his hand on
the window sill, intending to enter that way, a boy hit his hand with a
red-hot poker, so that for many days he went about with it in a sling. On
another occasion, Mr. Hughes, the master, took some slates off the roof,
and succeeded in getting his legs and part of his body past the rafters,
but he could get no further, and the boys with red-hot pokers burnt him
severely before he could be rescued by his friends. In those days many
young men attended the school during the winter time."

At Appleby, the "barring out" sometimes lasted for days, and the scholars
slept in the schoolrooms. In most places the mutiny was apt to break out
early on the morning of the day fixed for breaking up for the holidays.
They defied the master by means of sundry cries, that at Kendal being:--

  "Liberty, liberty, under a pin,
  Six weeks' holiday or _nivver_ come in."

Apparently the custom was killed in the old grey town at the beginning of
this century by the then master, Mr. Towers meeting with a distressing
mishap. He was contending with them, apparently for admittance, when his
eye was accidentally destroyed, and the disaster served to bring about the
abolition of the old custom.

Fine warm days of that Indian summer so often experienced in the two
counties in September and October were devoted to "going a nutting," and
the headmaster of Appleby Grammar School never refused a holiday at that
season, provided that each scholar brought him a quart of "leamers"--nuts
sufficiently ripe to leave the husks without compulsory treatment. As
Christmas approached, the schoolmaster was "barred out" in orthodox
fashion, until he agreed (and he only pretended to be loth to make the
contract) to extend the coming holidays as long as his pupils demanded.



  Acorn Bank, Privileges of tenants of, 67

  Ale possets, 202

  Allendale, Old school-days at, 250

  Alms corn, Payments of, 88

  Altar, Horn of the, at Carlisle, 74

  Ambleside--curious church tradition, 49

  Appleby, Privileges of burgesses of, 69;
    Barring out custom at, 254-255;
    Curious assize incident at, 7;
    Bull-baiting at, 195;
    Excommunication at, 102;
    Grammar School, 242;
    Public whipping at, 126-128;
    Stocks at, 125

  Appleby Castle, Old corn measures at, 159-160;
    Curfew bell at, 238

  Applethwaite (Windermere), Curious regulations at, 89

  Apprentices and salmon, 178

  Apprenticeship custom, An, 233

  Archdeacon's Court, 59-60

  Archery, 196-199

  Arlecdon, Rector of, chasing a parishioner, 42;
    Church font used as water-trough, 50;
    Church, Dogs in, 63;
    Tradition concerning buried church, 133;
    An old school at, 249;
    Barring out custom at, 252

  Armathwaite, Gibbeting of Whitfield at, 94

  Armboth Hall, Skulls at, 147

    "   Web-stone at, 237

  Armour in churches, 13, 34

  Assessors of bread and ale, 89

  Assize incident, A curious, 7

  Atkinson, Execution of Captain, 97

  Bampton, Arrangement of families in church, 53;
    Punishment of Quakers, 107-109

  Barguest, The, 141

  Barring out custom at school, 252-255

  Barton, Probable fortified church at, 34;
    Curious manorial custom at, 80

  Beacons, 10-13

  Beating the bounds, 227

  Bees, Telling the, 138

  Beetham Church, Penance at, 111

  Bell-gate at Dalston, 238

  Bell-horses, 217, 238

  Bell legends, 132

  Bell, Mayor of Wreay's old silver, 201

  Bells, Carlisle racing, 191

  Bishop of Carlisle and cock-fighting, 195

  Bishops excommunicated, 100

  Bishops, Fighting, 22-28

  Blackmail rent, 75

  Bode, bodesmen, bodeword, bode-hill, 14

  Boggles, 139

  Bongate--A reminder of serfdom, 66

  Boon services, 76-79

  Bootle, Beacon at, 15

  Border service, 9-16, 68-70, 229

  Bridekirk, Excommunication at, 101

  Brigham, Fortified church at, 33

  Brough, Probable fortified church at, 34;
    Church font in private grounds, 50;
    Holly Night at, 205

  Brougham, Curious horn at, 73;
    Countess's Pillar at, 223

  Bull and boar, Obligation to keep, 87

  Bull-baiting, 195

  Burgh Barony Cup, Races for, 190

  Burgh-by-Sands, Fortified church at, 30

  Burrell Green, Luck of, 151

  Burton, Curious dispute at, 40

  "Burying the old wife" custom, 233

  Calgarth skulls, 146

  Caldbeck, Manorial customs at, 83

  Carleton--A reminder of serfdom, 65

  Carlisle, Watch and ward at, 19;
    Cathedral, Rioting in, 37;
    Cathedral used as a prison, 37;
    Charter Horn at, 74;
    Pillory and stocks at, 124;
    Racing Bells, 191

  Cartmell Church, Troops quartered in, 37

  Carriage money service, 89

  Castleward, Service of, 71

  Charms, 136

  Charter Horn at Carlisle, 74

  Chimney and hearth tax, 182-186

  Church curiosities, 38-63;
    Stock, 51, 52;
    Holding manorial courts in, 58;
    Dog-whippers in, 60-63;
    Legends, 131-133, 139;
    Fined for not going to, 226

  Churchwardens' duties, 51, 52, 107, 108, 226;
    Selection of, 245

  Churchyards, Keeping swine out of, 60;
    Announcing sales in, 158

  Churches, Fortified, 28-37;
    Armour in, 13, 34;
    Division of sexes in, 53;
    Seating arrangements in, 51;
    Swallowed by the earth, 131-132

  Churning, Superstitions about, 137

  Christmas festivals, 202

  Clergy, Old-time, 40-46

  Clergymen as publicans, 41;
    as schoolmasters, 248-252

  Cliburn, A probable fortified church at, 34

  Clifton, Old school-days at, 251

  Clogs, 171

  Cloth searchers, 164

  "Clothe Dightinge," 163

  Coaching days, The old, 213-216

  Coals carried on horse-back, 217

  Cockermouth tolls dispute, 83;
    Old manorial officers at, 90

  Cock-fighting, 192-195, 201, 242

  Cockpenny, 242, 243

  Corby Castle, Radiant Boy of, 146

  Cordwainers, Rules for, 164

  Cornage, Service of, 15, 69, 70, 73

  Coronation festivities, 205

  Corryhole at Great Salkeld Church, 32

  Councils, Old Parish, 230-232

  Countess's Pillar at Brougham, 223

  County guinea incident near Penrith, 20

  Courts in church, Holding, 58

  Courts, Old, 58, 90, 181

  Crack Nut Sunday, 225

  Croglin, Manorial customs at, 82

  Crosby Garrett, A probable fortified church at, 33

  Crosby-on-Eden, Old school-days at, 249

  Crosby Ravensworth Church, Keeping dogs out of, 61

  Cross Fell, Legend of, 132

  Crosthwaite, Rivalry between Cockermouth and, 157

  "Culyet," 52

  Cumin tenure, 85

  Cumwhitton, Manorial customs at, 82

  Curfew Bell, Ringing the, 238

  Customs, Old, 223-239;
    Old School, 240-255

  Dacre Church, Curious custom at, 55

  Dalston Church, Whipping dogs from, 61-62;
    Holy well at, 207

  "Dalston Black-reeds," 194

  Dearham Church tower used as a beacon, 32

  Death stroke superstition, 137

  Dissenters, Punishment of, 107-109

  Dog-laws at Egremont, Old, 87

  Dog-whippers in church, 60-63

  Downies and Uppies at Workington, 200

  Drengage tenements, 66

  Drenges, 66

  Dress, Old-time, 171-173

  Drigg, Manorial customs at, 82

  Drunkards, Punishment of, 119-121

  Edenhall, Church tower used as a beacon, 13;
    Manorial customs at, 81;
    A possible plague stone at, 237

  Eden Hall, Luck of, 148

  Egremont, Manorial customs at, 77, 87, 90

  Epidemics, Old-time, 235-238

  Excommunication and penance, 98-119

  Executions, Wholesale, for political offences, 97

  Expeditious wagons, 216

  Fairies, 137

  Fairs, Old laws concerning, 155;
    Churchyard, 155-158

  Farleton Knott beacon, 13

  Festivities and sports, Old, 188-208

  Fighting Bishops and Fortified Churches, 22-37

  Firebote, 75

  Fire, Old methods for quenching, 186

  "First-foot" superstition, 147

  Flimby, Old tenure at, 71

  Fonts in private grounds, 50-51

  Food-stuffs, Old-time, 174-178

  Fools, Old-time, 232

  Football, 199-200, 243

  Forest Court at Hesket, 69, 73

  Forestalling and regrating, Laws against, 165-167, 169

  Fortified churches, 28-37

  Foster-oats, An old manorial rent, 78

  Free-bench, 81

  Furth-neets at Orton and Ravenstonedale, 228-229

  Gallows Hills, 94, 98

  Gambling, Punishment for, 115

  Gaol-life, Old-time, 122

  Ghosts, 142-143

  Giant's Cave Sunday, 207

  Giant's Thumb at Penrith, 124

  Gibbeting of criminals, 94-97

  Gilcrux, Old tenure at, 70

  Glassonby, Manorial customs at, 80

  Glove service, 72

  God's penny custom, 83

  "Gospel side" of a church, 54

  Gowrie Plot celebration, 203

  Great Salkeld, Fortified church at, 31

  Greenhue rent, 77

  Greystoke, Anchorites at, 46;
    Sanctuary stone at, 115;
    "Pelican in her piety" at, 58;
    Church miserere used as church sign at, 58;
    Manorial customs at, 78, 80;
    Penance at, 113;
    Excommunication at, 101;
    Foot stocks at, 124;
    Gowrie Plot celebration at, 203;
    Gunpowder Plot celebration at, 203

  Guilds and old trade societies, 162-4

  Gunpowder Plot celebration, 203

  Hack-pudding, 227

  Halts, 218

  "Hanging days," The, 123

  Hanging, drawing, and quartering, 91, 97, 98

  Harcla, The execution of Sir Andrew de, 91

  Hawk service, The, 69, 70

  Hawkshead, Dog-whippers at, 63

  Hayton paupers hired to contractors, 234

  Hedge-lookers, 89

  Helton, Old Council at, 231

  Heriots, 79, 85, 100

  Hesket Thorn Court, 70, 73

  Holme Cultram, Abbey of, also a fortress, 29;
    Petition of inhabitants to Cromwell, 29;
    Curious dispute at, 39;
    Old-time school life at, 244

  Holy bell at Ravenstonedale, 114

  Holy wells, 206-208

  Holly Night at Brough, 205

  Homage, Service of, 15, 65

  Horn tenures, 73

  Hospitals, Old-time, 211, 212

  House-boot, 76, 82

  House in two parishes, 228

  Inglewood Forest, 70, 73, 74, 197, 212

  Ireby, Manorial customs at, 77

  Irthington, Old school-days at, 249

  Jesters, Old-time, 232

  Journeys, Some noteworthy old-time, 209-221

  Judges, Perils of the King's, 212

  Kaber Rigg Rising, The, 98

  Kattstick and Bullvett, 199

  Kendal, Scolds' bridle at, 115;
    Punishments at, 115-121;
    Watch and ward at, 17-19;
    Parson of moiety of church of, 38;
    Church incident at, 35-37;
    Bowmen, 198;
    Barring out custom at, 254

  Kentmere, Reminders of Border service at, 229

  Keswick, Bull-baiting at, 195;
    endowed school, 245

  Kirkby Lonsdale, Church inscription at, 47;
    Bridge legend, 133;
    Sale of church font, 51

  Kirkby Stephen, Curious tithe custom at, 56;
    A probable fortified church at, 34;
    Burial of Sir Andrew de Harcla at, 94;
    Fair, Proclamation at, 160;
    School ordinances, 240

  Kirkby Thore, Penance at, 112

  Kirkland, Unusual tenure at, 85

  Kirkoswald, Curious church tower at, 47;
    Bull-baiting at, 195;
    Old manorial measures at, 160

  Knitters, Famous, 228

  Knur and spell, 199

  Lancaster, Execution and gibbeting of Thomas, 95

  Lanercost Abbey, Tragic origin of, 111

  Langdale, Curate of, as alehouse keeper, 41

  Langwathby Church, Armour in, 13, 34

  Lawyers, Restrictions upon, 167

  Leather searchers, 89

  Legend of St. Bega, 131;
    Kirksanton, 131;
    Fisherty Brow, 132;
    Arlecdon, 133;
    Kirkby Lonsdale Bridge, 133;
    Concerning wolves, 135;
    Warthol Hall, 135;
    Calgarth skulls, 146;
    Armboth Hall, 147;
    Machell family, 142;
    Radiant Boy of Corby, 146

  Legends and Superstitions, Some, 131-147

  Leper windows, 45-46;
    Hospitals, 46

  Lepers in Cumberland and Westmorland, 45-46

  Levens, Luck of, 153

  Levens Radish Feast, 208

  Life in the old gaols, 122

  Little Salkeld, Desecration of church at, 58

  Long Marton, An infant rector of, 39

  Lucks, 148-154

  Manorial laws, 64-90

  Market bells, 167

  Markets and fairs customs, 155-168

  Maskers, 202

  Meat selling at church doors, 156;
    On Sundays, 165;
    Bequest, A, 177

  Milling laws, Old, 76, 82, 83

  Mill lookers, 89

  Millom, Manorial jurisdiction at, 64;
    Penance at, 112

  Minstrel galleries, Old, 181

  Miracle workers, Supposed, 138

  Mock Mayors, 200

  Moor lookers, 89

  Moota, Beacon at, 14

  Morland, Manorial custom at, 75, 82

  Mortuary rights of the Church, 100

  Multuring, 83, 84

  Muncaster, Luck of, 149

  Musgrave Church font in private grounds, 50

  Needfire superstition, 143-146

  Newbiggin (Dacre), Curious custom at, 79

  Newton Arlosh, Fortified church at, 30

  Night watch, 245

  Nunnery, Privileges of prioress and nuns of, 67

  Nutgeld service, 71

  Nut Monday, 225

  Nutting days, School, 255

  Old-time Home Life, 169-187

  Old-time school life, 240-255

  "Orders of the Watch," 11

  Ormside, A probable fortified church at, 33

  Orton, Probable fortified church at, 33;
    Sworn men at, 230;
    Stocks, 125

  Pack-horses, 209, 210, 217, 219, 220, 221, 238

  Parsonby, Manorial customs at, 77

  Paupers hired to contractors, 234

  Peat silver, 78

  Peculiar contrivances, 171

  Penance, Excommunication and, 98-119

  Penrith Beacon, 12, 13

  Penrith Church font in private grounds, 50;
    Plague-stones at, 235-237;
    Excommunication at, 103;
    Stocks and pillory at, 124;
    Races, 192-194;
    Badge of poverty at, 235

  Penrith Fell, Ludicrous incident on, 27;
    Burial of excommunicates on, 104

  Penthouses at Orton, 229

  Peppercorn rents, 87

  Pie Poudre Court at Kirkby Stephen, 161

  Pillar, Countess's, 223

  Pillions, Riding on, 217, 220

  Pillory and stocks, 124, 125

  Plague-stones, Old, 235-238

  Plumpton, Manorial custom at, 82

  Plowbote, 75

  Poor people let out to contractors, 234

  Porridge, A tribute to the value of, 169

  Posset cups, 202

  Pot fairs, 156

  Poverty, The badge of, 235

  Proclamations at fairs, 160-162

  Punishments, Old-time, 91-129

  Quakers, Punishment of, 107-109

  Racing, Curiosities in horse, 190-193

  Radiant Boy of Corby Castle, 146

  Radish Feast at Levens, 208

  Rapier dancers, 202

  Ravenglass, Proclamation of fair at, 161

  Ravenstonedale, Holding a Court in church at, 58;
    Sanctuary bell at, 114;
    Penance at, 110;
    Stocks at, 125

  Rebel's Cap at Kendal, 35

  Rector, An infant, 39

  Refuge bell at Ravenstonedale, 114

  Renwick tithe exemption, Curious, 88

  Riding the stang at Ambleside, 128

  Road, On the, 209-222

  "Robin the Devil's" escapade, 35-37

  Rod, Surrendering by the, 247

  Rose tenure, 70, 72

  Rowan tree superstition, 137

  Running Gressom, 85

  Rush-bearing custom, 224

  Rushes and bents for churches, 59-61

  Rushes, Curious belief about, 170

  Rushlights, Old-time, 170

  Sacrilege, Punishment at Appleby for, 113

  Sales in churchyards, Announcing, 158

  Salmon, Abundance and cheapness of, 177;
    as apprentices' food, 178

  Sanctuary at Ravenstonedale, 114;
    Nunnery, 115;
    Greystoke, 115

  Scale Houses, Peculiar tithe exemption at, 88

  Scholars' badge of poverty at Penrith, 235

  School customs, Old, 240-255

  Schools in churches, 248-251

  Schoolmasters, Old-time, 240-255

  Scolds' bridles, 115

  Seawake, Service of, 15, 71

  Sebergham, A protest in rhyme at, 48;
    School in a mud hut at, 248

  Sexton, A female, 45

  Shearing days, 203

  Sheriffesses of Westmorland, 2-4

  Sheriffs' law suits with Appleby burgesses, 6

  Sheriffwick, An Unparalleled, 1-8

  Shrovetide festival at Wreay, 201

  Silver-penny fines, 79

  Skirsgill well custom, An old, 206

  Skirwith, Manorial customs at, 76

  Snow on Midsummer's Day, Legend of, 131

  Soar-hawk tenure, 69

  Sparket Mill, Peculiar obligation at, 86

  Sports and Festivities, Old, 188-208

  Spur service, 71, 72

  Stang, Riding the, at Ambleside, 128

  St. Bega, Legend of, 131

  Steading stone at Thirlmere, 121

  Stirrup tenure, 68

  Stocks, 124, 125

  Stockings, Curious method of treating, 171

  Sunday markets, 156-158

  Sunday observance, 225-226

  Superstitions and Legends, 131-147

  Surrendering by the rod, 247

  Swine in churchyards, 60;
    Ringers, 89

  Tailors, Rules for, 164

  Tea, Curious methods of dealing with, 178

  Telling the bees, 138

  Tenures, Curiosities of, 64-90, 247

  Thirlmere, Steading stone at, 121

  Threlkeld, Manorial customs at, 76

  Timber-lode, 75

  Tithe exemption, Curious, 88

  Toll-free, Rights of tenants and burgesses to go, 67

  Tolls, An old dispute about, 83

  "Tom Candlestick," 170

  Toothache, Charm for, 136

  Torpenhow, Old Council at, 230-244

  Town and village watch and ward, 16-21

  Trading Laws and Customs, Old 155-168

  Traditions, 131-147

  Troutbeck dole custom at Dacre, 55

  Troutbeck (Windermere), Manorial jurisdiction at, 64

  Tummel wheel'd carts, 218

  Uppies and Downies at Workington, 200

  Village schoolmasters, Old-time, 244-253

  Waberthwaite Church, Dog-whippers at, 63

  Warthol, Watching station at, 14

    "  Hall, Legend concerning, 135

  Warwick, Old school-days at, 249

  Watch and Ward, 9-21

  Watch, Orders of the, 11

  Watermillock, Manorial custom at, 81;
    Head Jurie, 51, 231

  Webstone at Armboth, The, 238

  Well festivals, 206-208

  Wetheral, Manorial customs at, 78

  Whipping of criminals, Public, 124-128

  Whitbeck, Old customs at, 227

  Whitehaven, Society of Archers, 198;
    Watch and ward at, 19;
    Public whipping at, 125

  Whittlegate, The old custom of, 43, 44, 251

  Wigton, Curious epitaph at, 157;
    Selling meat at parish church, 156

  Wine, Curiosities concerning church, 54-55

  Witch, Drowning of a supposed, 91;
    Mary Baynes, the Orton, 139;
    Lizzy Batty, the Brampton, 141

  Witness man, Service of, 15

  Woful Bank, Legend concerning, 135

  Women as judges, 2

  Workington Easter football play, 200

  Wotobank, Legend concerning, 135

  Wreay, Mock mayoral festivities at, 201

  Wreck of the sea privilege at Millom, 84

  Wrestling, 188-190



[1] Paper communicated by Sir G. Duckett, July, 1879.

[2] "Sir Ewain; or, the Giant's Cave." Penrith, 1860.

[3] Historical Manuscripts Commissioners' Ninth Report.

[4] At Kirkby Stephen, September, 1871.

[5] "Annals of Kendal," 1832.

[6] 8th series, vol. 9, 1896.

[7] "Survey of the Lakes," 1789.

[8] Sayer.

[9] Sayer.

[10] "Bygone Punishments," 1898.

[11] "History and Traditions of Ravenstononedale," 1877.

[12] "Beneath Helvellyn's Shade," 1892.

[13] At Cockermouth, October 10th, 1867.

[14] The Rev. E. H. Sugden's "History of Arlecdon and Frizington," 1897.

[15] "Craven and North-West Yorkshire Highlands."

[16] "Traditions of Lancashire."

[17] _Carlisle Journal_, May, 1895.

[18] "Church Treasury of History, Custom, and Folk Lore," 1897.

[19] "The Manners and Customs of Westmorland, etc., in the Former Part of
the Eighteenth Century."

[20] "Romantic Richmondshire," 1897.

[21] "The Parish Registers of Dalston," 1893.

[22] "Survey of the Lakes," by James Clarke. Penrith, 1789.


"Valuable and interesting."--_Times._

"Readable as well as instructive."--_The Globe._

"A valuable addition to any library."--_Derbyshire Times._

"There is a charm about the chapters seldom found in works dealing with
antiquarian lore, for they are never dry and always entertaining. The
illustrations are a splendid feature. These county histories call for
appreciation and deserve every success."--_Birmingham Daily Gazette._

The Bygone Series.

In this series the following volumes are included, and issued at 7s. 6d.
each. Demy 8vo, cloth gilt.

These books have been favourably reviewed in the leading critical journals
of England and America.

Carefully written articles by recognised authorities are included on
history, castles, abbeys, biography, romantic episodes, legendary lore,
traditional stories, curious customs, folk-lore, etc., etc.

The works are illustrated by eminent artists, and by the reproduction of
quaint pictures of the olden time.

  BYGONE BERKSHIRE, edited by Rev. P. H. Ditchfield, M.A., F.S.A.
  BYGONE CHESHIRE, edited by William Andrews.
  BYGONE DURHAM, edited by William Andrews.
  BYGONE GLOUCESTERSHIRE, edited by William Andrews.
  BYGONE HAMPSHIRE, edited by William Andrews.
  BYGONE HERTFORDSHIRE, edited by William Andrews.
  BYGONE LINCOLNSHIRE (2 vols), edited by William Andrews.
  BYGONE MIDDLESEX, edited by William Andrews.
  BYGONE NORFOLK, edited by William Andrews.
  BYGONE NORTHUMBERLAND, edited by William Andrews.
  BYGONE NOTTINGHAMSHIRE, by William Stevenson.
  BYGONE SCOTLAND, by David Maxwell, C.E.
  BYGONE SOMERSETSHIRE, edited by Cuming Walters.
  BYGONE SOUTHWARK, by Mrs. E. Boger.
  BYGONE STAFFORDSHIRE, edited by William Andrews.
  BYGONE SUFFOLK, edited by Cuming Walters.
  BYGONE SURREY, edited by George Clinch and S. W. Kershaw, F.S.A.
  BYGONE SUSSEX, by W. E. A. Axon.
  BYGONE YORKSHIRE, edited by William Andrews.

England in the Days of Old.


_Demy, Cloth extra, 7s. 6d. Numerous Illustrations._

CONTENTS:--When Wigs were Worn--Powdering the Hair--Men Wearing
Muffs-Concerning Corporation Customs--Bribes for the Palate--Rebel Heads
on City Gates--Burials at Cross Roads--Detaining the Dead for Debt--A
Nobleman's Household in Tudor Times--Bread and Baking in Bygone
Days--Arise, Mistress, Arise!--The Turnspit--A Gossip about the
Goose--Bells as Time-Tellers--The Age of Snuffing--State
Lotteries--Bear-Baiting--Morris Dancers-The Folk-Lore of Midsummer
Eve--Harvest Home--Curious Charities--An Old-Time Chronicler--Index.

    "A most delightful work."--_Leeds Mercury._

    "Mr. Andrews has the true art of narration, and contrives to give us
    the results of his learning with considerable freshness of style,
    whilst his subjects are always interesting and
    picturesque."--_Manchester Courier._

    "The old customs, domestic habits, and dress of our forefathers
    described in these chapters are too much neglected by historians, and
    a study of them will while away a leisure hour very pleasantly."--_The

Bygone Punishments.


_Demy, Cloth gilt, 7s. 6d. Numerous Illustrations._

CONTENTS:--Hanging--Hanging in Chains--Hanging, Drawing, and
Quartering--Pressing to Death--Drowning--Burning to Death--Boiling to
Death--Beheading--The Halifax Gibbet--The Scottish
Maiden--Mutilation--Branding--The Pillory--Punishing Authors and Burning
Books--Finger Pillory--The Jougs--The Stocks--The Drunkard's
Cloak--Whipping and Whipping-Posts--Public Penance--The Repentance
Stool--The Ducking Stool--The Brank, or Scold's Bridle--Riding the

    "A book of great interest."--_Manchester Courier._

    "Full of curious lore, sought out and arranged with much
    industry."--_The Scotsman._

    "Mr. Andrews has produced a most entertaining book, without departing
    from authenticated facts, there is no moralising, and the writer never
    obtrudes himself. The result is a work well worth a place on a
    bookshelf, and readable to a degree."--_Eastern Morning News._

Literary Byways.


_Demy, Cloth gilt, 7s. 6d._

CONTENTS:--Authors at work--The Earnings of Authors--"Declined with
Thanks"--Epigrams on Authors--Poetical Graces--Poetry on Panes--English
Folk Rhymes--The Poetry of Toast Lists and Menu Cards--Toasts and
Toasting--Curious American Old-Time Gleanings--The Earliest American
Poetess: Anne Bradstreet--A Playful Poet: Miss Catharine Fanshawe--A
Popular Song Writer: Mrs. John Hunter--A Poet of the Poor: Mary Pyper--The
Poet of the Fisher-Folk: Mrs. Susan K. Phillips--A Poet and Novelist of
the People: Thomas Miller--The Cottage Countess--The Compiler of "Old
Moore's Almanack": Henry Andrews--James Nayler, the Mad Quaker, who
claimed to be the Messiah--A Biographical Romance: Swan's Strange
Story--Short Letters--Index.

    "Readable and entertaining."--_Notes and Queries._

    "Turn where you will, there is information and entertainment in this
    book."--_Birmingham Daily Gazette._

Curious Epitaphs.



_Demy, Cloth extra, 7s. 6d. Numerous Illustrations._

CONTENTS:--Epitaphs on Tradesmen--Typographical Epitaphs--Epitaphs on Good
and Faithful Servants--Epitaphs on Soldiers and Sailors--Epitaphs on
Musicians and Actors--Epitaphs on Sportsmen--Bacchanalian
Epitaphs--Epitaphs on Parish Clerks and Sextons--Punning
Epitaphs--Manxland Epitaphs--Epitaphs on Notable Persons--Miscellaneous

    "A most entertaining collection."--_Newcastle Daily Chronicle._

    "A book that is sure to be widely read and appreciated."--_People's

    "It is an entertaining and instructive work, it may fairly be regarded
    as the best on its subject, and it will take a permanent place in our
    literature."--_Hull Critic._

Curious Church Customs.


_Demy, Cloth extra, 7s. 6d._

CONTENTS:--Sports in Churches--Holy Day Customs--Church Bells: When and
Why They were Rung--Inscriptions on Bells--Laws of the Belfry--Ringers'
Jugs--Customs and Superstitions of Baptism--Marriage Customs--Burial
Customs--Concerning the Churchyard--Altars in Churches--The Rood Loft and
its Uses--Armour in Churches--Beating the Bounds--The Story of the
Crosier--Bishops in Battle--The Cloister and its Story--Shorthand in
Church--Reminiscences of our Village Church--Index.

    "A thoroughly excellent volume."--_Publishers' Circular._

    "A handsomely got up and interesting volume."--_The Fireside._

    "We are indebted to Mr. Andrews for an invaluable addition to our
    library of folk-lore, and we do not think that many who take it up
    will slip a single page."--_Dundee Advertiser._

Ecclesiastical Curiosities.


_Demy, Cloth gilt, 7s. 6d. Numerous Illustrations._

CONTENTS:--The Church Door--Sacrificial Foundations--The Building of the
English Cathedrals--Ye Chapell of Oure Ladye--Some Famous Spires--The Five
of Spades and the Church of Ashton-under-Lyne--Bells and their
Messages--Stories about Bells--Concerning Font-Lore--Watching Chambers in
Churches--Church Chests--An Antiquarian Problem: The Leper
Window--Mazes--Churchyard Superstitions--Curious Announcements in the
Church--Big Bones Preserved in Churches--Samuel Pepys at Church--Index.

    "An interesting and engrossing volume."--_Church Bells._

    "It consists of studies by various writers in the history, customs,
    and folk-lore of the Church of England. Whilst it will appeal most
    strongly to those who are given to antiquarian and ecclesiological
    inquiry, it contains much that should prove of interest to any
    intelligent reader. The various contributions give evidence of
    diligent and discriminating research, and embody much old-world lore
    that is curious and instructive."--_Aberdeen Free Press._

The Church Treasury of History, Custom, Folk-Lore, etc.


_Demy, 7s. 6d. Numerous Illustrations._

CONTENTS:--Stave-Kirks--Curious Churches of Cornwall--Holy Wells--Hermit
and Hermit Cells--Church Wakes--Fortified Church Towers--The Knight
Templars: Their Churches and their Privileges--English Mediæval
Pilgrimages--Pilgrims' Signs--Human Skin on Church Doors--Animals of the
Church in Wood, Stone, and Bronze--Queries in Stones--Pictures in
Churches--Flowers and Rites of the Church--Ghost Layers and Ghost
Laying--Church Walks--Westminster Waxworks--Index.

    "The book will be welcome to every lover of archæological
    lore."--_Liverpool Daily Post._

    "It is a work that will prove interesting to the clergy and churchmen
    generally, and to all others who have an antiquarian turn of mind, or
    like to be regaled occasionally by reading old-world customs and
    anecdotes."--_Church Family Newspaper._

Bygone Church Life in Scotland.


_Demy, Cloth gilt, 7s. 6d._

CONTENTS:--The Cross in Scotland--Bell Lore--Saints and Holy Wells--Life
in the Pre-Reformation Cathedrals--Public Worship in Olden Times--Church
Music--Discipline in the Kirk--Curiosities of Church Finance--Witchcraft
and the Kirk--Birth and Baptisms, Customs and Superstitions--Marriage Laws
and Customs--Gretna Green Gossip--Death and Burial Customs and
Superstitions--The Story of a Stool--The Martyrs' Monument,

    "The volume is certain to receive a welcome from Scotsmen at home and
    abroad."--_Daily Chronicle._

    "Every sentence in the book is either instructive or amusing, and it
    should consequently find many appreciative readers. It contains a vast
    amount of traditional and historical lore referring almost to every
    district of Scotland. There are some artistic illustrations,
    especially those of Glasgow Cathedral and views of ancient portions of
    that city from the pencil of David Small."--_Dundee Advertiser._

Lore and Legend of the English Church.


_Crown, Cloth extra, 7s. 6d. Numerous Illustrations._

CONTENTS:--Introduction--The Building of the Church--The Church
Steeple--The Churchyard--Graves and Funerals--The Nave--The Pulpit and the
Lectern--The Font--Folk-Lore and Customs of Marriage--The Chancel and the
Choir--Alms and Offerings--Conclusion--Index.

    "A work that will be read with much interest."--_Somerset Herald._

    "A handsome and substantial volume."--_Birmingham Daily Gazette._

    "The volume could scarcely be too warmly commended."--_Staffordshire

    "A valuable addition to the splendid series of books on church
    curiosities published by Messrs. William Andrews & Co."--_Church
    Family Newspaper._

A Book About Bells.


_Crown, Cloth extra, 3s. 6d._

CONTENTS:--Invention of Bells--Bell Founding and Bell Founders--Dates and
Names of Bells--The Decoration of Bells--Some Noteworthy Bells--The Loss
of Old Bells--Towers and Campaniles--Bell-Ringing and Bell-Ringers--The
Church-Going Bell--Bells at Christian Festivals and Fasts--The Epochs of
Man's Life Marked by the Bells--The Blessings and the Cursings of the
Bells--Bells as Time-Markers--Secular Uses of Church and other
Bells--Small Bells, Secular and Sacred--Carillons--Belfry Rhymes and
Legends--Index of Subjects, Index of Places.

    "Covers the whole field of bell-lore."--_Scotsman._

    "'A Book About Bells' can be heartily commended."--_Pall Mall

    "A most useful and interesting book.... All who are interested in
    bells will, we feel confident, read it with pleasure and
    profit."--_Church Family Newspaper._

The Grotesque in Church Art.



_Quarto Cloth extra, 16s. 6d. Many illustrations._

CONTENTS:--Introduction--Definitions of the Grotesque--The Carvers--The
Artistic Quality of Church Grotesques--Gothic Ornament not
Didactic--Ingrained Paganism--Mythic Origin of Church Carvings--Hell's
Mouth--Satanic Representations--The Devil and the Vices--Ale and the
Alewife--Satires without Satan--Scriptural Illustrations--Masks and
Faces--The Domestic and Popular--Animal Musicians--Compound
Forms--Nondescripts--Rebuses--Trinities--The Fox in Church Art--Situations
of Grotesque Ornament in Church Art--Index.

    "The book is one which will appeal strongly to book-lovers; for the
    edition is a handsome one, exquisitely printed and profusely
    illustrated, and the edition is strictly limited to four hundred
    copies."--_Sheffield Daily Telegraph._

The Miracle Play in England.

An Account of the Early Religious Drama.


_Crown, 2s. 0d. Illustrated._

CONTENTS:--The Origin of Drama--The Beginnings of English Drama--The York
Plays--The Wakefield Plays--The Chester Plays--The Coventry Plays--Other
English Miracle Plays--The Production of a Miracle Play--The Scenery,
Properties, and Dresses--Appendix--The Order of the York Plays--Extract
from City Register of York, 1426--The Order of the Wakefield Plays--The
Order of the Chester Plays--The Order of the Grey Friars' Plays at
Coventry--A Miracle Play in a Puppet Show--Index.

    "An admirable work."--_Eastern Morning News._

    "Mr. Clarke has chosen a most interesting subject, one that is
    attractive alike to the student, the historian, and the general
    reader.... A most interesting volume, and a number of quaint
    illustrations add to its value."--_Birmingham Daily Gazette._

Legal Lore: Curiosities of Law and Lawyers.


_Demy, Cloth extra, 7s. 6d._

CONTENTS:--Bible Law--Sanctuaries--Trials in Superstitious Ages--On
Symbols--Law under the Feudal System--The Manor and Manor Law--Ancient
Tenures--Laws of the Forest--Trial by Jury in Old Times--Barbarous
Punishments--Trials of Animals--Devices of the Sixteenth Century
Debtors--Laws Relating to the Gipsies--Commonwealth Law and
Lawyers--Cock-Fighting in Scotland--Cockieleerie Law--Fatal
Links--Post-Mortem Trials--Island Laws--The Little Inns of

    "There are some very amusing and curious facts concerning law and
    lawyers. We have read with much interest the articles on Sanctuaries,
    Trials in Superstitious Ages, Ancient Tenures, Trials by Jury in Old
    Times, Barbarous Punishments, and Trials of Animals, and can heartily
    recommend the volume to those who wish for a few hours' profitable
    diversion in the study of what may be called the light literature of
    the law."--_Daily Mail._

Divine Song in its Human Echo.


A Series of Short, Plain Sermons on Old-Fashioned Hymns.


_Crown, Cloth gilt, 7s. 6d._

"This volume contains thirty-seven sermons on old-fashioned hymns, and
when we say that each discourse averages about ten octavo pages, printed
in good-sized type, it will be seen that they are entitled to be called
short. The Rector of Ebchester is an adept at the production of short
sermons, and the line he has adopted in this instance is an extremely
happy one. It is a conception that appeals to a great multitude, and the
hymns which give the cue to the reflections form a large variety of
well-known spiritual songs, the favourites, indeed, in communities of
every name. Some of the sermons, indeed, most of them, have been prepared
for anniversaries and special occasions, and all are such as might be
expected from a man who is an undoubted lover of hymns. Their brevity
excludes prolixity, and terse summaries of facts, sharp statements of
doctrine, succinctness of argument, and directness of appeal characterise
the whole."--_Newcastle Daily Leader._

Transcriber's Notes:

Passages in italics are indicated by _italics_.

Superscripted characters are indicated by {superscript}.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Bygone Cumberland and Westmorland" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.