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Title: Ecclesiastical Curiosities
Author: Various
Language: English
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ECCLESIASTICAL CURIOSITIES.



  [Illustration: _From a Photo by A. H. Pitcher, Gloucester._
        PORCH, GLOUCESTER CATHEDRAL.]



Ecclesiastical
Curiosities


Edited by
William Andrews


LONDON:
WILLIAM ANDREWS & CO., 5, FARRINGDON AVENUE, E.C.

1899.


  [Illustration: William Andrews & Co
        The Hull Press]



Preface.


This volume is on similar lines to some of my previously published
works, and I trust it will be equally well received by the public and
the press.

    William Andrews.

The Hull Press,
  _December 1st, 1898._



Contents.

                                                          PAGE
  The Church Door. By the Rev. Geo. S. Tyack, B.A.           1

  Sacrificial Foundations. By England Howlett               30

  The Building of the English Cathedrals. By the Rev.
      Geo. S. Tyack, B.A.                                   46

  Ye Chappell of Oure Ladye. By the Rev. J. H. Stamp        76

  Some Famous Spires. By John T. Page                      101

  The Five of Spades and the Church of Ashton-under-Lyne.
      By John Eglington Bailey, F.S.A.                     113

  Bells and their Messages. By Edward Bradbury             119

  Stories about Bells. By J. Potter Briscoe, F.R.H.S.      133

  Concerning Font-Lore. By the Rev. P. Oakley Hill         145

  Watching-Chambers in Churches. By the Rev. Geo. S.
      Tyack, B.A.                                          153

  Church Chests. By the Rev. Geo. S. Tyack, B.A.           161

  An Antiquarian Problem: The Leper Window. By William
      White, F.S.A.                                        183

  Mazes. By the Rev. Geo. S. Tyack, B.A.                   186

  Churchyard Superstitions. By the Rev. Theodore Johnson   206

  Curious Announcements in the Church. By the Rev. R.
      Wilkins Rees                                         216

  Big Bones Preserved in Churches. By the Rev. R. Wilkins
      Rees                                                 230

  Samuel Pepys at Church.                                   244



Ecclesiastical Curiosities.



The Church Door.

By the Rev. Geo. S. Tyack, B.A.


That first impressions have no small influence in moulding the opinions
of most people can scarcely be denied; and therefore in our estimate of
the architectural value of a church the door is an element of some
importance. A shabby and undignified entrance raises no expectations of
a lofty and solemn interior; and that interior must be emphatically
fine, if we are not to read into it some of the meanness of its portal.
On the other hand, though the church be but plain and simple--so that
it lack not a measure of the dignity which may well accompany
simplicity--our thoughts will be raised and fitted to find in it
something worthy of its high purpose, if we have been prepared by
passing through a noble porch, and beneath a doorway that speaks itself
the entrance to no ordinary dwelling.

  [Illustration: DOOR AT CROWLE CHURCH.]

In primitive times the approach to a church must have been full of
dignity, the worshippers being warned, by successive gates and doors, of
the sacredness of the building which they were about to enter. Eusebius
gives us a full account of a splendid church built at Tyre by Paulinus,
from which we may gather the plan on which such buildings were erected
in the primitive ages, when the means were forthcoming, and no
opposition from the heathen world prevented.

The whole church at Tyre and its precincts were enclosed within a wall,
at the front of which was a stately porch, known as the "great porch,"
or the "first entrance." Passing through this the worshipper entered the
courtyard, or _atrium_, round which ran a covered portico, or cloister,
and in the centre of which was a fountain, or cistern, of water.
Opposite the "great porch" was the door into the church itself; at Tyre
there were (as in many of our cathedrals) three such doors, a large one
in the centre, flanked by smaller ones at some distance along the wall.
These opened into a vestibule, or ante-temple, from which admittance was
gained into the nave of the church by yet another door or gate.

Each of the spaces formed by these several barriers had its special use.
Within the _atrium_ all the worshippers washed their hands as a
preparation, both literal and emblematic, for assisting in the sacred
mysteries; here, too, penitents under censure for the most flagrant sins
remained during the divine offices, and besought the prayers of their
brethren as they passed on to those holier courts, from which for a time
they were themselves excluded. Within this open courtyard, also, as in a
modern churchyard, burials were sometimes permitted. The portico beyond
the second entrance was the place for the "hearers," that is for those
who were not yet sufficiently instructed in the faith to be allowed to
be present except at the reading of the Scriptures and the sermons
(these were catechumens in their noviciate and the heathens and Jews),
and also for those Christians who were degraded temporarily to the same
position as a penance for some sin. Beyond this portico, the nave was
still further divided for the separation of different orders of
penitents; so that the faithful in possession of all their privileges
had quite a number of doors or gates through which to pass before
reaching that place, immediately outside the apse, or chancel, which it
was their right to occupy.

In order that the several classes of persons attending church might be
kept strictly within those portions of the building which were assigned
to them, a special order of door-keepers existed in the Church. The keys
of the church were solemnly delivered to these _ostiarii_, and they were
accounted to form the lowest in rank of the minor orders. The simple
words of the commission, uttered by the bishop to the _ostiarius_, were,
"Behave thyself as one that must give an account to God of the things
that are kept under these keys." Such was the formula prescribed by the
fourth Council of Carthage (398 A.D.), and found in the Roman ritual of
the eighth century. This order of clergy was almost confined to the
west, however; we find traces of its existence at one time at
Constantinople, but for the most part the deacons guarded the men's
entrance, and sub-deacons or deaconesses the women's, in the east.

  [Illustration: WEST DOOR, HOLY TRINITY, COLCHESTER.]

In the earliest English churches the entrance was of a very simple
nature; for the artistic skill of the people was small, and their ideals
were unambitious. The buildings consisted of a nave without clerestory,
and a chancel; the door being placed in the centre of the western wall.
A curious example of such a door meets us at Holy Trinity, Colchester,
although in this case it gives admittance not into the nave directly,
but through the ancient tower. This tower, the oldest part of the
church, has been constructed of the fragments of buildings older still;
the Roman bricks of the ruined city of Camulodunum having been used to
form it. In the western side is a narrow doorway, contained by two
square shafts with very simple capitals, and having a triangular head
with an equally simple moulding by way of drip-stone. The date is
supposed to be between 800 and 1000 A.D. A church perhaps yet older is
that of S. Lawrence at Bradford-on-Avon, which has a good claim to be
the veritable structure reared by S. Aldhelm in the first years of the
eighth century. Here there is a northern porch of unusual size in
proportion to the rest of the building; the entrance to which is by
means of an arched doorway, tall and narrow. The narrowness of some of
these ancient doorways is remarkable. At Sowerford-Keynes is one, now
built up, which, though nearly nine feet high, is but 1 foot 9 inches
wide at the springing of the arch, widening towards the base to 2 feet
5½ inches. The jambs are of "short and long" work, and the abacus has a
very simple zig-zag moulding. The arch itself is not built up, but
carved out of one stone, which is cut square on the upper side and
scooped into a parabolic curve on the lower. A double row of cable
moulding decorates it. This, which has been called "one of the most
characteristic specimens of Saxon architecture in England," was the
northern entrance to the church. Another instance of a western door of
simple design is supplied by Crowle, or Croule, in north Lincolnshire.
Here we meet with a rectangular doorway, the top of which is formed of
one long stone, on which is some antique carving and a fragment of a
runic inscription.[1] Above this is a tympanum filled with
diamond-shaped stones of small size.

    [Footnote 1: See a full account of this stone in "Bygone
            Lincolnshire,"--Vol. I, William Andrews & Co.]

With the rise of the so-called Norman style of architecture the doors of
our churches took a handsomer form; and as the churches themselves were
now formed on a larger and nobler plan, more than one entrance was often
required. The usual door for the people was now commonly placed at the
south side, except in churches connected (as were so many of our
cathedrals) with monastic foundations. In this latter case the south
side was generally occupied by the cloisters and other conventual
buildings, and the people's door was therefore placed upon the north
side. At this period, too, the church-porch begins its development; for,
although porches in a strict sense were at any rate not usual, the
door-way deeply sunk in the massive wall and protected by three, four,
or even more concentric arches, suggests the more fully developed
shelter of the porch. Of doors of this kind any of our older
abbey-churches will supply adequate, and often splendid, examples. The
great north door of Durham Cathedral, and the smaller, but not less
beautiful doors into the cloisters there, are fine instances. The west
and north doors of the little cathedral of Llandaff supply examples in
another class of building; and even small and obscure parish churches
are sometimes dignified with the possession of an entrance full of the
massive solemnity of this Norman work. The village church of Heysham, on
Morecambe Bay, has a south door well worthy of mention in this
connection; and the Lincolnshire church already cited, Crowle, has an
interesting doorway of this kind.

As art progressed in Christendom, and exhibited its growing force
especially in the churches, the entrances thereto shared in the
increasing splendour of the whole. The mouldings of the arches and the
pillars, the elaboration of capitals and bases, all showed the evidence
of devotion guided by taste and skill. And often something more than
mere decoration was attempted; the opportunity was seized to add
instruction, and figures of saints and angels, or complete scenes from
scriptural or ecclesiastical story, filled the expanse of the tympanum
or the niches of the columns. About the twelfth century, also, it became
customary to divide the main entrance into two by means of a pillar, or
a group of pillars; the two-leaved door being thus made symbolical of
the two natures of Christ, of Whom, as Durandus tells us, it is itself
the emblem, "according to that saying in the Gospel, 'I am the Door!'"

The Continent presents some splendid examples of these decorated
porticoes. The cathedral of Strasburg, preserved as by a series of
miracles in spite of every danger that can assail a building, fire,
lightning, earthquake, and cannonade, has a very grand west entrance;
its tall doors set within a number of receding arches, and the
sharply-pointed gable which crowns them flanked and crested with
tapering pinnacles. The French artists of the thirteenth and fourteenth
centuries were unrivalled in the beauty and wealth of statuary with
which they adorned their churches, and not least their doors. "The glory
and the beauty" of the great porch at Amiens has been set forth fully by
Ruskin, who has woven into one wonderful whole the meaning of the
statues, which, like "a cloud of witnesses," throng the western front.
But Amiens is not alone; S. Denis, Paris, Sens, Angouléme, Poictiers,
Autun, Chartres, Laon, Rheims, Vezelay, Auxerre, and other cathedrals
are all magnificent in this respect. The principal entrance to Seville
cathedral is flanked by columns upholding niches filled with figures of
saints and angels, while the tympanum contains a carving of the entrance
of the Saviour into Jerusalem on the first Palm Sunday. In the island of
Majorca, the south door-way of the cathedral of Palma is exceptionally
beautiful. The statue of the Blessed Virgin crowns the centre column,
and above is the Last Supper. A record of the architect of this splendid
piece of work is preserved in an old account book of the cathedral: "On
January 29th, 1394, Master Pedro Morey, sculptor, master artificer of
the south door, which was begun by him, passed from this life. Anima
ejus requiescat in pace. Amen." The entrance in the west front is also a
fine one, and is inscribed, "Non est factum tale opus in universis
regnis."

  [Illustration: WEST DOOR, HIGHAM FERRERS CHURCH.]

Although in England we cannot match the gorgeousness of detail exhibited
by the flamboyant architecture of some of the examples above noticed,
yet we too have instances of which we may well be proud. The western
front of Peterborough cathedral, over the partial renovation of which
there has recently been so much controversy between architects and
antiquaries, has been pronounced to be "the grandest portico in Europe;"
but this has reference to the whole façade rather than to the door-way
in itself. If our subject allowed of our taking so wide a view, the
splendid west fronts of Exeter, York, and others of our minsters, would
demand a place of honour in the list. Gloucester cathedral has a
dignified porch over the south door, in which are the figures of a
number of saints. The west door of Rochester is also interesting; its
decorated Norman arches are richly carved, and enclose a tympanum
covered with characteristic sculpture. Of a different type is the
graceful west door at Ely, whose pointed arches are upheld by delicately
cut shafts, the tympanum over the twin doorways being pierced by a
double trefoil within a vesica. The parish church of Higham Ferrers has
double western doors, separated by a bold shaft, above which is a niche
(now unoccupied) for a statue. The tympanum, anciently divided by this
figure, has five medallions on each side filled with sculptured scenes
from the New Testament, round which runs a scroll of conventional
foliage. The neighbouring churches of Rushden and Raunds have also good
double-leaved doors. To take one instance from the Northern Kingdom,
S. Giles's, Edinburgh, has a dignified west entrance. Many of the better
examples of our modern churches have admirable porticoes, of which one
example must suffice. All Saints' Church, Cheltenham, has double doors
within receding arches; the tympanum has the figure of Our Lord
enthroned in glory surrounded by the saints, and the central shaft and
the side pillars contain other statues.

There is occasionally found in a cathedral, or other large church, a
porch of unusual depth, known as a Galilee. Here, during Lent, those
assembled who were bidden to do public penance; the coming of Maundy
Thursday being the signal for their admission once more into the church
itself. Ely has a western Galilee entered by an arch, divided by a
central pillar, and filled in the upper part with tracery. Lincoln has a
Galilee, deep and dignified in plan, with a vaulted roof. Another
English cathedral so provided is that of Chichester; and among parish
churches the Galilee is found at Boxley, Llantwit, Chertsey, and
S. Woolos.

Of door-ways which, independently of considerations of date, size, or
form, are noteworthy for their sculpture, there are many that ought to
be mentioned. At Lincoln, for instance, we have a south door carved with
a Doom, or Last Judgment, wherein we see the effigy of the Divine Judge
surrounded by the dead rising from their opening graves. The north door
at Ely, the whole of the surrounding stone-work of which is elaborately
carved, is surmounted by the figure of the Lord enthroned within a
vesica, while adoring angels kneel before Him. At Rougham, in Norfolk,
the west door is surmounted by a crucifix, round which runs the
emblematic vine. Founhope church, Hereford, has in the tympanum of the
arch the Madonna and the Holy Child, a grotesque with birds and beasts
surrounding the figures. At Elkstone, Gloucestershire, the south
door-way, a specimen (like the one at Founhope) of Norman work, has some
interesting sculptures. In the centre of the tympanum is Christ
enthroned, with the apocalyptic symbols of the evangelists around Him;
beyond these on the right hand of Christ is the Agnus Dei with the flag,
an emblem of the Resurrection, while on the left is a wide open pair of
jaws, known as a Hell-mouth: above all the Father's Hand is seen in the
attitude of benediction. Elstow church has sculptured figures above the
north door; not within the containing arch, but within a separate arched
space divided from the door-way by a string-course. Haltham church, in
Lincolnshire, has some exceedingly curious designs on the tympanum of
the south door; they are mostly cruciform figures within circles, and
are arranged with strange irregularity. The north door of Lutterworth
church has over it a fresco painting.

  [Illustration: NORTH DOOR, ELSTOW CHURCH.]

Several of the churches in Brussels have door-ways which, though
otherwise not remarkable, are noteworthy from the beauty of the carving
of the central post dividing the two leaves of the door. The church of
Notre Dame de Bon-Secours has the effigy of its patron saint crowned and
robed, bearing the Infant Saviour; below are the emblems of pilgrimage,
wallets, gourds, and cockle-shells. The church of La Madeleine has a
crucifix with a weeping Magdalene at its foot. The old church of
S. Catharine has its patroness on the door-post, and the Chapelle
Sainte-Anne similarly has S. Anne holding the Blessed Virgin by the
hand. Foliage or scrolls in each case fill up the rest of the column,
which is of wood, and in some instances has been painted.

So far, the doorways have occupied our attention; something must,
however, be said of the doors themselves. The usual form of the old
church door is familiar enough to all of us; the massive time-stained
oak, the heavy iron nails that stud it, and the long broad hinges that
reach almost across its full breadth. There is dignity in the very
simplicity of all this; but not seldom far more ornate examples may be
found.

The most elementary form of decoration consists in merely panelling the
door, as is the case in numberless instances; occasionally the panels
themselves are carved, as on the "Thoresby Door," at Lynn, or the door
of S. Mary's, Bath; or tracery, as in a window, is introduced, as at
Alford, Lincolnshire. These are but a few of the many instances which
might be cited. Another striking form of decoration is produced by
hammering out the long hinges into a design covering, more or less, the
surface of the door. The west door at Higham Ferrers, already noticed,
has on each of its leaves three hinges, which are formed into wide
spreading scrolls. Sempringham Abbey has very fine beaten ironwork
spread over almost the entire face of the door. A more curious example
is afforded by Dartmouth church; where a conventional tree with
spreading branches covers the door, and across this the hinges are laid
in the form of two heraldic lions. The date is added in the middle of
the work, 1631.

  [Illustration: DOOR AT LYNN CHURCH.]

In the decoration of the church door the mediæval blacksmith proves
himself in a thousand instances, at home and abroad, to have been an
artist. Free from the hurry of the present age, he could work according
to that canon of Chaucer's,

                  "There is no workman
  That can both worken well and hastilie,
  This must be done at leisure, perfectlie."

With him it was not the hand only that wrought, nor even the hand and
head; but the soul within him gave life to both. Of the contrast between
old ways and new, few examples are more striking than the hinges of the
door at S. Mary Key, Ipswich; where we have a simple but graceful scroll
of ancient date, and a clumsy iron bar of to-day, lying side by side.
For a beautiful design in beaten iron the doors of Worksop Priory may
claim to have not many rivals.

  [Illustration: SOUTH PORCH, SEMPRINGHAM ABBEY.]

The most splendid doors in the world are probably the bronze doors of
the Baptistery at Florence. Other bronze doors there are on the
Continent, and all of them fine; Aix-la-Chapelle, Mayence, Augsburg,
Hildesheim, Novgorod, all have doors of this kind; at Verona, too, in
the church of San Zeno, are ancient examples, whereon are set forth in
panels a number of subjects from Holy Scripture and from the life of the
patron saint. All, however, fall into insignificance beside the "Gates
of Paradise," as the Florentines proudly call their doors.

  [Illustration: DOOR AT DARTMOUTH CHURCH.]

In 1400 the Gild of Cloth Merchants of Florence decided to make a
thank-offering for the cessation of the plague; and the form which it
took was a pair of bronze doors for the baptistery of the church of
S. Giovanni, to correspond with some already there. These earlier ones
are the work of Pisana and his son Nino, from designs by Giotto; the
creation of the new ones was thrown open to competition. Many
competitors appeared, of whom six were asked to submit specimens of
designs for the panels; and, finally, when the choice lay between two
only, the elder, Brunellesco, himself advised that the commission should
be entrusted to Ghiberti, a youth then barely twenty years of age. The
doors when completed contained twenty scenes from the Saviour's life,
together with figures of the four Latin Doctors and the four
Evangelists, set in a frame of exquisite foliage. This splendid work was
surpassed by a second pair of doors subsequently made for the same
place. In this there are ten panels setting forth scenes from the Old
Testament history; and the frame is adorned with niches and medallions
in which are placed some fifty allegorical figures and portrait heads.
It was of these last doors, which were only completed in Ghiberti's
mature age, that no less a judge than Michael Angelo said, "They might
stand as the gates of Paradise itself."

Aix-en-Provence claims that her doors are as peerless as examples of the
wood-carver's art, as are the Florentine ones as types of the
metal-worker's. They have been preserved, it is said, from the sixth
century, and are still wonderfully fresh and delicate. There are on each
door six upper panels filled with figures of the twelve Sybils; and
below one large panel, occupied, in one case, by effigies of the
prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah, and in the other by Ezekiel and Daniel.
The carving is only occasionally exhibited, two masking doors having
been cleverly contrived to protect and cover the real ones.

Many of the doors of our cathedrals and great abbey churches have
knockers, often of very striking designs. These as a rule indicate that
the places in question claimed the right of sanctuary; and the knocker
was to summon an attendant, or watcher, to admit the fugitive from
justice at night, or at other times when the entrance was closed. A
curious head holding a ring within its teeth forms the knocker at Durham
cathedral; a lion's head was not an uncommon form for this to take, as
at Adel, York (All Saints), and Norwich (S. Gregory's); a singularly
ferocious lion's head knocker may be seen at Mayence.

The deep porch which we so frequently see over the principal door of the
church was formerly something more than an ornament, or even a
protection; it was a recognized portion of the sacred building, and had
its appointed place in the services of the Church. Baptism was
frequently administered in the church porch, to symbolize that by that
Sacrament the infant entered into Holy Church. There are still relics of
the existence of fonts in some of our porches, as at East Dereham,
Norfolk. When baptism was thus administered in the south porch, it was
also customary, so it is alleged, to throw wide open the north door;
that the devil, formally renounced in that rite, might by that way flee
"to his own place." The font now usually stands just within the door. In
the pre-reformation usage of the Church the thanksgiving of a woman
after child-birth was also made in, or before, the church porch; and
concluded with the priest's saying, "Enter into the temple of God, that
thou mayest have eternal life, and live for ever and ever." The first
prayer-book of Edward VI. ordered the woman to kneel "nigh unto the
quire door:" the next revision altered the words "to nigh unto the place
where the table standeth;" and from Elizabeth's days the rubric has
simply said indefinitely "a convenient place."

  [Illustration: _From a Photo by Albert E. Coe, Norwich._
        ERPINGHAM GATE, NORWICH.]

The rubric at the commencement of the Order of the Solemnization of Holy
Matrimony according to the Sarum use began also in this way: "Let the
man and woman be placed before the door of the church, or in the face of
the church, before the presence of God, the Priest, and the People"; at
the end of the actual marriage, and before the benedictory prayers which
follow it, the rubric says, "Here let them go into the church to the
step of the altar." Chaucer alludes to this usage when in his
"Canterbury Tales" he says of the wife of Bath--

 "She was a worthy woman all her live,
  Husbands at the church dore had she five."

Edward I. was united to Margaret at the door of Canterbury Cathedral on
September 9th, 1299, and other mediæval notices of the custom occur.

The first prayer-book of Edward VI. introduced an alteration which has
been maintained ever since; the new rubric reading that "The persons to
be married shall come into the body of the Church," just as it does in
our modern prayer-books. In France the custom survived as late as the
seventeenth century, at least in some instances, for the marriage of
Charles I., who was represented by a proxy, and Henrietta Maria was
performed at the door of Notre Dame in Paris. In Herrick's "Hesperides"
is a little poem entitled "The Entertainment, or, _A Porch-verse_ at the
marriage of Mr. Henry Northly and the most witty Mrs. Lettice Yard." It
commences:--

 "Welcome! but yet no entrance till we blesse
  First you, then you, then both for white success."

This was published in the midst of the great Civil War, and seems to
show that the custom of marriage at the church porch was still
sufficiently known, even if only by tradition, to make allusions to it
"understanded of the people."

Burials sometimes took place in the church porch, in those days when
interment within the building was much sought after.

Ecclesiastical Courts were frequently held in church porches, as at the
south door of Canterbury Cathedral; schools were occasionally
established in them; and here the dower of the bride was formally
presented to the bridegroom. This last-named use of the porch is
illustrated by a deed of the time of Edward I., by which Robert Fitz
Roger, a gentleman of Northamptonshire, bound himself to marry his son
within a given time to Hawisia, daughter of Robert de Tybetot, and "to
endow her at the church door" with property equal to a hundred pounds
per annum. We still have evidence of the fact that the church door was
of old considered the most prominent and public place in the parish in
the continued use of it as the official place for posting legal notices
of general interest, such as lists of voters, summonses for public
meetings, and so forth.

There are often in connection with ancient ecclesiastical foundations
doors and gateways which are of great interest, though they can scarcely
be called church doors. Of this class are the entrances to the chapter
houses of cathedrals, many of which are very fine. At York, for
example, the chapter-house, which proudly asserts in an inscription near
the entrance that, "as the rose is among the flowers, so is it among
buildings," has a doorway not unworthy of the beautiful interior.

The gateway which gave admittance to the sacred enclosure of the
abbey--the garth or close round which were ranged the monastic
buildings--is in many cases an imposing and elaborate piece of
architecture. Bristol has an interesting Norman gateway, and that at
Durham is massive and impressive, as are all the conventual remains
there. Norwich is specially rich in this respect. The Erpingham Gate was
the gift of Sir Thomas Erpingham, who died in 1420, and whom the King,
in Shakespere's play of "King Henry V." (Act iv. sc. I), calls a "good
old knight;" S. Ethelbert's Gate was built at the cost of Bishop
Alnwick, who ruled the see from 1426 to 1436.

But to speak of these things is to wander from our present subject, and
even that is too wide to be dealt with fully in a paper such as this.
The legends and traditions of the church porch might occupy many a page,
while we gossiped over the mystic rites of S. John's Eve or of All
Hallow E'en; or while we told how Ralph, Bishop of Chichester, barred
his cathedral door with thorns in his anger against the King and his
friends; or how the skins of marauding Danes have in more than one
instance been nailed as leather coverings to the doors of English
churches. Enough, however, has probably been said to show the wealth of
interest which may often be found to hang about the old church porch, in
which the village church may often be as rich as the great cathedral or
the stately abbey.



Sacrificial Foundations.

By England Howlett.


In early ages a sacrifice of some sort or other was offered on the
foundation of nearly every building. In heathen times a sacrifice was
offered to the god under whose protection the building was placed; in
Christian times, while many old pagan customs lingered on, the sacrifice
was continued, but was given another meaning. The foundation of a
castle, a church, or a house was frequently laid in blood; indeed it was
said, and commonly believed, that no edifice would stand firmly for long
unless the foundation was laid in blood. It was a practice frequently to
place some animal under the corner stone--a dog, a wolf, a goat,
sometimes even the body of a malefactor who had been executed.

Heinrich Heine says:--"In the middle ages the opinion prevailed that
when any building was to be erected something living must be killed, in
the blood of which the foundation had to be laid, by which process the
building would be secured from falling; and in ballads and traditions
the remembrance is still preserved how children and animals were
slaughtered for the purpose of strengthening large buildings with their
blood."

 "... I repent:
  There is no sure foundation set on blood,
  No certain life achiev'd by other's death."

        King John, Act iv., Sc. 2.
                Shakespeare.

To many of our churches tradition associates some animal and it
generally goes by the name of the Kirk-grim. These Kirk-grims are of
course the ghostly apparitions of the beasts that were buried under the
foundation-stones of the churches, and they are supposed to haunt the
churchyards and church lanes. A spectre dog which went by the name of
"Bargest" was said to haunt the churchyard at Northorpe, in
Lincolnshire, up to the first half of the present century. The black dog
that haunts Peel Castle, and the bloodhound of Launceston Castle, are
the spectres of the animals buried under their walls. The apparitions of
children in certain old mansions are the faded recollections of the
sacrifices offered when these houses were first erected, not perhaps
the present buildings, but the original halls or castles prior to the
conquest, and into the foundations of which children were often built.
The Cauld Lad of Hilton Castle in the valley of the Wear is well known.
He is said to wail at night:

 "Wae's me, wae's me,
  The acorn's not yet
  Fallen from the tree
  That's to grow the wood,
  That's to make the cradle,
  That's to rock the bairn,
  That's to grow to a man,
  That's to lay me."

Afzelius, in his collection of Swedish folk tales, says: "Heathen
superstition did not fail to show itself in the construction of
Christian churches. In laying the foundations the people retained
something of their former religion, and sacrificed to their old deities,
whom they could not forget, some animal, which they buried alive, either
under the foundation, or within the wall. A tradition has also been
preserved that under the altar of the first Christian churches a lamb
was usually buried, which imparted security and duration to the edifice.
This was an emblem of the true church lamb--the Saviour, who is the
corner stone of His church. When anyone enters a church at a time when
there is no service, he may chance to see a little lamb spring across
the choir and vanish. This is the church-lamb. When it appears to a
person in the churchyard, particularly to the grave-digger, it is said
to forbode the death of a child that shall be next laid in the earth."

The traditions of Copenhagen are, that when the ramparts were being
raised the earth always sank, so that it was impossible to get it to
stand firm. They therefore took a little innocent girl, placed her on a
chair by a table, and gave her playthings and sweetmeats. While she thus
sat enjoying herself, twelve masons built an arch over her, which when
completed they covered over with earth, to the sound of music with drums
and trumpets. By this process they are, it is said, rendered
immovable.[2]

    [Footnote 2: "Thorpe's Northern Mythology," vol. II., p. 244.]

It is an old saying that there is a skeleton in every house, a saying
which at one time was practically a fact. Every house in deed and in
truth had its skeleton, and moreover every house was designed not only
to have its skeleton, but its ghost also. The idea of providing every
building with its ghost as a spiritual guard was not of course the
primary idea; it developed later out of the original pagan belief of a
sacrifice associated with the beginning of every work of importance.
Partly with the notion of offering a propitiatory sacrifice to mother
earth, and partly also with the idea of securing for ever a portion of
soil by some sacrificial act, the old pagan laid the foundation of his
house in blood.

The art of building in early ages was not well understood, and the true
principles of architecture and construction were but little appreciated.
If the walls of a building showed any signs of settlement the reason was
supposed to be that the earth had not been sufficiently propitiated, and
that as a consequence she refused to carry the burden imposed upon her.

It is said that when Romulus was about to found the city of Rome he dug
a deep pit and cast into it the "first fruits of everything that is
reckoned good by use, or necessary by nature," and before the pit was
closed up by a great stone, Faustulus and Quinctilius were killed and
laid under it. The legend of Romulus slaying his twin brother Remus
because he jumped the walls of the city to show how poor they were,
probably arises out of a confusion of the two legends and has become
associated with the idea of a sacrificial foundation. To the present day
there is a general Italian belief that whenever any great misfortune is
going to overtake the city of Rome the giant shadow of Remus may be seen
walking over the highest buildings in the city, even to the dome of St.
Peter's.

Sacrifice was not by any means confined to the foundations of buildings
only. A man starting on a journey or on any new and important work would
first offer a sacrifice. A ship was never launched without a sacrifice,
and the christening of a vessel in these days with a bottle of wine is
undoubtedly a relic of the time when the neck of a human being was
broken and the prow of the vessel suffused with blood as a sacrificial
offering.

In our own time the burial of a bottle with coins under a foundation
stone is the faded memory of the immuring of a human victim. So hard
does custom and superstition die that even in the prosaic nineteenth
century days we cannot claim to be altogether free from the bonds and
fetters with which our ancestors were bound.

Grimm, in his German Mythology, tells us: "It was often considered
necessary to build living animals, even human beings, into the
foundations on which any edifice was reared, as an oblation to the earth
to induce her to bear the superincumbent weight it was proposed to lay
upon her. By this horrible practice it was supposed that the stability
of the structure was assured as well as other advantages gained." Of
course the animal is merely the more modern substitute for the human
being, just in the same manner as at the present day the bottle and
coins are the substitute for the living animal. In Germany, after the
burial of a living being under a foundation was given up, it became
customary to place an empty coffin under the foundations of a house, and
this custom lingered on in remote country districts until comparatively
recent times.

With the spread of Christianity the belief in human sacrifice died out.
In 1885, Holsworthy Parish Church was restored; during the work of
restoration it was necessary to take down the south-west angle of the
wall, and in this wall was found, embedded in the mortar and stone, a
skeleton. The wall of this part of the church had settled, and from the
account given by the masons it would seem there was no trace of a tomb,
but on the contrary every indication that the victim had actually been
buried alive--a mass of mortar covered the mouth, and the stones around
the body seemed to have been hastily built. Some few years ago the
Bridge Gate of the Bremen city walls was taken down, and the skeleton of
a child was found embedded in the foundations.[3]

    [Footnote 3: "Strange Survivals," Baring Gould.]

The practice of our masons of putting the blood of oxen into mortar was
no doubt in the first instance associated with the idea of a sacrifice;
however this may be, the blood had no doubt a real effect in hardening
the mortar, just the same as treacle, which has been known to be used in
our days. The use of cement when any extra strength is needed has put
aside the use of either blood or treacle in the mixing of mortar.

It is a curious instance of the wide spread of the belief in blood as a
cement for ancient buildings that Alá-ud-din Khilji, the King of Delhi,
A.D. 1296-1315, when enlarging and strengthening the walls of old Delhi,
is reported to have mingled in the mortar the bones and blood of
thousands of goat-bearded Moghuls, whom he slaughtered for the purpose.
A modern instance is furnished by advices which were brought from Accra,
dated December 8th, 1881, that the King of Ashantee had murdered 200
girls, for the purpose of using their blood to mix with the mortar
employed in the building of a new palace.

A foundation sacrifice is suggested by the following curious discovery,
reported in the _Yorkshire Herald_ of May 31st, 1895: "It was recently
ascertained that the tower of Darrington Church, about four miles from
Pontefract, had suffered some damage during the winter gales. The
foundations were carefully examined, when it was found that under the
west side of the tower, only about a foot from the surface, the body of
a man had been placed in a sort of bed in the solid rock, and the west
wall was actually resting upon his skull. The gentle vibration of the
tower had opened the skull and caused in it a crack of about
two-and-a-half inches long. The grave must have been prepared and the
wall placed with deliberate intention upon the head of the person
buried, and this was done with such care that all remained as placed for
at least 600 years."

The majority of the clergy in the early part of the Middle Ages
doubtless would be very strongly imbued with all the superstitions of
the people. The mediæval priest, half believing in many of the old pagan
customs, would allow them to continue, and it is both curious and
interesting to notice how heathenism has for so long a period lingered
on, mixed up with Christian ideas.

It is said that St. Odhran expressed his willingness to be the first to
be buried in Iona, and, indeed, offered himself to be buried alive for
sacrifice. Local tradition long afterwards added the still more ghastly
circumstance that once, when the tomb was opened, he was found still
alive, and uttered such fearful words that the grave had to be closed
immediately.

Even at the present day there is a prejudice more or less deeply rooted
against a first burial in a new churchyard or cemetery. This prejudice
is doubtless due to the fact that in early ages the first to be buried
was a victim. Later on in the middle ages the idea seems to have been
that the first to be buried became the perquisite of the devil, who thus
seems in the minds of the people to have taken the place of the pagan
deity. Not in England alone, but all over Northern Europe, there is a
strong prejudice against being the first to enter a new building, or to
cross a newly-built bridge. At the least it is considered unlucky, and
the more superstitious believe it will entail death. All this is the
outcome of the once general sacrificial foundation, and the lingering
shadow of a ghastly practice.

Grimm, in his "Teutonic Mythology," tells us that when the new bridge at
Halle, finished in 1843, was building, the common people got an idea
that a child was wanted to wall up in the foundations. In the outer wall
of Reichenfels Castle a child was actually built in alive; a projecting
stone marks the spot, and it is believed that if this stone were pulled
out the wall would at once fall down.

Bones, both human and of animals, have been found under hearthstones of
houses. When we consider that the hearth is the centre, as it were, and
most sacred spot of a house, and that the chimney above it is the
highest portion built, and the most difficult to complete, it seems easy
to understand why the victim was buried under the hearthstone or jamb of
the chimney.

There is an interesting custom prevailing in Roumania to the present day
which is clearly a remnant of the old idea of a sacrificial foundation.
When masons are engaged building a house they try to catch the shadow of
a stranger passing by and wall it in, and throw in stones and mortar
whilst his shadow rests on the walls. If no one passes by to throw a
shadow the masons go in search of a woman or child who does not belong
to the place, and, unperceived by the person, apply a reed to the shadow
and this reed is then immured. In Holland frequently there has been
found in foundations curious looking objects something like ninepins,
but which in reality are simply rude imitations of babies in their
swaddling bands--the image representing the child being the modern
substitute for an actual sacrifice. Carved figures of Christ crucified
have been found in the foundations of churches. Some few years ago, when
the north wall of Chulmleigh Church in North Devon was taken down there
was found a carved figure of Christ crucified to a vine.[4]

    [Footnote 4: "Strange Survivals," Baring Gould.]

A story is told that the walls of Scutari contain the body of a victim.
In this case it is a woman who is said to have been built in, but an
opening was left through which her infant might be passed in to be
suckled by her as long as any life remained in the poor creature, and
after her death the hole was closed.

The legend of Cologne Cathedral is well known. The architect sold
himself to the devil for the plan, and gave up his life when the
building was in progress; that is to say, the man voluntarily gave up
his life to be buried under the tower to ensure the stability of the
enormous superstructure, which he believed could not be held up in any
other way.

It is well known that the extinguished torch is the symbol of departed
life, and to the present day the superstitious mind always connects the
soul with flame. It was at one time a common practice to bury a candle
in a coffin, the explanation being that the dead man needed it to give
him light on his way to Heaven. It is extremely doubtful, however,
whether this was the original idea, for most probably the candle in the
first instance really represented an extinguished life, and was thus a
substitute for a human sacrifice which, in the pagan times, accompanied
every burial. The candle, in fact, took the place of a life, human or
animal, and in many instances candles have been found immured in the
walls and foundations of churches and houses.

Eggs have often been found built into foundations. The egg had, of
course life in it--but undeveloped life, so that by its use the old
belief in the efficacy of a living sacrifice was fully maintained
without any shock to the feelings of people in days when they were
beginning to revolt against the practices of the early ages.

Sir Walter Scott speaks of the tradition that the foundation stones of
Pictish raths were bathed in human blood. In the ballad of the "Cout of
Keeldar" it is said:

 "And here beside the mountain flood
    A massy castle frowned;
  Since first the Pictish race, in blood,
    The haunted pile did found."

From Thorpe's "Northern Mythology" we learn that in Denmark, in former
days, before any human being was buried in a churchyard, a living horse
was first interred. This horse is supposed to re-appear, and is known by
the name of the "Hel-horse." It has only three legs, and if anyone meets
it it forebodes death. Hence is derived the saying when anyone has
survived a dangerous illness: "He gave death a peck of oats" (as an
offering or bribe). Hel is identical with death, and in times of
pestilence is supposed to ride about on a three-legged horse and
strangle people.

The belief still lingers in Germany that good weather may be secured by
building a live cock into a wall, and it is thought that cattle may be
prevented from straying by burying a living blind dog under the
threshold of a stable. Amongst the French peasantry a new farmhouse is
not entered upon until a cock has been killed and its blood sprinkled in
the rooms.[5]

    [Footnote 5: "Strange Survivals," Baring Gould.]

It is probable that sacrificial foundations had their origin in the idea
of a propitiary offering to the Goddess Earth. However this may be, it
is certain that for centuries, through times of heathenism, and well
into even advanced Christianity, the people so thoroughly associated the
foundation of buildings with a sacrifice that in some form or other it
has lingered on to the present century. Now in our own day the laying
the foundation of any important building is always attended with a
ceremony--the form remains, the sacrifice is no longer offered. For
ecclesiastical buildings, or those having some charitable object, a
religious ceremony is provided, while for those purely secular the event
is marked by rejoicings. We cannot bring ourselves to pass over without
notice the foundation laying of our great buildings, and who shall
venture to say that superstition is altogether dead, and that we are
free from the lingering remains of what was once the pagan belief?



The Building of the English Cathedrals.

By the Rev. Geo. S. Tyack, B.A.


Of all the sins of the nineteenth century, the one which most militates
against its attainment of excellence in art is its impatience. A work
has been no sooner decided on, than there is a clamour for its
completion. Our cathedrals were for the most part reared in far other
times, and are therefore admirable. Growing with the stately, deliberate
increase of the ponderous oak, they speak of days when art was original,
sincere, patient, and therefore capable of great deeds; original, not in
extravagance or eccentricity, but in the realization of the natural
development of style, advancing from grace to grace, from the perfection
of solidity to the perfection of adornment, by an unforced growth;
sincere, in its confidence of its own capacity for fulfilling its
appointed end, in its grasp of the possibilities in its materials, in
its choice of the true, rather than the easy, method of working; and
patient, finally, in its contentment to do in each age a little solidly
and well, rather than a great deal indifferently, in its aim at
artistic perfection in preference to material completeness. Thus it is
that none of our cathedrals are the work of one age, save those of
Salisbury and London, and even they have details which they owe to
succeeding times.

The above words are not intended to imply that our mediæval builders
made no mistakes. The brief review of some of their work will show us
proof to the contrary; but the mistakes were rare exceptions. If, for
instance, a captious critic turns to Peterborough, and points us to the
defective foundations, which have recently required the rebuilding of
the central tower, and the supposed necessity of reconstructing the west
front, all that the case will prove is that our great monastic
architects' work was not always absolutely eternal. "So there was
jerry-building in those days too!" someone exclaims, with a note of
triumph at the dragging down of the great ideals of the past to the
level of the paltriness of the present. If such be the case, we reply,
there were indeed giants in those days, the very "jerry building" of
which rides out the storms of well-nigh seven centuries before revealing
any fatal weaknesses.

In considering these splendid buildings, of which the present century
has happily proved itself no unappreciative heir, it will be of interest
to devote a few lines to the means which were employed to raise funds
for their construction. Several illustrations of the methods employed in
the case of cathedrals and other churches have come down to us. The
story of the foundation of the new buildings at Crowland Abbey in 1112,
exhibits an outburst of popular enthusiasm which irresistibly recalls
the free gifts of the Hebrew people for the building of the first
temple. "The prayers having been said and the antiphons sung," says
Peter Blesensis, vice-chancellor under Henry II., "the abbot himself
laid the first corner-stone on the east side. After him every man
according to his degree laid his stone; some laid money, others writings
by which they offered their lands, advowsons of livings, tenths of sheep
and other church tithes; certain measures of wheat, a certain number of
workmen or masons, etc. On the other side, the common people, as
officious with emulation and great devotion, offered, some money, some
one day's work every month till it should be finished, some to build
whole pillars, others pedestals, and others certain parts of the
walls."

Indulgences, remitting so many days' penance, were sometimes issued to
encourage the gifts of the faithful. Thus in the time of Henry VIII. a
church brief was issued soliciting help towards the repair of Kirby
Belers Church, in Leicestershire, part of which runs as follows:--"Also
certayne patriarkes, prymates, &c., unto the nombre of sixtie-five,
everie one of theym syngularly, unto all theym that put their helpyng
handes unto the sayd churche, have granted xl dayes of pardon; which
nombre extendeth unto vij yeres and cc dayes, _totiens quotiens_."
Sometimes, by way of penance itself, a fine was imposed, which was
devoted to a local building fund. Gilbert, bishop of Chichester, in
certain constitutions promulgated in 1289 rules that every priest in the
diocese who shall be convicted of certain scandalous sins shall "forfeit
forty shillings, to be applied to the structure of Chichester
Cathedral." In modern money this fine would amount to something like
£40. Walter, Bishop of Worcester, also ordained in 1240 that beneficed
priests who dressed unclerically should be fined to the extent of a
tenth of their annual revenue for the benefit of the building of his
cathedral. A yet earlier order concerning laity as well as clergy was
issued by the Witan at Engsham, in Oxfordshire, in the year 1009, which
decides that "if any pecuniary compensation shall arise out of a mulct
for sins committed against God, this ought to be applied, according to
the discretion of the bishop," to one of several pious purposes, of
which two are "the repair of churches, and the purchase of books, bells,
and ecclesiastical vestments."

Another way of raising money was to exact a contribution from church
dignitaries, as a kind of "entrance fee," on their accepting preferment.
William Heyworth, bishop of Coventry, (a see now owning Chester as its
mother city), decreed in 1428 that "every canon on commencing his first
residence should pay a hundred marks towards the structure of the
cathedral, the purchase of ornaments," and other similar expenses.

In 1247, Bishop Ralph Neville, of Chichester, having died indebted to
some of the canons of the cathedral, left by will a sufficient sum to
discharge his obligations. But these ecclesiastical creditors decided
that it should be devoted to "the completion of a certain stone tower,
which had remained for a long time unfinished." The same canons bitterly
complained because the Pope had ordained that all vacant prebends
throughout the country should remain unoccupied for a year, in order
that their revenues might be devoted to the erection of the minster at
Canterbury; whereas they not unnaturally felt that the needs of their
own cathedral had the first claim upon them.

Those churches which contained the shrines of popular saints drew, for
the repair or enlargement of the fabric, no small revenue from the
offerings of pilgrims. The eastern part of Rochester Cathedral was paid
for by the moneys deposited at the tomb of S. William of Perth; and the
large sums given by visitors to the shrine of S. Thomas of Canterbury
materially assisted in keeping the building in repair.

Unquestionably the sums needed for rearing these massive piles were in
most cases given, either in money or in kind, by the faithful; sometimes
the princely offerings of a few wealthy men, sometimes the countless
small gifts of the multitude, have become transmuted into tapering
spire, or ponderous tower, "long-drawn aisle and fretted vault." The
poor, in some instances, as we have seen, voluntarily gave their
labour; in others the hands of the monks themselves raised and cut the
sculptured stones.

In most cases the cathedrals which we now possess are not the first that
have occupied their sites. Some humble building, often reared by one of
the pioneers of the faith, was in the majority of instances the shrine
that first consecrated the spot to the service of God.

It was in 401, during the visit of Germanus and Lupus, bishops of
Auxerre and of Troyes, to aid in exterminating the Pelagian heresy, that
the earliest shrine of S. Alban, a simple wooden oratory, was erected at
Verulam; S. Deiniol built a little stave-kirk, or timber church, at
Bangor about 550; and Kentigern, some ten years later, raised the first
religious establishment at Llanelwy, or S. Asaph; while where now the
ruined Cathedral of Man rears its weather-beaten gables and sightless
windows at Peel, tradition says S. Patrick consecrated S. Germain first
bishop of the Southern Isles in 447.

Many causes, however, combined to sweep away not only all traces of
these earliest churches, but also in many instances more than one more
solidly constructed successor. The growth of architectural taste and
skill made men impatient of the rudeness of their forefathers' simple
fanes; in a surprising number of instances the lightning-flash or the
raging fire destroyed the buildings wholly or in part. The cathedrals of
the north felt more than once the shock of the Border wars; and civil
strife, or religious fanaticism, wrought mischief in many others. Thus
it has come to pass that the centuries have seen four cathedrals in
succession at Hereford, at Gloucester, and at Bangor; and three at a
multitude of places, Canterbury, London, Winchester, Peterborough,
Lichfield, Oxford, and half-a-dozen more.

The incursions of the Danes were answerable for the destruction of
several of the earlier foundations. Canterbury had a cathedral, the most
ancient part of which had been erected, according to tradition, by
Lucius, the first Christian King of the Britons, and afterwards restored
by S. Augustine. To this, about the year 740, Cuthbert, the archbishop,
added a chapel for the interment of the occupants of the see; and Odo,
in the tenth century, enlarged and re-roofed it. But in the days of
saintly Alphege, in 1005, the Danish invaders fell upon the city,
making of the church a ruin, and of its bishop a martyr. A similar fate
befell the metropolitan church of the north. On the site where Paulinus
baptized King Edwin and his two sons into the Christian faith a little
wooden oratory was raised, over which ere long Edwin commenced to build
a stone church, which S. Oswald, his successor, completed. This, after
having been beautified by S. Wilfred, was burnt about 741, but re-built
shortly afterwards by Archbishop Egbert. It was this latter building
which fell before the Danes.

At Ely the religious house founded by S. Etheldreda, which was the
precursor of the modern cathedral, was burnt by the same marauders about
870. Rochester suffered in the same way; and no trace of the church
built, so says the Venerable Bede, by King Ethelbert himself now
remains. Peterborough has been particularly unfortunate in this respect.
The first building here was begun by Peada, King of Mercia, in the
seventh century. In the year 870 the Danes, on one of their forays,
burnt church and monastery to the ground, and massacred the abbot and
all his monks. In 971 King Edgar raised the place once more from its
desolation, but again it was seriously damaged, though not absolutely
destroyed, by the sea-kings shortly before the Norman Conquest. Oxford
was partially burnt in 1002 owing to the same people, but in a different
way. A number of Danes took refuge in the tower of S. Frideswide to
escape the senseless and brutal massacre organised on S. Brice's day in
that year, and the English fired the structure rather than suffer their
prey to escape them.

It will be convenient here, although it may take us in some cases away
from those primitive foundations which so far we have considered, to
glance at the other instances in which war has left its mark upon our
cathedrals. Hereford, lying near the Welsh border, felt the storm and
stress of warfare in 1056. Originally founded at some unknown date in
very early English times, the church at Hereford was rebuilt about 830
by a noble Mercian, named Milfrid, and was repaired, if not actually
renewed, by Athelstan the bishop, who came to the see in 1012. Ten years
before the Norman Conquest, however, Griffith, prince of Wales, at the
head of a combined host of Welsh and Irish, crossed the marches and
plundered and burnt the church and city. In the reign of Hardicanute
(1039-1041) the citizens of Worcester, having risen against the payment
of the ship-tax, were severely punished, a military force being sent to
occupy their city. So thoroughly did it carry out the work of inflicting
discipline on the malcontents, that the church, amongst other buildings,
was left in ruins. The original church at Gloucester was built in 681,
as part of a conventual establishment; this was destroyed, and, after an
interval, rebuilt by Beornulph, King of Mercia, sometime previous to
825. This church was looted by the Danes, but restored by S. Edward the
Confessor. In the year after the Conquest, Gloucester was occupied by
the Normans, whose entrance was not, however, accepted quite peaceably
by the citizens; and in the tumult the Cathedral was seriously injured
by the one or the other party. Exeter provides us with another case.
Here was a cathedral in early English days, which lasted until the time
of Bishop William Warelwast, who began the erection of a new one in
1112. During the stormy reign of Stephen, the city was held for Matilda
and had to stand a siege by the King, to the great damage of the still
unfinished church. To quote one further illustration only: Bangor, whose
wooden church was replaced by a stone one somewhere about 1102, suffered
grievously in the wars waged between Henry III. of England, and David,
Prince of Wales, an episode in which was the destruction of the
Cathedral.

  [Illustration: _From a photo by Albert F. Coe, Norwich_
        NORWICH CATHEDRAL.]

The conquest of England by William, Duke of Normandy, had a vast
influence on the ecclesiastical buildings of the country. On the
continent art had advanced at a pace unknown in this island, and the
plain and massive churches scattered over the land must have seemed very
rude structures in the eyes of the prelates who came in the victor's
train. S. Edward the Confessor, with his Norman predilections, had no
doubt accustomed his courtiers to some aspects of foreign art, and
through his influence the so-called Norman architecture preceded the
Normans in the country; but such instances of it as were to be seen must
have been few, and probably confined to the southern counties.

Scarcely had the Conqueror's throne been secured before his countrymen,
placed in the abbeys and sees of England, began to rebuild, on new and
grander plans, the churches under their charge.

Lanfranc, who ascended the throne of S. Augustine in 1070, set himself
to the work of rebuilding Canterbury Cathedral, not contenting himself
with any enlargement or embellishment of the older fane, but making a
clean sweep of that, and beginning from the foundations. S. Anselm, and
the prior of the monastery, Ernulph, took up the work and enlarged upon
Lanfranc's design, pulling down and re-building the choir. Early in the
next century, namely in 1130, the new Cathedral, completed under the
supervision of Conrad, successor to Ernulph, was solemnly dedicated with
great pomp in the presence of the Kings of England and of Scotland.

  [Illustration: RIPON CATHEDRAL.]

Meanwhile, Thomas of Bayeux, who became Archbishop of York in the same
year as that in which Lanfranc obtained his English see, was busy
rebuilding his Minster at York. William of Carilef commenced the
magnificent pile, forming one of the finest Norman churches in
existence, which crowns the Wear at Durham, in 1093; and Ralph Flambard
took up the work three years later, completing it in 1128. London was
deprived of its Cathedral by fire probably about 1088, and the work of
restoration was at once undertaken by Maurice, its Norman bishop. In
1079 Bishop Walkelyn began the erection of a cathedral church at
Winchester, in the place of the old Saxon building which had first been
founded on the conversion of King Cynegils, about 635. In all parts of
the land, east and west, north and south, the builders were at work,
rearing massive temples to the glory and honour of God. The chink of
chisel and the blow of hammer rang everywhere in the ears of the
eleventh century in England. Bishop Herbert Losinga laid the first stone
of Norwich Cathedral in 1096, at which time Remigius of Fescamp had been
some twenty years at work on that of Lincoln, and had passed away,
leaving the completion to others. The new Norman Cathedral of Hereford
was begun by Robert Losinga, who reigned as bishop from 1079 to 1096.
Abbot Simeon began to build the Minster at Ely about 1092; Worcester was
commenced by Wulfstan in 1084; five years later the foundation of
Gloucester was laid; and in 1091 S. Osmund consecrated the church of
S. Nicholas at Newcastle. Other cathedrals which were built, or
rebuilt, at about the same date include those of Carlisle, S. Albans,
Rochester, Chester, Lichfield and Oxford.

Surely never was an age so enthusiastic in building! All these
cathedrals, many still remaining largely as their Norman builders left
them, most retaining many relics of their work, were commenced within
the space of two reigns of by no means great duration, lasting only from
1066 to 1100.

The energy of the time was not, however, exhausted by the fervour of
this outburst. The twelfth century took up and vigorously prosecuted the
tasks handed on to it by the eleventh.

Among cathedrals which were entirely, or almost entirely, rebuilt during
this century we have Chichester, Rochester, Peterborough, Lincoln,
Oxford, Bristol, Southwell, S. David's, Llandaff, and Ripon. In the
first of these a great part of the work was done twice over within this
period. Ralph de Luffa was bishop of the see when the cathedral was
consecrated in 1108; two fires, however, did such serious damage to this
building, the first in 1114, and the second in 1186, that it had
practically to be re-constructed, and was re-dedicated in the year
1199. The Cathedral at Rochester was largely re-built by John of
Canterbury between 1125 and 1137, and like Chichester suffered twice
during the century from the ravages of fire. Indeed, so frequently do we
find mention of conflagrations in the cathedrals in the early mediæval
days, that it is quite obvious that William I. was fully justified in
taking such precautions against this enemy as the use of the curfew
involved. In more than one instance the cathedral went up in flames as
part only of a fire which destroyed a large portion of the town.

  [Illustration: SOUTHWELL MINSTER.]

The undertaking of new work at Peterborough was the result of a similar
cause. In the year 1116 fire destroyed almost the whole church and
monastery, but in two years' time the re-erection had commenced, and was
continued throughout the remainder of the century. The choir was ready
for the resumption of the Divine offices in 1143, but the builders did
not reach the end of their labours until 1237. Re-construction was
necessitated at Lincoln by the occurrence of an earthquake in 1185,
following once more upon a fire which took place in 1141. The stone
vaulting and the western towers were undertaken by Alexander, bishop
from 1123 to 1147; and in 1192 S. Hugh of Avalon, who held the see from
1186 to 1203, began a thorough re-building of the pile. This work marks
an epoch in the progress of architecture in England, as in the choir of
S. Hugh we meet with the earliest examples of the use of the lancet form
of arch to which we can assign a known date. About the middle of this
century a new church, not yet advanced to the dignity of a cathedral,
was commenced at Oxford, and by the year 1180 it was sufficiently
advanced to allow of the translation of the relics of S. Frideswide to
their new shrine. In 1142 was founded the Abbey of Bristol, and its
church was consecrated on Easter Day, 1148, although the completion of
the buildings occupied the attention of the abbots for many years after.
Southwell Minster was also building during the first half of the twelfth
century; Peter de Leia, who became Bishop of S. David's in 1176,
commenced the erection of his cathedral four years later, following the
example of Arban, who entered upon the neighbouring see of Llandaff in
1107, and reared a mother church for his diocese. Finally, Ripon also
saw the masons busily at work almost through the century. First
Thurstan, Archbishop of York in 1114, began the enlargement of the
Abbey Church, and after him Archbishop Roger (1154-1181) entirely
rebuilt it.

But the record of the churches re-built during this century by no means
exhausts the tale of work performed during that time. At Winchester, for
example, in 1107 the central tower fell, necessitating the building of a
new one. Lucy, bishop here from 1189 to 1205, erected a new Lady Chapel
and made other alterations. At Hereford, too, operations were going
forward almost throughout the century, the bishops Reynelm (1107-1115)
and Betun (1131-1148) being especially energetic in pressing them on;
and the closing years of this period saw the rearing of the eastern
transepts. At this time also the beautiful Galilee Chapel was added to
Durham Cathedral; Ely was consecrated in 1106, and towards the end of
the century received its central tower and other additions; and
S. Albans, moreover, had a façade built on its western front by John
de Cella.

The chronicle of the damages by fire during the twelfth century is not
complete without mentioning that S. Paul's, London, which was
re-building during a large portion of that time, was injured by it in
1136; and the same foe destroyed the roof of Worcester Cathedral in the
early days of the century.

The period which our rapid survey has so far covered embraces broadly
the eras of the Norman and of the so-called Early English architecture.
In the thirteenth century the Decorated Style came into being, and with
its rise arose also the desire for greater richness of ornament even in
those churches which had already, to all appearances, been completed. On
all hands, therefore, in this new century, we find the pulling down of
portions of the stern Norman work and the substitution of lighter and
more graceful designs.

The great work of the thirteenth century, however, was begun before the
birth of the more florid style, and shows little trace of the dawning of
its influence. Salisbury Cathedral was begun in 1220, the work
commencing, as was usual, at the eastern end and advancing westward. The
whole was proceeded with continuously, and since its completion no
alteration of any importance has been made in it. Other cathedrals in
England exhibit in almost every case a conglomerate of several orders of
architecture, blended generally with great skill, but necessarily
lacking to some extent in unity of design in consequence. In Salisbury
we have one complete and splendid example of English architecture of the
best period, carried out from beginning to end with unbroken unity of
purpose.

Other churches which then were, or were subsequently to become,
cathedrals, dating in their present form from the thirteenth century,
are those of Lichfield, Wells, Manchester, Bangor, and S. Asaph.

A Norman church had been reared at Lichfield of which very few relics
have survived to the present day, a new building having been begun about
the year 1200, and the work of construction carried on for the major
part of the century, the west front being reached about 1275. Bishop
Joceline was the chief founder of the existing Cathedral at Wells, most
of the previous work having been taken down in his time, and the new
church solemnly dedicated by him in 1239. The Church at Manchester was
probably built about 1220, but the present building is of a later date.
The Cathedral at S. Asaph suffered from the great mediæval enemy of such
foundations, fire, twice during this period. On the first occasion, in
1247, the troops of Henry III. of England must be held responsible for
the destruction wrought; on the second, in 1282, the outbreak was
probably accidental. Repairs, if not actual rebuilding, took place in
consequence of these injuries towards the end of the century. Bangor
Cathedral was probably also rebuilt about 1291.

Fire played its old part throughout the century in providing work for
the ecclesiastical masons, in other instances besides that referred to
in the Welsh diocese. The choir at Carlisle was rebuilt probably about
1250 and the following years, but had scarcely been fully completed
before it fell in a fire which destroyed a large portion of the city. In
1216, S. Nicholas, Newcastle, was almost destroyed by the same fatal
agency. Worcester Cathedral was again burnt in 1202, and was rebuilt
between then and 1218 sufficiently to be re-dedicated; although the
retro-choir, the choir, the Lady Chapel, and some details were added at
a later time in the same century.

Imperfections in the work of the preceding age were answerable for a
certain amount of loss and consequent re-construction (not seldom
actually a gain) in this. At Lincoln, for instance, the central tower
fell in 1237, and was replaced by the present one, which has been
described as one of the finest in Europe. The east end of Ripon had to
be rebuilt owing to the structure giving way in 1280; and in consequence
again of the fall of the tower, repairs had to be undertaken at
S. David's in 1220.

The popular regard for Hugh, the sainted bishop of Lincoln, led to the
building of one of the most beautiful sections of that Minster, namely
the Angel-choir, erected as a worthy chapel for the shrine of S. Hugh,
between 1255 and 1280. At Hereford, the Lady Chapel was built about the
middle of this century; and at Ely, the presbytery and retro-choir at
about the same date; at Bristol, the elder Lady Chapel probably a little
earlier; at Southwell, the choir between 1230 and 1250; and the choir
also at S. Albans, in 1256.

Several of our cathedral towers, moreover, besides that at Lincoln, date
from the thirteenth century. York, S. Paul's, Chichester and Gloucester,
all had the towers erected during this period.

Passing on to the fourteenth century, we meet with the same wide-spread
activity, but it is expended now rather in additions and embellishments
to existing buildings than in actual re-constructions. At Ripon, the
Cathedral was partially burnt by the Scots in 1319, and later in the
century the tower was struck by lightning. At S. Alban's, part of the
nave fell in 1323, as did the tower at Ely in 1322. In each of these
cases repairs were of course rendered needful. More important works were
the rebuilding of the nave and transepts at Canterbury at the end of the
century (1378-1410), the erection of the Zouche Chapel at York about
1350, the addition of both the central and the western towers to Wells,
the spires to Peterborough, and the towers also to Hereford.

The fifteenth century is specially marked by the growing popularity of
chantries and side chapels. We find them erected at this time at
Hereford and elsewhere; but little building on a large scale is done. In
several cases the vaulting of the roofs dates from this period, and a
good deal of internal carving in wood or stone was also done. Among the
latter we may note the high altar screen at S. Alban's, and the stalls
at Carlisle and Ripon. Of the former work, reference may be made to the
vaulting of part of the choir and transepts at Norwich.

The sixteenth century is not a pleasant one to contemplate in connection
with our ancient cathedrals. Ignorance and fanaticism were then
beginning to show themselves in their treatment of the miracles of art
bequeathed to the ages, and soon became more obvious than culture or
reverence. This century saw the nave of Bristol taken down, the spires
removed from the towers of Ripon, and other precautions against a
threatened collapse; but steps were not taken to repair the losses thus
caused. And in view of the nameless horrors perpetrated within the
hallowed walls of churches and cathedrals, first by the extreme
reformers, and in the next century by the Puritans, in the name of
religion, it is only wonderful that so much that is beautiful still
survives.

The one constructive work of the seventeenth century was, of course, the
building of the Cathedral of London, S. Paul's, in the place of that
"Old S. Paul's" which perished in the fire of 1666. This building shares
with Salisbury the credit of complete unity, but is unique among English
Cathedrals in being classical in style. However much more admirable the
Gothic style may be admitted to be for ecclesiastical purposes,
probably all will admit that the grandeur of St. Paul's grows upon one
the more familiar one becomes with it; and certainly no tower, or
collection of towers, could possibly dominate a vast city like London in
the way that Wren's splendid dome does.

The eighteenth century witnessed, among other things, the removal of
most of the spires which down to that time had crowned the towers of
many of the cathedrals. Such was the case with Hereford and Wakefield;
the same thing was attempted at Lincoln in 1727, but popular tumult
saved the spires; only, however, until 1807, when they were removed.

Of one work of construction the eighteenth century was also guilty; the
year 1704 gave birth to that abortion among English cathedrals known as
S. Peter's, Liverpool; with which, for nearly twenty years, the
population of one of the wealthiest cities in the empire has been
content! Something in the way of restoration was attempted in this
century, but it was for the most part done ignorantly, and no small part
of the restoration of the nineteenth century has consisted in undoing so
far as possible the work of the eighteenth.

The present century has seen the commencement, on noble lines, of the
Cathedral of Truro; and the beautifying of not a few of our old
minsters, which had been stript almost bare by the destroyers of past
times. Happily, the guardians of these treasures of art and devotion
have for the most part been conscious of the greatness of their trust,
and the fabrics have been dealt with reverently and with judgment.
Amongst others, Bristol, Chichester, St. Albans, and Peterborough have
required more or less extensive measures of re-building.



Ye Chappell of Oure Ladye.

By the Rev. J. H. Stamp.


The sacred buildings designated by this title were dedicated to the
service of God, in mediæval times, in honour of the Mother of our Lord.
The veneration of S. Mary, the Blessed Virgin, had been growing up in
the Church from the fifth century, when the reality of the incarnation
of the Son of God was first called into question by men who professed
and called themselves Christians. The defence of the true doctrine
brought clearly into view the high dignity which God had conferred on
the humble maiden of Nazareth, and so reverence for her memory, as the
most blessed among women, grew into veneration for her person as the
Mother of God. The faithful of the Middle Ages were, therefore, not
content with simply retaining her name at the head of the list of
saints, but raised the human mother to a position which was almost, if
not quite, equal to that of her Divine Son. They conferred on her the
title of "Our Lady," and hailed her as "The Queen of Heaven," just as
they were accustomed to address the Saviour as "Our Lord" and worship
Him as "The King of Heaven." This title still survives in the terms
which are so familiar to us, namely, "Lady Day" and "Lady Chapel."

We see evidences of this growth of the _cultus_ of the Blessed Virgin in
the erection and elaborate ornamentation of Lady Chapels throughout
Christendom. It does not seem probable, however, that our pious
forefathers in the ancient Church of England intended to encourage
Mariolatry, by the introduction of these buildings into this country;
for it is a singular and significant fact that in Spain, where this
heretical and superstitious practice chiefly prevailed, Lady Chapels are
very rare, because the church itself has been made to serve the purpose.
English Churchmen, in their desire to honour the Mother of Christ, were
careful to avoid this evil example. The erection of smaller buildings,
and the setting apart, for the purpose, of one of the side aisles rather
than the sanctuary itself, tend to show that they did not assign to the
Blessed Virgin that _divine_ honour which was due only to her Son and
Lord. The usual position of the Lady Chapel, beyond the choir, has,
indeed, been considered as a proof that the honour paid to "Our Lady"
exceeded that which was rendered unto our Lord, since the altar
dedicated to her was set up beyond the High Altar in the most sacred
portion of the church, and, in that position, might be said to
overshadow it. But the usual situation of the Lady Chapel, at the east
end of the choir or presbytery, proves nothing of the kind. One
celebrated writer on the subject disclaims the idea in the following
words, "Poole principally objects to the position of the Lady Chapel at
the east end, 'above,' as he expresses it 'the High Altar.' Now we
believe the Lady Chapel to have occupied the place merely on grounds of
convenience, and not from any design--which is shocking to imagine--of
exalting the Blessed Virgin to any participation in the honours of the
Deity."[6]

    [Footnote 6: Durandus Symbol. lxxxviii.]

It is true that the Lady Chapel was generally erected at the extreme
east end, or one of the aisles near the choir was used for the purpose,
because it was considered the most sacred part of the church next to the
sanctuary. It was erected at the east end of the Abbey Churches of
Westminster and S. Albans; in the Cathedral Churches of Winchester,
Salisbury, Chichester, Exeter, Gloucester, Worcester, Wells, Hereford,
Chester and Manchester; at Christ Church, Hants, where there is a
chantry above, called S. Michael's Loft, which once served as the
Chapter House of the Priory, but in modern times has been converted into
a schoolroom; and also at the parish church of S. Mary Redcliffe,
Bristol, where it is situated over a thoroughfare, after the example of
several churches in Exeter. But the ecclesiastics and architects of the
Middle Ages did not consider themselves bound, by a hard and fast rule,
to set up the Lady Chapel at the east end. If an available site could be
found beyond the Choir the Chapel was erected in that position,
otherwise, the north aisle of the Church, or a convenient site near the
Choir, was utilised for the purpose. The building has been erected on
the north or south side of the Choir or Nave, and even at the west end
when deemed expedient. It was erected on the _north_ side at the
Cathedrals of Canterbury, Oxford, Bristol, and Peterborough; at the
Abbeys of Glastonbury, Bury St. Edmunds, Walsingham, Thetford,
Wymondham, Belvoir, Llanthony, Hulme, and Croyland, where there was a
second Lady Chapel with a lofty screen, in the south transept.[7] It is
on the _south_ side at Kilkenny and at Elgin Cathedral. It stands in a
similar position over the Chapter House at Ripon Minster. Sometimes it
was placed above the chancel, as in Compton Church, Surrey; Compton
Martin, Somerset; and Darenth, Kent; or over the porch, as at Fordham,
Cambs. At Ely Cathedral it is connected with the extremity of the north
transept. At Wimborne Minster it stands in the south transept, whilst at
Rochester Cathedral and at Waltham Abbey, Essex, it was erected at the
west of the south transept. At Durham Cathedral an attempt was made to
build a Lady Chapel at the east end, but owing, it is said, to the
supernatural intervention of S. Cuthbert, whose relics were deposited in
the Choir, the building was erected instead at the west end, where it
stands under the name of the Galilee Chapel. The original Lady Chapel at
Canterbury also stood in this unusual position, until the days of
Archbishop Lanfranc, 1070-1089, when it was removed and the present
building set up at the east end. The _aisles_ were also frequently used
as "ye Chappell of oure Ladye," as at Haddenham, Cambs.

    [Footnote 7: "Gough's History of Croyland. 1783."]

The practice of dedicating Chapels to the Blessed Virgin was introduced
into this country during the twelfth century, shortly after the monastic
orders had gained the supremacy over the parochial clergy. These
buildings were generally founded not only to satisfy the spirit of the
age, which demanded the veneration of the Mother of our Lord, but also
to afford the necessary accommodation at the east end for the increased
number of clergy. The founders, moreover, hoped to secure an
augmentation of the revenues, by the offerings of the faithful at the
shrines of the new Chapels, as appears to have been the case at
Walsingham, Norfolk; All Hallows, Barking; and S. Stephen's,
Westminster. The building, in many instances, became the depository of
the relics of a saint. The Galilee Chapel at Durham, dedicated to
S. Mary the Virgin in 1175, contains the bones of the Venerable Bede,
the earliest historian of the Church of England, who died at
Jarrow-on-Tyne, on the eve of Ascension Day, A.D. 735. These relics
were translated, in 1370, from the tomb of S. Cuthbert, and placed in
the Chapel, in a magnificent shrine of gold and silver. The Lady Chapel
at Oxford contains the shrine of S. Frideswide, the daughter of the
founder of the convent, and its first prioress, whose relics were
translated from the north choir aisle in 1289. This Chapel is now called
the Dormitory, as the remains of several deans and canons have been laid
to rest within its walls.

The Lady Chapel has frequently served as the mausoleum of saints,
princes, noblemen, and dignitaries of the Church. The stately and
magnificent edifice at Westminster, known as Henry the Seventh's Chapel,
was built for this purpose in 1502, by the first Tudor monarch, on the
site of the original Lady Chapel, erected by Henry III. in 1220. The
royal founder, his wife, and other royal personages now await the
resurrection in the tomb set up in this famous building. The Lady Chapel
at S. Mary's, Warwick, which is said to be the chief ornament of that
church, was also built as a tomb-house in 1443, by Richard Beauchamp,
Earl of Warwick. Their desire to rest in the chapel, dedicated to the
blessed Virgin, was closely associated with the idea which chiefly moved
our forefathers to erect these buildings. They had been taught to
believe in the invocation of saints, and were anxious to secure, for
themselves and their dear ones, the mediation and intercession of the
Mother of our Lord, whose influence with her Divine Son, they supposed,
was all prevailing. So they founded these chapels in her honour, and
solicited her good offices on their behalf by frequent services and
prostrations before her image, which occupied the place of honour above
"oure Ladye's Altar" crowned as the Queen of Heaven, and profusely
adorned with splendid jewels and exquisite embroidery. They believed,
moreover, that as she could succour the living, so she would prevail
with her Son on behalf of the dead. These sacred buildings were,
accordingly, used also as chantries, where masses were offered daily,
and the intervention of "oure Ladye S. Mary" was solicited to secure the
release of the souls of the faithful departed from the flames of
purgatory, through which, it was supposed, they must pass, to be
purified from all the defilements of their earthly course, and "made
meet for the inheritance of the saints in light." In frescoes on the
walls, and in paintings on the windows, the Virgin was represented,
interceding for the souls of the faithful as they came forth to
judgment.

After the dissolution of monasteries by Henry VIII., and the suppression
of chantries by Edward VI., many of these buildings shared the fate of
the conventual churches to which they were attached. In some places the
Lady Chapel was left to decay, and disappeared in the course of a few
years, like that at Norwich, which fell into a ruinous condition as
early as 1569. In other localities it was allowed to stand until the
turbulent days of the Commonwealth, as at Peterborough, where it was
taken down to supply materials for the reparation of the Cathedral,
which had been greatly injured by Cromwell's soldiers. In several places
it was appropriated to other uses, and even divested of its sacred
character. The elegant chapel at Ely, erected 1321-49, and said to have
been one of the most perfect buildings of that age, was assigned at the
Reformation to the parishioners of Holy Trinity to serve as their Parish
Church, and is now called Trinity Church. The splendid specimen at
S. Albans was separated from the presbytery by a public thoroughfare,
which was made through the antechapel, and a charter of Edward VI.
transferred the sacred building to the authorities of the ancient
Grammar School, and it was used as a schoolroom until the restoration in
1870. At S. Mary Redcliffe, Bristol, the Lady Chapel has also been used
for scholastic purposes, and at Waltham Abbey it has accommodated not
only parochial schools but public meetings and petty sessions.

Among existing Lady Chapels, King Henry the Seventh's Chapel occupies
the first place for magnificence. The first Tudor monarch, in his
anxiety to make his peace with God before his death, and to commemorate
the union of the houses of York and Lancaster, determined to found a
chapel in honour of the blessed Virgin, "in whom," he declares in his
will, "hath ever been my most singulier trust and confidence, ... and by
whom I have hitherto in al myne adversities ever had my special comforte
and relief." He also made due provision for the celebration of masses
and the distribution of alms "perpetually, for ever, while the world
shall endure" for the welfare of his soul. The laying of the foundation
stone is recorded by the ancient chronicler as follows: "On the 24th
daie of January 1502/3 a quarter of an houre afore three of the clocke
at after noone of the same daie, the first stone of our Ladie Chapell,
within the monasterie of Westminster, was laid by the hands of John
Islip, Abbot of the same monasterie ... and diverse others."[8] After
its completion it was so universally admired, that Leland the antiquary
describes it as "_orbis miraculum_"--the wonder of the world. About
fifty years after its dedication the services, for which it was
specially designed by its royal founder, were brought to an end by the
Act of Parliament which suppressed the chantries throughout the kingdom,
and then followed three centuries of gross neglect which reduced it to
"an almost shapeless mass of ruins," as it was described in 1803. Four
years later, in 1807, Dean Vincent obtained a parliamentary grant for
the restoration of the building, and the necessary repairs were
completed in 1822. The Chapel still retains much of its ancient
splendour, and the elegant and elaborate ceiling is a marvel of
architectural skill. It has been used since the year 1725 for the
installation of the Knights of the Bath, and their banners are suspended
over the old carved _misereres_ or _misericordes_ of the monks.

    [Footnote 8: Holinshed.]

"Ye Chappell of oure Ladye" at S. Alban's is also a most elegant
specimen of the buildings, dedicated to the blessed Virgin. The
foundations appear to have been laid by John de Hertford, abbot from
1235 to 1260. But at the election of Hugh de Eversdone, in 1308, the
walls had only reached the level of the underside of the window sills, a
height of ten feet above the ground. During his rule he laboured so
assiduously to complete the work, that in a short time he finished it.
The building, at its dedication, was so rich in detail that it is
described by ancient writers as "a magnificent sight." The work of Abbot
Hugh included the exquisite carvings in stone, which represent about
seventy different specimens of forms in nature. During its use as a
Grammar School, from 1553 to 1870, the interior suffered much injury
from the hands of the schoolboys, and was allowed to fall into a state
of ruin and decay. Shortly after the removal of the School in 1870, a
restoration was undertaken by the ladies of Hertfordshire, but their
good intentions were not carried into effect, through lack of the
necessary funds. Lord Grimthorp then generously came to the rescue, and
through his munificence the Chapel has been thoroughly and judiciously
restored. It now stands once more in all its glory, as a perfect gem of
architecture and one of the most elegant Lady Chapels in Christendom.

"Ye Chappell of oure Ladye" at Waltham Abbey is said to be one of the
richest specimens of mediæval architecture in Essex. The building has
been greatly defaced since the suppression of chantries, but still bears
traces of its original glory. "The Lady Chapel," says the late Professor
Freeman, "must have been a most beautiful specimen of its style, but few
ancient structures have been more sedulously disfigured." It was erected
before A.D. 1292, as, during that year, Roger Levenoth, an inhabitant,
endowed the chantry, with a house and 100 acres of land in Roydon. The
Chapel was in a flourishing condition in the reign of Edward III., as we
find from the return made in obedience to the royal order, which was
issued to the master of the ceremonies of every guild and chantry in the
King's dominions. In the Court language of that period, which was
Norman French, Roger Harrof and John de Poley, the chantry priests, are
described as "meisters de la petit compaignie ordeigne al honor de Dieu
et ure Donne seyncte Marie en la Ville de Waltham seynte croice." The
architect selected, as the site of the building, the space formed by the
easternmost bay of the south aisle of the nave and the western side of
the south transept. This peculiar position indicates that it was not the
work of the monks, but that of the parishioners, who were allowed the
use of the nave as their parish church from the days of King Harold II.,
the founder. A well-known antiquarian writes: "It seems to have been
built by the parishioners, and not by the abbot and convent, and its
position is due to its occupying the only available spot, and where only
two walls wanted building. A similar case occurs at Rochester. Where the
Abbey built the Lady Chapel it was usually east of the transept--at the
east end if there was room, at the north side if otherwise."[9] The
parishioners could not erect their Lady Chapel at the east end, because
the choir or presbytery had been used as the monastic church from the
days of Henry II., who, to atone for the massacre of Thomas à Becket,
Archbishop of Canterbury, changed the secular foundation of Harold, and
introduced an abbot and monks of the Augustinian order. Another Lady
Chapel had probably been erected at the east end for the use of the
monks, in accordance with the custom of the age, but this shared the
destruction which befell the whole of the eastern portion of the church
after the dissolution of the monastery in 1540. The preservation of the
parish Lady Chapel is therefore due to its position at the west of the
presbytery. In a transcript by Peter le Neve, Norroy King at Arms, 1698,
it is stated that a chapel was dedicated at Waltham in the year 1188, by
William de Vere, Bishop of Hereford, "in honore Dei [et gloriosæ
Virginis Mariae] et B. Martyris atque pontificis Thomae nomine."[10]
This has led to the conjecture that reference is made to the existing
building,[11] or to that which formerly stood at the east end.[12] But
the original Waltham manuscript shows that it does not refer to a Lady
Chapel at all, but to the Chapel of S. Thomas of Canterbury.[13]

    [Footnote 9: W. H. St. John Hope, F.S.A.]
    [Footnote 10: Harl. MS. 6974, fol. 106.]
    [Footnote 11: Gentleman's Magazine, April, 1860, and May, 1864.]
    [Footnote 12: The Builder, April 2, 1898.]
    [Footnote 13: Harl. MS. 391, fol. 100.]

The masonry of the exterior of the two walls erected when the Chapel was
founded, consists of alternating bands of stone, squared bricks, and
flint, so that it produces a "poly-chromatic effect."[14] There are
three large buttresses of considerable projection, with pedimented
sets-off and slopes, one being situated at the south-west angle, and the
other two on the south of the building. Two smaller buttresses also
occupy a place on the south. Niches, with pedestals for images, are
still standing in the primary buttresses.

    [Footnote 14: Professor Freeman.]

The interior of the Chapel measures 41 feet 7 inches in length, 23 feet
in breadth, and 23 feet in height. It is approached by a steep ascent of
nine long narrow stone steps, which are situated near the south-west
buttress. The ancient doorway is beautifully decorated with ball
flowers. The floor stands at an elevation of nearly five feet above the
floor of the chancel, an arrangement which appears to be peculiar to
Waltham. It was apparently built at this high level to add to the
loftiness of the crypt below, which was a capacious chamber of much
importance in olden times, and consists of two wide bays of
quadripartite vaulting. There is no way of access from the interior of
the Church, but "the chapel is connected with the south aisle by a
single arch of poor and ordinary architecture, a sad contrast to the
glorious Romanesque work of the nave."[15] At the west end there is a
large and beautiful six-light, square-headed window, with a rich and
peculiar arrangement of a double plane of tracery, the inner plane
consisting of three arches. This window, and the four elegant windows of
three lights on the south side, are supposed to have been filled with
stained glass, like that of the Chapter House at York Minster, and other
buildings of the same period. At the extreme south-east of the building
the remains of the ancient sedilia and piscina may still be seen. The
walls were adorned with distemper paintings, chocolate coloured
vine-leaves on a yellow ground running round the spandrels and windows.
This decoration probably included a series of paintings, representing
scenes in the life of the Mother of our Lord, and concluding with her
assumption and coronation as the Queen of Heaven. There was also a
representation of the Last Judgment in which "Our Lady" occupied the
place of honour near her Divine Son and Lord, interceding for the
faithful as they appeared before their Judge. On the removal of the
plaster from the east wall during the restoration in 1875, the remains
of a fresco of "the Doom" were discovered, and here are depicted the
Judge of all mankind in the scarlet robes of majesty, the Virgin as
intercessor, S. Michael the Archangel, presiding over the balances in
which souls are weighed, the Apostles as assessors, bishops and abbots
with the keys of S. Peter, admitting the faithful into the Holy Catholic
Church, human forms emerging from the grave, the path of life, the
chains of everlasting darkness, demons clothed in flames, and the jaws
of hell. The space under this fresco was probably occupied by beautiful
statuary, the image of the blessed Virgin standing in the centre,
immediately above the altar of "Our Ladye." At the dissolution of the
monastery "a table of imagery of the xii. apostles," belonging to this
Chapel, was valued at ten shillings. A few fragments of statuary,
supposed to have formed part of this decoration, were discovered during
the restoration of the Abbey Church in 1860, and have been inserted in
the south-east wall of the chancel. These relics of the splendid past
include the mutilated stone figures of four saints, probably the
evangelists, beautifully carved, and a representation of the crucifixion
in black marble, but the ornament of precious metal, with which it was
adorned, has long since disappeared.

    [Footnote 15: Professor Freeman.]

The altars, desks, and tables in the Lady Chapel were covered with
plates of silver, as in the crypt beneath, which was also, in those
days, a splendid chantry, served by its own priest, who was called "the
Charnel Priest." The sacramental vessels and plate, which were of great
value, were sold after the suppression. Dr. Thomas Fuller, Incumbent of
Waltham Abbey in 1648, gives the following extracts from the
churchwarden's accounts: "1549. _Imprimis._--Sold the silver plate which
was on the desk in the charnel, weighing five ounces, for twenty-five
shillings. Guess," adds the historian, "the gallantry of our church by
this (presuming all the rest in proportionable equipage) when the desk
whereon the priest read was inlaid with plate of silver." "1551.
_Item._--Received for two hundred seventy-one ounces of plate, sold at
several times for the best advantage, sixty-seven pound fourteen
shillings and ninepence."[16] The inventory of goods made by order of
Henry VIII. also mentions "iiii. tables [of oure Ladye] plated with
sylver and gylte, every one of them with ii. folding leves." The Chapel
was furnished besides with "a lytell payre of organes," valued at xxs.,
at the dissolution of the monastery, when Thomas Tallis, the father of
English church music, was organist of the Abbey Church, and presided at
the "greate large payre of organes" in the Choir. He was assisted by
John Boston, of Waltham, who probably performed on the smaller
instrument in the Lady Chapel. Both names are mentioned in the pension
list, Tallis receiving xxs. for wages and xxs. reward, and Boston iiis.
for wages and iiis. reward.

    [Footnote 16: History of Waltham Abbey, cap. 5.]

A large number of wax tapers and candles was consumed annually at the
various services held in the Lady Chapel and Crypt. In the return made
by Sir Roger Harrop and Sir John de Poley, masters of the two chantries
in the reign of Edward III., it is stated that every man and woman in
this guild paid a yearly subscription of sixpence towards the expenses,
and at the feasts of "oure Ladye" all "Christiens" of the company gave
five burning tapers (_tapres ardant_); in honour of our Lord four large
torches; and on other special occasions fifteen tapers. Lights were also
kept burning during the solemn requiem and funeral services, when
prayers were offered that perpetual light might shine upon the souls of
the departed. It is most likely that this impressive ceremonial had been
observed in both chantries, when the body of Queen Eleanor rested for
the night in the Abbey Church on its way to Westminster, and again when
the remains of her royal consort, Edward I., were deposited for three
months before the tomb of Harold. The wax in stock for these memorial
services at the suppression was sold by the churchwardens as follows:
"_Item._--Sold so much wax as amounts to twenty six shillings."
Dr. Fuller remarks on this transaction, "So thrifty the wardens that
they bought not candles and tapers ready made, but bought the wax at the
best hand and paid poor people for the making of them. Now they sold
their magazine of wax as useless. Under the Reformation more light and
fewer candles."[17]

    [Footnote 17: History of Waltham Abbey, cap. v.]

In the days of the chantry, lands, tenements, and other gifts were
presented and bequeathed that "obits" or prayers for the dead might be
offered before the altar and image of "oure Ladye." Dr. Fuller gives the
following account of "obits" at Waltham: "The charge of an obit was two
shillings and two pence; and, if any be curious to have the particulars
thereof, it was thus expended: to the parish priest, three pence; to our
Lady's priest, three pence; to the charnel priest, threepence; to the
two clerks, four pence; to the children (these I conceive choristers)
three pence; to the sexton, two pence; to the bellman, two pence; for
two tapers, two pence; for oblation, two pence. O, the reasonable rates
at Waltham! Two shillings and two pence for an obit, the price whereof
in S. Paul's, in London, was forty shillings! For, forsooth, the higher
the church, the holier the service, the dearer the price, though he had
given too much that had given but thanks for such vanities. To defray
the expenses of these obits, the parties prayed for, or their executors,
left lands, houses, or stock to the churchwardens."[18] These obits were
abolished when the chantries were suppressed in the first year of the
reign of King Edward VI. "Now," says Dr. Fuller, "was the brotherhood
in the church dissolved, consisting as formerly of three priests, three
choristers, and two sextons; and the rich plate belonging to them was
sold for the good of the parish. Superstition by degrees being banished
out of the church, we hear no more of prayers and masses for the dead.
Every obit now had its own obit, and fully expired; the lands formerly
given thereunto being employed to more charitable uses."[19]

    [Footnote 18: Cap. iv.]
    [Footnote 19: Cap. v.]

Since the suppression both chantries have been stripped of almost all
their glory. The beautiful statuary in the Lady Chapel has disappeared,
the decorated walls were covered with plaster, the west window blocked
up, three of the elegant south windows were partly bricked up, and the
fourth was converted into a door-way. The building was entirely
separated from the Church by a wall of lath and plaster, and the west
front obscured by the erection of an unsightly porch, which also
concealed from view the grand south Norman entrance to the Abbey Church.
The exterior walls were covered with cement, in imitation of classic
rustic work. The Chapel has been used during the last three centuries
for various purposes, some of which were degrading in the extreme to its
sacred character. It has been used as a vestry, parochial schoolroom and
lending library, also for public meetings and petty sessions, and, in
its darkest days, as a store-room. The crypt has also passed through
many changes, and has been stripped of its original splendour. It
retained much of its beauty for a century after the suppression, as Dr.
Fuller writes during his incumbency:--"To the south side of the Church
is joined a chapel, formerly our Lady's, now a school-house, and under
it an arched charnel-house, the fairest that I ever saw."[20] This
beautiful chantry, which is partly underground, has been used since as a
sepulchre for the dead, a prison cell for the living,[21] a receptacle
for human bones, a coal cellar and heating chamber.

    [Footnote 20: History of Waltham Abbey, cap. I., 9.]
    [Footnote 21: The Quakers were incarcerated here during
            the reign of Charles II.]

The Lady Chapel resumed its sacred character in 1876, after it had been
carefully restored by Sir T. Fowell Buxton, Bart., K.C.M.G.[22] whose
seat, Warlies Park, is situated in the parish. The modern porch was
removed from the west end, the large arch in the south wall of the
Church re-opened, and the five elegant windows were made good. A
splendidly carved memorial screen has since been erected under the arch
by the parishioners, and some beautifully carved altar rails set up at
the east end. The arms of the Abbey and Parish of Waltham Holy Cross are
represented on the screen, namely, two angels exalting the Cross. The
appearance of the interior is, however, still mean and bare, when
compared with its former magnificence, although so much has been done to
rescue from a state of degradation and neglect, this interesting relic
of mediæval times, "ye Chappell of oure Ladye."

    [Footnote 22: Now Governor General of South Australia.]



Some Famous Spires.

By John T. Page.


It is practically impossible to point to the exact date when spires
first assumed a place in the category of ecclesiastical architecture.
They belong to the Gothic style, and like the pointed arch were evolved
rather than created. The low pointed roof of the tower gradually gave
place to a more tapering finish, but the transition was by no means
progressive, and cannot be clearly traced. Some of the earliest attempts
at spire-building were uncouth and ungraceful, and even in these days
the addition of a spire to a modern church does not necessarily add to
its beauty. This is nearly always the case where an undue regard is paid
to ornamentation, either at the base, or on the surface of the spire
itself. Undoubtedly the most beautiful spires are those which at once
spring clear from the summit of the tower and gradually rise needle-like
towards the blue vault of heaven.

By far the greater number of our principal spires date from the
fourteenth century--a time when spire-building appears to have reached
the zenith of its glory. Splendour and loftiness combine to render the
examples of this period distinguished above those of any other.

Northamptonshire has been well termed the county of "Squires and
Spires," and it is probably within its borders that the largest number
of really beautiful spires may be found. A journey from Northampton to
Peterborough along the Nene Valley is never to be forgotten for the
continually recurring spires which greet the eye of the traveller at
almost every point. Rushden, Higham Ferrers, Irchester, Raunds,
Stanwick, Oundle, Finedon, Aldwinckle S. Peter's, Barnwell S. Andrew,
and many others all combine to render the term "Valley of Spires"
peculiarly appropriate to this district.

These spires of course cover a wide area. The two finest groups of
spires are those of Coventry and Lichfield. When the cathedral at
Coventry, with its three spires, was in existence in immediate proximity
to the churches of S. Michael's and Holy Trinity, the group formed "a
picture not to be surpassed in England," and even now, with Christ
Church added, the "Ladies of the Vale," of Lichfield, suffer somewhat
in comparison.

In point of height the cathedral spires of Salisbury and Norwich hold
their own, while for beauty of outline Louth must be mentioned, and for
elaborateness of detail the spire of Grantham.

It now remains to give a cursory glance at some of our most famous
spires, and to endeavour to enumerate some of their chief
characteristics.

The spire of Salisbury Cathedral rises from the centre of the main
transept to a height of 410 feet. This is, without doubt, the tallest of
our English spires.[23] It is octagonal in shape, and springs from four
pinnacles. The surface is enriched with three bands of quatre-foiled
work, and the angles are decorated throughout with ball-flower ornament.
From a storm in 1703 it received some damage, and was, under the
direction of Sir Christopher Wren, braced with ironwork. It does not
appear to have moved since then, but from experiments made in 1740 it
was found to be out of the perpendicular 24½ inches to the south, and
16¼ inches to the west. On the 21st of June, 1741, it was struck by
lightning and set on fire, but did not receive any great damage, and in
1827, by means of an ingenious wicker-work contrivance suspended from
the top, extensive repairs were carried out. The name of the architect
who conceived this lofty tower is unknown, but the date of its erection
was probably at the beginning of the fourteenth century.

    [Footnote 23: The spire of Old Saint Paul's, which dated from
            the thirteenth century, rose to a height of 520 feet.
            It was destroyed by lightning on the 4th of June, 1561.
            The spire of Lincoln Cathedral measured 524 feet, and
            was destroyed in 1548. These are the two highest spires
            which have ever been erected in England.]

The spire of Norwich Cathedral rises to a height of 315 feet, and on a
clear day can be seen for a distance of twenty miles. It was probably
built by Bishop Percy in the latter half of the fourteenth century.
About one hundred years after, it was struck by lightning, but the
damage was speedily repaired. In 1629 the upper part was blown down, and
was re-built in 1633.

The three spires of Coventry are those of S. Michael's, Holy Trinity,
and Christ Church. Of these, S. Michael's is the chief, being 303 feet
high. Amongst parish churches, it is therefore the tallest. The base
consists of a lantern flanked by four pinnacles, to which it is
connected by flying buttresses. Its erection was commenced in the year
1373, and completed in 1394. At the restoration of the church, which
took place in 1885, the tower was found to have been erected on the edge
of an old quarry, and it cost no less a sum than £17,000 to add a new
foundation. During the most critical period of the work the structure
visibly moved, and the apex of the spire now leans 3ft. 5in. out of the
perpendicular towards the north-west.

  [Illustration: LOUTH CHURCH SPIRE.]

Holy Trinity spire is 237 feet high, and much less ornate than
S. Michael's. During a violent tempest of "wind, thunder, and
earthquake," which occurred on the 24th of January, 1665, it was
overthrown, and much injury was done to the church in consequence. The
re-building was finished in 1668. It has been completely restored in
recent years.

The spire of Christ Church is some little distance away from the other
two. It is octagonal in shape, and rises from an embattled tower to a
height of 230 feet. It was restored in 1888.

Lichfield Cathedral contains three spires within its precincts. The
grouping is, therefore, more uniform than that of Coventry, although the
general effect is not thereby accentuated. The central spire rises to a
height of 258 feet, and the two which grace the west front are each 183
feet high. In the time of the great civil war, when Lichfield was
besieged, the central spire was demolished. After the Restoration, it
was re-built by good old Dr. Hackett.

The spire of Chichester Cathedral, built in the fourteenth century over
a rotten sub-structure, was destroyed by its own weight in 1861. It was
271 feet high, and has now been re-built in its original style on a
slightly higher tower. The story of its fall has often been told. On the
night of Wednesday, the 20th of February, 1861, a heavy gale occurred.
The next day, about twenty minutes past one o'clock, the spire was
observed to suddenly lean towards the south-west, and then to right
itself again. Soon after, it disappeared into the body of the cathedral,
sliding down like the folding of a telescope. Only the coping-stone and
the weather-vane fell outside, the rest of the masonry formed a huge
cairn in the centre of the edifice, which was practically cut into four
portions by the wreck. The present spire was completed in 1867.

In Lincolnshire there are two remarkable spires at Louth and Grantham.
The one at Louth rises to a height of 294 feet. At the corners of the
tower are four tall turret pinnacles to which the spire is connected by
flying buttresses. In 1843 it was struck by lightning; steps were at
once taken for its restoration, which was completed three years later.

Grantham spire is octagonal in shape, and 285 feet in height. It is very
light and graceful in appearance, and is richly ornamented with
sculpture. It suffered from lightning in 1797, and again in 1882. Since
the latter date sixteen feet of the masonry has been removed from the
summit and re-built.

The church of S. Mary Redcliffe, Bristol, has been aptly termed by the
poet Chatterton, "the pride of Bristowe and the Western land." The spire
rises to a height of 300 feet, and has lately been restored at a cost of
upwards of £50,000. In 1445, during a storm, the greater part of the
original spire fell through the roof of the church, and for about four
centuries it remained in a truncated state, although the damage done to
the interior was speedily repaired.

The spire of S. Mary's, Shrewsbury, is 220 feet high, and rises from an
embattled tower, the four corners of which contain crocketed pinnacles.
During a gale on the night of Sunday, the 11th of February, 1894, about
50 feet of the masonry of the spire crashed through the church roof and
did enormous damage. This has, however, since been repaired. A memorial
stone on the west wall of the tower tells how one Thomas Cadman, was
killed on the 2nd of February, 1739, when attempting to descend from the
spire by a rope.

For elaborateness of detail, the spire of S. Mary the Virgin, Oxford,
surpasses all others in this country. Its apex is some 90 feet from the
ground, and around the base of the spire clusters a mass of richly
decorated pinnacles, small spirelets, and canopies containing statues.
The effect is picturesque in the extreme, and lends to the town of
Oxford a unique charm. Its conception dates from the fourteenth century,
but it has been much restored and added to since.

Of the Northamptonshire spires, Oundle is the loftiest, being 210 feet
high. It bears date 1634, but this evidently refers to a re-building. It
was partly taken down again and rebuilt in 1874. It is hexagonal in
shape, and the angles are crocketed. Raunds church is surmounted by an
octagonal broach spire 186 feet high. It was struck by lightning on the
31st of July, 1826, and about 30 feet of the masonry was shattered. This
was at once rebuilt at a cost of £1,737 15s. 3d. The octagonal spire of
Higham Ferrers is 170 feet high, and was rebuilt after destruction by a
storm of wind in 1632. Rushden spire is an octagon 192 feet high, and
richly crocketed. At its base flying buttresses connect it with
pinnacles at the corners of the tower. The spire at Finedon rises from
an embattled tower to a height of 133 feet; that of Stanwick is 156 feet
high, and that of Irchester 152 feet.

Space forbids more than a passing allusion to the fine spires of
Newcastle Cathedral, S. Mary de Castro, Leicester, Ross, Herefordshire,
and Olney, Bucks. The latter rises to a height of 185 feet. At its
summit is a weathercock which, when taken down for regilding in 1884,
was found to contain the following triplet--

  I never crow,
  But stand to show
  Where winds do blow.

Several of the spires which have been mentioned are perceptibly out of
the perpendicular, but in this respect the "tall twisted spire of
Chesterfield has no rival either in shape or pose." It is no less than
230 feet high, and the wonder to many is that it has for so long
maintained its equilibrium. Various conjectures have been made to
account for the grotesque twist which the spire assumes; but none of
these seems so likely as that which accounts for it by the combined
action of age, wind, and sun. There are those who aver that it never was
straight, and never will be, and one such person even goes so far as to
attempt this statement in rhyme as follows:--

 "Whichever way you turn your eye
  It always seems to be awry,
  Pray can you tell the reason why?
  The only reason known of weight
  Is that the thing was never straight,
  Nor know the people where to go
  To find the man to make it so."

However this may be, it is satisfactory to note that a movement has
recently been set on foot to collect subscriptions towards its much
needed repair.

When speaking of Salisbury Cathedral spire, allusion was made to the
repairs being carried out from a wicker-work contrivance suspended from
the top. This was not the first time that wicker-work had been used for
such a purpose, for in 1787 the spire at S. Mary's, Islington, was
entirely encased in a cage composed of willow, hazel, and other sticks,
while undergoing repair. An ingenious basket-maker of S. Albans, named
Birch, carried out the work, and constructed a spiral staircase inside
the cage. His contract was to do the work for £20 paid down, and to be
allowed to charge sixpence a head to any sightseers who liked to mount
to the top. It is said that in this way he gained some two or three
pounds a day above his contract.

People and steeple rhymes are by no means uncommon; perhaps the most
spiteful is that relating to an Essex village:--

 "Ugley church, Ugley steeple,
  Ugley parson, Ugley people."

The Yorkshire village of Raskelfe is usually called Rascall, and an old
rhyme says:--

 "A wooden church, a wooden steeple,
  Rascally church, rascally people."

Mr. William Andrews, in his "Antiquities and Curiosities of the Church"
(London, 1897), gives many examples of "People and Steeple Rhymes."

There is a never-ending romance connected with the subject of spires.
Every one possesses some story or legend. Spirits are supposed to
inhabit their gloomy recesses, and are even credited with their
construction. There is certainly an uncanny feeling connected with the
interior of a spire, even on a sunny summer's day, and given sufficient
stress of howling winds and gloomy darkness, one can almost imagine a
situation conducive to the acutest kind of devilry. So much for the
interior of spires. What sensations may be produced by climbing the
exterior is given to few to experience. The vast majority of mankind
must perforce content themselves with a position on _terra firma_,
whence they may with pleasure and safety combined behold

     "----the spires that glow so bright
  In front of yonder setting sun."



The Five of Spades and the Church of Ashton-under-Lyne.

By John Eglington Bailey, F.S.A.


On the old tower of the church of Ashton-under-Lyne there was formerly
an old inscription, which incidently testifies to the popularity of
cards in England at a period when the notices of that fascinating means
of diversion are both few and of doubtful import. Cards were given to
Europe by the Saracens at the end of the fourteenth century, and the
knowledge of their use extended itself from France to Greece. The French
clergy were so engrossed by the pastime that the Synod of Langres, 1404,
forbad it as unclerical. At Bologna, in 1420, S. Bernardin of Sienna
preached with such effect against the gambling which was indulged in,
that his hearers made on the spot a large bonfire with packs of cards
taken out of their pockets. Under the word [Greek: Chartia] Du Cange
quotes extracts from two Greek writers, which show that cards were
popular in Greece before 1498. Chaucer, who died in 1400, and who
indirectly depicted much of the every-day life of his countrymen, does
not once mention cards. But they begin to be noticed about the time of
Edward IV. and Henry VI. The former king prohibited the importation of
"cards for playing," in order to protect the English manufacture of
them. An old ale-wife or brewer, in one of the Chester plays or
mysteries, is introduced in a scene in Hell, when one of the devils thus
addresses her:--

  Welcome, deare darlinge, to endless bale,
  Usinge cardes, dice, and cuppes smale
  With many false other, to sell thy ale
    Now thou shalte have a feaste.

A more interesting notice of cards occurs in the _Paston Letters_, where
Margery Paston, writing on "Crestemes Evyn" of the year 1484, tells her
husband that she had sent their eldest son to Lady Morley (the widow of
William Lovel, Lord Morley), "to hav knolage wat sports wer husyd [used]
in her hows in Kyrstemesse next folloyng aftyr the decysse of my lord,
her husbond [who died 26th July, 1476]; and sche sayd that ther wer non
dysgysyngs [guisings], ner harpyng, ner lutyng, ner syngyn, ner non
lowde dysports; but pleyng at the tabyllys, and schesse, and cards:
sweche dysports sche gaue her folkys leve to play and non odyr." The
lady adds that the youth did his errand right well, and that she sent
the like message by a younger son to Lady Stapleton, whose lord had died
in 1466. "Sche seyd according to my Lady Morlees seyng in that, and as
sche hadde seyn husyd in places of worschip [_i.e._, of distinction:
good families] ther as [= where] sche hath beyn." This letter opens up
an interesting view of the amusements which at the time were introduced
into the houses of the nobility and gentry during Christmas-tide. At
that festival cards from the first formed one of the chief amusements.
Henry VII., who was a great card player, forbad cards to be used except
during the Christmas holidays. Their ancient association with Christmas
is seen in the kindness of Sir Roger de Coverley, who was in the habit
of sending round to each of his cottagers "a string of hogs'-puddings
and a pack of cards," that good old squire being doubtless of the
opinion of Dr. Johnson, who, with a deeper human insight than
S. Bernardin and Henry VII., could see the usefulness of such a pastime:
"It generates kindness and consolidates society."

The inscription I have alluded to takes us back to the reign of an
earlier English king than those named--Henry V., who reigned 1413-1422.
In his time, it seems, viz., in 1413, the steeple of Ashton Church was
a-building; when a certain butcher, Alexander Hyll, playing at noddy
with a companion, doubtless in the neighbourhood of the church, swore
that if the dealer turned up _the five of spades_ he would build a foot
of the steeple. The very card was turned up! Hyll, like a good Catholic,
performed his promise, and had his name carved, a butcher's cleaver
being put before _Alexander_, and the five of spades before _Hyll_. A
new tower was erected in 1516, when the church was enlarged; but the
stone containing the curious inscription was somewhere retained, for it
was visible in the time of Robert Dodsworth, the industrious Yorkshire
antiquary, and the projector and co-worker with Dugdale of the
_Monasticon_. Dodsworth, being at Ashton on the 2nd of April, 1639,
copied the inscription, stating that it was on the church steeple. He
wrote down the tradition, adding that its truth was attested by Henry
Fairfax, then rector there, second son of Thomas Fairfax, Baron de
Cameron (Dodsworth's MSS. in Bibl. Bodl., vol. 155, fol. 116). The
eldest son of Lord Fairfax was Ferdinando, the celebrated general of the
Commonwealth, and the generous patron of Dodsworth. Henry, the younger
son, at whose rectory-house Dodsworth was entertained on the occasion of
his Lancashire visit, is described by Oley (in his preface to George
Herbert's _Country Parson_) as "a regular and sober fellow of Trinity
College in Cambridge, and afterwards rector of Bolton Percy in
Yorkshire." He held, besides, the rectory of Ashton from, at least, 1623
till 1645, when he was forcibly ejected; and that of Newton Kyme. He was
a correspondent of Daniel King, author of _The Vale Royal_, for he had
antiquarian tastes like his brother. He died at Bolton Percy 6th April,
1665. The tower of Ashton Church, as Rector Fairfax knew it, was taken
down and re-built in 1818, by which time all recollection of that
ancient piece of cartomancy in connection with the steeple had passed
out of mind. Let it be hoped that while the tradition was lively,
pleasanter things were said of Hyll, when the five of spades was thrown
upon the card tables of Ashton, than assailed the name of Dalrymple when
the nine of diamonds--the curse of Scotland--came under the view of
Tory Scotchmen. We may bestow on Hyll the card-player's epitaph:--

  His card is cut--long days he shuffled through
  The game of life--he dealt as others do:
  Though he by honours tells not its amount,
  When the last trump is played his tricks will count.

"Noddy" is, of course, the very attractive game of "cribbage." A great
aunt of mine still living at Ashbourne, with whom I used to play when a
boy, always called it by that name. It is one of the Court games,
_temp._ James I., noticed by Sir John Harrington:--

  Now noddy followed next, as well it might,
  Although it should have gone before of right;
  At which I say, I name not anybody,
  One never had the knave yet laid for noddy.

The same is also alluded to in a satirical poem, 1594, entitled, _Batt
upon Batt_:--

  Shew me a man can turn up Noddy still,
  And deal himself three fives, too, when he will;
  Conclude with one and thirty, and a pair,
  Never fail ten in Hock, and yet play fair;
  If Batt be not that night, I lose my aim.



Bells and their Messages.

By Edward Bradbury.


Do not imagine that this is an essay on campanology, on change-ringing,
grandsires, and triple bob-majors. Do not fancy that it will deal with
carillons, the couvre-feu, or curfew bell, with the solemn Passing bell,
the bell of the public crier, the jingling sleigh bell, the distant
sheep bell, the noisy railway bell, the electric call bell, the frantic
fire bell, the mellow, merry marriage peal, the sobbing muffled peal,
the devout Angelus, or the silvery convent chimes that ring for prime
and tierce, sext, nones, vespers, and compline. Do not conclude that it
will describe bell-founding; and deal with the process of casting, with
technical references to cope, and crook, and moulding, drawing the
crucible, or tuning.

It is of bells and their associations and inscriptions that we would
write, the bells that are linked with our lives, and record the history
of towns, communities, and nations; announcing feasts and fasts and
funerals, interpreting with metal tongue rejoicings and sorrowings,
jubilees and reverses; pæans for victories by sea and land; knells for
the death of kings and the leaders of men. As we write, the bells of our
collegiate church are announcing with joyous clang the arrival of Her
Majesty's Judge of Assize. Before many days have passed another bell in
the same town will tell with solemn toll of the short shrift given by
him to a pinioned culprit, the only mourner in his own funeral
procession.

Bells are sentient things. They are alike full of humour and pathos, of
laughter and tears, of mirth and sadness, of gaiety and grief. One may
pardon Toby Veck, in Charles Dickens' goblin story, for investing the
bells in the church near his station with a strange and solemn
character, and peopling the tower with dwarf phantoms, spirits, elfin
creatures of the bells, of all aspects, shapes, characters, and
occupations. "They were so mysterious, often heard and never seen, so
high up, so far off, so full of such a deep, strong melody, that he
regarded them with a species of awe; and sometimes, when he looked up at
the dark, arched windows in the tower, he half expected to be beckoned
to by something which was not a bell, and yet was what he had heard so
often sounding in the chimes." The bells! The word carries sound and
suggestion with it. It fills the air with waves of cadence. "Those
Evening Bells" of Thomas Moore's song swing out undying echoes from
Ashbourne Church steeple; Alfred Tennyson's bells "ring out the false,
ring in the true" across the old year's snow, and his Christmas bells
answer each other from hill to hill. There are the tragic bells that Sir
Henry Irving hears as the haunted Mathias; "Les Cloches de Corneville"
that agitate the morbid mind of the miser Gaspard; and the wild bells
that Edgar Allen Poe has set ringing in Runic rhyme.

"Bell," says the old German song, "thou soundest merrily when the bridal
party to the church doth hie; thou soundest solemnly when, on Sabbath
morn, the fields deserted lie; thou soundest merrily at evening, when
bed-time draweth nigh; thou soundest mournfully, telling of the bitter
parting that hath gone by! Say, how canst thou mourn or rejoice, that
art but metal dull? And yet all our sorrowings and all our rejoicings
thou art made to express!" In the words of the motto affixed to many
old bells, they "rejoice with the joyful, and grieve with the
sorrowful"; or, in the original Latin,

  Gaudemus gaudentibus,
  Dolemus dolentibus.

An old monkish couplet makes the bell thus describe its uses--

  Laudo Deum verum, plebem voco, congrego clerum:
  Defuncto ploro, pestum fugo, festa decoro.

"I praise the true God, call the people, convene the clergy; I mourn for
the dead, drive away pestilence, and grace festivals." Who that
possesses--to quote from Cowper--a soul "in sympathy with sweet sounds,"
can listen unmoved to

  ----the music of the village bells
  Falling at intervals upon the ear,
  In cadence sweet--now dying all away,
  Now pealing loud again, and louder still,
  Clear and sonorous, as the gale comes on.

The same poet makes Alexander Selkirk lament on his solitary isle--

  The sound of the church going bell
    These valleys and rocks never heard,
  Ne'er sigh'd at the sound of a knell,
    Or smiled when a Sabbath appeared.

Longfellow has several tender references to church bells. He sets the
Bells of Lynn to ring a requiem of the dying day. He mounts the lofty
tower of "the belfry old and brown" in the market place of Bruges--

  Not a sound rose from the city at that early morning hour,
  But I heard a heart of iron beating in the ancient tower.

  From their nests beneath the rafters sang the swallows wild and high;
  And the world, beneath me sleeping, seemed more distant than the sky.

  Then most musical and solemn, bringing back the olden times,
  With their strange unearthly changes rang the melancholy chimes.

  Like the psalms from some old cloister, when the nuns sing in the
          choir;
  And the great bell tolled among them, like the chanting of a friar.

  Visions of the days departed, shadowy phantoms filled my brain;
  They who live in history only seemed to walk the earth again.

Who does not remember Father Prout's lyric on "The Bells of Shandon"? We
venture to quote the four delicious verses _in extenso_--

  With deep affection and recollection
  I often think of the Shandon bells,
  Whose sounds so wild would, in days of childhood,
  Fling round my cradle their magic spells--
  On this I ponder where'er I wander,
  And thus grow fonder, sweet Cork, of thee;
      With thy bells of Shandon,
      That sound so grand on
  The pleasant waters of the River Lee.

  I have heard bells chiming, full many a chime in
  Tolling sublime in cathedral shrine;
  While at a glib rate brass tongues would vibrate,
  But all their music spoke naught to thine;
  For memory dwelling on each proud swelling
  Of thy belfry knelling its bold notes free,
      Made the bells of Shandon
      Sound far more grand on
  The pleasant waters of the River Lee.

  I have heard bells tolling "old Adrian's mole" in
  Their thunder rolling from the Vatican,
  With cymbals glorious, swinging uproarious
  In the gorgeous turrets of Notre Dame;
  But thy sounds were sweeter than the dome of Peter
  Flings o'er the Tiber, pealing solemnly.
      Oh! the bells of Shandon
      Sound far more grand on
  The pleasant waters of the River Lee.

  There's a bell in Moscow, while on tower and kiosko,
  In St. Sophia the Turkman gets,
  And loud in air, calls men to prayer,
  From the tapering summits of tall minarets,
  Such empty phantom I freely grant them,
  But there's an anthem more dear to me--
      It's the bells of Shandon
      That sound so grand on
  The pleasant waters of the River Lee.

"The curfew tolls the knell of parting day," in Gray's "Elegy," the best
known, and, in its own line, the best poem in the English language.
More dramatic is Southey's story of the warning bell that the Abbot of
Aberbrothock placed on the Inchcape Rock. James Russell Lowell has a
beautiful thought in his little poem "Masaccio"--

  Out clanged the Ave Mary bells,
    And to my heart this message came;
  Each clamorous throat among them tells
    What strong-souled martyrs died in flame,
  To make it possible that thou
  Should'st here with brother sinners bow.

       *       *       *       *       *

  Henceforth, when rings the health to those
    Who live in story and in song,
  O, nameless dead, who now repose
    Safe in Oblivion's chambers strong,
  One cup of recognition true
    Shall silently be drained to you!

In the belfry of Tideswell and of Hathersage, in the Peak of Derbyshire,
are a set of rhymed bell-ringing laws. Those at Hathersage we give
below; the Tideswell ones are almost word for word similar.

  You gentlemen that here wish to ring,
  See that these laws you keep in everything;
  Or else be sure you must without delay
  The penalty thereof to the ringers pay.
  First, when you do into the bellhouse come,
  Look if the ringers have convenient room,
  For if you do be an hindrance unto them,
  Fourpence you forfeit unto these gentlemen.
  Next, if here you do intend to ring,
  With hat or spur do not touch a string;
  For if you do, your forfeit is for that
  Just fourpence down to pay, or lose your hat.
  If you a bell turn over, without delay
  Fourpence unto the ringers you must pay;
  Or, if you strike, miscall, or do abuse,
  You must pay fourpence for the ringers' use.
  For every oath here sworn, ere you go hence,
  Unto the poor then you must pay twelve pence;
  And if that you desire to be enrolled
  A ringer here these orders keep and hold.
  But whoso doth these orders disobey,
  Unto the stocks we will take him straight way,
  There to remain until he be willing
  To pay his forfeit, and the clerk a shilling.

Churchwardens' accounts abound with bell charges. We have before us the
accounts of the churchwardens of Youlgreave, in the Peak of Derbyshire,
for a period of a century and a half. Under the year 1604 we have "Item
to the ringers on the Coronation Day (James I.), 2s. 6d.; for mending
the Bels agaynst that day, 1s.; and for fatchinge the great bell yoke at
Stanton hall, 6d." In 1605 there is "Item for a rope for a little bell,
5d." In the following year is "Item to the Ringers the 5th day of
August, when thanks was given to God for the delyvering of King James
from the conspiracye of the Lord Gowyre, 5s." In 1613 we find the sum of
6d. expended in purchasing "a stirropp for the fyrst bell wheele, 8d."
The year 1614 is prolific in charges connected with the belfry, as the
following enumeration will show: "Item for the bellefonder, his dinner,
and his sonnes, with other chargs at the same time, 10d.; at the second
coming of the sayd bellfonder, 9d.; at the taking downe of the bell,
6d.; for castyng the fyrst bell, £4; for the surplus mettall which wee
bought of the bellfounder because the new bell waeghed more than ye old,
£3 15s. 10d.; to the bellfounder's men, 4d.; for the carryage of our old
bell to Chesterfield, 3s.; for carrying the great bell clapper to
Chesterfield, 4d.; for carrying the new bell from Chesterfield, 2s. 8d.;
to Nicholos Hibbert, for hanging the said bell, 1s. 1d.; to Nicholas
Hibbert the younger, for amending the great bell yoke and wheele, 6d.;
spent at Gybs house at the bellfounder's last coming, 3d.; for amending
the great bell clapper, 10d."

The inscriptions on church bells would make an interesting chapter. On
the second bell at Aston-on-Trent appears in Lombardic capitals, the
words, "Jhesus be our spede, 1590," and on the fourth bell is inscribed,
"All men that heare my mournful sound, repent before you lye in ground,
1661." The fourth bell of S. Werburgh's at Derby is inscribed--

  My roaring sounde doth warning geve
  That men cannot heare always lyve.--1605.

The third bell at Allestree bears the words--

  I to the church the living call,
  And to the grave do summons all.--1781.

The second bell on the old peal at Ashbourne was inscribed--

  Sweetly to sing men do call
  To feed on meats that feed the soul.

The fifth bell at Dovebridge has the words: "Som rosa polsata monde
Maria vocata, 1633." This is--according to the Rev. Dr. John Charles
Cox--a corrupt reading of "Sum Rosa pulsata mundi Maria vocata," a
legend occasionally found on pre-Reformation bells, and which may be
thus Englished--

  Rose of the world, I sound
  Mary, my name, around.

A similar inscription--similarly mis-spelt--occurs on the third bell at
Ibstock, Leicestershire, the date of which is 1632. Mr. Sankey, of
Marlborough College, gives it a graceful French rendering--

  Ici je sonne et je m'appelle,
  Marie, du monde la rose plus belle.

The fourth bell at Coton-in-the-Elms has the inscription--

  The bride and groom we greet
    In holy wedlock joined,
  Our sounds are emblems sweet
    Of hearts in love combined.

The sixth bell is inscribed--

  The fleeting hours I tell,
    I summon all to pray,
  I toll the funeral knell,
    I hail the festal day.

The seventh bell at Castleton has the following legend--

  When of departed hours we toll the knell,
  Instruction take, and spend the future well.
                  James Harrison, Founder, 1803.

The second bell at Monyash is inscribed: "Sca Maria o. p. n." (Sancta
Maria ora pro nobis.)

The old curfew custom is still kept up in the Peak district of
Derbyshire, notably at Winster, where the bell is rung throughout
November, December, January, and February at eight o'clock every work
day evening, except on Saturdays, when the hour is seven. There are
Sanctus bells at Tideswell, Hathersage, Beeley, Ashover, and other
Derbyshire churches. All Saints' Church, at Derby ("All Saints," _i.e._,
"the unknown good"), has a melodious set of chimes. They play the
following tunes: Sunday, "Old One Hundred and Fourth" (Hanover); Monday,
"The Lass of Patie's Mill"; Tuesday, "The Highland Lassie"; Wednesday,
"The Shady Bowers"; Thursday, "The National Anthem"; Friday, Handel's
"March in Scipio"; Saturday, "The Silken Garter." They all date from the
last century.

Church bells have the subtle charm of sentiment. When they swing in the
hoary village tower, and send their mellifluous message across the
country side and down the deep and devious valley, or when they make
musical with mellow carillon the dreamy atmosphere of moss grown
cathedral closes, they have a poetical influence. How pleasant it is to
listen to the chimes which ring out from time to time from the towers
of Notre Dame, in the city of Rubens, and from the Campanile at Venice!

  Through the balmy air of night
  How they ring out their delight!
  From the molten golden notes,
    And all in tune,
  What a liquid ditty floats
  To the turtle dove that listens, while she gloats
    On the moon!

Church bells in large towns, where one section of the community are
night workers and seek their rest in the day-time, are by no means
invested with sentiment. We have in our mind a church which is set in a
dense population of railwaymen, engine drivers, stokers, guards,
porters, &c. It possesses a particularly noisy peal of bells. They begin
their brazen tintinnabulations at breakfast time, and ring on, at
intervals, until past the supper hour. Sometimes the sound is a dismal
monotone, as if the bellman had no heart for his work. At other times a
number of stark mad Quasimodos seem to be pulling at the ropes to
frighten the gilded cock on the vane into flapping flight. Sunday only
brings an increase of the din, distracting all thought, destroying all
conversation, defying all study, turning the blessed sense of hearing
into a curse, and making you envy the deaf. It is well known that upon
many persons in health the clangour of bells has a very depressing
effect; but at night, when narcotics are given and the sick are wearied
out, it is very easy to imagine how irritating these bells must be both
to the invalids and their attendants. One is inclined to exclaim with
the Frenchman--

  Disturbers of the human race,
    Whose charms are always ringing,
  I wish the ropes were round your necks,
    And you about them swinging.

How very wise those Spanish innkeepers were who, in the olden time, used
to make "ruido" an item in their bills, charging their guests with the
noise they made!



Stories about Bells.

By J. Potter Briscoe, F.R.H.S.


On the eve of the feast of Corpus Christi the choristers of Durham
Cathedral ascend the tower, and, clad in their fluttering robes of
white, sing the _Te Deum_. This custom is performed to commemorate the
miraculous extinguishing of a conflagration on that night in the year
1429. The legend goes that, whilst the monks were engaged in prayer at
midnight, the belfry was struck by the electric current and set on fire.
Though the flames continued to rage until the middle of the next day,
the tower escaped serious damage, and the bells were uninjured--an
escape which was imputed to the special interference of the
incorruptible S. Cuthbert, who was enshrined in that cathedral. These
are not the bells which now reverberate among the housetops on the steep
banks of the Wear, they having been cast by Thomas Bartlett during the
summer of 1631.

The fine peal of bells in Limerick Cathedral were originally brought
from Italy, having been manufactured by a young native, who devoted
himself enthusiastically to the work, and who, after the toil of many
years, succeeded in finishing a splendid peal, which answered all the
critical requirements of his own musical ear. Upon these bells the
artist greatly prided himself, and they were at length bought by the
prior of a neighbouring convent at a very liberal price. With the
proceeds of that sale the young Italian purchased a little villa, where,
in the stillness of the evening, he could enjoy the sound of his own
melodious bells from the convent cliff. Here he grew old in the bosom of
his family and of domestic happiness. At length, in one of those feuds
common to the period, the Italian became a sufferer amongst many others.
He lost his all. After the passing of the storm, he found himself
preserved alone amid the wreck of fortune, friends, family, and home.
The bells too--his favourite bells--were carried off from the convent,
and finally removed to Ireland. For a time their artificer became a
wanderer over Europe; and at last, in the hope of soothing his troubled
spirit, he formed the resolution of seeking the land to which those
treasures of his memory had been conveyed. He sailed for Ireland.
Proceeding up the Shannon one beautiful evening, which reminded him of
his native Italy, his own bells suddenly struck upon his ear! Home, and
all its loving ties, happiness, early recollections, all--all were in
the sound, and went to his heart. His face was turned towards the
cathedral in the attitude of intently listening. When the vessel reached
its destination the Italian bellfounder was found to be a corpse!

Odoceus, Bishop of Llandaff, removed the bells from his cathedral during
a time of excommunication. Earlier still they are assumed to have been
in use in Ireland as early as the time of S. Patrick, who died in 493.
In those days much superstitious feeling, as in later ages, hung around
the bells, and many sweetly pretty and very curious legends are known
respecting them. Thus it is said S. Odoceus, of Llandaff, being thirsty
after undergoing labour, and more accustomed to drink water than
anything else, came to a fountain in the vale of Llandaff, not far from
the church, that he might drink. Here he found women washing butter
after the manner of the country. Sending to them his messengers and
disciples they requested that they would accommodate them with a vessel
that their pastor might drink therefrom. These mischievous girls
replied, "We have no other cup besides that which we hold in our hands,"
namely, the butter. The man of blessed memory taking it, formed one
piece into the shape of a small bell, and drank from it. The story goes
that it permanently remained in that form, so that it appeared to those
who beheld it to consist altogether of the purest gold. It is preserved
in the church at Llandaff, and it is said that, by touching it, health
is given to the diseased.

The bell of S. Mura was formerly regarded with superstitious reverence
in Ireland, and any liquid drunk from it was believed to have peculiar
properties in alleviating human suffering; hence the peasant women of
the district in which it was long preserved particularly used it in
cases of child-birth, and a serious disturbance was excited on a former
attempt to sell it by its owner. Its legendary history relates that it
descended from the sky ringing loudly, but as it approached the
concourse of people who had assembled at the miraculous warning, the
tongue detached itself and returned towards the skies; hence it was
concluded that the bell was never to be profaned by sounding on earth,
but was to be kept for purposes more holy and beneficent. This is said
to have happened on the spot where once stood the famous Abbey of Fahan,
near Innishowen, in county Donegal, founded in the seventh century by
S. Mura, or Muranus.

Mr. Robert Hunt, F.R.S., tells us that, in days long ago, the
inhabitants of the parish of Forrabury--which does not cover a square
mile, but which now includes the chief part of the town of Bocastle and
its harbour--resolved to have a peal of bells which should rival those
of the neighbouring church of Tintagel, which are said to have rung
merrily at the marriage, and tolled solemnly at the death of Arthur. The
bells were cast. The bells were blessed. The bells were shipped for
Forrabury. Few voyages were more favourable. The ship glided, with a
fair wind, along the northern shores of Cornwall, waiting for the tide
to carry her safely into the harbour of Bottreaux. The vesper bells rang
out at Tintagel. When he heard the blessed bell, the pilot devoutly
crossed himself, and bending his knee, thanked God for the safe and
quick voyage which they had made. The captain laughed at the
superstition, as he called it, of the pilot, and swore that they had
only to thank themselves for the speedy voyage, and that, with his own
arm at the helm, and his judgment to guide them, they would soon have a
happy landing. The pilot checked this profane speech. The wicked
captain--and he swore more impiously than ever, that all was due to
himself and his men--laughed to scorn the pilot's prayer. "May God
forgive you," was the pilot's reply. Those who are familiar with the
northern shores of Cornwall will know that sometimes a huge wave,
generated by some mysterious power in the wide Atlantic, will roll on,
overpowering everything by its weight and force. While yet the captain's
oaths were heard, and while the inhabitants on the shore were looking
out from the cliffs, expecting within an hour to see the vessel charged
with their bells safe in their harbour, one of those vast swellings of
the ocean was seen. Onward came the grand billow in all the terror of
its might! The ship rose not upon the waters as it came onward! She was
overwhelmed, and sank in an instant close to the land. As the vessel
sank, the bells were heard tolling with a muffled sound, as if ringing
the death knell of the ship and sailors, of whom the good pilot alone
escaped with life. When storms are coming, and only then, the bells of
Forrabury, with their dull muffled sound, are heard from beneath the
heaving sea, a warning to the wicked. The tower has remained silent to
this day.

Passing through Massingham, in Lincolnshire, a long time ago, a
traveller noticed three men sitting on a stile in the churchyard, and
saying, "Come to church, Thompson!" "Come to church, Brown!" and so on.
Surprised at this, the traveller asked what it meant. He was told that,
having no bells, this was how they called folk to church. The traveller,
remarking that it was a pity so fine a church should have no bells,
asked the men if they could make three for the church, promising to pay
for them himself. This they undertook to do. They were a tinker, a
carpenter, and a shoemaker respectively. When the visitor came round
that way again, he found the three men ringing three bells, which said
"Ting, Tong, Pluff," being made respectively of tin, wood, and leather.

There is a tradition that John Barton, the donor of the third bell at
Brigstock, Northamptonshire, was one of several plaintiffs against Sir
John Gouch to recover their rights of common upon certain lands in the
neighbouring parish of Benefield, and that Sir John threatened to ruin
him if he persisted in claiming his right. John Barton replied that he
would leave a cow which, being pulled by the tail, would low three times
a day, and would be heard all over the common when he (Sir John) and his
heirs would have nothing to do there. Hence the gift of the bell, which
was formerly rung at four in the morning, and at eleven at morning and
at night. He is also said to have left means for paying for this daily
ringing.

One Christmas Eve the ringers of Witham-on-the-Hill left the bells
standing for the purpose of partaking of refreshments at a tavern that
stood opposite the church. One of their number, a little more thirsty
than the rest, insisted that before going back to ring they should have
another pitcher of ale. This being at length agreed to by his brother
bell-ringers, the party remained to duly drain the last draught. Whilst
they were drinking, the steeple fell. Whether this is merely a tapster's
tale, or the sober statement of a remarkable fact, we are not in a
position to state.

From a curious and rare pamphlet on "Catholic Miracles," published in
1825, we learn that a band of sacrilegious robbers, having broken into
a monastery, proceeded out of bravado to ring a peal of bells, when,
through prayers offered up by the "holy fathers," a miracle was wrought,
and the robbers were unable to leave their hold on the ropes. This state
of affairs was depicted by the inimitable George Cruikshank in a
woodcut, impressions of which are given in our "Curiosities of the
Belfry," (Hamilton).

In the village of Tunstall, a few miles distant from Yarmouth, there is
a clump of alder trees, familiarly known as "Hell Carr." Not far from
these trees there is a pool of water having a boggy bottom, that goes by
the name of "Hell Hole." A succession of bubbles are frequently seen
floating on the surface of the water in summer time, a circumstance (as
Mr. Glyde, the Norfolk antiquarian author, truly states) that can be
accounted for very naturally; but the natives of the district maintain
that these bubbles are the result of supernatural action, the cause of
which is thus described. The tower of the church is in ruins. Tradition
says that it was destroyed by fire, but that the bells were not injured
by the calamity. The parson and the churchwarden each claimed the
bells. While they were quarrelling, his Satanic Majesty carried out the
disputed booty. The clergyman, however, not desiring to lose the booty,
pursued and overtook the devil, who, in order to evade his clerical
opponent, dived through the earth to his appointed dwelling-place,
taking the bells with him. Tradition points to "Hell Hole" as the spot
where this hurried departure took place. The villagers believe that the
bubbles on the surface of the pool are caused by the continuous descent
of the waters to the bottomless pit.

  [Illustration: THE BELL OF ST. FILLAN.]

In 1778 there was a bell belonging to the chapel of S. Fillan, which was
in high reputation among the votaries of that saint in olden times. It
was of an oblong shape, about a foot high, and was usually laid on a
gravestone in the churchyard. Mad people were brought to it to effect a
cure. They were first dipped into the "Saint's Pool," where certain
ceremonies were performed, which partook of the character of Druidism
and Roman Catholicism. The bell was placed in the chapel, where it
remained, bound with ropes, all night. Next day it was placed upon the
heads of the lunatics with great solemnity, but with what results
"deponent sayeth not." It was the popular opinion that, if stolen, this
bell would extricate itself from the hands of the thief and return home
ringing all the way! The bell had ultimately to be kept under lock and
key to prevent its being used for superstitious purposes. This old time
relic is now in the National Museum, Edinburgh, of the Society of
Antiquaries of Scotland, and it is described as follows in the
catalogue: "The 'Bell of S. Fillan,' of cast bronze, square shaped, and
with double-headed, dragonesque handle. It lay on a gravestone in the
old churchyard at Strathfillan, Perthshire, where it was superstitiously
used for the cure of insanity and other diseases till 1798, when it was
removed by a traveller to England. It was returned to Scotland in 1869,
and deposited in the Museum by Lord Crawford and the Bishop of Brechin,
with the consent of the Heritors and Kirk-Session of S. Fillans." Near
Raleigh there is a valley which is said to have been caused by an
earthquake several hundred years ago, which convulsion of nature
swallowed up a whole village, together with the church. Formerly it was
the custom of the people to assemble in this valley every Christmas Day
morning to listen to the ringing of the bells of the church beneath
them. This, it was positively asserted, might be heard by placing the
ear to the ground and listening attentively. As late as 1827 it was
usual on this morning for old men and women to tell their children and
young friends to go to the valley, stoop down, and hear the bells ring
merrily. The villagers really heard the ringing of the bells of a
neighbouring church, the sound of which was communicated by the surface
of the ground, the cause being misconstrued through the ignorance and
credulity of the listeners.



Concerning Font-Lore.

By the Rev. P. Oakley Hill.


When those sermons in stone--the beautiful fonts of the Decorated and
Perpendicular periods, which preached to a bygone age--come to be
translated into modern English on an extensive and systematic scale,
they will be found to be not only sermons theological, but treatises on
hagiology, music, contemporary history, symbolism, and art of the
highest order. One of the richest fields in font-lore is to be found in
East Anglia, and Norfolk alone contains examples of sufficient
importance and of vivid interest, to fill a whole volume on this
particular subject. Only to mention a few, that will rapidly occur to a
Norfolk antiquary, is to conjure up a varied and rich archæological
vision, which can be extended indefinitely at will.

Of canopied fonts perhaps that of S. Peter (Mancroft), Norwich, takes
the palm. The carved oak canopy is supported by four massive posts,
giving great dignity to the stone font which it overshadows. The canopy
at Sall is of a more graceful type, being in the form of a crocketed
spire, suspended by a pulley from an ancient beam projecting from the
belfry platform. Elsing, Merton, and Worstead also possess font covers
of great interest.

Seven Sacrament fonts are numerous, that of New Walsingham being one of
the finest of its kind in England. It belongs to the Perpendicular
period, and is richly carved. On seven of its eight panels are
sculptured figures representing the Seven Sacraments, the eighth
exhibiting the Crucifixion. The stem carries figures of the four
Evangelists and other saints, and rests on an elaborately-carved plinth,
the upper part of which is in the form of a Maltese cross. A copy of
this magnificent structure has been erected in the Mediæval Court of the
Crystal Palace. A counterpart of the Walsingham font (more or less
exact, though perhaps not so rich in carving) is to be seen at Loddon,
with similar Maltese cross base, but the Vandal's hand has nearly
obliterated the figuring of the Sacramental panels. Other instances of
Seven Sacrament fonts are to be seen in Norwich Cathedral, at Blofield,
Martham, and elsewhere.

Fonts bearing the date of their erection are found at Acle and Sall, the
former having the following inscription upon the top step: "Orate pro
diabus qui huc fontem in honore dei fecerunt fecit anno dni millo cccc
decimo." An instance of a Posy font with date (sixteenth century) occurs
in one of the Marshland churches, the Posy being:--

  Thynk and Thank.

The leaden font at Brundall is believed to be one of three only of its
kind remaining in England; a fourth, somewhat damaged, existed at Great
Plumstead until a few years ago, when alas! it perished in a disastrous
fire which practically destroyed the church. Lion fonts are numerous,
those of Acle and Strumpshaw being excellent examples.

Remarkable examples of carved fonts are those at Toftrees, Blofield,
Wymondham, Bergh Apton, Aylsham, Ketteringham, Sculthorpe, Walpole
(S. Peter), etc. At Hemblington, dedicated to All Saints, there is a
perfect little hagiology around the font-pedestal and upon seven of the
panels of the basin, the eighth panel shewing the mediæval presentment
of the Holy Trinity, the Almighty Father being somewhat blasphemously
represented as an old man, while the Crucifix rests upon an orb, and
(what is perhaps somewhat unusual) the Holy Dove appears about to alight
on the Cross.

  [Illustration: FONT AT UPTON CHURCH, NORFOLK.]

Of Decorated Fonts in the county of Norfolk, that of Upton must be
accounted _facile princeps_. In beauty of design, in fulness of
symbolism, in richness of detail, it is a faithful type of the elaborate
art of the Decorated Period. It was originally coloured, fragments of
red and blue paint being still visible. A massive base is formed by
three octagonal steps rising tier upon tier, the upper step divided from
the second by eight sets of quatrefoils, flanked at the corners by
sitting dogs with open mouths. Upon the stem of the font there are eight
figures in _bas relief_, standing upon pediments beneath overhanging
canopies exquisitely carved. These canopies are adorned with crocketed
pinnacles, and the interior of each has a groined roof, with rose boss
in the centre. Some of the pediments are garnished with foliage, others
exhibit quaint animals, _e.g._, a double dragon with but one head
connecting the two bodies, two lions linked by their tails, and two dogs
in the act of biting each other; all, of course, highly symbolical of
various types of sin. The canopied figures around the pedestal represent
the two Sacraments, an indication that even in the fourteenth century
the two Sacraments of the Gospel were esteemed as of the first
importance. Holy Communion is symbolised by five figures. A bishop in
eucharistic vestments, his right hand raised in blessing, his left
holding the pastoral staff, while the double dragon is beneath his feet.
It is not unlikely that this ecclesiastic was de Spenser, the
contemporary Bishop of Norwich, of military fame. The bishop is
supported to right and left by angels robed and girded, circlets and
crosses on their heads, each holding a candle in a somewhat massive
candlestick. The graceful lines of the wings suggest the probability of
the artist having belonged to a continental guild of stone carvers. The
next two figures are priests, each vested in dalmatic, maniple, stole,
and alb, acting as deacon and sub-deacon, the first holding an open
service book, the second the chalice and pyx.

The three remaining figures portray Holy Baptism. Of the two godmothers
and the godfather in the lay dress of the fourteenth century, the first
holds a babe in her arms in swaddling clothes, the swathing band being
crossed again and again. The other sponsors carry each a rosary.

To digress for a moment; here is an interesting deduction. The infant is
a girl--witness the two godmothers. The font cannot have been made later
than about 1380, at which time the Decorated merged into the
Perpendicular. Now the lord of the manor of Upton from 1358 onwards, for
many years, was one John Buttetourt, or Botetourt, who, with his wife
Matilda, had an only daughter and heiress, to whom was given the
baptismal name Jocosa. It appears highly probable that the lord of
Upton, rejoicing at the birth of his little heiress, caused the font to
be designed and built as a memorial of her baptism. But it would seem
that he did not live to see her settled in life, for in 1399 she had
grown to early womanhood, had won the affection of Sir Hugh Burnell, who
made her his wife, and by the following year, if not before, she had
inherited the manor in her own right.

To return to the description of the font. Resting on the canopies above
described, and supported by eight half-angels with musical instruments,
etc., is the large and handsome laver. The principal panels are occupied
by reliefs of the four living creatures of the Revelation--the historic
emblems of the four Evangelists--the flying lion, the flying bull, the
man, and the eagle, the last named with scroll facing east. The four
alternative panels represent angels, two holding instruments of music,
two with heraldic shields. The panels are separated from each other by
crocketed buttresses. The musical instruments shewn upon the font are
of great interest. A kind of rebeck or lute twice occurs, and once a
curious pair of cymbals. One half-angel is playing on a crowth, an early
form of the fiddle, consisting of an oblong box, a couple of strings, a
short straight and round handle, and a bow. Another of the half-angels
holds an open music book, containing the ancient four-line score.

The font has suffered some amount of mutilation in the five centuries of
its existence; three or four heads have disappeared, also the right hand
of the bishop, and the top of the pastoral staff; the chalice has been
broken off, and the flying lion is fractured. And as a reminder of the
iconoclastic century which was most likely responsible for the damage,
these dates are roughly cut into the leaden lining of the bowl: 1641,
1662, 1696.



Watching Chambers in Churches.

By the Rev. Geo. S. Tyack, B.A.


The smallest acquaintance with the inventories, or the ceremonial, of
our mediæval churches is sufficient to show anyone a glimpse of the
extraordinary wealth of which the larger churches especially were
possessed in those days. Vestments of velvet and silk and cloth of gold,
adorned with jewels and the precious metals; crosses and candlesticks of
gold, studded with gems; reliquaries that were ablaze with gorgeousness
and beauty; and sometimes shrines and altars that were a complete mass
of invaluable treasure; such were the contents of the choirs and
sacristies of our cathedrals and abbey churches. This being the case, it
is obvious that the greatest care had to be taken of such places. Then,
even as now, there were desperadoes from whom the sanctity of the shrine
could not protect it, if they could get a chance of fingering its
jewels; men who would exclaim, with Falconbridge in the play of "King
John" (Act III., Sc. 3)--

 "Bell, book, and candle shall not drive me back,
  When gold and silver beck me to come on."

To protect the wealthier churches from desecration and loss, therefore,
bands of watchers were organized, who throughout the night should be
ever on the alert against the attacks of thieves; who would also,
moreover, be able to raise, if need were, the alarm of fire. At Lincoln
these guardians patrolled the Minster at nightfall, to assure themselves
that all was safe. To facilitate the inspection of the whole building
occasionally squints were made; as at the Cathedral of S. David's, where
the cross pierced in the east wall behind, and just above, the high
altar, is supposed by some to have been for this purpose, a view being
thus obtained of the choir from the Chapel of the Holy Trinity, or _vice
versâ_.

In several instances, however, it was found both more convenient and
more effective to erect a special chamber, so placed and so elevated as
to command a good view of the church, or of the portion of the church to
be watched; and here a constant succession of watchers kept guard. One
of our most interesting examples of this is at S. Albans. Near the
site of the shrine of the patron saint (on which the fragments of the
shattered shrine have been skilfully built up once more) is a structure,
in two storeys, of carved timber. The lower stage is fitted with
cupboards, in which were probably preserved relics, or such jewels and
ornaments as were not kept permanently upon the shrine. A doorway in
this storey admits to a staircase leading to the gallery above. This is
the watchers' chamber; the side fronting the shrine being filled with
perpendicular tracery, whence the monks in charge could easily keep the
treasures around them under observation. A somewhat similar structure is
still seen at Christ Church, Oxford, and is sometimes spoken of as the
shrine of S. Frideswide. It is really the watching-chamber for that
shrine; and was erected in the fourteenth century upon an ancient tomb,
supposed to be that of the founder of the _feretrum_ of the saint,
though popular report describes it as the resting-place of the bodies of
her parents.

  [Illustration: ABBOT'S PEW, MALMESBURY ABBEY.]

In not a few cases, both in England and abroad, these chambers were
built in a yet more durable fashion. At Bourges may be seen a stone loft
on the left side of the altar; at Nuremberg also is one. In addition to
the wooden chamber, already described, S. Alban's Abbey (now the
cathedral) has a small one of stone in the transept. Lichfield has a
gallery over the sacristy door, which served the same purpose; and at
Worcester an oriel was probably used by the watchers. Westminster Abbey
has such a chamber over the chantry of King Henry VI., and Worcester
Cathedral has one in the north aisle; and there are several other
instances. Many churches had rooms over the north porch, as the
cathedrals of Exeter and Hereford, the churches of Christchurch
(Hampshire), Alford (Lincolnshire), and many others; and these in some
cases, as at Boston, had openings commanding a view of the interior.

Another explanation of the existence of a few watching lofts is
sometimes given, besides the need of guarding the Church's treasures. It
is held by some that in the face of the deterioration of monastic
simplicity and devotion in the later times before the Dissolution in
England, the abbots felt the need of keeping a stricter eye upon their
community; and these rooms were consequently constructed to enable them
to look, unobserved themselves, into their abbey church, and to see
that all whose duty called for their presence were there, and properly
occupied. This theory is perhaps supported by the traditional name of
"the abbot's pew," by which a very simple and substantial
watching-chamber in the triforium of Malmesbury Abbey is called. With
this may be compared another example in the priory church of
S. Bartholomew, Smithfield. In these, and most of the other instances,
the watching-chamber is an addition to the original structure, dating
often considerably later than the rest. This is quoted by the believers
in the rapid spread of monastic depravity in later ages in support of
the theory just noticed; as is also the fact, that the "pew" is often
near what formerly constituted the abbot's private apartments within the
adjoining monastery. It is probable that both explanations are true;
some of these lofts forming "abbot's pews," as others certainly were for
the guardian watchers of the shrines. In a large community it would
certainly be wise for the head to be able at times to survey quietly and
unobserved the actions of the rest; but this admission no more implies
that the lives of all monks were scandalous, than does the presence of
watchers by the shrines prove that all worshippers were thieves.

We have noticed in this paper the chief watching-chambers in this
country, but no doubt other examples occur which may have special points
of interest.



Church Chests.

By the Rev. Geo. S. Tyack, B.A.


An interesting article of Church furniture which has scarcely received
the amount of notice which it deserves, is the Church Chest, the
receptacle for the registers and records of the parish, and sometimes
also for the office books, vestments, and other valuables belonging to
the Church. In recent years attention has frequently been directed to
the interesting character of our ancient parochial documents, but the
useful cases which for so many years have shielded them, more or less
securely, from damage or loss, have been largely overlooked.

The present authority for the provision in every English church of a
proper repository for its records is the seventieth canon, the latter
part of which runs in the following words, from which it will be seen
that some of its details have been suffered to become obsolete: "For the
safe keeping of the said book (the register of baptisms, weddings, and
burials), the churchwardens, at the charge of the parish, shall provide
one sure coffer, and three locks and keys; whereof one to remain with
the minister, and the other two with the churchwardens severally; so
that neither the minister without the two churchwardens, nor the
churchwardens without the minister, shall at any time take that book out
of the said coffer. And henceforth upon every Sabbath day immediately
after morning or evening prayer, the minister and the churchwardens
shall take the said parchment book out of the said coffer, and the
minister in the presence of the churchwardens shall write and record in
the said book the names of all persons christened, together with the
names and surnames of their parents, and also the names of all persons
married and buried in that parish in the week before, and the day and
year of every such christening, marriage, and burial; and that done,
they shall lay up the book in the coffer as before." This Canon, made
with others in 1603, was a natural sequence to the Act passed in 1538,
which enjoined the due keeping of parish registers of the kind above
described. It is, in fact, obvious that the canon only gave additional
sanction to a practice enforced some years earlier; for Grindal, in his
"Metropolitical Visitation of the Province of York in 1571," uses
almost identical terms, requiring, amongst many other things, "That the
churchwardens in every parish shall, at the costs and charges of the
parish, provide ... a sure coffer with two locks and keys for keeping
the register book, and a strong chest or box for the almose of the poor,
with three locks and keys to the same:" the same demand was made, also
by Grindal, on the province of Canterbury in 1576.

Church chests did not, however, come into use in consequence of the
introduction of the regular keeping of registers. The Synod of Exeter,
held in 1287, ordered that every parish should provide "a chest for the
books and the vestments," and the convenience and even necessity of some
such article of furniture, doubtless led to its use in many places from
yet earlier times.

We have in England several excellent examples of "hutches," or chests,
which date from the thirteenth, or even from the close of the twelfth
century. Some there are for which a much earlier date has been claimed.
These latter are rough coffers formed usually of a single log of wood,
hollowed out, and fitted with a massive lid, the whole being bound with
iron bands. Chests of this kind may be seen at Newdigate, Surrey, at
Hales Owen, Shropshire, and elsewhere; and on the strength of the
rudeness of the carpentry displayed, it has been asserted that they are
of Norman, or even of Saxon, workmanship. Roughness of design and work
are scarcely, however, in themselves sufficient evidence of great
antiquity; many local causes, especially in small country places, may
have led the priests and people to be content with a very rude article
of home manufacture, at a time when far more elaborate ones were
procurable in return for a little more enterprise or considerably more
money. The date of these rough coffers must therefore be considered
doubtful.

Of Early English chests, we have examples at Clymping, Sussex, at
Saltwood and Graveney, Kent, at Earl Stonham, Suffolk, at Stoke
D'Abernon, Surrey, and at Newport, Essex. The Decorated Period is
represented by chests at Brancepeth, Durham, at Huttoft and Haconby,
Lincolnshire, at Faversham and Withersham, Kent, and at S. Mary
Magdalene's, Oxford. The workmanship of the Perpendicular Period has
numerous illustrations among our church chests, such as those at
S. Michael's, Coventry, S. Mary's, Cambridge, the Chapter House of
Christchurch Cathedral, Oxford, and others at Frettenham, Norfolk, at
Guestling, Sussex, at Harty Chapel, Kent, at Southwold, Suffolk, and at
Stonham Aspel, Suffolk.

  [Illustration: CHEST AT SALTWOOD, KENT.]

In the making of all these coffers, strength was naturally the great
characteristic which was most obviously aimed at; strength of structure,
so as to secure durability, and strength of locks and bolts, so as to
ensure the contents from theft. But in addition to this, artistic beauty
was not lost sight of, and many chests are excellent illustrations of
the wood-carvers' taste and skill, and several were originally enriched
with colour.

  [Illustration: CHEST AT UPTON CHURCH.]

  [Illustration: CHEST AT OVER, CHESHIRE.]

A good example of those in which security has been almost exclusively
sought, is provided by a chest at S. Peter's, Upton, Northamptonshire.
The dimensions of this hutch are six feet three inches in length, two
feet six inches in height, and two feet in width. Its only adornment is
provided by the wrought iron bands which are attached to it. Four of
these are laid laterally across each end, and four more, running
perpendicularly, divide the front into five unequal panels; the bands on
the front correspond with an equal number laid across the lid, where,
however, two more are placed at the extreme ends. Each of the panels in
front and top is filled with a device in beaten iron roughly resembling
an eight-pointed star, the lowest point of which runs to the bottom of
the chest. Yet simpler is the chest at S. Mary's, West Horsley, which is
a long, narrow, oaken box, strengthened by flat iron bands crossing the
ends and doubled well round the front and back, while six others are
fastened perpendicularly to the front; there are two large locks, and
three hinges terminating in long strips of iron running almost the
complete breadth of the lid. The church of S. Botolph, Church Brampton,
has a chest equally plain in itself, but the iron bands are in this
case of a richer character. Elegant scroll-work originally covered the
front and ends, much still remaining to this day. S. Lawrence's, in the
Isle of Thanet, possesses an exceedingly rough example, with a curved
top; seven broad iron bands strengthen the lid, and several
perpendicular ones, crossed by a lateral one, are affixed to the front,
the whole being studded with large square-headed nails; a huge lock is
placed in the middle, with hasps for padlocks to the right and left of
it. It is raised slightly from the ground by wooden "feet."

  [Illustration: CHEST AT S. LAWRENCE, ISLE OF THANET.]

For security and strength, however, the palm must be awarded to a coffer
at Stonham Aspel. The following description of this remarkable chest was
given in the "Journal of the British Archæological Society" in
September, 1872: "This curious example is of chestnut wood, 8 feet in
length, 2 feet 3 inches in height, and 2 feet 7 inches from front to
back; and is entirely covered on the outer surface with sheets of iron
4½ inches in width, the joinings being hid by straps. The two lids are
secured by fourteen hasps; the second from the left locks the first, and
the hasp simply covers the keyhole; the fourth locks the third, etc.
After this process is finished, a bar from each angle passes over them,
and is secured by a curious lock in the centre, which fastens them both.
The interior of this gigantic chest is divided into two equal
compartments by a central partition of wood, the one to the left being
painted red; the other is plain. Each division can be opened separately;
the rector holding four of the keys, and the churchwardens the others,
all being of different patterns." The writer of this description (Mr.
H. Syer Cuming, F.S.A., Scot., V.P.) assigns the chest to the fifteenth
century.

  [Illustration: CHURCH CHEST, S. MICHAEL'S, COVENTRY.]

Turning now to those chests, whose makers, while not forgetting the
needful solidity and strength, aimed also at greater decoration, the
handsome hutch at S. Michael's, Coventry, claims our notice. The front
of this is carved with a double row of panels having traceried heads,
the upper row being half the width of the lower one. In the centre are
two crowned figures, popularly (and not improbably) described as Leofric
and his wife, the Lady Godiva. At each end of the front is a long panel
decorated with lozenges enclosing Tudor roses, foliage, and conventional
animals; while two dragons adorn the bottom, which is cut away so as to
leave a triangular space beneath the chest. At S. John's, Glastonbury,
is another fine example, measuring six feet two inches in length, and at
present lidless. Within six vesica-shaped panels are placed quatrefoil
ornaments, each divided by a horizontal bar. Above these are five
shields, three charged with S. George's Cross, and the others, one with
three lozenges in fess, and the other with three roundles, two and one,
and a label. The ends, or legs, are elaborately carved with dog-tooth
figures in squares and circles. Saltwood, Kent, has an ornately carved
chest, divided (like that of Stonham Aspel) into two parts, the lid
being correspondingly formed, and opening in sections. One half is
secured by three locks, and the other by one. The front is carved with
five geometrical "windows" of four lights each; and the ends of the
front have three carved square panels, divided by bands of dancette
ornament. The base has a long narrow panel, with a simple wavy design.
There is some bold carving on a chest at S. George's, South Acre, in
Norfolk; a row of cusped arches fills rather more than half the height
of the front, the rest being taken up with four panels containing roses
and stars, similar designs on a smaller scale being repeated at the
ends. The front is cut away at the bottom in a series of curves.

  [Illustration: CHURCH CHEST S. JOHN'S GLASTONBURY]

At Alnwick is a massive coffer, over seven feet long, bearing on its
front a number of figures of dragons, and heads of birds and beasts,
amid foliage; above which are two hunting scenes, in which appear men
with horns, dogs, and deer, amid trees. These two scenes are separated
by the lock, and are precisely alike, save that the quarry in one is a
stag, and a hind in the other. Empingham, near Stamford, has a fine
chest of cedar wood, adorned with incised figures. At S. Mary's,
Mortlake, is one of walnut, inlaid with boxwood and ebony, and
ornamented with designs in metal work; the under side of the lid has
some delicate iron-wrought tracery, which was originally set off with
red velvet. The Huttoft chest is enriched with traceried arches, which
were apparently at one time picked out in colour; that of Stoke
D'Abernon is raised on four substantial legs, and is decorated with
three circles on the front filled with a kind of tracery; there are
other interesting specimens at Winchester and at Ewerby. In the old
castle at Newcastle-on-Tyne is preserved an old church coffer, which was
probably removed there for safety during the troublous days of the Civil
War. At Harty Chapel, Kent, we find the figures of two knights in full
armour, tilting at each other, carved on the front of a chest; the
legend of S. George and the dragon is illustrated in a similar way at
Southwold Church, Suffolk, and yet more fully on a chest in the treasury
of York Minster.

Probably, however, the handsomest example of a carved church chest now
preserved in England is at Brancepeth, in the county of Durham. This
beautiful piece of work, which rests in the south chapel of the church,
has its front completely covered with elaborate carving. At either end
are three oblong panels, one above another, on each of which is a
conventional bird or beast; at the base is a series of diamonds filled,
as are the intervals between them, with tracery; and above this is an
arcade of six pointed arches, each enclosing three lights surmounted by
a circle, the six being divided by tall lancets, the crockets of the
arches and a wealth of foliage filling up the intervening spaces. This
fine chest dates from the fourteenth century.

The Rev. Francis E. Powell, M.A., in his pleasantly-written work
entitled "The Story of a Cheshire Parish," gives particulars of the
parish chest of Over. "The chest," says Mr. Powell, was "the gift of
Bishop Samuel Peploe to Joseph Maddock, Clerk, April 30th, 1750." It
probably was an old chest even then. The donor was Bishop of Chester
from 1726 to 1752. He was a Whig in politics, and a latitudinarian in
religion, as so many bishops of that time were. That he was a man of
determined courage may be seen by his loyalty to the House of Hanover,
even under adverse circumstances. One day, in the year 1715, he was
reading Morning Prayer at the parish church at Preston. The town was
occupied by Jacobite troops, some of whom burst into the church during
the service. Approaching the prayer-desk, with drawn sword, a trooper
demanded that Peploe should substitute James for George in the prayer
for the King's Majesty. Peploe merely paused to say, "Soldier, I am
doing my duty; do you do yours;" and went on with the prayers, whereupon
the soldiers at once proceeded to eject him from the church. The
illustration of the chest is kindly lent to us by the Rev. Francis E.
Powell, vicar of Over.

In the vestry of Lambeth Palace is a curiously painted chest; several of
an early date are preserved in the triforium of Westminster Abbey; there
is one at Salisbury Cathedral, and another in the Record Office, having
been removed from the Pix Chapel.

One of the original uses of these coffers, as we have seen, was to
preserve the vestments of the church. The copes, however, being larger
than the other vestments, and in the cathedrals and other important
churches, being very numerous, frequently had a special receptacle
provided. At York, Salisbury, Westminster, and Gloucester, ancient
cope-chests are still preserved. These are triangular in shape, the cope
being most easily folded into that form.

In not a few instances these large coffers, or sections of them, were
used as alms boxes, for which a very ancient precedent can be found. At
the restoration of the Jewish Temple under King Joash, we are told
(2 Kings xii., 9, 10) that "Jehoiada the priest took a chest, and bored
a hole in the lid of it, and set it beside the altar, on the right side
as one cometh into the house of the Lord: and the priests that kept the
door put therein all the money that was brought into the house of the
Lord: and it was so, when they saw that there was much money in the
chest, that the King's scribe and the high priest came up, and they put
up in bags, and told the money that was found in the house of the Lord."

At Llanaber, near Barmouth in North Wales, is a chest hewn from a single
block of wood, and pierced to receive coins. At Hatfield, Yorkshire, is
an ancient example of a similar kind; and others may be seen at
S. Peter's-in-the-East, Oxford, at Drayton in Berkshire, at Meare
Church, Somersetshire, at Irchester and Mears Ashby, in
Northamptonshire, at Hartland, in Devonshire, and in the Isle of Wight
at Carisbrooke. An interesting chest, with provision for the reception
of alms, is preserved at Combs Church, Suffolk, where there is also
another plain hutch, iron-bound and treble-locked. The chest in question
is strongly, but simply, made, the front being divided into four plain
panels, with some very slight attempt at decoration in the form of small
disks and diamonds along the top; and the lid being quite flat and
plain, and secured by two locks. At one end, however, a long slit has
been cut in this lid, and beneath it is a till, or trough, to receive
the money, very similar to the little locker often inserted at one end
of an old oak chest intended for domestic use, save that in this case
the compartment has, of course, no second lid of its own. This chest has
the date 1599 carved upon it, but is supposed to be some half a century
older, the date perhaps marking the time of some repairs or alterations
made in it.

Hutches of the kind that we have been considering are not peculiar to
England, some fine and well-preserved examples being found in several
of the ancient churches in France. Among ourselves it is obvious that
great numbers must have disappeared; many doubtless were rough and
scarcely worthy of long preservation; others by the very beauty of their
workmanship probably roused the cupidity, or the iconoclastic prejudice,
of the spoiler. Near Brinkburn Priory a handsome fourteenth century
chest was found, used for domestic purposes, in a neighbouring
farm-house; a Tudor chest, belonging to S. Mary's, Newington, lay for
years in the old rectory house, and subsequently disappeared; and these
are doubtless typical of many another case. When the strictness at first
enforced as to the care of the parish registers became culpably relaxed,
and parish clerks and sextons were left in practically sole charge of
them, it is but too probable that these men, often illiterate and
otherwise unsuited to such a trust, were in many instances as careless,
or as criminal, in regard to the coffers, as we unfortunately know they
frequently were with respect to their contents.

Few church chests of any interest date from the Jacobean, or any
subsequent period. Plain deal boxes were then held good enough for the
purpose of a "church hutch."



An Antiquarian Problem: The Leper Window.

By William White, F.S.A.


These windows were called by Parker and other writers of the Gothic
Revival, "Lychnoscopes;" and then by the ecclesiologists, "Low-side
Windows." But the name given by the late G. E. Street has now become so
generally accepted that it seems necessary to look a little further into
the evidence of the fitness or unfitness of this designation for them.

Behind some stalls in the Royal Chapel were discovered some remains of a
mural painting, apparently to represent the communicating of a leper
through some such window, and he at once concluded that it was for this
very purpose so many of them were introduced into the chancels of our
mediæval churches. There seemed, however, nothing to indicate that it
was at one of these special windows at all that this function was
performed. And the very fact of the representation itself would seem to
indicate rather an exceptional instance, or special circumstance, such
as the communicating of some knight or person of note who might, for
instance, have brought leprosy in his own person from the Holy Land,
from whence probably in the first instance it came; and who would not be
admitted within the church. But the records of the existence of lepers
would seem to show their numbers to have been very limited, and confined
to few localities. And in any case this would be no sufficient cause for
the introduction of these windows as of universal occurrence throughout
the land, for these windows are found almost everywhere, and in very
many instances on both sides of the chancel. Moreover, in many cases the
act of administration through these windows would be exceedingly
difficult, if not impossible, on account of the position, or the
arrangement, of the window itself.

To my mind a very much more practical and reasonable supposition would
be that they were introduced, and used, for burial purposes. At a period
when the body would not be brought into the church, except in the case
of some ecclesiastic or other notable person, the priest would here be
able, _from his stall_, to see the funeral _cortége_ come into the
churchyard, and then say the first part of the office through this
window; which was always shuttered and without glass. In some cases
there is a book-ledge corbelled out on the east jamb of the window
inside, which has puzzled antiquaries, but which has not otherwise
received a satisfactory explanation. In immediate proximity to the
window, at the end of the stalls (and sometimes in the earlier churches
_through_ them), was the priest's door, out of which he would then
proceed to the grave to commit the body to the earth. The grave itself
needs not necessarily be within sight of the window. But in a number of
instances the churchyard cross was so; and this may have served as the
recognised place for the mourners, with the body, to assemble.

In the case of Foxton, Leicestershire, the "Lych Window," as I would
call it, is on the north side. Here the burials are chiefly on the north
side; a steep slope down towards the church on the south side rendering
it very difficult and unsuitable for them. At Addisham, Kent, the
priest's door is, contrary to the usual custom, on the north side, where
is also a principal portion of the churchyard, and, so far as my own
observations go, the position of the window would greatly depend upon
the arrangement of the churchyard, whether north or south.



Mazes.

By the Rev. Geo. S. Tyack, B.A.


Something concerning the construction of labyrinths, or mazes, is known
even to the most general reader; it needs but a slight acquaintance with
classical literature to learn of the famous example formed at Crete by
Dædalus; the legend of the concealment of "fair Rosamond," within a maze
at Woodstock, is familiar enough; and the existing labyrinth at Hampton
Court, the work of William III. is well known. But probably few who have
not looked somewhat into the matter, have any idea of the number of such
mazes which still exist, or of the yet greater number of which we have
authentic records. A learned French antiquary, Mons. Bonnin, of Evreux,
collected two hundred examples, gathered from many lands, and stretching
in history from classical to modern times.

Of the most ancient labyrinths it will be enough to indicate the
localities. One is said to have been constructed in Egypt by King
Minos, and to have served as a model for the one raised by Dædalus at
Cnossus, in Crete, as a prison for the Minataur. Another Egyptian
example, which has been noticed by several authors, was near Lake
Moeris. Lemnos contained a famous labyrinth; and Lar Porsena built one
at Clusium, in Etruria. These mazes consisted either of a series of
connected caverns, as it has been supposed was the case in Crete; or, as
in the other instances, were formed of courts enclosed by walls and
colonnades.

  [Illustration: LABYRINTH INSCRIBED ON ONE OF THE PORCH PIERS
        OF LUCCA CATHEDRAL.]

The use of the labyrinth in mediæval times, has, however, greater
interest for us in this paper, especially from the fact that such was
distinctly ecclesiastical. Several continental churches have labyrinths,
either cut in stone or inlaid in coloured marbles, figured upon their
walls or elsewhere. At Lucca Cathedral is an example incised upon one of
the piers of the porch; and others may be seen at Pavia, Aix in
Provence, and at Poitiers. These are all small, the diameter of the
Lucca labyrinth being 1 foot 7½ inches, which is the dimension also of
one in an ancient pavement in the church of S. Maria in Aquiro, in Rome.
That the suggestion for the construction of these arose from the
mythological legends concerning those of pagan days is proved by the
fact that in several of them the figures of Theseus and the Minataur
were placed in the centre. Probably from the first, the Church, in her
use of the figure, spiritualized the meaning of the heathen story, as we
know was her wont in other cases; and a labyrinth formed in mosaic on
the floor of an ancient basilica at Orleansville, Algeria, shows that
presently the mythological symbols gave place entirely to obviously
Christian ones. In this last-named instance, the centre is occupied by
the words _Sancta Ecclesia_.

About the twelfth century these curious figures became very popular, and
a considerable number dating from that period still exist. They have for
the most part been constructed in parti-coloured marbles on some portion
of the floor of the church. One was laid down in 1189 at S. Maria in
Trastevere, in Rome; S. Vitale, Ravenna, contains another; and the
parish church of S. Quentin has a third. Others formerly existed at
Amiens Cathedral (made in 1288 and destroyed in 1825), at Rheims (made
about 1240 and destroyed in 1779), and at Arras (destroyed at the
Revolution). These are much larger than the examples before noticed; the
two Italian examples are each about 11 feet across, but the French ones
greatly exceed this. Those of S. Quentin and Arras were each over 34
feet in diameter, and the others were somewhat larger; Amiens possessed
the largest, measuring 42 feet. France had another example of a similar
kind at Chartres.

The Christian meaning which was read into these complicated designs was
more emphatically expressed in these twelfth-century instances. The
centre is usually occupied by a cross, round which, in some cases, were
arranged figures of bishops, angels, and others.

The introduction of these large labyrinths, together with the name which
came at this time to be applied to them in France, namely, _Chemins de
Jerusalem_, suggests the new use to which such arrangements now began to
be put. It is well known that in some cases substitutes for the great
pilgrimage to Jerusalem were allowed to be counted as of almost equal
merit. Thus the Spaniards, so long as they had not expelled the infidel
from their own territory, were forbidden to join the Crusades to the
Holy Land; and were permitted to substitute a journey to the shrine of
S. Jago, at Compostella, for one to the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. By
an extension of the same principle, especially when the zeal of
Christendom for pilgrimages began to cool, easy substitutes for the more
exacting devotion were found in many ways. The introduction of the
Stations of the Cross is ascribed to this cause, the devout following in
imagination of the footsteps of the Saviour in His last sufferings,
being accounted equivalent to visiting the holy places; and somewhat
similarly, the maze, or labyrinth, is said to have been pressed into the
service of religion, the following out (probably upon the knees) of its
long and tortuous path-way, being reckoned as a simple substitute for a
longer pilgrimage.

From such a use as this, it was no great step to the employment of the
maze as a means of penance in other cases. The whole of the intricate
pathway was intended to remind the penitent of the difficulties which
beset the Christian course; and the centre, which could only be reached
by surmounting them, was often called heaven (_Ciel_). Nor could such a
penance be deemed a light one. Though occupying so small a space of
ground, the mazy path was so involved as to reach a considerable length,
whence it was sometimes named the League (_La lièue_). The pathway at
Chartres measures 668 feet; at Sens was a maze which required some 2,000
steps to gain the centre. An hour is said to have been often needed to
accomplish the journey, due allowance being made for the prayers which
had to be recited at certain fixed stations of it, or throughout its
whole course.

At S. Omer are one or two examples of the labyrinth. One at the Church
of Notre Dame has figures of towns, mountains, rivers, and wild beasts
depicted along the pathway, to give, no doubt, greater realism to the
pilgrimage. The existing drawing of another, which has been destroyed,
is inscribed, "The way of the road to Jerusalem at one time marked on
the floor of the Church of S. Bertin." Many of these designs are not
only ingenious, but beautiful. In the Chapterhouse at Bayeux is one
enriched with heraldic figures; that at Chartres has its central circle
relieved with six cusps, while an engrailed border encloses the whole
work. A circular shape was apparently the most popular; the maze at
S. Quentin, with some others, however, is octagonal. The pathway is
usually marked by coloured marbles, sometimes the darker, sometimes the
lighter shades in the design being used for the purpose; at Sens, lead
has been employed to indicate it.

The Revolution, as we have seen, led to the destruction of several
ecclesiastical labyrinths; some, however, became a source of annoyance
to the worshippers, from children attempting to trace the true pathway
during the time of service, and they were removed in consequence.
Labyrinths of this kind do not appear to have been introduced into
England, the only instance known to the present writer being quite a
modern one. This is in the church porch at Alkborough, in Lincolnshire,
where, at the recent restoration, the design of a local maze (to be
noticed further hereafter) was reproduced.

If England, however, has not imitated the continent in this respect, she
has struck out a line no less interesting, which has remained almost
exclusively her own; namely, in the mazes cut in the green turf of her
meadows. Shakespeare has an allusion to these in the "Midsummer Night's
Dream," (Act iii., 3) where Titania says,

 "The nine men's morris is fill'd up with mud,
  And the quaint mazes in the wanton green
  For lack of tread are indistinguishable."

Some twenty of these rustic labyrinths have been noted as still
existing, or as recorded by a sound tradition, in England; and no doubt
there have been others which have disappeared, leaving no trace behind.

  [Illustration: MAZE AT ALKBOROUGH, LINCOLNSHIRE.]

Among those which have been preserved, the following may be noticed. At
Alkborough, in Lincolnshire, near the confluence of the Trent and the
Ouse, is a maze, the diameter of which is 44 feet; by a happy
suggestion, the design of this has been repeated, as was above remarked,
in the porch of the Parish Church, so that should the original
unfortunately be destroyed, a permanent record has been provided.
Hilton, in Huntingdonshire has a maze of exactly the same plan, in the
centre of which is a stone pillar, bearing an inscription in Latin and
English, to the effect that the work was constructed in 1660, by William
Sparrow. Comberton, in Cambridgeshire, possesses a maze, locally known
as the "Mazles," which is fifty feet in diameter. The pathway is two
feet wide, and is defined by small trenches, the whole surface being
gradually hollowed towards the centre. Northamptonshire is represented
by Boughton Green, which has a labyrinth 37 feet in diameter; and
Rutland has one at Wing, which measures 40 feet.

  [Illustration: THE MIZE-MAZE ON ST. KATHERINE'S HILL, WINCHESTER.]

At Asenby, in the parish of Topcliffe, Yorkshire, is a maze measuring 51
feet across, which has been carefully preserved by the local
authorities. At Chilcombe, near Winchester, a maze is cut in the turf of
S. Catherine's Hill; it is square in outline, each side being 86 feet.
It is locally known as the "Mize-maze." One much larger than any yet
noticed is found near Saffron Waldon, in Essex, its diameter being 110
feet. There are local records which prove the great antiquity of a maze
at this place. The design is peculiar, being properly a circle, save
that at four equal distances along the circumference the pathway sweeps
out into a horseshoe projection.

  [Illustration: THE MAZE NEAR ST. ANNE'S CHAPEL, NOTTINGHAM.]

A similar plan was followed in cutting a maze, once of some celebrity,
near S. Anne's Well, at Sneinton, Nottingham. The projections in this
case are bolder, and within the spaces enclosed by the triple pathway
which swept around them were cut cross-crosslets. The popular names for
this maze in the district were the "Shepherd's Maze," and "Robin
Hood's Race." This was, unfortunately, ploughed up in 1797, at the
enclosure of the lordship of Sneinton. Nottinghamshire has, however,
another example in the small square one at Clifton.

  [Illustration: MAZE FORMERLY EXISTING NEAR ST. ANNE'S WELL,
        SNEINTON, NOTTINGHAMSHIRE.]

Many of these turf-cut labyrinths were destroyed during the
Commonwealth, before which period, according to Aubrey in his history
of Surrey, there were many in England. Not a few, however, which
survived that time of wanton destruction, have been obliterated since.

In 1827 one which was on Ripon Common was ploughed up. Its diameter was
60 feet. Another existed till comparatively recent times at Hillbury,
between Farnham and Guildford. At Pimpern, in Dorset, there was formerly
a maze of a unique design. The outline was roughly a triangle, which
enclosed nearly an acre of ground; the pathway was marked out by ridges
of earth about a foot in height, and followed a singularly intricate
course. The plough destroyed this also in 1730.

The names locally applied to these structures often imply very erroneous
ideas as to their origin and purpose. In some instances they are
ascribed to the shepherds, as if cut by them as pastime in their idle
moments; a suggestion, which a glance at the mazes themselves, with
their intricate designs and correctly formed curves, will prove to be
hardly tenable. Two other names of frequent occurrence in England are
"Troy Town," and "Julian's Bower"; the latter being connected with the
former, Julius, son of Æneas being the person alluded to. Some have
from these titles sought to trace a connection with a very ancient sport
known as the _Troy Game_, which arose in classic times, and survived
down to the Middle Ages. It consisted probably in the rhythmic
performance of certain evolutions, much after the fashion of the
"Musical Rides" executed by our cavalry. The origin of the idea is to be
sought in a passage in Virgil's Æneid (Bk. V., v. 583 _et seq._), which
has been thus translated by Kennett:--

 "Files facing files their bold companions dare,
  And wheel, and charge, and urge the sportive war.
  Now flight they feign, and naked backs expose,
  Now with turned spears drive headlong on the foes,
  And now, confederate grown, in peaceful ranks they close.
  As Crete's fam'd labyrinth, to a thousand ways
  And endless darken'd walls the guest conveys;
  Endless, inextricable rounds amuse,
  And no kind track the doubtful passage shows;
  So the glad Trojan youth, the winding course
  Sporting pursue, and charge the rival force."

Tresco, Scilly, has a maze known as Troy-town; and it would seem that
such were once common in Cornwall, since any intricate arrangement is
often locally called by that name.

It has, however, been pointed out that most of these mazes date from a
time when classical knowledge was not widely spread in England; that, in
fact, the name has probably been given in most instances long after the
date of the construction of the work.

It would seem rather that the original use of these quaint figures was,
as with those continental examples before noted, ecclesiastical. No one
who has had the opportunity of comparing the designs of the English and
the foreign mazes can fail to be struck with the great similarity
between them; suggesting, at least, a common origin and purpose. And
this suggestion is greatly strengthened when we notice that, although
the English mazes are never (with one modern instance only excepted)
within churches, as are the continental instances, yet they are almost
invariably close to a church, or the ancient site of a church. The
Alkborough and Wing mazes, for instance, are hard by the parish
churches; and those at Sneinton, Winchester, and Boughton Green are
beside spots once consecrated by chapels dedicated in honour of St.
Anne, St. Catherine, and St. John. The most probable conjecture is that
these were originally formed, and for long years were used, for
purposes of devotion and penance. Doubtless in later times the children
often trod those mazy ways in sport and emulation, which had been slowly
measured countless times before in silent meditation or in penitential
tears.

A word or two may be added in conclusion on mazes of the more modern
sort, formed for amusement rather than for use, as a curious feature in
a scheme of landscape gardening. These _topiary_ mazes, as they are
called, usually have their paths defined by walls of well-cut box, yew,
or other suitable shrubs; and they differ from the turf mazes in that
they are often made purposely puzzling and misleading. In the
ecclesiastical maze, it is always the patience, not the ingenuity, which
is tested; there is but one road to follow, and though that one wanders
in and out with tantalizing curves and coils, yet it leads him who
follows it unerringly to the centre.

From Tudor times this form of decoration for a large garden has been
more or less popular. Burleigh formed one at the old palace at
Theobald's, Hertfordshire, about 1560; and the Maze in Southwark, near a
spot once occupied by the residence of Queen Mary before coming to the
throne, and Maze Hill at Greenwich, no doubt mark the sites of
labyrinths now otherwise forgotten. Lord Fauconbergh had a maze at
Sutton Court in 1691; and William III. so highly approved of them that,
having left one behind him at the Palace of the Loo, he had another
constructed at Hampton Court.

Literature and art have not disdained to interest themselves in this
somewhat formal method of gardening; for in the sixteenth and
seventeenth centuries more than one treatise on their construction was
published; while Holbein and Tintoretto have left behind them designs
for topiary labyrinths.

The oldest and most famous maze in our history is "Fair Rosamond's
Bower," already mentioned. Of what kind this was, if indeed it was at
all, it is difficult to say; authorities disagreeing as to whether it
was a matter of architectural arrangement, of connected caves, or of
some other kind. The trend of modern historical criticism in this, as in
so many other romantic stories from our annals, is to deny its
genuineness altogether.

Fortunately although so many of our ancient mazes have disappeared, the
designs of their construction has, in not a few cases, been preserved
to us by means of contemporary drawings; so that a fairly accurate idea
of the type most commonly followed may still be obtained.

We have to thank Mr. J. Potter Briscoe, F.R.H.S., editor of "Old
Nottinghamshire," for kindly placing at our disposal the two
illustrations relating to the St. Anne's Well Maze.



Churchyard Superstitions.

By the Rev. Theodore Johnson.


Among all classes of English people there are mixed feelings relating to
our churchyards. They are either places of reverence on the one hand, or
superstition on the other. The sacred plot surrounding the old Parish
Church carries with it such a host of memories and associations, that to
the learned and thoughtful it has always been God's Acre, hallowed with
a tender hush of silent contemplation of the many sad rifts and partings
among us. We almost vie with each other in proclaiming that deep
reverence for this one sacred spot, so dear to our family life, and
affections, by those mementos of love which we raise over the
resting-places of our lost ones gone before. This is strangely apparent
in the stately monument, where the carver's art declares the virtues of
the dead, either by sculptured figure, or verse engraven, as well as in
the ofttimes more pathetic, and perhaps more beautiful, tribute of the
floral cross or wreath culled by loving hands, and borne in silence, by
our poorer brethren, as the only offering, or tribute, their slender
means allows them to make. Be sure of this one fact, that our English
Churchyards are better kept--more worthy of the name of God's Acre than
in the times past, for what is a more beautiful sight, than to see the
kneeling children around the garden grave of a parent, or a child
companion, adorning the little mound with flowers for the Eastertide
festival. Here we have a living illustration of the truth of the
concluding words of our Great Creed: "I look for the Resurrection of the
Dead and the Life of the World to come."

On the other hand, to the ignorant, and unlearned in these things, the
Churchyard often becomes a place of dread, and it may be, some of the
strange behaviour sometimes seen there arises from this inner feeling of
awe, which in their ignorant superstition they are wont to carry off in
the spirit of daring bravado.

From a close study of the subject, I am led to conclude that the common
unchristian idea, that the churchyard is 'haunted,' whatever that may
mean to a weak or ignorant person, has much to do with it. The evil
report, once circulated, will be handed on to generations yet unborn,
until the simple origin, which at first might have been easily
explained, becomes clouded in mystery as time goes on, and the deep
rooted feeling of horror spreads around us, until even the more
strong-minded among us, feel at times, somewhat doubtful as to whether
there may not be some truth where the popular testimony is so strong.

In country districts, more than in towns, superstition is rife with
regard to our Churchyards. The variety and form of this superstition is
well nigh 'Legion,' and though many of my readers may enjoy an Ingoldsby
experience when read in a well-lighted room, surrounded by smiling
companions, few of them, after such an experience would care to pay a
visit alone to some neighbouring churchyard, renowned for its tale of
ghostly appearances. This will, I think enable me to show that by far
the larger number of churchyard superstitions are purely chimerous
fancies of the brain, and do not owe their origin, or existence, to any
other source, be that source a wilful fraud, or imposition, designed to
produce fear, or merely the imaginative delusion of some overstrained,
or weak brain, which called first it into existence.

Yet there are prevalent ideas or notions, about the churchyard and its
sleepers, as deep-rooted as any wild superstition, and perhaps as
difficult to solve, or to trace to any rational source. I would here
mention one of the most strange, and probably one of the most prejudiced
notions to be met with relating to burial in the churchyard. I refer to
the East Anglian prejudice of being buried on the north side of the
church. That this prejudice is a strong one, among the country people in
certain parts of England, is proved by the scarcity of graves, nay, in
many instances the total absence of graves, on the north side of our
churches.

Some seventeen years ago, shortly after taking charge of a parish in
Norfolk, I was called upon to select a suitable spot for the burial of a
poor man, who had been killed by an accident. After several places had
been suggested by me to the sexton, who claimed for them either a family
right, or some similar objection; I noticed for the first time, that
there were no graves upon the north side of the church, and I, in my
innocence, suggested that there would be plenty of space there;
whereupon my companion's face at once assumed the most serious
expression, and I immediately saw that fear had taken hold of his mind,
as he answered with a somewhat shaky voice, "No, Sir! No, that cannot
be!" My curiosity was immediately aroused, and I sought for an
explanation, which I found not from my good and loyal friend, who would
not trust himself to answer further than "No, Sir! No, that cannot be!"
The sexton's manner puzzled me greatly, for the man was an upright,
straightforward, open-hearted, servant of the Church--but I at once saw
that it would be fruitless to push the matter further with him, so after
marking out a suitable resting place for the poor unfortunate man, who
not being a parishoner of long standing, had no family burial place
awaiting him, I made my way home to think over the whole occurrence.

The cause for non-burial on the north side of the Church was indeed a
mystery, yet that my parishoners had some valid reason for not being
laid to rest there, was apparent; so I set about the task of unravelling
the superstition, if so it may be called.

My library shelves seemed to be the most natural place of research, but
here after consultation with several volumes of Archæology,
Ecclesiology, and Folk Lore, I could find nothing bearing upon the
subject, beyond that in certain instances relating to Churchyard
Parishes on the sea-coast, the north side by reason of its exposure to
wind and storm, and being the sunless quarter of the burying ground, was
less used than other parts; but here the reason given was in
consideration of the living mourners at the time of the interment, and
not the body sleeping in its last resting place of earth.

After some considerable correspondence with friends likely to be
interested in such a matter, I was rewarded with information that, in
some instances, the northern portion of the churchyard was left
unconsecrated, and only thus occasionally used for the burial of
suicides, vagrants, highwaymen (after the four cross road graves had
been discontinued), or for nondescripts and unbaptised persons, for whom
no religious service was considered necessary. Even this I did not
accept as a solution of my problem. That there was something more than
local feeling underlying this superstition, I was certain, but how to
get to the root of the subject perplexed me.

The Editor of "Notes and Queries" could not satisfy me. His general
suggestions and kind desire to aid me were well-nigh fruitless, so that
there remained for me the course of watching and waiting, as none of my
neighbours could, or would, go beyond the conclusive statement of the
sexton, "It must not be!" or what was even more indefinite, "I have
never heard of such a thing."

The subject was a fruitful source of thought for some months, and in
vain I tried to connect some religious custom of other days, or to find
some Text of Scripture, which might have given rise to the idea, if
mistranslated, or twisted by human ingenuity, to serve such a purpose,
but none occurred to me that in the least would bear of such a
contortion.

In my intercourse with my older parishoners I sought in vain to test the
unbaptized or suicidal burying place theory as suggested above, but this
was entirely foreign to them. At length, the truth of the old saying,
"_All things come to those who wait_" brought its due reward. I was
called in to visit an aged parishoner, who was nearing the end of life's
journey, and among other subjects naturally came the thoughts, and
wishes, of this old saintly man's last hours on earth. He had been a
shepherd for well nigh sixty years, and a widower for the past fifteen
years, and in consequence he had lived and worked much alone. This had
produced a thoughtful spirit, and a certain slowness of speech, so that
he was quite the last man I should have consulted for a solution of my
mystery. Yet, here the secret was unfolded, or to my mind more
satisfactorily explained, than by any previous consultation with either
men or books. The grand old labourer, or faithful shepherd, as he was
laid helpless on his bed, with his life work symbol--the shepherd's
crook, standing idle in the corner, and his trusty dog, restless and
perplexed, roaming from room to room, was a wonderful picture of a
Christian death-bed.

There I learned many a solemn life-lesson never to be forgotten. The
calm voice, the monosyllabic answers given in response to my questions
are still fresh to me; and there I learned the source of my Churchyard
Superstition in the following manner:--

With a strange, weird, unnatural light in the aged man's eyes, which
portrayed much anxiety of mind, he spoke about his burial-place, and
particularly emphasising the words "_On the south side, sir, near by the
wife_." When I ventured to inquire if he knew why such a strong
objection was held to burial on the north side of the church. He started
suddenly, and I shall never forget his reproachful, sad look as he more
readily than usual gave the answer:--"The left side of Christ, sir: we
don't like to be counted among the goats."

As a flash of lightning illuminates the whole darkness of the country
side, and reveals for the moment every object in clear outline, so this
quaint saying of my dying friend dispelled in a moment the mists of the
past which clouded the truth of my strange superstition.

Here was the best answer to the mystery, pointing with no uncertain
words to the glorious Resurrection Day, this aged, earthly shepherd at
the end of his years of toil recognised his Great Master, Jesus, as the
True Shepherd of mankind, meeting His flock as they arose from their
long sleep of death, with their faces turned eastward, awaiting His
appearing.

Then when all had been called and recognised He turned to lead them
onward, still their True Shepherd and Guide, with the sheep on His right
hand, and the goats on His left hand, so wonderfully foretold in the
Gospel story: "When the Son of Man shall come in His glory, and all the
holy angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory;
And before Him shall be gathered all nations: and He shall separate them
one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: and
He shall set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the
left."--_S. Matt, xxv., 31, 32, 33._

Surely, the above simple illustration explains much that is difficult
and mysterious to us in the way of religious superstition. Undoubtedly,
we have here a good example of how superstitions have arisen, probably
from a good source, it may be the words of some teacher long since
passed away. The circumstance has long been forgotten, yet the lesson
remains, and being handed down by oral tradition only, every vestige of
its religious nature disappears and but the feeling remains, which, in
the minds of the ignorant populace, increases in mystery and enfolds
itself in superstitious awe, without any desire from them to discover
the origin, or source, of such a strange custom, or event.



Curious Announcements in the Church.

By the Rev. R. Wilkins Rees.


Years ago announcements in churches were of a distinctly curious
character, and the parish clerk in making the intimation seems to have
been left completely to his own indiscretion. In country districts,
where proper advertising would be quite impossible, the practical
advantages of some classes of announcements would be great, but none of
them accord with our modern sense of the fitness of things, and many can
only be accounted for on the ground of extraordinary familiarity between
clergyman, clerk, and congregation. A brief consideration of the subject
furnishes a few side-lights into the general condition of the church, as
well as into the laxity of church discipline, about fifty years and more
ago, especially away from large centres of population.

In certain parts, the custom of crying lost goods in church was
undoubtedly prevalent, and did not then appear peculiar. The rector, who
had lost his favourite dog and told the parish clerk to do his best to
ascertain its whereabouts, may have been astonished to hear him announce
the loss in church, coupled with a statement that a reward of three
pounds would be given to the person who should restore the animal to its
owner. But such surprise was hardly natural when an announcement like
the following was possible:--"Mislaid on Sunday last! The gold-rimmed
vicar's spectacles of best glass, taken from his eyes in going into the
poor box, or put down somewhere when going into the font to fetch the
water after the christening." What a shock this rare jumble produced by
a country clerk must have been to the precise and classical vicar can
only be imagined. The thought, however, of a gold-rimmed vicar
diminutive enough to enter font or poor box is somewhat staggering!
Quite as muddled, but much more ingenious, was the clerk who announced,
in recent years, an accomplished D.Sc. and LL.D. as a Doctor of Schools
and a Lord Lieutenant of Divinity!

"Lost, stolen, or strayed," shouted the clerk in church one Sunday, with
the strident voice of a town crier, and the manner of one not
unaccustomed to the task, "lost, stolen, or strayed. Four fat sheep and
one lean cow. Whoever will return the same to Mr. ----'s farm will be
suitably rewarded." It is well that the name of the parish in which it
was given, is missing from another specimen of this sort of
announcement, for it seems to indicate that honesty there could be but
the outcome of an inducement afforded by the promise of substantial
reward. "Lost," said the clerk, "on Sunday last, when the wearer was
walking home from this church, and before she reached the Town Hall, a
lady's gold brooch, set with pearls and other precious stones. The one
who has found it will consider it worth while to restore it, for the
reward of a guinea is offered."

It is not a little surprising that the clergyman in charge did not
supervise more carefully the various announcements, especially when so
many a _contretemps_ occurred. Once a parish clerk announced in his
rector's hearing:--"There'll be no service next Sunday as the rector's
going out grouse shooting." The rector had injudiciously acquainted his
clerk with the reason of his approaching absence, and this was the
result. It happened, of course, a half century since, but it illustrates
an interesting state of things as existing at that period. With it two
similar incidents may well be mentioned, the first of which occurred in
Scotland, the second in the Principality. "Next Sawbath," said a worthy
Scotch beadle, "we shall have no Sawbath, for the meenister's house is
having spring cleaning, and as the weather is very bad the meenister's
wife wants the kirk to dry the things in." "Next Sunday," declared the
unconsciously amusing Welshman, "there'll be no Sunday, as we're going
to whitewash the church with yellow-ochre." Sometimes the omission of a
stop caused sore trouble to the clerk, while it hugely delighted the
congregation. "A man having gone to see his wife desires the prayers of
this church," was the startling announcement. But had not the clerk been
near-sighted and mistaken _sea_ for _see_, and had a comma been supplied
after sea, the notice would have been all right, for it was simply the
request of a sailor's wife on behalf of her husband.

Once the clerk made the announcement that a parish meeting would be held
on a given date. "No, no," interrupted the vicar. "D'ye think I'd attend
to business on the audit day!" The audit days were recognised as times
of hearty feasting and convivial mirth, in which the vicar played no
unimportant part. This freedom of speech between clergyman and clerk was
not seldom fruitful of ill-restrained amusement when the announcements
were made. A vicar informed his congregation one Sunday morning that he
would hold the customary service for baptisms in the afternoon, and
requested the parents to bring their children punctually, so that there
might be no delay in commencing. Immediately he had said this, the old
clerk, sleepy and deaf, thinking the parson's announcement had to do
with a new hymn-book which at that time was being introduced, arose, and
graciously informed the people that for those who were still without
them he had a stock in the vestry from which they could be supplied at
the low charge of eighteenpence each. This is slightly similar:--"I
publish the banns of marriage between ... between ..." announced a
clergyman from the pulpit. But here for a moment he stopped, as the book
in which were the notices was not to be seen. The clerk, seeing his
vicar's predicament, and catching sight of the whereabouts of the
missing book, ejaculated:--"Between the cushion and the desk, sir." The
unique character of another notice will fully justify its inclusion. "I
am unwell, my friends, very unwell," announced a preacher one Sunday
evening, "and therefore I shall dispense with my usual gesticulation."
This happened not very long ago.

So disregarded, indeed, were the proprieties of worship a generation
since, that the clergyman would sometimes pause during the delivery of
his sermon and make an announcement which, to say the least of it, had
no connection with the theme he was pursuing. Thus the Rev. Samuel
Sherwen, a well-known cleric in Cumberland, announced one morning that
he had just caught sight, through a window near the pulpit, of some cows
in a cornfield, and requested that some one would go and drive them out.
At another time he said there were some pigs in the churchyard which
were not his, and his servant Peter would do well to expel the
intruders. Very probably such announcements, though made from a pulpit,
would be excused because they resulted in a certain benefit. The same
plea could undoubtedly be put forward for the following trio, each of
which hails from beyond the Severn. "Take notice!" exclaimed the clerk.
"A thief is going through the Vale of Glamorgan selling tin ware, false
gold, trinkets, and rings, and other domestic implements and
instruments, and robbing houses of hens, chickens, eggs, butter, and
other portable animals, making all sorts of pretences to get money!"
Again, "Beware! beware! of a man with one eye, talking like a preacher,
and a wooden leg, given to begging and stealing!" And once more, "Take
notice! take notice! there's a mad dog going the round of the parish
with two crop ears and a very long tail!" Surely the intention of such
announcements was good, even though the literary form was bad. The last,
as might be inferred, was made at a time when rabies were prevalent.

The Rev. Samuel Sherwen, already alluded to, was surpassed in this
direction by another Cumbrian clergyman, the Rev. William Sewell, of
Troutbeck. One Sunday morning the latter entered the pulpit of the
little church at Wythburn to preach. The pulpit sadly needed repair,
and, in leaning out from the wall, left an undesirable opening behind
it. Into this chink the parson's sermon fell, and the pulpit was so
ricketty in its broken-down condition that the preacher feared the
consequences of turning in it. Moreover, the manuscript had fallen so
far that it could not be reached. Mr. Sewell, bereft of his sermon,
announced to his congregation in broad dialect: "T' sarmont's slipt down
i' t' neuk, and I can't git it out; but I'll tell ye what--I'se read ye
a chapter i' t' Bible 'at's worth three on't." A similar story is told
in connection with the Rev. Mr. Alcock, who in the middle of the last
century was rector of Burnsal, near Skipton, in Yorkshire. Of this
clergyman another story is given which well illustrates the excessive
familiarity indulged in by occupants of the pulpit in bygone days. One
of his friends, at whose house he was wont to call previous to entering
the church on Sundays, seized a chance to unfasten and then misplace the
leaves of his sermon. In the service the parson had not read far before
he discovered the trick. "Will," cried he, "thou rascal! what's thou
been doing with my sermon?" Then turning to his people, he continued:
"Brethren, Will Thornton's been misplacing the leaves of my sermon; I
have not time to put them right; I shall read on as I find it, and you
must make the best of it that you can." He accordingly read to the close
of the confused mass to the utter astonishment of his congregation.

Of such familiarity Scottish churches furnish well-nigh innumerable
instances. One or two will, however, be sufficient for my purpose. The
clergyman who was expected to conduct the morning service had not made
his appearance at the appointed time. After a dreadful suspense of some
fifteen minutes the beadle, that much-privileged individual, entered the
church, marched slowly along the accustomed passage, and mounted the
pulpit-stair. When half-way up he stopped, turned to the congregation,
and thus addressed them: "There was one Alexander to hae preached here
the day, but he's neither come hissel; nor has he sent the scrape o' a
pen to say what's come owre him. Ye'd better keep your seats for anither
ten meenits to see whether the body turns up or no. If he disna come,
there's naething for 't but for ye a' to gang hame again an' say
naething mair aboot it. The like o' this hasna happened here syne I hae
been conneckit wi' the place, an' that's mair than four-and-thirty year
now." As an announcement to the point, and for the purpose, that could
not easily be beaten. A clergyman of Crossmichael, in Galloway, would
even intersperse his lessons or sermon with any announcement that might
at the moment occur to him, or with allusions to the behaviour of his
hearers. Once, because of this method, a verse from Exodus was hardly
recognisable. The version given was as follows: "And the Lord said unto
Moses--shut that door; I'm thinkin' if ye had to sit beside that door
yersel', ye wadna be sae ready leavin' it open; it was just beside that
door that Yedam Tamson, the bellman, gat his death o' cauld, an' I'm
sure, honest man, he didna lat it stey muckle open.--And the Lord said
unto Moses--put oot that dog; wha is't that brings dogs to the kirk,
yaff-yaffin'? Lat me never see ye bring yer dogs here ony mair, for, if
ye do, tak notice, I'll put you an' them baith oot.--And the Lord said
unto Moses--I see a man aneeth that wast laft wi' his hat on; I'm sure
ye're cleen oot o' the souch o' the door; keep aff yer bonnet, Tammas,
an' if yer bare pow be cauld, ye maun jist get a grey worset wig like
mysel'; they're no sae dear; plenty o' them at Bob Gillespie's for
tenpence." At last, however, the preacher informed his hearers what was
said to Moses in a manner at once more accurate and becoming.

It was, indeed, a usual custom for the clergyman publicly to rebuke
offenders, as when it happened that a young man, sitting in a prominent
position in the church, pulled out his handkerchief and brought with it
a bundle of playing cards, which flew in every direction. He had, so it
turned out, been up late the previous night, and had stuffed the cards
with which he had been gambling into his pocket, where they had remained
forgotten. The people were amazed and horrified, but the clergyman
simply looked at the offender and remarked with quiet, yet most
withering sarcasm, "Sir, that prayer book of yours has been badly
bound!" But some times the rebuke was deftly thrust back upon the
preacher. "You're sleepy, John," said the clergyman, pausing in the
middle of a drowsy discourse, and looking hard at the man he thus
addressed. "Take some snuff, John." "Put the snuff in the sermon,"
ejaculated John; and the faces of the audience showed that the retort
was fully appreciated.

In fact, such was the freedom tolerated, that this incident in Eskdale
might be taken as an example. Someone walked noisily up the aisle during
divine service. "Whaa's tat?" asked the clergyman in a tone quite loud
enough to rebuke the offender. "It's aad Sharp o' Laa Birker,"
responded the clerk. "Afooat or o' horseback?" was the significant
query. "Nay," was the answer, "nobbet afooat, wi' cokert shun" (calkered
shoes). Frequently the clerk would interrupt the clergyman, and the
interruption would not enhance the devotional character of the service.
In a rural parish church a new pitch-pipe was provided, but the clerk
had not tested it before entering his desk on the Sunday, and when he
should have given the key-note the instrument could not be adjusted. The
clerk tugged at it, thrust it in, gave it several thumps, made sundry
grimaces, but the pipe was obdurate. "My friends," announced the
impatient parson, "the pitch-pipe will not work, so let us pray."
"Pray!" snorted the aggrieved official, "pray! no, no, we'll pray none
till I put this thing aright." And members of the congregation would
even stand up in their pews to contradict the parson or clerk when
making the announcement. "There will be a service here as usual on
Thursday evening next," announced the clerk one Sunday morning. "No,
there won't," declared the churchwarden as he rose from his seat. "We be
going to carry hay all day Thursday." "But the service will be held as
usual," asserted the clerk. But the churchwarden was not to be thwarted.
"Then there'll be nobody here," said he. "D'ye think we're coming to
church and leave the hay in the fields? No, no, p'r'aps it'll rain
Friday."

But of all amusing instances of curious announcements in church those
given by the Rev. Cuthbert Bede in _All the Year Round_, November 1880,
may take the palm and fittingly conclude this chapter. "An old rector of
a small country parish," so runs the story, "had sent his set of false
teeth to be repaired, on the understanding that they should be returned
"by Saturday" as there was no Sunday post, and the village was nine
miles from the post town. The old rector tried to brave out the
difficulty, but after he had incoherently mumbled through the prayers,
he decided not to address his congregation on that day. While the hymn
was being sung, he summoned the clerk to the vestry, and then said to
him: "It is quite useless for me to attempt to go on. The fact is, that
my dentist has not sent me back my artificial teeth, and it is
impossible for me to make myself understood. You must tell the
congregation that the service is ended for this morning, and that there
will be no service this afternoon." The old clerk went back to his desk;
the singing of the hymn was brought to an end; and the rector, from the
vestry, heard the clerk address the congregation thus: "This is to give
notice! as there won't be no sarmon nor no more sarvice this mornin', so
you' better all go whum (home); and there won't be no sarvice this
aternoon, as the rector ain't got his artful teeth back from the
dentist!"



Big Bones Preserved in Churches.

By the Rev. R. Wilkins Rees.


In a lovely and secluded valley in Montgomeryshire is situated the
interesting old church of Pennant Melangell, of whose foundation a
charming legend is told. The romantic glen was in the first instance the
retreat of a beautiful Irish maiden, Monacella (in Welsh, Melangell),
who had fled from her father's court rather than wed a noble to whom he
had promised her hand, that here she might alone "serve God and the
spotless virgin." Brochwell Yscythrog, Prince of Powys, being one day
hare-hunting in the locality, pursued his game till he came to a
thicket, where to his amazement he found a lady of surpassing beauty,
with the hare he was chasing safely sheltered beneath her robe.
Notwithstanding all the efforts of the sportsman to make them seize
their prey, the dogs had retired to a distance, howling as though in
fear, and even when the huntsman essayed to blow his horn, it stuck to
his lips. The Prince, learning the lady's story, right royally assigned
to her the spot as a sanctuary for ever to all who fled there. It
afterwards became a safe asylum for the oppressed, and an institution
for the training of female devotees. But how long it so continued cannot
be said. Monacella's hard bed used to be shown in the cleft of a
neighbouring rock, while her tomb was in a little oratory adjoining the
church.

In the church is to be found carved woodwork, which doubtless once
formed part of the rood-loft, representing the legend of Saint
Melangell. The protection afforded by the saint to the hare gave such
animals the name of Wyn Melangell--St. Monacella's lambs--and the
superstition was so fully credited that no person would kill a hare in
the parish, while it was also believed that if anyone cried "God and St.
Monacella be with thee" after a hunted hare, it would surely escape.

The church contains another interesting item in the shape of a large
bone, more than four feet long, which has been described as the bone of
the patron saint. Southey visited the church, and in an amusing rhyming
letter addressed to his daughter, thus refers to it: "'Tis a church in a
vale, whereby hangs a tale, how a hare being pressed by the dogs was
much distressed, the hunters coming nigh and the dogs in full cry,
looked about for someone to defend her, and saw just in time, as it now
comes pat in rhyme, a saint of the feminine gender. The saint was buried
there, and a figure carved with care, in the churchyard is shown, as
being her own; but 'tis used for a whetstone (like a stone at our back
door), till the pity is the more (I should say the more's the pity, if
it suited with my ditty), it is whetted half away--lack-a-day,
lack-a-day! They show a mammoth rib (was there ever such a fib?) as
belonging to the saint Melangell. It was no use to wrangle, and tell the
simple people that if this had been her bone, she must certainly have
grown to be three times as tall as the steeple!"

In Lewis's "Topographical Dictionary of Wales" (1843), we are told that
on the mountain between Bala and Pennant Melangell was found a large
bone named the Giant's Rib, perhaps the bone of some fish, now kept in
the church. But where the bone came from it is quite impossible to say.
Old superstitions have clung to it, and beyond what tradition furnishes
there is practically nothing for our guidance.

It is somewhat strange that in the same county, in connection with the
church at Mallwyd, other bones are exhibited. Of this church, surrounded
by romantic scenery, the Dr. Davies, who rendered into Welsh the
Thirty-nine Articles of the Church of England, and assisted Bishop Perry
in the translation of the Bible, was for many years incumbent. The
sacred edifice was far-famed for its magnificent yew trees, and for the
position of the communion table in the centre. Archbishop Laud issued
orders that it should be placed at the east end, but Dr. Davies defied
the prelate, and restored it to its old position, where, according to
Hemmingway's "Panorama of North Wales," in which the church was
described as a "humble Gothic structure, the floor covered with rushes,"
it remained till 1848. It is not, however, so placed now. Over the porch
of this church some bones are suspended, but no palæontologist has yet
decided as to their origin. It has been said that they are the rib and
part of the spine of a whale caught in the Dovey in bygone days!
Whatever may be the truth, however, it is not now to be ascertained, but
must remain shrouded in mystery with that concerning the bones at
Pennant Melangell. The bones were in their present position in 1816,
for they are then mentioned by Pugh in his _Cambria Depicta_.

England has several instances of big bones preserved in churches, and
one story seems to be told regarding almost all. A most interesting
example is to be found over one of the altar tombs in the Foljambe
Chapel, Chesterfield Church. This bone, supposed to be the jawbone of a
small whale, is seven feet four inches in length, and about thirteen
inches, on an average, in circumference. Near one end is engraved, in
old English characters, the name "Thomas Fletcher." The Foljambes
disposed of their manor in 1633 to the Ingrams, who in turn sold it to
the Fletchers, and thus the name on the bone is accounted for. A
generally-accepted explanation about this bone--not even disbelieved
entirely at the present day--was that it formed a rib of the celebrated
Dun Cow of Dunsmore Heath, killed by the doughty Guy of Warwick, with
whom local tradition identified the warrior whose marble effigy lies
beneath the bone, sent to Chesterfield to celebrate the much-appreciated
victory.

  [Illustration: THE DUN COW, DURHAM CATHEDRAL.]

It is interesting to remember here the legendary story of the foundation
of Durham Cathedral, which explains certain carving on the north
front of that majestic pile. While the final resting-place of St.
Cuthbert was still undetermined, "it was revealed to Eadmer, a virtuous
man, that he should be carried to Dunholme, where he should find a place
of rest. His followers were in distress, not knowing where Dunholme lay;
but as they proceeded, a woman, wanting her cow, called aloud to her
companion to know if she had seen her, when the other answered that she
was in Dunholme. This was happy news to the distressed monks, who
thereby knew that their journey's end was at hand, and the saint's body
near its resting-place." It has been said that the after riches of the
See of Durham gave rise to the proverb, "The dun cow's milk makes the
prebend's wives go in silk."

But to return to the dun cow slain by Guy. That the champion was
credited of old with having overcome some such animal is evident from
the matter-of-fact fashion in which it is recorded by ancient
chroniclers. In Percy's "Reliques of Antient Poetry," occur the
following verses in a black-letter ballad which sings the exploits of
Guy:--

 "On Dunsmore heath I alsoe slewe
  A monstrous wyld and cruell beast,
  Called the Dun-Cow of Dunsmore heath,
  Which manye people had opprest.

  Some of her bons in Warwicke yett
  Still for a monument doe lye;
  Which unto every lookers viewe
  As wondrous strange, they may espye."

A circumstantial account is given in the "Noble and Renowned History of
Guy, Earl of Warwick," as translated from the curious old French
black-letter volume in Warwick Castle, and of this a somewhat modernised
version may be submitted. "Fame made known in every corner of the land
that a dun cow of enormous size, 'at least four yards in height, and six
in length, and a head proportionable,' was making dreadful devastations,
and destroying man and beast. The king was at York when he heard of the
havoc and slaughter which this monstrous animal had made. He offered
knighthood to anyone who would destroy her, and many lamented the
absence in Normandy of Guy, who, hearing of the beast, went privately to
give it battle. With bow and sword and axe he came, and found every
village desolate, every cottage empty. His heart filled with compassion,
and he waited for the encounter. The furious beast glared at him with
her eyes of fire. His arrows flew from her sides as from adamant itself.
Like the wind from the mountain side the beast came on. Her horns
pierced his armour of proof, though his mighty battle-axe struck her in
the forehead. He wheeled his gallant steed about and struck her again.
He wounded her behind the ear. The monster roared and snorted as she
felt the anguish of the wound. At last she fell, and Guy, alighting,
hewed at her until she expired, deluged with her blood. He then rode to
the next town, and made known the monster's death, and then went to his
ship, hoping to sail before the king could know of the deed. Fame was
swifter than Guy. The king sent for him, gave him the honour of
knighthood, and caused one of the ribs of the cow to be hung up in
Warwick Castle, where it remains until this day." Old Dr. Caius, of
Cambridge, writes of having seen an enormous head at Warwick Castle in
1552, and also "a vertebra of the neck of the same animal, of such great
size that its circumference is not less than three Roman feet seven
inches and a half." He thinks also that "the blade-bone, which is to be
seen hung up by chains form the north gate of Coventry, belongs to the
same animal. The circumference of the whole bone is not less than eleven
feet four inches and a half." The same authority further states that "in
the chapel of the great Guy, Earl of Warwick, which is situated rather
more than a mile from the town of Warwick (Guy's Cliff), there is hung
up a rib of the same animal, as I suppose, the girth of which in the
smallest part is nine inches, the length six feet and a half," and he
inclines to a half-belief, at any rate, in the Dun-Cow story.

In connection with the legend it should be mentioned that in the
north-west of Shropshire is the Staple Hill, which has a ring of upright
stones, about ninety feet in diameter, of the rude pre-historic type.
"Here the voice of fiction declares there formerly dwelt a giant who
guarded his cow within this inclosure, like another Apis among the
ancient Egyptians, a cow who yielded her milk as miraculously as the
bear Oedumla, whom we read of in Icelandic mythology, filling every
vessel that could be brought to her, until at length an old crone
attempted to catch her milk in a sieve, when, furious at the insult, she
broke out of the magical inclosure and wandered into Warwickshire,
where her subsequent history and fate are well known under that of the
Dun Cow, whose death added another wreath of laurel to the immortal Guy,
Earl of Warwick." The presence of bones at Chesterfield and elsewhere
is, of course, accounted for by the fact (?) that they were distributed
over the country so that in various places Guy's marvellous feat might
be commemorated.

In Queen Elizabeth's "fairest and most famous parish church in England,"
St. Mary Redcliff, Bristol, is preserved a bone said to have belonged to
a monster cow which once supplied the whole city with milk. Bristolians,
proud of their connection with the great discoverer, Cabot, assert that
it is a whalebone brought to the city by the illustrious voyager on his
return from Newfoundland. But here the story of Guy of Warwick and the
cow has also been introduced. The bone, which is now fixed not far from
the stair leading to the chamber containing the muniment chest where
Chatterton pretended to have found the Rowley poems, was formerly hung
within the church, while near to it was suspended a grimy old picture
now banished to a position on a staircase just where the room in which
the vestry meetings are held is entered. The picture, so far as it can
be made out, contains a big figure of a man on the right hand side,
while in the foreground lies a prostrate man, behind whom stands a cow.
To the left of the picture are certain human figures in attitudes
expressive of surprise. This ancient painting was said to refer to Guy's
exploit, and the rib was pointed out as a positive proof that the daring
deed was done.

It may be presumed that all, or nearly all, these bones preserved in
churches are those of whales, though in some instances they have been
supposed to be those of the wild BONASUS or URUS and most are associated
in some way or other with the legend of Guy and the Dun-Cow. Indeed, it
seems almost strange that the story has not been connected even with the
bone at Pennant Melangell, especially as on the mountain between
Llanwddyn and the parish is a circular inclosure surrounded by a wall
called Hên Eglwys, and supposed to be a Druidical relic, which would
have been just the spot to have lent itself to the statement that there
the animal was confined.

The late Frank Buckland, in his entertaining chapter on "A Hunt on the
Sea-Shore," in his second volume of "Curiosities of Natural History,"
says: "Whale-bones get to odd places," and writes of having seen them
used for a grotto in Abingdon, and a garden chair in Clapham. Not far
from Chesterfield there were, until recently, some whale-jaw gate posts
which formed an arch, and in North Lincolnshire such bones, tall and
curved, are still to be seen serving similar purposes. But the presence
of such bones, carefully preserved in churches, though it may occasion
considerable conjecture, cannot, it seems, be properly explained. As
yet, at any rate, the riddle remains unsolved.



Samuel Pepys at Church.


The Diary of Samuel Pepys, from 1659 to 1669, presents us with a picture
of London in the days of Charles II. that has perhaps not been equalled
in any other work dealing with the manners, customs, and the social life
of the period. We get a good idea from it how Sunday was spent in an age
largely given to pleasure. Samuel Pepys had strong leanings towards the
Presbyterians, but was a churchman, and seldom missed going to a place
of worship on Sunday, and did not neglect to have family prayers in his
own home. He generally attended his own church in the morning, and after
dinner in the afternoon would roam about the city, and visit more than
one place of worship. Take for an example an account of one Sunday.
After being present at his own church in the forenoon, and dining, he
says: "I went and ranged and ranged about to many churches, among the
rest to the Temple, where I heard Dr. Wilkins a _little_."

It is to be feared pretty faces and not powerful preachers often induced
him to go to the house of prayer. Writing on August 11th, 1661, he
says: "To our own church in the forenoon, and in the afternoon to
Clerkenwell Church, only to see the two fair Botelers." He managed to
obtain a seat where he could have a good view of them, but they did not
charm him, for he says: "I am now out of conceit with them." Another
Sunday he writes: "By coach to Greenwich Church, where a good sermon, a
fine church, and a good company of handsome women." At another church he
visited he says that his pretty black girl was present.

Pepys has much to say about the sermons he heard, and when they were
dull he went to sleep. Judging from his frequent records of slumbering
in church, prosy preachers were by no means rare in his day.

Writing on the 4th August, 1662, he gives us a glimpse of the manners of
a rustic church. His cousin Roger himself attended the service, and says
Pepys: "At our coming in, the country people all rose with so much
reverence; and when the parson begins, he begins, 'Right worshipful and
dearly beloved' to us."

Conversation appears to have been freely carried on in city churches.
"In my pew," says Pepys, "both Sir Williams and I had much talk about
the death of Sir Robert." Laughter was by no means unusual. "Before
sermon," writes Pepys, "I laughed at the reader, who, in his prayer,
desired God that he would imprint his Word on the thumbs of our right
hands and on the right toes of our right feet."

When Pepys remained at home on Sunday he frequently cast up his
accounts, and there are in his Diary several allusions to this subject.

  [Illustration: THE END]



Index.

  Abbot's Pew, Malmesbury Abbey, 155, 159
  Addisham, Priest's door at, 185
  Alkborough Maze, 193, 194
  All Hallows, Barking, 81
  Alms boxes, 180
  Alnwick, chest at, 174
  Announcing cows in a cornfield, 221
  Antiquarian Problem: The Leper Window, 183-185
  Artificial teeth missing, 229
  Asenby, Maze at, 196
  Ashbourne bells, 121
  Ashton-under-Lyne, 113, 116-118

  Bailey, J. E. The Five of Spades and the Church of
      Ashton-under-Lyne, 113-118
  Baptisms performed in porches, 24
  Beadle's announcement, 224
  Bede, Venerable, 81
  Bell-ringing laws, 125
  Bell-robbers, 141
  Bells and their Messages, 119-132
  Belvoir, 80
  Beware of thieves, 221
  Big Bones Preserved in Churches, 230-243
  Blacksmith, mediæval, 19
  Blood, foundation laid in, 30, 43
  Bocastle, 137
  Bottreaux, 137
  Bradbury, Edward. Bells and their Messages, 119-132
  Bradford-on-Avon Church, 7
  Brancepeth, chest at, 178
  Briefs, 49
  Brigstock bells, 139
  Briscoe, J. P. Stories about Bells, 133-144
  Bristol, 62, 75, 79
  Bronze-doors, 21
  Brundall, 147
  Building of the English Cathedrals, 46-75
  Burial customs, 26
  Burial at north side of church, 209-215
  Buried alive, 40
  Burials in Lady Chapels, 82-83
  Bury St. Edmunds, 80

  Candle in a coffin, 42
  Canterbury, 51, 53, 72, 79
  Carlisle, 62, 70, 72
  Carthage, Council of, 4
  Cauld Lad of Hilton, 32
  Chantries, 72
  Chappell of Oure Ladye, 76-100
  Charm of country bells, 131
  Chartres, Maze at, 191
  Cheltenham, All Saints' Church, 14
  Chester, 62, 79
  Chesterfield, bones at, 234; spire, 110
  Chichester, 49, 50, 62, 65, 75, 79
  Chimes, 130
  Christening ships, 35
  Christmas games, 115
  Christ Church, Hants., 79; Christ Church, Oxford, 157
  Church Chests, 161-182
  Church Door, 1-29
  Churchwardens' accounts, 126-127
  Churchyard Superstitions, 206-215
  Cocks, live, built into walls, 44
  Coins, burial of, 35
  Colchester, Trinity Church Door, 5, 7
  Cologne Cathedral, 42
  Combs, chest at, 181
  Compton Martin, 80
  Concerning Font-Lore, 145-152
  Conversation in church, 245
  Cope chests, 180
  Cornish bell-lore, 137
  Coventry, chest at, 171, 173; spires, 102, 104
  Courts in the porch, 27
  Cromwell's soldiers, 84
  Crowle Church, 1, 8, 10
  Crowland Abbey, 48
  Curfew bell, 125, 129
  Curious Announcements in Church, 216-229

  Danes, incursions of, 53-55
  Darenth, 80
  Darrington church, 38
  Dartmouth Church, 19, 21
  Decorated Style, 68
  Dedicating chapels, 81
  Devil, sold to the, 42
  Dickens, Charles, on Bells, 120
  Dissolution of monasteries, 84
  Dogs haunting churches and castles, 31
  Doom, 15
  Door-keepers, 4
  Dun Cow, 234, 238
  Durham, 9, 58, 67, 80, 81, 133, 234

  Early Cathedrals, 52
  Early English chests, 164
  Earthquake, 65
  Eggs in foundations, 43
  Elgin, 80
  Elkstone Church, 16
  Elston Church, 16, 17
  Exeter, 79
  Ely, 54, 72, 80, 84

  Fair Rosamond, 186
  Finedon, 109
  Fire, 65, 67, 70
  First burial in a churchyard, 39
  First Prayer Book of Edward VI., 25, 26
  Fives of Spades and the Church of Ashton-under-Lyne, 113-118
  Florence, doors at, 22
  Flowers in churchyards, 207
  Fordham, 80
  Forrabury, 137
  Founhope Church, 16
  Foxton, 185
  France, card playing in, 113

  Galilee Chapel, Durham, 67
  Gambling, sermon against, 113
  German bell-lore, 121; mythology, 36
  Gild of Cloth Merchants, 22
  Glastonbury, 79, 175
  Gloucester, 13, 56, 61, 79
  Grantham, 107
  Guy, Earl of Warwick, 238

  Haddenham, 81
  Haltham Church, 16
  Hampton Court, maze at, 186
  Harold's tomb, 96
  Harty Chapel, chest at, 177
  Hearthstones, bones under, 40
  Hel-horse, 43
  Henry the Seventh's Chapel, 82, 85
  Henry VII. a card player, 115
  Hereford, 61, 72, 74, 79
  Heysham, 10
  Higham Ferrers, 13, 14, 18, 109
  Hill, Rev. P. Oakley. Concerning Font-Lore, 145-152
  Hillbury maze, 200
  Hilton maze, 194
  Holland, 41
  Holsworthy Church, 36
  Holy Land, leprosy brought from, 184
  Horses interred alive, 43
  Howlett, E. Sacrificial Foundations, 30-45
  Hulme, 80

  Importation of cards prohibited, 114
  Indulgences, 49
  Inscriptions on bells, 128-129
  Iona, 39
  Ironwork, 19-20
  Islington, 111

  Jarrow-on-Tyne, 81
  Johnson, Rev. T. Churchyard Superstitions, 206-215

  Kilkenny, 80
  Knockers, 23

  Laughter in church, 246
  Lambeth Palace, 179
  Leper-Window, 183-185
  Lichfield, 62, 68, 104, 107, 158
  Lights in Lady Chapels, 95
  Limerick bells, 134
  Lincoln Cathedral, 15, 65, 70, 71, 154
  Lion Fonts, 147
  Liverpool, 74
  Llanaber, chest at, 180
  Llandaff, 9, 62, 135
  Llanthony, 80
  Lost goods cried in church, 215
  Louth, 105, 108
  Low-side windows, 183
  Lucca Cathedral, maze at, 187, 188
  Lych window, 185
  Lynn, Thoresby door, 18, 19

  Malmesbury Abbey, 155, 159
  Mallwyd, bones at, 233
  Manchester, 69, 79
  Mariolatry, 77
  Marriage customs, 25
  Massacre of Thomas à Becket, 90
  Massingham bells, 139
  Maundy Thursday, 15
  Mazes, 186-205
  Modern mazes, 203-205
  Mortar, blood in, 37
  Mortlake, chest at, 177

  New Walsingham, 146
  Newcastle-on-Tyne, 70
  Newington chest lost, 182
  Norman architecture, 8, 57-68
  Norman Conquest, 57
  Northamptonshire spires, 102
  North side of church, burial at, 209-215
  Northorpe, 31
  Norwich, 28, 61, 84, 103, 104, 145

  Old Saint Paul's, 103
  Olney, 109
  Oundle, 108
  Over, chest at, 167, 178
  Oxford, 62, 66, 79, 82, 108

  Page, Jno. T. Some Famous Spires, 101-112
  Paris, 11
  "Paston Letters," 114
  Penance, 49
  Pennant Melangell, legend of, 230
  People and Steeple Rhymes, 111
  Pepys, Samuel, at Church, 244-246
  Peterborough, 12, 47, 62, 65, 72, 75, 79, 84
  Pimpern maze, 200
  Poetry on bells, 122-125
  Porches, 24
  Preferment fee, 50

  Rees, Rev. R. Wilkins. Curious Announcements in Church, 216-229;
      Big Bones Preserved in Churches, 230-243
  Relics of a Saint, 81
  Ripon, 59, 62, 72, 73, 80, 200
  Rochester, 51, 62, 65, 80
  Rome, founding of, 34
  Rooms over porches, 158
  Rougham Church, 16
  Roumania, 40
  Rushden, 109

  Sacrificial Foundations, 30-45
  Saffron Waldon, maze at, 196
  Salisbury, 47, 68, 79, 103
  Samuel Pepys at Church, 244-246
  Saxon architecture, 8
  Scutari, 41
  Sempringham Abbey, 18, 20
  Sermon lost, 222
  Seven Sacrament Fonts, 146
  Seville Cathedral, 11
  Shakespeare, 28, 31, 193
  Shandon, bells of, 123
  Shrewsbury, 107
  Shrine of St. Frideswide, 82
  Shrines, 51, 82
  Skipton, 223
  Sleeping in church, 245
  Sneinton, maze at, 196-199
  Spires, 101-112
  Some Famous Spires, 101-112
  Southwell, 62, 63, 66
  Southwold chest, 165
  Sowerford-Keynes, 8
  Stamp, Rev. J. H. Ye Chappell of Oure Ladye, 76-100
  Stonham Aspel, 170
  Stories about Bells, 133-144
  Strasburg Cathedral, 11
  St. Albans, 52, 62, 72, 75, 79, 85, 87, 154, 158
  St. Anne's Well and Maze, 196, 197, 199
  St. Asaph, 69
  St. Cuthbert, tomb of, 82
  St. David's, 62, 154
  St. Fillan's bell, 144
  St. Frideswide's shrine, 157
  St. Giles's Cathedral, 14
  St. Hugh, 66, 71
  St. Lawrence's, Isle of Thanet, 169
  St. Mary's Redcliff, 79, 85, 107, 241
  St. Monacella's lambs, 231
  St. Mura, bell of, 136
  St. Odhran, 39
  St. Paul's, 73
  St. Peter Mancroft, Norwich, 145
  St. Quentin, maze at, 192
  Suicides, Burial of, 211
  Swedish folk-tales, 32

  Thetford, 80
  Thorns, barring a door with, 29
  Tintagel, 137
  Torch, symbol of, 42
  Town bells, 131
  Truro, 75
  Tunstall, legend of, 141
  Tyack, Rev. G. S. The Church Door, 1-29; The Building of the
      English Cathedrals, 46-75; Watching-Chambers, 153-160;
      Church Chests, 161-182; Mazes, 186-205
  Tympanum, 5, 12, 14, 16
  Tyre, church at, 2

  Unclerically dressed, 49
  Upton chest, 166, 167
  Upton font, 148

  Vestments 153
  Voluntary labour, 52

  Wakefield, 74
  Walsingham, 80
  Waltham Abbey, 80, 88
  Warwick, 82
  Watching-Chambers in Churches, 153-160
  Weathercock rhyme, 109
  Wells, 69, 72, 79
  Welsh border, 55
  West doors, 13, 14
  Westminster, 79-81, 82, 179
  White, William. An Antiquarian Problem: The Leper Window, 183-185
  Wimborne, 80
  Winchester, 61, 67, 79, 177, 195, 196
  Witham-on-the-Hill bells, 140
  Worcester, 56, 61, 68, 70
  Wymondham, 80

  York, 71, 72



"Mr. Andrews' books are always interesting."--_Church Bells._

"No student of Mr. Andrews' books can be a dull after-dinner speaker,
for his writings are full of curious out-of-the-way information and good
stories."--_Birmingham Daily Gazette._

       *       *       *       *       *

England in the Days of Old

By WILLIAM ANDREWS, F.H.R.S.

_Demy 8vo., 7s. 6d. Numerous Illustrations_


This volume is one of unusual interest and value to the lover of olden
days and ways, and can hardly fail to interest and instruct the reader.
It recalls many forgotten episodes, scenes, characters, manners,
customs, etc., in the social and domestic life of England.

CONTENTS:--When Wigs were Worn -- Powdering the Hair -- Men Wearing
Muffs -- Concerning Corporation Customs -- Bribes for the Palate --
Rebel Heads on City Gates -- Burial 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.

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS:--The House of Commons in the time of Sir Robert
Walpole -- Egyptian Wig -- The Earl of Albemarle -- Campaign Wig --
Periwig with Tail -- Ramillie-Wig -- Pig-tail Wig -- Bag-Wig --
Archbishop Tilotson -- Heart-Breakers -- A Barber's Shop in the time of
Queen Elizabeth -- With and Without a Wig -- Stealing a Wig -- Man with
Muff, 1693 -- Burying the Mace at Nottingham -- The Lord Mayor of York
escorting Princess Margaret -- The Mayor of Wycombe going to the
Guildhall -- Woman wearing a Scold's Bridle -- The Brank -- Andrew
Marvell -- Old London Bridge, shewing heads of rebels on the gate --
Axe, Block, and Executioner's Mask -- Margaret Roper taking leave of her
father, Sir Thomas More -- Rebel Heads, from a print published in 1746
-- Temple Bar in Dr. Johnson's time -- Micklegate Bar, York -- Clock,
Hampton Court Palace -- Drawing a Lottery in the Guildhall, 1751 --
Advertising the Last State Lottery -- Partaking of the Pungent Pinch --
Morris Dance, from a painted window at Betley -- Morris Dance, temp.
James I. -- A Whitsun Morris Dance -- Bear Garden, or Hope Theatre, 1647
-- The Globe Theatre, temp. Elizabeth -- Plan of Bankside early in the
Seventeenth Century -- John Stow's Monument.

A carefully prepared Index enables the reader to refer to the varied and
interesting contents of the book.

"A very attractive and informing book."--_Birmingham Daily Gazette._

"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 book is of unusual interest."--_Eastern Morning News._

"Of the many clever books which Mr. Andrews has written none does him
greater credit than "England in the Days of Old," and none will be read
with greater profit."--_Northern Gazette._

"Valuable and interesting."--_The Times._

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

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

       *       *       *       *       *

The Bygone Series.


In this series the following volumes ate 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 DEVONSHIRE, by the Rev. Hilderic Friend.

BYGONE DURHAM, edited by William Andrews.

BYGONE GLOUCESTERSHIRE, edited by William Andrews.

BYGONE HERTFORDSHIRE, edited by William Andrews.

BYGONE LEICESTERSHIRE, 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 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 WARWICKSHIRE, edited by William Andrews.

BYGONE YORKSHIRE, edited by William Andrews.



Bygone Punishments.

By William Andrews.

_Demy 8vo, 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 Stang -- Index.

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

"Crowded with extraordinary facts."--_Birmingham Daily Gazette._

"Contains much that is curious and interesting both to the student of
history and social reformer."--_Lancashire Daily Express._

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

"Mr. Andrews' volume is admirably produced, and contains a collection of
curious illustrations, representative of many of the punishments he
describes, which contribute towards making it one of the most curious
and entertaining books that we have perused for a long time."--_Norfolk
Chronicle._

"Those who wish to obtain a good general idea on the subject of criminal
punishment in days long past, will obtain it in this well-printed and
stoutly-bound volume."--_Daily Mail._

"Mr. William Andrews, of Hull, is an indefatigable searcher amongst the
byways of ancient English history, and it would be difficult to name an
antiquary who, along his chosen lines, has made so thoroughly
interesting and instructive the mass of facts a painstaking industry has
brought to light. For twenty-five years he has been delving into the
subject of Bygone Punishments, and is now one of the best authorities
upon obsolete systems of jurisdiction and torture, for torture was, in
various forms, the main characteristic of punishment in the good old
times. The reformation of the person punished was a far more remote
object of retribution than it is with us, and even with us reform is
very much a matter of sentiment. Punishment was intended to be
punishment to the individual in the first place, and in the second a
warning to the rest. It is a gruesome study, but Mr Andrews nowhere
writes for mere effect. As an antiquary ought to do, he has made the
collection of facts and their preservation for modern students of
history in a clear, straightforward narrative his main object, and in
this volume he keeps to it consistently. Every page is therefore full of
curious, out-of-the-way facts, with authorities and references amply
quoted."--_Yorkshire Post._



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

Edited by WILLIAM ANDREWS.

_Demy 8vo., 7s. 6d. Numerous Illustrations._


CONTENTS:--Stave-Kirks -- Curious Churches of Cornwall -- Holy Wells --
Hermits and Hermit Cells -- Church Wakes -- Fortified Church Towers --
The Knight Templars: their Churches and their Privileges -- English
Medieval 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 the Rites of the Church -- Ghost
Layers and Ghost Laying -- Church Walks -- Westminster Waxworks --
Index. Numerous Illustrations.

"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._

"Mr. Andrews has given us some excellent volumes of Church lore, but
none quite so good as this. The subjects are well chosen. They are
treated brightly and with considerable detail, and they are well
illustrated. ... Mr. Andrews is himself responsible for some of the most
interesting papers, but all his helpers have caught his own spirit, and
the result is a volume full of information well and pleasantly
put."--_London Quarterly Review._

"Those who seek information regarding curious and quaint relics or
customs will find much to interest them in this book. The illustrations
are good."--_Publishers' Circular._

"An excellent and entertaining book."--_Newcastle Daily Leader._

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

"The volume is of a most informing and suggestive character, abounding
in facts not easy of access to the ordinary reader, and enhanced
with illustrations of a high order of merit, and extremely
numerous."--_Birmingham Daily Gazette._

"The contents of the volume are very good."--_Leeds Mercury._

"The volume is sure to meet with a cordial reception."--_Manchester
Courier._

"A fascinating book."--_Stockport Advertiser._

"Mr. Andrews has brought together much curious matter."--_Manchester
Guardian._

"The book is a very readable one, and will receive a hearty
welcome."--_Herts. Advertiser._

"Mr. William Andrews has been able to give us a very acceptable and
useful addition to the books which deal with the curiosities of Church
lore, and for this deserves our hearty thanks. The manner in which the
book is printed and illustrated also commands our admiration."--_Norfolk
Chronicle._



Historic Dress of the Clergy.

By the Rev. GEO. S. TYACK, B.A.,

Author of "The Cross in Ritual, Architecture, and Art."

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


The work contains thirty-three illustrations from ancient monuments,
rare manuscripts, and other sources.

"A very painstaking and very valuable volume on a subject which is just
now attracting much attention. Mr. Tyack has collected a large amount of
information from sources not available to the unlearned, and has put
together his materials in an attractive way. The book deserves and is
sure to meet with a wide circulation."--_Daily Chronicle._

"This book is written with great care, and with an evident knowledge of
history. It is well worth the study of all who wish to be better
informed upon a subject which the author states in his preface gives
evident signs of a lively and growing interest."--_Manchester Courier._

"Those who are interested in the Dress of the Clergy will find full
information gathered together here, and set forth in a lucid and
scholarly way."--_Glasgow Herald._

"We are glad to welcome yet another volume from the author of 'The Cross
in Ritual, Architecture, and Art.' His subject, chosen widely and
carried out comprehensively, makes this a valuable book of reference for
all classes. It is only the antiquary and the ecclesiologist who can
devote time and talents to research of this kind, and Mr. Tyack has done
a real and lasting service to the Church of England by collecting so
much useful and reliable information upon the dress of the clergy in all
ages, and offering it to the public in such a popular form. We do not
hesitate to recommend this volume as the most reliable and the most
comprehensive illustrated guide to the history and origin of the
canonical vestments and other dress worn by the clergy, whether
ecclesiastical, academical, or general, while the excellent work in
typography and binding make it a beautiful gift-book."--_Church Bells._

"A very lucid history of ecclesiastical vestments from Levitical times
to the present day."--_Pall Mall Gazette._

"The book can be recommended to the undoubtedly large class of persons
who are seeking information on this and kindred subjects."--_The Times._

"The work may be read either as pastime or for instruction, and is
worthy of a place in the permanent section of any library. The numerous
illustrations, extensive contents table and index, and beautiful
workmanship, both in typography and binding, are all features of
attraction and utility."--_Dundee Advertiser._



Transcriber's Note

In view of the multiple authors represented, inconsistent spelling and
hyphenation have been retained.





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