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Title: Yorkshire Family Romance
Author: Ross, Frederick
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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    [Illustration: SIR JOHN HOTHAM.]













The Synod of Streoneshalh.

Northumbria was at peace, after a long period of anarchy, bloodshed,
battles, and murders. Christianity had been restored by St. Oswald,
King and Martyr; York Cathedral, commenced by King Eadwine, had been
completed; the great Abbey of Lindisfarne had become a centre of
Christian light and civilisation; and several other churches and
religious houses were growing up over the length and breadth of the
land. Oswy, a wise, vigorous, and warlike King, one of the most
illustrious of his line, ruled Northumbria in its integrity; held
northern Mercia under his sway; had subjected the southern Picts and
Scots to his authority; and was Bretwalda of the Heptarchy. This
position, however, he had only gained, and this peace firmly secured,
after a great struggle and the shedding of much blood, and, it must
be added, after the perpetration of an atrocious crime. When Paulinus,
under the patronage of King Eadwine, had introduced Christianity into
Northumbria, Mercia was ruled by Penda, a ferocious Pagan, who made a
vow to Woden that he would exterminate the new heretical faith or lay
down his life in the attempt. Accordingly, he entered into a compact
with Cadwallon, a British Prince of Wales, and together they invaded
Northumbria. Eadwine met them in battle and was slain; Paulinus and
the Queen, with her children, fled to Kent, and the kingdom was
harried by the victors, who sought out the Christians and put them
indiscriminately to the sword. Cadwallon remained as ruler of the
kingdom, and under his barbarous measures Christianity became almost,
if not altogether, extinct, whilst the altars of Woden were
re-established in every direction. Osric and Eanfrid, grandsons of
Ælla, first King of Deira, after the death of Eadwine, were raised by
the voice of the people to the thrones of Deira and Bernicia. They had
been baptised at the court of their uncle by Paulinus, but now, as
they had no Christians to govern, they apostatised and relapsed into
the faith of Woden, but their reign was short; they laid siege to
Cadwallon in York, were defeated, Osric slain in the battle, and
Eanfrid put to death afterwards; and Cadwallon continued to rule the
Northumbrians with an iron hand. At this time there was a young
Prince, an exile in Scotland--Oswald, son of Æthelfred, King of
Bernicia--who had fled thither when a youth, and had been instructed
in the principles of Christianity by the monks of Iona. He heard of
the deaths of the two Kings, and of the misery to which his native
land was subjected by the tyranny and oppression of Cadwallon, and
determined upon going thither and attempting to drive out the usurper.
On his arrival the people flocked round his standard, and, with a
cross borne in front of his army, he met Cadwallon at Deniseburn, near
Hexham, and defeated him, Cadwallon falling in the fight. He
established his Court at York, as King of Northumbria, and eventually
became Sixth Bretwalda, extending his territories beyond the Tweed. He
restored Christianity, by means of missionaries from Iona, completed
the church of York, commenced by Eadwine, and founded other churches
and some monasteries, leading a life of usefulness, beloved by his
people for his piety and good government. But Penda was still living,
as bitter as ever against Christianity, and intelligence reached the
Court of York that he was preparing for a second invasion of
Northumbria, again to trample out the nascent Christianity. In order
to be beforehand with his enemy, Oswald invaded Mercia, where the
Pagan King was again victorious, and Oswald slain at Masserfield,
which came, in consequence, to be called Oswald's-town, corrupted in
modern times into Oswestry. Penda caused his body to be torn limb from
limb and cast abroad to be devoured by wild beasts, then crossed the
border into Northumbria, and ravaged the land with fire and sword.

When the Mercians had retired, Oswy, an illegitimate half-brother of
Oswald, was called to the throne of Northumbria in the year 642; but
two years afterwards, Oswin, son of Osric the Apostate, disputed his
right on the ground of his illegitimacy, and being backed by a
numerous body of friends, Oswy agreed to a compromise, he taking
Bernicia, and Oswin Deira. Seven years after, a dispute arose between
the two Kings about the boundaries of their territories, and they took
up arms to settle the question by the sword. The two armies met at
Wulfer's Dun, near Catterick, when Oswin, perceiving the enemy's
forces to be much more numerous than his own, and reluctant to shed
blood recklessly, dismissed his men and went to the house of his
friend Count Hudwold, at Ingethlin (Gilling), to conceal himself for
the present, with a view of entering a monastery; but Hudwold betrayed
him, and Oswy sent Ethelwin to murder him, who faithfully executed his
mission. Eanfleda, Oswy's Queen, a daughter of King Eadwine,
afterwards, with the consent of her husband, founded a monastery at
Gilling, where prayers should be offered up for the soul of Oswin, and
for the pardon of Oswy. The people of Deira refused to recognise Oswy
as King; drove him back across the Tees when he came to take
possession, and elected Æthelwald, a son of Oswald, for their King.

The hoary-headed old Pagan, Penda, although now well stricken in
years, could not witness the advance of Christianity, under Oswy,
without pious emotion, and he resolved upon still another invasion of
Northumbria in the cause of Woden. He entered into an alliance with
Athelm, King of the East Angles, and Æthelwald of Deira--the latter
incited by motives of policy--and the confederates marched against
Oswy. A great battle ensued at Winwidfield, near Leeds, when
Æthelwald, who was a Christian, repented of having entered into a
league with the enemies of that faith, and stood aloof. After an
obstinate fight, Penda and thirty of his chief officers were slain,
and the greater part of his army cut to pieces. This was the last
struggle in England between Christianity and Paganism.

Thus there was peace in the land after the scenes of violence and
bloodshed occasioned by the fanatic fury of Penda, and Oswy found
himself in a position to carry out his views for establishing
Christianity on a sure basis. Before the battle of Winwidfield he had
made a vow that he would build a great monastery at Streoneshalh,
endow it with the twelve manors of Crown property lying round the
White Bay (Whitby), and that he would dedicate his daughter Eanfleda
to perpetual virginity and the service of God in the monastery, if he
should, by the blessing of God, be successful over his Pagan enemy.

The Cathedral of York was now finished, and he sent the masons and
other workmen to erect the monastery and church on the lofty cliff
overhanging the outfall of the river Esk into the White Bay, and its
walls uprose with marvellous rapidity. As soon as it was completed it
was opened for monks and nuns of the Benedictine order, a colony of
whom migrated from Hartlepool; and the Princess Hilda, a woman highly
esteemed for her learning, virtue, and piety, was placed at the head
as Prioress. At this time there were two bodies of Christians in
Northumbria, antagonistic to each other on many points of doctrine and
ceremonial, the most important being the question of the proper time
for the celebration of the Easter festival, and most important was it
deemed in these primitive times, for both parties firmly believed that
the soul's salvation was imperilled by its non-observance on the right
day. The antagonistic sects were the priests and monks from Iona,
representatives of the primitive British Church--which had been
planted in the island, it was said, by Joseph of Arimathea--with their
converts, comprehending the greater portion of the Northumbrian
Christians; and on the other side, the ecclesiastics who had imbibed
their faith at the feet of Romish teachers.

The origin of this antagonism of opinion came about in the following
way. Christianity had been extirpated in Northumbria by the sword of
Penda, and the people had relapsed into heathenism, very few remaining
who still clung to the faith as taught by Paulinus. This was the state
of the country when Oswald came to the throne. He had imbibed the
tenets of Christianity in the schools of Iona, and sent thither for
missionaries to re-convert his people, and founded the see of
Lindisfarne, which became the focus of religion and civilisation in
his kingdom. Thus, when Oswy ascended the throne, Christianity of the
ancient British type prevailed in the land. But there were others who
had been educated in Southern England, France, and Italy, who held to
the faith as promulgated by Augustine, Paulinus, and other Roman
missionaries, and a great deal of controversy, disputation, and even
quarrels on tenets of belief and religious observances, took place
between the two divisions of the Church. First and foremost, as stated
above, was that of the proper time for observing the festival of
Easter. The British Church celebrated it on the day of the full moon
next after the vernal equinox; the Romish, not on the day of the full
moon, but on the Sunday following. The former claimed St. John, the
beloved apostle, and the usage of the Eastern Church, as their
authorities; the latter, the example of Saints Peter and Paul, backed
by a decree of the council of Nice, and they branded as schismatics
all who refused to conform to their mode; whilst the British condemned
to hell-fire all who deferred the celebration until the Sunday after
the full moon. Bede said "It was not without reason that the question
disturbed the minds of a great number of Christians, who were
apprehensive lest after they had begun the race of salvation they
should be found to have run in vain." This state of things caused
great confusion, one section of the Church humbling themselves in
abstinence, prayers, and tears, whilst the other were lifting up their
voices in joyful celebration of the Resurrection. Even in the King's
Palace there was disunion, Oswy, who had been educated in Scotland,
and Eanfleda, his Queen, who had been taught in Kent, observing the
festival, one on the one day, the other on the other.

It was obvious that something must be done to put an end to these
disputes, and Oswy at length determined upon calling together a Synod
to settle the matter once and for all. There was also another question
on which the two sections of the Church were at daggers drawn, that
of the tonsure, the Romish monks shaving the head all round,
emblematic of the crown of thorns; the British only in front as far
back as the ears; but this was not looked upon as a vital question,
and was easily arranged after the great Easter dispute was settled.

The King decided upon holding the Synod in his new monastery of
Streoneshalh, and had summoned all the most notable ecclesiastics on
both sides to discuss the question. It was a picturesque spectacle to
see the Royal train and the monks and priests winding their way up the
steep hill from the valley of the Esk and entering the portals of the
priory on the summit, where it stood overlooking the expanse of sea,
with its rounded arches and stunted pillars, radiant in the sunshine,
and glitteringly white in the freshness of its architecture. The
disputants assembled in the great hall, the King taking his place on
the dais as president, with the prioress Hilda by his side.

On the Scottish side were ranged Hilda, who, although she had been
baptised by Paulinus, had been instructed at the feet of Aidan, the
Ionian Bishop of Lindisfarne; Colman, Bishop of Lindisfarne; Cedd (a
Northumbrian), Bishop of the East Saxons; and a train of monks and
priests from Icolmkill and Lindisfarne. On the Romish side were Queen
Eanfleda; Prince Alfred, son of Oswy; Wilfrid, Abbot of Ripon, who had
been educated in Rome, a most able, eloquent, and learned man, the
first Churchman of his age; Agilbert, Bishop of Paris, formerly of the
West Saxons; James, the deacon who had been left by Paulinus in charge
of the infant Northumbrian Church; Ronan and Agathon, priests who had
been educated in France, and others who had received instruction from
Italian priests and monks.

Oswy maintained a neutrality as president, although he adhered to the
British mode; and Cedd acted as interpreter.

The King opened the Synod by briefly stating its object, the necessity
of conformity in so important a point as that it was called together
to discuss, praying the Holy Spirit to guide them in the debate; and
concluded by calling upon Bishop Colman to open the discussion.

The Bishop said that Easter, as observed by his Church, was derived
directly from the Apostles, not from a Romish bishop or a council of
fallible men. Bishops Finan, Aidan, and Columba had so observed it;
but their authority, though eminently holy men, was not sufficient.
Their warrant was based on the custom of St. John, the beloved
disciple of Christ, therefore, recognising his high authority, and the
fact that it was so observed by the Eastern and eldest-born Church, no
one could dispute its being the true method.

Bishop Agilbert was called upon to reply, but excused himself, as not
knowing the Northumbrian tongue sufficiently well to make himself
understood. Wilfrid, the Abbot, the great champion of his side, whose
name was afterwards known from Rome to York, and who became Archbishop
of York, thereupon rose and said, "Easter, as we observe it, is the
same as we ourselves have seen it observed at Rome, where the blessed
apostles, Saint Peter and Paul, lived, preached, suffered, and are
buried; and as, in our travels through Italy and France, whether for
study or pilgrimage, we have always seen it observed. We know also, by
relation, that the same obtains in the Churches of Asia, Africa,
Egypt, and Greece, nay, among all the churches of the world, excepting
in this remote and obscure island, where a few obstinate Britons
pretend to dispute the affair with the whole world."

At this taunt Bishop Colman said, "I marvel, brother Wilfrid, that you
call ours a foolish contention, when we have for our pattern and guide
so worthy an apostle as St. John, who alone leaned upon our Saviour's

Wilfrid, touched with compunction at having spoken too harshly,
replied, "God forbid that I should accuse St. John," and entered into
a learned statement of the early Christians accommodating their rites
and ceremonies in accordance with those of the Jews, and that St.
John, who kept the laws of Moses literally, thus celebrated the feast
of Easter on the first day of the Jewish Passover, whether on Sunday
or any other day. But St. Peter, knowing that Christ rose from the
grave on a Sunday, celebrated the feast on that day of the week, in
accordance with a command which he received from our Lord, which is
certainly a higher authority than that of St. John; and the decree of
the council of Nice, in 525, was but a confirmation thereof. Colman
replied, "Athanolius, so commendable for his holiness, and Father
Columba, whose sanctity is proved by miracles, kept Easter as we do,
and I do not deem it wise to depart from their method."

"Their holiness and miracles," responded Wilfrid, "I dispute not; but
I have no doubt that when, in the day of judgment, they say, 'Lord,
have we not prophesied, cast out devils, and wrought miracles in Thy
name?' He will answer, 'Begone; I know you not.' Can you compare
Columba with the most blessed of the Apostles, to whom Christ said,
'Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the
gates of hell shall not prevail against it; and to thee I give the
keys of the kingdom of heaven.'"

"Did our Lord speak this to St. Peter?" asked the King, of Colman.

"Most certainly," was the reply.

"Hitherto," continued the King, "I have observed the rule of St. John,
and in ignorance, but now mine eyes are opened. You both agree that
the words of our Lord, quoted by the Father Abbot, were spoken to St.
Peter, and I deem it not wise to withstand or gainsay so potent a
person as the doorkeeper of heaven, lest when I come thither I find
them closed against me; and I should recommend this assembly to
decide upon celebrating the festival after the mode of St. Peter."
The result of this speech was that several went over from the British
to the Roman side, and, after a few other speeches, the question was
put to the vote, and decided almost unanimously in favour of the
Romanists. Cedd, Bishop of the East Saxons, was one of the converts,
but Colman declined submission, soon after resigned his bishopric, and
with his monks and priests returned to Iona.

Ultimately, however, all the branches of the Church conformed to the
rule of St. Peter--the Picts in 699, the Scots, comprehending the
monks of Iona, in 716, and the Britons or Welsh in 800.

The Doomed Heir of Osmotherley.

The Vale of Mowbray is one of the many beautiful pieces of landscape
scenery with which the county of Yorkshire abounds; a favourite
sketching-ground for artists, and often seen, in detached portions, on
the walls of the Royal Academy. An equal favourite, also, is it with
the tourist and worshippers of natural beauty. If Dr. Syntax, when he
mounted Grizzle to go in search of the picturesque, had come to the
Vale of Mowbray, we may fancy that he would have considered his quest
at an end, and his purpose accomplished.

In the Saxon era it presented a somewhat different aspect from what it
does now; more strikingly magnificent and grand in its wild, natural
beauty. Instead of cornfields, pastures, hedgerows, churches, mills,
and mansions, it was one expanse of forest, with towering oaks, elms,
and poplars; and, beneath a tangled undergrowth of brushwood and
briar, the home and haunts of the antlered stag, the wild boar, the
wolf, and innumerable other wild creatures, four-footed, on the sward
below, or pinion-borne amid the foliage above. It must not be
supposed, however, that the vale was given up entirely to these
denizens of woodland, and destitute of human inhabitants. The Lord of
the valley was Earl Oswald, a Saxon, or, to speak more accurately, an
Anglian nobleman--the greatest landed proprietor for many miles round.
His mansion was seated on a gentle slope of the Hambleton Hills; a
one-storied edifice, consisting of a large hall, where he, his
retainers, and domestic servants, partook of their meals, and where
the latter slept by night, on straw or rushes spread on the floor,
with some smaller family sleeping and guest rooms, a kitchen,
brewhouse, and other necessary appliances of a nobleman's household,
including a chapel with open, round-headed doorway, draped with a pair
of woollen portieres, generally looped back, and displaying in the
interior some roughly carpentered benches, and a lamp pendant from the

Around the mansion was some arable land, with granaries and stacks;
pasture land for horses, oxen, and sheep, protected by stockades from
the incursions of wolves and other beasts of prey; an orchard and a
vegetable garden. Scattered about in clearings of the forest were the
homesteads of the class correspondent with the modern tenant-farmer,
with their oxen, swine, wains, and rude implements of husbandry; and,
nestling around the mansion, an aggregation of wattled and mud-built
dwellings, the abodes of the villeins or serfs, hence denominated a
village, in the centre of which stood the church, a very primitive
structure of wood, consisting of nave and chancel only, without side
aisles, transept, or tower.

Earl Oswald was a young man of five-and-twenty years, comely in aspect
and benign in manner; and was a considerate overlord and kind master.
He had not long been in possession of his estates, his father having
died only twelve months previously, his death having been occasioned
by an accident when pursuing the wild boar in the forest. The present
Earl was the last of his race, having no brothers or other relatives
to inherit the earldom, which would become extinct in case of his
death without issue; consequently it behoved him, in order to continue
the succession, to look out for a wife. But at that time the choice
was very limited; it was essential that he should marry a lady with
some pretensions to aristocratic birth, in order to keep up the
dignity of his family; and as people, even nobles, did not then travel
far away from home, visiting only such families as resided within a
moderate distance, his choice was rather restricted. It happened,
however, that one day, when hunting in Cleveland, he met with a Thegn,
one of the lower order of nobility, who invited him to his house to
spend the night, as he was some distance from home. At supper he was
introduced to the Thegn's daughter, Gytha, a beautiful young maiden,
some three or four years younger than himself, and was so charmed with
her beauty, amiability of deportment, and sensible conversation, that
he became enamoured of her, and mentally resolved that if there were
no obstacles in the way he would make her his countess and the mother
of his heir. He made no declaration on that occasion, but finding the
hunting round the bases of the great Cleveland hill, the Ottenberg,
now called Roseberry Topping, fruitful of sport, he came again and
again, seldom letting a week pass without one or two visits, and never
failing to call at the Thegn's house, where he was always cordially
welcomed by Gytha and her father. The friendship thus commenced soon
ripened into intimacy, and when the Earl found that his attentions had
made an impression on the heart of the fair maiden, he began to
whisper in her ear the tale of love. As maidens, in those practical,
unsophisticated days, knew not the art of coquetry, and were not apt
at disguising the feelings of their hearts, Gytha listened with
pleasure to his flattering tale, confessed at once that she
reciprocated his love, and without any needless circumlocution or
affected bashfulness consented to become his wife, which met with the
full approbation of her father, and a month afterwards he bore her
away to become the mistress of the mansion in the Mowbray Vale, and,
it was hoped, the mother of the future lord of the domain.

Months past along--delicious months--one succession of honeymoons; the
happy pair never tiring of each other's company. In the mornings the
Earl would go forth to superintend the operations of ploughing,
sowing, or harvesting, or to look after the careful tending of his
flocks and herds; and occasionally, for pastime or for the benefit of
the larder, would penetrate the recesses of the forest, hunting-spear
in hand, and surrounded by his hounds; whilst the Lady Gytha directed
the domestic affairs of the house, or occupied herself in her bower,
with her handmaidens, embroidering a set of arras for the adornment of
the hall; but they always spent the after-part of the day together in
caressing converse.

The months thus passed along, and began to resolve themselves into
years, but still the great hope of their lives was not accomplished,
that of giving an heir to carry downwards the honours and possessions
of the family. For a long time they flattered themselves with this
hope, despite the length of time that had elapsed since their
marriage; but when three or four years had gone into the past without
any fruition of their hopes, they began to despond. The Earl became
moody and melancholy in contemplating the probable and almost certain
extinction of his race; and his lady wept and mourned in secret, at
the bitter disappointment her husband experienced, no less than at the
denial to herself of the delights and pleasant anxieties of maternity.

Another year or two, with their wintry storms and summer sunshine,
went by, and the Earl had sunk into the depths of despair, when, after
all hope had departed, a gleam of sunshine shot athwart "the winter of
his discontent," heralding the coming of a glorious summer. The
probable birth of a living child, and, it might be, heir, was
announced to him, and he immediately became a changed man; from the
slough of despondency he sprang up, radiant with expectancy, buoyant
in spirit, and gladdened at heart; and the Lady Gytha underwent an
equal change, from tears and brooding to the delicious anticipation of
fondling on her breast and presenting to her husband, as the outcome
of their loves, an heir to his lands and dignities.

It was a proud day for Earl Oswald when the women of his household
brought him news of the birth of a male child, healthy and
well-formed, with promise of developing into vigorous life, indeed, in
the nurse's opinion, it was one of the most wonderful infants that
ever came into the world, and he was further gratified to learn that
the mother was doing well, whom he waited upon as soon as the feminine
portion of the community, who ruled supreme at this interesting
crisis, permitted, to congratulate her on the auspicious event. Nor
did he confine himself to mere gratulations and expressions of
rejoicing; in demonstration of his gratitude to Heaven for his
long-hoped-for heir, every day, for the succeeding week, he sat at the
entrance door of his mansion and administered, with bountiful hand,
food and stycas to all mendicant wayfarers, dispensed gifts to his
servitors and slaves, and bestowed liberal donations on the Church and
the monastic fraternities, with a stipulation in the latter case that
they should pray for the welfare of the newly-born Christian child.

The infant throve apace, and waxed more beautiful every day, with his
blue Saxon eyes and fair flaxen hair, the darling of his mother, the
cherished hope of his father, and the petted plaything of all the
household. He had attained the mature age of twelve months, when a
terrible calamity befel the family, a calamity, however, which was
common enough in those days of turbulence, bloodshed, and war. It was
the time when the Danish Vikings were most active in making landings
on the British coasts, ravaging the country, and massacring the people
who opposed them, and then sailing homeward with the spoils of the
plundered villages and monasteries. Northumbria lay especially open
to their incursions; Ravenspurn, Flamborough, and Lindisfarne, were
their principal landing places, and the Humber, the Tees, and the
Tyne, their high roads into the interior. They had, indeed,
established a permanent encampment on the headland of Flamborough, and
intrenched themselves by enlarging a natural ravine, deepening it, and
throwing up earthworks, so as to constitute it a formidable defensive
barrier stretching across the peninsula, which still exists, and is
popularly known as "Danes' Dyke."

News reached Earl Oswald that a large fleet of vessels had arrived at
Flamborough, and that the Danes, in great numbers, were marching with
sword and firebrand across the Wolds, and in the direction of his
home. The news was sent by the leading men of the district, who were
gathering their vassals and slaves together to resist the invaders,
and he was requested to come to their assistance with all the men he
could muster. He lost no time in obeying the call, and after bidding
an affectionate farewell to his wife, and exhorting her to great
watchfulness and care over little Oswy, who, said he, is the only hope
for the continuance of my race in case of any mischance to myself--he
went forth at the head of his retainers, and joined the army, which
had assembled in the neighbourhood of Driffield, to check the progress
of the enemy.

About a couple of miles to the north-east of Driffield, there was a
valley running east and west, along which it was anticipated the foe
would come, and here the Saxons decided to await their approach. They
took up their position on the southern slopes, and threw up some rough
earthworks to protect their front, and, after lying there a couple of
days, their scouts brought intelligence that the Danes were but a mile
distant, and that in their track could be seen the flames of villages
which they had fired in their march. Presently they made their
appearance; a vast host of fierce-looking warriors, who, on perceiving
the Saxons, set up a wild barbarian shout, and clashed their weapons
together as if eager for the conflict. The Saxons uttered a shout of
defiance in response, but remained quietly behind their intrenchments,
whilst the Danes rushed forward impetuously, and clambering up the
slope, the battle began. The field was obstinately contested on both
sides, the fight lasting the entire day, neither gaining any absolute
advantage, the bravery being equal on both sides, and what the Saxons
lacked in numbers was made up by the superiority of their position,
and the shelter afforded by their earthworks. Great numbers of brave
men fell on both sides, the Danes, from their exposed position, losing
more than their antagonists, and when the darkness of night fell,
separating the combatants, they deemed it expedient to retreat upon

The following day the Saxons went over the field to succour the
wounded and bury the dead. Among the former was found Earl Oswald, who
was taken in charge by his retainers and conveyed to his home; and the
latter were buried, Saxon and Dane together, and tumuli raised over
their bodies. Their grave-mounds may still be seen spread over two or
three acres of ground, over-canopied by trees, and are popularly known
by the name of "Danes' Graves," and the valley where the battle was
fought still bears the name of "Danes' Dale."

A speedy messenger was sent to inform Lady Gytha of what had befallen
her husband, and it was with anguished heart that she received the
mournful cavalcade which carried him, wounded and almost insensible,
to his home. He lived two or three days, but in the end, despite the
most skilful of leechery and the most assiduous nursing, he succumbed
to the loss of blood he had sustained during the night he lay on the
field. In his dying moments he again besought his wife to protect and
bring up in godly fashion his infant heir; and she, with heartbroken
sobbing, entreated him to have no apprehensions on that head, as now
she would have nothing to live for but that one sole purpose. And the
Earl closed his eyes in death, and was buried in the little wooden
church hard by, which had been built by his grandfather--buried with
all the pomp befitting his rank; and the Lady Gytha returned to her
mansion to grieve over her loss, devote herself to the instruction of
her beloved child, and look after the interests of his estates.

It chanced one day that the widowed lady and her orphan child were
disporting themselves on the grass-plot in front of the house, when a
withered old crone came up and implored charity. The Lady Gytha, who
was ever beneficent to the poor, sent into the house for some
victuals, which she gave to the old woman, bidding her sit under the
shade of a tree and eat thereof, condoled with her under her
infirmities, and supplemented her gift of food with a few coins.
Whilst she was conversing with the woman, the little Oswy was running
about after some ducks, and, chasing them to the edge of a pond, fell
in, but was immediately rescued. At the same moment a dog that was
chained up near by gave two prolonged howls, which attracted the
attention of the stranger, who, after musing awhile, said, "Lady! you
have been very kind in your largesses to me, whom you know not, and I
can only repay you by a warning, which I pray you to take heed of. I
am an old woman, and have lived long in this world, not without
learning somewhat that is hidden to others. I have studied omens and
forebodings, and have acquired the power of predicting the future from
signs of the present. Know then, lady, that I can foresee from the
mishap of your little son, and the language of the dog, that he will
undergo great peril from water, and that this will happen, unless
prevented by fit precaution, in his second year, as is indicated by
the two howls of the dog;" and, having said this, she hobbled off,
leaning on her walking-staff, without leaving time for reply.

Lady Gytha, although she did not place much credence in the prediction
of the old woman, was imbued, to some extent, with the superstitions
and credulities of the age, and she summoned into her presence an
astrologer, requesting him to cast the nativity of the child. He noted
down the time and particulars of his birth, and promised a reply
within the week. After a few days' absence he returned, and appeared
before Lady Gytha with a clouded brow, she receiving him with a tremor
of anxiety. "What do the stars reveal?" enquired she. "Are the tidings
good or evil?" "Lady," replied he, "I have calculated the star of his
nativity, and sorry am I to tell that it augurs evil rather than good.
A great peril awaits the child, on the fourth day of the third moon
after his second birthday. It is recorded in the starry volume that on
that occasion he will perish by drowning."

"Oh, say not so, wise sir. It would kill me as well. Are you assured
that this fate is inevitable?"

"Fate, lady, is inevitable; but there is one planet which presents a
disturbing element in his horoscope, and it is possible that this fate
may have been miscalculated, and that, through the influence of the
planet, the threatening may be averted; and it will become you that,
at the date indicated, you should take all possible precaution, in
order that he should not be brought into the neighbourhood of water of
any kind."

The astrologer, having been rewarded generously for his services, and
assured that all due precautions should be taken, he departed,
murmuring to himself, "Fate is fate, and it cannot be averted."

The Lady Gytha's whole existence was now absorbed in that of her
child. He was scarcely ever out of her reach and sight, she watched
over him with more than maternal care, if that were possible, and he
continued to blossom out, with the promise of becoming everything she
could wish--her support, her comfort, and the pride of her after-life.
But these prospects of the future were overshadowed by a cloud--an
anxious foreboding of what might happen on the fourth day of the third
moon of his second year, which the stars marked with a doubtful and
perhaps fatal prognostic. Could he but pass that dangerous point of
life, the lowering cloud would dissolve into thin air, and for the
future might be anticipated the glad sunshine of existence.

The fatal day came nearer and nearer. He had passed his second
birthday, and the mother had meditated often and often on the means
whereby he should be delivered from the threatening evil. It was
plainly revealed to her that the danger arose from water, and she
reasoned that if she could place him out of the neighbourhood of
river, pools, or springs, the evil might be turned aside and the
augury baffled. When thinking the matter over, there suddenly rose up
before her mind's eye the steep slopes of Ottenberg, the Cleveland
hill, about which she had often clambered and gambolled when a child,
and it struck her that if she could convey young Oswy to the summit,
he would be removed so far away from any running or standing stream,
or pool of water, that there could be no possibility of the fulfilment
of the prediction, and she resolved upon taking him thither.

Accordingly she proceeded to her father's house at its base, and on
the summer's night preceding the fateful day, clomb the side of the
hill with her child in her arms. She arrived at the summit as the sun
was rising from the sea on the eastern horizon, and lighting up the
glorious panorama visible from that elevated position. She partook of
some refreshment which she had brought with her, and, although she
felt no fatigue in making the ascent, owing to her anxiety, now that
she had reached what she deemed a place of security, nature began to
give way, and a sense of exhaustion to oppress her. She sat there,
with her child clasped in her arms, as the sun rose higher in the
heavens, and darted forth its heated rays upon her unsheltered head.
Under its influence she began to feel drowsy, but battled with the
feeling, determined not to lose her hold of the child until the day
had passed. At length, however, she unconsciously and insensibly
succumbed, and fell asleep, sinking on the turf and relaxing her
grasp. The young Oswy disengaged himself, and wandered away, plucking
the wild flowers, and looking with infant delight at the gulls winging
their flight over the sea.

An hour or two elapsed, and the Lady Gytha awoke. At first she could
scarcely understand where she was, but in a few minutes she came to
full consciousness, and was startled to find that her child was not
with her. She sprang up, called him by name, but elicited no response,
and she feared he had fallen down the side of the hill. With beating
heart she sought around, and on turning a projecting shoulder of the
hill was agonised to perceive the object of her search lying with his
face in a stream of water that was issuing from a fissure, and, on
taking him up, found life to be extinct. The pen fails in attempting
to depict her frantic grief, but it may be briefly stated, that she
carried down the lifeless body, conveyed it to her home, and laid it
beside its father in the little timber church. For her there was no
further earthly joy, and fixing her thoughts on the only source of
consolation, she founded a small religious house in the Vale of
Mowbray, where she spent the few remaining years of her life in
religious meditation and devotional exercises. She was buried beside
her beloved child in the little church, around which a village grew
up, which was called, in remembrance of the burial-place of Oswy and
his mother--Osmotherley.

According to the legend, the spring at the summit of the hill gushed
forth miraculously, in order that the decree of Fate should not be

    "On the proud steep of Ottenberg still may be found
      The spring which rose his sad doom to complete;
    And on its verge the villagers sit round,
      In wonder recording the fiat of Fate."

Eadwine, the Royal Martyr.

A pious and benevolent monk of Rome, passing one day through the slave
market of that city, noticed a group of beautiful fair-haired boys and
youths, who were exposed for sale. Compassionating their condition, he
enquired whence they came. "They are Angles," was the reply. "They are
beautiful enough to be _angeli_," said the monk. "What part of Anglia
come they from?" "Deira." "Then shall they be saved, _de ira_, from
the wrath of God. Who is their King?" "Ælla." "Then," continued the
monk, "shall Alleluias resound through their land," and he there and
then determined to go thither as a missionary, and preach the Gospel
to them, but before he could complete his arrangements, he was
raised to the Pontifical throne as Gregory I., afterwards called
Gregory the Great. Incapable, therefore, of going himself, he sent
Augustine, with Paulinus and other monks, as missionaries to the
Saxons of Britain. Instead, however, of going to the kingdom of Deira,
they landed in that of Kent, gained the ear of King Ethelberht, who
embraced Christianity, and established the see of Canterbury, with
Augustine as Bishop thereof.

Ælla, the first king of Deira, died in the year 588, leaving a son,
his heir, then three years of age, and an elder daughter, Acca,
married to Ethelfrid, King of Bernicia, the great kingdom of
Northumbria being then divided into Bernicia and Deira, both extending
from sea to sea, and separated by the river Tees. Taking advantage of
his brother-in-law's tender age, Ethelfrid usurped the throne of
Deira, and became King of the whole of Northumbria, and the boy
Eadwine was taken into exile by his friends. For many years, until he
grew up to manhood, he wandered about from one refuge to another,
until at last he found a safe asylum at the court of Redwald, King of
the East Angles. Ethelfrid sent a demand that he should be delivered
up to him, and Redwald, in reply, said to the messenger, "Tell thy
master that I have promised to protect him, and will not give him up
at the dictate of any King, however powerful he may be." Eventually,
however, persuaded by bribes, and terrified by threats, he agreed to
deliver him up. Eadwine, hearing of this, wandered forth into the
forest, and, "as he sate solitary under a tree, in dumps, musing what
was best to be done," a venerable stranger suddenly appeared before
him, and said, "Noble Prince, thou knowest me not, but I come to tell
thee that thou shalt be restored to thy kingdom, and moreover shall
become Bretwalda of the Saxon Kings, if thou listenest but to those
that shall be sent to thee, to teach the worship of the only true
God." Eadwine, dazzled by the prospect, readily promised to do so,
when the stranger placed his hand upon his head, saying, "Remember
that as a sign," and vanished as mysteriously as he had appeared. On
his return to the palace, he found that, at the intercession of the
Queen, Redwald had withdrawn from his engagement, and was now
determined to protect the fugitive to the utmost of his power.
Ethelfrid, in consequence, raised an army for the invasion of East
Anglia, but was met by Redwald, and a desperate battle ensued on the
banks of the river Idle, in which the usurper was defeated and slain,
and Eadwine proclaimed King of Northumbria. He proved himself to be
an able and vigorous ruler, adding the Isles of Man and Anglesea to
his dominions, and extending his territories northward to the Forth,
where he built a fortress, around which a town gradually grew up,
which was called Edwin's burgh--the infant Edinburgh. He raised his
kingdom to a height of power it had never before attained, and in the
year 624, on the death of Redwald, he attained the dignity of
Bretwalda, or Supreme King of the Saxons, and President of the
Heptarchian Witenagemot, whenever any such should be called together.

His first wife, Quenborga, daughter of Ceorl, King of Mercia, having
died, he sent Ambassadors to ask the hand of Ethelburga, daughter of
Ethelberht, King of Kent, in marriage, but her brother, Eadberht, then
on the throne, replied, "I cannot consent, for it is not meet that a
Christian Princess should mate with a pagan." The Ambassadors returned
to Northumbria, and extolled so highly the beauty and amiability of
the Princess, that Eadwine determined to make her his Queen at any
cost, and, after some further negotiation, agreed that she should
enjoy her own religion, have priests to celebrate the rites thereof,
and, moreover, that he would himself examine the grounds of the
Christian faith, and if he found them superior to those of Woden,
would renounce the latter and embrace the former. Accordingly the fair
young Christian came to Northumbria, accompanied by Paulinus and three
or four preaching monks, and the marriage was celebrated with great
splendour at York, the Pope sending her, on the occasion, a silver
mirror and a gilt ivory comb, which latter is supposed to have been
found near Whitby in 1872.

Faithful to his stipulation, the King allowed his Queen the utmost
freedom in religious matters, and permitted the monks to go forth
throughout his realm, preaching and making proselytes. Still he
himself adhered to the worship of Woden, in the great temple of
Goodmandingham, over which Coifi presided as high priest, and which
was contiguous to one of his palaces--that of Londesborough, near
Market Weighton. About this time Cuichelm, King of Wessex, jealous of
his ascendancy as Bretwalda, sent a messenger to assassinate him, who
failed in his object, and Eadwine prepared to make war against
Cuichelm for his dastardly conduct. Two days after this event his
daughter Eanfleda was born, and, at the urgent request of the Queen
and Paulinus, he permitted her to be baptised and dedicated to the
service of the God of his Queen, as a thank-offering for his escape.
He promised Paulinus also, that if his God were sufficiently potent to
give him a victory over Cuichelm, he would, on his return, take into
serious consideration the question of embracing Christianity and
proclaiming it the religion of Northumbria. At the close of their
conversation, Paulinus placed his hand on the King's head, and said,
"You have been restored to your kingdom, you have extended its limits,
and become the greatest of the Saxon kings of England--the
Bretwalda--know you this sign?" Eadwine replied that he did. "And,"
continued Paulinus, "there was another promise besides these of a
secular nature, that teachers should be sent to instruct you in the
true faith. Behold, here we are--I and my companions." This was more
convincing to the King than any amount of logical argument, and he
marched with confidence into Wessex, gained a decisive victory, and on
his return summoned a gemôt of nobles at his Londesborough Palace to
discuss this great religious question.

The chief speaker at the assembly was the high priest Coifi. "Know, O
King!" said he, "that I have long been of opinion that our gods are
worthless, and can do nothing for us, and I now perceive that the God
of Paulinus is God alone, the creator of the world, and the true
object of worship." The King acquiesced in his views, and the nobles,
taking their cue from them, gave their assent to the deposition of
Woden, and the substitution of Christ as the God of the Saxons.

It was then determined that the great temple of Woden should be
desecrated, and the King inquired who would dare to do it. "I,"
replied Coifi, "I have spent my life hitherto in ministering at the
altar of a false and impotent god, and it is fitting that I should
overturn that altar." A day was fixed for the purpose, and then the
King and his nobles, followed by a crowd of people, proceeded from
Londesborough to Goodmandingham, and in the midst Coifi, mounted on a
war steed and brandishing a lance in his hand. As the priests of Woden
were only permitted to ride mares, and not to bear arms of any kind,
the people gazed upon him with superstitious horror, expecting that
either the earth would open and swallow him, or a thunderbolt descend
from the sky and strike him dead; but neither occurred, and the sun
shone as serenely as if no such monstrous act of impiety were taking
place. Without hesitation Coifi rode boldly into the temple, and,
poising his lance, hurled it at the idol, upon which the people
without, not daring to enter, fearing lest the temple should fall and
bury them in its ruins, set up a loud yell of horror, and flung
themselves down on the sward, but when they beheld the lance quivering
in the side of the image and the priest calmly riding out, without the
slightest manifestation of wrath on the part of the outraged
god--neither thunder, lightning, nor earthquake--they began to think
that Woden was no god, and that he whom Paulinus proclaimed was a God
indeed, and the issue was that the King and his Court were baptised,
and then the common people, 10,000 having undergone the rite in the
river Swale in one day, going into the river in batches, whilst
Paulinus blessed the water. A wooden church was erected in York, which
was replaced by one of stone, commenced by Eadwine and completed by
King Oswald--the precursor of the present majestic York Minster, and
Paulinus was constituted Bishop of the See, which comprehended the
whole of England northward of the Humber and the Mersey. In 634, Pope
Honorius sent him a pallium, which raised him to the dignity of an

At that time the kingdom of Mercia was ruled by a ferocious old
pagan--Penda--who made a vow to extirpate Christianity from the
island, and entered into an alliance with Cadwallon, a Welsh King, for
the invasion of Northumbria. Eadwine encountered them at Heathfield,
near Doncaster, and a sanguinary battle ensued, which proved most
disastrous to the hitherto victorious Northumbrians. Eadwine and his
son Osfrid were slain in the fight, and another son, Eanfrid, was
murdered after the battle. The victors then ravaged the country,
burning and plundering the houses, and slaughtering the people without
regard to sex or age. Cadwallon remained in Northumbria, assuming the
government, and ruling the people with great severity and cruelty,
until he was slain in battle by Oswald, whilst Penda marched into East
Anglia, which had become Christian, subdued it, and then took upon
himself the title of Bretwalda. Thus fell the great and glorious
Eadwine, the victor of many fights, the Bretwalda of England, the
first Christian King of the North, and the protomartyr of Northumbria.
His body was conveyed to Whitby for burial, and his head interred in
the porch of his church at York. He was afterwards canonised, and a
church in London and another at Breve, in Somersetshire, have been
dedicated to St. Eadwine. The Queen, with her two surviving children,
accompanied by Paulinus, fled to Kent. She founded a nunnery, and took
the veil within its walls; her children she sent to France, to be
educated under the care of her cousin, King Dagobert, and after her
death she was canonised. Paulinus became the third Bishop of

Siward, the Viceroy.

According to a Scandinavian legend, a young Danish lady went wandering
into a forest, where she suddenly, when turning out of one glade into
another, came face to face with a bear, who seized her and forcibly
violated her. The result was the birth of a child, with shaggy ears,
to whom was given the name of Barn. He married, and had a son, Siward,
who came on a piratical excursion to England, and became Viceroy Earl
of Northumbria, and this identity of Siward, son of Barn, with Siward
the Earl, has been generally accepted by modern chroniclers, which may
be attributed to the great obscurity which hangs over the history of
this period. The fact is, that this legend does not pertain to Earl
Siward at all, but to another Siward--Siward-Barn--who lived
half-a-century afterwards, and was son of the Danish Jarl--Barn.
Following the instincts of his race, he sailed from Denmark with a
fleet, and after ravaging the Orkneys and the coasts of Scotland and
Northumbria, passed up the Thames, and presented himself at the Court
of Edward the Confessor, whose favour he gained by entering his
service. He was rewarded with lands in Cumberland and Westmoreland,
and in Holderness, Yorkshire, one of his manors there being called
Barns-town, now Barmston, near Bridlington. After the conquest, he
joined in the northern insurrection against William I., and was one of
the companions of Hereward the Wake in the Isle of Ely, where he was
captured, sent a prisoner into Normandy, and there died. He never had
anything to do with the Earldom of Northumbria, which was held during
his time by Tosti, Morkere, and Waltheof, the son of Earl Siward.

Having disposed of this myth, it becomes us to give, as far as can be
ascertained, the true ancestry of Siward. When the Saxon heptarchy, or
octarchy, became consolidated into one kingdom, the realm of
Northumbria, extending from the Humber to the Tweed, and sometimes to
the Forth, which was the last to submit, was peopled by a brave and
warlike people, sensitively tenacious of their independence, and of
so turbulent a character, that it became necessary to place over them
a Viceroy Earl of great vigour, determination, and military ability,
to give it the semblance of semi-independence, but at the same time to
be ready on the spot to nip incipient rebellion when in the bud. Such
a Governor was found in Oswulf, son of Ealdred, Lord of Bamborough,
who was nominated to the office by King Athelstane. He was succeeded
by Waltheof, the Elder, who was followed by his son Ughtred, from whom
the holders of not less than seven peerages claim descent. By Ælgifu,
daughter of King Ethelred II., he had issue--Eadulf, Gospatric, and
Ældred. Ældred succeeded as Earl of Bernicia, on the death of his
uncle, Eadulf I., Earl of Northumbria; and Siward, who was his son,
appears to have been appointed, at the same time, Deputy-Earl of

He was born towards the end of the tenth century, was a giant in
stature, of Herculean strength, and of great courage, which he
displayed on many a field of battle. His life, indeed, appears to have
been spent more in the battlefield than in the peaceful pursuits of
government, the administration of justice, or the superintendence of
his Yorkshire manors, of which Malton was the chief, granted to him
for his military services, and it presents a succession of romantic
episodes, in which the sword played the principal part.

Ældred, his father, died in 1038, and was succeeded in Bernicia by his
brother, Eadulf II. Siward, however, claimed it as his hereditary
right; and so matters remained until 1041, when Eadulf incurred the
displeasure of King Hathacnut. This was the opportunity Siward had
been longing for, and he hastened up to the King's Court, where, by
his representations, he embittered the mind of the King still further
against his uncle, and in the sequel was either ordered or permitted
to put him to death. This was precisely what he wanted, and, without
the least scruple of conscience or regard to kinship when his own
aggrandisement was at issue, he proceeded to Bernicia and murdered his
uncle in cold blood, assuming at the same time the government, and
thus becoming Earl of Northumbria in its integrity.

In the same year, 1041, the people of Worcester rose in insurrection
against an unpopular tax, and the three great Earls, Siward of
Northumbria, Leofric of Mercia, and Godwine of Kent, were directed to
march thither to suppress it. This was done chiefly at the instigation
of Ælfric, Archbishop of York, who had caused their Bishop, Lyfric, to
be deprived, and himself appointed in his room, to hold the see _in
commendam_ with York, but whom the clergy of Worcester refused to
recognise. The Earls had no difficulty in suppressing the
revolt--indeed the rebels scarcely made any stand against them; but,
with great barbarity, they slaughtered the people, plundered their
habitations, burnt the city, and compelled them to accept Ælfric as
their Bishop.

The following year Hathacnut died, and was succeeded by Eadwarde the
Confessor, more fitted for the cowl than the crown, when the three
Earls, the mightiest subjects of the realm, divided the administration
of the kingdom amongst themselves; Siward at this time held likewise
the Earldoms of Huntingdon and Northampton, which were severed from
Northumbria at his death.

In 1051, Count Eustace of Boulogne, on his return from a visit to King
Eadwarde, treated the people of Dover with great insolence, who fell
upon him and his followers, and gave them a deservedly severe
chastisement. Eustace demanded redress from the King, who commanded
Earl Godwine to punish the Dover people, who, finding that Eustace had
been the aggressor, asked that they might be heard in their defence,
to which the King would not listen; then Godwine assumed a higher
tone, and demanded the surrender of the Count to answer for his
insolence. This enraged the King, who summoned Siward and Leofric to
render assistance against the hostile designs of Godwine. They came to
Gloucester, where a compromise was effected; but at a subsequent
gemôt, held in London, Godwine and his family were banished.

The most creditable military effort of the many in which his sword had
been drawn, and that which redounded the most to his glory, was the
last of his life. In 1054, he was sent by King Eadwarde in command of
an expedition into Scotland against the usurper, Macbeth, in favour of
the young Prince, Malcolm Canmore, son of the murdered King Duncan. He
was now the father of two sons by his first wife--Æthelfleda--Osbert,
now approaching manhood, and Waltheof, a boy, some years younger. The
former he took with him to Scotland, to initiate him in the then
deemed glorious art of war; and a brave young fellow he proved himself
to be, a worthy scion of the old stock. Siward attacked Scotland by
land and sea, met the usurper and defeated him in a pitched battle,
after which he caused Malcolm to be proclaimed King. It is sometimes
stated that Macbeth was slain in the battle, which was not the case,
as he escaped and held out for three years, maintaining a desultory
series of fights with Malcolm, but was eventually slain in 1057. His
son Osbert fell in the battle, fighting bravely, and when the news was
brought to him, he eagerly inquired if his wounds were in front, and
when told they were, said that he could not but rejoice, such a death
being worthy of one sprung from his loins.

Shakspeare, not always true to history, in his tragedy of "Macbeth"
thus gives the death of "Young Siward," as he calls Osbert:--He meets
with Macbeth on the field, and, after some bandying of words, they
fight, and Macbeth falls, after which Osbert rushes into the thick of
the fight, and falls himself. When Siward is told that all his son's
wounds are in front, he exclaims--

    "Why, then, God's soldier is he!
    Had I as many sons as I have hairs,
    I would not wish them to a fairer death:
    And so his knell is tolled."

Prince Malcolm observes--

    "He's worth more sorrow,
    And that I'll spend for him."

To which Siward replies--

    "He's worth no more.
    They say he parted well, and paid his score,
    And so God be with him."

Henry of Huntingdon, speaking of Siward's death, says--"And so he
passed away, as he believed, to Valhalla, to rejoin the great warriors
of his race who had gone before," seeming to intimate, founded on the
misconception of his identity with the Viking Siward-Barn, that he
died in the old Scandinavian faith of Woden, which was not true, as he
lived and died a Christian, such as Christians were then. He is
supposed to have founded a church in York, dedicated to St. Olaf, the
martyred King of Norway, and connected with it a fraternity of monks,
the name of which, in the reign of William II., was changed into that
of St. Mary the Virgin, and eventually became the famous and wealthy
abbey of after-times, with a mitred abbot. The ruins may now be seen
in the grounds of the Museum.

He ruled his province with great firmness and some severity, necessary
in his endeavours to curb the savage propensities of the people, and
to establish a system of order and good government, and was bountiful
to the Church, as some atonement, perhaps, for the crimes by which he
rose to his high position.

Shortly after his return from his Scottish expedition, he was stricken
with dysentery, which rapidly grew worse, and he lay in his vice-regal
mansion at York without hope of recovery. When he felt his last
moments approaching he suddenly started up from his couch and
exclaimed, "Let me not die the death of a cow! If it be not my fate to
die gloriously on the field of battle, as my brave boy, Osbert, has
done, with all his wounds in front, at least let me die in the guise
of a warrior. Don me my harness, place the helmet on my head, and gird
my sword on my thigh. It were a shame and disgrace that I, who have
faced death in so many fields, should die ignominiously in bed. Bring
forth my battle-axe and shield, and place them by my side, that the
ghosts of my warlike ancestry, who are looking down upon me now, may
see me pass away from earth to join them in their everlasting home,
with the semblance of the great warrior that I have been." And thus,
seated on a chair, clothed in his armour, and supported in an upright
posture by his attendants, he gave up the ghost, and was buried in his
church of St. Olaf.

His son, Waltheof, being too young for the government of so important
a province, it was given to Tosti, son of Earl Godwine, and brother of
Harold, the future King; whilst Waltheof succeeded to the Earldoms of
Huntingdon and Northampton, and eventually to that of Northumbria.

Phases in the Life of a Political Martyr.

In the year 1055, there was a funeral in the Church of St. Olaf, York.
The corpse was conveyed through the streets of the city with great
barbaric splendour and pomp. The procession, consisting of stalwart
and bronzed warriors, was strikingly illustrative of the dead hero.
Swords flashed in the sun; armour, pikes, and battle-axes glittered;
and captured pennons, with other trophies of war, were borne along in
triumph. Although all these warriors were mourners, the chief, and,
indeed, the only one of the blood who followed, was a stripling of
fifteen, young in years, but displaying muscular proportions, a
military bearing, and features betokening valour, determination of
purpose, and invincible resolution in the accomplishment of his will.
The warrior was laid in his tomb with all due ceremonial, the priests
closed their books, the soldiers who had followed him to many a
battlefield, gathered round the open grave to take a last look at his
coffin, and then dispersed, whilst the young mourner returned to the
vice-regal castle, which now seemed so solitary and desolate without
the sound of his father's voice. The defunct warrior was stout old
Siward, the Northumbrian Earl, who had scorned "to die the death of a
cow," and the mourner who followed his remains was his sole surviving
son, Waltheof; his elder son, Osbert, having been slain in battle.
Eadward the Confessor was then King, and he, deeming Waltheof too
young and inexperienced to rule so ungovernable a people as the
Northumbrians, appointed Tosti, a younger son of Earl Godwine, and
brother to Harold, afterwards King, to the Earldom. Tosti, however,
ruled the people with such intolerable cruelty and oppression that the
people of York broke into his mansion, plundered it, and murdered his
house-carles; they then assembled in a folkgemôte and formally deposed
him, electing Morkere of Mercia in his room. This was an illegal act,
but the King, when he heard the circumstances of the case, confirmed
it, as did also the Witan-Gemôte of Westminster. Morkere constituted
Osulf, Waltheof's uncle, his deputy in Bernicia, on whose death he
was succeeded by his brother, Gospatric.

John of Peterborough says that Waltheof was given the Earldoms of
Huntingdon and Northampton at his father's death; but as these were
held by Tosti, the probability seems to be that he succeeded on the
deposition of that Earl. Simeon of Durham says that he governed
Bernicia as his father's deputy, but this seems improbable on account
of his age, and is not confirmed by other authorities. On the
accession of Harold, Tosti, in conjunction with Harold Hardrada,
invaded Northumbria, but were defeated by Harold at Stamford Bridge.
It was, however, the cause of the ruin of Harold, who, whilst
banquetting at York in celebration of his victory, had news brought
him that Duke William of Normandy had landed in Sussex, and he had to
lead his army by forced marches to the south, arriving in the front of
the fresh Norman troops footsore and wearied, and with the loss of
many who had fallen out of the ranks during the march; the result
being his defeat and death, which might have been otherwise but for
this fatal expedition to York. The brother Earls, Morkere of
Northumbria and Eadwine of Mercia, and Waltheof undertook to bring
bodies of soldiers to his aid, but the former two stood aloof, from
politic motives; but Waltheof sent his contingent, if he were not
present at the battle himself, which is uncertain.

Duke William was now King of England. London, with the south and east,
had submitted at once, but it cost him some efforts to subjugate the
west, and still more the north. He did, however, eventually make
himself master of Yorkshire and the northern counties, built a castle
at York, and placed therein William Malet as military governor of the
city. The year after his accession, he found it necessary to visit his
Norman Dukedom, when, fearing to leave behind him men so powerful, and
whom he suspected of disaffection, he courteously invited Earls
Eadwine, Morkere, and Waltheof, to accompany him as guests, who
complied with his request, although they were perfectly aware that
they were going as hostages for the good behaviour of their people
during his absence. Soon after their return, the three Earls, under
Earl Gospatric, made a demonstration in the north in favour of Eadgar,
the Atheling, but were defeated, and fled to the court of Malcolm, in
Scotland. William sent a herald to demand the fugitives, but the King
declined giving them up.

In the year 1069, a Danish fleet of 240 vessels might be seen sailing
up the Humber and Ouse. It was under the command of the Danish Princes
Harold and Cnut, and had been joined at sea by a Scottish fleet under
Gospatric and Waltheof. This formidable force landed near York, and
entered the city amid the acclamations of the citizens. Malet was shut
up in the Castle with a body of Norman troops, and had boastingly
written to the King that he wanted no help, for he could hold it till
domesday. Around the Castle walls were several houses, which Malet
ordered to be fired, that they might not afford shelter to the enemy,
but the fire spread further than he intended, consuming the greater
portion of the city, the Cathedral, and Archbishop Egbert's
magnificent library. It was whilst the flames were rising up with
terrific grandeur from the Cathedral towers, and the houses were all
ablaze or in ashes, that the confederates made their grand attack,
captured the citadel, and put the garrison to the sword. Waltheof
performed prodigies of valour. It is recorded of him in a Danish
saga--"The great Earl, with mighty arm and sinewy breast, stood by the
gate of York (Castle) as the Normans came forth, their heads falling
to the earth in succession beneath his battle-axe." Waltheof was
appointed Governor of York, the English and Scots garrisoning it,
whilst the Danes, in their ships, occupied the Trent and Ouse, to
check the advance of William and his army.

It was not long before the King made his appearance before York and
demanded its surrender.

Waltheof replied, "Take it if you can, for assuredly I will not
surrender it while life lasts." The King then bribed the Danes to
withdraw, by a large sum of money and permission to ravage the
northern coasts, and invested the city. A breach was made in the
walls, and William of Malmesbury says--"Waltheof, a man of great
muscular strength and courage, stood in the breach, and killed a great
number of Normans who attempted to enter." He states, also, that a
battle was fought outside the walls, and that Waltheof was the
victor. The siege lasted six months, and the city was reduced at last
by famine, after which the King committed the horrible crime of laying
waste the country from York to Durham so effectually that for nine
years neither spade nor plough was put in the ground, and the
miserable survivors who escaped his sword were compelled to eat the
most loathsome food to sustain life.

Gospatric, Earl of Northumbria, and Waltheof fled to Scotland, but
afterwards tendered their submission to the King, the latter in
person, the other by proxy. Waltheof was a man of immense power and
influence as Lord of Hallamshire, Malton, and many another broad manor
in Yorkshire and other counties, and was, besides, a skilful warrior
and brave soldier, and the King, admiring his qualities, longed to win
him over as his liege man. He therefore pardoned him, restored him to
his Earldoms, and added thereto that of Northumbria, from which he had
deposed Gospatric. Moreover, he gave him in marriage his niece,
Judith, daughter of Eudes, Earl of Champagne, thinking thus to make
sure of his loyalty.

Soon after he entered upon his new Earldom he committed a crime which
is a blot upon his name, but which was considered justifiable in that
age. A deadly feud existed between the descendants of Ughtred and
those of one Thorbrand of York. Thorbrand was the enemy of the father
of the second wife of Ughtred, who only obtained her hand by
undertaking to kill him, but was murdered himself by Thorbrand. Earl
Ealdred then, in retaliation, assassinated Thorbrand, and was in turn
killed by Carl, son of Thorbrand, and a series of murders followed,
which were completed by a wholesale massacre of the sons of Carl by
Waltheof, when they were feasting at the house of their elder brother
at Settrington, two only escaping.

There was a great feast in the eastern counties to celebrate the
marriage of Ralph, Earl of Suffolk, with Emma, daughter of Roger, son
of William, Earl of Hereford, and Waltheof was one of the guests. This
marriage had been prohibited by the King, who was now in Normandy, and
advantage was taken of his absence to consummate it, which was, in the
eye of the law, a treasonable act. After the dinner, the conversation
turned upon the tyranny of King William, and, as the guests became
heated with wine, they framed a plot to depose him, and place one of
themselves as King in his room, the rest to be his proximate peers.
Waltheof is said to have taken the oath on compulsion, but the
following morning repented of having done so, and went to Archbishop
Lanfrane for absolution, who advised him to go to the King, explain
the matter, and implore his pardon. He had, however, foolishly
mentioned it to his wife Judith, who, wishing to get rid of "the Saxon
churl" and marry a Norman, sent an exaggerated account of the
conspiracy to her uncle, with the intimation that her husband was most
deeply implicated in it. Waltheof went to Normandy, revealed the plot
to the King, and asked his forgiveness for the part he had been
compelled to take in it, who assured him of pardon, and they returned
to England together.

The King, however, who had now for some time looked upon Waltheof as
too powerful for a subject, thought this a favourable opportunity to
get rid of him, and when he arrived in England, committed him to
prison at Winchester. He then caused him to be arraigned at the
Pentecostal gemôte, on a charge of treasonable conspiracy, and he was
condemned to death. A few days after he was brought out into the
market-place at Winchester, and there beheaded; the first instance,
says Kennett, of decapitation in England. Ingulphus says that Judith
might have saved him, but she desired his death that she might marry
again, and afterwards experienced feelings of remorse for her cruelty.
She subsequently fell into disgrace with her uncle for refusing to
marry one who was lame. Her name appears in Domesday Book as Lady of
the Manors of Hallam, Sheffield, and Attercliffe.

By his wife Judith he had issue, three daughters,
co-heiresses--Matilda, who married first Simon de St. Liz, and
secondly, David I., King of Scotland, thus conveying the Earldom of
Huntingdon to the Scottish Royal Family; Alice, who married Richard
Fitz Gilbert, whose granddaughter and heiress married Richard Fitz
Ooth, from whom was Robert Fitz Ooth, who claimed the Earldom of
Huntingdon on the failure of the Scottish male line, and who is
generally supposed to be identical with the outlaw Robin Hood; and
Judith, who married first Ralph de Toney, secondly Robert, son of
Richard de Tonbridge, from whom descended the Barons and Earls
Fitzwalter, the Earldom becoming extinct, and the Barony falling in
abeyance in 1753, the latter being called out in 1868, in the person
of Sir Brook William Brydges, fifth Baronet of, County Kent.

The Murderer's Bride.

It was on a beautiful evening in June, when the thirteenth century was
but a few years old, and when John wore the crown of England, that a
girl of some twenty summers was seated in a vaulted room of a ruinous
old Saxon castle, surrounded by her bower-maidens, chattering and
laughing, and busily employed on some embroidery work. The castle
stood on a slight eminence, some three or four miles from the
sea-coast of Yorkshire, and commanding a glorious view of the uplands
of Cleveland, the wide expanse of ocean, the only recently completed
towers of St. Hilda's Abbey, as they stood proudly on the beetling
cliff, and the clustering of fishermen's huts on the margin of the bay
below, then called the village of Presteby, formerly Streoneshalh, and
now Whitby. It had been built by the half-mythical Saxon noble, Wada,
as a defence against the marauding Picts, who came over the border,
and more particularly against the Danish Vikings, who were wont to
land at Flamborough, and harry the land. In the year 867, they had
destroyed the Lady Hilda's monastery, and it lay in ruins until after
the Conquest, when it was re-built and re-endowed by William de Percy,
ancestor of the potent Earls of Northumberland, and about half a
century before the period of our narrative, it had been again pillaged
and the country laid waste by a Norwegian fleet. But, amid all these
storms, the old castle built by Wada held its own, although it now
showed in its features the ravages of time and the marks of the
batterings it had undergone from the hands of a succession of foes, in
the shape of fallen towers, crumbling walls, and decayed battlements.
After the Conquest, the castle and barony were granted by the King to
Nigel Fossard, a soldier who had fought for him at Hastings, and from
whose family it passed, after two or three generations, to Robert de
Turnham, by marriage with Johanna, heiress of the Fossards. They were
now dead, and slept side by side within the sacred precincts of St.
Hilda, having left an only child--Isabel--as heiress, and now mistress
of the ruined old fortress, and the domain of pasture and moorland
lying round it; the same fair girl whom we find seated at her
embroidery frame. The apartment in which the youthful group were
assembled was the Lady Isabel's bower, very different, however, from a
modern boudoir, being of the usual Saxon type. The walls and vaulted
roof were of roughly-hewn stone, with a low, stunted column in the
centre, and rounded arches, slightly decorated with a zigzag
ornamentation, and on one side was an unglazed opening to admit the
light, more like a loophole than a window. On the walls, suspended
from tenter-hooks, were arras, picturing the miracles of St. Hilda,
which served to give some semblance of comfort and cheerfulness to the
room; and the other furniture consisted of a table, or board resting
on two trestles, and half a dozen cross-legged stools.

Sounds of merriment and laughter echoed from the roof, as the maidens
plied their needles, the buoyancy of their youthful spirits, and the
outlook into what appears like a fairyland of the future, imparting a
sunshine which is the happy privilege of youth, but is denied to more
mature age. Yet, in the midst of all this joyous mirth, Isabel
occasionally sighed, as disquieting thoughts passed through her mind.
She was left in an unprotected solitude, and although the good Abbot
of St. Hilda's had been her father's friend, and had promised him on
his death-bed to watch over her and aid her by his counsel, he could
not supply the place of father and mother, of whom she had been
bereft, or of sister or brother, a companionship she had never
experienced. She had already begun to taste the cares and anxieties of
her position, and looked forward with some degree of apprehension,
having learnt that the King, as absolute lord of the soil of England,
had the right and power to dispose of the hands of heiresses of any
portion of that soil which was only held of him by baronial or
knightly tenure.

"The sun goes down apace," said Isabel, rising and going to look forth
from the window, "fold up the altar-cloth, we shall have time to
complete the embroidery before the obit of St. Hilda." She gazed out
upon the sea, sparkling with the glitter of the setting sun, and
looked upon the abbey tower on the cliff, still radiant with
brightness--an out-post, as it seemed to her, of the realms of heaven,
and she felt a peaceful calm steal over her mind. Suddenly her eyes
gleamed with joy, and her heart began to throb with passionate
gladness. These emotions were awakened by the sight of a youth of
noble bearing, pacing with rapid steps the road leading to the castle.
This youth was Jasper de Percy, a scion of the afterwards illustrious
house of that name. He had long been affianced to Isabel, with the
consent and full approbation of their parents, and they loved each
other dearly and passionately. It was not long ere he was ushered into
her presence by the old seneschal of the castle, but with their soft
whisperings we have nothing to do, save that we know they consisted of
protestations of eternal love and anticipations of a happy future.
Whilst they were together the sun went down, and, as the bell of
compline rang out sweetly over the water, they knelt together and
uttered their evening prayer to the Holy Virgin, after which he

"Pax vobiscum!" said the Abbot, as he entered the room soon after,
"how fares it with my daughter?" She replied that she was well in
health, but somewhat disquieted in soul, and told him what she had
heard about the King having the disposal of the hands of heiresses,
and asking him if it were so. He explained the law to her, and knowing
and approving of her love for young Percy, expressed a hope that His
Majesty would not interfere in her case, but, added he, "King John is
a bad man, unscrupulous in his actions, and an arch-heretic, even to
the defying of the Holy Father at Rome--the Vicegerent of God upon
earth, saying that he will allow no foreign priest to meddle in his
dominion." After some further conversation, Isabel knelt at his feet,
confessed her little faults, received absolution, and the Abbot
returned to St. Hilda's. So the days and weeks went on in their usual
routine, with nothing to disturb their serenity, until at length a
thunderbolt, as it were, fell suddenly in the midst of the little
community, utterly destroying all their fond hopes of happiness.

The scene now changes to Normandy. King Henry II. of England had four
sons, of whom William, the eldest, d.v.p., and Richard, the second,
succeeded, who d.s.p. The third, Geoffrey, married Constance, daughter
and heiress of Conan le Petit, Duke of Bretagne and Earl of Richmond,
and had issue, Arthur, who was heir to the throne of England on the
death of his uncle Richard, but, being absent in Brittany, John,
fourth son of Henry, usurped the throne, and when Philip of France
espoused the cause of Arthur, he invaded France with an army, to
maintain the position he had assumed, and with the intention of
removing the obstacle to his legal right to the throne. He captured
his nephew, after patching up a peace with King Philip, and sent him
to Falaise, with instructions to Hubert de Burgh to put his eyes out.
Hubert, however, compassionated the boy, and saved him from that fate,
upon which King John removed Arthur from his custody, and had him
taken to Rouen, and placed in safe keeping. The midnight bell at St.
Ouen had rung out over the Norman city, and, saving that, all was
still in its tortuous streets, excepting the footsteps of three
persons going down to the river-side. They went along stealthily, one
of them, a boy, with seeming reluctance, and who appeared to be
expostulating with the two men who urged him along. "I tell thee,
boy," said he who was evidently the chief of the company, "that thou
shalt be Duke of Bretagne and Earl of Richmond, and we are but taking
thee to a place of safety wherein to abide until these untoward
matters that agitate the realm of France can be arranged." "But my
crown, the crown of England, my inheritance!" commenced the boy as
they arrived at the water's side, when the two men forced him into a
boat and pushed it off upon the Seine, and it glided down the river
beyond the confines of the city. The leader of the party was King
John, and the other his esquire, an ill-favoured bully, with an evil
cast of the eye, a Poictevin by birth, and called, in derision, Peter
de Malo-lacu, afterwards softened down to Maulac, and eventually to De
Mauley. He was one of the tools and evil counsellors of John, and was
ever ready to commit any crime provided he were well paid for it.
Their companion was the boy Prince, Arthur. The night was dreary and
murky, and the wind wailed a mournful cadence through the trees, well
befitting the contemplated deed of blood. The boat had passed some
distance down the river, and Arthur, fearing some foul design, was
imploring his uncle to be taken back to Rouen, when the Poictevin, in
reply to a signal from the King, suddenly plunged his dagger up to the
hilt in the boy's breast, and at the same moment seized him by the
legs, and pitched him over the side of the boat into the river, to
pass down to the sea with the ebbing tide.

"'Twas well done," said John to his companion in guilt, "that obstacle
to our ambition is removed for ever; and as for thee, Peter, thou
shalt be great amongst the nobles of our realm. It will be hard if I
cannot find an heiress lacking a husband, and thou shalt be a baron of

Again are we among the merry hills and dales of Cleveland. The summer
has passed away, the leaves of autumn have fallen, the fierce blasts
of the wintry winds of North Yorkshire have toned down into the gentle
gales of spring, and a glad sunshine pervades land and sea. But there
is wailing and lamentation within the walls of Wada's old castle, and
saddened hearts beneath the shadow of St. Hilda's tower. The marriage
of Isabel and Jasper had been arranged, and nothing was wanting for
its consummation but the sanction of the King. A messenger had been
despatched to the Court of John to obtain his consent, but he replied
that it could not be, as he had other views in regard to the heiress,
and purposed, by giving her hand to a brave warrior of Poictou, to
raise her to a dignity far above anything ever attained by the
Turnhams or the Fossards; in short, that he intended giving her in
marriage to his friend and companion-in-arms, Peter de Maulac. Hence
those tears and lamentations, as there was no resisting the King's

A few months, and there stood before the altar of St. Hilda, decorated
with the embroidery from the deft fingers of Isabel and her
bower-maidens, an ill-assorted couple. On the one side a
forbidding-looking man, with a ferocious cast of countenance and an
eye of ill omen; on the other, a gentle, delicate girl, of symmetrical
figure and beautifully chiselled features, but pale as a corpse, and
with eyes swollen and bloodshot with weeping. Nevertheless, it
mattered not, the mandate of the King must be obeyed, and they became
man and wife.

Peter de Mauley, as he now chose to style himself, thus became, by
right of his wife, feudal lord of Isabel's demesnes, situated at
Egton, Juby-Park-Houses, and Newbiggin, near Whitby; Mauley Cross,
near Pickering; Bainton, near Driffield; Ellerton, near Pocklington;
and Seaton, near Hornsea; but the King compelled him to pay for the
livery of these estates a fine of 7,000 marks. He built a new castle
near the old one, and called it, from the beauty of the situation,
Moult-grace, but which the people, in consequence of his oppression,
transformed, by the change of a single letter, into Moult-grave, since
then corrupted into Mulgrave. He was a firm adherent of John in his
troubles with the Pope and the Barons, and was rewarded for his
services with other considerable grants of lands, the Sheriffdoms of
Dorset and Somerset, and, under Henry III., with the Governorship of
Sherborne Castle. He died in 1221, and the ill-fated Isabel
pre-deceased him, whose body he buried in Meaux Abbey, near Beverley,
giving with it a grant of land.

They had a son--Peter--who succeeded, who was followed by six other
Peters in unbroken succession, all of whom enjoyed the estates,
excepting the seventh, who died v.p. The fourth was created a baron by
writ of summons in 1295; but Peter the eighth, fourth in the barony,
dying without issue in 1415, the dignity fell in abeyance between his
sisters and co-heiresses--Constance, who married, first, William
Fairfax, secondly, Sir John Bigot, and who succeeded to Moult-grave,
and Elizabeth, who married George Salvin. The title was revived in
1838, as a barony by patent, in the person of the Hon. W. F. Spencer
Ponsonby, third son of the Earl of Bessborough, a descendant, through
females, of Elizabeth Salvin; but the old barony by writ still lies in
abeyance among the representatives of the above co-heiresses.

The death of Prince Arthur is still shrouded in mystery, the English
chroniclers giving different versions of it, and Shakspeare
representing him as being killed by a fall from the walls of his
prison when attempting to escape; but the French historians, who are
more likely to be correct, coincide in attributing it to the hand of
Peter de Malo-lacu, in the presence of John, or even to that of the
King himself.

The Earldom of Wiltes.

The famous Yorkshire family of Le Scrope, or Scroop, is one of the
most illustrious in the peerage roll of England; not, however, for the
number and dignity of their titles, which only amounted to five of
lesser rank, two of which are extinct, one dormant, and two in
abeyance, but, for the many eminent and influential men sprung from
the race, who have distinguished themselves in the State, at the
King's Council table, in the Church, at the Bar, on the battlefield,
and in the walks of literature. During three centuries, from Edward
II. to Charles I., there have been of the Scropes--two Earls, twenty
Barons, one Baronet, one Archbishop, four Bishops, one Lord
Chancellor, four Lord Treasurers, five Knights of the Garter, several
Knights Banneret, many Wardens of the Scottish Marches, three
immortalised in the pages of Shakspeare, one, "Keen Lord Scrope," in
the ballad of "Kinmont Willie," and another in the ballad of "Flodden

They were originally of Normandy, and in the reign of William I.,
Osborne Fitz-Richard, their first English ancestor, held several
manors in the Western counties. The first mention of them in
connection with Yorkshire is in 1287, when they held eight carucates
of land at Bolton, where they built Bolton Castle. They rose rapidly
in importance, ramifying in various directions, mainly into two great
branches, those of Masham and Bolton, subsequently having mansions and
domains at Bolton Castle; Clifton Castle, Masham; Danby
Hall, Middleham; Upsall Castle, Thirsk; Croft-on-the-Tees,
Ellerton-upon-Swale, Spennithorne, and South Kilvington; and are now
represented by a junior branch, seated at Danby-super-Yore.

Henry, seventh Baron Scrope, of Bolton, was one of the heroes of
Flodden, whose valour is sung in the ballad of Flodden Field. John,
eighth Baron, was implicated in the rebellion of the Pilgrimage of
Grace, but escaped the death of a traitor. Henry, ninth Baron, had
charge of Mary Queen of Scots, at Bolton. Henry, third Baron Scrope,
of Masham, was executed for treason, as was also Richard Scrope,
Archbishop of York.

The time in which Sir William Scrope, K.G., Earl of Wiltes, and King
of the Isle of Man, lived, that of the reign of Richard II., was one
of the most eventful in the history of England. Richard, son of the
Black Prince, was born in 1367, and succeeded to the throne of his
grandfather, Edward III., at ten years of age, in 1377, the government
being vested in twelve councillors, his uncles being excluded
therefrom. He displayed signs of vigour and ability during the
insurrection under Wat Tyler and Jack Straw, when he met the rebels in
Smithfield, on which occasion the former was killed by Lord Mayor
Walworth; and in his invasion of Scotland, in 1385, when he penetrated
as far as Aberdeen, and burnt Edinburgh, Perth, and Dundee; but
afterwards he threw himself into the arms of favourites, which excited
the jealousy of his uncles, when the Duke of Gloucester was chosen
head of the Council, and the parliament, called "wonderful," summoned
under his auspices, put two of his favourites to death, and
confiscated the property of the rest. When he reached the age of
twenty-two he threw off the trammels of guardianship, and for some
time ruled his kingdom with justice, but he possessed not the
necessary vigour to cope with the turbulent spirits by whom he was
surrounded, and still permitted himself to be governed by favourites,
of whom Sir William Scrope was one.

Sir William might almost be said to be born a courtier. His father,
Richard, first Baron of Bolton; his uncle, Geoffrey, first Baron of
Masham; and his maternal uncle, Michael de la Pole, son of a Hull
merchant, and created Earl of Suffolk by Richard II., were all
foremost men about the Court in military, diplomatic, legislative,
judicial, and other capacities. His father was a statesman of rare
talent, and resigned his chancellorship in 1380, in consequence of the
anger of the young King at his protests against the lavish grants he
made to his favourites. Pole, Earl of Suffolk, and De Vere, Duke of
Ireland, with Brember, Mayor of London, and Tresilian, were the King's
favourites in his early days, but in 1388, Gloucester and the
confederated Barons attacked them, compelled the two former to take to
flight, and put to death the two latter. After their dispersion, Sir
William Scrope became one of the principal advisers and favourites of
the King, who loaded him with honours and wealth. He was constituted
Seneschal of Acquitaine in 1383; Governor of the town and castle of
Cherbourg in 1385; and Governor of Queensborough Castle in the same
year; was appointed Vice-Chamberlain of the Household in 1393, and
Lord Chamberlain in 1395. He was sent as Ambassador to France to
negotiate the marriage of the King, in 1395, and to treat for peace,
in 1397. He was nominated Justicier of Chester, North Wales, and
Flint, in 1397, and in the same year Surveyor of the Forests in
Cheshire. In 1397, he was created Earl of Wiltes; the following year
had charge of the castle of Guisnes; and in 1399, was appointed
guardian of the realm during the absence of the King in Ireland. He
was a faithful servant and attached friend to his master, and laid
down his life in his service.

The causes of the deposition and death of Richard were his weak
character and his obnoxious mode of government, through favourites and
evil advisers, which were accelerated by the ambition and revenge of
his cousin Henry, Duke of Hereford, son of John of Gaunt, Duke of
Lancaster. The Duke of Hereford had a quarrel with Mowbray, Duke of
Norfolk, each accusing the other of treason, and the King consented
that the matter should be decided by combat at Coventry, but when the
lists were opened and the combatants mounted, lance in hand, ready to
commence the fight, the King commanded them to desist, and arbitrarily
condemned Norfolk to banishment from the realm for life, and Hereford
for ten years, the latter being granted the privilege of taking
possession, through his attorney, of any inheritances that might fall
to him during his absence. Whilst he was abroad his father, the Duke
of Lancaster, died, and the King, in violation of his promise, took
possession of his widely-spread lands in Yorkshire and elsewhere,
including Leeds, Kippax, Almondbury, and many another manor in the
county. Henry, now Duke of Lancaster, had speedy intelligence of this
from his attorney, and gathering a few followers together, took
shipping for England, and landed at Ravenspurn, in Holderness, at the
mouth of the Humber. His ostensible motive in coming to England, and
perhaps his real intention, was simply to obtain possession of his
inheritance, with, possibly, some vague ideas of vengeance for his
banishment. But, as he passed through Yorkshire, he was joined by the
Percies and other powerful families, who welcomed him back to
England, and the people flocked round his standard, so that when he
approached London he found himself at the head of a considerable army,
and then he threw off his disguise, and proclaimed that he had come to
deliver the kingdom from the evil advisers of the Crown. The King had
gone to Ireland to subdue an insurrection, and had left the Earl of
Wiltes as guardian of the realm, who, on hearing of the march of
Lancaster towards London, fled, with others, to Bristol, hoping to
join the King there on his return from Ireland. The Duke followed them
thither, laid siege to the castle, "where at length," says Walsingham,
"William le Scrope, John Busby, and Henry Grene, were taken prisoners,
and they were forthwith, on the morrow, beheaded, at the outcry of the
populace." The Duke had now fully resolved upon striking for the
Crown, although he was not the legitimate heir, even if Richard were
removed, and it was his usurpation which gave rise to the subsequent
War of the Roses. In furtherance of his project, he considered it
desirable to win over the citizens of London, and in order to
conciliate those who were opposed to the favourites, and terrify
those who were friendly to the King and his government, he sent
thither the heads of Scrope, Busby, and Grene, in a basket, with a
letter, in which he said--"I beg of you to let me know if you will be
on my side or not, and I care not which, for I have people enough to
fight all the world for one day. But take in good part the present I
have sent you," etc. This produced the effect he wished for, as the
Londoners at once espoused his cause. The King was soon after
captured, sent to Pontefract Castle, and there murdered, after a
formal deposition; and Henry, with the consent of Parliament, assumed
the crown. He called a Parliament together, who, in the first year of
his reign, passed an Act of Attainder and Confiscation against the
Earl of Wiltes and other of Richard's friends; and it was assumed that
the earldom thus became extinct, although legally it only became
dormant, and presents one of the most curiously complicated and
interesting cases that ever came before the Court of Heralds or the
House of Lords, paralleled only, perhaps, in interest by the famous
Scrope-Grosvenor heraldic dispute, between Sir Richard Scrope, the
Earl's father, and Sir Robert Grosvenor, as to the right to bear
"azure a bend or" on their shields of arms, in which 400 witnesses of
the highest rank appeared in evidence.

The patent of the Earldom was thus made out:--"We, considering the
probity, the wise and provident circumspection, and the
illustriousness of manners and birth of our beloved and trusty William
le Scrope, Chevalier, and willing deservedly to exalt him by the
prerogative of honour, do create him in Parliament to be Earl of
Wiltes; and do invest him with the style, name, and honour of the
place aforesaid, by the girding of the sword, to have to him and his
heirs-male for ever. And in order that the Earl and his heirs
aforesaid, for the decency of so great a name and honour, may be the
better and the more honourably able to support the burdens incumbent
on the same, of our special grace we have given and granted, and by
this charter confirm, to the Earl and his heirs aforesaid, £20 to be
received every year out of the issues of the county of Wilton, by the
hands of the sheriff of the county for ever." The patent was made out
in this way, with remainder to his heirs-male, because, although
married, he had no issue by whom it might descend lineally, and it
would thus pass downward in the family through his collateral heirs,
his brothers or their children. In 1859, Simon Thomas Scrope, of
Danby, claimed the dormant Earldom, as heir-general of the grantee, on
the ground that the attainder was invalid, and the case occupied the
consideration of the House of Lords for ten years. In the first place,
the question arose whether by "heirs-general," collateral descendants
were meant, which was decided in the affirmative, and the claimant
then proved to the satisfaction of the House that he was the
heir-general. It was then contended that the attainder was invalid, as
taking up arms in defence of a reigning Sovereign could not by any
possibility be construed into treason; but, on the other hand, it was
argued that the attainder was legal, as it was an Act of the first
Parliament called by Henry. But it was shown that before Henry's
assumption of the crown, whilst the King was in captivity, he made
grants of the Earl's lands and goods in the name of the King, using
Richard's name and seal for the purpose, as he did also in issuing
writs for the summoning of a new Parliament, which were ante-dated so
as to appear to have been issued by the King, and this Parliament it
was which passed the Act of the Attainder. "This, of course," as
Elsynge says, "was entirely illegal, for as the Earl had been
illegally executed, without the pretence, or the possibility of a
pretence, of any legal charge or lawful trial, there could be nothing
to affect the legal rights which devolved upon his heirs, and a murder
could hardly create a forfeiture." Further, it was shown that all the
attainders of the Parliament of Henry were reversed by the first
Parliament of Edward IV., therefore, even if the attainder had been
perfectly legal, it became null and void by the subsequent reversal,
and consequently the title was now lying dormant, and belonged to the
heir-general of Sir William Scrope. This seems to be very simple,
clear, and logical, but the Lords of the nineteenth century thought
otherwise, and gave their decision that an Act of Parliament of the
fourteenth century should be held to be valid, simply because it was
an Act of Parliament, even although reversed by a subsequent Act, and
that, consequently, the claim could not be admitted. The legitimate
heir to the Earldom is, therefore, debarred from enjoying his title.
But if the principle which operated adversely to his claim were to be
set in motion retrospectively, many a proud coronet, even amongst
those who voted against the claim, would fall to the ground.

It has been said by some authorities that Sir William was not the son
of Richard, first Baron Scrope of Bolton, but his nephew, and son of
Henry, first Baron Scrope of Masham.

He purchased, _circa_ 1393, of William de Montacute, the sovereignty
of the Isle of Man, the lord of the island at that time possessing the
right of being crowned and styled king, although subject to the King
of England.

At the time of the execution of the Earl, his brother Richard was
Archbishop of York, who is represented by Walsingham, as having been
"a pious and devout man, incomparably learned, of singular integrity,
and of a goodly and amiable personage," and was so grieved at the
murder of his brother, and so exasperated against the usurper
Bolingbroke, that he entered into conspiracy with the Earl of
Northumberland, who had been alienated from the King, and had lost his
son (Hotspur) at the battle of Shrewsbury, and with Mowbray, Earl of
Norfolk, son of the banished Earl, to dethrone King Henry. The
standard of revolt, emblazoned with the five wounds of Christ, was
raised at Shipton, near York, around which 20,000 Yorkshiremen ranged
themselves. The Archbishop imprudently made known his intentions too
openly, by fixing papers to church doors, charging the King with
usurpation, perjury, sacrilege, and murder; by sending circulars to
other counties calling upon the people to take up arms for his
dethronement; and preaching three sermons denouncing him as a _pseudo_
King, and a traitor to his sovereign. The King, of course, soon heard
of these proceedings, and sent Prince John, afterwards Duke of
Bedford, and the Earl of Westmoreland, with 30,000 men, to put down
the insurrection. They found the conspirators so securely entrenched
in the forest of Galtres that they deemed it most prudent to resort to
a stratagem. By means of flattery and false promises they allured the
Archbishop from his shelter, and immediately arrested him for high
treason, taking him first to Pontefract and then to Bishopthorpe. The
King directed the famous Judge Gascoigne to try and sentence him, who
refused, saying that a Peer must be tried by his Peers. Judge
Fulthorpe, who was less scrupulous, was then appointed, and, with
scarcely the formality of a trial, condemned him to death. "Presently
after, he was set upon an ill-favoured jade, his face towards its
tail, and was carried with great scorn to a field hard by, where his
head was stricken off by a fellow that did his office very ill, not
being able to decapitate with less than five strokes." He was looked
upon as a martyr by the people, who flocked in crowds to pray at his
tomb and place of execution, which was forbidden by the King by
proclamation, and the Pope excommunicated all who were concerned in
his death. (See "The Loyal Martyr, 1722." Maydestone's "History of the
Martyrdom of Archbishop Scrope." "A Narrative of the Decollation of
Archbishop Scrope, by Thos. Gascoigne, D.D.," in MS. in the Bod. Lib.;
and "A Declaration of Archbishop Scrope against the Government of
Henry IV." in Ang. Sec., vol. 2.)

Black-faced Clifford.

Thomas, eighth Baron Clifford, is said by genealogists to have been
born in 1414, and that he was forty years of age when he fell at St.
Alban's; but he must have been nearer fifty than forty, as his son
John, ninth Baron, was born in 1430, when he would be but sixteen
years of age; but marriages were contracted early then. His daughter,
Elizabeth, was married at six years of age to Sir William Plumpton,
who, dying soon after, she was re-married to his brother, her father
stipulating that "they should not ligge together" until she had
arrived at the age of eighteen. He was a portly, soldierly-looking
figure, with a commanding presence, and a tone of voice calculated to
ensure obedience to his commands. He had spent the greater part of his
life, since the dawn of manhood, in the wars of France; was greatly
applauded for his capture of Pontoise by a clever stratagem, in 1438,
and two years afterwards won equal admiration for the skill and
bravery with which he defended it against the troops of King Charles
VII., and in 1445, he was entrusted with the high honour of escorting
to England, Margaret of Anjou, the bride of Henry VI.

John, his son, was somewhat different, possessing neither the martial
figure, the open countenance, nor the genial manner of his father. His
frame was more slenderly proportioned, his face presented rather a
scowl than a smile, and his temperament inclined to a moroseness and
brooding, which rendered him cruel in war and disagreeable amongst his
private friends.

It was a beautiful May morning in the year 1455; the sun was shining
brightly in the Vale of Craven. Breakfast was spread in the great hall
of the castle of the Cliffords. On the daïs at the upper end, sat, at
the cross table, Thomas, Lord Clifford, and his wife, the Lady Joan, a
daughter of Thomas, Lord Dacre, of Gillesland; his son John, with his
wife, Margaret, daughter of Henry Bromflete; Baron Vesey; and the
Prior of Bolton, who had come over on his mule to be present on this
occasion. Down the centre of the hall stretched the long table of
oaken planks resting on trestles, with benches on each side, on which
were seated the knights of the fees of Skipton, esquires, the priests
of the chapel, the secretary, the treasurer, the seneschal, the
constable, and other of the higher officials of the castle, with
others of meaner degree, all ranged higher or lower, above or below
the salt, according to their rank. The tables were loaded with
substantial fare--huge joints of beef, mutton, brawn, and venison;
saltfish, fresh herrings, and eels, with manchetts of bread in
trenchers, interspersed with foaming flagons of ale and pewter
tankards of sack. There was rudely cooked plenty, and keen appetites
to overlook the deficiency of delicacies.

The conversation on the daïs turned upon the great topic of the
day--the manifest aspiration of Richard, Duke of York, to the Crown of
England, and the deposition of the imbecile and monkish-minded King
Henry VI. Henry of Bolingbroke, son of John of Gaunt, fourth son of
Edward, had usurped the throne of his cousin, Richard II., and had
been succeeded by his son, Henry V., and his grandson, Henry VI.,
which usurpation gave rise to the desolating War of the Roses, now
breaking out, and it could not be denied that Richard had a better
claim, as the representative, through Anne, his mother, of the Duke of
Clarence, than Henry had, as representative of the Duke of Lancaster.

"The summons from the King arrived a week ago," said Lord Clifford in
reply to the Prior, "and you will perceive, Holy Father, that I have
lost no time in obeying it."

"And a fine body of men you have gathered together," said the Prior,
"the flower of Craven, whom it would be difficult to match for rude
bravery and devotion to the will of their lord."

"True," replied Clifford, "but we have opposed to us the men of the
Vale of Mowbray, under the Duke of Norfolk, and the stout men-at-arms
of Middleham, the followers of Warwick and Salisbury, all
Yorkshiremen, not less obstinately brave than those of Craven, to say
nothing of the Durham retainers of the Nevilles from Raby. But then we
shall have the powerful assistance of the Percys, with their troops
from Topcliffe and Leckonfield and Wressle, so that it must be a
fierce and bloody contest. I count but little upon the men of the
south and the west of England; it will be the valour of the north
which shall decide it."

"Indeed, my lord," answered the Prior, "I foresee a long and bloody
war, when such powerful competitors are pitted against each other, and
I mourn over the thousands of desolated homesteads in Merry England,
as it is wont to be called; merry, alas! I fear not, for many a long
day to come."

"Have you had any further tidings, sir," inquired the younger
Clifford, "of the movements of Richard of York?"

"Nothing," replied his father, "but that he has raised his standard on
the borders of Wales, and is marching with his troops upon London, to
demand justice upon Somerset; and further, I have received information
that Salisbury, Warwick, and Mowbray, are hastening to join him. But
we must not waste more time; we must perform a long march before

A short service was held, and mass said in the chapel before the
leaders, by the Prior, and the head priest of the chapel extemporised
a religious service in the courtyard to the soldiers, who stood
bareheaded, and listened devoutly. In those days the lower classes,
however rough and barbarous they might be, implicitly believed what
was told them by the priests, without any dogmatic scruples whatever,
believing that the shriving of the priest or monk cleared off all old
scores of sin, and they might, without compunction, commence a fresh
score; the sum and substance of their religion being to serve their
feudal lord faithfully, accept the dogmas of the priest, and
contribute according to their means to the money-chests of the Church
and the monastery.

There was but scant leave-taking; the women of that time were so
accustomed to parting with their husbands and sons for the French and
Scottish wars, that they looked upon it as a matter of course. Outside
the walls was a gathering of the wives, children, and sweethearts of
the rank and file, with whom there were some tender leave-takings from
those, so many of whom they would never more see, and who, despite
their rough exterior, possessed within them hearts beating with
affection and tenderness towards the cheerers of their cottage

The Royalists of Craven made but slow progress as they wended their
way southward. It was not until after some ten days' marching along
rough roads, entangled woods, the fording of rivers, and tramping
through morasses, that Lord Clifford and the men of Craven found
themselves on the borders of Hertfordshire. Here they met with a
messenger from the King, with information that Henry and Somerset,
with an army, small in number, but composed chiefly of nobles and
knights, men of experience and valour, had come forth from London to
meet the Yorkists, and would await Lord Clifford's arrival at Watford,
bidding him to speed with all haste to that rendezvous. Lord Clifford
and his son at this summons spurred on their chargers, leaving the
troops to follow. They found the King occupying a house in the small
town, and in conference with the Duke of Somerset, who had been
nominated by the Queen to the Generalship-in-chief of the forces; they
were admitted to the presence at once, and were cordially received by
Henry, Lord Clifford being high in his favour. The Yorkshire
contingent entered the town soon after, with their banners displayed
and trumpets sounding, and pitched their tents alongside those of the
King's army. A council of war was called in the evening, and Lord
Clifford had the gratification of meeting there his uncle Henry,
second Earl of Northumberland, now sixty years of age, King Henry V.
having reversed the attainder of his grandfather, for the Shrewsbury
and Bramham affairs, and restored him to the Percy estates and
dignities, since which he had won distinction by sharing in the glory
of Agincourt. At this council it was determined to march, on the
following morning, upon St. Alban's, as it was ascertained from scouts
that Richard of York, between whom and Somerset there was bitter
enmity, was marching in that direction with an army he had gathered
round him at Ludlow, which had been augmented on the road by the
contingents of his sympathisers, and was supposed to outnumber the
forces ranged under the Lancastrian banner.

The following morning the tents around Watford were struck by
daylight; the troops breakfasted, and, with banners flying and
trumpets sounding, they commenced their march towards St. Alban's. Sir
Philip Wentworth carried the Royal standard; and with the King, as a
guard of honour, were Humphrey, Duke of Buckingham, and his son, Earl
Stafford; Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland; James Butler, Earl of
Wiltshire; Thomas, Lord Clifford; and other nobles of the first rank.

As the army approached St. Alban's, they perceived the uplands in
front of them covered with armed men, moving rapidly along towards the
old Roman city, in battle array. On seeing this, the Lancastrians
halted, set up the Royal standard, with Lord Clifford and his Craven
men to guard the barriers. The Duke of Buckingham was sent to demand
of the Duke of York why he thus appeared before his Sovereign. Duke
Richard replied that he was loyal to the King, sought only for justice
upon Somerset, and would at once lay down his arms if he would
surrender him to be dealt with according to the laws of the kingdom.
The King, on receiving this message, displayed unwonted spirit, and
replied that "he would as soon give up his crown as deliver up either
Somerset or the meanest soldier in his camp to the mercy of the
Yorkists." This answer was final, and the Red and the White Rose met
for the first time in the struggle of battle.

The Lancastrians had the advantage of position, and were so certain
of victory that Somerset issued orders that no quarter should be given
to the Yorkists, but the latter had firearms of a rude description,
which gave them a counter advantage. Clifford, however, kept them at
bay bravely, and prevented them from coming to close conflict.
Meanwhile, Warwick, with his northern warriors, entered the town from
the other side, and fell upon the King's troops with such vigour that,
as Hall says, "the King's army was profligate disposed, and all the
chieftains of the field almost slain and brought to confusion." The
barriers were at length burst, and York entered the town, and then in
the streets were heard the shouts of "A Warwick! a Warwick!" on the
other side "A York! a York!" and in the midst the war cries of "King
Henry! a Somerset! a Percy! a Clifford!" etc., all intermingled with
the clash of swords upon armour and shield; the whir of arrows flying
through the air; the groans of wounded and dying men, and the screams
of flying women; whilst the market-place was strewn with the bodies of
fallen men, and the streets flowed with blood. Shakspeare makes
Clifford fall at the hand of the Duke of York. Warwick enters

    "Clifford of Cumberland, 'tis Warwick calls!
    And if thou do'st not hide thee from the bear
    Now when the angry trumpet sounds alarm
    And dead men's cries do fill the empty air,
    Clifford, I say, come forth and fight with me!
    Proud northern lord, Clifford of Cumberland,
    Warwick is hoarse with calling thee to arms."

York, however, interposes, and claims the right of fighting with him.

    "_Clifford._--What seest thou in me, York? Why dost thou pause?

    _York._--With thy brave bearing I should be in love,
                  But that thou art so fast mine enemy.

    _Clifford._--Nor should thy prowess want praise and esteem,
                      But that 'tis shown ignobly and in treason.

    _York._--So let it help me now against thy sword,
                  As I in justice and true right express it!

    _Clifford._--My soul and body on the action both!

    _York._--A dreadful lay!--address thee instantly.

                      (_They fight, and Clifford falls._)

    _Clifford._--La fin couronne les oeuvres. (_Dies._)

    _York._--Thus war hath given thee peace, for thou art still.
                  Peace with his soul, Heaven, if it be Thy will."

The slaughter of Lord Clifford at the hands of the Duke of York is the
keynote to young Clifford's subsequent ruthless hatred of the House of
York. Coming up to the body of his father, Shakspeare puts these words
into his mouth--

          "Wast thou ordain'd, dear father,
    To lose thy youth in peace, and to achieve
    The silvery livery of advised age,
    And in thy reverence, and thy chair-days thus
    To die in ruffian battle? Even at this sight
    My heart is turn'd to stone; and while 'tis mine
    It shall be stony. York not our old men spares:
    No more will I their babes; tears virginal
    Shall be to me even as the dew to fire;
    And beauty, that the tyrant oft reclaims,
    Shall, to my flaming wrath, be oil and flax.
    Henceforth I will not have to do with pity
    Meet I an infant of the house of York,
    Into as many gobbets will I cut it
    As wild Medea young Absyrtus did.
    In cruelty will I seek out my fame.
    Come thou new ruin of old Clifford's house.
                        (_Taking up the body._)
    As old Æneas did Anchises bear,
    So bear I thee upon my manly shoulders.
    But then Æneas bore a living load,
    Nothing so heavy as these woes of mine."

Although the Lancastrians fought bravely, nothing could withstand the
superior number of the Yorkists, combined, as it was, with the
military skill and impetuous valour of the Earl of Warwick, and in a
short space of time there lay dead the Duke of Somerset and the Earls
of Northumberland and Stafford; and the Duke of Buckingham and the
Earl of Wiltshire and Ormond grievously wounded. Thus deprived of
their chief leaders, the King being a mere cipher, the Lancastrians
threw down their weapons and fled, Wentworth flinging down the Royal
standard and spurring his horse in the direction of Suffolk. The poor
King was captured; but York treated him with great courtesy and
kindness, conducted him to St. Alban's Abbey, where they prayed
together at the shrine of the martyr, and then went together, victor
and vanquished, to London.

The Yorkists were now in the ascendant, but acted with great
moderation. There were no executions and no attainders; so Clifford
succeeded to the title and kept the estates. The King was again
attacked by his old malady, and again was Richard of York appointed
Protector; but Queen Margaret now began to exhibit her qualities, and
to intrigue in politics. She was truly an able and brave woman, but
vindictive and rash. She succeeded in ousting York from the
Protectorship, and took measures for crushing him effectually; and
again the flames of war broke out.

Lord Clifford did not, under these circumstances, sit at home brooding
over his misfortunes and the bitterness of his hatred to the house of
York. He was always on the alert, at London or elsewhere, attending on
Councils of State or engaged in the field. He fought at Bloreheath,
in 1459, and at Northampton, in 1460, on both of which occasions his
party suffered a defeat; but Margaret, nothing daunted, raised an army
of 18,000 men, and proceeded at their head into Yorkshire, in face of
the frosts and snows of the December of 1460. The Duke of York, with a
small army of 5,000 men, went from London and threw himself into
Sandal Castle, by Wakefield, there to await the arrival of his son
Edward, Earl of March, who was mustering forces in the Welsh Marches.
The Queen came with her army upon Wakefield Green, with the Duke of
Somerset, son of the slain Duke, in chief command, and Clifford and
Wiltshire, son of the Earl who fell at St. Alban's, in command of
ambuscades, one on each side. Then, aware of her numerical
superiority, she appeared before Sandal, and summoned the Duke to come
forth and fight her. "What, are you afraid of encountering an army led
by a woman? Cowardly poltroon! can you be fit to wear the crown of
England, who shut yourself up in a castle against a woman?" York
called a council of war, and was earnestly dissuaded against running
the hazard of a battle before the arrival of his son; but, taunted by
the jeers of the Queen, he felt that his honour was concerned in
fighting at once, despite the numerical odds, and forth he went with
his small army, not one-third that of the Queen.

The Duke sallied forth and met Somerset, with a comparatively small
force, on Wakefield Green, whom he attacked with great vigour,
anticipating, with his better-disciplined men, an easy victory; but
the ambuscades under Clifford and Wiltshire came out upon his flanks,
whilst a contingent of Northern Borderers attacked his rear, and thus,
completely surrounded, his small force succumbed, the White Rose
drooped, and the Red, for the first time, was triumphant. This battle
brought to an end the ambitious aspirations of Richard of York. He was
one of the first to fall, and with him Sir Thomas Neville, Lord
Salisbury's son, and Lord Harrington, the husband of Katherine
Neville, his daughter. Lord Salisbury himself was wounded, but not
sufficiently to prevent his galloping off from the scene. Clifford
however, followed in hot pursuit, captured, and sent him to Pontefract
Castle, where he was at once beheaded.

Previously, however, to his pursuit of the father, Clifford was guilty
of that dastardly act upon his son, the Earl of Rutland, which has
stamped his name with infamy, and has given significance to his
sobriquet of "Black-faced Clifford." The Duke of York had with him, in
Sandal Castle, his family, including the youthful Earl of Rutland.
Boy-like, he must needs go and see the battle, and nothing could
dissuade him. "I will go," said he, "and see my father kill the cruel
Queen; and when I am a man I will go and fight, and kill his enemies
too." "A battle is not a place, Lord Edmund," replied his tutor and
chaplain, Sir Robert Aspall, "for boys. A stray arrow might kill you."
"Think not, sir priest," replied the brave boy, "that a son of Richard
of York is afraid of an arrow! Stay under shelter of these walls, like
craven priest, if you will; I shall go and see the deeds of men who
are men!" Seeing that nothing could turn the boy from his purpose, his
tutor resolved to go with him to keep him out of harm's way, nothing
loth himself to witness the conflict of arms. When the battle was
over, and the vanquished flying, Sir Robert led his charge, away
towards Sandal. They had not proceeded far, when they encountered a
steel-clad warrior on horseback, with blood dropping from his sword.
Perceiving from his apparel that he was a youth of distinction, the
warrior dismounted, and, holding his horse by the reins, inquired who
he was. "Then," as Hall says, "the young gentleman, dismayed, had not
a word to speak, but kneeled on his knees, imploring mercy and
desiring grace, both with holding up his hands and making dolorous
countenance, for his speech was gone for fear. 'Save him,' said his
chaplain, 'for he is a Prince's son, and peradventure may do you good
hereafter.' With that word Lord Clifford marked him, and said, 'By
God's blood! thy father slew mine, and so will I do to thee and all
thy kin,' and with that word, struck the Earl to the heart with his
dagger, and bade the chaplain bear the Earl's mother and brother word
what he had done, and said, adding, 'By this act, Lord Clifford was
accompted a tyrant and no gentleman.'"

Not satisfied with this cowardly act of vindictiveness, Lord Clifford
resolved to carry his vengeful hatred on, by insulting the dead. He
returned to the field, now strewn with corpses, sought for, and found
that of the Duke of York, and cutting off his head, stuck it upon a
lance and carried it, as the most acceptable trophy, to the tent of
the Queen, who received it with ill-timed merriment and jest.
She made a paper crown and placed it on the head, with an
inscription--"This is he who would have been King of England," and
gave directions for it to be conveyed, along with that of Salisbury,
to York, and placed over one of the gates, adding, "Leave room for the
head of my Lord of Warwick, for it shall soon bear them company!"

Queen Margaret, flushed with her victory, marched towards London, but
met with the Earl of Warwick, in February, 1461, at St. Alban's, and
there defeated him, after which the poor captive King was released and
brought to his Queen in Lord Clifford's tent. But Edward, the quondam
Earl of March, now Duke of York, had come up and joined Warwick, who,
together, entered London and were welcomed by the citizens, who
favoured the house of York. Margaret, fearing to meet their united
forces, returned northward, her strongholds and most devoted friends
being in the northern counties, especially on the Scottish borders,
whither she was followed by Duke Edward. She had come to York, and lay
there with 60,000 men, when she heard that York and Warwick had
reached Pontefract with an army of 40,000 men. Anxious to prevent the
passage of the Aire by the enemy, she moved to Towton, some eight
miles off York, and there was fought the memorable and decisive battle
which placed the crown on the head of Edward IV. The Lancastrians had
seized Ferrybridge under Lord Fitzwalter, and Clifford, as courageous
as he was cruel, undertook to dislodge him, which he accomplished. But
Lord Falconbridge crossed the Aire three miles higher, at Castleford,
and attacked Clifford in the flank with a superior force. Clifford
fled towards the Queen's camp, and when he arrived at Dittingdale, two
miles off Towton, feeling thirsty after his exertions, he removed his
gorget and stooped to drink at a streamlet, when an arrow struck him
in the throat, and the murderer of Rutland and insulter of the dead
Richard of York fell to rise no more.

The Shepherd Lord.

For ever memorable in the annals of England will be Palm Sunday in the
year 1461, and equally so the little hamlet of Towton, by Tadcaster.
There and then was fought, in a blinding snowstorm, what Camden calls
"the English Pharsalia," the greatest battle hitherto fought on
English soil, where Englishman met Englishman, and kinsman kinsman, in
deadly conflict, and in which quarter was neither asked nor given. The
conflict lasted ten hours, and the pursuit of the fugitives was
continued until the middle of Monday. 60,000 Lancastrians were met by
40,000 Yorkists, and 36,000 corpses and dying men lay that Sunday
night on the snow of the fields, roads, and hillsides, whilst the
river and streamlets ran with torrents of blood, and the snow became
encrimsoned as it fell. The fight inclined in favour of the Red Rose,
under the command of the Duke of Somerset, although York and Warwick
performed prodigies of valour with their smaller forces, and the day
must have gone against the White Rose, when, towards evening, the
banner of the Mowbrays was seen approaching, and the Duke of Norfolk
came up with a body of fresh troops, who made a vigorous attack on the
Lancastrians, which at once turned the scale, and changed what seemed
to be a defeat into a decisive victory, which was virtually the
deposition of Henry VI., and the elevation of Edward IV. to the
throne--a transference of the crown from the House of Lancaster to
that of York.

The shades of evening were falling over the forest lands around
Skipton, some week or ten days after the battle. The surrounding hills
were covered with snow, and a fierce wind raged round the towers of
the castle, whilst the boughs of the trees crashed against each other,
and ever and anon a huge branch, reft from the parent stem, was flung
with fury to the earth.

Within the castle, in a room overlooking the courtyard, sat the Lady
Clifford, with her young children, two or three female attendants, and
the chaplain of the household. It was very unlike a modern
drawing-room, and, in these Sybarite days, would be looked upon as a
very comfortless apartment; yet was it a fair specimen of the
drawing-room of the period. Instead of Axminster or Aubusson carpets,
the floors were strewn with rushes; instead of oil paintings from the
hands of eminent masters, the walls were hung with tapestries of
Arras, more to cover the rough nakedness of the stonework and exclude
draughts than for æsthetic purposes; the furniture of the room
consisted of a table, two or three chairs, and a few stools of rough
carpentry, not in mahogany or rosewood, but of the native oak, hewn
out of the woodlands of the demesne. On the hearthstone blazed a fire
of wood, sputtering as the sleet fell into it down the wide open
chimney. There was no grate, fender, or fire-irons, but beside the
hearth lay a heap of fresh wood, to be thrown on the fire as required;
and when the embers required stirring, a stick from the heap was used
for that purpose.

Lady Clifford sat in silence, brooding in thought over her absent
husband, with an occasional heavy-drawn sigh; the children were
gambolling about the room in innocent unconsciousness of the perils
to which their father was exposed; the chaplain joined in their romps,
and amused them by telling them tales of Fairyland and the good deeds
of holy saints; and the handmaidens were sitting apart, plying their
distaffs and spinning-wheels, and indulging in the usual gossip of an
isolated castle and the surrounding village, but maintained it in an
undertone, so as not to disturb the meditations of their lady.

"What a fearful night it is," said Lady Clifford, as a terrific gust
of wind came roaring round the towers of the castle, seeming almost to
shake them to their foundations, stoutly as they were built. "It is
terrible even here, sitting as we are under the protection of these
strong walls; what must it be to those who are exposed to its fury,
camped, perchance, on some wild moor, and surrounded by enemies?"

At this moment a trumpet summons for admittance to the castle was
heard; and presently the seneschal entered the room, stating that a
knight was without the gate with tidings of great importance.

"Who is he?" asked Lady Clifford. "Do you know him?"

"Yes, my lady, he is Sir John de Barnoldswick, who accompanied my
lord, and I fear me he brings intelligence of evil import."

"Admit him instantly, and bring him hither."

The rattling of the chains of the drawbridge was heard, and the sound
of opening the ponderous castle gates, followed by the tramping of a
horse in the courtyard, and the heavy footsteps of a steel-clad
warrior on the stone stairs, and a tall, martial-looking figure, but
with melancholy gait and drooping head, entered the room and made a
profound obeisance to the lady of the castle, but without speaking a
word of salutation.

"Whence comest thou, Sir Knight, and what are thy tidings?" inquired
Lady Clifford, in tremulous accents.

"I come from the field of battle, lady, and my tidings are evil."

"Let us hear them; I am a soldier's wife, and ought not to shrink from
calamitous intelligence," she replied, although her nervous trembling
belied her utterance.

"Know, then, lady, that a great and disastrous battle has been fought
near Tadcaster, and the Lancastrian cause lost. I fought till the
last under the Clifford banner; saw many a brave fellow of the Vale of
Craven fall around me, and barely escaped to bring the news hither."

"And what of the King and the brave Queen Margaret?"

"Alas! I know not; they and the Prince of Wales were in York when the
battle was fought. All I know is that Somerset and the King's troops
were utterly defeated, and fled northward, with Warwick and the Duke
of York in hot pursuit."

"And what of my lord? Fled he too? He would never turn his back to the
foes of his King."

"He did not, lady; had he been present, the result might have been
different. He was not in the engagement."

"What mean you by 'not in the engagement'? Surely he, of all men,
would not stand aloof on such an occasion?"

"Alas! lady, I fear to tell you why."

"Speak, man! is he dead? or why was he absent?"

"It is too true, lady, that he can no longer fight in defence of his

"Then he is dead!" cried Lady Clifford, in an agony of despair.

"He fell, my lady, on the eve of the battle, after a glorious act of
valour, by a random shot. Heaven rest his soul!"

"Heaven help my poor children!" cried Lady Clifford, and fell to the
floor in a swoon, the mother's instinctive love for her offspring
prevailing over her grief for her own loss. And truly, she had reason
to fear for them. Her husband, "Black-faced Clifford," as he was
called, had an inveterate hatred for the House of York; he had
murdered, in cold blood, the young Duke of Rutland, brother of Edward
of York; had cut off the head of Richard, Duke of York; and had caused
the Earl of Salisbury, father of Warwick, to be executed at
Pontefract; and it was tolerably certain that York, the future King,
and Warwick, his General, would seek to take vengeance on the children
of him who had committed those atrocities.

The Dukes of York and Warwick marched triumphantly to York, and were
submissively received by the authorities, and there they celebrated
the festival of Easter with great splendour. Hastings, Stafford, and
others had been made Knights-Bannerets on the field; Devon and Wilts
were decapitated by martial law, and their heads placed on the bar
gate of York, whence those of Richard of York and the Earl of
Salisbury, the fathers of York and Warwick, had been removed; and,
after settling affairs in the north, the victors marched to London,
and were welcomed by the citizens with loud demonstrations of joy, the
Londoners being staunch Yorkists.

Lady Clifford prepared to meet her untoward fate, and took measures
for the safety of her children. Her old friend, the venerable Prior of
Bolton, who had made himself acquainted with all that had taken place
since the battle of Towton, so far as could be learnt in that remote
spot, mounted his mule and rode over to the Castle. He was received
courteously and with dutiful reverence by Lady Clifford, and,
moreover, with joy, as she wished to consult him, above all others, as
to her future line of conduct.

"I am at a loss, holy father, to think what I can do. I suppose there
is no hope of retrieval on the part of Queen Margaret?"

"I am afraid not. The Queen is endeavouring to raise another army in
the north, but I fear with little chance of success."

"What, then, will be the effect upon the adherents of the House of
Lancaster? I suppose executions, attainders, and confiscations?"

"Precisely so; and Lord Clifford, one of the most bitter foes of the
House of York, will certainly be included in the first list, his title
extinguished, and his estates confiscated."

"And my poor children will thus lose all their inheritance; but it is
not that I dread this so much as the vengeance of the Duke--King now,
I presume--and of the Earl of Warwick. I fear me that even if their
lives are not sacrificed, they will be cast into dungeons, to languish
out their lives."

"Your apprehensions, my daughter, are, unfortunately, but too
well-founded, and we must consult on some measures for their safety.
You need not fear molestation until Edward has seated himself securely
on the throne, and will be safer within the walls of this castle than
elsewhere. But it will be wise to make provision for removal to some
secure retreat as soon as the Acts of Attainder have passed, and the
King begins to take vengeance on his foes, for then Skipton will pass
into other hands."

"I bethink me of such a place," said Lady Clifford. "Your council is
wise. I can go to the mansion of my father, Lord Vesci, on his
Londesborough estates, near Market Weighton, where it will be possible
to reside as far removed from the world as if out of the world. There
I could bring up my children, without notice, until the cloud had
passed over, or until a change in the wheel of fortune shall restore
the House of Lancaster to the throne."

After some further discussion, the Prior saw that this was the best
plan that could be adopted; and it was arranged that measures should
be taken for departure at any moment, when there should be indications
of the towers of Skipton becoming untenable, and, after a parting
benediction, the reverend Prior mounted his mule, and returned home.

King Edward lost no time in taking steps to paralyse effectually any
further efforts on the part of the adherents of the rival House. He
called together a Parliament, and one of the first measures laid
before it was an Act of Attainder against all the nobles and men of
rank who had appeared in arms against his legitimate claim to the
crown, which, now that he had been successful, was deemed treason. The
demesnes of John, Lord Clifford, extended for seventy miles, with an
interval of ten, from Skipton into the heart of Westmoreland, with
four castles--those of Brougham, Appleby, Brough, and Pendragon,
besides that of Skipton. The Westmoreland estates, with the tenure
Baronies of Vipont and Westmoreland, had been inherited by Robert de
Clifford, third baron, from his great-aunt, Isabella, daughter and
co-heiress of the last male heir of the family of De Vipont. By the
Act of Attainder all these fair lands and castles were reft away from
the family, the Barony of de Clifford was declared to be extinct for
ever, and all the estates, forests, moors, castles, tenements, mills,
and goods escheated to the Crown. In the fourth of the reign, the
castle, manor, and lordship of Skipton, and the manor of Morton were
granted in tail male to Sir Edward Stanley, but in the fifteenth year
were transferred to the King's brother, Richard, Duke of Gloucester,
to hold till death.

It is proverbial that bad news flies rapidly, and it was not long ere
news arrived at Skipton and Bolton of the Act of Attainder. The Prior
had come over to the castle to advise with Lady Clifford. "You must
take your departure at once," said he. "The agents of the usurper will
be here anon and take possession in the name of the King, and it is
not at all improbable that they will have instructions to remove your
children from your care, and immure them in some place of captivity,
if nothing worse befalls them, as the offspring of one of the most
determined enemies of the House of York."

"I have sent a confidential servant," she replied, "to Lord Vesci, my
father, who sends word back that preparation shall be made for my
reception at Londesborough."

"Nothing remains, then," said the Prior, "but to secure your jewels
and other portable articles of value, with such of the family papers
as you may deem it wise to preserve, and to set off on your journey,
with an escort sufficient for your protection, but not so large as to
attract undue notice."

Lady Clifford had left the castle in charge of the seneschal, to
deliver it into the King's hands, and rode forth on a palfrey,
disguised as a farmer's wife. She was accompanied by three or four
horsemen in similar disguise, with whom the children rode, and was
followed at some distance by some half-dozen servitors clad as
peasants, but bearing concealed weapons for the purpose of defence, if
needful, as it was probable that they might meet with disbanded
soldiers, who might not be over scrupulous in waylaying and robbing
chance travellers. The party, as far as possible, went along by-ways,
so as to escape observation, but these were sometimes so rough as to
compel them to take the more beaten high roads, and, passing by Otley,
Tadcaster, and York, arrived at Londesborough without any mishap or
adventure of consequence.

Londesborough is supposed to have been the Delgovitia of the Romans,
and was seated at the foot of the road from Eboracum, one branch going
to the ferry over the Humber at Brough, and the other across
Holderness to the seaport at Ravenspurn. It is presumed, also, that
the Saxon king, Eadwine, had a palace here, and that within its walls
he held his conference with Paulinus, which resulted in the demolition
of the temple of Woden at Goodmandingham, two miles distant. The De
Vescis had built a mansion here, and laid out a park with a noble
avenue of trees, a mile in length, in which Lady Clifford had played
when a child, Londesborough having been her birthplace. The estates
passed at the death of Henry de Bromflete, in 1466, to his daughter,
Margaret, and through her to the De Cliffords, in whose possession
they remained until the death, without issue male, of Henry V., and
last Earl of Cumberland, when they passed, by the marriage of his
daughter and heiress, to the Earl of Burlington, of the Boyle family.
The old mansion was taken down in 1819, and the park divided into

It was with a feeling of melancholy satisfaction that Lady Clifford
found herself in a species of security in her ancestral home, and she
longed to ramble at will about the park and village, as she had been
wont to do in bygone days, but it was not prudent to indulge in such
pleasures, her position necessitating the utmost seclusion of herself
and children from the outer world. About a month afterwards she sent a
messenger secretly to Skipton, to ascertain what had occurred there
since she left, and on his return learnt that the King's Commissioners
had visited the Castle and taken possession of it and the estates in
the name of the Crown; moreover, that they had made particular
inquiries after Lady Clifford and "the brats of the Butcher of
Wakefield," but were put off by being told by the domestics in charge
that they had left Skipton a month ago, and gone they knew not where,
but believed to some country across the sea. The Yorkists, however,
seem to have suspected that this was not the truth, and shortly
afterwards strangers of sinister aspect were observed to be lurking
about Londesborough. This excited great terror in the breast of Lady
Clifford, who saw clearly that her children were in great danger, and
she took prompt measures for their safety. She had three
children--Henry, the eldest, about seven years of age; Richard, the
younger son; and a daughter--Elizabeth, affianced to one of the
Plumptons of Plumpton. She soon decided on her plans. The maid who had
nursed her when a child, had married a shepherd on the estate, and
Henry was placed under her charge, to be brought up as her child, to
live as his foster-parents lived, and follow the occupation of tending
sheep on the hillsides, in which measure, he, being an intelligent
child, cheerfully acquiesced, assumed the shepherd's garb, and
attended to the duties of his new station without the slightest
murmur, his sole regret being the enforced absence from his mother.
Richard was sent in charge of a careful servant to Ravenspurn, and
thence carried across the sea to Flanders, whilst Elizabeth, who, it
was supposed, would not be molested, remained as the sole comfort and
solace of her mother. These measures were not taken a moment too soon,
for "a little after they were thus disposed of, the adverse party
examined their mother about them, who told them that she had ordered
them to be carried beyond sea to be bred up there; but whether they
were alive or not she could not tell, which answer satisfied them for
the present," and, after making strict search without effect, they

In 1466, Lord de Vesci died, and Lady Clifford, as his heiress,
succeeded to his estates, when a rumour reached Londesborough from the
Court that the King suspected that the children were in concealment
there, upon which Lady Clifford sent the shepherd, with his wife and
young Henry, to a farm in a remote and wild part of Cumberland, where
there were few inhabitants, and no roads upon which passengers would
travel, excepting from one sheep track to another. In this lonely
solitude, tending his sheep on the bleak hills, Henry grew up from
boyhood to youth, and from youth to manhood--a mere shepherd and
little more. His fare was that of an ordinary peasant--oaten or rye
bread, occasionally swine flesh, and water from the running brook. His
bed consisted of sheepskins on a heap of straw, and his shelter from
the inclemency of the weather a straw-thatched cottage. He associated
with the few scattered people of the district as one of themselves,
and joined the young men in the rude sports of the period. He grew up
without any education whatever, and knew neither how to read nor
write; yet he had a soul attuned to higher things, and when abroad at
night with his sheep would observe the constellations in the heavens,
and weave theories in his own mind relative to the origin, motions,
and uses of the glittering specks which studded the firmament over his
head, a study which he afterwards pursued with more intelligence, in
company with the Canons of Bolton at Barden Tower. Thus he lived until
his thirty-second year, thinking only to live and die a Cumberland
shepherd, and possibly to marry, and be the progenitor of a race of
peasants, who should have no reminiscences of the glories of Skipton,
or the martial deeds of their illustrious ancestors.

The political world of England, however, had not stood still in the
interval, mighty events had been taking place. Edward, the King, had
been gathered to his fathers, after the judicial murder of his
brother, the Duke of Clarence. His sons, Edward V. and the Duke of
York, were murdered by their uncle, Richard of Gloucester, who usurped
the throne. Henry, Earl of Richmond, with Lancastrian blood in his
veins, invaded England, and the battle of Bosworth was fought in the
year 1485, when the usurper Richard was slain, and Richmond ascended
the throne as King Henry VII.

The Yorkist dynasty having now come to an end, there remained no more
fear for the Cliffords. The shepherd was brought from the fells of
Cumberland to Londesborough. Soon after the Attainder was reversed,
the confiscated estates restored, and the Clifford banner again
floated in the breeze from the towers of Skipton. But the Shepherd
Lord felt not at home amid the splendours of his castle, and he fitted
up one of the keeper's lodges in Barden Forest for his residence,
where he lived in great simplicity, spending his days in hunting and
his nights in watching the stars, and studying astronomy with the
Canons of Bolton, with such rude instruments as were then to be

In 1513, when about sixty years of age, he received a summons to
attend the expedition into Scotland, with a contingent of men-at-arms,
and held a command at the battle of Flodden, where he displayed the
hereditary military skill and valour of the Cliffords.

    "From Penigent to Pendle Hill,
      From Linton to Long Addingham,
    And all that Craven coasts did till,
      They with the lusty Clifford came.
    All Staincliffe Hundred went with him,
      With striplings strong from Wharfedale,
    And all that Hauton Hills did climb,
      With Longstroth eke and Litton dale,
    Whose milk-fed fellows, fleshly bred,
      Well brown'd, with sounding bows upbend,
    All such as Horton fells had fed,
      On Clifford's banners did attend."

                   --_Ballad of Flodden Field._

He survived the battle ten years, died in 1523, at about the
seventieth year of his age, and was buried with his ancestors in the
church of Bolton.

Margaret, Lady Clifford, married for her second husband, Launcelot
Threlkeld, and bore him three daughters. She survived her first
husband thirty years, and the restitution seven years, dying in 1491,
at Londesborough. She was buried in the church there, near the altar,
under a slab, with an inlaid brass plate bearing the following
inscription:--"Orate pro anima Margarete, D'ne Clifford et Vescy, olim
spouse nobilissimi viri joh'is D'm Clifford et Westmoreland, filie et
hereditis Henrici Bromflet, quondam D'ni Vescy, etc. ... Matris
Henrici Domini Clifford, Westmoreland et Vescy, quae obiit 15 die mens
Aprilis, Anno Domini 1491, cujus corpus sub hoc marmore est humatum."

The Felons of Ilkley.

The town of Ilkley, on the Wharfe, now so well known to tourists for
the beauty of its situation and the grandeur of the natural scenery
surrounding it, and to invalids for the invigorating and restorative
qualities of its waters, is a place of very ancient date. It was built
and fortified by the proprætor, Virius Lupus, in the time of the
Emperor Severus, the fortress being situated on a precipitous bank of
the Wharfe, and a cohort stationed there. Remains of the intrenchments
are still to be seen, and altars, sepulchral stones, and other
memorials of the Roman Olicaria have frequently been disinterred.
Under the Saxons, too, it was a place of some importance, with a
church and priest. In the churchyard there are some remarkable relics
of this age, consisting of three stone crosses, with curiously
convoluted knots and scroll work. Afterwards it sank into a mere
village, but with a grammar school, founded in 1601 by the
parishioners, and so remained until recent times, when the fame of its
salubrious springs went forth over the land and attracted crowds of
fashionable invalids and hypochondriacs.

It was in the latter half of the seventeenth century, when the reign
of the Puritans had come to an end, and the "Merry Monarch" had been
restored to the throne of the Stuarts, bringing with him the
profligate, licentious, and profane manners of the Court of
Versailles, that one fine summer's afternoon a party of roysterers,
who had been at a cock-fight, burst into the kitchen of the mud-built
and thatched alehouse of Ilkley, calling upon Mistress Laycock, the
alewife, for sundry flagons of ale wherewith to moisten their throats,
parched and dry with halloaing and shouting out bets at the cocking
match. The twenty years' rule of the Puritans, with the suppression of
sports, theatres, and other amusements, and the substitution of long
sermons and long prayers, had produced the natural reaction, and now
the people of Ilkley, as in other places, returned with renewed zest
to their bull-baiting, dog fights, cudgel matches, and their more
innocent amusements of dancing round the maypole, holding yule-feasts
and village fairs, and mumming in grotesque masquerade on Plough

The roysterers who thus boisterously invaded Dame Laycock's kitchen
were Tom Heber, a young scapegrace, son of Reginald Heber, a
barrister-at-law of the Middle Temple, and an offshoot of the ancient
family of Heebeare, who had been settled in Craven for some centuries.
He had been brought up in the old gabled and cross-timbered house of
his father in Ilkley, had been well educated, and was a clever and
accomplished young fellow; moreover, his father had taken him once or
twice to London, and he had been a witness of the revels and
immoralities of Whitehall, which struck his fancy as being the
perfection of human bliss. His companions this afternoon were Will
Hudson, the village cobbler, who infinitely preferred swaggering at a
bull-baiting to hammering at the lapstone; Walter Pollard, a shoeing
smith, whose feats at tossing off the contents of a blackjack were the
admiration of his comrades; Jack Smithers, a journeyman flesher, whose
dog was the pride of the village for his pluck in tackling any animal
of his size or more than his size; and two or three other
rapscallions of the village, who were ever foremost in a brawl, and
more frequently seen in the purlieus of the alehouse than in pursuit
of their proper vocations.

These worthies had now seated themselves on the long-settle which
faced a fire of wood on the hearth-stone, over which swung a large
cauldron, and called out vociferously for the ale. "Now then, Mother
Laycock," shouted Heber, "when is this ale coming?" "The old score's
not paid yet, Master Thomas," replied she, from another room, "and I
told you that I would not draw another pint until that was paid." "Oh!
you won't, won't you; then your crockery shall suffer for your
obstinacy; so here goes," and down he dashed an earthenware jug on the
floor, upon which she rushed in, and opening a cupboard door, showed a
long score chalked against him. "Oh! hang the score," said he, "you
know I shall pay you some day; my father cannot be so hard as to keep
me entirely without money." "But, Master Thomas, I cannot afford to
give such long trust." "Now, Mistress Laycock, you know I am a good
customer, and always pay in the long run; is this ale forthcoming?"
and down he threw another piece of crockery, adding, "It shall all go
if you do not bring the ale." The old dame, terrified at the breakage
of her pots, then gave in and produced the ale, adding it to the score
on the cupboard door.

The ale jug passed merrily round, and the conversation turned first
upon the points of the cock-fight they had been witnessing, and then
upon the merits of the competitors in a wrestling match which was
coming off the following Sunday. They then began to complain of their
scant fortunes, not attributing it at all to their lack of industry in
business. "I'll tell you what it is," said Heber, "it's a parlous
shame that my father keeps me so short of money." "It is! it is!"
echoed his companions. "He has brought me up as a gentleman, and given
me a good education, but does not allow me the means to support that
position, and I say again that it is cursed shame; but never mind,
boys, the time is coming when I shall have plenty of gold to scatter
about amongst you, my jolly companions." "Brayvo! brayvo! three cheers
for Squire Heber." "Meanwhile," continued he, "it is the best
philosophy to make the best of what we have, to enjoy life as much as
we can, to dance, and drink, and sing, and fling dull care to the
winds. So drink, boys! drink! and I will sing you one of Cowley's new
songs which I picked up in London." And he trolled forth--

    "Fill the bowl with rosy wine;
    Around our temples roses twine;
    And let us cheerfully awhile,
    Like the vine and roses smile,
    Crown'd with roses we contemn
    Gyges' wealthy diadem.

    To-day is ours; what do we fear?
    To-day is ours; we have it here.
    Let's treat it kindly, that it may
    Wish, at least, with us to stay.
    Let's banish business; banish sorrow;
    To the gods belongs to morrow."

Of course, the song was rapturously applauded by the listeners, who
caught the general sentiment, but were unable to understand the
allusions or appreciate the refinement of the language. Suddenly Heber
exclaimed--"Lads! a bright thought has flashed across my mind. We want
money, and money we must have. Old Alic Squire is well to do, and
always has a considerable sum of money by him, and it would be a
charity to relieve him of the care and anxiety of keeping it in that
lonely house of his. The thing could be easily done. We have but to
disguise ourselves, break into his house, take what we require, and
leave him to attribute the appropriation, I won't call it theft, to
professional burglars." The confederates highly approved of the
scheme, and gave a ready assent, after which they arranged a plan of
operation, and agreed to carry it into execution three nights hence.

On the appointed evening they assembled at the house of Will, the
cobbler, where they donned sundry disguises, armed themselves with
cudgels, an axe, a crowbar, and a wooden wedge, and sallied forth into
the moonlight. Squire's farmhouse lay at a little distance from the
village, shrouded in trees. It was occupied by himself, a widower, and
his married daughter, Elizabeth Beecroft; whilst in the barn, on that
night, slept one Jane Beanland. The moon was nearly at full, but
masses of clouds drifted across its face, obscuring its beams, so that
it only shone out at intervals. As they approached the house at
midnight a profound silence prevailed; not a dog barked, and it was
only broken occasionally by the distant hooting of an owl. A minute or
two were only required to force open the door by the application of
the wedge and three or four blows of the axe, and Heber, Hudson, and
Pollard entered the house, the others remaining outside. The old man
had been awakened by the noise of forcing the door open, and he came
from his bedroom half-dressed, demanding what they wanted by thus
breaking into his house. "Money," was the reply, "and if you do not
give it up we shall take it." "I have got no money for you," he
answered, and, seizing upon a poker, he stood upon his defence, but
was overpowered by a blow on the head, and the robbers then prized
open his desk, but found in it not more than fifty shillings, and
broke open a cupboard, taking from it a piece of beef, after which
they went away, much disappointed at the smallness of their booty.
Notwithstanding their disguise, they had been identified, Squire, in
his deposition, stating that he recognised Tom Heber by his stature
and the softness of his hand, which he felt when struggling with him;
Elizabeth, his daughter, whose room they had entered and "nearly
smothered her in the bed clothes," also recognised "Mr. Thos. Heber,"
as one of the party; and Jane Beanland deposed that, as she lay in the
barn, she heard the voices of Mr. Thos. Heber, of Holling, and William
Hudson, of Ilkley, when they were breaking open the door. Moreover,
Elizabeth Longfellow gave evidence that going into the alehouse of
Josias Laycock, where Walter Pollard was drinking, she overheard him
say, "I am now making Bess Squire's half-crowns fly." They had left
behind them also an iron gavelock, a staff, and a wedge, which were
identified as having been in their possession a day or two before the
crime was committed.

These facts having come to light, warrants were issued for the
apprehension of the offenders, and they were brought before Walter
Hawkesworth, of Hawkesworth, the nearest magistrate. This gentlemen
was a friend of Serjeant Heber, and, knowing Tom well, he expressed
his regret at seeing him placed in that situation, who, however,
laughingly replied that it was only done for a lark, but the
magistrate, after hearing the depositions, with a grave countenance,
said "It might be a lark, but at the same time it was a felony, and a
serious outrage of the law, and he had no alternative but to commit
them to York for trial at the assizes."

They were consequently arraigned at the assizes on a charge of
burglary, but escaped the usual severe punishment, partly on the
ground that the crime was committed as a frolic, which was the line
of defence, partly through family influence, and partly through the
powerful agency of money.

It is a remarkable fact that there were then resident in Ilkley two
families--the Hebers, of whom was the criminal, and the Longfellows, a
member of whom was a witness on the trial against him, and that from
them are descended two of the most charming poets of modern
times--Reginald Heber, Bishop of Calcutta, author of "Palestine," and
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, whose writings are as much admired in
England as in his native America.

The Ingilby Boar's Head.

The crest of the Ingilbys of Ripley is "A boar's head couped and erect
arg., tusked or," which was obtained by an early knight of the family,
in a romantic fashion, and as the reward for a valiant achievement.

In the reign of Edward the Confessor the manor of Ripley was held by
Merlesweyn, a powerful Danish lord, and owner of many another manor
and estate in the same district. He joined in the Gospatric
insurrection against William the Conqueror, in favour of Edgar the
Atheling, for which rebellion his lands were confiscated, and granted
to Ralph de Paganel, a Norman noble who had fought at Hastings, and
who besides became Lord of Leeds, Headingley, and extensive estates on
the Ouse, the Aire, and the Nidd; holding the Merlesweyn estates _in
capite_ from the King; Leeds, etc., by the service of a knight's fee
and a half, under the Lacies of Pontefract; whilst lands at Adel,
Arthington, etc., devolved on him in right of his wife, Matilda,
daughter of Richard de Surdeval. He was the founder of the Priory of
the Holy Trinity, York, upon which, in 1080, he bestowed the churches
of Leeds and Adel.

From the Paganels, Ripley passed to the Trusbut family, how does not
appear, and from them, by the marriage of the heiress, to the family
of de Ros of Ingmanthorpe, a branch of the de Ros's of Hamlake and
Holderness, who became the superior lords, under whom the manor was
held for half a knight's fee, early in the twelfth century, by a
family whose previous name is not recorded, but who adopted that of de
Ripley from their possessions. From this family descended the famous
Canon of Bridlington, Sir George de Ripley, in the fifteenth century,
the alchymist and "discoverer" of the philosopher's stone, as he
professed, in 1470, and who contributed annually vast sums of money to
the Knights of Rhodes for maintaining their warfare against the

The Ingilbys are of Scandinavian origin, seated for a long period at
Engelby, in Lincolnshire, whence they derived their surname, who, at
the time of Domesday Book held three manors in Lincolnshire, two in
the North Riding of Yorkshire, under the Bishop of Durham and William
of Poictou, and one in Derbyshire. In 1350, or thereabouts, Sir Thomas
de Ingilby, Justice of the Common Pleas, married Catherine of Luerne,
daughter and heiress of Bernard (?) de Ripley, and came into
possession of the Ripley estates, where he settled, and, seven years
afterwards, obtained a charter for an annual fair and weekly market at

The Ingilbys, still extant, have held a distinguished place among the
families of Yorkshire, and many members of the family have been
entrusted with high offices in Church and State, and become eminent in
the field.

John Ingilby (_temp._ Richard II.), was the second founder of and
benefactor to the Carthusian Monastery of Mount Grace, in Cleveland.
John, born at Ripley in 1434, "did wondrously flourish in the reign of
Henry VI." Sir William, his son, was knighted by "Lord Gloucester on
Milton Field, in Holland, in 1482," for valour. A John de Ingilby was
Prior of Sheen and Bishop of Llandaff, 1496-1500. Sir William, born
1515, was High Sheriff of Yorkshire and Treasurer of Berwick, _temp._
Elizabeth. David, his second son, married Anne Nevile, daughter of
Charles, sixth Earl of Westmoreland, by which marriage his
representatives, with those of Nicholas Pudsey, are co-heirs of the
abeyant Barony of Nevile of Raby. Francis, third son of Sir William,
was a Roman Catholic priest, and was executed at York, in 1586, for
performing the functions of his office in the realm. John, fifth son
of Sir William, was presented in the list of recusants in 1604.
William, eldest son of Sampson of Spofforth, fourth son of Sir
William, was created baronet in 1642, and fought on the King's side at
Marston Moor. His castle at Ripley was garrisoned for the King, and
Cromwell, after the battle of Marston Moor, passing through Ripley,
demanded lodgings for the night, which was at first refused by Lady
Ingilby, but he was, after a parley, admitted, on the promise that his
followers should not be guilty of any impropriety. She received him
with a couple of pistols stuck in her apron string, and on leaving in
the morning, he inquired the meaning of the two weapons. "I'll tell
you," she replied, "why I had two; it was that the second might be
ready in case the first missed fire, for if you had behaved otherwise
than peaceably I should have pistolled you without the least remorse."
Sir William rebuilt Ripley Castle. In one of the towers is the
following inscription:--"In the yiere of owre Ld. M.D.L.V. was this
towre buyldyd by Sir Willyam Ingilby, Knight; Philip and Mary reigning
that time." In the great staircase window is a series of escutcheons
on stained glass, containing the arms of Ingilby and of the families
with whom they had inter-married. Sir William, the second baronet,
purchased the manor of Armley from the Mauliverers. Sir John, the
fourth baronet died 1772, when the baronetcy expired. The baronetcy
was revived in 1781, in the person of John Ingilby, an illegitimate
son of the fourth baronet of the previous creation. Sir William
Amcotts, his fourth son, succeeded to the baronetcy of his maternal
grandfather, Sir Wharton Amcotts, by special remainder, and to that of
his father in 1815, but died S.P., in 1854, when the baronetcy

In 1866 the baronetcy was again restored, in the person of the Rev.
Henry John, nephew of the above Sir John, in his succession by will to
the Ripley estates, whose son, Sir Henry Day is the present holder,
with (according to the new Domesday Book, of 1876) an acreage in the
West Riding of 10,000, producing a rental of £11,149 per annum.

In Ripley Castle there is, or was, a full-length portrait of a knight
of the Ingilby family, attired in the hunting costume of the
Plantagenet times, with the head of a wild boar at his feet. This is
the presentment of Sir William Ingilby, a doughty warrior and a hunter
of renown, who lived in the troublous reign of Edward II. Although the
representative of the family still lived in Lincolnshire, not having
yet acquired the Ripley estates, this Sir William resided on one of
the Yorkshire estates not far distant from Ripley, and would be on
terms of intimacy with the family of de Ripley, whose heiress was won
by Sir Thomas Ingilby, the Justice of the Common Pleas, and who
possibly might have been the son of Sir William. Sir William had
gained some renown in the Scottish wars of King Edward I. against
William Wallace, and had been an ardent and loyal supporter of the
weak and unfortunate second Edward on his accession to the throne,
from the fact of his being the son of the great and glorious King, the
first of that name.

He remained loyal until the King gave himself up into the hands of his
favourite, Piers Gaveston, who humoured his naturally depraved
inclinations, and led him into acts of malgovernment, which estranged
the hearts of the people. He loaded him with benefits, bestowing on
him great estates and much treasure. Amongst other grants he gave him
the Lordship of Knaresborough Castle and forest, with divers
liberties, franchises, and privileges, which led him to assume a high
and dictatorial tone to the nobles of the realm, who expostulated with
the King, and compelled him to banish the insolent foreigner. But the
King, not able to learn wisdom in the school of experience, recalled
him and bestowed fresh benefits upon him, which so exasperated the
Barons that they rose in arms, with Thomas, Earl of Lancaster, at
their head, captured the favourite in Scarborough Castle, and beheaded
him. The King then took the Spensers into his favour, who became more
intolerably oppressive than their predecessor, upon which the Barons
again rose in arms, but were defeated in a battle at Boroughbridge,
and nearly a hundred barons, knights, and other prisoners put to
death, the Earl of Lancaster being beheaded at Pontefract. In the
sequel, however, the Spensers met the same fate as Gaveston, the elder
being executed at Bristol, and the younger at Hereford.

Notwithstanding his personal loyalty, Sir William became so disgusted
at the imbecile conduct of the King, and the arrogance of his
favourites, that he took up arms with the Barons for the purpose of
removing them from the Royal councils. A bloody revenge was taken by
the King on the leaders and more prominent members of the conspiracy,
but those of lesser degree were permitted to escape capital
punishment, being punished by fines, confiscations, etc., and lay
under a cloud of disgrace until the barbarous murder of the King in
Berkley Castle, and the accession of Edward III., removed the stigma.

In this latter category was included Sir William Ingilby, who would
most probably have remained alienated from the good graces of the King
had not a fortunate circumstance occurred, which restored him to
favour, and which had an influence in enhancing the dignity of the

Sir William's residence was in the valley of the Nidd, "one of the
most romantic, picturesque, and wealthy vales in England." Spreading
around for a distance of several miles lay the magnificent Forest of
Knaresborough, the home of wild cattle, wolves, wild boars, the
roebuck, and other ferocious animals of the chase. To the east stood,
on its craggy and almost inaccessible rock, overhanging the Nidd and
the then small village of Knaresborough, the formidable fortress of
Serlo de Burgh, whilst on the verge of the forest stood the splendid
monastic establishments of Fountains, Bolton, Ripon, and other lesser
houses. The forest has the reputation of having been one of the haunts
of Robin Hood, one portion bearing traditionally the name of "Robin
Hood's Park," whence he issued to pay his visits to the Abbey of
Fountains, as recorded in ballad lore. In the western portion of the
forest lay the Royal chase of Haverah Park (Hey-wra, the park of the
wra or roe), consisting of 2,000 acres, densely wooded, and inhabited
by beasts of chase, which were kept together and preserved by an oak
paling, which encircled the park. The road thither from Knaresborough
ran through the forest south of the Nidd, and across an upland, since
famous for its chalybeate springs, and where there were then a few
scattered cottages, forming a small hamlet, which came to be
designated Heynragate--the road to Heynra Park--which has since been
corrupted into Harrogate, and has become one of the most fashionable
inland watering places in the kingdom.

The Castle and forest of Knaresborough were granted to Serlo de Burgh,
who built the castle, after whom they were alternately in the hands of
the Crown, or of some Royal favourite on whom they had been bestowed.
Edward II. made a grant of them to Piers Gaveston, on whose death they
reverted to the Crown. It was during this period that the King came to
Knaresborough Castle to relax himself from the cares and anxieties of
Royalty, by three or four days' hunting in Haverah Park. He was not
attended by a large retinue, being only accompanied by three or four
friends, and a few body servants; huntsmen, beaters, and other
attendants of the chase being permanently retained there, as well as
hounds and all the requisite hunting gear and weapons; this was
because of his unpopularity with the people, on account of his
governing the realm upon the advice of unworthy favourites. Hence he
came down with some degree of secrecy, in a species of incognito, and
it was not known generally to the residents of the valley who the
hunter was, the supposition being that he was some friend of the
King's, who had been given permission to hunt in Haverah chase.

The day following his arrival at Knaresborough, the King rode through
the forest to Haverah, accompanied by his friends, and a following of
attendants bearing bows and arrows, boar spears, beating staves, and
other implements of hunting, who were on foot. On entering the
enclosures the attendants sent their dogs amongst the underwood and
commenced beating the bushes, with loud cries to start the game. As
these were very plentiful, a number of small animals, badgers, foxes,
polecats, etc., were roused from their lairs in quick succession, and
afforded considerable sport. Two or three stags were also started, one
of which was killed by the King, by an arrow shot; and a wolf made his
appearance, who displayed great pugnacity, and caused great excitement
amongst the hunters. Towards noon the King and his friends sat down to
a refection under the shadow of a patriarchal oak, which, from its
size and evident age, rendered it possible that it might have
witnessed the Druidical mysteries of the Brigantes. Again the beaters
and dogs commenced their operations, and were rewarded by the
appearance of a huge wild boar, armed with a formidable pair of tusks,
who rushed into the glade where the hunters were assembled. The dogs
rushed upon him, barking with eagerness, and the King and his friends,
taking boar spears from the attendants, rode at a gallop towards the
animal, who gazed upon them for a few moments, as if to measure the
strength of his opponents, and then turned and dashed amongst the
underwood, followed by the hounds and the hunters.

Two or three of the dogs, venturing too near the boar, were instantly
ripped up, and the hunters followed as best they might through the
tangled brushwood. The King, who was better mounted than his friends,
soon left them behind, and, brandishing his spear, followed in the
track made by the boar, not without sundry scratches from the
projecting branches of the forest trees; but the boar still kept
ahead, occasionally turning to look at the hounds who were yelping at
his heels, and then dashing onward again; whilst the King, mounted on
a powerful and fleet horse, gradually gained on the beast, despite
the obstacles that beset his path.

Although the forest of Knaresborough was a Royal appanage, the
foresters, as the inhabitants of the district were called, possessed
certain privileges of hunting therein, with certain limits; from
Haverah Park alone were they excluded, that domain being reserved
exclusively for the King and those to whom he gave permission to hunt
in the enclosure. Sir William Ingleby being a "forester," therefore
had the right of following game in the forest outside the palings of
Haverah. On the same day that the King went to hunt in Haverah Park,
Sir William went out, boar spear in hand, in search of sport. He was
not accompanied by either attendant or dog, trusting alone to his own
natural prowess, in case he should meet with game. In his wanderings
he had come near the palings of the park, and sat down to partake of a
luncheon he had brought with him in his pocket. He was just finishing
his meal when he heard the cry of hunting dogs, and immediately
afterwards a crashing sound. Looking up he saw the palings give way,
and a huge boar rushing through the gap, followed by half a dozen dogs
and a man on horseback. He had just time to observe that the hunter
was clad in a buff jerkin, with high-reaching boots, and was
brandishing a boar spear and encouraging the hounds, when the boar,
finding himself so hotly pursued, turned at bay, drove his tusks into
a couple of the dogs, and then sprang upon the hunter, overturning the
horse, and laying the hunter prostrate on the sward. He was just on
the point of dashing his tusks into the body of the fallen enemy, when
Sir William rushed up, and with well directed aim struck his spear
into the heart of the boar, which fell lifeless at his feet, and then,
taking his knife from his girdle, with a huntsman's skill severed the
head from the body, the whole occupying but a few minutes.

"And who are you, my brave fellow?" inquired the fallen hunter, whom
Sir William had assisted in rising and disentangling from his horse.

"I am a denizen of the forest," replied Sir William. "As to my name,
it matters not; but right glad am I to have been the means of rescuing
you from the fangs of that monster."

"You have saved me from death, whoever you may be," said the hunter,
"and your guerdon shall be equivalent to the service you have
rendered me."

"May I be allowed to ask who you may be," continued Sir William, "who
are hunting in the King's chase?"

"I am connected with the court of the King, who has come hither for
the divertisement of hunting."

"The King, whom Heaven preserve, then is present in the chase?"
inquired Sir William.

"He is," replied the hunter, "the remainder of the party will be here

"How shall I know the King, for I shall wish to pay due respect to

"Oh, he may be easily recognised, for he will remain covered, while
all the rest momentarily remove their hats."

At this moment the rest of the hunting group came up, all of whom
uncovered their heads.

"Now, do you recognise the king?" inquired the hunter.

"I do," he replied, dropping on his knee, "and crave pardon for the
boldness of my language."

The King, for he it was, then told his followers how Sir William had
saved his life, and that although he had declined giving his name, he
would find that out, and would reward him suitably for so important a

"Please your Majesty," said one of the beaters, "I know who the
gentleman is; he is Sir William Ingleby of Nidderdale."

"Sir William Ingleby?" said the King. "If I remember aright, you were
one of those who, along with our kinsman, Lancaster, appeared in arms
against our Royal authority."

"Not my Liege," replied Ingleby, "against your Royal authority, but
against your evil advisers."

"Well," continued the King, with a slight scowl, "let bygones be
bygones; you have done me a service which obliterates all that. You
are from this moment restored to favour; in memory of what you have
done this day, I decree that, for the future and all time, you and
your family shall bear, as the crest of your arms, a boar's head. Let
me see you shortly at my Court, and then I will see what further I can
do out of gratitude for the service you have rendered me."

Sir William made a profound obeisance to the King, and from that time
the fortunes of the Inglebys, from that circumstance, coupled with
the fortunate marriage with the heiress of Ripley, continued to rise.

The Rev. Thomas Parkinson, in his "Lays and Leaves of the Forest"
(1882), writes--"It is impossible to fix any date at which the various
wild animals ceased to inhabit the forest. The wild cattle are not
mentioned after the thirteenth century. Wolves were probably extinct
in the fourteenth; indeed there are traditions of their existence
three centuries later. Deer there were in 1654 A.D., for William
Fleetwood, Sergeant of the Duchy of Lancaster, was plaintiff in a suit
against Ellis Markham for destruction of some deer, game, and trees in
Haverah or Heywra Park, at that date. The last wild boar is said to
have been slain in the Boar-hole in Haverah Park, in the reign of
Charles II. By the middle of the reign of Elizabeth, however, say 1580
A.D., probably all, except very rare specimens indeed, the larger wild
animals were gone.... Nominally, the district remained a Royal forest
up to the time of its enclosure, under Act of Parliament, in 1771
A.D., but long before that date it had practically ceased to be a
refuge for wild beasts, or to be used for the chase. As we have seen,
its larger animals were extinct, and, besides losing its chief fauna,
it has been denuded, in a great measure, of its green woods and forest
monarchs. This is said to have been brought about chiefly by the
existence of smelting furnaces for lead and iron in the

The Eland Tragedy.

In the reign of King Edward III., four gentlemen, the heads of four
reputable county families, resided in their respective halls, within a
short distance of each other, in the neighbourhood of Huddersfield.
They were Sir John Eland, of Eland Hall; Sir Robert Beaumont, of
Crosland Hall; Sir Hugh Quarmby, of Quarmby; and John Lockwood, of
Lockwood. The family of Sir John Eland had been seated here for
several generations, descended from Leisingus de Eland, from whom
Lasingcroft derives its name. They were a knightly race, had
inter-married with some of the best county families, and lived in a
style of great splendour. Their lands were held as a fief under the
Earls of Warren, and Sir John, who now represented the family, held
the stewardship of the Earl's manors in Yorkshire, including that of
Wakefield. He was also the shire-reeve, and, as such, the
representative of the King, in the administration of justice and law
within the county. Little further is known of him, and he would have
scarcely been remembered, but for a deadly feud which arose between
him and his above-mentioned neighbours, and a series of atrocious
murders arising thereout. Even this might have been forgotten, as at
that time deadly fights between families or communities frequently
occurred, and excited but little notice, blood-for-blood vengeance
being looked upon as a matter of course, and in the same light that
duels were a century or two ago. The Livery Companies then frequently
met in Cheapside to settle their quarrels with bows and clubs; and the
famous fight of Chevy Chase was nothing more than the outcome of a
dispute between two border Earls about hunting without permission
across the border. So, with other frays of similar character, it might
have passed into oblivion, but for a ballad which was written at the
time, a modernised version of which appeared _temp._ Henry VIII., and
which has come down to the present time--a copy of which was printed
in Halifax in 1789, and another published in Whittaker's "Loidis et
Elmete." The more modern version was entitled "Revenge upon Revenge: a
narrative of the tragical practices of Sir John Eland, High Sheriff
of Yorkshire, on Sir Robert Beaumont, in the reign of King Edward
III." It gives the whole of the proceedings, with such circumstantial
detail that, although some authorities have endeavoured to throw
discredit upon the narrative, and expressed their belief that it is a
fiction, it bears internal evidence of its truth. Sir John was a man
of overbearing temper, impatient of opposition to his behests, and
implacable in his hatred. The ballad opens with a long diatribe on
pride and worldly ambition, and says--

    "With such like faults was found infect
      One, Sir John Eland, Knight;
    His doings made it much suspect
      Therein he took delight."

Whilst Sir Robert Beaumont, the main object of his hatred, is thus

    "Sometime there dwelt in Crosland Hall
      A kind and courteous Knight;
    It was well known that he withal
      Sir Robert Beaumont hight.
    Some say that Eland Sheriff was
      By Beaumont disobey'd,
    Which might him make for that trespass
      With him the worst afraid."

The origin of the feud appears to have been in this wise--Earl de
Warren had seduced Alice de Lacy, wife of Thomas, Earl of Lancaster,
upon which a quarrel arose between the two Earls, and their retainers
met and fought, when a nephew of Sir John was slain by one Exley.
Exley made over to Sir John a plot of land as compensation for the
mischance, which he accepted, but still sought to be avenged by the
death of the homicide. Exley fled to the house of his relative, Sir
Robert Beaumont, for shelter, and Sir John demanded his surrender,
which was refused by Sir Robert, and in this he was countenanced by
his friends Quarmby and Lockwood, on the ground that Sir John, having
accepted the plot of land, had condoned the offence, which gave great
affront to Sir John, who went off muttering threats of vengeance.

Sir John was doubtlessly perfectly right, in his capacity of Sheriff,
to demand the delivery up of an offender against the laws of the
realm, but he was equally in the wrong in having accepted a bribe to
compromise the offence; but his irritation arose from the fact of Sir
Robert having set his authority at defiance--an insult which his proud
spirit could not brook. He brooded over the matter at home for some
days, and at length came to the resolution of erasing the stain upon
his dignity by the death of Sir Robert, which he determined to
accomplish with his own hands. He considered, further, that as Quarmby
and Lockwood had backed Sir Robert in his defiance of him as Sheriff,
they would be likely to avenge his death, so, to make assurance doubly
sure, he felt it to be necessary to deal out the same fate to them.
Accordingly, a few days after--

    "He raised the country round about,
      His friends and tenants all,
    And for his purpose picked out
      Stout, sturdy men, and tall.
    To Quarmby Hall they came by night,
      And there the lord they slew,
    At that time Hugh of Quarmby hight,
      Before the country knew.
    To Lockwood then, the selfsame night,
      They came, and there they slew
    Lockwood of Lockwood, that wiley wight.
      That stirred the strife anew."

"A gentleman of that wisdom and prudence that he was not only
reckoned, but esteemed, as the oracle, as well as the darling, of his
country, and whose memory will remain fragrant in future ages."

Having completed these preliminary murders, Sir John proceeded with
his men to execute his _coup de grace_. Crosland Hall was surrounded
by a deep moat--

    "The hall was watered well about,
      No wight might enter in,
    Till that the bridge was well made out
      They durst not enter in."

As the bridge was raised, they lay in ambush till early in the
morning, when it was lowered to allow a maid-servant to pass forth,
upon which they rushed across and entered the house in a noisy,
boisterous manner. Sir Robert came from his chamber, half-dressed, to
ascertain the cause of the disturbance, when he was attacked by the
invaders of his premises. He seized a sword and stood on his defence--

    "And thus it was, most certainly,
      That slain before he was
    He fought again them manfully,
      Undressed though he was.
    His lady cried and shrieked withal
      When as from her they led
    Her dearest knight into the hall,
      And there cut off his head."

A MS. says that Exley and a brother of Sir Robert were killed at the
same time.

Sir John then ordered wine and victuals to be laid out for their
breakfast, and invited the two sons of Sir Robert to sit down and join
him in the repast; the younger, through fear, assented, but Adam, the
elder, refused, with a scowling brow, to eat with the murderer of his
father, upon seeing which, Sir John said, "How heinously that lad doth
take his father's death; and looks with a frowning countenance as if
he would take revenge; but I will keep such a watchful, circumspect
eye over him that he shall never be able to do us any harm." Having
thus accomplished his purpose, and finished his meal beside the corpse
of his victim lying on the floor, he departed with his band of
assassins, nor does it appear that he was ever called to account for
the outrage. After the burial of her husband, Lady Beaumont, fearing
for the safety of her children, fled with them to the house of her
kinsman, Townley, in Lancashire, and took along with her the sons of
Quarmby and Lockwood, and a youth named Lacy, of Crumblebottom, where
they were instructed together in feats of chivalry, fencing, tilting,
shooting with the long bow, riding, and other knightly qualities, as
preparations for taking their revenge.

The curtain had fallen upon the first act of the drama; fifteen years
had now elapsed, and the second act commences. The four youths had
now grown up nearly to manhood, and Lockwood, the eldest, suggested
that the time was now come when "we should bravely seek to revenge the
spilling of our fathers' blood, for if Eland should have that foul act
for well done, it will encourage him in his wickedness, and further to
proceed in destroying the whole posterity of our renowned ancestors;
therefore do I esteem it our wisdom, and an undertaking well becoming
the successors of such worthy patriots, utterly to extirpate from the
face of the earth the cursed Cain and his posterity." The others
assented, and took into their counsel two men--Dawson and
Haigh--retainers of one of the families--who had come from Yorkshire,
and who informed them that Sir John would shortly go to Brighouse,
where the Sheriffdom was to be held, and that they might easily waylay
him and accomplish their purpose. Accordingly they set off,
accompanied by an armed band of men, and secreted themselves in
Crumblebottom Wood, on the wayside from Eland to Brighouse.

Sir John, suspecting nothing, went on his way to Brighouse, and coming
upon some armed men on the roadside whom he knew not, courteously
"vail'd his bonnet," when Adam Beaumont stepped forward and said--

    "Thy courtesy 'vails thee not, Sir Knight,
      Thou slew my father dear,
    Sometime Sir Robert Beaumont hight;
      And slain thou shalt be here."

The others addressed him in like terms. "Whose fathers' blood," said
they all, "we are now come to revenge upon thee and thine." They then
attacked him, his followers drawing their weapons and rallying round
him in his defence, and a general fight commenced between the two
companies, several on both sides being wounded. At length the four
young men, who kept together, succeeded in separating Sir John from
his followers, and inflicting upon him numerous wounds, left him lying
bleeding and dying upon the turf. Knowing that such a crime as the
murder of the King's Sheriff could not pass unnoticed, as soon as they
felt assured that they had accomplished their revenge they hastened
back into Lancashire, but feeling that they would not be safe at
Townley Hall, they went onward into Furness, then a wild unfrequented
corner of the county, with few inhabitants excepting the monks of the
abbey and a few peasants who were dependent upon it, and hid
themselves in the recesses of the woods, among the caves and fells,
depending upon their bows for the supply of their daily food. And thus
ends the second act of the drama.

In the meanwhile, Sir John's son, a second Sir John, succeeded to
Eland, who was married and had a son, then a young boy, who might also
have succeeded but for the machinations of the allies in Furness.
During the winter they had been laying their plots, and came to the
determination of utterly extirpating the male line of the Elands, and
arranged to attack Sir John on his way to or from church on Palm
Sunday. Accordingly, in the spring, they came secretly to
Crumblebottom Hall, where they lay _perdu_ to watch events, and, on
the eve of Palm Sunday, concealed themselves in Eland Mill. Their
proceedings, however, were not so secret but that rumours of impending
evil reached the ears of Sir John, and on Sunday morning he told his
wife that he should not go out that day, but she rallied him on his
fears, and urged that he must go to church on that specially holy day
as an example to others, upon which he reluctantly assented, but took
the precaution of putting on a coat of mail beneath his waistcoat.

The confederates and their followers saw the sun rise on the morning
of Palm Sunday as they lay in the mill, and began to prepare for their
meditated deed, when the door was suddenly opened, and the miller's
wife entered for some corn which her husband had sent her for. They
immediately seized her, bound her hand and foot, and told her that if
she cried out they would knock her on the head. Not returning in due
course, her husband grew wroth at her dalliance.

    "The miller swore she should repent,
      She tarried there so long;
    A good cudgel in hand he went,
      To chastise her with wrong."

But the miller, instead of amusing himself by thrashing his wife, met
with the same fate that she had undergone, and was thrown, securely
bound, on a heap of flour-sacks beside her.

Sir John, his wife, and little son, left Eland Hall for church, taking
a short cut over the stones of the mill-dam which was nearly empty in
consequence of a drought. As he was stepping over Beaumont shot an
arrow at him which glanced off his coat of mail, as did Lockwood with
a like effect. The villagers, who were going to church, seeing this,
came running up, when Lockwood shot another arrow, which pierced Sir
John's brain, whilst another from Quarmby, mortally wounded the boy.

They had now accomplished their vengeance; the male line of the Elands
was extinct; but it behoved them to look to their own safety, as the
villagers, armed with clubs and hatchets, were assembling in great
force. They rushed out of the mill, fought their way along Whittlelane
End to Old Earthgate, and hence to Anely Wood, hotly pursued by their
foes. Willet, Smith, Remington, and Bunney, yeomanry officers, also
summoned their men, who armed themselves with "pitchforks, long
staves, knotted clubs, and rusty bills," and joined the hunt. As their
foes neared them, they faced round and presented a bold, resolute
front, as long as their arrows lasted, when they again took to flight;
Lockwood carrying off Quarmby, who had fallen wounded. They gained the
shelter of the wood, where they left Quarmby, dead, and each sought to
shift for himself. Beaumont took refuge in Crosland Hall, and stood on
his defence with the bridge drawn up; he afterwards escaped to
France, fought against the Turks in Hungary, where he won great fame
and honour, and eventually became a Knight of Rhodes. Lockwood sought
shelter in Camel Hall, but was captured when incautiously visiting a
village maiden with whom he had an amour, and was put to death there
and then, and so ended the race of the Lockwoods. What became of Lacy
is not known. Sir John Eland, the younger, left a daughter and
heiress, who married Sir John Savile, of Tankersley, and conveyed the
Eland and other estates to that family.

The Plumpton Marriage.

The Plumpton family, of Plumpton, near Knaresborough, were established
there from the period of the Domesday Book, when Edred de Plumpton
held two carucates of land of William de Percy, the mesne lord. They
had estates afterwards at other places--Idle, near Leeds, held of the
Lacies; Steeton, near Tadcaster; Nesfield, near Otley, where they had
a manor-house, and elsewhere. They were a family of considerable
importance in Yorkshire, and were great benefactors to the Nunnery of
Esholt, in Craven. They frequently make a conspicuous appearance in
the various historical events of the centuries of their existence.
Peter, son of Nigel, suffered confiscation of his lands for
confederating with the Barons against King John; but, on submitting
and doing fealty to Henry III., they were restored. Sir Robert,
founder of a chapel in the church in Knaresborough, was beheaded at
York, for participation in Scrope's rebellion against King Henry IV.,
in 1408. Sir William, who objected to the levying of tolls, at Otley
and Ripley, by Archbishop Kemp, lay in wait for the tax-gatherers at
Thornton Bridge, with a company of foresters. The officials,
apprehending the meaning of the armed men by the bridge, turned aside
to pass over the river by Brafferton Ford, but were followed by Sir
William and his men, shouting, "Slay the Archbishop's carles, and
would to God we had the Archbishop himself here." In the fray which
ensued, several of the Archbishop's men were slain and wounded, and
others taken prisoners. Robert, the last male representative of the
family, died unmarried and intestate at Paris, in 1749, when the
estates passed to his aunt, Anne, who, in 1760, sold them to Daniel
Lascelles, for £28,000.

A volume entitled "The Plumpton Correspondence," consisting of family
letters, chiefly of a domestic character, written in the reigns of
Edward IV., Richard III., Henry VII., and Henry VIII., was published
in 1869 by the Camden Society; edited by Thomas Stapleton, from Sir
Edward Plumpton's "Book of Letters."

In the reign of Henry II., Gilbert de Plumpton, a youthful scion of
the family, was living at Plumpton. As the Plumptons were then
comparatively small land-owners, and as they had high aspirations,
aiming at the knightly or baronial degree, it behoved them to improve
their landed estates by prudent marriages with heiresses, and thus
qualify themselves for a higher position in the county. Young Gilbert,
then approaching manhood, therefore cast his eyes about him with that
purpose. His range of vision was rather restricted, as people in those
days, owing to the badness of the roads and other causes, rarely
travelled far away from home, and were almost compelled to select
their wives and husbands from amongst their neighbours, seldom going
beyond the bounds of their native counties to enter into matrimonial
alliances. Besides this, eligible heiresses were but few in number,
and being under the guardianship of the King, or of some one appointed
by him, whose consent was necessary for marriage, it being a serious
offence to marry an heiress without such pre-consent, it became a
difficult matter, even when an heiress was found and her affections
secured, to consummate their reciprocal love by a conjugal union;
especially as Kings were then wont to use their power over their fair
wards in a very arbitrary and tyrannical fashion, by bestowing their
hands and inheritances on their favourites, or in reward for some
service, without the least consideration for the pleasure or will of
the person most concerned--the lady herself.

About this time Roger de Guilevast, or, as he is sometimes called,
Richard Wardwast, a wealthy land-owner, in the neighbourhood of
Plumpton, died, and left his only daughter, Eleanor, heiress to his
extensive possessions. This young lady, Gilbert had encountered when
out with his hounds one day, some twelve months previously. He had
been searching for game in the woodlands of the picturesque scenery
which surrounds Plumpton, and had come to the lake, when he was
startled by the sight of an exquisitely beautiful young girl wandering
along the shore, and seemingly enjoying the beautiful prospect of
land, water, and foliaged trees. He accosted her, and she readily
entered into conversation with him, when he was as much struck by her
wit and sensible remarks as he had previously been by her beauty. She
informed him who she was, and who her father, and he imparted to her
the same information respecting himself, and they discovered that,
although they had never chanced to meet previously, they were well
acquainted with each other's families. Gilbert therefore knew that if
her father died without other issue his estates would descend to her
as his heiress. Here he thought was the chance he had been hoping for;
but as he was of a cautious, calculating disposition, he considered
that her father, not yet aged, might still have a son, to whom the
lands would pass, and leave her with nothing more than a slender
marriage portion; and although he saw that she was beautiful and
accomplished, and was just the wife whom he would choose if personal
charms were the chief consideration, he could not, in justice to his
family and his own aspirations, marry a dowerless maiden, and he
resolved not to commit himself too far until he saw more as to the
chance of her succession to the estates. Still he determined not to
lose sight of her altogether, and that it would be well in the
meantime to inspire her heart with the sentiment of love towards him,
if it were possible to do so.

"Do you often walk in this direction?" he asked.

"Oh yes," she replied, "in the beautiful summer sunshine, when the
trees are clad in their bright vestments of green, and the flowers are
opening their petals and giving forth perfume from every bank; when
the birds are singing joyfully overhead, and the hum of the bees and
other insects add a pleasing undertone to their louder carolling--I
love to wander alone with Nature for my companion. And you! Do you
care to commune with Nature? or only feel a pleasure in going forth in
the forest lands and pastures, to destroy the innocent and beautiful
creatures who enjoy their existence as much as you do yourself?" And
so saying, she pointed interrogatively at his dogs, which were barking
and sniffing about among the bushes.

"Oh!" answered he, "believe not that my sole delight is in the chase.
Nature has sent certain animals into the world to supply us with food,
and it is right to deprive them of life before placing them on the
table; nor do I think it wrong to destroy noxious animals, such as
wolves and foxes, and it is only on such that I wage war; nothing do I
kill out of wanton sport. I experience pleasure in the sight of the
rising and the setting sun, I can look with delight on the glories of
a landscape, such as that which is spread around us, and witness with
a thrill of sublime awe the warring of the elements in a tempest."

Thus they conversed for some time, mutually interested in each other's
conversation, and before parting arranged to meet at set times near
the huge rock which rises out of the water and stretches for a length
of fifty feet, and which still attracts thousands of tourists to
wonder at and admire it.

Many times did they meet there, and their love ripened at each
interview, Gilbert almost forgetting the demands of his family for
heiresses, and almost resolving to seek her hand, even in case of a
brother coming to claim the inheritance; but some six months
afterwards, Eleanor's father "went the way of all flesh," and she
became really an heiress, when Gilbert commenced making love to her in
real earnest, his own private inclinations coinciding now with what
was due to his consideration of the interests of his family.

At this time Ranulph de Glanville was resident in Yorkshire, as Lord
of Coverdale, having acquired the estates there by his marriage with
Bertha, daughter of Theobald de Valvins, Lord of Parham. He was the
greatest legal luminary of his age, and eminent, besides, as a
statesman and warrior; was Judge-itinerant in Yorkshire and thirteen
other counties, and in 1186 was promoted to the dignity of
Chief-Justice of England; he was also Sheriff of Yorkshire and some
other counties, and was employed extensively in State affairs. When
King Henry II. was in France, King William of Scotland invaded
Northumberland, in 1174, and Glanville, as Sheriff of Yorkshire,
raised an army of Yorkshiremen, marched against him, defeated him in a
battle, and took him prisoner, lodging him in Richmond Castle. News of
the victory reached the King after his memorable penance at the tomb
of Thomas a Becket, and, instead of attributing it to the skill of
Glanville and the bravery of his followers, ascribed it to St. Thomas,
as a reward for his penitential humiliation at his shrine. In his
latter days he founded an abbey and a priory in his native county of
Suffolk; in 1189 he accompanied King Richard in his crusade to
Palestine, and is said to have been slain at the siege of Acre.

As Sheriff of the county of York, he was the representative of the
King, and, of course, in the matter of the guardianship of heiresses
and the disposal of their hands and inheritances. When intelligence
reached him of the death of Roger de Guilevast without issue male, it
occurred to him that it would be a good opportunity for rewarding one,
Reiner, a favourite dependant of his, whom he wished to advance in
life. Reiner is mentioned in the Plump. Cartul., 1002, as Sheriff of
Yorkshire, but as Glanville himself was then Sheriff, he would
probably be Deputy-Sheriff. He therefore proposed to bestow the
heiress and her estates upon Reiner, and gave instructions to that

The lovers, for plighted lovers they had become when Eleanor received
an intimation that she was to give her hand to Reiner, resolved upon a
bold step, no less than that of defying the King and his Sheriff by a
clandestine marriage. Gilbert was on terms of great intimacy with the
Spofforths of Spofforth, a township adjoining that of Plumpton, an
ancient Saxon family, one of whom, Thomas, early in the fifteenth
century, became Abbot of St. Mary's, York, and, in 1422, was elected
Bishop of Rochester, but, before installation, was constituted Bishop
of Hereford by Papal provision. One of the family was a priest and the
close friend of Gilbert, and he undertook to risk the performance of
the ceremony, which was carried out in private, and Gilbert took his
bride home, and for a week or more enjoyed the usual connubial
felicity of the honeymoon period.

A loud knocking at the gates of the Plumpton Manor House one morning
startled the inmates and aroused the fears of the newly married
couple, who were apprehensive of the vengeance of the Sheriff. At
first they thought of flight; but where to go? Nowhere in the realm
would they be safe against the power of the King, so they were
compelled perforce to abide the issue. When the gates were opened, a
body of men in the livery of the Sheriff presented themselves, the
leader of whom said, "In the name of the King, and by the authority of
his Sheriff, Ranulph de Glanville, I demand to be delivered up to me
the bodies of Gilbert de Plumpton and of Eleanor de Guilevast, a ward
of the Crown, who has been treacherously carried off from her home by
the said Gilbert, in violation of the laws of the realm, and in
traitorous contempt of the King's authority."

At this juncture Gilbert presented himself with his wife leaning on
his arm, and demanded what they meant by such intrusion and insolent
language, adding that he was no traitor and no contemner of the laws
of the kingdom, but one of the King's most faithful subjects.

"We come not," was the reply, "to bandy words with you, or decide the
question at issue; our instructions are to convey you to York, where
the Sheriff will determine what further shall be done in the matter,
and who will listen to any objections you may be pleased to urge in
respect of your apprehension as a violator of the law."

Seeing that there was no use in resisting, Gilbert said, "Then I will
accompany you to York," and gave directions for his horse to be
saddled. "But," he continued, "I trust it is not necessary to submit
this lady, my wife, to the indignity; I suppose she may remain here
until I have vindicated my innocence, and can return to her."

"That cannot be," replied the leader, "my instructions are to bring
you and the lady, and loth as I am to appear discourteous to a lady, I
must insist on her accompanying us."

"I am ready to go," said Eleanor; "rather would I go to face any
perils, in your company, than be left behind with all the anxieties
and uncertainties as to what is befalling you."

Another horse was then brought from the stables for her accommodation,
and the party rode together to York. They were placed in the custody
of the Sheriff's officers, but not in prison, and a few days after
were brought before the Sheriff. He interrogated Gilbert with great
severity, who acknowledged the marriage, and the lady with more
courtesy, who replied with modesty, pleading that she was not aware
that marrying the man to whom she had given her heart could be a
matter of offence to the King, adding that, so far as she knew, even a
milkmaid or a peasant girl was at liberty to marry whom she chose. The
Sheriff explained that she was very different from a peasant girl, who
was a mere serf, and that it mattered not whom she married, but that
she was an inheritor of a portion of the land of England, the whole of
which belonged to the King, and that such being the case, it was
necessary for the welfare of the realm that he should have in his hand
the disposal of such heiresses in marriage, so that their estates
should not fall into the hands of unworthy persons. "I can
understand," he continued, "that you, a simple maiden, should be
ignorant of this essential feature of the constitution of the realm,
and being so, are entitled rather to compassion than blame for having
been inveigled into this unlawful marriage, which, in the eye of the
law, is no marriage at all, but concubinage. As for you, sir,"
addressing himself to Gilbert, "you are supposed to be cognisant of
the laws of the land, and have been guilty of a gross crime and
misdemeanour, which may lead to serious consequences. It will be
necessary for me to lay the matter before the King's grace, and bring
you before his tribunal of justice, so that he may deal with you as he
deems fitting, and rest assured, it will go well with you if you
escape with your life. As for your wife, as you call her, it is
probable you will never more see her; but she will be well cared for,
if that be any consolation to you, and shall be provided with a
suitable and worthy husband." On hearing this announcement, Eleanor
uttered a piercing shriek, and fell fainting to the floor. She was
carried away into an adjoining apartment, whilst her husband,
betraying signs of deep agitation, attempted to speak, but was
prevented doing so by direction of the Judge.

What followed may be told in the words of the Plumpton MS.:--In the
year 1184, while the King (Henry II.) was sojourning at Worcester with
his army, with intent to make war with Rhys-ap-Griffin, a certain
youth was brought there in fetters, sprung of noble lineage, and whose
name was Gilbert de Plumpton, whom Ranulph de Glanville, the King's
justiciary, had in odium, and sought to put to death, laying to his
charge that he had ravished a certain maiden in the King's gift, the
daughter of Roger de Guilevast, and kept her to him as his wife, and
that, in the night-time, he broke through six doors in the abode of
the girl's father, and took a hunting-horn and a headstall, etc.,
along with the said maiden. He added, moreover, that all these things
he carried off by theft and robbery, and upon the issue he offered to
abide the law. But Ranulph de Glanville, wishing to make away with
him, because he designed to give the same maiden (whom the said
Gilbert had already known after their espousals) to Reiner, Sheriff of
Yorkshire, with her father's inheritance, further exhorted those who
were to try Gilbert to adjudge him to death; and so it was done, for
they sentenced him to be hanged, and whilst he was being led to the
gibbet, intelligence was brought of the proceedings in his case to
Baldwin, Bishop of the same city of Worcester. The which Bishop,
though in great grief for the condemnation of the youth, was, however,
exhorted by his attendants to rescue him from death. They said that he
could legally do this, because it was a Sunday the same day, and upon
it the Feast of Blessed Mary Magdalen. The Bishop (who was a meek and
good man) acquiesced in their arguments, and having mounted on
horseback, quickly rode after the executioners, who were leading the
youth to the gibbet, and had now arrived at the place. Already was the
youth, with his hands bound behind his back, and with a green band
covering his eyes, and an iron chain round his neck--the executioners
being on the point of hoisting the youth up as the Bishop arrived with
a multitude of people.

Having alighted from his horse, and running up, he stationed himself
by the side of the prisoner, thus exclaiming and saying, "I forbid
you, on the part of God and the blessed Mary Magdalen, and under
sentence of excommunication, to hang this man on this day; because
today is the day of our Lord and the feast of the blessed Mary
Magdalen. Wherefore it is not lawful for you to contaminate the day."

The executioners replied, "Who are you, and what madness prompts you
that you have the audacity to impede the execution of the King's
justice?" But the Bishop, with no less firmness of heart than of
speech, rejoins, "Not madness, but the clemency of heavenly pity,
urges me; nor do I desire to impede the King's justice, but to warn
against an unwary act, lest by the contamination of a solemn day, you
and the King incur the wrath of the Eternal God."

After some altercation, divine authority at length prevailed; and at
the entreaty of the Bishop, he who was bound was unloosed;
nevertheless he was delivered over to the keeper of the King's castle
in safe custody, and in the morning to be led again to execution. But
the Lord Almighty, who never deserts those who hope in Him, granted
longer span of life to the said Gilbert. For when all these matters
were reported to King Henry, he sent his messengers in the greatest
haste to the castle with orders that the youth should not be hanged.

This story is deemed apochryphal by some authorities as being utterly
inconsistent with the mild, beneficent, and just character of the
Justiciary. Foss, who refers to it as a dereliction from the path of
judicial integrity, says--

"Presuming the story to be true, the Chief Justiciary's merit must
have been great indeed to induce the King to pardon so monstrous a
perversion of justice," adding, "some doubt, however, cannot but be
attached to the relation, not merely from its extravagant ferocity and
the impunity of its perpetrators, but from the assertion of the work
which bears Glanville's name, who says--'None of the Judges have so
hardened a front, or so rash a presumption, as to dare to deviate,
however slightly, from the path of justice, or utter a sentence in any
measure contrary to the truth.' It is scarcely possible to suppose
that a King so just as Henry II. would have overlooked the guilt of
the Judge, or have visited the innocence of the accused with

On the other side, Roger de Hoveden relates the story with some
circumstantiality, under the date of 1184, who was not only a
contemporary, but was a native of Howden, not many miles distant from
Plumpton. He adds further, that "The Knight (Gilbert) being rescued
from death, was kept in prison by Ranulph de Glanville until the
King's death (1189)." In the Annals of the Exchequer also, we find
given the expenses of conveying Gilbert de Plumpton from York to
Worcester, on this occasion.

What became of Gilbert and Eleanor afterwards is not recorded, or
mentioned in the tradition, but we may hope that after his release on
the accession of Richard I., they were reunited, and that their
oppressor, having died the following year, they were enabled to pass
the remainder of their lives in tranquility and happiness.

The Topcliffe Insurrection.

     "I wayle, I wepe, I sobbe, I sighe full sore,
    The dedely fate, the dolefulle destenny
    Of him that is gone, alas! without restore,
    Of the blode royall descendinge nobelly;
    Whos lordshepe doutles was slayne lamentably,
    Thorow tresen ageyn hym compassyd and wrought,
    Trew to his Prince, in worde, in dede, and thought."


The prevailing blemish in the character of King Henry VII. was
avarice, which led him, through his rapacious ministers, Empson and
Dudley, to oppress the people with extortionate taxation. To save his
exchequer he avoided foreign wars, and once only did he cross the sea
with that object, in the cause of Anne of Bretagne, whose fief was
claimed by the French King; but on arriving at Boulogne, King Charles,
appealing to his master-passion, bought him off by means of a large
bribe. For the purpose of this war, Parliament, in February, 1489,
granted a tax of one-tenth of a penny, for a subsidy of £75,000. This
oppressive tax was very unpopular, and especially so in Yorkshire and
the north, the people about Thirsk, particularly, being loud in their
murmurs. They were goaded on by the rough and excited harangues of one
John à Chambre, whom Lord Bacon describes as "a base fellow called
John Chambre, a very brute feu, who bore most sway among the vulgar."
He had for his fellow leader Sir John Egremont, who, although not
quite so boisterous and unpolished as Chambre, was equally resolute
and vigorous in his opposition to fiscal extortion; and these two
leaders gathered around them a body of rustics and mechanics, who
armed themselves with such weapons as they could procure, such as
scythes, bill-hooks, and bludgeons. Vowing they would not lay down
their arms until the tax was repealed, they went from village to
village, and town to town, inveighing against the King's evil
counsellors, explaining their designs, and enlisting recruits to their

An account of these turbulent proceedings reached the ears of the
King, who sent an order down to the Earl of Northumberland, the
Lord-Lieutenant of Yorkshire, to explain the necessity of the tax, to
uphold the honour and dignity of the nation. The Earl wrote back to
the King a letter of remonstrance, showing that the tax was
intolerably oppressive, a burden that they were scarcely able to bear,
and praying him to reconsider it, and make some abatement in the
demand. To this he received a reply that not a single penny should be
abated, and he was enjoined to see that it was exacted to the
uttermost farthing.

Henry Percy, fourth Earl of Northumberland, was one of the most potent
nobles of the north, and had castles at Topcliffe, on the Swale, near
Thirsk; at Leckonfield, near Beverley; and at Wressil, near
Howden--all maintained with a splendour almost regal, with barons,
knights, and esquires as members of his household and retinue. The
Castle of Topcliffe, the earliest and chief seat of the Percies, stood
with its massive keep, battlemented towers, gateway, walls, and
dungeon, upon an elevated mound called Maiden Bower, on the river
Swale, near the confluence of the Cod-beck. From its nearness to
Thirsk, the focus of the insurrection, the Earl came thither from
Leckonfield to execute the command of the King, and he called a
folk-môte at Thirsk for that purpose. With his vassals and tenants he
was popular, being a kind and considerate master and landlord, and by
the people of Yorkshire he was held in high esteem, so that he was
under no apprehension, although the people were in arms; and he took
no measures for his safety in case of tumult, feeling assured that
there was no danger, and that he would be able, by his explanations
and expostulations, to appease the angry feelings of the multitude.

On the morning of the day appointed for the meeting, there was a great
assemblage of people in Thirsk, and excited crowds coming along all
the roads leading thither from Ripon, Boroughbridge, Easingwold, and
the neighbouring villages. The people were armed chiefly with
bludgeons, and displayed two banners, one inscribed "No taxes; down
with Empson and Dudley," the other, "Oh for the days of good King
Dickon." Richard III., when residing at Middleham, as Duke of
Gloucester, was exceedingly popular with the poor, mingling with them
in their amusements, and consorting with them as familiarly as if they
were his equals, probably with a politic eye to the future. When he
was carrying out his scheme of usurpation, he sent for a contingent of
men-at-arms from his Middleham estates, who assembled for review in
Finsbury Fields, when one of his Yorkshire tenants stepped out of the
ranks, and, clapping him on the shoulder, said, "Ah's main blythe
thoo's goin' to be King, Dickon."

Egremont and Chambre were in the midst on horseback, riding hither and
thither, exhorting the people with inflammatory speeches to be firm in
their determination not to pay the tax, telling them that all England
was with them, and not to listen to the Earl, who was one of the
King's advisers in levying the tax; further, that if need be they
would lead them to London and compel the King to remit the tax, or
drag him from his throne.

At this time the Earl rode into the town, surrounded by a body of
retainers, all men of rank, habited in brilliant costume, the livery
of the Percies. He was assailed with mingled cheers from his tenants,
and hisses and shouts of opprobrium from the insurgent mob. He
attempted to address them, but the uproar became greater; again he
made the attempt, when there arose a deafening discord of sounds from
drums, kettles, and pans, accompanied by the yelling and howling of
the mob, when, finding he could not gain their ear, he and his
followers turned their horses' heads and trotted back to Topcliffe. As
they passed away, the leaders shouted, "Bravely done, my merry men;
this is our first victory; let us on to Topcliffe, and beard him in
his castle, and then for London, to face the tyrant King in the
Tower." The Earl and his followers gained the castle, and were seated
in consultation on what were best to be done in the emergency, when
loud shouts assailed their ears from outside, and, looking forth, they
perceived that they had been followed by the mob, infuriated by the
harangues of their leaders. Although implored not to do so, but to
shut the gates and stand a siege, the Earl went out and faced the

"What want you, good people?" he inquired.

"A remission of the tax," replied Egremont.

"I have no power or authority to do so," said the Earl.

"Who but you advised the King that not a penny should be abated?"
shouted Chambre, and the mob yelled, and cried, "Down with him; he
wants to rob our children of their bread."

The Earl was a proud man, and scorned to give a denial to the
insinuation, which served to inflame the passions of the rioters to a
still higher degree.

"He's silent, and that proves his guilt," shouted Chambre. "Down with
him; such bloodsuckers should not be allowed to exist."

And then there was a brandishing of clubs and a rush forward of the
mob, and in a few moments the Earl was stricken down, and beaten
savagely as he lay. The mob then entered the castle tumultuously, and
killed several of his domestics; but the barons and knights, fled to
seek safety, or, as Skelton has it--

    "Trustinge in noblemen, that wer wyth hym there;
    Bot all they fled from hym from falshode or fere,
    He was envyronde aboute on every syde,
    Withe his enemys that were stark mad and wode;
    Yet whils he stode he gave them woundes wyde,
    Alas! for southe! what thoughe his mynde were goode,
    His courage manly; yet there he shed his bloode.
    All left alone, alas! he fowt in vayne,
    For cruelly among them ther he was slayne."

Hence the insurgents went triumphantly, calling upon the people to
unite with them in putting down kingly tyranny and financial
oppression, but eventually they were met by the Earl of Surrey, who
was sent against them, at Ackworth, near Pontefract, and dispersed.
Chambre and others of the leaders were captured and hanged at York;
but Egremont, thanks to the fleetness of his horse, escaped to
Flanders, and was protected by the Yorkist Margaret, Duchess of
Burgundy. What was his ultimate fate is not known.

The Earl was honoured with a most magnificent funeral in the Minster
or Collegiate Church of St. John, Beverley, in a chapel built
expressly for the reception of his remains, and beneath a tomb with
rich Gothic canopy, adorned with sculptured figures, and emblazoned
with the multitude of quarterings of the family. The body, after
having been embalmed, was conveyed to his Castle of Wressil, and hence
to Leckonfield, whence it was taken to Beverley, accompanied by a long
and splendid procession, all robed and accoutred at the expense of the
family. There were twelve lords with "gownes at 10s. the yerd;"
twenty-four lords and knights "with gownes and hods;" sixty squires
and gentlemen "with gownes and typets;" two hundred yeomen "in
gownes;" "one hundred gromes and gentlemen's servants in gownes."
There were also the bearers of the great standard, twelve bearers of
sarcenet banners "betyn with my Lord's armys," sixty bearers of
"Scutchions of Buckram betyn with my Lord's armys," and two officers
of arms from the Herald's Office, London, to superintend the armorial
arrangements, who were paid £20 for "their helpe and payne." Besides
these there were five hundred priests, one thousand clerks, and
representatives from the neighbouring monasteries, all habited in
mourning, and bearing crucifixes, other church ornaments, and vessels
and emblems of mortality. Mingling with these were four hundred
torch-bearers, and bringing up the rear, 13,340 poor persons, who
received, according to the will, a funeral dole of twopence each.
Altogether the cost amounted to £1,037 6s. 8d., equal to, at least,
£10,000 of the present value of money.

The body was met at the great west door of the Minster by the Provost,
Vicars, Canons, choristers, and other officials of the Minster, who
conducted the procession. A mournful anthem was chanted up the nave
into the chancel, where a long and splendid service of masses and
choral singing was performed, and the body lowered into its
resting-place, amid the sobs and lamentations of those who had known
and loved the Earl for his virtues. Of his tomb, with its
"multiplicity of noble carved work and canopied arches," as described
by Leland, there remain only the altar table, with its sides covered
with armorial bearings, but without the figures which ranged round it
in niches, and on the wall above the word "Esperance," the motto of
the family, and "1494," the date of the funeral.

The Burning of Cottingham Castle.

Cottingham is a well-built, picturesque village, midway between Hull
and Beverley, on the ancient road, but a quarter of a mile distant
from the modern highway. It is a place of great antiquity, dating from
the ancient British period, and deriving its name from Ket, a Celtic
female deity, with the Saxon suffixes of ing and ham. In the days of
Edward the Confessor, it belonged to one Gamel, who is supposed to
have held a Thursday market there; and at the time of the Domesday
Book, the manor, four miles in length, with five fisheries of 8,000
eels, was held by Hugh, son of Baldrick.

It was granted by William the Conqueror to Robert de Stuteville,
surnamed Front de Boeuf, from whom it descended to Robert de
Stuteville, or d'Estoteville, who was Sheriff of Yorkshire,
twenty-first Henry II., and from him to William de Stuteville, _temp._
John, who, for some offence, was excommunicated by the Archbishop of
York. He appealed to the King, who came to Cottingham to investigate
the matter, and in the sequel compelled the prelate to give him
absolution. Moreover, he granted to de Stuteville a charter empowering
him to castellate his manor-house, and hold a weekly market and annual

Nicholas de Stuteville died seventeenth Henry III., leaving two
daughters, Joan and Margaret, as his co-heiresses, the former of whom
married Hugh de Wake, descended from Leofric, viceroy Earl of Mercia,
and his wife the famous Godiva, and from Hereward le Wac (the Wake),
Lord of Brunne, the last, and one of the most formidable, opponents of
the Norman Duke William, in his conquest of England. John, his
grandson, was summoned as a baron twenty-third Edward I., whose
daughter, Margaret, married Edmund of Woodstock, Earl of Kent, third
son of King Edward I., and had issue, Joan, "the fair maid of Kent,"
who inherited the Barony of Wake, which she transmitted to her issue
by her first husband, Thomas de Holand, and which fell in abeyance in
1497, as it still continues. She married, secondly, Edward, the Black
Prince, and by him was mother of King Richard II.

King Edward I. was celebrating Christmas with the Wakes at Cottingham,
when, being out hunting, he came to Wyke-super-Hull, and, struck with
its capabilities as a port, granted the charter which laid the
foundation of its future greatness, and changed its name to
Kingstown-upon-Hull; and at the same time gave his host a charter of
free warren over his manor, and authority to erect a gallows for the
execution of criminals. Thomas, his son, in the following reign,
obtained a charter of confirmation, with the privilege of holding a
weekly market and two annual fairs, and authority to convert his
residence into a castle of defence, and to garrison it with armed men.
This Thomas founded, adjacent to the castle, a monastery of Austin
Friars, on a site with a defective title, in consequence of which it
was removed to Haltemprice, on another part of the estate.

The feudal barony was held _in capite_ by the service of one barony,
and consisted of 4,000 acres, with £200 yearly rental from free

It was a beautiful August day in the year 1540. The reapers were in
the fields about Cottingham, sickle in hand, cutting down the golden
corn, and lumbering wains with solid wooden wheels, and drawn by oxen,
were carrying away the sheaves to garner in the homesteads; the fruit
of a thousand trees in the orchards surrounding the village hung, rich
and luscious, pendant from the boughs, and ripening to perfection
under the bright sunshine. The village consisted of a scattering of
cross-timbered houses with wattled and mud-walled frames, latticed
windows, and thatched roofs. From the midst thereof rose in proud and
lofty dignity the majestic walls, turrets, and bastions of the
Stutevilles, the Wakes, and now of the Holands, surrounded by a moat,
which was crossed by a drawbridge, and the entrance defended by a
barbican and a portcullis. Upon its battlements might be seen three or
four men-at-arms, lounging lazily about, and amusing themselves by
watching the passage of vessels and boats up and down the Humber. The
pleasant clack of the baronial mill, and the occasional uplifted
voices of the denizens of the farm-yards and pastures, alone broke the
silence of the slumberous summer afternoon. In a hamlet within ken of
the out-lookers on the parapets of the castle might be seen the now
deserted house of the Augustinian Friars, at Haltemprice; for here no
longer the Canons dropped their beads, muttered their prayers, or
chanted their anthems; the ruthless hand of Henry had driven them
forth upon the wide world to become supplicants for charity, alongside
those who had erstwhile found succour at their gate. The priory and
site had in the present year been granted to Thomas Culpepper, but he
had not yet taken possession, and it lay desolate and silent, as did,
at the same time, many another noble abbey and priory, scattered over
the face of England.

Lord Wake, as he was called by courtesy, although he was only a tenure
Baron, had been out in the direction of the now thriving town of
Kingston-upon-Hull, and about the middle of the afternoon he came
riding over the drawbridge, and passed through the arched gateway into
the courtyard of his castle. Upon his fist he carried a favourite
hawk, and he was accompanied by his falconer, and three or four
liveried retainers. He leaped agilely from his horse, which was taken
charge of by a groom, and, handing his hawk to the falconer, he passed
through a portal to the domestic apartments, where he was met by his
wife, a singularly beautiful woman, not much past the bloom of
girlhood, and as modest, chaste, and pious as she was charming in
feature, person, and demeanour. "What sport have you had this morning,
husband mine?" inquired she, after an affectionate embrace.
"Excellent," he replied; "my falcon has done wonders, he brought down
a heron, who, from his size, must have been the patriarch of the shaw;
but, dearest life! sport of that kind, brave as it may be, is as
naught to the happiness I experience in thy dear society." Other
expressions of endearment of a similar kind passed as they sat down to
dinner, composed chiefly of venison and boar's flesh. Lord Wake was a
great hunter in the surrounding woods of his domain, and as he sat at
dinner he was surrounded by half a dozen petted boar and stag hounds,
who gambolled at will about the apartment, or sat on their haunches,
looking up at their master in anxious expectation of stray bones,
which were thrown to them with no niggard hand.

The meal passed over almost in silence, which was only broken
occasionally by remarks and discussion on domestic topics; but when it
was finished, and Lady Wake had taken up her embroidery-frame, her
husband told her that his sport had brought him to the gates of
Kingstown, where he learnt that the King was in the town, who had
arrived there unexpectedly. He was on his progress to York to meet his
nephew, James V. of Scotland, and had come by a circuitous route "for
fear of the enraged people," who, exasperated at the dissolution of
the religious houses, and the King's assumption of supremacy over the
Church, had two or three years previously raised a formidable
insurrection, which they denominated the "Pilgrimage of Grace." The
Mayor (Henry Thurcross), Lord Wake said, had sent the Sheriff to meet
his Highness at the "boarded bridge" of Newland, on the confines of
the county of Hull; had himself, with the aldermen, received him with
great obeisance and due formalities at Beverley-gate, and had
conducted him to the Manor Hall, the usual residence of Royalty when
in the town, where he now was enjoying the splendid hospitality of the

"The caitiff," exclaimed Lady Wake, "what does he want down here? His
presence betokens no good, and woe betide those with whom he

"Bluff King Hal," as he was frequently termed, was no favourite with
the better class of ladies; and especially with such as were of a
devout turn of mind, and were regular and punctual in the performance
of their religious duties, as enjoined by their father-confessors. His
propensity for chopping off the heads of his wives, or of divorcing
them when a new beauty enthralled his amorous susceptibilities, caused
him to be held in detestation by all right-minded women; and his
sacrilegious deposition of the Holy Father's authority in England,
combined with his so-called brutal dispersion of the religious
fraternities and sisterhoods of the realm, and unwarrantable plunder
of the holy places of the land, caused him to be looked upon by the
devout as an incarnation of Satan. Such were the views of Lady Wake,
who felt keenly the loss of Haltemprice, which had been to her a
sanctuary of heaven, and to which she had been a most generous

Whilst Lord and Lady Wake were conversing on this subject, the sound
of a trumpet was heard outside, followed by the opening of the great
gate at the summons, "In the King's name," and the clatter of a
horse's hoofs over the drawbridge and into the courtyard. Lord Wake
hastened out and found an herald seated on horseback, who, when he
announced himself as the lord of the castle, gave three blasts of his
trumpet, and then delivered his message:--"His Highness the King
Henry, the eighth of the name, by the grace of God, defender of the
faith, and supreme head of the Church of England, to the Lord of the
Barony of Cottingham, usually styled Lord Wake, greeting--It is His
Highness's pleasure that on the morrow he will come, God willing, to
Baynard Castle, and partake of the hospitality of the noble Baron and
Lady Wake. God save the King." In the course of conversation with
the magnates of Hull, at the Manor Hall, he had made inquiry
respecting persons of note residing in the neighbourhood, and Lord
Wake was mentioned as keeping up a magnificent establishment within
three or four miles of the gates of Hull, and as being blessed with a
wife of surpassing beauty. The King's licentious propensities were at
once aroused at hearing this. "Fore God," quoth he, "I will betake me
thither, and with mine own eyes see whether this Yorkshire beauty is
the paragon you represent her to be;" and he summoned his herald into
his presence and despatched him with the above message to Cottingham.

Lord Wake was thrown into consternation at receiving the King's
greeting and message, and, before giving an answer, went indoors to
consult his wife.

"Holy Mary!" said she, "what a disaster! We must avoid it in some way
or other. Never will I meet the woman-slayer and desecrator of God's
temples within these walls."

"True," he replied, "we must find some means of averting it if
possible, but meanwhile it will be necessary to send a civil and loyal
reply," and returning to the courtyard, he bade the herald inform the
King that he felt highly flattered at His Highness's condescension in
proposing a visit to his humble house, and that on the following day
preparations should be made for greeting him in the best way his
humble means afforded. When the herald had departed, Lord Wake
pondered deeply on the dilemma in which he found himself placed by the
King's proffered visit. He felt that it was impossible, except by
taking some desperate step, to evade it, but something must be done,
as he felt assured that the honour of himself and that of his wife
were at stake, well knowing, as he did, the unbridled passion of the
King, and that if it were thwarted the most perilous consequences
might ensue. The confiscation of his estates might be looked for in
such case; but better, thought he, lose my land, than my wife her
honour. This train of thought led him to think of his castle, where he
had lived so happily with the beloved of his heart, when suddenly the
idea struck him--What if I burn down my castle! The King could not
come for entertainment amidst its ruined walls and smoking embers, and
though I should sacrifice my home, I should preserve what is far
dearer to me--my wife, pure and undefiled as when I led her to the
altar. The more he thought of the project, the more fully he became
assured of its practicability as an effectual bar of defence against
the King's intentions. He submitted the idea to Lady Wake, who,
without the slightest hesitation, concurred in the proposal.

The seneschal of the castle was then called in--a faithful old
retainer, who had been in the family for two or three generations of
lords, and who might be intrusted with the keeping of any secret of
his master. He was informed of the nature of the peril hanging over
the family, and of the method projected by Lord Wake to avert the
evil. He had been born and bred up in the castle; knew every nook and
corner of it; loved it with a devoted affection, almost as if it had
been a thinking, sentient being; and could not without an excess of
grief see it destroyed; yet he recognised at once the necessity of the
case, and not being able to devise an alternative, so as to save the
old towers and walls, undertook, as proposed by his master, to fire
the castle that night.

Lord and Lady Wake then proceeded to pack up all the more portable
articles of value, jewels, money, family papers, and heirlooms, which
were conveyed secretly to the unoccupied Priory of Haltemprice, and
thither they went themselves, issuing from a postern, and crossing the
moat by means of a raft stationed there for the purpose. When the
retainers, men-at-arms, and domestics, all save the sentinals on duty,
had retired to rest, the seneschal, heaped together a quantity of
combustible materials in proximity to a mass of old and dry woodwork
panelling on the walls, which he set fire to. The flames soon caught
hold of the woodwork, which, blazing up, got a complete hold of the
building. He then rang the alarm-bell and roused up the sleepers,
telling them that he had been awakened by the smell of burning. Of
course all was done that could be done, under his direction, for the
subjugation of the fire, but the appliances were so utterly
inefficient, consisting merely of a line of men passing a chain of
buckets from hand to hand after being filled from the moat, that the
fire soon overcame all their efforts to extinguish it, and the roof
soon after falling in, it blazed up into the midnight sky,
illuminating the country for miles round. The flames were distinctly
visible from Hull and Beverley, and numbers of persons from both towns
hurried to the scene of disaster, but could afford no assistance, the
fire having by that time gained such an ascendency that they could but
stand and gaze, awe-stricken, on the scene of devastation.
Intelligence was conveyed to the King the following morning of the
"accidental" fire at Baynard Castle, and to show his sympathy he
offered to contribute £2,000 towards its restoration, which was
respectfully declined by Lord Wake, and the King, after sundry
measures for the improvement of the port of Kingstown, crossed the
Humber and returned to London.

The tradition adds, further, that this Lord Wake, dying without issue
male, the manor was divided between his three daughters, who were
respectively married to the Duke of Richmond, the Earl of
Westmoreland, and Baron Powis, and that those portions thus acquired
the names they still bear of Cottingham Richmond, Cottingham
Westmoreland, and Cottingham Powis.

Tradition, however, is prone to error, and in this narrative there are
several discrepancies and anachronisms. There was then no Baron Wake,
the barony having fallen into abeyance more than a century previously;
but the holder of the manor, being a feudal Baron, might bear the
title by courtesy. Secondly, Leland saw the ruins of the burnt castle
in 1538, two or three years before the visit of King Henry to Hull,
and he mentions the division of the manor into four parts as having
taken place previously, the fourth part being held by the King.

The Alum Workers.

Nestling in a lovely valley in the most romantic part of Cleveland
lies the little town of Guisborough, with the mouldering ruins of its
once famous Priory. At the time of the Conquest it consisted of three
manors, which were given to the Earl of Moreton, and soon after,
united into one manor, passed to Robert de Brus, Lord of Skelton, to
hold _in capite_, by military service. In the year 1129 he founded the
Priory of Canons of the Augustine order, and endowed it with a manor
of twenty caracutes and two oxgangs, with the tenements, mill, and all
other appurtenances. It flourished apace, grew rich, and nurtured some
learned and eminent men within its cloisters, until it fell beneath
the ruthless axe of Henry VIII.

The Chaloners of Guisborough are of Welsh descent, tracing their
ancestry to Trayhayrne, son of Maloc Krwm, one of the fifteen peers
of Wales. His grandson, Madoc, otherwise Chaloner, was ancestor of
Thomas Chaloner, of Beaumaris, one of whose sons was Roger Chaloner, a
citizen and silk mercer of London, whose son, Sir Thomas, Knight (born
1521), was eminent as a statesman, diplomatist, and poet; was employed
on several embassies; was knighted at the battle of Pinkie for
bravery; and was author of several esteemed works--"The Praise of
Folly," "De Republica Anglorum," and many others. He purchased the
manor of Guisborough of Sir Thomas Legh, to whom it had been granted
at the Dissolution, for the sum of £998 13s. 4d.

    "These towering rocks, green hills, and spacious plains,
    Circled with wood, are Chaloner's domains.
    A generous race, from Cambro-Griffin traced,
    Fam'd for fair maids and matrons wise and chaste."

His portrait was painted by Holbein and by Antonio More, the former
engraved by Holler, the latter exhibited at Leeds in 1868.

Sir Thomas, Knight, his son (born 1559, died 1615), succeeded to the
Guisborough estates, and was the discoverer of the alum mines. He was
twice married, and had issue several children, of whom the
eldest--William--was created baronet in 1620, by the title of Sir
William Chaloner, Bart., of Guisborough, in the county of York; Rev.
Edward, D.D., an eminent polemical writer; and Thomas and James,
Parliamentarian officers and regicides. At college he gained some
reputation by his Latin and English verses, but was not equal to his
father as a poet. He was, however, a good naturalist, at the time when
the science was little understood and less studied. In 1580-84, he
made _le grand tour_, and spent some time in Italy, where he
associated with all the most eminent literary and scientific men of
the day.

Being a keen observer of natural objects and phenomena, he had noticed
that on a certain part of his Guisborough estate the soil never froze,
that it was speckled with divers colours, chiefly yellow and blue,
which sparkled in the sunshine, and that the trees and shrubs which
grew thereon spread their roots laterally, and penetrated the earth
very superficially, and that their leaves were of a peculiar tint of
green. When in Rome he paid a visit to the Pope's alum works at
Puzzeoli, where he noticed with his quick, observant eye that the
earth and trees presented the same remarkable features as those on
his Guisborough estate, and he immediately came to the conclusion
that his land was impregnated with alum. He hastened back to England
to test his hypothesis, which he soon verified by experiment, and saw
that a mine of wealth lay beneath his feet. But how to work and
prepare it he knew not, and there was no one in England who did, and
scarcely any one in Europe, outside of Italy, which then had a
monopoly of alum, and he set his wits to work to devise some means for
separating it from the earth, and preparing it as a manufactured
commodity for the market.

Alum is a mineral salt found in clay and other earths, and is a
valuable commodity used in various manufactures, and for other
purposes. It was first extracted from the earth in which it was
embedded, and prepared for use in the East, chiefly at Edessa, in
Syria; afterwards near Constantinople; and, on the fall of the Eastern
Empire, the alum workers transferred the industry to Italy where it
was established in various places, and was confined to the Peninsula
for more than a century, after which it spread into Germany, France,
and Flanders. The Popes had works at Rome and Civita Vecchia, and
carefully guarded their secret, not allowing the workmen to leave the
country on any pretence whatever, under pain of excommunication, as
the profits of the sale brought a handsome revenue to their coffers.

Sir Thomas Chaloner cogitated the matter in his mind, and the more he
thought, the more he saw that the only mode of bringing his alum mines
into operation was by kidnapping some of the Pope's workmen, a
difficult and perilous task, but which he resolved to attempt, and
with that view went again to Italy. Of course the best place for
accomplishing his object was at Civita Vecchia, a seaport in the Papal
States. Thither, therefore, he went, and lived in retirement, eluding
observation as far as possible, but mingling, whenever he could, with
the alum workers, ingratiating himself with them by means of wine,
friendly and familiar converse, and the judicious distribution of
money. By these means he became acquainted with their characters, and
with their hopes and aspirations. Three of the more intelligent he
singled out to work upon, but each one separately. He would take them
into a wine-house and ply them well with the tongue-loosener, and then
turn the conversation upon their occupation and future prospects. Of
the three, one seemed to have some influence over the other two, who,
to a certain extent, took their opinions from him, and re-echoed his
sentiments; and Sir Thomas shrewdly perceived that if he could win
over this one, the others would follow, like sheep after the
bell-wether. They were seated in a wine shop one day, talking over the
alum workers' great grievance. "And so," said Sir Thomas, "you would
really like to escape from this life of slavery?" "I should, indeed,"
was the reply; "work here is neither better nor worse than that of a
galley-slave." "Why not escape, then, and fling off the chains that
gall you?" "Alas, sir," he replied, "we are too closely guarded and
watched to render escape at all hopeful. Besides, money would be
required, and of this we have but sufficient to get our daily bread."
"But if anyone were to put the means of escape in your hands, would
you be sufficiently daring to make the attempt?" "Most certainly."
"And you would not fear the Pope's excommunication, which would
assuredly follow?" "Look here, signor, although I am a poor ignorant
alum worker, I know something of what has been doing in England and
Germany, and have heard of Wickcliffe, Luther, and Calvin, and I
should care no more for excommunication at the hands of the Pope than
I should for a snap of his fingers."

Chaloner saw he had got hold of the right man, and he gradually
revealed to him his discovery of alum earth in England, and proposed
that he should accompany him thither to work it, where he would be
absolutely free, and promising him a much higher remuneration than he
was receiving in Italy; to which the man readily assented, and
undertook to gain over the other two men, who he felt assured would
accompany him. At a subsequent meeting of the four confederates the
question was discussed as to the best mode of smuggling them out of
Italy, and, after several projects had been suggested and dismissed as
impracticable, it was decided that they should be conveyed on board a
vessel in casks, as merchandise, and liberated when out at sea.

Sir Thomas at once set to work to find means for carrying out his
project, the first being to find a vessel captained by one equally
resolute with himself, and to whom he could venture to entrust his
secret. Fortunately for his purpose, there chanced to be lying in the
harbour a ship from the port of Hull, commanded by an honest
fellow-Yorkshireman, a man who, as he said himself, "feared neither
the Pope nor the Devil." With this captain he sought an interview,
explained who he was, and by careful steps laid his scheme before him.
The rough, weather-beaten old captain grasped him by the hand, and,
giving it a vigorous shake, swore to stand by him "through thick and
thin." He was waiting for a return cargo, had got his vessel half
filled, and he agreed, whether full or not, to set sail on that day
week. Sir Thomas then went into the market and purchased a quantity of
grain, to be delivered on board in six days, packed in casks. He then
caused three casks to be constructed secretly, with false ends to be
filled with grain, leaving the central part open and pierced with
holes, in great number, but so small as to be scarcely perceptible. On
the sixth day, when the alum works were closed, the three men came to
him, and were placed in the three casks, which, having passed the
ordeal of the Customs Office without suspicion, were shipped, and at
daybreak the following morning the vessel was loosed from her
moorings, spread her canvas, and bade adieu to Civita Vecchia. It was
soon discovered at the alum works that the three were missing, and
strict search was made for them, without result. At length it occurred
to the authorities that they had escaped in the English vessel which
had sailed that morning, and three ships were sent in pursuit of her,
but she had several hours' start, and had a fair wind, and the
pursuers never caught sight of her. The men were released from their
uncomfortable berths when at a safe distance, and revelled in their
feeling of liberty as they sped over the blue waves of the
Mediterranean, across the Bay of Biscay, and up the Channel, arriving
safely at Hull, whence they proceeded with Sir Thomas to Cleveland.

Sir Thomas established his works beyond Bellemondegate, where now
mountains of refuse shale are piled up. For some time the works
yielded but small profit, and it was not until Chaloner got more
workmen from Rochelle that they became a success, after which they
yielded a handsome revenue, and had the effect of breaking down the
Italian monopoly, and reducing the price of alum in England to
one-half its former cost.

When Chaloner had got the mines and works into thorough working order,
King Charles I., at the instigation of some of his rapacious
courtiers, made a claim to them as Crown property, and he was
compelled to surrender them. They were then let to Sir Paul Pindar, at
a rent of £12,500 per annum, to be paid into the Royal Exchequer,
besides £1,600 per annum to the Earl of Mulgrave and £600 per annum to
Sir William Pennyman, but they were restored to the Chaloners by the
Long Parliament. Eight hundred men were employed on the works, and the
alum sold at £26 per ton, which left a large residue of profit. Other
mines were discovered in Cleveland, on the estates of the families of
Phipps, Pennyman, Fairfax, D'Arcy, and Cholmley, when competition
brought down the price, and consequently reduced the profits; and, as
some of these were situated nearer the sea-coast, with greater
facilities for shipment, the Guisborough mines became less and less
profitable, and were eventually abandoned.

This conduct on the part of King Charles caused the Chaloners to
become zealous Parliamentarians in the Civil War. Sir Thomas's sons,
James and Thomas, drew their swords against the King, and both sat as
members of the High Court of Justice for his trial. The former was
tried as a regicide after the Restoration, was condemned to death, and
drawn on a hurdle to Tyburn for execution, but received a reprieve
when the halter was round his neck; was remitted to the Tower, and
died of poison, it was reported, by his own hand, "an invention," says
Markham, in his Life of Fairfax, "of the carrion vultures of the

The latter, at the Restoration, was included in the list of those
excluded from pardon, but saved his life by flight. Winstanley says of
him, "He had travelled far in the world, and returned home poysoned
with that Jesuitical doctrine of King-killing, which he put in
practice, being the great speech-maker against the King, ... and a
great stickler for their new Utopian Commonwealth, but upon His
Majestie's return fled, his actions being so bad as would not endure
the touchstone."

The Maiden of Marblehead.

One fine summer's morning, in the year of grace 1742, the little inn
of the little town of Marblehead was in a state of great bustle, in
anticipation of the visit of some Government officials from Boston to
dine there. The landlady, rather vixenish in temper and tongue, was
busily occupied in attending to the culinary department, and at
intervals scolding a young girl of sixteen, who was scrubbing the
floor, and was the maid-of-all-work in the establishment, working from
early in the morning till late at night for a small pittance of wages.

Marblehead was a small fishing town or village about sixteen miles
from Boston, in New England, consisting of a cluster of log-built and
straw-thatched houses, amongst which stood conspicuously forth the
little hostelry, in consequence of its sign of King George the
Second's head swinging and creaking from a crossbeam over the
highway. The inhabitants were almost entirely of Guernsey descent, a
brave people, but not so loyal as the sign of their inn would seem to
indicate, as after the war of the Revolution there were in the town
600 widows of patriots who had fallen; and, in the war of 1812, 500
Marblehead men were prisoners of war in England. The washing of the
floor was not completed when the sound of horses' feet was heard
coming along the road, and in a few minutes three gentlemen alighted
at the door, gave their horses in charge of an extemporised ostler,
and entered the house. The landlady made a profound curtsy to her
guests, and at the same time rated her hand-maiden for not having the
room ready for the gentlemen. "Don't scold her," said he who appeared
to be the chief of the group; "I dare say the little lassie has done
her best, and perhaps we have arrived earlier than we were expected."
The girl, who was dressed in homely attire, and without shoes or
stockings, turned her head with a silent glance of thanks to the
speaker--a glance which he pronounced to himself to be angelic.

The gentleman who thus came upon the scene was a Mr. Charles Henry
Frankland, thirty-six years of age, and slightly bronzed in feature
from his early residence in Bengal, where he was born. He was the
eldest son of the Governor of Bengal, Henry Frankland, who had been
brother and heir-presumptive of Sir Thomas Frankland, third baronet of
Thirkleby, in Yorkshire, but he had died in 1736, leaving this son
heir-presumptive to the baronetcy in his place. In 1741 he had been
appointed Collector of the Customs at the port of Boston, and on this
summer's morning, with two subordinates was paying a professional
visit to Marblehead, which lay within the Boston collection. The more
he saw of the girl, as she waited at table during dinner, the more was
he struck with the beauty of her features and the faultless symmetry
of her figure. As was said of her, "Her ringlets were black and glossy
as the raven; her dark eyes beamed with light and loveliness, and her
voice was musical and bird-like." He entered into conversation with
her, and found that her name was Agnes Surriage, and that her parents,
of a humble position in life, dwelt at a neighbouring village. He was
charmed with the modest and intelligent replies she made to his
questions, but found that she was altogether uneducated, and had
learnt nothing excepting how to perform household work, to sew and
knit, and "to go to meeting on Sundays." On leaving, he gave her money
to buy herself shoes and stockings; but on his next visit he found her
again bare-legged, and asking her why she had not supplied herself
with shoes and stockings, she replied that she had done so, but kept
them to go to "meeting" in.

Becoming more and more fascinated with her beauty, he at length asked
her parents to allow him to take her to Boston and have her educated,
to which they consented, after some hesitation. He caused her to be
instructed in reading, writing, drawing, music, dancing, and all the
accomplishments of a fine lady; but although she excelled eventually
in sketching, playing, and dancing, and wrote a beautiful hand, she
could never master the difficulties of orthography, her spelling to
the last being always of an original and curiously eccentric

When her education was completed, and she had grown to womanhood, he
took her to his home as his mistress, and she bore him a son, who was
christened Richard Cromwell. She was, however, looked upon askance by
the Quaker circles of Boston, not on account of her lowly birth, but
because of her disreputable connection with her "protector." Sir
Thomas Frankland, third baronet, died without male issue, in 1747, and
Charles Henry, his nephew, succeeded as fourth baronet. Seven years
after, he returned to England, with Agnes and his son, to dispute the
will of the late baronet as to the disposition of the family estates
at Thirkleby, near Easingwold. Sir Thomas made three wills; the first
in 1741, wherein he left a slender provision for his widow, leaving
the estates to his heir-male. In the second, made in 1744, he left
Thirkleby to his widow for life, to pass at her death to the then
holder of the baronetcy; and by the third will, dated 1746, he left
her the estates, producing £2,500 per annum, and the whole of his
personalty absolutely, and to dispose of as she chose. It was
contended that the last will was made when he was in an unsound state
of mind and under undue influence, and a lawsuit ensued, resulting in
the setting aside of the third and the confirmation of the second
will. The lawsuit gained, Sir Charles and Agnes went for a tour on the
Continent, and in the month of November, 1755, were sojourning in the
city of Lisbon. On the 1st of that month, the sun rose, shining with
almost unusual brightness, and the streets were filled with people
going hither and thither on matters of religion, business, and
pleasure, little dreaming of, and with nothing to indicate, the
catastrophe which was to befall their city. The Franklands had
breakfasted at their hotel, and Sir Charles, donning a Court suit,
started off in a carriage with a lady to witness the celebration of
High Mass in the Cathedral, leaving Agnes at the hotel. They had not
proceeded far, and were passing in front of a lofty building, when,
without warning, the terrible earthquake occurred, which in eight
minutes laid the city in ruins, and swallowed up 50,000 of its
inhabitants. The lofty building came crashing down, and buried the
carriage and its occupants. What became of the lady is not known, but
the horses were killed, and Sir Charles lay bruised and wounded
beneath the ruins for an hour. In full expectation of death, he
reflected on his past life, and, concluding that he was undergoing a
judgment of God for his misdeeds, and especially for having lived in a
state of concubinage, made a vow that if he should be rescued, he
would show his repentance by marrying the partner of his guilt. Agnes
had escaped unhurt, and when the first shock had passed, fearful that
some mischance had befallen him, rushed out in the direction of the
cathedral, regardless of the still falling houses, in search of him.
As she was clambering over a heap of ruins, she heard moans issuing
from beneath, and a voice which she recognised as that of her beloved
one. She immediately got together a party of diggers, and, by promises
of high rewards, succeeded in extricating him, and after his wounds
had been dressed, conveyed him to Belem, where, in process of time, he
recovered, and where their marriage was celebrated.

Sir Charles returned to Boston; but in 1757 he was appointed
Consul-General to Portugal, and again came to Lisbon. In 1763 he
resumed his duties at Boston, retaining his consulship, although
absent, until 1767, when he returned to England, and died the
following year, being succeeded in the baronetcy by his brother

Lady Frankland returned to New England with her son, and they resided
upon an estate at Hopkinson which she had inherited through her
parents, but at the outbreak of the Revolutionary war in 1775, she,
being a Royalist, came to England, and, in 1782, married Mr. John
Drew, a banker at Chichester, and died in 1783.

Richard Cromwell, her son, entered the naval service of England, but
retired on his ship being ordered to America, as he felt unwilling to
fight against his native land. In 1796 he was living in Chichester
with a family growing up around him.

In 1865 there was published at Albany, "Sir Charles Henry Frankland,
Bart.; or, Boston in the Colonial Times; by Elias Nason, M.A.," who,
in the preface, says--"Who was Sir C. H. Frankland? is a question
which a brief story entitled 'A legend of New England,' and published
by William Lincoln, in 1843, and still more recently the ballad of
'Agnes,' by Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes here, led the public to
entertain: Was he a real person or a myth? Was there ever such a
collector of the port of Boston? Was he indeed buried under the ruins
of Lisbon at the time of the great earthquake? Was he rescued
therefrom by the efforts of a poor girl, named Agnes Surriage, and did
he afterwards make her his wife?" These questions the author answers
in the subsequent pages of the pamphlet, of which the above is an

Rise of the House of Phipps.

About the middle of the seventeenth century, during the Civil War and
the Restoration, there dwelt in Bristol one James Phipps, a gunsmith
by trade. He was blessed with a numerous progeny; of him it might
truly be said that "his quiver was full of them," for he had
eventually twenty-six children, of whom twenty-one were boys. Having
only his gunmaking trade to depend upon for a living, he found it
difficult to provide means for feeding, clothing, and educating them,
and often lay awake long at nights, pondering in his mind what he
should do to meet the necessities of the case. At that time, and for
two or three reigns previously, we had been at work laying the
foundations of the present great American Republic, by establishing
plantations of colonists, aristocratic and Episcopalian, in the south,
and Puritanical in the north, most of whom had been driven thither by
the persecutions they had undergone in the mother country. Bristol
was then the great port of imports and exports of the Western
Continent, and James Phipps naturally heard of the unbounded
capabilities of the new continent, as also he heard, by tradition, of
the vast wealth which the buccaneers of Elizabeth's reign--the old
Vikings of Devonshire--brought from the West Indies, Peru, Mexico,
etc., into the ports of Bristol, Barnstaple, Bideford, etc., and it
occurred to him that here was scope enough for him and all his sons,
and he emigrated with them to New England, where William, his youngest
son, was born, and he seems to have died soon after, as this son is
stated to have been brought up by his mother until he was eighteen
years of age.

This William Phipps was the founder of that family who are now lords
of Mulgrave Castle, and whose dignity has culminated in a Marquisate.
He had received no education, but taught himself to read and write
when apprentice to a ship carpenter. At the expiration of his
apprenticeship he married the daughter of Captain Robert Spencer, and
relict of a rich merchant of the name of Hull, who brought him a small
fortune, with which he commenced business, but his speculations were
not successful. But he did not despair, although fortune did seem to
frown. He was a man of unbounded enterprise and energy, and he said to
his wife, who was lamenting the loss of her money, "Be not cast down,
my dear; I will live to be the commander of better men than I myself
am now. Providence has great things in store for me, and the time
shall come when I will build a fair brick house in the green lane of
North Boston, of which you shall be the mistress." When casting about
for employment, he chanced to hear of a Spanish galleon, laden with
specie and plate, which had been wrecked half a century previously
somewhere in the Bahamas, and he resolved to go in search of it, and
to endeavour the recovery of the cargo by means of the diving-bell.

Aristotle, 300 years B.C., makes some obscure references to a machine
of this kind, but what it was or how employed is not known. The first
reliable account we have of such a machine is given by Taisnier, who
describes a "cacobus aquaticus" (marine kettle) which was exhibited by
two Greeks before the Emperor Charles V., at Toledo, in 1538; but it
seems to have been of no practical use, as it had no apparatus for
supplying the divers with fresh air. A similar sort of bell, but
constructed on better principles, had been made use of on the coast of
Mull, between the years 1650 and 1660 to operate upon some sunken
vessels of the Spanish Armada, but without much success. It was this
which directed the attention of Phipps to the diving-bell, who
perceived that by various modifications and improvements of the
apparatus it might be made a most valuable instrument for submarine
operations, and after a long and patient study, and numberless
experiments, he succeeded in constructing a bell very much the same as
that now used, and capable of being worked much more efficiently and
with greater safety than any previously employed. In consequence of
his having thus, by his skill and scientific modifications, produced a
really working machine, he is generally styled "the inventor of the
diving-bell." He sailed for the Bahamas, but was not able to find the
spot where the vessel lay. He received information of another,
however, the position of which was more accurately defined, and which
held a much greater treasure.

He then sailed for London, his resources having failed, where he
arrived in 1683, and laid the project before King Charles, who
furnished him with a 19-gun frigate, in which he returned to the
Bahamas. Before he found the locality of the object of his search, he
again became crippled for funds, and went again to London for further
assistance, but King James, who had succeeded to the crown in the
interval, deeming his views visionary, declined having anything to do
in the matter. The Duke of Albemarle, however, was more sanguine and
got up a subscription for a fresh outfit, on condition that he and the
subscribers should share in the proceeds, and Captain Phipps sailed
with two vessels. This time he was more successful; after some search
he found the precise spot where the galleon lay, and, by means of his
diving-bell, brought up from the wreck thirty-two tons of silver,
besides gold plate and jewels, of the estimated value of £200,000.
With this splendid prize he came again to England, but on a division
of the spoil, he got no more than £20,000, the Duke absorbing £90,000,
whilst the remainder was distributed amongst the other subscribers and
the crews of the vessels. The King, in appreciation of his ingenuity
and enterprise, knighted him, and constituted him Sheriff of New
England. He made a second visit to the wreck, and made a gleaning of
what had been left, and on his return to New England he built the
"fair brick house in the green lane of North Boston," where he dwelt
some time with his wife, now Lady Phipps, who no longer twitted him
about the loss of her fortune. He afterwards served in the army, and
was appointed, by William III., Governor of Massachusetts; but two
years after, refusing to sanction certain corrupt practices, he was
charged by his enemies with maladministration of his government. He
went to London to clear himself of the false charges, but died there
soon after his arrival, in 1694, and was buried in the Church of St.
Mary Woolnoth, London, where his widow erected a sumptuous monument to
his memory, with a sculptured representation of his achievements in
the Bahamas.

Not having any issue by his wife, he adopted Constantine, her nephew,
and at his death bequeathed to him the bulk of his fortune. He is said
generally, in the genealogies of the family, to have been Phipps's own
son; but in "The Life of his Excellency Sir William Phipps, Kt., late
Captain-General and Governor-in-Chief of the Province of
Massachusetts Bay, New England, 1697," which was published during the
lifetime of his widow, it is said distinctly, "not having any child of
his own, he adopted a nephew of his wife to be his heir." Sir
Constantine Phipps, his nephew, who assumed the name of Phipps on
inheriting his uncle's property, became Lord High Chancellor of
Ireland, was knighted, and died in 1728. William, his son, married the
Lady Katherine, daughter of James, fourth Earl of Anglesey, by the
Lady Katherine Darnley, a natural daughter of King James II., who
re-married John Sheffield, Duke of Buckingham, Duke and Marquis of
Normandy, and Earl of Mulgrave. Constantine, his son, who died 1780,
was created Baron Mulgrave of New Ross, in the Peerage of Ireland, in
1768. Constantine, his son, second Baron, was the famous navigator,
who made a voyage of discovery into the Arctic regions, and was, in
the Pitt Administration, Joint Paymaster of the Forces, a Lord of
Trade, and a Commissioner of the India Board. He was created, in 1790,
Baron Mulgrave, of Mulgrave Castle, in the Peerage of England, but,
dying issueless in 1792, that title expired. His portrait may be seen
in Greenwich Hospital.

Henry, his brother, succeeded as third Baron Mulgrave of New Ross, and
in his person the Barony of Mulgrave, of Mulgrave Castle, was
re-created in 1794. He was further created Viscount Normanby and Earl
of Mulgrave, in 1812, and G.C.B. He was Governor of Scarborough Castle
and Foreign Secretary, 1805-6, and died in 1831. Constantine Henry,
his son, succeeded to all his father's titles, and was advanced in the
Peerage to the Marquisate of Normanby, in 1838. His Lordship, who died
in 1863, was an eminent statesman and diplomatist, was constituted
P.C., 1832; G.C.H., 1832; G.C.B., 1847; and K.G., 1851, and held the
following offices:--Governor-General of Jamaica, 1832-34; Lord Privy
Seal, July to November, 1834; Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland, 1835-39;
Secretary of State for the Colonies, September to December, 1839; Home
Secretary, 1839-41; was Minister at Paris, 1846-52; Envoy
Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary at Florence, 1854-58; and
represented Scarborough in Parliament, 1818-20, Higham Ferrers,
1822-26, and Malton, 1826-30. He was a man of accomplished literary
taste, having published "A Year of Revolution," from a journal kept in
Paris, in the year 1848, 2 vols., 1857. Also several novels--"Yes and
No," "Matilda," "The Contrast," "Clorinde," and "The Prophet of St.
Paul's," and several political pamphlets of great ability, with some
other minor works. George Augustus Constantine, his son, the second
Marquis was a K.C.MG. and P.C.; was M.P. for Scarborough, 1847-21;
Treasurer of the Household, 1853-58; a Lord-in-Waiting in 1866 and
1868-69; Captain of the Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms, 1869-71; Governor
of Nova Scotia, 1858-66; of Queensland, 1871-74; of New Zealand,
1874-78; and of Victoria, 1878-84. He died in 1890, and was succeeded
by his son, the Rev. Constantine Charles Henry, the present Marquis,
who was born in 1846.

The Traitor Governor of Hull.

October the thirtieth, 1640, was a day of great bustle and excitement
in the town of Beverley. All ordinary business seemed to be suspended,
and the streets were filled with groups of people, in earnest
discussion, and with persons hastening hither and thither as if on
important business, whilst great crowds of burghers occupied the space
in front of the old Hanse House or Guildhall, waiting for the opening
of the doors. It was the day appointed for the election of
representatives to Parliament, and as such an event had not taken
place since 1628, excepting that of the spring of the present year,
for the Parliament which lasted only twenty-eight days, combined with
the irritating circumstances which had caused the issue of the writs,
the excitement and the depth of party feeling between the Puritans and
the upholders of the policy of Wentworth and Laud, was all the more
intense. The King had striven to rule and levy taxes absolutely and
irresponsibly, contrary to the Constitution; and the murmurs and
opposition became so great as to compel him to summon together the
representatives of the Commons to sanction his acts, and grant the
necessary subsidies. Hence were the burgesses of Beverley summoned
together to elect their representatives to what came to be called in
after time "The Long Parliament." In due course they were admitted
into the hall, and presently after the Mayor, William Cheppelow, a
mercer, entered, and took his seat as Returning-Officer. He was
accompanied by the Recorder, Francis Thorpe, the Aldermen, the Capital
Burgesses, and the usual officials. After the reading of the writ and
other preliminaries, he asked if any one had a candidate to propose,
when a burgess proposed Sir John Hotham, "our old representative, who
has served us faithfully in four previous Parliaments." Another
proposed Michael Warton, Esq., "our worthy townsman, whose principles
are well known to us all;" and a third proposed Sir Thomas Metham,
Knight, all which proposals were seconded, and the polling proceeded
with, the result being the return of the two former, who, the
following day, posted up to London to take their seats at the opening
of the House on the third of November.

Sir John Hotham was a descendant of Sir John de Trehouse, Knight, of
Kilkenny, who, for his services at the Battle of Hastings, had a grant
of the Manor of Hotham, near Beverley. Peter, his great-grandson,
assumed the name of "de Hotham," and his descendant, Sir John, was
summoned as Baron in 1315, which dignity became extinct at his death,
as it was a personal summons only. The family subsequently became
possessors of South Dalton and Scorborough, both in the neighbourhood
of Beverley, which were now held by Sir John, who made the mansion at
the latter village his place of residence. He was born towards the end
of the sixteenth century, was made a baronet in 1621, and had been
five times married. He was now destined, by reason of his return to
the Long Parliament, to make his name famous in English history, or,
as some might say, infamous. He was not disaffected towards the King
and his policy; what he did in opposition thereto he deemed to be his
duty to the Parliament of which he was a member, of which, however, he
afterwards repented, impelled partly also by jealousy at the
appointment of Lord Fairfax to the command of the forces in the north,
which, he considered, ought to have been given to him, an old
experienced soldier, who had served for a long time in the Low
Countries, and had fought under the banner of the Elector Palatine at
the Battle of Prague.

At the neighbouring town of Hull there was at this time a great store
of arms and ammunition, which had been deposited there for the use of
the troops in the Scottish expedition, when the King went thither to
attempt to cram the Liturgy down the throats of the Presbyterian
Scots. It had been under the charge of Colonel Legge, who, on the
disbandment of the army, left it under the care of the Mayor of Hull.
When the rupture between the King and the Parliament was coming to a
crisis, the former went with his Court to York, his secret object
being to get possession of the magazine; and the Parliament,
suspecting his motive for going north, sent Sir John Hotham and his
son, Captain John Hotham, to take charge of it, and not to deliver it
up on any consideration, excepting by their order. This occurred in
March, 1642. Captain Hotham, his son, represented Scarborough in the
Long Parliament.

In March, the King had sent the Earl of Newcastle to take charge of
Hull and the magazine of arms, but the Mayor declined delivering up
his trust, and the following month the King proceeded thither in
person, to demand admittance, attended by a suite of noblemen and
gentlemen. When he appeared before the town, he found the gates shut,
the drawbridges raised, and the walls swarming with men-at-arms. He
caused a trumpet to be sounded for a parley, when Sir John Hotham, the
new governor, accompanied by the Mayor, appeared over Beverley Gate.
He had previously sent Sir Louis Dives from Beverley with a message
that he was coming with some noblemen to dine with Sir John, who held
a hurried consultation with Alderman Pelham, a Member of the
Parliament, when they determined upon not admitting him, and upon
placing a guard over the Mayor and burgesses, and sent a reply that he
could not admit him without a betrayal of the trust reposed in him by
the Parliament. When Sir John appeared over the gate, the King
demanded admittance, and asked angrily why the gate was shut against
him. Sir John replied, "I am sorry to disobey your Majesty, but I am
intrusted by the Parliament with the charge of this garrison, with
instructions to admit no one who comes with apparently hostile
intentions, and I trust that I may not be misunderstood, for nothing
is meant in it but the good of the kingdom and the welfare of your
Majesty." "Pray, Sir John, by what authority do you act thus
disloyally?" "By order of both Houses of Parliament." "Read or show me
that authority." "I decline doing so." "Has the Mayor seen it?" "No! I
scorn that he should. I am the Governor of the town, and it concerns
no one else."

The King then asked the Mayor if he sanctioned this treasonable
conduct, who, terrified and abashed in the presence of Royalty, fell
on his knees and replied, "My liege! glad should I be to open the
gates if it were in my power; but, alas! both I and the inhabitants
are under guard, and soldiers, with drawn swords, threaten our lives
if we make the attempt."

"Well, Sir John," said the King, "this act of yours is unparalleled,
and will, I fear, lead to dismal consequences, and I cannot do less
than proclaim and proceed against you as a traitor; but I will give
you an hour to decide." He then retired, and, on his return, found the
Governor inflexible in his refusal to admit him, excepting with a
following of not more than twenty persons, upon which he caused a
herald to proclaim him a traitor, and all who abetted him guilty of
treason, shouting, "Fling the traitor over the walls! Throw the rebel
into the ditch," after which he retired to Beverley, and spent the
night there. The following morning he sent a messenger with a promise
of pardon for the past, and his favour for the future, if Sir John
would open the gates to him, and when he received a negative answer he
returned to York. The King then sent a complaint to Parliament of Sir
John's conduct, who replied that he had done quite right, and that his
proclamation of him as a traitor was a flagrant breach of the
privilege of Parliament.

As the King could not obtain admission to the town by persuasive
means, he resorted to force, and laid siege to it, and the Parliament
sent an additional force of 2,000 men to maintain the defence. About
this time, Lord Digby, a Royalist, was captured and brought into Hull,
who, in repeated conversations with Sir John on the evils he was
bringing upon the kingdom, half persuaded him to admit the King; but
eventually he resolved not to betray his trust. Nevertheless he
facilitated the escape of his lordship, and this was what first caused
him to be viewed with suspicion by the Parliament. Soon after, the
King went into the Midlands, and set up his standard at Nottingham,
leaving the siege of Hull in the hands of Lord Newport, and the civil
war commenced in earnest. Captain Hotham, a dashing and dare-devil
officer, left Hull with a small force, had a brush with and was
defeated by Glemham, on the Wolds; frightened Archbishop Williams from
Cawood, who fled to Wales, and never saw his diocese again; disputed
the passage of the Tees with Newcastle, and again at Tadcaster against
an overwhelming force; and assisted Sir T. Fairfax in the capture of

By various instrumentalities, the Hothams, father and son, had now
veered round from the Parliamentarian to the Royalist side. The
younger had met the Queen when she landed at Burlington, kissed her
hand, and promised obedience to the King's will; and the elder had
been in correspondence with Newcastle, and had undertaken to deliver
up Hull on the 28th of August. But all this had come to the ears of
Parliament, and measures were at once taken to frustrate his
intentions. Orders were sent to Thomas Raikes, the Mayor, Sir Matthew
Boynton, Hotham's brother-in-law, and Captain Meyer, commander of a
vessel of war in the Humber, to arrest him and his son, and send them
up to London, and they lost no time in the matter. Captain Meyer
landed one hundred men, who seized the citadel and the block-house,
and they placed a watch round Sir John's house. Captain Hotham they
captured without difficulty, and placed in security during the night,
and at daylight went to Sir John's house to take him, but found he had
effected his escape.

Too old a soldier to be caught in a trap like that, and too old in
strategy not to be able to devise means of extrication from a peril,
he, having learned from his spies what was passing, and seeing that
matters were coming to a crisis, determined upon flying to his house
at Scorborough, which was fortified and able to stand a short siege.
He eluded the watch by passing out by a private door at the back, and
made his way, by obscure lanes and streets, to Beverley Gate. When he
arrived there he was saluted by the guard, who knew nothing of the
order for his arrest, and, assuming a lofty unembarrassed bearing, he
ordered the gate to be opened and six of the guards to follow him to
Beverley. He was immediately obeyed, and, securing a horse, he rode
off in the direction of Beverley; but as soon as he had purposely
outridden his attendants, he turned to the right, through Sculcoates,
towards Stone Ferry. His pursuers meanwhile learnt what had passed at
the gate, and rode after him along the Beverley road. They overtook
the six guards, who informed them that Sir John could not be more than
a few furlongs ahead on the road, and they spurred on towards Beverley
without overtaking the fugitive.

Sir John's house lay three or four miles beyond Beverley, on the west
of the river Hull, and as he knew it would be dangerous to pass
through the town, he resolved to cross the river and proceed along the
eastern side, and re-cross it when he had passed Beverley.
Unfortunately, when he came to Stone Ferry, there was no boat, and the
river was running too rapidly to allow of swimming his horse across;
he therefore hastened on to Wawn Ferry, hoping to cross there, but the
fates seemed to be against him; there was no boat there either, and
the hazard was too great to attempt reaching the opposite bank by any
other means. He paused for a few minutes, thinking over what course he
should pursue. There appeared to be nothing for it but to make a bold
dash through Beverley. It was true that the town was held by the
Parliamentarians, but they might not have heard of the events which
had transpired in Hull. Besides, there was no alternative, and putting
spurs to his horse's flanks, he soon came in sight of the towers of
Beverley Minster. He entered the town by Queensgate, and passing along
the streets with an air of indifference, came to the Market-place,
which he found occupied by a troop of 700 or 800 men, with his nephew,
Colonel Boynton, at their head. With an assumed nonchalant air, he
saluted his nephew, and ordered a company of the men to follow, which
they were preparing to do, when the Colonel, who had been made
acquainted with his treachery, came up, and seizing his horse's
bridle, said, "Sir John, you are my prisoner. I respect you as my
kinsman, but I must, although with the greatest reluctance, pass by
all tender respect, and arrest you as a traitor to the Commonwealth."
Sir John, seeing that resistance was useless, replied, "Well, kinsman,
since such is your will I must be content and submit," but, espying a
lane close by, he clapped spurs to his horse and galloped down it,
followed by his nephew, shouting "Down with the traitor; knock him
down;" and a soldier, striking him with the butt end of his musket,
brought him to the earth, bleeding and almost senseless. By a strange
coincidence, he was confined for the night in the same house where the
King had slept after his discomfiture at the gates of Hull. The
following morning he was taken to Hull, placed on board Captain
Meyer's vessel, and, with his son, immediately conveyed to London. On
the 3rd of December they were arraigned at the Guildhall for treason,
the Earl of Manchester presiding, and were sentenced to be executed on
the last day of the year. The House of Lords, desirous of pardoning
him, reprieved Sir John for three days; but the Commons would not
listen to it. Captain Hotham was beheaded in due course before his
father, which some said was a piece of concerted malice, that he
might not die a baronet, which he would have done had his father
suffered first.

On the 2nd of January, Sir John was brought out upon Tower Hill and
mounted the scaffold, accompanied by the Rev. Hugh Peters and other
ministers and friends. He met his fate bravely and like a soldier, and
before laying his head on the block, addressed the people,
saying--"Gentlemen,--I know no more of myself but that I deserve this
death from God Almighty, and that I deserve damnation and the severest
punishment from Him. As for the business of Hull--the betraying it
from the Parliament--the ministers that have all been with me and gave
me good counsels, I thank them. Neither was I any ways guilty of it.
That's all I can say to that act," etc., etc.

It will be seen that he was no orator, and did not give utterance to
his ideas in a very clear and coherent manner. The speech of his son,
three days previously, was very superior, both in matter and manner.

After Peters had addressed the crowd, putting Sir John's sentiments in
better language, the unfortunate baronet placed his head on the
block. His head was stricken off by the headsman, and his mutilated
remains were buried in the church of All-Hallows, Barking, the liturgy
being read at his funeral, although it had been abolished by Act of

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's Note:

Archaic and inconsistent spelling and punctuation retained.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Elegantly bound in cloth gilt, demy 8vo., price, 6s._

Yorkshire Battles.



This work contains carefully-written accounts of the following
Yorkshire Battles, which cannot fail to interest and instruct the
reader. It is a book of more than local interest:--

     _Winwidfield, etc.--Battle of Stamford Bridge--After Stamford
     Bridge--Battle of the Standard--After the Battle of the
     Standard--Battle of Myton Meadows--Battle of
     Boroughbridge--Battle of Byland Abbey--In the Days of Edward
     III. and Richard II.--Battle of Bramham Moor--Battle of
     Sandal--Battle of Towton--Yorkshire under the Tudors--Battle of
     Tadcaster--Battle of Leeds--Battle of Wakefield--Battle of
     Adwalton Moor--Battle of Hull--Battle of Selby--Battle of
     Marston Moor--Battle of Brunnanburgh--Fight off Flamborough

Opinions of the Press.

     "A remarkably handsome volume, typographically equal to the
     best productions of any European capital."--_North British
     Daily Mail._

     "A handsome book. It is extremely interesting, and is a work
     which cannot fail to find a permanent place amongst the best
     books devoted to the history of the county. The military
     history of Yorkshire is very closely investigated in this work.
     Although the book is written in a clear and picturesque style,
     great care and attention have been given to the researches of
     antiquaries and historians, and many authorities have been
     consulted, in consequence of which, several long-established
     errors have been corrected, and some oft-repeated but
     superficial conclusions confuted. Special attention has been
     given to the military history of the county during the great
     rebellion--a subject which has yet to be fairly and
     intelligently treated by the general historian. So far as the
     limits of the work permit, the general history of the county,
     from epoch to epoch, has been sketched, maintaining the
     continuity of the work, and increasing its interest and value
     both to the general reader and the specialist. The printers of
     the book are Messrs. Wm. Andrews and Co., Hull, and it must be
     regarded as a good specimen of local typography."--_Wakefield
     Free Press._

     "An important work."--_Beverley Independent._

     "Does great credit to the new firm of book
     publishers."--_Yorkshire County Magazine._

     "A beautifully printed volume."--_Halifax Courier._

     "Mr. Lamplough's book is thoroughly readable, and is written in
     a manly as well as a discriminating spirit."--_Yorkshire Post._


_Elegantly bound in cloth gilt, demy 8vo., price 6s._

Old-Time Punishments.




Carefully prepared papers, profusely illustrated, appear on the
following subjects:--

     _The Ducking Stool--The Brank, or Scold's Bridle--The
     Pillory--Punishing Authors and burning
     books--Finger-Pillory--The Jougs--The Stocks--The Drunkard's
     Cloak--Whipping--Public Penance in White Sheets--The
     Repentance-Stool--Riding the Stang--Gibbet
     Lore--Drowning--Burning to Death--Boiling to
     Death--Beheading--Hanging, Drawing, and Quartering--Pressing to
     Death--Hanging--Hanging in Chains--The Halifax Gibbet--The
     Scottish Maiden, etc.--An Index of five closely-printed pages._



     "This is an entertaining book ... well-chosen illustrations and
     a serviceable index."--_Athenæum._

     "A hearty reception may be bespoken for it."--_Globe_

     "A work which will be eagerly read by all who take it

     "It is entertaining."--_Manchester Guardian._

     "A vast amount of curious and entertaining matter."--_Sheffield

     "We can honestly recommend a perusal of this book."--_Yorkshire

     "Interesting, and handsomely printed."--_Newcastle Chronicle._

     "A very readable history."--_Birmingham Daily Gazette._

     "Mr. Andrews' book is well worthy of careful study, and is a
     perfect mine of wealth on the subject of which it
     treats."--_Herts Advertiser._

     "It is sure of a warm welcome on both sides of the
     Atlantic."--_Christian Leader._


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