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Title: Nooks and Corners of English Life, Past and Present
Author: Timbs, John
Language: English
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[Illustration: Book Cover]


Past and Present.




(_Successors to Newbery and Harris_,)


Pictures of the Domestic Manners of our forefathers, at some of the most
attractive periods of English History, form the staple of the present
volume. These Pictures are supplemented by Sketches of subordinate
Scenes and Incidents which illustrate great changes in Society, and tend
to show, in different degrees, the Past as the guide for the Present and
the Future.

The value and interest of Archæological studies in bringing home to our
very doors the information required of special localities, and their
former life, have, it is hoped, been made available by the Author of
this work, so far as to render it acceptable as well for the soundness
of its information as for its entertaining character. The antiquary of
old was but, in many instances, "a gatherer of other men's stuff;"
whereas the archæologist of the present day adds to the worth of
antiquarian studies by placing their results in new lights, and thus
extending the utility and amusement which they afford.

The materials for writing English History are inexhaustible; and one of
the aims of this work is to seize upon and group from such stores
leading facts and transitions, and by means of condensation to present
their narratives in a more tangible form than that in which they were
originally written. In this task the Author has brought to bear, from a
variety of accredited sources, evidences of the condition of the English
people--in their "woods and caves, and painted skins"--their homes and
modes of living, in cavern and castle, mansion and cottage; the origin
of their Domestic Inventions and Contrivances in the several stages of
comfort; House-furnishing, Dress and Personal Ornament; Provisions and
Olden Cookery, and Housewifery; Peasant Life, with its curious Customs,
Laws, and Ceremonies; Fairs and Festivals and Amusements. To these
succeed a few Historic Sketches: Traditions of Battle-fields, and other
memorable sites; Mansions and their Families: romantic Narratives,
Portraits of eminent Persons, &c.

The authorities and sources of information conveyed in the following
pages, are fully acknowledged. "Quotation," said Johnson, "is a good
thing; there is a community of mind in it;" although some writers seem
to ride upon their readers, like Pyrrhus on his elephant, forgetting
that "there is not so poor a book in the world, that would not be a
prodigious effort, were it wrought out entirely by a single hand,
without the aid of prior investigation." Real antiquarianism has been
well defined as a lively knowledge of the Past, comprehending the spirit
of a period through the details of its customs, events, and
institutions; the language of its writers, the movements of its sciences
and arts; and, by keeping in view these points, the writer of the
present volume hopes he has succeeded in producing a recreative result
worthy of the acceptance of the reader.


I. Early English Life.

      Aboriginal Britons--British Caves--Bosphrennis Bee-hive Hut and
      Picts' House--On the Brigantes of Yorkshire; by Prof. Phillips 1-7


      Lappenberg's Picture of South Britain--War Chariots--Druidism, its
      Rites and Customs--Arch-Druid and Mistletoe--Legend of
      Stonehenge--Charles II. at Stonehenge--Fire Worship--Druidical
      Serpents' Eggs--Druids' Medicines--Druid Schools and
      Priests--Trade of the Phoenicians--Tin-trade of
      Cornwall--Ornamental Art--British War-chiefs--Britain and New
      Zealand compared                                              8-23


      Civilization of Ancient Britain--British and Roman
      Encampments--British Trackways and Roman Roads--British
      Railways--Country of the Brigantes--London of Roman origin--The
      Romans leave Britain--Roman London in Leadenhall Street--Mr. Roach
      Smith's Museum--Roman Wall, Pottery, and Glass--Roman City of
      Uriconium, Wroxeter, described--Owen Glendower's Oak--Shropshire
      Legends of Giants--Silchester explored--Conquest by Cæsar:
      Condition of the People then and now                         24-45


      Saxon Architecture--Saxon Houses--Mead-hall, or Beer-hall--Saxon
      Beds--Story of Vortigern and Rowena--Origin of the Wassail Cup and
      the Loving Cup--Dinner in the Middle Ages--Peg Tankards and
      Drinking Horns--Mazer Bowls--The Hanap--Saxon
      Metal-working--Alfred's Jewel, and Ethelwulf's Ring--Saxon
      Coins--Glass-making--Saxon Cloths and
      Dyeing--Embroidery--Iron-smelting--Alfred's Inventions--Travelling
      in the Saxon Times--Sussex Roads--Stirrups, Spurs, and Bridles


      Britons' Early Living--Roman Luxury--British Oysters--Roman
      Supper--Saxon Law of Host and Guest--Canute's Dinner-law--Origin
      of "Lady"--Saxon Provisions--Saxon Feasts--Early
      Baking--Elecampane--Ale and Beer--Brewing in Monasteries and
      Colleges--Oxford Ale--Ancient Vineyards--Danish Drinking--Ancient
      Names of Provisions                                          61-70

II. Castle Life.

      Castles of England--Roman Castles--Pevensey--Maiden Castle and
      Poundbury--Introduction of Bricks--Norman Castles--Conisborough
      and _Ivanhoe_--Tonbridge Castle--Bedford Castle Siege--Raby
      Castle, Durham--Kitchen of Raby--Durham Castle, Kitchen and
      Buttery--Legend of Mulgrave Castle--Corfe Castle, and King Edward
      the Martyr--Lady Bankes's Defence of Corfe--Castles _temp._ Edward
      III.--Windsor Castle, its History and Description--St. George's
      Chapel--Round Tower and Round Table--William of Wykeham and
      Chaucer, Clerks of the Works, Windsor Castle--Restoration of
      Windsor Castle, by George IV.--Sir Jeffrey Wyatville's
      Gothic--Canon Bowles on Windsor Castle--Pictures at Windsor; Keep,
      and Private Apartments--Warwick Castle, its History: Pictures,
      Warwick Vase--Guy's apocryphal Curiosities--Historical Earls of
      Warwick--Kenilworth Castle--Leicester and Queen
      Elizabeth--Arundel Castle--Dukes of Norfolk--Bevis's Tower and its
      Legend--Norman Remains, Interior, Vineyards, Historical Picture

III. Household Antiquities.

      The Old English House--Norman Houses--The Manor-house--The
      Hall--City Companies' Halls--Embattled Mansions--Wingfield and
      Cowdray--Mary Queen of Scots at Wingfield--Thornbury Castle and
      its History--Longleat, Wilts--John Thorpe, the Elizabethan
      Architect--Holland House, Kensington--Burghley,
      Northamptonshire--Hatfield House, Herts--Campden,
      Gloucestershire--Haddon Hall, Derbyshire--Lines on Haddon--The
      Great Hall--Hall at Hampton Court--Hall Windows--Hall
      Fires--College and Inns of Court Halls--Hall in Aubrey's
      Time--Queen Victoria at Hatfield--Eltham Palace Hall, its present
      Condition--Early Mansions of the English Gentry--The Oldest
      Dwelling-house in England--Wood and Stone in building--London
      built of Wood--Chestnut Timber and Ornamental
      Carpentry--Kenilworth Hall Roof--Half-Timbered Houses in
      London--English Cottages--Sussex Cottages, by Cobbett--Brambletye
      House and the Comptons                                     109-134


      Warmth and Ventilation--Count Rumford and Dr. Arnott--Introduction
      of Chimneys--The Hall Louvre or Lantern--Chimneys of Wood--Smoke
      Farthings and Hearth-money--Crosby Hall--The Hall Fire and God's
      Sunday--Rushes used--Coal introduced--Awnd-irons--Hever
      Castle--Christmas in the Great Hall--Silver Fire
      Implements--Invention of Grates--Prof. Faraday on Ventilation by
      the Chimney--The Open Coal Fire--Roman Mode of heating
      Houses--Flue-Tiles and Hypocausts--History of the Curfew, and
      Curfew ringing                                             135-147


      Last Days of Isabella, Queen of Edward II.--Private Life of Five
      Hundred Years since--Mortimer and the Queen--The Castle of Castle
      Rising--Daily Expenses--Visitors and Pilgrimages--Ancient Meal
      Hours--Queen Isabella at Windsor, Tottenham, and Canterbury--Death
      of Queen Isabella--Messenger, Alms, and Doles--Repairs--The
      Queen's Love of Jewels--Minstrels' and New Year's Gifts--Murder of
      Edward II. (_note_)                                        148-160


      Gervase Markham's Tract--Olden Cookery--Banquet Bills of
      Fare--Brewing and Wine-making--The Bakehouse--Spinning--Domestic
      Medicines--Carving by Ladies--Lady Mary Wortley Montague on
      Carving                                                    161-166


      Hereford, the ancient City--Mrs. Joyce Jeffries and her
      Servants--Gifts to Country Cousins--Lending Money--Dress of the
      Lady, 1638--Housekeeping Expenses--Amusements and Social
      Customs--Civil War Imposts--Lord Strafford's Trial--Mrs. Jeffries'
      Generosity                                                 167-176


      Cabinet-work--Bedsteads--Beds--Tapestried Chambers--Blanket and
      Worsted--Great Bed of Ware--Warming-pan, ancient--Chairs--Chamber
      at Hengrave--Rushes and Carpets--Hall Furniture--Court
      Cupboard--Wardrobes--Loseley, near Guildford, described    177-183


      Laundry Accounts--Hangings--Woollen Clothing--Pomanders--Country
      Life, 17th century                                         184-187


      Pins introduced from France--Pins first made in England--Pinners'
      Company--Pins, _temp._ Elizabeth--Pinners on London Bridge--Origin
      of Pin Money--What becomes of all the Pins?--Pin Wells     188-191


      Olden Bread-making--Manchets, Recipes for--The
      Manciple--Pastry-making taught in Schools--Christmas Game Pie,
      1394--Cookery, _temp._ Richard II.--History of Sugar, 195--Tea and
      Coffee introduced--Spices and other Condiments--Olden
      Confectionery--March-pane and Biscuits--Dessert Fruits, 13th
      century--Oranges introduced--Lincoln's Inn Fruit and Vegetable
      Garden--Ornamental Fruit Trenchers--Vegetables in early
      use--Conveyance of perishable Food--Antiquity of Cheese--Banbury
      and Cheshire Cheese--Ballad on Cheshire Cheese--Sage Cheese--Ale
      and Beer--Hops introduced--Our National Drink              192-216

IV. Peasant Life.

      "A bold Peasantry, their Country's Pride"--Serfdom--Were and
      Wergild--Operative Tenants--Rent paid in
      Labour--Monday-men--Villeins--Stocks for Vagrants and unruly
      Servants--Services of Tillage--Ploughing Boon--Harrowing and
      Bed-weeding--Threshing, Thatching, Delving,
      &c.--Inclosures--Malting for the Lord--Malt-silver--Ancient
      Harvest--Reaping Boon--Hayward--Love-boons or Law-days--Autumnal
      Precations, _temp._ Edward II.--Ram Feast--Beltane
      Superstition--Hayfield cut and cleared--Mutton Rewards--Hock-day
      Court and Sports--Hardicanute's Death--Scot Ales--Sheep Shearing
      and Clipping-time Customs--Conveyance Service--Arriage and
      Carriage--Farming a Castle or Monastery--Vraic in the Channel
      Islands--Langerode--Watch and Ward--The Beadle--Sleeping in
      Church--"Firm Locks make faithful Servants"                217-234

      Olden Housemarks: Land, Cattle, Sheep, Swans, and Ducks; Houses
      and Cottages--Merchants' and Tradesmen's Marks--Picture
      Marks--Ancient Conveyancing                                235-237

V. Customs and Ceremonies.

      May-day Carol on Magdalen College Tower, Oxford--Flower Customs at
      Oxford--May-day Song at Saffron Walden--May-poles still
      extant--Raine's Charity--Picture of Oxford                 238-244


      Banbury Cakes abolished by the Puritans--Banbury Cross--Banbury
      _zeal_ and _veal_--Old Fuller on Banbury--High Church
      Banburians--Congleton Triangular Cakes and Gingerbread--Sale of
      Banbury Cakes--Banbury Cheese--Banbury Cross restored--Sack
      Brewage at Congleton--Shrewsbury Cakes--Islington and Holloway
      Cheesecakes                                                245-253


      Horselydown--Curious Picture at Hatfield House, of the Fair,
      described--Hermitage                                       254-258


      Bull-baiting, Cock-fighting, &c.--Wake-time, better
      spent--Bloxwich Bull                                       259-263


      Alexander Neckam and his Treatise--Love of Animals--Hawk and
      Eagle--Parrot--Barnacle--Swan, Nightingale, Sparrow, Raven, and
      Crow; Cuckoo, Cock, Wren, &c.                              264-268

VI. Historic Sketches.


      Woodstock Bower, and Rosamund's Well--The Nunnery at Godstow, near
      Oxford--Rosamund born--Known to Henry II.--Maze at Woodstock--The
      Silken Clue--The Poison Cup--Rosamund's Tomb at Godstow--Legend
      from the _French Chronicle_                                269-277


      Fall of Wolsey--Retires to Esher--His Servants and
      Retainers--Henry VIII. demands a cession of York House--The
      "comfortable Message"--Death of Wolsey at Leicester--The
      Abbey--Esher Place embellished by Kent--Dr. Johnson's Portrait of
      Wolsey--At Cawood--Weighing his Plate--Wolsey and
      Christchurch--Death and Interment of Wolsey--Tomb-house and
      Sarcophagus--Cavendish's _Life of Wolsey_                  278-292


      Worth of Tradition--Antiquity of Tenure--The Wapshotts--Flodden
      Field Tradition--BATTLE OF HASTINGS described--Roll of the
      Conqueror's Companions--TOWTON FIELD described--TEWKESBURY FIELD
      explored--BOSWORTH FIELD--The Battle--Relics of Richard, Duke of
      Gloucester--His Autograph--Black Boy Inn, Chelmsford, a
      Plantagenet Lodge--Baynard's Castle and Crosby Place--King
      Richard's Inn, Leicester--Omens to the King--Oxford, Norfolk, and
      Surrey--Richard's Last Charge--Sir John Cheney--Combat of Richard
      and Richmond--Richard's Body carried to Leicester--Legend on the
      Corporation Bridge--Wars of York and Lancaster--Rose-tree at
      Longleat--False Traditions                                 293-314


      Princess Elizabeth kept Prisoner here--Old Palace--Park--Queen
      Elizabeth's Oak--The Vineyard--Historical Documents at
      Hatfield--Olden Furniture--Portraits of Queen Elizabeth, and other
      Pictures--Elizabeth's Abode at Hatfield--The Mansion built by the
      Earl of Salisbury                                          315-322

      THE GRAND REMONSTRANCE                                     323-325

      CAVALIERS AND ROUNDHEADS                                   326-328


      The Evelyn Family--Wotton House built--Grounds planned and laid
      out by John Evelyn--His Tour in France and Italy--Public
      Services--Sayes Court--Retires to Wotton--Great Storm of
      1703--Mills on the rivulet at Wotton--Lord Abinger--Lines, to the
      Countess of Donegal, by Swift--Abinger Church--Kneller's Portrait
      of Evelyn--Historical Curiosities--Character of Mrs.
      Evelyn--Evelyn's "Elysium Britannicum"--His Planting--Milton
      Court and Jeremiah Markland                                329-342


      Battersea Parish and Manor--Sir Robert Walpole and
      Bolingbroke--Pope, Swift, Arbuthnot, Thomson, and Mallet at
      Bolingbroke House--Burning of 500 Copies of the _Patriot
      King_--Death of Bolingbroke--Tomb, by Roubiliac--Site of
      Bolingbroke House--Horizontal Mill--"Pope's Parlour," and _Essay
      on Man_--Rose's _Diaries_, and Mallet's treacherous
      Executorship--Bolingbroke's Ingratitude--Lord Brougham's
      Comments--York House, Battersea--Archbishop Holgate--Residence of
      Sir Thomas Boleyn at Battersea--A Shakespearian Query      343-352


      Inclosure of the Forest--A Royal Chase--Hainault--Forest
      Scenery--History of Epping Forest--Visit to Queen Elizabeth's
      Hunting Lodge--Chingford Hall--Curious Tenure Custom--Elizabeth's
      Fondness for Hunting--Conclusion                           353-361


      Ancient British Dwellings--The Saxon Hall--Abury and Stonehenge

I. Early English Life.


It has been well observed that the structure of a house reveals much of
the mode of life adopted by its inhabitants. The representations of the
dwellings of the people of the less cultivated parts of Europe,
contrasted with those of the more cultivated countries, should afford us
the means of comparing their different degrees of civilization. In the
same manner we may measure the growth of improvement in any one country
by an attentive consideration of the structure and arrangement of the
homes of the people at different periods.

The aboriginal Britons are described as dwelling in slight cabins of
reeds and wattles, and in some instances in _caverns of the earth_, many
sets of which, arranged with some degree of symmetry, antiquaries have
recognised; but Cæsar tells us that the maritime tribes had buildings in
the fashion of the Gauls--that is, of wood, of a circular figure, and
thatched. Such towns as they had were clusters of huts erected on a
cleared portion of the forest, which covered the greater part of the
island; and they were invariably surrounded by a rampart, constructed of
felled trees strongly interlaced and wattled, and a deep fosse, which
together formed a fortification. The site of the modern city of London,
with the river Thames in front, the river Fleet on the west, and an
almost inpenetrable forest in the rear, may be taken as a fair specimen
of the locality usually selected for the residence of the British

That our ancestors lived in caves is attested by the existence of a
group of these abodes near Penzance, the most remarkable of all ancient
British Caves hitherto discovered in Cornwall, and thus described by Mr.
J. Edwards, to the Royal Institution of that county:--"Half of a mile
W.S.W. of Caër Bran, and four and a half miles W. by S. of Penzance,
there is, in the village of Chapel Euny, a cave, consisting for the most
part of a deep trench, walled with stones, and roofed with huge slabs.
It extends 30 feet from N.N.W. to S.S.E., and then branches eastward,
and probably also to the S. or S.W. So far it accords with the
description of an ordinary British cave. But its floor (as I was
informed by the miner who opened it about three years ago) was well
paved with large granite blocks, beneath which, in the centre, ran a
narrow gutter or bolt, made, I imagine, for admitting the external air
into the innermost part of the building; from whence, after flowing back
through the cave, it escaped by the cave's mouth--a mode of ventilation
practised immemorially by the miners in this neighbourhood, when driving
adits or horizontal galleries under ground.

"Another peculiarity is still more remarkable. Its higher or northern
end consisted of a circular floor, 12 feet in diameter, covered with a
dome of granite, two-thirds of which are still exposed to view; and my
informant had observed a still greater portion of the dome-roofed
chamber. Every successive layer of the stones forming the dome overhangs
considerably the layer immediately beneath it; so that the stones
gradually approach each other as they rise, until the top stones must
originally have completed the dome; not, however, like the key-stones of
an arch, but by resting horizontally on the immediately subjacent
circular layer. The miner found no pottery, or anything else, in the
cave. The height of the present wall of the dome is about 6 feet above
the lowest part I could see; how much lower the original floor might
have been, I could not ascertain.

"Another British cave, not even referred to in any publication, is to be
seen at Chyoster, nearly three miles north of Penzance, the walls of
which, instead of being perpendicular, are constructed on the same
principle as the inmost part of the cave at Chapel Euny; so that the
tops of these walls which support the huge slabs forming the roof, are
much nearer each other than their bases. Each cave formed part of a
British village, that of old Chyoster being decidedly in the best state
of preservation of all the British villages in this neighbourhood."[2]

Both caves are built of uncemented stones unmarked by any tool. The cave
at Chyoster extended originally, as appears from its remains and the
rubbish left by its recent spoilers, fifty feet or more in a straight
line up the sloping side of the hill. It is 6 feet high, 4 feet wide on
the top, and 8 feet wide at the bottom, and is thought to have been
originally a storehouse. It appears to have been built on the natural
surface of the hillside, and then covered over with stones and earth,
and planted with the evergreens which still abound there.

A few years subsequently to the above investigations, in one of those
intellectual excursions by means of which our acquaintance with the
early history of our island is so greatly extended, the following
results were arrived at:--In the autumn of 1865, in an excursion made
jointly by the Royal Institution of Cornwall and the Penzance Natural
History Society, they inspected on the north coast of the county,
Gurnard's Head, a rocky promontory, jutting some distance into the sea,
and bearing very distinct traces of having been fortified by the early
Britons against an enemy attacking from the sea, this being the only
specimen of an ancient British fortification where traces of sea
defences have been found. In all other cases they seem to have been
erected as a protection from an attack by the land side, and to have
been evidently the last retreat of the natives.

Next was visited the Bosphrennis Bee-hive Hut, first brought to light by
the Cambrian Archæological Society: it was seen in clusters or villages
by Cæsar. And, on an eminence near the village of Porthemear, was found
a large inclosed circle, now hidden by briars and thorns, which, on
examination, showed the remains of several circular huts, leaving no
doubt that here a considerable ancient British village had once existed.

Of the homes of the Picts, the most distinguished among the barbarous
tribes inhabiting the woods and marshes of North Britain, there remain
some specimens in the Orkneys: they are rude and miserable dwellings
underground, but they are supposed to be calculated for the requirements
of a more advanced state of society than that of the dwellers in Picts'
houses. A complete drawing of one of the Orkney specimens has been made,
and was exhibited to the British Archæological Association in 1866.

[Illustration: PICTS' HOUSE.]

About the year 1853, there was discovered in Aberdeenshire a Pict's
house, in the parish of Tarland. It is a subterranean vault, nearly
semicircular, and from five to six feet in height; the sides built with
stones, and roofed with large stones, six or seven feet wide, and a kind
of granite. These excavations have been found in various parishes of
Aberdeenshire, as well as in several of the neighbouring counties. In
the parish of Old Deer, some sixty years back, a whole village was met
with; and, about the same time, in a glen at the back of Stirlinghill,
in the parish of Peterhead, one was discovered which contained some
fragments of bones and several flint arrow-heads and battle-axes, in
various stages of manufacture. Such buildings underground as those
described as Picts' houses were not uncommon on the borders of the
Tweed. A number of them, apparently constructed as above, were
discovered in a field in Berwickshire about fifty years ago. They were
supposed to have been made for the detention of prisoners taken in the
frays during the border feuds; and afterwards they were employed to
conceal spirits, smuggled either across the border or from abroad.

Professor Phillips, in his very able volume on Yorkshire, describes the
houses of the Brigantes (highlanders), inhabitants of the hilly country
towards the north of Britain, and extending from the German Ocean to the
Irish Sea. Of these huts there appear to be three varieties, of which we
have only the foundations. The first occurs in north-eastern and
south-eastern Yorkshire; the ground is excavated in a circular shape, so
as to make a pit from six to eight feet, or even sixteen or eighteen
feet in diameter, with a raised border, and three to five feet in depth.
Over this cavity we must suppose the branches of trees placed to form a
conical roof, which, perhaps, might be made weather-proof by wattling, a
covering of rushes, or turf. The opening we may believe to have been
placed on the side removed from the prevalent wind: fire in the centre
of the hut thus constructed, has left traces in many of the houses
examined. The pits in Westerdale are called "ref-holes," _i.e._
roof-holes, for our Saxon word _roof_ has the meaning of the Icelandic
_raf_ and Swedish _ref_. In several places these pits are associated in
such considerable numbers as to give the idea of a village, or even
town. On Danby Moor, the pits are divided in two parallel lines, bounded
externally by banks, and divided internally by an open space like a
street; a stream divides the settlement into two parts; there are no
walls at the end of the streets; in the most westerly part is a circular
walled space, thirty-five feet in diameter.

"A second type of these foundations of huts has been observed south of
the village of Skipwith, near Riccall, south-east of York. These were
oval or circular rings slightly excavated in the heathy surface, on the
drier parts of the common. On digging into this area, marks of fire were
found: they were concluded to be the foundation-lines of huts, mostly
enclosed by single or double mounds or ditches.

"The third form of hut foundation, an incomplete ring of stone walls,
has only yet been observed in Yorkshire, on the summit of Ingleborough.
How strange to find at this commanding height," says Professor Phillips,
"encircled by a thick and strong wall, and within this wall the
unmistakeable foundations of ancient habitations! The Rev. Robert Cooke,
in 1851, concluded Ingleborough to be a great hill-fort of the Britons,
defended by a wall like others known in Wales, and furnished with houses
like the 'Cittian,' of Gwynedd. The area inclosed is about 15 acres, in
which space are nineteen horse-shoe-shaped low foundations, evidently
the foundations of ancient huts, the antecedent of the cottages of
England,--a low wall foundation, a roof formed by inclined rafters, and
covered by boughs, heath, rushes, grass, straw, or sods. The relative
dates, surely, admit of no doubt. The huts and walls of Ingleborough
exhibit principles of construction which remove them from the catalogue
of barbarian works."[3]

The Britons, before the first Roman invasion, slept on skins spread on
the floor of their rude dwellings. Rushes and heath were afterwards
substituted by the Romans for skins; and on the introduction of
agriculture they slept upon straw, which, indeed, was used as a couch in
the royal chambers of England at the close of the 14th century.


[1] _Annals of England_, vol. i. 1855.

[2] _Edinburgh New Philosophical Journal_, N. S. No. 1, 1858.

[3] _The Rivers, Mountains, and Sea-Coasts of Yorkshire_, 2d edit. 1855.


Hitherto we have but glanced at the dwelling-places of our ancestors,
chiefly from existing evidences. Of the general condition of the people
before the Roman Conquest, we find this picturesque account in
Lappenberg's able work on the Anglo-Saxon Kings. The earliest
inhabitants of Britain, as far as we know, were probably of that great
family, the main branches of which, distinguished by the designation of
Celts, spread themselves so widely over middle and western Europe. They
crossed over from the neighbouring country of Gaul. At a later period,
the Belgæ, actuated by martial restlessness or the love of plunder,
assailed the southern and western coasts of the island, and settled
there, driving the Celts into the inland country. Lappenberg's life-like
picture of the condition of these people is as follows:--

"In the southern parts of England, which had become more civilized
through commerce, the cultivation of grain, to which the mildness of the
climate was favourable, had been greatly improved by the art of marling.
The daily consumption was taken from the unthrashed corn, preserved in
caves, which they prepared for food, but did not bake as bread.
Horticulture was not in use among them, nor the art of making cheese;
yet the great number of buildings, of people, and of cattle, appeared
striking to the Romans. Copper and bits of iron, according to weight,
served as money. Their custom of painting themselves with blue and
green, for the purpose of terrifying their enemies, as well as that of
tattooing, was retained till a later period by the Picts of the North.
At certain sacrifices, even the women, painted in a similar manner,
resembling Ethiopians, went about without clothing. Long locks and
mustachios were general. Like the Gauls, they decorated the middle
finger with a ring. Their round simple huts of reeds or wood resembled
those of that people; and the Gaulish chequered coloured mantles are
still in common use in the Scottish Highlands. Their clothing, more
especially that of the Belgic tribes of the south, enveloped the whole
body; a girdle encircled the waist, and chains of metal hung about the
breast. The hilts of their huge pointless swords were adorned with the
teeth of marine animals; their shields were small. The custom of
fighting in chariots, on the axles of which scythes were fastened, and
in the management of which they showed great skill, was peculiar to this
and some other of the Celtic nations, in a generally level country, and
where the horses were not sufficiently powerful to be used for cavalry.
The charioteer was the superior person; the servant bore the weapons.
They began their attacks with taunting songs and deafening howls. Their
fortresses or towns consisted in the natural defence of impenetrable
forests. In the interior of the country were found only the more rugged
characteristics of a people engaged in the rearing of cattle; which,
together with the chase, supplied skins for clothing, and milk and flesh
for food. The northern part of the country seems in great measure to
have been abandoned to the shaft and javelin of the roving hunter, as
skilful as he was bold. Simplicity, integrity, temperance, with a
proneness to dissension, are mentioned as the leading characteristics of
the nation. The reputation of bravery was more especially ascribed to
the Norman races."

The only persons in Britain who possessed any knowledge before the Roman
invasion, and even for some considerable time after it, were the Druids:
the real extent of their attainments is, however, doubtful and
superficial, from the fact that, though they were acquainted with
the Greek letters, they taught almost entirely by memory, and
committed little or nothing to writing. A summary of what is known
concerning Druidical knowledge is contained in the following
particulars:--Concerning the universe, they believed that it should
never be entirely destroyed or annihilated, though it was expected to
suffer a succession of violent changes and revolutions, by the
predominating powers of fire and water. They professed to have great
knowledge of the movements of the heavens and stars; indeed, their
religion required some attention to astronomy, since they paid
considerable regard to the changes of the moon. Their time was computed
by nights, according to very ancient practice, by moons or months; and
by years, when the planet had gone the revolutions of the seasons. That
at least they knew the reversion of the seasons, as adapted to
agricultural purposes, is evident from the fact, that Cæsar landed in
Britain on the 26th day of August, when he states that the harvest was
all completed, excepting one field, which was more backward than the
rest of the country.

The sacred animal of the Druids' religion was the milk-white bull; the
sacred bird, the wren; the sacred tree, the oak; the sacred plant, the
mistletoe; the sacred herbs, the trefoil and the vervain; the sacred
form, that of three divine letters or rays, in the shape of a cross,
symbolizing the triple aspect of God. The sacred herbs and plant, with
another plant, hyssop, the emblem of fortitude in adversity, were
gathered on the sixth day of the moon. The great festivals of Druidism
were three: the solstitial festivals of the rise and fall of the year,
and the winter festival. At the spring festival, the bâltân, or sacred
fire, was brought down by means of a burning-glass from the sun. No
hearth in the island was held sacred till the fire on it had been relit
from the bâltân. The bâltân became the Easter festival of Christianity,
as the mid-winter festival, in which the mistletoe was cut with the
golden sickle from the sacred oak, became Christmas. The mistletoe, with
its three berries, was the symbol of the Deity in his triple aspect--its
growth on the oak, of the incarnation of the Deity in man.

The canonicals of the Arch-Druid were extremely gorgeous. On his head he
wore a tiara of gold, in his girdle the gem of augury, on his breast the
_ior morain_, or breast-plate of judgment; below it, the _glan neidr_,
or draconic egg: on the forefinger of the right hand, the signet ring of
the order; on the forefinger of the left, the gem of inspiration. Before
him were borne the volume of esoteric mysteries, and the golden
implement with which the mistletoe was gathered. His robe was of a white
linen, with a broad purple border.

The sickle with which the mistletoe was cut could not have been of gold,
though so described. Stukeley maintains that the Druids cut the
mistletoe with their upright hatchets of brass, called celts, put at the
end of their staffs. The kind of mistletoe found to this day in Greece
is the same with that found in England; and Sir James Smith, the
distinguished botanist, contends that when the superstitions of the East
travelled westward, our Druids adopted the Greek mistletoe as being more
holy or efficacious than any other. The Druids, doubtless, dispensed the
plant at a high price: "as late as the seventeenth century peculiar
efficacy was attached to it, and a piece hung round the neck was
considered a safeguard against witches." (_W. Sandys, F.S.A._)

It is concluded that the Druids possessed some knowledge of arithmetic,
using the Greek characters as figures, in the public and private
computations mentioned by Cæsar; they were not unacquainted with
mensuration, geometry, and geography, because, as judges, they decided
disputes about the limits of fields, and are even said to have been
engaged in determining the measure of the world. Their mechanical skill,
and particularly their acquaintance with the lever, is generally argued
from the enormous blocks of Stonehenge, and the numerous other massive
erections of rude stone which are yet remaining in many parts of the
kingdom, and which are commonly attributed to these times.

The remains of the mystic monument of Stonehenge, which stands in the
midst of Salisbury Plain, have been variously explained, as to the
purpose for which Stonehenge was reared. When perfect, it consisted of
two circles and two ellipses of upright stones, concentric, and
environed by a bank and ditch; and outside this boundary, of a single
upright stone, and a sacred way, _via sacra_, or cursus. One writer has
beheld in Stonehenge a work of antediluvians, and another, a sanctuary
of the Danes; and Inigo Jones, a temple of the Romans. By the Saxons it
was termed _Stonhengist_, the hanging stones; and thence came
Stonehenge, of which we have this terrible historic legend:--

Ebusa, brother of Hengist, with his brother Octa, landed on the Frith of
Forth with an armament of five hundred vessels. The Britons flew to
arms. A conference was proposed by Hengist, and accepted by Vortigern.
It was held at Stonehenge (Hengist's Stones), and attended by most of
the nobility of Britain. On the sixth day, at the high feast, when the
sun was declining, was perpetrated the "Massacre of the Long Knives,"
the blackest crime, with the exception of that of St. Bartholomew, in
the annals of any nation. The signal for the Saxons to prepare to plunge
their knives, concealed in their boots and under their military cloaks,
into the breasts of their gallant, unsuspicious conquerors was, "Let us
now speak of friendship and love." The signal for action were the words,
"Nemet your Saxas," ("Out with your knives,") and the raising of the
banner of Hengist--a white horse on a red field--over the head of
Vortigern. Four hundred and eighty of the Christian chivalry of Britain
fell before sunset by the hand of the pagan assassins; three only of
name--Eidol Count of Gloucester, and the Princes of Vendotia and
Cambria--escaping, the first by almost superhuman courage and presence
of mind. Priests, ambassadors, bards, and the boyish scions of many
noble families, were piled together in one appalling spectacle on the
site of the banquet, "Moel OEore"--the Mound of Carnage, about three
hundred yards north of the great Temple.

A learned band of inquirers are induced to consider Stonehenge as a
Druidic temple, reared on the solitary plain long before Roman, Dane, or
Saxon had set foot within the country. Still, Stonehenge was the work of
two distinct eras: the smaller circles are attributed to the Celtic
Britons, and the other to the Belgæ. There is a common notion that the
stones cannot be counted twice alike; but when Charles II. visited
Stonehenge in 1651, he counted and re-counted the stones, and proved to
his satisfaction the fallacy of this notion.[4]

A few months since, Professor Nielson, in a paper read to the
Ethnological Society, considered that Stonehenge was a temple of early
fire-worshippers, and of pre-Druidical origin, and belonging to the
"Bronze Period" of the northern archæologists. The remains of
Stonehenge, he remarked, are placed, not on the summit, but on the
declivity of a hill surrounded by numerous barrows, from which bronze
articles have been exhumed, with others of flint, but never any of iron.
He considers that fire-worshippers preceded Druids in Britain and Gaul,
and gives what he regards as numerous proofs of the building of such
stone open temples by colonies of Phoenicians. Circles of large
stones, exactly identical in description with those called Celtic or
Druidical, he continued, are found in countries where neither Celts nor
Druids ever existed; but who knows at what time the ancient religion of
this country may be truly said to have been pre-Druidical or pre-Celtic
in its principles? From various considerations the author of the paper
thinks there may be sufficient reason to regard the remains of
Stonehenge as Phoenician, and connected with the rites of Baal, or the
early worship of fire.

Mr. Fergusson and others say that to the Buddhists rather than to the
Druids we owe Stonehenge. It is also thought to have been an assemblage
of burial-places.

A popular poet has thus apostrophised this mysterious circle and its
historical associations:

  "Thou noblest monument of Albion's isle!
    Whether by Merlin's aid from Scythia's shore
    To Amber's fatal plain Pendragon bore,
  Huge frame of giant hands, the mighty pile,
  To entomb his Britons slain by Hengist's guile:
    Or Druid priests, sprinkled with human gore,
    Taught 'mid thy mighty maze their mystic lore:
  Or Danish chiefs, enrich'd with savage spoil,
  To Victory's idol vast, an unhewn shrine,
    Rear'd the rude heap: or in thy hallow'd round,
  Repose the kings of Brutus' genuine line:
    Or here those kings in solemn state were crown'd:
  Studious to trace thy wondrous origin,
    We muse on many an ancient tale renown'd."


The Druids were suspected of magic, which, Pliny remarks, derived its
origin from medicine. They highly esteemed a kind of stone, or fossil,
called _Anginum Ovum_, or Serpents' Egg, which should make the possessor
superior in all disputes, and procure the favour of great persons. It
was in the form of a ring of glass, either plain or streaked, and was
asserted to be produced by the united salivas of a cluster of serpents,
raised up in the air by their hissing; when, to be perfectly
efficacious, it was to be caught in a clean white cloth before it fell
to the ground, the person who received it instantly mounting a swift
horse, and riding away at full speed from the rage of the serpents, who
pursued him with like rapidity, until they arrived at a river. It has
been supposed that these charms were no other than rings of painted
glass; and, as it is allowed that the British had home manufactures of
glass, it seems that there were imitations of them sold at an equally
high price with the real amulet. Their genuineness was to be tried by
their setting them in gold, and observing if they swam against the
stream when cast into the water; they were, in fact, beads of glass, and
the notion of their rare virtues exactly accords with the African
exposition in the present day of the Aggry beads. Sir Richard Colt Hoare
found one of the Druidic beads in a barrow in Wiltshire, in material
resembling little figures found with the mummies in Egypt, and to be
seen in the British Museum. "This curious bead," says Sir Richard Hoare,
"has two circular lines, of opaque sky-blue and white, and seems to
represent a serpent entwined round a centre, which is perforated. This
was certainly one of the Glain Neidyr of the Britons; derived from
_Glain_, which is pure and holy, and _Neidyr_, a snake."[5]

The accounts we have of the Druidical orations and discourses afford
some notion of their admitted eloquence, which was of a lofty,
impassioned, and mysterious character. Their counsel was equally
solicited and regarded; and those orators who succeeded the Druids in
the Western Islands seem to have possessed no less power, since, if one
of them asked anything even of the greatest inhabitant, as his dress,
horse, or arms, it was immediately given up to him--sometimes from
respect, and sometimes from fear of being satirized, which was
considered a great dishonour. The British chieftains, also, appear to
have been gifted with considerable oratorical powers when they addressed
their soldiers before a battle; as Tacitus translates the British names
of such by "incentives to war."

The Druids were the only physicians and surgeons to the Britons; in
which professions they blended some knowledge of natural medicines, with
the general superstitions by which they were characterised. The practice
of the healing art has ever commanded the esteem of the rudest nations;
hence it was the obvious policy of the priests or Druids to study the
properties of plants. Their famous Mistletoe, or _All-heal_, we have
seen, was a cure in many diseases, an antidote to poisons, and a sure
remedy against infection. We have in the present day a popular remedy
for cuts and other wounds, sold under the name of _Heal-all_. Another
plant, called Samulus, or Marsh-wort, which grew chiefly in damp places,
was believed to be of excellent effect in preserving the health of swine
or oxen, when it had been bruised and put into their water-troughs. But
it was required to be gathered fasting and with the left hand, without
looking back when it was being plucked. A kind of hedge hyssop, called
_Selago_, was esteemed to be a general charm and preservative from
sudden accidents and misfortunes; and it was to be gathered with nearly
the same ceremony as the mistletoe. To these may be added Vervain, the
herb _Britannica_, which was either the great Water-dock, or
scurvy-grass; besides several other plants, the virtues of which,
however, were greatly augmented by the rites in plucking them;
superstitions not entirely out of use, while the old herbals were
regarded as books of medicine. We gather from Pliny's _Natural History_
some hints on the preparation of these materials, showing that sometimes
the juices were extracted by bruising and steeping them in cold water,
and sometimes by boiling them; that they were occasionally infused in a
liquor which he calls wine; that they were administered in fumigations;
and that the dried leaves, stalks, and roots of plants, were also used
to impart a virtue to various liquids. The almost solitary shop of the
herbalist in our great market in Covent Garden, will thus carry the
mind's eye back through many centuries.

It appears that the Druids prepared ointments and salves from
vegetables. Of their surgery nothing is certainly known, though much has
been conjectured of their acquaintance with anatomy, from the barbarity
of their human sacrifices; but it is probable that their practice
extended only to the plainer branches of the art, as healing of wounds,
setting of fractured bones, reducing dislocations, &c.; all which were
perhaps conducted with great rudeness, though with considerable
ceremony. It has been asserted that one of the Druid doctors, called
Hierophilus, read lectures on the bodies of upwards of 700 living men,
to display the wonders and secrets of the human fabric.

The Greek letters were used by the Druids for keeping the public or
private records, the only matters which they reduced to writing. The
Druid schools and seminaries were held in the caves such as we have
already described, or in the recesses of the sacred groves and forests
of Britain. The most eminent academy is said to have been in the Isle of
Anglesey, near the residence of the Arch-Druid; and there are still two
spots there called "the Place of Studies," and "the Astronomer's
Circle." The British youth, separated from their parents, were under
Druidical instruction until they were fourteen, and no one was capable
of a public employment who had not been educated by a Druid. The Roman
invasion, however, greatly improved the Druidical plan of instruction;
since Julius Agricola was careful that the sons of the principal Britons
should be taught the liberal sciences. His endeavours were considerably
assisted by the expulsion of the Druids, which took place about this
period; and also by the ability of the British youth, whom he declared
to excel the Roman. The ranks of the priests were recruited from the
noblest families of the early Britons: their education, which often
extended over a period of twenty years, comprehended the whole sciences
of the age; and beside their sacred calling, they were invested with
power to decide civil disputes. Their dwellings and temples were
situated in the thickest oak groves, which were sacred to the Supreme

No sculptured stones or storied bricks have ever been found of this
period; nothing but weapons of stone, of bronze, and lastly, of iron,
remain to attest the slow progress of a rude people towards a higher
stage of civilization, in the arts relating to the chase and to war. As
the Gauls used to ornament their shields and helmets with brass images
of animals and horns, it is not improbable that some rude endeavour
decorated the armour of the Britons. Whatever their skill might be, it
was, doubtless, greatly improved by the Romans, since their bas-reliefs
and effigies have been found in different parts of the kingdom; and as
early as A.D. 61, not twenty years after the invasion of Claudius Cæsar,
a statue of Liberty was erected at Camulodunum, or Colchester.

The early custom of painting the body has been incidentally mentioned.
The Southern Britons stained their bodies with woad, deep blue, or a
general tint; the Northern Britons added something of design by tracing
upon their limbs figures of herbs, flowers, and trees, and all kinds of
animals. It is doubtful whether in these arts they were improved by the
Romans; since the delineation of deities, which Gildas mentions, on the
walls of the British houses, are said by him only to resemble demons.

Although Cæsar describes the natives of Britain as a hardy race of
shepherds, whose simple wants were provided for in their own country,
even then the commerce of Britain was of considerable importance; since
the tin of Cornwall, and the hides of the vast flocks of cattle, had
already induced the merchants of Phoenicia to visit and settle on our
southern shores. They are believed to have supplied the Eastern world
with Cornish tin, of such important use in the manufacture of bronze
tools, weapons, and helmets of antiquity.[6]

The principal and most ancient exports from Britain were, besides its
famous tin, lead and copper; but lime and chalk, salt, corn, cattle,
skins, earthenware, horses, staves, and native dogs, which appear
always to have been held in great estimation, were also carried thence.
The largest and finest pearls, too, are said to have been found on the
British coasts; and the wicker baskets of Britain are celebrated by
Martial and Juvenal as luxuries in Rome. And from Rome, the Britons
received ivory, bridles, gold chains, amber cups, and drinking glasses.

There are few remains of the ornaments in use amongst the Britons at a
very early period: there are many relics, however, of that just
preceding the Roman Conquest. We find torques or chains for the neck and
wrists coarsely manufactured, like curb-chains. Beads were also in use.
Many of the most ancient ornaments were cruciform. With the Roman
Conquest came in the Roman ornamentation. This does not seem to have
been modified by its introduction into Britain. The Romans imported Rome
bodily into Britain, as was their custom in all the conquered countries,
and the Britons were too uncivilized to make improvements on what was
presented to them. For this reason it is that there is the greatest
difficulty to distinguish between pure Roman and Anglo-Roman ornaments.

That the Britons both understood and practised the art of working in
metals, is ascertained from the relics of their weapons, as axes, spear
and arrow heads, swords, &c. which are yet extant; and it is supposed
that tin was the first ore which they discovered and refined. Lead they
found in great abundance, very near the surface. The British iron was of
uncommon occurrence, and was much prized, since it was used in personal
ornaments, and was even formed into rings and tallies for money. This
then precious metal has contributed more than any other to the greatness
of England in those mighty works of our own times, her railways and vast
ships of passage and war.

All the Britons, except the Druids, were trained early to war. Their
most ancient weapons were bows, reed-arrows with flint or bone heads,
quivers of basket-work, oaken spears; and flint battle-axes, which are
now considered to have been called _celts_, though there is no connexion
between this word and the name of the nation, Celtæ. The British forces
included infantry, cavalry, and such as fought from war-chariots. The
southern foot soldiers wore a coarse woollen tunic, and over it a cloak
reaching below the middle, the legs and thighs being covered with close
garments. They had brass helmets, breastplates full of hooks, and long
swords suspended from an iron or brazen girdle. They also carried large
darts, with iron shafts eighteen inches long; and shields of wicker or
wood. The inland foot soldiers were more lightly armed, with spears and
small shields, and dressed in skins of oxen. The Caledonians and other
northerns usually fought naked, with only a light target; their weapons
pointless swords and short spears. The British cavalry were mounted upon
small but strong horses, without saddles, and their arms were mostly the
same as those of the infantry. The soldiers of the war-chariots were
mostly the chiefs of the nation, and the flower of the British youth.
Their chariots were of wicker, upon wooden wheels, with hooks and scythe
blades of bronze attached to the axles, with which the charioteer mowed
down the enemy. Other chariots contained several persons, who darted
lances; both machines broke the hostile ranks, and threw an army into
confusion. Their number must have been very great; since Cassibellaunus,
after he had disbanded his army, had still 4,000 remaining.

Primitive British vessels have occasionally been found embedded in
morasses. In 1866, there was discovered at Warningcamp, about a mile
from South Stoke, in Sussex, a canoe, in widening a ditch, or sewer,
which empties itself into the river Arun: although now narrow, it
appears to have been, until recently, of much greater extent, and at one
time must have formed an important estuary of the river, for in the soil
are now seen several thousands of shells of fresh-water fish. About four
feet beneath the surface the end of the canoe was found. It proved to be
13-1/2 feet long, and consisted of the hollowed trunk of an oak tree;
but bears evidence of design, for having insertions cut on the edge, in
which it is evident three seats had been secured for the boatmen. It is
perhaps not so interesting as the canoe discovered at Stoke about twenty
years ago, and now in the British Museum, because it is not so perfect.
Still, it would appear of the greatest antiquity, from its extremely
rude form. The canoe is the general vessel of New Zealand, the present
state and people of which country are thought to exhibit more nearly
than any other land the condition of Britain when the Romans entered it
nearly eighteen centuries since.


[4] It must have been a proud day for John Aubrey, the Wiltshire
antiquary, when he attended Charles II. and the Duke of York on their
visit to Abury, which the King was told at a meeting of the Royal
Society, in 1663 (soon after its formation), as much excelled Stonehenge
as a cathedral does a parish church. In leaving Abury, the King "cast
his eie on Silbury Hill, about a mile off," and with the Duke of York,
Dr. Charlton, and Aubrey, he walked up to the top of it. Dr. Stukeley,
in his account of Abury, published in 1743, probably refers to another
royal visit, when he notes: "Some old people remember Charles II., the
Duke of York, and the Duke of Monmouth, _riding_ up Silbury Hill."

[5] See Apsley Pellatt's _Curiosities of Glass-Making_, 1849.

[6] This is a much contested question among ethnologists and other
authors. Mr. Craufurd and Sir George Cornewall Lewis totally disbelieve
in the voyage of the Phoenicians to the Scilly Islands, through which
they are imagined to have supplied the Eastern world with Cornish tin;
since they are not likely to have performed the requisite voyage from
the entrance of the Mediterranean, 1,000 miles in a straight line over a
stormy sea; but Sir Charles Lyell considers it would have been much
safer for the Phoenicians to come round by sea than trust their cargoes
through Gaul, then not sufficiently safe to be a highway for trade. Nor
is there any tin in the Scilly Islands; but Sir Henry James shows that
the Cassiterides, where the tin was obtained, is St. Michael's Mount.
Sir Henry has recently found in the bed of the harbour of Falmouth an
ancient wrecked ingot of tin, of precisely that shape and weight which
would adapt it as half-cargo for a horse, balanced by a similar ingot on
the other side. The metal was thus conveyed along our southern coast to
a favourable place for embarkation, whence the cargoes crossed the
Channel and were taken overland through Gaul to the Mediterranean. The
ingot discovered at Falmouth resembled in form an _astragalus_ or
knuckle-bone, the shape being convenient for slinging over the back of a
horse; and it is important to notice that Diodorus Siculus uses the term
_astragali_ in describing the shape of the tin-blocks brought from the
island of Ictis, which there could be no doubt was the same as St.
Michael's Mount. The ingot weighs 120 pounds, and the form of the
under-surface is such as to adapt it for resting on the bottom of a
boat. Sir Henry believes, with Sir Charles Lyell, that in more ancient
times, previous to the Roman occupation of Gaul, tin was conveyed to the
Mediterranean round the coasts of Gaul and Lusitania; but more recently,
as Diodorus Siculus states, it was carried by land after crossing the
narrow part of the Channel. The miners of the present day sometimes find
bronze weapons in old tin-works. It is not necessary to assume that
these were imported, as there is plenty of copper in Cornwall. It is
believed they were manufactured there, and that a vast proportion of the
bronze weapons of antiquity were actually made in Cornwall and exported.


  "The Romans in England they once did sway."


Archæological information obtained of late years shows that at the time
of the Roman invasion, there was a larger amount of civilization in
Ancient Britain than had been generally supposed: that in addition to
the knowledge of the old inhabitants in agriculture, in the training and
rearing of horses, cows, and other domestic animals, they were able to
work in mines, had skill in the construction of war-chariots and other
carriages, and in the manufacture of metals; and there is evidence that
British manufactures and materials were exported to certain parts of the
Continent, probably in British vessels. The ancient coinage of this
period is also well worthy of attention.

In connexion with the Ancient British period, it would seem that
probably 2,000 years before the Roman times there had been in Great
Britain a certain degree of civilization, which from various causes
declined in extent. If Stonehenge may be considered as of the same
antiquity as similar remains in various parts of the East--which are
reckoned by good authorities to be 4,000 years old--we had in this
country a degree of civilization which was contemporary with the
prosperous period of the Egyptian empire; and, in times more immediately
preceding the Roman occupation, we know that Britain was the grand
source of Druidical illumination (whatever relation that may have had to
a true civilization) to the whole of Continental Europe.

That the Ancient Britons, even after they were conquered by the Romans,
had still a strength considered dangerous, is shown by the fact that
upwards of forty barbarian legions which had followed the Roman
standards were settled chiefly upon the northern and eastern coasts; and
it is shown that a force of about 19,200 Roman foot and 1,700 horse was
required to secure peace, and the carrying out of certain laws in the

The encampments, Roman and British, are thus described. In the Roman
camp, the plan is invariably the same--a rectangular area, surrounded by
a ditch, the earth thrown inwards, forming a high mound, defended on the
top with wooden palisades, but of these all vestiges have disappeared:
in the middle of each side the entrance, from which a way led to the
opposite gate; and at or near the outer action of the two ways, was the
Prætorium, the remains of which may frequently be traced. These camps
are not usually found on very high hills. The Britons, on the other
hand, always occupied the highest ground, frequently an isolated hill,
which they surrounded with deep trenches and a series of low terraces
scooped out of the side of the hill, rising one above another, not in an
unbroken line, but forming, in some places, a network of flat forms,
commanding every approach to the entrances, with advantageous positions
for the sling, in the use of which the Britons peculiarly excelled.
Every inequality of the ground was taken advantage of: the entrances
sometimes opened into one of the trenches, through which the approach to
the interior leads, so as to expose an enemy to an overwhelming storm of
darts and stones from the heights above.

Our early historians mention four great roads by which South Britain was
traversed, and these usually have been considered as the work of its
conquerors; but recent researches have led to the conclusion that the
Romans only kept in repair, and perhaps improved, the roads which they
found in use on their settlement in the island. Along the course of the
great roads, or in their immediate vicinity, are found the principal
cities, which, in pursuance of their usual policy, the Romans either
founded or re-edified; and to which, according to the privilege
bestowed, the various names were given of colonies, municipalities,
stipendiary, and Latian cities. Many other Roman roads exist.

"The old British roads, or trackways, were not paved or gravelled, but
had a basis of turf, and wound along the tops or sides of the chains of
hills which lay in their way. Surrey furnishes a remarkable example of
such an appropriation of one of its chalk ridges; and it may be inferred
that the agger called the Hog's Back presented to the earliest
inhabitants of Britain a natural causeway of solid chalk, covered with a
soft verdant turf, peculiarly suited to the traffic of the British
chariots, and connecting the western Belgæ with the Cantii, and
affording through them an access towards the continent at all seasons of
the year. These advantageous peculiarities, no doubt, rendered it the
grand strategic route by which an invading army would have penetrated to
the westward; and Vespasian may be supposed, with great reason, to have
marched along it."[7]

To return to the Roman Roads. Although inferior to the Britons of the
nineteenth century in the art of spending money, if judged by the
present state of science, the Roman road-makers could not be despicable
engineers: their levels were chosen on different principles, but their
lines of roads passed through the same counties, and generally in the
same direction as our railways. A diagram in the _Quarterly Review_,
exhibiting a general view of the direction of the principal Roman roads
in England, shows that, on comparing one or two of our principal lines,
we shall find, that the Great Western supplies the place, with a little
deviation near Reading, of the Roman _iter_ from London to Bath and
Bristol; the Liverpool and Manchester, and on to Leeds and York,
replaces the northern Watling-street; the Great Eastern follows a Roman
way, and so of the rest.[8]

Professor Phillips has thus strikingly illustrated this comparison to be
made in the North of England. "As now two railways, so a little earlier
two mail-roads, and far earlier two British tracks, conducted the
traveller from South Britain through the sterner country of the North.
This is the inevitable result of the great anticlinal ridge of
stratified rocks--our Pennine Alps--thrown up from Derbyshire to the
Scottish Border. This is the 'heaven water' boundary of the river
drainages: on the west of it ran the line of road northward from
Mancunium; on the east of it the line from Eburacum; the former nearly
in the course of the North-eastern, the latter not lately deviating from
the North-eastern rail. Along these routes Agricola divided his troops:
these were the routes followed alike by the Pict and Scot, Plantagenet
and Tudor, Cavalier and Roundhead. Wade lay on the east of these
mountains, while the Stuart overran their western slopes: and Rupert
swept up the western tract to surprise the besiegers of York."[9] On the
whole it appears that the lines of the earlier British roads were
indicated by the great features of nature; and that, for the most part,
the Roman ways followed and straightened the old tracks.

"It is equally remarkable and significant that the Roman municipia and
coloniæ became the centres of Saxon and Anglican strength; and if in
this day of the steam-engine their relative importance is less
conspicuous, it is still a matter of English history. From the top of
the Brigantian mountain we may reanimate the busy world which has long
passed away from life: the jealous boundaries of propriety disappear;
the chimneys vanish; the thundering hammer is silent. From the midst of
boundless forests of oak and pine, rise many peaks or bare summits of
heaths crowned with monumental stones or burial mounds. The rivers
gliding through the deepest shade, bear at intervals the light wicker
boat, still frequent in Dyfed, loaded with fish, or game, or fruit. On
dry banks above are the conical huts of the rude hunters, and near them
the not narrower houses of the dead,--perhaps not far off the cave of
the wolf. Lower down the dale, the richest of pastures is covered with
the fairest of cattle and the most active of horses. Still lower, the
storehouse of the tribe, the water station to which large canoes,
hollowed from the mighty oaks of Hatfield Chase, have brought from the
Humber the highly-prized beads and amulets, perhaps the precious bronze
which is to replace the arrow, spear, and axe of stone.

"Both north and south of the Humber very different scenes appear on the
high and open Wold: within the memory of man, many parts of these wild
regions were untouched by plough, traversed by bustard, and covered with
innumerable flocks. The more we reflect on the remains which crowd this
region--the numerous tracks, the countless tumuli, the frequent
dykes--the clearer grows the resemblance between the Yorkshire Wolds
and the Downs of Wilts and Dorset. On opening the tumuli we discover
similar ornaments, and from whatever cause, consanguinity of race, or
analogy of employments and way of life, the earliest people must be
allowed to have been very much the same along the dry chalk hills from
the vicinity of Bridlington to the country of Dorchester. This is the
region of the tumuli: on its surface are not unfrequent foundations of
the British huts."

The main population did not reside on these hills, since they are for
miles naturally dry. But, from below their edge rise innumerable bright
streams, by which, "no doubt, were the settled habitations, the Cyttian
of the early Britons, followed by the Saxon _tun_ and the Danish _by_;
on the hills above were long boundary fences, and within these the raths
and tumuli, the monumental stones and idols. In situations where nature
gave peculiar advantages, one of the grand manufactures of the tribes
was established. The fabrication of pottery, from the Kimmeridge clay
about Malton, was undoubtedly very extensive in British days, and
characteristic both as to substance and fashion; that of bricks and
tiles at York was equally considerable in Roman days, and it is curious
to walk now into the large brick-yards and potteries which are
successfully conducted at these same places, on the very sites which
furnished the funeral urn, and the perforated tube which distributed air
from the hypocaust."

We may acquire some idea of Roman road-making from the following
details:--"From the wall of Antoninus to Rome, and from thence to
Jerusalem, that is, from the north-west to the south-east point of the
empire, was measured a distance of 3,740 English miles; of this
distance 85 miles only were sea-passages, the rest was the _road of
polished silex_. Posts were established along these lines of high road,
so that 100 miles a day might be with ease accomplished. A fact related
by Pliny affords an example of the quickest travelling in a carriage in
ancient times. Tiberius Nero, with three carriages, accomplished a
journey of 200 miles in twenty-four hours, when he went to see his
brother Drusus, who was sick in Germany." (_Burgess._)

The towns, and forts, and roads are, however, very far from being the
only traces of Roman occupation that remain in our country. Camps,
occupying well-chosen positions, occur in numbers, which testify the
difficulty with which the subjugation of the island was accomplished;
while the remains of stately buildings, with ornamented baths, mosaic
pavements, fresco paintings and statuary, and articles of personal
ornament, which are discovered almost every time that the earth is
uncovered to any considerable depth, prove the eventual wide diffusion
of the elegant and luxurious mode of life which it was the aim of the
conquerors to introduce. Roman glass and pottery, in great variety, and
frequently of the most elegant shape, abound; but the most valuable are
the sepulchral urns, which betoken the neighbourhood of towns, of which
perhaps no other traces now remain.

At Aldborough, in Yorkshire (the Roman Isurium), and in some of the
small towns on the line of Hadrian's wall, in Northumberland, masses of
the small houses have been uncovered, and their appearance leads us to
believe that the houses of a Roman town in Britain were grouped thickly
together; that they were mostly separated by narrow alleys, and that
there were in general few streets of any magnitude; most ancient towns,
even in the present day, abound with alleys.

It is maintained by some antiquaries that London is almost of Roman
origin. In the "Conquest of Britain," by Claudius, A.D. 44, "the first
care of the Romans was, to make good military communication across the
north of Essex, and the tenure of London was then a matter of minor
importance. It is remarkable that, though the bridge over the Thames is
mentioned, there is no allusion to a city. It is not improbable that the
Romans, perceiving the advantage of the position at the head of the
estuary and at the mouth of a large river, and having the power (after
the occupation of both banks of the Thames) of giving it better military
protection than the native tribes, continually in conflict, could ever
give it, promoted the commercial growth of the city by all means in
their power. Thus it would seem that London, almost from its origin, is
a Roman city."

In the revolt of the Britons, A.D. 61, Londinium (London), already,
according to Tacitus, "famed for the vast conflux of traders, and her
abundant commerce and plenty," was destroyed by the Britons.

London has hitherto yielded up many traces of the manners and
indications of our Roman ancestors, but few of our earliest antiquities.
Our Roman London has been buried beneath the foundations of the modern
city, or rather beneath the ruins of a city several times destroyed, and
as often rebuilt. It is only at rare intervals that excavators strike
down upon the venerable remains of the earliest occupation; and huge
masses of genuine Roman fortifications have been seen in our day, but by
few persons in comparison with the busy multitudes which daily throng
our streets.

When the Roman legions were finally withdrawn, Britain possessed more
than fifty walled towns, united by roads with stations upon them; there
were also numerous military walled stations. These towns and stations
possessed public buildings, baths, and temples, and edifices of
considerable grandeur and architectural importance, and their public
places were often embellished with statues: one bronze equestrian
statue, at least, decorated Lincoln; a bronze statue stood in a temple
at Bath; one of the temples at Colchester bore an inscription in large
letters of bronze; and Verulam possessed a theatre for dramatic
representations, capable of holding some 2,000 or 3,000 spectators.
Verulam now presents nothing to the eye but some fields, a church, and a
dwelling-house, surrounded by walls overgrown with trees. Colchester,
Lincoln, and Bath exhibit few indications of their Roman times; but
Chester is richer in these characteristics. The spacious villas which
once spread over Roman Britain, are now known to us as from time to time
their splendid pavements are laid open under corn-fields and meadows. In
a nook of the busy Strand is a Roman bath, of accredited antiquity, its
bricks and stucco corresponding with those in the City wall: this bath
can be traced to have belonged to the villa of a Leicestershire family,
which stood upon this spot,--the north bank of the Thames.

In the year 1864, there was discovered on the site of the portico of the
East India-house, in Leadenhall-street, the remains of a Roman room, _in
situ_ 19 ft. 6 in. below the present surface of the street, and 6 ft.
below the lowest foundations of the India-house. The room was about 16
ft. square; the walls built of Roman bricks and rubble; the floor paved
with good red tesseræ, but without any ornamental pattern; the walls
plastered and coloured in fresco of an agreeable tint, and decorated
with red lines and bands. This was a small room, attached to the
_atrium_ of a large house, of which near the same spot a large and
highly ornamented pavement was found in 1804; the central portion of
this pavement is now preserved in the Indian Museum at Whitehall. This
was the most magnificent Roman tesselated pavement yet found in London.
It lay at only 9-1/2 ft. below the street, and appeared to have been the
floor of a room 20 ft. square. In the centre was a Bacchus upon a tiger,
encircled with three borders (inflections of serpents, cornucopiæ, and
squares diagonally concave), and drinking-cups and plants at the angles.
Surrounding the whole was a square border of a bandeau of oak, and
lozenge figures, and true lovers' knots, and a 5 ft. outer margin of
plain red tiles.

Mr. Roach Smith has shown, in his admirable _Illustrations of Roman
London_ (the originals now in the British Museum), that the area and
dimensions of the Roman city may be mapped out from the masses of
masonry forming portions of its boundaries, many of which have come to
light in the progress of recent City improvements. The course of the
Roman Wall is ascertainable from the position of the gates (taken down
in 1760-62), from authenticated discoveries and from remains yet extant.
Recent excavations have also proved that within the area thus inclosed,
most of the streets of the present day run upon the remains of Roman
houses; and it is confidently believed that the Romans had here a bridge
across the Thames, probably a wooden roadway upon stone piers, like
those of Hadrian at Newcastle, and of Trajan across the Danube. It seems
to be ascertained that there was a suburb also on the southern side of
the Thames (Southwark), not inclosed in walls; and that the houses
constructed upon this swampy spot were built upon wooden piles, of which
some remains are still in existence.

The Roman inscriptions and sculptures which have been discovered in
London are very numerous. Sir Christopher Wren brought to light a
monument to a soldier of the Second Legion, now among the Arundelian
Marbles at Oxford. At Ludgate, behind the London Coffee-house, a
monumental inscription, a female head in stone (life-size), and the
trunk and thighs of a statue of Hercules, were dug up in 1806. In 1842
was found at Battle Bridge a Roman inscription, attesting the great
battle between the Britons under Boadicea and the Romans under Suetonius
Paulinus, to have been fought on this spot. Stamped tiles have been
found in various parts of the city. A group of the _Deæ Matres_ was
discovered in excavating a sewer in Hart-street, Crutched-friars, at a
considerable depth, amongst the ruins of Roman buildings, and is now in
the Guildhall Library. A fine sarcophagus was dug up in Haydon-square,
Tower Hill; a statue of a youth in Bevis Marks; and an altar, apparently
to Diana, was found under Goldsmiths' Hall. Fragments of wall-paintings
have been carried away by cart-loads. Bronzes of a very high class of
art have been found: a head of Hadrian, of superior workmanship, has
been dredged up from the bed of the Thames; a colossal bronze head found
in Thames-street; an exquisite bronze Apollo, in the Thames, in 1837; a
Mercury, worthy to be its companion; the Priest of Cybele; and the
Jupiter of the same date, are most important figures, and the first two
worthy of any metropolis in any age. A bronze figure of Atys was also
found at Barnes among gravel taken from the spot where the preceding
bronzes were discovered. A bronze figure of an archer, also a beautiful
work of art, was discovered in Queen-street, in 1842. An extraordinary
bronze forceps, adorned with representations of the chief deities of
Olympus, was also found in the Thames, whence again, in 1825, came the
small silver Harpocrates, now in the British Museum.

Nowhere has the pottery of antiquity been so abundantly discovered as at
London. Roman kilns were brought to light in digging the foundations of
St. Paul's, in 1677; specimens of the Castor pottery have been found
here; Samian ware is abundant, as have been potters' stamps which
present 300 varieties, fragments of clay statuettes, terra-cotta lamps,
tiles, and glass; and among the Roman glass discovered in London are
several fragments of a flat and semi-transparent kind, which have every
appearance of having been used as window-glass. And still more curious
it is to find that specimens of a glass manufacture termed
pillar-moulding, and for which Mr. James Green took out a patent, have
also turned up among the _débris_ of the Roman city. Mr. Green's patent
had been worked for some years under the full belief that it was a
modern invention, until Mr. Apsley Pellatt recognised in the fragments
evidence of the antiquity of the supposed discovery.[10] Among the
personal ornaments and implements of the toilet are the gold armillæ dug
up in Cheapside in 1837; the tweezers, nail-cleaners, mirrors, and
strigils of the city dames of Londinium; the worn-out sandals thrown
upon the dust-heaps; the sporls, spindles, fishhooks, bucket-handles,
bells, balances, cocks, millstones, mortars, and other utensils which
show the resources of an opulent city in the enjoyment of ancient
luxury, and of the choicest appliances of ancient civilization. Of
Roman coins found in London, in the bed of the Thames, Mr. Roach Smith
enumerates 2,000; from gravel dredged from the Thames, 600 were picked
out; a hoard of denarii of the Higher Empire was found in the city; and
vast quantities were found in removing the piers of old London Bridge.
In excavating for the foundations of the new Royal Exchange, in 1841,
was discovered a gravel pit, supposed by Mr. Tite, the architect, to
have been dug during the earliest Roman occupation of London; and then
to have been a pond, gradually filled with rubbish. In it were found
Roman work, stuccoed and painted; fragments of elegant Samian ware; an
amphora, and terra-cotta lamps, seventeen feet below the surface; also
pine-wood table-books and metal styles, sandals and soldiers' shoes, a
Roman strigil, coins of Vespasian, Domitian, &c.; and almost the very
footmarks of the Roman soldier.

More recently, the investigation of the ruins of the Roman city of
Uriconium, at Wroxeter, near Shrewsbury, has presented us with a scene
for our special wonder. The earliest antiquarian report of this
interesting spot will be found in the _Philosophical Transactions_ for
the year 1701, where Lyster has described a Roman sudatory, or
hypocaustum, discovered in Wroxeter in that year. It is strange that so
important a locality should have remained unexplored during a century
and a half of archæological research. The present is the first instance
in which there has been in this country the chance of penetrating into a
city of more than fourteen centuries ago, on so large a scale, and with
such extensive remains of its former condition; where the visitor may
walk over the floors which had been trodden last, before they were thus
uncovered, by the Roman inhabitants of this island.

Giants are frequently associated with ruins and ancient relics in the
legends of Shropshire.[11] In the history of the Fitzwarines we are
given to understand that the ruined Roman city of Uriconium, which we
are now exploring at Wroxeter, had been taken possession of by the
giants. The city is mentioned by the geographer Ptolemy to have been
standing here as early as the beginning of the second century, when it
was called Viroconium, a name which appears to have been changed in the
later Romano-British period to Uriconium. The line of the ancient
town-wall forms an irregular oval more than three miles in
circumference, on the Watling-street road, which occupies the line of
one of the principal streets of the old city. The only portion of the
buildings above ground is upwards of twenty feet high, seventy-two feet
long, and three feet thick, and is a solid mass presenting those
unmistakeable characteristics of Roman work--the long string courses of
large flat red bricks. This "Old Wall" stands nearly in the centre of
the ancient city, which occupied the highest ground within the walls--a
commanding position, with the bold isolated form of the Wrekin in the
rear, and in front a panorama of mountains formed by the Wenlock and
Stretton Hills, Caer Caradoc, the Longwynd, the Breidden, and the still
more distant mountains of Wales. With the exception of this wall, all
the remains of the Roman city had long been buried beneath the soil,
when, in February 1859, the excavation of the remains was commenced by
public subscription. In one of the plundering invasions by the Picts and
Scots, Uriconium is thought to have perished, towards the middle of the
fifth century, by fire, and such of the inhabitants as were not
massacred were dragged away into captivity. Thus the town was left an
extensive mass of blackened walls; and such was the condition in which
the ruined Roman towns remained during several centuries. The ruins
would in time be overgrown with plants and trees, and would become the
haunt of wild beasts, which were then abundant. Thus Uriconium stood
ruined and deserted from the middle of the fifth century to the middle
of the twelfth; the level of the ground was raised by decaying floors
and roofs, and vegetation; for at this time England was covered with the
_débris_ of Roman ruined towns and villages standing above ground. Such
ruins were frequently pillaged for building materials; and Uriconium was
probably one of the great quarries from which the builders of Haughmond
Abbey, and other monastic houses in this part of the country, were

The ruins were explored for treasure, and the damaged state of the
floors of the Roman houses is attributed to this cause. In the
excavations at Wroxeter, we see the floor sometimes perfect, and
sometimes broken up; the walls of the remaining houses, to the height of
two or three feet, as they were left by the mediæval builders, when they
carried away the upper part of the walls for materials; the original
level of the Roman town on which its inhabitants trod, strewed with
roof-tiles and slates and other material which had fallen in during the
conflagration under which the town sank; and the upper part of the soil
mixed up with fragments of plaster and cement, bricks and mortar, which
had been scattered about when the walls were broken up.

In the early excavations at Uriconium, the bottom of the Old Wall was
found at fourteen feet deep; it must have been a public building;
portions of the capitals, bases, and shafts of columns were found
scattered about, and among other objects were a fragment of strong iron
chain, the head of an axe, and pavements of fine mosaic; the building is
concluded to have formed the corner of two principal streets of the
Roman city. A hypocaust, of great size, was found, with a quantity of
unburnt coal; and from the end wall of this hypocaust we learn the
interesting fact, that the Roman houses were plastered and painted
externally as well as internally; the exterior wall was painted red,
with stripes of yellow. A sort of dust-bin was found filled with coins,
hair-pins, fibulæ, broken pottery and glass, bones of birds and animals
which had been eaten. In another hypocaust were the remains of three
persons who had crept in there for concealment; near one lay a little
heap of Roman coins, 132 in number, and a decomposed box or coffer.
This, Mr. Wright believes, "is the first instance which has occurred in
this country, in which we have had the opportunity of ascertaining what
particular coins, as being then in daily circulation, an inhabitant of a
Roman town in Britain, at the moment of the Roman dominion, carried
about with him. The majority of these coins point to the very latest
period previous to the establishment of the Anglo-Saxons as the date at
which Uriconium must have been destroyed."

Three fine wide streets, paved with small round stones in the roadway,
have been found in Uriconium. The Roman houses in Britain had no upper
stories, and all the rooms were on the ground-floor; no traces of a
staircase have ever been found; the roofing in Uriconium was slates or
flags, fixed with an iron nail to the wooden framework; they lapped over
each other, in lozenges or diamonds; some of the walls were tesselated
in ornamental patterns; few doorways were discovered; window-glass was
found one-eighth of an inch thick, though until recently it was thought
that the Romans, especially in this distant province, did not use
window-glass. The rooms were sometimes heated by hot air circulated in
the walls, from hypocausts, and flue-tiles with holes in the sides for
the escape of the air; though the hot air merely under the floor was
more used, the ashes, wood and coal, and the soot of the fires were
found in the hypocausts at Uriconium just as they were left when the
city was overthrown and ruined by the barbarians. A large hypocaust is
described with 120 columns of bricks, and is thought to have belonged to
the public baths. A wide space is pointed out as the forum of Uriconium,
and the basilica here holds exactly the same place as at Pompeii.

We have thus glanced at the houses of Uriconium; we now turn to their
domestic articles. First is the pottery, of which the most striking is
the ware of the colour of bright red sealing-wax, commonly known as
Samian ware; several of the pieces found at Wroxeter have been mended,
chiefly by metal rivets. There were also found specimens of the Upchurch
ware, of simple ornamentation; and of the pottery from Castor,
ornamented with hunting-scenes laid on a white substance after the
pottery had been baked: the colour of both wares is blue, or
slate-colour. Two classes of Roman pottery, both evidently made in
Shropshire, were also found: the first, a white ware, consisted of
elegantly formed jugs, mortaria or vessels for rubbing or pounding
objects in cookery; and bowls painted red and yellow. The other
Romano-Salopian pottery is a red ware, and included bowls pierced all
over with small holes so as to have served for colanders. Fragments of
glass vessels were found, with a ladle, several knives, a stone
knife-handle, and several whetstones. Hair-pins of bone, bronze, and
wood were found, with bronze fibulæ, buttons, finger-rings, bracelets,
combs, bone needles, and bronze tweezers for eradicating superfluous
hairs. The most curious of the miscellaneous objects is a medicine-stamp
for salves or washes for the eyes, inscribed with, probably, the name of
a physician resident in Uriconium. The stones with Roman inscriptions,
chiefly sepulchral, are numerous. The church, a Norman edifice, at
Wroxeter contains amongst other architectural and sepulchral fragments
two capitals, richly ornamented, of the late period of Roman
architecture which became the model of the mediæval Byzantine and
Romanesque; also, a Roman _miliarium_, or mile-stone. The general result
of these discoveries, is that they show the manner in which this country
was inhabited and governed during nearly four centuries; we also learn,
from the condition of the ruins of Uriconium, and especially from the
remains of human beings which are found scattered over its long-deserted
floors, the sad fate under which it finally sank into ruins; and thus we
are made vividly acquainted with the character and events of a period of
history which has hitherto been but dimly seen through vague

Many of our Roman cities have become entirely wasted and desolate.
Silchester is one of these, where corn-fields and pasture cover the spot
once adorned with public and private buildings, all of which are now
totally destroyed. Like the busy crowds who inhabited them, the
edifices have sunk beneath the fresh and silent greensward: but the
flinty wall which surrounded the city is yet firm, and the direction of
the streets may be discerned by the difference of tint in the herbage;
and the ploughshare turns up the medals of the Cæsars, so long dead and
forgotten, who were once masters of the world.[13]

Silchester, thirty-eight acres in extent, is now being excavated, at the
cost of the Duke of Wellington. Unlike other Roman sites, Silchester has
never been built upon by Britons or Saxons; many beautiful mosaics have
been found here, as well as more than 1,000 coins; and in July, 1866, a
portion of a wall, hitherto undetected, was brought to light; and here
have been found shells of the white snail, which was most extensively
imported as food for the Roman soldiers.

We now approach the close of the Roman Era, when, in the words of the
_Saxon Chronicle_, A.D. 418, the conquerors "collected all the treasures
that were in Britain, and some they hid in the earth, so that no one has
since been able to find them; and some they carried with them into
Gaul." With this passage the authentic history of Britain ceases for a
period of nearly sixty years. The Roman power being finally withdrawn, a
state of society prevailed in the island, much the same as had existed
at the coming of Cæsar. The British cities formed themselves into a
varying number of independent states, usually at war among themselves,
but occasionally united by some common danger into a confederacy under
an elective chieftain. Such was Vortigern, who bears the reproach of
calling in the aid of the Saxons against both his foreign and domestic
foes. Recent researches have rendered it probable that the well-known
names of Hengist and Horsa, ascribed to their leaders, are not proper
names, but rather titles of honour, signifying war-horse and mare,
bestowed on many daring leaders of bands. Meanwhile, the mighty empire
of Rome, of which Britain had so long formed a part, was falling into
utter ruin. The Britons made several applications to the Romans for aid:
one, couched in the most abject terms, is known in history as "The
Groans of the Britons;" but the succour they received had no permanent
effect on the contest.

In a retrospect of the Roman Era, the conquest of Cæsar is commonly
referred to as the starting point in our social progress; and it has
been thus felicitously illustrated by a leading writer of our
time:--"If," he says, "we compare the present situation of the people of
England with that of their predecessors at the time of Cæsar's invasion;
if we contrast the warm and dry cottage of the present labourer, its
chimney and glass windows (luxuries not enjoyed by Cæsar himself), the
linen and woollen clothing of himself and his family, the steel and
glass and earthenware with which his table is furnished, the Asiatic and
American ingredients of his food, and, above all, his safety from
personal injury, and his calm security that to-morrow will bring with it
the comforts that have been enjoyed to-day; if we contrast all these
sources of enjoyment with the dark and smoky burrows of the Brigantes or
the Cantii, their clothing of skins, the food confined to milk and
flesh, and their constant exposure to famine and to violence, we shall
be inclined to think those who are lowest in modern society richer than
the chiefs of their rude predecessors. And if we consider that the same
space of ground which afforded an uncertain subsistence to a hundred, or
probably fewer, savages, now supports with ease more than a thousand
labourers, and, perhaps, a hundred individuals beside, each consuming
more commodities than the labour of a whole tribe of ancient Britons
could have produced or purchased, we may at first be led to doubt
whether our ancestors enjoyed the same natural advantages as ourselves;
whether their sun was as warm, their soil as fertile, or their bodies as
strong, as our own.

"But let us substitute distance of space for distance of time; and,
instead of comparing situations of the same country at different
periods, compare different countries at the same period, and we shall
find a still more striking discrepancy. The inhabitant of South America
enjoys a soil and a climate, not superior merely to our own, but
combining all the advantages of every climate and soil possessed by the
remainder of the world. His valleys have all the exuberance of the
tropics, and his mountain-plains unite the temperature of Europe to a
fertility of which Europe offers no example. Nature collects for him,
within the space of a morning's walk, the fruits and vegetables which
she has elsewhere separated by thousands of miles. She has given him
inexhaustible forests, has covered his plains with wild cattle and
horses, filled his mountains with mineral treasures, and intersected all
the eastern face of his country with rivers, to which our Rhine and
Danube are merely brooks. But the possessor of these riches is poor and
miserable. With all the materials of clothing offered to him almost
spontaneously, he is ill-clad; with the most productive of soils, he is
ill-fed; though we are told that the labour of a week will there
procure subsistence for a year, famines are of frequent occurrence; the
hut of the Indian, and the residence of the landed proprietor, are alike
destitute of furniture and convenience; and South America, helpless and
indigent with all her natural advantages, seems to rely for support and
improvement on a very small portion of the surplus wealth of

At length, the connexion between Britain and Rome was entirely severed.
The Saxons joined the Picts and the Scots in their great invasion, and
continuing their predatory warfare reduced the country to the greatest
misery. Any degree of union amongst the Britons might have enabled them
to repel their enemies; the walls of the principal cities, fortified by
the Romans, were yet strong and firm. The tactics of the legions were
not forgotten. Bright armour was piled in the storehouses, and the
serried line of spears might have been presented to the half-naked Scots
and Picts, who could never have prevailed against their opponents. But
the Britons had no inclination to use the sword, except against each


[7] _Observations._ By Henry Long, Esq.

[8] The Rev. R. Burgess, B.D.

[9] _On some of the Relations of Archæology to Physical Geography in the
North of England._ 1853.

[10] See _Curiosities of Glass-making_.

[11] It may, however, be new to some of our readers to be informed that
Owen Glendower's Oak, whence that Welsh chieftain is said to have
witnessed the discomfiture of his English allies at the Battle of
Shrewsbury in 1403, still stands at Shelton, in a garden on the right of
the road from Shrewsbury to Oswestry, where the Welsh army lay.

[12] See the _Guide to the Ruins of Uriconium_ (Third Edition, 1860), by
Thomas Wright, Esq. M. A., F.S.A., the accomplished archæologist, who,
by his unwearied exertions, has so efficiently contributed to the
exploration of these remains.

[13] Palgrave's _Hist. of England_, Anglo-Saxon Period. 1834.

[14] Senior's _Lectures on Political Economy_.


The infant state of our Saxon ancestors when the Romans first observed
them, exhibited nothing from which human sagacity could have predicted
greatness. A territory on the neck of the Cimbric Chersonesus, and three
small islands, contained those whose descendants occupy the circle of
Westphalia, the Electorate of Saxony, the British Islands, the United
States of North America, and the British Colonies in the two Indies.
Such is the course of Providence, that empires, the most extended and
the most formidable, are found to vanish as the morning mist; while
tribes, scarcely visible, or contemptuously overlooked, like the springs
of a mighty river, often glide on gradually to greatness and veneration.

Our inquiry, however, must be confined to the arts of these people.
Concerning their architecture, it is supposed that the most ancient
buildings were of wood; since the Saxon verb _Getymbrian_, to build,
signifies literally to make of timber. The early English churches were
built of logs of wood; and the erection of buildings of reeds and trunks
of trees seems to have existed in some parts of England to a late
period; since, in 940, Hoel Dha, King of North Wales, erected his White
House, where his famous laws were made, of twisted branches, with the
bark stripped and left white, whence it derived its name. Even in the
days of Henry I. also, Pembroke Castle was built of twigs and turf.
Bricks were made in England by the Saxons; but they were thin, and were
called wall-tiles. It has been supposed that the Saxons and Normans
adopted the masonry which the Romans introduced into England, altering
it as architecture improved. The principal peculiarities of the Saxon
style are the want of uniformity in all its parts, massive columns,
semicircular arches, and diagonal mouldings. The first two are common to
the barbaric architecture of Europe; the round arches are believed to
have been taken from the Romans; and the zig-zag mouldings have been
thought to allude to the stringing of the teeth of fishes. According to
the best authorities, there are very few specimens of architecture now
in existence in this country which can properly be called Saxon,--that
is, of date anterior to the Conquest, and not of Roman origin; and these
few are of the rudest and most inferior description. Saxon, therefore,
as far as the architecture of this country is concerned, is an improper

[Illustration: SAXON HOUSE.]

The ordinary Saxon homes were of clay, held together by wooden frames;
bricks being uncommon, and only used as ornaments: the houses were
generally low and mean, or as we should call them, cottages. In a Saxon
house of larger proportions, the upper rooms only are lighted by
windows; there is no appearance of chimneys; the doorway is in one of
the gables, and reaches more than half-way to the top of the house; and
above it are some small square windows, which indicate an upper room or
rooms. On one side is a low shed, or wing, apparently constructed with
square stones, or large bricks, covered, like the house, with
semicircular tiles, probably shingles, such as we to this day see on

From the Mead-hall and the other Saxon houses of the period, we also get
the type of the modern English mansion, with its _enceinte_ and its
lodge-gate, as distinguished from its hall-door. The early Saxon house
was the whole inclosure, at the gate of which beggars assembled, for
alms, and the porter received the alms of strangers. The whole mass
inclosed within this wall constituted the burgh, or tun; and the hall,
with its _duru_, or door, was the chief of its edifices. Around it were
grouped the sleeping-chambers, or _bowers_, as they were designated till
a late age, with the subordinate offices. Mr. Wright (in his able work
on the _Domestic Life of the Middle Ages_) draws many of his inferences
from the description of the Mead-hall, or _beer-hall_, of Hrothgar, and
adds that he believes Bulwer's description of the Saxonized Roman house
inhabited by Hilda, in _The Last of the Barons_, is substantially

We learn from the romance of Beowulf, that "there was for the sons of
the Geats (Beowulf and his followers altogether), a bench cleared in the
beer-hall; there the bold spirit, free from quarrel, went to sit; the
thane observed his office, he that in his hand bare the twisted ale-cup;
he poured the bright sweet liquor; meanwhile the poet sang serene in
Heorot (the name of Hrothgar's palace); there was joy of heroes."
Although our conceptions of this scene are faint and vague, the
antiquary is enabled to represent certain items as "the twisted
ale-cup," a favourite fashion of our forefathers, many of whose
ale-cups, as discovered in their barrows or graves, are incapable of
standing upright, implying that their proprietors were thirsty souls.

The lamps of the Romans were certainly used by the Saxons, and were
indispensable in the winter-time. Their beds were simply sacks filled
out of the chest with fresh straw, and laid on benches as they were
wanted; though the pictures indicate that there were some bedsteads of a
more elaborate construction, and that others were placed in recesses and
protected by curtains. These bed-rooms were public enough, for they were
sitting-rooms as well, and we find Dunstan walking to the king's bedside
"as he lay in his bed with the queen," and rating him as freely as if he
had audience by appointment. The Saxon ladies were very opt to scourge
their domestic servants for very slight offences, and the punishment of
servile and other transgressors was in other respects barbarous. They
were given much to bathing in the baths which the Romans had left them,
and it may be that this resource had some influence in determining the
national bias towards personal cleanliness, which is such a
distinguishing characteristic of the English among northern nations. We
may add that the Saxon knew how to build a gallows, how to bait a bear,
drive a chariot, fly a hawk, cultivate roses and lilies, and that he
certainly knew the use of an umbrella.

A convivial custom which originated in this rude age is too interesting
to be omitted here. It is said by some writers that Vortigern married
Rowena, the daughter of Hengist. She was very beautiful; and when
introduced by her father at the royal banquet of the British king, she
advanced gracefully and modestly towards him, bearing in her hand a
golden goblet filled with wine. Young people, even of the highest rank,
were accustomed to wait upon their elders, and those unto whom they
wished to show respect; therefore, the appearance of Rowena as the
cup-bearer of the feast was neither unbecoming nor unseemly. And when
the lady came near unto Vortigern, she said in her own Saxon
language--"_Wæs heal plaford Conung_;" which means, "Health to my Lord
the King." Vortigern did not understand the salutation of Rowena, but
the words were explained to him by an interpreter. "_Drinc heal_," "Drink
thou health," was the accustomed answer, and the memory of the event was
preserved in merry old England by the _wassail cup_--a vessel full of
spiced wine or good ale, which was handed round from guest to guest, at
the banquet and the festival. Well, therefore, might Rowena be
recollected on high tides and holidays for the introduction of this
concomitant of good cheer.

This story has, however, a pendant. At our great city feasts, to this
day--especially at the Mansion House of the Lord Mayor--the Wassail or
Loving Cup is passed round the table immediately after dinner, the Lord
Mayor having drunk to his visitors a hearty welcome. The more formal
practice is for the person who pledges with the loving cup to stand up
and bow to his neighbour, who, also standing, removes the cover of the
cup with his right hand, and holds it while the other drinks; a custom
said to have originated in the precaution to keep the right, or dagger
hand employed, that the person who drinks may be assured of no
treachery, like that practised by Elfrida on the unsuspecting King
Edward the Martyr at Corfe Castle, who was slain while drinking: this
was why the cup possessed a cover.

The usages of domestic life, especially at dinner, are copiously
illustrated in ancient manuscript illuminations. Mr. Wright quotes the
_Boke of Kervyng_, which enjoins the carver to handle the meats with his
thumb and two fingers only,--for the Middle Ages, with all their
artistic ingenuity, had not attained to the invention of a fork. In none
of the pictures have the guests any plates; they seem to have eaten with
their hands and thrown the refuse on the table. We know also that they
often threw the fragments on the floor, where they were eaten up by cats
and dogs, which were admitted into the hall without restriction.[16] In
the _Boke of Curtesye_ it is blamed as a mark of bad breeding to play
with the cats and dogs while seated at table. The drinking vessels of
this period display fine workmanship and ingenious devices. The
Anglo-Saxons were unquestionably huge drinkers, and ornamented their
drinking vessels with all the skill in working the precious metals for
which they were so famous. But the primitive drinking-cup was the simple
horn of the bullock, which was retained as an appendage of the
Anglo-Saxon dinner-table until after the Conquest. There were also other
drinking vessels, suggested by that ornamentation with which the
Anglo-Saxon artificers had enriched the simple cup of the Danes. Peg
Tankards are of the Saxon period: one is to be seen in the Ashmolean
Museum; but a finer specimen, of undoubted Anglo-Saxon work, formerly
belonging to the Abbey of Glastonbury, is now in the possession of Lord
Arundel, of Wardour: it holds two quarts, and formerly had eight pegs
inside, dividing the liquor into half-pints. On the lid is carved the
crucifixion, with the Virgin and John, one on each side; and round the
cup are carved the twelve apostles.

Drinking-horns are represented on the Bayeux tapestry, and in the
magnificent collection of antiquities in the British Museum there is a
capacious specimen of one formed of the small tusk of an elephant,
carved with rude figures of that animal, unicorns, lions, and
crocodiles. It is mounted with silver; a small tube, ending in a silver
cup, issues from the jaws of a pike, whose head and shoulders inclose
the mouth of the vessel, on which the following legend is engraved:--

  Drink you this and think no scorne
  All though the cup be much like horn.

The horn was not long before it had rivals: the commonest of these was
the Mazer-bowl, a utensil which, with its cover on, resembled two
saucers placed together rim to rim, with a topknot on the upper one. It
was usually made of maple wood, from which it is supposed to have
derived its name--_maeser_ being Dutch for maple. Of this shape was the
early and famous wassail-bowl. When these bowls, which in process of
time were made of costlier materials than maple, were large, they were
lifted to the mouth with both hands; when small, in the palm of one
hand. Our ancestors were much attached to their mazers, and incurred
considerable expense in embellishing them, in embossing legends
admonitory of peace and good fellowship on the metal rim or on the
cover, or in engraving on the bottom a cross or the image of a saint.
Spenser, in _The Shepherds Calendar_, thus describes a vessel of this

  "A mazer ywrought of the maple warre,
  Wherein is enchased many a fayre sight
  Of bears and tygers, that maken fiers warre;
  And over them spred a goodly wilde vine,
  Entrailed with a wanton yvy twine.

  "Tell me, such a cup hast thou ever seene?
  Well moughte it beseeme any harvest queene."

The Mazer continued in use to the seventeenth century, when it was still
a favourite with the humbler classes. But on the tables of the rich it
gave place to new vessels. There was the Hanap, a cup raised on a stem,
with or without a cover. Besides the Hanap, a sort of mug or cup, called
the Godet, had also come into vogue; then there were the Juste, used in
monasteries to measure a prescribed allowance of wine; the Barrel, the
Tankard, the "standing-nut," or mounted shell of the cocoa-nut; and the
Grype, or Griffin's Egg, probably the egg of the ostrich. These vessels,
except of course the nut and the egg, were ordinarily of silver, and
sometimes of ivory, but rarely of gold; and still more rarely of glass,
which did not obtain for drinking cups until the close of the fifteenth
century. They were for the most part embossed or enamelled with the
armorial bearings of their owners, parcel-gilt--_i.e._ where part of the
work is gilt and part left plain; set with jewels and elaborately
designed with dances of men and women, with dogs, hearts, roses, and

One of the most esteemed Saxon trades was the smith, including workers
in gold, silver, iron, and copper. The English were very expert in these
arts; and in the laws of Wales the smith ranked next to the chaplain in
the Prince's court. The Saxons produced some very highly-finished
specimens of jewellery, goldsmith's work, and even of enamelling. A very
beautiful specimen of gold enamelled work is preserved in the Ashmolean
collection at Oxford: it is commonly known as _Alfred's Jewel_, as it
bears his name, and was found in 1693, in the immediate neighbourhood of
his retreat. It is filagree work, inclosing a piece of rock crystal,
under which appears a figure in enamel, which has not been
satisfactorily explained. The ground is of a rich blue, the face and
arms of the figure white, the dress principally green, the lower portion
partly of a reddish-brown. The inscription is "Aelfred mee heht
gevrean," (Alfred ordered me to be made,) thus affording the most
authentic testimony of its origin. Curious reliquaries, finely carved
and set with precious stones, were, for excellence, called "the English
work" throughout Europe. The representations of the crowns of the Saxon
kings, commencing with Offa, present us with specimens of the
ornamentation of the period. The ring was also a most important
ornament. It was used not only for display, but also as a charm, or
protection against natural or supernatural evil. The gems with which the
ring was set, were believed to possess, severally, special qualities,
and symbolical meanings. The sapphire indicated purity--the diamond,
faith--the ruby, zeal--the amethyst was good against drunkenness--the
sapphire was a protection against witchcraft, and the toad-stone against
sickness. The accredited properties of decade rings, pontifical rings,
alchemy rings, posie rings, and gimel rings are illustrated in various
anecdotes and legends. In the medal-room of the British Museum is a gold
ring, bearing the name of Ethelwulf, upon blue and black enamel: it was
found in a cart-rut, at Laverstock in Hampshire; its weight is 11 dwts.
14 grains.

The crosiers of the bishops of this period were curious specimens of
metal-work and gem ornamentation; as were also the shrines of the
saints. In 1840 a hoard of about 7,000 coins (beside many silver
ornaments) was discovered at Coverdale, near Preston, in Lancashire;
they are considered by the best numismatists indisputably to belong to
the chief of the Danish invaders in the ninth century, and their
immediate successors. In the sepulchre of Thyra, ancestress of Canute,
in Jutland, have been found the figure of a bird formed of thin plates
of gold, as well as a silver cup plated with gold, both being remarkable
examples of the state of the decorative arts in the tenth century.

The art of glass-making was introduced to the Saxons in the seventh
century, and ordinary window-glass was first used for building purposes
at the great monasteries at Monkwearmouth, on the river Wear, and at
Jarrow-on-the-Tyne; although we have already seen that window-glass was
used in the Roman city of Uriconium. The Venerable Bede, in the seventh
century, relates that his contemporary, the Abbot Benedict, sent for
artists beyond seas to glaze the Monastery of Wearmouth; and such was
the change made in their churches by the use of glass, instead of other
and more obscure substances for windows, that the unlettered people
avowed a belief, which was handed down as a tradition for many
generations, "that it was never dark in old Jarrow Church." By a
singular coincidence, the first manufactory of window or crown glass in
Great Britain was established at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, within a few miles
of these monastic establishments. In the year 1616 Admiral Sir Robert
Maunsell erected glassworks at the Ouseburn, Newcastle, which were
carried on without interruption till nearly the middle of the present
century, when they were closed.

The art of making woollen cloth, which was known to the Britons, was, by
this time, brought to perfection in England, especially in the south.
This seat of manufacture must have been handy to the fuller's-earth pits
of Nutfield, where fuller's-earth has been for centuries dug:--"While
Bradford was still the little local centre of a wild hill tract in
pastoral Yorkshire, the 'grey cloths of Kent' kept many a loom at work
in the homesteads of Tenterden, and Biddenden, and Cranbrook, and all
the other little mediæval towns that dot the Weald with their carved
barge-boards and richly-moulded beams." (_Saturday Review_, No. 182.)
The distaff and the spindle, which appear to have been anciently the
type, and symbol, and the insignia of the softer sex in nearly every
age and country, were in the Saxon times still more conspicuous as the
distinguishing badge of the female sex. Among our Saxon ancestors the
"spear-half" and the "spindle-half" expressed the male and female line;
and the spear and the spindle are to this day found in their graves.

The Saxons had the arts of dyeing of purple and various colours; and the
Saxon ladies were eminent for their embroidery. There are descriptions
extant of a robe of purple embroidered with large peacocks in black
circles; and a golden veil worked with the siege of Troy, the latter a
king's bequest to Croyland Abbey, where it was to be hung up on his
birthday. The standards were also beautifully worked: the Danish
standard, called the Raefen, was woven in one night by the three sisters
of Ubbo, the Danish leader. The standard of Harold, the last Saxon
sovereign of England, was the figure of a warrior richly embroidered
with precious stones. In the Anglo-Saxon, and even in late periods, men
worked at embroidery, especially in abbeys. At this time the dressing of
hides and working in leather was practised to a great extent by the
shoewright; and the wood-workman, answering to our modern carpenter, was
also in general estimation. Sandals were worn by the early Saxons: there
exists a print of one, made of leather, partly gilt, and variously
coloured, and for the left foot of the wearer; so that "rights and
lefts" are only a very old fashion revived.

The art of smelting iron was known in England during the Roman
occupation; and in many ancient beds of cinders, the refuse of
iron-works, Roman coins have been found. Cæsar describes iron as being
so rare in Britain, that pieces of it were employed as a medium of
exchange; but a century later it had become common, since in Strabo's
time it was an article of exportation. There is reason to believe that
the Romans worked iron ore in the hills of South Wales, as they
undoubtedly did in Dean Forest, where ancient heaps of slag have
occasionally been struck upon. Remains of ancient iron furnaces have
also been found in Lancashire, Staffordshire, and Yorkshire.[17]

The working in steel was also practised in Britain before the Norman
Conquest; and we are told that not only was the army of Harold well
supplied with weapons and defensive armour of steel, but that every
officer of rank maintained a smith, who constantly attended his master
to the wars, and took charge of his arms and armour, and had to keep
them in proper repair.

The inventions attributed to Alfred must be noticed. It will be
remembered how he measured time by graduated wax-tapers--the consumption
of an inch denoting twenty minutes; but the wind rushing through
windows, doors, and crevices of the royal palace, or the tent-coverings,
sometimes wasted them, and disordered Alfred's calculations. He then
inclosed his tapers in lanterns of horn and wood; but their invention
has been attributed to an earlier period, from some Latin verses
attributed to Aldhelm, Abbot of Malmesbury, in the seventh century. "Let
not," say they, "the glass lantern be despised, or that made of a horn,
hide, or thin skin, although a brass lamp may excel it." This passage
has, however, sometimes been referred to the twelfth century.

Travelling, in the Saxon times, was very different from what it is in
the present day: coaches were not invented, and the only vehicles which
went upon wheels were carts and wagons, and these were very heavy and
clumsy. Horseback was the only conveyance, so that the sick and infirm
could hardly ever leave their houses. In those times there were very few
roads upon which one could travel with safety. The Romans left excellent
roads, which, however, were neglected, and they fell into decay. Marshes
were perilous to cross: a bridge might be broken down, and when you
tried to ford the stream, your horse might get out of his depth, and
then he and his rider might be drowned. Sometimes the traveller had to
pass through a dark forest, abounding with bears and wolves; and, at the
end of his day's journey, instead of putting up at a comfortable inn, he
was often compelled to stretch his cloak on the dark earth, in some
wretched hut. And what was worst, the kings and princes were almost
always at war with each other, and a stranger was constantly liable to
be plundered and seized, or put to death by the contending parties.[18]

Stirrups and spurs were known to the Saxons; the Britons had bridles
ornamented with ivory: a bit, presumed to have belonged to a British
chief in the Roman service, is a jointed snaffle. The side-pieces, or
branches, of curb bits, are of equal antiquity. The Saxons had very
superb bridles, ornamented with plates of tin and pewter; and those for
women's horses were lily-white. We have seen a bridle of Norman
manufacture, said to have been on the horse which William Rufus rode
when killed in the New Forest: it has blinkers, is very broad; and
cloth, cut by a mould into rich patterns, is glued upon the leather. We
read of Athelstan receiving valuable presents of running horses, with
their saddles and bridles studded with gold; one of our earliest
illustrations of horse-racing.


[15] Hoskins; _Encylopædia Britannica_, 7th edit.

[16] Just as Charles, Duke of Norfolk, in our day, was accustomed to
feed his favourite dogs, by cutting pieces from joints on the
dinner-table, and throwing them to the dogs on the polished floor of
Arundel Castle.

[17] The chief iron-works of Sussex were in the Wealden strata, whence
the iron ore was extracted from the argillaceous beds, and was smelted
with charcoal made from the abundance of wood. At Buxted, near
Lindfield, iron ordnance were made three centuries since by Ralph Hogge,
assisted by Peter Bawde, a Frenchman, and his covenanted servant, John
Johnson; and the memory of whose works, of which two specimens are still
existing in the Tower of London, is preserved in

"Master Hogfe, and his man John, They did cast the first can-non."

(_W. D. Cooper, F.S.A., Archæologia_, vol. xxxvii. p. 483.)

Up to 1720, Sussex was the principal seat of the iron manufacture in
England: the last furnace, at Ashburnham, was blown out in 1827. Kent
was alike noted for its iron; and the last great work of its furnaces
was the noble balustrades and gates which surround St. Paul's Cathedral,
London: they were cast at Gloucester Furnace, Lamberhurst, and cost
upwards of £11,202. "In the middle ages, and down even to a late date,
while Dudley and Wolverhampton were obscure names, the forges of Kent
and Sussex were all a-glow with smelting and hammering the iron which
the soil still yields, although it is not worth the while of any one to
work it. The discovery of the coalfields of Wales and Staffordshire gave
the Kent and Sussex furnaces their deathblow, leaving the country dotted
with forge and furnace farms, and deep holes, now filled with tangled
underwood, from which the ore was brought." (_Saturday Review_, No.
182.) Kent and Sussex have no coal, and the iron manufacture left these
counties when smelting with coal or coke began to supersede smelting
with charcoal. Iron was also worked in Surrey. John Evelyn, in a letter
to John Aubrey, dated February 8, 1675, states, that on the stream which
winds through the valley of Wotton "were set up the first brass mills,
for casting, hammering into plates, and cutting and drawing into wire,
that were in England; also a fulling mill, and a mill for hammering
iron, all of which are now demolished." The last of these mills gave its
name to a small street or hamlet in the parish of Abinger, which to this
day is called _the Hammer_.--_Curiosities of Science._ Second Series.

[18] In some parts of England, the _badness of the roads_ continued to
our day, when mud and clay were almost as great hindrances as in the
Saxon times. Kent and Sussex were specially ill-favoured in this
respect. Defoe, after travelling through all the counties, tells us that
the road from Tunbridge was "the deepest and dirtiest" in all that part
of England; and hereabouts it was, not far from Lewes, that he describes
a sight which he had never seen in any other part of England, "that
going to church at a country village, he saw an ancient lady, and a lady
of very good quality, drawn to church in her coach with six oxen; nor
was it either frolic or humour, but mere necessity." In 1708, Prince
George of Denmark journeyed from Godalming, through the Sussex mud to
Petworth, to meet Charles VI. of Spain: it cost six hours to conquer the
last nine miles of the way. At a later date, Horace Walpole calls Sussex
"a fruitful country, but very dirty for travellers, so that it may be
better measured by days' journeys than by miles; whence it was, that in
a late order for regulating the wages of coachmen at such a price a
day's journey from London, Sussex alone was excepted, as wherein shorter
way or better pay was allowed." Yet, in this county, stage-coach
travelling attained higher perfection than in the majority of the
counties of England. "In these days of railroads, express trains,
excursion trains, mail trains, parliamentary trains, and special trains,
there is no great difficulty in making a tour in Sussex, without any
very great outlay of expense or time."--_Quarterly Review._


The Britons, we learn, made their table on the ground, on which they
spread the skins of wolves and dogs. The guests sat round, the food was
placed before them, and each took his part. They were waited upon by the
youth of both sexes. They who had not skins were contented with a little
hay, which was laid under them; they ate very little bread, but much
meat, boiled, or broiled upon coals, or roasted upon spits, before fires
kindled as gipsies do in these days. The best living appears to have
been in South Britain, where venison, oxen, sheep, and goats were eaten;
and ale or mead was the common drink. The whole family attended upon the
visitors, and the master and mistress went round, and did not eat
anything till their guests had finished their meal.

The Romans made little use of cattle as food; and the fattening of
cattle for this specific purpose was unknown to them. Neither can we
find evidence that beef and mutton were eaten by the Roman people
generally. Pliny mentions the use of beef, roasted, or in the shape of
broth, as a medicine, but not as food. Plautus speaks of beef and mutton
as sold in the markets; but, amidst the immense variety of fish, flesh,
and fowl, we hear little of the above meats in the Roman larder. Fish
and game, poultry, venison, and pork, are often mentioned as elements of
a luxurious banquet; but undoubtedly the common food of all classes was
vegetable, flavoured with lard or bacon. Among the Romans the hare was
held in great estimation. Alexander Severus had a hare daily served at
his table; yet Cæsar says that in his time the Britons did not eat the
flesh of hare.

"The Romans, after their colonization of Britain, must have enjoyed its
great supplies of fish; with them its fine oysters were celebrities.
They were fattened in pits and ponds by the Romans, who obtained the
finest oysters from Ruterpiæ, now Sandwich, in Kent. The Roman epicures
iced their oysters before eating them; the ladies used the calcined
shell as a cosmetic and depilatory. Apicius is said to have supplied
Trajan with fresh oysters at all seasons of the year. The Romans,
according to Pliny, made _Ostrearii_, or loaves of bread baked with
oysters. There is one secret we may well desire to learn from the
Romans; namely, the manner of preserving oysters alive in any journey,
however long or distant. The possession of this secret is the more
extraordinary, as it is well known that a shower of rain will kill
oysters subjected to its influence, or the smallest grain of quick-lime
destroy their vitality."[19] Pliny records that one gentleman, Asinius
Celer, gave 8,000 nummi (between 64_l_. and 65_l_. sterling) for one
mullet, such as may now be bought in good seasons in London for
sixpence! How the Anglo-Roman epicure must have enjoyed the mullet from
our western coast! The lamprey was also with the Romans a pet fish: it
is now rare. The celebrated Roman garum must here have been made in
perfection. A Roman supper is thus described by the officer of the
household of Theodosius:--"For the first course there were
sea-hedgehogs, raw oysters, and asparagus; for the second, a fat fowl,
with another plate of oysters and shell-fish; several species of dates,
fig-peckers, roebuck, and wild boar, fowls encrusted with paste, and the
purple shell-fish, then esteemed so great a delicacy. The third course
was composed of a wild-boar's head, of ducks, of a _compôte_ of
river-birds, of leverets, roast-fowls, Ancona-cakes, called _panes
picandi_," which must have somewhat resembled Yorkshire pudding. The old
Romans had their fancy bread as well as the moderns, as loaves baked
with oysters, cakes like our rolls, and others. A sort, of nearly the
same quality as our middle sort of wheaten bread, was sold, according to
the calculation of antiquaries, at 3_s_. 2_d_. the peck-loaf, present

Before the arrival of the Romans, _mead_, that is, honey diluted with
water, and fermented, was probably the only strong liquor known to the
Britons; and it continued to be their favourite drink long after they
had become acquainted with other liquors. Its manufacture was an
important art; for the mead-maker was the eleventh person in dignity in
the courts of the ancient princes of Wales, and took precedence of the

Of Saxon living we have many details. The Saxons were noted for their
hospitality. On the arrival of a stranger he was welcomed, and water was
brought him to wash his hands; his feet were also washed in warm water.
A curious law was enforced at this period respecting _host and guest_;
if any one entertained a guest in his house three days, and the guest
committed any crime during that period, his host was either to bring him
to justice, or answer for it himself; and by another law, a guest, after
two nights' residence, was considered one of the family, and his
entertainer was to be responsible for all his actions.

The meal now assumed more regularity; the parties sat at large square
tables, on long benches, according to rank; and by a subsequent law of
Canute, a person sitting out of his proper place, was to be pelted from
it with bones, at the discretion of the company, without the privilege
of taking offence! The mistress of the house sat at the head of the
table, upon a raised platform, beneath a canopy, and helped the
provisions to the guests; whence came the modern title of _lady_, being
softened from the Saxon _lief-dien_, or the server of bread. The tables
were covered with fine cloths, some very costly; a cup of horn, silver,
silver-gilt, or gold, was presented to each person; other vessels were
of wood, inlaid with gold; dishes, bowls, and basins were of silver,
gold, and brass, engraven; the benches and seats were carved and covered
with embroidery; and some of the tables were of silver. All tables were
square at this period; they were displaced by the old oaken table, of
long boards upon tressels.

The food of the period consisted of meat and vegetables, and the tables
were plentifully but plainly supplied. There were oxen, sheep, fowls,
deer, goats, and hares, but hogs yielded a principal part of the
provision. On this account, swine were allowed by charter to run and
feed in the royal forests. All sorts of fish now taken, were eaten at
the above time; herrings were preferred. The porpoise, now no longer
eaten, was then preferred. Bread was made of barley; wheaten bread was a
delicacy. Baking was understood, as well as cookery; and if a person ate
anything half-dressed, ignorantly, he was to fast three days; and four,
if he knew it. Roasted meat was a luxury; but boiling was general, and
broiling and stewing were in use. Honey was used in most of the meals of
this period, on which account, added to that of sugar not being brought
to England until the fifteenth century, the wild honey found in the
English woods became an article of importance in the forest charter.
Fruit, beans, and herbs were commonly eaten; the only vegetable was
kale-wort; peppered broths and soups, and a kind of _bouilli_, were
esteemed; buttermilk or whey was used in the monasteries; and salt was
employed in great quantities, both for preserving and seasoning all
sorts of provisions.

In representations of Anglo-Saxon feasts, the men and women are seated
apart at table; a person is cutting a piece of meat off the spit into a
plate, held underneath by a servant; and cakes of bread, with oblong,
square, and round dishes are on the table. Festivals were given to
people on religious accounts; they kept it up the whole day on state
occasions, and the feast was accompanied with music. The company sat on
forms, the chief visitors seated in the middle, and the next in rank on
the right and left. A dish on the table was set apart for alms for the
poor; and when our Anglo-Saxon kings dined, the poor sat in the streets,
expecting the broken victuals. At private parties, two persons eating
out of the same dish was a peculiar mark of friendship. Forks were not
invented, and our ancestors made use of their fingers; but, for the sake
of cleanliness, each person was provided with a small silver ewer
containing water, and two flowered napkins, of the finest linen. The
dessert consisted of grapes, figs, nuts, apples, pears, and almonds.

In early baking the use of ovens was unknown; and when the _lady_ had
kneaded the dough, it was toasted either upon a warm hearth, or
bake-stone, as it was called, when later it was made of some metal. In
Wales, bread is, or was, lately baked upon an iron plate, called a
griddle. The earliest bakers were probably the monks, since bakehouses
were commonly appended to monasteries; and the host, or consecrated
bread, was baked by the monks with great ceremony. In a charge to the
clergy, date 994, we find:--"And we charge you that the oblation (_i.e._
the bread in the Eucharist), which ye offer to God in that holy mystery,
be either baked by yourselves, or your servants in your presence."
Bakehouses were also appended to the churches; for, on taking down some
part of the church at Crickhowell, county Brecon, a small room with an
oven in it was discovered, which had long been shut up. Although the
monks were early bakers, they do not appear to have fared much more
sumptuously than the people on bread; for the Anglo-Saxon monks of the
Abbey of St. Edmund, in the eighth century, ate barley bread, because
the income of the establishment would not admit of the feeding twice or
thrice a day on wheaten bread.

Elecampane, now known as the sweetmeat of childhood, was esteemed for
ages in the domestic herbal. The leaves are aromatic and bitter, but the
root is much more so. The former were used by the Romans as pot-herbs;
and appear to have been held in no mean repute in after times, from the
monkish line,--"_Elena campana reddit præcordia sana._" When preserved,
it is still eaten as a cordial by Eastern nations; and the root is used
in England to flavour the small sugar-cakes, which bear its name. It is
tonic and stimulant.

Of the manufacture of Ale and Beer we have a record of the fifth
century, directing it to be made without hops, instead of which various
bitters were used. Ale is next mentioned in the laws of Ina, King of
Wessex, who ascended, the throne about the year 680. It was the
favourite drink of the Saxons and Danes; and so attentive were the
Saxons to its quality, that in their time it was a custom in the city of
Chester to place any person who brewed bad ale in a ducking-chair, to be
plunged into a pool of muddy water, or be fined 4_s_. In the Saxon
Dialogues, in the Cotton Library, a boy, in answer to the question, what
he drank, replies, "Ale, if I have it; or water, if I have it not." He
adds, that wine is the drink of the elders and the wise. Ale was sold
to the people at this time, in houses of entertainment; but a priest was
forbidden by law to eat or drink at places where ale was sold. About the
middle of the eleventh century, ale was one of the articles of a royal
banquet provided for Edward the Confessor. At this time the best ale
could be bought for 8_d_. the gallon. This was spiced, and double the
price of common ale, and mead was double the price of spiced ale. One of
the vessels out of which ale was drunk was the Saxon _nap_, now the
_neap_, or _nip_, out of which we drink Burton ale. The Saxons had also
cups of wood, ornamented with gold, besides the peg tankards introduced
by King Edgar, to check excessive drinking. In Northamptonshire--a
famous ale county--a small public-house is to this day called an
_ale-hus_, the original Saxon _hus_ being retained.[20]

As the monasteries were in ancient times reputed for ale, which the
monks brewed for themselves with such remarkable care, so colleges,
which rose upon the Dissolution, became famous for ale, and their
celebrity continues to this day. Warton, poet-laureate in 1748, has left
a panegyric on Oxford ale (which he dearly loved), and thus

  "Balm of my cares, sweet solace of my toils,
  Hail, juice benignant!

  "My sober evening let the tankard bless,
  With toast embrown'd, and fragrant nutmeg fraught.
                        What though me sore ills
  Oppress, dire want of chill-dispelling coals
  Or cheerful candle, save the make-weight's gleam
  Haply remaining, heart-rejoicing ale
  Cheers the sad scene, and every want supplies.

  "Be mine each morn, with eager appetite
  And hunger undissembled, to repair
  To friendly buttery; there on smoking crust
  And foaming ale to banquet unrestrain'd,
  Material breakfast. Thus, in ancient days
  Our ancestors, robust with liberal cups
  Usher'd the morn, unlike the squeamish sons
  Of modern times; nor ever had the might
  Of Britons brave decay'd, had thus they fed,
  With British ale improving British worth."

They who recollect the ale of Magdalen and Queen's will acknowledge that
Oxford well maintains its character for our national drink.

The brewers were formerly women, and those who sold the ale were
_ale-wives_, one of whom, "Eleanor Rumming, the famous ale-wife of
England," is commemorated by another poet-laureate, Skelton. Of her
ale-house, at Leatherhead, there are some remains, and she lives in the
rude woodcut portrait (1571), with this inscription:--

  "When Skelton wore the laurel crown,
  My ale put all the ale-wives down."

The introduction of foreign wines by the Normans did not altogether
supersede the wines of our own country. The vine had been cultivated
here long before. Vines are mentioned in the laws of Alfred, and Edgar
makes a gift of a vineyard, with the vine-dressers. In a Saxon Calendar,
preserved in the British Museum, there is a series of rude drawings
representing the different operations of the rural economy of the year;
that prefixed to February showing husbandmen pruning what are supposed
to be vines. At the time of the Norman Conquest, new plantations appear
to have been made in the village of Westminster; at Chenetone, in
Middlesex; at Ware, in Hertfordshire, and other places. Of ancient
wine-cellars we find some curious particulars, and drinking-glasses have
been found in Roman-British barrows.

The Danes, in their visits to this country, added much to the gross
hospitalities, against the consequences of which Saxon laws were
enacted. They were accustomed to sing and play on the harp in turn; and
to be entertained by the gleemen, ale-poets, dancers, harpers, jugglers,
and tumblers, who frequented the earliest taverns, called guest-houses,
ale-shops, wine-houses, &c. And it may be regarded as indicative of the
reckless manners of the times, that the last of the Danish kings of
England died suddenly at a marriage-feast; his death being imputed by
some to poison, but, with more likelihood of truth, to his being then

We have now reached the period at which the Danes arrived in this
country; but they so neglected the arts essential to life as to have
little claim upon our respect. Their neglect of husbandry was great. The
other arts were abandoned to the women, who spun wool for their
clothing. Rude carving with the knife seems to have been the principal
and natural talent of the Danes. Their houses were mostly erected near a
spring, a wood, or an open field, at a distance from any others. The
best of their dwellings were only thick, heavy pillars, united by
boards, and covered with turf; though there sometimes existed a pride in
having them of great extent, and with lofty towers.

In a late volume of the _Gentleman's Magazine_, we find this interesting
page of research upon the names of provisions, which throw some light
upon the mode of living among the higher and lower classes of our
population. "Bread, with the common productions of the garden, such as
pease, beans, eggs, and some other articles which might be produced in
the cottage-garden or yard, retain their Saxon names, and evidently
formed the chief nourishment of the Saxon portion of the population. Of
meat, though the word is Saxon, they ate probably little; for it is one
of the most curious circumstances connected with the English language,
that while the living animals are called by Anglo-Saxon names, as oxen,
calves, sheep, pigs, deer, the flesh of those animals when prepared for
the table is called by names which are all Anglo-Norman--beef, veal,
mutton, pork, venison. The butcher who killed them is himself known by
an Anglo Norman name. Even fowls when killed receive the Norman name of
poultry. This can only be explained by the circumstance that the Saxon
population in general was only acquainted with the living animals, while
their flesh was carried off to the castle and table of the Norman
possessors of the land, who gave it names taken from their own language.
Fresh meat, salted, was hoarded up in immense quantities in the Norman
castles, and was distributed lavishly to the household and idle
followers of the feudal possessors. Almost the only meat obtained by the
peasantry, unless, if we believe old popular songs, by stealth, was
_bacon_, and that also is still called by an Anglo-Norman name."


[19] _Host and Guest._ By A. V. Kirwan. 1864.

[20] Miss Baker's _Northamptonshire Glossary_.

II. Castle Life.


The history of building of Castles in England and Wales may be divided
into periods of transition, changing with the exigencies and
requirements of the age, and its character of civilization.

The Castles of England consist of those erected by the Romans; of
British and Saxon castles erected previous to, and Norman castles
erected after, the Norman Conquest; also of the more modern stone and
brick castles, erected from about the reign of Edward I. to the time of
Henry VII.

The Roman castles in this country are numerous, and some of them still
in very perfect condition, such as Burgh Castle and Richborough. More
popularly known is Pevensey, once a maritime town of considerable
importance, the site of which is now fixed with all but certainty, as
that of the strong old city, Anderida, though this distinction has been
claimed by no less than seven Sussex towns. Abundance of Roman bricks
have been found here, affording strong presumption of there having been
originally a Roman fortress on the spot. But the celebrity of Pevensey
(for, though reduced to a village, it has an undying name in our
history) rests upon its having been the place of debarkation of William,
Duke of Normandy, on his successful invasion of this land in 1066. It
was, therefore, the first scene of the Norman Conquest, the most
momentous event in English history, perhaps the most momentous in the
Middle Ages. Here William landed from a fleet of 900 ships, with 60,000
men, including cavalry; and having refreshed his troops, and hastily
erected a fortress, he marched forward to Hastings, and thence to Battle
(then called Epitou), where, on the 14th of October, he obtained a
decisive victory over King Harold. Southey, upon the conjoint
authorities of Turner, Palgrave, and Thierry, gives such a version of
the Normans landing at Pevensey, as to decide its having been a Roman
station. "They landed," he says, "without opposition, on the 28th of
September, between Pevensey and Hastings, at a place called Bulverhithe.
William occupied the _Roman castle_ at Pevensey; erected three wooden
forts, the materials of which he had brought ready with him for
construction; threw up works to protect part of his fleet, and burnt, it
is said, the rest, or otherwise rendered them unserviceable."[21]

Upon his accession, the Conqueror gave the town and castle to his
half-brother, Robert, Earl of Mortagne in Normandy, whose descendant,
William, was deprived of all his possessions, and banished the realm, by
Henry I. for rebellion. That monarch granted them to Gilbert de Aquila,
in allusion to whose name this district was afterwards styled the Honour
of the Eagle.

The outer work of the castle contains many Roman bricks and much
herring-bone work. The outer walls, the most ancient part of the
fortification, inclose seven acres, and are from twenty to twenty-five
feet high. The moat on the south side is still wide and deep; on the
other side it has been filled up. The entrance is on the west or land
side, between two round towers, over a drawbrige. Within the walls is
another and much more modern fortification, approaching a pentagonal
form, with nearly five circular towers, moated on the north and west. It
is entered from the outer court by a drawbridge on the west side between
two towers. The principal barbican, or watch tower, is not at the
entrance, but towards the north-east corner. The walls are nine feet
thick, and the towers were two or three stories in height. The castle
was of great strength: it withstood the attacks of William Rufus's army
for six days, protecting Odo, Bishop of Bayeux, who ultimately yielded
only for want of provisions; and it afterwards successfully resisted the
siege of King Stephen, who personally superintended the attack, but met
with so gallant an opposition from Gilbert, Earl of Clare, that he was
obliged to withdraw his force, leaving only a small body to blockade it
by sea and land. It once more resisted hostile attacks, when it was
fruitlessly assailed in 1265, by Simon de Montfort, son of the renowned
Earl of Leicester. Again, when Sir John Pelham was in Yorkshire, in
1339, assisting Henry, Duke of Lancaster, to gain the crown, the castle,
left under the command of Lady Jane Pelham, was attacked by large bodies
of the yeomen of Kent, Surrey, and Sussex, who favoured the deposed King
Richard, but was bravely and successfully defended by Lady Jane Pelham.

Pevensey castle remained as a fortress till the reign of Elizabeth: two
ancient culverins, one of which bears her initials, are yet preserved;
after which its history is not traced till the Parliamentary survey of
1675, when the fortress was in ruins, and the ground within the walls
was cultivated as a garden. The demesne and castle are now held by the
Cavendish family, under a lease from the Duchy of Lancaster, which was
originally granted to the Pelhams by Henry IV., son of the famous John
of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, to whom the Honour of the Eagle had been
given, on his surrender of the great earldom of Richmond.

It is remarkable that no mention is made of Pevensey Castle in the Saxon
times; but if not erected by the Romans, it was certainly built from
the remains of an older fortress. The Saxons most probably adapted the
Roman inclosures to their modes of defence; and it appears that they
often raised a mound on one side of the walls, on which they erected a
keep or citadel.

We are indebted to the Saxons but for few social improvements; since, in
the words of the Wiltshire antiquary, John Aubrey, "They were so far
from having arts, that they could not even build with stone. The church
at Glaston (bury) was thatched. They lived skittishly in their houses,
they ate a great deal of beef and mutton, and drank good ale in a brown
mazzard, and their very kings were but a sort of farmers. The Normans
then came, and taught them civility and building."

In various parts of England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales, there are
numerous encampments or castles, mostly occupying the summits of hills,
which have been ascribed to the aboriginal inhabitants. Amongst the most
remarkable are the Hereford Beacon, on the Malvern hills, in
Worcestershire; the Caer-Caradock, near Church Stretton, in Shropshire;
Moel Arthur, in Flintshire; Chun Castle, in Cornwall; and the
magnificent hill-fort, Maiden Castle, or the Castle of the great Hill,
within three miles of Dorchester.

Maiden Castle had four gateways of stone; in excavations have been found
round stones, probably sling stones, and pottery, denoting its original
occupation by Britons; how the fortress was supplied with water has not
been traced. This famous earthwork is considered of a period anterior to
that of the Britons and Romans: the extent of the work is one mile, and
the ramparts are, in some places, sixty feet high. Another famous
earthwork in Dorset is Poundbury, a Roman encampment, though it has
been set down as Danish, and an Anglo-Saxon camp of council.[22]

Before we leave the Roman period, we may remark that the manufacture of
bricks and tiles must then have been known in England, because it was
practised in such perfection by our conquerors during their occupation,
as is evident in the numerous remains of their buildings.[23] It has,
however, been asserted that up to the reign of Elizabeth, the houses of
the gentry throughout England were built entirely of timber; whereas, of
the mansions of earlier date than that reign, which remain entire or in
part to this day, three-fourths, at least, are built of stone or brick.
The latter material is stated by Bagford and others to have been first
introduced in the reign of Henry VII. Yet, Endure Palace, in
Oxfordshire, erected by William De la Pole, and Hurstmonceux Castle, in
Sussex, both of which are of brick, are attributed to the reign of Henry
VI. Oxburgh Hall, in Norfolk, was erected in the reign of Edward IV.
Leland mentions the walls of Hungerford, as early as the reign of
Richard II., being of that material; and Stow records Ralph Stratford,
Bishop of London, inclosing the burial-ground of Charter-house, for
those that died of the plague in 1348, with a wall of brick. That
roofing-tiles were in use before the time of Richard I. is proved by the
order made in the first years of that reign, Henry Fitzalwayne being
Mayor of London, that the houses of that city should be covered with
"brent tyle," instead of "strawe," or reeds. The ancient name for bricks
appears to have been wall-tiles, to distinguish them from floor-tiles,
used for paving.

William the Conqueror lost no time in erecting strong castles in all the
principal towns in the kingdom, as at Lincoln, Norwich, Rochester, &c.
for the double purpose of strengthening the towns, and keeping the
citizens in awe. The Conqueror's followers, among whom he parcelled out
the lands of the English, imitated their master's example by building
castles on their estates; and so rapidly did they increase, that in the
reign of Stephen, or within a century after the arrival of the
Conqueror, there are said to have been 1115 castles completed in England

One of the earliest was Conisborough Castle, built by William, the first
Earl of Warren, about six miles west of Doncaster: the remains, as far
as can be traced, extend about 700 feet in circumference; but the chief
object is a noble round tower, strengthened by six massive square
buttresses, running from the base to the summit. The extreme thickness
of the walls is 15 feet; of each buttress 23 feet; and the entrance is
24 feet from the ground, up a flight of steps. In the centre of the
first floor is a round hole, which is the only entrance to a lower
apartment, or dungeon. This Castle is chosen by Sir Walter Scott for one
of the principal scenes of his romance of _Ivanhoe_.

Many of the castles of this age were of great size. Instead of a single
tower, they consisted of several towers, both round and square, united
by walls, inclosing a space called a courtyard, the entrance to which
was generally between two strong towers. The whole building was
surrounded by a moat or ditch, across which a drawbridge led to the
massive doors, which were covered with plates of iron, and in front of
them, an iron portcullis--like a harrow, such as we see in the arms of
the city of Westminster--was let down the rough, deep grooves in the
stonework; whilst overhead projected a parapet, resting on corbels, with
openings through which melted lead or hot water could be poured, or
stones thrown on the heads of the assailants, who should attempt an
entrance by forcing, or, as was the usual mode of attack, by setting
fire to the door.[24] The gateways of Caerlaverock, Conway, Carisbrooke,
and Caernarvon castles, present good specimens of this kind; as do the
Middle Tower, and the Bloody Tower, in the Tower of London: the latter
has the most perfect portcullis in the kingdom.

A principal tower or keep rose prominently above the rest, and generally
from an artificial mount. It contained the well of water, without which
the garrison, when besieged, could not hold out in this their last place
of refuge. The keep also had its subterranean prison, and several
stories of apartments communicating by a staircase, either in the walls,
or built outside the tower.

As the railway traveller journeys along the South Eastern line, he will
see close to the Tunbridge station, the towered entrance-gate of the
castle built by Richard de Tonbridge, a follower of the Conqueror. The
whole building was moated, and the exterior walls inclosed an area of
about six acres. There remain only two massive towers flanking an arched
gateway, with walls of great thickness, and having no other openings
than long narrow slits, called _oilets_, through which, when besieged,
archers shot their arrows. In front of this entrance was formerly a
drawbridge, thrown across the moat, which, when raised, formed a strong
door, closing up the archway. This opening was again guarded by two
portcullises and two thick doors. The towers appear to have been divided
into four stories, or floors, the lower being dungeons or prisons, and
the upper formed into a large and noble hall, extending the whole width
and depth of the two towers. It was lighted by two large windows towards
the inner court. The towers are supposed, from their style, to have been
built in the reign of King John, or Henry III. The windows were not
glazed, but had iron bars; the floor and ceiling were of immense
thickness, the latter three feet. Branching from this tower-entrance,
are certain walls to the right and left; the first extending up the side
of a lofty hill, whereon was the keep-tower, or chief residence of the
baron: to this, it is presumed, he retreated when other parts of his
castle had been taken by an enemy.

The following account of the siege of Bedford Castle by Henry III.,
given in Camden's _Britannia_, is interesting, as containing a summary
of the principal portions of the building, and the several stages of the
attack:--"The castle was taken by four assaults: in the first was taken
the barbican; in the second, the outer bail (ballium); at the third
attack, the wall by the old tower was thrown down by the miners, where,
with great danger, they possessed themselves of the inner bail through a
chink; at the fourth assault, the miners set fire to the tower, so that
the smoke burst out, and the tower itself was cloven to that degree, as
to show visibly some broad chinks; whereupon the enemy surrendered."

The most perfect of our northern castles now existing, is Raby, the
stately seat of the Duke of Cleveland, the history of which is traced
through eight centuries and a half. Raby, pointing by its name to a
Danish origin, is first mentioned in connexion with King Canute, who,
after making his celebrated pilgrimage over Garmondsway Moor to the
shrine of St. Cuthbert, there offered it, with other possessions, to the
saint. Bishop Flambard wrested the rich gift from the monastics, but
restored it again on his death-bed. It continued in the peaceful
possession of the monks till 1131. In that year they granted it, for an
annual rent of £4, to Dolphin, son of Ughtred, of the blood-royal of
Northumberland. Whoever the original founder might have been, Dolphin's
descendant, Robert filius Maldred, was Lord of Raby when, early in the
thirteenth century, he married Isabel Neville, by the death of her
brother the last of that line. From their son Geoffrey, who assumed his
mother's surname, the history of the Nevilles may be said to date. To
his descendant, John Lord Neville, they owed Raby. Some portion of the
older fabric is thoroughly incorporated with the new, so as to present
the work and ideas of one period, and a perfect example of a
fourteenth-century castle, without any appearance of earlier work or
later alteration whatever. Its apparent weakness of site has been
pointed out; but though not set on a hill, it had the defence of water,
which was drawn off centuries since. But the real defences of Raby lay
beyond the mere circuit of its own walls and waters. They are to be
found in the warrior spirits of its lords and in the border castles of
Roxburgh, Wark, Norham, Berwick, and Bamburgh, which they commanded
continuously as warders and governors from the days of Robert Neville,
in the thirteenth century, to the time of Queen Elizabeth. Apart from
the question of the site, the stately castle itself is of great
strength, and skilfully disposed.

Passing through a fine gate-tower, the bailey (immediately within the
outer ward) is entered. The castle itself consists of a quadrangular
mass of great dignity and splendour, with an open court in the centre.
One side of the court, or the quadrangle, is occupied by two halls, one
above the other, of such stupendous proportions that carriages are
admitted to drive across the quadrangle _into_ the lower hall. The sides
of the quadrangle have the kitchen and offices springing from one end of
the hall, and the principal chambers of the castle from the other,
according to the usual distribution of the age.

Although a view of most of those fortresses which are destined chiefly
for the purposes of war or defence, suggests to the imagination
dungeons, chains, and a painful assemblage of horrors, yet some of these
castles were often the scenes of magnificence and hospitality,

  "Where the songs of knights and barons bold
  In weeds of peace high triumph hold;"

or where, in the days of chivalry, the wandering knight or distressed
princess found honourable reception; the holy palmer repose for his
wearied limbs; and the poor and helpless their daily bread.

Leland considered Raby as "the largest castle of logginges in all the
north country." At different periods alterations have been made,
according to the more modern ideas of comfort and convenience, without
materially affecting its external form, so that it recalls to the mind
the romantic days of chivalry. The embattled wall with which it is
surrounded, occupies about two acres of ground. At irregular distances
are two towers, named from their founders, the Clifford Tower and the
Bulmer Tower. The halls are large and grand. In the upper, or Baron's
hall, ninety feet in length, and thirty-four in breadth, the baronial
feasts were held; and here,

  "Seven hundred knights, retainers all
  Of Neville, at their master's call,
  Together sat in Raby's Hall."

When the British Archæological Association visited Raby in the autumn of
1865, the Duke of Cleveland, as the President of the Association,
entertained some 200 guests at a sumptuous dinner, in which venison,
venison pasties, and grouse were paramount. The kitchen is on a scale to
correspond with the enormous festivals of the seven hundred knights: it
is a square of thirty feet, having three chimneys, one for the grate, a
second for stoves, and the third (now stopped up) for the great
cauldron. The roof is arched, and has a small cupola in the centre; it
has likewise five windows, from each of which steps descend, but only in
one instance to the floor; and a gallery runs round the whole interior
of the building. The ancient oven is said to have allowed a tall person
to stand upright in it, its diameter being fifteen feet; according to
Pennant, it was one time converted into a wine-cellar, "the arches being
divided into ten parts, each holding a hogshead of wine in bottles."
"The park and pleasure grounds belonging to this magnificent castle are
upon the same extensive scale, with woods that sweep over hill and sink
into valley, and command a constant change of beautiful prospects."[25]

Durham Castle is another noble pile of the north. The outer gateway is a
Norman arch; traces of Norman work are seen in the courtyard; and we
then reach the hall, which, as left by Bishop Hatfield, was at least a
third longer than it is at present. It owes it curtailment to Bishop Fox
(1494-1502), who erected a kitchen and other offices at the lower end.
This kitchen remains in its original form, with wide-yawning fireplaces
still applied to their original purpose; and the buttery hatches in old
black oak have the motto of "_Est Deo gracio_," in black-letter, carved
upon them. A tapestried gallery, with an elaborate Norman doorway, leads
to Bishop Tunstall's chapel; and in another apartment, now the
senate-room of the University of Durham, is some curious tapestry of the
history of Moses. The keep, now refaced and restored, was rebuilt by
Bishop Hatfield. The castle is commonly said to be no older than William
the Conqueror; but a fortress must have existed from a much earlier
period, and the mound is artificial. The Norman chapel of the castle,
its most ancient portion, is usually assigned to King William I., though
of the time of Rufus. The pavement of herring-bone is, no doubt, coeval.
The whole of Durham Castle is now in excellent preservation, and the
union of the past with the present is well maintained; for the old keep,
which commands beautiful views of the Wear and the outlying country, is
parcelled out into rooms, which are occupied by the students of the
University. The great hall of the castle is hung with old paintings,
chiefly the portraits of bishops and ecclesiastics connected with the
see. At the lower end of the apartment, about half way between the roof
and the ground, are two niches, at opposite sides, built for the
minstrels of the period, and from which they regaled the guests.

The legendary histories of our castles would take us too far afield for
our limits. Sometimes, in these legends, the very names of the Teutonic
mythic personages are preserved. Thus, a legend in Berkshire has
retained the name of the Northern and Teutonic smith-hero, Weland, the
representative of the classical Vulcan. The name of Weland's father,
Wade, is preserved in the legend of Mulgrave Castle, in Yorkshire, which
is pretended to have been built by a giant of that name. A Roman road,
which passes by it, is called Wade's Causeway; and a large tumulus, or
cairn of stones, in the vicinity is popularly called Wade's Grave.
According to the legend, while the giant Wade was building his castle,
he and his wife lived upon the milk of an enormous cow, which she was
obliged to leave at pasture on the distant moors. Wade made the causeway
for her convenience, and she assisted him in building the castle by
bringing him quantities of large stones in her apron. One day, as she
was carrying a bundle of stones, her apron-string broke, and they all
fell to the ground, a great heap of about twenty cart-loads,--and there
they still remain as a memorial of her industry. Another castle in
Yorkshire, occupying an early site, was said, according to a legend
related by Leland in the sixteenth century, to have been built by a
giant named Ettin. This is a mere corruption of the name of the
_eotenas_, or giants of Teutonic mythology.

One of our most celebrated castles of defence is Corfe Castle, in
Dorset, a remarkable specimen of mediæval military architecture. The
earliest notice of this fortress is in an Anglo-Saxon charter of the
year 948. In 981 Corfe was the scene of the murder of King Edward the
Martyr. After the death of his father, Edgar, Elfrida, his widow, headed
a faction in opposition to the accession of Edward, and continued her
intrigues until her unscrupulous ambition at last led her to the
perpetration of a deed which has covered her name with infamy. This was
the murder of her step-son by a hired assassin, as he stopped one day
while hunting, at her residence, Corfe Castle; he was stabbed in the
back, as he sat on his horse at the gate of the castle, drinking a cup
of mead. The 18th of March, 978, is the date assigned to the murder of
King Edward, who was only in his seventeenth year when he was thus cut
off. He is retained in the calendar of the Anglican Church as a saint
and martyr. The castle, which was the strongest fortress in the kingdom,
formed an irregular triangle, the apex of which was connected by a
narrow isthmus with the high ground, on which the town of Corfe stands.
The isthmus had been cut through, and the ditch thus formed was spanned
by a stately bridge of arches leading to the principal entrance of the
fortress. Only the south side and parts of the east and west sides of
the keep are standing, and large masses of prostrate walls lie in
confusion around. The keep is Norman, believed to have been built by the
Conqueror. King John kept his treasure and regalia here, and used the
castle as a state prison. Twenty-four nobles concerned in the
insurrection by his nephew, Arthur, Duke of Brittany, were, save two, it
was said, there starved to death. King John caused Prince Arthur to be
murdered, and sent his sister, the beautiful Princess Eleanor, prisoner
to Corfe, where she remained several years.

Edward II., when he fell into the hands of his enemies, was, for a time,
imprisoned here. In 1635, the castle and manor came into the possession
of Sir John Bankes, Lord Chief Justice of England, and ancestor of the
present owner. In the great Civil War, Corfe Castle was strongly
defended for the king, by Lady Bankes, wife of the Lord Chief Justice,
with the assistance of her friends and retainers, and of a governor sent
from the king's army. The castle was one of the last places in England
that held out for Charles I. In the year 1645, it was captured by the
Parliamentary forces through treachery, and reduced to the shapeless but
picturesque fragments that now remain. Lady Bankes's heroic defence is
narrated in the _Story of Corfe Castle_, a volume of stirring interest;
and the event is a favourite subject with our historical painters. The
ruins of Corfe are extensive, and from their very high situation, form a
very striking object. "The vast fragments of the King's Tower," says
Hutchins, "the Round Tower, leaning, as if nearly to fall, the broken
walls, and vast pieces of them tumbled into the vale below, form such a
scene of havoc and desolation, as strikes every spectator with sorrow
and concern. The abundance of stone in the neighbourhood, the excellence
of the cement, harder to be broken than the stones themselves, have
preserved these prodigious ruins from being embezzled and lessened."

In the age of Edward III. the castles differed from those of previous
periods. The confined plan of the close fortress expanded into a mixture
of the castle and the mansion; comprising spacious and magnificent
apartments, the hall, the banqueting-room, the chapel, with galleries of
communication, and sleeping chambers. The keep was entirely detached,
and independent of these buildings. Such was the royal palace of
Windsor, erected by Edward III.; and such were the splendid baronial
castles of Warwick, Ludlow, Stafford, Harewood, Alnwick, Kenilworth,
Raglan, and many others. The last-mentioned is one of the most perfect
examples we are acquainted with, of the union of vast strength and
security, with convenient accommodation and ornamental splendour. The
keep is a perfect fortress in itself, and encircled by a range of minor
towers and moat. Its masonry is unrivalled.[26]

Of one of these spacious castles we give a descriptive outline, chiefly
from the paper read by Mr. J. H. Parker, on the visit of the
Archæological Institute to Windsor, in July 1866. Amongst the royal and
palatial edifices of Europe, that of Windsor holds a very high rank, and
is, in a manner, to England what Versailles is to France and the
Escurial to Spain; and while it is infinitely superior to both in point
of situation, it far exceeds them, and indeed every other pile or
building of its class, in antiquity. From having been the residence of
so many of our kings, its history is, to a certain extent, identified
with that of the kingdom itself from the time of the Conquest. The
castle stands on an outlying promontory of chalk, commanding the winding
shores of that part of the Thames, with a rich valley, which seems to
have pointed it out as a natural position for a fortress in primitive
times, when the natives wished to protect their country from invasion.
The wide and deep entrenchments, and the high artificial mounds,
indicate an early date. There are also roads at the bottom of the
fosses, with a wide bank between them, on which several keeps were
erected, first of wood and afterwards of stone. A subterranean passage
leading from the bottom of the outer foss, at a depth of thirty feet, to
the bottom of the inner foss, at a depth of fifteen feet (the present
pantries), cut in a very rude manner through the solid chalk, has a
vault of the time of Henry II. carried on chalk walls, built over a
small part of it as far as the Norman buildings extended only: the
doorways are of the same period, one of which is quite perfect, and
opens into the inner foss. If Windsor Castle had been built in the fifth
century by King Arthur, as was believed by Edward III. and the
chronicler Froissart, the roads would have been on the level. They are
more likely of the time of Caractacus or Julius Cæsar. Edward the
Confessor is believed to have resided chiefly at Old Windsor, where some
of the ancient earthworks certainly belong to a period before the Norman
Conquest. William himself is said to have built a castle at Windsor,
but there is no evidence of it. The Domesday Survey rather proves that
there was one previously existing, which had been inhabited by Earl
Harold in the time of the Confessor. Henry I. is said by Stow, writing
in the fifteenth century, to have built New Windsor chiefly of wood;
some of the fragments of stone carving found in the castle may be of his

Stephen built nothing here, but Windsor is mentioned in the treaty of
Wallingford as a fortress of importance. The name "Norman Tower," as
given to one part of the pile, is erroneous, as the Norman keep is
nothing more than earthworks surmounted by a wooden structure. The
earliest date which can be assigned to any stone masonry which has been
discovered at Windsor is the reign of Henry II. In the time of Henry II.
the first mention of the castle is made in the Pipe Rolls. The outer
wall of the south front of the upper ward remains, with the lower part
of the king's gate, its hinges, and portcullis groove; the upper part
was destroyed, and the whole concealed in other buildings by Wyatville,
in the restoration works under George IV. In the reigns of Richard I.
and John only necessary repairs were made.

With Henry III. the history of the existing castle may be said to begin.
The whole of the lower ward was then first built of stone, and many
portions of the existing walls are found to be of that period. The
Clewer Tower--now known as the Curfew Tower--remains almost unaltered,
and exhibits in good condition a prison of the above period.

The King's Hall is now the Chapter library, but the chambers of the King
and Queen have been destroyed. Plans and drawings of them have been
preserved; and the measurements agree with the orders of the kings, as
recorded in the public rolls.

Of the primitive chapel the north wall is still preserved; the galilee
being now the east end (behind the altar) of St. George's Chapel. The
doorways of the galilee are one of Henry III., the other of Edward III.;
the west end of the chapel has been rebuilt several times. The arcade in
the cloisters was protected by a wooden roof only. This chapel was
completed by Edward III. and made into a lady-chapel, when the great St.
George's Chapel was built. It was partly rebuilt by Henry VII. for the
tomb of Lady Margaret, his mother, and afterwards was proposed for that
of Henry VIII. It was much altered by James II. and partly restored by
George IV. At the present time it is being made the object of devoted
care, under the direction of Mr. Gilbert Scott. The roof has been
vaulted in stone, the pattern of that of Henry VII. is being inlaid with
mosaic work, and the windows filled with stained glass; and the edifice
is to be a sepulchral chapel over the Royal vaults, in memory of the
late Prince Consort. Mural paintings of kings' heads have been found of
the date of Henry III. and Edward III., and are preserved in the
cloister and galilee.

During the reign of Edward I. the accounts show that the great works
begun by Henry III. were carried on and completed; but no new works
appear to have been undertaken. In the reign of Edward II. there were
considerable sums expended on repairs of the walls, towers, and bridges,
chiefly for timber and carpenters' work.

The reign of Edward III. is one of the most important in respect to the
history of Windsor, a large part of the existing castle having been
built at that period, and its survey has been lately brought to light.
Another equally important document is the builder's account for the
Round Tower, which was entirely built from the ground in the eighteenth
year of this reign, and still remains, though much altered in
appearance, from the additional story superposed by Mr. Wyatville, under
George IV.

This building is sometimes called the Round Tower, and sometimes the
Round Table; and, from other peculiarities in the same accounts, it is
evident that the tower was built to hold the table. The galleries on
which this round table was placed are still remaining, and the general
disposition of the apartment where the knights dined on St. George's day
is well seen from the summit of the Round Tower. The tables of those
days were seldom more than a few planks in width, and the guests sat
round on one side, the other being open for the service of the
attendants. The centre of this great round table, then, was designed for
the latter purpose, and was open to the air, a passage communicating on
a level from this central space to the kitchen on the top of the middle
gate, which has thus acquired the title of the "Kitchen Tower." The
tower and table were erected in ten months, the greatest haste being
made in order that the new order of knights might dine here on St.
George's day following.

Edward III. did not build a chapel at Windsor, but only completed the
one which had been begun by Henry III.; adding to it or rebuilding a
cloister, a vestry, and other adjuncts.

After the thirteenth year, when William of Wykeham was appointed clerk
of the works, with a salary of one shilling a day, an entirely new
hall, with a new suite of apartments and offices, was built in the upper
bailey, where the royal apartments now are; and the fine series of
vaults under these apartments, forming ceilings to the servants' hall
and other rooms and offices, still remain in perfect preservation, as
built by Wykeham, who remained in this appointment only six years. The
summary of his accounts during that time shows an expenditure of
5,658_l_.--equivalent to 120,000_l_. (?) of our money.

From this period, comparatively little was done for a century, when
Edward IV. began to re-erect St. George's Chapel, nearly as we now see
it; thereby adding, if not immediately to the castle itself, to the
buildings within its precincts, one of extraordinary beauty and
interest, as being in some respects the very finest specimen of the
Perpendicular style and of ecclesiastical architecture in the kingdom.
What adds, in some degree, to the interest of this edifice is, that the
architects' names are preserved to us, it being known to be the work,
first of Richard Beauchamp, Bishop of Salisbury; and, after his death,
in 1481, it was completed by Sir Reginald Bray, who was also architect
of Henry VII.'s Chapel. This sovereign intended to erect a mausoleum for
himself at Windsor, and had begun to do so on the site of the original
chapel built by Henry III.; but he abandoned the idea in favour of that
at Westminster. Henry VII., however, added to the castle that building
which is still called after him, and which is situated at the western
extremity of the north side of the great quadrangle. Fortunately, this
has been preserved, owing, perhaps, partly to its situation; for,
although a mere "bit," it is a singularly fine one, and a noble specimen
of palatial architecture, in that particular style.[27]

The small tower at the south-west angle of the Royal apartments near the
library, now called erroneously King John's Tower, is an octagonal
building, and the two chambers in it have very good vaults, with the
ribs meeting in a central boss, which is in both cases carved into the
form of a rose. This enables this rose-tower and the rose-vaults to be
identified in a very remarkable manner. The tower was very richly
painted, and the quantity of paint and other materials charged on the
roll misled the late Mr. Hudson Turner, who had only seen a portion of
these accounts, and made him think they belonged to the great Round
Tower, and that it was painted on the outside. The dates do not agree
with this, and there is no evidence of external painting.

The works which had been carried on during a great part of the long
reign of Edward III. were not completed at the time of his death, and
were continued under Richard II.; but with the exception of necessary
repairs, the accounts for this reign relate chiefly to the offices and
dependencies of the cattle, especially the mews for the falcons, which
was evidently a large and important establishment not within the walls.

Geoffrey Chaucer, "the father of English poetry," was appointed, in the
fourteenth year of this reign, clerk of the works, but very little was
done in his time. The old chapter house, the remains of Henry the VII.'s
palace, and the Clewer Tower and prison, are objects of much interest. A
flight of about twenty steps leads down into the dungeons, which had
been constructed by Henry III. for the confinement of State prisoners:
it is a large and finely-arched vault, surrounded by seven small cells,
each dismally lighted through a loop-hole in the thick wall.

The reign of Elizabeth forms almost an epoch in the architectural
history of the castle, because, though she did not do much to it in the
way of building, except annexing the portion erected by Henry VII., that
which is distinguished by the name of Queen Elizabeth's Gallery, she
first caused the terraces to be formed, thereby adding to the royal
abode of Windsor, these truly regal characteristics. Under the Stuarts
nothing material was done until the Restoration, when the castle began
to be modernised, but in insipid taste. The principal addition made by
Charles II. was the Star Building (containing the State Apartments shown
to the public). The rooms were spacious and lofty, with large arched
windows, commanding enchanting prospects; their only embellishment was
derived from the sprawling pencil of Verrio. The first two Georges did
nothing for Windsor; George III. on the contrary, much, especially in
restoring the interior of St. George's Chapel. In 1796, James Wyatt
Gothicised the Star Building, and other portions. Meanwhile, the east
and south sides, the portions actually inhabited, were so inconvenient
that it was found indispensable, in 1778-82, to erect a separate
building for the actual occupation of the royal family: this was the
Queen's Lodge, a large, plain house on the south side of the castle,
near the site of the present stables. About 1823, George IV., with a
grant of 300,000_l_. from Parliament, began his grand improvements, with
Jeffry Wyatt for his architect; commencing with George the Fourth's
Gateway, the entrance into the quadrangle on the south side, in a direct
line with the Long Walk. We shall not attempt to detail the
improvements: among the most effective is the fine architectural vista
quite through from the north terrace by George the Fourth's Gateway;
the addition of the Waterloo Gallery, lighted from above, and brought
into a group with the Throne-room and the Ball-room. St. George's Hall
has been greatly improved, and at its western end has been constructed
the Chapel. By renovation and remodelling the exterior, greater height
has been given to most of the buildings; some of the towers have been
carried up higher, and others added: amongst these last are the
Lancaster and York, flanking George IV.'s Gateway; and the Brunswick
Tower at the north-east angle. But the most striking improvement of the
kind was that of carrying up the Round Tower thirty feet higher,
exclusive of the Watch Tower on its summit, which makes the height in
that part twenty-five feet more; thus rendering the castle much more
conspicuous than formerly as a distant object.

The architect's work has been much animadverted on: the details and
strange intermixture of the earliest and latest styles of Gothic are
very objectionable; and, as to general effect, Canon Bowles objected
that the renovated pile looked as if it had been washed with soap and
water! Nevertheless, it is a stately pile; the venerable Canon, just
named, says of it: "Windsor Castle loses a great deal of its
architectural impression (if I may use that word) by the smooth neatness
with which its old towers are now chiselled and mortared. It looks as if
it was washed every morning with soap and water, instead of exhibiting
here and there a straggling flower, or creeping weather-stains. I
believe this circumstance strikes every beholder; but, most imposing
indeed is its distant view, when the broad banner floats or sleeps in
the sunshine, amidst the intense blue of the summer skies; and its
picturesque and ancient architectural vastness harmonizes with the
decaying and gnarled oaks, coeval with so many departed monarchs. The
stately, long-extended avenue, and the wild sweep of devious forests,
connected with the eventful circumstances of English history, and past
regal grandeur, bring back the memories of Edwards and Henries, or the
gallant and accomplished Surrey." In 1825, Canon Bowles, who had been
chaplain to the Prince Regent, and writes himself down as not a
Laureate, but "a poet of loyal, old Church of England feelings," sung as

  "Not that thy name, illustrious dome, recalls
  The pomp of chivalry in banner'd halls,
  The blaze of beauty, and the gorgeous sights
  Of heralds, trophies, steeds, and crested knights;
  Not that young Surrey here beguiled the hour,
  With eyes upturn'd unto the maiden's tower.[28]
  Oh! not for these, and pageants pass'd away,
  I gaze upon your antique towers, and pray--
  But that my SOVEREIGN here, from crowds withdrawn,
  May meet calm peace upon the twilight lawn;
  That here, among these grey, primeval trees,
  He may inhale health's animating breeze;
  And when from this proud terrace he surveys
  Slow Thames revolving his majestic maze,
  (Now lost on the horizon's verge, now seen
  Winding through lawns, and woods, and pastures green,)
  May he reflect upon the waves that roll,
  Bearing a nation's wealth from pole to pole,
  And feel (ambition's proudest boast above)

"The range of cresting towers has a double interest, whilst we think of
gorgeous dames and barons bold, of Lely and Vandyke's beauties; and gay,
and gallant, accomplished cavaliers like Surrey. And who ever sat in the
stalls of St. George's Chapel, without feeling the impression, on
looking at the illustrious names, that here the royal and ennobled
knights, through so many generations, sat each installed, whilst arms,
and crests, and banners glittered over the same seat?"[29]

The interior of Windsor Castle, half a century since, mostly presented
the decorative taste of the time of Charles the Second. To the seventeen
State Apartments the public were admitted, until they were wearied with
the mythological ceilings of Thornhill, Rigaud, and Matthew Wyatt; and
the crowning genius of Verrio, in St. George's Hall. Throughout the
apartments was placed the royal collection of pictures, then including
the cartoons of Raphael; and the seven pictures of the glories of Edward
III. painted by West for George III., remarkable for their historical
accuracy, attributable to the friendly aid of Sir Isaac Heard, Garter
King-at-arms, who was constantly at the elbow of the artist. And
foremost among the decorative furniture were the State Bed of Queen
Anne, silver chandeliers and glass-frames, and a "massive silver table
from Hanover." Most of Gibbons's fine carvings appear to have been
removed to Hampton Court. The Keep, or Round Tower, was the residence of
the Constable or Governor of the castle, which he defended against all
enemies, and he had the charge of all prisoners brought thither: the
last was Major Belleisle, who lived in tapestried chambers, and beguiled
his captivity with the loves of Hero and Leander and Cupid and Psyche.
In the guard-chamber was a small magazine of arms. At the top of the
stairs, within the wall, was planted a large piece of cannon, levelled,
through an aperture, at the lower gate; there were also seventeen pieces
of cannon mounted at the embrasures round the curtain of the towers,
which was then the only battery in the castle, though formerly the whole
place was strongly fortified with cannon on each of the several towers,
besides those on the two platforms in the Lower Ward.

The remodelling of the private apartments of the castle has been
effected with due regard to convenience and splendour. Among the more
pleasurable memorials of royal visits, are the fittings of the
apartments refurnished for the Emperor and Empress of the French, in
which satin hangings, bordered with long-stitch needlework, in the
natural colours of the flowers portrayed, are much admired, as are also
the Brussels lace and white silk toilet-table, &c. There are in the
state-rooms some fine Gobelin tapestries, inlaid cabinets, superb
clocks, and a malachite vase and doors. In the plate room, among other
superb works, is a tall vase of oxydized silver, produced for the Prince
Consort, a short time previous to his death, at the cost of 1,000_l_.;
besides rock crystal cups and beakers, the gold mounts studded with
jewels, and the cups engraved and ornamented with flowers in silver
filigree. Two of the most splendid receptions at the castle in the
present reign, were the fêtes at the christening of the Prince of Wales
in 1842, and the visits of Louis Philippe and some of his family in
1844: upon the latter occasion, the castle, seen from a distance, in the
shades of an autumnal evening, with lights gleaming from nearly every
window of the long-extended and stately pile, had a most enchanting

Next to Windsor, deserves to be ranked Warwick Castle, in
picturesqueness of site rivalling the royal palace; it is one of the
finest specimens in the kingdom of the ancient residences of our feudal
nobles. Not only for its architecture, but for its scenic accessories,
and the sylvan character of the surrounding grounds, Warwick Castle is
of almost matchless beauty. Of its archæology, on reference to the Pipe
Rolls, we find it first mentioned in the 19th of Henry II., when it was
furnished and garrisoned, at an expense of 10_l_. (equal to 200_l_.
now), on behalf of the king against his son, and so it remained in the
hands of Henry II. for three years. In the 20th and 21st of Henry II.
are records of outlay for the soldiers, and in the latter year 50_l_.
was spent in repairs. In the 7th year of King John, the castle, then
belonging to the Crown (not the present castle, but a castle on the same
site), was defended for 253 days; and in the days of Henry III. the
walls were completely thrown down and destroyed. In the 9th of Edward
II. (1315) it was returned, on an inquisition, as worth nothing except
for the herbage in the courts and ditches, valued at 6_s_. 8_d_. a year.
In the reign of Edward III. (1357) a new building was commenced by
Thomas Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick, and finished about 1380. Guy's Tower
was built in 1394. The next period in the architectural history of the
castle is two or three hundred years later. The castle was then used as
a gaol. The next work was the erection of the entrance-hall. Mr. Salvia,
the architect, has been called in by the Earl of Warwick, and has made
habitable a portion of the castle which before had been unused. The
extreme beauty of the two towers is considered as unequalled in the

In the valuable collection of pictures in Warwick Castle are a curious
portrait of Queen Elizabeth, painted very early in her reign; portrait
of Sir Philip Sydney, the intimate friend of Fulke Greville; Charles I.
on horseback, probably a copy made by Vandyke from that at Blenheim;
and the colossal picture of Charles I. copied from the original in the
Vandyke Room at Windsor, a duplicate of which is to be seen at Hampton
Court. At Warwick, too, is Holbein's portrait of Henry VIII. noted for
the exquisite finish of its details. The collection of ancient and
modern armour is very valuable. The great hall of the castle, in its
appearance and furniture, retains much of its ancient character.
Externally, the form of the building has sustained little alteration;
its site is a solid rock, in which the cellars are excavated. Cæsar's
Tower is the most ancient; Guy's Tower, of Decorated English character,
is la fine preservation. In one of the greenhouses is the celebrated
ancient marble vase brought to England by the Earl of Warwick, to whom
it had been given by Sir William Hamilton; it is known as the _Warwick
Vase_, and has been copied in various materials.

As you look from the castle windows upon the soft-flowing Avon, with its
gentle ripple in your ears, the effect is fascinating, and you are
almost carried back to the age of fays and fairies. Henry V. visited
Guy's Cliff; and Shakspeare is supposed to have made it a favourite

Warwick has its apocryphal antiquities, more especially Guy's
curiosities. The story of this famous fellow is said to have been taken
from the exploits of Earl Leofric, husband of Lady Godiva; though the
legendary Guy is derived by some from a French romance of the twelfth or
thirteenth century. Guy, or a prototype, was reputed to be a living
personage, and his sword and coat of mail formed the subject of a
bequest in 1369. In the reign of Henry VIII. a pension was granted for
the preservation of Guy's porridge-pot; but the conflict with the dun
cow is not mentioned until in a seventeenth century play, though Dr.
Caius, about 1552, saw a bone of a bonassus (cow) at Warwick Castle kept
with the arms of Guy. In 1636 the rib of the dun cow was exhibited at
Warwick. Guy's armour is a medley: a bassinet of Edward III.;
breast-plate, fifteenth and seventeenth century; sword, Henry VIII.;
staff, an ancient tilting-lance, very curious; the horse-armour, and
"Fair Phillis' slippers" (strap-irons), are fifteenth century. In
conclusion, "the renowned Guy" is considered to be a myth.

The first historical Earl of Warwick was so created by the Conqueror.
The history of the castle has some strange episodes. In 1468, Edward IV.
marching towards Warwick, was met by an embassy from the Earl of Warwick
to treat for peace; which the king, too credulously listening to, rested
in his camp at Wolvey; but the Earl surprised him by night in his bed,
and took him prisoner to his castle at Warwick. In the Civil War, 1642,
Warwick Castle, garrisoned for the Parliament, was besieged; and, after
the battle of Edge Hill, when Charles left Birmingham, the inhabitants
seized the carriages containing the loyal plato, and conveyed them to
Warwick Castle. Then Warwick and Kenilworth were in deadly hate: in 1230
(47th Hen. III.), Maudit, Earl of Warwick, and his Countess, were
surprised in Warwick Castle, by a party of rebels from Kenilworth
Castle, when the walls were thrown down lest the royalists should use
them again; and the Earl and Countess were carried prisoners to
Kenilworth Castle.

Kenilworth, five miles from Warwick and Coventry, respectively, had a
castle which was demolished in the war of Edmund Ironside and Canute the
Dane, early in the eleventh century. In the reign of Henry I. the manor
was bestowed by the king on Geoffrey de Clinton, who built a strong
castle, and founded a monastery. The castle keep is attributed to the
reign of King John; the outer wall to the time of Henry III. The castle
was one of the strongholds of Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester, in
his insurrection against Henry III. and afforded shelter to his son, and
others of his adherents, after the fatal battle of Evesham, in 1265;
next year, however, it capitulated, after a gallant defence. A
tournament of 100 knights was held here in 1278, the Earl of March
principal challenger of the tilt-yard: of the ladies, who were
splendidly attired, it is recorded, that they wore "silken mantles." The
east range of buildings is referred to the middle of the reign of Edward
II. who was confined in the castle, shortly before his murder in
Berkeley Castle, in 1327. In the following reign, John of Gaunt became
owner of the castle, which he much augmented by new and magnificent
buildings. Henry IV. son of John of Gaunt, united the castle, which he
inherited, to the domains of the Crown, of which it formed a part until
the time of Elizabeth, who granted it to Robert Dudley, Earl of
Leicester, who erected "Leicester's Buildings." The magnificent
entertainments given here by Leicester to Elizabeth are minutely
described by Laneham, an attendant on the court, in a tract, entitled
_The Princely Pleasures of Kenilworth_. On her way thither, the Queen
was entertained by Leicester under a splendid tent at Long Itchington.
Kenilworth has been made familiar to the general reader by Sir Walter
Scott's picturesque romance, which has sent thousands to pic-nic among
the castle ruins: it was dismantled after the Civil War of Charles I.

Kenilworth ruins remind one of a _puzzle_, a few of the pieces of which
have been lost, but are so few as to be readily supplied. The ruins are
principally Late Perpendicular, but there are some Norman portions.
Cæar's Tower, of which three sides remain, has walls sixteen feet thick.
John of Gaunt's large and massive additions are in decay; and the
Leicester Buildings, though comparatively modern, present, from the
friable nature of the stone, an appearance of great antiquity: they
contain the remains of the noble banqueting-hall. The gate-house, also
Leicester's, is better preserved, and has in our time been occupied as a
farm-house. The ruins are, in many parts, mantled with ivy, which adds
to their picturesqueness; and being on an elevated, rocky site, they
command extensive views of the country round:

  "Grey memory of centuries past,
    Proud Kenilworth! How dear
  The charm that mellowing time hath cast
    Over thy portals drear.
  Thy battlements are crumbling now,
    And ivy decks thy faded brow.

  "Green grows the moss, where banners told
    Ambitions Leicester's hour of pride;
  Years their all-changing course have roll'd--
    All tenantless the chambers wide.
  Bank weeds upon the portals grow;
    Noble and knight, where are ye now?"

Traditional tales of the festive joys of Kenilworth linger on the spot;
and among other things, it is told that the great clock was stopped
during Elizabeth's stay at the castle, as if Time had stood still,
waiting on the Queen, and seeing her subjects enjoying themselves!

Arundel Castle, the last baronial home we have to describe, is a seat of
great historic interest, derived from the long list of warriors and
statesmen, whose names are identified with the place; and whose deeds,
during the lapse of eight centuries, have shed lustre on our national

  "Since William rose, and Harold fell,
  There have been Counts of Arundel;
  And earls old Arundel shall have
  While rivers flow and forests wave."

The castle stands on the river Arun in Sussex, at a short distance from
the sea, which is once supposed to have washed the castle-walls, as
anchors and other implements have been found near it. The castle is
mentioned as early as the time of King Alfred, who bequeathed it to his
nephew Adhelm. After the Norman Conquest, it was given by William to his
kinsman, Roger de Montgomeri, created Earl of Arundel and Shrewsbury.
Robert, one of the successors of this Earl, supported Robert, Duke of
Normandy, the eldest son of William I. against Henry, the youngest son
of the Conqueror. Afterwards the castle passed into the family of
Albini; and at last, by the marriage of that race with Thomas, Duke of
Norfolk (in the reign of Elizabeth), into the family of the Howards. It
gives to its possessor (now the Duke of Norfolk) the title of Earl of
Arundel, and is an instance of a peerage attached to the tenure of a
house, which is now an anomaly. In 11th Henry VI. it was decided that
the tenure of the castle of Arundel alone, without any creation, patent,
or investiture, constituted its possessor Earl of Arundel. Sir Bernard
Burke, however, considers this fact to admit of doubt. (See _Visitation
of Seats and Arms_, vol. i. p. 89.) For a place of defence, the castle
must have been well calculated, standing, as it does, at the extreme
point of an eminence which terminates one of the high and narrow ridges
of the South Downs; and in the two immense fosses which still remain, we
have evident tokens of the ancient mode of fortification. The entrance
gateway, anciently defended by a drawbridge and a portcullis, was built
by Richard Fitzalan, in the reign of Edward I. This, with some of the
walls and the keep, is all that remains of the ancient castle.

The keep is a circular stone tower, sixty-eight feet in diameter, and
the most perfect in England. In the middle of it is a dungeon, a vault
about ten feet high, accessible by a flight of steps, and thought to
have served as a storehouse for the garrison. The keep has long been
tenanted by some owls of large size and beautiful plumage, sent over
from America as a present to the then Duke of Norfolk. The barbican was
named Bevis's Tower from this legendary story. A giant named Bevis
officiated here as warder, in payment for which the Earl of Arundel
built this tower for his reception, allowing him two hogsheads of beer
every week, a whole ox, and a proportionate quantity of bread and
mustard. So huge was the giant, that he could, without inconvenience,
wade the channel of the sea to the Isle of Wight, and frequently did so
for his amusement. So, great as that wonder may be, a greater marvel is,
how he ever got into his tower, which, upon ordinary calculations, must
have been totally inadequate to contain him.

Among the Norman remains is an extensive vault, now used as a cellar,
about fifteen feet in height. That it was anciently used as a dungeon is
undoubted; and in it were confined not only military captives, but every
civil delinquent within the privileges of the honour. This was a
considerable source of profit to the Earls, and was, therefore,
sturdily maintained by them as a vested right. The ancient hall, with
its appendant buildings, was in the style of the reign of Edward III.
The north-east wing was last erected. Such was the building as it stood
at the commencement of the seventeenth century, inclosing five acres and
a half, and resembling in ground-plan Windsor Castle.


Arundel Castle was almost battered to pieces in the Civil War: the hall
and other living apartments were rendered untenantable, and the place
was abandoned by its noble owner, till about the year 1720, from which
period until 1801 only partial restorations were carried out. Then was
built the magnificent library for 10,000 volumes, in imitation of the
aisle of a Gothic cathedral; with ornamentation from Gloucester
Cathedral, and St. George's, Windsor: the ceiling, columns, &c. are of
mahogany. In 1806 was begun the Barons' Hall: the roof is of Spanish
chestnut, designed from Westminster, Eltham, and Crosby Halls; and it
has a large stained end window, of King John signing Magna Charta,[30]
and thirteen windows painted with baronial and family portraits; and in
the drawing-room is a stained glass window, by Eginton, representing the
Duke and Duchess of Norfolk as King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba at a
banquet! The renovation of the castle cost Charles Howard, the eleventh
Duke of Norfolk, the large sum of 600,000_l_. Upon the completion of the
work in June, 1815, he gave a magnificent fête, which accelerated his
death in December following. The appointments of the castle are very
superb. The Duke of Norfolk received here, in 1846, a state visit from
Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.

The park is extensive and finely wooded, and has much picturesque
scenery. Vineyards formerly abounded in this country; so that, in 1763,
there were sixty pipes of excellent wine resembling Burgundy, in the
cellar of the castle, the produce of one vineyard attached to it. The
river Arun, on which the town of Arundel stands, is famous for the grey
mullets which, in summer, come up here in large shoals, in quest of a
particular weed, the feeding on which renders them a great delicacy.

Among the events in the castle history was the reception of the Empress
Maud, in 1139, at Arundel Castle, by Adeliza, a relict of Henry I. King
Stephen, apprised of her movements, appeared suddenly before the castle,
with a well-appointed army. The Queen Dowager sent him this spirited
message:--"She had received the Empress as her friend, not as his enemy;
she had no intention of interfering in their quarrels," and therefore
begged the King to allow her royal guest to quit Arundel, and try her
fortune in some other part of England. "But," added she, "if you are
determined to besiege her here, I will endure the last extremity of war
rather than give her up, or suffer the laws of hospitality to be
violated." The Queen's request was granted, and the Empress retired to

To conclude. No place in England deserves more notice than the Castle of
Arundel--a grand pile of buildings, modern for the most part, and not
capable of supporting criticism; but the ivy-grown keep, at least as old
as the days of Henry I., may challenge comparison with any of the same
date in this country. The castle has not withstood sieges as others
have; it is but too well known for its surrender to Sir William Waller,
who took from it seventeen colours of foot, two of horse, and a thousand
prisoners. Nor is it associated with any decisive battles or events; but
no residence presents us with such a picture of feudal times; no other
baronial home has sent forth thirteen dukes and thirty-five earls. What
house has been so connected with our political and religious annals as
that of Howard? The premiers in the roll-call of our nobility, have been
also among the most persecuted and ill-fated. Not to dwell on the
high-spirited Isabelle, Countess Dowager of Arundel, and widow of Hugh,
last Earl of the Albini family, who upbraided Henry III. to his face
with "vexing the church, oppressing the barons, and denying all his
true-born subjects their rights;" or Richard, Earl of Arundel, who was
executed for conspiring to seize Richard II.--we must think with
indignation of the sufferings inflicted by Elizabeth on Philip, Earl of
Arundel, son of "the great" Duke of Norfolk, beheaded by Elizabeth in
1572 for his dealings with Mary, Queen of Scots. In the biography of
Earl Philip, which, with that of Ann Dacres, his wife, was well edited
by the late lamented Duke, we find that he was caressed by Elizabeth in
early life, and steeped in the pleasures and vices of her court by her
encouragement, to the neglect of his constant wife, whose virtues, as
soon as they reclaimed him to his duty to her, rendered him hated and
suspected by the Queen, so that she made him the subject of vindictive
and incessant persecution, till death released him at the age of
thirty-eight. To another Howard, Thomas, son of Earl Philip, the country
is indebted for those treasures of the East, the Arundel Marbles;
though Lord Clarendon describes him somewhat ill-naturedly, denying him
all claims to learning, and even gravity of character.

The sight of the embattled towers of Arundel conjures up before us many
historic personages, whom in fancy we can see emerging from their
venerable gateways, in all the pride of youth and ancestry, whose
mouldered ashes now repose under those grey walls. And there too now
lies, alas! added to the number, the late kind-hearted and amiable Duke,
snatched away, like so many of his forefathers, in the very prime of


[21] Southey's _Naval History of England_, vol. i. p. 121.

[22] From Poundbury may be seen Woolverton House, formerly the seat of
the Trenchard family, and in it the fortunes of the House of Russell,
humanly speaking, began to rise in the ascendant. When the Archduke of
Spain was obliged to land at Weymouth, he was brought to the Sheriff of
Dorset, and lived at Woolverton House. The Sheriff, not being able to
speak in any language but "Dorset," found it difficult to converse with
the Archduke, and bethought him of a young kinsman, named Russell, who
had been a factor in Spain, and sent for him. The young man made himself
so agreeable to the Archduke that he brought him to London, where the
King took a fancy to him, and in time he became Duke of Bedford, and was
the founder of the House of Russell.

[23] The Roman bricks in the remains of a villa found at Stonesfield,
near Woodstock, were fresh and sound.

[24] The uses of these openings are, however, much controverted by
antiquarian writers:--"With regard to the holes made in the archways of
the gates as found both at Windsor and the Tower of London, the most
probable theory of their use is that they were formed, not as is
generally supposed, for the purpose of throwing down burning sand and
other corroding substances on the assailants of the castle, but to pour
down water on any fires which the enemy might make with faggots or other
materials before the gate and portcullis."--_J. H. Parker_, F.S.A.

[25] _A Visitation of Seats and Arms._ By John Bernard Burke, Esq. Vol.
i. p. 64.

[26] _Quarterly Review._

[27] Charles Knight; _Penny Cyclopædia, sub_ Windsor Castle.

[28] Surrey's _Poems_.

[29] _History of Bremhill._

[30] This window is by Buckler, after a design of Lonsdale; in it are
portraits of Charles, Duke of Norfolk, as Baron Fitz-Walter; Captain
Morris, as Master of the Knights Templar; Henry Howard, jun. as the
Baron's Page; and H. C. Combe, Esq. as Lord Mayor of London.

[31] _Quarterly Review_, July, 1862. The twelfth Duke died in 1842, the
thirteenth in 1856, and the fourteenth in 1860. The present Duke, the
fifteenth, succeeded at the age of thirteen.

III. Household Antiquities.


Hitherto we have but glanced at the earlier periods of what may be termed
Domestic Life in England. We have attempted to trace our British
ancestors in their "woods and caves, and painted skins;" in their rude
state, before the Roman colonization; in their advancement under that
enlightened sway; and their decadence after their conquerors had left
them. To these periods have succeeded the ages of Castle-building, when
edifices were built for purposes of defence. In lawless times, might
lorded it over right, and stronger places of abode than we regard a
_house_ were necessary for the security and protection of the
inhabitants. Throughout these periods we have few evidences, from their
dwellings, of how the _people_ lived: from the earth caverns of the
Early Britons to the Roman civilization is a dreary picture of rude
accommodation; and though the excavation of ancient sites, and the
operation of the plough, may bring to light many a splendid pavement and
appliances, which denote luxurious life,--these are the remains of the
embellished villas of the wealthy Roman, and not of the abodes of the
conquered Briton. The Saxons lived so meanly, that it were vain to
expect to find many traces of their dwellings; and of the Danes there
are still fewer remains. With these exceptions we have, before the
Conquest, no actually existing witnesses.

With the Norman period our series of evidences begins. For some time
after the Conquest, strictly domestic remains are very scanty. The great
men lived in castles, which are, indeed, domestic so far as men lived in
them, but whose architecture is too much affected by military
considerations to be called strictly domestic architecture, which is the
building of _houses_, whose defence is either not thought of or is
something quite secondary. It is clear that houses of this sort, of such
pretensions as to possess any architectural character, or to be
preserved down to our time, could not well exist, in the open country at
least, till the land had become comparatively settled and civilized.
Hence, our list of Norman houses in England is very scanty, and they are
chiefly formed in walled towers, like Lincoln and Bury St. Edmund's.
[The erection of Lincoln Castle by order of William the Conqueror, in
1086, is said to have caused the demolition of 240 houses. Perhaps the
only perfect and untouched Norman example is the small unroofed house at
Christ Church, in Hampshire. The church is Norman, and the tower is
supposed to be of Roman origin.]

Several of the fragments elsewhere have very fine Norman detail; but for
Norman architecture exhibiting anything like the real grandeur of the
style, we must look to the castles and monasteries. In the thirteenth
century our examples are still but few and small, though much more
numerous than before. After the age of Edward III. the castle became
more like a mansion, as we have seen in the castles of Windsor, Warwick,
and Kenilworth.

As the character of the times became more peaceful, and law succeeded to
the reign of the strong hand, a still further change took place in the
construction of these dwellings, and they partook but slightly of the
castellated character. Beauty and ornament were consulted by the
builders instead of strength; and the convenient accommodation of the
in-dwellers, in lieu of the means of disposing of a crowded garrison,
and its necessary provision in time of siege. They usually retained the
moat and battlemented gateway, and one or two strong turrets, to build
which a royal licence was necessary. Thus, the idea of the English
manor-house seems to have disengaged itself from that of the castle, and
we begin to have a noble series of strictly domestic buildings, defence
being quite secondary, and in no way obtruded. They were generally
quadrangular in plan, the larger class inclosing two open courts, of
which one contained the stables, offices, and lodgings of the household;
the second, the principal or statechambers, with the hall and chapel.
The windows were large and lofty, reaching almost to the ground, and
several of them opening to the gardens on the outside of the building,
though these were inclosed by high battlemented walls and a moat. It
should, however, be remarked, that the mansion, except in edifices of
considerable extent and consequence, seldom contained more than one

The hall, in most cases, retained its original design. It was
distinguished by its superior elevation, its turreted towers (or
lantern), its windows, and projecting bay. The principal doorway entered
upon a vestibule or lobby, extending across the edifice, with a door of
inferior dimensions at the opposite extremity, having, on one side, the
lower wall of the hall, in which were doors leading to the buttery and
kitchener's department; and on the other, the screen, or lofty partition
of wood, designed to conceal those doors from the view of persons in the
hall. In the Companies' Halls of the City of London, a moveable screen
is generally used for this purpose.

The screen was often panelled with wood from top to bottom, and divided
into compartments, which were enriched with shields and carved work,
having usually two or three arched doorways opening on the lobby. In
many instances, the minstrels' gallery was placed above this

Among the richest specimens extant of the embattled mansions are
Wingfield Manor-house, in Derbyshire; Cowdray, in Sussex;[32] Kelmingham
Hall, in Suffolk; Penshurst, in Kent; Deene Park, in Northamptonshire;
and Thornbury Castle, in Gloucestershire. This period of the transition
from the castle to the mansion is considered the best style of English

Wingfield, near the centre of Derbyshire, was built by Ralph, Lord
Cromwell, who, in the time of Henry VI. was Treasurer of England, in
allusion to which he had bags or purses of stones carved over the
gateway of Wingfield, as well as on the manor-house of Coly Weston, in
Northamptonshire, augmented by this Lord Cromwell. Wingfield Manor-house
originally consisted of two square courts--one containing the principal
apartments, and the other the offices. It had a noble hall lighted by a
beautiful octagon window, and a range of Gothic windows, north and
south. The principal entrance is by an embattled gate-house, through a
pointed arch, beside the end of the great state apartment lighted by a
large and rich pointed window. Here the Earl of Shrewsbury held in his
custody Mary Queen of Scots, in a convenient suite of apartments, which
communicated with the great tower, whence the ill-starred captive could
see her friends with whom she held a secret correspondence. An attempt
was made by Leonard Dacre to rescue Mary, after which Elizabeth,
becoming suspicious of the Earl of Shrewsbury, directed the Lady
Huntingdon to take care of the Queen of Scots in Shrewsbury's house; and
had her suite reduced to thirty persons. Her captivity at Wingfield is
stated to have extended to nine years, which, however, is questionable.

Thornbury Castle is picturesquely placed twenty-four miles south-west of
Gloucester, on the banks of a rivulet two miles westward of "the
glittering, red, and rapid Severn, embedded in its emerald vale, and
shining up in splendid contrast to the shady hills of the Dean Forest."
Thornbury was begun by Edward Stafford, Duke of Buckingham; its
completion was prevented by his execution, in the year 1522. It is a
castellated group, with battlemented towers and turrets, and enriched
chimney-shafts, clothed with luxuriant ivy; its bay-windows are very
fine. Buckingham fell one of the earliest victims to the cruel tyranny
of our eighth Henry. The line of his pedigree is marked in blood. His
father was beheaded by Richard III.; his grandfather was killed at the
battle of St. Albans; his great grandfather at the battle of
Northampton; and the father of this latter at the battle of Shrewsbury.
More than a century had elapsed since any chief of this great family had
fallen by a natural death. Edward was doomed to no nobler fate than his
forefathers. Knivett, a discarded officer of Buckingham's household,
furnished information to Wolsey, which led to the apprehension of his
late master: it was stated that he had consulted a monk about future
events; that he had declared all the acts of Henry VII. to be wrongfully
done; that he had told Knivett, that if he had been sent to the Tower,
when he was in danger of being committed, he would have played the part
which his father had intended to perform at Salisbury--where, if he
could have obtained an audience, he would have stabbed Richard III. with
a knife; and that he had told Lord Abergavenny, if the king had died, he
would have the rule of the land. Yet, all this was but the testimony of
a spy. Buckingham confessed the real amount of his absurd inquiries from
the friar. He was tried in the court of the Lord High Steward, by a jury
of one duke, one marquess, seven earls, and twelve barons, who convicted
him. The Duke of Norfolk shed tears on pronouncing sentence. The
prisoner said: "May the eternal God forgive you my death, as I do." The
only favour which he could obtain was, that the ignominious part of a
traitor's death should be remitted. He was accordingly beheaded on the
17th of May, 1521; whilst the surrounding people vented their
indignation against Wolsey by loud cries of "The butcher's son!" The
half-built and decaying Thornbury has prompted this saddening history of
its founder and his ill-fated family.

Longleat, in Wiltshire, the seat of the Marquis of Bath, and built in
the reign of Edward VI., is, for its date, esteemed the most regular
building in the kingdom. Upon its site was originally a priory, which
came into the possession of the Thynne family, in the reign of Henry
VIII. The present mansion was commenced by the first proprietor of that
family, and completed for his successors by an Italian architect: it
consists of three stories, Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian, adorned with
rich pilasters, handsome balustrades, and statues; and from the roof
rise several cupolas. The apartments are large and sumptuous; and the
great hall is two stories in height. The gardens were originally
embellished with fountains, cascades, and statues, and laid out in
formal parterres; but the whole has been newly remodelled. The entire
domain is fifteen miles in circuit; and in magnitude, grandeur, and
variety of decoration, Longleat has always been the pride of this part
of the country. Its collection of pictures includes many portraits of
eminent persons in the reign of Queen Elizabeth and her successors.

In the time of Elizabeth and James I. were erected many mansions upon
splendid and extensive scales. John Thorpe built five palaces for
Elizabeth's ministers: for Lord Burghley, Theobalds and Burghley;
Wimbledon, for Sir Robert Cecil; Hollenby and Kirby, for Lord Chancellor
Hatton; and Buckhurst for the Earl of Dorset. Thorpe also built for Sir
Walter Cope, Holland House, Kensington, about 1606, which received its
name from Henry Rich, Earl of Holland, by whom the mansion was greatly
altered. Its plan is that of half the letter H, of deep red brick, with
pilasters and their entablature; the window dressings, and coping, of
stone. Few of the apartments retain their original character; some of
the interior is supposed to be by Inigo Jones. The gilt room is by
Cleyn, an artist largely employed by James I. and Charles I.; the
figures over the fireplace are worthy of Parmegiano, and here is a very
fine collection of modern busts.

Burghley, Northamptonshire, has the rare fortune of remaining to this
time the seat of the descendants of the great Lord Burghley, for whom
the mansion was built; the present noble owner being the Marquis of
Exeter: in approaching it from Stamford, its singular chimneys, the
variety of its turrets, towers, and cupolas, and the steeple of its
chapel rising from its centre, give it the appearance more of a small
city than a single building.

Hatfield, in Hertfordshire, which has been a palace, episcopal, royal,
and noble, for upwards of seven centuries, was mostly built by Thorpe,
in 1611. The old palace was of the twelfth century: here is the chamber
in which the Princess Elizabeth was kept for some time a state prisoner;
and in the present mansion, Charles I. was confined. In plan, Hatfield
is in the form of half the letter H: each front differs from the other,
but in unity of design the Tudor period is remarkably prevalent, and it
is believed that no house in the kingdom erected at so early a date,
remains so entire as this.

A stately mansion of this period was erected at Campden, in
Gloucestershire, at an expense of 29,000_l_.; it occupied eight acres,
was of splendid architecture, and had a large dome rising from the roof,
which was illuminated nightly for the guidance of travellers. Campden
was burnt during the Civil War.

Haddon Hall, near Bakewell, in Derbyshire, erected at various periods,
affords excellent examples of the several styles of domestic
architecture, from the early pointed, to the Tudor and Elizabethan. It
was originally a barton, or farm, given by William the Conqueror to his
natural son, William Peverell. The mansion is preserved intact: the
tapestry and paneling remain; the carved wainscoting and ornamented
ceiling of the long gallery are of the time of Elizabeth; the
banqueting-hall is equally perfect; the chapel is a good specimen of the
early Pointed Gothic. Haddon is one of the curiosities of the Peak
country. Many years since Mr. Reinagle painted a picture of this famous
old place, which evoked the following poetical tribute to its

  "Gre weeds o'ertop thy ruin'd wall,
  Grey, venerable Haddon Hall;
    The swallow twitters through thee:
  Who would have thought, when, in their pride,
  Thy battlements the storm defied,
    That Time should thus subdue thee?

  "While with a famed and far renown
  England's third Edward wore the crown,
    Up sprang'st thou in thy glory;
  And surely thine (if thou couldst tell,
  Like the old Delphian Oracle)
    Would be a wondrous story.

  "How many a Vernon thou hast seen,
  Kings of the Peak thy walls within;
    How many a maiden tender;
  How many a warrior stem and steel'd,
  In burganet, and lance, and shield,
    Array'd with martial splendour.

  "Then, as the soft autumnal breeze
  Just curl'd the lake, just stirr'd the trees,
    In the blue cloudless weather,
  How many a gallant hunting train,
  With hawk in hood, and horse in rein,
    Forsook thy courts together!

  "The grandeur of the olden time
  Mounted thy towers with pride sublime,
    Enlivening all who near'd them;
  From Hippocras and Sherris sack
  Palmer or pilgrim turn'd not back
    Before thy cellars cheer'd them.

  "Since thine unbroken early day,
  How many a race hath pass'd away,
    In charnel vault to moulder--
  Yet Nature round thee breathes an air
  Serenely bright, and softly fair,
    To charm the awed beholder.

  "The past is but a gorgeous dream,
  And Time glides by us like a stream,
    While musing on thy story;
  And sorrow prompts a deep alas!
  That, like a pageant thus, should pass
  To wreck all human glory."

It is now time to speak more in detail of the main apartment--the chief
feature of an ancient residence of every class--the Great Hall, which
often gave its name to the whole house. A very able writer has thus
lucidly yet briefly told its history:--"In the early houses, the hall is
almost the whole house; there is nothing besides, except the requisite
offices and a room or two for the lord and the lady. The mass of the
household slept how they might in the hall. Gradually, as civilization
increased, the accommodation in a house became greater, and the relative
importance--sometimes the positive size--of the Hall gradually
diminishes. The family gradually deserted it, and the modern luxury of
the dining-room was introduced. The _with_drawing-room, that into which
they withdrew from the hall, had already appeared. At last, in the
sixteenth century, the Hall, though still a grand feature, became, as
now, a mere entrance, often with rooms over it."

Sometimes, the Great Hall was raised upon an undercroft of stone
vaulting, as we see in the Guildhall, the undercroft of which is the
finest specimen of its class in the metropolis. Gerard's Hall, in
Basing-lane, built by John Gisors, pepperer, Mayor of London in 1245,
and is described by Stow as "a great house of old time, builded upon
arched vaults, and with arched gates of stone, brought from Cane, in

Aubrey, writing in the seventeenth century, thus describes, in his
quaint way, the characteristics of the old manorial or hall houses of
the times of the Plantagenets and Tudors: "The architecture of an old
English gentleman's house (especially in Wiltshire and thereabouts) was
a high strong wall, a gate-house, a Great Hall, and parlours, and within
the little green court, where you come in, stood on one side the
_barne_. _They then thought not the noise of the threshold ill

To come to details. The Great Hall corresponded to the refectory of the
abbey. The principal entrance to the main building, from the front or
outer court, opened into a _thorough lobby_, having on one side several
doors or arches, leading to the buttery,[33] kitchen, and domestic
offices; on the other side, the Hall, parted off by a screen, generally
of wood, elaborately carved, and enriched with shields and a variety of
ornaments, and pierced with several arches, having folding-doors. Above
the screen, and over the lobby, was the minstrels' gallery; on its front
were usually hung armour, antlers, and similar memorials of the family

The Hall itself was a large and lofty room, in the shape of a
parallelogram; the roof, the timbers of which were framed with pendants,
generally richly carved and emblazoned with arms, formed one of the most
striking features. "The top beam of the Hall," in allusion to the
position of his coat-of-arms, was a symbolical manner of drinking the
health of the master of the house. At the upper end of the apartment,
furthest from the entrance, the floor was usually raised a step, and
this part was styled the _daïs_, or high place. On one side of the daïs
was a deep embayed window, reaching nearly down to the floor; the other
windows ranged along one or both sides of the Hall, at some height above
the ground, so as to leave room for wainscoting, or arras, below them.
We see this arrangement to great advantage in the Great Hall at Hampton
Court Palace, where the wall beneath the windows is hung with Flemish
tapestry, in eight compartments, the arabesque borders of which are very
beautiful; the subject is the History of Abraham. The tapestry at the
entrance of the Hall is of much earlier date, being in the school of
Albert Durer: the subject, Justice and Mercy pleading before Kings or
Judges. The withdrawing-room is also hung with tapestry, the subjects
mostly mythological; and the oriel-window is filled with armorial
stained glass.

The Hall windows generally were enriched with stained glass,
representing the armorial bearings of the family, their connexions, and
royal patrons; and between the windows were hung full-length portraits
of the same persons. The windows were not, however, permanently glazed
till the fifteenth century. Before that, it was the custom for the
glazed casements to be carried about from manor to manor along with the
other furniture; every man of rank, whether civil or ecclesiastical, was
in the habit of travelling with all his retinue, from one estate to
another, so as to consume the produce of each estate upon the spot. It
is this custom, or rather necessity, which explains the multitude of
manorial houses possessed by every mediæval magnate, and the constant
migrations from one to the other. Royal writs and documents are
frequently dated from the most insignificant places where the court, on
its progress from one royal manor to another, might happen to be

To return to the Hall. The Royal arms usually occupied a conspicuous
station at either end of the room. The head-table was laid for the lord
and principal guests on the raised place, parallel with the upper end
wall; and other tables were ranged along the sides for inferior visitors
and retainers. Tables, thus placed, were said to stand _banquet-wise_.
In the centre of the Hall was the rere-dosse, or fire-iron, against
which fagots were piled, and burnt upon the stone floor, the smoke
passing through an aperture in the roof immediately overhead, which was
generally formed into an elevated lantern, a conspicuous ornament to the
exterior of the building. In later times, a wide-arched fireplace was
formed in the wall on one side of the room.

The Halls, in fact, of our colleges, at either University, and the Inns
of Court, still remain as in Aubrey's time, accurate examples of the
ancient and baronial and conventual Halls: preserving not merely their
original form and appearance, but the identical arrangement and service
of the table. Even the central fire has been, in some instances, kept
up, being of charcoal, burnt in a large braziere, in lieu of the
rere-dosse. The open fire was so kept up, at Westminster School, so late
as 1850. The Halls of the temple, Gray's Inn, and Staple Inn, have their
lanterns; and even the Hall of Barnard's Inn, the oldest and the
smallest, has its lantern; the newly built Hall of Lincoln's Inn has a
very ornamental one; and the new roof of the Guildhall is to have a
lantern with a lofty spire. The lantern of Westminster Hall is large and
picturesque; it is modern, of cast-iron, but is an exact copy of the
original one, erected near the end of the fourteenth century. As the
existing lanterns are no longer required for the egress of smoke, they
are glazed.

In other respects, probably, little, if anything, has been altered since
the Tudor era; and he who is anxious to know the mode in which our
ancestors dined in the reigns of the Henrys and Edwards, may be
gratified by attending that meal in the Great Halls of Christchurch or
Trinity, and tasking his imagination to convert the principal and
fellows at the upper table, into the stately baron, his family, and
guests; and the gowned commoners at the side-tables, into the liveried
retainers. The service of the kitchen, buttery, and cellar is conducted,
at the present day, precisely according to the ancient custom.[35]

Gradually, the solar or private sitting-room of the matron or mistress
of the house increased in importance. Its most usual position was at one
end of the Hall, on an upper level, raised above an apartment which was
used as a cellar or a store-room.

The Hall is, of course, the part of a house or castle where the art of
architecture proper has the best opportunity of displaying itself. So,
in a monastery, the refectory comes next in grandeur to the church and
chapter-house. Indeed, some of the early Halls were built not unlike
churches, with two rows of pillars. In a wooden construction this is not
uncommon both in halls and barns; but the examples we mean have two
regular aisles with stone pillars and arches. Such was the original
Westminster Hall, till Richard II. threw it into one body under the
present magnificent single roof. The finest existing example is perhaps
that superb one at Oakham Castle, of the best architecture of the end of
the twelfth century. In the next century we have the Hall of the Royal
Palace at Winchester used like that at Oakham, for an assize-court. Of
single-bodied halls of the fourteenth century, nothing can surpass those
of Caerphilly Castle in Glamorganshire, and Mayfield Palace in Sussex.
Mayfield has, and Caerphilly seems to have been designed to have, a very
effective arrangement of stone arches thrown across at intervals to
support the roof, and to produce something of the effect of actual
vaulting. The same is the case at Conway. Most of these examples are
ruined.[36] Mayfield has lately been restored.

The gallery was brought into use with the Elizabethan style of
architecture, and became a prominent feature among the apartments of
houses in that style. The gallery at Hatfield, with a magnificently
gilded ceiling--a blaze of gold--is a fine specimen: it was regilt just
previous to the visit of Queen Victoria to Hatfield in 1846: a state
ball was given in this gallery, and we remember to have been told the
day after the Royal visit, that during the dance there fell from Her
Majesty's hand a rose, which was immediately taken up by a gentleman of
the company; on bended knee he presented it to the Queen, who most
graciously returned the flower, which, we doubt not, is preserved.

The extensive passages in some ancient houses have, no doubt, been
originally similar to the open galleries round our old inns, of which we
have examples, year by year, diminishing in number. These passages were
ultimately inclosed for comfort and convenience. The staircases, in
ancient times, were usually cylindrical, and were carried up in a
separate turret: it was not until the age of Elizabeth that the massive
staircase, with its broad hand-rails, balustrades, and enriched
ornaments, was introduced into the mansion; that of a later period is
familiarly known as a "Queen Anne staircase."

The royal parlour of Eltham is a perfect specimen of the
banqueting-hall, and was the frequent residence of our kings before
Henry VIII.; and here they held their great Christmas feasts. Two
thousand guests in 1483 were entertained here at Christmas, by Edward
IV., the royal builder of the Hall. His badges--the falcon, the
fetterlock, and rose-en-soleil--are sculptured over the chief entrance;
and Edward is represented by Skelton as saying:

  "I made Nottingham a palace royal,
  Windsor, Eltham, and many mo'."

Princesses have been cradled here, Parliaments have met in the Great
Hall, and kings and queens have betaken themselves here to meditate upon
the waning earthly greatness. The gloomy Henry VII. at intervals retired
to Eltham; Queen Mary or Queen Elizabeth would spend a few days in the
almost forsaken palace; and James I. had been known to pass a morning

Eltham is now a regal ruin. "The fair pleasaunce, the echoing courts,
the king's lodging, presence and guard chamber, and the rooms in which
the royal attendants lodged, have all disappeared. The gateway and high
walls of ruddy brick only remain to mark the site of the tilt-yard. The
moat is half dry, and the sluggish stream is still spanned by the bridge
of four arches, which is contemporaneous with the Hall; but 'the gateway
and the fair front towards the moat,' built by Henry VII., have been
replaced by two modern houses; and another, with three barge-board
gables, and corbelled attics, to the east end of the Hall, retains the
designation of the Buttery. There is a view of the Hall by Buck, dated
1735, which represents a great portion of the palace, with its quaint
water-towers and moated walls still standing; but, although Parliament
in 1827 spent £700 upon the repairs, the state of the Hall is sad enough
now: full of litter of every sort, its windows unglazed or bricked up;
with damp fastenings in the naked walls, and rough rafters stretching
across from side to side, and reaching above the corbels. It is now
used as a barn. It was at once an audience-chamber and refectory, 100
feet in length, 55 in height, and 36 feet broad. But the windows now
admit broad streams of cheerful sunshine, which light up the thick
trails of ivy that flow over the empty panes; its deep bay-window, now
stripped of glazing, but enriched with groining and tracery which
flanked the daïs, betoken the progress which elegance and security had
made at the period of their erection: the lofty walls continue to
support a high pitched roof of oak, in tolerable preservation, with
hammer-beams, carved pendants, and braces supported on corbels of hewn
stone; and although the royal table, the hearth, and louvre have
disappeared, there are still remains of the minstrels' gallery, and the
doors in the oak screen below it, which lead to the capacious kitchen,
the butteries, and cellars, to tell each their several tale of former

Hitherto, we have mostly spoken of palaces and mansions. It is, however,
very difficult to discover any fragments of houses inhabited by the
gentry, before the reign, at soonest, of Edward III., or even to trace
them by engravings in the older topographical works; not only from the
dilapidations of time, but because very few considerable mansions had
been erected by that class. It is an error to suppose that the English
gentry were lodged in stately, or even in well-sized houses. They
usually consisted of an entrance-passage, running through the house,
with a hall on one side, a parlour beyond, and one or two chambers
above; and on the opposite side, a kitchen, pantry, and other offices.
Such was the ordinary manor-house of the fifteenth and sixteenth
centuries. "In the remains of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries,
Somersetshire is especially rich. Almost every village has a house, a
parsonage, or some building or other of this class, to say nothing of
extensive monastic remains, as at Glastonbury, Woodspring, Muchelney,
and Old Cleve. Among the Somersetshire houses, the original portions of
Clevedon Court may claim the first place. Then comes a long list, of
which, perhaps, the manor-house and 'fish-house' of Meare, near
Glastonbury, are the most curious and beautiful."[38]

Larger houses were erected by men of great estates during the reigns of
Henry VI. and Edward IV.; but very few can be traced higher; and Mr.
Hallam, in his _History of the Middle Ages_, conceives it to be
difficult to name a house in England, still inhabited by a gentleman,
and not of the castle description, the principal apartments of which are
older than the reign of Henry VII. There may be a few solitary specimens
of earlier date. The Rev. Mr. Lysons says:--"The most remarkable
fragment of early building which I have anywhere found mentioned, is at
a house in Berkshire, called Appleton, where there is a sort of
prodigy--an entrance-passage with circular arches in the Saxon (?
Norman) style, which must, probably, be as old as the reign of Henry II.
No other private house in England, as I conceive, can boast of such a
monument of antiquity."

Wood and stone were the earliest materials used in house-building; but
as great part of England affords no stone fit for building, her
oak-forests were thinned, and less durable dwellings were erected with
inferior timber. Stone houses are, however, mentioned as belonging to
the citizens of London, even in the latter half of the twelfth century.
Flints bound together with strong cement were employed in building
manor-houses. Hewn stone was employed for castles, and the larger
mansions: much stone was, in early times, brought from Normandy.
Chestnut was much employed. Evelyn, in his _Sylva_, states that "The
chestnut is, next the oak, one of the most sought after by the carpenter
and joiner. It hath formerly built a good part of our ancient houses in
the City of London, as does yet appear. I had once a very large barn
near the City, framed entirely of this timber; and certainly the trees
grew not far off, probably in some woods near the town; for in that
description of London, written by Fitz-Stephen, in the reign of Henry
II. he speaks of a very noble and large forest which grew on the boreal
[north] part of it."[39]

Ducarel, in his _Anglo-Norman Antiquities_, says: "Rudhall, near Ross,
in Herefordshire, is built with chestnut, which probably grew on the
estate, although no tree of the kind is now to be found growing wild in
that part of the country. The old houses in the city of Gloucester are
constructed of chestnut, derived assuredly from the chestnut-trees in
the forest of Dean. In some of the oldest houses of Faversham much
genuine chestnut as well as oak is employed. In the nunnery of
Davington, near Faversham (now entire), the timber consists of oak,
intermingled with chestnut."

In the fourteenth century, ornamental carpentry had reached a high
degree of excellence. There are many examples of ancient timber houses
yet remaining in this country: they have massive beams and timbers, and
are generally of unnecessary strength. The intermixture of wood, brick,
and stone, or wood and plaster, in the exterior of houses, was, for a
considerable period, the common style of building in the fifteenth and
sixteenth centuries. Weatherboard--that is, planks overlapping each
other--was formerly much used for house-fronts, and possessed great
durability. Overhanging roofs, walls of plaster with lofty gables,
bay-windows, and porches of timber, with each story projecting beyond
the other, are so many characteristics of a mixed style, when the rude
dangers of the timber houses became progressively intermingled with the
massive architecture of a subsequent period; and the external use of
timber in the walls continued to prevail for a very long time.
Beaconsfield Rectory, of the sixteenth century, has the basement story
completely built of glazed bricks in chequered patterns; the
superincumbent story has elevated roofs and gables, and is constructed
with massive timbers placed near together, and plastered between. The
staircase, which is semi-cylindrical and composed of timber, is added to
the north side of the house. The entire structure forms three sides of a
quadrangle, with a lofty wall and entrance on the fourth; its interior
is rude and massive.

In an account of a topographical excursion in 1634, the hall of
Kenilworth is described with a roof "all of Irish wood, neatly and
handsomely framed;" in it are five chimneys, "answerable to so great a
room:" then we read of the Guard, Presence, and Privy chambers, fretted
above richly with coats of arms, and all adorned with fair and rich
chimney-pieces of alabaster, black marble, and joiners' work in
curiously carved wood; all the fair and rich rooms and lodgings in the
spacious tower not long since built, and repaired at great cost by
Leicester. "The priuate, plaine, retiring-chamber wherein or renowned
Queene of euer famous memory, alwayes made choice to repose her Selfe.
Also the famous, strong old tower, called Julius Cæsar's, on top whereof
was view'd the pleasant, large Poole continually sporting and playing on
the Castle: the Parke, and the fforest contiguous thereto." Kenilworth
has been already described at pp. 101-103.

Many a middle-aged reader can recollect the disappearance of rows of
gabled houses, with timber and plaster fronts, from the metropolis:
great part of the High-street of Southwark, built in this manner, was
taken down between 1810 and 1831; at the latter period, some houses with
ornamental plaster fronts disappeared. In Chancery-lane, a very old
thoroughfare, several houses of this class have been taken down within
memory; and many an old house-front, with ornamental carving, is missed
from the Strand; a few linger in Holywell-street and Wych-street. And,
in 1865, was taken down one side of Great Winchester-street, stated to
be one of the oldest specimens of domestic architecture remaining in the
metropolis. The casement hung on hinges was the earliest form of window,
properly so called. Sash-windows were not introduced till the early part
of the reign of Charles I., and were not general till the latter part of
the time of Queen Anne.

In the construction of farm-houses and cottages there have been,
probably, fewer changes than in large mansions. Cottages in England seem
to have generally consisted of a single room, without division of
stories. The Spaniards who came to England in Queen Mary's time,
wondered when they saw the large diet used by the inmates of the most
homely-looking cottages. "The English, they said, make their houses of
sticks and dirt, but they fare as well as the king; whereby it appeareth
(says Harrison), that they like better of our goode fare in such coarse
cabins, than of their own thin diet in their princelike habitations and

In various counties we can scarcely fail to be struck with the
difference in the forms of the cottages, as in the height of the
building, the pitch of the roof, as well as the materials. Only let the
traveller on the Brighton railway look out after he has passed Redhill,
and he may see evidence of the truth of the above remark. Cobbett has
left us this charming picture of the Sussex cottages in one of his
_Rural Rides_:--

      "I never had," he writes, "that I recollect, a more pleasant
      journey, or ride, than this into Sussex. The weather was pleasant,
      the elder-trees in full bloom, and they make a fine show; the
      woods just in their greatest beauty; the grass-fields generally
      uncut; and the little gardens of the labourers full of flowers;
      the roses and honeysuckles perfuming the air at every cottage
      door. Throughout all England, these cottages and gardens are the
      most interesting objects that the country presents, and they are
      particularly so in Kent and Sussex. This part of these counties
      has the great blessing of numerous woods; these furnish fuel,
      nice, sweet fuel, for the heating of ovens and all other purposes:
      they afford materials for the making of pretty pigsties, hurdles,
      and dead fences, of various sorts; they afford materials for
      making little cow-sheds; for the sticking of peas and beans in the
      gardens; and for giving to everything a neat and substantial
      appearance. These gardens, and the look of the cottages, the
      little flower-gardens, which you everywhere see, and the beautiful
      hedges of thorn and of privet,--these are the objects to delight
      the eyes, to gladden the heart, and to fill it with gratitude to
      God, and love for the people; and as far as my observation has
      gone, they are objects to be seen in no other country in the
      world. Those who see nothing but the nasty, slovenly places in
      which labourers live round London, know nothing of England. The
      fruit-trees are all kept in the nicest order; every bit of paling
      or wall is made use of, for the training of some sort or other. At
      Lamberhurst, which is one of the most beautiful villages that ever
      man set his eyes on, I saw what I never saw before, namely, _a
      gooseberry-tree trained against a house_. The house was one of
      those ancient buildings, consisting of a frame of oak-wood, the
      interval filled up with brick, plastered over. The tree had been
      planted at the foot of one of the perpendicular pieces of wood;
      from the stem which mounted up this piece of wood were taken side
      limbs, to run along the horizontal pieces. There were two windows,
      round the frame of each of which the limbs had been trained. The
      height of the highest shoot was about ten feet from the ground,
      and the horizontal shoots from each side were from eight to ten
      feet in length. The tree had been judiciously pruned, and all the
      limbs were full of very large gooseberries, considering the age of
      the fruit. This is only one instance out of thousands that I saw
      of extraordinary pains taken with the gardens."

Those who love the picturesque will excuse our halting to sketch an
episode from the history of the royal forest of Ashdown, in Sussex, once
possessed by John of Gaunt, and hence called "Lancaster great Park."
Upon the borders of the forest lies the manor of Brambertie of Domesday,
and Brambletye of Horace Smith; the home of the Comptons, and in the
tale of fiction, as in fact, dismantled by Parliament troopers, and
within two centuries a ruin. Richard Lewknor is the first person
described as of Brambletye. He most probably built in one of the forest
glens the moated mansion known as "Old Brambletye House," which, with
its gables and clustered chimneys, and its moat and drawbridge, long
remained an interesting specimen of the fortified manor-house of the
reign of Henry VII. We remember the old place, some sixty years since,
but it has long been taken down. Towards the middle of the seventeenth
century, Brambletye came into the possession of the Comptons, an ancient
Roman Catholic family; and here Sir Henry Compton built himself, from
an Italian design, another Brambletye House, of the white stone of the
country. Over the principal entrance to the mansion were sculptured the
coat-armour of Compton, with the arms of Spencer, in a shield, on the
dexter side: and on the upper story was cut in stone, C. H. M. 1631.
This fixes the period when the house was built; and when Sir Henry
Compton, who had before inhabited the old moated house in the
neighbourhood, abandoned it to take up his residence in this once
elegant and substantial baronial mansion.

From the court-rolls of the manor, it does not appear who succeeded the
Comptons in the property; but Sir James Rickards, in his patent of
baronetcy, 1683-4, is described as of Brambletye House. The story goes,
that "a proprietor of the mansion being suspected of treasonable
purposes, officers of justice were dispatched to search the premises,
when a considerable quantity of arms and military stores was discovered
and removed; he was out hunting at the time, but receiving intimation of
the circumstance, deemed it most prudent to abscond." The historical
version is, that in the Civil War, Sir John Compton, a true Royalist,
took an active part against the Parliament armies: although never
capable of any regular defence, yet Brambletye, being partially
fortified, refused the summons of the Parliamentary Colonel Okey, by
whom it was invested and speedily taken. The mansion was subsequently
deserted. From a sketch taken in 1780, the principal front was nearly
entire: it consisted of three square towers, the entrance doorway being
in the central tower; the two wings had handsome bay-windows; the three
towers were surmounted with cupolas and weather-vanes; but one had half
its cupola shattered away, and was internally blackened, as if with
gunpowder. In front of the house were an inclosed courtyard and two
entrance-gates, one flanked by two massive, square towers, with cupolas.
Horace Smith having named his romance _Brambletye House_, the opening
scenes being laid there, has sent hundreds of tourists to pic-nic among
the ruins; but the spoilers were constantly at work. Some fifteen years
ago, "all that remained of Brambletye House was one of the towers
clothed with stately ivy, and little more than one story of each of the
other towers; the intervening portions, with their bay-windows, had
disappeared. Nature had, however, lent a helping hand: by the shrubby
trees and the ivy, the ruins had gained that picturesqueness which so
often lends a graceful charm to scenes of decaying art."[40]


[32] In the noble park of Cowdray, the home of the Montagues, Queen
Elizabeth, in 1591, killed three or four deer with her cross-bow, while
on a visit to Lord Montague. Three deaths in one family by drowning, and
the almost total destruction of a fine mansion by fire, within the
memory of living man, are enough to make one tread the beautiful grounds
of Cowdray with feelings of awe, and to invest it with a superstitious
melancholy. Three hundred years ago, however, there was no more festive
house in England, when "three oxen and 120 geese" figured in its bill of
fare for breakfast. The then proprietor was a strict disciplinarian, and
the "Orders and Rules of Sir Anthony Browne" curiously illustrate the
domestic economy of a great man's family in the sixteenth century,
especially as regards its important departments of the "ewerye" and the
"buttyre," and those pet officers, "my server" and "my
carver."--_Quarterly Review_, 1861.

[33] "The cat's behind the _buttery_-shelf."--_Old Ditty._

[34] _Saturday Review_, 1861.

[35] There is an oft-quoted passage in the Aubrey MSS. which may be
appositely represented here as a life-like picture of the economy of the
Hall: "The lords of manouers did eate in their great gothicque halls, at
the high tables or oreile, the folk at the side-tables. The meat was
served up by watchwords. Jacks are but an invention of the other days;
the poor boys did turn the spitts, and licked the dripping-pan, and grew
to be huge lusty knaves. The body of the servants were in the Great
Hall, as now in the guard-chamber, privy-chamber, &c. The hearth was
commonly in the midst, as at colleges, whence the saying, 'round about
our coal-fire.' Here, in the Halls were the mummings, cob-loaf stealing,
and great number of old Christmas playes performed. In great houses were
lords of misrule during the twelve dayes after Christmas. The halls of
justices were dreadful to behold. The screens were garnished with
corslets and helmets gaping with open mouth, with coates of mail,
lances, pikes, halberts, brown-bills, battle-axes, bucklers, and the
modern callivers, petronells, and (in King Charles's time) muskets and

[36] _Saturday Review_, 1859.

[37] Abridged from a paper in _Once a Week_, 1860.

[38] _Saturday Review_, 1859.

[39] In times anterior to this date, the greater part of the City was
built of wood. The houses being roofed with straw, reeds, &c. frequent
fires took place, owing to this mode of building: thus, in the first
year of the reign of Stephen, a conflagration spread from London Bridge
to the church of St. Clement Danes, in the Strand. Thenceforth, the
houses were built of stone, covered and protected by thick tiles against
the fury of fire, whenever it arose. The change from wood to stone dates
from this period.

[40] _Something for Everybody, and a Garland for the Year._ By the
Author of the present volume. Pp. 170-176, Second Edition.


Healthful Warmth and Ventilation are to this day problems to be worked
out; and few practical subjects have so extensively enlisted ingenious
minds in their service. Yet, much remains to be done.

Dr. Arnott, the worthy successor of Count Rumford[41] in _heat
philosophy_, when seeking to shame us out of using ill-contrived
fireplaces and scientific bunglings, tells us that the savages of North
America place fire in the middle of the floor of their huts, and sit
around in the smoke, for which there is escape only in the one opening
in the hut, which serves as chimney, window, and door. Some of the
peasantry in remote parts of Ireland and Scotland still place their
fires in the middle of their floors, and, for the escape of the smoke,
leave only a small opening in the roof, often not directly over the
fire. In Italy and Spain, almost the only fires seen in sitting-rooms
are large dishes of live charcoal, or braziers, placed in the middle,
with the inmates sitting around, and having to breathe the noxious
carbonic-acid gas which ascends from the fire, and mixes with the air in
the room; there being no chimney, the ventilation of the room is
imperfectly accomplished by the windows and doors. The difference
between the burned air from a charcoal fire, and smoke from a fire of
coal or wood, is that in the latter there are added to the chief
ingredient, carbonic acid, which is little perceived, others which
disagreeably affect the eyes and nose, and so force attention.

With these facts before us, it is not difficult to imagine how our
ancestors tolerated the nuisance of wood smoke filling their rooms till
it found its way through the roof lantern, as was generally the case
until the general introduction of chimneys late in the reign of
Elizabeth. It should, however, be mentioned that the temperature of
their apartments was kept considerably below that of our sitting-rooms
in the present day. Before the fourteenth century, except for culinary
and smithery purposes, robust Englishmen appear to have cared little
about heating their dwellings, and to have dispensed with it altogether
during the warmer months of the year. Even so late as the reign of Henry
VIII. it seems that no fire was allowed in the University of Oxford:
after supping at eight o'clock, the students went to their books till
nine in winter, and then took a run for half an hour to warm themselves
previously to going to bed. Therefore, all ideas of the firesides of our
forefathers should be confined to four centuries.

The usage of making the fire in the middle of the hall, a lover of olden
architecture says, "was not without its advantages: not only was a
greater amount of heat obtained, but the warmth became more generally
diffused, which, when we consider the size of the hall, was a matter of
some importance. The huge logs were piled upon the andirons or thrown
upon the hearth, and the use of wood and charcoal had few of those
inconveniences which would have resulted from coal;" an opinion
strangely at variance with that of the heat philosopher already quoted.

We are now approaching the age of Chimneys. A practical writer has thus
pictured the domestic contrivance, _ad interim_: "The hearth recess was
generally wide, high, deep, and had a large flue. The hearth, usually
raised a few inches above the floor, had sometimes a halpas or daïs made
before it, as in the King's and Queen's chambers in the Tower. Before
the hearth recess, or on the halpas, when there was one, a piece of
green cloth or tapestry was spread, as a substitute for the rushes that
covered the lower part of the floor. On this were placed a very
high-backed chair or two, and foot-stools, that sometimes had cushions;
and above all high-backed forms, and screens, both most admirable
inventions for neutralizing draughts of cold air in these dank and
chilling apartments. Andirons, fire-forks, fire-pans, and tongs were the
implements to supply and arrange the fuel. Hearth recesses with flues
were common in the principal chambers and houses of persons of
condition; and were superseding what Aubrey calls flues, like loover
holes, in the habitations of all classes. The adage that 'one good fire
heats the whole house,' was found true only in the humbler dwellings;
for in palace and mansion, though great fires blazed in the
presence-chamber, or hall, or parlour, the domestics were literally
famishing with cold. This discomfort did not, however, proceed from
selfish or stingy housekeeping, but rather from an affectation of
hardihood, particularly among the lower classes, when effeminacy was
reckoned a reproach. Besides, few could know what comfort really was;
but those who did, valued it highly. Sanders relates that Henry VIII.
gave the revenues of a convent, which he had confiscated, to a person
who placed a chair for him commodiously before the fire and out of all

On the introduction of chimneys, in the year 1200, only one chimney was
allowed in a manor-house, and one in the great hall of a castle or
lord's house: other houses had only the rere-dosse, a sort of raised
hearth, where the inmates cooked their food. Harrison, in a passage
prefixed to _Holinshed's Chronicle_, writes in the reign of Elizabeth:
"There are old men dwelling in the village where I remayne, who have
noted three things to be marvellously altered in England, within their
sound remembrance. One is the multitude of chimneys lately erected;
whereas, in their younger days, there was not about two or three, if so
many, in most uplandish towns of the realm (the religious houses and
manor places of the lords always excepted, and peradventure some great
personage's); but each made his fire against a reré-dosse in the hall,
where he dined and dressed his meat."

Numerous instances, however, remain of fireplaces and chimneys of the
fourteenth century, even in the hall, though they were more usual in the
smaller apartments. In the hall at Meare, in Somersetshire, the
fireplace had a hood of stone, perfect, finely corbelled out; and by the
side of the fireplace is a bracket for a light, ornamented with foliage.

It is curious to find chimneys constructed of so combustible a material
as wood. In the _Liber Albus_ of the City of London, 1419, it is ordered
by Wardmote "that no chimney be henceforth made, except of stone, tiles,
or plaster, and _not of timber_, under pain of being pulled down."

In the metropolis, we possess a hall of the fifteenth century, which has
a fireplace, the existence of which, in a hall of this age, is singular,
if not unique. In the north wall of the celebrated hall of Crosby Place,
Bishopsgate Street, is a fireplace with a low pointed arch. The builder
must have possessed a more refined taste than his contemporaries, and
feeling the inconvenience attending a fire of the old description (in
the middle of the hall) adopted the plan of confining it to the recessed
fireplace and the chimney.[42] Here we may mention the "smoke-loft,"
which seems to mean the wide space in the old-fashioned chimney.

It is curious to find that a tax was once paid upon a fire in England.
Such was "the smoke farthings" levied by the clergy upon every person
who kept a fire. The "hearth money" was a similar tax, but was paid to
the king: it was first levied in 1653, and its last collection was in

In the Tapestry room of St. James's Palace is a stone Tudor arched
fireplace, sculptured with H. A. (Henry and Anne), united by a true
lover's knot, surmounted by the regal crown and the lily of France, the
portcullis of Westminster, and the rose of Lancaster.

By a record of 1511, it appears that the hall-fire was discontinued on
Easter Day, then called God's Sunday. In the _Festival_, published in
the above year, we read: "This day is called, in many places, _Goddes
Sundaye_: ye know well that it is the maner at this daye to do the fire
out of the hall, and the black wynter brondes, and all thynges that is
foule with fume and smoke, shall be done awaye, and where the fyre was
shall be gayly arayed with fayre floures, and strewed with grene rysshes
all aboute." The andirons being cleared away, the space whereon the fire
was made, on the hearth, was strewed with green rushes; whence the
custom, in our time, of decorating, in the country, stove-grates with
evergreens, and flowers, and paper ornaments, when they are not used for
fires. Rushes were, at this time, much in use. At Canterbury, one of the
oldest cities in England, at the end of Mercery-lane, is pointed out the
site of the ancient _rush-market_, in which stood a great cross, painted
and gilt. We still employ rushes made into matting, for the floors of

Coal is first mentioned in 1245; but the smoke was supposed to corrupt
the air so much, that Edward I. forbade the use of that kind of fuel by
proclamation; and among the records in the Tower, Mr. Astle found a
document, importing that in the time of Edward I. a man had been tried,
convicted, and executed, for the crime of burning sea-coal in London.

Coal first came into general use in the north of England.[43] Wood
billets, however, long remained the principal fuel of the south; and the
contrivance for burning such fuel with economy was the first deviation
in metal from the rude simplicity of the rere-dosse towards the close
fire-grate. This consisted of useful iron trestles, called hand-irons,
or andirons, formerly common in England, and yet occasionally to be met
with in old mansions and farm-houses, under the appellation of _dogs_.
Originally, these articles were not only found in the houses of persons
of good condition, but in the bedchamber of the king himself. Strutt,
writing in 1775, says: "These awnd-irons are used at this day, and are
called cob-irons: they stand on the hearth, where they burn wood, to lay
it upon; their fronts are usually carved, with a round knob at the top;
some of them are kept polished and bright; anciently many of them were
embellished with a variety of ornaments." In another place, giving an
inventory of the bedchamber of Henry VIII. in the palace of Hampton
Court, including awnd-irons, with fire-fork, tongs, and fire-pan, Strutt
adds, "of the awnd-irons, or as they are called by the moderns,
cob-irons, myself have seen a pair which in former times belonged to
some noble family. They were of copper, highly gilt, with beautiful
flowers, enamelled with various colours disposed with great art and
elegance." At Hever Castle in Kent,--the family seat of the Boleyns, as
well as the property of Anne of Cleves, and which Henry VIII. with
matchless cupidity claimed in right of a wife from whom, previously to
her being beheaded, he had been divorced,--is a pair of elegant
andirons, bearing the royal initials H. A. and surmounted with a royal
crown. And, in an inventory of Henry's furniture in the Tower of London,
we find mentioned "two round pairs of irons, upon which to make fire in,
and for conveying fire from one apartment to another."

Shakspeare thus minutely describes a pair of andirons belonging to a
lady's chamber:--

  "Two winking Cupids
    Of silver, each on one foot standing,
  Depending on their brands nicely."--_Cymbeline._

A middle sort of irons, called creepers, was smaller, and usually placed
within the dogs, to keep the ends of the wood and brands from the
hearth, that the fire might burn more freely. A pair of these irons is
thus described in one of the early volumes of the _Gentleman's
Magazine_: "There being in a large house a variety of rooms of various
sizes, the sizes and forms of the andirons may reasonably have been
supposed to have been various too. In the kitchen, where large fires are
made, and large pieces of wood are laid on, the andirons, in
consequence, are proportionately large and strong, and usually plain, or
with very little ornament. In the great hall, where the tenants and
neighbours made entertainment, and at Christmas cheerfully regaled with
good plum-porridge, mince-pies, and stout October, the andirons were
commonly larger and stronger, able to sustain the weight of the roaring
Christmas fire; but these were more ornamented, and, like knights with
their esquires, attended by a pair of younger brothers far superior to,
and therefore, not to be degraded by, the humble style of creepers;
indeed, they were often seen to carry their heads at least half as high
as their proud elders. A pair of such I have in my hall: they are of
cast-iron, at least two and a half feet high, with round faces, and much
ornamented at the bottom."

At Cotehole House, in Cornwall, may be seen a pair of richly ornamented
brass dogs, upwards of four feet high; and a few years since we remember
to have seen, in Windsor Castle, a pair of andirons faced with richly
wrought silver. Yet these articles are eclipsed by some costly items in
a list of wedding presents in the reign of James I. wherein is described
"an invention," namely, "fire-shovel, tongs, and irons, creepers, and
all furniture of a chimney, of silver, and a cradle of silver to burn
sea-coal." This expensiveness of material, in all probability, was not
matched by the manufacture, a disproportion which reminds us of the
_silver furniture_ in some districts of South America, where the earth
yields tons of that metal. Thus the proprietor of a productive silver
mine in Peru is known to have ejected from his house all articles of
glass or crockery ware, and replaced them by others made of silver.
Here, likewise, might be seen pier-tables, picture-frames, mirrors, pots
and pans, and even a watering-trough for mules--all of solid silver!

To return to the invention of grates. As the consumption of coal
increased, the transition from andirons to fire-grates composed of
connected bars, was obvious and easy. The andirons formed the
end-standards, which supported the grate itself, a sort of raised
cradle. Besides these supports, the back-plate, cast from a model of
carved-work (often with the arms of the family), was added; and
generally under the lowest bar was a filigree ornament of bright metal,
which, under the designation of a fret, still retains its place in
modern stoves. Movable fireplaces of the above description may be met
with about two hundred years old; for at this period, as the quotation
of the time of James I. proves, implements for the fireplace were in
use. A magnificent fireplace of the above description has been
manufactured for St. George's Hall, in Windsor Castle, so as to
harmonize with the architectural character of that noble apartment.

Convenience soon suggested the fixing of fireplaces, which led to their
being made with side-piers, or hobs, so as to fill the whole space
within the chimney-jambs; till the snug cosy chimney-corner is only to
be met with in farm-houses, where _dogs_ are used to this day.

It would be tedious to follow the improvements in fireplaces from the
first introduction of stoves, about the year 1780, to the present time:
from straight unornamental bars and sides, to elegant curves, pedestal
hobs, and fronts embellished with designs of great classic beauty.
Indeed, in no branch of manufacture are the advantages of our enlarged
acquaintance with the fine arts more evident than in the taste of
ornaments displayed in the stove-grates of the present day. The tasteful
display at the Great Exhibition of 1851 will doubtless be remembered by
the reader. "Grates," says the Supplementary Report of the Juries on
Design, "rank among the principal works in hardware to which ornamental
design is applied, at least on the English side; and there by far the
best specimens, both as to design and workmanship, are to be found: this
was to be expected from the general necessity for warmth in our cold and
variable climate; an Englishman's love for his fireside having passed
into a proverb."

By fire-irons are understood a shovel, a poker, and pair of tongs. These
implements were not all found on the ancient hearth; nor were they
necessary when wood alone was burnt. In the time of Henry VIII. the only
accompaniment of the andirons was the fire-fork with two prongs, a
specimen of which is preserved in Windsor Castle; still, in the
apartments for the upper classes, the irons for trimming the fire were
more complete. The use of coal and of close fireplaces led to the
adoption of the poker; and about the same period were introduced
fenders, the first of which were bent pieces of sheet-iron placed before
the fire, to prevent the brands or cinders from rolling off the
hearth-stone upon the wooden floors; but fenders have been improved with
stoves, till the display of our fireplace is the chief ornamental
feature of our rooms.

With these changes, however, the chimney-corner has disappeared, and is
but remembered in poetry, or the pages of romance.

A great deal has been written of late years in disparagement of the open
coal fire and the chimney, in comparison with the stove and flue; but
Professor Faraday has shown the chimney to possess very important
functions in sanitary economy. Thus, a parlour fire will consume in
twelve hours forty pounds of coal, the combustion rendering 42,000
gallons of air unfit to support life. Not only is that large amount of
deleterious product carried away, and rendered innoxious by the chimney,
but five times that quantity of air is also carried up by the draught,
and ventilation is thus effectually maintained.

Since the ascent of smoke up a chimney depends on the comparative
lightness of the column of air within to that of an equal column
without, the longer the chimney the stronger will be the draught, if the
fire be sufficiently great to heat the air; but if the chimney be so
long that the air is cooled as it approaches the top, the draught is

It must not be supposed that the modes we have described were the only
means of heating houses with which our ancestors were familiar. The
Romans in England evidently employed flue-tiles for the artificial
heating of houses or baths. In 1849, a course of flue-tiles was found
upon a farm near Reigate, in Surrey; they were shown to have been taken
from some Roman site in the neighbourhood, and had been used on the farm
to form a drain; the apertures for heated air being covered by pieces of
Roman wall-tile, or stone, to prevent the soil falling into the flues.
One of these flue-tiles is ornamented with patterns, not scored, but
impressed by the repetition of stamps, to produce an elaborate design.
Several varieties of flue-tiles have been found: one from a Roman bath
in Thames Street; and a remarkable double flue-tile, found in the City
of London, and preserved in Mr. Roach Smith's collection in the British
Museum. These tiles were arranged one upon the other, and carried up the
inner sides of the walls of the rooms, to which artificial heat was to
be given from the hypocaust, or subterranean stove, by which means it
was easy to regulate the temperature. Pliny describes a bedchamber in
his villa warmed by the hypocaust and the tiles, with narrow openings.
Sometimes the floor and sides were entirely coated with these tiles.

The Curfew, or _Couvre-feu_, should be mentioned as an appurtenance to
the fireplaces in the Anglo-Norman times. The _couvre-feu_ formerly in
the collection of the Rev. Mr. Gostling, and so often engraved, passed
into the possession of Horace Walpole, and was sold at Strawberry Hill,
in 1842, to Mr. William Knight. It is of copper, riveted together, and
in general form resembles the "Dutch-oven" of the present day. In the
same lot was a warming-pan of the time of Charles II. In February 1842,
Mr. Syer Cuming purchased of a curiosity-dealer in Chancery-lane a
_couvre-feu_ closely resembling Mr. Gostling's; and Mr. Cuming
considers both specimens to be of the same age--of the close of the
fifteenth or early part of the sixteenth century; whereas Mr. Gostling's
specimen was stated to be of the Norman period. A third example of the
_couvre-feu_ exists in the Canterbury Museum; and early in 1866, a
_couvre-feu_--reputed date, 1068--was sold by Messrs. Foster, in Pall

The _Couvre-feu_ is stated to have been used for extinguishing a fire,
by raking the wood and embers to the back of the hearth, and then
placing the open part of the _couvre-feu_ close against the back of the
chimney. The notion that all fires should be covered up at a certain
hour, was a badge of servitude imposed by William the Conqueror, is a
popular error; since there is evidence of the same custom prevailing in
France, Spain, Italy, Scotland, and many other countries of Europe, at
this period: it was intended as a precaution against fires, which were
very frequent and destructive, when so many houses were built of wood.
Besides, the curfew was used in England in the time of Alfred, who
ordained that all the inhabitants of Oxford should, at the ringing of
the curfew-bell at Carfax, cover up their fires and go to bed. It is,
therefore, concluded that the Conqueror revived or continued the custom
which he had previously established in Normandy: in fact, it was, in
both countries, a beneficial law of police.[44]


[41] Count Rumford was one of the founders of the Royal Institution, the
workshop of the Royal Society. In the basement of the house of the
Institution in Albemarle Street, was fitted up an experimental kitchen,
with "Rumford stoves," roasters, and boilers. One of his earliest stoves
is in the Museum of the Royal Society, at Burlington House. Count
Rumford lived some time at 45, Brompton Row, where the double windows in
the house-front long denoted the scientific aims of the ingenious

[42] See Hall-fires, described at p. 122.

[43] It was not till the reign of William III. that coal became our
staple fuel.

[44] See _Popular Errors Explained_. New edit. p. 42. 1858. The old
custom of ringing the curfew-bell is retained in several villages and
towns. (See Mr. Syer Cuming's paper in the _Journal of the British
Archæological Association_, vol. iv. p. 153. Also, _Notes and Queries_,
vols. ii. iii. iv. vi. vii. viii.) In proof that the custom cannot
justly be considered an evidence of an unworthy state of subjection, is
the fact that the obligation to extinguish fires and lights at a certain
hour was imposed upon his subjects by David I. King of Scotland, in his
_Leges Burgarum_; and in this case no one ever imagined that it conveyed
any sign of infamy or servitude. Curfew-ringing is common in the south
of Scotland, at Kelso, and other towns in Roxburghshire, which appears
to prove that it cannot have originated with the Norman Conqueror.


One of the most interesting records of the domestic life of our ancestors
that we remember to have read, is a series of "Notices of the Last Days
of Isabella, Queen of Edward II. drawn from an Account of the Expenses
of her Household," and communicated to the Society of Antiquaries, by
Mr. E. A. Bond, of the British Museum. Nothing can exceed the minuteness
of this memorial of the domestic manners of the middle of the fourteenth
century--_the private life of five hundred years since_. No court
circular ever chronicled the movements of royalty more circumstantially
than does this household account; nor can any roll among our records
detail more closely the personal expenses of the sovereign than do the
notices before us.

It will be recollected by the attentive reader of our history, that,
after the deposition and murder of King Edward II., we hear little of
the history of the chief mover of these fearful events.[45] The
ambitious Mortimer expiates his crimes on the scaffold. Isabella, the
instigator of sedition against her king, the betrayer of her husband,
survives her accomplice; but, from the moment that her career of guilt
is arrested, she is no more spoken of. Having mentioned the execution of
Mortimer, Froissart tells us that the King soon after, by the advice of
his council, ordered his mother to be confined in a goodly castle, and
gave her plenty of ladies to wait and attend on her, as well as knights
and esquires of honour. He made her a handsome allowance to keep and
maintain the state she had been used to; but forbade that she should
ever go out, or drive herself abroad, except at certain times, when any
shows were exhibited in the court of the castle. The Queen thus passed
her time there meekly, and the King, her son, visited her twice or
thrice a year. Castle Rising was the place of her confinement. This
castle, which in part gives name to the town, is believed to have been
originally built by Alfred the Great: at any rate, William de Albini, to
whose ancestors the Conqueror gave several lordships in the county,
built a castle here before 1176; and this edifice appears to inclose a
fragment of a more ancient building. There are, to this day,
considerable remains: the keep is still standing, though much
dilapidated; the walls are three yards thick; and the division and
arrangement of the apartments are very obvious. It stands in a ballium
or court, surrounded by a moat and an embankment. The general style of
the building is Norman, and bears a resemblance to that of Norwich
Castle. Here the Queen took up her abode in 1330; after the first two
years the strictness of her seclusion was relaxed. She died at Hertford,
August 22, 1358, and was buried in the church of the Grey Friars, within
Newgate, now the site of Christ's Hospital.

The Account of the Queen's Expenses is one of the Cottonian MSS. in the
British Museum, and embraces, in distinct divisions, the Queen's general
daily expenses; sums given in alms; miscellaneous necessary expenses;
disbursements for dress; purchases of plate and jewellery; gifts;
payments to messengers; and imprests for various services. In the margin
of the general daily expenses are entered the names of the visitors
during the day, together with the movements of the household from place
to place. From these notices, in addition to the light they throw upon
the domestic life of the period, we gain some insight into the degree of
personal freedom enjoyed by the Queen and her connexions; the
consideration she obtained at the Court of the great King Edward III.
her son; and even into her personal disposition and occupations. These
particulars relate to her last days.

It appears that at the beginning of October 1357, the Queen was residing
at her castle of Hertford, having not very long before been at Rising.
The first visitor mentioned, and who sups with her, was Joan, her niece,
who visited the Queen constantly, and nursed her in her last illness.
Hertford Castle was built by Edward the Elder, about 905 or 909. In the
civil war of the reign of John, this fortress was taken, after a brave
defence, by the Dauphin Louis, and the revolted barons: it subsequently
came to the crown, and was granted in succession to John of Gaunt, and
to the Queens of Henry IV., Henry V., and Henry VI. Jean II. King of
France, and David, King of Scotland, spent part of their captivity here
during the reign of Edward III. Queen Elizabeth occasionally resided and
held her court in the castle.

About the middle of October, Queen Isabella set out from Hertford on a
pilgrimage to Canterbury. She rested at Tottenham, London, Eltham,
Dartford, and Rochester; in going or returning visited Leeds Castle, and
was again at Hertford in the beginning of November. She gave alms to the
nuns--Minoresses without Aldgate; to the rector of St. Edmund's in
London, in whose parish her hostel was situated--it was in Lombard
Street; and to the prisoners in Newgate. On the 26th of October, she
entertained the King and Prince of Wales, in her own house in Lombard
Street; and we have recorded a gift of thirteen shillings and fourpence
to four minstrels who played in their presence.

On the 16th of November, after her return to Hertford Castle, she was
visited by the renowned Gascon warrior, the Captal de Buche, cousin of
the Comte de Foix. He had recently come over to England with the Prince
of Wales, having taken part, on the English side, in the great battle of
Poitiers: and subsequent entries record the visits of several noble
captives taken in that battle.

On the following day is recorded a visit, at dinner, of the "Comes de la
March," considered to be Roger Mortimer, Earl of March, the grandson of
her favourite. He was high in Edward the Third's confidence, and appears
to have been in England at the present time: under the head of
donations is notice of a sum paid to four minstrels of the Earl of
March. His visit was, as we find, subsequently twice repeated, and then
in company with the King (by whom, as Froissart tells us, "he was much
loved") and the Prince of Wales. "And thus," says Mr. Bond, "we have an
indication that time has scarcely weakened Isabella's fidelity to a
criminal attachment; and that, although the actual object of it had been
torn from her, she still cherished his memory, and sought her friends
among those most nearly allied to him."

On the 28th of November, and two following days, the Queen entertained
the Earl of Tancarville, one of the captives at Poitiers; and with him
the Earl of Salisbury, who was connected with the Mortimers, being
brother-in-law to the existing Earl of March, although his father had
personally acted a principal part in arresting Isabella's paramour in
Nottingham Castle. On the 15th of December, the Queen was visited by the
Countess of Pembroke, one of Isabella's closest friends. And, again,
what can we infer but a clinging on her part to the memory of Mortimer,
when we find that this lady was his daughter? and thus visits were
received by Isabella from a daughter, the grandson, and grandson's
brother-in-law, of her favourite, within the space of one month.

On the 10th of February, messengers arrive from the King of Navarre, to
announce, as it appears elsewhere, his escape from captivity; an
indication that Isabella was still busy in the stirring events in her
native country. On the 20th of March, the King comes to supper. On each
day of the first half of the month of May, during the Queen's stay in
London, the entries show her guests at dinner, and her visitors after
dinner and at supper, as formally as a court circular of our own time.

Of the several entries we can only select a few of the more interesting.
Here we may remark that on three occasions in March, the guests came to
_supper_ with the Queen: these are Lionel, Earl of Ulster; the King; and
the Earl of Richmond. The supper of that period was given, probably, at
five o'clock, three hours earlier than the royal dinner of our time.[46]

In April, we find reference to the Queen's journey to Windsor; upon
which Mr. Bond remarks: "There is no room for doubt, therefore (though
the chroniclers make no mention of the circumstance), that the object of
Isabella's journey was to be present at the festivities held at Windsor
by Edward III. in celebration of St. George's Day, the 23d of
April--festivities set forth with unwonted magnificence, in honour of
the many crowned heads and noble foreigners then in England, and to
which strangers from all countries were offered safe letters of
conduct." From an entry in May, we find a donation of the considerable
sum of six pounds thirteen shillings (equal in value to about ninety
pounds of the present currency) to a messenger from Windsor, certifying
her of the conclusion of terms of a peace between Edward III. and his
captive, John of France; and the same sum is given by Isabella, the same
day, to a courier bearing a letter from Queen Philippa, conveying the
same intelligence.

On May 14, Isabella left London, and rested at Tottenham, on her way to
Hertford; and a payment is recorded of a gift of six shillings and
eightpence to the nuns of Cheshunt, who met the Queen at the cross in
the high road, in front of their house.

On the 4th of June, Isabella set out on a pilgrimage to Canterbury, and
a visit to Leeds Castle. At Canterbury, on the 10th and 11th, she
entertained the Abbot of St. Augustine's; and under Alms are recorded
the Queen's oblations at the tomb of St. Thomas: the crown of his head
(the part having the tonsure, cut off by his assassins), and point of
the sword (with which he had been slain); and her payment to minstrels
playing "in volta;" as also her oblations in the church of St.
Augustine, and her donations to various hospitals and religious houses
in Canterbury.

Respecting Isabella's death, she is stated by chroniclers to have sunk,
in the course of a single day, under the effect of a too powerful
medicine, administered at her own desire. From several entries, however,
in this account, she appears to have been in a state requiring medical
treatment for some time previous to her decease. She expired on August
22; but as early as February 15, a payment had been made to a messenger
going on three several occasions to London for divers medicines for the
Queen, and for the hire of a horse for Master Lawrence, the physician;
and again, for another journey by night to London. On the same day a
second payment was made to the same messenger for two other journeys by
night to London, and two to St. Albans, to procure medicines for the
Queen. On the 1st of August, payment was made to Nicholas Thomasyer,
apothecary, of London, for divers spices and ointment supplied for the
Queen's use. Among the other entries is a payment to Master Lawrence of
forty shillings, for attendance on the Queen and the Queen of Scotland,
at Hertford, for an entire month.

It is evident that the body of the Queen remained in the chapel of the
castle until November 23, as a payment is made to fourteen poor persons
for watching the Queen's corpse there, day and night, from Saturday, the
25th of August, to the above date, each of them receiving twopence
daily, besides his food. While the body lay at Hertford, a solemn mass
was performed in the chapel, when the daily expenditure rose from the
average of six pounds to fifteen and twenty-five pounds. The Queen's
funeral took place on the 27th: she was interred in the choir of the
church of the Grey Friars, the Archbishop of Canterbury officiating, and
the King himself being present at the ceremony. Just twenty-eight years
before, on nearly the same day, the body of her paramour Mortimer was
consigned to its grave in the same building.

We now reach the Alms, which amount to the considerable sum of 298_l_.,
equivalent to about 3,000_l_. of present money. They consist of chapel
offerings; donations to religious houses; to clergymen preaching in the
Queen's presence; to special applicants for charity; and to paupers. The
most interesting entry, perhaps, is that of a donation of forty
shillings to the abbess and minoresses without Aldgate, in London, to
purchase for themselves two pittances on the anniversaries of Edward,
late King of England, and Sir John, of Eltham (the Queen's son), given
on the 20th of November. And this is the sole instance of any mention in
the Account of the unhappy Edward II.

Among these items is a payment to the nuns of Cheshunt for meeting the
Queen in the high road in front of their house: and this is repeated on
every occasion of the Queen's passing the priory in going to or from
Hertford. There is more than one entry of alms given to poor scholars of
Oxford, who had come to ask it of the Queen. A distribution is made
amongst a hundred or fifty poor persons on the principal festivals of
the year, amongst which that of Queen Katharine is included. Doles also
are made among paupers daily and weekly throughout the year, amounting
in one year and a month to 102_l_. On the 12th of September, after the
Queen's death, a payment of twenty shillings is made to William Ladde,
of Shene (Richmond), on account of the burning of his house by an
accident, while the Queen was staying at Shene.

Under the head of "Necessaries," we find a payment of fifty shillings to
carpenters, plasterers, and tilers, for works in the Queen's chamber,
for making a staircase from the chamber to the chapel, &c. Afterwards we
find half-yearly payments of twenty-five shillings and twopence to the
Prioress of St. Helen's, in London, as rent for the Queen's house in
Lombard Street; a purchase of two small "catastæ," or cages, for birds,
in the Queen's chamber; and of hemp-seed for the same birds. From an
entry under Gifts, it appears that two small birds were given to
Isabella by the King, on the 26th of November. Next are payments for
binding the black carpet in the Queen's chamber; for repairs of the
castle; lining the Queen's chariot with coloured cloth; repairs of the
Queen's bath, and gathering of herbs for it. Also, payments to William
Taterford, for six skins of vellum, for writing the Queen's books, and
for writing a book of divers matters for the Queen, fourteen shillings,
including cost of parchment; to Richard Painter, for azure for
illuminating the Queen's books; the repayment of sum of 200_l_. borrowed
of Richard Earl of Arundel; the purchase of an embroidered saddle, with
gold fittings, and a black palfrey, given to the Queen of Scotland; a
payment to Louis de Posan, merchant, of the Society of Mallebaill, in
London, for two mules bought by him at Avignon for the Queen, 28_l_.
13_s_.: the mules arrived after the Queen's death, and they were given
over to the King.

The division of the account relating to her jewels is chiefly
interesting as affording an insight into the personal character of
Isabella, and showing that the serious events of her life and her
increasing years had not overcome her natural passion for personal
display. The total amount expended on jewels was no less than 1,399_l_.,
equivalent to about 16,000_l_. of our present currency; and, says Mr.
Bond, "after ample allowance for the acknowledged general habit of
indulgence in personal ornaments belonging to the period, we cannot but
consider Isabella's outlay on her trinkets as exorbitant, and as
betraying a more than common weakness for those vain luxuries." The more
costly of them were purchased of Italian merchants. Her principal
English jewellers appear to have been John de Louthe and William de
Berking, goldsmiths, of London. In a general entry of 421_l_. paid for
divers articles of jewellery to Pardo Pardi, and Bernardo Donati,
Italian merchants, are items of a chaplet of gold, set with "bulays"
(rubies), sapphires, emeralds, diamonds, and pearls, price 105_l_.;
divers pearls, 87_l_.; a crown of gold, set with sapphires, rubies of
Alexandria, and pearls, price 80_l_. The payment was not made till the
8th of August; but there can be little doubt that these royal ornaments
were ordered for the occasion of Isabella's visit to Windsor, at the
celebration of St. George's Day. Among other entries, is a payment of
32_l_. for several articles: namely, for a girdle of silk, studded with
silver, 20_s_.; three hundred doublets (rubies), at twentypence the
hundred; 1,800 pearls, at twopence each; and a circlet of gold, of the
price of 16_l_. bought for the marriage of Katharine Brouart; and
another of a pair of tablets of gold, enamelled with divers histories,
of the price of 9_l_.

The division of Dona, besides entries of simple presents and gratuities,
contains notes of gifts to messengers, from acquaintances; and others,
giving us further insight into the connexions maintained by the Queen.
Notices of messengers bringing letters from the Countesses of Warren and
Pembroke, are very frequent. Under the head of Prestita, moreover, is an
entry of a sum of 230_l_. given to Sir Thomas de la March, in money,
paid to him by the hands of Henry Pikard, citizen of London (doubtless
the magnificent Lord Mayor of that name, who so royally entertained King
John of France, the King of Cyprus, and the Prince of Wales, at this
period), as a loan from Queen Isabella, on the obligatory letter of the
same Sir Thomas: he is known as the victor in a duel, fought at Windsor,
in presence of Edward III., with Sir John Viscomte, in 1350. To the
origin of Isabella's interest in him we find no clue. Several payments
to couriers refer to the liberation of Charles, King of Navarre, and are
important, as proving that the Queen was not indifferent to the events
passing in her native country, but that she was connected with one who
was playing a conspicuous part in its internal history--Charles of
Navarre, perhaps the most unprincipled sovereign of his age, and known
in his country's annals under the designation of "the Wicked."

Among the remaining notices of messengers and letters, we have mention
of the King's butler coming to the Queen at Hertford, with letters of
the King, and a present of three pipes of wine; a messenger from the
King, with three casks of Gascon wine; another messenger from the King,
with a present of small birds; John of Paris, coming from the King of
France to the Queen at Hertford, and returning with two volumes of
Lancelot and the Sang Réal, sent to the same King by Isabella; a
messenger bringing a boar's head and breast from the Duke of Lancaster,
Henry Plantagenet; William Orloger, Monk of St. Albans, bringing to the
Queen several quadrants of copper; a messenger bringing a present of a
falcon from the King; a present of a wild boar from the King, and of a
cask of Gascon wine; a messenger, bringing a present of twenty-four
bream from the Countess of Clare; and payments to messengers bringing
new year's gifts from the King, Queen Philippa, the Countess of
Pembroke, and Lady Wake.

Frequent payments to minstrels playing in the Queen's presence occur,
sufficient to show that Isabella greatly delighted in this
entertainment; and these are generally minstrels of the King, the
Prince, or of noblemen, such as the Earl of March, the Earl of
Salisbury, and others. And we find a curious entry of a payment of
thirteen shillings and fourpence to Walter Hert, one of the Queen's
"vigiles" (viol-players), going to London, and staying there, in order
to learn minstrelsy at Lent time; and again, of a further sum to the
same on his return from London, "de scola menstralcie."

Of special presents by the Queen, we have mention of new year's gifts to
the ladies of her chamber, eight in number, of one hundred shillings to
each, and twenty shillings each to thirty-three clerks and squires; a
girdle to Edward de Ketilbergh, the Queen's ward; a donation of forty
shillings to Master Lawrence, the surgeon, for attendance on the Queen;
a present of fur to the Countess of Warren; a small gift to Isabella
Spicer, her god-daughter; and a present of sixty-six pounds to Isabella
de St. Pol, lady of the Queen's bedchamber, on occasion of her marriage
with Edward Brouart. Large rewards, amounting together to 540_l_. were
given after Isabella's death, by the King's order, to her several
servants, for their good service to the Queen in her lifetime.

The division of Messengers contains payments for the carriage of letters
to the Queen's officers and acquaintances. Among them we find mention of
a letter to the Prior of Westminster, "for a certain falcon of the Count
of Tancarville lost, and found by the said Prior."

We have only to add that the period of the account is from the 1st of
October to the 5th of December in the following year, the same being
continued beyond the date of the Queen's death. The totals of the
several divisions of the account are:--

                                            £       _s_.       _d_.
  The Household Expenses amount to       4,014        2       11-1/2
  Alms                                     298       18        7-1/2
  Necessaries                            1,395        6       11
  Great wardrobe                           542       10        4-1/2
  Jewels                                 1,399        0        4
  Gifts                                  1,248        5        2-1/2
  Messengers                                14       12       10
  Imprests                                 313        4        3-1/2

Making a general total of more than 9,000_l_.

      NOTE.--_Murder of Edward II._--In 1837, the Rev. Joseph Hunter
      communicated to the Society of Antiquaries some new circumstances
      connected with the apprehension and death of Sir Thomas de
      Gournay, charged as one of the murderers of King Edward II. Before
      the measures taken for Gournay's apprehension, he had escaped to
      the Continent, where, it was alleged, by one old chronicler, that
      he was taken at Marseilles; by another, at Burgos, in Spain; that
      his journey to England, in custody, was commenced, and that, by
      the orders of some influential persons in England, he was beheaded
      on board ship, on the voyage, lest he might implicate others, if
      brought to trial in England. Mr. Hunter has, however, found in
      Rymer's _Foedera_, minute record that Gournay was taken at
      Burgos, and that Edward III. dispatched a commissioner to demand
      him from the Spanish authorities, who, for several months, put off
      giving up the prisoner; and when the order for his delivery was
      obtained, Gournay had found means to escape from Burgos. The
      commissioner endeavoured to discover the fugitive's retreat, but
      after an absence of more than twelve months, he returned to
      England without success. Subsequently, Gournay was made prisoner
      at Naples, on some local charge; on hearing which Edward III.
      dispatched another messenger, with a letter to the King of Sicily,
      demanding the custody of the prisoner for trial in England. This
      demand was complied with; and Gournay set off, in custody, on his
      journey hither. He is then traced to several places on the route,
      until his arrival at Bayonne, where he fell ill, died, and was
      buried. Notwithstanding the long existence of the _Foedera_,
      this historical blunder of his having been beheaded was not
      rectified until the above date by Mr. Hunter.


[45] See Note at p. 160.

[46] In the Office of the Board of Green Cloth, at St. James's Palace,
are preserved the following _Rules of the House_ of the Duchess of York
the mother of Richard the Third:--

"Upon eating dayes. At dinner by eleven of the clocke.

"Upon fasting dayes. At dinner by twelve of the clocke.

"At supper upon eating dayes; for the officers at four of the clocke.

"My lady and the household at five of the clocke at supper.

"Livery of fires and candles, from the feast of All-Hallows, unto Good
Friday--then expireth the time of fire and candle."


Nearly two centuries and a half ago, Gervase Markham wrote a very useful
and entertaining tract, entitled "The English Housewife, containing the
inward and outward virtues which ought to be in a compleate woman. As
her skill in physick, surgery, cookery, extraction of oyles, banquetting
stuffe, ordering of great feasts, preserving of all sorts of wines,
conceited secrets, distillations, perfumes, ordering of wooll, hempe,
flax, making cloth, and dyeing; the knowledge of dayries, office of
malting of oates, their excellent uses in a family, of brewing, baking,
and all other things belonging to a household."

By aid of a contemporary[47] we are enabled to present a curious
portrait of the Housewife from this authentic source. It should first be
mentioned that the profusion of provisions in the banquets of the time
bordered upon the barbarous magnificence, compared to the elegant modes
of preparing dishes in the present day, and called for dining-halls and
kitchens of sufficient dimensions to avoid the terrible confusion that
must otherwise have occurred. Hence, the superintendence of the
household was a labour of great extent and responsibility. It was held
that a woman had no right to enter the state of matrimony unless
possessed of a good knowledge of Cookery: otherwise she could perform
but half her vow: she might love and obey, but she could not cherish. To
be perfect in this art she must know in which quarter of the moon to
plant and gather all kinds of salads and herbs throughout the year; she
must also be cleanly, have "a quick eye, a curious nose, a perfect
taste, and a ready eare;" and be neither butter-fingered, sweet-toothed,
nor faint-hearted: for if she were the first of these, she would let
everything fall; if the second, she would consume that which she should
increase; and if the third, she would lose time with too much niceness.
For an ordinary feast with which any good man might entertain his
friends, about sixteen dishes were considered a suitable supply for the
first course. This included such substantial articles as a shield of
brawn with mustard, a boiled capon, a piece of boiled beef, a chine of
beef roasted, a neat's tongue roasted, a pig roasted, baked _chewets_
(minced chickens made into balls), a roasted goose, a roasted swan, a
turkey, a haunch of venison, a venison pasty, a kid with a pudding in
it, an olive-pie, a couple of capons, and custards. Besides these
principal dishes, the housewife added as many salads, fricassees,
_quelquechoses_, and _devised pastes_ as made thirty-two dishes, which
were considered as many as it was polite to put upon the table for the
first course. Then followed second and third courses, in which many of
the dishes were for show only, but were so tastefully made as to
contribute much to the beauty of the feast.

The banquets given by princes or nobles were much more important
affairs. They were served in this manner:--First the grand sallet was to
be marshalled in by gentlemen and yeomen-waiters, then green sallets,
boiled sallets, and compound sallets; these were followed by all the
fricassees, such as collops, rashers, &c.; then by boiled meats and
fowls; then by the roasted beef, mutton, goose, swans, veal, pig, and
capon; next were ushered in the hot baked meats, such as fallow-deer in
pasty, chicken or calves'-foot pie, and dowset; then the cold baked
pheasants, partridges, turkey, goose, and woodcocks; lastly, carbonadoes
both simple and compound. These were all arranged upon the table in such
a manner that before each trencher stood a salad, a fricassee, a boiled
meat, a roasted meat, a baked meat, and a carbonado,--a profusion that
must have been almost overwhelming. The second course comprised the
lesser wild and land fowl, which were again followed up with the larger
kinds, as herons, shovellers, cranes, bustards, peacocks, &c.; and these
by cold baked red-deer, hare-pie, gammon of bacon pie, wild boar,
roe-pie; and scattered among these were the "conceited secrets" in the
way of confectionery and sweet pastry, which were the pride of the good
housewife's heart; besides whatever fish was available, which was to be
distributed according to the manner in which it was dressed, with the
respective courses, the fried with the fricassees, the broiled with the
carbonadoes, the dry with the roast meats, and those stewed in broths
with the boiled meats. The carbonadoes consisted of any meat scotched
on both sides and sprinkled with seasonings in various combinations, and
then either broiled over the fire or before it. Roasted geese were
stuffed with gooseberries--hence the term; and, if we were to enter into
the given details of the various modes of dressing these numerous
dishes, we could mention many as long disused. Some of the terms
employed are as startling to modern ears as the ingredients: to take one
instance, pie-dishes were called coffins.

We are not to conclude that the above profusion was an every-day fact.
There are hints here and there that this was by no means the case.
Oatmeal is called the crown of the housewife's garland, as being the
largest item of consumption in the household; and whigge (whey) is
praised as an excellent cool drink, and as wholesome as any other with
which to slake a labouring man's thirst the whole summer long. On the
other hand, we know this whigge was looked upon in a somewhat similarly
scornful light as that in which we regard small beer, because it was
adopted to distinguish the political body opposed to the Tories. And the
constant supervision of the mistress of the house over every undertaking
would also be a surety against the practice of extravagance. Although
there were good men-maltsters in the land, there was no beer to compare
with that made by the mistress and her maids. These made both beer and
ale; cider from apples; perry from pears; mead and metheglin from honey
and herbs. The wines, too, were in her care. It is curious to note the
kind of care they experienced at her hands. Every _fatt_ (vat) of
foreign wine was dosed with several gallons of milk and eggs beaten up,
and each was flavoured with some gallons of another, in a mode that must
have much bewildered the palates of King Charles's lieges. If claret
lost its colour, she stewed some damsons or black bullaces, and poured
their syrup into the hogshead, when all came right again. If sack ran
muddy, she took some rice, flour, and camphor, and popped that mixture
into the butt; if any wine became hard, she knew how to make it mellow
with honey and eggs: the same with muskadine and malmsey.

The indefatigable mistress of the house was as omnipresent in the
bakehouse as elsewhere, and saw to the making up the various kinds of
bread, both for the family and the hinds or servants. There were several
kinds in use; wheat bread, rye bread, rye and wheat mixed, and barley
and wheat mixed: into the servants' barley-bread she adroitly mixed two
pecks of peas and a peck of malt. She also looked in at the dairy, saw
that it was kept as clean as a prince's chamber, and gave an eye to the
profits. She could send several cheeses to table,--new milk cheese,
nettle-cheese, floaten milk cheese and eddish or after-math cheese.

By way of relaxation to these serious duties, which, with the necessary
supervision of the dressing and spinning of wool, hemp, and flax, must
have kept the good dame pretty fully employed, she prescribed for any of
her household that were indisposed, compounded her own remedies, and
made stores of scented bags to lay among her hoarded-up linen, scented
waters for different ornamental purposes, perfumes to burn,
washing-balls, perfumed gloves, rosemary-water to preserve the
complexion (called the bath of life), violet-water, herb-water for weak
eyes, and other distillations. Plasters, ointments, lotions of all
kinds, were among her cunning secrets. These occupations serve to show
why the offices were so spacious and my lady's closet so small.
Markharn gives scores of quaint recipes no housewife could ignore who
was at all sensitive as to her reputation for skill. In these we are
reminded of the absence of really scientific knowledge in the peculiar
value set upon valueless distinctions. The milk of a red cow, for
instance, was deemed more efficacious than that of any other colour for
medicinal purposes; butter made in May without any salt in it was
esteemed a sovereign cure for wounds, strains, or aches, although that
made in any other month possessed no such virtue; and again, it was of
no use to apply certain remedies unless the moon was on the wane. This
portion of the volume is dedicated to the Right Honourable and most
Excellent Lady, Frances, Countess Dowager of Exeter.

Before we leave this Dinner-table of other days, we should add to the
Housewife's duties the Art of Carving, which, until our time, was
performed by the mistress of the house. We gather from Lord
Wharncliffe's edition of the _Correspondence of Lady Mary Worthy
Montague_, that, in the last century, this task must have required no
small share of bodily strength, "for the lady was not only to
invite--that is, urge and tease--her company to eat more than human
throats could conveniently swallow, but to carve every dish, when
chosen, with her own hands. The greater the lady, the more indispensable
the duty,--each joint was carried up in its turn, to be operated upon by
her, and her alone; since the peers and knights on either hand were so
far from being bound to offer their assistance, that the very master of
the house, posted opposite to her, might not act as her croupier; his
department was to push the bottle after dinner. As for the crowd of
guests, the most inconsiderable among them--the curate, or subaltern,
or squire's younger brother--if suffered through her neglect to help
himself to a slice of the mutton placed before him, would have chewed it
in bitterness, and gone home an affronted man, half inclined to give a
wrong vote at the next election. There were then professed carving
masters, who taught young ladies the art scientifically; from one of
whom Lady Mary Wortley Montague said she took lessons three times a
week, that she might be perfect on her father's days; when, in order to
perform her functions without interruption, she was forced to eat her
own dinner alone an hour or two beforehand."


[47] From the _Builder_, 1864, with additions.


About two centuries ago, there lived in the good old city of Hereford,
one Mrs. Joyce Jefferies, of whose singular establishment, during nine
years, a minute record has been preserved. In a cathedral town, olden
features of English life may be traced more considerably than in other
towns of less antiquity and extent. Hereford is thought to be derived
from the British Hêre-fford, signifying the "old road." It has its
Mayor's Court, view of Frankpledge, and court of Pie Pondre; though it
has lost its monastic edifices; and, two centuries ago, its castle,
built by Harold, was in ruins, which, as materials, were worth no more
than 85_l_. One of the gateways of the town walls has been fitted up as
a prison. There are several hospitals or alms-houses. Its Saxon
cathedral occupies the site of a former church of wood; it is dedicated
to St. Ethelbert, whose name was given to its nine days' fair; two of
its fairs are "for diversions." In short, amidst broad streets, and red
brick houses, and other modern aspects, are many interesting traces of
old times and habits, furnished with its two crosses and a stone pulpit.
Its river, the Wye, teems with salmon[48] and grayling; the whole county
appears like one orchard; cider and perry are made everywhere; and there
is a good deposit of tobacco pipe clay. In one of its towns, on Shrove
Tuesday, a bell rings at noon as a signal for the people to begin frying
their pancakes; and among its festal records is that of a Morrice dance,
performed by ten persons--a "nest of Nestors"--whose united ages
recorded one thousand years.

In this old city, then, lived Mrs. Jefferies, upon an income averaging
500_l_. a year, in a house in Widemarch Street--the street in which
Garrick, the actor, was born--which she built at a cost of 800_l_. but
which was ordered to be pulled down in the time of the Rebellion, under
Charles I., and the materials sold for 50_l_. This was a calamitous
loss. Besides, the old lady lived beyond her means, not by
self-indulgence in costly luxuries, but in indiscriminate gifts; and
three-fourths of the entries in her accounts consist of sums bestowed in
presents, of loans never repaid, or laid out in articles to give away.
She continued in the city till the year 1642, when, driven by stress of
war, she abandoned it, and sought refuge in the dwellings of others.
Ultimately, in 1644, she gave up housekeeping to the day of her death.

The household establishment of Mrs. Jefferies is by no means, for a
single person, on a contracted scale. Many female servants are
mentioned; two having wages from 3_l_. to 3_l_. _4_s. per annum, with
gowns of dark stuff at Midsummer. Her coachman, receiving 40_s_. per
annum, had at Whitsuntide, 1639, a new cloth suit and cloak; and, when
he was dressed in his best, exhibited fine blue silk ribbon at the knees
of his hose. The liveries of this and another man-servant were, in 1641,
of fine Spanish cloth, made up in her own house, and cost upwards of
nine pounds. Her man of business, or steward, had a salary of 5_l_.
16_s_. A horse was kept for him, and he rode about to collect her rents
and dues, and to see to her agricultural concerns. She appeared abroad
in a coach drawn by two mares; a nag or two were in her stable; one that
a widow lady in Hereford purchased of her, she particularly designated
as "a rare ambler."

Mrs. Jefferies had a host of country cousins; for, in those days, family
connexions were formed in more contracted circles than at present, and
the younger people intermarried nearer home; and she was evidently an
object of great interest and competition among such as sought for
sponsors to their children. She seems to have delighted in the office of
gossip, or _God-sib_, that is, _sib_, as related, by means of religion.
The number of her god-children became a serious tax upon her purse. A
considerable list of her christening gifts includes, in 1638, a silver
tankard to give her god-daughter, little Joyce Walsh, 5_l_. 5_s_. 6_d_.;
"at Heriford faier, for blue silk ribbon and taffetary lace for skarfs,"
for a god-son and god-daughter, 8_s_.; and 1642, "paid Mr. Side,
gouldsmith in Heriford, for a silver bowle to give Mrs. Lawrence
daughter, which I found, too, called Joyse Lawrence, at 5_s_. 8_d_. an
oz., 48_s_. 10_d_." But to Miss Eliza Acton she was more than maternally
generous and was continually giving proofs of her fondness in all sorts
of indulgence, supplying her lavishly with costly clothes and sums of
money--money for gloves, for fairings, for cards against Christmas, and
money repeatedly to put in her purse.

We have mentioned Mrs. Jefferies' loans. She had various sums placed out
at interest, on bond and mortgage, varying from three hundred pounds and
upwards, and one of eight hundred pounds. The securities were frequently
shifting; and the number of persons who paid to her irregularly enough,
in this way, in two years, was little short of one hundred. The
borrowers of these moneys were knights, yeomen, gentry, farmers, and
tradesmen; burgesses, and aldermen, and Mayors of Hereford, with many
others. The collection of interest upon principal so detached and widely
dispersed, must have been attended with difficulty. The principal itself
must have incurred risk of diminution; but the convenience of the Three
per Cents. was then unknown, and eight per cent. was the interest upon
these loans. This practice of lending money in small sums must formerly
have been more general than at the present day: there were then few
modes of employing money so as to realize fair interest; it was often
hoarded by "making a stocking," and various modes of concealment.

Some of Mrs. Jefferies's entries respecting those who do not repay loans
are curious. Thus, M. Garnons, an occasional suitor for relief, she
styles "an unthrifty gentleman;" amuses herself in setting down a small
bad debt; and, after recording the name of the borrower, and the
trifling sum lent, adds, in a note by way of anticipation, "which he
will never pay." In another case, that of a legal transaction, in which
a person had agreed to surrender certain premises to her use, and she
had herself paid for drawing the instrument upon which he was to have
acted, she observes, "but he never did, and I lost my money." In all
matters she exhibits a gentle and generous mind. It was natural enough
that she should describe the Parliamentary folks who pulled down her
house as "fearful soldiers."

Here is a slight sketch of the personal appearance of Mrs. Jefferies in
a specimen or two of her dress, among many that occur in her book of
accounts. Her style of dress was such as became a gentlewoman of her
condition. In 1638, in her palmy days, she wore a tawny camlet coat and
kirtle, which, with all the requisite appendages, trimmings, and making,
scrupulously set down, cost 10_l_. 17_s_. 5_d_. She had, at the same
time, a black silk calimanco loose gown, petticoat, and bodice, and
these, with the making, came to 18_l_. 1_s_. 8_d_. Next month, a Polonia
coat and kirtle cost in all 5_l_. 1_s_. 4_d_. Tailors were then the
dressmakers: she employed those in Hereford, Worcester, and London; and,
strange to say, sometimes the dresses were so badly made in London that
they had to be altered by a country tailor. She had, about the same
period, a head-dress of black tiffany, wore ruff-stocks, and a beaver
hat with a black silk band, and adopted worsted hose of different
colours--blue, and sometimes grass-green. Among the articles of her
toilet were false curls, and curling-irons; she had Cordovan (Spanish
leather) gloves, sweet gloves, and gold embroidered gloves. She wore
diamond and cornelian rings, used spectacles, and carried a whistle for
a little dog, suspended at her girdle by a yard of black loop lace. A
cipress (Cyprus?) cat, given to her by a Herefordshire friend, was, no
doubt, a favourite; and she kept a throstle in a twiggen cage.

A young lady who resided with her was dressed at her expense in a manner
more suited to her earlier time of life: for instance, she had a green
silk gown, with a blue satin petticoat. At Easter, she went to a
christening arrayed in a double cobweb lawn, and had a muff. Next, she
was dressed in a woollen gown, "spun by the coock's wife, Whooper,"
liver-coloured, and made up splendidly with a stomacher laced with
twisted silver cord. Another article of this young lady's wardrobe was a
gown of musk-coloured cloth; and when she rode out she was decked in a
scarlet safeguard coat and hood, laced with red, blue, and yellow lace;
but none of her dresses were made by female hands.

Of the system of housekeeping we get a glimpse. In summer, she
frequently had her own sheep killed; and at autumn a fat heifer, and at
Christmas a beef or brawn were sometimes slaughtered, and chiefly spent
in her house. She is very observant of the festivals and ordinances of
the Church, while they continue unchanged; duly pays her tithes and
offerings, and, after the old seignorial and even princely custom,
contributes for her dependants as well as herself, in the offertory at
the communion at Easter; has her pew in the church of All Saints at
Hereford dressed, of course, with flowers at that season by the wife of
the clerk; gives to the poor-box at the minster, and occasionally sends
doles to the prisoners at Byster's Gate. Attached to ancient rules in
town and country, she patronizes the fiddlers at sheep-shearing, gives
to the wassail and the hinds at Twelfth Eve, when they light their
twelve fires, and make the fields resound with toasting their master's
health, as is done in many places to this day. Frequently in February,
she is careful to take pecuniary notice of the first of the other sex,
among those she knew, whom she met on Valentine's Day, and enters it
with all the grave simplicity imaginable: "Gave Tom Aston, for being my
valentine, 2_s_. Gave Mr. Dick Gravell, cam to be my valentine, 1_s_. I
gave Timothy Pickering of Clifton, that was my valentine at Horncastle,
4_d_." Sends Mr. Mayor a present of 10_s_. on his "law day;" and on a
certain occasion dines with him, when the waits, to whom she gives
money, are in attendance at the feast; she contributes to these at New
Year and Christmas tide, and to other musical performers at
entertainments or fairs; seems fond of music, and strange sights, and
"rarer monsters." "Gave to Sir John Giles, the fiddler, and to 2 others
on 12th day;" "to a boy that did sing like a blackbird." She was liberal
to Cherilickcome "and his Jack-an-apes," some vagrant that gained his
living by exhibiting a monkey; and at Hereford Midsummer Fair, in 1640,
"to a man that had the dawncing horse." To every one who gratified her
by a visit, or brought her a present, she was liberal; as well as to her
own servants and attendants at friends' houses. She provided medicine
and advice for those who were sick and could not afford to call in
medical aid; and she took compassion on those who were in the chamber of
death and house of mourning, as may be seen in this entry: "1648, Oct.
29. For a pound of shugger to send Mrs. Eaton when her son Fitz Wm. lay
on his death-bed, 20_d_."

Our Herefordshire Lady's Diary takes us through nine years of the time
of the dispute between Charles I. and the Parliament: it, accordingly,
possesses much historic interest. In 1638, she paid the unpopular impost
of Ship-money, unsuccessfully opposed by Hampden, as well as another
tax, called "the King's provision;" and she finds a soldier for her
farm, and for her property in Hereford, when the Trained Bands are
called out and exercised. Now, too, old ancestral armour, or Train-band
equipments, that hung rusting in manor-houses, were taken down and
repaired. And when Prynne, Burton, and Bastwick had been agitating, Laud
impeached and imprisoned, and Lord Strafford tried and beheaded, she
took a decided interest in passing events, and sent for some of the
pamphlets and newspapers that swarmed from the press. Thus, we find paid
for a book of Strafford's Trial, and his portrait, and Laud's, and some
other portraits, 4_s_. 1_d_. And when the Parliament soldiers discharged
their muskets, at or near her dwelling, we find this item: "Gave the
sowldiers that shott off at my window, 1_s_. and beer." Then we find
her, amidst great confusion, packing up her beds, furniture, and boxes,
and taking flight in her carriage: but she was mercilessly plundered of
"much goods, two bay coach mares, and some money, and much linen and

How her possessions were made away with at Hereford is a sad tale. Sir
Henry Slingsby, a noted Royalist officer, mentions the havoc in terms of
much regret. The orchards, gardens, trees, and houses were all
destroyed. Before her house was pulled down, she sent her steward to
save some part of the property, and make presents of the produce of her
gardens, "gardin salitts," &c.

As years advance, symptoms of infirmity appear. The spectacles, and
favourite "guilt spoone," and diamond ring, are missing, and found and
brought by her attendants, who always have a reward. It has been related
of Prince Eugene of Savoy, that his servants took dexterous advantage of
his foible of immoderate anger, and threw themselves in the way of his
fits of passion, that they might get a sound beating from him, and its
never-failing accompaniment, a reward to make it up. Thus, probably, the
attendants of Mrs. Jefferies, though in a different method, might make
profit of her failing memory, by hiding and reproducing the above
valuables, in order to a remuneration. Then, a fair is held at
Worcester, and the maids from Horncastle of course attend it: our lady
gives each a shilling, when Barbara, the dairy-maid, pretends that she
had lost her shilling, and her mistress gave her another. But the maids
were always in favour, and not content with making them presents at
stated times, she invented vicarious means of slipping vails into their

Age seems to have abated nothing of her generous feeling, or of the
ardour of her domestic affections. In all those events which usually
bring joy to families, and occasion entries in our parish registers, she
heartily sympathised. A marriage, even of a servant, was an occurrence
that always appeared highly to interest her. When Miss Acton was
married, she gave her a handsome portion, arranged the settlement, and
defrayed incidental expenses; and to the entries she adds, "God bless
them both." The clerks in the solicitors' offices are not forgotten;
and, "Paid the butcher for a fatt weather to present this bride wooman
at her wedding-day, 6_s_. 6_d_." The portion was made up in instalments,
and on the last payment, she notes: "So I praise God all the 800_l_. is
paid, and we are even." Then, what joy was there at a christening, when
"ould Mrs. Barckley and myself Joyse Jeffreys were Gossips. God bless
hitt: Amen." Also, "Gave the midwyfe, good wyfe Hewes, of Vpper Jedston,
the christening day, 10_s_.;" and, "Gave nurce Nott ye same day,

Thus did she continue to go on, with blessings upon her lips and her
right hand full of gifts, without intermission, till the grave closed
over all that was mortal, and amiable, and singular in the character and
conduct of one whose parallel is not easy to be found.

As respects herself, little did she think that, in compiling these
accounts, she was about to present, after a lapse of upwards of two
centuries, a more expressive memorial of her virtues than any that her
surviving relatives could have placed upon her tomb.

"And so it has fallen out, that nothing appears to have been hitherto
done to mark the spot where she lies; neither has the exact period of
her decease been ascertained, though the codicil of her will carries her
forward to 1650, and it has been shown that she was buried in the
chancel of the parish church of Clifton-upon-Teme, on the borders of
Worcestershire. But her memory is still revered by those to whom her
existence and character are known: and a brass tablet has been placed
near the spot where she is believed to have been interred, with an
inscription transmitting the name and virtues of Mrs. Joyce Jefferies to
future times."[49]


[48] The quantity of salmon caught in the river Wye was formerly so
great that it is said to have been usual to insert a clause in the
indentures of the Hereford apprentices that they should not be compelled
to eat salmon more than twice a week.

[49] The historical details have been, in the main, condensed from "Some
Passages in the Life and Character of a Lady resident in Herefordshire
and Worcestershire during the Civil War of the Seventeenth Century,
collected from her Account Book in the possession of Sir Thomas Edward
Winnington, Baronet, of Stamford Court, in the county of Worcester, with
Historical Observations and Notes by John Webb, M.A., F.S.A.
_Archæologia_, vol. xxxvii. pp. 189-223. 1857."


An accomplished illustrator of our Domestic History in describing the
mode of furnishing houses in the Middle Ages, tells us that there were
tables of Cyprus and other rare woods, carved cabinets, desks,
chess-boards, and, above all, the Bed--the most important piece of
furniture in the house, and of which Ralph Lord Basset said, "Whoever
shall bear my surname and arms, according to my will, shall have my
great bed for life." There was the "standing bed," and the "truckle
bed;" on the former lay the lord, and on the latter his attendant. In
the daytime the truckle bed, on castors, was rolled under the standing
bed. The posts, head-boards, and canopies or spervers of bedsteads were
sometimes carved, or painted in colours, but they are generally
represented covered by rich hangings. King Edward III. bequeathed to
his heir an entire bed marked with the arms of France and England, and
Richard, Earl of Arundel, to his wife Philippa, a blue bed, marked with
his arms, and the arms of his late wife; to his son Richard a standing
bed called clove, also a bed of silk embroidered with the arms of
Arundel and Warren; to his son Thomas, his blue bed of silk embroidered
with griffins, &c.

The great chamber was often used as a sleeping-room by night and a
reception-room by day. Shaw, in his _Decorations of the Middle Ages_,
gives the interior of a chamber in which Isabella of Bavaria receives
from Christine of Pisa her volume of poems. The Queen is seated on a
couch covered with a stuff in red and gold, and there is a bed in the
room furnished with the same material, to which are attached three
shields of arms. The walls of the chamber were either hung with tapestry
or painted with historical subjects. Chaucer, in his Dream, fancies
himself in a chamber--

                  "Full well depainted,
  And al the walles with colors fine
  Were painted to the texte and glose,
  And all the Romaunte of the Rose."

The beds of the better classes were sumptuous and comfortable.
Mattresses were used, but sometimes, to receive the bed, loose straw was
spread on the sacking. The order for making the royal savage's own lair
says, "A yoman with a daggar is to searche the strawe of the kynges
bedde that there be none untreuth therein--the bedde of downe to be cast
upon that." The lower classes were contented with straw alone; but, as
appears from Holinshed's account, more from an ignorant contempt for a
pleasant bed, and a soft pillow, than from lack of means to obtain the
indulgence. The windows had curtains, and were glazed in the manner
described by Erasmus; but in inferior dwellings, such as those of
copyholders and the like, the light-holes were filled with linen, or
with a shutter.

Early in the fourteenth century one Thomas Blaket, or Blanket, of
Bristol, introduced the woollen fabric which still goes by his name. The
word _worsted_ comes from the village so named, near Norwich, where that
kind of stuff began to be extensively manufactured for wall-hangings in
the fourteenth century. A still richer fabric similarly used, called
_baudekin_, a kind of brocade, is said to have derived its name from
Baldacus, in Babylon, whence, says Blount, it was originally brought.

Few objects of antiquarian curiosity acquired more notoriety than a
bedstead or bed, of unusually large dimensions, preserved at Ware,
twenty miles from London, on the road to Cambridge. Shakspeare employs
it as an object of comparison in his play of _Twelfth Night_, bearing
date 1614, where Sir Toby Belch says: "As many lies as will lie in this
sheet of paper, though the sheet were big enough for the bed of Ware in
England." (Act iii. sc. 2.) Nares, in his _Glossary_, says: "This
curious piece of furniture is said to be still in being, and visible at
the Crown or at the Bull in Ware. It is reported to be twelve feet
square, and to be capable of holding twenty or twenty-four persons." And
he refers to Chauncey's _Hertfordshire_ for an account of the bed
receiving at once twelve men and their wives, who lay at the top and
bottom in this mode of arrangement,--first two men, then two women, and
so on alternately,--so that no man was near to any woman but his wife.
Clutterbuck, in his History, places the great bed at the Saracen's Head
Inn, where a large bedstead is preserved. It is twelve feet square, of
carved oak, and has the date 1463 painted on the back; but the style of
the carving is Elizabethan--a century later, at least. It was
_traditionally_ sold among other movables which belonged to Warwick, the
King-maker, at Ware Park, to suit which story the date is thought to
have been painted. Again, it is placed at three inns--the Crown, the
Bull, and Saracen's Head, at Ware, each of which may have had its "great

Formerly, wealthy persons travelled with their bed in their carriage.
Mr. Beckford, of Fonthill, was, probably, the last person who so
travelled, in England, some forty years since, when the writer's
informant saw the unpacking of the bed, at the inn-door, at Salt Hill.

The Warming-pan did not make its appearance till the Tudor times. In the
inventory of the goods of Sir William More, of Loseley, in Surrey, A.D.
1556, occurs "a warmynge," considered to be a warming-pan, and the
earliest recorded mention of that article. The old warming-pans were
often engraved with armorial bearings, mottoes, and inscriptions. In the
_Welsh Levite tossed in a Blanket_, 1691, we read: "Our garters,
bellows, and warming-pans wore godly mottoes, &c." We find a warming-pan
engraved with the arms of the Commonwealth, and the motto: "ENGLANDS .
STATS . ARMES." Another warming-pan has the royal arms, C. R. and "FEARE
GOD HONNOR YE KINGE. 1662." Some years ago, there was purchased at the
village of Whatcote, in Warwickshire, a warming-pan engraved with a
dragon, and the date 1601; probably brought from Compton Wyniatt, the
ancient seat of the Earl (now Marquis) of Northampton; the supporters of
the Compton family being dragons.

The seats were mostly forms, but Chairs were sometimes used. A MS. of
the fourteenth century has this item:--"To put wainscote above the dais
in the king's hall, and to make a fine large and well sculptured chair."
The early chair was a single seat without arms. The fauldsteuel
(fauteuil in modern French) was originally a folding stool of the curule
form, but afterwards the form alone was preserved; examples remain from
the time of Dagobert up to a late period. Dagobert's seat is considered
by some to be of much greater antiquity than his time, and the back and
arms are certainly of a later period than the rest. The so-called
Glastonbury chair is much to be commended for simplicity of form,
perfect strength, and adaptation for comfort.

In the earlier times, chairs and benches were not stuffed but had
cushions to sit upon and cloths spread over them: afterwards, as the
workmanship improved, they were stuffed and covered with tapestry,
leather, or velvet. The forms and workmanship of these seats were
generally very rude, but the stuffs that covered them were of great
richness and value, and tastefully trimmed with fringes and gimps,
fastened with large brass studs or nails.

The description of the furniture in the great chamber at Hengrave, the
seat of Sir Robert Kytson, _temp._ Henry VII., enumerates very minutely
the various articles; among which are, the carpet, the tables, the
cupboards, the chairs, the stools, two great chairs, silk and velvet
coverings, curtains to the windows and doors, a great screen, the
fire-irons, branches for lights, &c.

The floors, which at an early period were laid with rushes, were at a
later one covered with a carpet, called the bord carpet. Still, carpets
were used very early in the castles and mansions of the wealthy. The
manufacture of carpets is of great antiquity: we read of them in the
sacred writings, they were found in the ruins of Pompeii, they were
introduced from the East to Spain, from Spain they passed to France and
England, and when Eleanor of Castile arrived in London, in 1255, the
rooms of her abode were covered with carpets; they were used generally
in the palace in the reign of Edward III. Turkey carpets were first
advertised for sale in London in 1660. The manufacture of carpets was
introduced into France by the celebrated Colbert, in 1664. A manufactory
was opened in England during the reign of Henry VIII., but this branch
of industry was not permanently established until 1685, when the
revocation of the Edict of Nantes drove half a million of Protestants
from France, many of whom, settling in this country, established the
manufacture of carpets. Brussels carpets were introduced from Tournay
into Kidderminster, in 1745.

We have already described the Hall. At the further end of this apartment
was generally placed a cupboard called the "Court cupboard," in which
the service of plate, such as salvers and gold drinking cups, were
arranged on shelves or stages, answering in some respects to our
sideboards of the present day. These cupboards, though originally of
rude construction, afterwards became elaborate and beautiful pieces of
furniture, richly carved in oak: they are often alluded to in old
documents. On grand occasions temporary stages, as cupboards, were also
erected. At the marriage of Prince Arthur, son of Henry VII., in the
hall was a triangular cupboard, five stages high, set with plate valued
at 1,200_l_. entirely ornamental; and in the "utter chamber," where the
princess dined, was another cupboard set with gold plate, garnished with
stones and pearls, valued at 20,000_l_.

In the inventory of Skipton Castle, in Yorkshire, the furniture of the
great hall is thus given:--"Imprimis, 7 great pieces of hangings, with
the Earl's arms at large in every one of them, and powdered with the
several coates of the house. 3 long tables on standard frames, 6 long
forms, 1 short ditto, 1 Court cupboard, 1 fayre brass lantern, 1 iron
cradle with wheels for charcoal, 1 almes tubb, 20 long pikes."

There is no mention of Mirrors, but they were used at this time, though
very small, and of metal polished. The coffre or chest which contained
the ladies' trousseaux, was subsequently much ornamented. The wardrobes,
so called, were generally small rooms fitted with cupboards called
armoiries. In 1253, "the sheriff of Southampton was ordered to make in
the king's upper wardrobe, in Winchester Castle, where the king's cloths
were deposited, two cupboards or armoiries, one on each side of the
fireplace, with arches and a certain partition of board across the same


[50] Loseley, the fine old domain of the Mores, mentioned in a preceding
page (180), lies between two and three miles south-west of Guildford. It
had, no doubt, from an early period, its manse, or capital
dwelling-house, fortified by a moat, according to the custom of the
feudal ages. This dwelling has long since been destroyed, and the
present mansion at Loseley is of the age of Elizabeth, and was built
between 1562 and 1568. The principal entrance opens into the Hall, but
was originally at the end of the passage between the screens which
divide the Hall from the Kitchen and Butteries. Latin inscriptions were
placed over the doors: that over the Kitchen door was "_Fami, non Gulæ_"
(To hunger, not to gluttony); over the Buttery door, "_Siti, non
Ebrietati_" (To thirst, not to drunkenness); and over the Parlour door,
"_Probis, non Pravis_" (To the virtuous, not the wicked). The finest
apartment is the Withdrawing-room, a splendid example of the decorative
style of the early part of Elizabeth's reign. It exhibits a rich
cornice, on which is the _rebus_ of the More family, a mulberry-tree.
The wainscoting is panelled, and the ceiling ornamented with pendent
drops and Gothic tracery. The chimney-piece is elaborately enriched: the
lower story is Corinthian; and the upper division, or mantel, has
grotesque caryatides, supporting a fascia and cornice. The intermediate
panelling is emblazoned with the arms of the Mores, which also enrich
the glazing of the mullioned windows. In the gallery of the mansion were
formerly two gilt chairs with cushions worked by Queen Elizabeth. Here,
in 1603, Sir George More entertained King James I. and his Queen.


From the old accounts of the Laundry we gather some idea of mediæval
clothing and personal cleanliness. Four shirts was a large allowance for
a nobleman in the fifteenth century; and youths of noble rank were sent
to college without a change of linen. It is upon record that Bishop
Swinfield, for himself and his whole household, in the thirteenth
century, only spent forty-three shillings and twopence for washing; and
the Duke of Northumberland's establishment, in the time of Henry VIII.
consisting of one hundred and seventy persons, only cost forty shillings
for the laundry expenses of a whole year. On the other hand, the
institution of "tubbing" was not unknown. Baths are frequently mentioned
in the romances, and are occasionally depicted in illuminations. They
were large tubs with a curtain over them, after the manner of a modern
French bed.

With respect to what we now call "comfort," it is certain that all the
appliances of tapestried hangings were far inferior to the modern
devices of double walls, sashes, and French casements, &c. as means of
excluding draughts of air. But then the costume was suited to the
houses. The modern drawing-room life was scarcely possible in a mediæval
mansion. It was a necessity to dress more warmly; and, as may be seen in
very many mediæval illuminations, almost every one, of either sex, went
with covered heads. Just in the same way, in a modern farm-house or
cottage, it is common enough for hats and bonnets to be worn habitually

The flannel in general use, the wadded petticoats, and worsted stuffs
and brocaded silks (so thick as almost to stand alone) for gowns, were
much better calculated to resist cold and damp than the cobweb fabrics
worn by modern females; and the men's clothes were of a more substantial
texture, and made much fuller than the scanty modern corresponding
garments of thin superfine broadcloth. The thick woollen dresses of the
monks also were well contrived for preserving a comfortable portable
climate. No part but the face was exposed to the external air, and this
was protected by the cowl, so that they were always defended from
currents of cold air in the cloisters and vaulted aisles of the now
desolate monastic edifices.

Woollen cloths were long the chief material of male and female attire.
When new the nap was generally very long; and after being worn for some
time it was customary to have it shorn; indeed, this process was
repeated as often as the stuff would bear it. Thus we find the Countess
of Leicester sending Hicque, the tailor, to London, to get her robes
reshorn. Among the materials for dress mentioned, are linen, sindon,
which has been variously interpreted to mean satin or very fine linen;
scarlet and rayed or striped cloths, of Flemish, French, or Italian
make; _pers_, or blue cloth, for the manufacture of which Provence was
famous; russet, say or serge, and blanchet or blanket, a name which, it
is believed, was given to flannel. The furs named are squirrel and

Among the minor objects of personal use which appear to have belonged to
Margaret de Bohun, in the fifteenth century, the "poume de ambre," or
scent-ball, in the composition of which ambergris formed a principal
ingredient, deserves notice; this being, perhaps, the earliest evidence
of its use. We here learn also that a nutmeg was occasionally used for
the like purpose; it was set with silver, decorated with stones and
pearls, and was evidently an object rare and highly prized. Amongst the
valuable effects of Henry V. according to an inventory dated A.D. 1423,
are enumerated a musk-ball of gold, weighing eleven pounds, and another
of silver-gilt. At a later period the Pomander was very commonly worn as
the pendant of a lady's girdle. The _peres de eagle_ were the stones
supposed to be found in the nest of the eagle, to which various
medicinal and talismanic properties were attributed. Nor are we
cognizant of an earlier mention of coral than that which occurs in this
inventory: namely, the paternoster of coral, with large gilded beads,
which belonged to Margaret de Bohun, and the three branches of coral
which Alianmore de Bohun possessed. Among her effects also is the wooden
table "painted for an altar;" it formed part of the movable chapel
furniture which persons of rank took with them on journeys, or used
when, through infirmity, the badness of roads, or some other cause,
valid in those days, they were prevented from attending public worship.
Licences to use such portable altars are of frequent occurrence on the
older episcopal registers.

John Evelyn, regretting "the simple manners that prevailed in his
younger days, and which were now fast fading away," thus describes
old-fashioned country life about the middle of the seventeenth

"Men courted and chose their wives for their modesty, frugality, keeping
at home, good housewifery, and other economical virtues then in
reputation; and the young damsels were taught all these in the country
and in their parents' houses. They had cupboards of ancient, useful
plate, whole chests of damask for tables, and stores of fine Holland
sheets, white as the driven snow, and fragrant of rose and lavender for
the bed; and the sturdy oaken bedstead and furniture of the house lasted
one whole century; the shovel-board and other long tables, both in hall
and parlour, were as fixed as the freehold; nothing was movable save
joint-stools, the black jacks, silver tankards, and bowls.... The
virgins and young ladies of that golden age, _quæsiverunt lanam et
linum_, put their hands to the spindle, nor disdained they the needle;
were obsequious and helpful to their parents, instructed in the managery
of the family, and gave presages of making excellent wives. Their
retirements were devout and religious books, and their recreations in
the distillatory, the knowledge of plants and their virtues, for the
comfort of their poor neighbours and use of their family, which
wholesome, plain diet and kitchen physic preserved in perfect health."
As the quaint old ballad hath it--

  "They wore shoes of a good broad heel,
    And stockings of homely blue;
  And they spun them upon their own wheel,
    When this old hat was new."


Metal pins are said to have been introduced into this country from France
in the fifteenth century: as an article of commerce they are not
mentioned in our statutes until the year 1483. Before this date, we are
told that ladies were accustomed to fasten their dresses by means of
skewers of boxwood, ivory, or bone; this statement has been doubted, but
we are assured that, to this day, the Welsh use as a pin the thorn from
the hedge.

Stow assigns the first manufacture of metal pins in England to the year
1543; and they seem to have been then so badly made that in the
thirty-fourth year of King Henry VIII. (1542-3), Parliament enacted that
none should be sold unless they be "double-headed, and have the headdes
soudered faste to the shanke of the pynne." In short, the head of the
pin was to be well smoothed, the shank well shapen, and the point well
rounded, filed, canted, and sharpened. The Act of Parliament, however,
appears to have produced no good effect, for in the thirty-seventh year
of the same reign it was repealed.

The manufacture of pins was introduced into several towns of Great
Britain by individuals who, in some cases, are called the inventors of
the article. The pin-makers of former days seem to have been a body
somewhat difficult to please, of whom Guillim, in his _Display of
Heraldry_, writes:--"The Society of Pinmen and Needlers, now ancient, or
whether incorporated, I find not, but only that, in the year 1597, they
petitioned the Lord Treasurer against the bringing in of foreign pins
and needles, which did much prejudice to the calling." The Pinners'
Company was incorporated by Charles I. in 1636; the Hall is on part of
the ancient Priory of the Augustine, or Austin Friars; it has been,
since the reign of Charles II., let as a Dissenting meeting-house: it is
in Pinners'-hall-court, Old Broad-street.

The manufacture of pins formed early a lucrative branch of trade. Sixty
thousand pounds, annually, is said to have been paid for them to foreign
makers, in the early years of Queen Elizabeth; but, as we have seen,
long before the decease of that princess, they were manufactured in this
country in great quantities; and in the time of James I., the English
artisan is regarded to have "exceeded every foreign competitor in the
production of this diminutive, though useful article of dress."

Pennant, in his description of old London Bridge, states that "most of
the houses were tenanted by pin or needle makers, and economical ladies
were wont to drive from the St. James's end of the town to make cheap
purchases." But Thomson, in his minute _Chronicles of London Bridge_,
does not mention pin-makers among the trades common on the bridge;
haberdashers, who came here _late_ from the Chepe, however, sold pins.

Yet vast quantities of early pins have been recovered from the Thames
near the site of the old Bridge. In 1864, Mr. Burnell exhibited to the
British Archæological Association fifteen brass pins, varying in length
from one inch and three-eighths to five inches and a half, stated to
have been found on the paper on which they now are, in a cellar on the
northern bank of the Thames, in excavating for the foundations of the
South-Eastern Railway bridge. Most, if not all, of these pins have solid
globose heads. At the same meeting, Mr. Syer Cuming exhibited two brass
pins recovered from the mud of the Thames some years since. One is
little less than two inches and a half in length, the other full seven
inches and three-quarters long. The heads of both are formed with spiral
wire; the shortest being globose, the other somewhat flattened. Mr.
Cuming stated that quantities of such early pins as those then produced
have been found in and along the banks of the river, some of them
measuring upwards of a foot in length. These great pins may have been
employed in securing the wide-spreading head-dresses of the Middle Ages,
and fastening the ends of the pillow-case, a use not quite obsolete in
the time of Swift, who speaks of "corking pins," for this purpose, in
his _Directions to Servants_.

For some time after their introduction pins must have been costly, for
we find that they were acceptable New Year's gifts to ladies, and that
presents of money were made for buying pins; whence money set apart for
the use of ladies received the name of _pin-money_.

In France, three centuries ago, there was a tax for providing the queen
with pins; from whence the term of _pin-money_ has been, undoubtedly,
applied by us to that provision for married women, with which the
husband is not to interfere. In Bellon's _Voyages_, 1553, we
read:--"Quand nous donnons l'argent a quelque chambrière, nous _disons
pour ses épingles_."

Pins must soon have been made and sold at a very cheap rate, to justify
the common remark, "Not worth a pin," and equivalent expressions in some
of our early writers, such as Tusser:

  "His fetch is to flatter, to get what he can;
  His purpose once gotten, a _pin_ for thee than."

Pins are of various sizes, from the blanket-pin, three inches in length,
to the smallest ribbon-pins, of which 300,000 only weigh one pound.
Insect-pins, used by entomologists, are of finer wire than ordinary
pins, and vary in length from three inches to a size smaller than
ribbon-pins. It has been calculated that ten tons of pins are made every
week in England alone, requiring from fourteen to fifteen tons of

"What becomes of all the pins?" a question every day asked, received an
answer, a few years since, upon the opening of an old sewer for repair,
in Rea-street, Birmingham. At the bottom of it was a deposit as hard as
the "slag" from a blast furnace, and in this deposit a vast number of
pins were embedded: a piece about the size of a man's fist bristled with
them, and this was but a specimen of a great mass of such matter. In
another way, too, the deposit was a curiosity; for, independently of the
pins, it inclosed a heterogeneous collection of old pocket-knives,
marbles, buttons, &c.

Anciently, there were local springs, known as _Pin Wells_, in passing
which the country maids dropped into the water a crooked pin to
propitiate the fairy of the well. In some places, rich and poor believed
this superstition.



Under the designation of _Panis_, Mr. Hudson Turner thinks that grain and
flour, as well as bread, were included. It would appear that bread of
different degrees of fineness was used. Thus, in the Household Expenses
of Eleanor, Countess of Leicester, third daughter of King John, and wife
of the celebrated Simon de Montfort, 1265, "the earliest known memorial
of the domestic expenditure of an English subject," we find that there
was "bread purchased for the Countess," and "bread for the kitchen."
Loaves or cakes were made of bolted flour, are twice mentioned, as well
as cakes, or wastells, perhaps biscuits; on one occasion half a quarter
of flour is set down for pastry. It is inferred that the bread generally
used in the family was made of a mixture of wheat and rye. As the dogs
were fed with corn, it may be concluded that the servants fared no
worse: at any rate there is no distinct notice of bread made of barley,
oats, or the more inferior grain which were commonly used in France and
other countries.

It is not clear that their bread was leavened with yeast, as that
article occurs but once, and then in connexion with malt. The price of
the quarter of wheat or rye varied from 5_s_. to 5_s_. 8_d_.; of oats,
from 2_s_. to 2_s_. 4_d_.; twenty-five quarters, however, were bought at
Sandwich, at 1_s_. 10_d_. When grain was brought from the Countess'
manors, some of the prices were rather below the average. The bailiff of
Chalton was allowed 5_s_. the quarter for wheat, 4_s_. for barley, and
2_s_. 4_d_. for oats; the bailiff of Braborne had 4_s_. 4_d_. for wheat,
and 1_s_. 3_d_. for oats.

The Manchet is a fine white roll, named, according to Skinner, from
_michette_, French; or from _main_, because small enough to be held in
the hand:

  "No manchet can so well the courtly palate please
  As that made of the meal fetch'd from my fertil leaze."

  Drayton's _Polyolbion_.

Here are two olden recipes for manchets:

"_Lady of Arundel's Manchet._--Take a bushel of fine wheat-flour, twenty
eggs, three pound of fresh butter; then take as much salt and barm as to
the ordinary manchet; temper it together with new milk pretty hot, then
let it lie the space of half an hour to rise, so you may work it up into
bread, and bake it: let not your oven be too hot."--_True Gentlewoman's
Delight_, 1676.

"Take a quart of cream, put thereto a pound of beef-suet minced small,
put it into cream, and season it with nutmeg, cinnamon, and rose-water;
put to it eight eggs and but four whites, and two grated manchets;
mingle them well together and put them in a buttered dish; bake it, and
being baked, scrape on sugar, and serve it."--_The Queene's Royal
Cookery_, 1713.

Manchets are used in the colleges of Oxford and Cambridge to this day.
The manchets and cheese, and fine ale, of Magdalen College are well

The Manciple, a purveyor of victuals, a clerk of the kitchen, or
caterer, still subsists in the universities, where the name is therefore
preserved; but Archdeacon Nares believed nowhere else. One of Chaucer's
pilgrims is a manciple of the Temple, of whom he gives a good character
for his skill in purveying.

It is curious to find that one of the domestic arts which is somewhat
neglected in the households of the present generation, should, in the
last century, have been considered an accomplishment of such importance
as to be taught in schools: this was Pastry-making. There was then
resident in London one of the ancient family of the Kidders, of
Maresfield, in Sussex, and a descendant of Richard Kidder, Bishop of
Bath and Wells. This was Edward Kidder, a pastrycook, or, as he calls
himself, "pastry-master," who carried on his business in Queen Street,
Cheapside, and was induced to open two schools in the metropolis to
teach the art of making pastry, one at his own place of business, and
the other in Holborn. He also gave instructions to ladies at their
private houses. So popular did his system of teaching become, that he is
said to have instructed nearly 6,000 ladies in this art. He also
published a book of _Receipts of Pastry and Cookery_, for the use of his
scholars, printed entirely in copper-plate, with a portrait of himself,
in the full wig and costume of the day, as a frontispiece. He died in
1739, at the age of seventy-three. By will, he gave to his wife, Mary
Kidder, a gold watch, a diamond ring, and all the other rings and
trinkets used by her, and also all the furniture of the best room in
which she lay in the house in Queen Street; and to his daughters,
Elizabeth and Susan, he bequeathed all his money, bank-stock, plate,
jewellery, &c. Susan, among other bequests, gave to her cousin, George
Kidder, of Canterbury, pastrycook, 150_l_. and the copper-plates for the

Some dishes of the olden dinner-table are not very inviting. Our
ancestors had no objection to stale fish; and blubber, if they could get
it from a stray whale, or grampus or porpoise, was considered a
delicacy. Yet some of the old dishes have stood the test of ages, as we
see in the case of a Christmas Pie, the receipt to make which is
preserved in the books of the Salters' Company, in the City of London.

      "For to make a moost choyce Paaste of Gamys to be eten at ye Feste
      of Chrystemasse" (17th Richard II. A.D. 1394). A pie so made by
      the Company's cook in 1836 was found excellent. It consisted of a
      pheasant, hare, and capon; two partridges, two pigeons, and two
      rabbits; all boned and put into paste in the shape of a bird, with
      the livers and hearts, two mutton kidneys, forced-meats, and
      egg-balls, seasoning, spice, catsup, and pickled mushrooms, filled
      up with gravy made from the various bones.

We must, however, remember that Cookery flourished in the reign of
Richard II., who rebuilt Westminster Hall, and gave therein a
_house-warming_, at which old Stow says, "he feasted ten thousand
persons." Richard is also said to have kept 2,000 cooks, who left to the
world their famous cookery-book, the "Form of Cury, or, a Roll of
English Cookery," compiled about the year 1390, by the master-cooks of
the Royal Kitchen.

Sugar was at first regarded as a spice, and was introduced as a
substitute for honey after the Crusades. It was sold by the pound in the
thirteenth century, and was procurable even in such remote towns as Ross
and Hereford. Before the discovery of America, however, Sugar was a
costly luxury, and only used on rare occasions. About 1459, Margaret
Barton, writing to her husband, who was a gentleman and landowner of
Norfolk, begs that he will vouchsafe "to buy her a pound of sugar."
Again: "I pray that ye will vouchsafe to send me another sugar-loaf, for
my old one is done." The art of refining sugar, and what is called
loaf-sugar, was discovered by a Venetian about the end of the fifteenth,
or the beginning of the sixteenth century. Sugar-candy is of much
earlier date; for in Marin's _Storia di Commercio de Veneziani_, there
is an account of a shipment made at Venice for England, in 1319, of
100,000 pounds of sugar, and 10,000 pounds of sugar-candy. Refined or
loaf-sugar is thus mentioned in a roll of provisions in the reign of
Henry VIII.: "two loaves of sugar, weighing sixteen pound two ounces, at
---- per pound." A letter from Sir Edward Wotton to Lord Cobham, dated
Calais, March 6, 1546, informs him that he had taken up for his lordship
twenty-five sugar-loaves, at six shillings a loaf, "which is eightepence
a pounde." Up to the close of the fifteenth century its price varied
from one-and-sixpence to three shillings a pound, "or, on an average, to
a sum equivalent to about thirty shillings at present." Sugar has become
to us almost a necessary of life. "We consume it in millions of tons; we
employ thousands of ships in transporting it. Millions of men spend
their lives in cultivating the plants from which it is extracted, and
the fiscal duties imposed upon it add largely to the revenue of nearly
every established government. It may be said, therefore, to exercise a
more direct and extended influence, not only over the social comfort,
but over the social condition, of mankind, than any other production of
the vegetable kingdom, with the exception, perhaps, of cotton
alone."--_J. F. W. Johnston, M.A._[51]

Coffee is mentioned in Burton's _Anatomy of Melancholy_, date 1621,
several years before coffee-houses were introduced into England. The
first coffee-house was opened in 1650, at Oxford, by Jacobs, a Jew, "at
the Angel; and there it (coffee) was, by some who delighted in novelty,
drunk." About this time, Mr. Edwards, a Turkey merchant, brought from
Smyrna to London, one Pasqua Rosee, a Ragusan youth, who prepared this
drink for him every morning. But the novelty thereof, drawing too much
company to him, he allowed his said servant, with another of his
son-in-law, to sell coffee publicly, and they set up the first
coffee-house in London, in St. Michael's Alley, in Cornhill. The sign
was Pasqua Rosee's own head.

Tea was first sold in London by Thomas Garway, in Change Alley, in 1651,
at from 16_s_. to 50_s_. per pound; it had been previously sold at from
six pounds to ten pounds per pound. Pepys, in his _Diary_, tells, Sept.
25, 1669, of his sending "for a cup of Tea, a China drink he had not
before tasted." Henry Bennet, Earl of Arlington, about 1666, had
introduced Tea at Court. And, in Sir Charles Sedley's _Mulberry Garden_,
we are told that "he who wished to be considered a man of fashion always
drank wine-and-water at dinner, and a dish of tea afterwards."[52]

Spices and other condiments are mentioned in the Countess of Leicester's
accounts, viz., anise, cinnamon, ginger, pepper, cloves, cummin, dried
fennel, saffron, sugar, liquorice, mustard, verjuice, and vinegar, the
prices of which were very low. It must not be supposed, from the low
prices of some of these articles, that they were generally used in the
country; the arrival of a ship laden with spices was an event of such
importance, and perhaps rarity, that the King usually hastened to
satisfy his wants before the cargo was landed. Thus in the 10th of Henry
the Third, the bailiffs of Sandwich were commanded to detain, upon their
coming to port, two great ships laden with spices and precious
merchandises, which were expected from Bayonne; and not to allow
anything to be sold until the King had had his choice of their contents.

Among the glories of olden confectionery was March-pane, a biscuit
composed of sugar and almonds, like those now called Macaroons. It is
also called _massepain_ in some old books. The word March-pane exists,
with little variation, in almost all the European languages; yet the
derivation of it is uncertain. In the Latin of the Middle Ages,
March-panes were called _Martii panes_, which gave occasion to Hermolaus
Barbaras to inquire into their origin, in a letter to Cardinal
Piccolomini, who had some sent to him as a present. Balthazar Bonifacius
says they were named from Marcus Apicius, the famous epicure. Minshew,
following Hermolaus, will have them originally sacred to Mars, and
stamped with a castle.

Whatever was the origin of their name, the English receipt-books show
that they were composed of almonds and sugar, pounded and baked
together. Here is a receipt:

      "_To make a March-pane._--Take two pounds of almonds, being
      blanched, and dryed in a sieve over the fire, beate them in a
      stone mortar, and when they bee small, mixe them with two pounds
      of sugar beeing finely beaten, adding two or three spoonefuls of
      rose-water, and that will keep your almonds from oiling: when your
      paste is beaten fine, drive it thin with a rowling pin, and so lay
      it on a bottom of wafers; then raise up a little edge on the side,
      and so bake it; then yce it with rose-water and sugar, then put it
      into the oven againe, and when you see your yce is risen up and
      drie, then take it out of the oven and garnish it with pretie
      conceipts, as birdes and beasts being cast out of standing-moldes.
      Sticke long comfits upright into it, cast bisket and carrowaies in
      it, and so serve it: you may also print of this march-pane paste
      in your moldes for banqueting dishes. And of this paste our comfit
      makers at this day make their letters, knots, armes, escutcheons,
      beasts, birds, and other fancies."--_Delightes for Ladies_ 1608.

March-pane was a constant article in the desserts of our ancestors, and
appeared sometimes on more solemn occasions. When Elizabeth visited
Cambridge, the University presented their chancellor, Sir William Cecil,
with two pairs of gloves, a march-pane, and two sugar-loves. In the old
play of _Wits_ we find a reference to

        "----dull country madams that spend
  Their time in studying recipes to make
  March-pane and preserve plumbs."

Castles and other figures were often made of march-pane for splendid
desserts, and were demolished by shooting or throwing sugar-plums at

      _Almonds_ are an olden delicacy of our table, and have for ages
      been very extensively used in a variety of preparations.
      Almond-milk, composed of almonds ground and mixed with milk or
      other liquid, was a favourite beverage, as was also almond-butter
      and almond-custard. The antiquity of the practice of serving
      almonds and raisins together at dessert seems to be shown from the
      name Almonds-and-raisins being given as that of an old English
      game in _Useful Transactions in Philosophy_, 1700.

      _Biscuits_ (originally Biskets) of various kinds were in use in
      the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries; among which that most in
      repute was called Naples Biscuit, from the place where it was
      first made: it occurs in the Carpenters' Company's books in 1644.

      _Orange-Flower Water_ has been a favourite perfume in England
      since the reign of James I. It occurs in Copley's _Wits, Fits, and
      Fancies_, 1614; and in the _Accomplished Female Instructor_, 1719,
      is the following recipe:--Take two pounds of orange-flowers, as
      fresh as you can get them, infuse them in two quarts of white
      wine, and so distil them, and it will yield a curious perfuming
      spirit.--_Orange Butter_ was made, according to the _Closet of
      Rarities_, 1706, by beating up new cream, and then adding
      orange-flower and red wine, to give it the colour and scent of an


The only kinds of fruits named in the Countess of Leicester's Expenses,
are apples and pears: three hundred of the latter were purchased at
Canterbury; probably from the gardens of the monks. It is believed,
however, that few other sorts were generally grown in England before the
latter end of the fifteenth century; although Matthew Paris, describing
the bad season of 1257, observes that "apples were scarce, and pears
scarcer, while quinces, vegetables, cherries, plums, and all
shell-fruits, were entirely destroyed." These shell-fruits were probably
the common hazel-nut, walnuts, and perhaps chestnuts: in 1256, the
Sheriffs of London were ordered to buy two thousand chestnuts for the
King's use. In the Wardrobe Book of the 14th of Edward the First, before
quoted, we find the bill of Nicholas, the royal fruiterer, in which the
only fruits mentioned are pears, apples, quinces, medlars, and nuts. The
supply of these, from Whitsuntide to November, cost 21_l_. 14_s_.
1-1/2_d_. This apparent scarcity of indigenous fruits naturally leads to
the inquiry, what foreign kinds besides those included in the term
spicery, such as almonds, dates, figs, and raisins, were imported into
England in this and the following century? In the time of John and of
Henry the Third, Rochelle was celebrated for its pears and conger eels:
the Sheriffs of London purchased a hundred of the former for Henry, in

In the 18th of Edward the First, a large Spanish ship came to
Portsmouth; out of the cargo of which the Queen bought one frail of
Seville figs, one frail of raisins or grapes, one bale of dates, and two
hundred and thirty pomegranates, fifteen citrons, and seven ORANGES. The
last item is important, as Le Grand d'Aussy could not trace the orange
in France to an earlier date than 1333; here we find it known in England
in 1290; and it is probable that this was not its first appearance. The
marriage of Edward with Eleanor of Castile naturally led to a greater
intercourse with Spain, and, consequently, to the introduction of other
articles of Spanish produce than the leather of Cordova, olive-oil, and
rice, which had previously been the principal imports from that fertile
country, through the medium of the merchants of Bayonne and Bordeaux. It
is to be regretted that the series of Wardrobe Books is incomplete, as
much additional information on this point might have been derived from
them. At all events it appears certain that Europe is indebted to the
Arab conquerors of Spain for the introduction of the orange, and not to
the Portuguese, who are said to have brought it from China. An English
dessert in the thirteenth century must, it is clear, have been composed
chiefly of dried and preserved fruits--dates, figs, apples, pears, nuts,
and the still common dish of almonds and raisins.

The garden of the Earl of Lincoln, now in the midst of one of the most
densely-peopled quarters of London, was highly kept long before the
Earl's mansion became an Inn of Court. His Lordship's bailiff's
accounts, in the reign of Edward I. (1295-6), show the garden to have
produced apples, pears, hedge nuts, and cherries, sufficient for the
Earl's table, and to yield by sale in one year, 135_l_., modern
currency. The vegetables grown were beans, onions, garlick, leeks; hemp
was grown; the cuttings of the vines were much prized; of pear-trees
there were several varieties: the only flowers named are roses. In the
previous reign (Henry III.) a considerable quantity was cultivated as
gardens within the walls of the metropolis; and we read, from time to
time, in the coroners' rolls, of mortal accidents which befel youths
attempting to steal apples in the orchards of Paternoster Row and Ivy
Lane, almost in the shadow of St. Paul's Cathedral.


The usages of social life amongst our ancestors present us with several
interesting instances of their ingenuity in keeping before them the rule
of life by monitory inscriptions, or texts, placed over doorways, upon
walls, and upon articles in daily domestic use, thus making it "plain
upon the tables, that he may run that readeth it." We find this good
advice upon the curiously-ornamented Fruit-trenchers in fashion during
the sixteenth century. The only set of tablets, or trenchers, of this
description, rectangular in form, hitherto noticed, are in the
possession of Mrs. Bird, of Upton-cum-Severn. They are twelve in number,
formed of thin leaves of light-coloured wood, possibly lime-tree,
measuring about 5-3/4 inches by 4-1/2 inches, and inclosed in a wooden
case, formed like a book, with clasps, the sides decorated like

On removing a sliding-piece, the upper tablets may be taken out. They
are curiously painted and gilt; every one presenting a different design,
and inscribed with verses from Holy Writ, conveying some moral
admonition. Each tablet relates to a distinct subject. These legends are
inclosed in compartments, surrounded by various kinds of foliage, and
the old-fashioned flowers of an English garden--the campion,
honeysuckle, and gillyflower--each tablet being ornamented with a
different flower. One trencher bears the oak-leaf and acorns, and the
texts inscribed upon it relate to the uncertainty of human life. Upon
the others are found admonitions against covetousness, hatred, malice,
gluttony, profane swearing, and evil speaking; with texts in which the
virtues of benevolence, patience, chastity, forgiveness of injuries, and
so forth, are inculcated.

The following are the texts in the centre, relating to inebriety, the
spelling modernized:--"Woe be unto you that rise up early to give
yourselves to drunkenness, and all your minds go on drinking, that ye
sit swearing thereat until it be night. The harp, the lute, the tabour,
the thalme, and plenty of wine are at your feasts, but the Word of the
Lord do ye not behold, neither consider ye the work of His hands." In
the four compartments of the margin: "Take heed that your heart be not
overwhelmed with feasting and drunkenness." "Through gluttony many
perish." "Through feasting many have died, but he that eateth measurably
prolongeth life." "Be no wine-bibber." The sides thus ornamented, were
coated with a hard transparent varnish; the reverse, which probably was
the side upon which the fruit or comfits were laid, is smooth and clear,
without varnish or colour. These curious fruit-trenchers were found
amongst a variety of old articles at Elmley Castle, Worcestershire,
about forty years since. They were exhibited during the Meeting of the
Archæological Institute at Winchester, in 1845, and brought to light
other sets of fruit-trenchers. One of these, belonging to Jervoise
Clarke Jervoise, Esq., of Idsworth Park, Hants, consisted of ten
trenchers, in the form of roundels, ornamented like those just
described, and inclosed in a box, which bears upon its cover the royal
arms, France and England quarterly, surmounted by the Imperial crown.
The supporters are the lion and the dragon, indicating that these
roundels are of the time of Queen Elizabeth. On each are inscribed a
rhyming stanza and Scripture texts. Thus, under the symbol of a skull,
is (modernized)--

  "Content thyself with thine estate,
  And send no poor wight from thy gate;
  For why this counsel I ye give,
  To learn to die, and die to live."

These roundels have been described as trenchers for cheese or
sweetmeats. Some antiquaries, however, consider them as intended to be
used in some social game, like modern conversation-cards: their proper
use appears to be sufficiently proved by the chapter on "Posies" in the
_Art of English Poesie_, published in 1589, which contains the
following:--"There be also another like epigrams that were sent usually
for New Yeare's gifts, or to be printed or put upon banketting dishes of
sugar-plate, or of March-paines, &c.; they were called Nenia or
Apophoreta, and never contained above one verse, or two at the most, but
the shorter the better. We call them poesies, and do paint them
now-a-days upon the back sides of our fruit-trenchers of wood, or use
them as devices in ringes and armes."

It was customary in olden times to close the banquet with "confettes,
sugar-plate, fertes with other subtilties, with Ipocrass," served to the
guests as they stood at the board after grace was said. The period has
not been stated at which the fashion of desserts and long sittings after
the principal meal of the day became an established custom. It was,
doubtless, at the time when that repast, which, during the reign of
Queen Elizabeth, had been at eleven before noon, amongst the higher
classes in England, took the place of the supper, usually served at
five, or between five and six, at that period.[54] The prolonged
revelry, once known as the "reare supper," may have led to the custom of
following up the dinner with a sumptuous dessert. Be this as it may,
there can be little question that the concluding service of the social
meal--composed, as Harrison, who wrote about the year 1579, informs us,
of "fruit and conceits of all sorts,"--was dispensed upon the ornamental
trenchers above described.

In the Doucean Museum, at Goodrich Court, there is a set of roundels,
similar to the above, which appear, by the badge of the rose and the
pomegranate conjoined, to be of the early part of the reign of Henry
VIII. Possibly, they may have been introduced with many foreign
"conceits" and luxuries from France and Germany, during that reign. In
the times of Elizabeth, mention first occurs of fruit dishes of any
ornamental ware, the service of the table having previously been
performed with dishes, platters, and saucers of pewter, and "treens," or
wooden trenchers; or, in more stately establishments, with silver plate.
Shakspeare makes mention of "china dishes;" but it is more probable that
they were of the ornamental ware fabricated in Italy, and properly
termed _Majolica_, than of Oriental porcelain. The first mention of
"porselyn" in England occurs in 1587-8, when its rarity was so great,
that a porringer and cup of that costly ware were selected as New Year's
gifts presented to the Queen by Burghley and Cecil. Shortly after,
mention is made by several writers of "earthen vessels painted; costly
fruit dishes of fine earth painted; fine dishes of earth painted; such
as are brought from Venice."

Those elegant Italian wares, which in France appear to have superseded
the more homely appliances of the festive table, about the middle of the
sixteenth century, were doubtless adopted at the tables of the higher
classes in our own country, towards its close.

The wooden fruit-trencher was not, however, wholly disused during the
seventeenth century; and amongst sets of roundels which may be assigned
to the reign of James I. or Charles I. may be mentioned a set exhibited
in the Museum formed during the meeting of the Archæological Institute
at York, in 1846. They were purchased at a broker's shop at Bradford,
Yorkshire: in dimensions they resemble the trenchers of the reign of
Elizabeth, already described; but their decoration is of a more ordinary
character. On each tablet is pasted a line engraving, of coarse
execution, and gaudily coloured, representing one of the Sibyls.[55]

The common trencher which most of us have seen in use, was a wooden
platter employed instead of metal, china, or earthen plates. It was even
considered a stride of luxury when trenchers were often changed in one
meal. "And with an humble chaplain it was expressly stipulated," says
Bishop Hall, "that he never change his trencher twice." The term "a good
trencher-man" was then equivalent to a hearty feeder (Nares's
_Glossary_). Maple-wood, being soft and white, was formerly in great
request for trenchers.

Fosbroke remembered when no other but wooden dishes of this kind were
used in farm-houses in Shropshire. The general form of the trencher was
round; yet the _trencher-cap_ of our Universities has a square top.


Very few esculent plants are mentioned in the Accounts of the Middle
Ages. Dried peas and beans, parsley, fennel, onions, green peas, and new
beans, are the only species named. Pot-herbs, of which the names are not
specified, but which served eleven days, cost 6_d_. There is much
uncertainty upon the subject of the cultivation of vegetables, in this
country, during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. Cresses,
endive, lettuces, beets, parsnips, carrots, cabbages, leeks, radishes,
and cardoons, were grown in France during the reign of Charlemagne; but
it is doubtful whether many of these varieties had penetrated into
England at that early period. The most skilful horticulturists of the
Middle Ages were ecclesiastics, and it is possible that in the gardens
of monasteries many vegetables were reared which were not in common use
among the laity. Even in the fifteenth century, the general produce of
the English kitchen garden was contemptible when compared with that of
the Low Countries, France, and Italy. Gilbert Kymer can enumerate only,
besides a few wild and forgotten sorts, cabbage, lettuce, spinach,
beetroot, trefoil, bugloss, borage, celery, purslane, fennel, smallage,
thyme, hyssop, parsley, mint, a species of turnip, and small white
onions. According to him, all these plants were boiled with meat. He
observes also that some were eaten raw, in spring and summer, with
olive-oil and spices, but questions the propriety of the custom. This
is, perhaps, the earliest notice extant of the use of salads in England.

The subject of the supplies of the table with food is a very large one;
and leaves us but space to remark that the condition of food, an
important point of its worth, must have suffered from the slow mode of
conveyance in former times. The advantages which we enjoy in this age of
rapid transit have been thus cleverly illustrated by a contemporary:--"A
little more than half a century ago it took about six weeks to drive the
herds of cattle from the north of Scotland to the metropolis: now they
can be whirled here in a few hours. Fish in great variety may be caught
in the morning on the coast of Berwick and Coquet, and be boiling in the
kitchens of Belgravia on the same evening for dinner. In exchange for
the sheep and beeves from the highlands and Cheviot, the choice fruits
and early vegetables of the south are rapidly passed. By means of
steamships and other quick sailing vessels, the oranges of Spain and
Portugal, the grapes of France and Italy, and the oxen, sheep, fruits,
&c. of other foreign parts are brought in fine condition; and delicacies
which were not easily obtained even by the rich are now common amongst
the multitude. But for this increased facility of conveyance how would
it be possible to feed the immense multitude of London, which, in half a
century of time, will in all probability number 5,000,000?"


Cheese and curdling of milk are mentioned in the Book of Job. David was
sent by his father, Jesse, to carry ten cheeses to the camp, and to see
how his brethren fared. "Cheese of kine" formed part of the supplies of
David's army at Mahanaim during the rebellion of Absalom. Homer makes
cheese form part of the ample stores found by Ulysses in the cave of the
Cyclop Polyphemus. Euripides, Theocritus, and other early poets, mention
cheese. Ludolphus says that excellent cheese and butter were made by the
ancient Ethiopians. Strabo states that some of the ancient Britons were
so ignorant that, though they had abundance of milk, they did not
understand the art of making cheese. There is no evidence that any of
these ancient nations had discovered the use of rennet in making cheese;
they appear to have merely allowed the milk to sour, and subsequently to
have formed the cheese from the caseous part of the milk, after
expelling the serum or whey. As David, when too young to carry arms, was
able to run to the camp with ten cheeses, ten loaves, and an ephah of
parched corn, the cheeses must have been very small.

Thomas Coghan, in _The Haven of Health_, 1584, says: "What cheese is
well made or otherwise may partly be perceived by an old Latin verse
translated thus--'Cheese should be white as snowe is, nor ful of eyes as
Argos was, nor old as Mathusalem was, nor rough as Esau was, nor full of
spots as Lazarus.' Master Tusser, in his book of Husbandrie, addeth
'other properties also of cheese well made, which whoso listeth may
reade. Of this sort, for the most part, is that which is made about
Bamburie in Oxfordshire; for of all the cheese (in my judgment) it is
the best, though some prefer Cheshire cheese made about Nantwich, and
others also commend more the cheese of other countries; but Bamburie
cheese shall goe for my money, for therein (if it be of the best sort)
you shall neither tast the renet nor salt, which be two speciall
properties of good cheese. Now who is so desirous to eat cheese must
eate it after other meate, and in a little quantity. A pennyweight,
according to the old saying, is enough; for being thus used it bringeth
two commodities. First, It strengthened a weake stomache. Secondly, It
maketh other meates to descend into the chief place of digestion; that
is, the bosome of the stomache, which is approved in "Schola Salerni."
But old and hard cheese is altogether disallowed, and reckoned among
those ten manner of meates which ingender melancholy, and bee
unwholesome for sick folkes, as appeareth before in the chapter of

The county of Chester was, ages since, famous for the excellence of its
cheese. It is stated that the Countess Constance of Chester (reign of
Henry II., 1100), though the wife of Hugh Lupus, the King's first
cousin, kept a herd of kine, _and made good cheese_, three of which she
presented to the Archbishop of Canterbury. Giraldus Cambrensis, in the
twelfth century, bears honourable testimony to the excellence of the
Cheshire cheese of his day.

Cheshire retains its celebrity for cheese-making: the pride of its
people in the superiority of its cheese may be gathered from the
following provincial song, with the music, published in 1746, during the
Spanish war, in the reign of George II.

  "A Cheshire-man sailed into Spain,
    To trade for merchandise:
  When he arrivèd from the main
    A Spaniard him espies.

  "Who said, 'You English rogue, look here--
    What fruits and spices fine
  Our land produces twice a year!
    Thou hast not such in thine.'

  "The Cheshire-man ran to his hold,
    And fetched a Cheshire cheese,
  And said, 'Look here, you dog! behold,
    We have such fruits as these!

  "'Your fruits are ripe but twice a year,
    As you yourself do say;
  But such as I present you here,
    Our land brings twice a day.'

  "The Spaniard in a passion flew,
    And his rapier took in hand;
  The Cheshire-man kicked up his heels,
    Saying, 'Thou art at my command!'

  "So never let a Spaniard boast,
    While Cheshire-men abound,
  Lest they should teach him, to his cost,
    To dance a Cheshire round!"[56]

Next to Cheshire rank Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, and Somerset, for
their cheese. In the latter county they have the proverb:

  "If you wid have a good cheese, and hav'n old,
  You must turn 'n seven times before he is old."

To curdle the milk in cheese-making was formerly used the _Galium verum_
of botanists, a wild flower with square stems, shining whorled leaves,
and loose panicles of small yellow flowers, popularly known as _Cheese

The practice of mixing sage and other herbs, and the flowers or seeds of
plants, with cheese, was common among the Romans; and this led to the
herbs, &c. being worked into heraldic devices in the Middle Ages.
Charlemagne once ate cheese mixed with parsley-seeds at a bishop's
palace, and liked it so much, that ever after he had two cases of such
cheese sent yearly to Aix-la-Chapelle. Our pastoral poet of the last
century has noted this device:

  "Marbled with sage, the hardened cheese she pressed."--GAY.


The virtues of Saxon ale have already been commemorated, at pp.
66-68. We return to the subject, at a later period.

"It may be remarked," says Mr. Hudson Turner, "that in the thirteenth
century the English had no certain principle as to the grain best suited
for brewing. A roll of household expenses of the Countess of Leicester
shows that Beer was made indiscriminately of barley, wheat, and oats,
and sometimes of a mixture of all. As the Hop was not used we may
conjecture that the produce of their brewing was rather insipid, and not
calculated for long keeping: it was drunk as soon as made. To remove the
mawkish flatness of such beer it was customary to flavour it with spices
and other strong ingredients: long pepper continued to be used for this
purpose some time after the introduction of hops. The period at which
the last-named plant became an ingredient of English beer is not
precisely known. It was cultivated from a very early date in Flanders
and Belgium, where it was both employed in brewing, and eaten in salads;
and from those countries it was imported into England while the produce
of our own hop-grounds was inconsiderable. It would appear, however,
that Hops were used in this country for brewing, in the beginning of the
fifteenth century, as Gilbert Kymer, in his _Dietary_, pronounces beer
brewed from barley, and well hopped, also of middling strength, thin and
clear, well fined, well boiled, and neither too new or too old, to be a
sound and wholesome beverage. It is pretty certain, nevertheless, that
in his time the hop was not _grown_ in England. In ancient days brewing
was almost solely managed by women, and till the close of the fifteenth
century the greater part of the beer-houses in London were kept by
females who brewed what they sold."

Ale, the favourite drink of our Saxon forefathers, has been described as
a thick, sweet, _unhopped_ liquor, and as such distinguished from our
modern _hopped_ "beer." Gerard says: "The manifold virtues in hops do
manifestly argue the wholesomeness of _beer_ above _ale_;" and
conjectures that the origin of this distinction may be due to the use
of the word beer in the Low Countries, from which hops were introduced.
It would appear, however, that beer was known in this country, and
specified as such, before the use of hops; which were not imported till
1524, other bitters having supplied their place.

There is an ancient rhyme which says,--

  "Turkeys, Carps, _Hops_, Piccarel, and _Beer_,
  Came into England all in one year."

The year when all these good things are supposed to have been
introduced, was somewhere in the early part of the reign of King Henry
VIII. But it is evident that as early as 1440, when the _Parvulorum
Promptorium_ was compiled, the use of hops was not altogether unknown.
Mr. Albert Way supposes that at that time hopped beer was either
imported from abroad or brewed by foreigners. And this supposition is
certainly supported by the _Promptorium_.

The great hop county of Kent produced better ale than any other; and the
large quantity of ale found in the cellars of the Kentish gentry, had
much to do with fomenting Jack Cade's rebellion, which arose in Kent.

Unhopped ale, having no bitter principle, would easily run into acetous
fermentation. And this is the reason why, in old family receipt-books,
we find that our great-grandmothers were in the habit of using alegar
where, by the cooks of the present day, vinegar is employed.

In modern usage the distinction between _Ale_ and _Beer_ is different in
various parts of the country. But originally, the distinction was very
clearly marked: _Ale_ being a liquor brewed from _malt_, to be drunk
fresh; _Beer_, a liquor brewed from _malt and hops_, intended to keep.

The above distinction is clearly observed in Johnson's _Dictionary_,
where _ale_ is defined, "A liquor made by infusing _malt_ in hot water,
and then fermenting the liquor:" _Beer_, "Liquor made _from malt and
hops_;" "distinguished from ale either by being older or smaller." Ale
thus defined answers to the description given by Tacitus of the drink of
the ancient Germans. The ancient Spaniards had a somewhat similar drink,
called by them _Celia_.

M. Alphonse Esquiros writes of our national drink thus amusingly:--"It
was the favourite fluid of the Anglo-Saxons and Danes, whom we have seen
descend in turn on Great Britain. Before their conversion to
Christianity, they believed that one of the chief felicities the heroes
admitted after death into Odin's paradise enjoyed, was to drink long
draughts of ale from tall cups. Archæologians have made learned and
laborious researches to recover the history of beer in Great Britain: it
will be sufficient for us to say, that in Wales, ale, even small, was
formerly regarded as a luxury, and was only seen on the tables of the
great. In England, about the middle of the sixteenth century, Harrison
assures us that, when tradesmen and artisans had the good fortune to
stumble on a haunch of venison and a glass of strong ale, they believed
themselves as magnificently treated as the lord mayor. At the present
day, what a change! Ale and porter flow into the pewter pots of the
humblest taverns; rich and poor--the poor more frequently than the
rich--refresh themselves with the national beverage, as the Israelites
in the Desert slaked their thirst at the water leaping from the rock, to
quote a minister of the English Church. This abundance compared with the
old penury, rejoices the social economist from a certain point of view,
for he sees in it the natural movement of science, trade and
agriculture, which in time places within reach of the most numerous
class articles which, at the outset, were regarded as luxuries. Not only
has beer become more available to the working classes, but the quality
has improved, and at the present day English beer knows no rival on the

The old compound of roasted apples, ale, and sugar, which our ancestors
knew as "Lamb's Wool," is thought to have derived its name as
follows:--The words La Mas Ubal are good Irish, signifying the Feast, or
day, of the Apple, and, pronounced _Lamasool_, soon passed into Lamb's
Wool. The mixture was drunk on the evening of the above day, which was
supposed to be presided over by the guardian angel of fruits and seeds.

A less fanciful etymology points to the above drink being named from its
smoothness and softness, resembling the wool of lambs. Herrick sings:

          "Now crowne the bowle
          With gentle lambs-wooll,
  Add sugar, and nutmegs, and ginger;"

and in an old play we read of this addition: "Lay a crab in the fire to
roast for lamb's-wool."


[51] In the Sandwich and many of the islands of the Pacific, every child
has a piece of sugar-cane in its hand; while in our own sugar colonies
the negro becomes fat in crop time on the abundant juice of the ripening
cane. This mode of using the cane is, no doubt, the most ancient of all,
and was well known to the Roman writers. Lucan (book iii. 237) speaks of
the eaters of the cane, as "those who drink sweet juice from the tender

[52] It is remarkable, that the first house at which Coffee was first
sold in England, the Angel, Oxford, and the first house at which Tea was
sold in England, Garraway's, in Change Alley, London, were both taken
down in the same year--1866.

[53] _Things not Generally Known._ Second Series.

[54] Harrison's _Description of England_, c. vi.; Holinshed's _Chron._
ii. 171.

[55] Abridged from a paper by Mr. Albert Way, F.S.A.; _Archæological
Journal_, vol. ii. pp. 332-339.

[56] Dogget, the actor, who bequeathed the Coat and Badge, to be rowed
for annually on the Thames, was noted for dancing the Cheshire Round, as
he is represented in his portrait.

IV. Peasant Life.[57]

Few inquiries of social interest better show the progress of the English
people than glances at their condition at various periods of their
history. Here we may trace the rise of the people from rude forms of
civilization, through its various grades, to the blessings of industry
and independence, which have so materially contributed to the character
of our National Life. Commencing with the substratum of these social
changes, we are reminded of the truth of Goldsmith's oft-quoted lines:

  "Princes and lords may flourish or may fade,
  A breath can make them, as a breath has made;
  But a bold peasantry, their country's pride,
  When once destroy'd, can never be supplied."

In early times freemen formed a mere section of the people, and the bulk
of the English population were in a servile condition. Some of the
bondmen were captives, or the children of captives; others had been
reduced to servitude by distress, by debts, or crimes; but they were not
all of them absolute slaves, for even amongst the convicts there were
some who were not slaves, but serfs. Now, in acquiring the use of land,
a slave made the first step towards freedom. In this manner a
_thrall-bred_ man became _boor-bred_, and although still a bondman--he
might hope, by good conduct or by the lord's bounty, to rise to the
higher condition of a geneatman, or free farmer, and even to become a
freeman, and a freeholder,--to become the absolute owner of his little

In Anglo-Saxon times, the political station of a freeman was determined
by his _were_--it was his worth or value; and the _wergyld_ was the fine
paid in compensation of his life. The abolition or disuse of this fine
was an encouragement of liberty, since it removed the strongest mark of
distinction between freemen and non-freemen.

The free or unfree condition of a man descended to his posterity. At the
close of the thirteenth century, many peasants in England were still
affected by the crimes or the misfortunes of their remote ancestors. By
that time there was an end of absolute slavery, and the bondsmen were
all serfs, or the children of serfs.


Villenage and operative tenancy were almost extinct at the time of the
Reformation. The few villeins, or operative tenants, then remaining,
were in the occupation of small plots of land, or were, in fact,
agricultural labourers, working for wages, rather than tenants _paying
their rent in labour_. They were scarcely to be found except upon
Church-lands, or upon lands which had lately belonged to the Church.

An operative tenant of five acres usually worked once a week for the
lord. We learn from Domesday that bordars were tenants of five acres,
and that the bordars under the Castle of Ewias worked once a week: the
Saxon cottar held at least five acres, and was accustomed to work for
the lord every Monday. This custom prevailed in later times. If a tenant
worked for the lord once a week, the working-day was commonly Monday.
The Monday-men at East Brent, in Somerset, had the following customs in
the year 1517:--Each of them, by ancient usage, should annually, in
forty days selected by the lord's steward, do forty works of summer and
winter husbandry, called Monday-works, working and labouring well each
day for six whole hours; each of them receiving, while at work, a
halfpenny, the sum of which is twenty pence per annum: and each of them
who should do eight autumnal works, working well six hours a day as
before said, should receive one penny a day. At the same time there were
Monday-men at Limpesham in the same county; and they are noticed in
earlier rentals at Castle Combe in Wiltshire, at Leighton in
Huntingdonshire, in East Kent, and at Bocking and Hadleigh in the
eastern counties.

At Bury St. Edmund's anciently, there were humble servitors called
Lancetts, who were bound by their tenure to clean the chambers of the
monastery. A tenant of the abbey at Cokefield, whose tenure is not
called lancettage, was obliged to thatch, to wattle and daub, to do
carpenter's work, to collect compost, to clean houses, &c.--but was not
required to clean out the lord's _latrines_.

Although villeins were said to hold their land at the will of the lord,
their position was not really precarious; they did not hold at the
lord's arbitrary will, but at the will of the lord subject to the
custom of the manor. While they paid their dues and performed their
services, the lord could not molest them; if the lord ejected a sick
villein, the villein was emancipated. For trivial offences the villein
was amerced, or was at the lord's mercy; that is, was obliged to pay a
fine assessed by a jury who were sworn to spare no one for love or fear,
and to punish no one too severely; for disobedience and disloyalty the
lord could set his villein in the stocks; if others then came and broke
the stocks to let the villein out, the lord could have an action of
trespass: the stocks were chiefly designed for vagrants and unruly

At one time the ties which bound a peasant to his landlord were like
those which bound a soldier to his martial chief. Dependence on a lord
was thought no degradation, and the state of society made independence
impossible. The feudal system was exhausted as soon as the law became
strong enough to protect an independent man.


We now proceed to the several services. _Grass-erth_, or the service of
Tillage, was in return for the privilege of feeding cattle in the lord's
open pastures. The Saxon boor ploughed two acres, and might be allowed
to plough more if he required more pasture.

At Sturminster Newton in Dorsetshire, certain tenants came upon the
lord's grass-land on the morrow of St. Martin's Day with as many teams
of oxen as they could bring, and they ploughed four acres of the land
with each team; they brought seed from the hall to sow the land, and
afterwards harrowed it. This service entitled them to feed their oxen
with the lord's oxen, from the time that the meadows were mown until the
cattle were housed. The lord might, in the meantime, raise no hedge, and
might make no several pasture in the fallow-field, to exclude the cattle
of the tenantry.

The Saxon boor, in addition to grass-erth, ploughed three acres of
gafolyrthe: that is, ploughing alone in satisfaction of his gayfol, or
rent; as well as three acres of benyrthe, or optional tillage, done as a
_boon_ to the lord,--done out of grace and kindness, not in the way of

A large part of the lord's arable land was entirely cultivated by the
tenantry. The customary tenants at Cokefield, near Bury, ploughed 200
acres; or rather, they ploughed each acre more than once, and their
labour was equal to the single tillage of 200 acres.

In large manors, it was the duty of the reeve to ascertain whether a
tenant intended to do the service, or chose rather to pay for a
substitute. The reeve had to deal with persons of both sexes, and of all
conditions. Some of the contributors of labour were knights, and
gentlemen, and ladies of quality; others were independent yeomen, surly
farmers, and poor widows. This arrangement was called an _arable
precation_. The _gathering of the ploughs_ must have been a remarkable
sight. Soon after dawn, on the appointed day the tenants met the lord's
officers in the field. Tenants who came without oxen, were employed in
delving and in making fences; tenants who came with single oxen or with
less than an entire team, were associated with others; and thus all the
oxen and cart-horses present were sorted in teams of about eight
animals. The teams were marshalled by a beadle, who carried his wand of
office, not quite a bare symbol of authority, for, we dare say, it was
used upon inert husbandmen as well as upon inert oxen. The reeve took
care that each team did its full work: that the ploughmen worked as well
for the lord as they would work for themselves; and that the teams were
not unyoked until the work had been fairly done. The day's work was
supposed to be completed at the ninth hour,--three in the afternoon,
according to our reckoning. This hour was called high noon, and the meal
then taken was called a noonshun or nuncheon. Some of the ploughmen had
a meal from the lord, but there was no regular feast; a tenant employed
in the lord's service was not usually entitled to a meal, unless the
service kept him occupied an entire day. A boon-harrowing, with horses,
succeeded; each horse that harrowed was allowed two or three handfuls of
oats. In due time there followed a bedweding, or weeding boon.

There were small services, such as threshing, thatching, delving,
building, and enclosing. A tenant made two perches, or eleven yards, of
dyke. A tenant at Darent, near Rochester, in the thirteenth century, did
two perches of enclosure around the court, and seven perches of Racheie
around the lord's corn. Then there was the service of enclosing the
hall-garth or courtyard. The tenants are still obliged to keep up a
stone wall round the site of the manor-house at Brotherton, in Norfolk;
the mansion itself disappeared long ago. The fencing of a park was in
some places distributed among a number of townships, each undertaking to
maintain so many rods of paling; this was the custom at Pilton, in
Somerset, where there was a deer-park belonging to the Abbot of
Glastonbury. The churchyard at Bradley, in Staffordshire, is said to be
still enclosed by the parishioners associated in this manner,--that is,
each person is bound to finish a certain portion of paling. The tenants
also made or maintained the lord's sheepfold. Each hyde at Thorpe in
Essex had to make a certain number of rods for the fold out of the
lord's wood.

At times, the tenants had to spread composts in the lord's field. They
also collected stubble out of the corn-fields, and reeds out of the
marsh; reeds and straw were strewn in apartments, and used for thatching
or fuel. In many places they were required to gather nuts in the woods
for the lord; the nuts were for making oil, and a quarter of nuts
answered to a gallon of oil. Nutting was rather a pastime, or holiday
task, than a service. The nutting expeditions at Wickham, in Essex, were
to be made on three feast days, which are not named, but Holyrood Day,
the 14th of September, may have been one of them:

  "This day, they say, is called Holy-Rood Day,
  And all the youth are now a nutting gone."

  _Grim, the Collier of Croydon._

To make malt for the lord was usually the chief service of the poorer
tenants in the immediate neighbourhood of a monastery, as at Darent and
other places near Rochester, and at Battle; tenants at a distance,
instead of making malt, in some places paid a tax called _malt-silver_.
The cottagers carried their lord's malt to the flour mill to be crushed,
for they were not allowed to keep hand-mills or mortars, which might be
used in grinding corn. The malt might be dried at home, for kilns were
common in old houses; but in some manors the lord had a public kiln,
which the tenants were bound to make use of.


A _bedrip_, _reaping boon_, or _autumnal precation_, was a more pompous
festival than an _arable precation_. In old times, as in our own, the
Harvest was made a season of merriment, if not of thanksgiving:

  "In tyme of harvest mery it is ynough;
  The hayward bloweth mery his horn,
  In eueryche felde ripe is corn."

  _Romance of King Alexander._

In the illustrations of an old Saxon Calendar, in the Cotton Library,
the hayward is shown standing on a hillock, cheering the reapers with
his horn. Slumbering reapers were roused by the sound of a horn in
Tusser's time; and the custom of blowing horns at harvest-time endured
until the end of the last century, for it is noticed by John Scott, of
Amwell. In the thirteenth century, when the rentals were mostly
compiled, the lord was aided in harvest, as in seed-time, by tenants of
all ranks. A superior tenant rarely sent more than two men to the
bedrip, or two men and an _overman_, that is a foreman.

The kindly services rendered to the lord in seed-time and harvest were
otherwise called precations, gifel-works, and love-boons. The days on
which they were rendered used to be called boon-days, and occasionally
love-days: a love-day more commonly meant a law-day, a day set apart for
a leet or manorial court, a day of final concord and reconciliation; as
we read in the _Coventry Mysteries_:

  "Now is the love-day mad of us foure fynially
  Now may we leve in pes as we were wonte."

Love-boons are described by the Law authorities as "the voluntary labour
of the inhabitants of the neighbouring townships."

The memorable truce between the Yorkists and Lancastrians, in 1458, was
called a love-day.

A customary tenant, in some places, was bound to appear on the grandest
day with his whole family, except the housewife, who stayed at home and
spun; sometimes excepting the nurse as well the mistress. In the
neighbourhood of Oxford, in the year 1279, all the men who held
yard-lands, and all who held half-yard-lands, came to two autumnal
precations, each of them with one man; and to the third precation each
of them with his whole family, excepting his wife and shepherd, and was
regaled by the lord on this third day,--not on the two former days; and
all the customary tenants were obliged to ride beyond the lord's crops,
to see that they were reaped safe and well. They rode in saddles, with
bridles and spurs; if they failed in any part of this equipment, they
were fined. These mounted overseers were called reap-reeves. In the time
of Edward the Third, the tenant of an estate called Fawkner Field was
bound to ride among the reapers in the lord's demesnes, at Isleworth, on
the bederepe day, in autumn, with a sparrow-hawk upon his wrist. The
officers of the court were entitled to a share of the crop. In some
places, the sicklemen received a worksheaf each; each man was expected
to reap half an acre, called a deywine (day-win), or day's labour. In
the accounts of the tenures at Booking, in Essex, there is a curious
estimate of the cost of these autumnal precations. The expense of the
food provided for the reapers is weighed against the value of their
work, and the balance is found to be fivepence and three-farthings.

A yard-lander at Chalgrave, in Oxfordshire, reaped at the two precations
in autumn with all his household but his wife and shepherd; if he
brought three labourers, he walked with his rod, or rode, in front of
the reapers; if he brought no labourers, he worked in person; for two
repasts, at nones, a wheaten loaf, pottage, meat, and salt; at supper,
bread and cheese and beer, and enough of it, with a candle while the
guests were inclined to sit. The last day was always the grand day,
when, at Piddington, the tenants and their wives came with napkins,
dishes, platters, cups, and other necessary things.

In the reign of Henry III., the ploughmen and other officers, at East
Monkton, near Warminster and Shaftesbury, were allowed a ram for a feast
on the Eve of St. John the Baptist, when they used to _carry fire round
the lord's corn_. This form of the Beltane superstition was observed in
the north of England, and in Scotland, about fifty years ago. The
Beltane flourishes at the uttermost ends of Europe, in the Scilly
Islands, and in Russia; and even the main of Madagascar, who holds his
head to other stars, is accustomed to kindle bonfires on the day which
we have dedicated to St. John. We learn from the _Popular Antiquities_
that in our time, in Gloucestershire and Herefordshire, on the eve of
Twelfth Day, fires used to be lit at the ends of the lands, in fields
just sown with wheat.

Tenants in old times were required to cut and clear the lord's
hay-field. A tenant at Bradbury, for one day's mowing, received a meal
of bread and cheese twice in the course of the day; and for carrying the
same meadow, a bundle of hay, for his pains. The mowers also received
among them twelvepence or a sheep, which they were to choose out of the
lord's fold by sight, not by touch. In other places the mower was
allowed as much grass as he could raise up on his scythe, without
breaking its handle; and a haymaker received as much hay as he could
grasp with both arms. At Sturminster, a tenant, after mowing and
carrying, received a knitch of hay,--that is, as much hay as the hayward
could raise with one finger to the height of his knees.

In the year 1308, it was the rule at Borley that the mowers and
haymakers should have two bushels of wheat for bread, a wether worth
eighteenpence, a gallon of butter, the second-best cheese out of the
lord's dairy, salt and oatmeal for their pottage, and the morning's milk
of all the cows; and a mower as much grass as he could lift upon the
point of his scythe. In 1222 they had in common a cheese and a good ram.
A sheep was commonly the reward of work in the hay-field. Old English
husbandmen were very fond of mutton, and the hay-harvest fell about St.
John's Day, when mutton was considered in season.


The second Tuesday after Easter, was another very important day in
bygone times. At Chingford, the ward-staff was presented in court on
Hock-day. John Ross, of Warwick, records that, on the death of
Hardicanute, England was delivered from Danish servitude; and to
commemorate this deliverance, on the day commonly called Hock Tuesday,
the people of the villages are accustomed to pull in parties at each end
of a rope, and to indulge in other jokes. The Hock-tide sports were
kept up at Hexton, in Hertfordshire, in the time of Elizabeth, and are
described in Clutterbuck's Hertfordshire. Hock-day was usually set apart
for a love-day, law-day, or court-leet. This court could be held but
twice in the year, and was generally held at Hock-tide and Michaelmas,
or Martinmas, since a court on these days would not interfere much with
agricultural operations. Leets, like most other gatherings, ended with
good cheer. In the thirteenth century, when the officers of East Monkton
attended the Hundred courts at Deverell--which were held at Hock-tide
and Martinmas--they were allowed a loaf and a piece of meat each. A
feast following a court-leet or law-day, was called a leet-ale, or
scot-ale, as ale is said to mean no more than a feast. There were
leet-ales and scot-ales, church-ales, clerk-ales, bid-ales, and
bride-ales. Scot-ales were often abused, and made means of extortion.
The bishops, the judges, and all the king's men in vain tried to
suppress them. All persons present at a scot-ale paid _scot_,--that is,
a fine, or fee; the money raised nominally furnished a feast, but was
really for the benefit of the chief officer of the court--the portreeve,
head borough, or third borough. In some places, leet-ale was not
entirely supported by subscription. In Tollard, on the edge of Cranborne
Chase, the steward was allowed on the law-day to have a course at a deer
out of Tollard Park. At Bovey Tracy, the profits of the Portreeve's Park
defrayed the expenses of the annual revel. The Glastonbury Rental
describes the mode of keeping the scot-ales in Wiltshire, in the
thirteenth century. The customs are very like those of ancient Guilds.
By the rules of the Guild of the Holy Ghost at Abingdon, members who sat
down at dinner paid one rate, and members who stood for want of room
paid another.


This was another service imposed upon the tenantry. Though hard and
heavy work to wash and shear sheep, in the thirteenth century it was
done by women, who are called "shepsters" in the _Vision_ of Piers
Plowman. The sheep were washed in the mill-pond. Shearers were usually
entitled to the wambelocks, or loose locks of wool under the belly of
the sheep; or at Weston, in Oxfordshire, a penny instead of the locks.
The finest part of the fleece is the wool about the sheep's throat,
called in Scotland the haslock, or hawselocks:

  "A tartan plaid, spun of good hawslock woo',
  Scarlet and green he sets, the borders blew."

  _The Gentle Shepherd._

Up in the North they call a sheep-shearing the clipping-time; and to
come in clipping-time is to come as opportunely as at sheep-shearing,
when there are always mirth and good cheer. In the middle of the
seventeenth century, clippers always expected a joint of roasted mutton.
In the _Winter's Tale_, the clown ponders:

      "Let me see, what am I to buy for our sheep-shearing feast? Three
      pounds of sugar, five pounds of currants, rice--what will this
      sister of mine do with rice? But my father hath made her mistress
      of the feast, and she lays it on.... I must have saffron to colour
      the warden pies; mace; dates, none! That's out of my note.
      Nutmegs, seven; a race or two of ginger--but that I may beg; four
      pounds of prunes, and as many of raisins o' the sun."

The old customs of clipping-time were observed by Sir Moyle Finch, at
Walton, near Wetherby, in the time of Charles I., and are thus described
by Henry Best:

      "Hee hath usually fower severall keepinges shorne altogether in
      the Hall-garth.... He hath had 49 clippers all at once, and their
      wage is, to each man 12_d_. a day, and when they have done, beere
      and bread and cheese; the traylers have 6_d_. a day. His tenants
      the graingers are tyed to come themselves, and winde the well;
      they have a fatte wether and a fatte lambe killed, and a dinner
      provided for their paines; there will be usually three score or
      fower score poore folkes gatheringe up the lockes; to oversee whom
      standeth the steward and two or three of his friends or servants,
      with each of them a rodde in his hande; there are two to carry
      away the well, and weigh the roll so soone as it is wounde up, and
      another that setteth it downe ever as it is weighed; there is
      6_d_. allowed to a piper for playing to the clippers all the day;
      the shepheards have each of them his bell-weather's fleece,"--the
      "bellys" allowed to the shepherd by the old Saxon laws.

Sheep-shearing was thus celebrated in ancient times with feasting and
rustic pastimes; at present, excepting a supper at the conclusion of the
sheep-shearing, we have few remains of the older custom. Nevertheless,
it is interesting to revert to these pictures of pastoral life and
rusticity, more especially as we find them embellished by the charms of
poetry, and enlivened by a simplicity of manners which, to whatever
period it may belong, is always entertaining, if not productive of
better fruit. The season of the shearing is thus laid down by Dyer:

                      "If verdant Elder spreads
  Her silver flowers, if humble Daisies yield
  To yellow rowfoot and luxuriant grass,
  Gay Shearing Time approaches."


The most irksome tasks were the transport services, called in Scotland
the duties of _arriage_ and _carriage_. The load of a sumpter-horse was
usually eight bushels--the weight of a sack of wool, or a quarter of
corn. A wain-load was apparently nine seams. The goods carried were
chiefly provisions--grain, pulse, malt, honey, bacon, suet, salt, and
wood. A castle or monastery was _farmed_--that is, supplied with
food--by the nearest manors belonging to the lord. The farming was done
according to a regular cycle, each manor sending supplies in its turn
for so many days or weeks. We have a list of thirty-five villages which
took turns to farm Ely Minster--some for three or four days, some for a
week, some for a fortnight.

Everything contributed in this manner did not travel in waggons, or
packs and panniers; oxen and swine were driven to the head of the barony
to be slaughtered, especially at Martinmas; if the drovers came from any
distance, they received drove-meat. Arriage and carriage were not very
burdensome when fulfilled by the removal of so much wool, or cheese, or
corn, or bacon, to a neighbouring town; but they became serious when a
tenant had to ride or drive from the heart of England to the coast and
home again. Some tenants were called _pouchers_, because they were
required to carry goods in a poke, pouch, or bag. In the Channel
Islands, on the first spring-tide after the 24th of June, the poor who
possess neither cart nor horse have the exclusive right to cut _vraic_
(wrack, sea-weed), on consideration that it is conveyed on their backs
to the beach. Thus cut and conveyed it is called _vraic à la poche_, and
distinguished from _vraic à cheval_.

When fish was wanted at Rochester, the tenants of the four hydes of
Hedenham and Cuddington, near Aylesbury, were called out; two of the
hydes brought the fish from Gloucester into Buckinghamshire, and the
other two hydes carried it on to Rochester: it is likely that they were
sent to fetch the dainty lamprey, still sought for at Gloucester. The
_langerodes_, or long journeys, were very troublesome to the tenants,
but could not be dispensed with while there were no regular mails, and
no public conveyances. A person undertaking a _langerode_ either
received some remuneration or worked out his rent by serving as a
carrier; in general he was not inclined to leave his home and farm, and
found it more convenient to pay the price of the service, which enabled
the lord to find another carrier. No services were more frequently
commuted than the duties of arriage and carriage, and a body of
professional carriers was gradually formed by the habit of constant


The wardmen of ancient times were a kind of rural police, whose duty of
ward-keeping was connected with their tenure. They were, probably,
maintained on the north side of London until the institution of a
general system of police in the time of Edward the First. By the statute
of Winton, it was ordered that a watch should be kept by six men at each
gate of a city, by twelve men in every borough, and by six men or four
men in each rural township, every night, from the Feast of the Ascension
of our Lord to the Feast of St. Nicholas. The watchmen could detain any
one unknown to them; any one who would not stand and declare himself,
was pursued with hue and cry--with horn and voice--

  "Swarming at his back the country cried."

We suppose that St. Nicholas became the patron of highwaymen, because
the watch was intermitted on the day dedicated to St. Nicholas. The
wardmen were occasionally noticed in the Domesday of St. Paul's. The
survey of 1279 states, that at Sutton, in Middlesex, each tenant who had
cattle on the lord's lands to the value of thirty pence, paid a penny at
Martinmas, called _ward-penny_; but this tax was not due from the
watchmen of the ward, who waited at night in the King's highway, and
received the ward-staff:--

  "They wared and they waked,
  And the Ward so kept,
  That the king was harmless,
  And the country scatheless."

In Essex, the ward-keeper had a rope with a bell, or more than one bell,
attached to it: the rope may have been used to stop the way. The
ward-staff was a type of authority, cut and carried with peculiar
ceremony, and treated with great reverence.

The duties of the beadle (Saxon, _bydel_ or _bædel_), in ancient times,
lay more on the farm than in the law-court, the state procession, or in
the parochial duties of punishing petty offenders, as in the present
day.[58] In many places, the bedelry and the haywardship were held
together by one person. The beadle was the verger of the manorial court;
he likewise overlooked the reapers and carried his rod into the
harvest-field. At Darent, near Rochester, the beadle held five acres as
beadle, shepherd, and hayward; he had eighteen sheep and two cows in the
lord's pasture; against Christmas he had a _crone_--an old sheep--a lamb
with a fleece, and some other allowances. At Ickham, in the same county,
the beadle's office was hereditary: the beadle had five acres with a
cottage for his service, and made all the citations of the court, and,
if he went on horseback into the Weald of Kent, he was allowed
provender for his horse; he had pasture for five hogs, five head of
cattle, and a horse; he attended in the fields to regulate the labours
of the harvest. And such had been the tenure of his father, grandfather,
and great-grandfather.

Old English gentlemen were anciently very much afraid of theft and
peculation; they believed that "Treste lokes maketh trewe hewen,"--or,
to change their maxim into current English, they believed that "firm
locks made faithful servants." The barns were to be well closed after
August, and no servant was to open them until threshing-time, without
the special direction of the landlord or the steward. The strictest
accounts were kept. Every person, in any situation of the slightest
trust or responsibility, was required to render an account of every
penny and every article passing through his hands, to the receiver, or
bailiff, whose accounts were revised once a year by auditors, who went
round from manor to manor.


[57] The staple of this paper is selected and condensed from a series of
learned articles, entitled "The Rights, Disabilities, and Usages of the
Ancient English Peasantry;" in the _Law Magazine and Law Review_,
published by Messrs. Butterworth. Some of the ancient law terms have
been omitted, in order to better adapt this abstract for popular

[58] In our day, the beadle is most familiar to us as an officer of the
church. Formerly, one of his duties was a strange one. We read of the
beadle, in a church, going round the edifice during service, carrying a
long staff, at one end of which was a fox's brush, and at the other a
knob: with the former, he gently tickled the faces of the female
sleepers, while on the heads of their male compeers he bestowed with the
knob a terrible rap.

At Acton church, in Cheshire, some five and twenty years ago, one of the
churchwardens, or the apparitor, used to go round the church during
service, with a long wand in his hand; and if any of the congregation
were asleep, they were instantly awoke by a tap on the head.

In the church at Dunchurch, a similar custom existed: a person, having a
stout wand, shaped like a hay-fork at the end, stept stealthily up and
down the naves and aisles, and whenever he saw an individual asleep, he
touched him so effectually, that the spell was broken; this being
sometimes done by fitting the fork to the nape of the neck.


The means by which property has been identified, and denoted by some
distinctive mark, at various periods, present us with some curious

In England, individual marks were in use from the fourteenth to the
middle of the seventeenth centuries, probably much earlier; and when a
yeoman affixed his mark to a deed, he drew a _signum_, well known to his
neighbours, by which his land, his cattle, and sheep, his agricultural
implements, and even his ducks, were identified. In the 25th year of
Queen Elizabeth, a jury at Seaford, in Sussex, convicted John Comber
"for markyng of three ducks of Edwd Warwickes and two ducks of Symon
Brighte with his own marke, and cutting owt theire markes." Cows and
oxen were marked on the near horn. When cattle in bodies of many
hundreds ranged over extensive commons, as was formerly the case, the
use of marks for identification was more indispensable than at present.
Our swans retain their marks to the present day. In Ditmarsh and Denmark
the owner's mark was cut in stone over the principal door of the house;
it designated not only his land and cattle, but his stall in the church,
and his grave when he was no more. At Witney, Oxon, a woolstapler's mark
may be seen so incised on a house, with the date 1564; and numerous
merchants' marks are at Norwich and Yarmouth. At Holstein, within the
memory of man, the beams of the cottages of the bond-servants were
incised with the marks of their masters. A pastor, writing from Angeln,
says, "The hides had their marks, which served instead of the names of
their owners." In the island of Föhr, a little to the north of Ditmarsh,
the mark, cut on a wooden ticket, is always sold with the house; and it
is cut in stone over the door; and the same custom is still in use in
Schleswig and Holstein. In the Tyrolese Alps, at the present day, the
cattle that are driven out to pasturage are marked on the horn with the
mark of their owner's land. Marks for cattle are also used in
Switzerland, in the Bavarian Alps, and in some parts of Austria.

These house-marks are connected with merchants' and tradesmen's marks,
and also with stonemasons' marks, all of which formed a lower kind of
heraldry for those not entitled to the bearings of the noble; for, on
old houses at Erfurt, double shields, with the marks of the families of
husband and wife, are found.

Many of the marks found on old pictures are true house-marks, and not
alphabetical monograms. A painting by Wouvermans or Lingelback, in the
writer's possession, bears the mark known as the crane's foot. Michelsen
considers armorial bearings to have been originally little more than
decorated marks, and to have been engrafted, as it were, upon the
system: indeed, he asserts that the arms of Pope Hadrian VI., a
Netherlander, were framed from house-marks. Some knightly families in
Schleswig still retain their house-marks on their coat-of-arms: for
instance, the Von Gogerns bear the kettle-hanger, or pot-hook; the Von
Sesserns, in 1548, bore the same, which occurred on their family tomb,
_anno_ 1309. The earliest marks were supposed to represent the most
indispensable agricultural implements, as a spade, a plough, a scythe, a
sickle, a dung-hook, the tyres of a barrow; also, anchors, stars, &c.
There was, also, often a supposed connexion between the figurative name
of a house and its owner's mark, which was a representation of the
object, more or less exact. Michelsen considers that the names and signs
of inns are but remnants of the once universal and necessary custom of
giving figurative names to houses, which the modern numbers have

Prof. Michelsen shows that the _cultellum_, which was given by the
Franks, Goths, and Germans, in the ninth and tenth centuries, on the
transfer of land, with the _signum_ cut on a piece of wood, was
originally intended for notching the mark on the wood, in the same
manner as the inkstand and pen were lifted up with the chart, as symbols
of a transfer of land. Among the archives of Nôtre Dame, at Paris, is
preserved a pointed pocket-knife of the eleventh century, on the ivory
handle of which is engraved the record of a gift of land; and at the
same place is preserved a piece of wood, of the ninth century, six
inches long and one inch square, attached to a diploma, as was then the
custom. A similar knife, with an ivory handle, is still preserved,
attached to a charter of Trinity College, Cambridge.

The surrender of copyholds by the rod or glove, and occasionally by a
straw, or rush (whence the word "stipulation," from _stipula_, straw),
is well known in England; and in the manor of Paris Garden, Surrey, an
ebony rod is preserved with a silver head, on which are engraved the
royal arms, with E. R. and a crown, and an inscription purporting that
it is kept for the surrender of copyholds of the manor. The inscribed
sticks, mentioned in Ezekiel xxxv. 16, appear to relate to this ancient
mode of conveyancing.

V. Olden Customs and Ceremonies.


May customs are nothing more than a gratulation of the spring, to testify
universal joy at the revival of vegetation. Hence the universality of
the practice; and its festivities being inspired by the gay face of
Nature, they are as old as any we have on record. There is at Oxford a
May-day ceremony which has a special claim upon our respect and
veneration, for nearly four centuries.

Upon the majestic Perpendicular tower of Magdalen College we have many
time and oft looked with reverential feeling: seen from every point, it
delights the eye with its stately form, fine proportions, and admirable
simplicity; and with its history is associated a May-day custom of
surpassing interest. For more than three centuries and a half the
choristers of the College have assembled upon the top of its tower on a
May-day morning, and there performed a most harmonious service, the
origin of which has been thus traced by the learned Dr. Rimbault.

In the year 1501, the "most Christian" King Henry VII. gave to Magdalen
College the advowsons of the churches of Slymbridge, in Gloucestershire,
and Fyndon, in Sussex, together with one acre of land in each parish. In
gratitude for this benefaction, the College was accustomed, during the
lifetime of the royal benefactor, to celebrate a service in honour of
the Holy Trinity, with the collect still used on Trinity Sunday; and the
prayer, "Almighty and everlasting God, we are taught by Thy word that
the heart of kings," &c.; and, after the death of the King, to
commemorate him in the usual manner.

The Commemoration Service ordered in the time of Queen Elizabeth, is
still performed on the 1st of May; when is sung on the College-tower a
Latin hymn, which has evidently reference to the original service. The
produce of the two acres before-mentioned used to be distributed on the
same day, between the President and Fellows: it has, however, for many
years been given up, to supply the choristers with a festal
entertainment in the College-hall.


The arrangement of the ceremony is as follows. At about half-past four
o'clock in the morning, the singing boys and men, accompanied by members
of Magdalen and different colleges, ascend to the platform of the tower;
and the choristers, having put on their surplices, range themselves on
the slightly-gabled roof, standing with their faces towards the east.
Magdalen bell having tolled five, the choristers sing from their books
the Latin hymn, of which the following is a translation:--

  "Father and God, we worship Thee,
  And praise and bless on bended knee:
  With food Thou'rt to our bodies kind,
  With heavenly grace dost cheer the mind.

  "O, Jesus, only Son of God!
  Thee we adore, and praise, and laud:
  Thy love did not disdain the gloom
  Of a pure Virgin's holy womb.

  "Nail'd to the cross, a victim made,
  On Thee the wrath of God was laid:
  Our only Saviour, now by Thee
  Immortal life we hope to see.

  "To Thee, Eternal Spirit, rise
  Unceasing praise, from earth and skies:
  Thy breath awoke the heavenly Child,
  And gave Him to His mother mild.

  "To Thee, the Triune God, be paid--
  To Thee, who our redemption made--
  All honour, thanks, and praise divine,
  For this great mystery of Thine!"

At the close of the hymn, all heads are covered, and the singers hasten
to the belfry, whence the bells ring out a joyful peal. The spectators
in the road beneath disperse, the boys blowing tin horns, according to
ancient custom, to welcome in sweet May; while others ramble into the
fields to gather cowslips and field flowers, which they bring into the
town. Occasionally the singing on the tower has been heard, with a
favourable wind, at two miles' distance. This being a "gaudy day" for
the choristers, they have a dinner of roast lamb and plum-pudding in the
College-hall at two o'clock. There is a good representation of the
ceremony on the tower, carefully engraved by Joseph Lionel Williams, in
the _Illustrated London News_, whence the accompanying representation
has been reduced.

Dr. Rimbault, whilst making some researches in the library of
Christchurch, Oxford, discovered what appeared to him to be the first
draft of the above hymn. It has the following note:--"This hymn is sung
every day in Magdalen College Hall, Oxon, dinner and supper throughout
the year, for the after grace, by the chaplains, clerks, and choristers
there. Composed by Benjamin Rogers, Doctor of Musicke of the University
of Oxon, 1685." The author of the hymn is unknown.

At Oxford, formerly, boys used to blow cows'-horns and hollow canes all
night, to welcome in May-day; and girls carried about garlands of
flowers, which afterwards they hung upon the churches.

Before we leave the sacred ground whereon this holy May-day ceremony is,
year by year, performed, we present the reader with a very ably-drawn
picture of the locality itself, and its many attractions.

"Probably," says a writer in the _Saturday Review_, "there is no city in
the United Kingdom, with the exception of the metropolis, which
possesses such a concentration of interest as Oxford. Its historical
associations are spread over a long succession of ages. Not to speak of
more apocryphal reminiscences, it was a favourite residence of one of
our monarchs, and the birthplace of another. It was the scene of
important transactions in the troubled reign of Stephen, and witnessed
an episode in the equally troubled reign of the third Henry. It beheld
the seeds of the Reformation sown by Wycliff, and saw the martyrdom of
Cranmer and his fellow-sufferers. It became a confessor for the Church
of England as against Puritanism under the second Stuart, and as against
Popery under the fourth. It has been, at least since the Reformation, a
sort of head-quarters of that Church; and has witnessed, in our own day,
the most remarkable theological convulsions which it has experienced
since the Reformation. Its outward appearance is in keeping with its
history. It bears traces of the architecture of eight centuries--from
the rude belfry-tower of St. Michael's, which has been assigned on good
authority to the age of the Confessor, to Mr. Scott's exquisite
imitation of the Sainte Chapelle, in its immediate neighbourhood. It is
true that it contains no building of the first rank; but it exhibits an
almost infinite variety, under the influence of accidental yet
harmonious grouping, which has a charm more akin to that of nature than
that of art. In its æsthetical as well as in its moral aspect, it
betrays a strong spirit of Conservatism, and, occasionally, one of
studied Revivalism. We see in Oxford the shadow of the Middle Ages
projected far into the region of modern life. A College is a strange
compound, half club, half convent, and its daily usages are curiously
intermingled with the past. For two centuries after the Reformation,
Protestant founders cast their institutions in the mould of Wykeham and
Waynflete: the scholastic system appears to have been a living thing at
the beginning of the last century, and its ghost still haunts the
academic shades. These facts have their parallel in the architecture of
Oxford. The revival of mediæval art, which we have ourselves witnessed,
had its precursors here in the early part of the seventeenth century.
Nowhere in England--we may almost say, nowhere in Europe--shall we find
such good and pure Gothic, built at a time when the style was defunct
elsewhere, as is presented by the Chapels of Wadham, Lincoln, and Jesus
Colleges, and in the staircase of Christchurch Hall; and as was to be
seen in the chapel of Exeter College, before its destruction.

"With such attractions, added to that of personal interest, arising out
of the past or in direct connexion with the place, it is no wonder that
Oxford, at the most pleasant season of the year, draws to itself crowds
of visitors from all parts of the country. The only wonder is, that it
is not even more popular than it is, when we consider the throngs of
English men and women who are to be met with in the dingy and unsavoury
Colleges of continental cities from June till October."

At Saffron Wolden, and in the village of Debden, an old May-day song is
still sung by the little girls, who go about in parties carrying
garlands from door to door. The first stanza is to be repeated after
each of the others by way of chorus:--

  "I, I been a rambling all this night,
    And some part of this day,
  And, now returning back again,
    I brought you a garland gay.

  "A garland gay I brought you here,
    And at your door I stand;
  'Tis nothing but a sprout, but 'tis well budded out,
    The works of our Lord's hand.

  "Why don't you do as I have done
    The very first day of May?
  And from my parents I have come,
    And could no longer stay.

  "So dear, so dear as Christ loved us,
    And for our sins was slain,
  Christ bids us turn from wickedness,
    And turn to the Lord again."

The garlands which the girls carry are sometimes large and handsome, and
a doll is usually placed in the middle, dressed in white, according to
certain traditional regulations: this doll represents the Virgin Mary,
and is a relic of the ages of Romanism.

The May-pole still lingers in the village of St. Briavel's, in the
picturesque forest of Dean. In the village of Burley in the New Forest,
a May-pole is erected, a fête given to the school children, and a
May-queen is chosen by lots; a floral crown surmounts the pole, and
garlands of flowers hang about the shaft. Among other late instances are
recorded a May-pole, eighty feet high, on the village-green of West
Dean, Wilts, in 1836; and in 1844, there was "dancing round the
May-pole" in St. James's district, Enfield. William Howitt describes
May-poles in the village of Lisby, near Newstead; and in Farnsfield,
near Southwell, Derbyshire, May-poles are to be seen. Dr. Parr was a
great patron of May-day festivities: opposite his parsonage-house at
Hatton, near Warwick, stood the parish May-pole, which was annually
dressed with garlands, and the doctor danced with his parishioners
around the shaft. He kept its large crown in a closet of his house, from
whence it was produced every May-day, and decorated with fresh flowers
and streamers, preparatory to its elevation to the top of the pole.

On May-day and December 26th, is distributed the fund bequeathed in 1717
and 1736, by Mr. Raine, a wealthy brewer at St. George's-in-the-East,
who founded schools and a hospital for girls, and added marriage
portions of 100_l_., to be drawn by lots: the winner is married to a
young man, of St. John's, Wapping, or St. Paul's, Shadwell; the couple
dine with their friends, and in the evening an ode is sung, and the
marriage portion of one hundred new sovereigns is presented to the

Miss Baker, in her _Northamptonshire Glossary_, tells us that there are
very few villages in that county where the May-day Festival is not
noticed in some way or other.


That the ancient town of Banbury, lying on the northern verge of the
county of Oxford, should have been famed, from time immemorial, for its
rich cakes, should not excite our special wonder, seeing that the
district has some of the richest pasture land in the kingdom; a single
cow being here known to produce 200 pounds of butter in a year! Butter,
we need scarcely add, is the prime ingredient of the Banbury cake,
giving it the richness and lightness of the finest puff-paste; and, to
the paper in which the cakes are wrapped, the appearance of their having
been packed up by bakers with well-buttered fingers.

The cause of this cake-fame must, however, be sought in a higher walk of
history than in the annals of pastry-making. It appears that the Banbury
folks went on rejoicing in the fatness of their cakes until the reign of
Elizabeth; from which time to that of Charles II., the people of the
town were so noted for their peculiar religious fervour, as to draw upon
themselves most unsparingly the satire of contemporary playwrights,
wits, and humorists. By some unlucky turn of time, cakes, which were
much valued by the classical ancients, and were given away as presents,
in the Middle Ages, instead of bread, became looked upon as a
superstitious relic by the Puritans, who thereupon abolished the
practice. They formed so predominant a party at Banbury, in the reign of
Elizabeth, that they pulled down Banbury Cross, so celebrated in our
nursery rhymes. In the face of this historical fact, however, the
reputed "zeal" of the Banburians has been attributed to an accidental
circumstance, in modern phrase, "an error of the press." In Gough's
edition of Camden's _Britannia_, in the MS. supplement, is this note:
"Put out the word _zeale_ in Banbury, where some think it a disgrace,
when a _zeale_ with knowledge is the greater grace among good
Christians; for it was first foysted in by some compositor or press-man,
neither is it in my Latin copie, which I desire the reader to hold as
authentic." It was, indeed, printed, as a proverb, "Banbury zeal,
cheese, and cakes," instead of "Banbury veal, cheese, and cakes."
Gibson, in his edition of Camden, however, gives another version,
relating: "There is a credible story--that while Philemon Holland was
carrying on his English edition of the _Britannia_, Mr. Camden came
accidentally to the press, when this sheet was working off; and looking
on, he found, that to his own observation of Banbury being famous for
cheese, the translator had added cakes and ale. But Mr. Camden thinking
it too light an expression, changed the word _ale_ into _zeal_; and so
it passed, to the great indignation of the Puritans, who abounded in
this town." Barnaby Googe, in his _Strappado for the Divell_, refers to
Banbury as

  "Famous for twanging ale, zeal, cakes, and cheese."

Better remembered are the lines in his _Journey through England_:

  "To Banbury came I, O profane one!
  Where I saw a puritane one
  Hanging of his cat on Monday
  For killing of a mouse on Sunday."

Early in the seventeenth century, the Puritans were very strong in
Banbury. In Ben Jonson's _Bartholomew Fair_, Zeal-of-the-Land Busy, the
Puritanical Rabbi, is called a _Banbury man_, and described as one who
was a baker--"but he does dream now, and sees visions; he has given over
his trade out of a scruple that he took, that it spiced conscience,
_those cakes he made_ were served to bridales, May-poles, morrises, and
such profane feasts and meetings:" in other words, he had been a baker,
but left off that trade to set up for a prophet; and one of the
characters in _Bartholomew Fair_ says: "I have known divers of these
Banburians when I was at Oxford." And Sir William D'Avenant, in his play
of _The Wits_, illustrates this Puritanical character, in

                          "A weaver of Banbury, that hopes
  To entice heaven by singing, to make him lord of twenty looms."

Old Thomas Fuller personifies the zeal in the Rev. William Whately, who
was Vicar of Banbury in the reign of James I., and was called "The
Roaring Boy." Fuller adds: "Only let them (the Banbury folks) adde
knowledge to their zeal, and then the more zeal the better their
condition." The Vicar was a zealous and popular preacher, according to
his monument:

  "It's William Whately that here lies,
  Who swam to's tomb in's people's eyes."

In the _Tatler_, No. 220, in describing his "Ecclesiastical
Thermometer," to indicate the changes and revolutions in the Church, the
Essayist writes, "That facetious divine, Dr. Fuller, speaking of the
town of Banbury, near a hundred years ago, tells us, 'it was a place
famous for cakes and zeal,' which I find by my glass is true to this
day, as to the latter part of this description, though I must confess it
is not in the same reputation for cakes that it was in the time of that
learned author."

The Banburians, however, maintained their character for zeal in a grand
demonstration made by them in favour of Dr. Sacheverell, whose trial had
just terminated in his acquittal; and in the same year, this High Church
champion made a triumphal passage through Banbury, on his journey to
take possession of the living of Salatin, in Shropshire, which was
ridiculed in a pamphlet, with a woodcut illustrative of the procession;
and there appeared another pamphlet on the same lively subject.

Thus far the association of cakes with zeal in the case of Banbury. It
is worthy of remark that cakes had formerly not unfrequently a religious
significance, from their being more used at religious seasons than at
other times. The triangular cakes made at Congleton, in Cheshire, have a
raisin in each corner, thought to be emblematic of the Trinity; the
cakes at Shrewsbury may have had something to do with its old religious
shows. Coventry, on New Year's day, has its God-cakes. Then we have the
Twelfth-cake with its bean; the Good Friday bun with its cross; the
Pancake, with its shroving or confessing; and the Passover cake of the
Jews. The minced pie was treated by the Puritans as a superstitious
observance; and, after the Restoration, it almost served as a test for
religious opinions. According to the old rule, the case or crust of a
minced pie should be oblong, in imitation of the cradle or manger
wherein the Saviour was laid; the ingredients of the mince being said to
refer to the offerings of the Wise Men.

Returning to the Banbury cake: in a _Treatise of Melancholy_, by T.
Bright, 1586, we find the following:--"Sodden wheat is a grosse and
melancholicke nourishment, and bread especially of the fine flour
unleavened. Of this sort are bag puddings made with flour; fritters,
pancakes, _such as we call Banberrie Cakes_; and those great ones
confected with butter, eggs, &c., used at weddings; and however it be
prepared, rye, and bread made thereof, carrieth with it plentie of

At Banbury, the cakes are served to the authorities upon state
occasions. Thus, in the Corporation accounts of this town, we find a
charge of "Cakes for the Judges at the Oxford Assizes, 2_l_. 3_s_.
6_d_." The present form of the cake resembles that of the early bun
before it was made circular. The zeal has died away, but not so the
cakes; for in Beesley's _History of Banbury_, 1841, we find that Mr.
Samuel Beesley sold, in 1840, no fewer than 139,500 twopenny cakes; and
in 1841, the sale increased by at least a fourth. In August, 1841, 5,000
cakes were sold weekly; large quantities being shipped to America,
India, and even Australia.

The cakes are now more widely sold than formerly, when the roadside inns
were the chief depôts. We remember the old galleried Three Cranes inn at
Edgware, noted for its fresh supplies of Banbury cakes; as were also the
Green Man and Still, and other taverns of Oxford Road, now Oxford

Banbury Cheese, which Shakspeare mentions, is no longer made, but it was
formerly so well known as to be referred to as a comparison. Bishop
Williams, in 1664, describes the clipped and pared lands and glebes of
the Church "as thin as Banbury cheese." Bardolf, in the _Merry Wives of
Windsor_, compares Slender to Banbury cheese, which seems to have been
remarkably thin, and all rind, as noticed by Heywood, in his Collection
of Epigrams:--

  "I never saw Banbury cheese thick enough,
  But I have often seen Essex cheese quick enough."

The same thought occurs in _Jack Drum's Entertainment_, 1601:--

      "Put off your cloathes, and you are like a Banbury cheese--nothing
      but paring."

In the Birch and Sloane MSS., No. 1201, is a curious receipt for making
Banbury cheese, from a MS. cookery book of the sixteenth century. A rich
kind of cheese, about one inch in thickness, is still made in the
neighbourhood of Banbury.

We have already traced the destruction of the Cross at Banbury to the
leaven of fanaticism. The nursery rhyme,

  "Ride a cock-horse
  To Banbury-cross,"

is by some referred to this act; and to signify being over-proud and
imperious. Taylor, the Water-poet, has,--

  "A knave that for his wealth doth worship get,
  Is like the divell that's a-cock-horse set."

The Banburians have rebuilt the Cross to commemorate the marriage of the
Princess Royal with the Crown Prince of Prussia. They also exhibit,
periodically, a pageant, in which a fine lady on a white horse, preceded
by Robin Hood and Little John, Friar Tuck, a company of archers, bands
of music, flags and banners, passes through the principal street to the
Cross, where the lady (Maid Marian) scatters Banbury cakes among the
people. How far this pageant may be associated with local tradition,
time and the curious have hitherto failed to explain.[59]

Other towns, in addition to Banbury, have been celebrated for their
cakes, from remote times. The ancient borough of Congleton, upon the
Staffordshire border of Cheshire, have already been incidentally
mentioned. The streets have an air of antiquity, many of the houses
being constructed entirely of timber framework and plaster. The place
has long been famed for its silk-mills, and tagged leather laces, called
Congleton points. These, however, have been outlived by the sack and
cakes, which have, for ages, figured in the festivities of Congleton;
eclipsed for a while during the gloomy mayoralty of President Bradshaw,
but happily retained to our time.

The Congleton cakes are of triangular form, with a raisin inserted at
each corner. These have been used at the Grammar School breaking-up for
three-quarters of a century. They have been the orthodox cakes at the
quarterly account meetings of the Corporation for more than a century,
and are hence called "count cakes." It is conjectured that the three
raisins represent the mayor and two justices, who were the governing
body under the charter of James I. The trio of raisins have also been
deemed symbolical of the Trinity. Be this as it may, Congleton has been
noted from time immemorial for these cakes, as well as for its
gingerbread; and in the Corporation records we find such convivial items
as the following:--"1618. Bestowed upon the Earl of Essex, being money
paid for figs and sugar, 1_l_." "1614. Bestowed upon Sir John Byron, one
gallon of sack and one gallon of claret, 5_s_. 8_d_." "1619. A banquet
bestowed upon Sir John Savage, being a gallon of sack and a sugar-loaf,
5_s_." "1627. Bestowed upon my Lord Brereton, in wine and beer, 5_s_."
"1633. Bestowed on the Earl of Bridgewater, in wine, sack, and sugar,
8_s_." "1632. Paid Randle Rode, of the Swan, for wine, cake, and beer,
for a banquet which was bestowed upon the Lord Chief Baron of the
Exchequer, 1_l_. 4_s_. 2_d_." "Paid Mr. Drakeford for a pottle of wine,
bestowed on Sir B. Wilbraham, 2_s_." "1662. Paid for _sweetmeats_
bestowed upon Lord and Lady Brandon, 9_s_. 3_d_., because," as the book
says, "he was our great friend." This must have been in reference to the
influence exerted by that nobleman, in obtaining a re-grant of the
borough charter, which Charles II., on his accession, had thought fit to
call in, along with several others, that of London among the rest.

Among the recent celebrations, was the hospitable reception given by the
Corporation of Congleton to the Lord Mayor of London, Sir Francis Graham
Moon, Bart., in the year 1855, when the entertainment well represented
the ancient festivity. On the chairman's table lay the gold and silver
maces of the borough, and capacious china Corporation bowls full of
sack, and flanked by large old two-handled silver flagons, by which the
sack was gradually drawn off, and circulated amongst the company. On
every plate was placed a _count cake_, and the centres of the tables
were covered with delicate cakes and confectionery, among which was
pre-eminent the famous Congleton gingerbread, and a profusion of choice
fruit. The brewage of the sack was entrusted to Joseph Speratti, who
boasts that he alone possesses the true receipt.

The famous old city of Shrewsbury has also long been celebrated for its
brawn and cakes; the latter are made of much larger size than we are
accustomed to see them in the metropolis, and are packed in round boxes
made for the purpose.

Around London some of the villages boast of this celebrity. Islington
was once as famous for its cheesecakes as Chelsea for its buns; and
among its other notabilities were custards and stewed "pruans:" old
Wither, in 1628, told us that Islington

  "For cakes and cream had then no small resort;"

and to this day the place is noted for its cakes and confectionery.
Lower Holloway was once noted for its cheesecakes, which, almost within
memory, were regularly cried through the streets of London by a man on


[59] From a paper by the author of the present volume, in _Once a Week_;
reprinted by permission of the proprietors.


Horselydown is situate near the bank of the river Thames, about half a
mile eastward of London Bridge. "It is difficult," says Mr. Corner, the
South wark antiquary, "to imagine that a neighbourhood now so crowded
with wharves and warehouses, granaries and factories, mills, breweries,
and places of business of all kinds, and where the busy hum of men at
work, like bees in a hive, is incessant, can have been, not many
centuries since, a region of pleasant fields and meadows, pastures for
sheep and cattle; with gardens, houses, shady lanes, clear streams with
stately swans, and cool walks by the river-side. Yet such was the case,
and the way from London Bridge to Horselydown was occupied by the
mansions of men of mark and consequence, dignitaries of the Church, men
of military renown, and wealthy citizens."

Horselydown was part of the possessions of the Abbey of Bermondsey, and
was, probably, the common of the manor. After the surrender to Henry
VIII. it became the property of private individuals, and, in 1581, was
conveyed to the Governors of St. Olave's Grammar School, to whom it
still belongs; and it is one of the remarkable instances of the enormous
increase in the value of property in the metropolis, that this piece of
land, which was then let as pasturage for 6_l_. per annum, now produces
to the governors for the use of the school an annual income exceeding
3,000_l_. Hereon were erected the parish butts for the exercise of
archery, pursuant to the statute of 33 Henry VIII.

The Marquis of Salisbury possesses, at Hatfield, a very remarkable
picture, which has been supposed to have been painted by the celebrated
Holbein, but is really the work of George Hofnagle, a Flemish artist in
Queen Elizabeth's time, as is shown by the costume of the figures: it
bears the date of 1590, whereas Holbein died in 1554. The picture
represents a Fair or Festival, which, from the position of the Tower of
London in the background, appears to have been held at Horselydown. In
the catalogue of the pictures at Hatfield, in the _Beauties of England
and Wales_, the painting is said to represent King Henry VIII. and his
Queen, Anne Boleyn, at a country wake or fair, at some place in Surrey,
within sight of the Tower of London; but several circumstances, in
addition to its situation with respect to the river Thames and the Tower
of London, concur to show that the locality is Horselydown, or, as it
was then called, Horseydown or Horsedown. This is proved by a curious
picture-map, dated 1544. Its centre shows a large open space, now
occupied by the diverging Queen Elizabeth Free School, and _Fair_
Street. It is not known whether Southwark Fair was ever held on
Horselydown; but it is worthy of observation, that when the down came to
be built on, about the middle of the seventeenth century, the principal
street across it from east to west, and in the line of foreground
represented in the picture, was, and is to the present day, called
_Fair_ Street; and a street or lane of houses running from north to
south is called Three Oak Lane, traditionally from three oaks formerly
standing there. The tree-o'ershadowed hostelry, where the feast is being
prepared, may indicate the spot. In Evelyn's time, however (_Diary_,
13th Sept. 1666), the fair appears to have been held at St. Margaret's
Hill, in the Borough, for he calls it St. Margaret's Fair; and it
continued to be held between St. Margaret's Hill and St. George's
Church, until the fair was suppressed in 1762.

The portly figure in the centre foreground, with a red beard and a
Spanish hat, must have occasioned the idea of its being a representation
of King Henry VIII.; but the general costume of the figure is later
than his reign, and the date on the picture shows the period of the
scene to have been towards the end of Queen Elizabeth's reign.

The principal figures seem rather to represent some of the grave
burgesses and young gallants of Southwark, with their wives and
families, assembled on Horseydown on some festive occasion, on a bright
day in summer. The principal figure is evidently a man of worship, for
whom and his company a feast is preparing in the kitchen of the
hostelry; while the table is laid in the adjoining apartment, which is
decorated with boughs and gaily-coloured ribbons. The principal figure
may be one of the Flemish brewers, who settled in the parish in great
numbers; one of whom Vassal Webling, dwelt hard by Horseydown, having
become possessed of the house of Sir John Fastolfe, called Fastolfe
Place. Or, it may be Richard Hutton, armourer, and an alderman of
London, an inhabitant of St. Olave's. Whoever it is, he is accompanied
by a comely dame, probably his wife, and by two elderly women, and
followed by a boy and girl with a greyhound, a servant carrying an
infant, and a serving-man with sword and buckler. Near them is a yeoman
of her Majesty's guard, with the Queen's arms on his breast. The
citizen, in his long furred gown, accompanied by a smartly-dressed
female, crossing behind the principal party, is worthy of notice. The
gay trio behind them are also remarkable objects in the picture.

The minister accompanying a lady, is probably Thomas Marten, M.A.,
parson of the parish. The hawking party behind shows that the
neighbourhood of Southwark was at that period sufficiently open for the
enjoyment of the sport. The flag-staff, or May-pole, in the left
background, is also noticeable, as well as the unfinished vessel at the
river side, and the unfortunate transgressor in the stocks.

Two young women and two serving-men are bearing large brass dishes for
the coming feast; while in the right foreground a party of five are
dancing to the minstrelsy of three musicians seated under a tree. A
party are approaching from the right, headed by another minister, who
may be the celebrated Robert Browne, a Puritan minister, and founder of
the sect of Brownists, who was schoolmaster of St. Olave's Grammar
School, from 1586 till 1591. He was connected by family ties with Lord
Burghley, which circumstance may account for this picture being
preserved at Hatfield, which was built by Robert Cecil, Earl of
Salisbury, second son of Lord Burghley.

Behind the musicians are two figures which deserve some attention. It
has been suggested that the appearance of the foremost is much that of
the portraits of Shakspeare, and the head behind him is not unlike that
of Ben Jonson. Nor would there be any improbability in the idea of
Shakspeare and Jonson being present at such a fête, as Shakspeare lived
in St. Saviour's, and is very likely to have been invited to a festival
in the adjoining parish; but the date of the picture is somewhat too
early to be consistent with that notion.

The church-like building with a tower, at the right of the picture, may
be "The Hermitage," marked on the plan: it was no uncommon thing for
hermitages to have chapels attached to them, as at Highgate, where the
hermit was authorized by a royal grant of Edward III. to take toll for
repairing the road. The hermitage at Highgate, which had a tower,
became a chapel for the devotions of the inhabitants.

Hermitages were generally founded by an individual upon the ground of
some religious house, who, after the death of the first hermit, collated
a successor; and as those persons devoted themselves to some act of
charity, it does not appear so extraordinary that we find hermits living
upon bridges, and by the sides of roads, and being toll-gatherers, as
numerous records indubitably prove. (Tomlin's _Yseldon_.)

The Hermit of Horselydown, or Dock-head, perhaps, received a toll for
keeping in repair the road across the Bermondsey Marshes from Southwark
towards Rotherhithe and Deptford.[60]


[60] See Mr. Corner's paper "On the History of Horselydown," 1855.


Wakes were originally established to commemorate the erection of the
church in the parish where they were held. They were then celebrated on
the Sunday, and the parson did not deem it "unworthy his high vocation"
to enjoy a gambol on the village-green after the morning service. In the
larger towns, most of the churches had weekly fairs or markets attached
to them, these also being held on the Sabbath. As late as the
commencement of the fourteenth century, Wolverhampton had a market
every Sunday morning, the shingles being arranged round the old
Collegiate Church; and when the voice of worship ceased, the Babel of
the Fair began. During the fourteenth century, however, the custom of
holding Sunday markets was abolished, but the village Wake continued to
be celebrated on the sacred day, until the commencement of the present
century. The leading diversions of Wake-time in this district were, as
is pretty generally known, bull and badger baiting, cock-fighting,
pigeon-flying, boxing, running, and wrestling. There is, we think, a
very fair standard of comparison between past and present, presented to
us in the subject of Wake festivals; and for this reason we have thought
it worth while briefly to compare Wake-time in the Black Country half a
century ago with the corresponding season now. We think it will be
allowed that, after taking into consideration all educational and other
advantages, there has been a progress towards social and moral
excellence among our working men and women which is deserving of all

The traditions of Bull-baiting, Cock-fighting, and other exhibitions of
brutality which characterised Wakes in this district forty or fifty
years ago, have in many cases been so distorted and magnified by
frequent repetition that they can no longer be accepted as truthful
pictures of the festivals which it was the humour of our ancestors to
establish and be pleased with.

During the past half-century, there have been some brutal exhibitions of
this class. In the _Staffordshire Advertiser_, November 23, 1833, we
read of bulls being shockingly tortured in the neighbourhood of Dudley.
At Rowley Regis, a two-year-old bull was worried most brutally, his
horns being torn off, and his head and face mangled in the most
appalling manner.

In the following year the _Wolverhampton Chronicle_ publishes this
intelligence:--"At Wilhenhall Wakes, two bulls were baited in the
streets of that town, and more than usual cruelty was displayed on the
occasion, as one of the bulls died on the night after being baited." At
Darlaston Wakes, about the same period, three bulls, three bears, and
two badgers underwent baiting simultaneously; to say nothing of dog and
cock fights.

These instances might, of course, be multiplied by records of each town
in the district, but they will suffice to show the extent of the
barbarity which distinguished the Wakes of our forefathers. The
ludicrous was sometimes associated with the cruelties in these scenes.
At Tipton on one occasion, the bull broke loose, and, dashing madly
through the crowd, entered the open door of a house, at whose fire a
huge piece of Wake beef was roasting. From the force of habit, the bull
tossed the smoking joint to the ceiling, and disappeared, to the great
joy of the affrighted inmate. On another occasion, at Bloxwich, some wag
stole the bull at midnight, and when the excited crowd assembled on the
morrow, from all parts of the district, they were doomed to
disappointment. The circumstance gave rise to a local proverb still in
use. When great expectations are baffled, the circumstance is
instinctively likened to "the Bloxwich bull." The remembrance of this
barbarous pastime is perpetuated in the topographical nomenclature of
the district, where, following the example of Birmingham, almost every
town and village has its Bull King.

The stronghold of Cock-fighting was at Wednesbury, where the "cookings"
were resorted to by persons from all parts of the kingdom. In a
_Directory of Walsall_, 1813, we read:--"The cockpit is situate on the
left-hand side of the entrance into Park Street, from Digbeth, at the
bottom of a yard belonging to Mr. Fox, known by the sign of the New Inn.
It is spacious and much frequented at the Wakes, at which period only it
is used."

The minor sports and pastimes were the interludes between the tragedies,
and served to complete the day's programme of the Black Country
Wake-time. Forty years ago it was dangerous to pass through a town
during the Wakes. The inhabitants who took active part in these sports
were so infuriated with drink and excitement, and their feelings were so
hardened by scenes of torture, that they regarded neither the limb nor
life of any who happened to offend them. There was no amusement provided
either for young or old but the most vicious and degrading, and the
Wakes seldom passed by without some other blood than that of bulls being
spilt--the blood of comrades, and too frequently of wives and children,
who dared to remonstrate with a furious husband and father in his

Happily, modern Wakes have been divested of nearly all the
characteristics of the olden festivals. The only vestiges which
distinguish them are the booths, clowns, and drinking bouts; and these
amusements are only indulged in by children and the lowest class of the
population. Among the features recently introduced in connexion with
district Wakes may be enumerated out-door fêtes, flower-shows, bazaars,
and excursions. Temperance Societies and Working Men's Institutes select
Wake-time for their celebrations. Two of the most successful exhibitions
ever held in the district were inaugurated at the Wakes of Willenhall,
in 1857, and at those of Bilston a year or two later, both in connexion
with the progress of popular education. The Right Hon. C. P. Villiers,
M.P. who was present on both occasions, and who knew this district in
its dark days, took occasion to compare the former Wake times with the
present, as an evidence of the social advancement of the Black Country.
The cultivation of cottage window-flowers, now happily so general
throughout the same district, is another refining agency, which has
helped in no small degree to root out the love for grosser sports among
the people. But, perhaps, the most powerful agent in improving the
character of modern Wakes is the influence of popular excursions. The
district is fortunate in its situation in this respect. Within easy
distance are the lawns and flowers of Enville, Hagley, Shugborough, and
Teddesley, which it is the delight of their noble owners to place at the
service of our working men and women; and the more recent facilities for
locomotion have also placed the Malvern slopes and Southport sands
within their reach. Wake-times are therefore now become seasons of
excursions, when hard-working men quit the factory bench and the dark
mine, to delight and refine their inner manhood with views of Nature's
fairest works. This, we think, is one great step towards the development
of a love for art among the artisans of our utilitarian district; and
Wake-times so spent will assuredly exert an influence for good through
the remainder of the year.[61]

Nevertheless, the Wakes are still disgraced by sad scenes of
intoxication and other excesses: the agencies of education and religion
are not working in vain in the district; let us hope that the progress,
though slow, may be sure.


[61] We quote the above from a contribution to the _Birmingham Daily
Post_. The details are of value, from their being furnished by an


Alexander Neckam, from whose Treatise the following curious things are
derived, was a learned man of the twelfth century: his work, which is
written in Latin, has been translated by Mr. Thomas Wright, and
published under the direction of the Master of the Polls. Of Neckam's
birth we learn the date from a chronicle formerly existing among the
MSS. of the Earl of Arundel, which inform us that "in the month of
September, 1157, there was born to the King at Windsor a son named
Richard; and the same night was born Alexander Neckam at St. Alban's,
whose mother gave suck to Richard with her right breast, and to
Alexander with her left breast." Thus was Alexander the foster-brother
of the future Coeur de Lion, who was celebrated for his own love of
literature and learning; and the position which the circumstance here
related by the chronicler gave to Neckam in regard to such a Prince goes
far to explain the honourable position he gained in after-life.

Neckam was born and passed his boyhood at St. Alban's: he received his
earlier education in the Abbey School there; and such a rapid advance
did he make in learning, that whilst still very young, the direction of
the school at Dunstable, a dependency of the Abbey of St. Alban's, was
entrusted to him. But he soon, of his own accord, sought a larger field
for his mental activities, and proceeded to the then celebrated
University of Paris, where he was a distinguished professor as early as
the year 1180, when he can have been no more than twenty-three years of

He did not long adhere to the scholastic learning of the University, but
in 1186 returned to England, and resumed his old post at Dunstable. He
subsequently became one of the Augustinian monks of Cirencester, and in
1213 was elected Abbot of Cirencester. He died at Kempsey, near
Worcester, in 1217, and was buried in Worcester Cathedral.

Neckam, in these early times, displayed a taste for experimental
science. The Treatise from which we quote is a sort of manual of
natural science, as it was then taught; and it derives a still greater
value for us from the love of its author for illustrating his theme by
the introduction of contemporary anecdotes and stories relating to the
objects treated of; as well as the mention of popular facts and articles
of belief which had come under his observation or knowledge, many of
which offer singular illustrations of the condition and manners of the

From Neckam we learn how great was the love for animals in the Middle
Ages; how ready people, apparently of all classes, were to observe and
note the peculiarities of animated nature, and especially how fond they
were of tamed and domestic animals. We see that the mediæval castles and
great mansions were like so many menageries of rare beasts of all kinds.
It is in the stories told by Neckam, also, that we become more than ever
acquainted with the attachment of our mediæval forefathers to the chase,
and to all the animals connected with it. Beginning with the King of
Birds, the Eagle, however, he offers no new facts; though he makes it
the subject of numerous moralisings. With the lesser birds of prey he
becomes communicative of his anecdotes. He recounts how a Hawk one day,
by craft and accident and not by mere strength, killed an Eagle. "This
occurred in Great Britain, the King of which country, with his
courtiers, were witnesses of the occurrence. The courtiers applauded the
ferocity of the smaller and weaker bird, which, too, had only killed its
adversary in self-defence; but the King interfered, reproved his
followers for expressing sentiments which justified the employment of
force by vassals against their Sovereigns, and ordered the Hawk to be
hanged immediately as guilty of treason."

Another anecdote places the reputation of the Hawk in a less obnoxious
light. It was one of the characteristics of that bird, as Neckam tells
us, in the cold of winter, to seize in its claws a Partridge, wild
Chick, or some other bird, and hold it under its belly all night, in
order to profit by its warmth; and when the warmth of day returned, the
Hawk, however hungry it might be, spared the bird, in consideration of
the service thus derived from it, and displayed the noble nature of the
bird of prey, the fit representative of the Feudal Baron, by setting it
at liberty. Neckam tells another story of a Falcon which revenged itself
on an Eagle; and another of a Weasel which caught a Sparrowhawk and
dragged it under the water. We may pass over his account of the
Phoenix, which is taken from the ancients; but that which he tells us
of the Parrot shows how great a favourite it was as a cage-bird even in
our islands during the Middle Ages. He speaks especially of its
mischievous cunning and of its skill in imitating the human voice,
adding that, for exciting people's mirth, it was preferable even to the
jongleurs. It must, however, be acknowledged that Neckam's wonderful
anecdotes become at times rather legendary.

Passing by the Peacock, the Vulture, the Pheasant, and Partridge, the
often-described Barnacle, supposed to be generated from the gluey
substances produced on fir-timber when immersed in the waves of the sea,
finds its place here. The qualities of the Swan, which celebrated its
own death in sweet song; the Ostrich, said to be devoid of affection for
its own offspring; the Nightingale, which was so capricious in its
choice of habitation that Neckam tells us there was a well-known river
in Wales on one side of which the song of this nightingale was often
heard, but nobody ever heard it on the other; the Swallow, singular for
the form of its nest and for the locality which it selected for building
it; the Nuthatch; the Ibis of Egypt; the Dove; and several birds less
known, as described by Neckam, are chiefly worthy of notice on account
of the singular moralisings and symbolical interpretations which are
given to them. The Sparrow, according to Neckam (long anticipating
Sterne), is a libidinous bird, light, restless, "injurious to the fruits
of man's labour," too 'cute for the birdcatcher, and subject to
epilepsy. The Raven is, by its colour and by its habits, emblematical of
the clergy; it is easily domesticated. A Crow foretells rain by its

Neckam has also something to say about the Lark and the Magpie, and
something more about the Parrot, "the jongleur of the birds;" but he
says of the Cuckoo that it does nothing but repeat the words "_affer,
affer_," _i.e._ "give, give,"--and on that account it was the type of
avarice, and "sang the old song of those who have not yet divested
themselves of the old man." Surely, however, Neckam's ear was at fault
in this description, or the Cuckoos of Cirencester sang a very different
song, with a different moral too, from the cuckoos on the banks of Avon
in the dayspring of Shakspeare. But it is a novel fact to learn that the
saliva of the Cuckoo produced Grasshoppers; yet this was, no doubt, a
popular explanation of the well-known cuckoo-spit of our fields. The
Pelican of those days killed her own young, after which, in
self-remorse, she tore her own body to shed her blood upon them, by
means of which they revived. The Cock was symbolical of the Christian
preacher or doctor of the Church; and Neckam gives a rather curious
physical explanation of the question why it announces the hour of the
day by its crowing, and why it has a comb. The Wren was remarkable for
its fertility, and for another rather singular quality. When killed and
put on the spit before the fire to roast, it wanted no turning, but
turned itself with the utmost regularity. Though the smallest of birds,
it claimed to be their king, and hence the Latin name of _Regulus_. Did
it not, when the birds assembled to choose a king, conceal itself
beneath the Eagle's wing, when it was agreed that the throne should be
given to the bird which mounted highest towards heaven; and when the
Eagle, having soared the highest, made its claim to the prize, did it
not start from its hiding-place, jump on the Eagle's back, and claim to
be highest of all, and therefore the winner?[62]


[62] Selected and abridged from review of Neckam's Work, in _The Times_

VI. Historic Sketches.


In the noble Park of Blenheim they show you two sycamore-trees on the
spot where the ancient Palace of Woodstock was built; and near the
Bridge is a spring called Rosamund's Well. Hard by was the celebrated
Bower, erected by Henry II., and the scene of Addison's poetical opera
of _Rosamund_, in excellent verse, which, wedded to the music of Dr.
Arne, proved very successful. Several passages long retained their
popularity, and were daily sung, during the latter part of George the
Second's reign, at all the harpsichords in England.

Drayton, in the reign of Elizabeth, described "Rosamund's Labyrinth,
whose ruins, together with her _Well_, being paved with square stones in
the bottom, and also her Tower, from which the Labyrinth did run, are
yet remaining, being vaults arched and walled with stone and brick,
almost inextricably wound within one another, by which, if at any time
her lodging were laid about by the Queen, she might easily avoid peril
imminent, and, if need be, by secret issues, take the air abroad, many
furlongs about Woodstock, in Oxfordshire."

Nor are these the only memorials of the frail Rosamund, whose history is
one of the most interesting in our stock of legendary lore. About two
miles north of Oxford, near the river Isis, there are some remains of
the famous Nunnery of Godstow, from which, we are told, "there is a
subterranean passage to Woodstock." It was about the end of the reign of
Henry I., that this Nunnery was founded, at the instigation of Editha, a
pious lady of Winchester. Assisted by benefactions, Editha finished a
convent for Benedictine Nuns, in 1138; and King Stephen and his Queen
were present at the consecration. Editha was Abbess here; and the lands
given were confirmed by grants of Stephen and Richard I. When Prince
Henry arrived in England, in 1149, to dispute his title to the crown
with Stephen, he happened to visit the Nunnery of Godstow, where he saw
Rosamund, the daughter of Lord Clifford; she was not a nun, but boarded
in the convent.

Fair Rosamund--_Rosa Mundi_, the Rose of the World--was the second
daughter of Walter de Clifford, the son of Richard and grandson of Ponz.
Richard is mentioned in the Domesday Survey as holding lands in the
counties of Oxford, Gloucester, Wilts, Worcester, and Hereford. Walter
de Clifford, by his wife Margaret, had four children:--Lucy, first
married to Hugh de Say, and subsequently to Bartholomew de Mortimer;
Rosamund, Walter, and Richard. Of Rosamund's early life we have no
particulars. Local tradition affirms that Canyngton, about three miles
from Bridgewater, was the place of her birth, and that within the walls
of its priory she received such education as the age afforded. That, as
the daughter of a powerful lord, she was entrusted to the care of some
religious sisterhood for nurture, both of mind and body, we have no
doubt, though the old chroniclers are silent on the subject. The art of
embroidery would appear to have been one of her accomplishments, for the
venerable Abbey of Buildwas long possessed among its treasures a
magnificent cope, which bore witness to the taste and skill of its fair
embellisher. Of her first acquaintance with Henry II., and the mode and
place of her introduction to him, no details have been preserved.
Probably she was known to him from her earliest years. Nor have we any
reason to suppose that, according to some modern versions of the sad
story, a broken vow added its shadow to a life whose record is
sufficiently gloomy without this additional darkening of woe. Not a hint
of her having been a nun do the chroniclers give us; and, had such been
the fact, full use would have been made of such an aggravation of her
offence. Her royal lover was one of the most unscrupulous of mankind,
and for his many enormities he was notorious. His affection for
Rosamund, however, such as it was, was constant. In order to protect her
from the vengeance of the Queen, he removed her successively to various
places of greater or less security. But the most famous of all, and with
which her name is more than with all others associated, was her retreat
at Woodstock. It was here that Henry built a chamber, which Brompton
describes as of wondrous architecture--resembling the work of Dædalus;
in other words, a labyrinth or maze. A manuscript of Robert of
Gloucester, in the Heralds' Office, says that--

  "Att Wodestoke for hure he made a toure,
  That is called Rosemounde's boure,"

the special intent of which was to conceal her from her royal rival. The
internal decorations of this abode were as much attended to as its means
of escaping external notice. The Abbot of Jorevall describes a cabinet
of marvellous workmanship, which was one of its ornaments. It was nearly
two feet in length, and on it the assault of champions, the action of
cattle, the flight of birds, and the leaping of fishes were so naturally
represented, that the figures appeared to move.

Rosamund did not long occupy the retreat that royal though guilty love
had created for her. She died in 1177, while yet without a rival in the
King's affections, and, as it would appear, of some natural disease. In
after times the injured Queen Eleanor had the credit of discovering her
place of concealment, by means of a clue of silk which the King had
incautiously left behind him; and which enabled her to thread the
intricacies of the path, and of gratifying her revenge by obliging her
rival to drink from her hand a cup of poison. That the Queen discovered
the abode of Rosamund is possible; and it may have been that the shock
of the meeting, and the unmeasured language which her Majesty is said to
have employed, were too much for the poor victim of her womanly and
natural displeasure. It is only fair, however, to say that the Queen's
part in the entire transaction is not alluded to in the older writers,
and is probably the fiction of more modern times.

Rosamund was buried in the first instance before the high altar in the
Church of Godstow Nunnery, which was probably selected from its
neighbourhood to Woodstock, and which henceforward enjoyed a goodly
number of benefactions in memory of her and for the health of her soul.
The body was wrapped in leather, and then placed in a coffin of lead.
Over the whole Henry built a magnificent tomb, which was covered with a
pall of silk, and surrounded by tapers constantly burning. This occurred
in the lifetime of her father, for he gave to the nuns of Godstow, in
pure and perpetual alms, for the health of the souls of Margaret his
wife and of Rosamund his daughter, his mill at Franton, with all
appurtenances, a meadow adjacent to the same called Lechtun, and a
saltpit in Wiche. Walter, his son, confirmed the gift. Osbert Fitzhugh
added to this the grant of a saltpit in Wiche, called the Cow,
pertaining to his manor of Wichebalt.

Indeed, Walsingham goes so far as to say, though incorrectly, that the
Nunnery of Godstow was actually founded by King John for the soul of
Rosamund. It is not unlikely that a chantry was founded by that king for
the object stated, but the foundation of the house was beyond question
the work of a much earlier period.

Rosamund's remains, however, were not allowed to occupy their sepulchre
in peace. Fourteen years after their solemn commission to this sacred
place of interment, Hugh, Bishop of Lincoln, in a visitation of his
diocese, came to Godstow. After he had entered the church, and performed
his devotions, he observed the tomb occupying its conspicuous position
before the high altar, adorned as already described, and forthwith asked
whose it was. On being informed that it was the grave of Rosamund, whom
Henry, the late king, had so dearly loved, and for whose sake he had
greatly enriched this hitherto small and indigent house, and had given
lands for the sustentation of the tomb and the maintenance of the
lights, he imperatively commanded the nuns to take her out of the
church, and to bury her with other common people, as the connexion
between her and the King had been base; and to the end that the
Christian religion might not be vilified, but that other women might
thus be deterred from similar evil ways.

In obedience to the bishop's mandate the tomb was removed from the
church, and erected in the chapter-house. It bore the following epitaph,
containing the obvious play upon the lady's name, and declaratory of the
unhappy contrast which death had effected:--

  "Hic jacet in tumba Rosa mundi, non Rosa munda;
  Non redolet, sed olet, quæ redolere solet."

This tomb remained, an object of interest and respect, until the
dissolution of the house. It was then destroyed, and a stone was
discovered within it, bearing the simple inscription, "TUMBA ROSAMUNDÆ."
The bones were found undecayed, and on the opening of the leaden coffin
which contained them, "there was a very swete smell came out of it."
Another eye-witness described it as having "enterchangeable weavings
drawn out and decked with roses red and green, and the picture of the
cup out of which she drank the poyson given her by the Queen, carved in
stone." A stone coffin, said to be that of Rosamund, was still to be
seen at Godstow when Hearne wrote his "Account of some Antiquities in
and about Oxford," but this was regarded by him as a "fiction of the

In the "French Chronicle of London," 1259-1343, one of our earliest
records compiled in illustration of the History of the City of London,
under 1262, we read another version of this legend: "In this year the
Queen was shamefully hooted and reviled at London Bridge, as she was
desiring to go from the Tower to Westminster; and this, because she had
caused a gentle damsel to be put to death, the most beauteous that was
known, and imputed to her that she was the King's concubine. For which
reason the Queen had her stripped, and caused a bath to be prepared, and
then made the beauteous damsel enter therein; and made a wicked old hag
beat her upon both arms, with a staff; and when the blood gushed forth,
there came another execrable sorceress, who applied two 'frightful
toads' to her breasts, which they sucked until all the blood that was in
her body had run out, two other old hags holding her arms stretched out.
The Queen, laughing the while, mocked her, and had great joy in her
heart, in being thus revenged upon Rosamonde. And when she was dead, the
Queen had the body taken and buried in a filthy ditch, and with the
body the toads.

"But when the King had heard the news, how the Queen had acted towards
the most beauteous damsel whom he so greatly loved, and whom he held so
dear in his heart, he felt great sorrow, and made great lamentation
thereat:--'Alas! for my grief; what shall I do for the most beauteous
Rosamonde? For never was her peer found for beauty, disposition, and
courtliness.' He then desired to know what became of her body. He caused
one of the wicked sorceresses to be seized, and had her put into great
streights, that she might tell all the truth as to what they had done
with the gentle damsel.

"Then the old hag related to the King how the Queen had wrought upon the
most beauteous body of the gentle damsel, and where they would find it.
In the meantime, the Queen had the body taken up, and carried to a house
of religion which had 'Godstowe' for name, near Oxenforde; and had the
body of Rosamond there buried, to colour her evil deeds And then King
Henry began to ride towards Wodestoke, where Rosamond, whom he loved so
much at heart, was so treacherously murdered by the Queen. And as the
King was riding towards Wodestoke, he met the body of Rosamond, strongly
enclosed within a chest, that was well and stoutly bound with iron. And
the King forthwith demanded whose corpse it was, and what was the name
of the person whose dead body they bore. They made answer to him, that
it was the corpse of the most beauteous Rosamond. And when King Henry
heard this, he instantly ordered them to open the chest, that he might
behold the body that had been so vilely martyred. Immediately thereon,
they did the King's command, and showed him the corpse of Rosamond, who
was so hideously put to death. And when King Henry saw the whole truth
thereof, through great grief, he fell fainting to the ground, and lay
there in a swoon for a long time before any one could have converse with

"And when the King awoke from his swoon he spoke, and swore a great
oath, that he would take full vengeance for the most horrid felony
which, for great spite, had upon the gentle damsel been committed. Then
began the King to lament and to give way to great sorrow for the most
beauteous Rosamond, whom he loved so much at heart. 'Alas! for my
grief,' said he, 'sweet Rosamonde, never was thy peer, never so sweet
nor beauteous a creature to be found: may then the sweet God who abides
in Trinity, on the soul of sweet Rosamond have mercy, and may He pardon
her all her misdeeds: very God Almighty, Thou who art the end and the
beginning, suffer not now that this soul shall in horrible torment come
to perish, and grant unto her true remission for all her sins, for Thy
great mercy's sake.'

"And when he had thus prayed he commanded them forthwith to ride
straight to Godstowe with the body of the lady, and there had her burial
celebrated in that religious house of nuns, and there did he appoint
thirteen chaplains to sing for the soul of the said Rosamond, so long as
the world shall last. In this religious house of Godstowe," says the
Chronicler, "I tell you for truth, lieth fair Rosamond buried. May very
God Almighty of her soul have mercy. Amen."[64]

The history of this unhappy lady, of whom the reader now possesses all
that can be gathered from olden sources, and more, perhaps, than can be
accepted as true, was a favourite subject of Mediæval romance; and all
kinds of embellishments were imported into the story in order to impress
a salutary caution against any imitation of the heroine. The story of
her being poisoned by Queen Eleanor is of comparatively modern
invention. A long ballad of forty-eight verses has been founded upon
this piece of strange history.


[63] From a paper, by the Rev. Thomas Hugo, read to the Somerset
Archæological Society.

[64] Translated from the Anglo-Norman, by H. T. Riley, M.A. 1863.


In one of the loveliest and most picturesque vales of the county of
Surrey, there exists, to this day, a fragment of Esher, or, as it is
termed in old records, Asher Place, the last place of retreat where
Wolsey fell,--

  "Like a bright exhalation in the evening."


                      "In the lovely vale
  Of Esher, where the Mole glides lingering; loth
  To leave such scenes of sweet simplicity,"--

was anciently a palace of the prelates of Winchester, built by William
Wayneflete, who held the see from 1447 to 1486. It was a stately brick
mansion, on the bank of the Mole, within the park of Esher.

The Bishops of Winchester occasionally resided at this palace. Cardinal
Wolsey, who was appointed to the see on the death of Bishop Fox, in
1528, gave directions for the repair and partial rebuilding of this
house at Esher, purposing to have made it one of his usual residences,
after he had bereft himself of the palace which he had erected at
Hampton Court, and which he had found it prudent to surrender to his
jealous master. Many interesting circumstances relating to this last
retirement of Wolsey to Esher, on the decline of his favour with the
King, are related by his biographers.

On the 18th of October, 1529, when the Cardinal was at York House,
Westminster (where now stands Whitehall), King Henry sent to him the
Dukes of Suffolk and Norfolk, to demand the Great Seal, Wolsey being
lord chancellor; and he was ordered, at the same time, to retire to
Esher. The order being unaccompanied by any voucher of authority, the
chancellor refused to obey it; but the King's messenger returning with
his written commands on the following day, the devoted minister
submitted. He then went to Putney by water, and having landed, rode to

Wolsey now took up his residence at Esher, where he continued, with a
numerous family of servants and retainers, "the space of three or four
weeks, without either beds, sheets, table-cloths, dishes to eat their
meat in, or wherewithal to buy any: howbeit, there was good provision of
all kind of victual, and of beer and wine, whereof there was sufficient
and plenty enough: but my lord was compelled of necessity to borrow of
Martin Arundell and the Bishop of Carlisle, plate and dishes, both to
drink in, and eat his meat in. Thus, my lord, with his family, continued
in this strange estate until after Hallownetide."--(_Stow._) He then
dismissed a considerable part of his attendants; and Thomas Cromwell,
afterwards Earl of Essex, who was in his service, went to London,
professedly to take care of his interest at court; and having obtained a
seat in the House of Commons, where a bill, of articles of impeachment
against the Cardinal for treason, was brought forward, "Master Cromwell
inveighed against it so discreetly, with such witty persuasions and deep
reasons, that the same could take no effect."

Although the charge of treason was for the present abandoned, Wolsey was
indicted for a _præmunire_, the result of which was, to place him at the
King's mercy as to all his goods and possessions. Whilst his enemies
were thus steadily pursuing their schemes for his destruction, the King
betrayed occasional symptoms of returning favour, sending him gracious
messages, first by Sir John Russell, and then by the Duke of Norfolk;
but it may be questionable whether these demonstrations were not merely
meant to cajole him; for, during the time that he was entertaining the
Duke, Sir John Shelly, one of the judges, arrived at Esher, for the
express purpose of obtaining from Wolsey a formal cession of York House,
the town mansion of the Archbishops. The cardinal hesitated at making
such an assignment of the property of his see, but at length yielded,
yet not without a spirited remonstrance against the conduct of his
despoilers. The acts of insult and oppression to which he was subjected,
at length brought on severe illness, and he was confined to his bed. Dr.
Butts, the court physician, having visited him, informed the King that
his life was in danger; and Henry, as if in a moment of conscientious
regret, sent him "a comfortable message," with a valuable ring, as a
token of regard. Cavendish, in his _Life of Wolsey_, has thus related
the circumstances under which the Royal message was delivered:--

      "At Christmas, he [Wolsey] fell sore sick, that he was likely to
      die, whereof the King being advertised, was very sorry therefore,
      and sent Doctor Buttes, his grace's physician, unto him, to see in
      what state he was. Dr. Buttes came unto him, and finding him very
      sick lying in his bed, and perceiving the danger he was in,
      repaired again unto the King. Of whom the King demanded, saying,
      'How doth yonder man; have you seen him?' 'Yea, sir,' quoth he,
      'if you will have him dead, I warrant your Grace, he will be dead
      within these four days, if he receive no comfort from you shortly
      and Mistress Anne.' 'Marry,' quoth the King, 'God forbid that he
      should die. I pray you, good Master Buttes, go again unto him, and
      do your cure upon him, for I would not lose him for twenty
      thousand pounds.' 'Then must your Grace,' quoth Master Buttes,
      'send him first some comfortable message as shortly as possible.'
      'Even so will I,' quoth the King, 'by you. And therefore make
      speed to him again, and ye shall deliver him from me this ring for
      a token of our good-will and favour towards him; (on which ring
      was engraved the King's image within a ruby, as lively counterfeit
      as was possible to be devised.) This ring he knoweth very well;
      for he gave me the same; and tell him that I am not offended with
      him in my heart nothing at all, and that shall he perceive, and
      God send him life, very shortly. Therefore, bid him be of good
      cheer, and pluck up his heart, and take no despair. And I charge
      you come not from him until ye have brought him out of all danger
      of death.' And then spake he to Mistress Anne, saying, 'Good
      sweetheart, I pray you at this my instance, to send the Cardinal a
      token with comfortable words; and in so doing it shall do us a
      loving pleasure.' She being not minded to disobey the King's
      earnest request, _whatever she intended in her heart towards the
      Cardinal_, took incontinent her tablet of gold hanging at her
      girdle, and delivered it to Master Buttes, with very gentle and
      comfortable words and commendations to the Cardinal."

The invalid _was_ comforted by the seeming kindness of his tyrannical
master, and recovered. In his last letter from Esher, which was
addressed to Stephen Gardiner, one of his secretaries, he prays him to
help him and relieve him in his miserable condition, and remove him from
this moist and corrupt air: dropsy had overtaken him, with loss of
appetite, and sleep; "wherfor," says the letter, "of necessyte I must be
removyd to some other dryer ayer and place, where I may have comodyte of
physcyans," &c. Wolsey subsequently obtained permission to remove from
Esher to Richmond, where he remained until his journey into Yorkshire, a
few months previous to his death, which took place at Leicester Abbey,
on the 29th of November, 1530.

When Henry VIII. had resolved to constitute Hampton Court an honour, and
make a chace around it, he purchased several neighbouring estates, and,
among them, Esher. A survey of the manor, early in the reign of Edward
VI., shows there to have been here a mansion-house, sumptuously built,
with divers offices, and an orchard and garden; and also a park
adjoining, three miles in circuit, stocked with deer.

We shall not trace the future possessors of Esher Place. The
natural undulations of the ground would seem to have required but
little improvement from the conceptions of Art. Yet Kent, the
landscape-gardener, "the inventor of an art that realizes painting," was
employed by the Right Hon. Henry Pelham, a leading statesman in the
reign of George II., possessor of the estate; and the artist and patron
have thus been inseparably connected with

                    "Esher's peaceful grove,
  Where Kent and Nature vie for Pelham's love."

Noble fir and beech plantations cover the swelling heights of Esher; and
there are fine oaks and elms, together with a remarkable holly-tree, the
girth of which is between eight and nine feet. There are also several
small ornamental buildings in the park; but the principal one in
picturesqueness and historic interest, is the old brick tower, which
formed part of "Asher Palace," when this estate belonged to the see of
Winchester. It also constituted the central division of the mansion of
the Pelhams, but was judiciously left standing, when the modern
additions, by Kent, were pulled down by Mr. Spicer, who purchased the
estate in 1805, and erected a new mansion upon a more elevated site. In
Mr. Pelham's time, the mansion consisted of little more than the Tower,
or Gate-house, to that in which Wolsey had resided, and to which Kent's
additions were much inferior, proving, as Walpole remarks, "how little
Kent conceived either the principles or graces of Gothic architecture."

The erection of this Tower has been attributed to Wolsey, whose name is
associated with several architectural works; but there is inferential
evidence to show that he did not erect the Tower at Esher. Although
nominated to the bishopric of Winchester in the autumn of 1528, he was
not installed until April in the following year (and that by proxy), at
which season he was too deeply engaged in the affair of the King's
divorce, to have time for extensive building. The only _distinct_ notice
which has appeared to connect Wolsey's name with any architectural works
at Asher Palace, is where Cavendish speaks of the removal to Westminster
(Whitehall), of "the new gallery which my lord had late before his fall
newly set up at Asher;" and "the taking away thereof," he continues,
"was to him corrosive--the which discouraged him very sore to stay there
any longer,--for he was weary of that house at Asher, for with continual
use it waxed unsavoury."

In the form and character of the Tower itself are also indications of an
earlier period than that of Wolsey; and this well-built structure may be
assigned to the days of Bishop Wayneflete, who preceded the Cardinal in
his possession of the see by about eighty years, and is known to have
erected "a stately brick mansion" and "gate-house" in Esher Park. The
Tower is luxuriantly mantled with ivy, which was planted by a son of Mr.
Spicer, whilst yet a boy. The interior comprises three storeys; but the
apartments are small and much dilapidated. There is, however, within one
of the octagonal turrets, a very skilfully-wrought _newel_, or
geometrical staircase, of brick, in excellent preservation; and in the
roofing of which the principles of the construction of the oblique arch,
(a supposed invention of modern times) are practically exhibited.[65]

There is, on the Esher estate, another structure, which is popularly
associated with Wolsey's name. This is a small building, of flints and
rude stones, with a central recess and stone seat; and at the foot a
refreshing spring, called _Wolsey's Well_. It is most probable that this
little edifice was raised by Mr. Pelham, as the _buckle_, a part of his
family arms, is sculptured upon a stone over the middle arch, and also
the initials, H. P. The seat is more properly named "the Travellers'
Rest." Wolsey spent some weeks at Esher, a prey to his fears and
mortified ambition. As might be expected, the world, that had paid him
such abject court in his prosperity, deserted him in this fatal reverse
of his fortunes. Wolsey was not himself prepared for what he conceived
to be base ingratitude: it surprised and deceived him; and the same
pride, unsupported by true dignity of character, which made him be
vainly elated with his recent grandeur, made him now doubly sensitive to
the humiliations of adversity. Under any circumstances he would be unfit
for solitude: the glory and the gaze of the multitude being the breath
of his nostrils, the calm contentment of private life was to him a sound
of no meaning. What, then, must have been his feelings in this first
hour of his misery? Baffled in all the schemes of his ambition,
disgraced before his rivals, abandoned by the world, and forsaken by his
royal master, his heart was not yet sufficiently chastened by affliction
to seek for consolation in its only true source--religion; but still
clung, with the despair of a lover, to the hope of the royal mercy. His
letters to Gardiner, whom he had the merit of bringing forward from
obscurity, and who, excepting his other secretary, Cromwell, of all his
followers, alone retained grateful respect for their benefactor in his
fallen fortunes, bespeak the agony of his feelings. They are severally
subscribed, "With a rude hand, and sorrowful heart, T. Cardlis Ebor.
_miserrimus_," and are scarcely legible, from the excitement under which
they seem to have been written.

In chastening verse has our great moralist thus portrayed the proud

  "In full-blown dignity see Wolsey stand,
  Law in his voice, and fortune in his hand:
  To him the Church, the realm, their pow'rs consign;
  Through him, the rays of regal bounty shine:
  Turn'd by his nod, the stream of honour flows;
  His smile at once security bestows.
  Still to new heights his restless wishes soar;
  Claim leads to claim, and pow'r advances pow'r;
  Till conquest unresisted ceased to please;
  And rights submitted, left him none to seize!
  At length, his Sov'reign frowns--the train of state
  Mark the keen glance, and watch the sign to hate;
  Where'er he turns, he meets a stranger's eye;
  His suppliants scorn him, and his followers fly.
  Now drops at once the pride of awful state,
  The golden canopy, the glittering plate,
  The regal palace, the luxurious board,
  The liveried servants, and the menial lord!
  With age, with cares, with maladies oppress'd,
  He seeks the refuge of monastic rest.
  Grief aids disease, remember'd folly stings,
  And his last sighs reproach the faith of Kings."--JOHNSON.

Whatever appertains to the record of his appalling fall is treasurable
as an addition to the narrative in our popular histories. A few points
of novelty and interest as regards Wolsey have been derived from a State
manuscript of the reign of Henry VIII., now in the possession of Sir
Walter C. Trevelyan, Bart. F.S.A. a junior member of whose family was
one of the chaplains to Henry VIII.; and through him it may have found
its way to the venerable seat of Nettlecombe, in the county of Somerset,
where this MS. relating to domestic expenses and payments has for some
centuries been deposited.

In this manuscript Wolsey is spoken of by his double title of Cardinal
of York and Bishop of Winchester, in connexion with a payment to him of
one thousand marks, out of the revenues of Winchester. By the above
entry, confirmed by a subsequent passage in Cavendish, it is clear that
this was a pension of 1,000 marks; and that in consideration of the
necessities of the Cardinal, it was to be allowed him beforehand. After
all his pomp and prosperity, after all his vast accumulation of wealth,
after all his piles of plate and heaps of cloth-of-gold, and costly
apparel, Wolsey, in March 1530 (judging only from this entry), was
reduced to the necessity of obtaining a loan of a thousand marks. This,
too, to carry him to his exile at York, whither his enemies had by this
date induced the fickle, selfish, and luxurious King to banish his great

Of Wolsey's subsequent residence at Cawood, we find in this MS. an item
to David Vincent, of the considerable sum of 35_l_. 6_s_. 8_d_. (more
than 200_l_.), whence we may infer this messenger to have made some stay
there, watching the progress of Wolsey's illness, and sending
intelligence to the King, who was more anxious for the death than for
the life of his victim, in order that he might seize upon the remainder
of his moveables. It is quite evident that the Cardinal was not at this
period so destitute as many have supposed, and that he had carried with
him a very large quantity of plate, of which the King possessed himself
the moment the breath was out of the body of its owner. Among the
payments for January, 22 Henry VIII., we read in the Trevelyan MS. that
two persons were employed for three entire days in London "weighing the
plate that came from Cawood, late the Cardinalles." Such are the
unceremonious terms used in the original memorandum, communicating a
striking fact, of which we now hear for the first time.

It is a curious and novel circumstance which the Trevelyan manuscript
has brought to light, that exactly three months before the death of
Wolsey, the Dean and Canons of Cardinal's (now Christchurch) College,
Oxford, had so completely separated themselves from Wolsey, and from all
interest he had taken in their establishment, that, instead of rewriting
to him for the comparatively small sum of 184_l_. for the purpose of
carrying on their works, they applied to the King for the loan of the
money; the entry of which loan is made in this State manuscript, "upon
an obligation to be repaid agayne," "on this side of Cristinmas next
cumming;" so that even this trifling advance could not be made out of
the royal purse, filled to repletion by the sacrifice of Wolsey, without
an express stipulation that the money was to be returned before

To the credit of Wolsey it must be told, that in the midst of his
troubles his anxiety for his new college was unabated, and it is upon
record, that, among his last petitions to the King, was an urgent
request that "His Majesty would suffer his college at Oxford to go

Everything in Wolsey--his vices and his virtues--was great. He seemed
incapable of mediocrity in anything: voluptuous and profuse, rapacious
and of insatiable ambition, too magnanimous to be either cruel or
revengeful, he was an excellent master and patron, and a fair and open
enemy. If we despise the abjectness which he exhibited in his first
fall, let it be remembered from and to what he fell, from a degree of
wealth and grandeur which no subject on earth now enjoys, to
instantaneous and utter destitution. He wanted at Esher the comfort
which even a prison would have afforded, the very bed on which he slept
having been taken from him. We are also to take into account the abject
submission which he had long been taught to exercise towards the tyrant,

  "Whose smile was transport, and whose frown was fate."

There are certain circumstances connected with Wolsey's death and
interment which are noteworthy. "He foretold to Cavendish that at eight
o'clock he would lose his master.... Towards the conclusion, his accents
began to falter; at the end his eyes became motionless, and his sight
failed. The abbot was summoned to administer the extreme unction, and
the yeomen of the guard were called in to see him die. As the clock
struck eight he expired."

Cavendish and the bystanders thought Wolsey must have had a revelation
of the time of his death; and from the way in which the fact had taken
possession of his mind, it is supposed that he relied on astrological

Mr. Payne Collier observes:[67] "It is unnecessary, as well as
uncharitable, to suppose what there is no proof of--that Wolsey died of
poison, either administered by himself or others. The obvious and
proximate cause of his death was affliction. A great heart, oppressed
with indignities and beset with dangers, at length gave way, and Wolsey
received the two last charities of a death-bed and a grave, with many
circumstances affectingly told by Cavendish, in the Abbey of Leicester."

Wolsey's remains were privately interred in one of the chapels of the
Abbey at Leicester, which has long been reduced to a mass of shapeless
ruins. The Cardinal had, however, designed a sumptuous receptacle for
his remains. Adjoining the east end of St. George's Chapel at Windsor is
a stone edifice, built by King Henry VII., as a burial-place for himself
and his successors; but this Prince afterwards altering his purpose,
began the more noble structure at Westminster, and the Windsor fabric
remained neglected until Wolsey obtained a grant of it from Henry VIII.
The Cardinal, with a profusion of expense unknown to former ages,
designed and began here a most sumptuous monument for himself, from
whence this building obtained the name of _Wolsey's Tomb-house_. This
monument was magnificently built; and at the time of the Cardinal's
disgrace 4,250 ducats had been paid to a statuary of Florence for the
work already done; and 380_l_. 18_s_. sterling had been paid for gilding
only the half of this costly monument. It thus remained unfinished; in
1646 it was plundered by the rebels of its statues and figures of
gilt-copper. The Tomb-house is now in process of decoration as a
memorial to the late Prince Consort.

Wolsey had also executed for him at Rome a beautiful marble sarcophagus,
but which did not arrive in time for the burial of the Cardinal: it lay
neglected for two centuries and three-quarters, when it was removed to
the crypt of St. Paul's Cathedral, and in it were placed Nelson's


It is scarcely possible to leave the Tower at Esher without saddening
thoughts that "lie too deep for tears." Here, amidst "the sweetest
solitude" of wood and grove, stands the memorial of the ambitious
minister, the powerful favourite, the selfish ecclesiastic, and the
victim to tyranny,--yet a tyranny that he had himself assisted both to
form and exercise. How troubled were the times which the sight of this
structure recals! How painful is the contrast with the scene of peaceful
nature around it!--with the refreshing quiet of the wood and glade, and
the repose of the water, whereon the nothingness of human glory may be
shown in one simple but sublime lesson--the circle that expands into
nought. How painful, we repeat, is the contemplation of such contrasts;
yet, how fraught with lessons for our happiness! We weep over the fallen
fortunes of men, and their abuse of the means entrusted to them for the
welfare of their fellow-men; yet what a rebuke do we receive in the
reflection that Nature surrounds us with the means of endless
enjoyments, while Art, by its subtlety, perverts and corrupts, thus
weaning the affections from the beautiful and the pure.

Yet, if "Asher Place" had its vicissitudes in past ages, so too has
Claremont--a portion of the same manor--in our own times. Here, in the
mansion built for the great Lord Clive, Leopold, Prince of Saxe-Cobourg,
half a century since, brought his bride, the fair-haired daughter of
England, and lived for a short and blissful period, in all the happiness
of conjugal and domestic union, when premature death struck down the
Princess and her infant offspring. Here Louis Philippe and his Queen
found an asylum, in the year of Revolutions, 1848; and have since gone
to their earthly home a few miles distant. Leopold, too, has descended
to the tomb, full of years and kingly honours, having received in
marriage, in succession, a daughter of the King of England, and a
daughter of the King of France.

      [_The Life of Wolsey_, by Cavendish, (quoted in the preceding
      pages,) is one of the most interesting and valuable specimens of
      biography in the English language. Its first merit is originality
      in the strictest sense of the word. The writer, one of Wolsey's
      gentlemen, and much in his confidence, was not merely a spectator,
      but an agent, and in some degree, a sufferer in the scenes which
      he describes. In the next place, though he writes from the heart,
      there is an air of impartiality in some parts of the work, which
      gives them the clear stamp of veracity. Of the hauteur and
      insolence of the Cardinal during his elevation, he sometimes
      allows himself to speak with asperity. The tender compassion which
      rendered him the faithful companion of his fallen fortunes, gives
      an amiable and pleasing colour to the latter part of his
      narrative. Besides, the cumbrous magnificence of the reign of
      Henry VIII., under the great change of manners which two centuries
      and a half have produced, is become in its representation to us,
      extremely picturesque; and for this part of his undertaking
      Cavendish was eminently qualified. He was not one of those
      unobserving men, who seem never to apprehend that what is familiar
      to themselves will become curious to posterity. He saw with an
      exact and discriminating eye, and what he beheld he was able to
      describe. In no other work, perhaps, is to be found so minute and
      faithful a detail of what the palaces of kings and prelates, and
      the houses of the great nobility then were; their loads of plate,
      their hangings of arras, the ponderous plenty of their tables, and
      the useless accumulation, as we should conceive, of cloth, linen,
      &c., which were sometimes exhibited in their great galleries as in
      so many warehouses. Add to this, the innumerable links then
      subsisting in the great chain of dependence, the haughty distance
      of the superior to his immediate inferior, the obsequiousness of
      the immediate inferior in return; the young nobility serving in
      the houses of the greater prelates like menial servants, and these
      prelates themselves as often, perhaps, on the knee to their king
      as to their God. All these particulars, acquired from the life by
      the writer before us, form so many vivid pictures presented to
      the mind's eye, so that ideas become images, and we seem to
      behold what we only read of.--See Dr. Wordsworth's _Ecclesiastical


[65] That the oblique or skew arch is an old invention is attested by
the following passage in the _Handbook of Spain_, by Mr. Ford, who
resided in that country several years: "Now visit the Alcazar
(Cathedral, Seville); but first observe a singular Moorish skew arch, in
a narrow street leading (from the cathedral) to the Puerta de Xerez: it
proves that the Moors practised this now assumed modern invention, at
least, eight centuries ago."

[66] The kitchen was the first building erected by Wolsey in his new
College, and has undergone no material alteration either in shape, size,
or arrangement. It is a good specimen of an ancient English kitchen.

[67] In a paper read to the Society of Antiquaries, describing the
Trevelyan MS.


It has been frequently remarked that the general decay of local
traditions, or the difficulty of obtaining particulars of events, or the
sites of the most remembered passages of history, is, year by year,
becoming more evident. It might be expected that in the vicinity of
great transactions, among a rude and ignorant peasantry, we should find
more frequent vestiges of the one memorable action which made their
locality famous; yet, it is astonishing to find how often these are
completely obliterated.

Much of this falling-off in tradition may be referred to the more rigid
test to which it is subjected by means of the printing-press; as well as
to the new class of materials for history. For a century or so, the
habit had prevailed of receiving implicitly the traditions and records
of past times, assuming them to have been substantiated at the date of
their publication. This mode of constructing history consisted merely of
breaking up and re-arranging the old materials, which have been compared
to stereotype blocks. The worthlessness of this mode of proceeding has
become apparent; and now the opposite error has come strongly into
vogue--that of going back to neglected documents of the same date as the
transaction, and, on their evidence, revoking the settled deliberate
verdict of past centuries. The vast accession of materials of this kind
obtained of late years, is truly surprising. There is likewise another
means of verifying the dates, places, and names, of great events: we
mean in the visits of archæologists to the sites, and the comparison of
the actual localities with recorded details; proceedings of the most
pleasurable and intellectual kind.

Nevertheless, the old traditional stock is not yet entirely exhausted.
There are no families in the British Islands more ancient than many of
those which are yet to be found among our yeomanry and peasantry. Every
now and then some proof comes to light of an antiquity of tenure on the
part of such families, far exceeding that of the Stanleys or Howards.
The Duke of York, for example, ejected from a farm at Chertsey a certain
Mr. Wapshott, who claimed lineal and accredited descent from Reginald
Wapshott, the armour-bearer of Alfred, who is said to have established
Reginald in this very farm. This personage was an example of the
tenacity with which tradition might be thus preserved, for his family
version of their origin derived them from Wapshott, the warrener, and
not the armour-bearer of Alfred.[68]

Again, we have recovered of late a series of instances, which show how
few individuals not uncommonly intervene between ourselves and the
eye-witnesses of remarkable men or actions. King William IV. had spoken
to a butcher at Windsor, who had conversed with Charles II. What is
still more remarkable, a person living in 1847, aged then about
sixty-one, was frequently assured by his father that, in 1786, he
repeatedly saw one Peter Garden, who died in that year at the age of 127
years; and who, when a boy, heard Henry Jenkins give evidence in a court
of justice at York, to the effect that, when a boy, he was employed in
carrying arrows up the hill before the battle of Flodden Field.

  This battle was fought in                               1513

  Henry Jenkins died in 1670, at the age of       169

  Deduct for his age at the time of the
  battle of Flodden Field                          12
                                                  ---      157
  Peter Garden, the man who heard Jenkins
  give his evidence, died at                      127

  Deduct for his age when he saw Jenkins           11
                                                  ---      116
  The person whose father knew Peter
  Garden was born shortly before 1786,
  or 70 years since                                         70
                                                     A.D. 1856

In this year, 1856, Mr. Sidney Gibson, F.S.A. showed, as above, that a
person living in 1786, conversed with a man that fought at Flodden

We now proceed to narrate a few instances in which the details of early
battles have been most successfully investigated and identified.

There is not much myth about the BATTLE OF HASTINGS. On that undulating
upland, and in that steep morass, raged on Saturday, October 14th, A.D.
1060, from nine till three, when its tide first turned, as fierce a
battle, as real a stand-up fight between the army of England and the
great Norman host, as any which has ever decided the destinies of
countries. There is no important battle, the details of which have been
so carefully handed down to us. How the Conqueror's left foot slipped on
landing--the ill omen--and how his right foot "stacked in the sand"--the
good omen of "seisin;"--how the ships were pierced, so that his host
might fight its way to glory without retreat; and how he merrily
extracted an omen for good even while putting on his hauberk the wrong
side foremost; how brother Gurth with the tender conscience counselled
brother Harold with the seared conscience to stay away from the fray,
lest his broken oath to William should overtake him; and how, as they
reconnoitred the vast Norman host, the elder brother's heart had failed
him, had not the younger one called him scoundrel for his meditated
flight; the prayerful eve in the one camp and the carousing eve in the
other, "with wassails and drinkhails;" the exploits of valiant knight
Taillifer between the lines; how the Normans shot high in air to blind
the enemy; and the dreadful _mêlée_ in the "blind ditch Malfosse
shadowed with reed and sedge;" and the Conqueror's hearty after-battle
meal, when he was chaired among the dying and the dead; and that
exquisitely pathetic touch of story which tells how Edith, the
swan-necked,--for the love she bore to Harold,--when all others failed
to recognise him, was brought to discover his mutilated corse among the
slain; and the Conqueror's vow, so literally redeemed, to fix the high
altar of the "Abbey of the Battaile" where the Saxon _gonfanon_
fell--all these, and a thousand other minute circumstances of the
memorable day, stand out in as clear relief at this distance of time as
the last charge of Waterloo, or the closing scene at Trafalgar.

Sussex has little occasion to feel humbled by having been the scene of
this well-contested field. Whatever the inhabitants of the British isles
have since been able to effect for their own greatness and for the
happiness of the human race, is attributable in no small degree to the
issue of that fight. Thenceforth the Saxon was guided and elevated by
the high spirit and far-reaching enterprise of the Norman, and the
elements of the national character were complete.[69]

Among the memorials of the conquered must not be forgotten the roll of
the companions of the Conqueror, which was installed with great
festivity in August, 1862, at Dives, a small town on the seacoast, in
the department of Calvados, in Normandy. It was near this town, at the
mouth of the Dives, that William and his companions in arms met previous
to their embarkation for the subjugation of England. The very spot was
already marked by a column erected in 1861, by M. de Caumont, the
eminent Norman savant and archæologist; and the fête in August, 1862,
was held under the auspices of the same learned gentleman. The
commemoration was intended to be international, and a public invitation
was given to the English residents in the locality; but, from some
unexplained cause or other, no English person attended. Sir Bernard
Burke attributes this absence to the announcement being imperfectly
made; "for what," he asks, "could more come home to the better and more
educated classes of English people than the inauguration of a roll which
contains the greatest names amongst us; a roll to which the proudest
feel prouder still to belong, and which may be said to form the very
household words of our glory--the roll, in fact, of what has since been
the best and bravest aristocracy in the universe?"

The fête commenced by a meeting in the Market-hall of Dives, which was
characteristically decorated; one of the objects being a large picture
of the construction and embarkation of William's fleet, painted from the
Bayeux Tapestry. The Dives Roll is deposited within the church, over the
principal entrance. It differs from the Battle Abbey Roll in this
respect, that the latter is the roll of those who actually fought at
Hastings, and the former is the roll of those who assembled for the
expedition, and were otherwise engaged in furthering the conquest of
England. The roll is printed in the _Bulletin de la Societé des
Antiquaires de Normandie_, and in the _Vicissitudes of Families_, third

Next are three battles of the fifteenth century: Towton, Tewkesbury, and
Bosworth. TOWTON FIELD, supposed to be the most fierce and bloody battle
that ever happened in any domestic war, was fought between the Houses of
York and Lancaster in 1461. On the 29th of March, the armies met at
Towton: the Lancastrians were totally routed, and Edward left
unquestionably king. The carnage of this terrible field is appalling.
Proclamations forbidding quarter were issued before the engagement. Like
Leipsic, it reached over the night; but, unlike Leipsic, even the hours
of darkness brought no rest. They fought from four o'clock in the
afternoon, throughout the whole night, on to noon the next day. Like
Waterloo, it was fought on a Sunday. And the accounts of contemporary
writers state, in words very like the letters from Mont St. Jean, that,
for weeks afterwards the blood stood in puddles, and stagnated in
gutters, and that the water of the wells was red. No inaccuracy is more
frequent in ancient authors than that of numbers, and generally on the
side of exaggeration. But on this occasion we can form a more correct
estimate of the carnage by the concurrence of unusually reputable
testimonies; and, perhaps, in these times it will give the best idea of
it, to say that the number of Englishmen slain exceeded the _sum_ of
those who fell at Vimiera, Talavera, Albuera, Salamanca, Vittoria, and

TEWKESBURY FIELD has been minutely explored. Mr. Richard Brooke, F.S.A.,
after narrating, from Holinshed, the circumstances which preceded this
memorable battle--from the arrival of Queen Margaret at Weymouth, to the
termination of the conflict, and the murder of Prince Edward--points out
the field of battle as close to the first mile-stone on the high road
leading from Tewkesbury through Tredington to Cheltenham and Gloucester.
On the western side of the town of Tewkesbury is the Home-ground, or
Home-hill, where once a castle stood; a part of this elevated ground is
a field, called "the Gastons," which extends to the first mile-stone,
just opposite which, on the eastern side of the road, is a field which
has been immemorially called "Margaret's Camp." The battle was,
according to tradition, fought on that place, and in the adjacent fields
on the southward, as also in those a little eastward of it. In
"Margaret's Camp," in the centre is a small circular inclosure,
surrounded by a ditch, without hedge or bank, but having some large elm
trees growing round its inner edge. This is too insignificant to have
been a military entrenchment; but it may have been the place of
interment of some of the slain; or is thought to have been formed in
comparatively modern times to commemorate the spot where the
Lancastrian army was posted. In the field, called "Gup's Hill," Mr.
Brooke was told by elderly persons, bones had formerly been discovered.

The old annalists and chroniclers, Mr. Brooke says, have left us much in
the dark as to the exact spot near the camp of the Lancastrians where
Edward's forces passed the night prior to the battle; but on the morning
of the battle, and immediately before it commenced, his army, according
both to tradition and probability, took up a position upon some elevated
ground adjoining the turnpike-road, and to the southward of and opposite
the Lancastrian army. From that position a tract of ground (now fields
and closes) slopes downwards, so as to form a depression between it and
the spot occupied by the Lancastrians. This tract of ground was formerly
called the "Red Piece," and it is now intersected by the turnpike-road,
and forms two fields, one on each side of the road, one of which is
called the Near Red Close, and the other the Further Red Close. This
tract of ground extends to the field called "Margaret's Camp," and it
appears almost certain that it was on the southward side of the latter
that Edward's forces made their attack.

A meadow in the rear of the Lancastrian position, and lying on the
westward side of the turnpike-road, half a mile from Tewkesbury, and
within a few hundred yards of the Tewkesbury Union Workhouse, is called
the "Bloody Meadow:" an idea is generally entertained that it derives
its name from the slaughter of many of the fugitives, who fled from the
battle towards the meadow, in hope of getting over the Severn, as there
is a ferry not far from it. Fourteen or fifteen years ago, was found in
the Bloody Meadow a long piece of iron, which appeared to have been
part of a sword-blade.

BOSWORTH FIELD is a still more memorable site. On August 22, 1485, was
fought the famous battle of Bosworth, the precise spot being pointed out
by the following passage contained in a proclamation sent by Henry VII.,
almost immediately after his victory, to the municipality of York:
"Moreover, the King ascertaineth you that Richard, Duke of Gloucester,
lately called King Richard, was slain at a place called Sandeford, in
the county of Leicester, and brought dead off the field," &c.

The field of battle lies about three miles south of Market Bosworth; and
it is clear from direct historical testimony, which is in this instance
fully corroborated by local traditions, that the principal encounter
between the forces of Richard and Richmond took place on "Ambien Hill,"
on the southern slope of which rises the spring, "Richard's Well," from
which the King is traditionally reported to have drank during the
engagement. The plain of Redmoor was also partly comprehended in the
movements of the two armies, and across which there cannot be a doubt
the flight of the vanquished royalists was afterwards directed towards
Dadlington, Stoke Golding, and Crown Hill, besides the strong position
of Ambien Hill, on the south and west. It is, therefore, evident that
the place where the King fell must be looked for in the immediate
vicinity of these two well-ascertained sites of conflict. Now
_Sandeford_, or _Sandford_, named in the proclamation of Henry VII., is
not known to have existed as a hamlet or village in the county of
Leicester, from the date of Domesday-book; hence Sandford is taken to
imply an ancient road or passage over some fordable stream or
water-course. It has been found that the old road from Leicester to
Atherstone, through the villages of Peckleton and Kirkby Mallory, and
along which road Richard advanced, when on his march from Leicester upon
Sunday, August 21, to meet his antagonist, used formerly, after skirting
and partially traversing the field of battle, to cross a _ford_,
remembered by the present generation, and situated at but a short
distance from the south-western slope of Ambien Hill. And part of the
comparatively modern highway which now passes over the site of the same
ford, is called the _Sandroad_ at the present time. The stream which
once flooded the highway, is now carried through a vaulted tunnel
beneath it. The ford has consequently disappeared; but any visitor to
Bosworth Field, who inquires for the _Water Gate_, may yet stand on the
ground pointed out as the scene of the death of Richard III. by the
words of his rival Henry VII. It should be added that Mr. J. F.
Hollings, of Leicester, who has communicated the above details to _Notes
and Queries_, 2nd S., No. 150, has shown also that the Ordnance Map is
not altogether to be relied upon as a guide to the various localities
connected with the battle of Bosworth.

Mr. Syer Cuming, F.S.A., in a paper read to the British Archæological
Association, in 1862, has grouped these interesting Memorials of Richard
III. On this occasion, the archæologists proceeded from Leicester to the
battle-field; and a considerable accession to the number being received
at Bosworth, the procession extended upwards of half-a-mile in length.
On arriving at the field, large numbers of people had preceded the
procession and congregated round the platform, and altogether there
could not have been fewer than a thousand persons present. The platform
was decorated with banners. A facsimile of the crown of Richard III.
was shown on a cushion in front of Major Wollaston, who presided on the
occasion. A flag marked the place where King Richard died, near a small
pond, and a white flag pointed out the position of Richmond's army.

Richard Plantagenet was born about the year 1450, of Lady Cecilia, wife
of Richard, Duke of York, in the ancient castle of Fotheringhay,
Northamptonshire; but his natal abode was swept away by order of our
first James, and we have perhaps no earlier relic of the Prince than his
official seal as Admiral of England the date of which is fixed by Mr.
Pettigrew between the years 1471 and 1475. It bears on it a large
vessel, the mainsail blazoned with the arms of France and England,
crossed by a label of three points; similar charges appearing on a flag
held by a greyhound at the aft-castle. The verge represents a collar of
roses, and within it is a legend setting forth that it is the seal of
Richard, Duke of Gloucester, Admiral of England, for the counties of
Dorset and Somerset--_S' Rici: Dvc' Glovc': Admiralli: Angl: I: Com:
Dors' et Soms_.

[When Dr. Dibdin was on his "Northern Tour," published in 1838, at
Whiburn, in the neighbourhood of Tynemouth, he had the good fortune to
be introduced to Sir Hedworth Williamson's old trunk of family seals, in
red and white wax, among which he found a warrant of Richard III., then
Duke of Gloucester, dated 20th of February, in the thirteenth year of
Edward IV., with the Autograph of the Duke, and part of the Seal
appended; both of which are of most rare occurrence.]

If tradition is to be believed, King John and Queen Elizabeth must have
had as many palaces as there are counties in England; and though the
name of Richard III. is less frequently connected with old mansions,
there are still plenty of antiquated houses which are said to have been
his abiding-places for more or less lengthy periods. Among others may be
mentioned the Black Boy Inn, Chelmsford, where were formerly to be seen
two carved bosses on the ceiling of its great room: one being painted
with a blue boar on a deep red field, surrounded by a collar of seven
stars or mullets; the other, with a full-blown rose, once entirely
white, but subsequently white and red, indicative of the union of the
Houses of York and Lancaster. Both these bosses were communicated to the
_Gentleman's Magazine_ (May, 1840), by John Adey Repton; but the editor
of that serial contended that the boar is the insignia of Vere, Earl of
Oxford, and that the tradition regarding Richard must therefore be
rejected, forgetful of the fact that after the attainder of the Earl for
high treason, his vast possessions in Essex and other counties were
given to the Duke of Gloucester, so that the Black Boy Inn may, after
all, have served as a hunting-lodge of the Plantagenet. Of Richard's two
London residences one has altogether vanished, and the other has lost
much of its antique aspect, but Shakspeare has given a world-wide and
lasting fame to both. Baynard's Castle stood on the northern bank of the
Thames, and was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666. It was in the court
of this fortress that Stafford, Duke of Buckingham, offered the crown to
the Duke of Gloucester, and where the dramatist makes the latter say:--

  "Since you will buckle fortune on my back,
  To bear her burden, whe'r I will or no,
  I must have patience to endure the load."

  _Richard III._ ii. 7.

The other dwelling alluded to is Crosby Place, Bishopsgate, built by Sir
John Crosby about the year 1467; and, in spite of alterations and
renovations, this is still one of the finest examples of Early Domestic
architecture in England. Hither Shakspeare makes Gloucester invite the
Lady Anne; and bid the murderers repair after the assassination of
Clarence and the young princes in the Tower.

The old building in Leicester, which was properly called "King Richard's
House," was known to be part of the Old Blue Boar: at the commencement
of the last century, it was used as an inn, and known by that sign,
though originally it bore the name of the "White Boar," the cognizance
of King Richard III.; but, after his defeat, this sign was torn down by
the infuriated populace, and the owner or landlord compelled to change
the title. Popular tradition has always identified the building with the
ill-fated monarch, and the inquiries of our local antiquaries confirm
the tradition. It was taken down in the month of March, 1836; but,
fortunately, before its destruction, a drawing was made of the front;
and that has been frequently engraved. In this house Richard took up his
quarters, and slept on a bedstead, the remains of which are believed to
be in existence. It had a false bottom, in which a large sum of money
could be concealed, and did duty as a military chest. Engravings of the
house and bedstead are given in Hutton's _Battle of Bosworth Field_, 2d
edition, by J. Nichols, F.S.A.

Richard is reported to have been peculiarly subject to the influence of
omens. "During his abode at Exeter," says Holinshed, "he went about the
citie, and viewed the seat of the same, and at length he came to the
castle; and when he understood that it was called Rugemont, suddenlie he
fell into a dumpe, and (as one astonied) said, 'Well, I see my dayes be
not long.' He spake this of a prophecy told him, that when he once came
to Richmond, he should not long live after." He had more rational cause
for alarm when Jockey of Norfolk produced the doggrel warning found in
his tent, for it clearly indicated the desertion and treachery that were
about to prove fatal to him.

On the night before the battle, going the rounds, Richard found a
sentinel asleep, and stabbed him, with the remark, "I found him asleep,
and have left him as I found him."

The vanguard of Richard's army was commanded by the Duke of Norfolk; the
centre and main body by the King himself, who rode at their head,
mounted on his celebrated milk-white steed, White Surrey, and arrayed in
the splendid suit of armour which he had worn at Tewkesbury. Like Henry
V. at Agincourt, Richard wore a golden crown, not as a man would wear a
hat or cap, but by way of crest over his helmet. Richmond, too, bore
himself gallantly, and rode through the ranks, marshalling and
encouraging his men, arrayed in complete armour, but unhelmeted. His
vanguard, commanded by the Earl of Oxford, began the battle by crossing
the low ground towards the elevated position where Richard prudently
waited the attack. "The trumpets blew, and the soldiers shouted, and the
King's archers courageously let fly their arrows. The Earl's bowmen
stood not still, but paid them home again; and the terrible shot once
passed, the armies joined, and came to hand-strokes."[71]

The leaders of those days deemed it a point of honour to fight hand to
hand, if possible, and Oxford and Norfolk managed to engage in a
personal encounter. After shivering their spears on each other's shields
or breastplates, they fell to with their swords. Oxford, wounded in the
arm by a blow which glanced from his crest, returned it by one which
hewed off the vizor of Norfolk's helmet, leaving the face bare; and
then, disdaining to follow up the advantage, drew back, when an arrow
from an unknown hand pierced the Duke's brain. Surrey, hurrying up to
assist or avenge his father, was surrounded and overpowered by Sir
Gilbert Talbot and Sir John Savage, who commanded on the right and left
for Richmond:--

  "Young Howard single with an army fights;
  When, moved with pity, two renownèd knights,
  Strong Clarendon and valiant Conyers, try
  To rescue him, in which attempt they die.
  Now Surrey, fainting, scarce his sword can hold,
  Which made a common soldier grow so bold,
  To lay rude hands upon that noble flower,
  Which he disdaining--anger gives him power,--
  Erects his weapon with a nimble round,
  And sends the peasant's arm to kiss the ground."--

  _Bosworth Field_, by Sir John Beaumont, Bart.

If we may credit tradition or the chroniclers, all this was literally
true. When completely exhausted, Surrey presented the hilt of his sword
to Talbot, whom he requested to take his life, and save him from dying
by an ignoble hand. He lived to be the Surrey of Flodden Field, and the
worthy transmitter of "all the blood of all the Howards."

When Richard was about to make that renowned charge, which historians
describe as the last effort of despair, he was bringing up his main
body, and intelligence reached him that Richmond was posted behind the
hill with a slender attendance. His plan was formed on the instant; nor,
although fiery courage or burning hate might have suggested it, was it
ill-judged or reckless. Three-fourths of the combatants, if we include
the Stanleys, were ready to side with the strongest. Richmond's army,
without Richmond, was a rope of sand. His fall would be the signal for a
general scattering, or a feigned renewal of hollow allegiance to the
conqueror. Neither did the execution of the proposed _coup de main_
betoken a sudden impulse inconsiderately acted upon. Richard rode out at
the right flank of his army, and ascended a rising ground to get a view
of his enemy, with whose person he was not acquainted. He summoned to
his side a chosen body of knights, all of whom, with the exception of
Lord Lovell, perished with him; and he paused to drink at a spring,
which still goes by his name. That Richard's horse was slain is very
doubtful; and, for aught we _know_, it was White Surrey that bore him,
like a thunderbolt, against the bosom of his foe; and it was spear in
rest that he dashed against Richmond's surprised and fluttered

The personal prowess of the pair who were contending for a kingdom, is
thus estimated by Hutton: "Richard was better versed in arms, Henry was
better served. Richard was brave, Henry was a coward. Richard was about
five feet four, rather runted, but only made crooked by his enemies;
and wanted six weeks of thirty-three. Henry was twenty-seven, slender,
and near five feet nine, with a saturnine countenance, yellow hair, and
grey eyes." According to Grafton, Richard, so soon as he descried
Richmond, "put spurs to his horse, and, like a hungry lion, ran with
spear in rest towards him." He unhorsed Sir John Cheney, a strong and
brave knight,[72] and rushing on Sir William Brandon, Henry's
standard-bearer, cleft his skull, tore the standard from his grasp, and
flung it on the ground. "He was now," says Hume, "within reach of
Richmond himself, who declined not the combat." Others say that Richmond
drew back, as a braver man might have done in his place--

  "No craven he, and yet he shuns the blow,
  So much confusion magnifies the foe."

Fortunately for him, Sir William Stanley came up at the very nick of
time, "with three thousand tall men," and overpowered Richard, who died,
fighting furiously, and murmuring with his last breath, _Treason!
Treason! Treason!_ So nicely timed was Stanley's aid, that Henry
afterwards justified the ungrateful return he made for it, by saying:
"He came time enough to save my life, but he stayed long enough to
endanger it." Richard received wounds enough to let out a hundred
lives; his crown had been struck off at the beginning of the onset; and
his armour was so broken, and his features were so defaced, that he was
hardly to be recognised when dragged from beneath a heap of slain.

And can that stripped and mutilated corpse be the crowned monarch who at
morning's rise led a gallant army to an assured victory, who had
recently been described by Philip de Commines as holding the proudest
position held by any King of England for a hundred years? Nothing places
in a stronger light the depth of moral degradation and insensibility,
fast verging towards barbarism, to which men's minds had been sunk by
the multiplied butcheries of these terrible conflicts, than the
indignities heaped upon the dead King, with the sanction, if not by the
express orders, of his successor. The body, perfectly naked, with a rope
round the neck, was flung across a horse, like the carcase of a calf,
behind a pursuivant-at-arms, and was thus carried in triumph to
Leicester. It was exposed two days in the Town-hall, and then buried
without ceremony in the Gray Friars' Church. At the destruction of the
religious houses, the remains were thrown out, and the coffin, which was
of stone, was converted into a watering-trough at the White Horse Inn.
The best intelligence that Mr. Hutton, who made a journey on purpose in
1758, could collect concerning it, was that it was broken up about the
latter end of the reign of George I., and that some of the pieces had
been placed as steps in the cellar of the inn. "To what base uses may we
return!" The sign of the White Boar at Leicester, at which Richard
slept, was forthwith converted into the Blue Boar; and the name of the
street called after it has been corrupted into Blubber-lane.

Leicester and Richard III. are associated in traditional history, which
the Corporation have handed down, with a newly-built bridge, in two
inscriptions:--1. "This bridge was erected by the Corporation of
Leicester, in the mayoralty of S. Viccars, Esq., A.D. 1862, on the site
of the ancient Bow Bridge, over which King Richard III. passed, at the
head of his army, to the battle of Bosworth Field, August, 1485. Joseph
Whetstone, Chairman of Highway Committee; S. Stone, Town Clerk; E. S.
Stephens, Borough Surveyor." The plate on the opposite side bears the
legend in verse, according to Speed's _History of Great Britain_:--

  "Upon this bridge [as tradition hath
  Delivered] stood a stone of some height,
  Against which King Richard, as he passed
  Towards Bosworth, by chance struck his spur,
  And against the same stone, as he was brought
  Back, hanging by the horse's side, his head
  Was dashed and broken, as a wise woman
  [Forsooth] had _foretold_, who, before Richard's
  Going to battle, being asked as to his success,
  Said that where his spur struck, his head
  Should be broken."

This is legendary evidence of Richard's belief in omens, in addition to
that recorded at page 305.

Richard had a habit of gnawing his under lip, and a trick of playing
with his dagger, which, although misconstrued into signs of an evil
disposition, were, probably, mere outward manifestations of
restlessness. Polydore Virgil speaks of his "horrible vigilance and
celerity." It was the old story of the sword wearing out the scabbard;
and the chances are, that he would not long have survived Bosworth Field
had he come off unscathed and the conqueror.

"In the dreadful wars of York and Lancaster," writes Mr. Brooke,[73] "it
is said that more than 10,000 Englishmen lost their lives; but that is
merely the number believed to have been slain in battle; and, however
repulsive it may be to our feelings, it must be admitted that it cannot
include the numbers who must have perished during that disastrous
period, in unimportant skirmishes, in marauding parties, in private
warfare, by assassination, by the axe or by the halter, in pursuance of
or under the colour of judicial sentences, or by open and undisguised
murder. Besides this horrible sacrifice of human life, during this
distracted period it is shocking to think what sufferings unprotected
and helpless persons must have been exposed to, from the lawless
partisans of the rival parties, when they passed through or were located
near any district, which they chose to consider as favouring their
antagonists. Pillage, cruelty, violence to women, incendiarism, and
contempt of the laws and of religion, were the natural attendants upon a
civil war, carried on with feelings of bitter hatred by each party; and
it is certain that the examples of cruelty and wickedness which were
openly set by the nobles and leaders of both factions would readily be
copied by their followers. One of our ancient historical writers
correctly states, that 'this conflict was in maner unnaturall, for in it
the sonne fought against the father, the brother against the brother,
the nephew against the uncle, the tenant against his lord.'"

It is well known that the Wars of the Roses had weakened to the last
degree the great nobles--destroying many of the houses, and
impoverishing all to such an extent that when Henry assumed the Crown he
found himself in possession of nearly absolute power. Under his
Plantagenet predecessors the great nobles had so much authority that at
times they could defy the Crown, and an influential earl might be
regarded as almost the rival of the Sovereign. The English barons were
now reduced to comparative insignificance, and the descendants of men
who in the bygone time might have aspired to the throne, and actually
ruled as independent princes in their ample domains, were content to
appear at Court and to swell the train of their Sovereign liege. The
Wars of the Roses had in reality precipitated in England a change which
was gradually approaching--the destruction of the feudal, and the rise
of the municipal system. But the decay of the feudal system and the rise
of the municipal produced consequences which are very important for
their social and political bearings.[74]

Sad are the memories of these devastating wars, which are intertwined
with many a legendary tale and fitful romance. Not the least curious of
these records is the story that in a beautiful district of England,
whilst the wars raged, there was discovered in the garden of Longleat
Priory, in Wiltshire, a French rose-tree, covered on one side with
_white_ roses, and on the opposite with _red_; which, being known,
attracted crowds of persons, who believed it to portend the speedy
return of peace to their country, by the union of the rival powers.
According to the same tradition, a short time afterwards, the tree bore
roses of mixed petals, and there immediately followed the marriage of
Henry VII. and Elizabeth, thus fulfilling the floral prediction by the
friendship and union of the contending parties. The rose is thought to
have been an early specimen of our "York and Lancaster;" a
red-white--the colours of the two houses--hence its name; and although
the account is probably but a fable, it has, like many others, found its
way into history.

The tendency to embalm falsehoods is a part of the question of the worth
of traditions, which is really worthy of a philosophical inquiry. The
rib of the Dun cow and Guy's porridge-pot are still shown at Warwick
Castle, though the one is the bone of a fossil elephant, and the other a
military cooking vessel of the time of Charles I. Sir Samuel Meyrick
scientifically classified and arranged the collection of armour in the
Tower, but the Beefeaters stick to the old stories still. Richard the
Third's bed in the neighbourhood of Bosworth, turns out to be
Elizabethan;[75] Queen Mary's, at Holyrood, to be of the last century.
Only the other day they sold off at Berkeley the bed of the murdered
Edward as an undoubted anachronism and admitted imposture. Old chairs
are as little to be trusted. Some persons have even doubted the famous
Glastonbury specimen, but these are unduly cautious and sceptical. St.
Crispin's chair in Linlithgow Cathedral is of excellent mahogany,--a
wood which he could only have obtained by miracle previous to the
discovery of America. Princes of Wales are not more fortunate in their
traditions than the Popes themselves, for the Tower of Carnarvon, in
which it is said that the first of them was born, was almost certainly
built after he came into existence. The printing press will dispose of
these false traditions in time, as it has already extinguished so many
others, whether false or true.[76]


[68] See Murray's _Handbook to Hampshire, Surrey, and the Isle of

[69] _Quarterly Review_, No. 223.

[70] _English Review_, No. 2.

[71] Grafton, vol. ii. p. 154. Balls of about a pound and a half weight
have been dug up on the field, but none of the chroniclers speak of
artillery as used by either side.

[72] "Sir John Cheney, of Sherland, personally encountering King
Richard, was felled to the ground by the monarch, had his crest struck
off, and his head laid bare: for some time, it is said, he remained
stunned; but recovering after awhile, he cut the skull and horns off the
hide of an ox which chanced to be near, and fixed them upon his head, to
supply the top of the upper part of his helmet: he then returned to the
field of battle, and did such signal service that Henry, on being
proclaimed King, assigned Cheney for crest the bull's scalp, which his
descendants still bear."--Sir Bernard Burke's _Vicissitudes of
Families_, p. 350.

[73] In his very interesting _Visits to the Fields of Battle, in
England, of the Fifteenth Century_.

[74] _Times_ journal.

[75] See page 305, _ante_.

[76] _Times_ journal.


This noble seat has been incidentally noticed in the preceding pages.[77]
Although the Princess Elizabeth was kept a prisoner at Hatfield, she
occasionally went to London to pay her court to Queen Mary; and in 1556
she was invited to court, and proceeded thither with great parade.
Elizabeth, however, preferred the quiet and pleasant scenery of
Hatfield. The hall of the old palace now accommodates about thirty
horses. The combination of old trees, the rich-coloured brickwork, and
the curiously-wrought ironwork of the flower-garden gate, independent of
its historical associations, forms a pleasing scene.

The noble park is eleven miles in circuit: here the new house, finished,
in 1611, by Cecil, Earl of Salisbury, comes boldly to view. The river
Lea passes through the park. Nor far from the house are a racket-court
and riding-school, both large buildings: near here is an ancient oak of
extraordinary size, called the "Lion oak," a venerable tree, which,
although deprived of many branches, is still crowned by large masses of
green foliage and numerous acorns, is upwards of thirty feet in
circumference, and reputed a thousand years old.

A long and noble avenue of trees, with sunlight glistening on the grey
mossy trunks and boughs, leads to the kitchen-garden. Here is an old
oak, now much stunted, under which the Princess Elizabeth was sitting
when the messengers brought to her the news of Queen Mary's death, and
saluted her as Queen. With pomp, and amid great rejoicing, Queen
Elizabeth progressed to London--a journey accomplished with much greater
trouble three hundred years since than at present. Decayed parts of this
historical oak, the "Lion oak," and some others, have been, from time to
time, covered with _cement_; and this has not only had the effect of
stopping the progress of destruction, but also been the means of
producing both new wood and vegetation.

At the further end of the avenue just mentioned is a building of two or
three centuries old, but which has been much disguised by alterations:
it is now used as the gardener's lodge. Through this we reach the
vineyard,--a curious example of the trim gardening of former days. From
a terrace a bank descends by a deep gradient to the river Lea. On the
upper portion of the terrace are yew-trees planted at intervals, and
dressed into singular shapes; in other parts the yew-trees are so cut,
that up to a considerable height they seem as straight and solid as a
wall: openings are left here and there which lead to dark avenues,
cunningly formed by the arching of the branches. From the centre a broad
flight of steps, covered with turf, leads to the Lea. On the opposite
side of the river, an opening has been made in the trees, which shows a
picture that stretches away in long perspective. Descending the steps,
and looking upward, the view is very striking, and we perceive that the
design is intended to imitate a fortress, with its towers of defence,
loopholes, and battlements,--in fact, vegetation is made to assume an
architectural form, which has an extraordinary effect. The vineyard is
admirably kept.[78]

Of the many fine ancestral mansions in England, Hatfield, the seat of
the Marquis of Salisbury, is, perhaps, the most interesting for its
historical documents, and other illustrations of English history. Here
are preserved the forty-two articles of Edward VI., with the
superscription of that pious Monarch; the first Council Book of Queen
Mary; Cardinal Wolsey's Instructions to the Ambassador sent to the Pope
by Henry VIII., with that eminent churchman's autograph; the original
draft of the Proclamation Secretary Cecil used at the Accession of James
I.; and a very amusing Pedigree of Queen Elizabeth, emblazoned (dated
1559), by which the ancestry of that Sovereign is exhibited as traced to
Adam. Here also are several manuscript letters of Elizabeth, and the
celebrated Cecil Papers; the cradle of Elizabeth, of oak, ornamented
with carving, decidedly Elizabethan; also James I.'s purse, and the
first pair of silk stockings introduced into England, worn by Queen


In the long gallery of the mansion is a state chair, said to have been
used by Queen Elizabeth; and in a black cabinet is preserved a hat with
a broad circular brim, which, we are told, was worn by the Princess
Elizabeth, when seated under the oak in the park just mentioned. This
historical tree is inclosed by a dwarf fence. When Queen Victoria and
Prince Albert visited Hatfield, in 1846, Her Majesty was much interested
with this memorial oak; and, as a memento of her visit, had a small
branch lopped from the tree.

In each bedchamber of the mansion are wardrobes and closets carved in
the style of the reign of James I.; the carved mantelpieces are very
large; some supported by massive pillars entwined with flowers, others
supported by caryatides and figures. The bedsteads and much of the
furniture are of the same date as the other fittings. King James's
bed-room has the fittings, it is said, exactly as when the king last
used them: the hangings, of deep crimson, are profusely ornamented with
tassel-work and fringe; the quilted coverlid has wrought flowers in the
centre, and at the top of the bed are a royal crown, and other
ornaments. It should be mentioned that many of the rooms throughout
Hatfield House are fitted with woods of different kinds, and are named,
in consequence, "the Oak-room," "the Rose-room," "the Walnut-room," "the
Elm-room," &c. The chapel and a suite of ten rooms completed by the
present Marquis of Salisbury in the old baronial style, have panelling
of various woods, some being of oak, walnut, ash, sycamore, &c.

Among the historical pictures at Hatfield is Zucchero's famous portrait
of Queen Elizabeth:--She wears a robe embroidered with eyes and ears, a
favourite device of hers to express her ubiquitous and sleepless
intelligence; and not satisfied with the symbolic eyes and ears, she
grasps a rainbow, with the motto, "_Non sine sole Iris_."

      In the recent exhibition of National Portraits at South Kensington
      were nineteen portraits of Queen Elizabeth, wonderful examples of
      her fantastic and execrable taste. "It was a bad time for the arts
      of portraiture. The costume, in which the Queen led the taste of
      both sexes, and was a keen critic of it after her fashion, was
      over-laden, stiff, and unbecoming. The monstrous ruffs,
      high-shouldered leg-of-mutton sleeves, long-pointed stomachers,
      and broad-hipped Spanish fardingales of the women are not redeemed
      from deformity by all their wealth of lace, embroidery, pearls,
      and jewels; while the round hats of the men--their long-waisted
      doublets, their hose, wide-swelling at the thigh, and tight to the
      knee, would defy even a Titian to make them picturesque, in spite
      of silk and satin and velvet, lace and slashes, ropes of pearl,
      rich pendants, jewelled belts, and hatbands of goldsmiths' work.
      There never was a time when foppery ran so rampant, and the Queen
      was the worst of all in the bad taste and extravagance of her
      attire. Melville, the Scottish Ambassador, tells us how she had
      weeds of all countries, and would appear in a different one at
      every audience--how she talked to him of millinery and
      dress-making, hair and head tires, and seemed more anxious for his
      opinion on such matters than on affairs of State. We have her
      wardrobe books when she was 68, and find among her stores of
      finery, exclusive of 99 State dresses, Coronation, mourning,
      Parliament, and Garter robes, French gowns 102, round ditto 67,
      loose ditto 100, kirtles 126, foreparts 136, petticoats 125,
      cloaks 96, safeguards 13, jupes 43, doublets 85, lap mantles 18,
      fans 27, pantofles 9. And we may see among her 19 pictures here
      wonderful examples of her fantastic and execrable taste. The
      Hatfield Zucchero looks true, but, after all, it is to the Hampton
      Court picture of her at 16 that we turn with pleasure when she was
      still King Edward's 'sweet sister Temperance,' and the docile
      pupil of Roger Ascham in the pleasant shades of Ashridge, or
      Hatfield, and not that withered, gray old woman, her mind heavy
      with black and bloody memories, who sat on the cushions for ten
      days and nights, and for the last 24 hours silent, staring on the
      ground, with set tearless eyes, and her finger in her
      mouth."--_Times_ journal.

In the collection at South Kensington, too, was the portrait of the man
who brought the news of Mary's death to Elizabeth at Hatfield, one of
her commanders in Scotland in 1547, and one of the many who supped once
too often with my Lord of Leicester, and died in 1570, after eating figs
at that table, where the wariest guests were careful only to taste the
same dishes as my lord ate of.

Among the pictures, which are hung through the house, are the portraits
of the great Lord Burghley, and his two sons; various portraits of Queen
Elizabeth and Queen Mary of England; and Queen Mary of Scotland, at the
age of sixteen. Here are the Earl of Leicester of Elizabeth's reign;
James I. and Charles I.; Philip of Spain: Van Tromp; the famous Charles
of Sweden, and Peter the Great of Russia; various members of the
Salisbury family; and the curious picture of Horselydown Fair, described
at pp. 254-258. In the Great Hall, which has a minstrels' gallery,
ornamented with carvings of figures and animals, heraldry, &c. are a
picture, life-size, of the white horse on which Queen Elizabeth rode at
Tilbury Fort: and ten large paintings of Adam and Eve.

The Lady Elizabeth kept her state at Hatfield with no small cost and
splendour. At a subsequent period, after her imprisonment at Woodstock,
her Highness obtained permission to reside once more at Hatfield, under
the guardianship of Sir Thomas Pope, who not only extended to her the
kindest care and most respectful attention, but devised, at his own
cost, sports and pastimes for her amusement. "The fetters in which he
held her," says Agnes Strickland, "were more like flowery wreaths flung
lightly around her, to attract her to a bower of royal pleasaunce, than
aught which might remind her of the stern restraint by which she was
surrounded during her incarceration in the Tower, and subsequent
sojourn at Woodstock." Thus, we read of maskings in the Great Hall at
Hatfield, banquets, and "the play of Holophernes," which Queen Mary

When Queen Mary visited her sister at Hatfield, Elizabeth adorned her
great state chamber for Her Majesty's reception, with a sumptuous suite
of tapestry, representing the Siege of Antioch, and had a play performed
after supper, by the choir-boys of St. Paul's; at the conclusion of
which one of the children sang, and was accompanied on the virginals by
the Princess herself.

Hatfield, during Elizabeth's reign, remained vested in the crown. At her
decease, however, her successor, King James, exchanged it with Sir
Robert Cecil for the palace of Theobalds, and thenceforward Hatfield has
continued uninterruptedly in the possession of the noble family of
Salisbury. Sir Robert Cecil was styled by his royal mistress, Elizabeth,
"the staff of her declining age," and was so highly esteemed by King
James, that his Majesty created him successively Baron Cecil, Viscount
Cranbourne, and Earl of Salisbury; conferred on him the blue riband of
the Garter, and finally appointed him Lord High Treasurer of England.
About this period, his lordship laid the foundations of the present
mansion of Hatfield, which he finished in 1611, in a style of equal
splendour with that of Burghley, which his father had erected in the
preceding reign. The year after the completion of Hatfield, worn out by
the cares of state the Earl of Salisbury died at Marlborough, in
Wiltshire, on his way to London: he was interred in Hatfield Church,
under a stately monument. How striking an example does the closing year
of his life present! In his last illness, he was heard to say to Sir
William Cope: "Ease and pleasure quake to hear of death; but my life,
full of care and miseries, desireth to be dissolved."

He had some years previously (1603) addressed a letter to Sir James
Harrington, the poet, in nearly the same querulous tone: "Good Knight,"
saith the minister, "rest content, and give heed to one that hath
sorrowed in the bright lustre of a court, and gone heavily on even the
best seeming fair ground. 'Tis a great task to prove one's honesty, and
yet not mar one's fortune: you have tasted a little thereof in our
blessed Queen's time, who was more than a woman, and, in truth,
sometimes less than a woman. I wish I waited now in your
presence-chamber, with ease at my food, and rest in my bed. I am pushed
from the share of comfort, and know not where the winds and waves of a
court will bear me. I know it bringeth little comfort on earth; and he
is, I reckon, no wise man that looketh this way to heaven."

Hatfield is a very interesting seat, not only for its association with
the past, but for its presenting, at this moment, a picture of the
baronial life of two centuries and a half since. The Hall of the ancient
Palace remains; the historic Oak is preserved; the vineyard was in
existence when Charles I. was conveyed here a prisoner to the army, and
its famous yew walk is left; and the deer are still numerous. The
mansion has been restored to its pristine magnificence; the landscape
gardening is fine. The noble owner of Hatfield has devoted a portion of
his domains to the pastimes of the people; and on every occasion,
whether it be the reception of royalty, or the entertainment of the
toilers of the country, it is carried out in the generous spirit of
olden English hospitality. And this princely place lies within a score
of miles of the metropolis and its three million of people, who are
brought almost to the park gates within an hour's railway journey.


[77] See _ante_, pp. 116, 124.

[78] "Hatfield House and its Contents," _Builder_, 1859.


The most memorable sitting in Parliament, in the fourth year of King
Charles the First, was that of the House of Commons, on March 2d, 1629,
which was pronounced by Sir Simonds D'Ewes as "_the most gloomy, sad,
and dismal day for England that had happened for five hundred years_."

The incidents of this day will be recollected by every one. Sir John
Eliot is said, according to all accounts, to have made an indignant
attack upon Lord Weston, the new Treasurer, and to have concluded by
moving the adoption of a Remonstrance. The Speaker, Sir John Finch,
declined to put the Remonstrance to the vote, and announced that he had
received the King's command to adjourn the House until the 10th of
March. The House paid little attention to the royal message, contending,
first, that it was not the office of the Speaker to deliver any such
command; and, secondly, that the power of adjournment belonged to the
House, and not to the Crown. Regardless of these arguments, the Speaker
prepared to obey the royal mandate. He rose and quitted the chair, when
two members, Denzil Holles, son of the Earl of Clare, on the one side,
and Benjamin Valentine, on the other side, stepped forward, and forced
him back into his official seat. He appealed to the House with abundance
of tears. Selden argued and remonstrated with him. Sir Peter Hayman
disavowed him, we are told, "as a kinsman," and denounced him as a
disgrace to a noble family. Again he endeavoured to quit the chair. Sir
Thomas Edmondes, who was old enough to have been ambassador from Queen
Elizabeth to Henry IV. of France--a man of small stature, but of great
courage--with other privy councillors, pressed forward to the Speaker's
help; but Holles violently held him in his chair, and swore, by what is
termed Queen Elizabeth's oath, "God's wounds!" that he should sit still
until it should please the House to rise.

In the midst of this uproar, Coriton and Winterton, two of the members,
are said to have fallen to blows, numbers of the more timid fled out of
the House, and the King, hearing of the tumult, sent to Edward
Grimstone, the Serjeant-at-Arms, who was then within the House in
attendance upon the Speaker, to bring away the mace, without which it
was supposed that no legal meeting could be held. To defeat this object,
the key of the door was taken from the Serjeant-at-Arms, and delivered
to Sir Miles Hobart. Sir Miles stopped the egress of the
Serjeant-at-Arms, and having taken from him the mace, quietly put him
out of the House and locked the door. The mace was then replaced upon
the table, and Holles, standing by the side of the Speaker, put to the
House three resolutions, which were deemed to be voted by acclamation.
The King is said to have sent, in the meantime, Mr. Maxwell, the Usher
of the Black Rod, to summon the House to attend in the House of Lords,
but Maxwell could gain neither hearing nor admission. Grown now, as is
stated in Lord Verulam's manuscript, "into much rage and passion," the
King sent for "the Captain of the Pensioners and Guard to force the
door." Ere this officer could muster his stately band, the House had
done its work. The resolutions had been passed, the Speaker had been
released from the strong grasp of Denzil Holles, Sir Miles Hobart had
unlocked the door, the excited members had been set free; and, _for a
period of eleven years, parliamentary discussion in England had come to
an end_.

Such is the narrative which was read by Mr. Bruce to the Society of
Antiquaries, in 1859, upon his reading also a "True Relation" of the
scene, in the handwriting of Lord Verulam, now in the manuscript
collection at Gorhambury. Other MSS. of the proceedings of this Session
are not uncommon, and many variations occur. Mr. Bruce has, in his
paper, printed that portion of Lord Verulam's MS. which relates to the
sitting of the 2d of March. Mr. Bruce, who has narrated the leading
points according to Lord Verulam's MS., instead of Hayman's word,
"kinsman," gives these words: "he was sorry he was a Kentish man, and
that he was a disgrace to his country, and a blot to a noble family."
Lord Verulam, too, gives Mr. Stroud's speech, not in other MSS.: he
"tould the Speaker that he was the instrument to cutt off the libertie
of the subject by the roote, and that if he would not be perswaded to
put the same to question, they must all retorne as scattered sheepe, and
a scorne put upon them as it was last session." This is important, since
it explains more precisely than had hitherto been known, why he (Stroud)
was prosecuted for his share in that day's transactions. On the other
hand, Lord Verulam's MS. does not mention the Resolutions that were put
to the House by Holles standing by the Speaker's chair. The concurrent
testimony of a variety of authorities, however, forbids us to doubt that
those Resolutions were really passed in the way described, and that in
this respect Lord Verulam's MS. is defective.


The word _Cavalier_ was not at first necessarily a term of reproach.
Shakspeare does not so employ it when he speaks of the gay and gallant
English eager for French invasion--

  "For who is he ... that will not follow
  These cull'd and choice-drawn Cavaliers to France?"

But it was most unquestionably used in a reproachful sense on the
occasion of the tumult in the reign of Charles I., probably to connect
its French origin with the un-English character of the defenders of the
Queen and her French papist adherents, to whom it was chiefly applied;
it was likewise bandied about in declarations alternately issued
on the eve of the war by the Parliament and the King, the latter
speaking of it more than once as a word much in disfavour. Charles,
when the battle of Edgehill had been fought, elaborately accuses his
antagonists--"pretenders to peace and charity"--of a hateful attempt "to
render all persons of honour, courage, and reputation, odious to the
common people under the style of _Cavaliers_, insomuch as the highways
and villages have not been safe for gentlemen to pass through without
violence or affront." Even in the very earliest popular songs on the
King's side, the word has not the place it afterwards assumed, and one
meets with Royalist poets of a comparatively sober vein,--

  "Who neither love for fashion nor for fear,
  As far from Roundhead as from Cavalier."

D'Ewes's earliest uses of the word, in his MS. journal, occur under 10th
January, and March 4th, 1641-2, and 3d June, 1642. In the first he is
speaking of parties who had been suspiciously entering the Tower; in the
second, of the Cavaliers at Whitehall who wounded the citizens; and in
the last of the King's party in Yorkshire.

Of the word _Roundhead_, on the other hand, and the mixed fear and
hatred it represented and provoked, decidedly the most characteristic
example is furnished by the ever quaint and entertaining Bishop Hacket,
who tells a story of a certain worthy and honest Vicar of Hampshire who
always (in such a manner as to evade the notice of one section of his
hearers while he secretly pleased the other) changed one verse in the
last verse of the Te Deum--"O Lord, in thee have I trusted, _let me
never be a Roundhead_!" William Lilly, however (_Monarchy or no Monarchy
in England_, edit. 1651), referring to tumults of which he was an
eye-witness, describes Puritans to have received the nickname as
follows: "In the general, they were very honest men and well-meaning:
some particular fools, or others, perhaps, now and then got in amongst
them, greatly to the disadvantage of the more sober. They were modest in
their apparel, but not in their language; they had the hair of their
heads very few of them longer than their ears; whereupon, it came to
pass that those who usually with their cries attended at Westminster
(Whitehall), were by a nickname called _Roundheads_. The Courtiers
again, having long hair and locks, and always swordes, at last were
called by these men _Cavaliers_: and so, so few of the vulgar knowing
the sense of the word Cavalier."--Notes to Forster's _Arrest of the Five

Swift, regarding Cavalier in the reproachful sense, says: "Each party
grows proud of that appellation which their adversaries at first
intended as a reproach: of this sort were the Guelfs, and Ghibelines,
Huguenots, and Cavaliers."

Nevertheless, Cavalier was formerly an ordinary English term for a
horse-soldier. Kersey gives it as "a Sword-gentleman, a brave Warrior."

Nares gives it: "Cavalero, or Cavalier. Literally a Knight; but, as the
persons of chief fashion and gaiety were knights, any gallant was so
distinguished. Hence it became a term for the officers of the Court
party, in Charles I.'s wars, the gaiety of whose appearance was
strikingly opposed to the austerity and sourness of the opposite order."
_Glossary_, New Edit. 1859.

In the Roundhead accounts of the period are details of the contests and
assaults that were continually made between the years 1648 and 1658 upon
the Roundheads _abroad_, for _at home_ the Cavaliers were too weak to
indulge frequently in such manifestations of party feelings.


It has been well observed of the Evelyn family, that "rarely do we read
of people who so admirably combined a love of rural life with
literature." Studious retirement, not isolation, was what John Evelyn
sought; and nowhere did he so delightfully enjoy his tastes as at Wotton
House or Place in Surrey. This "great Virtuoso," as Aubrey called him,
has left us the following account of his family, and of their first
settlement at Wotton:--"We have not been at Wotton (purchased of one
Owen, a great rich man) above 160 years. My great grandfather came from
Long Ditton (the seat now of Sir Edward Eveylin), where we had been long
before; and to Long Ditton from Harrow-on-the-Hill; and many years
before that, from Evelyn, near Tower Castle, Shropshire. There are of
our name in France and Italy, written _Ivelyn_, _Avelin_: and in old
deeds I find _Avelyn_, alias _Evelyn_. One of our name was taken
prisoner at the battle of Agincourt. When the Duchess of Orleans came to
Dover to see the King [Charles II.], one of our name (whose family
derives itself from Lusignan, king of Cyprus) claimed relation to us. We
have in our family a tradition of a great sum of money, that had been
given for the ransom of a French lord, with which a great estate was
purchased; but these things are all mystical."

Wotton House, placed in a valley south-west of Dorking, though really
upon a part of Leith Hill, was first erected in the reign of Queen
Elizabeth. Here, on October 31, 1620, was born John Evelyn, "_Sylva_
Evelyn," as he was called from the title of his valuable work on
Forest-trees. When four years old, he was taught at the porch of Wotton
Church. He then learnt Latin in a school at Lewes; whence his father
proposed to send him to Eton, but he was terrified at the reported
severity of the discipline there, and he was again sent to Lewes, which
he "afterwards a thousand times deplored." In 1636 he was admitted to
the Middle Temple; whence he removed to Balliol College, Oxford. He
returned to London in 1640; but on the death of his father he
relinquished all thoughts of legal practice.

Mr. Evelyn, thus become his own master, purposed a life of studious
seclusion, and actually commenced making a kind of hermitage at Wotton,
at that period the seat of his eldest brother. The park is watered by a
winding stream, and is backed by a magnificent range of beech-woods: the
goodly oaks were cut down by John Evelyn's grandfather, and birch has
taken the place of beech in many cases; but we trace to this day
Evelyn's hollies, "a _viretum_ all the year round;" and the noble
planting of the author of _Sylva_, who describes the house as "large and
ancient, suitable to those hospitable times, and so sweetly environed
with delicious streams and venerable woods. It has rising grounds,
meadows, woods, and water in abundance.... I should speak much of the
gardens, fountains, and groves that adorne it, were they not generally
known to be amongst the most natural (until this later and universal
luxury of the whole nation, since abounding in such expenses), the most
magnificent that England afforded, and which, indeed, gave one of the
first examples of that elegancy since so much in vogue, and followed in
the managing of their waters, and other ornaments of that nature."

Evelyn, by whom, in his brother's lifetime, the chief improvements in
these grounds were directed, thus speaks of their origin in his _Diary_,
under the date 1643, after the disastrous contest had commenced between
the King and the Parliament:--"Resolving to possess myself in some
quiet, if it might be, in a time of so great jealousy, I built, by my
brother's permission, a _study_, made a _fish-pond_, and an _island_,
and some other solitudes and retirements at Wotton; which gave the first
occasion to those water-works and gardens which afterwards succeeded

Further alterations were made in 1652, and are thus described:--"I went
with my brother Evelyn to Wotton to give him what directions I was able
about his garden, which he was now desirous to put into some forme; but
for which he was to remove a mountaine overgrowne with huge trees and
thicket, with a moate within ten yards of the house. This my brother
immediately attempted, and that without greate coste; for more than a
hundred yards south, by digging down the mountaine, and flinging it into
a rapid streame, it not only carried away the sand, &c., but filled up
the moate, and levelled that noble area, where now the garden and
fountaine is."

In 1641, Evelyn, tired of this seclusion, made a tour in France and the
Netherlands, in which he appears to have gathered from observation such
knowledge of Gardening as led him into its systematic study. He
describes the Tuileries as rarely contrived for privacy, shade, or
company; and he specially describes a labyrinth of cypress, with an
artificial echo, "redoubling the words distinctly, and never without
some fair nymph singing to it." "Standing at one of the focuses, which
is under a tree, or little cabinet of hedges, the voice seems to descend
from the clouds; at another, as if it was underground." He tells us,
too, of the curious garden of the Archbishop of Paris, at St. Cloud,
with a Mount Parnassus, and a grotto, or "shell-house," on the top of
the hill, the walls painted with the Muses, many statues placed about
it, and within, "divers water-works, and contrivances to wet the
spectators," reminding one of the famous copper-tube willow-tree at
Chatsworth. Evelyn speaks of the Luxembourg Gardens as a paradise, where
the Duke of Orleans kept tortoises in great numbers. The young traveller
was charmed with the gardens of Italy; and at Padua he bought, for
winter provision, three thousand weight of grapes, and pressed his own
wine, which proved excellent.

Faithful to the Crown, Mr. Evelyn (who had become a volunteer in an
English regiment serving in Flanders) joined the King's army at
Brentford; but that he had not the temperament of a hero we may judge
from the fact that, on the day before the battle of Edgehill was fought,
after seeing Portsmouth delivered up to Sir William Waller, "he was able
to make a careful archæological survey of the city of Winchester, calmly
noting its castle, church, school, and King Arthur's Round Table."
Knowing this characteristic trait, we are not surprised that he left his
distracted country for the pleasures of foreign travel. On returning
from Italy he visited Paris, and at the English Embassy met his future
wife, the daughter of the Ambassador, Sir Richard Browne. He married
her when she was little more than fourteen, and some months afterwards
left her, as he admits, "still very young," under the appropriate care
of her mother, whilst he transacted business in England. The Prince de
Condé besieged Paris, and a year and a half elapsed before Evelyn
rejoined his wife.

Upon their return to England, they took up their abode at Sayes Court,
the property of Sir Richard Browne, whose estate had been considerably
curtailed during the Commonwealth. It was wholly unadorned. Here, from a
field of one hundred acres in pasture, Evelyn formed a garden, which was
an exemplar of his _Sylva_, with a hedge of holly, 400 feet long, 9 feet
high, and 5 feet thick. He began immediately to set out an oval garden,
which was "the beginning of all the succeeding gardens, walks, groves,
enclosures, and plantations there;" and he planted an orchard, "new
moon, wind west." Evelyn next planned a royal garden to comprehend
"knots, trayle-work, parterres, compartments, borders, banks, and
embossments, labyrinths, dedals, cabinets, cradles, close-walks,
galleries, pavilions, porticoes, lanterns, and other relievos of topiary
and hortular architecture; fountains, cascades, piscines, rocks, grotts,
cryptæ, mounts, precipices, and ventiducts; gazon-theatres, artificial
echoes, automate and hydraulic music."

When Evelyn left Sayes to pass the remainder of his days at Wotton, he
let the former estate, first to Admiral Benbow, and next to the Czar
Peter, to be near the King's dockyard, (through the wall of which a
doorway was broken), that he might learn shipbuilding, but the Czar and
his retinue damaged the house and gardens to the extent of 150_l_. in
three weeks. A portion of the Victualling-yard now occupies the place of
Evelyn's shady walks and trim hedges; on the site of the manor-house
stands the parish workhouse of Dieptford and Stroud; and an adjoining
thoroughfare is named Evelyn-street.

Evelyn may have been misled in ornamental gardening by the taste of his
age, but there was nothing to mislead him in that useful branch of the
art which supplies the table with its luxuries, and which in his time
received considerable improvement. Here we may mention that in 1664
Evelyn published the first Gardeners' Almanack, containing directions
for the employment of each month. This was dedicated to Cowley, and drew
from him, in acknowledgment, one of his best pieces, entitled _The
Garden_; in the prefix to which he says:--"I never had any other desire
so strong, and so like to covetousness, as that one which I have had
always, that I might be master at last of a small house and large
garden, with very moderate conveniences joined to them, and there
dedicate the remainder of my life only to the culture of them, and the
study of nature."

In 1694, Mr. Evelyn went to Wotton, with his brother George. In 1696-7,
he says:--"I am planting an evergreen grove here to an old house ready
to drop." In the great storm of 1703, above 2,000 goodly oaks were blown
down. The woods of Wotton have since suffered greatly from high winds,
particularly in November 1837, when many hundred trees were laid low
during a violent storm.

In his _Sylva_, Evelyn thus deplores the former devastation: "Methinks
that I still hear, sure I am that I feel, the _dismal groans_ of our
forests, when that late dreadful Hurricane, happening on the 26th of
November, 1703, subverted as many thousands of goodly Oaks, prostrating
the trees, laying them in ghastly postures, like whole regiments fallen
in battle by the sword of the conqueror, and crushing all that grew
beneath them. Myself had 2,000 blown down; several of which, torn up by
their fall, raised mounds of earth, near 20 feet high, with great stones
intangled among the roots and rubbish, and this almost within sight of
my dwelling;--now no more Wotton [Wood-town], stripped and naked, and
almost ashamed to own its name."

In the _Diary_, the same calamity is thus noticed: "The effects of the
Hurricane and tempest of wind, rain, and lightning thro' all the nation,
especially London, were very dismal. Many houses demolished, and people
killed. As to my own losses, the submersion of woods and timber, both
ornamental and valuable, through my whole estate, and about my house,
the woods crowning the garden mount, and growing along the Park meadow,
the damage to my own dwelling, farms, and outhouses, is almost tragical,
not to be parallel'd with anything happening in our age. I am not able
to describe it, but submit to the pleasure of Almighty God."

Notwithstanding these losses, Evelyn's brother would not depart from the
oeconomy and hospitality of the old house, but, "_more veterum_, kept
a Christmas in which they had not fewer than 300 bumpkins every

We find recorded among the Curiosities of the place, an oaken plank "of
prodigious amplitude," cut out of a tree which grew on this estate, and
was felled by Evelyn's grandfather's orders. Its dimensions, when "made
a pastry-board" at Wotton, were more than five feet in breadth, nine
feet and a half in length, and six inches in thickness; and it had been
"abated by one foot," to suit it to the size of the room wherein it was

Upon the death of his brother, in 1699, without any surviving male
issue, John Evelyn became possessor of the paternal estates. Wotton
House, built of fine red brick, has been enlarged by various members of
the Evelyn family. Hence the absence of uniformity in the plan of the
house, and within our recollection it has parted with many of its olden
features. The apartments are, however, convenient, and realize the
comforts of an English gentleman's proper house and home. An etching by
John Evelyn shows the mansion in 1653.

Through the valley at Wotton winds a rivulet which was formerly of much
importance. Evelyn, in a letter to Aubrey, dated 8th of February, 1675,
says that "on the stream near his house formerly stood many
powder-mills, erected by his ancestors, who were the very first that
brought that invention into England; before which we had all our powder
from Flanders." He gives an account of one of these mills blowing up,
which broke a beam, fifteen inches in diameter, at Wotton Place; and
states that one standing lower down towards Sheire, on blowing up, "shot
a piece of timber through a cottage, which took off a poor woman's head,
as she was spinning." Besides these mills, were brass, fulling, and
hammering mills.

The Evelyns possess much land in the adjoining parish of Abinger; and
the seat of the Scarletts, Abinger Hall, gave the title to Lord Chief
Baron Scarlett. Originally, it was a small dwelling at the foot of the
Downs, belonging to the Dibble family, of whom it was purchased in the
reign of George II. by Catherine Forbes, Countess of Donegal, who was
the daughter of Arthur, Earl of Granard, and had the honour of being
complimented by Dean Swift, in the following lines:--

  "Unerring Heaven, with bounteous hand,
  Has form'd a Model for your Land,
  Whom Love bestow'd, with every grace,
  The glory of the Granard race;
  Now destined by the powers Divine
  The blessing of another Line.
  Then, would you paint a matchless Dame,
  Whom you'd consign to endless fame,
  Invoke not Cytherea's aid,
  Nor borrow from the Blue-eyed Maid,
  Nor need you on the Graces call;
  Take qualities from DONEGAL."

Abinger Church is of considerable antiquity, and has a higher site than
any other church in the county: indeed, Aubrey conjectures the parish to
be named from _Abin_, an eminence, or rising ground. The church was
carefully restored in 1857. The west end is of the Norman period; the
nave Early English; the altar has sedilia, and formerly had a piscina;
and on the north side is a chancel belonging to the Wotton estate, and
restored at the expense of Mr. Evelyn: here is a small organ. The
altar-window of three lights has been filled with painted glass by
O'Connor, a very meritorious work. In the churchyard in a vault are
interred Lord Chief Baron Abinger, and his first wife: to the latter
there is a marble monument on the inner wall of the chancel. His
Lordship married secondly the widow of the Rev. Henry John Ridley, a
descendant of Bishop Ridley, the Protestant martyr; and among the
relics of that devout churchman which descended to Lady Abinger, was the
chair in which the Bishop used to study.

On the east side of the churchyard is a small green, on which are stocks
and a whipping-post; but these, to the honour of the parish, are
believed never to have been used.

There was a Mill at Abinger at the time of the Domesday Survey; and it
is not improbable that the present corn and flour mill, at a short
distance from the road, may occupy the same site. To return to Wotton

The interior of the old place, with its oddly-planned rooms, its quaint
carvings, its pictures, more especially the portraits of the Evelyn
family, is a most enjoyable nook. The author of _Sylva_, by Kneller,
will be recognised as the original of the engraved frontispiece to
Evelyn's _Diary_, by economy of printing now become a household book.
Among the Wotton relics, of special historic interest, are the
Prayer-book used by Charles I. on the scaffold; a pinch of the powder
laid by Guido Fawkes and his fellow-conspirators to blow up the
Parliament; a curious account, in John Evelyn's hand, of the mode in
which the Chancellor Clarendon transacted business with his royal
master; several letters of John Evelyn, and his account (recently found)
of the expense of his building Milton House, which occupied four years:
the house remains to this day. The library of printed books and
pamphlets is curious and extensive. Evelyn was a most laborious
annotator, never employing an amanuensis: among his MSS. is a Bible in
three volumes, the margins filled with closely-written notes.

John Evelyn died at his house (called _the Head_) in Dover-street,
Piccadilly, Feb. 27, 1705-6. His remains were interred in Wotton Church:
his lady surviving him until 1708-9; when, dying, in her seventy-fourth
year, she was buried near him in the chancel. It was Evelyn's wish to
have been interred in the Laurel Grove, planted by him at Wotton: this
wish was expressed in his Will: "otherwise," he says, "let my grave be
in the Corner of the Dormitory of my Ancestors." This was done; and in
digging the new Vault was found "an entire skeleton, of gigantick

In all the characters of child, wife, mother, and mistress, Mrs. Evelyn,
quiet and unassuming as she was, shone forth pre-eminently. Her trials
were many and heavy; her heart was torn with the death of child after
child, some in infancy, some in ripe age when they had grown to be the
pride and stay of their parents. All died, one by one, out of that
numerous progeny, till only a daughter, Mrs. Draper, was left, and the
bereaved pair were alone in their old age in the wide old mansion at
Wotton. Nothing can exceed the touching pathos of those few words in
Mrs. Evelyn's will, where, after desiring that her coffin might be
placed near to that of her dear husband, whose death preceded hers by
three years, she adds:--"Whose love and friendship I was happy in,
fifty-eight years nine months; but by God's providence left a desolate
widow, the 27th day of February, 1705, in the seventy-first year of my

Mrs. Evelyn had acquired the more polished manners of French society
without losing her naturally simple tastes. That she cannot have formed
a favourable opinion of English refinement we know from the contrast
which her husband draws between the two countries in his _Characters of
England_, written when they returned from the Continent.

Mrs. Evelyn was an experienced housewife, and had a special eye "to the
care of cakes, stilling, and sweetmeats, and such useful things." "The
hospitality of Sayes Court, which was accepted by royalty and extended
to _savans_, divines, and men of letters, was not withheld from the
country neighbours at Deptford." Certainly, her own words depict her
practice, for she considered "the care of children's education,
observing a husband's commands, assisting the sick, relieving the poor,
and being serviceable to her friends, of sufficient weight to employ the
most improved capacities." That Mrs. Evelyn had close insight into
character and great nicety of judgment, we learn from her
contemporaries, as also that her "great discernment and wit" were never
abused. Ever sedate and kindly, she bore a succession of family
bereavements with Christian resignation.

At Wotton, many curious memorials remain. Adjacent to the house are the
conservatory, flower-garden, the former stored with curious exotic and
native plants and flowers, and the latter embellished with a fountain, a
temple, or colonnade, and an elevated turfed mount, cut into terraces;
and here, enclosed within a brick wall, is all that remains of Evelyn's
flower-garden, which was to have formed one of the principal objects in
his "Elysium Britannicum." His _Diary_ is well known; and his _Sylva_ is
a beautiful and enduring memorial of his amusements, his occupations,
and his studies, his private happiness and his public virtues. Many
millions of timber-trees have been propagated and planted at the
instigation and by the sole direction of that book--one of the few books
in the world which completely effected what it was designed to do. While
Britain [says D'Israeli the elder] retains her awful situation among the
nations of Europe, the _Sylva_ of Evelyn will endure with her triumphant
oaks. It was an author in his studious retreat, who, casting a prophetic
eye on the age we live in, secured the late victories of our naval
sovereignty. Inquire at the Admiralty how the fleets of Nelson have been
constructed, and they can tell you that it was with the oaks which the
genius of Evelyn planted.

Persons who are familiar with the picturesque environs of Dorking will
remember Milton House, which was built at Evelyn's expense. It is now
called Milton Court, and is about a mile west of the town. It is of red
brick, and has a grand staircase with massive supports and balusters, a
great hall, and many noble rooms. The house was let some years since in
tenements to poor families. It has since been restored and furnished in
the style of the period. Its history has a literary interest. For nearly
a quarter of a century it was the abode of Jeremiah Markland, a model
critic "for modesty, candour, literary honesty, and courteousness to
other scholars." He will be remembered as one of the eminent Grecians of
Christ's Hospital. He lived in bachelorship at Milton Court, among his
books; or, as his pupil, Strode, tells us, "In 1752, being grown old,
and having, moreover, long and painful fits of the gout, he was glad to
find, what his inclination and infirmities, which made him unfit for the
world and company, had for a long time led him to--a very private place
of retirement, near Dorking, in Surrey." In this sequestered spot
Markland saw little company: his walks were almost confined to the
garden at the back of the house; and he described himself, in 1755, to
be "as much out of the way of hearing as of getting." We have more than
once enjoyed the elysium of the old scholar's garden. But troubles came
to disturb his peace. Markland had not the rambling old house to
himself. His landlady, the widow Rose, got into a lawsuit with her son,
when Jeremiah distressed himself to aid the widow in the suit, which she
lost; and after that Markland spent his whole fortune in relieving the
distresses of the Rose family. This led him to accept an annuity from
his former pupil, Strode. Markland died at Milton Court in 1776, in his
eighty-third year; and Strode placed a brass plate in the chancel of
Dorking Church in memory of the learning and virtue of Markland. He left
his books and papers to Dr. Heberden. The story of old Jeremiah's
charity is very naïve:--"Poor as I am," said he, "I would rather have
pawned the coat on my back than have left the afflicted good woman and
her children to starve,"--an episode of charity and friendship which has
its sweet uses.

There are two ancient objects at Milton. The water-mill, adjoining the
green, is believed to be that mentioned in the survey of the manor, in
Domesday book; and on Milton-heath, upon an elevated spot, is a
_Tumulus_, now distinguished by a clump of firs; and near it is
_War_-field. The name of the adjoining estate, Bury Hill, makes us, as
Miss Hawkins observes, "seek, in our walks, the very footmarks of the
Roman soldier."


This parish and manor, three miles south-west of London, on the Surrey
bank of the Thames, appertained, from a very early period, to the Abbey
of St. Peter at Westminster; and is conjectured, by Lysons, to have
been therefrom named, in the Conqueror's Survey, Patricsey, which, in
the Saxon, is Peter's water, or river; since written Battrichsey,
Battersey, and Battersea. It passed to the Crown, at the dissolution of
religious houses: in 1627 it was granted to the St. John family, in
whose possession the property remained till 1763.

Here, in a spacious mansion, eastward of the church, was born, October
1, 1678, Henry St. John, Viscount Bolingbroke, one of the brilliant
lights of the Augustan age of literature in England. Here Pope spent
most of his time with Bolingbroke, after the return of the latter from
his seven years' exile;[79] and his house became also the resort of
Swift, Arbuthnot, Thomson, Mallet, and other leading contemporary men of
genius. Lord Marchmont was living with Lord Bolingbroke, at Battersea,
when he discovered that Mr. Allen, of Bath, had printed 500 copies of
the _Essay on a Patriot King_ from the copy which Bolingbroke had
presented to Pope--six copies only were printed. Thereupon, Lord
Marchmont sent Mr. Gravenkop for the whole cargo, who carried them out
in a waggon, and the books were burnt on the lawn in the presence of
Lord Bolingbroke. Thenceforth he mostly resided at Battersea from 1742
until his death in 1751. He sunk under the dreadful malady beneath which
he had long lingered--a cancer in the face--which he bore with exemplary
fortitude; "a fortitude," says Lord Brougham, "drawn from the natural
resources of his mind, and, unhappily, not aided by the consolation of
any religion; for having early cast off the belief in revelation, he had
substituted in its stead a dark and gloomy naturalism, which even
rejected those glimmerings of hope as to futurity not untasted by the
wiser of the heathens."

Bolingbroke, with his second wife, niece of Madame de Maintenon, lie in
the family vault in St. Mary's Church, where there is an elegant
monument by Roubiliac, with busts of the great lord and his lady; the
epitaphs on both were written by Lord Bolingbroke: that upon himself is
still extant, in his own handwriting, in the British Museum: "Here lies
Henry St. John, in the reign of Queen Anne Secretary of State, and
Viscount Bolingbroke; in the days of King George I. and King George II.,
something more and better."

The greater part of Bolingbroke House was taken down in 1778. In the
wing of the mansion, left standing, a parlour of round form, and lined
with cedar, was long pointed out as the apartment in which Pope composed
his _Essay on Man_; it is said to have been called "Pope's Parlour." The
walls may still be seen, but they support a new roof, and can only be
distinguished from the rest of the building by their circular form. The
mansion was very extensive--forty rooms on a floor.

Upon part of the site was erected a _horizontal mill_, by Captain
Hooper, who also built a similar one at Margate. It consisted of a
circular wheel, with large boards or vanes fixed parallel to its axis,
and arranged at equal distances from each other. Upon these vanes the
wind could act, so as to blow the wheel round. But if it were to act
upon the vanes at both sides of the wheel at once, it could not, of
course, turn it round; hence one side of the wheel must be sheltered,
while the other was submitted to the full action of the wind. For this
purpose it was enclosed in a large cylindrical framework, with doors or
shutters on all sides, to open and admit the wind, or to shut and stop
it. If all the shutters on one side were open, whilst all those on the
opposite side were closed, the wind acting with undiminished force on
the vanes at one side, whilst the opposite vanes are under shelter,
turned the mill round; but whenever the wind changed, the disposition of
the blinds must be altered, to admit the wind to strike upon the vanes
of the wheel in the direction of a tangent to the circle in which they
moved.--(Dr. Paris's _Philosophy in Sport_.) This mill resembled a
gigantic packing-case, which gave rise to an odd story, that when the
Emperor of Russia was in England, in 1814, he took a fancy to Battersea
Church, and determined to carry it off to Russia, and had this large
packing-case made for it; but as the inhabitants refused to let the
church be carried away, the case remained on the spot where it was

This horizontal air-mill served as a landmark for many miles round: the
proprietor was Mr. Hodgson, a maltster and distiller. It was visited by
Sir Richard Phillips in his _Morning's Walk from London to Kew_, in
1813, who says: "The mill, its elevated shaft, its vanes, and weather or
wind-boards, curious as they would have been on any other site, lost
their interest on premises once the residence of the illustrious
Bolingbroke, and the resort of the philosophers of his day. In ascending
the winding flights of its tottering galleries, I could not help
wondering at the caprice of events which had converted the dwelling of
Bolingbroke into a malting-house and a mill. This house, once sacred to
philosophy and poetry, long sanctified by the residence of the noblest
genius of his age, honoured by the frequent visits of Pope, and the
birthplace of the immortal _Essay on Man_, is now appropriated to the
lowest uses. The house of Bolingbroke become a windmill! The spot on
which the _Essay on Man_ was concocted and produced, converted into a
distillery of pernicious spirits! Such are the lessons of time! Such are
the means by which an eternal agency sets at nought the ephemeral
importance of man! But yesterday, this spot was the resort, the hope,
and the seat of enjoyment of Bolingbroke, Pope, Swift, Arbuthnot,
Monson, Mallet, and all the contemporary genius of England--yet a few
whirls of the earth round the sun, the change of a figure in the date of
the year, and the group have vanished; while I behold hogs and horses,
malt-bags and barrels, stills and machinery!

"'Alas!' said I to the occupier, 'and have these things become the
representatives of more human genius than England may ever witness on
one spot again--have you thus satirised the transitory state of
humanity--do you thus become a party with the bigoted enemies of that
philosophy which was personified in a Bolingbroke or a Pope?' 'No,' he
rejoined, 'I love the name and character of Bolingbroke, and I preserve
the house as well as I can with religious veneration: I often smoke my
pipe in Mr. Pope's parlour, and think of him with due respect as I walk
the part of the terrace opposite his room.' He then conducted me to this
interesting parlour, which is of brown polished oak,[80] with a grate
and ornaments of the age of George the First; and before its window
stood the portion of the terrace upon which the malt-house had not
encroached, with the Thames moving majestically under its walls.

"'In this room,' I exclaimed, 'the _Essay on Man_ was probably planned,
discussed, and written!' Mr. Hodgson assured me this had always been
called 'Pope's Room,' and he had no doubt it was the apartment usually
occupied by that great poet, in his visits to his friend Bolingbroke.
Other parts of the original house remain, and are occupied and kept in
good order. He told me, however, that this was but a wing of the
mansion, which extended, in Lord Bolingbroke's time, to the churchyard,
and is now appropriated to the malting-house and its warehouses."

Sir Richard met with an ancient inhabitant of Battersea, a Mrs.
Gilliard, a pleasant and intelligent woman, who well remembered Lord
Bolingbroke; that he used to ride out every day in his chariot, and had
a black patch on his cheek, with a large wart over his eyebrow. She was
then but a girl, but she was taught to look upon him with veneration as
a great man. As, however, he spent little in the place, and gave little
away, he was not much regarded by the people of Battersea. Sir Richard
mentioned to her the names of several of Lord Bolingbroke's
contemporaries, but she recollected none, except that of Mallet, whom
she said she had often seen walking about in the village while he was
visiting at Bolingbroke House.[81]

In the first volume of the _Diaries and Correspondence of the Right Hon.
George Rose_, we find the following entry respecting the treachery of
Mallet:--"It appears by a letter of Lord Bolingbroke's, dated in 1740,
from Angeville, that he had actually written some Essays dedicated to
the Earl of Marchmont, of a very different tendency from his former
works. These Essays, on his death, fell into the hands of Mr. Mallet,
his executor, who had, at the latter end of his life, acquired a decided
influence over him, and they did not appear among his lordship's works
published by Mallet;[82] nor have they been seen or heard of since. From
whence it must be naturally conjectured, that they were destroyed by the
latter, from what reason cannot now be known; possibly, to conceal from
the world the change, such as it was, in his lordship's sentiments in
the latter end of his life, to avoid the discredit to his former works.
In which respect he might have been influenced either by a regard for
the noble Viscount's consistency, or by a desire not to impair the
pecuniary advantage he expected from the publication of his lordship's

Upon this, the Editor of the _Diaries_, the Rev. Leveson Vernon
Harcourt, notes: "The letter to Lord Marchmont here referred to, has a
note appended to it by Sir George Rose, the editor of the _Marchmont
Papers_, who takes a very different view of its contents from his
father. He gravely remarks, that as the posthumous disclosure of Lord
Bolingbroke's inveterate hostility to Christianity lays open to the view
the bitterness as the extent of it, so the manner of that disclosure
precludes any doubt of the earnestness of his desire to give the utmost
efficiency and publicity to that hostility, as soon as it could safely
be done; that is, as soon as death could shield him against
responsibility to man. Sir George saw plainly enough that when he
promised in those Essays to vindicate religion against divinity and God
against man, he was retracting all that he had occasionally said in
favour of Christianity; he was upholding the religion of Theism against
the doctrines of the Bible, and the God of nature against the revelation
of God to man."

It is painful to reflect upon this prostration of a splendid intellect;
and we are but slightly relieved by Lord Chesterfield's statement, in
one of his Letters, published by Lord Mahon, in his edition of
Chesterfield's _Works_ (ii. 450), that "Bolingbroke only doubted, and by
no means rejected, a future state." We know that Bolingbroke denied to
Pope his disbelief of the moral attributes of God, of which Pope told
his friends with great joy. How ungrateful a return for this "excessive
friendliness" was the indignation which Bolingbroke expressed at the
priest having attended Pope in his last moments![83]

It is now, we believe, admitted on all hands that Christianity has not
found a very formidable opponent in Bolingbroke, and that his
objections, for the most part, only betray his own half-learning. Lord
Brougham, whose touching remark we have already quoted, concludes his
sketch of Lord Bolingbroke with this eloquent summing up: "Such was
Bolingbroke, and as such he must be regarded by impartial posterity,
after the violence of party has long subsided, and the view is no more
intercepted either by the rancour of political enmity, or by the
partiality of adherents, or by the fondness of friendship. Such, too, is
Bolingbroke when the gloss of trivial accomplishments is worn off by
time, and the lustre of genius itself has faded beside the simple,
translucent light of virtue. The contemplation is not without its uses.
The glare of talents and success is apt to obscure defects, which are
incomparably more mischievous than any intellectual powers can be
either useful or admirable. Nor can a lasting renown--a renown that
alone deserves to be courted of a rational being--ever be built upon any
foundations save those which are laid in an honest heart and a firm
purpose, both conspiring to work out the good of mankind. That renown
will be as imperishable as it is pure."[84]

Among the memorials of the Bolingbrokes, in Battersea Church, is the
altar-window, filled with old stained glass, preserved from the former
church, and executed at the expense of the St. Johns. It includes
portraits of Henry VII., his grandmother, the Lady Margaret Beauchamp,
and Queen Elizabeth; together with numerous shields of arms, showing the
alliances of the family.

York House, at Battersea, the mansion of Booth, Archbishop of York, who
died in 1480, and bequeathed it to his successors in the See, was mostly
taken down some sixty years ago. Archbishop Holgate was one of the few
prelates who resided here; he was imprisoned and deprived by Queen Mary
for being a married man, and lost much property by illegal seizure. In
Strype's _Life of Cranmer_, p. 308, it is stated that the officers who
were employed to apprehend the Archbishop rifled his house at Battersea,
and took away from thence 300_l_. of gold coin; 1600 ounces of plate; a
mitre of fine gold, set with very fine diamonds, sapphires, and balists,
other good stones and pearls; some very valuable rings; and the
Archbishop's seal and signet.

There was long a tradition at Battersea that some ancient walls
remaining there were a portion of the residence of the father of Queen
Anne Boleyn. It appears from the monument to Queen Elizabeth, in
Battersea Church, that the Boleyns were related to the St. Johns. Upon
this Sir Richard Phillips contends that at York House, above named,
resided Wolsey, as Archbishop of York. "Here Henry VIII. first saw Anne
Boleyn; and here that scene took place which Shakspeare records in his
play of Henry VIII.; and which he described truly, because he wrote it
for Elizabeth, the daughter of Anne Boleyn, within fifty years of the
event, and must himself have known living witnesses of its verity. Hence
it becomes more than probable, that Sir Thomas Boleyn actually resided
in the vicinity, and that his daughter was accidentally among the guests
at that princely entertainment. I know it is contended that this
interview took place at York House, Whitehall; but Shakspeare makes the
King come by water; and York House, Battersea, was, beyond all doubt, a
residence of Wolsey, and is provided with a creek from the Thames, for
the evident purpose of facilitating in the course by water. Besides, the
owner informed me, that a few years since he had pulled down a superb
room, called 'the ball-room,' the panels of which were curiously
painted, and the divisions silvered. He also stated that the room had a
dome and a richly-ornamented ceiling, and that he once saw an ancient
print, representing the first interview of Henry VIII. with Anne Boleyn,
in which the room was portrayed exactly like the one that, in
modernizing his house, he had found it necessary to destroy."


[79] Horace Walpole tells us that Sir Robert Walpole, against the
earnest representations of his family and most intimate friends, had
consented to the recall of Bolingbroke ("that intriguing Proteus") from
banishment, excepting only his re-admission to the House of Lords.
"Bolingbroke, at his return [1723], could not avoid waiting on Sir
Robert to thank him, and was invited to dine with him at Chelsea; but
whether tortured at witnessing Walpole's serene frankness and felicity,
or suffocated with indignation and confusion at being forced to be
obliged to one whom he hated and envied, the first morsel he put into
his mouth was near choking him, and he was reduced to rise from table
and leave the room for some minutes. I never heard of their meeting
more."--Walpole's _Reminiscences_.

[80] It is also said to have been lined with cedar.--See _ante_, p. 345.

[81] The upper part of the mill was taken down; the lower part is still
used for grinding corn. The situation of the old mansion is indicated by
the names of Bolingbroke-gardens and Bolingbroke-terrace.

[82] Mallet did not fail to publish, after Bolingbroke's death, his
writings disclosing his opposition to revealed religion, which drew from
Johnson the severe remark, that Bolingbroke, "having loaded a
blunderbuss, and pointed it against Christianity, had not the courage to
discharge it himself, but left half-a-crown to a hungry Scotchman to
pull the trigger after his death."

[83] Communication to _Notes and Queries_, Second Series, No. 212, by
the Author of the present volume.

[84] _Historical Sketches of Statesmen._ Third Series, vol. ii.
corrected Edition.


In the twelfth edition of _The Ambulator_, edited nearly half a century
ago by that trustworthy topographer, Mr. E. W. Brayley, under "Epping
Forest," we read "a plan for the inclosure of the Forest has been
recently projected." And this plan has been slowly but surely put into
execution; the inclosures having been so numerous that little remains of
this charming forest district, with its verdant glades, secluded dells,
thickets, majestic oaks, and sinking vistas of enchanting wilderness and
cheerful landscape, to gladden the hearts of the toilers in the vast

The Forest remains where it was. Brayley describes it as a royal chase,
extending from Epping almost to London, anciently a very extensive
district; and, under the name of the Forest of Essex, including a great
part of the county. It had afterwards the name of Waltham Forest, which
it long since yielded to its present appellation. To this Forest, that
of Hainault, which lies to the south-east, was once, it is supposed, an
appendage: it was formerly styled "the Queen's Forest," and it possesses
more beautiful scenery than, perhaps, any other forest in England. The
Crown possesses the whole of the rights over Hainault, and the
encroachments are not nearly so numerous here as in Epping Forest, where
the Crown has only certain rights--the right of vert and venison. The
loss of the picturesque features of wild expanse of woodlands, heath,
and mosses; of vast masses of umbrageous tree-tops, and little patches
of cultivation--here and there a little town, sending up its fleecy
smoke amidst the forest boughs--must excite concern amongst all who take
interest in the amusements of the people. How truthfully has the
isolated picture of forest life been sung:

  "From age to age no tumult did arouse
  The peaceful dwellers; there they lived and died,
  Passing a dreamy life, diversified
  By nought of novelty, save now and then
  A horn, resounding through the forest glen,
  Woke them as from a trance, and led them out
  To catch a brief glimpse of the hunt's wild rout--
  The music of the hounds; the tramp and rush
  Of steeds and men;--and then a sudden hush
  Left round the eager listeners; the deep mood
  Of awful, dead, and twilight solitude,
  Fallen again upon that forest vast."

The Forest remains where and as it was, save that invasions on the
waste, and encroachments, have from time to time greatly restricted its
extent; not so the city, for that has advanced, and meets the old
liberty at half-way. Now the metropolis reaches to Bow, or nearly to
Stratford, where the Forest commences; and there the road divides, one
branch leading northward to Chigwell, the other eastward to Romford. In
extent it reaches five miles from Ilford on the south, nearly to Abridge
on the north, by four miles from Woodford-bridge on the west, to
Havering-at-Bower on the east. Were the whole area of this scope one
continuous chase, there would be some 12,000 acres; but from the
numberless excisions from, and appropriations of the liberty, the
contents of the whole do not at present amount to 4,000 acres.

It appears that an Act of Parliament was passed (the 14th and 15th
Vict.) for the disafforesting and inclosure of Hainault Forest; that on
the 24th August, 1851, a commission was formed for the purpose: and
summary execution was done upon 14,000 oak-trees, which had stood
unmolested for centuries. This was preliminary to the utter clearance,
parcelling out, and selling off of the whole domain.[85]

The signal advantage of Epping Forest over all other open spaces is that
in it alone thousands can at the same time enjoy the country in its
natural aspect in that privacy without which the country, as such, is no
enjoyment at all. That the inhabitants of London highly appreciate this
advantage is shown by the fact that thousands every fine day in the year
pass by the Parks that are provided for them near their own doors, and
travel weary miles to reach the fragment of the Forest that is left to

The case of Epping Forest is matter of dispute. There is an opinion
entertained by persons whose opinions command respect that the lords of
the several manors included within the precincts of Epping Forest are
entitled to call for an inclosure of the portions of the Forest in which
they are respectively interested, whenever they please; and that the
Crown is not justified, on the ground of public advantage, in setting
up its rights as an impediment to such inclosure.

The case as between the lords of the manor, the Crown, and the public
appears to be this:--The Forest comprises the wastes of certain manors,
over which, from time immemorial, the lords of these manors had the
accustomed rights of pasturage; the Crown had the forestal right of
keeping deer in them, and for that purpose of keeping them uninclosed:
and the general public had the common right of going upon them as
uninclosed land. The lords of the manor are in the actual enjoyment of
all the rights of property they ever had in the Forest, but they desire
to acquire a species of property in it which has never hitherto belonged
to them, and which is inconsistent with other existing rights. The right
of the public to go upon the Forest land while it is in its present open
condition has become one of transcendent importance; and the real
question presented to the Crown is whether it shall cede its rights for
the benefit of half-a-dozen persons who desire to acquire a valuable
property to which they have no present title, or maintain them for the
benefit of the large proportion of the British people who live in London
and its vicinity. In short, it appears that the rights of the Crown and
the public have not been maintained in Epping Forest, because the
Government would not incur the expense of litigation.

To show how persons sometimes defeat the cause which they advocate, it
may be mentioned that at a meeting held at the Bald-faced Stag,
Buckhurst-hill, upon this Forest question, several speakers expatiated
at great length on the injustice of excluding the working classes of the
east end of London from the rural enjoyments of the Forest, owing to the
inclosures made by the lords of the manor and other parties. It was,
however, shown at the meeting that two gentlemen of the Committee had
inclosed a very large portion of the Forest, parts that are the most
picturesque and that were most resorted to by the London holiday folks;
but, alas! no more Forest remains in the once sylvan neighbourhood of

The reduction of Epping Forest began in the reign of King John, and was
confirmed by Edward IV., when all that part of the Forest which lay to
the north of the highway from Stortford to Colchester (very distant from
the present boundaries) was disafforested. The Forest was further
reduced; but the metes and bounds of it were finally determined in 1640.
The office of Chief Forester for Essex was deemed highly honorary, and
was generally bestowed on some illustrious person. The stewardship was
also usually enjoyed by one of the nobility. It continued in the De
Veres, Earls of Oxford, for many generations; but was taken from them by
Edward IV., for their adherence to the Lancastrian party. On the
accession of Henry VII., it was restored by grant to John, Earl of
Oxford. The steward had the power to substitute a lieutenant, one
riding-forester, and three yeoman-foresters, in the three bailiwicks of
the Forest. He also had many lucrative privileges, and was Keeper of
Havering-at-Bower, and of the house and park trees.

We remember, many years since, to have visited the Forest for the sake
of inspecting the house known as _Queen Elizabeth's Hunting Lodge_,
which stands about a mile west of the main road to Epping; and the most
direct road to which, in the heart of the Forest, we found to be from
about midway between the Bald-faced Stag Inn and the village of
Loughton. The view from this point is of surpassing beauty and extent;
whilst it is no wide stretch of conjecture to set down the ancient
forest as nearly covering the entire county. The towns, villages, and
seats which now stud the district, and the roads which intersect the
woody waste, may have been the work of a few centuries; inns and lodges
would be among the earliest buildings for retainers, whose business it
was to defend and preserve this royal chase, for the privilege of
hunting here was confined to the Sovereign and his favourites. Again,
those who flocked thither, with such privilege, would well repay the
hospitalities of an inn, and "hosteller," even were we to leave out of
the reckoning the boon companionship of foresters, and the debauched
habits of marauders, who fattened by the infringement of the royal
privilege, in wholesale deer-stealing for the London markets. We were
told that in Epping churchyard is the tombstone of a follower, whose
business it was to convey venison to the metropolis, but who, in one of
his midnight returns, was shot by an unknown hand; the almost headless
body being found on the road next morning.

The Lodge stands in the parish of Chingford,[86] about one mile from the
village, and thus served the purpose of a manor-house, the courts being
held here. Chingford Hall, the actual manor-house, is situated a short
distance hence; but Mr. Lysons thinks it probable that the site of the
ancient manor-house was that of the present Lodge. The manor was
purchased in or about 1666, by Thomas Boothby, Esq., from whose family
it descended by marriage to the Heathcotes. The Lodge consists of the
main building, a basement, and two floors,--and a building abutting upon
it, chiefly occupied by the spacious staircase. The exterior has little
of the air of antiquity comparatively with the interior. The basement is
principally the kitchen, where the large projecting chimney, the olden
fire-dogs, and cheerful wood fire, reminded us of "the rural life," if
they carried us not back to

  "Great Eliza's golden time."

The staircase is of surprising solidity: its width is about six feet; it
is divided by six landings, with four stairs between each, and each
stair or step consists of a solid oak sill. The first floor contains two
chambers, one hung with tapestry in fine preservation, and the chimney
opening has a flattened arch. The height of the first floor and basement
has been sacrificed to the story above, which entirely consists of a
large room, or hall, entered from the staircase by a low, wide doorway.
The dimensions of the hall we take to be twenty-four feet wide, and
forty-two feet high; its height reaches to the open roof, the tiles of
which are merely hidden by rough plaster; and the sides of the room
consist of massive timbers, filled in with plaster, and originally lit
with four windows. The roof-tree, we should add, is supported by timbers
which spring into two pointed arches, and render it probable that the
original roof was of a different form as well as material from the
present one. In this apartment were held the manorial courts; and on the
plain plaster walls hung three large-sized whole length portraits of one
of the Boothbys (lords of the manor), in infancy, accompanied by his
brother, in boyhood, and in manhood. The timbers of the staircase sides
and roof are massive, and spring into arched frames; and all the
doorways in the building have flattened arches.

Tradition reports the Lodge to have been a favourite hunting-seat of
Queen Elizabeth. It was occupied, at the time of our visit, by the
bailiff of the manor, who had lived there twenty years, and his father
occupied the Lodge half a century before him. To the tradition was
added, that Elizabeth was accustomed to ride upstairs on horseback, and
alight at the door of the large room, upon a raised place, which is to
this day called _the horse-block_. We confess the story savours of the
marvellous; but the width and solidity, and many landings of the
staircase, are in its favour; and, not many years previously, a wager of
ten pounds was won by a sporting gentleman riding an untrained pony up
the assigned route of the chivalrous Queen.

There are circumstances related which render it more than probable that
the Lodge was fitted up for the reception of Elizabeth. That the Queen
was extremely fond of the chase, and hunted at an advanced age, is a
well-established fact. That she hunted in Epping Forest is nearly
ascertained; for the Earl of Leicester once owned Nakedhall Hawke, or
old Wansted House, in the neighbourhood: it is mentioned in a document
of Richard II., and seems to have been the manorial residence. Here, in
May 1578, Leicester entertained Queen Elizabeth four or five days, and
one of the rooms in the mansion was called _the Queen's_. Again, in this
mansion was solemnized Leicester's marriage with the Countess of Essex,
Sept. 20, 1578, the Queen being then on a visit to Mr. Stonard, at
Loughton, in the Forest; and old Wansted House is introduced in the
background of a picture of Queen Elizabeth, in the collection at

Of the Queen's _hunting the hart_ in Enfield Chase we have this
circumstantial record. Twelve ladies in white satin attended her on
their ambling palfreys, and twenty yeomen clad in green. At the entrance
to the forest she was met by fifty archers in scarlet boots and yellow
caps, armed with gilded bows; one of whom presented to her a
silver-headed arrow winged with peacock's feathers. The splendid show
concluded, according to the established laws of the chase, by the
offering of the knife to the Princess, as first lady on the field; and
her _taking say_ of the buck with her own fair and royal hand.

In addition to the Hunting Lodge, we found other memorials of the age of
Elizabeth in the neighbourhood. Thus, the hill, or point, when we left
the main road to cross the Forest to the Lodge, is to this day
remembered as Buckhurst-hill, as may be reasonably supposed, from
Sackville, Lord Buckhurst, the accomplished poet, and favoured flower of
Elizabeth's court.

In conclusion, the Londoners have lost the Epping Hunt, and the "Common
Hunt" no longer goes out; and the old Pumpmaker's Fair, which originated
in a wayzgoose of beans and bacon, is no longer held around the oak of
Fairlop; but let us not lose the Forest itself; else, of what service is
our railway gain?


[85] The _Builder_.

[86] Brindswood, an estate in this parish, was formerly held under the
following curious tenure:--"Upon every alienation, the owner of the
estate, with his wife, man, and maid-servant, each single, on a horse,
comes to the parsonage, where he does his homage, and pays his relief in
the following manner:--He blows three blasts with his horn, and carries
a hawk upon his fist; his servant has a greyhound in a slip, both for
the use of the Rector that day; he receives a chicken for his hawk, a
peck of oats for his horse, and a loaf of bread for his greyhound; they
all dine, after which the master blows three blasts with his horn, and
they all depart."


(_Pages_ 1-7.)

We have, says Sir Richard Colt Hoare, in his _Ancient Wiltshire_,
"undoubted proof from history, and from existing remains, that the
earliest habitations were pits, or slight excavations in the ground,
covered and protected from the inclemency of the weather by boughs of
trees or sods of turf." These dwellings usually formed villages,
conveniently situated near streams or rivers, the habitations of the
lords of the soil before the Roman occupation. Amongst the moorlands and
wilds of Yorkshire, in spots where the spade and plough have not been in
operation, upwards of forty British villages were described and
inspected by Dr. Young, of Whitby. Many early dwellings are likewise to
be met with in other parts of England; some sunk in the chalk, where
cultivation has not entirely obliterated them, which is the case in the
eastern counties. The large tumuli and barrows which remain, pertain to
a much later era of our history; generally to the Roman and Saxon
periods, when the use of bronze and iron became known.[87]

At a recent meeting of the Norwich Archæological Society, the members
made an excursion to Brandon and neighbourhood, and at Grime's Graves
Mr. Manning read a paper on the Graves, in which he maintained that this
irregularly-shaped cluster of holes are ancient British dwellings,
forming the remains of an ancient town. Each hole was lined with a layer
of stones, and, when inhabited, roofed over with boughs or grass. The
term "graves" means pits or holes, and the name "Grime's" was probably
derived from "Græme," the Saxon for witch, or rather for anything
supernatural. Thus the term "Grime's Graves" meant "Witches' Work."
After leaving Grime's Graves, the party examined the Devil's Dyke, a
long and extensive fosse and bank, supposed to have been made by the
Ancient Britons for military purposes.

       *       *       *       *       *

(_Page_ 48.)

The Saxon Hall for feeding retainers was mostly built of wood and
thatched with reeds, or roofed with wooden shingles. The fire was
kindled in the centre, and the lord and "hearth-men" sat by while the
meal was cooked.

       *       *       *       *       *

(_Page_ 112.)

The late Mr. Rickman, the antiquary, was of opinion that Abury and
Stonehenge cannot reasonably be carried back to a period antecedent to
the Christian era. In an Essay communicated by him to the Society of
Antiquaries in 1839, after tracing the Roman road from Dover and
Canterbury, through Noviomagus and London, to the West of England, Mr.
Rickman notices that Silbury is situated immediately upon that road; and
that the avenues of Abury extend up to it, whilst their course is
referable to the radius of a Roman mile. From these and other
circumstances, he argues that Abury and Silbury are not anterior to the
road, nor can we well conceive how such gigantic works could be
accomplished until Roman civilization had furnished such a system of
providing and storing food as could supply a vast multitude of people.
Mr. Rickman further remarks, that the temple of Abury is completely in
the form of a Roman amphitheatre, which would accommodate about 48,000
Roman spectators, or half the number contained in the Colosseum at Rome.
Again, the stones of Stonehenge have exhibited, when their tenons and
mortices have been first exposed, the working of a well-directed steel
point, beyond the workmanship of barbarous nations. Stonehenge is not
mentioned by Cæsar or Ptolemy, and its historical records commence in
the fifth century. On the whole, Mr. Rickman is induced to conclude that
the era of Abury is the third century, and that of Stonehenge the
fourth, or before the departure of the Romans from Britain; and that
both are examples of the general practice of the Roman conquerors to
tolerate the worship of their subjugated provinces, at the same time
associating them with their own superstitions and favourite public


[87] Mr. Whincopp; _Journal of the British Archæological Association_,


  Abinger Church described, 337.
  Abury and Stonehenge, 14.
  Ale, Panegyric on, 68.
  Ale, Saxon, 67.
  Ale and Beer in the 5th Century, 66.
  Ale-wife, The, 68.
  Alfred's Jewel, at Oxford, 53.
  All-heal and Mistletoe of the Druids, 17.
  Almonds, early use of, 199.
  Almsgiving and Doles of Queen Isabella, 155.
  Architecture, Saxon and Norman, 46, 47.
  Arnott, Dr., on House-heating, 135.
  Arriage and Carriage Services, 230.
  Arthur, King, and the Round Table, 90.
  Arundel Castle described, 103.
  Arundel Castle, history of, 106-108.
  Aubrey's description of the Great Hall, 123.
  Autograph of Richard, Duke of Gloucester, 303.
  Awnd-irons, or Fire-dogs, 141.

  Ballad on Cheshire Cheese, 211.
  Banbury Cakes, history of, 245.
  Banbury Cakes for the Judges, 249.
  Banbury Cheese, 210, 249.
  Banbury Cross, 250.
  Banbury _Zeal_ and _Veal_, 246.
  Bankes, Lady, her Defence of Corfe Castle, 86.
  Banquets of Princes and Nobles, 162.
  Battle of Bosworth Field, 300.
  Battle of Hastings described, 295.
  Battle of Hastings, Memorial of, in Normandy, 297.
  Battle of Tewkesbury described, 299.
  Battle of Towton described, 298.
  Baynard's Castle and Richard III., 304.
  Beadle, duties of the, 233.
  Bedford Castle, Siege of, 79.
  Bed, Standing and Truckle, 177.
  Beds, olden varieties of, 177, 178.
  Beer and Ale, distinction of, 213.
  Beer, the national English Drink, 215.
  Beltane superstition, 226.
  Birds, Keeping, in the Middle Ages, 264.
  Biscuits, olden, 200.
  Black Boy Inn, Chelmsford, at Plantagenet lodge, 304.
  Blankets, origin of, 178.
  Boleyn, Anne, at Battersea, 351.
  Bolingbroke House taken down, 345.
  Bolingbroke, Lord, at Battersea, 343.
  Bolingbroke, Lord, death of, 344.
  Boon-days, Love-days, and Law-days, 224.
  Bordars and Cottars, 219.
  Bosphrennis Bee-hive Huts, 4.
  Bosworth Field described, 300.
  Bowles, Canon, and Windsor Castle, 94, 95.
  Brambletye House, account of, 132.
  Bread, early varieties of, 192.
  Bread, Saxon, 65.
  Brewing in Monasteries and Colleges, 67.
  Brigantes, Houses of, 5.
  Brindswood, curious Tenure, 358.
  Britain before the Roman Colonization, 8.
  Britain, early Exports of, 21.
  British Caves in Cornwall, 213.
  British Ships, early, 23.
  British War-chiefs, 22.
  Britons, early, Dwelling-places of, 1.
  Brooke, Mr., his _Visits to Battle-fields_, 299, 311.
  Brougham, Lord, on Lord Bolingbroke, 344, 350.
  Buckhurst Hill, 361.

  Cæsar, his Account of the Britons, 43.
  Campden, Gloucestershire, built, 116.
  Carpentry, Ornamental, 129.
  Carpets and Rushes, 181.
  Carving by Ladies, 166.
  Castle, Conisborough, 76.
  Castle Rising, Queen Isabella at, 149.
  Castles, Anglo-Norman, 76.
  Castles, Roman, 71.
  Castles, _temp._ Edward III., 86.
  Cavaliers and Roundheads, distinction of, 326.
  Cavendish's _Life of Wolsey_, 280, 288, 291.
  Caves, British, in Cornwall, 2.
  Celts, the, in Britain, 8.
  Celts' Hatchets, 11.
  Chairs, ancient, 180.
  Chamber Furniture, _temp._ Henry VII., 181.
  Chamber of a Queen, 178.
  Charles II. visits Stonehenge, 14.
  Chaucer, Clerk of the Works at Windsor Castle, 93.
  Cheese, Antiquity of, 209.
  Cheesecakes, Islington and Holloway, 253.
  Cheney, Sir John, at the battle of Bosworth, 308.
  Cheshire Cheese, famous, 210.
  Chimney, Ventilation by, 145.
  Chimneys, Introduction of, 136, 138.
  Chimneys made of Wood, 138.
  Chingford Hall, 358.
  Christmas Game Pie, Salters' Company, 195.
  Civilization, Early British, 24.
  Clipping, or Sheep-shearing, 229.
  Coal-fires, open, 145.
  Coal first burnt, 140.
  Cobbett on Sussex Cottages, 131.
  Coffee introduced, 197.
  Coins, Roman, found at London, 36.
  College University Halls, 122.
  Confettes and Ipocrass, 205.
  Congleton Cakes and Gingerbread, 251.
  Conveyance Service, 230.
  Conveying Land, Ancient, 237.
  Cookery, olden English, 161.
  Cookery, Saxon, 64.
  Cooks, _temp._ Richard II., 195.
  Coral, Paternoster of, 186.
  Corfe Castle described, 84.
  Corfe Castle, Siege of, 85.
  Cornwall, its early Trade, 20.
  Cottages, early English, 131.
  Cottages, Sussex, 131.
  Country Life, 17th century, 186.
  Court Cupboard, the, 182.
  Coventry God-cakes, 248.
  Cowdray, in Sussex, 112.
  Creeper-irons, 141, 142.
  Crosby Hall fireplace, 139.
  Crosby Place and Richard III., 304.
  Cuming, Mr., his _Memorials of Richard III._, 302.
  Curfew, or _Couvre-feu_, History of, 146.
  Curfew-ringing, 147.
  Curiosities of Hatfield, 315.
  Curiosities of Wotton Place, 335, 340.
  Czar Peter at Sayes Court, 333.

  Danes, great Drinkers, 69.
  Danish Houses, 69.
  Deer-stealing in Epping Forest, 358.
  Dessert Fruits introduced, 200.
  Dinner in the Middle Ages, 50.
  Disputed Forest rights, 355.
  Distaff and Spindle, Saxon, 56.
  Domestic Life of the Saxons, 46.
  Dona, or Gifts of Queen Isabella, 158.
  Donegal, Countess, Lines on, by Swift, 337.
  Dress and Personal Ornaments, Olden, 184.
  Drinking-Horns, Ancient, 51.
  Druid Doctors, 18.
  Druid Schools, 19.
  Druidism, account of, 10, 11.
  Druids, eloquence of the, 16.
  Durham Castle described, 82.
  Dwelling-places of Early Britons, 1.

  Edward II., Murder of, 160, _note_.
  Edward III. and Windsor Castle, 90.
  Eleanor, Queen, and Fair Rosamund, 272.
  Elecampane, Uses of, 66.
  Elizabeth's Oak at Hatfield, 315, 316.
  Elizabeth, Princess, at Hatfield, 320.
  Elizabeth, Queen, her Hunting Lodge, 357.
  Elizabeth, Queen, at Kenilworth, 102.
  Elizabeth, Queen, Portraits of, 318, 319.
  Elizabeth, Queen, and Windsor Castle, 93.
  Eltham Palace Hall, 125.
  Encampments, Roman and British, 25, 30.
  English Castle-building, 71.
  _English Housewife, The_, by Gervase Markham, 161.
  English Manor-house, the, 111.
  Englishman's Fireside, the, 135.
  Epping forest, the last of, 353.
  Esher Place, Vicissitudes of, 291.
  _Essay on Man_, by Pope, where written, 346.
  Ethelwulf, his Ring, 54.
  Evelyn, John, plants Wotton woods, 331.
  Evelyn, John, at Paris and Padua, 332.
  Evelyn, John, at Sayes Court, 333.
  Evelyn, John, his _Sylva_ and Planting, 334.
  Evelyn, the pious Mrs., 339.
  Evelyns, the, at Wotton, 329.

  Fair Rosamund, Story of, 269.
  Fall of Wolsey, 284.
  Feasts, Anglo-Saxon, 65.
  Fire-places, various, 137, 138.
  "Firm locks make faithful servants," 234.
  Flodden Field, Tradition, 295.
  Flue-tiles for heating Houses and Baths, 145.
  Forest Officers, 357.
  Forest Scenery, Picturesque, 354.
  Fruit Trenchers, Ornamental, 202.

  Gardening, Evelyn on, 334.
  George IV. restores Windsor Castle, 94.
  Giants, Shropshire, Legends of, 37.
  Glass-making, Saxon, 55.
  God's Sunday, 139.
  Godstow Nunnery, 270.
  Grand Remonstrance, the, 323.
  Grates, invention of, 143, 144.
  Griffin's Egg-cup, the, 53.
  Guy, Earl of Warwick, 100.

  Haddon Hall described, 117.
  Hainault Forest, 353, 355.
  Hall Fire, the, 136, 137.
  Hall, the Great, described, 118.
  Hall at Hatfield House, 320.
  Hall at Hampton Court, 120.
  Hall of the Manor-house, 111.
  Halls of the City Companies, 112.
  Hart, Hunting the, in Enfield Chase, 360.
  Harvest, ancient, 224.
  Hastings, Battle of, described, 295.
  Hatfield, Curiosities of, 315.
  Hatfield House built, 116.
  Hatfield House, curious _Fair_ Picture at, 225.
  Hatfield House and Park described, 315.
  Hatfield House, Pictures at, 319.
  Hawk and Eagle, strange incident, 266.
  Hayfield, Service of Tenants, 227.
  Hayward, Services of the, 224.
  Henry II. and Fair Rosamund, 271.
  Henry III. and Windsor Castle, 89.
  Henry VII. and Windsor Castle, 92.
  Herefordshire Lady in the time of the Civil War, 167.
  Hermitages, Services of, 258.
  Hever Castle, Five Days at, 141.
  Hock-day Customs, 227, 228.
  Holland House, Kensington, built, 115.
  Hops introduced, 213, 214.
  Horselydown Fair, _temp._ Queen Elizabeth, 254.
  House-furnishing in the Middle Ages, 177.
  Household Antiquities, 109.
  Housekeeping, 17th century, 172.
  Housemarks, olden, 235.
  Housewife, the English, 161.
  Hunting, Queen Elizabeth's fondness for, 360.
  Hypocausts at Uriconium, 39.

  Inns of Court Halls, 122.
  Iron-smelting, Roman, in Britain, 57.
  Isabella, Queen of Edward II., Private Life of, 148.
  Isabella, Queen, Death and Funeral of, 154.
  Isabella, Queen, Pilgrimages of, 150, 153.

  Jewels, Queen Isabella's love of, 156, 157.

  Kenilworth Castle, Remains of, 101, 130.
  Kenilworth Ruins, Picturesqueness of, 102.
  Kent, Woollen Cloths of, 56.
  Kidder, the "Pastry-master," 194.
  Kitchen at Hampton Court Palace, 288.
  Kitchen of Raby Castle, 82.

  Lady's Dress in the 17th Century, 171.
  Lambs'-wool, how made, 216.
  Lappenberg's Picture of Early Britain, 8, 9.
  Laundry in olden times, 184.
  Legend of Richard III., from Speed, 310.
  Legend of Stonehenge, 13.
  Legends of English Castles, 83.
  Lending Money in old times, 169.
  Lincoln's Inn Fruit and Vegetable Garden, 202.
  Lodge, Hunting, in Epping Forest, 357.
  Lombard Street, Queen Isabella resides in, 150.
  London, ancient, site of, 2.
  London mostly built of Wood, 128.
  London, Old Houses in, 130.
  London of Roman origin, 31.
  London, Roman Remains in, 34.
  Longleat, Wilts, described, 115.
  Loseley, in Surrey, described, 183.
  Loving Cup, Origin of, 50.

  Mallet at Bolingbroke House, 348.
  Malting and Nutting, 223.
  Manchets, recipes for, 193.
  Manciple, duties of the, 194.
  Manor-house, Old English, 127.
  March-pane and Macaroons, 198, 199.
  Marking Ducks, Swans, Oxen, &c., 235.
  Markland, Jeremiah, at Milton Court, 341.
  Mary, Queen, at Hatfield, 320.
  May-day Carol, on Magdalen College Tower, 238.
  May-day and Raine's Charity, 242.
  May-day in Northamptonshire, 243.
  May-day Song at Saffron Walden, 241.
  May-poles in the present-day, 242.
  Mazer-bowls, 52.
  Mead, origin of, 63.
  Mead-hall, or Beer-hall, Saxon, 48.
  Meal-hours, _temp._ Richard III., 152.
  Meals, British, Anglo-Roman, and Saxon, 61.
  Messengers' and Minstrels' Expenses, 158, 159.
  Metal-working, early British, 22.
  Middle Age Life at Oxford, 243.
  Mill, Horizontal, at Battersea, 345.
  Milton Court, Jeremiah Markland at, 341.
  Minced pie superstition, 248.
  Mistletoe and the Druids, 11.
  Montague, Lady M. W., on Carving, 166.
  Mortimers, The, and Queen Isabella, 151.
  Mulgrave Castle, Legend of, 84.

  Neckam, Alexander, curious Treatise by, 264.
  Norman Houses, 110, 128.

  Oak, Owen Glendower's, 37.
  Oak, Queen Elizabeth's at Hatfield, 317.
  Orange-flower Water and Orange Butter, 200.
  Oranges introduced, 201.
  Oxford Ale, 68.
  Oxford, May-day at, 239, 240.
  Oxford, Picture of, 243.
  Oysters, British, famous, 62.

  Pastry-making taught in Schools, 194.
  Pavements, Roman, in London, 32.
  Peasant Life, English, 217.
  Peg Tankards, origin of, 51.
  Pevensey Castle, Remains of, 72, 73.
  Pevensey and the Norman Conquest, 72.
  Phillips, Professor, on British and Roman Roads, 27.
  Phoenicians, Trade of, 20.
  Picts and Scots, the, 45.
  Picts' Houses in the Orkneys, 5.
  Pilgrimage of Queen Isabella, 150, 153.
  Pin and Needle-makers, London, 189.
  Pins and Pin Money, 188.
  Pins, first made in England, 188.
  Pins, olden, 189, 190.
  Pins, what becomes of them? 191.
  Plate-room at Windsor Castle, 97.
  Ploughing for the Lord, 221.
  Pomanders, or Scent-balls, 185.
  Pope, Alexander, at Battersea, 343.
  "Pope's Parlour," Bolingbroke House, 345.
  Porcelain and China, early, 206.
  Pottery found at Uriconium, 40, 41.
  Precations, autumnal, 225.
  Provisions, ancient Names of, 70.
  Provisions, early, 192.
  Provisions, rapid conveyance of, 208.
  Puritans and Banbury Cakes, 245.

  Queen Isabella, Private Life of, 148.

  Raby Castle described, 79.
  Raglan Castle, 86.
  Richard III., Burial-place of, 310.
  Richard III., Inn at Leicester, 305.
  Richard's Strategy at Bosworth, 307.
  Richard's Well, Bosworth, 301.
  Rimbault, Dr., on the Oxford May Carol, 240.
  Roads, bad, in Kent and Sussex, 59.
  Roads, early British, 26.
  Roman arts in Britain, 21.
  Roman Bricks and Tiles, 75.
  Roman Houses in Britain, 40.
  Roman Pottery and Glass, 35.
  Roman Road-making, 51.
  Roman Roads in Britain, 26, 27.
  Roman Roads and British Railways, 27.
  Roman Supper, 62.
  Roman Towns in Britain, 32.
  Roman Wall, London, 33.
  Romans in England, the, 24.
  Rosamund, Fair, Story of, 269.
  Rosamund, Fair, new Legend of, 275.
  Rosamund's Bower and Well, 269.
  Rosamund's Tomb, 275.
  Rose-tree Tradition, 313.
  Round Table and Round Tower, Windsor Castle, 90.
  Royal Chase from Epping to London, 353.
  Rumford, Count, on House-heating, 135.
  Rushes used in Rooms, 140.

  Sacheverel's Passage through Banbury, 248.
  Sack Brewage at Congleton, 252.
  Sage and other herb Cheese, 212.
  St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, 89, 91.
  Salads first in England, 208.
  Salisbury, the Earl of, builds Hatfield, 321.
  Salmon and the Herefordshire apprentices, 167.
  Sarcophagus for Wolsey's Remains, 290.
  Saxon Beds, 49.
  Saxon Dinner, 64.
  Saxon Embroidery, 56.
  Saxon Halls, 363.
  Saxon Hospitalities, 63.
  Saxon Houses in Britain, 47, 48.
  Saxon Ladies, 49.
  Saxon Provisions, 64.
  Saxons arrive in Britain, 43.
  Scripture Texts on Fruit Trenchers, 203.
  Serpents' Eggs of the Druids, 15.
  Sheep-shearing customs, 229, 230.
  Silchester, exploration of, 42.
  Silver Fire Implements, 142.
  Sleeping in Church, 233.
  Smith, Mr. Roach, on Roman London, 33.
  Spices, early Use of, 198.
  Spinning, Olden, 165.
  Stirrups, Spurs, and Bridles, ancient, 60.
  Stonehenge, account of, 12.
  Storm, Great, of 1703, 334.
  Sugar-candy and loaf-sugar, 196.
  Sugar-cane in the Sandwich Islands, 196.
  Sugar first introduced, 195.
  Sussex Iron Manufacture, 57.

  Tea introduced, 197.
  Tenants, Operative, 218.
  Tenants' Small Services, 222.
  Tewkesbury Field described, 299.
  Thornbury Castle, history of, 113.
  Thorpe, John, the Architect, 115.
  Tillage of Land Services, 220.
  Tin-trade, ancient, of Cornwall, 20.
  Towton Field described, 298.
  Traditions of Battle-fields, 293.
  Traditions, real worth of, 313.
  Travelling in Saxon Times, 59.
  Trenchers and Trenchermen, 207.
  Trenchers for Dessert Fruit, 203.
  Tunbridge Castle described, 78.

  Uriconium, Destruction of, 38.
  Uriconium, Roman City of, 36.

  Vegetables used in the Middle Ages, 207.
  Victoria, Queen, at Hatfield, 124.
  Villeins, how they held Land, 219.
  Vineyard at Arundel Castle, 106.
  Vineyards, British, 69.
  Vortigern and Rowena, 49.
  Vraic, in the Channel Islands, 231.

  Wake Festivals in the Black Country, 259.
  Walpole, Sir R., and Lord Bolingbroke, 343.
  Waltham Forest, 353.
  Ward-penny, the, 232.
  Wardrobes, early, 183.
  Ware, Great Bed of, 179.
  Warming-pan, antiquity of, 180.
  Wars of the Roses, 312.
  Warton's Sonnet on Stonehenge, 15.
  Warwick Castle described, 98.
  Warwick Castle, Pictures at, 99.
  Wassail-cup, origin of the, 50.
  Watch and Ward customs, 232.
  Wayneflete's Tower at Esher Place, 290.
  Wednesbury Cock-fighting, 261.
  Whigge, or Whey, olden, 164.
  William the Conqueror, Remains of, 72.
  William of Wykeham and Windsor Castle, 91.
  Window-glass at Uriconium, 55.
  Windsor Castle described, 86.
  Windsor Castle, interior of, 96, 97.
  Windsor Castle, Pictures at, 96.
  Windsor Castle, St. George's Day at, 153.
  Wines introduced by the Normans, 69.
  Wingfield Manor-house described, 112.
  Wolsey and Christchurch, 287.
  Wolsey at Cawood, 286.
  Wolsey at Esher Place, 278.
  Wolsey, Dr. Johnson's Lines on, 285.
  Wolsey's Tomb-house at Windsor, 289, 290.
  Wood used in House-building, 128.
  Woollen Cloth known to the Britons, 55.
  Woollen Clothing, olden, 185.
  Woolverton House and the Russell Family, 75.
  Worsted, origin of, 178.
  Wotton Place and House described, 331.
  Wotton, olden Mills at, 336.
  Wren, odd Notion about, 269.
  Wright, Mr. T., his _Guide to Uriconium_, 41.
  Wroxeter, Uriconium at, 36.
  Wyatville and Windsor Castle, 94.

  York and Lancaster Wars, 371.
  York House, Battersea, Wolsey at, 351.
  Yorkshire, ancient Houses in, 5-7.
  Yorkshire, ancient and modern Roads in, 27.

Uniform with the present Work, and by the same Author.




With Illustrations by ZWECKER. Post 8vo. 6s. cloth.

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