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Title: Echoes of old Lancashire
Author: Axon, William E. A. (William Edward Armytage)
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Echoes of old Lancashire" ***

                          Transcriber's Notes

When italics were used in the original book, the corresponding text has
been surrounded by _underscores_. Superscripts have been indicated by ^
followed by the superscripted text. Some presumed printer's errors have
been corrected. These have been listed in a second transcriber's note
at the end of the text.

                       ECHOES OF OLD LANCASHIRE.

               Five hundred copies of this book printed,
                          and this is No. 228

                         ECHOES ...


                         OLD LANCASHIRE.

                         BY WILLIAM E. A. AXON.







                                 TO THE

                           EARL OF CRAWFORD,


                          LANCASHIRE FAMILY OF

                          BRADSHAIGH OF HAIGH,


                       THE CHIEF OF THE LINDSAYS;



                           THIS LITTLE BOOK,


                        OF THE PAST LIFE OF THE

                     COUNTY PALATINE OF LANCASTER,

                             IS DEDICATED.


This volume is intended for those who find it pleasant, at times, to
wander in the byways of topography and local literature. The
development of Lancashire, especially in its relation to modern
industrial life, has been told by more than one able historian, and all
that is here attempted is to glean in the ample harvest fields. The
bygone customs, forgotten worthies, outworn superstitions, historical
episodes and travellers’ tales here recorded, will, it is hoped, not be
without interest. If some of the articles seem more modern than the
title would strictly justify, it must be remembered that the changes in
the condition of the County Palatine have been so rapid that many
things have become obsolete in the life time of the existing generation.

To several friends, and especially to the Rev. Dr. Casartelli and Mr.
C. W. Sutton, thanks are due for various suggestions.

                                                     WILLIAM E. A. AXON.



 THE “LANCASHIRE PLOT”                                                 1

 DE QUINCEY’S HIGHWAYMAN                                              15

 SOME LANCASHIRE CENTENARIANS                                         22


 THOMAS LURTING: A LIVERPOOL WORTHY                                   44

 KUFIC COINS FOUND IN LANCASHIRE                                      56

 NEWSPAPERS IN 1738-39                                                61

 A LANCASHIRE NATURALIST: THOMAS GARNETT                              72

 THE TRAFFORDS OF TRAFFORD                                            80

 A MANCHESTER WILL OF THE FIFTEENTH CENTURY                          106

 A VISITOR TO LANCASHIRE IN 1807                                     111


 MERRY ANDREW OF MANCHESTER                                          127

 A MANCHESTER JEANIE DEANS                                           129

 SOME LANCASHIRE GIANTS                                              130

 A NOTE ON WILLIAM ROWLINSON                                         137

 LITERARY TASTE OF THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY                            143


 MRS. FLETCHER IN LANCASHIRE                                         157

 MANCHESTER AND THE FIRST REFORM AGITATION                           165

 THE FOLK-LORE OF LANCASHIRE                                         197

 MANCHESTER GRAMMAR SCHOOL MILL                                      222

 THE RISING OF 1715                                                  231

 THE FOOL OF LANCASTER                                               243

 ALEXANDER BARCLAY AND MANCHESTER                                    245

 INDEX                                                               255

                       Echoes of Old Lancashire.

                         The “Lancashire Plot.”

The town of Manchester was in a state of indignant and feverish
excitement on the 17th of October, 1694, being the sixth year of the
reign of William the Deliverer. Everywhere groups of townspeople were
discussing the all-absorbing topic of the “Lancashire Plot,” for on
that day there came to the town four of their Majesties’ judges, with
every circumstance of pomp and parade, to try for their lives gentlemen
of the best blood of Lancashire and Cheshire; unfortunate prisoners who
were accused of having conspired against the Deliverer, of having been
guilty of the treason of remaining faithful to the old King, whom the
rest of the nation had cast off. The prisoners were brought into town
strongly guarded, amidst the sympathetic demonstrations of their
neighbours, who were equally liberal of groans and hisses for the
wretched informers who were about to do their endeavour to bring them
to the scaffold.

Lancashire, which in the civil war struck some hearty blows for the
Parliament, was now a hotbed of disaffection. The old cavalier
families, in spite of bitter experience of Stuart ingratitude, remained
faithful in spirit to the exile of St. Germains; and the common people
would have no love for King William, who was a foreigner, nor for Queen
Mary, who sat upon the throne of her royal father, whilst he wandered a
weary exile in a foreign land. The accused would have been pretty
certain of sympathy had the public mind been convinced of the reality
of the supposed conspiracy. How much more so, then, when it was
shrewdly suspected that the charge had been trumped up by a gang of
villains eager for blood-money, and supported by greater rogues anxious
for a share of the estates which would be forfeited upon the conviction
of their victims? Nor was the suspicion altogether groundless; covetous
eyes were fixed longingly on these fine Lancashire acres, and the Roman
Catholic gentry ran great danger of being defrauded of their

In 1693, a commission sat at Warrington to inquire into certain lands
and property alleged to have been given to “superstitious uses,”
_i.e._, to ascertain whether the Roman Catholic gentry had applied any
portion of their estates or income to the promotion of their faith, or
the sustenance of its ministers, and if they could be convicted of this
heinous crime the property was confiscated, and one-third portion was
to be the reward of the undertakers. So confident were these persons of
their prey, that the plunder was prospectively allotted. As the result
of this commission, where the defendants were not heard, the matter was
carried into the Exchequer Chamber. Here it was pretended that at a
meeting at the papal nuncio’s house, Lord Molyneux, William Standish,
Thomas Eccleston, William Dicconson, Sir Nicholas Sherborne, Sir W.
Gerard, and Thomas Gerard, had all promised money or lands for Popish
uses. But the accusers had been very clumsy, for the falsehood of each
separate item of the accusation was so abundantly proved, that the
Government was forced to abandon all further proceedings.

When, therefore, in the next year, it was bruited about that a plot had
been discovered to bring back King James and murder King William of
Orange; that men had been enlisted, commissions received from St.
Germains, arms bought and concealed in the old halls of Lancashire and
Cheshire, and that those who had by the Warrington inquiry been in
danger of losing their broad acres, were now also likely to lose their
lives; men said, not unnaturally, that it was a base and horrible
conspiracy against the Lancashire gentlemen; that this was the next
move in the iniquitous game began at Warrington. If broken tapsters and
branded rogues were to be encouraged in devoting to the traitor’s block
gentlemen of rank and estate, whose life was safe?

Such was the state of feeling amongst the crowds which surrounded the
Sessions House, opposite to where our present Exchange is erected. It
was not until the 20th that the trial before a jury began. On that
Saturday, Sir Roland Stanley, Sir Thomas Clifton, William Dicconson,
Philip Langton, Esquires, and William Blundell, Gent., were placed at
the bar and, in long verbose sentences, accused both in Latin and
English generally of being false traitors to our Sovereign Lord and
Lady, and specifically of having accepted commissions for the raising
of an army from James II., late King of England. After the case had
been opened, Sir William Williams, their Majesties’ counsel, called, as
first witness, John Lunt, who was asked if he knew all the five men at
the bar. Lunt, with front of brass, answered that he did know them all.
Here Sir Roland Stanley cried out, “Which is Sir Roland Stanley?”
Whereupon, to testify how intimately the informer was acquainted with
them, he pointed out Sir Thomas Clifton! Great was the outcry in the
court, which did not lessen when the judge bid Lunt take one of the
officers’ white staves, and lay it on the head of Sir Roland Stanley,
and he again indicated the wrong man. Being asked which was Sir Thomas
Clifton, he unhesitatingly pointed out Sir Roland Stanley. Having thus
shown his accuracy, he was allowed to proceed with his narrative of the
plot. His evidence asserted that in 1689 one Dr. Bromfield, a Quaker,
was sent by the Lancashire gentry to the court at St. Germains, to
request King James to send them commissions, that they might enlist men
for his service. Bromfield, being known as a Jacobite agent, it was
determined to employ some one less known, and Lunt was pitched upon for
the purpose. So, in company with Mr. Threlfall, of Goosnargh, he came
over in a vessel which landed at Cockerham, that famous village where
the devil dare not come. At the residence of Mr. Tildesley they
separated, Threlfall went into Yorkshire to distribute commissions, and
Lunt was summoned to attend a midnight meeting of the Lancashire
Jacobites, held at the seat of Lord Molyneux, at Croxteth. Here the
persons now accused were present, and many others, none of whom Lunt
had ever seen before. The commissions were delivered, the health drunk
of their Majesties over the water, and some little additional treason
talked. At this point in the evidence Sir Roland Stanley remarked how
improbable it was that he should accept a commission which might
endanger his life and estate from an utter stranger. “But,” cries Lunt,
“I brought you with your commission Dr. Bromfield’s letter.” Then the
judge said to Sir Roland, “You are answered—that was his credentials;”
but did not think fit to say that Lunt had made no mention in his
depositions of this circumstance, which was evidently invented on the
spur of the moment to confound Sir Roland Stanley. The judge also
observed there was no great matter in Lunt not being able to point out
the prisoners correctly. Lunt, thus encouraged by Sir Giles Eyre,
proceeded with his veracious narrative—swore that the Lancashire
gentlemen had given him money to enlist men and buy arms; that he beat
up sixty men in London, who were quartered in different parts of the
County Palatine; and particularised some persons to whom arms had been
sent. In 1691 (about July or August), he was sent to France, to
acquaint the Pretender with what his friends had been doing, and to
inquire when they might expect him in England. The spring following was
named as the happy time when the Stuarts were to be re-established on
the English throne. He also named a meeting at Dukenhalgh, when some
more commissions were distributed by Mr. Walmsley, one of the accused.
Mr. Dicconson now asked Lunt why he had not disclosed the existence of
this terrible plot, or why he had revealed it at all. Lunt was
evidently prepared for this inquiry, and his retort was prompt and
crushing. Some proposals had been made to which he could not assent.
Being pressed by the Court to be less reticent, and explain his
meaning, he said there was a design to murder King William; that the
Earl of Melfort (the Pretender’s friend and minister) had asked him to
aid in the assassination; he had consented to do so, but a Carthusian
friar, to whom he had revealed it under confession, told him it would
be wilful murder if King William were killed, except in open battle,
and he had revealed the plot lest his old colleagues should carry out
their wicked project.

Such, in brief, was the evidence of Lunt, deviating often from the
tenour of his previous depositions, which had been made before he had
been under the moulding influences of Aaron Smith, that unscrupulous
Jacobite hunter, whose duty it was to manage these little matters, to
procure witnesses and favourable juries. Favourable judges were
supplied by his betters. And to fully understand the gravity of the
prisoners’ position it should be recollected that they could not have
the assistance of counsel; their witnesses could not be compelled to
attend; they were ignorant of the witnesses to be produced against
them; and, until they stood in the dock, had not heard the indictment
against them. Every circumstance was in favour of the crown. Lunt’s
evidence was corroborated by Womball, a carrier, and one Wilson, who
had been branded for roguery, as to the delivery of commissions and
arms. _Colonel_ Uriah Brereton (a saddler’s apprentice and common
sharper) testified that he had received money from Sir Roland Stanley
for the service of King James. This worthy Captain Bobadil being asked
if he was not poor and necessitous when he received these gifts, cried
out, in true ruffler style, “Poor! That is a question to degrade a
gentleman.” The remaining evidence we need not go into, save that of
John Knowles, who, having been sworn, declared “by fair yea and nay, he
knew nout on’t.”

Then, after short speeches by Stanley and Dicconson, the witnesses for
the defence were examined. The first half-dozen made some damaging
attacks upon the character of John Lunt, representing him as a mean
scoundrel, a bigamist, and a notorious highwayman. Then Lawrence
Parsons, his brother-in-law, testified that he had been invited by Lunt
to aid him in denouncing the Lancashire gentlemen, but had refused the
offer of 20s. per week and £150 at the end, rather than “swear against
his countrymen that he knew nothing against.” Mr. Legh Bankes, a
gentleman of Gray’s Inn, told how Taafe, an intimate friend of Lunt’s,
and who was expected to be a witness for the crown, had been to the
wife of Mr. Dicconson, and revealed to her the whole design of Lunt,
offering to introduce some friend of the prisoner’s to Lunt, as persons
likely to be serviceable in any swearing that might be needed to hang
the prisoners. Mr. Bankes was suspicious of this being a trap; but
having been introduced to Lunt, that worthy, over a glass of ale, very
frankly said that he wanted gentlemen of reputation to back his own
evidence, and if Bankes would join he should be well provided for. He
produced his “narrative of the plot,” and Taafe read aloud this
manuscript, which named several hundreds besides the prisoners. “Why
were these not taken up also?” inquired Bankes. Lunt’s answer was, “We
will do these people’s business first, and when that hath given us
credit, we will run through the body of the nation.” When the next
witness arose, Lunt and Aaron Smith must surely have trembled, for it
was their old friend Taafe, who, after adding his testimony to Lunt’s
villainous character, gave a brief account of that worthy gentleman’s
career as a discoverer of plots. How the first one he discovered (it
was in Kent) came to nothing, as he had failed to find corroborative
evidence; and how he was near failing again from the same cause; how
Aaron Smith had edited and improved his original narrative. Lunt wanted
Taafe as a witness, complained that the men he had hired to swear were
blockish, and of such low caste as to carry little weight. Could Taafe
introduce him to some gentleman—(God save the mark!)—willing to perjure
his soul, consign innocent men to the scaffold, and receive blood-money
from Aaron Smith? Taafe, from some motive not clear, determined to
baulk the villany of his fellow-informer, hence the circumstances
narrated by Mr. Legh Bankes, whose suspicions of treachery had
prevented a full discovery. Taafe had partially opened his mind to the
Rev. Mr. Allenson, who had also distrusted him in a similar manner. In
Roger Dicconson, brother of the prisoner, he found a bolder and more
adventurous spirit. The evidence of Mr. Allenson need not be analysed.
He was followed by Mr. Roger Dicconson, who told how he was introduced
at a coffee-house in Fetter Lane, by Taafe to Lunt, as a proper person
to aid in the plan. Dicconson called himself Howard, a member of the
Church of England, willing to join in the plot for a valuable
consideration. Lunt said they had gold in for £100,000 a year, and that
the informants were to have a third of the forfeited estates. He asked
Lunt if he knew Dicconson’s brother, and Lunt, all unconscious that he
was sitting face to face with him, replied, “Yes, very well; for he had
delivered commissions to Hugh and Roger Dicconson about Christmas!”

Many more witnesses were examined, some of whom established that
certain of the prisoners were not in the neighbourhood of Croxteth and
Dukenhalgh at the time of the alleged Jacobite meetings at those
places; whilst others gave most damaging evidence as to the utter
rascality of Lunt and his chief witnesses—Womball, Wilson, and
Brereton. The judge, in his summing up, contented himself with saying
that the matter deserved great consideration, in which opinion the jury
did not agree, for, after a short consultation, and without leaving
court, they returned for each prisoner a verdict of NOT GUILTY. Mr.
Justice Eyres then discharged them, with an eulogy upon the merciful
and easy Government under which they lived, and advised them to beware
of ever entering into plots and conspiracies against it. Lord Molyneux,
Sir William Gerard, and Bartholomew Walmsley, Esq., were then put to
the bar, but, no witnesses appearing, they were also declared Not
Guilty, which gave Mr. Justice Eyres an opportunity for another cynical
speech, concluding with these words: “Let me therefore say to you, go
and sin no more, lest a worse thing befall you.” As they had just been
pronounced innocent, the meaning and fitness of his remarks are
somewhat questionable. But if his bias prejudiced him against the
prisoners, they would have compensation in the popular satisfaction at
their acquittal. Manchester went mad with joy. Lunt and his merry men
were pelted out of the town, and only escaped lynching by the
intervention of the prisoners’ friends; and all concerned in the
prosecution came in for a share of popular hatred. The peril which the
Lancashire gentlemen thus strangely escaped was a very great one, but
the peril which the country escaped was greater still, for had there
been wanting the disaffection of Taafe to his brother rascal Lunt, the
courage and address of Roger Dicconson, and the honesty of the
Manchester jury, England might have seen a repetition of the atrocities
of Titus Oates and William Bedloe; might have seen a bigamist
highwayman going from shire to shire and fattening on the blood and
ruin of the best of her nobles and gentlemen.

Such will be the impression left on most minds by a candid examination
of the proceedings at this remarkable trial as recorded in the volume
edited by the Rt. Rev. Alexander Goss, D.D., for the Chetham Society in
1864. It is only fair to add that those who believe in the reality of
the “plot” may cite the resolution of the House of Commons (many
witnesses on the subject were examined some months after this trial),
that there had been a dangerous plot, and that the special assize at
Manchester was justifiable. That resolution strikes one as being more
political than judicial. A prosecution for perjury against Lunt was
abandoned, because it was understood that persistence in it would bring
on the prosecutors the weight of the harsh penal laws.

                        De Quincey’s Highwayman.

  “It was, in fact, the skeleton of an eminent robber, or perhaps of
  a murderer.... It is singular enough that these earlier grounds of
  suspicion against X. were not viewed as such by anybody until they
  came to be combined with another and final ground. Then the
  presumptions seemed conclusive. But by that time X. himself had
  been executed for a robbery, and had been manufactured into a
  skeleton by the famous surgeon Cruikshank, assisted by Mr. White
  and other pupils.”—Thomas de Quincey’s “Autobiographical Sketches,”
  chap. xiv.

In “The House on the Marsh,” a novel that has had a wide popularity in
recent years, the authoress, Miss Florence Warden, has chosen for
“hero” a highwayman, or rather burglar, who lives in the style of a
country squire, and, having access to the “best houses,” manages to
make his position in society contributory to success in the
“profession” he has selected. There is a curious parallel to the theme
of this story in the life-history of a man who was at one time an
inhabitant of Manchester, and whose strange career has already
furnished material to Thomas de Quincey and Mrs. Gaskell. More than a
century ago there stood—and still stands—at Knutsford a house on the
heathside known as the Cann Office. The tenant appeared to be a man of
independent fortune, kept horses, joined in the hunting sports of the
district, and obtained access to the houses and tables of the
neighbouring squires. According to the tradition, he had one night
noticed the diamonds of Lady Warburton, and followed her carriage on
horse-back, but on coming up with it was disconcerted to hear her say,
“Good-night, Mr. Higgins; why did you leave the ball so early?” On
another occasion he is said to have noticed in Chester a ladder left
accidentally against the wall of a house in one of whose bedrooms he
noticed a light. Ascending, he saw a girl in her ball dress take off
her jewels, and place them on the dressing-table. As soon as the maid
withdrew and the young lady was in bed, Higgins opened the window, and,
getting into the room, secured the valuable plunder. A slight noise
partially awoke the sleeper, who said, “Oh, Mary, you know how tired I
am; can’t you put the things straight in the morning?” and then fell
asleep again. If she had awakened and seen him he would certainly have
murdered her. Some suspicion that Higgins was not altogether the plain
country squire he wished to be supposed may very well have been excited
by his occasional absences. It is traditionally stated that his horse’s
feet were cased in woollen stockings for his nocturnal expeditions. The
murder of Mrs. Ruscombe, an old gentlewoman, at Bristol, caused some
noise. The murderer was Higgins. Before the murder was known at
Knutsford, in his anxiety to establish an _alibi_, he put in an
appearance at an inn, and made an incautious allusion to it which
piqued one of the company, a confirmed newsmonger, who prided himself
on having the first intelligence of every event of interest. Suspicion
was thus cast upon Higgins. He was arrested at his own residence, but
managed to elude the constables, and vanished from the neighbourhood of
Knutsford. He played the same _rôle_ of country squire a few months
later at French Hay, near Bristol. Thence he removed into Wales, “where
he broke open Lady Maud’s house at West Mead.” For this he was tried at
Carmarthen, and, notwithstanding that he managed to have a forged
respite sent to the Sheriff, he was hanged at Carmarthen on Saturday,
7th November, 1767. He died, we are told, in a very sullen humour, but
before he was “turned off” delivered to the officials a letter to the
High Sheriff. From this document and the contemporary accounts it
appears that the High Sheriff was acquainted with the birth and
parentage of Edward Higgins, about which no details are given. His
first exploit was that of eloping from the house of his mother with a
neighbour’s wife. This was the beginning of “all kinds of wickedness.”
He was tried at Worcester, 14th May, 1754, for housebreaking, and was
sentenced to transportation. “The day before the transports were sent
off from Worcester, his sister came to him early in the morning, and
desired to speak with him in a private room; this was refused. She then
requested that he might have permission to show her the dungeon;
thither they went, and stayed some time in close conference. She had
not left the gaol more than half an hour when a farmer who lived near
Worcester came in to enquire whether his sister had not been there,
‘for,’ says he, ‘I have been robbed of £14, and I have reason to
suspect her, and that she has given the money to her brother.’ The
turnkey told him what had passed. Higgins was searched, but nothing was
then found. He was brought down to Bristol, put on board the _Frisby_
for Maryland, and delivered, with the other convicts, at Annapolis. The
farmer who lost the £14 (as above) came with him from Worcester to
Bristol, and when Higgins was stripped on board the transport the
farmer’s money was found concealed in the lining of Higgins’ hat; but
as it could not be taken from him, the farmer was obliged to _be
contented with the loss of it_.”

By breaking open a shop in Boston he obtained a considerable sum of
money, and escaped by a ship sailing for England, to which he thus
returned within three months of his transportation. He settled first in
Manchester, and afterwards at Knutsford, where he married at the parish
church, by special licence, Katherine Birtles, 21st April, 1757. In the
licence he is styled yeoman, but in the entries of the baptism of his
children he is called Edward Higgins, of Nether Knutsford, gentleman.
His fifth child was baptised 11th June, 1764. His letter to the Sheriff
concludes with these words:—“As I die an unworthy member of the Church
of England, I do not desire your prayers, as you will not receive this
till after my death; yet beg for God’s sake (as you are a gentleman of
benevolence) you will have some compassion on my poor disconsolate
widow and fatherless infants, and as undoubtedly you will often hear my
widow upbraided with my past misconduct, I also beg you will vindicate
her to all such as not being guilty or knowing of my villany.” His wife
remained with him until the end. Higgins was dissected, and his
skeleton formed part of the museum of Dr. Charles White, F.R.S., of
Manchester. In his collection it was seen by De Quincey, who has left a
characteristic account of the visit in his “Autobiographical Sketches.”

In De Quincey’s famous essay on “Murder as One of the Fine Arts,” the
professor of homicide tells this grim story about Higgins. “At the time
of his execution for highway robbery I was studying under Cruikshank;
and the man’s figure was so uncommonly fine that no money or exertion
was spared to get into possession of him with the least possible delay.
By the connivance of the Under Sheriff he was cut down within the legal
time, and instantly put into a chaise-and-four, so that when he reached
Cruikshank’s, he was positively not dead. Mr. ——, a young student at
that time, had the honour of giving him the _coup de grace_ and
finishing the sentence of the law.”

Mrs. Gaskell wrote a sketch—“The Squire’s Tale”—based on the career of
Higgins, which appeared in _Household Words_, and is reprinted in her
collected writings. When the Rev. Henry Green was preparing his history
of Knutsford he carefully collected all the information that could be
found respecting the gentleman highwayman. Edward Higgins deserves some
remembrance not only for the strangeness of his career, but for his
posthumous influence upon English literature.

                     Some Lancashire Centenarians.

According to the census of 1891 there were 146 persons enumerated who
were returned as being more than 100 years of age. Eleven of these were
resident in Lancashire. It may be interesting to compare this with the
statements in some of the preceding census reports. Arranged in tabular
form, the following results are seen:—

           _Centenarians returned at each successive census._

                       England and Wales. Lancashire.

                  1841        249             20
                  1851        215             18
                  1861        201             25
                  1871        160             11
                  1881        141              9
                  1891        146             11

In Lancashire, it will be noticed, there has been a marked tendency
towards the diminution of reputed centenarians. The general consent of
mankind seems to have fixed upon a hundred years as almost the outside
limit for the duration of human life. The Hebrews and the Chinese are
agreed in this. The Celestials have a quaint way of dividing a life
into cycles. From birth to 10 years of age is the opening degree; at
20, youth expired; 30, strength and marriage; 40, officially apt; 50,
error knowing; 60, cycle closing; 70, rare bird of age; 80, rusty
visage; 90, delayed; 100, age’s extremity. Far more claims to great
longevity are made than can be sustained by reasonable evidence, and it
should not be forgotten that the burden of proof belongs to those who
make these statements. The bulk of mankind do not exceed, and many of
them never attain, the Psalmist’s term of three score years and ten,
and it is only reasonable that those who claim for themselves or
_protégés_ an existence of five or six score should be required to
produce adequate evidence in support of their allegations. Curiously
enough until the second half of the present century statements of
extreme old age appear to have been accepted without doubt or inquiry.
In the census report of 1851 a sceptical note was struck, and since
then the late Sir G. C. Lewis and Mr. W. J. Thoms—especially the
latter—have done useful service by a persistent demand for evidence.
Under investigation some cases have proved to be impostures, and others
mistakes and self-deceptions.

The historian of the county of Lancaster claims for Ormskirk parish the
prevalence of an unusual degree of longevity. In the churchyard there
are gravestones over four venerable parishioners, which record that the
first of them died at the advanced age of 94, the second at the age of
102, the third at the age of 104, and the fourth at the age of 106
years. Many centenarians, real or supposed, have been connected with
Lancashire, and it is more than probable that a rigid investigation at
the time would greatly have reduced the number. They are here presented
in chronological order, and have been derived from a variety of

1668.—Dr. Martin Lister, writing to the Royal Society, says that John
Sagar, of Burnley, died about the year 1668, “and was of the age (as is
reported) of 112.”

1700.—“Here resteth the bodie of James Cockerell, the elder, of Bolton,
who departed this lyfe in the one hundredth and sixthe yeare of his
age, and was interred here the seventh day of March, 1700” (Whittle’s
“Bolton,” p. 429).

1727.—In the diary of William Blundell, of Crosby, under date 21st
January, 1727, there is this entry:—“I went to Leverp: and made Major
Broadnax a visit, he told me that in March next he will be 108 years of
Aige, he has his memory perfectly well, and talks extreamly strongly
and heartally without any seeming decay of his spirrits.” This,
according to the Rev. T. E. Gibson, was “Colonel Robert Broadneux, at
one time gentleman of the Bedchamber to Oliver Cromwell, and afterwards
Lieut.-Col. in the Army of King William, died the following January,
and was buried in St. Nicholas’ churchyard, Liverpool, where his
memorial stone may still be seen. He is there credited with 109 years,
which, according to the diarist’s account, is one too many.”

1731.—Timothy Coward, of Kendal, 114.

1735.—James Wilson, of Kendal, 100.

1736.—Roger Friers, of Kendal, 103.

1743.—Mr. Norman, of Manchester, 102.

1753.—Thomas Coward, of Kendal, 114. The following is an inscription on
a tombstone in Disley Church:—

                     “Here Lyeth Interred the
                   Body of Joseph Watson, Buried
                   June the third, 1753,
                   Aged 104 years. He was
                   Park Keeper at Lyme more
                   than 64 years, and was ye first
                   that Perfected the Art of Driving
                   ye Stags. Here also Lyeth
                   the Body of Elizabeth his
                   wife Aged 94 years, to whom
                   He had been married 73 years.
                   Reader, take notice, the Longest
                   Life is Short.”

This Joseph Watson was born at Mossley Common, Leigh, Lancashire, in
1649. Watson was park-keeper to Mr. Peter Legh, of Lyme. About 1710, in
consequence of a wager between his employer and Sir Roger Moston, Mr.
Watson drove twelve brace of red deer from Lyme Park to Windsor Forest
as a present for Queen Anne. He was a man of low stature, fresh
complexion, and pleasant countenance. “He believed he had drunk a
gallon of malt liquor a day, one day with another, for sixty years; he
drank plentifully the latter part of his life, but no more than was
agreeable to his constitution and a comfort to himself.” In his 103rd
year he killed a buck in the hunting field. He was the father of the
Rev. Joseph Watson, D.D., rector of St. Stephens, Wallbrook, London.

1755.—Mr. Edward Stanley, of Preston, was buried in that town 4th
January, 1755, at the reputed age of 103. He was one of the Stanleys of
Bickerstaffe—the branch of the family that eventually succeeded to the
Earldom of Derby. His father was Henry Stanley, the second son of Sir
Edward Stanley, of Bickerstaffe.

1757.—James Wilson, of Kendal, 100.

1760.—Elizabeth Hilton, widow, of Liverpool, 121.

1761.—Isaac Duberdo, of Clitheroe, 108. Elizabeth Wilcock, of
Lancaster, 104. John Williamson, of Pennybridge, 101. William Marsh, of
Liverpool, 111, pavior.

1762.—Elizabeth Pearcy, of Elell, 104. Elizabeth Storey, of Garstang,

1763.—Mr. Wickstead, of Wigan, 108, farmer. Thomas Jackson, of
Pennybridge, 104. Mrs. Blakesley, of Prescot, 108. Mr. Osbaldeston,
near Whaley, 115.

1764.—James Roberts, of Pennybridge, 113.

1765.—Mr. Glover, of Tarbuck, 104.

1767.—George Wilford, of Pennybridge, 100. William Rogers, of
Pennybridge, 105. Thomas Johnson, of Newbiggin, 105.

1770.—Ellin Brandwood, Leigh, 102.

1771.—Nathaniel Wickfield, of Ladridge, 103. Mr. Fleming, of Liverpool,
factor, 128. He left a son and a daughter each upwards of a hundred.

1772.—Mr. Jaspar Jenkins, whose death at Enfield in the 106th year of
his age is recorded in the _Gentleman’s Magazine_ for 1772, was
formerly a merchant of Liverpool.

1778.—John Watson, Limehouse Park (of which he was keeper), 130. Mr.
Husan, of Wigan, 109.

1779.—Susan Eveson, Simmondsone, near Burnley, 108.

1780.—William Ellis, of Liverpool, shoemaker, 131. He was seaman in the
reign of Queen Anne, and a soldier in the reign of George I. Thomas
Keggan, of Liverpool, 107.

1781.—Peter Linford, of Maghall, Liverpool, 107.

1782.—Henry Lord, of Carr, in the Forest of Rossendale, 106. He was a
soldier in the service of Queen Anne. Martha Ramscar, of Stockport, 106.

1783.—Thomas Poxton, of Preston, 108. He was formerly a quack doctor.
He attended Ormskirk market, twenty miles distant, constantly till
within a few years of his death; was healthy and vigorous to the last,
and was generally known by the name of Mad Roger. William Briscoe, Park
Gate, 101. Mrs. Holmes, Liverpool, 114. She was married at 48 years of
age, and had six children.

1784.—George Harding, Manchester, 111. He served as a private soldier
in the reigns of Queen Anne, George I., and George II. Matthew Jackson,
of Hawkshead, 100. He was married about eighteen months before his

1786.—Elizabeth Curril, 100, Liverpool. Jonathan Ridgeway, of
Manchester, 100.

1787.—Mrs. Bailey, of Liverpool, 105. She retained her senses to the
last, was never bled or took medicine in her life, and read without
spectacles. Her mother lived to the age of 116.

1790.—Jane Monks, Leigh, 104. She retained all her faculties till
within a few hours of her death, and except for the last five years
earned her living by winding yarn. James Swarberick, Nateby, 102. Sarah
Sherdley, Maghull, 105. She was an idiot from her birth.

1791.—Jane Gosnal, 104, Liverpool. Frances Crossley, 109, Rochdale,

1793.—Mrs. Boardman, 103, Manchester, widow.

1794.—William Clayton, Livesey, Blackburn, 100. The summer before his
death he was able to join in the harvest work, about which time he had
a visit from a man of the same age who then lived about ten miles
distant, and who said he had walked the whole way. Elizabeth Hayes,
Park Lane, Liverpool, 110. Mrs. Seal, 101, an inmate of an almshouse in
Bury. In the earlier part of her life she was remarkable for her
industry, but had been many years bedridden, and supported principally
by parish relief.

1795.—Mrs. Hunter, 115, Liverpool. Roger Pye, 102, Liverpool. Christian
Marshall died at Overton, near Lancaster, aged 101.

1796.—Anne Bickersteth, 103, Barton-in-Kendal, widow of Mr.
Bickersteth, surgeon of that place. She retained her bodily and mental
faculties till her death, and walked downstairs from her bedroom to her
parlour the day she died. William Windness, 110, Garstang. Anne Prigg,
104, Bury.

1797.—Jane Stephenson, 117, Poulton-in-the-Fylde.

1798.—Richard Hamer, Hunt Fold, Lancaster, 102.

1799.—Mrs. Owen, 107, Liverpool. John M’Kee, 100, Liverpool, joiner.
Mary Jones, 105, Liverpool, workhouse. Margaret Macaulay, of
Manchester, aged 101. She was a well-known beggar.

1807.—Mrs. Alice Longworth, Blackburn, aged 109. She retained the use
of her faculties till her last illness, and never wore spectacles. Her
youngest daughter is upwards of 60.—(_Athenæum_, September, 1807).

1808.—Mary Ralphson, died at Liverpool, 27th June, 1808, aged 110. She
was born January 1st, 1698, O.S., at Lochaber, in Scotland. Her
husband, Ralph Ralphson, was a private in the Duke of Cumberland’s
army. Following the troops, she attended her husband in several
engagements in England and Scotland. At the battle of Dettingen she
equipped herself in the uniform and accoutrements of a wounded dragoon
who fell by her side, and, mounting his charger, regained the
retreating army, in which she found her husband, and returned with him
to England. In his after campaigns she closely followed him like
another “Mother Ross,” though perhaps with less courage, and more
discretion. In her late years she was supported by some benevolent
ladies of Liverpool. A print of her was published in April, 1807, when
she was resident in Kent Street, Liverpool.

1808.—There is a print without date of “David Stewart Salmon, aged 105,
the legal Father of two Indian Princes of the Wabee Tribe in America. A
resident of Cable Street, Liverpool. After serving his King and Country
upwards, of sixty years six months and five days of which time was
spent without ever leaving his Majesty’s Service, is now allowed 2s.
6d. per week from the Parish of Liverpool. He is the last survivor of
the Crew of the _Centurion_ when commanded by Commodore Anson, with
whom he sail’d round the World.”

1808.—Mr. Joe Rudd, writing from Wigan, June 10th, 1808, forwards the
following contribution to Mr. Urban (_Gentleman’s Magazine_, vol.
lxxviii., pt. ii., 576):—“I request you to record the following
narrative of the longevity of one family in the town of Wigan,
Lancashire, where Old Anne Glave died in The Scholes a few years since
at the advanced age of 105. She was a woman well skilled in herbs, and
obtained her livelihood by gathering them in their proper seasons. She
retained her faculties till the last, and followed her trade of
herb-gathering within a short time of her death. Anne was the daughter
of Barnard Hartley, who lived 103 years, and lies buried in Wigan
churchyard. Anne had several children, four of whom are now living at
Wigan in good health, viz., Anne, aged 91; Catherine, aged 82; Sarah,
75; and Elizabeth, 72. Old Anne Glave buried her husband, Robert, at
the age of 84. He was a fisherman, and famous for making rhymes.”
Jemina Wilkinson, Blackpool, aged 106. She retained her senses, and was
able to walk without assistance within a few hours of her
death.—(_Athenæum_, October, 1808).

1809.—Mrs. Mary Leatherbarrow, of Hulme, died at the age of 106.

1817.—Catharine Prescott, who died in George Leigh Street, June 2nd, at
the reputed age of 108, was a notable character in her day. It was said
of her that she learned to read—and that without spectacles—partly at
the Lancasterian School and partly at Bennet Street School after she
had passed her hundredth year.

1818.—Mary Harrison, who, in 1818, was living at Bacup, was said to be
108 years old.

1826.—Mrs. Sarah Richardson, a widow, who resided at the Mount,
Dickenson Street, died at the reputed age of 101. She was a native of
Warrington, and her descendants numbered 153.

1841.—John Pollitt, aged 52, and George Pollitt, brothers, were
interred at Rusholme Road Cemetery, November 16th. They were followed
to the grave by their father, William Pollitt, of Dyche Street, who had
attained the age of 104, accompanied by his great-great-grandson aged
21 years.

1848.—An old woman living in Burn Street, Chorlton-upon-Medlock, 110
years old, and in the possession of all her faculties. She perfectly
recollected the coronation of George III., which took place when she
was 24 years old.

1859.—Betty Roberts was said to be living in Liverpool in 1859, and her
birth was asserted to have taken place at Northrop, in Flintshire, in
1749. Her son, aged 80, was living with her.

1877.—In 1877 there appeared a notice of John Hutton, who was born at
Glasgow 18th August, 1777, and was apprenticed at Carlisle in 1793 as a
handloom weaver, but came to Manchester in 1796, where he served the
remainder of his apprenticeship, and was married in December, 1797, by
Parson Brookes. He became an employé of the firm of Thomas Hoyle and
Son, of Mayfield, and by his skill in mixing became of considerable
importance. In particular, he had a secret for the preparation of China
blue, which was entrusted to his son, who died at a good age, without
having left a successor to the secret. Messrs. Hoyle’s chemist, it is
said, who knew all about the theory of the dye, failed to get the exact
tint that was requisite, and a joking suggestion was made to the old
man that his services were still in demand. He took the observation
seriously, proceeded to the dyehouse, where under his directions the
brew was a conspicuous success. He was of medium size, cheerful
temperament, and habits of great regularity. He took little interest in
any matters outside the narrow limits of his household and the works.
He was not a teetotaller, but was exceedingly sober and steady. He
completed his hundredth year 18th August, 1877. His senses were
somewhat dulled, and the _arcus senilis_ was well marked. On his
centenary he was photographed in a group with his daughter, grandson,
great-grandson, and great-great-grandson. His fellows of the Mayfield
Works entertained him at Worsley, and in a bath-chair he was enabled to
enjoy the gardens.

1879.—Sarah Warburton, who died at Accrington in 1879, was reputed to
have been born February 2nd, 1779. At the old folks’ tea-party during
the Christmas before her death she received the prize of a new
dress-piece for singing a song of her juvenile days!

1881.—The case of the “Crumpsall Centenarian” excited some interest in
1881. She died October 8th, 1881, and was reported to be in the 108th
year of her age. Jane Pinkerton, whose maiden name was Fleming,
according to the testimony of the entry in a family Bible, in which the
names of her brothers and sisters were also entered, was born 16th
June, 1774, within a few miles of Paisley, in Scotland. When she was a
girl her father took his family to Ireland. She married James
Pinkerton, a schoolmaster in the neighbourhood of Belfast, and at his
death she came to reside with a married daughter at Lower Crumpsall.
She is buried in the Wesleyan Cemetery, Cheetham Hill.

This list is not a complete one, and doubtless many additions, some in
quite recent years, might be made to it. The reader will notice that
with few exceptions, amongst which is the remarkable case of John
Hutton—there is for the most part an entire absence of evidence. The
ages stated have evidently been taken down from the statements of the
old men and women, with little or no attempt to verify their
correctness. It may be useful to cite two cases that were adequately
investigated. The case of Miss Mary Billinge, of Liverpool, is
instructive as showing the possibilities of error. She was said to have
been 112 years old at the time of her death, 20th December, 1863, and a
certificate of baptism was obtained which stated the birth of Mary
Billinge, daughter of William Billinge and Lydia his wife, on the 24th
May, 1751. It was known that she had a brother named William and a
sister named Anne, who are buried at Everton. A reference to the
registers showed that these were entered as the children of Charles and
Margaret Billinge, and a further search revealed the name of Mary, born
6th November, 1772, and therefore only a little over 91 at the time of
her death. The certificate relied upon to prove her centenarian age was
that of an earlier Mary Billinge.

The other instance is that of Mrs. Martha Gardner, who died at 85,
Grove Street, Liverpool, March 10th, 1881, at the age of 104. This will
be best given in the words of Mr. W. J. Thoms, who, after the date of
her death, says:—“Some two or three years ago Dr. Diamond kindly
forwarded to me a photograph, taken shortly after the completion of her
hundredth year, by Mr. Ferranti, of Liverpool. I afterwards received
from two different sources evidences as to the birth of this very aged
lady, whose father, a very eminent Liverpool merchant, has duly
recorded in the family Bible the names, dates of birth, and names of
godfathers and godmothers of his fourteen children, who were all
baptised at home, but whose baptisms are duly entered in the register
of baptisms of the Church of St. Peter, Liverpool. Mrs. Gardner having
a great objection to being made the subject of newspaper notices or
comments, I advisedly refrained from bringing her very exceptional age
under the notice of your readers during her lifetime. I may add that
she was a cousin of an early and valued contributor to _Notes and
Queries_, the Rev. John Wilson, formerly president of Trinity College,
Oxford, and on his death on July 10th, 1873, Mrs. Gardner took out
letters of administration to his estate, and her correspondence, she
being then in her 97th year, rather astonished the legal gentleman with
whom she had to confer on that business.”

             What was the First Book Printed in Manchester?

The answer to this question is not so obvious as might at first be
expected. There were in the Lancashire of Elizabeth’s days two secret
presses. From one there issued a number of Roman Catholic books. This
was probably located at Lostock, the seat of the Andertons. The other
was the wandering printing-press, which gave birth to the attacks of
Martin Marprelate upon the Anglican Episcopate. This was seized by the
Earl of Derby in Newton Lane, near Manchester. The printers thus
apprehended were examined at Lambeth, 15th February, 1588, when
Hodgkins and his assistants, Symms and Tomlyn, confessed that they had
printed part of a book entitled, “More Work for the Cooper.” “They had
printed thereof about six a quire of one side before they were
apprehended.” The chief controller of the press, Waldegrave, escaped.
In these poor persecuted printers we must recognise the
proto-typographers of Manchester. No trace remains of “More Work for
the Cooper.” The sheets that fell into the hands of the authorities do
not appear to have been preserved. Putting aside the claims of this
anti-prelatical treatise, we have to pass from the sixteenth to the
eighteenth century. Many tracts and books by local men, and relating to
local affairs, were printed before 1719, but that appears to be the
date of the first book printed in Manchester. The title page is here
reproduced:—“Mathematical Lectures; being the first and second that
were read to the Mathematical Society at Manchester. By the late
ingenious Mathematician John Jackson. ‘Who can number the sands of the
Sea, the drops of Rain, and the days of Eternity?’—Eccles. i., 2. ‘He
that telleth the number of the Stars and calleth them all by their
Names.’—Psalm cxlvii., 4. Manchester; printed by Roger Adams in the
Parsonage, and sold by William Clayton, Bookseller, at the Conduit,
1719.” (Octavo.)

The claims of Jackson’s “Lectures” were stated by the present writer in
_Notes and Queries_ (see fourth series, iii., 97, and vii., 64), and in
his “Handbook to the Public Libraries of Manchester and Salford.” Some
further correspondence appeared in _Local Gleanings_ (vol. i., p. 54),
and an extract was given from one of William Ford’s catalogues, which,
if accurate, would show that there was a local press at work in 1664.
Ford has catalogued a book in this fashion:—“A Guide to Heaven from the
Word; Good Counsel how to close savingly with Christ; Serious Questions
for Morning and Evening; Rules for the due observance of the Lord’s
Day. Manchester, printed at Smithy Door, 1664. 32mo.”

Apparently nothing could be clearer or less open to doubt. After a
careful look out for the book, a copy has been secured, and is now in
the Manchester Free Library. The title reads:—“A Guide to Heaven from
the Word. Good counsel how to close savingly with Christ. Serious
Questions for Morning and Evening; and rules for the due observation of
the Lord’s Day. John 5, 39. Search the Scriptures. Manchester: Printed
by T. Harper, Smithy Door.” (32 mo, pp. 100.) There is no date, but the
name of Thomas Harper, printer, Smithy Door, may be read in the
“Manchester Directory” for 1788, and the slightest examination of the
“Guide to Heaven” will show that its typography belongs to that period.
From whence, then, did Ford get the date of 1664? If we turn to the
fly-leaf the mystery is explained, for on it we read, “Imprimatur, J.
Hall, R.P.D. Lond. a Sac. Domest. April 14 1664.” The book, in fact,
was first printed in London in 1664, and Thomas Harper, when issuing it
afresh, reprinted the original imprimatur, which Ford then misconstrued
into the date of the Manchester edition. The book is entered as
Bamfield’s “Guide to Heaven” in Clavell’s “Catalogue,” and the
publisher is there stated to be H. Brome. Either Francis or Thomas
Bamfield may have been the author, but the former seems the more
likely. Thomas Bampfield—so the name is usually spelled—was Speaker of
Richard Cromwell’s Parliament of 1658, and he was a member of the
Convention Parliament of 1660, and was the author of some treatises in
the Sabbatarian controversy. Francis was a brother of Thomas, and also
of Sir John Bamfield, and was educated at Wadham College, Oxford, where
he graduated M.A. in 1638. He was ordained, but was ejected from the
Church in 1662, and died minister of the Sabbatarian Church in Pinner’s
Hall. He wrote in favour of the observation of the Saturday as the
seventh day, and therefore real Sabbath, and whilst preaching to his
congregation was arrested and imprisoned at Newgate, where he died 16th
February, 1683-4. His earliest acknowledged writing was published in
1672, and relates to the Sabbath question.

The first book printed in Manchester, so far as the present evidence
goes, was Jackson’s “Mathematical Lectures,” but it was the fruit of
the second printing-press at work in the town.

                  Thomas Lurting: a Liverpool Worthy.

Quakerism has a very extensive literature, and is especially rich in
books of biography; which are not only of interest from a theological
point, but are valuable for the incidental and sometimes unexpected
light which they throw upon the history and customs of the past. One of
the early Quaker autobiographies is that of Thomas Lurting, a Liverpool
worthy, who has not hitherto been included by local writers in the list
of Lancashire notables.

Thomas Lurting was born in 1629, and, in all probability, at Liverpool.
The name is by no means a common one, but it is a well-known Liverpool
name, and many references to its members will be found in Sir James
Picton’s “Memorials and Records.”[1] From 1580 to the close of the
seventeenth century they appear to have been conspicuous citizens. John
Lurting was a councillor and “Merchant ’Praiser” in 1580. A John
Lurting was bailiff of the town in 1653; but three years earlier had so
little reverence for civic dignity as to style one of the aldermen “a
cheating rogue.”

From his own narrative we learn that in 1646, at the age of fourteen,
Thomas Lurting was “impressed,” and served in the wars against the
Irish, Dutch, and Spaniards. He gives a graphic account of the
sea-fight at Santa Cruz in 1657, by our great English admiral Blake, in
which the Spaniards came off second-best. At the time of his conversion
he was boatswain’s mate on the _Bristol_ frigate. There were two young
men on board, who had some conversation with a soldier who had been
present at a Quaker’s meeting in Scotland. The soldier soon after left
the ship; but what he had said came back to the minds of the young men,
and presently they refused to listen to the chaplain, or to take their
hats off to the captain, who added to his seafaring functions the
quality of a Baptist preacher. The chaplain complimented Lurting as “an
honest man and a good Christian,” so long as, in his capacity of
boatswain’s mate, he persecuted the two youthful Quakers. Great was the
amazement when Lurting joined himself to those despised children of
light. The chaplain and the captain in vain tried to convince him of
the errors of his new theological associates. The Quakers increased,
until instead of two there were fourteen in the ship. There was an
epidemic of sickness, and the Quakers were known by the care they took
of each other and their brotherly sympathy. When he got well the
captain allowed Lurting to have his old cabin—which had the reputation
of being haunted—both for a sleeping room and for a meeting-place.

At this time the Quaker mariners did not object to take their share of
fighting, but when going into an engagement at Barcelona, it came into
Lurting’s mind that it was unlawful to slay. The Quakers having decided
to “bear their testimony” against war, had an unpleasant time. Off
Leghorn, in 1655, the preacher-captain drew his sword to run one of
them through.

Thomas Lurting was several times impressed after the Restoration of
Charles II., but he refused either to do the King’s work or eat the
King’s victual. On one of these occasions, after five days’ fasting, he
was put ashore.

But the most remarkable incident in Lurting’s life was one which
occurred when, after he had become a “harmless Christian,” he was mate
of a ship that was captured by an Algerine pirate. The English sailors,
following Lurting’s instructions, managed to turn the tables and make
the Turks their prisoners; but, instead of selling the pirates for
slaves, as they had the opportunity to do, they put them on shore not
far from an Algerine town. The pirates marvelled greatly at this
unexpected treatment, and the captives and ex-captives took an
affectionate farewell of each other. Lurting’s account of this
remarkable transaction was written at Liverpool in 1680, and was
printed in George Fox’s “To the Great Turk and his King, at Algiers.”
Of this tract there is a copy in the Midgley Library, at Manchester
(Vol. 16, Tract 7), and it is reprinted in the “Doctrinal Books of
George Fox” (London, 1706, p. 778). Lurting’s letter to the founder of
the Society of Friends is sufficiently curious to be worth quoting in

                          THE 8TH MONTH, 1663.

  Dear Friend,

  Thine I have received: In Answer to thy request, I have given thee
  an Account as well and as near as I can; but as to the exact time I
  cannot, for I have not my Books. I was George Pattison’s Mate, and
  coming from Venice, being near a Spanish Island called May-York,[2]
  we were Chased by a Turkish Ship or Patah, as sometimes before we
  had been, and thinking by our Vessels well Sailing, might escape:
  But Providence Ordered it So, That by carrying over-much Sail, some
  of our Materials gave way, by which means the said Turk came up
  with us, and commanded the Master on Board, who accordingly went
  with four Men more, leaving me and three Men, and a Boy on Board
  our Ship; and so soon as our Men came on Board the Turk, they took
  them all out of the Boat, and came about 14 Turks in our Boat. All
  which time I was under a very great Exercise in Spirit, not so much
  for my self, because I had a secret Hope of Relief; but a great
  Stress lay upon me, for the Men in this very Juncture of time; for
  all Hope of outward Appearance being then gone; the Master being on
  board of the Turk, and four more, and the Turks just coming on
  Board, I being as one, even as if I were or were not, only desiring
  of the Lord for Patience in such an Exercise, and going to the
  Vessel-side, to see the Turks come in, the Word of Life, run
  through me, Be not afraid, for all this thou shalt not go to
  Algier. And I having formerly good Experience of the Lords doing
  upon several such like Occasions, as in times of War, I believed
  what the Lord did say in me: At this all kind of Fear was taken
  from me, and I received them as a Man might his Friend; and they
  were as Civil, so shewing them all parts of the Vessel, and what
  she was laden with withal, then I said to them that were our Men;
  Be not afraid, for I believe for all this we shall not go to
  Algier, but let me desire you, as you have been willing to obey me,
  so be as willing to obey the Turks. For by our so doing I saw we
  got over them, for when they saw our great Diligence, it made them
  careless of us, I mean, in securing of us; So when they had taken
  some small Matter of what we were laden withal, some went on Board
  their own Ship again, and some staid with us, which were about
  Eight. Then began I to think of the Master and the other Four,
  which were in the Turks ship; for as for my self and the other with
  me, I had no fear at all; Nay, I was far from it, That I said to
  one then, Were but the Master on Board, and the rest, if there were
  twice so many Turks, I should not fear them; So my earnest Desire
  was to the Lord, That he would put it into their Hearts, to send
  him on Board with the rest, and good was the Lord in answering, for
  it was a Seal, to what he before spoke through me. As soon as the
  Master was on Board with the rest, all manner of Fear was off me,
  as to my going to Algier, and some said to me, I was a strange Man,
  I was afraid before I was taken, but now I was taken, I was not; my
  answer was, I now believe I shall not go to Algier, and if you will
  be ruled by me, I will act for your Delivery, as well as my own.
  But as yet I saw no way made, for they were all Arm’d, and we
  without Arms. Now we being altogether, except the Master, I began
  to reason with them, What if we should overcome the Turks, and go
  to May-York? At which they very much rejoyced; and one said, I will
  Kill One or Two, another said, I will cut as many of their Throats,
  as you will have me; this was our Mens Answer. At which I was much
  troubled, and said unto them, If I knew any of them that offered to
  touch a Turk, I would tell the Turks my self. But said to them; If
  you will be rul’d, I will act for you, if not, I will be still; to
  which they agreed to do, what I would have them. Then said I, if
  the Turks bid you do any thing, do it without grumbling, and with
  as much Diligence and Quickness as you can, for I see that pleases
  them, and that will cause them to let us be together: To which they

  Then I went to the Master, who was a Man of a very bold Spirit, and
  told him our Intents; whose answer to me was, If we offered to
  rise, and they overcame us, we had as good be burnt alive, the
  which I knew very well. But I could get him no way to adhere to me,
  in that he being fearful of Blood-shed; for that was his Reason:
  Insomuch, that at last I told him we were resolved, and I
  question’d not to do it without one Drop of Blood spilt, and I
  believ’d that the Lord would prosper it, by Reason, I could rather
  go to Algier, than to kill a Turk: So at last he agreed to this, to
  let me do what I would, provided we killed none: At that time there
  being still two Turks lying in the Cabin with him: So that he was
  to lie in the Cabin, that by his being there they should mistrust
  nothing, which accordingly he did. And having bad weather, and lost
  the Company of the Man of War; the Turks seeing our Diligence, made
  them careless of us.

  So the second Night, after the Captain was gone to sleep, I
  perswaded one to lie in my Cabin, and so one in another, till at
  last it raining very much, I perswaded them all down to sleep; and
  when asleep, got their Arms in Possession. Then said I to the Men
  of our Vessel: Now have we the Turks at our Command; no Man shall
  hurt any of them, for if you do, I will be against you: But this we
  will do, now they are under, we will keep them so, and go to
  May-York. So when I had ordered some to keep the Doors, if any
  should come out, straightly charging the Spilling of no Blood; and
  so altered our Course for May-York the which in the Morning we were
  fair by: So my Order was to our Men, if any offer’d to come out,
  not to let out above one at a time. And in the Morning one came
  out, expecting to have seen their own Country, but on the contrary,
  it was May-York. Now, said I to our Men, be careful of the Door,
  for when he goes in, we shall see what they will do. And as soon as
  he told them we were going towards May-York, they instead of
  Rising, fell all to crying, for their Hearts were taken from them.
  So they desired they might not be Sold; the which I promised they
  should not. So soon as I had pacified them, then I went in to the
  Master, he not yet knowing what was done, and so he told their
  Captain what we had done, how that we had over-come his Men, and
  that we were going for May-York. At which unexpected News he Wept,
  and desired the Master not to Sell him; the which he promised he
  would not. Then we told the Captain we would make a Place to hide
  them in, where the Spaniards should not find them; at which they
  were very glad, and we did accordingly. So when we came in, the
  Master went on Shoar, with Four more, and left me on Board with the
  Turks, which were Ten. And when he had done his Business, not
  taking Product, lest the Spaniards should come and see the Turks.
  But at Night an English Master came on Board, being an
  Acquaintance; and after some Discourse, we told him if he would not
  betray us, we would tell him what we had done; but we would not
  have the Spaniards to know it, lest they should take them from us;
  The which he promis’d, but broke it; and would fain have had Two or
  Three of them, to have brought them for England; but we saw his
  end; And when he saw he could not prevail, he said they were worth
  Two or Three Hundred Pieces of Eight a Piece; Whereat, both the
  Master and I told him, if they would give many Thousands they
  should not have One, for we hoped to send them home again. So he
  look’d upon us as Fools, because we would not Sell them; the which
  I would not have done for the whole Island. But contrary to our
  Expectations, he told the Spaniards, who threatned to take them
  from us: But so soon as we heard thereof, we called out all the
  Turks, and told them they must help us, or the Spaniards would take
  them from us. So they resolvedly helped us, and we made all haste
  to run from the Spaniards, the which pleased the Turks very well.
  So we put our selves to the Hazard of the Turks, and being taken
  again, to save them.

  So we continued about six or seven days, not being willing to put
  into any Port of Spain, for fear of losing the Turks. We let them
  have all their liberty for four days, till they made an attempt to
  rise, the which I foresaw, and prevented without any harm. I was
  very Courteous to them, at the which some of our men grumbled,
  saying, I had more care of the Turks than them; My Answer was, They
  are Strangers, I must treat them well. At last, I told the Master
  it might do well to go to the Turks Coast, for there it was more
  likely to miss their Men of War than where we were; and also it
  might fall out so, that we might have an Opportunity to put the
  Turks on Shoar: To which the Master agreed. And in two days we were
  near the Turks Shoar, at a place called Cape Hone, about Fifty
  Miles from Algier, as the Turks told us. So when we came about six
  Miles from the Shore it fell calm, and I had very much working in
  my mind, about getting them ashore.

  At last I went to the Master, and told him, I had a great desire to
  put the Turks on Shore, but how I knew not; for to give them the
  Boat, they might go and get Men and Arms, and so take us again; and
  to put half on Shoar, they would raise the Country and surprize us
  when we came with the rest. But if he would let me go, and if three
  more would go with me, I would venture to put them on Shoar; to
  which he consented.

  So then I spoke to the men, and there were two more, and my self
  and a Boy took in the ten Turks all loose, and went about six miles
  and put them on Shore in their own Country, within about four miles
  of Two Towns which they knew. Withal, we gave them about fifty
  Padas of Bread and other Necessaries to Travel with. They would
  fain have enticed us to go to the Towns, telling us we should have
  Wines, and many other things: As to their parts, I could have
  ventured with them. They all embraced me very kindly in their Arms
  when they went ashore. They made one Rising in the Boat when going
  ashore, the which I prevented; and we parted with a great deal of

  When we came home to England, the King came to the Vessels side,
  and enquired an Account, the which the Master gave him. So this is
  as near as I can certifie thee; I have writ thee more at large to
  give thee the whole as it was; but thou mayst take what is the most
  material, and so I rest thine in that which can do good for evil,
  which ought to be the practice of all true men.

  Liverpoole, the 30th of the fifth Month, 1680.

                                                      THOMAS LURTING.”

After a stormy manhood Thomas Lurting had a peaceful old age. Part of
his well-earned leisure was devoted to the preparation of an
autobiography, which appeared in 1710, with the following quaint
title:—“The Fighting Sailor turned peaceable Christian; manifested in
the convincement and conversion of Thomas Lurting. With a short
relation of many great Dangers, and wonderful Deliverances, he met
withal. First written for private satisfaction, and now published for
general service.” This tract, sometimes in an abridged form, has been
several times reprinted, and there were editions in 1711, 1720, no
date, 1766, 1801 (Leeds), 1811, 1813, 1820, and 1842.

Thomas Lurting died 30th First Month, 1713. His corpse was taken to the
Friends’ Meeting House at Horsleydown, Southwark, where a funeral
sermon was preached on the occasion. The body was then interred at the
Friends’ Burial-ground, Long Lane, Bermondsey. He had been a widower
for some years previously, his wife, Eleanor, who was of Rotherhithe,
having died 13th of First Month, 1708-9, aged 65 years.

However much faith may vary and forms of belief change, men will always
respect those who listen to the voice of conscience, and obey that
inward monitor when its behests bring scorn and persecution. The
Quakers had the true martyr-spirit, and would not abate a single iota
of their testimony either for the fear or the favour of man. In
Lurting’s narrative we see the plain, straightforward character of the
man. There is no evidence of self-consciousness to mar the picturesque
force of the essentially heroic quality of his deeds. Liverpool can
boast of some great names, but let her cherish the name of her Quaker
hero, “the Fighting Sailor turned peaceable Christian.”

Footnote 1:

  We append a few short notices of this family, in chronological order.

  1333-1345. In the time of Richard de Bury, Bishop of Durham, W.
  Lurtyng, of Chester, is mentioned. See _31st Report of Record
  Office_, p. 82.

  _The following are extracts from the “Liverpool Municipal Records_”:—

  1581. On the 21st August, John Lyrting, residing in Juggler Street,
  Liverpool, was assessed for a “Taxation or Levy at the sum of
  xvii^d.”—the highest charge in the street being 2s. 6d., and the
  lowest 4d.—ii., 218.

  1617. Thomas Lurting, Juggler Street.—ii., 827.

  1628, 7th October. “Item, wee prsent Thomas Lurtinge for switchinge
  Nicholas Rydinge wth a sticke.”—iii., 63.

  1636/7. Nich Lurting first in jury.—iii., 177.

  1644. John Lurting, “saler,” burgess of Liverpool.—iii., 359.

  1644 and 1649. Peter Lurting and Thomas Lurting, freemen (iii., 361).
  Also John Lurting, Smith, Wm. Lurting de Cestr, Wm. Lurting, Smith,
  and Robert Lurting.

  1651. “Tho. Lurting, for a Tussle upon Tho^s. Hoskins, iiis.
  iiiid.”—iii., 506.

  1663-4. Peter Lurting, Mayor.

  1672. Peter Lurting, tenant of Godscroft, 1s. rent; Rich. Lurting, of
  a smithy at Water Side, 5s.; Rich. Lurting, Castle Hill, 13s. for 13
  yards front.

Footnote 2:


                    Kufic Coins found in Lancashire.

In the great find of coins at Cuerdale in North Lancashire, besides a
single Byzantine piece there were several Kufic coins, along with some
of North Italy, about a thousand French and two thousand eight hundred
Anglo-Saxon pieces. In these coins, and in those found over the whole
of Northumbria are to be seen the evidences of the active commercial
intercourse that even in the pre-historic ages prevailed between the
Eastern world and the people of the North of Europe, and especially
those dwelling on the shores of the Baltic. This has been abundantly
proved by the numerous archæological discoveries made from time to

Whilst Scandinavia was still in the Stone and Bronze stages of the
development of civilisation, merchants came to the Baltic for furs,
tin, and the yellow amber so highly prized as an ornament by the
oriental women. Indeed Oppert has shown that ten centuries before the
Christian era the Assyrians had at least indirect communication with
the Baltic shores, the only locality known to the ancient world where
the yellow amber could be procured. The references to amber in Homer
and Hesiod have not passed without dispute, but the discoveries of
Greek coins in various parts leave little or no doubt as to the
existence of commercial routes, which went from the Black Sea, by the
Dnieper, the Bug and the Dniester, to gain the basin of the Niemen and
of the Vistula, and thence spread to the Baltic. The amber commerce in
the hands of the Milesians and the Greeks found various routes. The
Roman women were as passionately partial to amber ornaments as their
sisters of the East, and there is sufficient testimony as to the
commercial intercourse of Rome with the barbarians of the North.

The Arabs, although in the Middle Ages they had the monopoly of the
trade, were not its originators, but merely continued an intercourse
that had existed from remote antiquity. The mediæval geographers had
very little precise knowledge; but in the Mappa Mundi of the tenth
century, in the British Museum, the parts of northern Europe indicated
with the fewest misconceptions are the countries of the amber trade.
The rapid conquest of western Asia by the Arabs was followed by those
internal dissensions which led to the formation of independent
kingdoms. The Samanides, who reigned in Persia and dominated the shores
of the Caspian Sea, were the principal cultivators of the North trade.
The Arabs, if they had little taste for maritime commerce, were
admirably adapted to be the leaders of great caravans, by which the
riches of the East were spread into far lands. From Egypt they went
across the Sahara to Nigritia, from whence they brought gold, ivory,
and slaves. Passing through Persia and Cashmere they worked in the
direction of India. Crossing the immense steppes of Tartary, they
entered China by the province of Shen-si. Their caravans to Europe
passed by Armenia on the south, and by Bokhara and Khorassan on the
east. There were great fairs at Samarcand, Teheran, Bagdad, and other
places. The merchants directed their course to the Caspian, and halted
at Derbend before ascending the Volga. The itinerary of these pilgrims
of commerce can be reconstructed from the Kufic coins and accompanying
ornaments that have been found at Kazan, Perm, Tula, Moscow, Smolensk,
Novgorod, St. Petersburg, and other localities. The finds of Arabic
moneys in the Russian Empire have occurred almost exclusively in the
country watered by the Volga, which was the line of communication for
the Arabs with the Slavs and Scandinavians of the Middle Ages. The
shores of Germany, Lithuania, and Sweden were visited. The most
northerly discoveries of Kufic coins have been by the river Angermann,
which empties itself in the Gulf of Bothnia. The islands of Gothland,
Oland, and Bornholm appear to have been the centre of this commercial
activity. Lithuania, Denmark, and Poland, especially the latter, have
also yielded to the antiquarian investigator many evidences of
intercourse with the Arabs. On the coasts of Pomerania and along the
course of the Oder Kufic coins have been found, the southern limit
being apparently in Silesia.

Worsaae in speaking of some silver ornaments with a triangular pattern
of three or four points, also found at Cuerdale, says “that the
discovery of so many coins of this class in Russia, from the Caspian
and the Black Sea up to the shores of the Baltic, sufficiently proves
that from the eighth until the eleventh century there existed a very
lively intercourse by trade between the East and the northern parts of

The Vikings, who are usually regarded as simply pirates, had their
share in this commerce. From the East came rich fabrics, ornaments and
vases, and their bearers carried back in return ermines, furs, slaves,
and, above all, amber, which whilst valued as an ornament was also
credited with wonderful powers of preserving the health of the wearer.
This commerce did not have so much social or political result as might
have been expected from four centuries of activity. The grave events
alike in Asia and Europe which followed the fall of the Samanides
interrupted its peaceful course, and before it could fall again into
the old tracks there came the tempestuous interlude of the first

From this it will be seen that the occurrence of Kufic coins in the
north of England is one of the evidences of the activity of the Danes,
and of their commercial intercourse with the nations of the East.

Footnote 3:

  For further details on the commerce of the Arabs, and especially as
  to the extended currency of Kufic coins, J. J. A. Worsaae’s “Danes in
  England,” 1852; Ernest Babelon’s “Du Commerce des Arabes,” 1882; Le
  Bon’s “La Civilisation des Arabes,” 1884; may be consulted.

Footnote 4:

  “Remarks on the Antiquities found at Cuerdale,” p. 2.

                         Newspapers in 1738-39.

It may not be uninteresting to describe some of the oldest surviving
fragments of Lancashire newspapers which were formerly in the
collection of Sir Thomas Baker, and are now, with many others, in the
Manchester Free Library. After a fragment of one leaf we have “_The
Lancashire Journal_: with the history of the Holy Bible.” Monday,
October 16th, 1738. Num. xvi. The printer and publishers are thus set
forth:—“Manchester: printed and sold by John Berry at the Dial near the
Cross, and Sold by Mr. Ozly at the White-Lyon in Warrington, Mr. Sears
at the White-Lyon in Liverpool, Mr. Gough at the Spread Eagle in
Chester, Mr. Maddock, Bookseller in Namptwich, Mr. Kirkpatrick in
Middlewich, Mr. Davis, Bookseller in Preston, Mr. Sidebottom at the Sun
and Griffin in Stockport, Mrs. Lord in Rochdale, Mr. Hodgson,
Bookseller in Halifax, Mr. Rockett, Bookseller in Bradford, Mr.
Bradley, Peruke-maker in Wakefield; at which places also are taken in
all sorts of advertisements to be inserted in this Paper at Two
Shillings and Sixpence Each.” There is, after the fashion of the time,
very little local news, the object of these early journals being to
tell the people what was going on at a distance. We hear (October 16th)
of the offence given by the “French strollers” in attempting to perform
a play in their own language at the Haymarket. The “patriots” were so
riotous in their resentment that “the encouragers of these French
Vagabonds, durst not in any Coffee-House or Place where the most Polite
resort, either Publickly avow their Sentiments, or declare their
Resentment.” From Bristol there is news of rioting by the colliers of
Kingswood, as a practical objection to a reduction of wages, from
sixteen to twelve pence per day.

The next relic is _The Lancashire Journal_, published by John Berry, at
the Dial, in Manchester, Monday, July 30th, 1739. No. 57. The first or
leading article sets forth the intention of the managers to “introduce”
the journals “with a short Essay, Letter, or Discourse, on some useful
Subject, Art or Science,” if they can do it without leaving out any
“material Paragraph of News.” After a column of foreign affairs, we
have an account from “Exon” of one William Wood, who was in the County
Ward for £700 at the suit of the King. After having made his
chamber-mates drunk, he fastened a rope to the window, lowered himself
down near thirty feet, and then by the aid of a scaling-ladder got into
a field and so away. “Last Wednesday a Gentlewoman, aged 87, who lives
in Mount Street, Grosvenor Square, was married at St. George’s Chapel,
near Hyde Park Corner, to a young Gentleman of 23. The Bride was with
difficulty led into the Chapel, and was so much fatigued with standing
till the ceremony was over, that the Minute they were out of the Chapel
they were obliged to go into a Tavern to get something to revive her
exhausted spirits.” Then we learn that at the Old Bailey twenty-seven
prisoners were tried, of whom two were sentenced to be hanged, and
thirteen to be transported, whilst twelve were acquitted. Some more
paragraphs of the same nature show how ineffectual were the sanguinary
laws which condemned men to death for slight offences. In one of these
figures “Francis Trumbles the Quaker, who was to be hung for robbing
Mr. Brow on the highway.” “Last week died in Water Lane, Fleet Street,
one Anne Deacon, an elderly woman, who used to ask Alms at Church Doors
and elsewhere, in whose rooms after her death were found 100 guineas,
£35 in silver, and a bond of £150 on a considerable tradesman.” There
is a good deal more of foreign news, and the number terminates with
_two_ advertisements, one only being local, which offers an
apothecary’s shop, near the Exchange, “to be Sold or Lett. * * Enquire,
for further particulars of Mrs. Margaret Dickenson, at the Turk’s Head,
in Manchester.” No. 61, August 27th, 1739, opens with a dissertation on
the figure of the earth, followed by an account of one of the Dublin
Incorporated Society’s English Protestant Working Schools, then some
foreign news, of which our forefathers would appear to have been very
fond. This number is almost entirely filled with paragraphs relating to
our differences with Spain, diplomatic and martial. We have also news
of the siege of Belgrade, and “that the Grand Vizer has ordered a vast
quantity of scaling-ladders to be made, which looks as if he intended
to take Belgrade by storm.” From Cork we have the news that Matthew
Buckinger died there August 24th. Buckinger was born without hands or
feet, and his performances in penmanship were certainly wonderful under
the circumstances. “The King has ordered the two Hazard tables at
Kensington to be suppressed.” Two advertisements conclude this
number—one of a horse stolen or strayed from Cross Hall Park, near
Ormskirk; the other of Miller’s “Gardeners’ Dictionary” and Chambers’s
“Cyclopædia,” books on sale by Mr. Newton and Mr. Hodges, booksellers
in Manchester. The journal ends, “Manchester: Printed by John Berry, at
the Dial, near the Cross, and sold by Mr. Nichison, at the White Lyon,
in Warrington; Mr. Sears, at the White Lyon, in Liverpool; Mrs. Gough,
at the Spread Eagle, in Chester; Mr. Maddock, bookseller, in Namptwich;
Mr. Kirkpatrick, in Middlewich; Mr. Davis, in Preston; Mr. Sidebotham,
in Stockport; Mr. Rathbone, in Macclesfield; Mr. Foster, in Bolton;
Mrs. Lord, in Rochdale; Mr. Hodgson, bookseller, in Halifax; Mr.
Rockett, bookseller, in Bradford; Mr. Bradley, peruke maker, in
Wakefield; at which places also are taken in all sorts of
advertisements to be inserted in this paper, at two shillings and
sixpence each.”

Sir Thomas Baker was also the possessor of three numbers of another
early Manchester paper. Whitworth’s “_Manchester Magazine_, with the
History of the Holy Bible.” Tuesday, January 16th, 1738-9. No. 107 is a
small, dingy folio of four pages. Its opening paragraphs are devoted to
Muley Abdalah, who, in his abdicating the throne of Morocco, expressed
“a great regret that he had cut off but 2,000 heads at most.” We have
then a dreadful thunderstorm at Bristol, and a quantity of Court and
personal gossip. From “Hawick, in Northumberland, December 14th. This
day, died here (aged 105), Mr. William Baxter. He taught school in his
youth, afterwards followed malting very closely for above sixty years,
and though he lived very freely all that while he was never known to
have any disorder but one only, occasioned by a over-discharge of bad
liquor, which was carried off by a vomit.” The old gentleman was hearty
to the last, and knocked under to “a common fever, which as an Argument
of his great vigour terminated in a Phrenzy, and in a week’s Time
despatch’d him.” We hear of a wolf breaking loose, which was kept by a
gentleman who lives near the vineyard in St. James’s Park, and of the
mischief it wrought upon—two milk pails; of an attempted escape from
Newgate; and of sundry highway robberies. We have then

                            “A NEW RECEIPT.

       Take Homer’s Invention, with Pinder’s high strain,
       Theocritus’ pure Nature, Anacreon’s soft vein;
       To Virgil’s sound judgment join Ovid’s free air,
       And Juvenal’s keen Satyr to Horace’s sneer;
       To Spencer’s Description add Milton’s Locution,
       And Dryden’s close sentence to Boileau’s conclusion;
       Of Antients and Monderns [Moderns] take the Flower I hope,
       All these put together make our English POPE.”

Next we have a letter relating a sharp trick of some
American-Spaniards, followed by the sage reflection that “its greatly
to be lamented that the Isle of Cuba, and some other rich and fertile
places of their Empire in this part of the world, is not possest by
some more industrious People, who would find a much more laudable, as
well as profitable, Imployment than pilfering from their Neighbours.”
No. 108, January 23rd, 1738-9: “We hear a Gentleman’s Corpse is in
Arrest at an Undertaker’s in the Strand, upon a Judgment and Execution
for Debt. It’s to be hop’d the Friends of the Deceased will let the
Attorney move the Corpse, have it apprais’d by the Sheriff, and take it
in Part of his Bill and Costs.” “On Saturday between Four and Five
o’clock, a young Woman, servant at Walthamstow, coming to town, was
robb’d near Temple Mill by a Footpad; and, whilst the villain was
stripping her, being with his back towards the River, the young Woman
push’d him into the River and he was drowned. She is since gone
distracted.—On Thursday last the Rev. Dr. William Stukeley, Fellow of
the College of Physicians and a great Antiquarian, was marry’d to Miss
Gale, sister to Roger Gale, Esq.: a fortune of £10,000.” There is an
account of a shock of earthquake felt in Halifax, Huddersfield, and
other parts of the West Riding. “We hear from Banbury that a village
within a mile of that town no less than eighteen people are gone to be
dipped in the salt water for the bite of a mad dog, and that a few days
past a young man of the said village, who was bit by a dog about
Michaelmas last, died raving mad, though he had been at the salt water
for a cure.” “Manchester, January 23rd.—We hear from Bury that the
inhabitants of that place have agreed to prosecute at their joint
expense any person that shall commit an act of felony there. This is
worthy of imitation, for rogues often go unpunished lest the charge
thereof should fall upon a single person, which is very unreasonable,
because the publick reaps the benefit.” The number concludes with an
advertisement of a sale by auction at the Angel, at Manchester. From
No. 111, February 13th, 1738-9, excluding most of the foreign news, we
glean the following items:—“London, February 6th.—Last week two persons
were sent to prison by the Bench of Justices at Hick’s Hall for
endeavouring to seduce some manufacturers in the glass trade, in order
to send them to Holland, where a glass house is lately set up, and who
very much underwork us by having English coals 25 per cent. cheaper
than the manufacturers in and about London. But it is to be hoped that
the Parliament will take these affairs into consideration.—Yesterday
morning a gentleman going in a chair from a tavern in Pall Mall to his
lodgings at Knightsbridge was robbed by the two chairmen between Hide
Park Gate and Knightsbridge of his watch, money, &c.; then they pull’d
him out of the chair and threw him into a ditch, after which they made
off.—Last week Thomas Piercy, a blacksmith of Deptford, in Kent, about
25 years of age, was married to Mrs. Brookes, a gentlewoman of a
considerable fortune in the same town, aged about 70. This gentlewoman
has had four husbands before.—Prices of corn at Manchester: White
wheat, per load, from 18s. to 20s.; red wheat, from 15s. to 17s.;
barley, from 8s. to 11s.; beans, from 11s. to 12s.; meal, from 13s. to
14s.” There is plenty of talk about the convention with Spain, which
need not be repeated. These citations may suffice. They are fair
samples of what may be found in the local newspapers of the first half
of the eighteenth century. The early Lancashire journalist was a man of
many parts. Thus the _Lancashire Journal_, in December, 1740, is said
to be “printed by John Berry, Watchmaker and Printer, at the Dial near
the Cross, who makes and Mends all sorts of Pocket Watches, also makes
and mends all sorts of Weather Glasses, makes all sorts of Wedding,
Mourning, and other Gold Rings, and Earrings, etc., and sell all Sorts
of New Fation’d Mettal, Buttons for Coats and Wastcoats, and hath Great
Choice of New Fation’d Mettal, Buckles, for Men, Women, and Children,
all sorts of Knives, fine Scissors, Razors, Lancits, Variety of Japan’d
Snuff Boxes, Violins, Fluts, Flagelets and Musick Books, Box, Ivory,
and Horn, Combs, Silk, Purses, Spectacles, Coffee and Chocolate Mills,
Wash Balls, Sealing Wax, and Wax Balls for Pips, Correls, Tea Spoons,
Fiddle Strings, Spinnet Wire, Naked and Drest Babys,[5] Cards, Cain for
Hooping, Bird Cages, etc., with several other sorts of London,
Birmingham, and Sheffield, Cutler’s Wares, and variety of Dutch and
English Toys. He also sells (notwithstanding what is, has, or may be
advertised to the Contrary), the True Daffy’s Elixir, Doctor Anderson
Sick Pills, Chymical Drops, being a speedy cure for coughs, colds, and
Asthma’s, Doctor Godfreys Cordial for Children, Doctor Bateman’s Drops,
Stoughtons Elixir, Hungry Water, Spirits of Scurvy Grass, Flower of
Mustard in 3d. Bottles, Oyl of Mustard, and all sorts of Snuffs, at the
Lowest Rates.” The variety of his wares has affected both his spelling
and his punctuation.

We cannot estimate the feelings of our great-grandfathers as they
turned over the leaves of their small paper; but the antiquary of the
present day would gladly dispense with a good deal about bashaws and
conventions for a little more about those who lived and moved and had
their being in this county.

Footnote 5:

  This is not a slave trading announcement as the unwary might suppose.
  “Baby” is an old word for a doll. It has survived in the Lancashire
  dialect in its more extended meaning of a small image or
  representation. “Aw’ve a book full of babs” is a phrase in Edwin
  Waugh’s most famous poem.

                A Lancashire Naturalist: Thomas Garnett.

A memorial volume of the late Mr. Thomas Garnett, of Low Moor,
Clitheroe, was printed for private circulation, and some notice of it
will be of interest to many outside the narrow circle for whom it was
originally prepared. Mr. Thomas Garnett was one of three brothers. Mr.
Richard Garnett distinguished himself as a philologist, and became an
assistant-keeper in the British Museum; Mr. Jeremiah Garnett was for
many years the editor of the _Manchester Guardian_, and Mr. Thomas
Garnett settled at Clitheroe, where he passed an active life as a
manufacturer, but instead of allowing business to absorb all his
attention, he found pleasant and healthful recreation in agricultural
and scientific observation. The results are now gathered in this
volume—“Essays in Natural History and Agriculture, by the late Thomas
Garnett, of Low Moor, Clitheroe. London: printed at the Chiswick Press,
1883.” Only 250 copies were printed. The editing has been the work of
the author’s nephew, that accomplished scholar and friend of all
students, Dr. Richard Garnett, of the British Museum. The first paper
contains a number of facts and observations relating to the salmon,
chiefly based on Mr. Garnett’s experience in Lancashire. Written as
long ago as 1834, it contains a plea in favour of a wise and not
vexatious measure for the protection of the salmon fisheries. He
believed that the salmon enters and ascends rivers for other purposes
than propagation. In support of this view he cites what in Lancashire
is called “streaming.” Thus in winter the fish not engaged in spawning,
trout, grayling, chub, dace, etc., leave the streams and go into deep
water. Another reason is their impatience of heat, which leads the
grayling, if the weather is unusually hot at the end of May or
beginning of June, to ascend the mill-streams in the Wharfe, by
hundreds, and to go up the mill-races as far as they can get. The
“salmon” par he holds to be neither a hybrid, nor a distinct species,
but a state of the common salmon. In 1851 he wrote some papers
describing his own experiments in the artificial breeding of salmon.
His interest in the fish is shown by the following quotation:—“I have
had fish sent from two different gentlemen living on the banks of the
reservoirs belonging to the Liverpool Waterworks: these were beautiful
fish, three in number, more like the sea trout than the salmon, and the
largest of them weighing two pounds. I had put them into the brooks
running into the reservoirs three years before. I also learn that a
beautiful specimen of the _Ombre chevalier_ (French char) was taken out
of Rivington reservoir. About a thousand had been put in by me two
years before.”

It should be mentioned that Mr. Garnett’s experiments on the artificial
impregnation of fish ova were made without any knowledge of previous
attempts of the same kind. In answer to a suggestion made by Mr.
Garnett, the late Sir G. C. Lewis observed:—“You might as well propose
to shoot partridges only three days a week as to restrict the netting
of salmon to only three days.” In 1859, Mr. Garnett wrote some papers
on the possibility of introducing salmon into Australia, and addressed
a communication to the authorities of Tasmania and New Zealand on the
subject. He had some doubts as to success, but thought that the
experiment should be made, and that New Zealand was the likeliest place
for the experiment. In 1843, 1844, 1845, and 1848, he made experiments
in the cultivation of wheat on the same land in successive years, and
the results were communicated to the _Manchester Guardian_. He also
advocated the growing of a short-strawed wheat as peculiarly suitable
to the conditions of farming in Lancashire and Yorkshire. The
gravelling of his clay soils elicited some amusing comments from his
neighbours, one of whom remarked that he had seen land tilled (manured)
in various ways, but had never before seen a field tilled with
cobble-stones! The cultivation of cotton in India and in Peru was
another project in which he took a warm interest.

Mr. Garnett was a keen observer of natural history. Some excellent
authorities had asserted that the common wren never lined its nest with
feathers, but he showed conclusively that this was a mistake. The nest
in which eggs are laid is profusely lined with feathers, but during the
period of incubation the male frequently constructs several nests in
the vicinity of the first, none of which are lined. The existence of
these “cock-nests,” as they are called by schoolboys, was doubted, but
Mr. Garnett fully made out his case. The grey wagtail (_Motacilla
sulphurea_) sometimes looks at its own image in a window, and attacks
it with great vivacity. A superstitious neighbour was alarmed by this
conduct in a “barley-bird” (_Motacilla flava_), and thought it a
portent of evil. Her alarm was cured by the young naturalist, who
secured the bird of evil omen. Having caught a colony of the
long-tailed titmouse, Mr. Garnett and his brother attempted to rear the
half-fledged young ones, but of the six old birds, five died in
confinement. The survivor was allowed to escape in the hope that it
would come back to rear the young ones. This it did, and by the most
unwearied exertions supplied the whole brood, sometimes feeding them
ten times in a minute. Mr. Garnett took some pains to establish the
identity of the green with the wood-sandpiper. The courage of the
stoat, and the pertinacious manner in which the marsh-titmouse for a
time resisted attempts to drive her from her nest, are amongst his
curious observations. The creeper, he noticed, associated with the
titmouse in winter. The language of birds has not yet been mastered,
either by philologists or ornithologists, but it appears that the alarm
note of one is readily understood by those of other species. Mr.
Garnett desired to make some young throstles leave a nest which was in
danger of visitation from mischievous lads. He took one from the nest
and made it cry out. Its brethren quickly disappeared, the old bird set
up a shriek of alarm, and blackbird, chaffinch, robin, oxeye, blue
titmouse, wren, and marsh-titmouse, and even the golden-crested wren,
which usually appears to care for nothing; in fact all the birds in the
wood, except the creeper, came to see what was the matter. Mr. Garnett
did not share the prejudice felt by some farmers against the rook,
which he held to be serviceable to man. He reckoned that one rookery in
Wharfedale destroyed 209 tons of worms, insects and their larvæ. The
rook also, he notes, relieves the farmers from the apprehension caused
by a flight of locusts in Craven. Contrary to Waterton’s opinion, Mr.
Garnett describes the process by which birds dress their feathers with
oil from a gland. The sedge-warbler owes its local name of
“mocking-bird” to its imitative powers in copying the notes of the
swallow, the martin, the house-sparrow, spring-wagtail, whinchat,
starling, chaffinch, white-throat, greenfinch, little redpole,
whin-linnet, and other birds. Of the water-ouzel he says:—“A pair had
built for forty years, according to tradition, in a wheel-race near to
where I was born, and had never been molested by anybody, until a
gentleman in the neighbourhood, who was a great ornithologist, employed
his gamekeeper to shoot this pair. I think the natives of Calcutta were
not more indignant when an unlucky Englishman got one of their sacred
bulls into his compound, and baited him, than was our little community
at what we considered so great an outrage. The gamekeeper narrowly
escaped being stoned by myself and some more lads, any one of whom
would have shot fifty blackbirds or fieldfares without any misgiving.”
Mr. Garnett once shot what he afterwards believed to have been a
Sabine’s snipe.

His interest in the river was not confined to the salmon, and he made
some interesting observations on the propagation of lampreys, the
spawning of minnows, and the breeding of eels. A short note on the
last-named topic, by Mr. Jeremiah Garnett, is also printed. On the
formation of ice at the bottom of rivers, there are two papers, one by
Mr. Thomas Garnett, and the other by his brother, the Rev. Richard
Garnett. A shower of gossamer, the thread produced by the aëronautic
spider, is recorded as seen on the hills near Blackburn. One of Mr.
Garnett’s friends was the unfortunate Mr. Joseph Ritchie, of Otley, who
accompanied Captain Lyon’s expedition to Fezzan, and died there in
1819. To this there is an allusion in the following passage:—“In
conclusion, allow me to say that the leisure hours which a somewhat
busy life has enabled me to spend in these pursuits, have been some of
the happiest of my existence, and have awakened and cherished such an
admiration of nature, and such a love of the country and its scenes, as
I think can never be appreciated by the inhabitants of large towns, and
which I cannot describe so well as in the words of one of my friends,
in a beautiful apostrophe to England, when leaving it, never to return:—

                                           ‘To thee
             Whose fields first fed my childish fantasy;
           Whose mountains were my boyhood’s wild delight,
             Whose rocks, and woods, and torrents were to me
           The food of my soul’s youthful appetite;
             Were music to my ear—a blessing to my sight.’”

Why do not more of the dwellers in rural districts employ their often
abundant leisure in natural history studies?

                       The Traffords of Trafford.

The Trafford tradition is that the family were settled at Trafford as
early as the reign of Canute. Radulphus, or Randolph, who is said to
have died in the reign of Edward the Confessor, appears in the pedigree
as the father of Radulphus, who “received the King’s protection from
Sir Hamo de Massey, about the year 1080.” From the daughter of Hamo,
Richard de Trafford had that entire lordship. To this early and obscure
portion of the annals we must refer the tradition of the Trafford
Crest, of which Arthur Agarde writes thus in 1600:—“The auncyentteste I
know or have read is, that of the Trafords or Traford in Lancashire,
whose arms [crest] are a labouring man, with a flayle in his hand
threshinge, and this written motto, ‘Now thus,’ which they say came by
this occasion: That he and other gentlemen opposing themselves against
some Normans who came to invade them, this Traford did them much hurte,
and kept the passages against them. But that at length the Normans
having passed the ryver came sodenlye upon him, and then, he disguising
himself, went into his barne, and was threshing when they entered, yet
beinge knowen by some of them and demanded why he so abased himself,
answered, ‘Now thus.’” At the fancy dress ball in connection with the
Preston Guild of 1823 “Mr. Trafford was remarkably dressed in his own
crest: a Clown in parti-coloured clothes, a flail in his hand and a
motto, ‘Now thus.’” A similar crest was borne by the Asshetons and the
Pilkingtons. The legend was told of a Pilkington to Fuller, who has
given it a place in his “Worthies of England.” It is now impossible to
tell if it has any foundation at all in actual fact. Another undated
tradition is that of a “duel” between John of Trafford and Gilbert of
Ashton, in which the latter was slain and buried by his antagonist in a
field called Barnfield Bank, near Urmston Hall. Following the order of
the pedigree we have as holders of the Trafford estates Radulphus,
Radulphus, Robertus, Henricus, Henry, Richard, of whom little or
nothing is known. They are followed by a succession of five Henrys, of
whom the two last were knights. John, the son of the fifth, having died
young, the estates passed to the grandson of the old knight. This sixth
Henry came of age in 1336, was knighted, and, dying about 1370, left
seven sons, and was succeeded by another Sir Henry, who died about
1386. His son, the eighth Henry, who did not attain to the knightly
dignity, died in 1396, leaving a son six years old, who died about
1403, and was succeeded by his brother Edmund, who was knighted by King
Henry VI. at Whitsuntide, 1426.

In 1422, the parish church of Manchester was collegiated by the action
of the last rector and lord of the manor, Thomas de la Warre. The
parishioners were gathered together at the sound of the bell to confirm
and accept the arrangements he had made for the better service of the
church. After Sir John le Byron and Sir John de Radcliffe, the first
gentleman named is Edmund Trafford. Then follow representatives of the
families of Booth, Longford, Holland, Strangeways, Hyde, Barlow,
Hopwood, and others. Sir Edmund Trafford married Alice, the daughter of
Sir William Venables. This union took place in 1409, when the bride was
but eleven years of age. The little lady was co-heiress with her
sister, Douce or Dulcia, of the lands of her brother Richard, the last
male heir, who was drowned in the Bollin at the early age of eight, in
the year 1402. She was born at Worsley and baptised at Eccles Church.
One who witnessed the ceremony was David le Seintpier, and the ceremony
was impressed upon his mind by the uncomfortable circumstance that he
was setting out on a pilgrimage to Our Lady of Walsingham when he was
thrown from his horse and broke his leg. This form of artificial
memory, though effectual in his case, can hardly be recommended for
imitation. Sir Edmund de Trafford was in the confidence of Henry VI.,
whose dreams of avarice he fanned by visions of the philosopher’s
stone, and of the possibility of changing all the baser metals into
gold and silver. On the 7th of April, 1446, the King granted a patent
to this Trafford and to Sir Thomas Ashton, setting forth that certain
persons had maligned them with the character of working by unlawful
arts, and might disturb them in their experiments, and, therefore, the
King gave them special lease and licence to work and try their art and
science, lawfully and freely, in spite of any statute or order to the
contrary. The King, in issuing this commission, was overriding the
provision of 5 Henry IV., c. 4. Sir Edmund lived until 1457, and if he
succeeded in finding the _aurum potabile_, he carried the secret with
him to the grave. In 1435, Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Edmund Trafford,
married Sir John Pilkington. The deeds are still extant by which
Pilkington endowed his bride at the porch of the collegiate church of
Manchester. He entered into a bond to pay 200 marks in silver, and also
“swere upon a boke” that he stood “sole seiset in his demene as of fee
simple or fee tail, the day of weddynge,” of the lands of his father,
including the dower land of his mother, dame Margery.

The next holder of the estate, Sir John de Trafford, “belonged to the
great Earl of Warwick,” and with his retainers fought for the Red Rose
of Lancashire under the banner of the King-maker. His allowance was
twenty marks yearly, in addition to the wages usual for one of his
degree. For some reason now difficult, if not impossible, to ascertain,
he resigned his estates to his son Edmund, the offspring of a marriage
with the daughter of Sir Thomas Ashton, of Ashton-under-Lyne. One of
his sisters married Sir John Ashton. Sir John Trafford transferred his
estates in 1484, and died in 1488. Edmund Trafford married the young
widow of John Honford, and had the guardianship of her first husband’s
only son and heir. This was granted to him in a document which is worth
quoting as an example alike of the customs and language of the
time:—“Be hit knowen to all men wher now of late the Warde and marriage
of the landez and Body of William Honford son and heir of John Honford
esquier perteynet and langet to me John Savage th’ elder knight by
cause ye sayd William at that tyme beinge tendur of age that is to
witte under ye age of xxi yerez. I the said John Savage giffe and
graunte the seid Warde and Mariage of the Body and landez of ye seid
Willm during all his seid nonage to my Son in lagh Edmund Trafford
esquier and my doghter Margaret his wife they to have all the seid
Wardez and to marye hym at their pleasurez, worshipfullye, they takinge
the profetez of all the seide Wardez and mariage during his seid nonage
to their owne usez. And this is my Will and grawnte without any manner
interrupcon or lett of me, myn herez, or of any other by our makyng,
procuringe counsaile or assente. In wythence whereof to this my
writinge I the saide Sir John Savage have sette my seall Theressez
witnessez Thomas Leversege, John Sutton, William Savage the elder,
Thomas ffaloghys.”

The boy became a bold soldier, and was slain at Flodden Field in 1515,
and with him ended the male line of the ancient family of Honford. His
daughter Margaret married, before she was twelve, Sir John Stanley, the
stout knight, whose life forms a curious episode in mediæval biography.
He was the son of James Stanley, the warlike Bishop of Ely, and Warden
of Manchester, who was blamed by Fuller for “living all the winter at
Somersham, in Huntingdonshire, with one who was not his sister, and who
wanted nothing to make her his wife save marriage.” Young Stanley took
part in the battle of Flodden, and is thought to have been knighted in
the field. Notwithstanding his prowess he appears to have been
“sicklied o’er with a pale cast of thought,” his favourite mottos being
those of the preacher who declares _vanitas vanitatum omnia vanitas_.
In 1523, he became engaged in a dispute with one of the Leghs, of
Adlington, who had married the daughter of a reputed mistress of
Cardinal Wolsey. That haughty prelate summoned Sir John to London, and
committed him to the Fleet until he surrendered his lease. Sir John
founded a chantry in the church of Manchester, and arranged his estates
for the benefit of his wife and child. Then by mutual consent a divorce
was pronounced between him and Dame Margaret, and he became a monk of
the Order of St. Benedict in the abbey of Westminster. His wife, when
the divorce was arranged, intended to enter a nunnery, but anticipating
the sentiment of a once popular song, she altered her mind, and married
Sir Urian Brereton. When Stanley settled his property he directed that
his son was not to be married until he was twenty-one, and then he was
to choose his own wife by the advice of the Abbot of Westminster and
Edmund Trafford.

The guardian of the monk’s childhood carried forward the fortunes of
the Traffords, for in 1514 he was created a Knight of the Bath by Henry
VIII. His son, the second Sir Edmund, was born in 1485, and died at the
age of forty-eight, leaving behind him five sons and five daughters.
Sir Edmund was one of the first feoffees of the Manchester Grammar
School. When the school was built the east part of it adjoined “a stone
chymney” of George Trafford’s.

Henry Trafford, the younger brother of Sir Edmund, who died in 1537,
was rector of Wilmslow, and built the chancel and placed stained glass
in many of the windows. He was the youngest son of the Sir Edmund
Trafford who died in 1514. His monument in Wilmslow Church represents a
tonsured priest in ecclesiastical costume. The inscription, now
illegible, set forth his clerical honours as “licensed doctor of
divinity,” formerly Chancellor of York Cathedral, and rector of Bolton
Percy, Siglisthorne, and Wilmslow. He was succeeded by Henry Ryle, who,
in 1542, resigned to make way for another Henry Trafford, who was
rector of Wilmslow for nearly fifty years. He died in 1591. His will
contains several interesting provisions. He was anxious to be buried in
the same tomb as his uncle and predecessor, and left 6s. 8d. to be paid
for his funeral sermon. Evidently disapproving of sable trappings, he
desired that there should be no mourning gowns at his funeral, but that
a “worshipful dinner” should be made for the friends that should happen
to attend. His best gown he left to the curate of Wilmslow, and the
furniture of the parsonage was to remain for the use of whoever should
be his successor.[6]

The third Sir Edmund, born in 1507, was knighted by the Earl of
Hertford, in Scotland, in the thirty-sixth year of King Henry VIII. He
was with the King at the siege of Boulogne, and died in 1564. He
married a daughter of the knightly house of Radcliffe. His brother
Thomas was the founder of the Traffords of Essex. Sir Edmund, in 1542,
paid tax on £80 as the value of his Lancashire property. In Mary’s
reign he was captain of the military musters of Salford hundred, and
High Sheriff of the county. “Between 1542 and 1558,” says Mr. J. E.
Bailey, “Sir Edmund Trafford was interested in promoting, in the
church, the advancement of the following persons, who, belonging in
some cases to the families of his tenants, were ordained at Chester
upon the knight’s title: Dns Alexander Chorlton; Dns Alexander Hugson
(or Hudson); Dns Robert Williamson; Dns Johannes Gregorie; Dns Willm’s
Trafforde; Dns Jacobus Walker. Thomas Acson, of the diocese of Chester,
an acolyte in April, 1546, soon afterwards became sub-dean, deacon, and
presbyter on the title of Edmund Trafford, co. Lincoln, gentleman. The
Trafford family had connections in Lincolnshire. George Trafford, a
younger son of the Sir Edmund who died in 1514, had lands in Lincoln,
but lived in the neighbourhood of Manchester, and in dying left
provision for certain copes and vestments (which had been bought by his
father-in-law) ‘to be restored again for the service of God.’” In 1564,
a curious legal document was executed between Edmund Trafford, of
Trafford, Esquire, and John Boothe, of Barton, Esquire, by which it was
agreed that Edmund’s son (also Edmund) should marry Marget Boothe,
daughter of the said John, and if she died before the union was
completed he was to marry Anne, and in her default any other daughter
of Boothe’s who might be her father’s heir. If Edmund died his next
remaining brother in succession was to take his place. Moreover, if
Boothe had any male issue a similar marriage was to be arranged with a
daughter of the house of Trafford. In point of fact the feelings and
dispositions of the young folk were not dreamed of as being of any
account, and the future of their respective offspring, born and unborn,
was dealt with by the seniors in the most arbitrary fashion, with the
sole view of joining together the great estates of the two families.
The fourth Sir Edmund was born in 1526, and died in 1590. His first
wife was a sister of Queen Catharine Howard. By his second marriage,
with Elizabeth, the daughter of Ralph Leicester, of Toft, he had three
children. In 1586, the marriage of his daughter was celebrated with
great pomp at Trafford, the Earl of Derby, the Bishop of Chester, “with
divers knights and esquires of great worship,” were present, and the
wedding-sermon, which still survives, was preached by William Massie,
B.D., who dedicates it to Sir Edmund. “I having right honourably
received,” he says, “by your good means, great courtesies, both in the
country and at my studie at Oxford.” He was a Fellow of Brasenose
College, and had been helped in his education by Sir Edmund. The
conclusion of the dedication is worth quoting:—“For your selfe as you
have long been a principal protection of God’s trueth and a great
countenance and credit to the preachers thereof in those quarters, and
have hunted out and unkenneled those slie and subtil foxes the Jesuites
and seminarie Priests out of their celles and caves to the uttermost of
your power, with the great ill will of many both open and private
enimies to the prince and the church, but your rewarde is with the
Lorde, and as you have maintained still your house with great
hospitality in no point dimming the glory of your worthy predecessors,
but rather adding to it: So I pray God stil continue your zeale, your
liberality, your loyaltie and fidelitie, to your Prince, Church, and
Common Wealth, that here you may live long with encrease of worship and
after the race of your life wel runne here you maie be partaker of
those unspeakable ioies in the kingdome of Heaven which be prepared for
all the elect children of God, unto whose blessed protection I
recommend you and al yours. Amen.”

He was, like his father, a staunch Protestant, and is credited with
special activity against the partisans of the old faith. Lancashire was
regarded as a hot-bed of Popery, and Manchester was thought a
convenient place “wherein to confine and imprison such Papists as they
thought meet, and to train up their children in the Protestant
religion.” Chaderton, Bishop of Chester, was a resident in the town,
and some of the children of the Roman Catholic gentry were committed to
his charge. In 1580, Trafford wrote to the Earl of Leicester
complaining that the state of Lancashire was lamentable to behold, for
mass was said in several places, and if harsh measures were not used
“our country is utterly overthrown. I know no lenity will do any good
by experience.” Towards the close of 1582, Sir Edmund apprehended a
priest named John Baxter, who, “for the more ease of Sir Edmund
Trafford,” was committed to the common gaol until the next assizes. The
zealous priest-hunters were “righte hartelie” thanked by the Privy
Council for their activity. The persecuting spirit was exhibited in
1583, when, at the quarter sessions held in Manchester, two priests,
Williamson and Hatton, who had been arrested by Sir Edmund, and James
Bell, a priest, who had been apprehended by the Earl of Derby, were
indicted for high treason for “extolling the Pope’s authority, &c.”
Bell and a recusant, named Finch, were condemned to death, and executed
at Lancaster. Their heads were placed on the steeple of the Manchester
Parish Church. At the same sessions, Sir John Southworth and seven
other gentlemen were fined for recusancy, each having to pay £240. The
same fine was imposed upon a number of priests and “common persons.” Of
four women it is remarked that, “although they be very obstinate, and
have done great harm, yet being indicted it was not thought good to
arraign them.” The next year, 1584, we find Trafford, at the
instigation of Bishop Chaderton, making a descent upon Blainscough, but
finding that Mr. Worthington had fled, they proceeded to Rossall to the
house inhabited by the widow of Gabriel, the brother of Cardinal Allen.
That lady having received a friendly hint had fled, but the High
Sheriff found £500, which was secured on the plea that it was intended
for the use of the Cardinal. Her three daughters, of whom the eldest
was but sixteen, hearing that it was intended to convey them to prison,
made their escape at midnight, and luckily finding a boat ready,
crossed the Wyre and found refuge with friends. Ultimately, and after
many hardships, they escaped to Rome, where they lived upon the bounty
of Cardinal Allen. The Rev. James Gosnell, writing from Bolton about
1584, says:—“Here are great store of Jesuits, Seminaries, Masses and
plenty of whoredom. The first sort our sheriff (Edmund Trafford, Esq.)
courseth pretty well.”

From Warden Herle the Traffords received, about 1574, some ambiguous
leases of the tithes of Stretford, Trafford, and half of Chorlton,
which were ultimately decided to mean possession for ninety-nine years
after twenty-one years. This transaction is probably the origin of the
right of the family to nominate one churchwarden and two sidesmen, and
to appoint the parish clerk of Manchester. When Peploe was warden these
leases were the occasion of much trouble, and it was with great
difficulty that the Fellows obtained their surrender. The fifth Sir
Edmund was thrice High Sheriff of Lancashire. In 1603, when James made
his progress into England, he was received at York with great pomp and
state by the Lord Mayor and burgesses. A seminary priest was sent to
prison for presenting a petition, and a number of gentlemen were
“graced with the honour of knighthood.” Amongst these was Edmund
Trafford, who, like his father, was a hater of Roman Catholics, and
employed a spy named Christopher Bayley to ferret them out. Sir Edmund
died in 1620. His first wife was a Booth, of Barton. In a second
marriage he espoused Lady Mildred Cecil, the second daughter of the
Earl of Exeter. A daughter received the name of Cecilia, and a son the
name of Cecil, in honour of the mother’s family. In 1584, there was a
levy of 200 men for the service of the Queen in her Irish wars, and
that the Lancashire lads might not be committed to strange captains who
“for the most part” had not used their soldiers “with the love and care
that appertained,” one of their own shire, Edmund Trafford, eldest son
of Sir Edmund Trafford, Knight, was appointed their commander. Two
years later an entry in the Court Leet book shows that the town paid
£16 to Mr. Trafford and Mr. Edmund Assheton for the “makeing of
soldiers into Ireland.”

Sir Cecil Trafford, who was born in 1599, and knighted by King James at
Houghton Tower in 1617, succeeded his father in 1620. Leonard Smethley
writes from Manchester, 10th May, 1620, that Sir Edmund Trafford was
buried on the 8th at Manchester Church by torchlight, and had a funeral
sermon by candle-light, leaving a will so ambiguous that the heir who
should inherit could not be known. Sir Urian Legh, of Adlington, and
Sir Peter Legh, of Lyme, were expected to meet for the ordering and
establishing of quietness amongst the four brethren. Smethley, with a
keen eye to business, wanted to secure Sir Edmund’s “hearse-cloth” as a
perquisite of the College of Arms, whose minion he was. From the
Reformation the Traffords had been staunch Protestants, and Sir Edmund
in particular was a vigorous hunter of recusants. In his earlier years
Sir Cecil was thought to be tainted with Puritanism, and in an excess
of religious ardour engaged in an attempt to bring back a convert, Mr.
Francis Downes, who had gone over to Rome. This entry into the thorny
fields of controversy had an unexpected result. Sir Cecil found himself
converted by the very arguments he had sought out only to confute. Sir
Cecil married a daughter of Sir Humphrey Davenport, Lord Chief Baron of
the Exchequer, and his daughter Penelope, named after her mother,
became the wife of John Downes, of Wardley, the brother and heir of the
man whose reclamation the Knight of Trafford had attempted with so
curious a result. His grandson, Roger Downes, was the young rake whose
tragic fate has given rise to the story of the “skullhouse.” The death
of the Rector of Ashton-on-Mersey, who was drowned on Good Friday, in
1632, “being, as it is feared, somewhat overcharged with drink,” the
suicide of the Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge on Easter Day, and the
controversy between two Fellows of the College as to the nature of sin,
seemed to new converts like Trafford and Downes “signal evidences of
God’s anger and wrath, and presages of the ruin of the reformed
religion.” It has, however, been claimed that the re-conversion of the
Traffords, the Downes, and the Sherburnes was the work of Richard
Hudleston, a Lancashire Benedictine monk, who prosecuted the dangerous
mission of keeping alive Roman Catholicism in England, and died in
1655, at the age of seventy-five. In 1580, there was at Trafford a
priest of this English mission, but no particulars respecting him are
known. In religion a Roman Catholic, in politics a Royalist, Sir Cecil
played a busy part in the troublous period of the Civil War.
Ship-money, perhaps the most momentous impost in its results ever
levied, was the subject of a letter from Sir Cecil to Humphrey Chetham,
then High Sheriff of Lancashire, which for its quaint formalism may be
worth quoting:—

  “Mr. Sheriffe,—I hope you will excuse mee for my late sending you
  venison, for in truth I was ashamed my keeper cold doe noe better,
  though he had Mr. Fox to help him. I have in recompense of your
  patience sent you a quarter of a hinde, & if you need more venison
  I pray lett me knowe and you shall have assoone as it will be kild.
  I have perused our directions from his Maty and the Llds for the
  levying of men & money within this County & compared it with
  Cheshire, & find that some time Cheshire hath byn equall to us,
  sometyme deeper charged, & sometymes this County hath borne 3 parts
  and Cheshire 2. Yet I clerely hold equallity is the best rate
  betweene the Countys, though Cheshire be lesse yet it is generally
  better land, and not soe much mosses and barren ground in it. Mr.
  Adam Smiths is now with me and acquainted mee with your desire,
  which I will as willingly perform as you desire, if God make me
  able; for I have byn a little troubled with rewme in my head this
  two dayes, though I am better to-day; I have looked for the Coppy
  of the letter from the Llds of the Councell for providing a Shipp
  in this County, but yet I cannot find it; but I find this
  proclamation for the discharge of it, and by my remembrance in
  writing on the back of the proclamation you may see the charge of
  money demanded by the Kinge and Llds because the shipp could not
  possibly be provided in time. I shall further acquaint you with my
  booke of Lieutenancy wherein are those few notes of remembrance. I
  desire to know your tyme of going, and I will prepare myself for
  you accordingly, and thus with my harty commendations to you I rest

                                               Your well wishing ffrend,
                                               CECYLL TRAFFORD.

  Trafford the third of January, 1634.

  To the right worll. my very good freind Humfrey Chetam, esq.

  High Sheriffe of the County of Lancaster at his House at Clayton
  these present.”

These worthy gentlemen discuss the matter of Ship Money with an
exclusive eye to its purely business aspect, and seem quite unconscious
of the momentous issues beneath these details, and yet the freedom of
England was involved in the settlement. Sir Cecil writes from Trafford,
16th February, 1638, to William ffarington that “wee” have enrolled all
the able men between sixteen and sixty, “a great number,” out of which
levy may be made for the King. On the 11th of March he writes again
that he has been to the houses of various gentlemen as requested, to
see who would help with arms or money for the Kings cause, and that
“few denyed.” In 1639, Sir Cecil, in conjunction with other Loyalists,
“suspecting that sundry in the towne did favour the Scots, did charge
the towne of Manchester with more arms than ever before in the memory
of man it had been charged with, which war being composed they had
their arms in their own possession.”

In 1642, Sir William Gerard, Sir Cecil Trafford, and other recusants
represented to the King that they were disarmed, and asked for his
Majesty’s protection, and that their arms might be “re-delivered in
this time of actual war.” Charles immediately issued a commission to
the Lancashire recusants “commanding them to provide with all possible
speed sufficient arms for the defence of his Majesty’s person or them
against all force raised by any colour of any order or ordinance
whatsoever without his Majesty’s consent.” This was answered by the
Parliament sending down Sir John Seaton, and by the issue of orders for
“putting down associations of Papists in Lancashire, Cheshire, and the
five northern counties.” In December, 1642, Sir Cecil was imprisoned as
a recusant by the Parliamentarians, probably in the same prison to
which his relative had consigned so many for recusancy. The death of
Sir Cecil’s two eldest-born sons caused the estates to pass to the
third, who received the name of Humphrey from his grandfather
Davenport. Another brother was John Trafford, of Croston. The eldest of
Humphrey’s sons died unmarried at Angiers; the second, Humphrey, was
married at Manchester in 1701 to a daughter of Sir Ralph Assheton, but
the numerous offspring of this union left no children. In 1670, Henry
Newcome’s heart was sorely troubled about the fate of his son Daniel,
who was on a voyage to Jamaica. News came that the ships, with their
two guardian men-of-war, had, after a two days’ fight, been captured by
the Turks. The first imperfect rumour reached him on Saturday, and it
was not until the succeeding Thursday that, when visiting Dunham he saw
the story told more plainly. He enters it thus in his diary:—“That
seven Turkish men-of-war set upon them two ships and other merchant
ships near the Cape de Gat, and that the captains were slain, but they
fought it out two days, and the Turks were glad to desist from their
engagement. This satisfied me that there might be no captivity in the
case; but then I knew not but that my child might be killed in the
fight; and so it rested with me till Saturday. Then going to Trafford,
I discoursed of that part of the news, and Mr. Trafford showed me that
Cape de Gat was in the midst of the Mediterranean, and 150 miles within
the Straits; by which it was apparent that the Amity bound for Tangier
was gone off before.” Dan was not carried into Turkish captivity, but
returned to Manchester, and his father was mortified at not being able
to obtain employment for him with “Mr. Trafford.” It is to be remarked
that at this date Sir Cecil was still living. He was buried 29th
November, 1672.

The next squire of Trafford also bore the name of Humphrey. He married
a daughter of Sir Oswald Mosley, but the union was childless. In the
very curious “Characteristic Strictures,” written by the Rev. Thomas
Seddon, and consisting of remarks on an imaginary exhibition of
portraits of Lancashire and Cheshire notabilities, we have the
following picture of him as “the good Samaritan”: “That universal
benevolence is an enemy to restraint, and that character is not the
effect of an illiberal spirit, is here most laudably expressed. The
pure motives of compassion cannot be restrained by religious tenets;
the manner in which these sentiments actuate the Samaritan to relieve
his fellow-creature in distress, is most beautifully sublime, and every
after-stroke gives lustre to the whole. The formality of the habit is
the only fault in this performance, as it is better calculated for a
recluse than a travelling character.”

By a will dated June 5th, 1779, the estates were devised by Humphrey to
his collateral cousin, John Trafford, of Croston, who settled at the
ancient home of his race, and obtained an act of Parliament in 1793
giving him power to let lands on building leases, and to lease the
waste moss lands in the parishes of Manchester and Eccles for
ninety-nine years. Mr. Thomas Joseph Trafford, who in 1815 succeeded to
the estate, was the fifth son, and was born at Croston in 1778. His
marriage, in 1803, with the daughter of Mr. Francis Colman, of
Hellersdown, Devonshire, resulted in a family of fourteen children. He
was a county magnate of high consideration, served as High Sheriff in
1834, and was in 1841 created a baronet and received the royal
authority to revert to an old method of spelling the family name. Sir
Thomas Joseph de Trafford died in 1852, and was succeeded by Sir
Humphrey, who was born in 1808, and in 1855 married the Lady Mary
Annette Talbot, the eldest sister of the 17th Earl of Shrewsbury. The
numerous issue of this union are the bearers of a name that has endured
for so many centuries that some of the families entered in the peerages
look but like parvenus beside it. He was succeeded by his son, Sir
Humphrey, who in consequence of the contiguity of the Manchester Ship
Canal, found it desirable to leave the old home of the family.[7]

The possessions of the family in Lancashire were thus set forth in the
return of landowners in 1873, which is generally credited with under
rather than over-estimating the value of the estates of the larger

                                                     Gross estimated
                                         A.    R.   P.       £    s.

 Sir Humphrey de Trafford              6,454   2    38     22,158  7
 J. R. de Trafford (Croston)           1,157   0    32      2,773  8
 Paul Trafford (Liverpool)                 9   1    12         14 10
 Randolphus de Trafford (Croston Hall)   265   3    14        453 10

The family of Trafford in bygone centuries did good service in the
public work of the nation, and if for some generations it sought
obscurity, the motive was honourable and the blame for it rested upon
those laws, alike mistaken and mischievous, which made creeds the test
of citizenship. The most impressive fact about the ancient race of the
Traffords of Trafford is their permanence. It is a thoroughly English
attribute, and nowhere will it attract more respect than in that place
which successive generations of the Traffords have seen developing from
the Saxon village to the busy, bustling, modern city of Manchester. The
Traffords survive and flourish, but they are Traffords of Trafford no

Footnote 6:

  When the Rev. Joseph Bradshaw was _in extremis_, Mr. T. J. Trafford
  sold the next presentation of Wilmslow for £6,000 to Mr. E. V. Fox,
  who nominated the Rev. George Uppleby, B.A. The Bishop of Chester
  arguing that this was a simoniacal transaction, refused to induct,
  and a see-saw litigation ensued, ending in a judgment of the House of
  Lords in favour of Mr. Fox!

Footnote 7:

  Those who desire to follow the fortunes of the Traffords in greater
  detail will find it recorded in Richmond’s “History of the Trafford
  Family,” a magnificent volume privately printed for the present
  baronet. The General Indexes of the Chetham Society also supply
  abundant evidences of the influence and consideration of the family.

              A Manchester Will of the Fifteenth Century.

The will of George Manchester, A.D. 1483, was presented to the Peel
Park Museum, Salford, by the late Mr. Stephen Heelis. It has several
points of interest. The date is given in a peculiar form: “the first
year of the reign of King Richard the Third after the Conquest, when he
raised his realm against the Duke of Buckingham.” The Manchester
localities mentioned are the Irk Bridge, the Furthys (? the Fords), the
Pavey, the Spring Bank, the Butts, the Tenter Bank, Drynghouses,
Bradforth, and Mylnegate. The family names of Fornesse, Strangeways,
Blakeley also occur. Dialectally noticeable are the words brege
(bridge), garthyn (garden), longs (belongs), whether (whichever), wedit
(wedded), spendit (spent). The spelling of the word lawful seems to
point to the former use of a guttural sound now fallen into disuse. The
peculiar employment of the word livelihood is also noteworthy. The
perusal of this interesting document seems to show that in the past the
dialect of Lancashire approximated more closely than at present to the
Northumbrian group. The will reads as follows:—“Be it knawen to all men
& in especiall to all myn neghburs _th_at I George Manchester have made
my Wyll in dyspocion of my lyvelouede the xx^{ti} day of October the
fyrst yere of the regne of Kyng Richard the thyrd after the conquest
when he raysed hys realme agaynes the Duke of Bokyngham. Fyrst my wyfe
schall have dewrying hyr lyve the place _th_at I dwell in so _th_at she
kepe hyre Wedo. And at the furthys xiii s viii d and at the pavey vi s
viiii d. And if so be _th_at sche be weddit Roger my sone schall hafe
the place _th_at I dwell in and delyver hyr alsmuch in a nother place
at the seght of neghburs. And also it is my will _th_at Hugh my sone
have the halfe burgage _th_at I purchest of Richard Fornesse and the
hows be yond Irke brege that [? Emyun or Simyun] Blakela dwells in and
the garthyn and the orchard _th_at longs thereto and the Spryng Bank
dewryng his lyve and then remayn to myn eldyst sone and hys heres male
laghfully begotyn. And also it is my will _th_at Thomas my sone have a
no_th_er hows be yond Irke brege next the Butts and the garthyn & my
newe orchard _th_at is cald the Tentur Bank dewryng hys lyve & then
remayn to myn eldest sone & his heres male laghfully begottyn. And
_th_en it is my will _th_at myn eldest sone have my land at Drynghowses
and Jamys hows of Bradforth and Geferous of Pedley and Johns Phyllypp &
Johns Alseter & my kylne & my kylne hows and the blake burgage in
mylngate with the appurtenaunce _th_at was sum tymes Nicholas
Strangewyse. And it is my wyll _th_at yf Roger my sone hafe non ischewe
male of hys body lawfully begottyn that then my lyfelode remayn to Hugh
my son and hys heres male of hys body laghfully begottyn. And yf Hugh
my sone have non heyres male of hys body laghfully begottyn _th_at then
my lyfelode remayn to Thomas my sone and hys heres male laghfully
begottyn. And yf so be Thomas my sone have none heres male of hys body
laghfully begottyn _th_at _th_en my lyfelode remayn to Thurstan of
Manchester my brother and hys heres male laghfully begottyn or bastard
so _th_at it be in the name. And yf my name be spendit of Manchester it
is my wyll _th_at John of Buth my Syster sone have my lyvelode & so
furth male or generall whether God wyll. And all so it is my wyll
_th_at Roger my eldyst sone gyf to Elyzabeth my Doghtter iiii marks to
hyr maryage when he ys mared hym self.” The anxiety to keep his
belongings within the enclosure of the family name was greater than his
dislike of a bar sinister.

The Lancashire and Cheshire wills published by the Chetham Society show
that the illegitimate children were often provided for along with those
born in wedlock, and in several cases bore the surname of their father.
There are several entries relating to the Mancestres in the manorial
rent roll of 1473, which has been translated and printed by Mr. Harland
in his “Mamcestre.” Ellen Mancestre appears as the tenant of two
burgages, late Katherine Johnson’s, for each of which she paid 12d.
George Mancestre held a messuage in “Le Foris” at a rent of 3s. Mr.
Harland conjectures this to be the clerkly rendering of “the Market or
the Courts.” He was also concerned in a field near the “Galoz,” and
paid 6d. as tenant of an _ostrina_, concerning which Mr. Harland
observes:—“The word we have rendered singeing house is in the original
_ostrina_, literally purple, from _ostrea_, an oyster. But it seems to
be an error for _ustrina_ (from _uro_) a burning or conflagration
(_Apuleius_) a place in which anything, especially a dead body, has
been burned (Festus), or a melting house for metal (Pliny); but besides
these meanings of classic times, the word had other mediæval
significations, one of which is, a place where hogs are singed—ubi
porci ustulautur. (See Ducange _in voce_.) This seems to be the most
probable meaning of _ostrina_ in the text.” May not this be the
“dryng-howses” named in the will? The name of the family of Manchester
is not yet “spendit,” but is still borne both in this country and in
the United States.

                    A Visitor to Lancashire in 1807.

There are some interesting references to Lancashire and the
manufacturing district in a volume of “Summer Excursions,” consisting
of letters written by Miss E. I. Spence, published in 1809. Literary
fame is not always permanent, and it may be necessary to explain that
the author of these volumes and of “The Nobility of the Heart” and “The
Wedding Day” was a well-known woman of letters in her own generation.

Elizabeth Isabella Spence was the daughter of a Durham physician, and
the granddaughter of Dr. Fordyce. She was early orphaned, and was
brought up in London by an uncle and aunt. On their death the literary
tastes which had already made her a contributor to the press became
useful in the gaining of a subsistence. She wrote nine novels or
collections of stories, and three works of inland travel, devoted
respectively to the North Highlands, Scotland, England, and Wales. She
“lodged for the greater part of her life in a retired street at the
west end of the town”—Weymouth Street, that is. Amongst her friends
were the Benthams, Lady Margaret Bland Burges, Lady Anne Barnard (the
authoress of “Auld Robin Gray”), Sir Humphrey Davy, L. E. L., and the
venerable Mary Knowles, one of the few ladies who met Dr. Johnson on
equal terms in argument, and could even claim a victory over that
doughty champion. Miss Spence died on the 27th July, 1832.

Her impressions of the manufacturing district were not of a favourable
kind. The inns of Warrington did not please her, and “the dirtiness of
the people here exceeds,” she says, “what I could have believed in any
part of this kingdom.” From Bolton she writes: “The apparel of the
women in some of the villages we passed through was scarcely decent,
and all the children were without shoes and stockings.” At Wigan she
mentions the “celebrated spa” and the “cannel coal,” which was made
into ornaments. “I have heard a dinner service was once made out of
this coal, which, after the entertainment, was demolished in the fire.”
Bolton she found to be situated on “a dreary moor,” but there was some
compensation in “an extensive view of a fine open country.” The next
stay was at Stand Hall, a mansion of which the beautiful situation and
the hospitality of her friends, who were its inmates, made her pardon
even the rainfall. Her host, “Mr. J——,” was Mr. John Johnson, steward
for Lord Derby in the Bury district. “The large town of Manchester,”
she says, “spreads along the valley in front of the house at some
miles’ distance, and the less one of Bury is seen distinctly to the
left, surrounded by villages with simple cottages dispersed along the
plain. The hills of Lancashire, Derbyshire, Cheshire, and Yorkshire,
rising in succession, spread in a vast amphitheatre till lost in the
immensity of space; while the rugged tops of the Welsh mountains, which
I gazed upon as old friends, hide their heads in the clouds, of which
they seem to form a part. The dialect of this country is peculiarly
unharmonious to the ear, and when spoken by the peasantry is scarcely
to be understood. All the lower orders of the people are employed in
the manufactories, and the dress worn by the women is a long bed-gown,
black stockings, and a mob-cap hanging open from the ears.” The
fidelity of her description of the former dress of the people will be

Miss Spence was taken by her friends to the Manchester theatre to see
Mrs. Siddons as Lady Macbeth, and also as Catharine in “Catharine and
Petruchio”—an adaptation of the “Taming of the Shrew.” Apparently the
drama then, as now, was in a decline. “This pre-eminently great
actress,” says Miss Spence, “has for several years been so entirely the
theme of public admiration to the real amateurs of the drama (for some
we still possess) that it would be superfluous to dwell on her
exquisite powers—powers that even in former times, when the stage was
in its meridian glory, could not be excelled, and would have awakened
astonishment and admiration. But to give your Ladyship” (the letter is
addressed to the Dowager Countess of Winterton) “an idea either of the
little taste or the prudent economy of the inhabitants of Manchester in
permitting her to perform to empty benches, I need only mention that
after the other evening, on sharing the profits with the manager, she
was rewarded with the sum (shall I commit it to paper?) of seven
shillings!” But wishing to be just, even in such a case, she adds,
“There may, indeed, have been a moral cause for this rather than a want
of taste or parsimony.” And no doubt there were many in old Manchester
who would not go to the theatre even to see the acting of Mrs. Siddons.
In 1775, the establishment of a Theatre Royal was advocated by a noble
peer as a means of “eradicating” Methodism in Manchester.

Miss Spence visited also Rochdale, and was impressed by the handsome
houses of the manufacturers, “whose wealth appears as unbounded as the
magnificence of their tables.” She notices with regret the fondness for
card parties, and was surprised to find “the primitive hours of our
ancestors still prevalent in Rochdale,” where one o’clock was the
general dinner hour. Passing through the “miserable village”—as she
styles it—of Whitworth, Miss Spence repeats an interesting account of
its famous “doctors,” which was given to her by Mr. Johnson. “‘Old
Sammie [it should be Jammie] in Whitworth’ was originally a common
farrier, or cow doctor. His sons, however, John and George, though they
continued the business of farriers, had a deal to do with the human
race, and for many years were famous for the cure of cancers, and
contracted or broken limbs, which they frequently effected at a very
small expense, from the sum of two and sixpence to half a guinea. T——,
Bishop of Durham, was a patient of theirs for a cancerous complaint;
and it is well known that they prolonged his life for several months,
though they did not cure him. To this obscure village both lords and
commoners resort for relief; and in cancerous cases and contractions
have undoubtedly succeeded when the regular bred men of the faculty
have failed. The widow of George, son of old Sammie, and James,
grandson of Sammie, are the present doctors, and are held in high
estimation for the same cures. The widow of Doctor George is reckoned
very clever, and takes a most active part amongst the patients of both
sexes. They attend once a week at Rochdale, where they have a public
open shop, and it is wonderful, though dreadful, to see the business
they go through.”

The neighbourhood of Stand delighted her, and she has a good word for
the Rector of Prestwich and for the Earl of Wilton. “What an edifying
example does my Lord Wilton set by attending this church every Sunday,
not only with the whole of his noble family, but also in being followed
by the men and women of his household, who all conduct themselves with
the most becoming reverence! This noble example of his Lordship tends
to assemble a very numerous and respectable congregation, even from
distant parts.” Some of our readers will remember that at a later date
Fanny Kemble drew an interesting picture of the household at Heaton
Park. She was impressed in the same manner as was Miss Spence, but she
does not give expression to it in quite the same manner.

“Adjoining to the mansion of Stand Hall,” observes Miss Spence, “is a
barn, which was once a chapel. It has a fine Gothic roof of English
oak, and it is a singular fact, no one ever saw a spider’s web upon it;
and it always looks as if it had just been swept down. Mr. J—— informed
me no person he had ever met with could account for it, although all
other barns are covered with spiders’ webs.”

Of Manchester she says, “It is a very large town, but the streets, for
the most part, are inconveniently narrow, with very few noble buildings
or handsome houses. The population is immense, and the traffic
considerable; and it has acquired great celebrity from its extensive
manufactories, so productive, all over the kingdom.” We need only make
one more quotation. “I wish I could tell your Ladyship,” she says,
“that the peasantry were possessed of that native simplicity we expect
to find two hundred miles from the Metropolis; their manners accord
with their rude and uncultivated appearance, and their demeanour is
remarkably forbidding; but this, I understand, is often the case near
manufacturing towns, though it is the first time I have had the
opportunity of observing it.” Evidently Manchester, even ninety years
ago, was some distance from Arcadia.

         How the First Spinning Machinery was taken to Belgium.

The introduction of spinning machinery to the Continent is a curious
episode in the history of commerce, and has some interest for
Manchester people, as it was from that place the men and the machinery
were obtained. The industrial activity of England and the riches which
the inventions of Kay, Highs, and Arkwright brought her, naturally
attracted the attention of her foreign rivals, but in those days there
were stringent regulations against the export of machines, and the
“seduction of artizans” to engage in the service of a foreign master
was a criminal offence. The temptation was, however, too great for the
attempt not to be made. As Englishmen had gone abroad in order to
obtain the secrets of the silk and other manufactures, so foreigners
came here to spy out the industrial riches of the land. The man who
succeeded in taking abroad the spinning-jenny was Liévin Bauwens.[8] He
belonged to a Belgian family that claimed patrician rank, but had
always been associated with the industries of Holland, in Antwerp,
Malines, and other places. Although the names and coat-of-arms of the
Bauwens are to be found in the books of the Low Country heralds, they
are also inscribed for generations in the records of the Tanners’ Guild
of Ghent.

Liévin Jean Bauwens was born at Ghent on the 14th of June, 1769, and
was the son of Georges Bauwens and his second wife, Thérèse van
Peteghem. His father had a tannery in the Waaistraat, and his numerous
children were taught to take a part in the family industry, so at an
early age Liévin was made the overseer of a branch establishment at
Huydersvetters-Hoeck. He can only have been a boy when he had this
responsible position, for at the age of sixteen he came to London, and
in the great tannery of Undershell and Fox learned what there was to be
known of the English methods of that industry. Three years later he
returned to Ghent, and took charge of a large establishment which his
father had started shortly before his death. The Nieuwland Tannery in
the old Dominican convent employed 200 men, and kept 550 vats going.
Bauwens made leather for the London market, and is said to have paid
500,000 francs of customs duty yearly. He had frequent occasion to
visit England, and the expansion of the cotton industry naturally
attracted his attention—all the more so that he had always had a strong
taste for mechanics, and only adopted the family trade in compliance
with the wishes of his father. A clock which he had made at the age of
twelve was one of the favourite exhibits of his parents, who, whilst
proud of the ingenuity of their son, did not wish him to abandon the
vocation which had ensured competence to the family. As tanners, they
naturally felt that there was “nothing like leather.”

At this time Belgium was annexed to France, and Bauwens proposed to the
Directoire that he should endeavour to obtain the secret of the
machines by which the British manufacturer bade defiance to his
continental rivals. The French Government promised him their support,
and he came to Manchester for the purpose of getting the necessary
information. This was in 1798, and he was aided by François de Pauw,
one of his relations. At Manchester he made the acquaintance of an
overseer, Mr. James Kenyon, and his daughter Mary. Whilst talking
business with the father he appears to have talked of other matters to
the girl, who eventually became his wife. The various parts of the
machine, which in Belgium came to be called the “mull jenny,” were
secreted in casks of sugar and in bags of coffee, and shipped to
Hamburg. The statement that he intended to add dealings in colonial
produce to his tanning operations was a sufficient explanation of this
novel step on his part. Some of the packages were to be sent from
Gravesend, and from this port Bauwens intended himself to depart, along
with a number of workmen whom he had engaged. An overseer named Harding
had a wife who strongly objected to the departure of her husband, and
she made a scene, in which the destination and intentions of the party
were made known. The police thus came to a knowledge of the conspiracy,
and the men were arrested. Bauwens managed to escape in the crowd, and
hastening quickly to London, he took passage to Hamburg, where part of
the precious packages and the workmen who had been sent on before
awaited him. Here he had a narrow escape, for Sir James Crawford, the
British Envoy, endeavoured to have him imprisoned. The export of
machinery and workmen was then a criminal offence, and the conspirators
who had fallen into the hands of the authorities were brought before
the Court of King’s Bench and convicted. The contemporary accounts of
the affair in the English periodicals are very meagre, and the French
accounts have an air of exaggeration. Thus we are told that Bauwens
was, in his absence, condemned to death, and _faute de mieux_ hung in
effigy. Whatever his sentence may have been, it was powerless to hinder
his success. He established spinning factories at Ghent, and still
larger establishments at Paris, where he converted a convent of
Bonshommes, at Passy, into a cotton spinning mill. He had a tannery at
St. Cloud; he bought from the French Government the ingots made from
the silver taken in the dissolved monasteries, and sold them at
considerable profit to the Bank of Amsterdam.

Napoleon, when he came to power, had a good opinion of Bauwens; he
visited the great works both at Paris and at Ghent, and after his
inspection of the last-named place, he sent 4,000 francs to be
distributed in presents to the workpeople. Bauwens started a new
spinning mill at Tronchiennes, and was the first in Belgium to employ
steam power. The flying shuttle was also used by him, and he made
essays in cotton printing, in carding, and, indeed, appears to have
been always on the alert for every possible improvement of the
industrial processes in which he was engaged. He took an active part in
local affairs, and was _Maire_ of Ghent and member of the Council of
the Department. In 1805, the town of Ghent presented him with a gold
medal at a banquet, where the services of Bauwens in the creation of
fresh industries was gratefully acknowledged. The French Institute, in
a report on the progress of industry, gave to Bauwens the credit of
having naturalised the English machines in France. Napoleon, who was in
Ghent in 1810, offered him the title of Comte. This he declined, but
accepted the Cross of the Legion of Honour. His great works, and that
at Ghent, are said to have given employment to 3,000 people, were open
to visitors, and he freely gave advice to those who were engaging in
the cotton trade. His own profits were very large, and he showed great
liberality in the treatment of his workpeople, and in the uses he made
of his riches. But this princely opulence was not without check. The
coalition of the great powers against Napoleon, in 1814, resulted in
disaster to French industry, and Bauwens was one of the victims. A
forced sale of the factories turned out very unfavourably, and Bauwens
was ruined.

When the kingdom of the Netherlands was formed, Bauwens sought the
patronage of William I., but in vain. A proposal to establish cotton
spinning on the banks of the Guadalquivir, which he made to the Infanta
of Spain, was equally unsuccessful. In these circumstances he attempted
the creation of a new industry, and began at Paris a process for the
treatment of waste silk. This was in 1819, and his partner, the Baron
Idelot de la Ferté, allowed him an annual salary of 5,000 francs and a
share of the profits. The patent taken out in November, 1821, for the
preparation and treatment of silk floss, might possibly have restored
the fallen fortunes of Liévin Bauwens, but he died of the rupture of an
aneurysm on the 17th of March, 1822. His widow, the former Mary Kenyon,
of Manchester, after burying him in Père-la-Chaise, returned to
Belgium, and died at St. Bernard in 1834. Five years later the two sons
of the manufacturer received the royal licence to use their father’s
Christian and surname as a patronymic. Liévin was himself the eldest of
a family of twelve. By his marriage with Mary Kenyon he had two sons
and a daughter—Napoléon, born at Tronchiennes in 1805, who died at
Paris in 1869; Félix, born at Tronchiennes in 1806, who died in London;
and Elvina Marie Bernardine, born at Tronchiennes in 1809, who married
M. Louis Rysheuvels, of Antwerp.

Ghent has not forgotten the memory of the man who laid the foundations
of a vast industry, and who united to commercial enterprise public
spirit and private generosity. One of her open squares is named in
honour of Liévin Bauwens, and there his statute stands to witness that
peace has her victories no less than war. Such is one of the many
romantic episodes connected with the history of the industrial
development of Manchester.

Footnote 8:

  The story of the life of Bauwens is told in “Un Précurseur de Richard
  Lenior,” par A. Boghaert-Vaché (Mulhouse, 1886).

                      Merry Andrew of Manchester.

In that strange old joke-book, “Pasquil’s Jests and Mother Bunches
Merriments,” there is a story in which a “local habitation” is given to
a name suggestive of grotesque amusement. Whether the Mancunian Merry
Andrew was the first of his tribe may be doubted, but as the book was
printed in 1604, he is somewhat of a patriarch in the race. The story
is entitled, “How merry Andrew of Manchester serued an Vsurer,” and
runs thus:—“Merry Andrew of Manchester, who is well knowne, meeting
with three or foure of his companions on a Sunday, presently hee bade
them home to dinner, yet hee neyther had meate nor money in his house.
Well, but to his shifts he goeth, and went into an olde Usurer’s
kitchen, where he was very familiar, and priuily, under his gowne, he
brought away the pot of meate that was sodden for the old miser’s
dinner. When he came home, hee put out the meat, and made his boy
scoure the pot, and sent him with it to the Usurer, to borrow two
groats on it, and bade the boy take a bill of his hand: which the boy
did, and with the money bought beere and bread for their dinner. When
the Usurer should goe to dinner, his meat was gone; wherefore he all to
beat his mayd, calling her whoore. She sayd ‘There came nobody but
Andrew there all that day.’ Then they asked him; and he sayd, hee had
none. But at last they sayd, that he and no body else had the pot. ‘By
my fayth,’ quoth Andrew, ‘I borrowed such a pot on a time, but I sent
it home agayne;’ and so called his witnesse, and sayd: ‘It is perilous
to deal with men now adayes without writing; they would lay theft to my
charge, if I had not his owne hand to showe;’ and so he shewes the
Usurers bill, whereat the Usurer storms, and all the rest fell a

There is another anecdote of this ancient droll, but it is too
indecorous to be repeated. The story quoted occurs also, as Mr. Collier
states, in the _Facetie, Motti e Burle_ (Venet. 1565) of Domenichi
(Bibliographical Account, ii., 124).

                       A Manchester Jeanie Deans.

                                  “There is none,
            In all this cold and hollow world, no fount
            Of deep strong, deathless love, save that within
            A mother’s heart.”

                                      —MRS. HEMANS, _Siege of Valencia_.

About the beginning of the present century there was resident in the
neighbourhood of Portland Street, Manchester, an elderly Irishwoman,
whose violent temper made her the terror of the neighbourhood. The only
person of whom she stood in awe was the Roman Catholic priest, Father
Rowland Broomhead. She had a tender side to her character, however, and
her son, a wild youth, having committed an offence, which in the then
barbarous state of the criminal law made liable to be hanged, she
undertook a journey to London; walked the entire distance on foot,
braved every difficulty, and by her perseverance gained access to Queen
Charlotte, to whose motherly feelings she made a strong appeal, and
received a promise that the life of her boy should be spared. He was
tried, found guilty, and sentenced to death, but in accordance with the
royal promise he was not hanged, but transported. This was told me by
one who in her youth had known the irascible but true-hearted

                        Some Lancashire Giants.

Like other parts of Old England, the County Palatine has been
distinguished by great men, physically as well as mentally. We begin
with traditions of the former existence of a race of the sons of Anak.
Thus at Heathwaite, in North Furness, two stone-circles are known as
“The Giants’ Graves.” A tradition has of course been fitted to the
name, and it asserts that the last of these Lancashire Anaks was shot
by an arrow on the hill of Blawithknott.

At Manchester the fame of the giant Tarquin, who held a castle on the
ford of the Medlock, was long preserved. His legendary overthrow by Sir
Lancelot du Lake is recorded by Hollinworth, and has since been turned
into verse by one of our local poets. The Rev. John Whitaker, the
learned historian of Manchester, discusses the matter with becoming
gravity, and is quite inclined to believe in the reality of the
gigantic knight and the stalwart courage of Arthur’s hero by whom he
was overthrown. In the audit-room of Chetham’s Hospital there is a
grotesque boss representing Saturn devouring his children, but the
juvenile guides used to describe it as a portrait of Sir Tarquin
enjoying his favourite breakfast of a plump Manchester baby.

The tombstone in the east cloister of Westminster, which had on it the
name of Gervasius de Blois, but was thought by Dean Stanley to cover
the remains of Abbot Byrcheston and twenty-six monks who died of the
black death in 1349, was at one time known as “Long Meg,” and was said
to be the gravestone of “Long Meg of Westminster.” Long Meg of
Westminster was a Lancashire lass, who, according to the story-book,
came up to London with other country wenches by the carrier’s waggon to
seek service, and she began her Metropolitan career by drubbing the
carrier for charging ten shillings each for the ride to the great city.
“The Life of Long Meg of Westminster,” printed in 1635, contains many
particulars, but it has no good claims to authenticity. “Dr. Skelton”
is represented as the object of her affections, and many curious
anecdotes are told of her prowess, and of the emphatic manner in which
she quelled the disturbances in the Eagle, in Westminster, where she
was servitor. She volunteered for service when Henry VIII. went to
Boulogne, in place of a man who had been impressed, and there behaved
so stoutly as to win a pension. But though an Amazon abroad she was an
obedient wife, and declined a bout at quarter-staff with her husband.
“Never shall it be said, though I can swindge a knave that wrongs me,
that Long Meg shall be her husband’s master; and therefore use me as
you please.” As all persons have their detractors, so this “Lancashire
lass” is said to have kept at Southwark for many years “a famous
infamous house of open hospitality.” Those who desire to know how the
Lancashire lass overcame the vicar and bailiff of Westminster, how she
overthrew a Spanish knight, fought with thieves, beat the French at
Boulogne, and performed many other Amazonian exploits, may consult the
“Life of Long Meg,” which has been reprinted in the present century. A
ballad about her was licensed in 1594, and in 1618 a play upon her
exploits was a favourite at the Fortune Theatre. Ben Jonson describes

                        “Or Westminster Meg,
                        With her long leg,
                        As long as a crane;
                        And feet like a plane,
                        With a pair of heels
                        As broad as two wheels.”

Amongst the proverbs cited by quaint old Fuller is one current in the
seventeenth century—“As long as Meg of Westminster.”

The most famous of the Lancashire giants is the “Childe of Hale,” who
was taken to Court in 1620 and presented to James I. His patron was Sir
Gilbert Ireland, who “with some of the neighbouring Lancashire gentry
dizened him off with large ruffs about his neck and hands; a striped
doublet of crimson and white, round his waist, a blue girdle
embroidered with gold; large white plush breeches, powdered with blue
flowers; green stockings; broad shoes of a light colour, having high
red heels and tied with large bows of red ribbon; and just below his
knees were bandages of the same colour, with large bows, and by his
side a sword, suspended by a broad belt over his shoulder, and
embroidered, as his girdle, with blue and gold, with the addition of a
gold fringe upon the edge. We are traditionally informed that his
amazing size at the time frightened away some thieves who came to rob
his mother’s house.” In this costume he is said to have struggled with
the King’s wrestler, whose thumb he put out. This displeased some of
the courtiers, and hence the King dismissed him with a present of £20.
He returned home by Brasenose College, Oxford, which was then full of
Lancashire students. Here, as we learn from Harland, his portrait was
taken of full life-size, and is now to be seen in the College library.
There is another likeness of him preserved at High Leigh; and an
original painting of the “Chylde” is kept in the gallery at Hale Hall,
bearing the following inscription:—“This is the true portraiture of
John Middleton, the ‘Chylde of Hale,’ who was born at Hale, 1578, and
was buried at Hale, 1623.” About eighty years ago the body is said to
have been taken up, and the principal bones were for some time
preserved at Hale Hall. The thigh bone, it is gravely stated, reached
from the hip of a common man to his feet, and the rest measured in
proportion. After some time the bones were reburied in the churchyard,
but whereabouts is not known. He could only stand upright in the centre
of the cottage in which he resided; and tradition states that he
attained his wonderful stature in one night, in consequence of some
spells and incantations that were practised against him. The Rev.
William Stewart, in his “Memorials of Hale,” printed in 1848, says that
“the cottage is now inhabited by Mr. Thomas Johnson, and is situated
near the south-west corner of the Parsonage Green. A descendant of his
family, Charles Chadwick, was living in 1804, and was more than six
feet high.” There is every appearance of gross exaggeration in the
accounts of the wonderful “childe.”

William Hone has given a portrait in the “Every-day Book” of the
“Manchester gigantic boy,” exhibited at Bartholomew Fair, who was
fourteen years old and stood 5 feet 2 inches, measured 5 feet round the
body, 27 inches across the shoulders, 20 inches round the arm, 24
inches round the calf, 31 inches round the thigh, and weighed 22 stone.
Hone gives his name as Whitehead, but William Wilkinson Westhead
appears to be his correct designation. He was christened in the
Collegiate Church 12th October, 1810, but is said to have been born in
Glasgow. Murphy, the Irish giant, who stood seven feet and a half, and
who died of small-pox at Marseilles in the 26th year of his age, is
said to have begun life as a dock labourer at Liverpool.

At the other extremity may be mentioned Boardman, the Bolton dwarf, who
claimed to be thirty-four years old, and to be only 38 inches in
height. The showman claims to have received the patronage of the Royal
Family at Ascot in 1819. Doubtless further inquiry would greatly add to
these scattered notes of the Lancashire Anakim.

                      A Note on William Rowlinson.

A scrapbook made by William Rowlinson, first exhibited at a meeting of
the Manchester Literary Club, and then liberally presented by Mr.
Charles Roeder to the Manchester Free Library, is an interesting relic,
and may justify a note on this now forgotten but promising young poet.
It contains many newspaper cuttings, the earliest pages being devoted
to his own compositions, and the remainder consisting of miscellaneous
matter, chiefly poetical, that had attracted his attention.

William Rowlinson was born in 1805, it is believed, somewhere in the
vicinity of Manchester. The family removed, for a time, to Whitby, but
returned again to Manchester. He must early have developed a passion
for writing, as contributions of his appear in the _British Minstrel_
in 1824. The _British Minstrel_ was a weekly periodical consisting of
songs and recitations, old and new. The number for November 20th, 1824,
contains two lyrics by Rowlinson (p. 171). The editor remarks, “We have
received a letter from Mr. Rowlinson, of Manchester, and are obliged to
him for the Originals enclosed. Mr. Wroe, of Ancoats’ Street, is our
bookseller at Manchester; he, no doubt, will afford him every facility
in communicating with us at any time he may have a packet for London.”
A packet was sent, and is acknowledged in the number for December 25th,
1824. One of his lyrics appears in the last number of the _British
Minstrel_, which came to an end January 22nd, 1825. His contributions
are—“I’ll come to Thee” (p. 171). “It is not for Thine Eye of Blue” (p.
171). “Yes, Thyrsa, Yes” (p. 194). “Farewell Land of My Birth” (p.
197). “How Calm and Serene” (p. 303). “Think not when My Spirits” (p.
304). “Serenade” (p. 306). “Knowest Thou My Dearest” (p. 367). “How
Sweet to Me” (p. 369). A copy of this volume has been placed in the
Manchester Free Library by the present writer.

On the cessation of the _British Minstrel_, he began, in January, 1825,
to write for _Nepenthes_, a Liverpool periodical. Still earlier, he is
believed to have contributed to the _Whitby Magazine_.

From the age of eighteen to his death, at the age of twenty-four, he
was a frequent and a welcome writer of prose and verse for the local
periodicals. His range was by no means limited; he wrote art
criticisms, essays in ethics, studies of modern poets, and verse in
various styles and of varying quality. There is a musical flow about
his lyrics that shows a genuine poetic impulse, but his talents had not
time to ripen. His contributions to _Nepenthes_, _British Minstrel_,
_Phœnix_, and _Manchester Gazette_ have never been collected, and it is
too late for the task to be either attempted or justified. An essay of
his on Drunkenness is reprinted in the _Temperance Star_ of May, 1890.
The best of his poems is probably “Sir Gualter,” which is quoted in
Procter’s “Literary Reminiscences” (p. 103). The same charming writer
has devoted some pages to his memory in his “Memorials of Bygone
Manchester” (p. 161). One example, “Babylon,” is given in Procter’s
“Gems of Thought and Flowers of Fancy” (p. 47), and four lyrics appear
in Harland’s “Lancashire Lyrics” (pp. 71-75). One of these, “The
Invitation,” was printed—with another signature!—in the _Crichton
Annual_, 1866. One of Rowlinson’s compositions—the “Autobiography of
William Charles Lovell”—is said to be an account of his own
experiences; this I have not seen. The story of his life is brief. He
studied literature whilst earning his daily bread in a Manchester
warehouse. He was a clerk in the employ of Messrs. Cardwell & Co.,
Newmarket Buildings, and to gratify his love of mountain scenery, he
has been known to leave the town on Saturday night and walk to
Castleton, in Derbyshire, and, after spending the Sunday there, walk
home again through the night, to be ready for his Monday morning task.
Literature did not wholly absorb him, for at twenty-four years of age
he was a husband, with a son and an infant daughter. Early in 1829 he
obtained a more congenial position as a traveller for the firm of
Piggott, the famous compilers and publishers of directories. This gave
him the opportunity of seeing Cambridge, where Kirke White is buried,
and other places, whose historic and literary associations would appeal
to his vivid imagination. But whilst enjoying thoroughly the beautiful
scenery of the south, he pined for his northern home. Whilst bathing in
the Thames he was drowned, June 22nd, 1829, and was buried in Bisham
churchyard, on the 25th.[9]

The Manchester Free Library has copies of the exceedingly rare _Phœnix_
and _Falcon_, with the contributions of Rowlinson and others,
identified in MS. In the _Phœnix_ “Bag-o-nails,” an imitation of the
“Noctes Ambrosianæ,” he appears as Jeremiah Jingler. These periodicals,
and the scrapbook, make as complete a collection of his scattered
writings as is now possible.

John Bolton Rogerson and R. W. Procter have each borne affectionate
testimony to the moral worth and literary promise of William Rowlinson.
Soon after his death there appeared in the _Falcon_ some stanzas which

               “The great in soul from his earthly home,
                 In his youthful pride hath gone,
               Where the bards of old will proudly greet
                 The Muses’ honoured son.

               Oh, there is joy in the blessed thought
                 Thou art shrin’d on fame’s bright ray,
               Though the stranger’s step is on thy grave
                 And thy friends be far away.”

We need not cherish illusions. The stranger’s step is on Rowlinson’s
grave, but he is not “shrined on fame’s bright ray,” whatever and
wherever that may be. No stone marks his grave, his very resting-place
is unknown; we cannot even brush aside the grass from the forgotten and
moss-grown tomb of William Rowlinson, one who perished in his early
prime; whose music, faint, yet melodious, passed into silence before it
could be shaped into a song the world would care to hear or to remember.

Footnote 9:

  I have to thank the Vicar (Rev. T. E. Powell) for searching the
  registers. There is no gravestone.

               Literary Taste of the Eighteenth Century.

The literary tastes of our great-grandfathers may be supposed to be
mirrored in a catalogue of the circulating library established in the
middle of the last century at Manchester. The list of the subscribers
includes the names of Mr. Edward Byrom, the Rev. Mr. Ethelston, Joseph
Harrop, Titus Hibbert, Thomas Henry, Dr. Peploe, Richard Townley, and
Dr. C. White. The late president of the Chetham Society had a
book-loving predecessor, for the name of Mr. James Crossley is also in
the list. The books are of a highly respectable character, and impress
one with a favourable opinion of the pertinacity of those who could
pursue knowledge tinctured with so slight a flavour of entertainment.
Out of 452 books there are but twenty-two professing to be novels, and
amongst these are “Don Quixote,” “Gil Blas,” “Devil upon Two Sticks,”
“Sir Charles Grandison,” “Tristram Shandy,” and Sir Thomas More’s
“Utopia.” The library had faith in “Fingal, an Ancient Epic Poem,” and
patronised “Poet Ogden,” who wrote “The British Lion Roused.” Byrom,
Deacon, and Callcott were also amongst their local authors. The readers
who were tired of Mill’s “Husbandry” and of the “Principles of the
Quakers Truly Represented,” might turn to Voltaire’s “Letters
Concerning the English Nation,” or amuse themselves with Glanvill’s
examination of “The Opinion of Eastern Sages Concerning the
Pre-existence of Souls;” and if the daughter of the house obtained by
chance the heterodox treatise which declares “Christianity as Old as
the Creation,” she might have it changed for the “Young Misses’
Magazine,” or, still better, the “Matrimonial Preceptor.” Another fine
avenue for the satisfaction of polite curiosity would be afforded by
the study of the wonderful work in which Tobias Swinden discourses at
large on the “Nature and Place of Hell,” and proves to his own
satisfaction that “the fire of hell is not metaphorical but real,” and
shows “the probability of the sun’s being the local hell.” At the end
of the catalogue is an advertisement of a proposed musical circulating
library, in which the neglect of church music is affirmed; “and if we
continue our present fondness for things in the sing-song way, ’tis
great odds but our present taste will be entirely changed, and, like
some of our modern religious sects, we shall be so distressed as to rob
the stage and playhouse to support and enrich our churches.” This is
supported by a reference to “the Methodists, as they are call’d,” and
their use of song tunes. The volume contains supplementary lists of
additions down to June, 1768. These include the first edition of
Chaucer and “The Vicar of Wakefield,” then in the early flush of fame.
For the members not satisfied with Glanvill’s speculations, there had
been added Berrow’s “Lapse of Human Souls in a State of Pre-existence,”
and the studious character of the Mancunians received a delicate
compliment by the purchase of Tissot’s “Treatise on the Diseases
Incident to Literary Persons.” The additional subscribers included Mr.
Nathaniel Philips, Rev. Mr. Dauntesey, and the Rev. John Pope. The
number of works in the library in June, 1768, was 586, representing
perhaps twice that number of volumes.

                          Hugh of Manchester:

         A Statesman and Divine of the Thirteenth Century.[10]

“Let me be the remembrancer,” says Fuller when describing the worthies
of Lancashire, “that Hugh of Manchester in this county wrote a book in
the reign of King Edward the First, intituled, ‘De Fanaticorum
Deliriis’ (Of the Dotages of Fanatics). At which time an impostor had
almost made Eleanor the queen-mother mad, by reporting the posthume
miracles done by her husband, King Henry the Third, till this our Hugh
settled her judgment aright. I could wish some worthy divine (with such
Lancashire doth abound) would resume this subject, and shew how ancient
and modern fanatics, though differing much in their wild fancies and
opinions, meet together in a mutual madness and distraction.”

The historians of Lancashire have generally followed Fuller in
regarding Hugh of Manchester as a native of the county, but there is
nothing to identify him with certainty, for his name may be referred
alike to Lancashire or to Warwickshire, and the tests that can now be
applied are not decisive. The pedigree in Dugdale’s “Warwickshire” does
not show our churchman, though there is a Hugh de Mancestre who was one
of the justices of Warwickshire 29, 30, 31, and 32 of Henry III. In the
thirty-sixth year of that King he had a grant of free warren. He was
then coroner for the county and next year escheator. He died 37 Henry
III., leaving two sons, Simon and Walter. There is no place assigned to
Hugh in this genealogy, but even if he belonged to the stock he may
have been a collateral relative or he may have been omitted as a member
of a religious order having theoretically no further interest in
worldly affairs.

The date of his birth is unknown. Fuller, following the authority of
Pits, says that he was, “when _Adolescens_ [a youth], a Dominican; but
when _Juvenis_ [a young man] he changed his copy, and turned a
Franciscan. Say not he degraded himself, choosing a later order then he
left; for it seems that amongst them the last is counted the best, as
of a more refined perfection. He was a great scholar, and highly
esteemed in that age for his severity and discretion.” He was a Doctor
of Divinity and Professor of Theology, and afterwards Provincial of the
Franciscan Order in England. The most interesting incident in his life
is that already named, and which led to the production of that one of
his works which is most frequently named. The death of Henry III., in
1272, removed a good man but an incompetent monarch from a world where
moral excellence does not supply the deficiency of administrative
ability. But the rule of not speaking evil of the dead led some after
Henry’s death to invest his memory with a sanctity that approached to a
popular canonization. We may again quote Fuller, who is relying upon
the authority of Bale: “An impostor happened at this time, pretending
himself first blind, then cured at the tomb of King Henry the Third, so
to get coin to himself, and credit to the dead King. But our Hugh
discovered the cheat; and, writing a book, ‘De Fanaticorum Deliriis,’
dedicated it to King Edward the First, who kindly accepted thereof,
preferring that his father’s memory should appear to posterity with his
true face, than painted with such false miracles.” It is a matter of
regret that this book has not survived; since it is creditable to an
age when superstition too often conceded an unwarranted belief in
baseless claims. That Hugh of Manchester had the skill to detect the
imposture is honourable to his intellect, and Edward I. must be
commended for the candour that rewarded the scholar who had dispersed
from the kingly father some of that odour of sanctity with which
ignorance had surrounded his memory.

There is an interesting reference to Hugh of Manchester in a letter
sent by Archbishop John Romanus to Friar William de Hotham, who was
afterwards Bishop of Dublin. This epistle is dated 10th December, 1293,
and is printed in “Historical Papers and Letters, from the Northern
Registers,” edited by James Raine (London, 1873, p. 102):—

  “Suo suus salutem, gratiam et benedictionem. Quoniam in recessu
  nostro apud Wixebrigg dixistis quod cum fratre Hugone de
  Maincestre, colloquium habituri nobis aliqua significaretis,
  dilectioni vestræ per experientiam multiplicem approbatæ notum
  facimus per præsentes quod vobis, sicut diximus viva voce, de illa
  cedula missa apud Schardeburgh occasione aliquorum falsorum nobis a
  Fratribus et Minoribus impositorum, quicquid cum honestate
  poterimus, dictante conscientia faciemus; verum quia, secundum quod
  nostis, ad observationem canonum in professione nostra sumus
  firmiter obligati, contra Constitutionem Generalem nihil ausi
  erimus attemptare. Et quia, argumento nostro ipso inaudito, hec
  etiam semiplene dicto respondere voluistis, ipsum argumentum vobis
  scribimus, ut super illo, literatorie nobis satisfacere valeatis.
  Et est argumentum tale. Supponamus quod curati teneantur curare
  modo sic. Quicunque tenetur curare, tenetur vultum pecoris sui
  cognoscere; sed vultum pecoris sui sufficienter cognoscere non
  potest nisi confessionem subditi audiendo; ergo, quicunque tenetur
  curare, tenetur confessionem sui subditi audire; et, ideo, credimus
  quod omnis utriusque sexus constitutio facta fuit. Sed vos dicitis
  quod qui confitentur Fratribus vestris et Minoribus non tenentur
  confiteri proprio sacerdoti; ergo proprius sacerdos non tenetur
  audire confessionem suam; sed, si non tenetur audire confessionem,
  non tenetur cognoscere vultum suum. Ergo ad destructionem
  consequentis non tenetur curare. Sed ex hypothesi in principio
  argumenti curare tenetur. Ergo tenetur curare et non tenetur
  curare; quæ sunt contradictorie opposita. Et, ut utamur verbis
  doctoris nostri venerabilis Augustini, primo libro de Trinitate,
  ‘Non pigebit me,’ inquit ‘sic ubi hæsito quærere, nec pudebit sic
  ubi erro discere. Quisquis ergo hæc audit vel legit, ubi pariter
  certus est, purgat mecum; ubi pariter hæsitat quærat mecum; ubi
  errorem suum cognoscit, redeat ad me; ubi mecum revocat me ad se,
  ita ingrediamur simul caritatis viam, tendentes ad Eum de Quo
  dictum est quærite faciem Ejus semper.’ Et quia in Constitutione
  Martini continentur hæc verba, ‘Volumus autem quod hi qui Fratribus
  confitebuntur, iidem parochialibus presbyteris confiteri semel in
  anno, prout generale concilium statuit, nihilominus teneantur; et
  quod Fratres eos diligenter et efficaciter secundum datam eis a
  Domino gratiam exhortentur,’ ac nos diximus in cedula quod secundum
  naturam privilegii sui ipsi Fratres sibi confitentibus injungant,
  seu eos moneant et inducant quod semel in anno confiteantur proprio
  sacerdoti. Quatenus a privilegio discrepat dictum nostrum parati
  erimus, si vobis, placeat, revocare. Bene valete. Data apud Wycomb,
  iiij idus Decembris, pontificatus nostri anno octavo.”

The following is a translation:—

  “For his (son, Romanus, Archbishop) wisheth safety, grace, and
  blessing. Since in our recess at Wilebrigg you said that, being
  about to hold converse with Brother Hugh of Manchester, you would
  point out to us some matters for consideration, we, for your love
  proved by manifold experience, make known to you by means of this
  writing, that, just as we said by living voice, about that document
  sent from Schardeburgh on the occasion of certain falsehoods
  imposed upon us by the Friars and Minors, whatsoever we can with
  honesty, and under the dictates of conscience, we will do for you.
  But because, as you know, we are in our profession firmly bound to
  the observation of the canons, nothing dare we attempt against the
  general constitution. And because our argument itself has not been
  heard, and because you have not wished to respond to what had been
  only half stated; we write for you the argument itself, in order
  that you may be able to satisfy us by letter. And the argument is
  this. Let us suppose that parish priests are bound to administer
  their cure of souls thus. Whoever is bound to administer a cure of
  souls is bound to know the face[11] of his flock. But he cannot
  thoroughly know the face of his flock unless by hearing the
  confession of him under his care. Therefore, he who is bound to
  administer a cure of souls is bound to hear the confession of him
  who is under his care; and we believe it was for that reason that
  to every body, of either sex, a peculiar constitution was given.
  But you say that they who confess to your Friars and Minors are not
  bound to confess to their own proper priest. Therefore their own
  priest is not bound to hear their confession. But if he is not
  bound to hear their confession, he is not bound to know their face.
  Therefore, to the destruction of the conclusion of the argument, he
  is not bound to administer his cure of souls. But according to the
  hypothesis in the beginning of the argument he is bound to
  administer his cure of souls. Therefore he is bound, and he is not
  bound, to administer his cure of souls. But these things are
  contradictory. And, if I may use the words of our venerable teacher
  Augustine, which occur in the first book concerning the Trinity:
  ‘It will not,’ he says, ‘be irksome to me thus to inquire wherever
  I hesitate, nor shame me thus to learn wherever I err. Whoever,
  therefore, hears or reads these words, let him, when he is equally
  certain, cleanse himself as I do; when he is equally doubtful, let
  him go with me and ask; when he knows his error, let him return to
  me; when he recalls me to himself let us walk together the way of
  charity, leading towards Him of Whom it has been written, ‘Seek ye
  always His face.’ And because in the constitution of [Pope] Martin
  these words are contained, ‘And we wish that these people who
  confess to the Friars, the same may be bound nevertheless to
  confess to their own parish priests, once in the year, according to
  the statute of the general council; and that the Friars diligently
  and efficaciously exhort them, according to the grace given them by
  the Lord,’ so we said in the afore-mentioned attestation that the
  Friars can, according to the nature of their privilege, enjoin upon
  those confessing to them, or advise and persuade them, that once in
  a year they confess to their own priest. In so far as what we have
  said differs from the privilege, we shall be prepared, if it please
  you, to revoke it. Fare ye well. Dated at Wycomb, IIII Ides of
  December in the 8th year of our pontificate.”

The latest mention we have of Hugh of Manchester is in connection with
his work as an ambassador. He was sent in 1294, in company with William
of Gainsburgh, to demand on behalf of Edward III. the restitution of
the lands claimed by the English King, but retained by force in the
hands of Philip of France. On this appointment Fuller quaintly remarks:
“Such who object, that fitter men than friars might have been found for
that service, consider not how in that age such mortified men were
presumed the most proper persons peaceably to compromise differences
between the greatest princes.” There is a graphic account of the
embassy in Robert of Brunne’s “Chronicle”:—

        “Edward sendis his sond, to France messengers,
        Frere Hugh of Malmcestre was a Jacobyn,
        & William of Gaynesburgh was a Cordelyn.
        Alle þise passid þe se, so com þe erle of Artoys
        In prison did þam be a seuenyght in Caleys.
        To Paris siþen þei cam, & þer fond þei þe kyng,
        þei letter forth þei nam, to trowe þer saying.
        þis letter of credence þei schewed in his present,
        Here no þe accordance, what þer sayng ment,
        Sir Hugh was a man of state, he said as I salle rede,
        ‘To Prince & to prelate men salle loute & drede,
        & for lorde dere his biddyng salle men do,
        To lesse & more in fere haf fayth & treuth also,
        & for our lord Edward, þat God him saue & se,
        We toke þis trauaile hard, his bode to bere to þe.
        He settes þe terme & stage bi vs, whan & why
        þat he has don homage for Gascoyn plenerley,
        In forward formed in pes, as was þer acordance,
        As ȝour ancestres ches of Inglond & of France
        þei mad a pes final after þer contek,
        þou has broken it alle, & don him many ille chek.
        Now at his last goyng, when he to Gascoyn went,
        Ȝe cette a certeyn þing, at ȝour boþe assent,
        & þat suld holden be, euer withouten ende,
        þou brak þat certeynte wickkedly & vnhende
        Ȝit he biddes þe se, how wrong þou wilt him lede,
        Bituex him & þe was mad a priue dede,
        Of Gascoyn certeyn was þat feffement,
        Forto feffe him ageyn in þat tenement.
        þi seisyn is well knowen þe days has þou plenere,
        To restore him his owen, he sent to þe duzepers
        As lawe wild & right, and couenant was in scrite.
        Ȝeld it, þou has no right, with wrong holdes it in lite,
        Ageyn alle maner skille, & ȝit þon ert so grefe.
        For whilom þon wrote him tille, & cald him in þi brefe,
        þi kynde, faythfulle & leale of Gascoyn noble duke,
        þerto þou set þi seal, þat right wilt þou rebuke.
        Neuer siþen hiderward suilk speche vnte him touched,
        Werfore our kyng Edward n þouht fulle well has souched.
        þou holdes him not þi man, no þing holdand of þe,
        Ne þe þinkes neuer for þan, to mak þe more feaute.
        Ne hopes to wynne þat land with dynt of douhty knyght
        Of God he claymes holdand & neuer of no right.
        At þis tyme is not els of Sir Edward to seye,
        Bot of Edmunde þat duellis with him als breþer tueye
        Forbi any oþer with him will hold & be,
        He is lord & broþer, he certifies þat to þe.
        þat no man in þis werlde he hifes so mykelle no dredis,
        Ne with him is none herd so mykelle may help at nedis,
        For he sees so well ȝour grete controued gile,
        Ageyn his broþer ilk dele compassed in a while,
        Reft him his heritage, sais on him felonie,
        He ȝeldes vp his homage, forsakis þi companie,
        & þerto alle þe londes, þat he held of þe,
        & ȝeldes vp alle þe lordes of homage & feaute,
        Saue þe right þat may falle of our ancestres olde,
        Vnto þer heires alle to haf and to holde.
        We er pouer freres, þat haf nought on to lyue,
        In stede of messengeres, saue condite vs gyue,
        þorgh þi lond to go in þin auowrie,
        þat non vs robbe or slo, for þi curteysse.’”

                              —“Robert of Brunne,” vol. ii., 258, 9, 60.

On receiving the King’s reply and safe conduct,

            “þei had redy wending, at Douer þei toke lond
            & sped þam to þe kyng, at London þei him fond.”

After the conclusion of this embassy we hear no more of Hugh of
Manchester. The only additional fact concerning him that is known is
that he wrote a “Compendium Theologiæ” and some other works, of which
not even the titles have survived.

Footnote 10:

  The authorities for the biography of Hugone de Maincestre are
  Dugdale’s “History of Warwickshire,” p. 763; Gregson’s “Fragments,”
  p. 235; Baines’s “History of Lancashire,” vol. ii., pp. 193, 356;
  vol. iv., p. 826; “Nicholas: Trivet Annales,” 1845 (and in Daccher,
  _Spicil. Vet. Scrip._, tom. viii.); “Robert of Brunne’s Rhyming
  Chronicle;” Hibbert-Ware’s “Foundations of Manchester;” “Pits de
  Angliæ Scriptoribus;” “Bale de Scriptoribus Britannicis,” cent. v.,
  num. 62; Fuller’s “Worthies of England.” If the reader desires to see
  an example of the method of building without bricks, he may with
  advantage consult the notice of Hugh of Manchester in Edwin
  Butterworth’s “Biography of Eminent Natives of Manchester.”

Footnote 11:

  _Vultus_ is here translated literally. The metaphor is one frequently
  used, and is a reference to John x., 14.

                      Mrs. Fletcher in Lancashire.

In the autobiography of Mrs. Fletcher, who was for many years a
conspicuous figure in Edinburgh society, there are some interesting
references to Lancashire people.

Eliza Dawson was born at Tadcaster in 1770, and came of good yeoman
stock, from whom she inherited a steady-going Liberalism that equally
avoided the extremes of “divine right” either of kings or mobs. The
beauty and good nature of the girl attracted admiration even in her
school days, and she had to reduce several worthy young men to
temporary despair by the rejection of their proposals of marriage. Mr.
Fletcher, who became her husband, was twenty years her senior, and fell
in love with her because she realized his ideal of Sophia Western in
“Tom Jones”! He was a well-known Edinburgh lawyer, and in her new home
she met Scott, Jeffery, and Brougham. Later she made the acquaintance
of Wordsworth, Southey, Arnold, Lafeyette, Mrs. Gaskell, Mazzini,
Kossuth, and a variety of other distinguished persons. Her husband died
in 1838, but she survived for thirty years. Her latter days were spent
at Grasmere, where she died in 1858. The impression made by this gifted
woman upon those with whom she came in contact is vividly shown by the
description which Margaret Fuller has left of her. “Seventy-six years
have passed over her head, only to prove in her the truth of my theory
that we need never grow old. She was ‘brought up’ in the animated and
intellectual circle of Edinburgh, in youth an apt disciple, in her
prime a bright ornament of that society. She had been an only child, a
cherished wife, an adored mother, unspoiled by love in any of these
relations, because that love was founded on knowledge. In childhood she
had warmly sympathised in the spirit that animated the American
Revolution, and Washington had been her hero; later, the interest of
her husband in every struggle for freedom had cherished her own. She
had known in the course of her long life many eminent men, and
sympathised now in the triumph of the people over the corn laws, as she
had in the American victories, with as much ardour as when a girl,
though with a wiser mind. Her eye was full of light, her manner and
gesture of dignity; her voice rich, sonorous, and finely modulated; her
tide of talk marked by candour and justice, showing in every sentence
her ripe experience and her noble genial nature. Dear to memory will be
the sight of her in the beautiful seclusion of her home among the
mountains, a picturesque, flower-wreathed dwelling, where affection,
tranquillity, and wisdom were the gods of the hearth to whom was
offered no vain oblation. Grant us more such women, time! Grant to men
to reverence, to seek for such!”

She owed much of her religious feeling to the influence of the Rev.
John Clowes. “It was in the winter of 1788 that I met, at the house of
the Misses Hutton (two excellent maiden ladies) at Tadcaster, the Rev.
John Clowes, rector of St. John’s Church, in Manchester. The bond
between these pious and primitive old ladies and Mr. Clowes was, I
believe, their mutual admiration of the writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.
Although I could not participate in their enthusiasm for that visionary
writer, I think it was from Mr. Clowes’s conversation and writings that
I first became interested in the spiritual sense of true religion, or,
in other words, felt its experimental truth; and I wish here to
preserve the following transcript of the conversation which I made from
memory after passing the evening with Mr. Clowes at Miss Hutton’s.
Several ladies, some of the Methodist persuasion, were present. His
views have always appeared to me to contain much of the true spirit of
Christianity. Being asked his opinion of Mr. Law’s works, Mr. Clowes
said, ‘I read them, madam, with great diligence and much affection, and
I found that they tended to produce a pure, holy, and peaceable frame
of mind, but I found likewise that they disqualified a man for the duty
of his calling. I could not even go to perform my duty in the church
without finding something to disturb me. This made me conjecture that
all was not right in Mr. Law’s doctrine, and I conceive it to be this:
that it is admirably suited for the contemplative but not for the
active life of man, inasmuch as it does not bring the outward man into
entire subjection to the inner man, for man has two lives, or two
beings, in his very best state while on earth.’... When asked what he
conceived to be the state of the blessed, he replied in a calm, but
animated tone of voice, ‘I conceive the state of the blessed to be a
total forgetfulness or absence of _self_, and to consist in beholding
the good and happiness of others, so that every individual will enjoy
the whole happiness of heaven.’... Every man is according to his own
desire, for assuredly the Lord wills the good and happiness of all His
creatures. If a man says he desires to be better, and that he is
unhappy because his desire is not fulfilled, let not that man be
impatient; he has begun to bear his cross, and if he bears it
patiently, humbly waiting for a better state, he will certainly obtain
his desire. The good he did, because he saw it was commanded, will soon
be his delight; and to delight in good is the temper and disposition of

In the year 1808, during a visit to Lancashire, her friend, Miss
Kennedy, made her acquainted with the family of Mr. Greg, at Quarry
Bank. “We stayed a week with them, and admired the cultivation of mind
and refinement of manners which Mrs. Greg preserved in the midst of a
money-making and somewhat unpolished community of merchants and
manufacturers. Mr. Greg, too, was most gentlemanly and hospitable, and
surrounded by eleven clever and well-educated children. I thought them
the happiest family group I had ever seen. Miss Kennedy also took me to
visit her friends, the Rathbone family, at Green Bank, near Liverpool,
and we there met Mr. Roscoe, the elegant-minded author of the ‘Life of
Lorenzo de’ Medici.’ Mr. Roscoe took us to his beautiful residence at
Ollerton Hall, and charmed us by the good taste of his varied and
agreeable powers of conversation. He had been returned member for
Liverpool during the Whig Ministry of 1806, and both he and Mr.
Rathbone had taken a decided part in the cause of the abolition of the
slave trade. We were taken to see the last ship which had sailed from
the port of Liverpool for trade in human beings. It was then undergoing
a change for the stowage of other goods than those wretched negroes who
had formerly been crammed in the space between decks not more than four
feet high. The iron hooks remained to which they had been chained. It
was a sickening sight,—but those chains were broken. We stayed some
days at Green Bank, where we enjoyed the society of the venerable
William Rathbone, the zealous friend of civil and religious liberty. It
was he, and Mr. Roscoe, and Dr. Currie, who by their personal influence
and exertions established the first literary and philosophical society
at Liverpool, and induced their fellow-townsmen to think and feel that
there were other objects besides making money which ought to occupy the
time and thoughts of reasonable beings.”

Mr. W. E. Forster, on a visit to Mrs. Fletcher, brought with him “Mary
Barton,” which had then only just appeared, and was still anonymous.
Mrs. Fletcher says:—“We were at once struck with its power and pathos,
and it was with infinite pleasure I heard that it was written by the
daughter of one whom I both loved and reverenced in my early married
life in Edinburgh, so that I had a two-fold pleasure in making Mrs.
Gaskell’s acquaintance through Miss M. Beever, who knew her at
Manchester, and who told me that she always asked about me with

She visited Liverpool again in February, 1848, where Mrs. Rathbone, of
Green Bank, introduced her to that worthy Irishwoman, “Catharine of
Liverpool,” whose history is one of the romances of poverty.[12]

In 1851 she was in Manchester, and after dining with Mrs. Gaskell, went
to hear Kossuth in the Free Trade Hall. She was delighted with the
orator, pleased with the crowd, who considerately made way for the
white-haired old gentlewoman, and impressed by the interest in foreign
politics shown by “this great town of Manchester.” Next morning at
breakfast she met Thomas Wright, the prison philanthropist, then a hale
man of sixty-six.

Her autobiography was edited by her daughter, Lady Richardson, and
published in 1875 by Edmondston & Douglas. Another edition appeared in
the United States in 1883.

Mrs. Fletcher had not only ability, but the subtler gift of sympathy.
She had an instinctive feeling for that which was beautiful alike in
the spheres of literature and morals.

Footnote 12:

  An interesting account of this benevolent woman is given in
  “Chambers’s Miscellany,” 1872, vol. iv., No. 50.

               Manchester and the First Reform Agitation.

The reform agitation began in Manchester in 1792, and its history is
instructive and too little known by the present generation. The town,
which was heartily Republican in the Civil Wars, was as heartily
Jacobite in the earlier part of the eighteenth century, and in its
closing years was dominated by the sworn friends of intolerance and
privilege. The vainly proposed repeal in 1789 of the Corporation and
Test Acts, by which the Nonconformists were excluded from all municipal
offices, led to the formation in Manchester of a “Church and King
Club,” whose members showed their loyalty by deep potations and their
piety by wearing buttons which bore a representation of the “Old
Church.” An era of bitter party feeling now set in. Those who were
Dissenters, those who were suspected of thinking that Manchester and
other important manufacturing towns should be represented in
Parliament, those who ventured to regard the sale of pocket-boroughs as
a scandal, those who hinted that any improvement was possible in the
constitution of a Parliament that was notoriously non-representative
and that included many members who owed their position to improper and
corrupt influences, were marked out for social ostracism and
persecution. The Liberals of that day banded themselves together and
formed the Manchester Constitutional Society, which in May, 1792, set
forth as one of its objects that “members of the House of Commons
should owe their seats to the good opinion and free suffrage of the
people at large, and not to the prostituted votes of venal and corrupt
boroughs.” The Government immediately issued a proclamation against
“wicked and seditious writings,” and called upon the magistrates to
take rigorous action. The King’s birthday was celebrated by
illuminations, and the partisans of the “glorious Constitution,” which
denied them the rights of citizenship, tore up a couple of the trees
growing in St. Ann’s Square, and tried to batter down the gates of the
Unitarian chapels in Cross Street and Mosley Street. The publicans were
warned that their licences would be forfeited if they allowed any
gatherings of the reformers upon their premises. No less than 186 of
them signed an agreement to that effect, and in some of the taverns was
a conspicuous announcement, “No Jacobins admitted here.” The war with
France was hailed with delight by the adherents to the old order, and
was deeply deprecated by the reformers. A man of great talent, Thomas
Cooper, issued an address on the evils of war, and this, with other
dissuasives, appeared in the _Manchester Herald_, a newspaper which the
reformers had started. Encouraged by the authorities of the town, a
drunken mob attacked the printing office and sacked it. The Rev. J.
Griffith declared that he would not act against the rioters if called
upon to do so, and a special constable offered the mob a guinea for
“every Jacobin’s house that they pulled down.” A friend of the
printer’s applied to the constable for help, and was answered by a
threat of being kicked out of the place. The leader of the reformers
was Mr. Thomas Walker, and his house also was selected for attack. He
and his friends defended the place with firearms. The conduct of the
rioters was defended by Wyndham in the House of Commons, and a
prosecution was instituted, not against the law-breakers, but against
Mr. Walker. He had firearms in his possession, and therefore he had
“obtained arms to wage war against the King.” The case came on at the
Lancaster Spring Assizes, but the principal witness proved himself to
be a shuffling perjurer, and Law, afterwards Lord Ellenborough, saw the
matter to be so hopeless that he threw up the case. Thomas Cooper left
the town for America, where he obtained high distinction as a chemist,
jurist, and political economist. The reformers were helpless and almost
hopeless. The war fever had seized the nation; the right of public
meeting and the freedom of the press were the subject of constant
attack. The law against seditious assemblies was used as a means of
prohibiting any public expression of disapprobation of the state of the
Constitution or the acts of the Government. It was denounced by Charles
James Fox, and a very whimsical protest was made against it in
Manchester, which is thus described in a newspaper of the time:—“On
Monday evening (28th December, 1796), the members of the Manchester
Thinking Club commenced their first mental operation by beginning to
think, or in other words, submitting themselves like good subjects to a
constitutional dumbness. The number of thinkers assembled was not less
than 300, and many of the thoughtful actually came from Liverpool,
Stockport, and other remote places to witness this novel spectacle. The
members were all muzzled, and such an imposing silence prevailed for
one hour as would have done honour to the best thinkers that ever
adorned assemblies of a more dignified nature. The word ‘Mum’ appeared
in large characters on every muzzle, and except a seditious sigh or a
treasonable groan that occasionally broke forth, ‘Mum’ was literally
the order of the night.” Here is an advertisement of the meetings of
the “Thinking Club”:—“The members of this truly constitutional Society
continue to meet for the intellectual purpose of silent contemplation
every Thursday evening, at the Coopers’ Arms, Cateaton Street, where
strong constitutional muzzles are provided at the door by Citizen
Avery, tailor to the swinish multitude. The questions still to be
thought of are: Is man really a thinking animal or not? and if he is,
as thinking is rather a troublesome operation of the mind, ought he not
to be thankful that his betters kindly think for him? The chair to be
taken at half-past seven. Thinking to begin precisely at eight.”

But war brought its usual concomitant of want, and the sufferings of
the people led to deep-seated discontent. The weavers called a meeting
for the 24th of May, 1808, to ask for the establishment of a minimum
rate of wages. The meeting was resumed on the following day, and
although it was quite orderly, the Riot Act was read, and the military
were ordered to clear the ground. One of the weavers was killed,
several were wounded, and several arrested. Colonel Hanson, the
commander of a local volunteer corps, tried to persuade the men to
disperse by a promise that their interests should be looked after. This
was giving “encouragement to the rioters,” and for this he was
sentenced to a fine of £100 and six months’ imprisonment in the King’s
Bench. Meanwhile the policy of the Government increased the distress of
the nation, so that in the cotton districts the people were
half-starved, and a scanty dinner of oatmeal and water was too often
the only meal in the four and twenty hours. A town’s meeting was called
for 8th April, 1812, to thank the Regent for retaining the Anti-Reform
Ministry of Castlereagh and Sidmouth. The reformers immediately issued
placards calling upon the public to attend. The promoters of the
meeting, alarmed at the thought of opposition, now announced that it
would not be held, as the staircase was too weak to sustain the
pressure of a crowd. People assembled for the expected meeting, and the
Exchange was soon surrounded. No authentic account of the beginning of
the riot has appeared, but the present writer was informed by an
eye-witness that the last touch was put to the anger of the populace by
a merchant who afterwards made himself an evil reputation. He was
standing at the door of the Exchange, and as a chimney-sweep passed by
he struck the lad’s black face with his walking-cane. The populace
forced their way into the room, the furniture was destroyed, the
windows broken, and the military had to be called out before the place
was cleared. This was followed during the next fortnight by food riots
and by machine breaking. The authorities, instead of seeing in the
existing discontent the symptoms of evils needing remedy, treated every
expression of a desire for reform as a crime to be punished with
merciless severity. Spies were actively at work fanning the
disaffection of the operatives in order to betray them if they could be
inveigled into illegality. In 1815, the Corn Law was passed whilst the
House of Commons was guarded by soldiers. The Manchester meeting held
to protest against its passage was presided over by Mr. Hugh Hornby
Birley, who was then Boroughreeve. In 1815, a number of the Radical
reformers, chiefly of the artisan class, resolved to adopt an address
to the Prince Regent and a petition to the House of Commons in favour
of peace and Parliamentary reform. They met at the Elephant, in Tib
Street, but hearing that the meeting was likely to be broken up they
adjourned to the Prince Regent’s Arms, in Ancoats. John Knight, who was
their recognised leader, had just concluded a speech when the room was
entered by the famous “Jo” Nadin with a blunderbuss in his hands, and
followed by a number of soldiers with fixed bayonets. The reformers
were arrested and marched, with their hands tied, to the New Bailey.
They were taken before the Rev. W. R. Hay, who, with the gross
partiality for which he was notorious, refused to allow Fleming, the
spy-witness, to be cross-examined. They were tried at Lancaster in the
following August, when Nadin, the constable, admitted that he had sent
Fleming as a decoy, and that the spy had asked to be “twisted in”—that
is, to be sworn as a member of a seditious society. All who were found
in the room were included in the common indictment, and thus could not
testify in each other’s behalf. Fortunately Nadin had been too
precipitate, and one man escaped his notice. He testified that no oath
had been administered, and it was further shown that the two men said
to have put the oath to the spy were elsewhere at the time. The
thirty-seven prisoners were defended by Brougham and Scarlett, and
triumphantly acquitted. They had, however, been in prison for three
months, they had been taken from their homes and daily avocations, and
it was by the merest good luck that they had escaped transportation.

The writings of William Cobbett had great influence upon the working
classes, and his incessant cry for reform met with sympathetic
response. The Sunday schools had given elementary instruction to the
stronger brains, and native shrewdness, tutored by suffering and
hardship, had made them into intelligent politicians. They knew where
the shoe pinched, and in spite of some errors of judgment had a clearer
conception than their “betters” of the remedy. Sam Bamford, the
weaver-poet, was the secretary of a political club at Middleton for
Parliamentary reform as a means of obtaining the repeal of the Corn
Laws and other desirable objects, and similar clubs existed all over
the county.

In 1816, the Ministers suspended the Habeas Corpus Act, and took other
measures for burking public discussion. At the “blanketeer” meeting,
held at St. Peter’s Fields, 10th March, it was decided that the men
should march to London to petition, each with a blanket on his shoulder
for protection from cold in the night. The meeting was dispersed by the
military, many were arrested, and those who had started on their way to
the Metropolis were pursued. The “blanketeers” were overtaken on
Lancashire Hill, Stockport, where more were arrested, more wounded, and
where one cottager was shot at his own door. It is only fair to the
military to state that they showed far more moderation than the
magistrates. A few of the “blanketeers” reached Derby. The spies were
now at work, and Bamford tells how one of these invited him to join in
making a “Moscow of Manchester.” The muddle-headed authorities accepted
without inquiry all that their infamous agents told them, and after the
arrest of Bamford and others at Ardwick, the Rev. W. R. Hay assured his
awe-struck hearers that when these men were tried “purposes of the
blackest enormity must be disclosed to the public.” After being taken
in irons to London—one of them being an old man of seventy-four—and
examined by the Secretary of State, they were discharged, and not even
put upon their trial. Yet this “plot” was the chief argument used by
Sidmouth for a further suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act. Castlereagh
cynically avowed that they had sent Oliver the spy “to see what was
going on.” The Lancashire men were warned in time, and Oliver, though
he tried hard, had no success here. In Derbyshire, however, he fomented
an “insurrection,” and those whom he had first incited to sedition he
afterwards betrayed to the scaffold. In 1818, the Manchester reformers
sent a petition to the House of Commons, in which they asserted that
there never had been in this neighbourhood any reason for the
suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act, denounced the work of the spies,
and asked for an inquiry into the action of the magistrates at
Manchester. Bamford and others who had been arrested also petitioned;
but Mr. George Philips’s motion for an inquiry by a Committee of the
House of Commons was rejected by 162 votes against 69, and the Ministry
obtained an Act of indemnity for all their proceedings. Mr. John
Greenwood managed to exclude the name of Mr. J. E. Taylor from the list
of the Salford assessors because he was a moderate reformer, and
asserted that he had written a handbill leading to the destruction at
the Exchange in 1812. Mr. Taylor, unable to obtain any retraction or
explanation, denounced him as “a liar, a slanderer, and a scoundrel.”
For this an action for libel was begun. Mr. Taylor defended himself,
and the jury came to the conclusion that the plaintiff was “a liar, a
slanderer, and a scoundrel.” Mr. Taylor’s acquittal was chiefly due to
the foreman of the jury, Mr. John Rylands, of Warrington, who,
resolutely putting aside all legal cobwebs, declined to punish a man
for telling the truth.

The year 1819 was an important one for the cause of reform. There was a
meeting in St. Peter’s Fields in June, when the people, to embarrass
the Government, decided to abstain from excisable articles as far as
possible. Roasted corn was to take the place of coffee, sloe leaves to
be substituted for tea, and the use of spirits and ale was to be
abandoned. The “loyal” inhabitants placarded the town with incentives
to drinking, and an attempt was made to pay for this poster out of the
church rates. The people had lost hope of obtaining reform by petition,
and the notion was broached of appointing a representative to claim a
seat in the House of Commons. The reformers of Manchester therefore
called a meeting for the purpose of electing “a legislatorial attorney
and representative” for the town. This assembly was called for August
9th, but the magistrates declared that it would be illegal, and the
intention was abandoned. The reformers then presented a requisition,
signed by 700 householders, asking the Boroughreeve to call a town’s
meeting. He refused to do so, and it was then decided to hold an
open-air meeting in St. Peter’s Fields for the purpose of petitioning
for a reform in Parliament. The reformers from all parts of Lancashire
were expected to be there, and at Middleton and elsewhere they were
drilled into the proper method of marching so that there might be no
confusion. The authorities professed to regard these harmless marchings
with sticks and broom handles as the presages of revolution. The
procession that filed into St. Peter’s Fields on the morning of the
16th August, 1819, was largely composed of young men and young women of
the artisan class, dressed out in their Sunday best. They had many
flags with them. There were from sixty to eighty thousand people
present to give a welcome to Henry Hunt, whose handsome form and power
of speech made him at that time the idol of the Lancashire workmen.
Loud were the cheers of the multitude as he rode up to the
hustings—which had been placed where is now the south-east corner of
the Free Trade Hall. The white hats—then the symbol of Radicals—were
waved in the air, the men hurrahed, and the women smiled as the hero of
the hour approached. The magistrates, perhaps honestly alarmed, but
weak and vacillating, now determined to arrest the ringleaders in the
face of the assembled multitude. There was not the slightest occasion
to fear any riot or disturbance, and active precautions had been taken
to overawe the reformers. On the field, in readiness for action, were
six troops of the 15th Hussars, a troop of Horse Artillery with two
guns, part of the 21st Regiment of Infantry, some companies of the 88th
Regiment, above 300 of the Cheshire Yeomanry, and about forty members
of the Manchester Yeomanry—sworn foes of reform. As the immense
multitude listened in intense silence to the opening sentences of
Hunt’s speech, the Manchester Yeomanry, under the command of Mr. H. H.
Birley, appeared on the outskirts of the crowd, and were received with
shouts. Without one word of warning they set their horses in a gallop,
and with their bright swords flashing in the air, they dashed into the
crowd, striking right and left with their sabres with all the energy of
madmen. They became scattered over the field, and were literally wedged
into the palpitating mass of humanity which they were attacking. The
Hussars were now ordered to the attack, and for the most part drove the
people with the flat of the sword, but the edge also was used. When the
yeomanry were extricated they wheeled round and dashed again into the
crowd wherever there was an opening, cutting and slashing at all who
came before them. In many parts the panic-stricken crowd was literally
piled up in heaps. For attending a perfectly peaceable meeting to ask
for a reform in Parliament, which had then no representatives of the
great towns, and was largely filled by the owners of pocket-boroughs
and their nominees, for thus asserting their rights as Englishmen to
discuss their grievances, ten men and one woman were killed and 600
were wounded. The man chiefly responsible for this slaughter was the
Rev. W. R. Hay, who is said to have read the Riot Act from a
neighbouring window, but, if so, did it in such a manner that it was
never heard by the crowd. The peaceful nature of the assembly was shown
by the number of women and of old men who were in it. Poor old Thomas
Blinstone, at the age of 74, was rode over by the yeomanry, and had
both arms broken, and said he, “What is wur than aw, mester, they’n
broken my spectacles and aw’ve never yet been able to get a pair that
suited me.”

The “Peterloo Massacre” was a baptism of blood for the cause of reform,
and the Tory victory was worse than a defeat, for it excited the
indignation of all England against those who had caused the slaughter
of their fellow-subjects for demanding admission within the pale of the

The Rev. W. R. Hay wrote to Lord Sidmouth on the night of Peterloo
giving his version of the affair. At the same time Mr. J. E. Taylor and
Mr. Archibald Prentice each sent a plain account of the disgraceful
conduct of the magistrates and the yeomanry. These appeared in London
papers, and the accuracy of their narratives was amply confirmed by Mr.
John Tyas, the representative of the _Times_, whom blundering “Jo”
Nadin had taken into custody as one of the dreaded conspirators. The
effect was to rouse a storm of indignation before which even the obtuse
magistrates quailed. On the 19th, a hole-and-corner meeting was held in
their interests at the Star Inn, when thanks were awarded to the
justices and the yeomanry. This was responded to by a protest signed by
4,800 of the merchants, manufacturers, and others of the “respectable
classes,” in which the meeting just mentioned was described as a
private one, and those who had thus falsely claimed to speak for
Manchester were invited to call a public meeting. On the 27th, Lord
Sidmouth conveyed the thanks of the Prince Regent to the magistrates
and military “for their prompt, decisive, and efficient measures for
the preservation of the public peace.” Mr. Hay and his friends had need
of sympathy, for they were the objects of general execration. Meetings
all over the kingdom were held, at which their sanguinary interference
with the right of public meeting was denounced. The sympathy felt with
the working men reformers was not confined to one class. The Duke of
Hamilton subscribed to the fund for the relief of the sufferers. Earl
Fitzwilliam was dismissed from his post of Lord Lieutenant of the West
Riding for his energetic protest against Peterloo. Sir Francis Burdett
made a still more vigorous protest, and his letter to the electors of
Westminster led to his imprisonment for three months, and the
infliction of a fine of £2,000. Shelley, writing to Peacock, exclaims,
“What an infernal business this is of Manchester! What is to be done?”
What he did was to write his “Mask of Anarchy,” in which he made a call
to the nation:—

                  “Rise like lions after slumber,
                    In unvanquishable number;
                  Shake your chains to earth like dew,
                    Which in sleep had fallen on you;
                  Ye are many—they are few.”

The effect of Peterloo was to bring forth a greater disposition to
united action between the middle and the working classes on the reform
question. The authorities on their side strained the law to crush out
the reformers. An inquest was opened as to the death of John Lees, who
died from the wounds he had received on the field. The object of the
coroner was to avoid an unfavourable verdict, and this he accomplished
first by not putting in an appearance at all, and then by frequent
adjournments, so that the inquest, which opened 8th September,
continued until December, and was never concluded. When Parliament met
in November, Earl Grey moved an amendment to the Address in which the
Manchester massacre was denounced as illegal and unconstitutional, but
this was defeated by a large majority, as was a similar motion in the
House of Commons. Sidmouth carried the series of coercive measures
known as the “Six Acts,” and the powers of reaction were in full
triumph. Several efforts were made, but in vain, to bring the
assailants of the meeting to justice, and even as late as 1822 an
unsuccessful action was brought against Captain Birley and three others
of the yeomanry by one whom they had cut down.

Whilst the reformers were thus baffled in their endeavours to obtain
justice, the partisan magistrates and judges made short work of those
who fell into their power. Hunt and others who were arrested at
Peterloo were sent to Lancaster, and the trial was removed to York. It
was so plain that the Peterloo meeting was not illegal in itself, that
every effort was made to connect it with previous drillings on White
Moss, where a spy named Murray had been beaten by some of the reformers
assembled there. The banners, one of which had on it the words, “Equal
Representation or Death,” and others inscribed “No Corn Laws,” “No
Boroughmongers,” were also made the most of. Five of the accused were
acquitted, but Hunt, Johnson, Knight, Healey, and Bamford were found
guilty of seditious conspiracy. Hunt received sentence of two years’
imprisonment, whilst Bamford and the others were condemned to a year’s
imprisonment. Johnson was refused permission to visit, even in the
custody of an officer, the deathbed of his wife. The Government had
soon an opportunity of rewarding the Rev. Mr. Hay, and his appointment
soon after Peterloo to the rich living of Rochdale increased the
popular hatred which pursued him to the grave. An epigram of the time

             “Hay making at Christmas, 15th January, 1820.
               Well may the men of Rochdale say
                 That certain trades alone are thriving;
               Who pay so high a price for _Hay_?
                 Whose _butcher_ gets so good a living!”

There was no perceptible change in the position of the reform question
for some years. The House of Commons was in the hands of the
boroughmongers, and the traffic in seats was notorious. Whilst
Manchester was unrepresented, there were 200 members returned by 100
boroughs, whose united population was less than that of Manchester
alone. In 1827, Manchester was fluttered by the prospect of a seat in
Parliament being assigned to it. Penrhyn was then in bad odour for its
corruption, and Lord John Russell gave notice that if it were
disfranchised he would move that its power of electing two members
should be transferred to Manchester. A meeting convened by persons of
all parties was held in the still unplastered room of what is now the
Old Town Hall. Tories like Mr. H. H. Birley and Mr. Benjamin Braidley
were joined with Radicals and Whigs like Mr. Thomas Potter, Mr. G. W.
Wood, Mr. John Shuttleworth, and Mr. F. R. Atkinson to petition for
representation. This was all the more necessary since a member of the
House of Commons, Mr. Legh Keck, strenuously denied that the great
towns desired to have representatives in Parliament. The history of the
bill was curious. It passed the Commons, and the second reading in the
Lords was fixed for 23rd June. Lord Lyndhurst held that as there were
420 voters and only fourteen were shown to have been bribed, the
further progress of the measure should be resisted. Lord de
Dunstanville, who had property in the neighbourhood, naturally
concurred. Lord Eldon had not known “a case so utterly destitute of
foundation.” Lord Dacre declared that as the object of the bill was to
transfer the franchise from the landed to the commercial interest he
should oppose it. The then Marquis of Salisbury called attention to the
preamble of the bill, which ran—“Whereas, on account of the great
wealth and population of Manchester, it is expedient that it should
return burgesses to Parliament.” “Now,” said the noble Lord, “in that
single sentence were embodied all the wildest doctrines of reform. If
there were no other ground for opposition he should oppose this bill on
that ground alone. As no other noble lord had objected to the bill on
that ground he had determined to enter his protest against such
doctrines being smuggled into a bill to ruin the constitution.” In face
of this Tory opposition the bill was withdrawn. A town’s meeting was
held at Manchester in February, 1830, when Mr. John Brooks exhibited a
list of bad debts for the year 1829, amounting to £11,180, and of bad
debts in January-February, 1830, to the extent of £981. Mr. Prentice,
Mr. Elijah Dixon, and others who spoke referred to the constitution of
Parliament as the cause why no attempt was made to remedy the existing
distress. In Parliament Lord John Russell vainly endeavoured to obtain
hearing for a proposal to give Birmingham, Manchester, and Leeds
representatives; O’Connell tried to bring in a bill for universal
suffrage, triennial parliaments, and the ballot. Lord John Russell
moved two resolutions in favour of an increased number of
representatives, and for the additional ones being given to the large
towns and populous counties. Both proposals were rejected by large

The death of George IV. on the 26th June, 1830, may be taken as the
landmark between the old and the new era. The French revolution of July
gave an impetus to the desire for reform at home. The Boroughreeve of
Manchester declined to call a meeting of the inhabitants to
congratulate the French people on the reconquest of their liberty, but
the meeting was held in spite of official opposition, and Mr. Mark
Philips, Mr. Alexander Kay, and Mr. J. C Dyer were appointed a
deputation to convey the address then adopted to Paris. The need for
reform at home was insisted upon by Mr. Richard Potter, Mr. R. H. Greg,
Mr. G. Hadfield, and other speakers. The reformers were staggered when
Parliament met in November by the language of the Duke of Wellington,
who said that “he had never heard or read of any measure up to the
present moment which could in any degree satisfy his mind that the
state of the representation could be improved or be rendered more
satisfactory to the country at large than at the present time. He was
fully convinced that the country possessed at the present moment a
Legislature which answered all the good purposes of legislation, and
this to a greater degree than any Legislature ever answered in any
country whatever.... He was not only not prepared, but he would at once
declare that, so far as he was concerned, as long as he held any
station in the Government of the country, he should always feel it to
be his duty to resist such measures when proposed by others.” The Duke
next advised the King that it would be unsafe to trust himself in the
city. On the 15th, the Duke was defeated and resigned, and Earl Grey
took his place pledged to peace, retrenchment, and reform.

In Manchester the year was remarkable for the opening of the Manchester
and Liverpool Railway, and the formation of a Political Union very much
on the plan of that of Birmingham. This association was at first mainly
composed of shopkeepers and working men, but was afterwards joined by
representatives of all classes. Amongst the artisan members was Mr.
Rowland Detrosier, a self-taught workman, remarkable for the extent of
his intellectual acquirements and for his great oratorical powers. An
early death cut short a career that promised the highest distinction.
In January, 1831, a requisition was presented to the Boroughreeve and
constables asking them to call a meeting to petition for reform. They
declined because the town was in an excited state. A great meeting was,
however, held on the 20th, and the petition adopted. On the 31st a
petition for representation was adopted at a town’s meeting in Salford.
When Lord John introduced the bill on the 1st of March he put the case
of the great towns very neatly. “Our opponents say our ancestors gave
Old Sarum representatives, therefore we should give Old Sarum
representatives. We say our ancestors gave Old Sarum representatives
because it was a large town; therefore we give representatives to
Manchester, which is a large town.” Henry Hunt, who spoke on the second
day of the debate, vindicated the reform agitation in which he had
taken part, and, in spite of attempts to drown his voice, denounced
“the drunken and infuriated yeomanry” who had slaughtered the people in
1819 for doing that which the Government was then doing—advocating the
propriety of Parliamentary reform. A town’s meeting was held in
Manchester on the 8th March to thank the Ministry for the introduction
of the bill. This was the first gathering of the kind that had ever
been convened by the authorities. In the House of Commons the second
reading was carried by a majority of one. In the Committee stage there
was a long fight, and on their proposal to reduce the number of
members, the Government were put in a minority of eight. The King,
although regarded by the public as a reformer, was really in great
dread of the bill, and had refused to dissolve until stung by some
language used in the Lords. “What did they dare to meddle with the
prerogative?” he exclaimed, and then declared that he would go down to
dissolve the House in a hackney coach if necessary. He went down. “Turn
the rogues out, your Majesty,” was the advice of a rough sailor who
rushed from the crowd to the side of the carriage. He gave voice to the
feeling of the nation. Parliament was dissolved, and the Tories
strained every nerve to secure a victory at the polls. The Duke of
Northumberland alone is said to have subscribed £100,000 to their
election fund. But the nation at large saw that the choice lay between
reform and revolution, and a great majority of the counties and free
boroughs returned candidates who were pledged to support the bill. The
bill was re-introduced, and passed the second reading on July 7th by a
majority of 136. Next day “Orator” Hunt presented a petition from
194,000 working people of Manchester and the district in favour of
universal suffrage, annual parliaments, and vote by ballot. When the
question of enfranchisement came up, some members argued that as
Manchester was to have two members, there was no need to give one to
Salford. The bill was introduced on the 25th of June, but the tactics
of delay were so well observed that the third reading was not reached
until September 22nd. That very day there was a town’s meeting in
Manchester, when Mr. James Burt, the Boroughreeve, again presided. The
speakers included Mr. Richard Potter, Mr. Mark Philips, Mr. R. H. Greg,
Mr. G. Hadfield, and others. The only dissentient was a working man,
who was, however, ready to accept the bill as a stepping-stone to
something better. A similar meeting was held in Salford in the
following week. The bill was brought into the House of Lords on the 3rd
of October, and its rejection was moved by the Earl of Wharncliffe. The
debate was continued until the 8th, when the votes for the bill were
158, against 199. The majority of 41 included a contingent of 21 Tory
bishops, on whose behalf the then Archbishop of Canterbury made the
hypocritical declaration “that to a temperate and safe reform he would
offer no objections.” The prelates have since learned more sense.

On the 12th October there was an immense gathering in Manchester. The
first intention was to hold a meeting in the then Riding School in
Lower Mosley Street, which would hold about 4,000 persons. The street
was, however, so full of eager candidates for admission that it was
decided to hold the meeting in the open-air at Campfield. The
Boroughreeve, not feeling equal to the control of such a gathering, Mr.
(afterwards Sir) Thomas Potter presided over this meeting of one
hundred thousand persons. The temper of the people was bitterly hostile
to the Lords. When Mr. Shuttleworth spoke of the necessity of creating
fresh peers, the response was, “No more peers; we’ve had enough of
them.” One of the Radicals, Mr. R. J. Richardson, moved an amendment
asking the King to issue writs to populous boroughs, to withhold them
from rotten boroughs, to create no new peers, but to take such other
measures as would ensure a bill for universal suffrage, annual
parliaments, and vote by ballot. This was carried by an enormous
majority, and the vast assembly then peaceably dispersed. At Bristol
and other places there were disastrous riots. In Manchester the
influence of the Political Union and the good sense of the people
generally, who were willing to accept the bill as a substantial
instalment of reform, prevented any outbreak. Parliament was prorogued
until December 6th. The second bill was introduced on the 12th, and the
second reading was carried in the early hours of Sunday morning,
December 18th, by a majority of 162 in a House of 486. The third
reading was not reached until March 19th, when 355 voted for and 239
against. The great question now was, “What will the Lords do?” It soon
became apparent that they would mutilate the bill. On a motion by Lord
Lyndhurst, the Ministry found themselves in a minority of 35. The
King’s fears had been increased by the riots, and he refused Earl Grey
the power to create such fresh peers as would give him a majority. The
Ministry resigned, and the Duke of Wellington, as the leader of the
Tories, was “sent for” on the 9th of May. The news reached Manchester
by seven o’clock on the following morning, and the excitement was
intense. Business was suspended, and groups of citizens were seen
discussing the gravity of the situation. The Reform Committee had sat
daily at the Town Hall since the previous September, and thither
flocked the friends of reform. On the motion of Mr. Absolom Watkin, a
petition to the Commons was adopted, calling upon them to refuse to
vote any supplies until the bill was passed. The petition was not
placed for signature until nearly three o’clock, but by six it had
received 24,000 signatures, and Mr. Richard Potter, Mr. John Fielden,
and Mr. John Shuttleworth set off in a chaise to take it to London.
They departed amidst the cheers of the multitude, and had an
enthusiastic greeting at Leek, Derby, Northampton, and other places on
the road. The journey was accomplished in seventeen hours. As they
approached London they gave reports of the meeting and copies of the
petition to the passengers of the coaches on the road, and the news
spread like wildfire through the country. The petition was presented to
the House that same night by Mr. John Wood, M.P. for Preston. This was
the first call to the Commons to stop supplies until reform was
obtained, and it had quickly many echoes.

Peterloo was the place selected for an open-air meeting on the 14th.
Mr. C. J. S. Walker, the son of the man whose house had been attacked
by the Tories of 1792, was called to the chair, and the venerable
Robert Philips, a veteran of ’92, moved the first resolution. Mr.
Elijah Dixon and Mr. Joseph Johnson, who had been imprisoned after
Peterloo, were amongst the speakers. A town’s meeting was held in
Salford, and another in Chorlton. Throughout the country the same
sentiment prevailed, and it was said that the Duke of Wellington would
try to form a Ministry that should deal with reform. The announcement
was received with such a storm of indignation that even the victor of
Waterloo was cowed. The King had to recall Earl Grey, but to avoid the
creation of fresh peers a sufficient number of the Lords abstained from
the divisions, and the Reform Bill became law on the 7th of June, 1832.
The general joy found expression in a grand procession of the
authorities and trade societies of Manchester and Salford on the 9th of
August. In the long debates on the Reform Bill nothing is more
remarkable than the distrust of the people felt by the opponents of
reform. There was a prophetic instinct in Earl Grey’s reply to a sneer
of the Earl of Dudley. “The Earl of Dudley,” said Earl Grey, “will live
to learn a lesson from the statesmen of Birmingham and the
philanthropists of Manchester.”

                      The Folk-Lore of Lancashire.

Folk-lore is a word introduced into the English language by the late
Mr. W. J. Thorns to designate the superstitions, observances, sayings,
traditions, and beliefs of the people; the collecting and systematic
arrangement of which is now recognised as an important section of the
science of comparative mythology. Folk-lore treats

                                   “Of witching rhymes
           And evil spirits; of the death-bed call
           Of him who robb’d the widow, and devour’d
           The orphan’s portion; of unquiet souls
           Risen from the grave to ease the heavy guilt
           Of deeds in life concealed; of shapes that walk
           At dead of night, and clank their chains and wave
           The torch of Hell around the murderer’s bed.”

It takes cognisance of all the quaint notions connected with the
varying seasons of the year and epochs of human life; of all the
beliefs in futurity and supernatural agencies which are not sanctioned
by religion; of the fireside story; of the milk-maid’s song and the
mother’s lullaby; in short, of all the remains of ancient religion,
history, science, and philosophy which have been preserved to the
present day in the conservative memory and affection of the people. The
old songs of the peasantry, the grandam’s fairy tales, the children’s
rhymes, the auguries and omens of the ignorant and least educated
portion of the community might seem at first sight to be unworthy of
the serious attention of the antiquary. But experience has shown that
these humble materials afford really important data for the student of
mythology and anthropology. Customs, which once formed part of the
ceremonial of creeds outworn, survive amongst European nations, as an
evidence of their pre-Christian belief. The characters of the nursery
tales are credited with the performance of deeds once attributed to
mighty gods or heroes. The collation of these narratives enables us to
remove some myths from the historic page. In a similar manner the
examination of popular superstitions throws light upon the various
systems of mythology. There is a great similarity noticeable in the
folk-lore of different nations, even those which are most remote. Thus
the legend narrated by Herodotus of Rhampsinitus is found to have been
popular with the Norse children; and while this is the case with
stories which do not appear to have any allegorical meaning, it is
still more so with regard to those conceptions which we term myths.
Each historic nation has emerged from a savage condition, more or less
profound, and its folk-lore is merely fragmentary recollections of its
past stages, often in the form of ceremonials dictated by principles no
longer forming the ordinary rule of action, or even directly opposed to
it. And as the ideas of savages are limited in number, and derived
mainly from the contemplation of natural phenomena likely to strike
each observer in the same manner, it ceases to be so great a matter of
wonder that widely separated races of mankind should invent similar
explanations to account for the wild or wonderful appearances which
excited their awe and astonishment.

The literature of folk-lore has grown with great rapidity, and the
foundation of the Folk-Lore Society greatly stimulated the study in
this country. Mr. G. L. Gomme has defined folk-lore to be the science
which treats of the survivals of archaic belief and custom in modern
ages. His suggested classification shows the wide scope of the new
science. The first branch, _Traditional Narratives_, includes
folk-tales, hero-tales, ballads and songs, and place-legends. Under
_Traditional Customs_ he includes local customs, festivals, customs,
ceremonial customs, and games. The third division, _Superstitions and
Beliefs_, includes witchcraft, astrology, and superstitious practices
and fancies. The last department, _Folk-speech_, covers popular
sayings, popular nomenclature, proverbs, jingle-rhymes, riddles, etc.

The literature of the folk-lore of Lancashire is somewhat extensive,
for references to popular superstitions and customs abound in the
writings of Edwin Waugh, Ben Brierley, and the many writers who have
illustrated the dialect of the county, and especially of its
south-western portion. The late Mr. John Roby, whose “Traditions of
Lancashire” first appeared in 1829, was a diligent collector of local
legends, but his object was purely literary, and accordingly his book
must be used cautiously, though it certainly contains important data.
The “Lancashire Dialect Glossary” of Messrs. Nodal and Milner contains
many references to popular customs. There are also many articles in
_Notes and Queries_ the _Palatine Note-Book_, _Local Gleanings_,
_Manchester City News Notes and Queries_, _Manchester Guardian Notes
and Queries_, and other literary and archæological periodicals. The
principal authorities on the subject are Messrs. John Harland and T. T.
Wilkinson, whose “Lancashire Folk-lore” appeared in 1867, followed by
“Lancashire Legends” in 1873. These have been several times reprinted.
Mr. Charles Hardwick, in 1872, published a volume, the wide sweep of
which is shown by the title, “Traditions, Superstitions, and Folk-lore,
chiefly Lancashire and the North of England, their affinity to others
in widely distributed localities, and their Eastern origin and mythical
significance.” Then Mr. James Bowker has written “The Goblin Stories of
Lancashire.” Harland’s “Lancashire Ballads” should also be consulted,
nor must the publications of the Historic Society of Lancashire and
Cheshire and of the Lancashire and Cheshire Antiquarian Society be

Some may be inclined to ask, “Is there any folk-lore left?” Certainly
during the present age the rapid diffusion of knowledge has happily
driven forth much antique superstition; but there is a temptation to
exaggerate the extent of the effects which have thus been produced. In
Lancashire, where we might have expected to find that the noise of the
steam-engine had frightened away both the fairies and the queen of the
May, and the spread of knowledge to have destroyed all faith in spells
and charms, interesting articles of folk-lore have been recorded as
either still surviving, or as having only recently become obsolete.
Many observances are connected with particular seasons of the year.
Thus on New Year’s Day there is a firm belief that if a light-haired
person “let in” the New Year, a twelve month of ill-luck will be the
result, and that, on the contrary, dark persons will bring with them a
year of good fortune. So Pan-cake Tuesday, Simnel Sunday, Easter, May
Day, Christmas, etc., have each their special customs still observed in
Lancashire, though in many cases so shorn of their ancient glories as
to be little more than relics of former greatness.

The habit of attaching a symbolic importance, even to the most trifling
occurrences, is strikingly illustrated in the following quotations from
Harland and Wilkinson:—“Most grandmothers will explain, ‘God bless
you!’ when they hear a child sneeze, and they sum up the philosophy of
the subject with the following lines, which used to delight the writer
in the days of his childhood:—

            ‘Sneeze on a Monday, you sneeze for danger;
            Sneeze on a Tuesday, you kiss a stranger;
            Sneeze on a Wednesday, you sneeze for a letter;
            Sneeze on a Thursday, for something better;
            Sneeze on a Friday, you sneeze for sorrow;
            Sneeze on a Saturday, your sweetheart to-morrow;
            Sneeze on a Sunday, your safety seek,
            The Devil will have you the whole of the week.’”

This is certainly a comprehensive epitome of the entire philosophy of

The finger-nails of a baby should be bitten shorter. If they are cut,
the child will become “sharp fingered”—_i.e._, thievish.

As a specimen of the folk-tale, we may take that of the “Three Tasks.”
The inhabitants of Cockerham, having made up their minds that the devil
had been showing an unreasonable partiality to their village, gave the
schoolmaster the not very pleasant task of expelling the Prince of
Darkness from their midst. The man of letters, having raised the foul
fiend, appointed him three tasks; if he failed to accomplish them he
was never to appear again at Cockerham, but if he succeeded in their
performance, the pedagogue became his prey. The two first tasks were
soon done, but the third, the fatal, mystic third—

       “Now make me, dear sir, a rope of yon sand,
       Which will bear washing in Cocker, and not lose a strand”—

proved too much even for the ingenuity of the Father of Evil, and if he
stuck to his bargain Cockerham must be the happiest place on earth!
This legend of the Three Tasks is not confined to Lancashire, but is
also narrated in connection with Merton Sands, Cheshire, and a Cornish
version forms the subject of “Featherstone’s Doom,” one of the Rev. R.
S. Hawker’s wildest lyrics. Another curious story is that which says
that the parochial church of Burnley was originally intended to be
built on the site occupied by the old Saxon Cross in Godly Lane; “but
however much the masons might have built during the day, both stones
and scaffolding were invariably found where the church now stands on
their coming to work next morning.” This legend is told also of
Rochdale, Winwick, Samlesbury, Over, Saddleworth, Churchdown, and many
other churches.

A winding-sheet in the candle, spilling the salt, crossing knives, and
various other trifles, are omens of evil to thousands even at this day.
Should one of your children fall sick when on a visit to a friend’s
house, it is held to be sure to entail bad luck on that family for the
rest of the year, if you stay over New Year’s Day. Persons have been
known to travel sixty miles with a sick child, rather than run the
risk. A flake of soot on the bars of the grate is said to indicate the
approach of a stranger; a bright spark on the wick of a candle, or a
long piece of stalk in the tea-cup, betokens a similar event. When the
fire burns briskly some lover smirks or is good-humoured. A cinder
thrown out of the fire by a jet of gas from burning coals is looked
upon as a coffin if its hollow be long; as a purse of gold if the
cavity be round. Crickets in houses are said to indicate good fortune,
but should they forsake the chimney corner, it is a sure sign of coming

By this time the mixture of races in Lancashire is so complete that it
is not easy to gather at first hand fresh data as to indigenous
superstitions. This is more especially the case in the populous
districts, where immigrants from every part of the United Kingdom and
from abroad have been attracted by the great industries of the County
Palatine. These influxes have necessarily had their influence upon the
population and its beliefs. There is the danger of mistaking for a
genuine product of the Lancashire soil what is merely an exotic. This
danger exists as to oral tradition, but is still greater with regard to
what has become literature. It will be well to illustrate this by a
concrete example. In the pleasant volume of “Poems and Songs” by Thomas
Newbigging there is a poem entitled “The Story of Old Gamul,” narrating
as a Rossendale tradition one of those strange legends which are links
in the history of fiction. According to Mr. Newbigging’s story, old
Gamul had the enmity of but one man—the keeper, who determined to work
his destruction. This villain caused a pit to be dug, and cunningly
covered over with turf and branches. Thinking that the victim is
already there, the keeper goes to the place and falls into it himself.
Gamul soon after passes, and hearing a cry for help, lets down ropes,
and pulls up, first a lion, then a serpent, then an ape, and last of
all his enemy. The keeper invites Gamul to his house, and when he goes
there, knocks him down with a club, and casts him forth as dead. Gamul,
however, recovers, and when next he goes to the wood, he is aided in
his labour by the ape, the serpent brings him “the adder’s magic
stone,” and the lion shows him a cave full of treasure.

                   “That lucky night went Gamul home,
                   The richest wight in Christendom.”

The keeper finally hangs himself for vexation, and the old woodman
becomes Sir Gamul.

                “Nor e’er were turned the homeless poor
                Unfriended from the open door.”

A work by a German named Massenius was published at Cologne in 1657. It
was entitled “Palæstra Dramatica,” and contained, amongst other curious
narratives, one of a certain Signor Vitalis, who fell into a pit in
which a lion, a monkey, and a serpent had also fallen. They were all
rescued by an honest countryman, Massaccio, to whom Vitalis promised a
marriage-dower and his palace. Once safe, he denies all knowledge of
his deliverer. The beasts prove more grateful, but a gem which is given
to the peasant by the serpent leads to a suspicion that he has stolen
it. At the trial Vitalis again denies him, but is overwhelmed with
confusion when the beasts enter the court and force from him an
involuntary confession. A translation of this story appeared in
_Blackwood’s Magazine_ for March, 1835. The fable was, however, not
invented by Massenius, for in a slightly different form it occurs in
the “Gesta Romanorum,” that famous collection of mediæval stories. It
also attracted the notice of Gower, and is told in the “Confessio
Amantis,” in this the lion is omitted. Matthew Paris gives it as an
apologue told by Richard of the Lion Heart. Finally it is found in that
storehouse of Eastern legend, the _Calilah u Dimnah_. This was
translated by Doni into Italian, and an English rendering of his
version appeared in 1570. Massenius may have obtained the story either
from the “Gesta,” or from this book of Doni. It is very probable that
many other versions exist. But does Mr. Newbigging’s poem really
represent a Lancashire tradition? To solve this doubt the readiest way
was to put the question to him. The following is his reply:—“With some
differences my ‘reverend Grannie’ used to relate this story to amuse my
childhood. I cannot help smiling when I look back and remember the time
when, if some casualty, such as an unusually wet night, or a ‘hawket
heel,’ or any of the thousand and one ills attendant on boyhood, kept
me chained to the fireside, my invariable petition was, ‘Grannie! gie’s
auld Guy!’ (she gave the hero’s name as Guy, not Gamul, as I have given
it) and forthwith ‘Auld Guy’ was related for the fiftieth time by the
same patient lips, and to the same eager listener. I had never been
able, though I had looked long and carefully, to find anything like it
in print. My good grandam (who was a rare old Scotch woman, full of
old-world lore) heard the story from her father, and she believed that
he had read it in some old book.”

Doubtless this ancestor of Mr. Newbigging’s read the story in one of
the many editions of the “Gesta Romanorum,” which was for centuries a
favourite story-book. The name of Guido clearly indicates the source.
It is a striking instance of the passage of literature into legend. In
fifty years from now Mr. Newbigging’s poem would be considered no light
proof of the existence of a Lancashire variant of the story; yet, as we
have just learned, it has no connection with Rossendale, but came from
Scotland, and even then was a book tale, and not a genuine legend. This
instance will not have been cited in vain if it warns any too
enthusiastic student “folk-lorist” of the pitfalls that beset his path.

We can only indicate the varied interest of Lancashire folk-lore by two
or three examples. Let us take a phrase which may still be heard
occasionally, “Aw’m coming too, like th’ Clegg Ho’ Boggart.” This is an
allusion to a story told of more than one old house in the county. The
inmates are perplexed and worried by the exploits of a tricksy spirit
that upsets the furniture, makes strange noises, and generally renders
everyone uncomfortable. They decide to remove, but when the furniture
is on the cart, the “boggart” is heard to exclaim, “I’m going too,”
whereupon they decide to remain and endure as best they may the
unwelcome companionship of their household spirit. Now this story of
the “flitting boggart” is a widespread one. When Professor Worsaae was
in England, he surprised a Lancashire friend by narrating a
Scandinavian legend which is practically identical. “_See i dag flitter
vi_,” were the words of the Danish brownie. The version given by Mr.
Roby appears to be merely a literary appropriation of a Yorkshire
story, but the widespread character of the tale is undoubted. Tennyson
is familiar with it, and has thus put it into verse:—

        “... his house, for so they say,
        Was haunted with a jolly ghost, that shook
        The curtains, whined in lobbies, tapt at doors,
        And rummaged like a rat: no servant stay’d:
        The farmer vext packs up his beds and chairs,
        And all his household stuff; and with his boy
        Betwixt his knees, his wife upon the tilt,
        Sets out, and meets a friend who hails him, ‘What!
        You’re flitting!’ ‘Yes, we’re flitting,’ says the ghost
        (For they had pack’d the thing among the beds).
        ‘Oh well,’ says he, ‘you flitting with us too,—
        Jack, turn the horses’ heads, and home again.’”

The late Mr. Charles Hardwick thought that the flitting boggart was of
Scandinavian origin, and the evidence seemed strong enough, but there
is evidence that he is known in Italy. In that charming book by Janet
Ross, “The Land of Manfred,” there is this interesting bit of
folk-lore:—“I observed that some of the flock the old shepherd was
guarding looked tired and hung their heads wearily. I asked whether
they were ill, and he answered, ‘No; but I must get rid of them,
because the Laùro has taken an antipathy to them.’ On further inquiry,
he told me that the Laùro was a little man, only thirty centimetres
high, always dressed in velvet, and wearing a Calabrese hat with a
feather stuck into it. The Laùro is most capricious: to some who ask
him for money he gives a sackful of broken potsherds; to others who ask
for sand he gives old coins. He took a particular dislike to a cousin
of the old shepherd’s, sitting on her chest at night and giving her
terrible dreams. At last she was so worried by the Laùro that she
determined to leave her house. All the household goods and chattels
were on the cart; nothing was left but an old broom, and when the
goodwife went to fetch it the Laùro suddenly appeared, saying, ‘I’ll
take that; let us be off to the new house.’ His antipathies or likings
are unaccountable; he will steal the corn from one horse or mule to
give it to another, twist up their manes and tails in a fantastic way,
or shave them in queer patterns. The Laùro would not allow the sheep I
had asked about to rest at night, and any animal he hated had to be

It may, of course, be said that the flitting boggart went to Taranto
with Guiscard’s Normans in the eleventh century, but it is equally
probable that the Lancashire weaver and the Italian peasant have each
inherited their belief from a common and an earlier source.

The devil occupies a conspicuous place in folk-lore, but he is not the
fallen angel, dark, gloomy, and majestic whom Milton drew, nor is he
the accomplished Mephistophiles, the spirit that denies, whom Goethe
has painted. The devil of folk-lore is malignant but stupid, and
oftener the dupe of humanity than the slayer of souls. This is evident
in the story of the devil’s task of making a rope of sand already
named, and is equally clear in the story of the tailor who made a wager
with the devil that he would beat him at a sewing match. He succeeded
by giving the Evil One a needle with a thread in it so long that for
every stitch the demon had to fly all round the room, whilst the
tailor’s was only of the normal length. The devil of folk-lore is more
like Pan and the satyrs, than he is like the Adversary who tempted Job.
But _de mortuis nil nisi honum_, and _if_—there is much virtue in an
_if_—if the devil is drowned let him rest in peace.

When Archbishop Whately was a Fellow of Oriel, he told this story in
the Common Room:—“A cobbler in Somersetshire dreamt that a person told
him that if he would go to London Bridge he would meet with something
to his advantage. He dreamt the same the next night, and again the
night after. He then determined to go to London Bridge, and walked
thither accordingly. When arrived there, he walked about the whole of
the first day without anything occurring; the next day was passed in a
similar manner. He resumed his place the third day, and walked about
till evening, when, giving it up as hopeless, he determined to leave
London and return home. At this moment a stranger came up and said to
him, ‘I have seen you for the last three days walking up and down this
bridge; may I ask if you are waiting for anyone?’ The answer was ‘No!’
‘Then what is your object in staying here?’ The cobbler then frankly
told his reason for being there, and the dream that had visited him
three successive nights. The stranger then advised him to go home again
to his work, and no more pay any attention to dreams. ‘I myself,’ he
said, ‘had about six months ago a dream. I dreamed three nights
together that, if I would go into Somersetshire, in an orchard, under
an apple-tree, I should find a pot of gold; but I paid no attention to
my dream, and have remained quietly at my business.’ It immediately
occurred to the cobbler that the stranger described his own orchard and
his own apple-tree. He immediately returned home, dug under the
apple-tree, and found a pot of gold. After this increase of fortune he
was enabled to send his son to school, where the boy learnt Latin. When
he came home for the holidays, he one day examined the pot which had
contained the gold, on which was some writing. He said, ‘Father, I can
show you that what I have learnt at school is of some use.’ He then
translated the Latin inscription on the pot thus, ‘Look under, and you
will find better.’ They did look under, and a larger quantity of gold
was found.” This story was as current in Lancashire as in
Somersetshire. At Swaffham, in Norfolk, there is a figure of a chapman
and his dog. This pedlar popular tradition describes as founding the
church out of a treasure found in the manner already described. The
story is current also in Cornwall and in Yorkshire. It is narrated as a
matter of fact in the history of “Dost in Holland.” But it is found in
the Eastern as well as in the Western world. This will be seen from
this story which is given in E. W. Lane’s “Arabian Tales and
Anecdotes”:—“It is related that a man of Baghdád was possessed of ample
riches and great wealth; but his wealth passed away and his state
changed, and he became utterly destitute, and could not obtain his
sustenance save by laborious exertion. And he slept one night,
overwhelmed and oppressed, and saw in his sleep a person who said to
him, ‘Verily thy fortune is in Cairo; therefore seek it and repair to
it.’ So he journeyed to Cairo; and when he arrived there, the evening
overtook him, and he slept in a mosque. Now there was, adjacent to the
mosque, a house; and as God (whose name be exalted!) had decreed, a
party of robbers entered the mosque, and thence passed to that house;
and the people of the house, awaking at the disturbance occasioned by
the robbers, raised cries; whereupon the Wálee[13] came to their aid
with his followers, and the robbers fled. The Wálee then entered the
mosque, and found the man of Baghdád sleeping there: so he laid hold
upon him, and inflicted upon him a painful beating with mikra’ahst (the
thick end of a palm stick used for beating), until he was at the point
of death, and imprisoned him; and he remained three days in the prison;
after which, the Wálee caused him to be brought, and said to him, ‘From
what country art thou?’ He answered, ‘From Baghdád.’—‘And what affair,’
said the Wálee, ‘was the cause of thy coming to Cairo?’ He answered, ‘I
saw in my sleep a person who said to me, ‘Verily thy fortune is in
Cairo: therefore repair to it.’ And when I came to Cairo, I found the
fortune of which he told me to be those blows of the palm stick that I
have received from thee.’—And upon this the Wálee laughed so that his
grinders appeared, and said to him, ‘O thou son of little sense, _I_
saw three times in my sleep a person who said to me, ‘Verily a house in
Baghdád, in such a district, and of such a description, hath in its
court a garden, at the lower end of which is a fountain, wherein is
wealth of great amount: therefore repair to it and take it. But I went
not: and thou, through the smallness of thy sense, hast journeyed from
city to city on account of a thing thou hast seen in sleep, when it was
only an effect of confused dreams.’—Then he gave him some money, and
said to him, ‘Help thyself with this to return to thy city.’ So he took
it and returned to Baghdád. Now the house which the Wálee had
described, in Baghdád, was the house of that man; therefore when he
arrived at his abode, he dug beneath the fountain, and beheld abundant
wealth. Thus God enriched and sustained him; and this was a wonderful
coincidence.” This story is found in the “Masnavi,” written by
Jaláuddin, who died about A.D. 1260.

It is not always easy or even possible to trace the precise pedigree of
a popular superstition or custom, but many of them can be identified as
fragments of bygone religious and mythological systems. When an old
faith is supplanted by a new, the missionaries, as a matter of tact,
will leave untouched customs that are harmless, and will turn to better
uses those that can safely be modified or appropriated. Thus much of
folk-lore is fossil theology, and much of it is fossil science. The
wonderful “cures,” and sometimes disgusting remedies that linger in use
among the ignorant, were the recognised methods of the healing art a
few generations ago. Folk-lore, in some respect, corresponds to that
wonderful faculty of “make-believe” possessed by all children, and is
an inheritance from the mental childhood of the race. The physical
evils, the mental and moral discordances of life, are to primitive man
not the result of the operation of natural law, but abnormal phenomena,
the result of external non-human agencies. Disease is not regarded as
the result of infractions of hygienic rules, but as the possession of
the sufferer by evil spirits. When man looked around for an explanation
of the facts of nature, he found it by peopling the world with unseen
beings, who guarded the trees and the wells; who let loose the storm
and chained up the winds; who had the good and the evil gifts of human
nature; who helped and hindered; who cheated and were cheated. These
imaginary beings are sometimes merely the distortion and
personification of words. It is not every great language that has
attained to the dignity of a neuter gender, though our own possesses
one. Personification is a common enough rhetorical device. It is
possible, then, that if we could accurately analyse the notions of a
modern Lancashire mind, we should find in addition to the
deliberately-held faith of conviction fragments of the mythologies of
Greece and Rome and Scandinavia and India.

In regard to popular traditions and the household stories, so dear to
children, they have come to us by many routes, but the line has always
been from East to West. The Buddhist missionaries, going forth to
preach the faith of Gautama, made abundant use of fables and apologues
to enforce their lessons. The traders, as their caravans passed from
land to land, beguiled the tedium of the journey with such narratives.
The mediæval preachers freely employed them in their discourses to the
unlearned people. If such a phrase be permitted, these tales formed the
unwritten popular literature of the Middle Ages. The stories passed
from mouth to mouth, and were gradually associated with the place and
people best known to the narrator. In this way legends become localised.

The tendency of modern thought is to simplification. The African
savage, bowing to his fetish, has probably a more complex theory of
life than the Oxford professor, and the study of folk-lore shows how
penetrating was the influence of custom and superstition upon the life
of the people. It followed man from the cradle to the grave. There were
ceremonies to be observed at birth, at marriage, at death; at every
stage of the journey of life. It gave to clouds and birds omens that
decided human fate. It peopled the meadows with fairies, and the
mountains with witches; and made the woods and waters alive with
spirits, sometimes friendly, but often malignant. It lighted the
Beltane fires at Midsummer and the Yule-log at Christmas. The Calendar
of the Year and the Calendar of Man’s Life alike registered its
decrees. Whatever happened, good or bad, was referred alike to the
supernatural powers, who for bane or blessing were continually
intervening in the most trivial details of every home. Fairies were
sometimes friends and sometimes foes, but witches and warlocks were
entirely malicious. The dead rested not in their graves, but returned
to terrify the living. The old gods, dethroned from their eminence,
remained as demons to exercise a real and usually an evil power. Viewed
in this light the decay of folk-lore may be regarded as an advantage.
We may regret the nymphs and dryads, and even the “lubber fiend,” but
with them vanish the whole tribe of “witches and warlocks and things
that cried ‘Boh’ in the night.” We will not desire to revive or retain
the popular superstitions and customs of bygone days, but as they pass
away let us examine them with careful and patient attention, and see
what they have to tell us of the past history of the race and the
psychology of primitive man. Studied in this spirit we may sometimes
learn as much from the observation of a child’s game as from the
speculations of a philosopher.

Footnote 13:

  Chief magistrate of the police.

                    Manchester Grammar School Mill.

In 1883 the Manchester School Mill was acquired by the Lancashire and
Yorkshire Railway Company, in order to make a new road from Long
Millgate to Victoria Station. With the destruction of the School Mill
there passed away a curious relic of ancient custom, and a link that
connected modern Manchester with the quaint old town that stood by Irk
and Irwell in the fourteenth century. In the very home of Free Trade
there existed a monopoly at least six centuries old. The School Mill
claimed the right to grind all the malt that is brewed within the
limits of the old town of Manchester. This monopoly is but a fragment
of its former privileges, which were abolished as inimical to the
general good more than a century ago.

In Roman times as a prime requisite a water mill, it is said, was
erected upon the rocky channel of the Medlock below the station and
town, on a site which in later times was called Knot Mill. If this be
correct, the situation must have been found inconvenient, for the town
mill next heard of was situated on the Irk. The right of compelling
their vassals to grind at the “lord’s mill,” and to pay such tolls as
he might fix, was a valuable privilege to the lord of the manor of a
busy and thriving place. When Randle, Earl of Chester, granted the
first charter to Salford in 1230, he said in it:—“No burgess ought to
bake bread to be sold save at my oven by reasonable custom. If I shall
have a mill there the burgesses shall grind at my mill to the twentieth
measure, and if I shall not have a mill there they may grind where they
will.” When Thomas Grelle, Baron of Manchester, in 1301, granted the
charter, by which for many succeeding centuries Manchester was
governed, he was careful to remind his burgesses that they should have
their corn ground at his mill and their bread baked at his oven,
“paying to the aforesaid mill and aforesaid oven the customs as they
ought and are wont to do.”

The Grammar School was founded in 1515 by Hugh Oldham, Bishop of
Exeter, Hugh Bexwyke, Ralph Hulme, and Joan Bexwyke, and in what
respective proportion the institution is due to these worthies may be a
matter of doubt. For the endowment of the school they purchased, for a
“valuable consideration,” the amount of which is not stated, the lands,
rents, and services of the Manchester Corn Mills and all their tolls.
Lord La Warr, in thus parting with the ancient soke mills of his manor,
merely retained a chief rent, which was then fixed at £9 13s. 4d. The
transfer of the mill from the wardens of the college to an independent
body of feoffees is set forth in a deed which was executed in 1525, and
in which Hugh Bexwyke, clerk, and Joan Bexwyke, widow, state that
Thomas West, Knt., Lord La Warr, “did give grant and confirm to them
and to Ralph Hulme, deceased, all his lands and tenements, rents,
reversions, and services of his water corn mills, called Manchester
Mills, situate and being in the town of Manchester, upon the water or
rivulet of Irke, running and flowing from and in the town of Manchester
and the precincts of the same as far as the water or river of Irwell,
flowing between the town of Manchester and the town of Salford, and
also of all the tolls soken of the aforesaid mills of all the tenants
of the said Lord La Warr in Manchester, and of his sojourners of the
same, and of all other residents there.” Further, the same Thomas, Lord
La Warr did give, grant, and confirm to them his “fulling mill there,
called a walke millne, situate, standing, and being upon the said
rivulet or water called Irke; and also his close of land, with its
appurtenances, called Walker’s Croft; and also Thomas, Lord La Warr in
like manner did give, grant, and confirm to them the aforesaid water or
rivulet of Irke, and its free fishery, from a place called Asshelle
Lawne as far as the said water or river called Irwell, and also all his
lands and tenements adjacent and adjoining, without the several closes
and burgage on each side of the same water or rivulet called Irke,
flowing in the said town of Manchester, from the place called Asshelle
Lawne, into the said river of Irwell.” And farther, the same Thomas,
Lord La Warr did give, grant, and confirm to them “full power and
authority, and right of making, setting-up, fixing, and attaching mills
or messuages, and so many and such weirs, floodgates, and fastenings,
to both sides of the same water or rivulet, called Irke, and upon,
through, and across the same water, in any places whatsoever, from the
said place, called Asshelle Lawne, unto the said water or river of
Irwell,” as they or their heirs and assigns should think to be
expedient or beneficial for their greater profit or advantage. Lord La
Warr also conveyed to the purchasers by the same deed some fulling
mills in Ancoats, where there are various evidences of the early
practice of textile industries. The value of the Manchester Mills when
they were first bought as an endowment for the school was estimated at
£47 10s. per annum. Lord La Warr promised that no more mills should be
erected within or about the manor of Manchester, and thus ensured to
the schools the monopoly of the grinding of the corn and malt for the
town. The restraint was probably felt to be injurious at a
comparatively early period. In 1556 those who evaded this toll were
threatened with amercement, and apparently continued to be undeterred
by such threats, for in 1561 it was ordered that “in future” they
should forfeit twenty shillings. In 1592 the feoffees had to guard
their monopoly against the attack of Anthony Travis, who erected “a
horse mill within the town.” The Duchy Court of Lancaster upheld the
rights of the monopolists, and actually prohibited the use within the
town of even a hand mill or quern mill for the grinding of either corn
or malt. If, however, the grain lay at the mill for twenty-four hours
unground the owner might take it away to some other mill. In 1608 a
horse mill was ordered to be destroyed. During the Commonwealth the
people of the town had freedom in this matter, and they used it so that
the revenues of the school began to diminish very rapidly. An order of
Parliament was obtained in 1647, and the mills were then leased to Mr.
John Hartley for £130 per annum. The new lessee established his right
against two hardy individuals who had set up a common brewhouse in the
college, which they contended owed no suit or service to the School
Mills. The decision went against them. In 1701 some persons who had
erected mills in Salford were prosecuted for having customers who ought
to have ground at the Manchester Mills. They were ordered not to
receive any corn or malt for grinding from any of the inhabitants of
Manchester. In 1728 some persons who had erected a brewhouse in Salford
and sold ale and beer to the burgesses of Manchester were required
“under pain of forfeiting £100 to have all their corn and malt that
should be spent ground in their houses at the School Mills.” The
farmers of the mill at this time made an attempt to obtain a judgment
that should include oats, which had not been ground at the School Mills
for two generations. The Judges, however, insisted that an issue ought
to be directed for trying the custom at common law. This the farmers
did not think expedient, and so they dropped the suit and paid the
costs. In 1732 they were successful in restraining Sir Oswald Mosley
from using a malt mill which he had erected in Hanging Ditch. It will
easily be understood that the tenants of the mills were exceedingly
unpopular with the inhabitants. Witty John Byrom, in an epigram which
became proverbial, thus lampooned the two of them, who from their spare
forms had been nicknamed Skin and Bone:—

                 “Bone and Skin, two millers thin,
                   Would starve the town, or near it;
                 But be it known to Skin and Bone
                   That Flesh and Blood won’t bear it.”

This was written in 1737, and there was something prophetic in the
quatrain, for in 1757, when the pressure of hard times was severely
felt, there was a fatal riot arising out of the popular feeling against
the monopoly. On June 6th the provisions brought by the farmers to the
market were seized by the mob, and a considerable quantity was
destroyed. The approach of harvest would, it was hoped, bring something
of peace and plenty, but when this anticipation proved delusive, the
patience of the people was exhausted, and a large assembly from
Saddleworth, Oldham, and other parts, having destroyed a corn mill at
Clayton, advanced to Shudehill. They were met, however, by Mr. James
Bayley, who was then high sheriff of the county, and who had with him a
party of soldiers and a large number of the well-to-do inhabitants on
horseback. The rioters, confident that the soldiers would not fire upon
them, proceeded to various acts of violence. The goods in the market
were seized, the troops were pelted with stones, and one of the
soldiers was killed on the spot. This was more than the military were
likely to endure, and on receiving orders they fired, and in the
ensuing struggle four of the rioters were killed and fifteen wounded.
This unhappy occurrence probably had its share in the formation of that
public opinion which in 1758 led to the passing of an Act of Parliament
for the regulation of the mills. This Act stated that in consequence of
the increase of population, it was desirable to free the inhabitants of
Manchester from their obligation to grind at the School Mills any corn
or grain whatsoever, malt only excepted. The exception was made on the
ground that the mills were adequate to the task of grinding all the
malt needed. The charge was fixed at “one shilling and no more for the
grinding of one load containing six bushels or twenty-four pecks of
malt of Winchester measure,” instead of the twenty-fourth part which
had previously been taken. The monopoly in this modified form continued
to our day.

Formerly the privilege was valuable, and though the profit was devoted
to a good cause, it is instructive to note the economical effect. The
restriction was always irksome to the brewers, and it is observable
that all modern local breweries have been erected just outside the
boundaries of the township of Manchester, as, for instance, in Moss
Side, Hulme, Cheetham, Ardwick, and Gorton. No new breweries have been
built for many years in Manchester proper.

It will be seen from this rapid retrospect that the Manchester Grammar
School Mills have a written history extending from the year 1301, and a
tradition that carries them generations further back.

                          The Rising of 1715.

England, it has been epigramatically said, is governed by reactions.
There is more truth in the remark than is usually found in smart
sayings. There is an ebb and flow in the political tide, the waves
which thunder against the bulwarks and threaten to overwhelm the
peaceful town beyond them, fall calmly back again to their sandy bed.
An example of this phenomenon we have in the intense Jacobitism of
Lancashire at the commencement of the last century. Lancashire was not
without gallant cavaliers who charged for the “King and the Laws”
behind the fiery Rupert, but the county at large swore by the
Parliament and struck some hard blows at the “Lord’s anointed.” The
memorable “petition for peace” was drawn up by a Manchester man, and
the first victims of that civil war which was to drench England with
blood, were inhabitants of that town. It was natural then to expect
that the pendulum should swing right to the other extreme of its line,
and that the descendants of those who had pulled down the monarch from
his throne, and consigned him to the traitor’s block, should be
sticklers for the right divine of kings to govern wrong, should risk
fortune, life, and limb, to replace on the throne of his ancestors the
double dealing James and his unfortunate descendants. There were some
special causes which strengthened the hands of the Jacobites in this
quarter. The Roman Catholics were distinguishable by their steady,
unalterable loyalty to the House of Stuart, and the persecution to
which they were subjected from the reign of Elizabeth downwards, only
served to strengthen their attachment. The jealousy of the Low Church
men, and the bitter antagonism of the Puritans was sufficient to defeat
any amelioration of their condition which the Sovereign might desire,
but in their sufferings they recollected that both Charles and his
brother had been desirous of extending to them toleration for the
exercise of their religion. The Dissenters, however, chose to endure
the severities of the Test Act themselves, rather than do anything to
hinder the harrying and persecution of the Romanists. The Roman
Catholics had natural friends in the High Church men, who held in all
fulness the doctrine of the divine right, and consequently the
unlawfulness of the tenure by which King William and George I. held the
throne. The clearness and distinctness with which this opinion was
formulated must be considered if we would understand the motive power
of the Jacobite rebellions.

According to them the King was God’s representative on earth, and
unconditional obedience was due to all his commands. He might be a
drunken, licentious scoundrel, a perjured villain, a red-handed
murderer, a raving madman, but nothing on earth could invalidate his
inborn kingly right, and whoso disobeyed him, was false to God and to
his country. This opinion was supported by a second theory as to the
patriarchal origin of monarchy. Adam and Abraham exercised regal power,
therefore it was “unnatural for the people to govern or choose
governors.” Charles II. is but an odd looking patriarch, although like
the King of Yvetot, his subjects had a hundred reasons for calling him
their father. However, as the learned O’Flaherty in his “Ogygia” tells
us that the Stuarts were descended in a direct line from Adam (which is
probable), and that it was the 124th generation that ascended the
Scottish throne, Charles might perhaps claim his monarchical privileges
as heir general of the Father of Mankind.

This leading doctrine of the High Church party was closely wedded to a
sentiment of bitter dislike of the Protestant Dissenters. The
impeachment of Sacheverell, the High Church clergyman, for his
denunciation of the revolution of 1688, and of the principles which had
brought it about, roused to fever heat all the evil passions of the
time. His punishment (three years’ prohibition from preaching) was so
slight as to be almost a triumph. In 1714 a bill for the repression of
Schism was only prevented from coming in force by the death of Queen

The accession of George I. was a tremendous blow for the Jacobites, and
in Manchester they went mad with rage. The Pretender’s birthday,
Friday, the 10th of June, was fittingly selected as the time for
wreaking their revenge on the Dissenters. On that day various places in
England were disgraced by riotous mobs drinking health to King James,
and breathing fiery vows of vengeance against the Presbyterians. The
Manchester mob was second to none. The town was in a state of anarchy
for days, and King Mob had it all his own way. With beating of drums
they enlivened their marches, and with fiery potations inflamed their
loyalty and piety. Woe to the luckless Nonconformist who came in their
way! The riot was not unlike a rebellion. They had their recognised
leaders: a colonel, whose name forgetful history has nowhere recorded;
and a captain, Thomas Syddal, a sturdy blacksmith, the end of whose
brawling life was not far off. They had the tacit encouragement of
Jacobite magistrates, who left the rabble masters of the situation. The
only Dissenting meeting-house in Manchester was in Acresfield, and is
now known as Cross Street Unitarian Chapel. Headed by the valiant
Syddal, these friends of the ancient constitution in Church and State
attacked the humble meeting-house, and wrecked it completely. The bare
walls were all the vestiges they left of the lowly house of prayer. So
fine a performance did the mob consider it, that with infinite gusto
they repeated it at Monton, Blackley, and in fact all the
meeting-houses that fell in their way as they marched toward Yorkshire.
Things were assuming so serious an aspect, and the local authorities
were so unable or unwilling to check it effectually, that the
Government had to interpose with a military force. It was not until
there had been a fortnight’s carnival of riot and outrage that the Earl
of Stair dispersed the Manchester band, and took prisoners its leading
men. Occasional outbreaks in various places continued until the end of
July. The House of Commons petitioned the King for the vigorous
enforcement of the law, the punishment of neglectful justices, and the
compensation from the public funds of the sufferers. The destruction of
religious meeting-houses was declared to be felony without benefit of
clergy, and, £1,500 was granted to the Protestant Dissenters of
Manchester for the repair of their temple.

Syddal and his colonel were tried at Lancaster Assizes in August. In
pursuance of their sentence they both decorated the pillory on the
market day, whilst some looked on with scorn and more with sympathy.
They were tenderly treated, for no man was allowed to fling anything at
them; thus they escaped the worst part of the ordeal. From the pillory
back to jail, and there they lay until their prison gates were opened
by the army of James III. The High Church faction were a loose-living,
hard-drinking race, fonder of confusing their brains by drinking
“Confusion to the Elector of Hanover” than of striking home an honest
blow for the King over the water. Their conspiracies were of the
pot-house order, concocted over a flowing punch-bowl. They exaggerated
probably even to themselves the strength of their party, and when the
Scottish Jacobites (with whom the struggle was chiefly for the ancient
integrity and independence of their kingdom) determined to raise the
standard of the Pretender, they had received assurances that twenty
thousand Lancashire men would join their forces. On the faith of these
promises the Fiery Cross was sent flaming round the Highlands, and the
rebellion, which, if confined to Scotland, would have had strong
chances of success, was to be a general one. The Earl of Derwentwater
and the Roman Catholic gentlemen of Northumberland effected a junction
with the two Scottish armies at Kelso. This is not the place to
chronicle the movements of the rebel army, their want of purpose, or
their internal dissensions. The incompetence of their leader, a country
squire turned into a general, whose jealousy of the military reputation
of grim old Brigadier Mackintosh led him to reject wise counsel,
brought on the fatal catastrophe which awaited them. At Langholm they
were met by Lord Widdrington, who assured them of Lancashire aid and
sympathy, and this determined at last their course of action. They
marched into England, but not without misgivings on the part of the
leaders, and many desertions on the part of the Highlanders, who were
bitterly opposed to leaving Scotland. They were joined by very few men
in their English march, the leaders were thoroughly dispirited, and
Mackintosh, tough old soldier as he was, looked gloomily at the
cheerless prospect before them.

At Kendal their cheerfulness was somewhat restored by the appearance of
Lord Widdrington’s brother with news that Lancashire was ready to rise,
that James III. had that day been proclaimed King at Manchester, where
the townspeople had undertaken to furnish a troop of fifty men at their
own expense, and where many volunteers might be expected. Instead of
marching on Newcastle, where the Whig general was hurrying to meet
them, they determined to advance to Lancaster. The loyalists were
completely surprised at this descent into Lancashire. Sir Henry
Houghton was at the head of a body of militia numbering 600. He could
not obtain the aid of some dragoons who were stationed in Preston, but
refused to stir without orders from London, and he was forced to
retreat on Preston, and the army of King James took peaceful possession
of the town with trumpets sounding, and the bare swords of the
gentlemen glittering gaily as they rode triumphantly forward. The
prisoners in the castle were now released from durance vile, and
Syddal—Captain Syddal, as he was styled—attached himself to the
regiment of the Earl of Derwentwater. Perhaps he was one of the lucky
gentlemen soldiers, who dressed “in their best clothes,” went to drink
a dish of tea with the ladies of Lancaster, which fair Jacobites were
also “in their best rigging, and had their tea tables richly furnished
for to entertain their new suitors.” On the 9th of November they
marched to Preston, and were greatly encouraged by learning that the
dragoons already mentioned had quitted that town. Less pleasing to them
was the conduct of Peploe the curate, who had the courage to read with
extra emphasis and unction the prayers for King George and his family.
At Preston the rebels remained inactive, seemingly careless of the
danger which threatened them. Carpenter was hastening from Newcastle,
and a second force was hastening in detachments from the west to be
placed under the command of General Wills in the neighbourhood. The
plan of the campaign was drawn up by no less a man than Marlborough. On
the 8th Wills passed through Manchester and found the town so
disaffected that he quartered a thousand men in it, greatly to the
disgust of the High Church Tories, some of whom were arrested, whilst
others fled, or remained in concealment. Whilst the rebels were
“feasting and courting” in Preston, bewitched by the Jacobite charms of
what was then the most aristocratic and luxurious of the Lancashire
towns, wasting the precious hours in contented lotos-eating, the Whigs
were full of activity. Even Dissenting ministers in more than one case
marched at the head of their congregations with muskets, scythes
mounted on poles, and everything that could be tortured into weapons of
offence, and joined the army of General Wills to fight for liberty and
the Protestant succession. The Rev. James Woods, of Chowbent, was
conspicuous in this way, and for the rest of his life was commonly
known as “General” Woods.

Notwithstanding the military genius of Mackintosh who now planned the
defence, the rebels after some hard fighting, on the arrival of
Carpenter found themselves hopelessly surrounded. They sent Colonel
Oxburgh to treat with Wills for a capitulation. “I will not treat with
Rebels; they have killed several of the King’s subjects, and they must
expect to undergo the same fate.” Such was Wills’ alternative,
unconditional surrender, and only one hour in which to decide. This
secret negotiation exasperated the Highlanders, who swore they would
die fighting, and vowed they would shoot their muddle-headed General
Forster if they had the chance. The time for consideration was
afterwards extended after a further conference with some of the Scotch
officers, who pledged themselves to a cessation from arms. Some six or
seven rebels were, notwithstanding, cut to pieces in an attempt to
escape. Mackintosh was now a hostage in the hands of the King’s forces,
and on the 13th of November the defenders of Preston surrendered at
discretion. Many of the rebels escaped, but the number of prisoners was

The rebellion begun hastily and ignorantly, carried on through all its
course with dissensions, quarrels, and the most lamentable
incompetence, had arrived at its ignominious end, so far as England was
concerned. Preston was for some time given up to plunder, and the
prisoners reserved for retribution, in divers jails of Lancashire and
Cheshire. The House of Hanover was never noticeable for mercy, and the
retribution was a bloody one.

The landing of James in Scotland did no good at all. Above a thousand
of the rebels were transported, some of the leaders amongst them;
Forster and the brave old Mackintosh escaped, the one by fraud, the
other by force. The number who were executed is not known. The hangman
had a triumphant progress through Lancashire. On the eleventh of
February, 1716, there came into Manchester a melancholy cavalcade.
Bound to one horse by strong cords and surrounded by guards, there rode
into the town dashing Tom Syddal, the former leader of the High Church
mob in destroying the Dissenting chapels, and with him four others who
had been condemned to death. They were hanged, drawn, and quartered, at
Knott Mill. Syddal’s head was afterwards fixed on the Market Cross.

                         The Fool of Lancaster.

  “Take gifts with a sigh, most men give to be paid.”—J. B. O’REILLY.
  _Rules of the Road._

This story, which is told in “Jack of Dover,” 1604, is instructive if
not amusing:—“There was of late (quoth another of the jurie) a
ploughman and a butcher dwelling in Lancaster who, for a trifling
matter (like two fooles), went to law, and spent much money therein,
almost to both their undoings; but at last, being both consented to be
tride by a lawyer dwelling in the same town, each of them, in hope of a
further favour, bestowed gyftes upon him. The ploughman first of all
presented him a cupple of good fat hens, desiring Mr. Lawyer to stand
his good friend, and to remember his suite in law, the which he
courteously tooke at his handes, saying that what favour he could show
him, he should be sure of the uttermost. But now, when the butcher
heard of the presenting of these hens by the ploughman, hee went and
presently killed a good fatte hogge, and in like manner presented it to
the lawyer, as a bribe to draw him to his side; the which he also tooke
very courteously, and promised the like to him as he did before to the
other. But so it fell out, that shortly after the verdict passed on the
butcher’s side; which when the ploughman had notice of, he came to the
lawyer, and asked him wherefore his two hens were forgotten. Mary,
quoth he, because there came in a fatte hogge and eate them up. Now a
vengeance take that hog! quoth the ploughman, that eate both my suit in
law and hens together! Well, quoth Jacke of Dover, this in my minde was
pretty foolery, but yet the foole of all fooles is not heere found,
that I looked for.”

This seems to have been a rather favourite jest, for it is given also
in the “Pleasant Conceits of Old Hobson,” 1607, and in the “Mery
Tales,” 1530, and is one of the mediæval jokes given by Wright in his
“Latin Stories” (Percy Society).

                   Alexander Barclay and Manchester.

Probably the first purely literary reference to Manchester is that
contained in the first eclogue of Alexander Barclay. Of the two
shepherds who carry on a dialogue, Cornix is the chief speaker, and
graphically pourtrays the miseries of life at court. Early in the
conversation comes this passage:—


             .       .       .       .       .       .
          Thus all be fooles which willingly there dwell,
          Coridon, the court is the bayting place of hell.


          That is hardly saide man, by the roode of rest.


          I graunt it is harde, but to say truth is best,
          But yet shall I proue my saying veritable,
          Aduert my wordes, see if I be culpable.
          Unto our purpose: by diuers wayes three
          Men may be fooles, I shall them count to thee:
          They all be fooles which set their thought and minde
          That thing for to seke which they shall neuer finde.
          And they be fooles which seke thing with delite,
          Which if they finde is harm and no profite;
          And he is a foole, a sotte, and a geke also,
          Which choseth a place unto the same to go,
          And where diuers wayes lead thither directly
          He choseth the worst and most of ieopardie:
          As if diuers wayes laye unto Islington,
          To Stow on the Wold, Quaueneth or Trompington,
          To Douer, Durham, to Barwike or Exeter,
          To Grantham, Totnes, Bristow, or good Manchester,
          To Roan, Paris, to Lions or Floraunce.


          What ho man abide, what already in Fraunce.
          Lo, a fayre journey, and shortly ended to,
          With all these townes what thing have we to do?


          By God man knowe thou that I haue had to do
          In all these townes and yet in many mo,
          To see the worlde in youth me thought was best,
          And after in age to geue my selfe to rest.


          Thou might haue brought one and set by our village.


          What man I might not for lacke of cariage.
          To cary mine owne selfe was all that euer I might,
          And sometime for ease my sachell made I light.


          To our first matter we better must entende,
          Els in twelue monthes we scant shall make an ende.

                                 (_Spenser Society’s Reprint_, pp. 5-6.)

This passage has not escaped the notice either of Mr. T. H. Jamieson,
who has edited Barclay’s translation of the “Stultifera Navis,” or of
Dr. A. W. Ward, who has written his life in the “Dictionary of National
Biography,” and puts the query that Godmanchester may be meant. The
eclogue from which the quotation is taken, together with two others,
are said to be “gathered out of a booke named in Latin, ‘Miseriæ
Curialium,’ compiled by Æneas Silvius, Poet and Oratour.” This, of
course, means that member of the Piccolomini family, who, after an
earlier life not free from reproach, made a decorous pontiff, as Pope
Pius II., and died in 1464. This book, drawn from his own experience of
the unhappy life of courtiers, was the most popular of all his
writings. It was often reprinted, but whether Barclay worked from a
printed or a MS. copy is not known. Now, what his principles of
translation were we know, both from his declaration and practice. In
his version of Brandt’s “Ship of Fools,” he tells how he added and
omitted as seemed best for his purpose of producing a book that should
aid in strengthening the morality of the time. And in dealing with
Æneas Sylvius, he has been even freer than in dealing with Brandt. Of
the “Miseriæ Curialium,” there are several editions in the British
Museum, and those of Paris (1475?), Cologne (1468?), Rome (1485? and
1578), have been examined for me by Dr. W. A. Shaw, to whom my best
thanks are due for his kindness. “The book,” he says, “of Æneas Sylvius
is in prose, and, in epistolary form addressed to ‘dñō Johī de Arch
Pspicaci et claro Jurū cōsulto.’ There is none of the eclogue and
dialogue form of Barclay’s work; there are no interlocutors, and there
are no references, save to such names of classical antiquity as serve
for satirical notice, in, say, Juvenal, with the exception that, in the
section treating of the table and pleasures of eating, he refers
briefly to the place of origin of the better known delicacies. There is
no mention of Manchester, nor of England, from first to last, nor any
possibility of it from the style of the letter, and taking it casually,
side by side with Barclay, I cannot find a parallel point which would
suggest a translation.”

We may, therefore, probably regard the passage as strictly
autobiographical, and conclude that, in his wandering life as a
preaching friar, Barclay, at some time or other, visited Manchester.
From internal evidences, the eclogues are assigned to the year 1514,
but it is curious that whilst there is a long reference to the death of
John Alcock, Bishop of Ely, in 1500, there is none to his successors,
Redmayne (1501) or Stanley (1509). The early editions of the eclogues
are undated, and the first three eclogues were apparently issued before
the others. There are many points of interest in regard to the life and
work of Alexander Barclay, which cannot be discussed in directing
attention to one of the earliest—probably the very earliest—purely
literary mention of a place that in after ages has not been without
claims to distinction in literature and science. The date of Barclay’s
birth is conjecturally, but with tolerable certainty, fixed in 1476,
and he died in 1552. Since the biographies by Mr. Jamieson and Dr. Ward
were written, some fresh information has appeared in Mr. James
Gairdner’s “Letters and Papers of the reign of Henry VIII.,” vol.
xiii., pt. 2 (1893). These show that whilst Barclay was conscious of
ecclesiastical abuses and desirous of their reform, he was an object of
suspicion to those who were carrying out the work of the suppression of
the monasteries, and ran some risk by his retention of the distinctive
habit of the friars. Robert Ward writes on October 9th, 1538, to
Cromwell that at Barking, Suffolk, when Barclay preached there in the
Whitsun holidays, he did not declare the King’s supremacy. Ward states
that he reproached the preacher for not doing so, but does not record
his answer. On October 12th, William Dynham writes to Cromwell: “Of
late I came to the priory of St. Germayne in Cornwall, and sat at
supper with the Prior, accompanied by Alexander Barckley, who the day
before preached in honour of the Blessed Virgin, but not so much to the
edifying of his audience as his demeanour next day was, I heard, to
their destruction. At supper I moved such questions as I thought might
do good to the audience. He served my purpose, till, ‘after a sodeyne
dompe, he brake silence, as a man that had spoken too well (and yet a
frere in a somewhat honester weed),’ and glorified himself. He first
protested he would preach no new things, not set out by the King and
his Council. I answered, wondering what he meant, when all men of
literature and judgment ‘knew that our so Christian a Prince and his
Council set forth no new thing but the gospel of Christ, and the
sincere verity thereof.’ Barckley replied, ‘I would to God that at the
least the laws of God might have as much authority as the laws of the
realm.’ Asked him what he meant, and Barckley said, Nothing, but he
thought men were too busy pulling down images without special
commandment of the Prince. Dynham answered, he knew none pulled down,
except such as idolatry was committed unto, and reminded him ‘of St.
Margarets Patent is rode’ (the rood of St. Margaret Pattens in London),
and the assembly, although somewhat dispraised, yet for the intent and
good fact thereof, tolerated. Here, he demanded, what followed thereof?
I requiring him to answer his demand, he said I knew how many tenements
and some people were burnt soon upon. ‘What, Barckley?’ said I, ‘here
is somewhat moved; ye have a versatile ingeyne, but were ye so sleper
as an eel, here will I hold you. Would you infect this audience with
that opinion, that God for such cause plagued them? Your cankered heart
is disclosed. My true little stomach, with reverence of the prior and
his board, must be opened lest it break. You are, Barckley, a false
knave and a dissembling frere. You get no pence might I rule here. You
seek your own profit vocall to hinder the truth more than unity to set
forth the true and princely endeavour of our most Crysten, and of his
church Supremest Head, most laudable enterprises; whereof, I trust,
thou shalt hear.’”

Writing to Cromwell on October 28th, Latimer says that “A man has
written to him that Frere Bartlow does much hurt in ‘Corwall and in
Daynshyre,’ both with open preaching and private communication.
Suspects he has some comfort from Rome, through Dr. Nycolasse.’ The
Abbot of Evesham, the bearer, asks Latimer to thank Cromwell for him.
Thinks he will find few who will better remember his kindnesses. He
seems a very civil and honest man, and one who puts all his trust in
Cromwell. Requests Cromwell to maintain him in his right to what he has
obtained by his goodness.” These passages enable Mr. Gairdner to
identify the subject of this anecdote told by Foxe, the Martyrologist:
“Hereunto also pertaineth the example of Friar Bartley, who wearing
still his friar’s cowl after the suppression of religious houses,
Cromwell coming through Paul’s Churchyard, and espying him in Rheines’s
shop. ‘Yea,’ said he, ‘will not that cowl of yours be left off yet? And
if I hear by one o’clock that this apparel be not changed, thou shalt
be hanged immediately, for example to all others.’ And so, putting his
cowl away, he durst never wear it after.” It is satisfactory to know
that he survived these dangers, received some preferment, and died
peaceably in 1552.

[Illustration: THE END]


  Accrington, 35

  Acson, Thomas, 89

  Actors, French, in London, 62

  Adam, progenitor of Scottish kings, 233

  Adams, Roger, printer, 40

  Adlington, 96

  Advertisements, 61, 65, 69

  Æneas Sylvius, 248

  Agarde, Arthur, 80

  Alchemy, 83

  Alcock, Bishop, John, 247, 249

  Ale, 176

  Algerine pirates, 47

  Algiers, 47, 53

  Allen, Gabriel, 94;
    Cardinal Witham, 94

  Allenson, Rev. Mr., 11

  Amber, 57, 58

  Ancoats, 226

  Annapolis, 18

  Anderton family, secret printing press, 39

  Arab trade with Europe, 57

  Ardwick, 230

  Asshelle Lawne, 225

  Assheton, Edmund, 96

  Assheton crest, 81

  Ashton, Sir Thomas, 83, 84

  Atkinson, F. R., 185

  Babelon, Ernest, 56

  Babies for sale, 70

  Babs, 71

  Bacup, 33

  Bailey, Mrs., centenarian, 29

  Baker, Daniel, drowned, 97;
    Sir Thomas, 61, 65

  Bamfield or Bampfield, Francis, 42;
    Sir John, 42;
    Thomas, 42

  Bamford, Samuel, 173, 175;
    trial, 184

  Banbury, 68

  Bankes, Legh, 10, 11

  Baptist preacher and sea captain, 46

  Barcelona, 45

  Barclay, Alexander, career of, 245;
    mention of Manchester, 246

  Barley-bird, 76

  Barton-in-Kendal, 30

  Bauwens, Liévin, 119

  Baxter, John, 93

  Baxter, William, centenarian, 66

  Bayley, Christopher, 94;
    James, 229

  Bedloe, William, 14

  Beggarwoman’s fortune, 64

  Belfast, 36

  Belgium and spinning machinery, 119

  Belgrade, 64

  Bell, James, priest, executed, 93

  Berry, John, printer, journalist, etc., 61, 65, 70

  Bexwyke, Hugh, 223, 224;
    Joan, 223, 224

  Bickerstaffe, 26

  Bickersteth, Anne, centenarian, 30

  Billinge, Anne, 37;
    Charles, 37;
    Lydia, 37;
    Margaret, 37;
    Mary, centenarian, 36;
    William, 37

  Birds’ feathers, 77

  Birds’ language, 76

  Birley, Capt., 183;
    H. H., 185

  Birmingham, 186, 196

  Blackbird, 77

  Blackburn, 30, 78

  Blackley, 235

  Blackpool, 33

  Blainscough, 93

  Blake, Admiral, 45

  Blakesley, Mrs., centenarian, 27

  Blanketeers, 174

  Blue titmouse, 77

  Blundell, William, trial, 4, 24

  Boardman, Mrs., centenarian, 29

  Boardman, Bolton dwarf, 136

  Boggart, flitting, 210

  Bolton, 24, 94, 112, 136

  Bolton Percy, 88

  Bone and Skin, 228

  Booksellers, 61, 65

  Booth of Barton, 95

  Boothe, Anne, 90;
    John, 90;
    Marget, 90

  Boston, Mass., 19

  Bowker, James, 201

  Bradshaw, Rev. Joseph, 88

  Bradford, 61, 65

  Bradley, Mr., 61, 65

  Braidley, B., 185

  Branded for roguery, 9

  Brandwood, Ellin, centenarian, 27

  Bread baking, 223

  Brereton, Col. Uriah, 9, 12

  Brereton, Sir Urian, 87

  Brierley, Ben, 200

  Briscoe, William, centenarian, 28

  Bristol, 18, 62;
    murder at, 17

  Broadnax or Broadneux, Major Robert, centenarian, 25

  Brome, H., 42

  Bromfield, Dr., a Jacobite Quaker, 5

  Brookes, Rev. Joshua, 34

  Brookes, Mrs., 69

  Brooks, John, 186

  Breweries, 227, 230

  Buckinger, Matthew, death of, 64

  Buddhist stories, 219

  Burnley, 24, 28, 204

  Burt, James, 192

  Bury, 30, 68

  Byrom, John, 228

  Cannel coal ornaments, 112

  Canterbury, Archbishop of, 192

  Cape Hone, 51

  Carlisle, 34

  Carmarthen, 17

  Carpenter, General, 239

  Carr, 28

  Catharine of Liverpool, 163

  Cecil, Lady Mildred, 95

  Centenarians, Lancashire, 22-38

  Chaderton, William, Bishop of Chester, 91, 92, 93

  Chaffinch, 77

  Chambers’s Cyclopædia, 65

  Chapels wrecked, 235

  Charles II., 47, 233;
    and Quaker sailor, 53

  Cheetham, 230

  Cheetham Hill, 36

  Chester, 44, 61, 65

  Chetham, Humphrey, 98

  Childe of Hale, 133

  Children, marriage of, 82, 86

  Chimney, 87

  China blue, 34

  Chorlton, 94, 195

  Chorlton-on-Medlock, 34

  Chorlton, Alexander, 89

  Chowbent, 240

  Church porch marriages, 84

  Church sites supernaturally changed, 204

  Churchdown, 204

  Circulating library, 144

  Clavell’s catalogue, 42

  Clay soils, 75

  Clayton, 229

  Clayton, William, centenarian, 29

  Clifton, Sir Thomas, trial, 4, 5

  Clitheroe, 27, 72

  Clowes, Rev. John, 159

  Coal ornaments, 112

  “Cock nests,” 75

  Cockerell, James, centenarian, 24

  Cockerham, 7, 203

  Coffee, 176

  Colliers’ wages, 62

  Cooper, Bishop, and Martin Marprelate, 39

  Cooper, Dr. Thomas, 167

  Cork, 64

  Corn mill, 223

  Corpse arrested for debt, 67

  Cotton, 75

  Coward, Timothy, centenarian, 25

  Crawford, Sir James, 122

  Creeper, 76, 77

  Crest, Trafford, 80

  Crossley, Frances, centenarian, 29

  Croxteth, 7, 12

  Cruikshank, the surgeon, 15, 22

  Crumpsall, 35

  Cuba, 67

  Cuerdale, Kufic coins found at, 56

  Curril, Elizabeth, centenarian, 29

  Dacre, Lord, 186

  Danes’ commerce with the East, 60

  David le Seintpier, 83

  Davis, Mr., 61, 65

  Deacon, Anne, a rich beggar, 63

  Deer, red, 26

  De Quincey, Thomas, account of a highwayman, 15

  Derby, 195

  Derby, Earl of, 39

  Derwentwater, Earl of, 237

  Dettingen Battle, 31

  Detrosier, Rowland, 189

  Devil in folk-lore, 203, 212

  Dialect, 106, 113

  Diamond, Dr., 37

  Dickenson, Mrs. Margaret, 64

  Dicconson, Roger, 11, 13

  Dicconson, William, trial, 3, 4, 7, 9

  Disley, 25

  Dissenters and Test Act, 232

  Divine right, 233

  Divorce, 87

  Dixon, Elijah, 186, 195

  Dog, mad, 68

  Dolls, 70

  Doni, Antonio Francisco, 208

  Downes, Francis, 97;
    John, 97;
    Roger, 97

  Dream, story of, 213

  Dress, 113

  Driving the stags, 26

  Duberdo, Isaac, centenarian, 27

  Dublin working schools, 64

  Dudley, Earl of, 196

  Duel, 81

  Dukenhalgh, 7, 12

  Dunstanville, Lord de, 186

  Dwarf, 136

  Dyer, J. C., 188

  Dyeing, 34-35

  Dynham, William, 250

  Eccles, 83

  Eccleston, Thomas, 3

  Eels, 78

  Eldon, Lord, 186

  Elell, 27

  Ellis, William, centenarian, 28

  Enfield, 28

  Everton, 37

  Eveson, Susan, centenarian, 28

  Executions, 63, 93, 242

  Exon, 62

  Eyre, Sir Giles, 12, 13

  Fables, migration, 219

  Fairies, 221

  Faloghys, Thomas, 85

  Featherstone’s doom, 204

  Felons, prosecution, 68

  ffarington, William, 99

  Fielden, John, 195

  “Fighting sailor turned peaceable Christian,” 54

  Finch, John, recusant, executed, 93

  Finger nails, 203

  Fish ova artificial impregnation, 74

  Fleming, Jane, 36

  Fleming, Mr., centenarian, 27

  Fleming the spy, 172

  Fletcher, Mrs., 157

  Flodden Field, 86

  Folk-Lore of Lancashire, 197

  Fool of Lancaster, 243

  Ford, William, 41-42

  Footpad, 67

  Forster, General, 241, 242

  Fox, George, and Thomas Lurting, 47-48

  French players, 62

  Friends, early, 46-55

  Friers, Roger, centenarian, 25

  Fulling mills, 226

  Funeral, 88;
    by torchlight, 96;
    sermon, 96

  Gainsburgh, William of, 153

  Gairdner, James, 249

  Gale, Miss, 68;
    Roger, 68

  Gamul, story of, 206

  Gardner, Martha, centenarian, 37-38

  Garnett, Richard, 70;
    Dr. Richard, 70;
    Jeremiah, 78;
    Thomas, biographical notice, 72

  Garstang, 27, 30

  Gaskell, Mrs., her “Squire’s Story,” 15-21

  George IV., 187

  Gerard, Sir W., 3, 100

  “Gesta Romanorum,” 208

  Giants, 130

  Gibson, Rev. T. E., 25

  Glasgow, 34

  Glass trade, 69

  Glave family in Wigan, 32

  Glover, Mr., centenarian, 27

  Gomme. G. L., 199

  Goosnargh, 7

  Gorton, 230

  Gosnal, Jane, centenarian, 29

  Gosnell, Rev. James, 94

  Goss, Rev. Alexander, 14

  Gossamer, 78

  Gough, Mr., 61, 65

  Grammar School of Manchester, 222

  Green, Rev. Henry, 20

  Greenwood, John, 176

  Greg family, 161;
    R. H., 188, 192

  Grelle, Thomas, 223

  Grey, Earl, 189, 194, 196

  Grey wagtail, 75

  “Guide to Heaven,” 41

  Hadfield, George, 188, 192

  Hale giant, 133

  Halifax, 61, 65

  Hall, J., 42

  Hamer, Richard, centenarian, 30

  Hamo de Massey, 80

  Hanson, Colonel, trial of, 170

  Harding, George, centenarian, 29

  Hardwick, Charles, 201, 211

  Harland, John, 200

  Harper, Thomas, printer, 41-42

  Harrison, Mary, centenarian, 33

  Hartley, Barnard, centenarian, 32;
    John, 227

  Hatton, Roman Catholic priest, 93

  Haunted cabin, 46

  Hawick, 66

  Hawker, R. S., 204

  Hawkshead, 29

  Hay, Rev. W. R., 172, 174, 180, 181, 184

  Hayes, Elizabeth, centenarian, 30

  Hazard tables suppressed, 64

  Healey, Joseph, trial, 184

  Hearse cloth, 96

  Henry III., imposture at his tomb, 148

  Henry IV., 83

  Henry VI., 83

  Herle, Warden, 94

  Hicks Hall, 69

  Higgins, Edward, career as highwayman, 15-21

  High Church Jacobites, 236

  Highwaymen, 15, 63, 66, 67, 69

  Hilton, Elizabeth, centenarian, 27

  Hodgkins, a printer, 39

  Hodgson, Mr., 61, 65

  Holland glass trade, 69

  Holmes, Mrs., centenarian, 28

  Honford, John, 84;
    Margaret 85;

  William, 85

  Horse in woollen stockings, 16

  Horsleydown, 54

  Hoskins, Thomas, 45

  Houghton tower, 96

  Houghton, Sir Henry, 238

  Howard, Queen Catharine, 90

  Howard, _alias_ Dicconson, 12

  Howley, William, Archbishop of Canterbury, 192

  Hoyle, Thomas, and Son, 34

  Hudleston, Richard, Benedictine, 98

  Hudson, William, 89

  Hugh of Manchester, 146

  Hugson, William, 89

  Hulme, 33, 230

  Hulme, Ralph, 223, 224

  Hunt Fold, 30

  Hunt, Henry, 178, 183, 190, 191;
    trial, 184

  Hunter, Mrs., centenarian, 30

  Husan, Mr., centenarian, 28

  Hutton, John, centenarian, 34, 36

  Ice, 78

  Idelot de la Ferté, Baron, 125

  Illegitimacy, 109

  Indian, North American, princes, 31

  Ireland, Sir Gilbert, 133

  Irk, 224, 225

  Irwell, 224, 225

  Jackson, John, mathematician, 40

  Jackson, Matthew, centenarian, 29

  Jackson, Thomas, centenarian, 27

  Jacobins, 167

  Jacobite trials in 1694, 1;
    Rising of 1715, 231

  Jaláuddin, 218

  James III., 236, 238, 239, 242

  Jamieson, T. H., 247

  Jeanie Deans, a Manchester, 129

  Jenkins, Jasper, centenarian, 27

  Jesuits, 91

  Johnson, John, 113

  Johnson, Joseph, 195;
    trial, 184

  Johnson, Thomas, centenarian, 27

  Jones, Mary, centenarian, 30

  Journalism, early, 70

  Kay, Alexander, 188

  Keck, Leigh, 185

  Keggan, Thomas, centenarian, 28

  Kelso, 237

  Kendal, 25, 27, 238

  Kensington, 65

  Kenyon, James, 121;
    Mary, 121, 125

  Kingswood riots, 62

  Kirkpatrick, Mr., 61, 65

  Knight, Joseph, trial, 184

  Knightsbridge, 69

  Knutsford highwayman, 15-21

  Kufic Coins in Lancashire, 56

  Ladridge, 27

  Lampreys, 78

  Lancashire Folk-Lore, 197

  “Lancashire Journal,” 61, 70

  Lancashire Plot, 1

  Lancaster, 27, 30, 93, 236, 239, 243

  Langholm, 237

  Langton, Philip, trial, 4

  Latimer, Hugh, 252

  Laùro, 211

  La Warr, Lord, 224, 226

  Leading article in newspaper, 62

  Leatherbarrow, Mary, centenarian, 33

  Le Bon G., 56

  Leeds, 186

  Leek, 195

  Legh, Peter, 26;
    Sir Peter, 96;
    Sir Urian, 96

  Legh of Adlington, 86

  Leghorn, 47

  Leicester, Elizabeth, 90;
    Ralph, 91

  Leigh, 26, 27, 29

  Leversege, Thomas, 85

  Lewis, Sir G. C., 23, 74

  Library, circulating, 144

  Liévin Bauwens family, 125

  Linford, Peter, centenarian, 28

  Lister, Dr. Martin, 24

  Literary Taste of the Eighteenth Century, 144

  Liverpool, 24, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 34, 36, 37, 38, 44, 45, 47,
     61, 65

  Livesey, 29

  Locusts, 77

  London, 195

  Longevity, 22-38, 66

  Long Meg of Westminster, 131

  Longworth, Mrs. Anne, centenarian, 30

  Lord, Henry, centenarian, 28

  Lord, Mrs., 61, 65

  Lostock, 39

  Low Moor, 72

  Lunt, John, perjurer, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14

  Lurting family, 44;
    Thomas, the fighting sailor, turned peaceable Christian, 44

  Lyme, 25, 96

  Lyndhurst, Lord, 186, 194

  Lyon, Capt., 79

  Macaulay, Margaret, centenarian, 30

  MacKee, John, centenarian, 30

  Mackintosh, Brigadier, 237, 240, 242

  Mad Roger, 28

  Maddock, Mr., 61, 65

  Maghall, 28

  Maghull, 29

  Majorca, 48, 51

  Manchester, 29, 30, 33, 34, 90, 186, 196, 236, 238

  Manchester churchwarden and parish clerk appointed by Traffords, 95

  Manchester Corn Mills, 224

  Manchester, first book printed in, 39

  Manchester Free Library, 41, 61

  Manchester, mentioned by Alexander Barclay, 245

  Manchester Grammar School Mill, 87, 222

  Manchester Jacobite trials, 1

  Manchester, Higgins, the highwayman, resident at, 19

  Manchester in 1807, 117

  Manchester Mathematical Society, 40

  Manchester Parish Church, heads exposed on, 93

  _Manchester Guardian_, 72, 75

  _Manchester Magazine_, 65

  Manchester, George, will of, 106

  Manchester, Hugh of, 146

  Marlborough, Duke of, 240

  Massenius, 207

  Marriages, 63, 69, 82, 84, 86, 90, 91

  Marsh, William, centenarian, 27

  Marshall, Christian, centenarian, 30

  Marsh titmouse, 76

  Martin Marprelate, 39

  Matthew Paris, 208

  Maryland, 78

  Massey, Hamo de, 80

  Massie, William, sermon at Trafford, 91

  “Mathematical Lectures,” 40;
    Society, 40

  Maud, Lady, 17

  Mayfield print works, 34

  Medicine, abstinence from, 29

  Medicines, 71

  Melfort, Jacobite Earl of, 8

  Merry Andrew, 126

  Merton Sands, 204

  Methodism and theatres, 115

  Middleton, 177

  Middleton, John, the Hale giant, 134

  Middlewich, 61, 65

  Miller’s “Gardeners’ Dictionary,” 65

  Milner, George, 200

  Minnows, 78

  Molyneux, Lord, 3, 7, 13

  Monks, Jane, centenarian, 29

  Monton, 235

  “More work for the Cooper,” 39

  Morocco, 66

  Mosley, Sir Oswald, 228

  Mossley Common, 26

  Moss Side, 230

  Moston, Sir Roger, 26

  Muley, Abdalah, 66

  “Mull jenny,” 122

  Murphy, the Irish giant, 135

  Murray the spy, 184

  Namptwich, 61, 65

  Napoleon I., 123

  Nateby, 29

  Newbiggin, 27

  Newbigging, Thomas, 206

  Newcastle, 238

  Newcome, Henry, 101;
    Daniel, 101

  Newspapers in 1738-39, 61

  Newton Lane, 39

  New Year’s Day, 202, 205

  Nodal, J. H., 200

  Northampton, 195

  Northumberland, Duke of, 191

  Nichison, Mr., 61 65

  Northrop, 34

  “Now thus,” 80

  Oates, Titus, 14

  Old folks’ tea-party, 35

  Oldham, 229

  Oldham, Hugh, 223

  Oliver the spy, 175

  Old Sarum, 189

  Ormskirk, 28, 65;
    longevity at, 24

  Osbaldeston, Mr., centenarian, 27

  Over, 204

  Overton, 30

  Owen, Mrs., centenarian, 30

  Oxburgh, Colonel, 241

  Oxford, 91

  Ozly, Mr., 61

  Paisley, 36

  Papists, 92

  Park Gate, 28

  Park keeper, a centenarian, 25

  Park Lane, 30

  Parsons, Lawrence, 9

  Patriarchal theory of government, 233

  Pattison, George, 48

  Pauw, François de, 121

  Parliamentary reform, 165

  Pearcy, Elizabeth, 27

  Pennybridge, 27

  Peploe, Abel, 239

  Peruke maker, 61, 65

  Peterloo, 176, 180, 190, 195

  Philips, Mark, 186, 191;
    Robert, 195

  Philosopher’s stone, 83

  Piccolomini, 247

  Picton, Sir James Allenson, 44

  Piercy, Thomas, 69

  Pilgrimage, 83

  Pilkington, Sir John, 84;
    Elizabeth, 84

  Pilkington crest, 81

  Pinkerton, James, 36

  Pinkerton, Jane, centenarian, 36

  Pirates, Algerine, 47

  Pius II., 247

  Pollitt, William, centenarian, 33

  Pope, Alexander, verses on, 67

  Potter, Richard, 188, 192;
    Sir Thomas, 185, 19

  Poulton-in-the-Fylde, 30

  Poxton, Thomas, centenarian, 28

  Prentice, Archibald, 180, 186

  Prescot, 27

  Prescott, Catharine, at the age of 100 learns to read, 33

  Preston, 26, 61, 65, 238, 239, 241

  Pretender, Jacobite, 234

  Prices of wheat, 69

  Priests, Roman Catholic, 91

  Prigg, Anne, centenarian, 30

  Printing, early Manchester, 39

  Prosecution of felons, 68

  Protestants, 92

  Pye, Roger, centenarian, 30

  Quaker highwayman, 63

  Quakers, early, 46-55

  Quarry Bank, 161

  Railway, Manchester and Liverpool, 189

  Ramscar, Martha, centenarian, 28

  Ralphson, Mary, centenarian, 31;
    at Battle of Dettingen, 31

  Ralphson, Ralph, 31

  Randle, Earl of Chester, 223

  Rathbone family, 162

  Red deer driven from Lyme to Windsor, 26

  Reform agitation, 165, 196

  Rhampsinitus, 198

  Richardson, Sarah, centenarian, 33;
    R. J., 193

  Richmond’s “History of Trafford family,” 104

  Ridgeway, Jonathan, centenarian, 29

  Riots, 62, 167, 170, 171, 193, 228, 235

  Rising of 1715, 231

  Ritchie, Joseph, 79

  Robert of Brunne, 154

  Roberts, Betty, centenarian, 34

  Roberts, James, centenarian, 27

  Roby, John, 200, 210

  Rochdale, 29, 61, 65, 115, 204

  Rockett, Mr., 61, 65

  Roeder, Charles, 137

  Rogers, William, centenarian, 27

  Rogues branded, 9

  Roman Catholics, 3, 92, 93, 94, 95;
    secret printing press, 39;
    Test Act, 232

  Romanus, Archbishop John, 149

  Rome, 93

  Rood, 251

  Rook, 77

  Roscoe, William, 162

  Ross, Janet, 211

  Rossall, 93

  Rossendale, 28, 206, 209

  Rowlinson, William, 138

  Rudd, Joe, 32

  Ruscombe, Mrs., murder of, 17

  Russell, Lord John, 186, 189

  Sabbatarian Church, 42

  Sabbath, 42-43

  Sabine’s snipe, 78

  Saddleworth, 204, 229

  Sagar, John, centenarian, 24

  Sailors, Quaker, 47

  St. Germain, 250

  Salford, 191, 192, 195, 223, 224

  Salisbury, Marquis of, 186

  Salmon, 73

  Salmon, David Stewart, centenarian, 31

  Salt water cure, bite of mad dog, 68

  Samlesbury, 204

  Santa Cruz sea-fight, 45

  Saturday Sabbath, 42

  Savage, William, 85

  Schools, Dublin, 64

  Seal, Mrs., centenarian, 30

  Sears, Mr., 61, 65

  Seaton, Sir John, 101

  Seddon, Rev. Thomas, 103

  Sedge-warbler, 77

  Sermon, funeral, 88;
    marriage, 91;
    in honour of the Virgin Mary, 250

  Shaw, Dr. W. A., 247

  Shelley on Peterloo, 182

  Sherborne family, 98;
    Sir Nicholas, 3

  Sherdley, Sarah, centenarian, 29

  Ship money, 99

  Shudehill riot, 229

  Shuttleworth, John, 185, 193, 195

  Siddons, Mrs., at Manchester, 113

  Sidebottom, Mr., 61, 65

  Siglisthorne, 88

  Simmondsone, 28

  Skelton, 131

  Slave trade, 162

  Sloe leaves, 176

  Smethley, Leonard, 96

  Smith, Aaron, 8, 10, 11

  Smithy Door, 41

  Sneezing, 202

  Soldiers, Lancashire, for Irish wars, 95

  Somersham, 86

  Southwark, 54

  Southworth, Sir John, 93

  Spence, Miss E. I., 111

  Spiders, 117;
    aëronautic, 78

  Spinning Machinery taken to Belgium, 119

  Spirits, 176

  Stags, driving, 26

  Stair, Earl of, 236

  Stand Hall, 112

  Standish, William, 3

  Stanley, Edward, centenarian, 26;
    Sir Edward, 27;
    Henry, 27;
    Bishop, James, 86;
    Sir John, 86;
    Dame Margaret, 87;
    Sir Rowland, trial of, 4, 5, 7, 9

  Stephenson, Jane, centenarian, 30

  Stoat, 76

  Stockport, 28, 61, 65

  Storey, Elizabeth, centenarian, 27

  Streaming, 73

  Stretford, 94

  Stukeley, Dr., marriage, 68

  Sunday, not the Sabbath, 42

  Sutton, John, 85

  Swarberick, James, centenarian, 29

  Swedenborgians, 159

  Syddal, Thomas, 235, 239, 242

  Symms, a printer, 39

  Taafe, an informer, 10, 11, 13

  Tailor who cheated the devil, 213

  Tarbuck, 27

  Taylor family (Whitworth doctors), 115

  Taylor, J. E., 176, 180

  Tea, 176

  Tennyson, Alfred, 210

  Theatre-going, 114

  Thinking Club, 168

  Thoms, W. J., 23, 37, 197

  Three tasks, 203

  Threlfall, Mr., 7

  Throstles, 76

  Titmouse, 76

  Toft, 91

  Tomlyn, a printer, 39

  Trafford, 94

  Traffords of Trafford, 80

  Travis, Anthony, 226

  Trumbles, Francis, Quaker highwayman, 63

  Turks captured by Quaker sailors, 48

  “Twisting in,” 172

  Tyas, John, 181

  Uppleby, Rev. George, 88

  Venables, Alice, 82;
    Dulcia, 82;
    Sir William, 82

  Vestments restored, 90

  Vikings’ commerce, 60

  Vitalis, 207

  Wabee tribe, 31

  Wages, 62

  Wakefield, 61, 65

  Waldegrave, Robert, 39

  Walker, C. J. S., 195;
    Jacobus, 89;
    Thomas, trial of, 167

  Walker’s Croft, 225

  Walmsley, Mr., 7

  Walsingham, 83

  Walthamstow, 67

  Warburton, Lady, 16

  Warburton, Sarah, centenarian, 35

  Ward, Dr. A. W., 247, 249

  Ward, Robert, 250

  Warden, Florence, 15

  Warrington, 3, 4, 33, 61, 65;
    in 1807, 112

  Warwick, the great Earl, 84

  Water-ouzel, 77

  Watkin, Absolom, 194

  Watson, James, centenarian, 25;
    John, centenarian, 28;
    Rev. Joseph, 26

  Waugh, Edwin, 200

  Wellington, Duke of, 188, 194, 196

  West, Sir Thomas, 224

  Westhead, William Wilkinson, 135

  West Mead, 17

  Westminster Abbey, 87

  Whaley, 27

  Wharncliffe, Earl of, 192

  Whately, Archbishop, 213

  White, Charles, F.R.S., 15, 22

  White Moss, 183

  Whitworth Doctors, 115

  Wickfield, Nathaniel, centenarian, 27

  Wickstead, Mr., centenarian, 27

  Widdrington, Lord, 237, 238

  Wigan, 27, 28, 32;
    in 1807, 112

  Wilcock, Elizabeth, centenarian, 27

  Wilford, George, centenarian, 27

  Wilkinson, Jemima, centenarian, 33;
    T. T., 201

  Will of George Manchester, 106

  William III., alleged plot for his murder, 4, 8

  William IV., 190, 191, 196

  Williams, Sir William, 5

  Williamson, John, centenarian, 27;
    Robert, 89;
    Roman Catholic priest, 93

  Wills, Gen., 240, 241

  Wilmslow, 87, 88

  Wilson, James, centenarian, 25, 27;
    Rev. John, 38

  Wilson, branded for roguery, 9, 12

  Windness, William, centenarian, 30

  Winwick, 204

  Witches, 219

  Wolf in St. James’s Park, 66

  Wolsey, Cardinal, 86

  Womball, a carrier, 9, 12

  Woman in soldier’s uniform, 31

  Women indicted for being Roman Catholics, 93

  Women’s amber ornaments, 57

  Wood, G. W., 185;
    John, 195;
    William, escapes from ward, 63

  Woods, Rev. James, 240

  Worcester, 18

  Worsaae, J. J. A., 56, 59, 60, 210

  Worsley, 35, 83

  Worthington, Mr., 93

  Wren, 77

  Wren’s nest, 75

  Wright, Thomas, the prison philanthropist, 164



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“A valuable addition to any library.”—_Derbyshire Times._

“There is a charm about the chapters seldom found in works dealing with
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illustrations are a splendid feature. These county histories call for
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  BYGONE BERKSHIRE, edited by Rev. P. H. Ditchfield, M.A., F.S.A.
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Literary Byways.

                          BY WILLIAM ANDREWS.

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Curious Epitaphs.

                         BY WILLIAM ANDREWS.

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

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             Legal Lore: Curiosities of Law and Lawyers.

                      EDITED BY WILLIAM ANDREWS.

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  for a few hours’ profitable diversion in the study of what may be
  called the light literature of the law.”—_Daily Mail._

Divine Song in its Human Echo.

                        Or, SONG AND SERVICE.

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

                    BY THE REV. J. GEORGE GIBSON.

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

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  an adept at the production of short sermons, and the line he has
  adopted in this instance is an extremely happy one. It is a
  conception that appeals to a great multitude, and the hymns which
  give the cue to the reflections form a large variety of
  well-known spiritual songs, the favourites, indeed, in
  communities of every name. Some of the sermons, indeed, most of
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  undoubted lover of hymns. Their brevity excludes prolixity, and
  terse summaries of facts, sharp statements of doctrine,
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Curious Church Customs.

                      EDITED BY WILLIAM ANDREWS.

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

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Crosier—Bishops in Battle—The Cloister and its Story—Shorthand in
Church—Reminiscences of our Village Church—Index.

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Bygone Church Life in Scotland.

                      EDITED BY WILLIAM ANDREWS.

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

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

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  contains a vast amount of traditional and historical lore
  referring almost to every district of Scotland. There are some
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  Small.”—_Dundee Advertiser._

England in the Days of Old.

                         BY WILLIAM ANDREWS.

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

CONTENTS:—When Wigs were Worn—Powdering the Hair—Men Wearing
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Debt—A Nobleman’s Household in Tudor Times—Bread and Baking in
Bygone Days—Arise, Mistress, Arise!—The Turnspit—A Gossip about
the Goose—Bells as Time-Tellers—The Age of Snuffing—State
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Bygone Punishments.

                         BY WILLIAM ANDREWS.

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Maiden—Mutilation—Branding—The Pillory—Punishing Authors and
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Lore and Legend of the English Church.

                   BY THE REV. GEO. S. TYACK, B.A.

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

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A Book About Bells.

                   BY THE REV. GEO. S. TYACK, B.A.

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

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  “‘A Book About Bells’ can be heartily commended.”—_Pall Mall

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  profit.”—_Church Family Newspaper._

The Grotesque in Church Art.

                       BY T. TINDALL WILDRIDGE.


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

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

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The Miracle Play in England.

               An Account of the Early Religious Drama.


                    _Crown, 2s. 0d. Illustrated._

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

  “An admirable work.”—_Eastern Morning News._

  “Mr. Clarke has chosen a most interesting subject, one that is
  attractive alike to the student, the historian, and the general
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Ecclesiastical Curiosities.

                      EDITED BY WILLIAM ANDREWS.

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

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

  “An interesting and engrossing volume.”—_Church Bells._

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  give evidence of diligent and discriminating research, and embody
  much old-world lore that is curious and instructive.”—_Aberdeen
  Free Press._

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

                      EDITED BY WILLIAM ANDREWS.

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

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

  “The book will be welcome to every lover of archæological
  lore.”—_Liverpool Daily Post._

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

                         Transcriber's Notes

Some presumed printer's errors have been corrected, including
normalizing punctuation. Some index entries have been corrected to
match the spelling and page numbers in the main text. Further
corrections are listed below:

 p. 15 Autobiographic -> Autobiographical
 p. 50 May York -> May-York
 p. 54 peacable -> peaceable
 p. 54 Deliverences -> Deliverances
 p. 79 riends -> friends
 p. 98 there was a Trafford a priest -> there was at Trafford a priest
 p. 138 367 -> p. 367
 p. 218 indentified -> identified
 Advertisements olk-lore -> folk-lore
 Footnote 1 Ley -> Levy

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