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Title: John Keble's Parishes: A History of Hursley and Otterbourne
Author: Yonge, Charlotte M. (Charlotte Mary)
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "John Keble's Parishes: A History of Hursley and Otterbourne" ***

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Transcribed from the 1898 Macmillan and Co. edition by David Price, email
ccx074@pglaf.org

                    [Picture: Portrait of John Keble]



                          John Keble’s Parishes


                         A HISTORY OF HURSLEY AND
                               OTTERBOURNE

                                * * * * *

                                    BY
                            CHARLOTTE M. YONGE
                            AN OLD INHABITANT

                                * * * * *

                                  London
                        MACMILLAN AND CO. LIMITED
                     NEW YORK: THE MACMILLAN COMPANY
                                   1898

                          _All rights reserved_



PREFACE


To explain the present undertaking, it should be mentioned that a history
of Hursley and North Baddesley was compiled by the Reverend John Marsh,
Curate of Hursley, in the year 1808.  It was well and carefully done,
with a considerable amount of antiquarian knowledge.  It reached a second
edition, and a good deal of it was used in _Sketches of Hampshire_, by
John Duthy, Esq.  An interleaved copy received many annotations from
members of the Heathcote family.  There was a proposal that it should be
re-edited, but ninety years could not but make a great difference in
these days of progress, so that not only had the narrative to be brought
up to date, but further investigations into the past brought facts to
light which had been unknown to Mr. Marsh.

It was therefore judged expedient to rewrite the whole, though, whenever
possible, the former Curate’s work has been respected and repeated; but
he paid little attention to the history of Otterbourne, and a good deal
has been since disclosed, rendering that village interesting.  Moreover,
the entire careers of John Keble and Sir William Heathcote needed to be
recorded in their relations to the parish and county.  This has,
therefore, here been attempted, together with a record of the building of
the three churches erected since 1837, and a history of the changes that
have taken place; though the writer is aware that there is no incident to
tempt the reader—no siege of the one castle, no battle more important
than the combat in the hayfield between Mr. Coram and the penurious
steward, and, till the last generation, no striking character.  But the
record of a thousand peaceful years is truly a cause of thankfulness,
shared as it is by many thousand villages, and we believe that a little
investigation would bring to light, in countless other places, much that
is well worth remembrance.

For the benefit of those who take an interest in provincial dialect, some
specimens are appended, which come from personal knowledge.

The lists of birds and of flowers are both from the actual observation of
long residents who have known the country before, in many instances,
peculiarities have faded away before the march of progress.

The writer returns many warm thanks to those who have given much
individual assistance in the undertaking, which could not have been
attempted without such aid.

                                                              C. M. YONGE.

ELDERFIELD, OTTERBOURNE,
         18_th_ _June_ 1898.



CONTENTS

                                        PAGE
                 CHAPTER I
MERDON AND OTTERBOURNE                     1
                 CHAPTER II
MEDIÆVAL GIFTS                            13
                CHAPTER III
REFORMATION TIMES                         27
                 CHAPTER IV
PURITAN TIMES                             39
                 CHAPTER V
CUSTOMS OF THE MANOR OF MERDON            53
                 CHAPTER VI
CRANBURY AND BRAMBRIDGE                   69
                CHAPTER VII
THE BUILDING AT HURSLEY                   78
                CHAPTER VIII
OLD OTTERBOURNE                           83
                 CHAPTER IX
CHURCH BUILDING                           92
                 CHAPTER X
HURSLEY CHURCH                           107
                 CHAPTER XI
THE GOLDEN DAYS OF HURSLEY               125
                CHAPTER XII
HURSLEY VICARAGE                         135
                CHAPTER XIII
LATER CHANGES                            145
                CHAPTER XIV
A SURVEY                                 153
                 CHAPTER XV
WORDS AND PHRASES                        171
                CHAPTER XVI
NATURAL HISTORY                          190



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

JOHN KEBLE, from the Pencil Drawing by John             _Frontispiece_
Bacon, jun., (1851), by permission of the Rev.
J. B. Medley of Tyntesfield
MERDON CASTLE AND WELL, HURSLEY PARK                 _To face page_ 10
RICHARD CROMWELL, LORD PROTECTOR                                    49
THE OLD CHURCH AT HURSLEY                                           79
HURSLEY PARK HOUSE.  N.-E. FRONT, 1867                              81
EXTERIOR, OTTERBOURNE CHURCH                                        98
AMPFIELD CHURCH                                                    102
FOUNTAIN AT AMPFIELD                                               103
HURSLEY VICARAGE AND CHURCH                                        122
SIR WILLIAM HEATHCOTE, Bart.  After the picture                    128
by George Richard, R.A., 1870; by permission of
P. and D. Colnaglie and Co.
HURSLEY CHURCH                                                     141
INTERIOR, OTTERBOURNE CHURCH                                       144

               [Picture: Map of Hursley, Otterbourne etc.]



CHAPTER I
MERDON AND OTTERBOURNE


THE South Downs of England descend at about eight miles from the sea into
beds of clay, diversified by gravel and sand, and with an upper deposit
of peaty, boggy soil, all having been brought down by the rivers of which
the Itchen and the Test remain.

On the western side of the Itchen, exactly at the border where the chalk
gives way to the other deposits, lies the ground of which this memoir
attempts to speak.  It is uneven ground, varied by undulations, with
gravelly hills, rising above valleys filled with clay, and both alike
favourable to the growth of woods.  Fossils of belemnite, cockles
(_cardium_), and lamp-shells (_terebratula_) have been found in the
chalk, and numerous echini, with the pentagon star on their base, are
picked up in the gravels and called by the country people Shepherds’
Crowns—or even fossil toads.  Large boulder stones are also scattered
about the country, exercising the minds of some observers, who saw in
certain of them Druidical altars, with channels for the flow of the
blood, while others discerned in these same grooves the scraping of the
ice that brought them down in the Glacial age.

But we must pass the time when the zoophytes were at work on our chalk,
when the lamp-shells rode at anchor on shallow waves, when the cockles
sat “at their doors in a rainbow frill,” and the belemnites spread their
cuttlefish arms to the sea, and darkened the water for their enemies with
their store of ink.

Nor can we dwell on the deer which left their bones and horns in the
black, boggy soil near the river, for unfortunately these were
disinterred before the time when diggers had learnt to preserve them for
museums, and only reported that they had seen remains.

Of _human_ times, a broken quern was brought to light when digging the
foundation of Otterbourne Grange; and bits of pottery have come to light
in various fields at Hursley, especially from the barrows on Cranbury
Common.  In 1882 and 1883 the Dowager Lady Heathcote, assisted by Captain
John Thorp, began to search the barrows on the left hand side of the high
road from Hursley to Southampton, and found all had been opened in the
centre, but scarcely searched at all on the sides.  In July they found
four or five urns of unbaked clay in one barrow—of early British make,
very coarse, all either full of black earth or calcined bones, and all
inverted and very rough in material, with the exception of one which was
of a finer material, red, and like a modern flower-pot in shape.  Several
of these urns were deposited in the Hartley Museum, Southampton.

Of the Roman times we know nothing but that part of the great Roman road
between Caer Gwent (or Venta Belgarum, as the Romans called Winchester)
and Sorbiodunum (Old Sarum).  It can still be traced at Hursley, and
fragments of another leading to Clausentum (Southampton) on the slope of
Otterbourne hill.

In Dr. Milner’s _History of Winchester_, written at the end of the last
century, he describes a medallion of mixed metal bearing the head of
Julius Cæsar, which was dug up by a labourer at Otterbourne, in the
course of making a new road.  He thought it one of the plates carried on
the Roman standards of the maniples; but alas! on being sent, in 1891, to
be inspected at the British Museum, it was pronounced to be one of a
cinquecento series of the twelve Cæsars.

The masters of the world have left us few traces of their possession, and
in fact the whole district was probably scarcely inhabited; but the trees
and brushwood or heather of the southern country would have joined the
chalk downs, making part of what the West Saxons called the Jotunwald, or
Giant’s Wood, and the river Ytene, and so Itchen seems to have been named
in like manner.

These were the times when churches were built and the boundaries of
estates became those of parishes.  The manor of Merdon, which occupied
the whole parish of Hursley, belonged to the Bishops of Winchester by a
grant of Oynegils, first Christian King.  Milner, in his _History of
Winchester_, wishes to bestow on Merdon the questionable honour of having
been the place where, in the year 754, the West Saxon King Cenwulf was
murdered by his brother in the house of his lady-love; but Mr. Marsh, the
historian of Hursley, proves at some length that Merton in Surrey was
more likely to have been the scene of the tragedy.

Church property being exempted from William the Conqueror’s great survey,
neither Merdon nor Hursley appears in Domesday Book, though Otterbourne,
and even the hundred of Boyate or Boviate, as it is in the book, appear
there.  It had once belonged, as did Baddesley first, at first to one
named Chepney, then to Roger de Mortimer, that fierce Norman warrior who
was at first a friend and afterwards an enemy to William I.

The entire district, except the neighbourhood of Merdon Manor on the one
hand, and of the Itchen on the other, was probably either forest ground
or downs, but it escaped the being put under forest laws at the time when
the district of Ytene became the New Forest.  Probably the king was able
to ride over down, heather, and wood, scarcely meeting an enclosure the
whole way from Winchester; and we can understand his impatience of the
squatters in the wilder parts, though the Cistercian Abbey of Beaulieu
was yet to be founded.  Indeed Professor E. A. Freeman does not accept
the statement that there could possibly have been thirty-nine village
churches to be destroyed in the whole district of “Ytene.”

The tradition lingered to the present time at Otterbourne that the corpse
of William Rufus was brought back in Purkiss’s wood-cart from Minestead
to Winchester for burial in the Cathedral, along a track leading from
Hursley to Otterbourne, called at each end King’s Lane, though it is not
easy to see how the route could have lain through both points.

The parish of Hursley lies in the hundred of Buddlesgate, and division of
Fawley; and the village is situated on the turnpike-road leading from
Winchester to Romsey, and nearly at an equal distance from each of those
places.

The parishes by which Hursley is surrounded were, when Mr. Marsh wrote,
Sparsholt on the north; Farley on the north-west; Michelmersh and Romsey
on the west; Baddesley, North Stoneham, and Otterbourne on the south; and
Compton and St. Cross on the east.

The whole parish was then upwards of twenty-eight miles in circumference,
and contained 10,590 acres of land, of which 2600 were in common, 372 in
roads and lanes, about 1000 under growth of coppice-wood, and the rest
either arable or pasture.

The soil in the parish of Hursley, as may be supposed in so extensive a
tract of land, is of several different sorts; in some parts it is light
and shallow, and of a chalky nature; in others, particularly on the east
and west sides of the parish, it is what is called _strong_ land, having
clay for its basis; and in others, especially that of the commons and
fields adjoining, it consists principally of sand or gravel.  Towards the
west, it is entirely covered with wood, not in general bearing trees of
large size, but some beautiful beech-trees; and breaking into peaty,
boggy ground on the southern side.  The northern side is of good rich
loam, favourable to the growth of fine trees, and likewise forms
excellent arable land.  This continues along the valley of Otterbourne,
along a little brook which falls into the Itchen.  It is for the most
part of thick clay, fit for brick-making, with occasional veins of sand,
and where Otterbourne hill rises, beds of gravel begin and extend to the
borders of the Itchen, through a wooded slope known as Otterbourne Park.

The boundaries of estates fixed those of parishes, and Otterbourne was
curiously long and narrow, touching on Compton and Twyford to the north
and north-west, on Stoneham to the south, and Hursley to the west, lying
along the bank of the Itchen.

The churches of both parishes were probably built in the twelfth century,
for though Hursley Church has been twice, if not three times, rebuilt,
remains of early Norman mouldings have been found built into the
stone-work of the tower.  And on the wall of the old Otterbourne Church a
very rude fresco came partially to light.  Traced in red was a quatrefoil
within a square, the corners filled up with what had evidently been the
four Cherubic figures, though only the Winged Ox was clearly traceable.
Within the quatrefoil was a seated Figure, with something like scales in
one hand, apparently representing our Lord in His glory.  The central
compartment was much broken away, but there was the outline of a man whom
one in a hairy garment was apparently baptizing.  The rest had
disappeared.

These paintings surmounted three acutely-pointed arches, with small
piers, and square on the side next the nave, but on the other side
slender shafts with bell-shaped capitals, carved with bold round
mouldings and deep hollows.  Two corbels supporting the horizontal
drip-stone over the west window were also clear and sharply cut; and the
doorway on the south side had slender shafts and deep mouldings, in one
of which is the dog-tooth moulding going even down to the ground on each
side.  This is still preserved in the entrance to the Boys’ School.

These remnants date the original building for about the thirteenth
century.  It may have been due to King Stephen’s brother, Bishop Henry de
Blois of Winchester, who is known to have raised the castle whose remains
still exist on his manor of Merdon, where once there had been a Roman
encampment.  So far as his work can be traced, the first thing he would
do would be to have a similar embankment thrown up, and a parapet made
along the top, behind which men-at-arms would be stationed, the ditch
below having a stockade of sharp stakes.  In the middle of the enclosure
a well was begun, which had to go deeper and deeper through the chalk,
till at last water was found at 300 feet deep—a work that must have
lasted a year or more.  Around the well, leaving only a small courtyard,
were all the buildings of the castle meant for the Bishop’s household and
soldiers.  The entrance to it all was probably over a drawbridge across
the great ditch (which, on this side, was not less than 60 feet deep),
and through a great gateway between two high square towers, which must
have stood where now there is a slope leading down from the level of the
inner court to that surrounded by a bank.  This slope is probably formed
by the ruins of the gateway and tower having been pitched into the ditch,
as the readiest way of getting rid of them when the castle was dismantled
afterwards.  We are indebted to the late Sir John Cowell for the
conjectural plan and description of the castle.

As soon as the Bishop had completed this much he would feel tolerably
safe, but he would not be satisfied.  He could hardly have room in his
castle for all his retainers, and he could not command the country from
it, except towards the south; therefore his next work was to make an
embankment and the ditch on the outer side of it.  It was then an
unbroken semicircle, jutting out as it were from the castle, and
protecting a sufficient space of ground for troops to encamp.

             [Picture: Merdon Castle and Well, Hursley Park]

In case of an enemy forcing their way into this, the defenders could
retreat into the castle by the drawbridge.  The entrance was on the east
side, and in order to protect this and the back of the castle, by which
is meant the northern side, another embankment was made and finished with
a parapet.  Also as, in case of this being carried by the enemy, it would
be impossible for the defenders in the northern part of the castle to run
round the castle and into shelter by the main gateway, he built a square
tower (exactly opposite to the ruin which yet remains), and divided from
it only by the great ditch.  On either side of the tower—cutting the
embankment across, therefore, at right angles—was a little ditch, spanned
by a drawbridge, which, if the defenders thought it necessary to retire
to the tower, could at any time be raised (the foundations of the tower
and the position of the ditches can still be distinctly traced).
Supposing, further, that it became impossible to hold the tower, the
besieged could retreat into the main body of the castle by means of
another drawbridge across the great ditch, which would lead them through
the arch (which can still be seen in the ruins, though it is partially
blocked up).  The room on the east side of this passage was probably a
guard-room.  In some castles of this date there were also two or three
tunnels bored through the earth-work from the inner courtyard to the
bottom of the great ditch, so as to provide additional ways of retreat
for such men as might otherwise be cut off in those parts most distant
from either of the great gates, in order to secure the outlying defence.

Henry de Blois must have been thinking of the many feudal castles of his
native France.  He was a magnificent prelate, though involved in the wars
of his brother and the Empress Matilda.  The hospital of St. Cross, and
much of the beauty of Romsey Abbey, are ascribed to him, and he even
endeavoured to obtain that Winchester should be raised to the dignity of
a Metropolitan See.  It does not appear that all his elaborate defences
at Merdon were ever called into practical use; and when his brother, King
Stephen, died in 1154, he fled from England, and the young Henry II. in
anger dismantled Merdon, together with his other castles of Wolvesey and
Waltham; nor were these fortifications ever restored.  The king and
bishop were reconciled; and the latter spent a pious and penitent old
age, only taking one meal a day, and spending the surplus in charity.  He
died in 1174.



CHAPTER II
MEDIÆVAL GIFTS


IT was considered in the Middle Ages that tithes might be applied to any
church purpose, and were not the exclusive right of the actual parish
priest, provided he obtained a sufficient maintenance, which in those
days of celibacy was not very expensive.  The bishops and other patrons
thus assigned the great tithes of corn of many parishes to religious
foundations elsewhere, only leaving the incumbent the smaller tithe from
other crops—an arrangement which has resulted in many abuses.

Thus in 1301, when Bishop Sawbridge or Points, or as it was Latinised, de
Pontissara, founded the college of St. Elizabeth, in St. Stephen’s,
Merdon, by the Itchen at Winchester, for the education of twelve poor
boys by a provost and fellows, he endowed it in part with the great tithe
of Hursley.  The small tithes having been found insufficient for the
maintenance of the vicar, he united to Hursley the rectory of
Otterbourne, giving the great tithes to the vicar of Hursley; and in 1362
Bishop Edyngton confirmed the transaction.

Mr. Marsh thus relates the transaction:—

“The Living of Hursley was anciently a rectory, and, as it is believed,
wholly unconnected with any other church or parish.  Unfortunately,
however, for the parishioners, as well as for the minister, it was, about
the year 1300, reduced to a vicarage, and the great tithes appropriated
to the College of St. Elizabeth in Winchester.  The small tithes which
remained being inadequate to the support of the vicar and his necessary
assistants, the church of Otterbourne was consolidated with that of
Hursley, and the tithes of that parish, both great and small, were given
to them to make up a sufficient maintenance—an arrangement which, in that
dark age, was thought not only justifiable but even laudable, but which
nevertheless deserves to this day to be severely censured, since not only
the minister but both the parishes and the cause of religion have
suffered a serious and continued injury from it.

“The person by whom this appropriation was made was John de Pontissara,
_alias_ Points, Bishop of Winchester, the founder of the college to which
the tithes were granted; it was, however, afterwards confirmed by William
de Edyngton, by whom the vicar’s rights, which before were probably
undefined, and perhaps the subject of contention, were ascertained and
secured to him by endowment.  This instrument is still in being, bearing
the date of 1362.  It may be seen in Bishop Edyngton’s Register, part I,
fol. 128, under the following marginal title:—‘Ratificatio et Confirmatio
appropriationis Ecclesiae de Hursleghe, et ordinationes Vicarie ejusd.’
The following is a translation of it, so far as the vicar’s interests are
concerned in it:—‘The said vicar shall have and receive all and all
manner of tithes, great and small, with all offerings and other
emoluments belonging to the chapel of Otterbourne, situated within the
parish of the said church (viz. of Hursley).  He shall also have and
receive all offerings belonging to the church of Hursley, and all small
tithes arising within the parish of the same, viz., the tithes of cheese,
milk, honey, wax, pigs, lambs, calves, eggs, chickens, geese, pigeons,
flax, apples, pears, and all other tithable fruits whatsoever of
curtilages or gardens.  He shall also receive the tithes of mills already
erected, or that shall be erected.  He shall also receive and have all
personal tithes of all traders, servants, labourers, and artificers
whatsoever, due to the said church.  The said Vicar shall also receive
and have all mortuaries whatsoever, live and dead, of whatsoever things
they may consist.  The said Vicar shall also receive and have all profit
and advantage arising from the herbage of the churchyard.  He shall also
have and receive the tithes of all fish-ponds whatsoever, within the said
parish, wheresoever made, or that hereafter shall be made.  The said
Vicar shall also have for his habitation the space on the south side of
the churchyard, measuring in length, from the said churchyard and the
rectorial house, formerly belonging to the said church, towards the
south, twenty-seven perches; and in breadth, from the hedge and ditch
between the said space and the garden of the aforesaid former rectory on
the west, towards the east, sixteen perches and a half, with the
buildings erected thereon.’

“Besides the above, John de Pontissara allotted to the Vicar the tithes
of wool, beans, and vetches; but of the first of these he was deprived by
Bishop Edyngton’s endowment, and the latter have been so little
cultivated that he has never yet derived any advantage from them, though
his right to this species of tithes cannot, I suppose, be questioned,
unless, indeed, they are comprehended under the term _Bladum_, and are
consequently to be considered as the portion of the Impropriator.  The
tithes given by the Endowment to the President and Chaplains of St.
Elizabeth College are—‘Decimæ Bladi cujuscunque generis, Fœni ac Lanæ,’
and no other.

“The church of Hursley is situated within the deanery of Winchester, and
is a Peculiar; {17} a distinction which it enjoys, probably, in
consequence of its having been formerly under the patronage of the
bishop.  The advantages of this are, that it is not subject to the
archdeacon’s jurisdiction; that the minister is not obliged to attend his
visitations; and that he has the privilege of granting letters of
administration to wills, when the property conveyed by them lies within
the limits of the vicarage.

“The value of the benefice, as rated in the King’s Book, is £9 per annum,
and the tenths are of course 18s.  These the incumbent is required to pay
annually, but he is exempted from the payment of the First Fruits.  The
land-tax with which the vicarage is charged is £14: 1: 2½ per annum; and
the procurations and diet-money payable on account of the Bishop’s
Visitation amount to 12s. 9½d.”

The patronage of the living, when a rectory, belonged to the bishops of
Winchester, and afterwards, when reduced to a vicarage, was expressly
reserved to himself and his successors by William de Edyngton; and so
long as they kept possession of the Manor of Merdon, they continued
patrons of the vicarage.  This Bishop Edyngton, the same who began the
alteration of the cathedral, is said to have built the second church of
All Saints at Hurley, the tower of which still remains.

William of Wykeham, among his wider interests, seems to have had little
concern with Hursley or Otterbourne.

The bishops possessed numerous manors in the diocese, and these were
really not only endowments, but stations whence the episcopal duty of
visitation could be performed.  Riding forth with his train of clergy,
chaplains, almoners, lawyers, crossbearers, and choristers, besides his
household of attendants, the bishop entered a village, where the bells
were rung, priest, knight, franklins, and peasants came out with all
their local display, often a guild, to receive him, and other clergy
gathered in; mass was said, difficulties or controversies attended to,
confirmation given to the young people and children, and, after a meal,
the bishop proceeded, sometimes to a noble’s castle, or a convent, but
more often to another manor of his own, where he was received by his
resident steward or park-keeper, and took up his abode, the neighbouring
clergy coming in to pay their respects, mention their grievances, and
hold counsel with him.  His dues were in the meantime collected, and his
residence lasted as long as business, ecclesiastical or secular, required
his presence, or till he and his train had eaten up the dues in kind that
came in.

Whether the visit was welcome or not depended a good deal on the
character of the prelate, and the hold he kept on his subordinates.  The
great courtly bishops, like William of Wykeham, generally sent their
suffragans, titular bishops _in partibus infidelium_, to perform their
duties.

One of the park-keepers of Merdon was judged worthy of a Latin epitaph,
probably the work of a chaplain or of a Winchester scholar to whom he had
endeared himself:

    Hic in humo stratus, John Bowland est tumulatus
    Vir pius et gratus et ab omnibus hinc peramatus
    Custos parcorum praestans quondam fuit horum
    De Merdon, quorum et Wintoniæ dominorum.
    Hic quinqgenis hinc octenis rite deemptis
       Cum plausu gentis custos erat in eis.

    Festum Clementis tempus fuerat morientis
    Mille quadringentis annis Christi redimentis,
    Quadris his junctis simul et cum septuagintis.
       Hunc cum defunctis, protege, Christe, tuis.

    Here laid in the ground, John Bowland hath sepulture,
    A man of faith and kindliness, and hence by all beloved.
    He was aforetime the excellent guardian of this park
    Belonging to certain lords of Merdon and Winchester.
    He for (lit. _in_) 50 years—(8 being taken away precisely)
       With the applause of all the community was guardian among them.

    The Festival of Clement was his date of dying
    In years one thousand four hundred after Christ’s Redemption,
    Adding to these four (?) (years) and seventy.
       Him, O Christ, befriend with those who are thine!

Unlike Hursley, or rather the Manor of Merdon, Otterbourne had many
different possessors in succession, and is even at the present day
divided into various holdings on different tenures.

In 1244 Walter and John de Brompton, sons of Sir Bryan de Brompton, lived
at Hayswode, a name now lost or changed into “Otterbourne Park,” the wood
spreading over the east side of the hill.  At the same time Sir Henry de
Capella was possessor of the manor; but in 1265 it had passed, by what
means we do not know, to Sir Francis de Bohun—a very early specimen of
this Christian name which was derived from the sobriquet of the Saint of
Assisi, whose Christian name was John.

From the son of Sir Francis in 1279 Simon the Draper obtained the Manor
of Otterbourne for 600 merks, and a quit rent of a pair of gilt spurs
valued at six pence!  Simon seems to have assumed the gilt spurs himself,
for he next appears as “Sir Simon de Wynton.”  Indeed it seems that
knighthood might be conferred on the possessors of a certain amount of
land.  Wynton in two more generations has lengthened into Wynchester,
when, in 1379, the manor is leased to Hugh Croans, merchant, and Isabella
his wife for their lives, paying after the first twenty-five years £100
per annum.  And two years later William de Winchester conveyed the manor
over to Hugh Croans or Crans.

The great Bishop William of Wykeham bought it in 1386, and gave it to his
cousin, bearing the same name.  It continued in the Wykeham family till
1458, when William Fiennes or Fenys, Lord Say and Sele, the son of him
who was murdered by Jack Cade’s mob, being married to the heiress,
Margaret Wykeham, sold it to Bishop Waynflete for £600.

The bishop’s treasurer was Hugh Pakenham; and being one of the feoffees
to whom the manor was conveyed for the bishop, he pretended that he had
bought it for himself, and absconded with some of the title deeds; but
eventually he died _in magna miseria_ in sanctuary at St. Martin’s le
Grand, Westminster.  His son John renounced the pretended claim, and very
generously the Bishop gave him £40.

In 1481, good Bishop Waynflete made over the property to his
newly-founded College of St. Mary Magdalen at Oxford, in whose possession
it has remained ever since, except small portions which have been
enfranchised from time to time.  It includes Otterbourne hill, with
common land on the top and wood upon the slope, as well as various
meadows and plough lands.  The manor house, still bearing the name of the
Moat House, was near the old church in the meadows, and entirely
surrounded with its own moat.  It must have been a house of some
pretension in the sixteenth century, for there is a handsome double
staircase, a rough fresco in one room, and in the lowest there was a
panel over the fireplace, with a painting representing apparently a
battle between Turks and Austrians.  The President of Magdalen College on
progress always held his court there.  The venerable Dr. Rowth in extreme
old age was the last who did so.  Since his time the bridge crossing the
moat fell in and choked it; it became a marsh; the farm was united to
another, the picture removed, and the only inhabitants are such a
labourer’s family as may be impervious to the idea that it is haunted.

Simon the Draper, otherwise Sir Simon de Wynton, granted a plot of land
to the north-west of the Manor House to Adam de Lecke in villeinage, and
later in freehold to John de Otterbourne, reserving thirteen shillings
rent.  By this last it was rented on his wife Alice, from whom it passed
through several hands to John Colpoys in the year of Henry VI., and
twenty-two years later this same John Colpoys agreed with the warden and
fellows of Winchester College to enfeoff them of one messuage, four
tofts, twenty acres of arable land, and eighteen acres of meadow, to the
intent that they should on the 7th day of April in every year celebrate
the _obits_ of Alice his deceased wife, of John Giles and Maud his wife
(her parents), of Sir John Shirborne and of Joan Parke, and of Colpoys
himself and Joan his then wife, after their respective deaths.

These _obits_, namely anniversaries of deaths when masses were to be
offered for the person recollected, were to be secured by the fee of a
shilling to the warden on each occasion, sixpence to each fellow and
chaplain, and likewise to the schoolmaster, twopence to each lay clerk,
sixpence to the sacrist for wax candles, and a mark or thirteen and
fourpence to be spent in a “pittance” extra course in the college hall.
The indenture by which Colpoys hoped to secure perpetual masses in
remembrance of his relations and himself is in perfect preservation, with
seals attached, in the muniment chamber of Winchester College.

The property has continued ever since in the possession of the College of
St. Mary, Winchester, though the masses ceased to be celebrated after the
Reformation.

In those days the rector of Hursley was John de Ralegh, probably a
kinsman of the bishop of that name.

Before this, however, Bishop Richard Toclive had a dispute with the
Knights of St. John, who claimed the almshouse of Noble Poverty at St.
Cross as Hospitallers.  They had unfortunately a reputation for avarice,
and Toclive bought them off by giving them the impropriation of Merton
and Hursleigh {25} for 53 marks a year.

PAGANUS DE LYSKERET, styled Presbyter, was collated in 1280.  It appears
that at this time there was a perpetual vicar established in the Church
of Hursley as well as a rector; and that he was instituted by the bishop,
had a certain fixed maintenance assigned to him, and was independent of
the rector.  In the register of John de Pontissera, Bishop of Winton, may
now be seen what is there called the “Ordinatio Episcopi inter Rectorem
et Vicarium de Hurslegh.”  It is therein settled that the vicar shall
have a house as described and other emoluments, and that the rector shall
pay to him forty shillings per annum.  The vicar at this time was
Johannes de Sta. Fide.  The deed of settlement was executed in Hyde
Abbey, in the year 1291; Philip de Barton, John de Ffleming, William de
Wenling, and others being witnesses to it.  Vide Regist. de Pontissera,
fol. 10.  Forty shillings or five marks was, it appears, the stipend
usually assigned to vicars and curates at this time, the vicar being
_really_ what we now call a curate.

HUGO DE WELEWYCK, styled Clericus, succeeded in 1296 on the resignation
of Paganus and was the last rector, the benefice having in his time been
reduced to a vicarage by the appropriation of the rectorial-house,
tithes, and glebe to the College of St. Elizabeth.  The _pretences_
assigned for this act, for true _reasons_ they could scarcely be, since
in all cases of appropriation and consolidation they appear to have been
almost exactly the same, were the unfinished state of the college
buildings and the insufficiency of the revenues for the maintenance of
the society, owing to wars, sickness, pestilence, and the like.  But
notwithstanding this serious deprivation and loss, a vicar it appears was
still continued in the church, Hugh de Welewyck having presented two,
viz. Henricus de Lyskeret in 1300, and Roger de la Vere in 1302; of whom
the latter was certainly appointed after the appropriation.

WILLIAM DE FFARLEE was collated Vicar of Hursley, on the death of
Welewyck in 1348.

WILLIAM DE MIDDLETON was collated in 1363.



CHAPTER III
REFORMATION TIMES


THE rectorial tithe of Hursley having been given to St. Elizabeth’s
College, and apparently some rights over Merdon, the Chancellor
Wriothesley obtained that, on the confiscation of monastic property, the
manor should be granted to him.  Stephen Gardiner had been bishop since
1531, a man who, though he had consented to the king’s assumption of the
royal supremacy, grieved over the fact as an error all his life.  He
appeared at the bar of the House of Commons and pleaded the rights of his
See, to which Merdon had belonged for 1300 years.  It was probably in
consequence of his pleading that Wriothesley restored the manor, but when
Gardiner was illegally deposed by the regency of Edward VI. on 14th
February 1550, John Poynet, a considerable scholar, but a man of
disgraceful life, obtained the appointment to the see, by alienating
various estates to the Seymour family, and Merdon was resumed by the
Crown.  It was then granted to Sir Philip Hobby who had been one of King
Henry’s privy councillors, and had been sent on an embassy to Portugal,
attended by ten gentlemen of his own retinue, wearing velvet coats with
chains of gold.

Already had come to the hamlet of Slackstead in Hursley Parish another
reformer, Thomas Sternhold, who had been gentleman of the bed-chamber to
Henry VIII., and had put thirty-seven Psalms into English verse, in hopes
of improving the morals of the Court.  John Hopkins and Robert Wisdom
completed the translation of the Psalms, which Fuller in his history says
was at first derided and scoffed at as piety rather than poetry, adding
that the good gentleman had drunk more of Jordan than of Helicon.  In his
_Worthies_, however, he says: “He was afterwards (saith my author) _ab
intimo cubiculo_ to King Edward the Sixth; though I am not satisfied
whether thereby he meant gentleman of his privy chamber or groom of his
bed-chamber.  He was a principal instrument of translating the Psalms
into English metre; the first twenty-six (and seven-and-thirty in all)
{28} being by him performed.  Yet had he other assistance in that work.
Many a bitter scoff hath since been passed on their endeavours by some
wits, which might have been better employed.  Some have miscalled these
their translations _Geneva gigs_ (_i.e._ jigs); and which is the worst,
father (or mother rather) the expression on our virgin queen, as falsely
as other things have been charged upon her.  Some have not sticked to say
‘that David hath been as much persecuted by bungling translators as by
Saul himself.’  Some have made libellous verses in abuse of them, and no
wonder if songs were made on the translators of the Psalms, seeing
drunkards made them on David the author thereof.

“But let these translations be beheld by impartial eyes, and they will be
allowed to go in equipage with the best poems in that age.  However, it
were to be wished that some bald rhymes therein were bettered; till which
time, such as sing them must endeavour to amend them by singing them with
understanding heads and gracious hearts, whereby that which is bad metre
on earth will be made good music in heaven.  As for our Thomas Sternhold,
it was happy for him that he died before his good master, anno 1549, in
the month of August; so probably preventing much persecution which had
happened unto him if surviving in the reign of Queen Mary.”

Such was Fuller’s judgment and that of the author he quotes, nevertheless
the version of the Psalms, being printed with the Prayer-Book, took such
a strong hold of the nation that in 1798 Hannah More was accused of
dissent, because the version of Tate and Brady was used in her schools.
Mr. Keble preferred it to this latter as more like the Hebrew, and some
of his versions (curiously enough proceeding from the same parish) remind
us of these simple old translators.  The Old Hundredth, and in some
degree the 23rd and the opening of the 18th, still hold their place,
probably in virtue of the music to which they are wedded.

Bishop Gardiner recovered the Manor of Merdon, with his liberty, on Queen
Mary’s accession.  Then it was that Philip of Spain rode through one of
these villages, probably Otterbourne, soaked through with rain, on his
way to his ill-starred marriage with Mary.

Gardiner was no persecutor, and Sternhold’s widow lived on at Slackstede.
On his death, Queen Mary gave the diocese to John White, the same who
preached to Elizabeth on a living dog being better than a dead lion.

Hobby then claimed the manor, but Bishop White made a strenuous
resistance, appealing to Gardiner’s former plea, and supported by the
Attorney General Story, who is said to have been an enemy of Sir Philip
Hobby.  The case was argued in the House of Lords, and given against the
bishop, though under the protest of several of the Lords Spiritual, who
dreaded the like treatment.

Story was prosecuted by the Commons for pleading before the Lords, fled
to the Netherlands and was trepanned on board an English ship, and put to
death as a traitor.

Bishop White was deprived the next year, and retired to his sister’s
house at South Warnborough, where he died.  Queen Elizabeth is said to
have visited him.

Merdon was thus in 1558 for ever alienated from the diocese of
Winchester.  Sir Philip Hobby is said to have first built the Lodge, as
it was called, of Hursley Park, about a quarter of a mile from Merdon
Castle, which had become ruinous.  Those were the days when the massive
walls and minute comfortless chambers were deserted, defence being less
thought of than convenience in our happy country; and indeed Sir Philip
seems to have used Hursley as a residence instead of only a shelter on a
tour.  He died at Bisham aged 53, on the 31st of May 1558, soon after his
victory over the See of Winchester, and is there buried, as well as his
elder brother, Sir Thomas.  He left no children, and was succeeded by his
brother William, who had married the widow of Sternhold.  On her death
the following memorial was erected over a stone bearing the coat, “On a
chevron embattled, between three griffins’ heads erased, three roses; and
on a brass the inscription:

       If ever chaste or honest godly lyfe
    Myght merit prayse . of everlastyng fame
    Forget not then . that worthy Sternhold’s wife
    Our Hobbie’s make .  Anne Horswell cald by name
    From whome alas . to sone for hers here left
    Hath God her Soule . deth her lyfe byreft,
       Anno 1559.”

His property at Hursley descended to his son Giles Hobby, Esq., who, it
appears clearly by the register and other records, was living in the
parish very early in the seventeenth century.  His last wife was Ann, the
daughter of Sir Thomas Clarke, Knight of Avyngton {32} in Berkshire, to
whom he sold the castle and manor of Merdon, reserving, however to
himself and wife, a life-holding in the lodge and park.  When this sale
was made does not appear, but it is supposed to have been before the year
1602, as Sir Thomas was then living at Merdon, and his son married in
that year at Hursley.  Giles Hobby died in the year 1626, and his wife in
1630.  They were both buried at Hursley, probably in the church, but no
monument appears to have been erected to their memory.

“Sir Thomas Clarke may be considered as the next lord of Merdon, though
he was never in possession of either the lodge or the park, and held only
for a few years what he did possess.  So long, however, as he continued
proprietor of the manor, it is said that he lived at _Merdon_, I suppose
at the castle, a part of which was probably then standing and habitable.
Sir Thomas, it would seem, kept the demesne lands in his own occupation,
requiring the tenants or copyholders of the manor, according to ancient
usage, to perform the customary service of reaping and housing his crops:
(1) The days employed in this service were called Haydobyn days; (2) and
during their continuance the lord was obliged to provide breakfast and
dinner for the workmen.  Richard Morley, in his Manuscript, gives a very
curious account of a quarrel which occurred on one of these occasions.
‘Another time’ (says he) ‘upon a haydobyn-day (320 or 340 reapers) the
cart brought a-field for them a hogs-head of porridge, which stunk and
had worms swimming in it.  The reapers refused to work without better
provisions.  Mr. Coram of Cranbury would not suffer them to work.  Mr.
Pye, Sir Thomas Clarke’s steward, and Coram drew their daggers, and rode
at each other through the wheat.  At last Lady Clarke promised to dress
for them two or three hogs of bacon: twenty nobles’ work lost.’  He adds,
that ‘a heire (hire) went for a man on the haydobyn-days, if able to
carry a hooke a-field.’”

This “haydobyn” is supposed by Mr. Marsh to be a corruption of the old
word “haydogtime,” {34} a word signifying a country dance.  It seems that
when the tenants were called on to perform work in hedging, reaping, or
hay-making, upon the lands of the lord of the manor, in lieu of money
rent he was bound to feed them through the day, and generally to conclude
with a merry-making.  So, no doubt, it had been in the good old days of
the bishops and the much loved and lamented John Bowland; but harder
times had come with Sir Thomas Clarke, when it required the interference
of Mr. Coram of Cranbury to secure them even an eatable meal.  No doubt
such stout English resistance saved the days of compulsory labour from
becoming a burden intolerable as in France.

Roger Coram, gent., rented Cranbury at £17: 2s.  Cranbury is a low wooded
hill, then part of the manor of Merdon, nearly two miles to the
south-east of Hursley, and in that parish, though nearer to Otterbourne.
Several tenements seem to have been there, those in the valley being
called Long Moor and Pot Kiln.  Shoveller is the first name connected
with Cranbury, but Mr. Roger Coram, the champion of the haymakers, held
it till his death, when it passed to Sir Edward Richards.

On the other hand, Brambridge, which stands in Twyford parish, but held
part of the hundred of Boyatt in Otterbourne, was in the hands of the
Roman Catholic family of Welles, who seem to have had numerous retainers
at Highbridge, Allbrook, and Boyatt.  Swithun Welles made Brambridge a
refuge for priests, and two or three masses were said in his house each
day.  One “Ben Beard,” a spy, writes in 1584 that if certain priests were
not at Brambridge they would probably be at Mr. Strange’s at Mapledurham,
where was a hollow place by the livery cupboard capable of containing two
men.

Swithun Welles went later to London and took a house in Holborn, where
Topcliffe the priest-catcher broke in on Father Genings saying mass, and
both he and Mr. Welles were hanged together for what was adjudged in
those days to be a treasonable offence, implying disaffection to the
Queen. {36}

The modern house of Brambridge affords no priests’ chambers.  It is
believed that an older one was burnt down, and there is a very dim report
that a priest was drowned in a stone basin in a neighbouring wood.

The register of Twyford Church contains the record of a number of the
Welles family buried in the churchyard clandestinely, by night.  John
Wells, mentioned in the Athenæ Oxoniensis as an able man living at
Deptford, retired to Brambridge, and died there in 1634.  This accounts
for there having been the Roman Catholic school at Twyford, whence
Alexander Pope was expelled for some satirical verses on the master.  The
house is still known.

The vicars of Hursley at this period were John Hynton, presented by
Bishop Gardiner, but deprived in on account of his tenets.  Richard Fox
was presented in his place by William Hobby.  It must have been owing to
the reforming zeal of this vicar of Hursley that the frescoes in
Otterbourne Church were as far as possible effaced, white-washed over,
and the Ten Commandments painted over them in old English lettering, part
of which was still legible in 1839.  Otterbourne was apparently still
served by the vicar of Hursley or his assistant.

Parish Registers began at this date, and here are the remarkable
occurrences recorded at Hursley:



EXTRAORDINARY OCCURRENCES, ETC.


1582.  A great hail storm happened at Hursley, Baddesley, and in the
neighbourhood, this year.  The hail-stones measured nine inches in
circumference.

1604.  The plague made its appearance at Anfield.  It broke out in
November, and continued till the following February.  Many persons died
of it, and were not brought to the church, but buried in the waste near
their residence.

1610.  A person of the name of Wooll hanged himself at Gosport, in the
parish of Hursley, about this time.  He was buried at the corner of
Newland’s Coppice, and a stake was driven through his body.  (The place
still bears the name of Newland’s Coppice.)

1621.  A planked thrashing-floor first laid down in the parish this year,
viz. at Merdon.  Chalk-floors used before.  It was reckoned a memorable
improvement.

1629.  A great fall of snow in October.  It was nearly half a foot deep,
and remained on the ground three or four days.

1635.  A copyholder was hanged for murder this year.  His copyhold was
seized by the lord as forfeited, but afterwards recovered, viz. in 1664.



CHAPTER IV
PURITAN TIMES


AFTER his dispute with the haymakers, Sir Thomas Clarke sold Merdon to
William Brock, a lawyer, from whom it passed to John Arundel, and then to
Sir Nathanael Napier, whose son, Sir Gerald, parted with it again to
Richard Maijor, the son of the mayor of Southampton.  This was in 1638,
and for some time the lodge at Hursley was lent to Mr. Kingswell, Mr.
Maijor’s father-in-law, who died there in 1639, after which time Mr.
Maijor took up his abode there.  He seems to have been a shrewd, active
man, and a staunch Protestant, for when there was a desire to lease out
Cranbury, he, as Lord of the Manor, stipulated that it should be let only
to a Protestant of the Church of England, not to a Papist.  The
neighbourhood of the Welleses at Brambridge probably moved him to make
this condition.

The person who applied for the lease was Dr. John Young, Dean of
Winchester, who purchased the copyhold of Cranbury before 1643, and
retired thither when he was expelled from his deanery and other
preferments in the evil times of the Commonwealth, and there died,
leaving his widow in possession.

Whether the lady was molested by Mr. Maijor we do not know.  He was no
favourite with Richard Morley, who rented the forge in Hursley, the farm
of Ratlake and Anvyle, as Ampfield was then spelt, and thought him a
severe lord to his copyholders.  Morley was born at Hursley, and was sent
to school at Baddesley in 1582, the year of the great hailstorm of the
nine-inch stones.  He kept valuable memoranda, which Mr. Marsh quotes,
and died in 1672, when he is registered as:—

    “Ricardus Morley Senex sepultus fuit, August 1672.”  (_Senex_ indeed,
    for he must have been 97.)

Of Maijor, Morley records, “He was very witty and thrifty, and got more
by oppressing his tenants than did all the lords in 60 years before him.
He was a justice of the peace, and raised a troop in the cause of the
Parliament.”  It must have been in the army that Oliver Cromwell made his
acquaintance, and in 1647 began the first proposals of a “Marriage
treaty,” between Richard, Oliver’s eldest surviving son, just twenty-one
and educated for the Law, and the elder daughter of Mr. Maijor (which
Carlyle always spells as Mayor).  For the time, however, this passed off;
but, apparently under the direction of Mr. Robertson, a minister of
Southampton, and Mr. Stapylton, also a minister, the treaty was resumed;
and three weeks after the King’s execution, Oliver wrote to Mr. Maijor.

    For my very worthy friend, Richard Mayor, Esq.: These.

                                           LONDON, 12_th_ _February_ 1648.

    SIR—I received some intimations formerly, and by the last return from
    Southampton a Letter from Mr. Robinson, concerning the reviving of
    the last year’s motion, touching my Son and your Daughter.  Mr.
    Robinson was also pleased to send enclosed in his, a Letter from you,
    bearing date the 5th of this instant, February, wherein I find your
    willingness to entertain any good means for the completing of that
    business.

    From whence I take encouragement to send my Son to wait upon you; and
    by him to let you know, that my desires are, if Providence so
    dispose, very full and free to the thing,—if upon an interview, there
    prove also a freedom in the young persons thereunto.  What liberty
    you will give herein, I wholly submit to you.  I thought fit, in my
    Letter to Mr. Robinson, to mention somewhat of expedition because
    indeed I know not how soon I may be called into the field, or other
    occasions may remove me from hence; having for the present some
    liberty of stay in London.  The Lord direct all to His glory.—I rest,
    Sir, your very humble servant,

                                                          OLIVER CROMWELL.

Probably this was the time when the public-house of Hursley took the name
of “The King’s Head,” which it has kept to the present day.  But young
Cromwell was inclined to loyalty, and when at Cambridge used to drink “to
the health of our landlord,” meaning the King!  He was one-and-twenty
when, with his father’s friend Mr. Stapylton, he made a visit to Hursley,
and was received by Mr. and Mrs. Maijor with many civilities, also seeing
their two daughters, Dorothy and Anne.  In a letter of 28th February,
Cromwell thanks Mr. Maijor for “The reception of my son, in the liberty
given him to wait on your worthy daughter, the report of whose virtues
and godliness has so great a place in my heart that I think fit not to
neglect anything on my part which may consummate a close of the business,
if God please to dispose the young ones’ hearts thereunto, and other
suitable ordering of affairs towards mutual satisfaction appear in the
dispensation of Providence.”

Mr. Stapylton was commissioned to act for General Cromwell in the matter
of settlements, over which there was considerable haggling, though Oliver
writes that “the report of the young lady’s godliness causeth him to deny
himself in the matter of moneys.”  More correspondence ensued, as to the
settlement of Hursley upon Dorothy and her heirs male, and the
compensation to her younger sister Anne.  Cromwell was anxious to hurry
on the matter so as to have it concluded before his departure to take the
command in Ireland.

The terms were finally settled, and Richard and Dorothy were married at
Hursley on May Day, 1649, before Cromwell’s departure to crush the
ill-arranged risings in Ireland.  Her sister Anne shortly after married
John Dunch of Baddesley, with £1000 as her portion.  Morley of Baddesley
chronicles the marriage in no friendly tone: “When” (says he) “King
Charles was put to death, and Oliver Cromwell Protector of England, and
Richard Maijor of his privy council, and Noll his eldest son Richard
married to Mr. Maijor’s daughter Doll, then Mr. Maijor did usurp
authority over his tenants at Hursley.”  In another place he says that
“he” (_i.e._ Mr. Maijor) “set forth horse and man for the Parliament, and
was a captain and justice of peace.  Lord Richard Cromwell was also a
justice of peace, and John Dunch a captain and justice.  These all lived
at Lodge together in Oliver’s reign; so we had justice right or wrong by
power; for if we did offend, they had power to send us a thousand miles
off, and that they have told us.”

Richard, having no turn for politics or warfare, preferred to live a
quiet life with his father-in-law, in the lodge.  There were two walnut
avenues planted about this time, leading to the lodge from the churchyard
on one side, and on the other towards Baddesley; and the foundations of
the house can still be traced on the lawn to which both lead.

Oliver writes in the summer after the marriage that he is glad the young
people have leisure to make a journey to eat cherries.  There is little
doubt but that this must have been to the gardens in Ram-Alley near
Chandler’s Ford, originally Chaloner’s Ford, where numerous trees,
bearing quantities of little black cherries called merries, used to grow,
and where parties used to go as a Sunday diversion, and eat, before the
days of the station and the building.

The elder Mrs. Cromwell paid a visit to Hursley after parting with the
Protector on his voyage to Ireland; but he never seems to have gone
thither in person, though he wrote kindly paternal letters to his son and
daughter.  He wishes Richard to study mathematics and cosmography, and
read history, especially Sir Walter Raleigh’s.  “It is a Body of history,
and will add much more to your understanding than fragments of story.”
And to Dorothy, he gives advice on her health and religious habits.

John Hardy had been Vicar of Hursley but was expelled, and Mr. Maijor, as
patron of the living, provided persons for the ministry and kept a close
account of their expenses, which is still preserved.  Seven different
ministers in the half year after Christmas 1645 were remunerated “for
travell and pains in preaching,” after which time Mr. Richard Webb
settled for a time at Hursley, and Mr. Daniel Lloyd at Otterbourne,
though several more changes took place.

A parish register at Hursley, 1653, recording births (not baptisms),
mentions the opening of a chalk-pit at Hatchgate in 1655, and at
Otterbourne.  The children of William Downe of Otterbourne Farm are
distinguished by double black lines below their names.

Oliver Cromwell, according to an old village tradition, sunk his treasure
at the bottom of Merdon Well, in an iron chest which must have been
enchanted, for, on an endeavour to draw it up, no one was to speak.  One
workman unfortunately said, “Here it comes,” when it immediately sank to
the bottom and (this is quite certain) never was seen!  The well was
cleaned out in later times, and nothing was found but a pair of curious
pattens, cut away to receive a high-heeled shoe, also a mazer-bowl, an
iron flesh-hook and small cooking-pot, and a multitude of pins, thrown in
to make the curious reverberating sound when, after several seconds, they
reached the water.  A couple of ducks are said to have been thrown down,
and to have emerged at Pool hole at Otterbourne with their feathers
scraped off.

On 3rd September 1658, the family party at Hursley was broken up by the
unexpected death of the Protector.  He was not yet sixty years of age,
and had not contemplated being cut off before affairs were more settled;
and when, in his last moments, he was harassed with enquiries as to his
successor, he answered, “You will find my will in _such_ a drawer of my
cabinet.”  Some of his counsellors thought he named his son Richard; and
no one ever found the drawer with the will in it, in which it was thought
that his son-in-law Fleetwood, a much abler man, was named.

At any rate, Richard was accepted in his father’s place by Parliament and
army, and went to much expense for the Protector’s funeral.  It must have
been a great misfortune to him that his shrewd father-in-law, the witty
and thrifty Mr. Maijor, was sinking under a complication of incurable
diseases, of which Morley speaks somewhat unkindly, and he died in the
end of April 1660.

Richard had never been a strong partisan of the Commonwealth, though he
had quietly submitted to whatever was required of him.  He had been
member of Parliament for the county of Hants, and had been placed at the
head of the list of his father’s attempt at a House of Lords, and he
allowed greatness to be thrust on him in a quiet acquiescent way.  He
dismissed the fictitious parliament that his father had summoned, and
then offended the strict and godly of the army by promoting soldiers of
whom they disapproved.  “Here is Dick Ingoldsby,” he said; “he can
neither pray nor preach, and yet I trust him before you all.”

No one had any real enthusiasm for the harmless, helpless man, “the
phantom king of half a year”; and it was just as old Mr. Maijor was dying
that Richard was requested by the “Rump” to resign, and return to Hampton
Court, with the promise of a pension and of payment of the debts incurred
by his father.  While packing for his departure, he sat down on a box
containing all the complimentary addresses made to him, and said,
“Between my legs lie the lives and fortunes of all the good folk in
England!”  He then returned to Hursley, where he found himself pursued by
those debts of his father which the Long Parliament had engaged to pay,
and which swallowed up more than his patrimony, though the manor of
Merdon, having been settled upon his wife, could not be touched.  He was
sufficiently alarmed, however, to make him retreat to the continent and
change his name to Clarke.

In 1675 Mrs. Richard Cromwell died, leaving out of a numerous family only
one son and two daughters.  The son, Oliver, inherited the estates, and
seems to have been on good terms with his father, who, in 1700, came to
live at Cheshunt under his name of Clarke, and made some visits to
Hursley.  Richard married under this assumed name, and left some
children.

When Oliver died without heirs in 1706, his father Richard, according to
the original settlement, succeeded to the property, but his two daughters
set up their claim, and the case was brought into court.  It is said that
the judge was Cowper, but this has been denied.  At any rate the judge
seems to have been shocked at the undutiful litigation, and treated the
old man with much respect.

The case was decided in his favour, and he lived between Hursley and
Cheshunt till his death in 1712 in his 86th year.

As Mr. Palgrave writes:—

       Him count we wise,
    Him also, though the chorus of the throng
       Be silent, though no pillar rise
    In slavish adulation of the strong,
    But here, from blame of tongues and fame aloof,
       ’Neath a low chancel roof,

       The peace of God
    He sleeps; unconscious hero!  Lowly grave
    By village footsteps daily trod;
    Unconscious! or while silence holds the nave,
    And the bold robin comes, when day is dim,
       And pipes his heedless hymn.

               [Picture: Richard Cromwell, Lord Protector]

These are a poet’s meditations on him, more graceful than the inscription
on the monument erected to him by his two undutiful daughters, ere, in
1718, they sold the estate.  It was a large tablet of marble, surmounted
by death’s heads.  It is of gray or veined marble, in the Doric style of
architecture, and is in height thirteen feet, and in breadth nearly nine.
The inscription upon it is as follows:—

    This Monument was erected to the memory of Mrs. Eliz. Cromwell,
    spinster (by Mr. Richard Cromwell and Thomas Cromwell, her
    executors).  She died the 8th day of April 1731, in the 82d yeare of
    her age, and lyes interred near this place; she was the daughter of
    Richard Cromwell, Esq., by Dorothy, his wife, who was the daughter of
    Richard Maijor, Esq.  And the following account of her family (all of
    whom, except Mrs. Ann Gibson, lie in this chancel) is given according
    to her desire.

    Mrs. Ann Gibson, the 6th daughter, died 7th Dec. 1727, in the 69th
    year of her age, and lies interred, with Dr. Thomas Gibson, her
    husband, Physician General of the Army, in the church-yard belonging
    to St. George’s Chapel, in London.

    Richard Cromwell, Esq., father of the said Eliz. Cromwell, died 12th
    July 1712, in the 86th year of his age.

    Oliver Cromwell, Esq., son of the said Richard Cromwell, died 11th
    May 1705, in the 49th year of his age.

    Mrs. Dorothy Mortimer, a seventh daughter, wife of John Mortimer,
    Esq., died 14th May 1681, in the 21st year of her age, but left no
    issue.

    Mrs. Dorothy Cromwell, wife of the said Richard Cromwell, died 5th
    January 1675, in the 49th year of her age.

    Mrs. Ann Maijor, mother of the said Mrs. Dorothy Cromwell, died 13th
    of June 1662.

    Richard Maijor, Esq., husband of the said Mrs. Ann Maijor, died 25th
    April 1660.

    Mrs. Dorothy Cromwell, a fifth daughter, died 13th December 1658, in
    the 2nd year of her age.

    A fourth daughter died 27th May 1655, in the 1st year of her age.

    Mrs. Mary Cromwell, a third daughter, died 24th September 1654, in
    the 2nd year of her age.

    A son of the said Richard and Dorothy Cromwell, died 13th December
    1652, in the 1st year of his age.

    Mrs. Ann Cromwell, a second daughter, died 14th March 1651, in the
    1st year of her age.

    Mr. John Kingswell, father of the said Mrs. Ann Maijor, died 5th
    March 1639.

The lime-trees, beautifully surrounding the churchyard, are said to have
been planted by Richard Cromwell, and there was certainly an excellent
fashion of planting them in the latter end of the seventeenth century,
partly due to a French custom, partly to Evelyn’s _Sylva_.  The beautiful
avenue of limes at Brambridge, in three aisles, was probably planted at
this date by one of the Welles family.

In taking down the old lodge of Merdon or Hursley, a large lump of metal
was found, squeezed into a crevice of the wall, and was sold by Mr.
Heathcote as a Roman weight; but on being cleaned, it proved to be the
die of the seal of the Commonwealth.  Richard had caused a new seal to be
made for himself by Simon, a noted medallist, and he had probably thus
disposed of the die as a dangerous possession.  Mr. Vertue saw it in
1710, in the collection of a Mr. Roberts, but it has since disappeared.

There was a stone inscribed to Edward Reynell and Mary his wife, who died
respectively in 1698 and 1699.  They are believed to have been friends of
Oliver Cromwell the grandson, who certainly named them in his will.
There was a tradition in Hursley that this Reynell was actually the
executioner of King Charles.



CHAPTER V
CUSTOMS OF THE MANOR OF MERDON


AS it was just at this time that the customs of the manor of Merdon were
revised, this seems to be the fittest place for giving Mr. Marsh’s
summary of them.

“The quantity of land in cultivation within the Manor of Merdon or parish
of Hursley is, as I imagine, not less than three-fifths of the whole, or
about 6000 acres; of which the greater part was anciently copyhold, under
the Bishop and Church of Winchester.  The tenure by which it was held,
was, and indeed is still, that denominated _Borough English_, the most
singular custom of which is, that the _youngest_ son inherits the
copyhold of his father, in preference of all his elder brothers.  The
origin of this tenure, according to Sir William Blackstone, is very
remote, it being his opinion that it was ‘a remnant of Saxon liberty’;
{53} and was so named in contradistinction to the Norman customs,
afterwards introduced by the Conqueror, from the Duchy of Normandy.  The
reasons commonly assigned for the peculiar usage just mentioned are given
by Blackstone, but they are evidently not satisfactory to him, and, as it
should seem, not founded on truth.  His own way of accounting for it is
far more rational and probable, though, it must be confessed, it is only
conjectural.  He supposes that the ancient inhabitants of this island
were for the most part herdsmen and shepherds; that their elder sons, as
soon as they arrived at manhood, received from their father a certain
allotment of cattle, and removed from him, and that the youngest son, who
continued to the last with him, became naturally the heir of the family
and of the remaining property.  Whether this were really the case or not
will probably ever remain a question of great uncertainty; and it is a
circumstance of too trifling a nature to deserve much investigation.  It
is, however, worthy of remark that to this day this custom of descent to
the youngest son prevails among the Tartars; and that something very like
it was anciently the usage among most northern nations. {54}  But
whatever be its origin, or in whatever way it be accounted for, such is
the custom now existing in this manor; and I have had frequent
opportunities of observing that it is held, especially by the inferior
class of copyholders, as sacred, and that they would, on no
consideration, divert their tenements out of the customary order of
inheritance.

“But besides this custom, there are others also in this manor which
indicate great antiquity, and which, there can be but little if any
doubt, are the same as were in use before the Norman Conquest.  We are
told, indeed, by Judge Blackstone, that after that event the ancient
Saxon system of tenure was laid aside, and that the Normans, wherever
they had lands granted to them, introduced the feodal system; and that at
length it was adopted generally, and as constitutional, throughout the
kingdom.  There does not, however, I think, appear to be sufficient
reason for supposing that this new system was received into this manor,
the customs here in use being evidently those of a more remote age, and
in their _circumstances_, if not in their _nature_, altogether unlike
those which were at this time established by the Normans.

“Under the feodal system, the tenant originally held his lands entirely
at the will of the lord, and at his death they reverted to the lord
again.  The services to be performed for the lord were uncertain and
unlimited.  The copyhold was also subject to a variety of grievous taxes,
which the lord had the privilege, upon many occasions, of imposing—such
as aids, reliefs, primer seisin, wardship, escheats for felony and want
of heirs, and many more, altogether so exorbitant and oppressive as often
totally to ruin the tenant and rob him of almost all interest in his
property. {56}  The difference of the circumstances under which the lands
in the manor of Merdon are, and, as it seems, always were held, is
remarkably striking: here the copyhold is hereditary, the services are
certain and limited, the fines are fixed and unchangeable, the lord has
no right of wardship, neither is the copyhold liable to escheat for
felony; the widow of a tenant has also a right of inheritance, and the
tenement may be let without the lord’s consent for a year.  All which
circumstances appear to bespeak an original and fundamental difference of
tenure from that of the feodal system, and are, I presume, to be
considered, not as encroachments that have gradually grown upon that
system, but as being of a more liberal extraction and much greater
antiquity. {57a}  But besides these differences, the supposition here
advanced has this farther ground to rest upon, viz. that neither the name
of _Merdon_, nor that of _Hursley_, is so much as mentioned in the great
survey of the kingdom, called Domesday-Book, which, if the intention of
that survey be rightly understood, {57b} it seems next to a certainty
that one or other of them would have been had the new system been here
adopted.  Nor, when it is considered that this was _Church_ property, and
that in many instances the alterations were not enforced, {58} out of
favour as it is supposed to the landholder, who was partial to the more
ancient tenure, ought it to be thought extraordinary that the customs in
this manor did not undergo the general change; since, if favour were
desirable and shown to any, who were so likely to expect and to find it
as the clergy?  But however this point may really be, it appears evident
that the tenants of this manor have, from the earliest times to which we
have the means of resorting for information, enjoyed many unusual rights
and immunities, and that their services were, in many respects, far from
being so base and servile as those of the strictly feodal tenant.

“When it was that disputes first arose between the lord and tenants
concerning their respective rights is not, I believe, known with
certainty; but it appears that in the time of Mr. Maijor many of the
lord’s claims were complained of by the tenants as usurpations; as, on
the other hand, many of theirs were by the lord as new and uncustomary.
But it was in vain then for the tenants either to resist the lord’s
pretensions or to assert their own; such being Mr. Maijor’s power and
interest with the Cromwellian Government as to enable him, as they well
knew, easily to defeat all their efforts.  In justice, however, to Mr.
Maijor, it should be mentioned that he acted, in one instance at least,
with great liberality towards the tenants; as by him it was that the
customary personal services were commuted for pecuniary payments—an
exchange which could not fail of being peculiarly acceptable to them, as
they were not only relieved by it from a service they considered as a
grievance, and performed reluctantly, but had the prospect of being in
the end great gainers by it.  But though by this concession on the part
of the lord some ground of discontent was removed, yet disputes and
animosities still continued to subsist with respect to other customs; and
no sooner was Mr. Maijor dead, and the Cromwell family dispossessed of
its power, than the tenants laid aside their fears and renewed their
opposition.  The circumstances of the times being now in their favour, it
might perhaps have been expected that they, in their turn, should
establish all their claims without contention.  The case, however, was
quite otherwise, as neither Mrs. Cromwell nor her son would tamely forego
any one of their supposed privileges—on the contrary, Oliver defended
them in the true spirit of a Cromwell, and relinquished none but such as
the decisions of a jury, which were more than once resorted to, deprived
him of.  In this state of strife and litigation things continued until
the year 1692, when most of the principal tenants concurred in a
determination to appeal to the Court of Chancery.  A bill of complaint
was accordingly presented to the Court, stating their supposed
grievances, and soliciting its interference.  Several hearings and
trials, ordered in consequence of this application, for the investigation
of the disputed customs, then ensued; after which, though not till more
than six years had elapsed, the Court finally adjudged and decreed the
customs of the manor to be, and continue for the future, as they here
follow:—

    “_Custom_ 1.  That all the copyholds and customary messuages, lands,
    and tenements within the said manor are, and have been time out of
    mind, copyholds of inheritance, demised and demisable to the
    copyholders or customary tenants thereof, and their heirs in fee
    simple by copy of Court Roll, according to the custom of the said
    manor.

    “_Custom_ 2.  That the customary tenements within the said manor do
    descend, and ought to descend, as tenements of the tenure, and in the
    nature of Borough-English, not only to the youngest son or youngest
    daughter, and for default of such issue of such customary tenant to
    the youngest brother or youngest sister, but also, for default of
    such brother and sister of such customary tenant, to the next kinsman
    or kinswoman of the whole blood of the customary tenant in
    possession, how far so ever remote.

    “_Custom_ 3.  That if any tenant of any copyhold die, seized of any
    copyhold, his wife living, then she ought to come to the next Court
    or Law-day to make her claim and election, whether she will pay a
    penny and hold for her widow’s estate, or pay half her husband’s
    fine, and to keep the copyhold tenement during her life.

    “_Custom_ 4.  That the husband of any wife (as customary tenant of
    the said manor) dying, seized of any customary tenement within the
    said manor, is entitled to have such customary tenement of his wife
    so dying, during his life, though the said husband had no issue of
    the body of his said wife.

    “_Custom_ 5.  That if any copyholder or customary tenant of the said
    manor die, and leave his heir within the age of fourteen years, that
    then the nearest of kin and farthest from the land, have had, and
    ought to have the guardianship and custody of the body of such heir
    and his copyholds, held of that manor, so that at the next Court or
    Law-day he come in and challengeth the same, and to keep the same
    until the heir come to be of the age of fourteen years.

    “_Custom_ 6.  That the heir of any customary tenant within the said
    manor is compellable to pay his fine to the lord of the said manor,
    and be admitted tenant before he attain his age of one and twenty
    years, if he come to the possession of his customary estate.

    “_Custom_ 7.  That the fine due to the lord of the said manor upon
    the admission or alienation of any customary tenant, to any customary
    tenement within the said manor, is, and time out of mind was, double
    the quit-rent of the said customary tenement; that is to say, when
    the quit-rent of any customary tenement was twenty shillings, the
    tenant of such tenement did pay to the lord of the said manor forty
    shillings for a fine.

    “_Custom_ 8.  That every heir and tenant of any customary lands of
    the said manor may sell his inheritance during the life of the widow
    of his ancestor, who enjoys such customary estate for life.

    “_Custom_ 9.  That it is lawful for any of the copyholders or
    customary tenants of the said manor, to let her, his, or their
    copyholds for one year, but not for any longer term, without a
    licence from the lord of the said manor.

    “_Custom_ 10. ‘That no _certain_ fine is payable to the lord of the
    said manor from any customary tenant of the said manor for a licence
    to let his customary tenement; but such fine may exceed a penny in
    the pound of the yearly value of such customary tenement.

    “_Custom_ 11.  That every copyholder of inheritance of the said manor
    may sell any of his coppices, under-woods, and rows, and use them at
    pleasure; and may dig for stone, coal, earth, marle, chalk, sand and
    gravel in their own grounds, to be employed thereon; and may also dig
    any of the commons or wastes belonging to the said manor for earth or
    gravel in the ancient pits there, where their predecessors have done,
    for the improvement of their copyholds.

    “_Custom_ 12.  That all the customary tenants of the said manor, when
    and as often as their old pits, where they used to dig earth, marle,
    chalk, sand, clay, gravel, and other mould, were deficient, and would
    not yield the same for them, that they, the said customary tenants,
    may and have used to dig _new_ pits in any of the wastes and commons
    of the lord within the said manor, and there dig and carry away
    earth, marle, chalk, sand, clay, gravel, and other mould at their
    pleasure, for the improvement of their customary tenements, or for
    other necessary uses, without the licence of the lord of the said
    manor.

    “_Custom_ 13.  That the ancient customary tenants of the said manor
    (other than such as hold only purpresture lands) have always had
    common of pasture and feedings in all the lord’s commons belonging to
    the said manor, viz. upon Cranbury Common, Hiltingbury Common,
    Ampfield Common, Bishop’s Wood, Pit Down, and Merdon Down, for all
    their commonable cattle, levant and couchant, upon their respective
    copyhold tenements, within the said manor.

    “_Custom_ 14.  That no customary tenant of the said manor can or
    ought to plough any part of the land upon the aforesaid wastes and
    commons, to lay dung, or for improving their customary lands.

    “_Custom_ 15.  That the Customary tenants of the said manor have not
    had, nor ought to have in every year, at all times of the year,
    common of pasture in the wastes, heaths, and commons of the lord of
    the said manor within the said manor, for all their commonable
    cattle, without number or stint, exclusive of the lord of the said
    manor.

    “_Custom_ 16.  That the hazels, furzes, maples, alders, wythies,
    crab-trees, fern, and bushes, growing upon the aforesaid wastes and
    commons, or in either of them, as also the acorns when they there
    fall, do belong to the customary tenants of the said manor, not
    excluding the lord of the said manor for the time being from the
    same.  And that the customary tenants of the said manor have had, and
    used and ought to have, right of cutting furzes growing upon the
    wastes and commons of the said manor for their firing, and to cut
    fern for their uses and that the said customary tenants, in like
    manner, have right of cutting thorns, bushes, wythies, hazels,
    maples, alders, and crab-trees, growing upon the wastes and commons
    of the said manor, or in either of them, for making and repairing
    their hedges and fencing of their grounds, but they are not to commit
    any waste to the prejudice of the breeding, nursing, and raising of
    young trees of oak, ash, and beech, which do wholly belong to the
    lord of the said manor, to have, use, and fell; and that the acorns,
    after they are fallen, do wholly belong to the customary tenants of
    the said manor.

    “_Custom_ 17.  That the customary tenants of the said manor have
    right to feed their cattle in the three coppices called South Holmes,
    Hele Coppice, and Holman Coppice, within the said manor, and a right
    to the mast there.

    “_Custom_ 18.  That the lord of the said manor ought not to cut down
    the said coppices, or one of them altogether, or at any one time, but
    by parts or pieces, when he pleases.

    “_Custom_ 19.  That when the lord of the said manor doth cut down
    any, or either of the said coppices, he, by the custom, is not
    compellable to fence the same for seven years after such cutting, nor
    to suffer the same to lie open.

    “_Custom_ 20.  That neither Thomas Colson, William Watts, _alias_
    Watkins, nor the customary tenants of the tenement called Field
    House, have a right of selling or disposing sand in any of the wastes
    or commons of the lord of the said manor within the said manor.

    “_Custom_ 21.  That any customary tenant of the said manor seized of
    any estate of inheritance, in any customary tenement within the said
    manor, may cut timber, or any other trees standing or growing in or
    upon his said customary tenement, for repairs of his ancient
    customary messuages, with their appurtenances, and for estovers and
    other necessary things to be used upon such his customary tenement,
    without the licence or assignment of the lord of the said manor, but
    not for building new messuages for habitation.

    “_Custom_ 22.  That no customary tenant of the said manor can cut,
    sell, or dispose of any trees growing upon his customary tenement,
    without the licence of the lord of the said manor, unless for
    repairs, estovers, and other necessary things to be used upon his
    customary tenement.

    “_Custom_ 23.  That any tenant seized of any estate of inheritance in
    any of the customary tenements of the said manor, may cut down timber
    trees or other trees, standing or growing in or upon one of his
    customary tenements, to repair any other of his customary tenements,
    within the said manor.

    “_Custom_ 24.  That no tenant of any customary tenement of the said
    manor, may cut any timber trees or any other trees from off his
    customary tenement, nor give or dispose of the same, for repairing of
    any customary tenement, or any other customary tenement within the
    said manor.

    “_Custom_ 25.  That the said customary tenants, and every of them,
    may cut down any old trees, called decayed pollard trees, standing or
    growing in or upon his customary tenement, and sell and dispose of
    the same, at his and their will and pleasure.

    “_Custom_ 26.  That the lord of the said manor for the time being,
    when, and as often as his mansion-house and the outhouses called
    _Merdon Farm House_, shall want necessary repairs, may cut, and hath
    used to cut down, one timber tree from off one farm or customary
    tenement, once only during the life of the customary tenant of such
    one farm, or customary tenement, for the necessary repairs of the
    mansion-house and outhouses called _Merton Farm House_.

    “_Custom_ 27.  That the lord of the said manor, for the time being,
    cannot cut down more trees than one, from any one customary tenement
    in the life-time of any customary tenant thereof, for the repairs
    aforesaid, nor can he take the loppings, toppings, boughs, or bark of
    such trees so by him cut down, nor can he carry the same away.

    “_Custom_ 28.  That upon any surrender made before the reeve or
    beadle, with two customary tenants of the said manor, or before any
    two customary tenants of the said manor without the reeve or beadle,
    no herriot is due to the lord of the said manor, if the estate
    thereby made and surrendered be from the right heir.

    “_Custom_ 29.  That by the custom of the said manor, the jury at the
    Court or Law-day held for the said manor, have yearly used to choose
    the officers of and for the said manor, for the year ensuing, viz. a
    Reeve, a Beadle, and a Hayward, and such officers have used, and
    ought to be sworn at the said Court, to execute the said offices for
    one year until they are lawfully discharged.

    “_Custom_ 30.  That the Hayward’s office hath been to collect and pay
    to the lord of the said manor such custom money as was agreed for in
    lieu of the custom works.”

The boundaries of the manor of Merdon, including Cranbury, and up to the
brook at Chandler’s Ford, have been kept up by “progresses” round them.
Probably the “gang” or Rogation procession was discontinued by either Sir
Philip Hobby or Richard Maijor; but on the borders between Hursley and
Baddesley, at a spot called High Trees Corner, near the railway, is
marked in the old map, “Here stode Gospell Oke.”  It is not far from
Wool’s Grave, the next corner towards the Baddesley road.  There, no
doubt, the procession halted for the reading of the Gospel for Rogation
week.

There are two curious entries in the old accounts:—

Chirurchets {67} vi Hennes and Cockes as apereth in the old         44
customary which I had from John Seymour.

And in the old book of Fines written in 1577—

The Reve doth gather by his scores                           £37 18 2.

The Bedell gathers the escheats.

The Reve the rents and eggs and is keeper of the West
heth.

A small farm near the church was held by Corpus Christi College, Oxford,
having probably been granted by Bishop Richard Fox, the founder, who held
the See of Winchester from 1500 to 1528.  The bearing in his coat of arms
was a “pelican in her piety,” and the Pelican was the name of the public
house and of the farm that succeeded it down to the present day.  The
title as well as that of the college are of course connected with the
emblem of the Pelican feeding her young from her own breast.  Little
pelicans, alternately with Tudor portcullises, profusely adorn Fox’s
chantry in Winchester Cathedral.



CHAPTER VI
CRANBURY AND BRAMBRIDGE


GREAT changes began at the Restoration.  Robert Maunder became vicar of
Hursley in 1660, on whose presentation is unknown; but that he or his
curate were scholars is probable, since the entries in the parish
registers both of Hursley and Otterbourne begin to be in Latin.  Cranbury
had passed from Dean Young to his brother Major General Young, and from
him to his daughter, the wife or Sir Charles Wyndham, son of Sir Edmund
Wyndham, Knight Marshall of England and a zealous cavalier.  Brambridge,
closely bordering on Otterbourne, on the opposite side of the Itchen,
though in Twyford Parish, was in the possession of the Welles family.
Brambridge and Otterbourne are divided from one another by the river
Itchen, a clear and beautiful trout stream, much esteemed by fishermen.
In the early years of Charles II. a canal was dug, beside the Itchen, for
the conveyance of coal from Southampton.  It was one of the first formed
in England, and for two hundred years was constantly used by barges.  The
irrigation of the meadows was also much benefited, broad ditches being
formed—“water carriages” as they are locally called—which conduct the
streams in turn over the grass, so that even a dry season causes no
drought, but they always lie green and fresh while the hills above are
burnt brown.

Another work was set in hand during the reign of Charles II., namely the
palace he designed to build in rivalry of Versailles.  Sir Christopher
Wren was the architect.  The grounds were intended to stretch over the
downs to a great distance, and on the highest point was to stand a
pharos, whose light would be visible from the Solent.  Fountains were to
be fed from the Itchen, and a magnificent palace was actually begun, the
bricks for it being dug from a clay pit at Otterbourne, which has ever
since borne the name of Dell Copse, and became noted for the growth of
daffodils.  The king lodged at Southampton to inspect the work, and there
is a tradition (derived from Dean Rennell) that being an excellent
walker, he went on foot to Winchester.  One of his gentlemen annoyed him
by a hint to the country people as to who he was, whereupon a throng come
out to stare at him, at one of the bridges.  He escaped, and took his
revenge by a flying leap over a broad “water carriage,” leaving them to
follow as they could.

His death put an end to his design, when only one wing of the building
was completed.  It was known as “the King’s House” and was used as
barracks till 1892, when it was unfortunately burnt to the ground.

Boyat, or Bovières, as it once was called, had been a “hundred,” and was
probably more of a village than at present, since up to 1840 there was a
pound and stocks opposite to the single farm-house that remained.  The
lands stretched from the hill to the river, near which was a hamlet
called Highbridge, just on the boundary between Twyford and Otterbourne.
Here was an endowed Roman Catholic chapel, a mere brick building, at the
back of a cottage, only distinguished by a little cross on the roof.
There is reason to think that a good many dependants of the Brambridge
family lived here, for there are entries in the parish register that
infants had been born at Highbridge, but the curate of Otterbourne could
not tell whether they had been baptized.

A new parchment parish register was provided in 1690, and very carefully
kept by the curate, John Newcombe, who yearly showed it up to the
magistrates at the Petty Sessions, when it was signed by two of them.  A
certain Augustin Thomas was a man of some property, comprising a house
and two or three fields, which were known as “Thomas’s Bargain,” till one
was used as a site for the Vicarage.  Several surnames still extant in
the parish are found in the register, Cox, Comley, Collins, Goodchild,
Woods, Wareham—Anne and Abraham were the twin children of John and Anne
Diddams, a curious connection with the name Didymus (twin), which seems
to be the origin.

There must have been extensive repairs, if such they may be called, of
the church, probably under the influence of Sir Charles and Lady
Wyndham—for though Cranbury House stands in Hursley parish, it is so much
nearer to Otterbourne that the inhabitants generally attend the church
there,—and two huge square pews in the chancel, one lined with red baize,
the other bare, were appropriated to Cranbury, and might well have been
filled by the children of Sir Charles and Dame James his wife—Jacoba in
her marriage register at Hursley—for they had no less than seventeen
children, of whom only five died in infancy, a small proportion in those
days of infant mortality.  The period of alteration is fixed by a great
square board bearing the royal arms, with the initials W. and M. and the
date 1687.  No notice was taken of the Nassau shield, and indeed it must
have been put up in a burst of enthusiasm for the glorious Revolution,
for the lion, as best he can be recollected, had a most exultant
expression, with his tongue out of one side of his mouth.

The black-letter Commandments on the chancel arch were whitewashed out,
and a tablet in blue with gold lettering erected in their stead on each
side of the altar.  The east window had either then or previously been
deprived of all its tracery, and was an expanse of plain glass with only
a little remains of a cusp at the top of the arch.  The bells were in one
of the true Hampshire weather-boarded square towers, of which very few
still exist in their picturesqueness.  There were the remains of an old
broken font, and a neat white marble one, of which the tradition was that
it was given by a parish clerk named David Fidler, and it still exists as
the lining of the present font.

Sir Charles Wyndham died in 1706, his wife in 1720.  A small monument was
raised for them in Hursley Church, with an inscription on a tablet now in
the tower, purporting that the erection was by their daughters, Frances
White and Beata Hall.

Frances was married to a man of some note in his day, to judge by the
monument she erected to his memory in Milton Church, near Lymington,
where his effigy appears, an upright figure cut off at the knees, and in
addition to the sword in his hand there is a metal one, with a blade
waved like a Malay crease, by the side of the monument.  The inscription
is thus—

                          THOMAS WHITE Esq., son of
              IGNATIUS WHITE Esq. of Fiddleford in Dorsetshire.

    He served three kings and Queen Ann as a Commander in the guards, and
    was much wounded.  He was in the wars of Ireland and Flanders.

    He had one son who dyed before him.  He departed this life on the
    17th of February in the year 1720.

    This monument was erected by his widow Frances, one of the daughters
    of Sir Charles Wyndham, in the county of Southampton.

Mrs. White thus lost her husband and her mother in the course of the same
year.  Her brother sold the Cranbury property to Jonathan Conduitt,
Esquire, who was a noted person in his day.  He married Catherine Barton,
the favourite niece and adopted daughter of Sir Isaac Newton.  It may be
remembered that this great man was a posthumous child, and was bred up by
his mother’s second husband, Barnabas Smith, Rector of North Witham,
Lincolnshire, so as to regard her children as brothers and sisters.
Hannah Smith married one Thomas Barton of Brigstock, and her daughter
Catherine (whose name mysteriously is found as suing for the price of
property sold to Charles II. for the site of the King’s house at
Winchester), lived with Sir Isaac Newton, was very beautiful, and much
admired by Lord Halifax for her wit and gaiety.  It was even reported
that she was privately married to him, but this of course was mere
scandal, and she became the wife of Jonathan Conduitt, educated at
Trinity College, a friend and pupil of Newton, who had for many years
assisted in the harder work of Master of the Mint, and wrote an essay on
the gold and silver coinage of the realm.  He was member of Parliament
for Southampton.  Sir Isaac made his home with his niece and her husband
till his death in 1727, when Mr. Conduitt succeeded to his office as
Master of the Mint, and intended to write his life, but was prevented by
death in 1737.  Among the materials which Mr. Conduitt had preserved is
the record of Newton’s saying, “I do not know what I may appear to the
world, but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the
sea shore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble
or a prettier shell than ordinary, while the great ocean of truth lay all
undiscovered before me.”

A very curious relic of Sir Isaac survives in the garden at Cranbury
Park, viz. a sun-dial, said to have been calculated by Newton.  It is in
bronze, in excellent preservation, and the gnomon so perforated as to
form the cypher I. C. seen either way.  The dial is divided into nine
circles, the outermost divided into minutes, next, the hours, then a
circle marked “Watch slow, Watch fast,” another with the names of places
shown when the hour coincides with our noonday, such as Samarcand and
Aleppo, etc., all round the world.  Nearer the centre are degrees, then
the months divided into days.  There is a circle marked with the points
and divisions of the compass, and within, a diagram of the compass, the
points alternately plain and embossed.

There is no date, but the maker’s name, John Rowley, and the arms of Mr.
Conduitt, as granted in 1717.  Quarterly 1st and 4th Gules, on a fesse
wavy argent, between three pitchers double eared or, as many bees volant
proper.

2nd and 3rd Gules, a lion rampant argent between six acorns or.  Impaling
argent 3 boars’ heads sable for Barton.

Crest—Two Caducean rods with wings, lying fesse ways or.  Thereon a
peacock’s head, erased proper.

The motto—“Cada uno es hijo de sus obras.”  “Each one is son of his
deeds”—translates the Spanish.

The 1st and 3rd quartering belongs to the old family of Chenduite, from
which Jonathan Conduitt may have been descended.  Probably he could not
prove his right to their Arms, and therefore had the fresh grant.

Mr. Conduitt died in 1737, leaving a daughter, whose guardians sold
Cranbury to Thomas Lee Dummer, Esquire, from whom it descended in 1765 to
his son of the same name.

Catherine Conduitt married the son of Viscount Lymington, afterwards
created Earl of Portsmouth.



CHAPTER VII
THE BUILDING AT HURSLEY


IN the year 1718, Hursley was sold by Cromwell’s two surviving daughters
for £36,000 to William Heathcote, Esq., afterwards created a baronet.

The Heathcotes belonged to a family of gentle blood in Derbyshire.
Gilbert Heathcote, one of the sons, was an Alderman at Chesterfield, and
was the common ancestor of the Rutland as well as the Hursley family.
His third son, Samuel, spent some years as a merchant at Dantzic, where
he made a considerable fortune, and returning to England, married Mary
the daughter of William Dawsonne of Hackney.  He was an intimate friend
of the great Locke, and assisted him in his work on preserving the
standard of the gold coin of the realm.  He died in 1708, his son William
and brother Gilbert attained to wealth and civic honours.

Sir Gilbert was Lord Mayor in 1711 and was the last who rode in
procession on the 9th of November.  Both were Whigs, though the Jacobite
Lord Mayor, whose support was reckoned on by the Stuarts, was their
cousin.

At about twenty-seven years of age, William Heathcote married Elizabeth,
only daughter of Thomas Parker, Earl of Macclesfield, and had in course
of time six sons and three daughters.  He was M.P. first for Buckingham
and afterwards for Southampton.  He was created a baronet in 1733.

                   [Picture: The Old Church at Hursley]

There were plans drawn for enlarging the old lodge in which the Hobbys
and Cromwells had lived, but these seem to have been found impracticable,
and it was decided to pull the house down and erect a new one on a
different site.  Tradition, and Noble in his _Cromwell_, declared that
the change was from dislike of the Cromwell opinions and usurpations, but
Mr. Marsh considers this “mean and illiberal” and combats it sharply.

The new and much more spacious building was placed a little higher up on
the hill, with a wide bowling-green on the south side, where in dry
summers the old foundations of the former house can be traced, the walnut
avenues leading up to it.  The house was in the style that is now called
Queen Anne, of red brick quoined with stone, with large-framed heavy sash
windows and double doors to each of the principal rooms, some of which
were tapestried with Gobelin arras representing the four elements—Juno,
with all the elements of the air; Ceres presiding over the harvest, for
the earth; Vulcan with the emblems of fire; and Amphitrite drawn by
Tritons personifying water.

There was then a great central entrance-hall, in the middle of the
northern side of the house, with stone steps going up at each end,
outside, but, as we see from drawings and prints of the time, with no
carriage-approach to the house, so that people must have driven up to the
front door over the grass.

Sir William died in 1751, fifty-eight years old.  His son, Sir Thomas,
born in 1721, was the builder of old Hursley Church, which was begun in
1752, and completed the next year, only the tower being left of the
former edifice.  In 1808 some few capitals of the old pillars remained in
parts of the village, and were adjudged by Mr. Marsh to be Saxon.  It was
said that the inside was very dark, the ground outside being nearly on a
level with the windows, and six or eight steps descending to the floor.

            [Picture: Hursley Park House.  N.-E. front, 1867]

It was all swept away, and the new structure was pronounced by Mr. Marsh
to be exceedingly “neat, light, and airy.”  It was 82 feet long, and 49
broad, with two aisles, and an arched ceiling, supported on pillars.  It
might well be light, for the great round-headed windows were an expanse
of glass, very glaring in sunshine, though mitigated by the waving
lime-trees.  The plan and dimensions followed those of the old church,
and were ample enough, the north aisle a good deal shorter than the
chancel, and all finished with gables crow-stepped in the Dutch fashion.
It was substantially paved within, and was a costly and anxiously planned
achievement in the taste of the time, carefully preserving all the older
monuments.  A mausoleum in the same style was built for the Heathcote
family in the south-western corner of the churchyard, and gradually the
white-washed walls of the church became ornamented (?) with the
hatchments of each successive baronet and his wife, the gentlemen’s
shields with the winged globe as crest, and the motto _Deus prosperat
justos_; the ladies’ lozenge finished with a death’s head above, and
_Resurgam_ below.

Sir Thomas was twice married and had eight children.  He died at
sixty-five years of age on 29th of June 1787.  He was succeeded by his
eldest son, the second Sir William, who was born in 1746, and was member
for the county in three Parliaments.  He was a man of great integrity,
humanity, and charity, very affable and amiable, and unassuming in his
manners, “and he died as he had lived, fearing God.”  He married Frances,
daughter and co-heiress of John Thorpe of Embley, and had seven children.

His eldest son, Sir Thomas, married the heiress of Thomas Edwards
Freeman, of Batsford, Gloucestershire, in 1799, and was known as Sir
Thomas Freeman Heathcote.  He was member for the county from 1808 till
1820, when he retired.  He is reported to have known an old man who said
he had held a gate open for Oliver Cromwell, but this must have meant the
grandson, who died in 1705.

Sir Thomas died without issue in his fifty-sixth year on the 21st day of
February 1825.



CHAPTER VIII
OLD OTTERBOURNE


THOMAS DUMMER, Esquire, who in 1765 succeeded his father in the
possession of Cranbury, was a man to whom some evil genius whispered,
“Have a taste,” for in 1770 he actually purchased the City Cross of
Winchester to set it up at Cranbury, but happily the inhabitants of the
city were more conservative than their corporation, and made such a
demonstration that the bargain was annulled, and the Cross left in its
proper place.  He consoled himself with erecting a tall lath and plaster
obelisk in its stead, which was regarded with admiration by the children
of the parish for about sixty years, when weather destroyed it.

He also transported several fragments from Netley Abbey, which formed
part of his property at Weston near Southampton, and set them up in his
park as an object from the windows.  There is an arch, the base of a
pillar, and a bit of gateway tower, but no one has been able to discover
the part whence they came, so that not much damage can have been done.
The rear of the gateway has been made into a keeper’s lodge, and is known
to the village of Otterbourne as “the Castle.”

He is also said to have had a kind of menagerie, and to have been once in
danger from either a bear or a leopard; the man at Hursley who rescued
him did not seem in his old age to be clear which it was, though he
considered himself to have a claim on the property.

It would not have been easy to substantiate it, for Mr. Dummer died
without heirs about 1790, leaving his property at Cranbury and Netley
first to his widow, and after her to the Chamberlayne family.

Mrs. Dummer lived many years after her husband, and married an artist,
then of some note, Sir Nathanael Dance, who assumed the name of Holland,
and in 1800 was created a baronet.  He threw up painting as a profession,
but brought several good pictures to Cranbury.  His wife survived him
till 1823–24, when William Chamberlayne, M.P. for Southampton, came into
the property, and from him, in 1829, it descended to his nephew, Thomas
Chamberlayne, Esquire.

Brambridge had a more eventful history.  From the Welleses, it passed to
the Smythes, also Roman Catholics.  Walter Smythe, the first of these,
was second son of Sir John Smythe of Acton Burnell in Derbyshire.  His
daughter Mary Anne was married at nineteen to one of the Welds of
Lulworth Castle, who died within a year, and afterwards to Thomas
Fitzherbert, who left her a childless widow before she was twenty-five.

It was six years later that, after vehement passionate entreaties on the
part of George, Prince of Wales, and even a demonstration of suicide, she
was wrought upon to consent to a private marriage with him, which took
place on the 21st of December 1785, at her house in Park Lane, the
ceremony being performed by a clergyman of the Church of England, in the
presence of her uncle and one of her brothers.

So testifies Jesse in his _Life of George III_.  Nevertheless there is at
Twyford a belief that the wedding took place at midnight in the bare
little Roman Catholic Chapel at Highbridge, and likewise in Brambridge
House, where the vicar officiated and was sworn to secrecy.  The
register, it is said, was deposited at Coutts’s Bank under a lock with
four keys.  The connection with Twyford was kept up while the lady lived,
but no one remains who can affirm the facts.  Her first marriage, in
early youth, was most probably, as described, at Brambridge.  Her very
small wedding ring is also extant, but neither ring nor ceremony can
belong to her royal marriage.  It would be curious that the adjoining
parish of Marwell likewise had to boast (if that is a right word) of
Henry VIII.’s marriage with Jane Seymour.

Mrs. Fitzherbert certainly visited Brambridge, for an old gardener named
Newton, and Miss Frances Mary Bargus, who came to live at Otterbourne in
1820, remembered her, and the latter noted her fine arched brows.  George
IV.’s love for her was a very poor thing, but she was the only woman he
ever had any real affection for, and he desired that her miniature should
be buried with him.

She survived him for many years, and died in 1837 at eighty-one years
old.

Her brother Walter was one of the English who visited Paris and was made
prisoner by Napoleon I. at the rupture of the peace of Amiens, and
detained till 1814.  While he was a prisoner, his brother Charles caused
all the limes in the avenue at Brambridge to be pollarded, and sold the
tops for gun stocks.  Nevertheless the trees are still magnificent,
making three aisles, all the branches inwards rising up perpendicularly,
those without sweeping gracefully down, and all budding and fading
simultaneously.  The pity is that the modern house should not have been
built at one end or the other, so that they form actually a passage that
leads to nothing.  Since his death, the property has been sold, and has
passed into strangers’ hands.  The endowment of the chapel has been
transferred to one at Eastleigh, and the house to which it was attached
belongs to a market garden.

The two parishes were near enough to the coast to be kept in anxiety by
the French schemes for landing.  The tenant of the Winchester College
property at Otterbourne is said to have kept all her goods packed up, and
to have stirred the fire with a stick all through one winter; and as late
as between 1840–50, Mr. Bailey of Hursley still had in his barn the seats
that had been prepared to fit into the waggons that were to carry the
women into the downs in the event of a battle.

The Rev. John Marsh, who in 1808 collected the memoranda of Hursley and
dedicated them to Sir William Heathcote, was curate of Hursley and
incumbent of Baddesley.  The Vicar was the Rev. Gilbert Heathcote, fifth
son of Sir Thomas, second Baronet.  He was afterwards Archdeacon of
Winchester and a Canon of Winchester.  He was a man of great musical
talent, and some of his chants are still in use.  The only other fact
recollected of him was, that being told that he used hard words in his
sermons, he asked a labourer if he knew what was meant by Predestination,
and was answered, “Yes, sir, some’at about the innards of a pig.”  He
generally resided there.  Mr. Marsh remained curate of Hursley and was
presented to the living of Baddesley.  All this time Otterbourne had only
one Sunday service, alternately matins or evensong, and the church bell
was rung as soon as the clergyman could be espied riding down the lane.
Old customs so far survived that the congregation turned to the east in
the Creed, always stood up, if not sooner, when “Alleluia” occurred at
the end of the very peculiar anthems, and had never dropped the response,
“Thanks be to Thee, O Lord,” at the end of the Gospel.

The Holy Communion was celebrated four times a year, 35. 7d. being paid
each time for the Elements, as is recorded in beautiful writing in “the
Church Raiting book,” which began to be kept in 1776.  “Washan the
surples” before Easter cost 4s.; a Communion cloth, tenpence; and for
washing and marking it, sixpence.  A new bell cost £ 5: 5: 10, and its
“carridge” from London 11s. 10d.  Whitewashing the church came to £1:
1s., and work in the gallery to 10s. 4d.  Besides, there was a continual
payment for dozens of _sprow_ heads, also for fox heads at threepence
apiece, for a badger’s head, a “poul cat,” marten cats, and hedgehogs.
These last, together with sparrows, continue to appear till 1832, when
the Rev. Robert Shuckburgh, in the vestry, protested against such use of
the church rate, and it was discontinued.  Mr. Shuckburgh was the first
resident curate at Otterbourne, being appointed by the Archdeacon.  He
was the first to have two services on Sunday, though still the
ante-Communion service was read from the desk, and he there pulled off
his much iron-moulded surplice from over his gown and ascended the pulpit
stair.  The clerk limped along the aisle to the partitioned space in the
gallery to take part in the singing.

But changes were beginning.  The direct coaching road between Winchester
and Southampton had been made, and many houses had followed it.  The road
that crosses Colden Common and leads to Portsmouth was also made about
the same time, and was long called Cobbett’s road, from that remarkable
self-taught peasant reformer, William Cobbett, who took part in planning
the direction.

Cobbett was a friend of Mr. Harley, a retired tradesman who bought the
cottage that had belonged to a widow, named Science Dear, and enlarged
it.  Several American trees were planted in the ground by Cobbett, of
which only one survives, a hickory, together with some straggling bushes
of robinia, which Cobbett thought would make good hedges, being very
thorny, and throwing up suckers freely, but the branches proved too
brittle to be useful.  About 1819 Mr. Harley sold his house and the
paddock adjoining to Mary Bargus, widow of the Rev. Thomas Bargus, Vicar
of Barkway in Hertfordshire, and she came to live there with her daughter
Frances Mary.  In 1622, Miss Bargus married William Crawley Yonge,
youngest son of the Rev. Duke Yonge, Vicar of Cornwood, Devon, of the old
family of Yonges of Puslinch.  He then retired from the 52nd regiment, in
which he had taken part in the Pyrenean battles, and in those of Orthez
and Toulouse, and had his share in the decisive charge which completed
the victory of Waterloo.  They had two children, Charlotte Mary, born
August 11th, 1823, and Julian Bargus, born January 31st, 1830.



CHAPTER IX
CHURCH BUILDING


A NEW era began in both Hursley and Otterbourne with the accession of Sir
William Heathcote, the fifth baronet, and with the marriage of William
Yonge.

Sir William was born on the 17th of May 1801, the son of the Rev. William
Heathcote, Rector of Worting, Hants, and Prebendary of the Cathedral of
Winchester, second son of Sir William, third baronet.  His mother was
Elizabeth, daughter of Lovelace Bigg Wither of Manydown Park in the same
county.  She was early left a widow, and she bred up her only son with
the most anxious care.  She lived chiefly at Winchester, and it may be
interesting to note that her son remembered being at a Twelfth-day party
where Jane Austen drew the character of Mrs. Candour, and assumed the
part with great spirit.

He was sent first to the private school of considerable reputation at
Ramsbury in Wiltshire, kept by the Rev. Edward Meyrick, and, after four
years there, became a commoner at Winchester College, where it is said
that he and Dr. William Sewell were the only boys who jointly retarded
the breaking out of the rebellion against Dr. Gabell, which took place
after their departure.  However, in April 1818 he left Winchester, and
became a commoner of Oriel College, Oxford, where his tutor was the Rev.
John Keble, only eight years older than himself, and not yet known to
fame, but with an influence that all who came in contact with him could
not fail to feel.

In 1821 Mr. Heathcote gained a First-class in his B.A. examination, and
was elected Fellow of All Souls in November 1822.  He began to read at
the Temple, but in April 1825 he came into the property of his uncle, and
in the November of the same year he married the Hon. Caroline Frances
Perceval, the youngest daughter of Charles George Lord Arden.  Both he
and his wife were deeply religious persons, with a strong sense of the
duties of their station.  Education and influence had done their best
work on a character of great rectitude and uprightness, even tending to
severity, such as softened with advancing years.  Remarkably handsome,
and with a high-bred tone of manners, he was almost an ideal country
gentleman, with, however, something of stiffness and shyness in early
youth, which wore off in later years.  In 1826 he became member for the
county on the Tory interest.

As a landlord, he is remembered as excellent.  His mother took up her
abode at Southend House in Hursley parish, and under the auspices of the
Heathcote family, and of the Misses Marsh, daughters of the former
curate, Sunday and weekday schools were set on foot, the latter under
Mrs. Ranger and her daughter, whose rule continued almost to the days of
national education.  One of his first proceedings was to offer the living
of Hursley to the Rev. John Keble, who had spent a short time there as
curate in 1826.  It was actually accepted, when the death of a sister
made his presence necessary to his aged father at Fairford in
Gloucestershire; and for two years, during which the publication of the
_Christian Year_ took place, he remained in charge of a small parish
adjacent to his home.

About 1824 Mrs. Yonge began to keep the first Sunday school at
Otterbourne in a hired room, teaching the children, all girls, chiefly
herself, and reading part of the Church Service to them at the times when
it was not held at church.  The only week-day school was on the hill,
kept by a picturesque old dame, whose powers amounted to hindering the
children from getting into mischief, but who—with the instinct Mrs.
Charles describes—never forgave the advances that disturbed her monopoly.

In 1826, as Mrs. Yonge was looking at the empty space of a roadway that
had led into the paddock before it became a lawn, she said, “How I should
like to build a school here!”

“Well,” said her mother, Mrs. Bargus, “you shall have what I can give.”

Mrs. Yonge contrived the room built of cement, with two tiny ones behind
for kitchen and bedroom for the mistress, and a brick floor; and the
first mistress, Mrs. Creswick, was a former servant of Archdeacon
Heathcote’s.

She was a gentle woman, with dark eyes and a lame leg, so that she could
not walk to church with the children, who sat on low benches along the
nave, under no discipline but the long stick Master Oxford, the clerk,
brandished over them.  Nor could she keep the boys in any order, and the
big ones actually kicked a hole nearly through the cement wall behind
them.  At last, under the sanction of the Rev. Gilbert Wall Heathcote,
who had succeeded his father as Vicar of Hursley, a rough cast room was
erected in the churchyard, where Master Oxford kept school, with more
upright goodness than learning; and Mr. Shuckburgh, the curate, and Mr.
Yonge had a Sunday school there.

The riots at the time of the Reform Bill did not greatly affect the two
parishes, though a few villagers joined the bands who went about asking
for money at the larger houses.  George, Sir William’s second son, told
me that he remembered being locked into the strong room on some alarm,
but whether it came actually to the point of an attack is a question.  It
was also said that one man at Otterbourne hid himself in a bog, that the
rioters might not call upon him; and one other man, James Collins, went
about his work as usual, and heard nothing of any rising.

One consequence of the riotous state of the country was the raising of
troops of volunteer yeomanry cavalry.  Charles Shaw Lefevre, Esq.
(afterwards Speaker and Lord Eversley), was colonel, Sir William was
major and captain of such a troop, Mr. Yonge a captain; but at one of the
drills in Hursley Park a serious accident befell Sir William.  His horse
threw back its head, and gave him a violent blow on the forehead, which
produced concussion of the brain.  He was long in recovering, and a
slight deafness in one ear always remained.

In 1835 a far greater trouble fell on him in the death of the gentle Lady
Heathcote, leaving him three sons and a daughter.  In the midst of his
grief, he was able to bring his old friend and tutor nearer to him.  Mr.
Keble at the funeral gave him the poem, as yet unpublished,

                          I thought to meet no more,

which had been written after the funeral of his own sister, Mary Anne
Keble.  The elder Mr. Keble died in the course of the same year, and Mr.
Gilbert Wall Heathcote, resigning the living to become a fellow of
Winchester, it was again given to the Rev. John Keble.  Mr. Heathcote had
brought to Otterbourne a young Fellow of New College, a deacon just
twenty-three, the Reverend William Bigg Wither, who came for six weeks
and remained thirty-five years.  He found only twelve Communicants in the
parish, and left seventy!

Mr. Keble was already known and revered as the author of the _Christian
Year_, and was Professor of Poetry at Oxford, when he came to Hursley;
having married, on the 10th of October 1835, Charlotte Clarke, the most
perfect of helpmeets to pastor or to poet, save only in the frailness of
her health.

He had two years previously preached at Oxford the assize sermon on
National Apostasy, which Newman marks as the beginning of the awakening
of the country to church doctrine and practice.  He and his brother were
known as contributors to the _Tracts for the Times_, which were rousing
the clergy in the same direction, but which were so much misunderstood,
and excited so much obloquy, that Mr. Norris of Hackney, himself a
staunch old-fashioned churchman, who had held up the light in evil times,
said to his young friend, the Rev. Robert Francis Wilson, a first-class
Oriel man, to whom the curacy of Hursley had been offered, “Now remember
if you become Keble’s curate, you will lose all chance of preferment for
life.”

                 [Picture: Exterior, Otterbourne Church]

Mr. Wilson, though a man of much talent, was willing to accept the
probability, which proved a correct augury.

The new state of things was soon felt.  Daily Services and monthly
Eucharists, began; and the school teaching and cottage visiting were full
of new life.  Otterbourne had, even before Mr. Keble’s coming, begun to
feel the need of a new church.  The population was 700, greatly
overflowing the old church, so that the children really had to be
excluded when the men were there.  It was also at an inconvenient
distance from the main body of the inhabitants, who chiefly lived along
the high road.  Moreover, the South Western Railway was being made, and
passed so near, that to those whose ears were unaccustomed to the sound
of trains, it seemed as if the noise would be a serious interruption to
the service.

Mr. Yonge had begun to take measures for improving and enlarging the old
church, but was recommended to wait for the appointment of the new
incumbent.  Mr. Keble threw himself heartily into the scheme, and it was
decided that it would be far better to change the site of the church at
once.  The venerable Dr. Routh, who was then President of St. Mary
Magdalen College, and used yearly to come on progress to the old manor
house, the Moat House, to hold his court, took great interest in the
project, and the college gave an excellent site on the western slope of
the hill, with the common crossed by the high road in front, and backed
by the woods of Cranbury Park.  Also a subscription of large amount was
given.  Sir William Heathcote as patron, as well as Mr. Keble,
contributed largely, and Mr. Bigg Wither gave up his horse, and presented
£25 out of each payment he received as Fellow of New College.  Other
friends also gave, and, first and last, about £3000 was raised.

Church building was much more difficult in those days than in these.
Ecclesiastical architecture had scarcely begun to revive, and experts
were few, if any indeed deserved the title.  An architect at Winchester,
Mr. Owen Carter, was employed, but almost all the ideas, and many of the
drawings of the details came from Mr. Yonge, who started with merely the
power of military drawing (acquired before he was sixteen years old) and
a great admiration for York Cathedral.

The cruciform plan was at once decided on (traced out at first with a
stick on Cranbury grand drive), but the slope of the ground hindered it
from being built duly east and west; the material is brick, so burnt as
to be glazed grey on one side.  Hearing of a church (Corstan, Wiltshire)
with a bell-turret likely to suit the means and the two bells, Mr. Yonge
and Mr. Wither rode to see it, and it was imitated in the design.  The
chancel was, as in most of the new churches built at this time, only deep
enough for the sanctuary, as surpliced choirs had not been thought
possible in villages, and so many old chancels had been invaded by the
laity that it was an object to keep them out.

Mr. Yonge sought diligently for old patterns and for ancient carving in
oak, and in Wardour Street he succeeded in obtaining five panels,
representing the Blessed Virgin and the four Latin Fathers, which are
worked into the pulpit; also an exceedingly handsome piece of carving,
which was then adapted as altar-rail—evidently Flemish—with scrolls
containing corn and grapes, presided over by angels, and with two groups
of kneeling figures; on one side, apparently an Emperor with his crown
laid down, and the collar of the Golden Fleece around his neck, followed
by a group of male figures, one with a beautiful face.  On the other side
kneels a lady, not an empress, with a following of others bringing
flowers.  At the divisions stand Religious of the four Orders, one a man.
The idea is that it probably represents either the coronation of
Maximilian or the abdication of Charles V.  In either case there was no
wife, but the crown is not imperial, and that is in favour of Maximilian.
On the other hand the four monastic Orders are in favour of Charles V.’s
embracing the religious life.

For the stone-work, Mr. Yonge discovered that the material chiefly used
in the cathedral was Caen stone, though the importation had long ceased.
He entered into communication with the quarrymen there, sent out a stone
mason (Newman) from Winchester, and procured stone for the windows,
reredos, and font, thus opening a traffic that has gone on ever since.

                        [Picture: Ampfield Church]

Mistakes were made from ignorance and lack of authoritative precedent,
before ecclesiology had become a study; but whatever could be done by
toil, intelligence, and self-devotion was done by Mr. Yonge in those two
years; and the sixty years that have since elapsed have seen many
rectifications of the various errors.  Even as the church stood when
completed, it was regarded as an effort in the right direction, and a
good example to church builders.  The first stone was laid in
Whitsun-week 1837 by Julian Bargus, Mr. Yonge’s five-year-old son.  A
school for the boys was built on a corner of the ground intended as
churchyard, and a larger room added to the girls’, the expense being
partly defrayed by a bazaar held at Winchester, and in part by Charlotte
Yonge’s first book, _The Château de Melville_, which people were good
enough to buy, though it only consisted of French exercises and
translations.  The consecration took place on the 30th of July 1838, and
immediately after daily matins were commenced.  So that the Church of St.
Matthew has never in sixty years been devoid of the voice of praise,
except during casual absences.  Most of the trees in the churchyard were
planted by Mr. Bigg Wither, especially the great Sequoia, and the holly
hedge around was grown by him from the berries of the first Christmas
decoration, which he sowed in a row under the wall of the boys’ school,
and transplanted when large enough.

It was in 1839 that Mr. Keble published his Oxford Psalter, a work he had
been engaged on for years, paying strict and reverent attention to the
Hebrew original, and not thinking it right to interweave expressions of
his own as guidance to meaning.  His belief was that Holy Scripture is so
many-sided, and so fathomless in signification, that to dwell on one
point more than another might be a wrong to the full impression, and an
irreverence in the translation.  Thus, as a poet, he sacrificed a good
deal to the duty of being literal, but his translation is a real
assistance to students, and it is on the whole often somewhat like to
Sternhold’s, whom he held in much respect for his adherence to the
originals.

                     [Picture: Fountain at Ampfield]

Perhaps it may be mentioned here that the parishes of Hursley and
Otterbourne were in such good order under the management of Sir William
Heathcote and Mr. Yonge, that under the new Poor Law they were permitted
to form a small Union of four, afterwards five, and now six parishes.

Ampfield was a hamlet lying on the western side of Hursley Park and wood,
a very beautiful wood in parts, of oak and beech trees, which formed
lovely vaulted arcades, one of which Mr. Keble used to call Hursley
Cathedral.  The place was increasing in population, and nearly two miles
of woodland and park lay between it and the parish church.

Sir William Heathcote, therefore, resolved to build a church for the
people, and Mr. Yonge was again the architect and clerk of the works,
profiting by the experience gained at Otterbourne, so as to aim at Early
English rather than Decorated style.  A bell turret, discovered later at
Leigh Delamere in Wiltshire, was a more graceful model than that of
Corston.  The situation was very beautiful, cut out, as it were, of the
pine plantation on a rising ground above the road to Romsey, so that when
the first stone was laid by Gilbert Vyvyan, Sir William’s third son, the
Psalm, “Lo, we heard of the same at Ephrata, and found it in the wood,”
sounded most applicable.  St. Mark was the saint of the dedication, which
fell opportunely on 21st April 1841, very near Mr. Keble’s birthday, St.
Mark’s day, and to many it was a specially memorable day, as the Rev. J.
H. Newman was present with his sister, Mrs. Thomas Mozley, and her
husband, then vicar of Cholderton; and the Rev. Isaac Williams, a sacred
poet, whose writings ought to be better known than they are, was also
present.  The endowment was provided by the chapter of Winchester giving
up the great tithes, and a subscription of which T. White, Esq. of
Ampfield gave £500.

The Rev. Robert Francis Wilson was the first curate, being succeeded in
the curacy of Hursley by the Rev. Peter Young, then a deacon, who
inhabited the old vicarage.  The present one, which had been built by Sir
Thomas Freeman Heathcote, was made over to the living by Sir William some
years later.

Immediately after the consecration, Sir William was married to Selina,
daughter of Evelyn John Shirley, Esq., of Eatington, Warwickshire, a
marriage occasioning great happiness and benefit to all the parish and
neighbourhood.



CHAPTER X
HURSLEY CHURCH


IN one of his prose writings Mr. Keble speaks of the faithful shepherd
going on his way though storms may be raging in the atmosphere; and such
might be a description of his own course as regarded his flock, though
there were several of these storms that affected him deeply.  One gust
came very near home.

The diocesan, Bishop Charles Sumner, was an excellent and conscientious
man, with a much deeper sense of his duties as a bishop than his
immediate predecessors, and of great kindness and beneficence; but he had
been much alarmed and disturbed by the alleged tendencies of the _Tracts
for the Times_, and shared in the desire of most of the authorities to
discourage their doctrines and practice.  When, therefore, the curate of
Hursley came to Farnham to be admitted to the priesthood, he was
required, contrary to the usual custom with candidates, to state
categorically his views upon the Holy Eucharist.  He used the expressions
of the Catechism, also those of Bishop Ridley, but was desired to use his
own individual words; and when these were sent in, he was rejected,
though they did not outrun the doctrine that had always been taught by
the close followers of the doctrine of the Catechism.  Nevertheless, in
spite of this disapproval, there was no withdrawal of his licence, and he
remained at Hursley, not thinking it loyal to seek Ordination from
another bishop, as would readily have been granted.  He married Mrs.
Keble’s cousin, Miss Caroline Coxwell, and their young family was an
infinite source of delight to the childless vicarage.

Their baby ways, to one who held that “where christened infants sport,
the floor is holy,” and who read a mystical meaning into many of their
gestures and words, were a constant joy and inspiration; and there grew
up a store of poems upon them and other little ones, especially the
children of Dr. George Moberly, then headmaster of Winchester College
(later bishop of Salisbury).  These Mr. Keble thought of putting together
for publication, being chiefly impelled to do so by the desire to improve
Hursley Church, the eighteenth century arrangement of which really
prevented the general inculcation of the more reverent observances which
teach and imply doctrine.

In consideration of the feelings of certain old parishioners, and the
other more pressing needs, as well as of the patience with which so great
an enterprise needed in his mind to be contemplated, nine years had
elapsed since his incumbency had begun before he wrote: “We are stirring
about our Church, and next spring I hope really to go to work; you must
come and see the plans first, or else hereafter for ever hold your peace
in respect of alleging impediments.  One feels that one’s advanced age
has not rendered one fitted to set about such works; but really the
irreverence and other mischiefs caused by the present state of Hursley
Church seem to leave one no choice.”

The step that had first been taken was one for which many generations far
and wide have reason to be grateful, the arrangement and publication of
the _Lyra Innocentium_, to a certain degree on the lines of the
_Christian Year_, so as to have one poem appropriated to each Sunday and
holy day (though these were only fully marked off in a later edition).

The book is perhaps less universally read than the _Christian Year_, and
is more unequal, some poems rising higher and into greater beauty, some
deeper and showing that the soul had made further progress in these
twenty years, some very simple in structure, fit for little children, yet
with a grave and solemn thought in the last verse.

Those that are specially full of Hursley atmosphere, on events connected
with the author, may be touched on here.

“Christmas Eve Vespers” was suggested by the schoolmaster’s little
daughter going into church before the decoration had been put up, and
exclaiming, disappointed, “No Christmas!”  “The Second Sunday in Lent”
recalls, in the line on “the mimic rain on poplar leaves,” the sounds
made by a trembling aspen, whose leaves quivered all through the summer
evenings, growing close to the house of Mr. Keble’s life-long friend and
biographer, Sir John Taylor Coleridge, at Ottery St. Mary.  An engraving
of Raffaelle’s last picture “The Transfiguration” hung in the Vicarage
drawing-room.

“The Fourth Sunday in Lent,” on the offering of the lad with the five
loaves, was suggested by the stained window on that subject given by the
young Marquess of Lothian—a pupil for some years of Mr. Wilson at
Ampfield—to the church at Jedburgh, built by his mother.  Now that he has
passed away, it may be remarked that he, as well as all the children
commemorated in these poems, grew up so as to leave no painful impression
connected with them.  “Keep thou, dear boy, thine early vow,” was
fulfilled in him, as it was with George Herbert Moberly, the eldest son
of Dr. Moberly, who, when a young child staying at the vicarage, was
unconsciously the cause of the poems “Loneliness” and “Repeating the
Creed,” for Easter Sunday and Low Sunday.  Frightened by unwonted
solitude at bedtime, he asked to hear “something true,” and was happy
when Mrs. Keble produced the Bible.  He was a boy of beautiful
countenance, and his reverent, thoughtful look, as he repeated the Creed,
delighted Mr. Keble.  It was little expected then that he was doomed to a
life-long struggle with invalidism, though he was able to effect much as
a thinker and a priest before he, too, was taken to see in Paradise “the
glorious dream around him burst.”

It was a baby sister of his who drew herself up in her nurse’s arms with
a pretty gesture, like a pheasant’s neck in a sort of reproof, as she
said “Thank you” to her little self, when she had held out a flower to
Mr. Keble, which, for once in his life, he did not notice; and his
self-reproach produced the thoughts of thankfulness.  One of the gems of
the _Lyra_, “Bereavement,” was the thought that came to the mind of the
Pastor as he buried the little sister, the only child except the elder
girl, of the bailiff at Dr. Moberly’s farm.  “Fire” embodied his feeling
about a burnt child at Ampfield—

    We miss thee from thy place at school
       And on thy homeward way,
    Where violets, by the shady pool,
       Peep out so shyly gay

The Lullaby, with the view of the burnished cross upon the spire, and the
girl singing the baby to sleep with the old Psalm—

    In Thee I put my stedfast trust,
    Defend me, Lord, for Thou art just,

is another Ampfield scene, inspiring noble and gentle thoughts for
Innocents’ Day.

“Lifting up to the Cross” (St. James’s Day) was the product of a drawing
brought home from Germany of a sight beheld by Miss Maria Trench, on a
journey with Sir William and Lady Heathcote.  She afterwards became Mrs.
Robert F. Wilson, and made her first wedded home at Ampfield; and there
is another commemoration of that journey in the fountain under the bank
in Ampfield churchyard, an imitation of one observed in Tyrol and with
the motto—

       While cooling waters here you drink
          Rest not your thoughts below,
       Look to the sacred sign and think
          Whence living waters flow,
    Then fearlessly advance by night or day,
    The holy Cross stands guardian of your way.

“More Stars” (All Saints’ Day) and “Wakefulness” (The Annunciation) are
reminiscences of Charles Coleridge Pode, a little nephew of Mr. Yonge,
and his ecstatic joy on the first night of being out of doors late enough
to see the glory of the stars.  A few months later, on a sister being
born, he hoped that her name would be Mary “because he liked the Virgin
Mary.”  And when, only a few days later, his own mother was taken from
him, he lay awake and silent, night after night.  He, too, was one who
fulfilled his early promise, till, as a young physician, he was cut off
after much patient suffering.  “More Stars” is also attributed to an
exclamation of one of Mr. Peter Young’s children; but in point of fact,
most little ones have broken out in a similar joyous shout on their first
conscious sight of the starry heavens.

Mrs. Keble used to forbear telling of the subjects of these poems, lest,
as she said, there might be a sort of blight on the children in breaking
the reserve; but most of them are beyond the reach of that danger in
publicity; and I can only further mention that the village children _en
masse_, and the curate’s in detail, furnished many more of the subjects,
while still they only regarded Mr. Keble as their best of playmates.

They cheered him when the great sorrow of his life befell him in the
secession of John Henry Newman, hitherto his friend and fellow-worker.
It came at a time when perhaps he was most fitted to bear it, when his
brother in Gloucestershire and his wife at home had just begun to recover
from a terrible typhoid fever caught at Bude.

Words spoken in the immediate prospect of death, by Mrs. Keble,
strengthened her husband’s faith and made him more than ever determined
to hold fast by the Church of his fathers; and the thankfulness and
exhilaration caused by the improvement in her health carried him the
better over the first blow, though he went out alone to a quiet deserted
chalk-pit to open the letter which he knew would bring the final news of
the reception of his friend into the Roman Church.

Nor did his Hursley plans stand still.  Under the management of Sir John
Taylor Coleridge and other friends, the _Christian Year_ had become much
more profitable, and the _Lyra_ also brought in a considerable quota, so
that the entire work could be undertaken at Mr. Keble’s expense.

It was decided, partly by Mr. Yonge himself, that the enterprise was on
too large a scale for his partial knowledge, and moreover, much progress
had been made during these nine years in ecclesiology, so that architects
who had made it their study were to be found.  The design was committed
to William Harrison, Esq., a relation of Archdeacon Harrison, a very old
friend and contemporary.  It followed the lines of the existing church,
which were found to be so solid and well built as for the most part only
to need casing and not renewal, nor was the old tower taken down.

The contract with Locke and Nesham was for £3380, exclusive of the
flooring, the wood-work, and other fittings of the interior.  For this
£1200 was set aside, but the sum was much exceeded, and there were many
offerings from private friends.

The altar of cedar-wood was the gift of Robert Williams, Esq.; the altar
plate was given by Mrs. Heathcote; the rails by the architect; the font
by the Rev. William Butler and Emma his wife, and the clergy and sisters
of Wantage.  Mr. Butler was then vicar of Wantage, later canon of
Worcester and dean of Lincoln.  The present cedar credence table was made
long after Mr. Keble’s death, the original one was walnut, matching the
chancel fittings.

This was proposed as the inscription on the base of the font, to be
entirely hidden—

                             Ecclesiæ Parochiali
                               Sanctorum Omnium
                             In agro Hursleiense
                    Hunc Fontem, Lavacrum Regenerationis,
                            In honorem D. N. J. C.
                                Gratis animis
                                    D.D.D.
                   Presbyteri, Diacones, Lectores, Sorores
                         Ecclesiæ SS. Petri et Pauli
                               Indigna familia
                                Apud Wantagium

Whether the whole was actually cut out on the under side of the granite
step must be uncertain.

The steps of the sanctuary have in encaustic tiles these texts.  On the
lowest:

    Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have a right
    to the Tree of Life, and enter through the gates into the city.

On the step on which the rails stand:

    Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for
    they shall be filled.

On the next:

    Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.  Blessed
    are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

And on the highest:

    Thine eyes shall see the King in His beauty, they shall behold the
    land that is very far off.

The lectern was the offering of the friend of his youth, the Rev. Charles
Dyson, Rector of Dogmersfield, copied from that at Corpus Christi
College, where they first met.

The corbels were carefully chosen: those by the chancel arch are heads of
St. Peter and St. Paul, as exponents of the inner mysteries; those by the
east window are St. Athanasius and St. Augustine as champions of the
faith.  On the corbels of the north porch, looking towards the hills of
Winchester, are Bishops Andrewes and Ken on the outside; on the inside,
Wykeham and Waynflete.  On the south porch, St. Augustine of Canterbury,
and the Empress Helena over the door; on the outside, Bishop Sumner and
Queen Victoria to mark the date of building.

“How would you like to have the book boards of the seats?” wrote the
architect; “perhaps it would suggest the idea of a prayer desk if they
were made to slope as the chancel stalls?”

And certainly their finials do suggest kneeling, and the arrangement is
such that it is nearly impossible not to assume a really devotional
attitude.

A stranger clergyman visited the church, measured the font and the height
to the ceiling, and in due time, in 1850, there arrived the beautiful
carved canopy, the donor never being known.

The windows did not receive their coloured glass at first; but Mr. Keble
had an earnest wish to make them follow the wonderful emblematic series
to which he had been accustomed in the really unique Church of Fairford,
where he had grown up.  The glass of these windows had been taken in a
Flemish ship on the way to Spain by one John Tame, a Gloucestershire
merchant, who had proceeded to rebuild his parish church so as fitly to
receive it, and he must also have obtained the key to their wonderful and
suggestive arrangement.

Fairford Church is much larger than Hursley, so that the plan could not
be exactly followed, but it was always in Mr. Keble’s mind.  It was
proposed that the glass should be given by the contribution of friends
and lovers of the _Christian Year_.  Two of the windows came from the
Offertory on the Consecration day, one three-light was given by Mrs.
Heathcote (mother of Sir William), another by Sir William and Lady
Heathcote, one by the Marchioness of Bath, and one by the Marchioness of
Lothian.  The designs were more or less suggested by Dyce and Copley
Fielding, but the execution was carried out by Wailes, under the
supervision of Butterfield.  The whole work was an immense delight to Mr.
Keble, and so anxious was he that the whole should be in keeping, that
the east window was actually put in three times before it was judged
satisfactory.  The plan of the whole was Mr. Keble’s own; and though the
colours are deeper, and what is now called more crude, than suits the
taste of the present day, they must be looked upon with reverence as the
outcome of his meditations and his great delight.  I transcribe the
explanation that his sister Elisabeth wrote of their arrangement:

    The Hursley windows are meant to be a course of Instruction in Sacred
    History from Adam to the last day the church being dedicated to All
    Saints.

    The north-west window has Adam and Noah.  The windows along the north
    aisle each represent two persons from the Old Testament.

    The three-light window on the north side, David with the ground plan
    of the Temple, Moses with the Tables of the Law, Solomon with the
    Model of the Temple.  The Medallion under Moses is the Altar of
    Incense, and some of the Holy things.

    The whole of that window means to represent the fixing and finishing
    of the Old Religion.

    Then comes in the north chancel, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and
    Daniel, the prophets preparing for the Gospel.

    The north-east window has the Circumcision connecting the Law with
    the Church, with the figures of Anna and Simeon on each side.

    East window: The Crucifixion, The Blessed Virgin and St. John on each
    side, The Agony, Bearing the Cross, and the Scourging.

    The side window of the Sanctuary has St. Stephen and St. John the
    Baptist as the nearest Martyrs to our Lord, both before and after
    Him, and their martyrdoms underneath.

    The south-east window: The Resurrection, with soldiers at the
    Sepulchre.  St. Peter and St. Paul on each side.

    The south chancel windows: The Four Evangelists; under, St. Luke, the
    Disciples at Emmaus; under, St. John, he and St. Peter at the
    Sepulchre.

    The three-light south window: St. James the Less, first Bishop of
    Jerusalem; underneath, the Council in Acts x. 6.  At his side two
    successors of the Apostles, St. Clement of Rome, Phil. iv. 3, and St.
    Dionysius of Athens, Acts xvii. 34, to show how the Church is built
    upon the Apostles.

    In the west window, the Last Judgment, with St. Michael with his
    scales, and answering to Adam and Noah in the west window of the
    north aisle; and as a repentance window, St. Peter and St. Mary
    Magdalene in the west of the south aisle.  In the two windows close
    to the font, St. Philip and Nicodemus, for baptism.

So were carried out the lines in the _Lyra Innocentium_.

       The Saints are there the Living Dead,
    The mourners glad and strong;
       This sacred floor their quiet bed,
    Their beams from every window shed
       Their voice in every song.

The clerestory windows were put in somewhat later, on finding that the
church was dark, and Mr. Keble wished to have the children mentioned in
Scripture, in outline upon them, but this was not carried out.

It was first thought probable that readers of the _Christian Year_ and
the _Lyra Innocentium_ might have presented these stained windows, but
the plan fell through, and the only others actually given were the
repentance window, representing St. Peter and St. Mary Magdalene, by Mr.
Harrison.  Two were paid for by special offertories, and the rest were
finally given by Mr. Keble, as the sums came in from his published
writings.

                  [Picture: Hursley Vicarage and Church]

The spire, completing the work, was added to the ancient tower by Sir
William Heathcote.

The foundation stone, a brass plate with an inscription surrounded by oak
leaves and acorns, was laid on the 29th of May 1847, but the spot is
unknown.  The entire cost, exclusive of the woodwork and the gifts
mentioned, amounted to £6000.  The large barn was used as a temporary
church, and there are happy recollections connected with it and with the
elm-shaded path between the Park and the vicarage field.  When all sat on
forms without the shade of pews, example taught a lesson of reverent
attitude to the congregation, who felt obliged to lay aside any bad
habits which might have grown up out of sight, so as to be unconsciously
prepared for the new church, where the very width of the open benches and
the shape of their ends are suggestive of kneeling in prayer.  The period
of the building was a time of enjoyment to Mr. Keble, for it was
symbolical to him of the “edifying,” building up, of the living stones of
the True Church, and the restoring her waste places.  When the workmen
were gone home he used to walk about the open space in the twilight
silence in prayer and meditation.

When the topmost stone was to be added, on 18th October 1848, and the
weathercock finally secured, Mr. Keble ascended to the elevation that he
might set his hand to the work, and there said a thanksgiving for the
completion—“The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this
house.  His hands shall also finish it” (Zech. iv. 9).

The day of the Consecration was an exceedingly happy one, on 24th October
1848, the only drawback being that Sir William Heathcote was too unwell
to be present.  There was a great gathering—the two Judges, Coleridge and
Patteson, and many other warm and affectionate friends; and Sir John
Coleridge was impressed by the “sweet state of humble thankfulness” of
the Vicar and his wife in the completion of the work.

The sermon at Evensong on that day was preached by Mr. Keble himself, in
which he spoke of the end of all things; and said the best fate that
could befall that new church was that it should be burnt at the Judgment
Day.

He thought, probably, of the perils of perversion from true Catholic
principles which the course of affairs in these days made him dread
exceedingly, and hold himself ready to act like the Non-jurors, or the
Free Kirk men in Scotland, who had resigned all for the sake of
principle.  “Nevertheless,” he wrote, “I suppose it is one’s duty to go
on as if all were encouraging.”

And he did go on, and supported others till, by God’s Providence, the
tide had turned, and much was effected of which he had only dreamt as
some day possible.  It was in this frame of mind that the poem was
composed of which this is a fragment:

       The shepherd lingers on the lone hillside,
          In act to count his faithful flock again,
       Ere to a stranger’s eye and arm untried
          He yield the rod of his old pastoral reign.
    He turns and round him memories throng amain,
       Thoughts that had seem’d for ever left behind
       O’ertake him, e’en as by some greenwood lane
    The summer flies the passing traveller find,
    Keen, but not half so sharp as now thrill o’er his mind.

For indeed every lapse in his parish turned to fill their pastor with
self-blame.



CHAPTER XI
THE GOLDEN DAYS OF HURSLEY


THOSE forebodings of Mr. Keble’s mercifully never were realised; many
more years were granted in which Hursley saw the Church and the secular
power working together in an almost ideal way.

To speak of what Sir William Heathcote was as a county gentleman would be
difficult.  He was for many years Chairman of the Quarter Sessions, and
it is worth recording that when King Frederick William IV. of Prussia
wished for information on the practical working of the English system of
government, and sent over two jurists to enquire into the working of the
unpaid magistracy, they were advised to attend the Winchester Quarter
Sessions, as one of the best regulated to be found.  They were guests at
Hursley Park, and, as a domestic matter, their interest in English
dishes, and likewise their surprise at the status of an English
clergyman, were long remembered.

Considerable county undertakings originated in these days—a new and
well-managed lunatic asylum at Fareham, a renewed jail on the then
approved principles, and the inauguration of county police.  In all these
undertakings Sir William Heathcote and Mr. Yonge were active movers, and
gave constant superintendence while they were carried out.  Ill health
obliged Sir William to retire from the representation of North Hants in
the Conservative interest in 1847, but in 1854, on the recommendation of
Sir Robert Harry Inglis, he was elected member for the University of
Oxford, and so remained till his final retirement in 1868.  What he was
in both public and private capacities has nowhere been better expressed
than by the late Earl of Carnarvon in a letter to the editor of the
_Times_.

    Long time a county member, and intimately acquainted with the
    subjects and interests which formed the heritage of English county
    gentlemen, he was, as a chairman of Quarter Sessions, recognised and
    often appealed to as the very representative and pattern of the
    class; and when afterwards he accepted the blue riband of
    Parliamentary representation as member for the University of Oxford,
    from first to last, through all the waves and weathers of political
    and personal bitterness, he retained the trust of friend and
    opponent.  So long as he cared to keep that seat, all men desired to
    keep him.  For this was his special characteristic, that in every
    period and pursuit of life, in the public business of his county, in
    the House of Commons, in the University, he not only enjoyed respect
    and affection, but he conciliated the confidence of all.

    It was the unconscious tribute to a whole life and character.  For to
    a remarkable clearness and vigour of intellect, he added a fairness
    of mind, a persuasiveness and courtesy of manner, with an inflexible
    uprightness of purpose, which won to him friend and stranger alike.
    I have never known any one who was not bettered by his converse, but
    I think none outside his own county and society can fully appreciate
    the remarkable influence which his name and character—in the later
    years it might be truly said “clarum et venerabile nomen”—exercised
    on all with whom he was connected.  If indeed he had a fault, it was
    that his standard of action was so high, his nature so absolutely
    above the littleness of ordinary life, that he attributed to inferior
    men far purer and more unselfish objects than those that really moved
    them.  “Vixit enim tanquam in Platonis politeia, non tanquam in
    Romuli faece.”

    It is the common fault of biographers to over-colour the character of
    a favourite hero, but those who knew Sir William Heathcote will admit
    that there is no exaggeration in what I have said.  He was the
    highest product of a class and school of thought which is fast
    disappearing, and which will perhaps find few representatives in the
    next generation.  With change of time comes also change of men; and
    the statesmen and politicians of the new world, whatever their merits
    or demerits, will probably be of a very different order from him of
    whom I am writing.  The old university culture, the fastidious taste,
    the independence of thought, the union of political life with county
    associations—bound up as they are in this case by a rare intelligence
    and a moderation of mind which trimmed, with an almost judicial
    impartiality, the balance of thought on all matters submitted to
    him—are not a combination to be easily found in any age or society;
    but it may be safely predicted that they will be even less common in
    the coming age than they were in the generation of which Sir William
    Heathcote was a representative and ornament.  Be this, however, as it
    may, I desire, by your favour, to record here the loss of one who
    deserved, if ever man did, the name of an English worthy.

               [Picture: Sir William Heathcote, Bart. 1870]

This warm-hearted tribute is the exact truth, as all could testify who
ever had occasion to ask Sir William’s advice or assistance.  Another
such testimony must be added, from a speech of Lord Chief Justice
Coleridge at Nobody’s Club.

    I looked at him from another point of view, and I can tell you only
    how he struck me, a man much younger, of different surroundings,
    differing from him in many opinions, political and religious.  Yet it
    is my pride and sorrowful delight to recollect that Sir William
    Heathcote gave me his friendship for nearly forty years; and it is
    not presumptuous to say that his friendship deepened into affection.
    I could not say if I would, and I would not if I could, all that he
    was to me, how much of what is best (if there is any) in my life I
    owe to him, how much affection and reverence has gone with him to his
    grave.  His house was open like another home; in joy, and still more
    in sorrow, his sympathy was always warm and ready, in trouble and in
    difficulty his advice was always at hand.  What advice it always was!
    What comfort and strength there was in his company!  For the time at
    least he lifted one up and made one better.  Inflexible integrity,
    stern sense of duty, stainless honour, these qualities a very slight
    acquaintance with Sir William Heathcote at once revealed.  But he had
    other great qualities too.  He was one of the closest and keenest
    reasoners I ever knew.  He was a man of the soundest and strongest
    judgment; and yet full of the most perfect candour and full of
    forbearance and indulgence for other men.  And for a man of his
    intellect, and, indeed, for a man, he was wonderfully modest and shy,
    and of a humility which was, as I saw it, profoundly touching.  Yet
    there was no weakness in him.  Not unbecomingly, not one whit more
    than was just, he believed in himself, in his position, in his
    family; he had dignity true and inborn without the need of
    self-assertion, and love and respect towards him went hand in hand.

    Mr. Keble once said, coming away from a long talk with him, that it
    was like holding intercourse with some old Christian knight.  And so
    it was . . .

    I am not one of those who believe in the degeneracy of the race, and
    I look forward to the future with hope rather than with dismay.  I
    believe upon the whole the world improves.  It is useless to be
    always looking back to be a _laudator temporis acti se puero_ is
    placed by the wise and genial Horace to the discredit and not to the
    credit of old age.  But I do think that each age has its own virtues,
    and its own type of excellence, and these do not return.  We may have
    good things, but we shall not have the same good things.  We shall
    have, I hope, good men, and great men, and noble men, in time to
    come, but I do not think we shall see again a Sir William Heathcote.
    That most charming mixture of dignified self respect, with unfailing
    gracious courtesy to others, those manners in which frankness and
    refinement mingled with and set off each other, that perfect purity
    of thought and utterance, and yet that thorough enjoyment of all that
    was good and racy in wit or humour—this has passed away with him.  So
    beautiful and consistent a life in that kind of living we shall
    hardly see again.

    He was preserved to our time to show us of a later age a perfect
    specimen of the old-fashioned, high-bred, highly cultivated county
    gentleman; and a finer type of Englishman it is hardly possible to
    conceive.

These two portraits, they are too true to be called eulogies, thoroughly
describe Sir William as he was in friendship, as he was not only to his
original contemporaries but to their sons, so that he came to be a
generally looked up to father, as it were, to the magistracy of the
county as well as the neighbourhood.  A portrait of him by G. Richmond,
Esq., R.A., was subscribed for by the magistracy and placed in the County
Hall, which began to be newly restored under his auspices, so as worthily
to show the work of Henry III. in the beautiful old banqueting hall.

Already, however, a great loss had been suffered in William Crawley
Yonge, who had worked by his side in all his public undertakings,
carrying out all that was done in a spirit of thoroughness that never
rested till perfection had been attained as far as possible.  His own
parish of Otterbourne had felt his influence, and was noted for good
order and improvement.  Both Otterbourne and Hursley had land in
allotments from at least 1830, long before the arrangement was taken up
by Government.  Mr. Yonge’s strong churchmanship and deep religious
feeling told on all around, and there was a strong sense of his upright
justice, as much as his essential kindness.  The end came suddenly;
apoplexy brought on by the hurry and confusion of sending off his only
son, Julian Bargus Yonge, in the Rifle Brigade to the Crimean War.  He
died on the 26th of February 1854.  “What shall we do without him?” were
the first words of Sir William Heathcote’s letter to Mr. Keble on
receiving the tidings.

It should be mentioned here that six young men from Otterbourne were
concerned in the Crimean War—Captain Denzil Chamberlayne and Julian B.
Yonge, though health obliged the latter to return from Varna, while the
former took part in the famous Balaklava charge, and was unhurt, though
his horse was killed.  And four of the privates, John Hawkins, James and
William Mason, and Joseph Knight, of whom only James Mason lived to
return.  An inscription built into the wall of the churchyard records
their names, with the inscription, suggested by Mr. Keble, “It is good
for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth.”

And here William Yonge’s daughter must record Sir William’s never-failing
kindness to her mother and herself, both in matters of business and in
personal criticism, and assistance in those matters in her works in which
the counsel of a man acquainted with the law is needful to prevent
mistakes.  Indeed, in the discussions on character and adventures,
nothing was ever more evident to her than that she was talking (as Mr.
Keble said) to a true specimen of the most pure-minded chivalry.

On 16th September 1868 Sir William retired from Parliament, and, on the
9th of August 1870, was sworn of the Privy Council.  This appointment
gave him the greater satisfaction as a testimony to his consistent
integrity through his whole parliamentary career, as it came from the
Gladstonian ministry, and he had been forced by his deep Church and State
convictions to separate from Mr. Gladstone, the friend and fellow-worker
of his younger days.

His last great public achievement was the rebuilding and improvement of
the County Hospital.  Winchester had been the first provincial city to
possess a County Hospital, and the arrangements had grown antiquated and
by no means accordant with more advanced medical practice.  A
subscription was raised, and with the warm co-operation of Warden Robert
S. Barter of Winchester College, the present building was erected, on Mr.
Butterfield’s plans, in a more healthy and airy situation, in the year
1868, with a beautiful chapel for the nurses and patients, and with the
modern system of nursing carried out.  As was said, when in 1878 Sir
William resigned the post of Chairman of the Committee, he was the father
and the founder of the institution.

Few men have earned by a lifetime so much honour, gratitude, and
affection as he by one consistent, upright course of life, or have left a
nobler memory.

A few words we must give to the festivals.  There was the yearly
distribution of Christmas beef to all the labourers and artisans employed
on the estate, and widows.  There was occasionally a grand “beating of
the bounds” of the Manor of Merdon, followed by a dinner in a tent to the
tenants, at which the “Lord of the Manor” made a speech, hoping that in
times to come the days of “the Old Sir William” might be kindly
remembered; and somewhat later there were private theatricals, performed
chiefly by the family, which were a great pleasure to friends and
tenants.

What a centre of hospitality, cheerfulness, and kindness Hursley Park was
in those days can hardly be described, though remembered by many as a
sort of golden age of Hursley.



CHAPTER XII
HURSLEY VICARAGE


THE Golden Age of Hursley did not deduce all its honour from the manor
house.  The vicarage was perhaps the true centre of the light which the
Park reflected, or rather both knew that their radiance alike came from
One Source above, in whose Light they sought to walk.

The happy, sometimes playful, intercourse between them may perhaps best
be exemplified by the petition sent up by Mr. Keble on an alarm that the
copse on Ladwell hill was about to be cut down in obedience to the dicta
of agricultural judges who much objected to trees and broad hedgerows.

Ladwell, or as it probably ought to be, Ladywell hill, is a steep bank,
thickly clothed with trees and copsewood, with cottages nestling under
it, on the southward road from Hursley, and on the top the pathway to
Field House, the farm rented by Dr. Moberly, Headmaster of Winchester
College (since Bishop of Salisbury) as the holiday resort of his family.
It is a delightful place, well worthy of the plea for its preservation.

                     TO THE LORD OF THE MANOR OF MERDON.

              THE PETITION OF SUNDRY LIFE-TENANTS OR HEREDITARY
                         DENIZENS OF THE SAID MANOR.

    _Humbly Sheweth_,—

    That by custom of this clime,
    Even from immemorial time,
    We, or our forefathers old
    (As in Withering’s list enrolled)
    Have in occupation been
    Of all nooks and corners green
    Where the swelling meadows sweet
    With the waving woodlands meet.
    There we peep and disappear,
    There, in games to fairies dear
    All the spring-tide hours we spend,
    Hiding, seeking without end.
    And sometimes a merry train
    Comes upon us from the lane:
    Every gleaming afternoon
    All through April, May, and June,
    Boys and maidens, birds and bees,
    Airy whisperings of all trees,
    With their music will supply
    All we need of sympathy.
    Now and then a graver guest
    For one moment here will rest
    Loitering in his pastoral walk,
    And with us hold kindly talk.
    To himself we’ve heard him say,
    “Thanks that I may hither stray,
    Worn with age and sin and care,
    Here to breathe the pure, glad air,
    Here Faith’s lesson learn anew,
    Of this happy vernal crew.
    Here the fragrant shrubs around,
    And the graceful shadowy ground,
    And the village tones afar,
    And the steeple with its star,
    And the clouds that gently move,
    Turn the heart to trust and love.”
       Thus we fared in ages past,
    But the nineteenth age at last,
    (As your suppliants are advised)
    Reigns, and we no more are prized.
    Now a giant plump and tall,
    Called High Farming stalks o’er all,
    Platforms, railings and straight lines,
    Are the charms for which he pines.
    Forms mysterious, ancient hues,
    He with untired hate pursues;
    And his cruel word and will
    Is, from every copse-crowned hill
    Every glade in meadow deep,
    Us and our green bowers to sweep.
    Now our prayer is, Here and there
    May your Honour deign to spare
    Shady spots and nooks, where we
    Yet may flourish, safe and free.
    So old Hampshire still may own
    (Charm to other shires unknown)
    Bays and creeks of grassy lawn
    Half beneath his woods withdrawn;
    So from many a joyous child,
    Many a sire and mother mild,
    For the sheltering boughs so sweet
    And the blossoms at their feet,
    Thanks with prayers shall find their way;
    And we flowers, if we may pray,
    With our very best would own
    Your young floweret newly blown.

    ANEMONE NEMOROSA
    PRIMULA VULGARIS
    ORCHIS
    DAFFODIL
    COWSLIP
    STRAWBERRY
    VIOLET
    Innumerable Signatures. etc. etc. etc.

    LADWELL HILL,
    2_nd_ _April_ 1851.

“The young flow’ret newly blown” was Sir William’s son Godfrey, who faded
at seven years old.  When his mind was wandering, one of his dreamy
utterances was, “I should like to fly softly.”  And therefore Mr. Keble
suggested that the words on his little grave (outside the mausoleum)
should be “Who are these that fly as a cloud?”

The intercourse of the vicarage with the Park, as with all this
neighbourhood, was affectionate, intimate, or neighbourly and friendly,
according as there was likeness of mind.  The impression left was always
a cheerful one of hospitality and of a kind of being on holy ground.  The
house stands on the side of a rapid slope from the Park, with a terrace
raised on brick arches overlooking the lawn, only separated by a low wall
from the Churchyard.  Here, in early summer, the school children from
both the outlying congregations met those of Hursley at tea, and for
games in the Park, ending with standing round in the twilight below the
terrace, and singing the National Anthem and Bishop Ken’s Evening Hymn.
The Anniversary of the Consecration Day, falling late in the autumn, was
the occasion of a feast for the elders of the parish above sixty years
old.  This followed, of course, on festal services, when those who heard
it can hardly forget a sermon of Warden Barter’s on the 134th Psalm,
when, with the noble sweetness of his countenance lighted up, he spoke of
our delight in nature being the joy of a child in the beauty of his
father’s house.

A new organ had been given, and the choir had been brought to great
improvement during the few years that the Rev. W. Le Geyt was at Hursley.
Also a mission school chapel had been built at Pitt, a hamlet on the
downs towards Winchester, and a second curate had been added to the
staff.  The present writer can only dwell with thankfulness too deep to
be spoken on Mr. Keble’s influence, not so much friendly as fatherly, and
he was the best and kindest of critics in literary affairs.

But throughout, the vicar was the personal minister to each individual of
his flock—teaching in the school, catechising in the church, most
carefully preparing for Confirmation, watching over the homes, and,
however otherwise busied, always at the beck and call of every one in the
parish.  To the old men and women of the workhouse he paid special
attention, bringing them little dainties, trying to brighten their dull
minds as a means of reaching their souls, and endeavouring to raise their
spirits to higher things.  One who had been removed to another Union,
when asked how he liked Hursley, said, “It seemed as if they was saying
Holy, Holy, Holy, all day long.”

During this time Mr. Keble wrote his _Life of Bishop Wilson_, making two
visits to the Isle of Man to study the situation and the documents there
preserved; various of the “Plain Sermons”; some controversial pamphlets
defending the cause of the Church; and above all, the treatise on
“Eucharistic Adoration.”  He assisted Dr. J. M. Neale in drawing up the
_Salisbury Hymnal_, a precursor of _Hymns Ancient and Modern_, and
contributed several hymns, especially those for Rogation days, for the
service for Holy Matrimony, and a very grand one for the Feast of St.
John the Evangelist, which has not found place in _Hymns Ancient and
Modern_.

                        [Picture: Hursley Church]

All this time he was the prime counsellor and assistant to many engaged
in church work or church defence, among whom may be mentioned Dr. Pusey,
Bishop Alexander Forbes of Brechin, Bishop Walter Hamilton of Salisbury,
the Rev. W. J. Butler of Wantage (Dean of Lincoln), and Canon Liddon.  To
them Hursley Vicarage was a place of holy counsel and peaceful rest.

Bishop Robert Gray of Capetown, and the great Bishop George Augustus
Selwyn, were warmly welcomed there on their visits to England; and the
young son of the last-mentioned, John Richardson Selwyn, when left in
England for education, often happily spent part of his holidays there.
No doubt this had a share in his preparation for his future work in
Melanesia, closed early by the failure of health that brought him, after
a few more years, to his grave.

Another guest was Queen Emma of the Sandwich Isles, literally the Queen
of the South, come to hear the wisdom of the Saint; and last of all, the
friend and partner of his earlier work, the sharer in the revival of the
Church from her torpid repose, John Henry Newman, who met Dr. Pusey there
for one last day, fulfilling the words written long before—

    Yet deem not on such parting sad
    Shall dawn no welcome dear and glad.

But neither of these two last visits took place till after the changes of
old age had begun at Hursley.

The first great sorrow came in the death of Elisabeth, the wise, gentle,
and quiet invalid sister who had been always part of Mr. Keble’s life,
and seemed, above all, to diffuse about her an atmosphere of peace and
holiness.  After a gradual, almost imperceptible decay, she sank to sleep
on the 7th of August 1860.  Mrs. Keble’s always frail health began to
fail more and more, so that winters in a warmer climate became necessary.
Dawlish, Penzance, and Torquay were resorted to in successive winters,
and Mr. Keble began to revolve the question whether it might not become
his duty to resign the living, where, to his own humble apprehension, all
his best efforts had failed to raise the people to his own standard of
religion.  However, this was averted, and he was still at his post when,
on the night of St. Andrew’s Day, the 30th of November 1864, as he was
sitting up writing to Dean Stanley on a passage of which he disapproved
in the _History of the Jewish Church_, the hand of warning touched him
with a slight stroke of paralysis.  With complete rest at Torquay and
Penzance during the winter, he recovered to a considerable degree, and
came home to resume many of his usual habits, but Mrs. Keble’s suffering
from spasmodic asthma had become very frequent, and it became necessary,
early in the autumn, to remove to Bournemouth.

There they remained, she gradually sinking, and only distressed at the
thought of his being left; he bearing up in silent resignation and prayer
till, on the 22nd of March, a mistake in using a cold instead of a hot
bath brought on a shock, and in four days more, on Maundy-Thursday the
29th of March 1866, the voice of Hursley and Otterbourne was, “Thy master
is taken from thy head to-day.”  It was granted to her to be at rest
concerning him before she followed, six weeks later, on the 11th of May,
to the double grave.

It was on a beautiful day, with the celandines shining like stars on the
bank, that we laid him in his grave, a concourse of sorrowing friends
being present, who could look to him as having wakened and cherished
their best aspirations; and those who had come under his personal
influence feeling that a loved father had been taken away.  It was on
that day that Alexander Forbes, Bishop of Brechin, Dr. Pusey, Dean Hook,
Sir William Heathcote, Dean Butler, and others, decided that the most
fitting memorial would be the building of the College at Oxford which
bears his name, and is pledged to Church principles, and to a scale of
expenses not beyond the reach of less wealthy students.  A monument was
in due time raised above the graves, designed by Mr. Butterfield—Mr.
Keble’s in red granite, Mrs. Keble’s in Derbyshire marble.

                 [Picture: Interior, Otterbourne Church]

The place in the chancel where the coffin of John Keble, priest of the
parish, had been placed before the morning’s Celebration, was marked by a
brass cross given by the parishioners, who more and more felt that they
had had among them a saint of God, and can hardly fail to think of him
when they sing, “O ye holy and humble men of heart, bless ye the Lord,
praise Him and magnify Him for ever.”



CHAPTER XIII
LATER CHANGES


IN the October of 1853, the Rev. Robert F. Wilson having resigned the
curacy of Ampfield, he was replaced by the Rev. John Frewen Moor, who on
12th January of the next year became perpetual curate and by and by
vicar.

Improvements in the church advanced in his time.  The stained glass of
the east and west windows of the church were given by Sir William and
Lady Heathcote, the south-east window is a memorial of Mr. Keble, the
other south windows of Mr. Moor’s three sons, one of whom was drowned
while preparing for mission work in Newfoundland, and another died on his
return from what was truly a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

On Mr. Keble’s death, the Rev. James Gavin Young, brother to the much
beloved curate, the Rev. Peter Young, was presented to the living of
Hursley.

In 1871 the Rev. William Bigg Wither, after thirty-five years’ diligent
work in the parish, decided on accepting the rectory of Hardwicke in
Buckinghamshire.  Great improvements had taken place in his time, and he
was greatly beloved by his flock, from whom, for nearly forty years, he
had never been absent for a single Sunday, and during all that time had
given them the privilege of daily matins and evensong.

As he never liked the acceptance of testimonials, it was resolved that,
in memory of his long services, a new girls’ school should be built, the
old one having become quite insufficient, and with it a master’s house
with a tower to contain a village clock, which was given out of the
savings of Mrs. Smith and her sister and brother Miss and Mr. Pink, a
kind old thatcher, who will long be remembered.

In that year, 1869, Bishop Sumner resigned the see of Winchester, and for
three years the diocese had the benefit of the great powers and eloquence
of Bishop Samuel Wilberforce, whose Confirmation addresses at each of the
churches will be remembered for life by his candidates.

The Rev. Walter Francis Elgie became Mr. Young’s curate at Otterbourne,
and in 1875 the first vicar thereof, Sir William Heathcote having
arranged the means of undoing Bishop Pontissara’s injustice.  This was
rendered practicable by the liberality of Mrs. William Gibbs, who
purchased the advowson of Otterbourne for a sum that Sir William applied
to the endowment of Hursley, so as to compensate for the loss of the
tithes of Otterbourne.

By this time a considerable industry had grown up at Allbrook with a saw
mill and brick making, and the inhabitants, with a little assistance,
erected a mission chapel and school.  There the kind and excellent
Rowland Jones Bateman, Esquire, of the Grange, gave hearty assistance as
a teacher, and latterly as a licensed reader, being thus appointed by
Bishop Edward Harold Browne, who succeeded to the See of Winchester on
the sudden death of Bishop Wilberforce.

He came to reconsecrate Otterbourne Church, when an apse had been added
to the choir, and several other alterations made, with the view of
rendering it more suitable for devout worship than knowledge or means had
made practicable when the church was built; and other alterations have
since been made in the same direction.

The kindly and open-hearted Squire of Cranbury, Thomas Chamberlayne,
Esq., died on October 1876, being succeeded by his son Tankerville
Chamberlayne, Esq.; and Brambridge, after descending from the Smythes to
a niece, the Honourable Mrs. Craven, whose son sold it, has since several
times changed owners.

On the 25th February 1881, Otterbourne lost the first vicar, Mr. Elgie,
and the Rev. Henry Walter Brock was presented to the vicarage, when many
improvements were further carried on.

But change and decay mark every generation in turn, and there is little
else to record.  The joyous genial days at Hursley Park had passed away,
and the days of agricultural depression had set in, causing much trouble
and anxiety, with alterations met with simple bravery and cheerfulness,
according with the character that could bear adversity as nobly as
prosperity.

The Rev. Thomas Mozley, in the somewhat discursive reminiscences of his
latter years, declares that long before, he had seen one of Mr. Keble’s
curates in tears at the possibility of the repeal of the Corn-Laws
causing Sir William Heathcote to put down one of his equipages.  None of
the curates could recollect the occasion, and certainly they lived to see
what might have been more deplored, for at the end of Sir William’s life
there were actually only two little ponies in his stables.

Though never a very strong man, he preserved all his powers and his kind
interest and thorough attention to whatever was brought before him until
the end came, as to “a shock of corn in full season,” and he was taken to
his rest on the 17th of August 1881, leaving to all who knew him the
precious recollection of emphatically “a just man” serving God in his
generation.

That simple walking funeral, devoid of all pomp or show, but attended by
at least 130 friends, did indeed show the esteem in which he was held as
the moving spring of all the best undertakings for many years in the
county; and may Hursley never forget that she is, as it were, consecrated
by having been the home of two such men as John Keble and William
Heathcote.

Still there are changes to record: Julian Bargus Yonge, after long
inactivity from broken health, sold the property at Otterbourne to Major
Robert Scarlett, and removed to London, where he died a few days later,
in October 1891.

In 1892 Mr. Brock was invited to return to his house in Guernsey to
become rector of the parish of St. Pierre au Bois in succession to his
father and grandfather, and the Rev. Henry Albany Bowles became vicar of
Otterbourne.

Other changes had in the meantime taken place.  The Hursley estate,
including not only the Manor of Merdon but recent purchases, had become
much encumbered from the inevitable consequences of agricultural
depression, and after the provision for the family had been made, of whom
there were ten survivors besides Lady Heathcote, it proved that the only
way of clearing off the various liabilities was to sell.

Lady Heathcote gave up her right to a life residence at Hursley Park, and
after 170 years of possession, during which the family had well merited
general affection and esteem, they resigned themselves to the sale of the
greater part of the property.  The Park, the advowson of the living, and
the greater part of the parish, were bought by Joseph Baxendale, Esq., in
1888.

The more distant portions were more gradually disposed of, and recently
the ground of Cranbury Common and Hiltingbury has risen in value from
brick-making industries, and the convenience of Chandler’s (or
Chaloner’s) Ford Station, and a large and rising colony, on the confines
of five parishes, Otterbourne, North Stoneham, Ampfield, Hursley, and
Baddesley.  A school chapel was raised, but soon proved insufficient, and
there is now a church.  The place has been formed into a separate parish,
Otterbourne resigning the hamlet of Fryern Hill; Ampfield, part of Fryern
Hill and numerous houses built among the plantations of Cuckoo Bushes and
Cranbury Common; and Stoneham, many houses placed among the trees of the
former Fleming property.

And another change took place, Mr. Frewen Moor, from increasing age and
loss of eyesight, resigned the pastoral charge he had so carefully and
affectionately fulfilled for forty-four years, and was succeeded by the
Rev. Vere Awdry.

                      RECTORS AND VICARS OF HURSLEY.

  John de Raleghe, Rector d.                      1279
  Paganus de Lyskeret, Rector                1280–1296
     John de Sta. Fide, Vicar
  Hugo de Welewyck, Rector                   1296–1348
     Henry de Lyskeret, Vicar
     Roger de la Vere, Vicar
  William de Ffarlee, Vicar                  1348–1363
  William de Middleton, Vicar                1363–1392
  John Cove, Vicar                           1392–1412
  Walter Cowper Vicar                            1412.
  John Langshaw, Vicar before                1447–1454
  William Emery, Vicar                            1454
  John Lovyer, Vicar                              1482
  William Capell, Vicar about                     1529
  John Hynton, Vicar deprived                     1565
  Richard Foxe, Vicar                             1565
  William Symmons, Vicar                     1581–1616
  John Cole, Vicar                           1616–1638
  John Hardy, Vicar                  1638 ejected 1645
              (Several Puritan Intruders.)
  Robert Maunder                             1660–1673
  Thomas Pretty                              1673–1684
  Matthew Leadbeater                         1684–1707
  Edward Griffiths                           1707–1726
  Richard Newcome                            1726–1747
  William White                              1747–1780
  Samuel Gauntlett                           1780–1804
  Gilbert Heathcote                          1804–1829
  Gilbert Wall Heathcote                     1829–1835
  John Keble                                 1836–1866
  James Gavin Young                               1866

CHAPTER XIV
A SURVEY


IT may be best to conclude with a sketch of the present appearance of the
parishes (in 1898).

To begin at the west, where the border is on Romsey, Michelmersh and
Farley, the Romsey road, formerly the direct road from Winchester to
Salisbury, running through it, beside Ampfield Church and village.  This
is high ground, and Ampfield Wood extends along it to the borders of
Hursley Park.  It is chiefly of oak, fir, and beech, and on the southern
side are the fine arcades of beechwood that Mr. Keble used to call
Hursley Cathedral.  From one point in the wood long sight can distinguish
a sort of needle which is the spire of Salisbury Cathedral.  The wood is
very old, probably primeval, as it is guarded in the oldest notices of
the Manor of Merdon, and it contains a flora of its own, in which may be
mentioned that rare and beautiful _Melittis Melissophyllum_, bastard
balm, like a purple and white archangel.  The bilberry is plentiful there
and all along the beautiful park-like road to Romsey and Salisbury.  The
church, raised above the wayside fountain, and the churchyard full of
very beautiful varieties of pine, still nestles into the wood, and there
is a charming view over the open country towards the south.

Farley Chamberlayne, which joins the wood on the other side, rising much
higher, has a monument viewed from all the country round, erected by one
of the St. John family to a horse which leapt down with him into a
chalk-pit of considerable depth, and so alighted that neither horse nor
man was hurt, and the horse won the cup at the races the year after,
under the name of Beware Chalk-Pit.  Parnholt wood, that clothes one side
of the mount, is beloved by botanists for possessing tracts of lily of
the valley, _Convallaria majalis_, and likewise _Paris quadrifolia_, a
great rarity.  The mount itself is bare chalk down, {154} but has a
wonderful view over the whole undulating country—to the southward the
beginning of forest land, and to the south-east, where the beechwoods of
South Lynch begin to creep up the rapid slope of chalk, there is
delightful hunting ground; for bee orchis (_Ophrys apifera_) swarm;
careful search may discover the brown velvet blue-eyed fly, _Ophrys
muscifera_, the quaint _man_ and _dwarf_ orchis can be found; butterfly
or honey-suckle orchis, _Habenaria_, as we are constrained to term it, is
frequent; and where the beech-trees begin there are those curious
parasites which are the only plants they tolerate, the _Listera
Nidus-avis_, birds’-nest orchis, the _Monotropa Hypopitys_, or yellow
birds’-nest, the beautiful lily-like _Epipactis Grandiflora_; while
helleborine and the curious and capricious tooth-wort, _Spiræa
Filipendula_ or drop-wort, _Gentiana Amarella_, and other distinctive
chalk-down plants are found.

On the southern side of Ampfield lies the parish of North Baddesley,
which preserves the curious old Hampshire village church with a timber
bell turret.  This side is where there once stood a Gospel oak, marking
the place where the Gospel was read, when the bounds of the Manor of
Merdon were trod at Rogation-tide.  The whole tract is an extension of
the New Forest land, almost all heather and bog, undulating and, in the
drier spots, growing bushes of the glistening holly.  It is forest
scenery without the trees, excepting the plantations of fir made by a
former generation, but presenting grand golden fields of gorse in the
spring, and of red and purple heather in early autumn; and whereas the
northern side of Hursley gives the distinctive flora of dry chalk, here
we have the growth of the black peaty bog, the great broom-rape, brown
and leafless, growing on the roots of the gorse; the curious dodder
spreading a tangled red skein of thread over it gemmed with little round
white balls, the rare marsh cinquefoil, the brilliant yellow asphodel,
the delicate, exquisite, bog pimpernel, the blue skull-cap, the two weird
and curious sun-dews, and even in former times the beautiful dark blue
_Gentiana Pneumonanthe_, as well as the two pinguiculas—_Vulgaris_, like
a violet, and the rarer _Lusitanica_.

But alas! the giant called “High Farming” is an enemy to the botanists,
and had starved out many of the choicest of these, even before the
building of villas at Chandler’s Ford put a total end to most of them.

Hursley Park touches on one side the forest land of Ampfield Wood, and on
the other the chalk of the South Downs, and it shows its length of having
been reclaimed in the well-kept trees with their straight lines finishing
their foliage beneath, due to the feeding of deer and cattle.  Its chief
beauty is when the thorns are like masses of snow.  Moreover, there grows
up from the moat at Merdon, over the back of the remains of the gateway,
a traveller’s joy with an enormous trunk that must be of many years’
duration.  Merdon Castle is just where the chalk begins, and from thence,
running down to the house itself, there is a broad level space of deer
park clear of trees, and making a fit setting to the early Georgian red
brick house with the gardens on the other side, containing several fine
old lime-trees.  On all the sides, except towards Ampfield, the ground
falls away, and the village of well-kept, picturesque cottages lies in
the valley beneath the park, the tall white spire of the church making a
beautiful object looking along the walnut avenue leading from the
gardens.

The lime-trees enclose the church on three sides most fitly, except in
the eyes of an old woman, some sixty years ago, who objected to
worshipping in a grove.

At a short distance eastward of the churchyard begin the two roads, both
leading to Otterbourne; the northern one, part of which still bears the
name of King’s Lane, is said to have been the way taken by Purkis’s cart
when bringing William Rufus’s body to Winchester.

The southern road, which is part of the Romsey and Southampton highway,
soon rises into the height of Ladwell Hill, fields with very fine elms
bordering it on the west, and the copse of Mr. Keble’s petition on the
east.  At the gate of the wood is a patch of the rare _Geranium Phæun_,
the dusky crane’s-bill, but whether wild, or a stray from a disused
garden, is doubtful.

After another dip, the road to Otterbourne leaves the main one, and
skirts Cranbury Park, and has on the opposite side the once open country,
since planted first with trees and later with houses, leading to
Chandler’s Ford.  The very pretty and uncommon _Linaria repens_, a toad
flax, white and striped with purple, is a speciality that it is hoped may
not be smothered with houses and gardens.  A lane, called even in 1588
Mallibar, runs southward over the heath, and emerges into the Southampton
road.  It is a grand place for heath, ferns, and broom-rape, with
daffodils in a field at the end.  There are remains of a farm-yard and
orchard, once apparently rented by Mr. Coram of Cranbury.

Cranbury Park is on a hill, intersected by various springs, and where the
peaty ground soon gives way to gravel.  The house, a large red brick one,
built round a court, so that it looks low in proportion to its width, is
on the level ground at the top, flat as it fronts to the south, but in
the rear descending rapidly.  In fact, on that side the grounds have the
air of cresting the hill, and there is a group of exceedingly tall
pine-trees which are a land-mark of the country on all sides, though the
tallest of them was blown down a few years ago.  Near them is one of the
old-fashioned orangeries, with a great deal of wall and very little
glass, and near it stands the sundial of Newtonian fame.

From the ridge where the pines stand the ground descends through very
steep fields belonging to the Home Farm at Longmore to King’s Lane, where
Hursley parish touches upon Compton, at the hamlet of Silkstede, which is
reported to have been a priory, and has a fine old barn and a dell in the
orchard full of snowdrops.  No mention of it is in Dugdale’s
_Monasticon_, and it was probably only a grange; but it still owns some
very fine old trees, the bordering copses are full of violets, and the
rare _Lathyrus Nissolia_ has been found there.

Returning to the open park in front of Cranbury, there occurs that
fitfully blooming plant, lady’s-tresses—_Neottia Spiralis autumnalis_—and
a profusion of brown-winged orchis and cowslips.  All the slopes are
covered with copsewood, much of it oak, the tints of which are lovely
shades of green in spring and golden-brown in early autumn.  The whole is
a place remarkable for masses of blossom.  There are giant garlands of
white wild cherry above in spring, and equally white anemone below; by
and by an acre of primroses growing close together, not large, but
wonderfully thick, a golden river of king-cup between banks of dog’s
mercury, later on whole glades of wild hyacinth, producing a curious
effect of blue beneath the budding yellow green of the young birches with
silver stems.  Sheets of the scarlet sorrel by and by appear, and
foxgloves of all sizes troop in the woods, and are succeeded by the rose
bay willow herb, and lastly come perfect clouds of the little devils’-bit
scabious.  Ferns adorn the watery glens, and bracken spreads on the
undulating ground in wild beauty of form, here and there enhanced by a
bright faded tint of gold.

At the bottom of the hill, close to Otterbourne Church, the gravel has
given place to clay.  On the side of the hill, a rough hedge divides the
private ground of the copse from Otterbourne Common and Hill, which is
crossed by the old high road from London to Southampton, the very steep
hill having had a cutting made through it.  The Cranbury side of the road
has the village cricket ground on it, though burrowed under by the
concentric brick-work circles of the Southampton Company’s water works,
which are entered by a little staircase tower, cemented over so as to be
rather ornamental than otherwise.  Beside it, there is a beautiful view
of a delightful home landscape; stretching out on the south lie woods and
low hills to the gleam of Southampton Water, the smoke of the steamers,
and even the gray hills of the Isle of Wight.  On the other side, beyond
the rich water meadows of the Itchen valley, may be seen the woods of
Colden Common rising into Concord Hill, and beyond them the view is
closed by the broken outline of Longwood Warren.  While more to the north
there is visible the round smooth outline of “the beech-crowned steep” of
St. Catherine’s Hill.  It is a charming prospect, especially on a day of
sunshine and clouds, making shadows chase one another over the distance.
Nor, except for a white thatched cottage and an extensive gravel-pit by
the road, have the native charms of the hill been much disturbed; and
gorse, heather, and honeysuckle flourish till, where the clay begins,
there is a grassy slope bearing a few elms and horse-chestnuts.  Perhaps
loaded waggons drop some of their seeds, for on those cuttings through
the gravel on the road-side have sprung up the dainty little yellow
stonecrop, _Sedum acre_, and the Stork’s bill, _Erodium moschatum_.
These are plentifully spread over the cutting; but the _Trifolium
arvense_, which came for a few years, seems to have vanished again.

On the eastern side of the road lies the village green.  The old cottages
used to stand round in an irregular amphitheatre, some with poplars
before them, and the name of Maypole-field (now allotments) testifies to
there having been sports there before the memory of the present man.  The
arrangements have been broken by modern building, but “right of common”
still protects the green expanse for donkeys and children, including the
more youthful cricketers, not yet promoted to matches.

From the top of the hill extends a large space of woodland known as
Otterbourne Park.  The higher part is full of a growth of beautiful ling,
in delicate purple spikes, almost as tall as the hazel and mountain ash
are allowed to grow.  On summer evenings it is a place in which to hear
the nightingale, and later to see the glow-worm, and listen to the
purring of the nightjar.  It is a very ancient wood, part of the original
grant of St. Magdalen College, and bears plenty of the yellow cow-wheat
which Kingsley holds as the mark of primeval waste-land; but it is not
exceptional in its other plants, except that a spring, half-way down, has
the rare _Viola palustris_ around it.  The whole tract remained untouched
till a pleasant residence called the Grange was taken out of it to the
south, at a ground rent, by Rowland Jones Bateman, Esq., whose beneficent
kindness and excellent religious influence told on all the neighbourhood,
and especially on the hamlet of Allbrook, till his death in 1897.

The parish here borders on Bishopstoke, and the Grange commands a
pleasant view over the water meadows, and up the opposite Bishopstoke
Hill.  Otterbourne Park reaches down to where the meadows begin along the
course of the Itchen.

In these meadows, the will-of-the-wisp has undoubtedly been seen, as well
as in a wet field in the central part of the parish; but it is a
disappointing phenomenon—nothing but a misty, pale bluish light, rather
like the reality of a comet’s tail, and if “he” was by “Friar’s Lantern
led,” “he” must have had a strong imagination.

Probably drainage, sawmills, and brick-making have exorcised
Jack-o’-Lantern, for Allbrook, from a hamlet of four cottages, has grown
up into a considerable village, with a school-chapel of its own, and a
large population.  The two farms called Hams and Boyatt border it on the
southern or Bishopstoke side, and on the northern it extends to
Highbridge (apparently so called from the lowness of the bridge), where
is another small hamlet, half Otterbourne half Twyford; and there was for
many years a Roman Catholic chapel attached to a large cottage, and
distinguished by a cross.  It was endowed, but nearly all the flock
having faded away, the endowment was transferred to Eastleigh, and it is
now inhabited by a market gardener with numerous glass houses.

It is the real Itchen that is crossed at Highbridge.  The canal goes
through Allbrook, but both serve the purpose of irrigation, and a network
of ditches crosses the meadows.  Both river and canal, too, are excellent
for fishermen, who in the season can find

    here and there a lusty trout,
    And here and there a grayling

in the clear stream, which now and then an otter inhabits, soon to serve
as sport for his many enemies.

Smooth and level, the river is still an unfailing source of enjoyment in
the walks along the towing path, when moor-hens are swimming, and dipping
on a glimpse of the spectator; when fish are rising, or sometimes taking
a sudden “header” into the air and going down with a splash; when the
water-vole rushes for his hole with head just above the water; when a
blue flash of kingfisher darts by, and the deep blue or green
dragon-flies sit on the sedges, or perhaps a tiny May-fly sits on a rail
to shake off its last garment, and come forth a snow-white fairy thing
with three long whisks at the tail.

The _real_ Itchen is the boundary, and beyond lies Brambridge.  But on
coming to the bridge over the canal, the road leads westward, towards
Otterbourne Hill.  First it skirts a stream, a tributary to the Itchen,
and goes between meadows till the old church is reached, now only a
chancel in the midst of old headstones, and still bordered with trees on
the bank between it and the stream.  There are square brick monuments
covered with stone slabs.  In the interstices there used to be a great
deal of _Adiantum nigrum_—black maidenhair, but it has disappeared.

The flowers are quite different from those of the peaty marshes on the
opposite side of the district, belonging to an alluvial soil, washed down
from the chalk hills.  The great reed-mace adorns the Itchen, and going
along the disused towing path of the canal there is to be found abundance
of the black and golden spikes of the sedge, and the curious balls of the
bur-reed, very like the horrid German weapon called a morning star.  Also
meadow-sweet, meadow-rue, and comfrey of every shade of purple, the water
avens and forget-me-not, also that loveliest plant the bog-bean, with
trefoil leaves and feathery blossoms.  _Orchis latifolia_ is in plenty,
and also _Orchis incarnata_, sometimes called the Romsey orchis.  Of late
years the _mimulus_ has gilded the bank of one of the ditches.  Is it
compensation for the _Pinguicula vulgaris_, which has been drained away,
or the mountain pink at Highbridge, which I suspect some gardener of
appropriating?  Higher up the course of the river, _Orchis conopsea_,
long-spurred and very sweet, the compact _Orchis pyramidalis_, and the
rare _Epipactis palustris_ are to be found, as well as _Campanula
Glomerata_, and crow garlic, in an old chalk-pit nearly destroyed by the
railway and the water works.

Otterbourne Farm bounds the churchyard on the west side, and below, on
either side of a low bridge, stand two fine yew trees where boys in the
old church days used to climb and devour the waxen berries with impunity.
Meadows lie on each side the road, and on the left is a short lane,
leading up to the old manor house, the Moat-house but it is no longer
even a farm-house—the moat is choked with mud and reeds, and only grows
fine forget-me-nots, and the curious panel picture of a battle,
apparently between Turks and Austrians, has been removed.  The fields
beyond, bordering on Otterbourne Park, are the best for cowslips in the
parish.

Returning into the road, whose proper name is Kiln Lane, the way leads
between two fields, oddly enough called Courtiers, rising a little, and
with a view of Otterbourne Hill, the east side of which, below the slope
of Otterbourne Park, has been laid out in allotments for more than fifty
years, at first by Mr. Yonge, though it has now been taken in hand by the
Parish Council, and it makes a pleasant picture of stripes of various
shades of green and brown with people working in them.  The hedge sweeps
round in a curve, leaving a space where stands the Pound, still sometimes
used for straying cattle.  The Stocks were once there, but never used in
the memory of man.

The valley is of clay, strong yellow clay favourable to oaks, though too
many have been cut down, whenever they came to a good size in the hedges;
but in the grounds of Otterbourne House, where they have been undisturbed
for at least eighty years, there are a number of very handsome well-grown
trees; and near them is Dell Copse, dug out for the bricks for the
“King’s House,” and the home of countless daffodils.  Half way up the
hill is a small spring, where the water rises so as to make little jets
of sand.  It flows down in a gutter to the green at the opening of Kiln
Lane, around the Pound, and here spreads into a pool, called the Dip
Hole, the resort of cows from the common, and long of village women, as
the blue galt below the yellow clay never affords good water, but this
has been remedied by water works.

At this spot Kiln Lane opens into the high-road, and there is a broad
space of green at nearly the bottom of the hill, before the main body of
the village begins.  Every line in the place is a curve-hedges, roads,
gardens and all, and this gives the view a peculiar grace, so that one of
the old men used to say he knew not where to find a better or prettier
view than looking down into the village from the hill, and on far beyond
to Owslebury, Crowd Hill, and Longwood Warren, a lovely home view.

The church stands on the hillside just where the upward road to Cranbury
begins to branch off.  The churchyard is full of crosses, a large granite
cross in memory of John Keble as rector in the midst, and there is a
splendid Wellingtonia, or more properly a Sequoia, now about fifty years
old, and overtopping the bell-turret.  And the outside space on this side
is scattered with horse chestnuts and elms.

Below are the schools, and the irregular curving street of houses,
thatched, tiled, or slated, in gardens or close to the road.  Here stands
Otterbourne House, and, after two large fields, more cottages, and the
vicarage, like the schools, with the fancy brick chimneys moulded at
Hursley.

Not far beyond, the little stream that had crossed the meadows from the
church is spanned by another bridge, belonging to the high-road from
Winchester.  Thence may be seen the source of the stream, in Pool Hole,
said to be fed from Merdon well, and now forced to spread into a bed of
watercresses.

And here begins Compton, Silkstede is in sight, and the round of the
parishes is completed with King’s Lane, turning to the west from the high
road to Winchester.



CHAPTER XV
WORDS AND PHRASES


BEFORE entirely quitting the parish, a few of the older words and forms
of expression may be recorded, chiefly as remembered from the older
generation, for “the schoolmaster” and the influx of new inhabitants have
changed much that was characteristic of the genuine West Saxon.  Nor,
indeed, was there any very pronounced dialect, like a separate language.
The speech is slow, and with a tendency to make _o_ like _aa_, as Titus
Oates does in _Peveril of the Peak_.  An Otterbourne man going into
Devonshire was told, “My son, you speak French.”  No one ever showed the
true Hampshire south-country speech and turn of expression so well as
Lady Verney in her _Lettice Lisle_, and she has truly Hampshire
characters too, such as could once easily be matched in these villages.

The words and phrases here set down are only what can be vouched for by
those who have grown up to them:—



WORDS


_Caddle_, untidy condition.

“In he comes when I’m all of a caddle.”

_To stabble_, to walk about aimlessly, or in the wet.

“Now, Miss, don’t you come stabbling in and out when I am scouring.”

Or,

“I can’t come stabbling down that there dirty lane, or I should be all of
a muck.”

_Want_, mole.

_Chiselbob_, woodlouse; also called a cud-worm, and, rolled in a pill,
put down the throat of a cow to promote the restoration of her cud, which
she was supposed to have lost.

_Gowk_, cuckoo.

_Fuzz-Buzz_, traveller’s joy.

_Palmer_, caterpillar.

_Dish-washer_, water-wagtail.

_Chink_, chaffinch.

_Long-tailed caper_, long-tailed tit.

_Yaffil_, green woodpecker.

“The yaffil laughed loud.”—See _Peacock at Home_.

_Smellfox_, anemone.

_Dead men’s fingers_, orchis.

_Granny’s night-cap_, water avens.

_Jacob’s ladder_, Solomon’s seal.

_Lady’s slipper_, Prunella vulgaris.

_Poppy_, foxglove.

_To routle_, to rummage (like a pig in straw).

_To terrify_, to worry or disturb.

“Poor old man, the children did terrify him so, he is gone into the
Union.”

_Wind-list_, white streak of faint cloud across a blue sky, showing the
direction of the wind.

_Shuffler_, man employed about a farmyard.

_Randy go_, uproar.

“I could not sleep for that there randy go they was making.”

_Pook_, a haycock.

_All of a pummy_, _all of a moulter_, _because it was so very brow_,
describing the condition of a tree, which shattered as it fell because it
was brow, _i.e._ brittle.

_Leer_, empty, generally said of hunger.—See German.

_Hulls_, chaff.  The chaff of oats; used to be in favour for stuffing
mattresses.

_Heft_, Weight.

_To huck_, to push or pull out.  Scotch (howk).

_Stook_, the foundation of a bee hive.

_Pe-art_, bright, lively, the original word _bearht_ for both bright and
pert.

_Loo_ (or _lee_), sheltered.

_Steady_, slow.

“She is so steady I can’t do nothing with her.”

_Kickety_, said of a one-sided wheel-barrow that kicked up (but this may
have been invented for the nonce).

_Pecty_, covered with little spots of decay.

_Fecty_, defective throughout—both used in describing apples or potatoes.

_Hedge-picks_, shoes.

_Hags_ or _aggarts_, haws.

_Rauch_, smoke (comp. German and Scotch).

_Pond-keeper_, dragon-fly.

_Stupid_, ill-conditioned.

_To plim_, to swell, as bacon boiled.

_To side up_, to put tidy.

_Logie_, poorly, out-of-sorts.



VILLAGE SPECIFICS.


                           _Cure for Epilepsy_

To wear round the neck a bag with a hair from the cross on a he-donkey.

                                   Or,

To wear a ring made of sixpences begged from six young women who married
without change of name.

                        _Cure for Whooping Cough_

An infusion of mouse ear hawkweed (_Hieracium Pilosella_), flavoured with
thyme and honey.  This is really effective, like other “yarbs” that used
to be in vogue.

                           _Cure for Shingles_

Grease off church bells.

                            _For Sore Throat_

Rasher of fat bacon fastened round the neck.

                                _For Ague_

To be taken to the top of a steep place, then violently pushed down.

                                   Or,

To have gunpowder in bags round the wrists set on fire.

_Powdered chaney_ (_china_), a general specific.



PHRASES


_Singing psalms to a dead horse_, exhorting a stolid subject.

_Surplice_, smock-frock.

“Ah! sir, the white surplice covers a great deal of dirt”—said by a tidy
woman of her old father.

                                * * * * *

“And what be I to pay you?”

“What the Irishman shot at,” _i.e._ nothing—conversation overheard
between an old labourer and his old friend, the thatcher, who had been
mending his roof.

                                * * * * *

“Well, dame, how d’ye fight it out?”—salutation overheard.

                                * * * * *

CURATE.  Have you heard the nightingale yet?

BOY.  Please, sir, I don’t know how he hollers.

Everything hollers, from a church bell to a mouse in a trap.

                                * * * * *

A tenth child, if all the former ones are living, is baptized with a
sprig of myrtle in his cap, and the clergyman was supposed to charge
himself with his education.

                                * * * * *

If possible, a baby was short-coated on Good Friday, to ensure not
catching cold.

The old custom (now gone out) was that farmers should send their men to
church on Good Friday.  They used all to appear in their rough dirty
smock frocks and go back to work again.  Some (of whom it would never
have been expected) would fast all day.

                                * * * * *

The 29th of May is still called Shick-shack day—why has never been
discovered.  There must have been some observance earlier than the
Restoration, though oak-apples are still worn on that day, and with their
oak sprays are called Shick-shack.

                                * * * * *

On St. Clement’s Day, the 23rd of November, explosions of gunpowder are
made on country blacksmiths’ anvils.  It is viewed as the blacksmiths’
holiday.  The accepted legend is that St. Clement was drowned with an
anchor hung to his neck, and that his body was found in a submarine
temple, from which the sea receded every seven years for the benefit of
pilgrims.  Thus he became the patron of anchor forgers, and thence of
smiths in general.  Charles Dickens, in _Great Expectations_ describes an
Essex blacksmith as working to a chant, the _refrain_ of which was “Old
Clem.”  I have heard the explosions at Hursley before 1860, but more
modern blacksmiths despise the custom.  At Twyford, however, the festival
is kept, and at the dinner a story is read that after the Temple was
finished, Solomon feasted all the artificers except the blacksmiths, but
they appeared, and pointed out all that they had done in the way of
necessary work, on which they were included with high honour.

                                * * * * *

St. Thomas’s Day, 21st December, is still at Otterbourne held as the day
for “gooding,” when each poor house-mother can demand sixpence from the
well-to-do towards her Christmas dinner.

                                * * * * *

Christmas mummers still perambulate the villages, somewhat uncertainly,
as their performance depends on the lads willing to undertake it, and the
willingness of some woman to undertake the bedizening of them with strips
of ribbon or coloured paper; and, moreover, political allusions are
sometimes introduced which spoil the simplicity.  The helmets are
generally made of wallpaper, in a shape like _auto-da-fé_ caps, with long
strips hanging over so as to conceal the face, and over the shirts are
sewn streamers.

Thus tramp seven or eight lads, and stand drawn up in a row, when the
foremost advances with, at the top of his hoarse voice:

    Room, room, brave gallants, room,
    I’m just come to show you some merry sport and game,
    To help pass away
    This cold winter day.
    Old activity, new activity, such activity
    As never was seen before,
    And perhaps never will be seen no more.

(Alas! too probably.  Thanks to the schoolmaster abroad.)

Then either he or some other, equipped with a little imitation snow,
paces about announcing himself:

    Here comes I, Old Father Christmas, Christmas, Christmas,
       Welcome or welcome not,
       I hope old Father Christmas
          Will never be forgot.
    All in this room, there shall be shown
    The dreadfullest battle that ever was known.
    So walk in, St. George, with thy free heart
    And see whether thou canst claim peace for thine own part.

So far from “claiming peace,” St. George waves (or ought to wave) his
wooden sword, as he clumps forth, exclaiming:

    In comes I, St. George, St. George, that man of courage bold,
    With my broad sword and spear I won the crown of gold,
          I fought that fiery dragon,
             And drove him to the slaughter,
          And by that means I won
             The King of Egypt’s daughter.
       Therefore, if any man dare enter this door
          I’ll hack him small as dust,
       And after send him to the cook’s shop
          To be made into mince-pie crust!

On this defiance another figure appears:

    Here comes I, the Turkish knight
    Just come from Turkey land to fight;
    I’ll fight thee, St. George, St. George, thou man of courage bold,
    If thy blood be too hot, I’ll quickly make it cold.

To which St. George responds, in the tone in which he would address a
cart-horse:

    Wo ho!  My little fellow, thou talk’st very bold,
    Just like the little Turks, as I have been told,
    Therefore, thou Turkish knight,
    Pull out thy sword and fight,
    Pull out thy purse and pay,
    I’ll have satisfaction, or thou guest away.

                              _Turkish Knight_.

    Satisfaction, no satisfaction at all,
    My head is made of iron, my body lined with steel,
    I’ll battle thee, to see which on the ground shall fall.

The two wooden swords clatter together till the Turkish knight falls, all
doubled up, even his sword, with due regard to his finery; and St. George
is so much shocked that he marches round, lamenting:

    O only behold what I have been and done,
    Cut and slain my brother, just the evening sun.

Then, bethinking himself, he exclaims:

    I have a little bottle, called elecampane,
    If the man is alive, let him rise and fight again.

The application of the elecampane so far restores the Turkish knight that
he partly rises, entreating:

    O pardon me, St. George, O pardon me, I crave,
    O pardon me this once, and I will be thy slave.

Very inconsistently with his late remorse, St. George replies—

    I never will pardon a Turkish knight,
    Therefore arise, and try thy might.

The combat is renewed, and the Turkish knight falls prostrate, on which
the Foreign King comes forward, shouting:

    St. George, St. George, what hast thou done,
    For thou hast slain mine only son!

But, after marching round the fallen hero, he cries:

    Is there a doctor to be found,
    That can cure this man lies bleeding on the ground?

In response, the doctor appears:

    O yes, there is a doctor to be found,
    That can cure this man lies bleeding on the ground.

The anxious father asks:

    Doctor, doctor, what is thy fee?

The doctor replies:

    Ten guineas is my fee,
    But ten pounds I’ll take of thee.

The king answers:

    “Take it, doctor, but what canst thou cure?”

The doctor’s pretensions are high, for he says:

    I can cure the ague, palsy, and the gout,
    And that’s a roving pain that goes within and out;
    A broken leg or arm, I soon can cure the pain,
    And if thou break’st thy neck, I’ll stoutly set it again.
    Bring me an old woman of fourscore years and ten,
    Without a tooth in her head, I’ll bring her young again.

The king observes:

    “Thou be’st a noble doctor if that’s all true thou be’st talking
    about.”

And the doctor, taking to prose, replies:

    “I’m not like those little mountebank doctors that go about the
    streets, and say this, that, and the other, and tell you as many lies
    in one half-hour as you would find in seven years; but what I does, I
    does clean before your eyes, and ladies and gentlemen, if you won’t
    believe your own eyes, ’tis a very hard case.”

The king agreeing that it is, the doctor goes to the patient, saying:

    “I have a little bottle that I call golden foster drops.  One drop on
    the root of this man’s tongue and another on his crown, will strike
    the heat through his body, and raise him off the ground.”

Accordingly the Turkish knight slowly rises and decamps, St. George
exclaiming:

    “Arise, arise, thou cowardly dog, and see how uprightly thou can’st
    stand.  Go home into your own country and tell them what old England
    has done for you, and how they’ll fight a thousand better men than
    you.”

This last speech may have been added after the Crimean War, as the drama
was copied out in 1857; but the staple of it was known long before,
though with variations, in different villages, and it always concludes
with little Johnny Jack, the smallest of the troup, with a bundle of
dolls on his back, going round with a jingling money-box, saying:

    Here comes I, little Johnny Jack,
    Wife and family at my back,
    My family’s large though I am small,
    And so a little helps us all.
    Roast beef, plum pudding, strong beer and mince-pies,
    Who loves that better than Father Christmas or I?
    One mug of Christmas ale soon will make us merry and sing;
    Some money in our pockets will be a very fine thing.
    So, ladies and gentlemen, all at your ease,
    Give the Christmas boys just what you please.

Before Christmas carols had to be reformed and regulated lest they should
be a mere occasion of profanity and rudeness, that curious one of Dives
and Lazarus was occasionally heard, of which two lines could never be
forgotten—

    He had no strength to drive them ’way,
    And so they licked his sores.

And when Lazarus afterwards sees “Divers” “sitting on a serpent’s knee.”

May Day too survived in a feeble state, with the little voices singing:

    April’s gone!  May’s come!
    Come and see our garland.

Mr. Keble improved the song into:

       April’s gone, the king of showers,
       May is come, the queen of flowers,
       Give me something, gentles dear,
       For a blessing on the year.
       For my garland give, I pray,
       Words and smiles of cheerful May;
       Birds of spring, to you we come,
       Let us pick a little crumb.
    In the dew of the morning we gathered our flowers
    From the woodlands and meadows and garden bowers,
    And now we have twisted our garland so gay,
    We are come here to wish you a happy May Day.

                                * * * * *

We cannot but here add an outline of a village character from _Old Times
at Otterbourne_:—

    Mr. William Stainer was a baker.  His bread was excellent, and he was
    also noted for what were called Otterbourne buns, the art of making
    which seems to have gone with him.  They were small fair-complexioned
    buns, which stuck together in parties of three, and when soaked,
    expanded to twice or three times their former size.  He used to send
    them once or twice a week to Winchester.  But though baking was his
    profession, he did much besides.  He was a real old-fashioned
    herbalist, and had a curious book on the virtues of plants, and he
    made decoctions of many kinds, which he administered to those in want
    of medicine.  Before the Poor Law provided Union doctors, medical
    advice, except at the hospital, was almost out of reach of the poor.
    Mr. and Mrs. Yonge, like almost all other beneficent gentlefolks in
    villages, kept a medicine chest and book, and doctored such cases as
    they could venture on, and Mr. Stainer was in great favour as a
    practitioner, as many of our elder people can remember.  He was
    exceedingly charitable and kind, and ready to give his help so far as
    he could.  He was a great lover of flowers, and had contrived a sort
    of little greenhouse over the great oven at the back of his house,
    and there he used to bring up lovely geraniums and other flowers,
    which he sometimes sold.  He was a deeply religious and devout man,
    and during an illness of the clerk took his place in Church, which
    was more important when there was no choir and the singers sat in the
    gallery.  He was very happy in this office, moving about on felt
    shoes that he might make no noise, and most reverently keeping the
    Church clean, and watching over it in every way.  He also continued
    in the post of schoolmaster, which at first he had only taken
    temporarily, and quaintly managing it.  He was found setting as a
    copy “A blind man’s wife needs no paint,” which he defended as
    “Proverbs, sir, Proverbs.”  Giving up part of his business to his
    nephew, he still sat up at night baking, for the nephew, he said, was
    only in the A B C book of baking, and he also had other troubles:
    there was insanity in his family, and he was much harassed.  His
    kindness and simplicity were sometimes abused.  He never had the
    heart to refuse to lend money, or to deny bread on credit to hopeless
    debtors; and altogether debts, distress, baking, and watching his
    sisters all night, and school keeping all day, were too much for him.
    The first hint of an examination of his school completed the mischief
    and he died insane, drowning himself in the canal.  It is a sad
    story, but many of us will remember with affectionate regard the
    good, kind, quaint, and most excellent little man.

                                * * * * *

A few lines, half parody, half original, may be added as picturing the
old aspect of Otterbourne, about 1830:—

                              OLD REMEMBRANCES

   I remember, I remember,
      Old times at Otterbourne,
   Before the building of the Church,
      And when smock frocks were worn!

    I remember, I remember,
       When railroads there were none,
    When by stage coach at early dawn
       The journey was begun.

    And through the turnpike roads till eve
       Trotted the horses four,
    With inside passengers and out
       They carried near a score.

    “Red Rover” and the “Telegraph,”
       We knew them all by name,
    And Mason’s and the Oxford coach,
       Full thirty of them came.

    The coachman wore his many capes,
       The guard his bugle blew;
    The horses were a gallant sight,
       Dashing upon our view.

    I remember, I remember,
       The posting days of old;
    The yellow chariot lined with blue
       And lace of colour gold.

    The post-boys’ jackets blue or buff,
       The inns upon the road;
    The hills up which we used to walk
       To lighten thus the load.

    The rattling up before the inn,
       The horses led away,
    The post-boy as he touched his hat
       And came to ask his pay.

    The perch aloft upon the box,
       Delightful for the view;
    The turnpike gates whose keepers stood
       Demanding each his due.

    I remember, I remember,
       When ships were beauteous things,
    The floating castles of the deep
       Borne upon snow-white wings;

    Ere iron-dads and turret ships,
       Ugly as evil dream,
    Became the hideous progeny
       Of iron and of steam.

    You crossed the Itchen ferry
       All in an open boat,
    Now, on a panting hissing bridge
       You scarcely seem afloat.

    Southampton docks were sheets of mud,
       Grim colliers at the quay.
    No tramway, and no slender pier
       To stretch into the sea.

    I remember, I remember,
       Long years ere Rowland Hill,
    When letters covered quarto sheets
       Writ with a grey goose quill;

    Both hard to fold and hard to read,
       Crossed to the scarlet seal;
    Hardest of all to pay for, ere
       Their news they might reveal.

    No stamp with royal head was there,
       But eightpence was the sum
    For every letter, all alike,
       That did from London come!

    I remember, I remember,
       The mowing of the hay;
    Scythes sweeping through the heavy grass
       At breaking of the day.

    The haymakers in merry ranks
       Tossing the swathes so sweet,
    The haycocks tanning olive-brown
       In glowing summer heat.

    The reapers ’mid the ruddy wheat,
       The thumping of the flail,
    The winnowing within the barn
       By whirling round a sail.

    Long ere the whirr, and buzz, and rush
       Became a harvest sound,
    Or monsters trailed their tails of spikes,
       Or ploughed the fallow ground.

    Our sparks flew from the flint and steel,
       No lucifers were known,
    Snuffers with tallow candles came
       To prune the wick o’ergrown.

    Hands did the work of engines then,
       But now some new machine
    Must hatch the eggs, and sew the seams,
       And make the cakes, I ween.

    I remember, I remember,
       The homely village school,
    The dame with spelling book and rod,
       The sceptre of her rule.

    A black silk bonnet on her head,
       Buff kerchief on her neck,
    With spectacles upon her nose,
       And apron of blue check.

    Ah, then were no inspection days,
       No standards then were known,
    Children could freely make dirt pies,
       And learning let alone!

    Those Sundays I remember too,
       When Service there was one;
    For living in the parish then
       Of parsons there were none.

    And oh, I can recall to mind,
       The Church and every pew;
    William and Mary’s royal arms
       Hung up in fullest view.

    The lion smiling, with his tongue
       Like a pug dog’s hung out;
    The unicorn with twisted horn,
       Brooding upon his rout.

    Exalted in the gallery high
       The tuneful village choir,
    With flute, bassoon, and clarionet,
       Their notes rose high and higher.

    They shewed the number of the Psalm
       In white upon a slate,
    And many a time the last lines sung
       Of Brady and of Tate.

    While far below upon the floor
       Along the narrow aisle,
    The children on their benches sat
       Arranged in single file.

    And there the clerk would stump along
       And strike with echoing blow
    Each idle guilty little head
       That chattered loud or low.

    Ah!  I remember many things,
       Old, middle-aged, and new;
    Is the new better than the old,
       More bright, more wise, more true?

    The old must ever pass away,
       The new must still come in;
    When these new things are old to you
       Be they unstained by sin.

    So will their memory be sweet,
       A treasury of bliss
    To be borne with us in the days
       When we their presence miss.

    Trifles connected with the love
       Of many a vanished friend
    Will thrill the heart and wake the sense,
       For memory has no end!



CHAPTER XVI
NATURAL HISTORY


OR animal life, though abundant, there is little or nothing special to
record, besides the list of birds.

Polecats and martens only exist in the old rating book, but weasels and
stoats remain, as well as a profusion of their prey—hares and rabbits.
Squirrels haunt the trees, and otters are occasionally found in the
river.  Trout, grayling, now and then a pike, as well as the smaller fry
of minnows and sticklebacks, are of course found in the streams.  Eels
used to be caught there on the moonlight nights by old labourers with a
taste for sport, and the quaint little river cray-fish may be picked out
of the banks of the “water-carriages.”

Toads and frogs are a matter of course.  Sometimes a procession of tiny,
but perfectly formed “Charley Frogs,” as the village boys call them, just
emerged from their tadpole state, may be seen making their way up from
their native pools.

The pretty crested newt, dark brown and orange, with a gold crest along
its back like an iguana, is found in shallow ponds, also the smooth newt.
These efts, or evvets, as the people call them, are regarded with horror
by the peasantry.  The children speak of having seen one as if it were a
crocodile; and an abscess in the arm has been ascribed to having picked
up an “evvet in a bundle of grass.”

The slow-worm, in silvery coat, is too often slaughtered as a snake.
Vipers come to light in the woods, also the harmless brown snake.  One of
these has been seen swimming across a pond, his head just out of the
water, another climbing an oak tree, and one, upon the lawn, was induced
to disgorge a frog, which gathered up its legs and hopped away as if
nothing had happened.

Of rats and mice and such small deer there are only too many, though it
is worth while to watch rats at play round a hay-rick on Sunday evenings,
when they know they will not be persecuted, and sit up like little
kangaroos.  The vole, which is not a rat, is a goodly sight, and the
smooth round dormouse (or sleep-mouse, as the children call it) is a
favourite gift imprisoned in an old tea-pot.

The beautiful nest of a field-mouse has been found in a cypress’s thick
foliage, and dead shrews bestrew the paths; though the magic effects of
having a “sherry mouse” die in one’s hand, and thus being enabled to
stroke cattle and cure them, have never been experienced.

The _anodon_ or fresh water mussel used to be found in Fisher’s Pond on
Colden Common, bordering on Otterbourne, and the green banks were strewn
with shells left by the herons, but the pond is fast drying up and the
herons have been driven away by guns.

The delicate _paludina_, of brown, horn-coloured, gracefully-formed
shell, creeps on the water weeds, and hosts of snails may be studied.

Of insects less can be said here, but it is worth noting that one live
purple emperor has been captured in Ampfield wood, two dead dilapidated
ones picked up at Otterbourne.

The forest fly, so called, does not often come here; but it is observable
that while strange horses are maddened by it, the native ones do not seem
disturbed, knowing that it only creeps and does not bite.  It is small
and brown, not so formidable looking as the large fly, popularly called a
stout, as big as a hornet, which lays eggs under the skin of cows.

But with the blue, green, and orange dragonflies of summer, this list
must conclude, and turn to the birds and botany of the place, mostly well
known, and verified by Mr. Townsend’s _Flora of Hampshire_.



BIRDS


THE KITE (_Milvus ictinus_).—Sometimes hovering over heathlands or
farmyards, but not very common.

SPARROW-HAWK (_Accipiter fringillarius_).—Taken in a trap set for rats at
Otterbourne House.

PEREGRINE FALCON (_Falco peregrinus_), Hursley, 1857.—As a pair for many
years had a nest on Salisbury spire, this one may have flown thus far.

KESTREL (_Falco tinnunculus_)—Otterbourne, 1856.

SHORT-EARED OWL (_Otus brachyotus_).—Baddesley Common, 5th March 1861.

WHITE OWL (_Strix flammea_).—Nested in a barn, another year in a
pigeon-loft, and again in an old tub at Otterbourne.  To be seen skimming
softly along on summer evenings.

BROWN OWL (_Ulula stridula_).—Glides over the fields like a huge moth,
and on moonlight nights in August may be heard the curious hunting note.
As the eggs are hatched, not all at once, but in succession, a family
taken out of a loft and put into a sea-kale pot were of various ages, the
eldest nearly fledged, standing up as if to guard the nest, the second
hissing and snapping, as if a naughty boy, and two downy infants who
died.  One brown owl was kept tame, and lived 14 years.  The village
people call this bird Screech Owl, and after a sudden death always
mention having heard it.

CHIMNEY SWALLOW (_Hirundo rustica_).—They chase the flies under the
bridges on the Itchen, and display their red throats.

HOUSE-MARTIN (_Hirundo urbica_).—Twittering everywhere ’neath the
straw-built shed.

SAND-MARTIN (_Hirundo riparia_).—Swarms sit in rows along the electric
wires, and bore deeply into every sand-pit.

SWIFT (_Cypselus murarius_).—First to come and first to go.  Their
peculiar screech and floating flight are one of the charms of the summer
evenings.

NIGHTJAR (_Caprimulgus europæus_).—All through the twilight of the long
days his purr-purr comes down from the heathery summit of Otterbourne
Hill, where he earns his other name of Fern Owl, and may be seen flitting
on silent wing in search of moths.

KINGFISHER (_Alcedo ispida_).—This beautiful creature darts out of the
reeds bordering the Itchen, and it used to be at Chandler’s Ford before
the place was so populated.  It seems also to haunt ponds or marshy
places in woods, for a young full-fledged one was brought into
Otterbourne House by a cat, alive and apparently unhurt.  Another took a
fancy to the gold-fish in a stone basin at Cranbury, and was shot, as the
poor fish could not escape.

SPOTTED FLYCATCHER (_Muscicapa grisola_).—Late in summer these dainty
little birds come whisking about the garden, perching on a rail, darting
off after a fly, returning to the same post, or else feeding their young
in nests on the side of the house.  A pair built in 1897 in a flower-pot
close to the window of Otterbourne House.

BUTCHER-BIRD (_Lanius collurio_).—Said to have been seen at Otterbourne.
A slug has been found impaled on a thorn, but whether this was the
shrike’s larder, or as a charm for removing warts, is uncertain.

MISSEL-THRUSH (_Merula viscivora_).—This handsome bird is frequent, and
commonly called House Screech.  A story told by Warden Barter may be
worth preserving.  A pair of Missel Thrush seeing a peacock too near
their nest, charged full at him, and actually knocked him down.

SONG-THRUSH (_Merula musica_).—Happily everywhere warbling on warm days
in autumn and winter with a sweet, powerful song, some notes more liquid
than even the nightingale’s.  The shells of the snails he has devoured
bestrew the garden-walks.

BLACKBIRD (_Merula vulgaris_).—Out, with angry scream and chatter at the
approach of an enemy, darts the “ousel cock so black of hue, with
orange-tawny bill.”  How dull a lawn would be without his pert movements
when he comes down alternately with his russet wife.  One blackbird with
a broad white feather on each side of his tail haunted Elderfield for two
years, but, alas! one spring day a spruce sable rival descended and
captivated the faithless dame.  They united, chased poor Mr. Whitetail
over the high garden hedge, and he was seen no more.

REDWING (_Merula iliaca_).—Not common, but noted by J. B. Y.

RING-OUZEL (_Merula torquata_).—Rare, but observed by J. B. Yonge in
Otterbourne Park, 14th September 1865, and it has been seen several times
later.

FIELDFARE (_Merula pilaris_).—In flocks in winter.

WHEATEAR (_Sylvia ænanthe_).—Comes to the downs.

STONECHAT (_Saxicola rubicola_).—Hops about on stones.

WHINCHAT (_Saxicola rubetra_).—On furze bushes on Otterbourne Hill.

REDBREAST (_Sylvia rubecula_).—A whole brood, two old and four young,
used to disport themselves on the quilt of an old bedridden woman on
Otterbourne Hill.  It is the popular belief that robins kill their
fathers in October, and the widow of a woodman declared that her husband
had seen deadly battles, also that he had seen a white robin, but she
possibly romanced.

REDSTART (_Phænicura ruticilla_).—Sometimes seen, but not often.

GRASSHOPPER-WARBLER (_Salicaria locustella_).—Well named, for it chirps
exactly like a grasshopper in the laurels all through a summer evening.

SEDGE-WARBLER (_Salicaria fragilis_).—Whoever has heard it scolding and
chattering in a ridiculous rage at a strange footstep will not wonder at
the Scotch name of Blethering Jock.  A pair nested in Dell Copse for some
years, and the curious nest has been found among the reeds on the banks
of the Itchen.

NIGHTINGALE (_Sylvia luscinia_).—Every year about the 18th of April the
notes may be heard by the gate of Cranbury, in a larch wood on
Otterbourne Hill, in the copse wood of Otterbourne House, at Oakwood, and
elsewhere.  For about a week there is constant song, but after nesting
begins, it is less frequent.  One year there was a nest in the laurels at
Otterbourne House (since taken away), and at eight in the morning and
seven at night the nightingale came on the lawn to feed, and was every
morning chased by a surly John Bull of a robin.  When the young are
coming out of the nest the parents chide them, or strangers, in a
peculiarly harsh chirp.

BLACKCAP (_Sylvia atricapilla_).—Fair and sweet, but not very frequent;
nested in Dell Copse.

WHITETHROAT (_Sylvia cinerea_).—Darts about gardens, and is locally
called Nettle-creeper.

LESSER WHITETHROAT (_S. curruca_).—Eggs in Dell Copse.

WOOD-WARBLER (_Sylvia sylvicola_).—Eggs taken at Cranbury.

WILLOW-WARBLER (_Sylvia trochilus_).—Eggs taken at Baddesley.

CHIEFCHAFF (_Sylvia hippolaïs_).—Common in spring.

GOLDEN-CRESTED WREN (_Sylvia auricapilla_).—A happy little inhabitant of
the fir-trees, where it nests, and it is often to be seen darting in and
out of a quickset hedge.

SKYLARK (_Alauda arvensis_).—The joy of eyes and ears in every open
field.  True to the kindred points of heaven and home.

WOODLARK (_Alauda arborea_).—Otterbourne Park and Cranbury.

YELLOW-BUNTING or YELLOW-HAMMER (_Emberiza citrinella_).—A great
ornament, especially in autumn, when it sits on rails, crying, “A little
bit of bread and no che-e-ese!”

BLACKHEADED or REED BUNTING (_Emberiza schænidus_).—Brambridge, April
1896.

SPARROW (_Passer domesticus_).—One curious fact about this despised
animal is that the retired farmer, after whom Elderfield is named, made
it his business to exterminate the village sparrows.  He often brought
them down to one, but always by the next morning that sparrow had
provided himself with a mate to share his Castle Dangerous.  Sparrows’
(or sprows’) heads make a figure in many church ratebooks.

CHAFFINCH (_Fringilla cælebs_).—Chink is the Hampshire name.  The hens do
not here migrate in winter, but a whole flight of them has been seen in
the autumn on the Winchester road, evidently on their way; and once,
after an early severe frost, about a hundred were found dead in a
haystack near Basingstoke.  Thomas Chamberlayne, Esq., who had a singular
attraction for birds, used to have them coming to eat grain from his
pocket.  It has the perfection of a nest.

GOLDFINCH (_Carduelis elegans_).—This exquisite little bird is frequent
on the borders of the chalk hills, where there is plenty of thistledown.

HAWFINCH (_Coccothraustes vulgaris_).—Sometimes seen, but not common.

LINNET (_Linota cannabina_).—Fairly frequent.

GREEN LINNET (_Coccothraustes chloris_).—Greenfinch, or Beanbird as they
call it in Devonshire, is a pleasant visitor, though it has a great turn
for pease.

WREN (_Sylvia troglodytes_).—This brisk little being Kitty Wren is to be
seen everywhere.  Whether Kingsley’s theory is right that the little
birds roll themselves into a ball in a hole in the winter, I know not.
Single ones are certainly to be seen on a bank on a frosty, sunshiny day.
Have they come out to view the world and report on it?  Those very odd,
unused nests are often to be found hanging from the thatch within
outhouses.  May it be recorded here that a wren once came to peck the
sprigs on Miss Keble’s gown?

GREAT TITMOUSE (_Parus major_)—or Ox-eye, as he is here called, bold and
bright, crying “Peter” in early spring, and beautiful with his white
cheek, and the black bar down his yellow waistcoat.

BLUE TIT (_Parus cæruleus_).—Bolder and prettier is the little blue-cap,
a true sprite and acrobat as Wordsworth calls him.

MARSH-TIT (_Parus palustris_).—Known by less bright colouring and white
breast.

COLE-TIT (_Parus ater_).—More grey, and very graceful.  All these four
will gladly come to a window in winter for a little fat hung to a string,
and will put themselves into wonderful inverse positions.

LONG-TAILED TIT (_Parus caudatus_).—Long-tailed Caper, as is his local
name, is more shy, and will not come to be fed; but the antics of a
family after they have left their domed nest are delightful to watch, as
they play in the boughs of a fir-tree.

HEDGE-SPARROW (_Accentur modularis_).—Quiet, mottled bird, to be seen
everywhere.

PIED WAGTAIL (_Motacilla lutor_).—Most of these stay with us all winter,
but one March evening at least forty-three descended on the lawn at
Elderfield, doubtless halting in their flight from southern lands.  Most
winning birds they are, with their lively hop and jerking tails.
Dish-washer is their Hampshire name.

GREY WAGTAIL (_Motacilla boarula_).—This pretty bird is really partly
yellow.  It is not very frequent here, but is sometimes found on the
Itchen bank; likewise the nest in a reedy meadow.

RAY’S WAGTAIL (_Motacilla Rayi_).—Ray’s Wagtail was catching flies on a
window at Otterbourne House in 1890.

TREE PITT (_Anthus arboreus_), MEADOW PIPIT (_Anthus pratensis_).—Small
brown birds, not easy to distinguish; but the eggs differ, and both have
been found.

BULLFINCH (_Pyrrhula vulgaris_).—It is charming to greet the black head
and red waistcoat in the tops of the laurels or apple-trees, and surely
this destroyer of insect devourers does more good than harm, if he does
pick the buds to pieces in the search.  He is a delightful pet, of
exclusive and jealous attachments, hating every one except his own
peculiar favourite; and his sober-coloured lady has quite as much
character as he.  One which was devoted to her own mistress would assail
another of the family with such spite as sometimes to drive her out of
the room.

STARLING (_Sturnus vulgaris_).—Green bedropped with gold when seen
closely, but at a distance looking more like a rusty blackbird, though
its gait on the lawn always distinguishes it, being a walk instead of a
hop.  Though not tuneful, no bird has such a variety of notes, and the
clatter on the root the call-note, the impatient summons of the brood
about to be fed, make it a most amusing neighbour, when it returns to the
same tree year after year.

RAVEN (_Corvus corax_).—He has flown over the village several times.  One
lived for many years in the yard of the George Inn at Winchester.

CROW (_Corvus coronæ_).—Game-preserving has nearly put an end to him, but
he is seen round the folds on the downs in lambing time.

ROOK (_Corvus frugilegus_).—Shining and black the great birds come down
on the fields.  There is a rookery at Cranbury, another at Hams Farm at
Allbrook, and a considerable one in the beeches near Merdon, for which
the rooks deserted some oak-trees nearer the House.  While these trees
were still inhabited, Mr. G. W. Heathcote observed a number of walnuts
under them, and found that the rooks brought them from the walnut
avenues.  A parliament of these wise birds is sometimes held on the
downs, and there are woods where they assemble in great numbers in the
autumn, contingents from all lesser rookeries pouring in to spend the
winter, and whirling round and round in clouds before roosting.

JACKDAW (_Corvus monedula_).—A very amusing, though very wicked pet.
There used to be throngs of them in the tower of the old church at
Hursley, and their droll voices might be heard conversing in the evening.
Mr. Chamberlayne had one which, after being freed, always came down to
greet him when he walked in the garden.

MAGPIE (_Corvus pica_).—Pages might be filled with the merry mischief of
this handsome creature.  Perhaps the most observable characteristic of
the three tame ones closely observed was their exclusive and devoted
attachment to one person, whom they singled out for no cause that could
be known, and followed about from place to place.

JAY (_Garrulus glandarius_).—May be heard calling in the pine plantations
on Hursley Common.  It would be as amusing as the magpie if tamed.

GREEN WOODPECKER (_Picus viridis_).—The laugh and the tap may be heard
all through the Spring days.  In 1890 _Picus major_, a small, black, and
spotted French Magpie, as Devonians call it, was found, but we have no
other right to claim it.

WRYNECK (_Yunx torquilla_), or Cuckoo’s mate, squeaks all round the woods
with his head on one side just as the cuckoo comes.

NUTHATCH (_Sitta europæa_).—This pretty creature will come and be fed on
nuts at windows in the winter.  These nuts he thrusts into crevices of
bark to hold them fast while he hammers the shell.  The remains may often
be found.  For many years a pair built in a hole half-way down an old
apple-tree covered with ivy at Otterbourne House, and the exertions of
the magpie with clipped wing to swing himself on a trail of ivy into the
hole were comical, as well as his wrath when he fell off, as he uniformly
did.

TREE-CREEPER (_Certhia familiaris_), winds round and round the trees like
a little mouse.

HOOPOE (_Upupa vulgaris_).—Once in a frost caught alive by a shepherd on
the downs, but it soon died.

CUCKOO (_Cuculus canorus_).—They cuckoo till “in June he altereth his
tune.”  Probably the stammer is the effort of the young ones to sing.
One grew up in a wagtail’s nest in the flints that were built into the
wall of Otterbourne Churchyard.  Another, carried to the other side of
the road and caged, was still fed by its foster-parents till it was ready
to fly.

WOOD-PIGEON (_Columba palumbus_)—

   Take two cows, Taffy,
   Taffy, take two-o-o.

Plenty of this immoral exhortation may be heard in the trees.  One young
pigeon taken from the nest proved incorrigibly wild and ready to flutter
to death whenever any one came near it.

TURTLE-DOVE (_Columba turtur_).—This pretty delicate creature with
speckled neck builds in bushes lower than the wood-pigeon, and the
mournful note resounds in the trees.

PHEASANT (_Phasianus colchicus_).—Not a real native, but cultivated to
any extent.  A cock pheasant with the evening sun gilding his back is a
rare picture of beauty.

PARTRIDGE (_Tetrao perdix_).—Numerous.

HERON (_Ardea cinerea_).—Sometimes flies far overhead, the long legs
projecting behind.

SANDPIPER (_Totanus hypoleucus_).—Seen walking over a mass of weeds in
the Itchen canal.

SNIPE (_Scolopax gallinago_).—Brought in by sportsmen from the water
meadows.

WOODCOCK (_Scolopax rusticola_).—Not common, but sometimes shot.

JACK-SNIPE (_Scolopax gallinula_).—Not common, but sometimes shot.

LAND-RAIL (_Crex pratensis_).—Corn-Crake.  May be heard “craking” in the
long grass in early morning before the hay is cut.

WATER-RAIL (_Rallus aquaticus_).—In a meadow at Otterbourne, 22nd January
1855.

LITTLE GREBE (_Podiceps minor_).—Dabchick, as it is commonly called,
swims in the Itchen and in Fisher’s Pond (on Colden Common), dipping down
suddenly without a trace of the least alarm.

MOOR-HEN (_Gallinula chloropus_).—Very similar are the ways of the
moor-hen, with its brilliant beak.  But once, by some extraordinary
chance, a moor-hen fell down a cottage chimney, and was brought alive for
inspection by a boy, who, ignorant of natural objects, as was always the
case in villages forty years ago, thought it a rare foreign specimen.  It
was a thatched cottage, but if it had been slated the moor-hen might have
taken the roof for a sheet of water by moonlight, as the Great
Water-Beetle has been known to do, and come down the chimney in like
manner.  A brood comes constantly to be fed on a lawn at Bishopstoke.

PEEWIT (_Vanellus cristatus_).—Otherwise the Crested Lapwing.  It floats
along in numbers when migrating, the whole flock turning at the same time
and displaying either the dark or the white side of their wings with a
startling effect.  They seem effaced for a moment, the next the white
sails are shown, then gone again.  When paired, and nesting in the
meadows, their cry causes their local name, as their other English title
is derived from their characteristic manœuvres to lead the enemy from
their young.  Did they learn the habit when their so-called plovers’ eggs
became a dainty?

GOLDEN PLOVER (_Charadrius pluvialis_).—Noted at Otterbourne meadows by
J. B. Yonge.

WILD DUCK (_Anas boschas_).—The mallard is splendid in plumage, and in
shape is far more graceful than his domesticated brother.  In early
winter the wild ducks fly overhead in a wedge-shaped phalanx, and by and
by they pair, and if disturbed start up with a sudden quack, quack from
the copse-wood pond.  Broods of downy wild ducks have been brought in by
boys, but it has almost always proved impossible to rear them.

TEAL (_Querquedula anas_).—This very pretty little duck used to build on
Cranbury Common, but may have been frightened away by increasing
population.

GULL (_Larus canus_).—Flocks of those white-breasted birds sometimes
alight on ploughed fields round Otterbourne, and even some miles farther
from the sea.  They are sometimes kept in gardens to destroy the slugs.

                                * * * * *

These birds have all been actually seen and noted down by members of the
Yonge family.



FLOWERS


TRAVELLER’S JOY (_Clematis Vitalba_).—Locally called Old Man’s Beard,
most appropriately, as its curling, silvery masses of seeds hang in
wreaths over the hedges.  There is a giant trunk growing up from the moat
of Merdon Castle.

MEADOW RUE (_Thalictrum flavum_).—Handsome foliage and blossoms, showing
much of anthers, growing on the banks of the Itchen canal.

WINDFLOWER (_Anemone nemorosa_).—Smellfoxes, as the villagers’ children
inelegantly term this elegant flower, spreading its pearl-white blossom,
by means of its creeping root, all over the copses, and blushing purple
as the season advances.

WATER CROWFOOT (_Ranunculus aquatilis_).—The white flowers, with yellow
eyes, make quite a sheet over the ponds of Cranbury Common, etc.
Ivy-leaved (_R. hederaceus_).—Not so frequent.  The ivy-shaped leaves
float above, the long fibrous ones go below.  When there is lack of
moisture, leaves and flower are sometimes so small that it has been
supposed to be a different species.  It was once in a stagnant pond in
Boyatt Lane, but is extinct again.

BUTTERCUP or CROWFOOT—

(_R. sceleratus_) Highly-polished petals, which spangle

(_R. acris_) the fields and hedges with gold.

(_R. repens_) All much alike; all haunting

(_R. bulbosus_) kitchen-gardens and pastures, where the cattle, disliking
their taste, leave the stems standing up alone.

SPEARWORT (_R. flammula_).—Flower like the others, but with narrow
leaves.

GOLDILOCKS (_R. auricomus_).—More delicate, upper leaves spear-shaped,
lower pinnate.  In the borders of the copse wood of Otterbourne House.

CORN CROWFOOT (_R. Ficaria_).—Small, growing between the corn with hooked
capsules.

SMALL CELANDINE (_R. Bcaria_).—The real buttercup of childhood, with its
crown of numerous shining petals, making stars along the banks at the
first breath of spring.  One of the most welcome of flowers.

KING CUPS (_Caltha palustris_).—Large, gorgeous flowers, in every wet
place, making a golden river in a dell at Cranbury.

GREEN HELLEBORE (_Helleborus viridis_).—Under an oak-tree, in a hedgerow
leading from King’s Lane, Standon, and in Hursley.

FUMITORY (_Fumaria officinalis_).—The pretty purple blossoms and graceful
bluish foliage often spring up in gardens where they are treated as
weeds.

YELLOW F. (_F. lutea_).—An old wall at Hursley.

CLIMBING F. (_Corydalis claviculata_).—Cuckoo bushes.  Standon, and in
Hursley.

COLUMBINE (_Aquilegia vulgaris_).—This group of purple doves, or of
Turkish slippers, does not here merit the term _vulgaris_, though,
wherever it occurs, it is too far from a garden to be a stray.  Ampfield
Wood, Lincoln’s Copse, King’s Lane, and Crabwood have each furnished a
specimen.

BARBERRY (_Berberis vulgaris_).—This handsome shrub of yellow wood,
delicate clusters of yellow flowers, and crimson fruit in long oval
bunches has been sedulously banished from an idea that it poisons grass
in its vicinity.  There used to be a bush in Otterbourne House grounds,
but it has disappeared, and only one now remains in the hedge of Pitt
Downs.

POPPY (_Papaver Rhæas_).—Making neglected fields glorious with a crimson
mantle, visible for miles in the sun.

GREATER CELANDINE (_Chelidonium majus_).—Yellow flowers, very frail,
handsome pinnate leaf—lane at Brambridge, Standon, and in Hursley.



CRUCIFERA


ROCKET (_Diplotaxis tenuifolia_).—Seen at Brambridge.

CHARLOCK (_Sinapis arvensis_).—Making fields golden.

WHITE C. (_S. alba_).—Standon, Hursley.

JACK-BY-THE-HEDGE (_Sisymbrium alliaria_).—Seen at Brambridge.

LADY’S SMOCK (_Cardamine pratensis_).—No doubt named because the pearly
flowers look on a moist meadow like linen bleaching.  Sometimes double in
rich ground.

HAIRY CARDAMINE (_C. hirsuta_).—Hursley.

YELLOW ROCKET (_Barbarea vulgaris_).—Road near Chandler’s Ford.  Near
bridge over Itchen.

WATERCRESS (_Nasturtium officinale_).—Everywhere in running water, and
now Poolhole is made into a nursery for it.

SHEPHERD’S PURSE (_Thlaspi Bursa-pastoris_).—Even the purses are to be
seen before we well know the tiny white flowers to be in blossom.

PENNYCRESS (_T. arvense_).—Larger, and uplifting a spike of rounded,
fan-shaped capsules.

WILD MIGNONETTE (_Reseda lutea_).—Mignonette all but the
perfume—chalk-pits.

DYER’S ROCKET (_R. luteola_).—Slenderer and more spiked; more common.

ROCK ROSE (_Helianthemum vulgare_).—There is an elegance and delicacy of
colour about this little cistus which renders it one of the most charming
of the many stars of the wayside, as it grows on Compton Hill.

SWEET VIOLET (_Viola odorata_).—The colour, purple or white or pink,
seems to depend on the soil.  White are the most common on the chalky
side, blue on the gravel.

MARSH V. (_V. palustris_).—Small and pale, with round leaves.  Seen at a
spring in Otterbourne Park.  (_V. permixta_).—Pinky—Kiln-yard,
Otterbourne.

DOG V. (_V. canina_).—In every wood, rich and handsome.

SNAKE V. (_V. hirta_).—More delicate and small, growing in turf—Pleasure
Grounds, Cranbury.

(_V. Riviniana_).—Hursley Park.

(_V. Reichenbachiana_).—Dane Lane.  The three last are very probably only
sports of _canina_.

CREAM-COLOURED V. (_V. lactea_).—More skim-milk coloured, but known by
lanceolate leaves—cuckoo bushes.

PANSY (V. tricolor).—Everywhere in fallow fields.  In rich soil the upper
petals become purple.

SUNDEW—

(_Drosera rotundifolia_) The curious, hairy, dewy leaves

(_D. intermedia_) and flowers that never open in full day are to be found
in the marshes near Hiltingbury.

MILKWORT (_Polygala vulgaris_).—Small and blue on Otterbourne Hill, as a
stitch in the embroidery of the turf; but larger, blue, pink, or white in
the water-meadows beside the Itchen, deserving the American name of
May-wings.



CARYOPHYLLEÆ


DEPTFORD PINK (_Dianthus Armeria_).—This used to grow in a field near
Highbridge, but has been destroyed, either purposely or by fencing.

BLADDER CAMPION (_Silene inflata_).—Showing its white flowers and
swelling calyxes everywhere.

COMMON CATCHFLY (_S. anglica_).—Small and insignificant among corn.

RED CAMPION (_Lychnis diurna_).—Robins, as children call it, with the
bright pink in every hedge and the undergrowth in every copse.

WHITE C. (_L. vespertina_).—The white flowers make a feature in fallow
fields.

RAGGED ROBIN (_L. Flos-cuculi_).—The curiously slashed and divided pink
flowers flourish in the water-meadows by the Itchen.

CORN COCKLE (_Agrostemma githago_).—The beautiful purple blossoms, set in
long graceful calyxes, adorn the paths through wheat and barley fields
everywhere.

LESSER STITCHWORT (_Mænchia erecta_).—

CHICKWEED—

(_Cerastiurn vulgatum_) Early plant.  Uninteresting

(_C. arvense_) tiny white flowers.

STARWORT (_Stellaria Holostea_).—The bright stitches of white embroidery
on our banks.

CHICKWEED (_S. media._)—The chickweed dear to bird-keepers.

(_S graminea_).—Cobweb-like, almost invisible stems, and blossom with a
fairy brightness over the heaths.

(_S. uliginosa_).—The same adapted to marshes—Cuckoo Bushes, Helmsley.

SANDWORT (_Arenaria Rubra_).—The little pink flowers crop up through the
gravel paths.

CORN SPURREY (_Spergula arvensis_).—Very long-spurred, with white small
blossoms.

(_Alsine tenuifolia_).—_Roman_ road between Hursley and Sparsholt.

KNAWEL (_Scleranthus annuus_).—Hursley.



ST. JOHN’S-WORT TRIBE


TUTSAN (_Hypericum Androsæmum_).—Handsome flower, and seeds—Cranbury and
Allbrook.

ST. JOHN’S-WORT (_H. perforatum_).

(_H. dubium_).

(_H. hirsutum_).—All frequent in the hedges.

(_H. humifusum_).

(_H. pulchrum_).

(_H. Elodes_).—Bogs near Cuckoo Bushes.

(_H. quadrangulum_).

MALLOW (_Malva sylvestris_).—Everywhere by roadsides, used to be esteemed
by old women as a healing “yarb.”

MUSK M. (_M. moschata_).—A beautiful pink or white flower, grows all over
the park at Cranbury.

DWARF M. (_M. rotundifolia_).—Flower white, with purple streaks, almost
stemless, grows under a wall in Otterbourne Street.

SMALL-LEAVED LIME (_Tilia parvifolia_).—Hursley Park; avenue at
Brambridge, where four rows form three magnificent aisles.



CRANESBILL TRIBE


DOVE’S-FOOT CRANE’S-BILL (_Geranium Columbinum_).—Roadsides.

SHINING C. (_G. lucidum_).—Heap of stones, Hursley.

(_G. dissectum_).—Everywhere.

(_G. Molle_).—Otterbourne

HERB ROBERT C. (_G. Robertianum_).—Very common, and the crimson leaves a
great winter ornament.

BLOODY C. (_G. phæum_).—Ladwell Hill, where it may be a remnant of a
cottage garden.

STORK’S-BILL (_Erodium moschatum_).—Otterbourne Hill.

(_E. cicutarium_).—Farley Mount.

WOOD-SORREL (_Oxalis Acetosella_).—This exquisite plant with delicate
flower and trefoil leaves grows on many mossy banks, especially on one on
the Ampfield Road.

HOLLY (_Ilex Aquifolium_).—The glory of the peaty woods.  The people
distinguish the berried shrubs as holly, _i.e._ holy, those without
berries being holm.

SPINDLE-TREE (_Euonymus europæus_).—Also called skewer wood.  “A tree
that grows on purpose,” as an old woman said of the material of her pegs.
The charming berries with their crimson hearts are plentiful in King’s
Lane.

BUCKTHORN (_Rhamnus Frangula_).—Otterbourne Hill.

(_R. catharticus_).—Hursley.

SYCAMORE (_Acer Pseudo-platanus_).—Road by Oakwood.

MAPLE (_A. campestre_).—Painting the hedges in autumn with its yellow
leaves.



LEGUMINOSE


FURZE (_Ulex europæus_).—Brilliant on all the commons on gravel or peat.

DWARF FURZE (_U. nanus_).—Rather less frequent.

BROOM (_Genista scoparia_).—Exquisite golden spires on the peat.

NEEDLE BROOM (_G. anglica_).—Cuckoo Bushes.

DYER’S GREENWEED (_G. tinctoria_).—In a ditch in a meadow on the Ampfield
Road.

REST HARROW (_Ononis arvensis_).—Pretty pink and white blossoms like
miniature lady-peas on a troublesome weed.

KIDNEY VETCH (_Anthyllis Vulneraria_).—Borders of down.

BLACK MEDICK (_Medicago lupulina_).—Chalk-pit.

(_M. denticulata_).—Ampfield.

MELILOT (_Melilotus officinalis_).—Kiln Lane, Otterbourne.

BIRDSFOOT (_Ornithopus perpusillus_).—Otterbourne Hill.

(_Trigonella ornithopodioides_).—Otterbourne.

TREFOIL (_Trifulium subterraneum_).

(_T. pratense_).

DUTCH CLOVER (_T. repens_).

HOPDOWN (_T. procumbens_).

(_T. minus_).

(_T. hybridum_).

STRAWBERRY TREFOIL (_T. fragiferum_).—Once on canal bank.

MILK VETCH (_Hippocrepis comosa_).—Hursley.

BIRD’S-FOOT TREFOIL (_Lotus corniculatus_).—This golden or ruddy part of
the embroidery of the down is known to children as Ladies’ Slippers or
Ladies’ Fingers.

(_L. major_).—A taller variety.

TARE (_Ervum hirsutum_).—Tiny grey flowers.

(_E. tetraspermum_).

PURPLE VETCH (_Vicia Cracca_).—Throwing royal purple garlands over every
hedge in the lanes.

COMMON V. (_V. sativa_).—Very common, varying from crimson to dark red.

WOOD V. (_V. sepium_).—A brilliant little red flower.

GRASS VETCHLING (_Lathyrus Nissolia_).—Found once in a bank near
Chandler’s Ford; once at Silkstede.

WOOD V. (_L. sylvestris_).—Doubtful, but something like it grows in
Sparrow Grove near the waterworks.

YELLOW V. (_L. pratensis_).—Common, mixed with grass.

HEATH PEA (_Orobus tuberosus_).—On the peat soil.



ROSE TRIBE


BLACKTHORN (_Prunus spinosa_).—It is believed that no hurt is so hard of
healing as from a blackthorn.  Also blackthorn winter is supposed to
bring fresh cold in spring, when the bushes almost look as if clothed by
hoar-frost.

WILD CHERRY (_P. Avium_).—The fine, tall, shapely trees put on their
bridal show in the woods of Cranbury and Ampfield.

BIRD-CHERRY (_P. Padus_).—Not very common.  There is one in the grounds
at Otterbourne House, but it is not certainly wild.

MEADOW-SWEET (_Spiræa Ulmaria_).—Raising its creamy cymes of blossoms in
every ditch where there is a little moisture.

DROPWORT (_S. Filipendula_).—On the borders of Pitt Down and Crab Wood.

AGRIMONY (_Agrimonia Eupatoria_).—Long yellow spikes in all dry hedges.

BURNET (_Sanguisorba officinalis_).—Chalk-pit by Sparrow Grove, also Dane
Lane, where the green balls with tiny red blossoms may be found, and
sometimes the green and crimson burnet moth.

BARREN STRAWBERRY (_Potentilla Fragariastrum_).—How often has “mustn’t
pick the strawberry blossom” been quoted to this delusive little white
cinquefoil in early spring, when it peeps out among leaves very like
strawberry-leaves in the hedge.

TORMENTIL (_P. Tormentilla_).—This is now ranged among the cinquefoils,
though it has only four petals, owing perhaps to the very dry barren
heathy soil it brightens with its stars.

CINQUEFOIL (_P. repens_).—A smiling pentagon star by the wayside.

SILVER-WEED or GOOSE-GRASS (_P. anserina_).—Why dedicated to geese, even
in Latin, it is hard to say.  Silver-weed is more appropriate to the
silver-grey leaves that border road-sides, sometimes with golden flowers.

MARSH CINQUEFOIL (_Comarum palustre_).—A prize in Baddesley bog, unless
drains have banished its pure flower.

WOOD STRAWBERRY (_Fragaria vesca_).—Profuse in Cranbury and on banks of
railway at Sparrow Grove.

WILD RASPBERRY (_Rubus Idæus_).—Cranbury, near the road.

WILD BLACKBERRY (_R. fruticosus_).—Brambles, of course, everywhere, but
it is impossible to pass them without a tribute to their beauty, in
flower, in fruit, and, above all, in autumn foliage.

DEWBERRY (_R. cæsius_).—What is probably dewberry grows by the roadway
through Mallibar Copse.

(_R. leucostratus_).—Roman Road and Cranbury Common.

HERB BENNET (_Geum urbanum_).—Insignificant yellow flower.

WATER AVENS (_G. rivale_).—Quaint little ruddy half-expanded blossoms,
called by the villagers Granny’s Night-caps.

(_G. intermedium_).—Really intermediate—probably hybrid.  Found once in a
copse between Boyatt Lane and the Southampton Road.

LADY’S MANTLE (_Alchemilla arvensis_).—Crabwood.

SWEET-BRIAR (_Rosa rubiginosa_).—Copse by pond, Cranbury.

DOG-ROSE (_R. canina_).—With handsomer hips.

WHITE DOG-ROSE (_R. arvensis_).

HAWTHORN (_Cratægus monogyna_).—Who does not love when the blossoms cover
them like snow-drift?  Well are they called May.

MOUNTAIN ASH (_Pyrus Aucuparia_).—This rowan-tree of Scotland has no
weird horrors here, but it is the ornament of the woods, with white
cymes, red berries, and feathery leaves.

CRAB-TREE (_P. Malus_).—Romsey Road, where the pinky blossoms show
opposite Cranbury Gate.

WHITEBEAM (_P. Aria_).—Grey or white leaves shine out in Ampfield Wood.

PURPLE LOOSESTRIFE (_Lythrum salicaria_).—Ophelia’s long purples adorn
the water-courses in the Itchen mead.



WILLOW-HERB TRIBE


ROSEBAY WILLOW-HERB (_Epilobium angustifolium_).—This splendid flower,
rose-coloured, white-pistilled and red-leaved, spreads in sheets in
Cranbury Copse and on railway cuttings, at Cuckoo Bushes, and in Ampfield
Wood.

CODLINS-AND-CREAM (_E. hirsutum_).—Adorning wet places.

SMALL WILLOW-HERB—

(_E. parviflorum_) Troublesome though pretty weeds in the garden.

(_E. tetragonum_)

(_E. roseum_)

(_E. montanum_).—Found at Ampfield.

ENCHANTER’S NIGHTSHADE (_Circæa lutetiana_).—A graceful, delicate-looking
plant of universal occurrence.

WATER STARWORT (_Callitriche verna_).—Ponds.

MARESTAIL (_Hippuris vulgaris_).—Waves with the current of the stream in
the Itchen.

WHITE BRYONY (_Bryonia dioica_).—Vine-like leaves wreathe round in the
hedges, and the pale, whitish flowers give place to graceful clusters of
red berries.

GOOSEBERRY (_Ribes Grossularia_).—Lane towards Brambridge.



SAXIFRAGEA


ORPINE (_Sedum Telephium_).—Also called Midsummer May; grows in
Otterbourne Park, and a large bunch on the Romsey Road.  An old woman
described having tried the augury, having laid the plants in pairs on
Midsummer Eve, naming them after pairs of sweethearts.  Those that
twisted away from each other showed inconstancy!

STONECROP (_S. anglicum_).—Otterbourne Hill.

(_S. acre_).—Hursley.

HOUSELEEK (_Sempervivum tectorum_).—Also called Sin-green, or some word
so sounding.  It is not permitted to blow upon the roof on which it
grows, for fear of ill-luck, which is strange, as it has been Jupiter’s
beard, Thor’s beard, and St. George’s beard, and in Germany is thought to
preserve from thunder.

SAXIFRAGE (_Saxifraga tridactylites_).—Hursley.

GOLDEN S. (_Chrysosplenium oppositifolium_).—Wet places in Lincoln’s
Copse.

MARSH PENNYWORT (_Hydrocotyle vulgaris_).—Bogs at Cuckoo Bushes.

WOOD SANICLE (_Sanicula vulgaris_).—In all the copses.



UMBELLIFERA


GOUTWEED (_Ægopodium Podagra_).—Handsome leaves, but a troublesome weed.

PIGNUT (_Bunium flexuosum_).—The delicate, lace-like, umbellate flowers
in all the woods.

WATER DROPWORT (_Œnanthe fistulosa_).—Banks of Itchen.

WATER HEMLOCK (_Œ. crocata_).—Itchen banks.

WILD CARROT (_Daucus Carota_).

BURNET SAXIFRAGE (_Pimpinella Sax Jraga_).—Hursley.

COW PARSLEY (_Chærophyllum sylvestre_).—Boys may be seen bearing home
bundles for their rabbits.

SHEPHERD’S NEEDLE (_Scandix Pecten Veneis_).—In cornfields.

HEDGE PARSLEY (_Torilis infesta_).—Hursley.

HEMLOCK (_Conium maculatum_).

IVY (_Hedera Helix_).—Everywhere.

DOGWOOD (_Cornus sanguinea_).—The red and purple of the fading leaves
mixed with the yellow of the maples make every hedge a study.

MISTLETOE (_Viscum album_).—Grows on hawthorns in Hursley Park, and on
apple-trees at Otterbourne.

MOSCATEL (_Adoxa Moschatellina_).—This dainty little green-headed plant
is one of the harbingers of spring.

ELDER (_Sambucus nigra_).—In most hedges, though its honours are gone as
the staple of elder-wine, and still better of elder-flower water, which
village sages used to brew, and which was really an excellent remedy for
weak eyes.

GUELDER-ROSE (_Viburnum Opulus_).—Equally handsome whether
white-garlanded cymes of blossoms or scarlet berries, waxen when partly
ripe.

WAYFARING-TREE (_V. Lantana_).—Not quite so common, but handsome, with
white flowers and woolly leaves.

HONEYSUCKLE (_Lonicera Periclymenum_).—To be seen in full glory waving on
the top of a holly-tree, and when the stem has become amalgamated with a
bough, circling it like the staff of Esculapius, it is precious to boys.

(_L. Caprifolium_).—Noted as once found, but not lately.



MADDER TRIBE


MADDER (_Rubia peregrina_).—Tiny flowers—Otterbourne Hill.

CROSSWORT or MUGWORT (_Galium Cruciatum_).—Roadside, Allbrook.

YELLOW LADY’S BEDSTRAW (_G. verum_).—Everywhere.

MARSH B. (_G. palustre_).—Cuckoo Bushes.

(_G. uliginosum_).—Gravel-pit, Otterbourne.

WHITE BEDSTRAW (_G. erectum_).—Winchester Road.

CLEAVERS or CLIDERS (_G. Aparine_).—Everywhere.

ROUGH (_G. Mollugo_).—Cornfields.

WOODRUFF (_Asperula odorata_).—Sparrow Grove.

(_A. cynanchica_).—Chalk downs.

FIELD MADDER (_Sherardia arvensis_).—Otterbourne Hill.

VALERIAN (_Valeriana dioica_).—Itchen meadows.

LESSER V. (_V. officinalis_).—Itchen meadows.

LAMB’S LETTUCE (_Valerianella olitorium_).—Downs and stubble-fields.

TEASEL (_Dipsacus sylvestris_).—Grand ornament to the hedges.  On a
fallow field it came up in quantities, as if sown.

DEVIL’S-BIT SCABIOUS (_Scabiosa succisa_).—Makes grey clouds all over
Cranbury Park.

COMMON S. (_S. arvensis_).—Everywhere.

LESSER S. (_S. Columbaria_).—Malabar wayside.

HARE BELL (_Campanula rotundifolia_).—Otterbourne Hill.

NETTLE-LEAVED BELLFLOWER (_C. Trachelium_).—Road-sides.

CLUSTERED B. (_C. glomerata_).—Pitt Down.



COMPOSITÆ


THISTLES (_Carduus nutans_).

(_C. tenuifolia_).

MILK THISTLE (_Silybum marianum_).—Once in Boyatt Lane.

(_S crispus_).

(_Cnicus lanceolatus_).

(_C. palustris_).

(_C. arvensis_).

STEMLESS T. (_C. acaulis_).—Little purple stars on the downs.

CARLINE (_Carlina vulgaris_).

BURDOCK (_Arctium Lappa_).—Everywhere.

(_A. tomentosa_).

SAW-WORT (_Serratula tinctoria_).—Copses round King’s Lane.

KNAPWEED (_Centaurea nigra_).—Everywhere.

(_C. Cyanea_).—In fields about Hursley occasionally.

(_C. Scabiosa_).—Hursley.

CORN MARIGOLD (_Chrysanthemum segetum_).—Sometimes plentiful, but
dependent on crops.

OX-EYE DAISY (_C. Leucanthemum_).—Everywhere.

CAMOMILE (_Pyrethrum inodorum_).—Everywhere.

TANSY (_Tanacetum vulgaris_).—King’s Lane.

COMMON CHAMOMILE (_Anthemis nobilis_).

(_A. arvensis_).

(_A. Cotula_).

YARROW (_Achillea Millefolium_).

SNEEZEWORT (_A. Ptarmica_).—Southampton Road sides.

WORMWOOD (_Artemisia vulgaris_).—Kiln Lane turns to Moat House.

CUDWEED (_Gnaphalium minimum_).

(_G. germanium_).

(_G. sylvaticum_).

GROUNDSEL (_Senecio vulgaris_).

(_S. sylvaticus_).

RAGWORT (_S. Jacobæa_).—Often covered with black and yellow caterpillars.

(_S. viscosus_).—Marked as found at Hursley.

(_S. aquaticus_).

FLEABANE (_Inula Conyza_).—Southampton Road.

(_I. Pulicaria_).

DAISY (_Bellis perennis_).

BLUE FLEABANE (_Erigeron acris_).

GOLDENROD (_Solidago Virga-aurea_).—Wood-paths and road-sides.

COLTSFOOT (_Tussilago Farfara_).—In all chalky fields.

BUTTERBUR (_Petasites vulgaris_).—Banks of Itchen.

BUR-MARIGOLD (_Bidens cernua_).—It used to be in a marsh on the Romsey
Road, but has not been seen lately.

HEMP AGRIMONY (_Eupatorium cannabinum_).—In all hedges near moisture.

CHICORY (_Cichorium Intybus_).—Now and then showing its pretty blue
flower on the roadside.

NIPPLEWORT (_Lapsana communis_).—Too frequent weed.

DANDELION (_Leontodon Taraxacum_).—How can its praise for glorious
brilliant flowers and stems fit for chains be passed by, or for the
“clocks” that furnish auguries!

(_L. autumnalis_).—Is this a separate species, or the dandelion blowing
in autumn?

GO-TO-BED AT NOON (_Tragopogon pratensis_).—Beautiful when open early in
the day, beautiful when the long calyx is closed, and most beautiful with
its handsome winged pappus—King’s Lane, Otterbourne Churchyard.

WILD LETTUCE (_Lactuca muralis_).—On heaps of flints.

MOUSEAR (_Thrincia hirta_).—Sulphur-coloured, small, and held to be an
excellent remedy for whooping-cough.

OX-TONGUE (_Helminthia echioides_).—The rough leaf is well named.

HAWKBIT (_Hieracium autumnale_).

(_Apargia hispida_).—In cornfields.

SHEEP’S-BIT (_Jasione montana_).—Cranbury Common.

SOW THISTLE (_Sonchus arvensis_).

(_S. palustris_).

WHORTLEBERRY (_Vaccinium Myrtillus_).—Ampfield Wood.

CROSS-LEAVED HEATH (_Erica Tetralix_) Otterbourne Hill, the glory of
early autumn.

BELL HEATHER (_E. cinerea_).

LING (_Calluna vulgaris_).

BIRD’S NEST (_Monotropa Hypopitys_).—South Lynch Wood.

ASH (_Fraxinus excelsior_).

PRIVET (_Ligustrum vulgare_).—Lane leading to the Itchen.



GENTIAN TRIBE


THE PERIWINKLE (_Vinca minor_).—Curiously irregular in blossoming.  One
spring the ground is covered with blue stars, another only with evergreen
trails.  Its only habitat here is Lincoln’s Copse.

YELLOWWORT (_Chlora perfoliata_).—Ampfield Wood.

CENTAURY (_Erythræa Centaurea_).—Cranbury.

GENTIAN (_Gentiana Pneunomanthe_).—Baddesley bog, Cranbury.

(_G. Amarella_).—Pitt Down.

BOGBEAN (_Menyanthes trifolium_).—This lovely flower abides in the wet
banks of the Itchen.

BINDWEED (_Convolvulus sepium_).—Pure and white.

(_C. minor_).—In shades of pink.  Called lilies by the country-folk.

DODDER (_Cuscuta Epithymum_).—Red threads forming a beaded network over
the furze.

(_C. Trifolii_).—Coarser fibres, smaller balls of blossom, in some years
strangling the clover.

WOODY NIGHTSHADE (_Solanum Dulcamara_).—Purple flowers, red berries,
beautiful everywhere.

(_S. nigrum_).—White-flowered, black-berried.  At Cranbury, and
occasionally elsewhere.

DEADLY NIGHTSHADE (_Atropa belladonna_).—Used to be near the front door
at Hursley Park.

HENBANE (_Hyoscyamus niger_).—Formerly on the top of Compton Hill, and at
the angle of the lane leading to Bunstead.



BORAGE TRIBE


MULLEIN (_Verbascum nigrum_).  The handsome spikes

(_V. Thapsus_) everywhere.

(_V. Blattaria_).—Formerly in hedge of cottage at Silkstede.

GROMWELL (_Lithospermum officinale_).—Beside Winchester Road on way to
Twyford.

FORGET-ME-NOT (_Myosotis palustris_).—Itchen meadows.

MOUSE-EAR, SCORPION GRASS (_M. versicolor_).—Stubblefields.

(_M. sylvatica_).—Ampfield.

(_M. arvensis_).—Everywhere.

COMFREY (_Symphytum officinale_).—Itchen banks.

HOUND’S TONGUE (_Cynoglossum officinale_).—Merdon Hill, but it has
disappeared from Otterbourne.

PRIMROSE (_Primula vulgaris_).—Has any one observed the tiny blossoms of
seedlings of the first year?  Now and then there are stalked heads like
oxlips, white or red varieties.

COWSLIP (_P. veris_).—Covering some few fields, and delightful for
cowslip balls.  Sweetest of scents.

YELLOW LOOSESTRIFE (_Lysimachia vulgaris_).—A beautiful shrub by the
water-side.

MONEYWORT (_L. Nummularia_).—The Creeping-Jenny of rock-work, etc.

YELLOW PIMPERNEL (_L. nemorum_).—Covering the ground in woods with its
delicate pentagon stars.

PIMPERNEL (_Anagallis arvensis_).—A beautiful blue variety once came up
in the kitchen-garden at Otterbourne House, and prevailed for several
years.

(_A. tenella_).—In the bogs towards Cuckoo Bushes.



LABIATÆ


WATER FIGWORT—

(_Scrophularia Balbisii_).  (_S. nodosa_) } Both common and not
beautiful.

FOXGLOVE (_Digitalis purpurea_).—All over the gravelly and peaty woods in
splendid congregations of spires—called by the children poppies.

LESSER SNAPDRAGON (_Antirrhinum Orontium_).—Occasionally in gardens.

WILD SAGE (_Salvia Verbenaca_).—Ampfield.

SELF-HEAL (_Prunella vulgaris_).—Called Lady’s Slipper.

SKULLCAP (_Scutellaria galericulata_).—Itchen bank.

(_S. minor_).—Cranbury hedge on Romsey Road.

BLACK HOREHOUND (_Bellota fætida_).—Hursley hedges.

BASTARD BALM (_Melittis Melissophyllum_).—Ampfield Wood.

BETONY (_Stachys Betonica_).

(_S. palustris_).

(_S. sylvatica_).

(_S. arvensis_).

RED ARCHANGEL (_Galeopsis Tetrahit_).—Near Chandler’s Ford.

MOTHERWORT (_Leonurus Cardiaca_).—Alas, a dried specimen only remains of
this handsome flower, which was sacrificed to a pig-stye on Otterbourne
Hill.

WEASEL SNOUT or YELLOW NETTLE (_Galeobdolon luteum_).

WHITE ARCHANGEL, or BLIND NETTLE (_Lamium album_).—sometimes with a
purple flower.

(_L. purpureum_).—Everywhere.

BUGLE (_Ajuga reptans_).—All over the woods.

GERMANDER, WOOD-SAGE (_Teucrium Scorodonia_).—Cranbury Wood.

BUGLOSS (_Lycopsis arvensis_).—Sand-pit, Boyatt Lane.

VIPER’S BUGLOSS (_Echium vulgare_).—Chalk-pits.

GREAT YELLOW TOADFLAX (_Linaria vulgaris_).—In most hedges.

IVY-LEAVED T. (_L. Cymbalaria_).—Old wall of Merdon Castle.

FLUELLEN (_L. Elatine_).—In stubble-fields.

(_L. spuria_).—In the same locality.

CREEPING T. (_L. repens_).—Chandler’s Ford, and hedge of Romsey Road by
Pot Kiln.

LESSER T. (_L. minor_).—Hursley.

SPEEDWELL (_Veronica hederifolia_).—Hursley, Ampfield.

(_V. polita_).

(_V.  Buxbaumii_).—In fallow fields all the winter and spring.

(_V. arvensis_).

(_V. officinalis_).—Cranbury.

BIRD’S EYE (_V. Chamvdrys_).—Exquisite blue along the hedges on the chalk
and clay.

(_V. montana_).—Ampfield.

(_V. scutellata_).

BROOKLIME (_V. Beccabunga_).—Esteemed a sovereign remedy for an old
woman’s bad leg.

(_V. Anagallis_).—Less common, but both frequent the river and the
marshes.

EYEBRIGHT (_Euphrasia officinalis_).—Downs and heaths.

RED EYEBRIGHT (_Bartsia Odontites_).—woods.

RED RATTLE (_Pedicularis palustris_).—Itchen meadows.

(_P. sylvatica_).—Otterbourne Hill.

YELLOW RATTLE (_Rhinanthus Crista-galli_).—Itchen meadows.

YELLOW COW-WHEAT (_Melampyrum pratense_).—Otterbourne Park.

TOOTHWORT (_Lathræa squamaria_).—South Lynch Wood.

BROOMRAPE (_Orobanche repens_).—Mallibar roadway.

(_O. elatior_).—Sparrow Grove.

(_O. minor_).—Clover-fields, Otterbourne.  Wonderful brown parasites, all
three.

VERVEIN (_Verbena officinalis_).—Road-sides.

GIPSYWORT (_Lycopus europærus_).—Dell Copse and all bogs.

HORSE MINT (_Mentha sylvestris_).

(_M. hirsuta_).

(_M. sativa_).

(_M. arvensis_).

THYME (_Thymus Serpyllum_).—On many a bank does the wild thyme grow, with
its perfume delicious.

MARJORAM (_Origanum vulgare_).—Banks of Winchester Road.

MONKEY FLOWER (_Mimulus Luteus_)._—_Bank of Itchen Canal, where it has
spread considerably, though probably a stray.

BASIL THYME (_Calamintha vulgaris_).—Stubble-fields show this lovely
little blue flower with a white crescent on the lip.

(_C. menthifolia_).—Merdon Castle.

BASIL (_C. Clinopodium_).—Itchen.

CAT MINT (_Nepeta Cataria_).—Hedge towards Stoneham.

GROUND IVY (_N. Glechoma_).—Everywhere in woods.

PLANTAIN TRIBE

KNOCKHEADS (_Plantago major_).

LESSER PLANTAIN (_P. media_).

(_P. lanceolata_).

STAGSHORN (_P. Coronopus_).—Otterbourne Hill.

GOOD KING HENRY (_Chenopodium Bonus-Henricus_).

GOOSEFOOT (_C. album_).

(_C. urbicum_).

DOCK (_Rumex sanguineus_).

(_R. obtusfolius_).

(_R. pratensis_).

WATER DOCK (_R. Hydrolapathum_).—Fit table-cloth for the butterfly’s
table.

SORREL (_R. Acetosa_).

LESSER SORREL (_R. Acetosella_).—Elegant and slender, making red clouds
all over Cranbury.

BUCKWHEAT (_Polygonum fagopyrum_).—For several seasons in a meadow by
Brooklyn.  Now vanished.

KNOTGRASS (_P. Convolvulus_).

BLACK BINDWEED (_P. aviculare_).

WATER PEPPER (_P. Hydropiper_).

PERSICARIA (_P. Persicaria_).

(_P. dumetorum_).—Ampfield.

BASTARD TOADFLAX (_Thesium linophyllum_).—Crab Wood.

SUN SPURGE (_Euphorbia Helioscopia_).—Corn-fields.

WOOD S. (_E. amygdaloides_).—Cranbury and Otterbourne Park.

SMALL S. (_E. Peplus_).

(_E. exigua_).

DOG’S MERCURY (_Mercurialis perennis_).—First to clothe the banks with
fresh vernal green.

NETTLE (_Urtica dioica_).

SMALL NETTLE (_U. nana_).

HOD (_Humulus Lupulus_).—If not native, it has taken well to the hedges,
and clothes them with graceful wreaths.

ELM (_Ulmus campestris_).—Largest of spreading trees.

OAK (_Quercus Robur_).—Acorns differ on many trees.  Five varieties of
Cynips produce different oak-apples.  Oak is still worn on the 29th of
May, and it is called Shik-shak Day.  Why?

BEECH (_Fagus sylvatica_).—Beautiful at Ampfield and South Lynch, and
permitting only a select few plants to grow under its shade.

HAZEL (_Corylus Avellana_).

ALDER (_Alnus glutinosa_).

BIRCH (_Betula alba_).—Silver-leaved and white-barked, making fairy
groves.

ASPEN (_Populus tremula_).—Aps, the people call it.  The catkins are like
caterpillars.

WILLOW or WITHY (_Salix Caprea_).—Our yellow goslings in spring, as they
shoot from their silver rabbit-tail catkins, and our palms on Palm
Sunday, though it is unlucky to bring one home earlier.

(_S. triandra_).—Near the old church, Otterbourne.

(_S. rubra_).

ROUND-LEAVED W. (_S. aurita_).

SALLOW W. (_S. cinerea_).

WHITE W. (_S. alba_).

(_S. fragilis_).

DWARF W. (_S. repens_).—Bogs towards Baddesley.

OSIER W. (_S. viminalis_).—Ampfield.

JUNIPER (_Juniperus communis_).—Above Standon on Down.

YEW (_Taxus baccata_).—Scattered in hedges, or singly all over the chalk
district.

REEDMACE (_Typha latifolia_).—Itchen.  Noble plant, commonly, but
incorrectly, called bulrush.

BUR-REED (_Sparganium ramosum_).—With fertile flowers like prickly balls.

LORDS-AND-LADIES or CUCKOO-PINT (_Arum maculatum_).—Showing their heads
under every hedge.  The lords have a red column, the ladies a white.

DUCKWEED (_Lemna trisulca_).

GREAT WATER PLANTAIN (_Alisma Plantago_).—Stately ornament of bogs.



THE LILY TRIBE


GARLIC (_Allium ursinum_).—On road to Baddesley.

CROW G. (_A. vineale_).—Chalk ridges, if not destroyed by waterworks.

FLAG (_Iris pseudacorus_).—Itchen banks.

STINKING F. (_I. fætidissima_).—Not common, but in two copses, one at
Cranbury and the other on the north of King’s Lane.

DAFFODIL (_Narcissus Pseudonarcissus_).—Dell Copse, which it covers with
the glory of the “dancing daffodil”; also plantation near Romsey Road.

BLACK BRYONY (_Tamus communis_).—Wreaths of shiny leaves.

SOLOMON’S SEAL (_Polygonatum multiflorum_).—Cranbury Wood.

BUTCHER’S BROOM (_Ruscus aculeatus_).—Otterbourne Hill.

BLUEBELL (_Hyacinthus nonscriptus_).—Masses in the woods.

WOODRUSH (_Luzula sylvatica_).—Graceful brown blossoms.

PYRAMIDAL ORCHIS (_Orchis pyramidalis_).—Chalk-pit by Sparrow Grove.

FOOL’S O. (_O. Morio_).—Cranbury.

PURPLE O. (_O. mascula_).—Local name, Dead Man’s Fingers.

ROMSEY O. (_O. incarnata_).—Itchen meadows.

BROAD-LEAVED O. (_O. latifolia_).—Itchen meadows.

SPOTTED O. (_O maculata_).

DWARF O. (_O. ustulata_).—Downs by South Lynch.

SWEET O. (_Gymnadenia conopsea_).—Itchen meadows.

BUTTERFLY O. (_Habenaria bifolia_).—Sparrow Grove.

BEE O. (_Ophrys apifera_).—Railway banks and South Lynch.

FLY O. (_O. muscifera_).—South Lynch Down.

LADY’S TRESSES (_Spiranthes autumnalis_).—Cranbury lawn, but fitful in
appearing.

TWAYBLADE (_Listera ovata_).—In hedges and woods.

BIRD’S-NEST ORCHIS (_L. Nidus-avis_).—Only under beeches.

HELLEBORINE (_Epipactis latifolia_).—Here and there in hedges.

(_E. grandiflora_).—Under beeches.

(_E. palustris_).—Chalk-pit.



REEDS


BOGRUSH (_L. campestris_).—Little rush.

(_L. pilosa_).—Ampfield Wood.

RUSH (_Juncus conglomeratus_).—The days of rush-lights are gone by, but
rush-baskets for flowers and helmets are made by the children, and the
white pith, when pressed, is made up into devices.

(_F. effusus_)

(_F. glaucus_) All in Itchen meadows.

(_F. acutiflorus_)

(_F. squamosus_)

BEAKRUSH (_Rhynchospora fusca_).

SINGLE BULRUSH (_Scirpus lacustris_).

(_S. sylvatica_).—Marsh near Baddesley Road.

(_S. setaceus_).

COTTON GRASS (_Eriophorum angustifolium_).—The soft cottony or silky
heads are beautiful on the Itchen roads.

SEDGES (_Carex pulicaris_).

(_C. acuta_).—Copses.

(_C. paniculata_).—Itchen Canal.

(_C. riparia_).—Dell Copse.

STAR SEDGE (_C. stellulata_).—Copses.

(_C. verna_).

(_C. acuta_).—A lovely black and yellow fringe to the Itchen Canal.

(_C. pallescens_).—Damp places.

(_C. paludosa_).—Banks of Itchen Canal.

(_C. sylvatica_).—Cranbury.

(_C. remota_).—Boyatt Lane.



GRASSES


SWEET MEADOW GRASS (_Anthoxanthum odoratum_).

CANARY G. (_Phalaris canariensis_).—A stray.

FOXTAIL G. (_Alopecurus pratensis_).

(_A. agrestis_).

(_A. geniculatus_).

CAT-TAIL G. (_Phleum pratense_).

DOG’S G. (_Agrostis canina_).

(_A. alba_).

(_A. vulgaris_).

REED (_Arundo Phragmites_).—Waving brown tassels, beautiful for
adornments—Itchen banks, and hedge of allotments on Otterbourne Hill.

MILLET GRASS (_Milium effusum_).

HAIR G. (_Aira flexuosa_).

(_A. æspitosa_).—Tufts on the hill, Otterbourne.

WILD OATS (_Avena fatua_).—Grown far more common than formerly.

(_A. strigosa_).

(_A. pratensis_).

(_A. flavescens_).

SOFT GRASS (_Holcus mollis_).

MELICK (_Melica cærulea_).—Cranbury.

(_M. uniflora_).—Dell Copse.

WHORL GRASS (_Catabrosa aquatica_).—The moat, Otterbourne.

(_Glyceria nutans_).—The moat.

MEADOW G. (_Poa rigida_).

(_P. annua_).

(_P. nemoralis_).

(_P. pratensis_).

(_P. trivialis_).

QUAKER’S G. (_Briza media_).

(_B. minor_).

DOG’S-TAIL G. (_Cynosurus cristatus_).

COCK’S-FOOT G. (_Dactylis glomerata_).

FESCUE (_Festuca ovina_).

(_F. pratensis_).

(_F. lolacea_).

BROME GRASS (_Bromus giganteus_).—Cranbury.

(_B. asper_).

(_B. sterilis_).

(_B. racemosus_).

(_B. mollis_).

(_B. arvensis_).

COUCH G. (_Triticum caninum_).

(_T. repens_).

RYE G. or MOUSE BARLEY (_Lolium perenne_).—Also Darnel.



FERNS, ETC.


BRACKEN (_Pteris aquilina_).—All over Cranbury.

HARD FERN (_Blechnum boreale_).—Mallibar Road between Albrook and
Highbridge.

WALL-RUE (_Asplenium Ruta-muraria_).

BLACK MAIDENHAIR (_A. Trichomanes_).—Used to be on tombstones in old
churchyard, Otterbourne.

LADY FERN (_Athyrium Filix fæmina_).—Cranbury.

(_Ceterach officinale_).—Merdon Castle.

HART’S TONGUE (_Scolopendrium officinale_).

(_Polystichum angulare_).—Cranbury.

MALE FERN (_Lastrea Filix-mas_).

(_L. spinulosa_).

(_L. dilatata_).—Otterbourne Park.

(_L. thalipteris_).—Cranbury.

HAY F. (_L. Oreopteris_).—Road to Baddesley.

POLYPODY (_Polypodium vulgare_).

ADDER’S TONGUE (_Ophioglossum vulgare_).—Field called Pleasure Grounds,
Otterbourne.

HORSETAILS (_Equisetum arvense_).

(_E. maximum_).



FOOTNOTES


{17}  Hursley ceased to be a Peculiar about the year 1840.

{25}  Hurstleigh, as it was originally spelt, is derived from Hurst, a
wood, Legh or Lea, a meadow or open place in a wood.

{28}  The _General Biographer’s Dictionary_ says 51 in all.

{32}  So says the Register, but I suspect _erroneously_.  _Ardington_ was
the place in which the family of Clarkes was settled.  Sir Edward Clarke,
probably the son of Sir Thomas, was High Sheriff of Berks in 1626
(_Marsh_).

{34}  Halliwell’s dictionary gives _haydiggle_ (Somerset) as meaning high
spirits, and once a country dance.

{36}  From Father Gasquet’s essay on the Recusants in _The Old English
Bible_.

{53}  _Commentaries_, vol. ii. p. 83, 8vo.

{54}  See _Commentaries_, as before.  N.B. Among the Garrows, a people of
Hindostan, the youngest _daughter_ inherits the property of her family.
See _Asiatic Researches_, vol. iii. p. 34, 8vo.

{56}  Blackstone’s _Commentaries_, vol. ii. chap. v.

{57a}  Blackstone’s _Commentaries_, vol. ii. pp. 81, 85.

{57b}  Sir Martin Wright is of opinion that Domesday-Book was made soon
after our ancestors had agreed to tenures, _i.e._ the feodal system of
tenure, for the purpose of ascertaining each man’s fee; and he supposes
that as soon as the survey was completed, the great landholders of the
kingdom were summoned to London and Sarum to do homage to the king for
their landed possessions.  Now it may be presumed, that if Merdon had
been then surrendered to the king, and any alteration made in the nature
of the tenure of the lands in the manor, it would have been reported and
registered in the book.  But it certainly is not to be found there.  May
it not then be justly concluded that it was passed over, and that the
customs now prevailing are the same as were in use previous to the
Conquest?

{58}  See _Commentaries_, vol. ii. pp. 48, 81.

{67} This word cannot be understood.  It probably may be the name of a
holding, or of a family.

{154}  Robin Hood’s butt, no doubt used for archery practice, lay on this
down, called Rough Borrow.





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