Picture of Thomas Pennant

Thomas Pennant


places mentioned

Lichfield

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AFTER a short ride, I reached the summit of a long but gentle descent, from which is a fine view of the city of Lichfield, lying at the foot of it. The situation is delightful, in a fertile and dry soil, with small risings on almost every side. The cathedral, with its three spires, is a most striking object.

Lichfield is a place of Saxon origin, and owes its rise to Ceadda, or Chad, the great saint of Mercia. I omit the legend of the thousand Christians, disciples of St. Amphibolus, that were martyred here under Dioclesian; or the three kings slain at this place in battle, as sculptured over the town-hall. I take up its history about the year 656, when Oswy, king of the country, established a bishoprick here, and made Dwina, or Dinma, the first prelate. To him succeeded Cellach and Trumberct; and on his demise, the famous Ceadda. This pious man at first led an eremitical life, in a cell, at the place on which now stands the church of his name, and supported himself by the milk of a white hind. In this place he was discovered by Rufme, the son of Wolphere, who was privately instructed by him till the time of his martyrdom, before-recited. Remorse, and consequential conversion, seized the Pagan prince. As some species of expiation, he preferred the apostle to the vacant see. He built himself a small house near the church, and, with seven or eight of his brethren, during the interval of preaching, read and prayed in private. On the approach of his death, flights of angels sang hyrnns over his cell. Miracles at his tomb confirmed the holiness of his life. A lunatic, who by accident escaped from his keepers, lay a night on it, and in the morning was found restored to his senses. The very earth taken out of it, was an infallible remedy for all disorders incident to man or beast. Ceadda 1 was of course canonized; a shrine was erected in honor of him; great was the concourse of devotees: the place increased and flourished.

THE history of our cathedrals is, in its beginning, but the history of superstition, mixed with some truth and abundance of legend: humiliating proof of the weakness of the human mind! yet all the fine arts of past times, and all the magnificent works we now so justly admire, are owing to a species of piety that every lover of the elegance of architecture must rejoice to have existed.

WE are told, that in the days of Jaruman, about the year 666, the cathedral was founded.

I SHALL not trouble the reader with a dry list of prelates, but only mention those distinguished by some remarkable event, that befel the see during their days.

IN those of Winfrid, successor to St. Chad, in 674, Theodore, archbishop of Canterbury, thought fit to divide the bishoprick into two, and to establish the other at Sidnacester, in Lincolnshire, the present Stow. Winfrid disapproving this defalciition, was deprived for contumacy. The diocese might well bear dividing; for at that time it contained the whole kingdom of Mercia. At present, it comprehends all Staffordshire, except Brome and Clent, which belong to Worcester; all Derbyshire; the larger part of Warwickshire; and about half Shropshire .

IN 786, in the time of Bishop Adulf, Offa, king of the Mercians, procured liberty from the pope to erect the see into an archbishoprick; and of assigning him for suffragans Winchester, Hereford, Lagecesfer (Leicester), Helmham, and Dunwick. This honor died with Ahulf .

A BISHOP Peter, in 1067, the year succeeding the Conquest, removed the see to St. John's, in Chester; where he died, and was interred, in 1085.

His successor, Robert de Limesey, smitten with the love of the gold and silver2 with which the pious Earl Leofric had covered the walls of his new convent at Coventry, in 1095 removed the see to that city, and at once scraped from a single beam, that supported a shrine, 500 marks worth of silver.3

I now speak of a prelate of a different temper; to whose munificence both the church and city were highly indebted. Roger de Clinton, consecrated in 1129, took down the antient Mercian cathedral. We are not informed of the dimensions or nature of that building, any more than we are of the one erected by this bishop. It must have been, according to the reigning mode of the times, of the species of architecture usually called Saxon, with massy pillars and round arches. There is not at present the least relique of this stile. But I am unacquainted with the accident, or calamity, which destroyed the labors of this pious prelate; who took Up the cross, and died at Antioch, on a pilgrimage to the holy sepulchre.

AFTER a succession of twelve prelates, Walter de Langton, treasurer of England, was consecrated bishop of this see, in 1296. He was highly favored by Edward I. His prosperity was interrupted by the resentment of the prince, who meanly revenged on the bishop a short imprisonment he had suffered in the time of his father, for riotously destroying his deer. After a persecution and confinement of above two years, he emerged from all his difficulties, and resumed his pastoral charge in a manner that did him great honor. He may be considered as the third of this cathedral: to hint we are indebted for the present elegant pile. He laid the foundation of our Lady's chapel; an edifice of uncommon beauty, finished after his death with money left for that purpose. He built the cloysters, and expended .2,000 upon a shrine for St. Chad. He bestowed on the choir several rich vestments, a chalice, and two cups of beaten gold, to the value of .200. To the vicars choral he gave a standing cup, and an annual pension of .20, and procured for them and the canons great immunities: in particular, there was an order from the king to the justices of Staffordshire, that, without trial, they should hang upon the next gallows divers persons that by force kept their lands from them. This prelate also surrounded the close with a wall and ditch, made the great gate4 at the west end, and the postern at the south. He gave his own palace, at the west end of the close, to the vicars choral, and built a new one for himself at the east end. He partly built, or enlarged, the castle at Eccleshal, and the manors of Heywood and Shugborow, and the palace in the Strand. He finished his useful life in November 1321, and was buried in the chapel of his own founding.

THE cathedral continued in the state it was left by Bishop Langton, till the time of the dissolution, when the rich shrine of St. Chad, and other objects of similar devotion, fell a prey to the rapacity of Henry VIII. The building continued in its pristine beauty till the unhappy wars of the last century, when it suffered greatly by three sieges. The situation of the place on an eminence, surrounded by water and by deep ditches, and fortified with walls and bastions, rendered it unhappily a proper place for a garrison.

IN 1643, it was possessed by the royalists of the county, under the Earl of Chesterfield; when it underwent the attack rendered memorable by the death of Lord Brook, commander of the parlementary forces. His lordship, while reconnoitring the cathedral, in a wooden porch in Dams street, was shot March 2, 1643, by a musket-ball which penetrated his eye. That day happened to be the festival of St. Chad, the patron of the church. The cavaliers attributed the direction of the fatal bullet to the influence of the Saint, in resentment of the sacrileges this nobleman was committing on his cathedral. What share the Saint had in this affair, I will not pretend to say; but the musket was aimed, and the trigger drawn, by a neighboring gentleman posted in the leads, known by the name of dumb Dyot. The death of Lord Brook gave very short respite to the garrison; which was taken almost immediately after, by Sir John Gell .

In April, in the same year, it was attacked by Prince Rupert. At that time it was commanded by Colonel Rousweh a steady governor over an enthusiastic garrison. He defended the place with vast resolution. At breach was made by the blowing up of a mine. The attack was made with great bravery, but great loss. At length the garrison surrendered, on the most honourable conditions.5 The colonel took care to plunder the church of the communion-plate, during the time the fanatics were in possession. They used every species of profanation; hunted a cat in it with hounds, to enjoy the fine echo from the roof; and brought a calf, dressed in linen, to the font, and sprinkled it with water, in derision of baptism.6

THE prince appointed Colonel Hervey Bagot 7 the governor; who kept possession till the ruin of the king's affairs, in 1646; when the colonel, and other commanders, being satisfied that the king had not an hundred men in any one place in the field, nor any garrison unbesieged, surrendered on very honorable terms, on the 10th of July, to Adjutant Louthian .8

THE state of this church, after so many sieges, may easily be conceived. The honor of restoring it to its former splendor, was reserved for John Hacket, presented to this see in 1661. On the very next day after his arrival, he set his coach-horses, with teams, to remove the rubbish; and in eight years time restored the cathedral to its present beautiful state, at the expence of twenty thousand pounds;9 one thousand of which was the gift of the dean and chapter; the rest was done either at his own charge, or by benefactions resulting from his own solicitations. He died in 1670. A very handsome tomb was erected in the choir to his memory, with his effigies laid recumbent on it, with a mitre on his head, and in his episcopal dress.

THE west front is of great elegance, adorned with the richest sculpture, and, till of late, with rows of statues of prophets, kings of Judah, &c. and, above all, a very bad one of Charles II. who had contributed to. the repair of the church, by a liberal gift of timber. This statue was the work of a Sir William Wilson, originally a mason from Sutton Coldfield, who, after marrying a rich wife, arrived at the dignity of knighthood.

THE sculptures round the doors were very elegant; but time, or violence, hath greatly impaired their beauty.

James II. when Duke of York, bestowed on this church the magnificent west window. The fine painted glass was given of late years, by Dean Addenbrook .

THE northern door is extremely rich in sculptured moldings; three of foliage, and three of small figures in ovals. In one of the lowest is represented a monk baptizing a person kneeling before him. Probably the former is intended for St. Chad; the latter for Wulferus. It is a misfortune, that the ornaments of this cathedral are made of such friable stone, that what fanaticism has spared, the weather has impaired.

IN the front are two fine spires, and a third in the centre, of a vast height, and fine proportion.

THE roof was till of late covered with lead, but grew so greatly out of repair, that the dean and chapter were obliged to substitute slates instead of metal, on account of the narrow revenues left to maintain this venerable pile; and, after the strictest oeconomy, they will be under the necessity of contributing from their own income, in order to complete their plan. The excellent order that all the cathedrals I have visited are in, does great credit to their members; who spare nothing from their own incomes to render them not only decent, but elegant.

THE body is lofty, supported by pillars formed of numbers of slender columns, with neat foliated capitals. Along the walls of the ailes are rows of false arches, in the gothic stile, with seats beneath.

THE upper rows of windows, in the body, are of an uncommon form, being triangular, including three circles in each.

IN each transept are two places, formerly chapels; but at present serve as consistory courts and the vicar's vestry-room.

THE choir merits attention, on account of the elegant sculpture about the windows, and the embattled gallery that runs beneath them. On each side are six statues, now much mutilated, placed in beautiful gothic niches, and richly painted. The first on the left is St. Peter; the next is the Virgin; the third is Mary Magdalene, with one leg bare, to denote her legendary wantonness. The other three are St. Philip, St. James, and St. Christopher, with CHRIST on his shoulders.

THE beauty of the choir was much impaired by the impropriety of a rich altar-piece,10 of Grecian architecture, terminating this elegant gothic building.

BEHIND this is St. Mary's chapel, with a stone skreen, the most elegant which can be imagined, embattled at top, and adorned with several rows of gothic niches, of most exquisite workmanship; each formerly containing a small statue. Beneath them are thirteen stalls, with gothic work over each. In this chapel are nine windows, more narrow, lofty, and of more elegant construction, than any of the others; three on each side, and three at the end.

IN this chapel stood the shrine of St. Chad. Here was interred Ceolred ,11 king of the Mercians; and in later times, here was placed the magnificent tomb (on the site of the shrine) of the first Lord Paget, adorned with columns, with two kneeling figures of a man and woman between the front and back pillars. These were destroyed in the blind fury of civil war; as was another fine tomb of a Lord Basset of Drayton, who died in 1389. Few indeed escaped. Of those are the effigies of the great Bishop Langton, with his pastoral staff in one hand, and the other hand in the action of benediction: another of Hugh de Pateshul, who died in 1241, remarkable for having the stigmata, or marks of our Saviours wounds on the hands and feet: a respectful superstition of antient times. Dean Heywood is represented in his habit, and again naked, with the emaciated change which death occasions.

HERE are several monuments within the walls, of a most frugal nature, having no appearance of any part but the head and feet. From an intermediate bracket, it is probable some favorite saint might have been honored with a rich image.

I HAVE a singular drawing of a tomb now lost, of a knight naked to his waist; his legs and thighs armed, and at his feet and head a stag's horn; his hair long and dishevelled; a scroll in his hands, as if he was reading a confession, or act of contrition: across his middle, on his baslet, is his coat of arms; which shew him to have been a Stanley. He is called Captain Stanley, and is said to have been excommunicated, but to have received funeral rites in holy ground (having shewn signs of repentance) on condition that his monument should bear those marks of disgrace. I find a Sir Humphry Stanley of Pipe, who died in the reign of Henry VII. who had a squabble with the chapter, about conveying the water through his lands to the close. He also defrauded the prebendary of Stotford of his tithes: so probably this might be the gentleman who incurred the censure of the church for his impiety.

ON the floor, near the west door, are two droll epitaphs.

"Willlam Roberts of Overbury, some time malster in this town (tells you) for the love I bore to choir service, I chose to be buried in this place. He died Decr . 16th, 1748."

THE other gives you the posthumous grief of a deceased wife, and the classical knowledge of the living husband:

  H.           S           E.
Secunda   Horatii   Linea12
viz.
Elizabetha, EZ: Polsted
maestissima conjux13
Quae
obiit ultima dies Martis, 1712.

IN St. Mary's chapel is a fragment of singular sculpture, of two gothic arches: beneath one is a king sitting, with one hand on a young prince; beneath the other a monarch also seated.

TILL lately, there lay near the north door a very thick and clumsy tomb-stone, with a cross fleury on it, and a great knife, resembling those represented in Montfaucon I. part II. tab. lxv. as sacrificial. I know of no rites in the Christian church which required such an instrument; therefore presume it to be a simple chopping knife, and that the person whom the stone commemorates, was neither more nor less than a butcher. These modest acknowlegements are not unfrequent: I have seen a deceased shearer denoted by his shears, and a taylor by his goose.

ON the part of the south choral aile is the chapter-house, which is approached through a passage with gothic arched seats on its side. The room is an octagon, consisting of two long and six shorter sides, ornamented with arches, like the approach; but the lost pillars, instead of being restored, are now supplied with an uniform plaister, supported in the center by a clustered column. Above is a library, instituted by Dean Heywood, containing some valuable books and manuscripts.

THE close, or surrounding space, is built on three sides. The palace, originally founded by Bishop Langton, was rebuilt in a very handsome manner by Bishop Hacket. The deanry, destroyed in the civil wars, was restored after the restoration.

IN the hall of the antient palace was painted the life and most memorable transactions of Edward I. and his officers; among which were the valiant deeds of Sir Roger de Pulesdon against my countrymen.14

THE prebendal houses are built around the close. The whole property of which is in the church, except two houses on the south side, bordering on the pool, which, before the present causeways were made, were granted to the city, that the inhabitants might have landing-places, and access to the cathedral; which in old times had a vast concourse of devotees to the shrine of St. Chad .

THIS precinct is supplied with water from Maple Hay, about a mile and a half to the north; two fountains having been bestowed on the church by Thomas Bromley, for ever, on the annual payment of 15s. 4d. I find that this donation was made before 1293; for in that year a dispute arose between the dean and chapter, and Thomas de Abbenhale, about the passage of the water through his lands.15

THE whole close is of exempt jurisdiction, and quite independent of the city. Its members are, a dean, precentor, chancellor, and treasurer, who have prebends annexed to their offices. There are twenty-seven other prebends, of which that of Eccleshal is annexed to the bishoprick. Out of these thirty-one, the dean and four more are stiled canons residentiary; which four are chosen out of the prebendaries and dignitaries. Here are twelve minor canons: five of whom are called priest-vicars; the other seven, lay-vicars, or singingmen. Both these were formerly collegiated, and had their hall and houses. That of the priestvicars is a handsome room, rebuilt, and usually lent for the purposes of assemblies, and other amusements. A new house also stands on the ground once occupied by the house of the choristers: before it stood, within memory, a very pretty gate, which formed the entrance; on which was inscribed Domus Choristes .

BESIDES these members, are an organist, two vergers, a sacrist, and sub-sacrist. It is remarkable, that the four archdeacons have here no stalls, as is usual in all other cathedrals.

THE other churches are that of St. Mary, rebuilt since the year 1716, when, the body being ruinous, its fine spire steeple was unnecessarily pulled down. In the time of Edward III. a religious guild was instituted, and after that much promoted by Dean Heywood. Five priests belonged to this society, who officiated in the church.16 It is a vicarage, in the gift of the dean.

ST. Michael, or Greenhill, is on an eminence east of the town; remarkable for its extensive church-yard. This, and that of Stow, or St. Chad's, are curacies dependent on St. Marys. St. Chad is reckoned the oldest of the churches of this city. In its north end formerly stood the shrine of St. Catherine, whose chauntry-priest had his stipend from the vicars-choral of the cathedral. Near it is the well of the saint, where he had his first oratory; which in antient times was much frequented by devotees.

THE grey friars had a house here, founded about 1229, by Bishop Alexander, who gave certain free burgages, on which it was erected. It was destroyed by fire in 1291, but rebuilt in the thirty-sixth of Henry VIII. It was granted to Richard Crumblethorn. At present, both house and land support an hospital at Seal, in Leicestershire. The water which now supplies the city, was granted on St. James's day, in 1301, by Henry Campanarius, son of Michael de Lichfield, bell-founder. Henry gave his fountains, at Foulwel, near Alreschaw, in pure and perpetual alms to the friars of this house, with power to cover them with a head of stones, and of carrying the pipes through his land, on condition that, whenever they wanted repair, the friars were to indemnify him and his heirs for the damage done to the ground. Several parts of the house are yet standing, and form a pleasant and comfortable habitation. In digging near it, was found a large tombstone, with a cross fleury, surrounded by a singular inscription, to the following purpose:

Ricardus mercator victus morte noverca
Qui cessat mercari pausat in hac ierarca.
Extulit ephebus paucis vivendo diebus
Ecclesiam rebus ditat variis speciebus,
Vivat ut in Coelis nunc mercator Michaelis.

Richard the merchant here extended lies,
Death, like a step-dame, gladly clos'd his eyes.
No more he trades beyond the burning zone,
But happy rests beneath this sacred stone.
His benefactions to the church were great;
Though young, he hasten'd from his mortal state.
May he, though dead in trade, successful prove,
Saint Michael's merchant in the realms above.

The stone is still to be seen there. A figure of it was sent to the Gentleman's Magazine, by Mr. Greene, in this city. The inscription and translation are copied from the same magazine: the latter appearing to me to be equally faithful and ingenious.

A LITTLE beyond, stands the hospital of St. John, consisting of a master and twelve poor brethren. The master is a clergyman, who has a good house and stipend for superintending the charity, and reading daily prayers in the chapel belonging to it. The founder is uncertain. We only know that William Smith, while bishop of Lichfield, in the time of Henry VII. formed here a new foundation for a master, two priests, and ten poor men. Henry patronized the charity, and endowed it with the old hospital of Denhal, and the lands and impropriation of Burton church, both in Wiral, in Cheshire. Smith also founded the grammar-school in this city.17

AMONG other things worthy of attention in this city, is the cabinet of curiosities, antient, natural, and artificial, in the possession of Mr. Green ,18 surgeon. It contains numbers of most valuable and instructive pieces in each class. A visit to my worthy friend is the more agreeable, as he takes great pleasure in gratifying the curiosity of all that favor him with their company.

THE city is divided from the close by a large piece of water, of which there were originally three; at present remain only this and another, called Stowpool, a little to the east. Bishop Langton made the causeway, bridges, and dams, at each end of the pool. Before that, the great road went round Stowpool, near Stow church. The city is neat and well built; contains little more than three thousand souls;19 is a place of great passage, has a considerable manufacture of sail cloth, and a small manufacture of saddlecloths and tammies.

IT was originally governed by a guild and guild-master; which were the origin of corporations, and took rise before the time of the Conquest; the name being Saxon, signifying a fraternity, which unites and flings its effects into a common stock, and is derived from Gildan, to pay .20 A guild was a public feast, to commemorate the time of the institution; and the guild-hall the place in which the fraternity assembled: these (at lest after the Conquest) paid fines to the crown, and formed part of its revenue. Richard I. enabled it to purchase lands to the value of ten pounds; but it was not chartered till the reign of Edward VI. who formed it into a regular corporation by its first charter. This was confirmed by Queen Mary and Elizabeth; and Charles II. granted a new one, confirming all the others.

THIS city is governed by a recorder, high steward, sheriff, two bailiffs, a town-clerk, and coroner. One of the bailiffs is elected by the bishop; the others to be elected annually by and out of the brethren which form the corporation. The city has the power of life and death within its jurisdiction; a court of record, and a pie-powder21 court, which regulated the disputes arising in fairs.

THE district of the city and county of Lichfield is called the sheriff's ride, and lies at unequal distances around. In this the corporation has exclusive jurisdiction.

THIS city sent representatives in the thirty-third of Edward I.; the fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, and twentieth of Edward II.; and first, fourteenth, and twenty-seventh of Edward III.; from whose reign they were discontinued, till that of Edward VI.22 The members are returned by the sheriff and bailiffs. The right of electing is in the freemen by servitude; in the burgage-holders, or such who live in the town and pay a small acknowlegement to the corporation; and in the freeholders of forty shillings a year, within the sheriff's ride.

Lichfield is quite an open town: all the traces of the ditches made by Bishop Clinton are lost, as well as of the tower, on which he is said to have bestowed such great expence.23 The name only of Castle Ditch, in the east part of the town, preserves its memory. Probably in this fortress Richard II. kept his sumptuous Christmas, in 1397, when he consumed two hundred tuns of wine, and two thousand oxen;24 but with more certainty we know that it was his place of confinement, in his road to the tower of London, in 1399, a captive prince. The unhappy Richard here attempted his escape, by slipping from the window of the high tower into a garden; but being seen, was carried back to his imprisonment.25

Wall, the antient Etocetum, lies about a mile and a half from Lichfield, on the Watling-street road, on a rising ground. There are still some remains of the walls to be seen, mixed with roots of some very old ash-trees. Coins and tiles evince it to have been the Roman Etocetum, as well as its distance from Pennocrucium, a place somewhere on the river Penk, not far from Penkridge; but the site not well ascertained. The Watling-street road enters the county near Tamworth, and is continued into Shropshire, as far as Wroxeter. Near Wall, another Roman road crosses it; and at the intersection is an exploratory mount, about forty feet in diameter, called Offlo, in sight of Borough Cop, near Lichfield, on which the martyrdom of the thousand Christians, in the tenth persecution, is said to have happened. This is asserted by John Ross, a Warwickshire antiquary, who died in 1491, near twelve hundred years after the event; which he alone relates.

THESE lows, which have the same signification as laws in Scotland, and mean a mount, and placed here in sight of one another, were usually designed as exploratory, and for the repetition of signals; and sometimes were sepulchral.

I MADE one day an excursion; passed through Whittington , a village with a church and spire-steeple, about two miles N. E. of Lichfield; thence proceeded through Fisherwick park,26 a fine seat of the Earl of Donegal, built from a design of Mr. Brown's: the grounds bounded by the Tame, a beautiful river. Elford church, village, and house,27 the seat of the late Earl of Suffolk, form a pretty groupe of objects on the opposite bank. I forded the river, and went by Elford Low, a verdant mount, which Doctor Plot proved, from examination, to have been sepulchral; but, from its situation and elevation, I suspect it might have had on it a specula, or watch-tower.

Elford, before the Conquest, was possessed by Earl Algar; after which the Conqueror himself seized on it for his own use. About Henry the Third's reign, Wil&am of Arderne was lord of it, and his posterity was seised of it till the marriage of Maud, sole heiress of Sir John Arderne, with Thomas, second son of Sir John Stanley, of Latham, Knight; he dying in 1463, the 6th of Edward IV. Margaret, his daughter, conveyed it by marriage to the Stantons: by the same means it passed from the Stantons to the Smiths; from the Smiths to the Huddlestons; and from the Huddlestons to the Bowes. So very rapid was the change of family in this place! It continued with the Bowes four or five generations; but, about the end of the seventeenth century, became the property of the Honorable Craven Howard, by marriage with Mary, daughter of George Bowes, Esquire: and continued in his posterity (the Earls of Suffolk ) till the death of the late able and honest peer; when it devolved to his sister, the Honorable Frances Howard .

IN the church are several fine monuments, in the antient stile.

IN the north wall is a painted figure, with curled hair, gown down to his knees, buskins on his legs, sword, gold chain, his hands closed, and a ring on his thumb.

AN alabaster tomb of an Arderne, in a conic helmet, mail round his neck, chin, and shoulders, and a collar of S S: one of his hands clasps that of his wife, who has on a rich pearl bonnet, a cloak, arid gown. Around the tomb are various figures, in the dress of the times.

SIR William Smith, who died in 1500, lies armed, has a collar of SS, and is represented beardless. He lies between his two wives: Isabel, in long hair and a coronet, daughter of John Nevil Marquis of Montacute, brother to the great Earl of Warwick; and Anne, daughter of William Stanton, by whom he acquired this place. Monks, and coats of arms, surround the tomb: the first, to express his piety; the last, to gratify the vanity of survivors.

SIR John Stanley, son of Thomas Stanley and Maud Arderne, lies under an arch, with both hands supplicatory, in armor, with a mail muffler. His head rests on a helm, with the Eagle and Child, the cognizance of the Stanleys .

UNDER another arch is his eldest son, a child with curled hair, and in a long gown, recumbent: one hand points to his ear; the other holds a ball, the unfortunate instrument of his death; on which was inscribed Ubi dolor ibi digitus .

ABOUT two miles further, in a place called Elford Park Farm, I observed a barrow which is small, and evidently sepulchral. There had probably been a battle on this spot during the heptarchy: whether between Saxons and Danes, or two Saxon princes, is uncertain.

Croxal church stands on an eminence. Within are two tombs, with the figures of an armed man and his wife, curiously engraven on each. One commemorates John Norton, of Caton, and his spouse, Anne, daughter of John Curzon, of this place. He died in the year 1500. His name is expressed in form of a rebus; the word Hor cut upon a tun.

THE other tomb is of George Curzon, Esquire, and his wife Catharine, who died in 1605. By the marriage of their only daughter Mary, to the famous Sir Edward Sackville Earl of Dorset, it was conveyed to that noble family, in which it still remains. The Curzons had been possessed of it ever since the reign of Henry I.

PASS by Hazelar hamlet and chapel. The last is prebendal, and at present converted into a pigstye. Ride for some time by the side of the little river Mease, the boundary, in this part, between Staffordshire and Derbyshire. A little further is the village and church of Clifton, usually called Clifton Camville, from a family of that name, who possessed it from the year 1200, or the second of King John, to about the year 1315. The spire of the church is extremely elegant, joined to the tower by flying buttresses. In the church is a tomb, with the effigies of Sir John Vernon of Harleston, in this neighborhood, and Dame Allen, his wife. He is dressed in a long bonnet and gown, with a chain from his neck, as usual with people of worship; for he had been one of the king's counsel, and custos rotulorum of the county of Derby. His wife is dressed in a square hood, with a purse, knife, and beads by her side. They died in 1545.

VISIT Thorp Constantine, a small church close to the seat of my matrimonial relation William Inge ,28 Esquire, who deservedly bears the respectable and useful character of being the best justice of any country gentleman in England. The living is in his gift, and the whole parish his property. The manor once belonged to the see of Ely; for it appears that Hotham, bishop of that diocese, in 1316, obtained for it a charter of free warren.

Henry Lord Scrope, favorite of Henry V. beheaded for his ungrateful plot against his master, left to this church a vestment worth 26s. 8d. on condition that the priest should pray for his soul on Sundays, and in all his masses. His will, made before his treason was discovered, was a curious piece of hypocrisy.29

I CONTINUED this little ramble to Sekindon, a mile distant, on the edge of Warwickshire, remarkable for a lofty artificial mount, the keep of a Saxon castle, with a flat area beneath; at the bottom are the remains of a great rampart, and the whole surrounded with a deep ditch. This place is celebrated for the battle between Ethelbald, king of the Mercians, and Cuthred, king of the West Saxons, in 755,30 when Ethelbald, disdaining flight, was slain by Beonred ,31 one of his own officers, who, for a short time, usurped the kingdom.


1 Bede Hist. lib. iv. c. 3.

2 Wharton's Angl. Sacr. i. 433.

3 William of Malmsbury, as quoted by Dugdale, Hist. Warwick, i. 157.

4 In the west entrance into the close is a handsome range of buildings containing apartments for sixteen widows of clergymen of the diocese of Lichfield, each of whom enjoys an annuity of forty pounds, which will probably be soon increased to sixty. This munificent establishment was founded by the late Mr. Newton. The antient gate which stood here was taken down in the year 1800. ED.

5 Clarendon, ii. 235.

6 Mr. Greene's MSS.

7 During the time this gentleman commanded at Lichfield, he received the following extraordinary challenge from a Captain Hunt, a parlementary commander in Tamworth. Mercurius Aulicus, p. 1347.

"Bagot, thou sonne of an Egiption hore, meete mee half the way to morrow morning, the half way betwixt Tamworth and Litchfeald, if thou darest; if not, I will whippe thee when soever I meete thee.

Tamworth, this
Decemb. 1644.                                                                 Tho. Hunt."

Colonel Bagot met him, and, after a brisk action, whipped the fellow himself into his retreat, and narrowly missed taking him.

8 Articles of Surrender.

9 Br. Biogr. iv. 2457. A MS. with which Mr. Greene favored me, makes the sum much less. See Appendix, No. III.

10 This altar-piece was removed in 1788, and St. Mary's chapel injudiciously added to the choir, which gives it a most disproportionate length. The slender windows at the east end are filled with painted glass, seven of which were brought from the great abbey of Herkenrode in the bishopric of Liege, and are of extreme beauty. The elegant stone skreen now forms the western enclosure of the choir, and supports the organ. ED.

11 Saxon Chr. 51.

12 O, et presidium et dulce decus meum.

13 A wag translated these two words in a similar epitaph on a lady who did not make the best of wives, thus—A MOST SAD WIFE indeed!

14 Erdeswik .

15 Mr. Greene's MSS.

16 Leland Itin. iv. 117.

17 Leland Itin. iv. 117.

18 Mr. Green died in 1793. His cabinet has been dispersed since his decease. ED.

19 In the Census of 1801 the population is stated at 4512. ED.

20 Spelman, 260. Kennel's Gloss, to Paroch. Antiq.

21 So called from pieds poudreaux, or dusty feet, because country people usually come with dusty shoes to fairs. See Doctor Pettingal's able dissertation on the word, Archaeol. i. 190.

22 Willis's Notitia Parliam. iii. 50.

23 Goodwin, 367.

24 Stow's Chr. 318.

25 Stow's Chr. 322.

26 Fisherwick has recently been purchased by Richard Howard, Esq. and the noble mansion is now (1810) in a state of demolition for the value of the materials. ED.

27 On the death of Lady Andover, daughter-in-law to the Earl of Suffolk, Elford devolved on her daughter Frances, wife to Richard Bagot, Esq. who assumed the name of Howard. ED.

28 William Inge, Esq. died in 1785. ED.

29 Rymer's Fadera, ix. 275.

30 Saxon Chr. 59.

31 Brompton, 769. Ingulphus, 853.

Thomas Pennant, The Journey from Chester to London (London: Wilkie and Robinson, 1811)

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