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warden's being green, and the others crimson. The engraving represents the garland of the renter-warden.

The two silver maces pertaining to the beadle of the Barber-Surgeons, an annually elected official who resides at the hall, are as handsome and massive as any in the City, and are carried before the Master on courtdays.

The Company is much to be congratulated upon having found so painstaking and excellent an annalist as Mr. Sidney Young to compile their history, and to describe their charters, minutes, and other valuable possessions; and Mr. Sidney Young is fortunate in having so capable a draughtsman as his son, Mr. Austin Young, by whom the majority of the illustrations of this handsome volume have been delineated. The names of the publishers and printers (Blades, East and Blades) are sufficient guarantee for the superior character of all that pertains to the typography of the work.

divers struggles he succeeded in eluding his captors, and regaining at.the same time his freedom and his watery home, carrying the squire's sword with him."-Miss C.Burne's Shropshire Folk-lore, p. 81.

The Monster Fish of Bomere Pool is thus described: He of course lives in the mere,. not beneath it like the water-witches. He is bigger than any fish that ever swam, he wears a sword by his side, and no man can catch him. It was tried once. A great net was brought, and he was entangled in it and brought nearly to the side, but he drew his sword and cut the net and escaped. Then the fishermen made a net of iron links and caught him in that. This time he was fairly brought to land, but again he freed himself with his wonderful sword, and slid back into the water and got away. The people were so terrified at the strange sight that they have never tried to take him again, though he has often been seen since, basking in the shallow parts of the pool with the sword still girded round him. One day, however, he will give it up, but not until the right heir of Condover Hall shall come and take it from him. will yield it easily then, but no one else can


Holy Wells: their Legends and take it. For it is no other than Wild Edric's


By R. C. HOPE, F.S.A., F.R.S.L. (Continued from p. 69, vol. xxii.)

SHROPSHIRE (continued).


COME two centuries ago, or less, a party of gentlemen, including the Squire [of Condover], were fishing in the pool, when an enormous fish was captured and hauled into the boat. Some discussion arose as to the girth of the fish, and a bet was made that he was bigger round than the squire, and that the swordbelt of the latter would not reach his waist. To decide the bet the squire unbuckled his belt, which was there and then with some difficulty fastened round the body of the fish. The scaly knight (for so he no doubt felt himself to be) being girt with the sword, began to feel impatient at being kept so long out of his native element, and after


sword, which was committed to the fish's keeping when he vanished, and will never be restored except to his lawful heir. Edric, they say, was born at Condover Hall, and it ought to belong to his family now; but his children were defrauded of their inheritance, and that is why there is no luck about the Hall to this day. This curse has been on it ever since then. Every time the property changes hands the new landlord will never receive the rents twice; and those who have studied history will tell you that this has always come to pass.-Ibid., p. 80.

"Many years ago, a village stood in the hollow which is now filled up by the mere. But the inhabitants were a wicked race, who mocked at God and His priest. They turned back to the idolatrous practices of their fathers, and worshipped Thor and Woden; they scorned to bend the knee, save in mockery, to the White Christ who had died to save their souls. The old priest earnestly warned them that God would punish such wickedness as theirs by some sudden judgment, but they laughed him to scorn. They

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y is that a monastery once ground occupied by the pool, burst forth close to it, and ch a height that the waters the monastery, and formed ath which the chapel bells arly heard ringing.

ant runs as follows:

that the old church at Coled down by Oliver Cromwell, thrown into the mere. Once as made to get them up. Chains tened to them, and twenty oxen ...d in drawing them to the side, who had been helping said to had doubted their being able 1: In spite of God and the At these words the The bells rolled back into They heard the sound, and saw where they had settled, but

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Arth Pool near Baschurch lies at the e Berth Hill, a very curious enCamp on an eminence in the midst , where it was once intended to parish church. But the same "something" which interfered uilding on the height also threw tended for it into the Berth Pool. were brought and fastened to them, re quite powerless to draw them out. on oxen were tried with better success; but just as the bells were coming to the surface of the water, one of the men employed in the work let slip an oath, on which they fell back, rrying, "No! never!" And they lie at the bottom of the pool to this day. "Three cart-ropes" will not reach the bottom of the Berth Pool-Ibid., p. 68.



Between Oswestry and Llanymynech, close beside the railway, lies a pretty little pool called Llynclys, or Llyn-y-clys, which is variously interpreted to mean "the swallowed hall," or "the lake of the enclosure." Early this century there were many who believed .at "when the water was clear enough" the

towers of a palace might be discerned at the bottom; only, as the author of the Gossiping Guide to Wales observes, "unfortunately there never appears to have been a day when the water was clear enough." The legend which tells of the destruction of this palace-though now, it seems, forgotten -is recorded in an old MS. history of Oswestry, preserved in the British Museum, and communicated to the present writer by Mr. Askew Roberts of Croeswylay, Oswestry, the author of the Guide aforesaid. It is as follows:

"About twoe miles of Oswestry within the parishe there is a poole called llynclis of which poole Humffrey Lloyd reporteth thus: German Altisiodorensis preached sometime there against the Pelagian heresie. The King whereof, as is there read, because hee refused to heare that good man by the secrett and terrible judgment of God with his pallace and all his househould was swallowed up into the bowelles of the earth. Suo in loco non procul ab oswaldia est Stagnum incognite profunditatis llynclis id est vorago palatij in hunc dictum. In that place whereas not far from Oswestry is nowe a standing water of an unknown depth called llynclis that is the devouring of the pallace." Llynclys Pool is one which has "never a bottom to it."Ibid., p. 68.


The great mere at Ellesmere is the subject of many legends, or rather variants of one legend, all bearing on the same notion of wickedness punished by a flood. Where Ellesmere stands was once as fine a stretch of meadow-land as any in the county. In a large field in the midst of it there was a well of beautiful water, from which everyone in the neighbourhood used to fetch as much as they pleased. At last there was a change of tenants in the farm to which the field belonged; and the new-comer was a churlish man, who said the comers and goers trampled down his grass. So he stopped the poor people coming to the well with their cans and buckets as they had been used to do for years and years, and allowed no one to draw water there besides his own family. But no good came of such hard dealings. One morning, very soon after the people had been forbidden to come, the farmer's wife went out

fastened fish-bopesty.the skirt of his cassock, and set the children to pelt him with mud and stones. The holy man was not dismayed af this; nay, he renewed his entreaties and warnings, so that some few turned from their evil ways and worshipped with hup in the little chapel which stood on the bank of a rivulet that flowed down from the mere on the hillside.

"The rains fell that December in immense quantities. The mere was swollen beyond its usual limits, and all the hollows in the hills were filled to overflowing. One day when the old priest was on the hillside gathering fuel, he noticed that the barrier of peat, earth, and stones, which prevented the mere from flowing into the valley, was apparently giving way before the mass of water above. He hurried down to the village and besought the men to come up and cut a channel for the discharge of the superfluous waters of the mere. They only greeted his proposal with shouts of derision, and told him to go and mind his prayers, and not spoil their feast with his croaking and his kill-joy presence.

"These heathens were then keeping their winter festival with great revelry. It fell on Christmas Eve. The same night the aged priest summoned his few faithful ones to attend at the midnight mass, which ushered in the feast of our Saviour's Nativity. The night was stormy, and the rain fell in torrents, yet this did not prevent the little flock from coming to the chapel. The old servant of God had already begun the holy sacrifice, when a roar was heard in the upper part of the valley. The server was just ringing the Sanctus bell which hung in the bell-cot, when a flood of water dashed into the church, and rapidly rose till it put out the altar-lights. In a few moments more, the whole building was washed away, and the mere, which had burst its mountain barrier, occupied the hollow in which the village had stood. Men say that if you sail over the mere on Christmas Eve, just after midnight, you may hear the Sanctus bell tolling."-Shropshire Folk-lore, p. 64.

Here is another legend. Many have tried to fathom Bomere, but in vain. Though waggon-ropes were tied together and let down into it, no bottom could be found-and how should there be? when everyone knows

that it has none! Nor can it be drained. The attempt was once made, and found useless; for whatever the workmen did in the day, was undone by some mysterious power in the night.

In the days of the Roman Empire, when Uriconium was standing, a very wicked city stood, where we now see Bomere Pool. The inhabitants had turned back from Christianity to heathenism, and though God sent one of the Roman soldiers to be a prophet to them, like Jonah to Nineveh, they would not repent. Far from that, they ill-used and persecuted the preacher. Only the daughter of the governor remained constant to the faith. She listened gladly to the Christian's teaching, and he on his part loved her, and would have had her to be his wife. But no such happy lot was in store for the faithful parson. On the following Easter Eve, sudden destruction came upon the city. The distant Caradoc-the highest and most picturesque of the Stutton Hills, crowned by a British encampment, which some have supposed to be the scene of Caractacus's last standsent forth flames of fire, and at the same time the city was overwhelmed by a tremendous flood, while the "sun in the heavens danced for joy, and the cattle in the stalls knelt in thanksgiving that God had not permitted such wickedness to go unpunished."* But the Christian warrior was saved from the flood, and he took a boat and rowed over the waters, seeking for his betrothed, but all in vain. His boat was overturned, and he, too, was drowned in the depths of the mere. Yet whenever Easter Eve falls on the same day as it did that year, the form of the Roman warrior may be seen again, rowing across Bomere in search of his lost one, while the church bells are heard ringing far in the depths below.-Ibid., p. 65.


At Colemere the bells may be heard, according to one authority, on windy nights when the moon is full. According to another, at midnight on the anniversary of the patron saint of the chapel, whom yet another informant declares to have been St. Helen.

* These words were repeated as a sort of formula, necessary to the proper telling of the story. Their connection with the two dates, Christmas and Easter, as assigned for the destruction is striking.

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