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Works of the Rev. P. Cunningham.-Franking Letters. [June,

of Job;" Chesterfield, 1778, 4to. Anonymous.

"The Naval Triumph" (on Rodney's Victory), London, 1783, 4to, anonymous, except that the author appears to have signed his name to the dedication (at least he has done so in my copy).

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Chatsworth, or the Genius of England's Prophecy," Chesterfield, 1783, 4to. Anonymous.

"The Russian Prophecy; occasioned by a remarkable Phenomenon in the Heavens, observed in Russia, 19 Feb. 1785;" Sheffield, 1787, 4to. Anonymous.

(A Poem to the memory of R. R. Esq. mentioned in the "Peak Scenery.")

An Ode on the Revolution, 1688; set to music and sung at the Centenary Celebration at Whittington, in 1788, printed in the "Peak Scenery."

"A Sermon, preached at Sheffield, for the benefit of the Charity School there;" Sheffield, 1784, 8vo.

"A Sermon, preached at Eyam on the thanksgiving for his Majesty's recovery" (at the end of which are two Odes on his Majesty's restoration); Sheffield, 1789, 4to.

I observe at the close of Cunningham's article, there occurs a sketch of the history of William Newton, Miss Seward's Peak Minstrel." It may be worth noticing, that he died Nov. 3, 1830, within a few days of completing his 80th year, having been born, as he informed me a few months before his death, by letter, near to Abney, 28 Nov. 1750." Abney is in the parish of Hope.

An affectionate tribute to his memory, from the elegant pen of Mrs. Mary Sterndale of Sheffield, appeared in the " Iris," a newspaper of that town, on the 9th Nov. following, where it is stated, that " many of his metrical compositions were originally published in the earlier numbers of the Iris; and at a later period, a copy of verses on the Gibbet upon Wardlow-Miers (co. Derby), near Tideswell, which few persons, who read them at the time, can have forgotten." These verses are, I believe, generally considered to be Newton's most successful effort.

Mrs. Sterndale has herself published as follows: "The Panorama of Youth;""The Life of a Boy;" and "Vignettes of Derbyshire," 8vo. 1824, all works of very considerable merit.

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In the last, are a few anecdotes of Cunningham and Newton.

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Yours, &c.

Mr. URBAN,

Summerlands, Exeter,
June 12.

THE privilege of franking letters was originally granted, to exempt Members of Parliament from expense in corresponding with constituents; and like many other things, it was grossly abused. I am old enough to

remember when master and servants laid before a visiting M.P. huge piles of covers, and he had only the trouble of scratching his name with the initial letter of the Christian part of it, on a corner, with free superscribed. The enormous loss arising thus to the Revenue, occasioned the present regulation.

Those who receive franks are generally persons in middle life, and above it; while the other classes are benefited little or nothing. Those, therefore, who receive franks are well able to pay the postage of letters, and the public revenue would gain vastly by doing away immediately with a certain unnecessary portion of what has been long felt as an invidious distinction from its very nature, independently of a great addition to the public money.

It being uncertain what the number of both Houses of Parliament may be under the REFORM, let it be reckoned at one thousand menibers. We may fairly calculate that a frank covers, on an average, at least half a crown. Now, supposing each member to receive one uncharged letter, or to grant one frank every day, the postage, otherwise payable, for a year, would at half a crown be 45,6251. What is more likely, we shall suppose that the member receives letters, and issues franks, amounting collectively to twenty. The amount of postage saved in a year, to the individuals concerned, would be 912,500l.* A certain official privilege and indulgence must, on a fair principle, be granted to each member. His constituents' letters, bona fide on business, will not exceed five every day; and his replies to them, they may well defray

*Upon the whole, it appears from this statement, that by the proposed liberal proposition, the revenue would annually gain the half of 912,500l. or 456,250l. sterling.

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1831.]

Monument at Higham Ferrars.

the postage of, on account of the transaction carried on. Let the member have the privilege of granting five franks to his friends; and be it recollected that this, at five a day, fairly valued at half a crown each, will in the year save them, that is, the friends of the thousand members, 228,1257. of postage. It is not probable that constituents will send above two letters per day, and the remaining three the member will receive uncharged. 1 have said enough to show that this important case cannot remain much longer on a footing so manifestly detrimental to the public interest, labouring under pressure in every department. JOHN MACDONALD.

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THE Church of Higham Ferrers, in Northamptonshire, is one of the most handsome in itself, and most rich in its monuments, in a county which is distinguished for the beauty of its ecclesiastical structures. It was made collegiate by Archbishop Chicheley, who also built near the church a School and a Bedehouse; a view comprising the church and school was given in your vol. LXXXV. i. 393.

The monument represented in the accompanying drawing (Plate II.) is that of Laurence de Sancto Mauro, or Seymour, who died Rector in 1337. Its slab is beautifully inlaid with brass, as may be seen engraved in Gough's Sepulchral Monuments, vol. II. p. 332. The Rector, in a rich cope, stands under a highly decorated arch, surrounded with niches containing saints. Four brass shields of arms have been torn away; but some shields still remain carved in stone, on the sides of the tomb. They appear to have been originally nearly the same on both sides of the tomb; 1. the three lions of England; 2. the same under a label, Plantagenet of Lancaster, Lord of Higham Ferrars; 3. two chevrons under a label of three, Seymour; and 4. checky, On the south side the label of the second coat is of three points, and on the north of five.

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The tomb is surmounted with a finely formed arch, of which the side next the high altar is exhibited in the plate. It is principally with a view of showing the remarkable manner in which this arch has been adorned with painting, that the present drawGENT. MAG. June, 1831.

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ings are communicated. During the repairs of the church in the year 1827, when an attempt was made to restore the mouldings to their early sharpness and beauty, by removing the accumulated filth and whitewash, this colouring was accidentally discovered.

The central moulding, within the arch, is painted with the lozenge pattern, shown at large in fig. 1. The lozenge is of red and black, on a slatecoloured ground. The three knobs, which are seen projecting from this part, have iron rings in them, either for suspension of lamps, or a canopy or curtain, or perhaps to fix on bosses which have been broken off.

The outer members of the arch, on each side, are divided into compartments, in the manner shown at large in fig. 2. The ground is alternately green and red, the latter not vermilion, but a kind of crimson, apparently laid on dry, whilst most of the other colours appear to have been laid on wet, and some with oil. The compart. ments are separated by a broad black line, close to which on the crimson side is another of brown which was once gilt, and on the green side a like stripe of white. The lowest compartment on the west side is green, with a pattern of black and white dragonflies; the next above is red with the same insect pattern; the two next are alternately green and red, with a pattern of white lions; then two compartments, green and red, of flies; two, at the turning of the arch, of lions; and so down the other side.

Instead of the cluster of heads, fig. 3, there is on the north side a square florid pinnacle, and the shaft or buttress supporting it is corbelled at bottom with a Bishop's head (fig. 4), answering to fig. 5 in the south chancel, the groundwork of the tracery of which was relieved with a coat of paint. Fig. 6 is the eastern corbel shown in the view.

The priest to whose memory this magnificent monument was erected, was evidently one of wealth and rank. There can be little doubt that he was a member of the family which we find from Brydges's History of Northamptonshire, vol. II. p. 257, held a fourth part of the neighbouring manor of Thingdon or Finedon, and which was probably a branch of that of which Dugdale has given an account in his

498

St. Maur and Seymour.-Funeral Ceremonies. [June,

Baronage, the name Laurence occur-
ring in both.
Laurence de Sancto
Mauro, whose principal manor was
at Rode in Somersetshire, died (as
noticed by Dugdale) in 24 Edw. I.
1295; his son Nicholas was of the
retinue of Henry of Lancaster, whose
father was the patron of the Higham
rector. A Laurence de St. Maur held
a fourth of the manor of Finedon in
3 Edw. III. 1329.

Of Laurence the rector nothing further is recorded, than that he was instituted on the 8th cal. Oct. 1289, on the presentation of Edmund the King's brother; and that his successor was instituted in 1337. His epitaph, which remains, gives him no other title:

Hic jacet Laurentius de S't'o Mauro quondam rector istius ecc'e, cujus anime propicietur Deus.

On the arch over his head is written: Suscipiat me Cristus qui vocavit me -In sinu Atrahe' angeli deducant me.

The arms in the front of his tomb mark his connection with the Royal house of Lancaster, as well as with the baronial family of St. Maur or Seymour.*

Yours, &c.

Mr. URBAN,

C. W. C.

June 9.

I have often reflected with astonishment at the want of novelty which distinguishes all our customs and ceremonies, civil or religious. We are the creatures of habit, more apt to imitate the usages of our forefathers, than to aim at originality even in our most solemn rites. And how correct soever this may be in principle, it is still a process of much curiosity to trace the resemblance that actually exists between the customs of two periods which are removed from each other by thousands of years. An ex

perienced observer remarked, many centuries ago, that there is nothing new under the Sun; and the practices of the present race seem to confirm the wisdom which dictated that pithy observation. The writings of Homer contain a system of ethics, which human knowledge and human ingenuity, exercised throughout a consecutive period of two thousand years, have failed essentially to improve; and even the mythological rites and ceremonies that distinguished the most cultivated æra of paganism, have been transmitted through all the fluctuations of religious worship, and have descended to our times, very little impaired by their introduction into a system of truth.

We have scarcely a single devotional ceremony, the original of which may not be traced to some æra of remote antiquity. Have we annual feasts to commemorate the dedication of our churches? So had the Jews and Greeks at the solemn consecration of their temples. Do we use Christmas celebrations? They may be traced to the brumal or Yule feasts of our Saxon ancestors, which were held at the same season, and we have not rejected even the name. The custom perpetuated in many parts of this country of decorating churches and dwelling houses with evergreens at that time of the year, is evidently derived from the aboriginal inhabitants of the island; for the same practice formed a part of the Druidical winter ceremonies. Did the primitive fathers of our Church instruct their Christian followers to worship with their faces towards the east? We are assured that the same practice was prevalent amongst the heathens. How this has happened I pause not here to inquire; the object of the present communication being of a more humble nature;

*It is to be regretted that some members of the Duke of Somerset's family should have recently had the bad taste to alter the spelling of their name from Seymour to St. Maur. The latter is French, or abbreviated Latin; the former is the established English orthography. It is true that Dugdale has printed the name _St. Maur in the place above referred to; but those Barons were not the ancestors of the Duke of Somerset, and, if Dugdale be an authority, he, of course, in his account of the Ducal family, authorises that orthography from which it has been entirely a modern fancy to deviate. It may be also true that the names of the Duke's remote ancestors are found Latinized by "de Sancto Mauro;" yet, since as a family the present Seymours have an unusually marked starting post, in the mariage of Henry the Eighth with Jane Seymour, the ancestors they have chiefly to regard are the two able and aspiring uncles of King Edward the Sixth; and to look beyond those SEYMOURS is to give up a substantial ancestral honour for a "vox et præterea nihil."

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