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(vol. ii., pp. 86-7). Among the Bachelors of Divinity for 1654 it is stated: "Two were admitted, James Stopes of Magdalene Hall, and Thomas Harward of Trinity College, but neither of them were writers."

Since that date there has been a series, uninterrupted till quite lately, of rectors of the name in the neighbouring parishes of Britwell Salome, Britwell Prior, Brightwell Baldwin, South Stoke, with a few scions in the adjoining counties, showing a distinct attraction toward the church; for the members of this small family have all seemed to have been, as formerly, farmers, with at least one rector in each generation.

It is but little to be able to produce such a slight sketch of a life and so few fragments of verse on which to claim literary notice, but the value of "fragments" has now begun to be realized, in piecing together, as in a mosaic picture, the life and work of the past. It is possible that further manuscripts may sometime or other be yet discovered that may shed more light upon the reign of the Queen that sank to the grave, as has hitherto been supposed,

Unwept, unhonoured, and unsung.

"Maiden's" or "Marden's Wall" (Well)— wall here having the same meaning as well. It was situated on the rise of a hill called the "High Wood." Its waters were once very famous for their healing powers, and many people from the parts adjacent frequently fetched some of its water to administer to persons suffering from various diseases, when the medicine of the professional man had failed to effect a cure or give relief.

It had also a strange legend attached to it, which may account for its modern name. It was believed to be haunted by the ghost of a young woman, and on this account people were so much afraid that few of them could be found hardy enough to go near it after dark. This superstition would appear to be a survival of the time when wells were believed to be inhabited by spirits, whose aid was invoked by means of divination. Fortune-tellers frequently took advantage of this superstition to extort money from the ignorant and foolish, pretending to call up the spirits to the surface of the water, in order that the person desiring knowledge of the future might question them. Females in particular were guilty of this superstition, arising out of a weakness and anxiety to know who would be their future spouse.-Ibid.

RUSHTON SPENCER: ST. HELEN'S WELL. There was a famous well here known as

Holy Wells: their Legends and St. Helen's, which was endowed by the super


By R. C. HOPE, F.S.A., F.R.S.L. (Continued from p. 163, vol. xxii).

STAFFORDSHIRE (continued.)


HIS well was once scrupulously kept, and flowers yearly adorned it, because it was believed to possess great curative properties. According to the Reliquary it was called "Penny Croft," from the pence the afflicted offered for the use of its healing virtues. It has lately been turned into a common drinkingplace for cattle. - Midland Weekly News, contributed by G. T. Lamby.


The ancient name Marian or Mary's Well has in more modern times been changed to

stitious with several very singular qualities. It sometimes became suddenly dry after a constant overflow for eight or ten years. This occurred in wet as well as in dry seasons, and always at the beginning of May, when springs are generally believed to be at their highest, and the dry season lasted till Martinmas. It was locally believed that this occurrence foretold some great calamity, as war, famine, pestilence, or other national disaster. It is said to have become dry before the outbreak of the Civil War, before the execution of Charles I., before the great scarcity of corn in 1670, and in 1679 when the miscalled Popish plot was discovered. So says Dr. Plott.-Ibid.


Between Upper and Lower Tean, in the parish of Checkley, is a spring of a remarkable character, denominated the "Well in the

Wall," as it rises from under a rock. An old tradition says that this unaccountable spring throws out all the year round-except in July and August-small bones of different sorts, like those of sparrows and chickens.Ibid.


Here is a noted well, known as "Elder Well," said to be blessed with valuable medicinal properties, and to be a sovereign remedy for the eyes, on which account it used to be annually "dressed" with flowers and branches of trees, and rustic games and amusements indulged in by those attending.-Ibid.


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A custom similar to the above obtains here.-Ibid.


There was a famous sulphureous well here accounted a sovereign remedy for leprosy. England's Gazetteer (1751) informs us it is used at "present" by both man and beast against cutaneous diseases, so that many of the inhabitants boil their meat in and brew with it. Nightingale (Beauties of England and Wales) tells us that "processioning was prevalent at Brewood at the annual celebration of well-dressing there."-Ibid.


Here is another well famous for the cure of the king's evil, known as "St. Erasmus's Well," of sulphureous quality. In the reign of Henry VII. a chapel was built near this spring. The Chetwynd MS., in the Salt

Library, at Stafford, records that "an aged man, formerly clerk there, told Walter Chetwynd that the adjoining wells were much frequented by lame and diseased people, many whereof found there a cure for their infirmity, inasmuch that at the dissolution thereof, the walls were hung about with crutches, the relics of those who had benefited thereby. Nor was the advantage small to the priest, the oblations of the chapel being valued in the king's books at £6 13s. 4d.”Ibid.


In Dr. Wilkes' MS. is a reference to this famous well. He tells us that a holy well existed in that town, which was curiously dedicated to St. Sunday, and that it was celebrated for the cure of several diseases. It bore the following inscription: "Fons occulis morbisque cutaneis diu celebris. A.D. 1728." Where this well was is now a matter of impenetrable mystery, a fact which may be accounted for in the almost complete cover

ing of the original surface of the land by the

refuse of the mines.-Ibid.


A holy well formerly existed here, which it was the custom every year to adorn with garlands, to the accompaniment of music and dancing, in honour of its patron, St. Augustine, who

As early bards do telle,
Gave to Bromwych this holy welle.

The well derived its name from the monks of Sandwell, who no doubt derived considerable revenues from its medicinal virtues.— Ibid.


At Willowbridge, in the north of the county, was a medicinal spring, originally discovered, it is said, by Lady Bromley. A rare and curious pamphlet of the seventeenth century was written in praise of its virtues by a celebrated physician, named Samuel Gilbert.

The water, according to Dr. Plott, carried with it the most rectified sulphur of any mineral spring in the county.—Ibid.


Half a century ago or more, there was a famous well here known by the prosaic name

of "The Alum Well." Tradition has not left anything on record respecting its virtues, nor do I know where it is located.—Ibid.

STOWE (LICHFIELD): ST. CHAD'S WELL. "Leland, in his Itinerary, says: 'Stowe Church, in the easte end of the towne, where is St. Chadd's Well, a spring of pure water, where is seen a stone in the bottom of it, on the whiche, some say, St. Chadd was wont, naked, to stand in the water and praye. At this stone St. Chad had his oratory in the tyme of Wulphar, King of the Merches.' The superstitious custom of adorning this well with boughs, and of reading the Gospel for the day, at this and at other wells and pumps, is yet observed in this city on Ascension Day."-Harwood's History of Lichfield, p. 509 (published 1806).

This custom is still continued in Lichfield

(see Shropshire Folk-lore, s.v. "Ascensiontide," pp. 348, 349, on "Traces of Well Worship"), but the procession only goes round the boundaries of the Close as there described, and does not go out to Stowe and St. Chad's Well. I can hear of no current superstition, custom, or tradition about the well.-C. S. B.

It is popularly believed that it is dangerous to drink of the water of St. Chad's Well, as it is sure to give a fit of the "shakes." Yet, in spite of the attendant's remonstrances, I took a good draught, and, instead of ague, experienced only great refreshment in a fatiguing walk on a sultry day.-Rev. C. F R. Palmer.


Great and Little Chatwell are two tiny hamlets in the (civil) parish of Gnosall, Staffordshire. At Little Chatwell is a well called St. Chad's, approached by old stone steps, the water of which is of very good quality and highly thought of for tea-making. At Great Chatwell is a bit of old sandstone wall with a fragment of a window, the remains of a chapel.

The lady who lives at St. Chatwell House, and whose father lived there before her (whether previous generations owned it I don't know) says that "according to tradition the well was consecrated by St. Chad," but how she got this tradition I don't know, or

whether it is more than the supposition of her own family.

The late owner of Little Chatwell (Mr. J. H. Adams, who had a great love of antiquities) called his house Chadwell Court. The name Chatwell (pronounced Chattle) is said to have formerly been Chadwell, but I don't know of anyone who has seen any old deed in which it was so spelt. Not that I doubt the etymology.-C. S. Burne.


There was a well of St. Rufinus at Tamworth, on the Warwickshire side of the town, mentioned in the Hundred Rolls, temp. Edward I. It was almost entirely destroyed by fire, June 15, 1559, and the restoration was very slow, occupying more than forty years. It is possible, the well having fallen into discredit, it was at this period finally destroyed and the road to it blocked up. Certain it is that the well is never mentioned after this period, and there has not been any public well in existence for 300 years, as far as any deed records.


"This well is situated at the furthest extremity of our parish (Adbaston). There are two cottages one mile from Ellerton; the well is in the garden of one of them. It is in first-rate condition, the water clear as crystal, surrounded by large stones, with steps down to the water. The cottages are built in Elizabethan style, though the stone has been replaced by bricks in a recent reparation. It is said that King Charles I., when staying at Chetwynd Park on the way to Market Drayton, one day drank of this well; also that King Charles II. changed his clothes in one of these very cottages for a countryman's smock and clogs."*-Eldon Butler. Adbaston Vicarage, August 19, 1890.

* Charles II. did not come so far north in the flight from Worcester: the story probably refers to some other fugitive from the battle. The Duke of Buckingham, Earl of Derby, and others fled in this direction, and several of them were concealed in the neighbourhood for some time.-C. S. B.

Peterborough Gentlemen's



HERE was founded at Peterborough

in the first half of last century, twenty years before the Society of

Antiquaries received its charter of incorporation, a local archæological society under the title of the "Peterborough Gentlemen's Society." This association, which exists to the present day, and of whose origin and work so little has hitherto been known, may fairly claim to be the parent of all those numerous local antiquarian societies that now abound in Great Britain and Ireland. Some account of their early proceedings cannot fail, therefore, to be of interest to modern antiquaries, particularly as the society dealt with various details in Peterborough and the district, many of which have since disappeared.

The Gentlemen's Society in Peterborough was founded on August 26, 1730. The first volume of minutes, extending from that date to March 2, 1742-43, was presented to the Chapter Library of Peterborough by Rev. H. Freeman, Rector of Folksworth, in December 1853. A rule was made on June 25, 1740, that, if the society should ever be dissolved, the books, papers, prints, medals, and other curiosities shall be reposited in the Library of the Dean and Chapter of the cathedral church, and shall not be divided among any or all of the members of the said society. From the first volume of the minutes we take the following notes:

"1730, September 2.-Maurice Johnson,

Esq., of Spalding, made an honorary member.

"October 7.-Thomas Marshall, rector of St. John's, reads an historical account of his church of St. John's, first erected by Abbot Torrold, 1078. A list of rectors given, and names added up to 1786. "October 14.-In the Chapel at Long Thorp (which is an hamlet belonging to the parish of St. John the Baptist, in Peterborough), is the following inscription engraved on a copper plate

and fastened into a stone of the pave-
ment just at the entrance into the
Chancel which shows the time of the
Consecration (or rather the reconsecra-
tion) of the said Chapel, together with
the reason of it; for 'tis probable that
it had been long before that an Oratory
or Chapel, erected in popish times to
say Mass, and for the Soul of some
deceased person. The Inscription runs

Cúm refectum et Deo, cæmiterij gratiâ.
Sacratum hoc fuit Sacellum Anno Domini
1683. hoc primum auxilianti manu posuit
Saxum Gulielmus filius natu maximus
Georgij Leafield Armigeri, sub quo eodem
Saxo a Dedicatione Ipse primus corpore tenui
Sepultus erat, Decris 21, 1685 ætat 8vo.

"1730-31, February 3.-Mr. Marshall communicated to the Society the following inscription from two ancient pieces of stone work, fixed into that part of the West front of the Bishop's Palace in Peterborough, which stands nearest the Cathedral Church. They are carved in large projecting letters upon two separate stones cut in the form of an Escutcheon, and then put (as it were) into a square frame of stone with scroll work round it. The letters seem to make up this short pious sentence: Laudetur Dominus, except some should choose rather to read it: Laus detur Domino. (The sense in both cases the same.) The stone which has the in



scription Laudetur or Laus detur upon it stood originally the first, i.e., nearest the Cathedral Church, at about 12 or 18 feet distance from the other till about

four months ago, the present Bishop Dr. Robert Clavering) making very considerable alterations in his palace, had some part of the west front (which extended most to the northward and was very ruinous) entirely taken down. In this demolished part stood the first stone which the ignorant workmen, not knowing it had any relation to the second, removed to another place, and set it up (without the square frame) over the grand arch of the Piazza. The second stone remains where it was first put up whole and entire with its square frame.

"February 10.-Notice of four Roman urns dug up at March in beginning of November last by labourers in making the New Road from March to Wisbeach -four urns in all; in three were burnt bones, ashes, etc., and in fourth upwards of 400 Roman Denarii; the whole dated between the time of Augustus Triumvirate and the Emperor Commodus ; intrinsic weight of each about 7d. or 7d. sterling; the largest share in hands of Rev. Mr. Snell, of Doddington, in whose parish they were found; he has two of the urns and a fragment of the third; that which contained the money is in possession of Mr. George Smith, of March. "1731-2, March 15.-Silver seal, English, found at Peterborough in February, 1731-2, by a labourer as he was digging up the rubbish of an old wall on the South Side of the Bishop's palace, having been formerly part of the old abbey. The seal itself is of silver, not the least bruised or defaced, and weighed about 3s. 2d. sterling. It is now in the possession of the Right Rev. Father in God Robert, Lord Bishop of Peterborough, being his Lordship's property as being found within his Lordship's demesnes. Seal within a cusped circle, the modern arms of Hereford on a sheld with SOVCHE EST CANTO.


"1731, April 21.-Mr. White Kennet, Prebendary, presented to the Society five pieces of cast brass, supposed to be used by the ancient Romans in setting their Toils when they went an hunting, dug

up in the common fields of Eye in this County which was formerly part of the great forest of Arundel, as also the head of a Roman javelin used in hunting the wild boar found in the same place. On June 9, 1731, order to present one of these to our Sister Society at Spalding. "November 17.-Dr. Stukely, Rector of All Saints', Stamford, proposed as an honourable member, and admitted on December 1.

"1732, June 14.-Rev. Mr. Snell sends description of the four urns found at March, one of which he presented with the burnt bones in it to the Society. "1732, July 5.-Rev. Mr. Neve submits Chronological Series of Abbots and Bishops of Peterborough. "September 20.-Presented to Society a piece of the left horn of a stag found

place called Slipe river, 5 feet underground, between Low Burrow Fen and Burrough Great Fen, September 11, 1732.

"November 8.-Secretary proposes that as time of evening prayers at the Cathedral is altered from 4 to 3, meetings of Society commence for winter season immediately after prayers. "1733, February 14.-Communicated to the Society by the Secretary a fair MS. of the Charters of the Priory of Bishmede, in Bedfordshire, now in the Custody of William Gery, Esq.

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1733, May 19.-The Secretary gave an account of a curious tesselated pavement discovered last week in Castor Churchyard by the sexton digging a grave for a poor woman. The squares were very small and of different colours and so intermixed as to form larger squares of more than a foot which run through the whole work. When washed and cleaned the colours appeared exceeding bright, but the whole pavement was so strongly cemented together that the sexton could get up no one piece of it without defacing it, and the coffin was afterwards layd upon it. I enquired then for some medalls or what they call Dormans, but as they were formerly found there in very great plenty, they are now but seldome to be met with.

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