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binding at subscribers' price of a guinea. We feel confident that students of genealogy or history who send in their names as subscribers to Messrs. Mitchell and Hughes, of Wardour Street, will not be disappointed.
The last issue of the papers of the American Historical Association is a good one. The following are its contents: "The Mutual Obligation of the Ethnologist and the Historian," by Otis T. Mason; "Historical Survivals in Morocco," by Talcott Williams; "The Literature of Witchcraft," by G. L. Burr; "The Development of International Law as to Newly-discovered Territory," by Walter B. Scaife; "The Spirit of Historical Research," by James Schouler; "A Defence of Congressional Government," by Freeman Snow.
[Publishers are requested to be so good as always to mark clearly the prices of books sent for review, as these notices are intended to be a practical aid to book-buying readers.]
CHURCHWARDENS' ACCOUNTS. By Right Rev. Bishop Hobhouse. Somerset Record Society. Quarto, pp. xxvi., 277.
This volume, the value of which as illustrating preReformation parochial history it would be impossible to over-estimate, consists of transcripts of parts of the early churchwarden accounts of the six parishes of Croscombe, Pilton, Yatton, Tintinhull, Morebath, and St. Michael's, Bath, with introductions and annotations.
These accounts range from 1349 to 1560. There is no living ecclesiologist who could have treated these exceptionally early parochial records with greater care than Bishop Hobhouse has done, or who could have brought greater stores of accurate knowledge to bear upon the subject; it is fortunate, therefore, that they have fallen into his hands to edit, for any general deductions that he draws may be safely accepted by the antiquary. These wardens' receipts and outlay are, under Bishop Hobhouse's exposition, no mere dry entries, but present pictures of village life, and testify to habits, views, convictions, and aspirations, which have hitherto been but little understood even by wellread students of English religious customs. They prove that the church fabric and its costly services were maintained, not by priory and hall, but by the people themselves, highly organized for the purposes of methodical as well as exceptional contribution. They prove that the "parish," contrary to the elaborate contentions of the late Mr. Toulmin Smith and other legal writers, was "a purely religious organization, distinct in its origin, its raison d'être, its principles, its working, and its aims, from the manor or the tything, though composed of the same personnel, man for man. The "parish was the community dwelling in an area defined by the Church, organized for Church purposes, and subject to Church authority. The area might coincide with a manor or manors, or it might include portions of manors or tithings, or it might differ from all other defined areas. The church, too, without any civil interference, could alter its limits from time to time. Every resident was a parishioner, and owed his duty of worship and contribution to the one stated church of that area. All adults were parishioners, and had an even voice when assembled for church purposes. As both sexes could serve the office of warden, so there can be no doubt that both had a vote. The vestry, as we should now style it, though the term was then unknown, elected wardens, audited accounts, transferred church goods, and consulted and determined on the needs of the fabric, and ornaments, and on the methods of raising funds. A wide freedom was left to the parish by the diocesan authorities, though subject to regular visitations from rural deans and archdeacons, who could, if necessity arose, enforce their monitions in their spiritual courts. But monitions were very rare, and where served the parish was still free to choose its own method of doing the neglected work. The requisite funds were raised by voluntary methods, and through the goodwill of the community. Church ales, guild gatherings, gifts of live stock, bequests from almost every parishioner, even if they had nothing better to leave than an iron crock, a girdle, or a swarm of bees, the profits of the trade at the church house, which was often a quasi-victualling place, and the profits of religious plays, were among the more usual ways of raising the large funds that were necessary to keep the church and its full ritual in good condition. The church knew nothing of the sharply-defined castes of the civil law, the lord, the tenants bond and free, and the various subdivisions of the villeins. "It was able to mitigate the rigour of the landlord's demands upon the servants of the soil, whom serfdom would else have doomed to an unceasing round of toil. It was strong enough to say to the master, Thy servant
shall rest on the days that are marked as holy. Thou and thy servant together shall on those days resort to the house of your Divine Master, as fellow-servants, and there pay your united homage of prayer and praise.' It was in this way that the holy day of the Church became the holiday of the people. The church house, which was the focus of the social life of the parish, was as certain an accompaniment of the church as the schoolroom of the present day. Beginning as a bakehouse for the holy wafer and the holy loaf, it came to be a place for the sale of the loaf and the brewing of ale consumed as a source of revenue on special occasions. The profits were increased by letting the oven and the brewing vessels on hire to private persons. Soon it grew into a house of a size suitable for entertainments. The wardens proclaimed an "ale" (taberna) for some special church purpose, and the parishioners flocked to it, and brought their contribution, the "ale" being also attended by friends from adjacent parishes. It was the medieval bazaar.
In order to give a brief general idea of the exceeding interest of these pages, an illustration or two shall be given from Bishop Hobhouse's special words of introduction to each of the separate accounts, mentioning some different point or points under each:
Croscombe was a small country parish, with no resident squire. There was some cloth-making and lead-mining within its area; the rectory was a benefice. The church was large, but the fabric and all its numerous accessories were maintained by the voluntary alms of the middle and lower classes, who formed the population of the parish. A chief feature of its accounts was the guilds, who presented their offerings at the annual audit. The guilds that thus yearly contributed were six in number: the Young Men, or "yonglyngs," the Maidens, the Webbers, or weavers, the Tuckers, or fullers, the Archers, and the Hogglers, who seem to have included the field labourers and miners. Once, too-1483-84-a seventh guild appears in the accounts, namely, that of the Wives.
Pilton was owned by the Abbot of Glastonbury as lord of the manor; the rectory was appropriated to the precentorship of the cathedral, yet the church funds were voluntarily found among the residents, and always sufficed. There was a single warden to administer the funds, and to be responsible to the visiting authority; but under him were no less than four pairs of wardens, viz., Our Lady wardens, who looked after the north aisle; those of St. John's Brotherhood (a special guild), those of the high light on the roodloft, and those of the key, kye, or kine. The last of these were responsible for the cows that were given to the church, a form of live-stock by which the rich pastures of that parish could best contribute to the common fund for common worship.
outlay; but this wealth rather promoted than deadened zeal. The churchyard was enlarged in 1485, at a cost of £3 6s. 8d., the consecration of the following year costing £1 13s. 4d. A noble churchyard cross was erected in 1524, at a cost much exceeding £9. "The Church House was thoroughly equipped for all its hospitable purposes. There was an organ and a clock. Minstrels were hired at Whitsuntide. The organist, clerk, and sexton were salaried. The Waking of the Sepulchre' from Good Friday to Easter morn by two paid men was regularly observed. All vestments and portable vessels, and even the stone altar slabs, were carried to the bishop for his blessing.'
Tintinhull, with an area of 1,800 acres, had both manor and advowson of rectory vested in the adjacent priory of Montacute. But the priory left to the parishioners the sustenance of the fabric of the church and of the accessories of worship. During the period covered by these extant warden accounts, which begin in 1433-34, the church, whilst unchanged in groundplan, was being continually improved. A rood-loft and rood were erected on the breast work of a previous stone screen; the south porch, with a stone roof, was rebuilt; the tower was raised, and a turret staircase added; the west window was enlarged; carved oak benches were supplied, and the bells were recast, and all at the bounty of the resident parishioners. The funds of this parish accrued from (1) the bakehouse (pistrina); (2) the brewhouse (brasina); (3) at a later date the church-house (pandoxatorium); (4) some strips of land in the moor; (5) live-stock, e.g., horned cattle and bees; and (6) gifts, bequests, and special gatherings.
Morebath, though within the borders of Devon, had both manor and rectorial tithes attached to the neighbouring priory of Darlynch, Somerset. "The spirit of self-help," says Bishop Hobhouse, "was very evident in this parish. In 1534, when a silver chalice was stolen from the church, 'ye yong men and maydens of ye parysse dru them selffe together, and wt there gyfte and provysyon the bouth you another challis wowt ony chargis of ye parysse,' eighty-one donors raising 30s. In 1538-39, in spite of the warnings of the coming changes, a special effort was made to buy a new cope, for which the subscribers paid £3 6s. 8d., and the churche at no charge.' This spirit was strongly nurtured by the vicar, who, from 1528 onwards, gave his rights of wool-tithe accruing from the church flock towards the purchase of a suit of black vestments, obtained at last at the cost of £6 5s., in 1547."
St. Michael's, Bath, possesses the earliest known wardens' accounts, as they begin in 1349. They have already been printed and edited by the Somerset Archeological Society, so that only a brief selection is given in this volume to illustrate the working of the Church in a city parish with a trading burgher population. A small flock of sheep belonged to the church -a singularly awkward possession for the wardens of a town parish.
Yatton's manorial lord was the bishop, and its rectorial tithes from the twelfth century had been appropriated to a prebend of Wells Cathedral, but the church was not helped by either absentee landowner or absentee titheowner. Nor had it landed endow. ments nor live-stock for income. "The income raised by this population of peasants and yeomen is most surprising." There was always a balance handed over to the incoming wardens, enough to meet the ordinary half a dozen men in England capable of truly criticizing
The volume concludes with a useful glossary, some brief appendices, and an all too short index. It is not a book to be criticized in the ordinary sense of the term. Indeed, there are not probably more than
it. We are pretty confident that no one else has had so many early churchwarden accounts in his hands as the editor, for there are very few pre-Reformation ones remaining. We have ourselves transcribed, some years ago, the fifteenth-century warden accounts and inventories of a big town church of the Midlands, and this book throws much fresh light upon that which was then published. Just here and there we do not quite agree with the notes in some immaterial point. For instance, at page 182 there is a record in 1446-47 of 47 lb. of lead being bought, by the wardens of Tintinhull, pro wights ville faciendo. The Bishop suggests that this may mean standard weights kept at the common bakehouse for the use of the village. But having recently paid attention to the subject of weights and measures, and the stringent regulations made by those important functionaries "clerks of the market,' we are convinced that this cannot have been the case, no village having standard weights. May not the entry rather refer to the weights for the village clock?
In our opinion, no one book of greater value to the ecclesiologist, or more pregnant in teaching to the local historian, has been published this century than this unassuming fourth volume of the Somerset Record Society.
F. S. A.
THE FEUDAL HISTORY OF THE COUNTY of Derby. Vol. II., Section IV. By John Pym Yeatman. Hansard Publishing Union. Royal 8vo., pp. iv., 281. Price 10s. 6d.
This section is a slight improvement on the one last issued, and possesses a certain value, though the title of this scrappy collection of particulars relative to the county continues to be a complete misnomer. This part, which concludes the second volume, and ends with exhaustive indexes of persons and places, contains extracts from Chesterfield parish registers concerning those families whom Mr. Yeatman regards as "ancient"; a register of Dissenting children baptized at Chesterfield from 1710 to 1786; an index to monumental inscriptions at Chesterfield, which is of no value, as it only refers to copies given by Ford and Glover (local historians of the first half of the century), and these are capricious and full of errors; a list of coat-armour formerly in the church at Chesterfield, from Harleian MSS., which has previously been printed and annotated; a catalogue of a collection of Chesterfield charters in the munimentrooms of Mr. Foljambe at Osberton, and of the Marquis of Hartington at Hardwick; pedigrees of Milnes, Middleton, Bunting, Heathcote, Webster, and Wood, all of Chesterfield; charter references to the hamlet of Newbold and its berewics; a history of the family of Eyre, much of which is rant and fustian; charter and other early references to the manors of Whittington and Brimington, the hamlet of Boythorpe, the berewic of Tapton, and the manor of Wingerworth. The indexes to the whole volumenot that we grudge their length--take up sixty-seven pages, leaving a little over two hundred pages as the actual material of this volume. We have a fair knowledge of Derbyshire and of that which goes to make up a good county history, and we have no hesitation in saying that the greater part of these two hundred
pages are not worth printing; but the remainder, which gives a catalogue of private charters and handy lists of references to early manorial records, will prove of value to Derbyshire genealogical students and to those who are interested in parochial or local history. We never remember a case in which a book, that started well, fell off more conspicuously in subsequent issues. Before Mr. Yeatman embarked on this large undertaking, he was known as a bold and somewhat capable free-lance in manorial and genealogical literature; but he was also known (and insisted that he should be known, by persistent selfadvertising) as a barrister-at-law at fierce enmity with all the usual legal authorities, from the Lord Chancellor downwards; as a circuit-barrister at bitter feud with his own (the Midland) circuit; as a literary searcher, who detested and distrusted the Public Record officials and their system root and branch; and as one who showed a remarkable all-round aptitude for falling into quarrels. Unfortunately this difficulty of accommodating himself to the give-and-take principles of life with his fellows seems to have pursued Mr. Yeatman into his last literary effort, which might have been a thoroughly useful undertaking if carried out in accordance with its original design. But quarrels with publishers, each section being issued by a different firm, seem to have deranged the author's plans, and matters of value, much that is valueless, and more that is mediocre have been turned out in a hasty unassimilated fashion that is as provoking as it is disappointing.
In this section Mr. Yeatman finds fresh objects for his unmeasured attacks. This time it is a quarrel with the retail booksellers, who, according to his account, are in league to boycott his enterprise. We do not possess the materials to form a just estimate of his wholesale and serious accusations, but when we find a gentleman well known to all book-buyers of the Midlands as a model of the courteous and conscientious tradesman, who is of no mean ability himself, and who has a reflected fame in being the father of a senior wrangler, coarsely attacked by name, we put it to Mr. Yeatman whether his rapidly-dwindling list of local subscribers may not arise from some other causes than those assigned by the author?
Irrespective of these quarrels, which no reviewer can disregard, as Mr. Yeatman insists upon making them part and parcel of all he undertakes, this section is otherwise disfigured by a lack of the sense of the proportion of things, without which nothing of the nature of a true county history can possibly be achieved. A glowing eulogy on Governor Eyre, "infamously treated by an infatuated rabble," of whom, by-the-bye, John Stuart Mill was the leader, and a long account of the family and pedigree of a local wine and spirit merchant, whose father was actually the first of the family to come into Derbyshire, are surely strange ways of filling up the pages of a 66 feudal history.' Why, too, should this latter gentleman be the only "Derbyshire worthy" so far honoured by Mr. Yeatman with an engraved portrait? Can this gentleman have supplied it himself? Nor can anyone act fairly as an historian of the remote or near past whose own personality and particular views are so constantly in evidence as is the case with the author of these rambling collections. The fact of his
own "reception into the Catholic Church," through the agency of an usher at a proprietary school, is not of sufficient interest to be included in the actual pages of a Feudal History of Derbyshire, particularly as the master was a Frenchman and the school was in Yorkshire ! These pages, too, are grossly unfair to those who cannot conscientiously change their religion with the author, and are only useful as a warning to other writers not to let their prejudices spoil their judgment. Much of the matter with which this section is inappropriately interlarded will be peculiarly offensive, we are sure, to the respected old Roman Catholic families of the county.
THE BOOK OF SUNDIALS: Collected by Mrs. Alfred Gatty. Third edition. Edited by H. K. F. Eden and Eleanor Lloyd. George Bell and Sons. Illustrated. Small 4to., pp. viii., 578.
Price 15s. It is a pleasure to find this pleasant book of the late Mrs. Gatty reaching a third and enlarged edition. The second edition was published in February, 1889, and since then more than sixty mottoes have been added to the collection. Some valuable additions have also been made to the collection of remarkable but uninscribed dials. The appendix on the construction of sundials, by Mr. William Richardson, is of much value, and the instructions are given so clearly that they may possibly move clergy or churchwardens to restore some of the numerous decayed mural dials on the walls of our churches, or bring about a revived habit of placing them on lawns or over summer. houses. Among the more recently noted sundial mottoes, which now number five hundred and twelve, is a French version of Hora Bibendi, for on the front of an auberge at Libourne all who consult the dialface are ever informed that C'est l'heure de boire! Who would dare to think of Sunday or early closing in the face of such an inscription as this? Two brief mottoes have come to light in a most unexpected place. On the woodcut of a sundial which was engraved on the first set of national notes issued by the United States after the Declaration of Independence, dated 1776, appear, "Fugio-Mind your business." The two sides of this half-dollar note are engraved to form a plate for this volume. The most interesting part of this book, however, to the antiquary, is the account of early dials, and specially of the Saxon dials of England. Information on this subject is brought fairly up to date, but a few more Yorkshire examples of Saxon dials on churches might have been given; nor do we notice any reference to two or three found on churches in Wilts, that were noted by the Archæological Institute at their Salisbury meeting of 1887. The introduction, and the introduction to the addenda, are a little wanting in clear arrangement, and the lack of any index to this part of the book is a very decided drawback. Every archeologist - nay, most intelligent readers - would far rather have an index to the very interesting series of miscellaneous examples of early and remarkable sundials, than the one which is given (though that need not be omitted) to those that bear a motto. The book is indispensable to all who are concerned with or take an interest in ancient or modern dialling. These pages, from cover to cover, are a credit to the
publishers, and form a good specimen of English typograhical beauty.
HISTORY OF THE PARISH OF RIBCHESTER. By Tom C. Smith, F.R.H.S., and Rev. J. Shortt, B.A. Bemrose and Sons. Crown 8vo., pp. ix., 288. Illustrated. Price 7s. 6d.
By this publication Ribchester has been removed from the reproach of being one of the only Roman stations of importance that had not received special treatment. The first forty pages consist of an account of Roman Ribchester (Bremetomacum) from the pen of Rev. J. Shortt, Vicar of Hoghton, a well-known authority on the Roman antiquities of Lancashire. It is well and attractively written, and is no mere dry catalogue of finds. The opening paragraph gives a good idea of the writer's desire to bring before his readers a vivid picture of Roman-Britain. Foreign troops were stationed in Ribchester for three hundred years. All through that long period of time, soldiers wearing outlandish uniforms, speaking alien tongues, officered by men from over the sea, tended its soil, and kept watch and ward in and around it. Within its ramparts were congregated from age to age natives, not only of various European countries, but even of African and Asiatic regions. A constant succession of such visitors passed through this now secluded village. A greater contrast can scarcely be imagined than that between its former and its present population. It must surely be of no ordinary interest to learn what we can of the strange, motley, exotic tenants who occupied the place for so many generations.' The chester, or camp, at Ribchester, founded about the year 124, was probably the largest in Lancashire, though considerably less than Wroxeter, Chester, and other well-known examples. Its limits are in parts distinctly visible, and various cuttings were made in the ramparts during 1888-89, with results here faithfully chronicled. The illustrations and plans of this part of the volume are effective. One of the finest and most remarkable Roman bronze mask-helmets that has been found anywhere, beautifully embossed with figures, was brought to light here at the end of last century. Three years ago a magnificent Roman harp-shaped brooch of gold, weighing 373 grains, was found just outside the chief gateway. Only those of gold have been previously discovered. Plates are given of both these articles. Romano-British archæ
ologists will value every paragraph of Mr. Shortt's too brief account of this station. Excavations on a larger scale would be sure to prove of great interest. May Mr. Shortt live to be their historian!
The rest of the book is by Mr. Tom C. Smith, who treats of the general history of Ribchester. reputation that he gained in his history of Longridge is herein fully sustained. The manorial history seems to be well done, though after a condensed fashion, and mistakes of Whittaker corrected. The parish church of St. Wilfrid is carefully treated. Good use is made of the seventeenth and eighteenth century churchwardens' accounts; is not the item of gloves provided for the ringers (1650) an unusual one? The extraparochial chapelry of Stydd and its interesting font are well described and illustrated. There is a good list of the rectors of Ribchester, from 1246 downwards, with particulars as to not a few. John Heber, who
was rector from 1738 to 1775, was uncle of the celebrated poet-bishop of Calcutta. Occasionally Mr. Smith is curiously inconsequential in his style. What, for instance, is the connection between these two facts, with which the notice of the present rector ends? "Besides holding service in Stydd Church every Sunday during the summer months, Mr. Dickson has established a parish magazine." The fifth chapter is of special value to those interested in old country usages and local government; it deals with the records of the parish council of "The Gentlemen and Fourand-Twenty," from the middle of the seventeenth century downwards. They ruled not only the clerk and sexton, the ringers and choristers, but even elected the curates, and regulated their allowance according to their conduct. Another chapter gives a list of, and particulars as to, the churchwardens and other parish officials. A transcript is supplied of the first ten years of the oldest register, beginning in 1598, and remarkable entries are extracted from the remainder. It is noteworthy that during the early part of the eighteenth century baptisms and marriages are not infrequently recorded as performed by Roman Catholic priests. They are entered as by "Romish priest" or "Papist priest," not "Catholic priest," as Mr. Smith erroneously terms it in his text, for the seventeenthcentury rectors of Ribchester would fully recognise that they themselves came within this last description. Accounts are also given of the monuments and inscriptions, of the public charities, of some of the old families, and of the Roman Catholic mission and chapel. There is also some description of a library that was founded in the parish church in 1684. It was in existence within the last thirty years, and was one of considerable value. The books were allowed to rot away and to be taken off haphazard by anyone who fancied a copy, as has been noticed in Chancellor Christie's Old Libraries of Lancashire. Mr. Smith states that in 1889 he talked the matter over of the lost books with the rector, and they resolved to try and trace them. "After a brief search Mr. Dickson and myself discovered the following interesting volumes all in a dilapidated and disgraceful condition. After some trouble we were able to catalogue them. The books are six in number, and include the one mentioned by Chancellor Christie. They are, however, of no great value, so I do not give their titles." It is not often that statements so remarkably contradictory are brought into this close juxtaposition by an author! At all events, it was clearly his duty to give their titles whether they are "interesting 66 or of no great value," in order that this little remnant of a disgracefully lost library may be preserved. There are two or three other instances of careless editing, but, as a whole, the volume is excellently done, and the authors, as well as all the literary residents of Ribchester and the district, are to be congratulated on the accomplishment of a local history.
DEANERY OF BICESTER. Part V.: History of Fring
ford, Hethe, Mixbury, Newton Purcell, and Shelwell. By Rev. J. C. Blomfield, M.A. Elliot Stock. Quarto, pp. 192. Three plates; price 9s.
The brief history of these five parishes of the Deanery of Bicester maintains a high standard. The remarks on the origin of fords which precede the
account of Fringford are thoughtful, and suggest that in many a parish history enough attention is not paid to tracing the old paths and roads upon which parochial development so much depends. The following entry of a bequest in kind to the church is of interest:
"1532, June 3d. Roger Copeland, of Fryngford, bequeaths to the High Altar a bushel of Barley. Item to Saint Kateryn's and St. Thom's altar 4 bushels of Barley. To the roode lofte ij bushels of Barley. Item to St. Thom's lofte iij bushels of Barley. Item to the bells iij bushels of Barley. To the Torches j bushel of Barley.'
Here, too, is another noteworthy archidiaconal court record of the same century and place :
"Oct. 24th, 1584. Office of the lord against Robert Pryor de Fringford. He appeared. Having been sworn and warned, he answers and confesses, 'That he kept his sheepe in the fylde upon a Sondaye before morning prayer, and sayeth that he came to the Churche before the seconde lesson was ended, and there continued untill the service was ended, and he brought in compurgatory, of whom he lawfully cleared himself. Wherefore the lord dismissed him with a monition to come more earlye to service."
Many extracts of like interest, did space permit, might readily be made from the history of each of these five parishes. Although there is abundant proof of the careful use of secular sources of information in the manorial notes, as well as of critical personal study of the districts described, chief attention has been given to ecclesiastical records, which appear to have been most thoroughly searched, whether episcopal, archidiaconal, or parochial. We have never noted better lists of rectors, or more pains taken to procure reliable information in connection with the later incumbents than is the case with this history of the Deanery of Bicester. Occasionally, of course, Mr. Blomfield is at fault. For instance, under the account of the rectors in the history of Newton Purcell are several blunders. The due distinction is not made between canons regular and monks. The preReformation title of "Sir Priest " was certainly not confined to non-graduates. Although some peculiar case may have arisen with regard to a particular rector of Newton (the benefice of which was in the gift of the Priory of Bicester), whereby an illicit and illegal arrangement was made for the cure being served by a stipendiary parochial chaplain, who had been only formally instituted as rector, it is altogether wrong to suppose that medieval English bishops permitted instituted and inducted rectors, particularly when presented by religious houses, to be mere shams, not receiving the fruits. If Mr. Blomfield is right in his idea of what priories did with their rectories, how silly it would have been of them to spend so much time and money in endeavouring to turn them into vicarages!