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parishes or on the estate how much they owe to the noble and wealthy families who for so long a time have provided for them the means of living, numerous comforts when age or infirmity have dulled the senses or weakened the bodily frame, to say nothing of the enjoyment derived from the beautiful natural scenery by which they are surrounded." We were old-fashioned enough to believe that God gave us the bodily and mental powers by which we live, and that the same Being was responsible for "beautiful natural scenery." But, seriously, a village priest who can thus write has mistaken both century and country; he ought to have flourished in France in the days just previous to the Great Revolution, when the unstinted incense of adulation was offered by sycophantic writers to the landed seigneurs. We confess that it was difficult, after being pained by a preface as strange as it is happily rare, to study the remainder of the book with cool criticism, but we have done our best, with the following result: Mr. Eyre has read carefully a large number of printed authorities on the manorial history of these two parishes, and of their ecclesiastical connection with the abbeys of Hyde and Waverley, and with the order of the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, and has on the whole assimilated his materials fairly well. The palæographist will, however, readily detect from various slips that the writer is unfamiliar with the documents that are cited, and the sources from which they are obtained ought to have been indicated. The ecclesiologist, also, will be startled by several rash and crude statements; obviously, when writing in general terms on the monasteries, that "they owed no allegiance to the laws of this country," the rector is writing to his parishioners on a subject of which he has not even elementary knowledge, and knows nothing of the canon law or of the episcopal jurisdiction over various religious houses of England. On pages 56, 57, a list is given, headed in capitals, "Rectors of Swarraton." It begins with two under the dates 1267 and 1284, and then jumps at a bound over two centuries to 1535. Even the latter part of the list abounds in blunders. A rector was presented to Swarraton by Sir Robert Henley in 1685, but does not appear at all; the next was presented by Anthony Henley in 1715, but there is no entry for that year; whilst under 1718, when no rector was instituted, Mr. Eyre is content to print, "Richard Webb (? if Rector)." Now, we say plainly there can be no excuse for slovenly, idle work of this kind. Far better leave parochial history alone than thus spoil the field for what might be properly done by others. It is of no use for a writer to say, as is here done in a foot-note, "This list is very imperfect, but the writer has failed to make it more complete.' The episcopal registers of Winchester diocese are about the most perfect in the kingdom, extending as they do in unbroken line from 1282 downwards. No clergyman has any right to publish (for the book is not privately printed, but published and sent out for review) a history of his parish who will not take the trouble to journey to the centre of his diocese to search the episcopal act books, or if he does not possess the ability to read them, he should procure others to do it for him. The two old churches of Swarraton and Northington have both been demolished during the present century, the former having been apparently twice rebuilt. But no
one unacquainted with the parishes could possibly arrive at a clear conclusion as to what has been done in this respect, or where the present church stands, or where a cross or crosses have been erected on the sites of the old ones, the accounts in these pages are so strangely confused, and the letterpress at the bottom of the plates does not tally with that in the actual work. It will scarcely be credited that there is not one single line descriptive of the fine church of Northington, of which a beautiful photophane plate is given as a frontispiece, although the preface, dated April, 1890, expresses a hope that the book "may have a value for those who come after us"; we can but suppose and hope that this church is finished and in use, for its predecessor was pulled down in 1888.
A considerable part of this volume is taken up with an account of successive residents at the Grange, who became the sole landowners of these parishes, a series of interesting portraits being given of the Henleys, Drummonds, and Barings. This old monastic land has changed hands even more rapidly and frequently than is usually the case with property of this description. Most of the owners have been ennobled, but the titles have soon become extinct. Sir William Fitzwilliam, to whom the manor of Swarraton and the monastic residence of the Grange were granted by Henry VIII. in 1536, was created Earl of Southampton in 1542. On his death, in 1544, it passed to his half-brother, Anthony Browne, Viscount Montague. In 1557 Lord Montague granted the manor to William Denton and Henry Heighes. The new owners were immediately involved in legal difficulties, and eventually, in 1568, the tenant, Thomas Cobb, became seized of the manor. 1639 the Cobb family sold the property to Lord Henry Pawlett. In 1662 Lord Pawlett sold it to Robert Henley, of the Middle Temple. The descendants of Robert Henley, who were raised to the title of Earl of Northington and Viscount Henley, became extinct in the male line with the second earl. On his death, in 1786, the surviving sisters sold the Grange to Henry Drummond, a wealthy banker, and fourth son of Lord Strathallan, whose grandson, of the same name, sold it, in 1817, to another London banker, Alexander Baring, who afterwards became the first Lord Ashburton, in which family the Grange still remains.
necessity to make any apology for its appearance. These pages are no mere fanciful groupings of imaginary people, with one or two well-known figures thrown in, as is usually the case with historic fiction, but the story is made the vehicle for conveying to the reader a number of well-accredited local traditions that pertain to Wyverton, Shelford, Annesley, and other adjacent parts of Nottinghamshire, during the days of Cavaliers and Roundheads. Every one of the characters-Colonel Francis Hacker, Colonel Philip Stanhope, Colonel John Hutchinson of Owthorpe, Sir Kenelm Digby, Sir Richard Byron, Sir John Tracy, and Lord Chaworth, together with the ladies and children, and the minor characters of the yeomanry -all existed in the flesh, and their respective parts are made to tally with what is known or has been imagined respecting them. Mrs. Musters has most assuredly the instincts of a story-maker, for the tale does not suffer from drawbacks that would make it stilted in the hands of many more practised writers, but runs on with interest and animation to the close. The love element of the tale is supplied by the romantic attachment between Prince Rupert and Juliana de la Fontaine, a niece of Lord Chaworth's. Prince Rupert is represented in a most attractive guise. The writer's sympathies are obviously warmly with the Cavaliers, but this does not prevent a fair estimate being given of the motives that animated the best of the Roundheads. The "stronghold" of the story is Wyverton Manor House, the residence of Mrs. Chaworth Musters. The account of its siege and the sudden dispersion of the attacking force on the very eve of securing its capture, are written with much verve and freshness. Knowing something of the district, and of the family history of the dramatis persona, we are able to say that the descriptions both of places and people are singularly accurate, nor in the numerous details introduced have we been able to detect a single anachronism. Occasionally, reflections as to present times are introduced into the text which a truer artist would have omitted; but as a whole the book is readable and good, and cannot fail to greatly interest all who know anything of the scenes or families introduced. There is a charming illustration of the stately old gateway of Wyverton, which is all that remains of this Cavalier stronghold as standing in the days of the story. The other illustrations are passable, but merely relate to incidents of the tale.
DALE AND ITS ABBEY. By J. Ward. Bewley and Roe, Derby. Illustrated by the author. Pp. 94. Price Is. 6d.
Mr. John Ward has produced a very good short history and guide to Dale Abbey. The first chapter is a practical and useful one, entitled "The Village, and how to get there," for Dale Abbey lies in a secluded little valley two miles from the nearest railway-station, and on no main road. Great interest has of late been taken in the remains and in the exceptional history of this Premonstratensian house, for in 1878-9 the Derbyshire Archæological and Natural History Society laid bare the then hidden sites of the choir, lady chapel, transepts, south chapels, chapterhouse, and parts of the nave and common-room. The smaller relics then brought to light are fortunately preserved in a small museum within the abbey pre
cincts. Many abbey excavations have since taken place, but this was one of the first systematically treated. The work was done under the superinten. dence of Mr. W. H. St. John Hope, Major Beamish, R. E., and Rev. Dr. Cox. These gentlemen not only contemplated, but announced several years ago their intention to bring out a work on the abbey, and contributed certain materials to the county society's journal. But this work, though not, we believe, abandoned, has not yet appeared.
Mr. Ward's book is of much value in itself, and is the best and most thorough handbook on an abbey that we have seen, and will probably tend to whet the appetite for a larger and more exhaustive publica. tion. Chapter vi., "A peep at Dale Abbey four hundred years ago," adopts the not unusual but generally weakly-executed idea of an imaginary visit and dialogue, circa 1500; in Mr. Ward's hands this expedient gives a fair and graphic idea of monastic life of that period. The quaint little church of Dale, forming the infirmary chapel, is fully treated and illustrated; this is, we think, the best part of the book. The rather elaborate cover of the book includes a mitre in its symbols. This is a mistake; Dale was never a mitred abbey.
THE WEDDING-RING. By Joseph Maskell. Second edition. H. Parr. Pp. 60.
This attractively-clad little book has deservedly reached a second and revised edition. It shows wide reading, patient research, and a fairly good capacity for the arrangement of material. There are, however, more sources for wedding-ring lore than Mr. Maskell has yet found, and when a third edition is called for the book could easily be improved by the omission of some heavy and commonplace remarks on marriage, and other moral reflections of the author, and by the insertion in their place of some of the traditions and superstitions that pertain properly to the subject, and which have escaped attention. The pages that treat of episcopal rings should be either omitted or materially improved and revised. Mr. Maskell would find much to his purpose, as well as various valuable references, in Thiers' Superstitions Anciennes et Modernes, published in 1733. The absence of an index is a tiresome omission.
BOOKS, ETC., RECEIVED.-Reviews or notices of the following books will shortly appear: The Lake Dwellings of Europe, Family of Malthus, Monumental Brasses, Gainsborough Parish Registers, Memorials of Stepney Parish, Vestiges of Old Newcastle and Gateshead, St. Wulstan's Hospital, Bookworm, Irving Shakespeare, vol. viii., and facsimile of Dickens's Christmas Carol.
Among magazines and pamphlets, the following have recently reached us: 7he American Bookmaker, with a good article on the origin of woodcuts; The Building World, a monthly of real value to antiquaries and ecclesiologists; Life of John Patterson; Handy Guide to St. Mary's Abbey, Kenilworth, excellently done by T. W. Whitley, C.E.; Western Antiquary; East Anglian Notes and Queries; Berks Notes and Queries; and Cornhill Magazine for October-a strong number, but of no special interest to antiquaries.
HOLY WELLS AND THEIR SUPER-
SOME of the readers of your interesting legend of
"Once upon a time, where now stands the lake, there stood a large and prosperous village. The inhabitants were rich in flocks and herds, and passed their time in eating, drinking, and making merry.
"One day an old and decrepid man passed through the village, and stopped to ask for help and pity, as he was tired and hungry. The villagers took no pity on him, but pursued him with scoffs and jeers, and encouraged their children to pelt him with mud.
Hungry and footsore, he was going on his way, when a man, more charitable than his neighbours, took him to his house and gave him food and shelter.
"In the middle of the night the beggar aroused his host, and said: As you have done me a good turn, I will now do you one; but you must keep what I tell you as a secret.' He promised, and then the beggar told him that a storm would come in a few days, but when it did come his host was to make haste and flee away. The old beggar then departed. Two days after the storm came. Then the villager arose, took his wives, his slaves and all his property, and fled from the village.
"Next morning, where the village had been, there stood a large lake; and to the present day people camping on its banks or passing over in boats can hear the songs of the women, the cocks crowing and the bleating of the flocks."-(Across Africa, vol. ii., p. 171).
Similar stories are, of course, told of many other places, but to hear it from Central Africa is worth noting by the antiquary and folklorist.
17, Victoria Grove, Chelsea.
T. W. E. HIGGENS.
There is a fine specimen of two low side-windows in the chancel of Raydon Church, Suffolk. They are quite at the west corner of the north and south sides of the chancel. This church has no aisles, but it possesses a very fine chancel, almost as long as the nave, an Easter sepulchre in the middle of the north side of the chancel, and a fine piscina and credence, or what might have formed a double piscina, with a pierced trefoiled arch.
Referring to The Ecclesiastical and Architectural Topography of England: Part VII., Suffolk, published by Messrs. Parker, there is mention made of some good bench-ends with poppy heads; but the church having suffered from so-called restoration, they are all
The pavement of the chancel from the priest's
door to the east wall has been so raised, that there is only a foot of space between the piscina and the level of the pavement; a new and ugly window has been put in. The brackets of the rood-beam remain, and the staircase door of the rood-loft in eastern end of north wall of nave is left.
As to the low side-windows, each light is divided by a transom; the lower light in each window is now stopped up, and, judging from the outside mouldings, I should say that the lower light was not originally glazed, but had a wooden shutter. The sill of each window is level, and would make a comfortable seat.
As to the use and object of low side-windows, is not their comparative rarity, when all the parish churches in England are taken into account, almost a proof that the probable use of them is not to be found in that of confessionals, for almsgiving, for lepers, for seeing the altar, or for ringing a bell at the elevation of the host? I would ask, is there any painting, whether in glass or miniature work, or engraving of any kind, which would show such suggested use? Have any foreign churches low side-windows? and if they have, what do foreign antiquaries say upon the subject?
The sanctus-bell, or the elevation-bell use, seems to me an improbable one, because in the ages of faith people would come to mass before going to work; in those village churches where mass was said daily the service would be at such an hour as would be convenient for the people to attend. In those days men found time to say their prayers in their churches, although they worked hard in the fields; besides, a little hand-bell tinkled outside a window would hardly reach the ears of men working one, two or three miles away from the church.
But although I do not think the suggested uses of these windows will hold good until a greater certainty has been found in some record or document, I confess I am at a loss to offer anything instead by way of enlightenment, unless the windows were put in for ventilation.
Far-fetched reasons lack probability, and since windows are built for light and ventilation, when seemingly put in not for light of necessity, nor for comeliness to pierce a blank space of wall, nor put in a place in order to agree with existing windows, why not fall back upon the simple use of ventilation, especially when it is found that shutters would suggest that particular use as possible, if not probable? H. A. WALKER. East Bergholt.
In your September number there is a communication from the Rev. T. Auden in reference to a low side-window at Culmington Church, in Shropshire. I would remark that this window, which I saw a short time ago, is 18 inches square, and level with the churchyard; the latter has, no doubt, been very much raised in the course of years, but still the window must have been at an exceptionally low level. I notice that Mr. Auden says that this window is, "as usual, on the south side of the chancel." This, however, is not invariably the case. We have at Church Preen, also in Shropshire, a most interesting low side-window on the "north" side of the chancel.
This window is separated by a transom from an early English lancet of the same (thirteenth century) date as the other windows in the church; but it has this peculiarity-that the splay of the window on each side is cut away for a height of 4 feet, so as to form seats with an open space between, leaving ample room to sit facing the width of the wall, which is 2 feet 6 inches thick. The window is 2 feet high, and 16 inches wide; the distance from the floor of the church, 2 feet 10 inches. There has been a lattice to open, as the stone-work shows where the hinges have been.
It may be that this window was used for the pur. pose of ringing the sanctus-bell, as it is on the east side of where the rood-screen stood, and if so, there was ample space for ringing the bell either outside or inside the church. Or it may be that this was a leper-window, and that the seats were used by the priest when he administered the sacrament to the lepers outside.
Another explanation may be that an ankerhold existed (of which there is some slight tradition), and that the window looked into the cell, and enabled the recluse to see the elevation of the host, and also the image of St. John Baptist, the patron saint, and whose image appears to have stood on a stone corbel on the Epistle side of the altar.
As to the north position of the window, it may be explained by the fact that Preen was a cell of Wanlock Abbey, and that the south side of the chancel was occupied by the cell.
ARTHUR SPARROW, F.S.A.
Preen Manor, Shrewsbury.
Your readers, and Mr. Ward himself, may be interested to know that a similar cup, and more elaborate, to that described by him in the September part of the Antiquary is figured in Dr. Thurman's paper on "Ancient British Barrows (Part II., p. 83, Fig. 52), in the Archaologia, vol. xliii.
The cup was found at Bryn Leiont, in Carnarvon. shire.
Will any of your readers compare Fig. 341, Jewitt's Grave Mounds and their Contents, p. 224, with Fig. 189 in Les Premiers Hommes, by the Marquis de Nadaillac ? It is extraordinary that a Peruvian cinerary urn should be an exact counterpart of an Anglo-Saxon one.
ARTHUR G. WRIGHT.
BEACONS IN KENT.
I shall be glad of information concerning a MS. map or chart which has lately come into my hands. It is titled "A Carde of the Beacons in Kent," and it is on paper water-marked G.R., surmounted by a crown. The size of the "carde" is II inches by 7, "the scale contayneth x myles," the rivers are very clumsily represented, as of extravagant breadth, and each beaconstance has the figure of a raised cresset. The stances are all inter-connected, sometimes with only one, sometimes with several, by straight lines, indicative most likely of relative visibility. Thus that at "fayreleigh connects with those on "Dengenesse," Tenterden, and Dover. From London and Hampstead these presumable lines of sight run to Shooters Hill and on by Stone to Hoo, a few miles north-east of Rochester. Hoo is a kind of telegraphic junction; here meet lines travelling from every direction-from Crowbarrow, Brightling, and Dungeness, from Sandgate, Dover, and Worth, and from St. Lawrence, on Thanet Island, all along the south bank of the Thames. Perhaps some of your readers can furnish particulars of the Kentish beacon system, or refer to sources for them, The chart proves a very thorough preparedness, if the French or King James appeared on the seas, to send on the news to London in "twinking points of fire."
Manuscripts cannot be returned unless stamps are enclosed.
Foreign and Colonial contributors are requested to remember that stamps of their own country are not available for use in England.
It would be well if those proposing to submit MSS. would first write to the Editor stating the subject and manner of treatment.
Whilst the Editor will gladly be of any assistance he can to archæologists on archæological subjects, he desires to remind certain correspondents that letters containing queries can only be inserted in the "ANTIQUARY" if of general interest, or on some new subject; nor can he undertake to reply privately, or through the "ANTIQUARY,” to questions of the ordinary nature that sometimes reach him.
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This little work cannot fail to be of peculiar interest to all who take an interest in the history of the counties of Derbyshire and Notts, in that, not only does it give in compact form the peculiarly interesting history of the Abbey, and a full description of its present remains, but incidentally it works out the early history of several prominent mediæval families of these counties.