« PreviousContinue »
And within yair Kyrke gate
At ye stan yat grithstole hate
Walbran, the Yorkshire antiquary, states that in the thirteenth century this place of refuge was marked by eight crosses surrounding the church, where the Archbishop of York claimed that his bailiffs had the right to meet the homicide who should flee thither; and, after administering the necessary oath, to admit him within the privileged jurisdiction. Even as late as 1539 the privilege of sanctuary was claimed. Eddius states that the old monastic church possessed a splendid library of books, with covers adorned with gold and jewels, and a beautiful copy of the Gospels superbly illuminated. This was one
of the earliest and richest libraries in the kingdom. It is terrible to think of the inexpressible loss which the world sustained by the ruthless destruction of the precious treasures of literary wealth contained in the old monastic libraries of England. Ripon Abbey had a brief and chequered history, but it produced men who by their devoted lives have left their mark; it was the great "missionary college" of the past, and it is gratifying to find that its work is not forgotten by the historians of other lands.
Did Newcastle and Gateshead.*
N this fine and singularly handsome volume, Messrs. Knowles and Boyle have brought together much that is of the greatest interest, both in illustration and letterpress, with respect to Newcastle and Gateshead. The volume had its origin in the numerous sketches and drawings of Mr. Knowles, and to the excellent illustrations Mr. Boyle has supplied equally praiseworthy letterpress.
* Vestiges of Old Newcastle and Gateshead. Illustrations by W. H. Knowles, architect; text by J. R. Boyle, F.S.A. Elliot Stock. 4to, pp. xvi., 308. Sixty-one plates; sixty illustrations in the text. Price £2 10s.
Mr. Boyle does not attempt in these pages any exhaustive or even general history of either Newcastle or Gateshead, but the book bears throughout marks of original research and of the most patient examination of the buildings described. So long as the archives of the corporation remain closed to inquirers, a thorough history of Newcastle is an impossibility. The book assumes the form of a collection of independent chapters arranged after a somewhat capricious fashion, but perhaps all the more charming from its very singularity, especially as a good index enables the reader at once to find any desired description or information.
Let us take a brief saunter through these pleasant pages, so that the readers of the Antiquary may be enabled to form a cursory idea of their contents. The volume opens with an account of the Sides quaintest or streets with strangest of names, abounding in delightful half-timbered projecting houses, drawn with much fascination by Mr. Knowles.
The classic ground of the Sandhill next comes under notice. It is rich in historic associations. In the fourteenth century it was the playground of the inhabitants of Newcastle, Richard II. issuing a proclamation requiring the removal of all merchandise from "a certain commonplace called Sandhill," in order that the people's sports might not be hindered; on the morrow of the defeat of the English at Otterburne, 1388, ten thousand men assembled on Sandhill and marched to the battlefield, led by the Bishop of Durham; in 1464, Lords Hungerford, Ros, Molins, Findern, and others, prisoners from the Battle of Hexham, were beheaded on the Sandhill; in later days it became the bull-ring of Newcastle. The great feature, however, of the Sandhill is the Guildhall, which was completed in 1658. In the city treasurer's office may be seen the town hutch, in which the town's money was formerly kept. This interesting old chest, sometimes assigned to a fabulous antiquity, bears the date 1716 on the centre lock, but we believe that the chest itself and the riveted bands are certainly older than this lock. It is divided by a wooden partition into two compartments, each having its own lid. The front compartment was intended
Sandgate, which used to be one of the chief thoroughfares of Newcastle, has lost its glory, and is now "from end to end a rookery of poverty." A beautiful illustration of a large, half-timbered, three-gabled building, bearing the sign of the Jack Tar, is given on page 90, but it is now taken down.
The great church of St. Nicholas, now the cathedral church of the new diocese of Newcastle, is worthily treated both by pen and pencil. The exquisitely-finished lofty fontcover is, to our mind, the gem of the church.
lighted with Mr. Knowles's plate of part of this stairway, wherein its diagonal arrangement is so effectively treated.
The ruined chapel of Jesmond Dene, popularly known as King John's Palace, is briefly treated. St. Mary's Church, Gateshead, with its good stall-ends of late seventeenth-century date, is well described. Percy Street and the Keelmen's Hospital follow, and then comes a longer account of St. John's Church, Newcastle. The oak pulpit, of Jacobean date, is richly and effectively carved, but derives its chief interest from its unnusual if not unique shape.
Pilgrim Street, that bore that name at least as early as the thirteenth century, was the residence of the aristocracy of Newcastle in the first half of last century. There are still not a few remains of its former magnificence. The houses now numbered 177 to 183 formerly composed a splendid mansion.
It is worth a visit to Newcastle from the very south of the kingdom, if only to see the broad panelled staircase and massive rail with spiral balusters of No. 181, or if a visit cannot be made, no lover of English domestic architecture can fail to be de
The Quay Side, Silver Street, Pandon, Black Friars, and Trinity House, and various details of old Gateshead, follow in detailed succession; but space forbids us even to name aught of interest. The history of St. Andrew's Church, with its late Norman chancel arch, is given in brief; it has suffered most grievously from two of those attacks termed restoration, one in 1844, and another in 1866. The Tuthill Stairs, Jesus Hospital, Akenside Hill, Dog Bank, St. Mary's Chapel, Jesmond, the hospitals of Gateshead, and St. Laurence's Chapel are all brought pleasantly before the
reader. The clumsy monotonous church of All Saints', erected at a great cost in 1786-96, contains within it one of the finest Flemish brasses in England, the only monument rescued from the old church. All brassrubbers are acquainted with the big and beautifully elaborate brass of Roger and Agnes Thornton, which used to cover an altar-tomb, but is now mounted high on the wall among the mahogany fittings of an ugly
PULPIT OF ST. JOHN'S CHURCH.
vestry. Brass-rubbing has now become far more common, but we have a vivid recollection about a quarter of a century ago of spending a whole wearisome day in getting the necessary permission to take an impression, etc., from a great variety of authorities, from the mayor downwards, if our memory serves us! Mr. Knowles gives a good and
faithful double-page plate of this brass, which fully illustrates its many and detailed beauties.
Peterborough Gentlemen's Society."
By J. T. IRVINE.
(Continued from p. 209, vol. xxii.)
HT SIBI METAM.*
"1733, November 14.-Mr. John Clement presented the Society with his Repertorium, or Survey of the Cathedral, containing all the Inscriptions omitted by Gunton and Willis in their histories of this Church with a continuation down to this present year, 1733, in twenty-four pages quarto, wrote in fair hand and taken with great exactness.
1734, January 2.-Mr. Strong communicated four medals from the collection found at March: one of Mark Anthony, the other three of Domitian, Trajan, and Faustina, great numbers of which three last were found there. "1735, September 3.-The Secretary communicated an Ancient Medow book, belonging to the parish of Alwalton, with the different marks of the proprietors, measured by the 14 fcot pole, and made near 200 years ago, and wrote in a fair hand upon Velum. "April 20.-The Secretary presented a coyn of the Emperor Victorinus who, upon the death of Posthumius senr., was made Emperor in Gaul.
IMPC VICTORINVS PFAN.-Cap Victorini radiatum. *The subject of these Croyland boundary-stones has been dealt with in the Archeologia, vols. iii., 96; v. 101; vi. 398; and xiii. 214. Mr. A. S. Canham has also printed an excellent illustrated paper on these stones in the last issue of the journal of the British Archæological Association.
"This coyn he found as he was walking over the old Roman Camp, called the Castle Grounds, in Chesterton, in which place great numbers of medals and other Roman curiosities have been found. "June 23.-Society present one of those ancient instruments, called celts, of which there then remained only three in our museum, to B. Bell, Esq. One went as a present to Spalding Society. "September 23.-Mr. Kennet presented an ancient seal, lately found at Caster, with the image of St. James the Apostle, neatly carved upon wood, and the arms of Lynn upon it, with this Legend round it:
COM : SIGILL: HOSPIT: S. IACOBI. IN. LENNARE
"1737, May 18.-The Rev. Mr. Bambridge
presented to the Society several fragments of urns or potts, dug up lately in his Church at Gotherstoke. "1738, April 5.-The Secretary presented a
small brass medal of Alectus, the reverse a ship VIRTUS AUG., at the bottom, S.P. This medal was lately found with several others in Chesterton Camp. "1739, January 24.-The Secretary com
municated an account of some ancient painting upon the inside cover of an Ark or Chest in Castor Church, viz. : three portraits of about a foot long each, Our Saviour in the middle, and on each side a female Saint, which he supposes to be the two Sister Saints of Castor, Kynebeorgh, and Kyneswytha, daughter of King Penda, and Sisters of Penda and Wulfere, the founders of this Church and Monastery.
"February 14.-The Secretary communicated an original grant upon Velom of Oliver St. John, Lord Chief Justice of the Common Bench at Westminster, and Lord of the Manor of the City of Peterborough and members of the same, to William Parker, of Peterborough, Gentleman and Tenant of the Said Manor, of an immunity and privilege of being free and acquitted of and from the payment of all, and all manner of Tole in, or at all and singular markets, fairs, wayes, passages, bridges, and ports of the sea through England and
without, upon the penalty of ten pounds to be forfeited by such as make destraint or interruption upon the Said William Parker in the lawful exercise of his vocation or trade in buying, selling, or otherwise, according to ancient charters, therein specified, granted, and confirmed by the devout King Edgar, and also Richard the First and other Kings and Queens of England, to the Tenants of the City of Peterborough, dated the 20 day of April, in the year of Our Lord God, according to the account used in England one thousand six hundred fifty and eight.
"Ol: St. Johne against his Seal. February 28.-Secretary communicated copy of an Inscription upon a black marble in the west front of this Minster, near to the door, and now quite worn
"April 4.-The Secretary acquainted the Society that in ploughing up the high road between Chesterton and Water Newton, the workmen had turned up a leaden coffin adjoining to the old Roman Camp there, now called the Castle Grounds. It lay almost north and south; the bones were in it, which they buried in the ground and carried the coffin, weighing 400 pound weight, to the Cabbin. In throwing up the ground, the labourers found a great number of Coyns of the 'Bass' Empire both Silver and Copper, and several fragments of Roman antiquities. "April 11.-The Secretary presented several of the Roman Coyns lately thrown up in the Chesterton Road and an account of some others which he saw in the hands of Mr. Taylor of the Cabbin (Cates Cabbin).