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England and Wales;
TOPOGRAPHICAL, HISTORICAL, AND BESCRIPTIVE,
Printed by Thomas Maiden, Sherbourn-Lane,
FOR VERNOR, HOOD & SHARPE; LONGMAN, HURST, REES, & ORMI;
J. AND A. ARCH; J. HARRIS,
AND B. CROSBY.
England and Wales.
as we have already noticed in the description of Cumberland, was included in the country of the ERIGANTES, who progressively peopled the vast tract of land extending northwards from the river Don in Yorkshire; and being an active and spi rited tribe," observes Mr. Whitaker, “seized all the fortresses that guarded the passes of the Yorkshire hills; and had subdued, at the commencement of the Christian era, all the country that lay betwixt the hills and the sca: they appear to have carried her victorious arms to the south and to the north, to have crossed the river of Medway, and the frith of Solway, and to have conquered equally the Selgovæ of Anandale, and the Carnabii of Cheshire." Tacitus relates, that the nation of the Brigantes were the most po pulous of the whole province. Brigantes civitas numerossissima totias provincia.*
In the "gradual progression of the Celta along the broad base of the triangle which Britain forms, and afterwards across the wide plane to the tapering summit of it, the counties of York and Durham were the first inhabited by the Brigantes."+ Afterwards, on an increase of population, they advanced into the country of the Sistuntii, and Volantii: these nations being unable to resist the incursions of their Brigantian neighbours, entered into an alliance with them, yet their independence was soon lost: and though Ptolemy places the Sistunt across the Western Ocean, yet he describes
Agrio, Vit. C 17.
Or Highlanders, see Vol. III. p. 3.
describes the territory belonging to the Brigantes as extending from sea to sea.
On the conquest of Britain by the Romans, Durham was included in the division, MAXIMA CESARIENSIS: but after the establishment of the Saxons, it became part of the kingdom of Northumberland, with which it remained connected till the union of the Saxon States under Egbert.
This county has not unusually been termed the Bishopric, from the great power which the Bishop of the diocese formerly possessed. It is a County Palatine; and appears to have derived its original privileges from the grant made to St. Cuthbert, the Apostle of the North, by Egfrid, King of Northumberland, in the year 685, of all the land between the "rivers Weare and Tyne," to hold in as full and ample manner as the King himself held the same...These privileges, says Camden, were first broken through by Edward the First, whose award, as arbitrator on a dispute between Bishop Anthony Bee and the Prior about their lands, not being executed he seized the Bishop's liberties into his own hands, and made strict enquiry, and offered great violence to pri vilege Afterwards, however, the See recovered and held its rights violate till the time of Edward the Sixth, to whom all its revenues and privileges were granted by Parliament. Queen Mary re-established the See in its former authority; and, though many of its rights have since been abrogated, it still possesses peculiar immunities and power.
"The Palatine right of the Bishop of Durham is founded on immemorial prescription, there being no record of its being granted by any Princes, before or since the Conquest, wherein it is not supposed to have been granted also by their predecessors, It proceeded at first from a principle of devotion to St Cuthbert, that whatever lands were given to him, or bought with his money, he should hold with the same freedom that the Princes who gave them held the rest of their estates. But this piety to the Saint was not without its prudential purposes, both for the service of the Crown in its wars against Scotland, and of the county, because of its distance from the courts above. It consisted of all manner of