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Bartholomew Barnes, of St. Swithins, died 1664, aged 95. A monument in Swallowfield Church is erected to their memory. They had seven children, the eldest of whom, Nicholas Backhouse, was father of Sir William Backhouse, Bart., who became later on owner of Swallowfield.
To return to Samuel, he married at Little Marlow, 6th September, 1581, Elizabeth, daughter of John Borlase of that place, by Anne, daughter and heir of Sir Richard Lytton.
1582. He must have taken up his residence at Swallowfield soon after, as we find his eldest child, Anne, was baptized there the following year.
1598-1601. Samuel Backhouse was High Sheriff of Berks in 1598 and again in 1601.
1603-4. He was in 1603 elected Member for Windsor with Thomas Durdent, and was again returned in 1604 and 1611.
1607. In 1607 Samuel Backhouse was chosen as one of the arbitrators in the great controversy concerning the estates of the Corbets, of Moreton Corbet, Salop. Large estates were left by Sir Robert Corbet, who had no son, and his daughter Elizabeth, who had married Sir Henry Wallop (ancestor to the Earl of Portsmouth), but they were claimed by Sir Richard Corbet, K.B., his brother. Samuel Backhouse was closely connected to Lady Corbet, as well as to Sir Henry Wallop. We find continual allusions to Samuel Backhouse in the interesting collection of letters, published by Dr. Birch, illustrative of the reign of James II., many of the letters being to and from Sir Dudley Carleton, who was his cousin and intimate friend.
1608-9. The following is an extract from a letter written by Sir Dudley to John Chamberlain in March, 1608-9, alluding to a visit to Swallowfield :
SIR,-Now I am uppon cumming I wish myself every day with you, because the countrie growes pleasant and if I should suffer the goode time of the yeare to growe uppon me, I should the more unwillingly leave it. Wherefore, God willing, I will hold my purpose, though I am now invited to longer stay here which I may as well make use of another time, and am now going a progress for two or three dayes to take leave of our neighbours; as first of Sir Henry Nevill whose Lady hath brought him another boy, and hath thereby broken the ranks of 5 boyes and as many wenches, but she deserves thanks for filling our countrie with so goode a name. The christening is to-morrow, and my cosen Backhouse is invited to be
one of the godfathers, which comes well to pass to remove his jealousies of Sir Hen. Neville and disaffection towards him, &c."
1611. Another letter which mentions Sam. Backhouse, written in 1611, by John Chamberlain to Sir Dudley Carleton, seems worth quoting as shewing a curious belief extant at that time: "My Lady Cope gives you many thanks for her trochises of vipers. We had a solemn supper there yesternight, which they would make me believe was for my coming here. There was Sir Anthony Cope and Sir William (his son), Sir Rowland Lyttan, Sir William Borlase, and Mr. Backhouse, etc." The trochises of vipers were sent to cure some ailment.
1626. Samuel Backhouse died in 1626, aged 72, and was buried at Swallowfield. His widow, Elizabeth, survived him 4 years, dying 1st February, 1630, and was also buried there. Their granddaughter, Flower, Lady Backhouse, had their remains interred in the vault, now covered by the Russell Tribune, and raised to their memory a handsome black and white marble monument which is on the wall of the said Tribune.
Samuel Backhouse had four sons and four daughters. The sons were: 1, John (Sir); 2 and 3, Nicholas and Samuel, ob. sp.; and 4, William (Sir). The daughters were: 1, Anne, married to Thomas Chester, Esq., of Agmondesbury, county Gloucester; 2, Elizabeth, married to Bellingham, Esq., of Bromley, county Lincoln; 3, Sara, buried at Swallowfield in 1615; and 4, Mary, married to William Standen, Lord of the Manor of Arborfield, Barkham, etc., and Sheriff of Berks in 1615. In the Collection of Letters we have before mentioned a letter from John Chamberlain to Sir Dudley Carleton, in November, 1616, thus alludes to him: "The Sheriffs are pricked on Sunday. And one, Standen, a widower, a near neighbour of Sam. Backhouse, and shall marry his youngest daughter, for Berkshire. It has become a great matter of canvass and suit to avoid the place, and your brother Harrison was in bodily fear that it would light upon him."
(To be continued.)
Berrick Church, Oxfordshire.
By J. E. Field, M.A., Vicar of Benson.
F an apology is needed for introducing in this Journal the notice of a Church two miles from the borders of Berk
shire, it must be found in the fact that Berrick Salome (or Sallom) derives the suffix of its name from a Berkshire parish. The neighbouring village of Britwell Salome was anciently owned by a family called Soleham, coming from the Parish of Sulham, and bearing the name of their ancestral home as a surname. It may therefore be presumed, though evidence of this is wanting, that the same family gave their name to Berrick Salome also. Berrick Church stands outside the eastern end of the village, but the foundations of old buildings prove that the village formerly extended along the northern side of it. It is close to a primitive trackway leading from Sinodun Hill and Dorchester to Watlington and the Chilterns, just at the point where this trackway leaves the level plain of the Thames Valley and enters a remarkable hollow in the rising ground known as Hollandtide Bottom. Two chestnut trees of great size, stretching their arms to the length, in some cases, of fifty feet from the trunk, form a striking feature behind the Church on the north.
Few Churches could present an appearance less interesting and attractive than did this before its recent renovation. It was emphatically one of which people would say, and often did say, that there was nothing in it to be preserved, and it must be destroyed and re-built entirely. It therefore affords an excellent illustration of what can be effected by thoroughly conservative restorers.
A mean belfry tower at the west end, encased with plain boards and surmounted by a pyramidal roof of tiles, rising scarcely above
the roof of the nave, was the most prominent object that met the eye. But internally this is a very interesting timber belfry, apparently of the fourteenth century, consisting of four massive uprights, nearly a foot in thickness, braced together by intersecting cross beams at each of the four sides. Such a belfry may not unfrequently be found inside the western end of the Church, as at Didcot and Silchester; but this is remarkable as an external addition. The wooden tower at Yateley may be recalled as a similar example; but there the narrow lean-to, with tiled roof, on either side, gives it a different character. At Berrick the shabby boards have now been stripped off, and the lowest stage is arcaded with half-timber work and plaster; the middle stage is encased with tiles, divided by a broad band of shingles; and the upper part has an open arcade with weather-boards; while the whole is still surmounted by its old tiled roof with a rude cross of wood cased with lead upon the apex. The nave is entered on the south by a plain doorway of early Norman character, simply chamfered, its arch springing from small projecting abaci. A consecration cross is roughly scratched upon the eastern jamb. The font, of the same early character as the doorway, is of sufficient interest to demand a detailed description. It is surrounded with two bands of large interlacing circlets, all of which are studded throughout with small bosses, and each circlet is attached by a short loop to the next, as well as to the adjacent circle of the other band; and the font being of the usual tapering form, the two circlets of the lower series on the west side are dwarfed in order to accommodate them to the reduced size. Between these two bands of circlets is a narrow line of ornamentation much defaced, but apparently consisting of a series of grotesque saurians, each holding in his mouth the tail of the next. The font stands upon a square base, like the base of a pier, with a characteristic Norman ornament upon each angle projecting from a roll moulding which encircles the foot of the bowl. The sills of two small windows are to be seen in the upper part of the west wall, one on either side of the belfry, which partially conceals them. Of this early Norman Church nothing further remained, except the lower parts of the nave walls. The masonry above is of early English date, and there is a pointed doorway of that period on the north side. The inner arch of the south doorway was also rebuilt at the same period. In the jambs of these doorways were found the head and sill of a small Norman window, which has been utilised to give additional light on the south side, close to the Nor
man doorway. Another relic of that period, found on removing the plaster from the west wall, was a pierced stone, which appeared to have been the head of a pillar-piscina, but entirely defaced and mutilated.
The Early English north doorway had been blocked up; but this has now been opened, and gives access to a spacious vestry, which is the only new addition to the fabric. Further east on this north side of the nave is a plain Jacobean window of three lights. Below the western part of its sill appeared the narrow sill of an Early English window, which has now been revealed by lowering part of the later sill to its level. A similar Jacobean window of two lights is on the south side of the nave at the west end.
A transeptal chapel projects from the eastern portion of the nave on the south. It is lighted on the east by a tall and narrow lancet, which seems to have been removed from another position, presumably from the nave wall when the transept was thrown out. Beside it is a small moulded bracket of decorated character. The south window is Jacobean, of three lights, corresponding with that which fronts it in the nave; but the mullions of a decorated window have been used in it, and a fragment of tracery from such a window was found in the recent repairs. With the exception of these mullions, the three Jacobean windows of the Church are entirely of red brick; and the careful manner in which they have been restored, with the brick work made good and pointed with cement, forms a characteristic feature in the renovation of the Church. In the eastern lancet is a single diamond-shaped quarry of ancient glass, bearing a large fly or bee and part of a legend-CIT HANC SIT-in letters of the fourteenth century upon a curved band; the band forming a segment of a circle which when complete would occupy a group of nine similar quarries, this one being at the apex. It may be supposed to have belonged to the decorated window which is destroyed. A Jacobean sun-dial surmounts the gable of this transept.
Both nave and transept have beautiful Jacobean roofs of open timber work with ornamental pendants. The tie beam before the chancel bears the date 1615, and this is repeated upon a small wooden tablet :