Page images
[graphic][ocr errors][merged small]

Westminster Abbey, by the king's (Henry III.) express orders. Against the same wall is an inscribed tablet, in memory of bishop Zachary Pearce, D. D. who died in June 1774, aged eighty-four years; and a slab in the pavement records the name and virtues of John Younge, another bishop of Rochester: he died at the age of seventy-one, in April 1605. Two other bishops of this see were also interred in this edifice.

The Font, which is an excavated block of Purbeck, is elevated by brick-work, and bears undoubted evidence of its high antiquity: the basin is hollowed to a size sufficiently large for emersion. The Font is nearly square, the upper portion being rather larger than the lower, and the sides are ornamented with the plain semicircular arches of the Norman architecture.

There is a college at Bromley, founded in pursuance of the will of the benevolent John Warner, bishop of Rochester, bearing date in 1666: it is for the residence and maintenance of twenty widows, of loyal and orthodox clergymen. The original endowments have been considerably increased, by the gifts of various persons, since that period. In 1756,

Mrs. Helen Betenson, of Bradbourne, in this county, bequeathed the sum of 10,000l. for the purpose of erecting ten additional houses, for as many widows of clergymen : since that, a bequest of 12,000l. made under certain limitations, by William Pearce, esq. brother to bishop Pearce, for the building of ten more houses for clergymen's widows, has also fallen in; so that this excellent charity is in a very flourishing condition. The widows on bishop Warner's foundation have 30l. 108. each, with coals and candles; the others have 20l. each. The salary of the chaplain, who must belong to Magdalene College, Oxford, has been increased at different times, and is now about 861. per annum.

This institution is under the management of fourteen trustees. The college buildings are pleasantly situated at the north end of the town.

The population of this parish, according to the act of 1800, amounted to 2700; the number of houses to 524. The markets are well supplied. The grant for holding them was obtained by the bishop of Rochester, from Henry VI. in the year 1447 or



[graphic][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][merged small][merged small]

THIS monastery was in early times called Wimnicas, but afterwards Moche Wenlock, or Wenlock Magna, and is situated near a town of the same name, about ten miles sonth-east of Shrewsbury. Its first founder is said to have been Milburga, daughter to king Merwald, who erected and endowed it in the year 680, presided as abbess over it, and at her death was buried here. The monastery was destroyed by the Danes, and restored by Leofric, earl of Chester, in the reign of Edward the Confessor; but again falling to decay, and being forsaken, it was rebuilt and endowed in the fourteenth year of William the Conqueror; according to some authors by Roger de Montgomery, earl of Arundel, Chichester, and Shrewsbury; but others attribute its restoration to Warin earl of Shrewsbury. The refounder placed therein a prior and monks of the Cluniac order, and dedicated it to St. Milburga. It was surrendered in the twenty-sixth of Henry VIII. by John Cussage, then prior, who had a pension allowed him of 80l. per annum.

Of the buildings which remain, some have been fitted up as a dwelling-house, and others converted into out-offices for a farm; near the dwelling-house

vestiges of the cloisters are still to be seen. The church was in form of a cross; part of its walls are now standing; those particularly at the southern end of the transept are pretty entire. At the extremity of the church are seen the remains of a chapel ; the entrance into it lies under three circular arches, adorned with the zigzag ornament. The pillars which support these arches are so far buried, that the architraves appear but just above the ground; the bottom of the south aisle of the church is converted into a stable!

These interesting remains are situated in a small bottom, having the town of Wenlock on the west, and are surrounded on all sides by gently-rising grounds,

The monastery and manor of Wenlock, soon after the dissolution, came into the possession of Thomas Lawley, esq. and, by marriage with a Lawley, it devolved to Robert Bertie, esq. of the Ancaster family; and from him passed into the family of the Gages. Sir John Wynne bought it of lord viscount Gage, and devised it to his kinsman, sir Watkin William Wynne, whose son is the present proprietor.



NEAR the banks of the Medway stand the remains of Allington Castle, which was originally built by the noble family of Columbarij, but was destroyed by the Danes. Soon after the Conquest the manor I was given to the great earl of Warrenne, who is stated to have rebuilt the Castle; but this is doubtful: history informs us that sir Stephen de Penchester, constable of Dover castle in the reign of Edward I. and then owner of this manor, had the king's licence to fortify and embattle his mansion-house here. The Castle afterwards came into the possession of the Cobhams, and from them it passed, in the reign of Edward IV. to the Brents, by whom it was alienated to sir Henry Wyatt, a descendant from a respectable Yorkshire family, who lost his liberty and most of his property for engaging in a plot against Richard III. in favour of the earl of Richmond. Afterwards, when the earl became Henry VII. sir H. Wyatt, was released, and received from the king many honours; he made Allington Castle his chief residence; and here was born his son and successor, the accomplished sir Thomas Wyatt, styled by Anthony Wood, "The delight of the Muses and of mankind." He was equally renowned

as a scholar, a soldier, and a statesman. He died in his thirty-eighth year at Sherborne, in Dorsetshire, of a violent fever while on a journey towards Falmouth, in order to embark for Spain, whither Henry VIII. had appointed him his ambassador. His son sir Thomas Wyatt, being deprived of his estates and life for treason against queen Mary, this Castle and manor became vested in the crown, and were afterwards granted on lease by queen Elizabeth to John Astley, esq. master of her jewels. From the Astleys it passed to the lords Romney, and is still the property of that family.

The remains of Allington Castle are extensive, and are now occupied by two tenements. The moat still exists, as does the entrance gateway, though much dilapidated, and portions of several round towers, one of which is very large. These ruins, though standing within a few yards of the river, are excluded from it by a range of trees. The church is a mean structure, but contains a few monuments of some note. Besides the tenements in the Castle, and the parsonage, there is only one house in this parish, though sir Stephen de Penchester is recorded to have procured a grant of a market weekly, and a three days annual fair for his manor of Allington.

[ocr errors][graphic]
« PreviousContinue »