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of Sevigny", bears out Mr. Reynolds' statement. He says Savigny was at first a hermitage, but in 1112 Raould de Fugeres and John de Laudere founded an abbey here, which in 1148 was united to the Cistercian Order. Long Benyngton in Lincolnshire, Field Dallyng in Norfolk, and Furness in Lancashire, were the English cells to this house"; and he refers to Willis' Alien Priories, vol. i, p. 150, and Neustria Pia, pp. 676-90.
In the sixth volume of our Journal (p. 309) there is a paper by Mr. E. Sharpe on Furness Abbey, which is devoted mainly to its architectural features; but he alludes to its foundation in 1127, and to its having been an affi liation of the Abbey of Savigny, and the adoption by it and its dependencies of the Cistercian rule in A.D. 1148.
A question having thus been raised as to the correctness of the entry in the Cottonian MS., Faustina, as to the date of the foundation of Furness as a Cistercian Monastery, and the history of the Abbey, apart from its architectural features, not having been dealt with in our Journal, I venture on the following summary of its early history.
The religious Order of Savigny was founded by Vitalis de Mortain, who was the son of Reinfred and Roharde, persons of some fortune, of Fierciville, three leagues from Bayeux. He was ordained priest, and became chaplain to Robert Earl of Mortain, brother, by the mother's side, to King William the Conqueror, who conferred upon hini a prebend in the collegiate church which he had founded in his own town in the year 1082.
About ten years after this Vitalis retired amongst the rocks of Mortain, and in the year 1093 he repaired to St. Robert of Abrissel, in the Forest of Craon, in Anjou, whose disciples becoming very numerous, he divided them into three colonies. With one he himself founded the Order of Fontevraud; the second he committed to Raoul de la Futaye, who retired with his division into the Forest of Nid de Merle; the third colony, under the guidance of Vitalis, betook themselves to the Forest of Fougères, on the confines of Brittany. Raoul, the lord of the place, permitted them to continue there for some years undisturbed; but fearing that they might damage his forest, he gave them that of Savigny, near Avranches,
where Vitalis and his company settled. They agreed to live in community, and prevailed with Vitalis to beg of Raoul the remains of an old castle near Savigny. This Raoul gave, together with the whole forest, in which they built a Monastery to the honour of the Holy Trinity. The charter granted by Raoul was dated in 1112, and on the 2nd of March following confirmed by Henry King of England, who was then at Avranches, which at that time belonged to him. Vitalis prescribed the rules of St. Benedict, with some peculiar constitutions. They chose for their dress a grey habit. Their numbers increased so fast that in thirty-six years the Order became one of the most celebrated in France.
In 1148 Pope Eugenius III visited St. Bernard at his Monastery at Clairvaulx. Eugenius had been a monk there under St. Bernard. After this visit he assisted at a General Council or Chapter of the Order held at Citeaux, in which the whole Order of Savigny, consisting of thirty monasteries, was matriculated with that of Citeaux.
Furness Abbey, as it now stands, was founded in A.D. 1127 by Stephen, then Count of Moreton and Bologne, afterwards King of England. The history of the foundation, in Latin, in Dugdale's charters of the Abbey (Num.1) is very specific in fixing the date. It says in A.D. 1127, on the nones of July, from the foundation of Cistertium in the year 29, but from the foundation of Savigny in the fifteenth year, and in the second year of the pontificate of Pope Honorius II, but in the twenty-sixth year of the reign of King Henry after the conquest of England, there was founded the Monastery of Furness by the noble man, Stephen Count of Moreton and Bologne, in a Vale which then was called Bekangesgill; but the same Monastery had been formerly founded in Anidyrnes, in a place called Tulkit, A.D. 1124, on the 4th none of July, and there held the site for three years and three days previously to where now it has been founded. But it was founded as well there as here of the Order of Savigny; that is, under the rule of St. Benedict, of whose Order the monks had been professsors; and the colour of their habit was grey.
West says they came into England under the direction of Evanus or Ewanus, and seating themselves at Tulket,
near Preston, in Anaunderness, chose him to be their first Abbot.
At the close of Mr. Birch's paper on the Cistercian Abbeys he adds, "an unique table of the Cistercian houses, from MS. Digby xi, fo. 17, in the Bodleian Library", in which Furness appears thus, " Forneis Beilande Crumbemare", etc., "filiæ Sauigni." There is no date to this table.
It seems, therefore, clear that Furness cannot claim to be the first Cistercian foundation in England, although it was founded earlier than any of the Cistercian abbeys in this country, but that it was, from the date of its foundation at Tulket in 1124, and afterwards at Furness in 1127, until its incorporation into the Cistercian Order in 1148, of the Order of Savigny, under the rule of St. Benedict.
In addition to the authorities here referred to, Gallia Christiana may be consulted.
TRADITIONS OF CONSTANTINE
BY THE REV. W. S. LACH-SZYRMA.
THE history of Constantine the Great is of extreme interest in connection with York, where he once lived and ruled. Eboracum is in some sense the city of Constantine, who, after he left Roman Britain, became one of the most famous Emperors in the history of the world.
The question before us is, if Constantine was such a prominent personage in Roman Britain (so prominent, indeed, that old-fashioned writers assumed-incorrectly, as criticism shows-that he was of British descent, forgetting that Helena was more probably a Dalmatian than a Briton), might we not expect that some traditions of him, or remains of his rule, might still be found, if not among the Anglo-Saxon, at least among the Celtic populations of Britain? I shall mainly confine my inquiry to the most Celtic county of England, i.e., Cornwall, at the other end of Britain from the city of York, and show that there are traces, besides those of historic record, of Constantine's influence in the Far West.
1. In the Middle Ages there must have been very lively memories among the miners (to whose descendants Constantine is now but a name) of Constantine's history and conversion. It is true that books were then scarce, education (in the sense of the "three R's") very rare, the Cornish language, and not the English, the tongue of the people; and yet Constantine's name and life must have been a common topic, about four hundred years ago, in hundreds of miners' cottages. The way of teaching religious history then was different from that used now. It was not by books nor tracts, but by the drama. As in Athens in the days of Sophocles, so in Cornwall, the drama, with its matchless power of appealing both to the eye and ear, was the great vehicle of historical instruction. Perhaps Shakespeare, in a later age, aimed that it should be so in England, and in his King John, his
Henry IV, V, VI, VIII, and other historic plays, wanted to set forth to the people the story of England's past by the drama, now mainly an amusement, but then a vehicle of instruction. One of the chief plays in the Cornish language was the drama of Constantine, or, as it calls itself, the Life of St. Sylvester.
This drama is not accordant, it is true, with trustworthy evidence as to Constantine's real history. It represents him as a persecutor, which he was not; but possibly there was a certain confusion of mind, mixing him up with the later Diocletian persecutions, and holding him blameable for them. Sometimes these historic traditions are worth considering as throwing a light on what common people thought at the time of the historical events referred to.
The story of Constantine having suffered from leprosy, and it being proposed by the doctors of the time that a bath in the blood of children might cure it, is a quaint mediæval legend here included. Constantine is represented as indignantly refusing it, and willing to suffer himself rather than make others suffer. For his unselfishness he is rewarded by cure and conversion to Christianity.
So goes the Cornish legend of him,-a reflection of traditions current in the Middle Ages, but of which we do not seem to get contemporary evidence. The drama has certain passages of rude power, and must have been impressive when acted.
2. But this is not all. The name Constantine was popular in Cornwall during the Middle Ages. One of the western parishes, near Falmouth, was and is dedicated to a St. Constantine; but it seems not to be the Roman Emperor, but a Cornish King called by his name. Still King Constantine may have been so named from the celebrity of the Emperor.
3. The name of the family of the Cossentins is probably a corruption of Constantine. Legend asserts they are the descendants of the old Cornish kings.
4. Archæological remains exist showing the activity of Constantine or his officers in Britain. The Constantine Stone in St. Hilary Churchyard brings before us the evidence of the occupation of Cornwall, even in sight of the