The Manuscripts of Rye and Hereford Corporations, Etc. Thirteenth Report, Appendix: Part IV. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1892.
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APPENDIX A. Selections from the early Deeds.
[1243–57.]—Walter, Bishop of Norwich, enfeoffs Reginald de Meauton of three acres of land in Brinningham, which were the Bishop's escheat by the death of Nicholas son of Aylmer de Estker; to hold by the free service of 12d. yearly "ad quatuor terminos censuales manerii nostri de Thorndis." Witnesses.—No. 480.
[Temp. Hen. III.]—Amabilia wife of William de Claye gives to the church of St. Mary of Walsingham and the Canons there the homage of Cristiana who was the wife of Hugh de Riburg and William Fitz Hugh, with all their sequel, and with all the tenement which they held of the donor in Riburg, to wit, of her frank marriage, in frank almoign; saving the King's service, to wit, at 20s. for the shield (scutum), 3½d., more or less; for the souls of herself, William de Claye, and Ralph de Munpinchun, her brother. Witnesses. Seal.—No. 44.
[Temp. Hen. III.]—Ralph son of Fulk de Munpincun releases to Sir Giles de Monte Pincun (sic) all right in the vill of Riburg for six acres of land given him. Witnesses: Sir Ralph de Gatelle, Sir Reg. de St. Martin, Sir Ralph de Paveli, Nicholas de Lenn, John, vicar of Little Riburg, Ralph de Tornekin. Seal.—No. 89.
[Temp. Edw. I.]—Ralph de Gatele enfeoffs Edmund de Munpyncun, for 100s., of all his fishery which he has in the pond of Inlaunde, with the fishery of the sluices of the same pond. He will warrant against "all men, as well Christians as Jews." Witnesses. Endorsed: (1) Carta de piscaria in Gatelle; (2) Carta de Piscar' (3) Ryburgh.—No. 640.
[Temp. Edw. I.]—Thomas son of Gilbert de Hyndringham enfeoffs William son of Adam Palmer of Brinigham, his free man, of all the land and tenement which the donor or any of his ancestors held of Robert Mirker of Richemund or his ancestors; rendering 4s. 6½d. yearly, and "foreign services (to wit): for 20s. of scutage when it shall happen, 15d., and for more more and for less less; for the ward of the castle of Richemund yearly 6½d. and half a farthing at St. Peter ad Vincula; at the feast of St. Andrew, for hundredesscoth, one penny; at Pentecost, for wardepund, three farthings; and at the sheriff's tourn once a year, three farthings." Seal.—No. 290.
1290.—Covenant between Giles son of John de Mumpincon, Lord of Great Riburg, and Thomas son of John de Ryseby. Whereas the latter's father had by grant of the former's father common with him, "as in feeding animals, digging turf, and mowing hay in a certain marsh in Great Riburg," between certain limits (stated), except fishing, and afterwards had a grant of the whole marsh, also except fishing, and a further grant of a fishpond (vivarium) called Musewellemere and twelve feet of dry land round it, to be enclosed, at the yearly rent of 20s. in all; the said Giles and Thomas confirm the covenants on both sides. Giles grants to Thomas and his heirs the said marsh and fishpond for ever, to hold by the service of 10s. yearly. Thomas subjects certain of his lands at Foxhilbotme and Bevereswelle to distress for non-payment. Thomas may have a free boat in all waters touching the marsh for a certain period in each year to carry hay, turf, and grass. Witnesses.—No. 667.
1304.—Roger de Estker of Briningham enfeoffs John del Grene of half an acre of land in Briningham abutting on "the common pasture of Brinton," &c. Rent to the chief lord, 3d. yearly. Witnesses.—No. 561.
1311.—Williamson of Giles de Monpinzon enfeoffs Robert son of John de Walkefare of Iselham of his manor of Great Riburgh, with the advowson of the church of the same vill, and the reversion of the dower which Cristiana who was the wife of Giles de Monpinzon holds of him in the same vill, of 100s. of rent which Fulk de Monpinzon holds of him for life in the same vill, of 15 acres of land which John de Lampet holds of him for life in the same vill, and of 15 acres which Stephen le Keu likewise holds. Witnesses. Dated at Plesses. Seal.—No. 9.
1318.—Indenture between Robert de Walkefare, Knight, and Margery widow of Henry ate Milne of Great Roburgh (sic), whereby the former sells to the latter the wardship and marriage of Henry son and heir of the said Henry and the custody of his lands during his minority; and if he die within that period, Margery shall have the wardship of William and Alice, children of the said Henry deceased. She covenants not to make waste, nor to fell trees save for support of the houses. Witnesses.—No. 458.
1318.—Robert de Dunham enfeoffs Robert de Walkefare, Knight, of a certain river and fishery (riparie et piscarie) with appurtenances, from a place called Spykkeslode to Haywardeshowe, as it lies between the Marsh of Great Ryburgh and the marsh of North Elmham. Also of another river and fishery, which he held in parcenary with the commoners (communicantibus) of Gyldene Geyst, extending from Haywardeshowe to the sluices and mill of Geyst, and lying between the marsh of Geyst and the marsh of North Elmham. Also of a certain several fishery called Woderove Lode, extending from the said river (ripa) called Haywardeshowe to the arable land of North Elmham. Rent, 6d. yearly to the chief lords. Dated at Great Ryburgh. Witnesses. Seal.—No. 197:
1319.—Sir Oliver de Ingham, Knight, releases to Ralph de Roudham and Cecily his wife all right in the manor of Brinyngham which he had of the gift of Robert de Berford, son and heir of John de Berford. Witnesses, Seal.—No. 238.
1338.—Sir John de Cokefield, Knight, grants to Robert de Cokefe[ld] and Joan his wife and the heirs of their bodies his manor of Melton Constable, except a third part which Lady Cecily his (Sir John's) mother holds in dower, and except the parcel of land which he acquired from Thomas de Milham: to hold by the service of one rose at Mid-summer yearly. Witnesses. Seals of grantees (to one of "due carte eyrographate").—No. 414.
1350.—John de Wesenham, citizen of London, enfeoffs Sir Robert de Causton, Knight, and John Auntrous of his manor of Brynnyngham. Witnesses: Sirs Ralph de Estlee and Ead[mund?] de Baconnesthorp, Knights, Thomas Bacun, and others. Seal.—No. 124.
1351.—Sir Robert de Causton, Knight, and John Auntrous enfeoff John de Stodeye, citizen of London, of their manor of Brynyngham, with all lands which they had of the gift of John de Wesenham in the vills of Brynyngham and Thornegge. Witnesses. Two seals.—No. 31.
1353.—Thomas Trendel of Geyste, chaplain, enfeoffs Sir Richard Walkefare, Knight, of the wardship and marriage of Christiana daughter and heir of John Calbot, viz. of all lands, foldages, &c. of the said John in Great Riburgh, Gatele, and Little Geyst, and the custody of all lands which descended to her from Alan Calbot, her uncle.—No. 569.
1362.—"This Indenture witnesseth that the Will of John Haliday is such:" William, rector of Great Riburgh, and others to hold all [his] tenements till Easter, and if he die before then, to make an estate to Agnes his wife for her life, remainder to Roger his son, &c. Some of the lands were at Midlestefurlong, Dedlond, &c. Dated at Great Riburgh.—No. 551.
1363.—Sir Robert de Erpingham, Knight, John de Berneye, and Robert Bulour of South Wutton enfeoff Sir Robert de Causton, Knight, Sir Thomas de Felton, Knight, and others of the manor of Little Riburgh called "le Wodehall," except Reginald de Bergh, "breuster," dwelling in South Creyk, their bondman, with all his sequel; which manor they had of the gift of Sir John de Ratliden, Knight. Witnesses. Three seals.—No. 270.
1384.—Indenture between Dame Joan, widow of Sir Thomas de Felton, Knight, and John de Snoryng, Prior of Walsyngham, and the Convent there, witnessing that Dame Joan shall enfeoff certain persons named by the Prior of the manors of Great Rybourg and Little Rybourgh, with the advowson of the church of Great Rybourgh, in order that they may enfeoff the Prior, for finding four chaplains to chant perpetually for the souls of the said Sir Thomas and Dame Joan and others in a chapel to be made over (outre) the tomb of Sir Thomas at Walsyngham; saving to Dame Joan the "value" of the said manors for term of her life. She will make the manor of Great Rybourgh sure against (devers) Sir John Straunge and Eleanor his wife and the heirs of Eleanor, and all others, &c. The feoffees shall grant an annuity of £40 to certain persons to be named, during the lives of Sibil and Mary, nuns, daughters of Sir Thomas and Dame Joan. Dame Mary is a minoress and recluse in the abbey of the Minoresses without Aldgate, London, and the other (Sibil) is a nun in the abbey of Berkynge. Dated at London. The Prior and Convent shall yearly keep the anniversar[ies] of the obit[s] of the said Sir Thomas and Dame Joan and Thomas their son. (In French.) Seal (of Dame Joan ?).—No. 195.
1384.—Indenture between the Prior and Convent of Walsyngham of the one part, and Robert Braybrok, Bishop of London, Sir Thomas de Morlee, Marshal of Ireland, Sir Thomas de Erpyngham, Knight, and others, of the other part; whereby the Prior and Convent grant to the said Bishop and others a yearly rent of eighty marks during the lives of Joan who was the wife of Sir Thomas de Felton, Knight, John Sturmy of Inchetop, Dame Sibille de Morlee, nun in the abbey of Berkyngg, and Dame Mary de Felton, nun in the abbey of Seynt Clare without Aldgate, London. Moreover, whereas the said Joan had granted to the said Bishop and others a yearly rent of £20 out of her manors of Great and Little Ryburgh from the date of her death, during the life of the said Dame Sibille, and another yearly rent of £20 during the life of the said Dame Mary; and whereas she had granted to John Sturmy of Incheton another yearly rent of 100s. out of the said manors; and whereas she had granted and leased the said manors to Sir Stephen de Halys, Knight, and others, their heir and assigns, rendering yearly to her for life 80 marks; nevertheless the said Bishop and others grant that if the said Halys and others pay in the abbey of Seynt Clare the said three yearly rents of £20, £20, & 100s., &c., this present Indenture shall be held for naught. (In French.) Five seals remain. This deed is decayed.—No. 192.
1384.—Joan widow of Sir Thomas de Feltone, Knight, grants in fee-farm to Stephen de Halys, Oliver de Calthorp, Ralph de Shelton, Knights, William de Walsham, clerk, canon of Salisbury, and others, her manor of Great Ryburgh, formerly of Richard Walkefare, Knight, with the advowson, and the Manor of Little Ryburgh, formerly of John de Rattlesden, Knight, with the services, courts, moors, turbaries, fisheries, warrens, &c., which were formerly of Sir Thomas de Felton in the said vills, and in the vills of Little Snoryngg, Stybirde, Bentre, Gatelee, Geyst, Brysele, Penesthorp, Puddyngnorton, and Colkyrke, to hold on condition of rendering to the said Joan for term of her life in the church of St. Clare next Aldgate, London, eighty marks yearly; power being reserved to distrain and reenter. Witnesses. Seal, large and good.—No. 12.
1390.—Sir John le Straunge, Knight, releases to Sir Stephen de Halys, Knight, Sir Oliver de Calthorp, Knight, Sir Ralph de Shelton, Knight, William Wynter, Geoffrey de Derham, parson of Tytleshale, William de Ellerton, parson of Thyrsforde, Richard Athewald, William de Norwich, John de Burgham, and John de Lyng all right which he had in right of Eleanor his wife, daughter and heir of the blood of Sir Richard de Walkfare, Knight, in the knights' fees in the manors late of Sir William Bole, Knight, and Sir Walter de Walcote, Knight, in Little Snoryngge, which manors are held of the manor of Great Rybour by knight service. Dated at Little Walsyngham. Large seal.—No. 11.
1390.—Andrew de Cavendish, Knight, son and heir of Sir John de Cavendish, Knight, grants licence (notwithstanding the Statute of Mortmain) to Stephen de Halys, Knight, Oliver de Calthorp, Knight, Ralph de Shelton, Knight, William Wynter, Geoffrey de Derham, parson of Tytleshale, William Ellerton, parson of Thirsforde, and others, to give to the Prior and Canons of Walsyngham all their lands in Little Ryburgh and Great Ryburgh, Norf., which are of his (Cavendish's) fee, appertaining to his manor of Fakenham Espes, Suff., and which they had of the gift of Joan who was the wife of Sir Thomas de Felton, Knight. Seal, large and good.—No. 50.
/?/ This kind of deed is somewhat rare. It is made out in the same form as a Royal licence in mortmain, beginning "Andreas de Cavendish," and reciting that the Statute provided that religious persons should not acquire lands "without the licence of the King and of the chief lords" of whom such lands were held.
1392.—Indenture between Richard Earl of Arundel and Surrey and the Prior and Convent of Walsyngham. The Earl grants licence to Stephen de Hales, Knight, and others to give the manor of Great Riburgh with the advowson to the said Prior and Convent, notwithstanding the Statute of Mortmain, to hold of the Earl by homage, fealty, and other knight's services, and paying to the Earl a heriot on every voidance of the priory, as former tenants of the Manor had done, and 100s. in name of relief; and also paying for the suit which they owe to the Earl's court at Castelacre for the said manor 3s. 4d. a year, during the Earl's life, and 6s. 8d. after his death. The Prior and Convent grant that they will keep the anniversary of Richard, late Earl of Arundel, and Lady Eleanor his wife, father and mother of the present Earl, and of Elizabeth, late wife of the present Earl, on 24th January, and will pray for the Earl and Lady "Phelipp," his present wife, who, after their deaths, shall be included in the said anniversary. Each prior to take oath before the chief officers of the Earl and his heirs to perform these divine services. The Earl has power to distrain for non-performance. (In French.) Endorsed: "Composition between the Earl of Arundel and the Prior of Walsyngham for the manor of Ryburgh."—No. 505.
1392.—Indenture between the Priors and Convents of Bynham and Walsyngham, whereby the former grant licence to Stephen de Halys, Knight, and others to give and assign to the latter 40 acres of arable land in Little Ryburgh, which are held of the former, notwithstanding the Statute of Mortmain. The latter covenant on every vacancy of their Prior's office to pay 6s. by name of a relief, or double the rent of the said lands. Fragments of the seal (of Bynham priory ?).—No. 410.
1395.—Inquisition at Walsyngham before the King's Escheator, finding that it is not to the damage of the King or of others if the King grant to Stephen de Hales, Knight, and others that they may give and assign the manor of Great Riburgh, the manor of Little Riburgh called Wodehalle, and the reversion of the advowson of Great Riburgh, and to Roger de Chester and others, chaplains, that they may give and assign one messuage and 7½ acres of land in Great and Little Walsyngham, to the Prior and Convent of Walsyngham, for finding four chaplains in a chapel of St. Anne to be built by them in their priory, and a lamp daily burning in the priory church at high mass. One parcel of the manor of Great Riburgh and the advowson are held of the Earl of Arundel by knight service and suit to the Earl's Court of Castelacre every three weeks, and the Earl holds of the King. The other parcel of the said manor is held of John Spoo as of his manor of Pensthorp by knight service and the yearly rent of 13s. 4d., and the same John holds of the Earl of March, who holds of the King. The said manor of Great Ryburgh is charged with 26s. 8d. of yearly rent payable to the Prior and Convent of Bynham. The manor of Little Riburgh is held of Andrew de Cavendyssh, Knight, by knight service, and he holds of the King; it is charged with 6s. yearly to the Prior and Convent of Bynham. The said messuage is held of the Prior of Walsyngham by the rent of 12d. yearly, and the said land is held of the heirs of Robert Galon by the rent of 4½d.; and the Prior and Galon hold of the Earl of March by knight service, &c. The said manors and advowson are worth yearly 40 marks. The said Stephen and others have lands remaining to them in other places (described), &c.—No. 631.
1398.—Thomas Bewfort, son of the Duke of Guienne and Lancaster, testifies that he has received the homage of the Prior of Walsyngham for the manor of Great Ryb[urgh], which the Prior and Convent hold of him as appertaining to his lordship of Castela[cre]. (In French. Mutilated.)—No. 547.
1400.—The Rector of Ryburgh leases to John Attelathe 6½ acres of his land at Bereswelle and at Foxhil. Term, 5 years. Rent, 1 quarter of barley, "boni et bene mundati cum metilabro et cribro, per modium dicti rectoris," at Christmas.—No. 484.
1408.—Hugh the Prior and the Convent of Walsyngham lease to Roger Skynnere of Lycham their warren in Great and Little Ryburgh, "cum uno garyte apud Senhawe et uno cuniculario ibidem," containing 3 acres, with all beasts and fowl, except pheasants. Lessee not to hurt the beasts of the lessors entering into the "cunicularium," but to drive them away. Term, 15 years. Rent, 13s. 4d. yearly. Lessors covenant to maintain the said "garyte" (garret) and to make a small chimney therein. Fragment of seal (of lessee).—No. 353.
1408.—Deed by Ralph de Shelton, Knight, Richard Athewald, William de Norwich, and John Lyng, reciting that Sir Stephen de Hales, Sir Oliver de Calthorp, Sir Ralph de Shelton, Knights, and others, some deceased, had granted the manor of Great Ryburgh and the manor of Little Ryburgh called Wodehalle to the Prior and Convent of Walsyngham, and also the reversion of the advowson of the church of the manor of Great Ryburgh, which Joan widow of Sir Thomas de Felton, Knight, holds for life; to hold for the finding of four chaplains canonical or secular for the healthy estate of the said Joan while she shall live, and for her soul when she shall die, and also for the souls of the King's father, Richard late Prince of Wales, and the said Sir Thomas de Felton and Thomas his son, in a certain chapel of St. Anne within the said priory. Now, considering that the said Prior and Convent have sustained great charges "for the salvation of the estate of the said church," and for other causes, at the request of the said Joan, the said Sir Ralph de Shelton and others grant that the said Prior and Convent shall be quit and discharged from the finding of one of the said four chaplains of the chantry aforesaid. (Mutilated.) 2 seals.—No. 6. (Contemporary copies, Nos. 446, 579. There is also a deed by Lady Joan de Felton relating to the same matter, No. 506.)
1434.—Return by the Official of the Archdeacon of Norwich to a mandate of William, Bishop of Norwich, ordering an inquisition to be made touching the right of presentation to the church of Great Riburgh, claimed by the Prior and Convent of Walsyngham, who had presented Sir Richard Grunnok of Great Walsyngham, priest, and also by John Curson of Belhagh, Knight, who had presented Richard Fyssher, priest. The Inquisition was made by sundry rectors and laymen (named), who found that the Prior and Convent were patrons, and that Dame Joan, relict of Sir Thomas Felton, presented the last Rector, Sir John Lenot, deceased. "Dicta ecclesia non est litig', set porcionar' Priori et Conventui de Bynham, ut asseritur, estimac' vero xxiiijor marc'." The presentee is of good life and conversation, &c. Portions of the Official's seal, and five other seals.—No. 374.
1458.—Robert Smyth alias Bocher and Barth. Payn enfeoff John Lyncolne and others of "one messuage built containing one half-acre of land" in Great Ryburgh, with one acre in the field of that vill (bounds set out). Witnesses: William Butt, &c. Portions of two seals.—No. 384.
1480.—John Ayscogh and Richard his son, Esquires, sell to John Wymdham, Esquire, their manor in Melton Constable, called Cokefeldes, with all their lands in the Hundred of Holt, for 350 marks, payable by instalments. They "shall come to Burgh beside Briston or to London . . . to make a state of the premises." Other covenants. (In English.)—No. 545.
1481.—John, Prior, and the Convent of Walsyngham lease to Thomas Geyton and John Mylle their cornmill in Mykyll Ryburgh. Term, 5 years. Rent, 8l. 6s. 8d. yearly. Lessors to bear all repairs "except cogges, staves, keeping open the dam fro the said mili unto the great bridge in the same town, and reparation of the caucy (causeway) there." Lessees give a bond in 10l. (In English.)—No. 531.
1482. William Ayscogh, Gent, releases to John Wyndham, Esquire, all right in the manor of Melton Constable and lands, &c. there and in Brymyngham, Brystun, Burgh, Stodehay, and Gunthorp. Seal.—No. 425.
1503.—Will of Richard Harneyse, of Great Ryburgh. Bequests to the high altar in the church of St. Andrew there, and to St. Thomas's light, St. John's light, and Our Lady's light [in the same church]. Also to St. Erasmus' Gild in Fulmerston, to the Freers in Walsyngham, to poor householders in Ryburgh, Gild brethren and sisters, to priests &c. for dirges, "to every child that can say De profundis ld.," for a light before Our Lady in Ryburgh church, &c. To Emma his wife, his place in Ryburgh, &c. To Robert his son, 40s. Other children mentioned. Sir Geffrey Howes, vicar of Little Ryburgh, and others to be executors. Moneys for repair of the leading of the church and bells. (In English.) Probate endorsed 1503. Fragments of seal.—No. 395.
1517.—Exemplification by Thomas Hare, LL.D., principal Official of the Consistory Court of Norwich, of proceedings in a cause relating to the withdrawal of tithes between Sir Richard Ferror, perpetual vicar of Geyst, Plaintiff, and Sir Robert Newman, rector of Great Riburgh, Defendant; the sentence being in favour of the latter. Portion of seal.—No. 392.
1517–18.—Exemplification by Thomas Hare, LL.D., Official of Richard, Bishop of Norwich, of a recovery of tithes by Robert Newman, rector of Great Riburgh, against Nicholas Hunt of Hyldolveston, in the Consistory Court. Portion of seal.—No. 311.
1521.—Monition by the Official of the Court of Canterbury to Sir Richard Ferrar, vicar of Geyst, appellant, to pay to Sir Robert Newman, rector of Great Ryburgh, Defendant in an appeal heard before the Official, 4l. for the latter's costs, under pain of excommunication.—No. 661.
1528.—Ten bonds by William Buttes, M.D., Sir Thomas Tyrell of Gippyng, Suff., Knight, Philip Parys of Lynton, Cambr., Esquire, and John Crystmas of Colchester, Essex, Gent., to Brian Tuke, Treasurer of the King's Chamber, Thomas Englefild, Justice of the Common Pleas, and Sir William Paulet, Knight, to pay so many sums of 40 marks to the said Treasurer, at certain dates, for the wardship and marriage of the daughters and heirs of Henry Bures. Signatures and seals.—No. 700.
1529.—Two Bonds by William Buttes, M.D., Roger More, "ser-"vientem Domini Regis a panibus," (fn. 1) and Simon Englisshe of London, skinner, to Brian Tuke, Esq., Treasurer of the King's Chamber, and William Paulett, Knight, each in £40, for the payment of two sums of £33 6s. 8d., as instalments of £100 due to the King in part recompense of the King's gift of Robert (fn. 2) [Henry] Buer's lands to the said William Buttes during the minority of the daughters and heirs of the said Robert [Henry]. Signed and sealed. [These are the first and third of three bonds.]—No. 335.
1538.—Richard Vowell, Prior, and the Convent of Little Walsyngham, lease to Robert Towneshend, Esq., of Twyford, a pasture or ground called Senhaugh, in Grett Ryborough, and another pasture or moor adjoining called Aplemore, in Grett and Lytle Ryborough, with the warren called Senhaugh Warren, and the river called Senhaugh River, with all other several waters, fishings, &c. Term, 80 years. Rent, £4s. Lessee to repair the lodge of the warren, hedges, dykerowes, and fences, and cleanse and scour the river, waters, drains, and dykes. Lessors to provide wood for fences, &c. They reserve the right, when resorting to the manor for recreation, to fish the said river with nets and other engines, and to hunt conies in the warren to the number of 20 couple, yearly. Lessee to leave 300 conies. Signed by the Prior, Subprior, and 12 others (monks, including Richard Garnett). Large seal of the Priory, showing the church on one side, and the Virgin and Child on the other.—No. 671.
1543.—Commission by the Official of the Archdeacon of Norwich to the Dean of Bresele cum Toftes and Sir Thomas Bulman, to induct Master Roger Overey into the parish church of Great Ryburgh, to which he has been admitted and instituted Rector by the Bishop of Norwich. (Paper.) Fragments of seal.—No. 679.
1549.—Thomas Woodhous of Waxham in co. Norfolk, Esquire, for a sum of money enfeoffs William Cockys, yeoman, of a rood of land in the vill and fields of Great Riburghe, granted to him (Woodhous) by Letters Patent, 29 September 2 Edw. VI., and he appoints Nicholas Jagges of Corpestie (?) as his attorney to deliver seisin. Signed: Thomas Wodehous (?). Seal, a stag (?).—No. 176.
1550.—Will of Edmonde Buttes of Barrowe, Suff., Esquire. Bequeaths his goods to Anne his wife, for life, then to Anne their daughter; except his best horse, which he has given to his uncle Robert Bures; his picture, which he gives to his brother Thomas Buttes; two pair of velvet hose to his cousin Edmonde Buttes; and his "frysade nyghttgowne" to the Vicar of Gaysle. His wife to be executrix. Dated 1549. Official copy. Probate endorsed, Norwich, 1550. Portion of seal.—No. 366.
1551.—Six bonds by Thomas Buttes of Great Ryburgh, Esq., Edmund Buttes, gent., and William Cokkes, yeoman, for the payment to Alex. Frankling, barber, Agnes his wife, and James Lynne, worsted weaver, of five marks at Michaelmas in 1551, 1552, 1553, 1554, 1555, and 1556, "upon the marble table in the common hall of the city of Norwich." Signed and sealed. Cancelled.—No. 286.
1553.—Roger Overey, parson of Great Righburgh, leases to William Moreton of Estderham, yeoman, the parsonage or rectory of Great Righburgh, with tithes, glebes, rents, offerings, duties, houses, &c.; except wood and "a house called the Stoarehowsse under the greyn chamber," and also the parlour and chambers over it for one month in each year, for lessor's occupation. Term, 3 years. Total payment, £20. Lessee to have the barn, bakehouse, and chambers of the parsonage, and to pay a priest to serve the cure. Other covenants. Sealed in the presence of Thomas Buttes, Esquire, and others.—No. 443.
1558.—Bond by Lady Katherine Fermour late of East Barsham, widow, and Henry Spelman of Beston, Norf., Esquire, to Thomas Buttes, Esquire, in £200, to save him harmless in respect of certain bonds to Sir James Boleyn, Knight. Signed. Two seals.—No. 291.
1559.—Admission and institition by the Royal Commissaries General of William Seton, clerk, to the rectory of the parish church of Great Riburgh, void by the death of the last incumbent, on the presentation of Thomas Buttes, Esq. Large seal (broken).—No. 240.
1559.—Sir William Buttes, Knight, grants to Frances widow of John Asteley, Esq., for £40, the wardship and marriage of Isaacke Asteley, son and heir of the said John, who held of Buttes the manor of Melton Constable as of his manor of Thornage, by the service of 1¼ knight's fee. Dated at Thornage. Counterpart, signed by grantee. Seal.—No. 649.
1560.—Sir James Boleyn, Knight, bargains and sells to Sir Thomas Gressham, Knight, the manor of Egmere, Norf., and all lands, fold-courses, &c. thereto belonging in Egmere, Waterden, Northbasham, Wighton, and Little and Great Walsingham. Gresham covenants to pay to Boleyn a yearly rent of 46l. 1s. 9d., and before Midsummer next to deliver to Boleyn at Clay, Norf., one tun of Gascoyne wine. And whereas by Indenture in 1556 Gresham covenanted to deliver to Boleyn one tun of Gascoyne wine yearly at London, he now agrees to deliver the same at Clay. Signed and sealed by Boleyn.—No. 664.
1560.—Robert Empson and Robert Manfeilde otherwise Peers, church wardens of Great Ryburgh, and others, inhabitants of the said town lease to Thomas Buttes, Esquire, two pieces of land called the Towne Lande in the field of Great Ryburgh (described). Term, 20 years Rent, 13s. 4d. Nine seals and two signatures.—No. 189.
1561.—Sir Nicholas Bacon, Keeper of the Great Seal, for the good education of the children of the tenants of his manors of Redgrave, Wortham, Melles, Hyndercley, Rekynghall, Walsham, Wyverston, Ashefelde, Ingham, and Tymworth, and of the Hundred of Blackborne in co. Suffolk, and of Eccles in co. Norfolk, and those of his neighbours, grants to George Dedham and James Vale, Wardens and Governors of his free Grammar School in Redgrave, an annuity or annual rent of 13l. 6s. 8d. out of his manor of Ashefelde, to cease in case Sir Nicholas should grant them lands of that value. This grant is made pursuant to the Queen's letters patent of foundation, dated at Redgrave, 28 July 1561. (Beautifully written on vellum.) Signed by Sir Nicholas. Large seal of arms.—No. 652.
1566.—Will of Robert Harvye, of Great Ryburgh, yeoman. Mentions the churchyard there—"the poor men's box"—Helen or Elyn his wife—his freehold and copyhold lands in Great Ryburgh—his father John Harvye, deceased—his daughters, viz. Johan, Grysell, Alys, Margaret, Rose—a copyhold tenement in Northcreke—his "grete sprewse chest"—Johan Dyamon—Robert Dyamon—Robert Powle of Tostres, his brother-in-law. His wife to be executrix, and "Mr. Thomas Buttes, Esquire," to be "a counsellor of this my last will." Witnesses. Dated 1560. (In English.) Proved 1566. Seal (broken).—No. 451.
1567.—Robert Bozome of Stodye, Esq., son and heir of John Bozome, Esq., enfeoffs Gregory Warne of one inclose in Hunworth (3 acres) lying "between the common pasture of Hunworth called Richmon Common in part, and the land of William Seckell lying within the said common pasture at the south-east, and the common watercourse in part, and the close of the said Gregory Warne," &c. Rent, 2s. yearly, and suit of court to grantor's manor of Stodye, at Michaelmas, or 3d. for default, &c. Seal of lessee.—No. 373.
1568.—Institution by John Bishop of Norwich of Richard Harris, priest, to the parish church of Great Riboroughe, to which he had been presented by Queen Elizabeth. Portions of the episcopal seal remain.—No. 309.
1575.—William Fyncham of Fincham, Esquire, bargains and sells to Richard Stubbe of Edgefeylde, Gent., the manor of Harthill and lands &c. in Hunworth, Briston, Studdie, and Holte, Norf., latd of John Fyncham, his grandfather, and Thomas Fincham, his father, and late in the occupation of Robert Bozom, Esquire, or Richard Stubbe. Signed and sealed. Enrolled on the Close Rolls.—No. 49.
1578.—Richard Stubbe of Edgefeild, Gent., bargains and sells to Sir Nicholas Bacon of Redgrave, Knight, the manor called Harthill late [of] William Fyncham, Esquire, in Hunworthe, Briston, and Studdye, with lands, foldcourses, &c., and also one messuage newly built in Edgefeilde, and the close adjoining lying in Hunworth and Edgefeilde, lately purchased of George Brigges, Gent., &c.; except one piece of ground now enclosed called Froskewell alias Little Stodey (60 acres) in Stodey, and Sheppardes Close in Briston, &c. (bounds set out). If Stubbes acquire one close of William Baker's, Sir Nicholas is not to demand any right of shack or common feed therein, &c. Other covenants. The manor of Edgefeilde Buttes or Edgefeilde Prior is mentioned. Signed and sealed.—No. 686.
1579.—Indenture between Thomas Buttes of Great Ryburgh, Esquire, and Sir Nicholas Bacon of Redgrave, Suff., son and heir apparent of Sir Nicholas Bacon, Lord Keeper, and Dame Anne wife of Sir Nicholas the son. By Indenture in 1561 Thomas Buttes and Briget his wife conveyed to Sir Nicholas Bacon the father and others in fee simple the manors of Great Riebroughe and Woodhall. For 48l. Buttes covenants that he and all persons claiming interest in the said manors, or in the advowsons of Great and Little Riebroughe (except yearly pensions or portions of 40s. yearly issuing out of the former rectory, and 13s. 4d. out of the latter, a close called Skytes yard or Scottes yard of 1 ½ acre, and one free messuage lately bought of Thomas Browne and Hellen Browne), shall convey and release the said manors to Sir Nicholas and Dame Anne, who covenant to allow Buttes to take the revenues thereof till 1st April next, and from that date a yearly rentcharge of 130l. 6s. 2d. out of the premises for his life, payable at Redgrave. Signed by Buttes. Seal (of arms: on a chevron between three estoiles as many lozenges).—No. 658.
1579. Thomas Buttes, Esquire, leases to Simon Mussett, miller, his watermill with the millhouse in Great Ryburgh called Southemylle, "with all the going gear," and one messuage called Milles near the said mill, late of Thomas Browne, tanner, and one yard adjoining called Newesteade Yarde, and also one parcel of morishe (or marishe) ground (1 acre) on the east of the mill. Term, 7 years. Rent, 13l. 6s. 8d. The lessor is bound to grind at the mill. The lessee to leave one overstone and one netherstone of certain sizes, and shall not fish in any part of the dam, river, or stream that cometh to the mill, except that he may take eels and other fish at the "owteloades" of the mill or mill-wheel with shakenetts, a moiety of which eels and fish is to be delivered to the lessor.—No. 633.
1584.—Sir Nicholas Bacon of Redgrave, Knight, in performance of Indentures dated 1579, grants to Thomas Buttes of Great Riburgh, Esquire, an annuity of 160l. for life out of the manor of Egmere, Norf., payable at the church porch of Redgrave cum Bowsdale. Buttes shall have the mansion-house in Riburgh and certain closes there till All Saints next (1584); and he and Margaret M . . . . shall hold in survivorship all lands which he lately purchased of Helen Harvie and others. Bacon shall depasture four geldings of Buttes, &c. Signed and sealed by Buttes.—No. 234.
1592.—Thomas Buttes of Catton, Norf., Esquire, bargains and sells to Sir Nicholas Bacon of Redgrave, Suff., Knight, and Nathaniel Bacon of Styfkey, Norf., Esquire, the manor of Thornham in Thornham, Norf., with the demesne lands, pastures, marshes, foldcourses, courts, sea-wrecks, groundages, fishings, royalties, &c. in Thornham, Holme, Tychwell, Somer, and Stanhowe, Norf., and also the manor of Pannington Hall otherwise Paddington Hall, with demesne lands &c. in Whersteade, Suff. Signed: Nycholas Bacø, Natha: Bacon. Two seals (of arms).—No. 83.
1604.—Henry Seafoule, Edmond Seafoule, and John Gibson, of Waterden, Norf., Gent., enfeoff Sir Nicholas Bacon of Redgrave, Knight, of "all the common of pasture, commonage, and liberty of common shack" which they have in two pastures or closes of his in Waterden in the West field there (bounds set out); and they release all right in the same and other lands there. Signed: John Gibson. Seals lost.—No. 315.
1620.—Jerome Alexander enfeoffs John Howsigoe of one piece of land and pasture called Moyses Yarde, with bakehouse thereupon, at the east end of donor's capital messuage in North Elmeham, next "the common pasture of North Elmeham," called the Broome. Signed and sealed.—No. 695, I.
Aunger, Aleyn, Atte Mille, Attewelle, Althorp, Atte Cros or Atte Cruche, Amy, Attelathe, Athewald, Alfred, Andrew, Andrewes Awncell, Ate Hill, Butt (Nos. 384, 440), Buttes, Bacon, Bowman Brese, Bole or Bule, Bulour, Bernard, Berneye, Baggard, Buurd, Botild, Bonde, Banyard, Bozoun, Baxstere, Berdewell, Billingford, Bussel or Buscel, Boylond, Browne, Browning, Binham, Boucher or Bocher, Benet, Bernham, Brect, Baxtere or Baxster, Bintre, Bulman, Boleyn, Bagby, Bedingfeld, Brandon, Claye, Clerk, Chaunceys, Chaunt, Coole, Cubald, Candelere, Capel, Childerhus or Childrus (of Gateley), Cromnyng, Calbot, Cok or Koc, Cokkes, Cook or le Cook, Cookes. Calthorp, Cursoun, Constantyng, Child, Cary, Crome, Downing, Dyrre or Dereye, Den, le Deu, Dele, Drury, Doyly, De la More, Del Heyse, Del Hil (of Testerton), Elvy, Elvive or Elvyne, Erpingham or Herpingham, Eyre, Empson, Everard or Evered, Felton, Fitz Simon, Fen, Fitz Hubert, Fitz John, Fitz Ralph, Fleyt, Frank, Fulfordhaghe, Frenge, Farewell or Far well, Flight, Fauucon, Fisher, Fuller, Fermour alias Cooper, Gode or Goode, Gayton or Geyton, Gottes or Gottys, Gateley, Gardener, Gerthere, Gostling, Huberd, Hoxlee, Heyward, Harvey, Harneys, Homelton, Hoo, Howe, Horn, Hetune or Ettune, Horewic, Hyndryngham, Haliday, Hagheman or Haweman, Hamund, Hales, Howard, Harman, Hows, Hose/?/ere or Hoseyer, Huxter, Heydon, Inland or Inlaunde, Jake, Jagge, Kyrkeby, Keche, Kynges, Kinge, le Keu, Kempe, Ketyl or Ketell, Knatteshale or Gnateshale, Keythorp, Ladde, Lampet, Litelsmyt, Lyng, Lincolne, Lange, Lamberd, Lawrence, Lawes, Lovel, Lof or Loof, Lekesham or Lechesham, Loveday, Leek, Monpinzun, Mabbe or Mabbes, Manfyld, Milham, Malemusc, Malmhert, Mille, Morlee, Merlond, Nowers, Norton, Naringes, Neuman or le Neuman, Neel, Overmore (of Gateley), Oldhall, Owthwett, Perys, Perse, Peers or Peares, Poer, Palmere, Playforde, Payn, Pavely or le Pavely, Paulee or Paweli, Parson or Person, Preston, Pattesle, Pesenhale, Priour, Prat, Pytewyn, Porter, Powle, Roper, Risby, le Rede, the Reeve, Reyner, Ruheved or Roughhed, Rust, Robbis, Rawlyn, Rawlyns, Rycald, Reppes, Ratlisdene, Reynham, Riburg, Snetesham, Smyth, Sparhauk, Sylvester, Shelton, Spic or Spyck, Southgate, Scharneburn, Sprot, Straunge or le Straunge, Styberde, Scarlet, Stede, Sparke, Scothowe, Sander, Shovell, St. Martin, le Sutor, Skraggar, le Straggere, Symmes, Schepherd, Sherman or Scharman, Salman, Shirwyn, Trendel, Tomson or Tompson, le Taylour, Tornekyn or Thornekin, Testretun, Tytyng, Walkefare, Withy or Wethy, Wright, Wyllys, Wodedallyng, Warner, Welington, Whight or Whyte, Wutton, Wursly, Waterman, Yryng.
The following names of persons occur in the deeds relating to the manors and freeholds in Briningham, Hunsworth, Melton Constable, Stody, Little Burgh, Briston, Brinton, Thornage, Holt, and the neighbourhood, either as parties or as witnesses:—
Avenel, Astlee or Estlee, Atte Parke, Atte Whynnes or Attequinnes, Atte Dam, Atte Church, Attekyrke, Atte Grene, Atteheyth, Attehog, Atte Poo, Attewade, Annesley, Auntrous, Ayscogh, Brisele, Braunche, Bacoun (Nos. 27, 124, 142, 409), Bonde, Berford or Bereford, Berneye, Burnavile, Bacunesthorp, Bernard, Bone or le Bone, Birston or Briston, Blakene (of London), Briningham, le Bulchere, Brice, Burgh, Burgeys, Buske, Blaxtere, Browne, Butt or Butte (Nos. 175, 210), Buttes, Bonjour, Bintre, Bozome or Bozom, Bussell, Bereator, Breton, Brightive or Britiffe, Brigges, Birny, Barbour, Bucher, Boleyn, Benyngfeld, Chaumberleyn, Calabre, Costwyck, Clerk, Cosyn, Curzoun, Chapman, Crepping, Carpenter, Clement, Colyns, Cloyte, Cokefeld, Causton, Colby, Corby, Cleare, Dandouay, Dalling, Daubeney, Dysselyng, Drury, Denham, Deye, Dynys, Estlee or Astlee, Eggefeld, Estker, Edrich, Edmund, Elvys, Fraunces, Flour, Fitz-Adam, Freman, Frogenhole or Frokenhole, Fichet, Fildallingg, Fuller, Fincham, Fox, Felbrygge, Grys, de la Grene (same as Atte Grene above), Geyste, Godfrey, Grygge, Godwyn, Goodes, Gloos, Holwell, Hindringham, Hallez, Hane, Hammond, Hanggebuk, Hert, Heydon, Hestinges, Huneworth, Horstede, Higham, Herdewyk, Hereward, Harald, Hunte, Ingham, Ingement, Jeckes or Jeckys, Jordan, Karmankyn, del Ker or in the Kar, Leggard, Lampet, Lawes, Leckys or Leccus, Lystere, Linnelee or Linley, Manneby, Melton, le May, Mercator, Matelaske, Manning, Medewe, Marix, Might, Murdeu or Murdieu, le Milieres, Morle, Milham, Noers or le Nouers, Norton, Neve, Newman, Ormesby, Overthewater, Pilemere or Pilmere, Playforde or Playforthe, Peronnel, Persone, Prat, Perers or Pereres, le Pevere or le Pouere, Piers, Pelles, Pinceware, Prentys, Pitelyn, le Paumer or Palmer, Plesaunce, Plowwryght, Pyle, Qwyte or Qwyth, Rolves, Ruddham or Rudam, Repon, Reynold, Reade, Roper, Smith, Soterlee, Stubbard, Shyttele, le Sutere, Sagge, Swyft, Staunford, Scharenton, Stodey (of London), Sterre, Sendall, Salmon, Skunfyt or Skumphyt, Seckell, Stubbe, Strelley, Shelton, Seaman, Scrope, Scolfeild, Thurkild, le Talyur or Letaliur, Thursford, Trusbut or Trussebut, Tussy, Tudenham, Urry, la Velye or la Veille, Wilkenes, Wither, Walsingham, Wesenham (of London), Wylles or Wyllys, Worstede, Wright, Wyndham, West, Weston, Warne, le Ward, Whit (same as Qwyth above), Wattes, Walour, Woollsey.
APPENDIX B. Letter-Book of the Deputy Lieutenants and Justices of the Peace of Suffolk, 1608–1640.
|The franchise of Bury||} 50l|
|The franchise of St. Etheldred|
|Bury fr:||33l. 6s. 8d.|
|Fr: of St. Etheldred||16l. 13s. 4d.|
|20 Blithing Hundred||10l.|
|16 Haxon Hundred||8l.|
|16 Hartsmere Hundred||8l.|
|14 Wangford Hundred||7l.|
|12 Bosmere cum Claydon||6l.|
|10 Sampford Hundred||5l.|
|6 Mutford cum Lothingford||3l.|
|6 Stow Hundred||3l.|
P. 3. In a Rate of 1500l. for the whole County the franchise of Bury is 500l.; in which division Babergh Hundred is 100l., which is levied upon every town within the said Hundred as followeth. Thirty-two places are then named, with the sum due from each.
P. 5. Court at Newmarket, 17 Nov. 1616.—A letter from the King's Majesty to the Justices of the Assizes, whereby it is recommended to their discretions for the holding of the same at Ipswich. The letter is copied in full.
P. 11. No date.—Articles of Instructions given by the Lords and others of the Queen's Majesty's Privy Council in her Highness' name to the Commissioners appointed for the general Musters to be taken in the County of Suffolk. * * *
Item, that no man be exempted from the said musters, of what estate or degree soever he be, not being let with sickness or other reasonable cause to be allowed by the Commissioners; but that as well they themselves, the gentlemen and others, appear there at the said musters both on horseback and on foot with their household servants, and that all others, being of the age of 16 and under 60, be also present at the same musters, according to the ancient custom of the realm.
Item, that they together in their divisions, at the several assemblies within every hundred, take there the musters without favour, malice, or partiality to every [any?] man, or one of them to another, but choosing out all such as be able to bear armour [or] use weapon; and those that be men likely and sufficient for the purpose, they shall put the names of all such in a book.
Upon the perusing of the account of Mr. Thomas Lane of Causey Ashe, chosen compounder for the provisions of the King's Majesty's Household, for one year now last past, it doth appear unto us, that by reason that the prices of all things that are committed to his charge and purveyance are exceedingly increased, so as the money allotted for those provisions, amounting to the sum of 592l. 2s. 10d., doth fall short the sum of 120l.; the which sum of 120l. we do think it very fit and do order that it shall be presently levied and gathered upon the country. The constables are to collect 20l. thereof in the parishes and towns within their limits.
The happy times of peace we have enjoyed sithence his Majesty's coming to the Crown hath bred that security and neglect of necessary provisions for war as we cannot but very much doubt of a great decay of [such] arms and furniture as are requisite in a well ordered State for a continuance and support of that peace we do enjoy. And although the ease and convenience of provision in this kind, in respect of the less expence and trouble which it causeth, may induce every man to furnish himself as is meet for the service of the State and preventing such inconveniences as usually follow omission and neglect, yet the condition of these times withall is such, both in respect of the boldness and assurance which the Recusants have taken of late, as otherwise, as may require a ready and sufficient reply in this behalf.
His Majesty has therefore commanded us to give order for a general muster and survey to be made and certified of the armed forces of this realm. This will tend to the ease of every man's charge and trouble, which would be much more if it should be left to a sudden and unexpected necessity.
As Lieutenant in Suffolk, Cambridge, Dorset, and the town of Poole, you are to cause a general view to be taken accordingly of all forces therein, both horse & foot, and the trained bands to be made complete in regard to officers, men, armour, &c.
No persons shall be exempted from providing horse, arms, or furniture on pretence of being servants to his Majesty or to any nobleman, except his Majesty's ordinary servants and the household servants of noblemen. It shall be likewise expedient that such of the clergy as have been heretofore appointed to find arms, and others of them that are meet in like sort to be charged, may be ordered to cause the same to be shown at these musters.
A store of powder, with match, bullet, and other provisions for carriage, is to be kept in the shire towns or elsewhere. The beacons, having been long neglected and grown to decay, are to be speedily repaired. A certificate is to be returned by you before the 1st of April next of the view and musters, supplies, &c.
Pp. 22 seq. Letters of the Lord Lieutenant, Deputy-Lieutenants, &c. concerning the execution of the foregoing order, 1613, 1614. The Deputy-Lieutenants were Sir Anthony Felton, Sir William Waldegrave, Sir Robert Jermyn, Sir John Heigham, Sir Henry Glemham, and Sir Edmund Wittipoole. All men chargeable with horses and arms were to appear "at the market cross in Ipswich, at Rushemore Heath."
Whereas you have formerly received directions from this Board for taking out of the hands and custody of all Recusants, as well such as be convicted as others known to be Recusants and ill affected in religion, in that county, all such armour, weapons, and other furniture of war as shall be found in their houses, or otherwise belonging unto them; the words "ill affected in religion" having been differently construed in divers shires, the King, with our advice, and according to the opinion of some of the chief Judges, has explained his meaning to be, all such persons as give any covert suspicion by not usually repairing to church and by not receiving the communion once a year at least, and those whose wives, children, or servants are Recusants or non-communicants, or Popishly affected, and especially those who have any extraordinary number of retainers or tenants of that kind; this sort of people being persons whom his Majesty has reason to hold in jealousy.
Whereas there is a great army now on foot, commanded by Marquis Spinola, in Cleveland and the parts thereabouts, that hath proceeded very far in taking in (sic) and possessing themselves of divers towns, to the great danger of the Protestant party and the religion that began so happily to flourish in those parts, together with the eminent perils of the States of the United Provinces; which although [it] be a sufficient motive in reason of State to move his Majesty to cast a vigilant and provident eye to the safety of his dominions, yet being withall advertised of a great fleet lately discovered upon the coast, full of soldiers and munitions, which are to take their descent either in the Low Countries or in some place more prejudicial to this realm, his Majesty in his high wisdom hath commanded at this time that order be given by us for a general muster and survey to be made of such armed forces of this realm as shall be thought meet to be prepared and had in readiness upon all occasions for the defence and safety of the Kingdom.
The Lord Lieutenant is to act accordingly, and especially to see that the trained bands be made complete by filling up vacancies occurring since the last muster with sufficient & apt men, as well of those of the better quality as of such other freeholders, farmers, owners of land, or householders as may be fit for the same; and to supply all defects of armour, &c. The country is not to be charged with coats and conduct-money till further directions are given. Instructions as to horsemen, the King's servants, the clergy, &c., as before.
Pp. 34 seq. Letters of the Earl of Suffolk to the Deputy Lieutenants (including Sir Lionel Talmache), and from them to one another and to the Chief Constables of the Hundreds and the Bailiffs of Ipswich, touching the execution of the foregoing warrant.
Ordering a further search for arms to be made in the houses of Recusants, and the seizure of the same, excepting such weapons as shall seem necessary and expedient for the defence of their houses. Bills indented to be made of the arms so taken, and a certificate to be returned to us.
We lately addressed our letters unto you wherein we did exhort you, after the example of the Lords spiritual and other the nobility then residing about this town, out of your own free and voluntary contribution, to concur for the present relief of his Majesty's urgent necessities for the supply of Ireland, for the provision of the Cautionary Towns in Holland and Zealand, and for the furnishing of the Navy. Since then serious troubles (described) have happened in the neighbouring countries to the prejudice of the King's friends and allies, and the persons & states of the Elector Palatine & the Princess his lady, the King's only and dearest daughter, are environed on all sides by divers armies, to the imminent danger of these Kingdoms. His Majesty has therefore commanded a general muster to be made, his Navy to be put in order, and all Recusants to be disarmed, as not being well affectioned to his service. Having heard nothing from you, we write again, praying and requiring you, as you tender the preservation of your country and of yourselves, your wives, and children, to use your best endeavours for the return of this contribution.
Whereas divers of you were before us in his Majesty's Counting-house the last term touching the difference between yourselves of service and carriage of wood and coals for His Highness' expence at Newmarkett, at which time you promised to make a general meeting amongst you all, when notice should be given unto his Majesty's Purveyors for those kind (sic) of provisions of the time and place where you would meet; at which meeting it was intended there should be a settled course not only how the defaults for the last year should be supplied, but also how his Majesty might be better served hereafter for those and the like provisions: now, forasmuch as by reason of his Majesty's living at that house the most part of these two last months, whereby the provisions of fuel formerly laid for store there is (sic) already spent, and besides his Majesty intendeth to come thither very shortly, and is like to be unfurnished of such necessary provision[s] as those, if speedy care be not forthwith taken therein; we have therefore thought good hereby to put you in remembrance thereof, and do also pray you to take some present order how his Majesty may be served with most ease to the country in general; otherwise we do propose to send his Majesty's Commission down thither, and also to call the default[er]s of the last summer's service before us, and cause them to perform that they were charged withall, which we know will be much more burdensome to the country than this which we do now desire. And so not doubting your respective cares herein, we commit you to God.
P. 43. 19 Nov. 1614.—Order [by the Deputy Lieutenants] to the chief Constables of the Hundred of Bosmere and Claydon, to levy a rate in the several towns therein to defray the cost (4l. 5s.) of certain armour provided by the chief constables for the said Hundred.
Ib. No date.—A warrant touching the repair of the Bridges called Snape and Wilford Bridges, lately fallen to ruin and decayed, so that the King's subjects cannot travel that way. See also pp. 45, 60, 64.
P. 44. Articles agreed upon, 28 May 1615, by the Justices of the Peace in co. Suffolk, touching the manner of levying charges on the country for the King's service, viz. for provision and carriages, for the Navy, for beacons, bridges, &c. 17 names at foot, including Ed. Bacon.
P. 45. 20 March 1615(–16). A warrant concerning a watch to be kept the 6th, 7th and 8th of April 1615, and for the arrest of all idle, vagrant, and wandering persons, who are to be brought before [the Justices] at the Crown in Woodbridge on the 12th April. Addressed: To the chief constables of &c.
We send you herewithall a true declaration of the present estate of the English Colony planted in Virginia, together with a project to the help of a Lottery to bring at length that work to the success desired. We pray you to employ your good endeavours amongst the gentlemen and other persons of ability within that county to adventure in the said Lottery, destined to so good a purpose, such reasonable sums of money as each of them may conveniently and can willingly spare.
Touching an idle, foolish letter from the townsmen of Bury to Lord Chief Justice Cooke about the price of victuals, and reprimanding Sir John for not giving the Earl notice of it. A vacancy has been caused by the untimely death of Sir Robert Drury, Deputy Lieutenant. Also touching the holding of musters.
P. 49. Articles agreed upon at Stowe Markett, the 3rd of June 1615, respecting musters to be taken in the several divisions of the county; viz. in Hoxon and Hartesmere under the conduction of Sir Nicholas Bacon, Bart., &c. Philip Colby, Esq., was muster-master.
P. 60. Articles agreed upon by the Justices of Peace of the county of Suffolk at the Assizes holden the 21st of July 1615, respecting accounts to be rendered by the Treasurers for Charitable Uses and Maimed Soldiers, the election of high constables, moneys levied by the Justices for the King's service, the licensing of ale-houses, innkeepers, tippling, rogues, presentments of the names of freeholders and others fit to be returned in juries, &c. 22 names at the end.
P. 69. Order by the Justices of the Peace for all churchwardens and overseers of the Poor to appear before them and render their accounts, and to bring bills of all the poor who are entitled to relief, and of all children bound apprentices.
P. 78. Bury St. Edmund's, 31 July 1617.—Letter from 23 [Justices of the Peace], including [Sir] Edw. Bacon, to the Duke of Lenox and residue of the honorable Officers of his Majesty's Greencloth, touching the carriages and provisions for his Majesty's Household.
Pp. 93 seq. 1618, 1619.—Correspondence between the Knights of the Guildable and the Knights of Bury, and the Deputy Lieutenants of the same divisions, touching the rates to be levied on each for providing powder and match, &c.
Requests them to join with the Lord Mayor and Aldermen of London in furnishing a loan to the King his master and the Queen of Bohemia, the most glorious mother and fruitful nursery of the Royal plants.
P. 107. Form of the Oath of a Chief Constable: to execute warrants; to keep the peace; to suppress unlawful plays and games, drunkenness, and idleness; to levy rates and taxes; to keep the petty sessions, &c.
We have taken notice, by letters written to this Board, of the decay of Clothing, and the great distress thereby fallen upon the weavers, spinners, and fullers in divers counties for want of work, and consequently of the means of relief of themselves & families which formerly they have earned by their labour; and although complaints of this kind are conceived to proceed in part out of the clamorous disposition of some idle persons, in repressing of whom we require and expect your best care and vigilancy, we have made this address unto you to let you know that as upon calling the merchants here before us, and due examination of the state of their trade at this present, we have taken order in the behalf of the clothier for the taking off (as far as may be) of such cloths as now lieth upon his hands, and will, as occasion shall give us leave, make further way for the vent of cloth in foreign parts and at home, so do hereby require you to call before you such clothiers as you shall think fitting, and to deal effectually with them for the employment of such weavers, spinners, & other persons as are now out of work; where we may not omit to let you know that as we have employed our best endeavours in favour of the clothier[s], both for the vent of their cloth and for moderation of the price of wools (of which we hope they shall speedily find the effects), so may we not endure that the clothiers in that or any other county should, at their pleasure, and without giving knowledge thereof to the Board, dismiss their workfolks, who, being many in number, and most of them of the poorest sort, are in such cases likely by their clamours to disturb the quiet and government of those places wherein they live. Public stocks are to be raised for the employment in that trade of poor people who want work. Wool growers shall not engross their wools and keep them in their hands two, three, or more years, to enhance the price thereof, in expectation of high prices arising from the death of sheep or other accidents. In the present decay of trade, all parties must bear a share of the public loss.
P. 114. Chilton, 19 Feb. 1621–2.—Warrant [by the Justices] to the high constables of the Hundred of Babergh to summon all persons who heretofore used the trade of clothing, and who now forbear to continue the same, before [the Justices] at the Crown in Sudbury on the 23rd instant; and to inquire what cloths remain unsold in the hands of all clothiers.
P. 115. Same date.—Warrant [by the Justices] to the churchwardens and overseers of the Poor of Boxford, Groten, and Edwardston, on a complaint that the aged and impotent poor are not relieved in such comfortable and sufficient manner as their necessity requireth, and that the other sort of poor which are of able bodies to work are in great distress and many of them likely to perish. The former are to be relieved, and the latter to be provided with work, by raising a stock, if need be.
We have dealt with the clothiers according to your letter of 9 Feb. They are much decayed in their estates by reason of the great losses they have received within these few years by merchants that have bankrupted, the sale of their cloths at under-prices, and the great quantity of cloth that doth lie dead upon their hands; and they live themselves in great want and misery, and cannot set the poor people on work, being many thousands. In twenty towns only there are 4,453 broadcloths in hand, valued at 39,282l. In twelve towns the clothiers have lost by the said bankrupts, within five years, 30,415l. Like losses would be found in other parts of the country. The clothiers think the deadness of their trade is caused by the merchants being incorporated and settled into companies, which limit the times, persons, numbers, and prices to be observed in buying cloths, contrary to the ancient custom of the trade; and by the transportation of English wool, fuller's earth, and woodashes to foreign parts, which increases the making of cloth in foreign parts, where English cloth was wont to be vented. The imposition lately laid on their cloths is none of the least hindrances to them. We make known these particulars to your Lordships, that you may take further order to remedy those inconveniences. We will use all diligence to cause the poor to be employed in labour.
P. 117. No date.—The opinion of the Lord Graye, Sir Francis Knowles, Sir John Norris, Sir Richard Bingham, Sir Roger Williams, and others, what places were most likely the enemy would land at, and what were most meet to be done to make head against him; with their answer to certain other propositions and heads set down by my Lords of the Council. 5 pages.
P. 123. No date.—Petition of the makers of Bayes and Sayes Stuffs and Fustians, commonly called the New Draperies, within the counties of Essex, Suffolk, and Norfolk, to the Privy Council, for redress against intruders into the said trade. With a Council letter thereon, dated 8 March 1621(–2). See also p. 139.
Whereas many undertakers for the service of Compositions for his Majesty's House have lately failed and become bankrupt, by means whereof the inhabitants of the counties have been doubly charged; and whereas some Purveyors have likewise been employed for the bringing in of his Majesty's Composition, who, receiving money from his Majesty, have detained the same long after the said Compositions have been delivered; at the request of the Justices of the Peace, the King will accept a composition in money, calling to mind the general complaints in Parliament against the abuse in purveyance and cart-taking. You are to desire the gentlemen within your circuits to set down a valuation in money of their compositions in kind. Commissioners will be appointed to settle the same.
The unseasonableness of the last summer, together with the sudden rising of the price of corn, and the scarcity in many counties, have been taken into consideration by his Majesty. You are to take a perfect survey of the stores in that county, and return a certificate thereof to us, and what quantity may be spared for furnishing other parts of the Kingdom, and also what hopes and expectation you have of the next harvest.
Pp. 127 seq. 1622–1624.—Letters from the Privy Council and the Lord Lieutenant, warrants, &c., relating to the decay of the cloth trade, the war of the Palatinate, a voluntary contribution in aid of his Majesty, the mustering and viewing of the trained forces, the excessive quantity of barley used by maltsters, the relief of the poor (especially in the Hundred of Babergh), providing work for the able-bodied, the licensing of ale-houses or tippling-houses, the price of corn and its scarcity, the suppression of tumultuous assemblies, compositions for the King's household, outrages committed in Essex by inhabitants of Sudbury and adjacent parts of Suffolk, the exercise of the trained bands, stores of powder and munition, the assessment of subsidies, fees of the muster-master and the officers of each band, &c.
P. 150. 29 Aug. 1623.—Letters Patent appointing Thomas Earl of Suffolk, K.G., to be Lord Lieutenant of the counties of Suffolk and Cambridge. His powers are fully specified. Also appointing Sir Lionel Talmache, Bart., Sir Henry Felton, Bart., Sir John Heigham, Sir Henry Glemham, Sir William Poley, Sir Thomas Jermyn, Sir John Wentworth, Sir Robert Crane, Sir John Rouse, Sir William Withipole, Sir Roger Northe, Sir Nathaniel Barnidiston, and Thomas Clenche, Esquire, to be the Earl's Deputies in co. Suffolk; and Sir Edward Peyton, Bart., [Sir] John Peyton the elder, Sir John Cuttes, Sir Symeon Steward, Sir Edward Hynd, and Sir William Wendie, to be his Deputies in co. Cambridge.
The States General of the United Provinces have by their embassadors humbly solicited his Majesty as well to renew the ancient defensive league between his Kingdom and their provinces, as also to permit them for the better confirmation thereof to raise some good number of voluntary soldiers within his dominions, to be employed in their service in these hazardous times, when the Emperor and the Romish Catholique League are preparing and drawing down towards their countries divers great and threatening troops to join with those armies that already lie upon their frontiers. His Majesty hath given way & permission for the raising of 6,000 voluntary soldiers for their service and assistance; his son-in-law, his only daughter, and his grandchildren being refugees in the United Provinces. The Earls of Oxford, Southampton, & Essex, and the Lord Willoughby have been appointed Colonels of such forces. You shall afford them & their officers your best assistance in levying the same, both in respect of the general cause and for the ease and benefit the country will find in being disburdened of many unnecessary persons that now want employment.
A warrant by _________ to the chief constables to issue precepts to the petty constables of every parish to warn all able men (not being of any trained band) within the franchise of Bury St. Edmunds, to appear "before us" at Sudbury, that we may impress 166 men for the King's service. At the foot are these words, apparently to be uttered upon impressment:—Here is press money to serve his Majesty, and we charge you thereby to be ready upon one hour's warning, when so ever you are called for, upon pain of death.
Forasmuch as his Majesty upon some special occasions hath determined to set forth some part of his Navy Royal unto the Seas, and whereas although of late years he have had divers great services, yet in those employments his royal and tender care to avoid any trouble of his subjects hath been such, that there hath not been any corn, grain, or other provisions of victuals taken up by commission, as formerly upon less occasions hath been used; but now his Majesty's present service requiring an extraordinary proportion, we do therefore hereby will and require you to assemble yourselves, and to apportion upon each several division in that county such quantity of wheat as in your discretions shall be thought meet, so as his Majesty may be forthwith provided and furnished at reasonable prices of five hundred quarters of good and well-conditioned wheat; the same to be with all speed delivered unto Sir Allen Apsten (Apsley), one of the surveyors for the victualling of his Majesty's Navy, or his deputies, they paying ready money for the same; requiring you to take care that his Majesty may not be exacted upon in the price.
The present doubtful and dangerous conditions of these times require more than ordinary care for the preservation of that happy peace that hath been so long continued within these our kingdoms; to effect which there can be no means more royal and useful than by putting the Trained Bands into such a readiness, and establishing such a Militia at home, as may give life and courage to our good subjects, and terror to those that may intend any disturbance or invasion; to which purpose there hath been certain rules set down and appointed by our late dear Father of most glorious memory, and sent to you in printed books to be put in execution. Yet we have upon inquiry found so much remissness and neglect as that in most counties those orders are scarce heard of, and in none put in real execution, nor anything done beyond the form of ordinary Musters, which works little reformation. Our express will and pleasure is to have those orders duly observed, and more especially for their horse; so that you may either give us an account of the exact accomplishment thereof, or of the defaults and causes of not performance, by 30th November next. New books are sent with these letters.
Council letter on the same subject, mentioning that the coasts of Suffolk and Dorset are in much danger and subject to be surprised, and giving particular directions touching the trained bands, beacons, powder magazines, watches, &c. Two regiments of a thousand a piece for each county are to be kept in readiness to march forward on the first alarm.
Also, a letter from the Earl of Suffolk, enclosing the two preceding letters, and appointing Sir Edmond Bacon and Sir Thomas Jermyn to be colonels for leading the troops to a place of rendezvous to be appointed by the Council.
We have taken order for a speedy and exact mustering of all the Trained Bands, both horse and foot; we have also caused the beacons to be put in good reparation, and appointed persons carefully to watch them. Upon conference with understanding men inhabiting near the ports and coasts, we find the state thereof, with very little alteration, agrees with the Certificate in 88, which we send your Lordship with some additions. We directed our letters to so many captains as shall make (sic) two regiments of a thousand apiece, both of horse and foot, nearest to those places where an enemy might land. As to fortifications, we have not yet done anything. We have a magazine of powder of three lasts, but by long lying it is grown unserviceable, and therefore we desire a supply from above, as our neighbours of Essex have.
Langer Pointe.—We find all things to agree according to the former Certificate, but for the better securing of that dangerous harboroughe it is thought fit to have a fort built upon the same, where formerly there hath been one, for if the enemy should land there and build a sconce, he would command all the harboroughe, so that no ships can go in and out, the depth of the channel being very narrow and running near unto the point.
Albroughe.—We find the enemy may freely land at any time from Orford Nesse, all along by the said town of Albroughe unto Thorpe Nesse, which lieth a mile on the North side from the same; and for present defence we find but eight old iron pieces, whereof two are sacres and the rest minions, all defective, being honeycombed within, and three good brass bases.
We, having several complaints made to us of great resort to many Recusants' houses in this county, and great provision of powder and arms of all sorts, have certified my Lord of Suffolk, Lord Lieutenant, from whom we have received direction to use his authority to search for all such arms within their houses, and to take them into our custody, or else to take inventory. We therefore desire you, Sir G. W. and Mr. Wint: tomorrow morning, being the 11th of this month, to search Mr. D., and there to take into your custody such provision of arms or powder as you shall find in their (sic) houses, and them keep, and also to take the names of such persons as you shall there find, and the place of their abode. No signatures.
Whereas we did lately command certain companies to be levied in sundry countries within this our realm for our expedition now in hand, which falling out to be short in number and not proportionable for the execution of our design, for the more speedy supply thereof in respect of (sic) the season now draweth on so fast, our pleasure is, and we do hereby command and authorise you to cause presently to be levied within our county of Suffolk (being under your Lieutenancy) one hundred and fifty able men, to be conducted with all convenient speed to Portsmouth, so as they may arrive there at or before the 8th day of June next, following herein such further directions as you shall receive from our Privy Council in this behalf. And for so doing these our letters shall be your sufficient warrant and discharge. Given under our eignet, &c.
P. 213. 1625.—Form of a privy seal, asking the person addressed for a sum of money by way of loan, according to the custom of the former Kings and Queens upon extraordinary occasions, the sum being such as few men would deny a friend; with a promise of repayment within 18 months.
We have occasion to borrow, from some private gentlemen and others, competent sums of money for the public service. You are to return the names of as many persons as may be of ability to furnish us, that we may thereupon direct our privy seals unto them according to the form enclosed (sec p. 213). We do not intend to deal with any noblemen, neither are you to deal with any of the clergy. Printed in Rushworth's Historical Collections, I. 192, but without the date.
Asking them to attend to the preceding letter. For the thousand foot which we are to send to Langer Pointe, I pray you let them be ready upon an hour's warning. For the horse company, they shall not move, for I find it not directed by my Lord Coneway, but only a motion out of my Lord Warwick's own humour.
P. 216. Court at Whitehall, 7 Jan. 1624–5.—Letter signed Hamilton, T. Edmondes, Jo. Sucklinge, the King's Commissioners to compound with Justices of the Peace for money in lieu of the composition-provisions, [to the Justices of the Peace in Suffolk]; giving notice for the discontinuance of the agreement heretofore made, as from Michaelmas next, after which they are to return to the former course of serving all provisions in kind, because some counties decline to contract for money.
His Majesty and we of his Council having received information from many several parts of the bold and impudent speeches used by many Romish Catholiques of this Realm, declaring how much they are offended with the gracious satisfaction given by his Majesty to the Lords and Commons in Parliament in the points concerning the conservation of true and pure religion, as it is at this day by authority practised in the Church of England, and having just cause to doubt [that] many violent misled Papists, through the instigation of Jesuited priests, may be inclined to take part with such as we well understand at this time practise with the King's subjects to raise stirs and tumults, which they [do?] not only by persuasions and instigations but with promise of assistance and seconding them by arms, their pretext being religion but their ends conquest, pushed thereunto by an unlimited ambition to a general Monarchy, of which we have too large and too clear proof; although we do not misjudge or condemn all his Majesty's subjects, Romish Catholiques, but believe that many of them will employ their arms and lives in his service: . . . These are therefore to pray and require your Lordship to repair to the houses of all Romish Recusants convicted or justly suspected, and to take their arms, warlike munition, and weapons into your possession, and to dispose of them as heretofore, certifying their names.
Upon certificate of musters returned from sundry Lords Lieutenants of several shires of the realm, we find it generally complained of that divers principal mansion-houses and lands of value, which have heretofore found horse and foot, and shewed the same at the musters, towards the furnishing of the troops and bands of the county, are lately possessed either by new tenants, or by the owners themselves being new purchasers thereof, and do not now find those arms which these two (sic) houses and lands in former times did, to the disfurnishing of the bands. You shall take care that the trained bands both horse & foot be kept up to the full number they have formerly been at, &c. We send two printed books for exercise of the trained bands after the modern form.
We have caused a certain number of experienced soldiers [officers] to be sent from the Low Countries hither, to be distributed into the several counties, there to teach the captains, lieutenants, ensigns, and other officers and leaders of files in each company the true modern use of arms and order of soldiers. Accordingly we do hereby require you to make an equal distribution of the same soldiers into the several counties, and by our letters to the Lieutenants require them strictly in our name to give order that such as you address to them be presently put to employment in teaching the captains. Those officers, in regard of their employment in the Low Countries, cannot be spared to stay here above three months at the farthest. The times appointed in the printed books for these exercises are to be duly kept; and the words [of command] therein specified are to be used in training. The gentlemen of the country will entertain the same officers, who are to be allowed 6s. a week each, besides their diet and lodging.
By the relation of the Earl Marshal and a certificate made by his order, and by a petition of the Bailiffs and Commonalty of Yarmouth, we understand in what peril that town is in these dangerous times through want of being well furnished and fortified for defence. Use your best endeavours in procuring contributions from the counties of Norfolk and Suffolk for strengthening and securing that place, as was done heretofore in 1588 upon letters from the Council to the deputy lieutenants.
We send you herewith a list of the companies of Sir Charles Riche's regiments [regiment?], which are to be lodged in the maritime towns of that county, there to be ready upon all occasions for present defence, as also for such other employment abroad as his Majesty shall be pleased to resolve on. Take order for the billeting of them in fit manner; and as they are to keep a military watch, they are to have sufficient provision of fire whilst they are upon their guards during the sharpness of this winter season, the charges whereof will be repaid.
Pp. 235 seq. Letters from the Lord Lieutenant to the Deputy Lieutenants, and from the latter to the chief constables, touching the execution of several of the foregoing orders. Serjeant Hambdin and Serjeant Baker were sent down by the King to instruct the trained bands. Also, other documents relative thereto.
His Majesty, for the defence of the Kingdom against invasion, hath given order to all the ports to prepare a number of ships in warlike manner. We have appointed three ships to be made ready in your neighbour towns of Harwich, Ipswich, and Woodbridge. In regard of the readiness of the enemy and our late interruptions in Parliament, we are straightened in time; and as the the charge will fall heavy on those parts, which are much disabled by the late stand of their trade and other losses at sea, we require your friendly assistance therein. If the magistrates of those towns want men, you shall supply them from the country, and contribute corn, beeves, & such like; so that all men may approve your heartiness and zeal for the defence of your religious prince and country against that overgrowing Tyrant of Spain.
We have conferred with the Mayor of Harwich, the Bailiffs of Ipswich, and the chief inhabitants of Woodbridge and other towns, but cannot come to an agreement as to the proportions of the charge to be borne by them and by the country. They have never borne any part of the county charge for the public service, yet refuse the large offer made to them that the county should bear a third part of the present charge.
Touching the agreement made in the late Parliament to give the King a supply of four entire subsidies and three fifteens, and not performed owing to the disordered passion of some members. We desire all our loving subjects freely & voluntarily to perform that which by law, if it had passed formally by an Act, as was intended, they had been compelled unto. You are to take order according to the instructions sent herewith. See State Papers, Domestic.
In pursuance of the letters from the King and the Council, we have made out warrants for the performance of most of the services required. As to drawing all the forces of the county to one place, in regard of the season of the year, the great charge, and the plague, we have deferred it till we shall receive further order. As to the clause requiring a proportion of victuals for ten days, we can always be furnished of the same for money, and therefore pray directions that upon any sudden alarum we may know how our soldiers, captains, & officers shall be paid. As to powder, lead, & match, we desire to be furnished out of his Majesty's storehouse, at his price. As for posthorses, finding the great benefit of the stages laid between London and Harwich, we desire the like favour from Yarmouth to Ipswich. It is necessary that eight field-pieces, two to each regiment, be laid at Ipswich, Wickham, Blibrough, and Beckles; and for defence of these coast towns, Albrough, Soale (Southwold), and Dunwich, we conceive it fit that certain fortifications, &c. (specified) should be undertaken. The chief inhabitants are willing to continue the three serjeants mentioned in the Council's letters, so as they may be freed from the charge of the muster-master.
It hath come to our knowledge that amongst other instructions lately sent unto you by his Majesty for the obtaining of a competent sum for the defence of the realm by way of free gift from the country, that instruction wherein mention is made of the subsidies & fifteens which the Parliament resolved to have given, is understood by some of you as if you were directed to demand expressly of the country as due to his Majesty the aforesaid subsidies & fifteens because they were intended to have been given by the Parliament . . . . We have thought good, for the clearing of all doubts, to let you know that the supply now demanded by his Majesty is in no ways meant to be by way of subsidy, but merely as a free gift from the subject to the sovereign; . . . and in this sense & not otherwise you are to represent it unto the country. Upon some good effect thereof hereabouts it is conceived to be a more effectual way (than that formerly directed you) that you in your several divisions should send for such persons as are of ability to give, and deal with them particularly, by using such motives and persuasions as you are best acquainted withall . . . . We are given to understand by the Justices of the Peace who have the managing of this service in Middlesex and other counties hereabouts, that divers persons, having been demanded what they would give, have made answer that they have received privy seals for Loans to his Majesty, and that they conceived it was not his Majesty's pleasure that they should both lend & give, offering (or at least seeming willing) to give so they might be discharged of their privy seals . . . . We therefore authorise you to assure every such person that in case he shall freely give, you will make certificate to us of his forwardness & good example therein for his Majesty's service, not doubting but thereupon he shall be discharged of his privy seal. See State Papers, Domestic, under 25 July 1626. In another MS. in this collection the date is 27 July.
Referring to the preceding letters from the King and the Council. I am resolved to come to Bury on Tuesday the 15th, when I desire that my Deputies & the Justices of Peace of the county will be there present; as also that two at the least of the chief inhabitants of every town in the county may be assembled at the sign of the Angel in Bury on the same day by 9 o'clock.
P. 260. 8 July 20 James I. (1622.)—Articles of Agreement between Sir Ralph Freeman and others, the King's Commissioners, and the Sheriff and Justices of the Peace of co. Suffolk, touching a composition in money instead of provisions towards the provision of his Majesty's Household. 2 pages.
Whereas we wrote to the Justices of the Peace of Suffolk for three ships to be set out & furnished from Ipswich. Harwich, and Woodbridge, the inhabitants of those towns have been suitors to this Board to be eased in the number of ships, &c. Knowing well the decay of trade & their losses at sea of late years, we have thought fit that they be charged to set out only two ships, and be eased by a contribution from the county of a moiety of the charge. Mariners are to be impressed.
It hath been reported to his Majesty that there is great forwardness found in his loving subjects within the county for the Loan required from them by virtue of his Majesty's late commission. There is like forwardness in other counties. His Majesty's great affairs do daily and hourly press and call for the paying in of these moneys. Care is to be taken that the money lent be without delay collected. Where you find any persons that have absented themselves and not appeared before you, fail not to send for them, and require either assent or an absolute answer, wherein you shall provide accordingly to the instructions formerly sent you.
P. 271. The Account of John Scrivener, Esq., touching such moneys as he was to receive out of the divisions of Beckles and Woodbridge, payable thence to the franchise of Bury, 6th March 1625(–6). 2 pages.
P. 274. An Agreement made at Stowmarkett, this 15th of March 1626. It relates to musters, training, wages, powder and match, &c. Signed: John Barker, Will. Poley, Hen. Glemham, Robt. Crane, Roger North, Will. Harvie.
Give order to your deputy lieutenants to cause the next musters of that county for this year to be in or about Whitsun week next, being a time conceived to be most seasonable, & of least interruption to the business & occasions of the country. We marvel at your neglect in not sending the certificate & muster-rolls, which ought to have been returned by 10th August last.
P. 277. No date.—Articles to be enquired of by the high constables of every hundred and the petty constables of every parish, and presentments thereof to be made to the Justices at their monthly meetings.
- 1. The names of Popish Recusants (with other particulars), and the names of such as resort to private conventicles.
- 2. The names of all such as do not resort to Divine service every Sunday, and whether 12d., every Sunday forfeited, be required and received, and duly employed for the poor.
- 3. What felonies have been committed, and what robberies. Incomplete.
P. 279. No date.—Orders by the Deputy Lieutenants touching the exercise and drilling of the trained bands; with a table of the wages payable to the officers (including the Low Country serjeant) and soldiers.
Touching assistance to be given to the port of Harwich, Ipswich, and Woodbridge in the setting forth of two ships. The Kingdom is daily threatened with preparations & approach of an enemy. For the strength of his Kingdom, and for the support of his allies & confederates, his Majesty hath at this present on foot some important design & expedition by sea, whereby, after the departure of the fleet prepared on that behalf, there will be great need of the said ships for the defence of the coasts and securing the Narrow Seas. Notwithstanding any former allegations & pretences by you made, you are to cause such sums of money to be assessed upon that county as may supply a full moiety of the charge of setting out the said two ships, which are to be at the rendezvous at Portsmouth by the 20th May next, victualled for four months from that date; requiring you not to fail hereof as you tender his Majesty's high displeasure. Signed: Buckenham, Theo. Suffolke, &c.
Concerning soldiers impressed for his Majesty's service that daily run away from their conductors. They were to have been sent to the King of Denmark. Thank Sir John Barker for his good service in assisting the conductors or commanders.
P. 286. No date.—An humble Remonstrance of those Reasons which the Inhabitants of the County of Suffolk do under favour conceive to be satisfactory to the Lords of the Council why they should not be enforced to contribute towards the setting forth of the two ships impressed upon the town of Ipswich.
P. 288. Chilton, 12 July 1627.—Warrant [by the Justices of the Peace?] to the [chief] Constables of the Hundred of Babergh for payment to the Bailiffs of Ipswich, for his Majesty's service, of their proportion of 525l. due from this county to the Cofferer of his Majesty's Household for provisions, as requested by the Lord Steward and other officers of the Household. Some persons in the Hundred having refused or neglected to pay, order is to be taken to effect their conformity.
P. 290. 14 Oct. 1626.—Warrant [by the Justices of the Peace] to the same, for levying money for relief of the town of Sudbury during the infection of the plague; except from such towns as were lately contributory to the town of Newmarket upon the like occasion, and such other towns as are now infected.
We lately wrote letters unto you by his Majesty's command to quicken & call upon all those that are yet behind in their Loans or any portion thereof, and to cause the collectors speedily to return all their collections some time the last Term, as also to certify the names [of such] as remain refusers to lend, or to pay in that they promised to lend; of which letters we have no account, and but little of the towns paid in the last Term, which being past, we must let you know his Majesty imputes the fault rather to you who are entrusted as Commissioners than to those that are to lend, who have showed good affections in paying & promising, but there hath been much slackness in the calling for & collecting of the moneys. And these things are particularly observed: [first,] that many of the Commissioners absented themselves from the sitting that others made about this business, and have not as yet paid in their Loans; secondly, that many of the lenders who promised have not yet paid; thirdly, those to whom day was given for a second payment are neither called upon nor have paid in that second payment; fourthly, that many shift themselves from one county to another, and escape lending anywhere; lastly, that the refusers whom you are to bind over to appear before this Board, are neither bound nor their answers certified; [in] all which causes you are to use diligence, and straightly to give us accompt of your proceedings before the 15th of July next. And as his Majesty will interpret well where he finds diligence to be used, so the neglect herein will be as offensive to him, the public occasions so pressing as they do, and all the moneys collected upon the Loans, with much more of his own treasure, being wholly employed in those public occasions for the defence of the realm, succours of his Majesty's allies, [and] maintenance of the cause of religion, which were the motives that forced his Majesty to this course. And this farther we must let you know, that we are not ignorant of that you are ear-witnesses, that such as have shewed good affections & been forward in yielding to these Loans, find themselves aggrieved that others who stand in contempt & refuse to lend fare better than those that are the lenders, who have deserved thanks of his Majesty and are not so to be discouraged, nor these refusers & contemners to go free & unpunished, which causes the quicker calling upon you and straighter accompt from you than otherwise we should have needed.
Letter of Sir Henry Glemham on the same matter, and the likelihood of another press coming shortly. Before we can send out our warrants (to impress men), every man runs away and hides himself, whereby we are enforced to take such as we can get.
Being engaged in a war whereunto we have been provoked by just occasions, there is now a necessity for some speedy re-inforcement and supply. We authorise and require you to cause 100 able men to be levied in the county of Suffolk.
Council letter touching the same. None of the men are to be taken out of the trained bands. The King will not at this time put the county to the charge of arming them. They are to march 15 miles a day to the rendezvous at Plimouth, by 1st Nov. Coats & conduct money are to be paid for by the county. There is to be no selling or changing of able men by the constables or the conductors, as in former levies.
All the forces remaining near Portsmouth are to be removed into other counties. Some of them are to be billeted in Suffolk, with the weekly allowance of 3s. 6d. a man, which is to be repaid by the Lord Treasurer and Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer.
Other letters from the Council and the Earl of Suffolk touching the supply of ordnance and munition for the coast towns of Albroughe, Dunwich, & Southwold; a review of defects having been made by Sir John Poley and Mr. Gosnold. Also touching Sir William Withipoll's foot company, and the billeting of four companies of the regiment of the late Colonel Ratcliffe.
The trained bands are ill provided and furnished for service. Not only the defects are great in those that do show their horses and arms, but many for the saving of charges do borrow horses and arms to show as their own. His Majesty therefore thinks fit to take a view and muster the horse of very many of the shires in his own person, because the frequent directions and admonitions of this Table have not hitherto prevailed. Give directions to all the horse-companies within your Lieutenancy, as well in Suffolk as in Cambridge, to repair to his Majesty's presence on Hounslye Heath by nine of the clock in the morning on the 21st day of April next, together with the captains & officers, to be mustered before him. Directions as to exercise in the mean time. Recusants are to find such horses & arms as they are charged with, and the men appointed to serve for them are to be trained. Defaulters are to be sent before the Board. For security against foreign invasion, your Lordship & one or two of your deputy lieutenants are to repair to London on 7th May, to receive directions for the perfecting of musters and other warlike preparations.
Pp. 311 seq. 1627–1638.—Other letters, warrants, &c. relating to munitions, the billeting of soldiers and the disputes thence arising, the enrolment of volunteers in the King's regiments billeted in Suffolk and Dorset, the exemption of the town of Ipswich from finding & furnishing light horse, Sir Richard Brooke and Captain North's cornets of horse, the appointment of four colonels by the Lord Lieutenant (Sir Edmund Bacon, Sir Thomas Jermyn, Sir Thomas Glemham, and Sir William Withipole), the musters & exercise of the trained bands both horse and foot, the decay of the cloth and woollen trade, tumults owing thereto, the relief of the poor and setting them on work, the watching of beacons, the spread of the plague, a petition by the poor spinsters weavers & combers of wool in Sudbury and other places, &c. The Earl of Suffolk is sometimes addressed as Lord Lieutenant of Cambridge, Suffolk, and Dorset, and Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports. The following entries require more particular notice :—
P. 314. Whitehall, 13 Feb. 1627–8.—Council letter respecting the billeting of soldiers, mentioning that the soldier complains on the one side for being billeted in the houses of such poor and indigent persons as are not able to provide for him according to the entertainment allowed by his Majesty; and the billeter on the other side complains on the soldier for disorder in not being content with the provision made for him according to his Majesty's said pay, but he will be his own carver of whatsoever he like best and can lay his hands on, to the great damage and impoverishment of the county.
Of late, [in] some parts of the said counties where soldiers are billeted, the inhabitants either out of some diffidence of his Majesty's royal promise [to hasten their removal], or by the example and encouragement of some persons ill affected to his Majesty's service, or out of sinister and false apprehensions of some misunderstanding between his Majesty and his Parliament, have, in disobedience to his Majesty's former commands, refused to billet the said soldiers any longer. His Majesty, having been made acquainted therewithall, however he is (as you cannot but conceive) highly offended with their refractory & undutiful carriage therein, yet is graciously pleased for the present to pass by their contempt without censure or punishment, willing them to know that he & his Parliament being now well & happily accorded & agreed, it is well known to all men that he shall be instantly supplied with means to take them off their hands, and to make repayment of the arrear due to them on that behalf.
His Majesty having been lately pleased to rectify and reform the March of this our English nation (corrupted by time and negligence of drummers), and for the honour of this Kingdom to restore it to the ancient gravity thereof, by ordaining an establishment of one certain & constant measure to be observed and beaten by all English drummers, as well in these his Majesty's dominions as abroad in the service of foreign princes, his Majesty's friends & allies; which said establishment signed by his Majesty & in his presence subscribed by our very good Lord the Earl Marshal of England remaineth upon record for a precedent for future times; we have thereupon thought fit & ordered that a duplicate or true copy of this establishment be fairly engrossed & delivered to your Lordship [the Earl of Suffolk] by Edward Norgate, Esq., Clerk of the Signet to his Majesty extraordinary, who is commanded to attend this service and the delivery of them at the Signet Chamber at Whitehall, to the end it being imparted by your Lordship to the deputy lieutenants, and by them to the captains & officers of [the] several regiments & divisions of those counties under your command, the same may be duly observed in all musters and military exercises of the trained bands.
Give speedy and effectual order to your deputy lieutenants to keep a watchful eye upon all the ports & places apt for landing within those counties, and especially the Cinque Ports; and that upon the first notice of the appearing or approach of any foreign fleet upon those coasts, they cause all the trained bands of those counties, or so many of them as you shall find needful, to be immediately drawn down thither, to repulse the landing of any enemy. Land-men are to be impressed for the supply of his Majesty's fleet.
It was this day ordered, according to his Majesty's pleasure signified by Mr. Secretary Windebank, that the letter following from his Majesty to the Council Board should be entered into the Register of the Council Causes, and a copy thereof delivered to the Earl Marshal and to Lord Matrevers, Lord Lieutenant for the county of Norfolk and city of Norwich, and the original to remain in the Council chest, signed.
Right trusty and well beloved Cousins and Councillors, and right trusty and well beloved Councillors, we greet you well. Whereas we have understood lately how careful you have been, upon the occasion of a Petition exhibited by Atkins & Lane, Aldermen of Norwich, unto the Board, not only to approve well of and encourage the proceeding of the Lord Matrevors with those refractory persons, and of his father, our Earl Marshal, in their careful maintaining our authority of Lieftenancy given unto them, for which we heartily thank you; we have thought good to let you know that we do take the maintaining of this our power so much to heart, being of such consequence to the government & safety of our people, as that we hold any endeavour to resist or dispute our power in that kind to be tending to faction and sedition; and therefore do command that if hereafter any City, being a County, or any other Corporation, or any particular person therein whatsoever, shall presume to resist or dispute our said power of Lieftenancy given by us, from which no Corporation [may] have exemption, that our Attorney General for the time being shall not only proceed against them by Quo warranto or otherwise to call in their Charter, but by Information to our Court of Star Chamber, or otherwise, bring the Corporation or party or parties so offending to such exemplary punishment as shall be fit. Given at our Court of Oatland[s], the 24th of August in the eleventh year of our reign.
An humble petition hath been presented to his Majesty in the name of sundry of the Clergy in that county, complaining of the great inequality that is used by their parishioners in assessing the moneys charged upon that county by his Majesty's late Writ for setting forth of Shipping for the defence of the Kingdom & his Majesty's just Royalties in the Narrow Seas; the said parishioners charging them not only with the tenth part of the land assessed, but also with the tenth part of the assessments taken by the abilities, which many times is (sic) charged upon men who live in their said parishes without occupying of land, being either sojourners, or usurers, or men of gainful trades, or otherwise able in respect of their stocks, from whom in regard of such stocks the said Clergy receive no profit of tithes, by which means it comes to pass that they are rated for that which they have not. Directions are given for remedying this grievance.
P. 381. 19 Sept. 1637.—The Sheriff's warrant for assessing the Ship-money on the Clergy in accordance with the preceding letter. It appears to have been addressed to the officers of a particular town, and refers to the parsonage of Cottesbrooke, and Dr. Morgan, parson there.
The great and considerable forces lately raised in Scotland, without order or warrant from us, by the instigation of some factious persons ill affected to monarch [ich]al government, who seek to cloak their too apparent rebellious designs under pretence of religion, albeit we have often given them good assurance of our resolution constantly to maintain the religion established by the laws of that Kingdom, have moved us to take into our royal care to provide for the preservation & safety of this our Kingdom of England, which is by the tumultuous proceedings of those factious spirits in apparent danger to be annoyed & invaded; wherefore, upon serious debate and mature advice with our Privy Council we have resolved to repair in person to the Northern parts of this our kingdom with a Royal Army. And this being for the defence & safety of this our Kingdom, unto which all our good subjects are obliged, we have appointed that a select number of foot shall be presently taken out of our trained bands, and brought to our city of York, or such other rendezvous as the General of our Army shall appoint, there to attend our person & standard; of which number we require & command that you cause to be forthwith selected out of the trained bands in our county of Cambridge 400, in our county of Suffolk 1500, & in our county of Dorset 700, of the most able men, which, together with their arms complete, you are to cause to be presently put in readiness, & to be weekly exercised. (Directions as to the admission of substitutes, the charges of the journey, &c.) And our will & command is that you cause to be forthwith selected out of the troop of horse in Cambridge 40 horse, in Suffolk 150 horse, and in Dorset 50 horse, to be armed, & exercised weekly, so as to be ready to march to the rendezvous.
Giving directions touching the selection of some of the foot of the trained bands, viz. 300 out of Cambridge and 1200 out of Suffolk, as required by his Majesty's letters (see p. 393). They are to be embarked & transported to such place of the Northern parts as shall be directed by the Earl Marshal, Lord General of his Majesty's Army. Two parts are to be muskets, and a third part pikes. The charge of performing these directions is to be levied upon the country, which is to be repaid out of the Exchequer.
Orders touching the selection of horse & foot, to attend his Majesty's person & standard at the city of York or elsewhere, and touching their exercise and arms. If any trained soldier, desirous to stay at home, being unable in body or unfit by reason of their (sic) charge for this employment, shall offer unto you some other sufficient man of the same county to be impressed & armed at his charge, you may excuse the trained soldier and list the person so offered unto you, if you think him every way able & sufficient, in his room. And we further order you, that every soldier in your company be ready with a snapsack.
Take order that all the muskets sent with the trained soldiers be of a bore [and] the pikes of a length, and that the arms be of the lightest & most serviceable. Two deputy lieutenants from each county (Suff. and Camb.), with the muster-masters, are to be at the ports to see them all mustered at their embarking, and that the lists or rolls be certified to the Lord General.
P.S.—Give order that there be allowed for the charge of transporting the 1200 trained soldiers of Suffolk from Harwich to the rendezvous after the rate of 8d. a man per diem for 17 days; and that the 400 men which we required to be raised in Suffolk be levied by an imprest, for which money is in Mr. Moore your secretary's hands.
Whereas we required you to cause men to be selected from the trained bands in Cambridge and Suffolk. . . .; forasmuch [as] those factious and rebellious spirits in Scotland continue still their warlike preparations, and proceed with as much disobedience as ever, we have therefore with the advice of our Privy Council resolved to provide in the best manner we may for defence & preservation of this our Kingdom. Cause 300 of the 400 in Cambridge and 1200 of the 1500 in Suffolk to be brought to Yarmouth on 12th April and to Harwich on 10th April respectively; two parts to be muskets, and the third part pikes, and to be transported to such place of the northern parts as shall be appointed by the General of our army.
Letter from [the Deputy Lieutenants of Suffolk] to the Captains and warrant to the chief Constables on the same subject. The latter recites as follows: Whereas we have received two several letters from his Majesty under his privy signet together with the commands of the Privy Council, importing that under pretence of religion divers disorders & tumults have been raised in Scotland & fomented by factious spirits there, whose chief aim is not only to shake off monarchical government & what is justly descended upon his most excellent Majesty, but in all likelihood to invade this Kingdom, as by their hostile preparations is apparent, with other important considerations, whereby his Majesty is enforced to arm himself for his own & his loyal subjects' safety, together with their wives & children and goods, & therefore hath required us to make several levies both of men & money, whereof 400 men are to be levied, coated, and conducted to Selby upon Owse, near York, and 1200 more, to be drawn out of the trained bauds, to be conducted, coated, & embarked at Harwich to such place of rendezvous as the Lord General shall appoint; all which charge we have, as near as we can, cast up, and find it will amount unto 1500l. These are therefore by virtue of the said letters to require you to bring into Bury, the 8th day of April next, by eight of the clock in the morning, at the Angel, your proportionable part of 600 able men, that out of them may be selected such & so many for his Majesty's service as we are commanded, and also your proportion of 1500l., according to former & usual levies, with your proportion of coats, to be either blue lined with yellow, or grey lined with red, or red lined with white; the price not to exceed the sum of 10 or 11 shillings; all which charge shall be repaid you out of the general levy. You are to pay out of the moneys you collect to the captains in your Hundred or their officers deputed, when the soldiers march to Harwich, 8d. a day for every soldier and 6s. 8d. a day to every such officer deputed; and to charge so many carts as will suffice to carry their arms. These levies will be repaid out of his Majesty's Exchequer, as in former times.
However we cannot conceive that your Lordship would omit a service so much importing the safety and defence of the realm, especially in these times of action, yet we have thought good by these our letters, according to our usual manner yearly, to pray & require your Lordship to cause a General Muster and view to be taken this summer, at such times as your Lordship shall think fittest, of all the arms & trained bands, both horse & foot, within those counties under your Lordship's Lieutenancy; returning a perfect muster roll & certificate thereof. In former years we required that the muster-rolls should be returned to Mr. Meautis, Clerk of the Council and muster-master general, but henceforth they are to be sent & directed immediately unto the Board.
Letter from the Earl thereupon. Besides, I may not omit to give you thanks from the Lords of the Council for your great care and well performance of his Majesty's service in sending your men of the trained bands by Marquis Hambleton; which was so well liked of, as their Lordships have written unto me, they will recommend your good service therein unto his Majesty. Dated at Suffolk House.
Whereas upon the discharging and disbanding of his Majesty's Army in the Northern parts there was by his Majesty's gracious command a liberal & large sum of money delivered to every conductor, to be distributed & paid unto the soldiers in their return home: forasmuch as great complaints have been made that the conductors have not paid the same, but converted a great part of it to their own use, thereby exposing the soldiers to much misery: we require you to call the conductors for that county and some of the soldiers before you, and inquire what abuses of that kind have been committed, and to certify the names of the offenders, taking security for their appearance here.
Whereas you were commanded in February last to cause a certain number of foot & horse to be selected out of the trained bands; forasmuch as his Majesty's army is for the present dismissed, you are to give order to the deputy lieutenants to forbear training that selected number otherwise than as the other trained bands. The moneys levied for coating & conduct, or providing with horse or arms, are to be restored to those from whom they were collected.
Whereas upon the occasion of the arrival of a great navy together with a great proportion of land soldiers in the Downs, we did lately write on 12th Sept. for having in readiness the trained bands and for watching the beacons in the Cinque Ports, Suffolk, and Dorset: in regard the occasion is now past, we have thought fit to discharge any further execution of the said directions.
I am informed that Mr. John Harvy according to his commission hath raised a troop of horse for his Majesty's service, to be employed in this present expedition, and that the said troop is drawn together at Bury. As it would be inconvenient to send a commissary to muster them, I am to pray you to repair to Bury and carefully muster & enroll the said troop, sending one certificate to myself, and another to Sir William Uvedall, Treasurer at Wars.
The great care we have had of the safety of this our Kingdom and the peace of our subjects hath been of late manifested unto them by the chargeable & warlike preparations we made to withstand the disloyal designs of such ill affected persons who, as much as in them lay, endeavoured the disturbance of both; nor is it at present unknown to our subjects how just reasons we have to continue the same preparations and to be in like readiness as formerly; and therefore have with the advice of our Privy Council thought fit and do by these presents authorise & require you to cause three hundred able and serviceable men for the wars to be levied in that our county of Cambridge, three hundred men in our Cinque Ports, six hundred men in our county of Dorset, and six hundred like able men in that our county of Suffolk, under your Lieutenancy, and to observe in the choice of the men and the ordering & disposing of them such directions as you shall herewith receive by letters from the Lords & others of our Privy Council.
Lieutenant Little and Serjeant Godbould, conductors of the 87 soldiers which were taken out of Sir Robert Crane's band, Sir Philip Parker's and Captain Waldgrave's bands, and went from Hadleigh the 29th of May 1640 to Beckels as their general rendezvous, for which they were allowed 3l. 0s. 0d.
600 men are to be selected out of the trained bands in this county, and to be exercised by officers to be sent by the Earl of Northumberland, Lord General, which number will amount to 29 men out of every trained band, besides the town of Ipswich, their number being 18. We are required to levy money for coating them, and you are to provide coats at 10s. or 11s. each, better than they were last year; and for the colour, we would have them red lined with white. Each soldier is to be allowed 8d. for every day of exercise. All are to meet at Beckles on 27th May, where they are to remain till 6th June, to be exercised. 60 horses & 20 able carters are to be provided for the artillery, and to be at Newcastle-upon-Tyne the 15th June. 10l. is a reasonable price for drawing-horses. All these charges will amount to 1500l. at least, and these are to require you (as much as in us lieth) to levy your proportion thereof.
I received a letter from you, Sir Robert Crane and Mr. Waldegrave, with returns of some towns and hamlets that refuse to pay the levies made by you for this service, but you return no particular men whereby course may be taken against them. These are therefore to pray and require you with all possible speed in your several divisions to return the names & surnames and places of abode of such persons as refuse to pay or to give obedience to your warrants sent forth for this weighty service, or some of the best in each township, whereupon you shall receive such farther directions as his Majesty with the advice of the Privy Council shall think meetest in a cause of this high consequence.
These are by virtue of letters received (as much as in us lieth) to require you, according to the contents of the said letters, that you do with all speed return us, or one of us, under the hands of every petty constable in their several towns, the names, surnames, & titles, with the places of abode, of all those persons that do refuse to pay such moneys as are assessed upon them by your warrant, for the coat and conduct money; which several notes we are to return up to our Lord Lieutenant (an act very unpleasing to us); of the due execution whereof fail not.
I have this day sent toward the general rendezvous for this county at Beckles those soldiers that were taken out of Sir Philip Parker's company, Captain Waldegrave's, and my own, who have been exercised once a week according to direction, and the rest of the week we were forced to pay them at their going away, or else they would not have stirred a foot. Of this company that have been pressed & exercised there is (sic) run away twenty one, which I have made out hue & cry after; and I fear a great many of the rest will follow, for that the last year there were some that ran away, which we committed to prison and had no punishment. There are many that doth absolutely refuse to take impress money, which we have committed to gaol, for want of sureties for their good behaviour, until we may receive your Honor's direction what to do with them.
We made out warrants to the chief constables of the Hundreds of Babergh, Cosford, and Sampford to return the names of those who refused to contribute to the charge of coat & conduct money, but their returns are not so full as we required by reason of the petty constables' unperfect return; besides, the chief constables of the rest of the hundreds acquaint us with many that refuse in all parts of the country, but we had not time to send our warrants to them. We know not what to do for pay of the soldiers at the general rendezvous, who are so mutinous as we fear that when they come together there will be no ruling of them. We return a list of the names of persons refusing press money in the said three Hundreds, as also of such who being impressed are since run away. [The list is not given.]
We have been made acquainted with a letter from some of you to the Board of the 8th of this present, and find that the levies of soldiers and the raising of coat & conduct money formerly committed to your care by the Earl of Suffolk, deceased, late Lord Lieutenant, is like to be retarded, in regard you conceive your power is determined by his Lordship's death. These are to authorise you to proceed therein. We have granted our warrants and sent messengers for the apprehending & bringing before the Board of some of the delinquents who refuse to pay the rates assessed on them for this service.
The-letter you were pleased to send to me, not knowing what haste the contents might import, coming to my hands in the forenoon this present Sunday, I shewed presently to his Majesty, who commanded me to cause the Clerk of the Council to read it in the afternoon at the Board, his Majesty being there; since which time I understand by his Majesty that he is resolved presently to appoint a Lord Lieftenant for that County, and to send him immediately down, by whom you shall fully know his Majesty's pleasure. In the mean time he doubts not but you will be ready with all care & diligence to advance his service in this present occasion, his Majesty having ever had a very good opinion of the love and duty of that County, in which I take myself to have such interest as it must very much grieve me to see it in the least degree diminisht. I shall, I think, wait upon my Lord Lieutenant myself down, whose coming I will hasten all I can.
It coming to my knowledge that his Majesty had a purpose to contract his Army, I apprehended that it would not be ungrateful to the country if those 160 men for the supplies of the 600 might be stayed at home, & as much of the charge as possible may be, to be spared; and to that end I presently moved his Majesty, whose pleasure therein is that if they be not yet sent away, they be stayed and discharged of this service. Captain Bosom shall give them some competent sum to bring them back again. If the 20 draught-horses be not gone, they also may be stayed. Both the King and the Lords of the Council take in very good part your care & industry for his Majesty's service. The scattering of the plague about most of the King's houses has severed their Lordships.
Whereas you have received an order from his Majesty dated 19th Aug. to put in readiness the trained bands in that county of your Lieuftenancy, with such further forces of horse & foot as you could possibly raise, to march upon certain days' warning, for repelling & suppressing the rebellious invasion of the Scots, to which end his Majesty hath adventured his own royal person, since whose departure I and others of the Privy Council have been informed that a great army of the Scots are now upon their march towards Newcastle-upon-Tyne; therefore, according to his Majesty's commission to me as Captain General of all his forces on this side of the River Trent, as well for the safeguard of the Queen, Prince Charles, & the rest of the Royal children, as for the safety of this realm, I require your Lordship to put the said trained bands in readiness to march upon 24 hours' warning when you shall receive order from me or my Lieuftenant. All other persons able in body or estate to do service are also to be in readiness.
My long silence is due to the manifold business that have (sic) not a little perplext us here. I conceived that after the end of the harvest had been the fittest time to have warned the troops & arms of the country, and according to that calculation had demanded my leave of her Majesty to have gone down in the end of this week, but it pleased God to stay me with a violent fit of sickness. I hope soon to wait upon you at Bury. Touching your commis[sions] of deputation, I have them all lying by me, but have stayed for my Lord of Suffolk's hand.
I send two letters from the Council. Touching the letter that speaks of the reason of people's serving at their proper charge in times of imminent danger, such as is our case now, the Scots having actually invaded the realm, and hold[ing] no inconsiderable part thereof by their garrisons, I rest assured that County will not be behind in his Majesty's service and their own preservation; but, formy part, if I had been at the Board when this letter were (sic) ordered, I should rather have advised to have taken it for granted that the country would have done it than stir any question, or give them any imagination that it would be otherwise.
Gentlemen,—We shall acquaint you that the Lord General hath afforded us about 2000 or 1500 (sic) horse and dragoneers to be aiding to your and our neighbour county, to preserve us all from plundering; but if the county will not rise & be helpful herein, his Lordship will withdraw his forces again, for it will not be safe for them to be so far from his Lordship & so near the enemy, & he can not spare us more. Our countrymen are all rising, and we hope you will do the like, as well for your own security as ours. We are promised the help of Hartfordshire, and presume that Northamptonshire & their associates will join with us. We desire you that in raising your country (sic) they may be directed to come on horseback as many as can, & the rest on foot, & to bring with them the best arms they have, and one month's pay, which if they cannot provide themselves, that the towns may furnish them and send it after them. We shall expect the assistance of the country with all possible speed at Windover by Wednesday at the farthest. We intend, God willing, to be at Windover with those Parliament forces to morrow. If your country will appear zealous a short time, [it] will put an end to those troubles, and therefore let us now acquit our selves like men. or never; it concerns us all alike; therefore we hope your well affected gentry and your selves will come along with your countrymen, for their better encouragement. Thus, with our prayers to God for His blessing herein, we take our leaves, and rest
At the last assizes holden for the county of Suffolk there were divers presentments made by the chief constables of the several Hundreds concerning cottages erected since 31 Eliz., but in many of them there wanteth the names of the parties that erected the cottages and of those who continue the same, and many new-erected cottages were not presented at all. Call the constables before you to perfect those presentments, that so the cottages erected by licence according to the Statute for the relief of the poor may continue, and the rest may be presented in better form at the next assizes. Signed : Your loving friend, Henry Mountigue.
These directions refer to the wages of servants & manual labourers, the raising of stocks for putting out poor folks' children as apprentices, the relief of the old, lame, blind, & impotent poor, begging, absence from church, unlicensed alehouses, tippling, drunkenness, rogues or vagrants, negligent constables, inmates, the erection of cottages, and the repair of highways.
At the last summer assizes for Suffolk we gave directions for putting forth poor children as apprentices, expecting that at these assizes we should have been by you informed what you had done therein. The like directions we left with the Justices of the Peace for Norfolk, who now have made to appear that some of them have already placed 500 poor children apprentices. At the next assizes we will expect the like performance of your parts. If any freeholder or other person sufficient to take an apprentice be disobedient to our order, bind them (sic) over to appear before us.
We having taken serious considerations of the great increase of cottagers & inmates contrary to the law, and finding that the cottages ought to be pulled down, yet being informed by the Justices of the Peace that if the extremity of the law should be used against them, these poor people would be exposed to misery & become a burthen to the parishes where they are settled; which cottages & inmates may peradventure be fit to be allowed by the Justices of Assize in open assizes, or by the Justices of the Peace in open sessions, according to the Statute of 31 Eliz.; wherefore the Justices of the Peace are required by the Court to set down in writing what cottages & inmates there are in every parish, who are the inhabitants and who the reputed owners, how long the cottages have been erected, &c., and to return the same before the end of the next term, that such course may be taken as shall be agreeable to the country. It is ordered that when any new cottage shall be attempted to be erected which hath not a legal warrant, the high constables & petty constables & the Justices of the Peace, upon complaint thereof to them, do disturb & hinder the building & finishing thereof, and destroy the same before any inhabitants be placed therein.—Walker. [Sir John Walter, Lord Chief Baron ?]
P. 6. Same date.—A similar order to inquire as to the number of inns, alehouses, & victualling houses, the continual increase of which pesters the country; by what authority they have been allowed or licensed; and what number is fit to be continued by the advice of the minister & principal inhabitants of every parish.—Walker.
APPENDIX C. Letter-Book of the Deputy Lieutenants and Justices of the Peace of Suffolk, 1664–1676.
In the Act for ordering the forces in the several counties it is provided that in case of danger to the Government it shall be lawful to us to levy for three years from 25 June 1662 the sum of 70,000 a year for defraying [the charges of] the Militia. By the advice of our Privy Council we did the last two years send letters to the Lieutenants and their Deputies to cause the said sums to be paid, being thereunto moved by the apparent danger in which the Government was by the plots and conspiracies of some unquiet spirits, who had designed the subversion thereof; and several sums remain in the hands of the Sheriffs or of the Collectors for that county. Our will is, that you call them to account, and they are hereby required to make speedy payment. You shall put the moneys in a trunk or chest with three locks, and deliver the same to the governor of the castle or garrison next adjacent to your Lieutenancy, to remain in safe custody till we signify our further order for the disbursement thereof, which shall be to the end appointed by the said Act, and no otherwise. You are also to certify us how any part of the collected sums has been disbursed. Further it is our will that the officers & soldiers do 14 days' duty this next year, allowing pay to the commission officers of horse & foot, viz. to a captain of horse 10s. a day, to a lieutenant of horse 6s., to a cornet 5s., and to a quarter-master of horse 4s.; to a captain of foot 8s., to a lieutenant 4s., and to an ensign 3s. The serjeants, corporals, & drummers are to be paid (out of the week's pay ordered by the Act for providing of trophies and paying non-commissioned officers) 2s. 6d. a day to a serjeant, & 2s. a day to a corporal and drummer, for 14 days' duty in the year. Some of the Lord Lieutenants have neglected to put their forces upon duty according to the Act. You are to give order that the forces do enter upon duty, and continue constantly from time to time to do so.
Also a letter from the Deputy Lieutenants as to the execution thereof, stating that 6,000l. are due to the King's use, but they hesitate to lodge it in Langer Fort. Signed: [Sir] Edm. Poley, [Sir] E. Bacon, [Sir] Rob. Broke, [Sir] Nich. Bacon, Tho. Waldegrave.
His Majesty being well assured as well by the confession of some desperate persons lately apprehended as by other credible informations that, notwithstanding all his unparalelled lenity and mercy towards all his subjects for their past offences, how great soever, there are still amongst them many seditious persons who, instead of being sorry for the ill they have done, are still contriving by all the means they can to involve the Kingdom in a new civil war, and in order thereunto have made choice of a small number who under the title of a Council hold correspondence with the foreign enemies to this Kingdom, and distribute their orders to some signal men of their party in the several counties, who have provided arms and listed men to be ready upon any short warning to draw together in a body, by which, with the help they promise themselves from abroad, they presume to be able to do much mischief, which his Majesty hopes (with the blessing of God upon his great care and vigilance) to prevent, and to that purpose hath writ to his Lords Lieutenants of the several counties that they and their Deputy Lieutenants may do what belongs to them. But his Majesty, taking notice of great negligence and remissness in too many Justices of the Peace in the exercise of the trust committed to them, hath commanded me to write to the Justices of all counties what his Majesty expects at their hands. I choose this time, that this letter may find you at your quarter sessions. Take care that it be communicated to those who are absent at your next monthly meeting, which it is most necessary you keep constantly. Many who are in the commission of the peace neglect to be sworn. Cause the clerk of the peace to return me their names; the King hath already given order to the Attorney General to proceed against them. Others fail to attend the assizes & sessions. The King frequently saith he takes himself to be particularly beholding to every good justice of the peace who is cheerful & active in his place. The justices should be most solicitous to free the country from seditious persons and unlawful meetings & conventicles; the principal end of which meetings is, as appears now by several examinations & confessions, to confirm each other in their malice against the Government, and in making collections for the support of those of their parly who are listed to appear in any desperate undertaking, the very time whereof they have designed. Use your uttermost diligence to discover the machinations of those men whom you know to be ill affected, and to secure the persons of those whom you find forward to disturb, or dangerous to the public peace.
Our commissioners for the sick and wounded men in those parts and the Dutch prisoners are reduced to much extremity for money, the assignments we intend for them being not yet regulated in such manner as to make these payments, through the pressing necessities of the war, which have surprised us with great expense. Contrive some means to prevail in our name with our good subjects in those parts to advance such sums of money upon the security of the Royal Aid as shall be requisite to support that charge. We shall remember it always to their advantage. Pay the same to Sir William Doyly or any other of our said commissioners. The trade and prosperity as well as the honour and reputation of this Kingdom are concerned.
P. 19. 25 July 1665.—Resolved, that the sum of 5000l. be endeavoured to be advanced for his Majesty's service by the Deputy Lieutenants, Justices of the Peace, and other persons of interest in the county of Suffolk, in obedience to his Majesty's letter of the 4th, upon the security of the three months' assessment, part of the Royal Aid, which shall be due on 1 Feb. 1666[–7], upon condition that the said sum be repaid with interest to the lenders; with other conditions.
Touching the dilatory manner in which the Royal Aid is collected. The late Parliament at Oxford, in the Act granting an additional Aid, has made provision for its more speedy collection, and the Lord Treasurer & Lord Ashley have desired us to acquaint you therewith. Sundry directions are given.
His Majesty's honour and the concerns of this nation are deeply involved in this present engagement in the Dutch war, which led the two Houses of Parliament the last Session to present unto his Majesty a further supply of 1,250,000l.; and because the present charge of that war required the advance of these moneys, there was by another part of that Act an invitation to all well affected to make loans of money and serve (send ?) in commodities necessary for that service, with provision for repayment with interest, &c. Use your utmost diligence for the speedy raising of these different moneys, keeping the sums so distinct that they may be entered apart in the Receipt of the Exchequer, but the same warrants will serve for assessing the several rates under both Acts, &c.
An invasion is intended by foreign enemies. Draw together into a body all the militia of that county, both horse & foot, near the ports or sea-coasts. The beacons to be repaired and watched. See State Papers, Domestic.
Touching the firing of beacons. Forces on the sea-coast to do duty for 14 days, under command of Sir John Rous and Sir Philip Parker, two of the colonels of foot regiments in this county. Also touching ammunition.
Upon several intelligences from abroad we have reason to doubt that there are preparations made by our enemies towards an invasion of this our kingdom. We have concluded it requisite to put the Militia in a good posture of defence. Repair to some convenient place within your Lieutenancy, thereby to unite the gentry and to quicken all under your command to the discharge of their respective duties, that so the Militia may be in a readiness. Directions are given as to filling up vacancies in the companies, their arms, ammunition, &c. To avoid expense & trouble to the country in this time of harvest, musters need not be held for the present. The beacons are to be watched, and fired as there shall be occasion. The assessment ordained by the Act shall be raised and levied.
Urging the execution of the preceding letter. Many complaints may arise upon the charging of arms where two or three have been joined together in one charge, and the alterations which have since such charge happened by the change of estates either by death or otherwise; all the particulars of which kind must be best known to the respective captains of companies.
P. 32. At a general meeting at Sir Henry Felton's at Playford upon Wednesday the 4th of July, James Earl of Suffolk, Lord Lieutenant of Suffolk, Sir Edmond Bacon, Sir Henry Felton, Sir Charles Gawdy, Sir Nicholas Bacon, Sir George Reve, and Thomas Waldegrave, Esq., being present:
His Lordship had his Majesty's letter read, and then gave certain orders (set out) for its execution. Sir Nicholas Bacon is to render his account to Sir Edmond Bacon and others of moneys received by him, and what ammunition he hath in magazine, &c. The regiments of Sir Edmond Bacon. Sir John Rous, Sir Henry North, and Sir Philip Parker are to be at a certain places, in case of invasion.
We have already upon different occasions signified to you the reasons we had to suspect an invasion intended of these our Kingdoms by our enemies from abroad, and how much it's the duty of our good subjects to join with us in our care and provision for the timely preventing these designs, the greatest ground of which we found to have been a relief and expectation they were led into by some malicious fugitives of our own subjects of public distractions and insurrections that would break out amongst us here at home. We have thought fit again to warn you of the same, that you have a particular eye to those you shall have reason to suspect, and secure the most dangerous among them, more especially those that keep horses or arms above their rank, which you are to seize; and find out what may be contriving or carrying on prejudicial to the peace of our Kingdoms and government. If any enemies attempt to land or make a descent to rob and spoil our subjects, you are to give strict order that immediately they be fallen upon, and no quarter be given to such of them as shall be so taken. By our letters of the 2nd inst., we directed that the remaining part of the three years' Militia money should be paid to Sir Stephen Fox or his order, but you shall first pay out the 14 days' pay of this year to the common officers.
In accordance with the Address made to us by Parliament, you are to give order that all Popish Recusants refusing to take the oaths of supremacy and allegiance shall be disarmed, &c. See State Papers, Domestic.
I am commanded by His Majesty to put the Militia into such a posture as may best secure the quiet & peace of the country. Order the officers to see that all the soldiers have their arms ready fixed, to be ready at an hour's warning, and the beacons well watched.
P. 37. Treasury Chambers, Whitehall, 10 April 1668.—[The Duke of] Albemarle, [Sir] T. Clifford, and [Sir] W. Coventry, [Lords of the Treasury,] to Sir Edm. Bacon and others, commissioners for the Aids in the divisions of Ipswich and Woodbridge.
We have taken notice from Mr. Gipps, receiver general of the Royal Aid and additional supply in Suffolk, that Mr. Edward Keene, the high collector of those divisions, is in arrear above 5000l. There must be no diminution or abatement, &c.
Not knowing how soon his Majesty may order a muster of the trained forces in your country, and having some reason to fear that the long discontinuance of musters may have occasioned great alterations in your Militia, I direct you to inspect the muster-rolls and supply the arms that you shall find changed or wanting, &c.
His Majesty hath been informed that at this time, when the good of his service and safety of this Kingdom do require the impresting of men for furnishing his Majesty's Fleets now setting forth to sea, many seamen and watermen fit for that service have withdrawn themselves from their usual habitations into the land countries, where they lie concealed to avoid his service, in hopes that when his Majesty's Fleet shall be out at sea, they may find more profitable employment by sailing in colliers' and merchants' ships. Search is to be made in Suffolk and Cambridge for all such loose & unknown persons as have not been inhabiting there for two months at the least, &c.
We have not now time to acquaint you with the trouble we have had since the attendance of this regiment at the Fort. Having received his Majesty's commands for supplying the Fort with two companies at a time, we have so long obeyed them that this whole regiment hath performed the duty. Yesterday we sent to Sir John Pettus to relieve our two last companies. Take care that two of your companies which lie most convenient may be at Landguard Fort upon Sunday next, to relieve Sir John Pettus's two, &c.
By the long discontinuance of the musters of the several troops of horse and companies of foot of the trained forces in co. Suffolk, the Militia of the same is in a very unsettled condition. I therefore appoint a muster, &c.
Touching a muster of the late Sir Henry North's regiment. Sir Nicholas Bacon signified to the Deputy Lieutenants who met at Ipswich that the late loss of his Lady made him unfit to appear there. Particulars are given as to certain regiments and officers.
By our proclamation of 25 April last we prohibited our subjects to transport themselves out of this Kingdom into the service of any foreign prince or state without our leave; yet we receive daily information of several persons who still presume in divers places of this realm to list men and transport them into foreign parts. You are to seize and secure such persons. The commissioners of our Customs at London have sent orders to their under officers in our several ports to be vigilant herein, and you are to give them all aid.
Offering certain proposals touching the musters of companies and regiments, the appointment of officers, &c. The last proposal is, that where the deputy lieutenants see cause to make charges, they do not charge above two or three owners at most to the finding of a horse or foot arms; and that all estates of 100l. per annum be turned into foot arms, and estates of 20l. per annum be turned into town arms, to be provided by the constables of each town; no estate under 5l. per annum to be charged.
Here many pages were originally left blank, but some few have been used for farming accounts of about 1800. At the other end of the book there are a few pages of accounts of receipts and payments in respect of musters, in 1665, 1666, and 1667.
APPENDIX D. Proceedings in Parliament, Royal letters, &c., 1625–1628, as follow:
An abstract of the Account from the Council of War, delivered to the Commons, showing how the three subsidies and the three fifteens had been expended in 1625, viz., the amounts paid under warrants for the four regiments in the Low Countries, for the Navy, for the office of the Ordnance and the Forts in England, for Ireland, for the service under Count Mansfeild, &c.
APPENDIX E. Letters from the Rev. John Nixon to Miss [Mary] Bacon.
Madam,—The honour of your last, which I beg leave to acknowledge with all due respect, arrived at my house while I was engaged in a tour into the north, the pleasures of which can be exceeded only by that which I should receive could I be persuaded that a recital of my adventures would agreeably amuse you. My companion was the same gentleman who travelled with me last summer, and our first sally was to Warwick, a place which (tho' often seen) always affords me new pleasure; especially the Castle, whose bold fortifications and martial air of defence, attempered with all the agreemens of nature and art, remind us of the character of its once famous Lord (Guy), who, after having signalized himself by all the heroic exploits of war, submitted to languish at the feet of fair Phyllis. Its present possessor, Lord Brook, has lately fitted up a new apartment in it in a very elegant taste, which shows us among other things the prodigious improvement of our paper-tapestry; several of the rooms (particularly Lady Brook's dressing room) being hung with that furniture with most surprising neatness and beauty. From hence (after a day's stay) we proceeded to visit Kenilworth Castle, the majestic ruins of which, while the spectator at the same time resolves in his thoughts the pomp and magnificence with which its once noble proprietor (Lord Leicester) entertained his Royal Mistress (Queen Elizabeth) there, strike the mind with a melancholy reflexion on the transitory state of all earthly grandeur. Our route led us next to Coventry, where, if we had arrived a day later, we had seen at a fair the anniversary representation of the memorable achievement of that truly patriot-Lady Godwina (sic), the wife of Leofric, a Mercian Earl, who, to recover the franchises of her favourite city, condescended to ride naked thro' the principal streets of it at noon day. The magistrates (you may imagine) took all possible care to secure the Lady's modesty from insults by publishing a severe edict against any one that should presume to look out of their houses during this extraordinary parade; which one caitiff disregarding, Heaven (if ancient legends may be credited) prevented the punishment threatened by the civil powers by striking him blind upon the spot. His effigy ever since looks out from the place where he committed the crime, but being then taken down to be new dressed against the approaching solemnity, I could not gratify my friend with a sight of it.
A very pleasant road led us from this place to Coleshill, a small neat market town on an eminence; from the churchyard of which the eye is entertained with a wonderful large and beautiful prospect of the adjacent country; where in a valley just below you see the remains of the Castle and monastery of Maxstock, and at a greater distance the large Castle and town of Tamworth, on the confines of the counties of Warwick and Stafford. The other side of the town gives you a near view of the Park, and part of the old seat of the good Lord Digby, over which at a distance we could discover the smoke of Birmingham. The former of these objects brings to your mind a noble specimen of ancient uncorrupted English virtue; the latter an instance of modern industry and improvement in the iron manufacture, whose forges daily furnish out those arms, which, if managed with courage directed by prudence, would retrieve the old English glory, and give law to Europe.
Full of these agreeable reflexions we reached Litchfield, the situation of which (tho' in a bog) the inhabitants fancy to be as healthy as that of Montpellier. Next day, after viewing a seat of Lord Uxbridge's placed on the side of a beautiful hill among woods, we passed thro' the finest part of Staffordshire, and dined at Utuxater, from whence we saw Sudbury and Tedbury Castle. The former of these, belonging to Mr. Vernon, we visited, and found there a very good house cased with flint work in the old manner, to which you are no strangers in Norfolk. On the garden side was a large area sloping down to a serpentine river, and encompassed with an amphitheatre of greens; which scene, being at that time enriched by a set of haymakers actually at work, afforded what the French call une beau païsage [sic]. On the other side of the house, cross the road, lay a large and very beautiful Park, which our time would not permit us to survey at our leisure, the decline of the day calling upon us to make the best of our way to Ashborn in the Peak.
And here it will be proper once for all to obviate a mistake, which (I am sensible) the very mentioning of the Peak raises in the minds of those who know nothing of this country, but what they have [heard] from some travellers, who are pleased greatly to misrepresent it. I dare say, Madam, you have already formed a thousand hideous ideas of a wild uncomfortable barren desert, full of naked rocks, or covered only with russet heath or furze, and inhabited by wild creatures, which have nothing human but their outward appearance. But how agreeably surprised would you be, were you upon the spot, to find yourself travelling in exceeding good roads, breathing a pure air, and looking down (when on an eminence) upon rich valleys, either meadows plentifully watered with rivers affording the best of fish, as trout, grailing, &c., or farms in tillage laid out in the neatest and most husband-like manner? And then, for the politeness and humanity of its inhabitants, our next day's journey afforded us such repeated instances of it, as might put some gentlemen of the southern parts of the Island out of countenance.
As we were upon the great road from Ashborn to Buxton, perceiving a gentleman's seat in a valley below us, we agreed to strike down to it. It was a large house belonging to one Mr. Okeover, from whose family I presume the place takes its name, and who is now building new wings to it in a very handsome manner. We found him in the courtyard with one Sir Phil. Warburton of Cheshire; upon seeing us ride in he came up to us himself, and, finding us strangers travelling only for curiosity, asked us to alight, and to permit him to show us the civilities of his house: which he did in the most friendly and polite manner imaginable, by leading us through all parts of his new building, and acquainting us with his plans, designs, and conveniences of all sorts, &c. After this he conducted us into the main body of the old house, in the apartments of which were some of the finest pictures I ever saw, which had been collected by his father in Italy. Two particularly struck me and my friend: the first, that of the Holy Family in the most exquisite taste (I think) I ever met with. The solemn characters of the divine personages here represented, softened with all the graces it was possible for the pencil to bestow, raise at once in the mind of the beholder the most awful veneration and most exstatic love, the genuine ingredients of all true devotion. The other was the Unjust Steward appearing before his incensed Lord to account with him before he was discarded from his employment. He is attended by his distressed wife and several children in a group behind him, in whose faces appear such lively expressions of grief suitable to their respective ages and capacities of apprehension, that the very idea of it, still warm upon my heart, raises there those sympathizing emotions, which (next to a sense of duty to the Author of our being) 'tis in my opinion the noblest prerogative of our nature to be capable of being affected with them. But to return to the gentleman to whom we were obliged for this entertainment. Upon our taking leave of him he told us, that we should meet with something very well worth our seeing at a gentleman's house about 2 miles from him; and pressed us to let him send his servant along with us thither, who should have orders to stay for us and bring us into the high road from which we had deviated in the morning.
Conducted by this guide, we came to one Mr. Porte's of Ilam, whose place indeed exceeded everything that could be said or conceived of it. His house was no way remarkable in itself, but the situation of it was the most romantic one I every saw. It lay in a deep valley between 2 high mountains. Just in the front of it, at about a mile's distance, arose up a third in the form of an Egyptian pyramid, whose four sides were so regularly sloped, that (did not its enormous bulk contradict any such supposition) you would have judged it to have been the work of art. Descending from hence into his gardens, you see at the bottom a river rolling along with a brisk torrent over large stones, which oblige it to make several natural cascades within your view: then, turning towards the west, you enter upon a walk fenced on the right hand with a very high rock of marble, whose sides and top are covered with shrubs and trees nodding over your head and forming agreeable arbours; while from the bottom of it gush out two streams within a yard of each other, which unite to compose the river mentioned above. That they were really distinct rivulets before their conjunction appeared from a particular circumstance at the time of our viewing them, viz., that the one was discoloured by the rains that had lately fallen, and the other was clear. One of them is known by the name of the Manyfold, and emerges here, after a subterraneous passage for 3 miles together. Beyond this walk is a round meadow of about 6 or 7 acres, encompassed all round with very high hills covered with trees, appearing one above another almost as far as the eye can with pleasure follow them.
While we were viewing this wonderful scene, Mr. Porte, being informed that some strangers were come to see his place, sent his servant to invite us into the house, where we were entertained with a glass of wine and very agreeable conversation, and pressed to stay dinner with him; but that not suiting with our scheme, he insisted upon our accepting of his servant to show us to another extraordinary curiosity, viz. Dove-Dale. We passed over a very high hill, which yet (like most others in these parts) was covered with grass fit to feed an ox, till we arrived at a steep descent covered with bushes, among which lay several mazy tracks for the cattle to go up and down to water. Down one of these we led our horses for about a mile, when we came to the river Dove, a clear trout-stream rolling along over rocks in a deep vale at the bottom, which we crossing, left our horses upon its bank, and climbed by our hands and knees up a steep precipice on the other side to a considerable height, till passing under a natural portal of stone, like a triumphal arch, we entered into a vast cavern in the solid rock, which they call Reynold's Hall. From this aerial apartment we were entertained with a view of 2 chains of rocks of various figures and projections facing each other, and the Dove at several openings falling from one cascade to another, till she comes to the level below your eye. This is partly represented in one of the prints of some prospects in the counties of Derby &c. lately published.
After this pleasant excursion we regained the high road, which led us to Buxton. This village, I must confess, is situated in the most dreary spot imagination can well form an idea of, being almost all a bare rock, scarcely producing a tree or pot-herb for the use of its inhabitants, excepting the house where the wells are, which, lying low, has some walks and plantations about it. But the melancholy face of the country here was greatly exhilarated by the agreeable company we found in it, which consisted of about 40 or 50 ladies and gentlemen lodging in one house, eating at one common table, and conversing together promiscuously with the greatest freedom and affability imaginable.
From this place we made an excursion of a morning's ride over a ridge of hills, from which we saw fruitful winding valleys on every side to a vast extent, to visit a gentleman of a great estate, who has long honoured me with his friendship, viz. Mr. Legh of Lyme in Cheshire. His house, which stands in a Park of 8 or 10 miles compass, is very magnificently built with stone round a court, with piazzas on two of its sides in a very elegant taste. But the chief curiosity of the place is a custom used here for the Keeper upon notice to collect all the stags in the Park, and to make them take and swim through a lake near the house as tamely as so many water-spaniels: and it really affords a very odd appearance to see 80 or 100 of those large animals, with only their branching antlets (sic) or the tips of their noses above water, voluntarily forcing a passage through an element to which they have naturally an aversion, till reaching the opposite shore they shake their ears, and disperse at pleasure as before.
Near Buxton are some of those stupendous works of nature commonly known by the name of the Wonders of the Peak, viz. Pole's Hole, within half a mile of the town, a subterraneous vault of 700 or 800 yards in length. The passage into it is so contracted, that you are obliged to stoop so low as almost to crawl on your hands and knees for several yards together. Then you enter into a capacious room, the vault rising over your head to a very great height. Here you soon begin to mount a range of rocks first on the right hand, but after some time you pass to the left; on both sides the way is extremely rugged and uncouth, perpetually obstructed by large shelves of rock, over which you are partly led, partly hauled up and down by the assistance of certain nymphs, who you would guess were some of the original race of females produced by the stones which Pyrrha cast over her head after the Deluge, their form so strongly sympathizing with the place where they reside. However, the traveller thankfully accepts of their guidance, when he finds himself led by the road so near to precipices, that he has scarce room to set both his feet between them and the rock, and where the consequence of making a false step would be bruising his body sufficiently, if not breaking his limbs, or his neck. I am surprised to think how the ladies should venture to make this subterraneous tour, which yet they daily do, partly I presume, out of curiosity, partly perhaps to follow the example of Mary Queen of Scots, whose Pillar is here shown to strangers by the female ciceronis above mentioned. This obelisc, which is nothing but a lump of congealed matter, suffers perpetual injuries from the ill-meant zeal of the votaries of that unfortunate Princess, who, while they profess a high regard for her memory, at the same time by their continual depredations contribute to destroy that which would otherwise be the most lasting monument of it. In returning, you pass along the lower way, which lies at the foot of the precipices mentioned before; where the road in some places is greatly straitened, and in others entirely closed up, by the rocks, which are daily increasing by water dripping from the vault and sides, and petrifying as soon as it falls; so that here you are obliged to creep under broad stones till you find the passage wide enough to admit you between the rocks, which form a natural wall or fence of each side.
About 6 miles from Buxton, at a village called Castleton, which (though in the High Peak) stands in a most fertile, beautiful valley, we were conducted to another grotto, partly of the same extent with the former, but different from it in other circumstances, as you will find by the following description of it. As you advance towards it from the village, the first scene that presents itself to the sight is a rock of an immense perpendicular height, partly bare, and partly adorned with hanging shrubs and trees of various kinds, and having its summit crowned with the ruins of an old Castle or fort, which, nodding o'er the brink of the precipice, threatens every minute to crush the adventurous head that dares approach the tremendous passage it seems designed to defend. This is a wide cavern, called by the politer part of the country Peak-Hole, though its unseemly appearance has induced the vulgar to stigmatize it with an appellation not decent to be mentioned to a lady. Its mouth is large enough to contain within it several cottages, the smoke of whose chimneys besmearing the vault above has greatly added to the native horrors of the place, and wrought it up to a lively resemblance with that through which the ancient Poets have imagined an entrance into their fabled hell. I must confess, that Virgil's description of his hero's descent into those invisible regions below never struck so strongly upon my imagination as at this time; only that instead of one Sibyl who conducted him, we were attended by a troup of antique wayward sisters, three of whose number you have seen upon the stage opening a celebrated Tragedy. These, joined with a mixed multitude of all ages, to the number of 30 or 40, march partly before, partly behind you, with each a glimmering make-weight candle in their hands, in a procession like that at a popish funeral, till they bring you to the side of a river. By this time you find the vault has gradually sunk so low as but just to leave room enough between it and the water for a boat, like a beer-cooler, to pass, in which the passenger, holding a candle in his hand, must lie flat on his back, while a descendant of old Charon, who for a minute or two is arbiter of his fate, pushes him for some yards to the other side. Then the vault by degrees resumes its former height and dimensions, while its ceiling, bespangled with native crystals of all sizes and figures, reflects a feeble light through the dusky gloom below.
Here the traveller, with solemn pace and slow, proceeds sometimes on plain ground, sometimes over heaps of rocks, which at various times have tumbled down from the top or sides to the spaces below. In the mean time, his ear is entertained with liquid lapse of murmuring streams, proceeding from some springs having been intercepted in their subterraneous passage by this gulph, and obliged to fall down abruptly through the chinks of the ceiling or sides of the vault. After some time your course is stopped by a second river, which (though it is much deeper) you ferry over with less inconvenience than over the first. At last you reach the brink of a third, where the vault closes and absolutely denies all further passage to the inquisitive traveller; nature seeming hereby to teach him to set bounds to his searches after (sic), as she has done to his capacity of attaining to a perfect knowledge of all her works. However, our guide convinced us that they were hollow spaces which extended themselves further on within the rock; for, upon his putting the water into agitation with his feet and stick, we perceived an echo or hollow groan reverberated from several parts, which could be occasioned only by the waves dashing in eddies against the caverns wherein they were imprisoned, and they resembled the music made by some of the deepest notes of a bass-viol or organ.
I have hardly room or inclination to mention Elden Hole, a frightful chasm of an immeasureable depth, about 2 or 3 miles from the place above mentioned, being in haste to divert your imagination from these scenes of horror to a spot of all others I have ever seen the most paradisiacal, I mean Matlock. But when I attempt to give you a sketch of this place, your fancy must assist in the draught; nor need you fear, that when you have indulged it in its utmost luxuriancy, the ideal picture will exceed the life. Imagine then you see a very handsome house of a pretty large extent in front, built of white stone, and situated on a plain area gained by considerable labour and expense from the shelving rock on the side of which it lies, and of a compass just wide enough to admit (besides the house) a parterre and bowling green, laid out before it. From this area you descend by steps into an irregular piece of ground full of rocks, among which several fine springs, having formed their wanton meanders, thro' (throw ?) themselves down a steep bank by natural cascades into the river Derwent, who returns the music made by their fall by his murmuring and chiding of the broken heaps of rocks that impede his course. From his bank on the opposite side arises a wall of solid rock, having a slope towards the bottom covered with wood, but soon springing up afterwards perpendicularly to an immense height; on the very brink of which, notwithstanding, you often see from below the peasants tending their cattle in very fruitful pastures, and looking down upon you, and sometimes entertaining you with a wild kind of music, both vocal and instrumental, to your no small surprise and terror.
From the area you pass eastwards into a grove or copse with natural walks, where you have the river on one side and cascades rolling down through the bushes on the other; but the most beautiful cascade, which terminated the principal walk, has lately been destroyed, the water being diverted from its usual course to supply a bath at a new-erected house not far from that which I have above described. From both the other sides you ascend up high mountains, which frequently, during our abode there, might literally challenge the epithet of cloud-capt, which Shakespear bestows upon towers. One of these arises directly from the south side of the house, and diffuses a very agreeable morning-shade over the whole area during the rage of Sirius in the summer months; but I fancy those who are stationed here in winter have too just reason to complain of this impenetrable umbrello, which quite deprives them of the cheering-rays of the sun for the greatest part of the day during that gloomy season.
The other hill stands on the west side, and abounds with great plenty of lead mines in the upper part of it, while the lower, sloping down towards the river, is laid out in several inclosed meadow-grounds, intermingled with spots of shrubs and trees. In one of these I used from my window to see my favourite mare grazing on her hanging pasture, like a wild goat; a circumstance which afforded me no small pleasure, as it had an appearance of being at home in this charming place: as the critics observe, that Sappho, by reminding Venus that when she honoured her with her company she used to dismiss her equipage (with orders I presume to her charioteer to unharness her Doves), implied that her visits were of a considerable length.
Adjoining to this is a place called Love-walk, from which there is a prospect of the house and its environs above described, and likewise a new rural scene of corn-fields, pastures, &c., for which we are obliged to the turning of the rock, which here makes an abrupt angle. I must not omit to tell you, that from this point the printed view of Matlock was taken; to which I must beg leave to refer you for a supplement to this imperfect account, and proceed to acquaint you with what that cannot inform you of, viz. that I came hither by appointment to meet a gentleman and 2 young ladies of our county, with whom (and the other accidental company, which varied every day) we had the perpetual pleasure of the most agreeable conversation imaginable. We lived in one long room fitted up in a very elegant manner, where we eat, drank, played, sung, danced, &c. in a way (I fancy) perfectly resembling that of the happy mortals in the Golden Age.
One morning our party made a visit to Chattesworth, which is undoubtedly a fine seat, built of a brownish stone with a yellow cast, round a court in a very grand and beautiful style, and highly finished both within and without, particularly the Chapel, which is wainscoted with cedar finely carved, and painted with some historical pieces of Scripture by Verrio. The gardens, I must confess, did not answer the idea I had formed of them: there were indeed 2 pieces of water, one square, at the first entrance at a corner of the house, the other of a length too great for its breadth, in the front; besides 2 good jet d'eaus, and a cascade, which exceeded everything of that kind 1 ever met with. But nothing of this nature hits my gout, which was more exquisitely gratified by the little natural rills at Matlock trilling down from every rising bank with a ceaseless flow of water, than it would be with the most pompous fountains, which are the work of art, and taught to flow at the turn of a cock; where you know you are grudged every drop of water they throw out for your amusement by the penurious reservoir that supplies them. It always reminds me of a miser's feast, where an extravagant profusion at one meal is to be made up by a succeeding fast for a month.
After a week's stay at Matlock we set out for our respective homes. Our first stage, being only a morning's ride, brought us to Derby, a very pretty agreeable town, where we spent the afternoon with one Mr. Gisborn, a gentleman with whom we had contracted an acquaintance at Buxton. He showed us the chief curiosities of the place; particularly the famous Silk-mills, the model of which was brought over from Italy by Sir Thomas Lomb. We passed the evening at the monthly Assembly there, and next morning, pursuing our journey on fine roads through a rich and pleasant country, we dined at Leicester, and afterwards reached Market-Harboro'. The next day brought us safe (by the kind favour of Providence) to Towcester, which place, as it afforded me an agreeable repose after so long a peregrination, so (I fancy) it will sufficiently recommend itself to your regards by putting a period to the tedious narration with which I have now troubled you.
My compliments to Sir Edmund Baccon [sic], Miss Sarah, and the good family at Kimberly (upon whose late increase I beg leave to congratulate yourself and them), conclude me,
Your most obedient, humble servant,
Madam,—I am almost ashamed to acknowledge the receipt of your last favour, when I review the date of it, and at the same time consider the great honour you do me by your candid acceptance of my former journal, and your encouraging me to hope that a sequel containing an account of my last summer's expedition would not be disagreeable to you. This tour (I must own) was more extensive, but I am afraid it will not afford you so much amusement; as neither the scenes I visited, nor the occurrences I met with, were so romantic, as those of the other. However, as your commands must not be disputed, I beg leave to acquaint you, that my first stage (July 7th) brought me to Sir Thomas Cave's at Stanford; a gentleman, who as he has honoured me with his friendship from the earliest period of his youth, so every opportunity I have had of visiting or conversing with him has increased my respect for him; as it has given me fresh instances of his worth and goodness in the several most important points of action in life. His family (though the lowest of his recommendations) claims a rank among those of the first note in these parts, not only for its great antiquity, but also for the many useful persons it has produced for the service of their country, and the public good of mankind. Their mansion house was formerly in this county, till the present gentleman's grandfather, when he rebuilt it, removed it about ¼ of a mile higher up into the Park, whereby Leicestershire acquired an addition of another fine seat, and of a worthy patriot, whom (in conjunction with one Mr. Smith of Edmondthorp) she entrusts with her interests in Parliament.
Sir Thomas, as he is no sportsman, spends his time in the country for the most part in finishing and adorning his premises, which he does in a very handsome manner and with a good taste. His last improvements have been in his Hall, by removing entirely the upper row of windows (which I think have generally a disagreeable effect) and sinking the ceiling by a cove, which (as well as the compartments in the walls below) is finished with stucco in such an elegant and chaste style, as seems (in my opinion) to have hit the very line which when this kind of work exceeds, it ceases to be just, or proper. Imitations in general should be modest, and decline appearing in too glaring a light. That of plaster in particular, tho' in lofty ceilings, and other parts of the building more removed from the examination of the eye, it may be allowed to project out from the plane in circles or festoons of fruits and flowers, yet in those more immediately under view it should never (in my judgment) exceed a relievo, nor in human representations venture beyond the profile of a face in a medaillon. An instance of excess in this point I remember to have met with some years ago at Ditchly, the fine seat of Lord Lichfield, and another last summer at Mr. Duncomb's in Yorkshire, of which more in its proper place. In the former the Hall, being extremely lightsome, regular, and beautifully ornamented, strikes the stranger at his first entrance with uncommon pleasure; but when he recovers his discerning faculty, and exercises it upon the several groups of figures, as large as the life, reclined on pediments over each of the door-cases, besides a series of busts, which seem to have been all brethren of one birth, or cast in the same mold, and are stuck up all round above the cornish; the connoisseur (I say) reflecting upon the unmeaning flatness, and the many inaccuracies and disproportions generally attending this work, and likewise upon the coarseness of the materials which had imposed upon him in such profusion, he finds his taste palled, and his admiration succeeded by a satiety and disgust.
But now, Madam, be pleased to return with me to the Hall at Stanford, where, having taken notice of the fine organ at the bottom of it, be so good as to step into an apartment now finishing, and designed to be hung with a rich green damask, with a bed, chairs, &c. of the same; a circumstance I should not have troubled you with had it not been for its giving me an opportunity of informing you, that the whole furniture is a present from the Lady Dowager Cave (Sir Thomas's mother), and as such will suggest to you some inferences, which may not be disadvantageous to the moral character of my worthy friend her son.
As Stanford lies in a rich vale, the chief beauty of its environs are the numerous herds of beasts, and flocks of sheep, which cover its wide-extended pastures on every side: the only distant view is a scene that must afflict every loyal eye, viz. Naseby Field; out of which arises the Avon. This river, after running about 3 or 4 miles, shapes its infant course through Sir Thomas's Park, where it receives great favours from his generosity, which it gratefully repays by the plenty it diffuses through his large demains. As Sir Thomas has a very mechanical turn, and a particular taste for marine affairs, he has by a lock swelled this vivulet to such an height, as to afford at once a fine prospect from his house, and also room for him to navigate a sloop or two of his own building upon it. This yields a most agreeable entertainment in a summer's evening; especially as in our voyage we generally touched at a small fort in an island near one end of the lake to take in some liquors more suitable to gentlemen-sailors than fresh water.
But I should be highly unjust to the religious character of my much honoured friend, as well as guilty of an improper omission with regard to my own, should I dismiss the present subject without mentioning with all due commendation his singular care and munificence in repairing and beautifying his parish church, which he has effected in a good taste, and not without a considerable expense. The entrance at the west end (which would remind you of that at Redgrave in Suffolk) presents you with a handsome white marble font supported by branches of iron work. The nave of the church is uniformly paved, and accommodated with good oak-wainscot pews; and the reading-desk and pulpit newly erected, of neat workmanship, and inlaid in an elegant manner. The roof is painted, and the walls adorned with stucco-work, Then you proceed to the chancel, the windows of which (particularly that of the east) are enriched with very good old painted glass, exhibiting the arms of the family, and those of their most considerable alliances. Below, on the floor, which is laid with black and white marble, and on the side walls are several monuments; particularly one erected for the late Sir Verney Cave (the present gentleman's brother) in the middle of the south side of the fabric, which t'other day occasioned a little incident, that will make you smile. A tenant's wife belonging to a neighbouring village having dined with Lady Cave in Sir Thomas's absence, after tea her Ladyship (with that great good nature, which so highly recommends her other many virtues) proposed a little walk in the Park, which was to terminate at the church adjoining to it. The paisanne was wonderfully charmed with the decorations and improvements already made, but with great simplicity asked Lady Cave, whether she did not think, that another monument of the same fashion with that of Sir Verney's, and erected just over against it for Sir Thomas, would not make the chancel quite pretty?
Leaving Stanford in company with Mr. Smith (mentioned above), whom with his wife and her sister (I should have told you) we found at our arrival there, we passed over a rich (but deep and unentertaining) country for about 12 miles to Leicester, and from thence to a seat of Mr. Philips' about a long mile beyond Loughborough. This gentleman's brother was representative for the county in the last Parliament, and (as I am informed) had a very good taste for drawing, paintings, architecture, &c., which he cultivated by a considerable stay abroad, particularly at Rome; and indeed the improvements he began to make in his place are a sufficient specimen of his genius that way. His house is a large old stone building, of which he only lived to new-case the garden front; which he completed in a very elegant style, with a portico in the middle supported by six columns of the Ionic order, and of beautiful proportion. An ascent of about half a mile brings you to an etoile in his Park of six points, whereof the 1st looks down to the house, lake, wood, &c., the 2nd is terminated by a prospect of woods, the 3rd by a hill covered with heath, the 4th by a temple, the 5th by a woody country, and the 6th by a stately guglio at the entrance of the Park from Loughborough. After another shorter ascent we reached a second etoile of 8 points, one of which (not to mention the others which had for the most part the same terminations as those of the lower one) leads the eye to a noble portail quite in the grand antique taste. In the centre of this etoile stands a beautiful temple or rotundo of stone, surrounded by 16 Ionic columns, upon which rests an entablature charged with festoons tied to ox-sculls, or supported by Genii alternately. Over this rises a dome, whose cupolo lets down light into the inside of the building, which is extremely elegant, adorned with fine carvings, and a good model of the Medicean Venus.
Our curiosity had thrown us so far into the evening, that we were obliged to take up our lodgings at a small town named Kegworth, which we did with some reluctance, though our landlady gave us the strongest demonstration possible of the high reputation of her house by assuring us, that their worships the neighbouring Justices had once dined, and Sir Robert Burdett and his Honor Grevile had frequently lain there. Next morning's ride brought us to Derby, where we were chiefly entertained with memoirs relating to their last winter's visitants, the Scotch Rebels, male and female, particularly her Grace of P___, who (as our barber informed us) during her stay there affected to be seen (even by those of our sex) in as high a dishabille, as was that of our original Mother before the Fall.
In order to diversify our route from this place to Matlock, we this year agreed to direct our course by Kidleston, a seat of Sir Nathaniel Curson's. As we had then no intimation of there being anything remarkably curious in the house, we contented ourselves with a view of its environs without. And here your eye first falls upon a spacious and beautiful lawn, or meadow, in his Park, through which runs a river forming several cascades in a long succession within view; beyond this is a gentle ascent covered with fine woods, excepting a large area, or vista, opposite to the front of the house. At one corner of the Park, at a place called Ireton, about a mile from Kidleston, is a pleasure-house with a spot of ground adjoining thereunto, the oddness of which a good deal puzzles the imagination to describe it. The compass of it indeed is not large, yet such as affords sufficient scope for Lady Curson to display her fine genius in gardening, and architecture; the whole (as we were informed) being planned, and executed by her Ladyship's sole direction. One peculiar happiness of its situation (and that to which it owes its chiefest beauty) is its lying pretty high, and yet affording a plentiful spring of water sufficient to supply several canals, and particularly a serpentine river, which is so contrived, that its dimensions still lessening the further it is removed from its source tempt the eye to conclude that it runs upwards: a circumstance (by the by) which, if verified, would release many a hampered swain from the obligation of certain vows generally made under the guaranty of every star auspicious to love, and ratified by the solemn ceremony of breaking a crooked sixpence. As the inequality of the ground cannot fail of leading an enterprising genius to strike out many bold (tho' beautiful) extravaganza's, so particularly her Ladyship is now building an hermitage, or tea-room, in a kind of stone-quarry, in the front of which a cascade is destined to fall down over the rude shelves of the rock.
In the bowling-green, from whence you are entertained with a prodigious fine and extensive prospect of Derby, and the country round it for several miles, stands a summer-house, which has the panels of its doors withoutside, as well as the floor, seats, and windows within, all inlaid with wood of divers sorts and colours in a pretty manner; but the most surprising thing in this building is the frames which contain the wainscot and looking-glasses, whereof there are several: they seem to be of the richest high-raised carving imaginable, but upon closer examination it proves nothing but a tissu or continued cluster of little odd knots of wood which once grew in a thousand various and distorted figures, and are now polished or lacquered, and artificially joined together.
Beyond the bowling-green lies a spot divided into a kind of wilderness-walks, lined with fruit trees on each side; one of these leads to the most whimsical fabric I ever saw. The materials that compose it would tempt one to call it the Temple or triumphal arch of Death, while its colour and appearance challenge the name of the Ivory-Gate described by Virgil towards the end of the 6th Æneid, thro' which I hope those dreams will always pass, which seem to forbode ill to Miss Bacon, or any that are dear to her. In short, it is a kind of little Gothic fort or lodge, of three arches in front, made altogether of bones in their proper colour. The walls within are all wainscoted with the round ends of sheep's trotters, as those without exhibit nothing but the smooth protuberances of marrow-bones of large cattle. The other members of the building are finished with [a] variety of bones in a very natural and beautiful manner: particularly I observed her Ladyship had been greatly obliged to the vertebræ or joints of the back-bone of a cow or horse for a principal part of the Gothic ornaments, which enriched the arches, windows, and battlements of this romantic structure.
After surveying these curiosities, our evening's ride landed us at Matlock, a place, whose name (I fancy) gives you some terrible apprehensions, and that not without reason, considering the satiety you must have received from my prolix account of it in my last year's journal. But, Madam, if I had an inclination to tease you afresh, yet the subject would not bear me out in it; for, as for the scene itself, which is invariably the same, I have given you a tolerable idea of it already; and the company, tho' different, yet being all (except your friend Major Geddes) unknown to you, I cannot with any propriety introduce them to your acquaintance at this distance. The chief novelty we struck out was (a pleasure which the weather would not permit us to enjoy last season) the boating up the Derwent in the afternoons, and in our return drinking tea under some natural arbour formed by trees hanging down from the wild rocks on each side the river. On these occasions we were attended by music, which, if not quite equal to Mr. Handel's Water-music, yet was so entirely suited to the romantic genius and whole turn of the place, that it had an effect which defies the power of description. You will smile after this, when I tell you, that it was our boat-man playing upon his fiddle, and his little boy accompanying him with his drum. This concert of instrumental music was intermixed with some of the vocal kind, several ladies of our company obliging us with singing in a very agreeable manner. In short, the whole entertainment, taken together, was in so high a gout, that it would be unjust to compare it to anything less than Cleopatra's tour upon the river Cydnus to meet her Lord M. Anthony, of which Dryden (I think) gives so pompous a description in his All for Love, &c.
You'll pardon me, if upon this occasion I subjoin a little incident only to show you how strong a passion for music and dancing prevails in this obscure corner of the world, which the southern gentry of our Island are apt to treat upon the same footing of barbarism as they do Lapland, or Tartary.
One evening, after our water-entertainment, calling in at a cottage on the bank of the river, almost covered by a prodigious rock hanging over it, we found a collection of the young fry of both sexes, the sons and daughters of farmers and miners, met together in their holiday-clothes to learn to dance minuets, hornpipes, and country dances. The first were over before we came, but the two last they executed in a manner that would have pleased and surprised you. They were directed by a maitre de danse, a tight young fellow of a neighbouring village, to whose taber and pipe they were exercised 3 times a week at the expence of one penny each time of performing.
My dwelling upon Matlock so long (contrary to the intimation dropped at the beginning of this article) is pardonable upon no other principle, than that which is natural to mankind, viz. the persuasion that what affects themselves cannot be unentertaining to others. This will plead my excuse for relating the following particular. You may recollect, that in my last journal I mentioned the great civilities we received from Mr. Okeover. I remember, that upon parting with that gentleman my friend and I agreed in our reflexions, that the satisfaction one feels in receiving obligations from strangers is alloyed by a secret regret from the thoughts that (in all human probability) we shall never have an opportunity of returning them. You may conceive (in consequence of such sentiments as these) how great was our pleasure to find fortune more favourable to us in this respect, than we could ever flatter ourselves she would be. The circumstance was this. One evening, when our house was as full as a beehive, and scarce a corner left to hold a mouse, we saw a large company of ladies and gentlemen arrive just before supper-time; and among the rest, whom should we discover but our friend mentioned above, and his lady. The gentlemen with much ado got lodging for the ladies, despairing of any for themselves, which (considering they were to set out again the next morning upon a journey) it would have been greatly inconvenient for them to have gone without; whereupon my companion and I agreed to join quarters, and compliment Mr. Okeover with one of our beds; which convenience was readily accepted of by him with much greater acknowledgment than it deserved.
July 19th. We mounted very early in the morning for Nottingham. Nothing worthy of notice occurred in the road thither, till we came within two miles of the town to Lord Middleton's. His house stands in a pretty Park, and is a large fabric in the Gothic style, but lightsome and beautiful enough, had it not been encumbered with an enormous square pile of building in the middle, the lower part of which is the Hall. This rises up to a considerable height above the other parts of the house, and its heaviness is greatly increased by four watch towers, or sentry-boxes, projecting out one at each corner with the most disagreeable effect imaginable.
But if the eye has received any disgust here, it is soon recompensed by the beautiful prospect, which next entertains it; I mean the Castle and Town of Nottingham. The former is a magnificent building erected on the plane of a steep rock. It consists of one story, and an attic, and has in its principal front towards the town eastwards 9 windows in length, each of them crowned with a broken pediment above to admit a bust, and adorned with a balustrade below. Its pilasters are of the Corinthian order, except two in the centre, which are of the Ionic, and support a pediment charged with an equestrian statue in a large niche. In the south-east front are only three windows, and a spacious corridor under the first floor. The west or back front projects with two wings, each of three windows, to the west. The body has two, and a glass door. You mount from the town to the area on which the Castle stands by two or three flights of large stone steps. The area itself is all paved with square stones, and enclosed with a balustrade. It serves as a Mall for the Nottingham belles, where they may breathe a pure air themselves, and hear their lovers breathe something similar to it, viz. vows of love, and what not. The prospect you enjoy from this spot is very extensive and delicious, to a degree little inferior to the environs of Windsor. To the west you have a view of Lord Middleton's seat, described above, venerably rising above the woods in his Park. South-west your eye falls immediately upon wide meadows, through which runs the Trent; and from thence catches Sir Robert Clifton's seat. To the left more eastwardly you have variety of country, partly in grazing, and partly in tillage, till your view is terminated by the cloud-capt towers of Beauvoir Castle.
I shall omit the agreeable situation and neat buildings of the town, particularly those around the market-place (of which you must have had frequent accounts from other travellers), and (if you will not think the transition too Pindaric) from these aerial heights shall beg leave to conduct you immediately to some subterraneous wonders more remote from common observation; I mean the Cellars in the town, which (next to the Castle) are in my opinion some of the greatest curiosities belonging to the place. Those of the Inn, where we lodged, were of a surprising depth, and seemed to consist of more stories than one, each branching itself into several vaults, whose ceiling, sides, and floor wero all of the same materials, viz. the natural sand-stone. The disposition of these uncouth apartments put me greatly in mind of the description which travellers give of the Catacombs abroad, though the appearance here was much more joyous, as each of these cells, instead of mouldering bones, and dried mummies, were well stored with large butts of racy beer, of which some contained 20 hogsheads apiece. But whatever difference there might be in the air of the two sorts of repositories above mentioned, perhaps there will be found in fact a nearer relation between them than you would at first imagine, as the vaults at the inns are in some measure nurseries to people those in consecrated ground; the natives of towns famous for good ale generally having their bodies well pickled or embalmed in it before they are conveyed to the dark mansions of the dead.
From Nottingham a gentle airing thro' a plain country by the side of the Trent brought us on Sunday morning to Newark, where after breakfast we went in a Christian-like manner to the parish church, which is a very handsome edifice, adorned with a gallery, and the solemnity of the service is improved by an organ and choir. From the tower of the church (where at all places we came to (I should have told you) we generally took our stand of observation, and the apparent usefulness of such a practice must recommend it to all travellers) we discovered the bearings and connexion of the several parts of the country we were now in with those we left behind us, and those we were soon to enter upon. To S.E. appears Beauvoir Castle. More E. a fresh object strikes your eye very well worthy of notice, viz. Lincoln Minster. N.E. Lord Robert Sutton's seat at Kelham, with a summer pavillion at a considerable distance amongst woods. In the plain N. you have the branching of the Great Northern Road, one part leading to York, the other to Mansfield; nearer under you, the remaining walls of the old Castle washed by the Trent, and whose area is now a bowling-green. To N.W. is Southwell Abbey. The rest of the country is beautified with the mæanders formed by the Trent catching the eye at several openings E. and W.
Our afternoon and evening were spent in passing on through a flat country (chiefly a fine heath) for many miles to Lincoln, during which time we had its stately Cathedral in full view all the way; a circumstance of great, use to a stranger steering his course cross a wild and unknown country, but at the same time apt to give the eye a satiety, and to add an imaginary length to the real distance. The great eminence of Lincoln (I mean the upper part of it) makes the traveller for several hours together fancy himself under her walls, and that the next stretch will bring him to her gates, when to his great disappointment he still finds fresh and unexpected tracts of land open themselves before him in a disagreeable succession, to exercise his patience and renew his toil; like a coquetting nymph continually throwing herself into the full view of her lover, and continually withdrawing at his nearer approach.
Imagine us now actually arrived at and entering Lincoln, a place greatly different from any I ever saw either at home or abroad. Its first entrance is a wide street at least a mile long, indifferently built, having several parish churches at proper intervals, and remains of religious houses, guilds, hospitals, &c., the whole interspersed with orchards, gardens, and trees. This brings you to a very steep hill pitched with stones, up which you climb with difficulty on horseback to an higher ground, where stands the Cathedral, Bishop's Palace, Prebendal mansions, &c. The first of these is a most spacious and venerable piece of Gothic architecture, especially the W. front, which has the greatest air of magnificence imaginable, and is inferior to nothing I ever saw, but that of York; and the difference lies in this, that in this of Lincoln the greatest part of the wall is void of ornaments, except a course or 2 of little arches without any meaning; whereas that of York is diversified by pillars, compartments, &c. of a more sensible style and proportion. From the top of its towers your view extends to a prodigious tract of country every way, so as to take in Beauvoir Castle, Newark, Boston, Tattershall, &c. Below in the town you have great remains of antiquity, as the vallum or entrenchment which surrounded the old city Lindum, and some gates of Roman work, one of which is so entire as to be a thoroughfare to Burton. But perhaps it may be more agreeable to a young lady to hear, that there is a modern structure of a more entertaining taste just finished here, containing a Ball-room 27 yards long, and 12 wide, accompanied with offices of all kinds suitable to the design of its foundation.
Monday, July 21. After dinner we pursued our journey for the most part over a fine heath, like that which brought us to Lincoln, for many miles having a row of villages at some distance in a vale on our right hand, and a wild country, of which we could discover but little, on our left. Nothing worthy of notice occurred in this period of our tour, till the Humber opening to our view greatly distinguished the scene. We lay at the Ferry-house near Barton on the bank of the river, and next day about 7 in the morning embarked for Hull. Tho' from the time of the year we might have expected great serenity in the elements, yet the Humber, the monarch of the Northern Rivers, had taken it into his head that morning to be extremely turbulent. His rage was occasioned partly by his own natural rapidity, and the swell of the tide, and partly by a concurrence of a strong N.E. wind blowing directly down the channel. My fellow traveller, recalling to mind the many tragical accounts he had heard of accidents which had happened in this passage, which is at least 6 miles in length, seemed sufficiently affrighted. I (for my own part), if I had any fears, thought it expedient to conceal them in order to calm his; but we had not got 200 yards from shore before a sad catastrophe had like to have fully justified our apprehensions how great soever they were; for our vessel, thoroughly loaded, and in full sail with wind and tide, all on a sudden (thro' the fault of the steersman) was fixed upon land. Babel could convey *
Madam,—I shall be the more sparing in apologizing for my silence, because I shall have occasion to draw sufficiently upon your good nature to excuse my imperfections, when I actually do myself the honour to write to you. The subject of my present letter will be an account of my tour last summer, which began on June 10th. On the 11th I arrived at London, and set out after dinner with my old fellow-traveller in a post-chaise for Dover, which place we reached about 7 next morning, and (after a very rough passage, which made me inexpressibly sick) got to Boulogne by midnight. When we arrived next day at Abbeville, I remonstrated to my friend, that the direct road from that place to Paris through Picardy was what I had passed before, and that it would afford no entertainment even to a stranger: therefore I desired we might diversify the route by striking out on the right hand, and so passing through Normandy.
To this he readily consented, and accordingly next morning (June 14th) we bent our course S.W., and travelled through an open country, the soil of which seemed to be generally light, and produced corn of all sorts, besides flax; and at proper distances appeared several villages inclosed without, and also lined within, with rows of trees, chiefly elms. Seven leagues brought us to the confines of Normandy, which province we entered near a pleasant little town called ville d'Eu, where there is a chateau, park, and gardens by the side of a clear river, belonging to the Duke de Dombes. After six leagues more we approached Dieppe, which, with its harbour and environs viewed from an eminence, afforded us a very agreeable prospect. It is a sea-port, and lies low: the principal streets are long and well built, particularly the quay, where is the cours or mall. The most remarkable commodity here is ivory, wrought and carved in all manner of curious forms, from the solemn object of superstitious worship down to the lowest toy suited to please the taste of a lady, or a beau.
After dining at Dieppe we entered upon the fine new road, which is now making from this place to Rouen; a thing greatly wanted in this country, the natural roads being exceedingly bad. It is very large and magnificent, consisting of a broad stone pavee in the middle, and spaces of the natural ground on each side. The expenses of this, as well as of all other works for the public utility here, are defrayed out of the King's Exchequer. It begins with an ascent from the town in the manner of a regular hanging slope for about half a mile, for the effecting of which the hill is in some places cut down several yards deep, and, as you advance further, the valleys are filled up to the same height; subterraneous surfs or bridges being left in the lowest places to drain off the waters. The extremities of these bridges appear on each side adorned with white wrought stone in an elegant manner. The direction of this road runs in a straight line, sometimes to so great a length, that the rows of trees which bound it on each side, close upon the eye, before it can reach a turning. The country hereabouts is much the same as that between Abbeville and Dieppe, viz., open, full of corn, woods, villages, &c.
We lay that night at a village called Tôstes, six leagues from Dieppe. Here we saw a little country house of Mons. Ronquier, and his farm of about 2,000 livres per annum, which gave us a specimen of the manner of disposing the conveniences requisite for a farmer in this part of the world. Within a large square orchard, planted in a regular form, was situated the dwelling-house in the principal point of view, like the general's tent in an army, the several buildings of an inferior order, viz., barn, stable, granary, carthouse, &c., being all separate, and placed at due distances in a line within the same area. This spot was fenced round with a deep ditch, and a raised bank next to the orchard planted thick with elm-trees. Around the whole on the outer side ran two or three walks of beech trees, which lead to little groves or plantations on the waste ground near the open field. In our next day's journey we saw several other gentlemen's seats, with their farms in this disposition, which (with the long vistos of apple trees growing naturally with round heads, and running in several directions through the open corn fields) have a most agreeable effect, and give this country the air of one continued garden or orchard. (fn. 3)
After six leagues from Tôstes we approached Rouen by a descent extremely fine. On the left was a regular row of little hills, with gentlemen's seats, villages, &c. spread along them. Below appeared the town in an oval form, its greatest extent being from east to west; beyond it to S.W. lay the Seine, skirted by a long series of hills, each sloping down towards the river in the figure of dove-tails or triangles, as if made by art. Rouen for many ages was reckoned the second city in France, and is now the capital of Upper Normandy. It is in compass about 1¾ league, and inclosed on three sides with hills, two little rivulets running through its streets. It contains 37 parish churches, 17 chapels, 48 monasteries, 35 public fountains, 5 gates on the land side, and 13 towards the river. In one of its seven principal market places, viz., marché de veaux, stands a fountain, having on its top the effigy of poor Joan of Arc, who was cruelly used and at last burnt on this spot by our countrymen. Charles the 7th of France reversed her sentence and declared her innocence, erecting at the same time this monument to her memory, and ennobling her three brothers.
This city is a place of great commerce, being the repository of all the commodities imported from the Ocean into France, which are first landed here, and from hence transmitted to Paris, &c., for which purpose it is furnished with several warehouses, reckoned the largest and most convenient in the world. Its streets (though narrow) and its public buildings are very good; especially the Cathedral, a most magnificent Gothic structure 408 feet long, 83 feet wide, and 84 high. On the croisée rises a tower 152 feet high, and which supports a steeple 380 feet high. The choir is sustained by 14 columns, and enclosed by a screen of copper. The grand altar is separated from the choir by a balustrade of the same metal, and 4 pillars, with an angel on the top of each pillar. In the middle of the choir is the tomb of Charles 5th, whose figure of white marble holds his heart, which was deposited here, in his hand. On the right side of the altar is the monument of our Richard 1st, and on the left that of his nephew [sic] John, son of Henry 2nd. The famous Duke of Bedford, formerly Regent of France, was buried near the altar. In the chapel of the Blessed Virgin, behind the choir, you see the magnificent mausoleum of the two Cardinals d'Amboise, uncle and nephew, whose figures are kneeling upon their tomb in a posture of devotion. The base is adorned with six figures of good workmanship representing six virtues, each in its separate niche or shrine. One of these gentlemen (among other very considerable benefactions) gave the great bell, which hangs in one of the towers, and still bears the name of George d'Amboise. It weighs 36,000 lb., is 30 feet round, and 10 high. They tell you that the founder of it was so well pleased with the success of his art, that he died for joy the nineteenth day after it was hung.
Another thing, which deserves our admiration here, is the fine quay, very large and spacious, running along the N.E. side of the river; at the end of which are the venerable remains of a castle, begun to be built by Henry 5th of England, and finished by Henry 6th, 1443. From the quay there is a passage over the river by a bridge of boats, 270 paces long, and so contrived, that in case of any imminent danger from floods, flakes of ice upon a thaw, &c., it may be taken to pieces in six hours' time, and restored again without any damage. A passage is opened in the night in the middle of it for vessels to go through, and it rises and sinks with the tide, which at Rouen is remarkably high and violent. On the other side, facing the city, is a row of buildings, chiefly belonging to the public; one of them, viz. grenier a sel, is a very magnificent structure. Further on to the left hand lies the mall, esteemed the best of its kind in France. It consists of one grand alley and two smaller ones, reaching near a mile in length, on the borders of a meadow by the bank of the Seine, commanding a most delicious view of the city, river, and the chain of hills mentioned above, at the foot of which runs the great road to Paris.
But I must not forget one thing, which (I own) affected me more than all the curiosities I saw in this place, viz., the scholars of the Jesuits' College, which is very grand and beautiful, in their chapel at mass. They seemed to be 150 or 200, many of them of the best families in this, and the adjacent provinces; all upon their knees on the pavement before the high altar. The solemnity of the office, however eclipsed by ridiculous ceremonies, and the serious attention of the young audience, gave me an internal sensation, which no words can express. But I remember I then vented the fulness of my heart by sending up a fervent prayer to heaven, that the Supreme Being would accept graciously the offerings of, and pour down a blessing upon, those his tender votaries; and that if there was any blemish in their sacrifice, occasioned by the superstitious errors of their education, He would pardon it in them, and rather visit it upon their spiritual guides, who had mingled the poison of human inventions with the sincere milk of God's word, when they instilled it into the minds of those young disciples of Christ.
July 16th.—Our road from Rouen to Paris gave us frequent and most delightsome views of the Seine, sometimes on one hand of us, and sometimes on the other. For as this river serpentizes through the whole length of our way in a very remarkable manner, as if unwilling to quit so charming a country, we had occasion to cross it in several places.
The first thing we saw worthy of notice was Vaudreuil, about five leagues from Rouen, the seat of Monsr. _____, a President of the Parliament of Paris. It consisted of two corps or wings, separated from each other by a large space, which gave entrance into a fine parterre of flowers, with bousquets or arbours of trilliage-work on each hand. Beyond this was a large wilderness laid out in walks, and a visto extending near half a league, which was the length of the gardens. In pursuing this walk we crossed the river Urz, which, dividing itself into two branches, incloses the whole spot. In one part we came to an étoile of several points, from which we saw the boundaries all around, which were hills of several forms and sizes. On the brow of one of them stood a large venerable convent called De deux Amans; the reason of which name our guide was not able to explain to us.
After four leagues we came to Gaillen, a bourg belonging to the archbishops of Rouen, who have here a country seat of residence. This is a noble castle, boldly situated, and built in a very magnificent (though Gothic) style by George d'Amboise, formerly archbishop of the See, above mentioned, and since greatly embellished by the Cardinal de Bourbon, and would be little inferior to any palace in France had it an entrance proportionable to its grandeur in other respects. It consists of two courts, the first of which has a large fountain in the middle of it; the buildings which compose its sides being very richly ornamented with the busts of Roman Emperors, and triumphs, &c. in relievo. In the upper part of the second court is a fine orangery in the form of an amphitheatre: the lower side has a corridor of several arches built of white stone, through which you have surprisingly pleasant views of the adjacent country for some miles. On the right hand gentle hills in vineyards with tufts of woods present themselves to your view; on the left you have the same; while the Seine, serpentizing through the plain below, appears in one part of it like a grand canal formed by nature as on purpose to adorn the prospect from the castle. The building within consists of two grand apartments, one below, the other above, each containing a good suite of rooms, unfurnished, and terminating in a gallery. From each of these state apartments (as the castle stands on the side of an hill) you enter into a parterre in the gardens, of which there are two or three, rising above each other, being supported by very high walls, and laid out in grass-plots, walks, and a little grove of limes under the wall of the next parterre above. Adjoining to these is a park of about 800 acres.
At about ¾ of a mile from the castle, in the plain, is a large well-built convent of Carthusian monks, founded by the above-mentioned Cardinal de Bourbon, Count de Soissons, who, with his wife, son, and daughter lie buried in one of the chapels belonging to the church. On the top of the tomb, which is a stately mausoleum of black and white marble, are the effigies of the Cardinal and his Lady lying along; on the sides are those of their children. The figures of the four cardinal virtues support the four corners of the stone. The church is large, but devoid of all decorations. The cloisters inclose the burying-place (as is the manner in all the monasteries of this order that I have seen) and are very spacious, having cells for 21 Fathers and 19 Brothers. The solemnity of this appearance, increased by the profound silence, which for ever reigns within these walls, naturally inspires the stranger with a sort of religious horror, suspending for a while every sentiment, which has any of the joys of this life for its object. Accordingly I found it strongly affected my young fellow-traveller, who never had been in any convent before, nor had any notion of the nature of such establishments, especially of this order, whose rules are extremely rigid. He seemed to listen with great attention and a melancholy air of pity to our ciceroni [sic], while he recounted the many painful austerities these recluses undergo; as their feeding only on vegetables, observing perpetual silence, praying three or four hours in the middle of the night, &c.; but he never seemed to think these messieurs completely miserable, till he understood, that (to crown their affliction) they were entirely excluded from the converse of the softer part of our species; they being never permitted to go out, nor any female allowed to enter within the walls of the convent. And indeed, when I reflect on the exceeding great pleasure I always find in the conversation of one particular lady, who honours me with her acquaintance and correspondence, I am strongly induced to enter into the sentiments of my friend upon this article.
I must not omit to tell you, that in returning to our inn we met an hermit, who (we were told) had made himself a room and an oratory in the rock on a neighbouring hill, where he lived by himself; only at certain times he came down to the convent for victuals. What a strange passion must a man have for solitude, who thinks there is too much society in a Carthusian monastery!
After having breakfasted for the first time in the true French taste, viz., on bread and butter and raw young artichokes cut in slices and seasoned with salt and red Burgundy vinegar, we proceeded on our journey, and after three leagues travelling reached Vernon, a bourg on the Seine. A little before we came to this place, we turned up on the right about a mile out of the great road to see Belle-Isle, a seat belonging to the Duke of that name. The house itself is but indifferent, but as you go up to it, you have on your right hand a magnificent range of building of white stone for offices, servants' lodging, stables, &c., with 18 or 20 large windows in front. In the center of this building you enter by an arch into a square court, in the middle of which is a watering place for horses, with a fountain always playing. Above this, in the same line of direction, one perceives through an opposite arch, in the back part of the court, another cascade on rising ground at some distance in the garden, which seems to compose one piece of water with this, and has a very agreeable effect.
The garden-front of the house opens upon a large parterre of flowers, bounded on the right with a covered walk of trees on a terras above the parterre. The gardens are large, partly on plain ground, but chiefly on the side of an hill, consisting of grass walks, and alleys cut through woods, or wilderness work. From the several openings you have delightful views of the country below, viz., the Seine, villages, and the town of Vernon. The disposition of the whole was in a taste somewhat superior to what one commonly meets with in France, as the genius of that country seems not to lie either for good gardening or architecture; though the defect with regard to the former of these articles must be partly charged upon their want of proper materials, as you will readily allow, when you are informed that there is scarcely any gravel in this country.
Somewhat more than two leagues from hence brought us into the Isle of France; and after about four more, we arrived at Mante, where we lodged, being Saturday night. Next morning, after crossing the Seine over a fine stone bridge of 39 arches, we passed through a spot of land, the beauties of which for three leagues together defy all description. However, to help you to form some tolerable idea of this part of the world, and of our joyous situation, while we were passing through it, imagine you see two of the happiest fellows in life, having left every care behind them in their native land, in high spirits, breathing the most delicious air in the world, in a fine summer morning, rolling along on a broad smooth causey considerably elevated above the plain, as it were on purpose to shew us the adjacent country to the greatest advantage. On the right hand see the ground covered interchangeably with plots of vines, corn, garden-stuff, cherry and other fruit-trees. Beyond the Seine, which forms a large bend all the way from Mante to Meulan, the country opens at several distances in gently rising hills planted with vineyards, and adorned with towns, gentlemen's seats; and convents. Nor is it less beautiful on the left; only as it rises (though by an easy ascent) immediately from the road, the prospect on that side is necessarily more contracted.
At Meulan, which terminated our first stage, having breakfasted and dressed, we went to see a little island near the town, which truly answers its name, viz., L'Isle-Belle. It is wholly occupied with the pleasant house and gardens of Mons. Bignon, nephew to the late Abbe Bignon, a man of the first rank among the literati of France. This spot lies in the middle of the Seine from N.E. to S.W., as near as I could guess about ¾ of a mile in length, and about 1/5 of that space in breadth. The house stands on the north branch of the river, and consists of three pavilions, the whole being about 200 feet in front. The apartments are very lightsome and elegant, entirely in the French way where everything strikes you with a fluttering superficial air of gaiety, and but few things will bear a critical examination. Upon this account on country can be better calculated than this is for the amusement of travellers, whoso time will generally permit them to take only a transient view of what they meet with in foreign parts.
On the back-front is a large parterre reaching from the house to a grand walk, which bounds the island, and runs the whole length of it along the S. branch of the river. Upon entering upon this parterre, on the left your eye is soon attracted by a long walk, which leads it to a very pleasant summer-house opening full upon the Seine, town, and country beyond it. Returning from this building by another walk to the parterre above mentioned, you enter that part of the garden, which lies on the right hand, and is of much greater extent than the other. Here first a little grove brought us to a meadow planted with abeilles [sic], and to a menagerie on the right; while the left presented us with a little field in this form /?/, bearing a crop of wheat, inclosed with a neat-cut hedge, and bordered by a walk, which in this quarter divides the garden into two parts; and somewhat further the island is traversed again by a threefold walk; and after that you come to another corn-field, and meadow as before. Beyond this is a little wilderness, and an oval grass-plot encompassed with Dutch elms. Then you soon find yourself in an étoile of five points, crossed by the covered walk extending itself from the S.W. corner of the garden to the summer-house on the N.E. point, and which we judged to be near ¾ mile long. Advancing further we gained the extremity of the island, and from thence winding round towards the N. branch of the Seine, found the landskip very agreeably diversified. On a bank on the opposite side of the river runs the high road from Rouen to Paris: higher above that appeared slopes with vineyards, villas, &c., and further to E. the town of Meulan, spreading itself on the side of an hill. The most distinguished objects in it were a good monastery, and an infirmary, a new building of white stone situated near the church, and overlooking the whole bourg.
Our next stage was to Poissi, by a place called Treil, three leagues. The last league, viz., the space between the two towns above mentioned, lay in a straight line along a fine paved causey, from which we had a view of the Forest of St. Germain on rising ground before us.
Poissi is a pretty little bourg on the Seine, where the old kings of France had formerly a noble castle, in which St. Louis was born, whose grandfather Philip le Bel began to build here a magnificent abbey for Dominican nuns, and endowed it very liberally; but it was not finished till the time of Philip de Valois, 1330. It was designed for 40 young ladies, who were to be of the best families in France, and its present revenues amount to 6,000l. per annum; but the ministry sometimes draw considerable sums from these rich foundations, by way of loans, or free-gifts, which we call in England quartering. The church has some peculiarities, viz., 1st. The choir is boarded, and separated from the church by a grille, and a curtain: in the middle of it is interred the heart of Philip le Bel, and over the place stands his bier, covered with a black velvet pall. 2nd. The church is not duly situated with regard to the points of the compass: the reason they give for it is this, that the church being built on the site of the old castle, the high altar was placed on the very spot, where the bed stood, in which Queen Bianche was delivered of St. Louis. Here we enter the Forest of St. Germain, which leads us quite to the town, and is reckoned a league. The road passes only through the skirts of the forest, the main extent of which runs on two leagues to the left hand, being divided into ridings and alleys, within a large bend formed by the Seine between Poissi and the place above mentioned.
St. Germain is situated partly on low ground, partly on a rocky hill, at the foot of which runs the Seine. It enjoys a pure and healthy air, and is adorned with several good houses, built by the nobility, while the Court resided here. At our arrival here a little incident happened, which will give you a strong idea of the French politeness. It was almost ten years ago since I was at this town before, with Lord and Lady Pomfret, when we lodged at the same inn, at which we now purposed to dine. But notwithstanding the great length of time, and the many thousands of faces my landlady must have seen since the time above mentioned, she immediately challenged your humble servant, declaring, that she knew even my voice, when I called to the hostler out of the chaise, before she saw my person. To confirm the truth of assertion, she inquired particularly after every branch of our noble family, that she had known, and repeated with great accuracy several little incidents, that happened during our abode at her house; even to the very rooms where each of us lay. Upon my expressing some surprise at the punctuality of her memory, she replied with a very genteel curtsey, that she could never forget those whom she loved.
The most remarkable thing here is the Castle, the first foundation of which was laid by Charles 5th as long ago as 1370. The English made themselves masters of it under Charles 6th. Charles 7th bought it of an English officer, who was the governor of it. At length Francis 1st, whose device, viz., a salamander in flames, appears in several parts of it, rebuilt it for a royal palace, and gave it the form of a Gothic D (/?/) in honour of his mistress, Diana of Poitiers. It has since received considerable improvements from his successors Henry 4th and Louis 14th. It stands on the highest parts of the town, and is surrounded by a wall and a deep fosse. The three lowermost stories are of white square stone, well wrought. Then it is encompassed with a balcony of ironwork. Above this are two stories more on the sides, and three in the pavilions jutting out at each corner, built of small stone plaistered over with mortar; the window cases, mouldings, &c., being of brick, appear in their proper colour.
I need not inform you, that this was the residence of the late King James and his Queen, after that Prince had abdicated the English throne. I am told that Louis 14th allowed him a yearly pension of 50,000l. sterling for the support of his royal dignity, to be paid monthly; as [sic] the present King has continued to show great marks of his liberality to several of the Chevalier's adherents, who have enjoyed lodgings in the castle ever since. And surely, if the place of abode could contribute anything towards human happiness, the unfortunate pair above mentioned might have found it in some measure in this delightsome retreat, after they were eased of the troublesome load of a crown. But, by the accounts I have met with abroad, they seem to have carried the seeds of their own misery in their own bosoms, being very uneasy in their domestic establishment during the remainder of their days, which they passed here. So true is Milton's observation,
'The mind is its own place, and in itself
Can make a heav'n of hell, a hell of heav'n.
Within this castle there is a very handsome chapel with galleries. Above the altar is a good piece by Poussin, and before it hangs a rich lamp of silver gilt, being the gift of Louis 13th. The priests' vestments, &c. are also very magnificent, having been the presents of several princes for the ornament of this chapel.
Some years ago Louis 15th came to see this place, and was so highly pleased with the situation, that he expressed a great inclination and purpose to have it fitted up for his residence. This (you may imagine) struck the inhabitants with a great consternation, but a slight accident quickly dissipated the occasion of their fears. The King, as he made this visit in his return from the chace, being in boots, in descending from the apartments, one of his spurs hit against a step of the stairs, which caused him to fall down. This put him into a passion, and made him alter his resolution entirely.
At a small distance from the castle stands a chatelet built by Henry 4th and rendered famous for being the birth-place of Louis 14th. It is a low building consisting of three courts, the first of which is of a circular form, and built of white stone, and at present is let out in lodgings. The house is situated on the very brow of the hill, and the gardens descend quite to the Seine, being supported by terras's at a great expence.
The gardens belonging to the castle, being parterres of grass, and some walks of trees meeting in an arch at top, are open to all persons. From the end of them towards the north on the edge of an high slope runs a noble large terras, supported by a strong stone wall to the length of 2,700 yards. The descent on the right hand is covered with vines, corn, fruit trees, &c. At the bottom is a large meadow, through which the Seine serpentizing forms a kind of peninsula inclosing the Forest of La Pecque, cut out in alleys and ridings, and lying full under the command of the eye, just before you. As you extend your prospect, on the right hand beyond the town of St. Germain you have a view of the forest, part of the town, palace, gardens, aqueduct, and machine of Masli, a fine seat of the Countess of Clermont's, &c., all on a range of hills covered with woods, and forming an amphitheatre, as on purpose to humour the course of the river. More towards the east you see Mount Calvare, the town of Nanteuil, the dome of the church of the Hotel des Invalides at Paris, Mount Martyr, St. Denys, &c.; till the prospect closes with the Forest of St. Germain, where this terras ends at a little lodge called La Val.
Our stage after dinner brought us through a prodigiously beautiful country full of towns, villas, &c. to Paris. Upon my advancing towards this capital, I could not but observe an effect, which is contrary to experience in most other cases, viz., that every object appeared to me with a more agreeable air now, than at the first view I had of it formerly; though I had then the same organs of perception, enjoyed the same good state of health, and was some years younger. I could account for this upon no other principle than the natural alliance that subsists between the several faculties of the human soul; whereby it comes to pass, that the pleasure, which any one sense receives from its own proper object is improved in proportion as the other senses are more or less gratified with the enjoyment of theirs. Thus the sight of the company, the hearing of the music, &c. give an additional relish to the wine and eatables at Ranelagh or Vauxhall. So the impression made upon all the senses in general affects the mind in a degree suitable to its present disposition, whether of complacency or disquietude, from whatever adventitious circumstances that disposition may arise. Upon this hypothesis I could easily give a reason why everything I saw in these parts might affect me with a more lively sensation in my present independent and agreeable situation, than when I viewed it in connexion with a family, who, being greatly miserable in themselves, were not apt to communicate happiness to those who belonged to them.
After this little philosophical digression, you may imagine you see us lodged en grands Seigneurs at our Hotel in Rue Columbier, Fauxbourg St. Germain. Our apartment, consisting of four rooms, stood us in two louis per week. A traiteur provided our dinner at three livres a head, for which he gave us a soup and bouille, an entre, quelque chose rotie, and a dessert of fruit. As for our breakfast, every article of it was supplied by a different hand at the following rates, viz. coffee, four dishes, at 16 sous; bread, 1 sou; butter, 5 sous. Our supper was generally [a] roll and butter, or two broad biscuits, at 8 sous, with some fruit, and a bottle of Burgundy at 35 sous. We hired a valet at 30 sous, and a coach at 12 livres a day, while in town, and 18 livres when we made excursions into the country.
You will perhaps, Madam, be surprised, that I should enter so little into the description of this great city, upon which my predecessors in tour-writing have enlarged so copiously, but that very reason induces me to contract my account; especially as I have little to add to that which they have already given. Leaving it therefore to the next well-travelled gentleman you shall meet with to entertain you with the amusements of the opera, comedy, gardens of the Tuilleries, &c., I shall beg leave to touch upon some other articles more in my way, and which I flatter myself will not be entirely disagreeable to you. The chief of these are the two curious collections of paintings, the one in the Luxembourg Gallery, the other in the Palais Royal. The former of these is the property of the Crown, and contains a series of the most important events, which happened during the regency of Marie de' Medici, mother of Louis 14th. It is sufficient to say, that they are done in the highest style of that great master, Rubens. But the pleasure with which we view these paintings is greatly alloyed by the melancholy reflection that they are on the bare wall, and consequently liable to the injuries which time and weather may produce in it; and indeed they had suffered in some parts, when I saw them; but a friend of mine just returned from Paris tells me, they have lately been cleaned, and restored in some measure to their original beauty. The Palais Royal belongs to the Duke of Orleans, and may be called an epitome of all that's most valuable in painting, at least on this side the Alps. It is an immense warehouse or magazine rather than a collection; for it fills most of the apartments of a large palace with some of the best performances of all the best masters in Europe. This treasure was partly purchased by, partly presented to, the late Duke of Orleans, who was Regent of France. As that Prince (among his other polite accomplishments) was known to have a high taste for painting, it was natural for those, who either in a public or private capacity stood in need of his favour, to court it by such presents as would be most acceptable to him in that way; which (considering the extent and continuance of his power) may well account for the largeness and value of this collection.
During my stay here I paid my compliments to Mons. l'Abbe Sallier, the King's Librarian, to whom I was recommended by Mr. Folkes, (late) President of the Royal Society in London. He received me with great politeness, and (besides the Library) showed us the sales where the members of the Academy of Inscriptions and Belles Lettres, as also of that of Science, held their assemblies, being two fine rooms in the old Louvre. In the former of these sales were two grand paintings by Coypel, one of which represented the founding of the Academy by Louis 14th. The latter was adorned with the portraits of persons of the highest note for learning and genius, who had belonged to that institution. We were afterwards conducted to the Academies of Sculpture and Painting, which were likewise embellished with the works of such French masters, as were allowed to excel in those arts. But our attention was particularly engaged by a fine marble statue done by Bouchardin. It was a Cupid gently bending to form a bow out of Hercules's * * * * * *
Although the last two letters have no signatures, owing to their incompleteness, there can be no doubt as to the name of their writer, the handwriting of both being precisely similar to that of the first letter, which is signed as above. There is a duplicate of a few pages of the last letter, with some slight variations.