Thoroton's History of Nottinghamshire: Volume 3, Republished With Large Additions By John Throsby. Originally published by J Throsby, Nottingham, 1796.
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In this retrospect of the preceding pages, in addition to Thoroson, some things have been omitted, which were collected too late for publication in the regular order; they are inserted here agreeab'e with the original proposals, which set forth, That a place should be reserved for additional collections at the end of the last volume.
In this small portion of the work, I have not confined myself to any very regular arrangement; but have taken in the whole county, as it were, at one point of view, dropping here and there new matter, various in its complection and degree of worth.
Nottinghamshire than, at one view, contains fertil plains embellished with variety and beauty; abounding with wood, and water, hill and dale, splendid seats, with diversity of village scenery, and with comforts of life to make men happy. Throughout this district the rigor of winter is softened by the treasures of the earth, and its bowels afford also aid to the hand of industry. In the large towns live a people busied in a variety of occupations; but in general, the sheep, the cotton-tree and the silk-worm, afford the chief employment. In the villages, the inhabitants (many of which, in the southern parts of the county, are also employed in the produce of these respectively) are, in general, soeial, civilized, and courteous to strangers. The county notwithstanding the disrobing of its once extensive forest, affords still enough of field sports for the pleasure and health of those who are placed by fortune above the ordinary level of mankind.
On the Leicestershire borders it is the most numerously inhabited. The Lincolnshire is watered by the river trent, and partly separated from it by that prolific and useful stream. On the Yorkshire side of the county, the inhabitants are more thinly scattered; the soil and convenience of life being less bountiful. That portion also which borders on Derbyshire is also but thinly inhabited; but if population here has not extended itself equal to other portions of the county, yet it has riches within its bowels unknown to any other quarter.
On my passing over this county in various directions, while I was collecting the additions to Thoroton, I could not help noticing some of the vulgarisms of the lower orders of the people, common, it must be acknowldeged, to those in the neighbouring counties. Although the collection may not be generally interesting, yet it may be considered, by some, as not extra matter.
Page 137, Vol. 1. Samuel Smith, esq. representative in parliament for the borough of Leicester, is mentioned to be the principal owner of Normanton, in Rushcliff hundred. I understand that he bought his portion of that land, of a natural son of Braunston Seywell, esq. to whom it descended from Captain Kirkby, who was an officer in the parliament army in the last century.
Page 228, Thoroton Hall and the estate there belonging to the Barrets was purchased of them about the year 1718, by Richard Brough, esq. from whom it descended to his grand-daughter, Esther the only surviving child of his eldest son George Staunton Brough, late rector of Staunton and Wollarton and who is married to the rev. Charles Wylde, rector of St. Nicholas in Nottingham, and official of the archdeaconry.
Page 257, A former incumbent of Flintham, the rev. Mr. — was an odd character, and saved 1500l. chiefly by a penurious way of living: he has served the thatchers, it has been said, to get a penny: he once went thence to Newark with a letter for two-pence.
Page 291. The following very curious and extraordinary transfer took place a little time ago at Shelford, near Bingham, in this county:—a young woman of that place lately made affidavit that she was with child by a man of the same village; and after the usual process of warrant, and all the et-ceteras, he entered into a recognizances to appear at the next general quarter sessions to answer to such affidavit; but, behold, another swain of the same place, struck with the disagreeable situation of his neighbour, and wishing for an amiable partner to "lull his cares, and smoothe the rugged paths of life," made the following overtures, namely, that if the former would give him sixteen pounds, viz. three guineas at that time, and the remainder at stated periods, and, providing the fair one's consent could be obtained, he would take her "for better, for worse."—This being acceded to, and the lady, who was all softness and goodness, having given her consent, the parties went to Bingham on Monday afternoon, where security being given for the payment of the money, and a Licence obtained, the bargain was fully ratified the next morning in the Temple of Hymen, amidst a great assemblage of spectators.— Nottingham Journal
Page 298. East Bridgeford, June 4, 1795, I dined with a friend or two at the rev. Mr. Beaumont's of that place, who has just finished a neat and convenient dwelling on a scite well chosen. The diversified ground on the other side the trent, sinking with a gentle sloop, as that on this, seen at an easy distance from his pleasure garden, and the silvery trent passing between, form a delightful landscape. The foliage at hand is a pretty embellishment to the scene.
And herds and bleating flocks, domestic fowl, And those that swim the lake, sees rising ground More pleasing landscapes than in Tempe's vale Peneu's watered. Yes some silvan God Spreads wide the vary'd prospect, waves the woods Lists the proud hills, and clears the shining lakes."—SHENSTON.
The following melancholy circumstance befel Mr. Blagg, surgeon and apothecary, of Carcolston, Nottinghamshire:—About 11 o'clock at night, on the day of the accident as he was on his return from Nottingham, in company with Mr. G. Maltby, of Hoveringham, Nottinghamshire, and had arrived at Gunthorpe Ferry at the hour above-mentioned, instead of taking the boat, he (Mr. Blagg) very imprudently attempted to cross the trent on horseback at a ford below; but unhappily mistaking the line of the shallows, his horse plunged into a deep pit, and precipitated his rider therein. Mr. Maltby, who but a few minutes before had parted with his friend on the river's brink, hearing the horse plunge, returned, and notwithstanding the darkness of the night, fancied he saw the horse crossing the river alone, and immediately afterwards found his conjectures but too well founded, by hearing the unfortunate gentleman call out "halloo!" which he immediately answered—and well knowing Mr. Blagg to be an expert swimmer, gave him instructions to bear up against the stream: he twice more called as before, and was answered in the same manner:—at last he exclaimed, "for God's sake get me some assistance, or I shall be drowned!" Mr. Maltby, upon this galloped to the Ferry-house, and the people being up, a boat was instantly put off to his relief, but too late, as, on its arrival at the place, Mr. Blagg had totally disappeared: his hat was found in the river, but although the most diligent search was made the body remained undiscovered for more then a week.—Nottingham Journal.
Page 339, Newark. Mr. Hercules Clay, of Newark, who lived there during the siege in 1643, in consequence of his escape and family from death, March 11th, when his house was thrown down by a fire-ball, from a bomb by the forces of the parliament, made the following will:—
In the name of God, Amen I Hercules Clay of Newark, mercer: first, I give the sum of 100l to be put into the hands, and to be disposed of by the mayor and aldermen of Newark, with the consent of the vicar, to the best benefit and behoof of the said vicar, and to continue to them, successively for ever, to be paid yearly to him or them upon the 11th day of March, provided there be a sermon preached in the church there, by the vicar if he be able or else by some able minister, upon the 11th day of March for ever, desiring them in their sermons to exhort the people not to set their affections on things of this world, but by their good works to lay a foundation for themselves, that so they may lay hold on eternal life.
I do likewise give unto the poor of Newark one hundred pounds to be put forth by the mayor and aldermen, with the consent of the vicar, for the advantage of the said poor, all which shall be paid upon the 11th day of March yearly, to the poor in the church of Newark, in bread or money, at the discretion of the vicar and church-wardens. And my will is that the said two hundred pounds shall be paid, by my executors, or security given for it, within one month after my death. And I heartily beseech Almighty God to bless them as I freely give it, and those persons I put in trust, with this my charity, I desire the lord may deal with them according to their care.
Sacred to the Memory Of Hercules Clay, Alderman of Newark, who died in the year of his Mayoralty, January 1, 1644. On the Eleventh of March, 1643, He, and his family, were preserved By the Divine Providence From the dreadful Effects of a Bomb, Which had been levelled against his house
By the Besiegers, And entirely destroyed the same. Out of Gratitude, for this deliverance, He has taken care To perpetuate the remembrance thereof By an Alms to the Poor and a Sermon; By this means Raising to himself a Monument More durable than brass.
The Thund'ring Cannon sends forth from its Mouth the devouring Flames Against my Houshold Goods, and yours, O Newark. The Ball, thus thrown, Involved the House in Ruin; But by a Divine Admonition from Heaven I was saved. (fn. 1) Being thus delivered by a strength Greater than that of Hercules. And having left behind this Body of Clay I now Inhabit the stars on high. Now, Rebel, direct thy unavailing Fires at Heaven. Art thou afraid to fight against God Who hast been a Murderer of his People? Thou durst not, Coward, scatter thy Flames Whilest Charles Remains on Earth, Whilest Charles Inhabits the Skies.
Page 90. 1795, lately was buried at Southwell, the remains of Sherbrooke Lowe, esq. of Southwell, (one of his Majesty's justices of the peace for this county who died suddenly) were deposited in a vault in the south aisle of the collegiate church in that place.
An astonishing number of people attended on the occasion; and the silent tear which stole down the cheeks of numbers of them, plainly bespoke their emotions for the loss of so worthy a character. In short, so long as a pacific disposition, urbanity of manners, extensive charity, and universal philanthropy are considered as essential to adorn the christian and the man,—so long will the memory of Sherbrooke Lowe be remembered and revered.
Page 340. The last time I visited the Hon. Lumley Savile's seat at Rufford, a number of workmen was busied in alterations; particularly in the improvement of the gardens and grounds before the house. At a point of view, near the water before the house, I caught a most beautiful water scene (which I have faintly represented, facing the account of Rufford Abbey) the island near the centre, and that which rests behind it, at some distance on the left, are charmingly wooded, the branches and sprays, from the hanging trees thereon, sip, as it were, the water at every gust of wind: upon the whole the scene is a happy combination of water and woody ornament. This view from near the dwelling, I think is a much preferable view than any that might be made of the house, which is extensive but not uniform.
Page 349. Near Ollerton, on the road to Worksop, many acres of ground are covered with oak trees, most of them with decayed tops, some with only trunks and others very valuable. I understand that they are the property of the crown. Cockglode which I have noticed, page 320, Vol. 2, adjoins the grounds on which these ancient oaks stand, most of which have been marked it is discoverable many years since, as the bark in some instances has over grown the marks.
Lenton and Retford in 1796.—Before this bill passed a motion was made by the members for the town of Nottingham to reserve the race ground as usual for the races, which was lost in the house of parliament by a considerable majority.
Newark, June 4, 1795. The Newark Volunteer Infantry had their standards consecrated. Present of this body upwards of 100. On this occasion a troop of the Windsor Foresters, and a troop of the Nottinghamshire Yeomanry, attended to keep order. The mayor and aldermen of Newark and the principal inhabitants of the town were present. The day was concluded with hilarity.
Nottingham races 1795, one horse walked over the course for the 100 guineas.— Only one horse for the 50 the same day.—The second day only two horses for the 50, and only one heat. The sweepstakes only two horses, and on Thursday no race for want of horses. So that in fact out of five races advertised to run the three days, there were only two heats.
Tuesday, 8th December 1795, a poor man was burnt to death in a house in Paradiserow, New-building, occasioned by a snuff of a candle falling upon some cotton which set the room on fire in which he was in.
In October sessions 1794, held at the Shire Hall, Nottingham, a poor woman was found guilty of stealing Two hundred blades of wheat corn, for which she was sentenced to the house of correction for one week.
In surveying the feeble efforts which I have made to add something to the elaborate History of this country, by the learned and judicious Dr. Thoroton, I find it necessary to say a little under the following two or three heads, as they are classed below.
Man endued with reason is born with strong propensities; From his birth to manhood he may be said to shew signs of his future destiny; and, as he approachs maturity the bent of his inclination may be seen afloat, by the inquisitive observer. But it must be understood, that nature, or chance, in some instances, seems to have led men to pursuits in which the want of chief requisites of the mind are conspicuous; in antiquarian researches. in particular, we, at times, find the would be man only the inquisitive school-boy, finishing his career of life, as it were, in an inferior class of a seminary of learning. In this class, perhaps, some with propriety or prejudice, may arrange me, notwithstanding the favourable opinions of professed critics, respecting my former labours in the line of literature I have pursued.
As to effects, or rather what reception this long and laborious labour may meet with from the public, I know not. From the friendly and the candid it cannot suffer much; as the indications of application and industry, may, in some measure, shelter it from the severe censure of those better qualified for such an undertaking; the four and crabbed censurers may retain their unenviable rank among men unregarded.
This new edition of Thoroton's Nottinghamshire with large editions and embellishments, it must be allowed, without hazarding a vain opinion, will have many superior advantages over the old. In the first instance the standard price of the old edition before this was published, was equal to that of the new. To be more particular, the events of the county in this are brought down from the year 1672, the time when Thoroton published, to the present time; and the aditions respecting churches and their respective parishes are very considerable: in that of the Town of Nottingham alone, in the new edition, there is an history of 180 quarto pages, in the old only 10 folio, in the former 50 plates in the latter 5.
|No.||Copied from the Old Edition.|
|No.||Additions in the New Edition.|
|1||Facing Title-page, Thoroton's head|
|No.||Addition to the New Edition:|
|1||facing page 6|
Thus there are at least Seventeen additional plates in Vol. I; Thirty-two in Vol. 2; and Twenty-two in Vol. 3, in all Seventy-one plates, among which are many beautiful, costly, and interesting views of Noblemen and Gentlemen's seats.
As to the present parochial statistical accounts, exclusive of the Editor's own, many are of consequence, being from the application of several gentlemen in Nottinghamshire, whose friendly assistance I have at all times acknowledged with thankfulness.
Provincial history is the most liable to mistakes, it having so much to do with dates, names, and local statements. But the man of candour, who has a knowledge of the subject, is not offended when he discovers an ear of bearded barley raring its head amidst a fine crop of wheat. A modern writer has finely expressed his opinion of little snarling critics: of whom he says, It is easy for them to discover a straw sliding gently down with the stream upon its surface, when the pearl beneath lies by them neglected. To be brief on this head:—He must know but little of the difficulties attending such undertakings as this, who does not read with liberal sentiments. I remember some years ago being in a book society, in which one of its members was a would be critic; I have known him, to shew his superior judgment, draw his pen across a letter n which only stood with its legs uppermost, and deface the page by writing n as large as two letters, above it.
Perhaps no man was honoured more by the snarling of little critics, than the Great Camden when he wrote his inestimable work: one Sir Symonds D'Ewas boldly asserted. that he could discover errors in every page; (fn. 2) but their names perished with their invectives, Camden's name is immortal. Dr. Thoroton in his day had also his share of such dignified abuse.
N. B.—It should be understood that as the editor of this work was nearly six years, at various periods, in visiting the different places in the county, some things in consequence may have undergone an alteration before his account, of certain places was published: for example, a lordship may have been enclosed since he visited it four or five years ago, and the additions to that place might not be published till two or three years after; consequently it might be inserted an open field land when enclosed; but very few instances of this sort can have occured.