THE THAMES AND ITS TRIBUTARIES

RAMBLES AMONG THE RIVERS.

BY CHARLES MACKAY

IN TWO VOLUMES.
LONDON:
PRINTED BY SAMUEL BENTLEY,
Bangor House, Shoe Lane.

RICHARD BENTLEY, NEW BURLINGTON STREET,
Publisher in Ordinary to Her Majesty
1840.

'Thames' Title page, Mackay 1840

EDITOR'S NOTE: Charles Mackay's route is
UPSTREAM from London Bridge to the Sources;
and then DOWNSTREAM from London Bridge to the Sea ending with the River Medway
and then a final chapter on the FROST FAIRS.

PREFACE.

The banks of our river abound with scenes which are hallowed by the recollections of history, romance, and poetry; and to recal these recollections in the very spots where the events occurred, to jog his reader's memory, and to act the part of a gossiping, not a prosy, fellow traveller, has been the design of the author in the following pages.
He hopes that in the prosecution of this design, if he be not found learned, he will not be considered dull.
He may have dwelt upon familiar things; but the man whose object is to remind, rather than to instruct - to suggest what may have been for gotten, rather than to tell what is new, could not well do otherwise. In a work of this kind, complete accuracy is unattainable; but the author has endeavoured to be as near to it as the most diligent and untiring research could bring him.
Those who are acquainted with similar studies, and who know the immense number of volumes that are often to be consulted upon some trivial point, will make allowances for any occasional lapses which they may discover; and those who do not know, because they have never tried how difficult it is to be exact amid a great variety of subjects and of authorities, will accept this as an excuse if they should light upon any omission, taking the author's word for it, that he has striven hard to be accurate.
In conclusion, he can only say with the accomplished author of the "Pleasures of Memory,'' in the introduction to his "Italy", - "That wherever he came, he could not but remember, nor is he conscious of having slept over any ground that had been 'dignified by wisdom, bravery, or virtue.' " The author takes this opportunity of making his acknowledgments to Mr. J. Gilbert, the artist, and Mr. T. Gilks, the engraver, for their elegant designs for the frontispieces of these volumes, and for the charming wood engravings that are so liberally interspersed.
August 19th, 1840.

VOLUME I. CHAPTER I.
Introduction to the subject. - The blessings of Water. - The Poetry of Rivers. - Old London Bridge. - The New Bridge. - Reminiscences of Southwark. - The Globe Theatre. - The Bear Garden. - Paris Garden. - Old Houses of the Nobility.

MAN speaks of the "Mother Earth", from whence he came, and whither he returns; but, after all, the honour of his maternity belongs to Water.
Earth is but the nurse of another's progeny; she merely nourishes the children of a more prolific element, by whom she herself is fed and clothed in return.
Water is the universal mother, - the beneficent, the all fructifying, - beautiful to the eye, refreshing to the touch, pleasant to the palate,, and musical to the ear.
What should we be without her? We have only to imagine the condition of the moon, and the question is answered.
Men with great telescopes, who have looked over her surface, and examined every hole and cranny in her, have decided that, for want of water, she is nothing but a dry and uninhabitable rock.
There is neither salt water nor fresh in all her extent.
She is the abode of no living thing, - the Gehenna of desolation, - the mere skeleton of a world, which the sun may light, but cannot warm. No wonder that she looks so pale and woe begone as she sails along the sky, and that lovers and poets, ignorant of her peculiar misfortune, have so often asked her the reason of her sorrow.
I' faith, they would be sorry too, if they had no more moisture in their composition than she has. We may pity the idolatry, but cannot condemn the feelings, which led mankind in the early ages to pay divine honours to the ocean and the streams.
It was soon recognised that water was the grand reservoir of health, the source of plenty, the beautifier, the preserver, and the renovator of the world.
Venus, rising from the sea-froth in immortal loveliness, typifies its uses and beneficence: water was the first parent of that goddess, who was after wards to become the mother of love and the emblem of fruitfulness.
Poseidon in the Greek, and Neptune in the Roman mythology, ranked among the benevolent gods; and the ocean queen Amphitrite was adorned with a love liness only second to that of Venus.
In other parts of the world, Ocean, from its immensity, was more an object of terror; but rivers have everywhere been the objects of love and adoration.
A sect of the ancient Persians reverenced them so highly, that they deemed it sacrilege to pollute them.
For countless ages the dwellers by the Ganges have looked upon it as a god, and have deemed it the summit of human felicity to be permitted to expire upon its banks.
The Egyptian still esteems the Nile above all earthly blessings; and the Abyssinian worships it as a divinity.
Superstition has peopled these and a thousand other streams with a variety of beings, or personified them in human shapes, the better to pay them homage.

Rivers all over the world are rich in remembrances.
To them are attached all the poetry and romance of a nation.
Popular superstition clings around them, and every mile of their course is celebrated for some incident, - is the scene of a desperate adventure, a mournful legend, or an old song.
What a swarm of pleasant thoughts rise upon the memory at the sole mention of the Rhine! - what a host of recollections are recalled by the name of the Danube, the Rhone, the Garonne, the Meuse, the Seine, the Loire, the Tagus, the Guadalquiver! - even the low-banked and unpicturesque Elbe and Scheldt are dear as household things to the neighbouring people.
Their praises are sung in a hundred different idioms; and the fair maidens who have dwelt upon their banks, and become celebrated for their beauty, their cruelty, or their woe, have had their names mingled with that of the river in the indissoluble bands of national song. To the man who has a catholic faith in poetry, every river in Scotland may be said to be holy water.
Liddell, and Tweed, and Dee, - Tiviot, and Tay, and Forth, and doleful Yarrow, sanctified by a hundred songs.
Poetry and romance have thrown a charm around them, and tourists from every land are familiar with their history.
Great writers have thought it a labour of love to collect into one focus all the scattered memoranda and fleeting scraps of ballads relating to them, until those insignificant streams have become richer than any of our isle in recollections which shall never fade.
"And what has been done for these, shall none be found to do for thee, O Thames? " said we to ourselves, as we thought of these things, one fine summer morning.
"Art thou of so little consequence among the rivers, that no one will undertake to explore thee from Cotteswold to the sea, and in a patient but enthusiastic spirit gather together all thy memorabilia?"
There being no person present, we looked round our study with an air of satisfaction, and exclaimed,
"We will do it.
We have been cabined and cribbed amid smoke too long: we pine for a ramble among the hills, and a gulp of the sweet air.
We will go, in search of wisdom and of health, along the banks of the Thames, and drink, its pure water from its fountain-head among the hills of Gloucestershire".

It is in this pilgrimage, O gentle reader, that we ask thee to accompany us.
We will be as entertaining a cicerone as we can.
We will not bore thee, if we can help it, by telling thee too many things that thou knowest already; and if we do now and then touch upon them, we may take a different view of them from any thou hast yet been accustomed to, and throw a new light upon an old picture. If thou art a lover of poetry, a delighter in old songs, thou art a reader after our own heart, and thou shalt be as pleased with us as we are with thee.
If thou art an antiquary, we also have some sneaking affection for thy hobby, and will now and then throw thee a tit-bit for it.
If thou art an angler, and fishest with a rod, we will show thee all the best places in the river from Vauxhall Bridge to Cricklade; or, if thou preferest to cast thy nets, we will accompany thee from London Bridge to Margate.
If thou lovest water-sports, we will discourse to thee on that subject, and tell thee a thing or two worth knowing about river pageants, boat-races, and sailing-matches, and something also about some rare old games of the water, which have now fallen into disuse. If thou art a mere skimmer of books, a lover of small talk and pleasant gossip, even in that case we shall not be caviare to thee.
And last of all, if thou art an Utilitarian and a Political Economist, which we hope not, we may take it into our heads to throw a crumb of comfort even to thee, and furnish thee with a fact or two for thy edification, wherewithal thou mayest build up a theory if thou feelest inclined.

Not only do we propose to explore Thames,
"Great father of the British floods",
but all his tributary streams,

The winding Isis, and the fruitful Thame;
The Kennet swift, for silver eels renowned;
The Loddon slow, with verdant alders crowned:
Coin, whose dark streams his flowery islands lave;
And chalky Wey, that rolls a milky wave:
The blue transparent Vandalis appears;
The gulfy Lee his sedgy tresses rears;
And sullen Mole that hides his diving flood;
And silent Darent stained with Danish blood";

and other rivers, which did not come within the circuit of Pope's song;
the Medway, whose bridal is so sweetly sung in the "Faerie Queene", and who is also celebrated in the Polyolbion, with
"Teise, clear Beult, and Lenn, who bear her limber train:"
and many others, which contribute their mingled waters to the Thames.

This, O reader, is our intent.
We go as an inoffensive tourist, in search of traditions, in search of antiquities, in search of poetry, in search of fresh breezes, in search of fish.
Sometimes we may travel at railroad speed, and at others linger about for days in one spot, sauntering over the hills, sitting under trees by the river side, but conning all the while some thing for thy edification and amusement. Being, for our sins, a dweller among the smoke, our journey must perforce commence from London.
From London Bridge, then, we shall proceed upwards to the hills of Cotteswold, availing ourselves of the steam-boat as far as it will carry us, but, for the most part, tramping it leisurely and independently, after the old fashion, with our stout shoes on, and an oaken cudgel in our fist, a miniature edition of the Fairy Queen in one pocket, and Shakspeare's neglected but delicious poems in the other.
When we have in this manner explored Thames and all his tributaries to the west, we shall return eastward, taking another glimpse of London, and follow his windings to the sea, diverging to the right hand or to the left, wherever there is a pleasant view to be had, a relic to be seen, or an old ballad to be elucidated.

London Bridge

And now, reader, thou hast only to fancy thyself at London Bridge, on board the Richmond steam-boat, awaiting the bell to ring as the signal for starting.
Here we are, then, over the very spot where the old bridge stood for nearly a thousand years.
The waters roll over its site, steam-boats, barges, and wherries are moored over its foundations, and its juvenile successor, a thing of yesterday, rears its head proudly, close alongside.
In the interval of time that separates the erection of the two structures, how vast are the changes the world has seen! The physical world has seen none; the tides still roll, and the seasons still succeed each other in the same order; but the mind of man - that world which rules the world - how immense the progress it has made! Even while that old bridge lasted, man stepped from barbarism to civilization.
Hardly one of the countless thousands that now pour in living streams from morning till night over the path way of its successor, has time to waste a thought on the old one, or the lesson it might teach him.
Its duration was that of twenty generations of mankind; it seemed built to defy time and the elements, and yet it has crumbled at last.
Becoming old and frail, it stood in people's way; and being kicked by one, and insulted by another, it was pulled to pieces without regret, twenty or thirty years, perhaps, before the time when it would have fallen to ruin of its own accord.
All this time the river has run below, unchanged and unchangeable, the same as it flowed thousands of years ago, when the now busy thorough, fares on either side were swamps inhabited only by the frog and the bittern, and when painted savages prowled about the places that are now the marts of commerce and the emporium of the world.

Old London Bridge

A complete resumé of the manners and character of the people of England might be made from the various epocha in the age of the old bridge.
First, it was a crazy wooden structure, lined on each side with rows of dirty wooden huts, such as befitted a rude age, and a people just emerging from barbarism.
Itinerant dealers in all kinds of goods, spread out their wares on the pathway, making a market of the thoroughfare, and blocking it up with cattle to sell, or waggon-loads of provender.
The bridge, while in this primitive state, was destroyed many times by fire, and as many times built up again.
Once, in the reign of William Rufus, it was carried away by a flood, and its fragments swept into the sea.
The continual expense of these renovations induced the citizens, under the su perintendence of Peter of Colechurch, to build it up of stone.
This was some improvement; but the houses on each side remained as poor and miserable as before, dirty outside, and pestilential within.
Such was its state during the long unhappy centuries of feudalism.
What a strange spectacle it must have afforded at that time! - what an emblem of all the motley characteristics of the ruled and the rulers! Wooden huts and mud floors for the people, - handsome stone chapels and oratories, adorned with pictures, statues, and stained glass, for the clergy, - and drawbridges, portcullises, and all the paraphernalia of attack and defence at either end, to show a government founded upon might rather than right, and to mark the general insecurity of the times; while, to crown all, the awful gate towards Southwark, but overlooking the stream, upon which, for a period of nearly three hundred years, it was rare for the passenger to go by without seeing a human head stuck upon a pike, blackening and rotting in the sun.
The head of the noble Sir William Wallace was for many months exposed from this spot.
In 1471, after the defeat of the famous Falconbridge, who made an attack upon London, his head and nine others were stuck upon the bridge together, upon ten spears, where they remained visible to all comers, till the elements and the carrion crows had left nothing of them but the bones.
At a later period the head of the pious Fisher, Bishop of Rochester, was stuck up here, along with that of the philosophic Sir Thomas More.
The legs of Sir Thomas Wyatt, the son of the well-known poet of the same name, were exhibited from the same spot, during the reign of Mary.
Even the Mayors of London had almost as much power to kill and destroy as the Kings and Queens, so reckless was the age of the life of man.
In 1335, the Mayor, one Andrew Aubrey, ordered seven skinners and fishmongers, whose only offence was rioting in the streets, aggravated by personal insult to himself, to be beheaded without form of trial.
Their heads were also exposed on the bridge, and the Mayor was not called to account for his conduct.
Jack Cade, in the hot fervour of his first successes, imitated this fine example, and set up Lord Saye's head at the same place, little thinking how soon his own would bear it company.
The top of the gate used to be like a butcher's shambles, covered with the heads and quarters of unhappy wretches.
Hentzner, the German traveller, who visited England in the reign of Elizabeth, states that, in the year 1598, he counted no less than thirty heads upon this awful gate. In an old map of the city, published in the preceding year, the heads are represented in clusters, numerous as the grapes upon a bunch! The following is a view of the gate as it appeared previous to its demolition in 1757.

How different are the glories of the new bridge.
It also is adorned with human heads, but live ones, thousands at a time, passing and repassing continually to and fro.
Of the millions of heads that crowd it every year, busy in making money or taking pleasure, not one dreads the executioner's knife.
Every man's head is his own; and if either King or Lord Mayor dare to meddle with it, it is at his peril.
We have luckily passed the age when law-makers could be law-breakers, and every man walks in security.
While these human heads adorn, no wooden hovels disfigure the new bridge, or block up the view of the water.
Such a view as the one from that place was never meant to be hidden.
The "unbounded Thames, that flows for all man kind",
and into whose port "whole nations enter with every tide",
bearing with them the wealth of either hemisphere, is a sight that only needs to be seen to be wondered at. And if there is a sight from John o' Groat's house to the Land's End of which an English man may be proud, it is that.
Other sights which we can show to the stranger may reflect more credit upon the land, but that does honour to the men, and is unequalled among any other nation on the globe.
The history of the New Bridge is soon told.
The narrowness of several of the arches of the old bridge - it contained nineteen in all - caused the tide to flow through them with a velocity extremely dangerous to small craft, and accidents were of daily occurrence.
It was at first contemplated to repair the bridge and throw two or three of these small arches into one, but this idea was soon abandoned, and it was resolved to build a new one.
On the 6th of June 1823, the House of Commons voted the sum of one hundred and fifty thousand pounds for the purpose, and an extra tax of six pence per ton having been imposed upon all coals entering the port of London, to provide additional funds, the works were soon afterwards commenced.
The plan of Mr. Rennie, was adopted, and the foundation-stone was laid with all the pomp usual upon such great occasions, by the Lord Mayor, Mr. Garratt, in the presence of the Duke of York and a great assemblage of distinguished persons, and all the city functionaries.

The bridge was completed in six years, and was opened in great state by King William the Fourth on the 1st of August 1831.
The King was accompanied by his Queen Adelaide, by her present Majesty, then Princess Victoria; and her illustrious mother, the Duchess of Kent, the Duke and Duchess of Cumberland, the Duke of Sussex, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, the Duke of Wellington, and a long array of noble and celebrated individuals.
A short detail of the ceremonies observed may not be uninteresting.
Every vessel in the river, every steeple, every house-top, every eminence that commanded a view was crowded with spectators, and to increase the beauty of the scene, the day was remarkably fine.
When the King and Queen arrived on the bridge they were met by the Lord Mayor and the Lady Mayoress, the former of whom presented his Majesty with the Sword of State, the Lady Mayoress at the same time present ing the Queen with a flower.
According to the old formality, the Lord Mayor was desired to keep his sword, as it was in such good hands, and the procession began.
Preceded by the Duke of Devonshire (the Lord Chamber lain) walking backwards according to the etiquette, his Majesty arm-in-arm with the Queen, and followed by the royal family, the great officers of state, and his court, the members of the corporation of London, and the ambassa dors, or other illustrious visitors, walked slowly over the bridge to the Southwark side, amid the firing of cannon, and the joyous ringing of all the bells in the metropolis.
Here his Majesty witnessed the ascent of a balloon, and then returned to the city side to a pavilion erected on the bridge, where a sumptuous collation was prepared at the expense of the City. After the repast, and when the usual toasts had been given, the Lord Mayor, with a suit able address, presented the King with a golden cup; on receiving which his Majesty made the following short but very appropriate speech:
"I cannot but refer on this occasion to the great work which has been accomplished by the city of London.
The city of London has ever been renowned for its magnificent im provements; and we are commemorating a most extraordinary instance of their skill and talent.
I shall propose the source from which this vast improvement sprung - The trade and commerce of the city of London".

The toast, of course, was enthusiastically honoured, and soon afterwards the festivities terminated.
His Majesty then entered the barge prepared for him, and was rowed up the river to Somerset house, where he disembarked.
The demolition of the old bridge was immediately commenced, and within a few months not a vestige of it remained.

But the signal-bell has rung, and our steam boat proceeds up the ancient highway of the city towards Westminster, in the track of all the Lord Mayors since Norman, in the year 1454.
This worthy functionary was very fond of the water, and first began the custom, regularly continued since his day, of proceeding to Westminster Hall by water, with a grand city pageant.
The boatmen took him in great affection in consequence, and one of them wrote a song upon him, the burden of which was, "Row thy boat, Norman, Row to thy Leman".

What a formidable array of steeples is to be seen as we get out of sight of the shipping!
No city in Europe can show such a forest of ships, or such a forest of steeples, as London. The most prominent object in the view is St. Paul's, rearing his head, as fat and saucy as if he were a bishop with forty thousand a-year.
Around him are gathered the inferior dignitaries of the Church, some of them looking in good condition enough, but most of them as tall and thin as if they had a wife and six children, and only a curacy of eighty pounds a-year to support them.

SOUTHWARK AND LAMBETH

What a contrast there is now, and always has been, both in the character and appearance of the two sides of the river.
The London side, high and well-built, thickly studded with spires and public edifices, and resounding with all the noise of the operations of a various in dustry; the Southwark and Lambeth side, low and flat, and meanly built, with scarcely an edifice higher than a coal-shed or timber-yard, and a population with a squalid, dejected, and debauched look, offering a remarkable contrast to the cheerfulness and activity visible on the faces of the Londoners.
The situation upon the low swamp is, no doubt, one cause of the unhealthy appearance of the dwellers on the south of the Thames; but the dissolute rakehellish appearance of the lower orders of them must be otherwise accounted for.
From a very early age, Southwark and Lambeth, and the former especially, were the great sinks and common receptacles of all the vice and immorality of London.
Up to the year 1328, South wark had been independent of the jurisdiction of London, - a sort of neutral ground, which the law could not reach, - and, in consequence, the abode of thieves and abandoned characters of every kind.
They used to sally forth in bands of one and two hundreds at a time, to rob in the city; and the Lord Mayor and Aldermen for the time being had not unfrequently to keep watch upon the bridge for nights together, at the head of a troop of armed men, to prevent their inroads.
The thieves, however, upon these occasions took to their boats at midnight, and rowing up the river, landed at Westminster, and drove all before them with as much valour, and as great impunity as a border chieftain upon a foray into Cumberland.
These things induced the magistrates of London to apply to Edward the Third for a grant of Southwark.
The request was complied with, and the vicious place brought under the rule of the city.
Driven in some measure from this nest, the thieves took refuge in Lambeth, and still set the authorities at defiance.
From that day to this the two boroughs have had the same character, and been known as the favourite resort of thieves and vagabonds of every description. It was here, under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Winchester, that all the stews existed for centuries, being licensed by that prelate for a fee.
Their inhabitants and frequenters were long known in London as the "Bishop of Winches ter's birds".
Players also, then ranking with these and similar characters, under the common designation of "vagabonds", flocked to the same spot, together with fraudulent bankrupts, swindlers, debtors, and all men who had misunderstandings with the law, and were fearful of clearing them up, lest their goods and bodies might be demanded in expiation.
Here, in former days, stood the privileged "Mint"and "Clink"; and here in the present day stands the privileged "Bench", within whose "Rules"are congregated the same vicious and demoralized class of people that always inhabited it.
Stews also abound, though no bishop receives fees from them; and penny theatres, where the performers are indeed vagabonds, and the audience thieves.
But the low shore of Southwark has more agreeable reminiscences.

It was here, near the spot still called Bankside, that stood the Globe Theatre at the commencement of the seventeenth century; - the theatre of which Shakspeare was in part proprietor, where some of his plays were first produced, and where he himself performed in them.
It was of an octagonal form, partly covered with thatch, as we learn from the account of Stowe, who says, that in the year 1613, ten years after it was first licensed to Shakspeare and Burbage, and the rest, the thatch took fire by the negligent discharge of a piece of ordnance, and in a very short time the whole building was consumed.
The house was filled with people to witness the representation of Henry the Eighth, but they all escaped unhurt.
This was the end of Shakspeare's theatre.
It was rebuilt, apparently, in a similar style, early in the following year.
Besides this, there were three other theatres on the Bankside, called the Rose, the Hope, and the Swan.
These appear to have been, for some undiscovered reason, called private theatres.
There was this difference between them and the Globe and other public theatres; the latter were open to the sky, except over the stage and galleries; but the private theatres were completely covered in from the weather.
On the roof of all of them, whether public or private, a flag was always hoisted to mark the time of the performances.
Two other places of amusement on the river-side deserve to be mentioned; the Paris Garden, and the Bear Garden, in which, besides dramatic entertainments of an inferior class, there were combats of animals.
Ben Jonson is reproached by Dekker, with having been so degraded as to perform at Paris Garden.
These places always seem to have been in bad repute, even when they flourished most.
Crowley, a rhymer of the reign of Henry the Eighth, thus speaks of Paris Garden.

What folly is this to keep with danger
A great mastiff dog and foul ugly bear,
And to this anent, to see them two fight
With terrible tearings, a full ugly sight;
And methinks these men are most fools of all
Whose store of money is but very small,
And yet every Sunday they will surely spend
One penny or two, the Bearward's living to mend.
At Paris Garden each Sunday a man shall not fail,
To find two or three hundred for the Bearward's vale,
One halfpenny a piece they use for to give,
When some have not more in their purses, I believe.
Well, at the last day their conscience will declare,
That the poor ought to have all that they may spare;
If you, therefore, go to see a bear fight,
Be sure God his curse will upon you light.

Pennant, who quotes these verses, seems to consider the last two lines as a prophecy of the calamity that happened at the Garden in the year 1582.
An accident, Heaven directed, says he, befell the spectators; the scaffolding, crowded with people, suddenly fell, and more than a hundred persons were killed or severely wounded.
The Bear Garden, notwithstanding its name, was chiefly used for bull-baiting.
Sailing onwards to the Southwark or ironbridge we pass on the Middlesex shore many places, now wharfs and warehouses, which were formerly the abodes of nobles, or palaces and fortresses.
Here stood the famous Baynard's Castle, where Richard the Third pretended such coyness to accept the crown;
Cold or Cole Harbour, the residence of the celebrated Humphrey de Bohun Earl of Hereford and Essex, in the reign of Edward the Third; of the Earls of Huntingdon, in the time of Richard the Second; and of the Earls of Cambridge shortly afterwards.
It was also inhabited by Henry the Fifth when he was Prince of Wales, and by Tonstal Bishop of Durham, in the reign of Henry the Eighth.
Not a vestige of it now exists.
Dowgate Hill, near this spot, was formerly the port or water-gate of the city, where, in the Saxon times, all vessels pro ceeded to unload their cargoes.
As early as the time of the Romans there was here a gate for passengers who wanted to cross the ferry.
The little rivulet of Walbrook, clear in the days of barbarism, but rendered filthy as London grew civilized, runs into the Thames at this place.
It takes its rise to the north of Moorfields, and gives its name to one of the most considerable streets of ancient London.
Near Dow-gate stood the ancient palace, called for distinction the Erber or Harbour; a corrup tion, probably, of Herberge, an inn.
It was a large building, inhabited in the reign of Edward the Third by the noble family of Scroope, from whom it came into the possession of the as noble family of Neville.
The Earl of Salisbury, father-in-law to Warwick, the "king maker", lodged here with five hundred of his retainers, in the famous congress of the barons, after the defeat of the Lancasterian party at the battle of St. Alban's, when Henry the Sixth was deposed and Edward the Fourth ascended the throne in his stead.
It was in the latter reign inhabited for a short time by George Duke of Clarence, brother of the king, and the same whose death in the butt of malmsey in the Tower, has rendered his name and title familiar to all the readers of history.
After his murder the palace reverted to the crown, but it was restored by Henry the Eighth to the unfortunate daughter of Clarence, Margaret Countess of Salisbury, who was beheaded in the Tower in her old age, for the crime of being mother to Cardinal Pole.
The building was, after a long interval, purchased by the Drapers' Company, but has been long since pulled down.



VOLUME I. CHAPTER II.
Doctors' Commons. - The Fleet Ditch. - The Temple Gardens. - Ancient and Modern Templars. - Somerset House and Waterloo Bridge. -
- Romance of Modern London. - The Savoy Palace Henry the Eighth's Tournament and Festival at Durham House. - The AdelphI. - Whitehall.

Southwark Bridge

AFTER passing the Southwark iron-bridge, completed in the year 1818, -

St Paul's

we arrive at Doctors' Commons, - famous as the residence of ecclesiastical lawyers, and the seat of the ecclesiastical judges.
It was at one time in contemplation to have pulled down all the houses between the river and St. Paul's church at this spot, and to have thrown open that magnificent edifice to public view from the stream.

If the project had been carried into effect, the improvement to the banks of the Thames would have been great, and a beautiful prospect would have been obtained.
But as the projectors, in answer to the "cui bono", of the capitalists, had no other reply than "beauty", the project soon fell to the ground.
It was found to be expensive, and not likely to be productive.
One cannot, however, help regretting that so fine a project was not carried into execution. The beautiful Cathedral is not at present to be seen from a favourable point of view in any part of London, either by land or water.
The most favourable is from Blackfriars' Bridge. Shall we linger to describe an edifice that all the world is acquainted with?
Shall we dilate upon the glories of its architecture; the fame of the great statesmen, orators, patriots, and poets, whose monuments are within its walls?
Shall we remind the passer-by of the fine thought to the memory of its great builder, "Lector, si monumentum requiris, circumspice?"
or expatiate upon things connected with the history of this edifice, that are familiar, or ought to be, to every Englishman?
No; we will pass on with silent admiration, or perhaps, a reiteration of our regret that so magnificent a building, and so hallowed a site, should be shut from the sight, when at an expense, inconsiderable in comparison with the vastness of the improvement, a view might be obtained, worthy alike of this great capital, and of the finest Protestant church in the world.

The Fleet Ditch

Close adjoining to Blackfriars' bridge - the dirtiest of the tributaries of the Thames runs into the sovereign river - the Fleet - formerly called a river itself, but now and for ages past degraded to a ditch; covered over in all its course through London, as something too of fensive to be seen.
Pope in his Dunciad has celebrated it in the following lines.

Fleet Ditch with disemboguing streams
Rolls the large tribute of dead dogs to Thames.
The king of dykes! han whom no sluice of mud
With deeper sable blots the silver flood.

At the time when Pope wrote, the ditch was open to the gaze of all the world, and it is said the corporation were so shamed by the verses, that they soon afterwards carried into effect the improvement, of arching it over and forming Fleet Market - the present Farringdon Street - upon its site; a plan which had been for years in contemplation, but continually postponed upon one pretence or another.

Blackfriars' Bridge, Whitefriars'

A little further up the stream, to the west of Blackfriars' Bridge, stands the precinct of the White Friars, the ancient "Alsatia"of the thieves and debtors, and famous to most readers, from the graphic and entertaining description given of it by Sir Walter Scott.
It is now chiefly inhabited by coal-merchants, and retains not one of its former privileges.

Temple gardens

We next arrive at a different scene.
A plot of fresh green grass - an oasis of trees and verdure amid the wilderness of brick and mortar that encompass it on every side.
The houses that form this pleasant square are high and regular, and have a solemn and sedate look, befitting the antiquity and historical sanctity of their site, and the grave character of the people that inhabit them.
Here are the Temple Gardens, sacred to the Goddess of Strife.
Their former occupants, the Knights Templars, were quarrelsome folk enough, God knows; and the new tenants of their abode keep themselves respectable out of the proceeds of quarrels, fatten upon quarrels, and buy themselves wigs and gowns out of them.
Woe betide the wight whom they entangle in their meshes! They will put the vulture of litigation in him to gnaw out his entrails, and will tie a millstone round his neck, which they call "costs", to drag him down to ruin.
In those gloomy chambers, so pleasantly situated, sits Law, as upon a throne.
Sweet are all the purlieus of the spot: - flowers blossom, trees cast a refreshing shade, and a fountain maketh a pleasant murmur all the year; but each room in that precinct is a den inhabited by a black spider, who sucks the blood of foolish flies who, by quarrelling and fighting, struggle themselves into the toils.
It is fair outside, to make the world believe that it is the abode of justice and equity; but its beauty is but a cheat and a lure, to hide from too common observers the revenge, rapacity, and roguery that lie beneath the surface.
Hoity toity! - quoth we to ourselves - what a fuss about nothing! What a gross injustice we have given utterance to! What a foul libel we have penned upon that learned and eminent body! - and all for the sake of - what? For the mere sake of saying something pungent or ill natured, which with many people is all the same.
Forgive us, O shades of learned Sir Thomas More, of upright Sir Matthew Hale, of philosophic Lord Bacon! - forgive us, spirits of Clarendon, Camden, and Mansfield! - forgive us, living Denman, Tindal, Brougham, that we should have so slandered the profession of which ye have been or are the ornaments! Wit, worth, and wisdom are associated with your names, and with hundreds of others, both alive and dead, whom we could specify, if there were any need for it.

"We never were known for a railer,
In fun all this slander we spoke;
For a lawyer, as well as a sailor,
Is not above taking a joke".

It is in these gardens that Shakspeare, in the First Part of his Henry the Sixth, has laid the scene of the first quarrel of the rival houses of York and Lancaster, and where the red and the white roses, the badges afterwards of bloody wars, were first plucked, and where Warwick is made to prophesy,

The brawl today
Grown to this faction in the Temple garden,
Shall send between the red rose and the white,
A thousand souls to death and deadly night.

Whether the immortal bard had the authority of any tradition current in his day, or whether the scene was thus laid with the licence usually claimed by, and allowed to, poets, is not known with certainty.

Sailing onwards from the Temple we arrive opposite Arundel Street, leading down from the Strand.
Here formerly stood Hampton Place, the Episcopal residence of the Bishops of Bath and Wells.
It was granted by King Edward the Sixth to his uncle, Lord Seymour of Sudely, who changed its name to Seymour Place.
Upon his attainder and execution it was purchased by the Earl of Arundel, who once more changed its name.
It then came by marriage into the possession of the family of the Duke of Norfolk.
It was in his time "a large and old-built house, with a spacious yard for stabling towards the Strand, and with a gate to enclose it, where there was a porter's lodge, and a large fair garden towards the Thames".
When the great Duke de Sully, then Marquis de Rosny, was ambassador in England, this house was set apart for his accommodation, and he mentions it as one of the finest and most commodious in London. The house was pulled down about the middle of the seventeenth century.
The family name and titles are still retained for the streets which arose upon its site; Norfolk Street, Surrey Street, and others.

Somerset House

A short distance beyond is Somerset House, a large pile of building, chiefly used now as government offices, except one wing, recently added, which is occupied by the officers and scholars of King's College, London.
Somerset House took its name from the Duke of Somerset, Lord Protector during the reign of Edward the Sixth; it is not, however, the building erected by that princely nobleman, but a mere modern edifice erected in the reign of George the Third, under the superintendence of Sir William Chambers.
The architect of the original fabric was John of Padua.
After the attainder of Somerset it devolved to the crown, and Queen Elizabeth frequently inhabited it.
Anne of Denmark, Queen of James the First, held her court here, and so did Catharine, Queen of Charles the Second.
It at last became appropriated of right to the Queens Dowager, and was frequently appointed for the reception of ambassadors, whom the monarchs delighted especially to honour.
The Venetian ambassador made a grand public entry into old Somerset House in 1763, a short time before it was pulled down.
In the quadrangle opposite the Strand entrance, stands the gigantic piece of bronze executed by Bacon, the principal figure of which is an allegorical representation of the Thames.

Waterloo Bridge

Immediately adjoining is Waterloo Bridge, the finest of the many fine structures that span the bosom of the Thames within metropolitan limits.
Around its arches clings half the romance of modern London.
It is the English "Bridge of Sighs", the "Pons Asinorum", the "Lover's Leap", the "Arch of Suicide", and well deserves all these appellations.
Many a sad and too true tale might be told, the beginning and end of which would be "Waterloo Bridge".

It is a favourite spot for love assignations; and a still more favourite spot for those who long to cast off the load of existence, and cannot wait, through sorrow, until the Almighty Giver takes away his gift.
Its comparative loneliness renders it convenient for both purposes.
The penny toll keeps off the inquisitive and unmannerly crowd; and the foolish can love or the mad can die with less observation from the passers than they could find anywhere else so close to the heart of London.
To many a poor girl the assignation over one arch of Waterloo Bridge is but the prelude to the fatal leap from another.
Here they begin, and here they end, after a long course of intermediate crime and sorrow, the unhappy story of their loves.
Here, also, wary and practised courtezans lie in wait for the Asini, so abundant in London, and who justify its appellation of the Pons Asinorum.
Here fools become entrapped, and wise men too some times, the one losing their money, and the other their money and self-respect.
But, with all its vice, Waterloo Bridge is pre-eminently the "Bridge of Sorrow".
There is less of the ludicrous to be seen from its smooth highway than from almost any other in the metropolis.
The people of London continually hear of unhappy men and women who throw themselves from its arches, and as often of the finding of bodies in the water, which may have lain there for weeks, no one knowing how or when they came there, - no one being able to distinguish their lineaments.
But, often as these things are heard of, few are aware of the real number of victims that choose this spot to close an unhappy career, - few know that, taking one year with another, the average number of suicides committed from this place is about thirty.

Notwithstanding these gloomy associations, Waterloo Bridge is a pleasant spot.
Any one who wishes to enjoy a panoramic view unequalled of its kind in Europe, has only to proceed thither, just at the first faint peep of dawn, and he will be gratified.
A more lovely prospect of a city it is impossible to imagine than that which will burst upon him as he draws near to the middle arch.
Scores of tall spires, unseen during the day, are distinctly seen at that hour, each of which seems to mount upwards to double its usual height, standing out in bold relief against the clear blue sky.
Even the windows of distant houses, no longer, as in the noon-tide view, blended together in one undistinguishable mass, seem larger and nearer, and more clear ly defined; every chimney-pot stands alone, tracing against the smokeless sky a perfect outline.
Eastward, the view embraces the whole of ancient London, from "the towers of Julius"to its junction with Westminster at Temple Bar.
Directly opposite stands Somerset House, by far the most prominent, and, the most elegant building, St. Paul's excepted, in all the panorama; while to the west rise the hoary towers of Westminster Abbey, with, far in the distance, glimpses of the hills of Surrey crowned with verdure.
The Thames, which flows in a crescent-shaped course, adds that peculiar charm which water always affords to a landscape.
If the visiter has time, he will do well to linger for a few hours on the spot till all the fires are lighted, and the haze of noon approaches.
He will gradually see many objects disappear from the view.
First of all, the hills of Surrey will be undistinguishable in the distance; steeples far away in the north and east of London will vanish as if by magic; houses half a mile off, in which you might at first have been able to count the panes of glass in the windows, will agglomerate into shapeless masses of brick.
After a time, the manufactories and gas-works, belching out volumes of smoke, will darken all the atmosphere; steam-boats plying continually to and fro will add their quota to the general impurity of the air; while all these mingling together will form that dense cloud which habitually hangs over London, and excludes its inhabitants from the fair share of sunshine to which all men are entitled.

Savoy Palace

While thus gossipping with thee, O reader, we have passed under the arch, and arrived at a spot which was once famous in the annals of England.
A number of coal-wharfs mark the site of the palace of the Savoy, the residence of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, and the poet Chaucer.
The building was pillaged by a London mob in the year 1376, when the Duke narrowly escaped with his life.
It was during the excitement occasioned by the citation of Wickliffe, when John of Gaunt, on account of the disorderly behaviour of the Londoners, had moved in Parliament that there should be no more a Lord Mayor of London, and that the government of the city should in future be delivered over to the military, and for the time being to Lord Percy, the Chief Marshal of England.
The Londoners immediately arose in arms, destroyed the Marshalsea, where Lord Percy resided, and then proceeded to the Savoy, swearing to take the life of the Duke of Lancaster for threatening their liberties, and insulting their bishop in St. Paul's church, in the matter of Wickliffe.
They threw all the costly furniture into the river, made a complete wreck of the building, and killed, in a very barbarous manner, a priest whom they mistook for Lord Percy in disguise.
Percy himself and the Duke of Lancancaster were dining that day at the house of a rich merchant named John of Ypres, and escaped to Lambeth, by rowing up the river, at the very time that the populace were seeking them in every corner of the Savoy.
Five years afterwards the Savoy was attacked by the rebels under Wat Tyler, and reduced to ashes with all its valuable furniture.
In the reign of Henry the Seventh, an hospital was founded here; it was dedicated to St. John the Baptist, and consisted of a master and four brethren, who were to be in priest's orders, and officiate alternately, by standing at the gate and looking out for objects of charity, who were to be taken in and fed.
To travellers they were bound to afford one night's lodging, a letter of recommendation to the next hospital on his road, and as much money as would enable him to reach it.
This hospital was suppressed by Edward the Sixth, and the furniture given to the Hospitals of Bridewell and St. Thomas.
It was restored by Queen Mary to its original uses, and more liberally endowed than ever it had been before.
In the first year of Queen Anne, commissioners, consisting of seven temporal and seven spiritual lords, were appointed to visit the hospital and report upon it.
By their recommendation the brethren or chaplains were dismissed, and the hospital dissolved.
According to the plates published by the Society of Antiquaries in 1750, the building was large and commodious.
The front towards the Thames contained several projections and two rows of angular mullioned windows.
To the north was the Friary; a court formed of the walls of the body of the Hospital, whose ground-plan was in the shape of the cross.
At the west end was a guard-house, used for many years afterwards as a receptacle for deserters, and the quarters for thirty men and non-commissioned officers.

This was secured by a strong buttress, and had a gateway embellished with the arms of Henry the Seventh.
The descent from the Strand was by two flights of stone steps, nearly to the depth of three stories of a dwell ing-house.
The approaches to the Waterloo Bridge cleared away a great part of it.
The chapel still remains, having been substantially repaired by King George the First, in the year 1721, at his sole expense.
Cowley the poet was long a candidate for the mastership of the Hospital, but he never obtained it.
The foregoing is a view of it as it stood in Cowley's time.

At a few yards distant are Cecil and Salisbury Streets, leading from the Strand to the Thames. They are the site of Salisbury House, built by Sir Robert Cecil, created Earl of Salisbury by King James the First.
The edifice, which was very large, was afterwards divided into two parts, the one called Great, and the other Little Salisbury House; the first being inhabited by the Earl and his family, and the latter being let out to different persons.
An other part, next Great Salisbury House, was converted into an Exchange in the time of George the First and Second, consisting of one long room, extending from the Strand to the river; with shops for the sale of fancy goods on each side.
At the end there was a handsome flight of steps to the water.
The place, somehow or other, acquired a bad name; our ancestors chose it as a spot for assignations with frail fair ones; and all the respectable inhabitants in a short time deserted it.
In the spot, where now a long dirty lane wends its obscure course from the Strand to the Thames, stood, in the reign of Henry the Eighth, a magnificent palace, called Durham Place.
The modern range of the Adelphi Terrace also occupies a portion of its site.
In the year 1540 a grand tournament was held at Westminster under the auspices of the King, who had sent challenges and invitations to all the doughtiest knights of France, Flanders, Scotland, and Spain, to be present at the sports.
After the diversions of each day, the King, with his newly married and already hated Queen, Anne of Cleves, repaired to Durham Place, where a magnificent feast was given.
On the last day not only the combatants and all the lords and ladies of the court, but the members of both Houses of Parliament, the Lord Mayor and Aldermen of London, and all foreigners of distinction were invited.
The King gave to each of the challengers and his heirs for ever in reward of his activity and valour, a yearly revenue of one hundred marks out of the lands pertaining to the hospital of St. John of Jerusalem.
Edward the Sixth appointed it as a mint for the coinage of money under the manage ment of Sir William Sherington, and the influence of the ambitious Lord Seymour of Sudeley.
It was one of the charges brought against the latter that he intended to coin money here for his own purposes, and to aid him in his designs upon the throne.
The place afterwards became the residence of the equally ambitious Dudley, Earl of Northumberland; where, in the year 1553, he solemnized, with the greatest magnificence, the marriages of three of his family: Lord Guildford Dudley, his son, with the unfortunate Lady Jane Gray; Lady Katharine Dudley, his daughter, with the Earl of Huntingdon; and Lady Katharine Gray, sister of Lady Jane, with the Lord Herbert, son of the Earl of Pembroke.
The fate of nearly all these personages was to perish upon the scaffold, the prime cause of their ill fortune being the ambition of their father; whose own sire, Dudley the extortioner, died a similar death.
Durham Place was one of the palaces occasionally inhabited by Queen Elizabeth.
She granted the use of apartments in it, for a time, to Sir Walter Raleigh, who is said to have composed here some chapters of his famous History of the World.
Part of the stables connected with this building were taken down in the early part of the reign of King James, and an Exchange upon the plan of the Royal Exchange, called Britain's Burse, erected upon the site.
It became a place of fashionable resort until the reign of Queen Anne.
In her time it was the scene of a romantic incident, which created much interest and conversation.
The chief walk was appropriated to milliners and sempstresses, and one of them, a new-comer, was observed for several days to appear always dressed in white, and wore a white mask. The fashionable loungers, whose curiosity was excited by the mystery, endeavoured in vain to obtain a sight of her face, and all the town talked of "the White Milliner".
It was afterwards discovered that she was the Duchess of Tyrconnell, widow of Richard Talbot, Lord Deputy of Ireland under King James the Second, who being reduced to great distress, had endeavoured to support herself by the little trade of the Exchange.
As soon as her condition was ascertained, her relations appeared and provided otherwise for her.
Nearly all the ancient structure of Durham Place was pulled down, and the Messrs. Adam, four brothers, builders, erected the Terrace and the neighbouring streets, which is called after them, the AdelphI.
Adjoining is the site of York House, inhabited, formerly, by Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, and the Lord Chancellor Bacon.
It afterwards became the residence of the famous George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham, who rebuilt it in a more magnificent manner.
The gateway still standing at the end of Buckingham Street, a full view of which is obtained from the river, is the only remnant of the palace.
It was built by Inigo Jones, and is much admired.
The palace was bestowed by the Long Parliament upon General Fairfax, whose daughter and heiress marrying the second George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham, it was thus restored to the family of its original proprietors.
It was soon afterwards disposed of and pulled down, and several streets laid out upon its site, and named after one or other of the words in the name and title of George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham; there being George Street, Villiers Street, Duke Street, Of Alley, and Buckingham Street.
In a large house at the corner of Buckingham Street, then called York Buildings, resided the Czar Peter the Great, when he visited London in 1698, and where he and the Marquis of Carmarthen, Lord President of the Council, used to spend their evenings in drinking "hot pepper and brandy.'.' Nearly opposite, on the site now occupied by the timber-wharfs of the Belvidere Road, formerly stood a celebrated place of public re sort, called Cuper's Gardens, famous, at the end of the seventeenth and beginning of the eighteenth century, for its grand displays of fire-works.
It was not, however, the resort of respectable company, but of the abandoned of both sexes.
The place took its name from one Boydell Cuper, who had been gardener in the service of Lord Arundel, and who rented the ground of his lordship.
When Arundel House was pulled down to make way for the street of the same name, already mentioned, a number of the statues which had once adorned that edi fice, but which had been accidentally or other wise mutilated, came into the possession of Cuper, who set them up in different parts of his gardens.
In the river opposite was moored an immense barge, by some said to have been as bulky as the hull of a man-of-war, which was known by the name of "The Folly".
It was the resort of even a worse description of persons than those who frequented the Gardens on shore.
In one of Tom D'Urfey's songs called "A Touch of the Times", published in 1719, the Folly is thus mentioned: -

When Drapers smugg'd 'Prentices,
With Exchange Girls mostly jolly,
After shop was shut up,
Could sail to the Folly".

In a MS note in Sir John Hawkins's own copy of his History of Music, now in the British Museum, it is stated that "this edifice was built of timber, and divided into sundry rooms, with a platform and balustrade at top, which floated on the Thames above London Bridge, and was called the Folly: a view of it, anchored opposite Somerset House, is given in Strype's Stow, Book 4th, p.
105; and the Humours of it were described by Ward in his London Spy.
At first it was resorted to for refreshment by persons of fashion; and Queen Mary with some of her courtiers, had once the curiosity to visit it; but it sunk into a receptacle for companies of loose and disorderly people, for the purposes of drinking and promiscuous dancing; and at length becoming scandalous, the building was suffered to decay, and the materials thereof became fire-wood".

Whitehall

Passing Hungerford Market, and Northumberland House, the residence of the present Duke, and the only one remaining of the old noble residences that formerly skirted the Thames, we arrive at a pleasant green spot, rising like another oasis amid surrounding dust.
It is a fair lawn, neatly trimmed, and divided into compartments by little walls.
In the rear rises a row of goodly modern houses, the abodes of ministers, and ex-ministers, and "lords of high degree".
But it is not so much for what it exhibits, as for what it hides, that it is remarkable.
The row of houses screens Whitehall and its historical purlieus from the view.
Just behind the house with the bow-windows, inhabited by Sir Robert Peel, is the spot where Charles the First was beheaded.
In a nook close by, as if purposely hidden from the view of the world, there is a very good statue of a very bad King.
Unknown to the thousands of London, James the Second rears his brazen head in a corner, ashamed apparently, even in his effigies, to affront the eyes of the nation he misgoverned.

The Banqueting House of Whitehall stands on the site of York House, chiefly famous as having been the town residence of Cardinal Wolsey.
It was originally erected by that powerful nobleman, Hubert de Burgh, Earl of Kent and Lord High Justiciary of England, in the troublous times of Henry the Third.
It was bequeathed by him to the Black Friars of Holborn; and, after a short interval, sold by them to the Archbishop of York.
It remained the residence of the prelates of that see, and bore their name, until the time of Wolsey; after whose fall it was seized by the all-grasping Henry, and made an appendage to the royal palace of Westminster, which extended, along the banks of the river, from hence to the Houses of Parliament.
In Elizabeth's time there were great doings here on several occasions, as the curious reader may see in the pages of Holinshed and Stowe.
Fortresses and bowers were made for this "perfect beautie", - a red-haired woman of forty-nine, - which were vigorously attacked by knights representing Desire, typical of the great admiration her personal charms, more than the majesty of her station, excited.
Tournaments were also instituted, together with maskings and revels, and various other mummeries.
In the time of her successor the old palace had become so ruinous that it was determined to rebuild it.
James the First intrusted the design to Inigo Jones, who built the edifice now known by the name of the Banqueting House, a representation of which is given below, and which was only intended as a part, and a very small one, of a more magnificent conception.
The palace was to have consisted of four fronts, each with an entrance between two square towers.
Within were to have been one large central court and five smaller ones, and between two of the latter was to have been a handsome circus, with an arcade below.
The whole length of the palace was to have been 1152 feet, and its depth 874 feet.
The times which succeeded those of James were not favourable for such designs and expenses as these, and the palace was never completed.

VOLUME I. CHAPTER III.
Westminster Bridge. - The Houses of Parliament - Anecdote of James the First. - Westminster Abbey. - Lambeth Palace.
- Flight of Queen Mary D'Este - Palaces and Hovels. - Vauxhall Gardens. - Sports at Battersea. - Evans the Astrologer.
- Chelsea Hospital. - Reminiscences of Chelsea. - Battersea A Song. - The River Wandle. - The Mayor of Garratt.
- Putney. - Anecdote of Cardinal Wolsey and his Fool.

Westminster Bridge

Still sailing up the stream, we next pass under the arches of Westminster Bridge.
This edifice was commenced in 1738, and finished in 1750.
The Corporation of London had a notion that it would injure the trade of the city; and while the bill relating to it under went discussion in the legislature, they opposed it by every means in their power.
For many years afterwards, London aldermen thought it pollution to go over it, and passed by it as saucily and with as much contempt as a dog would by a "stinking brock".
So highly was the bridge esteemed by its projectors, that they procured the admission of a clause into the act of Parliament, by which the punishment of death without benefit of clergy was declared against any one who should wilfully deface or injure it.
Dogs also were kept off it with as much rigour as they are now excluded from Kensington Gardens.
It does not appear, however, that dog or man was ever hanged either for defiling or defacing the precious structure.

O happy age! O good old times gone by!
Even dogs might howl, and pipe their sorrowing eye,
Were ye restored!"

Houses of Parliament

And now we are clear of the bridge, the river opens out before us in a longer sweep, and we arrive in front of the open space opposite to Westminster Hall, known by the name of Palace Yard, so called from its having been the court of the old palace of Westminster.
Of all the remarkable sites in England, this and its neighbourhood is doubtless the most remarkable; and no other place upon the Thames, not even the princely towers and purlieus of Windsor itself, can vie with these in the recollections they recall or the emotions which they excite.
There stands yet - survivor amid calamity - the elegant Hall and the entrances to the Chief Courts of Justice of this kingdom, - courts in which Gascoigne, More, Hale, Bacon, Camden, Holt, Coke, Mansfield, Eldon, Brougham, and a host of other eminent and learned men, have presided.
There also are the ruins of the Houses of Lords and Commons, burnt down in the year 1834, where the liberties of England were gained, gradually but surely, through long centuries of doubt and darkness.
There began the struggle for freedom, which never ceased till its object was won.
There was heard the eloquent patriotism of all the patriots that have arisen in our land since the days of Pym, Holies, and Hampden; - there was tyranny resisted by the tongue and the vote, stronger weapons in a right cause than the glaive[sic (sword)] or the gun; - there was the right established - the wrong cast down - civilisation extended - and slavery abolished.
There, in former days, were to be seen and heard a Cranmer, a Strafford, a Laud, and a Cromwell.
Nearer our own age, a Marlborough, a Harley, a Walpole, a Bolingbroke, and a Chatham.
Nearer still, a Pitt, a Fox, a Burke, a Grattan, and a Sheridan; and (men of yesterday) a Canning, a Mackintosh, a Wilberforce, and a Romilly; with many others who have written their names for good or for evil on the page of history.
And here too, in our own day, walking and breathing among us, are to be seen, in their appointed season, a Wellington, a Brougham, a Denman, a Melbourne, a Russell, a Durham, a Peel, and an O'Connell, with hundreds more of great, though of lesser, note, whose names are inscribed already in the great book of history, but whose deeds are not yet ended; and who are destined, perhaps, hereafter to make a still greater figure in the annals of the mightiest empire the world ever saw. Great was the sorrow of every lover of his country when the ancient seats of the British legislature were destroyed - though they were but stones, and brick and mortar, and wood, they were hallowed in the hearts of English men.
Who could help regretting that the very boards upon which Chatham and Pitt and Fox and Burke and Canning trod could never more be trodden by the admirers of their worth, - and that the walls that re-echoed to their words, or to the approving cheers of their delighted auditory, had crumbled in the flame? Not one, who had a thought to bestow upon the matter
. The legislature now assemble in that heavy looking building, something like a barn, the top of which may be seen from the river as we pass.
Hundreds of workmen are, however, busily employed in preparing the terrace, - taken from the bed of the river, - upon which the future Houses of Parliament are to stand. The design of Mr. Barry is worthy of its object; and, when completed, promises to be a fit seat for the British legislature.

This spot was, originally, the most desolate and barren of any in the neighbourhood of London.
In the time of the Romans, it was a waste, overgrown with weeds and thorns, bounded on two sides by a dirty stream, afterwards called the Long Ditch.
One of the first buildings erected upon it was a minster, undertaken by the converted King Sibert, in the year 610.
To this minster the now famous city of Westminster owes all its greatness, and even its name.
The seat of a bishop, it soon drew a busy population around it, who built upon and cultivated the waste, and in process of time filled up the ditch.
King Rufus was the next to add to its dignity by the erection of his handsome banqueting-hall, where he used to keep his Christmas in great style with his court and retainers.
Then the Judges began to hold their sittings there, and finally the Parliaments, until, in the course of time, all these advantages made Westminster the first city of the empire.

Anecdote of James I

A good story is related of James the First and one of the Lords Mayor, in reference to the prosperity of the twin cities, and which, for its happy quiet laudation of the Thames, it would be unpardonable to omit.
James being in want of twenty thousand pounds, applied to the corporation of London for a loan of that sum.
The corporation refused, upon which the King in high dudgeon sent for the Lord Mayor and some of the aldermen, and, rating them in severe terms for their disloyalty, insisted upon their raising the money for him.
"Please your majesty", said the Lord Mayor, "we cannot lend you what we have not got".
"You must get it",
replied the King.
"We cannot", said the Lord Mayor.
"I 'll compel you", rejoined the King.
"But you cannot compel us", retorted the Lord Mayor.
"No!" exclaimed the King; "then I'll ruin your city for ever.
I'll make a desert of Westminster. I'll remove my courts of law, my parliament, and my court to York or to Oxford, and then what will become of you?"
"Please your Majesty",
rejoined the Lord Mayor, meekly, "you may remove yourself and your courts wherever you please; but there will always be this consolation for the poor merchants of London, - you cannot take the Thames along with you".

Westminster Abbey

How shall we speak of the venerable Abbey? A recent author says, in his admiration, that the fabric, or at least that part of it known as Henry the Seventh's Chapel, appears to have been put together "by the fingers of angels, under the immediate superintendence of Omnipotence!"
Without being so sublime, or so ridiculous, we must allow the beauty of the edifice, and be impressed with a solemn and religious veneration at the thought of the uses to which it has been applied, the great events of which it has been the witness, and the ashes of the illustrious dead which have mouldered within its walls.
Here are crowned the monarchs of England; and here, all their pomp and power and vanity away, they moulder like their subjects.
Not to mention earlier monarchs, here, side by side, lie Elizabeth and Mary - the oppressor and the oppressed, the destroyer and her victim.
Here, a few feet apart, are the funeral mementos of Fox and Pitt.
Here, by their graves, is the place of which Scott sings, in strains which would have immortalized his memory had he written nothing else: -

"Here, where the end of earthly things
Lays heroes, patriots, bards, and kings;
Where stiff the hand and still the tongue
Of those who fought and spoke and sung;
Here, where the fretted aisles prolong
The distant notes of holy song,
As if some angel spoke again
'All peace on earth, good will to men',
If ever, from an English heart
O here let prejudice depart.

Genius and Taste and Talent gone,
For ever tomb'd beneath the stone,
Where - taming thought to human pride -
The mighty chiefs sleep side by side.
Drop upon Fox's grave the tear,
T'will trickle to his rival's bier;
O'er Pitt's the mournful requiem sound,
And Fox's shall the notes rebound.
The solemn echo seems to cry -
'Here let their discord with them die.

Speak not for those a separate doom
Whom Fate made brothers in the tomb;
But search the land of living men,
Where wilt thou find their like again?'

Here also lie the ashes of many of the lights of song; and here stand the monuments which a grateful and admiring posterity has erected to them, and to many more whose bones crumble in other earth, rendering the corner in which they are a holy spot, only to be entered with love and reverence.
The most conspicuous are those of Shakspeare, Chaucer, Spenser, Ben Jonson, Milton, Butler, Addison, Prior, Dryden, Rowe, Gay, Thomson, West, Goldsmith, and Gray; besides those of Handel and Garrick, who may also claim to rank among the poets; the first, from the sisterhood of his art; and the second, as being in soul a poet, or he could not have been a great actor. But we must leave Westminster and all its reminiscences behind us, - for they are too many for our purpose, and would occupy as much space as we have to bestow upon the Thames itself,

Lambeth Palace

and continue our course upward to Vauxhall Bridge.
On the left, is the grey and venerable palace of Lambeth, the residence of the Archbishops of Canterbury almost ever since the Norman Conquest.
How many recollections are excited by the mention of this spot!
Here Wat Tyler vented his fury.
Here were the Lollards imprisoned in the tower which still bears their name.
Here the unfortunate Earl of Essex was imprisoned by Queen Elizabeth, before his final commitment to the Tower.
Here also Archbishop Laud was attacked by the riotous London 'prentices, a short time before his execution.
At this place also the bigots under Lord George Gordon vented their insane fury.
Close by the same spot, under the walls of St. Mary's Church, the unfortunate Mary D'Este remained hidden, with her infant son, in the midst of the bitter storm of the 6th of December 1688, for a whole hour, awaiting a coach to convey her, a fugitive and an outcast, from the land where she had reigned as a queen; an incident which gave occasion to the following ballad.

THE FLIGHT OF MARY D'ESTE.
Cold was the night, and dark the sky,
And thick the rain did fall,
When a lady waved her hand, and cried
To a boatman at Whitehall,

"Oh, speed thee, boatman, speed thee well
Across the stormy Thames,
And bear me safely from the foes
Of me, and my young James.

"Oh, speed me safely from their spite;
I'll give a golden fee
If this poor baby at my breast
Be still preserved to me !"-

"I'll take thy fee, O lady bright,
And all my best employ,
Part for thy sake, part for thy fee,
Part for thy pretty boy.

"'Tis true, the night is dark and cold,
And winds and waters roar;
But, were it ten times wilder still,
I'd row you safe ashore".

The lady thanked him with her eyes,
From which the tears fell fast,
And the boatman wrapp'd her in his cloak,
To shield her from the blast.

Away they went, through driving sleet,
Across the angry Thames,
While still she sobb'd and sigh'd, "Alas!
God help unhappy James!

"God help thee, also, O my son,
And thy poor mother, too,
Sad outcast from the regal halls,
And heritage thy due.

"The bitter winds that round us blow
Are not so rude and chill
As wrath of foes, and scorn of friends,
Conspiring to our ill.

"Oh, speed thee, boatman, speed thee well,
And should we reach the shore,
For the dear sake of this poor
I'll thank thee evermore".

Amid the pelting rain at last
They near'd the 'bishop's wall,
And as the lady stepp'd on land
Still did her tears down fall.

She look'd around her anxiously
Some shelter to obtain,
Then clasp'd her infant closer still,
To shield it from the rain.

Alas, poor mother! far nor near
A shelter could be seen;
Beggars were snug that bitter night,
But houseless was the Queen.

And still she made a piteous moan,
"Unkind, ye storms! ye be;
But not so cruel as my foes
To my young James and me.

"Oh, who would wish to fill a throne,
To be cast down so low?
Oh, who would wear a monarch's crown,
At the price of so much woe?

"Would that I were but safe again
On France's ocean strand,
I 'd never quit that shore again
To come to cold England".

Thus underneath the churchyard wall,
All drenched to the bone,
The Queen of England sat an hour,
Sighing, and making moan;

But God, that hears the wretch's cry,
Did not forsake her quite;
And friends were found that saw her safe,
Before the morning light.

On good ship-board, at Gravesend moor'd,
She lay, with her young James,
While a fair fresh gale fill'd every sail,
And bore them from the Thames.

Church of St John the Evangelist

On the right of us now is the singular-look ing Church of St.John the Evangelist; of which Lord Chesterfield used to say that
"it put him in mind of an elephant thrown on its back, with its four feet erect in the air".
The late Charles Mathews had a similar saying, which perhaps he borrowed from the simile of Lord Chesterfield, which was, that
"it put him in mind of a large dining-table turned upside down, with its four legs and castors in the air".

Millbank Penitentiary and Lambeth

A short distance beyond this abused building is the gloomy Penitentiary of Milbank, destined for the reception and reformation of convicts, - the most dreary, desolate-looking building to be seen on the banks of Thames, in all its course from Coteswold to the Nore.

On the other side of the stream are the low shores of ancient Lambeth.
How squalid and how miserable they look! -
and how well do the lines of Pope, written more than a hundred and twenty years ago, describe their present appearance: -

In every town where Thamis rolls his tide
A narrow pass there is, with houses low,
Where ever and anon the stream is dyed,
And many a boat soft sliding to and fro, -
There oft are heard the notes of infant woe,
The short thick sob, loud scream, and shriller squall -

And on the broken pavement here and there
Doth many a rotten sprat and herring lie;
A brandy and tobacco shop is near,
And hens, and dogs, and hogs are feeding by;
And here a sailor's jacket hangs to dry.
At every door are sun-burnt matrons seen
Mending old nets to catch the scaly fry,
Now singing shrill, and scolding oft between -
Scold answers foul-mouth'd scold: bad neighbourhood I ween.

Such place hath Deptford, navy-building town;
Woolwich, and Wapping, smelling strong of pitch;
Such Lambeth -

The years that have rolled by since the time of Pope, have made little or no difference in the habits or habitations of the poor.
The progress of civilisation does nothing for them.
Noble mansions may lift themselves on either side, bridges may be built, railways constructed; but the dwellings of the poor experience no improvement.
A thousand years effect nothing more for them than to change the wigwam into the hovel, and at the latter point they stop.
It is hard to say whether their change of habits is even so much in their favour.
As "noble savages", they had at least the advantages of health and fresh air; as independent labourers, doomed to the gas-work or the factory, they have neither, - besides wanting the contentment which was the lot of their naked progenitors of the woods and wilds.
However, this is merely a hint for the political economists, and has nothing to do with Vauxhall,

Vauxhall

at which point we have now arrived, and caught, for the first time since we left London Bridge, a view of the green fields and the open country.
Of Vauxhall itself there is little to say, except that in its churchyard are buried the Tradescants, so well known, in the seventeenth century, for their museum.
But its Gardens, - a glimpse of whose tree-tops we can just obtain from the river, - how shall we describe them? Where in all England is there a spot more renowned among pleasure-seekers than
"This beauteous garden, but by vice maintained",
as Addison, paraphrasing Juvenal, expresses it? Famous is Vauxhall in all the country round for its pleasant walks, its snug alcoves, its comic singers, its innumerable lamps, its big balloons, its midnight fireworks, its thin slices, its dear potations, its greedy waiters, and its ladies fair and kind, and abounding with every charm, except the greatest which can adorn their sex, and the want of which renders their beauty coarse, their kindness selfish, and their very presence an offence to the well-minded.
Pepys, in his "Diary", under date of 1667, says,
"I went by water to Fox-hall, and there walk ed in Spring Gardens.
A great deal of company; the weather and gardens pleasant, and cheap going thither; for a man may go to spend what he will, or nothing; all is one.
But to hear the nightingale and other birds, and here fiddles and there a harp, and here a Jew's trump and here laughing, and there fine people walking, is very diverting".

In Addison's time, Spring Gardens, as they were still called, continued to be noted for their nightingales and their sirens; and Sir Roger de Coverley is represented as having wished there were more of the former and fewer of the latter, in which case he would have been a better customer.
But in our days there are no nightingales, and the sirens have it all to them selves.
But let that pass.
If the age will not mend its manners, it is no fault of ours; and we must take Vauxhall, like other things, as we find it.
Sterner moralists than we are, or wish to be, have thought it a pleasant place, and the old guide-books invariably designate it "an earthly paradise".
Addison called it a Mahometan paradise, - choosing the epithet, no doubt, from the numerous houris before mentioned, and the admixture of sensual and intellectual enjoyments which it afforded.
In our day its claim to so high a character cannot be supported: it is the paradise only of servant girls and apprentices.

Battersea Fields

On the opposite bank of the river the country is open, and we obtain a view of the western suburbs of the great capital.
Further up the stream, to the left, we arrive opposite to the Red House, Battersea Fields, a spot which is noted for amusements of a very different kind.
Here men assemble frequently during the summer months and murder pigeons, calling it sport.
These fields also are the scene of the marvellous adventure which befell Evans the astrologer, in the year 1663, as related in Lilly's Memoirs of his Life and Times.
This Evans resided in the Minories, and being visited one day by Lord Bothwell and Sir Kenelm Digby, was desired by them to raise a ghost.
Evans drew the magic circle accordingly, and stepping inside with his visiters, commenced his invocations.
"Not having", quoth Lilly, "made any suffumigation, the spirits were vexed", and resolving to punish him for his neglect, whisked him out of the circle in an instant, carried him up the chimney, over the houses, over St. Paul's, over Westminster Abbey, and right over the Thames, until they arrived at Battersea Causeway, where they bumped him down from the height of a few hundred feet, and left him to die or recover, as he thought best.
He chose the latter course, and was found the next morning by a countryman, of whom he inquired where he was, and how far from London? On being informed, he explained that he had been drinking with some friends in Battersea the previous night; that he had got drunk, and did not know what he did with himself afterwards; - an explanation which was perfectly satisfactory to the countryman, and will, no doubt, be so to the modern reader. It was not satisfactory, however, to Lilly, who was a great stickler for the truth of the supernatural version of the story.

Chelsea Hospital

On the opposite shore of the river stands Chelsea Hospital, the last refuge of the old soldier.

Englishmen are justly proud of this establishment, though being a sea-faring people they rank it after Greenwich Hospital, which holds the first and highest place in their affections.
It is a plain brick building, and occupies three sides of a spacious quadrangle, which is open on the south side, and in the centre of which is a statue of Charles the Second, in very inappropriate Roman costume.
The ordinary number of in-pensioners is four hundred and seventy-six, consisting of twenty-six captains, thirty-two sergeants, thirty-two corporals, six teen drummers, three hundred and thirty-six private soldiers, and thirty-four light horsemen.
The number of out-pensioners is unlimited, having pensions varying from three shillings to a guinea per week.
The average number is about eighty thousand, who are dispersed over the three kingdoms, exercising their usual occupations, but liable to be called upon to perform garrison duty in time of war.
The history of this building is odd enough.
The college, founded by a charter of James the First, in the year 1610, was intended as a seminary for polemical divines, who were to be employed in opposing the doctrines of papists and sectaries.
Skilful combatants they were in the war of words; but fate had decreed the spot as a dwelling-place for combatants of another description.
A king might intend it for a nursery to train up men in the art of opposing his enemies by the arguments of the tongue and the pen; but fate had said it should be the nursery of those who had employed their lives in using the arguments of the sword and the gun.
The original scheme was not productive of much benefit; and the college having become tenantless, it was granted in the year 1669 to the Royal Society.
It was again tenantless in the year 1680, and was fixed upon as the site of the present edifice.
The foundation-stone was laid by Charles the Second, in 1682, and it was built from the design of Sir Christopher Wren.
There is a tradition that it was owing to the influence of the beauteous Eleanor Gwynne that Charles the Second was induced to establish this institution, and the old soldiers to this day speak of her memory with the utmost respect.

Chelsea

The village of Chelsea abounds in reminiscences, having been the residence of Sir Thomas More, of Holbein, of Pym, of St. Evremond, of Sir Robert Walpole, of Addison, of Sir Hans Sloane, and also of Nell Gwynne and the Duchess of Mazarin, the mistresses of Charles the Second, with a hundred other personages, celebrated for their virtue, their genius, their patriotism, their benevolence, or their beauty.
There is an air of antiquity and sobriety about that portion of it which is seen from the river that is highly pleasing.
The solemn, unassuming church, the sedate houses, and the venerable trees on Cheyne Walk, (so named from Lord Cheyne, formerly Lord of the Manor,) throw a charm around it quite delightful to the eye, which has dwelt too long upon the flaunting elegance of modern buildings, and the prim precision of new streets, that never by any chance afford room for a tree to grow upon them, and rarely within sight of them.

The visitor's eye cannot fail to remark about the middle of the walk a tavern, inscribed with large letters along its front,
"Don Saltero's - 1695".
This is the place celebrated in No.34 of the Tatler, which was opened in the year above-mentioned by one Salter, a barber, made a don by the facetious Admiral Munden, who, having cruised for a long period on the coasts of Spain, had contracted a habit of donning all his acquaintance, and putting a final o to their names.
This barber had a taste for natural history, and adorned his coffee-room with stuffed birds, reptiles, and dried beetles; and the singularity of his taste, for a person in his condition of life, drew him many customers.
The Tatler describes the room as being covered with
"ten thousand gimcracks on the walls and ceiling",
and Don Saltero himself as a sage-looking man, of a thin and meagre aspect.
Its appearance is somewhat different now.
The gimcracks, the old curiosities of the don, have dwindled away to two, which still ornament the walls, - an old map of London and its environs; a painting of a ferocious Welshman with a Bardolphian nose riding on a goat, and armed with a leek and a red-herring, instead of sword and gun; and a label here and there about ginger-beer and soda-water.
Instead of the meagre-looking sage, a bluff waiter enters at your summons, upon whose character you cannot speculate, so dull is he, and so like the thousands you may daily meet.
The old host offered, on the contrary, a very fertile subject for the theorist.
"Why", said the Tatler, "should a barber, and Don Saltero among the rest, be for ever a politician, a musician, and a physician?"Ah, why, indeed? - who can tell?
To this day the barber is still the same. Go into a barber's anywhere, no matter in what district, and it is ten to one you will hear the sounds either of a fiddle or a guitar, or see the instruments hanging up somewhere.
You will also find him a politician, or if not a politician, a great friend and small critic of the drama.
Had we the space, and it were a part of our subject, we could discourse upon this matter, lengthily if not learnedly, and also upon an other question equally luminous, which has puzzled philosophers for many ages, "Why do all old women wear red cloaks?"
But we refrain, and continue our reminiscences of Chelsea.

In a house fronting the river, and on the site of the present Beaufort Buildings, Sir Thomas More resided in the year 1520. Erasmus, who was his frequent guest, describes it as having been "neither mean nor subject to envy, yet magnificent enough.
There he conversed with his wife, his son, his daughter-in-law, his three daughters and their husbands, with eleven grandchildren.
There was not any man living", continues Erasmus, "who was so affectionate to his children as he; and he loveth his old wife as well as if she were a young maid".
Here Holbein shared this great man's hospitality for three years; and here also the royal brute his master, when he was in the mood to do him honour, came in regal state, and sometimes privately, to dine with him.
Here also the noble-minded daughter of the philosopher buried the grey head of her unfortunate father, after having at the risk of her life stolen it, or caused it to be stolen, (stealing in this case was a virtue,) from the pike on which it was fixed at London Bridge, by order of Henry the Eighth.
If there are occasions in which the insensible sod can become hallowed and consecrated, an incident like this ought in all true hearts to render it holy for evermore.
The head remained there for a few hours only in a leaden box, and was removed by his daughter to the family vault of her husband, Mr. Roper, at St.Dunstan's, Canterbury.
The body was buried at Chelsea, in the south side of the chancel.
The house in which this great man resided was pulled down by Sir Hans Sloane in 1740.
In a place now called the Stable Yard, Nell Gwynne formerly resided.
It was afterwards inhabited by Sir Robert Walpole.
The premises were bought by Government in the year 1808, and pulled down.
The infirmary, an adjunct to the Royal Hospital, built from the design of Sir John Soane, now stands upon the site.
Close by resided the Duchess of Mazarin, where she gave those famous dramatic and musical entertainments to all the gay, the witty, and the gallant of the age, which became the first precursors of the Italian Opera.
It should not be forgotten that Chelsea also was the site of the well-known Ranelagh Gardens, where our ancestors used to congregate for amusements something similar to those which are now to be seen at Vauxhall.

The first regatta that ever took place on the Thames, was exhibited in front of Ranelagh Gardens on the 23rd of June 1775.
The public papers of that day speak of it as an entirely novel species of amusement in England, recently introduced from Venice, and which attracted a vast crowd of spectators.
The second regatta took place fourteen days afterwards, at Oatlands, near Weybridge, then the seat of the Duke of Newcastle, at which the Prince of Wales, the Princess Amelia, and a great number of fashionable personages attended.

We should not omit to state that at Chelsea, fronting the river, and just at the beginning of Cheyne Walk, are the celebrated Botanic Gardens of the Apothecaries Company, established in the seventeenth century, and of which frequent mention is made in Evelyn's Diary.
When Doctor, afterwards Sir Hans Sloane, purchased the manor of Chelsea from Lord Cheyne, in the year 1712, he received the rent for these gardens as part of the property; but a few years afterwards he generously settled them upon the society, in perpetuity, at the nominal rent of five pounds per annum, upon the following conditions, that it should at all times be continued as a physic garden, for the manifestation of the power, wisdom, and goodness of God in creation, and that the apprentices might learn to distinguish good and useful plants from hurtful ones resembling them; also that fifty specimens of different plants should be delivered annually to the Royal Society, until they amounted to two thousand; in default of which, the Royal Society might appropriate the whole ground to their own use at the same rent, and on delivering the specified number of plants to the College of Physicians.
A handsome statue of Sir Hans Sloane, the great benefactor of Chelsea, and of his country too, as his Museum (the origin of the British Museum) will testify, was executed by Rysbrach, in 1737, and placed in the centre walk of the gardens, facing the building, by order of the society.
Sir Joseph Banks is said to have studied the first principles of Botany in this garden.
When he was a young man, and resided at Chelsea with his mother, he used to spend the early morning, from five to eight o'clock, when others, less intent on self-improvement, were in bed and asleep, in trying experiments on various aquatic and other plants.
Renown was at last the reward of his perseverance.

Battersea Bridge

Of the bridge connecting Chelsea with Battersea, useful, no doubt, but certainly not very ornamental, it is unnecessary to say more than merely mention the fact of its existence.

Battersea


Battersea, whose simple unpretending church steeple peeps modestly from amid surround ing houses, requires more notice.
Here at one time Pope had a favourite study fronting the Thames, in which he composed his "Essay on Man"; and here was born the celebrated Lord Bolingbroke.
At the east end of the church is a window in which are three portraits, all of the family of St.John, the ancestors of the Bolingbrokes.
Among them is no less a personage than Queen Elizabeth, whose relationship to the family is thus explained.
The father of Anne Boleyn, Thomas Earl of Wiltshire, was great grandfather of the wife of Sir John St.John, the first baronet!
Truly the relationship is not very close, but it is quite sufficient for vanity to make a boast of.
Among the monuments in the church is one to the memory of the great Lord Bolingbroke, finely executed by Roubilliac, the epitaph upon which mentions, "his zeal to maintain the liberty and restore the ancient prosperity of Great Britain".
Another monument, with a singular inscription, is to the memory of one Sir Edward Winter, an East India Captain in the reign of Charles the Second, who seems to have outsamsoned Samson in his exploits.
Being in the woods in India he was attacked by a tiger, when placing himself on the edge of a deep pool of water, he waited quietly till the beast sprang at him, when he caught him in his arms, fell back with him into the water, then stood upright upon him and kept him under water till he was drowned.
Nor was this his only feat, if his epitaph speak truly in the following lines: -

Alone, unarm'd, a tiger he oppress'd,
And crush'd to death the monster of a beast;
Thrice twenty mounted Moors he overthrew,
Singly on foot - some wounded, some he slew,
Dispersed the rest - what more could Samson do?

The etymology of the word Battersea has often puzzled commentators.
Doctors have differed as to whether St.Patrick or St.Peter, or plain Batter Pudding, or even butter, should have the honour of bestowing a name upon the village.
Aubrey derives it from St.Patrick, it having, in William the Conqueror's time, been written Patrice-cey, afterwards Battrichsey, and then Battersea.
Lysons battles in favour of St.Peter, and the etymology seems plain enough; - Petersea, Pattersea, Battersea; which is rendered more likely to be the true one, by the manor having once be longed to the abbey of St.Peter's, at Chertsey.
This village used to be famous for asparagus. The following song was written in praise of a bright-eyed daughter of the spot: -

Of all the broad rivers that flow to the ocean,
There's none to compare, native Thames! unto thee;
And gladly for ever,
Thou smooth-rolling river,
I'd dwell on thy green banks at fair Battersea.

'Twas there I was born, and 'tis there I will linger,
And there shall the place of my burial be,
If fortune, caressing,
Will grant but one blessing,
The heart of the maiden of fair Battersea.

I seek not to wander by Tiber or Arno,
Or castle-crown'd rivers in far Germanie;
To me, Oh! far dearer,
And brighter, and clearer,
The Thames as it rimples at fair Battersea.

Contentment and Hope, spreading charms all around them,
Have hallow'd the spot since she smiled upon me
O Love! thy joys lend us,
O Fortune, befriend us,
We'll yet make an Eden of fair Battersea.

River wandle

A little farther on to the left, a small stream discharges itself into the Thames.
This is the Wandle, the "blue transparent Vandalis "of Pope, and famous for trout.
Pleasant places there are on its banks, between Carshalton and Wandsworth, where the angler may take his station, and be rewarded with something more substantial than mere nibbles.
The stream is also renowned for the great number of dyehouses and manufacturing establishments upon its banks.
Poetry, too, has striven to celebrate it.
Witness the following ditty, made upon some charmer, whose beauty seems to have been the only witchcraft that she used: -

Sweet little witch of the Wandle!
Come to my bosom and fondle;
v I love thee sincerely,
I'll cherish thee dearly,
Sweet little witch of the Wandle"

Sweet little witch of the Wandle!
All our life long let us fondle;
Ne'er will I leave thee,
Ne'er will I grieve thee,
Sweet little witch of the Wandle!

The Mayor of Garratt

Close by Wandsworth is a long lane, the name of which has become famous in all the country, since Foote wrote his admirable burlesque, "The Mayor of Garratt".
Garratt Lane runs parallel for a considerable distance with the river Wandle, and used to be the scene, in former years, of the election of a mock member of parliament, whenever there was a general election.
The Mayor of Garratt was the name given to their president by a club of small tradesmen, who had formed an association about the year 1760, to prevent encroachments upon the neighbouring common.
Both before and after Foote had given celebrity to the name, a mayor was elected by all the ragamuffins of the vicinity, who assembled in a public-house for that purpose; and later still, a member of parliament was elected instead of the mayor.
Upon these occasions, there was generally a goodly array of candidates, who had their proposers and seconders, and made long burlesque speeches in the regular form.
Thousands of persons from London used to meet in the lane, to the great profit of the innkeepers, who willingly paid all the expenses of flags, placards, and hustings.
But these proceedings, which commenced in good humour, ended very often in broken heads and limbs; and the magistracy, scandalised by the scenes of debauchery, drunkenness, and robbery that were so frequent, determined to put a stop to the exhibition; and it was finally suppressed about the year 1796.*
{ * A full account of all the ceremonies may be found in Hone's Every Day Book.}

Putney

The next place we arrive at is Putney, famous as the head-quarters of Cromwell's army, when the royal forces were stationed at Hampton Court.
Putney was also the birth-place of the other and less celebrated Cromwell, Earl of Essex, whose father was a blacksmith in the village.
Drayton, in his Legend of Thomas Cromwell, says, there was an unusual tide of the river at his birth, which was thought to predict his future greatness: -

Twice flow'd proud Thames, as at my coming woo'd,
Striking the wondering borderers with fear,
And the pale Genius of that aged flood
To my sick mother, labouring, did appear,
And with a countenance much distracted stood,
Threatening the fruit her painéd womb should bear.

Putney Ferry and Bridge

There used to be a ferry at Putney in very early ages.
It is mentioned in Domesday Book as yielding an annual toll of twenty shillings to the lord of the manor.
When the bridge was built in 1729, the ferry yielded to the proprietor about four hundred pounds per annum, and was sold for eight thousand pounds.
The spot has always been famous for its fishery, and, according to Lysons, is mentioned as early as the time of the Conquest.
In 1663, the annual rent of the fishery was the three best salmon caught in the months of March, April, and May.
When the estates of Sir Theodore Janssen, the noted South Sea director, and lord of the manor of Putney, were sold, the fishery was let for six pounds per annum.
It is still a favourite spot for anglers.
The salmon are not reckoned very plentiful now-a-days; but there are great quanities of very fine smelts, as well as shad, roach, dace, barbels, gudgeons, and eels.

Cardinal Wolsey

It was formerly the custom for persons travelling to the west of England from London to proceed as far as Putney by water, and then take coach.
We learn from Stowe, that when Cardinal Wolsey was dismissed from the chancellorship, he sailed from York Place (Whitehall) to Putney, on his way to Hampton Court, to the great disappointment "of the wavering and newfangled multitude", who expected that he would have been committed to the Tower.
So great was the crowd when he embarked at Privy Stairs, that, according to Stowe, a man might have walked up and down on the Thames, so covered was it with boats filled with the people of London.
The scene that took place on his arrival will always render Putney a memorable spot.
As he mounted his mule, and all his gentlemen took horse to proceed to Hampton, he espied a man riding in great haste down the hill into the village.
The horseman turned out to be one Master Norris, charged with a message from the King to the Cardinal, bidding him be of good cheer, for that his present disgrace was not so much the result of the King's indignation as a measure of policy to satisfy some persons, over whose heads he should yet arise in new splendour.
"When the Cardinal", to use the quaint and forcible language of Stowe, "had heard Master Norris report these good and comfortable words of the King, he quickly lighted from his mule all alone, as though he had been the youngest of his men, and incontinently kneeled down in the dirt upon both his knees, holding up his hands for joy of the King's most comfortable message.
Master Norris lighted also, espying him so soon upon his knees, and kneeled by him, and took him in his arms and asked him how he did, calling upon him to credit his message.
'Master Norris,' quoth he, ' when I consider the joyful news that you have brought me, I could do no less than greatly rejoice.
Every word pierces so my heart, that the sudden joy surmounted my memory, having no regard or respect to the place; but I thought it my duty, that in the same place where I received this comfort, to laud and praise God upon my knees, and most humbly to render unto my sovereign lord my most hearty thanks for the same.'

And as he was talking thus upon his knees to Master Norris, he would have pulled off a velvet night-cap, which he wore under his black hat and scarlet cap, but he could not undo the knot under his chin: wherefore with violence he rent his laces off his cap, and pulled the said cap from his head, and kneeled bareheaded.
This done, he mounted again on his mule, and so rode forth the high way up into the town".
But we must conclude the story.
When they arrived at Putney Heath, Master Norris presented the Cardinal with a ring, telling him that the King had sent it as a token of his good will.
"Oh!"exclaimed the ambitious old man, "if I were lord of all this realm, Master Norris, the one half thereof would be too small a reward to you for your pains and good news".
He then presented him with a gold chain which he usually wore round his neck, with a gold cross, in which was inclosed a small fragment of the true cross on which Jesus was crucified.
"Wear this about your neck continually for my sake", said he, "and remember me to the King when ye shall see opportunity".
Upon this, Master Norris took his departure; but the Cardinal was still unsatisfied, and before he was out of sight sent one of his gentlemen in all haste to bring him back again.
"I am very sorry", said he, "that I have no token to send to the King; but if you will at my request present the King with this poor fool, I trust he will accept him, for he is for a nobleman's pleasure, for sooth, worth one thousand pounds".
"So Master Norris "[we again quote Stowe,] "took the fool, with whom my lord was fain to send six of his tallest yeomen to help him to convey the fool to the court: for the poor fool took on like a tyrant, rather than he would have departed from my lord.
But, not withstanding, they conveyed him, and so brought him to the court, where the King received him very gladly".
This fool, from the value set upon him, appears to have been a fool after the fashion of him in Shakspeare, whom Jacques met in the forest,
"A fool - a fool - a motley fool - A noble fool - a worthy fool".
The Cardinal, for aught we know to the contrary, might have concealed a deep meaning under his present: "You will not take wise men into your favour, O King, therefore take this fool".
The fool's head, however, we are justified in believing, would not have been of much worth, if Henry had perceived the satire.
At all events, the fool showed that he had some sense, by his dislike to enter the service, of a King whose propensity to taking off heads was so remarkable.

Among other reminiscences of Putney, we must not omit that it was the birth-place of the great historian Gibbon, and that Pitt died on Putney Heath.
Here also, in a small house near the bridge, resided the novelist Richard son, and here he wrote part of "Sir Charles Grandison".



VOLUME I. CHAPTER IV.

The Two Sisters. - Poets of Barn Elms. - Loutherbourg the Artist. - Hogarth's Epitaph. - English love of Trees and Flowers. - Residence of Joe Miller.
- Vanity in Death. - Reminiscences of Mortlake. - Queen Elizabeth and the Alchymist. - Pleasant Controversy between Swift and Partridge.
- Dirty Brentford. - Anecdote of George II. - Kew Gardens. - Sion House. - Isleworth.

The two Sisters, Putney and Fulham

The churches of Fulham and Putney, which look meekly towards each other from the two sides of the river, are said to have been built by two sisters.
This, however, is but a foolish tradition.
Grose, in his Provincial Glossary, says, the story was, that they had but one hammer between them, which they interchanged by throwing it across the river, on a word agreed upon between them.
She on the Surrey side made use of the words,
"Put it nigh!"
and she on the opposite shore,
"Heave it full home"
whence the churches, and from them the villages, were called
"Putnigh" and "Fullhome",
since corrupted to "Putney" and "Fulham".

Both churches are of great antiquity; and, although it is not easy to fix precisely the date of their foundation, it is probable that it was shortly after the Conquest.
The stone tower of Putney church is supposed to have been erected in the fifteenth century.
Fulham has been known since the Conquest as the manor and residence of the Bishops of London, many of whom lie buried in the church.
There are several monuments here to the memory of men who were celebrated in their day for their piety or their learning.
There is also one to the memory of Dr.Butts, physician to King Henry the Eighth, who is known neither for his learning nor his piety, but who is familiar to the reader of Shakspeare from the part he plays in the drama of that name.
Such is the influence of genius, - such is the homage that some enthusiastic hearts are ever ready to pay it, - that Fulham has had its pilgrims for no other reason than this.
The mention made of Dr.Butts by the great bard is small enough, but is sufficient with these to draw them hither, as to a shrine.

Barn Elms

From Fulham the Thames bends towards Hammersmith, and as we sail upwards we pass through lines of tall trees, and through banks all covered with clusters of wild flowers to the very edge of the water.
On the Surrey shore is Barn, or Barnes, Elms, famous as having been the residence of Sir Francis Walsingham, of the unfortunate Earl of Essex, of Cowley, and of Tonson the bookseller.
The latter built a gallery here for the accommodation of the Kit-cat Club, and adorned the walls with their portraits, which have, however, been since removed.
The poet Hughes, a man who in his day boasted many admirers, but whom three good judges, Pope, Swift, and Dr. Johnson, classed as "one of the mediocribus", strove to celebrate the noble trees that give name to this place by some encomiastic verses.
A taste of their quality is afforded by the concluding lines.

Ye verdant elms, that towering grace this grove,
Be sacred still to beauty and to love,
Nor thunder break, nor lightning glare between
Your twisted boughs - - -
The grateful sun will every morning rise
Propitious here, saluting from the skies
Your lofty tops, indulged with sweetest air,
And every spring your losses he'll repair,
Nor his own laurels more shall be his care".

It says but little for the taste of the age that such twaddle as this should ever have been considered poetry.
We of this [19th] century are more difficult to please in the matter; and Master Hughes, had he lived among us, would not have been considered one of the second, but of the seventh-rate poets.

We are, however, approaching a part of the Thames that teems with reminiscences of true poets.
For the next fifteen or twenty miles of our course, there is hardly a spot on either shore which is not associated with the names of Cowley, Denham, Pope, Gay, Collins, Thomson, or the predecessors and contempora ries of these writers.
The very stones and trees on the Thames' banks "prate of their whereabouts", and whisper in the ear of the lover of song, "Here Cowley lived", - "here Pope wrote, or here he took the air in a boat", - "here is Thomson buried", - or, "here Denham stood when he imagined the beautiful eulogium upon the river, which has been so often quoted", - and here King William "showed Swift how to cut asparagus in the Dutch way".
We must not, however, digress, but mention all these things in their proper places.

Hammersmith Suspension Bridge

As we draw near to the elegant suspension bridge of Hammersmith, we pass the site of the once celebrated Brandenburg House, where the luckless consort of George the Fourth ended her unhappy life.
Here, during the popular excitement occasioned by the trial in the House of Lords, thousands of persons proceeded daily to carry their addresses of confidence or of sympathy.
Sometimes as many as thirty thousand people were known to set out from London on this errand, in carriages, on horseback, and on foot, preceded by bands of music, and bearing banners, or emblems of the various trades that formed the procession.
After her death, the place, odious in the eyes of George the Fourth, was purchased by that monarch, and razed to the ground.
Some traces of the wall and a portion of the gate alone remain to mark the place where it stood.
It was once the property of Prince Rupert, by whom it was given to the beautiful Mrs. Hughes, an actress, by whose charms his heart was captured.
It was also inhabited at one time by the Margravine of Anspach.
Hammersmith is famous for a nunnery established in the seventeenth century.
About fifteen years ago, the place was noted in London as the scene where an awful ghost played his antics, to the great alarm of many silly people. At the end of the last century, Loutherbourg the artist resided here, and drew great crowds to his house by an exhibition something akin to the mummeries of animal magnetism as now practised.
He pretended to cure all diseases by the mere laying on of the hands, aided by prayer; and it is mentioned that as many as three thousand people at a time waited around his garden, expecting to be relieved of their infirmities by this wonderful artist.
But of all the reminiscences attached to Hammersmith, the most interesting is, that Thomson the poet once made it his dwelling-place, and composed part of his "Seasons"there, in a tavern called the Dove Coffee house.
Thomson, for the last twenty years of his life, was a constant haunter of the Thames; he lived, died, and was buried on the banks of his favourite river.
It may be said, indeed, without any disparagement to the Thames, that it killed this sweet poet and amiable man; for he caught a severe cold upon the water, when sailing in an open boat from London to Kew, which, being neglected, proved fatal a short time afterwards.

Chiswick

Chiswick is the next place we arrive at, - Chiswick, the burial place of Hogarth, and where a monument is raised to his memory, for which his friend Garrick wrote the following inscription: -

Farewell, great painter of mankind,
Who reached the noblest point of art;
Whose pictured morals charm the mind,
And through the eye correct the heart.
If genius fire thee, reader, stay;
If nature move thee, drop a tear;
If neither touch thee, turn away,
For Hogarth's honour'd dust lies here".

This epitaph has been very much admired, but it is by no means a favourable specimen of that kind of composition.
The first two lines are tame and prosaic, and the word "farewell" is inappropriately made use of.
To say "farewell" to the ashes of the dead is natural to those who look for the last time on the face of one they loved; but the object of an epitaph being merely to inform the reader of the great or the good man who moulders below, there is no necessity for the word of leave-taking.
The thought in the last stanza is much better, and, were it not for the unreasonable request that we should weep over the spot, would be perfect.
Men cannot weep that their predecessors have died.
We may sigh that neither virtue nor genius can escape the common lot of humanity, but no more.
We cannot weep.
Admiration claims no such homage; and, if it did, we could not pay it.


In this churchyard are buried also, Mary, the daughter of Oliver Cromwell; Ugo Foscolo; Barbara Villiers Duchess of Cleveland; Judith, the wife of Sir James Thornhill, the painter; their daughter, married to the immortal Ho garth; Loutherbourg, the magnetiser and artist, already mentioned; and Kent, the famous architect and gardener.

Chiswick House

A little further up the stream stands Chiswick House, the seat of the Duke of Devon shire, almost hidden from the view by the tall trees amid which it is embowered.
From this point upwards there is a constant succession of elegant villas, only to look at which is enough to satisfy the traveller that he is indeed in England.
Such neatness, such cleanliness, such taste, such variety of flower and tree peeping from hehind or springing on either side; such ivy-covered walls, and such comfort visibly dwelling over all, meet the gaze of the passer-by nowhere else but in England.
We have sailed up other rivers in our time, have seen the castles of the Rhine, the chateaux of the Seine, and the villas of the Elbe, the Scheldt, and the Meuse; but never have we met with scenes of such elegant luxury as all England is dotted with.
There is more appreciation of the simple loveliness of nature here than in any other country in the world; even our poorest cots embellish their poverty, and render it more endurable by nicely-trimmed gardens both in front and rear.
Flowers and trees are the poor man's luxuries in England. The gew-gaws of art are beyond his reach; but roses and lilies, violets, hyacinths, blue-bells, anemones, and all the tribes whose very names are pleasant, adorn his humble windows, and show the taste of the indweller as well as the rich vases, golden time-pieces, or choice paint ings, that solicit our admiration in the chambers of the rich.
How different it is in most of the countries on the Continent, especially in Germany, France, and Belgium! There, neither rich nor poor have that love for verdure and flowers, which is so characteristic of all classes of Englishmen.
Their rivers show no such embowered villas and cottages on their banks as ours; the country-houses of their gentry are naked and tasteless in comparison, and their cottages are miserable huts, around whose doors or windows the honeysuckle never crept, and where even a flower-pot is an unusual visiter.
We shall not attempt here to point out all the villas that adorn the Thames; for we have not undertaken these rambles to make a mere guide-book.
Now and then we shall signalize some among them, which are dear to the me mory of all friends of their country, from their having been inhabited by the great statesmen, historians, or poets of time gone by, but no more.
All the rest we shall pass with silent admiration, leaving those whose curiosity may not be satisfied until they know the name of every tenant of every house they see, to consult the pages of some accurate guide-book.
We sail in search of more hidden things, of reminiscences of poetry and the poets, of scraps of legendary lore, and the relics of antiquity.
We go also in search of rural nooks, where we may inhale the fresh breezes, and, by filling our ears with the sweet song of the birds, and the murmur of the trees and waters, get rid of the eternal hum of the crowded thoroughfares we have left.
We go to satisfy the longings we had formed

In lonely rooms, and 'mid the din
Of towns and cities:

for, (to continue the fine lines of Wordsworth, written also upon revisiting a river,) we are among the number of those who are

The lovers of the meadows, and the woods,
And mountains, and of all that we behold
From this green earth; of all the mighty world
Of eye and ear, both what they half create,
And what perceive -

And see; - our style is as rambling as our subject, and we have wandered away from Chiswick House and the villas near it, without mentioning the fact that on that spot died two of the most illustrious men of modern history. Charles James Fox and George Canning both expired within its walls, and both in their life time passed many hours in its elegant retirement.

Strand on the Green, Barnes and Mortlake

The cluster of houses immediately past the wall of this domain is the hamlet of Strand-on the-green, where Joe Miller, the putative father of thousands of other men's jokes, resided and died.
His remains, however, are not interred here, but in the burial-ground of St.Clement Danes, in Portugal-street, London.
On the other side of the river are the adjoining villages of Barnes and Mortlake.
In the churchyard of Barnes is a tomb, which is a singular example of the fond follies that men sometimes commit in death, and strive to perpetuate beyond it.
It is to the memory of one Edward Rose, a citizen of London, who died in 1653, and left twenty pounds for the purchase of an acre of land for the poor of the village, upon condition that a number of rose trees should be planted around his grave, kept in flourishing condition, and renewed for ever.
May his roses flourish! All we can say is, that we can but smile or sigh, or both, to think that even death cannot put conceit out of countenance.

Dr John Dee

The village of Mortlake is celebrated as having been the residence of one of the most singular characters of the sixteenth century.
Dr. John Dee, the astrologer and alchymist, and one of the pioneers of the Rosicrucian philosophy, (if philosophy so wild and visionary a system can be called,) lived here for many years, and was buried in the chancel of the church.
The ancient people of the village more than a century after his death, which took place in 1608, pointed out the exact spot where his ashes lay; but the curious inquirer would now seek in vain to discover it.
Queen Elizabeth always treated Dr.Dee with marked consideration, and, when she ascended the throne, sent her favourite Dudley, afterwards Earl of Leicester, to consult him on a lucky day for her coronation.
She occasionally visited him at Mortlake, and is once said to have expressed a desire to be instructed by him in the secrets of astrology and alchymy.
She devoutly believed that he would one day discover the philosopher's stone, - an object to which all his abilities, and he was not without a good portion, were directed.
All the money he gained by telling fortunes, predicting lucky and unlucky days, and casting nativities, was melted away in his furnaces, in the futile search for the stone, or the elixir, which was to change pokers and tongs, pots and kettles, and even the pump in his back-yard, into pure gold.
Thus, though he gained immense sums of money, he was always poor; and when Count Laski, a wealthy Pole, who was travelling in England, desirous of making his acquaintance, sent him word that he would come and dine with him, Dee was obliged to apply to Queen Elizabeth to borrow money to treat the stranger with becoming hospitality.
Elizabeth sympathised with his distress, and sent him twenty pounds immediately.
It was shortly before he received this visit that he made a grand discovery.
He firmly believed that by means of a small black stone with a shining surface, and cut in the form of a diamond, which he possessed, he could hold converse with the elementary spirits, and be instructed by them in all the secrets of science, and all the mysteries of nature.
He has himself left a most extraordinary narrative of his conversations with the spirits; part of which was published after his death by Dr.Casaubon, and the remainder of which may still be seen among the manuscripts in the British Museum.

He says, that as he was one day in November, 1582, sitting in his study at Mortlake, engaged in fervent prayer, the angel Uriel appeared at his window, and gave him a translucent stone, with which he might summon the angels, and ask them questions whenever he pleased.
He also says that an angel appeared to him in the form of a beautiful little maiden, who slid gracefully and fluttered her wings among the leaves of his books.
The conversations which, as he informs us, he held with this and with many other spirits, were of the most puerile kind, but in Dee's opinion they were full of truth, wisdom, and philosophy, and contained precepts which, if the world had followed, would have saved it from the horrors of many bitter and bloody revolutions.
He soon found that he could not converse with his attendant spirits and note down at the same time what they said, and he therefore engaged another fortune-teller and alchymist, named Kelly, to act as his seer, and converse with the spirits, while he devoted himself to reporting their heavenly talk.
Kelly humoured the whim or the insanity of his principal, and soon rendered himself so necessary that Dee received him into his family, esteemed him as his friend, and was proud of him as his disciple.
When Count Laski came, the two worthies showed him all their wonders.
The Pole was highly delighted with the conversation and acquirements of the doctor, and listened with eagerness to his promises that he would find the philosopher's stone for him, and make him the wealthiest man the world ever saw.
The doctor was as much pleased with his guest, whom he knew to be rich and powerful; and he and Kelly formed the design of fastening themselves upon him, and living sumptuously at his expense until they found the philosopher's stone.

Laski, after great pretended difficulties, was admitted to the conversations with the spirits, and finally impressed with such high notions of the learning and genius of both Dee and Kelly, that he invited them to reside with him on his estates near Cracow.
The astrologers desired nothing better; and Dee especially was anxious to quit England, where he imagined he was not safe, the mob a short time before having threatened to break into his house, and destroy his library, and all his philosophical apparatus.
This threat, we may mention by the way, was afterwards carried into execution.
They all left England secretly - Dee being afraid of offending Elizabeth, - and reached the estates of Laski in safety.
The astrologers resided with him for no more than a month; for his finances were in such a state of disorder, and they were such expensive guests that he could not maintain them; and, as he soon abandoned his hopes of the philosopher's stone, he took the earliest opportunity of sending them about their business.
They next fastened themselves upon the Emperor Rudolph, and afterwards upon Stephen, king of Poland.
They drew considerable sums from the exchequer of the latter, leading him on with false hopes of inexhaustible wealth and boundless dominion, until he grew weary of seeing such vast outlay, and receiving no return for it except in empty promises.
Elizabeth felt the loss of her astrologer, and sent for him at various times during the six years that he was on the Continent.
At last his affairs beginning to look gloomy, having quarrelled with Kelly, offended or disgusted all his former patrons, and more than once run the risk of perpetual imprisonment, he closed with her offers, and determined to return to England.
He set out from Trebona in the spring of 1589, travelling in great splendour, with a train of three coaches, and a large quantity of baggage.

Immediately on his arrival, Elizabeth gave him audience at Richmond, and promised to see to his fortunes.
Little, however, was done; for, sanguine as the queen may at one time have been that Dee would discover the philosopher's stone, she soon saw reason to doubt his capabilities.
But she never wholly withdrew her favour from him, and, on his repeated applications for relief, appointed a committee of the privy council to inquire into the state of his affairs, and see what could be done for him.
Dee then made a claim for the destruction of his books and implements by the mob at Mortlake soon after he took his departure, and further more stated that he considered the Queen his debtor for the expense of his journey home from the Continent, which he said he would not have undertaken unless at her special command.
Elizabeth, however, would not acknowledge her liability, but sent Dee a small sum by way of charity.
He at last, upon his representation that he was starving, obtained of her the Chancellorship of St.Paul's Cathedral, which office he held for one year, and then exchanged for the wardenship of the College at Manchester.
He was now more than seventy years of age; and, becoming unable to perform with any activity the duties of his station, he resigned it after seven years, hoping that a pension would be granted to him.
In this hope he was disappointed.
He then retired to Mortlake, and lived upon the bounty of the Queen.
After her death he tried to propitiate King James I.
; but that monarch took no notice of him whatever, and he died in 1608 in a state but little removed from absolute penury.
His companion Kelly did not live so long; but, being sentenced to perpetual imprisonment by some German potentate, who by that means attempted to extort from him the pretended secret of gold-making, he endeavoured to escape from his dungeon by leaping from a high window, and killed himself by the fall.

Between Swift and Partridge

In Mortlake churchyard also lies interred another singular character; no less a man than the famous Partridge, the almanack-maker, whose death was so pleasantly predicted by Swift under the name of Bickerstaff, and so logically and valiantly maintained to be true, in spite of the assertions of the party most concerned that he was "still alive and kick ing".
Partridge, as is well known, was originally a cobbler, and a very ignorant man; but his reputation was great among a certain class of people, and his predictions, both of the weather and of events in general, were looked to with great respect and anxiety.
Swift's wit about this fellow kept the town in a good humour for a long time, to the great mortification and anger of Partridge.
Let us hear how Swift maintained the living man to be dead, and how logically he proved it.
"An objection has been made", quoth he, "to an article in my predictions, which foretold the death of Mr. Partridge to happen on March 29, 1708.
This he is pleased to contradict absolutely in the almanack he has published in the present year, and in that ungentlemanly manner (pardon the expression) as I have above related.
In that work he very roundly asserts, "that he is not only now alive, but was likewise alive upon that very 29th of March when I foretold he should die."
This is the subject of the present controversy between us, which I design to handle with all brevity, perspicuity, and calmness.
In this dispute I am sensible the eyes, not only of England but of all Europe, will be upon us; and the learned in every country will, I doubt not, take part on that side where they find most appearance of truth and reason.
My first argument is this.
Abovea thousand gentlemen having bought his almanack for this year, merely to find what he said against me, at every line they read they would lift up their eyes, and cry out, betwixt rage and laughter, "They were sure no man alive ever wrote such damned stuff as this!"
Now I never heard that opinion disputed.
So that Mr. Partridge lies under a dilemma, either, of disowning his almanack, or of confessing himself to be "no man alive". But now, if an uninformed ignorant carcase walks about, and is pleased to call itself Partridge, Mr. Bickerstaff does not think himself any way answerable for that.
Secondly, Mr. Partridge pretends to tell fortunes, and recover stolen goods, which all the parish says he must do by conversing with the devil and other evil spirits; and no wise man will ever allow that he could converse personally with either till after he was dead.
Thirdly, I will prove him to be dead out of his own almanack, and from the very passage which he produces to make us think he is alive.
He there says that "he is not only now alive, but was also alive upon that very 29th of March which I foretold he should die on."
By this he declares his opinion, that a man may be alive now who was not alive a twelve month ago.
And indeed there lies the sophistry of his argument.
He dares not assert that he was ever alive since the 29th of March, but that he is now alive, and so was on that day.
I grant the latter, for he did not die till night, as appears by the printed account of his death, in "a letter to a lord"; and whether he is since revived, I leave the world to judge.
This, indeed, is perfect cavilling, and I am ashamed to dwell any longer upon it.
Fourthly, I will appeal to Mr. Partridge whether it be probable I could have been so indiscreet as to begin my predictions with the only falsehood that was ever alleged against them, and this in an affair at home, where I had so many opportunities to be exact, and must have given such advantages against me to a person of Mr. Partridge's wit and learning".
There is one objection against Mr. Partridge's death which I have sometimes met with, though indeed very slightly offered, that is, that he still continues to write almanacks.
But this is no more than what is common to all of that profession: Gadbury, Poor Robin, Dove, Wing, and several others, do yearly publish their almanacks, though several of them have been dead since before the Revolution.
One cannot help thinking that Partridge was a most incredulous man to have refused belief in his own death after such proofs as these.
But argument was thrown away upon him; and to give Bickerstaff the lie direct, he actually knocked down and beat in the street, opposite his own door, a poor fellow who was crying about the town a ballad entitled, "A full and true account of the death of Dr.Partridge".

Alas! poor Partridge! he is now dead enough - a mere lump of clay in the churchyard of Mortlake - the gibes of a thousand Swifts can trouble him no more.
A stronger adversary has silenced the arguments both of him and his tormentor, and the ashes of the quack and cobbler have mouldered away like those of the wit and the philosopher, and he who should compare the two would find no difference between them.
The "grim foe", as he is wrongly called, has settled the dispute, and reduced them both to that equality, a knowledge of whose inevitable approach exalts the humble and pulls down the proud.
And yet, after all, how impotent is death! Swift and Partridge are gone, but their thoughts are with us still.
Even in this world, which may be called Death's own domain, man sets his dart at defiance.
The minds of the living can hold converse when they please with the minds of the dead.
Their thoughts die not with them, nor ours with us; and, in spite of death, we can call them from their "misty shrouds", to instruct us with their wisdom, or amuse us with their wit.
But we are again rambling, and, i' faith, writing a homily, instead of looking at both banks of the Thames, and pointing out the memorabilia of each spot as we pass it.

Kew

Our digression has brought us to Kew Bridge, and, begging the reader's indulgence, we proceed with our task.
This handsome bridge, first opened in 1790, was built from a design of Mr. Paine, who was also the architect of some other bridges over the river.
It contains seven stone arches.
Kew church was erected in the reign of Queen Anne, when Kew, anciently called Kayhough, and a hamlet to Kingston, was united to Petersham, with which it now forms one vicarage.
In the cemetery lie the remains of the celebrated Gainsborough, the artist, who died in 1788, and also those of the equally celebrated Zoffany, who died in 1810.

Kew Palace and Gardens

The chief attractions of Kew at the present time, are the palace and gardens.
The palace is in the nominal occupation of the King of Hanover, who retains it as an appendage to his British Dukedom of Cumberland.
The palace first came into the occupation of the royal family of England in the reign of George the First.
The Prince of Wales, afterwards George the Second, then took a long lease of it, from Mr. Molineux, who had been his private secretary.
The Prince frequently resided in it during the summer months, and Thomson, the poet, then an inhabitant of his favourite Richmond, about three quarters of a mile distant, was always welcome to his table.
Sir William Chambers, the architect of Somerset House, laid out the grounds and formed the Botanic Garden and Conservatory for the Princess Dowager of Wales, the mother of George the Third, about the year 1760.
Here this Princess ended her days; upon which occasion the poet Goldsmith wrote an ode, entitled "Threnodia Augustalis", in which occur the following lines in praise of the scenery of Kew: -

Fast by that shore where Thame's translucent stream
Reflects new glories on his breast;
Where splendid as the youthful poet's dream
He forms a scene beyond Elysium blest.
Where sculptured elegance and native grace
Unite to stamp the beauties of the place,
While sweetly blending, still are seen
The wavy lawn, the sloping green,
While novelty with cautious cunning
Through every maze of fancy running,
From China borrows aid to deck the scene".

George the Third himself afterwards resided here occasionally, and here George the Fourth, when a child, received the first rudiments of his education under the superintendence of Dr. Markham, afterwards Archbishop of York. In this house also, the aged Queen Charlotte, his mother, died in 1818.
Besides the palace there is another smaller mansion on Kew Green, inhabited by his Royal Highness the Duke of Cambridge.
The pleasure gardens, which are opened for public inspection on Sundays only, contain several handsome buildings.
The principal and most prominent is the Chinese Pagoda, ten stories high, of an octagonal shape, and built after the models of similar edifices in China.
The whole height is nearly one hundred and sixty-three feet; and the top commands a very extensive and beautiful view of the surrounding country.
Closely adjoin ing is the mosque, another octagonal build ing ornamented with a large dome, and containing three entrances, over each of which is inscribed an extract in Arabic from the Koran, in characters of gold.
Various other fantastical buildings are dispersed in various parts of the grounds, the chief of which are the Temple of Bellona, the Temple of Pan, the Temple of Eolus, and the Temple of Solitude.
There are also the House of Confucius, the Theatre of Augusta, and the Temple of Arethusa.
On a hill stands a small building called the Temple of Victory, erected in commemoration of the battle of Minden in 1759.
The Conservatory, a large and handsome structure, contains a choice collection of indigenous and exotic flowers and plants.

Brentford

Immediately through the [Kew] bridge there is a lovely ait, or island, behind which is dirty Brentford, the county town of Middlesex, situated upon the little river Brent, from which it takes its name.
Gay, in his epistle to the Earl of Burlington, celebrates it as -

Brentford, tedious town,
For dirty streets and white-legged chickens known;

and Thomson in his "Castle of Indolence", as

Brentford town, a town of mud,

where pigs driven to market could find abundance of congenial mire to sport and wallow in.
A common saying relative to this town, is to say of a man with a very red face, that he is like the Red Lion of Brentford; an allusion to the sign of the principal inn, where the lion is "exceedingly red", as lions upon sign-posts generally are.
This place is chiefly famous for a severe skirmish which was fought here in 1642 between the Royal and Parliamentary armies, in which the former were victorious.
George the Second admired Brentford greatly; it was so dirty and ill paved, that it put him in mind of the towns in his native country.
"I like to ride dro' Brentford", said his Majesty, "it ish so like Hanoversh!"

Sion House

On the left of us, as we proceed up the river, extend the gardens of Kew, and on the right is the princely domain of the Duke of Northumberland.
Sion House is a naked heavy-looking building.
It stands near the site of a nunnery, founded in the reign of Henry the Fifth, "in honour of the Holy Trinity, the glorious Virgin Mary, the Apostles and Disciples of God, and all Saints, especially St. Bridget".
It was one of the first religious establishments suppressed by Henry the Eighth, his ire being particularly directed against the sisterhood for the countenance they had afforded Elizabeth Barton, the Holy Maid of Kent.
It was alleged against Sir Thomas More that he visited this impostor at Sion House.
After the death of Henry, who reserved it for his own use, it was given by Edward the Sixth to the Protector Somerset, and, on his attainder and execution, to the Duke of Northumberland.
Lady Jane Grey, that ill-starred Queen of a few days, resided here when she was urged to accept the crown.
Her acceptance of it led to her own death, and that of the Duke of Northumberland, when the building once more reverted to the Crown, and was restored by Queen Mary to the sisters "of all the Saints, and especially of St. Bridget".
Elizabeth, however, dispossessed them, and gave Sion to the Earl of Northumberland, and it has ever since remained in the family.
There is a tradition that, before the dissolution of the religious houses, the monks at Richmond caused a tunnel to be made under the Thames to Sion, that they might visit the nuns clandestinely.
The same story is related in connection with various other places, and was no doubt coined to serve its purposes in the time of Henry the Eighth.
The same legend, and apparently the original one on which all the others are founded, as will be seen hereafter in our account of the river Wey, is told of the monks of Ockham and the nuns of Newark Abbey.

Isleworth

Isleworth, a village adjoining the gardens of Sion, was at one time called Thistleworth, as we learn from the Surveys published prior to the year 1769.
It was here, during the turbulent and long reign of Henry the Third, that the insurgent barons held their head-quarters for a considerable time, under the well-known Simon de Mountfort Earl of Leicester.
There was at this time a royal palace, or summer-house, in the village, in the occupation of Richard Earl of Cornwall, the nominal King of Rome, and brother to Henry the Third.
In these struggles the Londoners sided with the barons; and, being incensed against the King, and his son Prince Edward, who had broken into the treasury of the Knights Templars in Fleet street, and abstracted £1000.
They ultimately made a diversion on their own account, and marched in crowds to Isleworth, where they razed to the ground the stately palace of the King's brother.
It was never afterwards rebuilt, and it is supposed that Sion House stands nearly upon its site.
The church of Isleworth, which stands close to the river's brink, is a mean-looking edifice; relieved, however, and rendered more picturesque, by the clustering ivy which creeps up its venerable tower.
It was rebuilt in the year 1706.
The village itself is now insignificant, and is chiefly inhabited by market-gardeners. The environs contain some handsome villas.



VOLUME I. CHAPTER V.

Approach to Richmond. - The grave of the poet Thomson. - Wit among the Tombstones. - Richmond Palace The Battle of the Gnats. - View from Richmond Hill. - A Song by Mallet Gay, the poet. - Traditions of Ham House. - Eel-pie Island. - The Poetical Sawyer. - Anecdote of Edmund Kean.

Approach to Richmond

As we passed Kew bridge our mind was filled with a multitude of confused thoughts, reminiscences intricately blended, of poetry and the poets; of Jeanie Deans, and the Duke of Argyll; of Richmond Hill, and the charms of its far-famed lass; and of "maids of honour"- the chief delicacies of the place, - which, with a carnivorous appetite, we longed to devour.
But, as we approached nearer, our thoughts finally fixed themselves upon James Thomson, the delightful bard of "The Seasons", to whose memory the whole place is hallowed.
We remembered, and quoted to ourselves, the ode of his friend Collins,

In yonder grave a Druid lies:
Where slowly winds the stealing wave,
The year's best sweets shall duteous rise
To deck their poet's sylvan grave.
Remembrance oft shall haunt the shore
When Thames in summer wreaths is drest,
And oft suspend the dashing oar,
To bid thy gentle spirit rest.


We were thus musing, when a merry strain broke in upon our meditations.
The band which had accompanied the steam-boat from London, struck up the familiar air, "The lass of Richmond Hill"; a custom which has been observed ever since steam-boats have plied in this part of the river, to give us notice that we were at our journey's end.
Without stopping to ascend the hill, we struck at once into the lower parts of the village, and, by dint of inquiry, found ourselves in a few moments in front of the ancient, humble, but, in our eyes, beautiful church of Richmond.

We forthwith strolled through the churchyard, in search of the sexton, or door keeper, that we might give him his fee, and be admitted into the church.
One of the first objects that caught our attention was a neat marble tablet upon the wall, with a medallion head sculptured upon it, and inscribed with the simple words,
"Edmund Kean, died May 1833, aged 46.
A memorial erected by his son, Charles John Kean, 1839"

We paused a moment, and took off our hat, for we are of the number of those who pay reverence to the inanimate sod, and the senseless ashes beneath it, if those ashes have ever been warmed by the soul of genius, or of goodness.
We are also of the number of those who are critical in monumental inscriptions, and we considered this brief one for awhile, and, owning that it was enough, passed on.
After inquiry at one of the cottages that skirt the churchyard, we were directed next door, to the pew-opener, and that personage readily undertook to escort us over her little building; as important to her, and containing monuments as magnificent, and as well worth looking at, as either St. Paul's or Westminster Abbey.
If we were pleased with the outside appearance of the church, we were still better pleased when we entered within.
It is an old-fashioned edifice, just large enough for a village, with a fine organ, well-covered pews, and walls almost hidden by monumental tablets, and the whole looking as grand and modest as true piety itself.
Our cicerone, like one who was well accustomed to her task, was leading us round the church, beginning from the beginning, and showing us in due order the tombs of the worthies of Richmond, when we broke in upon her established practice, and requested her to point out at once the grave of the poet Thomson.
She led the way immediately to the darkest corner of the church, when, opening a pew-door, she bade us enter.
We had heard much talk of the munificence of the Earl of Buchan in erecting a memorial over the poet's ashes, and we looked around us accordingly for some hand some piece of monumental marble, which might be worthy of the donor, and sufficient for its avowed purpose, - the satisfaction of the bard's admirers.
We could not conceal the expression of our disappointment, when the pew opener, bidding us mount upon the seat of the pew, pointed out to us a piece of copper about eighteen inches square, so out of the reach of the ordinary observer, - so blackened by time, - and so incrusted by the damp and the dirt, that it was quite impossible to read one line of the inscription.
"Then you have not many visiters to this tomb? "said we to the pew-opener.
"Oh, yes, we have,'' replied she; "but they are not so particular as you, sir: not one in a hundred cares to read the inscription; they just look at it from below, and pass on".
We took out our pocket-handkerchief, and began to rub the verdigrise from the copper as the pew-opener spoke; which, she observing, mounted also upon the bench, and taking her own handkerchief from her pocket, rubbed away with as much earnestness as we did.
The dirt was an inch thick upon it; besides which, the letters were of the same colour as the plate on which they are engraven, so that, after all, we were afraid we should be obliged to give over the attempt as quite hopeless.
"There", she said, "now I think you will be able to read it", as the rust, by a vigorous application of her hands, was transferred from the tablet to her handkerchief.
"I think you might manage to make it out, if you are particularly anxious about it".
We tried again accordingly, and, with some trouble, read the following inscription.

In the earth below this tablet
are the remains of
James Thomson,
author of the beautiful poems,
entitled, 'The Seasons', 'The Castle of Indolence', &c.
who died at Richmond on the 22nd of August,
and was buried there on the 29th, O.S.[Old Style ie Old Calendar] 1748.
The Earl of Buchan,
unwilling that so good a man, and sweet a poet,
should be without a memorial,
has denoted the place of his interment,
for the satisfaction of his admirers,
in the year of our Lord 1792.
"Father of light and life! Thou good supreme!
Oh! teach me what is good. Teach me thyself!
Save me from folly, vanity, and vice,
From every low pursuit, and feed my soul
With knowledge, conscious peace, and virtue pure,
Sacred, substantial, never-fading bliss!

"We wish", said we to ourselves, "that his lordship's taste had been as good as his intentions, and that, instead of this trumpery piece of brass, - which cannot have cost him much more than five pounds, - he had put up a marble tablet, which one might have read without all this scrubbing".
If we had 'continued our soliloquy much longer, we should have found fault not only with the taste and liberality, but with the motives of his lordship; but we were saved from the uncharitableness by the pew-opener, who broke in upon our meditation to remind us that immediately under the pew on which we stood lay the ashes of the poet.

"What, was he buried within the church? " said we.
"No", replied the pew-opener, "on the outside, just against the wall; but the church has been enlarged since that day to make room for the organ; so that the wall passes right across his coffin, and cuts the body in two, as it were".
"Cuts the body in two!"repeated we; "and did no charitable soul, when this thing was proposed, so much as hint that the church might have been made a few inches larger, so that the whole body might have been brought inside?"
"I never inquired", said the pew-opener.
"But, surely, sir, you'll go and see the grave of the great Mary Ann Yates? Lord bless you, sir, more people go to see that grave than any other in the church!" "The great Mary Ann Yates!"said we in some perplexity; for, to our shame be it spoken, we had forgotten the name, and we did not like to expose our ignorance to the pew-opener.
"Oh, by all means", said we, making the best of the matter, and following our conductress to the other end of the church towards the communion-table.
"There", said the pew-opener, removing a small mat with her foot, and directing our attention to a plain slab on the floor, "there lies the body.
Of course you've heard of her?"
We said nothing, but made a feint of being so engrossed with the epitaph as not to have heard the inquiry.
"She was very celebrated, I've been told", added she, after a pause; "and, indeed, I've heard that Mrs. Siddons wasn't anything like equal to her".
This observation enlightened us; our ignorance was cleared up.
We gazed upon the grave of the tragic actress so greatly admired in her day.
"And such", thought we, "is fame; a mere matter of circles and classes.
Pilgrims come to the tomb of a person celebrated in one sphere, who are ignorant that in the next grave sleeps one who was just as celebrated in another, and who do not even know that such a person ever existed.
The worshippers of poetry never heard of the actress; the admirers of the actress, in all probability, never heard of the poet, and so on, through all the various ranks and denominations of society".
We were thus cogitating, when the pew opener told us that she had some other very fine tombs to show us, and with such an emphasis upon the word fine, as impressed us with the notion that she would think we slighted her monuments, (and she was evidently proud of them,) if we refused to look at them.
We went round accordingly, and up into the galleries, where several tablets were pointed out to us, with warm eulogiums upon the sculptured cherubim, or other ornaments that supported them.
But one only struck us as remarkable, a plain blue stone, with a Latin inscription to the memory of Robert Lewes, a Cambro-Briton and a lawyer, who died in the year 1649,
"and who", said the epitaph,
"was such a great lover of peace and quiet, that when a contention began in his body between life and death, he immediately gave up the ghost to end the dispute".
There is wit and humour even in the grave.
There is an entertaining French work, entitled "Des grands Hommes qui sont morts en plaisantant".
One as entertaining might be made upon the subject of "Wit among the tombstones "It would not be uninstructive either, and would afford numberless illustrations of that unaccountable propensity of many people to choose the most solemn things as the objects of their merriment.
The richest comedy ever penned fails to excite more laughter than the lugubrious jokes of the grave-diggers in Hamlet; and sextons, mutes, and undertakers, are the legitimate butts of the jester and caricaturist all over the world.

Having lingered in the church until we had satisfied our curiosity, we proceeded towards Rosedale House, where Thomson resided, and where the chair on which he sat, the table on which he wrote, and the peg on which he hung his hat, are religiously preserved, as relics of departed genius.
The house, after the poet's death, was purchased by a Mr. Ross, who had so much veneration for his memory that he forbore to pull it down, though small and inconvenient, but enlarged and repaired it, at an expense of nine thousand pounds.
It was afterwards inhabited by the Honourable Mrs. Boscawen, the widow of the admiral, who participated in this feeling of her predecessor, and repaired the alcove in the garden, where the poet used to write in fine weather.
Within it she replaced his table, and inscribed over the entrance,
"Here Thomson sung the seasons, and their change".
Over the back seat at this table hangs a board, upon one side of which are the following words:
"James Thomson died at this place, August 22nd, 1748;"
and, upon the other, a longer memorial, with a strange and unpleasing affectation of fine writing about it, which runs as follows: -
"Within this pleasing retirement, allured by the music of the nightingale, which warbled in soft unison to the melody of his soul, in unaffected cheerfulness, and genial though simple elegance, lived James Thomson.
Sensibly alive to all the beauties of nature, he painted their images as they rose in review, and poured the whole profusion of them into his inimitable 'Seasons.'
Warmed with intense devotion to the Sovereign of the Universe, its flame glowing through all his compositions, animated with unbounded benevolence, with the tenderest social sensibility, he never gave one moment's pain to any of his fellow-creatures, save by his death, which happened at this place on the 22nd of August, 1748".

From Rosedale House, the present name of this dwelling, we strolled up Kew Foot-Lane, and soon arrived at the Green, a large open space, which does not belie its name, surrounded with many comfortable-looking houses, and rows of venerable trees.
The ancient palace of the Kings of England stood upon this spot.
There is little of it left now except the gateway, and that little offers nothing to satisfy the gaze of any but the mere antiquary.
It does not look old and venerable enough for the lover of the picturesque, being so patched up by and wedged in between surrounding houses as to have almost lost its distinctive character.
Several Kings and Queens of England lived and died upon this spot: Edward the First and Second resided here; and Edward the Third died here, deserted in that last hour by all the flatterers and parasites who had fattened upon his bounty; even Alice Pierce, the mistress of his bosom, flying from his side, and leaving him to die with no more attendance than if he had been a beggar, giving up the ghost in a ditch.
"When he lay", says the old Chronicle, "on his sick couch, he talked continually of hunting and hawking, and such trifles, and trusted to the soothing assurances of the Lady Alice that he would not die.
As soon as she saw that the disease was mortal, that his memory failed him, and that his death might be hourly expected, she took the valuable rings off his fingers, and bade him adieu.
All his servants also forsook him and fled.
Thus he remained for some hours quite helpless, and almost speechless, until a priest by chance arriving, administered the last consolations of religion.
The King understood him, and murmuring indistinctly the word Jesus, pressed a crucifix to his breast and died".

Richard the Second, the next King, passed much of his time at this manor;in whose days, at Sheen, as we are informed by that minute chronicler, Stowe,
"there was a great fighting among the gnats! They were so thick gathered", says he, "that the air was darkened with them, and they fought and made a great battle.
Two parts of them being slain, fell down to the ground, the third part having got the victory, flew away, no man knew whither.
The number of the dead was such that they might be swept up with besoms, and bushels filled with them".

With what a gusto does the old historian describe this battle! how persuaded he seems of its truth! and, with what a relish for the marvellous, and expectation to find the same in his reader, does he note every circumstance! Many of the battles between the rival houses of York and Lancaster are dismissed by him with hardly more notice.
Anne, the Queen of Richard the Second, died in this building.
She was so tenderly beloved by her husband, that he cursed the place where she died, and would never after wards inhabit it.
The very sight of the building so moved him to grief, that he gave directions that it should be pulled down.
The order was only partially executed, but the building remained in a ruinous condition until the time of Henry the Fifth, who repaired it, and founded three religious houses near it.
It was destroyed by fire in the reign of Henry the Seventh, who built it up again more magnificently than before, and first altered the name of the village from Sheen to Richmond, the name of his own earldom, which it has ever since borne.
Henry the Eighth also resided here in the early part of his reign, and once instituted a grand tournament on the Green, at which he fought in disguise, and where one of the combatants was accidentally killed.
He afterwards exchanged it with Wolsey, for the more magnificent palace of Hampton Court, but, after the fall and death of that minister, the place reverted to the crown.
Elizabeth was confined in it for a short time, during the reign of her sister, and here she died broken-hearted for the death of the Earl of Essex.
Her body was removed from Richmond Palace to Whitehall by water.
Upon this occasion some courtly rhyme-weaver, whose name is unknown, wrote the following verses which, in the "Remaines concerning Brittaine", are praised as being in deed "passionate doleful lines".

The Queene was brought by water to White-hall,
At every stroke the oares teares let fall:
More clung about the barge, fish under water
Wept out their eyes, and swome blinde after;
I thinke the bargemen might with easier thighes
Have rowed her thither in her people's eyes,
For howsoere, thus much my thoughts have scan'd,
She'd come by water had she come by land".

During the dissensions of the revolution, Richmond Palace met some rough treatment from the hands of republicans, and the greater part of it was pulled down.
It has never since held up its head in the world, but has gradually pined away to its present condition.

Richmond Hill

There are few, and those few must be insensible to the charms of natural beauty, who ever pass Richmond without ascending its far-famed hill, and gazing upon the landscape which stretches beneath it.
How beautiful is the oft-quoted exclamation of the poet:

Enchanting vale, beyond whate'er the muse
Has of Achaia or Hesperia sung!
O vale of bliss; O softly-swelling hills,
On which the Power of cultivation lies,
And joys to see the wonder of his toil:
Heavens! what a goodly prospect spreads around
Of hills and dales, and woods and lawns, and spires,
And glittering towns, and gilded streams!

We have read many descriptions of this favourite spot; and before we had seen it we were almost afraid to visit it, for, like Wordsworth and the Yarrow, "we had a vision of our own", and dreaded lest the reality should "undo it".
But curiosity was at last triumphant, and we went, and found the reality more lovely than the pictures which had been drawn of it either by the pencil or the pen.

The first time we ever ascended the hill, the landscape was illumined by the rays of a bright noon-tide sun, and the waters of the Thames, stretching out right before us, were illumined with a long streak of light, and the far forests gleamed in the radiancy as their boughs were waved to and fro by a strong, but pleasant, south-west wind.
Distant Windsor was visible; and, hundreds of neat villas, and other pleasing objects, gratified the eye, to whichever side it turned; the Thames freshening and enlivening the whole.
As we stood, the sky became overcast; dark clouds arose upon the horizon; the wind blew colder than its wont; while a few large drops of rain gave notice of an impending storm.
The Terrace was soon bare of its visitors: all sought shelter from the rain; but we remained to watch the tempest, and the changes it wrought upon the landscape.
It was glorious to see how the trees waved, like fields of corn, as the storm blew over them, and the smart showers whirled around; now hiding one spot by the thickness of the rain, and now wheeling past another, and obscuring it in like manner.
The distant heights were no longer visible, and we could just see the Thames winding at the foot of the hill, and curling itself into tiny waves under the breath of the storm.
The blossoms of the wild chestnut trees fell thick around us, diffusing a more delicious fragrance through the air; and the very dust of the ground seemed odorous as the moisture fell upon it.
Suddenly there was a flash right over Windsor Castle, and all its towers were perceptible for an instant, and then hidden again.
Successive flashes illumined other spots; and, while the rain was piercing through our garments we had no other thought than a strong desire to become an artist by the inspiration of the moment, and at one touch of our pencil to fasten upon enduring canvass a faithful representation of the scene.
It was admiration of this spot that inspired the now-neglected Mallet, the friend of Thomson, and a dweller in the neighbourhood, to write that beautiful song of his in praise of the Thames, which deserves to be better known.

Where Thames, along the daisy'd meads,
His wave, in lucid mazes leads,
Silent, slow, - serenely flowing,
Wealth on either shore bestowing,
There, in a safe, though small retreat,
Content and Love have fixed their seat;
Love, that counts his duty pleasure;
Content, that knows and hugs his treasure.
From art, from jealousy secure,
As faith unblamed, as friendship pure,
Vain opinion nobly scorning,
Virtue aiding, life adorning,
Fair Thames, along thy flowery side,
May those whom Truth and Reason guide,
All their tender hours improving,
Live like us, beloved and beloving!"

Descending the Terrace, and crossing the bridge, how pleasant is the walk along the Middlesex bank of the river to the village of Twickenham, and its old grey church, where Pope lies buried!
But, pleasanter still is it to take a boat, and be rowed up the middle of the stream, unlocking the stores of memory as we pass, and saying to ourselves,
"Here, on the right, lived Bacon.
Yonder, at West Sheen, lived Sir William Temple;
and there was born the celebrated Stella;
and at the same place Swift first made her acquaintance.
And here, again, is Marble Hill, where the beauteous Lady Suffolk kept open house for all the wits of the neighbourhood".

Among other reminiscences connected with Richmond, which ought to be noticed ere we leave it, is, that it was the residence at one time of that luckless poet Richard Savage, and that it was on his first visit to the noisy capital from this quiet retreat, after he had resolved to leave it, and procure another lodging, that he got involved in that unfortunate quarrel at Robinson's Coffee house, Charing Cross, which terminated in the death of a Mr. Sinclair, and for which he was afterwards put on trial for his life, before the ill-natured Judge Page, famous for "hard words and hanging".
Among the most conspicuous of the places we pass there is a neat little rural hut, called Gay's Summer-house, where, according to tradition, that amiable poet wrote his celebrated fables for the infant Duke of Cumberland, currying court favour, but getting nothing but neglect for his pains.
"Dear Pope", he wrote to his brother poet, "what a barren soil I have been striving to produce something out of!
Why did I not take your advice before my writing fables for the Duke, not to write them, or rather to write them for some young nobleman.
It is my hard fate, - I must get nothing, write for or against them".

Poor Gay! Too well he knew, as Spenser so feelingly sings in his Mother Hubbard's Tale,

"

What hell it was in suing, long to bide,
To lose good days, that might be better spent;
To waste long nights in pensive discontent;
To speed to-day, to be put back to-morrow;
To feed on hope, to pine with fear and sorrow;

To fret the soul with crosses and with cares;
To eat the heart through comfortless despairs;
To fawn, to crouch, to wait, to ride, to run,
To spend, to give, to want, to be undone! "

Yet one cannot help thinking, after all, that it served him right; for, according to his own confession, he was ready to wield his pen either for or against the court, as might be most pro fitable.
Who but must regret that a man of genius should ever have been reduced to so pitiful an extremity? Who but must sigh that he should, even to his bosom friend, have made such a confession?

Ham House

At a short distance beyond Gay's Summerhouse, and on the same side of the river, stands Ham House, formerly the residence of the noted Duke of Lauderdale, and where he and his four colleagues, Clifford, Ashley, Buckingham, and Arlington, held those secret meetings, which acquired for them a name infamous in English history, the Cabal, - a word which their initials happened to compose.
In the house, now the residence of the Countess of Dysart, are preserved many memorials of the Lauderdale family.
According to tradition, this is one of the places in which Charles the Second took refuge after the battle of Worcester; and it is also said that the great gate leading to the Ham avenue, has never been opened to any meaner visiter since the hour when the fugitive King, after he left the wood of Boscabel, was admitted within it for a night's shelter.
Another tradition, which is still more questionable, asserts that here also, as at Boscabel, he hid himself among the branches of an oak to escape a party of his eager pursuers.
A shattered trunk of a tree in Ham Lane was formerly shown to the visiter as the identical royal oak; and a fair which is annually held on the spot on the 29th of May, has tended to countenance the belief among the people of the neighbourhood, who have no notion that any incredulous and too precise examiner into dates and facts should deprive them of their traditions.
However, "truth is strong", and truth compels us to say, that their royal oak is only a counterfeit.

Eel Pie Island

Just before we arrive at Twickenham, there is a small island in the middle of the river, called by some "Twickenham Ait", but better known to the people of London as "Eel-pie Island".
The tavern upon the island is famous for its eels, and the mode of dressing them, and during the summer season is visited by great crowds from the metropolis.
Clubs, benefit societies, trades' unions, and other confederations, frequently proceed thither, each member with his wife and children, or his sweetheart, to feast upon the dainties of the spot.
On a fine Sunday especially, Eel-pie Island is in all its glory, thronged with "spruce citizens", "washed artisans", and "smug apprentices", who repair hither, as Byron has it
"to gulp their weekly air",
"And o'er the Thames to row the ribbon'd fair"
,
or to wander in the Park, which, thanks to the public spirit of one humble individual, is still open to every pedestrian.
Though somewhat of an episode, the history of the right of way through this pleasant park is deserving of mention.
In the year 1758, the Princess Amelia, daughter of George the Second, who was ranger, thought fit to exclude the public; but an action was brought against her by Mr. John Lewis, a brewer, and inhabitant of Richmond, which he gained, and the Princess was forced to knock down her barriers.
The public right has never since been disputed, and the memory of the patriotic brewer is still highly esteemed in all the neighbourhood, and his portraits sought after, as memorials of his courage and perseverance.
But to return again to Eel-pie Island.
The place was the favourite resort of Kean for a few months before his death.
The boatman we were fortunate enough to hire was the boatman generally employed by the great actor; and from him we learned, that after the fatigues of the night were over at the theatre, he often caused himself to be rowed to Eel-pie Island, and was there left to wander about by moonlight till two or three o'clock in the morning.
The tavern used at that time to be frequented by a poetical sawyer of Twickenham, whose poetry Kean greatly admired.
The first time he heard the sawyer's rhymes, he was so delighted that he made him a present of two sovereigns, and urged him to venture upon the dangerous seas of authorship.
By his advice the sawyer rushed into print, and published a two penny volume upon the beauties of Eel-pie Island, the delights of pie-eating, and various other matters of local and general interest.

Kean at this time was so weak, that it was necessary to lift him in and out of the wherry, - a circumstance which excited the boatman's curiosity to go and see him in Richard the Third at the Richmond theatre.
"There was some difference then, I reckon", said the honest fellow; "so much, that I was almost frightened at him.
He seemed on the stage to be as strong as a giant, and strutted about so bravely, that I could scarcely believe it was the same man.
Next morning he would come into my boat with a bottle of brandy in his coat-pocket, as weak as a child, until he had drunk about half the brandy, when he plucked up a little.
One morning he came on board, - I shall never forget him, - he was crying like a child, and sobbing as if his heart was breaking, - 'twas the morning when his 'lady' ran away from him, and he told me all about it as well as he could for his tears.
He had a bottle of brandy with him then.
He gave me a quartern of it, and drank all the rest before we got to Twickenham, and then he was much better.
But he was never the same man afterwards; he said his heart was broken; and I believe it was, for he never held up his head again, poor fellow!"
We thought the boatman (we should mention his name - George Cripps) seemed affected at the thought, and we asked if Kean had been kind to him.
"Many's the time", replied he, "that I have carried him in my arms in and out of the boat, as if he were a baby: - but he wasn't particularly kind.
He always paid me my fare, and never grumbled at it, and was very familiar and free-like.
But all the watermen were fond of him.
He gave a new boat and a purse of sovereigns to be rowed for every year".
"Ah! that accounts for it".
"When he died", continued the boatman, "a great many of the watermen subscribed their little mite towards his monument".
"Was there much gathered?"
"About seven or eight hundred pounds, I think", replied the boatman; "and it was to have been placed in Richmond church; but we hear nothing of it now, or whether it's ever to be erected at all.
But here we are, sir, at Twickenham church; and if you please to step ashore, I'll wait for you, and then row you up to the Grotto".
This was exactly the arrangement that suited us, and we walked into the dusty village of Twickenham, to pay our homage at the grave of Pope.



VOLUME I. CHAPTER VI.

Twickenham. - The Poet's Grave. - Pope's Grotto. - Relics of Genius. - Strawberry Hill. - Etymology and Chronology. - The Heart of Paul Whitehead. - Swans upon the Thames. - The tragical story of Edwy and Elgiva. - An odd petition of the inhabitants of Kingston.

Twickenham

How simple, neat, quiet, and unassuming are all the village churches of England! It is worth a man's while, whose unlucky destiny compels him to fritter himself away among brick walls for six days of the week, to walk out on a Sunday morning ten or twelve miles to church, - far away from the tumult and the dust, to some secluded hamlet or village, where he may worship his Maker, - not more earnestly, indeed, but more refreshed in mind and body, than he could in one of the more pompous temples of the metropolis, where saucy wealth elbows him still, and where he cannot procure a seat, unless he gives evidence of his gentility by the tender of a shilling.
It was not Sunday when we strayed into Twickenham church: but even in its emptiness we could not help contrasting its unostentatious sanctity, its meek elegance, to the more spacious places in town, and forming, but not expressing, a slight wish that we lived in a village.
We checked it, however, almost as soon as it was formed; for we thought, after all, that if we lived in a village, we should not so much prize a country walk, or have such affection for a country church as now, when we wander forth from busy London, thirsting after the fresh air, and pining for the verdure and the simplicity of rural spots, and enjoying them so much the more for our long and forced abstinence.
Perhaps it was the knowledge that we were at the grave of a great poet that made us take so sudden a liking to village churches in general, and to Twickenham church above all others.
It ought not to have been so, we are aware.
The mere fact that the remains of a clay creature, of more than common note, was lying within its precincts, was no true motive for any additional reverence to the temple of God - but so it was.
Even Westminster Abbey itself and all its treasured ashes ought, strictly speak ing, to inspire no more awe than the humblest chapel where the Great Spirit is truly worshipped; but the memory of the illustrious dead - a sort of half persuasion that their dim ghosts, though unseen, may be hovering above us, works upon the fancy in spite of the reason, telling us that "Where'er we tread, 'tis haunted holy ground", and forcing us into more solemn reverence than we might otherwise feel.
Some such influence it was, no doubt, that impressed us with unwonted awe, as we wandered alone from tombstone to tombstone in search of the tablet to the memory of Pope.
We were without the aid, or, as it very often happens, the impediment of a professional guide to point out to us the "thought-deservingnesses"(to borrow an expressive German phrase) of the spot.
Our eyes, however, soon caught a view of a very large tablet in the gallery, with a Latin inscription, to the memory of Alexander Pope.
We ascended accordingly, and found that it was the one erected by the poet to the memory of his father and mother.
His own was not far off, and was equally ostentatious as regarded size, being about three times larger than any other tablets in the church.
The inscription, also in Latin, bore that it was erected to the Poet's memory by his friend the Bishop of Gloucester.
Underneath, in English, follow Pope's own lines,
"for one who would not be buried in Westminster Abbey"

Poeta loquitur.
Heroes and kings, your distance keep,
In peace let one poor poet sleep,
Who never flatter'd folks like you -
Let Horace blush and Virgil too".

Here again, thought we, is vanity in death.
Horace and Virgil were no greater courtiers to rank and wealth than Pope was.
In fact, it may be questioned whether they were so much so; for among all the literati of the age, Pope stands pre-eminent for his constant respect to title.
If he did not flatter heroes, he flattered lords, and would have been sorry indeed if they had kept at a distance from him when he was living.
But in every sense the inscription is faulty and singularly inappropriate.
While we stood uncovered at the spot, and while these thoughts passed rapidly through our mind, we remembered that the fault of this bad taste, if such it were, was not chargeable upon Pope, but upon his friend the bishop, who had erected the monument.
In short, the epitaph was written by Pope in a fit "of that ambitious petulance", (to use the words of Johnson,) "with which he affected to insult the great", and ought never to have been placed upon his grave-stone.
With this impression we turned again to the memorial that Pope himself had erected to his parents, and there we found no such evidences of vanity.
The inscription was simple and unpretending, and set forth, in terms such as a son should use, the piety and the probity of the honoured dead.
So, venting our harmless displeasure upon Warburton, and exonerating Pope from all offence, we strolled down to the river side, where our boatman was awaiting us.

In a few minutes more we reached the building now known as Pope's villa.
The poet's residence itself has been demolished, with the exception of the grotto near which it stood.
Much indignation has been lavished upon Lady Howe, who pulled down the original building, and erected the present enlarged edifice by the side of it.
She has been accused of barbarism, want of feeling, deadness of soul, Vandalism, and many other offences.
We will not join in this mouthing of the pack; because, however much she may have destroyed of the poet's dwelling, she has left the grotto for the reverence of posterity, - by far the most valuable part of it, containing the rooms in which he was accustomed to study, and in which he entertained his friends, his St. John and his Marchmont, with his wisdom and his wit.
There was formerly a willow tree overhanging the river, which has also been removed; but, with the destruction of this, Lady Howe is not chargeable.
So numerous were the visiters, and such pilferers were they, where a relic was concerned, that the tree was soon stripped both of leaves and branches.
Slips of it were sent for from all parts of the world; and the owner was at last so pestered, that she was obliged in self-defence to uproot the tree, and make a relic of it, which would not entail so much trouble upon its possessor.
Nothing but the root now remains, which is safely housed in the grotto: forming a substance too hard to be taken away in little bits by the penknife of the visiter, and too bulky to be carried off entire.
Visiters formerly used to play the same tricks with the very stones and spars of the grotto; but, upon inquiry of our guide, we were informed that such was not the case now to any great extent, although occasionally a person is detected try ing to notch off a flint or a shell, and a lady holding an open reticule ready to receive it.
The following is a view of the actual villa of the poet, taken from a print after Rysbrach, in the collection of George IV, now in the British Museum.

Pope's Grotto

The grotto was made by Pope about the year 1715.
"Being", as Dr. Johnson says, "under the necessity of making a subterraneous passage to a garden on the other side of the road, he adorned it with fossil bodies, and dignified it with the title of a grotto, - a place of silence and retreat, from which he endeavoured to persuade his friends and himself that cares and passions could be excluded...
The excavation was necessary as an entrance to his garden; and, as some men try to be proud of their defects, he extracted an ornament from an inconvenience, and vanity produced a grotto, where necessity enforced a passage".
And quite right too.
It was a little spark of the true philosophy, after all; and men in general would be much happier if they would imitate the example, and extract ornaments from all their inconveniences, and good out of all their evils.
Some years after its construction, Pope wrote the following lines in reference to his grotto, which some of the guide-books inform us are actually inscribed upon it.
We made diligent search, and were not able to discover them.

Thou who shalt stop where Thames' translucent wave
Shines, a broad mirror, through the shady cave,
Where lingering drops from mineral roofs distil,
And pointed crystals break the sparkling rill;
Unpolish'd gems no ray on pride bestow,
And latent metals innocently glow.
Approach! great Nature studiously behold,
And eye the mine, without a wish for gold!
Approach! but awful. Lo! the Egerian grot,
Where, nobly pensive, St. John sat and thought,
Where British sighs from dying Wyndham stole,
And the bright flame was shot through Marchmont's soul.
Let such, such only, tread this sacred floor,
Who dare to love their country and be poor.

Mentally repeating these lines, we entered the grotto, and were first shown by the gardener who has charge of the villa, and who officiated as the cicerone, into the cell on the left hand side, which used to be the study.

At every convenient place, and wherever the stones presented a surface sufficiently large, visiters had scratched their names; but we noticed none of any note among the defacers.
At the end, upon a pedestal, was a plaster bust of the poet.
The cell on the right hand side used to be the kitchen, - at least so said our guide, - and in this is placed the root of the willow-tree, with a skull upon it.
We took the latter in our hands, and found it to be a plaster cast from the veritable skull of the poet, which was disturbed accidentally a few years ago, upon digging a grave in Twicken ham churchyard; it struck us as being remarkably small.
The skull was re-buried with due reverence, after the cast had been taken.
In this cell the present proprietor has placed a statue of honest John Bunyan, which, when we saw it, put us in mind of the well-known lines upon the spider in amber,
"Not that the thing was either rich or rare, -
One wondered how the devil it came there".

To our mind, it marred the uniformity of the grotto.
In that place, Bunyan seemed an intruder upon the privacy of Pope, and we wished the statue of the good Christian had been placed somewhere else, no matter where, and we would have gone to visit it, and paid it all honour.
Though some of the "pointed crystals" alluded to in the lines above quoted still remain, the "sparkling rill" trickles no more.
The ingenious contrivance by which the roof was transformed into a sort of camera obscura has been removed, and the fragments of mirrors that still remain have experienced so many of the buffettings of time, that they have lost their original brilliancy, and reflect but indistinct images of the passing objects on the river.
In the garden on the other side of the road, and to which the grotto forms the passage, are two tall cedar-trees, which according to our friend the gardener, who laid claim to a knowledge of such matters, must be about a hundred years old.
If so, they must have been planted in the time of Pope, perhaps by the bard himself.
Hitherto, however, they have escaped that reputation, which, if it became general or well-authenticated, might perchance be the means in a short time of denuding them of all their verdure, like their predecessor the willow.

But perchance, ere these lines meet the eye of the reader, the poet's grotto will exist no more.
The villa has been already advertised for sale, and rumours of an intention to pull it down have long been rife, and generally believed.
What lover of English literature but must regret that it should be in the power of any man to interfere with a spot that ought to be classic ground to every Englishman! But they order these matters better in Continental Europe.
The house where Raphael first drew breath is religiously preserved by the government, and its existence pointed out by a tablet and inscription; and Italy abounds with such memorials.
France and Switzerland are equally enlightened in this respect; and even Holland, reproached so much as a mere trading nation, takes care to point out to her sons the dwelling-places, or birth-places of the great men who shed a lustre on her ancient annals.
But England unwisely neglects these things.
The street where Milton was born has no memorial upon it to draw the eyes of passengers to the spot; the birth-place of Sir Thomas More, at only a few yards distance from that of Milton, is equally disregarded; and unless by a monument in St. Paul's or Westminster Abbey, which are not always accessible, there are few or no memorials of our great men.
It is vain to hope, unless Pope's villa falls into the hands of an enlightened purchaser, that it will be preserved, or that even a stone will be erected to mark the spot, and to say "Here Pope Sung".
As we walked along the terrace, we noticed more particularly than we did when we entered, the flight of steps leading to the water.
This, said we, must be the place where Martha Blount, the best-beloved of the poet, made use of that unfeeling expression about his death, which Johnson has preserved to her eternal discredit.
"While he (Pope) was yet capable of amusement and conversation", says the biographer, "as he was one day sitting in the air, with Lord Bolingbroke and Lord Marchmont, he saw his favourite, Martha Blount, at the bottom of the terrace, and asked Lord Bolingbroke to go and hand her up.
Bolingbroke, not liking his errand, crossed his legs and sat still; but Lord Marchmont, who was younger and less captious, waited on the lady, who, when he came to her, asked, 'What, is he not dead yet?'"

It does not appear that this thoughtless and unkind expression ever reached the ear of Pope; but he took her general inattention and neglect of him in his days of sickness and decay very deeply to heart.
She who had sat a loving and enraptured listener, when his faculties were in all their brightness, turned away from him not only with neglect, but with scorn, in the time of his tribulation.
How unlike her sex in general,

Who still are the kindest
When fortune is blindest,
And brightest in love 'mid the darkness of fate.

Alas! poor Pope! alas! for the boasted intellect of our kind.
What can be more affecting, or afford more matter for solemn thought, than the last hours of this great man.
"On the 6th of May, 1744", says Johnson, "he was all day delirious, which he mentioned four days afterwards as a sufficient humiliation of the vanity of man.
He afterwards complained of seeing things as through a curtain, and in false colours; and one day, in the presence of Dodsley, asked what arm it was that came out of the wall?
He said that his greatest inconvenience was inability to think.
Bolingbroke sometimes wept over him in this state of helpless decay, and was told by Spence, that Pope, at the intermission of his deliriousness, was always saying something kind either of his present or absent friends, and that his humanity seemed to have survived his understanding".

Almost his last expressions were,
"There is nothing meritorious but virtue and friendship: friendship itself is only a part of virtue".
We were thinking of these things, and were so wrapt in them, that we hardly noticed that we had re-entered the boat, and were only realled to a consciousness of surrounding objects by the voice of our boatman, who stopped on his oars, and called out that we were at Strawberry Hill.

Strawberry Hill

This place also abounds with reminiscences of a great man.
It was originally a very small house, built about the year 1698, by a coachman, and let as a lodging house.
Colly Cibber was at one time a tenant of it, and there wrote one of his comedies, - "The Refusal; or the Lady's Philosophy".
It was some years afterwards let on lease to Mrs. Chevenix, a toy woman; from whose possession it came into that of Horace Walpole, its most illustrious occupier, who amused himself for many years in enlarging and beautifying it, and made quite a plaything of it.
Writing to his friend, General Conway, on the 8th of June, 1747, and dating from this place, he says, "You perceive that I have got into a new camp, and have left my tub at Windsor.
It is a little plaything house that I have got out of this Chevenix's shop, and is the prettiest bauble you ever saw.
It is set in enamelled meadows, with filigree hedges;

A small Euphrates through the piece is rolled,
And little fishes wave their wings of gold.

Two delightful roads, that you would call dusty, supply me continually with coaches, and chaises; and barges, as solemn as Barons of the Exchequer, move under my window.
Richmond Hill and Ham Walks bound my prospect; but, thank God! the Thames is between me and the Duchess of Queensbury.
Dowagers, as plenty as flounders, inhabit all around; and Pope's ghost is just now skimming under my window by a most poetical moonlight".
Horace Walpole succeeded in making a very pretty residence of it, and stored it with "fouth of auld nick-nackets", pictures, busts, and antiques of every description.
There were scarcely any of his contemporaries eminent for their wit or their learning, who were not at one time or another his guests here.

Between this place and Teddington is the cottage given by Walpole to Mrs. Clive, the actress.
At her death he placed an urn in the gardens, with this inscription -

Ye Smiles and Jests still hover round,
This is Mirth's consecrated ground;
Here lived the laughter-loving dame,
A matchless actress, Clive her name.
The comic Muse with her retired,
And shed a tear when she expired.

Teddington

Teddington is a small place, chiefly remarkable for the first or last lock upon the Thames, in aid of the navigation.
Etymologists found an explanation of the name of this village, and plumed themselves mightily upon their cleverness.
The tides flow up no further than Teddington, and therefore, said they, the derivation of the word is obvious,
"Tide-ending-town - from whence, by corruption and abbreviation, - Tide-ing-ton - Teddington".
This was all very satisfactory: there was not a word to be said against it.
Unluckily, however, Mr. Lysons, one of your men of dates and figures, one of those people whose provoking exactitude so often upsets theories, discovered that the original name of the place was not Teddington, but Totyngton.
After this, the etymologists had nothing to say for themselves; "a plain tale put them down", unless, like the French philosopher, in similar circumstances, they consoled themselves with the reflection that it was very unbecoming in a fact to rise up in opposition to their theory.
Among the most celebrated residents of Teddington were the Earl of Leicester, the favourite of Elizabeth; Penn the Quaker; and Paul Whitehead the poet.
The last is buried in Teddington church, with the exception of his heart, which was removed to High Wycombe, and deposited in a mausoleum belonging to his patron, the Lord le Despencer.
Paul bequeathed fifty pounds for the urn which was to contain it.
The ceremony of depositing it in the mausoleum was curious.
It was attended from the house by a military procession, and a choir of vocalists.
Dr. Arne composed a piece of music for the occasion to the following poetry - we beg pardon, "words" - which were sung as the urn was deposited: -

From earth to heaven Paul Whitehead's soul is fled!
Refulgent glories beam about his head!
His Muse concording with resounding strings,
Gives angel's words to praise the King of kings".

The ceremony itself was sufficiently absurd; but these lines were the topping absurdity of all.

At this place we dismissed our boatman; and, landing on the Surrey shore, walked on towards Kingston, sometimes stopping by the river's brink to watch the minnows at the bottom of the water, (for it is as clear as crystal,) scudding away in shoals as we approached them, and sometimes in idle mood watching the swans disporting themselves, or turning over the leaves of our favourite Spencer, to find the lines which describe them: -

See the fair swans on Thamis' lovely side,
The which do trim their pennons silver bright;
In shining ranks they down the waters glide;
Oft have mine eyes devoured the gallant sight!

There are great numbers of these birds upon the river.
They are under the special guardianship of the Lord Mayor of London, who annually, either by himself or deputy, goes up the river in his state barge, accompanied by the Vintners and Dyers, to mark the young ones - which ceremony bears the name of swanhopping.
The legislature has often made these swans its peculiar care.
By an act of Edward the Fourth, it was declared a felony, punishable with imprisonment for a year and a day, and a fine at the King's will, to steal their eggs; and at this time, and so late as during Hentzner's visit to England, in the reign of Elizabeth, there were great numbers of them in the Thames opposite Bankside and Westminster Hall.
A curious custom at one time existed with regard to the stealing of these birds, which is mentioned in Coke's Reports.
Who ever stole a swan, lawfully marked, in any open or common river, was mulcted in the following manner: - The swan was taken and hung by the beak from the roof of any house, so that the feet just touched the ground. Wheat was then poured over the head of the swan, until there was a pyramid of it from the floor sufficient to cover and hide the bird completely.
A like quantity of wheat, or its value, was the fine to be paid to the owner.

Kingston

Upon our arrival at the ancient town of Kingston, we proceeded straight to the market-place, the spot where, nearly a thousand years ago, the old Saxon monarchs of England were crowned in sight of all the people.
Egbert, the first King of all England, held a grand council here in the year 838; and, in the records of that event, the town is styled "Kynyngeston, that famous place".
The following is a list of the kings crowned here, - most of them on a raised platform in the open air, and the rest in the church.
Edward the Elder, in the year 900;
Athelstan, in 925;
Edmund, in 940;
Edred, in 946;
Edwy, in 955;
Edward the Martyr, in 975;
and Ethelred, in 978.

Kingston, although the fact has been overlooked by nearly every writer, was the scene of one of the most romantic incidents in early English history - the loves and misfortunes of Edwy and Elgiva.
It gives one but a poor notion of the value of history, or the fidelity of historians, to consult about a dozen writers for a record of the same event.
Your hero, or principal personage, is called a monster by one, a saint by another, or a fool by a third: the actions of his life are exaggerated in their good parts by one, and in their evil by the next; while another, perhaps, dismisses him and his whole career as altogether insignificant and unworthy of notice.
It is a hard matter to get at the truth, even upon the most trivial point, and you are tempted to sweep your dozen of historians from your table at a blow of your hand, and whistle the chorus of the old ballad,
"Tantara-rara - rogues all! "
Upon reading the touching history of King Edwy and his bride, as recorded in Hume, we turned to Osborne, Stowe, Grafton, Holinshed, Harding, William of Malmsbury, Fabian, Rapin, and others; but the only facts that seemed to be really well established were, that Edwy was a King of England, and that he banished Saint Dunstan from his dominions.
All the rest was a mass of confusion.
A chaos of antagonist opinions, assertions, and denials, or a most scandalous conflict, in which Hatred, Superstition, Revenge, Self-interest, Party Motives, Carelessness, and Indolence, all set upon poor Truth, shouting and hallooing, with a view to prevent her voice from being heard at all amid their hubbub.
To Hume's account, therefore, we adhered; not because it is the most interesting and romantic, but because it is the most fair and probable; merely supplying such particulars of the scene of the tragedy as he has left unnoticed.
King Edwy, in his seventeenth year, was crowned with great magnificence in the market-place of Kingston.
He was of a handsome figure and a most amiable disposition.
Before his accession he had been smitten with the charms of Elgiva, a noble lady, his kinswoman, whom he married secretly, in spite of the fulminations of Saint Dunstan, and Odo, the Archbishop of Canterbury, who had represented to him that their relationship was too near to allow of their union.
Upon the day of his coronation a grand feast was prepared for all the nobles; but the king, disliking their rude merriment and drunkenness, took an early opportunity to withdraw, and spend the remainder of the day in the more congenial society of his best-beloved Elgiva.
The nobles, after he was gone, expressed great dissatisfaction at the indignity with which they were treated in being abandoned by their entertainer; and Saint Dunstan, best known to posterity as the devil's nose pincher, was deputed by the rest to bring back the monarch to the table.
Saint Dunstan, who was in all probability drunk at the time, readily undertook the mission, and accompanied by Odo, the Archbishop of Canterbury, who was also highly indignant at the disrespect Edwy had shown to the church, rushed into the royal apartment, and found the king dallying with his bride.
The brutal Dunstan immediately tore him from her arms, and, applying an opprobrious epithet to the Queen, dragged the young monarch by force into the banquetting hall of the nobles.
It was not to be expected that any woman, however mild her temper, could forgive so deep an insult as this, and Elgiva exercised all the influence she possessed over her husband's mind to bring about the ruin of the presuming and unmannerly priest.
An opportunity was soon found; charges were brought against him, from which he could not clear himself, and he was finally banished from the kingdom, and forced to take refuge in Flanders.
But the Archbishop of Canterbury still remained behind.
The unhappy Elgiva, in espousing the King, had gained to herself a host of troubles and of enemies; and, instead of intimidating, had only embittered the latter by the means she had adopted.
Intrigues were fomented against the young couple, who had loved so well, but so unwisely.
The Queen, all fresh in youth, and all radiant in her beauty, was seized by the archbishop, at the head of a party of ruffians, and held forcibly upon the ground, while a wretch with a hot iron burnt her "damask cheeks" to obliterate the traces of that transcendant loveliness which had set enmity between the civil and ecclesiastical power.
She was then carried away to the seacoast, and hidden for some days, till an opportunity was found to convey her to Ireland.
She remained in that country for some months, when she effected her escape.
The scars on her face had healed: the brutal work had not been effectually done, and she shone in as great beauty as ever, and was hastening to Kingston, to the embraces of her royal spouse, when she was intercepted at Gloucester by the spies of the relentless archbishop.
At this time revolt was openly declared against the authority of Edwy, and, to show him how strong and how reckless the conspirators were, the archbishop gave orders that the unhappy princess should be put to death by the most horrible tortures which could be devised.
It was finally resolved that she should be hamstrung.
The cruel sentence was carried into execution, and the poor queen was left to linger on a couch of straw, without nourishment or attendance of any sort, until death put a period to her sufferings a few days afterwards.
Edwy was soon afterwards deposed.
He did not long survive his Elgiva: crownless, and what to him was worse - wifeless, he died of a broken heart before he attained his twentieth year.

Portraits of all these old Saxon kings, and of Edwy among the rest, used formerly to adorn the walls of Kingston Church, and we procured admission into the sacred edifice with the full expectation of seeing them, upon the faith of guide-books which we had consulted.
We ascertained, however, that our guides were not to be trusted, the portraits having been removed to Windsor Castle more than a century ago.
We also made inquiry after another relic - the stone upon which these old monarchs were crowned, and which formerly stood in the market-place.
We were informed that it was at present in the safe custody of the mayor, where it will remain until the new town-hall is completed; in which it is proposed to set apart an honourable place for it.
This may be now considered as the only relic - and that but a poor one, which Kingston possesses of all its former grandeur.
Part of the chapel in which the coronation ceremony was sometimes performed, fell down in the year 1730, and has not been rebuilt in its former style, but merely patched up to keep the wind and the rain out.
The site of the chapel adjoining the church is the same; but the original edifice, which saw the inauguration of Athelstan and Edwy, must have long since disappeared.
Kingston at one time sent members to parliament; but the practice of elections, very different to what it is now, imposing upon the constituent body, and not upon the candidates, the necessity of spending money, the good people grumbled at the expense, and finally prayed to be relieved from it for evermore by a formal petition to King Edward III.
The prayer was granted; and Kingston, penny-wise and pound foolish, has dwindled away into a very inconsiderable place.
A small, but very clear stream, called the Hog's Mill river, runs into the Thames at Kingston.
It takes its rise near Ewell, and is much frequented by anglers.



VOLUME I. CHAPTER VII.
The Thames at Hampton Court. - The Rape of the Lock. - Magnificence of Wolsey. - The loves of Lord Surrey and the fair Geraldine.
- Royal Inhabitants of Hampton Court. - A Cook's Philosophy. - The Maze.

The lover of poetry, as he sails from Kingston to Hampton Court, will not fail to remember, that upon these waters Pope has laid the scene of his beautiful "Rape of the Lock". It was here,

While melting music stole along the sky

that Mrs. Arabella Fermor, the Belinda of the song, was rowed in her gilded barge, the loveliest of the lovely, with her fair nymphs and well-dressed youths around her, and the "adventurous Baron" Lord Petre, already planning the larceny which gave such offence to the fair one and her family, but which, adorned by the luxuriant fancy of the poet, was the means of giving such delight to all the world besides.
Since that time, the Thames at Hampton has been a haunted spot, sacred to the sylphs and all the bright militia of the sky.
For their invention Pope is entitled to greater credit than he has ever yet received; for, notwithstanding his own assertion, and the acquiescence of Johnson and other critics, who did not know German, he borrowed nothing but their names from the Rosicrucians, - a fact of which any one will be convinced who will take the trouble to read the "Chiave del Gabinetto del Cabaliere Borri" or the philosophical romance, "The Count de Gabalis", by the Abbe de Villars.
The scenery upon both shores of the Thames is here truly beautiful.

Hampton Court

Cardinal Wolsey saw and became enamoured of it, when it had nothing but its own natural charms to recommend it, and resolved to fix his permanent abode among scenes so lovely.
While yet the manor of Hampton belonged to the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, Wolsey, whose attendance upon the King at Hanworth drew him frequently to the neighbourhood, and who must have constantly passed it on his way to Esher, a place which belonged to his bishoprick of Winchester, took a liking to the spot, and chose it as the future site of the finest palace that had ever yet been erected in England.
He took a lease of the manor, which extended at that time from Ditton to Walton, on the Surrey shore, and included Hampton, part of Hanworth, Teddington, and Hounslow Heath, in Middlesex, from the Prior of St. John, and began his magnificent building in the year 1515.
He had been upwards of ten years employed upon it, when the vastness of the design began to excite the admiration and envy of all who beheld it.
His enemies took occasion of the remarks that were universally made, to stir up the jealousy of the King against his minister; and Henry asked him why he had built a palace so far surpassing any of those belonging to his sovereign.
The Cardinal, prompt at an expedient, but ever princely, replied, that he was merely trying to construct a residence worthy to be given to a King of England.
The wrath of the tyrant was appeased, and in exchange for the magnificent gift, he gave Wolsey permission to reside in the royal manor and palace of Richmond.
Wolsey, however, continued to reside occasionally in that part of the palace of Hampton Court which was already built; for Henry knew too well the fine taste of the Cardinal in architecture to permit any meaner hand to complete what he had begun.
Although he thus lived in the palace as a mere tenant, he was in most respects as much its master as if it still remained his own.

It was here he gave his magnificent festivals, and particularly that great one to the French ambassadors, of which so minute an account has been handed down to us by Cavendish, a gentleman of his household, and his biographer.
The festival was given in the year 1528, after the conclusion of a solemn peace between England, France, and the Emperor of Germany.
The ambassadors were successively entertained at Greenwich, London, Richmond, Hampton, and Windsor.
The King entertained them at Greenwich, - the Lord Mayor in London, - the King again at his park in Richmond, - and Wolsey at Hampton Court.
The reception that Wolsey gave them was by far the most magnificent.
The account handed down to us by the minute and accurate historian, gives us a grand idea of the power and splendour of that proud churchman.
The rich hangings of arras, the massive silver and gold plate, the regiments of tall yeomen in gay liveries that waited upon the guests, the glare of the torches, the costliness and excellence of the wines, the savour of the meats, and the superabundance of everything, are all set forth very eloquently by honest old Stowe, who seems to have imagined that no feast ever given in the world before could have equalled the Cardinal's.
After describing all these things in a style and language of most agreeable roughness and simplicity, he continues, "The trumpets were blowen to warn to supper; the officers discreetely conducted these noblemen from their chambers into the chamber where they should sup, and caused them there to sit downe; and that done, their service came uppe in such abundance, both costly and full of subtleties, and with such a pleasant noise of instruments of music, that the Frenchmen (as it seemed) were rapte into a heavenly paradise.
The Cardinall was not yet come, but they were all merrie and pleasant.
Before the second course, the Cardinall came in booted and spurred, all sodainely amongst them, and bade them "Proface!" [much good may it do you!]
[Editor's note - those were innocent days - "Enjoy!" is what he meant]
at whose coming there was a great joye, with rising everie man from his place.
The Cardinall caused them to sit still and keep their roomes; and, being in his apparell as he rode, called for a chaire and sat in the midst of the high table.
Anone came up the second course, with so many dishes, subtleties, and devices, above a hundred in number, which were of so goodly proportion and costlie, that I think the Frenchmen never saw the like.
The wonder was no less than it was worthie indeed.
There were castles, with images the same as in Paul's church, for the quantity as well counterfeited as the painter should have painted it on a cloth or wall.
There were beasts, birds, and personages, most lively made and counterfeited, some fighting with swords, some with guns and cross-bowes, some vaulting and leaping, some dancing with ladies, some on horses in complete harnesse, jousting with long and sharp speares, with many more devices.
Among all other was a chess-board made of spiced plate, with men thereof the same; and for the good proportion, and because the Frenchmen be verie expert in that play, my Lord Cardinall gave the same to a gentleman of France, commanding there should be made a goodlie case for the preservation thereof in all haste, that he might convey the same into his countrey.
Then took my lord a bowle of gold filled with ippocrass, and putting off his cappe, said, ' I drink to the King my sovereign lord, and next unto the King your master,' and therewith drank a good draught.
And when he had done, he desired the grand master to pledge him, cup and all, the which was well worth five hundred marks, and so caused all the lords to pledge these two royal princes.
Then went the cups so merriely about, that many of the Frenchmen were fain to be led to their beds.

In less than two short years afterwards, what a change came over the fortunes of the minister!
To quote again the words of the same historian, Wolsey, being in disgrace, left London, and having no house of his own to go to, "rode straight to Esher, which is a house be longing to the bishoprick of Winchester, not far from Hampton Court, where my lord and his family continued for the space of three or four weekes, without either beds, sheetes, tableclothes, or dishes to eate their meate in, or wherewith to buye anie.
Howbeit there was good provision of victual, and of beer and wine; but my lord was compelled of necessitie to borrowe of Master Arundel, and of the Bishop of Carlisle, plate and dishes both to drinke and eate his meate in"
.
It was then when, to use his own words to his attached servants who thronged around him, "he had nothing left him but the bare clothes on his back", that he first began to be really convinced that

He had touch'd the highest point of all his greatness,
And from the full meridian of his glory
Was hastening to his setting, and to fall
Like a bright exhalation in the evening,
No man to see him more!"

Wolsey was again taken into favour, and again disgraced, and died before the palace was completed.
Henry continued the work with great vigour, and was always much attached to the place.
He took a sort of dislike to it after the death of his favourite wife, the Lady Jane Seymour, who expired within its walls two days after giving birth to King Edward the Sixth.
With more grief than might have been expected from so mere an animal, he could not bear to look at the palace for several weeks, and retired to mourn his loss in private, clinging pertinaciously to the garments of sable, and refusing to be comforted.
But the fit soon wore off; he found himself another wife, in the person of Anne of Cleves, "a great Flanders mare", as he called her; a compliment which she might have returned with as much elegance, and with more justice, by calling him a "great English hog".
He never tired of her, for the good reason he always hated her. She was allowed to reside at Hampton Court, until all the preparations were made for her divorce, when the King, according to Stowe, wishing to get rid of her, "caused her to remove to Richmond, persuading her it should be more for her health and pleasure, by reason of the cleare and open air there".
His next Queen, Catherine Howard, was for a while judged worthy to appear at his festivals in Hampton Court; but, being anything but a discreet woman, and her husband growing tired of her, she was divorced by the most summary of all divorces, - the executioner's knife.
The new Queen, Catherine Parr, was married in a very short time afterwards, with great pomp and rejoicings at Hampton Court.
The ceremony was performed in July, 1543; and, from that period to the death of Henry, the palace was a constant scene of gaiety.
It was in one of these festivals that the poetic Earl of Surrey,

The flower of knighthood nipt as soon as blown,
Melting all hearts but Geraldine's alone

first became, or thought himself, enamoured of the fair lady, whose name is almost as famous in connection with his, as that of Laura with the amorous Petrarch's.
In his description and praise of her, he says,

Foster'd she was with milk of Irish breast:
Her sire an earl - her dame of princes' blood.
From tender years in Britain doth she rest
With kynge's child, where tasteth costly food,
Hunsdon did first present her to my eyen,
Bright is her hue, and Geraldine she hight:
Hampton me taught to wish her first for mine.

The story of the great love entertained by this agreeable poet and accomplished gentle man for the beautiful Geraldine, has been much commented on, and forms a romantic episode in his unfortunate life.

It would be much more romantic if it were true as tradition has handed it down to us.
He is said to have written her name and some amorous verses upon a window at Hampton Court, - to have excited thereby the jealousy of the King, - and finally to have been brought to the scaffold, from that among many other causes.
The name of the lady whom he has celebrated was for a long time unknown, until Horace Walpole, in his "Catalogue of Royal and Noble Authors", proved that she was the Lady Elizabeth Fitzgerald, (daughter of that Earl of Kildare who died a prisoner in the Tower in the year 1535,) and one of the maids of honour of the Princess Mary.
When Surrey first saw her he was a married man, living affectionately with his wife, and the fair Geraldine was a mere child of thirteen years of age.
Surrey himself was in his twenty-fourth year.
There is no doubt that he was struck with her beauty, and that he has celebrated her in the tenderest amorous poetry.
Whether he loved her is quite another question.
It should be remembered that Surrey's great master in the art of poetry was Petrarch, whom he devoutly and enthusiastically studied; and that, effectually to imitate him, it was necessary that he should have a lady-love, upon whose imaginary coldness or slights he might pour out the whole flow of his amorous versification.
There is not the slightest evidence to show that his attachment, if the name can be be stowed upon a mere conceit, ever went beyond this, or was anything more than admiration, sedulously encouraged for the sake of rhyming.
Cowley, who was never in love but once, and then had not resolution enough to tell his passion, thought himself bound, as a true poet, to pay some homage at the shrine, and published "The Mistress", a collection of amorous poems, addressed to an imaginary beauty.
Something of the same kind was the much-talked-of love of Surrey for the young Geraldine.
She was married in her fifteenth year to Sir Anthony Brown; but Surrey continued to rhyme, without offending either his own wife, or the lady's husband, - a circumstance which serves to show that the persons most concerned were fully aware of the real state of the case.
The assertion that Henry VIII. took any jealousy or dislike to Surrey on account of it is quite unfounded.
The noble poet first saw the Lady Geraldine in 1541.
In the following year, so high was he in his sovereign's favour, that he was made a Knight of the Garter.
On the invasion of France in 1544 by Henry, the vanguard of the army was commanded by the Duke of Norfolk, Surrey's father, while Surrey himself was appointed to the honourable post of Marshal of England.
During the progress of the war he was made commander of Guines, and afterwards of Boulogne; in which latter post, in consequence of a panic terror among his men, he was defeated by the French.
It was this circumstance, and not his pretended love for Geraldine, that first lessened the good opinion which his sovereign entertained of him.
The real cause of his condemnation and death has not been very clearly ascertained; but it is quite absurd to suppose that Henry's jealousy of him in the matter of Geraldine had anything whatever to do with it.
The romantic story told of Surrey and his fair Geraldine in connection with the famous astrologer and magician Cornelius Agrippa is equally without foundation.
It is related that Surrey being in Germany called upon the magician to witness the extraordinary powers of his art, of which all the world was speaking, and that Agrippa showed him, in a magic mirror, Henry VIII. and his lords hunting in Windsor Forest; and afterwards the fair Geraldine reclining upon a couch.
The legend has been versified by Sir Walter Scott, in the "Lay of the Last Minstrel".

Dark was the vaulted room of Gramarye,
To which the wizard led the gallant knight,
Save that before a mirror huge and high
A hallow'd taper shed a glimmering light
On mystic implements of magic might,
On cross, and character, and talisman,
And Almagest and altar nothing bright,
For fitful was the lustre, pale and wan,
As watch-light by the bed of some departing man.

But soon within that mirror huge and high
Was seen a half-emitted light to gleam,
And forms upon its breast the earl 'gan spy
Cloudy and indistinct as feverish dream.
Till slow arranging, and defined, they seem
To form a lordly and a lofty room,
Part lighted by a lamp with silver beam,
Placed by a couch of Agra's silken loom,
And part by moonshine pale, and part was hid in gloom.

Fair all the pageant, but how passing fair
The slender form which lay on couch of Ind;
O'er her white bosom strayed her hazel hair,
Pale her dear cheek, as if for love she pined.
All in her night-robe loose she lay reclined,
And pensive read, from tablet eburnine,
Some strain that seem'd her inmost soul to find -
That favoured strain was raptured Surrey's line,
That fair and lovely form the lady Geraldine".

The legend, which has been thus adorned with the graces that Sir Walter Scott's pen bestowed upon any subject upon which it was employed, and which has been also alluded to by Pope and other poets, was first related by Thomas Nash, the dramatist, in his "Adventures of Jack Wilton", printed in 1593, and states, in addition to the circumstances above detailed, that Surrey mentioned the fair Geraldine by name to the magician, and desired to know what she was doing at that instant, and with whom she talked.
That Cornelius Agrippa, or any other astrologer and pretended magician, could have imposed on Surrey by the aid of a magic lantern is probable enough; and, if the dates agreed, we might believe that he did so.
But it happens that Cornelius Agrippa died in the year 1534, when the fair Geraldine was only in her sixth year, and seven years before the Earl of Surrey, whose love-verses, addressed to her, she was supposed to be reading, ever heard of her existence!
So much for romance.

Edward VI. often resided at Hampton Court. The inhabitants of the neighbourhood were much attached to him, being proud that their village was the birth-place of the King.
When there was a rumour that the Protector Somerset entertained a design to seize his person, they armed, unsolicited, for his defence; a proof of their devotion, which Edward strove to repay by relieving them from the inconvenience and annoyance of the royal chase, which inclosed a vast extent of country, and which had been formed in the latter years of his father's life, when he was old and fat, and unable to ride far in search of his sport.
Mary and her husband, Philip, passed their honey moon at Hampton Court, and afterwards gave a grand entertainment to the Princess Elizabeth, the presumptive heiress to the crown, Elizabeth, on her accession, also resided occasionally at Hampton Court; and there is a tradition that Shakspeare made his very first appearance on any stage before her, in a little apartment of the palace set apart for theatrical representations.
In the reign of James, Hampton Court was the place of meeting of the celebrated conference on faith and discipline, between the divines of the Church of England and the Puritans, and in which the sign of the cross in baptism, the ring in marriage, the use of the surplice, and the bowing at the name of Jesus, were severally attacked by the one, and defended by the other party.
James presided, to his own great delight, over their deliberations, and gave so much satisfaction to the Church of England, that he was declared by the courtly Archbishop of Canterbury to be a man who delivered his judgments by the special assistance of the Spirit of God!
During the prevalence of a severe plague in London, Charles I.
and his family took refuge in this palace, where it was thought the air was more wholesome than in any other part of England.
Fifteen years afterwards he was driven here by a pest of a different description, the riotous apprentices of the capital.
In the year 1647, this place became, for a third time, his temporary prison for a few months, prior to his unfortunate escape to the Isle of Wight; an event which associates this building with the most remarkable incident in British history.
After the execution of the King, Cromwell occasionally resided here.
The Long Parliament had issued their orders for the sale of the house and grounds; but the order was stayed, and it was voted as a residence for the Lord Protector.
Here, in 1657, his daughter, Mary, was married to the Lord Falconbridge; and here, also, in the year succeeding, his favourite daughter, Mrs. Claypole, expired, to the great grief of her sire.

At the Restoration, Hampton Court was given, as a reward to the great instrument of that event, Monk, Duke of Albemarle.
He wisely accepted a sum of money instead of a palace, which he had not revenues sufficient to inhabit in becoming state, and the place once more reverted to the Crown.
Charles II, and his brother, both occasionally visited Hampton, and resided in it for months at a time; but, it was not until the reign of William and Mary that the palace again acquired the importance which it had in some measure lost since the days of the eighth Henry.
William III. and his illustrious consort were alike partial to this residence; and under their superintendence various alterations were made from the designs of Sir Christopher Wren.
Three of the old courts built by Wolsey were pulled down, the present state-rooms and stair cases were erected, and the pleasure-gardens laid out in the Dutch style, with the long canal, to put his Majesty in mind of his native country.
The canal is forty feet broad, and more than half a mile in length; and were it not quite so straight as the Dutch taste imperatively commands, would be a very pleasing object in the view from the gardens.
In this favourite residence, William, as is well known, met his death.
He was riding from Kensington to Hampton Court; and when he had arrived in his own grounds, his horse stumbled, and the King was thrown to the ground with such violence as to fracture his collar-bone.
Being of a weakened constitution, he died from the effects of the accident fifteen days afterwards.
The spot in the gardens is still shown where his horse stumbled.
Queen Anne spent much of her time in this palace, where, according to Pope, she some times took counsel, and sometimes tea.
Pope himself was a frequent visiter to the gardens, where he used to amuse himself in walking about for hours at a time, sometimes alone, and sometimes in company with an agreeable maid of honour, Miss Lepel, afterwards Lady Hervey.
George I. gave several grand entertainments here, and had plays performed for the amusement of his visiters.
George II. had similar tastes; and, in the year 1718, caused Wolsey's grand Hall to be fitted up as a theatre, for the performance of Shakspeare's plays.
Among others, it is recorded that "Henry VIII", showing the fall of Wolsey, was enacted by the express command of his Majesty.
During the life-time of this monarch he allowed his son, the Prince of Wales, and the father of George III, to reside occasionally at Hampton Court.
George III. was more partial to Windsor; and, though he visited Hampton, never slept in it.
It has never since been honoured by the residence of the Kings of England.
William IV. when Duke of Clarence, was appointed ranger of Bushy Park, adjoin ing, in 1797, and steward of the honour; and the former office is still held by his widow, the Dowager Queen Adelaide, who has a pretty residence in the Park.
Thanks to the liberality and kind feeling of the Government, the palace, with its pictorial treasures, is open five days in the week, for the inspection of the public.
Three pleasant hours were those which we passed in the state apartments, looking first at the portrait of one departed King or Hero, and then at another; or viewing the resemblances of the fair and the witty, who captivated the heart, or pleased the vanity of the susceptible Charles, or at the more unfortunate Jane Shore, who enslaved the affections of a truer lover, King Edward IV.

Catalogues of all the pictures are to be procured for a trifling sum at the palace.
It would take a week to go through the various rooms, and make proper acquaintance with each picture worthy of being known; but there are some few that more particularly strike the stranger's attention on a short visit.
Perhaps the collection of portraits in the apartment call ed William the Third's Bed-room, representing the gay dames of the Court of Charles II, (most of them painted by Sir Peter Lely,) attract as much curiosity as any in the whole collection.
Among others are the violent Castlemaine, afterwards Duchess of Cleveland; the patient and neglected Queen Catharine; the beauteous and beloved Duchess of Richmond; the virtuous Countess de Grammont; the frail but kindhearted Eleanor Gwynne; the fair but shallow Mrs. Middleton; and the unfortunate Lady Denham, married at eighteen to a man of seventy-nine, and, after a short life of guilt and sorrow, dying from a dose of poison infused into her chocolate; the Duchesses of Portsmouth and Somerset, painted by Verelst; the Countesses of Sunderland, Northumberland, De Grammont, Ossory, and five or six others, by Lely.
There is an air of meretriciousness and vulgarity about most of these portraits by Lely: they are beautiful certainly, but the animal predominates in them.

One of the most interesting pictures in the collection, to him who knows the history attached to it, is that of the Countess of Lennox, painted by Holbein, and placed in the Queen's Audience Chamber.
This lady, before her marriage with the Earl of Lennox, was a bright ornament of the Court of Henry VIII, where she was known as the Lady Margaret Douglas.
She was the daughter of the Queen of Scots, and niece of Henry VIII.
A true love story is told of her early life.
She inspired Lord Thomas Howard with the most passionate love, and this nobleman demanded her in marriage of the King.
Henry was so indignant that his niece should have looked with an eye of favour upon one whom he considered so unsuitable a match, that he committed them both as prisoners to the Tower.
Poor Lord Thomas Howard died of a broken heart two years afterwards in that fortress, and then, and not till then, the lady was released.
She became by her marriage with the Earl of Lennox, mother to Lord Darnley, and in consequence, grandmother of King James I.
Another remarkable picture, which is placed in the room called the Queen's Gallery, is "the Field of the Cloth of Gold", by Holbein, representing the celebrated meeting of Henry VIII. and Francis I, and painted at the express desire of the former monarch.
"The picture", says the official catalogue, "was duly transferred as an inheritance to succeeding princes, till the Commonwealth, when the Parliament proposed to sell it to the King of France.
The Earl of Pembroke being apprized of it, and resolved that so great a treasure of art and history should not leave the country, secretly cut out the Head of Henry VIII.
before the arrangements were completed, and the French ambassador, finding the picture mutilated, refused to ratify the bargain.
After the Restoration, the Earl gave the head (which he had carefully preserved) to Charles II, who caused it to be replaced; and so skilfully was it done, that the blemish can scarcely be discovered, except by viewing the picture in a side light".
In the same gallery are half a dozen portraits of Queen Elizabeth, taken from her childhood to her old age, including the first taken of her by Holbein, and the one supposed to be the last, by Mark Gerrard.
Appropriately, within a short distance in the same apartments, are the portraits of the men whose names are intimately connected with her reign, the Earls of Leicester and Nottingham, Sir Nicholas Bacon, and Sir Francis Walsingham.

Over the fire-place in the King's first Presence Chamber, is a portrait of James, first Marquis of Hamilton, by Mytens.
This is the nobleman so well known for his devoted attachment to the unfortunate Mary Queen of Scots.
One of the last acts of that Princess was to transmit a ring to the Marquis, as a token of her regard and gratitude, which is still treasured as an heir-loom in this noble family.
In the Audience Chamber is the portrait of a remarkable woman who was for a long time a great favourite with the people of England, and whose head is still a popular sign for public houses in some parts of the country - the Princess Elizabeth, daughter of James I.
and afterwards Queen of Bohemia.
On her marriage, it is upon record, so expensive were the entertainments, that £9000 sterling were expended in fire-works alone, displayed in one night upon the Thames opposite the Palace of Whitehall.
This picture, painted by G. Honthorst, represents her in a green dress, embroidered with silver.
This amiable Princess was in the Low Countries called "the Queen of Hearts".
It is by right of their descent from her that the present royal family of England sit upon the throne.
The story of the attachment formed for her in her widowhood by the chivalrous Lord Craven, that staunch old soldier of Gustavus, is well known.
They were supposed to have been privately married.
Another portrait to which the guides, before the introduction into the palace of the better behaved and less garrulous police, invariably drew the attention of the visiter, is that of Duns Scotus, by Spagnoletto, in the room known as the Public Dining-Room.
John Duns, called Duns Scotus, because he was born in Scotland, lived in the early part of the sixteenth century, and was educated at Merton College, Oxford.
Archbishop Spotswood, in his History of the Church of Scotland, mentions several instances of his peculiar powers of fasting.
He was imprisoned by Henry VIII.
for declaiming against the divorce of that monarch from his queen, Catharine of Arragon.
With the present portrait the tradition is associated, that Duns, being engaged in translating the Scriptures, vowed to abstain from all food till his task was completed, and that he expired while engaged on the last chapter of the Revelations.
But of all the treasures in Hampton Court, the Cartoons of Raphael are the most to be prized.
Each of them has been called an epic poem, and artists consider that the phrase is no exaggeration of their extraordinary merits.
They were designed by Raphael, to serve as patterns for tapestry to decorate the Papal Chapel, for Pope Leo X, and represent subjects taken from the Evangelists and Acts of the Apostles.
They were painted about the year 1520, and the tapestry was executed at the famous manufactory at Arras, in Flanders.
The Cartoons, so called because they were painted on sheets of paper, were bought for Charles I. by Rubens.
It has long been a subject of regret among the admirers of these beautiful works of art, that they are in a collection not immediately accessible to students in London.
It was at one time in contemplation to have them removed to the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square; but as there was a danger the removal might destroy them, the design was abandoned.

As we walked leisurely through the various apartments, we noticed that of the royal beds, - which are still preserved there in the same state as when their occupants were alive, - those of William III, Queen Anne, and George II, attracted much more attention from many people than the pictures.
One couple especially we noticed, apparently servant-girls, who stopped before each bed for several minutes.
They took no notice whatever of the pictures; and we were curious to hear what remarks they made.
We kept as close to them as possible, for that purpose; and, when they stopped opposite the state-bed of Queen Anne, we listened to their conversation, and heard a piece of very common, but very true and valuable philosophy, which we did not expect.
"Oh! a very fine bed, to be sure!" said one; "and must have cost a thousand guineas, all complete".
"I shouldn't wonder"
, replied the other; "but, Lord! what does it matter? A hundred years hence, and you and I will sleep in as good a bed as Queen Anne.
Queens and poor cooks all sleep in the grave at last"
.
If there is one thing more than another which we hate as impertinent and ungentlemanly, it is to turn round after passing a woman, and look her in the face; but we could not repress our curiosity to have a glance at the face of this one.
We expected to find some pensive pretty countenance, and a bright intelligent eye; but we were disappointed.
The speaker was a vulgar little woman, with a snubnose almost hidden between a pair of such fat red cheeks as we have seldom seen, and her little grey eyes looked dull and sleepy.
"' Tis a pity we looked", was our first thought; but we discouraged it with the reflection that beauty and philosophy were not necessarily companions, and that this ugly cook-maid was, perhaps, as kind as she was sensible.

Having lingered so long in the interior, we took a stroll into the gardens, that we might glance at all the curiosities of the place.
Passing the tennis-court, the finest in England, we entered by a small gate into a place called the "Wilderness", laid out originally under the direction of King William III.
to hide the somewhat unseemly and irregular brick walls at this side of the palace.
This part of the gardens is arranged into the most natural wildness; and, during a hot summer's day, is a delightful retreat, cool as water, and all alive with the music of a thousand birds.
While here, we could not, of course, refrain from visiting the famous Maze, also formed by King William III.
We tried our skill to discover the secret of the labyrinth, and saw many boys and girls, and not a few children of growth, and of both sexes, busily engaged in the same attempt, shouting and laughing each at the failure of the other, and panting with the unusual exertion.
We were not more successful than the rest, until we took the little guide-book usually sold in the palace, out of our pocket, when, after some little difficulty, we unravelled the mystery by the aid of the map and a pencil.
It is full of passages, which lead to nothing, and a pleasant spot, we should think, for frolicsome lovers, either just before, or in the first fortnight of, the honeymoon.
For our parts we saw no fun in it, more especially as we were growing hungry, and had visions of luncheon dancing before our eyes.
We there fore took a hasty farewell of the Maze and the Palace, and proceeded to the Toy inn, where that repast awaited us.



VOLUME I. CHAPTER VIII.
The River Mole. - Esber and Claremont - Cobham - The Trout of Leatherhead. - English Scenery.
- The Cellars of Dorking. - An old custom - Guildford and the River Wey. - The Mother's Dream.
- A story of a Jack. - Newark Abbey. - The amorous Monks; a tradition of the Wey. - A punning Epitaph. - Return to the Thames.

The River Mole

Nearly opposite to Hampton Court, the river Mole pays the tribute of its waters to the Thames.
Pope, in his "Wind sor Forest", calls it
"the sullen Mole, that hides his diving flood",
from an erroneous notion that it runs under ground for a considerable distance, near Leatherhead.
It is also celebrated by Thomson, in his fine description of the view from Richmond Hill.

Here let us trace the matchless vale of Thames
Fair winding up, to where the muses haunt,
In Twitnam's bowers, to royal Hampton's pile,
To Claremont's terraced height and Esher's groves.
By the soft windings of the silent Mole.

The river well deserves to be called the silent, but scarcely the sullen, for the scenery on its banks is some of the finest in England; and its silence, as some bard, whose name we have forgotten, fancifully expresses it, seems to be that of pleasure; and its slowness, a natural lingering amid scenes of such sweet simplicity as those through which it glides. It is anything but sullen; and if the most sullen man in England would, as we did, take a day's ramble upon its banks, he would, if he had any soul at all in him, be cured of his sullenness for a month at least, by the contemplation of its woodland treasures, its sylvan nooks, and its simple, sequestered, and elegant villages.
It is a calm and equable river, unlike that apostrophised by the poet,

That is as busy as a bee,
The frothy, sparkling river Dee,
With whom 'tis ever washing day;
For its little frisky floods
Are boiling, toiling, crossing and tossing
And flinging about the suds! "

Unlike the Dee, the Mole holds on the patient course of a philosopher, enjoying the good things that falls in its way, and being in no bustle,

Nor inclined to travel fast
Unto that salt and bitter sea,
That must swallow it up at last".

It runs a very tortuous course, and is formed by the junction of several small springs on the borders of Sussex and Surrey.
It is for many miles an inconsiderable brook, until it reaches Dorking, where it first acquires the importance of a river.

It was just dawn on a summer's day, and not too warm, when we commenced our ramble on its banks.
We determined to trace it up to Dorking, through Leatherhead, Mickleham, and all that lovely country, and then to strike across the pleasant range of hills, a continuation of those known by the name of the Hog's-back, to Guildford, from whence we might trace downwards another river,
"The chalky Wey that rolls a milky wave",
until it also pours its tributary waters into the Thames at Weybridge.
In pursuance of this plan, we made Hampton Court our point of departure, and crossing the bridge strolled down towards Esher.
Like most of the villages that lie within a circuit of fifty miles of the metropolis, Esher is clean, quiet, and agreeable.
It is, however, not remarkable in itself, but owes all its renown to its contiguity to Esher Place, once the residence of Wolsey; and to Claremont House, where the Princess Charlotte resided during her brief period of wedded life, and where she died in childbed, in November 1817.
Esher Place occupies the site of the ancient edifice in which the great Cardinal occasionally resided, and whither he withdrew without a bed to lie upon, or a plate to eat his dinner out of, when he was in disgrace with his imperious master.
Here, deserted in his utmost need By those his former bounty fed, he remained for some weeks in a state of the utmost distress of mind, receiving neither from philosophy - nor from that which is of more value - religion, any aid or consolation to restore his lost peace.
His letters written here he usually subscribed (sign of his great distress)
"With a rude hand and sorrowful heart,
"T. Cardlis Ebor. miserrimus...

They are said to be hardly legible from the excitement of mind under which they were written - his hand trembled so, that he could not form the characters.
The old building in which he resided was pulled down more than seventy years ago by Mr. Pelham, with the exception of the two towers, and rebuilt by that gentleman at a great expense, in the same style of architecture as before.
The greater part of it was again pulled down by Mr. Spicer, who rebuilt the edifice as it now stands.
The following view represents the celebrated Wolsey's Tower, the only remaining portion of the original building.

Claremont

Claremont, a short distance south of Esher, was originally erected by Sir John Vanbrugh, and then came into the possession of the Earl of Clare, afterwards Duke of Newcastle, from whom it took its name, and who enlarged and beautified it.
Sir Samuel Garth wrote a poem on the occasion, in imitation, as he says in his preface, of Denham's descriptive poem upon Cooper's Hill, and Pope's upon Windsor Forest; but as far inferior in style, in thought, in imagery, and in everything that constitutes true poetry, to those elegant compositions, as a street ballad is to Paradise Lost.
After the death of the Earl of Clare, the place was purchased by Lord Clive, who pulled it down, and erected a more elegant villa upon its site.
It afterwards became the property of the Viscount Galway, and still later of the Earl of Tyrconnel.
The last-mentioned nobleman sold the estate to Mr. Ellis, from whom it was purchased by the Government, as a residence for the Prince of Saxe-Cobourg and the Princess Charlotte.
The melancholy death of the Princess within its walls, has hallowed the spot in British eyes, and a mournful interest will long continue to attach to it.
A Gothic summer-house in the garden, which she loved to frequent, has been converted into a mausoleum, and inscribed to her memory by the affection of her survivor.

Cobham

From Claremont the Mole passes through private enclosures, and is lost to the wayfarer until he arrives at Cobham.
This village is a great resort of anglers, the river containing abundance of pike, trout, gudgeons, dace, and eels.
The village was in ancient days the property of the abbots of Chertsey.
One of them, a lover of good living, and of the gentle craft, made a fish-pond at great expense, which is said to have been a mile in circumference, but which is now choked up.
There are here two neat bridges over the Mole.
The first bridge was erected by the good Matilda, queen of Henry the First, more than seven hundred years ago, in consequence of the death of one of her maids of honour, who was unfortunately drowned in passing the ford.
It was the same benevolent lady who built the bridge of Stratford le Bow, near London.
From Cobham to Letherhead the high road runs occasionally in sight of the Mole, which it crosses by a bridge at Stoke d'Abernon, a pretty village, celebrated for its extensive com mon and its fine oak trees.

Leatherhead

Letherhead is another pleasant spot - an insignificant village it may be called in England; but if by any magic trick it could be conveyed suddenly by night across the seas, and let down in Germany, Belgium or indeed in France, it would by the villagers of those nations be accounted a town, or a royal residence.
Continental nations may rival or excel us in the splendour of their cities, but their villages are mere collections of savage wigwams in comparison with ours.
Letherhead is mentioned in Domesday Book, and frequently in later documents.
It contains a picturesque old church, abounding in monuments with quaint inscriptions; and a neat bridge of fourteen small arches over the Mole.
There is an old house, which has, how ever, been several times renovated, called the Mansion House, noted as the residence at one time of the infamous Judge Jefferies.
Near the bridge is an old-fashioned public-house, said to be the identical house formerly kept by Eleanor Bumming, celebrated by Skelton, Poet Laureate of the reigns of Henry Seventh and Eighth, in his poem entitled
"The Tunning of Elynor Rumming, the noted Ale-wife of England".
She appears to have been noted for her good ale only, and not for her good looks.
In an old, and now scarce woodcut, she is represented as a harsh ugly woman.
Under the print there is the following inscription: -
"When Skelton wore the laurel crown,
My ale put all the ale-wives down"
.
This cabaret was most likely the resort, when the King resided at Nonsuch, of the underlings of the court - the players, the jesters, the scullions, the poets, and other vagabonds of the same description.
Letherhead is noted above all things for its very excellent trout.
How long it has enjoyed this reputation it is difficult to say.
The earliest notice we remember of its fame, in this respect, is in Lilly's Memoirs of his Life and Times; from which it appears, that it was the resort of the Londoners during the time of the Long Parliament.
Lilly relates that Sir Bulstrode Whitelocke being ill, he prophesied, from a certain inspection, which delicacy will not allow us to explain, that the honourable member would recover, but by means of a surfeit would dangerously relapse within a month; "the which he did", says Lilly, "by eating too many trouts at Mr. Sand's house near Letherhead".
In all the old topographical books, the trouts of Letherhead are invariably mentioned.
To test the accuracy of the information, we made up to a quiet, respectable, old gentleman, whom we observed sitting on the grass under a tree, handling his rod in a style which showed us that he was a veteran and inveterate angler, and asked him politely what he was fishing for?
"Trout, sir - trout!"

The walk from Letherhead through Mickleham, Norbury Park, and up a byroad to the summit of Boxhill, is one of the most beautiful we ever traversed.
It is too much the fashion to praise the scenery of Italy and Switzerland, and to decry the less grand but still lovely scenery of our own country.
We have seen persons cock up their noses with contempt at the mention of an English landscape; abuse in good-set terms our English sky, as the dullest and cloudiest, and most capricious of skies; and hint about the deep blue of an Italian heaven - the grand mountains, and the castle-crowned rivers of the Continent, who, on being closely pressed, have acknowledged after all that they had never set foot out of their own country.
To such we would recommend a maxim, that admiration, like charity, should begin at home, and if they are dwellers amid the smoke of the metropolis, a walk through the county of Surrey would cure them of their affectation, if they had any relish for fine scenery at all.
If they did not find skies as blue, they would find meadows of a more delicious green than are to be met with on the Continent; and if they found no mountains capped with snow, they would see hills clothed with verdure; and one (Leith Hill) nine hundred and ninety-three feet high, and commanding a prospect the most varied and beautiful that imagination can conceive - woods and parks, and elegant villas; a gentle river; fields of waving corn; valleys, some crimson with clover, others white with daisies, and some yellow with buttercups; and all, both hill and plain, giving pleasant evidence of comfort and civilisation.
The Englishman who has travelled to some purpose, and really observed the countries through which he has passed, becomes too wise to join in the unmeaning depreciation above referred to.

Mickleham

The village of Mickleham, at the foot of Boxhill, is a sweet rural spot, with a modest and venerable church.
To the man who delights in recollections of the past, it offers few attractions; but to the man who wishes to enjoy the present, there cannot be many more attractive spots in all England.
Norbury Park, adjoining, is one of the finest seats in the county.
The river Mole runs through the grounds; and although occasionally in very hot weather its channel is almost dry, it generally contains sufficient water to be the most pleasing ornament of the landscape.
The views from the windows of the dwelling-house are exceedingly beautiful; and the walls of the saloon, painted by Barrett, are so managed as to appear a continuation of the prospect.
About three miles to the south-east rises Boxhill, nearly five hundred feet above the level of the Mole, and from whence the windings of the river may be traced for many miles.
Just below is seen the solemn-looking town of Dorking, with the commanding eminence of Leith Hill, about six miles beyond it.
To the right, the range of hills leading to Guildford and Farnham, and on the left, Betchworth, Reigate, and all that beautiful country.

Dorking

Descending this hill, we cross the Mole and arrive at Dorking.
This little town, famous for its poultry and butter, has a remarkably neat and clean appearance.
It is situate on a tract of soft sandy rock-stone, in which cellars are dug, noted for their extreme coolness, and very valuable for the preservation of wine.
These cellars are very numerous.
The most remarkable is on the side of an eminence called Butter Hill, the descent to which is by a sort of staircase, containing upwards of fifty steps.
Dorking is mentioned in the Domesday Survey, and is said to have been destroyed by the Danes, and rebuilt in the time of William the Conqueror.
The manor is now the property of the Duke of Norfolk, and the church is one of the burial-places of that noble family.
A curious custom prevails, or until very lately did prevail here, that if the father dies intestate, the youngest son succeeds to the estate.
This custom is stated, with great probability, to have arisen in the feudal ages, when the barons were free to claim and enforce that detestable right of passing the first night with the newly married bride of any of their vassals; the "respectable droit dejambage", as the French songster calls it in his admirable satire, entitled the "Projects of a good old Baron".
It does not appear that the right was often enforced; it was too atrocious, and affronted the common sense of even the feudal age.
The good people of Dorking, were, however, quite right in taking the means they did, to insure their estates to their own offspring.
The stranger at Dorking will find much to interest him; the walks in the neighbourhood are fine and the air bracing.

Guildford

But the ramble among the hills over the Hog's-back, to Guildford, is the most delightful of all.
We now lose sight of the Mole, and approach its pleasant sister the Wey; less beautiful, it is true, and passing through a country less picturesque, but still worthy of a visit, and offering many reminiscences to the man who takes pleasure in local histories and traditions.
The distance is not above eight miles between the Mole and the Wey, and the road is for the most part on a beautiful ridge, from which, at every turn, some pleasant view may be obtained.
Guildford is situated upon the Wey, and its antiquities, alone, afford ample materials for a volume.
It has a solemn and venerable air - a demure grace about it, which bespeak it as a place that was once of historical importance.
It contains three parish churches, - Trinity, St. Mary, and St. Nicholas.
Great part of the first-mentioned fell down in 1745, but was afterwards rebuilt.
It contains several monuments, by far the most remarkable of which is to the memory of a very remarkable man, a native of the town, George Abbot, who was Archbishop of Canterbury, at the commencement of the seventeenth century.
He was the son of a poor cloth-worker of Guildford, and had five brothers, most of whom rose to distinction; one, Robert, being Bishop of Salisbury; and the youngest, Maurice, Lord Mayor of London, and the first person who received the honour of knighthood from King Charles the First.
A singular story is told of the cause of the good fortune of these brothers.
When the mother was five or six months advanced in pregnancy with George, she dreamed that an angel appeared to her, and told her that if she caught a jack in the river Wey, and ate it, the child in the womb would be a boy, who would rise to the highest dignities in the state.
The poor woman told her dream to her neighbours, and was advised to try and catch a jack in the river, and see what would come of it.
She paid no attention to the advice; but, some days afterwards, as she let down a pail into the stream to procure water for domestic uses, she, to her great surprise and delight, brought up a very fine jack, which, says the story, "she cooked for her dinner that very day".
When her son was born, all the gossips of Guildford looked upon the promise of the dream as half accomplished, and amused themselves by speculating whether the greatness of the "little stranger"would be achieved in the law, the church, or the army.
The circumstance being the general topic of conversation in the county, two gentlemen of wealth and station offered to stand sponsors for the child, and look to his future fortunes, if they found him worthy.
He was found worthy.
He made great progress in his studies, and conducted himself most creditably in every situation in which he was placed.
He was sent to the University of Oxford, where he distinguished himself as one of the first scholars of the time.
His mother's dream Was producing its good effect; the fire of ambition was kindled in his soul; and being endowed with genius, and with another quality which is often a great deal more valuable - perseverance - he rose gradually to renown and advancement.
In 1599, being then in his thirty seventh year, he was made Dean of Winchester; and in the year following, Vice Chancellor of the University of Oxford.
He was one of the divines employed in the reign of King James, in the new translation of the Bible, and by the interest of his friends, the Earls of Dorset and Dunbar, was advanced to the dignity of Bishop of Lichfield.
He was shortly translated to the see of London, and lastly, in 1611, to the Archiepiscopal see of Canterbury, which he occupied for twenty-two years.
It was chiefly by his interest that his brother attained a dignity almost equal to his own; and that another brother, Maurice, established himself as a merchant in London, where the highest honour that his fellow-citizens could bestow, was conferred upon him.
Many persons have treated this story as apocryphal.
Without entering the lists either for or against it, we can only say, that marvellous as it appears, it is not improbable.
Predictions are very often the cause of their own fulfilment.
Many circumstances as trifling as this dream of a jack, have had a powerful influence upon the fate of men who have achieved greatness.
Many, perchance, if we knew the secret history of their hearts, might have remained sluggards, or quite inert, and never have achieved greatness at all, if it had not been for the fond prediction of some doting mother, or nurse, enraptured with their ruddy cheeks and their curly hair.
Who can deny, that to a youth of high capacity, the prophecy of his preferment would lead him in after-life to struggle for it?
There have been many such instances, both before and since the time of George Abbot.
Guildford abounds in reminiscences of this prelate.
Opposite the church is Trinity Hospital, founded by him in the year 1619.
He settled lands upon it, to the annual value of 300; a third of which sum was to be employed in setting the poor to work, and the other two portions to be appropriated to the maintenance of a master, twelve poor brethren, and eight poor sisters, to wear blue coats and gowns, and have an allowance of two shillings and sixpence a week.
The hospital is of a quadrangular form, with a noble tower-gate, crowned with four turrets at the entrance.
The chapel attached is spacious and lofty, ornamented with two beautiful Gothic windows of stained glass, representing Scriptural subjects.
It has been said erroneously, that the Archbishop erected this hospital as an atonement for the involuntary homicide which he committed while hunting, and which proved a source of great sorrow and discomfort to him during the rest of his life.
The accident happened in 1621, two years after the foundation of the hospital.
Being invited by Lord Zouch to hunt in Bramshill Park, he took up a cross-bow to make a shot at a buck; but unfortunately hit the keeper, who had run in among the herd of deer to bring them up to a fairer mark.
The arrow pierced the left arm; and dividing the large axillary vessels, caused almost instantaneous death.
The Archbishop was in the deepest affliction: the event caused quite a commotion in the Church; for by the canon law, he was tainted, and rendered incapable of performing any sacred function; and by the common law, his personal estate was forfeited to the King.
James I. acted with much kindness, and wrote the Archbishop a letter with his own hand, saying, "that he would not add affliction to his sorrow, or take one farthing from his chattels and movables".
The doctors of ecclesiastical law were consulted upon the course to be adopted; and after some delay, it was finally agreed that the King should grant him a full pardon for the homicide, under the broad seal, and restore him to all his ecclesiastical authority.
A commission of eight bishops, instituted for the purpose, at the same time granted him a dispensation in full form.
The Archbishop retired to his native Guildford during the progress of these debates, and passed his time in prayer and fasting.
He instituted a monthly fast in memory of the accident, which he religiously observed during the remainder of his life, and settled an annuity of 20 upon the widow of the deceased.

Passing along the high road from Guildford, and descending the current of the Wey, we arrive at the green of Ripley, famous formerly, and we believe still, for its cricket-matches.
A little further on is Ockham, the seat of the Earl of Lovelace; and at the distance of about a mile on the opposite bank of the Wey, the ruins of Newark Abbey.
It is the popular belief that the monks of Newark did not always keep the vow of chastity, which they solemnly took upon entering those sacred walls.
The story of their amours, and of the sad fate that befell them, is contained in the following ballad, entitled:

THE MONKS OF THE WEY
A true and impartial Relation of the wonderful Tunnel of Newark Abbey, and of the untimely end of several ghostly brethren.

The Monks of the Wey seldom sang any psalms,
And little they thought of religious qualms.
Ranting, rollicking, frolicsome, gay,
Jolly old boys were the Monks of the Wey.
Tra-lala-la! Lara-la!

To the sweet nuns of Ockham devoting their cares,
They had but short time for their beads and their prayers.
For the love of the maidens they sigh'd night and day,
And neglected devotion - these Monks of the Wey.
Tra-lala-la! Lara-la!

And happy, i'faith, might these monks have been
If the river had not rolled between
Their abbey dark and the convent grey
That stood on the opposite side of the Wey.
Tra-lala-la! Lara-la!

For daily they sigh'd, and nightly they pined,
Little to anchorite rules inclined;
So smitten with beauty's charms were they,
These rollicking, frolicsome Monks of the Wey.
Tra-lala-la I Lara-la!

But the scandal was great in the country near,
They dared not row across for fear,
And they could not swim, so fat were they,
These oily amorous Monks of the Wey.
Tra-lala-la! Lara-la!

Loudly they groan'd for their fate so hard,
From the smiles of these beautiful maids debarr'd,
Till a brother hit on a plan to stay
The woe of these heart-broken Monks of the Wey!
Tra-lala-la! Lara-la!

"Nothing" quoth he, "should true love sunder,
Since toe cannot go over, let us go under!
Boats and bridges shall yield to clay,
We'll dig a tunnel beneath the Wey".
Tra-lala-la! Lara-la!

To it they went with right good will,
With spade and shovel, and pike and bill,
And from evening's close till the dawn of day,
They worked like miners all under the Wey.
Tra-lala-la! Lara-la!

And every night as their work begun,
Each sang of the charms of his favourite nun.
How surprised they will be, and how happy", said they,
When we pop in upon them from under the Wey".
Tra-lala-la! Lara-la!

And for months they kept grubbing and making no sound,
Like other black moles darkly under the ground;
And no one suspected such going astray,
So sly were these amorous Monks of the Wey.
Tra-lala-la I Lara-la!

At last their fine work was brought near to a close,
And early one morn from their pallets they rose,
And met in their tunnel, with lights, to survey,
If they'd scooped a free passage right under the Wey.
Tra-lala-la! Lara-la!

But, alas, for their fate! as they smirk'd and they smiled,
To think how completely the world was beguiled,
The river broke in, and it grieves me to say,
It drown'd all the frolicsome Monks of the Wey.
Tra-lala-la! Lara-la!

O churchmen! beware of the lures of the flesh,
The net of the devil hath many a mesh;
And remember, whenever you're tempted to stray,
The fate that befell the poor Monks of the Wey.
Tra-lala-la! Lara-la!

There are different versions of the above story, and we must confess, that the one most generally received is directly at variance with ours, as regards the catastrophe.
But if our ballad be not in accordance with the justice of history, it accords with poetical justice at all events.
No ballad could ever have been made upon it with anything like a decent climax, if it had been necessary to state that the monks visited the nuns in this clandestine manner for several years, and were never punished for it.
If our account of the matter be not true, the more's the pity, and so there's an end of it.

Ockham

Ockham Park was purchased by the Lord Chancellor King in 1711, and is now the seat of his descendant, the Earl of Lovelace, and his Countess - the daughter of Byron.
In the village church there is a handsome monument to the memory of the first Lord.
In the churchyard, some wag, whose wit was not awed even by Death, has inscribed the following on the grave-stone of one Spong, a carpenter: -

Though many a sturdy oak he laid along,
Fell'd by Death's surer hatchet, here lies Spong:
Posts oft he made, yet ne'er a place could get,
And lived by railing, though he had no wit:
Old saws he had, although no antiquarian,
And stiles corrected, yet was no grammarian.
Long lived he Ockham's premier architect,
And lasting as his fame, a tomb t'erect
In vain we seek an artist such as he,
Whose pales and gates were for eternity.

It is a pity the author of these verses should have spoiled them; the play upon the words in the first part is amusing enough; the conclusion is absolute nonsense.

Byfleet

As we descend the current of the river from this place, the distance between the Mole and the Wey becomes less at every step, until at Wisly Common they approach so near as to be scarcely a mile asunder.
The high road skirting Pain's Hill crosses the road at Cobham, and to follow the windings of the Wey, the traveller must take to the byroads on the left-hand, and so on to Byfleet, a small place, where it is said there was formerly a royal palace, but of which there are no remains.
Henry VIII. when an infant, was, according to tradition, nursed in this village.
The court at the time resided at Greenwich, and the royal bantling was probably sent away, for the advantage of the pure air of Surrey, or perhaps, because he was even then obstreperous.
Byfleet was the residence of Joseph Spence, so well-known for his anecdotes of Pope.
He was rector of Great Horwood in Buckinghamshire, but only visited that place once a year.
He lost his life in his own garden at Byfleet in a melancholy manner.
He was found dead on the 20th of August 1768, lying upon his face in a small canal where the water was not of sufficient depth to cover his head or any part of his body.
It was supposed that he fell in an apoplectic fit, and was suffocated by the water.
Dr. Warton visited Spence at Byfleet in 1754, and obtained from him many particulars relating to Pope, which he afterwards published.
Byfleet is situate on a smaller branch of the Wey, the main current of the river flowing about three quarters of a mile to the left.

Weybridge

Following either branch, on which there is nothing remarkable, we arrive at Weybridge, a considerable village, that takes its name from the bridge over the stream.
There are some fine seats in the neighbourhood: - Oatlands, of which we shall have occasion to speak hereafter; Ham House, and Woburn Farm.
Ham House, which has often been confounded by the Guide-books, with the Ham House near Richmond, the seat of the Countess of Dysart, is an old building, seated amid tall and venerable trees.
It belonged originally to the family of Howard, but was granted by James the Second to Catharine, the daughter of Sir Charles Sedley, whom he had seduced, and then created Countess of Dorchester.
She afterwards married the Earl of Portmore, whose descendant is still the proprietor of Ham, and many monuments of whose family are to be seen in the church of Weybridge.
James the Second passed much of his time here with his fair mistress; and a passage is shown, in which he is said to have concealed himself on the advance of the Prince of Orange.
This, however, seems to be a mistake.
James being at Whitehall, was advised, or, more properly speaking, ordered, to take refuge in Ham House; but it was at the Ham House near Richmond, then the seat of the Duchess of Lauderdale; but he was apprehensive that he would not be in safety so near London, and therefore obtained permission to retire to Rochester.

Within a short distance of this place, the Wey discharges his waters into the lap of his suzerain.
Thus we have once more reached the Thames, after our ramble upon the banks of its pleasant tributaries.
We find, however, that between the junction of the Mole and the Thames, which was our point of departure, and the spot at which we have now arrived, we have left unseen an interesting portion of the principal river.
We must, therefore, retrace our steps to Hampton Court, and follow the Thames upwards, without further diverging.



VOLUME I. CHAPTER IX.
Moulsey Hurst. - Garrick's Villa. - Walton-upon-Thames. - Lilly the Astrologer - A Puritan's Sermon Oatlands. - Coway Stakes. - Shepperton.

Thames Ditton, Moulsey Hurst

Before we diverged down the pleasant banks of the Mole, and returned again to the Thames by the waters of the Wey, our point of departure was Hampton Court.
To that point, therefore, we must again return, and proceed upwards for a while, without going astray to the one side or the other.
Nearly opposite to the palace is the pretty village of Thames Ditton, with its "Swan", a sign that all true anglers are acquainted with.
Upon the same, or Surrey bank, extends a common called Moulsey Hurst, famous as the scene where all the ruffians, rich and poor, of the metropolis, formerly assembled to see one man beat another to death with his fists.
Now that the glory of pugilism is departed, Moulsey Hurst has become a lonely place.
The races which are annually held upon it, contribute a little to keep up its acquaintance with the refuse of London - the gamblers, the swindlers, and the blacklegs; but for the rest of the year it is a quiet spot enough, and void of offence.

Garrick's temple

On the other side of the river, just beyond the bridge, is the villa erected by Garrick.
In the little summer-house, or "Temple", which has a pleasing appearance, viewed from the stream, he placed an admired statue of Shakspeare, the great bard, in the light of whose glory his own memory will shine to the latest times.
The statue has been since removed to the British Museum.

Hampton & Moulsey Lock, Sunbury, Walton

A little further on is the village of Hampton, with its lock and weir, on passing which, there is a succession of small aits, beautiful isles of swans, until we reach Sunbury, a favourite resort of anglers, but offering nothing to delay the steps of the rambler.
Walton, on the Surrey shore, is more remarkable.
Its church contains several curious monuments, and also the grave of the famous astrologer William Lilly, already mentioned in the course of our peregrinations.

[ Mackay then devoted 17 pages to Lilly ]

Among other monuments in Walton church, is one executed by Roubiliac, and erected by Grace, Countess of Middlesex, to the memory of her father, the Lord Viscount Shannon, commander of the forces in Ireland, who died in 1740.
In Walton church-yard occurred that strange scene mentioned by Walker, in his History of the Independents, and quoted by Hume, in the notes to his History of the Reign of Charles the First.
It was during this period that England ran riot; and when "the unco-guid and the rigidly righteous", bade fair to overthrow religion altogether in the land, by their stiff ungainly zeal, and their fleshless, spiritless, and uncharitable fanaticism.
A few Sundays after the execution of Charles the First, Mr. Faucett, the rector of Walton, was preaching his evening sermon to his parishioners, when a party of six soldiers suddenly entered the church, one of them carrying a lantern with a lighted candle in it, and four other candles in his hand not lighted.
This fellow desired the preacher to come down immediately, and allow him to ascend the pulpit, for he had a message direct from Almighty God, to deliver to them.
The preacher, however, dangerous as it was in those days to thwart the soldiery, refused to leave the pulpit, and the major part of his congregation taking his part, insisted that the soldiers should go out and not disturb the service.
After a long altercation, the soldiers were induced to comply, and retired into the church-yard, followed by a number of persons, curious to see the end of the adventure.
The man with the candles then mounted upon one of the tomb-stones, the other soldiers standing round him, and then began one of those extraordinary discourses so common at that day.
"Brethren", said the soldier, "I have had a vision! I have received a command from God, which I must deliver to you upon pain of eternal damnation to myself if I refuse to speak, and eternal damnation to you, if you refuse to hear.
The command of God consists of five lights; the types of which you may now behold, and which are as follow.
The Sabbath, says the Lord God, is abolished and quite done away, as unnecessary, Jewish, and merely ceremonial; and here", continued the soldier, "I ought to put out my first light, but the wind is so high, that, I cannot kindle it; and not being able to kindle it, I cannot put it out! Secondly, the Lord God commands that tithes be no longer paid, for they are a great burden to the saints of God; a discouragement of industry and tillage, and altogether Jewish and unnecessary! And now, if I could kindle it, I ought to put out the second light! Third ly, the Lord God commands that all ministers be abolished; they are anti-christian, and no longer of use, for Christ himself has descended into the hearts of his saints, and his Spirit enlightens them with revelations and inspirations, so that they have no need for preaching.
And here, if I did my duty properly, I ought to put out the third light, but for the reason I have already given you, it is impossible to do so! Fourthly, the Lord God commands, that there be no longer any magistrates in this land; they are useless and good for nothing.
Christ himself is amongst us, and has erected the kingdom of his saints upon earth.
Besides, these magistrates are all tyrants, and oppressors of the liberty of the saints, and tie them to laws and ordinances which are a great evil and inconvenience, and mere human invention.
And here you will be pleased to imagine that I put out my fourth light!" The soldier then put his hand into his pocket, and pulling out a little Bible, showed it to the other soldiers and the people, saying, "Here is a book which yon hold in great veneration, consisting of two parts, the Old and New Testaments.
I tell you, that it is the command of the Lord God that this also be abolished.
It containeth nothing but the mere beggarly rudiments - only milk for babes. Christ himself is in glory amongst us, and imparts a further measure of his spirit to his saints, than anything such a book as this can afford.
I am commanded to burn it before your face!" The soldier then took the lan tern, and holding it up to the people, opened it, and blew it out with a great puff, ex claiming, "And now my fifth light is extinguished!" He then took his departure with his fellows.

Oatlands

The town of Walton (which we should not omit to mention was the birth-place of Admiral Rodney,) is celebrated for the remains of a Roman encampment, covering about twelve acres of land.
There is a tradition, that the Thames, which now runs to the north of the town, formerly ran southward of it, in consequence of the river making a new channel for itself after a great inundation.
The tradition, however, rests upon no good authority.
Passing Walton Bridge we arrive at the fine estate of Oatlands, now the residence of Lord Francis Egerton, and formerly of the Duke of York, for whom it was purchased of the Duke of Newcastle.
It was once a royal domain, having been procured by Henry the Eighth from the family of Rede, in exchange for the Manor of Tanridge.
Queen Elizabeth frequently resided here; and Charles the First settled it on his Queen Henrietta Maria, whose son, called Henry of Oatlands, was born here.
Charles the Second let the place on lease to the Earl of St. Albans, and the lease expiring in the reign of William the Third, that Prince granted the fee simple to the Earl of Torrington; from whom, by bequest and alliance, it came into the family of the Duke of Newcastle.
The present building is of modern date.
The grotto, the finest in England, was erected by the Duke of Newcastle, at a great expense.

Cowey Stakes

On the opposite side of the river are the celebrated Coway-stakes, which, until of late years, have been generally considered to mark the spot where the Romans crossed the river, under the command of Julius Caesar, to invade the kingdom of Cassibelaunus.
The Britons, drawn up on the Middlesex shore, drove stakes into the bed of the river, and otherwise fenced the bank to prevent the Romans from landing.
Bede, who wrote in the eighth century, says, "the stakes at that time remaining, were as big as a man's thigh".
They are still visible occasionally, as we were informed, on making inquiry at the spot; but we were not able to obtain a sight of them.
Mr. Speaker Onslow, who resided in the neighbourhood, caused a small portion to be cut from them, which he converted into knife-handles, and preserved as relics.
Many people are of opinion, that Chertsey, a little higher up, was the place where the Romans crossed the river; and others have brought forward arguments to prove that it was at Kingston.
Truth, they say, often lies in the juste milieu; and in this instance at least, the juste milieu has all antiquity and tradition, to say nothing of the learned Camden, himself a host, in its favour.
The remains of the Roman encampment at Walton serve to support the opinion that Coway-stakes was the place, and it may be added as a corroboration, that in the year 1725, some curious Roman wedges were found at Oatlands, about twenty feet below the surface, and under several substrata of yellow and white sand.

Shepperton

Shepperton, a short distance beyond Coway stakes, is a pretty village, which has been long famous as the resort of anglers from London.
In the parsonage-house close by the river's brink, Erasmus once resided, before he removed to Chelsea to the house of his great friend, Sir Thomas More.
The then incumbent was William Grocyn.

Chertsey

And now we have arrived at Chertsey, the ancient and the poetical; and before us are Cooper's Hill, famed in song - Runnymead in history, and Windsor in both.
For a ramble amid scenes like these, we must renew our acquaintance with Chaucer, Surrey, Cowley, Denham, Pope, and scores of other poets, be sides revelling a whole evening with immortal Shakspeare and his "Merry Wives".
Having done this, we may with fresh vigour tread this classic soil, and start at every step some pleasant memory of the days gone past, and of the choice spirits that have hallowed them ever more.

For wheresoe'er we turn our ravished eyes
Gay gilded scenes and shining prospects rise,
Poetic fields encompass us around,
And still we seem to walk on holy ground;
For here the Muse so oft the harp has strung,
That not a hillock rears its head unsung;
Renowned in verse, each shady thicket grows,
And every stream in heavenly numbers flows.



VOLUME I. CHAPTER X.
- Poets of the Thames. - Burial Place of Henry the Sixth at Chertsey Abbey. - Retirement of Cowley.
- A walk on Cooper's Hill. - Sir John Denham - Runnymead and Magna Charta Island. - London Stone. -
- Jurisdiction of the Lord Mayor upon the Thames. - The River Colne. - Reminiscences of Milton. -

Chertsey

The close of our last ramble left us at Chertsey, our mind teeming with reminiscences of Cowley, of Denham, of Pope, of Gray, of Surrey, and of Shakspeare, and of other poets, who have made the banks of the Thames from this place to Windsor, classic and holy ground; Chertsey, therefore, claims our first notice.
It is a place of considerable antiquity.
Its once famous Abbey for Benedictine monks, was founded so early as the year 666, and flourished till 1538, when it was dissolved by Henry the Eighth.
The abbots were persons of very great importance in this part of the country; and though ranking below the bishops, they enjoyed privileges and wielded powers which fell to the lot of very few of those dignitaries.
In the time of Bede, it is supposed that Chertsey and its abbey were surrounded by water, from that venerable author's naming it Ceroti Insula.
The abbey had great possessions on the Surrey shore of the Thames, and the abbot lived like a feudal chief.
Within its cloisters Henry the Sixth,
Poor key-cold figure of a holy king,
Pale ashes of the house of Lancaster!

was buried without any funeral pomp.
The body was taken from the Tower, on the morning after his death, and carried through the streets to Cornhill, accompanied by a troop of soldiers, such as usually attended great criminals to the place of execution.
It was the popular belief at the time, and for many years after, that the royal corpse bled afresh at St. Paul's and Blackfriars, where the procession stopped; a tradition which Shakspeare has put into the mouth of the Lady Anne, where she exclaims, in the exasperation of her grief at the presence of his murderer,
"See, see! dead Henry's wounds
Open their congealed mouths and bleed afresh!
Blush! blush! thou lump of foul deformity!
For 'tis thy presence that exhales this blood
From cold and empty veins!"

Stowe says, that at Blackfriars the body, bare-faced in an open coffin, was put on board a boat and rowed up the river to Chertsey Abbey; and Grafton, that it was buried there, "without priest or clerk, torch or taper, singing or saying".
It was afterwards removed to Windsor; some say by Richard the Third, and others, by Henry the Seventh, and re-interred with royal pomp in a new vault in the chancel at the south door of the chapel.

Cowley

It was to Chertsey that the poet Cowley retired in a fit of disgust at the unmerited neglect of royalty.
Hope deferred had made his heart sick; he had taken a physician's degree, and fully qualified himself for the office of master of the Hospital of the Savoy, which had been promised him both by Charles the First and Charles the Second, but his claims were passed over at the Restoration.
In a querulous poem written at this time, he says,
"Kings have long hands, they say, and though I be
So distant, that may reach at length to me! "

Broad as was the hint, the Court took no notice of him.
To add to his vexation, his old and favourite comedy of "The Guardian", which he had re-modelled, under the title of "Cutter of Coleman-street", and produced upon the stage, was treated with great severity, and alleged by his enemies to be a satire upon that Court, from which he still expected favours.
He was taunted at the same time in some satirical verses, on the choice of a Laureate as the "Savoy-missing Cowley, making apologies for his bad play"; and as the author, and still worse, the printer of those pitiful verses, in scribed to "His Melancholy".
The desire of solitude came strongly upon him; he pretended that he was weary of the "hum of men", satiated with the vile arts of courtly life, and anxious to inhale the fresh breezes of the fields and to live a life of study and seclusion, among hills and woods, and pleasant streams.
He therefore withdrew from London; first to Barnes Elms, where he caught a violent cold that never left him; and then to Chertsey.
But "O fallacem hominem spem" he carried with him into his retirement the discontent which is the bane of society, and in a still greater degree that of seclusion; he forgot that happiness was in the mind, and not in circumstances; and the consequence was, that he was more miserable than before.
He had changed all the habits of his previous life, and was too old to acquire new ones; he had left his former friends, and was too morose and unaccommodating, too ill at ease within himself, to take the trouble of attracting others, and he pined away daily.
In a letter to Dr. Sprat, quoted by Dr. Johnson, as a warning to all those who may pant for solitude, while led away by florid and poetical descriptions of its charms, he says, that the first night he settled in Chertsey, he caught a violent cold that confined him to his chamber for ten days, and that he afterwards bruised his ribs by a fall in his fields, which rendered it difficult for him to turn in his bed.
He could get no money from his tenants, and his meadows were eaten up every night by cattle turned in to prey upon him by his neighbours.
After a discontented residence of two years, during which, however, he composed his two last "Books of Plants", and planned several other works, he died of a violent defluction and stoppage in the throat, which he caught by staying too long in the evening among his haymakers in the meadows.
Charles the Second, true to the character so well and wittily bestowed upon him, of "never doing a wise thing, nor ever saying a foolish one", neglected Cowley, and broke his repeated promises to him during his life, but said, on the news of his death reaching him, "that Mr. Cowley had not left a better man behind him in England".
And this was the poet's reward - not worth having, even had it not been posthumous!
The house where Cowley died still exists.
It is called the Porch House, from its former projecting entrance.
The late Alderman Clark of London, long inhabited the place, and took great care to preserve it.
The porch was taken away by his direction, but the following inscription, now placed over the door, explains the cause of the alteration.
"The porch of this house, which projected ten feet into the highway, was taken down in the year 1786, for the safety and accommodation of the public".
Immediately underneath is the quotation from Pope: -
"Here, the last accents flowed from Cowley's tongue".

Among the famous residents of the neighbourhood of Chertsey, two especially deserve remembrance.
Charles James Fox, who inhabited a house on St. Anne's Hill, where his widow still resides; and Thomas Day, the author of "Sandford and Merton", who dwelt in Anningsley, and whose eccentricities are still spoken of by the neighbouring people.

Chertsey Bridge

There is a handsome stone bridge over the Thames at Chertsey, which was built in 1785, by the counties of Surrey and Middlesex, at an expense of £13,000

Laleham

Laleham, on the other side of the river, offers few attractions to draw us from our course, compared to those which the Surrey shore affords us.
It contains a pretty villa, belonging to the Earl of Lucan, which was in habited by Donna Maria, Queen of Portugal, during her stay in this country.
It is also a favourite resort of anglers.

Cooper's Hill

Proceeding up the left bank of the Thames towards Egham, we arrive at Cooper's Hill.

Where Denham, tuneful bard,
Charmed once the listening dryads with his song
Sublimely sweet:

or, as Pope says in verse, much more pleasing than Somerville's,

The sequestered scenes,
The bowery mazes and surrounding greens,
On Thames's banks while fragrant breezes fill,
And where the Muses sport on Cooper's Hill.
On Cooper's Hill, eternal wreaths shall grow,
While lasts the mountain, or while Thames shall flow!
Here his first lays majestic Denham sung".

Cooper's Hill is known, by name at least, to all the lovers of English poetry.
The father of Sir John Denham, the author of the poem of "Cooper's Hill", resided in dignity in the parish of Egham, and the poet, though in youth a rake, settled as he grew older into as respectable a man as his father.
He was made sheriff of Surrey in 1642, and afterwards governor of Farnham Castle for the Royalists.
A faithful servant of the house of Stuart, he retired with the royal family into France after the execution of Charles I, and, at the Restoration, more fortunate than Cowley his brother bard, obtained honours with profits attached to them, as a reward for his fidelity.
Denham's "Cooper's Hill"was written at Oxford in 1643, whither he had retired after he resigned the onerous governorship of Farnham Castle.
Its success was very great, and detraction and envy spread abroad a report, to injure the author, that he had not written it himself, but had bought it of a poor curate for forty pounds.
He outlived that rumour by many years, disproving it moreover by his other writings, and chiefly by his Elegy on the Death of Cowley.
Until Pope took up the pen, no poem, produced in England, excited so much admiration as "Cooper's Hill; "- even the critics who maligned the man, lauded the work as the happiest effort of the national muse.
And even now, when Cowley, once thought a superior poet, has sunk into almost universal neglect, Denham still holds his place in the popular estimation, and his verse is so well-known as to have become hackneyed and quoted, parrot-like, by rote, by thousands, who have often heard his verses but never read them.
There needs no other proof of his merit; and now, as we ascend the hill, and take our seat upon the spot where it is supposed that the poet stood when he imagined those lines upon the Thames, the most beautiful eulogium, perhaps, ever bestowed upon the river, the reader will pardon us for quoting them.
They may be familiar to most, but they will bear repetition; and in these rambles of ours, which profess to record not only the natural beauties of the Thames, but the fine things which have been said of it, their omission would be unpardonabie.
It is a pleasant task at any time to take one's stand in a place described by a poet, and, looking around on the landscape, to examine whether his description be as true as it is poetical.

My eye descending from this hill, surveys
Where Thames among the wanton valleys strays;
Thames, the most loved of all the Ocean's sons
By his old sire, to his embraces runs,
Hasting to pay his tribute to the sea,
Like mortal life to meet eternity.
Though with those streams he no resemblance hold,
Whose foam is amber and their gravel gold;
His genuine and less guilty wealth t'xplore,
Search not his bottom but survey his shore,
O'er which he kindly spreads his spacious wing,
And hatches plenty for th' ensuing Spring;
Nor then destroys it with too fond a stay,
Like mothers who their infants overlay:
Nor with a sudden and impetuous wave,
Like profuse kings, resumes the wealth he gave.
No unexpected inundations spoil
The mower's hopes, nor mock the ploughman's toil:
But godlike his unwearied bounty flows;
First loves to do, then loves the good he does.
Nor are his blessings to his banks confined,
But free and common as the sea or wind;
When he, to boast or to disperse his stores,
Full of the tributes of his grateful shores,
Visits the world, and in his flying towers
Brings home to us, and makes both Indies ours;
Finds wealth where 'tis, bestows it where it wants,
Cities in deserts, woods in cities plants;
So that to us no thing, no place is strange,
While his fair bosom is the world's exchange.

If all this were true in the time of Denham, how much more applicable is it now, when for one ship, or "flying tower", which then sailed upon his waters, we have a hundred, and when the new power of steam ploughs his waters with her thousand busy wheels, and increases fifty fold the wealth and the traffic which he has so well described.

Egham

Descending Cooper's Hill we continue our course towards Egham, in whose church a monument is erected to the memory of the poet's father.
The elder Sir John Denham was one of the Barons of the Exchequer during the reigns of James I.
and Charles I, and is buried here with his two wives.
Among other monuments deserving of a visit is one to the memory of John de Rutherwick, abbot of Chertsey, which is, however, more remarkable for its antiquity than for any claims which its clay-cold tenant ever possessed upon the attention of posterity.

Runnymead

Northward from this village, and on the banks of the Thames, is Runnymead: - a place renowned in the annals of England, - where the Barons, "clad in complete steel", assembled to confer with King John upon the Great Charter of English freedom, by which, as Hume says, "very important liberties and privileges were either granted or secured to every order of men in the kingdom; to the clergy, to the barons, and to the people".
King John lay with his small force in the little island in the Thames, nearly opposite, and now called Magna Charta Island, on which spot this famous charter was actually signed and sealed.
In the middle of the last century it was intended to erect a triumphal column upon Runnymead, in celebration of this event; and Akenside, the author of "the Pleasures of the Imagination", wrote the following inscription to be sculptured on its base: -

Thou who the verdant plain dost traverse here,
While Thames among his willows from thy view
Around contemplate well. This is the place
Where England's ancient barons, clad in arms
And stern with conquest, from their tyrant king
(Then rendered tame) did challenge and secure
The charter of thy freedom. Pass not on
Till thou hast blessed their memory, and paid
Those thanks which God appointed the reward
Of public virtue. And if chance thy home
Salute thee with a father's honoured name,
Go call thy sons; - instruct them what a debt
They owe their ancestors, and make them swear
To pay it, by transmitting down entire
Those sacred rights to which themselves were born.

Egham races are annually held here in the beginning of September, and are thought by many to have originally given name to this famous meadow.
The name of Runny, or Running-mead, may or may not have been applied to it as a race-course.
Horse-racing was practised to some extent in England prior to the reign of King John, as we learn from Fitzstephen's account of London in the time of Henry II, that Smithfield was a great market for fine horses, and that races not unfrequently took place in London.

Back to Staines

Returning towards Egham we cross the Bridge connecting it with the populous town of Staines in Middlesex.
The name is generally allowed to be derived from the Saxon staine or stone; but whether from the stone which marks the jurisdiction of the Lord Mayor of London upon the Thames, or from the old Roman milliarium which is plausibly conjectured to have stood near the same spot, is still a matter of dispute.
Traces of a Roman road passing through Staines have been discovered.
The London stone is still remaining and is a remarkable piece of antiquity.
It stands northward of the bridge, near the junction of the little river Colne, and bears on a moulding round the upper part the inscription
"God preserve the city of London, - A.D. 1280".
Before the time of Richard I. the jurisdiction of the magistracy of London over the Thames was supposed to extend westward as far as the river bore that name, but by a charter granted in the eighth year of that monarch's reign, it was attempted to define the limits with more accuracy.
Although Staines was not mentioned either in this charter, or in that of King John, it was generally considered as the extreme western limit of the Lord Mayor's jurisdiction.
Several attempts were made to extend it towards Oxford, but the corporation met with so much opposition, that they at last relinquished the claim, and were content to allow custom to stand instead of law.
By these and successive charters, the Lord Mayor is empowered to act as conservator of the river, to remove all obstructions to the navigation, to prevent encroachments by wharfs or buildings, to preserve the fishery, to seize unlawful nets, and to punish fishermen who offend against any of the ordinances of the city of London.
The Lord Mayor annually holds eight courts of Conservancy within the counties of Middlesex, Surrey, Essex, and Kent, in which, assisted by a jury, he punishes offenders.
The office of juror at these courts is one greatly coveted by a certain description of tradespeople, who love to feast at the public expense, for they are hospitably regaled of the best meats and wines by the Lord Mayor, and some old stagers have been known to serve the office four times a-year for forty years successively.

Milton

The river Colne, which here flows into the Thames, having passed through Watford, Harefield, Uxbridge, and Colnbrook, though a river of small pretensions to beauty, is sacred to all the admirers of genius.
Upon its banks the young Milton, ere his eyes were dimmed, ere the total eclipse, which in his Samson Agonistes he so beautifully deplores, had shut him out from all hope of day, wandered alone to dream, perchance, of those sublime works which have made him the wonder and the boast of England.
After he left the university he resided for five years with his father at Horton, a little village about a mile from Coln brook.
During this time he studied the Greek and Roman writers with much assiduity, snatching some sweet and stolen hours for the cultivation of poetry.
One of his first compositions, after settling at Horton, was the fine sonnet written "on his being arrived to the age of twenty-three", in which the ambition, the presage of future greatness, and the sorrow that at that age he had as yet done nothing worthy, are so feelingly and modestly expressed.
Here, also, on the banks of Colne, he wrote "II Penseroso", and "L'Allegro", poems which Dr. Johnson truly says, "every man reads with pleasure".
And here also he wrote "Lycidas", "The Masque of Comus", and the "Arcades".
He used to steal from severer studies at Horton to visit the Countess Dowager of Derby at Harefield, about seven miles further up the stream, to share the agreeable conversation of that lady, and delight her with some of the earliest blossoms of his poetic genius.
It was for an entertainment at her house that he wrote the Arcades; the personages of which were performed by some members of her family, who appeared on the stage in pastoral habits, representing shepherds, wood nymphs, and genii of the groves.
The Countess sat in a chair of state as the rural queen, and the shepherds celebrated her beauty,
Sitting like a goddess bright
In the centre of her light.

The rest of the Masque was written by another hand, and, probably, is now lost.
Next year, in 1634, Milton, who still resided at Horton, flattered by the praises bestowed upon his fragment of Arcades, wrote the complete and more beautiful Masque of Comus for an entertainment at Ludlow Castle; the personages being represented by the children of the Earl of Bridgewater.
Milton wrote it at the request of his friend, Henry Lawes, whom he celebrates in one of his sonnets as the "first who taught our English music how to span words with just note and accent, and who with smooth air could humour best our tongue".
Lawes was teacher of music in the family of the Earl, and related to Milton an accident which had befallen the Lady Alice, the Earl's daughter, and requested him to write upon it.
The young lady passing Haywood Forest in Herefordshire, with her brother, Lord Brackley, and Mr. Egerton, missed her way in its depths and was for a while lost, and upon this incident the mask is founded.
It does not appear that Milton left Horton to be present at the representation; but if he did, his biographers have neglected to inform us of the circumstance.
He finally left this seclusion, being weary of the country, in the year 1636 or 1637, and soon afterwards set out upon his continental travels.
Not only the Colne but its tributary brooks are sacred to the memory of Milton.
In the little village of Chalfont St. Giles - washed by the clear Misbourne that runs into the Colne, near Uxbridge, the bard took refuge in the year of the great plague of London.
There is a tradition that here he composed a part of his Paradise Lost; but, if we may believe Johnson, that grand poem was completed long before he left London, and anything that may have been done at Chalfont was only some slight correction.
Elwood, the Quaker, who took the house for him, relates that Milton showed him there, for the first time, a complete copy of the Paradise Lost.
Elwood having perused it, observed,
"Thou hast said a great deal upon Paradise lost: what hast thou to say upon Paradise found?"
Two years afterwards Milton showed his friend his Paradise Regained.
"This,'' said he, "is owing to you, for you put it into my head by the question you put to me at Chalfont, which otherwise I had not thought of".

Returning again to the Thames we find our selves within sight of Windsor, and feel all its old associations rising rapidly upon us. But they are too many to be compressed within the limits of this chapter.
They re quire a whole day's musing; - a morning walk, - a noon-tide meditation, and an evening's dalliance with the old bards, or a no less pleasant gossip with the quaint annalists of the days of yore.
This done, we shall return to Windsor.



VOLUME I. CHAPTER XI.
Approach to Windsor. - The Ducking of Sir John Falstaff. - View from the Castle Terrace. -
- William of Wykeham and his Kidnappers. - Royal Captives in the Castle. -
- The Loves of James of Scotland and the Lady Jane Beaufort. - Imprisonment of the Earl of Surrey. -

Old Windsor

Old Windsor, which is the first place on the Thames that claims our notice after passing Egham and Staines, is of comparatively small importance.
The rise of New Windsor, two miles further up the stream, and more immediately adjoining the castle, has thrown it into the shade.
Ever since the days of Edward III, who first made the castle a residence fit for the Kings of England, it has been neglected and forsaken, and its very name so appropriated by its more flourishing rival, that Windsor, without the adjective, is universally held to mean the new town and not the old.

Windsor

But Windsor, both new and old, must give place in these rambles of ours to its magnificent castle, which, with its thousand recollections of the illustrious names of past ages, claims all the thoughts and attention of the curious traveller, as it rises proudly, as a monarch should, over one of the fairest prospects that eyes ever gazed upon.
Making the stream our pathway, we pass under its superb walls, and by the green meadows at its feet, not forgetting as we are rowed along, that the little village to our right is Datchet, famous wherever Shakspeare is known as the scene where the "Merry Wives" played their scurvy trick, and inflicted the well-deserved punishment upon the too fat, too amorous, too confiding, and too villanous Sir John Falstaff, thrown "hissing hot" into the cool surge from the buck-basket, where he was coiled up amid the dirty linen, "like a piece of butcher's offal in a barrow".
Then, stepping ashore at the bridge that connects Windsor with Eton, we ascend the hill upon which the castle is built, and, taking a stroll upon the Terrace, indulge our eyes with a long gaze upon the lovely landscape that stretches out before us.
It is a summer's day - the weather is fine - the air clear - a cool west wind is blowing - the trees and flowers are redolent of perfume - the Thames flowing at our feet, shines in the sunlight like a ribbon of gold upon a cloth of green velvet, and every steeple upon which the eye rests, every knoll, every cluster of trees suggests some remembrance to the mind.
Beneath is Eton,

With antique towers
That crown the watery glade,
Where grateful science still adores
Her Henry's holy shade.

Further on is Slough, the residence of the Herschells, father and son, the greatest astronomers of modern times, and discoverers of new worlds, as wonderful as our own.
Then there is the unpretending spire of Stoke Pogis, in whose church-yard Gray lies buried, and which is supposed to be the scene of that beautiful Elegy, upon which his claims to our admiration mainly rest - no weak foundation for his fame though he had written nothing else.
In the distance also may be seen Beaconsfield, once the residence of Edmund Waller and Edmund Burke, names dear to the literature of England, and where both of them are buried.
To the left, in the distance, is Great Hampden, the birth and burial-place of the illustrious patriot of that name, a memento to the monarchs of England, placed as if purposely for ever within their sight, of the unconstitutional encroachments which they should avoid, and the free, proud, independent, spirit of their subjects, which it is not only their duty but their interest to foster, and not despise.
The piece of land, on which it was attempted to levy the illegal ship-money, is still shown.
To the right of us lies Runnymead, still more renowned in the history of British freedom; beyond it, Cooper's Hill, sacred to the memory of Denham, and around it, Windsor Forest, of which Pope has so sweetly sung, and where he passed his earliest years.
And among all rise villas and noble mansions, thickly spread- like stars on a frosty night.
The view is universally admired, not only for its associations, but for itself.
The beautiful diversity of hill and dale, of wood and water, of meadow and grove, of town and village, teeming with all the picturesque land marks of civilization and with these only, unobscured by the tall chimneys of gas-works, and unspoiled in its pleasant ruralness by those hugh square deformities, the manufactories, with which civilization is compelled to sprinkle its path, renders it a scene of loveliness, unsurpassed in England.

Turning reluctantly from the charms of nature to those of art, we gaze upon the timehonoured abode of a line of monarchs, and see, perhaps, the standard of England, floating from the round tower, to announce that the royal lady who now wields the sceptre, is an inmate of its walls.
The castle was built originally by William the Conqueror, who procured the site from the Monks of Westminster, to whom it was granted by the Saxon kings, in exchange for some lands in Essex.
The Norman monarch celebrated his Christmas in his new fortress four years after the conquest of England, and was much attached to the spot on account of the fine hunting grounds, which he laid out in the vicinity.
Henry I. made many additions to the building, and from a mere hunting lodge, converted it into a palace.
In the troublous time of King John, that monarch was besieged in the castle by his insurgent barons, and it was ceded to them by treaty.
John, however, when he found himself strong enough, surprised the castle again, and made it the rallying point of his scattered forces.
During the long wars of Henry III. and his barons, who were still more difficult to manage than those of John, the castle was taken and retaken several times.
His son Edward succeeded at last in gaining possession, and he kept it, till he himself ascended the throne, when he often resided at Windsor, where his Queen gave birth to four children.

But until the reign of Edward III, the palace remained a comparatively small and insignificant edifice.
This monarch, who was born in it, commenced alterations and additions on a very extensive scale, and entrusted the manage ment of the works to William of Wykeham, a famous architect and ecclesiastic of that day.
He established the Order of the Garter, and built the magnificent hall of St. George as a banquetting room for the Knights.
He also erected St. George's chapel, the keep, and several additional towers, surrounding the whole with a strong wall and rampart, encompassed by a moat.
The means by which he obtained workmen were peculiar to that day, and would find no favour with the artisans of our own time, few of whom are aware how these things were managed by our distant progenitors.
Masons and bricklayers were impressed in every part of the country, with carts, horses, and all necessary implements for the work.
When William of Wykeham, clerk of the works, was in want of an additional hundred or so of men, he informed the King, and his Majesty issued his writs to the sheriffs of counties, command ing them under heavy penalties to catch the requisite number, and forward them to Windsor, to be duly delivered as per bill of lading, like any other species of merchandise.
In the year 1360, nearly four hundred workmen were impressed in this manner, to be employed at the King's wages, which were considerably less than they could have obtained elsewhere.
Many of them left their work clandestinely, to the great hindrance of William of Wykeham.
Complaint having been made to the King, a royal proclamation was issued, forbidding all persons to employ the fugitives under a penalty of a forfeiture of their goods and chattels, and committal of the workmen to prison as rebels against the King's authority.
Many of these conscripts having died of the plague in 1362, new writs were issued to the sheriffs of six counties, of which, three, York, Salop, and Devon, were to provide sixty men each.
The total number required was three hundred and two, who were all to be hewers of stone.
Next year, the architect was in want of glaziers, and forthwith the press-gang captured the necessary quantity.
Painters and decorators were in similar request, and continued to be caught, like any other lawful prey, until the castle was completed, somewhere about the year 1374.

Edward IV, Henry VII, and Henry VIII. made some alterations and additions to the castle, and Elizabeth raised the fine north terrace, commanding that extensive prospect over the Thames upon whose charms we have already expatiated.
She also added the part known by the name of Queen Elizabeth's Gallery.
In the reign of Charles I. the castle, garrisoned by the Parliamentary army, sustained a siege from the royal forces, under the command of the king's nephew, Prince Rupert.
After the Restoration, every successive monarch, until George III, carried into effect some addition or embellishment either in the exterior or interior of this princely abode.
George III. out of his privy purse, restored St. George's Chapel, and the north front of the upper ward; and George IV.
carried alterations into effect by which the castle has become the magnificent structure that it now appears.
The designs of Mr. Wyatt, afterwards known as Sir Jeffery Wyattville, the new William of Wykeham, were approved by the King, and adopted by the legislature, which granted at different times sums amounting to nearly 800,000 to carry them into effect.
This slight sketch of the history of the mere outer walls, must suffice;

there are other histories connected with this venerable pile which claim the passing tribute of our attention.
And first of all, the royal captives who have pined within it.
In the reign of Edward III. John, King of France, and David II. King of Scotland, were imprisoned within its walls; but their captivity was not onerous: they were allowed every indulgence and every luxury, except the greatest of all, sweet liberty, being permitted to hunt and hawk, and take what other diversions might suit their humour.
In the reigns of Henry IV. and Henry V, a more illustrious prisoner was in thraldom within it for no less a period than eighteen years, James I. of Scotland, taken captive in his eleventh year, and confined till his twenty-ninth, who was not only an enlightened king, but an amiable man, and a poet of the first order.

Amid the bards whom Scotia holds to fame,
She boasts, nor vainly boasts, her James's name.
And less, sweet bard, a crown thy glory shows,
Than the fair laurels that adorn thy brows!

His history, in connexion with Windsor Castle, is touching and romantic.
His old and sorrow-stricken father, King Robert III. grieving for the loss of one son, the Duke of Rothsay, whose sad fate is so finely told by Sir Walter Scott in his "Fair Maid of Perth", and dreading that his youngest darling, and Only surviving son, James, might share a similar fate, thought it advisable to send him out of Scotland.
A governor being provided, the young prince was sent to finish his education in France, but the vessel in which the heir of Scotland was embarked, had sailed no further than Flamborough Head, when it was attacked by an English cruiser, and all on board were taken prisoners.
Some say that the capture was made when the young prince and his suite landed to refresh themselves at Flamborough, where they had been driven by stress of weather.
However this may be, Henry IV, although a truce subsisted at the time between the nations, resolved to detain the royal child as a hostage for the future good behaviour of his troublesome neighbour.
So overjoyed was that grim warrior at his good fortune, that he relaxed so far, as to give utterance to a pleasantry - "His father was sending him to learn French", quoth he; "by my troth, he might as well have sent him to me! I am an excellent French scholar myself, and will see to his instruction"; - and he kept his word.
The young prince was provided with the best masters, and made rapid progress in every polite accomplishment; but his loss broke his father's heart.
It needed not that last calamity to embitter the days of poor King Robert: he never held up his head again, but pined away, and died about a year afterwards.
But the captive himself, with the exception of the loss of liberty, had nothing to complain of.
Every luxury was his, and every indulgence.
He became well versed in all the literature of the age, and grew an excellent musician, a sweet poet, and expert in all the manly accomplishments that befitted a prince.
He studied Chaucer, then recently deceased, and made him his model, and produced poems, little inferior to those of his master.
In the "Quair", or book, written shortly before his return to Scotland, he informs us in elegant rhymes, how he passed his time in captivity, and how he fell in love with the beautiful Lady Jane Beaufort, as she was walking with her maid in the gardens of Windsor Castle.
And first of all, of his studies, and of his consolations in captivity.
He studied, he says, sometimes "until his eyne began to smart for studying", but, until he fell in love, books were his great delight, and especially one, "Boetius on the consolations of Philosophy".

Whereas inward full oft I did bewail
My deadly life, full of pain and penance,
Saying oft thus, 'What have I done to fail
Of freedom in this world and of plaisance?'

The long dayis and the nightis eke
I would bewail my fortune in this wise,
For while against distress, comfort to seek,
My custom was on morning for to rise
Early as day, O happy exercise!

Me fell to mind of many divers thing
Of this and that, I cannot say wherefore,
But sleep, for craft, in earth might I no more,
So took a book to read upon a while.

In rhymes still smoother and more elegant, and in which we change nothing but the orthography to make them a little more intelligible to the general reader, he relates his state of mind, when the beauteous Lady Jane first shone upon his sight.

Bewailing in my chamber thus alone,
Despairing of all joy and remedie,
For, tired of my thought and woe-begone,
Then to the window gan I walk in hye [haste],
To see the world and folk that went forbye,
As for the time, though I of mirthis food
Might have no more, to look it did me good.

Now was there made, fast by the touris wall,
A garden fair, and in the corner set
An arbour green with wandis long and small
Railed about, and so with trees ysett
Was all the place, and hawthorn hedges knet,
That life was none ywalking there forbye
That might within scarce any wight espy.

So thick the boughis and the leavis
Beshaded all the alleys that there were,
And middest every arbour might be seen
The sharp green sweetest juniper,
Growing so fair with branches here and there,
That as it seemed to a life without,
The bowis spread the arbour all about.

And on the small green pleasant twistis sat
The little sweete nightingale and sang,
So loud and clear the hymnis consecrate
To love's own use, now soft, now loud among
That all the gardens and the wallis rang
Right of their song, and on the copill next
Of their sweet harmony - and lo! the text -

- "Worship all ye, that lovers be, this May,
For of your bliss the kalends are begun,
And sing with us, 'Away, winter, away!
Come, summer, come! the sweet season and sun!
Awake for shame, that have your heavenys won,
And amorously lift up your headis all,
Thank Love that list you to his mercy call.'"

When they this song had sung a little thraw,
They stopped awhile, and therewith unafraid,
As I beheld and cast mine eyes below
From bough to bough they hopped and they played
And freshly in their birdly guise arrayed
Their feathers new and fret them in the sun,
And thanked Love they had their matis won!

The royal poet, after pathetically lamenting that he was doomed to be a captive while the birds were free, continues:

And therewith cast I down my eyes again,
Whereas I saw, walking under the tower
Full secretly, new coming her to prayne
The fairest, and the freshest youngé flower
That ever I saw, methought, before that hour,
At which sudden abate, anon astart
The blood of all my body to my heart!

My wittis all
Were so o'ercome with pleasure and delight,
That suddenly my heart became her thrall
For ever of free will, for of menace
There was no semblance in her sweete face!

And in my head I drew right hastilie
And then eft soon I leaned it out again,
And saw her walk, that very womanlie,
With no wight more, but only women twaine,
Then 'gan I study in myself, and sayn,
"Ah, sweet! are ye a worldly creature,
Or heavenly thing in likeness of our nature?"

He then describes in eloquent, though partly obsolete, language, her golden hair and rich at tire, adorned with fretwork of "perlis white", with many a diamond, emerald and sapphire -

"And on her head a chaplet fresh of hue,
With plumis partly red and white and blue.

And above all -

... as well he wot
Beauty enough to make a world to doat!

This fair creature was the daughter of John Earl of Somerset, and grand-daughter of John of Gaunt; and although we have no record of their courtship, there is every reason to believe that she looked with a favourable eye upon the handsome and accomplished prince, then doubly a captive.
Their love was true, and the course of it ran smoothly.

In the year 1428, negotiations were commenced by Murdoch, Regent of Scotland, for the liberation of the King, and Henry V. agreed with but little difficulty.
The sum of £40,000 was stipulated to be paid by Scotland, not as ransom - it was a disagreeable word - but as compensation for the maintenance and education of the prince; and it was further agreed, that he should marry some lady of the royal blood of England, as a bond of peace and good will between the two countries.
The heart of James must have leaped for joy within him at the latter proposal.
He accepted it with eagerness, and named the Lady Jane Beaufort as the object of his choice.
The lady on her part was quite as willing, and their nuptials were celebrated with great pomp, first at Windsor, and afterwards at London, the bride receiving for her portion the sum of £10,000.
She was a most faithful and attached wife, and during the many cares, anxieties, and troubles that beset the path of her royal partner on his return into his own disturbed dominions, was always the affectionate friend, the kind adviser, and chief comfort of her lord.
His sad fate is well known.
Her heroism and devotion at that awful hour, when he was murdered in her arms, is less so.
When the assassins were clamouring at the entrance gate, a young girl of the queen's attendants, the Lady Katharine Douglas, put her slender arm through the staple of the door to serve as a bolt, but the frail impediment was snapped asunder like a stick by the strong conspirators.
James, unarmed and defenceless, was let down into a vault underneath by his heroic wife, but was discovered and slain, pierced by eight-and-twenty wounds.
Nor did the queen escape altogether.
She was first stabbed by the disappointed assassins, before they discovered the king in the vault, and afterwards received two wounds in interposing her body between her lord and the bloody knife of his foes.
Happily, her wounds were not mortal.
She lived long enough to do justice upon the murderers, several of whom were executed.
The aged Earl of Athol, one of the chief conspirators, was crowned with a coronet of red hot iron, with the inscription, "this is the king of the traitors", and after suffering the most horrible tortures for three days, was beheaded, and his quarters sent to the chief cities of the kingdom.

Windsor Castle is also celebrated as the place of durance of another, but less illustrious poet, the Earl of Surrey, of whom we have already discoursed at Hampton Court.
What his offence was is not known, but it appears to have been trifling, as well as his -punishment.
Some of his biographers say, that it was for no crime more heinous than that of eating flesh in Lent.
It was here that he spent some of his earlier years, roving through the green glades of the forest with the young duke of Richmond, son of Henry VIII.
In a poem written during his imprisonment, the Earl recals[sic] to mind all the pleasures of his youth in Windsor with the dear friend then dead, and remembers to regret,

The large green courts where we were wont to rove
With eyes cast up unto the Maiden's Tower,
The palm-play where despoiled for the game
With dazzled eyes, oft we by gleams of love
Have missed the ball, and got sight of our dame
To bait her eyes, which kept the leads above.
The secret groves, which oft we made
Of pleasant plaint and of our ladies' praise;
Recording oft what grace each one had found,
What hope of speed, what dread of long delays.
The wild forest, the clothed holts with green;
With reins availed, and swiftly-breathed horse,
With cry of hounds and merry blasts between,
When we did chase the hart of fearful force.

All these delights of his youth came forcibly to his mind as he pined a prisoner, and alone, in the scenes associated with so much joy; but he strove at last, he says, to forget the lesser sorrow of his captivity, by dwelling upon the greater, the loss of his "noble fere", then cold in the tomb.
At Windsor also at a later period, he dangled in the train of his celebrated "Geraldine", writing smooth rhymes in her praise; complaining of coldness, for which he did not care; feigning raptures which he never felt; and making, if the truth must be told, somewhat of a fool of himself, and of the little girl too.
The story of his love, unlike that of James Stuart for his beautiful Jane Beaufort, has not the merit of truth and deep passion to recommend it, however much it may have been vaunted by other poets, who were content to take tradition instead of history, as we have already shown in a previous part of our peregrinations.

We have lingered so long in the pleasant company of the poets, as to have left ourselves but little time to dilate upon the curiosities of the spot.
But in this respect we decline to become the Cicerone of the reader.
To point out all the objects that attract the eyes of a visiter, would occupy a space which we should be loth to bestow; and referring all who may be interested in the fine works of art in the Waterloo Chamber, or in the beautiful chapel of St. George, to the guide books, which are sold in Windsor, and which will give all the information the most particular can require, we will stroll into the mausoleum of kings, and see the place where they sleep well, "after life's fitful fever"; ramble into the parks and forest, and then upwards again, in our prescribed course, breasting the waters of the Thames.


VOLUME I. CHAPTER XII.
Royal Tombs in St. George's Chapel. - The Persians at Windsor. - Windsor Forest -
- Herne's Oak. - Eton College. - Monkey Island. -
- The Vicar of Bray - The Town of Maidenhead. - Claude Duval. - Cliefden.

St George's Chapel

The Collegiate chapel of St. George, in Windsor Castle, not the edifice built by Edward III. with the same name, but a more splendid building erected on its site, by Sir Reginald Bray, the architect of that beautiful pile at Westminster Abbey called Henry VIIth's Chapel, is one of the most beautiful structures of its kind in the world.
It is a scene of much pomp upon the installation of a Knight of the Garter; but these are rare occasions, and a more solemn interest dwells permanently within its walls.
Here are buried several of the Kings of England.
Amongst others ill-fated Henry VI; -

And fast beside him once-feared Edward sleeps,
Whom not th' extended Albion could contain
From old Belerium to the northern main;
The grave unites, where even the great find rest,
And blended lie th* oppressor and opprest.

York and Lancaster lie side by side; the two chiefs, who with their long wars decimated the sons of England, and deluged her fields with blood, mingle their clay together.
In or under the same chapel lie Henry VIII. and Queen Jane Seymour.
Charles I. is also buried here; "Obscure the place, and uninscribed the stone".
The coffin was opened by order of George IV.
during his Regency, when the body was found in a remarkable state of preservation; the dissevered head being almost as fresh as on the day when it was first interred.
Lord Byron wrote some bitter lines upon the occasion: the most bitter, perhaps, that ever flowed from his bitter pen.
Here also are buried George III., George IV., William IV., the Dukes of York and Kent, and the Princess Charlotte.
The monument of the latter in Urswick's Chapel is a fine cenotaph in white marble, which is universally admired for the beauty of the design, and the excellence of the execution.

It may be amusing after a sober, English description of the Castle to hear how some florid and enthusiastic Orientals have launched out in its praise, with a profusion of imagery, and an exaggeration, which approaches the sublime.
Three Persian Princes, Reeza Koolee Meerza, Najaf Koolee Meerza, and Taymoor Meerza, visited England in 1836, and in their journal, printed for private circulation in 1839, they related among many other extraordinary sights, that they saw the Castle.
They thus described it:
"This superior palace is situated in a garden, or park, fifty-two miles in circumference, which is surrounded by a wall of iron bars, about three yards and a half high.
The park has forty gates, splendidly wrought, and through it run several fine streams like rose-water, and its trees are most noble, producing a beautiful shade.
The carriage roads are so finely paved, that a person might take his repose upon them.
Roses of every kind, and flowers of every hue, are in this park.
Its land is green, like emerald; its prospect is pleasure to the eye.
Gazelles, antelopes, and deers, are here in thousands.
Pheasants, partridges, woodcocks, and game of every kind abound, all of which are enjoying this delightful place.
Nightingales, goldfinches, and their associates, keep with their sweet voices watch in this garden.
It is naturally carpeted with a beautiful green velvet.
My pen tells me do not proceed; I am incapable of describing it: it is Paradise.
In one part of this Eden, there is a hill, two miles in circumference, on which the palace is built; it is about two thousand yards in height, and affords a most beautiful view of the park.
The mind cannot but be astonished at this splendid edifice, whose description exceeds the power of human writers.
Each of the kings for two-hundred years past, has had a separate palace in this castle, with distinct majestic splendour of sovereignty, as may be now seen just as they were when the sovereigns occupied them.
And whatever unique jewels each sovereign obtained during his reign, are placed in his palace, with his statue, either of marble, jasper, or porphyry, seated on a jewelled throne, so beautifully made, that you might say, it is alive, and can speak.
One statue of a former king cost more than twelve thousand tomans.
All his ministers and officers of state during his reign have also statues placed by him in the room, each with the arms of the age, and appearing as if they were alive.
In the royal rooms of the late kings, all are seated on their thrones and chairs of gold, embroidered with precious stones, which cost millions of minted gold; each has his crown on his head of a hundred mauns of solid pure gold, and adorned with precious stones, so magnificent as to take the senses away.
These crowns are supported by chains of gold, and suspended over the heads of the sovereigns".

And now Windsor Park invites us to a ramble under its leafy shades, where Herne the hunter hung himself, and where his troubled ghost, as Shakspeare sings, was long supposed to haunt, and the fairies to hold their midnight revels.
The little park on the north and east sides of the castle is about four miles in circumference, and is famous for a row of beautiful trees, said by the popular voice to have been planted by Queen Elizabeth, and still called "Queen Elizabeth's Walk".
The great park is on the south side of the town, and is a fine enclosure plentifully stocked with deer, and about fourteen miles in circumference.
Virginia water, a small stream which takes its rise in the vicinity, flows through the park, and has been formed into an artificial lake of exceeding beauty about a mile in length, bounded by a fine lawn and plantations, and ornamented by a cascade.
On its margin is a pretty temple erected under the superintendance of George IV, and an imitation of a classic ruin, consisting of columns of Corinthian marble, mocking decay most admirably.
Virginia Water abounds in fish, and after flowing through the park, continues its course by Thorpe and Chertsey, and falls into the Thames near Weybridge.
But the principal glory of the park is the mention made of it in "The Merry Wives of Windsor".

There is an old tale goes, that Herne the hunter,
Sometime a keeper here in Windsor forest,
Doth all the winter time, at still midnight,
Walk round about an oak, with great ragged horns,
And there he blasts the tree, and takes the cattle;
And makes milch-kine yield blood, and shakes a chain
In a most hideous and dreadful manner.

Here it was, as every reader will remember, that those really virtuous, but seemingly false dames, Mistress Ford and Mistress Page, aided by that "Welsh devil", and "fritterer of English" Sir Hugh Evans, Mrs. Quickly, Pistol, and "sweet Anne Page", played their last and crowning trick upon the cordial rascal Sir John Falstaff, burning him with their tapers to discover whether he were chaste, and pinching him black and blue to the measure of their "scornful rhyme", until the fat knight was fain to give utterance to his dolour in exclamations unworthy of his knighthood.
A great controversy has recently arisen upon the existence or non-existence of the celebrated tree under whose branches Shakspeare laid the scene of this revelry.

A tree still exists which is pointed out as the identical Heme's oak, sapless, leafless, barkless, and hastening to its fall, but carefully protected by a fence, that no rude vandal hand may damage or destroy, or cause its old trunk to crumble to its parent earth before its time.
There are many persons in Windsor who devoutly believe this to be the tree of Shakspeare.
Others, on the contrary, assert that Herne's oak was accidentally cut down fifty or sixty years ago, and that all this care is lavished upon a false Dromio.
The staunchest supporter of the claims of the existing tree is Mr. Jesse, the author of "Gleanings in Natural History", and those who do battle on the other side, are ' The Quarterly Review", and the editor of "The Pictorial Shakspeare".
The two latter are of opinion, supported on what, at first sight, seems sufficient authority, that George III, when a young man, gave orders that several old, and, as they were represented to him, unsightly trees in the park, should be cut down, and that the order was immediately executed.
He found soon afterwards, to his great sorrow, that among those trees, the remains of Herne's oak had been destroyed.
Mr. Benjamin West, the President of the Royal Academy, was often heard to say, that the King and royal family were very much annoyed at the accident, and he himself procured a large piece of one of its knotty branches, to preserve it as a relic.
Mr. Delamotte, his pupil, often saw this relic; but what has become of it now is not stated.
It is also said, upon the authority of Mr. Crofton Croker, that the question was put to George III, in the year 1800, by Lady Ely, when the King replied, that the tree had been really cut down as above stated, and that he had been ever since sorry for having inadvertently given such an order.
Samuel Ireland, in his "Picturesque Views on the Thames", published in 1792, mentions the tree as then standing, and gives a drawing of it, a fac-simile of which is reproduced below.

It seems to be a copy of that made by Mr. Ralph West, the son of the president.
Mrs. Ireland says, that at that time there was a talk of an intention to cut down the tree, which he sincerely hoped was not true, and that the little dell, "the pit hard by Herne's oak", where Anne Page and her troop of fairies couched with obscured lights, had been partly filled up.
There is another tradition in Windsor, which says that Herne's oak was not cut, but blown down in a violent tempest.
Mr. Jesse says, that George IV. often repeated the story about his father having cut down the tree; but he always added, "that tree was supposed to be Herne's oak, but it was not".
From a careful examination of the evidence upon this subject, which some few may consider unimportant, but which the many who delight in poetry, and who reverence everything connected with the name of the great bard of England, will consider as neither unimportant nor uninteresting, it appears that George III. gave orders to cut down a tree which, he believed afterwards, to have been Herne's oak.
Whether it were Herne's oak remains a disputed point, and, in all probability, will ever remain so.
We should be glad to believe with Mr. Jesse, that it was not - that the real tree still remains, and is that which he has pointed out.
As the law says that it is better that one guilty man should escape, than that one innocent person should suffer; so we say, that it is better we should pay the tribute of our reverence and respect to a false Herne's oak, than run the risk of neglecting what may after all be the true one.
We would not rob the oak still standing, of one of the many pilgrims who resort beneath it, to gaze

Upon its boughs all mossed with age,
And high top bald with grey antiquity.

They may be mistaken in their oak, but the homage which they pay to genius is as sincere, as creditable, and as valuable, as if its identity were established beyond dispute.
One other circumstance connected with this controversy, deserves to be stated.
Many persons, and among others, the Editor of "The Pictorial Shakspeare", imagine Heme's oak to have been "an oak with great ragged horns", and as the tree which was cut down by order of George III. had "great ragged horns", and the tree pointed out by Mr. Jesse has not, they are confirmed in their opinion, that the latter is in error.
The difference of a comma in the text of Shakspeare will remove this difficulty. Was it Heme the hunter, with "great ragged horns", who walked about the oak, as the disguise of Falstaff would lead us to believe? or was it Herne the hunter, with a head like ordinary mortals, who walked about an oak that had branches "like great ragged horns?"
The branching antlers which the wicked widows prevailed upon Falstaff to wear, in imitation of the supernatural hunter, inclines us to the opinion, that the received reading of the passage is wrong, and that the "ragged horns" were intended to describe Herne, and not his oak.

Windsor Forest, which lies beyond the park, is fifty-six miles in circuit, and abounds in deer and game, having been enclosed originally as a hunting ground by William the Conqueror.
It contains several pretty villages, and is watered by a branch of the Loddon, and its tributary brooks, and several other streams.
Binfield, within its bounds, was once very generally supposed to have been the birth-place of Pope, but Mr. Lysons stated, on the authority of Dr. Wilson, rector of the parish, that the young poet was in his sixth year when he first came to reside there with his parents, and it has since been ascertained beyond doubt, that he was born in London.
It was at Binfield, however, that he composed his "Windsor Forest".
Upon one of the trees in a neighbouring enclosure, under which it is supposed he was fond of musing, is cut into the bark the inscription, "Here Pope sung".
East Hamstead, another village within the same bounds, was the birth-place of Elijah Fentor, the assistant of Pope in his translation of Homer.
At Okingham, or Wokingham, close by, Swift, Pope, Gay, and Arbuthnot, occasionally met; and at the Rose Inn there, they jointly composed the famous ballad, generally attributed to Gay alone, upon the charms of Molly Mog, the landlord's daughter.
So lovely was she, said these wags, as "she smiled on each guest like her liquor", that they swore

Were Virgil alive with his Phillis,
And writing another eclogue,
Both his Phillis and fair Amaryllis,
He'd give up for sweet Molly Mog.

This heroine died in 1766, having long outlived the beauty which attracted so much mock admiration.
Windsor Forest was the residence, for a short time, of another poet, whose genius, long, neglected, is now beginning to receive more appreciation.
In the summer of 1815, as we learn from the affectionate and affecting notes to Mrs. Shelley's edition of her husband's works, Shelley resided on Bishopsgate Heath, on the borders of the forest, where he enjoyed several months of comparative health and happiness.
While here he, as usual, passed much of his time in his favourite diversion of boating, and went with a few friends on the same exploratory expedition as ourselves, to visit the sources of the Thames, performing the distance from Windsor to Cricklade in an open wherry.
On his return, he composed that fine thoughtful poem, "Alastor, or the Spirit of Solitude", spending his days under the oak shades of Windsor Great Park, and copying from that magnificent woodland, says Mrs. Shelley, the various descriptions of forest scenery in the poem.
How beautiful is one of them in particular:

The noon-day
Now shone upon the forest, one vast mass
Of mingling shade, whose brown magnificence
A narrow vale embosoms.
...
The meeting boughs and implicated leaves
Wove twilight o'er the poet's path, as led
By love or dream, or God, or mightier death,
He sought in Nature's dearest haunt, some bank
Her cradle and his sepulchre. More dark
And dark the shades accumulate - the oak,
Extending its immense and knotty arms,
Embraces the light beech. The pyramids
Of the tall cedar overarching, frame
Most solemn domes within, and far below,
Like clouds suspended in an emerald sky,
The ash and the acacia floating hang,
Tremulous and pale. Like restless serpents, clothed
In rainbow and in fire, the parasites
Starred with ten thousand blossoms, flow around
The grey trunks, and, as gamesome infants' eyes,
With gentle meanings and most innocent wiles
Fold their beams round the hearts of those that love,
These twine their tendrils with the wedded boughs,
Uniting their close union: the woven leaves
Make net-work of the dark blue light of day
And the night's noontide clearness, mutable
As shapes in the weird clouds. Soft mossy lawns
Beneath these canopies extend their swells,
Fragrant with perfumed herbs, and eyed with blooms
Minuter yet as beautiful.
...
Hither the poet came.

Eton

But we have lingered perhaps too long in this light of song - we must leave the glades so beautifully pictured in this eloquent page, and retracing our steps, turn again to the bosom of old Thames, from which we have for a moment strayed, and continue our course up the river.
We had almost forgotten that, besides Wind sor on its left, it has another spot on its right, dear to all British hearts - Eton.
This fine old college, hoary with years, rises solemnly upon the banks of the Thames, one of the fairest objects that adorn its course, and suggests innumerable thoughts of the great and good men who were educated within its walls.
Sacred is Eton to the memory of poor King Henry.
The good he did still lingers after him; but, strange to say, the seminary he founded for the poor is become a college for the rich, the most aristocratic perhaps of all the schools of England.

It was founded in the year 1440, for the support of a provost, and seven fellows, and the classical education of seventy scholars, who, when properly qualified, were to be annually elected to King's College Cambridge, whither they were to be removed by seniority as vacancies occurred.
They are also eligible for scholarships at Merton College Oxford, and other endowments.
Besides these, there are generally three hundred boys, the sons of rich men, who board at the masters' houses, or within the bounds of the college, and pay large sums for their education.
The Eton Montem, celebrated on Whit Tuesday every third year, is a singular custom, known so early as the time of Elizabeth, and kept up, some say, for the benefit of the poor scholars, if poor any of them can be called; while others say with more truth, that it is kept up merely for the frolic of the thing, and because it is old.
In the neighbourhood of Eton, at the village of Salthill, on the Bath road, is a little eminence, supposed by some to have been originally a Saxon barrow, which is the scene of this triennial festivity.
At nine in the morning, the scholars begin to assemble, and march three times round the play-yard of the college; after each fifth-form boy, marches a lower boy carrying a pole.
At ten they proceed ad montem, to the hill, in the best order they can, which is generally in no order at all.
The collection of "salt", however, begins at an earlier hour.
The "salt-bearers" are but two, but they have an almost unlimited number of "servitors"or "scouts", who from six o'clock in the morning scour the country round in search of contributions.
No person is permitted to pass without contributing something; a refusal might be unpleasant, and most are willing to purchase immunity for the rest of the day by giving according to their means, for which they receive a ticket.
The production of this ensures them from further demands.
The salt-bearers sometimes levy their contributions in a very extended circuit, being allowed a horse and gig for the purpose.
If the Sovereign happen to be at Windsor, the ceremony is usually honoured with her presence, and by a contribution varying from fifty to one hundred pounds.
The money generally amounts to four or five hundred pounds, and has sometimes been as much as eight hundred or a thousand pounds.
When all the spectators have paid their tribute, the salt-bearers levy a contribution from every boy in the college, of at least a shilling each, which, as there are generally six hundred boys, amounts always to thirty pounds, and some times to treble that sum.
Besides the saltbearers and servitors, there is the captain of the day, for whose supposed benefit the ceremony takes place, who must be a King's scholar, and the head boy of the school.
His dress is always of the richest materials, and he is attended by another boy, dressed in a marshal's uniform, and carrying a baton.
There are a lieutenant and an ensign, and scores of sergeants and corporals, who must all of them be King's scholars, and of the sixth form.
All these have an established uniform, but the saltbearers and servitors are allowed to dress as they please, as Turks, Highlanders, Mohawks, Chinese, or to wear any sort of fantastic or nondescript costume.
The fifth-form boys are dressed in military coats, cocked-hats, white trousers, boots, and a sword.
The remainder of the boys, called "lower boys", are dressed in blue coats, white waistcoats and trousers, silk stockings and pumps, and each carries a white pole.
On the arrival of the procession at Salt Hill, where hundreds of gay equipages, and thousands of spectators on foot are waiting, the college flag, inscribed with the motto of the day "Pro more et monte"is waved three times by the ensign, who stands upon the summit of the hill for the purpose.
A grand dinner is then given to the boys at the expense of the captain, after which the scholars lounge about and amuse themselves as they can till about four o'clock, when there is another assemblage, or "absence" on the hill, and the procession returns to Eton about five.
The next day there is another serious drain upon the pockets of the captain, who provides a splendid dejeuner à la fourchette to the first two hundred boys in the college hall.
It thus frequently happens that the captain is not a gainer by the collection which has been made for him, though nominally the money is said to be reserved for his support when he proceeds to the University.

In Hone's "Year Book", is a quotation from the "Windsor Guide Book", which contains a pleasant apology for this popular mummery.
"Out upon the eternal hunting for causes and reasons!"says the writer.
"I love the no-mean ing Eton Montem.
I love to be asked for salt by a pretty boy in silk stockings and satin doublet, though the custom has been called something between begging and robbing.
I love the apologetical Mos pro lege, which defies the police and the Mendicity[sic] Society.
I love the absurdity of a captain taking precedence of a marshal, bearing a gilt baton at an angle of forty-five degrees from his right hip; and an ensign flourishing a flag with the grace of a tight-rope dancer; and sergeants paged by fair skinned Indians and beardless Turks; and corporals in sashes and gorgets, guarded by innocent pole-men in blue jackets and white trousers.
I love the mixture of real and mock dignity, the Provost, in his cassock, clearing the way for the Duchess of Leinster to see the ensign make his bow, or the head master gravely dispensing 'leave of absence till nine' to Counts of the Holy Roman Empire, and Grand Seigniors.
I love the crush in the cloisters, and the mob on the mount.
I love the clatter of carriages and plunging of horsemen.
I love the universal gaiety, from the peer who smiles, and sighs that he is no longer an Eton boy, to the country girl, who marvels that such little gentlemen should have cocked hats and real swords.
Give me a montem with all its tomfoolery; - I had almost said, before a coronation.
It is a right English scene".

The origin of this curious ceremony is lost in the lapse of time; various conjectures have been formed about it, but whether it gave name to the hill, or the hill to the ceremony, is still undecided.
It was said to be an old custom in the time of Elizabeth, but nothing certain was known about it even then.
A custom very similar still prevails in Prussia and many parts of Germany, which possibly may have had the same origin.
It is not uncommon there to meet bands of young men, respectably dressed, and well educated, who stop the carriages on the public road, and beg for money.
They are seldom or ever refused, except perhaps by strangers, who do not know that these young men are apprentices, who have served their time, and who are not allowed to establish themselves in trade, until they have made the tour of their country, and visited all its principal towns.
The money thus collected helps to set them up in a shop, and many of them begin life, and prosper upon no other funds than those which are thus acquired.

Proceeding up the Thames from Windsor and Eton, towards Maidenhead, Marlow, and Henley, we approach that part of the river which is universally allowed to be the most lovely of all its course.
From Cotteswold down to the sea it presents no scenes equal in rural loveliness to these.
Its banks, if not lofty, are high enough to be imposing, and are altogether sylvan and beautiful, offering, it is true, no rocks, no mountains, no torrents, to the gaze of the traveller, but, instead, pellucid waters, verdurous hills and solemn woodlands, with here and there glimpses of waving corn-fields and pasture lands dotted with cattle.
Here at all seasons may be seen the Eton scholars, fishing, or rowing, or bathing, as the weather invites, and many perchance, like their predecessor the old and now neglected poet, Phineas Fletcher, learning to "weave the rhyme".
Fletcher, the author of "The Purple Island", a poem upon the anatomy of the human frame, and a remarkable specimen of talents misapplied, wrote several lyrical pieces upon the pleasures of angling.
He was bred at Eton, and thus, in his first Piscatory Eclogue, describes the pleasures of the school-boys there in the days of Elizabeth.

When the raw blossom of my youth was yet
In my first childhood's green enclosure bound,
Of Aquadune I learned to fold my net,
And spread the sail, and beat the river round,
And withy labyrinths in straits to set,
Or guide my boat where Thames and Isis' heir
By lowly Eton glides, and Windsor proudly fair.

There while our thin nets dangling in the wind,
Hung on our oar-tops, I did learn to sing,
Among my peers, apt words to fitly bind
In numerous verse; witness thou crystal spring
Where all the lads were pebbles wont to find,
And yon thick hazles that on Thames's brink
Did oft with dallying boughs, his silver waters drink.

Sailing leisurely upwards from Windsor and Eton, in a pleasure boat, of which plenty are to be had on hire, and tramping it sometimes upon footways, at the water side, we pass Monkey Island, and its fishing temple, erected by the third Duke of Marlborough, and adorned with grotesque figures of the animal from which the island takes its name, and arrive at the little village of Bray, in Berkshire, famous all over England for the accommodating vicar, who once resided in it.
Some have imagined that the celebrated vicar was an Irishman, and incumbent of Bray, near Dublin; and others have supposed that he lived in the time of Charles II. Both these suppositions are erroneous, if we may rely, and there is no reason why we should not, upon the statements of excellent old Fuller, who informs us, in his Worthies of England, that the vicar in question was the incumbent of Bray upon the Thames, and that he lived in the reigns of Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary, and Elizabeth.
He changed his religion according to the ascendency of the day: a Protestant to please one government, a Catholic to please the next, and again Protestant to keep on good terms with the third; arguing all the time, that he was consistent and sincere to the one great fundamental maxim of his life, which was upon no terms, if he could help it, to part with his comfortable incumbency of Bray.
The name of this astute and worldly-minded ecclesiastic, is said to have been Symon Symonds, and there is a well-known song upon his tergiversations.

Taplow

On the right of the river are the waving woods of Taplow, hanging in picturesque beauty over the stream, and associated in our remembrance with the name of Elizabeth, who during the reign of her sister, passed some time in a sort of captivity in this place.
There is a large oak-tree in the park, which popular tradition, fond of attributing the origin of favourite trees to favourite personages, maintains to have been planted by that princess.
About the year 1760, a singular cave adjoin ing the Thames was discovered at this place.
It was evidently not a natural hollow, but an artificial excavation, but when, by whom, and why it was formed, have never been explained.
It is ten feet wide, and nineteen feet high, with an arched roof, and is situated on the declivity of a chalky hill.

And back to Maidenhead

The scene from the latter, northwards, towards Marlow, merits the abundant admiration it has received.
Maidenhead is a clean, neat little town, now rising into some importance, from the vicinity of the railway station of the Great Western Company.
Its name, according to Leland, was formerly South Allington, and by some it has been called South Ealington and Sudlington.
The reason of the change to Maidenhead, or when the change took place, is not known.
The town was incorporated about the middle of the fourteenth century, by Edward III, by the name of the guild of ten brothers and sisters of Maidenhithe, from which the present name of Maidenhead is derived.
The adjacent common of Maidenhead Thicket, so called from its having been at one time covered with wood, was noted during the seventeenth, and at the commencement of the eighteenth century, for the numerous highway robberies committed on it.
It was here that the notorious Claude Duval sometimes distinguished himself, in teaching English footpads to rob politely, and where he himself occasionally, as Butler sings,

Made desperate attacks
Upon itinerant brigades
Of all professions, ranks, and trades,
On carriers' loads and pedlars' packs;
Making the undaunted waggoner obey,
And the fierce higgler contribution pay!

And quite as often levying his contributions upon a superior class - easing travellers upon horses or in carriages of their gold, by the argument of the pistol; and afterwards, when that was found sufficiently cogent, treating them with all imaginable courtesy and civility, such as befitted a man who piqued himself upon being as French in his manners as he was in his name.

Cliveden

Turning to the other side of the stream, just beyond the cluster of green islands in the Thames, we see the pleasant woods of Cliefden, and the site of the once magnificent residence of George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham, now occupied by the mansion of Sir George Warrender.
The building, which was destroyed by fire in the year 1795, will long be remembered by the lines of Pope, and by the fine description of Evelyn, the lover of forest trees. To those who take delight in the loveliness of rural scenery, and where is he who does not?
we would recommend an excursion to Cliefden.
The view, whether it be of the river, seen from the summit of the wood; or the wood, seen from the bosom of the water, will well repay the visit of the rambler.
The wood teems with the melody of birds; and when we passed by, on a fine summer's evening, we heard a nightingale pouring forth her song with "fullthroated ease", and felt, in our inmost soul, as we listened, the beauty of the poet's description: -

Far and near her throbbing song
Floated, rose, or sunk along,
Low or loud - serene, sedate -
Plaintive - peaceful - passionate -
Threaded all the darkened alleys,
Walled and roofed with scented leaves,
Echoed down the swarded valleys;
Clomb the feather'd mountain cleaves;
Till upon the waters
In its sad and sweet decay,
Died in silence more
That delicious roundelay.

The charms of the spot have been duly appreciated.
It is a favourite resort for pic-nic parties, for whom it has one other attraction, besides those already mentioned - a spring of water near the river side, which is celebrated for miles around for its beautiful transparency and refreshing coolness.

The story connected with the ancient building, and to which Pope alludes, in his Epistle to Lord Bathurst, is of the time of Charles II. and is one of the most disgraceful incidents of a disgraceful reign.
The Duke of Buckingham had debauched the Lady Shrewsbury, and was challenged by her husband to mortal combat.
Charles II. heard of the intended meeting, and commanded the Duke of Albemarle to prevent it, by confining Buckingham to his house, or by any other means which he might think it convenient to adopt.
Albemarle, seeing the King so resolved upon the matter, took no precautions at all, thinking that Charles would manage it himself.
Thus, between them both, nothing was done, and the parties met at Barn Elms, each attended by two seconds.
According to the sanguinary practice of the age, the seconds engaged as well as the principals.
The injured Shrewsbury was attended by Sir John Talbot, a gentleman of the Privy Chamber, and by his relative, Lord Bernard Howard; while the seducer was accompanied by two of his dependants, Sir John Jenkins and one Captain Holmes.
Lady Shrewsbury, the guilty cause of all the mischief, stood close at hand in a neighbouring thicket, disguised as a page, and holding her paramour's horse to avoid suspicion.
The result of the encounter was, that Lord Shrewsbury was run through the body, Sir John Talbot severely wounded in both arms, and Jenkins left dead on the field.
Buckingham received some slight wounds, and taking Lady Shrewsbury in her page's dress into his carriage, rode post haste to Cliefden, where they passed the night together, the Duke hastening to her arms, as we are informed by Pope, in the very shirt which was discoloured with the blood of her lord.
Buckingham afterwards took her to town with him, under the same roof with his Duchess, who loudly protested against the insult, declaring, that it was not for her and his mistress to live together.
"So I have been thinking, Madam", replied Buckingham, "and have therefore sent for your coach to convey you to your father's".
Buckingham and the Countess of Shrewsbury continued to reside together for many years, principally at Cliefden, until their extravagance in dissipating the fortune of the young Earl, the son of the Countess, attracted the attention of Parliament, and they were forbidden to reside together under a penalty of £10,000; and the control of the Shrewsbury property was taken from a woman, who was both unfit and unworthy to be intrusted with it.
And what was the end of it all to one of them?

In the worst inn's worst room, with mat half hung,
The floors of plaster, and the walls of dung,
On once a flock-bed, but repaired with straw,
With tape-tied curtains, never meant to draw,
The George and Garter dangling from that
Where tawdry yellow strove with dirty red -
Great Villiers lies! - Alas! how changed from him
That life of pleasure and that soul of whim!
Gallant and gay in Cliefden's proud alcove,
The bower of wanton Shrewsbury and love.
No wit to flatter left of all his store,
No fool to laugh at, which he valued more:
There, victor of his health, of fortune, friends,
And fame, this lord of useless thousands ends!

And what was the fate of the other?
History and poetry have alike forgotten to say, thinking her too insignificant for further mention.
But it should not have been so.
If she died convinced of her errors and repentant, her story, painful as the first part of it might have been, would have been worth recording, for the lesson of its end.
If she died as she lived, the record would have been no less useful.
In the one case, it would have been an example; in the other, a warning.


At Cliefden House, at a later period, Thomson's Masque of Alfred was first performed before the Prince of Wales, and, for the first time in public, was played that noble strain of "Rule Britannia", since become a national anthem, that has often led our sailors to victory, and increased the renown it was written to celebrate.



VOLUME I. CHAPTER XIII.
Hedsor. - Cookham. - The River Wick Great Marlow. - The Poet Shelley at the Groves of Bisham -
- The Rakes of Medmenham Abbey. - Lady Place, Hurley. - Lord Lovelace and the Revolution of 1688. -
- Hambleton. - Fawley Court - Ancient and Modern Antiques. - Henley. -
- Pan and Lodona - The River Loddon. - Sunning Hill. - Reading.

Adjoining the estate of Cliefden is Hedsor Lodge, the seat of Lord Boston, commanding picturesque views in Buckinghamshire and Berkshire.
Proceeding upwards to Cookham, we pass two considerable aits or islands, formed by the division of the stream.
On the largest, comprising about fifty-four acres, the late Sir George Young erected a commodious villa in the year 1790, which he called Formosa Place.
Cookham is a small but pleasant village, and was formerly a market town.
At a short distance beyond it, on the opposite bank of the river, the little rivulet, the Wick, which rises near, and gives name to High Wycombe, mingles its waters with the Thames.

Marlow

Having passed this, we arrive in sight of the town of Great Marlow, in Buckinghamshire, with its neat suspension bridge over the river.
The scenery hereabouts is pleasing and rural, and the tiny waterfall of the stream caused by the obstruction of Marlow weir, increases the beauty of the view.
Shelley resided in this town during the greater part of the year 1817, as we learn from his accomplished and true-hearted editress, and the town at that time being inhabited by a very poor population, he left for awhile his lonely reveries on the perfectibility of man, and devoted some hours to the alleviation of the actual poverty and misery that surrounded him.
He had a severe attack of ophthalmia in the winter, caught while visiting a distressed family in their squalid cottage.
But when the fit of poetry was upon him, he delighted to glide along in his boat upon the Thames, among the sedges and water lilies, under the beechen groves of Bisham, that overhang the stream.
There he composed "The Revolt of Islam", and part of "Rosalind and Helen", and ever as he sailed his mind was full

Of love and wisdom, which would overflow
In converse wild, and sweet, and wonderful.

Bisham

Bisham Abbey, on the opposite bank, stands close to the water's edge, and was formerly occupied by, and is still the property of Lord Bexley.
This abbey was one of those suppressed by Henry VIII, who retained it for a time for his own residence.
One of the rooms in it goes by the name of Queen Elizabeth's Council Chamber, from the supposition that she occasionally resided here after her accession.
The truth is, however, that in her time Bisham Abbey was no longer royal property, having been granted by Edward VI. to the Hoby family.
It is curious to note, how fond the populace are of connecting the name of some great personage with the spots they themselves inhabit.
Many of these traditions set probability at defiance, yet will they linger in the popular mind, and no refutation can eradicate them.
Thus the people of Bisham believe to this day that Queen Elizabeth resided among them, and insist, notwithstanding the opinion of all the world to the contrary, that she died no maid.
They point out in their church a small monument with the sculptured figures of two children, which they assert was erected by that princess, in memory of twins, of which she was delivered in that village.
Of course they are but the old women of both sexes who believe this story; but it has been current for nearly two centuries and a half.

Temple Lock, Hurley Lock and Medenham Abbey

Passing Temple lock and weir, we arrive at another abbey, on the Buckingham shore, associated with another piece of slander, which, however, has more truth in it than the slander of Bisham.
Medmenham Abbey, in the middle of the last century, belonged to a noble peer, a notorious Mohock of his day, who established here a mock monastery under the title of the Abbey of the Monks of St. Francis, in which he and his rakish companions celebrated many impure orgies.
The motto of the fraternity was "Fay ce que voudras", or "let each man do as he likes", which still exists, inscribed over the entrance.
The abbey was then a scene of unrestrained debauchery, of which the anonymous author of Chrysal, or the Adventures of a Guinea, strives to give his readers an account in those volumes.
They are doubtless exaggerated.
It is hard to imagine that men, who, whatever were their vices, were not deficient in common sense, would have been scared almost to death by so palpable a hoax as that alleged to have been played off upon them by a fellow member, who introduced a baboon among them, which they all, says he, actually mistook for the devil.
In the year 1791, according to Samuel Ireland, the abbey was occupied by a poor family, who increased their scanty means by showing the curious visiter the sole remaining relic of these debauchees, an immense cradle, in which it was customary to rock the full-grown friars of the order, in some of the ceremonies of their installation.
The abbey was founded in the reign of King John, and was a cell to the Cistercian Monks of Woburn.
At the time of the dissolution it was of very small importance.
The return made by Thomas Cromwell, and the commissioners appointed by Henry VIII, purported that it had only two monks, who had servants none, woods none, debts none; that the house was wholly in ruins, and the value of the moveable goods only one pound three shillings and eightpence, besides the bells, which might be worth two pounds one shilling and eightpence.

And back to Hurley

On the opposite shore of Berks is the village of Hurley, remarkable for its beautiful scenery, and the remains of its ancient monastery, called Lady Place.
It was founded in the reign of William the Conqueror, by Geoffry de Mandeville, and included a cell for the Benedictine monks of Westminster Abbey.
At the dissolution, Lady Place was granted to the family of Chamberlain, from whom it came into the possession of the family of Lovelace.
Richard Lovelace accompanied Sir Francis Drake on one of his successful expeditions, when he gained as much prize-money as enabled him to rebuild the present edifice.
The house is now, or was lately, unoccupied; but when Samuel Ireland visited it in 1790 it was in the possession of a Mr. Wilcox.
He describes the grand saloon as being decorated in a singular style, and reputed to be the work of Salvator Rosa, and expressly executed for that apartment.
It was said, but Ireland could not vouch for the truth of it, that the receipts of Salvator Rosa for the work were in the hands of the proprietor.
This house is remarkable for having been, when in the possession of Lord Lovelace, in 1688, the place where secret meetings of the nobility were held to devise measures to call in the Prince of Orange.
Their meetings were held in the vault, and Mr. Wilcox caused the following inscription to be placed at the end.
"Dirt and ashes!
Mortality and vicissitude to all.
Be it remembered, the monastery of Lady Place
(of which this vault was the burial cavern,)
was founded at the time of the great Norman Revolution,
by which the whole state of England was changed.
Hi motus animorum, atque hæc certamina tanta,
Pulveris exiqui jactu compressa quiescunt.
Be it also remembered, that in this place,
six hundred years afterwards,
the revolution of 1688 was begun.
This house was then in the possession of Lord Lovelace,
by whom private meetings of the nobility were assembled in this vault,
and several consultations
for calling in the Prince of Orange
were likewise held in this recess,
on which account this vault was visited by that powerful prince
after he had ascended the throne.
It was visited by General Paoli in 1780,
and by King George III. and his Queen,
on the 14th of November 1785".

Hambleden

Passing Hambleton[sic] lock and weirs, we arrive at the pleasant village of the same name, only remarkable for the very handsome monument contained in the church to the memory of Sir Cope D'Oyley.
The monument is of alabaster, and consists of twelve figures as large as life, executed in a superior style.
The inscription bears, that it is to the memory of Sir Cope D'Oyley, Martha his wife, and their five sons.
Sir Cope died in 1633.
Under the figure of the knight is an epitaph in rhyme, and under that of the lady is another, both of which are epigrammatic, singular, and eccentric enough to deserve repetition.
The knight's is as follows -

Ask not of me who's buried here -
Goe ask the Commons - ask the shiere.
Goe ask the Church, they'll tell thee who
As well as blubbered eyes can doe.
Goe ask the Herauld, ask the poore,
Thine ears shall hear enough to ask no more.
Then, if thine eyes bedew this sacred urne,
Each drop a tear will turn
T'adorn his tombe, or if thou canst not vent,
Thou bringst more marble to his monument!

Here was a paragon of excellence!
The wife also had her good qualities as abundantly as her lord.
Thus saith the epitaph, in choice doggrel: -

Would'st thou, reader, draw to life
The perfect copy of a wife,
Read on, and then redeem from shame
That lost, that honorable name:
This dust was once in spirit a Jael,
Rebecca in grace, in heart an Abigail,
In works a Dorcas, to the church a Hanna,
And to her spouse a Susanna,
Prudently simple - providently wary,
To the world a Martha, and to heaven a Mary.

Fawley Court

At a short distance beyond this village, is the elegant seat of Mr. Freeman, called Fawley Court.
It is a square edifice, built by Inigo Jones, and stands in the centre of an extensive lawn, from which there are delightful views over the rural valley of the Thames.
During the unhappy civil wars under Charles I, Fawley Court experienced some rough usage at the hands of a detachment of the royal army that were billeted upon it.
The dragoons, in all probability suspecting the master to be a Parliamentarian, made litters for their horses out of sheaves of ripe wheat, destroyed his library, and lit their pipes with the title deeds of his estates, court-rolls, and other valuable documents.

Henley

We are now in sight of Henley, on the borders of Oxfordshire, called Henley-on-Thames, to distinguish it from other towns of the same name.
The elegant stone bridge was built in the year 1787, from a design of Mr. Hayward, who, however, did not live to see the commencement of the structure he had planned.
It cost about ten thousand pounds. It consists of five elliptical arches, ornamented with a balustrade of stone work.
The key stone of the centre arch is sculptured with a head of Isis on one side, and with a head of Thames on the other, both from the chisel of the accomplished Mrs. Damer.
Henley is a town of considerable antiquity, of which, however, it bears not the slightest trace, having a jaunty and modern air, like a thing of yesterday.

It was upon the accommodation of one of its inns, but whether the Bell or the Red Lion, it is now difficult to determine, that the poet Shenstone wrote those oft-quoted lines, which are a sad libel upon English hospitality -

Whoe'er has travelled life's dull round,
Where'er his stages may have been,
May sigh to think he still has found
The warmest welcome at an inn.

There are other stanzas less known, but they are all in the same strain; if Shenstone meant and felt them, he was a very unfortunate man, and knew not what it was to have a friend.
But he did not mean them.
Half of the smart things that are written in disparagement of human nature, are written by people who do not mean them; and no doubt Shenstone would have felt himself insulted, if anybody had asked whether he did not give his brother poet, the author of the "Seasons", when he invited him to the Leasowes, a more cordial welcome, than the mercenary greeting of an inn.
It is all very well, as Shenstone says, to "fly from falsehood's specious grin"; but what necessity is there to fly from plate, and what connexion is there between plate and falsehood? unless perhaps in plated copper.
Shenstone was in an ill-humour when he wrote; and his praise of the inn of Henley must be taken for no more than it is worth.
We are of the other opinion, and detest the civility and scorn it, that is only to be purchased by half-a-crown to the waiter.

Near Henley commences or ends the range of hills reaching from this place through the southern parts of Buckinghamshire, to Tring in Hertfordshire, and known by the name of the Chiltern Hills.
The Stewardship of these Hundreds, as they are called, is a well-known legal fiction, by which a member of Parliament is enabled to vacate his seat.
By the law of England, no man can resign honours, neither can a member resign his seat; and also by the law of England, any member accepting office under the Crown, loses by that act his seat; so that when a member from ill health or any other cause, wishes to resign, he accepts this nominal office, and its nominal salary, and his object is accomplished.

Park Place

At a short distance from Henley, on the other side of the Thames, is Park Place, known as having been the occasional residence of George IV. before he was called to the Regency.
At the close of the last century, it was the property of General Conway, governor of the island of Jersey, who made many improvements in it.
The mansion stands on a commanding eminence, and is surrounded by a fine park, well stocked with deer.
But the chief attractions of the spot are a modern antique, and an ancient antique, if we may use the terms with propriety, which ornament different parts of the ground.
The modern antique is approached by a subterraneous passage, leading to a valley bordered with "sad cypress trees", where there is a very pleasing imitation of the ruins of a Roman amphitheatre covered with ivy.
The ancient antique is a Druidical temple, found in the Island of Jersey while General Conway was governor, and presented to him by the inhabitants as a mark of their respect and esteem.
The stones which compose the temple are forty -five in number, and were all so carefully marked when taken down, as to make it a matter of no difficulty to rebuild them precisely in their original form.
The circumference Of the temple is about sixty-six feet, and its height seven.
It was discovered on the hill of St. Helier, in Jersey, on the 12th of August, 1785, and in the inclosure were found at the same time two medals, one of the Emperor Claudius, and the other of a date which it was impossible to decipher.

Wargrave and the River Loddon

Having passed the small village of Wargrave, on the Berkshire side, we arrive at the place where the "Loddon slow "empties itself into the Thames.
This stream rises near Sherborne, in Hampshire, and passes Strathfieldsaye, the seat of the Duke of Wellington, then along the borders of Windsor Forest, into the Thames.
In Pope's "Windsor Forest", he introduces the Episode of Lodona; or the Nymph of the Loddon, pursued by the God Pan.

Thy offspring Thames, (the fair Lodona named,)
She scorn'd the praise of Beauty and the care,
A belt her waist, a fillet binds her hair,
A painted quiver on her shoulder sounds,
And with her dart the flying deer she wounds.
It chanced as eager of the chase, the maid
Beyond the forest's verdant limits stray'd,
Pan saw and loved, and burning with desire,
Pursued her flight; her flight increased his fire.
...
Now fainting, sinking, pale the nymph appears!
Now close behind, his sounding step she hears,
And now his shadow reached her as she run,
His shadow lengthen'd by the setting sun,
And now his shorter breath, with sultry air,
Pants on her neck, and fans her parting hair.
In vain on father Thames she calls for aid,
Nor could Diana help her injured maid;
Faint, breathless, thus she pray'd, nor pray'd in vain -
"Ah, Cynthia! ahl though banish'd from thy train,
Let me, oh let me, to the shades repair,
My native shades, there weep, and murmur there".
She said, and melting as in tears she lay,
In a soft silver stream dissolved away;
The silver stream her virgin coldness keeps,
For ever murmurs and for ever weeps,
Still bears the name the hapless virgin bore,
And bathes the forest where she ranged before.

The classical reader need hardly be reminded of the more beautiful story of Alpheus and Arethusa, one of the sweetest that ever had hate for its foundation, from which the above is imitated.
The story has always been a favourite one with the poets; but there is an incongruity about it, as connected with the Thames and Windsor Forest, which renders Pope's adaptation of it unpleasing, although it has many fine lines to recommend it.

Shiplake and Sonning

With the groves of Shiplake on one side of us, and Sunning Hill and the green heights around on the other, we pass a pleasant ait in the river, and disembark at Sunning Bridge. This village is agreeably situated on a rising ground, and is of considerable antiquity.
It was formerly the see of a bishop, whose diocese included the counties of Berks and Wilts.
The see was afterwards removed to Sherbourn, and thence to Salisbury, whose bishop is now Lord of the Manor of Sunning.
The church contains some ancient monuments, but they are not remarkable.
There is a pretty epitaph on an infant of the family of Rich, who have a seat here,

The father's air, the mother's look,
The sportive smile and pretty joke,
The rosy lips, sweet babbling grace,
The beauties of the mind and face,
And all the charms of infant souls,
This tomb within its bosom holds.

Reading

A short but pleasant walk by the river side conducts us to the ancient town of Reading, the most considerable in the county of Berks, standing upon the Thames and Kennett.
Reading town and Castle were important places before the Norman Conquest, and in the wars of the Danes and Saxons several times suffered severely.
A small nunnery founded here in the year 980 by Elfrida, mother-in-law of King Edward the Martyr, in expiation of the murder of her step-son, having been suppressed by King Henry I, that monarch in 1120 or the following year, built a magnificent abbey, for two hundred Benedictine monks, and dedicated it to "the honour of God, our Lady, and St. John the Evangelist".
In this abbey, part of the body of the King was interred eleven years afterwards.
He died at Rouen from a surfeit of lampreys.
His bowels were buried in Rouen, and the corpse was then conveyed in a bullock's hide to Reading, where it was interred with great magnificence.
The reason of this wrapper, says Stowe, was that the effluvia' from it was so strong, that some persons died of it, and he especially cites a physician employed in preparing the body for the last ceremony.
His daughter, the Empress Matilda, mother of King Henry II, and his second Queen, Adeliza, were also buried in this abbey.
The abbots of this opulent foundation carried their heads very high in the world, were mitred, sat among the bishops in Parliament, and exercised very extensive jurisdiction.
The last abbot, Hugh Faringdon, met a very common fate with abbots of King Henry the VIIIth's time.
He was hanged, drawn, and quartered at Reading, with two of his monks, for refusing to surrender.
He should have known his probable fate, and learned prudence; for some score of abbots before his turn came, had suffered in the same manner, and for the same reasons.
The abbot of St. Alban's was wiser, and surrendered quietly a few weeks after the execution of his unhappy brother.
The abbey, when Camden wrote, was set apart for the occasional residence of the King; but he did not often visit it.
At the dissolution its revenues were valued at the sum of one thousand nine hundred and thirty-eight pound four shillings and threepence.
Some remains of it are still visible, including part of our Lady's Chapel, and the refectory.
The latter was eighty feet long, and forty broad.
Great part of the walls, which were eight feet in thickness, were removed by General Conway about the year 1787, to form the bridge near Park Place, on the road between Henley and Wargrave.
Of Reading Castle, which Leland conjectures to have stood at the west end of Castle Street, no remains are now discoverable.

In the reign of King Henry II, in 1162, there was a grand ordeal combat at Reading, between Robert de Montfort, and the Earl of Essex.
The ground of quarrel was, that De Montfort had accused Essex of having traitorously suffered the Royal Standard of England to fall from his hands, in a skirmish with the Welsh, at Coleshill, five years previously.
Essex denied the imputation, and De Montfort offered to prove its truth by single combat, and the challenge was accepted.
The King declared his intention of being present, and the lists were prepared at Reading.
Upwards of fifty thousand persons assembled on the day appointed.
Essex fought stoutly; but, losing his temper, he gave an advantage to his opponent, which soon decided the struggle.
He was unhorsed, and so severely wounded that he lay in the arena to all appearance dead.
The fashion was that the victor should cut off the head of the vanquished, which De Montfort was about to do, when, on the solicitations of the relatives, the King interposed, and allowed them to carry away the body for interment in the Abbey of Reading.
On their arrival at that place, they found that Essex was not dead, but only stunned, and under the care of the hospitable monks - like all their brethren of that age, well skilled in medicine and surgery - he was soon restored to consciousness, and ultimately to health. But his wounded mind was not so easily heal ed.
He was disgraced in the world's eye, he was vanquished, and therefore a traitor, in the public opinion.
He resolved not to return to a world which would look down upon him; and taking the vows of the brotherhood, he immured himself for the remainder of his life within the walls of the abbey.
In the year 1218, a council was held here at which Pandulph, the Pope's legate presided, with the view of mediating between King John and his barons.
The town has also been frequently the seat of councils and parliaments, especially in the fifteenth century, when no less than four parliaments were held between the years 1439 and 1467.
In the first year of Charles I, on account of the plague that raged in London, and which carried away at least thirty-five thousand people, the courts of law were removed to Reading, the Lord Chancellor, and the judges of the King's Bench, Exchequer, and Common Pleas, sitting in the Town Hall, and in the Abbey.

But the greatest event in the history of Reading is the siege it underwent by the Parliamentary army, under the command of the Earl of Essex, in 1643.
The besieging army consisted of sixteen thousand foot, and three thousand horse; and the defenders of the town under the Royalist governor, Sir Arthur Aston, consisted of but three thousand foot, and three hundred horsemen.
Sir Arthur was seriously wounded at the commencement of the siege, when the command devolved upon Colonel Richard Fielding.
When Charles I. heard of the critical situation of the town, he sent Commissary Wilmot with a detachment of horse to its relief.
He managed to throw in an auxiliary party of five hundred men, with a considerable supply of powder; but Colonel Fielding, aware of the hopelessness of the struggle, demanded a truce, with the design of effecting a capitulation.
In the mean time the King advanced from Oxford, to relieve the place.
The Parliamentary army were vigorous in their attacks, and were well supplied with provisions by the zealous Londoners, on their part fully aware of the importance of reducing this stronghold of the King, the nearest to the Metropolis.
A detachment under General Ruthven, Earl of Bath, sent forward by command of the King, to attack the Parliamentary army, with the hope that the effort would be seconded by the garrison of Reading, was driven back at the bridge, and the next day the town capitulated, Colonel Fielding having stipulated that the garrison should be allowed to march out with all the honours of war.
He agreed at the same time to deliver up all deserters.
"This last article", says Hume, "was thought so ignominious, and so prejudicial to the King's interests, that the governor was tried by a council of war, and sentenced to death for consent ing to it".
This sentence was, however, remitted afterwards by the King.
The town suffered great damage during the siege; the fine tower of St. Giles's Church, in particular, was pierced by cannon ball, and rendered so insecure, that it was necessary to repair it lest it should fall upon the heads of the passengers.

In the year 1688, a popular panic began at Reading, which spread over a considerable part of the kingdom.
The cry was, that the Irish disbanded soldiers of King James's army were ravaging and burning wherever they came.
The roads at that time being none of the best, and there being few newspapers to carry intelligence into the towns and villages, each town imagined that its neighbour was in flames, and turned out its inhabitants to repel the mysterious and terrible marauders, of whom everybody had heard, but whom no one ever saw.
This alarm was called the Irish panic.
Reading, which now manufactures ribbons and pins, was formerly more celebrated for its clothing manufactures.
In the fifteenth century, there were, it was calculated, one hundred and forty clothiers in the town.
In the reign of Edward I, one Thomas Cole was popularly known as "the rich clothier of Reading".
The celebrated Archbishop Laud, who was born in this town on the 7th of October, 1573, was the son of William Laud, a respectable clothier.
This trade declined at the commencement of the eighteenth century.
Among other well-known persons who were born at Reading, may be mentioned the Lord Chief Justice Holt; and in our own day, Thomas Noon Talfourd, the author of "Ion", who, though a poet, may also become a Lord Chief Justice, of whom Reading is justly proud, and who is at present member for the borough.

The town is divided into two parts by the river Kennett, which is navigable westwards to Newbury.
By means of the Kennett and Avon canal, a water communication is made between the Thames and the Severn, from which this town receives considerable benefit.
The prospect from the Forbury, an eminence at the north-east side of the town, is very extensive, over the beautiful county of Oxford, with its groves and parks, and pleasant waters, and its country houses rising in rich profusion from every knoll.
On the south-west of the town, is another eminence, which the geologist will do well to visit.
It is about four hundred yards from the river Kennett, and is called Cat's-grove hill.
A stratum of oyster-shells runs through the hill.
When the oysters are taken out, the valves are closed as in the natural state, and on being opened, the animal is found reduced to a powder.
In the stratum of sand, which runs above this, the bones and teeth of large fish have been frequently found.
There is yet one more incident connected with Reading, on which the future tourist will delight to dwell.
It was here that the poet Coleridge was stationed as a dragoon, under the name of Comberback, and here in a common tap-room, amid the hubbub and noise of the bacchanalian troopers, he composed one of his finest poems.
This place also witnessed his emancipation from the army.
Nathaniel Ogle, the son of the Dean of Winchester, and captain of the troop, in which the soi-disant Comberback served, going into the stables at Reading, observed written upon the white-washed wall, under one of the saddles, the mournful exclamation,
Eheu! quam infortunii miserrimum est fuisse felicem!
Struck with the novelty of such scholarship and such sorrow in a common soldier, the captain inquired who had written it, and was in formed that it was Comberback.
The future philosopher and poet was sent for; examined in the spirit of sympathy and kindness as to his real name and previous history, when all the truth was elicited.
His friends were soon apprised of his situation, the runaway from Jesus College, Cambridge, was recognised, and a post-chaise having been sent for him to the Bear Inn, Coleridge was whirled away from the scene of his adversity, amid the congratulations of the officers and soldiers.
The poem which he composed in the tap-room at Reading, modestly entitled "Religious Musings", is perhaps his finest composition, and far superior to "Christabel", "Genevieve", or the "Ancient Mariner", which seem to have pleased the world from their very eccentricity, but which do not abound in such noble thoughts and philosophic aspirations as his "Musings".



VOLUME I. CHAPTER XIV.
The river Kennett.
- The ruins of Silchester.
- Newbury. - Donnington Castle and the Poet Chaucer.
- Chaucer's Oak.
- Caversham.
- Purley Hall.
- Wallingford.
- The poetical Fiction of the Thame and Isis.

Within a short distance of Reading, and on the banks of the Kennett, stand the ruins of Donnington Castle, once the abode of the father of English poetry.
This alone would be sufficient to induce us, enthusiastic lovers of the divine science of Homer, Shakspeare, and Milton, to diverge from the straight path of our course to visit it, had the river Kennett no other reminiscences on which the rambler might dwell with pleasure as he wandered along its banks.
Leaving the Thames for a while, we will thread the mazes of
the Kennett swift, for silver eels renowned,
as far as Newbury and Donnington, and then back again to the suzerain river of our chief peregrination.
The villages that lie between Reading and Newbury, on either side of the Kennett, offer little to stay the steps of the traveller.
Passing by Calcot, Theale, Jack's Booth, - the very fine seat of Mr. De Beauvoir, - Beenham, and Midgham, we arrive within a very short distance of the remains of the ancient town of Silchester.
This latter place, now a farm-yard, is deserving the attention of the philosopher and the antiquary, as having, in the time of the Romans, been one of the principal stations; as indeed were all the towns preserving the name of Ceastre, Cester, or Chester.
The foundation of the streets can readily be traced running in parallel lines across the area.
The walls of the city, parts of which are still standing, are exceedingly strong even now, although they must have stood for at least one thousand four hundred years.
Modern brickmaking will bear no comparison with the old.
The shells of houses, as they are rightly called, which are built now, almost like Aladdin's palace in the course of a night, appear to the casual observer of their slim and flimsy proportions, as if they would scarcely last fourteen hundred days.
Not so these; they seem yet as if they could endure the wind and weather for a thousand years to come.
The wall on the south side is the most perfect, and is about twenty feet high, and appears originally to have been about twenty-four feet thick.
At the distance of nearly one hundred and fifty yards from the north-east angle of the wall, are the remains of an amphitheatre, similar to those which are to be seen near Dorchester.
Its high banks are now covered with trees, and it has two entrances.
The bank or wall is about sixty feet thick at the bottom, but gradually decreases towards the summit, where its thickness is but twelve feet.
The area is now a swamp.
One deep part is still pointed out, supposed to have been the den where the wild beasts were kept, before they were let out into the arena, to tear one another to pieces for the gratification of the gentle colonists - reviving in the wastes and wildernesses of the new country to which they had emigrated, the civilized and humanizing sports of polished Rome.

We have strayed a little out of our course, but regain the Kennett by the by-roads up to Aldermaston.
Near Aldermaston, prettily situated on a hill, there is a fine view of the windings of the river, and the various branches into which it divides itself.
Proceeding parallel with the line of the Kennett and Avon Canal, but on the southern side of the river, through Brimpton, and over the waste of Crookham Heath, we arrive at Newbury, known to all men from the traditionary stories of its great clothier, "Jack", and its battles during the civil wars of Charles I.
The river Kennett crosses the town near the centre.
The principal streets are disposed nearly in the form of the Roman Y, the angles branching off from the market-place, and the foot of the letter being formed by the village of Speenhamland, to which the town is united.
"Jack of Newbury", whose name was Winchcomb, flourished in the reign of Henry VIII, and was the greatest clothier of his age and nation.
He kept a hundred looms at work in his house; - great things in those days, when there was no steam to aid the shuttles, and spare the strength of man, while it performed a thousand times his labour.
His house is now taken down, and several smaller tenements stand upon its site.
He rebuilt the parish church, and was, in many other respects, a great benefactor to his native town.
On the invasion of England by the Scots, under their monarch, in the year 1513, and when all England zealously contributed both men and money to repel the foe, considered so fierce and barbarous, Jack of Newbury not only gave men and money, but, like a feudal lord, his own services.
He equipped one hundred men at his sole expense, and marched at their head in the royal armies, being present at the decisive battle of Flodden Field, when the flowers of Scottish chivalry "were a wede away", as the melancholy song says, alluding to the loneliness of Scottish fire-sides after that event.

Two of the most sanguinary battles fought during the civil wars, between Charles I. and his Parliament, occurred at Newbury.
The first was a few months after the siege of Reading, already alluded to, when the Earl of Essex, the general of the Parliamentary army, marching from Gloucester towards London, found Newbury occupied by the royal troops.
He had wished to avoid an action, on account of the superiority of the royal cavalry, commanded by Prince Rupert; but now finding one inevitable, prepared for the attack.
The militia, composed chiefly of Londoners, who served under the Earl of Essex, distinguished them selves greatly, and both sides fought with much obstinacy, until night put an end to the engagement, leaving the victory undecided.
Next morning the Earl of Essex proceeded on his march to London, still harassed by the royal troops in his rear, and was highly complimented by the House of Commons for his courage and conduct in the emergency.
Among the noble men in the King's army who lost their lives in this battle, were the Earls of Sunderland and Carnarvon, and Lucius Cary Viscount Falkland.
The virtues, learning, and accomplishments of the latter are well known, and received due appreciation both from his contemporaries and from posterity.
A singular instance of the many which might be adduced of the fulfilment of a presentiment of approaching death, is told in the case of this nobleman.
Ever since the outbreak of the civil war, his natural vivacity had forsaken him.
He mourned for the woes of his country; became reserved and melancholy; and, unlike the other gallants and cavaliers of the age, paid little or no attention to the neatness or appropriateness of his attire.
For months before his death, his negligence in this respect became the subject of remark among his companions.
On the morning of the fatal battle of Newbury, he was observed, however, to adorn himself with scrupulous neatness, and pay an attention to outward show, which had not been noticed in him for a long time.
On being asked the reason, he said he did not wish that the enemy should find his corpse in a slovenly or indecent situation.
"I am weary", added he, "of the times, and I foresee great miseries for my country; but I believe I shall be out of it all ere night".
He fell as he had predicted, covered with wounds.
He was only in the thirty-fourth year of his age.

The second battle of Newbury was fought in the following year.
The Parliament desirous of striking some decisive blow against the King, elated by his recent successes in the west of England, gave orders to their generals, the Earls of Essex and Manchester, and Waller, Cromwell, and Middleton, to join their forces and attack the King.
Charles took up his post at Newbury, where, on the 27th of October, 1644, he was vigorously attacked by the Earl of Manchester.
The Parliamentary soldiers very soon after their first onset, recovered several pieces of cannon which had been taken from them in Cornwall, which they embraced and hugged in their arms, and kissed with tears of joy, so great was their enthusiasm.
Their next onset was increased in impetuosity by this excited feeling, and they hewed down the royal troops with great fury, and made much slaughter.
Night again intervening, brought a cessation to the battle, and saved the honour of the Royalists, who fell back upon Donnington Castle, where they stationed the brave Colonel Boyce with a large quantity of ammunition and stores, and thence retreated to Wallingford and Oxford.
The Parliamentary forces then attacked Colonel Boyce, and so shattered Donnington Castle with their artillery, that its principal towers were thrown down, and the place reduced to a ruin, which it has ever since remained.

It was this castle that, two hundred and forty four years previously, was the chosen retirement of Geoffrey Chaucer; and, as such, its ruins, though the work of civil warfare, and not of time, are hallowed to the eyes and hearts of all lovers of English literature.
For the greater part of his life, his residences appear to have been the Savoy Palace in the Strand, some apartments near the Custom-House of London, and Woodstock Park, of which we shall have occasion to speak hereafter, but the last two years were passed at Donnington.
He seems to have chosen it for reasons of economy.
His constant friend, relative, and patron, John of Gaunt, being dead, an unfriendly monarch being upon the throne, and his pecuniary affairs being in a state of some embarrassment, he withdrew from the more public life he had been in the habit of leading, to this seclusion, only leaving it occasionally when summoned to London on the business of some of his many lawsuits.
Henry IV, the son of his friend, ascended the throne a few months after Chaucer had hidden himself here, and this monarch was not unmindful of him.
The pipe of wine and the annuity which he had enjoyed as poet laureate, and lost during the dissensions of those unhappy times, were renewed and confirmed by Henry very soon after his accession, and he also granted him an additional annuity of forty marks.
The poet did not live long to enjoy them: he died on the 25th of October, 1400, the second year of his retirement to Donnington - some say at that castle, but others, with more probability, at London, whither he had been summoned on some affair of business.
Chaucer's son, Thomas, who was Speaker of the House of Commons during the reigns of Henry IV. and V, resided occasionally at Donnington, his principal seat being at Ewelm in Oxfordshire.
The daughter and heiress of this gentleman married the famous William de la Pole, Earl, and afterwards Duke of Suffolk - he who was so cruelly murdered in the Straits of Dover, by two partisans of the House of York, in the reign of Henry VI. The chief of this unfortunate family, and great-grandson of Alice Chaucer, was Edmund de la Pole, beheaded in the reign of Henry VIII. on a charge of high treason against that monarch, and against Henry VII.
He was confined for seven years in the Tower before he was brought to execution.
At his death, all the estates once possessed by the Chaucer family reverted to the Crown.
Along with the title of Suffolk, most of them were shortly afterwards bestowed upon the favourite of Henry VIII, the famous Charles Brandon.

Camden, who visited Donnington Castle long before the artillery of civil warfare had reduced it to ruins, describes it in his time as a small but neat castle, situate on the brow of a rising hill, having an agreeable prospect, very light, with windows on all sides.
Evelyn, the lover of trees, visited it when in its ruins, drawn thither to view a large tree in the park, said, according to tradition, to have been planted by Chaucer, and under which he composed several of his poems.
Of this tree the philosopher has left us a description in his well-known work.
The tradition, that Chaucer composed poems under this tree, seems to be devoid of found ation.
He was a very aged, a very busy, and a very ailing man, when he first went to Donnington, and the only poem that he wrote during that period, was a short one entitled "The good Counsaile of Chaucere", supposed to have been written a few days before his death; and some of his biographers say, during the few calm hours he enjoyed in the interval of his last agonies.
At such a time it is not likely that the Bard went under a tree to compose.
It was at Woodstock, as we shall have occasion to mention hereafter, that Chaucer loved to meditate and compose under his own trees.
Evelyn says, that besides this tree at Donnington, which was called Chaucer's Oak, there were two others planted by the poet, called the King's Oak and the Queen's Oak.
Some small remains of the castle, covered with ivy, friend and adorner of decay, still so licit the attention of the wayfarer as he passes this celebrated spot.
Adjoining, a new house has been erected, called Donnington Castle House, the seat of the present proprietor of the grounds.
There is another mansion in the neighbourhood, situated in a grove, called Donnington Grove, from which a pretty view may be obtained of the old castle of Chaucer.
These grounds are watered by the Lambourne, a brook which runs into the Kennett.

Caversham

We traced the stream no further, but returned to Reading by the way we came, and so across the bridge over the Thames to Caversham.
All the country lying between this and Oxford is celebrated in the annals of the civil wars of Charles I.
At every step we tread, we come upon some memento or reminiscence of those disastrous times.
Caversham, opposite to Reading, was for some weeks the abode of Charles I, when he was a prisoner of the army, and just prior to his removal to Hampton Court Palace, from whence, as is so well known, he escaped to the Isle of Wight.
At Caversham, though a prisoner de facto, he was treated with more respect and consideration than he received as he came nearer to London.
All his friends were allowed access to him; his correspondence with the Queen was not interrupted, and his children were permitted to pass several days with him.
Cromwell, who was then at Caversham, was present during the first interview of Charles with his family, and confessed afterwards that he had never witnessed so tender a scene.
Both friends and foes have since agreed upon the private virtues of the man, although opinions are as much undecided as ever, as to the errors of the monarch.
It was here that Charles endeavoured to tempt Cromwell with the Order of the Garter, and the revival in his favour of the earldom, held by a more virtuous Cromwell in the reign of Henry VIII.
It was from Reading and Caversham that the army, finding itself stronger than the Parliament, marched to London, to overawe that body.
They stopped mid-way on Hounslow Heath, where that celebrated scene occurred, when the Speakers of the two houses, Manchester and Lenthall, attended by eight peers, and about sixty commoners, with maces and all the paraphernalia of their office, claimed the protection of the army; a protection granted with shouts of joy.
The army marched on to chastise the Londoners, and a military despotism forthwith began to establish itself.
From Caversham, proceeding up the now narrow stream, we arrive at Purley Hall, a gloomy-looking mansion, once the residence of Warren Hastings.
It is erroneously said, that in this house John Home Tooke composed his well-known philological work, "The Diversions of Purley".
Home Tooke never resided here, but at another place called Purley, in Surrey.

From hence upwards to Wallingford, the county of Berkshire on the left, and Oxfordshire on the right, is pleasant and picturesque, abounding with villages and country seats; but the great bend of the river which separates it from the high road between Oxford and London, has the effect of rendering it very tranquil and retired.
The principal villages which we must pass are, Mapledurham, Pangbourn, Whitchurch, Goring, Streatly, Moulsford, Little Stoke, and North Stoke.

In the year 1674, a melancholy loss of life took place on the Thames between Goring and Streatly, or as the latter was sometimes called, Stately.
There is a rare tract describing it, entitled "Sad and deplorable news from Oxfordsheir and Barksheir, being a true and lamentable relation of the drowning of about sixty persons, men, women, and children, in the lock, near Goring in Oxfordsheir, as they were passing by water from Goring feast to Stately in Barksheir.
Printed for R. Vaughan, in the Little Old Bailey, 1674".
The accident occurred, to use the words of the author, "by the watermen's imprudently rowing too near the shore of the lock, when they were by the force of the water, drawn down the lock, where their boat being presently overwhelmed, they were all turned into the pool, except four teen or fifteen, and unfortunately drowned. And to show how vain all human aid is, when destiny interposes, this happened in the view of hundreds of people, then met at the feast of Stately near this fatal lock, who found the exercise of their pastime disturbed, and their jollity dashed by this mournful disaster".
The author concludes his account of the calamity by a solemn address to the reader, in which he warns all people to believe that this was one of the signs of the approach of the Day of Judgment!
The press at this time teemed with pamphlets of "Strange News", "Wonderful News", of "Battles in the Air", "Showers of Blood", "Showers of Toads", "Hailstones weighing three pounds", and inundations, storms, and earthquakes, - all thought to foretell the speedy end of the world.

Wallingford

About two miles northward of North Stoke is Wallingford, a town of the ancient Britons, and as ancient probably as London itself.
There is here a very handsome stone bridge, of nineteen arches, over the Thames.
The town is supposed by some antiquaries, to have been the chief city of the Attrebattii, and that called Calleva in the Itinerary of Antoninus.
It is also said to have been the royal seat of Comius, a king of the AttrebattiI.
It was formerly surrounded by a wall, and is said to have possessed twelve or fourteen parish churches, of which however only three remain.
Close to the river side stand the ruins of its fine old castle, famous for the sieges it under went in the civil wars between Stephen and Matilda.
It was long held by the partisans of the latter; and Stephen built a fort at Crowmarsh, on the Oxfordshire side of the river, to keep it in awe.
It was here finally that the compromise was made between the contending parties, which put an end to the effusion of blood, and by which Stephen was allowed to retain the throne for his life, upon the under standing that Henry, the son of Matilda, should succeed him.
Richard, Earl of Cornwall, was crowned King of the Romans in this town in the reign of Henry III.
The castle and its estates were bestowed by Edward II. upon his favourite, Piers Gaveston, who enjoyed them for five years, until he was brought to the scaffold, when they reverted to the Crown.
They were bestowed upon Hugh Despencer, the succeeding favourite, with the title of Earl of Cornwall, which, ever since the time of Richard, King of the Romans, had been an appendage to these estates.
He did not enjoy them long, but died the same death as his predecessor, and Wallingford Castle remained in the possession of the Crown until the time of Henry VIII. when, by means of Cardinal Wolsey, it was granted to Christ Church College, Oxford.
The honour of Wallingford, separate from the castle, remained in the Crown, and was bestowed by James I. upon his queen, and afterwards upon his son Prince Charles.
The town had begun to decline long before this time, having suffered so severely from a plague in the year 1348, that it was more than half depopulated.
What trade it had was removed, and never returned to it.
In Leland's time it must have offered a mournful spectacle.
There were persons then alive, who pointed out the places where its fourteen parochial churches had formerly stood, and showed the remains of its ancient burial grounds.
At that time three only of the fourteen churches remained, the same number existing at this day.
St. Peter's, the most modern of these edifices, has a singular tower and spire, built at the sole expense of Judge Blackstone, so well known for his Commentaries on the Laws of England.
The Judge is buried here, and there is a handsome monument to his memory.

Benson, Ewelme and Shillingford

Bensington or Benson, is a small village in Oxfordshire, lying to the north of Wallingford.
At a small distance from this place, for merly stood the castle of Ewelm, the residence of Chaucer occasionally, but the principal seat of his son Thomas, the Speaker, and afterwards of his heiress and her husband, and their de scendants, the De la Poles.
The situation not being healthy, the original place was suffered to fall into decay, and no traces of it now exist. Passing by Shillingford, and under the bridge of the same name,

The River Thame

we arrive at the junction of the Thame and the Thames; or, as poets have loved to call it, the junction of the Thame and the Isis - a name by which the Thames at this place is known by collegians.
This name, from its Grecian and euphonious sound, has long been the favourite of the classical denizens of Oxford, and it is a very common error to suppose that their designation of the river is the true one.
Stowe seems to be the first writer who gave the authority of an eminent reputation to this mistake.
He says in his "Survey of London", that the river is called Isis from its source to Oxford, and that on its junction with the Thame, it becomes Thame-isis or Thames.
But Stowe, usually so accurate, was quite at fault here; for in the very next sentence, he says that the Thames begins at Winchcombe, above Oxford; thus leaving all the distance between Winchcombe and the junction of the Thame, about seventeen miles, without any name at all.
Camden is more accurate, and proves from irrefragable testimony of old documents, that the river, forty miles west of Oxford, was always called the Thames, or the Tems, and never the Isis.
The source of the river too is always called the Thames' head, and never the Isis' head; so that the question will not admit even of a dispute about it.
Isis must therefore be considered only as the classical name of the Thames, and not as another river.
Dorchester is seated upon the Thame, at a short distance from its junction with the Thames.
It was formerly a town of some importance, but is now an inconsiderable village.



VOLUME I. CHAPTER XV.
Abingdon and its Bridge. - Nuneham Courtney. - The Carfax. - Oxford and its University.

Burcot Clifton Hampden Long Wittenham, Sutton Courtney and Culham

Above the junction of the two rivers, Thame and Thames, the latter narrows considerably, and the scenery loses much of its beauty.
Passing several elegant villas at Burcot Clifton, or as it is some times called, Clifton and Long Wittenham, we arrive at Sutton Courtney, where the scenery becomes more varied, and from thence onwards to Culham and Abingdon.
The river makes a considerable bend here, and the water being very shallow, a new cut has been formed a short distance below Culham Bridge, leading in a more direct line to Abingdon.

Abingdon

The latter is an ancient borough town, formerly of great importance, and now a very considerable place, as the county-town of Berkshire.
It consists of several well-formed streets, diverging from a centre, in which stands the market-house and Town-hall, and contains two churches, dedicated to St. Nicholas and St. Helen.
Camden conjectures, so ancient is this town, that synods were held in it in the year 742.
It was formerly called Shovesham; but when its abbey was built, by Ciss, King of the West Saxons, about the year 675, it acquired the name of Abbendon, or the abbey town, from whence its present designation.
From "The old booke of Abbendon", it appears that the place "was in ancient times a famous city, goodly to behold, full of riches, encompassed with very fruitful fields, green meadows, spacious pastures, and flocks of cattle abounding with milk; that the King kept his court here, and hither people resorted, while consultations were depending about the greatest and most weighty affairs of the kingdom".
By this kingdom, we are only to understand Mercia, of which it was one of the principal towns.
The abbey was destroyed by the Danes, but was rebuilt by King Edgar; and it is said that William the Conqueror resided in it for a short time, and also that his son Henry received the principal part of his education from its monks.
Old Geoffry of Monmouth, so well-known for his fabulous history of England, was one of the abbots of this foundation, and was buried within its walls.
In the reign of Henry V, Abingdon acquired additional prosperity by the erection of the bridge over the Thames at Culham, and of another over the small stream of the Ouse at Burford, a circumstance which was commemorated in a Latin distich, formerly inscribed on the great window, in the church of St. Helen's, but which is now removed.
The following translation of part of a Latin poem, on the subject of this bridge, is mentioned by Elias Ashmole,

King Henry V, in the fifth of his reign,
At Burford and Culham did bridges build twain.
Between these two places, but from Abingdon most,
The King's highway now may be easily past.
In one thousand four hundred and ten more by six,
This so pious work did his Majesty fix;
Ye passengers now, who shall travel this way,
Be sure that you mind for the founder to pray.

From some other barbarous rhymes on the same matter, it appears that the gratitude of the people of all this neighbourhood to the King was very great.
Culham was formerly a cut-throat place, "which had caused many a curse"; but the bridge improved its character, and "all the country was the better, and no man the worse".

Few folk there were that could that way wende,
But they were awed or payed of their purse;
Or if it were a beggar had bread in his bagge
He schulde be right soon ybid to go aboute,
And of the poor penniless that hiereward would
A hood or a girdle, and let him go without.
Many moe mischieves there were, I say,
Culham hithe hath caused many a curse;
Yblessed be our keepers we have a better waye
Withouten any peny for cart or for horse.
Thus accorded the Kyng and the Covent,
And the commons of Abendoun as the Abbot wolde.

The first quotation fixes the year of the erection; and the following distich marks the day: -

Upon the day of St. Alban they began this game,
And John Hutchyns laid the first stone in the King's name.

The work was also considerably aided by the liberality of Geoffry Barbour, a merchant of Abingdon, who gave a thousand marks towards it.
The latter was buried in the abbey, but his monument was removed at the dissolution to the church of St. Helen's; the abbey, with most of its monuments, and among others that of Geoffry of Monmouth, being demolished.
Its annual revenues, according to Dugdale, amounted at the time to one thousand eight hundred and seventy-six pounds.
There was a handsome cross in the Market place of Abingdon, erected in the reign of Henry VI.
It was destroyed by the fanatics during the civil wars before the Commonwealth, when so many valuable relics of antiquity, because they were thought to be popish, shared a similar fate - and Charing Cross among the rest.
Abingdon was made a free borough by Queen Mary I, to be governed by a mayor, bailiffs, and aldermen, and ever since that time has sent members to Parliament.
The church of St. Helen, the most prominent object in the town, when viewed from the river, was erected towards the close of the thirteenth century, but has been much altered and enlarged at different periods.
The chief trade of Abingdon is in malt and flour, and there are also considerable manufactories of sail-cloth.
A little stream, called the Ock, falls into the Ouse, another small stream at a short distance from Abingdon, and they both join the Thames at the south of that town.

Nuneham Courtney

Northwards, on the other side of the river, in Oxfordshire, is Nuneham Courtney, formerly the seat of the Earls of Harcourt, and now of the Archbishop of York, the inheritor of their name and property.
From the windows of this mansion, there are beautiful views in every direction; to the north, are the spires of the classic city of Oxford, and to the south, Abingdon; to the east, the fertile county of Oxford; and to the west, the rich vale of the White Horse, and the downs of Berkshire.
The mansion was built by the Earl of Harcourt, in 1761.
It is situated in a park of about twelve hundred acres, extending along the bank of the Thames, which park with the gardens, was laid out under the superintend ence of the celebrated Brown, - Capability Brown, as he was nicknamed in his day.
In the garden, over the centre of the arch, was a tablet, perhaps existing still, with an inscription from the pen of Andrew Marvel.
The mansion is situated on the rise of a hill, with its front towards the west.
The front is of stone, joined by inflected corridors to the projecting wings.
The back has a handsome bow window in the centre, supported by Ionic pillars.
The house contains a valuable collection of pictures, and some curious tapestry, formerly in the possession of Horace Walpole.
The Earl of Harcourt, soon after his mansion was built, placed in the grounds a remarkable piece of antiquity, known by the name of Carfax, which formerly stood in the centre of the High Street of Oxford.
The name is supposed by some to have been derived from Carnifex; but there is no evidence to show that it was ever a place of execution.
Others derive it from Carrefour, from its having stood in a carrefour, a place where four roads meet.
Its history is briefly told in the inscription placed upon it by the Earl of Harcourt.

"This building, called Carfax,
erected for a conduit at Oxford,
by Otho Nicholson in the year of our Lord 1610,
and taken down in the year 1787 to enlarge the High street,
was presented by the University
to George Earl of Harcourt, who caused it to be placed here".

Sandford, Iffley and the River Cherwell

Passing Sandford Lock and Weir, and the village of Iffley with its antique church, and Shotover Hill, from whence there is a most charming view over the city of learning, and the rich adjacent country, we arrive within sight of Oxford.
Just beyond the green meadows, where the small stream of the Cherwell falls into the Thames, or the Isis as we must call it while within these precincts,

Oxford

stands the ancient and beautiful city, so rich in reminiscences to every English scholar, or man of refinement of taste, whether a scholar or not, in the common acceptation of the word.
The Thames boasts not only its metropolis of trade, not only its metropolis of legislation, not only its seat of royalty, but its "city of the muses", which is, perhaps, taken altogether, the most beautiful of them all - and certainly, as far as remembrances are concerned, inferior to none.
Who, as he sees the students in their academical costume loitering about the elegant streets, or observes them practising their favourite diversion of rowing upon the water, does not recall to his mind the great men departed, who, once in the same dress, and in the very same places, followed the same pursuits; the statesmen, the divines, the orators, the judges, and the poets, who shed a lustre on the land of their birth, and the University which gave them education?
A mere list of them, dry as a catalogue, would fill more space than we can afford to all our reminiscences of the fair city.
And the events of its history are so well-known to almost every Englishman, that it seems needless to repeat them, whether they relate to the times of King Alfred, of Roger Bacon, of Cardinal Wolsey, of Cardinal Pole, or of Charles I, which may be called the five great epochs of its existence, or of our own.
The little we may venture to say upon the subject can have no novelty for most readers, and if we dilate upon the glories of its architecture, we shall be equally following in an old track, and saying what has been said thousands of times before, by every traveller who has visited Oxford, and by every book which has attempted to describe it.
The celebrity of the site has had the effect of exciting so much attention, that not a corner of the city has been left unexplored, or an incident unnoticed, which is at all remarkable in her ancient or modern annals.
London, so immense, and in many parts so uninviting, has not been half so well explored as Oxford, and many historical spots in the metropolis have thus been comparatively unnoticed, a great advantage to the rambler, who goes upon a journey of discovery, to find out all the nooks remarkable as the scenes of interesting events, or the abodes of celebrated men.
But in Oxford, everywhere so elegant, everywhere so accessible, and moreover of such limited extent compared to London, there is no such advantage; so that we must be content to be come merely a retailer of old stories, or a suggester of things which almost every person may have once known, but which many may have forgotten.

That Roger Bacon pursued his studies in Oxford, and was persecuted as a magician; that King Alfred founded one college, and Cardinal Wolsey another, and that in the troublous times that preceded the Commonwealth, Oxford was for a short period the Royalist metropolis of England, none need even be reminded.
The following slight sketch of the history of the city must therefore be taken, not because the reader will find it of much value, or novelty, but because our Thames voyage would be incomplete without it.
Great have been the discussions among the learned as to the antiquity of Oxford, some claiming for it an existence of a thousand years prior to the time of our Saviour, and ascribing its foundation to Memprick, King of the Britons, from whom they say it was called Caer Memprick.
Among other fabulous names of Oxford may be mentioned Caer Bossa, Rhyd, Ychen, and Caer Vortigern.
It has also been called, from the surpassing beauty of its position among the hills, Bellositum and Beaumont.
It acquired the name of Oxenford from the Saxons, and appears, if it existed at all before the Saxon times, to have been a very inconsiderable place.
The University of Oxford was founded by King Alfred in the year 886, who, it may be mentioned by the way, was born almost within sight of the city, at Wantage, only a few miles on the other side of the Thames.
Oxford, however, appears to have been the seat of learning before this period, for Grymbald and John the Monk, established there by Alfred in the year above mentioned, had to wage for some time fierce war with the old students, who did not approve of the new regulations which they introduced.
After three years, Alfred himself was obliged to go in person to Oxford to reconcile their differences, which, how ever, he failed in doing, and Grymbald shortly afterwards retired to the monastery at Winchester, also founded by this King.
Alfred would thus appear, not to have been the actual founder, but the restorer of the University; but opinions differ among the learned, as to which character he is strictly entitled to.
Without pretending to cast any new light upon the subject, we can but say that Alfred either founded or restored University College, which is allowed on all hands to be the most ancient of the twenty colleges of the University.
In the reign of Ethelred (1002) the city and college were sacked and burned by the Danes; but were restored within five years.
The Saxon professors in the college, manifesting some opposition to the will of William the Conqueror, as regarded teaching the English language, that prince stopped the stipends granted them by King Alfred, upon which they fomented a rebellion in the city that took the king some time and much trouble to suppress.
The present University College was erected in 1634.
The Gothic hall is of more modern date.

Baliol College was projected about the year 1260, by Sir John Baliol of Barnard Castle, father of Baliol, King of Scotland, who settled some annual exhibitions on certain poor scholars, till he could provide a house and other accommodations for them.
He dying in 1269, before his design could be executed, his widow, the Lady Devergilla, hired a house in the town, in which she placed her exhibitioners, consisting of a principal and sixteen fellows.
Here they appeared to have remained for fifteen years, when their patroness purchased a structure called St. Mary's Hall, which she rebuilt at considerable expense, and which then acquired the name of Baliol College.
Merton College, on the south side of the city, was founded by Walter de Merton, Lord High Chancellor in the reign of Henry III.
The college was originally established at Malden in Surrey, but as the liberal arts could only be taught at the University, the students were transferred to Oxford, where a hall was built for them in 1267.
The chapel of this college, which is also the parish church of St. John, was built in 1474, and contains the monument of Sir Thomas Bodley, the founder of the Bodleian library.
In a house opposite this college, not now existing, was born, in 1631, the celebrated Anthony à Wood, who laboured so much, and to such good purpose, to illustrate his native city and its university.
His "Athenae Oxoniensis" is a treasury of curious information; but, like many other great works, it procured the author little renown in his life-time, and that little was unpleasant, for it led to his expulsion from the University.
He is described by his biographer in the introduction to the "Athenae Oxoniensis", as a person "who delighted to converse more with the dead than the living; and was, as it were, dead to the world, and utterly unknown in person to the generality of the scholars in Oxford.
He was so great an admirer of a solitary and private life, that he frequented no assemblies of the said University, had no companion in bed or at board, in his studies, walks, or journeys, nor held communication with any, unless of some, and those very few, choice and generous spirits; and truly, all things considered, he was but a degree different from an ascetic.
It was usual with him, for the most part, to rise about four o'clock in the morning, and to eat hardly anything till night, when, after supper, he would go into some bye alehouse in town, or else to one in some village near, and there by himself take his pipe and pot".
Honest Anthony, who also wrote "The History and Antiquities of Oxford", died in 1695, in his sixty-fourth year, and was buried in his well-beloved Oxford, where a monument is erected to his memory, with the short inscription, "H. S. E.- Antonius Wood, Antiquarius".

Exeter College, founded in 1314, is so named from Walter Stapylton, Bishop of Exeter. Oriel College; first called St. Mary's, and afterwards King's College, was founded by King Edward II. in 1324.
To this society, whose hall was inconvenient, Edward III. gave a larger building, known by the name of l'Oriel, pro bably from its long oriel window, and the college soon afterwards began to be exclusively known by the same designation.
Queen's College, one of the most beautiful in the University, was founded by Robert Egglesfield, Confessor to Philippa, Queen of Edward III, in 1340.
It used to be the custom here for the bursar on new year's day to present each of the members with a needle and thread, with the injunction, "take this and be thrifty".
This custom is said to have derived its origin from the name of the founder - Aiguille etjil (needle and thread) - from whence Egglesfield.
There is a story of Henry V, when Prince of Wales, which is thought to have some connection with this custom.
Speed, the chronicler, relates, that having offended his father, "he came into his presence in a strange disguise, being in a garment of blue satin, wrought full of eylet holes, and at every eylet the needle left hanging by the silk it was wrought with".
This story, says Mr. Hone in his "Year Book", puzzled many a head to discover its meaning, until Mr. G. S. Green of Oxford published his conjectures in the Gentleman's Magazine.
"Prince Henry", says he, "having been a student of Queen's College, his wearing of this strange garment was probably designed by him to express his academical character, the properest habit he could appear in before his father, who was greatly apprehensive of some trouble from his son's active and ambitious temper, and much afraid of his taking the crown from him, as he did at last.
The habit of a scholar was very different from that of a soldier in those days, that nothing could better allay the King's suspicions, than this silent declaration of attachment to literature and renunciation of the sword".
The explanation seems anything but satisfactory, for there is no pretence for saying that a dress stuck full of needles was the academical costume, and if the King saw a declaration of attachment to literature in such masquerading, he probably could see as far through a millstone as the worthy antiquary himself, who has given us so luminous an explanation.
Popular tradition was fond of attributing all sorts of mad-cap tricks to the gallant Prince Henry, and this seems one of them.
In that day, as in ours, if a man of station committed one excess, the voice of the people soon accused him of a hundred.
The ceremony of the boar's head on Christmasday, is also peculiar to this college.
The scholars have a pleasant story to account for it.
One of them, some hundreds of years ago, when boars were common in England, was attacked by a very wild one, in the vicinity of Oxford, while he was busily employed in reading Aristotle.
Having no weapon to defend himself, he took up his volume, and exclaiming "Graecum est", (it is Greek,) choked the animal by ramming it down his throat.
The crabbed words were too much for him, and the boar expired in great agony.

New College was founded by the celebrated William of Wykeham, the architect of Windsor Castle, in 1379.
Lincoln College dates from 1427, in which year it was founded by Richard Fleming, Bishop of Lincoln.
All Souls arose ten years later.
Its founder was Henry Chicheley, Archbishop of Canterbury.
There is an ancient custom in this college, celebrating the discovery of a large mallard or drake, in a drain or sewer, when the foundation of the building was laid.
This celebration takes place on the 14th day of January, when the scholars dine in the hall, and sing the following bacchanalian ditty: -

Griffin, bustard, turkey, capon,
Let other hungry mortals gape on,
And on the bones their stomach fall hard,
But let All Souls' men have their mallard.
Oh, by the blood of King Edward,
Oh, by the blood of King Edward,
It was a swapping, swapping mallard!

The Romans once admired a gander
More than they did their chief commander,
Because he sav'd, if some don't fool us,
The place that's called the head of Tolus.
Oh, by the blood of King Edward,
Oh, by the blood of King Edward,
It was a swapping, swapping mallard!

The poets feign Jove turned a swan,
But let them prove it if they can;
As for our proof 'tis not at all hard,
For it was a swapping, swapping mallard!
Oh, by the blood of King Edward,
Oh, by the blood of King Edward,
It was a swapping, swapping mallard!

Therefore let us sing and dance a galliard
To the remembrance of the mallard,
And as the mallard dives in pool,
Let us dabble, dive, and duck in bowl!
Oh, by the blood of King Edward,
Oh, by the blood of King Edward,
It was a swapping, swapping mallard!

The magnificent Magdalen College, at the foot of the fine bridge of the same name over the little river Cherwell, was founded in 1458, by William Wainfleet, Bishop of Winchester.
It however owes its splendour to Cardinal Wolsey, who, in the year 1492, being bursar and fellow of the college, erected the lofty tower, so great an ornament not only to the college but to the city.
The scholars had a May-day custom here, which used formerly to attract great crowds to witness it.
The scholars assembled exactly as the clock struck five, and chanted a Latin hymn in honour of the May, when the bridge was generally thronged with people to hear it.
A lamb was then roasted whole for breakfast on the leads of the tower.
This part of the custom was abolished, and a dinner substituted, at which lamb formed the principal fare.
Brazen Nose College was founded in the year 1511, by William Smith, Bishop of Lincoln, and Chancellor of the University, and Richard Sutton of Prestbury, near Macclesfield.
They gave it the name of Brazen Nose, from its being built on the site of an ancient hall, commonly known by the same designation, which it had received from a large brass nose upon the gate.
Corpus Christi College was established only two years after the last, under the patronage of Richard Fox, Bishop of Winchester.
Christ Church College is one of the now few remaining testimonials of the magnificent taste of Cardinal Wolsey.
It was begun in the year 1525, and was to have been called Cardinal College after its founder, but in consequence of his fall before the completion of his design, it was called King Henry VIIIth's College, until the year 1545, when it received its present name.
Samuel Ireland, in his "Picturesque views on the Thames", pronounces an opinion upon the architectural beauties of this college with its fine church, in which every one must agree.
"Of its stately entrance, and happy selection of Gothic proportions, too much cannot be said in commendation.
The spacious and noble quadrangle inspires the mind on a first view, with every idea of ancient grandeur, and were there no other remains of the Cardinal's princely mind, this alone would bear lasting testimony to his unbounded munificence.
The beautiful roof of the elegant staircase leading to the hall, is supported only by a single pillar, which with the Gothic fret-work in the ceiling of the spacious hall above, and the vaulted roof of the choir par ticularly, said to have been constructed under the direction of Wolsey, are truly deserving of critical observation.
The tower was designed by Sir Christopher Wren, and harmonizes well with the rest of the building".
The church is a cathedral which had formerly a bishop, but is now governed by a dean, who is the head of the college.
Trinity College was founded in 1555, by Sir Thomas Pope, Lord Mayor of London.
The chapel was erected by Sir Christopher Wren, in 1695, as well as one of the courts.
St. John Baptist College was founded in the same year by Sir Thomas White, another citizen and alderman of London.
Jesus College was founded in 1571, by Hugh Price, Doctor of the Canon Law in the Univer sity, who procured a charter from Queen Elizabeth.
The Queen agreed to furnish the timber for the building, on condition that she should have the first nomination of the principal, fellows, and scholars, and that it should be called Jesus College.
Wadham College was founded by Nicholas Wadham, "some time a gentleman commoner in the University, and Dorothy his widow".
Mr. Wadham had formed the design of erecting and endowing this college shortly before he died, and by his will left money for that purpose.
Accordingly, in 1609, Mrs. Wadham purchased the site of a dissolved priory of the canons of St. Austin, in the north skirts of the town, and erected a noble quadrangle, adorned with the statues of herself and her husband over the western gate.

Pembroke College was founded by Thomas Tisdale, Esq. and Dr. Richard Wightwick. The first of these gentlemen, by his will dated in 1610, left £5000 and considerable additions to his bequest being made by the latter, the college was founded in 1624, and named in honour of William Earl of Pembroke, then chancellor of the University.
Worcester College was originally called Gloucester Hall, from its being a seminary for educating the monks of Gloucester.
On the dissolution of the religious foundations, it fell into the King's hands, and was given by Queen Elizabeth to Mr. Doddington.
It was purchased of the latter gentleman by Sir Thomas White, the same who founded the College of St. John the Baptist, and by him annexed to that institution.
Being additionally endowed in 1714 by Sir Thomas Cooke, of Astley, near Worcester, it was erected into a separate college under its present name.
Hartford College, the twentieth, was originally called Hartford Hall, from Elias de Hartford.
It was endowed by Dr. Richard Newton, in 1740, and erected into a college in that year.
Besides the twenty colleges, there are five halls, which are neither endowed nor incorporated, but which are governed by their respective principals, whose salaries arise from the fees paid by students and the rental of their lodgings.
They are the remains of former academical houses, and are called St. Edmund's, St. Magdalen's, St. Alban's, St. Mary's, and New Inn Hall.

The University is governed by a chancellor, (the Duke of Wellington,) a high steward, a vice-chancellor, and two proctors, and returns two members to Parliament.
The city of Oxford returns the same number.
This elegant metropolis of learning abounds with public buildings, that rise up in every street, soliciting the notice of the traveller.
Besides its noble colleges and its churches, are the Bodleian Library, the Clarendon Printing Office, the Badcliffe Library, the Theatre, the Ashmolean Museum, the Observatory, the Physic Gardens, which are all deserving of more than casual attention, but which, as we do not write a guide-book, we shall not describe, but merely mention.

The traveller who arrives in Oxford suddenly from London, may well be surprised at the remarkable contrast.
Stepping into one of the comfortable carriages of the Great Western Railway, after breakfast, he will arrive in time for an early luncheon at the fairest city in England, and, to use the words of a writer in the Quarterly Review, "will come from noise, and glare, and brilliancy, to a very different scene; a mass of towers, pinnacles, and spires, rising in the bosom of a valley from groves which hide all buildings but such as are consecrated to some wise and holy purpose; the same river which in the metropolis is covered with a forest of masts and ships, here gliding quietly through meadows, with scarcely a sail upon it; dark and ancient edifices clustered together in forms full of richness and beauty, yet solid as if to last for ever, such as become institutions raised, not for the vanity of the builder, but for the benefit of coming ages; streets - almost avenues of edifices which elsewhere would pass for palaces, but all of them dedicated to God; thoughtfulness, repose, and gravity in the countenances and even dress of their inhabitants; and mark, instead of the stir and business of life, and the roar of carriages, the sound of hourly bells, calling men together to prayer".
This is all very well, and appears very true to the casual observer; but it is only a description of the surface of things.
The solemn halls resound sometimes with the voice of "uproarious" jollity.
These men, looking so quiet in their academical costumes, can be roysterers when they will; they can fight, swear, smoke, row, and drink, and love a horse-race or a gaming-table better than they do the pages of Tacitus, or the Bible.
They are the men for "Rum Booze", "Rum Fustian", "Flip", "Swig", "Brown Betty", "Pope", "Cardinal", "Bishop", "Lawn Sleeves", and other Bacchanalian mixtures, which all come under the one generic term of "Oxford Night-caps", and a full account of which may be found in a little tract, published a few years ago under that title.
However these things do not strike the stranger, and Oxford appears to him quiet, as the abode of learning ought to be.

The High-street is considered the most beautiful in the world.
Even Dr. Waagen, fresh as he was from the "Unter den Linden" of Berlin, which the Prussians vaunt as the finest in Europe, acknowledged the vast superiority of Oxford.
But it has other claims upon the attention than those of mere beauty: here Ridley, Latimer, and Cranmer, the three great martyrs of Protestantism, suffered for conscience' sake, and no reader of English history can pass the street without remembering with melancholy interest those events, and treading reverentially upon the hallowed ground.
It was here that Latimer exclaimed to Ridley, when tied to the stake, "Be of good cheer, brother, we shall this day kindle such a torch in England, as I trust in God shall never be extinguished".
And it was here that Cranmer, a few months afterwards, performed that heroic act of thrusting into the fire, and holding it there till it was consumed, the right hand which had signed his recantation, exclaiming all the while, strong in soul, "This unworthy right hand that did it! this unworthy right hand that did it!"
No memorial has hitherto stood upon the exact spot of the martyrdom, to point it out to the respect of posterity; but this want is now about to be supplied.
Funds have been sub scribed, plans have been sent in, and one finally fixed upon for "The Martyrs' Memorial".
The design chosen, which is said to be pre-eminently beautiful, is that of Messrs. Scott and Moffatt, the former of whom is architect of St. Mark's Church, at Summer Hill, Birmingham, and grandson of the Rev. Thomas Scott, the author of the well-known Commentary on the Holy Bible.
The monument will consist of an elaborate hexagonal cross, of a character corresponding with the crosses erected by Edward I. to the memory of Queen Eleanor, but larger, and more richly decorated.
The second story will contain, in niches, on the alternate sides, statues of the three martyrs, which from the situation of the monument, will face three different streets.
The site chosen is appropriate, being in front of the church of St. Mary Magdalen, in which parish the martyrdoms took place, and opposite to the end of the very fine avenue leading from St. Giles's to St. Mary Magdalen Church, which will be highly favourable to the effect, when approached from that direction.
The height of the cross will be about seventy feet, which is about one-fourth higher than the majority of the ancient crosses in this country.
A portion of the fund is also to be appropriated to the erection of a new aisle to the church, and to rendering the side opposite which the cross will be placed, and which is much dilapidated, conformable in character to the cross.
This aisle is to be called the Martyrs' Aisle.

The patron saint of Oxford is St. Frideswyde; but the church formerly dedicated to her, is now the Cathedral of Christ Church.
Her supposed relics were translated from an obscure to a more public place in the church in the year 1180, on which occasion it was reported that divers miracles were performed: the blind saw, the deaf heard, and the dumb spoke in Oxford, as the bones were brought into the light of day.
The church was accidentally burned down two years afterwards, but the precious relics appear to have been saved.
The houses of Oxford, at this time, says Anthony à Wood, were built only of wood and straw; but afterwards they began to imitate the people of London, where the constant disastrous fires had led to the building of houses of brick and stone".
In the poorer districts of Oxford, where the inhabitants could not afford such expensive dwellings, it was ordered that between every five or six houses built in the old fashion of wood and straw, there should be erected a strong brick or stone wall to prevent the extension of any accidental fire.

It was formerly the custom for the Chancellor of the University and all the scholars, to go in procession twice a year to the relics of St. Frideswyde, once in the middle of Lent, and once on the feast of Ascension.
In the year 1268, as they were marching through the town towards the place where the holy bones were preserved, a Jew, it is said, tore the crucifix from the hands of the priest who carried it, threw it on the ground, trampled on it, and broke it to pieces.
What became of the offender is not stated; but most likely, if there is any truth at all in the story, he was not long afterwards an inhabitant of this world.
All the Jews in Oxford were fined for the outrage, and with the proceeds a marble cross was erected on the spot, near the entrance to the church, with this inscription: - Quis incus auctor erat? Judsei: quomodo? Sumpto Quis jussit? Regnam: quo procurante? Magistris Cur? Cruce pro fracta.
ligni: quo tempore? Festo Ascensus Domini: Quis erat locus? hie ubi sisto.
This cross remained till the reign of Henry VI, when it fell down, and was never restored.

Folly Bridge and Bacon's Study

One other reminiscence of the classical city, and we have done.
On a bridge called Folly Bridge, there formerly stood a tower, said to have been the residence of Friar Bacon, and to which an ancient tradition was attached.
The bridge was built, according to Anthony à Wood's account, as early as the Conquest, by Robert D'Oyley, upon the site of one still older; and the tower known as Friar Bacon's study, was at the south end.
It was said of this tower, that it would stand until a wiser man than the friar passed under it: some reproach, it has been hinted, to the learning of the University, for it stood several centuries, though all the wise men of Oxford in their successive generations passed beneath it.
There are no remains of it now; it was found an obstruction, and was pulled down somewhere about the year 1780, to make room for other improvements.

It was in this study that the friar was long believed by the vulgar to have held converse with the devil, and to have constructed that famous brazen head, so renowned in the annals of necromancy, in conjunction with another, named Friar Bungay.
The history of this brazen head, that was to deliver oracles, was one of the earliest works printed in England.
When they had finished their work, after seven years' hard labour upon it, says the legend, they were so exhausted that they lay down to sleep, first charging their servant that if it spoke he should waken them immediately.
The servant being a clownish fellow, paid but little attention, and the brazen head spoke, and said,
"Time is".
There was a long pause, and the head again spoke, and said in a solemn voice,
"Time was".
Still no notice was taken, the friars slept, unconscious of their great loss, and after another long pause, a voice pronounced
"Time is passed",
and immediately with a noise as loud as thunder, the head fell to pieces, and the friars awoke, and saw their labour and art had been of no avail, and heard a fierce storm of thunder and lightning, and hail and wind, which raged over the city of Oxford, to announce that the devil, who had spoken in it, had taken his departure.
A similar brazen head was also believed to have been constructed at Oxford, by Dr. Robert Grostest, Grosse-tete, or Greathead, for his name is variously written, who was Bishop of Lincoln about the time that Roger Bacon flourished.
The earliest notice of this head appears as follows, in "Gower's Confessio Amantis".

For of the great clerk Grostest
I rede how redy that he was
Upon clergy an hede of brasse
To make and forge it for to tell
Of such thinges as befell,
And seven yeares businesse
He layd, but for the lacknesse
Of half a minute of an houre
Fro first that he began laboure,
He lost all that he had done.

Some have gone so far as to say, and there may be some truth in it, that Brazen Nose College derives its name from one of these brazen heads.
Dr. Friend, in his "History of Physic", says that Bacon drew articulate sounds from the brazen head, by an artificial application of the principles of natural philosophy.
Very likely he amused himself by frightening the vulgar by experiments which now would be perfectly intelligible, but which acquired for him then a reputation which was far from agreeable in its consequences to himself.

There is a water communication from Oxford to many parts of the kingdom.
Besides the noble river eastward to London, it has a communication with the Severn westward by means of the Thames and Severn canal, and with Wiltshire and Berkshire by means of the Thames and the Kennett and the Avon canals, and it also communicates with the Trent, the Humber, and the Dee.



END OF THE FIRST VOLUME.



Steamer Passing the Nore Light Vessel
ABOVE TITLE PAGE OF VOLUME II

THE THAMES AND ITS TRIBUTARIES.
VOLUME II. CHAPTER I.
Ruins of Godstow Nunnery. - The Legends of Fair Rosamond. - The Monks of Ensham. - Woodstock Park and its Memories. -
- Rosamond's Bower, - Chaucer's House. - His Description of Woodstock Park. -
- Queen Elizabeth 's Verses while a Prisoner. - The Ghosts of Woodstock. - Blenheim.

Godstow Nunnery

Passing from Oxford into Berkshire, and on through Botley, we follow the windings of the Thames for about two miles, by the by-road, till we arrive at Witham, the seat of the Earl of Abingdon, and so on to the ancient site of Godstow Nunnery, famous for its legendary and poetic associations.
Who has not heard the touching story of "Fair Rosamond? "a story upon which historians in later years have attempted to throw discredit, but which will ever hold its place in the popular heart.
And here we are upon the scene of it.
Here on this bank the "Rose of the World" passed the innocent years of her early girlhood; and here she was buried, with that insulting epitaph so well known
Hic jacet in tumba, Rosa Mundi, non Rosamunda;
Non redolet, sed olet, quæ redolere solet;

inscribed however in later years, when her royal lover, so faithful to her memory, was no more.
How sweet are the lines of the neglected and almost unknown poet, Daniel, upon this subject! We quote his Complaint of Rosamond, premising, that the poet succeeded Spenser as Laureate, in the year 1599, soon after which the poem was published.
After describing the grief of Henry II. on discovering the body of his beautiful mistress, he continues

Thus as these passions do him overwhelm,
He draws near to the body to behold it,
And as the vine married into the elm
With strict embraces so doth he enfold it.
And as he in his careful arms doth hold it,
Viewing the face that even Death commends,
On senseless lips millions of kisses spends.

"Pitiful mouth!" said he, "that living gavest
The sweetest comfort that my soul could wish,
O be it lawful now that dead thou havest
This sorrowing farewell of a dying kiss!
And you, fair eyes, containers of my bliss,
Motives of love, born to be matched never,
Entombed in your sweet circles, sleep for ever!

"Ah, how, methinks, I see, Death dallying seeks
To entertain itself in Love's sweet place,
Decayed roses of discoloured cheeks
Do yet retain the hues of former grace,
And ugly Death sits fair within her face,
Sweet remnants resting of vermilion red,
E'en Death itself might doubt that she were dead!

"Wonder of beauty! oh, receive these plaints,
These obsequies, the last that I shall make thee,
For now my soul that now already faints,
That loved thee living, dead will not forsake thee,
And hastes her speedy arms to overtake thee.
I'll meet my death and free myself thereby,
For, ah! what can he do, that cannot die?

"Yet, ere I die, thus much my soul doth vow
Revenge shall sweeten Death with ease of mind,
And I will cause posterity shall
How fair thou wert above all womankind.
And after ages monuments shall find,
Showing thy beauty's title, not thy name,
Rose of the world! that sweeten'd so the same!"

The beauty of the quotation may plead excuse for its length, and some reader, perhaps unaware that such a poet as Daniel ever wrote, may be tempted to stray into his pages, where he will find much to reward him.

Rosamond's funeral was celebrated here with great splendour, as the poet hints; and King John afterwards bequeathed a considerable sum, that the holy virgins of Godstow might relieve with their prayers and pious masses the souls of his father and Fair Rosamond.
Upon the interment itself, great sums were lavished by the disconsolate king, and the parents of the lady.
The tomb was of the most exquisite and costly workmanship, but much of it was destroyed when priestly bigotry ordered the removal of the body, as too impure to be buried within consecrated ground.
Hugh, Bishop of Lincoln, visiting the nunnery in 1191, two years after the death of Henry, and about twenty after the death of Rosamond, and observing a tomb covered with velvet, silk, and cloth of gold, and magnificently lighted up with wax tapers, perpetually burning, inquired whose it was, and being informed that it was Fair Rosamond's, he ordered that "the harlot should be taken thence, lest through her the Christian religion should be scandalized." It was, however, only removed from the church of the nunnery, and not from the precincts altogether.
Speed says, "the chaste sisters gathered her bones from the chapter-house whence they had been conveyed, and put them in a perfumed leathern bag, enclosing them so in lead, and laid them again in the church, under a fair large grave-stone, about whose edges a fillet of brass was inlaid, and thereon written her name and praise."
At the dissolution of the nunnery, Speed says that the bones were so found.
Leland confirms this account, adding, "Rosamond's tomb at Godstow nunnery, was taken up of late: it is a stone with this inscription
"Tumba Rosamundæ.' Her bones were enclosed in lead, and within that in leather: when it was opened, there was a sweet smell came out of it."
This nunnery, sacred to her affecting memory, was founded in the reign of Henry I. by Editha, a matron of Winchester, in consequence of a dream she had.
It would appear, that this lady had long meditated the pious work of founding a nunnery, but was at a loss where to erect it, until she dreamed that the most fitting place would be on the bank of the Thames, to the west of Oxford.
Her confessor persuaded her that the dream was an intimation of the will of Heaven, and the nunnery was founded at Godstow accordingly, Editha becoming the first abbess.
Two sides of the nunnery remained till about the year 1769, when they were blown down by a high wind.
Part of the wall and the chapel still exist, and belong to the Earl of Abingdon.

Swinford Bridge, Eynsham

Keeping on the same side of the Thames, we pass by Godstow Bridge, and follow the course of the river for awhile to Swinford Bridge, which we cross, and proceed to the ancient village of Ensham - termed, like Kingston, "a famous place" even in the days of the Saxon Heptarchy.
It once possessed an abbey, a small portion of the ruins of which still remain, founded early in the eleventh century, and dedicated to the Virgin Mary and St. Benedict.
A singular custom formerly prevailed here on Whit Monday, as we are informed by Samuel Ireland in his "Picturesque Views." It was the privilege of the towns people to be allowed to cut down as much timber in the neighbouring wood, as could be drawn into the courtyard of the abbey by men's hands only, which timber was to be their own, if they could succeed in dragging it out again!
This was a very "ingenious device" on the part of the reverend fathers: the timber once got in, they allowed very little of it to be pulled out again, as it was a part of the stipulation, that the monks and the servants of the abbey should place every impediment in the way of its exit that they were able.

Woodstock

From hence to Woodstock is a pleasant walk of about four miles, following part of the way the stream of the Evenlode, a petty tributary of the Thames.
The town of Woodstock derives most of the interest attached to its name, from the magnificent palace of Blenheim; but its ancient interest springs from the park and ancient palace of the kings of England, which latter was pulled down by order of the great Duke of Marlborough.
In this palace King Alfred translated "Boetius on the Consolations of Philosophy"; the work which was after wards the solace of the poetical James I. of Scotland, when a prisoner in Windsor Castle.
In the time of King Etheldred, a parliament assembled at Woodstock, between which period and the reign of Henry I. the town fell somewhat into decay.
The latter, the only one of the early monarchs who had a cultivated mind, or took any delight in the recreations which taste and a love of literature are so abundant in affording, was pleased with the beauties of the surrounding scenery, improved the palace, and added several suites of apartments to it, at the same time enlarging and replanting the park, and enclosing it with a substantial stone wall.
Here also, as we learn from Stowe, he established the first menagerie ever known in England: "the King, for his pleasure," says the annalist, "desired the wonderful things of other countries, as lions, leopards, lynxes, and camels, of the which England had none, craving them from kings.
He had a park called Woodstock, in which he kept them, and put there, among others, a beast called "Stryr," or otherwise called a "Porpentine", sent him from William of Montpelier."
The same historian says the park was seven miles in compass, that it was the first ever enclosed in England, and that divers villages, churches, and chapels were destroyed to make room for it.
In the reign of Henry II, the palace of Woodstock was inhabited by the beautiful Rosamond.
Here the royal lover built her the celebrated bower in the midst of the labyrinth, the theme of popular poets, and the delight of romance readers ever since.
To quote the most popular of all the ballads ever made upon it,

The King for her defence
Against the furious Queen,
At Woodstock builded such a bower,
The like was never seen.

Most curiously that bower was built
Of stone and timber strong,
One hundred and fifty
Did to this bower belong,

And they so cunningly contrived
With turnings round about,
That none but with a clue of thread
Could enter in or out.

Though the authorities differ upon the point, whether this fair lady was poisoned by Queen Elianor, all agree that the Queen discovered her retreat.
Higden, the monk of Chester, whose account is followed by Stowe, says, "the Queen came to her by a clue of thread or silk, and so dealt with her, that she lived not long after."
Holinshed says, "it was the common report of the people, that the Queen found her out by a silken thread, which the King had drawn after him out of her chamber with his foot, and dealt with her in such sharp and cruel wise, that she lived not long after".
Speed says, that the Queen "discovered her by a clue of silk, fallen from Rosamond's lap as she sat to take air, and suddenly fleeing from the sight of the searcher, the end of her silk fastened to her foot, and the clue still unwinding, remained behind, which the Queen followed, till she had found what she sought, and upon Rosamond so vented her spleen, as the lady lived not long after.".
Upon the dissolution of the religious houses, her tomb at Godstow, as we have already stated, was examined, and attracted some attention, and a cup being found upon it, the popular notion that she was poisoned was either originated, or acquired additional strength.
However this may be, it is certainly worth notice that none of the old historians attribute her death to poison, and that the oldest ballads and poems made upon her sad fate with which we are acquainted, only date as far back as the reign of Elizabeth.
The popular ballad of Thomas Delone, already quoted, appears not to have been pub lished till 1612, as may be seen from the introduction to it by Bishop Percy, in his "Relics of Ancient Poetry:"
Daniel's "Complaint of Fair Rosamond" was published somewhat earlier.
There is this to be said in favour of the popular version, - found popular, and made still more so by the poets, - that there is nothing improbable in the story of her poisoning.
Queen Elianor is allowed on all hands to have been a jealous, violent, and bad woman.
Poor Rosamond had but one sin to answer for, but her rival Elianor had many.
She led a life of promiscuous gallantry before her marriage with Henry, and afterwards excited his sons to rebel against him, and distract the kingdom.
No traces of this famous bower and labyrinth have existed for centuries, but the concurrent testimony of all the historians impel us to believe that they did exist as represented.
Some slight remains of a bath, amid the groves on the northern part of the park, are pointed out, which are believed to have formed part of the bower of Rosamond.

In Woodstock park resided for many years the father of English poetry, venerable, well beloved, most worthy Geoffrey Chaucer.
Many have asserted that he was born in Woodstock.
The learned Camden once countenanced this opinion, for, speaking of Woodstock, he says "having nothing in it else remarkable, it can boast of having produced our English Homer, Geoffrey Chaucer."
Leland doubted whether he were born in Berkshire or Oxfordshire; but if we may judge from the poet's own words, that great honour belongs to the city of London.
Speaking of the disturbances in London, when the mob destroyed the Savoy palace, where he long resided with his royal friend, John of Gaunt, he says, "The city of London that is to me so dear and sweet, in which I was forth grown, and more kindly love have I to that place than to any other on earth, as every kindly creature hath full appetite to that place of his kindly engendering."
However this may be, Woodstock is nevertheless classic ground, for if Chaucer were not born there, he resided there.
"His house," says Dr. Urry, "was a square stone house, near the park gate, which still retained its name in 1721.
Many of the rural descriptions in his poems appear to be representations of the actual scenery of the park. Thus,

"And right anon as I the day espide.
Ne longer would I in my bedde abide,
But unto a woode that was mee fast by
I went forth myself alone and boldily,
And held the way downe by a brooke side
Till I came to a land of white and grene,
So fair an one had I never in bene,
The ground was grene, ypowdered with daisye
The flouris and the grevis alike hye,
Al grene and white was nothing ellis sene."

These lines appeared to Dr. Urry to be an exact portraiture of the way from Chaucer's house down by the brook side, through part of the park to the vale, under Blenheim Castle.
The nightingale in that poem is represented as saying to the sleeping bard that it would sing

The morrow after St. Valentine's day
Under a maple that is fair and grene,
Before the chamber window of the Quene
At Wodestocke upon the grene laye."

The scene of his poem of the Dream is also laid in Woodstock Park, where it appears, when not engaged in study, his favourite diversion was to walk.
Yet perhaps these morning walks among the trees, which he describes in various parts of his works with such luxuriance of poetry, were the times when he studied most.
He made acquaintance with nature in her solitudes, studied her sweet face in his early rambles, and was thereby enabled to paint her so well.
Chaucer, from the busy life he led in London, being mixed up so intimately with all the affairs of the powerful John of Gaunt, shared naturally the evils of that prince's fortunes.
In the troubles that ensued in London, after the citation of Wickliffe, and the arrest of Comberton, late Mayor of London, Chaucer became obnoxious to the King, and was obliged to fly to the Continent to avoid imprisonment.
On his return, he determined to mix himself up no more in political questions, and John of Gaunt, being then absent on his expedition to recover the kingdom of Castile and Leon, which he claimed in right of his wife, he had an additional reason for keeping himself secluded from the world.
He, therefore, retired to Woodstock, and busied himself, in revising and correcting his poems.
The exact time of his final departure from Woodstock to Donnington, where he passed the last two years of his life, is not known with certainty.
We have already in our account of the river Kennett given some account of these years.
So, farewell, Chaucer, of whom we will say in the words of old Lydgate

My maister Chaucer, chief poet of Britayne,
Whom all this landè shoulde of righte prefer,
Sith of our language he was the load star,
That madè first to distil and raine
The gold dew drops of speech and
Into our tonguè through his excellence."

In Woodstock Palace, the Princess Elizabeth was confined by her sister, Queen Mary, for a short time, during which captivity, as we learn from Hentzner, the German traveller, she wrote the following lines with a piece of charcoal upon her window shutter, being denied the use of pens and paper.
The lines were first printed in Hentzner's book, and afterwards at the private press of Horace Walpole, at Strawberry Hill, from whence they were transferred into Percy's Relics.
"In Hentzner's book", says Dr. Percy, "they were wretchedly corrupted," but were restored, as they now follow, by Horace Walpole.

O fortune, how thy restlesse wavering state,
Hath fraught with cares my troubled will,
Witness this present prisonn, whither fate
Could bear me, and the joys I quit.
Thou causedest the guiltie to be losed
From bandes wherein are innocents inclosed,
Causing the guiltless to be straight reserved,
And freeing those that death had well deserved.
But by her envy can be nothing wrought,
So, God, send to my foes all they have thought.
ELIZABETH, prisoner. A.D. MDLV".

These lines are of little or no value in themselves, but they become of interest from the station of the writer, and the strait to which she was reduced for want of writing materials.
Shenstone has written a poem upon the subject.

Woodstock Palace and Park, with all their poetical and romantic associations, have, in later years acquired a still dearer place in the hearts of the lovers of English literature, by the beautiful novel of Sir Walter Scott.
It is impossible for any one who has read it, to wander in that park without conjuring up the remembrance of the gentle Alice, the doughty old Sir Harry Lee, and his honest dog, and the iron warriors, and canting hypocrites of that day, with stern old Cromwell giving his orders to batter down the walls that he might take possession of that last stronghold of royalty.
Woodstock Park and Palace were also the scene of that famous ghost story related so minutely in Glanvil's book of Witchcraft, in the form of a continuation to his wondrous tales, by Dr. Henry More, and entitled, "A Transcription of a Narrative out of the Natural History of Oxfordshire, of the strange passages that happened at Woodstock, Anno 1649, when the commissioners for surveying the manor house, park, deer, woods, and other demesnes belonging to that manor, sate and lodged there."

Woodstock Palace, Mackay 1840

Their first act was to efface every symbol of royalty; and a noble old tree, which had stood for centuries in the park, was uprooted by their order, merely because it bore the, to them obnoxious, name of the King's Oak.
Immediately their troubles began; fearful noises were heard in the chimneys, bricks, tiles, and stones, rattled about their ears at all hours of the day and night; invisible hands pulled the clothes off their beds; shrieks and groans, and the clanking of chains were heard; their lights were suddenly extinguished, no one knew how; and glasses and bottles broke mysteriously wherever they attempted to lay hands upon them.
The bewildered commissioners betook themselves to penitence and prayer, and watched all night with Bibles and drawn swords to repel the evil spirits that so tormented them.
But all in vain; when worn out with watching they retired to rest towards the morning, they found logs of wood in their beds instead of pillows, and were drenched unaccountably with green ditch water, as they attempted to lie down.
Their eyes became no less bewildered than their ears; their fear became so great that they indulged each other's dread with the marvellous, and swore to each other that they actually saw the devil scratching with his hoof upon a candle to put it out; that they saw legions of imps in every corner of the house; that Beelzebub walked up and down the great room every night, howling in a most fearful manner, and sometimes making a noise as great as if a whole park of artillery had been fired off.
Finding that their prayers were inefficacious, and enjoying no peace or rest for several days and nights, they finally determined to quit Woodstock altogether, which they did in the firm belief that it was the abode of the devil and ten thousand of his evil spirits.
Some years afterwards it was discovered that the man who played the devil to such perfection on this occasion was one Giles Sharp, the clerk of the Commissioners, a pretended republican, but in reality a loyalist, who had passed his early years in Woodstock, and who resorted to this trick to frighten away these rude spoilers from the hallowed abode of the royalty of England.
The credulity of the commissioners rendered his deception comparatively easy; their contagious fears carried it on for him; and, aided by a few dexterous cavaliers, the object was accomplished even beyond his hopes.
The truth was not discovered till after the Restoration.

Woodstock manor remained unoccupied, or nearly so, for about fifty years, when it was granted by Parliament in testimony of the nation's gratitude for the brilliant exploits of the Duke of Marlborough.
Sir John Vanburgh was employed to build a suitable edifice, and the palace of Blenheim was the result.
Yet the hero for whom it was intended never had the pleasure of inhabiting it; and, as may be seen from an interesting chapter in Mr. D'Israeli's[sic] "Curiosities of Literature," it became a source of annoyance to him for the remainder of his days.
Parliament neglected to provide positively and in a proper manner the necessary funds, which were always charged upon the civil list of Queen Anne until her death, when the workmen, whose wages had been long in arrear, were glad to accept one third of their claims.
Sir John Vanburgh feared his total ruin: the Duke of Marlborough groaned in bitterness of spirit, lest he should be forced in some way or other to pay a penny out of his own pocket, for the expenses of a building which was to have been erected at a nation's cost, and ultimately died without enjoying his princely abode, leaving his hostile Duchess and the architect to fight out the question of expense be tween them.
This fine building has been condemned by some as too massive, while others have regarded its massiveness as its great beauty.
The north, or grand front, extends from wing to wing three hundred and forty-eight feet; and the centre is supported by pillars of the Corinthian order.
The southern front has a handsome portico, surmounted by a colossal bust of Louis XIV, taken from the gates of Tournay by the victorious Marlborough.

Blenheim Palace Mackay 1840

The approach to the front of the mansion is over a lofty bridge, which was originally built at the desire of the great Duke himself over a very narrow stream, which gave rise to the following epigram in allusion to his well-known parsimony:
The lofty bridge his high ambition shows,
The stream an emblem of his bounty flows.

The stream, however, was afterwards widened by the celebrated Capability Brown, who is reported to have said that the Thames, envious of the nobler expanse of water which his art had formed, "would never forgive him for what he had done at Blenheim".
Near the bridge stands a column one hundred and thirty feet high, the plinth of which is inscribed on the four sides with the exploits of the Duke of Marlborough.
The interior of the mansion is fitted up with great magnificence, and contains a picture gallery with many fine pictures, some of which were presented to the Duke by the citizens of Antwerp and other towns in Flanders.
The library is also a fine room, upwards of two hundred feet in length, occupying the whole range of the west front, and containing a collection of books valued at thirty thousand pounds.
The park, of about two thousand seven hundred acres, is laid out, as the parks of English noblemen usually are, in a style of great taste, and true appreciation of the beauties of natural scenery.
Where Nature is niggard she is aided by art, and where bountiful, turned to the best advantage.
Two sycamore trees upon an eminence mark the site of the ancient palace of Henry II, which was pulled down by the first Duke of Marlborough, at the advice of Lord Godolphin, because he thought it would obstruct the view from the windows of Blenheim.
Having lingered a sufficient time at this historical spot, we must retrace our steps to the neighbouring banks of the Thames, and proceed onwards from Ensham or Eynsham to Stanton Harcourt.



VOLUME II. CHAPTER II.
Stanton Harcourt. - English and French Epitaphs. - The River Windrush. -
- The Splendid Shilling. - A Poet's Whim. - Battle of Radcot Bridge. -

Stanton Harcourt

Stanton Harcourt, Mackay 1840

The village of Stanton, called Stanton Harcourt, from the residence of the Earls of Harcourt, before they removed to their more magnificent seat at Nuneham Courtney, is pleasantly situated within view of the Thames, about two miles from the bank, and derives considerable interest from the fact that Pope was for some months an inmate of the hospitable house of the Lord Chancellor Harcourt, in the year 1718, and that there he finished the fifth volume of his translation of Homer.
In the tower of the chapel is a room still called Pope's Room, which is the one he occupied as his study during the summer of the year mentioned.
The poet recorded the completion of his fifth volume by writing the date with a diamond on a pane of red glass, which was afterwards taken out of the window by a succeeding owner of the mansion, and preserved with great care as a relic of genius.
Mr. D'Israeli, who mentions the circumstance in his "Curiosities of Literature" in his chapter upon "Literary Residences," states his belief that the pane is still preserved among the treasures of Nuneham Courtney.
The following is a fac-simile of the writing, taken from "Ireland's Picturesque Views," the author of which states that the pane was lent to him by the Earl of Harcourt.

Pope finished Homer 1718, Stanton Harcourt. Mackay 1840

Gay was also a visitor in the summer of 1718, with his brother poet, at Lord Harcourt's; and they composed together, during their residence there, a poem upon the tragical death of two lovers, who were struck dead by lightning while at work in a neighbouring hayfield.
The picturesque church of Stanton, contains several ancient monuments of the family of Harcourt, who have been settled in the place since the conquest.
Among others, a monument to the memory of Sir Robert Harcourt, and of Margaret, his wife, who lived in the reign of Henry VI, has excited considerable notice from the fact that both the husband and wife wore the insignia of the noble Order of the Garter, and are so represented on their tomb.
There is a modern monument to the memory of the Hon. Simon Harcourt, son of the Chancellor, who died in 1720, and for which Pope, at the request of Lord Harcourt, wrote the following epitaph:

To this sad shrine, who e'er thou art, draw near:
Here lies the friend most lov'd - the son most dear,
Who ne'er knew joy, but friendship must divide,
Or gave his father grief but when he died.
How vain is reason - eloquence how weak,
If Pope must tell what Harcourt cannot speak;
Oh, let thy once loved friend inscribe thy stone,
And with a father's sorrows mix his own.

Dr. Johnson, in his critical notices of Pope's epitaphs, written for the "Universal Visitor," and afterwards appended to his Life of Pope, objects to the last two lines, and wishes they had been omitted, as "they take away from the energy without adding to the sense"; of the remainder the critic says, "It is remarkable for the artful introduction of the name, which is inserted with a peculiar felicity, to which chance must concur with genius, which no man can hope to attain twice, and which cannot be copied but with servile imitation." This praise is as ill applied as the previous censure.
It does not seem at all clear that because the poet was obliged to tell the grief which the father could not speak, that either reason was vain, or eloquence weak.
We might ask whose reason was vain, and whose eloquence was weak?
It may be said that the eloquence of the poet was weak in telling such grief as the father must have felt; but where is the vanity of reason?
The plain fact is, that Pope did not write good epitaphs, to which we may add that very few men can.
In England especially we are sadly deficient in taste, in this respect, and might take example of the French, who are generally content to express their grief in prose, for real sorrow has no leisure to make rhymes.
What can be more affecting than the simple words upon a tomb-stone in the cemetery of Père la Chaise:
"Oh mon fils! mon fils!"
No epitaph that poet ever wrote can equal this.

The River Windrush, Newbridge, Tadpole Bridge

We follow the still narrowing stream of the Thames until we arrive at New Bridge, where it receives the waters of its tributary, the Windrush; the latter rises, like the Thames, among the Cotteswold hills, enters Oxfordshire near Burford, and passes by Witney, famous for the manufacture of blankets, into the Thames.
It has been alleged that the superior whiteness of the Witney blankets arises from the nitrous qualities of the water of the Windrush.
The Thames runs through an uninteresting country for ten or twelve miles, especially on the Oxfordshire side, until we arrive at Tadpole Bridge, where the scenery improves a little.

Bampton

At the distance of about two miles is Bampton, which can only be classed as a considerable village now, but was formerly a town of some consequence, and still claims that rank.
It is seated on a little rivulet that runs into the Thames, and was a town of some note at the Conquest.
Bampton gave birth to John Phillips, the author of the "Splendid Shilling," which for some time was the most popular poem in the English language; but which has long been consigned to a fifth -rate place, though it still boasts its admirers.
He was also the author of a poem called, "Cider", and of another called "Blenheim", the latter being written at the instigation of the Tory leaders soon after that great victory; "probably," says Johnson, "with an occult opposition to Addison," who was celebrating the same victory for the Whigs.
The father of Phillips was the Rev. Dr. Ste phen Phillips, minister of Bampton, in the rectory of which the poet received the first rudiments of his education.
It is related of him, that he was always remarkably fond of having his hair combed - a fondness which did not forsake him when he quitted the paternal roof at Bampton.
When at school, at Winchester, instead of joining in the amusements of the other boys, he retired to his chamber, where he would sit for hours together, enjoying the luxury of a combing, which he persuaded or paid somebody to perform upon him.
He wore his hair long and parted in the middle, after the fashion of the portraits of Milton, of whom he was a most enthusiastic admirer.
Upon this subject of combing, the following anecdote of Isaac Vossius is given as a note by the editor of Dr. Johnson 's "Lives of the Poets," to account for the propensity of young Phillips.
The book quoted is the treatise of Isaac Vossius "De Poematum cantu et viribus Rythmi," Oxen, 1672, p. 62.
"Many people take delight in the rubbing of their limbs and the combing of their hair, but the exercises would delight much more if the servants at the baths, and the barbers were so skilful in this art, that they could express any measures with their fingers.
I remember that more than once I have fallen into the hands of men of this sort, who could imitate any measures of songs in combing the air, so as some times to express very intelligibly iambics, trochees, dactyls, & c. from whence there arose to me no small delight."

Radcot

Leaving Bampton and its rectory, we pass by the small village of Clanfield, to Radcot bridge, with Farringdon Hill rising behind it.
There was a bridge over the Thames at Radcot, in the fourteenth century, as we learn from the old chronicles, which tell of a battle that was fought upon it, or near it, between Vere Earl of Oxford, the favourite of Richard II, and the Barons, who had assembled an army to resist his power and influence.
The Earl of Oxford, then known by the title of Duke of Ireland, was at the head of five thousand men, and rode forth as Stowe says, "in stately and glorious array, thinking none durst have encountered him;" but when he came to the bank of the river, which it was his object to pass, on his way to London, where he was certain of support from the citizens, he found the army of the Barons drawn up on the Oxfordshire side, to oppose his passage.
Being a coward, as royal favourites generally are, he no sooner saw their superior force than he fled, leaving his second in command, Sir Thomas Molineux, to fight the battle as he could.
In the encounter that ensued Sir Thomas entered the Thames on horseback, and a fierce combat took place in the midst of the water between him and Sir Thomas Mortimer, a captain in the army of the Barons.
As Molineux was springing up to the bank, his opponent caught off his helmet, and struck his dagger into his brains, and he fell back a lifeless corpse into the stream.
The Duke of Ireland galloped down the bank till he was out of sight, when he dismounted, took off his armour, and swam across.
He ultimately effected his escape to Flanders, where he died in exile five years afterwards.

Faringdon Hill and Farringdon

Farringdon Hill, surmounted by its grove, about two miles from the Thames, is a prominent object in the view for a great distance, and a sort of landmark for the four counties of Oxford, Gloucester, Berks, and Wilts.
It rises by a gradual ascent from the Vale of the White Horse, and from the top there is an extensive view of one of the most fertile and luxuriant districts in England.
Pye, the Laureate, wrote a poem in praise of its beauties, with which he was well acquainted, having long resided in the neighbourhood.
His house, which he built for himself, became after his death, the property of Mr. Hallett.
The town of Farringdon stands on the western acclivity of the hill, and is a place of considerable antiquity.
Its castle, of which there are now no remains, was built during the civil wars in the time of King Stephen.
Its site was granted to some monks of the Cistercian order, who built an abbey upon it, which, at the suppression, was granted by Edward VI. to his ambitious uncle, Lord Seymour.
Near Farringdon are the remains of a camp of a circular form, supposed to be of Danish origin.
It is two hundred yards in diameter, and is surrounded by a ditch twenty yards wide.
Antiquaries have conjectured that it was the camp of the Danes, who were defeated near this place by King Alfred.
At the commencement of the present century, when the north rampart was levelled, quantities of human bones and coals were found; and the former are frequently dug up by the labourers, who search for peat in the swampy ground about a mile south of the hill.

Buscot Park, St John's Bridge and Lechlade

From Farringdon, a walk of about four miles, by the side of the great Coxwell and Eaton woods and the domain of Buscot Park, leads us to the small market-town of Lechlade, in Gloucestershire, and St. John 's Bridge over the Thames.
The church, erected in the fifteenth century, is a handsome building with an embattled tower, and inspired Shelley to write some melancholy verses, when he lingered within its precincts one fine summer evening, in 1815, when he came ashore from his boat in his pilgrimage to the sources of the Thames.
At Lechlade and its neighbourhood there is truly a "meeting of the waters."
The Thames before its arrival at this town is little better than a brook; but it here receives the waters of four small streams, the Colne, the Churn, the Lech, and the Rey, which united first render it navigable.
From Lechlade to the source there is not sufficient depth of water to be serviceable to commerce, and a canal has been formed by the side of it, whereby the navigation is carried on to the Severn.

Fairford

Upon one of these streams, the Colne, is the town of Fairford, at the distance of two miles from Lechlade.
It is celebrated for its elegant church, containing a handsome painted window, founded by one John Tame, a merchant of London, in the fifteenth century, and a native of Fairford.
Tame was the captain of his own vessel, and captured in the high seas, when England was at war with Spain, a Spanish vessel bound to Rome, containing, among other valuable articles, a quantity of stained glass, intended as a present to the Pope.
These are the windows that at present adorn the church, and are generally considered as the work of Albert Durer.
The glass was taken out and buried during the civil wars, and so preserved from the violence of the bigots of that day, and when all danger was over, the windows were put up again, but not in the same places as before.
These windows, or compartments of windows, are twenty- eight in number, and chiefly represent biblical subjects.
Connoisseurs doubt whether the windows were the work of Albert Durer, notwithstanding the general belief, and the alleged opinion of Vandyck, who is reported, it is not known on what authority, to have said, that "the workmanship was so exquisite, no pencil could exceed it."
The church is visited by all travellers who pass in that direction, and a man is appointed to show the paintings for a gratuity, without which nothing is to be seen in England, if it has four walls to enclose it.
The church itself, independently of its windows, is a handsome specimen of the architecture of the age in which it was built.
It consists of a nave, chancel, and side-aisles, with a tower in the centre.
The interior is well finished, containing an elegant carved oak screen, surrounding the chancel.

Kempsford and Cricklade

Returning again to the Thames, we pass the large village of Kempsford, also containing a handsome church; near which there is a tradition, that John of Gaunt once had a residence; and from thence upwards, to Cricklade.
At the latter place the water is occasionally not above fourteen inches in depth, and so narrow at some places as to offer but little difficulty to a vigorous leaper.
It was once thought, that Cricklade was formerly called Greeklade, from a Greek college it is said to have possessed, and which was afterwards transferred to Oxford.
Camden gives the weight of his authority to demolish this opinion, and it is now considered, by well-informed antiquaries, to have derived its name from two British words, cricw and ladh, signifying a stony or a rocky country, as it is about here.
Cricklade is an inconsiderable place, though it was formerly notorious enough in the annals of elections, for the shameless venality of its inhabitants.
There are several places in the neighbourhood of Cricklade well deserving of a visit.
The ancient town of Cirencester, upon the Churn, from whence it derives its name; and the magnificent seat of Lord Bathurst at Oakley Park.
The pilgrim to the sources of the Thames will do well to leave the direct course of the Isis, as the people hereabouts persist in calling it, and follow the course of the Thames and Severn Canal towards Cirencester, and thus bring both those places within the circuit of his rambles.
Then returning to Cricklade, he may trace the narrow stream up to the hills. where it takes its rise, and drink the water at its fountain-head.

Cirencester

Cirencester is a clean, neat, quiet town, not so large or so important as it used to be, but still a very tidy, quiet, respectable place, put ting one in mind of a ci-devant beauty, who in the course of tell-tale years has lost the freshness of her charms, and is no longer a reigning toast, but has become a decent spinster; still good-looking, somewhat prudish, very precise in her personal appearance, and remarkably well-behaved.
Cirencester (its inhabitants, for brevity's sake, pronounce it something like the word "sister") boasts of its Roman origin, and is put down in Antoninus' Itinerary under the name of Durocornovium.
Remains of the Roman military way between it and Gloucester are still traceable.
The site of a great part of the former city, for it was a city once, though but a small town now, has been converted into pasture or garden lands, or corn-fields; and many remnants of antiquity have been at various times turned up by the plough or the spade, such as pieces of mosaic pavement, rings, intaglios, coins, and carved stones.
In the year 1723 an entire mosaic pavement was dug up, with a large quantity of coins.
We learn from Dr. Stukely, who bought several of the relics discovered here, that one Mr. Bishop, the owner of a garden in the town, dug into a vault, sixteen feet long and twelve broad, supported by square pillars of Roman brick, three feet and a half high.
Several other vaults of a similar form, but somewhat smaller, were discovered close by.
They were thought by the doctor to have been the foundation of a Roman temple, there having been found in the same place several stone shafts of pillars, six feet long, and immense bases of rough stone.
These, with the cornices very handsomely moulded and carved, with modillons, and the like ornaments, were converted into hog-troughs by some man who had no reverence for antiquity, and thought much more of his live pigs than of dead Romans.
Some of the stones of the bases were fastened together so strongly with cramps of iron that the workmen, failing in drawing them asunder, procured the aid of horses to accomplish the task.
Dr. Stukely had the front of his house paved with them.
It is supposed that the Emperor Constantine, son of a British lady, was crowned King of the Britons in this city.
It suffered severely several times during the wars of the Danes and the Saxons, as well as in the civil wars of the time of King Stephen.
Being a strong place, and seated on a commanding line of road, it was a position of some importance whenever the realm was convulsed by internal commotion; and in the dissensions of Henry III. and his Barons it was taken and retaken by one or the other party.
In the first year of the reign of Henry IV. it was the scene of events, which, in the hands of a romance writer, might be turned to good account.
The Dukes of Exeter and Surrey, Montague Earl of Salisbury, and others, adherents of the deposed King Richard II, formed a design to murder Henry IV. at a grand tournament at Windsor, to which they had invited him.
Their design being discovered by the Duke of Aumarle, one of the conspirators, to his father, the Duke of York, and by him to the King, the conspirators went from Windsor to Abingdon, Farringdon, and Cirencester, lead ing about with them a priest, named Maudelen, whom they represented to the country people as King Richard.
This man bore an extra-ordinary resemblance to Richard, then a prisoner in Pomfret Castle; and being in royal armour, with the crown upon his helmet, all the country round was deceived.
They were lodged in the abbey of Cirencester for some days, when, imagining that they were suspected by the people of the town, who kept a strict watch over all their proceedings, and stationed a strong guard at the abbey doors, the Duke of Exeter employed some of his soldiery to set fire to the town, that in the confusion that would ensue they might all make their escape.
The design failed; the flames were speedily extinguished, and the people of Cirencester were so enraged that they assembled in great crowds, broke open the abbey doors, seized the Dukes of Exeter and Surrey, and Lord Salisbury, and without form of trial of any kind, cut off their heads in the market place.
Their adherents, to the number of about one hundred, were made prisoners.
Twenty seven of them were beheaded in one day at Oxford, three at London, and one at Bristol.
King Henry, to reward the townsmen of Cirencester for the service they had done him, granted them all the goods of the deceased nobles and their adherents, with the exception of their money, plate, and jewels.
He also ordered, that every season four prime does should be sent to the men, and six bucks to the women of the town, together with a hogshead of choice wine.
He also granted the town a charter of incorporation, which it enjoyed till the reign of Elizabeth, when it was annulled.
Cirencester suffered some damage during the wars of the Revolution, and became a parliamentary garrison in the year 1642.
Prince Rupert took it by storm, and made upwards of a thousand prisoners.

Oakley Park, near this town, the seat of Earl Bathurst, was described by Pope as the "finest wood in England".
Addison, Gay, Pope, Swift, and many other of the literati of that day, were often the guests of Allen Lord Bathurst, the Mæcenas of his time.
To him Pope addressed his well-known epistle on the Use of Riches, more often quoted, perhaps, than any of his works, not even excepting his "Essay on Man."
The park is said to be twelve miles in circumference, and contains an ancient circular tumulus, called Grismond's Tower, so named from a Danish chieftain, conquered by King Alfred, and supposed to be buried here.
On opening it some years ago several urns were found, containing ashes and burnt bones.
In the park there is also a ruin called Alfred's Hall, where it is traditionally reported, that he signed a treaty with another Danish leader, named Gothrum.
The mansion is a spacious structure, and contains a good collection of paintings.

Thames Head

Within two miles of Cirencester is the source of the Thames - a clear fountain in a little rocky dell, known by the name of Thames Head.
This is the little infantine stream - so great a giant when it arrives at its full growth: What reflections we might make upon human affairs in general, from the mere sight of this oozing well; what a homily we might preach upon this text - the small beginnings of great things, and what encouragementmight be held out to humble genius from it.
Truly, the course of a river bears no bad comparison with the career of an able man, who makes his own fortune in the world.
How slight is his beginning! yet, how full of confidence he runs on in his career, dashing over some obstacles, and turning round others - obliged to take a tortuous course, that his waters may not be changed into an inland lake, or be dispersed in ponds over a marshy country; and that he may arrive at the sea of death, whither he must come at last, with a wealthy and powerful name!
See, too, how he gathers tribute as he passes - how smaller minds bear homage unto his, and are content to obey his impulses, and run with him in a mingled stream!
See, too, how by his well-acquired wealth he increases the wealth of others - how, by the judicious distribution of his capital, he affords employment, and consequent profit, to thousands.
Thus we have seen our Thames: here he is a little child at play, crawling timidly about, and ignorant of his own strength; by and by he becomes able to walk alone, as at Lechlade, where he is first navigable.
Still gaining strength, and increasing in stature, he becomes like a boy, lingering in quiet nooks, and in woody places, and leading a happy life of it.
Next we have him at Oxford, a youth at college - his mind filled with reminiscences of antiquity, and assuming a classical name which does not belong to him, half for frolic and half for ambition.
Next, emancipated from college, we have him turning courtier at Windsor - dallying in the consciousness of his youthful grace to gain a smile from royalty, and push his fortune in the world by means of royal favour.
This he soon discovers is an idle fancy; and his good sense tells him to trust to his own strength for success, and to make himself useful to the world at large, and not a mere hanger-on at a palace.
He therefore quits the court, widening and deepening as he journeys on; his mind expands, as it were, while his physical strength increases.
He now makes himself a reputation - his character is known over the world - he becomes concerned in mercantile speculations, in which he is universally successful, and so full of probity, that traders from all parts of the world give him unlimited credit.
They would as soon believe any monstrous improbability, as his failure or bankruptcy.
Now he is rich indeed; and his house (which may be called all London ) becomes the mart of the world, and thousands of merchant princes attend every day at his levee.
He spreads wealth wherever he goes; and a whole population live by him.
This is his prime of life - his busy period - and he goes on, full of years and honour, till he is swallowed up in the dark ocean of death!
The little dell, whence issues the gentle stream, is, in hot seasons, perfectly dry; but the drought that stops the supply at the fountain head, has but slight effect upon the course of the stream.
It has so many different feeders from various parts of the country, that at Lechlade and Cricklade it runs on its usual course, uninfluenced by the scarcity at the head.
There is an amusing story told of a simple cockney, who, on his way from Bristol to London, turned aside to visit the source of the river he was so proud of.
It was a warm summer; - there had been no rain for three weeks, and the spring was dried up: - "Good God!" said he, with an expression of the utmost alarm and sorrow, "what ruin this must cause at London!
Whatever will the poor people do for water!"and his busy fancy conjured up a direful picture of a thousand ills consequent upon the stoppage of the stream: no more ships arriving at London, laden with the wealth of the world - the bankruptcy of rich merchants - the shutting up of 'Change - the failure of the Bank of England - the anguish of ruined families - and the death of thousands in the agonies of thirst!
The Germans tell a similar story of a traveller who visited the springs of the Danube, and which, as we are upon this subject, may serve as a pendant to the story of our cockney.
The traveller in this case was a Swabian, and when ever the Germans wish to palm off a joke, a Swabian is sure to be the butt.
On noticing in what a small stream the water trickled at the source of that great river Danube, he formed the bold resolution of stopping it up!
He put his hand across it; and as he fancied the various cities upon its course deprived of their supply of water by his deed, he exclaimed, in the pride of his heart, "What will they say at Vienna?"

Having now, O reader, traced with thee this glorious river, from London upwards to its fountain head - having diverged with thee sometimes to the right hand and sometimes to the left, in search of memorials of history and antiquity, and pleasant recollections of biography, romance and poetry; having lingered in leafy woods, by flowery hedge-rows, and in enamelled meads, wherever it was likely we might find quiet and seclusion, and food for meditation; traced footpaths leading into lonely spots, and wandered into unfrequented places, in search of health for the body and amusement for the mind - we are now ready for another series of rambles in thy company, which we shall commence accordingly in our next chapter.

Thames Head, Mackay 1840



VOLUME II. CHAPTER III.
The Return to London. - The Shipping. - Gower the Poet. - Grave of Massinger. -
- Origin of Billingsgate. - Geoffry Chaucer and the Custom House. - The Prisoners of the Tower of London. -
- St. Katherine's Hospital and Docks. - The Lord Mayor and the Lion. - The London Docks. - The Poetry of Commerce. -
- The Thames Tunnel. - Wapping and Rotherhithe. - The Commercial Dock. - The Isle of Dogs. -

We proceed, in pursuance of our original plan, to follow the Thames to the sea, and note his memorabilia in that more important part of his course.
As London was our first point of departure, so it must be our second.
We must again take ship at London Bridge; and as we sail through the narrow passage left by the all but innumerable vessels that are moored on either side, take a longer view, and consider at greater length than when our course was upwards, the mercantile glories of England.
It is a trite remark, that the world in general does not appreciate either the beauties or the advantages which are continually in its sight.
How few of the inhabitants of London are sufficiently aware how truly magnificent in every respect is the spectacle of this forest of shipping.
Even to the eye how picturesque are these black hulls, reposing in the water, with their taper and elegant masts, adorned with the banners of every civilized nation, pointing upwards to the sky.
But how much more beautiful the prospect becomes, when we reflect, how great the cultivation of the arts of peace must have been before such an assemblage of the engines of commerce could ever have been collected together.
Were it not for these vessels, and the myriads that crowd the ports of England, how low we should be in the scale of nations, how little would be the progress of manufacture, of science, of art, and of literature.
These heavy-looking hulls are the depositories of the national wealth, which they bring from every nook of the globe, to be afterwards distributed into the humblest cottages of the realm.
By their means the ploughman and the artisan of England fare better than the kings and nobles of a barbarous age; having a more comfortable dwelling to keep out the wind and rain, and sleeping upon a softer bed than the great men of antiquity.
By their means also the shopkeeper enjoys luxuries which all the wealth of a feudal chief could never have purchased; and new wants are continually created, all tending, in the effort to supply them, to raise mankind in the scale of civilization.
But before we sail downwards with the tide, and get out of sight of the mass of buildings composing ancient London, we must not forget that many of them solicit our attention.
We shall have more to say of the shipping and its wonders when we arrive at the docks.

The New London Bridge (1828-)

London Bridge, Mackay 1840

The approaches to the new bridge have been the means of clearing away many old historical houses on both sides of the river; but after all there is little to be regretted.
Narrow, crooked, and filthy streets have been pulled down, and replaced by rows of palaces; and a stranger to London, who had seen it twelve years ago, would hardly recognize it again in these places.
The old public buildings, however, have been suffered to remain.
Of these the most conspicuous is the world-renowned Monument, built by Sir Christopher Wren in commemoration of the great fire of 1666.

St. Saviour's, Southwark

On the other side, in Southwark, stands the venerable gothic church of St. Saviour, with the Ladye Chapel adjoining, which has lately been restored, by a public subscription, from the decay into which it was rapidly falling.
The church abounds in curious monuments of the olden time.
One of them is to the memory of John Gower the poet, who shares with Chaucer the merit of being one of the fathers of English verse.
He is, perhaps, the earliest bard who makes mention of the Thames.
He relates, in one of his quaint neglected poems, that being on the river in his boat, he met the royal barge containing Henry IV.

As I came nighe
Out of my bote, when he me syghe (saw)
He bade me come into his barge,
And when I was with him at large,
Amongest other thynges said,
He had a charge upon me laid.

Gower was a rich man for a poet, and contributed large sums to the rebuilding of the church.
It has been said, that it was wholly built with his money; but this is erroneous.
Lest any modern stripling, too fond of the unprofitable society of the Muses, should take courage by the reflection that one of the earliest of English poets was able to build a church, we present him with the following epigram, which will explain the mystery.

This church was rebuilt by Gower the rhymer,
Who in Richard's gay court was a fortunate climber;
Should any one start, 'tis but right he should know it,
Our wight was a lawyer as well as a poet.

He was a "fortunate climber," not only in the court of Richard II. but of the Lancaster who deposed him.
Like other poets, he worshipped the rising star; and his reward was, to use his own words, that the new King "laid a charge upon him."
It is commonly supposed that he was laureate to both these princes; but the office, if he ever held it, was merely honorary.

He was buried in this church [St. Saviour's], where his monument may still be seen.
From its proximity to the Globe Theatre and others on Bankside, many of the players of the times of Shakspeare who resided in the neighbouring alleys, found a final resting-place in this church when their career was over.
Among others, unhappy Philip Massinger, steeped in poverty to the lips, died in some adjacent hovel, and was buried like a pauper at the expense of the parish.
No stone was placed upon the spot; but in the parish register this entry was made - "March 20th, 1639-40, buried, Philip Massinger, a STRANGER."
The church is sometimes called St. Mary Overy's, or St. Mary's-over-the-river, by which name it was founded before the Conquest, for a priory, to the superior of which belonged, before the building of the bridge, the ferry over the river.

Billingsgate

Leaving this ancient building and its poets, we turn to the other side of the stream, where Billingsgate, a more renowned spot, claims our attention.
The contrast is certainly great enough between poetry and Billingsgate.
Topographers, however, cannot help these violent transitions; they do not make their subject, but take it as they find it.
Billingsgate is a spot famous wherever English literature is cultivated, or its language spoken.
The name has become synonymous over nearly one half of the civilized world with foul and violent language.
It is the chief fish-market of London, and the peculiar phraseology, and the frequent quarrels of its female merchants, have procured for it this unenviable notoriety.
The ward in which it is situated, and from which it takes its name, is one of the oldest in the city.
Fabian, Grafton, and others, maintain it to have been built by and named after a British king, called Belyn, who reigned more than three hundred years before the Christian era.
According to tradition, there was a pinnacle over the gate, surmounted by a vessel of burnished brass, in which the ashes of King Belyn were inclosed after his body had been burned, in conformity with the usage of those times.
The place appears to have been known as a fish-market so early as the time of King Ethelred in 1016.
In the reign of Edward I. an ordinance was published, regulating the prices at which the fish might be sold.
It may not be uninteresting to cite a few of the items.
Twenty herrings were to be sold for a penny; a dozen of the best soles for threepence; the best mackerel a penny each in Lent, and one half penny out of Lent.
Salmon and pike were exceedingly dear.
From Christmas to Easter the price of the best salmon was five shillings, and after Easter three shillings.
A pike was sold for the lawyer's fee, six and eightpence.
Eels, lampreys, and oysters were cheap; a gallon of oysters being sold for twopence, and eels and lampreys from sixpence to eightpence a hundred.
Some further regulations with respect to Billingsgate were published in the reign of Edward III, who claimed a variety of taxes from every ship that discharged its cargo at that place.

The Custom House

Custom House, Mackay 1840

Adjoining Billingsgate is the Custom House, a long handsome building, which looks like what it is.
How few of the thousands whom business attracts to it every day know, or knowing, remember, that one of the first comptrollers of the customs for the port of London, probably the very first, was no less a personage than Geoffry Chaucer.
This office, a very lucrative one, was bestowed upon him by King Edward III. in the year 1375.
The articles chiefly under the superintendence of the poet were wool and hides, with a proviso that he should personally execute the office, and keep the accounts of it with his own hand.
In the year after Chaucer's appointment great peculation was discovered in other branches of the customs, and many of the offenders were discovered and prosecuted.
Not a word of complaint, however, was ever breathed against the father of English poetry.
His biographers say that he was not continued in his office after the accession of Richard II. owing to the jealousy with which the King regarded all the friends and dependants of John of Gaunt, the great artificer of Chaucer's fortunes.
But when that ambitious prince regained the favour he had lost, he was not unmindful of his friend and brother, for they married two sisters, and procured him a pension, and the annual grant of a pipe of wine from the customs of London.
There appears to have been no Custom house, properly so called, in the time of Chaucer, for in the year 1385, after his dismissal - if dismissed he were, which is a very doubtful point - John Churchman, one of the Sheriffs of London, in consequence of the general complaint of the merchants, erected a convenient house for the collection of the customs.
But not withstanding this, vessels discharged their cargoes at various other places on the river, and so continued to do for nearly two hundred years.
In the year 1559, an act was passed to compel all merchant vessels to proceed with their goods for inspection at the New Custom-house, which was built expressly for the purpose.
This edifice was destroyed in the great fire of 1666, and another was shortly afterwards constructed at an expense of nearly ten thousand pounds.
This building met the same fate as its predecessor, having been burned to the ground with a hundred and twenty houses in Thames Street, in January 1714.
It was again rebuilt at the expense of the government, and lasted till February 1814, when fire for the third time destroyed it.
A larger and more commodious edifice was then begun, which was not completed until 1817.
The site was formerly part of the bed of the river, and great expense was incurred in making a sure foundation.
The builder contracted for a hundred and sixty seven thousand pounds, and twelve thousand pounds additional for the piling; but, when completed, the total charge amounted to three hundred and forty-six thousand pounds, and twenty-four thousand pounds for the piling.
Notwithstanding all this care and expense, the, foundation was insecure.
The long room gave way in 1824, when considerable damage was done.
A new front upon a safer foundation, was shortly afterward completed, under the superintendence of Mr. Smirke.

The Tower of London

And now we have arrived at

The towers of Julius, London's lasting shame,
By many a foul and midnight murder fed;

at the place which, of all others upon the Thames, merits the most notice.
Could we by any means read the true and intimate history of this solemn edifice; could the dumb walls speak, and tell us of the groans they had listened to, the prayers they had heard, the ravings of remorse, or the wail of innocence that had echoed within them when not a living soul was near; could we force them to deliver up their awful secrets of unmerited suffering, blighting tyranny, and of guilt, misery, and despair in all their various shapes; how harrowing would be the recital, and what hitherto unopened pictures of the human heart would be spread out before us to cheat us of our sympathy for thousands who are now for ever beyond its reach.
The Tower of London, of all other dungeons in the world, would, perhaps, tell the saddest tale.
The dens of the Inquisition may have witnessed more suffering; St. Angelo of Rome, or the Bastile of Paris may have had more victims; but it is not for the mere greatness of suffering, or the number of sufferers, that men in general weep; it is for the glory, or the patience, or the beauty of a few victims that they shed most tears.
The same individuals who hear with callous indifference of the slaughter of ten thousand men, or the burning of twenty cities, melt into tears for the misery of one.
Hence the peculiar interest that attaches to the captives of the Tower, including so many who have left a never-dying fame, whose names are household words to us, and the leading incidents of whose career are engraven upon our memory.
Who does not remember the sad story of Wallace, imprisoned in these cells?
of Henry VI, Whose place was filled, whose sceptre wrung from him, Whose balm washed off wherewith he was anointed?
Of Clarence drowned in the Malmsey butt?
of the royal babes smothered by the orders of the bloody Richard?
of the ambitious Bohun, Duke of Buckingham?
of the conscientious Sir Thomas More?
the tender, and innocent Anne Boleyn?
the guilty Catherine Howard?
the mild and accomplished Cromwell, Earl of Essex?
the chivalrous Earl of Surrey?
the proud Duke of Somerset?
the quiet and erudite Lady Jane Gray?
her sad spouse, Lord Dudley?
the pious martyrs, Cranmer, Ridley, and Latimer?
the amorous, and high vaulting Earl of Essex?
the accomplished Raleigh?
and the forlorn Arabella Stuart?
But we cannot go through the long list of victims, which stretches out like Banquo's progeny.
Crowned and mitred and coronetted spectres start up before our mental eye, in long array, making us, as we reflect upon their fate, thank God that the "good old times" are gone for ever, and that we live in an age when law reigns paramount, and the axe is idle, except for the hewing of wood and the breaking of granite.

The Tower was not always used as a dungeon.
It was until the time of Elizabeth, a royal palace, in which it was customary for the sovereigns to spend the first few days after their accession.
Much difference of opinion has existed as to whether it were built by Julius Cesar.
It seems now to be generally acknowledged by those who are the best informed, that a fortress was erected upon the spot by the Romans, but that the present edifice, or great White Tower, is the work of William the Conqueror.
Rufus expended large sums in adding to and fortifying the building. Henry III. imitated bis example, and taxed the Londoners very sorely for the purpose.
In his reign, the outer walls fell down, it is supposed, by an earthquake, "for the which chance, "say the old historians, "the citizens of London were nothing sorry".
A brick wall was built by Edward IV. as well as that part of the structure known by the name of the Lion's Tower.
The store-house was begun by James I, and completed in the reign of William III.
The various bulwarks are named The Lion's Tower, Middle Tower, Bell Tower, Beauchamp Tower, Dwelling Tower, Flint Tower, Bowyer Tower, Martin Tower, Castle Tower, Broad Arrow Tower, Salt Tower, Well Tower, Cradle Tower, Lantern Tower, St. Thomas's Tower, Hall Tower, Bloody Tower, and Wakefield Tower.

It is now twenty years since it has been used as a state prison: the last prisoners being Thistlewood and his accomplices, committed in 1820.
It is now chiefly famous for its beautiful armoury; its Jewel Room, containing the regalia of England and Scotland; and its Record Office, in the Wakefield Tower, containing the parliamentary rolls from the reign of King John to that of Richard III, a survey of the manors of England, a register of the ancient tenures of all the lands, a perambulation of forests, a collection of charters granted to colleges and corporations, and various other state papers.
It formerly contained a menagerie, but the wild beasts have been removed within the last eight or nine years to the Zoological Gardens in the Regent's Park.

St Katharine's Dock

At the distance only of a few yards from the Tower, the stranger's eye will not fail to notice a large unseemly stack of buildings, numbered and lettered like a constable of police, and overlooking all the neighbouring structures by half its height.
It forms the range of warehouses of the St. Katherine's Dock Company, and, with the docks adjoining, was opened with great pomp on the 25th of October 1828.
The docks cover an area of nearly twenty-four acres, of which eleven and a half form the wet-docks.
The canal leading from the river to the great basin is only one hundred and ninety feet long and forty-five broad, but is of such a depth, that ships of seven hundred tons burthen may enter at any time of the tide.
The expenses of the undertaking amounted to the immense sum of one million seven hundred thousand pounds; and during the year and a half that the works were in progress, two thousand five hundred workmen were daily employed.
Upwards of twelve hundred houses, in one of the most wretched parts of London, were pulled down to provide space, and among them the venerable church and hospital of St. Katherine.
Perhaps none but the antiquary, so enthusiastic as to love not only the fine wrecks but the rubbish of past ages, will regret the demolition of this district; especially when it has been applied to uses so beneficial to the trade of the first commercial emporium of the world.
There are, nevertheless, some incidents connected with its history, which it may be in teresting to record.
St. Katherine's hospital was founded by Matilda, wife of King Stephen, and dedicated to the patron saint in pure and perpetual alms for the repose of the souls of her son Baldwin, and daughter Matilda, who were buried in her life-time in the church of Trinity Priory.
She reserved to herself the right of nominating the master or custos of the hospital upon every vacancy, a right which has ever since been exercised by the queens consort of England.
Elianor, queen of Henry III, was not satisfied with so small a jurisdiction.
Offended at many abuses which had crept into the administration of the hospital, and desirous of wresting it altogether from the control of the prior and canons of the Holy Trinity, in which it had been vested by its original foundress, she instituted proceedings in the civil and ecclesiastical courts to dispossess them.
She was long unsuccessful in her object, but she persevered, and after many struggles and great expense, so intimidated the prior and canons, and so wore out their patience by vexatious prosecutions, that they were glad to surrender their rights into her hands.
She there upon dissolved the hospital in the year 1268, and founded another with the same name and for similar purposes, but to be governed in a different manner.
According to tradition, it was in this building that Raymond Lulli, the shining light of the Hermetic philosophy, took up his abode when he was invited to England by King Edward II. to make gold for him out of brass and iron.
It is not certain however, that that alchymist was ever in England.
There was an other Raymond, a Jew of Tarragona, whom some writers have mistaken for Raymond Lulli, and who had an apartment in the Tower of London, where he tried some experiments in the prevalent delusion of gold making.
In the church of St. Katherine Cree, removed with the hospital, to which it was an adjunct, was buried the famous painter, Hans Holbein, the protege of Erasmus and Sir Thomas More, and much employed by Henry VIII. and Edward VI.
For nearly two centuries a sermon was annually preached here under rather remarkable circumstances.
Sir John Gayer, once Lord Mayor of London, was shipwrecked on the coast of Africa on his return to Europe after a successful adventure to the East.
While bewailing his fate upon the shore, he perceived a huge lion making his way towards him, on which he fell upon his knees, and prayed fervently that God would deliver him.
The animal, strange to say, turned round after taking a good view of him, intending perhaps to eat him another day, and a ship arriving in sight shortly afterwards, perceived the signal of the merchant, and carried him to Europe.
On his return to London, he placed the sum of £200 in the hands of trustees, the interest of it to be applied for ever in the purchase of bread for the poor, and twenty shillings annually to be paid to the minister of St. Katherine's upon the 10th of October, the day of his deliverance, for preaching a sermon in commemoration of that event, and the mercy of God towards him.
Upon the death of Sir Herbert Taylor in 1839, the last Master of the hospital, some misunderstanding arose as to whether a queen dowager preserved the same rights to the appointment as she enjoyed when a queen consort.
It was decided that the right expired with her husband, and is now in consequence merged in the Crown.
The hospital has been removed to the Regent's Park since the demolition of the old edifice.

It was somewhere in this district, the exact spot, alas! unknown, that the author of that divine poem "The Faerie Queene" was born.
We indulge the hope that some happy rummager among ancient manuscripts, will yet discover the name of the street that was the birth-place of so great a man as Edmund Spenser.

The Pool of London

We are now fairly in the middle of that narrow strip of water, left free for the navigation by the innumerable vessels on either side, which is called the Pool.
To the left of us lies Wapping - low, dirty, smelling strong of pitch, and renowned in the songs of Dibdin; and to the right, Bermondsey and Rotherhithe, both well entitled to share with Wapping this character of filthiness.
But squalid and mean as they look, they teem with wealth, no inconsiderable portion of it their own, and the remainder warehoused with them for the convenience of those who dwell higher up the stream.

The London Docks

The London Docks alone, which may be said to form part of Wapping, contain wealth enough to purchase the fee simple of a principality.
They cover a space of nearly sixty acres, and were about three years in construc tion, having been commenced in 1802, and completed in 1805.
The great dock is twenty nine feet deep, covers twenty- four acres of ground, and is capable of containing two hundred sail of merchantmen at a time.
Mighty indeed is the trade of London, as the books of this and the other docks might show.
There is sublimity in commercial accounts when the items are millions of gallons of wine or brandy, millions of hogshead of sugar, or tens of millions of pounds of tea.
The quantity of wine always in bond in these docks averages, it is computed, five millions of gallons; and the cellarage which contains them would, in earlier ages, have been esteemed a wonder of the world.
The average quantity of pepper in bond, is estimated at ten millions of pounds; of tobacco, unmanufactured, twenty three millions of pounds; and of tea, at the East India Docks, further down the river, fifty one millions of pounds.
The value of the latter alone, at the very lowest calculation, is £5,000,000 sterling.
What a pyramid it would make were it piled in a heap! what bushes must have been planted, and flourished, and been stripped of their leaves to produce it! and what an area it would cover if spread abroad upon the ground!
The wine annually brought into London, this huge den of living men, would form a lake where ships of war might ride; the rum, another; and the brandy a canal to join them together.
The tobacco, were it distributed, would provide every man, woman, and child in our islands with a pound of poisonous weed; and the indigo annually imported would dye father Thames in all his course from Cotteswold to Gravesend, as blue as the skies above him.
The number of ships and men that are employed in bringing all these commodities from every part of the world into the Thames is computed at nearly four thousand of the former, and seventy thousand of the latter, in addition to eighteen or twenty thousand coasting and smaller vessels which annually enter the port of London, laden with coal and grain, and other indigenous commodities, employing, at the lowest calculation, six men to each vessel.
Besides these, nearly ten thousand men are constantly employed in load ing and discharging vessels, and half that number of watermen in navigating barges, wherries, and other small craft.
The gross amount of custom dues paid on the enormous traffic of London was, in the year 1834, no less than £8,692,298 sterling, and in the following years until 1839, about £9,000,000.

A traveller proceeding down or up the Thames does not see one quarter of the navies engaged in this surprising amount of trade.
Though on each side of him vessels, apparently innumerable, are moored, choking up the very stream by their multitudes, there are still greater numbers of ships, richer and more bulky, almost hidden from the view in the snug basins of the docks, stretching downwards into the heart of thickly-peopled districts, and bringing occupation and subsistence to many a swarming hive of amphibious labourers, living half upon the land and half upon the water.
The man tempted, for the first time, to dive into these far recesses, is astonished at the number of canals and drawbridges, and basins, that meet his sight; at the odour of tar and pitch, that subdues every other by its poignancy, and at the clink of hammers, the creak ing of cranes and pullies, the loud "Yo, yo!" or the reckless curse of the sailor, which are the only sounds that smite upon his ear.
The immediate vicinity of the docks upon the Middlesex shore of the Thames would form a city of itself; and such a city! a city of floating palaces, in which the only spires would be taper masts; and the houses on land mere adjuncts and outhouses to those upon the water; a city, of which the inhabitant of the more lordly districts of the west could hardly form a conception, without a personal visit.
The very population is different to that in other parts of London, and is composed of a motley multitude of all hues and nations.
There may be seen lounging the slim, but fierce, Lascar; the brown Malay; the heavy Russian; the swarthy negro; with a less noticeable crowd of Americans, Hollanders, Germans, Swedes, Frenchmen, and Portuguese, who all seem in the streets to have nothing else to do but to swear, and sputter, and smoke, and drink, but who, once upon ship-board, are the very models of bustling activity and cheerful labour.

The Thames Tunnel

But the glories of our river are not only to be found upon its bosom and on either side, but underneath it.
The mass of its waters rolls over a work, which is one of the most remarkable instances of what the ingenuity and enterprise of man can accomplish.
This is the Tunnel, now almost completed, the admiration of civilized Europe, and to many a stranger from afar the most wonderful of all the curiosities of England, and the first place on his memorandum-book to be visited and examined.
Some years ago a still bolder undertaking was projected: a tunnel underneath the Thames at Gravesend, where the stream is considerably wider, and the influence of the ocean tides more perceptible.
It was commenced on the Gravesend side in the year 1798, and some slight progress was made; but the difficulties were found so great that the plan was abandoned.
The next tunnel was projected at Rotherhithe, in 1809, by Mr. R. Trevethick, and was intended for foot-passengers only.
Some progress was made with the works, but, for want of encouragement, they were abandoned; and nothing more was heard of a tunnel until the year 1823, when the present undertaking was suggested by Mr. Brunel.
An act of Parliament to form the company was granted in 1824; the foundation stone was laid with great ceremony on the 2nd of March 1825, and the works have ever since been continued, and have now [ 1840 ] reached beyond low-water mark on the opposite shore, so that the most difficult and dangerous portion has been completed.
But this result has not been obtained without accident and loss of life.
Father Thames has more than once rolled the large volume of his waters into the excavation; the first time in May 1827, when there were upwards of one hundred and twenty workmen in the shaft, who all escaped; and a second time in January in the following year, when six poor men were drowned.
On both occasions the damage was soon repaired: bales of cotton or wool, and loads of impermeable clay were deposited in the bed of the river where the irruption took place, the leak stopped, the invading waters pumped out, and the works resumed.
A third and a fourth time the Thames; - not like a strong marauder who breaks wildly through the fences set up to restrain him, but like an insidious foe; - has penetrated and oozed through the soft strata of his bed, and filled the tunnel.
On the last occasion, in November 1837, one man, who had drunk too freely of strong drink, and had fallen asleep in the shaft, was drowned.
All the other workmen, being awake and attentive, received due notice of the impending deluge, and escaped without any difficulty.
The opening to the tunnel is on the Surrey shore, a little to the eastward of the church of St. Mary, Rotherhithe.
The tunnel is thirty-eight feet in width, with a double road for carriages going and returning, with pavements for foot-passengers.
The height of the arch is twenty feet, and the crown of it in its whole extent is protected by masonry the most solid that the art of man can make; and there is a thickness of fifteen feet of earth between it and the bed of the river.
The length of the tunnel, when completed, will be thirteen hundred feet.

Execution Dock, Limehouse, Stepney

Again, upon the bosom of the river, we pass on the left, Execution Dock, noted as the spot where pirates were formerly hung, and Limehouse, full of sea-faring people, and mentioned by Shakspeare in his Henry VIIIth, as famous for its blackguards, and by Ben Jonson also for the same reason.
Beyond, we catch sight of the steeple of Stepney, to which parish all seamen in the merchant service pay their monthly threepence for poor-rates, to raise a fund for the maintenance of such poor as are born at sea, and who are entitled to a settlement in Stepney, provided they have not obtained another anywhere else.
On the wall of the church was formerly a stone, affixed there in the year 1663, which, if we may believe the inscription upon it, once formed a part of the renowned Carthage.
It has since been removed into the vestry.
Stepney Church is noted for a monument to the memory of one Dame Rebecca Berry, who died in 1696, and who is supposed to have been the heroine of the once popular old ballad of "The Cruel Knight, or the Fortunate Farmer's Daughter."
In the reign of King Edward I, a parliament was summoned to meet at Stepney, in the house of Henry Walleis, then Mayor of London.
The Barons, who chiefly composed the assembly, demanded of the King the confirmation of the charter, which he had promised them for their aid in his Scottish wars.
After certain delay, the King agreed, but when the document was ready for signature, the King inserted the words, "the rights of our crown saved ", upon which the Barons broke up the conference and went away.
Edward not wishing to offend such dangerous personages, sent for them again to Stepney some weeks afterwards, as we learn from Stowe, and struck out the obnoxious words, which, had they been allowed to remain, would have afforded continual occasion of dispute and ill-feeling.

Bermondsey, Rotherhithe

On the other side of the river are Bermondsey and Rotherhithe, or, as the latter is more commonly called, Redriff, the first place where docks were constructed for the convenience of the commerce of London.
The great dry dock here has existed for nearly two centuries.
The great wet dock was finished in the year 1700.
After the bursting of the South Sea Bubble, in 1720, the directors took a lease of this dock, where their ships, engaged in the whale fisheries of Greenland, landed their unfragrant blubber.
The docks are still used for the same purposes, and are known by the name of the Commercial Docks.
Adjoining are the Great East Country Dock, and several smaller ones.
It was at Rotherhithe that King Canute is said to have begun his famous trench to Vauxhall, for the purpose of besieging London.
The channel through which the tide of the Thames was turned in the year when London bridge was first built of stone, is supposed by Stowe and other writers to have taken the same course.
In the parochial church of St. Mary, Rotherhithe, is buried one with whose name and affecting history all the youth of England are familiar - Lee Boo, Prince of the Pellew Is land, who died of the small pox in 1780, at the early age of twenty, after he had learned the manners, and studied the civilization of England, and formed the praiseworthy design of introducing them into his own country.

The Isle of Dogs

Still amid the multitude of ships, we arrive at the Isle of Dogs, famous for its spacious and convenient docks, for the reception of vessels engaged in the trade of the West Indies.
They cover a space of two hundred and four acres, and comprise an Import and an Export Dock, the former covering an area of thirty and the latter of twenty four acres, and from twenty to twenty -nine feet deep.
The warehouses are large, and adapted for the reception, to use a sailor's expression, of "the mountains of sugar and the rivers of rum ", that are required for the tea and the grog of our immense population.
A canal runs right across the neck of land formed by the winding of the river, and completes the circumference of water, which justifies the appellation of island.
It is three quarters of a mile long, and two hundred feet wide, and was excavated at the expense of government, in the year 1799, under the powers of an act of Parliament for improving the port of London.
It is a great convenience to vessels of heavy tonnage, as by its means they avoid the tedious navigation round the Isle of Dogs, about four times the distance.
The Isle of Dogs is thought to derive its name from having been the place where the King's hounds were kept in the days of Henry VIII.
This place acquired some notoriety in the year 1835, as the spot where the recruits for the British Auxiliary Legion in Spain assembled prior to their embarkation, and studied a little of the art of war which they were so soon to practise.
They were contemptuously called the Isle o' Doggians.

Cuckold's Point

Before we pass Rotherhithe, on the opposite side, we must not omit to point out to the reader's notice, Cuckold's Point, with the pair of horns affixed to the top of a pole.
There is a legend connected with this matter, which we shall relate when we arrive at Charlton, a few miles further down the stream.



VOLUME II CHAPTER IV.
Deptford. - The Victualling Office. - The Dock -Yard. - John Evelyn and Peter the Great. -
- Peter and the Quakers. - The river Ravensbourne. - Tradition of Julius Cesar. -
- Early History of Greenwich and its Palace of Placentia. - Coronation of Anne Boleyn. -
- Festivities at Greenwich during the Reign of Elizabeth. - Flattery of the Poets.

A cottage covered with ivy, just before we arrive at Deptford, marks the boundary between the counties of Kent and Surrey.
Adjoining is Deptford Dock-Yard, founded by Henry VIII. and es teemed one of the most complete repositories for naval stores in Europe.
The yard covers about thirty acres of ground, and contains every convenience for making, repairing, and fitting out ships-of-the-line.
Artificers in wood and in iron have here large ranges of workshops and store-houses, where the hammer and the axe are scarcely ever idle, even in peace, but where, in time of war, they are plied incessantly in the construction of those floating bulwarks for which England is renowned, and which carry a hundred and twenty guns and a thousand men, to guard her shores from the invader, or to bear her fame with her victories to the remotest seas of the ocean.
The number of work men employed here during the war was about two thousand; but it has since been reduced at least one-half.
The Victualling Office for the navy adjoins the Dock-Yard.
The site was purchased by the government in 1745, from the family of Evelyn, and a handsome range of buildings erected.
They were burned down four years afterwards with most of their valuable stores.
The present structure, upon a much more extensive plan than its predecessor, was immediately commenced.
It contains storehouses of various kinds, a spacious cooperage and brewhouse, houses for curing meat and fish, slaughter-houses, bake-houses, and other buildings, including residences for the principal and many subordinate officers, among whom are the clerk of the cheque, the hoy taker, the clerk of the brew house, the clerk of the cutting house, the clerk of the dry stores, the chief brewer, and the chief baker.

In the river opposite was formerly moored the Golden Hind, the vessel in which Drake sailed round the world.
Queen Elizabeth paid him a visit on board this vessel in the year 1581, upon which occasion she conferred the honour of knighthood upon her subject, who had conferred more honour upon her reign and nation, than it was possible for her or any other potentate to bestow upon him in return.
An immense concourse of people assembled on both sides of the river to catch a glimpse of their sovereign; and a small wooden bridge, on which were stationed about two hundred people, broke down, and they were all precipitated into the river.
Happily they were all saved.
The Queen had passed over it a few minutes previously, and the rush of people caused it to break.
But the most interesting circumstance connected with the Dock-Yard of Deptford is, that it was the residence for a short period of the great northern reformer, the Czar Peter.
The Czar being wearied of the monotony of London, sick of its crowds, and disgusted with the rudeness of the people, who forced themselves upon him, and paid money to the servants for permission to see him feeding "like any other wild beast ", and anxious moreover to see the dock-yards of England, the chief cause of his journey to our shores, bethought himself of taking a house at Deptford.
Sayes' Court, immediately adjoining the dock, the property of the celebrated John Evelyn, so well known for his love of trees, was at that time rented by Captain, afterwards Admiral Benbow, and his term of occupancy being near its expiration, the government made arrangements that it should be taken for the Czar.
Poor Evelyn had often complained of Captain Benbow that he was a very bad tenant, that he was not polite, that he did not take sufficient care of his darling shrubberies and neat hedges; but little did he think when he agreed that the Imperial Muscovite should succeed him, what a change for the worse he was making, and what a fell destroyer and Vandal among shrubs he was admitting to his grounds.
Scarcely was the Czar installed, when the work of destruction commenced.
A door-way was broken through the boundary wall of the dock, that he might pass at once from Sayes' Court to the yard, where, by the by, as everybody knows, he spent a great deal of his time looking at the workmen, talking to them, working with them, and perfecting himself in the business of a ship-builder.
But though he was a builder of ships, he was a destroyer of plants, a knocker down of holly hedges, a rude trampler upon gooseberry bushes, and one that cared not for lilies and roses.
Sport to him, but almost death to his philosophic landlord, were the doings at Sayes' Court.
In the first place, the Czar required exercise, and as a garden was the very spot for it, he amused himself every morning by trundling a wheelbarrow through a gap which he made in the very hedge of holly that was dearest of all others to the heart of John Evelyn.
But though he might disfigure, he could not destroy it; it was too strong for him; - too well made to be trampled down; - a circumstance which Evelyn thus commemorated in his "Sylva," after he had got rid of the intruder.
"Is there under the heavens," said he, with mingled melancholy and triumph, "any more glorious and refreshing object of the kind, than an impregnable hedge of about four hundred feet in length, nine feet high, and five in diameter, which I can still show in my ruined garden at Sayes' Court (thanks to the Czar of Muscovy) at any time of the year, glittering with its armed and variegated leaves, the taller standards at ordinary distances blushing with their natural coral? It mocks the rudest assaults of the weather, beasts, or hedge-breakers, et illum nemo impune lacessit!"
It does not appear that the Czar ever found out the truth of the last observation, or that it could apply to him at all, unless he were scratched by the good man's brambles.
He did just as he pleased, and no remonstrances were ever made, for it was part of the English hospitality shown him by the government, that they paid for all the damage he occasioned, knowing well that it was not done wantonly, but from the nature and habits of the man.
The house did not fare better than the garden. Evelyn 's servant, who seems to have been a sort of spy in his master's interest upon the actions of the Czar, thus wrote to him after Peter had taken up his abode in that once clean and comfortable mansion.
"There is a house full of people right nasty.
The Czar lies next your library, and dines in the parlour next your study.
He dines (twice a day) at ten o'clock and six at night, is very seldom at home a whole day, very often in the King's yard, or by water, dressed in several dresses.
The King is expected there this day: the best parlour is pretty clean for him to be entertained in.
The King pays for all he has."
Though Saye's Court was let empty to the Czar, and furnished for him by William III, and though he only occupied it for three weeks, a surveyor, appointed by the King, reckoned, in conjunction with Evelyn's gardener, that the damage done to his house and grounds was to the amount of a hundred and fifty pounds, which sum, it appears from Evelyn, was afterwards paid by the King.

Evelyn, in his Diary, under date of the 3rd of June 1658, mentions, that a large whale was killed in the Thames opposite his house: - "A large whale," says he, "was taken betwixt my land butting on the Thames and Greenwich, which drew an infinite concourse to see it, by water, horse, coach, and on foot, from London, and all parts.
It appeared first below Greenwich, at low water, for at high water it would have destroyed all the boats.
After a long conflict, it was destroyed with a harping iron, struck in the head, out of which spouted blood and water by two tunnels; and after a horrid groan, it ran quite on shore, and died.
Its length was 58 foot, height 16, black-skinned like coach-leather, very small eyes, great tail, only two small fins, a peaked snout, and a mouth so wide that divers men might have stood upright in it; no teeth, but swathed the slime only as through a grate of that bone which we call whalebone; the throat yet so narrow as would not have admitted the least of fishes."
While at Saye's Court, the Czar received a visit from the great William Penn, who came from Stoke Pogis to see him, accompanied by several other Quakers.
Penn and he conversed together in the Dutch language; and the Czar conceived from his manners and conversation, such favourable notions of that peaceful sect, that during his residence at Deptford he very often attended the Quaker-meetings, conducting himself, say his biographers, "with great decorum and condescension, changing seats, and sitting down, and standing up, as he could best accommodate others, although he could not understand a word of what was said."
But the chief pleasure of Peter, when he was not in the dockyard, was to sail about in a small-decked boat on the Thames, accompanied by his favourite Menzikoff, and three or four others of his suite, whom he instructed in the art of managing a boat, he himself generally acting as the helmsman.
After spending five or six hours at this work, they used to repair to a public house in Great Tower Street, near Tower Hill, where they smoked their pipes, and fuddled themselves on beer and brandy.
The landlord, flattered by the preference given to his house by his royal guest, had his head painted and put up as his sign.
It remained till the year 1808, when a virtuoso, taking a fancy to it, gave the landlord a new sign, copied from the original, in exchange for it, where it remains to the present day.
Evelyn was at this time a hale, hearty old man, in the seventy-seventh year of his age.
His son, also named John Evelyn, and a man of great literary accomplishments, and one of the commissioners of the revenue for Ireland, died at Saye's Court, the year after the Czar left it.
He was imbued with tastes similar to his father's, and translated a poem on gardens from the Latin of Renatus Rapin.
He also translated the Life of Alexander the Great, from Plutarch.
He died in his forty-fifth year.
His father lived to eighty-six.
No traces now remain of the house and gardens of this family.
The former was pulled down in the year 1728, and the parish work house now stands upon its site.
And as for the garden, time, and the neglect, or convenience of successive ages, have proved enemies to it, more rude than the Czar.
Part of it now belongs to the Government, and is covered by the slaughter-houses of the Victualling Office; and on the small remainder potatoes and cabbages have taken the place of the impregnable holly-hedges and vistas of tall trees, which once, as Lord-keeper Guildford expressed it, made the grounds look so pleasant and "so boscaresque."

Deptford, the River Ravensbourne

Deptford was formerly called West Greenwich, and is said to derive its present name from the depth of the ford over the little river Ravensbourne, which here discharges itself into the Thames.
The ford has long since been superseded by a bridge.
The latter is memorable in history for the total defeat of Lord Audley and his Cornish rebels in the year 1497.
Headed by that nobleman, Flammock a lawyer, and Joseph a blacksmith of Bodmin, they had advanced from Taunton, with the design of taking possession of London.
The Kentish men flocked to their standard; and on their arrival at Blackheath they amounted altogether to about sixteen thousand men.
Lord Daubeny, who had been sent against them by King Henry VII, made a furious attack upon them at Deptford Bridge, and after great slaughter, put them to flight.
Lord Audley, Flammock, and Joseph, were taken prisoners, and shortly afterwards executed on Tower Hill, the latter boasting in his hour of death, that he died in a just cause, and that he would make a figure in history.
This little stream, which here is called Deptford Creek, rises on Keston Heath, near Hayes Place, and runs a course of about twelve miles, passing by Bromley, Lewisham, and the borders of Blackheath.
An old legend is told, to account for its romantic name.
It is said, that Julius Cæsar, on his invasion of Britain, was encamped with all his force a few miles southward of its source.
The army was suffering a good deal for the want of water, and detachments had been sent out in all directions, but without success, for a supply.
Cæsar observed, that a raven frequently alighted near the camp, and conjecturing that it came to drink, he ordered its arrival to be diligently noted.
His command was obeyed; and the visits of the raven were found to be to a small clear spring on Keston Heath.
The wants of the army were supplied, and the spring, says the legend, and the rivulet of which it is the parent, have ever since been called the Raven's Well, and the Ravensbourne.
It is, as some poet in the Table Book calls it,

A crystal rillet, scarce a palm in width,
Till creeping to a bed, outspread by art,
It sheets itself across, reposing there;
Thence through a thicket, sinuous it flows,
And crossing meads and footpaths, gathering tribute
Due to its elder birth from younger branches,
Wanders, in Hayes and Bromley, Beckenham vale
And straggling Lewisham, to where Deptford Bridge
Uprises, in obeisance to its food.

Small and insignificant though it be, it is nevertheless a stream which has a name in history.
More than one tumultuous multitude has encamped upon its banks, shouting loud defiance to their rulers.
Blackheath, its near neighbour, bore Wat Tyler and the angry thousands that followed in his train; and, in the Ravensbourne perchance, many of these swarthy artisans stooped down to drink the limpid waters, when, inflamed by revenge, and the hope of plunder and absolute power, they prepared to march upon London.
Jack Cade and his multitudes encamped upon the same spot, and the Ravensbourne, after an interval of eighty years, saw its quiet shores disturbed by men met for the same purposes, and threatening blood, because, feeling the scourge of oppression, they knew no wiser means of procuring relief, and were unable to distinguish between law and tyranny on the one hand, and freedom and licentiousness on the other.
Perkin Warbeck met his adherents on the same place; and Flammock and his Cornish men were here hewed to pieces, as already stated, by the victorious captains of Henry VII.
Nor are these deeds of blood and turmoil the only events that signalize the Ravensbourne.
At Hayes Place, near the spot where it first oozes from the sward, lived the great Earl of Chatham, and there was born his renowned son, William Pitt.

Besides its dock and victualling yard, Deptford is noted for two hospitals belonging to the Corporation of the Trinity House, or pilots of London.
A grand procession comes from London to these hospitals annually on Trinity Monday, accompanied by music and banners, and welcomed by the firing of cannon.
Among the most famous residents of this town, besides the Czar Peter and John Evelyn, already mentioned, were Cowley the poet, and the Earl of Nottingham, Lord High Admiral of England, and the victor of the Spanish Armada.
The house he inhabited was afterwards converted into a tavern, called the Gun; and his armorial bearings, sculptured over the chimney piece of the principal apartment, were long shown to the curious.

Greenwich Hospital

But Deptford has a neighbour more magnificent and more renowned than itself - Greenwich Hospital - the pride of England, by the great waters flourishing, and the glory of the Thames.
The approach to it by the river, is in the highest degree beautiful and striking.
Those to whom it is familiar, pass it by without emotion; but the stranger, and especially he that knows something of its history, never refrains from warm admiration.
The homage is forced from him whether he will or no, by the splendour of the noble hospital, standing so proudly upon the brink, and the greatness of the uses to which it is applied.

Hail, noblest structure, imaged in the wave!
A nation's grateful tribute to the brave;
Hail, blest retreat, from war and shipwreck, hail!

No ostentatious charity raised that edifice to feed the hungry and clothe the naked, and be lauded for it; but national justice reared it and maintains it, and national gratitude will foster it evermore.
And no great thanks to it either.
Like the private gratitude spoken of by the diplomatist who studied the human heart so well, it burns brightly, not so much for past benefits, but from a keen sense of those which are to come.
Kindness to the worn-out veteran is one of the surest means of raising up the race of the young and vigorous to succeed him; and our nation in maintaining this hospital, is but keenly alive to its own interest after all.
As Greenwich owes all its importance to its hospital - as that edifice is not only the chief beauty, but the distinguishing characteristic of the place, and that which singles it out not only from every other town in Great Britain, but in the world, it may naturally be expected that it should receive the first notice at the hands of the topographer; but, as it is of modern growth, and the successor only of palaces that existed before its time, we will begin at the beginning, and not speak further of Greenwich Hospital, prominent though it be, until we arrive at it chronologically.

History of Greenwich

The manor of Greenwich, called in the early records, East Greenwich, belonged formerly to the abbey of St. Peter at Ghent.
At the dissolution of the alien priories, it was granted by Henry V. to the monastery of Sheen, or Richmond.
It remained in the possession of the monks for a very short time, being seized by the Crown upon the disgrace of the bishop of Baieux.
Henry VI. in the eleventh year of his reign, granted it to his uncle, Duke Humphrey, that Humphrey, with whom, according to the vulgar saying still in use, everybody who has no dinner is supposed to dine.
Being pleased with the spot, the Duke built a palace, extending, with its various courts, from the river to the hill on which the Observatory now stands: there is a good view of it in Hasted's "History of Kent."
It was named Placentia, and sometimes the Plaisaunce.
Upon his death it became the property of the Crown.
Edward IV. enlarged the Park, and restocked it with deer, and then bestowed it as a residence upon his queen, Elizabeth Widville.
Henry VII. occasionally resided in it; and Henry VIII. at one period of his reign was so much attached to it, that he passed more of his time at Greenwich than at any other of his palaces.
He adorned and enlarged it at considerable expense, and made it so magnificent, as to cause Leland, the antiquary, to exclaim with rapture unbecoming an antiquary, as he gazed upon it.

How bright the lofty seat appears,
Like Jove's great palace, paved with stars!
What roofs! what windows charm the eye!
What turrets, rivals of the sky!

It should be said, however, that the antiquary wrote his praises in Latin, and that these verses are the translation of Hasted, the historian of Kent.

Henry VIII. was born in the palace, and there also was born his daughter Mary, as well as his great daughter Elizabeth - the circumstance connected with Greenwich, that of all others rendered it most dear to the mind of Samuel Johnson, who exclaims in the introduction to his Satire upon London -

On Thames's bank in silent thought we stood,
Where Greenwich smiles upon the silver flood,
Struck with the seat that gave Eliza birth,
We kneel and kiss the consecrated earth,
In pleasing dreams that blissful age renew,
And call Britannia's glories back to view.

A great fallacy of the lexicographer as to the age of either Henry or Elizabeth being a blissful one; but let that pass.
It was a merry one for the aristocracy of the court in some respects, especially during the time of Henry, and had there been any safety for their heads, they at least would have had but little to complain of, whatever might have been said by the people.
Tilts and tournaments succeeded each other with great rapidity while he wielded the sceptre.
On Shrove Tuesday, 1526, the King, with eleven knights, fought against the Marquis of Exeter with the like number in Greenwich Park; upon which occasion Sir Francis Bryan, one of the combatants, had his eye poked out by the point of a spear.
While the King was indulging himself with sports of this kind, he published an edict at Greenwich against the less costly amusements of his subjects.
"Commissions", says Stowe, "were awarded into every shire for the execution of the same, so that in all places tables, dice, cards, and bowls, were taken and burned; but when young men were restrained of these games and pastimes, some fell to drinking, some to ferreting of other men's conies, and stealing of deer in parks, and other unthriftiness."
But Henry was not an enemy to the amusements of the people, provided they were conformable to his own notions; and his tournaments were visited by thousands of his subjects, who had free ingress and egress while they lasted, and ample accommodation besides.
His Christmas festivals which he held in Placentia, were no less splendid than his exhibitions of chivalric sports.
Revels, masques, disguisings, and banquets right royal, distinguished them from all the entertainments of former sovereigns.
So much admired for its magnificence was the banquet he gave to the French ambassadors at this place in 1528, that honest old Stowe is obliged to confess, that "he lacked a head of fine wit, and also cunning in his bowels," to describe it with sufficient eloquence.
The great tilt-yard was covered, and converted into a banqueting room.
The Hampton Court banquet given by Wolsey to the same personages just before, was, says the annalist, a marvellously sumptuous one; yet this at Greenwich excelled it as much as gold excels silver, and no beholder had ever seen the like.
In the midst of the banquet there was tourneying at the barriers, with lusty gentlemen in complete harness, very gorgeous, on foot; then there was tilting on horseback with knights in armour, still more magnificent; and after this was an interlude or disguising, made in Latin, the players being in the richest costumes, ornamented with the most strange and grotesque devices.
"This done," continues Stowe, "there came such a number of the fairest ladies and gentlewomen that had any renown of beauty throughout the realm, in the most rich apparel that could be devised, with whom the gentlemen of France danced, until a gorgeous mask of gentlemen came in, who danced and masked with these ladies.
This done, came in another mask of ladies, who took each of them one of the French men by the hand, to dance and to mask.
These women maskers every one spake good French to the Frenchmen, which delighted them very much to hear their mother-tongue.
Thus was the night consumed, from five of the clock until three of the clock after midnight."

After the King's marriage to Anne Boleyn, he took her to reside at Greenwich; and when it pleased him to declare the marriage publicly, and have her crowned, he ordered the Lord Mayor to come to Greenwich in state, and escort her up the river to London.
It was on the 19th of May, 1533, and father Thames had never before borne on his bosom so gallant an array.
First of all the mayor and aldermen, with their scarlet robes and golden chains, followed by the Common Councilmen in their robes, and by all the officers of the city in their costume, with triumphant music swelling upon the ear, and their gay banners floating upon the breeze, walked down to the water-side, where they found their own barges ready to receive them, and fifty other barges, filled with the various city Companies, awaiting the signal of departure.
Then, amid the firing of cannon, and the braying of trumpets, the procession started.
A foist, or large flat-bottomed boat, took the lead, impelled by several fellows dressed out to represent devils, who at intervals spouted out blue and red flames from their mouths, and threw balls of fire into the water.
"Terrible and monstrous wild men they were," says Stowe, "and made a hideous noise.
In the midst of them sat a great red dragon, moving itself continually about, and discharging fire-balls of various colours into the air, whence they fell into the water with a hissing sound.
Next came the Lord Mayor's barge, attended by a small barge on the right side filled with musicians.
It was richly hung with cloth of gold and silver, and bore the two embroidered banners of the King and Queen, besides escutcheons splendidly wrought in every part of the vessel.
On the left side was another foist, in the which was a mount, and on the mount stood a white falcon, crowned upon a root of gold, environed with white and red roses, which was the Queen's device, and about the mount sat virgins, singing and playing melodiously."
Then came the Sheriffs and the Aldermen, and the Common Councilmen and the city Companies in regular procession, each barge, having its own banners and devices, and most of them being hung with arras and cloth of gold.
When they arrived at Greenwich, they cast anchor, "making all the while great melody."
They waited thus until three o'clock, when the Queen appeared, attended by the Duke of Suffolk, the Marquis of Dorset, the Earl of Wiltshire her father, the Earls of Arundel, Derby, Rutland, Worcester, Huntingdon, Sussex, Oxford, and many other noblemen and bishops, each one in his barge.
In this order they rowed up the Thames to the Tower stairs, where the King was waiting to receive his bride, whom he kissed "affectionately and with a loving countenance" in sight of all the people that lined the shores of the river, and covered all the housetops in such multitudes that Stowe was afraid to mention the number, lest posterity should accuse him of exaggeration.
On the birth and baptism of the Princess Elizabeth, in the month of September follow ing, the people of London were gratified with the sight of a similar procession to Greenwich and back again.
The royal couple continued to reside alternately at the palaces of Placentia and Hampton Court until the year 1536, when poor Anne Boleyn became no longer pleasing, in the eyes of her lord.
On May day, in that year, Henry instituted a grand tournament in Greenwich Park, at which the Queen and her brother, Lord Rochford, were present.
The sports were at their height, when the King, without uttering a word to his Queen or anybody else, suddenly took his departure, apparently in an ill-humour, and proceeded to London, accompanied by six domestics.
All the tilters were surprised and chagrined; but their surprise and chagrin were light in comparison to those of Anne Boleyn.
The very same night, her brother and his friends, Norris, Brereton, Weston, and Smeton, were arrested, and conveyed up the river to the Tower, bound like felons.
On the following morning, the Queen herself was arrested a few hours afterwards and conveyed to the same prison, where on the fifth day of her captivity, she indited that elegant and feeling epistle to her tyrant, dated from "her dolefull prison in ye Tower", which every one has read and hundreds have wept over.
The King had long suspected her truth; and the offence he took at the tilting match was, that she had dropped her handkerchief, accidentally it would appear, but which he conceived to be a signal to a paramour.
On the nineteenth, the anniversary of her coronation, and triumphal procession from Greenwich three years before, her young head was smitten from her body by the axe of the executioner, within the precincts of that building where she had received the public kiss, in sight of the multitudes of London! Alas! poor Anne!

When his next Queen died at Hampton Court, Henry was so grieved that he could not look upon that palace without shedding tears.
He retired first to Westminster, and then to Greenwich, where he kept his Christmas in his mourning apparel.
But the gloom was not of long continuance.
Greenwich soon became as gay as ever, and on the public reception of Anne of Cleves it was a scene of great splendour and rejoicing.
The park was adorned with banners and festoons of the most magnificent description, and filled with all the chivalry of England, attendant upon the Sovereign.
Nobles, Knights, Bishops, and Ambassadors thronged in those ancient avenues, and free ingress was also permitted to the people, as Henry rode towards Blackheath, to meet his new bride.
After him rode the Lord Chancellor, and then Sir Anthony Browne, (afterwards husband of Lord Surrey's fair Ger aldine,) holding the King's horse of state by a long rein of gold; and then the multitudinous array of pages, esquires, and men at arms, followed by the nobles and their retainers; and the Lord Mayor of London, and all the dignitaries of the city, and the several companies in their holiday attire.
Tilts and tournaments were celebrated every day in the park; while on the river opposite the palace, the water quintain and other aquatic sports of the age, were exhibited for the entertainment of the Queen, and the numerous retinue of foreigners who had accompanied her from Calais.
The nuptials were celebrated in the chapel of the palace.

During the reign of the two succeeding Sovereigns, Greenwich lost that renown for gaiety which it had acquired from the festivals and constant hospitality of Henry.
Edward VI. occasionally visited Placentia, and there he died in his sixteenth year.
Mary was also an occasional inhabitant of the palace.
During one of her visits, a singular accident occurred.
The captain of a vessel proceeding out to sea, observing the banner of England floating from the walls, fired the customary salute, in honour of royalty.
By some oversight, the gun was loaded, and the ball was driven through the wall into the Queen's apartments, to the great terror of herself and her ladies.
None of them received any hurt.
With the reign of Elizabeth, the glories of Greenwich revived.
It was her birth-place; the favourite residence of her unfortunate mother, and dear to her for that reason, and in the summer months, it became during nearly her whole reign, the favourite seat of the court.
She did not spend so much money in it as her father, neither was she so fond of tilts and tournaments as he was, nor was she altogether so fond of show and ostentation: but she contrived somehow or other to live in continual gaiety, sometimes by giving entertainments, and a great deal oftener by accepting them.
On the 2nd of July, 1559, the year after her accession, the citizens of London entertained her with a grand muster of their forces in Greenwich Park.
Eight hundred pikemen in their corslets, four hundred arquebusiers in their coats of mail, and two hundred halberdiers, were escorted by the Lord Mayor, Sheriffs, Alder men, and other dignitaries in their coats of velvet, and their chains of gold, over the bridge to the Duke of Suffolk's in Southwark, where they were reviewed by the Lord Mayor.
They encamped that night in St. George's Fields, and early on the following morning, commenced their march to Greenwich.
They stationed themselves in the park on their arrival, and there waited until five in the afternoon, when the Queen appeared in the gallery at the back of the palace, and the exhibition of their warlike skill commenced.
Dividing themselves into two bands, they fired their shotless guns at each other, and a mêlèe began, presenting all the outward appearances of a regular battle, except the spilling of blood.
This lasted for about an hour, when the Queen thanked the Lord Mayor for his politeness in commanding the show, and withdrew into the palace.
The bands then broke up, and amused themselves till night fall by tilting, running at the ring, the quintain and other sports, when they marched back again to St. George's Fields in the order they had come in.
This warlike Lord Mayor, was Sir William Hewett, a cloth-worker, whose apprentice Osborne became the founder of the present ducal family of Leeds.

Within the same month, Elizabeth herself gave a grand entertainment; but she forgot to invite the Lord Mayor.
A rural banqueting house was erected in the park, made of fir poles and birchen branches, with all their green leaves about them, and variegated with festoons of flowers, both of the field and the garden, the rarest that then grew, being intermingled with roses, lilies, gillyflowers, lavender, and marigolds, and every description of sweet smelling herbs and rushes in profusion.
Besides this rural bower for the "Queen of Beauty and of Hearts", as she was called, and loved to be called as well as Queen of England, tents were erected in various parts of the park, for the accommodation of the visitors, in which there was abundant store of meat and drink for all who chose to partake.
The sports began by a tournament.
This was followed by a masked ball and a banquet, and the whole concluded with a display of fire works, and a discharge of artillery.
The old annalists make constant mention of Elizabeth's proceedings at Greenwich.
The following account of a ceremony observed on Maundy Thursday, in 1572, is given in Nichols's interesting "Progresses" of that Sovereign.
The court being then at Greenwich, the Queen, according to ancient custom, washed the feet of the poor on that festival.
Being in her thirty-ninth year, thirty-nine poor persons attended in the hall of the palace to receive the royal alms.
Their feet were washed, first by the yeomen of the laundry with warm water and sweet herbs, and afterwards by the sub-almoner, then by the almoner, and lastly by the Queen herself, the person who washed, making each time a cross on the pauper's foot, above the toes, and kissing it.
This ceremony was performed also by the Queen kneeling, attended by thirty-nine gentlewomen, after which clothes, victuals, and money were distributed to them by the almoner in the Queen's presence.
James II. is said to have been the last Sovereign who performed this ceremony.
The dole is still kept up: the number of recipients annually increasing with the age of the Sovereign.

The same year, as Elizabeth was proceeding down the Thames to Greenwich in the royal barge, a serious accident occurred.
She was sailing with the French ambassador, the Earl of Lincoln, and her Vice-Chamberlain, and discoursing, says Stowe, "about divers weighty affairs", when, as she came between Deptford and Greenwich, she passed a small boat in which was one Thomas Appletree, servant to Master Henry Cary, who was amusing himself with a loaded arquebus, and shooting rashly at objects on the side of the river.
Suddenly a shot was heard, and one of the water men in the royal barge, who sat within a few feet of the Queen, fell into the bottom of the boat, crying out in the most piteous manner that he was shot through the body.
His arms having been stretched out in the act of rowing, the shot had passed clean through both of them, and he bled profusely.
"The Queen's Majesty," says the annalist, "showed such noble courage as was most wonderful to be spoken of, comforting the man, and telling him to be of good cheer, for that every care should be taken of him."
Appletree, the unfortunate cause of the accident, was apprehended, thrown into prison, tried, and sentenced to death on the fourth day afterwards.
A tall gibbet was erected on the river side between Greenwich and Deptford, exactly opposite to the place where the waterman was wounded, and the man brought out for execution.
The prayers for the dead were said, the rope was placed round his neck, and every one awaited the signal that was to send the poor wretch into eternity, when a messenger arrived from the Queen, with her free pardon for the offender.
A cruel experiment after all, and anything but a just one.

Greenwich is constantly mentioned by the flattering poets of that day, and the river Thames is complimented on its great good fortune in bearing so lovely a Sovereign continually on its bosom in her progresses from her capital to her summer palace.
As the age of the Queen increased, so did the flattery of the poetasters.
One in particular, said that the very fish in the Thames raised their heads out of the water, to gaze upon her beauty.
Sir John Davis, writing in 1599, when she was sixty-six years of age, has the following acrostic among a collection of about thirty others, all in the same strain.
It is addressed to Flora.

Empress of flowers, tell where away
Lies your sweet court this May:
In Greenwich garden alleys,
Since there the heavenly powers do play
And haunt no other valleys.

Beauty, virtue, majesty,
Eloquent Muses three times three,
The new fresh flowers and graces
Have pleasure in that place to be
Above all other places.

Drayton in a poem published in "England's Helicon "in the following year, thus eulogizes the Thames, and flatters Elizabeth, under the name of Beta.

O thou silver Thames, O clearest crystal flood,
Beta alone the phenix is of all thy watery brood,
The queen of virgins, only she,
And thou the queen of floods shalt be,

Let all the nymphs be joyful then
To see this happy day,
Thy Beta now alone shall be
The subject of my lay.

Range all thy swans, fair Thames, together in a rank,
And place them duly one by one upon thy stately bank,
Set them together all a good
Recording to thy silver flood,
And crave the tuneful nightingale
To help ye with her lay,
The osell and the thrusslecock,
Chief music of our May.

See how the day stands still admiring of her face,
And Time, lo, stretcheth forth his arms our Beta to embrace,
The Sirens sing sweet lays
The Tritons sound her praise,
So pass on Thames, and hie thee fast
Unto the ocean sea,
And let thy billows there proclaim
Our Beta 's holiday.

We'll strew thy shores with pearls where Beta walks alone,
And we will pave her princely bower with richest Indian stone,
Perfume the air, and make it sweet,
For such a goddess it is meet;
For if her eyes, for purity,
Contend with Titan 's light,
No marvel then although they do
So dazzle human sight!

Decker still more complimentary, as he thought, indulged in the following, in the prologue to his "Old Fortunatus."
"Some call her Pandora, some Gloriana, some Cynthia, some Bel-phebe, some Astrea; all by several names to express several loves, yet all these names make but one celestial body, as all these loves meet but to create one soul.
We are of her country, and adore her by the name of Eliza. -
Blessed name! happy country!
Eliza makes the land Elizi-um!"

Hentzner the German traveller, who saw the Queen at Greenwich in 1598, tells the plain truth of this goddess of beauty.
"Next came the Queen," says he, "in the sixty-fifth year of her age, very majestic; her face oblong, fair but wrinkled; her eyes small, yet black and pleasant; her nose a little hooked; her lips narrow, and her teeth black (a defect, the English seem subject to, from their too great use of sugar).
She had in her ears two pearls with very rich drops; she wore false hair, and that red.
Upon her head she had a small crown.
Her bosom was uncovered, as all the English ladies have it till they marry, and she had on a necklace of exceeding fine jewels.
Whoever speaks to her, it is kneeling, and now and then she raises some with her hand.
In the ante-chapel next the hall, petitions were presented to her, and she received them most graciously, which occasioned the exclamation, Long live Queen Elizabeth!
to which she replied,
"I thank you, my good people!"
Bearing in mind this description and contrasting it with the overflowing flattery of all the poetasters, we may smile with Horace Walpole, and exclaim with him,
"What! all this worship offered to an old woman with bare neck, black teeth, and false red hair!"



VOLUME II. CHAPTER V.
Visits of Sully to King James I. at Greenwich. - Demolition of the Palace of Placentia. - Building of a New Palace. -
- Origin, and completion of the Hospital. - The Funeral of Nelson. - The View from the Hill. -
- The Legend of St. Alphege. - The humours of Greenwich Fair. -

The history of the old palace of Greenwich, after the death of Elizabeth, loses its chief attractions.
With her died its gaiety and splendour; the long processions by water, the rural pavilions in the park, the maskings and revellings by moonlight, the tilting by day, and the flattering verses of the rhymers, all ceased together; - and James, in the ensuing summer, took up his abode in Greenwich without ostentation, and without welcome.
The new King did not like to hear of his predecessor.
He frowned upon those who suggested the peacefulness or the splendour of her reign, and the name of Elizabeth was heard in her halls no more.
Soon after his accession, the sage Marquis de Rosni, better known by his subsequent title of Duke de Sully, complimented the King on the part of his great master Henry IV.
Sully went by water to Greenwich in the barges of the King, accompanied by a hundred and twenty gentlemen of his household; the banks of the river being lined with the multitudes of London to witness the procession.
"I was shown into a chamber," says the Duke in his Memoirs, "to partake of a collation, contrary to the usual custom of England, which is not to regale ambassadors, or offer them even so much as a glass of water.
His Majesty having sent to request my presence, it took me a quarter of an hour before I could reach the foot of the throne- a delay which was occasioned as much by the crowd of courtiers who were there already, as by my having ordered my whole household to walk before me.
The King no sooner saw me, than he came down two steps from the throne, and would have come down the whole of them, so eager was he to embrace me, had not one of the ministers (Cecil) whispered in his ear that he ought not to go any further.
If I, replied the King aloud, honour this ambassador more than I have done others, I do not expect that it should become a precedent.
I bear him a peculiar love and esteem for the affection which I know he bears to me, for his constancy to our religion, and for his fidelity towards his master.
But I cannot tell," adds Sully, "all the flattering things he said of me."
After this public audience, the King made him ascend to the highest step of the throne, where they had a long private conversation about various matters: - the virtues of Henry IV. - the designs of Spain - but chiefly about hunting, to which, as is well known, James was passion ately addicted.
A few days afterwards Sully had a second audience, when the King led him away alone, through several apartments, into a little private gallery, meanly enough furnished, where they had another long conversation about the affairs of Europe.
Sully's third visit to Greenwich was to dine with the King.
It was on a Sunday, the 29th of June, 1603, and Sully arrived at ten in the morning, with all the gentlemen of his household.
He first went to church with the King, and nothing particular passed till the service was over, and they had sat down to dinner, when James began to talk to him about his favourite diversion of hunting, and the state of the weather as influencing it.
Sully was surprised to see that the domestics all went upon their knees to serve the King a piece of regal pomp which he had not been accustomed to in his own country.
During nearly all dinner time the discourse was about hunting, when accidentally the name of Elizabeth was introduced.
James spoke of her with contempt, and even went so far as to say, that long before the death of that princess, he in Scotland swayed her counsels, and disposed of all her ministers, by whom he asserted he was much better served and obeyed than she was.
"He then", says Sully, "asked for wine, and his custom is never to mix any water with it, and holding his glass in his hand towards Beaumont and me, drank to the health of the King, Queen, and royal family of France.
I acknowledged the honour, and proposed the royal family of England, making particular mention of his children, when the King bent down his head and whispered in my ear that he should propose as the next toast - the double union which he contemplated between the two royal families.
I received the proposition with every outward sign of joy, and also whispered that I was sure Henry would not hesitate for an instant between his good brother and ally of England, and the King of Spain, who had already made some overtures upon the same subject."
At another audience a few days afterwards, they had a private conversation which lasted about four hours, the King with his own hands shutting the doors as they passed through the galleries, to make sure that they were alone, and then kissing the ambassador twice before discussing the weighty matters they had met to talk about.
Before the farewell audience, he said he would not give Sully the trouble to come to Greenwich, but would come himself to London to receive him.
He did so; and told Sully he was so grieved at his departure, that he was obliged to go out hunting to forget his sorrow in that agreeable exercise.

During his residence at Greenwich, James made some additions to the palace, erected a new wall to the park, and commenced a summer-house, called the House of Delight.
He did not live to complete the latter, which was finished by Henrietta Maria, Queen of Charles I. who employed Inigo Jones as the architect.
The King and Queen did not reside so often at Greenwich as their predecessors from Henry VIII. had done; and after the consummation of the revolution by the beheading of the King, the palace was for a long time deserted.
An order was issued by the House of Commons for the sale of the palace with the park and lands adjoining; but it was not sold, having been presented along with Hampton Court as a residence for the Protector. Cromwell, however, seldom visited it, and the palace was allowed to fall into decay.
After the Restoration it was found in so ruinous a condition, that Charles II. caused the greater part of it to be taken down, and a new palace erected in its stead.
This edifice forms the western wing of the present hospital, and was built by Webb, son in law of Inigo Jones. Charles II. also enlarged the park, and had it replanted and laid out in its present avenues and shady walks by the great philodendron, John Evelyn.
He also erected the Observatory on the top of the hill, for the use of Flamstead the astronomer royal, furnished it abundantly with mathematical instruments, and made a deep dry well for the observation of the stars in the daytime.
From this hill, all English, and most American astronomers, commence the calculation of the longitude.
The expense of all these improvements was about thirty-six thousand pounds.

No progress was made in the palace, in the reign of James II, but, in that succeeding, the kindheartedness of the amiable Queen Mary, suggested an idea to her husband which totally changed the character of the building, and eventually rendered it that which we now behold it, not only the boast but the glory of England, and more truly magnificent than the most splendid palace that ever in this world was erected for the convenience or the gratification of Kings.
At Mary's solicitations, a grant of a certain house, built by King Charles II, with the lands appertaining thereto, was made for the use of disabled English seamen and their children, and for the widows and children of such as had lost their lives in the service of their country.
After her death, King William carried on her benevolent designs, appointed commissioners to aid the work, and solicited the contributions of his subjects for the same end, as the necessity of his own affairs did not permit him to advance the considerable sums which the undertaking required.
Another wing was forthwith commenced, under the superintendence of Sir Christopher Wren, and the works being continued by every succeeding Sovereign, were finally completed in the reign of George II.
In that of George I. the forfeited estates of the Earl of Derwentwater, amounting then to six thousand per annum, but of more considerable value now, were appropriated for the maintenance of the hospital.
Besides the revenues from these estates, the Hospital has various sources of income; including a payment of sixpence per month from all seamen and marines in the royal navy or merchant service; the duties arising from the North and South Foreland light-houses; the rents of the market at Greenwich; various fines for fishing in the Thames with unlawful nets and at improper seasons; and forfeited and unclaimed prize money.

The hospital consists of four distinct piles of buildings, which stand on a noble terrace upon the river's bank, extending about eight hundred and sixty-five feet, and are called after their founders, King Charles', Queen Mary's, King William's and Queen Anne's buildings.
In Queen Mary's, to the east fronting the river, is the celebrated chapel, to which all strangers resort; and in King William's, the west wing, is the still more celebrated Hall, painted by Thornhill, and containing portraits of the most celebrated naval heroes who have arisen in our isle since we became supereminent as a sea-faring, and a sea-conquering people; models of ships of war, and, lastly, what may be considered more precious than all, the identical coat, worn by the great Nelson at the battle of Trafalgar, carefully enclosed in a glass case from the touch of the visitor; but bearing many too perceptible marks that no care can preserve it from the destructive touch of time, and the tiny tooth of the devouring moth, which together have made sad inroads upon the hallowed relic.
In the upper hall is preserved another relic the funeral car, in which the body of Nelson was conveyed with all the pomp befitting the gratitude of a great nation to the illustrious dead, to St. Paul's Cathedral.
Of all the pageantry that Greenwich has witnessed since it became a town, this was, if not the most magnificent, the most grand and impressive.
The body, after lying in state for three days, in the Hospital, during which it was visited by immense multitudes, was conveyed on the 8th of January, 1806, up the river to Whitehall, followed in procession by the City Companies, in their state barges.
The flags of all the vessels in the river were lowered half-mast high, in token of mourning, and solemn minute guns were fired during the whole time of the procession.
The body lay all that night at the Admiralty, and, on the following morning, was removed on a magnificent car, surmounted by plumes of feathers, and decorated with heraldic insignia, to its final resting place in St. Paul's Cathedral.
From the Admiralty to St. Paul's, the streets were all lined with the military.
The procession was headed by detachments of the Dragoon Guards, the Scots Greys, and the Ninety-second Highlanders, with the Duke of York and his staff, the band playing that sublime funeral strain, the "Dead March in Saul."
Then followed the pensioners of Greenwich Hospital, and the seamen of Lord Nelson's ship the Victory, a deputation from the Common Council of London, and a long train of mourning coaches, including those of the royal family, the chief officers of state, and all the principal nobility of the kingdom.
When the coffin, covered with the flag of the Victory, was about to be lowered into the grave, an affecting incident occurred: the attendant sailors who had borne the pall, rushed forward, and seizing upon the flag, before a voice could be raised to prevent them, rent it into shreds, in the intensity of their feelings, that each might preserve a shred as a memento of the departed.

Greenwich Hospital, Mackay 1840

Greenwich Hospital now lodges about three thousand old and disabled seamen, to attend upon whom are upwards of a hundred nurses, widows of seamen.
Each pensioner, besides a liberal allowance of clothes and provisions, receives a small weekly sum for tobacco and other indulgences to which he has been accustomed; the sailors one shilling, the mates one shilling and sixpence, and the boatswains two shillings and sixpence.
A library is also provided for their exclusive use.
It is a pleasing sight to see them sitting in the sunshine in the porches of their palace, or swarming about in the green alleys of the Park, with their old-fashioned cocked hats and coats; some feeding the deer, some lying at full length upon the sward, others turning over under the trees the smoke-coloured leaves of some well-fingered manual, and others again, standing upon Flamstead Hill, with telescope to their eye, watching the arrival or departure of some vessel, with her white sails spread, careering swiftly through the waters of the Thames, and soliciting the loiterer, for a penny fee, to do likewise.
The view from this hill is most agreeable and noble.
Right underneath lie the glades of the Park, and the twin domes of the Hospital, and the eye, taking a wide range, roams to the right and left, over the busy bosom of the river, covered with ships, and boats, and steam vessels, bearing wealth and passengers to and from the great heart of England.
The latter itself is dimly visible to the west, crowned with a corona of perpetual smoke, from which the dome of St. Paul's Cathedral emerges grand and imposing, its gilded ball glittering in the sunshine, while all below is dim and cloudy.
Every variety of view afforded by a flat country may be seen from this hill; the busy town, the busy water, the retired woodland, and the fine open country, dotted with herds of cattle, and enlivened with clumps of trees, from which village churches peep modestly forth, farm -houses, villas, and fields of waving grain.

St Alphege

Of the patron saint of Greenwich, to whom in former days its church was dedicated, and which still bears his name, an old legend is related, which we, as avowed lovers of traditions, must not fail to record.
St. Alphege was Archbishop of Canterbury at the commencement of the eleventh century, and Greenwich having been occupied by the Danes in one of their predatory incursions in the year 1011, a detachment was sent from thence to Canterbury, who brought back the archbishop with them to Greenwich, where he was detained a captive for seven months.
While mourning in his cell, the monkish legends say he was visited by the devil, who appeared to him in the likeness of an angel, and tempted him to follow into a dark valley.
St. Alphege, deceived by the false glitter of the celestial glory which the arch enemy had assumed, followed him wearily over rugged stones that cut his naked feet, through stinging underwoods, and sharp brambles that tore his flesh, until they arrived at a deep mire, into which the devil soused him, and vanished in his real shape with an insulting laugh of triumph.
A real angel immediately afterwards appeared, who assisted him out, and told him to go back to prison, and suffer martyrdom for the glory of the Lord, which had been decreed his high privilege in this world.
The saint did as he was bidden; and shortly afterwards his captors, being enraged because his friends could not pay the exorbitant ransom which they demand ed, set upon him and cruelly murdered him.
His body after death worked miracles: a rotten stake that was driven through it, flourished and bore leaves and blossoms, by which many of his murderers were converted.
The citizens of London hearing of the event, purchased the body, and removed it from Greenwich to St. Paul's Church, where they buried it with great magnificence.
It was eleven years after wards removed to Canterbury by order of King Canute.
The present parish church of Greenwich is supposed to have been erected on the very spot where the murder was committed.

Greenwich Fair

Twice in every year Greenwich becomes the grand resort of the populace of London - first at Easter, and afterwards at Whitsuntide.
What man, woman, or child residing within a circuit of twenty miles of Greenwich, and belonging to those classes of society who do not think it derogatory to enjoy themselves at a fair, that has not at one time or other been present at the celebrated Saturnalia?
Greenwich is then in all its glory, and becomes, as Chaucer characterized it four hundred years ago,
Grenwiche that many a shewe is in,
and affords plenty of amusement for the boisterous man to share, and the quiet man to look at.
It is then that the manners of a large class of the people of England, and chiefly those of the metropolis, which is of itself a nation, may be studied to advantage.
On Easter Monday, as soon as the day dawns, the approaches to Greenwich, if the weather be favourable, teem with the population of the capital; some bent on fun, some on mischief, some on drink and riot, some on honest profit, some upon thimble rigging, and very many upon obtaining foul possession of other people's pocket handkerchiefs and loose valuables.
But by far the greater number go for enjoyment; servant girls, apprentices, and journeymen from London; artisans, farm labourers, soldiers and sailors from the surrounding districts - a motley, disorderly, drunken, jolly multitude.
They rise innumerable, like Pharaoh's host, or the swarm of evil spirits described by Milton, pouring down every lane, filling every avenue, streaming upon every vacant foot of ground, and covering the land like the locusts of the East.
Greenwich that day receives an accession of at least a hundred thousand living souls; some trudging on foot, some riding in carts and vans and waggons, some whirled by the rapid steam-car, and others by the steam-boat, packed closely together with their wives and children, and all bent upon spending their earnings, or cheating other people of theirs.
It is an animated but strange sight that the philosophic observer may behold, if he will station himself at any snug window on the line of road from London to the fair.
Horses and donkeys are overladen by living loads, sweating and toiling along the dusty way in long procession, their drivers urging them to a speed that is impossible with such burdens, and cursing foul curses at the inevitable delay.
Gigs, coaches, vans, coal-waggons, and even dust- carts, all come into use that day; and turnpike keepers reap a harvest sufficient to keep starvation from their doors for a twelve month to come.
Pedestrians numberless trudge on either side, while houses of entertainment yawn wide at every step; or booths, erected in the course of the night by the way-side, invite them to linger and expend a portion of their superfluity ere they arrive at the goal.
It is no exaggeration to say, that the very road is alive with them.
As the day advances towards the noon, they come in thicker shoals, denser and denser still, singing and laughing, and shouting and swearing, hundreds drunk, and thousands more determined to become so; while Draggle-tailed sluts and shirtless men, And young girls lewd and crazy, launch forth their vulgar wit at every convenient opportunity upon their fellow way farers.

Nor is the river a scene of less bustle.
Steam -boats bearing each one its cargo of five or six hundred souls, arrive every five minutes at the pier, and discharge them into the narrow lanes and low public-houses of old Greenwich.
Wherries and barges are as heavily laden in proportion to their bulk; while the railway trains, smoking and steaming like the post-chariot of Satan, bring their human cargo by thousands at a time, to swell the mass.
Then almost every house in Greenwich becomes a shop; while at every door is stationed a "barker," to invite the crowd to partake of tea or coffee or dinner.
Those who bring their own tea may purchase hot water and the use of cups and a kettle; and those unprovided, may supply all their wants either at a reasonable or an extravagant rate, according to the style of accommodation they are accustomed to.
The once quiet glades of the Park stream with the unmannerly multitude; the deer, disturbed by the din, fly to their securest retreats; while abandoned women and blackguard men roll down the One Tree Hill, amid the laughter of idle boys, and the obscene jests of striplings always more obscene than full-grown men.
Quieter parties are formed upon the grass, and cloths are laid and corks fly under the trees, while cold beef and bottled ale pass rapidly round, eaten without plate or fork, and drunk without the intervention of a glass.
But it is not by day that the uproar is at its highest; it is at night that "the mirth and fun grow fast and furious", and that the fair appears the very paradise of the vulgar.
Let any man who does not care for a squeezing, or a tread upon his corn, put on his oldest hat and coat, leave his watch behind him, and all his money but half-a-crown, and then venture into the throng, and he will see a sight unparalleled in the world, and learn a little of the rough jollity of the English populace.
He will at first be almost stunned by the conglomeration of noises that smite upon his ear; the braying of unmelodious trumpets, the beat ing of loud kettle-drums, and still louder gongs; the squeaking of wheezy fiddles, the sonorous invitation of showmen, the "buy, buy," of gingerbread venders; the shrieks, and filthy talk of abandoned women; the oaths of abandoned men, and the roar of the ever moving multitude.
After the lapse of a little time, when his ear has been accustomed to the uproar, he will be able to separate the noises into their several elements, and learn, that each is the representation of some peculiar vice or folly, all met to keep holiday together.
If he have no appetite for shows; no delight in looking at giants, dwarfs, learned pigs, pig-faced ladies, painted cannibals, and children with six toes upon each foot, let him turn into the booth set apart for dancing or theatrical representations.
In the first he will just be able to discover, amid dense clouds of tobacco-smoke, hundreds of men and women, dancing like the warlocks and witches at Alloway Kirk,

No cotillons bran-new frae France,
But hornpipes, jigs, strathspeys, and reels,
Wi' life and mettle in their heels,
They reel, they set, they cross, they tumble; -

the men smoking all the while; and the women, leaving off at short intervals the hot exercise to regale themselves with deep draughts of rum and gin, and some of them, when tired of dancing, lending their sweet voices to swell the harmony of the fiddlers, that set so many heavy feet amoving.
When he has had enough of the smoke and the odour of rum in these pavilions of an old and frowsy Terpsichore, let him enter the theatrical booth, and he will sup full of horrors, in the first piece, and be treated, in the second, with farce as broad as the previous tragedy was deep.
Murders, rape, incest, despair, suicide, and the gallows, will be the staple of the first; practical jokes, jests of venerable antiquity, and coarse as the audience, will form the staple of the second.
There sallow-faced mechanics, bluff peasants and soldiers, and blear-eyed journeymen, stamped with the brand of dissipation, sit, for the pleasant exciternent of either, now and then varying the entertainments by hurling ginger beer bottles at the heads of the performers, or extinguishing the lights by well-aimed cabbages and potatoes.
And this is Greenwich-fair, the most famous festival of the Londoners; the wonder of foreigners; an eye-sore to the magistracy and all orderly people; but an evil which our short sighted legislation, in matters of popular recreation, augments, instead of diminishing.
Sing ing and dancing are forbidden all the year in places where the populace resort; the Solons of the quarter-sessions will not allow them to hear music, or to dance, lest they should get drunk, forgetting that they can become sottish without the exhilaration of either.
They enclose common lands, and curb their amusements by every means, as if they were slaves, born to toil, and precluded by some law of nature from any refined enjoyments, and then they complain that once a year, upon occasion of a fair, their pent-up jollity explodes, and that they run riot, and commit all manner of excesses.
Several attempts have been made to suppress Greenwich-fair, but in vain.
It still remains the noisiest and most disgraceful holiday of the London mob, and probably ever will remain so till our magistracy have a little more consideration for the amusements of the poor; and put a few more opportunities for recreation in their way; until the legislature takes up the question upon high and philosophical grounds, and provides such facilities for harmless and exhilarating sports for the many, as will with draw them from the silent and sottish corners in low public-houses, where they sit almost every night, ready, whenever the period of their saturnalia arrives, to make up for the past privations of the year, by indulgences which harm themselves, and afford excuses to their local tyrants to draw still tighter, upon other occasions, the bonds that bind them.

The Dreadnought

Before leaving Greenwich, we should not omit to mention the Dreadnought, one of the most prominent objects that meets the rambler's eye on proceeding thither by water.
This fine old man-of-war, now used as an hospital ship for seamen of all nations, and supported by the voluntary subscriptions of the charitable, was, in the days of his youth, a formidable enemy of the French and Spaniards; a worthy successor of the Dreadnought of old, which fought against the Spaniards in the time of Queen Elizabeth.
In the glorious victory of Trafalgar he bore his part bravely; and under the command of Captain John Conn, he captured (we speak of him in the masculine, as a man-of-war) the large Spanish three-decker, the San Juan, which had been previously engaged by the Bellerophon and the Defiance.
The San Juan surrendered, after a stout affray, in which her hull was greatly shattered, her masts cut away, her captain slain, and nearly three hundred of her men killed and wounded.
The loss on board the Dreadnought was seven killed and twenty-two wounded.
From being stationed for so many years past in the river, within so short a distance of the metropolis, the Dreadnought was well known to the multitudes of London, and afforded, even in her mastless condition, an accurate notion, to those who had never seen any other ship of war, of the floating bulwarks by which Great Britain is defended.
In the summer of 1840 a leak was discovered in her hold (we may now promote her to the feminine gender, considering her as a nurse to the sick ), which rendered her removal necessary, for a short period only, till her repairs were completed, and she was towed down to Sheerness for that purpose by three steam-boats, appointed for that special service, amid the cheers of a great multitude, who assembled to witness her departure.
In a few days afterwards she was restored to her former moorings, where she now remains.



VOLUME II. CHAPTER VI.
White Bait Dinners at Blackwall. - Assault on London by Falconbridge. - The East India docks. -
- The River Lea. - Reminiscences of Isaac Walton. - Poetics of Hoddesdon. - Want's Inn at Broxbourne. -
- Theobalds. - A Good Appetite; a Story of Henry VIII. and the Abbot of Waltham. - Epping Forest. -
- The Bell at Edmonton. - The Tournament of Tottenham. - True Philosophy at Tottenham Cross. - Stratford-le -Bow and Bromley. -

Blackwall

Turning from Greenwich to the opposite bank of the river, we pass that considerable bend which forms the Isle of Dogs, and, on its eastern extremity, see the hamlet of Blackwall, famous for its shipping in the records of commerce, and for its luscious white bait in the modern annals of gastronomy.
Hither, during the season, resort numerous aristocratic parties to regale upon the peculiar delicacies of the place; hither resort - Privy Councillors, Ministers of State, and Under - secretaries, with whom of late years it has become quite fashionable to dine at Blackwall.
So great a delicacy are these tiny fish esteemed, that many persons consider a white bait dinner to be the most elegant entertainment that an amphitryon can bestow.
They were long thought to be peculiar to the Thames; but they have lately been discovered in the Frith[sic] of Forth.
The chief taverns of Blackwall are famous for, and mainly supported by them, where they are served up to the guests at extravagant prices, a few minutes after they are caught.
When the Bastard of Falconbride, as he was called, made his attack upon London, during the disastrous wars between the partisans of the Red and White Roses, he was repulsed from Southwark by the citizens, and driven to Blackwall.
His object was to release Henry VI, at that time captive in the Tower; and having sent about one half of his forces from Southwark to the meadows beyond Greenwich, they transported themselves across the river in boats and rafts to Blackwall.
From thence they marched to London once more, and stormed it at Aldgate, while Falconbridge himself made a second attack upon London Bridge.
Both assaults were unsuccessful.
The Blackwall party, to the number of six-hundred, forced an entrance into the city, and were cut to pieces by the citizens, who immediately closed the gate, and suffered not one to escape alive.
The remainder, who had not forced an entrance, were all taken prisoners.
At London Bridge, the Bastard was repulsed with great loss, and retreated to Rotherhithe, with only two or three hundred men of all his host.
Shortly afterwards he was captured by the Londoners, and beheaded, with nine of his companions, whose heads long remained upon the bridge, a terrible example to all beholders.
The stranger who visits Blackwall and its numerous canals and docks may exclaim with Dyer in his "Fleece",

Here lofty Trade
Gives audience to the world - the strand around
Close swarms with busy crowds of many a realm:
What bales! what wealth! what industry! what fleets!

It is the grand depôt of the East India trade.
The docks were completed at the expense of the East India Company, and first opened for shipping in the year 1803.
The import dock covers an area of about nineteen acres, and the export about twelve.
Until lately every ounce of tea consumed in the United Kingdom, proceeded in the first place from this immense repository; but since the breaking up of the monopoly of the East India Company, London is no longer the only port for vessels engaged in this gigantic traffic.
Here also is the most extensive private ship-yard in Europe, belong ing to Messrs. Wigram and Green.
When these docks were dug in the year 1790, a discovery was made, which had geology been so well understood as it is now, would have attracted the attention of most of the learned men of the age.
A subterranean forest, or, more properly speaking, the remains of one, were found in a state of great preservation; not scattered in confusion, but lying in regular order, and all the tops of the trees turned to wards the south, in which direction they must have been swept by some great convulsion of nature - some sudden whirlwind, or some rush ing of mighty waters from the north.

River Lea

Close to Black wall the river Lea discharges itself into the Thames, "the Gulfy Lea, with sedgy tresses" of Pope; and "the wanton Lea that oft doth lose his way" of Spenser; the most famous fishing stream in the neighbourhood of London, and suggesting at every step upon its green banks some agreeable reminiscence of the gentle craft professed by Isaac Walton.
A day's walk towards its source from Bow to Hertford, is one of the pleasantest excursions a contemplative man can take - whether he be an angler or a mere peripatetic in search of health among the green meadows and "breezy hills."
It takes its rise near Luton, in Bedfordshire, whence it flows obliquely to Hertford and Ware, and then passes close by Amwell, where the New River that supplies London with water begins to run almost parallel with it, and close by Hoddesdon, Broxbourne, Cheshunt, Waltham Abbey, Enfield, Edmonton, Tottenham, Walthamstow, and Bow.
At Enfield the New River parts company with it a little way, and taking a bend to Southgate, flows on to Hornsey and Canonbury, to the New River Head at Islington, where it is afterwards swallowed by the million mouths of animated London.
Let the reader only imagine that we have reached Hertford, per saltum, and we will trace this pretty stream downwards with him to its junction with the Thames, and gossip as we go,after our usual fashion, about the by-gone worthies who dwelt beside it and fished in it; and of the memorable events that may have signalized each spot upon its banks.

Hertford

Hertford was a place of some note in the days when the Romans held possession of Britain, and afterwards became one of the principal towns of the East Saxons.
Alfred built a castle to protect it from the Danes, who had more than once set fire to it, and plundered the people.
After the Conquest, the place became a royal domain; and the castle for many hundred years was the occasional residence of the sovereigns of this country.
A few, but very few traces of the structure are still said to exist; but in this respect we speak from hear-say only.
There are several humble seminaries for education in and near the town, the most important of which is Haileybury College, on the road towards Hoddesdon, for the education of young persons intended for the civil service of the East India Company in India.
In the town there is a branch school for the junior children of Christ's Hospital in London, and a free grammar school, having scholarships at the University of Cambridge.

Ware

Ware is also a town of considerable antiquity.
It was founded in the reign of Edward the Confessor, and is mentioned in Domesday Book, under the name of Waras.
In the times when England suffered from the invasion of the piratical Danes, they used often to sail up the Lea from Blackwall, as far as this place, where they erected a fort, from whence they made frequent sallies to ravage Hertford and the neighbouring country.
In the year 1408, the Lea overflowed its banks, and swept away all the frail wooden and thatched tenements of which they were composed.
After this calamity, when the town was rebuilt, dams and weirs were constructed in the river to guard against future inundations, from which weirs Camden supposes it took its name of Ware; but "the nourrice of antiquitie," so seldom wrong, was wrong in this instance, as a reference to Domesday Book will show.
It is now a busy, comfortable, substantial- looking place, well attended by "brothers of the angle," who love the stream by which it stands, and think with reverence upon the name of old Walton, whenever they "stretch their legs over Tottenham Hill towards Ware upon a fine, fresh, May morning."

Hoddesdon, The New River

From Ware to Hoddesdon, the New River runs within a very short distance of the Lea.
Hoddesdon is a small place, chiefly famous for a curious fountain that has long stood in the market-place, and alluded to by Prior in his ballad of Down Hall.
Down Hall itself, whither the poet retired, after he was discharged from prison, at the close of the year 1717, is in this neighbourhood, standing upon one of the tributary rivulets that feed the Lea near Harlow, where Locke is buried.
He was wearied of the ups and downs of politics, and, if we may believe him, found in his retirement more peace and happiness than he had ever known before; as he himself sings

The remnant of his days he safely past,
Nor found they lagged too slow, nor flew too fast.
He made his wish with his estate comply,
Joyful to live, yet not afraid to die!

This was the true philosophic frame of mind, but he did not live long to encourage himself in it.
His health failed him in his darling seclusion, and he died in 1721.
Of Hoddesdon and its inn, the Bull, still existing to receive the traveller, Prior makes the following mention in his ballad of Down Hall, wherein he ludicrously details his adventures on going to take possession of the snug villa which the kindness of his patron Harley provided for his declining years.

Into an old inn did their equipage roll,
At a town they call Hoddesdon, the sign of the Bull,
Near a nymph with an urn that divides the highway,
And into a puddle throws mother of tea.
Down, down, Derry down.

"Come here,my sweet landlady, pray, how d'ye do?
Where is Cicely so cleanly, and Prudence and Sue?
And where is the widow that dwelt here below?
And the ostler that sung about eight years ago?
Down, down, Derry down.

And where is your sister, so mild and so dear,
Whose voice to the maids like a trumpet was clear?"
"By my troth," she replies, "you grow younger, I think;
And pray, Sir, what wine does the gentleman drink?
Down, down, Derry down.

"Why, now let me die, Sir, or live upon trust,
If I know to which question to answer you first.
Why things since I saw you most strangely have varied,
The ostler is hang'd, and the widow is married.
Down, down, Derry down.

And Prue left a child for the parish to nurse,
And Cicely went off with a gentleman's purse;
And as to my sister, so mild and so dear,
She has lain in the churchyard full many a year."
Down, down, Derry down.

"Well, peace to her ashes, what signifies grief?
She roasted red veal, and she powdered lean beef;
Full well she knew how to cook up a fine dish,
For tough were her pullets, and tender her fish."
Down, down, Derry down.

"For that matter, Sir, be ye squire, knight, or lord,
I'll give you whate'er a good inn can afford.
I should look on myself as unhappily sped,
Did I yield to a sister or living or dead!"
Down, down, Derry down.

As ample, - it would be unkind to say, similar, - accommodation is still to be found at this ancient inn; which the traveller may perhaps feel an additional motive for patronizing, when he remembers that it ever boasted so illustrious a guest as the author of the "Nut Brown Maid," and if he finds better fare than Prior did, so much the greater will be his satisfaction.

The Thatched Inn, another old hostelrie, alluded to by Walton, has disappeared, no one knows how long ago.
In the original edition of the "Complete Angler," Piscator replies to Venator, "that he knew the Thatched House very well, for he often made it his resting-place to taste a cup of ale there, for which liquor that place was very remarkable."
It has been supposed, that a thatched cottage, once known by the sign of the Buffalo's Head, at the further end of Hoddesdon, towards Ware, was the house alluded to; but doctors differ upon the subject, and there is no certain light to guide the steps of the reverential angler.
The Rye-House, so called from its contiguity to the house of the same name, famous in the annals of Charles II, is the favourite resort of the anglers of the present day.

Rye House, Mackay 1840

The Rye-House, not the little inn of which we have given the opposite view, but the old edifice, tenanted in Charles II.'s time by Rumbold, the maltster, has a melancholy celebrity in English history, and its name conjures up affecting remembrances of the good lives, and untimely deaths, of Russell and Sidney, the martyrs of liberty.
Rumbold the maltster, and other weak or bad men, who were bound up in one common discontent, with the wise and good, against the misgovernment of Charles II. and the intrigues of his brother James, were no doubt concerned in a plot against the King's life; but Sidney and Russell were never proved to have taken part in it.
The house stood on the high road to Newmarket, and Rumbold, the tenant, thought how easily the King might be shot there on his way to the races, whither he went once a year.
" He laid a plan of his farm before some of the conspirators," says Hume, "and showed them how easy it would be, by overturning a cart, to stop at that place the King's coach; while they might fire upon him from the hedges, and be enabled afterwards, through by-lanes and across the fields, to make their escape.
But, though the plausibility of this scheme gave great pleasure to the conspirators, no concerted design was as yet laid, nor any men, horses, or arms provided; the whole was little more than loose discourse, the overflowings of zeal and rancour."
Who needs to be informed how the trials of Russell and Sidney were conducted, and how a "sweet saint," in the person of a wife, sat by the side of the former, under the judgment-seat? Denied all aid in his defence, Lord Russell asked,
"May I have somebody to write to assist my memory?"
"Yes," replied the Attorney-General, "a servant."
"Yes," added the Judge, "any of your servants shall assist you in writing anything you please for you."
"My wife," replied Russell, with the pride of love; "my wife is here, my Lord, to do it."
"In vain," says Lord Grey, in his History of the Rye-House Plot, "did Lady Russell, the daughter of the loyal and virtuous Southampton, throw herself at the royal feet, and crave mercy for her husband; in vain did the Earl of Bedford offer a hundred thousand pounds through the mediation of the all-prevailing Duchess of Portsmouth, for the life of his son.
The King was inexorable.
And, to put a stop to all further importunity, he said, in reply to the Earl of Dartmouth,
"I must have his life, or he will have mine.'
"My death," said Russell, with a consolatory prescience, when he found his fate was inevitable, will be of more service to my country than my life could have been!"
These, and other circumstances of the life and death of this statesman, and his fellow-martyr, Sidney, may be well known; but we should pity the man who could tread within the precincts of the Rye-House, and, having known them, have forgotten them.

Broxbourne

What London angler knows not the next place, Broxbourne, and its green meadows by the New River and the Lea? Who knows not "Want's Inn," and its quiet snug parlour, hung round with those scaly reminiscences of the river deeps, which the angler delighteth to get a nibble from, if he cannot catch?
Ever since, and perhaps long before the days of Isaac Walton, Broxbourne has been a favourite resort of metropolitan anglers.
It is a pleasant romantic spot, and deserves the preference that has been shown it, not only for its sport, but for its quiet sequestered scenery.

Cheshunt

Still rambling down the banks of theriver, we arrive at Cheshunt, on the great Roman highway called Ermin Street.
This village and manor were once possessed by John of Gaunt, no king himself, but father of a long line of English monarchs.
A bit of scandal is related of the nuns that resided here shortly before the dissolution of the religious houses.
One Sir Henry Cole, of Nether Hall, as we learn from Fuller's History of Waltham Abbey, having received notice that some of the monks of Waltham were harboured in Cheshunt nunnery, pitched a buck-stall in the meadow, and inclosed them as they were returning in the dark from the convent.
He brought them next morning to Henry VIII, at Waltham, who observed, "that he had often seen sweeter, but never fatter venison."
Some minute critic has objected to this story, that there was no Sir Henry Cole of Nether Hall at this time.
However that may be, the joke sits ill in the mouth of Henry, himself as amorous as uncleanly, and as fat as any of the offending monks could have been.
Cardinal Wolsey resided at Cheshunt for a short time, and a less illustrious, but, in the true sense of the term, a greater man than he, afterwards took up his abode in the same place, forsaking the world and its strife-begotten dignities, to live to a green old age, and die at last in peace.
Richard Cromwell, the son of the Protector,
"less than his sire, yet greater - not so happy, yet happier";
peaceable, unambitious, and inoffensive, as historians have universally designated him, and unwilling to purchase dominion by the shedding of blood, he resigned his power without a murmur or a regret, and retired to the privacy of a country life.
He travelled for some years on the Continent - smiled in his incognito, when the Prince of Conti designated him in his own hearing a pitiful fellow, and thought, no doubt, in his own mind, that he, the nameless individual, was the wiser man of the two; and finally retired to Cheshunt, where, under the name of Clark, he lived on a decent competence, to the age of eighty.
He died in 1712, universally regretted by his neighbours.
At Cheshunt is a College for the education of students intended for preachers of Methodist doctrines.

Theobalds

The next place deserving of notice is Theobalds, occupying the site of the ancient palace of that name, and now the seat of Sir Henry Meux.
The old palace has long since disappeared.
It was erected about the year 1559, by the celebrated Burleigh, to whom Queen Elizabeth paid no less than twelve visits at this place, putting him each time to an expense of between two and three thousand pounds.
On the death of Burleigh, his son Robert, afterwards Earl of Salisbury, took possession of Theobalds, and gave a grand entertainment to King James on his journey from Scotland to assume the English crown.
In the year 1606 the Earl gave a second entertainment to the King, who was accompanied by Christian IV. of Denmark.
James took a liking to the place, and prevailed upon the Earl to give it him in exchange for the manor and palace of Hatfield.
He afterwards passed much of his time here; and it became his favourite residence.
Hither he retired when, in a fit of virtuous indignation, he took the solemn oath, kneeling in the presence of the assembled judges, never to spare any one concerned in the abominable murder of Sir Thomas Overbury; the oath which he soon broke, when he found his favourite Somerset was so deeply implicated.
His perjury would seem, indeed, in the words of his own imprecation, to have brought down "God's curse upon him and his posterity for ever."
James died in this palace, according to some accounts, of an ague, but not without suspicion of poison administered by order of his favourite Buckingham; a suspicion which the entertaining author of the Curiosities of Literature has striven, very successfully, to show was without foundation.
The room in which the King expired used to be shown to the curious until the year 1765, when the remains of the old building were pulled down.
Charles I. occasionally resided at Theobalds; and there received the famous petition from Parliament, in the year 1642.
Upon the temporary abolition of royalty, the palace, along with many others, was ordered to be sold.
Great part of it was taken down; and the sum produced by the sale of the materials applied to the uses of the army.
The small remnant of it, with the lands adjoining, was granted as a reward to General Monk, but, on the failure of his male lineage, it again reverted to the crown.
It was granted by William III. to his countryman, Bentinck Earl of Portland, from whom, after various changes, it came into the possession of Mr. Prescott, who pulled down the remains of it in 1765, as already stated, and erected the present edifice upon its site.

Waltham Abbey

On the left hand, journeying downwards between the two rivers, the natural and the artificial, we arrive at the ancient town of Waltham Abbey in Essex, the seat and burial place of the last monarch of England of the Saxon line.
From Waltham Abbey, Harold proceeded to take arms against the Norman invader of his realm, and lost his empire and his life at the field of Hastings.
Here his corpse was buried, and the tomb inscribed with the simple and touching words,
"Harold infelir."
The name of this time-honoured place is derived from two Saxon words, signifying 'the town in the forest, and the addition of Holy Cross, by which it is sometimes distinguished, had its origin in a cross bestowed upon it by Tovius, a Dane, standard-bearer to King Canute, which was supposed to cure all the diseases of the faithful, and work many miracles.
The monks of Waltham Abbey were long a rich and powerful body, and received constant favours and benefactions from most of the early monarchs of England.
Henry III, who was generally in distress for money, sometimes found it convenient to bestow upon these hospitable monks the honour of his company for a month or so at a time.
To enable them and the inhabitants of the town the better to bear the burden, he granted the latter the privilege of a weekly market and an annual fair of seven days.
The abbots had the privilege of wearing the mitre, and of taking their place among the Barons in Parliament.
The revenues of the abbey amounted, in the time of Henry VIII. to nearly a thousand pounds per annum.
Of the last-mentioned King and the monks, a pleasant story is told, perhaps apocryphal, but as a tradition worth preserving.
Henry often visited Waltham, as historians inform us, for "his private pleasures, and to see some fair wench in the neighbourhood, whose name has been forgotten."
But the tradition does not relate to his amours, but to his love of frolic.
As the song says -

Old King Harry was fond of canary,
Fond of good victuals and sack was he;
But more than canary did old King Harry
Love a sly joke, with his hey derry dee!
Hey, down! ho, down! derry down dee!

Having heard much of the sumptuous style of living of the abbot, even upon ordinary occasions, when no distinguished guest was expected, Henry disguised himself in the dress of a yeoman of the guard, and sought admittance at the hour of dinner.
He was allowed to enter, and take his place at the lower end of the table, where he ate so very heartily of beef and cabbage, and drank so plentifully of sack, as to attract the notice of the abbot at the other end.
"Gramercy!" quoth the abbot, - but thou hast a famous appetite.
I would give a hundred pounds if I could eat such a dinner of beef as thou canst.
My poor queasy stomach can hardly digest the breast of a chicken."
A few days afterwards the pursy old abbot received a message from the King, requesting his immediate presence in London.
The abbot obeyed; and was forthwith committed to close custody in the Tower, where bread and water, and not much of either, constituted his only fare for several days.
When he had fasted sufficiently, a sirloin of beef, with a flagon of sack, were placed before him; on both of which he made inroads which would not have disgraced a farm-labourer in the vigour of youth and health, and was just finishing his meal, when the Majesty of England, in his own character, burst into the apartment, and demanded the hundred pounds for the good appetite, and the dinner to stay it, which he had given him.
The story adds, that the abbot was glad enough at so pleasant a termination to his unpleasant imprisonment, and that he paid the hundred pounds without a murmur.
The remaining portion of this old abbey, now used as the parish church, has a venerable and interesting appearance, and abounds with quaint and curious architectural antiquities. The abbey lands, on the dissolution of the religious houses, were granted by Henry VIII. to Sir Anthony Denny, on a lease for thirty-one years, renewable at the King's will.
This family long possessed them; and there is a remarkable monument still existing, to the memory of one of them, erected by his wife, Jeanne Champernon, "out of mean fortunes, but no mean affection." It is a mural monument, near the east end of the south aisle, and represents Sir Edward Denny, son of the Sir Anthony above alluded to, in his plate armour, lying on his side, with his lady beside him in her ruff and bodice, and their ten children, four boys and six girls, kneeling in front.
Inscribed are the following lines:

Learn, curious reader, ere thou pass,
What once Sir Edward Denny was:
A courtier of the chamber,
A soldier of the fielde;
Whose tongue could never flatter!
Whose heart could never yielde!

The river Lea, which here forms the boundary between Hertfordshire and Essex, separates itself into several streams, and forms a number of small islands.
It is believed, that the river originally flowed in one stream only.
It is well known that King Alfred diverted it from its accustomed channel, and by that means left the piratical fleet of the Danes ashore on the green meadows between Ware and Waltham; and the tradition is, that it was never afterwards diverted again into its proper bed, but allowed to wander in divided currents, as we now behold it.

Epping Forest

The neighbourhood of Waltham Abbey, especially on the Essex side, is extremely beautiful.
There lies the hoary forest of Epping, or the remains of that once secluded, and extensive wildwood.
It once took its name from Waltham, but as the distance between that town and its outskirts was gradually increased by the forest-felling hatchet, it borrowed a name from a town more immediately in its thick recesses, and called itself Epping.
Henry III. granted a privilege, in 1226, to the citizens, to hunt once a year at Easter, within a circuit of twenty miles of their city.
This privilege in the course of time was, by degrees, abandoned, until their hunting restricted itself to Epping and Hainault Forests, whither, until very recently, the citizens proceeded at Easter to hunt a stag, turned out for their diversion.
Many are the shafts that ridicule has aimed at them, in consequence, from Tom Durfey, in his "Pills to purge Melancholy," to Tom Hood, who, though he does not give such a medicinal name to his books, sells pills more effective in purging melancholy than Tom Durfey or any of his predecessors.

Waltham Cross

Waltham Cross, Mackay 1840

On the Hertfordshire side of the Lea is the village of Waltham Cross, celebrated for, and named after the cross, which the affectionate Edward I. raised to the memory of his dearly beloved Queen Eleanor.
She died in Lincoln shire; and at every place where the funeral procession stopped, on its way to London, the King erected a cross.
Only three of them are now remaining, namely, those at Geddington, Northampton, and Waltham.
That at Waltham was originally a very beautiful structure, but time, the great enemy, has made sad havoc on its fair proportions, defaced its effigies, and eaten into the very heart of its sculptured heraldry.
Charing Cross, another of these loving memorials of conjugal truth, disappeared in the tumults of the Revolution; and the bronze image of the chief victim of that revolution now stands upon its site. Continuing our course down the stream, and keeping as closely as possible to the Lea, we leave Enfield and its celebrated Chace on our right hand, and after a pleasant walk,

Edmonton

arrive at Edmonton, once noted for its fair, and famous for ever in the adventures of John Gilpin. The Bell Inn still courts the company of the traveller, where

Gilpin 's loving wife
From the balcony spied
Her tender husband; wondering much
To see how he did ride!

and where, after he had been carried so sorelv against his will to Ware, and back again, his wife still stood, and pulled out half-a-crown, as a reward to the postboy if he overtook him.

The youth did ride, and soon did meet
John coming back amain!
Whom in a trice he tried to stop
By catching at the rein.

But not performing what he meant,
And gladly would have done,
The frightened steed he frightened more,
And made him faster run!

Away went Gilpin, and away
Went postboy at his heels!

And such a ride as was seen that day was never seen since Turpin rode to York, or since Mazeppa was carried into the deserts on his wild horse.

Edmonton is now a busy, populous place, but contains little to arrest the progress of the rambler.
If he be a lover of literature, however, he will remember that Charles Lamb died in the village, on the 27th of December 1834, and will stay to visit the churchyard, and read his epitaph, written by the Rev. H. F. Carey, the translator of Dante:

Farewell, dear friend! That smile, that harmless mirth,
No more shall gladden our domestic hearth;
That rising tear, with pain forbid to flow,
Better than words, no more assuage our woe;
That hand outstretched from small, but well-earned store,
Yield succour to the destitute no more!
Yet art thou not all lost: through many an age,
With sterling sense and humour, shall thy page
Win many an English bosom, pleased to see
That old and happier vein revived in thee;
This for our earth; and if with friends we share
Our joys in heaven, we hope to meet thee there.

Tottenham

The next remarkable place on the banks of the Lea is Tottenham, renowned in facetious poetry for its famous tournament in the bygone days, when these sights were as fashionable as Lord Eglintoun, the Marquis of Londonderry, and the Queen of Beauty have desired to make them since.
Who can enter this village without a pleasing emotion, as he remembers the quaint old ballad that celebrates it, and its rustic beauty, and its flail armed heroes.
It is related of the French soldiers who invaded Spain, committing all manner of excesses, that they became sobered down as they entered the city of Tobosa, and forbore to indulge in any outrage upon the spot so familiar to them as the birth-place of the fair Dulcinea, for whose charms the immortal Don Quixote waged fierce warfare against all the world.
Why should not we, who lay claim to more refinement than a French trooper, indulge in similar feelings at Tottenham, when we remember the lovely Tyb?
It is not precisely known when the old ballad was written, but it was first published in 1631, and its editor, the Rev. Mr. Bedwell, rector of Tottenham, supposed it to have been the composition of one Gilbert Pilkington, his predecessor in office, so early as the reign of Edward III.

It is a pity that its uncouth spelling and obsolete words are so very uncouth and obsolete as to render it "caviare to the million," who are ignorant in consequence,

Of Hawkin and Herry,
Of Tomkyn and Terry,
And them that were doughty and stalwart in deed,

upon that memorable high day in Tottenham, when, for the love of that bright rustic damsel, the daughter of Randal the Reeve, Hawkyn, Dawkyn, Perkyn, Tomkyn, Terry, Dudman, Bud, and the rest,

Sowed them in sheepskins for they should not brast,
Each one took a black hat instead of a crest,
A basket or a panier before on their breast,
And a flail in their hand, for to fight prest,
Forth 'gan they fare.
There was shown mickle force
Who should best fend his course;
He that had no good horse,
He gat him a mare!

Such another gathering have I not seen oft,
When all the great company came riding to the croft;
Tybbie, on a grey mare, was set up aloft,
On a sack full of feathers, that she might sit soft.

Then, as Bishop Percy says, did this parcel of clowns imitate all the solemnities of the tourney.
There were the regular challenge, the appointed day, the lady for the prize, the formal preparations, the display of armour, the escutcheons and devices, the oaths taken on entering the lists, and last of all, the grand encounter; at which

They tugged and rugged till it was near night;
And all the wives of Tottenham came to see the sight;
With wisps, and candles, and rushes, there alight,
To fetch home their husbands that were in woful plight.
And some brought great harrows
Their husbands home to fetch;
Some on doors, and some on hech,
Some on hurdles, and some on crech,
And some on wheel-barrows.

At last the great Perkyn vanquished his opponents, and Tybbie, glorious prize, became incontestably his own.

He took her with great mirth, and homeward did they ride,
And were all night together till the morning tide.

As the date of this composition is uncertain, we cannot know what effect the ridicule thrown by the author upon the fashionable tournaments had upon the public opinion with regard to them.

Bedwell, its editor, and one of the translators of King James's Bible, and author also of a history of this parish, lies buried in the churchyard of Tottenham.
A simple stone, with a simple inscription, marks the spot.
This village takes the name of Tottenham High Cross from a cross which has stood there from time immemorial, and which many persons suppose was erected by King Edward, like that at Waltham, to mark the spot where the corpse of his beloved queen rested on its way to London.
The opinion, however, is disputed.
What reader of Izaac Walton, be he angler, or be he not, that does not remember the philosophic conversation that took place here, between the fisherman and the hunter?
"Well, scholar," says Piscator, "I have almost tired myself, and, I fear, more than almost tired you: but I now see Tottenham High Cross, and our short walk thither shall put a period to my too long discourse; in which my meaning was, and is, to plant that in your mind, with which I labour to possess my own soul, that is, a meek and thankful heart.
And to that end, I have showed you that riches, without it, do not make any man happy.
But let me tell you, that riches with them, remove many cares and fears, and therefore my advice is, that you endeavour to be honestly rich, or contentedly poor; but be sure that your riches be justly got, or you spoil all. For it is well said by Caussin: 'He that loses his conscience has nothing left that is worth keeping.
Therefore be sure you look to that.
And, in the next place, look to your health; and if you have it, praise God, and value it next to a good conscience; for health is the second blessing that we mortals are capable of; a blessing that money cannot buy, and therefore value it, and be thankful for it.
As for money, which may be said to be the third blessing, neglect it not: but note, that there is no necessity for being rich; for I told you, there be as many miseries beyond riches as on this side them; and, if you have a competence, enjoy it with a meek, cheerful, thankful heart.
I will tell you, scholar, I have heard a grave divine say, that God has two dwellings, one in heaven, and the other in a meek and thankful heart; which Almighty God grant to me and to my honest scholar.
And so you are welcome to Tottenham High Cross.
"
"Honest Izaac!"is a phrase that has fallen into disrepute, but we will say,
Honest Izaac Walton!
and leave Tottenham, with his quaint and pleasant lesson of life still lingering in our mind, and continue our stroll down the banks of his favourite river.

Walthamstow, Leyton, Clapton, Homerton, Hackney

A little lower, on its other bank, are Walthamstow in Essex, swarming with tasteful and comfortable villas, and Leyton, the "town upon the Lea", which some antiquaries affirm to have been a Roman station.
Many Roman urns have been found amid the clay of the churchyard, and on the side of a lane leading to Stratford-le-Bow.
The upper part of the town is called Leytonstone, from a Roman milliarium that formerly stood there.
In the churchyard are buried Strype, the well-known antiquary, the vicar of the parish, who held that office for sixty-eight years, and died here at the patriarchal age of ninety-four; and another antiquary, as well known, Bowyer, the learned printer, and partner of John Nicholls, the author of that very interesting work, "The Progresses of Queen Elizabeth."
Passing by Clapton, Homerton, and Hackney, once suburbs, but now component parts of the mighty metropolis,

Stratford-le-bow, Bromley-le-bow

the Lea arrives at the ancient village of Bow, or Stratford-le-Bow, with its quiet, sedate, venerable-looking church, originally built in the reign of Henry II.
The old bridge over the Lea, lately replaced by a more elegant modern structure, was long a delightful object to the eyes of the antiquary.
It was built by Margaret, the benevolent queen of Henry I, to whom London and its vicinity were indebted for many other good works.
She also built the bridge at Channel Lea, and bestowed a considerable sum for making and repairing the road between the two.
Bow Bridge long enjoyed the distinction of being the oldest stone bridge in England, and from its curved form, acquired the name, which was afterwards extended to the village beside it.
London Bridge was not built of stone till about one hundred years afterwards.
Bromley-le-Bow, named from the same bridge, is the last of the pleasant villages that ornament the Lea, which is then lost amid the ship-yards, manufactories, and long straggling outskirts of the shipping districts of the metropolis.
Divided into several branches, aided by canals, polluted by gasworks, and other useful but unfragrant factories, it loses its character of a retired and rural stream.
Its very name is taken from it at the end of its useful career, and it unites itself with the Thames, neglected and unhonoured, under the name of Bow Creek.



VOLUME II. CHAPTER VII.
Shooter's Hill; its Robberies and Murders. - Henry VIII. and his May Games. - Charlton. -
- Horn Fair. - King John and the Miller's Wife. - Woolwich. -
- The Dockyard. - Wonders of the Royal Arsenal. -

Shooter's Hill

Once more upon the Thames, we see the woody eminence of Shooter's Hill, castle-crowned, rising boldly to the right, and remaining visible for many miles, the most beautiful and most prominent object in the view.
It was once in contemplation to build a town upon its summit, and a finer site could not have been selected either for pleasure or traffic.
The lovely views it would have commanded up and down the Thames, northward over Essex, and Southward over the green vales of Kent, recommended it for the first, and its situation on the great Dover Road, would have made it very advantageous for the second.
The project however fell to the ground for want of encouragement.
Early in the sixteenth century a beacon was erected on the hill, to aid the navigation of the river, and a watch was appointed to guard the hill itself, which had from a very early age been notorious as the resort of highwaymen.
Travellers were constantly robbed and murdered in its thickets; and in the reign of Richard II. orders were issued that the trees and under wood on each side of the road should be cut down, in order that they might not afford shelter to the freebooters.
But still the place preserved its bad name, and in an old play of the time of Elizabeth, it is called the Hill of Murder.
This name,however, was probably bestowed upon it, not so much for its assassinations committed by freebooters, as for a murder which had a love story for its foundation, and which excited much interest in the year 1573.
One George Browne, enamoured of Mrs. Sanders, the wife of a wealthy merchant of London, determined to kill the husband that he might enjoy the wife; and being encouraged by the latter, and by another woman named Drury, he lay in wait for him on Shooter's Hill, where it was expected he would pass, on his return to London from St. Mary 's Cray.
The merchant, accompanied by his servant, passed the fatal hill at the expected time, and Browne, aided by a fellow named Roger Clements, or "trusty Roger," as the confederates called him, set upon them with daggers, and left them both apparently lifeless in the thicket.
The poor merchant never breathed again; but his servant, though pierced with eleven wounds, revived a little in the freshness of the morning, and crawled to the nearest house on the road to Woolwich, where he gave information of his master's murder.
All the accomplices were shortly afterwards arrested.
The two women and "trusty Roger" were hanged at Smithfield, and Browne on a high gallows erected on the spot where his crime had been committed.
The bad character of Shooter's Hill clung to it, and deservedly, long after the time of Elizabeth.
In the reign of James I. it was said of the numerous thieves by whom Kent was infested, that they robbed at Shooter's Hill as if by prescription.
No great improvement took place until the year 1739, when an act of Parliament was passed to widen the road over the hill.
It is still a lonely spot, where thieves might find convenient shelter.

But the history of Shooter's Hill is not wholly composed of incidents of robbery and murder.
Many of its associations are of a pleasanter character.
Hither came the princes of the House of Tudor and all their court "a maying"; and here for a time resided the rural poet Bloomfield, Hollinshed, and after him Strutt, have described the May festival of Henry VIII, in the days of his hot youth, upon the hill.
The plan of the games was devised by the officers of his guards, who, to the number of two hundred, clothed all in Lincoln green, like Robin Hood and his men of old, waited for him at the bottom of the ascent.
The captain of the guard played the part of Robin Hood, and had his Little John, his Friar Tuck, and his Maid Marian, all in their appropriate costume.
The King, riding from Greenwich with his Queen Catharine of Arragon, and a brilliant assemblage of the handsomest youths and maidens of his court, was accosted by Robin Hood, who begged permission to show him the skill of his followers in archery.
Permission having been granted, the sports commenced, and the foresters drew the cloth-yard shaft, and shot their arrows thick and strong, until the King had seen enough.
Robin Hood then invited him to come into the merry green wood, and see how the hunters fared; when the King and Queen were led into an arbour in the middle of the thicket, all made of green boughs, and containing a hall, an ante-chamber, and a large saloon, hung round with festoons of flowers and various emblems of the sweet month of May.
Excuses having been made that hunters generally breakfasted upon venison, the only meat they could get, the King and Queen, with their attendants, to the number of about a hundred, sat down to a bountiful supply of that viand, and brown bread, accompanied by large flagons of sack and canary.
After the entertainment, another show was provided for their gratification on their return to Greenwich.
Upon the heath the cavalcade met two splendid chariots, each drawn by five richly caparisoned horses.
One chariot contained the "Lady of the May," and the other the goddess Flora, who both made some highly complimentary speeches to the King, and dropped roses and lilies upon his path.
Each horse had its name inscribed upon its forehead, and a fair young girl riding upon its back.
The name of the first horse was Laud, or Praise, and of its rider, Humidity[sic
this must be a typo for "humility"? but what a superb Freudian slip!];
of the second, Memnon, and of its rider, the Lady Vert;
on the third, called Phaeton, sat the Lady Vegitive[sic];
on the fourth, called Rimphon, sat the Lady Plaisaunce;
and on the fifth, called Lampace, rode the "Lady of the sweet spring odours".
These all turned back with the King, playing upon the lute, and sing ing pastoral songs until they arrived at Greenwich.

The castle of Severndroog, upon the summit of Shooter's Hill, was erected in the year 1784;

A far seen monumental tower,
To tell th' achievements of the brave,

as Bloomfield expresses it.

A broad tablet of stone over the entrance, narrates its history in the following inscription: - "This building was erected in the year 1784, by the representative of the late Sir William James, Bart. to commemorate that gallant officer's achievements in the East Indies, during his command of the Company's maritime forces in those seas; and in a particular manner to record the conquest of the castle of Severndroog on the coast of Malabar, which fell to his superior valour and able conduct, on the 2nd day of April, 1755".
The castle of Severndroog belonged to a noted horde of robbers and pirates on the coast of Malabar, under the command of a powerful chief named Angria, who, with his predecessors, had long troubled the English commerce in those seas, and forced the East India Company to keep up a force to check them and protect the traffic at an annual expense of fifty thousand pounds.
Sir William, then Commodore James, was placed at the head of the maritime expedition in the year above-mentioned, and reduced the stronghold of the pirates which had long been considered impregnable.

The poet Bloomfield when he resided on Shooter's Hill for the benefit of his health, was much pleased with this castle and its neighbouring heaths and woods, and has left in his poems a record of his thoughts and feelings.
"Thus," said that simple and unfortunate bard,

To hide me from the public eye,
To keep the throne of Reason clear,
Amidst fresh air to breathe or die,
I took my staff and wander'd here.
Suppressing every sigh that heaves,
And coveting no wealth but thee,
I nestle in the honey'd leaves,
And hug my stolen liberty.

O'er eastern uplands gay or rude,
Along to Erith's ivy'd spire,
I start, with strength and hope renew'd,
And cherish life's rekindling fire;
Now measure vales with streaming eyes,
Now trace the churchyard's humble names,
Or climb brown heaths abrupt that rise,
And overlook the winding Thames.

Charlton and the Horn Fair

Nearer to the bank of the river than Shooter's Hill, and about a mile before we arrive opposite that eminence, stands the pretty rural village of Charlton, with its simple church upon a hill; its antique stocks, where criminal seldom or never sits; its little old-fashioned inns, with their sign boards creaking in the wind; and its comfortable baronial mansion and park, where the rooks keep up a dignified cawing the live long summer's day.
The manor house, now the residence of Sir Thomas Maryon Wilson, was built by Sir Adam Newton, preceptor to Prince Henry, in the reign of James I.
It was long called King John's palace, by the country people, who confounded it with the old palace at Eltham in the vicinity, which now goes by that name, but which was not itself in existence in King John's day.
The Charlton people, however, cling to King John, and insist that their celebrated Horn Fair, held annually on the 18th of October, was establish ed by that monarch.
Lysons in his "Environs of London," mentions it as a vague and idle tradition - and such, perhaps it is; but, as we are of opinion that the traditions of the people are always worth preserving, we will repeat the legend, and let the reader value it at its proper worth.
King John, says the old story, being wearied with hunting on Shooter's Hill and Blackheath, entered the house of a miller at Charlton to repose himself.
He found no one at home but the mistress, who was young and beautiful; and being himself a strapping fellow, handsome withal, and with a glosing tongue, he, in a very short time, or as we would say in the present age, in no time, made an impression upon her too susceptible heart.
He had just ventured to give the first kiss upon her ripe lips, when the miller opportunely came home and caught them.
Being a violent man, and feeling himself wounded in the sorest part, he drew his dagger, and rushing at the King, swore he would kill them both.
The poet of all time hath said, "that a divinity doth hedge a king," but the miller of Charlton thought such proceedings anything but divine, and would no doubt have sent him unannealed into the other world, if John had not disclosed his rank.
His divinity then became apparent, and the miller putting up his weapon, begged that at least he would make him some amends for the wrong he had done him.
The King consented, upon condition also that he would forgive his wife, and bestowed upon him all the land visible from Charlton to that bend of the river beyond Rotherhithe where the pair of horns are now fixed upon the pole.
He also gave him, as lord of the manor, the privilege of an annual fair on the 18th of October, the day when this occurrence took place.
His envious compeers, unwilling that the fame of this event should die, gave the awkward name of Cuckold's Point to the river boundary of his property, and called the fair, Horn Fair, which it has borne ever since.
But olden records, more trustworthy than traditions, inform us that the fair was established by Henry III. in the year 1268.
How long it has borne the name of Horn Fair is not known.
Phillipot, who wrote in the year 1659, says, it was called Horn Fair in his day, on account of the great plenty of winding horns, cups, spoons, and various utensils made of that material, that were sold in it.
A burlesque procession used formerly to be made at Deptford, which passed through Greenwich to Charlton, each person wearing a pair of branch ing antlers upon his head, and thinking himself privileged for that day to play all sorts of indecent tricks upon the women.
This was at length found such an intolerable nuisance, that it was suppressed in the year 1768.
The church of Charlton was repaired and beautified at a considerable expense, by the executors of Sir Adam Newton, out of funds left by him for this purpose.
Among the monuments is one to the memory of Mr. Craggs the elder, so famous in his day for his participation in the South Sea scheme, and to whose son, Secretary of State in 1720, and also implicated in South Sea transactions, Pope wrote one of his poetical epistles.
Hanging Wood, between the churchyard and the Thames, is a sequestered spot of woodland, affording many fine views of the river, and the opposite shores of Essex.

Woolwich

Woolwich, Mackay 1840

Woolwich, the next place that solicits attention on the banks of the river, raises its giant cranes and its huge dock-houses, to proclaim its character, and make it evident to the stranger at the first glance.
This busy and populous town first rose into importance in the reign of Henry VII. when its dockyard, afterwards called, by Camden, the mother dock of England, was first established, but in what year is uncertain.
In the third year of Henry VIII. a great ship, the greatest until that time seen in England, was launched from Woolwich Dock, and called the "Harry Grace de Dieu."
In the reign of Elizabeth, another large vessel, which also bore the royal name, was launched from the same place, the Queen honouring the ceremony with her presence.
Before this time Woolwich was but a little fishing-village, liable from its low situation, to frequent inundations of the river.
The lower part of the town is still dirty and miserable; but on the common and the heights towards Shooter's Hill, is clean, well built, and agreeable.
It is a common saying of the people at Woolwich, that more wealth passes through their parish than through any other in the kingdom, which is explained by the fact, that the parish comprises a considerable portion of land on the other side of the river, and that consequently the Thames, and all the multitude of vessels bound to the port of London, pass through it.

Woolwich is chiefly famous for its dock, its arsenal, and its barracks.
In time of war, like its rival at Deptford, the dock is a scene of great activity and bustle; but little is done in time of peace.
There are generally, however, two or three ships of war upon the stocks, affording employment to several hundred workmen.

Woolwich Arsenal

The arsenal, the grand depot of military stores for England, and the foundry of its cannon, is an establishment more remarkable.
The circumstances that led to its foundation are also extremely interesting.
Until 1716, the chief foundry of the ordnance, was at Moorfields, London.
In that year it was determined to recast several heavy pieces of artillery, which had been taken from the French by the Duke of Marlborough.
A public exhibition of the process was announced; scaffolding, for the accommodation of great numbers of people, was erected, and, on the appointed morning, crowds of ladies and gentlemen had assembled.
Among other persons attracted to see the sight, was a young Swiss, named Andrew Schalch, a native of Schaffhausen, who was travelling in England, in conformity to a law of his canton, which obliges all artificers to visit foreign countries for instruction and improvement before they establish themselves in their own.
He was on the ground from an early hour in the morning, and soon discovered that the moulds in which the cannon were to be cast, were not sufficiently dry.
He saw the danger, and immediately sought Colonel Armstrong, the Surveyor-general of the Ordnance, whom he warned of the terrible explosion that might ensue if the fault were not remedied.
His warning was disregarded; so telling all his friends to leave the place, he took his departure.
His prediction was but too fatally verified.
The heated metal poured into the damp moulds, generated a quantity of steam: the moulds burst, and the burning iron flew about in all directions, tearing down the roof and galleries, and killing many people, and maiming many more.
Upon the news of this calamity reaching the government, George I. resolved that the foundry should be removed to a distance from London.
Colonel Armstrong, when it was too late, remembered the warning of the stranger, and determined at the same time to secure the future services of a man who had so intimate a knowledge of his profession.
Not knowing his name, or where to find him, he caused an advertisement to be inserted in the public journals, mentioning the circumstances of their interview at Moorfields, and desiring the stranger to call at the Ordnance Office, in the Tower of London.
Schalch saw the advertisement, and called accordingly.
So favourable an impression of his ability was made upon the Colonel's mind by this interview, that he was commissioned by the Board of Ordnance, to make choice of a spot in the neighbourhood of London, where a national foundry might be most conveniently established, and promised, at the same time, the honourable office of superintendent.
Schalch made his survey, and finally fixed on a plot of ground to the east of Woolwich, then known as the Rabbit Warren.
The site was approved, - proper buildings were immediately constructed, and increased from time to time, as circumstances required, and the present noble arsenal is the result.
Schalch held the office of superintendent for sixty years, and died in 1776, at the advanced age of ninety.
This establishment continued to be called by its old name of the Warren for many years, until it was visited by George III, who gave it the more befitting appellation of the Royal Arsenal.
Many people in Woolwich, however, so inveterate is habit, persist in calling it by its old name.

The King of Brobdignag, when Gulliver explained to him the nature and the uses of gun powder, exclaimed in the extremity of his wonder, what a destructive and ferocious little animal man was.
Who would not confess the truth and justice of the satire, after a visit to this arsenal, where cannon balls piled up in pyramids are to be counted, not by thousands or tens of thousands, but actually by millions!
In the centre of an extensive area are arranged guns, howitzers, and mortars, in long and imposing rows.
Though at peace with all the world, we are ready for war at a minute's notice, and at Woolwich alone are laid up, fit for use, no less than twenty-four thousand pieces of ordnance, twenty-one thousand of them made of cast iron, and about three thousand of gunmetal, the largest weighing ninety hundred weight, and the smallest about two and a half hundred weight, forming altogether two hundred and two separate assortments, into which they are divided by the length of the piece, or the width of the bore.
The cannon balls, weighing from two pounds to thirty-six, are piled in tremendous pyramids to the number of three millions, each one only awaiting the impulse to fly through the air, laden with death and destruction.
The labour of piling them, which is very great, is performed by convicts, with weights upon their legs, and who are stationed in the hulks,moored off Woolwich for the purpose.
When the allied Sovereigns visited England after the peace in 1814, they agreed that of all the wondrous sights they had seen in England, these implements of warfare were the most wondrous; and the Emperor Alexander had his doubts at first whether these piles of iron balls were not wood, painted iron - grey, to deceive him into a false idea of our immense resources.
The process of casting the cannon at the Arsenal is curious.
The mould, which is a mixture of clay, loam, sand, and other materials, having been prepared of the requisite size, and secured by strong iron hoops, is heated to a red heat, in order to avoid all danger of any latent humidity, which might cause an explosion like that predicted by Schalch.
It is then placed in the earth before the furnace, and the liquid iron is poured into it.
The gun is thus cast in one solid piece.
The next processes are those of turning the exterior and making the bore, which are both performed at the same time by one machine.
A large bit, of the requisite diameter, is firmly fixed, against which the solid gun is made to revolve, cutting away the metal in flakes until the bore is excavated, while the implement for turning revolves at the same time, and completes the outer surface.
The touch-hole is then drilled, and the gun is finished.
It then remains to be seen whether it is trustworthy and fit for service, for which purpose it is carefully examined with magnifying glasses, in every part, its interior reflected upon mirrors, and its relative proportions tested with mathematical accuracy.
If any imperfection is discovered, the piece is at once condemned to the foundry again; but, if all seems perfect, the last grand test is resorted to; the gun is loaded and fired.
If there is a flaw in it, it bursts to pieces.
If not, it comes from the ordeal triumphant, and becomes from that day forth one of the recognised thunderers that guard the British Empire.

The arsenal is divided into five departments: the royal carriage department, the inspector of artillery, the laboratory, the engineers, and the storekeeper's.
To the first appertains the construction of all military carriages, ammunition waggons, forge waggons, carts for small ordnance, and the building and repairing of every kind of carriage connected with military or naval artillery.
The second department receives all artillery cannon, muskets, rifles, pistols, to prove and examine them, and keep them always in such condition as to be fit for immediate service.
In the third department, are made all cartridges, and rockets for war, and all descriptions of fireworks for days of national rejoicing, or in honour of royal visits.
The manufacture of Congreve rockets, which for greater security is carried on in separate buildings near the bank of the river, is also under the superintendence of the officers of this department.
The fourth, or engineer's department, constructs and repairs all the works and buildings of the Board of Ordnance.
And the fifth, has the charge of all the miscellaneous stores, used in military or naval war fare.
Over each department is an officer, supreme in his own sphere, and responsible only to the Board of Ordnance, by whom he is appointed.
In the storehouses of the last department there are generally kept complete outfittings for ten thousand horse, as well as swords and muskets, and every kind of accoutrement for their riders.
Here also are kept various implements of war, such as pikes for seamen when boarding a vessel, grappling irons, anvils, hatchets, spades for mining, &c. the whole arranged in the most exquisite order, the horses' bits with the curb-chains hanging from them, looking, as the Woolwich Guide informs us, "like the stalactites of some beautiful grotto!"
Long may they hang in such beautiful order is our prayer; long may the cannon grace the arsenal, and its millions of balls stand in trim pyramids, to surprise the beholder.
The day that should call them from their repose would be a disastrous one for Europe, and for humanity.



VOLUME II. CHAPTER VIII.
The Devil's House. - The river Roding. - Barking. - Green Street House. -
- The Gunpowder Plot. - Rainham and Hornchurch. - Edward the Confessor and the nightingales of Havering atte Bower. -
- Dagenham Breach. - Erith. - Purfleet. - The National Powder Magazine. - The river Darent. -
- Holmsdale. - Thomas Becket. - The Nightingales of Otford. - The Ford of Darent. - Dartford. -
- John Tyler and Wat Tyler. - The Martyr's Ashes. - The river Cray. -

Opposite to Woolwich, in the marshes of the Essex coast, but in the county of Kent, stands a solitary house, called by the vulgar the Devil's House.
It formerly belonged to the family of Devall, whose patronymic has been thus perverted by the populace.
This plot of land, consisting of about five hundred acres, has belonged to the parish of Woolwich and county of Kent from time immemorial; and tradition accounts for its severance from Essex in the following manner: - The body of a man having been cast ashore there by the tide, was found by a fisherman of Woolwich, who immediately gave notice to the authorities of Essex.
The latter refused to bury it; upon which, that duty was performed by Woolwich, whose magistrates sued those of Essex, to recover the charges.
The Essex magistrates were condemned to pay, but refusing to do so, the patch of land in question was seized by a royal order, and from that time incorporated with Woolwich.
Tradition, in this instance vaguer even than it is wont to be, has not informed us of the name of the monarch, or given us any clue by which the date might be discovered.

The River Roding

A considerable rivulet, called the Roding, discharges itself into the Thames near this place, under the name of Barking Creek.
It rises somewhere in the neighbourhood of Dunmow, a village familiar by name to most people on account of its gammon of bacon, given as a prize to the married couple who passed a whole twelvemonth without quarrelling, a custom of which so pleasant an account is given in "The Spectator".
Passing southwards, it gives name to a whole district of Essex, and to several villages, called after it, High Roding, Aythorp Roding, Leaden Roding, White Roding, Margaret's Roding, Abbots Roding, Beauchamp Roding, and Berner's Roding.
One of these, Abbot's Roding, was the birthplace of the celebrated John Thurloe, Secretary of State to Oliver Cromwell, and so well known for his State Papers.
His father, the Rev. Thomas Thurloe, was rector of the parish.
From the Rodings the stream flows to Chipping Ongar, an ancient market town, whose name is derived from coopen or cepan, the Saxon word to sell, and where there was formerly an ancient fortress, erected by Richard de Lacy, protector of England during the absence of King Henry II. in his Norman wars.
It was pulled down in the reign of Elizabeth.
The river then passes by Kilvedon Hatch, Navestock, the ancient seat and burial-place of the Waldegraves, between the two villages of Stapleford Tarry and Stapleford Abbots; and through that fine country, lying between Epping and Hainault Forests, until it reaches Ilford.

Barking

It thence flows to the town of Barking, where it receives a small stream of the same name.
Barking Church is just visible to the passenger on the Thames, lifting up its modest turret from the low rich pasture lands in which it is situated.
It was originally one of the most ancient in England, having been founded, with a nunnery adjoining, shortly after the introduction of Christianity into England.
Among the abbesses have been, Matilda, or Maud, wife of Henry I. and so well known for her benefactions in the neighbourhood of London; Matilda, the wife of King Stephen; and Mary à Becket, sister of the famous Archbishop of Canterbury of that name.
Upon the dissolution of the abbey by Henry VIII, the abbess and nuns received a small pension, and the edifice fell to decay.
Scarcely any vestiges of it now remain.
The church is a spacious edifice, with an embattled tower, and contains many ancient monuments.
Among others, one to the memory of Maurice Bishop of London, in the reign of William the Conqueror, and successor to that good bishop, William, whose memory is so dear to the Londoners.
In the low lands, lying in the district within view of the Thames, are two remarkable buildings, Green Street House and Eastbury House.
The former was inhabited by Anne Boleyn before her marriage with Henry VIII.
From the tower a fine view of the Thames is obtained from Greenwich to Gravesend.
This part of the edifice was built by Henry to please that luckless lady; and was renovated by Mr. Morley, the proprietor, at the end of the last, or beginning of the present century. [ie c.1800]
In a communication sent by Mr. Morley to the Gentleman's Magazine, vol. xciv. part I. he states, that Anne Boleyn, while riding here, received the first offer of the monarch's hand.
She had been formerly betrothed to a young nobleman, who had died ten months before, and she was in mourning for him when the offer was made.
As was the custom, she requested to complete the twelvemonth of mourning for her lover, before she gave her consent to another union; and Henry during the interval caused the tower to be built, to afford her gratification.
It is erroneously said, that Anne, after the fatal fall of her handkerchief at the tournament of Greenwich, went over the water to Green Street, and was thence taken to the Tower of London.
As we have already stated, in our account of the old palace of Placentia, the Queen was confined to her own room in that building until the order came to have her conveyed to London.

Gunpowder Plot

Eastbury House, just visible from the river, was the residence of Lord Mounteagle, by whose means the Gunpowder Plot was discovered.
Several stories are circulated relative to this building.
A generally received tradition states, that Guy Fawkes and the other conspirators held their meetings here, and that from the roof they were to have enjoyed the pleasure of seeing the British Parliament blown into the air.
Another tradition states, that it was here that Lord Mounteagle received the famous letter which led to the arrest of Guy Fawkes.
Both of these traditions are erroneous.
In the first place, Lord Mounteagle was not one of the conspirators, and never lent his house for the purpose; and, in the second, he was not at Eastbury House, but in London, when he received the letter.
It is stated in the continuation of Stowe's Chronicle, that "about ten days before the Parliament should begin, the Lord Mounteagle, son and heir to the Lord Morley, being then in his own lodging in the Strand, ready to go to supper at seven of the clock, one of his footmen, whom he had sent of an errand over the street, was met by an unknown man of indifferent appearance, who suddenly delivered him a letter, charging him to put it presently into his Lord's hands".
This was the letter that prevented all the mischief.

Gallions Reach, Barking Reach

On the other side of the river, beyond Woolwich, is the rural village of Plumstead, passing which, we traverse two reaches of the stream, called Gallions, and Barking Reach.
Beyond the latter, on the Essex coast, commences Dagenham Breach, at a place where several small streams, traversing a low marshy country, fall into the Thames.
Two of these streams, the Ingerbourn and the Bourne Brook, rise in the beautiful neighbourhood of Havering atte Bower, from whence they run in tortuous courses for about twelve miles.
That picturesque spot was the favourite retirement of King Edward the Confessor, who so delighted in its solitary woods, that he shut himself up in them for weeks at a time.
Old legends say, that he met with but one annoyance in that pleasant seclusion - the continual warbling of the nightingales pouring such floods of music upon his ear during his midnight meditations, as to disturb his devotions and draw his thoughts from God.
He therefore prayed, that never more within the bounds of that forest might nightingale's song be heard.
His prayer was granted - and during his whole life, the sweet birds disappeared from the spot, and left him in peace to his unloving and austere devotions.
Another legend connected with this place, and with the same king, is, that an old beggar came and asked alms of him, to whom he gave a small gold ring, as the only gift his poverty allowed him to bestow.
This beggar was a departed saint; - no less a personage than St. John the Evangelist, who had assumed this disguise to put his charity to the test, and discover, whether he, a monarch, was indeed a despiser of the world's wealth, and so poor as to possess no coin.
Some years afterwards, two pilgrims presented themselves at his quiet bower in Havering, and gave him back the same ring, with an intimation that they were sent from heaven, to warn him that, within six months, he should be called from this world, to enjoy eternal felicity in the bosom of his God.

Dagenham Breach

Dagenham Breach receives its name from the village of Dagenham, about two miles from the river.
In the year 1707, upwards of five thousand acres of marsh land were laid under water by the inundations of the Thames and of the smaller streams already mentioned.
The origin of the calamity was the breaking in of a small sluice made for the drain of the land waters, which being neglected during more than a year, gradually increased till the whole district was inundated.
The proprietors of the land spent large sums in the endeavour to reclaim it; but the sacrifices were so great, that they reluctantly abandoned the design as impracticable.
At length the legislature interposed; an act was passed to continue the works, and a small tax was levied upon every vessel entering the port of London, to meet the charges.
A gentleman named Boswell contracted for the work for £16,500; but after much labour and great expense in vain, he was obliged, in self-defence, to relinquish the undertaking.
Captain Parry, who had been employed by Peter the Great in similar works, and in building the city of Veronitz upon the Don, undertook shortly afterwards to repair the Breach for £25,000.
It took five years to complete the work.
Difficulties, under which ordinary minds would have sunk, were one after the other met and surmounted, but at an expense of more than £40,000.
Parliament afterwards voted the sum of £15,000 to Captain Parry, the difference between the contract and the actual expense: but that gentleman was no gainer by his perseverance, except of honour; a satisfactory reward, it is true, but still more satisfactory when it comes upon a man with profit - smiling companion - by its side.
Within the embankment, a pool of about forty- five acres still remains, where, during the season, a club of anglers resort; they also keep up by subscription a small thatched cottage on its brink, called the Dagenham Breach House, for the purpose of a club-house.

Hornchurch

Immediately beyond is seen the little spire of Rainham, about a mile from the river, standing in the midst of a celebrated grazing district, which breeds some of the finest cattle sent to the London market.
This church was one of the pluralities of Cardinal Wolsey.
Adjoining are Hornchurch Marshes, also famous for their fine cattle.
The village is so named from a pair of horns affixed to the church.
The tradition is, that its former name, something like it in sound, but much uglier, was bestowed upon it, in consequence of its having been built by some noted courtezan of an early age, who had repented of her vices, and taken this mode of showing the sincerity of her contrition.
A certain monarch, nameless as the courtezan, is said to have taken offence at the name, and given the church a pair of horns, to be affixed against the wall, as a fair pretext for the change of designation.
This may be but an idle story, and as such, it is slurred over with a contemptuous notice by most topographers.

Purfleet

On the Kentish side of the river stands Belvidere, the elegant seat of Lord Say and Sele, formerly inhabited by the able and eccentric Sir Samson Gideon, Lord Eardley.
Adjoining is Erith, the old hythe or haven, with the ivy -covered tower of its ancient church, rising in venerable simplicity, and remarkable as the place where commissioners met to draw up the condition of a treaty of peace between King John and his Barons.
The reach of the river commencing at this place, is called "the Rands", a name the etymology of which has puzzled many inquirers.
The Essex shore assumes here a more romantic appearance than it shows anywhere along its line.
Generally low, flat, and marshy, it rises about Purfleet in abrupt chalky cliffs, on the summit of which, during the alarm of the Spanish invasion, the standard of England was placed by Queen Elizabeth, along with a beacon corresponding with other signal fires around the coast.
It is now a busy little village, forming a hamlet to the parish of West Thurrock, lower down the stream.
It is chiefly remark able for its extensive powder magazine, removed hither from Greenwich in the year 1762.
The quantity of gunpowder at Greenwich in 1718, amounted to about eight thousand barrels, and the inhabitants in that year were so alarmed lest an explosion should take place, that they prepared a petition to the legislature, showing the danger of permitting such a quantity to continue any longer so near the Metropolis, and within but a very few yards of the magnificent hospital, and other public establishments, and suggesting that the depôt should be removed to some more solitary and convenient spot.
King George I. directed the Board of Ordnance to take measures for its removal, but as Parliament had not voted the necessary sums to purchase land or build another, nothing could be done.
Further petitions continued to be presented until the year 1750, when George II. ordered that an estimate of the probable expenses should be laid before the House.
It was four years before this was done, and six years more before the act was finally passed; with so little perseverance was it urged, and by such feeble interest was the measure supported.
The magazine at Purfleet was, however, commenced in 1760, and completed in 1762.
The buildings consist of five parallel sections, each about one hundred and sixty feet long, and fifty-two wide.
The walls are five feet thick, and arched beneath the slated roof.
The arch is three feet in thick ness, and the ridge of the roof is covered with a coping of lead, twenty-two inches broad. The powder is kept in small barrels, piled within wooden frames, and every possible precaution is taken to prevent a calamity.
Nothing of iron is admitted; the doors have hinges of copper and brass; and every one entering, leaves his shoes behind him, and puts on goloshes of India rubber or cloth.
The inmense quantity of thirty thousand barrels, or three million pounds of gunpowder have occasionally been deposited in this place, and, had an explosion occurred at such a time, it is calculated that London, though fifteen miles distant, would have suffered severely.
The possibility of such an event by lightning was so forcibly impressed upon the Board of Ordnance in the year 1772, that they consulted the Royal Society on the best method of preventing it.
A committee of members was accordingly ap pointed, who unanimously recommended the adoption of Benjamin Franklin's conductors, and each pile of building is now provided with one.
To us it seemsvery strange, and unaccountable that men should be kept in a state of continual alarm, and a whole district exposed to the danger of devastation, by an establishment of this kind above ground.
The adoption of the following very simple and unexpensive plan would effectually prevent all mischief.
In the first place, let tanks of sufficient magnitude be made, the gunpowder placed into large stone bottles, or stone barrels, hermetically sealed, and then lowered into the water, to be only raised as they are wanted for use.
The only objection that could be urged to this plan, would be the risk of the powder being spoiled by the water.
If the stone vessels were properly closed, and everybody knows that is no difficult matter to accomplish, this sole objection would be removed.

The River Darent

Opposite to Purfleet, the united rivers the Darent and the Cray discharge themselves into the Thames, under the name of Dartford Creek.
The Darent rises at Squerries, near Westerham in Kent, and being joined by an other stream, from Titsey in Surrey, flows on to Brasted, Sundridge, and Otford, in the neighbourhood of the latter receiving five smaller rivulets.
From Otford its course is to Shoreham, Lullingstone, Eynsford, Horton Kirby, Sutton at Hone, Darent and Dartford. It is commonly called the Dart.
According to Leland, its name is derived from a word in the old British language, signifying clear.
Upon its banks, near Dartford, King Alfred routed the Danish host, a circumstance alluded to by Pope in his enumeration of the tributaries of the Thames, in his poem on Windsor Forest:

The silent Darent stained with Danish blood.

Spenser, in the "Fairy Queen" also enumerating the rivers attendant upon the Thames, when hastening to his nuptials with the Medway, celebrates the Darent as

The silver Darent in whose waters clean,
Ten thousand fishes play and deck his pleasant stream.

The Darent flows for a considerable part of its course through the valley of Holmsdale, the inhabitants of which are proud to this day of a fabulous achievement of their ancestors at Swanscombe, which will be more fully related in its proper place.
At Montreal, near Seven Oaks, once the seat of Lord Amherst, and so named by him in commemoration of his successes in Canada, the following lines are inscribed upon the wall of the root-house, in reference to this boast of the inhabitants of the valley.

"This winding vale of Holmsdale,
Was never won, and never shall".
The prophecy ne'er yet has failed
No human power has e'er prevailed,
To rob this valley of its rights,
Supported by its valorous wights!
When foreign conquest claimed our land,
Then rose the sturdy Holmsdale band,
With each a brother oak in hand:
An armed grove the conqueror meet,
And for their ancient charters treat,
Resolved to die ere they resign'd
Their liberty and gavelkind.
Hence Freedom's sons inhabit here,
And hence the world their deeds revere;
In war and every virtuous way,
A man of Kent still bears the day;
Thus may our Queen of vallies reign,
While Darent glides into the main,
Darent whose infant reed is seen
Uprearing on yon bosom'd green;
Along his widening banks may peace
And joyful plenty never cease,
Where'er his waters roll their tide,
May heaven-born liberty reside.

Both the Darent and the Cray are famous for trout; but those of the latter are generally allowed to be the finest.
Both rivers flow through a beautiful country, abounding at every step with pleasant reminiscences to the man of extensive reading.
And first of the Darent as the more important of the two.
Westerham, near which it rises from nine small springs, behind the noble mansion of Squerries, was the birth-place of Wolfe, the gallant conqueror of Quebec.
In the church is a handsome monument to his memory, although the hero is buried at Greenwich.
Otford is a more noted spot, named from Offa's Ford, from a ford over the Darent, where Offa, King of Mercia, defeated Lothaire, King of Kent, in the days of the Saxon Heptarchy.
There was formerly a considerable palace belonging to the Archbishops of Canterbury, in this village, and it is an old tradition, that Thomas à Becket frequently, resided here.
A story is related of him similar to that told of Edward the Confessor and the nightingale of Havering atte Bower.
The legend is;
"As he walked in the old park, busy at his prayers, he was hindered in his devotions by the sweet note and melody of a night ingale, that sang in a bush beside him, and therefore, in the might of his holiness, he enjoined that no bird should be so bold as to sing thereabouts; and a smith, then dwelling in the town, having made great noise in shoeing of his horses, he enacted by the same authority that from thenceforth no smith should thrive in that village."
It would be curious to ascertain the origin of all these stories.
One very like the foregoing is told of Thomas Aquinas and Albertus Magnus, who also, by the aid, not of prayer but of the devil, stopped the sweet bird's song, that interrupted them in their study of the secret sciences, and also placed an enchanted horse-shoe under ground in the street of Cologne where they resided.
By this means, no horses could ever be prevailed upon to pass the spot, and disturb with their clattering hoofs, or the rumbling of wheels behind them, the pursuits of these famous alchymists and necromancers.
There is a clear well in this parish, called St. Thomas's Well, strongly impregnated with iron, and medical in many diseases, which before the Reformation was universally believed to have been miraculously called into existence by Thomas à Becket, whose name it bears.
Having suffered from the want of water, says the legend, he struck his staff into the dry ground, and immediately the water welled up clear as crystal, and capable, with faith, of curing all diseases.
The Archbishops of Canterbury, though proprietors of Otford, did not often honour it with their residence, but preferred the neighbouring palace of Knoll or Knowle, now the magnificent seat of the Duke of Dorset.
Archbishop Warham, in the time of Henry VIII, preferred Otford, and expended considerable sums in beautifying and enlarging it.
His successor, Cranmer, surrendered it to the Crown with all its possessions.
From the ruins of the palace, which are still standing, and from the traces of the remainder, which may be distinctly discovered, it appears to have been a very extensive building.

Winding through a sweet pastoral district, ornamented with some noble villas, the Darent reaches the little village of the same name, but more commonly pronounced Darne.
The antiquary will be delighted to spend a few hours in its ancient church, where there is a very curious font.
"It is," says Hasted, in his History of Kent, "a single stone, rounded and excavated, composed of eight compartments, with columns alternately circular and angular, and semicircular arches.
The figures and objects are in high relief, and rudely carved."
Hasted imagined that the figures were for the most part the mere result of the fantasy of the artist; but Mr. Denne, who was incumbent of Darent, gives a description of the font in Thorpe's "Custumale Roffense," in which he says that all the carvings bear an allusion to the history of St. Dunstan, and his frequent contests with the devil.
His elevation to the See of Canterbury, by King Edgar, and his baptism of the infant King Ethelred, who unluckily eased nature in the font, are both depicted.
The monkish legends, in allusion to the latter, say that the infant was immediately dropped from the arms of the Saint, who pronounced that he should be accursed all his life for so vile a deed.
Various other incidents in the fabulous history of Dunstan are recorded on this curious font; but the memorable punishment he inflicted on the Evil One, by pulling his nose with a pair of red hot pincers, is not among them.

Dartford

Dartford, or Darentford, was an ancient demesne of the Kings of England, and has been held by many noble and illustrious personages.
It was granted by King John to Hugh, Count of St. Paul, who mortgaged it with the King's permission, for three years, to provide funds for a crusading expedition to the Holy Land.
Edward II. granted the manor to his half brother, Edmund of Woodstock, whose sons, Earls of Kent, inherited it in succession, but died without issue.
It then fell to their sister, Joan, the wife of that gallant soldier Edward the Black Prince, who resided upon it for a short time.
After various changes, it came into the possession of the famous Guy Earl of Warwick, and on his death on the bloody field, devolved upon the duke of Clarence, [he of the malmsey butt,] in right of his wife, the daughter and sole heiress of the King-maker.
The Countess of Warwick, in the reign of Henry VII, surrendered this and one hundred and fourteen other manors, to the crown.
James I. granted the manor to George and Thomas Whitmore, who conveyed it shortly afterwards to the well-known Sir Thomas Walsingham.
It was sold in 1613 by the latter, for so small a sum as five hundred pounds.
There is another manor at Dartford, formerly in the possession of the Knights'[sic] Templars, after whom it is still named, Temple Manor.
The town abounds in the remains of antiquity, of which the most interesting are the ruins of a nunnery, supposed to have been originally the manor house, but converted into a nunnery by Edward III, after the death of his gallant son.
Several ladies of high rank were superiors of this convent, which was for a prioress and fourteen sisters of the order of St. Augustine, and among others, Bridget, daughter of Edward IV, who died within its walls.
At the dissolution of the religious houses, the possessions of this were valued at upwards of four hundred pounds per annum.
Henry VIII. at considerable expense, converted the building into a palace for himself, but it was never inhabited as such by the Monarchs of England, except by Elizabeth for two days, on her return to Greenwich after one of her progresses to feast upon her friends in Kent and Sussex.
Small remains of it at present exist, but from these it is evident the building must at one time have been very extensive.

It is generally supposed that the famous insurrection of the commons of England under Wat Tyler, began at Dartford, though Hume states that it began in Essex.
It is curious to see how the old historians differ upon almost every point, however important, or however trivial.
If we are to believe Stowe, the captain of the insurgents was Wat Tighler, of Maidstone, and there was another man, a tiler, in Dartford, commonly called John Tyler, whose daughter received the indecent outrage which caused the father to knock out the tax collector's brains with a hammer.
John Tyler of Dartford, soon found himself at the head of a considerable company, and marched forthwith to Maidstone, to join Wat Tighler, who was a blacksmith.
Stowe further informs us that the more immediate cause of the outbreak happened before the insult of John Tyler's daughter at Dartford.
Sir Simon Burley challenged a tradesman of Gravesend as his bondsman, and though the inhabitants greatly interested themselves in the man's favour, Sir Simon fixed an exorbitant sum as the price of his manumission, and would not abate a farthing.
People then began to ask why there should be bondsmen at all; the discontent which had been germinating in the popular mind, suddenly burst forth, and the insurrection was at a considerable height, when it received an increase of strength by the accession of John Tyler.
Grafton, Froissart, and other historians, relate the matter differently, and at this distance of time it is impossible to say where the tumult began, and whether Wat Tyler was a native of Maidstone or of Dartford, or whether, as Stowe says, there were two Tylers.
The commonly received opinion is that the name of the insulted father was Walter Hilliard, that he was by trade a tiler, and that he lived at Dartford.
In Southey's juvenile Drama upon the subject, he adheres to another tradition, which makes the man a blacksmith.

Among the earliest sufferers for conscience sake in England, was the vicar of this town, Sir Richard Wich.
He was burnt for heresy on Tower Hill, in June 1440, greatly pitied by the people, who, after his death, came in great numbers, secretly by night to the place of execution, to collect his ashes and the ground he had stood on, as holy relics.
The crowds at last became so numerous, that the Mayor of London sent an armed force, and arrested a great number of them, and among the rest the vicar of All hallows, Barking, who had encouraged the delusion for his own profit, the people bringing him offerings whenever they found a particle of the ashes of the departed martyr.
It was said of this vicar of All hallows, that he had secretly mixed a quantity of spice with the ashes of the dead man to deceive the people, and make them believe that they smelt so fragrantly by miracle.
He confessed the imposition when he was in prison, and was condemned to die for it; but his sentence was remitted.
Near Dartford is a large open plain, called Dartford Brent or Brim, where a tournament was held by King Edward III, on his return victorious from his Norman wars, and where also the Duke of York assembled with a considerable army, in the reign of Henry VI.
This town, standing on the high road to Canterbury and Dover, is a place of some traffic.
It is populous and thriving, and has some handsome public buildings.

The River Cray

The Cray, which joins the Darent below Dartford, and flows with it into the Thames, is a much smaller stream.
It is beautifully clear, and gives name to the four pretty villages of North Cray, St. Mary's Cray, Foot's and Paul's Cray, and the small town of Crayford.
It takes its rise near Orpington, and runs through Bexley, and the villages above mentioned.
Several of these places are interesting to the rambler who loves to visit the abodes of the great departed, or the scenes of history.
Orpington, at its source, was honoured with a visit from Queen Elizabeth, who made a progress into the then newly-erected mansion of Sir Percival Hart.
On her arrival, says the account in Phillipot, she received the caresses of a nymph who personated the genius of the house.
Then the scene shifted, and from several chambers which were so contrived as to represent a ship, there was an imitation of a sea-battle, with which the Queen was highly delighted.
Bexley, a beautiful village, is chiefly remarkable for its manor, which once belonged to that dear name in the literature of England, the venerable Camden, "nourrice of antiquitie," who bequeathed it to the University of Oxford for the endowment of a professorship of history.
Crayford is so named from an ancient ford over the river.
Considerable estates here once belonged to the gallant Admiral Sir Cloudesly Shovel, who has a monument in Westminster Abbey, and also, a monument in the church of this place.
In the churchyard is a gravestone with the following epitaph - a wretched attempt at wit.

Here lies the body of Peter Isnell, thirty years clerk of this parish.
He lived respected as a pious and mirthfulman, and died on his way to church to assist at a wedding on the 31st of March 1811, aged seventy.
The inhabitants of Crayford have raised this stone to his cheerful memory and as a token of his long and faithful services.

The life of this clerk was just three score and ten,
Nearly half of which time he chaunted Amen.
In his youth he was married, like other young men,
But his wife one day died, so he chaunted Amen.
A second he married - she died, well? what then?
He married and buried a third with Amen;
Thus his joys and his sorrows were treble; but then
His voice was deep bass as he sung out Amen.
On the horn he could blow as well as most men,
So his horn was exalted in sounding Amen.

How miserable this is.
Some may laugh at the folly of it, but we pity the levity which could inscribe it on so solemn a place.
Tomb stone literature is at a very low ebb in England, with some rare exceptions.
The continental nations, as we have already remarked, are infinitely before us; and such doggrel as the above, would not be permitted in their cemeteries.
The tomb is too solemn a place to be inscribed with any other words than such as are prompted by regret and love.

Dartford Creek

After their junction, the two rivers of Cray and Darent offer nothing to stay the step of the traveller.
Even the angler avoids the muddy waters known as Dartford Creek, and, jogging on further inward amid the rural villages and green fields of Kent, visits them separately, and finds in the proper season to reward him for his pains, abundant store of,
"Swift trouts diversified with crimson stains".



VOLUME II. CHAPTER IX.
Stone Castle. - Greenhithe. - The Men of Kent at Swanscombe. - Gray's Thurrock. -
- Northfleet and Southfleet. - Gravesend. - Falstaff on Gad's Hill. - Elizabeth at Tilbury Fort. -
- The Hundred of Hoo. - Higham Ferry. - Cowling Castle. - Execution of Sir John Oldcastle. - Hadleigh and Leigh. -
- Southend. - The Isle of Grain. - The Ocean. - Conclusion of the Thames.

Again arrived, after our ramble inwards, at the junction of the Darent with the Thames, we follow the course of the great river, and see beyond Dartford Creek, the remains of the venerable Castle of Stone, rising amid the foliage on the Kentish shore.
It is generally believed that Stone Castle was built by King Stephen, and for many ages it belonged to the noble family of Northwood, one of whom distinguished himself under Richard I, at the siege of Acre.
The square embattled tower is the only remains of its former grandeur.
The church embounded among the trees is also an ancient edifice.
There was formerly a chime of musical bells in its tower, and the tradition is, that Queen Elizabeth, as she passed up and down Long Reach, as this part of the river is called, took great pleasure in hearing them.
Ben Jonson in his Epithalamium for the marriage of his friend, alludes to the musical bells of the churches that overlook the Thames,

Hark! how the bells upon the waters play
Their sister tunes from Thames's either side.

This church and its tower were struck by lightning in 1638, and since that time the chimes have not been replaced.

Greenhithe and Swanscombe

Greenhithe, situated on the bank of the river, has a ferry into Essex for horses and cattle, which formerly belonged to the nunnery at Dartford, but is now an appurtenance to the manor of Swanscombe, immediately behind it.
The hamlet, at one time, was chiefly supported by the profits of its immense chalk pits, several of which are considerably below the level of the Thames.
Great quantities of the chalk are consumed in the potteries of Staffordshire; the flints also which abound in the pits, are a profitable article of commerce, being collected and shipped for China, where they are used in the manufacture of pottery.
The place is but a hamlet to Swanscombe.
The latter is written Swinescamp in Domesday Book and was so named from Sweyn the Danish King, the father of Canute, who erected a castle here to preserve a winter station for his ships, during his piratical incursions into England.
The remains of this castle were said by Phillipot, who wrote in the beginning of the seventeenth century, to be visible in his time.
Swanscombe was long a cherished spot by all the people of Kent, on account of a fabulous story related by a monkish historian, and too readily believed by the Kentish men, whose self-love was flattered by it.
When William the Conqueror, says the tradition, was advancing from Hastings to London, he endeavoured to force himself through Swanscombe, (a place which was rather out of the direct line, it must be confessed ), but was valiantly opposed by the men of Kent, who advanced towards him, each bearing leaves and branches of trees, so that their army appeared like a moving wood.
Suddenly they threw down their leafy screens, to the great alarm of the Conqueror, and appeared an imposing multitude of warriors, well armed with arrows, spears, and swords, and demanded the confirmation of all their ancient laws and privileges, before they would acknowledge him as their sovereign.
William at once consented, and in consequence, says TRADITION, the men of Kent enjoy to this day the ancient custom of gavelkind, almost peculiar to their county, and inscribe on their arms the proud motto "Invicta".
The first writer who mentions this story, is Thomas Sprot, a monk of Canterbury, who lived more than two centuries after the Norman invasion.
It is not until comparatively recent times that its truth has been called in question.
Like many other common stories, it will not bear examination, and is already exploded by all who have bestowed a thought upon the matter.
The white spire of Swanscombe church, about a mile distant, is visible from the Thames at high-water on a clear day.
There was formerly an altar in the church famous for the cure of madness, and to which vast numbers of pilgrims were conveyed by their friends.
There are no monuments of particular notice.
In the nave are to be seen the relics of a rare and affecting custom in this county, namely, funereal garlands, which are borne before the corpse of a virgin, placed upon the coffin during the service in the church, and afterwards hung up as memorials.
The manor originally belonged to William de Valence and his descendants, Earls of March.
The representative of that noble house, ascended the throne of England in the person of Edward IV, the Rose of York, when the manor became vested in the Crown, and so remained till the reign of Elizabeth, who granted it to Anthony Weldon, clerk of the green cloth, in whose family it remained for many years.
Sir Anthony Weldon,sufficiently known for his "Memoir on the Court of King James I," was grandson of the above-named gentleman, and like him resided at Swanscombe.
The manor was sold in 1731, and has since been in the possession of the opulent family of Child, the bankers of London.
In a wood, situated partly in this parish, and partly in the parish of Southfleet, is a remarkable cavern, with cells, called Clapper-Napper's Hole, from a notorious robber, who is reported to have made it the place of his retreat, and whose name has been used as a terror to the infantile part of the community, from the days of King Alfred to the present time.
The church of Swanscombe is very ancient, with a square tower and octagon spire, which was struck by lightning on Whit-Tuesday, in the year 1802.

Grays, Northfleet

On the other side, passing Belmont Castle, an elegant modern mansion in the Gothic style, the seat of Richard Webb, Esq. we arrive at the pretty little market-town of Gray's, or Gray's Thurrock.
It takes its name from the ancient family of Grey, the manor having been granted by Richard I. to Henry De Grey, ancestor of the families of Grey de Wilton, Grey de Ruthyn, Grey de Rothesfield, and others.
It is a small place, carrying on some trade in bricks and corn.
The Essex coast about here is low and unattractive.
The Kentish shore is more inviting, and more thickly studded with towns, villages, and country seats.
The river too begins to widen as it approaches the ocean; and here the water first begins to taste brackish.
Passing Ingress, or Ince-grice-hall, we arrive at Northfleet, a populous village, mentioned in Domesday Book, under the name of Norfluet.
It is divided into two districts, upper and lower: the upper on the chalk cliffs, and the lower on the shore.
The church contains many monuments and fragments of monuments, some as early as the fourteenth century.
Among others are one to the memory of Richard Davy, keeper of the jewels to King Henry VI, and one to Edward Brown, physician to King Charles II. and an eminent naturalist in his day.

Southfleet

Behind this village lies Southfleet, that formerly stood on a sheet of water, formed by the creek of the river, but now dammed up.
It is on the line of the old Roman road, Watling Street, and is supposed by some antiquaries to be the Vayniucæ of Antoninus's Itinerary.
It has belonged to the See of Rochester, from a period considerably anterior to the Conquest, and was a ville that had an extensive and peculiar jurisdiction of its own, embracing not only offences committed within its own bounds, but also all such committed in any part of the kingdom, if the criminal were apprehended within its limits.
An instance of the exercise of this jurisdiction is given in Blunt's "Ancient Tenures and Customs of Manors."
Two women, who had stolen some linen at Croindene, supposed to be Croydon, in the year 1200, were arrested at Southfleet, whither they had been pursued by the authorities of their own district.
Henry de Cobham, Lord of Southfleet, refused to deliver them up, and immediately proceeded to try them for the offence.
As they loudly asserted their innocence, they were allowed to prove it, by the then very common ordeal of fire.
They accordingly delivered their arms to the attendant priests, who always superintended the foolish ceremony, when one of them was exculpated, and the other found guilty.
The latter was then taken forth to a pool called Bikepool, communicating with the Thames, and her arms and legs having been previously tied together, she was thrown in and drowned.
In later times, two men of Deptford were accused of defamation in the Consistorial Court of Rochester, for representing that three women of Southfleet were guilty of witchcraft.
The only proof they gave of the charge was, that they each "kept a monstruous tode."
Considering the age when the crime was imputed [1585], an age, when the chaplain of Queen Elizabeth openly prayed that her Grace might be preserved from the malice of witches, when James VI. of Scotland presided at trials for the same offence, and condemned women without scruple to the flames, and when all over the continent of Europe thousands upon thousands of victims were annually sacrificed at the shrine of this prevalent delusion, it is wonderful that these women escaped.
Hundreds of women were executed in England upon charges as frivolous as this.
Two of these were acquitted, and their defamers fined.
In the case of the third, as she was somewhat suspected of witchcraft by her neighbours, and as she was moreover a notable scold, she was ordered to attend at the next court day, with six good women for her compurgators, and likewise admonished to resort to the minister without fail every Sunday or holiday, to testify her faith in the eyes of all who doubted.
This sentence, so mild and so sensible, stands alone in the annals of witchcraft at that period, and reflects lasting credit upon the humanity of the judges.
Had Matthew Hopkins, witch-finder-general, been alive and thereabouts, the case would have been some what different.

Rosherville and Gravesend

A short distance beyond Northfleet, and between that village and Gravesend, a new town, entitled Rosherville, is in process of formation on the estate, and from the designs, of Mr. Jeremiah Rosher.
There is also a zoological garden and pleasure-ground, for the resort of the numerous visitors from the metropolis, who flock to Gravesend and its neighbourhood during the summer season.
The place, when completed, promises to become a great ornament to the bank of the river.
The spires, and numerous buildings of Gravesend, the most considerable town we have passed since leaving London, and the first port on the Thames, now rise before us, and give palpable evidence of a thriving and populous place.
Its piers, projecting far into the stream, are crowded with steam-boats, each crowded with passengers to and from the great city, with whose population Gravesend is the favourite and most convenient watering-place.
There is an absurd opinion afloat among the immense multitudes, who never inquire for themselves, or who have not the opportunity of doing so, that Gravesend, or, the End of the Grave, was so called in consequence of the great plague of 1666, having stopped short of that town.
The name of the place in Domesday Book is Gravesham, or the town of the Grave, Graff, Earl, or chief magistrate, which in the course of time has been altered to Gravesend.
Little mention of this town occurs in history until the reign of Richard II, when the French sailed up the river, burned and plundered the town, and carried off some of the principal inhabitants.
To aid the town to repair its serious losses on this occasion, the abbot and brethren of St. Mary le Grace, on Tower Hill, London, to whom the manor belonged, obtained of the King a privilege for the watermen of Gravesend and Milton, that they solely should be permitted to convey passengers to and from London.
The fare was fixed at four shillings for each boat, containing twenty-four persons, or twopence a-head.
In the same reign, as mentioned in our account of Dartford, one Sir Simon Burleigh excited a commotion in Gravesend, by seizing one of the principal inhabitants for his bondsman, and refusing to liberate him under the then exorbitant manumission of three hundred pounds.
The men of Gravesend, joined by Wat Tyler from Maidstone, afterwards beseiged Rochester Castle, where the man was confined, and set him at liberty, along with several other prisoners.
The Sir Simon Burleigh, the cause of this disturbance, and one of the men, whose overbearing pride and insolence helped to drive the people of England to that famous rebellion, was beheaded about seven years afterwards.
He was concerned in the treasons of the Duke of Ireland, and Nicholas Brember, Lord Mayor of London, and expectant Duke of New Troy, found guilty, and sentenced to be hanged, drawn, and quartered.
He was at the time Constable of Dover Castle and Chamberlain to the King, who, upon consideration of his high offices, dispensed with the ignominy of this punishment, and had him put to death by the more honourable mode, as it was considered, of decapitation, without the drawing and quartering.
"He was," says Stowe, "an intolerable proud man, and a great oppressor of the poor."
From the time of Richard II, until the year 1819, passengers were conveyed between London and Gravesend in small sailing boats.
The fare, originally twopence, was gradually raised to sixpence, and in the year 1779, there being covered, or tilt boats, the fare was raised to ninepence, and shortly afterwards to a shilling.
It may not be out of place to mention here, that at the same period the only water-conveyance to Margate was by the hoy, which left London once a week, sometimes performing the passage in eight or ten hours, but at others being beaten about for three days.
The fare was two shillings and sixpence.

Gravesend Steam Pier, Mackay 1840

The first steam -boat from London to Gravesend commenced running in 1819, at which time there were but two boats engaged in the transit.
There are now upwards of twenty; some of the largest of them being built to accommodate seven hundred passengers.
There is a ferry across the river to Tilbury in Essex, for troops, horses, carriages, &c.
We have already mentioned in our account of the Thames Tunnel, that it was in contemplation about the year 1798, to construct a tunnel at this place, to facilitate the communication.
The undertaking, however, being attended with too much difficulty, was soon abandoned.
Gravesend is the limit of the jurisdiction of the London Custom House; and all vessels engaged in foreign trade, or coming from foreign ports, are boarded here by the officers of that establishment, who accompany them to the parent office in London.
The Thames at this part is a mile in breadth, and the tide in its ebb and flow, rises and falls about twenty feet.

Great part of Gravesend was burned down in the year 1727, and Parliament, in the year 1731, granted the sum of five thousand pounds towards rebuilding the church.
Milton, which joins Gravesend, was incorporated with that parish in the reign of Elizabeth, and the two were governed by a mayor, jurats, common councilmen, and other officers, until the passing of the Corporation Reform Act in 1835, when some changes were introduced into that, as well as other corporations.
The manor of Gravesend was granted by William the Conqueror to his half-brother, Odo, the bishop.
Upon his disgrace, the family of Cremaville came into possession; and in the reign of Edward II. the whole reverted to the Crown.
Edward III. granted it to Robert de Ufford, Earl of Suffolk, an eminent warrior of that day, and one of the first Knights made by that sovereign on the institution of the order of the Garter.
In the reign of Richard III. the manor was again in the possession of the Crown, by whom it was conveyed to the Abbey of St. Mary on Tower Hill.
After the dissolution of the monasteries, it passed through several hands during the reigns of Henry VIII, Edward VI, and Mary, till it came into the possession of Dudley Earl of Leicester.
He received Elizabeth's permission to sell the manor; and it was purchased by Sir Thomas Gawdye.
The latter only retained it a few years, and sold it again to William Brooke Lord Cobham; upon the attainder of whose son, in the reign of James I, it once more r verted to the Crown.
By him it was granted to his kinsman.
Ludovick Stuart, son of the Duke of Lennox, and from him descended into the family of the Blighs, Earls of Darnley, in which it still remains.

Gravesend, as we learn from Mr. Jesse's entertaining "Memoirs of the Court of England during the reign of the Stuarts", was the scene of an adventure which befell King Charles I, when Prince of Wales, on the commencement of his chivalrous journey to Spain with the Duke of Buckingham in search of a wife:
"On the 27th of February, 1623," says Mr. Jesse, "the Prince retired privately from court, and came to Buckingham's house, at Newall in Essex.
From thence they set out on the following day (accompanied only by Sir Richard Graham, master of the horse to the duke), and arrived, though not without adventures, by way of Gravesend, at Dover.
They had previously disguised themselves with false beards, and adopted fictitious names; the Prince passing as Mr. John Smith, and the duke as Mr. Thomas Smith.
"The first accident which happened to them was encountering with the French ambassador (who was, of course, well acquainted with their persons) on the brow of the hill, beyond Rochester.
Their horses, however, though merely hired at the last post, were fortunately able to leap the hedge by the road-side, and thus enabled them to escape observation.
This circumstance was the more fortunate, as the ambassador (as was then usual) was travelling in one of the King's coaches; and their recognition by some of the royal servants would certainly have been the consequence of a personal encounter.
But a more important incident had nearly arrested their progress.
In crossing the river at Gravesend, for want of silver, they had given the ferryman a gold piece.
The man was equally astonished and grateful for such liberality; and supposing that his benefactors were proceeding across the channel for the purpose of fighting a duel, he thought it the kindest step he could take to hint his suspicions to the authorities of the nearest town.
Accordingly, information was instantly despatched to the Mayor of Canterbury; and just as the Prince and Buckingham were about to mount fresh horses, they were summoned to the presence of that important personage.
The duke, finding concealment impracticable, divested himself of his beard, and privately informed the mayor who he really was: - he was going, he said, in his capacity of Lord High Admiral, to acquaint himself secretly with the condition and discipline of the fleet.
His identity was easily proved, and the adventurers were allowed to depart.
A boy, who rode post with their baggage, had also recognised their persons, but the silence of this individual was not very difficult to be bought."

Metropolitan visitors to this much-frequented resort, need hardly be informed of the fine view afforded from the eminence of Windmill Hill; in which the Thames, now indeed a wide and exulting river, hastening to the embraces "of that salt and bitter sea, that swallows it up at last", is the most prominent and beautiful object, glowing blue as the skies above it, and dotted with an apparently innumerable multitude of snowy-sailed vessels, entering and departing from the great mart of the world.

Gads Hill, Mackay 1840

In the neighbourhood of Gravesend is a spot sacred to every reader of Shakspeare: Gad's Hill-- the scene of the "mad prince's" world-renowned exploit with Sir John Falstaff.
On sailing down the stream at high-water, the eminence is plainly visible, and scarcely fails, to the man who knows its name, to awaken a long train of pleasant recollections.
Even the man of figures and accounts forgets them for awhile, and dwells with pleasure on the reminiscence; but the dreamer, the poet, the lover of romance, the man who loves to cherish these topographical pleasures which are the great charm of travelling, whether we travel twenty miles or two thousand; - what delight does he not find! Such a man disembarks immediately.
He is not content with the glimpse of the hill obtained from the deck of a steam-boat, but trudges forward valiantly, until his own feet tread the actual soil of which he has so often heard, and which is associated with so much romance and so much genuine comedy.
"Here," he says, traversing the ground leisurely up and down, "here lay fat Jack, with his ear to the ground, and dolefully asked the prince whether he had any levers to lift him up again; and swore that for all the coin in Henry IVth's exchequer, he would not trust his own flesh so far afoot again.
Here, perchance, is the spot, where he bullied the travellers, finding they were afraid, and called them gorbellied knaves, fat chuffs, and chew bacons.
Here, too, may be the bush, where the Prince said to Poins, that if they could rob the thieves, and go merrily to London, it would be argument for a week, laughter for a month, and a good jest for ever (and lo, it has turned out even as the Prince predicted ).
And here, too, may be the very spot, where the rogue, Falstaff, roared, and gave up his ill gotten spoils so easily to that very Prince and Poins, of whom he was saying but a minute before, that they were both arrant cowards, and that in Poins especially, there was no more valour than in a wild duck.
Yes here is the scene", continues he, with all the enthusiasm of a pilgrim at the shrine of a saint, forgetting that all was but a coinage of the great poet's brain, that the inimitable Jack never trod this earth at all, but that he still lives in the world of fiction, where he will live till the English language is forgotten.
But no matter: these mirages, raised by the enchanting wand of the poet and painter, are among the most unalloyed delights of our existence.
They gild with a halo of light many a dreary land scape; and warm a bleak and barren hill with the glow and animation of life.
We who have visited this spot more than once or twice or thrice, indulge in the same dream every time we go, and would be sorry indeed to believe that even the hundredth visit to the spot, would find us insensible to its claims upon our heart, or undelighted with the charms of the Shakspeare who has enshrined it in his verse for ever.

Tilbury Fort

Tilbury Fort, Mackay 1840

But we have wandered from the banks of the Thames, where, opposite to Gravesend, stands an historical spot, requiring proper and honourable mention from our pen, Tilbury Fort, the scene of Elizabeth's bravery and animation, when her shores were threatened with invasion. The fort was built by Henry VIII. to protect the towns on the river from the recurrence of scenes such as that which took place at Gravesend in the reign of Richard II. It was enlarged and strengthened by Charles II. when the Dutch fleet sailed up the Medway in 1667, and burned three men-of-war opposite Chatham.
The spot where the English army was encamped in 1588, is a short distance further down the stream, at West Tilbury, where the traces of the encampment are still visible.
The country was in a state of the greatest alarm.
The naval forces of England at that time were not very considerable; and had not the very elements conspired against Spain, had not her most experienced naval commanders been cut off by death at the very moment they were about to join the expedition, leaving the command to the unskilled and inefficient Duke of Medina Sidonia, there is no saying what the result might have been, or whether England would have held the same rank among the nations that she holds now.

* The naval reader may be pleased to see a correct account, from a contemporary historian, of the various vessels that composed the English fleet at that period.
The list is copied from Stowe's Annals, and will afford the sailor of the present day some notion of the very small maritime strength of England in the days of Queen Elizabeth, and that too in a case of emergency, when every available ship was put into requisition.
"The navy set forth and arrived to the seas," says Stowe, "consisted partly of her Majesty's ships, partly of the ships of her subjects, which were furnished out of the port towns whereunto they belonged.
Of this navy the chiefest and greatest part was under the charge of the Lord Charles Howard, Lord Admiral; the rest of the ships, in great number, were assigned unto the Lord Henry Seymour, Admiral of that fleet to guard the narrow seas.
The States also of the United Provinces in the Low Countries sent about the same number of forty ships out of Holland and Zealand, well appointed and furnished in warlike manner, which joined with the English feet under the charge of the said Lord Henry Seymour, playing upon the coast of Dunkirk and Flanders.

SHIPS UNDER THE LORD ADMIRAL'S CHARGE
Her Majesty 's Ships from Queenborough towards Plymouth in the month of January last past, under Sir Francis Drake:
The Revenge, The Swiftsure, Hope, Aide, Nonpareil

From Queenborough towards Plymouth the 16th May, under the Lord Admiral.
The Bear, Triumph, Elizabeth, Victory, Ark, Bonaventure, Lion, Mary Rose, Dreadnought, Foresight, Swallow, White Lion.

Pinaces:
The Charles, Moon

Other Ships of the best sort.
The Leicester, Royal Merchant, Roe Buck (Sir Walter Raleigh's), Edward Bonaventure, Golden Noble, Hopewell of London.

By the Londoners of their charge. Ships 16:
The Hercules, Toby, Centurion, Minion, Margaret and John, Ascension, Mayflower, Primrose, Red Lion, Tiger, Gift of God, Burre, Royal Defence, Golden Lion, Brave, Thamas Bonaventure.
Pinnaces, four: The Diana, Passport, Moonshine, Relief.

Of Bristol:
The Minion, Unicorn, Handmaid, A Pinnace.

Of Barnstaple:
The Dudley, God save her, Tiger.

Of Plymouth: The Elkora, Spark, Hope, Drake, Barke Bond, Barke Bonnar, Barke Talbot, Fly Boat, White Lion (the Lord Admiral's), A Pinnace (the Lord Sheffield's), Pinnace (Sir Wm.Winter's), And sundry others of the west parts.

Of Exeter:
The Bartholomew, Rose, A Pinnace.

HER MAJESTY' S SHIPS UNDER THE LORD H. SEYMOUR'S CHARGE.
The Rainbow, The Sun, Vanguard, Merlin, Antelope, Signet, Bull, Spy, Tiger, Fancy, Scout, Gally Bona, Tremontaine, Brigandine, Achates, George (a hoy).

Other English ships there were from the ports of the north part of the realm,

besides Flemish ships of Holland and Zealand, in number forty.

As also ten ships of war by the merchant adventurers of England, at their own proper costs and charges, set out of the City of London under the charge of Captain Henry Bullengham, (over and above the other sixteen ships and four pinnaces set out at the City 's charge) to wit:
The Pansy, The Dolphin, Rose-Lion, Jewell, Anthony, Antelope, Salamander, Toby, Providence, George Noble.

Bale fires blazed upon every hill.
Every man held himself ready for the fight; and in London it was deemed so important that the darkness of its streets by night should not afford cover for the designs of traitors within, or aid the surprises of enemies without, that every householder was ordered to hang out a light before his door, and see that it burned till dawn, under pain of death.
But needless severity of this kind was not wanting to arouse the spirit of the nation, and the Queen knew it.
With the strength of mind of a man, and the tact of a woman, she thought that the spectacle of a queen leading her own armies to the struggle, would act upon the chivalrous feelings of the multitude; and she was right.
She appeared among her soldiers at Tilbury, and having ridden through the lines with a cheerful and animated countenance, delivered the following speech - unlike the royal speeches of the present day - with a good deal of meaning in it.

MY LOVING PEOPLE,
We have been persuaded of some, that are careful of our safety, to take heed how we commit ourselves to armed multitudes, for fear of treachery; but, I assure you, I do not live to distrust my faithful and loving people.
Let tyrants fear.
I have always so behaved myself, that, under God, I have placed my chiefest strength and safeguard in the loyal hearts and goodwill of my subjects.
And therefore I am come amongst you, as you see at this time, not for any recreation and disport, but being resolved in the midst and heat of thebattle, to live or die among you all; to lay down for my God and for my kingdom and for my people, my honour and my blood even in the dust.
I know I have the body but of a weak and feeble woman; but I have the heart and stomach of a king - ay, and of a King of England too; and think foul scorn that Parma or Spain, or any prince of Europe, should dare to invade the borders of my realm; to which rather than dishonour shall grow by me, I myself will take up arms; I myself will be your general, judge, and recorder of every one of your virtues in the field.
I know already for your forwardness you have deserved crowns; and we do assure you, on the word of a Prince, they shall be duly paid you.
In the mean time, my lieutenant-general shall be in my stead, than whom never Prince commanded more noble or worthy subject; not doubting, but by your obedience to my general, by your concord in the camp, and by your valour in the field, we shall shortly have a famous victory over these enemies of my God, my king dom, and my people."

This valiant and indeed eloquent speech, had the anticipated effect.
An attachment to her person, says Hume, became a kind of enthusiasm among the soldiery, and they swore never to abandon the glorious cause of their Queen and their country.
But their valour, and that of their general, Dudley, Earl of Leicester, was destined never to be put to the test.
Before the Armada could get out of Calais, where it had put in to await the reinforcements of the Duke of Parma, the storm and the English admiral committed sad havoc among its cumbrous vessels.
The guns of Tilbury Fort were not called into use; and the Armada, sailing northward, to make the tour of the British Isles ere its return to Spain, was miserably wrecked on the barren shores of Orkney.
England was freed from the most imminent danger that had threatened her shores for centuries; and the pride of Spain was more effectually humbled, and at much less cost, than if the arms of the English people had gained the victory.
Elizabeth remained two days among her soldiers at Tilbury, passing the night at the neighbouring village of Horndon-on-the-Hill, in the house of one Master Edward Rich, a justice of the peace for Essex.
The camp was very shortly afterwards dissolved, all danger being over, and public thanksgivings were offered up in all the charches of the kingdom for the happy deliverance of the nation.
The Earl of Leicester, so highly complimented for his abilities and zeal by the Queen, just lived long enough to witness the general joy, and died twenty-five days after his gallant appearance by the side of his sovereign at Tilbury.
His death, as he had not contributed to the triumph, was scarcely noticed.
Drake and Howard were the names in the people's mouths, and the fleets of England were justly more in honour than her armies.
The flags taken from the Spaniards, were publicly exhibited by the clergy at Paul's Cross, and the next day were hoisted from the battlements on London Bridge, looking towards Southwark, among the traitors' heads that always frowned from that gate of death; and there being that day a great fair upon the bridge, the concourse of people to behold the flags was greater than had ever been known to assemble on that ancient structure.

The wide reach of the river from Gravesend and Tilbury seawards, is called the Hope; and arrived at the end of that, we first obtain a glimpse of the not far distant ocean, and see the Nore, and the mouth of the river, about six miles in breadth.
The Essex shore for all the rest of our course, is low and uninterest ing; and a few insignificant villages, alone point their spires to the blue, to betoken the dwelling-places of man.
The Kentish shore offers more attractions, and in this place becomes a peninsula, formed by the Thames and the Medway, known by the name of the Hoo.
In the time of Hollinshed, the Hoo was nearly an island, and there was a proverb current, not much to the credit of its inhabitants:
He that rideth in the hundred of Hoo,
Besides pilfering seamen shall find dirt enow.

The district was formerly supposed to be under the especial patronage of Saint Werburgh, a Saxon lady, who, during her life-time, had a mortal antipathy to geese; and who, in her sanctity after death, freed every place she delighted to honour, from the presence of those fowl, except the inhabitants chose to keep them tame for their own convenience.

Higham

The first important place that solicits attention on this coast, is Higham, about a mile inward, and just beyond the marshes.
It is generally believed, that Plautius, the Roman general, under the Emperor Claudius, passed the river from Essex to this place with all his army, in pursuit of the flying Britons.
The achievement, if ever performed, was a difficult one, as the river is not only wide, but deep and rapid.
"The probability," says Hasted, in his History of Kent, "of this having been a ford in the time of the Romans, is strengthened by the visible remains of a causeway leading from the bank of the Thames through the marshes by Higham, southward; and it seems to have been continued across the London highroad on Gad's Hill, to Shorne, Ridgeway (implying the way to the ford or passage, the word Rhyd in the ancient British language signifying a ford), about half a mile beyond which it joined the Roman Watling Street, near the entrance into Cobham Park.
The charge of maintaining that part of the causeway which was in the parish of Higham, as also of a bridge, was found by the judges on their circuit to belong to the priories of Higham nunnery, an institution founded by King Stephen, who appointed his daughter Mary the first prioress.
Between Higham and Tilbury there was a ferry for many ages, and accounts of it are to be met with so late as the reign of Henry VIII, before which Higham was a place much used for the shipping and unshipping of corn and goods in large quantities.
In the reign of Elizabeth, there seems to have been a fort or bulwark here for the defence of the river, the yearly expense of which to the state, for the pay of a captain and soldiers, was no more than twenty-eight pounds two shillings and sixpence.

Cliffe

Cliffe, the next place visible, is a village, which was called Bishop's Cliffe in the time of William the Conqueror.
Before that period, all the bishops in the province of Canterbury, used to hold an annual meeting in this church on the first of August, to settle rules for the governance of the clergy.
The incumbent of Cliffe was once believed to have Episcopal jurisdiction.
The church is large, and bears evident marks of its former importance.
It once was rich in the possession of monumental brasses; but the soldiers of the Commonwealth, who were quartered in it, made considerable gains by selling them to the founders, and very few of them are now remaining.
In the chancel are six stalls, like those in cathedral churches, and the tradition of the place is, that they were formerly filled by a dean and five prebendaries.

Cowling Castle

About two miles beyond Cliffe, are the ruins of the ancient Castle of Cowling, built in the year 1381 by Lord Cobham, the father of Sir John Oldcastle, one of the earliest martyrs to the Protestant faith.
It is a tradition reported in the old histories of Kent, that the castle was so large and strong, that its builder feared he might give offence at court and attract suspicion.
To obviate this, he caused the following lines to be cut in a brazen scroll, with an appendant seal of his arms, in imitation of a deed or charter, and fixed it upon the eastern most tower of the chief entrance, that it might be visible to all comers.

Knoweth that beth and shall be,
That I am made in helpe of the contree,
In knowing of whiche
This is ye chartre and witnessing.

Sir John Oldcastle, then owner of this superb fortress, was hanged in chains, and burned in St. Giles's Fields, London, in the year 1418, for the alleged crimes of heresy and treason, committed about three years previously.
The character of Sir John has been drawn in the brightest colours by the martyrologists; but there is little doubt, leaving his religious opinions out of the question, that his political crimes were sufficiently heinous to have drawn upon him the punishment he suffered from any sovereign in Europe.
He denied the power of the judges to try him, as having been appointed by an usurper - a character which history cannot fix upon Henry V.
He appears also, like many other martyrs, to have been a dangerous fanatic; and he told Sir Thomas Erpingham, a few minutes before his execution, that he would rise from the grave on the third day, and procure peace and victory for the persecuted sect of the Lollards.
An unsuccessful attempt to take this castle, was made by Sir Thomas Wyatt, in the Kentish insurrection of 1553, against Queen Mary.

Canvey Island

On the opposite shore we pass the Island of Canvey, a low, swampy place, about five miles in length, behind which, on the mainland of Essex, are the ruins of Hadleigh Castle, and the town of Leigh.
The former is in the village of the same name, and was built by the powerful Hubert de Burgh, in the reign of Henry III. who was also the original builder of York Place, afterwards called Whitehall, in Westminster.
At his death, Hadleigh came into the possession of Thomas of Woodstock, Duke of Gloucester, murdered at Calais by order, it is supposed, of Richard II.
; upon whose throne, and life, he had made an attempt, in conjunction with others.
His widowed duchess quitted Hadleigh soon afterwards, and hid her sorrows from the world amid the recluses of the nunnery at Barking.
The remains of the castle stand on the brow of a steep hill, from whence there is a magnificent view over the wide mouth of the river into Kent.
The ancient walls, overgrown with moss, and choked up with weeds and brambles, and every year yielding up a fragment to the insatiable hands of decay and time, present the traces of much former grandeur.
They inclose an area of a somewhat oval form, and are strengthened by buttresses on the north and south.
The entrance is at the north-west angle, between the remains of two towers; and close to it may be discovered the course of a deep ditch, that formerly extended along the north side.
About the middle of the last century it was in the possession of Sir Francis St. John, Bart., in whose time part of it was demolished, and the remainder suffered to fall into decay.

.

Leigh

Leigh is a small fishing -town, celebrated eight hundred years ago for its fine grapes, rivalling those of Hamburg.
It has none to boast of now.
Its church, upon a hill, commands an extensive view over the Thames.

Southend

About three miles further is the pretty watering place, Southend, pleasantly situated on a hill, and embowered in verdure.
It is a town of comparatively modern origin, and the newest parts of it are built in a style of considerable elegance.
It possesses the usual attractions of watering places, - a news-room, a theatre, and good bathing; but its views over the mouth of the Thames and the junction of the Medway, and the salubrity of the air, render it a favourite resort in the summer season.

Isle of Grain

On the Kentish side lies the low coast of the Hoo, and the Isle of Grain, with the insulet called Yantleet; none of them possessing any attractions to stay the progress of the traveller.

The Thames now mingles itself in the ocean.
Its waters have long since lost their freshness; and the Nore light, stationed in the midst, gives notice to all that the course of the great stream is over.
From the Essex to the Kentish shores the breadth of the embouchure is about six miles.
From its source to the Nore the river has flowed for a space of two hundred and thirty miles, and been navigable for one hundred and eighty-eight.
A mere brook in comparison with some of the mighty floods of the Old and New World; a rivulet compared with the Volga, the Danube, the Don, and some other streams of Europe; but richer and more glorious than them all.
Over its placid bosom passes more wealth; upon its banks resounds the hammer of more industry; and in its ports are stationed more wonders of art and civilization, and more engines of power and conquest, than in all the streams of Europe put together.
And though its history abounds in no wild legends or startling traditions, to please the lover of romance, yet its association with the names of the great, the good, and the learned, who have dwelt upon its banks, and loved it, recommends it to the friend of his country.
At every step of our course some recollection has been excited, which was worthy of being noted; and if we in the course of our rambles up and down, and on either side of it, and its tributaries, have brought little or nothing to light which was new, at least we shall be allowed the merit of having diligently culled from a thousand different and scattered sources all the memorabilia of the river, and put them into shape and form.
We have striven to be exact without being elaborately learned; we have endeavoured to be a chatty companion, and not a prosing Dr. Dryasdust; and have loved to conduct the reader into green woods and lanes, and lovely nooks, as well as into old castles, and mouldy churches, possessing few attractions but their age to recommend them.
If without parade of erudition we have informed the reader; if without the exercise of fancy or invention we have amused him, we have done well, and are satisfied.
In pursuance of our original plan, we proceed to trace, with similar objects, the sister stream of the Medway; and inviting our readers to accompany us, bid farewell to the THAMES.



VOLUME II. CHAPTER X.
Spenser's Bridal of the Thames and Medway. - The Mutiny at the Nore, - Sheerness and Queenborough. -
- The Legend of our Lady of Gillingham.

Medway, as Spenser sings, was by nature intended to pay tribute to Thames, but prefers rather to roll on its own course, an independent flood, only mingling with the mightier river in the embraces of the ocean, where the career of both is at end, "like lovers, in their lives estranged, but in their death united."

Long had the Thames, as we in records read
Before that day, her wooeéd to his bedde;
But the proud nymph would for no worldly meed,
Nor no entreatie to his love be ledde,
Till now at last relenting, she to him was wedde.

What reader of that old bard does not remember his gorgeous description of the bridal, the Thames attended by all his tributary streams, and the Medway by hers; the Bridegroom,

That full fresh and jolly was,
All deckéd in a robe of watchet hue,
On which the waves glittering like crystal glass,
So cunningly enwoven were, that few
Could weenen whether they were false or trew.
And on his head, like to a coronet,
He wore, that seemed strange to common view,
In which were many towers and castles set,
That it encompast round as with a golden fret.

And then the Bride, without the coronet of a royal city on her bank

The lovely Medua came,
Clad in a vesture of unknowen geare
And uncouth fashion, yet her well became,
That seemed like silver sprinkled here and there,
With glittering spangs, that did like stars appeare,
And waved upon like water chamelot,
To hide the metal; which yet every where
Bewrayed itself, to let men plainely wot
It was no mortal work that seemed and yet was not.

Her goodly locks adown her back did flow
Unto her waist, with flowers bescattered;
The which ambrosial odours forth did throw
To all about, and all her shoulders spread
As a new Spring; and likewise on her head
A chaplet rare of sundry flowers she wore;
From under which the dewy humour shed,
Did trickle down her hair, like to the hoar
Congealéd little drops that do the morn adore.

Mutiny at the Nore

But the place of their bridal, as the poet calls their confluence into the sea, has sterner recollections than such as these; for here took place, in 1797, that famous mutiny of the fleet, which spread so much alarm throughout the nation, occurring as it did, at a time when Europe was convulsed by the struggle of contending principles, and England was watched by jealous and powerful enemies, eager to take advantage of her weakness.
The mutiny of the Nore will always render the confluence of the Thames and Medway a memorable spot in the annals of England.
Sheerness whose dock-yard walls and low roofs are now visible, and beside which the fleet was moored at the time, is also associated with that event; a short history of which will not be ill-timed, as we await the departure of the Chatham steam-boat, which is to take us up the Medway.
For many months before the outbreak of the mutiny the seamen of the British navy had complained of the smallness of their pay, alleging, with great reason, that it remained exactly the same as in the days of Charles II; whereas, provisions, and living in general, had almost doubled in price since that period.
They had also high notions of the rights of man: - the ideas which had convulsed France were germinating all over Europe, and our sailors, in common with others, could not, at such a time, and with such notions of equality, brook the insolence of stripling and inexperienced officers, who showed their imagined superiority by harsh words, and tyranny, to better men than themselves.
But this grievance, though felt, was never made the ostensible cause of complaint; the inefficiency of pay was alone insisted on, and that in the most respectful manner.
The Government of Mr. Pitt took no notice of their demands, founded upon reason as they were, and were quite taken aback by surprise, when the first mutiny broke out in the channel fleet, under Lord Bridport on the 13th of April 1797.
On the return of the fleet into Portsmouth some days previously, a secret correspondence was settled between all the ships that composed it, which ended in an unanimous agreement that no ship should lift an anchor until the grievances of the seamen were redressed.
On the 15th Lord Bridport, in total ignorance of the spirit of the men, ordered the signal to prepare for sea.
Immediately the crew of the Queen Charlotte, a first-rate man-of-war, and his lordship's own vessel, raised three deafening cheers, as a signal to the rest of the fleet that they refused to weigh the anchor.
The crews of the other vessels followed the example; and notwithstanding all the exertions of their officers, refused to put to sea.
Every ship's company then proceeded to the election of two delegates, and Lord Howe's cabin was fixed upon as the place where they were to hold their consultations.
On the 17th an oath was administered to every man in the fleet, to support the cause in which they had engaged; ropes were reared to the yard-arm in each ship, as a signal of the death-punishment that would be inflicted on every man who proved traitor to the cause; and several officers who had rendered themselves obnoxious, were put ashore.
The crews treated the admiral with the greatest respect, and drew up two petitions, one to the Admiralty, and the other to the House of Commons, stating their grievances, in firm but respectful language, representing, that while their bravery and loyalty were equal to those of the army, the pensioners of Chelsea had received an increased allowance, while those of Greenwich remained at the old rate.
They declared their readiness to continue true Englishmen, and brave defenders of their country, but insisted on an increase of pay and provisions, or the liberty of going ashore while in harbour, and on the continuance of their pay to all wounded seamen, until they were either cured or discharged.
After some negotiations, their demands were acceded to; but not without a show of offended dignity on the part of the Government; and the men returned to their duty on the 23rd of April.

All alarm had subsided in the public mind, when, fourteen days afterwards, a fresh mutiny broke out.
The seamen mistrusted the promises and the intentions of Government, and insisted upon some more positive pledges, that the stipulations would be kept; and that a general pardon would be granted for all offences.
In this emergency, Lord Howe, beloved by the navy for his kindness of heart, and admired for his successes and his bravery, was despatched to communicate with the mutineers.
By his exhortations, and his assurances of the fulfilment of all that the Government had promised, order was restored, and the seamen of Portsmouth and Plymouth finally returned to their duty.
These occurrences it has been necessary to repeat in order to explain those that afterwards took place in the Medway.
They were the subject of warm debates in Parliament, in which the opposition, while it agreed to the increase in the navy estimates which they occasioned, severely handled the conduct of the ministry for not paying earlier attention to the reasonable demands of the seamen, before they were made by men who showed by their conduct that they would brook no refusal.
On the 22nd of May, in less than two weeks afterwards, when the nation was beginning to forget its alarm, and was congratulating itself on the happy issue of an event that might have been productive of such serious mischief, the third mutiny broke out at the Nore, more menacing and more alarming than its predecessors.
The crews took possession of their respective ships, elected Delegates, who afterwards elected a President, a Secretary, and other officers, and drew up a statement of demands less reasonable, and in terms more insulting than those made by the mutineers of the Channel Fleet.
As the mutineers kept up no communication with any men or body of men but the Board of Admiralty, it was impossible for many days to ascertain what were their real intentions.
The most alarming rumours were spread and believed, each day's being more painful than those of the day preceding; and, when on the 6th of June, intelligence was received in London, that four large vessels had deserted from Admiral Duncan, who was stationed off the coast of Holland, to join the mutineers in the Medway, the consternation knew no bounds: the shores of England appeared open to the first invader who chose to approach, and men of all parties strove to heal the unhappy breach, and prayed to the God of nations for the restoration of order.
The vessels that deserted were the Agamemnon, the Leopard, and Isis, men-of-war, with the Ranger sloop.

The brave Duncan, when he found himself deserted by part of his fleet, called his own ship's crew together, and made the following simple, manly, affecting, and eloquent address to them.
"My Lads, I once more call you together with a sorrowful heart from what I have lately seen, the disaffection of the fleet: I call it disaffection, for the crews have no grievances.
To be deserted by his fleet, in the face of an enemy, is a disgrace which, I believe, never before happened to a British admiral: nor could I have supposed it possible.
My greatest comfort under God is, that I have been supported by the officers, seamen, and marines, of this ship, for which, with a heart overflowing with gratitude, I request you to accept my sincere thanks.
I flatter myself much good may result from your example, by bringing those deluded people to a sense of their duty, which they owe not only to their King and country, but to themselves.
The British navy has ever been the support of that liberty which has been handed down to us by our ancestors, and which I trust we shall maintain to our latest posterity; and that can only be done by unanimity and obedience.
The ship's company and others who have distinguished themselves by their loyalty and good order, deserve to be, and doubtless will be, the favourites of a grateful country.
They will also have, from their own inward feelings, a comfort which will be lasting; and not like the fleeting and false confidence of those who have swerved from their duty.
It has often been my pride, with you, to look into the Texel, and see a foe which dreaded coming out to meet us: my pride is now humbled indeed: my feelings are not easily to be expressed: our cup has overflowed and made us wanton.
The all-wise Providence has given us this check as a warning, and I hope we shall improve by it.
On Him, then, let us trust, where our only security can be found.
I know there are many good men among us; for my own part I have had full confidence of all in this ship: and once more beg to express my approbation of your conduct.
. May God, who has thus far conducted you, continue to do so; and may the British navy, the glory and support of our country, be restored to its wonted splendour, and be not only the bulwark of Britain but the terror of the world.
But this can only be effected by a strict adherence to our duty and obedience, and let us pray that Almighty God may keep us in the right way of thinking.
God bless you all!
"
The whole crew melted into tears as the admiral spoke, there was not a dry eye among them; and collectively and individually they swore to abide by him in life or in death.
The remaining vessels of the fleet caught the enthusiasm, though they did not hear the eloquence that excited it, and they all remained faithful to their duty.
The admiral, though his force was thus weakened, took up his usual station off the Texel, to watch the motions of the Dutch fleet, and accept battle if it were offered.

At the Nore the accession of these ships increased the confidence and the demands of the mutineers.
They insisted upon still further increase of pay and provisions, and other indulgences which had not been even hinted by those of the Channel fleet.
They complained especially of the unequal distribution of prize money, by which the officers received so much and the seamen so little, and blamed their pre-mutineers of Portsmouth and Plymouth for not stipulating for some new regulations in this respect.
Richard Parker, their president or admiral, as he was called, was a young man of much natural ability, good education, and indomitable resolution, and presided at all the interviews with the agents sent down by the Admiralty or the Government to confer with them.
Admiral Backner, the commanding officer at the Nore, was directed by the Lords of the Admiralty to inform the seamen that their demands were totally inconsistent with the good order and regulations necessary to be observed in the navy, and for that reason could not be complied with; but that if they would immediately return to their duty, each and all would receive the royal pardon, and oblivion cover their past offences.
Parker replied to this by a firm declaration that the seamen had unanimously determined to keep possession of the fleet until the Lords of the Admiralty themselves had repaired to the Nore, and redressed the grievances of the navy.
This was a bold demand, but the Government deemed it right that some members of the Board of Admiralty should proceed to the Medway.
The Earl Spencer, Lord Arden, and Admiral Young, proceeded thither accordingly, and had an interview with Parker and the delegates.
The conference was but short.
Parker was firm and would not abate one iota of his former demands; the Lords were equally firm, and the conference broke up abruptly, leaving matters in a worse state than before.
A proclamation was immediately issued, offering pardon to all who returned to their duty; a message was sent to Parliament by his Majesty; and a bill was introduced to the effect, that persons who should endeavour to seduce either soldiers or sailors from their duty, or instigate them to mutinous practices, or form any mutinous assembly, should on conviction be deemed guilty of felony and suffer death.
The bill was passed through all its stages with unexampled rapidity, and received the royal assent on the third of June.
Another motion was then made by Mr. Pitt to prevent all communication with the ships that should be in a state of mutiny, and to enact, that if after the King's proclamation any person should voluntarily continue in any such ship, that person should be declared guilty of mutiny and rebellion, and should be liable to all the punishments of those crimes accordingly.
There was some opposition from the old Whig party to the severity of the latter, but it passed the houses by a great majority.
As the mutineers had threatened to stop all vessels entering the Thames, circular letters were despatched to all the outports on the third of June, forbidding all vessels clearing out for the Thames or Medway to quit their stations until further orders.
An embargo was also laid upon all vessels in the port of London, forbidding them to proceed lest they should be seized by the mutineers.
As it was rumoured that the mutineers intended to put out to sea, all the buoys and beacons were removed from the mouth of the river, in order should any attempt be made to get away that the ships might be run aground.
Additional troops were thrown into Sheerness, the mutineers having manifested a disposition to bombard that town; and furnaces and hot balls were kept ready to burn the fleet had such an attempt been made.
In order that their hostile intentions might become apparent, the mutineers seized two vessels laden with stores that attempted to pass the Nore, and sent notice ashore that they intended to block up the Thames, and cut off all communication between London and the sea, until the government acceded to their demands.
They acted upon this determination by moving four of their largest men-of-war across the river, and stopped several ships that were proceeding to the metropolis.

But this was going too far.
The men knew it, - some began to waver, and even the most reckless to lose confidence in one another.
To prevent too much power from being lodged in the hands of any one man, the office of president was entrusted to no one longer than a day, and ships whose crews were suspected of any wavering or lukewarmness, were stationed in the midst of the other vessels, that they might be fired upon from every side, if they manifested the slightest disposition to escape.
Notwithstand ing these precautions, two vessels contrived to elude their vigilance, put out to sea, and sailed to Portsmouth, where they returned to their duty.
The seamen at this port, and at Plymouth, the authors of the former mutinies, each addressed an admonition to those of the Nore, warning them that they had gone too far, - that their present proceedings were a disgrace to the British Navy, - that they should be content with the advantages already secured to them, and return at once to their allegiance.
But the delegates, now so deeply implicated, were in such a condition that they were afraid to submit.
They thought no clemency would be extended to them, and that their only hope was to render themselves still more formidable, and force the government into compliance, or an amnesty.
Impressed with these notions, they resolved to persevere.
The committee of delegates meeting on board the Sandwich, sent for Lord Northesk, the captain of the Montague, whom they had kept prisoner on board of his own vessel, and asked him to be the bearer of a message to the King.
The message was couched in terms of great respect towards his Majesty, but of much severity towards his ministers,requiring entire compliance with the original demands, and threatening, in case of refusal, to put out to sea immediately.
They told Lord Northesk that they considered him the seamen's friend, and asked him to be the bearer of the message, and to pledge his word of honour to return to them within fifty-four hours.
Lord Northesk readily undertook the mission, but stated candidly that their demands were so unreasonable that he had not the slightest hope they would be complied with.
In the mean time the acts of mutiny continued.
Some officers, more than usually unpopular, were ducked in the sea, and then sent ashore, but in general the strictest discipline was maintained by the delegates in the fleet.
Nine rules for the guidance of the men were agreed upon, and promulgated: first, that every ship should diligently keep a quarter watch, and that every man found below, in his watch, should be severely punished; second, that every ship should give three cheers morn ing and evening; third, that no woman should go on shore from any ship, but that as many might come in as pleased; fourth, that any person attempting to bring liquor into a ship, or any person found drunk, should be severely punished; fifth, that the greatest attention should be paid to the officers' orders; sixth, that every seaman and marine should take an oath of fidelity, not only to themselves, but to the fleet in general; seventh, that no ship should lift anchor to proceed from port until the desires of the fleet were satisfied; eighth, that no liberty should be given to pass from ship to ship till everything was settled; and ninth, that no private letters should be sent ashore.
Notwithstanding these regulations, a want of unanimity began to prevail.
The King, of course, took no notice of the message sent by Lord Northesk, and this increased the distrust, and diminished the confidence of the men.

On the 7th of June an extraordinary Gazette was published, warning all persons whatever to avoid communication with the following ships, whose crews were declared to be in a state of mutiny and rebellion; namely, the Sandwich, the Montague, the Director, the Inflexible, the Monmouth, the Belliquieux, the Standard, the Lion, the Nassau, the Repulse, the Grampus, the Proserpine, the Brilliant, the Iris, the Champion, the Comet, the Tysiphone, the Pylades, the Swan, the Inspector, the Agamemnon, and the Vestal.
The proclamation at the same time authorized the commissioners of the Board of Admiralty to accept the submission of such ships, or any one of them, or any of the men belonging to them, who would immediately on returning to their duty be forgiven for all past offences.
In the mean time diligent preparation was made at Sheerness to reduce them to submission by force.
A large vessel called the Warrior was fitted out at Chatham, manned wholly by volunteers to act against them, and everything showed the determination of the Government to make no further concessions.
Every day the disunion of the mutineers increased, and on the 13th the Agamemnon, the Standard, and the Nassau, each of sixty four guns, the Iris frigate of thirty-two, and the Vestal of twenty-eight, slipped their cables and got under the protection of the guns of Sheerness.
Two more line of battle ships got away in the course of the night, and on the following day Government offered a reward of £500 for the apprehension of Parker.
Four of the delegates attempted to escape in an open boat, but finding both shores lined with troops, they went out to sea and turned the North Foreland.
Being pursued by a cutter, they ran into the Isle of Thanet, where they were taken by the volunteers.
On the 14th, the Sandwich, Parker's ship, drifted to Sheerness, with the red flag of mutiny taken down, and the white flag hoisted in its stead.
As the garrison were not certain of her intention they made ready their guns to defend the town, and sent out some officers in a boat to parley with the crew.
All the sails of the Sandwich were furled, and it became quite manifest that her intentions were peaceable.
The persons who seemed to command said they came to surrender, and to give up Parker and the rest of the delegates.
Arrived within gun shot of the great battery, some boats' crews went on board, and brought out Parker, Davis, Higgins,Gregory, Denison, and about twenty other delegates, who were immediately conveyed to the black hole of Sheerness, and confined,heavily ironed, till the following morning, when they were sent under a strong escort to Maidstone gaol.
One of the delegates of the Agamemnon shot himself through the head when the crew laid hold of him.
Parker had been arrested by one Lieutenant Mott, with the concurrence of the crew; he made little or no resistance, and was merely confined to his cabin till the vessel was drifted ashore.

Government immediately proceeded to the trial of the mutineers: a court-martial was held on board the Neptune at Greenhithe under the presidence of Admiral Sir Thomas Pasley.
The trial lasted four days.
Parker conducted himself with the most admirable composure, cross-examined the witnesses with great skill and tact, and made a calm, clear, and eloquent defence, denying nothing that had been proved, or even alleged against him, but urging in extenuation that he had saved the fleet.
It was he who had established order among the mutineers; he had presided but to control the evil passions of the men, who, but for his advice, and the authority that he acquired over them, would have broken out into acts of civil warfare, bombarded the towns of their native country, or sailed with the fleet to a foreign port.
He was found guilty unanimously, and sentenced to death.
The 30th of June, a week after the conclusion of the trial, was fixed upon for the day of execution.
On that morning, at eight o'clock, the ships having been ranged in order opposite Sheerness, the Sandwich at the head, in such a position that it could be distinctly seen by all the fleet, Parker was brought from his place of confinement.
He had passed the night with great composure, and on being awakened in the morning, paid the most scrupulous attention to his personal cleanliness and appearance, and dressed himself in a new suit of mourning.
To the chaplain who attended him he denied most solemnly that the mutineers ever held or intended to hold any correspondence with republicans, anarchists, or disaffected persons on shore.
He asked Lieutenant Mott, who arrested him, and who commanded the marines by whom he was accompanied to the fatal scaffold, whether he might be allowed a glass of white wine.
His request being granted, he drank it off, saying that he drank it first to the salvation of his soul, and secondly as a pledge of forgiveness to his enemies.
He then made a very short address to the ship 's company, in which he acknowledged the justice of his sentence, and hoped that his death would be deemed a sufficient atonement, and that the lives of others might be spared.
He then inquired whether the gun that was to deprive him of life was ready primed and loaded, and being answered in the affirmative, he mounted the scaffold with a stately and steady step; the fatal bow-gun was fired, and the reeve-rope catching him, ran him up, though not with great velocity, to the yardarm, where he remained suspended for about an hour, in sight of the fleet, and of a great crowd of spectators who had assembled on the Isle of Grain.
Thus perished a man who possessed talent and conduct which, under happier circumstances, might have earned him an honourable name.
His courage in facing almost alone the wrath of a great nation, his general unsullied character, and the power once acquired, which he undoubtedly exercised to restrain and curb the violence of less sensible and more ferocious men, single him out, notwithstanding his one great crime, as a noble-minded and certainly very remarkable man.
His dying prayer was not heard.
His death was not atonement enough; several of the mutineers were sentenced to very severe punishment, and no less than seven of them were hanged together opposite Sheerness, a few days afterwards, besides several who were executed at Portsmouth.

Sheerness

Sheerness, where these events occurred, is still one of the principal stations of the British fleet.
Several ships of war are always moored in the Medway, under the command of a distinguished admiral.
The town lies in a low, unhealthy swamp; and has always a considerable military force to aid the fleet in protecting the joint entrances of the Thames and Medway.
On the restoration of Charles II. Sheerness contained but one small fort with twelve guns, to defend the passage - a force miserably insufficient.
After the Dutch, in the year 1667, had proved its insufficiency in a very painful manner to the English people, by forcing a fleet up the stream, and burning some vessels at Chatham, the place was immediately increased to a regular fortification.
It has been several times augmented and improved since that period, and is now an important town.
No enemy's ship can pass it with out the hazard of being sunk or blown out of the water.
Several smaller forts have also been constructed on the other side of the river.
For many years the town was much more unwholesome than it is now; and it is far from being salubrious, owing to the scarcity of fresh water.
Shortly after the famous mutiny, that evil was remedied: a well was sunk to the depth of three hundred and twenty - eight feet, which has ever since produced an unfailing supply.

The fine man-of-war, the Howe, bearing the flag of a vice-admiral, is an object of great curiosity to the people of London, who come down thousands at a time by the steam-boat, in the fine weather, to inspect this wooden wall of England.
Every arrange ment is made on board the vessel for the accommodation of the public, and a man appointed for the purpose goes round with each party, and explains the wonders of the ship; from the clean decks; - so clean, that, to use a common saying, we might eat a dinner off them and not want a tablecloth; - to the tanks in the hold, sufficiently capacious to contain water enough for eight hundred or a thousand men for a six months' voyage.
The guns, each in the nicest order, the large kitchen - the storeroom full of biscuit and flour - the armoury, with its pikes, pistols, dirks, and other implements of war, arranged fantastically, but methodically, in stars and circles, are successively visited, and successively elicit the approbation of the crowd.
The officers of the ship, too, are always full of politeness to the stranger, and of courtesy and hospitality combined, to all who are fortunate enough to have a personal introduction to any one among them.
Those who have dined at their mess, and passed a night on board, as we have, will not easily forget their gentlemanly bearing, their unaffected kindness, or their liberal hospitality.
The Howe was built after the war, and has, consequently, seen no service, or even quitted the shores of old England; but she is ready to defend them, and behave as an English ship ought, should ever the unfortunate necessity arise.
The brave Marshal Soult, on his departure from this country, after his mission as ambassador extraordinary at the coronation of our present most gracious sovereign, delayed his homeward voyage for a few hours to visit the Howe, where he was received by his gallant friend Vice-Admiral Sir Robert Otway, and entertained with a sumptuous dejeuner a la fourchette.
The speeches made upon the occasion by the English sailor who gave, and the French soldier who partook of, the feast, did honour to the hearts of both.
It is to be wished, for the sake of Europe and the world, that the warriors of both countries will ever cultivate the same spirit, and only meet for the purposes of amity and good fellowship.
We, who pen these pages, were invited to that feast, but by some unlucky fate we only arrived within sight of the Howe, when all was over, and could just distinguish, through the thick falling rain, the French steamer, with the Marshal on board, at the verge of the horizon, ploughing the waters towards France.
Great was our sorrow thereat, as the reader may imagine, - not for the loss of our dejeuner, for on that score we were not allowed to have reason to complain, but for the loss of the interesting spectacle of the ancient foe of England sitting in peace and friendship at the table of entertainers who had forgotten all enmity, and had no other feeling towards him than those of generous appreciation of his courage, respect for his character, and friendship, devoid of all old prejudices, for the people whom he represented.

Minster

At Minster, the spire of which is visible as we sail up the river, there was formerly a nunnery, or minster, which gave name to the town, founded so early as the year 673 by Sexburga, mother of King Egbert.
But the village is chiefly remarkable as the burial-place of old Sir Robert de Shurland, renowned in Kentish legends.
He was created a knight banneret by Edward I. for his gallant conduct at the siege of Carlaverock in Scotland, and possessed considerable lands in this neighbourhood.
On his tomb in Minster church he was represented lying cross legged beneath a Gothic arch, with a shield on his left arm, an armed page at his feet, and at his right side the head of a horse emerging from the sea.
This horse's head became a sore puzzle to the country people, and various tales were invented to account for its being placed there.
The legend that obtained most credit is given in Harris's History of Kent, to the effect that Sir Robert de Shurland having quarrelled with a priest, buried him alive.
Fearful of the consequences, he swam on his horse two miles through the sea to the King, who was then on shipboard near the island, and obtained his pardon.
He then swam back to the shore, where, being told by someone that his horse was a magician or he never could have performed such a feat, he dismounted immediately, and cut the animal's head off as unworthy to live.
The legend adds, that the knight was out hunting about a year afterwards (another legend says exactly a year and a day afterwards), when the horse on which he rode stumbled, and threw him violently on the ground.
His head came in contact with some hard substance, and he received so severe a fracture of the skull that he died in a few hours.
The hard substance being examined, was found to be the skull of the former steed, which he had destroyed for being a magician!
Antiquaries and men of sense are not to be put off with this foolish legend, and Phillipot, in his account of Kent, explains that the figure of the horse's head upon the knight's tomb may possibly be typical of a grant of the wrecks of the sea bestowed upon him by King Edward I. in the tenth year of his reign.
The privilege was always considered, he says, to comprise only such articles from a wreck as a man upon a horse could ride into the sea at its lowest ebb and touch with the point of his lance.
Samuel Ireland conjectures that the horse's head may have been merely sculptured on his monument as a mark of his affection for some favourite animal.
Hogarth once made a tour to Minster to see this tomb, accompanied by a Mr. Forrest of York Buildings, and some other gentlemen, and Mr. Forrest, we are informed by Samuel Ireland, wrote some verses embodying the legend, which we have not, however, been able to discover.

Queensborough and Gillingham

At a short distance up the stream, on the East Swale, a branch of the Medway, stands the ancient town of Queenborough, formerly called Cyningborough, or King Borough, from its having been the residence of some of the Kings of Kent during the Saxon Heptarchy.
It bears no traces of antiquity, but consists chiefly of one wide street, principally made up of modern buildings, and inhabited by fishermen and oyster dredgers.
It was formerly a free borough, and in the reign of Elizabeth, although it consisted of but twenty three inhabited houses, sent two members to Parliament.
To Cromwell's Parliament it sent one member.
At the time the Reform Bill was introduced, it was a place of much more importance; but its privileges being rather too great for its deserts, the borough was placed in the annihilating schedule, and it now returns no member to Parliament.
Proceeding up the stream, and passing be tween a great number of low swampy islands, mere marshes, unfit for the habitation of man, we arrive at the little village of Gillingham, and the fortress of Upnor Castle, pleasantly situated on a gentle eminence on the right of the narrowing river.
This place, with Chatham, at which we shall presently arrive, was celebrated before the Reformation, for its wonder-working virgin, who was called Our Lady, and sometimes the Rood of Gillingham.
An old legend, repeated in Kent when Lambarde wrote his Perambulation of that county, thus accounts for the cessation of the miracles at her shrine.
The dead body of a man floating in the Medway, was cast ashore in the parish of Chatham, where it was buried, after due inquiry, by the Churchwardens.
The parish clerk who officiated at the funeral, retired home to rest; but a sense of oppression was upon him, and his sleep was disturbed and broken.
About midnight, however, he fell into a more refreshing slumber, from which he was awakened by a loud knocking at his window.
Still more inclined to sleep than to get up, he turned on his side, after asking in his roughest voice, "who was there?"
The answer sent a cold shudder through his frame.
Being a holy man, he knew the solemn voice of Our Lady of Chatham, who commanded him to arise and follow her.
He arose immediately, and came down into the street, where she awaited his coming, sitting on the steps of the door.
A halo of glory was around her head, and he bent before her in reverential awe.
"Follow me, O clerk," said she, "for this day ye have buried beside my grave the corpse of a sinful man.
He so offends my eyes by his ghastly grinning, that unless he be removed, I can do no more miraculous workings in your town.
That so great a calamity should not befall the poor people, take thou mattocks and pike, and come with me, take up the body and cast it again into the river."
Though the night was cold and wet, and he was not accustomed to such labour, he procured mattocks and followed her in silence.
That he might not doubt her divine power, he noticed that wherever she placed her foot, the grass immediately grew, and the flowers began to blossom, and at one place where she rested for awhile, a whole garden of verdure and beauty started up around her.
At last they arrived at the churchyard, which was a good distance from the Clerk's house, where Our Lady pointed out the spot of her own sepulture, and then that of the drowned man, telling the clerk to set to work immediately and relieve her sainted ashes from the ghastly presence of that sinful neighbour.
The big drops of perspiration stood on the brow of the clerk.
He could not speak to the being of another world, but he did her bidding in solemn silence.
He dug for many hours until he arrived at the coffin, our Lady looking on with a melancholy and dignified smile.
She motioned him to open it, and take the body on his back, and cast it into the Medway.
He did so.
The corpse grinned horribly upon him, but he had no power to let it fall, and he walked away to the river's brink.
He had the curiosity to look back, when he saw the figure of our Lady melting gradually away into the thin air, and seeming no more than the light silver mist that floats upon the mountain.
With a violent effort he threw the corpse into the river: the water bubbled furiously: a ray of light danced cheerily above the grave of our Lady, and the clerk feeling his mind relieved from a load of sorrow, walked back to his own home, and slept comfortably till the morning.
Anxious to know whether this occurrence were not a dream, he arose early and walked forth to the churchyard.
He was convinced that it was no night vision, that he had indeed seen the virgin of Chatham, long before he arrived at that place; for, from his own door, all the way they had passed, he noticed the track of verdure where the unearthly feet had trodden, and the little parterre of flowers that still grew on the place where they had rested.
From that day forth he was a calmer and a better man, and the towns-people long pointed with reverence to the little tufts of grass, the earthly witnesses of the miracle.
But, alas! for Gillingham, it suffered by the good fortune of Chat ham.
The body of the drowned man was wafted down by the stream, and found by a fisherman of that village.
He took it ashore, and it was decently buried in the churchyard.
The Lady of Gillingham was wroth at the pollution, but caring less for the good people in whose parish she wrought miracles, or not having the good sense of the Lady of Chatham to apply for mortal aid in the removal of the nuisance, she withdrew her favour from the place for ever, her shrine lost its healing virtues, and the prayers of the faithful were of no avail.
It was observed at the same time that the earth where the drowned man was buried began immediately to sink, and so continued for many years, until the body was deposited in the great pit of perdition, when the earth was heaved up again, by no mortal means, and restored to its former smoothness.
Lambarde says, this legend, though only known to some very old people in his time, was not long previously "both commonly reported and faithfully credited of the vulgar sort," having been received by tradition from the elders of a former age.
When part of the church of Chatham was pulled down in 1788, several fragments of ancient sculpture were discovered, and among others the headless figure of a Virgin and Child, having a mantle fastened across the breast by a fibula set with glass in imitation of precious stones.
This was generally supposed to be the figure of Our Lady of Chatham.



VOLUME II. CHAPTER XI.
Chatham. - Rochester and Stroud. - Rochester Bridge and Castle. - Aylesford. -
- Birth-place of Sir Charles Sedley - Hengist and Horsa. - Remarkable Cromlechs. - Kit's Cotty House. -
- The Rood of Grace, and Tricks of the Monks of Boxley. - Penenden Heath. -

Chatham

Chatham, Mackay 1840

We now, having rounded a considerable bend in the river, arrive within sight of the three adjoining towns of Chatham, Rochester, and Stroud, or as the soldiers billeted upon the inhabitants call them, Cheat'em, Rob'em, and Starve'em.
Chatham extends along the east bank of the Medway, and is a long, straggling ill-built town, which contains a large population, and has an air of considerable bustle and business.
In the Domesday Book it is called Coeltham, and Ceteham, and is described as having a church, and six fisheries value twelve pence.
It remained but an insignificant place until the time of Elizabeth, when the Dock was erected, and then was laid the foundation of its present importance.
Camden describes it as "stored for the finest fleet the sun ever beheld, and ready at a minute's warning, built lately by our gracious sovereign Elizabeth, at great expense, for the security of her subjects and the terror of her enemies, with a fort on the shore for its defence."
James I.
and Charles I. increased the dock and raised many additional buildings.
In the reign of Charles II. a first-rate ship of one hundred guns called the Royal Sovereign was built here, and the King visited the docks to inspect the ship before she was launched.
Many large vessels have since been constructed here, including the ill-fated Royal George, in which the brave Kempenfeldt and his twice five hundred men were buried in the deep.
In the eighteenth century, during nearly the whole of which England was at war either with one nation or another, great additions were made to the town and docks of Chatham.
In the year 1758 when the country was threat ened with invasion, an Act of Parliament was passed for the purchase of additional lands, and the erection of such works as might be necessary to secure this important arsenal from the attempts of an enemy.
The famous fortification called the Lines of Chatham were forthwith commenced, and were continued from the banks of the Medway above the Ordnance Wharf round an oblong plot of ground, measuring about half a mile in width and a mile in length to the extremity of the dock-yard, where they again join the Medway.
Within this area, besides the naval establishment, are included the upper and lower barracks, which have been built for the garrison, the church of Chatham and the hamlet of Brompton, the latter of modern origin.
Various additions have been made to the security of the place since 1758, and another act was passed in 1782 for the purchase of lands and the erection of buildings.
It was here that the British army was to have taken up its position if Buonaparte had effected a landing upon our shores, and the fate of himself and of England to have been decided.
During the late war twenty large forges were continually at work, and some of the anchors made weighed as much as fourteen tons.
The Rope House is nearly twelve hundred feet in length, where cables are made one hundred and twenty fathoms long, and twenty-two inches in circumference.
There are altogether four docks for repairing, and six slips for building ships.
Over the entrance the Lords of the Admiralty in the year 1806, ordered the shattered mainmast of Lord Nelson's ship the "Victory "to be placed as a memorial of the decisive battle of Trafalgar, and as a memento of great deeds, to be continually in the sight of our seamen.
The "Chest of Chatham," for the relief of aged and destitute sailors, was established in the reign of Elizabeth, each of the men in her fleet contributing a portion of his pay for the relief of the sufferers after the defeat of the Spanish Armada.
It was much forwarded by the exertions of the Earl of Nottingham, then Admiral of the fleet, aided by the great Sir Francis Drake, and Sir John Hawkins.
Shortly after the Mutiny at the Nore, the Chest of Chatham was removed to Greenwich Hospital, in consequence of sundry abuses which had crept into the distribution of the charity.
The principal abuses on which the commissioners recommended the removal of the Chest and the placing it under the direction of the Lords of the Admiralty, and the Governor and other officers of Greenwich Hospital, arose from the system of agency, by which the pensioners were but too often deprived of a considerable portion of their allowance.
The estates of the Chest were also let considerably under their value, and in some instances proved a loss to, instead of an augmentation of, the funds.
The commissioners therefore recommended that they should be sold and the produce invested in the funds.
The stock belong ing to the Chest amounts to about £300,000 of which £10,000 was contributed early in the present century by some charitable individual who concealed his name, and also bequeathed the same munificent sum to Greenwich Hospital.
Chatham gives the title of Earl to the house of Pitt, so illustrious among the most illustrious, for the two great men it produced in the last century.
The place formerly gave the title of Baron to the Duke of Argyle, but the title became extinct on the death of John, second Duke, in the year 1743, whose Scottish dignities alone passed to his brother Archibald, the third Duke.

Rochester

Rochester castle, Mackay 1840

Rochester bridge and the ruins of the old castle now rise majestically over the Medway, and impress even the most careless passenger with the conviction that he has arrived at an ancient and time-honoured place.
This is the famous bridge that divides the men of Kent from the Kentish men, a distinction apparently without a difference, but much insisted upon by the former.
The natives born east of the bridge are the men of Kent; those west, the Kentish men; the former being considered the best and boldest, a character they have given themselves, although not universally acknowledged by others, since their pretended set-to with William the Conqueror, at Swanscombe, when they obtained the confirmation of their privileges from that grim successful warrior.
Rochester was the Durobrivæ of the Romans, and one of their stipendiary cities.
Many Roman remains have been discovered in various parts of it, strengthening the conjecture that the present city occupies the actual site of the Roman one.
Within the walls of the great tower or keep of the castle, and in the gardens, great quantities of coins have been at various times dug up, including some of the Emperors, Vespasian, Trajan, Adrian, Antoninus Pius, Marcus Aurelius, Constantius, and Constantine the Great.
The cathedral is partly built with remains of Roman bricks.
In the neighbouring fields, and at a place called Bally Hill, other remains of antiquity have been explored; remnants of mosaic pavements, urns, jugs and pateræ of fine red earth.
Rochester was an important place during the Saxon dynasties in England; and from its wealth, and its position on the Medway, was continually exposed to the ravages of the Danes.
It was more than once pillaged and destroyed by these greedy foes.
In the year 676 Ethelred, King of Mercia, razed it to the ground.
In 839, the Danes burned and pillaged it, and committed unheard-of cruelties.
In 885, they made a second attempt upon it, but were repulsed by the inhabitants, under the command of Alfred the Great.
In the tenth century it was twice burned down by the Danes, and the Medway became a common highway for that piratical people.
At the conquest, Rochester, along with many other possessions in various parts of England, was bestowed by the conqueror, on his half brother, Odo, Bishop of Baieux, upon whose disgrace, in 1083, it reverted to the Crown.
Rochester was made a bishop's see so early as the year 597, by Ethelbert, first christian King of Kent, and a church dedicated to St. Andrew, was built for Justus, the Bishop, in 604.
The present cathedral was commenced by Gundulphus promoted to this diocese in 1077, and carried on by his successors until the year 1130, when it was solemnly dedicated by Corboyle, Archbishop of Canterbury, in the presence of Henry I. and his Queen Matilda.
It contains many ancient tombs and statues, which the antiquary will be pleased to visit.
Most visitors, however, will rather remember with melancholy interest, that within its walls, Ridley the martyr often preached to his flock; and that Sprat, Atterbury, Zachary Pearce, and other eminent prelates, were bishops of this diocese.
Next to the cathedral, the most remarkable objects at Rochester are the bridge and the picturesque ruins of the castle.
There seems to have been a wooden bridge at the conquest.
It became at last so dangerous, and cost so much to keep it in repair, that the inhabitants petitioned Parliament, at the end of the fourteenth century, to aid them in building a bridge of stone.
Sir Robert Knolles, a great warrior of that day, took the matter in hand, and by his exertions among his friends, a sufficient sum was subscribed to build a stone bridge, the finest then in England, with the single exception of that at London.
Of this Knight, Stowe preserves these laudatory verses:

O Robert Knolles, most worthy of fame,
By thy prowess France was made tame,
Thy manhood made the Frenchmen yield,
By dint of sword in town and field.

Sir Robert also erected a chapel and a chantry, in the former of which a tablet hung for two hundred years or more, inscribed with the names of all the subscribers.
Among many others of less note, were those of Knolles and Constance his wife, Sir John Cobham and Margaret his wife, Cardinal Bourchier, Archbishops Morton and Chicheley, and Richard Whittington Lord Mayor of London, more famous, perhaps, than all the rest, from the well-known tale of his cat, the delight of all the nurseries of England.
The bridge is five hundred and sixty feet long, and fifteen broad, and is formed with eleven arches of which the largest is about forty feet.
The Medway is here very deep and rapid, and it was long supposed that the piles of the bridge were built upon the rock.
Such, however, is not the case.
Rochester Bridge was long the handsomest though not the largest bridge in England.
It was never blocked up by houses and made a common market of, like that of London, but always open as it is now.
In this respect it was undoubtedly the first to set an example, which has since been universally followed.
The chantry called All Soul's Chapel, now a private house, was intended by Knolles and Cobham, its founders, for the performance of mass three times a day, that all travellers passing over the bridge might have an opportunity of attending these offices and praying for the souls of the departed who had raised so fine a structure for their accommodation.
This custom seems to have prevailed at one time over all Christendom.
The popular superstition, so well known from its pleasant application by Burns, in his "Tam o'Shanter," that neither devil, witch, nor evil spirit dared to cross a bridge or a running stream, seems to have had its origin in this custom of consecrating bridges.
In Ireland, even now, it is said to be the custom in some parts, for people who pass a bridge, to pull off their hats, and mutter a prayer for the soul of the founder.
Rochester Castle, in the opinion of Lambarde, the learned perambulator of Kent, was erected by William the Conqueror.
The frequent discovery of Roman coins in that part more than in any other, would justify the supposition that, even in the time of the Romans, some fortress existed here, and that William, as in the case of the Tower of London, erected another upon the ruins of the old castle.
It stands on an eminence near the river, and looks grand and imposing when viewed from the bridge, or from a boat on the stream.
Like Melrose Abbey, of which the poet so sweetly sings, Rochester Castle looks well "by the pale moon light."
"The sun but flouts its ruins grey";
but when a fair full moon rises behind it, and the observer is on the opposite shore of the Medway, it seems a ruin most grand, and venerable, and melancholy.
The architect was Gundulphus, Bishop of the diocese, who surrounded it, on the three sides removed from the Medway, by a very deep moat.
The walls are twenty feet high, and about seven thick, and form a quadrangle of about three hundred feet.
But the great square tower is the most prominent.
Its sides are parallel with the walls of the castle, about seventy feet square at the base, and twelve feet thick, and so lofty as to be visible from a distance of twenty miles.
During the sanguinary disputes between Henry III, and his insurgent nobles, it underwent several sieges, and the city suffered considerably from its adherence to the Royal cause.
In the High-street of Rochester, near the Custom-house, is a house appointed for the reception of poor travellers, bearing an inscription that the charity was founded by Richard Watts, Esq. by his will, dated 22nd of August, 1579, for six poor travellers, who, not being rogues or proctors, may receive gratis, for one night, lodging, food, and fourpence each.
The inscription has often caused a smile among the members of the respectable body, excluded from the benefits of the charity; and a tradition of the town, states that the antipathy of the worthy testator to proctors, arose from the fact, that being once on the point of death, he employed one to draw up his will; but recovering shortly afterwards, he found that contrary to his intentions, the proctor had conveyed a considerable portion of the estates to himself.
He immediately cancelled the will, and hated proctors ever after.
This tradition has arisen apparently from a misunderstanding of the word.
Proctors, in those days, were not the same body as now, but the term was applied to a set of fellows, sham attorneys, who travelled about the country, compounding felonies, and very often acting as receivers of stolen goods, and who were not improperly classed with rogues and vagabonds in the mind and will of good Mr. Watts.
Strype, in his "Annals of the Reformation ", has the following passage which may serve to elucidate the point.
"If some like course [ committal to a house of correction ] were taken with the wandering people, they would easily be brought to their places of abode.
Being abroad, they all in general are receivers of all stolen things that are portable; as, namely, the tinker in his budget, the pedlar in his hamper, the glass man in his basket, and the lewd proctors which carry the broad seal and the green seal in their bags, and cover infinite number of felonies, in such sort that the tenth felony cometh not to light; for he hath his receiver at hand in every ale-house and in every bush.
And these last rabble are the very nurseries of rogues."
For the support of this charity, Mr. Watts left an estate, valued at that time at thirty-six pounds per annum, but now producing between five and six hundred pounds.

Stroud

Passing the bridge we arrive in Stroud, formerly a suburb of Rochester, but since the passing of the Reform Bill an independent Borough.
About half-a-mile from the town, on the banks of the river, are the remains of a building formerly called the Temple, and which belonged to the Knights Templars, and where they lived in grim state at the time that order flourished in England.
There are considerable fisheries at Stroud, especially for oysters, by the trade in which a great portion of the population is chiefly supported, and with which the London markets are in great measure supplied.
Ascending the Medway from Rochester to Aylesford, we pass through a succession of beautiful rural scenery, and the pleasant villages of Cuxton, the ancient Coclestone, or, as some say, Cuckoldstone, Woldham, and Snodland, none of which, however, claim the attention of the passenger, after they have once excited his admiration for their simple loveliness.

Luddesdon

The village of Luddesdon, at a short distance from the river and on the road to Cobham Park, is connected with an old legend of the Medway, and the ruins of the Temple already mentioned.
When the Knights Templars flourished in all their glory, one of their members, Sir Reginald Braybrooke, had been to visit the Lord Cobham, and was returning to the Temple by a lonely path on the river's brink, when he was pierced to the heart by an arrow from a hand unseen.
Next morning he was found weltering in his blood, quite dead, with the fatal arrow still sticking in his side.
The Templars used every means to discover the assassin, but in vain: and in commemoration of the deed, and to solicit the prayers of all faithful passengers for the soul of their brother, they erected a triangular monument on the spot where the corpse was found, with a cross on each side, fronting the three roads that united at this place.
The spot ever after wards obtained the name of the Three Crosses.
The murderer was not discovered during his own lifetime, but the secret was brought to light in a singular manner.
In one bitterly cold winter night, some years afterwards, one of the brethren, who had been to administer the last consolations of religion to an expiring sinner, arrived at Luddesdon in a woeful plight from cold and exhaustion.
He saw but one light, from the window of a poor hovel in the village, and, knocking at the door, he entered to solicit shelter and a seat by the fire.
He found the place inhabited but by one poor old woman, who was sick in bed.
She was almost in the last extremities, and the instant the ecclesiastic entered, he remarked that the coverlet of her bed was no other than the cloak of the murdered Sir Reginald Braybrooke, whose confessor he had been.
He immediately conjured her, ere she hastened into the presence of her God, to tell whether she knew anything of the murder.
She then confessed that her husband, an old soldier, who fancied that he had been wronged and insulted by Sir Reginald, had shot the fatal arrow to his heart: that after the commission of the deed he never enjoyed one moment's repose or happiness, and that one morning, a few months afterwards, he was found at the bottom of a chalk - pit dashed to pieces.
She did not know whether this catastrophe was accidental, or whether in a fit of remorse he had put an end to his miserable life.
Having made this confession she expired, and the priest, taking away the cloak, conveyed it to the Temple, where it was long preserved by the knights as a sad relic of their brother.
The precise spot where the monument stood is not now known, all traces of it having long since disappeared.
A small public house in the neighbourhood afterwards borrowed a name from it, with a most whimsical perversion.
From Three Crosses, the original name of the monument, it was corrupted in the course of time to the Three Crouches; and a modern landlord, seeing no meaning in these words, improved it and made it more intelligible to his customers, by giving his house the sign of the "Three Crutches!
Close to this house, on a rising ground overshadowed by one of the largest walnut-trees in England, is the spring that formerly supplied the pilgrims to this spot with water.

Aylesford

Returning, after this little digression, to the stream from which we have wandered, we arrive at Aylesford, with its old -fashioned bridge, built in the reign of Charles II.
The domain was granted by Henry III. to Richard Lord Grey, of Codnor.
One Frisburn, the squire of this valiant noble, and who had accompanied him to the Holy Land, founded in 1240, under his patronage in Aylesford Wood, the first priory of Carmelites ever established in England.
Various others were established in other parts of the country during the next five years, and in 1246, a general chapter of the order was held at Aylesford, and one John Stock, a fanatic, who had lived for thirty years in a hollow tree, and lived upon herbs and water, was chosen superior of the fraternity.
The manor passed through various families into that of Wyatt.
After the execution of the head of that house for his rebellion against Queen Mary, it was granted to Sir Robert Southwell, and from him it passed to the family of Sedley.
Here, at Aylesford Priory, in the year 1639, was born the witty and profligate Sir Charles Sedley, the poet and dramatist.
He was the posthumous son of Sir John Sedley, of Aylesford, sheriff of Kent in the reign of James I.
His wit was brilliant, but his morals impure, and Charles II, of a mind so congenial to his own, said of him, that "Nature had given him a patent to be Apollo's viceroy."
Sir Charles was a noted Mohock in his time; a disturber of the public peace at night, and a frequenter of rude and dissolute company.
His poems have nearly all an immoral tendency.
He contributed his part to the corruption of the manners of that age, for which he was afterwards punished in the sorest part, by the seduction of his only child, the beautiful Catharine Sedley, created Countess of Dorchester by her seducer James II.
It is possible that Sir Charles, in the bitterness of his grief at the disgrace that fell upon him, may have reflected within himself that a man who had, perhaps, corrupted by his own lascivious and impure wit the morals of many, once perchance as innocent as his own daughter, was rightly punished, and that Heaven had made his pleasant vices a whip to scourge him.
He never forgave the injury James inflicted upon him; and though he had asked and received various favours from him, took a very active part in forwarding the revolution that drove him from the throne.
Being accused of ingratitude by some friend of James', he replied: "his Majesty has made my daughter a countess, and I am only doing all I can to make his daughter a queen."
He died at the commencement of the seventeenth century.
His works were collected and published in two volumes in 1719.
. Aylesford Priory was sold during his minority to Sir Peter Rycaut, whose son, Sir Paul Rycaut, the eastern traveller, and author of a work on the "State of the Ottoman Empire," died and was buried here.
Before the death of Sedley, its original proprietor, the estate again changed hands, and came into the possession of Heneage Finch, afterwards Baron of Guernsey and Earl of Aylesford, in which family it still remains.

Cromlechs

Aylesford was the scene of the great battle fought in the year 445, between the Britons under Vortigern, and the Saxons under Hengist and Horsa, in which the Britons obtained the victory after considerable loss, and the death of Catigern, the brother of their king.
Horsa, the Saxon leader, was also among the slain; and both the savage chiefs were buried on this fiercely contested field.
Their cromlechs remain to this day, and are among the most interesting antiquities of the county of Kent.
Lambarde, Phillipot, Pegge, Lysons, Hasted, and other writers, have devoted a considerable space to the description of these remains, and from these, but principally from the latter, the following particulars with regard to them are collected.
They are well worthy of a visit not merely from the professed antiquary, but from the rambler in search of the picturesque.
The principal cromlech, called Kit's Cotty House, stands on the downs, about a mile north-east from Aylesford church.
It is composed of four immense stones, unwrought, three of them standing on end, but inclining inwards, and supporting the fourth, which lies transversely over them, so as to leave an open space beneath.
The dimensions and weight of these stones are nearly as follow.
The height of that on the south side, is eight feet, its breadth seven and a half, its thickness two, and it is supposed to weigh about eight tons.
The northern stone is seven feet high, seven and a half broad, two thick, and weighs about seven tons.
The middle stone is very irregular: its medium length, as well as breadth, may be about five feet, its thickness fourteen inches, and it weighs about two tons.
The upper stone or impost, which is the largest of all, is also very irregular: its greatest length being twelve feet, its breadth nine and a quarter, its thickness two, and its weight near eleven tons.
The width of the recess at bottom is nine feet, at top seven and a half, and the height from the ground to the upper side of the covering stone is nine feet.
This is supposed to be the burial place of Catigern, the brother of the British chief.
About seventy yards towards the north-west, there was formerly another stone of a similar kind and dimensions; but it was broken to pieces and removed by some Vandal of the eighteenth century.

At the distance of about five hundred yards south by east from Kit's Cotty House, are the remains of another cromlech, consisting of eight or ten immense stones, now lying in a confused heap, it having been thrown down at the beginning of the eighteenth century, by the then proprietor of the estate, who in tended to have the stones broken to pieces, to pave the court-yard of the barracks at Sheerness.
The stone was however found of such extreme hardness, that the design was abandoned as too expensive.
Still nearer to Aylesford, is another single stone, called by Dr.Stukeley, the coffin.
It is upwards of fourteen feet long, six broad, and two thick, That these cromlechs are the burial places of the savage chieftains of ancient Britain, has never been disputed.
Antiquaries (the Doctors Dry-as-dust of the profession, we were going to say, and must say for want of a better word,) have differed however, as was to be expected, about the bones buried beneath, and have carried on a violent paper war as to whether Kit's Cotty House was the burial place of a British or a Saxon chief - whether Catigern or Horsa were mouldering beneath.
The current opinion that has prevailed for many ages is, that Kit's Cotty House is the cromlech of the British warrior, and that Horsa was buried at Horsted, about two miles further towards Rochester.
The etymology of both names would seem to support this opinion.
The spot of Horsa's burial is now in a wood, with nothing to point it out to the notice of the curious.
Phillipot says, that in the memory of the grandfathers of his day, there were the remains of several huge stones, resembling those at Kit's Cotty House, but they had been all broken up and removed at the time he wrote.
Several pieces of old brass, remains of swords and spurs, have been dug up from time to time at the place.
On proceeding up the course of a little rivulet, that discharges itself into the Medway on its western bank, the antiquary will find the remains of another cromlech, which, in connection with those already mentioned, may afford ground for further speculation.
These remains are in the neighbourhood of Addington, and are thought to mark the burial place of some other chieftain who fell in the same great battle.

Boxley

On the east bank of the Medway, after passing Aylesford, stands Boxley Hill, commanding an extensive view over a beautiful country, watered by this clear, but now narrow, river.
The village of the same name, or more properly speaking, the Cistercian Abbey, whose ruins still remain, is famous for a monkish fraud which was practised here just before the dissolution of the religious houses, and known by the name of the Rood of Grace.
It was a small image of Saint Rumwald[sic], which, by the ingenious mechanism of the priests, was made to roll its eyes, move its lips, and raise its hands, when the faithful brought their offerings to the shrine.
The Rood or Image of the Virgin, in connection with this of Saint Rumwald, was supposed to work miracles, and cure all diseases; and great crowds of devotees daily thronged to Boxley Abbey, bringing their rich gifts to the cunning monks.
Lambarde, who wrote from personal knowledge, describes in his Perambulation, the mode in which the imposition was carried on.
Those who wished to benefit by the Rood of Grace, first confessed themselves to one of the monks, and having done so, they were ordered to lift in their arms the image of Saint Rumwald, who, by its motions, would discover whether they were of pure life, and worthy to be favoured by the Rood of Grace or Holy Virgin.
This image was so light, that a child of seven years of age might have lifted it with ease; and any person who gave a sufficient offering, was allowed to lift it.
If, however, the offering were too small, the priests, by a cunning contrivance of a screw, fastened it to the wall in such a manner, that no strength, however great, could stir it.
Great laughter was often caused by the sturdy efforts of Herculean fellows to move it; and many a maiden of pure life, and matron of hitherto good fame, went away with ruined reputation, merely because they had not made the screwdriver of Saint Rumwald their friend, by a liberal offer ing.
Those, however, who had contributed sufficient, were allowed to proceed to the higher mysteries of the Rood, where there was a further demand upon their purse, ere the eyes of the figure rolled benignantly upon them, and ere it lifted its hands to bless them, and cure their infirmities.
"Chaste virgins and honest married matrons", says Lambarde, "went oftentimes away with blushing faces, leaving without cause, in the minds of the lookers-on, suspicion of unclean life and wanton behaviour; for fear of which note and villany, women of all others stretched their purse strings, and sought by liberal offering to make Saint Rumwald 's mane their good friend and master.
But mark here, I beseech you, their pretty policy, in picking plain folks purses.
The matter was so handled, that without treble oblation, that is to say, first to the confessor, then to Saint Rumwald, and lastly to the gracious Rood, the poor pilgrims could not assure themselves of any good gained by all their labour, no more than such as go to Paris Garden, the Belle Sauvage, or some such other common place, to behold bear-baiting, interlude, or fence play, can see the pleasant spectacle, unless they first pay one penny at the gate, another at the entry to the scaffold, and a third for a quiet stand ing."
The deception was discovered in 1538, by an agent of Cromwell, Earl of Essex, and the images were brought to London, and publicly showed to the assembled populace in front of Paul's Cross.
All the springs of the mechanism were successively exhibited, amid the laughter of the crowd; and the images being broken to pieces, were thrown into a fire, enkindled in the open street for the purpose, and burned by Dr. Hilsey, the Bishop of Rochester, in whose diocese the fraud had been practised.

Penenden Heath

Penenden Heath is partly in this parish and partly in that of Maidstone.
It has been a place for public meetings for many centuries.
It was here that Archbishop Lanfranc exhibited his complaint against Odo Bishop of Baieux, half brother of William the Conqueror, for extortion; and which led to the downfal[sic] of that prelate.
Here also are held county meetings, and elections for members of parliament.
The last great meeting held here was shortly before the passing of the act for Catholic emancipation, in 1829.



VOLUME II. CHAPTER XII.
Allington Castle. - Reminiscences of Sir Thomas Wyatt the poet, and his Son. - Maidstone. -
- Tunbridge. - Penshurst, the seat of the Sidneys. - Hever Castle. - Eden Bridge. - Conclusion.

Allington Castle, Sir Thomas Wyatt

Allington Castle, Mackay 1840

We next, about two miles further up the Medway, arrive at the ruins of Allington Castle, sacred to the memory of one of the fathers of English poetry, and claiming from us a notice of love and homage.
A castle is supposed to have existed here in the Saxon times.
It was granted to Sir Henry Wyatt by King Henry VII, as a reward for his services in the cause of the House of Lancaster, and a slight repayment of his losses in the long disastrous wars of the rival houses.
Sir Henry was made a Knight of the Bath by Henry VIII, and at the battle of Spurs was made a Knight Banneret.
He was treasurer of the King's chamber in 1525, and filled many other important offices.
He chiefly resided at Allington Castle, where, in the year 1503, his accomplished son Thomas was born.
Thomas early manifested a love for poetry, and formed an intimate friendship with the Earl of Surrey - imbued with the same tastes, and like himself, burning with the love of the divine art.
Since the then distant age of Chaucer, no poet worthy of the name had appeared, to raise the dignity of English verse.
The groves of the Muses were silent and deserted, until these two song-birds appeared to reawaken the voice of music in the land, and incite others by their example, to lend their aid to swell the harmony, that was so soon afterwards to burst in full and joyous chorus, in the song of Spenser and his immediate successors.
Sir Thomas Wyatt, the Incomparabilis, as Leland calls him, and "the delight of the Muses and of mankind," as he is called by Wood, was likely to attract the notice of King Henry VIII, from the position occupied by his father at court; and we find, that after his father's death he was employed by that monarch on several occasions of great importance.
He and Surrey were the greatest ornaments of the court; both distinguished as soldiers; both handsome and noble in person; and both renowned as the sweetest, and almost the only poets of the day.
We are told of Sir Thomas that he was a man of great wit and readiness, and that his sparkling conversation was the delight of the court: that, in fact, he combined the wit of Sir Thomas More with the wisdom of Cromwell, Earl of Essex.
It is said of him that he helped to bring about the Reformation by a bon mot, and precipitated the fall of Wolsey by a jest; but this is, perhaps, saying too much.
His jest about Wolsey does not merit repetition, and that which is said to have aided the Reformation, if it were the one that has been handed down to us, is not so much a jest as a very pertinent remark.
When Henry was perplexed respecting his divorce from Catherine of Arragon, and had qualms of conscience as to the sinfulness of setting the Pope at defiance, Sir Thomas is reported to have exclaimed, "Lord, is it not strange that a man cannot even repent of his sins without the Pope's leave!"
Henry was inclined to this opinion himself, and was of course well pleased to have it strengthened by the pithy exclamation of his courtier.
Sir Thomas had at this time a more numerous acquaintance among men of merit and ambition than any gentleman in the kingdom.
He had great discernment in finding out the peculiar talent of those who sought his friendship, and the most generous appreciation of merit in others, and the utmost readiness to advance it where he found it.
So great, too, was his influence at court, that it became a proverb, when any man received preferment, "that he had been in Sir Thomas Wyatt's closet".
The accomplishments and gallant bearing of Sir Thomas are supposed to have made some impression upon the heart of Queen Ann Boleyn; but it is too much to say, that because she may have admired the poet and the gentleman, or been fond of his conversation, that she encouraged a guilty passion for him, or he for her.
This, however, has been said, but upon no sufficient authority; and Sir Thomas Wyatt was at the same time a married man, living most affectionately with his family.
The chief ground for this calumny upon two amiable persons, seems to be, that Wyatt, in one of his sonnets, speaking of the mistress of his heart as being named Anna, and in another deplores the miseries that had befallen him in May, a month so pleasant to all men, but so sad to him.
It will be remembered, that that unhappy lady was executed in the month of May.
A suspicion, however, was entertained of him by his contemporaries, and on the trial it was attempted to implicate him in the fate of Norreys, Smeeton, and the others, who suffered in that sad story, but the suspicion against him soon passed away.
He was imprisoned in the Tower in 1536, not from any participation in this affair, but on account of some quarrel he had had with the Duke of Suffolk, the particulars of which are not known.

He was soon released; and in the following year was knighted, and made Sheriff of Kent.
He was also chosen by the King, to show the especial confidence he had in him, to fill the honourable post of his ambassador to the Emperor of Germany; in which office, after some months, he was joined by the notorious Bishop Bonner.
Wyatt acquitted himself to the satisfaction of the King; but as the dignity he was obliged to keep up impoverished him considerably, and he received no adequate allowance from the King, he solicited his recall.
His letters to Cromwell Earl of Essex, at this time, drew forth replies from that able and amiable man, which reflect great credit upon his memory.
They are filled with kind and gentlemanly advice upon the profuse expenditure which, both in his public and private career, was the great failing of Sir Thomas; a failing, by the by, which he shares with many other poets.
Cromwell acted the part of a disinterested, thoughtful, and affectionate friend; and being pressed by Wyatt, fearful that Bonner, who had preceded him to England, and who was known to entertain an animosity against him, would prejudice the King's mind against him, he procured his recall in 1539.
Henry expressed great satisfaction with his exertions to fulfil duly the difficult objects of his mission, and Wyatt repaired to Allington Castle, to arrange his pecuniary affairs, which had fallen into some confusion.
He was not allowed to remain long in seclusion.
The Emperor proceeded, towards the end of the same year, through France into the Low Countries; and it was thought advisable to despatch an ambassador to watch his motions.
Wyatt was again selected to fill the office, and remained abroad for about a year.
On his return he met the same honourable reception he had experienced before, and seemed to all eyes to be high in the King's favour.
Within a few weeks after his return, his friend Cromwell, one of Nature's own noblemen though the son of a blacksmith, fell into disgrace, was tried, found guilty, and executed for high treason.
Bonner, who was now in power, justified Wyatt's preconceived distrust of him.
By his means Wyatt was accused of having spoken disrespectfully of his royal master to the Emperor of Germany, and of having held treasonable correspondence with Cardinal Pole.
He was forthwith thrown into the Tower, where it is believed he was treated with much rigour.
In a short poem, addressed from his place of captivity, to his friend Sir Francis Brian, he makes it appear that he was fettered, kept in a dungeon, where the close air wore away his life, and where he could judge of the "rain, wind, or weather, by his ears," but not by his sight.
The disrespectful words, which it was alleged he had used of the Majesty of England to the Emperor, were, "that he feared the King should be cast out of a cart's tail, and that, by God's blood! if he were so, he were well served, and he would that he were so.
" Wyatt, on his trial, gained all hearts in his favour by his firmness and his modesty.
When called upon for his defence, he made the malice of his accusers so apparent, and refuted seriatim, so successfully each charge against him, that he was triumphantly acquitted.
But his narrow escape disgusted him with courtly life; he obtained permission to retire to Allington Castle, and Henry bestowed upon him some lands in Lambeth, and made him High Steward of the manor of Maidstone.
He now devoted himself to the cultivation of poetry, and the improvement of his estates.
It was at Allington, amid his own woods, and on the banks of the sweet stream that ran through them, that he penned his satires addressed to John Poyntz, on the vices of courts and the quiet pleasures of the country.

Mine own John Poyntz, since ye delight to know
The causes why that homeward I me draw,
And fly the press of Courts whereso they go;
Rather than to live thrall under the awe
Of lordly looks, wrapped within my cloak;
To will and lust, learning to set a law,
It is not that because I scorn or mock.
' The power of them, whom Fortune here hath lent
Charge over us, of right to strike the stroke;
But true it is that I have always meant
Less to esteem them than the common sort,
Of outward things that judge in their intent,
Without regard what inward doth resort.
I grant, sometime of glory that the fire
Doth touch my heart. Me list not to report
Blame by honour, and honour to desire.
But how may I this honour now attain,
That cannot dye the colour black a liar?
My Poyntz, I cannot frame my tongue to feign,
To cloak the truth, for praise without desert
Of them that list all vice for to retain.
I cannot honour them that set their
With Venus and with Bacchus all life long,
Nor hold my peace of them, although I smart:
I cannot crouch nor kneel to such a wrong;
To worship them like God on earth alone,
That are as wolves these sely[sic] lambs among.
I cannot with my words complain and moan,
Yet suffer nought; nor smart without complaint:
Nor turn the word that from my mouth is gone.
I cannot speak and look like as a saint;
Use wiles for wit, and make deceit a pleasure;
Call craft council, - for lucre still to pant:
I cannot wrest the law to fill the coffer,
With innocent blood to feed myself to fat,
And do most hurt where that most help I offer.
This is the cause that I could never yet
Hang on their sleeves that weigh, as thou mayst see,
A chip of chance more than a pound of wit:
This maketh me at home to hunt and hawk;
And in foul weather at my book to sit;
In frost and snow then with my bow to stalk;
No man doth mark whereso I ride or go.
In lusty leas at liberty I walk,
And of these news I feel nor weal nor woe,
So I am here in Kent and Christendom,*
Among the muses where I read and rhyme,
Where, if thou list, mine own John Poyntz to come
Thou shalt be judge how I do spend my time.

* The following explanation of this strange phrase "neither in Kent nor Christendom," which is still in use, is given by Fuller, the author of the "Worthies".
"This seems a very insolent expression, and as unequal a division. Surely the first author thereof had small skill in even distribution, to measure an inch against an ell; yea, to weigh a grain against a pound.
But know, reader, that this home proverb is English Christendom, whereof Kent was first converted to the faith.
So then Kent and Christendom (parallel to Rome and Italy ) is as much as the first cut and all the loaf besides.
I know there passes a report, that Henry IV, King of France, mustering his soldiers at the siege of a city, found more Kentish men therein than foreigners of all Christendom besides, which (being but seventy years since) is by some made the original of this proverb, which was more ancient in use, and therefore I adhere to the former interpretation ".
Grose quoting this explanation in his Provincial Glossary, says,
"the proverb rather seems intended as an ironical reproof to the good people of Kent for overrating the importance of their county; the Kentish men formerly claiming the right of marching in the van of the English army."
A more obvious interpretation seems, as the words imply, that Kent by the satirist, who invented the saying, was considered so rude and barbarous as not to be included in Christendom.
Wyatt, who was a Kentish man, did not like this distinction, and takes care to say that he lived both in Kent and Christendom.

In another satire addressed about the same time to the same gentleman, the poet tells the fable of the town mouse and the country mouse, and expresses his own determination not to imitate the latter, and be swallowed by a cat for his pains; an allusion apparently to his royal master.
He concludes, speaking of the Court and its inmates:

Henceforth, my Pointz, this shall be all and sum,
These wretched fools shall have no more of me;
But to the great God, and unto his doom,
None other pain pray I for them to be:
But when the rage doth lead them from the right,
That looking backward, Virtue they may see,
Even as she is, so goodly fair and bright;
And whilst they clasp their lust in arms across,
Grant them, good Lord, as Thou mayst of thy might,
To fret inward for losing such a loss.

Notwithstanding his love of the country, and his ardent hope that he might have no more to do with courts, he was not allowed to remain in his darling privacy.
On the arrival of ambassadors from the Emperor of Germany in the autumn of 1542, the King commanded Wyatt to meet them at Falmouth, and escort them to London.
He was certainly, from his previous employment, the fittest person for the duty, and as he could not disobey the mandate, he set out immediately.
But he never reached his destination.
The weather was extremely unfavourable for travelling; he overheated himself too, by hard riding, and on his arrival at Sherborne, near Basingstoke, in Hampshire, he was seized with a fever, from which he never recovered.
He had some friends in the town who paid the utmost attention to him, and especially Mr. Horsey, who was unremitting in his kindness.
But all aid was unavailing; his constitution gave way, and he expired after a few days' illness, in the thirty-ninth year of his age.
He was interred at Sherborne, in the family vault of the Horseys; but no inscription marks the spot where he sleeps.
Of all the mourners that he left behind him, none mourned so sincerely as his friend the Earl of Surrey, - himself destined, at no distant period, to join his heart's co-mate in an untimely death.
He has left in the following lines, an eloquent description of the character and acquirements of his friend.

Wyatt resteth here that quick could never rest
Whose heavenly gifts increased by disdain,
And virtue sank the deeper in his breast;
Such profit he by envy could obtain.
A head where wisdom mysteries did frame;
Whose hammers beat still in that lively brain,
As on a forge, where that somework of fame
Was ever wrought to turn to Britain 's gain.
A visage, stern but mild, where both did grow
Vice to contemn, in virtue to rejoice:
Amid great storms, whom grace assured so,
To live upright, and smile at fortune's choice.
A hand that taught what might be said in rhyme;
That reft Chaucer the glory of his wit;
A mark, the which (unperfected for time)
Some may approach, but never more shall hit.
A tongue that served in foreign realms his king;
Whose courteous talk to virtue did inflame
Each noble heart; a worthy guide to bring
Our English youth by travail unto fame.
An eye whose judgment none effect could blind,
Friends to allure and foes to reconcile:
Whose piercing look did represent a mind
With virtue fraught, reposed, devoid of guile.
A heart where dread was never so imprest
To hide the thought that might the truth advance;
In neither fortune, lost nor yet represt,
To swell in wealth, or yield unto mischance.
A valiant frame, where force and beauty met;
Happy, alas! too happy, but for foes,
He lived, and ran the race that nature set,
Of manhood's shape ere she the mould did lose.
But to the heavens that simple soul is fled,
Which left, with such as covet Christ to know,
Witness of faith, that never shall be dead:
Sent for our health, but not received so.
Thus for our guilt this jewel we have lost,
The earth his bones - the heavens possess his ghost.

Sir Thomas Wyatt the younger

The poet left an only son of the same name, called, to distinguish him from his father, Sir Thomas Wyatt the younger.
His mother was the Lady Elizabeth Brooke, third daughter of Lord Cobham.
He it was who made the famous insurrection against Queen Mary, which cost him his life, and brought many others to the scaffold.
He was a man of great consequence, not only in his own county, but throughout England, wherever the Protestant party had adherents.
When the persecutions carried on by the Roman Catholics, under the authority of Mary, had alarmed the people, and when her projected marriage with Philip of Spain had rendered them ripe for rebellion, Sir Thomas was looked up to by his party to head a grand national movement, to drive her from the throne.
He undertook to raise the county of Kent; Sir Peter Croft, Sir Peter Carew, and others, undertaking to effect a simultaneous rising in Devonshire, Cornwall, Wales, and the Midland Counties.
This formidable outbreak failed for want of proper concert among its leaders, and many hundreds of persons perished miserably on the scaffold.
The Princess Elizabeth, who was suspected of being privy to it, was, as is well known, confined for a short time in the Tower on the charge of treason against her sister, resulting from her correspondence with Wyatt, who, however, exculpated her with his dying breath from all knowledge of his proceedings.
No previous insurrection since the time of Jack Cade had excited such alarm in London as this of Sir Thomas Wyatt.
As soon as it was made known to the Lord Mayor that Sir Thomas was up in Kent, additional guards of substantial citizens were placed at the city gates, and the aldermen, common councilmen, and others, patrolled the streets in armour all night long, to guard against surprise.
Five hundred men were equipped at the cost of the city, and sent by water to Gravesend, and thence across the country towards Allington Castle, to keep him in awe.
They found that he had proceeded to Rochester Castle, of which he had taken possession.
The Duke of Norfolk, who commanded the Queen's forces, had possession of the bridge, on which he had stationed four pieces of ordnance to besiege the castle.
Brett, the captain of the Londoners, on his arrival at the bridge, suddenly turned upon his company and addressed them in an eloquent speech in favour of Wyatt; urging them what a shame it would be if they drew their swords against their countrymen, who had been driven by tyranny to take up arms; whose cause was righteous, and who only wanted to deliver the land from proud Spaniards and strangers.
The Londoners immediately raised a loud shout of "a Wyatt, a Wyatt", and seizing upon the cannon turned them against the Queen's forces.
Wyatt, see ing the movement in his favour from the battlements of the castle, sprang upon his horse, and with a score of his stoutest fellows behind him, galloped in among the Londoners; and the Queen 's forces, panic-struck with the suddenness of the movement, and the loss of their artillery, took to flight.
Wyatt, with this reinforcement, proceeded towards Deptford, and thence to Southwark, intending to assault the city, but failing, he marched up the Surrey shore of the Thames to Kingston, where he crossed and endeavoured to enter London from the west.

All the city were up in arms, the Tower guns were in readiness, and every thing prepared for a decisive struggle.
" All the Court," says Stowe, "were wonderfully afraid, and drums went through London at four o'clock in the morning, commanding all soldiers to arms, and to meet at Charing Cross."
Wyatt, hearing that the Earl of Pembroke had taken up arms against him, stayed at Knightsbridge until the morning, that his men, who were weary with their long march,might refresh and strengthen themselves by sleep and a supply of rations.
Wyatt planted his artillery upon the spot now known as Hay Hill, Berkeley Square, and here a skirmish took place.
Wyatt gained the advantage, and pushed on towards Charing Cross, apparently carrying all before him, and making people suspect that the Earl of Pembroke had turned traitor, and was aiding instead of repulsing him.
"Then there was," says the quaint old historian, "a running and crying out of ladies and gentlewomen, shutting of doors and windows, and such a shrieking and noise as was wonderful to hear."
Wyatt forced his way through Temple Bar to Ludgate, where being met with a superior force, he returned again through Fleet Street to Temple Bar, his adherents dropping off one by one as they saw the reinforcements that were arriving from every side to crush them.
Wyatt, at length, saw his gallant band reduced to less than a score of combatants, and, giving up the struggle, thought only of securing his safety by flight.
He set spurs to his steed, but was met in the Strand by a party of the Queen's troops and taken prisoner.
He was immediately conveyed along with Brett, and some other leaders, to the Tower.
On his arrival at Traitor's Gate, Sir John Bridges, the Lieutenant, took him fiercely by the collar, saying,
"O thou villain and unhappy traitor!
how couldst thou find in thy heart to work such detestable treason against the Queen's Majesty?
If it were not that the law must pass against thee, I would stick thee through with my dagger!"
Wyatt crossed his arms on his breast, and looking at the Lieutenant with a stern face,merely replied,
"We are not struggling for mastery now ", and passed on to his dungeon.

The life of Lady Jane Grey, who had been long a prisoner in the Tower under sentence of death, might have been spared had it not been for this unfortunate rebellion.
Five days after the capture of Wyatt she was executed; the Queen thinking, after these events, that there could be no safety for her while her rival was alive.
On the third day after she and her husband had suffered, twenty gibbets were erected in different parts of London, and fifty of Wyatt's followers were hanged, drawn, and quartered, and their limbs exposed on the city gates.
Four hundred more of inferior note were led to the Queen at Westminster, in couples, with halters about their necks; and her Majesty, looking from the windows of the palace to the Tiltyard, where they were drawn up in this miserable array, thought it best to pardon them, lest the spectacle of so much blood should prove too revolting to her subjects.
The Duke of Suffolk, father of Lady Jane Grey, was next beheaded; and, lastly, Wyatt, after he had been confined in the Tower from the 12th of March to the 11th of April.
As he was brought out to the Green to suffer execution, he addressed himself to one Bourne, the Queen's secretary, and implored him to speak favourably of him to the Queen, and beg her countenance for his unhappy wife and children; adding, that if it had pleased her Majesty to have given him his life, he would have done her such good service as would have gone far towards making reparation for the great treason he had committed.
But since she would not spare him, he could only trust that God would show him that mercy which was denied him by his fellow creatures.
When he came upon the scaffold he desired all men to pray for him, and commenced the awful preparations for death.
We quote his dying speech from Stowe: -
"Good people", said he, "I come here presently to die, being thereto lawfully and worthily condemned, for I have sorely offended against God and the Queen's Majesty.
I trust God will forgive me, and will take mercy upon me.
I beseech the Queen also of forgiveness."
"She hath forgiven you", said Doctor Warton, the chaplain who attended.
"Then", continued Sir Thomas, "let every man beware how he taketh anything in hand against the higher powers; unless God be prosperable to his purpose it will never take good effect or success, whereof you may now learn of me, and I pray God I may be the last example in this place for that or any other like.
And whereas it is said and noised abroad that I should accuse the Lady Elizabeth and the Lord Courtney, - it is not so, good people, for I assure you neither they nor any other now yonder in hold was privy to my rising before I began, as I have declared no less to the Queen's Council, and that is most true."
And so without any more talk Sir Thomas put off his gown, untrussed his points, then taking the Earl of Huntingdon, the Lord Hastings, Sir T. Strangwish,and many others by the hand, he plucked off his doublet and waistcoat, and then kneeling down laid his head on the block; and raising himself again to his knees, after a few words spoken with his eyes lifted up to wards heaven, he knit the kerchief over his eyes, and holding up his hands, suddenly laid down his head, which the executioner took from him at one stroke.
Thus perished, in the flower of his manhood, Sir Thomas Wyatt the younger, whose name, had success rewarded him, would have shone among the brightest in the page of English history: Elizabeth would have reigned a few years earlier, and Lady Jane Grey, Cranmer, Ridley, Latimer, and a thousand illustrious victims would have been saved from the scaffold and the stake.
But he failed, and he ranks among traitors and rebels.

Posterity, however, has done his memory some injustice, and he does not rank so high as the Russells and the Sidneys, because he flourished at an earlier period, and because his motives, though as noble, are not so well known.
If he sought his end by civil war, it should be remembered that in his day there was no Parliament worthy of the name, in which the great change he was desirous of making for the benefit of his country, could be constitutionally effected.
He was a brave soldier, and a true patriot in heart, and not the common rebel that some have represented him.
After his execution, the estates of Allington as belonging to a traitor, reverted to the Crown, and remained untenanted during the reign of Mary.
Queen Elizabeth granted them on lease to John Astley, her master of the jewels, to whose son, Sir John Astley, they were afterwards granted by letters patent at the annual rent of £100 2s. 6d.
They have since come into the possession of the Earls of Romney.
The castle of Allington had been long in ruins before Hasted published his "History of Kent."
A very small remnant of is is now in existence, and forms a part of the adjoining farm-house, "which itself," says Hasted, "seems to have been built out of the ruins of Sir Thomas Wyatt's house."
There was formerly a park belonging to the castle, as we learn from the poems of Sir Thomas Wyatt the elder, but it was cleared away soon after the forfeiture of the domain.
The parish of Allington is very small, and in the year 1808, consisted but of one house besides the castle and the parsonage.
Some parts of the castle were lately inhabited, and some few additional houses have been built.
The church is small and mean, and contains some monuments of the seventeenth century, but none of them are remarkable.

Maidstone

The next place on the Medway is the ancient town of Maidstone; so named, it is thought, from Medway-stone.
Its Roman name was Madaviacis, thought to have been derived from the British.
In this town, as already stated in our account of Dartford, Wat Tyler and his rebels had their headquarters, before they marched to Blackheath to attack London.
Here, also, Sir Thomas Wyatt, the poet's son, began his insurrection.
Being joined by many of the principal inhabitants, over whom his influence from his own character, as well as his father's, was considerable, the whole town fell under the displeasure of Queen Mary.
It lost, in consequence, all the privileges of self-government which it had enjoyed from a very early age, and remained disfranchised until the second year of Elizabeth, when the Queen, by letters patent, restored their rights, and granted some additional privileges, among which was a confirmation of their ancient prescriptive right of sending two burgesses to parliament, the granting to the mayor the authority of a justice of the peace, and the exemption of the townsmen from foreign sessions.
Several other charters have been granted to the town by James I, Charles I, and George II.
The manor belongs to the Earls of Romney, who have a seat in the neighbourhood of the town called the Mote.

Maidstone, Mackay 1840

Maidstone is a small, quiet, simple, and pleasant-looking town.
The chief trade is in hops.
It is considered the county town of Kent, and here the assizes are held, and on some now happily rare, occasions criminals are executed.
There is a small bridge over the Medway.
The river is navigable for barges of fifty or sixty tons, and the tide flows up to the town, although the river is so narrow.
Close by, the Lenn, one of the streams mentioned by old Michael Drayton as "bearing the limber train of the Medway," falls into the parent river.
There are several antiquities at Maidstone which are worth notice.
On the eastern bank of the river, at a short distance from the parish church, are the remains of St. Mary and All Saints' College, built by Courtenay, Archbishop of Canterbury, at the close of the fourteenth century.
The gate is the only part that gives any idea of the beauty or grandeur of the original building, which is now converted into a farm-house.
Near the High Street are the remains of another ancient foundation, called the Friary, supposed to have been part of a convent of Franciscans founded by Edward III. and the Earl of Cornwall in 1331.
"The church," says Hughson, "is spacious and handsome, and consists of a nave, aisle and chancel, with an embattled tower, in which are eight bells.
On the tower formerly stood a spire that was destroyed by lightning in 1730.
The walls are also embattled and supported by buttresses.
The whole is enlightened by large windows, divided by mullions, with rich tracery above; the east window is particularly handsome.
The chancel was rebuilt by Archbishop Courtenay in 1395, who then altered the dedication of the church to All Saints, it having been previously dedicated to the Blessed Virgin."
The Archbishop was buried in the middle of the chancel, in a grave between five and six feet deep, where his skeleton was found in the year 1794, in consequence of a search made for it by the Rev. Mr. Denne, who was one of the Dry-as-dusts who had carried on a long controversy about these very bones.
The one party contended that they lay in Maidstone, and the other that they were buried in Canterbury.
Mr. Denne made search accordingly, and gained the victory.
Maidstone was the birth -place of Thomas Trapham, surgeon to Fairfax and Oliver Cromwell, and the man employed to prepare the body of Charles I. for interment.
He it was who used the coarse and infamous expression relating to that office, "I have sewed on the head of a goose".
Maidstone also gave birth to Andrew Broughton, secretary to the High Court of Justice, and employed in that capacity to read to the unfortunate Charles the charge preferred against him, and the sentence of the Court.
He was one of those excepted at the restoration from the Act of Indemnity.
He fled to Switzerland, and died at Vevay at an advanced age.

From Maidstone to Tunbridge, a distance as the crow flies of about twelve miles, but by the windings of the Medway of eighteen or twenty, the river takes its course through a beautiful country, abounding with small villages, and almost covered with luxuriant hop-grounds.
The Medway receives at Yalding, about half way between the two towns, the waters of the "clear Beule", or Beult, a little trout stream, which runs for about fifteen miles.
This district is one of the finest in the fine county of Kent, and towards the end of May, when its abundant cherry and apple trees are in bloom, scenting the breeze with their odorous treasures, appears redolent of peace and plenty.
But to the gossiping traveller it offers nothing to stay him long; - men cannot always prattle of waving woods, enamelled meads, or hedge-rows green; so, having pointed out the district to the lover of seclusion and rural scenery, we pass on our way to the busier haunts of men, in search of the places where the great and good have been born or have died, where philosophers have preached and poets sung, or remarkable men have strutted away their little hour ere the grave engulphed them.
Among the pleasant villages in the ride from Maidstone to Tonbridge are Baring, Teston, Farleigh, Nettlestead, Yalding, Lillyhoe, and Wateringbury; and among the country seats which arise on every commanding knoll, amid every green refreshing coppice, are Hailes Place, Barham Court, and Mereworth Castle, surrounded by very extensive woods, and affording a most delightful prospect over the Medway and its rural banks.
This place formerly gave name to an ancient family who held the manor for about two centuries, and after whose extinction it passed to the Malmains, Bohuns, and Bambres.
The latter built a spacious castle which was possessed in succession by the Earls of Arundel and the Lords of Abergavenny.
From them it came to the Le Despencers, whose heiress Lady Mary Fane was created Baroness Le Despencer by King James I.
The son of this lady was made Earl of Westmoreland by the same monarch, and his grandson erected the present castle.
Smart, now an almost forgotten versifier, wrote a poem upon the hops of Kent, in which he mentions this castle.

Nor shalt thou Mereworth remain unsung,
Where noble Westmoreland, his country 's friend,
Bids British greatness love the silent shade;
Where piles superb, in classic elegance
Arise, and all is Roman like his heart.

The famous Palladio of Italy, so often taken as a model by our English architects in their designs for the country-houses of our nobility and gentry, is the structure that was imitated by Mr. Colin Campbell, when he built this under the direction of Lord Westmoreland. It formerly contained, and perhaps does still contain, a valuable collection of pictures.

Tonbridge

Tonbridge, or the town of bridges, is seated upon the Medway, and four nameless streams, which here pour their waters into that river.
From the bridges over these waters the town obtained its name.
Here the Medway ceases to be navigable, and up to the year 1740, it was not navigable further than Maidstone, but an act was then passed by which the improvement was carried into effect at a considerable expense.
Tonbridge Castle, now in ruins, was built about forty years after the Conquest, by Richard de Clare, Earl of Brionne in Normandy.
His own castle of Brionne had been destroyed by the famous Robert the Devil, familiarized by name, at least, to the public of late years, by the opera bearing his unenviable soubriquet; and Rufus, in compensation for that loss, gave him a square league of land at Tonbridge, upon which he erected a new castle more magnificent than the old one.
The possessor of this estate in the reign of Henry VIII. was Edward De Bohun, Duke of Buckingham, who having been executed for treason, his estates were forfeited to the crown.
Since that time the castle has been suffered to fall to decay.
Tonbridge, though small, is a flourishing town.
Its church is a handsome and spacious edifice, dedicated to St. Peter and St. Paul, and contains several monuments of the neighbouring families, but none of them remarkable.
The Grammar School, in the patronage of the Skinner's Company of London, was founded in the reign of Queen Elizabeth by Sir Andrew Judde, a native of the town, and Lord Mayor of London.
In this school was educated Sir Sidney Smith, the gallant hero of Acre, buried in a strange land, and as yet without a monument to his memory in England.

Penshurst

Penshurst, Mackay 1840

We are now approaching the source of the Medway; the stream has become a mere brook; an active man might, without much difficulty, jump over it: and it soon loses its name in that of the many small streams which unite together to form it.
But 'ere we bid it farewell, upon one part of its banks we must linger with a fond delay: the groves of Penshurst, where Sidney, the darling of his age, was born, - where that other Sidney, the stern republican, lived and wrote, - where Sacharissa lived, and where Waller sung.
Penshurst Place is an extensive pile, disposed in the form of a quadrangle, enclosing a spacious court, and comprehending a great hall, chapel, gallery, and numerous suites of apartments.
The state rooms are furnished and decorated with much magnificence; and the place contains a valuable collection of old portraits, including all the illustrious members of an illustrious house.
The park includes more than four hundred acres, gently diversified with hill and dale, from which may occasionally be seen the two small confluent streams of the Medway and the Eden.
Near a fine sheet of water called Lancup Well, stands the noble oak, about twenty-two feet in circumference, which is said to have been planted at the birth of the gallant Sir Philip.
Penshurst was granted by King Edward VI. to Sir William Sidney, the Lord Chamberlain of his household.
Philip was the son of Sir Henry Sidney, Lord Deputy of Ireland, and was born on the 26th of November 1544.
Before he had attained his twenty-ninth year, when he returned to England after his continental travels, he had acquired a reputation all over Europe as the most gallant gentleman and most accomplished scholar of his age.
The King of France, Henry III. appointed him one of the gentlemen of the royal chamber.
The Poles put him in nomination for the throne of that country, and Queen Elizabeth delighted to honour him.
The Prince Palatine of the Rhine having been offered the high honour of the Garter, gave Sidney his procuration to receive his stall, and take possession of it in his name, upon which occasion Mr. Sidney received the honour of knighthood.
Who does not remember the many fond stories of Sidney's bravery, his generosity, and his learning, which his admiring contemporaries have handed down concerning him?
He was the Mæcenas of the age - the man to whom hundreds of poetasters and many poets looked up as their patron.
The author of "The Defence of Poesy" and the "Arcadia", was the critic whose approbation was sufficient to ensure success; and who, of all the eminent men of that day, was selected by the then unknown and unbefriended Spenser, as the patron of his "Faery Queen ".
While the work was yet in manuscript, the poet sent it to Sir Philip, who was so transported with delight, if we may believe the old tradition, that he rose up in an ecstacy, and ordered his steward to give the author fifty pounds.
Cooled a little, he began to read again, but coming to another beautiful passage, he started up again in rapture, and ordered the poet to have a hundred pounds.
Still as he read, his rapture grew; and he finally raised his gratuity to two hundred pounds, and shut up the book for that day, lest, as he said, he should be tempted to give away his whole estate.
A pretty story, which we devoutly believe, and which we hope no arithmetical man of precision, no too curious inquirer into dates and other ugly matters of the like sort, will ever interfere with and destroy.
We have a vision of our own, And why should he undo it?
The "Arcadia "was not written at Penshurst, but at Wilton, the seat of the Earl of Pembroke; but that nobler work, "The Defence of Poesy," was planned and composed amid the groves of his paternal seat, and while he was Knight of the shire for the county of Kent.
Every reader will remember that work, and its affectionate dedication to his sister - that sister, upon whose death Ben Jonson wrote the beautiful epigram - it can scarcely be called an epitaph.

Underneath this sable hearse,
Lies the subject of all verse,
Sidney's sister, Pembroke's mother:
Death! ere thou hast slain another
Learned, and fair and good as she,
Time shall throw a dart at thee.

The grass upon which we tread - the trees that wave over us- everything we behold in the face of nature at Penshurst acquires additional interest as we reflect upon these things.
We can almost fancy we behold the gallant Sir Philip walking arm-in-arm with his beloved sister through the glades, and hear him discoursing to her of romance, and chivalry, and poetry.
Or we can fancy him at the still hour of midnight, strolling alone amid his "paternal acres" and their venerable trees, enditing that sweet sonnet,

With how sad steps, O moon, thou climbst the sky,
How silently, and with how wan a face."

We must not forget, however, while dwelling upon the popular reminiscences of one Sidney, that the next century produced another whose name was to be enshrined among the great and good of English history - the honest and stern republican, Algernon.
Through a long and busy life, he steadily adhered to his early principles, and supported, with no inconsiderable influence, the cause of popular freedom - - showing, in his own person, what many others of its supporters at that time did not, that he was a worthy apostle of the freedom he preached.
Cromwell found in him a powerful friend, until Sidney discovered that he also was a despot, and he then withdrew his support, and retired to private life, to the family seat of Penshurst, where it is generally believed that he composed his well known "Discourses on Government."
After the Restoration, he lived abroad till 1677, when he returned, made his submission, and was pardoned.
The manner in which he was implicated in the conspiracy against Charles II. is well known, and has been alluded to in our account of the Rye House; and not less known is the manner in which the evidence was strained against him to ensure his condemnation.
Bishop Burnet, who knew him well, describes him as "a man of most extraordinary courage: a steady man, even to obstinacy; sincere, but of a rough and boisterous temper, that could not bear contradiction.
He seemed to be a Christian; but in a particular form of his own.
He thought it was to be like a divine philosophy in the mind: but he was against all public worship, and everything that looked like a church.
He was stiff to all republican principles; and such an enemy to everything that looked like monarchy, that he set himself in high opposition against Cromwell when he was made Protector.
He had studied the history of government in all its branches, beyond any man I ever knew ".
And as he lived, he died.
His name has become a household word; and the great statesmen of our day receive the praise of their countrymen in proportion as they
"Serve well the sacred cause
That he and Hampden died for".

Waller, the poet, in his youth was a frequent visitor to Lord Leicester, the then representative of the house of Sidney, and occupier of Penshurst.
His well known Sacharissa, to whom he addressed so many of his poems, was the Lady Dorothea Sidney, the daughter of that nobleman.
She, however, heeded not the voice of song, or the accomplishments of the poet, but gave her hand to the Earl of Sunderland, who had, besides a title, a longer rent-roll than Waller.
The latter, as far as worldly wealth was concerned, would have been no bad match for the lady; but she was too proud to form a connexion with a commoner.
Waller did not grieve very much; and it is related of them, that they met again when they were both considerably past sixty, when the lady asked her former admirer when he would again write such verses upon her as he had written in his youth.
"When you are as young, madam, and as handsome, as you were then,"
was the gallant, and yet ungallant, reply of the poet, who turned upon his heel, and left her.
The Lady Dorothea was the eldest of eight daughters.
Her sister, the Lady Lucy, was also honoured by the encomiastic verses of this courtly rhymer.
She was, it appears, very young when he wrote them; but they are superior to those (filled with poor conceits and rhodomontade, instead of passion ) which he addressed to the elder.
In his poem to the Earl of Leicester, then absent in France, he can find no more natural compliment than to say, that the trees of Penshurst groan and make moan that their lord is abroad; and that his deer repine and think themselves unjustly slain by other hands than his, and long for the day when their blood shall stain his arrows!
In the same park, thinking of the charms of the haughty Sacharissa, he launches out in the following strain,

While in this park I sing, the listening
Attend my passion, and forget to fear;
When to the beeches I report my flame,
They bow their heads, as if they felt the same.
To gods appealing when I reach'd their bowers,
With loud complaints they answer me in showers;
To thee a wild and cruel soul is given,
More deaf than trees, and prouder than the heaven.

It appears in no degree wonderful that the lady was not caught by such verses as these, and as little wonderful that the severe, but just critic, Samuel Johnson, should have said of Waller, that it was not easy to look without contempt upon his love verses.
The present age will not confirm the opinion of the past as expressed by a poetical admirer,

Yet what he sung in his immortal strain,
Tho' unsuccessful, was not sung in vain;
All, but the nymph that should redress his wrong,
Attend his passion, and approve his song.

Leaving this ancient seat of the Sidneys, the Medway is lost; four streams, two of which rise in Sussex, one in Surrey, and the other in Kent, claim the honourable name, but to neither of them can it in strict justice be applied.
The honour must be divided among them; neither is the Medway, but each contributes to produce it.
In most maps the name is given to the Surrey branch, that rises near Bletchingley, and flows past Eaton bridge to Hever Castle, Chiddington, and Penshurst.
The Sussex branch rises near East Grinstead, and flows to Hartfield, Groombridge, and Ashurst, and joins the former at a short distance south east of Penshurst.

Hever Castle

Obliged to make a selection, we shall pursue the windings of the Surrey stream, and leaving Penshurst and its patriotic and literary reminiscences behind us, tramp along the by-roads to Hever Castle.
This venerable ruin was built by William de Hever, in the reign of Edward III, and is chiefly remarkable for being associated with the names of two of the queens of Henry VIII.
It was purchased from the family of Hever by Sir Geoffrey Boleyn, from whom it descended to his grandson, Sir Thomas Boleyn, the father of the luckless Queen Anne Boleyn.
Upon his death, it was claimed by Henry VIII. in right of his wife, and afterwards granted by him to his repudiated consort Anne of Cleves.
That quiet and amiable person lived here in seclusion for some months after her divorce, and some authorities say that here she ended her days.
This, however, is not true.
De Thou, in his History, is also in error when he says that she retired to the Court of her brother, the Duke of Cleves, and that there she died.
By the provision of an act, whereby estates in several counties of England were granted her for life, she was forbidden to leave this country, and she died at her house in Chelsea, and was buried in Westminster Abbey.

Edenbridge

From this place we follow the river to Eden, or Eaton bridge, remarking by the way, that by some this branch of the Medway is called the Eden.
This village is small, but pretty and rural, and is remarkable as one of the very many places in England that were affected by the great earthquake at Lisbon in the year 1755.
A pond of about an acre in extent, was observed to be agitated in a very peculiar manner, on the day in question; but no further mention was made of the matter, until the news arrived in England of the calamity in Portugal, when it was brought again to the recollection of the neighbours, and public notice taken of the fact.

The Medway, which we have thus tracked from its junction with the ocean, where it is a broad, rapid, and deep river, to the neighbourhood of its source, where it is but a few feet in width, and so shallow that sometimes it may be traversed dry-shod, flows altogether about eighty miles, for about sixty of which it is navigable.
It is spanned by twenty three bridges, and its navigation is aided by fifteen locks.
It flows through a delightful country, and is remarkable as the deepest river in England.



VOLUME II. FROST FAIRS ON THE THAMES. A CHAPTER FOR ANTIQUARIES.

The task would have detained us too long in one spot if we had stayed in the course of our voyage down the Thames, to note the memorabilia of Frost Fair, as it has several times been held upon its bosom opposite London.
Many curious pictures of the manners and customs of former generations may be gathered from such accounts of these festivals as have reached our times; and in this chapter we propose to collect them for the amusement of the general reader, as well as for the antiquary, for whom it is more especially designed.
The latter will not be displeased to find, at the beginning of our chapter, a chronology of frost as regards the Thames; and we hereby present it without further observation, than the mere remark, that no detailed accounts have reached us of any of the fairs held upon the Thames prior to the year 1683-4, when our information, both in prose and verse, becomes tolerably extensive.
In the year 250 the Thames was frozen over for nine weeks;
in 291 for six weeks;
in 401 for two months;
in 558 for six weeks;
in 695 also for six weeks, when booths were built, and a market held upon the ice;
in 827 for nine weeks;
in 908 for two months;
in 923 for thirteen weeks;
in 998 for five weeks;
in 1063 for fourteen weeks;
in 1114 for four weeks;
in 1207 for eleven weeks.
In 1434 - 5 the frost lasted from November 24th to February 10th, the Thames being passable on foot from London to within a mile of Gravesend;
in 1565 the frost lasted six weeks;
in 1683 thirteen weeks.
In 1716 a fair was held on the Thames for several days;
again in 1739;
then in 1778;
and lastly, in 1814.
Holinshed informs us, that in 1565,
"the 21st of December, began a frost, which continued so extremely that on new year's eve people went over and along the Thames on the ice from London Bridge to Westminster.
Some played at the foot-ball as boldly there as if it had been on the dry land; diverse of the court shot daily at pricks set up on the Thames; and the people, both men and women, went on the Thames in greater numbers than in any street of the city of London.
On the 31st day of January, at night, it began to thaw, and on the fifth day was no ice to be seen between London Bridge and Lambeth, which sudden thaw caused great floods and high waters, that bare down bridges and houses, and drowned many people."

There being no further records of any earlier frosts, we shall proceed with that of 1683, when the cold was so intense that the trunks of oak, ash, walnut, and other trees, were cleft asunder, so that they might be seen through; and the cracks were often attended with noises as loud as the firing of musketry.
A full account of the severe weather of this year is given in a sheet, not, however, of the choicest English, preserved in the British Museum, printed for J. How, at the Coach and Horses, without Bishopsgate Street, 1684; and entitled,

A STRANGE AND WONDERFUL
RELATION
OF MANY REMARKABLE DAMAGES, SUSTAINED BOTH AT
SEA AND LAND, BY THE PRESENT UNPARALLELED FROST.
This island and age wherein we live,

says the author, (whose orthography we have corrected, but whose language, with all its imperfections in other respects we have left unaltered,)

have experienced as many strange and prodigious observations of nature's effects, together with as many and various kinds of afflicting judgments from the correcting hand of an offended God, as any nation in preceding times can demonstrate, and rather seems the total sum of all, than a parallel of any; as, sword, plague, fire, &c.
But whether the present unparalleled frost may be attributed to the effects of natural causes, or not rather to the scourging hand of an offended God, I shall not determine, though the consequences following seem to proclaim the latter, and loudly call for humility and amendment of life, lest a worse judgment fall upon us.
But leaving this general caution and instruction, I shall present your view with such remarkable passages as certain knowledge, credible report, and spreading fame have brought to light.
From Deal, it has been observed that a vessel belonging to Lubeck (which her colours signify), riding in the Downs for several days, has been in great distress; which by their signs and weffs (the language of seamen in such cases) is understood by them as well as if they discoursed face to face; whereupon several yachts and other vessels have attempted to relieve them, but all industry ineffectual; the vessel being congealed and environed with a massy substance of ice; so that it is altogether inaccessible, and now no further attempts can be made for their relief, because the sea for above a mile from the shore is so hard frozen beyond our apprehensions to imagine or chronologies to parallel.
From Liverpool, in Lancashire, we have advice, that two vessels lying at anchor had their cables one night severed asunder by the sharpness of the ice, notwithstanding the industry of the distressed mariners, who are now drove from hope of succour.
Though attempts have been made by some, beyond probability of their own safety, to relieve them, but in vain, whose fear is not so much for their want of provision as the danger of being bilged, (a sea term for breaking holes in the vessel), with the ponderous strokes of such bulky congealed cakes of ice, as the impetuousness of the unruly surges cast against them.
It has been also observed, that the ice has cut away most of the buoys or sea-marks, as well in the south as north channel, so that such as have weathered the distresses in harbours, and escaped dangers at home, by the frost, are, notwithstanding, incident to those dangerous wrecks of rocks and sands, and shunning Scylla may fall upon Charybdis.
It is also credibly attested that vast solid cakes of ice, of some miles in circuit, breaking away from the eastern countries of Flanders and Holland, &c. have been by the east and north-east winds driven upon the marine borders of Essex, Suffolk, and Norfolk, to their no small damage.
And it is also reported, that some skait sliders upon one of those large icy plains, were unawares driven to sea, and arrived living (though almost perished with cold and hunger) upon the sea coast of Essex; but as to the certainty of this report I refer to the credit of succeeding intelligence, as also those wonderful damages upon the coast of Scotland relating of the loss of some shipping, and the lives of many ingenious and industrious navigators; nor may those prodigious and lamentable damages seem strange, when in our own harbour, the river of Thames, several ships, both inward and outward bound, as well at Redrif as other adjacent places, have been broken to pieces, and sunk by the effects of this so unparalleled a frost.
It is needless to inform London (for whom principally this intelligence is collected ), what unheard of rendezvous is daily kept upon the face of her navigable river; what long and spacious streets of booths and tents are builded; what throngs of passengers, both horse and foot, do travel; what pyramids of provisions, baked, boiled, and roast; what deluges of wine, coffee, beer, ale, and brandy, for sale; what fleets of vessels sailing upon sledges; what troops of coaches, caravans, and waggons; what games and new invented sports and pastimes, bull-baiting, bear-baiting, &c.; together with shops for the vending of most sorts of manufactures and for working artificers, the account of which alone would require a volume to describe; and therefore omitting its description in particular, I must leave it with amazement and admiration in general.
But to speak of the land, where the damage is no less considerable than at sea, there being such an overwhelming snow in Scotland, that man and beast, though not equally, are too sensible of the affliction.
Also in England, in several places, through the extraordinary violence of the present frost, no water can be had for cattle in many miles, which general complaints will need no other confirmation than from the tongues of the cattle themselves, who with pity have been observed to lick the ice to abate their thirst, for want of their fill of refreshing water.
From a credible person in France to a gentleman of worth in London by letter, before the sea was blocked up by this extreme frost, mention is made of the severe effects produced by the extremity of cold as well of weather as of charity, attesting by modest computation that no less than sixty persons have lately died upon the road between Paris and Calais; and doubtless many in the city of London, through the same extremes, have perished in the same calamity, of which a weaver in the parish of St. Giles's Cripplegate was one, and though I take no notice of others whose wants call upon the Diveses of this age to consider the condition of the Lazaruses in the streets."

The following, in relation to this frost, was communicated to the Gentleman's Magazine, for February 1814, by a respectable friend from a memorandum left by his great grandfather.

20th December 1683, a very violent frost began, which lasted till the 6th of February in soe great extremitie that the pooles were frozen eighteen inches thick, at least; and the Thames was so frozen that a great street from the Temple to Southwark was built into shops and all manner of things sold.
Hackney coaches plyed there as in the streets.
There were also bull-baiting and a great many shows and tricks to be seen.
This day the frost broke.
In the morning I saw a coach and six horses driven from Whitehall almost to the bridge, yet by three o'clock this day, next to Southwark, the ice was gone so as boats did row to and fro, and the day after, all the frost was gone.
On Candlemass-day (2nd February) I went to Croydon market and led my horse over the ice at the ferry at Lambeth.
As I came back I led him from Lambeth upon the middle of the Thames to Whitefriars stairs, and soe led him up them; and this day an ox was roasted whole over against Whitehall, and King Charles II, with the Queen, did eate a part of it.

There is a curious little duodecimo volume in the British Museum, published for
"D. Brown at the Black Swan and Bible without Temple Bar,
and J. Waltho at the Black Lyon in Chancery Lane over against Lincoln's Inn, 1684."
It is entitled "An historical account of the late great frost, in which are discovered in several comical relations the various humours, loves, cheats, and intrigues of the town as the same were managed upon the river of Thames during that season."

This frost,

says the author,

began about the 16th of December last, and so sharply set in, that in a fortnight's time, or thereabouts, the river of Thames, who, one might think, by the daily flux and reflux of her twice-returning tides in the space of twenty-four hours, and the native course of her own rapid streams, was secured against the force of the hardest weather yet this river, beyond the bridge of London upwards, was all frozen over; and people began to walk thereon; and booths were built in many places, where the poor watermen, whose boats were locked up, and could not work them for their usual livelihood, made a virtue of necessity, and therein retailed wine, brandy, beer, ale, and other liquors, which, for the novelty of the same, very few but were in a short time their customers; and their trades increasing, their booths began to be increased and enlarged for the reception of multitudes of people, who daily resorted thereunto, insomuch that in a short time roadways were made from place to place, and without any fear or apprehension the same was trod by men, women, and children.
Nor were the same only foot paths, but soon after, hackney-coaches began to ply upon the river, and found better custom than if they had continued in the streets, which were never, in the midst of business, half so crowded, so that the same became the only scene of pleasure in and about London.
The fields were deserted, and the river full; and in Hillary term, which soon after ensued, it was as usual for the lawyers to take coach by water to Westminster as through the Strand; and so public was the same, that in a short time it obtained the name of Frost Fair.
A whole street of booths, contiguous to each other, was built from the Temple Stairs to the barge-house in Southwark, which were in habited by traders of all sorts, which usually frequent fairs and markets, as those who deal in earthenwares, brass, copper, tin, and iron, toys and trifles; and besides these, printers, bakers, cooks, butchers, barbers, coffee-men, and others, who were so frequented by the innumerable concourse of all degrees and qualities, that, by their own confession, they never met elsewhere the same advantages, every one being willing to say they did lay out such and such money on the river of Thames.
Nor was the trade only amongst such who were fixt in booths, but also all sorts of cries which usually are heard in London streets, were there; the hawkers with their news, the costermonger with his fruit, the wives with their oysters, pyes, and gingerbread, and such like.
Nor was there any recreation in season which could not be found there, with more advantage than on land; such as foot-ball play, nine-pins, cudgells, bull and bear-baiting, and others which on the occasion was more ordinary, as sliding in skates, chairs, and other devices, such as were made of sailing-boats, chariots, and carrow-whimbles; so that at one view you might behold the thriving trader at his shop, the sportive at their recreations, the laborious with their burthens at their backs, and every one, with as little concern or fear as if they had trod the surface of the more centred element.
And in all places smoking fires on the solid waters, roasting, boiling, and preparing food for the hungry and liquors for the thirsty; eating, drinking, and rejoicing, in as great crowds as Smithfield during Bartholomew Fair could ever boast.
But, as thus far my relation only extends to the general, which I doubt not but most of those who were in London, and in health, can join with me in the truth of, and to whom I speak of no novelty, their own eyes having been witnesses of this and much more; so that I shall leave the same, and proceed to what may more deserve their attention,whilst I relate the several amours, intrigues, cheats, and humours, carried on and managed upon the said river during this season.
That so by these as so many items to the memory of the peruser they may put him in mind of a season so memorable, and the which his eyes, or perhaps those of his posterity, may never see the like again.

The author then goes on to relate at great length the humours, loves, cheats, and intrigues above alluded to, of how country squires, who had come from afar to behold the sports, were fleeced of their superfluous cash and jewellery, by the too fair and most frail ladies of London.
How honest men were deceived; and how rogues of every degree profited.
We will let the author speak for himself, and relate one of his stories in his own way. He first of all states, that two country gentlemen, who had come to London to see Frost Fair, were separated accidentally from each other by the great crowd on the ice.
One of them, being smitten by the charms of a pretty lass, was by her inveigled and hocussed, as we would call it in the present day, robbed of all his money, and conveyed, fast asleep, to a solitary booth on the Thames, and there left to his fate.
His friend, in the meantime, says our author, fruitlessly endeavoured to find him; and at last, being about to give up the search and go to his lodgings, as he was very cold, he was resolved to strike into a booth and take a glass of wine, and advantage of the fire; making enquiry of the master of the same whether he had seen such a gentleman as he described our other squire to be, pass that way?
To which a person standing by, much like a gentleman in his garb, told him:
"Sir, I believe I saw such a gentleman as you speak of about a quarter of an hour ago walk by this booth with a lady in his hand, and I believe they may be landed on Lambeth side, to which I saw them incline."
"A lady!"
" says our present Squire, "it cannot then be the same, for I am certain he is not acquainted with any here abouts."
"How know you, sir,"
says the landlord, "but he may have met with some kind lady that obliges him with her company; for, if I am not mistaken, I remember whom this gentleman means.
If so, he was in a fair periwig, a broad gold-laced cloak, and a waist-belt, embroidered."
"The very same,
" replied the squire.
"Oh, rogue! has he these tricks? Would I could catch him, I would make sport with him in this adventure."
"Sir"
says the gentleman, I believe they must return this way, and it may not be very difficult as he comes back to surprise them."
Whether this discourse was of design or not I cannot learn, though I suppose it might; and the squire sat down, expecting his friend and lady, and began to drink with the gentleman.
Some persons near them being at play at cards, the gentleman proposed a game for a bottle.
"With all my heart", says the squire; "I like the diversion".
Whereupon the cards were brought, and they went to it for a bottle, which the squire won.
They then renewed the sport, and began to play for money, which, in short, our squire had such good luck in, that he won most of the gentleman's stock, to the value of ten or fifteen guineas.
At this time the evening approached, and there was no sight of his friend.
The gentleman being very desirous to win back his money that he had lost, persuaded the squire, if he would go ashore at Lambeth, he could obtain money there of some relations he had, and he would pay it off; adding, that he might, perhaps, meet the party he was in search of, and surprise him with his lady at some tavern thereabouts.
The squire consented, paid the reckoning, and went with him.
But in vain were all inquiries for his friend: no such person could be heard of.
The other gentleman having recruited his pockets, with much persuasion got the squire to play again, which he was the more unwilling to do that it grew late, and there was danger in passing the Thames.
But the gentleman told him, the moon would shine, and all was safe.
He therefore sat him down to his sport, where success still attended him, and in three or four hours, which passed the more merrily away, he broke the gentleman a second time of twenty guineas, which were all he had.
About this time, and after a passing bottle, he took his way over towards Westminster Stairs.

He went all alone to this place just as the clock struck twelve, and was got half way over, when he perceived from behind a booth two red-coats start up and make towards him.
Being thereat a little surprised, he made his speed the greater toward the shore; but they having soon overtaken him, presented their pistols at his breast, and bade him stand and deliver!
The squire, in great fear, began to tell them he had no money, and many such excuses, which were no answers to them.
They pursuing their work, got him down, and robbed him of near a hundred and fifty guineas, and stripped off all his upper garments, binding him with his hands behind him; and in this miserable condition, exposed to the season, did they unrelentingly leave him, telling him, if he made the least noise, they would certainly return and cut his throat.
Not knowing in this extremity what to do; fearing their threats on the one hand, and on the other, that he must perish with cold if not quickly relieved, he saw them make away with all the haste they could.
Believing them to be out of hearing, he cried out for help, and the shore not being far off, he was heard by a person that kept a public-house, who came and unbound him at such time as he was ready to starve with cold, and thorough wet with the snow, which had melted under him.
The good man conveyed him to his house, and by a good fire brought him to himself, where he related the whole circumstances of the robbery.
The host desired him to go to bed, and told him he would make a diligent inquiry about the same the next morning.
When the morning dawned the landlord came to his bed-side, and bade him be of good cheer, for that he had taken a rogue, whom he verily believed was one of those that had robbed him.
The squire was glad at the news, and inquired into the particulars.
"Sir", says he, "about six this morning I got up, and went by the light of the moon to a booth, which I have on the Thames, and where, in the straw, I found a man, habited as you describe the robbers.
He was fast asleep; and after I had waked him he called for his wife and companions, which was all I could get out of him for a great while, till, looking about him, after some time, he began with fear (I suppose being sensible of his guilt) to pretend himself to be trepanned, and cheated; and at other times, madman-like, to cry out about his misfortunes, and a thousand other extravagant discourses, which I could make nothing of; so I have brought him hither, where he is below, in the hands of an officer, to see if you can identify him."
"This must be one of the rascals"
, says the squire; "be sure you don't let the vagabond escape, and I'll be with you presently, and make an example of the rogue."
In the meantime, as he was dressing himself to come down, the landlord was upbraiding the man, (who was no other than the squire who had gone off with the lady, and who also had been robbed, stupefied with drugs, and left all night in a booth,) and threatening him that he would most assuredly be hanged.
"Do I dream?" said this disconsolate squire.
"Where am I! Oh, tell me! am I awake, or is this all a delusion?"
"Delusion!
" cries the landlord,
"pretty delusion, indeed! you rascal!
to rob a man, and leave him for dead!
'Tis such delusion as shall delude you with a halter!"
"I am quite innocent"
, replied the squire: "I understand no more of this crime than the child unborn; and how I came where you found me I can give no other account than that I was found there."
"A pretty excuse indeed!"
said the constable;
"rob men of their moneys, sirrah, get drunk, and ramble;
and when you fall asleep you know not how you came thither!
See whether this answer will serve the justice, and be enough at the assizes to save your cragg."
"No, you rogue!"
interposed the landlord, "here's a gentleman, the honest gentleman, that will find you out.
Answer him, if you can."

At which time the other squire had got up and come down.
No sooner had he seen the woful metamorphosis of his friend, whom he recognized immediately, but he stood amazed at the same, and for some time, between shame and surprise, could not utter a word himself.
"And is it you, my friend, that I am accused of robbing?" said the other.
"Yes, you vagabond," interposed the landlord;
"and how dare you be so impudently bold with a person of quality whom you have abused?"
and there upon he gave him a good hunch.
"Hold!" says the other squire, "I know this gentleman, however he became thus disguised, and will answer for him that he is not the person you take him for."
And with that he embraced him, and discharged the constable and his officers, to the great joy of our accused squire, who longed to get in private, and discourse with his friend touching the circumstances they were both under; which they soon did, telling each other the stories of their misfortunes.
They agreed, in conclusion, to be silent as to the particulars, and to send for clothes, and a supply of money, whereby they might take leave of their friends, and repair into the country, though with heavy hearts for their misadventures in Frost Fair.

There are several contemporary prints of the sports at the fair, with poetical descriptions, some of which are preserved in the Museum, in a collection of ballads, chiefly relating to London, which were formerly in the possession of George IV.
Of one of them, a large broadside, with rude wood-cut, containing Arundel House, Essex Buildings, and the Temple, with a complete view of the river, with its booths, and various places set apart for bear-baiting, we shall quote the whole description, as containing several particulars not mentioned in the prose accounts.
It is entitled,
"GREAT BRITAN'S WONDER, OR LONDON'S ADMIRATION,
being a true representation of a prodigious frost, which began about the beginning of December 1683, and continued till the fourth day of February following, and held on with such violence that men, and beasts, coaches, and carts went as frequently thereon as boats were wont to pass before.
"There was also a street of booths built from the Temple to Southwark, where were sold all sorts of goods imaginable, namely, cloaths, plate, earthenware, meat, drink, brandy, tobacco, and a hundred sorts of other commodities not here inserted.
It being the wonder of this present age, and a great consternation to all the spectators.

Behold the wonder of this present age,
A famous river now become a stage:
Question not what I now declare to you,
The Thames is now both fair and market too;
And many thousands daily do resort
There to behold the pastimes and the sport,
Early and late, used by young and old,
And valued not the fierceness of the cold;
And did not think of that Almighty hand
Who made the waters bear like to the land:
Thousands and thousands to the river flocks,
Where mighty flakes of ice do lye like rocks:
There may you see the coaches swiftly run,
As if beneath the ice were waters none;
And sholes of people every where there be,
Just like to herrings in the brackish sea;
And there the quaking water-men will stand ye,
"Kind master, drink you beer, or ale, or brandy?
Walk in, kind sir, this booth it is the chief,
We'll entertain you with a slice of beef,
And what you please to eat or drink, 'tis here,
No booth like mine affords such dainty cheer".
Another cries, "Here,master, they but scoff ye,
Here is a dish of famous new-made coffee."
And some do say, a giddy senseless ass,
May, on the Thames, be furnish'd with a lass.
But, to be short, such wonders there are seen,
That in this age before hath never been:
Before the Temple, there a street is made,
And there is one almost of every trade;
There you may also this hard frosty winter,
See on the rocky ice a working printer,
Who hopes by his own art to reap some gain,
Which he perchance does think he may obtain;
Here is also a lottery, and music too,
Yea, a cheating, drunken, lewd, and debauch'd crew;
Hot codlins, pancakes, duck, goose, and burnt sack,
Rabit, capon, hen, turkey, and a wooden jack.
In this same street before the Temple made,
There seems to be a brisk and lively trade,
Where ev'ry booth hath such a cunning sign,
As seldome hath been seen in former time,
The "Flying P---- - Pot," is one of the same;
The "Whip and Egg-shell", and the "Broom" by name;
And there, if you have money for to spend,
Each cunning snap will seem to be your friend;
There you may see small vessels under sail,
All's one to them, with or against the gale;
And as they pass, their little guns do fire,
Which feedeth some, and puffs them with desire
To sail therein, and when their money's gone,
'Tis right, they cry, the Thames to come upon;
There on a sign, you may most plainly see 't,
Here's the first tavern built in Freezland- street;
There is bull-baiting, and bear-baiting too,
That no man living yet e'er found so true;
And foot-ball play is there so common grown,
That on the Thames before was never known:
Coals being dear, are carried on men's backs,
And some on sledges there, are drawn in sacks:
Men do on horseback ride from shore to shore,
Which formerly in boats were wafted o'er.
Poor people hard shifts make for livelihoods,
And happy are if they can sell their goods;
What you can buy for threepence on the shore,
Will cost you fourpence on the Thames, or more.
Now let me come to things more strange yet true,
And question not what I declare to you:
There roasted was, a great and well-fed oxe,
And there, with dogs, hunted the cunning fox;
Dancing o'th' ropes, and puppit plays likewise,
The like before ne'er seen beneath the skies.
All stand admired; and very well they may,
To see such pastimes, and such sorts of play!
Besides the things I named to you before,
There other toys and baubles are great store:
There you may feast your wand'ring eyes enough;
There you may buy a box to hold your snuff;
No fair nor market underneath the skies,
That can afford you more varieties.
. There you may see some hundreds slide in skeets,
And beaten paths like to the city streets;
There were Dutch whimsies turned swiftly round,
Faster than horses run on level ground.
The like to this I now to you do tell
No former age could ever parallel;
There's all that can supply most curious minds
With such varieties of cunning signs,
That I do think no man doth understand,
Such merry fancies ne'er were on the land:
There is such whimsies on the frozen ice
Makes some believe the Thames a paradise.
And though these sights be to our admiration,
Yet do our sins call for loud lamentation.
Though such unusual frosts to us are strange,
Perhaps it may predict some greater change:
And some do fear may a fore-runner be
To an approaching sad mortality.
But why should we to such belief incline,
There's none that knows but the blest Power divine:
And whatsoe'r is from Jehovah sent,
Poor sinners ought therewith to be content;
If dreadful, then to fall upon the knee
And beg remission of the Deity.
But if beyond our thoughts he sends us store,
With all our hearts let's thankful be therefore;
Now let us all in great Jehovah trust,
Who doth preserve the righteous and the just.
And eke conclude, sin is the cause of all
The heavy judgements that on us do fall;
And call to mind, fond man, thy time misspent,
Fall on thy knees and heartily repent:
Then will thy Saviour pity take on thee,
And thou shalt live to all eternity.

Printed by M. Haly and J. Millet,
and sold by Robert Walton at the Globe
on the north side of St. Paul's Church Yard, near that end towards Ludgate.
Where you may have all sorts and sizes of maps, coppy-books, and prints, not only English, but Italian, French, Dutch.
And by John Seller, on the west side of the Royal Exchange, 1684".

There is another broadside in the same collection, entitled
" The Thames uncased,
or the Waterman 's Song upon the Thaw:
to the tune of Hey boys, up go we.
London, printed for the author, and sold by J. Norris, at the King's Arms without Temple Bar, 1684."
As this doggerel ballad is very rare, and has never been reprinted, the antiquarian reader will not be displeased at the reproduction in this place of some of the stanzas.
As a whole, except for its allusion to the time, it is but little worth.

THE THAMES UNCASED,
OR,
THE WATERMAN'S SONG UPON THE THAW.

Come, ye merry men all
Of Waterman's Hall,
Let's hoist out our boats and careen;
The Thames it does melt
And the cold is scarce felt,
Not an icicle's now to be seen.

Let's pull down each skull
That hung up in hall,
Like weapon so rusty, and row;
Let's cheerly fall to 't;
If we have not forgot;
For the frost is over now.

Let's set up our masts
That stood like posts,
As props to our tents on the Thames;
Or signe-posts made
With an ancient display'd,
While our oars were the great cross-beams.

Let's hoist up our sail
That was a side vail,
To hide Doll when with brandy she'd glow;
Or a roof compos'd
You might else have been froz'd,
Though the frost be over now.

We'll no longer stand
With a tapster's hand,
With the spigot for an oar,
Crying out our trade is cold,
Here's four gallons in hold,
I have drawn out but half my store:

Prithee, lads, stand to 't,
And help pump it out,
That the vessel once more may flow;
Then come again
With a thirsty train;
But the frost is over now.

Let's tune our throats
To our usual notes,
Of Twitnam, Richmond, hey!
Sir, skuller, sir? Oars, sir?
Loudly roar, sir;
Here 's Dick, sir, you won't pass him by.

Instead of good ale,
And brandy wine stale,
Let 's cry out, Westward, hoe!
Shall we Mortlack make,
Or for Brandford tack?
For the frost is over now.

The town too 's gone
That they waited on,
And the people flock'd to see,
It fled in one night
Quite out of our sight,
As the castles enchanted that be;

While country squire,
Whom journey might tire,
With wat'ry eyes cannot view
The street, a long way
That he came to survey;
For the frost is over now.

Not a horn can he buy,
Nor an earthenware toy,
His wife or his children to cheer;
Since Isis does turn
Her watery urn,
All the pitchers are march'd off here;

Nay, on the Thames wide,
There remains not a slide
On which he may whisk to and fro;
He returns as he came,
To his country dame;
For the frost is over now.

Mean time, if ought
Of honour you've got,
Let the printers have their due,
Who printed your names
On the river Thames,
While their hands with the cold look'd blue;

There's mine, there's thine,
Will for ages shine,
Now the Thames aloft does flow;
Then let's gang hence,
To our boats commence,
For the frost is over now.

Another broadside, the literary portion of which is somewhat superior to the last, but not much, is entitled,

True description of Blanket Fair
upon the River Thames,
in the time of the great Frost in the year of our Lord 1683.

How am I fill'd with wonder for to see
A flooding river now a road to be;
Where ships and barges used to frequent,
Now may you see a booth of sutling tent;
And those that us'd to ask "Where shall I land ye?"
Now cry, "What lack ye, sir, - beers ale, or brandy?
Here, here, walk in and you shall surely find,
Your entertainment good, my usage kind."
Booths they increased dayly more and more,
People by thousands flocking from the shore,
And in such heaps they thither did repair,
As if they had been hasting to a fair,
And such a fair I never yet came near,
Where shop rents were so cheap and goods so dear;
There might you have all kind of earthenware,
You can scarce name a thing but what was there;
There was to sell both French and Spanish wine,
And yet, perhaps, a dishclout for a signe;
In short, the like was never seen before,
Where coaches run as if upon the shore.
And men on horseback to and fro did ride
Not minding either current or the tide.
It was exceeding strange at first to see
Both men and women so advent'rous be;
And yet at last it grew so very common,
'Twas not admired, it seemed strange to no man.
Then from the Temple there was built a street,
Made old and young and all admire that see 't,
Which street to Southwark reach'd; there you might see
Wonders, if you did love variety.
There was roast-beef and gammon to be sold,
But at so dear a rate I dare be
To say 'twas n 'er sold so on the shore,
Nor on the Thames in haste be any more.
There were Dutch whimsies turning swiftly round,
By which the owners cleared many a pound.
And coal and corn was there in sledges draw'd,
As if the Thames would never have been thaw'd.
All kind of trades did to this market come,
Hoping to get more profit than at home.
And some, whose purses were a little swell'd,
Would not have cared how long the frost had held.
In several places there was nine pins play'd,
And pidgeon-holes for to beget a trade.
Dancing and fidling too, there was great store,
As if they had not been from off the shore.
The art of printing there was to be seen,
Which in no former age had ever been.
And goldsmiths' shops well furnished with plate,
But they must dearly pay for 't that would ha't.
And coffee-houses in great numbers were
Scattered about in this cold freezing fair:
There might you sit down by a charcoal fire,
And for your money have your heart's desire.
No, no, if you the world should wander through,
No fair like this could pleasant seem to you.
There was the baiting of the ugly bear,
Which sport to witness hundreds did repair.
And I believe, since the world's first creation,
The like was never seen in this our nation.
And foot-ball playing there was day by day;
Some broke their legs, and some their arms, they say;
All striving to get credit, but some paid
Most dearly for it, I am half afraid.
Bull-baiting, likewise, there was known to be,
Which on the Thames before none ever see.
And never were poor dogs more bravely tost
Than they were in this strange prodigious frost.
Th'enraged bull perceiv'd his enemies,
And how to guard himself could not devise;
But with his horns did toss them to and fro,
As if their angry meaning he did know.
Besides all this, a thing more strange and rare.
Than all the things were seen in Freezland fair:
An ox was roasted whole, which thousands saw;
For 'twas not many days before the thaw.
The like by no man in this present age,
Was ever seen upon this icy stage.
And this hard frost it did so long endure
It pinch'd, and almost famish 'd many poor.
But one thing more I needs to you must tell
The truth of which thousands do know full well,
There was fox -hunting on this frozen river,
Which may a memorandum be for ever.
For I do think, since Adam drew his breath,
No Fox was hunted on the ice to death.
Thus have you heard what wonders there were seen,
How heaven and earth the people walk'd between.
And since the world at first had its creation,
The like was never seen in this our nation.
Yet was it hard and grievous to the poor,
Who many hungry bellies did endure.
Sad spectacles enough you might behold,
Who felt the effect of this prodigious cold.
But God who is most righteous, good, and just,
Will them preserve who in him put their trust;
And when their dangers greatest seem to be,
Blest be his name, he then doth set them free.
Then let us all, while we have time and breath,
Be still prepared to meet with pale-faced Death.
That when he comes we need not be afraid,
Nor at his dart be frighted or dismay'd.
If we on Jesus Christ wholly depend,
He'll prove to us an everlasting friend.

London: Printed by H. Brugis, in Green Arbor, Little Old Bayly, 1684.

Besides these, several ballads, copper-plates, and wood-cuts, were published at the time.
The following list of engravings, - many of them, if they exist at all, being only to be found in private collections, - was made by the late Mr. J. T. Smith, of the British Museum, whose general taste and antiquarian research were well-known.
The list, most probably, is not complete, but imperfect as it may be, it will be found of value by the collector and antiquary.
1. A large broadside, entitled
"Wonders of the Deep, or the most exact Description of the frozen River of Thames; also, of what was remarkably observed thereon in the last great frost, which began about the middle of December 1683, and ended on the 28th of February following.
Together with a brief Chronology of all the memorable (strong) frosts for almost six hundred years, and what happened in them to the northern kingdoms.

A very rude wood cut, with an explanation of the piece in figures, containing thirty-nine references, ending -
The Hoop, the Rose, the Three Tuns, and the Bellows,
The Whip and Eggshell, entertains good fellows.

Then follow fifty-nine verses, and the chronology of memorable frosts.
London, printed by M. J. and J. M. for P. Brooksby, at the sign of the Golden Ball in West Smithfield, and at his shop at the Golden Harp and Ball, near the Bear Tavern in Pye Corner.

2.
Wonderful news from the River of Thames, to a pleasant new tune.
Printed on the frozen Thames,

by the loyal young printers, viz. E. and A. Milbourn, S. Hinch, J. Mason, 1683.
Eight verses with the music.

3.
An exact and lively Mapp, or representation of Booths and all the varieties of Shows and Humours upon the Ice on the river of Thames of London, during that memorable frost in the thirty-fifth year of the reign of his sacred Majesty King Charles II. A.D. 1683, with an alphabetical representation of the most remarkable figures.
Printed and sold by William Warten, stationer, at the signe of the Talbott, under the Mitre Tavern in Fleete Street, London.

4.
A true description of Blanket Fair upon the river Thames, in the time of the great Frost, in the year of our Lord 1683.
London, printed by H. Brugis, in Green Arbour, Little Old Bayly, 1683.
A broadside sheet with a woodcut, and three columns of verses under neath.

5.
Erra Pater's Prophecy, or Frost Faire, 1683.
Printed for James Norris, at the King's Armes without Temple Barr.
This contains a whole length portrait of a man in a turban, with a view of the Thames and London in the back ground, and twelve verses underneath.

6.
A Prospect of the frozen river Thames,
and below, "Printed on the frozen Thames, Feb. 1683-4".
The booths are inscribed as follows:
Tavern, Printing Booth, Oxford Booth, Loyal Coffee-house, Wiltshire Booth.
And the passage along them is inscribed
Frezland Street, alias Blanket Faire.
The word "Foot Ball" is the only other writing upon this plate.

7.
The same copper-plate as the above with alterations, and with twenty-two numbers for reference, printed upon a broadside of letter press, headed thus:
The true and exact Representation of the Wonders upon the Water, during the last unparallel'd Frost upon the River of Thames, 1683-4.
The references are printed below in fifty verses, in rhyme, beginning -
The various sports behold here in this piece,
And ending -
But in six hours this great and rary -show,
Of booths and pass-times all away did go.

London: printed by G. Croom, at the Blew Ball. . .(here it is torn ). . .Street, over against Baynard's-Castle, 1684.
The additions to this state of the copper-plate are
the Tinker, marked 11;
the Man fallen into a Hole, marked 16;
the figure marked 2;
and other figures introduced;
and the booth next to the Loyal Coffee-house, is marked "Weavers, 22".

8.
The copper-plate, commonly ascribed to Faithorne.
The Title in a Cartouche above, and the reference by letters of the alphabet, beginning the Temple Staires, with People goeing upon the Ice to Temple Street, A;
end ing London Bridge, Z.
Printed for and sold by William Warten, stationer, at the sign of the Talbott, over against Fetter Lane end in Fleet Street.
This is the first address.
The view is looking down to London Bridge.

9.
The same plate,with the address of Warten altered thus:
at the signe of the Talbott vnder the Mitre Tavern in Fleet Street, London.

10.
An impression of the last, ruled in squares, with letter-press numbers stamped on each; probably, for some lottery or game.

11.
An original Drawing, by Wyck; a View on the Frozen Thames, with a Booth in the foreground, bearing the sign of a pair of horns, hanging out under a wreath, and a flag with the Union Jack hoisted.
The distant bank of the river is too indistinct to fix the precise point of view.
At the top is written with a pen, in an old hand
London Thaems, January the 15 AD 1683-4.
Ten verses in letter-press with a border printed on the Thames.
Behold the liquid Thames now frozen o'er
That lately ships of mighty burthen bore;
The watermen, for want of rowing boats,
Make use of booths to get their pence and groats.
Here you may see beef roasted on the spit,
And for your money you may taste a bit;
There may you print your name, tho' cannot write
'Cause numb'd with cold, - 'tis done with great delight,
And lay it by, that ages yet to come
May see what things upon the ice were done".

The Frost of 1716

The next celebrated frost upon the Thames was in the year 1715-16, thus mentioned by Gay in the second book of his entertaining poem of Trivia.

O roving Muse, recall that wondrous year
When Winter reign'd in bleak Britannia's air,
When hoary Thames, with frosted osiers crown's,
Was three long moons in icy fetters bound;
The waterman, forlorn along the shore,
Pensive reclines upon his useless oar,
Sees harness'd steeds desert the stony town
And wander roads unstable, not their own;
Wheels o'er the hardened waters smoothly glide
And raise with whiten'd tracks the slipp'ry tide.
Here the fat cook piles high the blazing fire,
And scarce the spit can turn the steer entire.
Booths sudden hide the Thames, long streets appear,
And numerous games proclaim the crowded fair.
So when a general bids the martial
Spread their encampment o'er the spacious plain,
Thick rising tents a canvass city build
And the loud dice resound through all the field.


In the public papers of the 12th of January 1715-16 appeared this advertisement:
"This is to give notice to gentlemen and others, that pass upon the Thames during this frost, that over against Whitehall stairs they may have their names printed, fit to paste in any book, to hand down the memory of the season to future ages."

You that walk there and do design to tell
Your children's children what this year befell,
Go print your names, and take a dram within,
For such a year as this has seldom been."


Dawkes' News Letter of the 14th of January says,
The Thames seems now a solid rock of ice; and booths for sale of brandy, wine, ale, and other exhilarating liquors, have been for some time fixed thereon; but now it is in a manner like a town; thousands of people cross it, and with wonder view the mountain ous heaps of water that now lie congealed into ice.
On Thursday a great cook's-shop was erected, and gentlemen went as frequently to dine there as at any ordinary.
Over against Westminster,Whitehall, and Whitefriars, print ing presses are kept on the ice.


The London Post of January 21st 1716 contains the following:
Tuesday last four men, in a bravado, bound themselves not to leave one another whatever should happen, and to travel on the ice up the middle of the Thames as far as they could for four days together, and to avoid all the tracks that any had gone in before them.
On this adventure they went from the Old Swan near the bridge over all the roughest of the ice, with long poles in their hands, till they came over against Somerset House, where one of them found it for his present occasion to fall in, but by the help of his pole recovered, having only cooled his posteriors; so they went on, and right against Lambeth another also had occasion to slip in up to his arm-pits, but he was helped out; but they still boldly went on, and none of them have ever since been heard of.


The Weekly Journal, or British Gazetteer, of January 21st says,
Last Tuesday the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Marlborough, with several other noblemen, went on the Thames on the ice from Old Palace-yard to Lambeth, and back again, through the loud huzzas and acclamations of the people, who showed a general satisfaction at the sight of his Royal Highness.

A set of doggerel verses thus described the fair; and as we cannot get any better prose description of it, we must take one in rhyme.

There miles together, for the common good,
The slippery substance offers dainty food:
Here healing port-wine, and there Rhenish flows;
Here Bohea tea, and there tobacco grows!
In one place you may meet good Cheshire cheese;
Another proffers whitest Brentford peas!
Here is King George's picture; there Queen Anne's;
Now nut-brown ale in cups, and then in cans.
One sells an Oxford dram as good as can be,
Another offers General Pepper's brandy!
See, there's the Mall! and in that little hut
The best geneva's sold, and love to boot!
See, there a sleek Venetian envoy walks;
See, here an alderman more proudly stalks.
Behold the French Ambassador - that's he!
And this the honest sire and Captain Leigh!
Here is St. James's Street, yonder the Strand;
In this place Bowyer plies; that's Lintot's stand.

The News Letter of the 15th of February announced the commencement of the thaw, and in two days the river was entirely free of ice.
For the following list of the various prints of this fair we are also indebted to the late Mr. J. T. Smith.
1.
Frost Fayre, being a true prospect of the great variety of shops and booths for trades men, with other curiosities and humours, on the frozen river of Thames, as it appeared be fore the city of London on that memorable frost in ye second year of our Sovereign Lord King George, anno Domini 1716.
Printed and sold by John Bowles and Son, at the Black Horse in Corn Hill.'

2.
Faithorne's copper-plate of 1683, altered to the year 1716.
The references different, and engraved afresh.
London: sold by John Lenthall, stationer, at the Talbot, against St. Dunstan's Church, in Fleet Street, London. Price sixpence.

3.
A copper-plate, ten inches two eighths high (including the margin), fourteen inches one eighth wide, inscribed,
A Prospect of the Fair kept upon the River of Thames (during the time it was frozen, beginning on December ye 3rd, and ended on the 28th of January 1715-16.
Drawn by C. Woodfield, as it appeared upon a View at the Temple Stairs, London.'
Below are twenty-eight references, beginning A. The Water-house at London Bridge,
and ending,
4, New Cheapside. Sold by J. Nutting, at ye Crown in Fleet Street, near Water Lane end.

4.
A rude woodcut view of the sports on the river, looking down towards London Bridge, the Monument, Tower, &c.
Size, seven inches high, including margin, eleven inches four eighths wide.
Below are eight verses -
Behold the liquid Thames,' & c.
From the Printing-house in Bow Church-yard.
Thirteen references: some curious; viz.
B - Cripple Atkins roasting an Ox.
F - A Shoulder of Mutton roasting in a String at the Sign of the Rat in a Cage.
M - Huffing Jack.
N - Will. Ellis, the Poet, and his Wife Bess rhyming on the hard Frost.
Believed to be the only portrait of that poet.
In a bordure[sic] in the centre is printed the name of Mr. David Hannott.
Printed on the ice, at the Maidenhead at Old Swan Stairs, Jan. 25, 1715-16.

Frost of 1740

The frost of 1739-40 commenced on Christmas-day, and lasted till the 17th of the following February, when it began to break up; but the river was not clear of ice till the end of the month.
The usual sports of a fair were made upon the ice; booths and drinking-tents erected; and also printing-presses, which in all these fairs upon the Thames seem to have been considered the greatest wonder of all.
The verses beginning
Amid the arts which on the Thames appear,
and
You that walk here, and do design to tell,
were revived, and indeed appear to have been popular, till 1814, when we meet with them again.
The author of a little work, called "Frostiana", printed in 1814, and which gives a slight account of all the great frosts,
with the exception of that of 1683-4, which is not even alluded to,
[ in "Frostiana" at the end of Chapter 1 the chronological table has "1683 - frost for 13 weeks"],
thus describes, from some contemporary account, to which he has forgotten to give the reference, the severity of the season.
The watermen and fishermen, with a peterboat in mourning, and the carpenters, brick layers, &c., with their tools and utensils, in mourning, walked through the streets in large bodies, imploring relief for the necessity of their families.
[ . . . ]
A few days after the frost had set in, great damage was done among the shipping by a high wind, which broke many vessels from their moorings, and drove them foul of each other, while the large flakes of ice there floated on the stream, overwhelmed various boats and lighters, and sunk several coal and corn vessels.
By these accidents many lives were lost, and many others were also destroyed by the intensity of the cold, both on land and water.
Above bridge the Thames was completely frozen over, and tents, and numerous booths were erected on it for selling liquors, & c. to the multitudes that daily flocked thither for curiosity or diversion.
The scene here displayed was very irregular, and had more the appear ance of a fair on land than a frail exhibition, the only basis of which was water.
Various shops were opened for the sale of toys, cutlery, and other light articles.
[ Even ] A printing-press was established, and all the common sports of the populace in a wintry season were carried on with augmented spirit, in spite or forgetfulness of the distress that reigned on shore.
Many of the houses on the [London] bridge, as well as the bridge itself, received considerable damage when the thaw commenced, by the driving of the ice.

The following is Mr. Smith's catalogue of the prints relating to this fair.
1.
An engraving fifteen inches five-eighths high and one inch one-eighth margin below, width nineteen inches six-eighths.
The title is
An exact draught of Frost Fair, on the River Thames, as it appeared from White-hall Stairs, in the year 1740.
Printed for, and sold by George Foster, print-seller, in St. Paul's Church-yard, London.
There are twelve verses, beginning,
Old Thames, &c.,
ending
to us again.
There are two of the piers of Westminster Bridge on the right, and people mounting on one of them by a ladder, coarsely engraved.
There is another engraving of this, apparently retouched all over, with the addition of a booth with a flag at the right-hand edge of the plate, and a little above it, a man up to his middle in the ice; also a woman next to the man, who lifts both his arms up, on the same side of the plate.

2.
A coarse engraving, nine inches high with out the margin, twelve inches wide.
In the margin above is
The View of Frost Fair.'
In the margin below are twelve verses beginning
Scythians of old, &c.
and ending,
This view to future times shall show
The medley scene you visit now.

York Buildings tower is seen on the left.
Though there is no date on the print, it evidently belongs to the frost of this year, as the two piers of the new Westminster Bridge are indicated on the right.

3.
An engraving eight inches six-eighths high exclusive of margin, thirteen inches four eighths wide: the title below is
Frost and Ice Fair, shewing the diversions upon the river Thames, begun the 26th of December, 1739-40, ended February the 17th
Sixteen verses,
The bleak north-east &c.,
and ending,
Cheering streams.
To the left, are seen York Buildings waterworks, and St. Paul's; to the right, are the two piers of the new bridge.
There are numbers on the plate, intended for as many as fifteen references, the same, apparently, as those to G. Beckham 's Frost Fair, with a few exceptions.
It is printed in red.

4.
An engraving six inches six-eighths high, twelve inches three-eighths wide, at the left hand side close to the plate line, is
G. B. inven. fc. according to Act of Parliament, January 18, 1739-40.
This is the first state of the plate;
Mr. Smith's impression had the following name and date in letter-press,
T. Beauford, printed on the river of Thames, when frozen over, January 21, 1739-40.

5.
The same plate, as retouched and published the next day, as appears by Lord Orford's name in letter-press, thus
The Right Hon. the Earl of Orford, printed on the river of Thames, when frozen over, January 22, 1739 -40.
In this state the sky is darkened in places, and in the margin below is this title:
Frost Fair. This transient scene, &c.
four verses.
Printed on the river Thames in ye month of January, 1740;
also fifteen references and corresponding numbers inserted on the view.

6.
Another impression in the first state.
In letter-press are the words.
Frost Fair,
the same references as were engraved afterwards, but without any numbers to them, and also the words, Printed on the river Thames in the month of January, MDCCXL.
It is curious to observe the rapid sale of this plate, brought out January 18, and the references not engraved till January 22.
It is one of the commonest frost prints of this date.

7.
Another engraving by Beckham, six inches six-eighths high, twelve inches wide.
The view taken from near a tobacco chimney, on the Surrey side.
The title is below,
Ice Fair, Amidst ye arts ye on ye Thames appear, &c.
four verses.
Printed on ye river Thames, now frozen over January 31, 1739-40.
Fifteen references, of which,
No. 1, is Westminster Bridge, Sword and Spur, shown.
2 - Westminster Abbey, Whitehall, and ye stairs.
On the right under the plate line is
G. B. invent. fc. according to Act of Parliament, January 1739-40.
This is more curious and uncommon than the last.

8.
An engraving apparently by C. Mosley, eight inches four-eighths high, twelve inches three-eighths wide.
The title in the margin below
Frost Fair,
eight verses,
The bleak north - east,' &c.
ending,
From shore to shore.
At the left, under the plate line,
C. M. invent. fc. according to Act of Parliament.
The view shows the neighbourhood of York Buildings.
At the top, in the margin, is,
Printed upon the river Thames, when frozen, January the 28th, 1739-40.

9.
Another impression, differing only in a trifling retouch of the shading to the printing booth, which is darkened.
Below is this name in letter-press, in a square bordure, containing an inscription relative to the invention of
The noble art and mystery of printing.
Dorothy Jones, aged 74.
Printed upon the Thames when frozen, February 6, 1740.


10.
An engraving seven inches high, eight inches wide.
In the margin below is this title,
Frost Fair, printed upon the ice on the river Thames, January 23, 1739-40.
Eight verses revived from 1683, and already quoted in our account of the frost of that year,
Behold the liquid Thames, now frozen o'er, &c.
Boats and booths in the front, a church tower, and another high building among the houses on the bank: a very rude engraving.
This impression has in letter-press below this name, James Theobalds, jun. Whitehall: printed upon the ice on the river Thames, February the 14th, 1739 -40, and the verses as above.

11.
A broadside of letter-press, entitled, The English Chronicle, or Frosty Kalendar,
with four columns of accounts of frosts for many years past; particularly the severe one this present year, in the months of December, Jan uary, and February, 1739-40.
In the middle is a copper- plate five inches six-eighths high, seven inches four-eighths wide, with twelve references below, of which
A - goldsmiths;
B - turners;
C - ye rowling press printers;
L - an ox roasted.
Printed on the Thames, January, 1739-40
The view is a general one of the city, with St. Paul's, the Monument, London bridge, and numerous city churches.
In the foreground is a man sitting with a bottle and glass, and saying, Bung your eye probably a slang phrase of the day; another crying, buttons or buckles.
It is inscribed London.

12.
A drawing in India ink, said to be by B. Lens, seven inches four-eighths high, thirteen inches wide, looking towards Lambeth Palace in the distance; the two piers of the new bridge fix it to the frost of 1740.
Booths, one of which has a rolling press in it; men playing at bowls; and a sledge going round.
The view is taken from near Whitehall.

13.
A frontispiece engraved by Bickham, representing London Bridge, and the houses on it, and booths on the ice, one inscribed
Nobell art of Printing,
another,
old gold, another has a rolling press, in a bordure of icicles, and a head of Winter, with expanded wings below, under which is
G. Bickham, fecit.
It belongs to an 8vo. tract, entitled,
An account of all the principal frosts for above an hundred years past: with political remarks, and poetical descriptions.
To which are added, a Philosophical Theory of Freezing; and a Frigid Essay upon Frost Fair.
By Icedore Frostiface, of Freesland, Astrologer,
No longer Thames, the shores of London laves,
But chains of ice constrain his rising waves;
A rugged prospect the wide surface crowns,
Rocks, ruins, boats infix'd, and men and towns.
Printed and sold at the Golden King's-Head, Printing booth, in Frost Fair; and by C. Corbett publisher, over against St Dunstan's Church, Fleet Street, 1740; price sixpence.

Frosts of 1767-8 and 1788-9

The Thames was again frozen in 1767-8, but the cold was not so intense as it had been on previous occasions; and the sports on the river, owing to the comparative insecurity of the ice, were not so well attended, nor did they last so long as on previous occasions.
In the year 1788, however, the citizens of London had a complete revival of the ancient sports on the river.
The frost set in on the 25th of November, 1788, and lasted with great severity for several weeks.
The following notices appear in a diary in the "Gentleman's Magazine,"
Monday, Jan. 12th - A young bear was baited on the ice opposite Redriff, which drew multitudes together, and fortunately no accident happened to interrupt their sport.
Saturday, 17th - The captain of a vessel lying off Rotherhithe, the better to secure the ship 's cables, made an agreement with a publican for fastening a cable to his premises.
In consequence, a small anchor was carried on shore, and deposited in the cellar, while another cable was fastened round a beam in another part of the house.
In the night the ship veered about, and the cables holding fast, carried away the beam, and levelled the house with the ground, by which accident five persons asleep in their beds were killed."

Another contemporary account in the "Gentleman's Magazine," says,
The river Thames, which at this season usually exhibits a dreary scene of languor and indolence, was this year the stage on which there were all kinds of diversions, bear-baiting, festivals, pigs and sheep roasted, booths, turnabouts, and all the various amusements of Bartholomew Fair multiplied and improved.
From Putney Bridge in Middlesex, down to Rotherhithe, was one continued scene of merriment and jollity; not a gloomy face to be seen, but all cheerfulness, arising apparently from business and bustle.
From this description the reader, however, is not to conclude that all was as it seemed.
The miserable inhabitants that dwell in houses on both sides of the river during these thoughtless exhibitions, were many of them experiencing the extreme of misery; destitute of employment, though industrious, they were with families of helpless children pining for want of bread; and though in no country in the world are the rich more extensively benevolent than in England, yet their benefactions could bear no proportion to the wants of the numerous poor, who could not all partake of the common bounty.
It may, however, be truly said, that in no great city or country on the continent of Europe, the poor suffered less from the rigour of the season than the inhabitants of Great Britain and London; yet, even in London, the distress was very great, and though liberal subscriptions were raised, many perished through want and cold.
On this occasion the City of London subscribed 1500 towards supporting such persons as were not in the habit of receiving alms.

The following account of the same frost, is from "The Annual Register," under date of the 12th of February.
The Thames at Irongate to the opposite shore is frozen over, numbers of persons having walked across yesterday.
At Shadwell the Thames is likewise frozen over, several booths are fixed on the ice; and yesterday an ox was roasted whole, and sold to the people who were skaiting and sliding.
The scene on the river is very entertaining.
From Putney Bridge upwards, the river is completely frozen over, and people walk to and from the different villages on the face of the deep.
Opposite to Windsor street, booths have been erected since Friday last, and a fair is kept on the river.
Multitudes of people are continually passing and repassing; puppet shows, roundabouts, and all the various amusements of Bartholomew Fair are exhibited.
In short, Putney and Fulham, from the morning dawn till the dusk of returning evening, is a scene of festivity and gaiety."

Frost of 1814

The next great frost upon the Thames was in 1814.
The following contemporary accounts of "The Annual Register," and some others from Hone's "Every Day Book ", will be read with interest.
January 21st. In London the great accumulation of snow already heaped on the ground, and condensed by three or four weeks of continued frost, was on Wednesday increased by a fresh fall, to a height hardly known in the memory of the oldest inhabitants.
The cold has been intensely severe, the snow during the last fall being accompanied with a sharp wind and a little moisture.
In many places, where the houses are old, it became necessary to relieve the roofs, by throwing off the load collected upon them, and by these means the carriage-way in the middle of the streets is made of a depth hardly passable for pedestrians, while carriages with difficulty plough their way through the mass.
The water pipes being generally frozen, it has become necessary for several days to afford supplies by opening the plugs in the streets, and the streams thus constantly flowing, add to the general mass of ice.
An enormous increase has taken place in the price of coals, in consequence of the river navigation and other means of conveyance being so greatly impeded.
[ The roads throughout the country were impassable.
The mails from London to Oxford did not arrive for three days, and from Dover and Canterbury for the same period; and a circular was issued by Lord Sidmouth on the 29th of January, to the Lords Lieutenant of the various counties, directing them to take immediate steps for providing all practical means to remove from the highways and principal roads of communication within their respective counties, the obstructions which had been caused by the snow.
This object,' said the circular, 'would afford employment to various classes of individuals, who were temporarily deprived of their usual earnings by the inclemency of the season;' and their Lordships were accordingly requested to communicate without delay to the magistracy, and through them with the trustees of turnpike roads, the overseers of the poor, the surveyors of the highways, and other subordinate officers of the various districts and parishes, in such manner as to insure the most speedy and effectual means of carrying the intentions of the Government into effect.] January 27th.
Yesterday the wind having veered round to the south-west, the effects of thaw were speedily discernible.
The fall of the river at London Bridge has for several days past presented a scene both novel and interesting.
At the ebbing of the tide huge fragments of ice were precipitated down the stream with great violence, accompanied by a noise equal to the report of a small piece of artillery.
On the return of the tide they were forced back again; but the obstacles opposed to their passage through the arches were so great as apparently to threaten a total stoppage to the navigation of the river.
February 1st.
The Thames between Blackfriars and London Bridges continued to present the novel scene of persons moving on the ice in all directions and in greatly increased numbers.
The ice, however, from its roughness and inequalities is totally unfit for amusement, although we observed several booths erected upon it for the sale of small wares, but the publicans and spirit-dealers were most in the receipt of custom.
The whole of the river opposite Queenhithe was frozen over, and in some parts the ice was several feet thick, while in others it was dangerous to venture upon, notwithstanding which, crowds of foot passengers crossed backwards and forwards throughout the whole of the day.
We did not hear of any lives being lost, but many who ventured too far towards Blackfriars Bridge were partially immersed in the water by the ice giving way.
Two coopers were with difficulty saved.

February 2nd.
The Thames this day presented a complete frost fair.
The grand mall or walk extended from Blackfriars to London Bridge.
This was named the city road, and was lined on each side by persons of all descriptions.
Eight or ten printing-presses were erected, and numerous pieces commemorative of the great frost were printed on the ice.
At one of the presses an orange-coloured standard was hoisted with the watch-word "Orange Boven" in large characters.
This was an allusion to the recent restoration of the Stadtholder.
One of the printers issued a circular to the following effect: -
Friends, now is your time to support the freedom of the press.
Can the press have greater liberty?
Here you find it working in the middle of the Thames, and if you encourage us by buying our impressions, we will keep it going in the true spirit of liberty during the frost.
February 3rd.
The number of adventurers increased.
Swings, book-stalls, dancing in a barge, suttling-booths, playing at skittles, and almost every appendage of a fair on land appeared on the Thames.
Thousands flocked to the spectacle.
The ice presented a most picturesque appearance.
The view of St. Paul's and of the city, with the white foreground, had a very singular effect; in many parts mountains of ice upheaved, resembled the rude interior of a stone quarry.
February 4th.
Each day brought a fresh accession of pedlars to sell their wares, and the greatest rubbish of all sorts was raked up and sold at double and treble the original cost.
The watermen profited exceedingly, for each person paid a toll of twopence or threepence before he was admitted to the fair; and something also was expected for permission to return.
Some of them were said to have taken as much as six pounds in a day.
Many persons remained on the ice till late at night, and the effect by moonlight was singularly novel and beautiful.
The bosom of the Thames seemed to rival the frozen climes of the north.
February 7th.
The ice between London Bridge and Blackfriars gave way yesterday, in consequence of the high tides.
On Saturday, thousands of people walked on the ice from one bridge to the other notwithstanding there were evident signs of its speedy breaking up, and even early yesterday morning some fool-hardy persons passed over from Bankside to Queenhithe.
About an hour after this the whole mass gave way, and swept with a tremendous range through the noble arches of Blackfriars Bridge, carrying along with it all within its course, including about forty barges.
The new erections for the Strand bridge impeded its progress and a vast quantity of the ice was there collected, but the strong current on the Somerset House side carried everything before it, and the passage of the river became at last free.
Numbers of boats were then busily employed, saving rafts of timber and towing the drifted barges to the shore.
We have heard that some persons who had the folly to remain on the ice to a very late hour on Saturday night either lost their lives or were in great jeopardy.
They had remained carousing in the tents till midnight, and were suddenly alarmed by the parting of the apparently solid mass on which they stood.
Being unable to reach the shore they contrived to get into two barges which had been stationary, but which were now borne upward by the tide, and which of course were quite unmanageable.
One of these barges safely cleared Blackfriars Bridge; the other struck against a pier where it remained fast: luckily, however, there were some spectators of the dismal situation of the persons on board, who, having procured ropes, contrived to haul them up in safety.



THE END.
LONDON: PRINTED BY SAMUEL BENTLEY,
Bangor House, Shoe Lane.