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A Periodical Work, formed on the plan of the Gentleman's Magazine, and continued for the unprecedented period of a Century, if executed with due accuracy and attention, must prove of inestimable value. Scarcely a subject can be started, but, in the course of so long a time, has been discussed in its pages; nor is there an invention, or a discovery of importance to the improvement of science, or the advantage of mankind, during the last century, which has not increased the value of our work, by being recorded among its stores.
To the Antiquary our Volumes cannot but be peculiarly acceptable, as he will find therein materials sufficient to gratify the most ample curiosity. The memorials of families, the history and antiquities of parishes, and the laws and customs peculiar to particular districts, which he will find interspersed in our Volumes, are innumerable, and form the most legitimate materials for the Topographer.
Our Obituary continues to engage much of our attention; and the best proof of its merit is, that it is copied, with due acknowledgements, by the most standard biographical collections.
We turn to the world before us; and as "our wont is," we offer a few words on what is passing there.
We cannot conceal that there are symptoms of national distress, which may afflict the timid, and render the serious more thoughtful; but it is our sincere opinion that there is in the State-vessel a principle of buoyancy which, by divine aid, will enable her to bear onward in her course of glory; and we would apply in a general sense, what an eloquent modern writer has said of our country in a limited one:
"It is no preposterous exaggeration to affirm that the hope of the nations is now in the keeping of the English, whose eminence in whatever is most noble and useful,-whose extensive political power,-whose expansive commerce and colonization, whose spreading language and brilliant literature,—whose high and commanding spirit, conspire to fix upon them the gaze of mankind.”
In speaking, indeed, of our beloved country, it is impossible to overlook her imposing attitude, both as it respects her domestic economy and her foreign relations. We see the mass of the pulation of England partaking of the fruit of the tree of knowledge; we hope that the fruit is ripe, and that the signs of the time, evinced in the spirit of universal education, are auguries of good, and not portents of evil. In the mean time, with a vigilance which becomes a free press, and with a jealousy instinctively attaching to old institutions, we will mark the progress of events. Our prayer is that, as our knowledge advances, we may increase in virtue, and that the formidable weapon of power now fabricating, may ever be wielded by the energies of loyalty and true wisdom.
Dec. 31, 1829.
Markets. Bill of Mortality, 94.-Shares, 95
Embellished with a Portrait of SIR HUMPHRY DAVY ;
A View of ELSDEN CHURCH, and sculpture at ELSDEN CASTLE, Northumberland.
Printed by J. B. NICHOLS and SON, CICERO'S HEAD, 25, Parliament Street, Westminster;
It is a matter of no small gratification to the lovers of ancient ecclesiastical Architecture, and to the antiquary, to find that the conservators of this interesting Church have at length directed their attention to the preservation and beautifying of their edifice. Let us hope, however, that they will not disfigure, by making it too beautiful, and that their zeal may be tempered and directed by good taste. Few of the Cathedrals in England have been more deplorably neglected and injured than that of Chichester; not only were its columns, arches, and fiuer ornaments choked up and smothered by repeated coats of lime washing, but these were made white, yellow, black, &c. Stalls, partitions, galleries, &c. were in several situations to deform or obscure the finer parts of the building. It is reported that the officers of the Church have commenced the laudable task of removing all these extraneous objects, of clearing off and cleaning all the architectural members, and rendering the Church worthy of its destined purpose and of the present age. Mr. Britton intends shortly to elucidate the History and Architecture of this Edifice amongst his Series of the "Cathedral Antiquities of England."
W. remarks, "In your vol. XLIII. p. 271, in an account of Bruno Ryves's Mercurius Rusticus, Richard Royston, the Bookseller, is said to have followed the editions which came out in 1646, in the subsequent impression, so that his third edition, in 1685, has less in it than that of 1647. Having never seen any other edition than that printed in London, for Richard Green, Bookseller, at Cambridge, pray allow me to inquire if the edition above-mentioned is a distinct work. Green's volume contains a Catalogue of Cathedrals, a brief Martyrology, with Querela Cantabrigiensis, Mercurius Belgicus, or Memorable Occurrences in 1642-3, 4, and 5; a Catalogue of Knights, &c. and tables of Contents, with a frontispiece, having the Rustic Mercury in the centre, surrounded by nine compartments, containing representations of battles and events in the Civil War. I wish, therefore, to ascertain if this be a transcript of the edition of 1647, or of the defective one of 1646, and to be informed of any additional articles inserted in Royston's Work. My volume has at the end of it a good head of Bruno Ryves, probably added by the Rev. Henry White of Lichfield, in whose collection it formerly was."
P. says, "Any information respecting the purchase of the manor of Byfield, in Northamptonshire, and of Archester, in the same county, with the manor of Sharnebroke, in Bedfordshire, and lands at Coblecote, or Gublecote, in Hertfordshire, will be esteemed a favour. These lands, with other
The same correspondent also submits the following queries to our readers :—
"What living in the diocese of Sarum given to Dean Humphreys by the Bishop of Winchester, was it to which Bishop Jewel, circ. 1580, refused to institute hire ?Where may be found any biographical account of Mr. Coare, of Newgate-street, the beneficent founder of an almshouse and charity-school?-What portraits of the celebrated Dr. Radcliffe, accredited as originals, (besides that in the Gallery at Oxford) are extant ?”
Mr. W. WADD observes, "In the biographical accounts of Bonnel Thornton, it is stated that he published an additional canto to Garth's Dispensary, the Battle of the Whigs.' Can any of your learned correspondents tell me where I can find this canto? I should feel greatly obliged to any one to give me this information; and moreover, if they can further inform me, whether they know of a poetic answer to it, by the learned translator of Morgagne, Dr. Alexander."
W. B. would feel obliged by any information respecting the ancestors of the Irwins of Devonshire. About the year 1700, or perhaps a little earlier, three brothers, Johu, William, and Christopher Irwin, came into England from Scotland. John, it is thought, soon after returned unmarried. Christopher married, settled, and had a family in Devonshire, as was also the case with William, whose wife, Margaret, died Dec. 18, 1740, aged 61 years. Where William died is not known, but he is said to have died in Scotland, while on a visit to his friends. From what part of Scotland did these three brothers come, and to what family did they belong? A few years since, an advertisement appeared concerning the Irwins, either in a provincial, London, or Scots paper. If W. B. could be referred to the newspaper in which it appeared it would be esteemed a favour.
Since the Memoir of Sir Humphry Davy, in the present number, was printed, we have ascertained from Penzance that the late President was born in that town, Dec. 17, 1778, not 1779; and that he was christened in Penzance Chapel, his father being Robert Davy, and his mother Grace Millett.
Lieut.-Gen. Montgomerie (p. 82 of the present number) died April 13.
E. L. is informed that the drawing of the pulpit be sent is engraved. He is requested to favour us with a description of it, his letter having been mislaid.
PRESENT STATE OF ABURY, WILTS.
Mr. URBAN, Bath, July 21. FEAR there is little feeling, where most one would wish to find it, of the spirit of those lines with which Sir R. C. Hoare concludes his account of the stupendous remains at Abury: "Ne cuiquam glebam saxumve impunè [veræ Ulli sit licitum! Parcarum namque sePœnæ instant; si quis sacrâ scelus edat in æde: [cuncti! Finitimi agricolæ, et vicini attendite Hic fundus sacer esto!"
-and that his forebodings that the day is not distant when the antiquary shall resort to this place, and hear of its famous temple but as of a thing which once was, may even be accomplished in the present generation.
With your permission I will relate what I learned on a visit yesterday: and will add a few observations made on a first personal inspection of these remains, which may be regarded as supplementary to the admirable accounts which have been given of them.
The temple at Abury, as few need to be informed, consists of a level area, nearly circular, inclosed by a deep trench and lofty mound. The mound is now broken down in four places, where roads are carried through it. But in its original state there seems to have been only two breaks, the only entrances to the area, and these were at the nearer extremities of two roads or avenues of more than a mile in length, and not quite straight, on each side of which were set rows of large and lofty stones, in number one hundred, that is, four hundred stones in all. These avenues are called the Kennet avenue and the Beckhampton avenue, from the names of two villages near the commencement of them. Scarcely any stones belonging to these avenues remain, and of a circle at the extremity of one of them not a fragment is now
to be found. We know of them chiefly from the information of Aubrey and Stukeley, who saw the work when much more entire than at present. The area within the mound has been very accurately measured by Sir Richard Hoare, and it is found to be somewhat more than twenty-eight acres. Accompanying the ditch, which being within the mound, affords a proof, as has been observed, that it could have been no place of defence, and near the outer edge of the area, was a circle of stones, in form and size resembling those of the avenues. Of、 these there were just a hundred; and these form what is called the great, or the outer circle. Within this circle were two small temples, or, if we may regard the whole works but as one vast temple, two apartments. Each of these consisted of two concentric circles, composed of stones like the others, the outer circle consisting of thirty stones, the inner of twelve. In the centre of one of these, which is called the Southern Temple, from its position in respect of the other, was one single stone, which Stukeley calls the Obelisk. In the centre of the other temple were three stones standing higher than the rest, placed near together, and so as to form a small cove or cell. Stukeley mentions another stone, in which he observed a perforation, not belonging to either of the inner temples; and this he concluded to have been set for the purpose of securing the victim till the moment of sacrifice arrived.
Such was Abury when it was entire. Before the Norman Conquest a Christian church was erected, a little without the mound, on the western side. There is nothing to show when it was erected, but it is mentioned as existing in Domesday Book. It is worthy of notice that the church was not erected within the enclosure, which would
seem to have been its natural position: and perhaps it may be inferred from that circumstance, that the persons who erected the church did not contemplate the destruction of the fabric of the older temple, and intend to raise the Christian edifice on the ruins of one which had (probably) been used in Pagan superstitions. Some portions of the fabric of the present church appear to have belonged to the original edifice, proving that the present church is on the site originally chosen by Saxon piety.
Another circumstance worthy of notice in the Domesday account of Abury is, that it was Terra Regis, and that the only land in cultivation about it was two hides attached to the church, which was held by one Rainbold the Priest. He had the church of Pewsy also. But at Pewsy we find there was a lay-manor also, while no other manor is noticed at Abury, but that of the church held immediately of the King. There was probably some reason why the crown reserved its rights here; and that there was no manor but the manor of the church, may I think be taken as proof of a very early foundation of a Saxon church here, and that the erection of a church preceded the erection of any dwellings. Perhaps at the beginning it was a Feld-cypc, intended for the use of the shepherds and the few inhabitants dispersed over the plain from the borders of Bishop's Cannings to the borders of Marlborough, and to a great extent to the northward and southward. It must have been erected by some person of eminent rank, perhaps a Saxon sovereign, and not merely (as most of the country churches were) by some lord of the soil living there, that he might have the offices of religion brought home to the doors of himself and his vassals.
Abury remained a place peculiarly ecclesiastical till the Reformation. Rainbold doubtless held his two hides here only in right of his church, and they would descend not to his heirs but to his successors. A foreign house, the Benedictines of St George of Bochervile, was placed in the reign of Henry I. in the position in which Rainbold stro'.* The gift of the church was by William de Tankervile, a
See Britton's "Beauties of Wiltshire," vol. iii. p. 270.
person to whom the Crown must have conveyed its right soon after the date of Domesday, and of whom it may be conjectured that he had never any intention of changing the ecclesiastical character of Abury. The foreign house retained possession of Abury till the time of Richard II., in which reign many of the foreign houses were deprived of their English possessions. The patronage and protection of Abury and its curious remains were then committed, first to New College, Oxford, and then to the College of Fotheringay and it was not till the 2 Edward VI. that any private person had power over this temple to pull down and to destroy.*
In the interval between the Conquest and the Reformation, the temple at Abury being under the protection of these communities, perhaps suffered but little from dilapidation. If any Court Rolls of the ecclesiastical manor now exist, they should be carefully examined; and I make no doubt that much very interesting matter might be collected from them. If they contained no notices of grants to the tenants of portions of the stones, or of land within the area, they would at least show the number of freeholders, and perhaps of other tenants, and a guess might be made at the population which had collected round the church in the middle ages of our history. I suspect that it was very small, and that the extension of the village within the bounds of the enclosure has been the work of the three last centuries. It is manifest that many of the houses are recent erections: some of them are certainly on new sites, and even those which are supposed to be re-edifications, may be on sites not more than two or three centuries old. The church is now at the extremity of the town furthest from the temple.
It has been the extension of this "vile hamlet," if I may venture to borrow this expression from one of the indignant letters of Chatterton, that has proved, and is still proving, the ruin of the temple of Abury.
The Roman camp, called Templeborough, in Yorkshire, was the property of the Minster of Roche; and perhaps it might be found that care was taken by our ancestors for the preservation of curious remains by keeping them out of private hands in the original distribution of property. I should like to see this point further illustrated.