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successively Rector of Snargate and Curate of Warehorne, Minor Canon of St. Paul's and Rector of the united parishes of St. Mary Magdalene with St. Gregory-by-St.-Paul's, and finally, by exchange in 1842, Rector of St. Faith-by-St.-Paul's—a fine mid-nineteenth century specimen of the “squarson.” A competent genealogist, an accomplished antiquary, a man of letters, he, by force of his sprightly wit, welded the fragmentary legends of the country—but largely those of his native county of Kent—into those astonishing amalgams of fact and fiction which, published first, from time to time, in Bentley's Miscellany, were collected and issued as the Ingoldsby Legends. It is not the least among the charms of those verses that fact and fiction are so inextricably mixed in them that it needs the learning of the skilled antiquary to sift the one from the other; and so plausible are many of his ostensible citations from old Latin documents, and his fictitious genealogies so interwoven with the names, the marriages and descents of persons, real and imaginary, that an innocent who wrote some years ago to Notes and Queries, desiring further particulars of what he thought to be genuine records, is surely to be excused for his too-ready faith. The assumed name of “Ingoldsby" is stated by his son to be found in a branch of the family genealogy, but inquiry fails to trace the name in that connection, and it may be said at once that the Kentish Ingoldsbys are entirely figments of Barham's lively imagination. Yorkshire knows a family of that name, of whom Barham probably had never heard anything save their name. He was a man of property, and modestly proud of the descent he
claimed, and though by no means rich, his place
The élite of the old county families round,
He was, in fact, “armigerous,” as heralds would say, and the arms of his family were—not those
THE BARHAM COAT-OF-ARMS.
lioncels of the Shur-
displayed in the great hall of Tappington, charged with the armorial bearings of the family and its connections, he does more than to picturesquely
He invents them, and the “old coat” “in which a chevron between three eagles' cuisses sable is blazoned quarterly with the engrailed saltire of the Ingoldsbys "–which Mr. Simpkinson found to be that of “Sir Ingoldsby Bray, temp. Richard I.” —is one not known to the Heralds' College. Behind that farcical “Mr. Simpkinson, from Bath,” lurks a real person, and one not unknown to those who have read Britton and Brayley books on Cathedral antiquities. John Britton, the original of Simpkinson, was, equally with his contemporary Barham, an antiquary and genealogist of accomplishment, and a herald of repute. Barham would not have allowed as much, for there was, it would seem, a certain amount of ill-feeling between the two, which resulted in the satirical passages relating to “Mr. Simpkinson" to be met with in the pages of the Ingoldsby Legends. They tell us that he was, among other things, “an influential member of the Antiquarian Society, to whose “Beauties of Bagnigge Wells' he had been a liberal subscriber’’; and that “his inaugural essay on the President's cocked-hat was considered a miracle of erudition ; and his account of the earliest application of gilding to gingerbread a masterpiece of antiquarian research.” In all this one finds something of that rapier-thrust of satire, that mordant wit which comes of personal rivalry ; and the heartfelt scorn of a man who loved architecture, and was, indeed, a member of the first Archaeological Institute, but who whole-heartedly resented the introduction of picnic parties into archaeological excursions, and revolted at popularising architecture and antiquarian research by brake parties, in which the popping of champagne corks punctuated the remarks of speakers holding forth
on the architectural features of buildings in a style sufficiently picturesque and simple to hold the attention of the ladies. Those who have found how unconquerable is the indifference of the public to these things will appreciate to the fullest extent the feelings of Tom Ingoldsby, while yet reserving some meed of admiration for John Britton's labours, which did much to advance the slow-growing knowledge of Gothic architecture in the first half of the century. His work may halt somewhat, his architectural knowledge be something piecemeal and uninformed with inner light; but by his labours many others were led to pursue the study of ecclesiastical art. But the humour with which Barham surrounded “Mr. Simpkinson's " doings took no count of his accomplishments, as may be seen in the excursion to “Bolsover Priory,” narrated in “The Spectre of Tappington.” “Bolsover Priory,” said Mr. Simpkinson, “was founded in the reign of Henry VI. about the beginning of the eleventh century. Hugh de Bolsover had accompanied that monarch to the Holy Land, in the expedition undertaken by way of penance for the murder of his young nephews in the Tower. Upon the dissolution of the monasteries, the veteran was enfeoffed in the lands and manor, to which he gave his own name of Bolsover, or Bee-Owls-Over (by corruption Bolsover) —a Bee in chief over Three Owls, all proper, being the armorial ensigns borne by this distinguished crusader at the siege of Acre.” Thus far Simpkinson. Now Barham turns, with good effect, on the ignorant sightseers to whom ruins are just a curiosity and nothing more.