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J. S. makes the following remarks on the account of the descent of the Rev. Joseph Sikes, contained in Burke's History of the Landed Gentry. After mentioning the origin of the family, given by Thoresby in his Ducatus Leodiensis, Mr. Burke says:-"One of its branches subsequently settled at Leeds, in Yorkshire; the same learned antiquary acquainting us (after describing the castle of that town), that' where it of old stood is now a capital messuage, and the ancient Manor House, lately, with the Park, &c., the estate of Richard Sikes, esq. his grandson Richard having also, it appears, been Alderman of Leeds when first incorporated, and his son Richard, Parson of Kirkheaton, 13507. deep in the list of compounders.', Thoresby has it-'Where the castle of old stood, is now a capital messuage, and the ancient Manor House, lately with the Park, &c., the estate of Richard Sykes, of Leeds, Gent., now, in right of Elizabeth, his eldest daughter and co-heir, of Richard Wilson, Esq., barrister-at-law, of Gray's Inn. This family of the Sykes's sprung from those of the name at Sykes-dyke (whose servants wore the branded bull as their badge), near Carlisle; whence one William Sykes, a younger brother, came into these more populous and trading parts, where he considerably improved himself by the clothing trade; his grandson, Richard, was Alderman of Leeds when first incorporated, and one of the most eminent merchants in these parts; of whom, and his son Richard, Parson of Kirkheaton (who was 13507. deep in the list of compounders), more in its proper place.' Thus Mr. Burke, in attempting to conceal that the family was formerly_mercantile, commits himself. Mr. Burke proceeds- The name was of eminency in Richard 3rd's time, when by the inquisitiones post mortem and ad quod damnum, we learn that a writ of mesne was sued by Robert de Sike against Daniel Fletwitch, to acquit him of services demanded by the king, the said Robert holding of the crown as mesne lord.' Mr. Thoresby, in his account of the family of Idle, says- The name was of eminency in Edward 3rd's reign, when a writ of mesne was sued by David Fletwitch against Robert de Idle, to acquit him of services demanded by the king, the said Robert holding of the king as mesne lord.' These two sentences strike one as being extremely similar. Again, Mr. Burke says 'The Rev. Richard Sikes, 5th in lineal descent from Richard Sikes, of Sikes-dyke, temp. Hen. 6th, and eldest son of the Rector of Kirkheaton, was himself Rector of Spofforth
and Prebendary of York. He espoused Anna, daughter of the Rev. Mark Micklethwaite, Rector of Long Marston, and had, with other children who died issueless, a son and heir, Richard Sikes, esq. M.A., who wedded Martha, daughter and heir of Sir Francis Cavendish Burton, and died 1696, leaving a son, Joseph Sikes, esq.' (grandfather of the present Rev. Joseph Sikes, L.L.B.) On turning to Thoresby, I find that this very Richard Sykes, M.A., died sine prole, 10th October, 1686. Neither is there any account of his marriage. It must be recollected that Thoresby lived at this period, so that his statement can hardly be incorrect. If, on examination of only one pedigree, so many discrepancies are discovered, how can we place confidence in the rest of the work?"
The biographer of Sir John Eardley Wilmot states that Lord Mansfield" conferred the singular honour of writing the epitaph upon Sir Thomas Dennison, one of the Judges of the Court of K. B. (who died in 1765), which is believed to be the only work of the kind that came from his hand." Has this appeared in print, or where is the epitaph to be seen?
We feel obliged to E. A. H. who hasent us drawings of an ancient ring, silver gilt, recently thrown up by the plough in a field near Okehampton, and now in the possession of the Rev. H. Fothergill. In the centre is a heart between four trefoil leaves, surmounted by a coronet; opposite to these, on the back of the ring, are two clasped hands,-the whole of good workmanship. We should not assign an earlier date to it than the seventeenth century.
The seal of Archbishop Waldeby, engraved in our September number, which, when published a century ago by Dr. Drake, was in the possession of an innholder at Durham, is not now in that city, but in the hands of the Registrar of the Dean and Chapter of York, having been found behind a chest in the Vestry during Jonathan Martin's fire.
A gentleman at Manchester has shown us a very handsome sacramental cup, of silver gilt, engraved with the royal arms charged with the inescocheon of Nassau, and the following inscription-" Ex dono Mariæ, Serenissimæ Angliæ &c. Reginæ, in usum Eccl'æ Bmæ. Mariæ &c. Breaghmore-Wheeler. Obijt 28 Xbris. 94." Our correspondents are requested to state where the church of Breaghmore-Wheeler may be; and whether they can throw any light upon this gift of Queen Mary: which is the more remarkable, as bearing the date of her death, and having therefore the appearance of a bequest.
History of the Great Reformation of the Sixteenth Century, in Germany, &c. By J. H. M. D'Aubigné. 1838. 8vo. Walther.
WE could have wished that a history of the "Great Reformation," worthy of its subject, and which has been so long a desideratum in literature, had been written in our language, and reserved for some writer of our own. In either of the Universities, and particularly now in one, are to be found those who could have entered on their important task, after a long and familiar acquaintance with its general principles, its causes, and its results; who could have brought to the investigation of it, a depth and variety of learning, secular and divine, a comprehension of reasoning, a temperance of judgment, an impartiality of decision, a purity and elevation of mind, and a tenderness and delicacy of feeling;-all requisite for the successful accomplishment of so great a work. It is a work not to be received from every hand—ὄντε πάντη, ὄντε πάρα πάντων : but the leisure which is necessary for such tasks, the absence of all disturbing calls of immediate pressure, the calm unbroken tranquillity which is required for the composition of works of original thought and laborious compilation, are unfortunately in our days, even in those very seats which have been considered as the home of the Muses, and the sanctuary of the thoughtful and studious scholar, either denied, or in the most favourable cases too much abridged. Only a few years have passed, since we were informed by one of the brightest ornaments of an University,* whose illustrious name he sheltered from unjust reproach, when he was rebuking a thoughtless sneer which had been directed against the learning and industry of its members; that so much had the state of things been altered, and so urgent and so numerous were the demands of society upon the collegiate system, that the Universities could barely retain within themselves, members sufficient to perform the necessary duties of instruction, and to fill the chairs of learning and science. Since that time, not only have the same causes continued more urgently to act, but others also have arisen, productive of the same effects; and which render it imperative on learned bodies, not only to meet hostile attacks, but to repress internal divisions; to defend themselves against unjust accusations, to refute injurious doctrines, and to advocate and advance neglected and forgotten truths. So strong are the calls of public duty, so increasing the demands of official situations, so onerous the weight of ministerial labours,
* See Dr. Copleston's triumphant reply to the attacks of the Edinburgh Review on the University. We cannot quote the exact words-but we give the meaning.
so overpowering the interest and importance of temporary subjects, so necessary the immediate removal of misconceptions, and the extirpation of evil doctrines; so wide also has the circle of literature and science spread, and so deeply and accurately must their different provinces be known, that the very attainment, in a moderate degree, of what are deemed necessary acquirements, must alone demand a great portion of the leisure which life has to give to the cultivation of the mind. We may grieve, but cannot be surprised to find those, from whose great talents, and profound acquirements, we might expect the richest fruit, lamenting that for the composition of original works time and thought are not allowed them.* If that ingenious poet could arise, whose ill-directed satire represented Isis as lamenting over her listless and degenerate sons, he would have now to strike another chord of his lyre; and he might more justly complain, that the minds of those of most original powers and most profound acquirements were employed, not in advancing onwards in the discovery of truth, and carrying the banners of their victory over fresh fields of conquest; but in supporting doctrines that ought never to have been doubted, in reasserting claims that should never have been renounced, in defending themselves from accusations that ought never to have been advanced, in re-arguing that which had been once allowed, and restoring that which was well nigh forgot. To regain the ground that has been lost, and to take the position that had been abandoned, is, it would appear, all that the most strenuous and diligent can effect. What a proof it is, upon what a tottering and uncertain basis Truth ever stands, that even in the most enlightened times it may gradually become obscure or disappear; that its light and serene countenance may be veiled and clouded by passions and opinions at any time, even after its full effulgence has been seen; and that our progress is so bounded, and the limits of our strength so narrow, that to keep the little pathway we have gained in the realms of knowledge, free from briars and thorns that are closely rising up behind us, may be considered as the humble work of duty, with which we must be content. As it is, the history of the Reformation has, in the present instance, fallen into the hands of a worthy, virtuous, and well-instructed member of the Church; it Inay still make room for a work more philosophical and more profound; but the volume of Mr. D'Aubigné will always be distinguished for the clearness of its arrangement, the judiciousness of its plan, the candour of its sentiments, the sincerity of its piety, the sufficiency of its learning, and the eloquence and animation of its style. The arguments are honestly stated, the inferences logically and fairly drawn. There is no subject, it may be said, that in the hands of a man of genius may not be interesting: what is superficial, is dull enough; but the most massive volumes of elaborate composition may be the very materials which, under a new arrangement and disposition, will afford equally instruction and delight. The gems of purest ray serene, which flash and glitter in the solar rays, imbibed their "dark lustre " in the unfathomable caverns of the deep. Undoubtedly the subject selected by the present writer would demand a most extensive collection of materials, a laborious investigation of documents, a severe scrutiny of motives and actions, a fine discrimination of
See advertisement prefixed to the proposed Translation of the Fathers, by Prof. Pusey, Mr. Newman, Professor Keble, &c.
evidence, a profound knowledge of character, a wise and candid interpretation of opinions, a due allowance for circumstances, and a keen observation of the progress of events: but the subject is, in itself and all its parts, most singularly attractive, as it is important; it has the due mixture of thought and action, of outward ornament and inward strength, in which the mind delights; it exhibits the strongest contrasts and the most vivid representations; magnificent in its general features, picturesque in its minute details. The pencil that describes this portion of the history of man, must be dipt alternately in the darkest gloom and the brightest illumination. It must describe men as slaves of the grossest superstition and ignorance and as inheritors of the most unclouded reason and the most perfect liberty; it will have to exhibit them as trampled on and subduedas rising against their oppressors, and triumphant-as enthralled and free; it will describe the long and fearful struggle of good and evil, of tyrannic power and of free resolve; it will point to the dismantled and mouldering fortress of despotic sway on the one side-and on the other to the civil and social institutions rising every where around, and to the blessings flowing from the restored liberty of conscience, and the unalterable rights that Nature has bestowed on the human mind. It will shew in this tremendous conflict, how every energy possessed by man was called forth and exhausted even to the utmost limits of his strength; and it will keep itself ever on the watch to observe the operation of that superior Power, whose unseen hand was directing the efforts and guiding the counsels of his creatures, according to his own mysterious will; acting against all advantage, successful against all probability, making simplicity confound the wise, and giving to the weak the fetters that are to bind the strong. What a picture is that which places in contrast with each other, the proud halls of the Vatican, and the cottage of the poor miner in Thuringia; which shews on one side, the florid beauty and marble splendour of a Temple that exhausted the treasures of the earth, and on the other the wooden beams and naked rafters of the little chapel that stood in ruins in the square of Wittenberg. Where we see here arranged all the temporal and spiritual power of the church triumphant upon earth its assembled pontiffs, and cardinals, and legates-its archbishops and abbots-its subject or allied princes and potentates, its learned doctors, its monastic dignitaries-its weapons of carnal power, its bulls, its decretals, its indulgences, its fulminations of anger, its pardons of mercy, its curse and its forgiveness-its vast temporal treasures-its still more extended spiritual possessions-its hoary and venerable age-its revered and consecrated name : there nothing but what was poor, forgotten, and despised-the peasant's cottagethe scholar's garret-the monastic cell. Such is the subject and such the materials of the history which we are now observing. We shall be much indebted to the work itself for the slight outline of it, which we attempt to give.
The history of the power, and consequently of the corruptions, of the Church, should commence from the succession of Charlemagne and the decretals of Isidorus, because it would evince that its authority was founded upon falsehood. "A barefaced fabrication (as our author says) was for ages the arsenal of Rome." Then followed the atrocities of the pontiffs themselves, their personal luxury, their intoxication, their madness. A tradition (though disputed,) says, that a young girl named Joanna, or Joan, sate in St. Peter's chair, and that the maternal throes surprised her in the
midst of a procession of the Church; or is it rather to be believed, that under her single name, was symbolised the power and influence which the Theodoras, and Lucretias, and Marozias possessed and abused? Again, a child of twelve years of age, brought up in debauchery, was elected Pope under the name of Benedict IX. Of his life, said the abbot of Cassino, "Vita quam turpis, quam foeda, quamque execranda exstiterit, horresco referens." The age of luxury sometimes gave way to that of ambition. Hildebrand, as is justly said, was the personification of the Roman pontificate in its strength and glory. He desired to establish a visible theocracy, of which the Pope should be the head, and to make Christian Rome, like the heathen, the mistress of the world. "What Cæsar could not effect by torrents of blood, said his flatterers, you have accomplished with a word." The first blow was hurled at the priests, for the celibacy of the clergy was necessary to his purposes. Those who had wives were often insulted by the populace, derided, stricken, and even slain. Then followed the next master stroke of policy, the excommunication from every christian rite: every "church-going bell" was mute, every church-door was closed, every sacramental rite forbidden, and, following the criminal from life to death, from this world to the next, the dreaded malediction extended to the grave. What cannot worldly ambition and false and ungodly zeal effect on the sensual and corrupted heart of man! The last words of the dying pontiff were, "Dilexi justitiam, et odivi iniquitatem ; propter ea morior in exilio." Thus then was established, that the priest was the master -the laity the slaves. Such was the principle and spirit of the church. In Luther's time, there was still to be seen at Erfurt, a picture in which the Church was represented as a ship sailing to heaven; on board of it were neither laymen, nor prince, nor king; but in front the Pope and his cardinals, with the Holy Spirit over them, and on each side priests and monks. While the clergy were thus securely and pleasantly sailing on towards Paradise, the laity were represented struggling in the water, and swimming towards the vessel; some sinking, and some catching at the ropes that the fathers threw out to save them. In this way, salvation was openly declared to be in the power of them to bestow or to withhold: and salvation, (says our author,) considered as derived from any power in man, is the germinating principle of all errors and perversions. The scandal produced by this fundamental error brought on the Reformation,† and the profession of the contrary principle was the means by which it was achieved." When salvation was once taken out of the hands of the Deity, then followed every abuse which it is possible to conceive; then came indulgencies and pardons-penances and flagellations-sackcloth and the scourge the supererogatory merits of one supplying the deficiencies of the other--purifying fires-purgatory-masses-fixed prices for every sin. Lastly, under Gregory the Seventh appeared the great jubilee that was to replenish the
* On the preference of Celibacy, as "the higher state, not enforced by the Romanist, but with reference to specific cases, and to provide for especial need," see Dr. Pusey's Letter to the Bishop of Oxford, p. 208. ̄ It is, methinks, the anticipated sentiment of a future and a better age.
"The refusal of the cup to the laity was felt at the time of the Reformation to be a great practical cruelty, so much so, that observers of no mean name have not doubted that it was the chief ground why the religious so earnestly sought for a Reformation, and that had Rome conceded that point, the Reformation would never have taken place in the way it did."-Pusey's Letter, &c. p. 136.