The modes of government being ſettled, and each province reconciled to his authority, he diſbanded his army, and during ſeven years peace, promoted the cultivation of thoſe arts and ſciences, which ſhould increaſe the general happineſs and wealth of his people.
In the thirty-ſecond year of this reign, the Danes made their firſt deſcent upon this iſland. To trace all the ravages thoſe Barbarians [Page 2] committed, would lead to deſcriptions tedious and painful: many parts of Northumberland retain memorials of their hoſtilities; and ſuch in the courſe of this work will neceſſarily be attended to.
It appears, that under Alfred, the Danes held the ſole poſſeſſion of Northumberland; but whether as tributaries or conquerors, is not clearly aſcertained: * Athelſtan obtained many ſignal victories over them, and at length effected their expulſion from this territory.
From this period we find the government of Northumberland repoſed in nominees of the Crown, who aſſumed the titles of Earls of Northumberland; many of whom are named by our Hiſtorians, and their peculiar actions, ſo far as they are relative to the immediate objects of my attention in this work, are recounted.†
In this county innumerable monuments of antiquity and natural beauties exiſt, to excite a traveller's curioſity. The poſſeſſion of the Romans, and in after times the conflicts with the Saxons, Danes, and Scots, [Page 3] render it truly hiſtorical ground.—Many of the preſent inhabitants are derived from a race of heroes, who purchaſed immortal honours in the annals of their country.
is a ſmall market town, meanly built, hanging on the declivity of a ſteep hill, inhabited by miners. The fatigue of paſſing bad roads, in a mountainous, barren, and inhoſpitable country, was in no wiſe alleviated by the ſcene which preſented itſelf here. Pent in a narrow valley, over which mountains frowned with a melancholy ſterility and nakedneſs; the wind tempeſtuous, impending clouds ſtretching forth a dark and diſconſolate curtain over the face of morning; rain beating vehemently againſt the windows, which were not able to reſiſt the ſtorm; a few trees ſtanding near the Inn toſſed by the heavy blaſts which howled down the valley; whilſt the accommodations within doors were even comfortleſs, rendered ſuch a frontiſpiece to a purſuit of pleaſure, as would have given a check to any thing but inſatiable curioſity.
We were under the influence of the higheſt lands in this part of the iſland, and could not avail ourſelves of the name of ſummer againſt ſuch a climate; for I preſume two fair days together are ſeldom known in this country.
which bears at preſent the name of WHITLEY CASTLE, though only the remains of the Roman ſtation called in Dean Gales Antoninus, [Page 4] Alione: * ſituate on the brook of Gilderdale, the ſouthern boundary of this part of Northumberland.
Whitley lays on an irregular deſcent, inclining to the eaſt, is an oblong ſquare with obtuſe angles, 140 paces from eaſt to weſt, and 110 from north to ſouth: the ground falls ſwiftly from the eaſtern ſide of this ſtation, but to the weſt the hills over look it, from whence it was eaſily aſſailed.—In order to fortify it on this weak quarter, it is ſlanked on the north-weſt and ſouth-weſt angles, with ſeveral trenches and breaſtworks of earth; and on the weſt with ſeven ſeveral trenches and breaſtworks, running out to a kind of ſemicircle: the entrance is on the ſouth. As a ſketch of Whitley will give the reader a general idea of thoſe ſtations I viſited in this county, I have ſubjoined an Etching.†
The Maiden Way before ſpoken of, extends from a ſmall fort, called Maiden Caſtle, on Stainmore, by Kirby Thore, in Weſtmoreland, and Whitley to Caer Voran, in this county; guarded by a chain of ſtations. This military road was repaired by part of the twentieth legion, as is denoted by a centurial ſtone diſcovered thereon, inſcribed, VEXILLATIO [Page 5] LEGIONIS VICESIMAE V. V. REFICIT.* The Notitia places at Alione the third cohort of the Nervii. In Mr Horſley's B. Romana † we find two altars inſcribed to the Emperor Caracalla, which prove this matter. It is contended by ſome, that Alione was held up and garriſoned by the Romans to the lateſt date of their abode in this country. This was a wretched place for the ſubſiſtence of a cohort; cultivation (even in this age) has only crept down the ſkirts of the valleys, and hung upon the margins of the rivers; even where her ſteps have imprinted the narrow ſhores, corn has not hitherto bleſſed the labour of the huſbandman.
Mr Camden ſays, that ‘Whitley Caſtle retained the marks of a great and antient town, encloſed towards the north with a fourfold rampier.’ This deſcription convinces me Camden never viſited the place, it is ſo inconſiſtent with the true ſtate of it. He gives us one of the inſcriptions diſcovered there in the following form, being one of thoſe in Mr. Horſley's B. Romana:
[Page 6]which Camden ſays ſhews that a temple was erected there to Antoninus the Emperor.* There are not the leaſt traces to be found at this day of any ſuch edifice.IMP. CAES. Lucii Septimi Severi AraBICI, ADIABENICI, PARTHICIMAX. FIL. DIVI ANTONINI Pii GermaniciSARMA. NEP. DIVI ANTONINI PII PRON.DIVI HADRIANI ABN. DIVI TRAIANIPARTH. ET DIVI NERVAE ADNEPOTIM. AVRELIO ANTONINO PIOFEL. AVG. GERMANICO. PONT. MAX.TR. POT — X — IMP — COS. IIII. P. p —PRO PIETATE AEDE — VOTO —COMMVNI CVRANTE —— LEGATO AVG.PR — COH. III. NERVIO —RVM — G. R. POS.
[Page 7] On the oppoſite ſide of the Tyne, as we paſſed down the valley, we had a view of KIRKHAUGH. When Mr Horſley viſited the place, he found in the church-yard, a Roman altar, inſcribed DEAE MINERVAE [Page 8] ET HERCVLI VICTORI;* but on enquiry, we were informed it was lately removed.
where ſome narrow incloſures, by the brink of the river, cheered the eye, which for ſome miles had laboured over a ſameneſs of unpleaſing objects with languor. Here the meads, and ſome little woods which hang upon the declivities, were contraſted by the brown heath and grey rocks of the mountains, and made the landſkip pictureſque.
As I now leave the Maiden Way, or Roman military road, and found in this uncultivated country the moſt perfect remains I ever ſaw; to give the reader a general idea, it may not be improper to introduce a deſcription of this; as it is to be preſumed all the Roman roads bore a ſimilarity thereto in their conſtruction, though not in their breadth. The Maiden Way † is near ſix yards wide, the ſides are formed by lines of very large pebbles, from whence in an eaſy bow the interior pavement riſes to a crown. Where the road lays down ſteep deſcents, the pavement is formed of flat thin ſtones, placed on their edges, and laid tranſverſely. It paſſes many brooks, and I examined whether any bridges of maſon work had been thrown over them, but could find no remains of ſuch; which leads me to determine, that theſe places were paſſed by means of platforms formed of [Page 9] timber or trunks of trees. The rocks to which the pavement adjoined, would certainly have retained ſome teſtimony of maſon work, if any had been uſed.
is ruinous and neglected. It was the ſeat of one of the Prats in the reign of Edward I. who forfeited the ſame; after which it was granted to Sir Robert de Swinburn: it came to Wallace of Copeland Caſtle, by marriage of Eleanor ſecond daughter of John Swinburn of Edlingham; and Ralph Wallace his deſcendant, ſold it to Mr Alderman Stephenſon of Newcaſtle upon Tyne.
now conſiſting of a ſmall chapel, with a few ſcattered cottages. Here was formerly a houſe founded for Benedictine Nuns, dedicated to God, St Mary, and St Patrick. Authors differ touching the foundation; Speed and Camden attribute it to the Lucys, Tanner to Adam de Tynedale, and others to King John. By deed of confirmation of the ſecond year of King John,* certain endowments made by Adam de Tynedale, and others of that family, were confirmed to this religious houſe. At the ſuppreſſion it conſiſted of ſix Nuns, and was valued at 5l. 15s. 8d. The ſcite of the convent is not now to be diſcovered: in Camden's day, ‘it was for the moſt part undermined by the floodings of the Tyne, and fallen down.’ John Duke of Northumberland had Lambley, by the grant of Edward VI. it was afterwards in the Featherſtonhaughs of Featherſton Caſtle, and now is the eſtate of Sir Lancelot Allgood. This place ſuffered in an incurſion of the Scots in the reign of Edward I. AD. 1296, when paſſing down Redeſdale and Tindale, burning and laying waſte the country, and committing horrid cruelties on the inhabitants, they deſtroyed Corbridge, burnt the town, monaſtry, and church of Hexham, and alſo this ſmall nunnery. The wretched nuns ſuffering the common fate of captives in thoſe ſavage invaſions, torture and raviſhment.
which lays in a little ſequeſtered valley, concealed by the ſurrounding hills. From the eminence over which we travelled, we could command a view for ſeveral miles on every hand; but almoſt the whole ſcene was one vaſt expanſe of waſte and barrenneſs, hill ariſing beyond hill in dreary ſucceſſion of broken crags or brown heath: at the feet of the mountains here and there, a little verdure was perceived, a narrow valley, and a ſolitary cottage. The inhabitants are ſhepherds, and languiſh out a life of indigence, and lazineſs. As we deſcended into the vale where the caſtle ſtands, ſome pretty plains of meadow ground on the margin of Tyne were revealed to us, which, whilſt we remained on the heights, lay concealed from our view.
The caſtle is little more than a ſquare tower, calculated for defence againſt thoſe tribes of robbers the Moſs Troopers. Every chief manſion in the county of Northumberland, in former times was obliged to be thus defended; ſo that the number of thoſe ſmall caſtles is very great. Featherſton tower hath two exploratory turrets: it is vaulted underneath for the purpoſe of ſecuring flocks and herds in the time of aſſault.
The family of Featherſtonhaugh poſſeſſed this place for ſeveral ages: the firſt upon record is Thomas de Featherſtonhaugh, in the firſt year [Page 11] of Edward I. who held it as a member of the barony of Tynedale;* after whom it remained in that family till the latter end of the reign of Queen Elizabeth: it afterwards was ſold to Lord Carliſle, and is now the poſſeſſion of Sir Matthew Featherſtonhaugh.†
The proſpects from the tower are narrow, compoſed of ſome cultivated lands on the ſkirts of the hills, little groves hanging over the brink of the river, graſſy plains forming the depth of the vale, through which the Tyne ruſhes, and a few ſcattered cottages; over which ſolemn and gloomy mountains on every hand impend.
We purſued our way to Belliſter Caſtle by a winding road, on the banks of Tyne, the vale widening as we proceeded, and the progreſs of cultivation encreaſing upon us—a moſt happy change to a traveller.
is beautiful, a rich vale intervenes between it and the river; at the time of our paſſage covered with an abundant crop of wheat. The Tyne here, a formidable ſtream, ſhews many broad canals as it winds down the valley: the banks are wooded, and the riſing grounds on every ſide are rich and well cultivated.—The town of Haltwezell is a great ornament to the landſkip, as it is ſeen hanging on the oppoſite eminence.
This caſtle is a rude ſtructure, of an irregular form as it now lays in ruins, placed on an artificial mount, defended by a moat; the whole a ragged and confuſed pile of mouldering walls, without any ornament or beauty; and rendered more gloomy by the branches of large oaks, [Page 12] which have ſurmounted the building, and ſhade great part of its remains.
This was the ſeat of the Blenkinſops*—(Wallis ſays) a younger branch of the family of Blenkinſop Caſtle. It is now the property of John Blenkinſop Coulſon, Eſq of Jeſmond; but the manor appertains to the Elliſons of Park-houſe.
We proceeded towards Haltwezell, in hopes to paſs the river by the ferry-boat; but the boatman, who thinks himſelf a competent judge of the neceſſity there is for his attendance, was not to be found; and we were obliged to paſs the ford, which is broad and deep, with a bottom of very large ſtones, over which a horſe, breaſt deep in the water, unaccuſtomed to the paſſage, inceſſantly faulters or ſtumbles. Thoſe circumſtances would have been greatly aggravated by our ignorance of the place, had we not met with a perſon to conduct us.—Inſtances of well applied charity characterize this age: it would not be one of the leaſt, to give a ſtipend to an attendant at ſuch fords as theſe, by which many valuable lives would be ſaved.—Is it not ſhocking, that a traveller ſhould be expoſed to infinite perils, by the ſtupidity or folly of a boatman, who preſumes to determine on a matter of ſuch moment, as the fate of his fellow creature! a wretch whoſe character, perhaps, is one of thoſe humiliating ſubjects, which ſerve to reduce ſelf-eſtimation and human vanity, by ſhewing how near, man in the loweſt claſs, is to the brute creation.
is a pleaſant village, holding a market on Thurſdays; the ſituation is lofty; the church-yard, on the ſouth ſide of the town, commands a fine proſpect over the vale, where Tyne flowing in meanders, ſhews itſelf variouſly upon the Landſkip, which is bounded by Belliſter Caſtle and the adjoining woods on the one hand, and extends to Haydon bridge on the other; at the inſtant of our view, varied with all the rich temts of ſummer, and the happy effects of cultivation.
The church contains little that is remarkable: within the altar rails is the tomb-ſtone of an eccleſiaſtic, ſculptured with a croſier of excellent [Page 13] work, and highly ornamented, a pilgrim's ſcrip and ſtaff, with a coat armour, party per feſſe, and three garbs: the perſonage interred not known.
A mutilated effigy of a knight templar, who had made the cruſade, lays here; his legs acroſs, and hands elevated; ſaid to be one of the Blenkinſops of Blenkinſop Caſtle.John — RedelThat — ſumtim did bethen Laird of the WaltonGon is he out of this val of MeſreHis bons lies under this ſtons1562
The Scots plundered this place, in the Reign of Queen Elizabeth, but being purſued by the then Lord Warden of the Middle Marches, they ſuffered ſeverely for their temerity.—Here is an infant manufactory of coarſe baize, to which the ſituation promiſes proſperity.—A ſmall endowment was made by Lady Capel, for a maſter to teach reading and writing.
At the eaſt end of the town is an eminence, called Caſtle Banks, of an oval figure; in the centre of which is a fine ſpring. On the eaſt and weſt end, four diſtinct terraces, bankings, or gradations are cut; ariſing one above another. The crown of the hill, is defended by a breaſtwork of earth, towards the town; and on the ſouth by an inacceſſible precipice, at whoſe foot the river runs. To what people this fortification belonged is not known, no memorable action having made it remarkable in hiſtory. Mr Wallis's opinion appears to be a very juſt one, that theſe eminences thus terraced, were occupied by the militia when an enemy had penetrated the country; where they not only had a powerful appearance in ſuch arrangement, but alſo could fight with great advantage when an attack was made upon them.
This county bears innumerable memorials of warfare, ſeveral of which are not now to be aſcribed to any particular people, either from their form, materials, or conſtruction. It was the mode of all contending [Page 14] parties, in ancient times to entrench, and throw up breaſtworks, which were frequently formed to ſuit the ſituation, without regard to any ſingular model common to themſelves: This was the practice, only in times of immediate emergency; the permanent camps or ſtations, were fortified in a mode peculiar to each people: Such as are remarkable will be particularly noticed in the following pages.
a Roman ſtation, ſituate on a declivity, which deſcends ſwiftly towards the ſouth-weſt, about a hundred yards diſtant from the Picts Wall, of a ſquare figure with obtuſe angles, each ſide being 120 paces. The Pretorium is very diſtinguiſhable, about ſeven paces from the ſouthern ſide, commanding a very extenſive proſpect. Mr Carrick, who farms the ground, is raiſing the foundations of the Pretorium, and will no doubt diſcover ſome valuable antiquities. I procured here a fine ſilver coin of Antoninus Pius, well preſerved, which was found on this ſtation.
In Warburton's Vallum Romanum, this ſtation is numbered eleven, his treatiſe beginning at Segedunum. With Mr Horſley, he preſumes there is no doubt but this was the ancient Magna, where the Cohors Secunda Dalmatarum was quartered, according to the Notitia. Whether the ancient name Magna was Britiſh or purely Roman, is difficult to determine.*
Mr Horſley's deſcription is chiefly, that Carr-Voran is placed about 12 or 13 chains to the ſouth of both the walls (which are here very near to each other) and has a peat moſs before it. This may both be the reaſon of the modern name, and why the walls approach no nearer to it. The ramparts round this fort are very conſpicuous, and the whole ditch remains diſtinguiſhable: the buildings without the fort, have been on the ſouth and weſt ſides, on the deſcent towards the river Tippal. This is one of the forts entirely within Hadrian's Vallum. The military way called Maiden Way, paſſes through this place, and, as is ſaid, goes to Beau Caſtle, which is about ſix miles [Page 15] from it: and the other military way, which comes from Walwick Cheſters, paſſes a little to the ſouth of this fort, or enters and terminates in the Roman town here. It is very viſible upon the moor ſouth-eaſt of, and not far from Carr-Voran.
A ſmall altar was formerly found here, dedicated to Vitirinaeus, a tutelar God.*
A ſmall braſs image of one of the Lares—a ring engraven with the figure of Victory on a rough cornelian—a curious effigy in relief of a Roman ſoldier, on a white rag ſtone, were found here in the year 1760.† The figure is about 14 inches in height, is helmetted, cloathed in a pallium or light robe, flowing to his feet, claſped on the breaſt with a fibula; in his right hand he is armed with the haſta, and reſts his left on a parma or ſhield, ſupported on a pedeſtal: above his ſhoulder are the figures of a ſtag ſeized by a lion. Abundance of ſtags' horns have been dug up here, the bones and aſhes of animals, and many millſtones.**
[Page 16] On the walls about the farm-houſe, ſtand innumerable Roman remains, fragments of Inſcriptions, broken Effigies, Millſtones, and other things: a bench is raiſed at the door of the houſe, and covered with a [Page 17] large flat ſtone, on which a ſmall altar is cut in relief, with the inſcription ſhewn in the plate. In the yard lays another fragment, which I conceive is inſcribed to Numerianus; and in the aperture (left to admit [Page 18] the light into a hay-loft) are two fragments of inſcriptions; one reverſed, and rendered not legible; the other repreſented in the plate, together with ſome ſmall inſcriptions built up in the walls of the out-houſes, and which have never before been publiſhed.
ſituate on the ſouthern banks of the brook Tippal. By the remains, it appears this Caſtle has conſiſted of a ſquare tower, built on an artificial [Page 19] mount, ſurrounded by an outward wall, at the diſtance only of four paces, of equal height with the interior building; defended towards the north by a very deep ditch and outward mound. The out wall towards the weſt has been removed of late years, and lays the tower open on that ſide. Three vaults ſupport the building, one of which is 18 feet wide. This Caſtle is the property of J. Blenkinſop Coulſon, Eſq has been in the family of Blenkinſops for many centuries,* and held of the Manor of Langley.
the moſt remarkable piece of Roman Antiquity in this country, may not be diſagreeable in this place, before we enter on the more populous parts of the county. It was built as a barrier againſt the incurſions of the northern inhabitants, who were continually harraſſing the Romans, by attacking them in ſundry places at one time, or by ſmall bodies of ravagers, who ſwept away the cattle and flocks of the country. The Romans called it Vallum Barbaricum, Pretentatura, and Clauſura. Hadrian's vallum was conſtructed of earth, and bears date about the year 123 of the chriſtian aera. Severus's is ſuppoſed by many to be of maſonry, and built about the year 210;† but of the materials it was conſtructed, the Roman authorities are very vague and doubtful. Bede ſays, ‘Severus having been victorious at home in the civil war, which was attended with many dangers, was drawn into Britain upon an almoſt general revolt of the allies there; where after many conflicts, having recovered part of the iſland, he thought it expedient to ſever it from the barbarous ſtates; not with a wall, as ſome think, but with a rampier; for a wall is made of ſtone, but a rampier, whereby camps are fortified to repel the force of an enemy, is made of turfs cut out of the earth, and raiſed in the manner of a wall, ſo that there be a ditch or trench in front whereout the turfs are gotten; upon which were pitched piles of very ſtrong timber. And ſo Severus caſt a great ditch, and raiſed a moſt ſtrong rampier, [Page 20] ſtrengthened with many turrets thereupon, from ſea to ſea.’ Here we have a perfect deſcription of one of the Roman fortifications, which Bede by miſtake attributes to Severus—an outward ditch, a rampier of earth fortified with a ſtrong paliſado, and guarded by turrets; from whence, with miſſile weapons, the defenders could flank the vallum, and command the ditch upon an aſſault. The third and laſt vallum is by many authors ſaid to be the work of the Britons, aided by the Romans, under the third conſulate of Aetius, about the year 444, who upon receiving a ſecond embaſſy, complaining of the hardſhips they laboured under from the frequent inroads and invaſions of the northern nations, and their inability to reſiſt them, a legion was ſent into Britain, who, with the aſſiſtance of the natives, built, (or rather rebuilt and reinſtated) the wall of ſtone, in length 68 miles, from the point of land at Boulneſs, on Solway Firth, to the mouth of the Tyne. Gildas ſays, ‘the Romans erected a wall after their uſual manner of building, not like unto the other (meaning the vallum of earth or turf) or at the common charge of the empire, but aided by the poor and miſerable natives; this was carried from ſea to ſea, between the cities, which were placed there as fortifications againſt the enemy.’ Bede adds, ‘which wall, that was heretofore famous and conſpicuous, they, with public and private coſt, having with them the helping hand of the Britons, built eight feet broad and twelve feet high, in a direct line from eaſt to weſt."* Camden ſays, "it had many towers or fortreſſes, each about a mile diſtant, which are called Caſtle-ſteeds; and within, little fenced towns, in theſe days called Cheſters. Alſo turrets ſtanding between theſe, from whence the ſoldiers might diſcover the approach of an enemy at a conſiderable diſtance, wherein the Areani might have their ſtations.’ Theſe Areani were ſpies, and men ſwift of foot, to give alarms upon approaching danger. Camden ſays, in his time there was a traditionary tale, that a brazen trumpet ran through the wall, by which an alarm might be communicated from tower to tower. This report he reconciles by an ancient ſervice attendant on the border lands OF CORNAGE, for which to this day a money payment iſſues out of many of the Northumbrian eſtates. This ſervice of Cornage was a kind of tenure in grand ſerjeantry, the nature [Page 21] of which was to alarm the country by the ſound of a horn when any invaſion of the Scots was perceived. The wall then was a formidable defence, 12 feet high, guarded by caſtles and exploratory turrets.* I examined the foundations of ſome of thoſe caſtle-ſteads with attention, where the military roads approached the wall, and they appeared to me the remains of gate-ways, over which, perhaps, there were towers for their defence. No other apertures are ſeen in the wall but at the ſtations, which is ſingular, as the Romans, when they found it neceſſary to ſcour the outward frontiers, or make a ſally on a ſudden attack, had no ſally-ports, or other means to depart their own fortification than by deſcending the wall, or making an egreſs at one of theſe ſtations or military ways, which indeed ſeems ſtrangely inconſiſtent. It is very probable, that the Cheſters were defended in the ſame manner as the wall deſcribed by Bede, and perhaps the vallum was ſurmounted with a paliſado, of which the Corona Vallaris, I preſume, is a model not to be denied. The obtuſe angles of the ſtations encourage an apprehenſion that they were guarded by exploratory turrets.
The higheſt part of the wall now ſtanding, is near Carr-Voran, where it runs upon the brink of a cliff, to the ſummit of ſome eminences: it is there near nine feet high, the outward facing of free ſtone, not totally removed. Where the foundation was not good, or the wall had to paſs a moraſs, it is built on piles of oak: the interſtice between the two facings of the wall, is filled with broad thin ſtones, placed obliquely, and filled with run lime. Camden ſays, the wall near Carr-Voran in his time was 15 feet high, and 9 feet thick, built on both ſides of four-ſquare aſhler ſtones; which greatly exceeds Bede's deſcription. At ſome little diſtance from Walwick, the remains of the turf or earth fence, are to be ſeen in three diſtinct bankings, or rampiers; the principal one about the height of 9 feet, and 33 feet at the baſe: at the diſtance of 24 feet to the ſouth, is a trench 21 feet wide, from the [Page 22] ſouthern brink of which ariſes a rampier of earth, about 10 feet at its baſe, and 6 feet in height: 16 feet diſtant from this is another rampier of equal height, and 19 feet at its baſe; theſe two laſt on the ſouth ſide of the trench, forming a perfect covered way, in breadth 16 feet. The moſt northern of theſe rampiers, in this part, is diſtant from the ſtone wall 30 paces; the preſent military road paſſing between them.
The particular deſcription of theſe fortifications of the Romans, given by Mr Horſley, in his Brit Rom. and Mr Warburton, in his Vallum Rom. would be too tedious to be inſerted here, and inconſiſtent with my plan. Their more general obſervations, together with my own, muſt ſuffice.
It is evident there have been three different Praetenturae erected here at different times, and by different perſons: the firſt of which was a ſeries of ſtations or forts, placed quite croſs the country; and this, it is preſumed, was done chiefly by Julius Agricola, and is the moſt ancient of the three. Next to this was erected Hadrian's vallum, and its appurtenances; after which the aforeſaid ſtations might probably go by the name of Stationes per Liniam Valli. The laſt and ſtrongeſt fence of all was (as moſt learned antiquaries agree) built by Severus, which is a ſtone wall, that lays north of the rampiers of earth.
Hadrian's vallum was the ſecond Praetentatura, and ſeems rather to have given the former the name of Stations per Liniam Valli, than the wall of Severus. What Bede ſays of the wall's being rebuilt afterwards by the Romans, is applicable to this: ‘that it is carried on from town to town much in a ſtrait line.’ What belongs to this work, is the Vallum on the brink of the ditch, having the ditch on the north, another Vallum ſouthward, diſtant from the former about 16 feet, and a large Vallum on the north of the ditch. The ſouth Vallum has either been made for an inner defence, in caſe the enemy might beat them from any part of the principal vallum, or to protect the ſoldiers againſt a ſudden attack from the provincial Britons. Theſe four works keep all the way a conſtant regular paralleliſm one to another. The third Praetentatura was Severus's ſtone wall. We have the expreſs teſtimony of ſome ancient writers, concerning this Emperor's building a wall croſs our iſland; which will be explained hereafter. To this work belongs [Page 23] a paved military way, which has attended the wall on the ſouth ſide, though it be not always parallel to it. It ſometimes coincides with Hadrian's north vallum; but whenever this is too diſtant, or perhaps has been too ruinous, or in any other reſpect inconvenient, the new military way (which is a reparation of the old Roman road made by order of government) always accompanies Severus's wall, and comes up near to every Caſtellum upon it; and therefore it is to be preſumed the Roman military road has been a work cotemporary with the wall, and directly for its ſervice. It is apprehended there has been alſo a leſſer military way near to the wall, for the convenience of ſmall parties paſſing from turret to turret. There is alſo belonging to this work, a large ditch on the north ſide of the wall; but there are no remains, to prove that there was any breaſtwork or Agger of earth on its northern brink. Upon this wall certain caſtles and turrets have been regularly placed, and at proper diſtances one from another; and in order to form a general idea of the wall, and its original ſtate, it will be neceſſary to have ſome knowledge of theſe.
All theſe caſtles, except one near Harlow Hill, (which may have been built before the wall) are 66 feet ſquare, the wall itſelf falling in with and forming the north ſide of them. The intervals between theſe caſtles are not always exactly the ſame, but excepting two or three at the eaſt end of the wall, always leſs than a mile, that is, from ſix furlongs and a half to ſeven. They are conſtantly called caſtles or caſtle-ſteads by the country people, (which ſeems to make it probable that the latin word has been caſtellum) and by the form and uſe of them, ſeem to have been a ſmaller ſort of a caſtle for a ſmall garriſon. So likewiſe they call the Caſtra Stativa, or Aeſtiva uſually Cheſters, from the Latin: and this is a uſual criterion whereby to diſcover a Roman encampment or ſtation. Theſe Caſtella ſeem to have ſtood cloſeſt, where the ſtations are wideſt, and are by ſome modern authors called mile caſtles, or milliary Caſtella. In the laſt edition of Camden, they are, through miſtake, ſaid to be of a very different ſhape and ſize. Perhaps the remaining ruins of two or three caſtle-ſteads, that do not join the walls, and of one that does, which are all plainly of another ſort, have occaſioned this error. It is not improbable, that there may alſo have been ſome exploratory caſtles belonging to Hadrian's work, though there be little appearance of ſuch at preſent, unleſs the ſmall remains at Chapel Houſes, near Newburn, and thoſe near Heddon on the Wall, which are Caſtle-Steads, be of this ſort. But be that as it will, (in relation to [Page 24] Hadrian's vallum) above two-thirds of theſe caſtella are yet very viſible upon the wall of Severus, and for a long way together, eſpecially about the middle of the wall, they have their diſtinct veſtiges remaining without interruption. But the original number and ſituation of theſe caſtella may be beſt known by the following table, taken from Mr Warburton's Vall. Rom. and Mr Horſley's Brit. Rom.
[Page 25] The ſmall turrets (in Latin, Turres) have been more generally and entirely ruined than the Caſtella; ſo that it is hard to find three of them any where together with certainty. The diſtance between two, where it was thought ſureſt, was meaſured, and found to be near 14 chains, or 308 yards. It therefore ſeems moſt probable, that there have been four of theſe between every two Caſtella, at equal diſtances from the Caſtella and one another; for thus five intervals will be found between every two Caſtella, each conſiſting of 14 chains; which five intervals will juſt amount to 7 furlongs, the uſual or mean diſtance between the Caſtella. And this ſcheme anſwers with a good deal of exactneſs to the ſituation of all the turrets, that have yet been diſcovered. Theſe exploratory turrets, or watch towers, ſeem to have been only about four yards ſquare at the bottom; and by placing centinels at each of theſe, who muſt have been within call of one another, the communication quite along the wall might be kept up, without having recourſe to the fiction of a ſounding trumpet, or pipes laid under ground, from one end of the wall to the other, though this ſeems to be credited by Mr Echard and others.
Whilſt I am giving a general view of the ancient ſtate of the wall, it may not be improper to obſerve, that there have been 18 of theſe ſtations upon it, with 17 intervals between them: the wall is in length 68 miles and three furlongs; this divided by 17, gives the mean diſtance, which is very little more than four miles: but the ſtations are much cloſer and thicker at each end, and in the middle, than in the intermediate ſpaces, between the middle and the extremities; which is not diſagreeable to reaſon, or the uſual rules of fortification. Beſides, if according to the common tradition, the inroads of the enemy were in, or near the middle, it was neceſſary to make it ſtronger, and guard it more; eſpecially ſince the advanced ſtations were feweſt, if any, where thoſe upon the wall were cloſeſt.
This wall runs generally upon the top or ridge of the higher ground, keeping a deſcent on the north or enemy's ſide, and hath thereby both a greater ſtrength, and better proſpect; for the ſake of which, it often forms an angle. In Hadrian's vallum it is different, but both in the [Page 26] main ſeem to have been carried on pretty much in a ſtraight line, from ſtation to ſtation: there is indeed now and then a gentle turn in croſſing a rivulet, or at a ſtation, and ſometimes too in paſſing a height; but this laſt happens uſually at coming within ſight of a ſtation, and perhaps in order to reach it. Hadrian's vallum keeps more in a ſtraight line than Severus's wall, as much as the nature of the ground and other circumſtances would admit. It is plain, a military way has conſtantly attended Severus's wall, and no doubt was made at the ſame time with it: this always keeps nigh to the wall, and never coincides with the north vallum of Hadrian, but when the two works approach one another. When they part, and go at a diſtance one from the other, the way leaves the vallum to accompany the ſtone wall; but where the wall paſſes along the brink of precipices, the way does not follow every little turn, but in theſe leſſer windings, is like the ſtring of a bow, and keeps upon the ſides of the hill, in order to avoid, as much as poſſible, the ſudden aſcent or deſcent in paſſing from hill to hill, and yet ſo as at the ſame time never to be at a great diſtance from the wall. The rule therefore by which this way ſeems to have been conducted, is in general by keeping pretty cloſe to the wall, and and at the ſame time going on a line from Caſtellum to Caſtellum, and ſhunning the aſcent of hills as much as poſſible. And as the ſmaller military way went from turret to turret cloſe by the wall, ſo this greater way attended the Caſtella, falling in with Hadrian's north vallum (which Mr Warburton conceives was the old military way, though north of the ditch, vallums, and covered way) when that did not take too much out of the road, or was not too ruinous to be made uſe of. The old military way, as Mr Warburton calls it, has been the beſt and moſt direct paſſage from ſtation to ſtation, and when the line of the ſtations fetched a compaſs, another diſtinct military way, and ſhorter, was laid; not from one ſtation to the next, but between two ſtations more remote.
This was certainly done in Northumberland, from Walwick to Carr-Voran; and I have reaſon to apprehend the like was done alſo in Cumberland, from Carr-Voran, or at leaſt from Cambeck, to Stanwicks. The military way of Severus ſeems to have been well paved, but not raiſed ſo high as what Mr Warburton calls the old military way.
Mr Warburton ſays, he was not able to diſcover any gates in this wall, or paſſes through it, except juſt in the ſtations, or where the [Page 27] grand military roads have croſſed it: where the Ermin-ſtreet (not the Watling-ſtreet, as Mr Horſley calls it) paſſes the wall near Halton, there is a viſible track of a ſquare gate, and the ditch belonging to the wall manifeſtly goes about the half of it, the inner half not being now ſo viſible. This gate ſeems to be much of the ſame ſize with one of the Caſtella, 66 feet ſquare; only theſe are wholly within the wall, and the gate half within, and half without. Mr Warburton ſays, he expected to have found ſome other gates of the ſame form, or ſome paſſes through the wall in the Caſtella, but could not. The other two military ways which croſs the wall, ſeem to have paſſed at the ſtations of Carr-Voran and Stanwicks.
What the ſeveral dimenſions of the walls, ditches, Vallums, and military ways have originally been, may not be eaſy to determine with exactneſs; but the length of Severus's wall is certainly known, it having been three times meaſured of late; once by Mr Gordon, a ſecond time by order of Mr Warburton, and a third by the Board of Ordnance, A. D. 1750; and as there is little difference between the three meaſures, it is a proof there is no material miſtake in either. Mr Gordon gives a ſummary account of his work in theſe words: ‘The number of ſtations taken in my actual ſurvey from ſea to ſea, were in all 159, wherein I made Severus's wall the principal line of the ſaid ſtationary diſtances; the total amount of which was 73959 Roman paces, equal to 73 Roman miles and 959 Roman paces, equal to 68 Engliſh miles and 169 paces.’
The number of ſtations (or places of obſervation) upon the ſame principal ſtationary line, in the ſurvey Mr Warburton ordered to be made, were 164; the length of the wall, 68 miles and 3 furlongs, including the length of the ſtations at each end. In this account Engliſh meaſured miles and furlongs are retained, in order to make it more plain and intelligible. It is eaſy to reduce an Engliſh mile to a Roman one, by conſidering that 1000 Roman paces, that is, 5000 Roman feet, make a Roman mile; and allowing for the inequality between the Roman foot and the Engliſh, an Engliſh mile is nearly equal to a Roman mile and one-thirtieth; ſo that 13 Engliſh miles will be much about 14 Roman.
From what has been ſaid, it appears to be a miſtake to ſuppoſe Hadrian's vallum longer than Severus's wall, as Mr Gordon ſeems to have [Page 28] done. It is certain the former has gone more in a right line than the latter, and it ſeems probable, that Severus's wall has at each end been carried further than Hadrian's: ſo that the very exact agreement, which Mr Gordon ſuppoſes between ‘the actual ſurvey of the wall, and the account given of it by the Romans themſelves,’ is in a great meaſure imaginary. For according to Spartian, Hadrian's vallum was 80 Roman miles long; but the actual menſuration cannot ſtretch Severus's wall up to 73, and Hadrian's vallum is certainly two or three miles ſhorter, upon account of its being ſtraighter. There had juſt been 81 milliary Caſtella upon Severus's wall, and conſequently juſt 80 intervals between the caſtella. So that if the Romans, in a general way, called every interval a mile, one with another, and Hadrian's vallum was near the ſame length with Severus's, this might be looked upon as a plauſible reaſon, why the hiſtorian ſhould ſay it was 80 miles long.
According to Bede, the wall was eight feet in breadth, and twelve feet in height (as probably there was a parapet or paliſado at the top, ſo this would firſt go to ruin; Bede's meaſure is moſt likely to be excluſive of theſe): the thickneſs of Severus's wall has been meaſured ſeveral times of late, and by ſeveral perſons, without any great variation; and by the meaſures taken in different parts, it ſeems not to have been every where equal. Near Harlow-hill, it meaſured ſeven feet four inches near the foundation; and at another place, where the wall is two yards high, it was at that height about ſeven feet thick; which ſhews that the uſual breadth near the foundation was a Roman pace and an half. Near Boulneſs on the Solway Firth, at a place called Kirklands, it meaſures near nine feet: and there ſeems to be an obvious reaſon why it ſhould be ſtronger here; for at full ſea, the water has certainly flowed up to it.
The breadth of Hadrian's ditch, at a lime-ſtone quarry weſt of Harlow-hill, where the original breadth and depth is apparent, and may be exactly aſcertained, it meaſured near nine feet deep and eleven feet over; it was wider at the top than at the bottom, the ſides being ſloping. The ditch belonging to Severus's wall, was in all places both wider and deeper than that which belonged to Hadrian's vallum.
The diſtances between the ſeveral parts of theſe works ſeem, ſome of them, to have all the way been conſtantly the ſame; others of them vary. Among theſe variable diſtances, is that between the two walls, which ſometimes come very near within a chain of each other, but at [Page 29] other times are at 50 chains diſtance. The diſtance alſo between Severus's wall, and the military way belonging to it, is, as I have ſaid, not always the ſame, though generally about two or three chains: upon ſome particular occaſions, it may run at the diſtance of five or ſix chains from it, or conſiderably more, as between the two Caſtella weſt of Shewen Sheels, where the diſtance of the military way from the wall, is at one part 15 chains or more; but the diſtance between Hadrian's Vallum, ditch, and north mound, are every where the ſame, and ſo are conſtantly parallel one to the other. The north mound is about 24 feet on a medium from the ditch; and of the two mounds of the Vallum, one ariſes on the very brink of the ditch, and the other is about the diſtance of 16 feet. The materials of which theſe fortifications were conſtructed, are certainly known. Hadrian's is of earth, though ſometimes mixed with ſtone; but I could diſcover no appearance of timber. Severus's was of free ſtone, as is certain from what is yet viſible of it: in ſome places, where the foundation was not good, they ſeem to have made uſe of oaken piles. The inner part of this wall is filled after a remarkable manner; the filling ſtones are generally pretty large, and moſtly broad and thin. Theſe are always ſet edge-ways, and uſually not erect, but obliquely: upon theſe the running mortar or cement, has been poured, and by this contrivance (together with the great ſtrength of their cement, in moſt places) the whole has been bound as firm, as a rock. People are much at a loſs to know, from whence the Romans had the ſtones which they uſed in building the wall in ſeveral parts, and for other occaſions. In ſome places, particularly in Cumberland, no free ſtone is to be had, but from a very great diſtance; and in other places, where ſome might have been had, the Romans ſeem not to have uſed it, but ſtone of a very different grit. This appears more particularly in the ſtation, at the end of the wall, near Couſins Houſe; where the Roman ſtone is of a very coarſe grit, ſo as to be eaſily diſtinguiſhed from others: and both the learned authors before me, ſay, they were aſſured, that there was no ſuch ſtone, nor any quarry of ſuch a grit, in the neighbourhood. The devil's arrows at Boroughbridge, in Yorkſhire, are yet of a coarſer nature, and ſeem to be artificial ſtone.* Some particular places, from whence they were furniſhed with ſtone, [Page 30] may be gueſſed at with probability. Such, for inſtance, are the rocks between Walwick and Carraw, through part of which Hadrian's ditch was cut: and in the late edition of Camden, it is ſuppoſed, that ſtones were got at Hellbeck Scar, on the Gelt, and Leugh Cragg; the truth of which Mr Horſley proves in his remarks on the inſcriptions there.
Some have wondered, how this work could be carried on, in the face of the enemy, ſuppoſing the wall to be the very boundary at the time it was built: but there appears no reaſon to entertain this opinion; for when the Romans had advanced their conqueſts in Scotland, beyond the Firth of Tay, they only fortified the other iſthmus, between Forth and Clyde, which might be 30 miles, or more, ſouth from the utmoſt extent of their conqueſt, as appears from Tacitus's account of that matter: ſo that they kept their Pretenturae, or ſeries of fortifications, croſs the country, a good way within the bounds of their conqueſt; and probably when the walls were erected here, the Romans were poſſeſſed of part of the country beyond them, and of ſon [...] advanced ſtations there, as may be concluded from the inſcriptions yet extant; ſo that this wall might probably not be built, till Severus had driven the enemy ſo far to the north, as to render them incapable of giving any interruption to the Romans, when carrying on the work.
At which end they began the ſeveral Pretenturae, may be another enquiry. The Pretentura of ſtations, was moſt probably begun from the weſt; becauſe Julius Agricola firſt conquered the weſtern parts of the northern country: and Hadrian, I believe, in erecting his vallum, began there too, as ſeems probable from the inſcriptions. Severus, it is likely, did ſo too with his wall, which is much confirmed by the ſituation of the Caſtella, that are at a regular diſtance, if we begin our reckoning from the weſt; but if we begin to reckon from the eaſt end of the wall, the firſt Caſtellum appears within leſs than three furlongs of the Station there.
It is the opinion of ſome ingenious perſons, that both the walls, with all their appurtenances, and the Stations upon them, were the work of the ſame time, and the ſame perſon; and that the one is only an interior Vallum or foſs to the other. But that this was not the original deſign of the Vallum, though it might be ſo uſed by Severus, appears plain from the teſtimonies of the Roman hiſtorians; nor does this notion ſuit the circumſtances of the work itſelf, as they yet appear. The [Page 31] coincidence of Severus's military way, with the north Vallum without the ditch; the exact paralleliſm of all the parts of Hadrian's work, and the very unequal diſtances, that are between the two walls themſelves, are convincing arguments, that the walls have been erected at different times. It is alſo the opinion of ſome, to whoſe judgment I pay a great regard, that Severus's wall was built upon the ſame foundation with Hadrian's principal Vallum. This conjecture is ſupported by plauſible reaſons; for if the north eminence or line has been an old military way, the ſuppoſition of a rampart, and ditch to the north of that way, would remove the difficulty of the ſoldiers being expoſed to the enemy, whilſt they were on their march, ſince then the way would have been defended on both ſides. Again, the ſtations too, as well as this ſuppoſed military way, are generally (though not always) included between the two walls and ditches; (or between the works of Severus and Hadrian, as they are now called) the ſtone wall of Severus frequently falling in, within the north rampart of the ſtation, as the turf wall of Hadrian does with the ſouthern.
Beſides this, the advantageous ground is often left on the north ſide of Hadrian's Vallum, which in one place, near Halton Cheſters, is juſt carried round the ſouth ſkirt of a tumulus, or ſmall hill, making a ſudden turn, ſeemingly, with a deſign to avoid paſſing over it. Now if this was intended to be the moſt northerly fortification, and to be a fence againſt the northern enemies, this conduct ſeems to offend againſt right reaſon, as well as againſt the rule of Vigetius, ‘that care ſhould be taken to have no neighbouring hill higher than the fortification; which being ſeized by the enemy, might be of ill conſequence.’ And it muſt be owned, that the ſouthern proſpect of Hadrian's work, and the defence on that ſide, is generally better than on the north; whereas the northern proſpect and defence, have been principally or ſolely taken care of in the wall of Severus. Such conſiderations as theſe have induced ſome to believe, that what now goes by the name of Hadrian's work, was originally deſigned for a fence againſt any ſudden inſurrection of the provincial Britons, and particularly of the Brigantes; whilſt others look upon it as a Foſſa Interior, for the ſoldiers to retreat to, after they had been beaten off, by the northern enemy from their principal Vallum. Both agree in this, that Hadrian muſt have built a more northerly Vallum, than thoſe which now bear his name; and that this muſt have ſtood upon the ſame track, where Severus afterwards erected his wall. This, according to their opinion, would render the whole [Page 32] fortification rational, and regular; whereas, without this, it muſt have been in many places very weak, and open to the inroads of the Caledonians. But on the other hand, plauſible conjectures and ſpeculative arguments, muſt give way to ſtronger proofs on the contrary ſide; though at this diſtance of time, we cannot ſee into the deſigns of the Romans, nor account for every particular part of their conduct in this affair. Mr Horſley conceives, that what is now called Hadrian's north Agger or Vallum, was the moſt ancient military way, leading from Station to Station; and that Hadrian's work, after this, was guided and limited by it, as it keeps a conſtant paralleliſm to it. The north Agger, conſidered as a military way, is conducted according to the Roman art and rules, in every part of it. It is carried on, in the ſhorteſt line, from Station to Station; and this, without doubt, is the true reaſon why it runs ſo much upon the ſouthern ſkirts of the northern hills, the ſhorteſt line leading that way. This is particularly remarkable, in the ſmall hill near Halton Cheſters, before obſerved. The direct line of the way would have lead over the hill; but to avoid climbing it, a ſmall turn is made to carry it round the ſkirt; and it paſſes on the ſouth ſide rather than the north; becauſe, this is the ſhorter and more convenient way to the Station, to which it is tending. The other parts of Hadrian's work, keep their due diſtance and paralleliſm, bending exactly in the ſame manner, as the north Agger or Vallum does, and ſo running at a few yards diſtance to the ſouth of the hill. In a word, the north Vallum, or as Mr Horſley terms it, the old military way, keeps juſt ſuch a courſe, and runs through ſuch grounds, as one would expect ſuch a Roman way ſhould do. And if it was determined, that Hadrian's work ſhould ſtrictly accompany this, and keep all along an exact paralleliſm to it, they muſt then by this rule, be tied down to theſe ſeeming irregularities and miſconduct, which appear in this work. It may be ſaid, that they might at leaſt have made the fortification on the north ſide of the military way, if there was no other more northerly fence; but to this it is replied, that it was ſcarce practicable to carry on the work on the north ſide of the way, ſo as to be near and parallel to it; and ſuch is the ſituation of the ground, that if they had done ſo, it would have been generally weaker than it is, running along the very ſides of the hills; unleſs they had made it where Severus's wall ſtands, and where, as has been ſaid, ſome ſuppoſe Hadrian's principal Vallum to have ſtood; but that in fact Hadrian had no Vallum here, and that the whole of his work was comprehended, in what ſtill goes by his name, appears moſt probable from the following conſiderations.
[Page 33] Among all the hiſtorians that mention the building of ſuch a wall by Severus, there is not the leaſt hint to be met with, of his building it upon the ſame foundation with Hadrian's Vallum. The expreſſion of Spartian, "apud Vallum," looks the likeſt it of any; but it is certainly more agreeable to this expreſſion, to ſuppoſe it to be only near the Vallum, and not directly upon it: and to build a ſtone wall upon the foundation of an earth one, does not appear very probable. If I am not greatly miſtaken, it would be more laborious and expenſive to build ſuch a wall upon the ruinous Vallum, than to erect it upon ground that was entirely clear; and there is not at preſent the leaſt evidence of ſuch a Vallum; yet it ſeems hard to ſuppoſe, that the mound of earth has been every where ſo entirely removed, as to leave no viſible remains of it, any where, along the whole tract of the wall. Again, Severus's wall paſſes over large ſpaces, where the erecting of an earthen rampart ſeems almoſt impracticable: in ſome places it paſſes, for a conſiderable way, along the tops of precipices, and ſometimes, down the ſteep declivities of a bare rock; and in theſe places there is no ditch. In one place too, the wall is carried through a ſmall moraſs, near Bleatarn, in Cumberland. Here, it is preſumed, the foundation is formed by piles of wood; but Hadrian's work ſhuns it, and runs at ten chains diſtance from the wall of Severus. No circumſtances appear in the two works of Severus's wall and Hadrian's Vallum, that argue them to be done at the ſame time, or to have any neceſſary relation one to the other. The conſtant paralleliſm of the north Vallum, the ditch, and the two ſouthern Vallums of Hadrian's work, is a ſhrewd argument of their mutual relation: but this paralleliſm does not hold in the wall of Severus. Where they are moſt diſtant, there are no viſible branches of any military way leading from one to the other, whereby the communication between them might be more eaſily preſerved. In ſome places there is a moraſs between the two walls, which muſt make a retreat from one wall to the other inconvenient, and is improper for a body of men to ſtand on. The military way that now attends Severus's wall, is agreed to have been made at the ſame time with the wall itſelf: if then Hadrian's principal Vallum was on the ſame ground, where the wall of Severus has ſtood; how comes it to paſs, that there has been no military way accompanying it? If Hadrian's work is ſuppoſed to have been deſigned for a defence againſt an attack from the ſouth, difficulties of the ſame kind will ariſe, perhaps not eaſy to be removed; for ſometimes the advantageous ground is left on the ſouth, where it might eaſily have been otherwiſe ordered, if their deſign had been only [Page 34] to ſecure themſelves againſt aſſailants from the ſouth, and the courſe of their fortification had not been previouſly determined by ſome other rule. In one place the Vallum runs between higher ground on each ſide. Beſides, if it was deſigned againſt an enemy from the ſouth, the ditch is on the wrong ſide, being to the north of two ramparts: and why may we not ſuppoſe the moſt ſoutherly rampart to have been, either a ſlight fence againſt an attack from the ſouth, or an interior defence to retreat to, if the ditch ſhould be carried by an aſſault from the north? There was no occaſion to draw ſuch a line of defence, in order to prevent their making an attack upon the Stations, for they are ſtronger on all ſides than this Vallum. It is to be obſerved, that at each end of the wall, Severus's work is continued beyond Hadrian's. This part then of Severus's wall at leaſt, was not erected upon Hadrian's Vallum; and yet Mr Horſley ſays he ſee no difference between the appearance of this work here, and in the other parts of it.
The legionary ſoldiers were the perſons employed in building this wall, as they were generally in all conſiderable works of this nature; and that the three Legions, which were at that time in Britain, built Antoninus's wall in Scotland, is clear from a great number of inſcriptions found in that wall, which expreſsly declare it. The 20th Legion had no concern in building the wall of Severus; it was wholly done by the other two; namely, the Legio Secunda Auguſta, and Legio Sexta Victrix; for theſe Legions only (as far as appears) erected the inſcriptions, which will be given in the courſe of this work. If therefore 20 Cohorts, the number in two Legions, built the whole wall, it will be eaſy to determine the ſhare which belonged to each Cohort: for there being 81 Caſtella upon the whole wall, and ſo 80 milliary intervals; juſt four of theſe intervals would fall to the ſhare of every cohort. It may not be amiſs to try, how far we can find out the ſeveral Cohorts, belonging to the reſpective Legions, and on what part of the wall each Legion and Cohort ſeems to have been employed.
If we divide the wall into four equal parts, the 1ſt and 3d quarters reckoning from the eaſt, ſeem to have been built by the Legio Secunda Auguſta, and the 2d, and laſt, by the Legio Sexta Victrix; for at the eaſt end of the wall, we have expreſs mention of the Legio Secunda Auguſta, in the ſtone at Denton, which is about ſix miles from the end of it; and we have ſix, if not ſeven Cohorts of this Legion, mentioned in thoſe centurial ſtones found in this quarter, viz. I, II, III, V, VIII, IX; beſides there [Page 35] is a ſeeming appearance of the 6th at Wallbottle. This quarter reaches near to Halton Sheels, or to the next Caſtellum eaſt of it; which is above two miles eaſt of Halton Cheſters. In the ſecond quarter, which reaches from hence, to the ſecond Caſtellum weſt of the Houſe-ſteeds, we have the Legio Sexta Victrix, on a centurial ſtone, about four or five miles from the beginning of this quarter; and at Houſe-ſteeds and Little Cheſters, juſt at the end of it, the ſame legion is mentioned upon two altars and two bricks: but the Legio Secunda Auguſta does not occur in this ſpace, at leaſt not on any ſtone that can be relied on. There are no Cohorts upon any ſtones in this place, diſtinct and viſible, except the 6th and 10th; but no doubt ſeveral others have been mentioned upon the many ſtones found here, though the numbers are now quite effaced. In the third quarter, which reaches to Old Wall, near Watch Croſs, in the county of Cumberland, we have Legio Secunda Auguſta mentioned again ſeveral times. Indeed the Legio Sexta Victrix occurs upon a ſtone in Cambeck fort, but probably it has been inſerted in the face of that fort, when it was repaired upon ſome other occaſion. The Cohorts of this ſpace, are the 1ſt, 6th, 7th, and 9th, which I believe have all belonged to the Legio Secunda Auguſta. In the laſt quarter, which I believe was built by the Legio Sexta Victrix, I meet with no centurial ſtones, except one at Draw-dikes, which ſeems to have belonged to a cohort of another kind. The Legio Sexta Victrix is upon fine ſtone at Carliſle, but no particular Cohorts appear in this ſpace.
Julius Caeſar, when he made his firſt deſcent upon Britain, brought over only two Legions with him, which were the 7th and 10th. This latter was his favourite legion, and both together made but an army of 12,000 foot at the moſt. The horſe belonging to theſe legions never reached this iſland, and the foot the ſame year were tranſported back again to Gaul.
The next year, when Caeſar made his ſecond deſcent, he brought over five Legions with him, and 2000 horſe, which ſeem to be all the horſe that belonged to theſe Legions. There is nothing in the hiſtory whereby it can be known, what Legions theſe were, except the 7th, which is mentioned by Caeſar. Theſe likewiſe returned back again to Gaul, the ſame year in which they came over, as the two Legions had done the year before.
[Page 36] Under Claudius (who applied himſelf in good earneſt to the reduction of Britain) a conſiderable army was ſent to this iſland; the Emperor himſelf afterwards coming over in perſon. This army conſiſted of Roman Legions and other Auxiliaries, though the hiſtorians have not told us expreſsly what they were, either as to their number or names: but conſidering the ſmall ſucceſs of Julius Caeſar before, and the much greater conqueſts this army made, it is highly reaſonable to ſuppoſe it was ſuperior in number to the greater of Caeſar's, which conſiſted (if the Legions were compleat) of above 30,000 men. It is preſumed, that the army ſent over by Claudius conſiſted of four Legions, with their proper auxilia, and the uſual number of horſe belonging both to one and the other; and this army ſo compoſed would amount to more than 50,000 men. Any conjecture, as to the number or names of the auxiliary Cohorts, muſt be uncertain and doubtful: but both the number and names of the Legions may be certainly collected from ſome incidental paſſages of Tacitus. They were the ſecond, called Auguſta, the 9th, 14th, and the 20th, uſually called Valens Victrix; each of which are mentioned in the inſcriptions inſerted in this work.
As we have no evidence from hiſtory, that any new Legions were tranſported by Nero, but that the ſame continued, which had been ſent over at firſt by Claudius; ſo it is plain, from the relation of the battle with Queen Boadicea, that the four Legions laſt mentioned were here under Nero, in whoſe reign this battle happened: for according to Tacitus's account of this matter, the 9th Legion was ſurprized and deſtroyed by this Queen. The 14th, and the Vexillarii of the 20th, were in the battle, and the ſecond, though in Britain, was abſent from the fight, through the fault of Poenius Poſthumus, their Commander, who fell upon his own ſword, when he heard of the glory the troops had acquired in that engagement.
Of theſe four Legions, one continued very late, and another to the laſt. The Legio XX. VV. though it continued very long here, yet it ſeems to have been recalled before the Romans had entirely abandoned the iſland; for it is not mentioned in the Notitia. The Legio Secunda Auguſta is mentioned there, and ſo ſeems to have continued here to the laſt, and to have been the only one that was kept here during the whole time: for though the Legio Sexta Victrix did alſo continue to the laſt, yet this came not over till the reign of the Emperor Hadrian. The ninth [Page 37] Legion ſeems to have dwindled away entirely, or elſe the ſmall remains of it were incorporated with the Legion ſent over by Hadrian.
It is remarkable, that the Legions which continued long in Britain, ſeem for the moſt part to have been jointly employed in carrying on the moſt conſiderable works or wars that have been in this iſland. Thus they were jointly engaged in building the wall in Scotland, and moſt or all of them, in erecting thoſe in the north of England: and the Legions and legionary Cohorts ſeem to have been the only ſoldiers who were employed uſually in erecting forts or raiſing fences. Auxiliary Cohorts appear by inſcriptions to have been concerned in ſome other buildings; but forts and fences ſeem to have been the province of the Legionaries, agreeable to that paſſage in Tacitus, ‘the Praefectus Caſtrorum, and legionary Cohorts, who had been left among the Silures for erecting fortifications.’ Thus among all the inſcriptions found upon the Roman wall in Scotland, there is but one that mentions any auxiliary Cohort as having a hand in the work, but always either a Legion or a Vexillation of a Legion. And I take it for granted, that all the centurial inſcriptions upon the face of the wall in the north of England, and which probably were inſerted there at the time of building it, reſpect only the Legions and legionary Cohorts, and yet the Stations upon the wall, as well as moſt of them elſewhere, were garriſoned by the Auxiliaries. The Legio Secunda Auguſta came into Britain in the reign of Claudius, under the command of Veſpaſian, and continued in it as long as the Romans had the leaſt footing here. In Hadrian's time this Legion was in Cumberland, at Netherby and Beau-caſtle, and in the weſtern ſide of Northumberland, and ſo probably had their ſhare in the work of Hadrian's Vallum; or when in the advanced Stations of Netherby and Beau-caſtle, they might be poſted there to ſecure thoſe who were employed in that work. In the beginning of the reign of Antoninus Pius, they were moſt probably upon the eaſtern part of the Roman wall in Northumberland. In Severus's time, it is very probable, they were employed upon the wall that goes by his name.
The Legio Sexta Victrix is uſually thus expreſſed, LEG. VI. V. to which is often added, P. F. that is, Pia fidelis; for that it is to be read ſo rather than Pia felix. It is certain, from a great number of inſcriptions and other teſtimonies, that this Legion was a long time in Britain; and it is equally certain, that it came not over ſo ſoon as the others. The account of this Legion whilſt in Britain, muſt be taken chiefly from [Page 38] ſuch hints as ancient inſcriptions afford us. I do not find it is mentioned in any inſcription belonging to the ſouthern parts of this iſland. It is probable that they made no ſtop in the ſouth, but marched directly by the uſual rout to the weſt end of the Vallum, and had their ſhare in raiſing that work. We have ſeveral inſcriptions on the wall, and near it, in Northumberland and Cumberland, wherein this Legion is mentioned; as at Stanwicks, Cambeck fort, Burdoſwald, Little Cheſters, Houſe-ſteeds, and other places; ſome of which, from the character and other circumſtances, may be ſuppoſed as ancient as Hadrian's reign; the moſt of them do certainly belong to the time of Severus. In the former part of the reign of Antoninus Pius, they were in Scotland, and had their ſhare in building the wall there. Probably they marched along our Watling-ſtreet in the north, either to Scotland or from it, or both; and in their march the ſepulchral inſcription might be erected for a ſoldier of this Legion which was found near Richeſter, in Northumberland. Whether this Legion had taken up its ſtated quarters at York, before the reign of Antoninus Pius, and continued there between the time of building the Vallum and their march into Scotland, I cannot certainly determine: however, after their return from Scotland, and about the middle of Antoninus Pius's reign, they were ſettled at York; for Ptolemy places them there: and there, I believe, they ſtatedly quartered, till the very laſt, though they marched at a diſtance from this place, upon ſpecial occaſions. Thus, for inſtance, this Legion was certainly employed upon the ſtone wall of Severus, as appears, from ſeveral of the centurial inſcriptions found on that wall, which bear the name of this Legion: perhaps ſeveral of its Cohorts might be diſperſed into ſome neighbouring Stations, though York was ſtill the place of its ſtated quarters. Thus, according to Mr Gale's conjecture, by the Legio Gordiana, in the inſcriptions at Lancheſter, in the county of Durham, we are to underſtand the Legio Sexta Victrix. The firſt Cohort of this Legion muſt then, in all probability, have been detached at that time from the Legion at York, to aſſiſt in building the works mentioned in theſe inſcriptions. This was in the reign of Gordian, and ſo after this Legion was ſettled at York.
The Legion called Valeria, or Valeriana, according to ſome, or Valens Victrix, according to moſt, is another of theſe Legions, which were at the firſt ſent over into Britain by Claudius. In the Roman inſcriptions it is thus expreſſed, LEG. XX. VV. but Critics and Antiquaries are not well agreed in reading the former V; ſome will have it to ſtand for Valens, [Page 39] and others for Valeria or Valeriana. The motions and employments of this Legion, ſeem to have been much the ſame with the Legio Secunda Auguſta. It is probable they were jointly concerned in erecting Hadrian's Vallum, though we have no inſcriptions to prove it. That this Legion was employed in building the Roman wall in Scotland, under Antoninus Pius, is clear from ſeveral inſcriptions found on the wall, mentioning this Legion or their Vexillatio, and the quantity of the wall which they built. If the altar found at Benwell fort was erected by a Centurion of this Legion, at the ſame time as the other was, by a Centurion of the Legio Secunda Auguſta, this legion muſt probably have been thereabout in the former part of Antoninus Pius's reign, either doing ſomewhat upon Hadrian's Vallum, or in their march againſt the Caledonians.
One would expect, that this Legion bore its part in building Severus's wall; but among all the centurial inſcriptions upon the face of this wall, there is not one of this Legion, or of any Cohort ſaid to belong to it: and yet it appears by an inſcription, that this Legion was employed in ſome work at the Station at Whitley Caſtle, the ancient Alone or Alione.
In the beginning of the fifth century, about the year 402, Theodoſius the Second, when but two years old, was made Emperor, and joined to Arcadius, and Honorius. This Theodoſius reigned half a century; and it is evident, that in his reign the Romans quite abandoned this iſland. It muſt have been much about this time thoſe uſurpers ſtarted up in Britain. Echard ſays, ‘the inhabitants and troops that were quartered in Britain, fearing leaſt the Vandals ſhould paſs over the ſea, and ſubdue them with the reſt, revolted from their obedience to Honorius, and ſet up one Mark, whom they declared Emperor: but they ſoon deprived him of his life and dignity, and placed Gratian in his room, who was a countryman of their own. Within four months they murdered him too, and conferred the ſovereignty upon one Conſtantine, not ſo much in reſpect to his courage or quality, for he was a very inconſiderable man in the army; but in regard to his name, which they looked on as fortunate; hoping he would do as much as Conſtantine the Great had done, who was of the ſame name, and had been advanced to the imperial dignity in the ſame iſland. This new prince, immediately after his promotion, paſſed over into Gaul, and taking with him the very flower of the Britiſh [Page 40] youth, ſo utterly exhauſted the military force of the iſland, that it was wholly broken, and the iſland left naked to new invaders.’
Britain being thus drained and exhauſted both of the Roman ſoldiers and its own youth, was, according to Gildas, and Bede after him, much harraſſed by the Picts and Scots, and other invaders; upon which they applied to the Romans for help, who ſent a Legion to their aſſiſtance. But the laſt certain account of the Romans' footing in Britain, I believe, is in the Notitia, if it hold true, that this part of it which relates to Britain, was wrote before the middle of the fifth century, or under the reign of Theodoſius the Second, at which time the Roman force was much abated, though their ſoldiers were not yet finally withdrawn from Britain; for beſides a conſiderable number of auxiliary forces, there were yet two Legions at leaſt remaining in this iſland; and the Romans ſeem ſtill to have been in poſſeſſion of that part of the iſland which lays to the South of Severus's wall, though of no part beyond it. The Stations upon the wall were well garriſoned at that time; but excepting the Kentiſh coaſt, and the northern frontiers, the garriſons in the other parts of Britain were very thin, and widely diſperſed, and the reſt of England was entirely naked. On the other hand, it is certain (to uſe Echard's words) that under the reign of Valentinian the Third, ‘Africk, Spain, Great Britain, and almoſt all Gaul, Germany, and Illyricum, were diſmembered from the weſtern Empire.’ Now Valentinian the Third began to reign with Theodoſius about the year 425, and died in 455; ſo that we may ſafely affirm, that in the beginning of the fifth century, the Roman Power was become low in Britain; and near the middle of that century, the Romans had entirely quitted the iſland.
I have dwelt long on this ſubject; Mr Warburton in his preface ſays, ‘All antiquaries that I have converſed with, who have made the accuſtomed tour of Europe, allow the Picts Wall to be the moſt ſuperb remains of Roman grandeur, that is now to be ſeen on this ſide the Alps." And he adds, "The venerable remains of Monaſteries and Caſtles, with other Monuments of Antiquity, are not to be equalled in any nation or country whatſoever.’*
[Page 41] In our way to Thirlwall Caſtle, we viewed the intrenchments mentioned by Mr Wallis, called the Black Dykes, where he ſays lead bullets have frequently been found: an occaſional and temporary defence, caſt up for a ſmall force, of modern date, and in no wiſe reſembling thoſe which fortified an ancient camp.
Under the ſouth front of this caſtle the Roman wall croſſes the Tippal, and ſtretches up the oppoſite eminences. The name of Thirlwall, by ſome authors, has been derived from thoſe breaches made in the wall by the Scots, in their incurſions.
Spelman's calculation of the Roman forces ſtationed on the wall, makes them amount to the number 13,800, allowing 600 to a cohort; excluſive of a whole legion, and 13 detachments of horſe and foot, on other ſtations, and attendants on the Emperor. Conſtantine created an officer ſtiled "Comes Spectabilis Litoris Saxonici," who commanded ſeven companies of foot, two troops of horſe, the ſecond legion, and a cohort to guard the coaſts. In the reign of Nero, ſome authors alledge, the Roman army in Britain conſiſted of 70,000.*
In paſſing down the road below Thirlwall Caſtle, we perceived a large ſtone lay in the way, which bore marks of the ſculptor. We had curioſity to examine it, and found it the head of a Coloſſian ſtatue, meaſuring in circumference near five feet, cut on a rag-ſtone. It ſeemed to appertain to ſome ſtatue of Jupiter, and probably was rolled down the ſteeps from Carr-Voran, and lodged in the river Tippal.
famous for its Spaw. The waters have been analized, and require not my pen to repeat their virtues, ſo well known to the public. The conveniences for a few viſitors are narrow, but commodious enough; the ſituation is retired, not much of the romantic; the walks are ſolemn, and the whole ſcene befits a mind that carries its ideas and meditations [Page 44] to diſtant regions; for there are few objects preſent which either elevate or entertain. Calmneſs and tranquillity are the effects ſuch ſameneſs of ſubject inſinuates to the mind; and indolence, with that degree of eaſe ſtiled negligence, ſucceed to take the place of pleaſure.
formerly the ſeat of the Ridleys, part of the ruins of the old caſtle remaining. Travellers are ſhewn a well among the cliffs, where it is ſaid Paulinus baptized King Egbert;* but it is more probable it was Edwin King of Northumberland. Such ſpectacles gratify the religious enthuſiaſt, who would be in tranſports on viewing this hallowed font.
is little more than a mile: the Vallum of this ſtation is very diſtinguiſhable, of an oblong ſquare, near the dimenſions of Carr-Voran; the interior parts rugged, from the ruins of many buildings. In the courſe of the Notitia, this ſtation is called Aeſica. It was garriſoned by the Cohors Prima Aſtorum, but no inſcriptions have been found here, that mention this or any other cohort.
Great Cheſters muſt be reckoned, Mr Horſley ſays, among the forts that have been well preſerved: the ramparts about it are very viſible; ſome part of the original ſtone wall is ſtanding a good height; the ditch is alſo to be ſeen on all ſides, but towards the eaſt, where it is ſomewhat flat. On the weſt ſide there is a double Agger and ditch. The ruins of the rampart on this ſide are very high: ſeveral regular courſes of ſtones are to be ſeen in this ſide of the rampart, where the ruins have been cleared out. The Praetorium is very viſible, being about 50 yards from eaſt to weſt, and 40 from north to ſouth. To this is joined another parallelogram at the eaſt end, of the ſame breadth with the Praetorium, and 26 yards from eaſt to weſt. This I take to have been the Queſtorum. On the north ſide of the Praetorium are large ruins of ſome conſiderable building, which probably was a temple. On the ſouth ſide of the fort has been a regular entry. Part of the jambs and ſome other ſtones are remaining entire; which may ſhew for what purpoſe ſuch ſtones muſt have been, which are found in other [Page 45] Roman forts. Some pieces of an iron gate and hinges have been found in the ruins not long ago. From this gate there goes a paved military way to Hadrian's Vallum, which is diſtant about 15 chains, which way is alſo continued till it joins the other military way. The out-buildings are moſt conſiderable on the ſouth ſide, though there are alſo ſome on the eaſt. There are vaſt ruins of buildings in this field, which, as uſual, has a gentle deſcent, and is open to the ſouth.
The diſtance between this ſtation and Little Cheſters, the next in my rout, is about three miles and three quarters; and here again all the Caſtella are viſible, being four in number, beſides one more which ſeems to have fallen in with the ſtation at Great Cheſters. The interval here again between the Caſtella is ſeven furlongs.
A little to the weſt of Great Cheſters, near a houſe called Cockmount Hill, the Picts wall begins again to aſcend the rocks. From Great Cheſters to this place the ditch is but faint, except for two or three chains, where it is diſtinct.
A little to the weſt of Walltown, and between that and Carr-Voran, there is a part of the wall which is in the greateſt perfection of any now remaining in the whole track: it is about three yards high, as I before obſerved, has about 14 regular courſes, and at one part 16, of the facing ſtones entire.
As for Hadrian's Vallum, it is viſible all the way till it comes near Carr-Voran. It paſſes near Low Town, juſt on the ſouth of it; and particularly the vallum or rampart on the ſouth brink of the ditch, is here very viſible. Mr Horſley ſays he was informed there were the ruins of ſome Roman works at Low Town, but upon viewing them, nothing like it appeared. They look (he ſays) ſomewhat like the houſes of Moſs Troopers, which ſeems confirmed by what Camden ſays, ‘that he durſt venture no further this way for fear of them.’ He mentions Carr-Voran on the one ſide, and Carraw on the other; ſo that the two Cheſters and the Houſe-ſteads muſt have been the ſtations that he was afraid to viſit.
[Page 46] The remains of broken altars and ſome effigies are ſcattered on the eaſtern ſide of this ſtation, but of no ſignificance to the antiquary, as the inſcriptions are totally obliterated.—The following fragment was dug up here, and is thus given in Camden:
I [...]. CAS. M. AVR. SEVERVS. MECANDER. PFEAUG. HORREVM. VETVSTATE. CO [...]. AR. SVMMCOH. II. ASTVRVM SAA SOLO RESTITVERI [...]PROVINCV. ARECNTMAXIMO LEG. W GPRPSAL MARTI MED LEGATVS CO. II. ET DEXT.
which he reads, dis manibus Pervicae filia fecit.—A funeral monument erected for one Pervica, by her daughter who is not named.DIS MPERVICAE FILIA F
D. M.AEL. MERCVRRIAE CoRNICVLVACIA SORORFECIT.
Mr. Horſley gives this inſcription in the ſame manner, but his drawing of the ſtone has a man's head above the inſcription. This might be ſunk in the earth, as the ſtone now ſerves for a gate-poſt, and is reverſed. Dis manibus Aelio Mercuriali, Corniculario Vacia ſoror fecit. This is a funeral monument erected for Aelis Mercurialis, by his ſiſter Vacia. A Cornicularius was an inferior officer under the Tribune. Mention is made of the Cornicularius, by M. Laetorius Mergus the Tribune by Valerius Maximus; and Suetonius, ſpeaking of Orbilius the grammarian, ſays, "In Macedonio Corniculo mox equo meruit." The name of this officer is upon ſeveral monuments in Gruter, and occurs frequently in the Notitia: he was a kind of a clerk or ſecretary, and in the lower times of the empire, he was rather of higher rank or quality than before.
From theſe conſular names, the date of this inſcription is 259 in the chriſtian aera.PRO SALUTEDESIDIENIAE—LIANI PREET SVA. S.POSVIT VOT—AO. SOLVIT LIBENS TVSCO ET BASSOCOSS
[Page 48]DEAE SVRIAE. SVB CALPVRNIO AG—ICOLA. LEG. AVGPR. PR. A LICINIVS— LEMENS. PRAEF—III—A—IOR— (This by ſome antiquaries is ſuppoſed to be dedicated to the Syrian goddeſs Aſtarte. Mr Horſley has objected to Camden's reading: but Dr Stukeley, in his Carauſius, thinks it is confirmed by the altar in Mr Graham [...]s collection at Netherby, inſcribed to that goddeſs in the Greek character and language.) Cohortis primae Hamiorum.
Camden gives the following reading: Deae Suriae ſub Calphurnio Agricola Legato Auguſti Propretore Licinius Clemens Prefect. Unto the goddeſs Suria under Calphurinus Agricola, Lieutenant of Auguſtus and Propraetor, Licinius Clemens the Captain. This Calphurinus Agricola was ſent by Antoninus, philoſopher, againſt the Britons, about the year of our Lord 170; at which time ſome cohort under his command erected this altar. Mr Horſley has treated of this inſcription as being found at Little Cheſters, under which head I have inſerted it in the notes. Lucian deſcribes the goddeſs Suria with a turretted crown on her head, a tabor in her hand, ſet in a car drawn by lions. This was the favourite divinity of Nero, till he grew ſo weary of his devotions, that, as the tranſlator of Camden has it, ‘he defiled her with his urine.’ †
[Page 49] We paſſed a monument on the left hand, placed on a hill, conſiſting of three large erect ſtones or pillars, two of which ſeem broken off in the midſt. They are called the Mare and her Foals, appearing to be monuments of ſome memorable action, and not druidical, as has been conjectured; their figure and poſition in no wiſe correſponding with any monuments of the Druids.
At a little diſtance from the Cheſters, and ne [...] the 35th mile ſtone, are four Tumuli placed in a ſquare figure, which Mr Wallis ſays were cut through by one Curry, a diſſenting miniſter, whoſe curioſity diſturbed the aſhes of the dead, reaping nothing but the Salina which had conſecrated the remains of the interred, without being able, from this undertaking, to diſcover to what age or people theſe monuments appertained.*
laying at a little diſtance, induces the traveller to quit his direct road. —This was the ancient houſe of the Ridleys, from whence deſcended many eminent men, amongſt whom was Nicholas Ridley, Biſhop of London, who ſuffered at Oxford with Biſhop Latimer Oct. 16, 1555; alſo Lancelot Ridley, D. D. Fellow of King's Hall, Cambridge, and the great Civilian, Sir Thomas Ridley, Knt. L. L. D.
a ſmall Roman ſtation, laying on the weſtern ſide of Bardon Burn, now called the Bowers, on account of the trees which cover it. It doth not contain above three acres of land in its incloſure, the Vallum of which is very diſtinguiſhable, forming an oblong ſquare with obtuſe angles. [Page 51] The Via Vacinalis from Carr-Voran to Walwick Cheſters, paſſeth cloſe by its northern ſide, near which a Roman military guide ſtone is ſtanding; and at a mile weſt another; and again, another mile further weſt, a third, in a direct line. Theſe ſtones are cylindrical, ſix feet four inches in circumference, and near ſix feet above ground. On one of theſe is the following inſcription: BONO REIpVBLICAE NATO, the letters large and coarſe. No doubt this was a compliment to the Emperor then reigning, and not an uncommon one.
‘This ſtation is ſouth from both the walls near a mile and three quarters, but ſtands on the military way before mentioned, which is very viſible for a conſiderable ſpace from this ſtation: ſo that Little Cheſters muſt be reckoned among thoſe which belong to the wall, it being in this rout, and the only military way, which belongs to it, coming from the wall and returning to it.’
‘This is one of the leaſt Stations on the wall. It is only ſeven chains long from north to ſouth, and four broad from eaſt to weſt. The ramparts are viſible quite round, and very large, but the ditch is near filled up. The town or out-buildings here have been chiefly to the weſt and ſouth-weſt of the fort; there being a ſmall brook to the ſouth-eaſt, and a deſcent from the Station to it. The Praetorium may be diſtinguiſhed; and there ſeems to have been ſome towers at the corners of the fort, and perhaps two in the ſides of the ramparts.’
The Royal Society received a few years ago ſome Roman Sandals found here. A Roman Hypocauſtum or Sudatory was diſcovered here, of which Dr Hunter gave the following deſcription:—‘It was a ſquare room vaulted above, and paved with large ſquare ſtones ſet in lime: under which was a lower apartment ſupported by rows of ſquare pillars, about half a yard high—the upper room had 16 flues in the walls then open, and appearing as niches; the pavement and roof were tinged with ſmoak.’ Theſe ſudatories, from this deſcription, were certainly heated by flues in the wall like the modern ſtoves. Mr Horſley ſpeaking of it, ſays it looks very like a Balneum with the Hypocauſtum below it: and ſomewhat of this nature I ſaw at Lancheſter and Riſingham; at the latter place it was not far from the Praetorium. —An engraving is given by Mr Horſley of a ſculpture found here; the principal figure of which repreſents Mercury. He gives the following deſcription of it. Mercury is repreſented with his caduceus in his left hand, and purſe in his right. Above his right arm is ſomewhat like a petaſus, or perhaps a cap of liberty. The head of the figure and upper part of the ſtone is broken and confuſed, ſo that we cannot be certain, whether or no Mercury has had his petaſus on. If we could be ſure that he was here repreſented, as wearing his petaſus on his head, I ſhould then have thought it more probable, that this other figure was the cap of liberty. Mercury's looſe and flying chlamys is viſible; and beſide him an altar with this inſcription upon it: DEO [Page 53] MERCVRIO. A Camillus lays the incenſe on the altar. Mercury is uſually repreſented with a juvenile briſkneſs, according to the poet's deſcription:
It is well known what ſort of people were peculiarly devoted to Mercury. "Callidum, quicquid placuit jocoſo condere furto." Hor. Carm. —Whether the ancient inhabitants of this part, had the ſame diſpoſition with their poſterity, who dwelt hereabouts in Camden's time, and to whom we owe the good laws for preventing of theft, upon the northern borders, I ſhall not determine.Omnia Mercurio ſimilis, vocemque coloremque,Et crines flavos, et membra decora juvente.Virg. Aen. IV. 558.
IMP. CAES. TRAIANHADRIANI AVGLEG. II. AVGA PLATORIO NEPOTE LEG. PR. PR.
A large ſtone lately found here, now placed in a field at Archy Flat, as a rubbing-ſtone for cattle, is rudely ſculptured with the figure of a deer under the ſhade of a tree, with two fauns at his feet. This ſeems to have been an ornament to ſome ſmall temple of Diana, which perhaps ſtood near this place, as pilaſters and capitals, of the Doric order, were dug up ſome few years ago, with multitudes of ſtags horns, the remains of the ſacrifices to that goddeſs, on the 13th of Auguſt, when the hunters held their feſtival, and offered the devoted ſtag.*
[Page 54] The reader will pardon a ſhort digreſſion, which the ſubject of Roman Sacrifices neceſſarily leads me to. When we read of piles of ſtags horns, bones of ſacrificed animals, and ſuch remains of religious acts; or of [Page 55] hecatombs and mighty ſlaughters, which ſtained the altars of Roman devotees, we might conceive the country abounded in cattle, or the havoc and waſte of ſuch a profuſe gift to the gods would endanger a famine. The firſt impreſſions of the unlettered reader on theſe acts of devotion, would miſlead him into an idea, that theſe ſacrifices were only [Page 56] a laviſh deſtruction of animal beings, under the irrational preſumption, that the gods delighted in the ſervice of burning carcaſſes: but by attending to the ceremony, we are relieved from this miſtake, and acquit this learned and poliſhed people of ſuch an error againſt common ſenſe. —From national prejudices they had aſſigned perſons to the attributes of the Great Creator, whom they univerſally confeſſed; and preſumed to depict them, as being diſtinct emanations from the ſupreme, by the figures of Apollo, Bacchus, Pallas, Ceres, and all the multitude of their divine perſonages; yet by the intelligent and wiſe, the religious ſervices paid to the images of thoſe attributes, were in fact, and from the heart, addreſſed to the God of Nature. Seneca ſays, ‘'tis of very little conſequence by what name you call the firſt Nature, and the Divine Reaſon which preſides over the univerſe, and fills all the parts of it; he is ſtill the ſame God. He is called Jupiter Stator, not as hiſtorians ſay, becauſe he ſtopped the flying armies of the Romans, but becauſe he is the conſtant ſupport of all beings—they call him Fate, becauſe he is the firſt Cauſe on which all others depend. We Stoics ſometimes call him Father Bacchus, becauſe he is the univerſal Life that animates nature—Hercules, becauſe his Power is invincible—Mercury, becauſe he is the eternal Wiſdom, Order, and Reaſon—you may give him as many names as you pleaſe, provided you allow but one ſole Principle every where preſent.’—Thus, if the Roman devotee petitioned for ſucceſs in war, he reſorted to the temple of Mars, or raiſed to him an altar; and ſo on, through the chain of thoſe images, with which their pantheon was crowded.
This error aroſe very early in the world; and before letters communicated wiſdom and ſcience, it is no wonder it prevailed almoſt univerſally among mankind—the eye carries images to the mind moſt immediately—the mind thus impreſſed was warmed into an energy, which nothing but outward objects could convey to the ignorant. Beſides, we find thoſe perſonages, who had rendered themſelves important to their country, and by their ſuperior talents and virtues, won the love of the people, in commemoration of ſuch their excellencies, had their images erected, and became repreſentatives of the divine attributes.— Here we trace a ſtrong influence to promote devotion; the love borne to the very perſon whoſe image was ſo erected. The danger to religion among the vulgar is obvious, and was proved in the event: the great architype was forgotten, and the ſmoaky and inanimate ſtatue became the idol of the vulgar worſhip.
[Page 57] Let us now examine the ſacrificial rites.—The altars which remain in Britain, are chiefly formed of one ſtone, like the pedeſtal of a column: above the cornice are two rolls, commonly called the horns of the altar; the centre riſes in a conical figure, in which is an aperture, wherein was placed the charcoal and embers for the ceremony. Theſe altars were fixed before the ſtatue of the God to whom the devotee paid his rites, or at the Oſtium of the temple, which during the time had its gates thrown open; or otherwiſe, they were erected in groves, conſecrated to the Divinity: the Prieſt, together with the devotee, dreſſed in white garments (emblematical of purity and innocence, characteriſtics preſumed moſt acceptable to heaven) went foremoſt in the proceſſion. The animal ordered for ſacrifice had its horns gilt, or its forehead bound with white fillets, decked with garlands, and crowned with the leaves of that tree, which it was ſuppoſed the Deity moſt affected; but in fact, that which was eſteemed emblematical of the peculiar virtue of the Deity then addreſſed. Several attendants walked in the proceſſion, amongſt whom were the public Crier, the Muſicians, the Aruſpex or Diviner, and all thoſe whoſe office it was to ſlaughter and dreſs the animal. As ſoon as the Victim was brought, the Prieſt, laying one hand on the horns of the altar, began the ceremony with a moſt ſolemn and devout prayer, either for the public weal, or the private proſperity of the devotee offering ſacrifice, as the occaſion required. The ſacred fire being placed in the aperture of the altar, the Prieſt ſtrewed corn and frankincenſe, meal and ſalt, upon the head of the animal; then taking the Patera, (a ſhallow baſon) in which was contained the wine, he touched it with his lips, and after giving it to thoſe who ſtood near him to do the ſame, poured it between the horns of the beaſt; then plucking ſome hair from between them, he caſt it into the fire, and turning his face to the eaſt, drew his knife along the animal's ſpine, from head to tail, as the enſign or mark of conſecration: after which, the inferior officers performed the ſlaughter. The carcaſs being opened, the Aruſpex examined the inteſtines, and if deformed, deficient, or diſeaſed, he pronounced the omens inauſpicious: if on the contrary, healthy and vigorous, the heart large, and the animal parts ſtrong, the indications were propitious. After this ceremony, particular ſmall parts were placed on the embers, to occaſion a pleaſant ſavour, and the reſt was dreſſed for a ſolemn feſtival. Here we view the ceremony in its proper light: the ſacrificial rites were no more than a public exhibition of the cattle, given on ſome ſingular occaſion, when they were preſented [Page 58] before heaven with prayers, the Prieſt imploring a bleſſing. It is a doubt with me, whether, by men of enlightened minds, whoſe underſtanding overlooked the idol, and whoſe religion ſpiritually addreſſed the only true God, theſe were not acts of piety and fervent devotion, equal to moſt we find in this age.* We have avoided Scylla, and ſunk in Charybdis. To reform the abuſes of the heathen world, we have too much aboliſhed ceremony; and from fervour, have fallen into a ſlovenly lethargic indolence, which comprehends ſo little of piety, that men often find their minds, even during the act of kneeling, abſtracted from the Divinity, and wandering in worldly occupations. We have taken away the idol, which betrayed the vulgar, but have left them in ſuch jeopardy, that few even remember there is a God. Religious rites warm the mind: pure and ſentimental devotion only befits the moſt enlightened, and moſt learned: ceremonies catch attention, as it were in wiles; and thoſe who would think little of prayer, may ſometimes be induced thereto almoſt involuntarily, by joining in, or being preſent at religious rites. The ſoul full of wiſdom, worſhips in ſilence; but wayward minds ſoon ſink away from ſuch ſpiritual ſervice. The contemplation of the Deity, by the enlightened and wiſe, is ſo replete with wonder, and inſpires ſuch reverence, that ſilence becomes it beſt: but the ignorant mind conceives little more than its wants; and the God of miracles, with ſuch, is concluded in the God of daily bread. I reverence the Roman in his ſacrifice: it was a noble exhibition of piety; an auguſt mode of ſupplicating the Deity. The ſolemnity of craving a grace on the appointed feſtival in theſe rites, was ſtrikingly devout. In this boaſted age of chriſtianity, where is the devotion attendant on the hecatombs of a Lord Mayor's Feaſt. The hecatombs of the Ancients, were feſtivals on great and memorable events, and were preceded by the moſt ſolemn rites of conſecration;—a commencement of feſtivity, worthy the imitation of the moſt enlightened nations.
Dr Stukeley, in his Carauſius, ſays, ‘In reading the Roman hiſtory, we ſee ſuch a ſpirit of Religion, breathing in general, upon every [Page 59] occaſion, through all they did, as a nation, as is no where elſe to be found in the leaſt comparable. To enumerate particulars, would make an agreeable volume. I can only take notice, that it makes a great part of their ſtory. So honeſt, ſo warm, ſo grateful was their zeal to heaven, at every public act, that providence could not but look favourably upon them, wink at what they were ignorant of, as the the Apoſtle profeſſes, Acts xvii. 30. and proſper them accordingly. Every ſingle perſon, of any note, had a part of his houſe conſecrated, like as our private chapels, called the Lararium. Upon every ſucceſs, we read of their vowing temples. On occaſion of misfortune, peſtilence, floods, thunder, and the like, they conſult the oracles, order public luſtrations, ſupplications, and ſacrifices. Even their theatrical ſpectacles began with an act of religion; many altars in their circs and places of games. They never began or ended a war, took up the military ſtandards every morning, without an act of religion, a libation of incenſe. In their kalendar, moſt days in the year have ſome religious ſolemnity. Look into their ſculptures and monuments, and obſerve the extravagant expence and pomp of their religious proceſſions: even their coins are counter-ſigned with ſome Deity, and innumerable ſculptures of their Emperors ſacrificing, incenſing. They never began their harveſt, their vintage, without a ſacrifice: without the Flamen Dialis gathering the firſt bunch. The genius of the people and city were ever repreſented with a Patera in its hand, before an altar incenſing. In ſhort, religion makes the greateſt part of the hiſtory; the greateſt part of thoſe authors that write of their cuſtoms; the greateſt part of the monuments, coins, and ſculptures, which are now come to our hands, of this truly magnanimous and virtuous people. And if we read Polybius particularly, we obtain a juſt idea of the noble ſpirit, the honour, and uprightneſs of the Roman ſenate, which made them courted by all the world. Religion cannot be ſeparated from Roman hiſtory, becauſe, in their way, they were the moſt religious of all people; and for that reaſon, Providence gave them the Empire of the World.’
MARTI VICTORICOH. III. NERVIORVMPRAEFECT. I. CANINVS
[Page 60] I have ſeen a braſs coin, ſtruck in honour of the feſtival of Mars, held on the 1ſt of March.—Mr Wallis ſays, the late Rev. Mr Walton was poſſeſſed of one, upon which was the figure of Mars, armed and helmeted, a ſhield on his left arm, and a ſprig of olive in his right hand.
The diſtance between the Stations of Great and Little Cheſters, is about three miles and three quarters: in that ſpace there are four Caſtella viſible, and one which ſeems to have fallen in with the Station at Great Cheſters: the interval between each is ſeven furlongs.*
[Page 61] Returning to the military road, we paſſed a Tumulus of conſiderable magnitude:* it has been called an exploratory Mount; but its ſituation contradicts this appellation, as it commands no extenſive country, or important paſs.
The firſt Cohort of Tungrians appears, by ſeveral inſcriptions under different Prefects, to have been ſtationed here. Some inſcriptions prove this Cohort was alſo in other places; but the number, and variety of [Page 62] monuments erected here, plainly ſhew, that their ſettled quarters were at this place, and continued here the lateſt.
Mr Horſley ſays, ‘I cannot ſay that Hadrian's Vallum has made the ſouth rampart of this Station, but I think it has paſſed not much to the ſouth, and ſeems to have made a ſmall turn juſt at the brook, in order to come near, if not up to it. The ſouthern boundary of this Station is uncertain, though the other limits are diſtinct. The ditch about the Station is alſo flat and obſcure. Severus's wall makes the north rampart. From ſouth to north it is about five chains, and from eaſt to weſt about ſeven. The area of the moſt northerly part of the Station is nearly plain; but the ſouth part is more upon a deſcent than any other Station that I remember. I think the Praetorium is viſible, and the ruins of a temple near it. The vaſt ruins of the Roman Station and Town are truly wonderful; and a great number of inſcriptions and ſculptures have been found, and many yet remain at this place. The town or out-buildings have ſtood upon a gentle declivity, to the ſouth and ſouth-eaſt of the Station, where there are ſtreets, or ſomewhat that looks like terraſſes.’
‘From this Station there ſeems to have gone a military way to Little Cheſters, ſome faint veſtiges of which I thought I obſerved, but was not certain. As ſuch a military way might be of ſervice for marching forces from one of theſe Stations to the other, ſo it might alſo be further uſeful, for a more convenient paſſage from Houſe-ſteads to Carr-Voran, or to any other Stations along the wall more weſterly. Near to this way, and to that part of Houſe-ſteads where a temple is ſuppoſed to have ſtood, are ſome old wrought quarries, now grown over with graſs.’
‘The diſtance between Little Cheſters and Houſe-ſteads is about a mile and three quarters, and the diſtance between Houſe-ſteads and that part of the wall which is directly oppoſite to Little Cheſters is about a mile and three furlongs; and in this ſpace there are two viſible Caſtella, the interval between which ſeems to be juſt about ſix furlongs. This is the leaſt interval between any two Caſtella upon the whole track of the wall; the reaſon of which may be the diſtance of the Station at Little Cheſters from the wall.’
[Page 63] The headleſs effigies of the Deae Matres remain on the ſpot (they are ſaid to be the tutelary Deities of the Foreſt of Lowes); are repreſented attired in a ſhort robe to the knee, each holding ſomething circular between their hands; ſuppoſed to be the work of the Thracian or Syrian Auxiliaries; and are of rude and ill-proportioned ſculpture. Mr Wallis ſays, on Chapel Hill, a place not far diſtant, the Romans had a temple on the eminence, where fragments of Doric capitals were found not many years ago, one conſiſting of two toruſſes plain, and many broken columns.*
between the military road and the wall, near the 28th mile-ſtone; the remains of a Roman Station, about ſixty yards ſquare, which Camden concludes was Hunnum, where the Notitia places the wing Sabiniani. Mr Horſley thinks it belonged to Hadrian's Vallum, and became uſeleſs, when Severus's wall was built.
near the 25th mile-ſtone, the Roman Station Procolitia, garriſoned by the firſt Cohort of the Batavians. Severus's military way appears to enter the eaſt gate of the fort, and go out at the weſt. A great part of [Page 66] the rampart here ſtill continues very entire, eſpecially on the eaſt ſide; and Severus's wall, which forms the north rampart, is in good preſervation. The ditch is moſt viſible on the weſt. Here it may plainly be ſeen, that the corners of the forts were not ſtrictly angular, but turned off in a quarter of a circle.
[Page 67] According to Mr Horſley, the buildings without this fort have been chiefly on the weſt ſide, where, ſome years ago, a well was diſcovered with a good ſpring: the receptacle for the water is about ſeven feet ſquare within, and built on all ſides with hewn ſtone: it is now almoſt filled up with rubbiſh. There had alſo been a wall about it, or a houſe built over it.
[Page 68] From this fort to the village of Carraw, Hadrian's Vallum and ditch are not very conſpicuous; but Severus's wall is very viſible, though the ditch is obſcure. About half a mile ſouth-weſt from Carraw, upon a high ground, is a ſquare fort, now called Broom-dykes: it is as large as the fort of Carraw-brough, and probably has been for exploration, or for the Aeſtiva of this fort About half-way between Carraw and Thropfell-houſe, there ſeems to be ſome veſtiges of the ſmaller military way, ſuppoſed to have gone cloſe by Severus's wall, from turret to turret.
For about a mile the walls keep near to each other, and for that ſpace are themſelves and all their members very large and conſpicuous; ſeveral of the regular ſtones appear in Severus's wall, and the united military way is very noble. After this the walls part, and take different courſes. The north Agger of Hadrian's fortification, continues after the [Page 69] ſeparation large and high; is mixed with ſtones, though no regular pavement appears: whereas Severus's military way, after this parting, appears little raiſed, but regularly paved. Hadrian's Vallum keeps the low ground all the way, whilſt Severus's runs along the brink of the precipices, which in ſome places ſeem to have been made ſteeper by art, in order to render them more inacceſſable. For this reaſon Severus's wall is for this ſpace very crooked, whilſt Hadrian's in the main is pretty ſtraight. They have made no ditch to Severus's work, when they had the advantage of a precipice; nor was there the leaſt occaſion: but in theſe intervals between the rocks, they have often drawn a ditch, and in theſe places uſually erected their Caſtella.
After their ſeparation, Severus's military way accompanies the wall pretty cloſely, and is generally, for the whole ſpace that the walls continue ſo far parted, viſible and diſtinct; yet the way does not follow every ſmaller winding of the wall, upon the tops of the precipices, but generally takes a ſhorter courſe, and paſſes along the ſlope of the hill, from Caſtellum to Caſtellum, in the ſhorteſt and moſt convenient line that it can: this is very remarkable at the firſt great turn of the wall, after it enters upon the precipices. The wall itſelf is almoſt all this way viſible, in an eminent degree, and ſometimes it only wants the battlements, as near Buſy Gap, which is an aperture or paſs between the hills ſo called, where there is an opportunity of croſſing the wall on horſeback. Thus it paſſes by Shewing-ſheels Houſes, leaving Shewing-ſheels Caſtle on the north. Mr Horſley further obſerves, that this Caſtle, or ſomething elſe near it, is called a ſquare Roman Caſtle, in the new edition of Camden; and Camden himſelf thought this was the Station of Hunnum: but he ſays, he ſaw nothing that was Roman about it. The Caſtle itſelf, (in ruins) and the Moats about it, are undoubtedly of a much later date. And he adds, I obſerved ſeveral trenches thereabouts, particularly a large and long one, which reaches from Buſy Gap croſs the paſſes between the mountains. But theſe are all on the north ſide of the wall, and muſt certainly have been made in later times, for ſecuring the neighbouring paſſes. Probably they are no older than the times of our famous Moſs Troopers, who might conveniently ſhelter themſelves among theſe hideous mountains and moſſes. The height of one of theſe rocks is near forty yards perpendicular;* but in other parts [Page 70] they are conſiderably higher. As ſuch ſteep rocks are a ſufficient fence of themſelves, the wall has not in theſe parts had either ſtrength or thickneſs, equal to what it has had in others. The remains here are not ſo conſiderable, though it ſeems very improbable that any of the ſtones, eſpecially in ſome places, could have been removed. In the hollows between the rocks, beſides the addition of the ditch and a Caſtellum here and there, the wall itſelf ſeems to have been ſtronger and thicker. Where there is a ſmall break of the precipice inward, the wall forms an internal angle, fetching a compaſs. In other caſes, it paſſes directly from one rock to another, and then is uſually continued down the ſide of the one, and up the ſide of the other, except where the deſcent is almoſt perpendicular, in which caſe it is only carried cloſe to the ſide of the rock, beginning again at [...]; which was all that was needful or practicable.
The diſtance between Houſe-ſteads and Carraw-brough is ſomewhat more than four miles and five furlongs. All the Caſtella between theſe two Stations are very viſible, being five in number, but their diſtances are a little unequal. The two firſt intervals from Carraw-brough are juſt ſeven furlongs, but the next is only ſix. There is a turret near Buſy Gap, the diſtance of which from the neareſt Caſtellum is, I find, juſt one-fifth of the interval between that and the next Caſtellum.
Fortunae Cohors Prima Batavorum cui praeeſt Melaccinus Marcellus Praefectus. This altar, dedicated to the Goddeſs Fortune, is moſt curious and valuable, becauſe by mentioning the Cohors Prima Batavorum, it confirms the Station to be Procolitia. The altar is ſtill entire, and the inſcription eaſy enough to be read. Mr Horſley reads the Commander's name Melaccinus, as it had been read before: Dr Hunter reads it Marcus Flaccinus; but on a review, Mr Horſley ſtill thought the ſecond [Page 71] letter in the laſt line but one to be rather an E.* It is remarkable that this altar has no focus.FORTVNECoH. I. BATAVORCVI PRAESTMELACCINVSMARCELLVS PREF.
We ſearched for the ſculpture, which Mr Wallis ſays was found at this Station, and is built up in a gable of the houſe at Car [...]aw: he deſcribes it as a curious repreſentation of Neptune with his trident. The ſtone on which this effigy is cut, is placed ſo high, that it is difficult to come near it; is almoſt ſquare, about 16 inches on the longeſt ſide, and has ſo imperfect a reſemblance of Neptune, that I ſhould not have known what it was, had I not ſeen Mr Wallis's deſcription.
the country through which we had paſſed from Walton to Carraw was dreary, and had not our minds been engaged with objects of antiquity, would have proved weariſome. In ſome parts we had diſtant proſpects, various in their beauties, and rendered more ſtriking by the barrenneſs over which we looked upon them. When we came within five miles of Chollerford, the vales of North and South Tyne opened upon us, and the ſcene was filled with all that pleaſing variety which ariſes from cultivation, receiving additional beauties from the incidents of the ſeaſon. Verdant meads, dotted or patched over, as it were, with the hay that [Page 72] ſtood in pikes, * mixed with rich fields of corn, ſome cut and others ready for the ſickle, interſperſed with woodlands and ſtately trees, formed the Landſkip, where ſeveral gentlemen's ſeats, and well-built farmholds, were diſperſed; the whole graced with the winding ſtreams of Tyne:—the clay-built cottage, and naked-footed poverty, were no where in view.
In Walwick the Roman wall is in good preſervation. From the ſeat of Thomas Dixon, Eſq the proſpect is filled with the moſt agreeable ſubjects:—to the left Houghton and Swinburn Caſtles are ſeen, with the villages of Hunſhaw and Chollerton—the north branch of the Tyne, with a fine ſtone bridge of five arches at Chollerford, ornament the front ground—and to the right, a wide cultivated country, terminated by the town of Hexham.
The Inn at Chollerford tempted our ſtay; a ſpacious room built for the reſort of the neighbouring gentlemen, afforded us a pleaſing view upon the river; whilſt excellent accommodations indulged us with that degree of ſatisfaction, which truly conſtitutes the traveller's eaſe.
ſituate near the elegant new-erected Manſion of John Errington, Eſq— This was the Cilurnum of the Romans,† where, as ſome authors aſſert, the Cohors Prima Vangionum was ſtationed; but according to Mr Horſley it was garriſoned by the Ala Secunda Aſtorum. It is placed on an inclining plain, near the banks of North Tyne; the Vallum forms an oblong ſquare with obtuſe angles, in length from eaſt to weſt 170 paces, and in width 130 paces. In Mr Warburton's plan it is ſet out as being 570 feet long, and 400 feet broad. The ſcite of the Praetorium, at the [Page 73] eaſtern end, is very diſtinguiſhable, with two entrances through the Vallum, anſwering to each ſide of the Praetorium and a road leading down to the river. The ground within the Vallum is crowded with the ruins of ſtone buildings, which appear to have ſtood in lineal directions, forming ſtreets, two on the ſouth ſide and two on the north, interſected in the middle by a croſs ſtreet from north to ſouth. On the ſouth ſide without the Vallum and Foſs, many ruins of buildings appear, and ſome on the north. I remember, on a tour in Cumberland, I found Caerleud, near Wigton, crowded with ruins.
Fig. 4. A ſtreet directly oppoſite to the former, of the ſame breadth, leading from the Praetorium to the gate fig. 5, on the right hand of which ſtreet was lodged one Legion, with her Auxilia, and another on the left. Now from the Praetorium towards the gate 3, meaſuring out 150 feet, employed to uſes hereafter ſpecified, we are there to begin the lodging of the common ſoldiers.
Fig. 6. A row of lodgings for the horſemen of the firſt legion, divided into 10 partitions, according to the number of Turmae in Polybius's Legion, which conſiſted of 300 horſe, and 4200 foot; the firſt Turma being quartered in the lodging neareſt to the Praetorium, and the reſt in order toward the gate 3. Theſe lodgings lay lengthways, and open upon the ſtreet 2-2, each ſide being 100 feet; ſo that to one horſeman they allowed a ſtanding equal to a ſquare, a little exceeding 18 feet every way. Next comes the lodgings of the Decem Ordines Triariorum, 10 lodgings for the 10 Ordines, or Manipuli Triariorum Primae Legionis, with their Centurions and under officers, joining back to back with the lodgings of the Equites, and opening into the ſtreet 8, 8, of 50 feet broad; Primus Pilus being quartered next to the Praetorium, and ſo in conſequence towards the gate 3, where all the Decemi Ordines do lodge. Every one of theſe lodgings, in length 100 feet, in breadth 50 feet, lodged 60 Triarii, and a rateable part of the Velites, which, conſidering the proportion that one of the Ordines Triariorum bore to one of the Ordines Principium and Haſtatorum, and the number of Velites in Polybius's Legion, falleth out to be 24 perſons: according to which reckoning, to one footman they allowed a ſtanding equal to a ſquare ſomewhat more than eight feet every way.
On the other ſide of the ſtreet 8, 8, the lodgings of the Decem Ordines Principium Primae Legionis, and at their backs the lodgings of the Decem Ordines Haſtatorum, opening, the one into the ſtreet 8, 8, and the other into the ſtreet 9, 9, being alſo 50 feet broad. Each of theſe 20 lodgings [Page 75] was ſquare, every ſide containing 100 feet, and lodged 120 Sui Ordinis, and 48 Velites, beſide, proportionably, as in Tabernaculis Triariorum, there was for half as many men half as much ground.
On the other ſide of the ſtreet 9, 9, are the lodgings of the Auxiliares Equites in Dextro Cornu, and at their backs the lodgings of the Auxiliares Pedites in Dextro Cornu, the horſe opening into the ſtreet 9, 9, the foot into the void place between the lodgings and the trenches, of which further notice will be taken. Now the Equites Auxiliares of a Legion (the extraordinary band being deducted) amounting, according to Polybius, to 400 horſe, allowing to 300 legionary horſe, 10 lodgings of 100 feet every way; we are to allow to theſe, following the ſame proportion, 10 lodgings, each 100 feet in length, and 150 in breadth, to quarter the one as conveniently as the other. Likewiſe the footmen, after the deduction of the extraordinary band, being 3360, that is 336 perſons for every lodging.
Upon the left hand of the ſtreet 2-2, are the lodgings of the ſecond Legion, with her Auxilia, in the ſame proportion and order in all points with the firſt; and ſo we have the breadth of the camp, from the utmoſt auxiliary footmen of the one legion, to the like of the other, 1650 feet, or 330 paces, accounting five feet for a pace.
AA The Via Quintana, 50 feet broad, paſſing from ſide to ſide through the whole breadth of the lodgings; ſo named á Quintis Ordinibus, which quarter all upon it. In this ſtreet, as being in the middle of the ſoldiers quarters, and therefore the beſt adapted to that purpoſe, was holden a market Forum rerum utenſilium.
BB Of the ſpace of 150 feet between the ſoldiers quarters and the Praetorium, 100 feet was employed in the Via Principalis; eſpecial care was taken to beautify this ſtreet and keep it clean, as being the uſual place of reſort for the ſoldiers in the day-time. In the other 50 feet toward the Praetorium, was a row of lodgings opening upon Via Principalis, each lodging bearing every way 50 feet, for the 12 Tribuni and 12 Praefecti Socio [...]um, their train horſes and carriages. 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, are the lodgings of the ſix Tribunes of the firſt Legion, the firſt lodging anſwering directly to the legionary horſemen's quarter, and the laſt to the ſtreet 9, 9, with paſſages 30 feet wide between each. c, c, c, c, c, c, are the lodgings of the Praefecti, anſwering exactly to the breadth of the Auxiliary-quarter, with a void ſpace of 50 feet between the third [Page 76] and fourth tent: and ſo on the other ſide for thoſe of the other Legion.
e, e, e, e, Here were lodged the Extraordinarii Equites and Extraordinarii Pedites, the plot was 150 feet by 450 feet, anſwering the Quaeſtorium and part of the Praetorium for the extraordinary band of the Auxilia Primae Legionis, conſiſting of 200 horſe and 840 foot, the footmen quartered toward the trenches, and the horſe toward the ſtreet: and ſo on the other ſide for the other Legion.
G, G A plot 200 feet by 350 feet, where the Selecti ac Voluntarii Equites & Pedites were quartered, being choſen men of the extraordinary band of the Auxilia Primae Legionis: the foot quartered toward the trenches, the horſe toward the Praetorium: and ſo on the other ſide for the other Legion. There was a reſerve therein for Voluntary-men, who from kindred or friendſhip, or on other reſpects attended the General. Theſe Selecti and Voluntarii did not only, ſaith Polybius, quarter near the General, but alſo in marching, and all other times of ſervice, were continually attendant upon the General and the Quaeſtor, in the nature of a Cohors Praetoria.
H The Quaeſtorium, a plot 200 feet by 375 feet, for the Quaeſtor and his train, with their treaſure and proviſion; for the Pioneers, Carpenters, Smiths, Armourers, &c. with their tools and officers. There was alſo the Auguraculum, and peradventure the public priſon.
I The Forum, a plot equal in dimenſions to the Quaeſtorium. This was the place of all public aſſemblies, and the tribunal, with the ſeat of eſtate. Here were probably thoſe ſeats of which Joſephus makes mention, on which the Tribunes and Centurions ſat in judgment, to decide the controverſies happening between the ſoldiers. Here were placed the eagles and enſigns of the Legions, with the bearers Aquiliferi and Signiferi, certain images of the Gods, and in later times, of the Prince and his children, and ſometimes of his great [Page 77] favourites. Tacitus, deſcribing a ſolemn aſſembly in that place, ſays, Inde, Eques, hinc agmina Legionum ſtetere fulgentibus aquilis; ſigniſque & ſimulacris Deúm in modum Templi. Medio Tribunal ſedem curulem, & ſedes effigiem Neronis ſuſtinebat—the Eagles were placed in little chapels. Dio. lib. 4. ſays, ‘In all the Roman armies there is a little chapel, and in it a golden eagle doth ſtand.’ The enſigns were placed ſub dio, as indeed being certain long ſpears covered with ſilver, with the Prince's image hanging upon them, they could hardly be placed under a tent.
K, K, K A void ſpace 200 feet broad, between the lodgings and the trench, calculated for the eaſy iſſuing of the troops, and to prevent the enemy throwing fire upon the quarters: alſo uſed for lodging the cattle.
L The Vallum, in the ſummer camps compoſed of earth, defended by a paliſado of large ſtakes bound together: theſe were carried by the common ſoldiers (uſque ad ſeptenos Vallos) ſays Livy. In the Vallum were contrived platforms like turrets, where the engines were placed, the Baliſtae and Catapultae.—Without the Vallum was a ditch ſix feet in depth at leaſt.
There were four gates in the camp—the Porta Praetoria, the chief gate, placed oppoſite to the enemy; the back-gate, oppoſite to the former, placed for the convenience of water and forage—the other ſides had each a gate opening to the Via Principalis.
The General Officer over the camp was named Praefectus Caſtrorum, who ordered the ſtaking out the camp, its being kept regular and clean, to order the trenches and ditch, and to quarter the ſoldiers.—To keep in order the Smith, Carpenter, Engineers, and Artificers, was an Officer named Praefectus Fabrûm.
The ruins which appear at Walwick camp, muſt neceſſarily induce an enquiry from the traveller, in the firſt place, what number of men were ſtationed there.—By every monument remaining to us, one ſingle Cohort only appears to have held each of theſe Stations on the wall.*— [Page 78] Stations defended by a ſtone-built Vallum, were the permanent ones, and winter quarters: the encampments in ſummer were defended by a rampier of turf, with a paliſado, (of which, as I mentioned before, I preſume, the Corona Vallaris was a pattern, compoſed of pointed ſtakes) and an outward ditch. Few, if any remains are left us of ſuch, to aſcertain their ſituation or magnitude. In a ſquare of 170 paces by 130, there appears room ſufficient for a Cohort, when lodged in tents or hovels of wood: but when in that ſquare, you have allotted room for the Praetorium, with the apartments of the chief officers, what kind of tenements of maſon-work muſt there be erected in ſtreets, which ſhould contain that number of people, with their accoutrements, wives, families, and houſehold ſtuff?—I ſhould conceive, the excellent diſcipline of the Roman army would not admit the women within the wall of the camp, except only in time of imminent peril; but that they were lodged in the ſuburbs.— The enquiry naturally brings on this reſult, that thoſe edifices whoſe remains now appear in ſome of the Roman Stations, (for they are not in all) are of more modern date, were built (after the Romans forſook this iſland) by the Britons, or their Saxon allies, and aroſe in that Aera in which the appellation of Caer or City was given to many of them. The Britons, in their diſpirited ſituation on the final retreat of the Romans, would neceſſarily reſort to thoſe barriers and ſtrongholds, which the Romans had filled. I am induced to believe, that no caſtle of any conſiderable magnitude was erected by the Romans in this country: the Caſtellum or Turret on the walls, was not worthy the appellation of Caſtle; being, as I before obſerved, moſt probably no more than a tower to guard the gate; or no better than a mere baſtion to command the Vallum. Our caſtles, of which ſuch noble remains appear at this day, are of much more modern date, and derived from the Saxon and Norman viſiters. The ſtrongeſt fortifications of the ancient Britons, were formed of piles of looſe ſtones, heaped to a ridge, and reduced into a circle, or a ſquare. Such a Vallum was difficult to be ſurmounted by aſſailants. The Vallum of the Roman permanent Station, was built of hewn ſtone, inſide and out: thoſe which I have ſeen moſt perfect (among which Lancheſter, in the county of Durham, is one) were formed of ſtones about 16 inches long, and 10 inches deep, of rough aſhler-work: the outſide of the wall was perpendicular, and might, in its original ſtrength, be 14 or 15 feet high, and eight feet thick at the foot, but thining or decreaſing on the inſide towards the top, by ſteps and gradations at the diſtance of about 16 inches, and the ſummit covered with a broad flat cape, having a parapet or paliſado in front. Lancheſter has [Page 79] four of thoſe ſteps or gradations now remaining. The interſtice between the inward and outward caſing of aſhler-work, was filled with flat ſtones, in an inclining poſition, run full of lime mixed with ſmall pebbles and rough gravel; ſo that the cement is more impenetrable than the ſtone itſelf: the angles were obtuſe, to ſuit the ſuperſtructure of an exploratory turret; or to give greater power to the garriſon, upon an aſſault in annoying the enemy on their flanks. The gradations allowed them not only a power of aſcending the wall readily, but of lining it ſeveral ranks deep; thoſe at the top were at liberty to manage their ſeveral weapons and engines; thoſe below to uſe the bow; and the ſoldiers engaged during an aſſault, were eaſily relieved when fatigued or wounded.
[Page 80] At Walwick Cheſters, Severus's wall falls in upon the middle of the camp, on the eaſt and weſt ſides; and Hadrian's Vallum falls in with the ſouth ſide of it: Severus's wall and ditch being never continued through a Station, are here, as in all the like caſes, ſupplied by the north rampart and ditch of the fort; and they are both very conſpicuous.
From this Station, a military way * has gone directly weſt, by Little Cheſters to Carr-Voran; it is very viſible for the greateſt part of the way, and paved with large ſtones. In its eaſtern courſe, it ſeems to have paſſed through this Station, and croſſed the river North Tyne, juſt below it, by a bridge; and at the diſtance of three miles and a half from thence, falls in with the great Ermin-ſtreet way, (by the country people called Watling-ſtreet) in its courſe between the ſouth and north parts of Britain; which military way croſſes, and ſoon after coincides with another Roman way, called the Devil's Cauſeway, which enters into Scotland near to Berwick upon Tweed. Mr Warburton ſays, in his opinion this is (though contrary to the ſentiments both of Mr Horſley and Mr Gordon) the true courſe of the Roman road, called the Maiden Way; which they ſuppoſed to have terminated at Carr-Voran, or to have entered Scotland by a ſhorter direction.
From Walwick Cheſters to the village of Walwick, Severus's wall and ditch are very obſervable; but Hadrian's Vallum, with what belongs to it, is more obſcure. From hence, all the way to Carraw-brough, both the walls and their ditches are very conſpicuous; and for moſt part of the way, ſeveral regular courſes of the original facing ſtone, are to be ſeen in Severus's wall: the two works keep pretty cloſe together, and nearly parallel one to the other: the military way is within a chain or two of the wall. Taking all the works together, they are no where in the whole tract, more conſpicuous and magnificent than they are here, at leaſt for ſo long a ſpace.
Near Towertay, there are five or ſix regular courſes of the facing ſtones of the wall: and a little weſt from thence, are large remains of a Caſtellum, detached about a yard from the wall, the reaſon of which is not very obvious.
[Page 81] There are, for a ſmall ſpace, heaps of rubbiſh laying on the north ſide of Hadrian's ditch, at a place where the ditch paſſes through ſome rocks; which looks as if ſtones had been wrought there for the uſe of the wall. There are alſo in this part of the north Agger, ſeveral breaks, as if they had been made for the paſſage of carriages; which I alſo obſerved in other parts: none ſuch are obſervable in thoſe places where the military ways are united. And both the rubbiſh upon the north Agger, and the breaches in it, are where Severus's military way leaves it, to go off to a Caſtellum.
The diſtance between Walwick Cheſters and Carraw-brough Fort, is almoſt three meaſured miles and a quarter; and in this ſpace there are three viſible Caſtella. The fourth has either been very near the Station at Carraw-brough, or juſt fallen in with it.
the former reſidence of the Errington family. The ſituation of the houſe is romantic and retired.*
[Page 84] Before I quit the Cheſters, I muſt remark a Conſular Medallion of Hadrian's found there, four inches in circumference, with the head in bold relief; the legend, Hadriano Aug. Caeſari; with a lauriated border or civic garland on the reverſe, and this legend, S. P. Q. R. Optimo Principi, S. C. * The Conſuls entering on their office on the 1ſt of January, [Page 85] (a day ſacred to Janus) it was obſerved with great ſolemnity, as preparatory to the felicity of the new year; and the Cuſular coins were then minted.
We paſſed over Chollerford Bridge, in our way to Hexham. Walter Skirlaw, Biſhop of Durham, in the 17th year of the reign of King Richard II. granted a releaſe from penance for 13 days, to all ſuch as ſhould contribute by labour or money to the repairs of this bridge.*
As we approached Hexham, the proſpect opened upon us in a beautiful manner; the cultivated vale was painted with all the happy aſſemblage of woods, meadows, and corn lands; through which flows the Tyne, (the northern and ſouthern ſtreams having united) forming upon the valley various broad canals by its winding courſe. At the conflux of the rivers lays the ſweet retirement of NETHER-WARDEN, defended from the north-weſt by lofty eminences, and facing the vale towards the eaſt, hallowed to the churchmen, as being the retirement of St John of Beverley, a Biſhop of Hexham, in ſo diſtant an age as 685.—A little further, and oppoſite to Hexham, on an eminence, ſtands the church of ST JOHN LEE; beneath whoſe ſcite, the banks for near a mile, are laid out in agreeable walks, formed in a happy taſte, appertaining to the manſion of the Jurin family; a modern building, ſeated at the foot of the deſcent, and fronting towards Hexham; having a rich lawn of meads between it and the river. This place is called the HERMITAGE; [Page 86] its ſituation favours the title, but from whom it was derived, is not known.* From thence the vale extends itſelf in Breadth, and is terminated with the town of Corbridge: the hills which ariſe gradually from the plain, on every hand are well cultivated, and own the ſeats of many diſtinguiſhed families. Over this pleaſing ſcene, Hexham, from an eminence, looks like a gracious Princeſs on the opulence of her dependants, rejoicing in their proſperity and peace.
is a place of great antiquity; Bede called it Hanguſtald; by the old Engliſh Saxons it was named Hextolderham; and ſome authors (particularly Camden) ſay it is the Axelodunum of the Romans, that name implying its high ſituation, by the application of the old Britiſh name Dunum, a hill, by Hextol, a little rivulet ſo called, which waſhes its weſtern foot.†
Moſt of our Antiquaries believe the origin of Hexham to be derived from the Romans. Camden ſays the firſt Cohort of the Spaniards had [Page 87] their Station here; but Horſley contradicts Camden's name of Axelodunum, and conjectures it was Epiacum, placing the Cohors Prima Hiſpaniorum at Burgh, on Sands, in Cumberland.
In the reign of Egfrid King of Northumberland, A. D. 674, it was made an Epiſcopal See by St Wilfrid, then Archbiſhop of York, who through the enthuſiaſtic fervour of Etheldrida,* Egfrid's Queen, which that ſkilful Eccleſiaſtic knew how to poſſeſs, the territory of Hexhamſhire was granted to the church of St Andrew, which he had founded. The church was raiſed by workmen brought from Italy, and by Hiſtorians of that time, ſaid to exceed in beauty and elegance every other edifice in the land.† They particularly praiſe the variety of the buildings, [Page 88] the columns, the ornamental carvings, the oratories, and the crypts. They dwell with great wonder on the richneſs of the covers for the altar, the gilding of the walls with gold and ſilver, and the fine library, collected at a great expence. Hexham having ſuffered much by the Danes, it is preſumed no part of the ancient church remains at this day.
Eata,* in the year 678, ſucceeded the founder as Biſhop of Hexham.
[Page 89] Theodore Archbiſhop of Canterbury having taken diſpleaſure at the inſolence of Wilfrid of York, and poſſeſſing the moment of Egfrid's averſion to that Prelate, obtained the royal licence for dividing the kingdom of Northumberland into three dioceſes, York, Lindisfarn, and Hexham; thereby diſmembring Hexham of great part of its territories.
Eata ſoon afterwards being tranſlated to Lindisfarn, was ſucceeded at Hexham by Tumbert, A. D. 680. This Biſhop was depoſed, by a Council held at Twiford, near the river Alne, A. D. 684; at which King Egfrid was preſent, with Theodore Archbiſhop of Canterbury, at whoſe inſtance this Convocation was held, for the intent of examining Tumbert's denial of his juriſdiction, as Provincial, over the churches.
St Cuthbert, a Monk of Lindisfarn, then an Anchorite on Farn Iſland, was elected to Hexham, and with great reluctance received the Epiſcopacy: he was tranſlated to Lindisfarn, and Eata returned to Hexham.
John de Beverley * was the next Biſhop of Hexham, and ſucceeded to that See A. D. 685, a Saxon of quality, born at Harpham, in Yorkſhire, [Page 90] or Beverley, for authors diſagree in the point. He was a ſcholar of St Hilda, Abbeſs of Whitby, and a ſtudent at Oxford, and was tranſlated to York, A. D. 687.
Thomas * Archbiſhop of York, on his viſit to Hexham, being moved with the deſolation of the church, and the ruins of its ancient magnificence and ſplendour, together with the dreadful devaſtation which had laid in duſt the munificent gifts and works of piety of ſo many learned and religious men, in the year 1112, conſtituted here a Prior and regular Canons of St Auſtin, and endowed the priory amply. The preſent edifice is to be attributed to this Archbiſhop, Hexham in the reign of Henry the Firſt being given to the See of York. The architecture is mixed, of the Gothic and Saxon; in one part the narrow ſharp windows appear, which began to be in uſe about that King's reign. The firſt Prior, Aſchetill,† died March 17, 1130. He was made Prior on the reſignation of Richard de Maton,‡ Rector of this church. Robert Piſethe, ſecond Prior, ſucceeded him in 1131.
As a teſtimony of the reſtoration and repair of this church, a curious inſcription, on 12 ſquare pieces of wood, (originally 14) unnoticed by moſt viſiters, is repreſented in the annexed plate. I did not diſcover it on my firſt viſit to Hexham in 1774. It is cut in wood, and intermixed with gilded ornaments in roſe work, in a fillet of the great ſcreen, which cloſes the entrance to the choir, (whereon is painted Death's Dance) and is thus read, Orate pro anima, Dni Thomae S..... Pater hujus Eccleſiae, Qui fecit hoc Opus. The Italicks ſupply the parts of the inſcription now loſt.§
Hexham having ſuffered great diſtreſs under an incurſion of the Scots in the reign of Edward the Firſt, A. D. 1296, when the priory and part of the cathedral were burnt; in the 25th year of that reign, [Page 92] (ſoon after this devaſtation) an inquiſition was taken of the poſſeſſions of the church, dated at Newcaſtle on Tyne, July 7, 1297; in which the particulars of the revenue were ſet forth, too tedious to be inſerted here, and of little conſequence to the traveller.* [Page 93] The whole at the diſſolution was valued at 122l. 11s. 6d. according to Dugdale, and 138l. 1s. 9d. as it is ſet forth in Speed. There were then 14 Religious in the abbey, Edward Tay, Prior.
This church poſſeſſed that ignominious privilege called Sanctuary, till taken away by Henry VIII. in 1534, on which the diſqualifying ſtatute fixes an everlaſting ſtigma, by enacting, ‘that groſs offenders againſt the laws, taking ſanctuary at the altar, or any conſecrated place, ſhould be out of the protection of churches:’ implying, that ſuch pollutions had rendered obnoxious, even the moſt ſacred places.
The famous TRIDSTOL, or Stool of Peace, is ſtill preſerved here. Whoever took poſſeſſion of it was ſure of remiſſion.* ‘This place had the privilege of a ſanctuary, which was not merely confined to the church, but extended a mile four ways,† and the limits each way marked by a croſs. Heavy penalties were levied on thoſe who dared to violate this ſanctuary, by ſeizing on any criminal within the preſcribed bounds; but if they preſumed to take him out of the [Page 94] ſtool,* the offence was not redeemable by any ſum; it was eſteemed botoleſs beyond the power of pecuniary amends; and the offenders were left to the utmoſt ſeverity of the church, and ſuffered excommunication; in old times the moſt terrible of puniſhments.’ †
The Archbiſhop of York enjoyed great privileges here; to enquire of which, a Quo Warranto was iſſued in the 21ſt year of the reign of King Edward I. to ſhew ‘by what authority he claimed to have all Capitulas of the Crown, delivered to his Bailiff, to be pleaded by Juſtices, whom he ſhould aſſign for that purpoſe, concerning all things ariſing within his manor of Hextolderſham; and that all pleas, as well of the Crown as other pleas, be pleaded by his writs, and his Juſtices in his ſaid manor to take and have the iſſues and profits ariſing thereby; and to do and execute by his officers, all things pertaining to the office of Sheriff and Coroner; and that no Bailiff of the King do enter into the ſaid manor, to execute any office. And to have the cuſtody of priſoners, and make delivery of them at his will. And to have market, gallows, chattels of fugitives and felons condemned in the ſaid manor, without leave of the King and his progenitors; which things do pertain to the King's crown and dignity.’— To which the Biſhop pleaded his claim from ancient time, and uſage from time immemorial;—in conſequence of which theſe privileges of a Palatine were confirmed by the King and Council. In the 13th year of the reign of King Edward III. Hexham had Jura Regalia confirmed, and the right of levying Tenths and Fifteenths.
Hexham came to the Crown under Archbiſhop Holgate, who exchanged this manor for ſome abbey lands, in the 36th year of the reign [Page 95] of Henry VIII. retaining nothing but the ſpecial juriſdiction. In the 14th year of Queen Elizabeth, it was annexed to the county of Northumberland; and the manor being ſoon after ſold, devolved on the late Sir Walter Calverly Blackett.
The remains of this ancient cathedral bear innumerable marks of magnificence. Many ancient tombs are here: within the quire is the recumbent effigy of an Eccleſiaſtic hooded, on a table monument of black marble, in relief; at the foot, a ſhield with uncommon arms, or rather an emblematical device to denote mortality, being the reſemblance of croſs bones. The people who keep the doors, ſay it is the tomb of Prior Richard, an Hiſtorian of the 12th century. He was ſome time a Monk here, and occurs Prior A. D. 1153. The device on the ſhield, if it is preſumed to be the tomb of Richard, will then appear to be the letters ri placed one over the other. Mr Wallis's Antiquities, which I have frequent occaſion to quote, ſays ‘theſe arms are argent, a ſaltier gules; and that contiguous to this tomb, an helmet is fixed, denoting that this perſonage, before he was an Eccleſiaſtic, was of ſome military order.’ He alſo ſuppoſes he was Prior here.—If it were not for the ample field of imagination, and inexhauſtable conjectures, the employment of Antiquaries would be dull indeed—I cannot forbear diſſenting from this learned viſiter. Immediately adjoining this tomb, ſtands a ſhrine * of wood-work, after the ancient form, ſupported on pillars, canopied, and ornamented with tabernacle-work; ſuch as in the early ages of the church diſtinguiſhed the place where the remains of great perſonages or ſaints were depoſited: this is ſurrounded with ſtone-work, having figures in various niches, which by reaſon of the ſtalls built againſt them, I could not make out. At the eaſtern end of this ſhrine, within, is an altar; above which are painted the ſufferings of our Lord. On the canopy or roof are the arms on a ſhield, very freſh, Azure, the ſaltier (if it is ſuch) Or. Behind the high altar, and in other parts of the church, I perceived the ſame arms, and alſo in the walls of the priory: from whence I am led to believe this is the tomb of one of the Priors, a great benefactor to the church, and the Inſignia, [Page 96] a croſs of the dedicatory St Andrew, formed of the two firſt letters of the Prior's name.
The other (fig. I.) I apprehend is deſigned for Jupiter. And near the altar ſtands a figure of ſtone, about three feet eight inches high, ſupporting himſelf on a ſtaff, on his head ſomething that appears like a helmet or a cap and plume, and round his ancles three wreaths or fetters. This (fig. III.) I apprehend is the figure of Pan. It is reaſonable to conjecture they have been ſaved from the ruins, when the Roman remains in the vaults were obtained. Some travellers have concluded theſe were the works of monkiſh times. The effigies are accurately repreſented in the annexed plates, and the reader will from thence determine according to his own judgment.
The tomb of Umfrevill, one of the family of the Earls of Angus, mentioned by Camden,† remains in the ſouth aile, not much mutilated. This family were benefactors to the church of Hexham.
[Page 98] A little below, in the ſame aile, is the tomb of Sir Robert Ogle, with the arms of Bertram and Ogles, quartered, and an inſcription in braſs, dated 1404. Theſe were ancient families in Northumberland; the Ogles owned ſeven Lords and thirty Knights of their race, having large poſſeſſions before the conqueſt.
In the north aile is a monument in the wall, of ſuch a form as uſually deſigned at the building of churches, for founders or great benefactors; but to what perſonage this belongs, is not known, no inſignia or inſcription remaining. It is ſuppoſed to be the tomb of Alfwold, King of Northumberland, who was aſſaſſinated at Cilcheſter, by Sigga, a factious Lord of his Court, on the 23d of September, A. D. 788. I meaſured an effigy which lays near this tomb, and found it anſwering exactly in length. The tomb is formed in an aperture made through the wall by an elegant piece of arched work. The effigy repreſents an Eccleſiaſtic with his hood thrown back to his forehead, his hands elevated, and robed to the feet; the folds of the drapery thrown into excellent order, eaſy and elegant.
On the ſcreen at the entrance of the quire, are ſome ſtrange monaſtic paintings, vulgarly ſtiled Death's Dance; a ludicrous repreſentation of the univerſal influence of that inſatiable tyrant, over all ranks of men; beginning with the full-cheſted Cardinal, and triply coronated Pope, and leading into his mazes the Prince and Peaſant: but I am ſo diſguſted with the church paintings I have ſeen in other places, that I had not patience to attend to this defilement of the tabernacle. There are ſome grim and lion-like Saints painted in the ailes, among whom ſtands St John of Beverley, of hideous aſpect.
In the pavement of the croſs aile are ſeveral monuments; one inſcribed "Hic Jacet Thomas de Devilſton," and ornamented with a croſier; another with a croſier and chalice, inſcribed "Johannes Dew," with the uſual legendary prayer in the margin, Orate per anima, &c.
In a part behind the north door, is the recumbent effigy of a Knight, which Mr Wallis ſays repreſents Henry Beaufort, Duke of Somerſet, taken priſoner and beheaded at Hexham by King Edward the Fourth; his ſhield Or, bearing a feſſe az, with three garbs proper. I think it improbable this monument was erected for a traitor, who died an ignominious [Page 99] death: beſides, it cannot be any of the Beaufort family, as they quartered the arms of England. I rather conceive this was one of the Aydens of Ayden Caſtle, the arms aſſumed by the Edens of the North at this day, being greatly ſimilar. The male line of the family of Aydens of Ayden Caſtle, was extinct in Edward the Firſt's time; and Emma the heireſs and relict of that family, was by him, as a royal ward, given in marriage to Wallis.
The interior architecture of this church, is highly finiſhed, in the mixed Gothic order; the pillars are cluſtered, ſupporting Gothic arches; the members of the archings, and the pilaſters, finely proportioned. The quire is roofed with wood covered with lead, and the ſide ailes are arched with ſtone; a double gallery runs round the whole, opening with Saxon arches; each opening is compoſed of three arches, the centre circular, the ſide ones pointed, of which the workmanſhip is very fine, and the pillars light. The principal pillars of this ſtructure in general are rather diſproportionate and heavy; an error ſeen in moſt of the Saxon churches.
The Mercers Company in London, under the will of Richard Fiſhborn, Eſq about the year 1630, founded a Lectureſhip here, which they endowed by a purchaſe of tithes. Sir Walter Calverly Blackett gave ſeveral valuable gifts for the augmentation of the living; and many charities have been left for the relief of the poor. It is a doubt with me, whether theſe donations to the poor do not induce indigent and impotent perſons to crowd a town, and in effect encourage idleneſs. Had the donors diſpoſed the ſame ſums for inſtituting and ſupporting a manufactory, the encouragement to induſtry would have brought with it opulence, inſtead of crowds of mendicants.
Mr Gale and Dr Stukeley, in the year 1726, viſited the vaults of this church, now uſed as a private burial-place. What will not Curioſity attempt! They have given two inſcriptions diſcovered there; the one containing a new name of a Legatus Auguſti, viz. Q. Calpurnius conceſſinius, and that of a body of horſe at Corcheſter, called Equites Caeſarienſes or Caeſariani Coronotatae, not mentioned either in the Notitia Imperii or elſewhere. The other of Lucius Septimus Severus, by them ſaid to be of the beſt ſculpture, the letters large, but the inſcription imperfect. The curioſity remarked by theſe Antiquaries, conſiſts in this monument having [Page 100] ſo diſtinctly the name of that Emperor, and its being the only genuine one found ſo near the wall with his name on it.
Legato Auguſtati Propraetore Quintus Calpurnius, Conceſſinius Praefectus equitum Caeſarienſium Coronototarum, manu Praeſentiſſimi Numinis dei votum ſolvit.LEG. A—Q. CALPVRNVSCONCESSINIVS. PRAEF. EQCAESA. OORIONOTOTARVM. MANVPRAESENTISSIMINVMINVS DEVS
‘The Rev. Mr Andrews of Hexham, obliged a friend of mine with a copy of the ſame inſcriptions, which he had taken. This inſcription is upon a Roman altar: I had leave to deſcend into the vault and view the inſcriptions. I ſpent ſome time in examining every particular, and have here repreſented them as I found them, with the greateſt impartiality. Every word and letter that remains in this, is ſo plain as to leave no room for any doubt. The not taking notice that the altar and inſcription are both of them imperfect at the top, is the only material defect in the former repreſentation. I look upon it as certain, that the letters which have filled up the deficient part of the line, have been VG. PR. PR. for thus the number of letters in this line will anſwer to the number in the others. I think alſo there have been two or three lines above, which are broken off: theſe have probably contained the name of the Legate, and of the God to whom the altar had been inſcribed. The conjectures in the letters in Mr Gordon's appendix are very ingenious, and the arguments uſed in ſupport of them, very learned and curious. The author ſuppoſes, that here is the name of a new Legate, as alſo of a new body of horſe, called Equites Caeſarienſes (or Caeſariani) Corionototae: the name Equites [Page 101] Caeſarienſes, is there juſtified by a parallel inſtance in Gruter; and the name Corionototae, that gentleman ſuppoſes to be a corruption of the Roman name of a people in theſe parts, perhaps Curia or Coria Otodinor, and that Corbridge was the place. The reſt of the inſcription he judiciouſly explains to be a flattering acknowledgment of this perſon, that he was promoted by the immediate hand of the Emperor; it being no new thing to call the Emperors Gods, and erect altars to them. But in a matter ſo entirely conjectural, it is very excuſable to ſuſpend one's aſſent; and the more explanations are offered, it is the more probable that the truth will be found out. If Q. Calpurnius Conceſſinius was the Imperial Legate, I ſcarce think that he would in the ſame inſcription ſtile himſelf Praefect of Horſe: I rather believe, as I hinted before, that the name of the Legate has been above, and is broken off. Perhaps it has been ſub Legato Auguſtali, or pro ſaluti Legati Auguſtalis. As to the word Corionototarum, * I rather ſuppoſe that Ptolemy's Coria or Curia, was a town of the Gadeni, than of the Otadini. Ptolemy's Coritani, are a people of one of the Provinciae Caeſarienſes in Britain, and poſſibly, from hence theſe horſe might have the name of Caeſarienſes Coritani. Coriotiotar in the anonymous Ravenuas, is not unlike this name. I ſuppoſe it may have been miſtaken by ſome tranſcriber for Coriotiotae or Corionototae; the ſhape of the Gothic E is not unfavourale to this: but it ſeems more probable to me, that it was from ſome more diſtant country, than any part of Britain, that theſe troops had the name of Caeſarienſes Corionototae or Caeſarienſes Corionototarum. The Crotoniatae (inhabitants of Croton, a city in Greece) are celebrated by Strabo; according to whom, 'the laſt of theſe was equal to the firſt of the other Greeks.' Poſſibly this name may have been deſigned for Crotoniatarum: if this be admitted, we may more eaſily account for the Greek inſcriptions at Corbridge and Lancheſter, and for the more evidences of Grecian Auxiliaries, that appear in the neighbourhood. The explication of the reſt of the inſcription by the ſame learned gentleman, whom I mentioned above, is certainly juſt; that Praeſentiſſimum Numen dei ſignifies the Emperor, and manu intimates that Q. Calpurnius was advanced to his poſt by the immediate 31 [Page 102] hand of this Emperor, ſuppoſed to be Commodus, who leaſt deſerved ſuch titles, and yet moſt inſiſted on them. I find Numini Praeſenti in an inſcription to Caracalla. The word Praeſenti ſeems to be uſed in a different ſenſe in theſe caſes from that of Horace:
’Praeſenti tibi maturos largimur honores,Jurandaſque tuum per Numen ponimus aras.
’— Praeſens divus habebiturAuguſtus adjectis BritannisImperio.
Our curioſity urged us, at the diſtance of 49 years after thoſe learned viſiters had inſpected the vaults, to ſee the antiquities they mention: perhaps they had entered into open cells, then unuſed for ſepulture: our deſcent was more ſolemn. Theſe vaults have for ſeveral years paſt been uſed as a private burial-place, and the entrance is covered with a table of marble, of prodigious ſize, which is not uſually moved but at the denunciation of mortality. The maſſive Clauſtrum was heaved from the mouth of the vault by iron crows and rollers, at which the ground trembled over the arches—by a ladder we deſcended about 20 feet, into the regions of the dead, where avaricious curioſity making an anxious reſearch after the objects of its deſire, ſo compleatly occupied the mind, that ſcarce one reflection was agitated, for thoſe, over whoſe aſhes we wantonly trampled. Theſe vaults, which anciently were within the weſt end of the croſs, have been built of the ſtones of a Roman ſtation, many cornices, mouldings, and ornaments, with fragments of inſcriptions, are ſcattered through the walls. We found the preceding inſcription correſpond exactly with the plate in Mr Horſley's works. The narrow vault, on the left hand, is roofed over with flat ſtones, on the furtheſt of which the following inſcription is preſerved, but from its ſituation, and the ſtone being reverſed, rendered difficult to be read. My companion and I took it with great attention, both in the letters as reverſed, and (as well as we could ſee them) direct. Our copies exactly correſponded with each other, and yet they differ from Mr Horſley's, in whoſe plates it is thus repreſented:
To this reading he adds, ‘There can be no great doubt, with relation to the former part of it, which is not unlike the inſcription at Burgh, in Richmondſhire; a copy of which was long ago publiſhed by Mr Camden, and runs thus: Imperatori Caeſari Marco Antonino Pio Aurelio Felici Auguſto, &c. Then follows a ſpace where the name of Geta has been eraſed. Juſt ſo in this inſcription at Hexham; after much the ſame names and titles given to Severus and Caracalla, there follows a ſmall ſpace, where it is manifeſt the words have been deſignedly eraſed with a tool. I ſuppoſe the Vexillatio Legionis was made up of the ſeveral Vexillations of the particular Cohorts: and perhaps they might retain the name of Vexillationes Cohortium, when the Vexillations of all the Cohorts of the Legion, that is, the whole Vexillation of the Legion itſelf was not preſent. Theſe then might be the Vexillations of ſome Cohorts of one of the Legions which were employed in building the wall, that might be occaſionally at Hexham, and erect this inſcription. Some of the inſcription, facing the right hand, is covered in the wall, on which the inſcribed ſtone reſts. The lower part of the ſtone is alſo fixed in the end wall of one of the paſſages into the vault; but not ſo as to hinder the loweſt line from being read, though not without difficulty. The letters FE—RVNT are diſtinct and certain, and as much room is between the E and R, as will contain CE: ſo that beyond all queſtion it has been fecerunt, which compleats the inſcription. The ſtone has had a raiſed bordering, which was ſpoiled, and made level with the reſt of the ſtone, when it was built up in this place.’
It is with the utmoſt diffidence I offer to the public remarks upon this inſcription, where they do not agree with the very learned Antiquaries [Page 104] who before copied it. The beginning of the inſcription ſeems to be IMP CAES SEV—; but the line is imperfect and broken off: I could not diſcover the L in this line. The ſecond line appeared to be VERON. AXEL. IMPO. And the beginning of the third line an AA mixed.
VIRIVS LVPVSLEG. AVG. PR. PR Propraetor under Severus.BALINEVM VIIGNIS EXVSTVM COH. I. THRACVM RESTITVIT. CVRANTE VAL. FRONTONE. PRAEFEQ. ALAE VETTO—
Theſe people were ſometimes ſtiled Verones, and at other times Vettones.* Camden ſays, a Cohort of Spaniards were ſtationed at Hexham. The inſcription, by having one ſide lodged in the wall, may now appear with a great diminution. I would not have offered my obſervations, but that they may induce ſome future viſiter to reconcile theſe differences. I own it difficult to give a reaſonable conjecture how the names of Severus and Antoninus could be mixed in this inſcription.†
Before I quit the ſubject of theſe inſcriptions, I muſt add, that Mr Horſley ſays ‘theſe ſtones and inſcriptions argue Hexham to have been a Roman Station; for the plenty of free ſtone ſo near, makes it improbable that in the modern buildings (or thoſe later than Roman) they would have fetched any ſtones either from the Roman Wall or from Corbridge. And this might have been a town in the Roman times, and yet not be mentioned in the Itinerary, nor continue ſo late as [Page 105] till the writing of the Notitia. I know not what name to give it, unleſs we ſuppoſe it to have been Ptolemy's Epiacum. The ſituation of this does by no means anſwer, but it is plain from Vinovium and Galatum, that Ptolemy is here in confuſion; and the mutual diſtances between theſe three places, are not ſo far wrong as their ſituation.’
At the weſt end of the church are the remains of the priory. It was a ſpacious building, with an adjoining cloiſter. The refectory is yet entire, and ſerves as a room of entertainment at public times; is very ſpacious, with a roof of oak work. What remains of the cloiſters, ſhews they were of excellent workmanſhip: the tabernacle work and pilaſters above the ſeats are elegant: the door caſe oppoſite, which formerly was an entrance into the church, is richly wrought with pierced work of fruit and foliage, in a ſtile eaſy and bold.
It was pillaged by David King of Scots, in the 20th year of the reign of King Edward III. A. D. 1346, who entered the borders with 40,000 men, making their way by Lanercoſt Priory and Nawarth Caſtle, in Cumberland; on which incurſion they were over thrown at Nevil's Croſs, near Durham, and David was taken priſoner.*
This place is not very populous, the inhabitants being computed at 2000 ſouls: the ſtreets are narrow, and ill built. The Market-place, near the centre of the town, is a ſpacious ſquare; in which is a convenient piazza for the butcher-meat, the ſtalls being moveable. The town is ſupplied by a fluent fountain of water, in the Market-place. Two markets are held here in the week, on Thurſday and Saturday; and there are two annual fairs.
[Page 106] Leading to the priory, is a gate-way of very ancient architecture; the arches form a ſemicircle, and are moulded in a ſtile which denotes their antiquity to be much greater than any part of the priory or cathedral. There is nothing ſimilar to this work, in proportion of members, about the church, or any thing in Hexham I could diſcover that appeared cotemporary. The roof of the gate-way is of ribbed arching, meeting in the centre; the interſtices, filled with thin ſtones or bricks, ſuch as are ſeen in Roman works. The paſſage is divided into a large gate-way for horſemen or carriages, and a narrow one for foot paſſengers. The ſuperſtructure is in ruins. Mr Pennant ſays this gate ‘is of the old Saxon architecture, and perhaps part of the labours of the great Wilfrid.’
There are two ancient towers in the town, the one uſed as a Court or Seſſions-houſe, anciently an exploratory tower, belonging to the Biſhops and Priors of Hexham; the other ſituated on the top of the hill towards the Tyne, of remarkable architecture; being ſquare, containing very ſmall apertures to admit the light, and having a courſe of corbels projecting a long way from the top, which ſeem to have ſupported a hanging gallery, and beſpeak the tower, at preſent, not near its original height. The founders of theſe places are not known. Camden ſays "he heard they appertained to the Archbiſhop of York." This laſt-mentioned tower, having two dreadful dungeons within it, doubtleſs has been the chief fortreſs of the place, and was uſed as a priſon when the Biſhops of Hexham poſſeſſed their palatine juriſdiction.
This place has owned ſeveral learned men: John de Hexham and Richard de Hexham, both Superiors of this religious houſe, and great Hiſtorians. The Addenda to the book of Symeon of Durham, from the 9th of King Henry II. to the 1ſt of King Richard, we owe to Prior John. Richard was the author of a Chronicle, from Adam to Henry the Emperor; he wrote the Hiſtories of King Stephen and King Henry III. but the principal work we have from his hands, is a [...] account of the State and Biſhops of the Church of Hexham.
There is a School here founded by Queen Elizabeth, 25th June, 1599, with an ample ſtipend for a Maſter and Uſher. The Maſter's houſe was built by ſubſcription.*
In the Market-place, on the front of an old houſe, are three coats of armour, in plaiſter-work: opinions are various what they denominate: the moſt probable is, that the dexter arms is that of the Dean and Chapter of York; the centre, the croſs of St Andrew, to whom the church was dedicated; and the ſiniſter one, being one of the Arm [...] Cantantia, or Rebuſſes, anciently adopted, comprehends the name of ſome great churchman. Beneath theſe, is a legend divided into three portions, which I read Ma—ne—ria—; perhaps importing the Manor Houſe, and probably was the manſion of ſome of the Biſhops of York. Plate, fig. III.
Hexham has been unhappy in civil bloodſhed; the ſlaughter made by the North-Riding Yorkſhire Militia on the Miners, in their inſurrection, is remembered with horror. No troops in the world could have ſtood with greater ſteadineſs and military propriety than they did, ſuſtaining the inſults of an enraged crew of ſubterranean Savages; whilſt the tim'rous Magiſtrates delayed their command for defence, till the arms of the Soldiers were ſeized by the Inſurgents, and turned on [Page 108] themſelves; and an Officer * was ſhot at the head of his Company, as he was remonſtrating to the Mob.
In the levels beneath Hexham, the deciſive battle was fought in 1463,† when John Nevil, Marquis of Montacute, afterwards created Earl of [Page 109] Northumberland, General of the forces of the Houſe of York, forced the intrenchments of the Lancaſtrian party, and made a dreadful ſlaughter. The Ogles and Manners' of this country were with the victors; the Percies, Roes, Nevils, Tailbois, and Greys, among the vanquiſhed. The Earl of Somerſet, Sir William Tailbois, Sir Humphrey Nevil, and Sir Ralph Grey, being among the priſoners, were executed; Sir Ralph being firſt degraded, by cutting off his ſpurs, defacing his armorial enſignia, and breaking his ſword over his head. The miſerable eſtate of the great perſonages, whoſe fortunes were reverſed on this day of carnage, remains in hiſtory a dreadful leſſon to thoſe who adventure in civil diſcord.
is highly pleaſing. Here is a ſmall village, intitled to a market on Tueſday, and an annual fair on the 21ſt of July, obtained by the firſt Anthony Lord Lucy; but at preſent they are neglected. There is a fine bridge over the Tyne at this place, conſiſting of ſix arches; near to which is a Grammar School, endowed with lands by the Rev. Mr Shaftoe, formerly Vicar of Nether-Warden; the Maſter to be of the degree of Maſter of Arts: his ſalary at preſent is upwards of 50 l. a year, with an Uſher's fee of 15 l. a year. Over the entrance of the ſchool-houſe, is an inſcription ſetting forth the foundation.*
is in view; ſituate on a fine eminence, built in the form of the letter H, having four towers, one at the extreme of each wing. It was defended [Page 110] towards the weſt by a deep foſs. The walls are near ſeven feet in thickneſs, and the north-eaſt tower is about 66 feet high. Eight groundfloor rooms remain entire, four to the eaſt and four to the weſt, vaulted with ſtone; four ſmall upper rooms alſo remain entire to the eaſt. Many of the windows are of a middle ſize, and larger than what are uſually ſeen in buildings of the ſame date.
This was the baronial ſeat of Adam de Tynedale * and his ſon, in the reign of King Henry III. by marriage of whoſe daughter it came to Richard de Bolteby,† and deſcended to his ſon Adam de Bolteby, from whom it paſſed to the Lucies,‡ Barons of Egremont and Cockermouth, and remained with them for five deſcents.§ Afterwards it became the poſſeſſion of the Ratcliffes of Dilſton, and gave title of Viſcount and Baron Langley to Sir Francis Ratcliffe, created Earl of Derwentwater by King James II. A. D. 1688. It was forfeited by James the laſt Earl, and is now part of the poſſeſſions of Greenwich Hoſpital.
the ſeat of William Lowes, Eſq a modern houſe, on a riſing ground, in a moſt romantic and pleaſant ſituation. It was anciently the eſtate [Page 111] of the Ridleys of Willimoteſwick.—The walks on the banks of the brook of Allen, terminated by the woody heights of Kingſwood, are worth the attention of every viſitant, where Woods and Rocks are agreeably and magnificently blended. The cliffs are ſcattered over with yews and hollies. Ravens, which reſort to theſe rocks, lend a ſolemn voice to join the muſic of the falling waters. Many agreeable views are had from the eminences: Beltingham, the Caſtle of Willimoteſwick, Haden Bridge with its Village, are fine objects in this rich landſkip of cultivated lands, ſcattered over with cottages, and mingled with woods.*
or, as it was anciently called, STAWARD LE' PEEL, of which little now remains but a ragged gate-way, which was defended by a draw-bridge and port-cullice. Some ruined walls appear to the weſtward. The outworks are a deep foſs, with a Vallum of ſtone and earth. This Caſtle has a remarkable ſituation, being ſeated on a peninſula formed by the conflux of the Allen and Harſingdale Burn: the approach is narrow, on an elevated way, chiefly formed by nature, rocky ſteeps laying on each ſide, cloathed with wood; beneath which you view a pretty pictureſque plain, waſhed by the murmuring ſtreams of Allen, where a cottage fortunately diſpoſed amidſt a little grove of trees, gives a peculiar beauty to the retirement, which is ſhut in on one ſide, by a woody amphitheatre hanging on the weſtern banks, and by the gloomy remains of Peel on the other. The view from theſe ruins northward, takes in the village of Thorngrafton, ſurmounted by the cliffs above Shewing Sheels, which form the horizon.
Peel belonged to the Friars Eremites of Hexham, under the grant of Edward Duke of York.†
The rural ſcenes on the Allen are contracted, but are every where pictureſque and romantic; the winding rivulet forms many beautiful Bays and Peninſulas, boundered by rocks and hanging woods, affording a multitude of little ſolemn and ſecluded retreats, through which the waters murmur.
remarkable for nothing but its ancient poſſeſſors the Whitfields, who held it in the time of Richard II.* There is a Water-fall about a mile ſouth, mentioned by Mr Wallis, but in a dry ſeaſon is little more than ſome few trilling drops weeping down the cliffs, and not worth a traveller's quitting his road to view it.
which Mr Horſley ſuppoſes to be a Roman Station, retains the marks of antiquity mentioned in the letters given in the notes.†
is ſituate on an eminence on Eaſt Allen, is chiefly inhabited by Miners. In the neighbourhood is a Free School, founded in 1700, and endowed [Page 114] ſeveral liberal benefactions.* We paſſed from thence to Allenheads, a part of the county barren and mountainous, inhabited only by Miners [Page 115] and Shepherds: the ſcene on every hand is dark and deplorable; the Mines only inducing inhabitants to this deſolate ſpot. Near Allen-heads [Page 116] is a place called Shorngate, where the Scots made their retreat from Stanhope Park, in the reign of King Edward III. A. D. [Page 117] 1327. They paſſed a moraſs, as ſome authors ſay, by cutting through the moſſy earth to the rock, or by laying a road with ſtones;* an aſtoniſhing act in the perils of a retreat.
ſeated in a narrow deep vale, on the river Derwent; a few ſtrips of meadow ground lay along the margin of the ſtream, and ſome cultivated lands ſkirt the feet of the hills, whoſe ſummits are covered with heath. This is a very different ſituation from others I have ſeen, choſen by the Religious for the foundation of their houſes; the country around is [Page 119] barren and mountainous; the narrow vale in which the abbey is placed, ſeems in no-wife ſuited to the maintenance of its former inhabitants— poverty for ages paſt has reigned over the face of the adjacent country. The ſcites of religious houſes are generally in well-ſheltered and warm ſituations, where the retirements are ſurrounded with rich lands. This place looks truly like the realm of mortification.
This abbey was founded by Walter de Bolbeck in 1175, dedicated to the bleſſed Virgin, for twelve Premonſtratenſian Canons, having liberty to exceed that number, with the conſent of the Biſhop of Durham. Part of his donation was twelve fiſhes for their table, out of his fiſhery of Stiford, in lieu of tithes of fiſh. The Abbot was ſummoned to parliament 23 King Edward I. At the ſuppreſſion, here were fourteen Canons; the annual revenue of the houſe, according to Dugdale, being 40l. 0s. 9d. and 44l. 9s. 1d. according to Speed. After paſſing from the Crown by ſale, it became the poſſeſſion of the Foſters, and was forfeited in 1715, by Thomas Forſter, Eſq after which it was purchaſed by Lord Crew, and by him left to charitable uſes.
The weſt end and tower of the church and the ſouth aile of the croſs remain; the latter neatly fitted up for parochial duty. The gateway entering into the ſquare, where formerly the houſes of the Canons ſtood, ſtill remains; the towers on each hand converted into ale-houſes: the buildings which are ſtanding are now inhabited by poor people, who are perhaps employed in the leadworks; the diſtreſs and ragged appearance of the whole conventual buildings, being moſt deplorable; no one relique of church pomp remaining. To compenſate for the diſagreeable review of cells of poverty, we walked in the levels adjoining the church, when it happened to be the time of divine ſervice: the pſalm of the congregation, at our diſtance, had a degree of ſolemn harmony, which inſpired ſerious though pleaſing reflections: ſentiments and ideas ſucceeded, which dignify the mind of man, and give him competition with angels.
the ancient baronial inheritance of John de Bolbeck, in the reign of King Henry III.* It is now the eſtate of George Baker, Eſq of Ellemore, in the county of Durham.
[Page 120] We paſſed from Blanchland by a woody declivity to Acton Mill, a ſmelting mill for lead, where, in vaſt heaps of ore, the wealth of the late Sir Walter Caverley Blackett was diſplayed: the road from thence to Prudhoe was harrowed up by lead carriages, and in innumerable places the name of Blackett ſtruck our eye, on the lead which lay on the road. We paſſed by
The country in general is heathy and naked, near theſe new and beautiful incloſures, where planting ſucceeds admirably:—at length we gained a diſtant view of Tynedale, coloured with the happy teints of corn and meadow: we haſtened from the dreary country which had detained us too long from ſcenes of pleaſure.
When we had gained the ſummit of the hill above Hedley, we had a good proſpect of Tyne towards the north-weſt; the river, by its winding courſe, formed ſeven diſtinct canals, one of them near a mile in length: the fore-ground of this landſkip is enriched with the village of Bywell, ſurmounted by Mr Fenwick's elegant manſion, and decorated with plantations and garden grounds, ſo diſpoſed to the eye, as to retain all the eaſe and inartificiality of nature: the water, brightened by a weſtern ſun, appeared through the trees, as if the manſion and pleaſure grounds were inſulated: the riſing ground to the right is crowned with a gloomy ruin, once the fortreſs of the vale, held by the Baliols, and after them by the Earls of Weſtmoreland, now contraſting beautifully with the modern and excellent taſte of Mr Paine, of whoſe mode of architecture the manſion-houſe of Bywell is conſtructed: to the left, extenſive woods filled the landſkip.
[Page 121] Behind the town of Bywell, grounds in high cultivation, interſperſed with wood, aſcend gradually from the river; in one part terminated by heathy eminences, and in another, by diſtant lands ſtretching away through an extended valley towards Hexham, where the diſtinction of objects was loſt to the eye in the blue vapours which covered the extremity of the vale.
The Caſtle of Prudhoe ſtands on the ſummit of a vaſt rocky promontary, which communicates with the adjoining grounds by a narrow neck and paſs towards the ſouth; the ground on which the fortreſs ſtands forming ſeven parts of a circle, on an octagonal ſection. It is guarded by an outward wall towards the Tyne, built on the brink of the cliffs, in this part not leſs than ſixty perpendicular feet in height, above the plain which intervenes between the caſtle and the river; this wall at intervals is defended by ſquare baſtions. The entrance to the caſtle is from the ſouth: on our approach the whole ſtructure was viewed from the heights, and made a very noble and formidable appearance. The narrow neck of land leading to the entrance, was formerly cut through by [Page 122] a deep ditch, over which a draw bridge has given acceſs to the outward gate: the water which anciently ſupplied the ditch, is now collected by a reſervoir before the gate, and ſerves a mill: the outward gate was originally defended by ſeveral outworks and a tower, as appears by their ruins. From the ſituation in which I drew my view of this place, I could overlook the top of the firſt gate, and the eye penetrated the inner gate-way, the ſuperſtructure of which is a lofty embattled ſquare tower, about ſixty feet high, now ſo mantled with ivy, that the windows, loop-holes, and apertures are almoſt wholly concealed. I will deſcribe the whole from the ſtation I occupied on that occaſion: To the right, the outward wall extended to ſome diſtance, terminated by a turret or exploratory mount, the wall of which is embattled, and there the landſkip was cloſed by a fine grove of ſtately trees. The outward wall to the left, from the inner gate-way, extends to a conſiderable diſtance, without any turret or baſtion; over which ſeveral interior buildings, and among them the remains of the chapel, were diſcovered, in all the confuſion of ruin; mingled chimneys, windows, buttreſſes, columns, and walls, in that wildneſs of irregularity, which conſtitutes much pictureſque beauty in ſcenes of this kind: above all which objects a ſquare tower, the Keep of the Fortreſs, (on the ſide towards me almoſt perfect, twenty-five yards in height, and eighteen in breadth, but without ornament or windows, with an exploratory tower on the ſouth-weſt corner) overlooked the caſtle, with that gloomy and ſullen majeſty which characterizes the age in which it had its riſe. The wall ſtill extending to the left, on its angle is defended by a ſquare baſtion, with broken loop-holes; from whence it turns northward, and is terminated by a broken circular tower, ſituate on the brink of the cliff, whoſe inner receſs the eye ſufficiently penetrated, to mark the diſtraction of its interior works. The fine levels between the caſtle and the river, opened to the left, the Tyne in view, with the town of Ovingham hanging on the oppoſite ſhore.*
[Page 123] We advanced by a narrow path on the ſide of the reſervoir, to the firſt gate-way, which is formed by a circular arch: by the fragments and broken walls, it evidently appears this gate was originally flanked with various outworks, and had a tower. This gate gives admittance to a covered way, leading to the inner gate, about 30 paces in length; a ſally-port opening on each ſide, to flank the walls and defend the [Page 124] ditch. There is no appearance of a port-cullice in either gate-way. The ſecond gate-way is alſo formed by a circular arch, above which is a high tower, the windows ſhewing that it contained three tiers of apartments. A lattice or open gate ſtill remains, jointed with ſtuds of iron. The roof of the gate-way is arched in ſemicircles, with an aperture in the centre, from whence thoſe in the upper chamber might annoy an enemy who had forced the gate. From thence you enter an area, now ſo blocked up by the buildings of a farm-yard and tenement, that it is not poſſible to form any idea of its original magnitude; though it appears by the other parts, that an open area had ſurrounded the great tower, which doth not ſhew any remains of communication with the outworks, but ſeems to have ſtood apart, on an eminence in the centre. The outward wall was defended on the angle to the ſouth weſt by a large ſquare baſtion, with loop-holes; to the north-weſt, by a circular tower, containing ſeveral tiers of low chambers, ſingular in their form and height, and ſuch as I never obſerved before in any ancient caſtle: the inhabitants could not ſtand erect in them at the time of defence. Towards the river and northward, the wall is guarded by ſeveral ſmall ſquare baſtions; and towards the ſouth-eaſt, a ſmall mount, placed within the walls, overlooks the ditch, which guards the ſouthern ſide, and terminates at the brink of the cliffs. The large tower is in ruins, only the the ſouthern wall now ſtanding; and not one baſtion remains entire, they being all in ruins towards the area. A paſſage runs in the centre of the wall, from baſtion to baſtion. Steps aſcend from the area to the top of the wall, in ſeveral places, which is broad enough to allow the armed men of the garriſon to paſs each other, covered by a parapet.
Camden conjectures this was the Prodolita of the Romans, and the Station of the firſt band of Batavians. It was the poſſeſſion of the Umfrevills. This family came into England with the Conqueror, who beſtowed on Robert with the Beard the Lordſhip of Redeſdale, to be held for ever, by the ſervice of defending the country againſt thieves and wolves, with the ſame ſword with which William entered Northumberland; and alſo the Barony of Prudhoe; by the ſervice of two Knights fees and a half.* This caſtle was famous in the reign of King Henry II. for the oppoſition it gave to William King of Scotland, in his incurſion, and the gallant defence it then made, he being obliged to raiſe the ſiege. It was the poſſeſſion of Robert, or, as ſome authors ſay, of [Page 125] Rogerus de Umfrevile,* in the reign of King Henry I. as appears by the eſcheats of that reign.† He was ſucceeded by Odonel de Umfrevile, who with Barnard de Haliol and others, took William King of Scotland [Page 126] priſoner at Alnwick, in the 20th year of the reign of King Henry II. A. D. 1174, after his retreat from the ſiege of Prudhoe.* According to Mr Groſe, he was ſucceeded by Robert his ſon, whoſe ſucceſſor, Richard de Umfrevile, was a benefactor to the priory of Hexham. Gilbert was the next ſucceſſor, in the 11th year of the reign of King Henry III. and after him a ſecond Gilbert, A. D. 1245, who was created Earl of Angus, and ſummoned to the parliament held at Carliſle in the 35th of King Edward I. A. D. 1307:—he founded a chantry in the chapel of Prudhoe Caſtle, and endowed it with two crofts, 118 acres of land, and 5 acres of meadow, for the maintenance of two Chaplains. He was ſucceeeded by Gilbert the third, who was ſummoned to the parliaments at Weſtminſter in the 26th of King Edward III. A. D. 1352, and the 1ſt of King Richard II. A. D. 1377. He was ſucceeded by Gilbert the fourth, the 11th of King Henry IV. A. D. 1411: he attended King Henry V. in his French campaigns, and was made Governor of Gournie and Melun for his bravery. He loſt his life at a paſs in Anjou, by the [Page 127] treachery of a ſervant belonging his General, the Duke of Clarence, corrupted by the enemy. After him Prudhoe came to Walter Tailbois, by marriage with Gilbert the fourth's ſiſter; and under attainder, in the 3d of King Edward IV. A. D. 1463, after the battle of Hexham Levels, it came to the Crown; from whence it paſſed by grant to John Duke of Bedford, and afterwards to Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland, and now conſtitutes a part of the princely poſſeſſions of the preſent Duke of Northumberland.
We paſſed over the ferry-boat at Ovingham, from whence we had a fine view of the Caſtle of Prudhoe; the river beneath us waſhed the margin of a level of corn land, above which aroſe the precipitous cliffs on which the caſtle is erected, in the form of a half-moon, crowned with the remains of the fortreſs, of an aſpect awfully majeſtic; over theſe the riſing grounds behind, cloathed with woods, and the thick groves on each flank, ſeemed to caſt a ſolemn mantle. The ſcene ſtruck me with the image of mourning royalty, weeping in aſhes for the diſſolution of Empire, and lamenting the cruel viciſſitudes of Fortune, in which all its honours are extinguiſhed, and nothing but memorials of calamity left behind.
had heretofore a religious houſe of Black Canons, ſubordinate to Hexham, founded and endowed by one of the Umfreviles, Barons of Prudhoe. At the diſſolution it was valued at 11l. 2s. 8d. by Sancroft, and 13l. 4s. 8d. by Speed. It is now the eſtate of Thomas Charles Bigge, Eſq of Little Benton. The church is in the cathedral form, but retains nothing antique or curious.
the ſeat of the Blackets,* is delightful; the river with its varied beauties on the one hand, and hanging woodlands on the other.
the manſion of the Bewicks,* claims the traveller's viſit, for the excellent proſpect it commands: placed on a gently inclining lawn on the banks of Tyne, it has all thoſe beauties in view, which ariſe in a well cultivated and rich country: the river is ſeen, graced with a ſmall iſland, where ſome ſtately oaks are fortunately ſcattered; the incloſures at the time of our journey abounded with the riches of harveſt, mingling the teints of gold with the velvet of the green meads; whilſt tufts of trees, well diſpoſed, filled the nearer landſkip: on this hand, Bradley, the ſeat of John Simpſon, Eſq on that, the village of Newburn, are on the offscape; whilſt an elegant curvature of the river, ſurmounted by Ryton ſpire, is in from.
the Vindobala, according to Mr Horſley, of the Romans; where the Cohors Prima Frixagorum kept garriſon. Camden calls it Vindolana; and by ſome authors it is ſaid to be the frontier ſtation of the fourth Cohort of the Gauls. Severus's wall runs upon the middle of the eaſt rampart, but is not continued through the ſtation: Hadrian's Vallum paſſes about the diſtance of a chain to the ſouth of it. This fort has been very conſiderable, and the ruins of it at preſent are remarkable: on the north ſide there have been ſix turrets, one at each corner, one on each ſide the gate, and one between each corner, and thoſe adjoining to the gate. On the eaſt and weſt ſides there is alſo a tower between the gate and the angle, in that part of the fort that is on the north of the wall; but it is doubtful whether there has been the ſame number of towers in that part that lays within the wall. The ramparts are ſtill very viſible. If there has been a town without, which there can ſcarce be any doubt of, it has been, as uſual, on the ſouth, where the village of Rutcheſter now ſtands, and covers its ruins.
To the north-weſt of Rutcheſter, is a place called Whitcheſter, ſometimes Outcheſter; in Camden it is called Old Wincheſter, or Vindolana, [Page 129] and there are ſaid to be ſome remains of a fort here; but all this ſeems to be a miſtake. There is ſomewhat like the remains of an earthen rampart, which added to the name, may make it probable that here were the Caſtra Aeſtiva of the garriſon of Rutcheſter; and perhaps it was called the Outer Cheſters.
Between Whitcheſter and Harlow Hill, is a round hill with a trench about it, which ſeems to have been exploratory, and by the ſituation one would judge it had been as ancient as the time of the Romans.
It is curious to obſerve the paſſage of Hadrian's ditch near Harlow Hill, where it paſſes through a limeſtone quarry; though nothing is to be diſcerned on the ſurface, yet below it the exact dimenſions of the ditch may be taken; becauſe that part of the quarry, through which the ditch has been carried on, is now filled up with earth only, ſo that the ſhape and meaſure here are very plain. It is made ſloping, the depth between eight and nine feet, and about eleven feet broad. At this place a Caſtellum has ſtood; the foundations yet appear. It has had a high ſituation, and commanded an extenſive proſpect.
At the uſual diſtance from Harlow Hill, a Caſtellum is viſible, and about a furlong weſt from this, the walls approach very near to each other, being not above a chain diſtance. Again, at the uſual diſtance, another Caſtellum appears, but ſomewhat obſcure, and of an uncommon ſhape; two of the ſides (thoſe which lay eaſt and weſt) being about double the uſual length, and the ſouth ſide of it reaches very near the north Agger of Hadrian's work. Mr Horſley was of opinion this was one of Hadrian's exploratory Caſtella; but the north ſide of it falling in exactly with the line of Severus's wall, it has been uſed alſo as a Caſtellum by him. Severus's wall, in part of this tract, has four courſes of the original ſtone appearing.
From Rutcheſter to Halton Cheſters is little more than ſeven meaſured miles: there are nine Caſtella between theſe two ſtations, and all of them viſible, the interval between every two of them being near upon ſix furlongs and an half; and it is remarkable, that as the interval between theſe two ſtations is the greateſt of any upon the whole line of the wall, ſo the intervals between the Caſtella are the leaſt of any, except in one ſingle inſtance.
[Page 130] Many Roman Antiquities have been gained here, beſides thoſe mentioned by Mr Horſley, viz. an Effigy of Hercules ſome years ago was removed from hence by Mr Duane; two Fibulae of ſilver, Roman Bricks marked LVIV, and Coins of the low Empire, were lately diſcovered; but the moſt valuable acquiſition gained from hence, was an Urn found in 1766, containing gold and ſilver Coins, in the poſſeſſion of the late William Archdeacon, Eſq in which, it is ſaid, is a compleat ſeries of thoſe of the higher Empire. In the ſame year was diſcovered a Coffin, cut in the rock, twelve feet in length, containing many bones, teeth, and vertebree or joints, ſuppoſed to belong to animals ſacrificed to Hercules, whoſe feſtival was obſerved on the third day of June.*
Near this ſtation ſtands Rutcheſter Tower, the poſſeſſion of the family de Rutcheſters in the reign of King Edward I. The county of Northumberland, as was before obſerved, contains the remains of a multitude of ſuch towers, apparently calculated for a family defence againſt the Moſs Troopers and Scotch Ravagers.
[Page 131] I cannot forbear taking notice of a public grievance, which is ſo very notorious in the county of Northumberland, that every traveller experiences it. When I entered this county, I was prejudiced in its favour, and had not the leaſt apprehenſion that any matter neceſſary for the public weal could be neglected. The reſolutions of the Magiſtrates given to the public, will tranſmit their virtues to poſterity. Merchandize has occaſioned, within the laſt century, ſuch an influx of wealth to this county, that it proves Trade is advanced by good roads for carriages, and an eaſy communication with the ports:—how then, in the midſt of ſuch profeſſed virtues, and ſuch public conviction, can it ariſe, that the plain directions of the law, touching the highways, are totally neglected or overlooked? There is ſcarce one Guide-poſt, to mitigate the grievances of travelling, erected through the whole county, except in the neighbourhood of Wallington; and ſome of thoſe are obliterated. On the public road from Newcaſtle to Hexham, and on the wilds of Wooler, the traveller is equally embarraſſed.
As you look upon Bywell from the moſt pleaſing point of view, the landſkip lays in the following order:—From the road near the brink of the river, the ruined piers of a bridge become the front objects; behind which, in a regular caſcade, the whole river falls over a wear, extended from Bank to Bank, in height about eight perpendicular feet; a mill on the right hand, a ſalmon lock on the left: the town and two churches ſtretch along the banks of the upper baſon of the river, with a fine curvature: the ſolemn ruins of the ancient caſtle of the Baliols, lift their towers above the trees on the right, and make an agreeable contraſt with the adjoining manſion-houſe: the whole back ground of the landſkip appears covered with wood.
There is a tradition, that two ſiſters quarrelling about precedency, one of them founded a church of her own, from whence ſhe excluded her ſiſter; which was the occaſion of two churches in this ſmall town. Both are ſerved at preſent by one Clergyman, who does duty in the morning at one, and in the evening at the other.
Bywell was the Barony of the Baliol family for many generations, Guy de Baliol being inveſted therewith by William Rufus:* Hugh de [Page 132] Baliol poſſeſſed it in the reign of King Henry III.* Camden ſays, he held it by the ſervice of thirty Knights fees † to the ward of Newcaſtle. And after him, it paſſed to John de Baliol, 1 King Edward I.‡ It became the poſſeſſion of the Nevils, Lords of Raby;§ and by the attainder of Charles Earl of Weſtmoreland, was forfeited to the Crown in the year 1571, with his other large poſſeſſions.
In the Life of Lord Keeper Guildford, we have an account of a cuſtom held here. As this country was perilous to travellers, the tenants of each manor were bound to guard the Judge through their reſpective precincts. Lord Chief Juſtice North deſcribes his attendants with long [Page 133] beards, ſhort cloaks, long baſket-hilted broad ſwords, hanging from broad belts, and mounted on little horſes, ſo that their legs and ſwords touched the ground at every turning. The Sheriff preſented his train with arms, viz. a dagger, knife, penknife, and fork.
By the two piers yet remaining in the river, it appears there was an ancient bridge over Tyne here; but as it is remarked by workmen, that the piers have not had a ſpring of arches, it is evident the ſuperſtructure was of wood. The ruins of the chapel appertaining to Bywell Caſtle, are ſituate on the ſouthern banks of the river.
I cannot quit this delightful ſcene, without making a compariſon between the aera of 1580 and the preſent age:—the record I have given in my note, affords a deplorable evidence of the circumſtances attending the inhabitants of Tyne, when they were obliged to guard their cattle every night, and to cultivate no more lands than in proportion to the places of defence they had to ſecure their crops; living in a ſtate of perpetual warfare and jeopardy. And even theſe calamities, which aroſe from a vicinity of thieves and robbers, were trifling, when compared to the devaſtation and ruin, which marked the incurſions of the Scots. Theſe were only the incidental grievances of the times; but there was one which was continued—the vaſſalage and miſery of a feodal tenure; by which genius was kept in fetters, and induſtry was diſtinguiſhed only by the name of ſlavery. What then was the eſtate of this opulent and beautiful county of Northumberland, when compared to the preſent time? What bleſſings have flowed in upon this land, from the union of the kingdoms, and the excellent police of the age? The ferocity of the inhabitants is ſubdued; traffic, arts, ſciences, manufactories, and navigation, have taken place of the brutal warfare, which is extinguiſhed; Cultivation, with all the comelineſs of Plenty, laughs in the valleys; the ſtreams are taught to labour in mechanic ſyſtems, to aid the manufacturer; every Creek and Bay is thronged with Ships; the gloomy Tower, that frowned defiance from each Eminence, ſinks in the duſt, whilſt a Palace receives the deſcendants of her Lord, with all the bounties of Opulence and Peace. Deſert plains ſtained with Slaughter, and track'd with the progreſs of Rapine and Violence, formerly ſpread forth an extenſive ſcene of deſolation, where now riſing woods, incloſed farms, villages, and hamlets are diſpoſed under the ſmiles of Proſperity. The original naked inhabitants (ſavage from hunger and neceſſity, lurking in dens, and in the mountains [Page 134] prowling as wolves, ſubſiſting in perpetual jeopardy on robbery and rapine) has furniſhed the land with a race, who, at the time they enjoy the comforts of life, reap the fruits of induſtry and the profits of genius, and thereby are progreſſively advancing their families towards opulence. Happy reverſe!—But to return from this digreſſion.
The cuſtom of wiſhing health or proſperity, at the time of drinking, is very ancient—it is not poſſible to trace it to its ſource: we have teſtimonies of it among the cuſtoms of moſt of the ancient nations: it was uſed as a religious ceremony with many; the wine was offered in the ſacred veſſel, and the Deity invoked; after which a little was ſpilt on the altar, and the public prayer being made, the petitioner put his lips to the cup.
It would afford great aſtoniſhment to a foreigner, in whoſe country no ſuch cuſtom has gained acceptation, to be brought into a company of Engliſhmen, where jollity and convivial mirth had begun to take place: we will preſume the viſitant, by his interpreter, is introduced to a knowledge of the characters before him, in order that we may heighten the lines of his ſurprize:—how would he be amazed, to hear a man, who in common life and converſation expreſſes no religion, morality, principles, or public virtue, praying with all the vehemence of an Enthuſiaſt, on his knees, before he drinks to the proſperity of the object of his wiſhes; who is, perhaps, no other than ſome factious wretch, and rebellious diſturber of the commonweal; whilſt the circle of communicants, ſtanding around like Canibals at ſome horrid feſtival, or Daemons at an infernal convocation, in every diſtortion of body and countenance, which can expreſs an agitated ſoul and an inflamed mind, halloo with all the ardour of unlimited licentiouſneſs, in the hideous yells of Hottentots?—When ſuch a viſiter, returned to his native land, ſhould relate the ſcene, and tell his aſtoniſhed countrymen, that with the poliſhed Britons this was jollity and public ſpirit; could he be believed?—Would he not, like Mandeville on his viſit to the vale of Devils, to ſave his credit, be obliged to add, "Men ſayen for I hav' not ſeyen." As to my part, I think a vehement Partizan, in the ardent act of drinking a conſtitutional Toaſt, as he would term it, is as odious and ridiculous an Animal as Nature can exhibit.
claims my attention, conſiſting of one ſtreet only; it has three annual fairs, on the 12th of April, Holy Thurſday, and Thurſday ſucceeding the 26th of Auguſt. Here is a free ſchool, founded by Sir Thomas Widdrington, in the year 1663, well endowed. The vicarage houſe is pleaſantly ſituated.
now in ruins, in a low ſituation, the ſeat of Thomas de Fenwick * in the reign of King Henry III. It continued for ſeveral generations in that family, till it came by ſale, in the reign of King William III. to Sir William Blacker. In pulling down pan of this tower, ſince I viſited it, a treaſure was found by one of the workmen, of the broad gold coin of King Edward I. as freſh as if new from the mintage. The poor wretch, elate with his ſucceſs, exceeded thoſe limits of diſcretion neceſſary to ſecure his wealth; by launching out into extravagance, he alarmed an envious neighbour, and the ſimple man was ſoon left to his original poverty, by a claim from the owner of the tower.
in the neighbourhood of Fenwick Tower, next attracted our notice. In the reigns of King John, and King Henry III. it was the manor of Philip de Ulcote, who held it by Grand Sergeancy, on keeping the pleas of the Crown. He was joined in commiſſion with Hugh de Baliol, 17 King John, A. D. 1216, to hold the caſtle and town of Berwick upon Tweed againſt the Barons. It afterwards became the inheritance of the Feltons, till by marriage it devolved on Sir Edward de Haſtings. In the reign of Queen Elizabeth it was in the poſſeſſion of Sir Ra. Lawſon, and after changing its owners ſeveral times from that period, is now the eſtate of Sir Edward Blacket, whoſe manſion-houſe is ſeated on a [Page 136] fine eminence, ſhielded by extenſive woods, above the river Pont, with a viſta of conſiderable extent opening upon the military road. The houſe and pleaſure grounds are highly pleaſing, though not pompous: there is that elegance which perfect neatneſs conſtitutes, to be diſcerned in the whole.
Adjoining to the eaſt ſide of the viſta, is a rude ſtone Column, nine feet high, near which lately ſtood a Tumulus, which on account of building a farm-houſe, has been deſtroyed; the people living near it, ſay it was near 30 yards in circumference at the foot; but as no remains were left for me to make my obſervations upon, I will give the deſcription found in Mr Wallis's book verbatim. ‘In a field on the eaſt ſide of the viſta, about three quarters of a mile from the houſe, is a circular Mount, with a round cavity in the middle, of the form of the Celtic Tumuli, or Temples; an upright ſtone pillar ſtanding by it, of a great ſize, nine feet high above ground, with flat ſides, three feet broad, and a foot and a half thick. The mount is compoſed of earth and numerous maſſes of ſtone, of the coarſe rag kind, many of which have been digged up for the uſe of this farm, and among them were diſcovered two ſtone cheſts or coffins, conſiſting of four flags ſet edgeways, with a bottom ſtone and a ſtone cover, containing the aſhes of the dead, appearing like a white duſt.’
From this deſcription, I apprehend it was one of the moſt curious pieces of antiquity, of the Tumuli order, that was in this county, or perhaps the north of England. I humbly conceive it was not a Celtic Temple, as Mr Wallis calls it, being evidently appropriated to the ſepulture of the dead; a defilement at no time permitted by the Druids in their holy places. Its diſtant antiquity is proved by the mode of ſepulture; the burning of the deceaſed, after the manner of the Romans, was not attended with the mode diſtinguiſhed herein interment; the Danes uſed burning the deceaſed, but we have no evidence in what manner they practiſed it in England. From the cavity on the crown of the mount, ſimilar to ſome of the Druids monuments I have ſeen, I am induced to apprehend, this was the mauſoleum of the Druid tribe, and of the remoteſt antiquity; and that ſuch cavity was adapted to rites paid to the manes of the deceaſed. Pillars and other memorials of ſepulture, were originally deviſed as mementos to the paſſenger, of the precariouſneſs of our exiſtence, and by remembrance of the virtues of the dead, to promote our emulation. The cuſtom of burning the remains [Page 137] of men of rank or power, gained an acceptation in very early ages; it was conſiſtent with the general ideas of thoſe who held the Amonian rites; the ſpirit or human ſoul was eſteemed to be a ſpark of etherial fire, an emanation of the Deity, who made his throne in the orbit of the ſun, to which they looked up in worſhip; which divine eſſence, in this life, was caſed up in members of mortality, during a pilgrimage allotted to it in a terreſtrial ſtate: to reſtore to that element again this offspring of heavenly light, they reduced even the loathſome memorials of its bondage, that nothing ſhould remain which might cauſe it to linger on earth. But I will add no further to this ſubject, than by way of note, to give the reader the quotations and reflections of Mr Wallis.*
ſituate on a riſing ground, adjoining a ſmall village. There is nothing ſingular in the ſtructure. On entering Northumberland, my companion, the ingenious Mr Bailey, aſſiſted me to draw views of many towers, but ſuch a ſameneſs reigned through the whole, and they multiplied upon us ſo faſt, we were obliged to deſiſt from further proſecution of ſo weariſome and unprofitable a work.—We trod the hallowed ground where Finan, as Bede tells us, then Biſhop of Lindisfarn, baptized Sigebert King of the Eaſt Saxons, and Penda King of the Mercians, with a numerous train of nobles and adherents. This was the ancient ſeat of the Weltons,* of Simon de Welton in the reign of King Henry IV. and continued in that family till the reign of King Charles I.
There is nothing remarkable in this ſtructure. It appertained to the ancient family of Haltons, and was poſſeſſed in the reign of King [Page 139] Henry III. by John de Halton.* It afterwards deſcended to two coheireſſes, through whom one moiety came to the family of Lowthers, and the other to that of the Carnabys. In the reign of King Henry IV. the whole poſſeſſion was in the Carnaby family, with whom it continued for many generations: one of whom, Sir William Carnaby, being a loyaliſt at the battle of Marſdon Moor, in the Northumberland regiment, commanded by the Marquis of Newcaſtle, was obliged to fly the land.
Here is preſerved a ſword of the Carnabys 64 inches long, one of thoſe ill-proportioned inſtruments which was deciſive at one blow, or left its owner at the mercy of his adverſary, unable to recover his weapon for a ſecond attack.† It was difficult to be wielded with any effect by a footman, and undoubtedly appertained to the horſe ſervice;‡ the ſhield deviſed by the Romans as a defence againſt the ſame was borne by the horſemen.
[Page 140] Halton was purchaſed by John Douglas, Eſq * of Newcaſtle, in the year 1706, and by marriage has become the poſſeſſion of Sir Edward Blackett.
the Hunnum of the Romans, ſituate on an eaſy deſcent; the remains of the Vallum not perfectly to be traced.—This ſtation is the next fort that appears upon the wall between Rutcheſter and Walwick Cheſters, and comes at a due diſtance, and in proper order for the ancient Hunnum, the fifth ſtation in the ſeries of the Notitia, garriſoned by the Ala Saviniana.
Mr Gordon, omitting the ſtation at Halton, makes Walwick Cheſters to be Hunnum, and ſuppoſes Cilurnum, the next ſtation in the Notitia, to have been between Walwick Cheſters and Precolitia or Carrawbrugh, but now entirely demoliſhed. This cannot hold, for the walls and their appurtenances are here in the greateſt perfection; how then ſhould a fort on that part of the wall be entirely ruined, ſo as not to have the leaſt veſtige remaining? Beſides, the great diſtance between Rutcheſter and Walwick, which is above twelve miles, ſhews that there muſt have been at leaſt one ſtation between them; and on the other hand, the ſmall diſtance between Walwick Cheſters and Carrawbrugh, which is little more than three meaſured miles, renders it moſt unlikely that there ever ſhould have been another ſtation between them.
Hadrian's Vallum ſeems to have fallen in with the ſouth rampart of this fort, and Severus's wall with the north line of the inner part. There ſeems to have been an aqueduct to convey water to this ſtation, from a ſpring on the higher ground, near Watling-ſtreet-gate: when Mr Horſley paſſed that way, he ſays he was ſhewn a part of it by a countryman, who ſaid, it was what the ſpeaking trumpet was lodged in: of this matter I have treated before.
[Page 141] The ruins of the out-buildings are to the ſouth and ſouth-eaſt of the fort. Near about a furlong to the eaſt of Watling-ſtreet-gate, is a viſible Caſtellum, and at the gate there has been a ſquare Caſtellum, half within the wall and half without.
Mr Horſley remarks, that Severus's military way appears very diſtinct for the ſmall ſpaces where it is ſeparated from Hadrian's north Vallum; regularly paved, but not much raiſed above the level of the ground. When the two are united, they make a military way very beautiful and magnificent: and the reſt both of Severus's and Hadrian's works are ample and conſpicuous all this way. As for the courſe of Severus's military way, and its coinciding with Hadrian's north Vallum, and going off from it again at every Caſtellum, it ſeems very curious, and it is remarkable that it has not been more obſerved.
From St Oſwalds to the river of North Tyne, ſome parts or appurtenances of the walls become more faint and obſcure, and ſome not viſible at all; but yet Severus's wall, the ditch, and Hadrian's Vallum and ditch, are very apparent. After the wall has croſſed the Tyne, it goes to Walwick, as before deſcribed: the diſtance from whence to Halton Cheſters is near five meaſured miles and a quarter, and in this interval there are five viſible Caſtella, beſides one that muſt have ſtood near the river Tyne, but is now entirely loſt. The conſtant diſtance between theſe Caſtella ſeems to have been ſeven furlongs.
Dr Hunter, Mr Smith, and others, take notice of ſome remains at Portgate, or near it, within a mile of the Cheſters: and in the new edition of Camden, it is obſerved, that ‘there is at Portgate, a ſquare old tower ſtill ſtanding, and great ruins of old buildings.’ But it was Mr Horſley's opinion this tower had nothing in it that was Roman, being of the ſame form with a multitude of others that are in the north, and of a much later date. The ruins are at Halton, before ſpoken of.
LEG. II. AVG.E
[Page 142] At the ſame time was found an Extiſpicia of wood, the inſtrument uſed by the Auſpices in examining the Entrails of ſacrificed animals. Another centurial ſtone was alſo found here, inſcribed
LEG. XX. V.V.HORTENSPROCVL.
Urns have been dug up here, with ſome Coins of Nero and Conſtantine; and alſo ſome of Magnentius and Decentius: the remains of ſacrifices have alſo been diſcovered here. This Legion, according to Dr Stukely, after harveſt held a ſolemn feſtival dedicated to Ceres and Ops: the uſual victim was a boar.*
now greatly in decay; the ſituation is formidable, and from the ſolemnity of its ruins, is at this time ſtrikingly auguſt. It is placed on the weſt ſide of a deep gill, on the brink of a precipice, at whoſe foot runs a little brook. By the traces remaining of this edifice, it appears to have been of conſiderable extent and ſtrength, encompaſſed by an outward wall, in which the loop-holes remain. One thing remarkable here, is a ſtable, with an arched roof of ſtone, without any wood in its ſtructure, the mangers being formed of ſtone troughs. It ſeems conſtructed for the preſervation of cattle, at the time of aſſault.
The precipice is famous for a Lover's Leap, an exploit in amour totally neglected in our degenerate days, and incompatible with the ſilken ſoftneſs of modern gallants, who court the hand of deſtruction by modes more truly French, when deſpair ruffles their plumes. This cuſtom is truly Britiſh, the influenza of our heavy and gloomy atmoſphere—we read of no ſuch thing in antiquity, or the manners of other nations. Jack who made his leap here, has immortalized his name, but we are deprived of that of his Dulcinea, whoſe frowns had ſuch power over [Page 143] his forlorn heart. Intercourſe with polite nations has introduced many changes in our manners; moſt Suicides now-a-days, are in deſpair of getting a ſeparation from the ſex, and not their poſſeſſion.
The proſpect from hence is delightful, comprehending the vale, over which Hexham, with imperial looks, ſmiles graciouſly; the river is ſeen in various meanderings, and the oppoſite banks are graced with the elegant manſion of Beaufront, flanked with its extenſive plantations.
Ayden Caſtle was the inheritance of the family of Aydens * for ſeveral generations: it appertained to Emma de Ayden, a rich heireſs, in the reign of King Edward I. he gave her in marriage to Peter de Wallis, whoſe name is ſaid to be local, and derived from Wallis in France; and that he was of the ſame race of the Scotch patriot Wallis, whoſe anceſtor came into Britain with the Conqueror. Ayden afterwards became the inheritance of the Raymes † of Bolham, and was in that family from the reign of King Edward III. to that of King Charles I. A part of the Ayden eſtate is ſaid to have been in the family of the Carnabys.
Camden ſays, near this place was dug up an ancient monument, on which the effigy of a man was cut, reſting on his left arm upon a couch, in the attitude uſed by the Romans, his right hand laid upon his right knee, with the following inſcription:
which may be read thus: Norici annorum triginta Meſſorius Magnus Frater ejus duplaris alae Sabinianae. This is a curious and uſeful inſcription, [Page 144] as it confirms this place to be the Station of Hunnum. The cut of the letters is neither very good nor exact; nor are they very regular as to their magnitude or diſtances one from another; and the the whole favours of the lower Empire. The original is at Conington. Norricus is a Roman name that occurs ſeveral times in Gruter: and the name Meſſorius is found alſo in an inſcription at Riſingham, in this county. The mark at the bottom looked like a part of a letter, as if this ſtone had been parted from another, upon which there was ſome inſcription. Camden ſuppoſes, that Sabina, Hadrian's wife, gave the name to this Ala: but it was thought more probable by Mr Horſley, that it was taken from Sabinia, the wife of the Emperor Gordian; to whoſe time this inſcription much better agrees.— — — — —NORICI. AN. XXX—ESSORIVS MAGNVSFRATER EIVSDVPL. ALESABINIANE
M. Marius Vellia Longus Aquis hanc Poſuit V. S. L. M. Mr Horſley preſumed that Aquis here is for Eques, ſo Equis for Eques we meet with in other inſtances; and perhaps an A for an E has been the error of the tranſcriber. This horſeman might alſo belong to the Ala Sabiniana.M. MARIVS. VELLIA. LONGVS. AQVIS. HANCPOSVITV. S. L. M.
In the reign of King Edward I. A. D. 1296, the Scots burnt Corbridge, on their incurſions, at the ſame time that they deſtroyed Hexham. In the reign of Edward II. Corbridge again ſuffered by the Scots, A. D. 1311.
The church is ancient; under an arch in the north aile, is the tomb of one of the founders, inſcribed Hic jacet in terris Alſini filius Hugo. King Henry I. preſented his Chaplain, Richard de Aurea Valle, to this church; and gave the impropriation and perpetual advowſon, to the Church and Canons of St Mary, Carliſle.
In the year 1735, there was found near Corbridge, a curious piece of Roman plate, now in the poſſeſſion of his Grace the Duke of Northumberland. It weighs 148 ounces, is 20 inches long, and 15 broad, a print of which, engraved by Vertue, ſome years ago was publiſhed by Mr William Shaftoe. We intended whilſt upon our journey, to have procured a drawing of this curious piece of antiquity; but on our arrival at Alnwick, found the caſtle crowded with viſitants, it being one of his Grace's public days, when the popularity and libera ſpirit, ſo eminently diſtinguiſhed in his Grace's character, laid open the gates of his palace.*
It is probable this piece of plate was not for ſacred uſes, but was a Lanx, for the ſervice of the Emperor's table on high feſtivals; and expreſſive of ſome great atchievement to the glory of the Roman Eagle: the locality and the event being loſt to us in the diſtant antiquity.
[Page 146] The beſt deſcription and definition now extant, have been communicated to me, among the manuſcripts of the late Roger Gale, Eſq and I do not doubt the curious reader will readily pardon my inſerting the papers at length, which relate thereto.
"A few days ſince, near the Roman wall in Northumberland, was found by a ſmith's daughter in Corbridge, an ancient piece of ſilver, in ſhape like a tea-board, 20 inches long, and 15 broad, hollowed about an inch deep, with a flat brim, an inch and a quarter broad, neatly flowered with a vine full of grapes, &c.—On the right hand is a figure of Apollo, with the bow in his left hand, and a phyſical herb in his right, under a canopy ſupported by two Corinthian pillars; near his left leg is a Tyre, under it an Heliſtrope, and at his feet a Python; near the right hand pillar is another of a different form, with a ſun for its capital; againſt this ſits a Prieſteſs on a tripod, who looks over her ſhoulder at Apollo, under her feet is an altar, near which lies a ſtag on his back.—The next figure to the Prieſteſs is another female, her head unveiled, with a ſpear or wand in her left hand, on the top of which is a ball, and near her is Minerva with a helmet on her head, a ſpear in her left hand, pointing with her right to a man (ſuppoſed an Hunter) on the other ſide of a large tree; on Minerva's breaſt is a Meduſa's head, under her feet an altar, and near it a wolf looking up to a man who has a bow in his left, and an arrow in his right hand; below him, at one corner of the plate, is a rock with an urn in the midſt of it, from which flows a ſtream. The figures are raiſed large, and well proportioned and caſt-work, without the leaſt ſign of a graver upon it. There are a few ſcratches of a punch or chiſel on the back of it; the three firſt are I. PX, but the reſt is very unintelligible. It had under the middle of it a low frame, about 7 inches long, 4 broad, and one and an half deep, but this was broken off by the ſmith, though once all of a piece. It was found by a little brook or water-courſe near the above-mentioned place, and weighing about 148 ounces, was bought by Mr Cookſon, a goldſmith of Newcaſtle, who values it at a high rate. It has been deſcribed by ſeveral Virtuoſi to the Royal Society, that of the Antiquarians, and others, who eſteem it a valuable relique of antiquity."
Letter from Mr Robert Cay, with an account of the Corbridge Silver Plate. 4 March, 1734.
"My fondneſs to antiquity is revived, and with it the memory of my obligations to you, by a Silver Table that has lately fallen into the hands of Mr Iſaac Cookſon, a goldſmith in this town. It was found near Corbridge, by ſome ignorant poor people, who have cut off the feet in ſuch a vile barbarous manner, that they have broke two holes through the table, and a ſmall piece off one of the corners too. It is 19 inches and ½ long, and 15 broad, the feet 7½ long, and 5½ broad, and about one inch high; it weighs about 150 ounces. I imagine it to have been caſt all in one piece, moſt of the work is in baſſe relief, the reſt engraved. It repreſents a ſacrifice to Apollo, whoſe image ſtands in a ſmall temple by two Corinthian pillars, againſt one of them ſeems to be a pile of ſome ſquare blocks, and cloſe to it ſits a Prieſteſs upon a ſtool, that ſhews but two feet; behind her is a column with a globe upon it, I ſuppoſe to repreſent the ſun, though had it been alone I ſhould not have thought ſo: near her ſtands another in the ſame habit, and a third that ſeems to have the attributes of Pallas, particularly the head-piece. Near the laſt is a man * with a bow in his left hand, and an arrow in his right, before him is an altar and a dog, I think a greyhound near him; behind him is a large ſpreading tree, with an eagle parched upon it; there are alſo ſeveral ſmall birds about it, but theſe are only engraved. In the lower corner next the man, on the left hand as you look at it, there is a rocky hill, and on the ſide of it lies an urn, with a ſtream of water running out; perhaps deſigned to repreſent the river Tyne. The two ſtanding women hold each of them a ſtaff of their own height. Afore the temple is another altar, on one ſide of which lies a griffin, and on the other ſide next the man, a buck, which ſeems to be killed for a ſacrifice; near the buck grow two ears of corn tyed together, and near the griffin a ſhrub of three or four branches, that has at the end of each branch ſomewhat formed like a fan. There is a border raiſed round the whole, higher than the plain, which is adorned with a vine; the branch is engraved, but the grapes and leaves are in baſſe relief. I am, Sir, yours, &c.
ROBERT CAY.Newcaſtle, 4 March, 1734.
"I heartily wiſh this table was in the hands of ſome curious gentleman well able to make ſuch purchaſes, for I find Mr Cookſon will expect [Page 148] profit, though I hope he will not be unreaſonable. I ſhould have taken notice, that the workmanſhip appears in all reſpects to be of the lower Empire."
15 March, 1735.
"Soon after the poſt was gone from hence, I received yours of the 11th. This morning I went to the goldſmith, who ſoon convinced me of my error in ſaying the birds, &c. were engraved; and that all which I thought to be engraved, was ſtruck with the chiſel and punch; ſo that I muſt own your ſuſpicions were well grounded. Mr Cookſon's father happens to be here now; I take him to be well verſed in the art of caſting of metals; he ſhewed me ſeveral marks near one end, in the middle of which end there is a crack; which marks and crack, he ſays, are proofs that it was caſt in one piece.
"As to the place where it was found, he ſays, he can tell me no more, than that it was ſomewhere near Corbridge. He apprehends the perſon who ſold it to him was afraid to name the particular place, or to confeſs in whoſe manor it was diſcovered, as fearing a claim from the Lord of the Manor.
I am, Sir, yours, &c. ROBERT CAY.
"P. S. I am told two other pieces of antique plate have been ſince found in the ſame place. One of them was ſold to a gentleman in Cumberland, and the other to a goldſmith in this town, who thinking it much damaged, had melted it down before I heard of it.
Letter from Sir John Clerk, in anſwer to one from Mr Gale, giving an account of the Corbridge Silver Plate.
"The account you have ſent me of the ſilver table found near Corbridge is very ſurprizing. How happy had Mr Gorden and I been, when we were hunting for Roman Antiquities in that country, if this valuable curioſity had fallen into our hands! As to the uſe of it, I make no queſtion of its being a tabula votiva, and that it has been hung up, or kept in a temple, at Corbridge; dedicated perhaps to Apollo or Ceres. No doubt the Roman officer, who commanded in theſe northern parts of Britain, thought himſelf very happy, to find good meat and drink, in a country where he expected to find nothing, but famine and barbarity; and therefore in gratitude made this preſent to the God of the place.
"I cannot help, ſince I am in this way of thinking, to reflect a little upon what I obſerved in a church, called Notre Dame de Halle, about 12 miles from Bruſſels; the walls were hung round with ſilver legs and arms, cups, and ſeveral other things in ſilver, as tokens of gratitude to the bleſſed Virgin, for having by her means and interceſſion, been recovered from infirmities and diſtempers.
"Among other things, I could not but take notice of a Silver Pen, which old doating Juſtus Lipſius had ſent thither ſome years before, out of gratitude, as an inſcription told us, for that by the aſſiſtance of the Virgin Mary, he had been enabled with ſo much eloquence, &c. to write a Treatiſe de Miraculis B. Virginis Hallenſis. I called to mind upon that occaſion, paſſages very agreeable to your Silver Table and applicable.
Hic ſteterat nautis olim venerabile lignumServati ex undis ubi figere dona ſolebantLaurenti Divo, et votis ſuſpendere veſtes.*— me Tabula ſacerVotiva paries indicat uvidaSuſpendiſſe potentiVeſtimenta maris Deo.†
"You are pleaſed to expreſs ſome doubt, as to the engraving; and I think you have reaſon. The Romans, I believe, never practiſed our [Page 150] way of engraving, yet they did what was next to it, for they were uſed to cut ſome remarkable laws and edicts in braſs tables, as they uſed to make inſcriptions in marble or ſtone. I have ſeen ſome of theſe, particularly at Lyons, which at that time made me reflect on the dulneſs of the Romans, and all mankind beſides, that by means of theſe braſs plates they had not fallen upon the art of printing; for if theſe had been daubed over with any ſort of colour, and clapt upon the paper or parchment, they would ſoon have introduced that art; but there are many plain things that mankind cannot ſee into all of a ſudden, and which are reſerved for poſterity. I'd be glad to hear from you after you have ſeen this fine plate; 'tis well the goldſmith did not melt it down, as ſome modern Goths of this trade have frequently done.
I am ever, Sir,Pennycink, 28th March, 1735.
Your moſt faithful humble ſervant, JOHN CLERK.
Letter from Maurice Johnſon, Eſq in anſwer to one from Mr Gale, giving an account of the Corbridge Silver Plate, &c.
3d May, 1735.
"It was with much pleaſure I received and communicated to our little fraternity, your very obliging and ingenious account of the Corbridge Silver Table, which honour I am commanded to return you thanks for, and for your very kind promiſe of continuing to us the moſt valuable favour, of your ever entertaining, judicious, and improving correſpondence. On reading your account of that maſſy piece, ſome of us thought it might have been part of an Acerra, or ſacred coffer, wherein incenſe and odours were preſerved for the ſervice of the altar, or ſalt, &c. for ſome ſorts of ſacrifices; others have perhaps with more reaſon conceived it to be a ſtand, ſalver, or ſort of waiter to ſet ſuch things on, or even the Acerra, or perhaps for domeſtick uſes; for we are too apt to apply every relique of antiquity, as being venerable, to [Page 151] ſacred purpoſes. The Society next ſucceeding (which was the 1ſt of laſt month) we had much the like account, but the dimenſions a little different, and the figures or characters on the back ſaid to be I. P. X. with the unintelligible traces of more: to us they are ſo.
"Our friend and brother member, Mr Bogdani, in a letter I lately received from him, tells me, you now ſeem to think this piece caſt or wrought in the Saxon * times; of which people, as we have fewer remains in the arts of deſigning (when they are ſaid to have been in a great meaſure loſt, I ſhould be glad if this ſhewed us ſomewhat of their ceremonies or cuſtoms) than of the Romans; of which we have many, and under whom, from the Graecia Capta to the utter declenſion of their empire, we have in almoſt every part of the world moſt ſplendid remains; but from what I remember to have read in Verſtegan or elſewhere, of the Saxons, I cannot apply any part of this deſign, peculiarly to any piece of their ſacred or civil hiſtory; from the coins even of their lateſt Princes, they ſeem to me to have had leſs notions of deſigning after nature, and to have done their work in a much worſe taſte than our old Britiſh anceſtors, of whom I am ſatisfied, I have ſeen ſeveral coins or medals in every one of the three metals, not imitating or borrowed from the Romans, or made by Roman workmen; and of theſe, ſome by the extraordinary boldneſs of the relief, and all by their convexity, more in the manner of ſome of the eaſtern people than the Romans; to whom the manner of chariot-fighting ſeemed ſtrange, though very cuſtomary with the eaſtern nations, whoſe ſtrength for the battle was frequently calculated or eſtimated by the number of their chariots and horſemen: and I cannot ſay I ever ſaw a fair piece of old convex coin found in England, but had on it ſome deſign of a horſe, horſeman, chariot, or wheels, and ſometimes with more things with them. Notwithſtanding what has been advanced againſt the judgment of Sir Robert Cotton, Selden, Speed, Camden, &c. I cannot but think that in the main they give us rational conjectures about the Britiſh coins or medals, if we ſhould not allow them to be current coin; for which yet I ſee not any reaſon, unleſs we are bound to take all for truth and fact which the Romans relate, and admit alſo, that they told the whole truth, and all that was really fact, of thoſe brave, polite, and honeſt people, whom they ſo gloried in annoying and diſtreſſing. Sed manum de Tabulá.—Only [Page 152] give me leave by you, Sir, to preſent our thanks to your good brother, for his ingenious Diſſertation on Caeſar's Landing, which gave our Society much pleaſure, particularly our worthy Preſident, and another member, who having ſome years reſided in thoſe parts, well knew all the places therein mentioned.
"What we have had of late communicated,* has been chiefly poems, and ſome philoſophical experiments, ſchemes of draining, and ſeveral petrifactions preſented to our petty Muſaeum, where we continue to amuſe ourſelves every Thurſday, and remember with pleaſure our friends at the Mitre.
"On the 17th ult. the Rev. Mr Ray, V. P. ſhewed the Society a ſculpture in ivory of a Skeleton ſitting on a monument, with a winding-ſheet thrown over him like a looſe robe, reſting his right hand on an hour glaſs, and his left on his ſcythe, with ſculls and bones in baſs relief, on the ſides of the monument. The blade of the ſcythe had teeth like a ſickle, the work ſeemed of ſome age, but as a Phyſician ſaid, not accurate.
"He alſo ſhewed a paper MSS. in 24o. of the whole book of Pſalms, in number 150, written in French moſt elegantly in all the hands in uſe throughout Europe, by Mrs Eſther Anglois, a French Lady at Liſlebourgh en Eſoſſe, 1599, dedicated to Prince Maurice of Naſſau, with a complimentary copy of Latin Verſes to his Highneſs, by B. K. her huſband, and ſeveral on the Lady's elegant writing, by Andrew Melvin John Johnſon, Robert Rolloe, and on her perſon and great abilities, under her picture, neatly drawn by herſelf with a pen; as are alſo the Arms of that Prince, and a Head and Tail-piece to each pſalm. This curious little MSS. is bound in velvet embroidered with gold, the leaves finely gilded and painted, with a running foliage ſtamped thereon: the ſaid Prince of Orange's cognizance or device is embroidered on the corners in ſilk of proper colours, and drawn with a pen at the end of the book, within a laurel wreath, a branch of palm with the motto, VIRESCIT, on an eſcrol, wrapped round it, and a coronet over it. It was, by tradition, given by the Prince to a French Refugee Gentleman, who was his Surgeon; and from him came into the hands of a Lady, who now [Page 153] owns it, and ſets a very high value upon it. The Prince and Poets, we know, are eminent enough, though their compliments are puns, and their wit low; but who B. K. called dictae Eſthrae Maritus, ſhould be, we know not.—I wiſh, good Sir, I had any thing better to divert you with; I write now however as ſoon as I could, rather than be rude, in neglecting by anſwer, to acknowledge the receipt of yours, and the great pleaſure and honour you have done to us all; and more particularly to,
Your moſt obedient humble ſervant, MAURICE JOHNSON."Spalding, 3 May, 1735.
Part of a Letter from Sir John Clerk, relating the Corbridge Silver Plate.
"I had yours of the 1ſt inſtant in due time, but ſince you was to go down to Cambridge, I delayed giving you any trouble till now. I am very much obliged to you for the particular account you have been pleaſed to ſend me of the Silver Table. I am ſorry that you think it not ancient, and yet by the figures it ſhould ſeem ſo ſtill. I humbly think, that if theſe figures relate to any known piece of hiſtory among the ancients, they may be modern; but if they relate to nothing of this kind, they may be ancient ſtill, at leaſt of the lower Empire, or the Greek. In Father Mabillon's Diplomata there are ſeveral engravings which one would believe to be modern, and yet are of the 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th centuries. The argument I now would draw from theſe is only this, that in the 3d and 4th centuries there might have been ſome heathen engravings much of the ſame kind; but you can beſt make the compariſon, who have ſeen the table.
"I am ſurprized with what you write me about the reception Mr Blackwall's book * had with my good friend my Lord Iſlay:—ſomething or other has diſobliged him, for I know his reſpect for all men who are lovers of learning only, as well as the Literati themſelves. He had a particular regard for Mr Horſley, who printed the Britannia Romana, and was poſitively reſolved to have done him ſervice about the time when he died. I am, &c.
JOHN CLERK."Pennycinck, 30 May, 1735.
Part of another Letter from Sir John Clerk, on the Corbridge Silver Plate.
"I am glad that upon viewing the Silver Table you think it ancient. This was always the notion I conceived of it, for I could not imagine any modern Sculptor could get into his head ſo much ancient imagery, without any foundation from ancient hiſtory or fable. I am indifferent who gets the better in the law-ſuit,* but I hope it will be preſerved and kept in the country. I fancy with myſelf you will be able to diſcover ſome piece of our hiſtory from it; for I make not the leaſt queſtion but it has been a preſent from ſome of the Roman Emperors, and alludes to ſome memorable affairs at the time. The table has ſerved, I believe, for an oblation of fruits or corn on ſome remarkable altar near the wall, erected to the honour of perhaps Diana, Ceres, or Bacchus, and that it has afterwards been hung up in the temple dedicated to one of theſe Deities. An Iriſhman would perhaps diſcover the antiquity of Ireland from the Harp, and I believe you will be inclined to think one of the figures is a repreſentation of Britain. I am, &c.
6 Auguſt, 1735.
Letter from Roger Gale, Eſq to Mr Robert Cay, upon the Silver Plate found at Corbridge.
"When I wrote laſt, I had only time to return you thanks for the favour you procured me from Mr Cookſon, of taking a draught of his moſt curious Silver Table, being to go out of town next morning. Since I came back, upon peruſing the letters I received from you on that occaſion, I find in one of them a deſire of knowing my thoughts upon that ſubject, which I cannot refuſe to a gentleman who has laid me under ſo many obligations, and to whom the pleaſure and entertainment I have received from the frequent views of that uncommon and valuable piece of antiquity, are entirely due; and the leſs, becauſe the accounts hitherto publiſhed of it ſeem to me not a little erroneous.
"I ſhall begin to deſcribe it from the right hand to the left, as you look upon the face of the plate, where Apollo, the principal figure in the whole piece, is placed in a fanum or ſmall temple, (the roof of which is ſupported by two wreathed columns with flowered capitals) almoſt naked, having only a pallium hanging down from his left ſhoulder over his [Page 155] back; in the ſame hand is his bow, which he holds up towards the top of the column on the ſame ſide; his right hand is extended downwards with a branch in it, perhaps of laurel, croſs that pillar; againſt which, almoſt to the middle of it, riſes a pyramidical pile of 12 pieces: for what it is intended, I muſt confeſs my ignorance.—See the plate.
"Againſt the baſis of the left hand column, reſts a lyre, whoſe form is truly antique; and beneath it grows a plant with three ſpreading flowers at its three extremities, deſigned, as I ſuppoſe, for an Heliotrope; cloſe by it couches a Griffin, with its wings elevated over its back. The Ancients had ſo high an opinion of the ſagacity of this fictitious animal, that they conſecrated it to the God of Wiſdom: Begerus gives us a medal of Commodus, the reverſe whereof is Apollo in a chariot drawn by two Griffins; and the poet Claudian alludes to this manner of his riding, in the following diſtich:
Ac ſi Phoebus adeſt, et fraenis Grypha jugalemRiphaeo, tripodas repetens, detorſit ab axis, &c.*
"Againſt the right hand column and this pyramidical pile, ſits a woman, upon a ſquare four-footed ſtool, though no more than two of its legs are viſible; ſhe looks backward over her left ſhoulder towards Apollo, and is wrapped up in a long garment or ſtola, from head to foot, and veiled. By this attire, and the altar which was brought from Troy, with the eternal fire burning upon it juſt by her, I take her to be Veſta.
—Manibus vittas, veſtamque potentemAeternumque adytis effert penetralibus ignem. Virgil.Et vos Virgineâ lucentes ſemper in arâLaomidontiae, Trojana altaria, flammae. Sil. Hal.
"The next is a woman erect, her hair gathered up and tied with a knot behind, upon her forehead riſes a Tutulus, and ſhe is habited in a Stola from her ſhoulders to the ground: her right arm is wrapped up croſs her breaſt in her garb, only the hand appearing out of it; in her [Page 156] left ſhe holds a ſpear, the ſhaft twiſted, the iron of it ſomething obtuſe. This ſeems to be the only human figure in the company; but a very learned gentleman * of my acquaintance thinks it may be deſigned for Juno, who is often thus accoutred with a ſpear; if ſo, it muſt be the effigies of Juno curis, or Juno haſtata, we have it from Ovid, ‘"— Quod haſta curis priſcis eſt dicta ſabinis."’ She was the ſame with Juno pronuba; ‘Celebri haſta nubentis caput comebatur, vel quia Junonis curitis in tutelâ eſſet, vel ut fortes viros ominaretur;’ but as there is no peacock, nor any other attribute of her divinity attending her, and her appearance no ways majeſtick or adequate to the
I cannot be entirely of his opinion, eſpecially as ſhe ſeems by her poſture and attitude to be a follower and attendant of the next figure, which is plainly "Pallas—Galeá effulgens et Gorgone ſaevá," the head of that monſter, as uſual, being fixt upon her breaſt. In her left hand ſhe holds a ſharp-pointed ſpear, her right is extended towards Diana, with whom ſhe ſeems engaged in a very earneſt diſcourſe, to which alſo that Goddeſs ſeems very attentive: ſhe is the laſt figure in the group, though called a man in all the accounts I have ſeen of this table, and repreſented here as the Diana venatrix by the coif and feminine dreſs of her head, tuck'd up with a knot behind like the hair of the third figure, as well as by the bow in her left and arrow in her right hand. Her ſhort Tunica, which reaches down little more than to the middle of her thighs, and her buſkins, that come up no higher than the calf of her legs, has occaſioned this miſtake of her ſex, but Ovid tells us,—Divum regina, JoviſqueEt ſoror et conjux.
Between the two figures of Pallas and Diana, riſes a tall ſlender tree with a crooked waving ſtem, the branches of which are diſplayed almoſt over two-thirds of the top of the plate. On the main branch is perch'd an eagle, with one wing expanded, as if going to take a flight: this is of raiſed ſolid work, like the reſt of the figures, but there are ſeveral ſmall birds ſitting among the boughs, that are only punch'd, or cut in with a tool, as are alſo ſeveral feſtoons hanging down from the [Page 157] tree, and many other little ſhrubs and flowers interſperſed all over the area of the table. The great bird ſitting directly over the head of Pallas, made me conclude at firſt that it was her owl, till I had ſeen the original, which convinced me that it can be deſigned for nothing but an eagle."Talia ſuccincta pinguntur crura Dianae"Cum ſequitur fortes, fortior ipſa, feras."
"Under this tree ſtands an altar, and ſo cloſe to Diana, that ſhe holds her left hand and bow over it. It is but little, and has nothing upon it except a ſmall globular body, perhaps a maſs of the Libamina, ex farre, melle, et oleo.
"I ſhould have told you, that below the feet of Pallas grows a plant, which ſeems to bear two ears of corn upon the ſame ſtalk, but cannot ſay what it is, or how it belongs to her. Beneath the tree and the little altar, ſtands a thin-gutted dog, like a greyhound, his noſe turned up in a howling or barking poſture, as often exhibited with this Goddeſs on medals, and in other repreſentations of her: ſome
Under her, in the very corner of the plate, riſes a rock, upon which ſhe ſets her left foot, and againſt the ſide of it lies an urn with the mouth downwards, diſcharging a plentiful ſtream of water. As ſhe ſtands upon this rock or hill, and ſo near to this ſpreading tree, I cannot but think of Horace's addreſs to her, ‘"Montium cuſtos, Nemorumque Virgo."’ The whole table is encompaſſed with a border, raiſed near an inch high, and ornamented with a creeping vine, whoſe grapes and leaves are in relievo, but the ſtalk only tooled.— Acutae vocis HyclatorAut ſubſtricta gerens Sicyonius Ilia Ludon.Ovid.
"The work of this curious piece is neither of the beſt or worſt of times: the figure of Veſta, particularly, is extremely well executed, the poſture free, the drapery ſoft and eaſy; and what is very remarkable, the inſtita or border, an ornament of the ſtola, appropriated to the Roman ladies of quality.
"Quarum ſubſuta talos tegit inſtita veſte,"* is neatly worked all round this of our Veſta, and thoſe of the other female Deities, nor is the next figure much inferior. I cannot, nor has any body elſe who has ſeen it, diſcover that the plan has any relation to any ſtory in the [Page 158] Heathen Mythology, but ſeems only an aſſemblage of the Deities it repreſents: this may be ſome argument of its antiquity,* for had a modern workman had the deſigning of it, he would in all probability have taken ſome known piece of hiſtory for his ſubject; to which I may add, all the ſymbols are genuine, and truly adapted to their owners.
"I was once of opinion, that it might have been the cover of an Acerra, but the foot which ſupported it puts an end to the ſurmiſe. We don't well know what the Anclabris was, the definition of it is in Feſtus as follows: ‘Anclabris menſa divinis miniſteriis apta: dicebantur autem anclabria, et Anclabris ab anculare quod erat miniſtrare.’ This is big enough to contain the Exta of a ſheep, or other ſmall victims, which ſeems to me to be the likelieſt employment for it, and that it was one of theſe ſacrificing utenſils that Virgil more than once calls Lances:
Theſe Lances were both round and ſquare, but the Diſcus uſed for the ſame purpoſe ſeems to have been always round."Lancibus et pandis fumantia reddimus Exta †"— Lanceſque et Liba feremus.‡"Dona ferunt, cumulántque oneratis Lancibus Aras."§
"If you have the patience to read this over, you will have reaſon to think me not a little impertinent, in giving you ſo minute a deſcription, of what you had ſeen ſo often, and ſo long before it came under my view; but as I chance to have ſome notions different from what appeared to you, and as I could not well explain my thoughts upon it without entering into the particulars, I hope you will excuſe me. My ſervice to Mr Cookſon, if he is deſirous of ſeeing this, he may command it, but pray let no copy be taken of it.
I am, Your moſt obedient humble ſervant, R. GALE.London, 23d Aug. 1735.
Letter from Maurice Johnſon, Eſq about the Corbridge Silver Plate.
"Your moſt obliging and ingenious account of the Corbridge Silver Table, and Diſſertation upon it, I received and read to our Society laſt Thurſday, the 21ſt inſtant, at which were preſent our Rev. Preſident and 13 other Members, and 2 Honorary, and return you their and my thanks for that excellent entertainment. As you give leave to conjecture at the female figure, erect, her hair tied up with a knot behind, with a ſmall oval,* perhaps a Britiſh pearl (for which our coaſt was in the Roman times famous) her right arm wrapped up, a ſpear with an obtuſe point in her left; permit me to opine this may be in honour to our iſle, and to repreſent Britannia, as on a coin of Hadrian in my collection, or the Genius of Great Britain ſtill retained in the reverſe of our copper coin, but in a ſedentary poſture; ſometimes by the Ancients with an haſta pura, ſometimes armed with an iron ſharp-headed one; here, as between both, with an obtuſe blunt-headed one; as worn in war ſe defendendo amongſt the Romans. I know not what elſe to think it, and as formed amongſt us, who ſo likely? The pyramidical figure I take only to denote ſtabilitas aeterna, and was, though in a leſs elegant form, the device of repreſenting the Deity in the earlieſt times of art, before ſtatuaries had taught marbles to aſſume limbs, and almoſt to breathe. Whatever this noble piece of plate was deſigned for, I take it to have been a grand compliment to our native country, and am therefore now the more deſirous of being poſſeſſed of a drawing of it.
Spalding, 25th Aug. 1735.
Mr Gale's Anſwer to the preceding Letter.
"I am much pleaſed that the laſt account I ſent of the Corbridge Plate met with ſo good a reception from the gentlemen for whoſe entertainment I deſigned it. We muſt yet call it the Corbridge Plate, ſince at preſent it is ſaid to have been found near that town; though I am inclined to think it is only given out ſo, to conceal the true place where it was diſcovered. When the bill that the Duke of Somerſet has filed in Chancery, againſt the preſent poſſeſſor of it, for treaſure-trove in his [Page 160] royalty, comes to be argued, we may come to the truth. This conteſt with his Grace, made the owner very ſhy of letting it be ſeen by any body, and it was not without great importunity that a gentleman, to whom he was under the ſtrongeſt obligations, procured me the favour of taking a draught of it, and upon condition that I ſhould not permit any one to copy it, nor know where the original (which has been ſhifted into two or three hands) is now depoſited. My promiſe to comply with theſe terms muſt plead my excuſe for not permitting any body to take a copy of mine till the diſpute is determined, or I have leave to impart it to my friends, among whom you may then command it with the firſt. I had ſome weeks ago given a very ſhort account of the figures on this table, to Sir John Clerk at Edinburgh, a gentleman whoſe learning and judgment are of a ſuperior degree. He had, from what I ſaid to him, the very ſame opinion as yourſelf about the unknown figure, viz. that it might repreſent Britannia, but I believe both you and he would change your thoughts upon inſpection of it: it is entirely Roman by the habit, and not the leaſt circumſtance attending it that may honour our country with being in ſo celeſtial a rendezvous of Deities.
"Your conjecture upon the pyramidical pile I like well: I was once of opinion that it might have been ſome ſort of an altar dedicated to Apollo, and that the 12 pieces of which it conſiſts, might have ſome relation to the 12 months of the year. Tellus Stabilis we have upon the coins of Hadrian, Sabina Fauſtina Pii, and Commodus, but without this pyramis; in our table it is erected as near to Veſta as to Apollo, and ſo may be an attribute belonging as well to her, the Goddeſs of the Earth, as to him, the God of the Year. My beſt ſervices attend your flouriſhing Society, and I am, &c.
Letter from Dr Stuleley, concerning the Corbridge Plate, and a like piece found in Riſley Park, in Derbyſhire, to Mr Gale.
"I thank you for the account of the Roman Salver; it is exactly ſuch a ſort of utenſil, as that found in Riſley Park, in Derbyſhire, eight years ago, of which I wrote a large account, and traced it from an altar in France, where it was given by Exuperius the Biſhop, a friend of St Jerom's, till it got to Derby, and probably thence to Dale abbey altar, near which it was found.
[Page 161] "We may conjecture it to have been buried at the diſſolution, or in war time. 'Tis not unlikely that the Northumbrian plate was St Wilfrid's originally, and belonged to his cathedral at Hexham, buried there at his baniſhment, or ſince. He might purchaſe it in his travels in France, or at Rome. I take them to have been to adorn the ſide-boards of the Romans upon feſtivals.
"I have drawn lately Abbot Fountain's (of Croyland) Chair at Upton, preſerved by Biſhop Dove at the diſſolution: I am become a great Mandarin, and have wrote two or three verſes of the beginning of the book of Geneſis in Chineſe.
I am, &c. W. STUKELEY."Stamford, 12 Sept. 1735.
Two altars of the greateſt value to Antiquaries were found here; the one adorned on one ſide with a wreath, and on the other with an ox's head and a knife, dedicated by Diodora * the Prieſteſs of the Tyrian Hercules, three feet four inches and a quarter in height.
[Page 162] Mr Horſley gives the following reading and remarks upon it: ‘ [...], h. e. Herculi Tirrio Diodora Princeps Sacerdos. It has been twice publiſhed in the Tranſactions by Dr Hunter and Dr [Page 163] Todd. The differences between their copies and this will appear upon comparing them one with another. This copy was taken after the original had been thrice viſited and examined with care, and [Page 164] every variation in the former copies diligently marked. Dr Todd's delineation is different both from Dr Hunter's and mine. He tranſlates it Herculi Tyrio divina dona archiſacerdotalia vel per ſummum Sacerdotem offerenda; but he offers no reaſon to confirm this tranſlation. Dr Hunter's copy has been taken with more exactneſs, but not without ſome little variations from the original; nor has he tranſlated or explained the inſcription: but the moſt material difference between the other copies and the original, is in the ſecond letter of the ſecond line, which they repreſent as [...], though it is plainly [...]. The next letter in the ſame line is very diſtinct, as to the greateſt part of it; but towards the top is a flaw in the ſtone. If no ſtroke or part of the letter is loſt in this flaw, the letter muſt be [...]; if this break be ſuppoſed to contain a part of the letter, which is moſt probable, then it may either be [...], or rather a double [...], with one face backward, as the double [...] is frequently expreſſed upon Latin inſcriptions. If this be admitted, the word will be Tirrio, probably for Tyrio; and the whole may then, as I apprehend, be tranſlated as in the reading.’
‘Several ancient writers take notice of the peculiar regard and worſhip paid to Hercules by the Tyrians. Arrian ſays his temple in that city was the oldeſt upon record. Diodora the Arch-prieſteſs, mentioned in this inſcription, might perhaps be devoted to his ſervice. That this was an office of great dignity, and not below perſons of the firſt rank, appears from another inſcription, produced by Montfaucon, which is, "Caracylaea Arch prieſteſs deſcended from Kings." We have likewiſe an inſcription in the Marmora Oxonienſis, where one Aurelia Fauſta has this title given her: that inſcription having been erected at Smyrna, the learned Editor ſuppoſes the Lady was Arch-prieſteſs to Diana; and among other reaſons he aſſigns this, becauſe Prieſteſs miniſtered only to female Deities. Now if this obſervation was univerſally true, it would deſtroy the ſuppoſition above mentioned, relating to Diodora. But there is an inſcription in Gruter, ATERIA SACER — DATIS PA—, which I think can mean nothing elſe but Ateria Prieſteſs of Pluto. And Pauſanias ſays expreſsly, that it was cuſtomary for a virgin to officiate as Prieſteſs in the temple of Neptune, in Calaurea. It appears therefore, by theſe inſtances, that women were not wholly excluded from the prieſthood of male Deities. Caracylaea, in the inſcription of Montfaucon, is ſaid preſently after to have been wife to C. Julius Severus; the ſame, as [Page 165] Montfaucon thinks, who, according to the Faſti Conſulares, was Conſul in the year 155. And why may we not ſuppoſe that Diodora was married to ſome commander of the Roman forces, who brought her hither, where ſhe erected this altar, in honour of the Deity to whoſe ſervice ſhe had been particularly devoted? And the like may be ſaid with reſpect to other Grecian Deities, whoſe altars are found here in Britain, (as Jupiter Dolichenus and Dea Syria) which might be ſet up by perſons originally of thoſe countries where theſe Deities were more particularly worſhipped.’
The other altar is dedicated to Aſtarte,* a Syrian Goddeſs, and is now in the poſſeſſion of the Rev. Mr Graham of Netherby. The engraving [Page 166] is copied from an elegant one given in the Archaeologia. Dr Stukeley gives the following reading of it: ‘Marcus Egoraſt, the ſon of [Page][Page 167] Acherm, dedicates this altar to Aſtarte.’ * The names he preſumes are Syriac, Arabic, or Punic, and the adoption of Marcus proceeds from the Roman connection.
This altar, ſuppoſed to be inſcribed by the Prieſt, is attributed to a Marine Legion, raiſed by Hadrian in Syria, called the Ulpian Legion: which followed Carauſius in the time of Maximian.†
Camden conjectures Corbridge was the Curia Ottodinorum of the Romans, noted by Ptolomy, and the Corſtopitum of Antonine. He has this ſingular remark—that here King John ſearched for hidden treaſures of the ancients; but was deceived no leſs than Nero, when he ſought for the hidden wealth of Dido at Carthage.‡
From my view of the extenſive ruins at Corcheſter, near this place, I ſhould conceive it was the chief Roman city in this part of Britain. Leland ſays, in his time the names of divers ſtreets remained, and great tokens of old foundations.
where are the remains of a Roman Station: it is unnoticed in the Notitia, and is conjectured, was abandoned at the time of taking that account of the Roman Empire in Britain. It is not larger than thoſe ſtations near the wall, before deſcribed: the remains of the Pretorium are yet very conſpicuous. This ſtation ſtands on the tongue of land formed by the ſtream of Cor, at its conflux with the Tyne. Nothing curious remains at this time, but the foundations of a bridge, viſible at low water, believed to be of Roman conſtruction.
Dr Todd, in the Philoſophical Tranſactions, ſuppoſes the name to have been originally Herculceſter, i. e. Caſtra Herculis. What led him to this opinion, is the altar with the Greek inſcription dedicated to the Tyrian Hercules. Mr Horſley was of opinion, ‘that as Corſtopidum had been generally, ſo it is very juſtly, placed at the ſtation near Corbridge. This place has generally been taken for Ptolomy's Curia Otadenorum, becauſe there ſeems to be ſome affinity between the names, and becauſe the Otadini muſt certainly be placed hereabouts;’ but he differs in opinion concerning this matter, and concludes that Corſtopidum and Curia were different names, and altogether different places.
The Ermin-ſtreet way, having croſſed the Tyne, proceeds towards Ebcheſter, in the biſhoprick of Durham, and continues its courſe almoſt in a meridian line to Dover, in Kent, as may be ſeen in Antoninus's Itinerary. Another military way paſſes from this place ſouth-weſt through Dilſton Park, over Hexham Fell, to Old Town, in Alondale, and meets with the Maiden Way at Whitley Caſtle, as is ſet out in Mr Warburton's Map of Northumberland.
The Romans were excellent architects, and by all the deſcriptions given of their bridges * in Britain, teſtified their geometrical knowledge: their arch was ſemicircular, their pillars multangular, with a ſharp angle to the ſtream, like the prow of a ſhip. The foundations of the piers were conſtructed of an horizontal arch made of ſtones, in the form of a wedge, as appears by the remains here. In ſituations ſubject [Page 169] to rapid floods, a ſmall arch was formed in the pier, to receive the water when it began to reach the bow of the arch.
Many Roman Antiques have been found here; ſuch as coins, ſeals, &c. but moſt of them of the lower Empire.*
next attracted our notice. The Manſion-houſe is now in ruins. Its ſituation is fine, on the brink of a ſteep hill cloathed with wood, deſcending to the brook of Devil's Water. The approach we made was romantic: the rivulet at its conflux with the Tyne flows out of a deep dell, forming a grand natural caſcade, after having paſſed a bridge of a ſingle arch, which leads to the manſion: through this arch a mill is ſeen, over which are lofty and impending cliffs; the whole embowered by trees, extending their branches from each ſide of the dell, and ſpreading out a leafy canopy, at leaſt an hundred feet in height, ſhadowing the lower objects with a ſolemn gloom.
This was the poſſeſſion of the ancient family of Devilſtons,* who held it from the time of the conqueſt for ſeveral generations. They were in poſſeſſion in the reign of King Henry III. as appears by the eſcheats of that time. It afterwards experienced many changes of owners, being ſucceſſively held by the Tynedales, Craſters, and Claxtons; and at [Page 171] length became the eſtate of the Ratcliffs in the reign of Queen Elizabeth.*
The devaſtations made by Time in ancient ſtructures, mark them with ſolemn beauties: an inſpection of caſtles and ſtrongholds in ruins, gives the traveller pleaſure; hiſtoric facts ariſing on his mind, fraught with images of the tyranny and oppreſſion of feodal powers now extinguiſhed, he rejoices that the vaſſalage and cruelty which marked thoſe times are no more; he regards ſuch monuments as the broken priſons, where tyrants held in chains, thoſe whom their avarice and love of rapine characterized with the epithet of enemy. He looks upon them as the mementos of days of diſtreſs, when every man formed his greatneſs, by the number of fellow-creatures he could harneſs, to miniſter to his pride, and contribute to his crimes: as dens of ſavages, and animals of prey, who, like the wolves of the foreſt, held warfare with all the creatures of the earth; and worſe than wolves, employed the powers of rationality to render them more rapacious, more cruel, and more blood-thirſty than mere animal inſtinct could inſinuate to the heart: even cruelty, blood-thirſtineſs, and rapacity againſt their fellow-creatures, of which wolves are not accuſed. He looks upon them as monuments of ſepultured oppreſſion, over which the olives of peace are woven by the hand of liberty. He regards them as the hallowed records of all thoſe ineſtimable jewels which beſet the Britiſh diadem, and enrich the Britiſh conſtitution; whoſe luſter ſtrikes the eye of the whole obſerving world with envy, admiration, and aſtoniſhment.
But Dilſton gives the obſerver other ſentiments: tears ariſe upon the eye for the crimes of men, who in oppoſition to ſalutary laws (for good effects ſtamp the law with the character of propriety) through miſtaken principles, imbrue their hands in civil diſcord. It is the miſtake in principles, gives the tears to flow: reſolute wickedneſs extinguiſhes all pity; [Page 172] but humanity feels for man's hallucinations, for the errors of judgment —for ſuch, pity is even divine.
Another diſagreeable reflection wreſtles for a place in the contemplative mind, on ſuch a view—ſtrange, is the rapacity of men, who are ready to take poſſeſſion of the moment of overthrow, and with greedy hands ſeek to ſhare the ſpoil, even of him for whom once they fought, of him whom they had loved, had ſerved, had feared—their patron, protector, and friend. The lower claſs of mankind have but few eſtimates to govern their actions; whilſt proſperity attends, you are ſerved, you are beloved, you are adored: take away that, and the wretches return to their original ferocity, and each endeavours to gain what he can from the ruins.
where lays the moſt pictureſque, though confined landſkip, the whole county of Northumberland exhibits. We aſcended to the brink of the precipice, near 200 feet high, from whence we looked down upon a ſequeſtered vale, almoſs inſulated by the brook, conſiſting of a fine level plot of corn land, of about eight acres, in the exact form of a horſeſhoe; the brook paſſing over a rugged rocky bottom, under the ſhadow of lofty hills, in various broken ſtreams was ſeen on each hand, foaming from fall to fall, which gave a beautiful contraſt to the deep hue of the groves. From the brook, the hills to the left ariſe precipitous, cloathed with a fine hanging wood, then glowing with a full ſunſhine; to the right, the ſteeps laying from the ſun, and in the deep ſhade, were broken, and ſcattered over in wild irregularity with bruſhwood, and here and there a groteſque and knotty tree preſented itſelf impending from the precipice; in front, a fine eminence of brown rock lifted its rugged brow, and cloſed the circle, dividing the waters with a promontory a few yards wide. In the clefts, and on the little levels of the rock, ſome ſhrubs grow; on its crown ſtood ripened corn, margined with hedge-row trees, through which a cottage was diſcovered; and by its foot, a winding road ſoon eſcaped the eye in intercepting woods: the rays of light fell happily upon the cliffs, and brightened their colouring. To the right and left, the more diſtant brook ſhewed itſelf in [Page 173] deep and rocky dells, embowered by lofty oaks. To the right hand, the hill which ſurmounts the wood, is topped with a plain of graſs ground, on whoſe brink ſtands a farmhold, acceſſable by a narrow path winding up the ſteep, from whence the woods make a beautiful curviture: the diſtant back ground is compoſed of heath lands. On the left, woodlands were ſeen on the circus, winding on the mazy channel of the brook, here and there intercepted by heathy eminences; the back ground very diſtant, and tinged with a miſty azure. To grace the little enchanted vale, reapers were buſy with the harveſt: in ſome parts the furrows looked like waving gold; in others they were emboſſed with upſet ſheafs. This is the fineſt natural theatre I ever ſaw; the circle is almoſt geometrically juſt; the plain would have ſuited thoſe exhibitions, of which we read, with an anxious curioſity, in the hiſtories of the Ancients; they would have given it life, taken away the ruſticity, and made it noble. When we deſcended to the vale below, it appeared only to want ſome of the ſacred rites, to improve its ſolemnity, and compound the idea of hallowedneſs with greatneſs. One poſſeſſed of a true taſte for natural beauties, is apt to be wound up to a pitch of enthuſiaſtic rapture, at ſuch ſcenes as theſe; where every ſubject that can compoſe a rural proſpect, are thus fortunately adjuſted and diſpoſed. It is not poſſible for me to write with temperance on ſuch a ſubject.
We again returned to Hexham; an agreeable retreat after our little excurſions.*
an elegant ſituation on the north banks of Tyne, commanding a beautiful [Page 174] proſpect of Hexham plains. I have already given a deſcription of this vale, therefore to enlarge upon it, though tempted by various points of view, where its beauties are differently diſpoſed, would become weariſome to the reader: it muſt ſuffice to add, that from Beaufront the river is ſeen in ſeveral canals, and Hexham appears crowning the oppoſite eminence, with ſingular beauty. The houſe is upon an extenſive modern plan; but as we had not acceſs to it, I cannot ſay any thing of its convenience or taſte.
Mr Wallis derives Beaufront from Bellus Locus, but for what reaſon is not ſhewn. This was the ſeat of the Carnabys, ſo late as the reign of Queen Elizabeth. It is now the poſſeſſion of the family of Erringtons, of Errington, north of the Roman wall.*
was in view in our road to St Oſwald's.† It appertains to the See of York, and is one of the ſmalleſt prebends of that cathedral.
We aſcended the Beacon Hill, or Mote Law, about a mile eaſt of St Oſwald's, fortified by a ſquare intrenchment; in the center of which is placed a hearth ſtone, uſed for the fire, in times of public danger, to alarm the country. From thence we had a view of
the ſeat of the Shaftoes, in the time of King Edward I. in whoſe family [Page 175] it has continued ſince that aera.* The ornaments around it are modern, and ſome of them in that taſte which doth no great honour to the age. Mock-ruins, and ſuch works of fancy, afford no beauties. The plantations are pleaſing, and the piece of water, from its ſituation, is elegant.
otherwiſe called Holy-den-Heauveden, † or Heavenfield, ‡ where Oſwald King of Northumberland obtained a ſingular victory over the Britiſh uſurper, Cedwall, or as Camden has his name, Caſwallon, King of Cumberland.
Cedwell, fluſhed with his ſucceſs over Anfred King of Bernicia, (whoſe army he had lately routed) and proud of victory, approached Oſwald with contempt, who had gathered together a ſmall body of faithful adherents, and lay in a fortified camp, prepared to oppoſe the invader. Oſwald beheld the numerous army of his enemies with aſtoniſhment, when he compared them to the little band on whoſe arms he muſt confide. He perceived, that was his dependance alone on man, the fate of his troops was obvious; they would be overwhelmed by the numbers of his foes. The propriety and juſtice of his cauſe, gave him a degree of fervour, which denied diſmay; and over his hitherto unenlightened ſoul, a new ſpirit of confidence was diffuſed, as he caſt up his eyes towards heaven, and rejected the idols in whom he had been taught vainly to truſt. He erected a croſs in the front of his army, and bending to the earth, called upon the name of Chriſt, beſeeching his mediation with the Father of all, in whoſe hand alone is the event of battle, that he would eſtabliſh juſtice on the face of the earth. As inſpired, he aroſe and called aloud to his troops, (as Bede writes) ‘Let us all kneel down, and beſeech the Almighty, the living and true [Page 176] God, of his mercy to defend us againſt this proud and cruel enemy.’ * After this prayer, he put his little army in battle array, his troops being warmed with that energy which devotion gives, and which prompts to intrepid actions. Cedwall advanced, arrogantly confident in his numbers, and inſolent from his victories, aſſuring himſelf of vengeance on his oppoſer, whom he ſought with contempt. He attacked the intrenchments, and mounted the ramparts in perſon; when a fatal ſhaft pierced his boſom, and laid him in the duſt. His followers, diſmayed at the fall of their leader, halted—a panic ſeized them—their ſwords ſtayed from aſſault, and as if perplexed by inconſiſtent commands, they began to retire in confuſion. Oſwald perceiving the change, took advantage of the occaſion, and inſtantly ruſhing upon the enemy, in a dreadful onſet, put them to flight: the carnage became horrid, the number of ſlain was incredible, and thoſe who eſcaped the ſword were totally diſperſed. It ſeemed more than the human hand could effect, to obtain ſo compleat a victory, had not the interpoſition of celeſtial powers confounded Oſwald's foes.†
The convent of Hexham built a church here, in honour of St Cuthbert and King Oſwald, in commemoration of this event. Oſwald being ſlain at the battle of Macerfield, in the 38th year of his age, fighting againſt the Mercians, was canonized. A ſilver coin was found near the place where the above-mentioned church was built, with the [Page 177] head of St Oſwald, which was uſed for a long time by the convent of Durham, as their common ſeal, in honour of his memory.*
an exploratory mount, around whoſe ſides are flights of terraces, where the people in arms might at once ſhew their force to an approaching enemy, rank above rank, and alſo advantageouſly defend themſelves upon an aſſault.
This caſtle is chiefly diſmantled, ſome few apartments only remaining habitable; among which is one, made in an aperture in the wall, whoſe thickneſs affords a chamber, capable of receiving a bed and ſome other furniture. This has been an extenſive fabric, immenſely ſtrong in its ſtructure, but now no otherwiſe remarkable, than for thoſe circumſtances mentioned, and the fine grove in which it ſtands embowered.
[Page 178] We paſſed the modern ſeat of Mr Riddle,* which aroſe from the ruins of
an elegant ſtone building, covered with woods. Nothing can be more agreeable to the traveller, than to obſerve the improvements of a country, and the advances of cultivation. Mr Riddle's houſe commands an extenſive view, but it is over an open and ill-fenced tract. He is making rapid progreſs in the cure of this defect, and multitudes of quick fences and plantations are ariſing, which in a few years will extinguiſh the diſagreeable traces of that hoſtility and devaſtation, which before the union marked this country with the melancholy memorials of warfare; and in their place give to the eye all the charms of rural opulence.
In the reign of King Edward I. it was the poſſeſſion of Peter de Gunnerton,† as a member of the Barony of Bywell, held under the ſervice of two Knights fees. In the reign of King Edward II. it was the property of Adam de Swynburn,‡ who leaving a daughter, Chriſtian, it paſſed by her in marriage to Sir John de Woodrington, of Woodrington Caſtle; in whoſe family it continued for ſeveral ſucceſſions.
next attracts attention, the ſeat of the late Chriſtopher Reed, Eſq as alſo his predeceſſor, John Reed, Eſq who gave it great improvements. Its ſituation is beautiful, on a declivity, on the eaſtern banks [Page 179] of North Tyne, commanding an elegant proſpect. The river forms a fine canal in front, waſhing a woody ſteep on this ſide, and on the other the foot of a wild projecting cliff: Nunwick enriches the more diſtant view, ſurmounted by Symondburn Caſtle: the Tyne, winding through the vale in various meanderings, often ſhews itſelf; whilſt woods, rocks, and heathy eminences, in a happy manner, mingle their various beauties with the cultivated lands upon the landſkip.
Chipchaſe, according to Camden, once belonged to the Umfrevills. It was the poſſeſſion of Peter de Inſula in the reign of Edward I. Soon afterwards it became the inheritance of the Herons,* and continued in that family for ſeveral generations, till Sir Charles Heron ſold it to Mr George Allgood, from whom the family of Reeds † purchaſed.
a ſmall town on the river Tyne, which has nothing remarkable but an exploratory mount, called the Mote Hill, and the ruins of a houſe of the Ratcliffs. It was granted in the reign of King James I. to Howard Earl of Suffolk, and came by ſale to the Earl of Derwentwater, and is now part of the poſſeſſions appropriated to Greenwich Hoſpital.
We now prepared to leave the beauties of Tynedale; the cultivated vale narrowed, and we approached to thoſe wild and barren heights, [Page 180] which mark the Highlands of Northumberland with all the characteriſtics of a Scottiſh deſert. As we advanced to Riſingham, we paſſed within view of
a town ſeated on the eaſtern banks of North Tyne, the eſtate of the ancient family of Bellingham,* whoſe caſtle, now in ruins, is near adjoining to the village. At Hareſhaw Linn, a little way north of Bellingham, is a fine water-fall, breaking through a rugged channel, divided by ſeveral rocks, the whole tufted with graſs and ſhrubs: the land on each hand is lofty, and ſhews many ſhelving rocks and projecting cliffs, rendered highly pictureſque by impending trees, which give infinite beauties to the landſkip. On the oppoſite ſide of the river to Bellingham, lays
on an eminence cloathed with wood, the ſeat of the Charltons,† commanding a view of the town of Bellingham, and a mountainous offſcape, varied with verdent ſheep-walks, rocks, and wood.
We entered Redeſdale, which by the Teſta de Neville, is ſaid to be the dominion of the Umfrevills, who held it by the ſervice of repelling thieves and robbers. Pleaſing proſpects were no longer the temptations to our progreſs; we were led only by the love of antiquity.
was the habitancum of the Romans, and lays upon the Watling-ſtreet. It is not mentioned in the Itinerary of Antonine, yet muſt have been a [Page 181] Roman Station about the time of Aurelius Antoninus, by the inſcriptions and coins found there. It is ſituate on the banks of Reed, and contains within the Vallum, three acres, three roods, and twenty-ſix perches of land. It is preſumed the Itinerary was compoſed in the time of Caracalla, before which this ſtation might have been deſerted. Near Riſingham was ſtanding ſome few years ago, a mile-ſtone, without any inſcription. Dr Hunter communicated a coin found here, the reverſe ſtruck with the figure of a wolf, the legends totally defaced, except the words Auguſtus Pius.*
Camden ſays Riſingham implies the Giants habitation. It is remarkable, that in the darkneſs of antiquity, we find innumerable traditions of powerful perſons, and mighty atchievements, under the characters of Giants; which at this time, according to Mr Bryant's moſt excellent work, denote ſome great temple, the character of ſome powerful people, ſome mighty Ruler, or miſerable Tyrant. Camden relates, that the inhabitants in his time had a traditional tale of the God Magon, who defended himſelf here, and maintained his fortreſs againſt a certain Soldain or Heathen Prince. This relation, he ſays, is authenticated, as to the reality of ſuch a perſonage as Magon, in the ages of antiquity, by two Roman inſcriptions found in the river there. From our utmoſt endeavours, we could not trace any remembrance, legendary tale, or heroic ſong, touching ſuch perſon as Magon, now remaining.
Deo Mogonti Cadenorum & Numini Domini Noſtri Auguſti Marcus Caius Secundinus Beneficiarius Conſulis Habitanci Primas, tam pro ſe et ſuis poſuit.—Mr Horſley reads the latter part of this inſcription "Prima Statione pro ſe et ſuis poſuit." The altar on which this inſcription is cut was taken out of the river Reed, which runs near this [Page 182] ſtation. He ſays, ‘this altar Camden juſtly ſuppoſes to have been erected to the topical God Magon, worſhipped by the Cadeni or Gadeni, a neighbouring people of the Otadini, and to the Deity of the Emperor, by one Secundinus, a Beneficiarius of the Conſul. Reading the two laſt words of the fifth line PRIMASTA for Prima Statione, makes the ſenſe natural and eaſy. Riſingham is an advanced ſtation beyond the wall, and for ought that appears to the contrary, might, at the time when this altar was erected, be the moſt northerly ſtation of any. The name Secundinus frequently occurs in Gruter. ’DEOMOGONTI. CADET. N. DN. AVGM. C. SECVNDINVSBF. CO. HABITANCI PRIMASTA—PRO SE. ET. SVIS POSVIT
DEOMAVNO CAD—INVENTVS DO—V. S.
This altar was alſo taken out of the river. Mr Horſley ſays, ‘according to this copy, it appears to have been erected to another topical and tutelar God of the Cadeni. It is a queſtion whether Mounus may have been the ſame with Matunus, to whom an altar was erected at Elſdon, a few miles from this place; or, perhaps the ſame Deity is here deſigned as in the former. The third line in the inſcription has no doubt contained the name of the perſon who erected this votive altar. We find the name Inventus in Gruter. ’
I muſt leave the Roman line, and attend to more remote antiquity, to define, if poſſible, the name of Magon. I preſume Mr Bryant has thrown ſuch happy lights upon the ancient mythology, and has proved his principles by ſuch teſtimonies, that with implicit confidence I may adopt his maxims. I ſhall have ſeveral occaſions to reſort to his work, in the progreſs of my journey through the mountainous part of this county, for etymologies of thoſe ancient names, which without his directions I ſhould have paſſed over as incomprehenſible; and ſo loſt in the miſts of antiquity, as to remain without ſolution.—As it is little doubted, fire-worſhip was once the accepted religion of this iſland, introduced by eaſtern viſitants, and profeſſed and practiſed by the Druids; in theſe wild and uncultivated parts, it is moſt probable, the ſtrongeſt evidence thereof would remain to this age. I find in Mr Bryant's radicals, as he terms them, that the word Ω—ON, was one of the titles [Page 183] of the Sun among the Amonians,* and was often in combination with other epithets, uſed by the Syrians, Cretans, and Canaanites. He alſo therein ſpeaks of the word Macar, as a ſacred title given by the Amonians to their Deity, and was frequently compounded Macar—on: from whence a people were donominated [...], Macarones, and places were called [...], Macron. The corruption of a name, received from the pronunciation of unlettered and ignorant inhabitants, who had handed it down traditionally for ages, is not to be wondered at; from Macron to Magon is a ſimple and eaſy corruption. From the inaccuracy of theſe rude inſcriptions (as appears in the ſecond, even in the name of the invoked Deity) it is not to be wondered that G took place of CR; or from the obliterations in them through age and time, the tranſcriber might miſtake [...] for G, a ſmall letter being frequently introduced in the middle of a word. Take Mr Bryant's arguments on traditions of the like nature, and the whole relation given by Camden is reſolved into an hiſtoric fact—that the worſhippers and prieſts of On, who held here their religious rites, in the temple of the Sun, were a formidable ſociety, powerful in their numbers and their learning.
That the eaſtern religion and rites were introduced to this iſland is certain; that the Romans, in many inſtances, are known to have adopted the topical Gods; they alſo, from an error in etymology, gave to perſons, names which were relative to places; and when in Britain, they either introduced their own manner of worſhip, or otherwiſe adopted the Britiſh Deities, or rather the Amonian titles which they found there, and gave them perſons as Divinities. To prove this, I ſhall quote the inſcription before ſpoken of, in the Cottonian collection, found at Great Cheſters (page 35) † Sur being a title of the Sun, ‘Syria being denominated from thence, is at this day called Souria, from Sur and Sehor, the Sun. That Suria was not merely a provincial title, is plain, from the Surya Dea being worſhipped at Eryx, in Sicily, and from an inſcription to her at Rome.’
The Romans had an averſion to the Druids, who ſuffered no idols to be ſet up: they took infinite pains to extirpate them, and deſtroy their monuments. Here then we find the remainder of Camden's tradition, that the prieſts of On, the worſhippers of the Sun at Riſingham, long withſtood the Roman arms: to pacify the people, and incite them to [Page 184] mix in their worſhip, the Romans erected their Altars on the ſacred mount, and inſcribed them with the Amonian titles.
If I may be allowed to make another conjecture, that the topical Deities to whom theſe altars were dedicated, prove the worſhippers of the Sun held here the Amonian Rites, and that from thence was derived the tradition mentioned by Camden, I would preſume this latter inſcription was either incorrectly copied, having in the original an A and M mixed thus [...], or the firſt letter in the name of the Deity was omitted by the Sculptor, or intentionally neglected by the Dedicator, as appears in many other inſtances; and that properly it ſhould have been AMOUNO: Amoun being a Grecian mode of expreſſing AMON. I have before ſhewn, from Mr Horſley's authorities, that the Grecian expreſſion is uſed in many Roman inſcriptions yet extant. This altar would then appear to be dedicated to Ammon, the topical Deity of Riſingham, at the time of the acceſſion of the Romans. For the ſake of impartiality, it it is neceſſary to admit, that the dedication to Ammon might be from Grecian auxiliaries; as Plutarch ſays, ‘that of all the Egyptian names which ſeemed to have correſpondence with the Zeus of Greece, Amoun or Ammon was the moſt peculiar and adequate.’ And from Herodotus we learn, that ‘almoſt all the names of the Gods in Greece were adventitious, having been brought thither from Egypt.’
Camden ſays, ſo much we may gather from theſe inſcriptions, as to aſcertain the name of the place Habitancum, and that he who made the firſt inſcription was Beneficiarius to a Conſul, and Primate of the place. The Beneficiarius was either by promotion, or ariſing from exemption of military ſervice by diſpenſation: they attended the chief officers of the army: they ſeem to have been ſomewhat like thoſe we now call Cadets: * and the Primaes, as appears by the Codex Theodoſii, were chief magiſtrates of cities, towns, or caſtles. Camden leaves us in the dark as to Magon, not even determining whether he was eſteemed the tutelar God of the Gadeni, whom Ptolomy placed next the Ottodini.[Page 185]
DOLOCHENOC. IVL. PVBL—PIVS TRIB.V. S. L. M.
Mr Horſley gives the following reading and remarks upon it: ‘ Jovi Optimo Maximo. Dolocheno Julius Publius Pius Tribunus votum ſolvit libens merito. This was publiſhed ſome years ago by Dr Hunter, in the Philoſophical Tranſactions. I am of opinion it has been the body or plane of an altar, having met with ſeveral parallel inſtances, where the capital and baſes have been ſtruck off from altars, in order to fit them for walls, or ſuch other uſes. The appearance of the ſtone favours this conjecture, and upon this ſuppoſition, I believe the altar has been inſcribed to Jupiter Optimus Maximus Dolochenus, and that the letters I. O. M. have either been at the top of the plane, and ſtruck off with the capital, or elſe upon the capital itſelf. The word Dolocheno is very plain upon this inſcription; but in all other inſcriptions, and writers who mention this Deity, the name is ſpelt with an I or Y in the ſecond ſyllable; excepting one, which though it be ſo likewiſe in Gruter, yet in Petrus Apianus, who had publiſhed it before, it is writ, as Montfaucon obſerves, with an O, in the ſecond ſyllable, like this. Poſſibly the letters PVBL, in the ſecond line, may not be another name of the perſon, but ſtand for Publitia, the name of the tribe to which this Caius Julius belonged. This tribe is often mentioned in Gruter. ’ As to the Divinity Dolochenus, I ſhall have [Page 186] occaſion to quote Mr Horſley very fully on an inſcription which occurs at Benwell.*
Mr Horſley's reading and remarks on this inſcription are as follow: ‘ Aurelii Antonini Pii Auguſti Marcus Meſſorius Diligens Tribunus ſacrum. [Page 188] The original was removed by Sir Robert Cotton, for it ſtill continues at Con [...]gton: the upper part has been broken off, and the firſt line now remaining is partly covered, by being built up in the wall of the ſummer-houſe; the reſt is yet very plain. There is no doubt but Pro Salutae Imperatoris M. has gone before, and perhaps the altar has been to Jupiter Optimus Maximus, or to Jupiter and the Numina Auguſti. It is not eaſy to determine to which of the Antonines this inſcription belongs. If this ſtation was in ruins, as ſome think, in the reign of Caracalla, the ſuppoſed author of the Itinerary, then the inſcription could not be to him: beſides, the titles Felix, &c. are uſually added to him; and in our Britiſh inſcriptions he is often joined with Severus, after whoſe death he immediately left the iſland. M. Aurelius Antoninus, called Philoſophus, had wars here, and his Legate, Calpurnius Agricola, is named in an inſcription or two in theſe parts: and I am apt to think, that both this inſcription, and ſome others in the north, belong to that Emperor.’AVR. ANTONINI. PII. AVG. MMESSORIVSDILIGENS TRIBVNVS SACRVM
NVMINIBAVGVSTORCOH IIII GALEQFEC.
Of this Mr Horſley gives the following reading and remarks: ‘ Numinibus Anguſtorum, Cohors Quarta Gallorum Equitum fecit. The original of this is alſo at Conington, and placed above the ſummer-houſe door. The ſculpture has ſuffered by the weather, but the inſcription is ſtill very legible. The Emperors, in honour of whom it has been erected, I take to be Severus and Caracalla, who were much hereabout, and, I believe, were poſſeſſed of this very ſtation. This Cohort ſeems to have been like a flying ſquadron, for by inſcriptions we find them in ſeveral places. The inſcription is included in a kind of corona, or rather an octagon, circumſcribed by a ſquare moulding. There are ornaments of eagles heads on each ſide, above which is the appearance of two faces, probably deſigned for thoſe of the Emperors referred to by the inſcription. Mars and Victory, in their uſual dreſs and appearance, are ſet in a nich, one at each end of the ſtone. The other ornaments ſeem only to be ſuch as pleaſed the fancy of the Sculptor. The Victory treads on a globe, and no doubt the general meaning is, that the Emperors had warred ſucceſsfully, and gained a victory over the whole world.’
Of this inſcription Mr Horſley gives the following reading and remarks: ‘Camden has given us the name of another topical Goddeſs in an inſcription, the original of which is loſt; namely, Tertiana, which a learned friend conjectured to be the Tertian Ague: and it is well known the Goddeſs Febris was worſhipped among the Romans.’
DEO INVICTOHERCVLI. SACRLAE [...]L. SALV [...]NVSTR [...]. COH. I. VANGIV. S. P. M.
On this inſcription Mr Horſley gives the following reading and remarks: ‘ Deo invicto Herculi ſacrum. Lucius Aemilius Salvianus Tribunus Cohortis Primae Vaugionum votum ſolvens poſuit merito. The Cohors Prima Vaugionum, a people of Gallia Belgica on the Rhine, ſeem to have been in garriſon here the lateſt and longeſt, though neither this Station nor Cohort are mentioned in the Notitia. A Tribune of this Cohort is mentioned in a funeral inſcription at Walwick Cheſters. This is a very ſtately altar, erected to the invincible Hercules: it remains yet at Conington very entire, and is, I think, one of the largeſt altars I have ſeen, that are ſo beautiful. On one ſide is an ox in baſſo relievo; on the other, an ornament not unlike a curtain, for I could not ſay it was a feſtoon, and it is rather too large for a prieſt's veil: I imagined it to repreſent the aulaeum, that ſeparated the adytum, or ſome ſuch thing.’
COH. [...]. VANGFECIT. CVRANTEIVL. PAVLLO. TRIB.
Mr Horſley's reading and remarks on the above are: ‘ Cohors Prima Vaugionum fecit curante Julio Paullo Tribuno. The original is alſo at Conington. Paullus is here with a double LL; and the F in fecit looks like the lower Empire.’
Mr Horſley's reading and remarks on this are, ‘ Herculi Julius Paullus Tribunus votum ſolvit. This altar ſtands inſtead of a gate-poſt, in the ſide of what was once the ſouth gate of the ſtation, but is now uſed as a gate for the field. When I was informed of this altar, I was told that a great many more letters were formerly viſible upon it. It has been a fine altar, but is now turned up-ſide-down, ſo that the capital was hid in the ground. It is not improbable, that the inſcriptions and altars dedicated to Hercules, have been deſigned as a compliment to the Emperor Commodus, who, as it is well known, was called Hercules Romanus. Beſides this Julius Paullus, I find three other Tribunes, who commanded this Cohort of the Vangiones. ’
D. M.BLESCIVSDIOVICVSFILIESVEVIXITAN. I. ET.DIES XXI
Mr Horſley ſays, ‘this inſcription has in its manner ſo much the appearance of the lower Empire, as to confirm that the Romans were late poſſeſſed of this ſtation. The original is now at Conington. The rudeneſs of the letters, the ſcattered poſition of them, and the ſtops on each ſide the I, in the laſt line but one, are very remarkable. Though DM be at the top, yet it is not an altar, of which there are other inſtances.’
ICOSCvIPRE—M. AVRL. CAST—VETVSTATE CoNLABS—
This ſtation was certainly gone to decay before the reign of Caracalla, and afterwards was reſtored: and this opinion is favoured by the laſt [Page 191] imperfect inſcription, found at this place; from whence it appears, that ſomewhat had been repaired which had gone to ruin through age.
The remarkable effigy of Robin of Riſingham, as it is called by the country people, next claims my attention: I will in the firſt place give Mr Horſley's deſcription, and then offer ſome few remarks of my own. ‘The remarkable figure which uſually goes by the name of Robin of Riſinghom, or Robin of Redſdale, is cut upon the face of a huge piece of rock, that has fallen off from the main one. It is on the ſide of a hill or rock near the park head, and about half a mile from the ſtation at Riſingham. The image is in baſſo relievo, and both the ſculpture and ſtone very coarſe. I take it, by the drapery and ſymbols, to be certainly Roman, though ſome, from the rudeneſs of the ſculpture, have thought it Britiſh: and probably it is the Emperor Commodus, repreſented under the figure of Hercules. The ſquare ſtone beſide him, muſt I ſuppoſe be an altar, and what he carries in his left arm a club: on his left ſhoulder are diſtinctly ſeen a quiver and arrows, and in his right hand a bow, which agree with the character given him by Herodian, who celebrates him as a moſt excellent archer. What he wears on his head looks like a helmet. Every body knows that Commodus affected to be called the Roman Hercules, and to be worſhipped as ſuch. We have his coins with Herculi Romano Auguſto, Herculi Romano Conditori, &c. This figure then might repreſent the Roman Hercules triumphant and victorious, after things had been ſettled in Britain by Pertinax, and Commodus aſſumed the name of Brittanicus. The face of the whole piece of rock on which the image is cut, is an irregular figure of five ſides: the ſide which reſts in the ground is ſix feet and an half; the perpendicular from the vertex to this ſide, eight feet; the two ſides to the right of this perpendicular each of them five feet; the uppermoſt ſide to the left ſeven; and the lower four; and the ſtone is juſt about ſix feet thick. The figure ſtands upright.’
The doubts which I entertain that this is Roman work, are founded upon the following circumſtances: The veſt in which the figure is habited is open from the waiſt to the knee; round the waiſt is a belt buckled before: the looſe garment on the ſhoulders, leaving the right arm bare and at liberty, is put on in the manner of the Scotch plaid: the cap is not ſimilar to any one I remember to have ſeen in Roman ſculptures: the bow is in the right hand. But that the reader may paſs his own judgment upon this ſculpture, I have given an etching of it.
[Page 192] If we deſcend to modern times, we will find ſeveral perſonages diſtinguiſhed by the name of Robin of Redeſdale. One of the Umfranviles had that appellation; and in the time of Edward the Fourth, we find one Hilliard of the Lancaſtrian party thus denominated. ‘From Banbury the northern men under the conduct of Robbin of Riddeſdale* haſtened to the manor of Grafton, where the Queen's father then lay, whom with his ſon John they ſuddenly ſurprized, and at Northampton cut off their heads.’
Before I quit the neighbourhood of Bellingham, I muſt notice the remains of a caſtle ſituate near the confluence of the brook Tarſet and North Tyne. I did not view the place; the deſcription, together with a [Page 193] drawing, was communicated to me by my friend, at Newcaſtle. It ſtands within the Lordſhip of Tarſet, and has the name of Tarſet Caſtle. Camden ſays it was a caſtle of the Comins. The area is of an oblong ſquare, in length about 120 yards; defended by a deep foſs, near 10 yards in breadth, on the north, weſt, and ſouth ſides; the eaſt laying on a ſteep deſcent. At each corner of the area appear the remains of turrets or mounds. There ſeems to have been an outward wall, to defend the tower.
From Riſingham to Elſden, the traveller, in all the perplexities of a rainy and deſolate country, muſt be proved a patient chriſtian, if he forbears to execrate the want of guide-poſts, and the neglect of thoſe, whoſe duty it is to remedy the delay, fatigue, hazard, and anxiety of the ſtranger, whoſe ſtars infatuate him to engage in the labyrinths and wilds of ſuch a country.
is a ſmall town of antiquity, ſuppoſed to have its date from the time of M. Aurelius Antoninus: two Roman altars were found, inſcribed to that Emperor, in a hill called the Mote Hill.*
[Page 194] This mount is intrenched round, the mote yet remaining of a great depth: to the north, which is the weakeſt part, a breaſtwork is caſt up. The bones of animals, remains of ſacrifice, have been diſcovered here, with urns, aſhes of the dead, and broken inſcriptions.
Elſden was the eſtate of the Clennels in the reign of Edward the Firſt; it afterwards came to the Greys and Howards; and now is part of the poſſeſſions of his Grace the Duke of Northumberland. Near the church is an old tower, which is occupied as the Rectory-houſe, on which remain the arms of Umfranvils, ancient Lords of Harbottle, Otterburn, and a large diſtrict here.
[Page 195] On the front of this tower is an inſcription, in the following form: R. D. de rede. Which may be read, Robertus or Rogerus Dom. de Rede, and referred to Umfranvil Lord of Pruddowe, who died about the year 1325.
The following inſcription (found at Riecheſter, and now preſerved in the church at Elſden) with its reading, was communicated to me: ‘GENIO EI SIGNIS COH I. [...] ARDUL OR. E Q [...] T [...]CINI VALERI ANVS TRIB. P.’ ‘Genio et ſignis Coh. primae Vardulorum Equitum. Titus Licinius Valerianus. Trib. P.’
Near to Elſden is a place called Berenes Knowl, where Mr Wallis ſays ‘is a Britiſh temple, the ſtones numerous, of various ſizes, in a circular order.’ I uſed great diligence to find this place, but in vain; neither was I able to gain any intelligence from people in the neighbourhood.*
On the Tod-Law, a mount on the adjoining moor, Mr Wallis alſo ſays are three ſtone columns, placed in a triangular order, 12 feet diſtant from each other, and each column near 12 feet in diameter.† Theſe he preſumed are ſepulchral, or monuments of ſome memorable event. It was the cuſtom of the Danes, at the ſolemn inveſtiture of their Kings, or men of chief authority, to erect monuments of this nature; and to that people it is moſt reaſonable we ſhould attribute ſuch erections.‡
ſo famous in ſtory, led us again towards the banks of Reed: the entrenchments are ſtill diſcernable, and the number of Tumuli * ſcattered over the adjoining ground, mark to future ages the ſlaughter made there.
The diſturbances in England in the time of King Richard II. induced the Scots to invade the borders, in the 12th year of that reign, with about 3000 men, under the command of Sir William Douglas, by ſome authors ſtiled Earl Douglas. They were attacked in their camp on the 5th of Auguſt. 1388, by a body of Engliſh forces, commanded by the Earl of Northumberland, and his two ſons, Henry Percy and Ralph Percy, young men of martial ſpirit, at Otterburn.†
The armies engaged by moon light, a ſeaſon when battle would have redoubled horrors, eſpecially where the conflict was hand to hand; when each combatant met his opponent in trial of ſkill and ſtrength: this mode of fighting muſt render the buſineſs and confuſion of the conflict dreadful beyond deſcription. Douglas, ambitious of laurels, and deſiring ſome diſtinguiſhed atchievement, ſought for young Henry [Page 197] Percy, who for his intrepidity and martial proweſs was ſurnamed Hotſpur. He met him in the hotteſt of the battle, inſolently braved the young hero to engage, and Douglas fell beneath his valorous ſword. The rumour of their leader's overthrow ran through the Scottiſh lines; they were intimidated, and began to fly; but at the inſtant the panic was becoming general, and the Engliſh were advancing in hopes of victory, the Earl of Dunbar came up with a large reinforcement, and the Scots rallied. Now overpowered by numbers, and faint with the fatigues and bloodſhed of the fight, the Engliſh gave way, and the invaders were victorious: yet ſo powerfully, and with ſuch gallant reſolution, did the Engliſh maintain the battle againſt ſuperior force, that the loſs on each ſide was ſaid to be nearly equal. The Engliſh left 1800 dead upon the field. Among the priſoners were Lord Percy and his brother, Sir Robert Heron, Sir Robert Ogle, Sir John Lilburn, Sir John Colwell, and many other valiant men of Northumberland.
A circumſtance attended this day, as unfortunate to the Northumbrians, as ſhameful to their allies: the Durham militia was approaching, but did not come up in time to ſupport the Engliſh, before they had left the field to the victors: the Scottiſh leader not willing to hazard any more of his troops, thought it expedient to uſe ſtratagem, and accordingly aſſailed the reinforcement in a mode totally new, and happily prevalent: he cauſed all his ſoldiers to blow the horns which were uſed to ſound an alarm; the ſtilneſs of the night, the echo from the hills, and the terrors which the overthrow of the Northumbrians had impreſſed upon their minds, wrought ſo powerfully, that the militia were ſeized with a panic, and put to flight without ſeeing an enemy, vanquiſhed ſolely by the tremendous idea of thouſands approaching fluſhed with ſucceſs.
Replete with melancholy reflections, ariſing from ſuch a ſcene and retroſpection, eight miles to Riecheſter muſt neceſſarily paſs heavily; it is the buſineſs of a ſentimental writer to catch the momentary ideas and living ſentiments as they riſe; the illuſtrious names renewed to memory, by the place of Otterburn fight, the Percies, the Herons, Ogles, Lilburns, and many more, buſy on that famous night, brought upon my mind reflections on the honour of pedigree. Our ideas are apt to claſs themſelves into compariſons. Whilſt I ruminated on the ſubject of deſcent from Heroes and illuſtrious Perſonages, Men who had acquired Fame, Honour, and Title, by virtuous deeds and a ſervice of propriety, [Page 198] I determined that the Pride of Pedigree was laudable, ſo long as the deſcendant did not debaſe his blood by ignoble and impious actions. I admitted it as a maxim, that ſuch had a right to public place, pre-eminence, and diſtinction. Then it was, I took (as it were) the other hand into conſideration; a review of the modes of the world; and thence proceeded to compare my determined principles with characters well known to me. I remarked many who claimed place and diſtinction, and ſtand up as the givers of modes, and rulers of what ſhall be called propriety of manners; ſuch a groop of characters crowded upon me, (the muſhrooms of a morning) all ruſhing with ardour and avariciouſneſs of mind to the goal of pre-eminence, Wretches ſprung from the filth of a corrupted age, that their mimick importance created in my mind ſo ridiculous a picture, even amidſt the waſtes and wilds where I travelled, and in defiance of all the deformities which nature ſpread around me, I could not forbear laughter.
All this time were we climbing with infinite difficulty, and no ſmall hazard, to gain a ſight of the cataract called Chattlehope Spout, which, when attained, was a trifling recompence for our labour. The waterfall is 75 feet in height, not immediately perpendicular, the ſtream being interrupted near the middle by a projection of the rock, from whence ſliding gradually ſome feet, it falls a ſecond time. The precipices are naked, and there are no pictureſque beauties in the whole ſcene. All around you are rude and barren heights.
or as Camden calls it, Bremenium, was the ne plus ultra of our wiſh in this part of Northumberland. It was eſteemed the ſtrongeſt ſtation the Romans had in the North, and was the capital or chief fortreſs of the Otadini. C. Caepio Charitenus and Lucius Caelius Optatus commanded here, the latter having a Cohort of the Varduli from Hiſpania Citerior, the former a detachment of Exploratores. Many Coins, Altars, and other Remains have been found at this ſtation, eſpecially the Coins of Marcus Aurelius Antoninus.* An Altar was found here, now in the poſſeſſion of the Rev. Dr Sharp, inſcribed by a Cohort of Varduli to the Emperor Caracalla. [Page 199] This ſtation is defended by a wall of aſhler-work, ſeven feet in thickneſs, with motes and treble rampiers, as outworks.* In the front [Page 200] of a new-built houſe, about a quarter of a mile to the ſouth of the ſtation, is a ſculpture (diſcovered here) having a tree in the center, a hart [Page 201] on one ſide, and a creſcent on the other, of but indifferent workmanſhip. The remains of an Hypocauſt has lately been opened, and three [Page 202] pillars obtained therefrom, which ſupported the upper floor. The altar before mentioned to be preſerved in Elſden church was found here.
[Page 203] This ſtation takes its name of Bremenium, as is preſumed, from being Caſtrum in Rupe, which is the true deſcription of its ſcite, it being placed [Page 204] on the brow of a ſteep and rocky hill, or rather, as Camden calls it, a rocky mountain, commanding the paſs of Reedſdale. On every hand [Page 205] the proſpect is horrible, except the narrow valley, watered by the Reed, which is looked down upon from this rugged eminence.—How little [Page 206] improvement this country has experienced ſince the union, notwithſtanding the great advances huſbandry hath made northward,* will appear [Page 207] by comparing the deſcription given of it by Camden two centuries ago, with its preſent ſtate. ‘There are hills hard by ſo boggy, and ſtanding [Page 208] with water on their ſummits, that no horſemen are able to ride through them. And again, Mountainous deſert and impoſſable, ſuch as this tract is.’
Deae Romae ſacrum Duplares Numeri exploratorum Bremenii Aram inſtituerunt Numini ejus Caio Caepione Charitino Tribuno votum ſolverunt libenter merito.D. R. S.DVPL N. EXPLORBREMEN. ARAM.INSTITVERVNTN. EIVS C CAEPCHARITINO TRIBV. S. L. M.
Mr Horſley's remarks on this altar are as follow. ‘The original was removed to Connington. The plain and diſtinct mention of Bremenium upon this large altar does ſtrongly argue Riecheſter to be the place. The implication and proper cut of the letters, which is neglected in Camden, I have endeavoured to ſupply from the original. No body that I know of, has given a ſatisfactory explication of the D. R. S. at the top: I think it plain that they are to be read Deae Romae ſacrum. That they made a Goddeſs of Rome, and erected altars and temples to her, needs no proof to thoſe who have any acquaintance with medals and other Roman Antiquities. There is a curious altar at Elenborough, erected Genio Loci Fortunae Reduci Romae Aeterne, &c. I once thought of Diis Romanis ſacrum: but this ſuits not with Numini ejus in the body of the inſcription; for which reaſon the learned Dr Gales reading Deabus Rumabus Sacrum cannot be admitted. The altar then is ſacred to the Goddeſs Rome, erected by a Duplares of a detachment of Exploratores or ſcouts at Bremenium, under the command of Caius Caepio Charitinus the Tribune. Caepio is a conſular name, and we read in the Notitiae, of a Praefectus Numeri exploratorum Lavatris. Whether they were the ſame with theſe, I will not undertake to determine. The Duplares were ſoldiers, who had a double allowance of corn, of which a part of the Roman ſoldiers pay conſiſted. The Exploratores were, like our ſcouts, ſent out to diſcover the enemy or their country. When they were in garriſon, it is probable they were generally placed, in the more advanced ſtations, or ſuch as were moſt conveniently ſituated for proſpect and diſcovering the firſt approach of the enemy; as alſo for guarding the paſſes againſt their inroads.’
[Page 210] Camden adds, ‘that Ptolomy ſpeaking of Bremenium, places it in this very ſcite, and part of the country; and from thence Antonine begins his firſt journey in Britain, as from the utmoſt limit of the Roman province at that time. When the barbarous nations had broken through the wall of Antoninus Pius, and would in conſequence hurry over and lay waſte all the country before them, the wall of Hadrian laying neglected to the time of Severus, we may neceſſarily admit that this ſtation was regarded as the limit of the Empire, from whence the old Itinerary, which bears the title of Antonine's, began, viz. a Limitis. The conſtruction given it, to imply a Vallo, is only a gloſs put on it by the tranſcriber.’
Mr Collier communicated to me the drawing of the following Sculpture and Inſcription, lately found at this ſtation, and now in the poſſeſſion of the Rev. Mr Jolly. It never was publiſhed. He informed me it was found near the eaſtern entrance into the ſtation, is about four feet nine inches in length, and two feet three inches in breadth.
[Page 211] Mr Wallis ſays, ‘there is nothing more, worthy of remark, by the alpine ſtreams of Reed and North Tyne.’ I wiſh I could have been as readily tranſported from Riecheſter to Wark, as I tranſmit the reader on the feathers of the grey gooſe wing: we did not purſue the Reed any further northward, though informed, that near to Bridhope Crag, a little above Riecheſter, there are two large ſquare entrenchments, with two openings on every ſide, each defended by an outward mole of an oblong form, at the diſtance of ſix yards from the aperture: the deſcription given of them, ſhews they are ſimilar to the large entrenchment on Stainmore, at Roy Croſs, * which is attributed to the Engliſh under William the Conqueror, on the defection of Cumberland and Northumberland, who were ſupported by the Scotch Monarch.
the ſeat of Sir Lancelot Allgood, which appears ſo beautiful from Chipchaſe, is equally pleaſing upon a nearer approach: the houſe is modern, of a fair free-ſtone, ſheltered from the weſt by a fine grove, and ſeated near the confluence of Symondburn with the river Tyne;† from the eaſtern terrace a delightful proſpect opens, commanding a fine view of Chipchaſe on the one hand, and the variegated vale of Symondburn on the other; the banks of the ſtream are romantic and wild, and the waſtes which terminate the proſpect are at an agreeable diſtance.
Near Nunwick, ſome years ago, were the remains of a monument, by moſt writers termed Britiſh, conſiſting of five natural ſtone pillars, placed in circular order, near eight feet in height, and twenty feet in girt; the area which they formed, was ninety feet in circumference. Whether the interſtices were heretofore filled up with ſtones of a ſmaller ſize, to compoſe a circle, which on the advance of cultivation were removed, we have no evidence: Biſhop Gibſon only ſpeaks of them as in the ſtate deſcribed. I have great doubt, whether this was a temple or place of convocation of the Druids, or not: I am rather inclined to believe, ſuch as are compoſed of a ſmall number of ſtones are Daniſh monuments, and memorials of ſome public act of that people. Where the [Page 212] circle is uniform, the column, to which it is conceived the victims were bound, is perfect, or to be diſtinguiſhed; and the receſs, forming the Sanctus, or place of the altar, is remaining, like thoſe in Cumberland and Angl [...]ſea: it is not to be doubted the Druids were their conſtructors; that they were their places of convocation; and as every public act of thoſe Lawgivers was preceded by holy rites and ſacrifice, it may with propriety be ſaid, they were places formed for a mixed appropriation, for acts civil and religious.
is placed on a fine eminence, but hath little that is remarkable to detain the traveller.* The Rectory is one of the moſt valuable in the North, is preſented to by the Crown, and was formerly the poſſeſſion of Lord Derwentwater. The church hath lately been repaired, and retains no other remarkable monuments than thoſe mentioned in the notes.
In March, 1735, as the workmen were pulling down the old kitchen of the Rectory-houſe, a ſquare ſtone was diſcovered, nine or ten inches [Page 213] each way, but the inſcription was obliterated at one end, occaſioned, as one may ſuppoſe, by the workmen's tools, either when they built or pulled down the kitchen. The letters are three inches long. It may poſſibly be in the poſſeſſion of Dr Scot, the preſent Rector, as it was in that of Mr Waſtell, the late Rector, in 1735. Mr Horſley takes notice of VLPIVS and SABINVS, two Roman Lieutenants, ſent againſt the Britains, but ſays, he never heard of any inſcriptions found relating either of them.
[Page 214] In the Monaſticon we are told, King Edward taking diſpleaſure at Anthony Beck, then Biſhop of Durham, diſmembered this church from that See. It was afterwards in the poſſeſſion of the D'Arcys in the reign of King Edward III. John D'Arcy, at his death, left it to Queen Philippa, who gave it to Windſor College.
Mr Wallis ſpeaks of a remarkable Scull dug up within the walls of the church: ‘On the back part of it was the figure of a large ſcallop ſhell: at one of the auditories, the figure of a torcular ſhell, like a ſcrew.’ It is ſurprizing no Naturaliſt has attended to this wonderful phaenomenon. Mr Wallis himſelf, I ſhould have apprehended, would not have left this great curioſity ſo ſlightly treated of. He doth not even ſay, whether theſe impreſſions were ſculptured, or adheſions of petrified matter. In either caſe, it would have gratified the virtuoſo to have had a perfect deſcription. We read of that degree of wantonneſs and inhumanity, that the ſculls of enemies, at public feſtivals, were uſed for drinking Cups. Was this ornamented with ſculpture, it would lead to an apprehenſion it was once employed in ſuch unhallowed rites. If theſe were petrifactions, it would ſtill be more wonderful.
This introduces to my mind a haſty idea, of petrifactions being eſteemed a teſtimony of an univerſal deluge. It has been inſiſted upon by many learned men, but the diſcoveries hitherto made in that branch are in no wiſe convincing. Moſes had his learning from the Egyptians; Mr Bryant has amply diſplayed their knowledge of that great event: I dare not make ſtrictures on that learned work; but opinion is fond of liberty. All the petrifactions I have ſeen in the various collections, do not prevail to fix my judgment in favour of ſuch teſtimony. In the firſt chapter of Geneſis, we ſee the grand work of creation claſſed in ſix progreſſive orders. In the figures of Eaſtern language, it is given under a diurnal arrangement. By ſuch expreſſion, I preſume, we are not to be confined in our idea of the work, to thoſe ſhort periods: the works of Providence are wonderful to the higheſt degree, in a courſe of nature; [Page 215] why ſhould we render them ſtill more miraculous, and leſs credible, by holding to the very letter of the book of Geneſis, without giving a latitude to the expreſſion. So much of miracle, and ſo little of reaſon, in modern diſſertations, occaſions much infidelity. We ſee plainly the work of the divine Architect was progreſſive: let us preſume each day means an age, in which, by a natural and progreſſive courſe, "the fruit tree yielding fruit after its kind, whoſe ſeed is in itſelf," might arrive to its maturity, from the original ſtamina the great Creator ordained in the beginning. It was not till the third aera, that the dry land appeared; all before was deluged. Here is a period then, in which all thoſe ſubſtances which we find have left their teſtimony in petrifaction, might reſt upon the higheſt hills, when at the command of their God, the mountains heaved themſelves up from the boſom of the deep. The ſhifting of vaſt ſands, the falling of mighty precipices rent by earthquakes, mining in various countries, and eruptions of volcanoes, have brought to light thoſe materials which are lodged very deep in the earth, and yet none of them have produced any evidence of the deſtruction of the human race, by petrifactions of parts peculiar to mankind, their implements or utenſils, of which gold would not decay, erections, or other memorials of their antediluvian exiſtence. To enter at large into this diſquiſition, would lead to a ſeparate work; it ſhall ſuffice at this time to ſay, that, if there were no other teſtimonies exiſting than petrifactions, to prove this great event, we ſhould ſtill depend upon implicit faith concerning it. To return:
The church of Symondburn has two dependant chapels, Bellingham and Falſton: the pariſh is between thirty and forty miles in length, extending to Liddeſdale, in Scotland. There is within this diſtrict, between Falſton and the extreme boundary, an extenſive tract of country where, till within the laſt century, converſion had ſcarce reached, or the benefits of religion and the rites of the Engliſh church been promulged, except in the collection of tithes.
We now took the road to Rothbury: the firſt object that attracted our attention, after paſſing the ſeat of Mr Riddle, was a tower on a lofty eminence, commanding an extenſive proſpect, appertaining to Mr Delaval's eſtate of Bavington; the edifice ugly to a degree.
the ancient Family-houſe of the Shaftoes,* now the ſeat of George Shaftoe Delaval, Eſq ſituate on a riſing ground, and commanding a ſouthern proſpect, in which a fine canal, with riſing plantations, are the chief ornaments: Nature has given but few beauties to the landſkip.
was the next place we viſited, the ancient poſſeſſion of the Swinburns,† and now the ſeat of Sir Edward Swinburn. This manſion was formerly of the caſtle form, and Leland ſays, was a fair building, moted round. The preſent houſe is built in the taſte which prevailed in the time of the Charles's; the pleaſure grounds are laid out in an agreeable manner; the tufts of trees which are ſcattered over the lands, give a ſingular beauty to the ſcene. Sir John, the anceſtor of the preſent Sir Edward, married the daughter of Sir Henry Lawſon, of Brough, in Yorkſhire, and had by her thirty children, of whom eighteen arrived at maturity.‡
[Page 217] Many Roman antiquities have been diſcovered here, of which Mr Wallis gives a particular account.* He ſays they were found about a mile from the Roman cauſeway, and ſeem by the workmanſhip to be as ancient as the time of Agricola.
This place takes its name from the Herman-ſtreet or military road. It was a ſtrong fortreſs, defended by nature on one hand with rocks of vaſt height, and on the other by a moraſs: there was no approach to it but by a narrow paſs, on the north, defended by an iron gate, eaſily maintained. Part of the preſent Manſion conſiſts of the remains of the old Caſtle, and ſtands on the brink of a vaſt precipice. This was the manſion of the Babingtons, (a family as ancient in Britain as the conqueſt) and of Colonel Babington, in the reign of Charles II. Governor of Berwick. His firſt wife, Catherine,† was under excommunication, [Page 218] for contempt of an eccleſiaſtical ſentence; on which account, ſhe was not intitled to ſepulture in conſecrated ground. To prepare for her interment, a cave was hewn in the rocks of Harnham, below the foundations of the caſtle, where her remains now lay in a leaden coffin.—It is a diſgrace to a poliſhed and enlightened nation, that ſuch a Court has exiſtence; but to a ſtate profeſſing the rights and religious tenets, and enjoying the liberty of Britain, it is infamy! A Court where, in deſpight of the right of trial by Juries, property is diſpoſed by arbitrary ſentence, and where the groſſeſt acts of inquiſitorial Iniquity are daily practiſed; ſuch as private examination of witneſſes, and ſuppreſſion of evidence: and yet this ſcab upon the conſtitution remains uneradicated.
Sir John Babington, of the Harnham family, acquired the creſt and motto of his coat-armour by a deſperate ſervice under King Henry IV. in France; on his own petition, he was one of ſix young Knights ſent on this duty; and on his leaving the royal preſence, he brandiſhed his ſword, and exclaimed, "Foy eſt tous."*
the ſeat of Sir William Middleton, was next in view: it is built on an eminence, part of the old caſtle remaining. This was part of the family poſſeſſions in the time of King Edward II. The boaſt of pedigree and honourable connections appertains to the Middletons; but it is not pertinent to my work, as that of an Itinerant, to enter upon the field of the Herald, otherwiſe in this family, and that of the Babingtons, there is ſufficient matter to blazon an hundred pages.†
[Page 219] On our gaining the ſummit of the eminence, the country opened upon us beautifully; we now looked down upon the rich vale where Wallington ſtands, extending towards the ſouth-eaſt to a great diſtance, terminated by a view of the ſea. The country, before we gained this ſituation, was for ſome miles unpleaſant, little planted, and ill cultivated; but this proſpect recompenſed all the fatigue the eye had endured in the ſameneſs of the preceding paſſage. On the left hand
the ſeat of Gawen Aynſley, Eſq preſented itſelf, ſurrounded with wood. This was one of the Manors of the Barony of Prudhoe, and appertained to the Fenwicks.* By the eſcheats of the 10th of Queen Elizabeth, it appears then to have become the poſſeſſion of the Aynſleys of Shaftoe. In the depth of the vale, we paſſed
the ſeat of Sir William Loraine, a pleaſant retirement. It was one of the Manors of the Barony of Bolbeck, and the poſſeſſion of Sir Robert de Harle, in the reign of Edward III. but ſoon after became the property of the family of Loraines.† One of this houſe, Robert Loraine, [Page 220] was ſlain by the Moſs Troopers, near his own manſion; in memory of which a pillar was erected.
the ſeat of the late Sir Walter Calverley Blackett, Bart. and now of Sir John Trevelyan, his nephew and heir. This was one of the Manors of the Barony of Bolbeck, and the ancient poſſeſſion of the Greys. In the reign of Edward II. it was held by one of that family called John, uſually ſtiled John de Wallington: it afterwards became the inheritance of the Strothers, by marriage of the heireſs of Robert de Wallington: from the Strothers it came to the Fenwicks, by the marriage of John Fenwick, of Fenwick Tower, with Maria the third daughter and one of the coheireſſes of William Del Strother, and remained in [Page 221] that family from the reign of King Henry IV. till Sir John Fenwick ſold it to Sir William Blackett in the reign of King William III.*
Wallington Houſe is a handſome ſtone ſtructure, but from the mode of architecture, doth not ſeem to take its date in this century. Before the ſouth front is a pretty paſture ground, inclining to the brook of Wanſbeck: at the eaſt front is the grand approach, having a circular coach road, with a beautiful green plot, parterres, and flowering ſhrubs: plantations and covered walks cloſe it to the north, and conceal the offices: the gardens ſeem well diſpoſed, on a warm inclination, and the whole makes a pleaſing rural appearance, without any intruſion of coſtly ornaments and laboured works. In the whole compoſition, there is a degree of taſte mixed with a countenance of ruſticity, which characterizes an agreeable retirement. Nothing is ſo diſpleaſing to the eye, as temples, pagodas, columns, pyramids, Gothic banquetting-houſes, and modern ruins, jumbled into a few acres, with that confuſion and want of taſte, which over-loaded opulence often diſgorges round a modern villa. True taſte is attached to nature ſo intimately, that each diſpoſition by art muſt be made to heighten her beauties, not to diſtort her, and over-burthen the ſcene with a progeny adopted from all the quarters of the earth. A bad ſituation cannot be changed; nay it is not even improved by gorgeous works: a load of edifices is only like finery on a deformed object—but diſpoſe the works of art in a juſt adaption to the ſituation, and in the mode pointed out by nature, and they grow into elegance.
The nearer proſpect from Wallington over the vale is rich; to the ſouth-eaſt the view is extenſive, though not much variegated: in a clear atmoſphere the ſea is viſible from thence, at the extream of a level not leſs than twenty miles in length.
[Page 222] In entering theſe demeſnes, the benevolent character of the late owner inſtantly occurred to my mind. What dreadful inſtruments are greatneſs, riches, and power, in the hands of tyranny and malevolence; but what bleſſings do they not pour forth from the good and wiſe. How deteſtable is authority under ſome characters, which it would be invidious to name; but how lovely is power in the poſſeſſion of others. Such characteriſticks have marked the life of this man, as will immortalize his memory; and as he eminently poſſeſſed whilſt living, (ſo will Fame tranſmit to futurity his name and virtues accompanied with) THE UNIVERSAL LOVE OF MANKIND.*
commands a fine view of the vale we had paſſed. The aſcent for more than a mile is gradual, and the road in a direct line from Wallington, ſo that the hedge rows form a viſta, terminated by the dome of the offices, which has an agreeable effect. The proſpect here is extenſive and noble; ſome coalworks to the right deform the nearer ground, but all beyond is of that happy compoſition, which cultivation, mixing with natural woods and fanciful plantations, give the landſkip; object decreaſing after object, and ſtretching from the eye till mingled in the azure of the atmoſphere, in which all the horizon lay ſoftened and blended.
Cambo † was the ſeat of Sir Robert de Camhoe in the time of King Henry III.
The way from thence to Rothbury is very crooked, and by croſs roads rendered perplexed. About Wallington we ſaw ſome guide-poſts, but in few other places in the country, and ſeveral of thoſe having been painted, were obliterated, and only mocked our anxiety. Many bridges give eaſy paſſage over the brooks, but their flanks are ſuffered to be walled up or cloſed, ſo that the traveller is deprived of the neceſſary [Page 223] refreſhment for his cattle. The carts were paſſing unmarked, and their drivers inſolent to a high degree.
We had a view of Rothbury Caſtle at the diſtance of ſome miles; the ſituation appeared rugged and uncommon. On the ſide which then preſented itſelf, we could diſcern diſtinctly no more than the ſquare tower and part of its flankings, placed on a conſiderable eminence, of a rocky and barren aſpect. By not taking the proper road, we were led almoſt round this edifice, which we viewed with no ſmall degree of impatiency. When we came to look upon the northern front, our curioſity was ſomewhat ſlackened, but nevertheleſs we paſſed down the road about half a mile, and having climbed the fence, aſcended the ſteep to the building. The fatigue was but ill recompenſed, for we found this object of our anxious curioſity, no other than an ornamental ſtructure, compoſed of a ſquare tower, flanked with a curvated wall, embattled, and pierced with loop-holes, and each wing terminated with a baſtion: the ſituation romantick, on the brink of a broken precipice. The ſides of this hill, to the weſt and ſouth, preſent a ſhaken and tremendous rocky ſteep, rent into vaſt impending columns and maſſive tables; the ſtones of enormous bulk, in many places hang on each other in ſuch looſe poſitions, as if ready to fall into the vale; forming caverns and receſſes, and rude heaps of rocks of a moſt wild and groteſque appearance. To decorate (I preſume) this noble ſcene, the awkward images of a goat and a ſtaring ſtag, delight the paſſing children.—On reſorting to my book of notes, I find they carry the countenance of peeviſhneſs, but as they are juſt, I will tranſcribe them. The ſouthern front opens on a ſmall plain, naturally of a circular form, ſcattered over with huge heads of griffins, broken cornices, and enſigns of Calverly (the lamb and flag of Grace) ſculptured on white free-ſtone; in the midſt of which ſtand two prepoſterous effigies, repreſentative of no known dreſs, perſonage, or people. And to give the coup de grace to this compoſition, enormous ribs, jaw-bones, and members of a whale, are faſtened to the walls for decorations. We entered the tower, in which, by way of tables, are three large rude unhewed ſtones, one in the center, and one in each receſs at the ſides, benched with ſimilar ſtones: pretty enough for the reception of Thomas of Hick-a-thrift or Jack the Giant-killer.
We had from this plot one of the moſt extenſive views in Northumberland. Eaſtward we overlooked the vale which opened upon us at Wallington, on which many gentlemen's ſeats were ſcattered, mingled with [Page 224] woody plots—very remote objects give little pleaſure to the eye, except what it derives from the diverſity of colouring—the ſea formed the diſtant horizon. To the ſouthward we had a view of Cambo and the hills beyond Wallington, with Mr Delaval's tower, the deformity of which might now be forgot, for the agreeable obeliſk it gave to the proſpect from hence. The weſtern view was more confined, but wholly cultivated, and the north frowned in rocks, mountains, and barren heath. In deſcending the hill, a curvated canal preſented itſelf, margined with young plantations, on whoſe border a tent was pitched. This was one of Sir Walter's retreats. The family being there, we did not viſit Rothly Houſe.
It is remarkable in this paſſage to Rothbury, in many parts where we could view a tract country for the diſtance of three or four miles, all conſiſting of cultivated land, the farm-houſes were ſo very diſtant, and the inhabitants few, that for miles we did not perceive a human being in the whole circle. The fields did not engage people in tillage, and the roads were almoſt without paſſengers, ſo that a ſtranger at midday, might wander far from the way leading to the place of his deſtination, before he could correct his miſtake. Where tillage is neglected, and large farms are thrown into graſs, it muſt be the caſe; the country is depopulated, the induſtrious labourer cannot procure bread, and an engroſſing farmer, in a ſtate of indolence, grows opulent by his herds, &c. at the loſs to community, of thoſe members of the commonwealth in whom the ſtrength of the nation conſiſts, who are, by a deplorable neceſſity, driven to emigrate; an event which will at once ſap the ſtate, and impoveriſh the ſubject. Boys who would otherwiſe have been employed in huſbandry, are bound out to manufactories; our manufacturers are grown more numerous than trade can maintain; the huſbandman's labour is not wanted, his hands are ſhifted to a different employ; and the hardy race of Britons are ſunk into a ſtate of imbecillity, and reduced to the languid and meagre ſhadows of men, who hang upon the loom. The difficulty of recruiting the army and manning the navy will every day increaſe—the reſources are taken away. Not one-fourth part of the number of families are employed in huſbandry in the north, there was forty years ago. This was a nurſery for the army and the fleet. The enlarging farms, and [Page 225] reducing the tillage, is a capital error, which though ſlow in its conſequences, yet is as ſure as fate. Subſtituting the horſe for the ox in huſbandry, is a miſtaken maxim, which for a temporary profit has crept in upon us: the ox was advancing in value, and increaſing the ſupply of the market as he laboured: the horſe takes twice the maintenance, conſuming a vaſt portion of grain, and his price is ſinking yearly into nothing. Not expoſing the neceſſaries of life in open market, is another matter that prejudices the poor, by increaſing prices; an artificial ſcarcity is thereby much eaſier to be effected. I am bold to ſay, that if a law was made to oblige plowing by oxen, and to enforce every article of the farmer to be brought to open market to be ſold within a limitted time, we ſhould experience much greater plenty. Of my own knowledge, wheat, (when 6s. 6d. the Wincheſter buſhel) in immenſe quantities, has been kept up till ſpoiled, and made fit for nothing but hogs. I cannot avoid adopting Mr Pennant's ſentiments on a view of the like kind. Speaking of his entry into Northumberland at Cornhill, he ſays, ‘All this country is open, deſtitute of trees, and almoſt even of hedges; for hedges are in their infancy in theſe parts, as it is not above ſeven or eight years ſince they have been introduced —the land is fertile, ſwells into gentle riſings, and is rich in corn. It is miſerably depopulated; a few great farm-houſes and hamlets appear rarely ſcattered over the vaſt tracts. There are few farms of leſs value than 150l. a year. They are generally three, four, or five hundred; and I heard of one poſſeſſed by a ſingle family, that even reached twenty-five hundred: in this was a ſingle field of 3000 acres, and which took 600 bolls of ſeed wheat, of ſix Wincheſter buſhels each. A humour fatal to the commonwealth prevails over many parts of the north, of flinging numbers of ſmall tenements into a large one, in order to ſave the expence of building; or perhaps to avoid the multiplicity of receipts, lay a whole country into a ſheep walk. Theſe devour poor men's houſes, and expel the ancient inhabitants from their fire-ſides, to ſeek their bread in a ſtrange land. I have heard of a character (I forgot the ſpot it curſes) that is too barbarous and infamous to be overlooked; which has ſo little feeling, as to depopulate a village of 200 ſouls, and to level their houſes to the ground; to deſtroy eight or ten farm-houſes on an eſtate of 1000l. a year, for the ſake of turning almoſt the whole into a ſheep walk.— There he lives, and there he may long live his own tormentor! deteſting, deteſted by all mankind. Wark and Learmouth, once conſiderable [Page 226] places, are now ſcarcely inhabited. The laſt formerly a great market town, is now reduced to a ſingle farm-houſe. The inhabitants have long ſince been diſperſed, forced to exchange the wholſome, the vigorous, the innocent lives of the rural oeconomiſts, for the ſickly ſhort-lived employs of manufacturers in Birmingham and other great towns, where diſeaſe, and often corrupted morals, cauſe double the conſumption of people as would happen were they permitted to enjoy their ancient ſeats. The want of labourers begins to be ſenſibly felt. As a proof, they are retained by the year; and policy dictates to their employers the affording them good wages: each has his cottage, a a piece of land gratis, and a ſhilling a day in ſummer and ten-pence in winter. I call this good pay, in a country which ought to be very cheap; if not, what are the fine effects of the great improvements? The Spectator ſpeaks much of the deſerts of the man that raiſes two ears of corn where one grew before. But who will point out the man who has the ſoul to make his poor brethren feel the happy effects of his art? I believe, that at preſent there are numbers who have raiſed ten for one that were known a few years ago. It would be natural to ſuppoſe that plenty would introduce cheapneſs; but till the providential plenty of the preſent year, corn was exactly double the value of what it was 14 years paſt. Yet the plenty of money has not been found doubled by the poor manufacturer or labourer. The land owner in the north hath taken full care of himſelf. A farm of 75l. per annum 20 years ago, has been lately ſet for 365l. Another of 230l. will be ſoon ſet for 1000l. per annum. An eſtate was bought in 1759 for 6800l. it conſiſted of 1560 acres, of which 750 have been ſold for 8400l. and all theſe improvements reſult from the unprincipled and iniquitous notion, of making the buyer of the produce pay not only to ſatisfy the demand of the landlord, but to enable the farmer to make a princely fortune, and to live with a luxury the ſhame of the times. They have loſt the reſpectable character of the Old Engliſh Yeomanry, by too cloſe an imitation of the extravagant follies of their betters.’
‘The oxen of theſe parts are very fine; a pair has been ſold for 65l. the weight of one was 168 ſtone. The mountain ſheep are ſold for half a guinea a piece, the lowland ewes for a guinea; the weathers for a guinea and a half; the beſt wool from 16 to 18s. the ſtone of 23 pounds and a half.’
the whole country in view, conſiſting of rocky ſteeps, lofty hills crowned with heath, and others compoſed of nothing but naked ſtones: a mountainous and rugged proſpect, dreary and deſolate. The breez which broke up the vale from the north-weſt, afforded us the true effect, which under the deſcriptive phraſe of "howling in the wilderneſs," had heretofore conveyed to my mind an image rather poetically extravagant than true: but here it was juſtly deſcriptive, for as it paſſed over the naked ſteeps and rugged cliffs, its ſound could not be deſcribed by any other expreſſion.
We deſcended into this deſolate vale, down a very ſteep and ſtony road, barrenneſs and rocks on every hand; but on paſſing a little projecting eminence, were agreeably ſurprized by the opening of the hills, and it was not long before we had a ſight of Whitton Tower, and ſoon after Rothbury preſented itſelf, ſeated in the neck of a narrow cultivated glen; a ſituation perfectly ſequeſtered, and ſecure from ſtorms: ſome pretty fields opening to the ſouth-weſt, where the valley is enlarged.
This is a ſmall irregular town on the river Coquet, without any thing remarkable but its ſituation:* it has a market on Thurſdays, and three annual fairs on Whit-Monday, 21ſt September, and Thurſday preceding All-hallows day. This was the Barony of Roger Fitz-Roger, Baron of Warkworth and Clavering, in the reign of King John, with which he held a free foreſt, with all its appendages, except the goods of felons, which at that time was ſo beneficial a perquiſite, as to merit a reſervation in the royal grant. It remained in that family till the [Page 228] laſt Lord Clavering granted it to the Crown in the reign of King Edward I. King Edward III. gave it to Henry Lord Percy, and it is now part of the poſſeſſions of his Grace the Duke of Northumberland.
We were led to view a natural curioſity, as it is termed, called the Thrumb, which is almoſt a mile from the town—a cut formed by nature in the rocks of the river's channel, where the ſtream for about 160 yards is pent in ſuch narrow bounds that a man may leap over—not at all curious, or worthy our attention; little preferable to a mill-race. But here we had the misfortune to meet with an impertinent drunken Innkeeper, whoſe over-officiouſneſs and loquacity led us out of the way.
Another remarkable circumſtance befel us here; on obtaining change for a piece of gold from a neighbouring ſhop, the money was ſo lately and ſo unſkilfully prepared, that on turning it over, the quickſilver ſtood in globules upon it: the metal was chiefly copper.—We ſet forward for Wooler, having our minds furniſhed with diſagreeable ideas, which our fellow-creatures too often excite. Vices and frauds have acceſs to the moſt ſequeſtered vales; for ſuch were firſt inhabited by outlaws and robbers.
In the neighbourhood of Rothbury, to the eaſt, is a circular entrenchment, called Old Rothbury, formed on an eminence, with a double trench and rampier of earth: one of thoſe ſtrongholds to which the inhabitants were obliged to retire on the incurſions of the Scots.*
the Barony of Iva Tailbois in the reign of King Henry III. in whoſe family it continued till the reign of King Edward III. when it became the poſſeſſion of the Ogles of Ogle Caſtle. It is now the eſtate of his Grace the Duke of Portland.
where Paulinus is ſaid to have converted and baptized many thouſands of the Saxons. A ſmall priory for about eight Benedictine Nuns ſtood here, founded by one of the Humfranvils of Harbottle Caſtle, by whom it was endowed.* Its revenues were increaſed by Roger Bertram, Baron of Mitford. The two livings of Carſonſide and Harbottle were conſolodated by Richard Kelloe, Biſhop of Durham, by his deed dated Nono die Februarii Anno Domini 1311, at the deſire of Lord Richard Unfranvill, who entering into holy orders, had the cure thereof. There are no remarkable remains of the priory: at the diſſolution the revenue of the houſe was valued at 11l. 5s. 6d. by Dugdale, and 15l. 10s. 8d. by Speed.
lays about a mile to the weſtward: in the year 1314 it was demoliſhed by the Scots, but aftewards reſtored. This was part of the poſſeſſions of the Unfranvills of Pruddowe.† On the attainder of Sir William Tailbois, ‡ to whom the inheritance of Unfranvills deſcended, this caſtle came to the Crown, and now belongs Percival Clennel, Eſq It ſtands upon the banks of Coquet, and in the time of King Edward I. was a formidable fortreſs, ſuſtaining a deſperate attack from the whole body of Scots, on their incurſion in the year 1296; who after laying before it two days, were obliged to raiſe the ſiege. It was of ſome conſequence [Page 230] in the reign of King Henry VIII. being the place of retirement of Margaret* Queen Dowager of Scotland, his ſiſter, on her marriage with the Earl of Angus. Lady Mary Douglas, her daughter, was born here, 1518. This caſtle at preſent is totally in ruins.—We now returned to Rothbury, and took the road to Whittingham.
Four miles of our way lay through as barren a country as I have yet ſeen: in this tract there was neither human or brute animal to be obſerved: ſheep or goats, if ſuch there were, hid themſelves in the dells: which ever way the eye was caſt, mountains, bogs, rocks, and heath compoſed the proſpect; the road was rough and full of ſtones, the ground on each hand broken and grown with heath, and the waters which ran in a thouſand channels, were red with their metalick quality. A laſſitude and impatiency took poſſeſſion of the mind, and we travelled with diſpleaſure; but happily for us the vale of
lay in our way, an extenſive rich cultivated valley, where every object was highly pleaſing, after the ſad contraſt nature had caſt in our paſſage: the fields are well fenced with quickſets, the ſoil luxuriant, the crops of corn ſtanding in ſheafs, were rich to the higheſt degree, the meadows finely verdant, the houſes well built and roofed with tyle, the roads open, the ſheep and cattle of a large breed, and every object wore the countenance of opulence. On Inquiry, we were ſurprized to find 8s. an acre per annum was the average price for land there: the huſbandry we remarked was modern and improved. This happy vale was near four miles wide, in the part we croſſed it in our way to Wooler.
the ancient houſe of the Claverings.† In the reign of King Henry III. [Page 231] Gilbert de Callaley being ſeized of theſe demeſnes, granted them to Robert Fitz Roger, Baron of Warkworth and Clavering, from whom it has deſcended to the preſent owner, Ralph Clavering, Eſq How long it was the poſſeſſion of the Callaleys is not known.
The houſe ſtands on the ſouth ſide of the brook Callaley, in a low ſituation, and retains part of the old ſtructure. There is a pretty grove adjoining, in a whimſical figure called the Star, being octagonal. Near to Callaley is a high hill, called Caſtle Hill, with a circular intrenchment; one of thoſe exploratory mounts ſo frequently ſeen on the borders; from whence a very extenſive proſpect is had of the vales of Coquet, Whittingham, and Glendale.
the ſeat of the Fenwicks,* a handſome modern houſe, commanding a fine view of the valley of Whittingham. Around this manſion are thoſe agreeable ſcenes diſperſed which riſing plantations give. The preſent Mr Fenwick is a great promoter of that material improvement, planting; for which he lately received an honourable premium.
anciently the Caſtle of the family of Haſtings, and of Sir Roger Haſtings in the reign of King Henry VIII. it afterwards became the poſſeſſion of the Swinburns,* and is now the property of Sir Edward Swinburn, Bart. This place retains no ſingular marks of antiquity.
the ſeat of Henry Lord Ravenſworth, Baron of Ravenſworth in the county of Durham. It was formerly the poſſeſſion of Eſlingtons, and of Allan de Eſlington in the time of King Henry III. it paſſed to the Haſleriggs, and after them to the Collingwoods, in whoſe family it continued from the reign of King Henry VIII. to that of King George I.†
It is a modern and elegant houſe, but placed in a low ſituation on the banks of the Aln. A pretty lawn hangs upon the brink of the river which forms a fine canal, the oppoſite riſings are ornamented with a ſhrubbery.
From the walk above the plantations, there is a moſt excellent proſpect of cultivated ſcenes, finely terminated: the vale of Whittingham, with all its rural richneſs, is extended in front, ſurmounted by the grove of Callaley, and its conic mount called Caſtle Hill: to the eaſtward, Lemington with its riſing plantations, Bolton Park, and Broom Park are in view: to the north, Glanton, Titlington, and the woods of Shawdon; the whole forming an extenſive circus, ſhut in on every ſide [Page 233] by heathy mountains and rocky ſteeps, diſpoſed at an agreeable diſtance, and contraſting in a beautiful manner with the nearer objects.
the ancient ſeat of the Selbys, and of Sir Walter Selbye in the reign of King Edward III. who loſt his head for maintaining with great bravery the Caſtle of Lidell againſt David King of Scotland, who beſieged it with an immenſe army.* It is now the Manſion of Thomas Selby, Eſq has a romantic ſituation, and commands a view of the Coquet river. At
about two miles from Whittingham, was an Hoſpital, founded by Robert de Roſs, who was Baron of Wark, before the year 1225, for a Maſter, three Chaplains, 13 Lepers, and other lay brethren, and was dedicated to St Thomas the Martyr or the Holy Trinity. It was ſubordinate to the abbey of Rival,† and the priory of Kirkham, in Yorkſhire.
Soon after the diſſolution this Hoſpital became the property of the Collingwoods of Eſlington; it was afterwards the poſſeſſion of the family of Browns,‡ and is now the eſtate of Matthew Forſter, Eſq
In Hollingſhead's Chronicle we find this place remarkable for a Congreſs on the 5th of September, 5 King Henry VIII. before the battle of Branxton; where were preſent, Thomas Howard Earl of Surry, Lords Clifford, Coniers, Ogle, Scroope, and Lumley, Sir William Percy, Lionel Percy, Sir George Darcy, Sir William Bulmer of Brancepeth Caſtle, in [Page 234] the county of Durham, and Richard Tempeſt, Eſq with their attendants and 26,000 troops.
Near this place ſeveral ſtone cheſts have been diſcovered, three feet in length and two feet in breadth, with urns of ordinary pottery, containing aſhes, charcoal, and remains of ſcorched human bones; and not far diſtant was lately found a Celt.* Theſe ſepultures are of the remoteſt antiquity.
is a Seat of a branch of the Ogle family,† now poſſeſſed by Ralph Ogle, Eſq in which neighbourhood lays
formerly the Barony of the Earls of Dunbar. Patrick Earl of Dunbar loſt it by bearing arms in aid of the Scots againſt King Edward III. that King gave it to Henry Lord Percy, and it is now part of the poſſeſſions of his Grace the Duke of Northumberland. On Beanly Moor is a large circular intrenchment.
poſſeſſed by the family of that name for many ages. We find them in the eſcheats of 49 King Henry III.* The Manſion-houſe is modern.
On Roſedean Edge, in this neighbourhood, is a large ſquare intrenchment, from whence, at the diſtance of three miles, you view Bewick Hill, a ſemicircular intrenchment, with a double Foſs and Vallum, defended to the weſt by a ſteep precipice. The entrance on the ſouth is formed by a hollow way, defended by large ſtones placed with their edges in the earth, ſo as to make a ſtrong breaſt-work.
falling 56 perpendicular feet, which paſſing over ſeveral pointed rocks, makes a fine white ſheet of foam. The rock from which the ſtream precipitates is naked, and hath none of thoſe pictureſque beauties which grace the water-fall at Hareſhaw Linn, near Bellingham.
[Page 237] On a hill a mile weſt of Alnham, is a ſemicircular incampment, the points of the creſcent facing the eaſt, ſeem to have formed the entrance. It is defended by two high outward rampiers and a deep foſs, and an inner circle of ſtones, which appear uncemented. The interior area, about 100 yards diameter, ſhews many remains of buildings.
on the weſt of the road, is the ancient Seat of the family of Ildertons: We find them poſſeſſors of this place in the reign of King Edward I. as appears by the eſcheats of that time. The preſent owner, Thomas Ilderton, Eſq *
the ancient poſſeſſion of the Lilburns;† after them it became the eſtate of the Clennels, and is now one of the ſeats of Henry Collingwood of Cornhill, Eſq The ancient Tower and Manſion of the Lilburns is in ruins.
in the next place engaged our attention, the Seat of the Earl of Tankerville. This was the ancient Seat and Manor of the heroic race of Greys of Wark; one of whom lays entombed in the church, under an elegant monument, ornamented richly, and having the recumbent effigies of a Knight and his Lady.
[Page 238] The Caſtle, ſituate on an eminence, is of the order of building uſed in the reign of Queen Elizabeth: it has an open area in the center, from whence you aſcend by many ſteps into a balluſtrade, ornamented with the effigies of Britiſh warriors armed, cut in ſtone. The apartments are awkward and ſmall, and the communications irregular. Here are ſeveral good portraits, a full length of Lord Chancellor Bacon, another of Lord Treaſurer Burleigh; a gaudy painting of Buckingham, in a white ſattin gilded veſt, gold and white ſtriped breeches, effeminate and fantaſtical; a good portrait of King Charles; a picture of James II. of the moſt unhappy countenance.
In one of the apartments Mr Wallis ſays is a marble chimney-piece; in ſawing which from the block, a live toad was diſcovered therein. The nidus where the animal lodged, as it was diſagreeable to the eye, by order of the late Earl, was filled with cement. We enquired after this curioſity, but the houſekeeper knew nothing of it. We ſaw a painting of this phaenomenon, ſubſcribed to which were the Latin ſtanzas given in the notes.* The toad, if as large as repreſented in the painting, was wonderful indeed, for ſize as well as its exiſtence, being near as big as a hat crown. It is not poſſible to look upon this object without giving paſſage to ſome reflections of the following order:—How wonderful are all the works of Providence; but how incomprehenſible is the exiſtence of this animal!—ſhut up in the boſom of a mountain, caſed in a rock of marble, perhaps an hundred feet from the ſurface; living without air, or ſuch only as ſhould pervade the veins of this ſtone; exiſting without other diet, than the dews which might paſs through the texture of marble; deprived of animal conſolations, without light, without liberty, without an aſſociate of its kind.† It depoſited here, when the [Page 239] matter which incloſed it was ſoft, and before it gained its conſiſtency as marble, how many ages ought we to number in its life; for multitudes of years muſt have paſſed, to reduce any ſoft ſubſtance, in a courſe of nature, to the ſtate of this ſtone. One may aſk, why did it not periſh in the univerſal wreck of animal exiſtence? and at what age of the world were theſe mountains of marble firſt formed? The inquiry leads to a maze of perplexity; like the ingenious Mr Brydon's inſpection of the ſtratas of Etnaean Lava, all adopted chronology ſinks in the view; and years are extended on the age of creation beyond every thing but Chineſe calculation.
In Chillingham Park are ſtill preſerved a breed of wild cattle, called the White Scottiſh Biſon; it is ſaid they cannot be tamed, having ſo remarkable a fierceneſs in their nature. Mr Penant, in his Tour in Scotland and Voyage to the Hebrides, p. 109, under the title Drumlanrig, gives the following deſcription of them: "In my walks about the park, ſee the white breed of wild cattle, derived from the native race of the country, and ſtill retain the primaeval ſavageneſs and ferocity of their anceſtors; were more ſhy than any deer; ran away on the appearance of any of the human ſpecies, and even ſet off at full gallop on the leaſt noiſe; ſo that I was under the neceſſity of going very ſoftly under the ſhelter of trees or buſhes, to get a near view of them: during ſummer they keep apart from all other cattle, but in ſevere weather hunger will compel them to viſit the outhouſes in ſearch of food. The keepers are obliged to ſhoot them, if any are wanted: if the beaſt is not killed on the ſpot, it runs at the perſon who gave the wound, and who is forced, in order to ſave himſelf, to fly for ſafety to the intervention of ſome tree.
"Theſe cattle are of a middle ſize, have very long legs, and the cows are fine horned: the orbits of the eyes and the tips of the noſes are black; but the bulls have loſt the manes attributed to them by Boethius."
Near Chillingham are two circular intrenchments; and at New Town, a mile to the weſtward of Chillingham, is a ſtone croſs twelve feet high, called the Hurle Stone; of which I could procure no account.
the eſtate of the Greys of Howick, formerly the Seat of a younger branch of the Greys of Heton.*
This is a deplorable part of the country for a ſtranger to be benighted in; the heavy vapours which frequently envelope the hills the whole day, as frequently attend the advance of night into the vale, as it happened to us, and brings on a darkneſs truly to be felt; whilſt there there is no houſe, inhabitant, or paſſenger, for miles, to direct your way.
We were thankful when we gained ſight of the Inn at Wooler Haugh; the court-yard, which we deſcended into from the road, was crowded indeed with waggons and carriages, and the lights in the ſtables ſhewed there were ſeveral gueſts in the houſe, but of what quality and denomination, we could not divine. When we alighted, the hoſtler looked to be in ſome confuſion; but we did not deviſe the reaſon, being willing not to premiſe any thing to our diſadvantage at that time of night, in the rain, and in a country not known to any of us. We were met by a jolly hoſteſs at the door, who deſired us, with all the courteſy of a civil publican, to walk in. We were introduced to the kitchen, and required to air our cloaths, till the people got lights and prepared a room. It was now time to conſider the ſcene; the kitchen ſmelled rank of cooking, for there was as much buſtle, as if they were preparing a hecatomb: the room was populous to a degree, for the miſtreſs and two jolly nymphs her daughters ſtickled in the cookery, whilſt there went backward and forward, in and out, hoſtlers, livery ſervants, carriers, and ſavages of various denominations, in the utmoſt confuſion; carrying, ſeeking, fetching, or calling for innumerable matters, like the confuſion of Babel, in the greateſt agitation and emergency. When [Page 241] we had leiſure to think, we were at a loſs to conceive what had occaſioned this hurricane, in which we had ſo awkwardly involved ourſelves, at this little houſe under a hill, in the wilds of Wooler; but outward objects embarraſſed all thinking to that degree, that our minds remained overwhelmed in what the eye communicated, or what diſtracted the ear; and like fellows that were faſcinated, we forbore to make our eſcape. The table was covered with mangled joints of victuals; above us, before us, on this hand and on that, was the noiſe of tumultuous companies, creating that diſcordance of ſounds; which diſtracts an Inn at a fair;—hallowing, laughing, ringing of bells, beating on tables, menaces, oaths, female titterations, and muſic were in the compoſition. My companion in a whiſper ſays, "Where the devil have we got to?" I would have told him, if it had been in my power: I found myſelf totally embarraſſed, till at length this horrid diſcordance rouzed me, and on expreſſing uneaſineſs at not being ſhewn to our apartment, we were told the room was clearing of its preſent poſſeſſors, who were going to bed. Startled at ſuch intelligence, we began to doubt what would be our accommodations, and that we might have occaſion to diſplace the ſame race of viſitants a ſecond time, before we could poſſeſs any beds: in defiance of the weather, a night as dark as Erebus, and a road unknown, we thought it more prudent to ſet forward for Wooler town, diſtant near two miles; and accordingly left this place to the ſportſmen who occupied it on their moor ſhooting parties, and to the carriers and horrid wretches who barricadoed it without.
is a conſiderable town, holding a weekly market on Thurſday, and two annual fairs on the 26th of April and 6th of October:* it was the ancient Barony of the Muſchamps, as appears by the eſcheats of King Henry III. afterwards it came to the Greys of Wark, and is now the property of the Earl of Tankerville. On a circular mount near the [Page 242] town, are the remains of a tower, apparently as ancient as the time of the Muſchamps. By the eſcheats of the reign of King Richard II. it appears there was an Hoſpital here dedicated to Mary Magdalen. In the neighbourhood of Wooler are ſeveral intrenchments and kairns; one at a place called Cattle Well, which has the name of Maiden Caſtle, and another, a very conſiderable one, at Trodden Gares.
Wooler is ſituate to the eaſt of Cheviots, in an ill cultivated country, under the influence of vaſt mountains, from whence it is ſubject to impetuous rains. It is a place of great reſort in the ſummer months, for invalids to drink goats milk or whey. The church is placed on a fine eminence, and having been lately rebuilt, is commodious. It is ſaid the mother church was at Fenton, on the eaſt ſide of the river Till, now totally in ruins.
Our amuſement in the ſucceeding morning was among ſuch hills, as have ſeldom been thought acceſſable by parties of pleaſure. By Humbledon Burn, on an eaſy inclination, is an intrenchment called Green Caſtle; and on Humbledon Hugh, about a mile to the northweſt of Wooler, is a circular intrenchment, with a large kairn. The ſide of the hill is cut in various terraces, riſing above each other. This ſeems to have been calculated for a temporary fort, and the mode generally practiſed in ancient times in this part of the country. Many of thoſe terraces are formed with great exactneſs, about 20 feet in breadth. In ſome places there are three of thoſe flights or terraces; in others I obſerved five, placed in regular gradations, one above the other. Theſe were outworks of an important nature, to defend a body of Chiefs, or a valuable booty, which occupied the crown of a hill. The original mode I preſume was Daniſh, though thoſe works are properly attributed to the Scotch and Engliſh before the battle in 1402. The ſummit of a hill being levelled, I conceive received the officers of higheſt rank and the moſt valuable effects of the camp; to which the platforms riſing above each other, and encircling the hill, when filled with troops would make a powerful defence.
In the plain beneath is a ſtone pillar, denoting the ground where 10,000 of the Scots, under Earl Douglas, in the reign of King Henry IV. on Holy-rood-day, 1402, had a great overthrow, by Henry Lord Percy and George Earl of March. Douglas's forces had poſſeſſed the eminence, but his paſſage into Scotland being intercepted by Earl Percy, [Page 243] he was obliged to engage on this plain: the battle was ſo bloody, that the lands gained the name of Redriggs, from the ſlaughter with which they were ſtained. According to Hollingſhead, among the priſoners were the Earls of Fife, Murray, Angus, Athol, Orkney, and Monteath, the Lords Montgomery and Erſkine, and about 80 Knights. Douglas received five wounds and loſt an eye. Being hotly purſued, in the flight 500 Scots were drowned in Tweed, the moſt of their army on this fatal day dying or being priſoners.
The diſpoſition of the Engliſh, was chiefly on an oppoſite mount to that occupied by the Scotch, except their archers, who were arranged on the plain. The Scots were ſo galled by the flights of arrows, to which we may preſume they were extremely expoſed, if marſhalled on thoſe terraces before deſcribed, that they grew impatient of reſtraint, and with their whole force deſcended into the plain, to come to cloſer battle. The Engliſh alſo advanced, their archers retiring in well compacted bodies, to admit the other troops into the line, at the ſame time diſcharging ſuch flights of arrows, as no armour could reſiſt, and thereby the Scots were ſoon broken and thrown into confuſion. Sir John Swinton and Adam Gordon ſeveral times rallied flying parties, and renewed the battle with the greateſt bravery, till they fell among the ſlain. Hiſtorians mention no perſon of note on the ſide of the Engliſh who was ſlain that day, the victory being entirely the work of the archers, the other troops being ſaid not to have engaged.
Near this place the Scots were defeated on Magdalen-day, in the third year of the reign of King Henry V. 1415, by Sir Robert Humfrevil, then Commander of Roxburgh Caſtle, and the Earl of Weſtmoreland, then Lord Warden of the Marches. The place of this action is denoted by a rude ſtone pillar 14 feet high.*
[Page 244] In Bede we have the following paſſage: "Paulinus coming with the King and Queen into a manor or houſe of the King's, called Ad-Gebrin, at this day Yevering, abode with them 36 days, employed wholly in catechiſing and baptiſing: during which time he did nothing from morning, but inſtruct the people reſorting to him in the ſaving word of Chriſt; and being thus inſtructed, he baptiſed them to the forgiveneſs of their ſins, in the river of Glen, which was hard by. This houſe was in the time of the ſucceeding Kings neglected, and another made for it, in a place called Melnim, now Melfold."
Thus it appears this was a Manor of the Saxon Kings, and was the reſidence of King Edwin and his Queen Ethelburga, after his converſion by Paulinus. This Edwin was afterwards ſlain by Penda and Cedwall, two Tributaries: Ethelburga eſcaped to her brother, Eadbald King of Kent, by whom Paulinus was made Biſhop of Rocheſter. There are not the leaſt remains of any conſiderable ſtructure here, or any thing to denote that a royal palace once exiſted on the ſpot.
The ancient name of Ad-Gebrin, through the aſſiſtance of Mr Bryant's etymologies, alſo leads me to determine this was a royal reſidence, and had one of thoſe high places conſecrated to the worſhip of the Sun. ‘ Ad being in uſe for a ſupreme title, with which both Deities and Kings were honoured, among all the eaſtern nations Ad was a peculiar title, and was originally conferred upon the Sun; and if we may credit Macrobius, it ſignified one, and was ſo interpreted by the Aſſyrians. In ſhort, Ad and Ada ſignified firſt [...], and in a more lax ſenſe, a Prince or Ruler. ’ * From thence, and the evidence of Bede, it is clear the Saxon Kings reſided at this place during ſome part of the Heptarchy.
A reſearch into antiquity naturally produces this effect, that we obtain teſtimonies of the derivation of our cuſtoms, and an early viſitation by eaſtern nations; which latter circumſtance has rather been treated by authors as a fabulous matter, or ſo obſcured by tradition, that it was little credited.
[Page 245] In Mr Bryant's introductory preface, he ſays, ‘It has been obſerved by many of the learned, that ſome particular family betook themſelves very early to different parts of the world; in all which, they introduced their rights and religion, together with the cuſtoms of their country. They repreſent them as very knowing and enterprizing; and with good reaſon. They were the firſt who ventured upon the ſeas and took long voyages. They ſhewed their ſuperiority and addreſs in the numberleſs expeditions which they made, and the difficulties which they ſurmounted. Many have thought that they were colonies from Egypt or from Phoenicia; having a regard only to the ſettlements which they made in the weſt. But I ſhall ſhew hereafter, that colonies of the ſame people are to be found in the moſt extreme parts of the eaſt; where we may obſerve the ſame rites and ceremonies, and the ſame traditional hiſtories, as are to be met with in their other ſettlements. The country called Phoenicia could not have ſufficed for the effecting all that is attributed to theſe mighty adventurers. It is neceſſary for me to acquaint the reader, that the wonderful people to whom I allude, were the the deſcendants of Chus, and called Cuthites and Cuſeans. They ſtood their ground at the general migration of families; but were at laſt ſcattered over the face of the earth. They were the firſt apoſtates from the truth: yet great in worldly wiſdom. They introduced where ever they came many uſeful arts, and were looked up to as a ſuperior order of beings: hence they were ſtiled Heroes, Daemons, Heliadae, Macarians. They were joined in their expeditions by other nations, eſpecially by the colateral branches of their family, the Mizraim, Caphtorim, and the ſons of Canaan. Theſe were all of the line of Ham, who was held by his poſterity in the higheſt veneration. They called him Amon, and having in proceſs of time raiſed him to a divinity, they worſhipped him as the Sun: and from this worſhip they were ſtyled Amonians. This therefore will be the title, by which I ſhall chooſe to diſtinguiſh the people of whom I treat, when I ſpeak of them collectively; for under this denomination are included all of this family, whether they were Egyptians or Syrians, of Phoenicia or of Canaan. ’ To this I will add, what a celebrated French author (treating of the riſe and progreſs of arts and ſciences) ſays, touching the migrations of theſe Eaſterns, to attempt at leaſt a colourable propoſition, touching the time Britain received thoſe viſitants, if not a concluſive one. ‘When we ſpeak of the Phoenicians, we muſt diſtinguiſh the times with accuracy. Theſe people poſſeſſed originally a large extent of countries, compriſed under [Page 246] the name of the land of Canaan. They loſt the greateſt part of it, by the conqueſts of the Iſraelites under Joſhua. The lands which fell in diviſion to the tribe of Aſher, extended to Sidon; that city notwithſtanding was not ſubdued. If the conqueſts of Joſhua took from the Phaenicians a great part of their dominion, they were well paid by the conſequences of that event. In effect the greateſt part of the ancient inhabitants of Paleſtine, ſeeing themſelves threatened with entire deſtruction, had recourſe to flight to ſave themſelves. Sidon offered them an aſylum. By this eruption of the Hebrew people, the Sidonians were enabled to ſend colonies where ever they thought proper. Sidon lent them ſhips, and made good uſe of theſe new inhabitants, to extend their trade and form ſettlements. From hence that great number of colonies, which went from Phoenicia, to ſpread themſelves in all the countries of Africa and Europe. We may date this event, about the year of the world 2553, and 1451 years before Chriſt. Spain was not the only country beyond the pillars of Hercules, which the Phaenicians penetrated. Being familiarized with the navigation of the ocean, they extended themſelves to the left of the Straits of Cadiz, as well as to the right. Strabo aſſures us, that theſe people had gone over a part of the weſtern coaſt of Africa, a little time after the war of Troy. We might perhaps determine their paſſage into England, by a reflection which the reading of the writers of antiquity furniſhes us with: they are perſuaded that all the Tin that was conſumed in the known world came from the Iſles of Caſſitorides; and there is no doubt thoſe Iſles were the Sorlingues and a part of Cornwall. We ſee by the books of Moſes, that in his time Tin was known in Paleſtine. Homer teaches us alſo that they made uſe of this metal in the heroic ages. It ſhould follow then, that the Phaenicians had traded in Britain in very remote antiquity.’—After giving the reader theſe opinions of two authors highly diſtinguiſhed in the literary world, I muſt proceed to the application.
In this wild and mountainous country, the names and marks of antiquity have eſcaped thoſe changes which naturally follow cultivation; and it is in ſuch parts we are to ſearch for the evidences of the moſt remote antiquity exiſting in this kingdom. It is certain the Druids, though they built temples and paid their adoration towards the Sun, always retained ſuch diſtinction in their worſhip, that they looked up to the great Luminary as the Throne, or as the ſymbol and archetype only of the Divinity; which they confeſſed, created and governed the univerſe, and was the ſole ſpirit of exiſtence. It will not follow, that this purity was retained by all the inhabitants of the ſame land, or the ſame mode of worſhip gained an univerſal acceptation among them; many appointed for themſelves places for private adoration, and theſe eminences were moſt aſſuredly the choſen ſpots for devotees, who paying their worſhip to the Sun, might loſs the ſymbolical character, and confounded with ignorance and ſuperſtition, forget the archetype for the object. The name of Bel authorizes me to preſume this place was ſacred to the Sun, it being derived from the Chaldean language, and ſignifying the Sun. Mr Bryant ſays, ‘many worſhipped upon hills, and on the tops of high mountains, imagining that they thereby obtained a nearer communication with heaven. This practice in early times was almoſt univerſal, and every mountain was eſteemed holy. The people who retired to eminences, fancied that they were brought into the vicinity of the powers of the air, and the Deity who reſided in the higher regions. But the chief excellence for which they were frequented, was the Omphi, the Vox divina, being eſteemed a particular revelation from heaven. In ſhort, they looked upon them as the peculiar places, where God delivered his oracles. The word Omphi, ſignifying the Oracle of Ham, who, according to the Egygtian theology, was the ſame as the Sun or Oſiris, he was likewiſe revered as the chief Deity of the Chaldeans, and by moſt of the nations of the Eaſt:’—Having thus ſhewn the choice made by the Ancients of high places, for their adoration, I will next conſider the name of this place, according to the etymologies laid down by Mr Bryant.
[Page 250] ‘ Bel, Bal, or Baal, is a Babyloniſh title, appropriated to the Sun; and made uſe of by the Amonians in other countries: particularly in Syria and Canaan. It ſignified [...] or Lord, and is often found compounded with other terms; as Bel-Hamon, and alſo Bel-Shamaim, the great Lord of the heavens. This was a title given by the Syrians to the Sun. By Gib is meant an hill. Gibeon was the hill of the Sun. Nadab the ſon of Jereboam was ſlain at Gib-Ethon of the Philiſtines. ’ * So that Bel-Gebrin is no forced reduction of the preſent name of Yevering Bel, or according to the more ancient name, Bel-ad-Gebron; and denominates the mount of the Sun.
As to the kairn, which I mentioned to be ſituate on the eaſtern point of the area, on the crown of the mount, which is a conical pile, terminating obtuſely, and baſoned as before deſcribed, I preſume its name to be derived from ‘ Keren, which (according to Mr Bryant) ſignifies in its original ſenſe a Horn; but it was a title of the Sun himſelf: for Apollo was named Carneus; which was no other than Cereneus, the ſupreme Deity, the Lord of Light. The Prieſt of Cybele, in Phrygia, was ſtiled Carnas, which was a title of the Deity whom he ſerved.’ Whence it is deducible, that our kairn on the ſummit of this mount, was the place of the altar, where religious rites were performed in the fire worſhip. And the like may be conceived of all thoſe conical mounts called kairns, they being a corruption of "Kir-on, the place of the Sun." In forming theſe kairns, as well the preſent one as others we viſited in this neighbourhood, and one in particular on the crown of one of the higheſt mountains above Newton, called Newton Weſt Tor, the ſtones muſt have been carried up by a multitude of hands, with immenſe labour. Suppoſe by the dimenſions of one of theſe kairns, which meaſured near 40 paces in circumference, that there was contained therein 300 carriage loads of pebbles; we will find the computation of labour and hands to be immenſe, for the conſtruction thereof, when all the materials muſt be borne two miles of ſteep aſcent to this amazing accumulation. I was induced to believe I ſhould diſcover ſome hearth ſtone or altar on the crown of ſome of the kairns, but was diſappointed. Perhaps time and the abhorrence which grew up with Converſion againſt the rites of the heathen, had removed the ſuperſtructure, if any ſuch there had been. There was not one of the kairns I viſited had the regular [Page 251] hollow baſon, but that on the Bell, which was exactly circular, but compoſed of ſtones of a ſmall ſize, as far as I ſearched. On my view, I was immediately perſuaded that all theſe accumulations called kairns, ſituated on mountains and high places, had not proceeded from a paſſion of honouring the dead, but were formed by zealots, who attending their worſhip, carried with them progreſſively a burthen, to add to the grandeur, loftineſs, and immenſity of the ſacred place, where they paid their adoration. The kairn on Yevering is to the eaſt, an object regarded in the ſtructures of the ancient Britons, in the remoteſt antiquity, and by the Eaſterns, in erections of the like uſe. Theſe places have retained their ancient forms, and their firſt names uncorrupted, by reaſon of the mountainous nature of the country. Where cultivation cannot advance, things of this ſort muſt reſt for ages unchanged: it has been the caſe here. Beſides, the inhabitants are few, and thoſe ſubſiſting on the extreme verge of poverty, hourly employed in procuring a ſcanty ſubſiſtence. Add to this the depopulations which war for many ages occaſioned, would prevent thoſe alterations which take place in times of peace. Mr Bryant ſays, ‘The people of Cappadocia and Pontus obſerved the like method of worſhip: and of all ſacrifices whatever, exhibited upon high places, none perhaps ever equalled in magnificence, that which was offered by Mithridates, upon his war with the Romans. He followed the Perſic modes of worſhip, as well as the mixed rites of the Chaldeans and Syrians. Hence he choſe one of the higheſt mountains in his dominions; upon the top of which he reared an immenſe pile, equal in ſize to the ſummit on which it ſtood; and there he ſacrificed to the God of Armies. The pile was raiſed by his vaſſal Princes: and the offerings, beſides thoſe cuſtomary, were wine, honey, oil, and every ſpecies of aromatics. The fire is ſaid to have been perceived at the diſtance of near a thouſand ſtadia.’ So much muſt ſuffice, on this point, and in this place, from innumerable inſtances produced by this learned author.
My next enquiry will be, touching the circumvallation which appears on Yevering Bell; to ſhew that this was a practice with the Ancients, on their conſecrated hills. Mr Bryant ſays, ‘The Helladians and the Perſians were of the ſame family: hence we find many ſimilar rites ſubſiſting among the two nations. The latter adhered to the purer Zabaiſm, which they maintained a long time. They erected the ſame ſacred Tupha (or Tumulus) as the Grecians: and we may be aſſured of the original purpoſe for which theſe hills were raiſed, from the uſe to [Page 252] which they put them. They were dedicated to the great Fountain of Light, called by the Perſians, Anait; and were ſet apart as puratheia, for the celebration of the rites of fire. This people, after they had defeated the Sacae in Cappadocia, raiſed an immenſe Comah, in memorial of their victory. Strabo, * who deſcribes it very minutely, tells us, that they choſe a convenient ſpot, where they reared a Petra, or high place, by heaping up a vaſt mound of earth. This they faſhioned to a conical figure, and then ſurrounded it with a wall of ſtone. In this manner they founded a temple, in honour of Anait. I have mentioned that the Egyptians had hills of this nature, and from them the cuſtom was tranſmitted to Greece. ’
The circular buildings mentioned to appear on the ſides of the mount, will be the laſt objects which require my attention, before I draw my general concluſion. I confeſs they did not appear to me ſo remarkable as to require taking any admeaſurement; but they are ſpoken of by Mr Wallis, as being very ſingular, and as I did not traverſe all the ſides of the mountain, perhaps thoſe of greater conſequence eſcaped my obſervation; but conceiving that they may be marks of antiquity, among other matters, I will treſpaſs upon the reader with deſcriptions of thoſe circular buildings in the northern parts of this iſland, which have been viſited by learned travellers; and perhaps ſome future viſitor of the Cheviots may be induced to make a narrower ſearch, and more correct inveſtigation. But before I proceed thereto, I will conſider ſome others of Mr Bryant's opinions, which relate generally to my ſubject of Yevering Bell, and particularly to the circular remains.
Mr Bryant informs, ‘that theſe mounts were not only in Greece, but in Egypt, Syria, and moſt parts of the world. They were generally formed by art, being compoſed of earth raiſed very high; which was ſloped gradually, and with great exactneſs: and the top of all was crowned with a fair tower. The ſituation of theſe buildings made them be looked upon as places of great ſafety: and the reverence in which they were held, added to the ſecurity. On theſe accounts they were the repoſitories of much wealth and treaſure: in times of peril they were crowded with things of value. In Aſſyria was a temple named Azara, which the Parthian plundered, and is [Page 253] ſaid to have carried off ten thouſand talents. To ſuch as theſe Solomon alludes, when he makes his beloved ſay, 'I am a wall, and my breaſts like towers.' Though the word Cumah or Comah, be generally rendered a wall; yet I ſhould think, that in this place it ſignified the ground, which the wall ſurrounded: an incloſure ſacred to Cham, the Sun, who was particularly worſhipped in ſuch places. Another paſſage in Solomon: 'We have a little ſiſter, and ſhe hath no breaſts. If ſhe be a Comah, we will build upon her a palace of ſilver.' What is then termed a wall, was a Comah or high place, which had been of old erected to the Sun, by the Jebuſites. The ground ſet apart for ſuch uſe was generally oval; and towards one extremity of the long diameter, as it were in the focus, were theſe mounds and towers erected. For there were many of theſe towers, where they taught aſtronomy, muſic, and other ſciences. Theſe places were likewiſe courts of judicature, where juſtice was adminiſtred.’
In Mr Pennant's Voyage to the Hebrides, we have the following accounts of erections of this kind, near Inverneſs. ‘Viſit the celebrated edifices attributed to the Danes: the firſt is placed about two miles from the mouth of the valley of Glen Elg. The more entire ſide appears of a moſt elegant taper form: the preſent height is thirty feet ſix inches; but in 1722, ſome Goth purloined from the top ſeven feet and a half, under pretence of applying the materials to certain public buildings. By the appearance of ſome ruins that now lie at the baſe, and which have fallen off ſince that time, I believe three feet more may be added to the height, which will make the whole about forty-one feet.’
‘The whole is built with dry walls, but the courſes moſt beautifully diſpoſed. On one ſide is a breach of at leaſt one quarter of the circumference. The diameter within is thirty-three feet and a half, taken at the diſtance of ten feet from the bottom: the wall in that part is ſeven feet four inches thick, but is formed thinner and thinner till it reaches the top, whoſe breadth I forgot to cauſe to be meaſured. The inſide wall is quite perpendicular, ſo that the inner diameter muſt have been equal from top to bottom: but the exterior wall ſlopes, increaſing in thickneſs till it reaches the ground.’
‘In the thickneſs of the wall were two galleries, one at the lower part; about ſix feet two inches high, and two feet five wide at the bottom, [Page 254] narrowing to the top, flagged and alſo covered over with great flat ſtones. This gallery ran quite round, and that horizontally, but was divided into apartments: in one place with ſix flags placed equidiſtant from each other, and were acceſſible above by means of a hole from another gallery. Into the lower were two entrances, (before the ruin of the other ſide there had been two others) above each of theſe entrances were a row of holes, running up to the top, divided by flags, appearing like ſhelves: near the top was a circle of projecting ſtones, which probably were intended to hold the beams that formed the roof: above is another hole like the former. None of theſe openings paſs through, for there is not the leaſt appearance of window or opening on the outſide wall. All theſe holes are ſquare; are too ſmall to admit the human body, ſo were probably deſigned to lodge arms, and different other matters, ſecure from wet or harm.’
‘Over the firſt gallery was another, divided from it only by flags. This alſo went round, but was free from any ſeparation; the height was five feet ſix; only twenty inches wide at bottom. This was alſo covered with flags at top.’
‘At a diſtance above, in the broken ſides of the wall, was another hole, but it ſeemed too ſmall for a gallery. The aſcent was not ſafe, ſo could not venture up. The height was taken by a little boy who ſcrambled to the top.’
‘The entrance was a ſquare hole on the weſt ſide: before it were the remains of ſome building, with a narrow opening that led to the door. Almoſt contiguous to this entrance or portico, was a ſmall circle formed of rude ſtones, which was called the foundation of the Druids houſes. It probably was formed for ſome religious purpoſe. I was told there were many others of this kind ſcattered over the valley.’
‘At leſs than a quarter of a mile diſtant from this, ſtands the ſecond tower on a little flat on the ſide of the hill. The form is ſimilar, but the number of galleries differs: here are three; the loweſt goes entirely round; but at the eaſt end is an aperture now of ſmall depth, but once of ſuch extent, that the goats which ſheltered in it were often loſt: on that account the entrance was filled with ſtones. This is ſix feet high, four feet two inches broad, and flagged above and below.’
‘Theſe were in all probability places of defence, but it is difficult to ſay any thing on the ſubject of their origin, or by what nation they were erected. They are called here, Caiſteal Teilbali, or the Caſtle of Teilba, built by a mother for her four ſons, as tradition, delivered in this tranſlation of four Erſe lines, informs:
There had been two others, now totally demoliſhed, and each named after her children. Mr Gordon mentions others of this kind, one of which is called the Dune of Dornadilla, from an imaginary Prince, who reigned 260 years before the chriſtian aera.’—By a paragraph ſome time ago in Lloyd's Evening Poſt, and from a note given by Mr Pennant, which he ſays he had from the Edinburgh Magazine, this place is deſcribed; part of which I will tranſcribe, as pertinent to my preſent object."My four ſons a fair clan"I left in the ſtraith of one Glen."My Malcomb my lovely Conil"My Telve my Troddan.
‘The entrance is a very low and narrow door, to paſs through which one is obliged to ſtoop much: but perhaps the ground may have been raiſed ſince the firſt erection. When one is got in and placed in the center, it is open over head. All round the ſides of the walls are ranged ſtone ſhelves, one above another, like the ſhelves in a circular [Page 256] beaufet, reaching from near the bottom to the top. There is ſome remains of an awkward ſtair-caſe. Some years ſince I happened, at an auction of books in London, to look into a French book containing Gauliſh Antiquities, and there I ſaw a print of the remains of a Druidic temple in France, which greatly reſembles the tower I am ſpeaking of, having like ſhelves in it. And reading a late pamphlet on the antiquity of the Iriſh language, I think I can partly trace the origin of the name Dornadilla.—Dorn means a round ſtone; ſo that Abdorn would mean the round ſtone of the prieſts; na is of, and Di is God; ulla means a place of devotion: ſo that Dor-na-di-ulla will ſignify the round ſtone place of the worſhip of God; or perhaps it might allude to ſome round ſtone preſerved within, as a ſacred emblem of Divinity.’
From the whole of theſe quotations I would determine, that by the name of Yevering Bell, or Bel-ad-Gebrin, is implied a ſacred mount conſecrated to the adoration of the Sun, and uſed in fire worſhip. Of this the kairn is a corroborating proof. The circumvallation ſhews, by its ſimilarity to thoſe ſpoken of, that the perſons who uſed this mount for their religious rites, derived thoſe rites from the ſame ſource as thoſe quoted, and fixes the antiquity of Yevering Bell to very remote ages. It is a point not to be doubted, that Yevering for ſome time was the reſidence of the Saxon Kings in the Heptarchy. If we ſhould carry the antiquity of Yevering Bell no further, we will find its appropriation then to religious offices, as probable as in a more diſtant antiquity. The Saxons brought with them many Eaſtern cuſtoms: they worſhipped the Sun, had their high places, and rites of fire worſhip and ſacrifice. As to my own judgment, I ſhould be inclined to fix the antiquity of this place to their aera. The Druid tribes have left us ſuch imperfect evidence of their cuſtoms, that it is impoſſible to fix any thing poſitively there. It is even moſt probable this was of Saxon origin, from its vicinity to the royal reſidence, and the greatneſs of the work. The circular buildings have never been fixed to any particular people: their conſtructors ſtill remain undiſcovered. The circles of ruins on the ſides of Yevering Bell, may have been ſimilar to thoſe viſited by Mr Pennant; it is probable theſe circular erections were the towers of the prieſts, who there taught the principles of their religion and the elements of natural philoſophy; and that there they ſtored up the treaſures of the country in times of public danger, which from the veneration paid by all people to thoſe ſacred places were inviolable. Beſides, they were well calculated [Page 257] for defence, upon aſſault. The circles formed by rude and unhewn ſtones, found in many parts of the North, have been regarded by all Antiquaries as places of public convocation, where juſtice was diſpenſed. The number of ſtones might denote the tribes or diſtricts under the care of each Druid, as the Iſraelites numbered their tribes by ſuch columns at the paſſage of Jordan.
Some mountains near Yevering, have the names of Newton Eaſt and Weſt Tor. On one of them is a kairn of ſtones, alſo on the weſtern point of Cheviot, and on a mount called Whitlau, all in view of each other. Theſe Tors are ſaid by ſeveral authors, to be held by the Saxons ſacred to Jupiter. Mr Bryant's remarks are, ‘ Tor is an hill or tower. They were called by the Amonians, who firſt erected them, Tar and Tor; the ſame as the [...] of the Chaldeans, which ſignified both a hill and tower. The words Tar, Tor, and Tarit, ſhew that they implied temples, and dedications to the Sun. ’—He inſtances many facts to prove this poſition, among which are, ‘ Tor-on, a place in Macedonia, literally ſignifying the tower of the Sun. Alſo Tir-it, of the ſame ſignification, and Tor-ambi, the oracular tower of Ham. ’—He has in another place this ſentence, ‘I will therefore ſay ſo much in furtherance of the Britiſh Antiquarian, as to inform him, that names of places, eſpecially of hills, promontories, and rivers, are of long duration, and ſuffer little change. The ſame may be ſaid of every thing which was eſteemed at all ſacred; ſuch as temples, towers, and high mounds of earth, which in early times were uſed for altars.’—And in another place, ‘There was another name current among the Amonians, by which they called their [...] or high places. This was Taph, which at times was rendered Tuph, Toph, and Taphos. The Amonians, when they ſettled in Greece, raiſed many Tupha in different parts; but as it was uſual in ancient times, to bury perſons of diſtinction under heaps of earth formed in this faſhion, theſe Tapha came to ſignify tombs; and almoſt all the ſacred mounds built for religious purpoſes, were looked upon as monuments of deceaſed heroes;’ of which he gives many inſtances.
[Page 258] I muſt not quit this country without remarking, that as we advanced towards the boundary of the kingdoms, the hills were cloathed with a ſingular verdure, affording fine ſheep walks; and the flocks and herds were numerous. The cottages of the lower claſs of people are deplorable, compoſed of upright timbers fixed in the ground, the interſtices wattled and plaiſtered with mud: the roofs, ſome thatched, and others covered with turf; one little piece of glaſs to admit the beams of day; and a hearth ſtone on the ground, for the peat and turf fire. Within, there was exhibited a ſcene, to touch the feelings of the heart: deſcription ſickens on the ſubject, and a tear of pity blots out the moving line, which ſtrives to depict. I wiſhed for ſome of the diſcontented great ones, who, palled with luxury, deſpiſe their palaces, to change the ſcene for a little, juſt time ſufficient to gain conviction, that the cottager and crowned head are both of one ſpecie of animals, and of one race. The damp earth, the naked rafters, the breeze-diſturbed embers, and diſtracted ſmoke that iſſues from the hearth, moved by contrary blaſts, breaking through a thouſand crannies; the mid-day gloom, the wretched couch, the wooden utenſils that ſcarce retain the name of convenience, the domeſtic beaſt that ſtalls with its maſter, the diſconſolate poultry that mourn on the rafters, form a group of objects for a great man's contemplation.
The inhabitants are of abject countenance, and miſerably cloathed, ſeeming to confeſs the loweſt degree of poverty. The employment of the men is in the field; moſt of them are ſhepherds or herdſmen. The corn land, which is very little in quantity compared with the meadows and grazing grounds, lays mingled with the other over the open faces of the vales, without any fences; to protect which, many an indolent herdſman ſtands for hours wrapped up in his plaid, hanging over a ſtaff, half animated; or otherwiſe laying proſtrate upon the ground. During the time he is engaged in this duty, if he had a ſpade put in his hand, and was broke into the rules of induſtry, he might be moſt uſefully employed: he could fence the ground which he tends, in the time he ſpends in herding it: but evil cuſtoms, when they correſpond with habitual indolence, are as hard to be eradicated, as to move a mountain—a long ſeries of applications and labour, and the redoubled effects of example and experience, muſt effect it. In conſequence of this ſtupid cuſtom, the farmer is neceſſarily obliged to keep a multitude of ſervants. Their wages are paid in the products of the land—grain, [Page 259] wool, maintenance of ſheep and cattle; very few money payments being uſed.
From the openneſs of the country, the traveller is conſequently perplexed with croſs roads, where not a guide-poſt has been known ſince the creation: to remedy this evil, intelligence muſt be gained from one of theſe herds; and it is remarkable, that there is a ferocity and uncultivated fullenneſs of mind in thoſe two-legged animals, which ſcarce confeſſes civilization enough to direct a ſtranger on his way. When you obtain inſtructions, it is in a manner as he would chace a beaſt from treſpaſs. I cannot forbear comparing the countenance of the lower claſs of Engliſh, in the northern counties, with that of the Scotch—I do not draw my remarks ſolely from my preſent tour, but through obſervations made in many little pleaſure jaunts in Scotland—Though you perceive the moſt abject poverty in the loweſt rank of the Scotch people, yet even under thoſe weeds of diſtreſs, there is ſeen a ſingular openneſs and benevolence of countenance. By ſome it may be objected, that this ariſes from their ſervility, and theſe are no other than feigned looks of ſubmiſſion. Ariſe from what it will, ſuch countenance carries more of the character of humanity, than the proud ſternneſs, and brutal inſolence, which mark thoſe who boaſt a ſavage liberty. But it is to be obſerved, that ſervility ſtamps the countenance with abject timidity, which is not written on the Scotch features—a generous nature, and the liberality of a mind enlarged with education, are rather the givers of ſuch openneſs and benevolence of look. Almoſt every Scotch village is bleſſed with a free ſchool. You will find ſhepherds on the Scotch hills, familiar with the poets and hiſtorians of Rome and Greece: ſuch familiarity introduces an adoption of principles and ſentiments; and from thence we ſee in theſe poor people, the maxims of mind which graced the illuſtrious names of old. Can we wonder then at the deſparity there appears in the lower claſs of the two nations?—But there is another ſource from whence a part of this complaiſancy and hoſpitality of the lower Scotch may be deduced: they are ſtrict in their religious principles; they are punctual attendants on public worſhip; they hold with great ſacredneſs their obſervance of the Sabbath day; moſt of their paſtors are not only rigid in their example, but arduous in their duty and adminiſtration: amongſt the people there is a juſt ſenſe conceived, even in the loweſt minds, of man's duty to his God. The reverſe is ſo conſpicuous in the Engliſh, that the compariſon is ſcarce required. So far from perceiving a religious principle in the lower claſſes, ſome of them [Page 260] have not even been informed of their Redeemer; thouſands have never entered a place of worſhip; the Sabbath is diſtinguiſhed only as a day of idleneſs, in which gaming and drinking are purſued; many of the teachers of the goſpel, with an indolence and averſion apparent in their whole carriage, perform as a ſtale and ſtupid taſk the offices of the church. Men are influenced by example; evil example contaminates the moſt where the minds are moſt illiterate; weak men take many of their vices by adoption: if it were not for our new ſectaries, our rambling preachers, the name of God would not be promulged to one-tenth part of England's inhabitants. It is true they teach his laws, as the laws of the God of terrors: it is better they ſhould adminiſter to him with the horrors of hell, than there be no miniſtry. We have reformed the church, till we have expelled the ſpirit of prayer: we have refined the pulpit, till nothing but the grace of declamation remains: and our church manners are poliſhed into that exquiſite inſipidity, that if it were not for tithes, the major part of the pariſh would forget the holy men of God.
lay next in our way, a ſmall village, one of the Manors of the Barony of Wark, the ancient reſidence of the Strothers,* now the property of John Strother Ker, Eſq
now the poſſeſſion of the Rev. Dr Newton Ogle. It was the ancient reſidence of the Wallaces,† and was poſſeſſed by Edward Wallace in the reign of King Edward II. in whoſe family it continued till of late years.
Within a little diſtance of Copeland, three remarkable battles were fought: the one on the plains of Milfield, where a body of the Scotch [Page 261] were defeated before the battle of Branxton by Sir William Bulmer of Brancepeth, who commanded the forces of the Biſhoprick of Durham. The Scots lay in ambuſh among the broom which then covered the plain.
Another battle was fought at a place called Haltwell Sweire, where Sir Henry Percy, brother to the ſixth Earl of Northumberland, was defeated in the fifth year of the reign of Queen Mary, 1558, by a troop of the Scots under the command of the Earl of Bothwell, conſiſting of 1000 horſe. Percy's cavalry were thrown into confuſion by a diſcharge of fire arms, to which they were not well trained.
The third battle was at Broomridge,* where a confuſion of lines and intrenchments are yet to be ſeen. Here Athelſtan engaged the united forces of Conſtantine King of Scotland, Eugenius Oweine or Ewaine King of Cumberland, and Anlap the Dane, in the year 928, and gained a compleat victory, though with the loſs of Elwin and Athalſtan, his kinſmen, men of great valour. Conſtantine eſcaped into Scotland, Anlaf took refuge in Dublin, but what became of Ewaine is not mentioned. It is preſumed this Ewaine is interred in Penrith church-yard; his ſepulchre denoted by a very ſingular monument there. This victory was greatly celebrated by Henry of Huntington, William of Malmſbury, and Ingulph.
Mailroſs being the ſeminary from whence ſprang the firſt Biſhop of the See of Lindisfarn, which conſtitutes ſo material a part of the church antiquities of this county; and as the great patron, ſaint, the holy St Cuthbert, was educated there, and from thence brought to Lindisfarn, it ſeemed of conſequence, that I ſhould view the ſeat, from whence iſſued ſo much to exerciſe my attention, in the remaining part of the tour, I had thus far proſecuted. I determined to viſit Mailroſs, and paſſed the village of Paſton, formerly belonging to the family of Selbys. On an adjoining hill, called the Harelaw, (the name implying the ſtation of an army) is a circular intrenchment with a double rampier and [Page 262] foſs. From thence there is a fine proſpect of the vale, where it gave us great pleaſure to obſerve the new modes of huſbandry taking place— turnips cultivated in drill ſowing, with horſe and hand hoeing practiſed. There is a very great want of fences in this part of the country: habit and cuſtom are only to be ſubdued by time and example.
We conſtantly regretted the want of fences in this tour; they would give a great grace to the banks of Tweed, by interſecting the rich ſcene. The advantage they would be of to the country is obvious; they would check the ſeverities of winter, and reſiſt that raking blaſt, which, when unoppoſed, ſhears the extenſive grounds wherever it paſſes in the ſpring of the year; conſequently they would forward the progreſs of ſummer.
From the ſouthern banks of the river, the town with its invirons has the moſt pictureſque appearance: where I ſtood to obſerve its beauties, I had the bridge on my right; an excellent though plain ſtructure of modern work, ſtretching acroſs a fine river of tranſparent water, gently curling over a pebbly channel. On the oppoſite ſhore, which is banked in, ſtands the modern and elegant Manſion of Mrs Dixon, a widow Lady; a ſquare hewn-ſtone ſtructure, placed in the midſt of a garden, opening to the river; ornamented with a ſmall Gothic temple, a greenhouſe and ſtove; with ſtatues diſpoſed on the graſs plots, which were interſected with gravel walks and flower knots. Over this modern and faſhionable ſcene, an auguſt pile, in all the ſolemnity of ruin, frowns majeſtically—an old abbey ſtands near this manſion, a lofty ſtructure, built in the heavieſt of the Gothic order—two round towers of the ſouth limb of the croſs, ſurmounted by a part of the center tower, formed the aſpect on which we looked: the windows are ſmall, and the whole edifice gloomy.
It is ſtrange what diſſimilar ideas ſometimes ſtrike the imagination: as I gazed upon this ſcene, I ſaid to myſelf, Thus Charactacus, in the great reverſe of his fortune, looked with contempt on the pageantry and pomp of his Roman conquerors: There could not be a finer contraſt [Page 264] than in theſe two ſtructures. The town of Kelſo crowded the back ground of our proſpect. To the left the view opened upon the vale, terminated by the noble woods which adjoin the ſeat of the Duke of Roxburgh: to the right, through the arches of the bridge, were ſeen fine perpendicular rocks, crowned with ſtately trees on the river's brink.
We entered Kelſo, which is clean and well built: Mr Pennant ſays it is much after the manner of a Flemiſh town. It hath a ſpacious ſquare market-place, with a town-houſe piazza'd beneath, for the convenience of the market; the number of inhabitants about 3000; the weekly market conſiderable, vaſt quantities of corn being ſold here, though chiefly by ſample. The Inn was elegant, the people obliging, and the attendants particularly alert and condeſcending.
Kelſo is a borough of the Duke of Roxburgh, and is governed by his Bailiff. It is not remarkable for any great manufactory or trade, but appears to be the place of reſidence of many people of eaſy fortune. Some part of the great ſtocks of wool furniſhed by this country, is manufactured here into cloths called plains, but dreſſed in England. There is alſo a manufacture of white leather for the Edinburgh market.
The monaſtery here was founded by King David. During his brother Alexander's reign, he had brought over from Tyrone, in France, certain Monks of a reformed order, founded by Bernard d'Abbeville, a man of high reputation for ſanctity and ſeverity of life; theſe he ſettled firſt at Selkirk with an ample revenue: afterwards making Roxburgh his reſidence, he removed his favourite Monks thither; and when he came to the Crown, built for them the abbey and monaſtery of Kelſo, and fixed them there on the 2d of May, 1128, having dedicated the church to the Virgin Mary and St John the Evangeliſt. Bernard the founder of this order, was a diſciple of Robert d'Arbriſſer, founder of the order of Fontevraud, which by a conſtitution almoſt peculiar to itſelf, conſiſted of both Monks and Nuns, and had an Abbeſs to govern the ſociety. Bernard founded the monaſtery of Tyrone in the year 1109, from which place his diſciples derived their name. The habit of the Tyronenſian Monks, was a light grey, but was afterwards changed to black. Fordun poſitively ſays, theſe Monks ſettled at Selkirk in 1109; but Symeon of Durham, that they were not placed there till 1113, and remained fifteen years. According to Fordun, the ſucceſſion of Abbots was as follows: Ralph, one of the Monks brought over from France, [Page 265] was the firſt Abbot, but on the death of Bernard, returned to ſucceed him in the Abbacy of Tyrone; William ſucceeded to Selkirk, and on the death of Ralph, alſo returned to Tyrone, as ſucceſſor to that Abbacy; Herbert ſucceeded William, and was the firſt Abbot of Kelſo. It is preſumed that David, who was a lover of the fine arts, as well as a patron of every national improvement, had in view, on his importing this colony from France, not only the advancement of religion, but alſo that of arts and ſciences, of which his ſubjects were in great need of cultivation, their only occupations, from the remoteſt ages, having been the duty of ſhepherds and the ſervice of the ſword. In the Hiſtory of the Monaſtic Orders, we find, that Bernard the founder of the Tyronenſians would have all ſorts of handicrafts practiſed in his monaſtery, as well to prevent the growth of idleneſs, which he eſteemed the mother of vice, as to procure neceſſaries for the ſupport of life. Accordingly in this body were painters, carvers, joiners, ſmiths, maſons, vine-dreſſers, and huſbandmen, who were under the command of an Elder: and what they earned was put into a common ſtock, for the maintenance of the houſe. Kelſo afterwards ſent forth colonies to the foundations of Liſmahago, Kilwinning, Aberbrothick, and Lindores.
This abbey was demoliſhed in 1569,* in conſequence of that enthuſiaſtic reformation, which in its violence was a greater diſgrace to religion, than all the errors it was intended to ſubvert. Reformation has hitherto always appeared in the form of a zealot full of fanatic fury; with violence ſubduing, but through madneſs creating almoſt as many miſchiefs in its overſights, as it overthrew errors in its purſuit. Religion has received a greater ſhock by the preſent ſtruggle to repreſs ſome formularies, and ſave ſome ſcruples, than it ever did by the growth of ſuperſtition. She now bleeds inwardly; thinking men are driven into confuſion, and the unthinking turn infidels:—theſe are the glorious works of modern fanaticiſm.
[Page 267] The revenues of this religious houſe amounted to 2000l. per annum Scots, and aroſe in money payments: the Abbot was allowed to wear a mitre and pontifical robes, to be exempt from epiſcopal juriſdiction, and permitted to be preſent in all general councils. It was at firſt under the Biſhoprick of St Andrews, but afterwards made a member of the See of Glaſgow: it had ſeveral immunities, and the Abbot and Monks had liberty to receive ordination, and the other ſacraments of the church, from any Biſhop they pleaſed in Scotia or Cumbria.* King Malcolm, in 1159, granted a confirmatory charter to this abbey, the witneſſes to which are remarkable.
"The three Biſhops of Glaſcow, Murray, and Dunkeld; William and David the King's brothers, and Ada his mother; the Abbots of Dunfermling, Jedwood, Newbottle, and Sterling; Walter the Chancellor; the Prior and Archdeacon of St Andrews; the Archdeacon of Loadonia for Herbert the Chamberlain; Nicholas, Clerk; Richard the Chaplain; Godred King of the Iſles; Earls Goſpatrick, Fertech, Duncan, and Gellebride, Earl of Angus, Uctred ſon of Fergus, Gilbert de Unframville, William de Summerville, Richard de Moreville, Ranulph de Sulas, David Olifard, Richard Cuming, Robert Avenal, William de Moreville, William Finemund, Walter Corbet, Aſket de Ridala, Henry de Perci, Liolph, ſon of Maccus, Orm ſon of Hialaph."—Anderſon's Diplom.
The inhabitants of Kelſo have made a good change in their place of worſhip, a new church being built in great ſimplicity of architecture, of an octagonal form, 82 feet in diameter, ornamented with a glazed cupola or lanthorn in the center, ſupported by a circle of pillars; the whole commodious, cleanly, and decent.
The lands adjoining upon Kelſo are very fine; the proſpects delightful. From the Chalkheugh you look upon the confluence of the rivers Tiviot and Tweed, commanding a view of the borders of each river for a conſiderable diſtance above: the landſkip is filled by the remains of the Caſtle of Roxburgh, the elegant Seat of Sir John Douglas, with Fleurus on the offſcape: theſe objects mingle with much wood and fine meads. From an eminence called Pinnacle Hill, you command a long [Page 268] courſe of the Tweed, whoſe ſilver ſtream glides through a highly cultivated country.* The ſheep are of an improved breed, and bear good fleeces, carrying a price of 20s. per ſtone, 24lb. The Aberdeen manufacture of Stockings, or that of Linlithgow, takes the fineſt; the reſt is chiefly ſold into Yorkſhire, except what ſupplies the ſmall manufactory of Kelſo.
I am partial to the ſentiments of the celebrated traveller Mr Pennant; my adopting them is a confeſſion of vanity, as it acknowledges a coincidence of mind: the reader will find them here, I doubt not, of a price ſufficient to purchaſe my pardon.
‘I cannot leave Kelſo, without regretting my not arriving there in time to ſee the races, which had been the preceding week. Theſe are founded not on the ſordid principles of gaming, or diſſipation, or fraud, but on the beautiful baſis of benevolence, and with the amiable view of conciliating the affections of two nations, where the good and the bad, common to every place, are only divided by a rill ſcarcely to be diſtinguiſhed: but prejudice for a time could find no merit but within its own narrow bourn. Some enlarged minds however, determined to break the faſcination of erroneous opinion, to mix with their fellow ſubjects, and to inſtruct both the great vulgar and the ſmall, that the northern and ſouthern bounders of the Tweed, created in their inhabitants but a mere difference, without a diſtinction, and that virtue and good ſenſe were equally common to both. At theſe races the Stewards are ſelected from each nation: a Percy and a Douglas may now be ſeen hand in hand; the example of charity ſpreads, and may it ſpread with all its ſweet influences, to the remoteſt corner of our iſland.’
‘What pleaſing times, to thoſe that may be brought in contraſt! when every houſe was made defenſible, and each owner garriſoned againſt his neighbour; when revenge at one time dictated an inroad, and neceſſity at another; when the miſtreſs of a caſtle has preſented her ſons with their ſpurs, to remind them that their larder was [Page 269] empty, and that by a forray they muſt ſupply it at the expence of the borderers; when every evening the ſheep were taken from the hills, and the cattle from their paſture, to be ſecured in the lower floor from robbers prowling like wolves of prey, and the diſappointed thief found all in ſafety, from the fears of the cautious owner. The following ſimple lines give a true picture of the times:
Here Henry III. of England with his Queen, met with Alexander III. of Scotland and his Queen, when great cordiality and friendſhip was experienced between the nobles of both realms who attended their Sovereigns.
In 1522, the Engliſh in a ſudden incurſion pillaged and burnt Kelſo, but were ſoon repelled by the forces of Mers and Tiviotdale. This [Page 270] ſpoil is attributed to Lord Dacres; and ſome authors ſay he burnt 80 villages in that expedition, and overthrew 18 ſtone built towers, with all their bulwarks.
In the reign of King Henry VIII. A. D. 1542, the Duke of Norfolk advancing to the Scotch borders, burnt and levelled with the ground 28 places of conſiderable note in Scotland; among which was Kelſo, with its abbey.
There was a convent of Red Friars at the mouth of Tiviot, near Kelſo; but who was its founder, or what was its revenue, is not known.*
As I have had occaſion to ſpeak of the Scotch church, and as church tyranny ſouth of the Tweed is exclaimed againſt with violence and indignation, it may not be diſagreeable to the reader, to ſee how our neighbours the Scotch are in that matter, amidſt all their boaſted puritaniſm. In my notes I ſhall give a ſhort ſtate of facts, which came to a ſolemn hearing before the Preſbytery, this preſent year.†
[Page 271] We now purſued our journey, croſſed the river Tiviot at the Mill Ford, and travelled up the ſouthern banks of Tweed to Mailroſs, the three Helton Mountains being our point of direction; Mailroſs laying behind them, and they a land-mark conſtantly in view.
We paſſed Sir John Douglas's on our left, an elegant little manſion of hewn ſtone; the walks and pleaſure grounds around it, neat to a degree of exactneſs; the lands rich, and the woods diſpoſed at a proper diſtance. On the oppoſite ſide of Tweed, the Palace of the Duke of Roxburgh preſented its extenſive front, flanked with immenſe woods. For three miles, the banks of the river as we paſſed were cloathed with a fine foreſt. In ſome places, the road leading along the ſummit of lofty cliffs, from whence we looked down upon the river and oppoſite rocks, whoſe brows were crowned with noble trees.
at preſent conſiſting of little more than a lofty eminence, of an oblong figure, elevated above the plain about 40 perpendicular feet; chiefly natural: on the brink of which are the remains of a wall, the outward defence of the ancient caſtle; the interior part is now planted with trees. This mount is defended at the foot on the north and weſt ſides, by a deep moat and outward rampier of earth, a fine plain intervening between theſe outworks of the caſtle and the river. The dimenſions within the walls, where the interior fortreſs ſtood, we could not obtain [Page 272] for the trees and thickets. The weſtern point is guarded by an outwork and mound of earth, which is ſevered from the chief part of the caſtle by a moat, but included in the outward works the foſs and rampier before deſcribed. The foſs or moat was ſupplied with water by a dam which croſſed the river Tiviot in an oblique direction, the remains of which ſtill appear. The ſouth and eaſt ſides are defended by an inacceſſible precipice; at whoſe foot the river runs with a rapid current.
Camden ſays, ‘this caſtle was anciently called Marchidun, from its ſtanding on the Marches; and for natural ſituation and towered fortifications, was in times paſt exceeding ſtrong. The fortreſs having been ſurprized by the Engliſh, James II. of Scotland, whilſt he laid ſiege to it with a vaſt army to recover it, was ſlain by the burſting of a large piece of ordnance. As for the caſtle, it was ſurrendered, and then raiſed. It is now in a manner quite vaniſhed, and its ancient grandeur totally defaced.’
Mr Pennant ſays, ‘the firſt mention I find of it is in 1132, when a treaty was concluded here on the part of King Stephen, by Thurſtan Archbiſhop of York, between him and King David I.’—But in Symeon Dunelm, we are informed, that John Cardinal of Crima, Legate* of Pope Honorius, came to the Scottiſh King at Roxburgh, in the year 1125, to determine the controverſy touching the Primacy of York over the Scottiſh church. In 1126, King David returning from the Court of England, was attended to Roxburgh by Thurſtan Archbiſhop of York, Ralph Biſhop of Durham, and Algar Prior of St Cuthbert's convent in Durham.†
King David I. made this the place of his reſidence, during the reign of his brother Alexander. Hither he brought his favourite Monks of Tyrone, from Selkirk, before he placed them at Kelſo, and built the abbey there. He added to the ſtrength of the place, increaſed its fortifications, and made it one of the chief bulwarks of his kingdom.
King David was the great patron of every national improvement: he obſerved the example of Lewis le Gros, in civil and commercial eſtabliſhments, and granted many charters of incorporation to his cities and burghs. The burgh laws he cauſed to be framed from the remarks made by learned men, ſent by him for the purpoſe into foreign ſtates, to reap the ſpirit and efficacy of each conſtitution. It is probable that Roxburgh was one of the firſt of thoſe communities in Scotland; for in an ancient manuſcript copy of the burgh laws, of which David was the undoubted author, the title prefixed declares them to be the laws and cuſtoms of the four burghs, viz. Berwick, Roxburgh, Edinburgh, and Sterling. A further evidence that theſe were the firſt royal burghs, is in the court kept by the King's Chamberlain, where his office appears to give him juriſdiction over all the King's burghs; the court being called the court of the four burghs, and conſiſted of Delegates from the burghs above mentioned, three or four from each burgh, who by virtue of the Chamberlain's ſummons, aſſembled annually at Haddington, where all appeals from the peculiar courts of each ſingle burgh were heard and finally determined.
The confirmatory charter of King Malcolm to Kelſo, dated 1159, was given at Roxburgh. It appears by this charter, that the King made Roxburgh his reſidence, as he frequently attended divine ſervice at the church at Kelſo; for he confirms to that church all the offerings made by himſelf and his attendants, whenſoever on ſolemnities or other days he heard the ſervice of God in that church. The populouſneſs of Roxburgh and the country in the neighbourhood, may be inferred from the mention of churches in that place, granted to the Kelſo convent, as freely as they had been held by Acceline the Archdeacon, and which churches ſeem diſtinct from the then lately erected church of St James. The ſame appears from the grant of 20 chalders, partly corn and partly meal, (inter farinam & frumentum) to be paid out of the Roxburgh mills, which probably was the eſtimate of the amount of the ſeventh part of the mills granted in David's charter to the abbey of Selkirk. Mention is alſo made of a new town of Roxburgh.
In 1197, the rebellious Harold Earl of Caithneſs was confined in Roxburgh. This perfidious Earl having delivered Torphin his ſon as [Page 274] an hoſtage for his future fidelity, by his repeated treaſons, occaſioned him to become a ſacrifice to the reſentment of his King, who in his wrath being devoid of humanity, gave the innocent youth up to the moſt dreadful tortures and excruciating death.*
In 1215, King John, incenſed againſt the northern Barons for their doing homage to King Alexander II. at Felton, marched northward in the middle of winter, and laid the country waſte with fire and ſword, exerciſing the greateſt cruelties on the diſtracted inhabitants. He burnt the towns of Milford, Morpeth, Alnwick, Wark, and Roxburgh, in this horrid expedition.
In 1239, Roxburgh appears to have been reſtored; for here King Alexander II. celebrated his marriage, on the 4th of March in that year, with the daughter of Ingelram de Conci, and on the 4th of September, 1241, the Queen brought forth a ſon here, Alexander, who ſucceeded to the Crown of Scotland.
In 1255, Roxburgh was the place of refuge for King Alexander III. and his young Queen, who had been prohibited conſummation of their marriage by the guardians of the kingdom: of which complaint had been ſent to King Henry III. her father, wherein ſhe ſet forth the hardſhips ſhe underwent from the guardians, who held her in ſtrict confinement, refuſed her the attendants and maids ſhe choſe, and debarred her from the embraces of her huſband. The Earl of Glouceſter, with others ſent by King Henry, aſſiſted by the Earl of Dunbar and his adherents, ſurprized the Caſtle of Edinburgh, and taking poſſeſſion of the perſons of the King and Queen, conveyed them under a ſtrong guard to Roxburgh, where the Queen's diſtreſſes were relieved, although her royal ſpouſe was then only 14 years of age.
Prince Edward, ſon to Henry III. when on an expedition againſt the northern rebels who were in combination with John de Veſcy, after his forfeiture of Alnwick, proceeded to Roxburgh in the year 1266, where he was received with the greateſt demonſtrations of joy by the King [Page 275] and Queen of Scotland, attended on that occaſion by a numerous body of the Scotch nobility.
The marriage of Alexander Prince of Scotland to the daughter of the Earl of Flanders, was celebrated here on the 9th of April, 1283, the nuptial feaſt being continued for 15 days with the greateſt magnificence.
In the ſucceeding year Edward having muſtered his forces at Newcaſtle, with an army of 2000 heavy armed horſe, 1200 light horſe, and 100,000 foot, proceeded to the Scotch border. The Scotch army, which for a conſiderable time had laid before Roxburgh, in hopes of reſtoring to his liberty the Biſhop of Glaſgow, who was priſoner there, hearing of ſo great an army advancing, raiſed the ſiege. The relief brought by the Engliſh to the garriſon of Roxburgh Caſtle was highly ſeaſonable, for they were already reduced to great hardſhips; and the inhabitants of the town, from the circumvallation formed by the Scotch, were brought to great diſtreſs for want of proviſions.
On Shrove Tueſday, in the year 1313, the garriſon of Roxburgh indulging themſelves on that feſtival in an impolitick ſecurity, were given up to riot and diſſipation, when they were ſurprized by Sir James Douglas, with a reſolute band, who having approached in diſguiſe, mounted the walls by ladders of ropes. The name of Douglas echoed through the place, and rouſed the Engliſh from their feſtivity and drunkenneſs, many of them falling under the ſword of the aſſailants. The Governor retired into the great tower with a few of his men, where after two days reſiſtance, having received a wound in his face by an arrow, he ſurrendered the fortreſs. King Robert Bruce, on receiving intelligence of this exploit, ſent his brother Edward to demoliſh the fortifications, which he effected with great labour.
King Edward III. in 1334, having come to Newcaſtle in quality of Supreme of Scotland, received the homage of Edward Baliol in a public and ſolemn manner: at which time Baliol, as a recompence for the expences King Edward had ſuſtained in recovering and reſtoring to him his inheritance, by letters patent alienated to him, amongſt other things, [Page 276] the town, caſtle, and county of Roxburgh, to be annexed to and incorporated with the Crown of England for ever.
King Edward III. in 1356, received from Baliol a formal ſurrender of his right to the Crown of Scotland. This he performed by the ceremony of delivering his Crown, with ſome of the ſoil of Scotland, at Roxburgh, where Edward reſided ſome days. This King twice celebrated his birth-day in this caſtle.
In 1372, George Dunbar Earl of March, accompanied by his brother the Earl of Murray, with a large body of their dependants, entered Roxburgh at the time of the annual fair, and in revenge of the death of one of their followers, who was ſlain the preceding year in an affray, ſlew all the Engliſh they found in the town, plundered it of the great quantities of merchandize and goods which were collected there on the above occaſion, and reduced the town to aſhes.
King James II. of Scotland, availing himſelf of a neglect in the Engliſh of attending a propoſed convention for continuing the truce in 1460, raiſed an army with great expedition, with which he advanced againſt Roxburgh. At the firſt aſſault he took the town, and levelled it to the ground. A regular ſiege was laid to the caſtle. Here the Scotch King was joined by great reinforcements, among which was the Earl of Huntley with his followers. The King, for former ſervices, deſirous of honouring Huntley, ſhewed him every mark of eſteem and royal favour; he conducted him to the trenches, to obſerve the diſcharge of his artillery, one of which was remarkable for its ſize, and had the name of the Lion. The King took delight in attending theſe operations, in which he ſhewed a diſtinguiſhed intrepidity, but in the end loſt his life thereby, one of his pieces of ordnance in this ſiege, to which he had approached too near, burſt in diſcharging, whereby the Earl of Angus, who ſtood near the King, was much wounded, at the inſtant that a ſplinter broke the King's thigh and ſtruck him dead. This is the tragical circumſtance before quoted from Camden. The Queen with her eldeſt ſon, then a boy about ſeven years of age, is ſaid to have been in the camp at the time of this dreadful cataſtrophe. She ſuſtained the ſhock with heroic firmneſs, exhorted the Chiefs to deſiſt from unavailing [Page 277] lamentations, and to teſtify their reverence for their King's memory, by carrying on the ſiege with redoubled vigour. Her exhortations had the deſired effect, the beſiegers exerted their utmoſt efforts. The garriſon finding themſelves reduced to extremities, ſurrendered the fortreſs; and, as Redpath in his Border Hiſtory ſays, ‘that the place which the Engliſh had held for more than 100 years, might thenceforth ceaſe to be a center of rapine and violence, or a cauſe of future ſtrife between the nations, the victors reduced it to a heap of ruins.’
We do not find that the fortreſs was reſtored, or that any repairs were made to it to render it tenable until 1547, when the Engliſh army led by the Protector, paſſing the Tweed after the battle of Muſſelbrough, encamped on the plain over-againſt Kelſo, between the ruins of the ancient Caſtle of Roxburgh and the confluence of Tweed and Tiviot. The Protector obſerving the ſtrong and convenient ſituation of this ruined fortreſs, determined to make it tenable. The breaches in part of the ancient walls were filled with bankings of turf, he having reduced the fortreſs in ſize, by caſting up deep trenches on the eaſt and weſt ends within, and fortified them with a wall. Patten's account of theſe repairs is in the following terms: ‘That one great ditch of 20 feet broad, with depth accordingly, and a wall of like breadth, depth, and height, ſhould be made croſs within the caſtle, from the one ſide wall to the other, and 40 foot from the weſt end; and that a like trench and wall ſhould alſo be caſt a-traverſe within, about a coit's caſt from the eaſt end; and hereto that the caſtle walls on either ſide, where need was, ſhould be mended with turf, and made with loopholes, as well for ſhooting directly forwards as for flanking at hand.’ So intent was the Protector on this work, that he laboured at it with his own hands two hours every day whilſt it was going on, and his example was followed by moſt of the principal men of his army. The place was made defenſible in ſix days, and there was left in it a garriſon of 300 ſoldiers and 200 pioneers, under Sir Ralph Bulmer.
[Page 278] It is not poſſible to tread this ground without the moſt ſerious reflections: the viciſſitudes of human life, here ſo remarkably experienced, furniſh the traveller with a crowd of ideas, producing melancholy determinations. Here, where this turf, now painted with flowers, is browſed by the flocks, once ſtood a town flouriſhing in trade; where feſtivity and mirth often engaged the wealthy inhabitants; where the royal preſence was encircled with the nobility of the land; where the ſplendour of a court was diſplayed; where the royal nuptials and the birth of Princes made a kingdom joyful; where peace brought her olives to crown felicity:—and in reverſe of circumſtances, where theſe cattle graze, armed troops have held their deadly conflicts, the ſoil has drank in the blood of heroes and nobles; even royalty has bled upon theſe plains; the ſhoots of victory or the cries of diſtreſs have often diſtracted theſe now peaceful echoes which make reſponſes to the bleating ſheep; cannon have rent the confuſed atmoſphere, and the clangour of marſhal inſtruments hath filled the gale, which now breathes muſic in the murmuring groves; revenge, rapine, and innumerable crimes have curſed the ground I tread with every human ſin. Avenging Providence at length hath razed the walls, conſcious of ſuch iniquity; the haughty towers are levelled with the earth, the ploughſhare hath gone over the paths of wicked ages, and all but the name of Roxburgh is clean done out.
As Roxburgh fell, ſo have empires fallen; and though it is a reflection which brings with it the acuteſt ſorrow, yet it muſt be admitted, that when the accompliſhment of time is come, other empires muſt ſink into oblivion. Power and magnificence are periodical, we know not which will be the next that yields in the ſucceſſion. Heaven grant that Britain by her virtues may merit the divine protection, and that her empire may ſurvive to the lateſt ages full of honour.
It is very remarkable, that not the leaſt traces remain to mark the place where ſo large a town once ſtood; a place ſo eminent, and of ſo great reſort for trade, the reſidence of Kings, and the ſeat of ſuch conventions.
[Page 279] Our road on the banks of Tweed led through a cultivated country, but ill fenced, and the modes of huſbandry gradually growing worſe as we proceeded. We paſſed the houſe of Colonel Mac Dougle, ſituate on the north banks of Tweed; a handſome Manſion, on the brink of a ſteep deſcent; in the front a terrace, and graſs ſlopes laid out with taſte, and well kept; the houſe ſheltered by plantations to the north and weſt.
Further up the river the houſe of Mr Scot is ſeen; a pretty ſquare building, ſurrounded with trees. On that ſide of the river which we paſſed, ſtood a large exploratory mount, which ſeemed to have been originally encircled by three or four ſeveral bankings or terraces, aſcending above each other. The crown is now planted with young trees, and forms a pretty object from the gentlemen's ſeats on the oppoſite ſide of Tweed.
Within ſome little diſtance, further up the river, we viewed a circular fort, which, as it remains the moſt entire of any we ſaw on this tour, and will give a full idea of thoſe which we paſſed, ſimilar in form, though leſs perfect, I have given a kind of bird-eye view of it.
[Page 280] This camp, or rather fort, hath been formed from a natural eminence; the crown is exactly circular, and level with a rampier of earth on the verge, having an aperture or entrance towards the eaſt, of the width of 12 paces: the rampier riſes about ſix perpendicular feet from the level of the interior plain, from the foot of which rampier the plain is near 62 paces diameter. I paced the top of this rampier, and found the whole circle to be near 200 paces. In the interior plain, not exactly in the center, but inclining to the ſouth-weſt, is the foundation of a ſtone wall, forming a ſquare of equal ſides, 14 paces each. This probably was the apartment of the General or other officers, or a ſtore-houſe for arms and valuable effects. The height from the top of the upper rampier to the next level, is nearly 18 perpendicular feet, and as ſteep as ſoil or turf can poſſibly be ſuppoſed to lay. The level here, for it can ſcarce be termed a foſs, the rampier on its edge only forming a breaſtwork, is nine paces wide. This ſecond rampier only makes a part of a circle, its points terminating on the brink of a very high precipice overhanging the river: the top of this rampier extends 140 paces. The height from the top of the ſecond rampier to the next level, is about 15 perpendicular feet, of as ſteep an aſcent as the former. This level or foſs is only ſix paces wide, the loweſt or third rampier only forming a breaſtwork to the interior level; but from the common plain is ſix feet in height, compoſed of ſtones without any mortar; its points alſo terminate on the edge of the precipice, and its top meaſures 140 paces: ſo that the whole mount appears about 34 perpendicular feet high. The form of this fortification renders it probable, that the chief perſons of the army who lay here, with their valuables, were placed on the crown of the eminence, and that the lower trenches were occupied by the troops, according to the nature of their arms; the heavy-armed ſoldiers in the lower intrenchment; thoſe armed with miſſile weapons on the ſecond and third levels: by which poſition, on an attack, the garriſon could fight as from a theatre, ſtage above ſtage, and when forced from the lower trenches, could ſtill retreat to a ſtation of ſuperiority. Theſe are improperly called camps: they ſeem not calculated for encampment, but as forts for a ſecure reſort.
ſeated on a promontory on the banks of Tweed, under a lofty hill which defends it from the north. We did not approach nearer to it than the oppoſite ſhore, from whence it made a good appearance, emerging from a thick wood. The principal part now ſtanding is ſupported by fine cluſtered pillars. Mr Pennant, who croſſed the ferry to view it, ſays, ‘On the northern ſide (of Tweed) in the deep gloom of a wood, are the remains of the Abbey of Dryburgh, founded by Hugh Morvill, Conſtable of Scotland in the time of King David I. and Beatrix de Campo Bello his wife. There are ſcarce any reliques of the church, but much of the convent, the refectory ſupported by [Page 282] two pillars, ſeveral vaults and other offices, part of the cloiſter walls, and a fine radiated window of ſtone-work. Theſe remains are not inelegant, but unadorned. This was inhabited by Praemonſtratentian Monks; who ſtiled the Iriſh Abbies of Druin le Crox and Woodburn their daughters. At the reformation King James VI. beſtowed Dryburgh on Henry Erſkine, ſecond ſon of the Earl of Mar, whoſe houſe, as Commendator, is ſtill inhabited.’
ſeated in a deep valley, in which the abbey was concealed from the eye till we were juſt upon it; but when through the trees we gained a view of its eaſt window, the elegance of the ſtructure aſtoniſhed us.
It will ſuffice to remark in this place, that the pedeſtals for ſtatues in general, are compoſed of five members of cornice, ſupported by palm boughs, or ſome other rich wrought foliage, and terminating at the foot in a point with a triple roll. The caps or canopies of the niches are compoſed of delicate tabernacle-work, the ſpires ornamented with mouldings and a fillet of roſe-work, and the ſuſpended ſkirts graced with flowers: the interior of the canopy is of ribbed-work, terminating in a ſuſpended knot in the center. This deſcription will do to carry the reader's idea to every particular nich, without my running into the tediouſneſs of repetition.
[Page 285] At the junction of the ſouth and weſt members of the croſs, a hexagon tower ariſes, terminating in a pinnacle roofed with ſtone, highly ornamented: from thence the aile is extended ſo as to receive three large windows, whoſe arches are pointed, each divided by three upright bars or mullions, the tracery various and light; ſome in wheels, and others in the windings of foliage. Theſe windows are ſeparated by buttreſſes ornamented with niches. Here are ſculptured the arms of ſeveral of the Abbots, and that alſo of the Abbacy "a Mail & roſe." Theſe buttreſſes ſupport pinnacles of the fineſt tabernacle-work. From the feet of theſe laſt pinnacles, are extended bows or open arches, compoſed of the quarter diviſion of a circle, abutting to the bottoms of another race of buttreſſes which ariſe on the ſide wall of the nave; each of theſe laſt buttreſſes alſo ſupporting an elegant pinnacle of tabernacle-work, are ornamented with niches, in two of which ſtatues remain; one of St Andrew, the other of the Holy Virgin: the ſide ailes are ſlated, but the nave is covered with an arched roof of hewn ſtone. From the weſt end of the church is continued a row of buildings, containing five windows, divided by the like buttreſſes, the tracery of two of the windows remaining, the reſt open. Each of theſe windows appertained to a ſeparate chapel, appropriated and dedicated to diſtinct perſonages and ſervices; the places of the altars, and the fonts or holy-water baſons ſtill remaining. At the weſtern extremity of this ſtructure, on the laſt buttreſs, are the arms of Scotland, ſupported by Unicorns collared and chained; the motto above broken, the letters EGIS only remaining. On one ſide is the letter I, on the other Q, and a date 1505, which was the ſecond year of the marriage of King James IV. a marriage concerted at this abbey, between the King in perſon, and Richard Fox, then Biſhop of Durham.
In 1649, the fury of reformation ſtill exiſting, the elegant ſtatues which ornamented this place were moſt ſacrilegiouſly demoliſhed. A tradition prevails here, that one of the perſons ſo employed, on ſtriking at the babe in the Virgin's arms, received a contuſion, which diſabled him for ever from ſuch uſeleſs occupation, and ſtruck ſuch a panic on his aſſociates, that they fled and left the miſchievous buſineſs unperfected.
In Spotſwood's Hiſtory of the Church of Scotland,* we find theſe works of fanatical fury thus mentioned: ‘An act was paſſed for demoliſhing [Page 286] cloiſters and abbey churches, ſuch as were not as yet pulled down; the execution whereof was for the weſt parts committed to the Earls of Arrane, Argile, and Glencarn, for the north to Lord James, and for the in-countries to ſome Barons that were held moſt zealous.’
‘Thereupon iſſued a pitiful vaſtation of churches and church buildings throughout all the parts of the realm; for every one made bold to put to their hands, the meaner ſort imitating the enſample of the greater and thoſe who were in authority. No difference was made, but all the churches either defaced or pulled to the ground. The holy veſſels, and whatſoever elſe men could make gain of, as timber, lead, and bells were put to ſale. The very ſepulchres of the dead were not ſpared. The regiſters of the church and bibliothekes caſt into the fire. I award all was ruined, and what eſcaped in the time of the firſt tumult, did now undergo the common calamity; which was ſo much the worſe, that the violences committed at this time were coloured with the warrant of public authority. Some ill-adviſed preachers did likewiſe animate people, in theſe their barbarous proceedings, crying out, "that the places where idols had been worſhipped ought by the law of God to be deſtroyed, and that the ſparing of them was the reſerving of things execrable: as if the commandment given to Iſrael, for deſtroying the place where the Canaanites did worſhip their falſe Gods, had been a warrant for them to do the like. The report alſo went, that John Knox, whoſe ſayings were by many eſteemed as oracles, ſhould in one of his ſermons ſay, that the ſure way to baniſh the Rooks was to pull down their neſts: which words (if any ſuch did eſcape him) were to be underſtood of the cloiſters of Monks and Friars only, according to the act paſſed in the council. But popular fury once armed can keep no meaſure, nor do any thing with advice and judgment.’
The eaſt end of the church is compoſed of the choir, with a ſmall aile on each ſide, which appear to have been open to the high altar. This part is lighted by three windows towards the eaſt, and two ſide windows in the aile: the center window is divided by four upright bars or mullions, the traceries are of various figures, but chiefly croſſes, which ſupport a large complicated croſs that forms the center; the arching is pointed, and part of the tracery here is broken: the ſide lights are near as high as the center, but very narrow, divided by three [Page 287] upright bars or mullions: the mouldings of the window arches are ſmall and delicate, yet ornamented with a fillet of foliage. On each ſide of the great window are niches for ſtatues; and at the top there appear the effigies of an old man ſitting, with a globe in his left hand reſted on his knee, with a young man on his right: over their heads an open crown is ſuſpended. Theſe figures, I preſume, repreſent the divine perſonages. The buttreſſes at this end terminate in pinnacles of tabernacle-work: the mouldings and ſculptures are elegantly wrought.
The north end of the croſs aile of this abbey is not much ornamented without, it having adjoined to the cloiſter and other buildings. The door which leads to the ſcite of the cloiſter (the building being demoliſhed) is a ſemicircular arch of many members; the fillet of foliage and flowers, is of the higheſt finiſhing that can be conceived to be executed in free-ſtone; the ſame being pierced, the flowers and leaves ſeparated from the ſtone behind, and ſuſpended in a twiſted garland. In the mouldings, pinnacle-work, and foliage of the ſeats which remain of the cloiſter, I may be bold to ſay, there is as great excellence to be found, as in any ſtone-work in Europe, for lightneſs, eaſe, and diſpoſition. Nature is ſtudied through the whole, and the flowers and plants are repreſented as accurately as under the pencil. In this fabric there are the fineſt leſſons, and the greateſt variety of Gothic ornaments, that the iſland affords, take all the religious ſtructures together.
The weſt ſide of the center tower is yet ſtanding: it appears to have ſupported a ſpire; a loſs to the dignity and beauty of the preſent remains, to be regretted by every viſitant: the balcony-work is beautiful, being formed of open roſe-work: the preſent height of the tower wall is 75 feet.
We entered at the ſouth door, and no expreſſion can convey an idea of the ſolemn magnificence which ſtruck the eye: the roof of the north and ſouth ends of the tranſept remains, ſupported by interſecting groins, in various directions, of the lighteſt order; the joinings ornamented with knots, ſome ſculptured with figures, and others of pierced-work in flowers and foliage; the arching of the interſtices conſtructed of thin [Page 288] ſtones, cloſely jointed; over the choir, part of the roof of like workmanſhip ſtill remains. The ſide ailes are formed by light cluſtered pillars, richly capitalled, with garlands of flowers and foliage diſpoſed delicately in the mouldings; in ſome the figures of animals are interſperſed. The pillars which ſupported the tower towards the eaſt are gone, ſo that three ſides of it are down, leaving a chaſm, through which you look up towards the remaining quarter.
The north aile is lighted by a circular window, repreſenting a crown of thorns, which makes an uncommon appearance. Here are the effigies of Peter and Paul, one on each ſide the tower, but of inferior ſculpture.
It is ſaid Alexander II. King of Scotland, lays buried at the high altar, and that an inſcription denoted his tomb;* but no ſuch inſcription is now to be found. There is a marble tomb, the form of a coffin, on the ſouth ſide of the high altar; but it bears no inſcription, and is ſuppoſed to be that of Waldevus the ſecond Abbot, who was canonized. The Chronicle of Mailroſs contains this anecdote: ‘That Ingerim Biſhop of Glaſgow and four Abbots came to Mailroſs to open the grave, after 12 years interment, when they found the body of Waldevus uncorrupted: on which, with religious rapſody, they exclaimed, Vere hic homo Dei eſt. ’ They afterwards placed a marble monument over the remains.
Many of the noble line of Douglas lay here; among whom is James the ſon of William Earl of Douglas, who was ſlain at the battle of Otterburn, and interred with all military honours. Lord Liddiſdale, who was ſtiled the flower of chivalry,† de Valoniis, Vauxs, Somervils, Balfours, and many other men of note, lay in the chapter-houſe.
Whilſt my companion was drawing his view, I wandered in this hallowed ſpot till decline of day; the evening advanced with an unuſual ſolemnity; the clouds, which were ſtruck with crimſon, reflected the beams of the ſetting ſun into the interior parts of the building, and made the whole glow with a purple ray: the idea ſtruck me, that celeſtial miniſters, apparelled ſuitable to the weakneſs of the human eye, accompanied me to walk the ruined aile; the thought was ſufficient to inſpire a contemplative traveller with meditations as ſerious as the human mind is ſuſceptible of. To add to this diſpoſition, the wind blew a briſk gale, and gave a mournful melody; every object was ſolemn, and every thought devout; who could forbear exclaiming, ‘Thy miniſters inceſſantly accompany us, they involve us as with this ray of light, they penetrate the eye, and read the images of the mind before they have utterance; they bear witneſs of our frailties, and rejoice in our virtues; perhaps by ſo exquiſite a touch that human ſenſe cannot diſtinguiſh it, they carry on their operations by thoſe propenſities for which we are unable to account, and influence our reſolves, and ſtruggle with our proneneſs to evil, that we may not deviate from thy laws.
Theſe ſad remains of human glory! how are their beauties defaced! thus paſs away the mighty things of the earth! To the eye of him to whom ten thouſand years are as one day, what vanity is the magnificence of men; here, forgotten of the world, lay in the duſt princes and nobles, whoſe titles, authority, and power, are vaniſhed as the baſeleſs fabric of a viſion. If ſpirits viſit their terreſtrial abodes, for it is not the will of our father which is in heaven that one of theſe ſhould periſh, here perhaps wander heroes, who languiſh over their unexpiated crimes; men of religious orders, who mourn the depravity of the human race, and the deſolation of their temple, where once all human energy was breathed in prayer. If ſpirits viſit their terreſtrial walks, and leave for a time that ineffable beatitude proclaimed to us, that in heaven their angels do always behold the face of our father which is in heaven—perhaps—alas, it is too true! I loſt a friend! perhaps his expanded eſſence fills this ray, that penetrates the gloom, rejoices in the thoughts which riſe upon my mind, conveys my prayer to the divine propitiatory, prompts each virtuous fervour, and ſubverts all riſing impropriety: perhaps, with that pure affection which he poſſeſſed when living on earth, he looks upon my countenance, commiſerates the darkneſs of my faculties, that here are labouring for pleaſure or for knowledge!’"Millions of ſpiritual creatures walk the earth"Unſeen, both when we wake, and when we ſleep."—How often from the ſteep"Of echoing hill or thicket have we heard"Celeſtial voices to the midnight air"Sole—or reſponſive each to other's note"While they keep watch or nightly rounding walk"With heav'nly touch of inſtrumental ſounds"In full harmonic number join'd, their ſongs"Divide the night, and lift our thoughts to heaven."
My eyes grew full of tears, my heart heaved in tumult, my hands were graſped through energy of thought, and I ſtood as a ſtatue, when the approaching foot of my companion rouſed me, preſerving my mind from a growing extravagance of imagination, which was already replete with the moſt affecting images.
In the morning, at ſun-riſe, we again returned to theſe ſplendid ruins, which had even occupied the viſions of our ſleep; we yet had to take a ſurvey of the nave of the church, which is now uſed for worſhip. On opening the door, it is not to be expreſſed, the diſagreeable ſcene which preſented itſelf; this place is filled with ſtalls, in the diſpoſition of which, irregularity alone ſeems to have been ſtudied: ſome [Page 291] are raiſed on upright beams, as ſcaffolds, tier above tier; others ſupported againſt the walls and pillars: no two are alike in form, height, or magnitude; the ſame confuſion of little and great, high and low, covers the floor with pews: the lights are ſo obſtructed, that the place is as dark as a vault; the floor is nothing but the damp earth; naſtineſs and irregularity poſſeſs the whole ſcene. The fine workmanſhip of the pillars, whoſe capitals, for flowers and foliage, exceed all the reſt of the building, the ribs of the arches, and the ornaments of their interſections, are ſcarce to be ſeen in the horrid gloom which poſſeſſes the place.
What idea, concomitant to religion, can dictate filthineſs and confuſion in a houſe of worſhip, I know not: by magnificence and ſplendour the eye may be diverted; but in that elegant ſimplicity, in which cleanneſs and plainneſs are aſſociates, the mind abſtracted from attention to worldly things, will be yielded to uninterrupted devotion. All reformation has been attended with extravagance; bigotry grows up into paſſion, and from one extreme the zealot ruſhes into another. When the pomp of Romiſh worſhip was to be corrected, the Scotch ſunk into the deepeſt reverſe. Many of the old churches in Scotland, which I have ſeen, are filthy and foul; one of the allotments of the Cathedral of St Andrews, in the city of Glaſgow, appropriated to parochial duty, is even in the burial vaults, in the foundation of the ſtructure, without light, but what iſſues through little loop-holes near to the pulpit, where the miniſter ſits to teach his pariſhioners, who are lodged in outer darkneſs; but for uncleanneſs and irregularity this place exceeds them all. I have had dreams of confuſion in my youth, but never formed even a diſeaſed idea like this. It looks like the houſe of lunatics, it is unparallelled, and defies all language to give it a deſcription; ſuperior to every thing but the incongruities of a Bedlamite's diſordered fancy.
But to more moderate matters: Here are ſeveral tombs of eminent perſonages; on the north wall is inſcribed, under a coat armour, ‘Here lies the race of the houſe of Zair.’ Many altars, baſons for holy water, and other remains of ſeparate chapels appear in the ailes, among which are thoſe of St Mary and St Waldave.
The ſentiments which aroſe to me, whilſt I walked or rather ſtaggered about in this ſtrange ſcene, were much to this effect: I premiſed that true Religion conſiſted of that devout fervour of mind, which gives its [Page 292] ideas to the Divinity, full of gratitude for his benevolence and long-ſufferings, full of admiration of that majeſty and mightineſs which are diſplayed through all his works; and from a true conſciouſneſs of man's demerits and the imperfections of his judgment, full of patience, humility, and reſignation. When a man who is poſſeſſed of ſuch diſpoſition of mind puts up a prayer, it is only for mercy and protection. In whatever claſs of religious men we find theſe premiſed principles beſt preſerved, we may determine with juſtice, that there the true devotee is diſtinguiſhed. Modes of religion are its corruption; the acceptations of a country, or the preſcriptions of a peculiar ſet of men, may be ſalutary to the community in general, but in no wiſe conducive to the devotion of the individual. Religion has its eſſence from the liberty of the mind; formularies, maxims, modes, or dictions, are diſguiſes which in the robe confound the ſpirit; are fetters that bind down the fervour of the mind. If the truly devout heart breathe out, "Lord have mercy on me a ſinner," there is more religion in that ſhort ſentence ſo uttered, than in ten thouſand Ave Marys, a million of liturgies, and the frippery of eſtabliſhment. Charity is as unbounded as the regions of heaven, and beſet with as many gems as the galaxy. Charity ſays, the truly religious of every age, nation, cuſtom, profeſſion, and mode, are acceptable to the Divinity; for it is not the mode, but the ſpirit that approacheth the regions of life. When I tread the walk of antiquity, I venerate the pious works of the heathen: the ſervant of the Deity is to be revered, let his ſervice differ never ſo wide from the eſtabliſhment of which I am a member: it is the eſſence of the act, that I ſever from the defilements of cuſtom: we judge, and may be judged; we think we are right; ſo did the Ancients: the Druid, the Amonian, in his acts of piety, is to be regarded without the errors of his ſunſhine ſervices; he worſhipped the Deity, under the ſymbol of the ſun; an object in nature the moſt reaſonably adopted as the image of the Creator, or as the throne of his majeſty.
The Roman ſcattering ſalt and meal on the crackling coals, and making his libations to the Divinity under the type of ſome of his attributes, is alſo worthy of our reverence: the errors his modes admitted, through charity are exempt from judgment, and his real piety is eſtimated, diveſted of defilements which were contracted from the errors of the age.
[Page 293] The Jewiſh pomp and ceremony, the tumultuous and noiſy ſacrifice, the greaſy ſervices, and blood-beſpattered altars, are all forgotten, when we trace the religion of the mind, and the piety of the devotee.
The magnificent rites of modern Rome looſe their pageantry, and ſink upon our eſtimate, when we compare them to the cell of humiliation; where piety, leaving the eye of men, retires to ſolitudes, and the Recluſe confeſſing the frailties of nature, with purity of ſoul avows all the religious confidence of faith; we at once turn from the echoing dome, and the acclamations of a choir of eunuchs, to ſeek this holy devotee, the man who communes ſecretly with his own ſoul; who puts off the formulary, and preſents, in his ſolitary cell, a genuine confeſſion and the ſpirit of prayer before his God, whoſe preſence is univerſal.
The Reformiſt, proteſting againſt the errors of others, like the ſcriptural image of imperfection, plucks not the beam from his own eye; though leſs pompous in his ſervice, yet he remains as ceremonious;* all attitudes are admitted to his devotion by intervals, except the original one, the eaſtern attitude, that proſtration which expreſſes the utmoſt humiliation; his liturgy is filled with repetition, whilſt there is ſurely no want of ſubject for ſupplication. When many ſuppoſed Mediators were to be addreſſed, repetition was attended with ſome reaſon: theſe are taken away, but the reiteration continues. When the reformiſt breathes the ſighing of a contrite heart, he gains with the devotee of every denomination an acceptation which depends not upon modes.
The Preſbyterian avoids much form, but admits much ſlovenlineſs, much indolence, and more negligence; yet the inward ſpirit, which would have been devout in any other claſs of religious, is the ſame worthy devotee in this apparel.
The ſilent Quaker ſits meditative; his mind, unoccupied by faſhion or form, is open to nature's dictates in all their ſimplicity; he perceives the glow of devotion, the moving ſpirit warms his ſoul, and the heart [Page 294] conceives what the Divinity accepts, though unuttered by the lips. The Fanatic would in the utmoſt agitation be in action, the Bramin be in torture, but this Religious brings offerings of peace; his God is the God of tranquillity. It is the ſervice of the ſpirit is acceptable; the offices of the body are appropriated to corruption, to faſhion, and the follies of the world.
Religion is replete with pleaſures, and not burthened with terrors; ſhe bringeth forth the moſt placid hope, and her hope is accompanied with inexhauſtible images of joy. Pope's diſtich, as to modes of faith, is infallibly true: ‘"His ſure is beſt whoſe life is in the right."’ Religion is in the manners, and not in modes of prayer.
NUNAM: KATINETHOME: PAULI: GUTHB.TE: S: PETR: K. ETIGIN:
The ancient monaſtery of Mailroſs is ſaid to have ſtood originally a mile from the preſent ruins, but by whom founded is uncertain.—One houſe marks the place, ‘on a lofty promontory, peninſulated by the Tweed: a moſt beautiful ſcene; the banks lofty and wooded, varied with perpendicular rocks, jutting like buttreſſes from top to bottom. This was the ſcite of the ancient abbey of Culdees, mentioned by Bede to have exiſted in 664, in the reign of the Saxon Oſwy. This place was as celebrated for the auſterities of Diricthelmus,* as ever [Page 295] Finchal was for thoſe of St Godric. The firſt was reſtored to life after being dead for an entire night. During that ſpace he paſſed through purgatory and hell, had the beatific viſion, and got very near to the confines of heaven. His angelic guide gave him an uſeful leſſon on the efficacy of prayer, alms, faſting, and particularly maſſes of holy men, infallible means to relieve the ſouls of friends and relations from the place of torment.’ †
The Scotch who are ambitious of antiquity, attribute it to Columbus; ſome more moderate, ſay its original patron was Aidan. Bede ſays it was ſeated on the banks of Tweed; that the churches at that time were built of oak, thatched with reeds; and that the religious of this houſe maintained themſelves a long time againſt the canons and ordinances of the Romiſh councils. On a peninſula formed by the river, you are ſhewn the ſcite of old Mailroſs, with the foundations of the wall, the porter's lodge, the chapel know, and many other places appertaining to that houſe; together with the remains of a bridge over Tweed. Nennius, who lived as ſome authors aſſert in 620, but according to others in 853, ſpeaks of this monaſtery as a place of great note; and probably it was deſtroyed by the Danes when they ravaged this country. Bede gives the names of ſome Abbots here; Eata the firſt: he was ſucceeded by Boiſil, who according to Dempſter died in 643: St Cuthbert ſucceeded Boiſil, but afterwards quitted this monaſtery, and went to Lindisfarne: he was ſucceeded by Etholwold. This is all I can collect of old Mailroſs. The houſe of which theſe celebrated ruins are the remains, was founded by David King of Scotland in the year 1136: it was endowed with large revenues and many immunities, as appears by the charters granted to the Abbot and Convent by the Kings of Scotland. In a manuſcript ſaid to be depoſited in the Colbertine Library, giving an account of the ſeveral religious houſes founded by King David, it is mentioned, Sed Melroſſenſum praecipue inter omnes eccleſias & fideliter defenſabat & dulciter diligebat & ſuis opibus exornabat. Mr Hay ſays it is recorded in the book of taxes of the Apoſtolic Chamber, that King David beſtowed thereon 1880 florins. The original charter of foundation was [Page 296] confirmed by his ſon Prince Henry, and intimates that he gave to this abbey the whole lands of Mailroſs, Eldun of Dernewie, Galtownſide, Galtownſide Haugh, and Galtownſide Wood, and many privileges in the foreſts of Selkirk and Traquair; particularly betwixt Galla and Leeder. The charter alſo expreſſes, that theſe lands had been perambulated by the King in perſon, accompanied by Prince Henry, with Richard the firſt Abbot. The date of this charter is the ſecond year after Stephen of Boloign, King of England, was taken priſoner, which muſt be in the year 1143. The witneſſes are Hogo de Moreville, William de Somerville, Gervaſus Riddel, &c.
By the foundation charter the dedication appears to be Deo & ſanctae Mariae de Mailroſs & Monachis ibidem deo ſervientibus de Riavallis, &c. of the Ciſtercian order; yet the church was not dedicated till the year 1146."Anno Milleno centeno terquoque deno"Et ſexto Chriſti, Melroſe fundita fuiſti."
Richard the firſt Abbot was inſtalled in the year 1136, the year of foundation: he was ſucceeded by Walterus or Waldevus, a ſon of King David, who was afterwards elected Biſhop of St Andrews, but refuſed Epiſcopacy. To him many miracles were attributed; to relate one will ſuffice:—‘In a great famine, about 4000 poor people came to the convent of Mailroſs for relief, whom Waldeve the Abbot pitying, he went with his cellarer or butler Tyna to his grange at Heldwii, and then to Gattonſide, and having put in the ſtaff which he carried in his hand among the corn, it was increaſed through the ſign of the croſs, both for the ſupply of the convent and all theſe numerous poor.’ He received canonization, and many rich offerings were made at his tomb.
Joceline, a man of great learning, was Abbot here; he was afterwards made Biſhop of Glaſgow, but choſe Mailroſs for the place of his interment. One Laurentius was a ſucceeding Abbot; alſo Ranulph, in 1194, who by the Legate of Pope Innocent III. was made Biſhop of Down, in Ireland.
We find this monaſtery, like all others, very buſy and warm in ſecular matters. The pious Legate was at Mailroſs to determine a diſpute between this Abbey and Calehow, and to his diſhonour, it is ſaid, he [Page 297] took the fee of office, and left the caſe undetermined: and in 1268 the Abbot and a great many of the ſociety and dependents of this monaſtery, were excommunicated by a Council held at Perth, for an affray with the men of Wedale, in which a Clergyman was ſlain, and many perſons wounded.
In 1206, William the 9th Abbot of Mailroſs died. This was the 48th year after the death of St Waldeve. William was equally eſteemed for his ſanctity, and on his death it was reſolved that their bodies ſhould be laid together. As the workmen were preparing William's grave, brother Robert, who was a Maſon,* by the incitement of ſome of his aſſociates, but not without reluctance and much religious horror, raiſed the cover of Waldeve's tomb, when there iſſued a fragrance, as if the grave had been filled with ſpices. Being in the gloom of the evening, he brought a candle to the aperture; all who were preſent beheld the ſacred body entire, and all the veſtments as freſh and beautiful as when firſt put on. There were ſix Monks and as many Lay-brothers, who had the happineſs of gratifying their pious though preſumptuous curioſity.†
In the year 1240, the bones of the Abbots of Mailroſs, that lay in the entrance of the chapter-houſe, were taken up, and more decently buried in the eaſtern part of the ſame chapter-houſe, all excepting the bones of St Waldeve, whoſe ſepulchre was opened, and his body found at laſt crumbled into duſt. Thoſe who were preſent carried off ſome of the ſmall bones, leaving the reſt to repoſe in peace. One of the company was William ſon to the Earl of Dunbar, and nephew to the King, a Knight of great fame. He begged and obtained a tooth of the ſaint, by which he is ſaid to have wrought many cures.
[Page 298] Duroys and Foggos appear in the ſame liſt, and alſo James Stuart, eldeſt natural ſon to King James I. he was Abbot of Kelſo and alſo of Mailroſs, and died about the year 1559. After him Cardinal de Guiſe was nominated, but never inſtalled.
This monaſtery ſuffered many injuries in the wars between Scotland and England. In the year 1322, it was pillaged by the troops of King Edward II. whoſe inglorious expedition was marked with diſgrace, by the burning this and Dryburgh Abbey, and murdering a company of Monks. King Robert Bruce, for its reſtoration, gave, in the year 1326, 2000l. ſterling, with many forfeited eſtates. King Richard II. again burnt this monaſtery, and in the reign of King Henry VIII. it was pillaged and laid waſte. Sir Ralph Ivers and Sir Bryan Layton having obtained a grant of Merſe and Tiviotdale, on their coming to take poſſeſſion, were oppoſed by Archibald the 7th Earl of Angus, at Ancrum Moor, and ſuffered a ſhameful defeat. The ground where this battle was fought is called Lilliards Edge, from the ſingular valour of a woman who was on the ſide of the Scotch. Over her place of interment was erected a monument, with this inſcription:
Fair maiden Lilliard lies under this ſtane,Little was her ſtature, but great her fame;On the Engliſh lads ſhe laid many thumps,And when her legs were off ſhe fought upon her ſtumps.
[Page 299] Mr Hay, in his Scotia Sacra, gives the following account: ‘In charta viſitationis 1542, invenio Monachos ibi fuiſſe 100; anno 1520, 80; anno 1540, 70 & 60 converſos, quibus dabantur modia frumenti annuatim 60, cerviſiae dolia 300, ad miſſarum ſolemnia vini dolia 18, ad hoſpites ſuſpiciendos dolia vini 20, cerviſiae 40 frumenti modia 30, infirmis nutriendis 4000lb. Turon, tonſori lib. 400. Pono monaſterium omnium erat in Scotia pulcherimum & opulentiſſimum.’
After the reformation, the abbey of Mailroſs was granted by Queen Mary to James Earl of Bothwell, who forfeited the ſame. It then came to the family of Douglas, one of whom was created Earl of Mortan, under whoſe hands all the evidences of this abbey's poſſeſſions were preſerved, and are now in the cuſtody of that family. A grant was made of it to John Ramſay by King James VI. and confirmed by parliament, as a reward for preſerving the King againſt a traiterous attempt by Lord Gowry. He was created Lord Haddington, and afterwards made a peer of England, by the title of Earl of Holderneſſe. It came afterwards to Sir Thomas Hamilton, who was created Earl of Mailroſs in 1619, and aſſumed on that occaſion three roſes in his coat armour: he afterwards took the title of Haddington. The abbey with its demeſnes were lately purchaſed by the family of Buccleugh.
a little village at the diſtance of about a mile from the abbey, noted for a lodge of Free Maſons, whoſe antiquity is believed to be cotemporary with the monaſtery at leaſt; but ſome preſume to trace it to a much greater diſtance, from its vicinity to the Helton Mountains, which entertained a Druid tribe, whoſe traces are evident to this day. Here are the foundations and remains of a houſe belonging to the Knights Templars, called Red Abbey Stead.
The name of a peculiar ſpot on the middle Helton Mountain, with a traditional account that it was ſacred to Jupiter, and was a poſſeſſion of the Druids, induced us to viſit theſe lofty hills. We advanced to the [Page 300] ſummit of the center hill, a riſe of about a mile and half: the place called Abor-jo, of which there is ſuch tradition, engaged us ſome time; our guide ſaid, that in former times it was girt with a grove of oaks, and fenced with a trench and vallum of earth. The veſtiges of the trench remain, but the grove is no more. Abor was a name given by the Amonians to the great luminary, and ſignifies the parent of light. In Mr Bryant's work we have the following definition:—‘This luminary was alſo called Abor, the parent of light, and his temple Cho-abor. Of this name both a city and river were to be found in Gauzaintis, as well as in Suſiaria and other parts.’—Abor-jo is an eaſy corruption of Abor-cho, being a mere tranſpoſition of the titles.
On the top of the north-eaſt mountain are the traces of a large encampment. Mr Pennant ſays, on one of theſe hills ‘is a Roman camp, and that he had been informed of others, with military ways to be traced in various places.’ I am apt to conjecture Mr Pennant took this account from a little pamphlet ſold at Mailroſs, deſcribing that place and its environs, and did not viſit it himſelf. The place hath not the form or appearance of a Roman camp; it has been an occaſional fortification, not a permanent one: the climate and expoſure of the ſituation will not allow a conjecture that it was deſigned for a continued ſtrong-hold. The breaſtworks are of earth, defended by moles at irregular diſtances, a mode not practiſed by the Romans. In the beginning of Ethelwold's reign, Oſwin, who claimed the crown as his right of inheritance, levied forces to recover it. This was the ſcene of a deciſive engagement; Oſwin having fortified himſelf ſtrongly, at length determined to put his claim to the iſſue of battle: the fight continued for three ſucceſſive days, beginning on the 6th of Auguſt, 761; but the event was fatal to Oſwin and his adherents, Oſwin dying in the field. It is moſt probable theſe fortifications were of the above date, when the diſpoſition of the crown of Northumberland was determined by the event I have mentioned.
King Alexander III. levied a great army in 1258, which rendezvouſed at Mailroſs, where the King continued ſome time. There is ſcarce an eminence on theſe borders, but what bears the marks of warfare. From the north-eaſt eminence there is a moſt extenſive and beautiful proſpect, commanding all the vale of Tweed down to Berwick, a fine though diſtant view of Tiviotdale; the northern and weſtern views are rugged and mountainous.
having kept the northern ſide of Tweed. The views on this ride were open and beautiful: we paſſed the ſeat of Dr Johnſton, finely covered with wood; alſo the ſeat of Lord Hume, around which extenſive plantations of young firs are ariſing, and already have an excellent effect upon the landſkip. The elegant houſe of Mr Majoribanks, by Coldſtream, loſes half its beauty in want of wood.