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Cornell University Library 
DA 670.L7R26 

Highways and byways In Lincolnshire 
3 1924 028 040 727 









Cornell University 

The original of tliis book is in 
tine Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 



Highways and Byways 













All writers make use of the labours of their predecessors. 
This is inevitable, and a custom as old as time. As Mr. Rudyard 
Kipling sings : — 

"When 'Omer smote 'is bloomin' lyre 
'E'd 'eard men sing by land and sea, 
■ And what 'e thought 'e might require 
'E went and took, the same as me." 

In writing this book I have made use of all the sources that 
I could lay under contribution, and especially I have relied for 
help on " Murray's Handbook," edited by the Rev. G. E. Jeans, 
and the Journals of the associated Architectural Societies. 
I have recorded in the course of the volume my thanks to a 
few kind helpers, and to these I must add the name of Mr. A. R. 
Corns of the Lincoln Library, for his kindness in allowing me 
the use of many books on various subjects, and on several 
occasions, which have been of the utmost service to me. My 
best thanks, also, are due to my cousin, Mr. Preston Rawnsley, 
for his chapter on the Foxhounds of Lincolnshire. That the 
book owes much to the pencil of Mr. Griggs is obvious ; his 
illustrations need no praise of mine but speak for themselves. 
The drawing given on p. 254 is by Mrs. Rawnsley. 

I have perhaps taken the title " Highways and Byways " 
more literally than has usually been done by writers in this 
interesting series, and in endeavouring to describe the county 
and its'ways I have followed the course of all the main roads 
radiating from each large town, noticing most of the places 
through or near which they pass, and also pointing out some 
of the more picturesque byways, and describing the lie of the 


country. But I have all along supposed the tourist to be 
travelling by motor, and have accordingly said very little 
about Footpaths. This in a mountainous country would be 
entirely wrong, but Lincolnshire as a whole is not a pedestrian's 
county. It is, however, a land of constantly occurring magni- 
ficent views, a land of hill as well as plain, and, as I hope the 
book will show, beyond all others a county teeming with 
splendid churches. I may add that, thanks to that modem 
devourer of time and space — the ubiquitous motor car — I have 
been able personally to visit almost everything I have 
described, a thing which in so large a county would, without 
such mercurial aid, have involved a "much longer time for the 
doing. Even so, no one can be more conscious than I am 
that the book falls far short of what, with such a theme, was 

W. F. R. 




































THE ISLE OF AXHOLME , . . . 2o8 






LOUTH 239 






















































BOSTON . _ Frontispiece 

ST. Leonard's priory, Stamford 8 

ST. George's square, stamford lo 















GREAT HALE -: . . 84 










ST. MARY's guild, LINCOLN ''° 


THE Jew's house, Lincoln ^^3 


ST. Mary's GUILD AND ST. Peter's AT GOWTS, LINCOLN. . • 125 

ST. benedict's CHURCH, LINCOLN - . . 127 














ST. Peter's, barton-on-humber - . 190 

ST. Mary's, barton-on-humber 192 

















MANBY 279 











SIBSEY ... 362 

CONINGSBY ... 369 












LEAKE CHURCH .... 415 

































MAP At e7id Volume 







In dealing with a county which measures seventy-five miles 
by forty-five, it will be best to assume that the tourist has either 
some form of " cycle " or, better still, a motor car. The rail- 
way helps one less in this than in most counties, as it naturally 
runs on the flat and unpicturesque portions, and also skirts the 
boundaries, and seldom attempts to pierce into the heart of 
the Wolds. Probably it would not be much good to the tourist 
if it did, as he would have to spend much of his time in tunnels 
which always come where there should be most to see, as on 
the Louth and Lincoln line between Withcal and South Wil- 
lingham. As it is, the only bit of railway by which a person 
could gather that Lincolnshire was anything but an ugly county 
is that between Lincoln and Grantham. 

But that it is a county with a great deal of beauty will be, 
I am sure, admitted by those who follow up the routes described 
in the following pages. They will find that it is a county famous 
for wide views, for wonderful sunsets, for hills and picturesque 
hollows ; and full, too, of the human interest which clings round 
old buildings, and the uplifting pleasure which its many splen- 
did specimens of architecture have power to bestow. 

B B 


At the outset the reader must identify himself so far with 
the people of Lincolnshire as to make himself at home in the 
universally accepted meanings of certain words and expres- 
sions which he will hear constantly recurring. He will soon 
come to know that ' siver ' means however, that ' slaape ' 
means slippery, that ' unheppen,' a fine old word ( — unhelpen), 
means awkward, that ' owry ' or ' howry ' means dirty ; but, 
having learnt this, he must not conclude that the word ' strange ' 
in ' straange an ' owry weather ' means anything unfamiliar. 
' Straange ' — perhaps the commonest adverbial epithet in 
general use in Lincolnshire — e.g. " you've bin a straange long 
while coming " only means very. But besides common con- 
versational expressions he will have to note that the well-known 
substantives ' Marsh ' and ' Fen ' bear in Lincolnshire a special 
meaning, neither of them now denoting bog or wet impassable 
places. The Fens are the rich flat corn lands, once perpetually 
flooded, but now drained and tilled ; the divisions between 
field and field being mostly ditches, small or big, and all full of 
water ; the soil is deep vegetable mould, fine, and free from 
stones, hardly to be excelled for both corn and roots ; while 
the Marsh is nearly all pasture land, stiffer in nature, and pro- 
ducing such rich grass that the beasts can grow fat upon it 
without other food. Here, too, the fields are divided by ditches 
or " dykes " and the sea wind blows over them with untiring 
energy, for the Marsh is all next the coast, being a belt averaging 
seven or eight miles in width, and reaching from the Wash to 
the Humber. 

From this belt the Romans, by means of a long embankment, 
excluded the waters of the sea ; and Nature's sand-dunes, aided 
by the works of man in places, keep up the Roman tradition. 
Even before the Roman bank was made, the Marsh differed 
from the Fen, in that the waters which used to cover the Jens 
were fed by the river floods and the waters from the hills, 
and it was not, except occasionally and along the course of a 
tidal river, Hable to inundation from the sea ; whereas the 
Marsh was its natural prey. Of course both Marsh and Fen 
are all level. But the third portion of the county is of quite 
a different character, and immediately you. get into it all the 
usual ideas about Lincolnshire being a flat, ugly county vanish 
and as this upland country extends over most of the northern 
half of the county, viz., from Spilsby to the Humber on the 


eastern side and from Grantham to the liumber on the western, 
it is obvious that no one can claim to know Lincolnshire who 
does not know the long lines of the Wolds, which are two long 
spines of upland running north and south, with fiat land on 
either side of them. 

These, back-bones of the county, though seldom reaching 
500 feet, come to their highest point of 530 between Walesby 
and Stainton-le-Vale, a valley set upon a hill over which a line 
would pass drawn from Grimsby to Market Rasen. The hilly 
*Wold region is about the same width as the level Marsh belt, 
averaging eight miles, but north of Caistor this narrows. There 
are no great streams from these Wolds, the most notable being 
the long brook whose parent branches run from Stainton-in- 
the-Vale and " Roman hole " near Thoresway, and uniting at 
Hatcliffe go out to the sea with the Louth River " Lud," the 
two streams joining at Tetney lock. 

North of Caistor the Wolds not only narrow, but drop by 
Bametby-le-Wold to 150 feet, and allow the railway lines from 
Barton-on-HumBer, New Holland and Grimsby to pass through 
to Brigg. This, however, is only a ' pass,' as the chalk ridge 
rises again near Elsham, and at Saxby attains a height of 
330 feet, whence it maintains itself at never less than 200 feet, 
right up to Ferriby-on-the-Humber. These Elsham and Saxby 
Wolds are but two miles across. 

Naturally this Wold region with the villages situated in its 
folds or on its fringes is the pretty part of the county, though 
the Marsh with its extended views, its magnificent sunsets and 
cloud effects, 

" The wide-winged sunsets of the misty Marsh," 

its splendid cattle and its interesting flora, its long sand-dunes 
covered with stout-growing grasses, sea holly and orange- 
berried buckthorn, and finally its magnificent sands, is full of 
a peculiar charm ; and then there are its splendid churches ; 
not so grand as the fen churches it is true, but so nobly planned 
and so unexpectedly full of beautiful old carved woodwork. 

West of tiiese Wolds is a belt of Fen-land lying between them 
and the ridge or ' cliff ' on which the great Roman Ermine 
Street runs north from Lincoln in a bee line for over thirty 
miles to the Humber near Winteringham, only four miles west 
of the end of the Wolds already mentioned at South Ferriby. 

B 2 


The high ridge of the Lincoln Wold is very narrow, a regular 
' Hogs back ' and broken down into a lower altitude between 
Blyborough and Kirton-in-Lindsey, and lower again a little 
further north near Scawby and still more a few miles further 
on where the railway goes through the pass between Appleby 
Station and Scunthorpe. 

From here a second ridge is developed parallel with the 
Lincoln Wold, and between the Wold and the Trent, the ground 
rising from Bottesford to Scunthorpe, reaching a height of 
220 feet on the east bank of the Trent near Burton-on-Statherv# 
and thence descending by Alkborough to the Humber at Whitton. 
The Trent which, roughly speaking, from Newark, and actually 
from North Clifton to the Humber, bounds the county on the 
west, runs through a low country of but little interest, overlooked 
for miles from the height which is crowned by Lincoln Minster. 
Only the Isle of Axholme lies outside of the river westwards. 

The towns of Gainsborough towards the north, and Stamford 
at the extreme south guard this western boundary. Beyond 
the Minster the Lincoln Wold continues south through the 
Sleaford division of Kesteven to Grantham, but in a modified 
form, rising into stiff hills only to the north-east and south- 
west of Grantham, and thence passing out of the county into 
Leicestershire. A glance at a good map will show that the ridge 
along which the Ermine Street and the highway from Lincoln 
to Grantham run for seventeen miles, as far, that is, as Ancaster, 
is not a wide one ; but drops to the flats more gently east of the 
Ermine Street than it does to the west of the Grantham road. 
From Sleaford, where five railway lines converge, that which 
goes west passes through a natural break in the ridge by 
Ancaster, the place from which, next- after the " Barnack rag," 
all the best stone of the churches of Lincolnshire has always 
been quarried. South of Ancaster the area of high ground is 
much wider, extending east and west from the western boun- 
dary of the county to the road which runs from Sleaford to 
Bourne and Stamford. 

Such being the main features of the county, it will be as well 
to lay down a sort of itinerary showing the direction in which 
we will proceed and the towns which we propose to visit as 
we go. 

Entering the county from the south, at Stamford, we will 
make for Sleaford. These are the two towns which give their 


names to the divisions of South and North Kesteven. Grantham 
lies off to the west, about midway between the two. As this 
is the most important town in the division of Kesteven, after 
taking some of the various roads which radiate from Sleaford 
we will make Grantham our centre, then leave South Kesteven 
for Sleaford again, and thence going on north we shall reach 
Lincoln just over the North Kesteven boundary, and so continue 
to Gainsborough and Brigg, from which the west and north 
divisions of Lindsey are named. From each of the towns we 
have mentioned we shall trace the roads which lead from them 
in all directions ; and then, after entering the Isle of Axholme 
and touching the Humber at Barton and the North Sea at 
Cleethorpes and Grimsby, we shall turn south to the Louth 
and Horncastle (in other words the east and south) divisions of 
Lindsey, and, so going down the east coast, we shall, after 
visiting Alford and Spilsby, both in South Lindsey, arrive at 
Boston and then at Spalding, both in the " parts of Holland," 
and finally pass out of the county near the ancient abbey of 

By this itinerary we shall journey all round the huge county, 
going up, roughly speaking, on the west and returning by the 
east ; and shall see, not only how it is divided into the political 
" parts " of Kesteven, Lindsey and Holland, but also note as 
we go the characteristics of the land and its three component 
elements of Fen, Wold and Marsh. 

We have seen that the Wolds, starting from the Humber, 
run in two parallel ridges ; that on the west side of the county 
reaching the whole way from north to south, but that on the 
east only going half the way and ending abruptly at West Keal, 
near Spilsby. 

All that lies east of the road running from Lincoln by Sleaford 
and Bourne to Stamford, and south of a line drawn from Lincoln 
to Wainfieet is " Fen," and includes the southern portion of 
South Lindsey, the eastern half of Kesteven, and the whole of 

In this Fen country great houses are scarce. But the great 
monasteries clung to the Fens and they were mainly responsible 
for the creation of the truly magnificent Fen churches which 
are most notably grouped in the neighbourhood of Boston, 
Sleaford and Spalding. In writing of the Fens, therefore, the 
churches are the chief things to be noticed, and this is largely, 


though not so entirely^ the case in the Marsh district also. 
Hence I have ventured to describe these Lincolnshire churches 
of the Marsh and Fen at greater length than might at first sight 
seem warrantable. 

It would make it easier to follow these descriptions if the 
reader were first to master the dates and main characteristics 
of the different periods of architecture and their order of sequence. 
Thus, roughly speaking, we may assign each style to one century, 
though of course the style and the century were not in any 
case exactly coterminous. 

nth Century Norman | titvi. j i_ 

i2th „ Transition I With round arches. 

13th „ Early English (E.E.) ] 

14th „ Decorated (Dec.) > With pointed arches. 

15th „ Perpendicular (Perp.) J 



The North Road — Churches— Browne's Hospital — Brasenose College — 
Daniel Lambert — Burghley House and " The Peasant Countess." 

The Great Northern line, after leaving Peterborough, enters 
the county at Tallington, five miles east of Stamford. Stamford 
is eighty-nine miles north of London, and forty miles south of 
Lincoln. Few towns in England are more interesting, none 
more picturesque. The Romans with their important station 
of Durobrivae at Castor, and another still nearer at Great 
Casterton, had no need to occupy Stamford in force, though 
they doubtless guarded the ford where the Ermine Street crossed 
the Welland, and possibly paved the water-way, whence arose 
the name Stane-ford. The river here divides the counties of 
Lincoln and Northamptonshire, and on the north-west of the 
town a little bit of Rutland runs up, but over three-quarters 
of the town is in our county. The Saxons always considered 
it an important town, and as early as 664 mention is made in 
a charter of Wulfhere, King of Mercia, of " that part of Staun- 
forde beyond the bridge," so the town was already on both 
sides of the river. Later again, in Domesday Book, the King's 
borough of Stamford is noticed as paying tax for the army, 
navy and Danegelt, also it is described as " having six wards, 
five in Lincolnshire and one in Hamptonshire, but all pay 
customs and dues alike, except the last in which the Abbot of 
Burgh (Peterborough) had and hath Gabell and toll." 

This earty bridge was no doubt a pack-horse bridge, and an 
arch on the west side of St. Mary's Hill still bears the name of 
Packhorse Arch. 


St. Leonard's Priory is the oldest building in the neighbour- 
hood. After Oswy, King of Northumbria, had defeated Penda, 
the pagan King of Mercia, he gave the government of this part 
of the conquered province to Penda's son Paeda, and gave land 





S/. Leonard's Priory, Stamford. 

m Stamford to his son's tutor^ Wilfrid, and here, in 658, Wilfrid 
built the priory of St. Leonard which he bestowed on his mon- 
astery at Lmdisfame, and when the monks removed thence 
to Durham it became a cell of the priory of Durham. Doubtless 
the buildmg was destroyed by the Danes, but it was refounded 


in 1082 by the Conqueror and William of Carilef, the then 
Bishop of Durham. 

The Danish marauders ravaged the country^ but were met 
at Stamford by a stout resistance from Saxons and Britons 
combined ; but in the end they beat the Saxons and nearly 
destroyed Stamford in 870. A few years later, when, after the 
peace of Wedmore, Alfred the Great gave terms to Guthrum on 
condition that he kept away to the north of the Watling Street, 
the five towns of Stamford, Leicester, Nottingham, Derby and 
Lincoln were left to the Danes for strongholds ; of these Lincoln 
then, as now, was the chief. 

The early importance of Stamford may be gauged by the 
facts that Parliament was convened there more than once in 
the fourteenth century, and several Councils of War and of State 
held there. One of these was called by Pope Boniface IX. to 
suppress the doctrines of Wyclif. There, too, a large number 
of nobles met to devise some check on King John, who was often 
in the neighbourhood either at Kingscliffe, in Rockingham 
Forest, or at Stamford itself — and from thence they marched 
to Runnymede. 

The town was on the Great North Road, so that kings, when 
moving up and down their realm, naturally stopped there. A 
good road also went east and west, hence, just outside the town 
gate on the road leading west towards Geddington and North- 
ampton, a cross (the third) was set up in memory of the halting 
of Queen Eleanor's funeral procession in 1293 on its way from 
Harby near Lincoln to Westminster. 

There was a castle near the ford in the tenth century, and 
Danes and Saxons alternately held it until the Norman Conquest. 
The city, like the ancient Thebes, had a wall with seven gates 
besides posterns, one of which still exists in the garden of 9, Bam 
Hill, the house in which Alderman Wolph hid Charles I. on his 
last visit to Stamford in 1646. Most of the buildings which 
once made Stamford so very remarkable were the work of the 
twelfth and thirteenth centuries, and as they comprised fifteen 
churches, six priories, with hospitals, schools and almshouses 
in corresponding numbers, the town must have presented a 
beautiful appearance, more especially so because the stone used 
in all these buildings, public and private, is of such exceptionally 
good character, being from the neighbouring quarries of Barnacle, 
Ketton and Clipsham. But much of this glory of stone build- 


ing and Gothic architecture was destroyed in the year 1461 ; 
and for this reason. It happened that, just as Henry HI. had 
given it to his son Edward I. on his marriage with Eleanor of 
Castile in 1254, so, in 1363, Edward III. gave the castle and 
manor of Stamford to his son Edmund of Langley, Duke of 
York ; this, by attaching the town to the Yorkist cause, when 

Si. George's Square^ Stmiifot-d. 

Lincolnshire was mostly Lancastrian, brought about its destruc- 
tion, for after the battle of St. Alban's in 1461, the Lancastrians 
under Sir Andrew Trollope utterly devastated the town, destroy- 
ing everything, and, though some of the churches were rebuilt, 
the town never recovered its former magnificence. It still looks 
beautiful with its six churches, its many fragments of arch or 
wall and several fine old almshouses which were built subse- 

11 CITY y\RMS il 

quently, but it lost either then or at the dissolution more than 
double of what it has managed to retain. Ten years later the 
courage shown by the men of Stamford at the battle of Emping- 
ham or " Bloody Oaks " close by, on the North Road, where 
the Lancastrians were defeated, caused Edward IV. to grant 
permission for the roval lions to be placed on the civic shield 

Mary's Street, Stamford. 

of Stamford, side by side with the arms of Earl Warren. He 
had had the manorial rights of Stamford given to him by King 
John in 1206, and he is said to have given the butchers a field in 
which to keep a bull to be baited annually on November 13. 
and the barbarous practice of " bull running " in the streets 
was actually kept up till 1839, and then only abolished with 



Of the six churches, St. Mary's and All Saints have spires. 
St. Mary's, on a hill which slopes to the river, is a fine arcaded 
Early English tower with a broach spire of later date, but full 
of beautiful work in statue and canopy, very much resembling 
that at Ketton in Rutland. There are three curious round 
panels with interlaced work over the porch, and a rich altar 
tomb with very lofty canopy that commemorates Sir David 
Phillips and his wife. They had served Margaret Countess of 
Richmond, the mother of Henry VII., who resided at Colly- 
weston close by. The body of the church is rather crowded 
together and not easy to view. In this respect All Saints, 
with its turrets, pinnacles and graceful spire, and its double 
belfry lights under one hood moulding as at Grantham, has the 
advantage. Moreover the North Road goes up past it, and the 
market place gives plenty of space all round it. Inside, the 
arcade columns are cylindrical and plain on the north, but 
clustered on the south side, with foliated capitals. This church 
is rich in brasses, chiefly of the great wool-merchant family of 
Browne, one of whom, William, founded a magnificent hospital 
and enlarged the church, and in all probability built the hand- 
some spire ; he was buried in 1489. The other churches all 
have square towers, that of St. John's Church is over the last 
bay of the north aisle, and at the last bay of the south aisle 
is a porch. The whole construction is excellent, pillars tall, 
roof rich and windows graceful, and it once was filled with 
exceptionally fine stained glass. St. George's Church, being 
rebuilt with fragments of other destroyed churches, shows a 
curious mixture of octagonal and cylindrical work in the same 
pillars. St. Michael's and St. Martin's are the other two, of 
which the latter is across the water in what is called Stamford 
Baron, it is the burial place of the Cecils and it is not far from 
the imposing gateway into Burghley Park. This church and 
park, with the splendid house designed by John Thorpe for the 
great William Cecil in 1565, are all in the diocese of Peter- 
borough, and the county of Northampton. We shall have to 
recall the church when we speak of the beautiful windows 
which Lord Exeter was allowed by the Fortescue family to take 
from the Collegiate Church of Tattershall, and which are now in 
St. Martin's, where they are extremely badly set with bands 
of modem glass interrupting the old. Another remnant of a 
church stands on the north-west of the town, St. Paul's. This 



ruin was made over as early as the sixteenth century for use 
as a schoolroom for RadcUffe's Grammar School. ' Schools, 
hospitals or almshouses once abounded in Stamford, where the 
latter are often called Callises, being the benefactions of the 

Si, Paufs Street, Stamfords 

great wool merchants of the Staple of Calais. The chief of 
all these, and one which is still in use, is Browne's Hospital, 
founded in 1480 by a Stamford merchant who had been six times 
Mayor, for a Warden, a Confrater, ten poor men, and two poor 



women. It had a long dormitory hall, with central passage 
from which the brethren's rooms opened on either side, and, at 
one end, beyond a carved screen, is the chapel with tall windows, 
stalls and carved bench-ends, and a granite alms box. An 
audit room is above the hall or dormitory, with good glass, and 
Browne's own house, with large gateway to admit the wool- 
wagons, adjoined the chapel. It was partly rebuilt with new 
accommodation in 1870 ; the cloister and hall and chapel remain 
as they were. One more thing must be noted. In the north-west 
and near the old St. Paul's Church schoolroom is a beautiful 
Early English gateway, which is all that remains of Brasenose 
College. The history is a curious one. Violent town and 
gown quarrels resulting even in murders, at Oxford in 1260, 
had caused several students to migrate to Northampton, where 
Henry III. directed the mayor to give them every accommoda- 
tion ; but in 1266, probably for reasons connected with civil 
strife, the license was revoked, and, whilst many returned to 
Oxford, many preferred to go further, and so came to Stamford, 
a place known to be well supplied with halls and requisites for 
learning. Here they were joined in 1333 by a further body of 
Oxford men who were involved in a dispute between the north- 
ern and southern scholars, the former complaining that they 
were unjustly excluded from Merton College Fellowships. The 
Durham Monastery took their side and doubtless offered them 
shelter at their priory of St. Leonard's, Stamford. Then, as 
other bodies of University seceders kept joining them, they 
thought seriously of setting up a University, and petitioned 
King Edward III. to be allowed to remain under his protection 
at Stamford. But the Universities petitioned against them, 
and the King ordered the Sheriff of Lincolnshire to turn them 
out, promising them redress when they were back in Oxford. 
Those who refused were punished by confiscation of goods and 
fines, and the two Universities passed Statutes imposing an 
oath on all freshmen that they would not read or attend lectures 
at Stamford. In 1292 Robert Luttrell of Irnham gave a manor 
and the parish church of St. Peter, near Stamford, to the priory at 
Sempringham, being " desirous to increase the numbers of the 
convent and that it might ever have scholars at Stamford 
studying divinity and philosophy." This refers to Sempring- 
ham Hall, one of the earliest buildings of Stamford University. 
A glance at a plan of the town would show that it is exactly 



like a maze, no street runs on right through it in any direction, 
and, for a stranger, it is incredibly difficult to find a way out. 
To the south-west, and all along the eastern edge on the river- 
meadows outside the walls, were large enclosures belonging to 
the different Friaries, on either side of the road to St. Leonard's 

St. Peter's Hill, Stamford. 

Priory. No town lias lost more by the constant depredations 
of successive attacking forces ; first the Danes, then the Wars 
of the Roses, then the dissolution of the religious houses, then 
the Civil War, ending with a visit from Cromwell in his most 
truculent mood, fresh from the mischief done by his soldiers 
in and around Croyland and Peterborough. But, even now, 
its grey stone buildings, its well-chosen site, its river, its neigh- 


bouring bills and wooded park, make it a town more than ordi- 
narily attractive. Of distinguished natives, we need only- 
mention the great Lord Burleigh, who served with distinction 
through four reigns, and Archdeacon Johnson, the founder of 
the Oakham and Uppingham Schools and hospitals in 1584, 
though Uppingham as it now is^ was the creation of a far 
greater man, the famous Edward Thring, a pioneer of modem 
educational methods, in the last half of the nineteenth century. 
Archbishop Laud, who is so persistently mentioned as having 
been once Vicar of St. Martin's, Stamford, was never there ; 
his vicarage was Stanford-on-Avon. But undoubtedly Stam- 
ford's greatest man in one sense was Daniel Lambert, whose 
monument, in St. Martin's churchyard, date 1809, speaks 
of his " personal greatness " and tells us that he weighed 
52 stone II lbs., adding " N.B. the stone of 141b." The 
writer once, when a schoolboy, went with another to see his 
clothes, which were shown at the Daniel Lambert Inn ; and, 
when the two stood back to back, the armhole of his spacious 
waistcoat was slipped over their heads and fell loosely round 
them to the ground. 

This enormous personage must not be confounded with 
another Daniel Lambert, who was Lord Mayor and Member 
for the City of London in Walpole's time, about 1740. 

It is quite a matter of regret that " Burleigh House near 
Stamford town " is outside the county boundary''. Of all the 
great houses in England, it always strikes me as being the mo^st 
satisfying and altogether the finest, and a fitting memorial of 
the great Lincolnshire man William Cecil, who, after serving 
in the two previous reigns, was Elizabeth's chief Minister for 
forty years. " The Lord of Burleigh " of Tennyson's poem 
lived two centuries later, but he, too, with "the peasant 
Countess " lived eventually in the great house. Lady Dorothy 
Nevill, in My Own Times published in 1912, gives a clear 
account of the facts commemorated in the poem. She tells us 
that Henry Cecil, tenth Earl of Exeter, before he came into the 
title was divorced from his wife in 1791, owing to her mis- 
conduct ; being almost broken-hearted he retired to a village 
in Shropshire, called Bolas Magna, where he worked as a farm 
servant to one Hoggins who had a mill. Tennyson makes him 
more picturesquely " a landscape painter." He often looked 
in at the vicarage and had a mug of ale with the servants, who 


called him " Gentleman Harry." The clergyman, Mr. Dickenson, 
became interested in him, and often talked with him, and used 
to invite him to smoke an evening pipe with him in the study. 
Mr. Hoggins had a daughter Sarah, the beauty of Bolas, and 
they became lovers. With the clergyman's aid Cecil, not 
'without difficulty, persuaded Hoggins to allow the marriage, 
which took place at St. Mildred's, Bread Street, October 30th, 
1791, his broken heart having mended fairly quickly. He was 
now forty years of age, and before the marriage he had told 
Dickenson who he was. For two years they lived in a small 
farm, when, from a Shrewsbury paper, " Mr. Cecil " learnt that 
he had succeeded liis uncle in the title and the possession of 
Burleigh House and estate. Thither in due course he took his 
bride. Her picture is on the wall, but she did not live long. 

" For a trouble weighed upon her, 

And perplexed her night and morn, 
With the burthen of an honour 

Unto which she was not born. 
Faint she grew and even fainter, 

And she murmured ' Oh that he 
Were once more that landscape painter 

That did win my heart from me ' ! 
So she drooped and drooped before him. 

Fading slowly from his side ; 
Three fair children first she bore him, 

Then before her time she died. " 

S Lam/ord from Freeman's Close. 



Tickencote— ' ' Bloody Oaks "— Holy well— TalUngton—Barholm — Great- 
ford —Witham-on-the-Hill— Dr. Willis — West Deeping — Market 
Deeping— Deeping-St.-James— Richard de Rulos — Braceborough— 

Of the eight roads which run to Stamford, the Great North 
Road which here coincides with the Roman Ermine Street is 
the chief ; and this enters from the south through Northampton- 
shire and goes out by the street called " Scotgate " in a north- 
westerly direction through Rutland. It leaves Lincolnshire at 
Great or Bridge Casterton on the river Gwash ; one mile further 
it passes the celebrated church of Tickencote nestling in a hollow 
to the left, where the wonderful Norman chancel arch of five 
orders outdoes even the work at Iffley near Oxford, and the 
wooden effigy of a knight reminds one of that of Robert Duke 
of Normandy at Gloucester. Tickencote is the home of the 
Wingfields, and the villagers in 147 1 were near enough to hear 
" the Shouts of war " when the Lincolnshire Lancastrians fled 
from the fight on Loosecoat Field after a slaughter which is 
commemorated on the map by the name " Bloody Oaks." 
Further on, the road passes Stretton, ' the village on the street,' 
whence a lane to the right takes you to the famed Clipsham 
quarries just on the Rutland side of the boundary, and over it 
to the beautiful residence of Colonel Birch Reynardson at 
Holywell. Very soon now the Ermine Street, after doing its 
ten miles in Rutland, passes by " Morkery Wood " back into 

The only Stamford Road which is all the time in our county 
is the eastern road through Market Deeping to Spalding, this 


soon after leaving Stamford passes near Uffington Hall, built 
in 1688 by Robert Bertie, son of Montague, second Earl of 
Lindsey, he whose father fell at Edgehill. On the northern 
outskirt of the parish Lord Kesteven has a fine Elizabethan 
house called Casewick Hall. Round each house is a well- 
timbered park, and at Uffington Hall the approach is by a fine 
avenue of limes. At Tallington, where the road crosses the 
Great Northern line, the church, like several in the neighbour- 
hood, has some Saxon as well as Norman work, and the original 
Sanctus bell still hangs in a cot surmounting the east end of the 
nave. It is dedicated to St. Lawrence. 

South Lincolnshire seems to have been rather rich in Saxon 
churches, and two of the best existing towers of that period at 
Barnack and Wittering in Northamptonshire are within three 
miles of Stamford, one on either side of the Great North Road. 

Bar^o Zw Church, near Tallington, has some extremely massive 
Norman arches and a fine door with diapered tympanum. The 
tower was restored in the last year of Charles L, and no one 
seems to have been more surprised than the churchwarden or 
parson or mason of the time, for we find carved on it these 
lines : — 

" Was ever such a thing 
Sence the creation ? 
A new steeple built 
In the time of vexation. 

I. II. 1643." 

An old Hall adds to the interest of the place, and another 
charming old building is Mr. Peacock's Elizabethan house in the 
next parish of Greatford, or, as it should be spelt, Gretford or 
Gritford, the grit or gravel ford of the river Glen, just as Stam- 
ford should be Stanford or Staneford, the stone-paved ford of the 
Welland. Gretford Church is remarkable if only for the unusual 
position of the tower as a south transept, a similar thing being 
seen at Witham-on-the-Hill, four miles oiiE, in Rutland. Five 
of the bells there are re-casts of some which-once hung in Peter- 
borough Cathedral, and the fifth has the date 1831 and a 
curious inscription. General Johnson I used to see when I was a 
boy at Uppingham ; he was the patron of the school, and theone 
man among the governors of the school who was always a friend 
to her famous headmaster, Edward Thring. But why he wrote 
the last line of this inscription I can't conceive : — 

c 2 

20 THE DEEPINGS chap. 

" 'Twas not to prosper pride and hate 
William Augustus Johnson gave me, 
But peace and joy to celebrate ; 
And call to prayer to heaven to save ye. 
Then keep the terms, and e'er remember, 
May 29 ye must not ring 
Nor yet the 5th of each November 
Nor on the crowning of a king. " 

To return to Gretford. In the north transept is a square 
opening, in the sill of which is a curious hollow all carved with 
foliage^ resembling one in the chancel at East Kirkby, near 
Spilsby, where it is supposed to have been a sort of alms dish 
for votive offerings. Here, too, is a bust by NoUekens of a man 
who had a considerable reputation in his time^ and who occupied 
more than one house in this neighbourhood and built a private 
asylum at Shillingthorpe near Braceborough for his patients, a 
distinguished clientele who used to drive their teams all about 
the neighbourhood ; this was Dr. F. Willis, the mad-doctor who 
attended George III. But these are all ' side shows,' and we 
must get back to Tallington. The road from here goes through 
West Deeping, which, like the manor of Market Deeping, be- 
longed to the Wakes. Here we find a good font with eight 
shields of arms, that of the Wakes being one, and an almost 
unique old low chancel screen of stone, the surmounting wood- 
work has gone and the west face is filled in with poor modern 
mosaic. Within three miles the Bourne-and-Peterborough road 
crosses the Stamford-and-Spalding road at Market Deeping, 
where there is a large church, once attached to Croyland, and 
a most interesting old house used as the rectory. This was 
the refectory of a priory, and has fine roof timbers. The manor 
passed through Joan, daughter of Margaret Wake, to the Black 
Prince. Two miles further, the grand old priory church of 
Deeping-St.-James lies a mile to the left. This was attached 
as a cell to Thorney Abbey in 1139, by the same Baldwin Fitz- 
Gilbert who had founded Bourne Abbey. A diversion of a 
couple of miles northwards would bring us to a fine tower and 
spire at Langtoft, once a dependency of Medehamstead ^ Abbey 
at Peterborough, together with which it was ruthlessly des- 
troyed by Swegen in 1013. On the roof timbers are some 
beautifully carved figures of angels, and carved heads project 
from the nave pillars. The south chantry is a large one, with 
' Or IMedeshamstede = Meadow homestead. 


three arches opening into the chancel, and has several inter- 
esting features. Amongst these is a handsome aumbry, which 
may have been used as an Easter sepulchre. The south chantry 
opens from the chancel with three arches, and has some good 
carving and a piscina with a finely constructed canopy. There 
is a monument to EKzabeth Moulesworth, 1648, and a brass 
plate on the tomb of Sarah, wife of Bernard Walcot, has this 
pretty inscription : — 

Thou bedd of rest, reserve for him a roome 
Who lives a man divorced from his deare wife, 
That as they were one hart so this one tombe 
May hold them near in death as linckt in life, 
She's gone before, and after comes her head 
To sleepe with her among the blessed dead. 

At Scamblesby, between Louth and Homcastle, is another 
pathetic inscription on a wife's tomb : — 

To Margaret Coppinger wife of Francis Thorndike 1629. 

Dilectissimae conjugi Msestissimus maritorum Franciscus 


L. (apidem) M. (armoreum) P. (osuit) 

The old manor house of the Hyde family is at the north end 
of the village. The road for the next ten miles over Deeping 
Fen is uninteresting as a road can be. But this will be amply 
made up for in another chapter when we shape our eastward 
course from Spalding to Holbeach and Gedney. 

In Deeping Fen between Bourne, Spalding, Crowland and 
Market Deeping there is about fifty square miles of fine fat 
land, and Marrat tells us that as early as the reign of Edward 
the Confessor, Egelric, the Bishop of Durham, who, having been 
once a monk at Peterborough, knew the value of the land, in 
order to develop the district, made a cord road of timber and 
gravel all the way from Deeping to Spalding. The province 
then belonged to the Lords of Brunne or Bourne. In Norman 
times Richard De Rulos, Chamberlain of the Conqueror, married 
the daughter of Hugh de Evermue, Lord of Deeping. Their 
only daughter married Baldwin FitzGilbert, and his daughter 
and heiress married Hugh de Wake, who managed the forest 
of Kesteven for Henry III., which forest reached to the bridge 
at Market Deeping. Richard De Rulos, who was the father of 
all Lincolnshire farmers, aided by Ingulphus, Abbot of Croy- 


land, set himself to enclose and drain the fen land, to till the 
soil or convert it into pasture and to breed cattle. He banked 
out the Welland which used to flood the fen e^'ery year, whence 
it got its name of Deeping or the deep meadows, and on the bank 
he set up tenements with gardens attached, which were the 
beginnings of Market Deeping. He further enlarged _ St. 
Guthlac's chapel into a church, and then planted another little 
colony at Deeping-St.- James, where his son-in-law, who carried 
on his activities, built the priory. De Rulos was in fact a model 
landlord, and the result was that the men of Deeping, like 
Jeshuron, " waxed fat and kicked," and the abbots of Croyland 
had endless contests with them for the next 300 years for con- 
stant trespass and damage. Probably this was the reason why 
the Wakes set up a castle close by Deeping, but on the North- 
ampton side of the Welland at Maxey, which was inhabited 
later by Lady Margaret, Countess of Richmond, the mother of 
Henry VII., who, in addition to all her educational benefactions, 
was also a capital farmer and an active member of the Com- 
missioners of Sewers. 

We must now get back to Stamford. Even the road which 
goes due north to Bourne soon finds itself outside the county ; 
for Stamford is placed on a mere tongue or long pointed nose of 
land belonging to Lincolnshire, in what is aptly termed the 
Wapentake of ' Ness.' However, after four miles in Rutland, 
it passes the four cross railroads at Essendine Junction, and soon 
after re-crosses the boundary near Carlby. Essendine Church 
consists simply of a Norman nave and chancel. Here, a little 
to the right lies Braceborough Spa, where water gushes from the 
limestone at the rate of a million and a half gallons daily. This 
is a great district for curative springs. There is one five miles 
to the west at Holywell which, with its stream and lake and 
finely timbered grounds, is one of the beauty spots of Lincoln- 
shire, and at the same distance to the north are the strong 
springs of Bourne. We hear of a chalybeate spring " continu- 
ally boihng " or gushing up, for it was not hot, near the church 
at Billingborough, and another at Stoke Rochford, each place 
a good ten miles from Bourne and in opposite directions. Great 
Ponton too, near Stoke Rochford, is said to " abound in Springs 
of pure water rising out of the rock and running into the river 
Witham." The church at Braceborough had a fine brass once 
to Thomas De Wasteneys, who died of the Black Death in 1349. 


After Carlby there is little of interest on the road itself till it 
tops the. hill beyond Toft whence, on an autumn day, a grand 
view opens out across the fens to the Wash and to Boston on 
the north-east, and the panorama sweeps southward past 
Spalding to the time-honoured abbey of Croyland, and on again 
to the long grey pile of Peterborough Minster, once islands in a 
trackless fen (the impenetrable refuge of the warlike and uncon- 
quered Gervii or fenmen), but now a level plain of cornland 
covered, as far as eye can see, with the richest crops imagin- 
able. Ahttle further north we reach the Colsterworth road, and 
turning east, enter the old town of Bourne, now only notable as 
the junction of the Great Northern and Midland Railways. 
Since 1893 the inhabitants have used an " e " at the end of the 
name to distinguish it from Bourn in Cambridgeshire. Near 
the castle hill is a strong spring called " Peter's Pool," or Bourn- 
well-head, the water of which runs through the town and is 
copious enough to furnish a water supply for Spalding. This 
castle, mentioned by Ingulphus in his history of Croyland Abbey, 
existed in the eleventh century ; possibly the Romans had a fort 
here to guard both the ' Carr Dyke ' which passes by the east 
side of the town, and also the King's Street, a Roman road 
which, splitting off from the Ermine Street at Castor, runs 
through Bourne due north to Sleaford. There was an outer 
moat enclosing eight acres, and an inner moat of one acre, 
inside which " on a mount of earth cast up with mene's hands " 
stood the castle, once the stronghold of the Wakes. To-day a 
maze of grassy mounds alone attests the site, amongst which 
the " Bourn or Brunne gushes out in a strong clear stream." 
Marrat in his " History of Lincolnshire " tells us that as early 
as 870 Morchar, Lord of Brun, fell fighting at the battle of 
Threekingham. Two hundred years later we have " Hereward 
the Wake " li\'ing at Bourn, and in the twelfth century " Hugh 
De Wac " married Emma, daughter and heir of Baldwin Fitz- 
Gilbert, who led some of King Stephen's forces in the battle of 
Lincoln and refused to desert his king. Hugh founded the 
abbey of Bourn in 11 38 on the site of an older building of the 
eighth or ninth century. 

Six generations later, Margaret de Wake married Edmund 
Plantagenet of Woodstock, Earl of Kent, the sixth son of 
Edward I., and their daughter, born 1328, was Joan, the Fair 
Maid of Kent, who was finally married to Edward the Black 



Prince. Their son was the unfortunate Richard II.^ and through 
them the manor of Bourn, which is said to have been bestowed 

Bourne Abbey Church. 

on Baldwin, Count of Brienne, by William Rufus, passed back 
to the Crown. Hereward is supposed to have been buried in 
the abbey in which only a little of the early building remains. 


Certainly he was one of Bourn's famous natives, Cecil Lord 
Burleigh, the great Lord Treasurer, being another, of whom it 
was said that " his very enemies sorrowed for his death." Job 
Hartop, born 1550, who sailed with Sir John Hawkins and 
spent ten years in the galleys, and thirteen more in a Spanish 
prison, but came at last safe home to Bourn, deserves honour- 
able mention, and Worth, the Parisian costumier, was also a 
native who has made himself a name ; but one of the most note- 
worthy of all Bourn's residents was Robert Manning, born at 
Malton, and canon of the Gilbertine Priory of Six Hills. He is 
best known as Robert de Brunne, from his long residence in 
Bourn, where he wrote his " Chronicle of the History of 
England." This is a Saxon or English metrical version of 
Wace's Norman-French translation of the " Chronicles of 
Geoffrey of Monmouth," and of Peter Langtoft's " History of 
England," which was also written in French. This work he 
finished in 1338, on the 200th anniversary of the founding of 
the abbey ; and in 1303, when he was appointed " Magister " 
in Bourn Abbey, he wrote his " Handlynge of Sin," also a 
translation from the French, in the preface to which he has the 
following lines : — 

For men unlearned I undertook 

In English speech to write this book, . 

For many be of such mannere 

That tales and rhymes will gladly hear. 

On games and feasts and at the ale 

Men love to hear a gossip's tale 

That leads perhaps to villainy 

Or deadly sin, or dull folly. 

For such men have I made this rhyme 

That they may belter spend their time. 

To all true Christians under sun, 

To good and loyal men of Brunn, 

And specially all by name 

O' the Brotherhood of Sempringhame," 

Robert of Brunn now greeteth ye, 

And prays for your prosperity. 

Robert was a translator and no original composer, but he was 
the first after Layamon, the Worcestershire monk who lived 
just before him, to write English in its present form. Chaucer 
followed him, then Spenser, after which all was easy. But he 
was, according to Freeman, the pioneer who created standard 



English by giving .the language of the natives a literary- 

It is difficult to see the abbey church, it is so hemmed in by 
buildings, and it never seems to have been completed. At the 
west end is some very massive work. In the churchyard there 
is a curious epitaph on Thomas Tye, a blacksmith, the first six 

The Station Htmse, Bourne. 

lines of which are also found on a gravestone in Haltham church- 
yard near Horn castle : — 

My sledge and hammer lie reclined, 
My bellows too have lost their wind, 
My fire's extinct, my forge decayed, 
And in the dust my vice is laid, 


My coal is spent, my iron's gone, 
My nails are drawn, my work is done. 
My fire-dryed corpse lies here at rest, 
My soul like smoke is soaring to the bles't. 

There is a charming old grey stone grammar school, possibly 
the very building in which Robert De Brunne taught when 
" Magister " at the abbey at the beginning of the fourteenth 
century. The station-master's house, called " Red Hall," is a 
picturesque Elizabethan brick building once the home of the Catholic leader, Sir John Thimbleby, and afterwards of 
the Digbys. Sir Everard Digby, whose fine monument is in 
Stoke Dry Church near Uppingham, was born here. Another 
house is called " Cavalry House " because Thomas Rawnsley, 
great grandfather of the writer, was Uving there when he raised 
at his own expense and drilled a troop of " Light Horse Rangers " 
at the time when Buonaparte threatened to invade England. 
Lady Heathcote, whose husband commanded them, gave him 
a handsome silver goblet in 1808, in recognition of his services. 
He died in 1826, and in the spandrils of the north arcade in 
Bourne Abbey Church are memorial tablets to him and to his 
wife Deborah (Hardwicke) " and six of their children who died 



The Carr Dyke— Thurlby— Edenham— Grimsthorpe Castle— King's Street 
— Swinstead— Stow Green — Folldngham— Haydor— Silk Willoughby 
— Rippingale — Billingborough — Horbling — Sempringham and the 

Bourne itself is in the fen, just off the Lincolnshire limestone. 
From it the railways run to all the four points of the compass, 
but it is only on the west, towards Nottingham, that any cutting 
was needed. Due north and south runs the old Roman road, 
keeping just along the eastern edge of the Wold ; parallel with it, 
and never far off, the railway line keeps on the level fen by 
Billingborough and Sleaford to Lincoln, a distance of five-and- 
thirty miles, and all the way the whole of the land to the east 
right up to the coast is one huge tract of flat fenland scored 
with dykes, with only few roads, but with railways fairly 
frequent, running in absolute straight lines for miles, and with 
constant level crossings. 

One road which goes south from Bourne is interesting be- 
cause it goes along by the ' Carr Dyke,' that great engineering 
work of the Romans, which served to catch the water from the 
hills and drain it off so as to prevent the flooding of the fens. 
Rennie greatly admired it, and adopted the same principle in 
laying out his great " Catchwater " drain, affectionately spoken 
of by the men in the fens as ' the owd Catch.' The Carr Dyke 
was a canal fifty-six miles long and fifty feet wide, with broad, 
flat banks, and connected the Nene at Peterborough with the 
Witham at Washingborough near Lincoln. From Washing- 
borough southwards to Martin it is difficult to trace, but it is 
visible at Walcot, thence it passed by Billinghay and north 



Kyme through Heckington Fertj east of HorbHng and Billing- 
borough and the Great Northern Railway line to Bourne. Two 
miles south of this we come to the best preserved bit of it in the 
parish of Thurlby, or Thoroldby, once a Northman now a Lincoln- 
shire name. The " Bourne Eau " now crosses it and empties 
into the River Glen, which itself joins the Welland at Stamford. 

Thurlby Church stands only a few yards from the ' Carr Dyke/ 
it is full of interesting work, and is curiously dedicated to St. 
Firmin, a bishop of Amiens, of Spanish birth. He was sent 
as a missionary to Gaul, where he converted the Roman prefect, 
Faustinian. He was martyred, when bishop, in 303, by order 
of Diocletian. The son of Faustinian was his godson, and was 
baptized with his name of Firmin, and he, too, eventually be- 
came Bishop of Amiens. Part of the church is pre-Norman and 
even exhibits " long and short " work. The Norman arcades 
have massive piers and cushion capitals. In the transepts are 
Early English arcades and squints, and there is a canopied 
piscina and a font of very unusual design. There is also an old 
ladder with handrail as in some of the Marsh churches, leading 
to the belfry. Three miles south is Baston, where there is a 
Saxon churchyard in a field. Hence the road continues to 
Market Deeping on the Welland, which is here the southern 
boundary of the county, and thence to Deeping-St.-James and 
Peterborough. Deeping-St.-James has a grand priory church, 
which was founded by Baldwin Fitz-Gilbert as a cell to Thorney 
Abbey in 1136, the year after he had founded Bourne Abbey. 
It contains effigies of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. 
Shameful to say a fountain near the church was erected in 1819 
by mutilating and using the material of a fine village cross. 
Peakirk, wth its little chapel of St. Pega, and Northborough 
and Woodcroft, both with remarkable houses built of the good 
gray stone of the neighbourhood, Woodcroft being a perfect 
specimen of a fortified dwelling-house, though near, are in the 
county of Northants. 

The Corby-Colsterworth-and-Grantham Road leaves Bourne 
on the west and, passing through Bourne Wood at about four 
miles' distance, reaches Edenham. On the west front of the 
church tower, at a height of forty feet, is the brass of an arch- 
bishop. Inside the church are two stones, one being the figure 
of a lady and the other being part of an ancient cross, both 
carved with very early interlaced work. The chancel is a 


museum of monuments of the Bertie family, the Dukes of 
Ancaster, continued from the earliest series at Spilsby of the 
Willoughby D'Eresbys, and beginning with Robert Bertie/ 
eleventh Lord Willoughby and first Earl of Lindsey, who fell 
at Edgehill while leading the Lincolnshire regiment, 1642, 
The present Earls of Lindsay and Uffington are descended from 
Lord Albemarle Bertie, fifth son of Robert, third Earl of 
Lindsey, who has a huge monument here, dated 1738, adorned 
with no less than seven marble busts. 

Two fine altar tombs of the fourteenth century, with effigies 
of knight and lady, seem to be treated somewhat negligently, 
being thrust away together at the entrance. The nave pillars 
are very lofty, but the whole church has a bare and disappointing 
appearance from the plainness of the architecture, and the ugly 
coat of yellow wash, both on walls and pillars, and the badness 
of the stained glass. 

On the north wall of the chancel and reaching to the roof 
■there is a very lofty monument, with Ufe-size effigy to the first 
Duke of Ancaster, 1723. East of this, one to the second duke 
with a marble cupid holding a big medallion of his duchess, Jane 
Brownlow, 1741, and on the south wall are equally huge 
memorials. In the family pew we hailed with relief a very 
good alabaster tablet with, white marble medallion of the late 
Lady Willoughby " Clementina Elizabeth wife of the first Baron 
Aveland, Baroness Willoughby d'Eresby in her own right, joint 
hereditary Lord Chamberlain of England," 1888. 

The font is transition Norman, the cylindrical bowl surrounded 
by eight columns not detached, and a circle of arcading consist- 
ing of two Norman arches between each column springing from 
the capitals of the pillars. 

The magnificent set of gold Communion plate was presented 
by the Willoughby family. It is of French, Spanish, and 
Italian workmanship. Humby church has also a fine gold 
service, presented by Lady Brownlow in 1682. It gives one 
pleasure to find good cedar trees and yews growing in the 

Grimsiliorpe Castle is a mile beyond Edenham. The park, 

^ He claimed the Earldom of Oxford and the Great Chamberlainship of 
England in right of his mother, Lady Mary Vere, sister and heiress of 
Edward, seventeenth Earl of Oxford, but succeeded in establishing his 
claim to the Chamberlainship only. 


the finest in the county, in which are herds of both fallow and 
red deer, is very large, and full of old oaks and hawthorns ; the 
latter in winter are quite green with the amount of mistletoe 
which grows on them. The lake covers one hundred acres. The 
house is a vast building and contains a magnificent hall no 
feet long, with a double staircase at either end, and rising to 
the full height of the roof. In the state dining-room is the 
Gobelin tapestry which came to the Duke of Suffolk by his 
marriage with Mary, the widow of Louis XII. of France. Here, 
too, are several Coronation chairs, the perquisites of the Here- 
ditary Grand Chamberlain. The Willoughby d'Eresby family 
have discharged this office ever since 1630 in virtue of descent 
from Alberic De Vere, Earl of Oxford, Grand Chamberlain to 
Henry I., but in 1779, on the death of the fourth Duke of 
Ancaster, the office was adjudged to be the right of both his 
sisters, from which time the Willoughby family have held it 
conjointly with the Earl of Carrington and the Marquis of 
Cholmondeley. Among the pictures are several Holbeins. The 
manor of Grimsthorpe was granted to William, the ninth 
Lord Willoughby, by Henry VIII. on his marriage with Mary 
de Salinas, a Spanish lady in attendance on Katharine of Aragon, 
and it was their daughter Katherine who became Duchess of 
Suffolk and afterwards married Richard Bertie. 

Just outside Grimsthorpe Park is the village of Swinstead, in 
whose church is a large monument to the last Duke of Ancaster, 
1809, and an effigy of one of the numerous thirteenth century 
crusaders. Somehow one never looks on the four crusades of 
that century as at all up to the mark in interest and importance 
of the first and third under Godfrey de Bouillon and Cceur de 
Lion in the eleventh and twelfth centuries ; as for the second 
(St. Bernard's) that was nothing but a wretched muddle all 

Two miles further on is Corby, where the market cross remains, 
but not the market. The station on the Great Northern main 
line is about five miles east of Woolsthorpe, Sir Isaac Newton's 
birthplace and early home. 

I think the most remarkable of the Bourne roads is the Roman 
" Kings Street," which starts for the north and, after passing on 
the right the fine cruciform church of Morton and then the grace- 
ful spire of Hacconby, a name of unmistakable Danish origin, 
sends first an offshoot to the right to pass through the fens to 


Heckington, and three or four miles further on another to the 
left to run on the higher ground to Folkingham, whilst it keeps 
on its own rigidly straight course to the Roman station on the 
ford of the river Slea, passing through no villages all the way, 
and only one other Roman station which guarded a smaller ford 
at Threckingham. 

This place is popularly supposed to be named from the three 
Danish kings who fell in the battle at Stow Green, between 
Threckingham and Billingborough, in 870 ; but the fine recum- 
bent figures of Judge Lambert de Treckingham, 1300, and a 
lady of the same family, and the fact that the Threckingham 
family lived here in the fourteenth century points to a less 
romantic origin of the name. The names of the Victors, Earl 
Algar and Morcar, or Morkere, Lord of Bourne, survive in 
' Algarkirk ' and ' Morkery Wood ' in South Wytham. 

Stow Green had one of the earliest chartered fairs in the king- 
dom. It was held in the open, away from any habitation. Like 
Tan Hill near Avebury, and St. Anne de Palue in Brittany, and 
Stonehenge, all originally were probably assembling-places for 
fire-worship, for tan = fire. 

But as we go to-day from Bourne to Sleaford, we shall not 
use the Roman road for more than the first six miles, but take 
then the off-shoot to the left, and passing Aslackby, where, in 
the twelfth century, as at Temple-Bruer, the Templars had one 
of their round churches, afterwards given to the Hospitallers, 
come to the little town of Folkingham, which had been granted 
by the Conqueror to Gilbert de Gaunt or Ghent, Earl of Lincoln. 

He was the nephew of Queen Matilda, and on none of his fol- 
lowers, except Odo Bishop of Bayeux, did the Conqueror bestow 
his favours with a more liberal hand ; for we read that he gave 
him 172 Lordships of which 113 were in Lincolnshire. He made 
his seat at Folkingham, but, having lands in Yorkshire, he was 
a benefactor to St. Mary's Abbey, York, at the same time that 
he restored and endowed Bardney Abbey after its destruction 
by the Danes under Inguar and Hubba. 

The wide street seems to have been laid out for more people 
than now frequent it. The church is spacious and lofty, with 
a fine roof and singularly rich oak screen and pulpit, into which 
the rood screen doorway opens. It was well restored about 
eighty years ago, by the rector, the Rev. T. H. Rawnsley, who was 
far ahead of his time in the reverend spirit with which he handled 


old architecture. The neighbouring church of Walcoi has a 
fine fourteenth century oak chest, similar to one at Hacconby. 
Three and a half miles further on we come to Osbournby, with a 
quite remarkable number of old carved bench-ends and some 
beautiful canopied Sedilia. Another Danish village, Aswardby 
— originally, I suppose, Asgarby, one can fancy a hero called 
' Asgard the Dane ' but hardly Asward — has a fine house and 
park, sold by one of the Sleaford Carr family to Sir Francis 
Whichcote in 1723. 

Four miles west of Aswardby is the village of Haydor (Norse, 
heide = heath). Here, in the north aisle of the church, which 
has a tall tower and spire, is some very good stained glass. It 
was given by Geoffrey le Scrope, who was Prebend of Haydor 
1325 to 1380, and much resembles the fine glass in York Minster, 
which was put in in 1338. In this parish is the old manor of 
Culverthorpe, belonging to the Houblon family. It has a very 
fine drawing-room and staircase and a painted ceiling. 

We must now come back to the Sleaford road which, a couple 
of miles beyond Aswardby Park, turns sharp to the right for 
Silk-Willoughby, or Silkby cum Willoughby. Here we have a 
really beautiful church, with finely proportioned tower and 
spire of the Decorated period. The Norman font is inter- 
esting and the old carved bench-ends, and so is the large base 
of a wayside cross in the village, with bold representations of 
the four Evangelists, each occupying the whole of one side. 
Three miles further we reach Sleaford. 

One of the features of the county is the number of roads it 
has running north and south in the same direction as the Wolds. 
The Roman road generally goes straightest, though at times 
the railway line, as for instance between Bourne and Spalding, 
or between Boston and Burgh, takes an absolute bee line which 
outdoes even the Romans. 

We saw that the two roads going north from Bourne sloped 
off right and left of the " Kings Street." That on the left or 
western side keeps a parallel course to Sleaford, but that on the 
right, after reaching Horbling, diverges still |urther to the east 
and makes for Heckington. These two places are situated 
about six miles apart, and it is through the Horbling and Heck- 
ington fens that the only two roads which run east and west 
in all South Lincolnshire make their way. They both start 
from the Grantham and Lincoln Road at Grantham and at 

34 RIPPINGALE chap. 

Honington, the former crossing the " Kings Street " at Threck- 
ingham, and thence to Horbling fen, the latter passing by 
Sleaford and Heckington. Both of these roads curve towards 
one another when they have passed the fens, and, uniting near 
Swineshead', make for Boston and the Wash. The whole of 
the land in South Lincolnshire slopes from west to east, falling 
between Grantham and Boston about 440 feet, but really this 
fall takes place almost entirely in the first third of the way on 
the western side of " The Roman Street " which was cleverly 
laid out on the Fen-side fringe of the higher ground. The 
road from Bourne to Heckington East of the " Street " is abso- 
lutely on the fen level and the railway goes parallel to it, between 
the road and the Roman ' Carr Dyke.' Thus we have a Roman 
road, a Roman canal, two modern roads and a railway, all 
running side by side to the north. 

The Heckington road, after leaving the " Street," passes 
through Dunsby and Dowsby, where there is an old Elizabethan 
house once inhabited by the Burrell family. Rippingale lies 
off to the left between the two and has in its church a rood screen 
canopy but no screen, which is very rare, and a large number 
of old monuments from the thirteenth century onwards, the 
oldest being two thirteenth century knights in chain mail of 
the family of Gobaud, who lived at the Hall, now the merest 
ruin, where they were succeeded by the Bowet, Marmion, 
Haslewood and Brownlow families. An effigy of a deacon 
with the open book of the Gospels has this unusual inscription, 
" Ici git Hwe Geboed le palmer le fils Jhoan Geboed. Mill" 446 
Frees pur le alme." It is interesting to find here a fifteenth 
century monument to a Roger de Quincey. Was he, I wonder, 
an ancestor of the famous opium eater ? There is in the pave- 
ment a Marmion slab of 1505. The register records the death 
in July, 1815, of " the Lincolnshire Giantess " Anne Hardy, 
aged 16, height 7 ft. 2 in. The Brownlow family emigrated 
hence to Belton near Grantham. They had another Manor 
House at Great Humhy, which is just half-way between Rippin- 
gale and Belton, of which the little brick-built domestic chapel 
now serves as a church. As we go on we notice that the whole 
of the land eastwards is a desolate and dreary fen, which extends 
from the Welland in the south to the Witham near Lincoln. 
Of this Fenland, the Witham, when it turns southwards, forms the 
eastern boundary, and alongside of it goes the Lincoln and 


Boston railway, while the line from Bourne via Sleaford and on 
to Lincoln forms the western boundar3^ I use the term ' fen ' 
in the Lincolnshire sense for an endless flat stretch of black 
corn-land without tree or hedge, and intersected by straight- 
cut dykes or drains in long parallels. This is the winter aspect ; 
in autumn, when the wind blows over the miles of ripened corn, 
the picture is a very different one. 

It is curious that on the Roman road line all the way from 
the Welland to the Humber so few villages are found, whilst 
on the roads which skirt the very edge of the fen from Bourne 
to Heckington and then north again from Sleaford to Lincoln, 
villages abound. 

I once walked with an Undergraduate friend on a winter's 
day from Uppingham to Boston, about 57 miles, the road led 
pleasantly at first through Normanton, Exton and Grims- 
thorpe Parks, in the last of which the mistletoe was at its best ; 
but when we got off the high ground and came to Dunsby and 
Dowsby the only pleasure was the walking, and as we reached 
Billingborough and Horbling, about 30 miles on our way, and 
had still more than twenty to trudge and in a very uninviting 
country, snow began to fall, and then the pleasure went out of 
the walking. By the time we reached Boston it was four inches 
deep. It had been very heavy going for the last fourteen miles, 
and never were people more glad to come to the end of their 
journey. Neither of us ever felt any great desire to visit that 
bit of Lincohishire again ; and yet, under less untoward circum- 
stances, there would have been something to stop for at Billing- 
borough with its lofty spire, its fine gable-crosses, and great west 
window, and at the still older small cruciform church at Horbling, 
exhibiting work of every period but Saxon, but most of which, 
owing to bad foundations, has had to be at different times taken 
down and rebuilt. It contains a fine fourteenth century monu- 
ment to the De la Maine family. Even more interesting would 
it have been to see the remains of the famous priory church at 
Sempringham, a mile and a half south of Billingborough, for 
Sempringham was the birthplace of a remarkable Englishman. 
Gilbert, eldest son of a Norman knight and heir to a large estate, 
was bom in 1083 ; he was deformed, but possessing both wit and 
courage he travelled on the Continent. Later in life he was 
Chaplain to Bishop Alexander of Lincoln, who built Sleaford 
Castle in 1137, and Rector of Sempringham, and Torrington, 

D 2 



near Wragby. Being both wealthy and devoted to the church, 
he, with the Bishop's approval, applied in the year 1148 to 
Pope Eugenius III. for a licence to found a religious house to 
receive both men and women ; this was granted him, and so he 
became the founder of the only pure English order of monks 


and nuns, called after him, ihe Gilbertines. Eugenius III. 
suffered a good deal at the hands of the Italians, who at that 
time were led by Arnold of Brescia, the patriotic disciple of 
Abelard, in,somuch that he was constrained to live at Viterbo, 
Rome not being a safe place for him ; but he seems to have 
thought rather well of the English, for he it was who picked out 


the monk, Nicolas Breakspeare, from St. Alban's Abbey and 
promoted him to be Papal legate at the Court of Denmark, 
which led eventually to his becoming Pope Adrian IV., the only 
Englishman who ever reached that dignity. The elevation 
does not seem to have improved his character, as his abominable 
cruelty to the above-mentioned Arnold of Brescia indicates. 
Eugenius, however, is not responsible for this, and at Gilbert's 
request he instituted a new order in which monks following the 
rules of St. Augustine were to live under the same roof with nuns 
following the rules of St. Benedict. Their distinctive dress was 
a black cassock with a white hood, and the canons wore beards. 
What possible good Gilbert thought could come of this new 
departure it is difficult to guess. Nowadays we have some 
duplicate public schools where boys and girls are taught to- 
gether and eat and play together, and it is not unlikely that the 
girls gain something of stability from this, and that their pre- 
sence has a useful and far-reaching effect upon the boys, besides 
that obvious one which is conveyed in the old line 

' ' Emollit mores nee sinit esse feros ; " 

but these monks and nuns never saw one another except at some 
very occasional service in chapel ; even at Mass, though they 
might hear each other's voices in the canticles, they were parted 
by a wall and invisible to each other, and as they thus had no 
communication with one another they might, one would think, 
have just as well been in separate buildings. Gilbert thought 
otherwise. He was a great educator, and especially had given 
much thought to the education of women, at all events he be- 
lieved that the plan worked well, for he increased his houses 
to the number of thirteen, which held 1,500 nuns and 700 canons. 
Most of these were in Lincolnshire, and all were dissolved by 
Henry VIII. Gilbert was certainly both pious and wise, and 
being a clever man, when Bishop Alexander moved his Cister- 
cians from Haverholme Priory to Louth Park Abbey, because 
they suffered so much at Haverholme from rheumatism, and 
handed over the priory, a chilly gift, to the Gilbertines, their 
founder managed to keep his Order there in excellent health. 
He harboured, as we know, Thomas k Becket there in 11 64, 
and got into trouble with Henry II. for doing so. He was over 
80 then, but he survived it and lived on for another five and 
twenty years, visiting occasionally his other homes at Lincoln, 

38 ST. GILBERT chap, iv 

Alvingham, Bolington, Sixhills, North Ormsby, Catley, Tunstal 
and Newstead, and died in 1189 at the age of 106. Thirteen 
years later he was canonised by Pope Innocent III., and his 
remains transferred to Lincoln Minster, where he became 
known as St. Gilbert of Sempringham. Part of the nave of 
his priory at Sempringham is now the Parish Church ; it stands 
on a hill three-quarters of a mile from Pointon, where is the 
vicarage and the few houses which form the village. Much 
of the old Norman work was unhappily pulled down in 1788, 
but a doorway richly carved and an old door with good iron 
scroll-work is still there. At the time of the dissolution the 
priory, which was a valuable one, being worth £359 125-. 6d., 
equal to £3,000 nowadays, was given to Lord Clinton. Campden, 
300 years ago, spoke of " Sempringham now famous for the 
beautiful house built by Edward Baron Clinton, afterwards 
Earl of Lincoln," the same man to whom Edward VI. granted 
Tattershall. Of this nothing is left but the garden wall, and 
Marrat, wilting in 1815, says: "At this time the church stands 
alone, and there are but five houses in the parish, which are two 
miles from the church and in the fen." 



The Glen — Burton Goggles — Wilsthorpe— The Eden— Verdant Green— 
Irnham Manor and Church — The Luttrell Tomb— Walcot — Somerby 
— Ropsley — Castle Bytham — The Witham — Colsterworth — The 
Newton Chapel — Sir Isaac Newton — Stoke Rochford — Great Ponton 
— Boothby I'agnell — A Norman House. 

I HAVE said that the whole of the county south of Lincoln 
slopes from west to east, the slope for the first few miles being 
pretty sharp. The only exception to the rule is in the tract 
on the west of the county, which lies north of the Grantham 
and Nottingham road, between the Grantham to Lincoln 
ridge and the western boundary of the county. This tract is 
simply the flat wide-spread valley of the Rivers Brant and 
Witham, which all slopes gently to the north. North Lincoln- 
shire rivers run to the Humber ; these are the Ancholme and the 
Trent ; but there is a peculiarity about the rivers in South 
Lincolnshire ; for though the Welland runs a consistent course 
eastward to the Wash, and is joined not far from its mouth by 
the River Glen, that river and the Witham each run very devious 
courses before they find the Eastern Sea. The Glen flowing 
first to the south then to the north and north-east, the Witham 
flowing first to the north and then to the south with an easterly 
trend to Boston Haven. 

Both these streams are of considerable length, the course 
of the Glen measured without its windings being five and thirty 
miles, and that of the Witham as much again. 

All the other streams which go from the ridge drain east- 
wards into the fens, and they effectually kept the fens under 


water until the Romans cut the Carr Dyke, intercepting the 
water from the hills and taking it into the river. 

To follow the " Glen " from its source in the high ground 
between Somerby and Boothby Pagnell to its most southerly 
point two miles below Braceborough^ will take us through a 
very pleasant country. A tributary, the first of many, runs 
in from Bassingthorpe, whose church, like that of Burton Goggles, 
three miles to the south, is dedicated to St. Thomas of Canter- 
bury. A beautiful little house, built here by the Grantham 
wool merchant, Thomas Coney, in 1568, has a counterpart at 
Ponton in the immediate neighbourhood, where Antony Ellys, 
also a merchant of the staple at Calais, built himself a charming 
little Tudor house about the same time. Augmented by the 
Bassingthorpe brook, the Glen goes on past Bitclifield, Bwton- 
Coggles and Corby, and on between Swayfield and Swinsiead to 
Creeton, where are to be seen many stone coffins, probably of 
the monks of Vaudey Abbey in Grimsthorpe Park, a corruption 
of Valdei (Vallis dei or God's Vale). It then winds along by 
Little Bytham, and, passing Careby and Carlby, gets into a plain 
country, and turns north near Shillingthorpe Hall. The last 
place it sees before entering the region of the Bedford Levels is 
Gretford. But near the church of Wilslhorpe — in which is the 
effigy of a thirteenth century knight with the arms of the Wake 
family, who claim descent from the famous Hereward the 
Wake — we find another stream joining the Glen to help it on 
its straight-cut course through Deeping fen. We may well 
spend an afternoon in tracing this stream from its source some 
sixteen miles away. It flows all the way through a valley of 
no great width, and, with the exception of Edenham, undis- 
tinguished by any villages. A purely rustic stream, it is known 
as the Eden, though it has no name on the maps, and its only 
distinction since it left its source near Humby is that it divides 
the villages of Lenten or Lavington, where the author of " Verdant 
Green," Rev. E. Bradley, best known as " Cuthbert Bede," 
was once rector, and Ingoldsby, the village of Ingold or Ingulph, 
the Dane, which, however, has nothing to do with the well- 
known " Ingoldsby Legends." A little to the south of Ingoldsby 
are the prettily named villages Irnham, KirMy-Underwood, and 
Rippingale; of these Irnham has a picturesque Tudor hall in 
a fine park. This was built in 1510 by Richard Thimelby in 
the form of the letter L ; the north wing was mostly destroyed 


by fire in 1887, but the great hall remains, and there is a 
priest's hiding-place entered by a hinged step in the stairs in 
which was found a straw pallet and a book of hours. 

The manor was granted by the Conqueror to Ralph Paganel 
along with others, e.g., Boothby Pagnell and Newport Pagnell, 
and there was even then, in the eleventh century, a church 
here. This manor passed by marriage in 1220 to Sir Andrew 
Luttrell, Baron of Imham, whence, through an heiress, it passed 
to the Thimelbys. In the church is a fine brass to " Andrew 
Luttrell Miles Dominus de Imham," 1390. He is in plate 
armour with helmet, and has his feet on a lion. In the north 
aisle, which is sometimes called the Luttrell Chapel, is a beau- 
tifully carved Easter sepulchre, the design and work being 
much like that of the rood screen in Southwell Cathedral. 
This was really a founder's tomb of the Luttrell family, and stood 
east and west under the easternmost arch on the north side of 
the nave, whence it was most improperly moved in 1858 and 
should certainly be put back again. Doubtless it was used as 
an Easter sepulchre, and it is of about the same date, 1370, 
as those at Heckington, Navenby, and Lincoln. In the pave- 
ment of the north aisle is an altar slab, with the five consecra- 
tion crosses well preserved. 

Since the Thimelbys, who followed the Hiltons, the house 
has been in possession of the Conquest, Arundel, and Clifford 
families. Not more than two miles to the east is a fine avenue 
leading to an Elizabethan house in the form of an E, called 
Bulby Hall. Later the stream goes through its one village of 
Edenham, passes near Bowthorpe Park with its great oak, 
fifty feet in girth, and so joins the river Glen at Kotes Bridge, 
near Wilsthorpe. Though the stream, Edenham excepted, 
has nothing particular on its banks, near its source are 
several interesting churches. Sapperton, which still exhibits 
the pulpit hour-glass-stand for the use of the preacher to insure 
that the congregation got their full hour ; Pickworth, with 
chantry chapels at each end of the south aisle, a rood screen 
and a fine old south door ; and Walcot, with its curious double 
" squint " from the south chantry and its beautiful little 
priest's door, evidently once a low-side window, for its sill is 
two feet from the ground and is grooved for glazing. Here 
the economy of the Early English builders is shown by their 
use of the caps of an earlier Norman arcade to form the bases of 

42 SOMERBY chap. 

their new pillars. Hard by is Newton with its lofty tower, 
Haceby, where once the Romans had a small settlement, and 
Bmceby, which, with Ropsley and Somerby, complete an octave 
of Early English churches all near together. 

Somerby is within four miles of Grantham. The church con- 
tains a singular effigy, date 1300, of a knight with a saddled 
horse at his feet, and a groom wearing the hooded short cloak 
of the period, holding the horse's head. Among the Brownlow 
monuments is the following inscription to Jane Brownlow, 
daughter of Sir Richard Brownlow of Humby, 1670, 

She was of a solid serious temper, of a competent 
Stature and a fayre compleaciton, whoes soul 
now is perfectly butyfyed with the friution of 
God in glory and whose body in her dew time 
he will rais to the enjoyment of the same. 

It is curious to find notes on stature and complexion in an 
epitaph, but it was only lately that I saw a tomb slab in the 
church of Dorchester-on-Thames, where, in the tenth and 
eleventh centuries, some of our Lindsey bishops had their 
Bishop-stool (see Cap. XII.), on which it was thought worth 
while to record, inter alia, that Rebekah Granger who died in 
1753 was " respectful to her friends, and chearful and innocent 
in her deportment " ; whilst close by is a somewhat minute 
description of the nervous idiosyncrasy of Mrs. S. Fletcher, 
who died in 1799 at the age of 29, ending with " She sank and 
died a martyr to excessive sensibility." 

The feature of the church is the Norman chancel arch with 
double moulding. It is especially interesting as showing that 
the carving of the stones which form the arch was done not by 
plan but by eye ; though the same pattern goes throughout, 
no two stones are exactly similar, and the pattern is larger or 
smaller as the mason cut it by guess, and has two zigzags or 
two and a half accordingly, and therefore the pattern in some 
places does not properly meet, but the whole effect is all right. 
The manor was held by the Threckingham family in the four- 
teenth century, and their arms are in one of the windows. In 
the feet of fines, Lincoln file 86, we have an agreement between 
Lambert de Trikingham and Robert, son of Walter le Clerk, 
of Trikingham, and Hawysia his wife, made at Westminster 
in the second year of Edward II. (1319). The lady with this 
charming name seeming to have afterwards married Sir Henry 


de Wellington, for in the thirty-second year of Edward III. 
(1359) another settlement is recorded of a dispute about Somerby 
Manor between Enericus de Welyngton Miles and Hawysia 
his wife on one side, and John Bluet and Alan Rynsley (one of 
the sixteen various spellings of Rawnsley) and his wife Margaret 
on the other, by which Alan and Margaret, for conceding their 
claims, receive 100 marks of silver. This and much other in- 
teresting information is to be found in a paper on The Manor 
of Somerby, by Gilbert George Walker, rector of the parish. 

In the fifteenth century John Bluet held the living, one of 
whose ancestors was probably the civilian with his feet on a 
fleece, whose fine recumbent effigy is in Harlaxton church. 
His daughter married Robert Bawde, whose brass is in the 
church, and their family were in possession till 1720. A large 
monument on the north wall commemorates Elizabeth Lady 
Brownlow, rUe Freke, whose son John built Belton House. She 
died in 1684. There is also a brass to Peregrine Bradshaw and 
his wife, who died in 1669 and 1673. 

Dr. Wilham Stukeley, the famous antiquary, who was a Lin- 
colnshire man, bom at Holbeach in 1687, was, at one time, 
rector of Somerby. 

Ropsley, two and a half miles to the east, shows some ' Long 
and Short ' Saxon work at the north-east angle of the nave. 
The tower has a Decorated broach spire. At the south porch 
is the couplet, 

" Hac non vade via 
Nisi dices Ave Maria." 

The church has also a very notable little stained glass window 
with an armed figure of Johannes de Welby. In the church 
a curious broad projection from the east window of the north 
aisle forms a bridge to the rood loft. In the eyes of a Corpus 
man, like the writer, Ropsley is sacred as being the birthplace 
of Bishop Fox, who held successively the sees of Exeter, Bath 
and Wells, Durham and Winchester, and founded, or helped 
to found, the Grantham Grammar School near his old home 
in 1528, and also, in 1516, the College of Corpus Christi, Oxford. 

The Eden, whose course we have been tracing, having joined 
the Glen, crosses the Carr Dyke a mile beyond Wilsthorpe, 
after which the Glen becomes for a time simply a fen drain. 
The " Bourne Eau " goes into it and they proceed together with 


many duck decoys marked in the 1828 map on each side of 
them till they come to the beginning of the great " Forty foot 
drain." The Glen then turning east resumes more or less its 
river character, joins the Welland and goes seawards to the 
Wash, while the Forty foot going northwards parallel to and 
with the same purpose as the " Carr Dyke " but a few miles 
to the east of that famous work, receives the water from the 
many " Droves " which are all cut east and west and conveys 
them to the outfall in Boston Haven. 

We will now, without having to go outside the parallelogram 
of pleasant upland country which lies between the four towns 
of Stamford, Bourne, Sleaford and Grantham, find the sources 
of the river Witham and follow them through Grantham as far 
as Barkston and Marston, and thence through a totally different 
country to Lincoln. To begin at the beginning of things. Just 
at the junction of the three counties of Lincoln, Leicester, and 
Rutland, is a place near ' Crown point ' called Cribbs Lodge. 
This commemorates the great boxing match between Molyneux, 
the black, and Tom Cribb, when, as the Stamford Mercury has 
it, " after a severe fight Molyneux was beat, and a reel was 
danced by Gully and Cribb amidst shouts of applause. There 
were 15,000 people present." Gully afterwards became an M.P. 

Close to this spot, but in the county of Leicestershire, is the 
source of our river Witham, which takes its name from the 
little village of South Witham close by. 

The infant stream skirts the western side of Witham Common, 
which is something like 400 feet above sea level ; nearly all its 
feeders come from still higher ground just outside the western 
edge of the county. A glance at the map will show with what 
remarkable unanimity all the streams which feed the South 
Lincolnshire rivers flow eastwards. Thus from Witham 
Common a brook goes through Castle Bytham to join the Glen 
at Little Bytham. The castle, of which only huge mounds now 
remain, was perched on a hill and divided by the brook from 
the village which covers the slope of the valley and is crowned 
by its very early Norman church, making altogether a very 
pretty picture. The church contains a fine canopied tomb 
of the Colville family, who owned the castle in the thirteenth 
century, and also in the tower is a ladder eloquent of the Res- 
toration, with the inscription " This ware the May Poul, 1660." 
Middleton, first Bishop of Calcutta, once held this living. 



The castle is of considerable interest. At the time of the 
Conquest the land belonged to Morcar, Earl of Northumhria, 
whose name survives in " Mockery or Morkery Wood " near 
South Witham, and was given by William the First to his 

Th4 Withatn, Boston. 

brother-in-law Drogo, who began the castle, and afterwards to 
Odo, Bishop of Bayeux, William's half-brother^ the same who 
gave his name to " Bayons Manor." When Odo began to show 
signs of contumacy Henry III. in person fought against and 
took the castle, and when dismantled gave it to the Colvilles, 

46 "PRAY AND PLOUGH" chap. 

but it was not completely destroyed until the Wars of the 

Little Bytham, two miles to the east, is the station for 
Grimsthorpe, which is approached by a drive of three miles 
through the park. The church is dedicated to St. Medard, 
Bishop of Noyon, a.d. 531, a name familiar to us from the 
" Ingoldsby Legends." It shows some Saxon " Long and Short " 
work and a good deal of Norman, notably a doorway with a 
curious tympanum ornamented with birds in circles. There 
is a small lowside window of two lights on the west and a little 
Norman window high up on the east of this doorway, which 
is at the south-east angle of the nave. The Norman tower is 
surmounted by a transition upper story and spire. The south 
porch and chancel arch are Early English and all round the 
chancel runs a most interesting stone seat, broken only by a 
fine canopied recess for a tomb. A good agricultural motto 
is cut on the stone base of the pulpit, " Orate et arate," " pray 
and plough." The motto is not inapt, for the land about here 
is mostly plough land, and one wonders it should be as good as 
it is, for the limestone is very near the surface, indeed the Great 
Northern line has stone in situ on each side of it about five 
feet high, which seems to have very few inches of soil above it, 
and this runs the whole way from Little Bytham to Corby, and 
again at Ponton the lines pass through it in a deeper cutting. 

But to return to our Witham river. This keeps due north 
by North-Witham, Colsterworth, Easton, Stoke Rochford, Great 
and Little Ponton to Grantham, a distance of ten miles. The 
church at North Wytham has a long nave, a narrow massive 
Norman chancel arch, and the floor descending to the east. 
In the 1887 restoration by Withers, a choir was formed out of 
the east end of the nave, and the chancel has been left as a 
monumental chapel for the Sherard family monuments of the 
seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, a decidedly clever arrange- 
ment. Robert Sherard seems to have been a scholar, for he 
occupied his thoughts when on his deathbed in writing twenty- 
six Latin elegiacs now on his brass and dated 1592. 

From Colsterworth a road runs east past Twyford Forest, 
twelve miles to Bourne. In the church, which is both Norman, 
Decorated, and Perpendicular, there is the Newton chapel, with 
tombs of Sir Isaac's parents and grandparents. This is modern, 
but is on the site of the old Woolsthorpe Manor chapel. It 


contains a sundial with an inscription, which says that it was 
cut by Newton when a boy of nine. His baptism appears in the 
Register thus : — " Isaac son of Isaac and Hanna Newton 
Jan'*" 1, 1643." She was an Ayscough, and married for her second 
husband the Rev. Barnabas Smith of North Wytham. On 
the left bank of the Witham, at a distance of half a mile, is the 
hamlet of Woolsthorpe, which must not be confused with the 
Woolsthorpe near Belvoir. The name was probably Wolph's 
or Ulfsthorpe, and nothing to do with Wool. In Domesday 
Book it is Ulstanthorp. In Woolsthorpe Manor House Newton 
was bom on Christmas Day, 1641. The window is shown from 
which he saw the apple fall and the Newton Arms — two cross- 
bones — are sculptured over the door. In the days of the Com- 
monwealth he was at Bishop Fox's school at Grantham, 165 1- 
1656. His mother thought to make a farmer of him, but kindly fate 
took him to Cambridge when he was eighteen, and he spent more 
than four years there, taking his degree in 1665. The incident 
of the apple dates from 1666, the year of the great Plague and 
the Fire of London. Starting from this he deduced the reasons 
for the movement of the planets which Galileo in 1610 and 
Copernicus in 1540 had noted. He had by this time accumu- 
lated much of the material for his great work the " Principia," 
and for the next thirty years he worked and wrote unceasingly. 
He was appointed Master of the Mint in 1695, and President 
of the Royal Society in 1703, and was knighted in 1705. He 
died in March, 1727. His own view of his life's work may be 
given in his own words : " I do not know what I may appear 
to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy 
playing on the seashore, and diverting myself in now and then 
finding a smoother or prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the 
great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me." After 
lying in state in the Jerusalem Chamber he was buried in West- 
minster Abbey, the Lord Chancellor, two dukes, and three 
earls being pall-bearers ; his monument, near the entrance to 
the choir on the north side, shows a recumbent figure with the 
right arm on four folios named Divinity, Chronology, Optics, 
and Phil. Prin. Math. Above is a large globe showing the 
planets, etc., projecting from a pyramid, and on the globe the 
figure of Astronomy with a closed book, in a very pensive mood. 
Below is a bas-rehef representing Newton's various labours and 


The inscription, written by Pope, is as follows : — 

" Isaacus Newtonius 

Quem Immortalem 

Testantur Tempus, Natura, Coelum : 


Hoc Marmor fatetur. 

Nature, and Nature's laws lay hid in night ; 
God said let Newton be ! and all was light." 

His statue is also in the ante-chapel of Trinity College, Cam- 
bridge, so eloquently described by Wordsworth as 

' ' The marble index of a mind for ever 
Voyaging through strange seas of thought alone." 

Newton is represented standing, and faces to the east, and of 
the other seated figures in the ante-chapel, which all face north 
or south, the latest addition and the finest work is Thorni- 
croft's statue of another Lincolnshire celebrity Alfred Lord 
Tennyson. This is an admirable likeness ; the best view of it 
is from the east side. 

West of Woolsthorpe is Buckminster , just over the border, 
but remarkable for having once had a beacon on the tower. 
The circular chimney of the Watcher's shelter still stands in 
the north-west angle. At Weldon near Kettering is a lantern 
fifteen feet high with a cupola put up 200 years ago to guide 
folk through Rockingham Forest. It is Ht now on New Year's 

From Colsterworth and Woolsthorpe we follow the river to 
Stoke Rochford, which is wedged in between the parks of Stoke 
undEaston. Both these manors were once held by the Rochfords 
and each had a separate church. Now one church serves for both 
and has a chapel for each manor, one on either s<ide and extending 
the full length of the chancel. The Stoke Chapel has monuments 
of John de Neville 1320 and of the family of the present owners, 
the Turners. The Easton Chapel has a very fine one to the 
Cholmeleys, 1641, whose descendants still live in the old Eliza- 
bethan " Hall " with its triple avenue of limes which reach to 
the Great North Road. On the other side of the road the house 
at Stoke Park is also Elizabethan in style, but not in date, being 
by Salvin. It belongs to Christopher Turner, who also owns 
Panton Hall, near East Barkwith. The park has many fine 


trees and some very old thorns. In the chancel of Stoke Roch- 
ford is a brass to Henry Rochford, 1470, and on a brass plate 
this inscription to Oliver St. John and his wife Elizabeth Bygod^ 

iS°3 :— 

" Pray for the soil of Master Olyr-Sentjehn Squier, sonne 
unto ye right excellent hye and mightty pryncess of Som ~ sete 
g ~ ndame unto ou ~ sovey ~ n Lord Kynge Herre the VII. and for 
the soil of Dame Elizabeth Bygod his wiff, whoo dep ~ ted from 
this t ~ nsitore liff e ye XII daye of June, i ~ ye year of ou ~ Lord 

Thus Oliver was brother to Margaret Beaufort, Countess of 
Richmond, the mother of the King. She made a great mark 
on the history of her time, which was the fifteenth century. 
Daughter of the first Duke of Somerset and wife successively 
of the Earl of Richmond, who was half-brother to Henry VI., 
and of Henry Stafford, son to the Duke of Buckingham, and of 
Lord Stanley, Earl of Derby, and mother, by her first marriage, 
of Henry VII., she was a magnificent patron of learning, for 
she endowed Christ's College and St. John's College, Cambridge, 
and founded the " Lady Margaret " professorships of Divinity 
both at Cambridge and at Oxford. Oliver's mother had been 
the wife of Sir Jofin Bigod, who with his father was killed on 
Towton field, near Leeds, in 1461, when, after a very bloody 
fight, the throne was secured to Edward IV., 28,000 Lancastrians, 
it is said, though this is hardly credible, having been left on 
the field of battle. OKver, whom Leland describes as a big 
black fellow, died at Fontarabia, in Spain, but was buried at 
Stoke Rochford. It shows of how little account the spelling 
even of proper names was in the fifteenth century when we find 
here the brass plate on his daughter's tomb inscribed, "Hie 
jacet Sibella Seyntjohn quondam filia Oliveri Sentjohn." Per- 
haps there is something after all in the remark I heard a farmer 
make in the train at Boston : " Well, I reckon it is a clear gift, 
is spelling. My boy John, he's nobbut eleven, and he can spell 
owt, but I'm noa hand at it mysen, and I reckon theer's a 
strange many is makes but a poor job on it." In the museum 
at Peterborough there is a notebook of The Lord Chief Justice, 
Oliver St. John, Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, 
dated 1649, who earned for himself the undying gratitude of 
his own and all future generations by saving Peterborough 

50 OLIVER ST. JOHN chap. 

Henry VIII., when urged to erect a suitable monument to 
Queen Katherine of Aragon in the cathedral, had said he would 
leave her one of the goodliest monuments in Christendom, 
meaning that he would spare the cathedral for her sake, but 
at the time of the civil war nearly all in the nature of ornamenta- 
tion was destroyed, including the organ, the windows, the reredos, 
and the tombs and escutcheons of Queen Katherine herself, and 
of Mary Queen of Scots. After a time Oliver St. John, who had 
married twice over into the Cromwell family, as a reward for 
political services in Holland obtained a grant of the ruined 
minster, which was actually " propounded to be sold and de- 
molished," and gave it to the town for use as a parish church. 
It still remained in a sad state, but was being gradually put into 
order all through the nineteenth century, and at last the tower, 
which rested on four piers, all of which were found to be simply 
pipes of Ashlar masonry filled with sand, was taken down in 
1883 and solidly rebuilt, and the whole fabric put in order, the 
white-washed walls scraped, new stalls excellently carved by 
Thompson of Peterborough and a beautiful inlaid marble floor, 
the gift of Dean Argles, placed in the choir, which was prolonged 
westwards two bays into the nave, on the old Benedictine lines, 
till now the interior is fully worthy of the uniquely magnificent 
west front. 

At Easton there was a Roman station, halfway between Cas- 
terton and Ancaster. It was important as being the last roadside 
watering place, the Ermine Street passing through a waterless 
tract for the next twelve miles. 

A mile and a half to the east, the Great Northern line tunnels 
under Bassingthorpe hill at 370 feet above sea level, and, with 
the exception of one spot in Berwickshire, this is the highest 
point the line attains between London and Edinburgh. Imme- 
diately after this the line crosses the " Ermine Street," which 
from Stamford to Colsterworth is identical with " the Great 
North Road," but it splits off to the right a mile south of Easton 
Park, and keeping always to the right bank of the Witham, 
takes a straight course to Ancaster, leaving Grantham three 
miles to the left. After this parting, the North Road crosses 
to the left bank of the river and runs up to Great Ponton. The 
tall tower of the late Perpendicular church, built in 1519 by 
Anthony EUys, merchant of the staple, of Calais, who lived in 
a manor house in the middle of the village, has Chaucer's 


phrase, " Thynke and thanke God of all/' carved on three sides 
of it. 

Inside is a very early font, possibly Saxon ; a large square 
bowl chamfered on the under side resting on a square stone. 
The tower is unlike anything in the county, but has counter- 
parts among the churches of Somersetshire. The base mould- 
ing is enriched with carving, and the double buttresses have 
canopied niches excellently worked. The belfry has large 
double two-light windows under a carved hood-mould, as at 
Grantham and All Saints, Stamford. The gargoyles are re- 
markably fine, one shows a face wearing spectacles, and the 
whole is finished by a fine parapet and eight pinnacles. 

Little Ponton is dedicated to St. Guthlac, which implies a con- 
nection with Croyland. Four miles east of Great Ponton is 
the village of Booihby Pagnell, where the Glen rises. Here is 
a twelfth century manor house, supremely interesting as being 
one of the very few surviving examples of Norman Domestic 
architecture. It is in the grounds of the modern hall. The 
lower story is carried on vaulted arches and the upper rooms 
were reached by an outside staircase. These are a hall and a 
chamber with a thick partition wall ; each had a two-light 
window in the east wall, with window seats on either side. On 
the opposite side is a fine fireplace with a flat arch formed by 
joggled stones and a projecting hood, and a round chimney- 
shaft. The lower groined story had also two rooms, possibly 
the larger was a kitchen, and the other a cellar. The barrel 
roof of this has its axis at right angles to the larger room, the 
heavy vault-ribs of which are in two bays, with low buttresses 
outside to take the thrust of the roof. The building at St. 
Mary's Guild, Lincoln, the hall at Oakham, and a somewhat 
similar building at the north-eastern boundary of Windsor 
Castle are of corresponding date to this. Robert Sanderson, 
who was expelled as a Royalist, but on the restoration was 
made Bishop of Lincoln, and whose saintly life is dwelt on in 
" Walton's Lives," was incumbent here from 1619 to 1660. 
The whole building has been beautifully restored by Pearson, 
thanks to the munificence of Mrs. Thorold of the Hall. 

The course of the river between Grantham and Lincoln is 
through a totally different country and may well claim another 

E 2 



Cromwell's Letter— The George and the Angel— The Elections— Fox's 
Grammar School— The Church of St. Wolfram— The Market Place. 

The usual way of reaching Grantham is by the Great Northern 
main Hne — all expresses stop here. , It is 105 miles from London, 
and often the only stop between that and York. After the levels 
of Huntingdonshire and the brief sight of Peterborough 
Cathedral, across the river Nene, the line enters Lincolnshire 
near Tallington, after which it follows up the valley of the 
river Glen, then climbs the wold and, just beyond Bassing- 
thorpe tunnel, crosses the Ermine Street and runs down the 
Witham Valley into Grantham. Viewed from the train the 
town looks a mass of ugly red brick houses with slate roofs, 
but the magnificent tower and spire soon come into sight, and 
one feels that this must be indeed a church worth visiting. 

Coming, as we prefer to do, by road, the view is better ; for 
there is a background of hill and woodland with the fine park of 
Belton and the commanding height of Syston Hall beyond to 
the north-east ; and to the left you see the Great North Road 
climbing up Gonerby Hill to a height of 200 feet above the 

Grantham has no Roman associations, nor did it grow up 
round a feudal castle or a great abbey ; for, though a castle of 
some kind must once have stood on the west side near the 
junction of the Mowbeck and the Witham, the only proof of it 
is the name Castlegate and a reference in an old deed to 
" Castle Dyke." That the town was once walled, the streets 
called Watergate, Castlegate, Swinegate, Spittalgate suffici- 
ently attest, but no trace of wall now exists. The name Spittal- 


gate points to the existence of a leper hospital, and I see from 
Miss Rotha Clay's interesting and exhaustive book, " The 
Mediaeval Hospitals of England," that there have been two at 
Grantham — St. Margaret's, founded in 1328, and St. Leonard's 
in 1428. 

The flat pastoral valley watered by the Wytham, then called 
in that neighbourhood the Granta, as the Cam was at Cambridge, 
seems to have been its own recommendation to an agricultural 
people ; and the fact that the manor was from the time of 
Edward the Confessor an appanage of the queen, and remained 
all through the times of the Norman kings and their successors 
down to WiUiam III. a Crown property, used as a dower for the 
queen consort of the time, was no doubt some benefit to it. 
Even when the town was bestowed, as, for instance, by King 
John on the Earl of Warren who also owned Stamford, or by 
Edward I., who knew Grantham well, on Aylmer Valence Earl 
of Pembroke, it was looked on as inalienable from the Crown to 
which it always reverted. In the reign of Edward III., on 
August 3, 1359, King John of France, captured at Poictiers, 
slept at Grantham on his way from Hereford to Somerton Castle 
in custody of Lord d'Eyncourt and a company of forty-four 
knights and men-at-arms. In 1420 Henry V. allotted it as a 
dower to Katherine of France. In 1460 Edward IV. headed 
the procession which brought from Pontefract to Fotheringay 
for burial the body of his father Richard Duke of York, who 
was killed at the battle of Wakefield. In 1461 he granted the 
lordship and the manor to his mother Cicely Duchess of York, 
and the grant, it is interesting to know, included the inn called 
" le George." 

In 1503 Margaret Tudor, daughter of Henry VII., passed with 
her attendant cavalcade through Grantham on her way to meet 
her affianced bridegroom,^ James IV., King of Scotland. She 
arrived in state, and was met by a fine civic and ecclesiastical 
procession which conducted her the last few miles into and out 
of the town, and she lay all " Sounday the 9"" day of the monneth 
of JuUy in the sayde towne of Grauntham." 

In 1642 the town was taken by Colonel Charles Cavendish for 
Charles I., but his success was wiped out next year by Cromwell. 
Defoe in his " Memoir of a Cavalier," writing of this, says " About 

* Defeated and slain at Flodden Field, 1513. 


this time it was that we began to hear of the name of Oliver 
Cromwell, who, like a little cloud, rose out of the East and spread 
first into the North, till it shed down a flood that overwhelmed 
the three Kingdoms. . . . The first action in which we heard 
of his exploits and which emblazoned his character was at 
Grantham." Cromwell was with the Earl of Manchester, but 
was in command of his own regiment of horse. Where the 
battle actually took place is uncertain, but probably on Gonerby 
Moor. We happen to have Cromwell's own account of the 
skirmish — see'vol. I., p. 177, of ' Cromwell's Letters and Speeches,' 
by Carlyle. It was written to some official, and is the first letter 
of Cromwell's ever published in the newspapers : — 

" Grantham, 13* May, 1643. 

" God hath given us, this evening, a glorious victory over our 
enemies. They were, as we are informed, one and twenty 
colours of horse troops, and three or four of dragoons. 

" It was late in the evening when we drew out ; they came 
and faced us within two miles of the town. So soon as we had 
the alarm we drew out our forces, consisting of about twelve 
troops whereof some of them so poor and broken, that you shall 
seldom see worse : with this handful it pleased God to cast the 
scale. For after we had stood a little, above musket shot the 
one body from the other ; and the dragooners had fired on both 
sides, for the space of half an hour or more ; they were not 
advancing towards us, we agreed to charge them ; and, advanc- 
ing the body after many shots on both sides, we came on with our 
troops a pretty round trot ; they standing firm to receive us ; 
and our men charging fiercely upon them, by God's providence 
they were immediately routed, and ran all away, and we had 
the execution of them two or three miles. 

" I believe some of our soldiers did kill two or three men 
apiece in the pursuit ; but what the number of dead is we are 
not certain. We took forty-five prisoners, besides divers of 
their horse and arms and rescued many Prisoners whom they 
had lately taken of ours, and we took four or five of their colours. 

" I rest . . . 

" Oliver Cromwell." 

A fortnight later he writes from Lincolnshire to the Mayor 
and Corporation of Colchester announcing the victory of Fairfax 



at Wakefield, and asking for immediate supplies both of men 
and money. He tells them how greatly Lord Newcastle out- 
numbers Fairfax, infantry two to one, horse more than six to 
one. And he ends with : — 

" Our motion and yours must be exceeding speedye or else it 
will do you no good at all. If you send, let your men come to 
Boston. I beseech you to hasten the supply to us : — forget not 
money ! I press not hard ; though I do so need, that I assure 
you the foot and dragooners are ready to mutiny. Lay not too 
much upon the back of a poor gentleman, who desires, without 
much noise, to lay down his life, and bleed the last drop to serve 
the Cause and you. I ask not your money for myself ; if that 
were my end and hope, — viz. the pay of my place, — I would not 
open my mouth at this time. I desire to deny myself ; but others 
will not be satisfied. I beseech you to hasten supplies. Forget 
not your prayers 

" Gentlemen, I am, 
" Yours 
" Oliver Cromwell." 

It was six years after this that Isaac Newton went to school 
in Grantham. Since the Restoration, but for the pulling down 
of the market cross by Mr. John Manners in 1779, which he was 
compelled to put up again the following year, nothing of note 
happened at Grantham till the Great Northern Railway came 
and subsequently Homsby's great agricultural implement works 

Grantham had been incorporated in 1463, and received the 
elective franchise four years later, in the reign of Edward IV., 
who more than once visited the town. The two families at 
Belvoir and Bel ton usually influenced the elections. But in 
1802 their united interests were opposed by Sir William Manners, 
who had bought most of the houses in the borough. But the 
Duke of Rutland and Lord Brownlow won. There were then 
two members, and the historian makes the naive statement, 
" previous to this election it had been customary for the voters 
to receive two guineas from each candidate ; at this election 
the price rose to ten guineas." 

The mention of " le George " inn in the grant of 1461 brings 
to mind the other ancient hostel opposite to it. The Angel 
stands on the site of an earlier inn which goes back to the twelfth 



century. King John is said to have held his court in it in 1203. 
On October 19, 1483, Richard III., having sent to London for 
the Great Seal, signed the warrant for the execution of Buck- 
ingham " in a chamber called the King's Chamber in the present 

iit -i ^ I 

Angel Inn." This was a fine room extending the whole length 
of the front, and now cut up into three rooms. There are two 
oriel wmdows m this, and two more in the rooms beneath which 
have all curved and vaulted alcoves of stone. The preserit front 
dates from 1450 the gateway from about 1350, and shows the 
heads of Edward III. and Queen Philippa on the hood-mould 


Next to it is a very pretty half-timbered house, figured in Allan's 
" History of the County of Lincoln/' 1830. This and the Angel 
stand on land once the property of the Knights Templars of 

Among the misdeeds of the eighteenth century are the pulling 
down of the George Inn ^nd a beautiful stone oratory or guild 
chapel which stood near it. The Free Grammar school, founded 
by Bishop Fox 1528, still stands on the north side of the church- 
yard ; but new buildings having been lately erected, the fine 
old schoolroom has been fitted up as a school chapel. 

Fox endowed his school with the revenue of two chantries, 
which before the dissolution belonged to the church of St. Peter. 
This church is gone, but doubtless it stood on St. Peter's Hill 
on lands which had been granted by ^Eslwith, before the Con- 
quest, to the abbey of Peterborough. Close by now is a good 
bronze statue of Sir Isaac Newton, and once there was an 
Eleanor cross, which, with those at Lincoln and Stamford, were 
destroyed by the fanatical soldiery in 1645. 

We now come to the great feature of the town, its magni- 
ficent church dedicated to St. Wulfram, Archbishop of Sens, 
680. We might almost call this the third church, for the first 
has entirely disappeared though its foundations remain beneath 
the floor of the eastern part of the nave, and the second has been 
so enlarged and added to, that it is now practically a different 
building ; the tower, built at the end of the thirteenth century, 
belongs entirely to number three. 

The ground plan is singularly simple, one long parallelogram 
nearly 200 feet long and eighty feet wide, with no transepts, 
its only projections being the north and south porches and the 
" Hall " chapel used as a vestry. 

The second, or Norman, church, ended two bays east of the 
present tower, as is plain to see from the second pillar from the 
tower being, as is the case in Peterborough Cathedral, com- 
posed of a broad mass of wall with a respond on either side, the 
western respond being of much later character than the eastern. 
If the chancel was originally as it is now, it must have been as 
long as the nave, but the nave then perhaps included two of the 
chancel bays. At present the lengthening of the nave west- 
ward and the adding of the tower has made the nave twice the 
length of the chancel. At first the church had just a nave and 
a chancel, but, about 1180, aisles were added to the nave ; to 


do this the nave walls were taken down and the eastern responds 
made, which we have just spoken ofj and the beautiful clustered 
columns of the arcades, three on each side, set up. The aisles 
were narrow and probably covered by a lean-to roof. The 
arches springing from these columns would be round-headed, 
the pointed arches we see now being the work of a century later, 
when much wider north and south aisles were built ; that on 
the north being on a particularly grand and massive scale. The 
westernmost bay on either side was made nearly twice the width 
of the others so as to correspond with the breadth of the tower, 
because one of the features of the church is that the two aisles 
run out westwards and align with the tower, and as the chapels 
on either side run out in the same way eastwards, as far as the 
chancel, we get the parallelogram above mentioned. As you 
enter the west door you are at once struck by the great size of 
the tower piers, and next you will notice the beauty of the 
tower arch, with its mouldings five deep. There is no chancel 
arch, and the church has one long roof from end to end. The 
aisles are very wide, and the pillars tall and slender, so that 
you are able to see over the whole body of the church as if it 
were one big hall. Curiously, the west window of the south 
aisle is not in the centre of the wall, and looks very awkward. 
Below it is a bookcase lined with old books. There are two 
arched recesses for tombs in the south wall, and there is a monu- 
ment between two of the south arcade pillars, where a black 
marble top to an altar tomb is inscribed to Francis Malham de 
Elslacke, 1660. The east end of the north aisle is used as a 
morning chapel. A tall gilt reredos much blocks the chancel 
east window. When I last visited the church the north and 
south doorways being wide open gave the church plenty of 
wholesome fresh air, so different from the well-known Sabbath 
" frowst " which, in the days of high pews, and when a church 
was only opened on Sunday, never departed from the 

The north porch is very large, and has a passage-way east 
and west right through ; it was built with the north aisle about 
1280, and was extended and a room built over it about 1325, 
when the head of the north doorway was much mutilated to let 
the floor in, at the same time a Lady chapel was constructed on 
the south side of the chancel, and with a double vaulted crypt, 
entered from outside, and also from the chancel, by a beautiful 


Staircase with riclily carved doorway. The rood screen was also 
built now, on which was an altar served by the chaplain daily 
at 5 a.m. " after the first stroke of the bell which is called Day- 
belle." It is said that this bell is still rung daily from Lady Day 
to Michaelmas, but whether at 5 o'clock deponent sayeth not. 
The Lincoln daybell rang at 6. To reach this rood loft there 
is an octagon turret with a staircase on the south side at the 
junction of the nave and chancel. The south porch has also a 
staircase to the upper chamber, and the north porch has two 
turreted staircases, probably for the ingress and egress of pilgrims 
to the sacred relics kept there. Besides this there were at least 
five chantries attached to the church ; the latest of these were 
the fifteenth century Corpus Christi chapel along the north side 
of the chancel, and the contiguous " Hall " chapel which dates 
from the fifteenth century. There is a good corbel table all 
along the aisles outside, and the west front is very fine and 

But the great glory of the building is the steeple. We have 
seen that the nave runs up to the large eastern piers of the 
tower, and the aisles run on past each side of it as far as the 
western piers, and so with the tower form a magnificent western 
facade, examples of which might even then have been seen at 
Newark, which was begun before Grantham, and at Tickhill 
near Doncaster. 

The tower, one of the finest bits of fourteenth century work 
in the kingdom, has four stages : first, the west door and window, 
both richly adorned with ballflower, reminiscent of the then 
recent work at SaUsbury, to which North and South Grantham 
were attached as prebends. Then comes a stage of two bands 
of arcading on the western face only, and a band of quatrefoil 
diaper work all round. In the third stage are twin deep-set 
double-light windows and then come two very lofty double lights 
under one crocketed hood mould. Both this stage and the last 
show a very strong central muUion and the fourth, or belfry 
stage, has statued niches reaching to the parapet and filling the 
spandrils on either side of the window head. Inside the parapet 
at the south-west comer is a curious old stone arch like a sentry- 
box or bell turret. The magnificent angle buttresses are crowned 
by pinnacles, from within which rises the spire with three rows 
of lights and lines of crockets at each angle running up 140 feet 
above a tower of equal height. It seems at that distance to 


come to a slender point ; but we are told that when it was 
struck by lightning in 1797 a mill-stone was set on the apex 
into which the weathercock was mortised. There are ten bells^ 
a larger ring than is possessed by any church in the county but 
one, viz., Ewerby near Sleaford. 

The date 1280 is assigned to the tower and north aisle because 
the windows of that aisle reproduce in the cusped circles of their 
head-lights the patterns of windows which had just a few years 
before been inserted in Salisbury chapter-house, and the west 
window of the aisle is a reduction to six Ughts of the great eight- 
light east window at Lincoln ; but neither Lincoln great tower 
nor Salisbury spire had yet been built, and as they are the only 
buildings which are admitted to surpass Grantham steeple — the 
former in richness of detail, the latter in its soaring spire — and 
as Boston was not built till a hundred years later, nor Louth till 
200 years after Boston, it is clear that in 1300 Grantham for 
height and beauty stood without a rival. Now-a-days, of 
course, we have both Boston and Louth, and have them in the 
same county, and though Sir Gilbert Scott puts Grantham as 
second only to Salisbury among English steeples, and though 
in the grandeur and interest of its interior as well as in the 
profuse ornamentation of its exterior Louth cannot compete 
with it at all, yet there is in the deKcate tapering lines of Louth 
spire and the beautiful way in which it rises from its lofty tower- 
pinnacles connected with their four pairs of light flying buttresses 
a satisfying grace and a beauty of proportion which no other 
church seems to possess ; and when we look closely at the some- 
what aimless bands of diaper work and arcading in the second 
stage of Grantham tower and then turn to the harmonious 
simplicity of the three stages in the Louth tower and the incom- 
parable beauty of the belfry lights with their crocketed hood- 
mouldings which are carried up in lines ascending like a canopy 
to the pinnacled parapet, it seems to satisfy the eye and the 
desire for beauty and symmetry in the fullest possible measure. 

The church has not a great number of monuments ; that to 
Richard de Salteby, 1362, is the earliest, and there is, besides 
the Malham tomb, one of the Harrington family, and a huge 
erection to Chief Justice Ryder, whose descendants derive their 
title of Harrowby from a hamlet close by. There are two 
libraries in the church, one with no less than seventy-four 
chained books. But a church forms a bad library, and many 

Gra/Uham Church. 


are gone and some of the best are mutilated^ for as Tennyson 
says in " The Village Wife" :— 

" The lasses 'ed teared out leaves i' the middle to kindle the fire." 

Only here it was not the lasses but the mediaeval verger. 

The bowl "of the font has most interesting carved panels of 
the Annunciation, the Magi, the Nativity, Circumcision, 
Baptism, Blessing of Children, the Sacrifice of Isaac, and one 
other. The oak chancel screen and the parcloses by Scott, the 
reredos by Bodley, and the rest of the oak fittings by Blomfield, 
are all very good. The screen takes the place of the old stone 
screen which is quite gone. There is some excellent modem 
glass, and for those who understand heraldry, I might mention 
that in the east window were once many coats of arms of which 
Marrat gives a list with notes by Gervase Holies, from which 
I gather that the armorial glass was very fine, and that the arms 
of " La Warre " are " G. crusily, botony, iitchy, a lion rampant 
or." It is pleasant to know this, even if one does not quite 
understand it. 

The extending of the church westwards encroached upon the 
open space in which stood the reinstated " Applecross," at one 
time replaced by a quite uncalled-for stone obelisk in the market- 
place, opposite the Angel, with an inscription to say that the 
Eleanor Cross once stood there, which was not true, as that was 
set up in the broad street or square called " St. Peter's Hill," 
where now the bronze statue of Newton stands. In Finkin 
Street the town, until ten years ago, preserved a splendid chest- 
nut tree, and other fine trees near the church add a beauty which 
towns now-a-days rarely possess. 

As at Lincoln, the Grey Friars first brought good drinking 
water to the town, and their conduit is still a picturesque object 
in the market square. It is on the south side, close to the Blue 
Sheep. Blue seems to have been the Grantham colour, for 
there are at least twelve inns whose sign is some blue thing — 
Bell, Sheep, Pig, Lion, Dragon, Boy, etc. Blue pill is almost 
the only thing of that colour not represented. 

The connection of Grantham with Salisbury is a very old one, 
as far back as 1091 the lands and endowments of the church 
were granted to St. Osmund, and by him given to his new 
cathedral at. Old Sarum, the site of which is now being cleared 
in much the same manner as has been adopted at Bardney 


Abbey. The Empress Maud added the gift of the living and 
the right of presentation, so the prebendaries of North and 
South Grantham became the rectors ; North Grantham com- 
prising Londonthorpe and North Gonerby, and South Grantham 
South Gonerby and Braceby. Later, about 1225, vicars were 
appointed, but there was no vicarage, and the work was mainly 
done by the chaplain and the chantry priests. In 17 13 the dual 
vicars were merged in one, and since 1870 the presentation has 
been in the hands of the Bishop of Lincoln. 

We have spoken often of chantries. A chantry was a chapel 
endowed with revenues for priests to perform Mass therein for 
the souls of the donors or others. Hence we have in Shakes- 
peare — 

" Five hundred poor I have, in yearly pay, 
Who twice a day their wither'd hands hold up 
Toward heaven, to pardon blood ; and I have built 
Three Chantries where the sad and solemn priests 
Sing still for Richard's soul." 

Henry V. iv. i. 



Syston Hall— Belton—Harlaxton— Denton— Belvoir Castle— AUington— 
Sedgebrook — Barrowby— Gonerby-hill— Stubton— Hough-on-the-Hill 
— Gelston — Claypole. 

The main South Lincolnshire roads run up from Stamford to 
Boston, to Sleaford and to Grantham ; here of the six spokes of 
the wheel of which Grantham is the hub, three going Vv^estwards 
soon leave the county. That which goes east runs a very un- 
eventful course for twelve miles till, having crossed the Bourne 
and Sleaford road, it comes to Threckingham, and in another 
six or seven miles to Donington where it divides and, after 
passing many most remarkable churches, reaches Boston either 
by Swineshead or by Gosberton, Algarkirk and Kirton, which 
will be described in the route from Spalding. The Great Road 
north and south from Grantham is full of interest, and passes 
through village after village, and on both the northern and 
western sides the neighbourhood of Grantham is extremely hilly 
and well wooded, and contains several fine country seats. 
Belvoir Castle (Duke of Rutland), Denton (Sir C. G. Welby), 
Harlaxton (T. S. Pearson Gregory, Esq.), Belton (Earl Brownlow), 
and Syston (Sir John Thorold). 

Syston Hall, Sir John Thorold's place, looks down upon Bark- 
stone. It is grandly placed, and the house, which was built in the 
eighteenth century, contains a fine library. The greatest treasure 
of this, however, the famed Mazarin Bible, was sold in 1884 for 
£3,200. A mile to the south lies Belton. Here the church is 
filled with monuments of the Cust and Brownlow families, and 
the font has eight carved panels with very unusual subjects — a 
man pulling two bells, a monk reading, a priest with both hands 



up, a deacon robed, a monster rampant with a double tail, a 
man with a drawn sword, a naked babe and a rope, a man with 
a large bird above him, and a tree ; also among the monuments 
is one of Sir John Brownlow, 1754, and one dated 1768 of Sir 
John Cust, the " Speaker." In this a singularly graceful female 
figure is holding the " Journals of the House of Commons." 
The monument of his son, the first Baron Brownlow, 1807, is by 
Westmacott. The family have added a north transept for use 
as a mortuary chapel. Here, amongst others, are monuments 
of the first Earl Brownlow, 1853, by Marochetti, and of his two 
wives with a figure emblematic of Religion, by Canova. The 
village is always kept in beautiful order ; adjoining it is the 
large park with fine avenues and three lakes in it. The house, 
built in the shape of the letter H, was finished from Sir Christopher 
Wren's designs in 1689, and the park enclosed and planted in 
the following year by Sir John, the third Baronet Brownlow, 
who entertained William III. there in 1695. His nephew. Sir 
John, who was created Viscount Tyrconnel in 1718, formed the 
library and laid out the gardens. In 1778 James Wyatt was 
employed to make improvements. He removed Wren's cupola, 
made a new entrance on the south side, and raised the height of 
the drawing-room to twenty-two feet. All the rooms in the 
house are remarkably high, and the big dining-room is adorned 
with enormous pictures by Hondekoeter. 

Wonderful carvings by Grinling Gibbons are in several rooms, 
and also in the chapel, which is panelled with cedar wood. 

Barkston is near the stream of the Witham, and is thence 
called Barkston-in-ilie-Willows ; and ten miles off, on the county 
boundary near Newark, is Barnby-in-the-Willows , also on the 
Witham, which has arrived there from Barkston by a some- 
what circuitous route. 

Barkston Church is worth seeing by anyone who wishes to 
see how a complete rood-loft staircase was arranged, the steep 
twelve-inch risers showing how the builders got the maximum 
of utility out of the minimum of space. The last three steps 
below appear to have been cut off to let the pulpit steps in. 
There is a similar arrangement at Somerby, where the steps 
also are very high. A very good modem rood screen and canopy, 
somewhat on the pattern of the Sleaford one, has been put up 
by the rector, the Rev. E. Clements. There are two squints, 
on either side of the chancel arch, one through the rood stair- 



case. The church has a nave and a south aisle, and the plain 
round transition Norman pillars are exactty lilie those at Great 
Hale, but are only about one-half the height. The arches are 
round ones, with nail head ornament, and from the bases of 
these pillars it is clear that the floor once sloped upwards con- 
tinuously from west to east, as at Colsterworth and Horkstow. 

^Vitho-Visidc Bosion. 

The chancel arch is made lofty by being set on the stone base- 
ment of the rood screen. The transitional tower has a beautiful 
Early English window in the west front, and the Decorated 
south aisle has a richly panelled parapet ; but the Perpendicular 
porch is not so well executed, and cuts rudely into two pretty 
little aisle windows, and a niche over the door. It has over it 
this rhyming inscription carved in stone. 


Me Thomam Pacy post mundi flebile funus 
Jungas veraci vite tu trinus et unus 
Dne Deus vere Thome Pacy miserere. 

And under the capital of one of the doorway pillars is the line, 
rather difficult to construe, but in beautiful lettering : — 

Lex et natura XRS simul onmia cura. 

The severe three-light east window has good glass by Kempe. 
The spire, a very good one, is later than the tower, and built of 
squared stones, different in colour from the small stones of the 
tower. Two half figures incised in bold relief on fourteenth 
century slabs, are built into the north wall, opposite the south 

Keeping along the Lincoln road the next place we reach is 
Honington. The Early English tower of the church is entered 
by a very early pointed arch, the nave being of massive Norman 
work with an unusually large corbel table. There are the re- 
mains of a stone screen, and a canopied aumbry in the chancel 
was perhaps used as an Easter sepulchre. The chantry chapel 
has monuments of the Hussey family, and one of W. Smith, 
1550, in gown and doublet. An early slab, with part of the 
eifigy of a priest on it, has been used over again to commemorate 
John Hussey and his wife, he being described on it as "A pro- 
fessor of the Ghospell," 1587. To the south-east of the village 
is what was once an important British fort with a triple ditch, 
used later by the Romans whose camp at Causennte on the 
" High Dyke " was but four miles to the east. Less than two 
miles brings us to Carlton Scroop, with a late Norman tower and 
Early English arcade, also some good old glass and a Jacobean 
pulpit. The remains of a rood screen and the rood loft steps 
are still there. 

A mile further on is one of the many Normantons, with Early 
English nave, decorated tower, fine west window, and Perpen- 
dicular clerestory. 

Two miles on we come to Cayihorpe, which is built on a very 
singular plan, for it has a double na\e with a buttress between 
the two west windows to take the thrust of the arches which 
are in a line with the ridge of the roof. This forms the remark- 
able feature of the church interior. There are short transepts, 
and the tower rises above the four open arches. Over one of 
these there is a painting of the Last Judgment. There are fine 


buttresses outside with figures of the Annunciation and- the 
Coronation of the Virgin, and one of our Lord on the porch. 
The windows are large. The spire is lofty but unpleasing, as 
it has a marked " entasis " or set in, such as is seen in many- 
Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire spires, which hence are often 
termed sugar-loafed. Before its re-building, in 1859, after it 
had been struck by lightning, the entasis was still more marked 
than it is now. The singularly thin, ugly needle-like spire of 
Glinton, just over the southern border of the county near 
Deeping, has a slight set in which does not improve its appear- 
ance. A mile to the north the road passes through the very 
pretty village of Fulbeck. The dip of the road, the charming 
old houses, grey and red, the handsome church tower with its 
picturesque pinnacles, and the ancestral beauty of the fine trees, 
make a really lovely picture. Fine iron gates lead to the Hall, 
the home of the Fanes, an honoured name in Lincolnshire. 
Many of the name rest in the churchyard, and their monuments 
fill the dark church, which has a good Norman font. The tam- 
pering with old walls and old buildings is always productive of 
mischief, and, as at Bath Abbey, when, to add to its appear- 
ance, flying buttresses were put up all along the nave, the 
weight began to crush in the nave walls, and the only remedy 
was to put on, at great expense, a stone groined roof, which is 
the real raison d'etre of flying buttresses, so here at Fulbeck, 
when they pulled down the chancel and built it up again with the 
walls further out, the consequence was that the east wall of the 
nave, missing its accustomed support, began to lean out east- 

Another mile and a half brings us to Leadenham, where the, 
east and west road from Sleaford to Newark crosses the Great 
North road. The fine tall spire is seen from all the country 
round, for it stands half way up the cliff. But this and the rest 
of the road to Lincoln is described in Chapter XIII. 

If you go out of Grantham by the south-west, you should stop 
at a very pretty Httle village to the south of the Grantham 
and Melton road, from which a loop descends to an old gateway, 
all that is left of the old Harlaxton Manor, a pretty Tudor 
building now pulled down, the stone balustrades in front of it 
having been removed by Mr. Pearson Gregory to his large house 
a mile off, built on the ridge of the park by Salvin in 1845. The 
Flemish family of De Ligne lived in the old Hall in Jacobean 


times, and their predecessors are probably represented by the 
fine but mutilated alabaster recumbent effigies now in the 
northern, or Trinity, chapel of the church. In the north-east 
angle of this chapel is a very graceful canopied recess on a bracket, 
much like those at Sedgebrook, about five miles off on the border 
of the county. 

The north aisle and nave are older than the tower and south 
aisle ; and a curious staircase ascends at the east of the south 
aisle wall, from which a gangway crossed to the rood loft. 

There are many aumbries in various parts of the church, 
and a tall. Decorated font, with grotesque faces in some 
panels, and in others sacred subjects oddly treated, such as 
our Lord crowned and holding a ChaHce. In the south aisle 
is an old oak post alms-box resembling one at Halton Holgate. 

A doorway leads out from the south side of the east end, 
an entrance probably to an eastern chapel. The two doorways, 
one on each side of the altar, at Spalding may have led to the 
same, or possibly to a vestry, as in Magdalen Chapel, Oxford. 

The spire has a staircase, passing curiously from one of the 
pinnacles. A very massive broken stone coffin, removed from 
a garden, lies in the south chapel. The fine row of limes, and 
the ivy-grown walls of old Harlaxton Manor, add to the beauty 
of this quiet little village, and a group of half-timbered brick 
buildings, said to be sixteenth century, though looking more 
modem, which are near the church, are a picturesque feature. 

Denton Manor, the seat of Sir C. G. E. Welby, Bart., is just 
beyond Harlaxton, and there one might once have seen a fine 
old manor house, now replaced by a large modem hall of fine 
proportions; the work is by Sir A.W. Blomfield, good in design 
and detail, and containing a notable collection both of furni- 
ture and pictures. St. Christopher's Well, a chalybeate spring, 
is in the park, and in the restored church are a good recumbent 
effigy of John Blyth, 1602, and a figure of Richard Welby, 
17 13, with angels carefully planting a crown on his wig. After 
this the road passes into Leicestershire, so we tum to the right 
and in less than four miles, halfway between the Melton road 
and the Nottingham road, and more in Leicestershire than in 
Lincolnshire, we come to TBehoir Castle. The mound on which 
it stands is over the border and is not a natural height, but was 
thrown up on a spur of the wold as early as the eleventh century 
by Robert de Todeni, who thence became known as Robert de 


Belvedeir. Certainly the pile is grandly placed, and has a 
sort of Windsor Castle appearance from all the country round. 
It has been in possession of the Manners family now for four 
hundred years. The celebrated Marquis of Granby, a name 
well known in all the neighbourhood as a public-house sign, 
was son of the third Duke. He was " Col. of the Leicester 
Blues " in 1745, and General and Commander-in-Chief of the 
British contingent at Minden, where the English and German 
forces, under the Duke of Brunswick, defeated the French in 
1759, and he distinguished himself in battle in each of the three 
following years. The castle, destroyed by order of Parliament 
in the civil wars, was rebuilt in 1668, and again in 1801, but a 
fire having destroyed part of it in 1816 it was restored at the 
worst of all architectural periods, so that at a near view it does 
not fulfil the expectation raised by its grand appearance when 
seen from a distance. As at Windsor there is a very fine 
" Guard Room," and many large rooms hung with tapestry 
or pictures, and a picture gallery of unusual excellence. The 
Duchess's garden in spring is one of the finest horticultural 
sights in the kingdom. The greater part of the castle is most 
liberally thrown open daily to the public. 

Returning from Belvoir we can pass by Barrowby to join 
the Nottingham and Grantham road, which leaves the county 
at Sedgebrook, on either side of which are seen the churches 
of Muston and East and West Allington, where Crabbe, the poet, 
was rector 1789-1814. West Allington church stands in Mr. 
Welby's park, and close by, a salt well is marked on the map. 
At Sedgebrook is a farm house which was built as a manor- 
house by Sir John Markham in the sixteenth century, when 
he was Lord Chief Justice of the King's Bench. He it was 
who received the soubriquet of " The upright Judge," on the 
occasion of his being turned out of office by Edward IV., because 
of his scrupulous fairness at the trial of Sir Thomas Coke, Lord 
Mayor of London. 

From Sedgebrook to Barrowby is three miles of level ground, 
and then the road rises 150 feet to the village, which commands 
a splendid view over the vale of Belvoir. Leaving this you 
descend a couple of miles to Grantham. 

At the outskirts of the town the road meets two others, one 
the northern or Lincoln road, and the other the north-western 
or Newark road. This is the Great North Road, and it starts 


by climbing the famous Gonerby Hill, the terror and effectual 
trial ground of motors in their earliest days, and described by 
" mine host " in The Heart of Midlothian as " a murder to 
post-horses." The hill once gained affords a fine view east- 
wards, Foston and Long Bennington (which has a large church 
with a handsome porch, a good churchyard cross, and a mutilated 
market cross), are the only villages, till the road crosses the 
county boundary near Claypole, and runs on about four miles 
to Newark, distant fifteen miles from Grantham. Long Ben- 
nington is a mile north-east of Normanton Lodge, where Lincoln- 
shire, Nottinghamshire, and Leicestershire touch. 

Stubton, a couple of miles to the east, has a fine group of 
yew trees growing round the tomb of Sir George Heron, one 
of the family from Cressy Hall, Gosberton, I suppose, who built 
the hall now occupied by G. Neville, Esq. 

Between Stubton and the Grantham-and-Lincoln road are 
many winding lanes, by a judicious use of which you may escape 
the fate that overtook us of landing after a steep and rather 
rough climb from Barkstone at two farms one after the other, 
beyond which the road did not even try to go. If you have 
better luck you will reach the out-of-the-way parish church of 

This, the last resting-place of King John, when on his journey 
to Newark where he died, has a church whose tower is singu- 
larly interesting, being akin to St. Peter's at Barton-on Humber, 
and the two very old churches in Lincoln, and one at Broughton, 
near Brigg, and we may add, perhaps, the tower at Great Hale. 

The work of all these towers is pre-Norman, and it is not 
unlikely that the church, when first built, consisted of only a 
tower and two apses. At Hough, as at Broughton, we have 
attached to the west face of the tower a Saxon circular turret 
staircase, built in the rudest way and coped with a sloping top 
of squared masonry, of apparently Norman work. The tower 
has several very small lights, 12 to 15 inches high, and of various 
shapes, while the west side of the south porch is pierced with 
a light which only measures 8 inches by 4, but is framed with 
dressed stone on both the wall-surfaces. The two lower stages 
of the square tower, to whose west face the round staircase- 
tower clings, are all of the same rough stone-work, with wide 
mortar joints, but with two square edged thick string-courses 
of dressed stone, projecting 6 inches or more. The upper 



Stage is of much later date. The Early English nave, chancel, 
and aisles are verjr high, and are no less than 20 feet wide, 
mercifully (for it was proposed to abolish them and substitute 

■ ■ ■ i' 


a pine roof) they still retain their old Perpendicular roofs with 
the chancel and nave timbers enriched with car^dng. The 
sedilia are of the rudest possible construction. 

The staircase turret has two oblong Saxon windows, like those 
at Barnack, about four feet by one, in the west face, three small 


round lights on the northj and four on the south, one square 
and one diamond-shaped and two circular. The turret is of 
the same date as the tower, but appears to have been built 
on after the tower was finished ; and it almost obscures the two 
little west windows of the tower, one on each side of it, and 
near the top. A round-headed doorway leads from the tower 
to the turret, inside which the good stone steps lead up to a 
triangular-headed door into the tower, where now is the belfry 
floor, from which another similar doorway leads into the nave. 
Close to the top of the old Saxon tower walls are very massive 
stone corbels for supporting the roof. The Newel post of the 
old tower is a magnificent one, being eighteen inches thick. 
This, where the upper stage .was added, is continued, but with 
only half that thickness. 

There was once a porch with a higher pitched roof, as shown 
by the gable roof-mould against the aisle. On the stone benches 
are three of the solitaire-board devices, with eight hollows con- 
nected by lines all set in an oblong, the same that you see often 
in cloisters and on the stone benches at Windsor, where monks 
or chorister boys passed the time playing with marbles. It is 
a truly primitive and world-wide amusement. The natives of 
Madagascar have precisely the same pattern marked out on 
boards, seated round which, and with pebbles which they 
move like chessmen, they delight themselves, both young and 
old, in gambling. 

The church used to go with the Head-Mastership of Grantham 
Grammar School, seven miles off, and some of the Headmasters 
were buried here ; one. Rev. Joseph Hall, is described as " Vicar 
of Ancaster and Hough-on-the-Hill, Headmaster of Grantham 
Grarhmar School, and Rector of Snelland, and Domestic Chap- 
lain to Lord Fitzwilliam " — he died in 1814. 

It stands on a high knoll, whence the churchyard, which is 
set round with yew-trees, slopes steeply to the south. The 
Wapentake of Loveden takes its name from a neighbouring 
round-topped hill, and the old tower of Hough-on-the-Hill 
may well have been the original meeting-place ; just as Barnack 
was, where the triangular-headed seat for the chief man is built 
into the tower wall. The term " Wapentake " means the taking 
hold of the chief's weapon by the assembled warriors, or of the 
warriors' weapons by the chief, as a sign that they swear fealty 
to him, and then the name was applied to the district over 


which a particular chief held rule. The native chiefs of India, 
when they come to a Durbar, present their swords to the King 
or his representative in a similar manner, for him to touch. 

Just south of Hough is the hamlet of Gelston, where, on a 
triangular green, is all that is left of a wayside cross, a rare 
thing in this county. Only about two feet of the old shaft is 
left and the massive base block standing on a thick slab with 
chamfered corners. This is mounted on three steps and is a 
very picturesque object. 

There are some two dozen Wapentakes within the county, 
some with odd names, e.g., Longoboby ; of these, eight end like 
EUoe in oe, which, I take it, means water. 

From Hough-on-the-Hill the byway to the Grantham and 
Newark road, with villages at every second milestone, runs 
through Brandon, where a small chapel contains a Norman door 
with a tympanum and a rather unusual moulding, very like 
one we shall see in the old church at Stow, and then through 
Stubton, to Claypole, close to the county boundary. The beau- 
tiful crocketed spire of this fine church is a landmark seen for 
miles ; as usual, it is Perpendicular, and on an Early English 
tower, which is plastered over with cement outside and engaged 
between the aisles inside. It is a cruciform building, and in 
the Early English south transept are three beautiful sedilia, 
not at all common in such a position. The flat coloured ceiUng 
of the nave is old, though, since the restoration by C. Hodgson 
Fowler in 1892, the high pitch of the roof over it has been re- 
verted to, both on chancel and nave. The nave is large with 
four wide bays, supported on clustered pillars, the capitals being 
all different and all ornamented with singularly bold foliated 
carving of great beauty. The chancel arch exhibits brackets 
for the rood beam. The large clerestory windows were prob- 
ably in the nave before the aisles were added. Another set 
of sedilia in the chancel are of the Decorated period, and most 
of the windows have flowing tracery. On the north side of 
the chancel is a Sacristy, containing an altar slab in situ with 
its five dedication crosses. The porch has a very deep niche 
over it, for a statue, and there is another niche at the east end 
of the nave ; the fine Perpendicular parapet leading to it being, 
like the rest of the church, embattled. The screen is a good 
Perpendicular one, and the desk of the well-carved pulpit was 
once part of it, this now is oddly supported by the long stem of a 

vii CLAYPOLE 75 

processional cross. The font, which is hexagonal, is of the 
Decorated period. 

One of the most unusual features in the church is to be found 
in the stone seats which surround the bases of the pillars in the 
south arcade. This is to be seen also at Bottesford and at 

A short distance to the south-west of the church there was, 
until quite recently, a charming old stone bridge, over a small 
stream, but this has now, I regret to say, been superseded by 
one of those iron girder structures, so dear to the heart of the 
highway surveyor. 

In the church the hook for the " Lenten Veil " still remains 
at the end of the sedilia, and a staple over the vestry-door 

In pre-reformation days there was a regular "office" or 
service for the Easter sepulchre, in which the priests acted the 
parts of the three kings, the angel, and the risen Lord, at which 
time a line was stretched across the chancel to support the 
" Lenten Veil " which served as a stage-curtain. 



Ewerby — Howell — Use of a Stone Coffin— Heckington — Great Hale — 
Outer Staircase to Tower — Helpringham — Billinghay — North and 
South Kyme — Kyme Castle — Ancaster — Honington — Cranwell. 

Six roads go out of Sleaford, and five railways. Lincoln, 
Boston, Bourne and Grantham have both a road and a railway 
to Sleafordj Spalding has only a railway direct, and Horncastle 
and Newark only a road. At no towns but Louth and Lincoln 
do so many routes converge, though Caistor, Grantham and 
Boston come very near. The southern or Bourne road we have 
traced from Bourne, so we will now take the eastern roads to 
Boston and Horncastle. But first to say something of Sleaford 
itself. The Conqueror bestowed the manor on Remigius, first 
Bishop of Lincoln. About 1130 Bishop Alexander built the 
castle, together with that at Newark, which alone in part survives. 
These castles were seized by Stephen, and here King John, 
having left Swineshead Abbey, stayed a night before his last 
journey by Hough-on-the-hill to Newark, where he died 1216. 
Henry VIII., with Katherine Howard, held a council here on 
his way from Grimsthorpe to Lincoln, 1541, dining next day at 
Temple-Bruer, which he gave in the same year to the Duke of 
Suffolk. He had here in 1538 ordered the execution of Lord 
Hussey. Murray's guide-book tells us that Richard de Hald- 
ingham, 1314, who made the famous and curious " Mappa 
Mundi," now kept in Hereford Cathedral, was born at Holding- 
ham close by. The church is one of four in this neighbourhood 
dedicated to St. Denis. The lower stage of the tower dates from 
1180. The spire, a very early one, built about 1220, being 

struck by lightning, was taken down and put up again by 



C. Kirk in 1884. It is only 144 feet in height. As at Grantham 
and Ewerby the tower is engaged in the aisles ; its lower stage 
dates from 1180. The nave has eight three-light clerestory 
windows, with tall pinnacles rising from the parapet. The 
aisles have a richly carved parapet, without pinnacles ; but the 
beauty and extreme richness of the western ends of the aisles, 
where they engage with the massive tower, surmounted as they 
are by turrets, bellcots and pinnacles, and niches, some still con- 
taining their statues, is not surpassed in any church in England. 

The doorway, which is in the west end of the north aisle, cuts 
into the fine window above, and opens upon the baptistery. 

The nave and aisles are all very lofty ; and the grand propor- 
tions of the church give one the feehng of being in a cathedral. 
There is an outer north aisle, now screened off by a good modern 
oak screen, and fitted with an organ and an altar with modem 
painted reredos depicting the Crucifixion. The tracery of the 
big window is good, but that in the north transept (there is no 
south transept) is one of the finest six-light windows to be seen, 
and is filled with first-rate modern glass by Ward and Hughes. 
The supporting arch at the west of the north aisle has an in- 
verted arch, as at Wells, to support the tower. At the end of 
the south aisle, a tall half-arch acts as a buttress to the other 
side of the tower arch. The chancel was once a magnificent 
one, but was rebuilt and curtailed at a bad period. 

The fine monuments on each side of the chancel arch — one 
having two alabaster recumbent figures, much blocked by the 
pulpit, are all of the Carre family ; and a curious carved and 
inscribed coffin lid, showing just the face, and then, lower 
down, the praying hands of a man, apparently a layman, with 
long hair, is set up in the transept against the chancel pier. At 
Hartington in Derbyshire is one showing the bust and praying 
hands together, and then, lower down, the feet. An old iron 
chest is in the south aisle, and the church has a very perfect 
set of consecration crosses both inside and out. 

The rood screen is especially fine, in fact, the finest in the 
country, having still its ancient canopy projecting about six 
feet, with very graceful carving on the heads of the panels 
below it. Two staircases in the chancel piers still remain, open- 
ing on to the rood loft on either side. 

The west end of the church overlooks the market, where there 
is always a gay scene on Mondays — stalls and cheap-jacks and 



crowds of market folk making it almost Oriental in life and 

The street runs along the south side of the church, across 
which is seen the excellent but not beautiful Sleaford almshouse. 

Eastwards on the Swineshead road, and within half-a-dozen 

\ y I I Lhui-cJi^ Sleaford. 

miles of Sleaford, is a cluster of especially good churches — 
Ewerby, Asgarby, Heckington, Howell, Great Hale and Help- 
ringham. Four of these six have fine spires, and are seen from 
a long distance in this flat country. Ewerby is just on the edge of 
Haverholme Priory Park, and the building rooks who have 
chosen the trees at the village end of the park for their colony, 


gave, when we visited it, pleasant notification of the coming 

The tower is at the west end, engaged in the two aisles, and, 
adjoining the churchyard, a little green with remains of the old 
village cross leaves room for the fine pile of building to be seen 
and admired. The roof line of nave and chancel is continuous, 
and the broach spire, a singularly fine one, perhaps the best in 
England, is 174 feet high. It is probably the work of the same 
master builder who planned and built Heckington and Sleaford. 
The tower has a splendid ring of ten bells (Grantham alone has 
as many) for the completion of which, as for much else, Ewerby 
is indebted to the Earls of Winchelsea. 

Internally, the walls are mostly built of very small stones, 
like those in a roadside wall. In the tower are good Decorated 
windows, in the lower of which, on the western face, is a stained 
glass window. This was struck by lightning in 1909, and all 
the faces of the figures were cut right out, the rest of the glass 
being intact. A lightning-conductor is now installed, but the 
faces are not yet filled in. 

There is a most beautiful little window at the west end of the 
north aisle. Under the tower are three finely proportioned 
arches, and a stone groined roof. The ten bells are rung from 
the ground. The nave pillars are clustered, each erected on an 
earlier transition-Norman base ; and the base of the font is also 
Norman. The porch is unusual in having a triangular string- 
course outside the hood-moulding. Besides the Market Cross, 
there are parts of two others, in the church and churchyard. 
There is a grand old recumbent warrior, probably Sir Richard 
Anses, with fourteenth century chain mail and helmet, and 
gorget, but the most interesting thing of all is a pre-Norman tomb- 
cover on the floor of the north aisle, with a rude cross on it, and 
a pattern of knot-work all over the rest of the slab. This is 
covered by a mat, but it certainly ought to have a rail round it 
for permanent protection, for it is one of the most remarkable 
stones in the county. An old oak chest with carved front is in 
the vestry. The whole church is well-cared-for, but at present 
only seated with chairs. 

From Ewerby, two miles bring us to Howell, a small church 
with neither spire nor tower, but a double bell-gable at the west 
end of the nave ; the porch is Norman, and a large pre-Norman 
stone coffin slab has been placed in it. The transition pillars 

8o HOWELL PORCH chap. 

have huge mill-stone shaped bases ; and there is only a nave 
and north aisle. On the floor of the aisle is a half figure of a 
mother with a small figure of her daughter^ both deeply cut on 
a fourteenth century stone slab. It is curious to come on a 
monument to " Sir Charles Dymok of Howell, 2nd son to Sir 
Edward Dymok of Scrielsby " — whose daughter married Sir 
John Langton. The tomb, with coloured figures of the knight 
and his lady kneeling at an altar, was put up about 1610 by his 
nephew, another Sir Edward Dymok. 

There is a broken churchyard cross, the base inscribed to 
John Spencer, rector, 1448. The church is dedicated to St. 
Oswald. Ivy is growing inside the nave, having forced its way 
right through the wall — a good illustration of the mischief that 
ivy can do. 

The mention of the stone coffin in Howell church porch calls 
to mind a similar case in a Cumberland church, where the sexton, 
pointing it out to a visitor, said : "Ah think thet a varra good 
thing ; minds 'em 0' their latter end, ye knaw ; an' its varra 
useful for umberellas." 

Heckington is a town-like village on the main road, and its 
splendid church, which faces you at the end of the street, as at 
Louth, is one of the wonders of Lincolnshire. It is entirely in 
the Decorated style, with lofty spire and four very high pinnacles. 
It owes its magnificence to the fact that the great abbey at 
Bardney, which had a chantry here, obtained a royal licence in 
1345 to appropriate the church. Certainly it is the most perfect 
example of a Decorated church in the kingdom. 

The nave is remarkably high and wide, and the building of it, 
as in the case of Wilfrid's great church at Hexham, apparently 
took thirty-five years. The dimensions are 150 feet by eighty- 
five, and the masonry, owing probably to the leisurely way in 
which it was built, is 'remarkably good throughout. The statue 
niches have a few of their figures still. The porch, with its 
waved parapet richly carved, with a figure of our Lord above, 
still has its original roof. On either side are double buttresses, 
each with its canopied niche ; and the nave ends with hand- 
some turrets. The transept windows are very fine, and the 
seven-light east window, a most superb one, is only surpassed 
in its dimensions and beautiful tracery by those at Selby and 
Carlisle. It is filled with good glass by Ward and Hughes, put 
up in memory of Mr. Little, by his wife, 1897. 



A massive timber gallery crosses the west end, al30\e the tower 
arch, giving access to the belfry above the groined roof of the 

Heckington Churck 

tower. The clock struck while we were in the church, and gave 
evidence of at least one of the peal being of unusual magnificence 
of tone. 


On the south side of the chancel is one window beneath which 
is a canopied credence table; and west of this, three tall and 
richly carved sedilia with figures of our Lord and the Virgin 
Mary and Saints Barbara, Katherine and Margaret ; but the 
gem of the building is the Easter sepulchre on the north side, 
where there are no windows. This is only surpassed by one at 
Hawton, near Newark. Below are the Roman guards asleep, in 
fourteenth century armour. On each side of the recess for the 
sacred elements, which once had a door to it, are two figures of 
women and a guardian angel, and above them, the risen Christ 
between two flying angels. This is a truly beautiful thing, en- 
shrined in a worthy building. 

Outside is a broken churchyard cross, and the slender chancel 
buttresses are seen to have each a niche for a figure. The 
magnificent great " Dos-D'Ane " coping-stones on the church- 
yard wall, both here and at Great Hale, are a pleasure to see. 

There was a church at Heckington before the Conquest, and 
a second was built about iioo. The income of this, as well as 
of that of Hale Magna, was given in 1208 by Simon de Gant and 
his wife Alice to support the church of St. Lazarus outside the 
walls of Jerusalem, and this endowment was confirmed by King 
John. The rector of Hale Magna in his parish magazine points 
out that the enormous amount of land which was constantly 
passing to the churches and monasteries in the Middle Ages 
became a distinct danger, and that an Act was passed to prevent 
it, called the Statute of Mortmain, under which licence had to 
be obtained from the Crown. 

Consequently we find that in the fourth year of Edward II. 
(1310) inquisition was taken on a certain Sunday before Ranulph 
de Ry, Sheriff of Lincoln, at Ancaster " to inquire whether or 
not it be to the damage of the King or others if the King permit 
Wm. son of Wm. le Clerk of St. Botolph (Boston) to grant 
a messuage and 50 acres of land in Hekyngton and Hale to a 
certain chaplain and his successors to celebrate Divine service 
every day in the parish church of Hekyngton for the health of 
the souls of the said Wm. his father, mother and heirs, &c., for 
ever," etc. The jury found that it would not be to the damage 
or prejudice of the king to allow the grant. They also reported 
that Henry de Beaumont was the " Mesne," or middle, tenant 
between the king and William Clerk of Boston for twenty-eight 
acres, and between the king and Ralph de Howell for the other 


twenty-two acres, he holding from the king " by the service of 
a third part of a pound of pepper," and subletting to the others, 
for so many marks a year. The land apparently being valued 
at about is. 8d. an acre. From other sources we find that land 
thereabouts varied in value from 4^. to 8s. an acre yearly rent. 

In 1345 when the abbot and abbey of Bardney by royal 
licence received the churches and endowments of Hale and 
Heckington for their own use, the abbot became rector and 
appointed a vicar to administer each parish. The name of the 
abbot was Roger De Barrowe, whose tomb was found by the 
excavators at Bardney in 1909. 

The building of the present beautiful church' was completed 
by Richard de Potesgrave, the vicar, in 1380. He doubtless 
received help from Edward IH., to whom he acted as chaplain. 
That he was an important person in the reigns of both Edward H. 
and III. is shown by the former king making over to him the 
confiscated property of the Colepeppers who had refused to 
deliver Leeds Castle, near Maidstone, to Queen Isabella, wife 
of Edward II., in 1321 ; while he was selected by Edward III. to 
superintend the removal of the body of Edward II. from Berkeley 
Cattle to Gloucester. His mutilated effigy is under the north 
window of the chancel, and in a little box above it with a glass 
front is now preserved the small chalice which he used in his 

The churchwardens' account book at Heckington begins in 
1567, and in 1580 and 1583 and 1590 " VP VIII'' " is entered 
as the burial fee of members of the Cawdron family, whose later 
monuments are at Hale. 

Another entry which constantly occurs in the sixteenth cen- 
tury is " for Whypping dogges out of Church," and in the seven- 
teenth century not " dogges " only but vagrants are treated to 
the lash, e.g. : — 

" April 21, 1685. John Coulson then whipped for a vagrant 
rogue and sent to Redford. Antho. Berridge (Vicar)." 

And in 1686 : — 

" Memorand. that John Herrin and Katherine Herrin and 
one child, and Jonas Hay and wife and two children, and Barbary 
Peay and Eliz. Nutall were openly whipped, at Heckington, the 
28th day of May, 1686 — and had a passe then made to convey 
them from Constable to Constable to Newark, in Nottingham- 

G 2 



shire, and Will Stagg was at the same time whipped and sent 
to Conton in Nottinghamshire." 

A goodj sound method of dealing with " Vagrom men," but 
for the women and children one wonders the parson or church- 
wardens were not a<;hamed to make the entry. 

Great Hate. 

The book also shows the accounts of the " Dike-reeve " (an 
important officer) for what in another place is called " the farre 

We have already spoken of Great Kale or Hale Magna. It is 
very near Heckington, and was once a large church. Long 
before the abbey of Bardney appropriated it, in 1345, it had 
both a rector and a vicar, the two being consolidated in 1296. 


In 1346 the vicarage was endowed^ and on the dissolution the 
rectorial tithes were granted, in 1543, to Westminster Abbey ; 
but within four years they reverted to the Crown by exchange, 
and in 1607 were sold by James I., and eventually bought by 
Robert Cawdron, whose family were for many years lay rectors. 
Robert probably found the chancel in a bad state, and rather 
than go to the expense of restoring it, pulled it down and built up 
the chancel arch, and so it remains. But the great interest of 
the building lies at the west end. Here the tower arch is a round 
one, but the tower into which the Normans inserted it is Saxon, 
probably dating from about 950. It is built of small stones, 
and the line of the roof gable is still traceable against it outside. 
It has also a curious and complete staircase of the tenth century 
in a remarkably perfect condition, though the steps are much 
worn. The outer walls of this are built of the same small thin 
stones as are used in the tower, in the upper stage of which are 
deeply splayed windows with a baluster division of the usual 
Saxon type. 

The nave pillars are Early English and slender for their height, 
for they are unusually tall, recalling the lofty pillars in some of 
the churches in Rome. The arches are pointed. Among^the 
monuments are those of Robert Cawdron, and his three wives, 
1605, and of another Robert, 1652, father of twenty children, 
while a large slab with the indent of a brass to some priest has . 
been appropriated to commemorate a third of the same name. 

The Cawdron arms are on a seventeenth century chalice. 
The old registers, which are now well cared for, are on paper, 
and have suffered sadly from damp and rough handling. The 
first volume begins in 1568, the second in 1658, and the hst of 
vicars is complete from 1561. To antiquarians I consider that 
this is one of the most interesting of Lincohishire churches. 
Two miles west is Burton Pedwardtne, with fine Pedwardine 
and Horsman tombs, and a pretty little square grille for exhibit- 
ing relics. The central tower fell in 1862. 

The road which runs south from Heckington to Billingborough 
and so on by Rippingale to Bourne, passes by Hale Magna to 
Helpringham. Here is another very fine church, with a lofty 
crocketed spire, starting from four bold pinnacles with flying 
buttresses. The tower is engaged in the aisles, as at Ewerby 
and Sleaford, and as at Ewerby it opens into nave and aisles by 
three grand arches. The great height of the tower arch into tlie 




na^-e here and at Boston and Sleaford was in order to let in 
light to the church from the great west window. The main 
body of the building is Decorated and has fine windows ; the 
chancel with triplet window is Early English. The font, Early 
English transition, the rood screen is of good Perpendicular 
design, and the effect of the whole building is very satisfying, 
especially from the exterior. It is curious that the lord of the 


H clprin^ham. 

manors of Helpringham and Scredington, who since the sixteenth 
century has been the Lord Willoughby De Broke, was in the 
fourteenth century the Lord Willoughby D'Eresby. 

South of Helpringham, and situated half-way between that 
and Iforbling, and just to the north of the Sleaford-and-Boston 
road is Swaton with a beautiful cruciform church in the earliest 
Decorated style ; indeed, looking at the lancet windows in the 
chancel, one might fairly call it transitional Early Enghsh. 


The simple two-light geometrical window at the east end with 
the muUions delicately enriched outside and in, form a marked 
contrast to the rich but heavy Decorated work of the four-light 
west window. At the east end the window is subordinated to 
the whole design. At the west end the windows are the predomi- 
nant feature of the building, and nowhere can this period of 
architecture be better studied. The roof spans both nave and 
aisles, as at Great Cotes, near Grimsby, so though the nave is 
big and high it has no clerestory. The tower arches are very 
low. The font is a very good one of the period, with diaper 
work and ball-flower. 

We have dwelt at some length on Sleaford and its immediate 
neighbourhood, and not without cause, for there are few places 
in England or elsewhere in which so many quite first-rate churches 
are gathered within less than a six-mile square. They are all 
near the road from Sleaford to Boston, on which, after leaving 
Heckington, nothing noticeable is met with for seven miles, 
till Swineshead is reached, and nothing after that till Boston. . 

The north-eastern road from Sleaford to Homcastle passes 
over a flat and dull country to Billinghay and Tattershall, and 
thence by the interesting little churches of Haltham and Rough- 
ton (pronounced Rooton) to Homcastle. The road near Bil- 
linghay runs by the side of the Old Carr Dyke, which is a pic- 
turesque feature in a very Dutch-looking landscape. 

This road crosses the Dyke near North Kyme, where there is 
a small Roman camp. The Normans have left their mark in 
the name of " Vacherie House " and Boeuferie Bridge, close 
to which is " Decoy House," and two miles to the south is the 
isolated village of South Kyme. Here is the keep of a thir- 
teenth century castle, which is nearly eighty feet high, a square 
tower with small loophole windows. The lower room vaulted 
and showing the arms of the Umfraville family, to whom the 
property passed in the fifteenth century from the Kymes by 
marriage, and soon afterwards to the Talboys family, and, in 
1530, to Sir Edward Dymoke of Scrivelsby, whose descendants 
resided there till 1700. The castle was pulled down about 
1725, after which the Duke of Newcastle bought the estate and 
sold it twenty years later to Mr. Abraham Hume. The exist- 
ing tower communicated from the first floor with the rest of the 
castle. The upper floors are now gone. 

Close by was a priory for Austin canons, founded by Philip 


de Kyme in the reign of Henry II., but all that now remains of it 
is in the south aisle of the church, which, once a splendid cruci- 
form building, has been cut down to one aisle and a fine porch ; 
over this is represented the Coronation of the Virgin. A bit of 

South Kyme. 

very early carved stonework has been let into the wall, and a 
brass inscription from the tomb of Lord Talboys 1530. 
_ The western road from Sleaford has no interesting features, 
till at about the fifth milestone it comes to Ancaster, the old 
Roman ' Causenns',- here it crosses the Ermine Street, which is a 
fine wide road, but fallen in many parts into disuse. The 


Ancaster stone quarries lie two miles to the south of the village 
in Wilsford heath on high ground ; the Romans preferred a high 
ridge for their great " Streets," but at Ancaster the Ermine 
Street descends loo feet, and from thence, after crossing it, 
our route takes us by a very pretty and wooded route to 
Honington, on the Great North Road. 

South Kyme Church. 

We will now go back to Sleaford and trace out the course 
of its other western road to Newark, leaving the north or Lincoln 
Road to be described from Lincoln. 

This road starts in a northerly direction, but splits off at 
Holdingham before reaching Leasingham, of which Bishop 
Trollope of Nottingham, who did so much for archaeology in 
our county, was rector for fifty years. The church has a fine 

90 HOUR-GLASS STANDS chap, vin 

transition tower with curiously constructed belfry windows and 
a broach spire. Two finely carved angels adorn the porchj and the 
font, of which the bowl seems to have been copied from an earlier 
one, though only the stem and base remain, exhibits very varied 
subjects, among them The Resurrection, Last Judgment, The 
Temptation, The Entry into Jerusalem, Herodias and Salome, 
and the Marriage of the Virgin. Fixed to one of the pillars is 
the old hourglass stand, of which other specimens, but usually 
fixed to the pulpit, are at Bracebridge near Lincoln, Sapperton 
near Folkingham, Hameringham near Homcastle, and Belton 
in the Isle of Axholme. 

But the Newark road holds westwards, and, leaving the tower of 
Cranwell, with its interesting " Long and Short " work, to the 
right, climbs to the high ground and crosses the Ermine Street 
by Caythorpe Heath to Leadenham, eight miles. Here it drops 
from " the Cliff " to the great plain, drained by the Wytham 
and Brant rivers, and at Beckingham on the Witham reaches 
the county boundary. The Witham only acts as the boundary 
for two miles and then turns to the right and makes for Lincoln. 
Half way between this and the lofty spire of Leadenham the 
road passes between Straggletkorpe and Brant-Broughton (pro- 
nounced Bruton), which is described later. 



The city of Lincoln was a place of some repute when Julius 
Caesar landed B.C. 55. The Witham was then called the Lindis, 
and the province Lindisse. The Britons called the town Lind- 
coit, so the name the Romans gave it, about a.d. 100, " Lindum 
Colonia," was partly Roman and partly British. The Roman 
walled town was on the top of the hill about a quarter of a mile 
square, with a gate in the middle of each wall. Of their four 
roads, the street which passed out north and south was the 
Via Herminia or Ermine Street. The east road went to " Bano- 
vallum " — Homcastle (or the Bain) — and " Vannona " — Wain- 
fleet — and the west to " Segelocum " — Littleborough. The 
Roman milestone marking XIV miles to Segelocum is now in 
the cathedral cloisters. 

This walled space included the sites of both cathedral and 
castle, and was thickly covered with houses in Danish and 
Saxon times. We hear of 166 being cleared away by the Con- 
queror to make his castle. The Romans themselves extended 
their wall southward as far as the stone-bow in order to accom- 
modate their gro\ving colony. Their northern gate yet exists. 
It is known as " Newport Gate," and is of surpassing interest, 
as, with the exception of one at Colchester, there is not another 
Roman gateway in the kingdom. Only last October the foun- 
dations of an extremely fine gateway were uncovered at Col- 
chester, the Roman " Camelodunum " ; apparently indicating 
the fact that there were two chariot gates as well as two side 
entrances for foot passengers. The Newport Gate is sixteen 
feet wide, and twenty-two feet high, with a rude round arch of 



large stones without a key, the masonry on either side having 
stones some of which are six feet long. On each side of the main 
gate was a doorway seven feet wide for foot passengers. A fifth 
Roman road is the " Foss Way," which came from Newark and 

NewJ'Ort Arch, Lincoln. 

joined the Ermine Street at the bottom of Canwick Hill, a mile 
south of Lincoln. 

'From the junction of these two roads a raised causeway, 
following the line of the present High Street, ran over the marshy 
ground to the gate of the walled town. This causeway, bearing 
in places the tracks of Roman wheels, is several feet below the 


present level, and even on the top of the hill several feet of 
debris have accumulated over the Roman pavements which 
were found in the last century where the castle now stands. 
Doubtless, as years went on, many villas would be planted out- 
side the walls of the Roman city, but we know little of the 
history of the colony, except that it was always a place of con- 
siderable importance. 

To come to post-Roman times, Bede, who died in 785, tells us 
that PauUnus, who had been consecrated Bishop of York in 
625, and had baptised King Aedwin and a large number of 
people at York in the church which stood on the site afterwards 
occupied by the Minster, came to Lincoln, and, after baptising 
numbers of people in the Trent, as he had previously done in 
the Swale near Richmond in Yorkshire, built a stone church 
in Lincoln, or caused his convert Blaeca, the Reeve of the city, 
to build it, in which he consecrated Honorius Archbishop of 
Canterbury. Bede saw the walls of this church which may well 
have stood where the present church of St. Paul does. William 
the Conqueror in 1066 built the Norman castle on the hill to 
keep the town, which had spread along the banks of the Witham, 
in order. It was about this time that Remigius, a monk of 
Fecamp, in Normandy, who had been made by William, Bishop 
of Dorchester-on-Thames in 1067, as a reward for his active 
help with a ship and a body of armed fighting men, got leave, 
after much opposition from the Archbishop of York, to build a 
cathedral at Lincoln on the hill near the castle. So, next after 
the Romans (and perhaps the Britons were there before them), 
it is to him that we owe the choice of this magnificent site for 
the cathedral. Remigius began his great work in 1075, of which 
the central portion of the west front, with its plain rude masonry 
and its round-headed tall recesses on either side of the middle 
door, and its interrupted band of bas-reliefs over the low Norman 
arches to right and left of the tall recesses, is still in situ. The 
sixteen stone bas-reUefs are subjects partly monkish, but mostly 
Scriptural, concerning Adam, Noah, Samuel, and Jesus Christ. 
They are genuine Norman sculptures, and they are at the same 
level as Welboum's twelve English kings under the big central 
window, but these are of the fourteenth century. 

The church of Remigius ended in an apse, of which the foun- 
dations are now under the stalls about the middle of the choir. 
It probably had two towers at the west end, and possibly a 



central tower as well. The church of St. Mary Magdalene was 
swept away to clear the site, and a chapel at the north west end 
of the new building allotted to the parishioners in compensation. 
Like the Taj at Agra it was seventeen years in building, and its 

Gateway of Lincoln Castle. 

great founder died. May 4, 1092, a few months before its com- 
pletion. This was in the reign of Rufus, a reign notable for the 
building of the great Westminster Hall. 

The wide joints of the masonry, and the square shape of the 
stones, and the rude capitals of the pilasters are distinctive of 


Remigius' work. Bloet succeeded Remigius, and during his thirty 
years he did much for the cathedral staff, but not very much 
to the fabric. His successor, Bishop Alexander, 11 23, was a 
famous builder, and besides the castles of Sleaford, Newark 
and Banbury, the first two of which Stephen forced him to give 
to the Crown, he built the later Norman part of the west front, 
raising its gables and putting in three doors and the interlaced 
arcading above the arches of Remigius. He also vaulted the 
whole nave with stone, after a disastrous fire in 1141. There 
had been a previous fire just before Alexander was consecrated 
Bishop in 1123, of which Giraldus Cambrensis, writing about 
1200, says that the roof falling on it " broke the stone with 
which the body of Remigius was covered into two equal parts." 
This richly carved and thus fractured stone you may see to-day, 
where it is placed close to the' north-west arch of the nave and 
north aisle. Bishop Alexander's work is richer than that of 
Remigius; and the shafts and capitals of his west doors are 
beautifully carved. In these, according to Norman custom, 
hunters are aiming at the birds and beasts in the foliage. This 
is best seen in the north-west doorway. King Stephen came to 
Lincoln in 1141, the year of the fire, and it was there that, after 
a fierce fight which raged round the castle and cathedral, he 
was taken prisoner and sent to Bristol, but in the following 
year terms were arranged between him and the Empress Maud, 
and he was crowned at Christmas in Lincoln cathedral. After 
that date Bishop Alexander carried forward his work on the 
cathedral without intermission till his death in 1047, putting 
in the central western gable and the two gables over the arca- 
ding, vaulting the whole west front with stone, and adding the 
little north and south gables against the towers and the Norman 
stages of the towers, of which the northern tower was a little 
the highest, but looked less high because the south tower had 
its angles carried up higher than the walls of the square. 

Bishop Alexander, like St. Hugh, died of a fever, which he 
caught at Auxerre in France, where he had been 'to meet the 
Pope. Those French towns seem to have been pretty pesti- 
lential at all times. Bishop Chesney succeeded him, and either 
he or Bishop Bloet began the episcopal palace. He assisted 
at the Coronation of Henry H. in Lincoln, and founded St. 
Catharine's Priory. He died in 1166, and, after the lapse of six 
years, Geoffrey Plantagenet, son of Henry IL by Fair Rosamund, 

96 ST. HUGH chap. 

held the .See for nine years, but was never consecrated. In 
1 182 he resigned, and was afterwards made Archbishop of 
York. He gave many gifts to the cathedral, and notably two 
" great and sonorous bells," the putative parents of " Great 
Tom." Walter de Constantiis followed him, but was in the very 
next year translated to Rouen, 1184, and again the See was 
vacant for the space of two years. 

In 1 1 85 an earthquake did great damage, and in the following 
year Hugh of Avalon, the famous St. Hugh of Lincoln, was 
appointed Bishop by Henry II. He widened the west end by 
putting a wing to each side of the work- of Remigius, and put 
a gable over the central arch, and began his great work of 
making a new and larger cathedral with double transepts and 
a choir 100 feet longer and a nave ten feet wider than that of 
Remigius, starting at the east and building the present ritual 
choir and both the eastern and western transepts. In this 
his work was of a totally new character, with pointed arches, 
and " is famous as being the earliest existing work of pure 
English Gothic." But Early English work, so says Murray, 
was already being done at Wells in 1174, twelve years earlier, 
and it was there that the Gothic vaulting and pointed arch was 
first seen in England. From the great transept to the angel 
choir is all his design, and it bears no trace of Norman French 
influence in any particular. The name of Hugh's architect is 
Geoffrey de Noiers, his work is more remarkable for lightness 
than for strength, and in about fifty years Hugh's tower fell, 
setting thereby a bad example which has been followed so fre- 
quently that Bishop Creighton's first question on visiting a 
new church used generally to be, " When did your tower fall ? " 

Hugh of Avalon died in London in 1200, and William de 
Blois (1201) and Hugh of Wells (1209) went on with the building. 
The latter particularly kept to Hugh of Avalon's plan of inter- 
calating marble shafts with those of stone. Other character- 
istics of St. Hugh's work are the double arcading in the transept 
and the little pigeon-hole recesses between the arcade arches, 
a trefoil ornament on the pillar belts and on the buttresses, and 
the deep-cut base mouldings. He put in the fine Early English 
round window in the north transept called the " Dean's eye," 
which has plate tracery. The five lancet lights, something after 
the " Five Sisters " window at York, were a later addition. 
The end of his work is easily distinguishable in the east wall of 


the great transept. He also built the Galilee porch, which was 
both a porch and an ecclesiastical court, and the Chapter house, 
with its ten pairs of lancet windows, its arcading and clustered 
pillars and beautiful central pillar to support the roof groining. 
He was succeeded, in 1235, by the famous Robert Grosteste, a 
really great man and a fine scholar, who had studied both at 
Oxford and Paris. He opposed the Pope, who wished to put 
his nephew into a canonry, declaring him to be unfit for the post, 
and stoutly championed the right of the English Church to be 
ruled by Enghsh and not Italian prelates. In his time the 
central tower fell, and he it was who built up in its place the 
first stage at least of the magnificent tower we have now. He 
also added the richly arcaded upper portion of the great west 
front, and its fianking turrets crowned by the figures of the 
Swineherd of Stow with his horn, on the north, and Bishop 
Hugh on the south. Henry Lexington, Dean of Lincoln, suc- 
ceeded him as Bishop in 1254, and during his short episcopate 
of four years Henrj' III. issued a royal letter for removing the 
Roman city wall further east to enable the Dean and Chapter 
to lengthen the cathedral for the Shrine of St. Hugh after his 
canonisation. Then began the building of the ' Angel Choir,' 
which " for the excellence of its sculpture, the richness of its 
mouldings and the beauty of its windows, is not surpassed by 
anything in the Kingdom " (Sir C. Anderson). Its height 
was limited by the pitch of the vaulting of Hugh's Ritual Choir, 
just as the height of Grosteste's tower arches had been. The 
Angel Choir was finished by Lexington's successor Richard of 
Gravesend, 1258-1279, and inaugurated in the following year 
with magnificent ceremony under Bishop Oliver Sutton, Edward I. 
and Queen Eleanor both being present with their children to 
see the removal of St. Hugh's body from its first resting-place 
before the altar of the Chapel of St. John the Baptist in the 
north-east transept, where it had been placed in 1200 when 
King John himself acted as one of the pall bearers, to its new 
and beautiful gold shrine in the Angel Choir behind the high 

The whole cost of the consecration ceremony was borne by 
Thomas Bek, son of Baron d'Eresby, who was on the same day 
himself consecrated Bishop of St. David's, his brother Aiitony 
being Bishop of Durham, and Patriarch of Jerusalem. Bishop 
Sutton, in 1295, built the cloisters and began the charming 


little " Vicar's court." He died in 1300, his successor was Bishop 
John of Dalderby, the same who had a miracle-working shrine 
of pure silver in the south transept, and whom the people chose 
to call St. John of Dalderby, just as they did in the case of 
Bishop Grosteste, though the Pope had refused canonisation 
in each case. He finished the great tower, which, with its beau- 
tiful arcaded tower stage, its splendid double lights and canopies 
above, and its delicate lace-like parapet, seems to me to be quite 
the most satisfying piece of architecture that this or any other 
county has to show. It is finished with tall pinnacles of wood 
covered with lead. The exquisite stone rood-screen and the 
beautiful arches in the aisles were put in at the same time, 
the work on the screen being, as Sir C. Anderson remarks, very 
like the work on the Eleanor's Cross at Geddington. He died 
in 1320, and the lovely tracery of the circular window in the 
south transept, called " The Bishop's eye," was inserted about 
1350 above his- tomb. 

John de Welbourn, the munificent treasurer, who died in 
1380, gave the eleven statues of kings beneath the window at 
the west end, which begin with William the Conqueror and end 
with Edward HI., in whose reign they were set up. Among 
other benefactions Welbourn gave the beautifully carved choir 
stalls, and he also vaulted the towers. These were all, at one 
time, finished by leaded spires. Those of the western tower 
being 100 feet high, and that on the great central or rood tower 
soaring up to a height of 525 feet. This was blown down in 
1547, and the western spires were removed in 1807-08, a mob 
of excited citizens having prevented their removal in 1727, 
but eighty years later the matter made no great stir, and though 
their removal may by some be regretted, I think it is a matter 
of pure congratulation that the splendid central tower, whose 
pinnacles attain an altitude of 265 feet, should have remained 
as it is. The delicate lace-like parapet was added in 1775. It 
is not very likely that anyone should propose to raise those 
spires again, but dreadful things do happen ; and quite lately 
one of our most eminent architects prepared a design for putting 
a spire on the central tower at Peterborough. Think of that ! 
and ask yourself, is there any stability in things human ? 

Apart from its commanding situation, the whole pile is very 
magnificent, and, viewed as a whole, outside, it has nothing to 
touch it, though the west front is not to compare in beauty with 



that of Peterborough. Inside, York is larger and grander, and 
Ely surpasses both in effect. But if we take both the situation 
and the outside view and the inside effect together, Lincoln 
stands first and Durham second. 

I was once at an Archaeological society's meeting in Durham 
when Dean Lake addressed us from the pulpit, and he began by 
saying : " We are now met in what by universal consent is con- 
sidered the finest church in England but one ; need I say that 
that one is Lincoln ? " The chuckle of delight which this 
remark elicited from my neighbour. Precentor Venables, was a 
thing I shall never forget. We will now take a look at the 
building, and begin first with the outside, and, starting at the 
west, walk slowly along the south side of the close. If we begin 
near the Exchequer Gate we see the west front with its fine 
combination of the massive work of Remigius, the fine Norman 
doors of Alexander (with the Enghsh kings over the central 
door), the rich arcading of Grosteste along the top and at the 
two sides, and the flanking turrets with spirelets surmounted by 
the statues of St. Hugh and the Stow Swineherd. We look up 
to the gable over the centre flanked by the two great towers 
on either side of it. Norman below, Gothic above, with their 
very long Perpendicular double lights, octagonal angle buttresses 
and lofty pinnacles. The northern tower once held the big bell 
" Great Tom," and the southern (" St. Hugh's ") has still its 
peal of eight. Lincoln had a big bell in Elizabeth's reign, which 
was re-cast in that of James I., and christened " Great Tom of 
Lincoln," 1610. This second great bell being cracked in 1828, 
was re-cast in 1855, and the Dean and chapter of the time actu- 
ally took down the beautiful peal of six, called the " Lady 
BeUs," which had been hung in Bishop Dalderby's great central 
tower about 131 1 and gave that tower its name of the " Lady 
Bell Steeple," and had them melted down to add to the weight of 
" Great Tom," thus depriving the minster, by this act of van- 
dalism, of its second ring of bells. The third, or new, " Great 
Tom," now hangs alone in the central tower. It weighs five 
tons eight hundredweight, and is only surpassed in size in 
England by those at St. Paul's, at Exeter Cathedral, and Christ 
Church, Oxford. It is six feet high, six feet ten inches in 
diameter, and twenty-one and a half feet round the rim, and 
the hammer, which strikes the hours, weighs two hundred- 

H z 


From the west front we should walk along the south side, 
passing first the consistory court with its three lancet windows, 

The Rood Tower and South Transept^ Lincoln, 


and high pitched gable, where is the little figure of " the devil 
looking over Lincoln." This forms a small western transept, 
and has a corresponding transept on the north side, containing 
the ringers' chapel and that of St. Mary Magdalene. 

Going on we get a view of the clerestory windows in the nave, 
above which is the parapet relieved by canopied niches, once 
filled with figures. The flying nave buttresses now come into 
view, and next we reach, at the south-western corner of the 
great transept, the beautifully built and highly ornamented 
" Gahlee Porch," which was meant for the bishop's entrance 
from his palace into the cathedral. The room over it is now 
the muniment room. From this point we get a striking view 
of the western towers with the southern turret of the west front. 
The buttresses of the transept run up to the top of the clerestory, 
and end in tall pinnacles with statue-niches and crockets. The 
transept gable has a delicately pierced parapet and lofty pin- 
nacles. Above is a five-light Decorated window, and below this 
a broad stone frieze, and then the large round window, " The 
Bishop's Eye," with its unspeakably lovely tracery, a marvel 
of lace-work in stone ; below this comes a row of pointed arcad- 
ing. The eastern transept is the next feature, with another 
fine high-pitched gable. Here the work of St. Hugh ends. 
The apsidal chapels of St. Paul and St. Peter are at the east side 
of this transept, and then, along the south side of the Angel 
Choir, the chapels of Bishops Longland and Russell, with the 
splendid south-east porch between them. This, from its 
position, is unique in English churches, and was probably 
designed for the state entrance of the bishop after the pres- 
bytery had been added, in place of the Galilee porch entrance. 
It has a deeply recessed arch, with four canopied niches holding 
fine figures. The doorway has two trefoil headed arches, 
divided by a central shaft with a canopied niche above it, once 
containing the figures of the Virgin and Child. Above this, 
and in the tympanum, is represented the Last Judgment. The 
buttresses of the Angel Choir are beautifully and harmoniously 
enriched with canopy and crocket, and the upper windows are 
perfect in design and execution. Apart from its splendid posi- 
tion, it is this exquisite finish to the beautifully designed building 
that makes Lincoln Cathedral so " facile .princeps " among English 
cathedrals. At the south-east buttress are finely conceived 
figures of Edward I. trampling on a Saracen, and his Queen 

I02 THE EAST END chap. 

Eleanor ; and another figure possibly represents his second 
queen, Margaret. Coming round to the east we look with 
delighted eyes on what has been called " the finest example of 
Geometrical Decorated Architecture to be found in the king- 
dom." The window is not so fine as that at Carlisle, and no 
east end competes with that at York, but York is Perpendicular, 
and Lincoln is Geometrical. Here we have not only a grand 
window, fifty-seven feet high, but another great five-light window 
above it, and over that a beautiful figure of the Virgin and 
Child, and all finished by a much enriched gable surmounted 
by a cross. The two windows, one above the other, seem not 
to be quite harmonious, in fact, one does not want the upper 
window, nor perhaps the windows in the aisle gables, but the 
buttresses and their finials are so extraordinarily good that they 
make the east end an extremely beautiful whole. Close to the 
north-east angle is a little stone well cover, and the chapter- 
house, with its off-standing buttress-piers and conical roof, comes 
into view at the north. The north side is like the south, but 
has near it the cloisters, which are reached by a short passage 
from the north-east transept. From the north-east corner of 
these cloisters you get an extremely good view of the cathedral 
and all its three towers. Steps from this corner lead up to the 
cathedral library. The north side of the cloisters of Bishop 
Oliver Sutton, unable to bear the thrust of the timber-vaulted 
ceiling, fell, and was replaced in 1674 by the present inhar- 
monious pillars and ugly arches designed by Sir Christopher 

We must now look inside the cathedral, and if we enter the 
north-east transept from the cloisters we shall pass over a large 
stone inscribed " Elizabeth Penrose, 1837." This is the resting- 
place of " Mrs. Markham," once the authority on English history 
in every schoolroom, and deservedly so. She took her nom de 
■plume from the Httle village of East Markham, Notts., in which 
she lived for many years. 

Passing through the north-east transept, with its stained 
glass windows by Canon Sutton, and its curious " Dean's 
Chapel," once the minster dispensary, and turning eastwards, 
we enter the north aisle of the Angel Choir and find the chapel 
of Bishop Fleming, the^ founder of Lincoln College, Oxford. 
In this the effigy of the bishop is on the south side, and there 
is a window to the memory of Sir Charles Anderson, of Lea, 



and a reredos with a painting of the Annunciation, lately put 
up in memory of Arthur Roland Maddison, minor canon and 
librarian, who died April 24, 1912, and is buried in his parish 
churchyard at Burton, by Lincoln. He is a great loss, for he 
was a charming personality, and, having been for many years a 
painstaking student of heraldry, he was always an accurate 
writer on matters of genealogy, and on the relationships and 
wills of the leading Lincolnshire families, subjects of which he 
had a special and unique knowledge. Bishop Fleming was not 
the only Bishop of Lincoln who founded a college at Oxford, 
as William Smith, founder of Brasenose, Cardinal Wolsey, 
founder of Christchurch, and William of Wykeham, founder 
of New College, were all once bishops here. Opposite to the 
Fleming chapel is the Russell chapel, just east of the south 
porch and between these lies the Retro Choir, which contained 
once the rich shrine of St. Hugh, its site now marked, next to 
Bishop Fuller's tomb, by a black marble memorial. Here is 
the beautiful monument to the reverend Bishop Christopher 
Wordsworth. This is a very perfect piece of work, with a rich, 
but not heavy, canopy, designed by Bodley and executed by 
M. Guillemin, who carved the figures in the reredos of St. Paul's. 
This rises over a recumbent figure of the bishop in robes and 
mitre. The face is undoubtedly an excellent likeness. 

The view from here of the perfect Geometrical Gothic east 
window, with its eight hghts, is very striking ; beneath it are 
the three chapels of St. Catherine, St. Mary, and St. Nicholas, 
and on either side of it are two monuments, those on the south 
side to Wymbish, prior of Nocton, and Sir Nicolas de Cante- 
lupe ; and on the north side to Bishop Henry Burghersh, 
Chancellor of Edward III., 1340, and his father, Robert. On 
each tomb are canopied niches, each holding two figures, among 
which are Edward IIL and his four sons — the Black Prince, 
Lionel Duke of Clarence, John of Gaunt, and Edmund of 
Langley. Adjoining the chapel of St. Catherine, which was 
founded by the Burghersh family, is a fine effigy of Bartholomew 
Lord Burghersh, who fought at Crecy, in full armour with his 
head resting on a helmet. A fine monument of Queen Eleanor 
once stood beneath the great window where her heart was 
buried before the great procession to London began. The 
effigy was of copper gilt, but, having been destroyed, it has been 
recently replaced by a generous Lincoln citizen from drawings 

104 THE CHOIR chap. 

which were in existence and from a comparison with her monu- 
ment in Westminster Abbey. A stone at the west of St. Cather- 
ine's chapel shows a deep indentation worn by the scrape of 
the foot of each person who bowed at the shrine. A similar 
one is to be seen at St. Cuthbert's shrine, Durham. 

In the east windows of both the choir aisles is some good 
Early English glass. 

We will now turn westwards, past the south porch, and come 
to the south-east transept ; here the line of the old Roman 
wall and ditch runs right through the cathedral, the apsidal 
chapels of the eastern transepts and the whole of the presbytery, 
as well as the chapter-house, lying all outside it. Two apsidal 
chapels in this transept are dedicated to St. Peter and St. Paul. 
It was in St. Peter's that sub-dean Bramfield was murdered 
by a sub-deacon, September 25, 1205, who paid the penalty 
immediately at the hands of the sub-dean's servants. The 
exquisite white marble tomb and recumbent figure of John 
Kaye, bishop 1827 to 1853, by Westmacott, is in this chapel. 
Opposite to these apsidal chapels are the canons' and choristers' 
vestries ; under the former is a crypt ; the latter has the monks' 
lavatory, and a fireplace for the baking of the sacramental 
wafers by the sacristan. Passing along the south choir-aisle 
we reach the shrine of little St. Hugh, and here the work all 
around us, in choir, aisles, and transepts, is that of the great 
St. Hugh. The whole of the centre of the cathedral, with its double 
transept and the choir between them, being his ; and we must 
notice in two of the transept chapels his peculiar work in the 
double capitals above slender pillars of alternate stone and 
marble, and projecting figures of saints and angels low down 
in each spandrel. We now enter the choir, and pause to admire 
the magnificent work and all its beauty. On either side are the 
sixty-two beautiful and richly carved canopied stalls. They 
are only excelled, perhaps, by those at Winchester. The carving 
of the Miserere seats is much like that at Boston, where humorous 
scenes are introduced. The fox in a monk's cowl, the goose, 
and the monkey being the chief animals represented. Here, 
on a poppy-head in the precentor's seat, a baboon is seen steal- 
ing the butter churned by two monkeys ; he is caught and 
hanged, and on the Miserere he is being carried forth for burial. 
A finely carved oak pulpit, designed by Gilbert Scott, is at the 
north-east end of the stalls. The brass eagle is a seventeenth 


century copy of an earlier one. We notice overhead the stone 
vaulting, springing from Purbeck shafts ; notice, too, the beauty 
of the mouldings and carved capitals, and the groups of arches 
forming the triforium with clerestory window above, which, 
however, only show between the ribs of the vaulting ; and, then, 
the length of it ! For now, by taking in two from the Angel 
Choir, the chancel has seven bays. It is a very striking view as 
you look eastwards, but it has the defect of a rather plain, low 
vaulting, and west of it the nave, which is a generation later, is 
more splendidly arranged, while east of it the Angel Choir, which 
is nearly half a century later than the nave, admittedly sur- 
passes all the rest in delicacy and beauty. The choir vaulting 
being low, caused both nave and presbytery to be lower than 
they would otherwise have been, so that it has been said that 
when the tower fell it was a pity the chancel did not fall with 
it, all would then have been built with loftier roofs and with 
more perfect symmetry. 

If we pass down the Ritual Choir eastwards, we enter the 
presbytery, and at once see the origin of the name " Angel Choir " 
in the thirty figures of angels in the spandrels. It was built to 
accommodate the enormous number of pilgrims who flocked to 
St. Hugh's shrine, and is, according to G. A. Freeman, " one of 
the loveliest of human works ; the proportion of the side eleva- 
tion and the beauty of the details being simply perfect," and 
it would seem to be uncontested that all throughout, whether 
in its piers, its triforium, its aisles, or its carved detail, it shows 
a delicacy and finish never surpassed in the whole history of 
Gothic architecture. One of its large clerestory windows was 
filled, in 1900, with excellent glass by H. Holiday, to mark the 
seven-hundredth anniversary of St. Hugh's death. 

The angels sculptured in stone, and mostly carrying scrolls, 
fill the triforium spandrels in groups of three, five groups on 
either side. They are probably not all by the master's hand. 
The Virgin and Child in the south-west bay and the angel with 
drawn sword in the north-west seem finer than the rest. The 
stone inscribed in Lombardic letters " Cantata Hie," marks the 
place for chanting the Litany; this is chanted by two lay 
clerks. There are nine of these, one being vestry clerk ; also 
four choristers in black gowns with white facings (a reminiscence 
of the earliest dress for the Lincoln choir, and a unique costume 
in England), eight Burghersh choristers or " Chanters " (lineal 

io6 THE NAVE chap. 

descendants of the Burghersh chantry of St. Catherine with its 
separate band of choristers), and some supernumerary boys and 
men. There are four canons residentiary, viz., the sub-dean, 
chancellor, precentor, and Archdeacon of Lincoln, and fifty- 
three prebendaries. 

In the first bay of the north side of the Angel Choir is a remark- 
able monument, part of which once served for an Easter 
sepulchre. This, like those of Navenby and Heckington of the 
same date, is richly carved with oak and vine and fig-tree 
foliage, and shows the Roman soldiers sleeping. Opposite, on 
the south side, are the tombs of Katharine Swynford of Ketil- 
thorpe. Duchess of Lancaster, Chaucer's sister-in-law, whose 
marriage to John of Gaunt took place in the minster in 1396. 
Like so many of the monuments, these are sadly mutilated, and 
are not now quite in their original position. 

It is on one of the pillars of the east bay, the second from the 
east end, that the curious grotesque, familiar to all as the 
" Lincoln Imp," is perched. 

If we now turn westwards we shall come to the fine stone 
organ screen, and pass through to the tower, whose predecessor 
fell through faultiness of construction, and was rebuilt by 
Grosteste as far as the nave roof, and we shall look down the nave, 
which is forty-two feet wide, each aisle being another twenty 
feet in width. The planning and execution of the nave we owe 
to the two Bishops Hugh. Its great length (524 feet with the 
choir and presbytery) makes the whole building, when viewed 
from the west, look lower than it is, for it is really eighty-two 
feet high. Looking west this is not felt so much, and there is 
a feeling of great dignity which the best Early English work 
always gives. The piers may seem lacking in massive strength, 
but they vary in pattern, those to the east being the most 
elaborate, and so gain in interest. One curious thing about 
the nave, though not discernible to the uninitiated, is that the 
axis, which is continuous from the east end for the first five of 
the seven bays, here diverges somewhat to the north, and so 
runs into the centre of the Norman west front. The two western 
bays are five and a quarter feet less in span than the others. 
Probably the architect, as he brought the nave down westwards 
with that light-hearted disregard of a previous style of archi- 
tecture which characterised the medieval builder and his pre- 
decessors of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, intended 


to sweep away all the old Norman work at the west end and 
carry the line straight on with equal-sized arches, but funds 
failed and he had to join up the new with the old as best he 
could ; and we have cause to be thankful for this, since it 
has preserved for us the original and most interesting work of 

Before we leave our place beneath the tower, we must look at 
the two great transepts. These have piers, triforium and 
clerestory similar to those in the choir, and each has three 
chapels along the eastern wall ; these, from north to south, 
are dedicated to St. Nicholas, St. Denis, St. Thomas ; and in 
the south transept to St. Edward, St. John and St. Giles. Of 
these, St. Edward's is called the chanters' chapel, and it has 
four little figures of singers carved in stone, two on each side of 
the door. This was fitted up for use and opened in August, 
1913, for a choristers' chapel, the tombstone of Precentor 
Smith, 1717, being introduced for an altar. Everybody is 
attracted by the rose windows. That to the north has 
beneath it five lancet windows, something like those at York, 
filled with white silver)' glass, but the rose above has still its 
original Early English stained glass, and is a notable example 
of the work of the period. A central quatrefoil has four trefoils 
outside it and sixteen circles round, all filled with tall bold figures 
and strongly coloured. It is best seen from the triforium. 
Below is the dean's door, with a lancet window on either side, 
and over it a clock with a canopy, given in 1324 by Thomas of 
Louth. This canopy was carried ofi by the robber archdeacon, 
Dr. Bailey, and used as a pulpit-top in his church at Messing- 
ham, but was restored by the aid of Bishop Trollope. 

The south transept, where Bishop John of Dalderby was 
buried, contains what no one sees without a feeling of delight, 
and wonder that such lovely work could ever have been executed 
in stone, — the great rose window with its twin ovals and its leaf- 
like reticulations, which attract the eye more than the medley 
of good old glass with which it is filled, but which gives it a 
beautiful richness of effect. Below this are four lancets with 
similar glass. 

The aisles of the nave are vaulted, the groins springing from 
the nave pillars on the inner, and from groups of five shafts on 
the outer side. Behind these runs a beautiful wall arcade on 
detached shafts, continuous in the north aisle, but only repeated 

io8 THE FONT chap. 

in portions of the south aisle, with bosses of foliage at the spring 
of the arches. In the aisle at the second bay from the west is 
the grand old Norman font, resembling that at Winchester. 
There is another at Thornton Curtis in the north-east of the 
county. Neither of the Lincolnshire specimens are so elabo- 
rately carved as that at Winchester, which is filled with scenes 
from the life of St. Nicholas, but all are of the same massive 
type, with dragons, etc., carved on the sides of a great block 
of black basalt resting on a round base of the same, with four 
detached corner pillars leading down to a square black base. 
These early basalt fonts, of which Hampshire has four, Lincoln- 
shire two, the other being at Ipswich, Dean Kitchin conclu- 
sively proved to have all come from Toumai, in Belgium, and to 
date from the middle of the twelfth century, a time coinciding 
with the episcopacy of Bishops Alexander and De Chesney at 
Lincoln, and Henry de Blois at Winchester. The one at 
St. Mary Bourne is the biggest, and has only clusters of grapes 
on it and doves. The other two are at East Meon and at 
St. Michael's, Southampton, and have monsters carved on them 
like the Lincolnshire specimens. 

Of brasses, in which the cathedral before the Reformation 
was specially rich, having two hundred, only one now remains, 
that of Bishop Russell, 1494, which is now in the cathedral 
library ; but in a record made in 1641 by Sir W. Dugdale and 
Robert Sanderson, afterwards Bishop, is the following most 
charming little inscription to John Marshall, Canon of the 
cathedral, 1446, beneath the figure of a rose : — 

" Ut rosa pallescit ubi solem sentit abesse 
Sic homo vanescit ; nunc est, nunc desinit esse." 

which may be Englished 

' ' As the rose loses colour not kissed by the sun, 
So man fades and passes ; now here, and now gone. " 

The ascent of the towers gives magnificent views ; from the 
central tower one may see " Boston Stump " on one hand, 
and on the other Newark spire. The big bell, too, has its attrac- 
tions, but the greatest curiosity is the elastic stone beam, a very 
flat arch connecting the two western towers, made of twenty- 
three stones with coarse mortar joints, which only rises sixteen 
inches, and vibrates when jumped on. Its purpose is not clear, 


possibly to gauge the settlement of the towers. The north end 
now is thirteen inches lower than the south. A gallery in the 
thickness of the wall between the great west window and the 
Cinquefoil above it, allows a wonderful view of the whole length 
of the cathedral. It is called Sir Joseph Banks' view. 

Within the Close, as we passed along looking at the cathedral, 
we had our backs to the canons' houses. First comes the pre- 
centory and the sub-deanery near the Exchequer Gate, next 
the Cantilupe Chantry, with a figure of the Saviour in a niche 
in the gable end, and a curious square oriel window, and then 
the entrance to the Bishop's palace opposite the Galilee porch. 
The old palace, begun about 11 50 or possibly earlier, was a 
splendid building ; the ruins of it are in the palace grounds. 
Through a gateway or vaulted porch, where is now the secretary's 
office, you descend to the site of the magnificent hall, eighty- 
eight feet by fifty-eight, built by St. Hugh, for, like Vicars 
Court, with its steep flight of steps and its charming old houses, 
it is built on the slope of the hill. Succeeding bishops added to 
the pile in which Henry VI. and Henry VIII. were royally 
lodged and entertained, and the charges which cost Queen 
Katharine Howard her life took their origin from her meetings 
here and afterwards at Gainsborough with her relative Thomas 
Culpepper. The palace was despoiled in the days of the Com- 
monwealth, and little but ruins now remain, but a part of it 
has been restored and utilised as a chapel by the late Bishop 
King, perhaps the most universally beloved of Lincoln's many 
bishops. Buckden and Nettleham and Riseholme have supplied 
a residence for successive bishops, and now the bishop is again 
lodged close to his cathedral. But, in the grandiloquent lan- 
guage of a work entitled ' The Antiquarian and Topographical 
Cabinet, containing a series of elegant views of the most inter- 
esting objects of curiosity in Great Britain, 1809,' " The place 
where once the costly banquet stood arrayed in all the ostenta- 
tious luxury of Ecclesiastic greatness has now its mouldering 
walls covered with trees." The same authority, speaking of 
Thornton Abbey, has this precious reflection, which is too good 
to lose : " Here in sweet retirement the mind may indulge 
in meditating upon the instabihty of sublunary greatness, and 
contemplate, with secret emotion, the wrecks of ostentatious 
grandeur." The Chancery, built by Antony Bek, 1316, faces 
the east end of the minster yard ; it is distinguished outside by 

no THE CHANCERY chap. 

an entrance arch and an oriel window. Inside, there are some 
very interesting old doorways, and a charming little chapel, 
with a wooden screen of c. 1490, the time of Bishop Russell, 
and two embattled towers on the old minster yard wall in the 

J oUtf ti iCtj Line In. 

garden, of the early fourteenth centur}'. The deanery is a 
modern building on the north side of the minster. 

It was in the chapter house, probably, that Edward I. held 
his great Parliament in 1301, which secured the Confirmation 
of Magna Charta. Edward II. and Edward III. also each 


held a parliament here, and since their time certainly seven 
kings of England have visited Lincoln. 

The cathedral precincts of Lincoln are called the " Minster 
Yard," and the church is called the Minster, though Lincoln 
was a cathedral from the first ; the term Minster being only 
properly applied to the church of a monastery, such as York, 
Canterbury, Peterborough, Ripon, and Southwell ; of these, 
Canterbury is not often called a Minster, but York is always. 
Lincoln was never attached to a monastery. 



Pope Gregory and St. Augustine— Calumnies against the Jews— The Three 
"St. Hugh's." 

Perhaps here it may be well to say something of the life of 
Paulinus, the first Christian missionary in Lincoln. And in 
doing so I must acknowledge the debt I owe to Sir Henry 
Howorth's most interesting book, " The Birth of the English 

When Pope Gregory, having been struck by the sight of 
some fair-haired Anglian boys being sold as slaves in the Roman 
Forum, had determined to send a Mission to preach the Gospel 
in their land, he chose the prior of his own monastery of St. 
Andrew's, which was on the site where now stands the church 
of San Gregorio on the Cselian Hill in Rome. The name of the 
prior was Augustine. With his companion monks, he set out, 
apparently in the spring of 596. They went from Ostia by sea 
to Gaul, but lingered in that country for above a year, and landed 
on the Isle of Thanet in April 597. He was well received by 
.(Ethelbert King of Kent and his wife Bertha, daughter of Chari- 
bert King of Paris. She was a Christian, and had brought her 
Christian chaplain with her. This made Augustine's mission 
comparatively easy. Quarters were given him in Canterbury, 
and he began to build a monastery and was allowed to make 
use of the little church dedicated to St. Martin, where the 
Queen's chaplain had officiated. Having then sent to the Pope 
for more missionaries, he received instructions from Gregory 
to establish a Metropolitan See in London and other Bishoprics 
in York and elsewhere. At the same time several recruits 


were sent to him among whom Bede particularises Mellitus, 
Justus, Paulinus, and Rufinianus. The first three became 
respectively Bishops of London, Rochester, and York, and 
Rufinianus Abbot of St. Augustine's monastery at Canterbury. 
By the Pope's command all these bishops were to be subject to 
Augustine during his life, and he was to be the Archbishop of 
Canterbury. Augustine died in the same year as St. Gregory, 
A.D. 604. A few years later, about 616, Mellitus and Justus 
both withdrew for a year to Gaul, but were recalled by King 
Eadbald, Justus to Rochester and Mellitus to become Arch- 
bishop of Canterbury after Laurence, a priest whom Augustine 
himself had selected to succeed him in 604, and who died in 619. 
To this post Justus succeeded in 624, and, as Archbishop, con- 
secrated Romanus to the See of Rochester. Shortly after this 
Paulinus was consecrated Bishop of York by Justus in 625, and 
he accompanied ^thelbert's daughter iEthelberga to the Court 
of iEdwin King of Deira, who ruled from the Forth to the 
Thames and who had sought her hand, promising that she 
should be free to worship as she liked and that if on inquiry 
he found her religion better than his own he would also become 
a Christian. He discussed the matter with Paulinus, and after 
many months' delay summoned a Witenagemote and asked each 
counsellor what he thought of the new teaching, which at pre- 
sent had no hold except in Kent. Coifi, the Chief Priest of the 
old religion, was the first to speak ; he said he had not got any 
good from his own religion though none had served the gods 
more faithfully — ^so if the new doctrine held out better hopes 
he would advise the king to adopt it without further delay. 
Coifi was followed by another of the king's Ealdormen. His 
speech was a very remarkable one, and is accurately rendered 
by the poet Wordsworth in his Sonnet called Persuasion, which 
runs thus : — 

" Man's life is like a sparrow, mighty King ! 
That— while at banquet with your Chiefs you sit 
Housed near a blazing fire — is seen to flit 
Safe from the wintry tempest. Fluttering, 
Here did it enter ; there, on hasty wing, 
Flies out, and passes on from cold to cold ; 
But whence it came we know not, nor behold 
Whither it goes. Even such that transient thing, 
The human Soul ; not utterly unknown 
While in the Body lodged, her warm abode ; 


But from what world she came, what use or weal 
On her departure waits, no tongue hath shown ; 
This mystery if the Stranger can reveal, 
His be a welcome cordially bestowed ! " 

After this the king gave PauHnus permission to preach the 
Gospel openly, and he himself renounced idolatry, and in April 
627, with a large number of his people, he was baptized at York 
in the little church which was the first to be built on the site 
of York Minster. After this Paulinus baptized in the river 
Swale, and later he came to the province of " Lindissi," and 
spent some time in Lincoln, converting Blaecca the " Reeve " 
of the city, and baptizing in the presence of the king a great 
number of people in the Trent either at Littleborough or Torksey. 

He appears to have spent some time in Lincoln, and to have 
come back to it after 633, for early in 635 he consecrated Honorius 
the successor to Justus, and fifth Archbishop of Canterbury. 
The ceremony taking place probably in the little " church of 
stone " that he had built, possibly where St. Paul's Church now 
stands. It was probably thatched with reeds, for eighty years 
later Bede speaks of it as being unroofed. If St. Paul's church 
really was originally the church of Paulinus, it helps to remove 
the stigma that though Paulinus preached and baptised with 
effect, unlike Wilfrith, he founded nothing. 

In 633 King ^dwin and both his sons were killed after a 
great battle against Penda King of Mercia and Coedwalla King 
of the Britons, at Haethfelth near Doncaster, and Christianity 
in Northumbria came to an abrupt end ; though, when Paulinus 
left, to escort the widowed queen back to Kent, his faithful 
deacon James remained behind him, whose memorial we probably 
have in the inscribed cross shaft with its unusual interlaced 
pattern at Hawkswell near Catterick. To York Paulinus 
never returned ; but on the death of Romanus, who had been 
sent by Archbishop Justus on a mission to the Pope but was 
drowned in the Bay of Genoa, he took charge of the See of 
Rochester, and there he remained till his death on October 10, 
644, after he had been Bishop at York for eight and at Roch- 
ester for eleven years. Archbishop Honorius, who was con- 
secrated just a year before the death of a Pope of the same name, 
ordained Ithamar to succeed Paulinus. He was a native of 
Kent and the first Englishman to be made a bishop. After the 
death of Paulinus in 644, more than four centuries passed before 


Remigius began to build the cathedral in 1075, which was 
altered and amplified so remarkably about 100 years later by 
Hugh of Lincoln. 


" Hugh of Lincoln " is a title which^ like Cerberus in Sheridan's 
play, indicates " three gentlemen at once," and it will perhaps 
prevent confusion if I briefly distinguish the three. 

The first and greatest is the Burgundian, usually called from 
his birthplace on the frontier of Savoy " Hugh of Avalon." 
He went to a good school in Grenoble, and, as a youth, joined 
the monastery of the Grande Chartreuse, where he rose to be 
procurator or bursar. In 1175, at the request of Henry IL 
who had, with difficulty, obtained the consent of the Archbishop 
of Grenoble, he came to England to become the first prior of 
the king's new monastery at Witham in Somerset, the first 
Carthusian house in England. In 1186, much against his will, 
he was, by the king's decree, elected Bishop of Lincoln, and took 
up his residence at Stow, where he at once set to work to master 
the English tongue. His rule of life was ascetic, and he made 
a practice of going every year in harvest time to live as a simple 
monk at Witham. He was a strong man, with high ideals, 
upright, unselfish and charitable, no believer in the miracles of 
the day, and so free from prejudice that he always protected 
the hated Jews, who wept sincere tears at his funeral. He 
was active in his huge diocese, and was a maker of history, for, 
besides extending and beautifying the cathedral of Remigius, 
he eventually became so powerful that he joined the Archbishops 
in excommunicating their Sovereign, and in 1197 he success- 
fully opposed King Richard I. and his " Justiciar," who was the 
great Archbishop Hubert Walter. Walter, when Bishop of Salis- 
bury, had accompanied Richard to the crusade, where he was 
the king's chief agent in negotiating with Saladin. He headed 
the first party of pilgrims whom the Turks admitted to the 
Holy Sepulchre, led back the English host from Palestine in 
the king's absence to Sicily, whence he went to visit Richard in 
captivity, and repaired to England to raise the £100,600 de- 
manded for his ransom. He was made by the king's command 
Archbishop of Canterbury, crowned the king a second time in 
1194 at Winchester, and as " Justiciar " had the task of finding 

I 2 

ii6 CANONIZED chap. 

means to supply Richard's ceaseless demands for money for his 
wars. Hence it was that he had summoned a meeting of 
bishops and barons at Oxford on December 7, 1197, at which 
he proposed that they should agree to the king's latest demand 
and should themselves furnish him with three hundred knights 
to serve for twelve months against Philip of France, or give him 
money which would suffice to obtain them. This was strenu- 
ously and successfully opposed by Hugh, seconded by Herbert 
Bishop of Salisbury, and this action is spoken of by Stubbs as 
a landmark of constitutional history, being " the first clear case 
of the refusal of a money grant demanded by the Crown." Hugh 
was in France when Henry II. died, but returned in time for 
the coronation of Richard I. He several times attended both 
Richard and John to Normandy, and when Richard died he 
buried him at Fontevrault in 1199, where Heniy II. and his 
wife, Eleanora of Guienne, and John's wife, Isabella of Angou- 
leme, are also buried. He was back in England for John's 
coronation on May 27, but, going again to visit the haunts of 
his boyhood at Grenoble, he caught a fever and, after a long 
illness, died next year in the London house of the Bishops of 
Lincoln, at the " Old Temple." He was buried in his own 
cathedral, November 24, 1200, in the north-east transept. 
King John, who happened to be then in Lincoln, to receive the 
homage of the Scottish king, taking part as bearer in the funeral 
procession. Worship of him began at once, and was greatly 
augmented when the Pope canonized him in 1220. In 1230, 
when Richard of Gravesend had completed the angel choir, 
St. Hugh's body was translated to it in the presence of King 
Edward I and Queen Eleanor and their children. This was ten 
years before Eleanor's death at Harby, near Lincoln. The only 
thing recorded against Bishop Hugh is that he should have, 
upon Henry's death, ordered the taking up of Fair Rosamond's 
bones from Godstow Priory. 

The story of St. Hugh's swan is curious but not incredible. 
Sir Charles Anderson says : "It seems, from the minute descrip- 
tion of the bill, to have been a wild swan or whooper." This 
swan was greatly attached to its master, and constantly 
attended him when in residence at Stow Park, where there was 
a good deal of water, and many wildfowl. It is said, also, that 
on his last visit the bird showed signs of restlessness and distress. 
Sir Charles sees no reason to withhold belief from the story, and 


instances the case of a gander, within his own knowledge, which 
attached itself to a farmer in the county, and used to accompany 
him daily for a mile and a half, when he went to look after his 
cattle in the meadows, waddling after him with the greatest 
diligence and satisfaction ; and, whenever he stopped, fondling 
his legs with neck and bill. 

The " Magna Vita S. Hugonis " in the Bodleian^ written by 
Adam, Abbot of Evesham soon after his death, is the chief 
source of our information about him ; and a metrical life, also, in 
Latin, is both in the Bodleian and in the British Museum. 

Nine years after St. Hugh's death, Hugh the Second, or 
" Hugh of Wells," was appointed bishop. He carried out the 
plans of his namesake, and completed the aisles and transepts 
and added the nave-chapels at the west end with their circular 
windows. He added to the episcopal palace begun by St. 
Hugh, and built that at Buckden — a fine brick building which 
later became the sole palace. The Bishops of Lincoln had a 
visitation palace at Lyddington, near Rockingham, in which 
a singularly beautiful carved wood frieze ran all round the 
large room. In the " Metrical Life of St. Hugh " we read that 
what St. Hugh planned, but left unfinished, Hugh of Wells 

" Perficietur opus primi sub Hugone secundo." 

He died in 1235, and is buried in the north choir aisle. His 
extremely harsh treatment of the Jews leads us to the curiously 
tragic events in the life of the third Hugh, called the " Little 
St. Hugh." He was bom in 1246, and only lived nine years. 
That great man Grosteste, or Grostete, had succeeded Hugh of 
Wells, and died after an active episcopate of eighteen years, in 
1254. His successor, Henry Lexington, had procured leave to 
extend the cathedral close beyond the Roman city wall in order 
to build the beautiful presbytery or angel choir for the shrine 
of Hugh I. He was still engaged on this when the persecution 
which the Jews had long endured produced such a bitter feeling 
that they were believed to be capable of kidnapping and cruci- 
fying, or by less conspicuous methods, putting to death a 
Christian bo)' when they had a chance. Hugh was said to be 
a chorister who disappeared, and his mother, led by a dream, 
discovered his body in a well outside the Newport Gate. A 
Jew called Jopin, or Chopin, but in a French ballad Peitevin, 

ii8 LITTLE ST. HUGH chap. 

was accused of his murder, and is said to have confessed and to 
have been put to death with others of his nation with no small 
barbarity. He has left his memory at Lincoln in the name of 
" The Jews' House," which is given to the Norman building on 
the steep hill. This story was not uncommon, and told with 

Si. Mary's Guilds Lincoln, 

much detail, as having really happened, in several places ; nor 
is the belief in it yet dead. The boy's body was given to the 
canons of the cathedral, who buried him with much solemnity 
in the south aisle of the choir, and set a small shrine over him, 
to which folk came to worship, and he received the title of " the 
Little St. Hugh." 


This story is referred to by Chaucer, who wrote a hundred 
years later in " The Prioress' Tale " : — 

" O younge Hew of Lincoln sleyn also 
With cursed Jewes, as it is notable, 
For it nis but a litel whyle ago." 

His story makes the murdered boy reveal himself by singing 
" O alma Redemptoris Mater " " loude and clere/' although, as 
he says — 

" My throte is cut unto my nekke-bon." 

and he does not stop singing till a ' greyn ' is taken from his 
tongue by the abbot 

" and he yaf up the goost ful softely. 

Marlowe has a similar story in his " Jew of Malta," and ballads 
constantly were made on this theme. Sir Charles Anderson 
quotes one beginning : — 

" The bonny boys of merry Lincoln 
Were playing at the ball, 
And with them stood the sweet Sir Hugh, 
The flower of them all. 
Whom cursed Jews did crucify," &c. 

He was buried, in 1255, next to Bishop Grosteste, who had died 
two years before. 

The persistence of this medieval accusation against the Jews 
is singularly illustrated by a case which is reported in the papers 
of October 9, 1913, headed " Ritual Murder Trial." The trial 
is at Kieff in Russia, of a perfectly innocent man called Beiliss, 
who has been more than two years in prison without knowing 
the reason, and is charged with the murder of a Christian boy 
called Yushinsky " to obtain blood for Jewish sacrificial rites." 
The Times says that ritual murder is not now mentioned in the 
indictment. But that so monstrous a charge should be even 
hinted at shows how deeply these old malignant calumnies sank 
into the medieval mind, and how prone to superstition and how 
ready to believe evil we are even in the twentieth century of 
the Christian era. The whole idea is on a par with the abomin- 
able cruelties of the days when defenceless old women were 
burnt as witches, and is a cruel and absolutely baseless calumny 
on a long-suffering and law-abiding people, and yet there are 
plenty of people to-day in Russia v/ho firmly believe in it. 



The City — The Corporation — The City Swords — ^Tennyson's Centenary 
and Statue — Queen Eleanor's Cross — Brayford Pool— Afternoon Tea. 

The rate at which the soil of inhabited places rises from the 
various layers of debris which accumulate on the surface is well 
shown at Lincoln. In Egypt, where houses are built of mud, 
every few years an old building falls and the material is trodden 
down and a new erection made upon it. Hence the entrance 
to the temple at Esneh from the present outside floor level, 
is up among the capitals of the tall pillars ; and, the temple 
being cleaned out, the floor of it and the bases of its columns 
were found to be nearly thirty feet below ground. Stone-built 
houses last much longer, but when a fire or demolition after a 
siege has taken place three or four times, a good deal of rubbish 
is left spread over the surface and it accumulates with the ages. 
Hence, in Roman Lincoln or " Lindum Colonia " pavements 
may be found whenever the soil is moved, at a depth of seven 
or eight feet at least, and often more. Thus the Roman West 
Gate came to light in 1836, after centuries of complete burial, 
but soon crumbled away ; and the whole of the hill top where 
Britons, Romans, Danes, and Normans successively dwelt, is 
full of remains which can only on rare occasions ever have a 
chance of seeing the light. Still there is much for us to see 
above ground, so we may as well take a walk through the city, 
beginning at the top of the hill. Here, as you leave the west 
end of the cathedral and pass through the " Exchequer Gate " 
with its one large and two small arches, under the latter of which 
may be seen entrances to the little shopstalls where relics, 


rosaries, etc., were once sold, you pass along the flat south wall 
of St. Mary Magdalen's Church, beyond which the outer Exche- 
quer Gate stood till 1800. The wall in which this and other 
gates of the cathedral close were inserted was built in the 
thirteenth or early fourteenth century, to protect the close and 
the canons. The gateways were all double, except the " Potter 
Gate," which is the only other one now extant. It is said that 

Tlu Pottergate, Lincoln. 

the Romans had a pottery near it ; at present the road to the 
Minster Yard goes both through it and round one side of it. 

Passing from the Exchequer Gate you see a very pretty six- 
teenth century timbered house, with projecting story, at the 
comer of Bailgate, now used as a bank. Hard by on your right 
is the White Hart inn, and on your left you have a peep down 
Steep Street to the House of Aaron the Jew, a money lender of 
the reign of Henry II. Near this was once the South Gate of 
the Roman city, and some of the stones are still visible in the 
pavement. The gate was destroyed in 1775. Looking straight 

122 THE CASTLE chap. 

ahead from the Exchequer Gate you see the east gateway of 
the castle, a Norman arch with later semi-circular turrets cor- 
belled out on either side of it. Inside is a fine oriel window, 
brought from John of Gaunt's house below the hill. The 
enclosure is an irregular square of old British earthworks, seven 
acres in extent. The west gate is walled up and the Assize 
Court within the castle enclosure is near it. In the angles on 
either side of the east gate are two towers in the curtain wall, 
one, " the observatory tower," crowns an ancient mound, 
and on the south side is a larger mound, forty feet high, on which 
is the keep, a very good specimen of very early work, in shape an 
irregular polygon. The castle was one of the eight founded 
by the Conqueror himself, apparently never so massive a building 
as his castle, which is now being excavated at Old Sarum, the 
walls of which, built of the flints of the locality, are twelve feet 
thick and faced with stone. At Lincoln the Roman walls were 
ten to twelve feet thick and twenty feet high. Massive frag- 
ments of this wall still exist in different places, the biggest being 
near the Newport Arch. Near here too is " The Mint Wall," 
seventy feet long by thirty feet high, and three and a half feet 
thick, which probably formed the north wall of the Basilica. 
Most of the fighting in Lincoln used to take place around this 
spot, as Stephen felt to his cost. The old West Gate of the Roman 
city was found just to the north of the castle west gate. The 
line which joined the Roman East and West Gates ran straight 
then, and crossed the Ermine Street, now called here the Bail- 
gate, near the church of St. Paulinus, but the result of some 
destructive assaults must have so filled the road that the street 
now called ' East Gate ' was deflected from its course south- 
wards and has to make a sharp bend to get back to its proper 

Getting back to the ' Bail,' or open Space between the castle 
gate and the Exchequer Gate, we can go down that bit of the old 
Ermine Street called " Steep Street " (and I don't think any 
street can better deserve its name) and come into the High 
Street of Lincoln. If we go right down this, we shall see all 
that is of most interest in the town below the hill. First 
is the "Jew's House" where the murderer of Little St. Hugh 
is said to have lived, a most interesting specimen of Norman 
domestic architecture, and more ornate than that at Boothby- 
Pagnell of a similar date. The house has a round-headed 



doorway, with a chimney-breast starting from above the door- 
way arch, and showing that the upper floor had a fireplace. 
On either side the door now are modern shop windows. Between 
the stringcourses are two double light windows, with a plain 
tympanum under a round arch. Belaset of Wallingford, a 

The Jew's Hovse, Lincoln. 

Jewess, lived here in the reign of Edward I. She was hanged 
for clipping coin in 1290, the year of the Jews' Expulsion. At 
the bottom of the street, No. 333, is another charming old 
structure called "White Friars' House" with a projecting tim- 
bered front, and a passage round one end like that at the old 



" God begot " house at Winchester. All Friars, whether White 
(Carmelite), Black (Dominican), Grey (Franciscan), or Black 
and White (Augustinian), were to be found in Lincoln as well 

Rsmaitis of the Whitefriars' Priory^ Lincohi. 

as at Stamford, and, with the exception of the Dominicans, at 
Boston too. One more bit of old domestic building is the hall 
of St. Mary's Guild, commonly called John o' Gaunt's Stables. 
Here you may see a combination of the round and the pointed 



arch, which dates it as late Norman. The house is longer than 
the other two, and the upper story mostly gone, but in Parker's 
" Domestic Architecture " it is spoken o'f as " probably the 
most valuable and extensive range of buildings of the twelfth 
century that we have remaining in England." The house 

S^, Jftzry's Guild and St. Peters at Gowts, Lincoln. 

within has round-headed windows with a mid-wall shaft, and 
a fireplace. The house just opposite was the palace built by 
John of Gaunt for Katharine Swynford ; from which the oriel 
window inside the castle gateway was taken. These old Norman 
houses are all small. The really magnificent building which 
was once the boast of Lincoln was a thousand years earlier than 
these ; this was the Roman Basilica, or Hall of Judgment, near 

126 SAXON TOWERS chap. 

Bailgate, perhaps, the baths at the town of Bath alone excepted, 
the finest Roman building in England. Figure to yourself a 
building 250 feet long by seventy feet wide, with a triangular 
pediment rising from a row of pillars thirty feet high, some- 
thing like what we still see at Milan. Alas ! that only the pillar 
bases of this fine hall have been found. The pillars ran along 
the west side of Bailgate facing east. 

As we pass down the High Street we shall see on our left the 
Saxon towers of St. Mary le Wigford and of " St. Peters at 
Gowts." The " gowts " or sluices were the two watercourses 
for taking the waters of the " Meres " into the Witham, origi- 
nally there were small bridges on either side over each, with a 
ford between them for carts. These towers are tall and without 
buttresses, having the Saxon long and short work and the upper 
two-light window with the mid-wall jamb, and only small and 
irregularly placed lights below. They are in style much what 
you see in Italy, though the Italian are higher, but certainly 
none in England are so uncompromisingly plain as the towers 
at Ravenna and Bologna. St. Andrews in Scotland comes 
nearest, and bears a really extraordinary likeness to that of 
St. John the Evangelist at Ravenna. Near St. Mary le Wigford 
is the picturesque little remnant of a beautiful but disused 
church, called St. Benedict's ; only the ivy-clad chancel, a side 
chapel and the recent low tower are left, a very picturesque and 
peaceful object in the busy town. Its original tower held a 
beautifully decorated bell, called " Old Kate," the gift of the 
Surgeon Barbers in 1585, it used to ring at 6 a.m. and 7 p.m., 
to mark the beginning and end of the day's labour. It now 
hangs in the tower of St. Mark's. 

The name of ' le Wigford,' Wickford or Wickenford, indicates 
the suburb south of the river. In the days when kings used to 
wear their crowns, an uneasy belief in the old saying — 

' ' The crowned head that enters Lincoln walls, 
His reign is stormy and his Kingdom falls," 

made the monarch take it off on passing from Wickford to the 
city, and certainly of all the kings who were crowned in the 
cathedral none wore the crown outside except Stephen, and he, 
as we have seen, soon had cause to repent it. It has been sup- 
posed that both these early Lincoln churches were built by a 
Danish citizen called " Coleswegen," who is mentioned in 



Domesday Book as havina; thirty-six houses and two churches 
outside the city. But though Lincoln has not lost nearly so 
many churches and religious houses as Winchester has, jet, 
where she now has a dozen she once had fifty, so it must be ex- 
tremely doubtful whether these two old ones that remain were 

,9^ Boui/i'Sl's Church. Lincoln. 

those of Coleswegen. St. Marj^'s now has a Perpendicular 
parapet, and, besides the curious tower arch, some snterestmg 
Early Enolish work, and both churches have some good modern 
ironwork in pulpit, screen and rails from the Brant Broughton 

The woodwork in St. Peter's was done by the parish clerk, a 



pleasant feature not nearly so common now as it used to be. At 
the road side, and close to the churchyard rails of St. Mary's,, 
is a handsome carved drinking fountain, here called a " conduit," 
partly made of stones from the demoHshed Whitefriars monas- 

St, Mary-le-Wigford, Lincoln. 

tery founded 1269. Leland speaks of it as new in 1540, and it 
was repaired in 1672. The Grey Friars conduit and the High 
bridge conduit are supplied from the same chalybeate spring, 
which once sufficed to turn the mill at the monks' house, now 
standing in ruins a mile to the east of the city. This was one 
of the good deeds of the Franciscans, to bring good drinking 


water within reach of the poor. A similar system of " conduits " 
also due to them, existed at Grantham. A serious epidemic, 
traced to the drinking water, which broke out in Lincoln a few 
years ago, caused the town to go to great expense in laying on 
a new supply which comes twenty miles in iron pipes from 
Elkesley, Notts, between Retford and Clumber, and crosses the 
Trent at Dunham on a little bridge of its own. 

The " High bridge " marks the spot where the Ermine Street 
forded the Witham. It is the only bridge left in England out 
of many which still carries houses on it. The ribbed arch is a 
very old one, twenty-two feet wide. The houses are now only 
on one side, they are quaintly timbered, and their backs, seen 
from below by the waterside, are very picturesque. On the 
other side is an obelisk, set up 150 years ago, to mark the site 
of a bridge chapel dedicated to St. Thomas of Canterbury. 
From here you get the most magnificent view that any town 
can boast, as you look up the steep street to the splendid pile 
which crowns the height, and see the cathedral in all its beauty. 

The length of the High Street is relieved by the " Stonebow." 
There was always a gate here from Roman times onward, for 
when the Roman town was extended southward to a good deal 
more than twice its original size, it was here that the new wall 
crossed the Ermine Street. The road had crossed the swampy 
ground and forded the river, and was now about to enter the 
city and climb the hill. The mediaeval gate which succeeded 
the Roman ' porta ' was removed in the fourteenth century, 
and the present one dates from the sixteenth, and was repaired 
in 1887, at Queen Victoria's Jubilee. It has one central and 
two side arches, with slender towers between, carried up to a 
battlemented parapet. On the east tower is a tall figure of the 
Archangel Gabriel, and in a niche on the other tower the Virgin 
Mary. The patroness of the city and cathedral is represented 
treading on a dragon. A long room above the arch with tim- 
bered roof is used as a Guildhall ; in it are portraits of Queen 
Anne and Thomas Sutton of Knaith, founder of the Charter- 
house. The corporation, to whom they belong, has had a long 
and distinguished existence, for municipal Hfe in Lincoln began 
in Roman times ; and when they left, and Saxons, Danes or 
Normans ruled, and the counties and towns had to adopt new 
names under each successive conqueror, Lincoln retained 
throughout her Roman name and her right of self-government. 





The corporation, besides their fine Restoration mace, have three 
civic swords, one apparently made up out of two, but said to 
have been presented by Richard II. when he visited the city m 

The Stonebow, Lincoln^ 

1386, to be carried point uppermost, except in presence of the 

The facts about the swords are these : the Charles I. sword, 
supposed to have been presented to the city at the beginning 
of the Civil War, in 1642, has been mutilated to supply a new 



blade to the Richard II. sword. This was done by order of the 
mayor in 1734. The blade has on it the orb and cross mark and 
also the running wolf — a fourteenth century German mark — 
but so common was it on the foreign blades used in England in 
the sixteenth century that, the figure being taken for a fox — 
as wolves were not then common in England — the term " Fox " 
was transformed to the sword ; hence in Shakespeare's " Henry 
V." act iv., scene 4, we have Pistol saying to his French prisoner 
on the field of battle : — 

" O Signieur Dew, thou diest on point of fox." 

and in one of Webster's plays we have — 

"Of what a blade is't? 
A Toledo or an English fox ? " 

The two finest churches in Lincoln were at one time St. 
Swithun's and St. Botolph's. The former was burnt down, but, 
after a century, was rebuilt badly, but has now been restored 
by the munificence of Messrs. Clayton and Shuttleworth to its 
former grandeur, and has a really fine tower and spire, designed 
by Fowler, of Louth. St. Botolph's, near the south " Bargate," 
had to endure a similar period of decay, but was at last resusci- 
tated, the south aisle being the last gift to the town of Bishop 
Christopher Wordsworth. 

Lincoln's last new building, the Carnegie Library, designed 
by Mr. Reginald Blomfield, stands in St. Swithun's Square. It 
was opened on February 24th, 1914. 

Two other houses are interesting because of their inmates in 
the eighteenth century ; one the old Jacobean mansion of the 
Bromheads of Thurlby, whose descendant. Captain Gonville 
Bromhead, won with Lieutenant Chard undying fame by the 
defence of Rorke's Drift in the Zulu War, 1879. The other is 
a house called Deloraine House, in which once lived George 
Tennyson, grandfather of the poet ; and we cannot quit IJncoln 
without going to see the fine bronze statue of the poet by G. F. 
Watts, which stands in the close at the east end of the cathedral. 

In the autumn of 1909 the centenary of the poet's birth was 
celebrated at Lincoln. Dean Wickham preached an eloquent 
sermon to a large congregation in the cathedral nave, after 
which, the choir, leaving the cathedral, grouped themselves round 
the statue and sang " Crossing the Bar," and Bishop King gave 

K 2 



a short and memorable address. In the evening the writer read 
a paper on Tennyson to an intently listening audience of twelve 
hundred people, which is now published by Routledge & Co., 
in a little book called " Introductions to the Poets, by W. F. 
Rawnsley." Lincoln that day showed how fully she appreci- 

Old Inland Revenue 0£Fice, Lincoln, 

ated the great Lincolnshire poet. The statue, a colossal one, 
represents him looking at a flower, as described in his poem, 
" Flower in the crannied wall," and his grand wolf-hound is 
looking up into his face. This hound was a Russian, whose 
grandfather had belonged to the Czar Alexander II., he who 
freed the serfs in 1861, and was so basely assassinated twenty 
years later. The wolf-hound was a very handsome light brindle, 



with a curious black patch near the collar. She had a litter of 
thirteen, and one of these with the mother, " Lufra," was given 
to the writer when living at Park Hill, Lyndhurst, in the New 
Forest. The puppy, " Cossaclc," was Mrs. Rawnsley's constant 

James Street, Lincoln 

companion till he died of old age in his sleep ; the mother went 
to Farringford to replace an old favourite that Tennyson had 
lately lost. Her new owner changed her name to Karenina, and 
she was his constant companion to the end. Once again, if not 
twice, she had a litter of thirteen, and the cares of her large 
family not unnaturally were at times too much for her temper. 

134 THE "STUFF BALL" chap. 

She is now immortalised with her master in bronze, executed 
with loving care by his own old friend and quondam neighbour 
in the Isle of Wight. The inscription at the back of the pedestal 
is : " Alfred Lord Tennyson, bom 1809, died 1892 " ; and below 
it is " George Frederick Watts, born 1817, died 1904." 

Another monument which once adorned Lincoln was the first 
and one of the very best in the Hst of Queen Eleanor's crosses, 
designed by the famous " Richard of Stowe," who carved the 
figures in the angel choir. Only. a fragment of this survived 
what Precentor Venables calls " the fierce religious storm of 
1645." Before starting on its long funeral procession to West- 
minster, the Queen's body was embalmed by the Gilbertine nuns 
of St. Catherine's Priory, close to which, at the junction of the 
Ermine Street and Foss Way, the cross was set up, near the 
leper hospital of Remigius, called the Malandery (Fr. Maladerie) 

Two railway stations and the many large iron and agricultural 
implement works, which have given Lincoln a name all over the 
world, occupy the lower part of the town, with buildings more 
useful than beautiful ; for this industry has taken the place of 
the woollen factories which were once the mainstay of Lincoln. 
But a tall building with small windows, known as " The Old 
Factory," still indicates the place in which the " Lincoln Stuff " 
was made, from which the Lincoln " Stuff Ball " took its name. 
In order to increase the production and popularise the wear of 
woollen material for ladies' dresses, it was arranged to have balls 
at which no lady should be admitted who did not wear a dress 
of the Lincolnshire stuff. The first of these was held at the 
Windmill Inn, Alford, in 1785. The colour selected was orange ; 
but, the room not being large enough for the number of dancers, 
in 1789 it was moved to Lincoln, where it has been held ever 
since, the lady patroness choosing the colour each year. In 
1803 the wearing of this hot material was commuted to an obliga- 
tion to take so many yards of the stuff. The manufacture has 
long ago come to an end, but the " Stuff Ball " survives, and 
the colours are still selected. 

The swamps of the Wigford suburb have also disappeared, 
but Brayford Pool, beloved of artists, where the Foss Dyke joins 
the Witham, still makes a beautiful picture with the boats and 
barges and swans in front below, and the Minster towers look- 
ing down into it from above. This Foss Dyke was a Crown 



property, until James I., finding it to be nothing but an expense, 
with economic liberality presented it to the mayor and cor- 
The river was always outside of the Roman towUj for the south 

Tkorngate, Lincolfu 

wall, running east and west from the Stonebow, where are now 
Guildhall Street and Saltergate, turned up by Broadgate Street, 
and here, just inside its south-east angle, is now the mterestmg 
" Grey Friars," a thirteenth century building consisting of a 
vaulted undercroft and long upper room, now used as a museum. 


I have no Lincoln notes of the eighteenth century of any 
special interest, but from this little extract it looks as if the 
institution of afternoon tea had been anticipated by a hundred 
years in Lincoln. The extract is from " A Sketch wrote Aug. 4, 
1762, at Lincoln/' and deals with housekeeping expenses. The 
entries are : — 

" Three guineas a year for tea . . . . • • £3 3 o 

" Loave sugar .. .. 300 

" Tea, a quarter of an ounce each morning. 

" Sugar, half of a quarter of a pound each morning. 

" Also an allowance for sometimes in the afternoon." 



West — The Foss-Dyke — Marton — Stow— Cotes-by-Stow. East— Fiskerton 
— Barlings Abbey — Gautby — Baumber — Snelland — Snarford and the 
St. Poll Tombs — Buslingthorpe — Early Brass — Linwood. 

Of the eight roads from Lincoln one goes west, and, passing 
over the Foss Dyke by a swing bridge at Saxilby, crosses the 
Trent between Newton and Dunham into Nottinghamshire. 
The view of Lincoki Minster from Saxilby, with the sails of the 
barges in the foreground as they slowly make their way to the 
wharves at the foot of the hill, is most picturesque. Saxilby 
preserves some interesting churchwarden's accounts from 1551 
to 1569, and, after a gap of fifty-five years, from 1624 to 1790. 
The " Foss Dyke " is a canal made by the Romans to connect 
the Witham with the Trent and deepened by Henry I. The road 
runs alongside of it from Saxilby for two miles. Consequently 
we get glimpses now and again of the low round-nosed barges 
with widespread canvas sailing slowly past trees and hedgerows ; 
then we turn north and pass by Kettlethorpe Lodge and Fenton 
village, through lanes lined with oak trees or edged with gorse, 
and amidst fields brilliant with com-marigold, and poppy, till 
we come, all at once, on a little fleet of barges waiting with their 
picturesque unfurled sails for a passage through the lock near 
Torksey, a place of some importance in Saxon times, having 
two monastic houses. Two miles beyond Torksey is Marton. 
This place is also approached by the old Roman road, now 
called " Till bridge Lane," which branched off from the Ermine 
Street ten miles above Lincoln, and went to Doncaster and 
York, crossing both arms of the river Till near Thorpe-in-the- 




fallows. One mile from Marton this road passes out of the 
county at Littleborough ferry, the " Segelocum " of the Romans. 
The ferry is the main means of crossing the Trent where it 
touches Lincolnshire, as there are but two bridges in twenty 
miles, one at Gainsborough, and one between Dunham and 


r^^an«ititV«4]t^~ ~ 

Lincoln from fhc IViihan 

Newton-on-Treni, where the view from the cliff with the bridge 
below is very picturesque. 

There is a ferry at Laneham, between Newton and Torksey ; 
and below Gainsborough are half a dozen, at Slockwitli, Ouslon, 
AWiorpe, Keadby, where a bridge is now being built, Flix- 
horough, and Burton Slather, but the latter only takes foot 



passengerSj and the others are all, I believe, of the same calibre. 
It is just the same on the Ouse, across which Yokefleet and 
Ousefleet look at each other about a mile apart, but to drive from 
one to the other is a matter of more than thirty miles. 

Marion is a tiny place, but has a very interesting church, 
with unbuttressed tower and heavily embattled parapet to both 
nave and chancel. The tower up to the upper stringcourse 
is entirely built in Norman " Herringbone " work, this is now 
plastered over outside, but you can trace the herringbone 
through the plaster, and inside the tower it is plain to see, and 
shows courses of thin stone laid horizontally at frequent inter- 
vals. Above the stringcourse is the usual two light window with 
mid-wall jamb, which, like the Long-and-Short work at the 
angles of the tower, we generally describe as Saxon. Several 
Saxon stones with interlaced work, parts of a cross probably, 
are built into the west end of the south aisle at about two feet 
from the ground outside. I always want to see these very old 
stones inside, for their better preservation. Above the present 
nave roof, but below the mark of the earlier and high-pitched 
roof, is a door which once opened from the tower into the church. 
The chancel arch is Norman, as are the two lofty bays of the north 
arcade. The rest of the church is Early English. In the 
chancel south wall is a large niche with a pedestal, evidently 
intended for a figure, perhaps of St. Margaret, the patron saint, 
and there is also a low-side window of one light with a two-light 
window above it. But the most interesting thing in the chancel 
is a little stone, nine inches by eleven, now in the north wall, 
which was lately found in part of the wall where it had been 
used as building material ; this has on it a very early attenu- 
ated figure of the crucified Saviour, clothed in long drapery. 
It might have been part of a cross-head ; certainly it is a very 
remarkable figure, and of very early date. There is a tall cross- 
shaft and pedestal, now in the churchyard, but this is said to have 
been a market cross originally. The Society for the Protection 
of Ancient Buildings were called in to do the work of repairing 
and, as usual, their work has been done in an inexpensive 
manner and on conservative lines. They found that the founda- 
tion of the old walls, only two feet below the surface, was just 
a trench filled with loose pebbles and sand. Three miles to the 
east of Marton stands the church which, next to the Minster, we 
may put at the head of the list of all the churches in the county. 


This is what Murray rightly speaks of as " The venerable church 
of St. Mary at Stow, the mother church of the great Minster." 

Stow is thought to be identical with the Roman Sidnacester, 
and the first church was built there in 678 by the Saxon King 
Egfrith, husband of Etheldred, the foundress of Ely, at the time 
when Wilfrid's huge Northumbrian diocese was divided. From 
627, when Paulinus, Bishop of York, preached at Lincoln, 
baptized in the Trent and built the first stone church in Lincoln- 
shire, to 656, the province of Lindisse, or Lindsey, was under 
the Bishop of York. From 656 to 678 it was under the Bishops 
of Mercia, whose " Bishop-stool " was at Repton, and after 669 
at Lichfield. In 678 King Egfrith of Northumbria established 
the diocese of Lindsey, with Eadred as first bishop, with its 
" Bishop-stool," and a church of stone built for the See at Sidna- 
cester or Stow. This lasted for 192 years ; then, in 870, the 
Danes overran Mercia and burnt Stow church and murdered 
Bishop Berktred. Then from 876, when England was divided 
between Edmund Ironside and Canute, Lincoln became an im- 
portant Danish borough. This period is marked by the number 
of streets in Lincoln called ' gates,' and by the enormous number 
of villages in the county ending in the Danish ' by,' which we 
find side by side with the Saxon terminations ' ton ' and ' ham.' 
The Danes held Lincoln certainly till 940, during which time 
the province had no bishop. In 958 Lindsey was united with 
Leicester, and the " Bishop-stool " was fixed at Dorchester-on- 
Thames till, in 1072, it was transferred to Lincoln, and the 
province of Lindsey became part of the diocese of Lincoln under 
Remigius, the first Bishop of Lincoln. Stow being burnt in 
870, remained in ruins till about 1040, when Eadnoth, seventh 
Bishop of Dorchester, rebuilt it, using the materials of the older 
church as far as they would go, as may be seen in the lower 
part of the transept walls. He probably built the massive 
round-headed tower arches. Leofric, Earl of Mercia, and his 
wife, Godiva, helped Hberally both with the building and the 
endowment. The Early Norman nave, and the upper parts of 
the transepts are probably the work of Bishop Remigius (1067- 
1093) who, we are told, " re-edified the Minster at Stow." The 
chancel is late Norman, of the best kind, and, together with the 
rich doorways in the nave, may be assigned to Bishop Alexander 
(1123-1147) whose great west doorway at Lincoln is of similar 
workmanship. A few Early English windows, and the Perpen- 


dicular central tower, are all that has been added later, so that 
the church is of the eleventh and twelfth centuries. The tower 
rests on pointed arches, whose piers come down inside the angles 
formed by the old Norman arches, which remain, and are 
visible below and outside the pointed arches, and give the very 
remarkable appearance of double arches supporting the central 

A curious loop-moulding goes round the western Norman 
arch, and is used also on a window in the south transept, and a 
similar moulding is found at Coleby. The chancel is surrounded 
by an arcade, and a stone seat runs all round. In restoring the 
church in 1864 Mr. Pearson left part of the north-west pier of 
the tower untouched, in order to show the red traces of the fire 
of 870, and in the north transept a mass of burnt stone is visible 
behind the organ. This is close to a fine and very early door- 
way which opens into the north aisle from the west side of the 
transept, -while on the opposite side, in an altar recess, remains, 
fast fading, are seen of a fresco depicting scenes from the life of 
St. Thomas a Becket. The steep rood-loft steps start four feet 
above the pavement from the angle of the north-east pier close 
by. The stone groining of the chancel has been renewed on the 
old pattern obtained from several of the old stones which were 
found built into the walls ; and in underpinning the walls in 
order to replace the groining, the bases of pillars were discovered, 
showing that a previous chancel with aisles had been either 
built or else begun and abandoned. The small windows and 
lack of buttresses give the outside a plain appearance, but the 
three Norman doorways are rich, and there is a great majesty 
about the Norman work of the spacious and lofty interior. The 
font, a very early one, is octagonal, and rests on eight circular 
shafts. It was late in the evening when we left this wonderful 
church, but we had only two miles to go to see the beautiful old 
rood screen at Cotes-by-Stow, which is half way between Stow 
and the Ermine Street. It is approached by a field road, and 
stands at the entrance to a farm, but the little chapel, built of 
small, rough stones, is so shut in by trees that the top of its 
double bell-turret is the only part of it visible. Inside is a round 
tub font, with a square base, some old oak benches, four on 
one side and three on the other ; and, what no one would expect 
in such a tiny remote chapel, the most beautiful of old Perpen- 
dicular rood screens, with exquisite carving, and with the over- 



hang complete. Moreover, the gallery is still approachable by 
the ancient rood loft staircase. The loft is about three feet 
wide, and there is a tiny pair of keyhole windows, each about 
ten inches by two, set close together, in the south wall to light 

Stcnv Church. 

it. Of ordinary windows the whole south side has but two, 
though there are four of different sizes with old leaded panes' 
on the north side. The doorway is Early English. The building 
was restored in an excellent manner in 1884 by Mr. J. L. Pearson 
who put back the original altar slab with its unusual nuinber of 
six crosses. 


We recrossed the field, and passing between Ingham and 
Cammeringham, climbed the hill, and, getting on to the ridge, 
turned to the right for Lincoln, distant about eight miles. As 
we went along we looked down on Brattleby and Aisthorpe, on 
Scampton and the Carltons, and passed through Burton to the 
minster city. 

The mists were rising in the flat country westwards, and the 
ripening corn gave a colour to the fields below us, and, as the 
sun set at the edge of the horizon, it seemed to us that it would be 
extremely difficult to find any road in England more striking, or 
from which so fine a view could be seen for so many miles on end. 

Of the three eastern roads one goes by Greetwell and Fiskerion 
to Gautby and Baumber. Cherry WilUngham lies just to the 
north where, till 1820, the vicarage was a small thatched house 
at the end of the village. 

Fiskerton was given by Edward the Confessor to Peter- 
borough, and the gift still holds. The charter was copied by 
Symon Gunton in his famous history of Peterborough, of which 
he was prebendary from 1646 to 1676, and at the same time 
rector of Fiskerton, where Dean Kipling was also rector in 
1806. Only a few years ago what is either the original charter 
of the Confessor or an early copy was discovered in the cathedral 
library. The unique chronicle of the abbey and monastery 
called ' Swapham,' and written in MS., was saved from Crom- 
well's soldiers who were burning all the book|, etc., by Gunton's 
son, who tucked it under his arm, saying that it was exempt 
from destruction being a Bible, as any fool could see. That, 
too, is now one of the treasures of the cathedral library. The 
Fiskerton Register is one of the earliest, beginning in 1559. In 
that book is the following entry for 1826 : — 

" The driest summer known for the last 20 years. Conduit 
water taken from Lincoln to Boston. No rain from April Fair 
20th to the 26th of June. The river was deepened this summer, 
packet went to Boston by the drain ; prayers for rain during 
Hay harvest." 

Barlings Abbey lies three miles to the north-east, across 
Fiskerton Moor. It was founded in 1054 for Premonstratensian 
canons by Ralph de Hoya, and a grand tower, 180 feet high, was 
still standing in 17 10. Half-way to Gautby we reach Stainfield, 
founded by Henry Percy at about the same time for Bene- 
dictine nunSi 


At Gautby was once a hall belonging to the Vyner family, and 
in the church are monuments dated 1672 and 1673. Here, too, 
is a slab in memory of F. G. Vyner, who was one of the party 
so infamously murdered by Greek brigands in 1870. 

From here Baumber is quickly reached. This church, whose 
massive tower base is Norman, is the burial place of the Duke 
of Newcastle's family. Here, too, an old hall once stood, close 
by, in Sturton Park, just below a spur of the South Wold. 

From Baumber, going four miles south, we reach Horncastle. 
The main eastern road from Lincoln to Wragby is described 
later in the Louth-to-Lincoln route. It is the Roman road to 
Horncastle. At the seventh milestone, shortly after passing 
Sudbrooke Holme, the house of Mr. C. Sibthorpe, where the garden 
is one of the most beautifully kept and tastefully planted of 
any garden in the county, the road divides to the left for Market 
Rasen, by Snelland, Wickenby, Lissington, and Linwood ; and to 
the right for Wragby, where it again divides for Louth on the 
left, and on the right for Baumber and Horncastle. The third 
of the roads takes a north-easterly direction by Dunholme to 
Market Rasen. All this route between Nettleham and Linwood 
lies in the flat strip of country some eight miles wide, which runs 
up from the Fens to the Humber, narrowing in width after 
reaching Brigg, from whence it is drained by the river Ancholme 
and the Wear dyke, which discharge into the Humber opposite 
Read's Island, between South Ferriby and Winteringham. Half 
way across this flat-land, on the way to Market Rasen, and two 
miles to the left of the Wragby road, is Snelland. This place 
is called in Domesday Book Esnelent, and also Sneleslunt ; and 
we find that land was held here by Thomas of Bayeux, Arch- 
bishop of York and chaplain to the Conqueror, while another 
land-holder was William de Percy, founder of Whitby Abbey 
and commander of the fleet which brought the Conqueror over. 
It is now the property of the Cust family. The following rhymed 
marriage entry is in the Snelland register for the year 167 1, 
Mr. R. S. having presumably married a well-known scold :— 

" The first day of November 
Robert Sherriffe may remember 
That he was marryed for all the days of his life 
If God be not merciful to him and take his wife." 

North of Snelland is Snarford, which we should visit, not so 


much to see the four inner arches of the church tower, which 
are Norman, as to inspect the wonderful tombs of the St. Poll 
family. The earliest is in the chancel, where Sir Thomas lies 
on an altar tomb in plate armour, with helmet under his head, 
bearing as crest an elephant and castle ; he wears both sword 
and dagger, and holds in his hand a book. They seem to have 
been a literary family, for his wife, in a long flowing robe with 
girdle and a peculiar head-dress, also holds a book, and the side 
panels have a projection on each face also supporting a book. 
A son and a daughter are kneeling below ; and a canopy supported 
on pillars and having a richly moulded cornice bears, over each 
pillar and between the pillars, kneeling figures — ten in all. 
Shields of arms enclosed in wreaths form further decorations, 
but both this, which is dated 1582, and the other large monu- 
ment in the north chantry are much defaced, and the heavy 
canopies look as if they might fall and destroy the figures 
beneath them at any moment. It is no good shouting " police ! " 
but where is the archdeacon ? This north chantry has been 
boarded off from the church, which has an ugly effect. The 
monuments in it are first to Sir George St. Poll, 1613, and his 
wife Frances, daughter of Chief Justice Sir Christopher Wray of 
Glentworth, whom he married in 1583. This is very large, being 
eleven and a half feet in height and width. Sir George reclines 
on his elbow ; he, also, is in armour, his wife is by his side ; and 
below is their little daughter Mattathia, with cherubs weeping 
and resting their inverted torches on skulls. The wife, after 
putting up this monument, took for a second husband Robert 
Rich, Earl of Warwick ; and opposite to the monument of her- 
self and her first husband she re-appears as the Countess of 
Warwick, on a round tablet, with medallions of herself and the 
earl, her second husband, who died in 1618. His first wife was 
Lady Penelope Devereux, by whom he had two sons, Robert 
and Henry, and two daughters, Lettice and Essex. A brass on 
the south side of the chancel has a quaint Latin inscription, by 
the Snarford parson, telling us that Frances Wray, after marriage, 
was twelve years without issue, and then had a daughter who 
died before reaching her second birthday, " cut off while on her 
way to Bath." This was a terrible loss of a most precious 
treasure, and he mentions that he had christened her Mattathia, 
and goes on to tell us that the " mother passes no day without 
tears of poignant anguish," and ends with " How I wished, 


alas in vain, that I the writer, instead of thee, had been the 
subject of a funeral elegy. John Chad wick, Sept. 9th, 1597." 

" Hos tibi jam posui versus Mattathia Set. Poll, 
Qui primum in sacro nomina fonte dedi. 
Quam vellem (at frustra), te nempe superstite, scriptor 
Essem funerei carminis ipse mihi." 

Close to the St. Poll monument in the chantry is a stone in 
memory of George Brownlow Doughty, 1743, who married a 
Tichborne heiress, and took the name in addition to his own. 
From Snarford, less than four miles brings us to Buslingthorpe, 
where is a Crusader's effigy, which, like the priest at Little 
Steeping, had been turned upside down and used as a paving- 
stone, possibly for the sake of saving it from destruction. This 
may be Sir John de Buslingthorpe, c. 1250. But the great 
treasure of the church is a brass half-effigy on a coffin-lid, which 
also had been buried, and was only recovered in 1707. This 
represents a knight in armour, holding a heart and wearing 
remarkable scaled gauntlets. The inscription in Norman French 
is without date, but reads : " Issy gyt Sire Richard le fiz sire 
John de Boselyngthorp," and is probably not later than 1290. 
This is earlier than the somewhat similar brass in Croft Church, 
which is assigned to 1300 or 1310, but is not so early as the fine 
brass of Sir John d'Abernoun at Stoke d'Abernon in Surrey, 
which is dated 1277. Anyhow, it is the earliest in Lincoln- 
shire. From here, less than four miles brings us back on to the 
Market Rasen road at Linwood, only two miles from Rasen. 

Instead of going by Snarford and Buslingthorpe we might have 
reached Rasen by a more direct route from Snelland through 
Wickenby to Lissington. Here the road divides, the right hand 
going to Legsby and Sixhills, and then turning left-handed to 
join the Louth and Rasen road at North WilUngham ; or, if the 
day is clear, the traveller can go straight on from Sixhills and, 
climb the Wold, which with a rise of one hundred feet will give 
him a view and bring him to the crown of the same road at 
Ludford. The left-hand road from Lissington will bring us to 
Rasen via Linwood. This is a pretty road just elevated above 
the flat, whence the church spire is visible for a long way. This 
interesting church, dedicated to St. Cornelius, Bishop of Rome, 
A.D. 251, is of the Early English period with Perpendicular 
tower. The brasses, which are good, have been removed from 
the south chantry to the north aisle and placed at the west end. 


We have John Lyndewode, wool stapler, and his wife, under a 
double canopy, date 1419. In his shield are three Linden leaves, 
which shows the name of the village to mean ' the Linden (or 
Limetree) wood.' There is also one to their son John, a wool 
stapler, dated 1421, and a figure of a bishop in the south chancel 
window, probably commemorates another son William, who 
became Bishop of St. David's. A cross-legged effigy of a knight 
has been torn from its matrix. The old Lyndewode Manor 
once stood close to the church. 

Continuing northwards for two miles we find ourselves at 
Market Rasen. 

I 3 



The Foss Way— The Sleaford Road and Dunston Pillar on " The Heath " 
— The Ermine Street and the Grantham Road on "The Ridge" — 
Canwick — Blankney — Digby — Rowston — Brant-Broughton — Temple 
Bruer and the Knights Templars and Hospitallers — Somerton Castle 
and King John of France — Navenby — Coleby — Bracebridge. 

Besides these three roads going east from Lincoln, there are 
three great roads which run along " the ridged wold " north- 
wards, and two going south ; but these two, as soon as they 
are clear of Lincoln, branch into a dozen, which, augmented by- 
five lines of railway, all radiating from one centre and all linked 
by innumerable small roads which cross them, form, on the map, 
an exact pattern of a gigantic spider's web. Of this dozen the 
three trunk roads southwards are the Foss Way to Newark in the 
flat country, and the Sleaford road over " the heath," both of 
which roads avoid all villages (though the Sleaford road passes 
through Leasingham, described in Chap. VIII., about two miles 
north of Sleaford, and has that curious erection, the Dunston 
pillar, at the roadside about eight miles out from Lincoln, 
described in the chapter on Nocton) ; and thirdly, the Grantham 
road, on the ridge between the two, which has a village at every 
mile. Others run, one to SkelUngthorpe, one to Doddington with 
its interesting old Hall, which we will revert to shortly ; one 
all down the Witham valley to Beckingham on the border, 
going by Basingham with its ninth-century Saxon font, and 
Norton Disney with its fine Disney tombs and remarkable brass, 
also to be described later ; and one to Brant Broughton. 

A sign-post in Lincoln points to this village, because, though 



twelve miles distant, there is nothing on the way ; indeed you 
may follow up the valley of the Brant River another six miles 
to its source near Hough-on-the-Hill, and then go on another 
six as it curves round into Grantham, and not pass through any- 
thing but Marston, and there is nothing to see there but the old 
seat of the Thorold family, Marston Hall, now a farmhouse. All 
these are on the low ground to the west. Then on the ridge 
itself is " the Ermine Street," and east of the Sleaford highway 
is a desolate road over " Lincoln Heath " to Scopwick, where a 
stream, crossed by several single planks, runs right through the 
village. East of this, another somewhat important road goes 
across the low and once swampy ground south of Lincoln, where 
the Witham gets through the gap in the cliff ridge to Canwick. 
Here the church, which has a rich Norman chancel arch and 
arcade, and an Early English arcaded reredos in the vestrj'', 
once a chantry chapel, rises, without any other footing, from 
a Roman pavement ; here, too, from the grounds of Mr. Waldo 
Sibthorp's house, Canwick Hall, where the cliff begins again, 
you get a most beautiful view of the minster about two miles 
distant ; indeed, those who live near Lincoln and can see the 
minster may boast of a view which for grandeur has few equals 
in the land. This walk from Lincoln is a favourite one,^and 
passes a well-planted cemetery of twenty-five acres, part of 
which was taken from the common, which rejoices in the delight- 
fully bucolic name of " the Cowpaddle." The road is really 
the continuation of the Wragby road, and, curving down Lindum 
road passes into Broadgate, then crossing the Witham and the 
Sincel dyke and the intersection of the Midland and Great 
Northern Railways, crosses yet two more lines before it reaches 
the cemetery. After Canwick the road goes through Branston 
and passes, near Nocton, Dunsion, and Meihertngham, to Blankney. 
The hall here, the home of Mr. Henry Chaplin, than whom no 
Lincolnshire man is better known or more popular, is now 
occupied by Lord Londesborough. The church has a curious 
tomb-slab to John de Glori, with a bearded head looking out 
of a cusped opening, and a beautiful sculpture by Boehm of 
Lady Florence Chaplin. This is one of the few churches in 
which the ringing of the Curfew-bell still obtains. After Blank- 
ney the road passes Scopwick and curves round through Digby, 
Donnington and Rushington to Sleaford. Of these villages 
Digby is worth seeing, and so is Rowston, lying one mile north 


of it. At Dighy the village cross has been restored, but with a 
very indifferent top, and at the other end of the village is a 
curious stone lock-up, like a covered well-head, and hardly 
capable of holding more than one man at a time. Lingfield in 
Surrey has a larger one called ' Ye Village Cage ' ; it has two 
steps up inside, and is capable of holding a dozen people. The 
tower has three stages. Early English, Decorated and Perpen- 
dicular. The south door is transition Norman, the north arcade 
aisle and chancel Early English, the south arcade and aisle 
Decorated, and the font, screen and clerestory Perpendicular. 
In this the six tall two-light windows are distributed in pairs. 
Rowston, which is dedicated to St. Clement, has a spire rising 
from a tall tower, so little wider than itself that it may safely 
be said to cover less ground than any tower in England, for it 
measures only five and a-half feet inside ; it is blank except for 
a rather heavy window in the upper stage. The first thing 
that strikes you on entering is the extraordinary loud ticking 
of the clock. It has to be stopped during service, as no one can 
compete with it. The next thing is that the thirteen windows 
are all filled with painted glass and of the same type, striking in 
design, though not of quite first-rate excellence. One window 
has figures of the three Lincolnshire saints — St. Guthlac, St. 
Hugh, and St. Gilbert. The church is in very good order, having 
been recently restored, and some Saxon stones with interlaced 
work have been built into the outside wall of the chancel. It 
would have been better to have put these inside. But there is 
inside a very good head of a churchyard or village cross, and the 
base and broken shaft of one, possibly the same, is just outside 
the churchyard. This head is of the usual penthouse form, 
with a carved figure on either side ; it was found quite recently 
built into a cowshed. In the nave the pillars are all different. 
The vestry was over the burial chapel of the Foster family ; 
later it was, as was so often the case, used for a school. A beau- 
tiful bit of an old carved oak screen separates it now from the 
north aisle. A heavy timber floor cuts across the top of the tall 
tower arch, and below a very curious pillar stands against one 
side of the arch. An Early English priest's door, with a flat- 
arched lintel, is in the south wall of the chancel. It is impossible 
to walk round the slender tower, as a garden wall runs into it 
on both the north and south sides, leaving part of the tower in 
a neighbouring garden, the owner of which once claimed half 


the tower as his property, and considered that he had a right 
to pierce a door through it for easier access to his pew. 

We have now but one road south of Lincoln to describe — 
for what we have to say about Norton Disney and Nocton can 
come afterwards ; this is the Grantham road, a road curiously 
full of villages mostly perched on the western edge of the ridge, 
whilst the Ermine Street running so near it on the east has no 
villages at all on it, and the Sleaford road over " the Heath," 
a Httle to the east of the Ermine Street, is, as we have said, just 
as bare. The number of roads in Lincolnshire which have no 
villages on them is very remarkable, though not hard to explain. 
We have already, in treating of the roads from Grantham, 
through the villages of Manthorpe, Belton, Syston, Barkstone, 
Honington, Carlton Scroop, Normanton, Caythorpe and Fulbeck, 
brought the account of this road northwards as far as Leaden- 
ham. Here the Sleaford and Newark main road crosses it, and 
Leadenham spire is a fine landmark for all the neighbourhood. 
It is to be noted that, common as the Danish termination ' by ' 
is in all parts of the county, the Saxon ' ton ' just about here 
and on the west side generally, is even more frequent. 

This spire is crocketed, but has no flying buttresses. The 
nave and arcades are lofty, with bold clustered columns, and 
the doorways, which are quite different in style, are both very 
good. There is some good Flemish glass, and a stone monument 
of the Beresford family has long been in use as an altar. Well- 
bourn, on an Early English tower, has one of those ugly. Perpen- 
dicular " sugar loaf " spires, wth a sort of bulge in the middle, 
and that to a worse degree than at Caythorpe. The nave and 
aisles are the work of John of Wellboum, the munificent 
treasurer of Lincoln in the middle of the fourteenth century. 

To the right and left of Wellboum are two places which should 
not be missed. Brant Broughton, with its beautiful spire, and 
Temple Bruer, where are the remains of a preceptory of the 
Knights Templars. The church of Brant Broughton (pronounced 
Bruton) is a beautiful structure, and all in perfect order, the 
magnificent lofty chancel having been built to match the rest 
of the church by Bodley and Gamer in 1876. To take the wood- 
work first, the tall handsome screen and the chancel stalls are 
in memory of the late rector. Canon E. H. Sutton, as is also the 
lofty carved font cover, whose doors open and display three 
carved and coloured figures, one being St. Nicholas, the patron 




saint, with the three children in a pickling tub, whom he is said 
to have raised to life after their murder by a butcher, as is so 
quaintly represented in the famous black font in Winchester 
Cathedral. The roof, which in the first instance was of a higher 

Brant Broughton. 

pitch, as seen by the string course, is an exact reproduction, both 
in shape and colour, of the old Perpendicular one which it re- 
placed, and is in appearance upborne by figures of angels with 
outspread wings. The three tall arches of the aisle arcades and 
chancel are Early English, two of the pillars are octagonal. 



These arches are very high, though not so high as those in 
Hough-on-the-Hill, which are of about the same date. The 
three-hght clerestory windows, five on each side, and the roof 
to the nave, were added with the upper stages of the tower in 
1460, and the Perpendicular aisle windows are large and hand- 
some, and have a transom running across the tracery in the 
head of each. They are filled with most interesting glass, good 
in design, and mostly good in colour, all of which was made in 
the village by the late Canon Sutton, who also filled several 
windows in Lincoln Minster. The ironwork in the church was 
also made by Mr. F. Coldron and Son at the village forge, where 
excellent work is always being done and sent to all parts of the 
country. All the work inside the church, and the chancel in 
particular, is beautifully finished in every- detail, and bears the 
impress of being all the work of one mind, and as that mind was 
Bodley's, and he took the utmost pains with it, it need hardly 
be said that it comes very near perfection. 

Among the things to notice are the long stone responds of light 
clustered pillars between each clerestory window, which support 
the roof timbers. This is seen in other churches in this part of 
the county, but is otherwise by no means common. Another 
is that at intervals on the outer moulding of some of the doors 
and windows are carved rosettes which give a very rich effect 
and are, I believe, unique. The excellent lectern eagle is a copy 
of one at Oxborough in Norfolk, and a similar one is in the 
neighbouring church of Navenby. Thus far I have spoken of the 
inside, but it is the outside of the church which gives the greatest 
delight, for it is a very perfect specimen, built of good stone, of 
the finest proportions, and richly ornamented. The nave and 
chancel have each an ornate parapet, while the nave is also em- 
battled and pinnacled. The tower has the most glorious base- 
mouldings, and the pinnacled and crocketed spire soars up 
17s feet. Both tower and spire date from about 1320, the 
period of the Flowing Decorated style. But the two porches, 
which are a little later, are absolute gems of architecture. They 
have groined roofs, their parapets are pierced and ornamented, 
thickly set with gargoyles, and supported by canopied but- 
tresses. Over the entrance of the south porch is a figure of 
Christ seated, and in the north porch is an ornamental roof 
ridge of carved stone. These porches are as beautiful as any- 
thing can well be ; altogether it would be hard to find in a country 



village anything architectural, more pleasing than Brant 
Broughton Church. 

We passed through the village, visited the Coldron forge, and 
then by a road constantly turning first right then left, with fields 
of scarlet poppy or brilliant yellow corn-marigold on either hand, 
and with a stormy sky which ever and anon brought us a squall 
of rain, we drove across the flat country eastwards till we crossed 
the railway and reached the ridge. Climbing this, we come to 
Wellbourn, on the Grantham road, and going on eastwards over 

TAe Ertnine Street at TemJ/le Brver. 

Wellbourn Heath we reach the Ermine Street, here only a wide 
grassy track. This we cross and go forwards through a well- 
cultivated, but almost uninhabited plain, till we see on the left 
a farm road leading over a field to a big farmyard, in the middle 
of which stands a soHtary square-built Early EngUsh tower, 
with windows irregularly placed, and steps on one side. This 
is all that is left of a Preceptory of the Knights Templars, 
founded early in the thirteenth century in the reign of Henry II. 
by the Lady Elizabeth de Canz at Temple Bruer. 

One does not always like to confess one's ignorance, but I am 
sure many people may read that word " preceptory " without 


at all knowing what it may mean, or what the difference is be- 
tween a Preceftory and a Commandery. So we may as well say 
something about the Templars, and the kindred order of the 
Hospitallers. And here I may say that I am indebted for my 
facts to a paper read at Lincoln by Bishop TroUope in 1857. 

The first, then, of these, in point of time, were the Hospitallers. 
But as they long outlived the Templars we will take the history 
of the Templars first. This famous order, half-religious and 
half miUtary, was founded in 11 18, during the first Crusade, by 
nine French knights, whose object was to protect pilgrims to 
the Holy Sepulchre at Jerusalem. At first they were bound 
by laws of poverty, and were termed " Poor Knights," but 
Baldwin II., having given them lodging in a part of his palace 
at Jerusalem, the abbot of the Temple Convent, which ad- 
joined the palace, gave them further rooms to live in, and from 
this they got the name " Templars." In 1128 they adopted a 
white distinctive mantle, to which a red cross on the breast 
and on their banner was added in 1166. The fame of their 
feats of arms and chivalry induced many members of noble 
houses to join the society, and land and treasure were so freely 
offered them that they became known for their wealth, as at 
first for their poverty. Their head was termed " Grand 
Master," and their headquarters were in Palestine, until they 
moved, in 1192, to Cyprus. In other countries each section or 
" Province " was governed by a " Grand Preceptor." They 
first came to England in the early part of Stephen's reign, and 
had a church in London, near Southampton Buildings, called 
" The Old Temple," from which they migrated in 1185 to the 
spot where the circular Temple Church still stands. Their 
wealth was the cause of their downfall, morally and physically ; 
and the monarchs, both of France and England, becoming 
jealous, Philip IV., in 1307, seized and imprisoned every Templar 
in his dominion, 200 in number, on the vague charges of in- 
fidelity, sorcery, and apostasy, and eventually confiscated all 
their property and burnt more than fifty of them alive, rele- 
gating the rest to perpetual seclusion in some monastic house. 
Edward II. did much the same here, except that there were no 
burnings or executions. Old Fuller, the historian, was probably 
thinking of those in France when he says in his inimitable way : 
" Their lives would not have been taken if their lands could 
have been got without ; but the mischief was, the honey could 


not be got without burning the bees." In 1312 the Pope, 
Clement V., who was under PhiHp's thumb at Avignon, and 
had helped him to coerce Edward II., abolished the order, 
which was found to be possessed of no less than 9,000 manors 
and 16,000 lordships, besides lands abroad. Grants were made 
to favourites, and also to those who had claims for some bene- 
faction to any Templar's estate. Thus Robert de Swines 
(Sweyne's)-thorp was to receive 3^. a day for food, and an- 
other 3(^. for himself and 2d. for his groom ; and his daughter, 
Alice Swinesthorpe was to have for life (and she drew it for 
thirty years) " 7 white loaves, 3 squire's loaves, 5 gals of better 
ale, 7 dishes of meat and fish on Saturday for the week follow- 
ing, and an extra dish (interferculum) of the better course of 
the brethren, at Xmas, Easter, Whitsuntide, Midsummer, The 
Assumption, and Feast of All Saints, and 3 stone of cheese 
yearly and an old gown of the brethren." 

Twelve years later Edward granted the whole of their pro- 
perty to the similar society of " Knights Hospitallers." 

This society came into existence some fifty years before the 
Templars, and originated in a band of traders from Amalfi, who 
got leave from the Caliph of Egypt to build a church and mon- 
astery for the Latins near the Holy Sepulchre, in order to look 
after the sick and poor pilgrims who used to come in large 
numbers to Jerusalem. Soon a hospital, or guest house, was 
added, and a chapel dedicated to St. John the Baptist ; but 
the society did not take the distinctive name of Hospitallers, or 
guest receivers, until 1099, when Jerusalem was in the hands of 
the Christians. They then assumed a white cross as their badge, 
and were termed Knights of the Hospital, Knights Hospitallers, 
or Knights of St. John. 

In 1154 they procured a Papal bull, relieving them from pay- 
ment of tithes, and exempting them from all interdicts and 
excommunications, and giving them other privileges, but bind- 
ing them never to leave the order. These marks of Papal 
favour seem to have made them presumptuous, and great com- 
plaints soon arose of their insolence. They were accused before 
the Pope, but they managed to clear themselves and to keep 
their privileges. • Hence we find that Temple Bruer, which came 
to them after the destruction of the Knights Templars, still 
remains exempt from the payment of tithe, and from episcopal 
jurisdiction, as being extra parochial. 


The head of the order had the title of " Grand Prior/' and 
when the Christians were expelled from Palestine, the Knights 
retreated to Cyprus, after which they took from the Turks the 
island of Rhodes, which they held against the Sultan until 1522, 
when Solyman II., after a long siege, forced them to capitulate. 
A few years after that, the Emperor Charles V. gave them a 
home in Malta, and they thenceforth were commonly called 
Knights of Malta. They fortified the island, and imported soil 
to make it productive, and putting to sea with their galleys 
they made constant war upon all Turkish vessels. Solyman at 
length determined to drive them out of Malta. He despatched 
a fleet of 180 galleys, carrying 30,000 men. The Turks took 
the fort of St. Elmo, but with a loss of 8,000 men ; and when 
the Emperor sent an army to assist the Knights, La Valette, the 
Grand Prior, a famous leader, drove the Moslems off. After 
this they remained in Malta until the order was dissolved at 
the close of the eighteenth century by order of Napoleon, when 
most of the Knights took service in the French army. Whilst 
the society existed it had branch establishments in England, 
where the chief or Prior took precedence of all the barons, and 
had a seat in Parliament. Their establishments were called 
" commanderies — ^while those of the Templars, who were ruled 
by " Grand Preceptors," were called " preceptories." Of these 
there were three in Lincolnshire : at Willoughton, four miles 
south of Kirton in Lindsey ; at Aslackby, two miles south of 
Falkingham ; and at Temple Bruer ; all three situated close to 
the Ermine Street or " High Dyke " as they call it, on Lincoln 
Heath, and it is from the heath that one of them gets its name 
Templum de la bniere, or the temple on the heath, shortened into 
Temple Bruer. 

The lands of these Knights Templars, which were handed 
over by Edward II. in 1324 to the Knights Hospitallers, were 
all sequestrated in England at the time of the dissolution of 
the monastic and religious houses in 1538, and, like so many 
other Lincolnshire estates, granted by Henry VIII. to his re- 
lative, Charles Brandon Duke" of Suffolk. Henry, with his 
wife, Katherine Howard, dined at Temple Bruer when on his 
way to Lincoln in 1541. The buildings then were of consider- 
able size, and the circular church, whose pillar bases have been 
laid bare, a little to the west of the existing tower, was fifty feet 
in diameter. It is modelled on the plan of the Holy Sepulchre 



at Jerusalem, having, as may still be seen in London, Cambridge, 
and Northampton, a corridor running round between the circular 
arcade of the church and the outer wall. The existing tower 
is of the Early English period, fifty feet high, and having three 

Tcni/yle Brticr Tov.'€r. 

storeys ; the walls of the lower storey are decorated by arcad- 
ing on two sides, and the rising levels of the floor indicate that 
an altar was placed at the east end, so that it was probably the 
domestic chapel of the Grand Prior. The roof of this and the 
next storey is vaulted, and above the third storey was a parapet. 


The rooms were reached by a winding staircase in the north- 
west angle. A well nine feet in diameter, and never dry, was 
in the precincts, and another, discovered in the eighteenth 
century, was found to have in it three large bells. The Earl of 
Dorset, who owned this interesting property in 1628, sold it to 
Richard Brownlow of Belton, whose daughter and co-heiress 
carried it to the family of Lord Guildford, and he sold it to the 
ancestors of Mr. Chaplin of Blankney. 

It shows that the interest in the Order of the Knights of 
Jerusalem is not yet extinct when we read the following, which 
appeared in The Times of December 21, 1913 : — 

" (from our own correspondent.) 

Rome, Dec. 23. 

" The Trihuna announces that the House of the Knights at 
Rhodes has been acquired for France by the French Ambassador 
at Constantinople, M. Bompard. The house, which is one of the 
most beautiful in the island, is a Gothic edifice dating from the 
iSth century, and was originally the residence of the French 
Priors of the Order of Jerusalem. 

" *j* This appears to refer to the Auberge of the " Langue " 
of France, with its shield-adorned fagade in the famous street 
of the Knights in Rhodes, which is still preserved in fair con- 
dition. Under the Ottoman regime no Christian was allowed 
to own a house or to sleep within the walled town of Rhodes, and 
before the revival of the Constitution foreigners were jealously 
excluded from the majority of the medieval buildings of the 
city. It is probably due to this suspicious and exclusive attitude 
that no such step as that just taken by France has been attempted 
before. It is to be hoped that the palace of the Grand Masters 
of the Order of the Hospital, which ruled the island from 1309 
until 1522, is now no longer to be used as a common prison." 

From Temple Bruer we return to the " High Dyke," and, cross- 
ing it, make westward for the Grantham road ; but before we 
go along it, by Boothby Graffoe to Navenby, we must pause on 
the Ridge, or " Cliff," as they call it there, and look down on a 
solitary round tower on a slight elevation about a mile across 
the flat plain which extends westward from the Wolds to the 
Trent. This tower and its grassy mounds are all that is left of 


a once fine stronghold, built, about 1281, by Antony Bee, 
Archdeacon of Durham, second son of Walter Bee, Baron 
d'Eresby. He was consecrated Bishop of Durham in the 
presence of Edward I., on January 9, 1284, and he wa.s wise 
enough, a few years later, when his growing magnificence 
excited the jealousy of his sovereign, to present Somerton to 
Edward I., and it remained a royal castle for some three cen- 
turies, passing afterwards through several families, among 
whom were the Disneys of Norton and Carlton. Edward, son 
of Thomas Disney of Carlton-le-Moorland having purchased it 
from Sir George Bromley, and being succeeded in 1595 by his 
son Thomas, who having lost both his sons, sold it to Sir Ed. 
Hussey. Hence we find that his son Charles, afterwards Sir 
Charles Hussey of Caythorpe, is described in his marriage 
licence, April 10, 1649, as Charles Hussey, Esq., of Somerton. 

After the battle of Poictiers, in 1356, John, son of PhiUp of 
Valois, King of France, was brought captive to London, to- 
gether with his third son Philip. Hence, after a short residence 
at the Savoy Palace, they went to Windsor as guests of the 
King and Queen Philippa, and were subsequently sent to 
Hertford Castle. Edward HI. soon thought it wiser to transfer 
them to Somerton, where they were placed under the custody 
of William, Baron d'Eyncourt of Blankney, during the years 
1359 and 1360. The expensive furnishing of the castle (see 
Chap. XXXVII.) and the provision made for the maintenance 
of the large number of the king's French suite, and of the officers 
and men who were appointed to guard the prisoners, and the 
style of life there, the tuns of French claret, and the enormous 
amount of sugar to make French bon-bons, together with the 
subsequent history of King John, who, on being set at liberty, 
returned in the most honourable way to England in 1363, 
because his son Louis, Due d'Anjou, had broken his parole as 
a hostage and left England for France, is fully related by Bishop 
Trollope. King John died in 1364, at the palace of the Savoy. 

Somerton Castle, which we must now visit, was a fortified 
dwelling-place with outer and inner moats, and with round 
towers at each corner of an irregular parallelogram, only one 
remains now at the south-west angle. This is forty-five feet 
high, and has three storeys — the lower one vaulted, the highest 
covered with a conical roof and having two chimneys, rising 
well above the plain parapet, which is still perfect, and springs 


from a bold and effective moulding. Each floor is lit by small 
lancet windows, the middle one much enlarged of late years, 
for it is still inhabited, together with some building adjoining it 
on the east, as a farm house. The large earthworks around the 
castle, which are especially noticeable on the south, are very 
remarkable, and must be much earher than the castle, which 
seems to have been planted inside these rectangular embank- 
ments, of which the northern side has been levelled, probably 
at the time of the building. The earthworks are not Roman in 
character, and are probably of very great antiquity. Outside 
these are at least two round artificial hills, which have not been 
as yet explained with certainty. 

Leaving the castle, and driving over the rough field road 
which leads to it, we regain a highway which takes us up " the 
cliff " to the \allage of Navenby. This is situated on a spur 
jutting out from the edge of the cliff, with a deep Kttle valley 
sweeping round on the south side and breaking down into the 
plain. Nestling in the curve of the hill are some picturesque 
farm buildings and stacks, and above is an old windmill ; whilst 
over the horizon peeps through the trees the spire of Wellingore 
Church. The chancel of Navenby Church, as at Heckington, is 
as long as the nave, and almost as high ; indeed, this Decorated 
chancel is as fine as any to be found, no other being built on at 
all so magnificent a scale, except Hawton in Notts, and Heck- 
ington and perhaps Merton at Oxford. The tower, which pro- 
bably had a spire, fell in the eighteenth century, and the whole 
church was restored about forty years ago, by Kirk of Sleaford, 
who made the chancel roof of too high a pitch, and kept the 
nave roof too low. The pillars in the nave, of which there are 
two on each side, have shafts clustered round a central column, 
four shafts of coursed masonry alternating with four light 
detached monolithic shafts, all united under a circular capital. 
But the north-west pillar is thicker than the others, and belongs 
to the latter part of the twelfth century. The tower arch is a 
low one ; the fine Decorated east window of six lights, restored 
in 1876, has superb tracery, and is nearly as line as that at 
Heckington. There are four large chancel windows, and a good 
Early English window in the south aisle. There is also a rood- 
loft staircase, and a rood-loft with canopy, or ' hang over,' and 
a modem rood-beam above bearing a large crucifix and two 
almost life-size figures carved and painted. An octagon panelled 



font stands on a pedestal of slender columns. The roof of both 
nave and aisles is painted. The clerestory, added later, has five 
three-light windows. The east window is filled with white glass, 
slightly toned, and is half hidden by a tapestry screen used as 
a reredos, by no means beautiful, and twice as high as it need be. 
The Jacobean pulpit and the fine copy of an old brass eagle 
lectern, as at Brant Broughton, are to be noticed ; but the main 
glories of the church are in the chancel, where, besides the 
splendid windows, there are, on the south side, three rich sedilia 
and a piscina ; and on the north, just east of the canopied arch 
for the founder's tomb, in which is now placed a trefoiled stone 
with Lombardic lettering of Richard Dewe, priest, is a priest's 
door and a very beautiful Easter Sepulchre. This is only sur- 
passed by those at Heckington, Lincoln, and Hawton' near 
Newark. It has only pne compartment, with three Roman 
soldiers, with mutilated heads, below the opening, and above it, 
amongst the delicately carved foliage of the canopy, are two 
figures of women. Few churches can give more pleasure to the 
lover of church architecture than this ; and its fine position on 
the edge of the cliff, with the wide view over the plain westward, 
makes a visit to Navenby very memorable. 

Going on northwards along the cliff road we pass Boothby 
Graffoe, where the old church was actually blown down, or, as 
the Wellingore register has it, " extirpated in a hurricane," in 
1666 — and come to Coleby. Here is an early unbuttressed tower 
with a rude original arch over the door of the tower staircase, 
and with two keyhole windows in the south side, as in the early 
Lincoln towers or those at Hough-on-the-Hill, and Clee. Part 
of the original tower arch is visible inside the toWer, which is 
entered from the nave through a very tall narrow arch supported 
by two very small pilasters with plain rectangular caps. 

The two arches of the north arcade are Transition Norman ; 
those on the south Early English, with good stiff foliage. The 
tall, plain porch had once a room over it, and retains its richly 
moulded Transition doorway. The font is of the same date, 
being a massive cylinder with Norman arcading cut on it, and 
with four equidistant pillars which give it a square appearance. 
The crocketed spire is a good one. Perpendicular in style, and of 
better stone than the tower. The three lancet windows at the 
east end are filled with good glass, and the seats are of oak with 
poppy-heads throughout. The fellows of Oriel College, Oxford, 



to whom the living belongs, helped in its restoration by Bodley 
and Garner in 1901. The wall at the west end of the south aisle, 
which runs up to the tower and also forms the west side of the 
porch, as the aisle has no window, is one long blank face, which 


has a singularly ugly look outside. Inside, there are some good 
bench-ends, and there is an inscription by Sir John Coleridge 
to the Rev. Trevenen Penrose, who spent the greater part of a 
long life as vicar of the parish. 
The Hall is a gabled house of 1628, built by Sir W. Lester, 

M 3 


now the property of the Tempest family, and having classic 
temples in the grounds, one of them adapted from the Rotunda 
in the baths of Diocletian at Rome. 

Harmston, the next village, has a tower of the pre-Norman 
type, with a mid-wall shaft to the window of the belfry in 
which are eight bells. A brass plate commemorates Margaret 
Thorold who had a family of eight sons and eleven daughters, 
and lived to be eighty. 

Waddington has some very good Early English work in its 
clustered columns and carved capitals. Here the string of 
villages, one at every milestone, ceases, and we go on for three 
miles seeing the beautiful minster tower in front of us on the 
height, and arrive at Bracebridge, a very dark church, but with 
some most interesting Long-and-Short work in the tower, in 
the angles of the nave, and in the south porch, and a Norman 
west door to the tower, which is a very early one with mid-wall 
shaft to the belfry window. The Norman north door is now 
blocked. There is a curious rectangular opening, twice as wide 
as its height, in the south aisle, near the porch, which allows a 
view between the pillars and through the hagioscope or " squint " 
on the right of the chancel arch to the altar. Another squint is 
on the left side of the chancel arch, which is a very narrow and 
early one, through a thick wall. 

The nave pillars, two on each side, are cylindrical with four 
banded shafts attached. The north aisle and transept are 
modern. A fine Transition Norman font is mounted on a new 
base, and on the pulpit is still to be seen the old hour-glass stand, 
as at Leasmgham ; though there and at Belton in the Isle of 
Axholme it is attached to a pillar, at Sapperton and Hammer- 
ingham it is on the pulpit. There is also an old cracked 
Sanctus bell. 

The road over the heath unites with the Grantham road near 
Bracebridge, and runs into Lincoln by the Stonebow, and on up 
to the Minster Hill. 

So much for the roads east, west, and south. The roads north 
of Lincoln demand another chapter. But a few words about 
Nocton and Norton Disney shall come first. 



Nocton — Norton Disney — Doddington — Kettlethorpe. 


As an instance of what the great Roman catch-water drain 
the " Carr-dyke " effected, we may take the little village of 
Nocton, six miles south-east of Lincoln. Here is a little string 
of villages — Potter Hanworth, Nocton, Dunston and Methering- 
ham — running north and south on the edge of a moor which 
drops quickly on the east to an uninhabited stretch of fen 
once all water, but now ricli. comland cut into long strips by 
the drains which, aided by pumps, send the superfluous water 
down the Nocton " Delph " into the Witham River. Along the 
extreme edge of the moorland runs the " Carr-dyke " and inter- 
cepts all the water which would otherwise discharge into the 
already water-logged lowlands, and so makes the task of dealing 
with the fen water a possible one. 

At Potter Hanworth the Romans had a pottery. The church 
was rebuilt in 1857, one of the bells was re-cast in memory of 
the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria, and on it were placed 
Tennyson's hnes from " Morte d' Arthur." 

" The old order changeth, yielding place to new, 
And God fulfils Himself in many ways, 
Lest one good custom should corrupt the world." 

On the same occasion the ringing of the Curfew bell, which had 
been Continued till 1890, was given up, and a clock with four 
faces put up instead, which strikes the hours, but is not at all the 
same thing. Thus one more interesting and historic custom has 


i66 THE D'ARCY FAMILY chap. 

disappeared, which is much to be regretted in this utilitarian 
and unimaginative age. 

Domesday Book tells us that Nodon was divided in unequal 
shares between two landlords, Ulf and Osulf ; on the land of the 
former there was already a church with a priest in 1086. These 
owners had given place to one Norman de Ardreci, written later 
de Aresci, and finally D'Arcy, a companion of the Conqueror. 
Norman D'Arcy's son granted the churches of Nocton and 
Dunston to the Benedictines of St. Mary's Abbey, York, also 
some land to the Carthusians of Kirkstead Abbey, and himself 
founded a priory at Nocton for canons of the Orders of St. 
Augustine, who first settled in England in 1108. The buildings 
are quite gone, but the site is still called the Abbey Field, and 
the vicarage is called the Priory ; the Priory well, whose water 
was said to be " remarkably good," in 1727, was only filled up 
about fifty years ago. Why couldn't they have let it alone, one 
wonders. To follow up the history of Nocton : in 1541 Henry 
VIII. and Katharine Howard slept there. 

The D'Arcy family and their descendants in the female line, 
whose married names were Lymbury, Pedwardine, Wymbishe 
and Towneley, held the property for three and twenty genera- 
tions till the middle of the seventeenth century — a good innings 
of 600 years. But the losses which the Civil War brought about 
made it necessary for Robert Towneley, at the Restoration in 
1660, to sell the estate to Lord Stanhope, from whom it soon 
passed by sale to Sir William Ellys, about 1676, and in 1726 — • 
by the marriage of Sir Richard Ellys' widow^ — to Sir Francis 
Dashwood ; after whom, in 1767, it descended to a cousin, 
George Hobart, eventually third Earl of Buckinghamshire. 
He altered Nocton considerably, pulled down the church, which 
was too near the house, and set up a poor structure further off, 
where the present church stands. He also spent much in drain- 
ing Nocton fen, and erected a windmill pump which raised the 
water and sent it into the Witham, and worked well for forty 
years till it was superseded in Frederick Robinson's time (1834) 
by a forty-horse-power steam engine which was found to pump 
the water faster than the fens could supply it. The earl died 
in 1804 ; ten years later his daughter. Lady Sarah Albinia, carried 
the estate to Frederick John Robinson, second son of Lord 
Grantham, who became Prime Minister and was created 
Viscount Goodrich in 1827, and Earl of Ripon in 1833 ; and, 


as a member of Sir Robert Peel's cabinet, moved in the House 
of Lords the second reading of the Bill for the repeal of the 
Com Laws in 1846. In 1834 the house at Nocton was burnt 
down, and the earl's young son, afterwards Marquis of Ripon, 
laid the foundation stone of the present house in 1841. The 
earl died in 1859, and his widow, who survived him eight years, 
built in his memory the present fine church, which was designed 
by Sir Gilbert Scott. In 1889 Lord Ripon sold the estate to 
Mr. G. Hodgson of Bradford. 

It is interesting to hear of a school being set up in 1793 at 
Nocton ; first as a private school by John Brackenbury of 
Gedney, grandson of Edward Brackenbury of Raithby, near 
Spilsby, which was continued for forty-six years after her 
father's death in 1813, by his daughter Justinia, who became 
Mrs. Scholey. In her time it was an elementary school which 
Lady Sarah financed and managed, the children paying a penny 
a week. 

Another thing that was set up was a land lighthouse on 
Dunston Heath. This was a lonely tract where inhabitants 
had not only been murdered by highwaymen, but had even been 
lost in the storms and snow-drifts on the desolate and roadless 
moor. Here then Sir Francis Dashwood set up the Dunston 
Pillar, ninety-two feet high with a lantern over fifteen feet high 
on the top. The date on it is 1751. The fourth Earl of Buck- 
inghamshire, who as Lord Hobart was Governor of Madras, 
took down the lantern on July 18, 1810, and set up in its place 
a colossal statue of George III. to commemorate the king's 

The granddaughter of the third earl, whose father (The Very 
Rev. H. L. Hobart) lived at the Priory, being, inter alia, vicar 
of Nocton and Dean of Windsor, and also of Wolverhampton, 
tells me that the mail coaches used to pass the pillar and leave 
all the letters for the neighbourhood at one of the four little 
lodges close by. She has several interesting specimens of the 
work done by the Nocton School of Needlework under the 
guidance of Justinia, whose family were remarkable for their 
Scriptural as well as " heathen Christian names," e.g., Ceres 
and Damaris. Justinia herself always, as they say in West- 
morland, used to " get " Justina. These specimens include a 
very clever and faithful copy in black silk needlework of an 
engraving by Hoylett from a picture by Thos. Espin of old 

i68 NOCTON HALL chap. 

Nocton Hall, which was burnt down in 1834. The needlework 
artist has done one of the trees in the picture most beautifully, 
but has given the rein to her imagination by working in two fine 
palm trees in place of the oaks of the picture. There is a sampler 
done at the vicarage by the dean's daughter, and inscribed : — 

" Nocton Priory, 1839. 
Louisa C. Hobart." 

And two large samplers with the usual pretty floral borders 
worked by Justinia's daughters, signed " Alice Scholey, 1832, 
and Betsey Scholey, 1848." The latter has some rather primitive 
representations of the old Hall and ,its two lodges ; also the 
Vicarage and the School, and a libellous portrait of Lincoln 
Minster. Alice Scholey was of a more Scriptural turn of mind 
and apparently fond of birds, for she has owls in the centre of 
green bushes, and pheasants or peacocks among her flowers ; 
but her central picture is the temptation, where Adam and Eve, 
worked in pink silk, au naturel, stand on either side of a goodly 
tree covered with fruit, a gorgeous serpent twining round the 
trunk, and one remarkably fine plum-coloured apple tempt- 
ingly within reach of Eve's hand. 

Certainly Justinia's school was in advance of the time, but 
the art needlework doubtless owed much to the interest taken 
in it by Sarah Albinia, Countess of Ripon. 

Samplers of the eighteenth century are now much sought , 
after. I saw one lately of 1791, on which a Httle mite of 
seven, in days when the " three R's " were taught along with 
the use of the needle in the good old sensible way, had stitched 
in black silk letters : — 

The days were long Seven years my age 

The weather hot Thoughtless and gay 

Sometimes I worked And often much 

And sometimes not. Too fond of play. 

The first stanza with its pathetic little picture is genuine 
enough, but the second was manifestly dictated by her elders. 

Among the treasures long preserved at Nocton was an Anglo- 
Saxon ornament of great beauty (see illustration, Chap. XXII) in 
which three discs of silver with a raised pattern of dragons, &c., 
and with pins four inches long are connected by silver links so 
as to form a cloak-chain to fasten the garment across the breast. 


The pins have shoulders an inch from the sharp points to prevent 
their shaking loose. This for a time was in a museum at Lincoln, 
and on the dispersal of the collection was bought and presented 
to the British Museum, and is in the Anglo-Saxon room. In 
the same room are kept the very interesting finds from the 
Anglo-Saxon cemetery at Sleaford, consisting mainly of bronze 
ornaments and coloured beads. The cloak-chain' was found 
in the Witham at Fiskerton, four miles from Lincoln, when the 
river was deepened in 1826. 

_ Sir Charles Anderson, in his excellent Lincoln pocket guide, 
gives some notion of the gaiety which distinguished Nocton in 
the eighteenth century by quoting an account of a masquerade 
held there on December 29, 1767, which begins : — 

" Met at the door by a Turk, in a white Bearskin, who took 
our tickets." 

It is curious to note the use of the word Turk for any dark- 
skinned person in a turban, for later in the list of dresses wc 
have : " Mr. Amcotts, a Turk, his turban ornamented with 
diamonds. Mr. Cust, a Turk ; scarlet and ermine ; turban 
and collar very rich with diamonds. He represented the Great 
Mogul," who would have been little pleased to be called a Turk, 
I imagine. Amongst more than seventy other dresses which 
are described we find : " Lady Betty Chaplin : a Chinese Lady, 
in a long robe of yellow taffe'ty ; the petticoat painted taffety. 
Her neck and hair richly ornamented with diamonds." 

But rich jewellery was the order of the night whether it was 
proper to the costume or not, so we find " Lady Buck : a Grecian 
Lady, scarlet satin and silver gauze ; her neck and head adorned 
with diamonds and pearls." 

The host and hostess are thus described : — 

" Mr. Hobart : ' Pan.' His dress dark brown satin, made 
quite close to his shape, shag breeches, cloven feet, a round 
shock wig, and a mask that beggars all description, a leopard 
skin over his back fastened to his shoulder by a leopard's claw. 
In his hand a shepherd's pipe." 

" Mrs. Hobart ; First " Imoinda," a muslin petticoat, puffed 
very small, spotted with spangles. The arms muslin puffed 
like a dancer. Her second dress " Nysa " or " Daphne." She 
came in footing it, and singing a song in " Midas." Muslin 
and blue ornaments ; a white chip hat and blue ribbons." 

Several dancers had two costumes. Thus " Lord George 


Sutton. First a Pilgrim ; next a Peasant Dancer ; pink and 

Miss Molly Peart : a Peasant Dancer ; same colours as 
Lord George. 

Miss Peart : ' Aurora ' Blue and White. The Moon set- 
ting on one side of her head ; the Sun rising on the other. 

Miss A. Peart : a Dancer ; pink and silver." 

Mr. and Miss Hales went as a Dutchman and " a Dutch- 
woman, brown and pink," and Mrs. Ellis as " a Polish Lady ; 
pink and silver ; a white cloak and a great many diamonds." 

Another classic lady to match ' Aurora ' was " Miss Manners : 
' Diana ' her vest white satin and silver ; her robe purple 
lute-string ; a silver bow and quiver : her hair in loose curls, 
flowing behind, and a diamond crescent on her forehead." 

I should judge that the " Eyewitness " who wrote the account 
was a Mr. Glover because of the minute particularity with which 
his own costume is set forth, thus : " Mr. Glover : a Cherokee 
Chief ; a shirt and breeches in one, puffed and tied at the knees ; 
a scarlet mantle, trimmed with gold, one corner across his breast ; 
scarlet cloth stockings ; brown leather shoes, worked with 
porcupine quills and deer's sinews ; a gold belt ; gold leather 
about his neck, and before like a stomacher, and over that a 
long necklace and gorget ; head-dress of long black horsehair, 
tied in locks of ,coloured ribbons, a single lock hanging over 
his forehead ; ear-rings red and blue ; plumes of black and 
scarlet feathers on his head ; a scalping knife tucked into his 
girdle ; a tomahawk in his hand, and a pipe to smoke tea with." 

Mrs. Glover went in black and yellow as a Spanish lady. 

Then we have Henry the Eighth, a shepherdess, " a Witch 
with blue gown, red petticoat and high crowned hat," a friar 
in a mask, a Sardinian knight, a Puritan, a sailor, " Lord Vere 
Bertie a very good Falstaff," and many Spaniards, among them 
" Dr. Willis : a Spaniard with a prodigious good mask." 


Norton Disney ( = de Isigny, a place near Bayeux) was the 
home of a family who lived here from the thirteenth century 
to nearly the end of the seventeenth. 

The castle was in the field near the church, just across the 
road to the west, but has quite disappeared, as has also the seven- 


teenth century manor-house. The church, which is well worth 
a visit, belonged to the Gilbertines of Sempringham {see Chap, 
ly.). The manor is now the property of Lord St. Vincent, a 
title bestowed on Admiral Sir John Jervis when he so hand- 
somely defeated the Spaniards near the cape of that name on 
the coast of Portugal in 1797. On opening the door you find 
that you have to descend three steps into the church. Here 
the arcade consists of two Norman arches, and one next the 
chancel smaller and of later date. There are old carved benches 
without poppj'-heads, and a very plain old oak screen with 
rood stairs on the south side. The east window is filled with 
stained glass in memory of the Lord St. Vincent who fell at 
Tel-el-Kebir. The aisle has an old roof with carved.bosses, and 
there is a very deeply carved font. Outside, the look of the 
church is spoilt by some very inharmonious additions, among 
these is the north chapel to the thancel, inside which, on a 
rough brick floor, are the monuments which give the church 
its interest ; these are six in number, three to ladies. One of 
them is a recumbent effigy in coif and wimple of " Joan 
d'Iseney," 1300. One a curious sepulchral slab with the half- 
effigy of a lady at one end and her feet showing at the other, 
with Norman French inscription to " Joan Disney." Another 
is the recumbent effigy of Hantascia Disney, a name of frequent 
use in the family. Close to this on the ground is a slab with 
the matrix of a fine brass of a knight under a canopy, while 
another knight is on an altar tomb in the chancel. These are 
all of the fourteenth century. But the most important is a 
brass of the sixteenth century. This is a thick brass plate 
three feet by two, now set in an oak frame and hinged so that 
one may see the reverse side on which is engraved a long in- 
scription in Dutch recording the foundation of a chantry in 
Holland in 15 18 by Adrian Ardenses and the Lady Josephine 
Van de Steine. The face of this brass is divided horizontally 
into five compartments, at the top is a pediment with a shield 
bearing the Disney arms impaling those of Joiner in the centre, 
and on either side are crests of the Disney and Hussey family — • 
a lion passant regardant and a stag couchant under a tree. 
The next compartment shows the half-length figures with their 
names below of " Willm Disney Esquier " in armour and 
helmeted, and " Margaret Joiner " his wife ; he in profile, she 
three-quarters face, they are kneeling at a faldstool with open 

172 THE BRASS chap. 

books, their hands joined in prayer, and between them on a 
scroll : " Sufferance dothe Ease." Behind him are four sons 
and behind her five daughters, all with hands joined in prayer 
and with their names engraved on labels above them. The 
next compartment shows three shields with the arms of Hussey, 
Disney and Ayscough, in which Hussey has three squirrels 
sitting up, Disney has three fleurs de lys, and Ayscough three 
asses coughing. In the compartment below these are the half- 
length figures of Richard Disney, full face in armour with very 
high shoulder-pieces, and his two wives who are three-quarter 
face ; and below are their names engraved thus : " Nele 
daughter of Sr Wilton Husey Knyght, Richard Disney, Janne 
daugh"" of SI Wilton Ayscoughe K'." Behind the first wife are 
ranged in two tiers her seven sons and five daughters and their 
names were engraved above them. " Sara, Ester, Judeth, Judet 
and Susan" are still there," but the sons' names are gone; a 
bit of the brass which held them, about six inches by one and 
a half, having been cut out, in connection, it is said, with a law- 
suit arising out of Richard Disney's will. They can be supplied 
from Gervase Holies' MS. as William, Humphrey, John, Daniel, 
Ciriac, Zachariah and Isaac. 
The lowest compartment has this inscription : — 
" The lyfe, cpnversacion and seruice, of the first above named 
Willm Disney and of Richard Disney his Sonne were comend- 
able amongest their Neigbours trewe and fathefull to ther 
prince and cutree and acceptable to Thallmighty of Whome we 
trust they are receved to Valuation accordinge to the Stedfast 
faythe which they had in and throughe the mercy and merit of 
Christ o'' Savior. Thes truthes are thus sette forthe that in 
all ages God may be thankfully Glorified for thes and suche 
lyke his gracious benefites." 

No dates are given, but William Disney's will was proved in 
1540 ; Richard Disney's in 1578 ; and that of Jane, the second 
wife of Richard, in 1591. She was the younger sister of Anne 
Askew, who was so cruelly burnt for heresy at Smithfield in 
1546, because she had read the Bible to some poor folk in the 
cathedral. She had previously been married to George St. Poll 
of Snarford, by whom she had a son. Canon Cole, in his " Notes 
on the Ecclesiastical History of the Deanery of Graffoe during 
the 15th and i6th centuries," says that " such demi figures as 
these are rare in the i6th century, and helmets are seldom seen 


on the heads of knights at this date/' and he shows an engraving 
of the brass, which, of course, cannot be earlier than 1578. 
Richard Disney was one of those who profited most largely by the 
dissolution of the monasteries. 'His first wife, Nele Hussey, was 
grand-daughter of the unfortunate John Lord Hussey, who was 
beheaded in 1537. Early in the next century one branch of the 
Disneys removed from Norton to the next parish of Carlton-le- 
Moorland, where Ursula Disney's burial on August 22, 1615, is 
in the register ; and her husband, Thomas, removed to Somerton 
Castle, three miles to the east, the lease of which he bought from 
Sir George Bromley, but, having no issue, he sold it again to 
Sir Edward Hussey. Canon Cole also notices that it was while 
the Disneys were at Carlton that the very unusual event in 
Elizabethan times, the rebuilding of a great part of the parish 
church, took place. Churches, as a rule, were getting dilapi- 
dated, and the archdeacon's visitations, preserved in the bishop's 
registry at Lincoln, some of which go back to the time of Henry 
VII., show many presentments for absence of service-books, 
decay of walls and roofs, or churchyard fences. For instance, 
at Bassingham in 1601 the churchwardens are cited " for that 
their churchyard fences toward the street are in manie places 
downe, by reason whereof their churchyard is abused by swyne 
and such unseemlie cattell." 

The smiling youthful faces of the figures in this most remark- 
able brass, and the modem-looking whiskers and beard and 
moustache, combined with the helmet, give a singularly un- 
ancient look to the wearers, and irresistibly call to mind what 
one has so often seen of late in the twentieth-century pageants. 


Between the road which runs west from Lincoln to Saxilby, 
and the old Roman Foss Way from Lincoln to Newark, which 
went on by Leicester, Cirencester, and Bath to Axminster, a 
tongue of Nottinghamshire runs deep into the county. South 
of this and north of the Foss Way are a few villages of no par- 
ticular importance, amongst them Eagle, which was once a 
preceptory of the Knights Templars. But here also, within 
six miles of Lincoln, is Doddington. This deserves especial 
mention for its fine Elizabethan hall, which is still very much 
as it was three hundred years ago. 


The station of Doddington and Harby is just over the border, 
and Harby village is in Nottinghamshire. A statue over the 
doorway in the church tower commemorates the fact that Here 
Queen Eleanor died. Edward I. was holding a council at 
Clipston in Sherwood Forest in 1290 when the queen was taken 
ill and was removed to the house of one of her gentlemen in 
attendance who lived at Harby. After her death her heart 
was buried in Lincoln Minster and her embalmed body was 
taken by stages to Westminster, a beautiful cross being subse- 
quently ordered to be set up at each resting place, ten of the 
thirteen were either not completed or subsequently destroyed, 
all those in the county being among the number. These were 
at Lincoln, Grantham, and Stamford. The only three Eleanor 
crosses that have survived the abominable destruction of all 
beautiful things from which the country suffered, first at the 
hands of Henry VIII. 's minister Cromwell, and then from the 
acts of Parliament passed by the iconoclasts of the Reformation, 
and finally by the soldiery of the Civil War, are at Northampton, 
Geddington, and Waltham. 

The first owner of Doddington Manor that we know of was 
one Ailric, in Edward the Confessor's time, who gave it as an en- 
dowment to the newly built Abbey of Westminster. The family 
of Pigot held it under the abbot, paying a rent of £12, and the 
estate remained with them till i486, after which Sir John Pigot, 
having no heir, his widow sold it to Sir Thomas Burgh of the 
Old Hall, Gainsborough, and his family 100 years later sold it, 
in 1586, to John Savile, M.P. for Lincoln ; but when, seven 
years later, he ceased to represent the town, he sold it to Thomas 
Taylor, for many years registrar to the Bishops of Lincoln. 
He was a wealthy man, and at once set to work to build the 
present hall, which was finished in 1600. It is built of red and 
black brick with stone quoins and mullions, and is approached 
by a stone gateway with two brick storeys above it and three 
gables. It stands between two quadrangles, with gardens in 
that on the west, and with a cedar-planted lawn on the east, 
and the E-shaped house is surmounted by three octagonal 
brick turrets with leaden cupolas. It is 160 feet long and 
seventy-five feet deep on the wings. There is no superfluous 
ornament, all being solidly plain but harmonious outside, and 
with fine stately rooms inside. The hall is fifty-three feet by 
twenty-two, and the long gallery on the third floor ninety-six 


feet by twenty-two, the house being all one room thick. A 
good deal of internal decoration — oak panels, a staircase, and 
marble chimney-pieces, and heavy architraves over the doors 
— was the work of Lord Delaval about 1760. The pictures are 
numerous, mostly family portraits, one being of Lord Hussey 
of Sleaford, beheaded after the Lincolnshire rebellion, 1536. 
At the south end of the long gallery is a group by Sir Joshua 
Reynolds. ^ 

Thomas Taylor died in 1607, and his son in 1652, when the 
estate devolved on his niece. Lady Hussey of Honington. Her 
husband, whose great uncle was the man beheaded by order of 
Henry VIIL, was fined as a Royalist in 1646 in the enormous 
sum of £10,200, of which £8,759 was actually paid — half of it 
in his lifetime, and the rest by his widow and his eldest son's 
widow, Rhoda, who had for her second husband married Lord 
Fairfax. The accession to her uncle's estate at Doddington 
just two years after she had cleared this huge debt on Honington 
must have been truly welcome to Lady Hussey, but she only 
lived to enjoy it for six years, and was succeeded by her grand- 
son, Sir Thomas Hussey, who Uved till 1706. Then his title 
passed to Sir Edward Hussey of Caythorpe and his estate to his 
three daughters, the last of whom, Mrs. Sarah Apreece, by will 
dated 1747, settled it on her daughter, -Rhoda, the wife of Captain 
Francis Blake-Delaval, R.N., who had large estates in North- 
umberland, Seaton Delaval, Ford Castle near Flodden Field, 
and Dissington. The estate remained with the Delavals till 
1814, when Edward Hussey Delaval, a learned man of science 
and an F.R.S., died, and was buried in the nave of Westminster 
Abbey. Lord Delaval held the property for nearly forty years 
and spent much on the house, but to spite his brother Edward 
he had the meanness to cut down all the timber of any value. 
His youngest daughter was the beautiful Countess of Tj^rconnel 
who died in 1800, and to her daughter he left Ford Castle. He 
himself died at the age of eighty at Seaton Delaval, and was 
buried in the family vault in St. Paul's Chapel, Westminster 

His brother Edward was only one year younger, but Hved to 
the age of eighty-five. Then, in 1814, Seaton Delaval went to 
his nephew, Sir Jacob Astley, but Doddington to his widow and 
daughter, the latter of whom became Mrs. Gunman. The 
mother survived the daughter, and in 1829 it was found that 


they had left all their property to a friend, Colonel George 
Ralph Payne Jarvis, who had served in the Peninsular War, 
and whose grandson, Mr. G. Eden Jarvis, is the present owner. 


The tongue of Nottinghamshire, mentioned above, runs into 
the county as far as Broadholme, near Skellingthorpe, within 
five miles of the city. The northern boundary of this tongue 
is the Saxilby road, between which and the Trent is Kettle- 
thorpe, which has an interesting history, though the present 
hall was reconstructed in 1857 by Colonel Weston Cracroft 
Amcotts, father of the present Squire of Hackthorn, who dropped 
the name of Amcotts after his father's death in 1883, and 
handed over the Kettlethorpe estate to his brother Frederick, 
whose widow is now lady of the Manors of Kettlethorpe and 

The name takes us back to the invasions of Ketil the Dane, and 
the old spelling of Ketilthorp is therefore the correct one. 

In 1283 Sir John de Kewn was the owner. Later it passed 
to the De Cruce or De Sancta Cruce or De la Croix or De Seynte 
Croix family. 

In 1356 John De Seynte Croix, son of William de la Croix, 
conveyed the manor and advowson to Sir Thomas Swynford, 
Knight, one of a family who had held land of the Darcys at 
Nocton in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. 

Sir Hugh de Swynford was employed in his wars by John of 
Gaunt, son of Edward III., and he died in 1371. His widow, 
Katharine, being placed in charge of John of Gaunt's children, 
became his mistress and had four children by him who were 
afterwards legitimised, she took the name of Beaufort, and of 
her sons one became Earl of Somerset, one Duke of Exeter, 
one Bishop of Lincoln and of Winchester, and then Cardinal 
Beaufort, whilst Joan became Countess of Westmorland. 
Katherine Swynford was called " Lady of Ketilthorpe." In 1394 
John of Gaunt's second wife, Constance of Carlisle, died, and in 
1396 he married Katherine at Lincoln, and her title in Deeds of 
that time is "The Lady Katherine, Duchess of Lancaster, Lady of 
Ketilthorpe." Her father was Sir Payne (Lat. Paganus) Roelt, 
and her sister Philippa is said to have been the wife of Geoffrey 

John of Gaunt died in 1399 at Lincoln, and Katherine, dying 


four years later, was buried on the south side of the Angel Choir, 
her son Henry being at that time Bishop of Lincoln. Later, 
the tomb of her daughter, who died in 1440, was placed near her. 
The tombs were defaced in the Civil War. The Swynfords 
remained owners of Kettlethorpe for 150 years ; now only a 
fourteenth century gateway and a portion of the moat remain. 

Sir William Meryng was the next ovmer, and in 1564 it passed 
from the Meryngs to John Elwes, who in 1588 conveyed it to 
W. Meekley, whose successor sold it to Gervase Bellamy, of 
Luneham. He died in 1626, and his heirs were his two daugh- 
ters, Mary, who married Gervase Sibthorp of Luneham, ancestor 
of the Sibthorps of Canwick, and Abigail, whose husband, 
Charles Hall, became owner of Kettlethorpe. His son, Thomas, 
married for his second wife the widow of Vincent Amcotts, of 
Harrington, who had died in 1686, and their son left the property 
to his nephew Charles Amcotts, of Amcotts, in the Isle of Axholme. 
He, in 1762, purchased from Lord Abingdon the manor of Stow, 
once the property of the Bishops of Lincoln. He enclosed the 
lordship, and, dpng in 1777, his two sisters inherited. The 
husband of the survivor of these sisters, Wharton Emerson, 
of Retford, had assumed the name of Amcotts, and in 1797 
was created a baronet. He died in 1807, and his daughter 
Elizabeth married Sir John Ingilby, and their son, known as 
Sir William Ingilby Amcotts, held both the Amcotts and Ingilby 
baronetcies inherited from his grandfather Sir Wharton Amcotts, 
and from his father Sir John Ingilby. He died in 1854 and 
the baronetcies died with him, but the estate passed to his 
sister Augusta, wife of Robert Cracroft of Hackthorn, who 
took the name of Amcotts. His son, Weston Cracroft Amcotts, 
was Member of Parliament for Mid-Lincolnshire 1866-1874. 
He it was who reconstructed the hall which Sir William Ingilby 
Amcotts had allowed to get into disrepair, and rebuilt the 
tower of West Keal church, which had fallen. He died in 
1883, and was succeeded by his eldest surviving son Edward 
Weston Cracroft of Hackthorn. 

For most of my facts about Kettlethorpe "and Doddington 
I am indebted to the exhaustive papers by Rev. Canon Cole, 
Prebendary of Lincoln, contributed to the Lincoln Architec- 
tural Society's Journal, to whom also I owe valuable informa- 
tion about the brass at Norton Disney, which we visited to- 
gether, and also a pleasant and profitable hour in the minster. 



A little lonely hermitage it was, 

Down in a dale, hard by a Forest's side, 
Far from resort of people that did pass 

In travel to and froe : a little wyde 
There was a holy chappell edifyde. 

Wherein the hermite duly went to say 
His holy things each morne and eventyde. 

Spenser, Faerie Queene. 
I. I. 34. 

Spital-on-the-Street is an ancient hospital situated twelve 

miles north of Lincoln on the Roman Ermine Street, which had 

its origin in a Hermitage. The Hermits or " Eremites/' 

dwellers in the Eremos or wilderness, commonly placed their 

habitats in remote spots, though some stationed themselves 

near the gates of a town where they could assist wayfarers 

with advice and gather contributions at the same time for 

their own support ; others dwelt by lonely highways in order 

to extend hospitality to benighted wayfarers. A hermitage 

on the " Ermine Street " between Lincoln and the Humber 

would be of the latter sort. For the Street runs in a bee line 

for two-and-thirty miles through an absolutely tenantless 

country. Villages lie pretty continuously a few miles distant 

on either side, but with the exception of Spital itself the Street 

passes through nothing till it arrives within five miles of its 

termination. The hermitage would therefore be a welcome 

asylum to a belated traveller on a stormy night and the sound 

of the chapel bell, or the gleam of the hermit's rushlight through 



the darkness would be just salvation to him. Probably such 
a picture was in Shakespeare's mind when he wrote : — 

How far that little candle throws his beams ! 
So shines a good deed in a naughty world. 

The chapel attached to the hermitage was one of four churches 
in Lincolnshire dedicated to St. Edmund King and Martyr. ^ 
A licence was granted by Edward II. for land and rent to be 
appropriated by the Vicar of Tealby for the payment of the 
chaplain ; and, by a document signed at Tealby in the year 
1323 and witnessed by nearly all the dignitaries of the Cathedral 
of Lincoln, the foundation was placed under the jurisdiction 
of the Lincoln Dean and Chapter. Ten years later'we find the 
hermitage called " 5/i«iaZ-on-the-Street," so that its uses had 
already been enlarged, though we have no documentary evidence 
of this. All we know of, is the building of a house for the chap- 
lain by John of Harrington in 1333. 

In 1396 Richard II., " at the request of his dear cousin John 
de Bellomonte, grants to Master Thomas de Aston, Canon of 
Lincoln, leave to newly build a house adjoining the west side 
of the chapel of St. Edmund the King and Martyr at Spitell 
o' the Street, for the residence of William Wyhom the Chaplain 
and of certain poor persons there resident and their succes- 
sors," and before the end of the fourteenth century it had 
buildings sufficient for the maintenance of these poor persons. 
As such it escaped in Henry VIII. 's time, but in the sixteenth 
century the property was seized by Elizabeth for her own use 
in the most barefaced manner and sold by her. The Sessions 
for the Kirton division of Lindsey were for many years held 
in the chapel, but subsequently it fell into disrepair and was 
pulled down by Sir William Wray in 1594, and a new sessions 
house built close by, on which was this Latin couplet, 

Hfec domus odit amat punit conservat honorat 
Nequitiam pacem crimina jura bonos. 

In i66o Dr. Mapletoft, of Pembroke College, Cambridge, being 
appointed Sub-Dean of Lincoln and also Master of the Spital 
Hospital, at once rebuilt the chapel and set to work to improve 
the revenue, and when he became Dean of Ely in 1668, he 

1 The others are Riby, Sutton St. Edmund, and one in Lincoln, now 

N 2 

I So 


retained his Mastership of Spital, and so well did he and his 
next-but-one successor, Chancellor Mandeville do their work, 
that, whereas it had sunk to a master and two poor persons 
to whom he paid 25. each, they restored it to its complement of 
seven poor people and bought land for it, which so increased in 
value that, when the Charity Commissioners took the Spital 

M ykLhaiii Lhapel, ncaf Sj)atding. 

in hand in the reign of Queen Victoria, the revenues were esti- 
mated at £959, which was nearly all of it being misappropriated. 
In 1858 a new scheme was drawn up, and now seven alms- 
people of each sex receive £20 a 3'ear, and besides other annual 
payments £5,500 has been spent out of the Spital funds on the 
Grammar School at Lincoln and on founding and maintaining 
a middle-class school at Market-Rasen called after the Spital's 
founder The De Aston School. Of the old hospital at Spital 
only the chapel liuilt by Mapletoft in 1662 remains ; a plain 
structure with its east end to the road where the entrance door 


is, the altar being at the west end. Below the small square 
bell-cot is a stone bearing this inscription : — 

FuiA°Dn"i 1398 Ipomus Dei et 

Non Fui 1594 > T, 

Sum 1616) Pauperum 

Qui hanc Deus hunc destruat. 
G.P. 1830. 

This means : — 

I was in 1398 1 The House of God 
I was not m 1594 ^^^ of the poor 
I am m 1616 ) ^ 


Whoever destroys this house may God destroy him. 

This means that it was founded by De Aston as a chantry and 
hospital in 1398/ pulled down by Wray in 1594 and rebuilt 
by Mapletoft in i66i. The mason who carved the date has 
transposed the two last figures in 1661. 

G.P. should be J.P. for John Pretyman, the last " Master." 

* The Hermitage which dated from 1323 was absorbed into the Hospital. 



Kirton-in- Lindsey — The Carrs — Broughton — Brigg — The North Wolds — 
Worlaby — Elsham — Saxby- All-Saints — Horkstow — South Ferriby — 
Barton-on-Humber — St. Peter's and St. Mary's — Greater care of 

Of the three roads north from Lincoln we have spoken of the 
road on the ridge which is the continuation of the Cliff road on 
which we travelled from Navenby to Lincoln. The view is the 
notable thing on this road,, for, though it looks down on a series 
of small villages below its western slope, Burton, Carlton, 
Scampton, Aisthorpe, Brattleby, Cammeringham, Ingham, 
Fillingham, Glentworth, Harpswell, Hemswell, Willoughton, 
Blyborough and Grayingham, all in a stretch of fourteen' miles, 
it passes through nothing of importance but Kirton-in-Lindsey. 
This Kirton is a very old place, the manor being once held by 
Piers Gaveston, the favourite of Edward II., and later by the 
Black Prince. The oflSce of Seneschal was filled at one time 
by the Burgh family of Gainsborough. The church is an inter- 
esting one, and has a richly carved and moulded west doorway. 
Leading from the nave to the tower is a very massive double 
Early English arch, resting on a large circular pillar, and two 
thick responds. The south doorway is like the western one, 
richly carved with tooth moulding. The porch is used as a 
baptistry. On the north wall of the nave is a wall-painting 
representing the seven sacraments and blood flowing from the 
crucified Saviour to each. 

The road east of Ermine Street goes through any number of 
villages, for it goes on the low ground, and each parish runs up 
to the Ermine Street and has its portion of high ground or 
" cliff." Normanby Cliff, Owmby Cliff, Saxby Cliff, etc., and 


from the west side each village does the same, so that we have 
in succession Brattleby, Ingham, and Hemswell Cliff. The 
winds on the ridge apparently, which " extirpated " the church 
of Boothby GrafEoe, have always deterred people from building 
on the height ; but none of the places, on this low road which 
occur regularly at intervals of two miles are of any special import- 
ance except Glentham, which will be noticed later. We will 
therefore run along the middle road, the grand old Roman 
Street, which begins at Chichester and, as seen on the map, 
goes through the county north of Lincoln as straight as an arrow 
for over thirty miles. At the twelfth mile we pass Spital, and 
when, after eighteen miles we get to the latitude of Kirton- 
Lindsey on the cliff road, we shall find that the branch road to 
the right, which goes to Brigg, takes all the traffic, and the 
Ermine Street for seven or eight miles is disused. So, turning 
off, we pass Redbourne Hall and Hibaldstow, the place of St. 
Higbald, who came to Lincolnshire across the Humber with 
"St. Chad to bring Christianity to the Mercians in the seventh 
century. This parish runs up to the ridge, and in the middle 
of it is an old camp at Gainsthorpe on the " Street." At 
Scawby Park, with its fine lakes, the property of the Sutton- 
Nelthorpes, we turn eastwards and reach Brigg. This, once a 
fishing place on the Ancholme River, is now the one market 
town of all this low-lying neighbourhood. Roads from the 
four villages of Scawby, Broughton, Wrawby and Bigby unite 
here, and the great Weir Dyke or "New River Ancholme" 
which runs from the river Rase to the Humber goes through it. 
It is eleven miles from Bishopsbridge on the Rase to Brigg, 
and seven from Brandy Wharf, whence boats used to run to 
meet the Humber boats at Ferriby Sluice, ten miles north of 
Brigg. Hereabouts the fens are called " carrs." We noticed 
the term " carr d5'ke " for the Roman drain near Bourn, which 
runs from the Nene to the Witham ; and the map along the 
whole course of the Ancholme, which runs north for twenty 
miles, is covered with " carrs." The villages are at the edge of 
the Wold generallv, but they all have their bit of fen and all 
are called by this name, Horkstow carrs, Saxby carrs, Worlaby 
carrs, Elsham carrs, etc. 

Carr is a north country word, and has two distinct meamngs 
in Lincolnshire. 

I. The moat-like places which originally surrounded the 


inaccessible islets, with which the Fenland at one time abounded ; 
but now used chiefly of low-lying land apt to be flooded. 

2. A wood of alder, ash, &c., in a moist boggy place, e.g., 
" Keal Carrs," near Spilsby. 

A third meaning is less common, viz., the humate of iron 
or yellow sediment in water which flows from peaty land. 

Of the four parishes above mentioned which meet at Brigg,^ 
Broughton on the Ermine Street is worth a visit. The pre- 
Norman church and tower, like Marton, has a good deal of 
herring-bone work, and, like Hough-on-the-Hill, an outer turret 
containing a spiral staircase. There is a small rude doorway, 
and as at Barton, the tower with its two apses probably formed 
the original church. 

The present nave is built on the Norman foundation, and the 
cable moulding is visible at the base of two of the pillars. There 
is a chapel in the north aisle, and on the north side of the chancel 
a good altar tomb with alalDaster effigies of Sir H. Redford and 
his wife, 1380, and a fine brass on the floor of about the same 
date. This chancel was once sixteen feet longer. In another 
meanly built chantry is a monument to Sir Ed. Anderson, 
1660. In Broughton woods, as at Tumby, the lily of the valley 
grows wild. North of Broughton the Ermine Street becomes 
again passable, and, after running some miles through a well- 
wooded country, is crossed by the railway at Appleby Station, 
whence it becomes a good road again, but again falls into disuse 
when the road turns to the left for Winterton, a large village in 
which three fine Roman pavements were ploughed up in 1747. 
Here we have a large cruciform church with a very early tower. 
Afterwards the Street continues, a visible but not very service- 
able track, to Winieringham Haven, the Roman " Ad Abum." 

In Brigg we had hoped to see the old boat which was dug out 
near the river in 1886, it is forty-eight feet long and four to 
five feet wide, hollowed out of a single tree, and could carry at 
least forty men over the Humber, though not perhaps across 
the sea. Its height at the stern was three feet nine inches, and 
it was six inches thick at the bottom. The tree trunk was open 
at the thick or stern end, and two oak boards slid into grooves 
cut in the sides and bottom to make a stern-board. It prob- 
ably had bulwark-boards also, certainly it had three stiffening 
thwarts, and the stern end had been decked, as a ledge still 
' Originally ' ' Glanfovd briggs. " 


shows on either side on which the planking rested. One very 
interesting feature in it was that the boat had been repaired, 
with a patch of oak boarding six feet by one foot, on the star- 
board side, the board being bevelled at the edges and pegged 
on with oak pins. A similar boat made out of a huge oak tree 
is in the portico of the British Museum. In this, which is fifty 
feet long and four feet wide, tapering off a little at either end, 
both the ends and two thwarts are left solid. The latter are 
not more than six inches high, but sufficient to add considerably 
to the strength of the hull. The boat is three inches thick at 
the gunwale and possibly more at the bottom, and has no keel. 
But this most interesting relic of Viking days has been removed 
from Brigg, for what reasons I know not, to the Museum at Hull, 
and is no longer in the county. A British corduroy road or 
plank causeway was also found below the mud from which the 
boat was dug out, and is therefore probably of greater age, 
though such a mud-bearing stream as the Humber can make 
a considerable deposit in a very short time. This fact is illus- 
trated by the process of " warping," which is described in the 
chapter on the Isle of Axholme. 

Brigg, without its old boat, has little to detain us, so we can 
pass to Wrawby, and then desert the main road, which goes 
east through a gap in the Wold to Brocklesby, and turn north- 
wards to Elsham, where we come up against the most northerly 
portion of the " Wolds " as distinguished from the " Cliff " 
or Ridge which lies more to the west. The main road or highway 
to Barton runs right up the hill and crosses the Wold obliquely, 
and, as usual, being on the high ground, exhibits no villages in 
the whole of its course, but we will turn sharp to the left and take 
a byway which goes by " the Villages " of which we shall pass 
through no less than half a dozen in the six miles between 
Elsham and the Humber. 

At Elsham is the seat of Sir John Astley. The church has a 
rich tower doorway with curious sculptured stones on either side. 

Any road which runs by the edge of a curving range of hills 
is sure to be picturesque ; and the continuation of the Wolds 
south of Elsham, after the Barnetby Gap, where the railway 
line gets through the Wolds without tunnelling, with the string 
of villages all ending in " by," Bigby, Somerby, Searby, Owmby, 
Grasby, Clixby, Audleby, and Fonaby, which lead the- traveller 
to Caistor, affords pleasant traveUing. But it does not come up 


in varied charm to this western edge of the Wold, which goes 
farthest north, and ends on the plateau which overlooks the 
Humber near South Ferriby. On this route the first village 
from Elsham is Worlaby, and whereas Elsham had once a small 
house of Austin Canons founded by Beatrice de Amundeville 
before 1169, and given by Henry VIII. at the Dissolution to 
the all devouring Duke of Suffolk, Worlaby had its benefactor 
in John, first Lord Bellasyse, who founded in 1670 a hospital 
for poor women, of which the brick building still exists. The 
twisting road with its wooded slopes and curving hollows is 
here extremely pretty. We next reach Bonby, and soon after 
come to Saxby All Saints. This is a really delightful village, 
and evidently under the care of one owner, for all the houses 
are extremely neat and, with the exception of two proud-looking 
brick-built houses of the villa type, all have tiled roofs and 
buff-coloured walls. That the village is grateful to the land- 
lord and his agent, and is also, like Mrs. John Gilpin, of a thrifty 
mind, is quaintly testified by the inscription on a drinking foun- 
tain in the village, with a semicircular seat round one side of it 
which tells how it was set up " in honour of the 60* year of 
Queen Victoria's reign, and of Frederick Horsley, agent for 
42 years on Mr. Barton's estate." Each of these parishes 
extends up on to the Wold, and down across the fen, and the map 
shows this and marks Saxby or Elsham " Wolds " as well as 
Saxby or Elsham " Carrs " ; and in each village a signpost 
points west " to the bridge," which goes over the land drain 
and the Weir Dyke. 

In the next village of Horkstow, a big elm stands close to the 
gates of the churchyard and parsonage. Here the fine air and 
the bright breezy look of sky and landscape fill one with plea- 
sure, and the snug way in which the churches nestle against 
the skirt of the wold give a charming air of peace and retire- 
ment. The church here is singular in its very sharp rise of 
level towards the east. You mount up six steps from the nave 
at the chancel arch, further east are two more steps and another 
arch, and again further on, two more and another arch. It 
looks as though the ground had been raised, for the capitals 
of the pillars on which these last two arches rest are only four 
feet and a half from the floor. The north arcade is transition 
Norman, the arches on the Norman pillars, instead of round, 
being slightly pointed. 


A Colonel of the sixty-third regiment, who died in 1838, has 
a mural tablet here, which tells us that " In the discharge of 
his publick duties he was firm and just yet lenient, and as a 
private gentleman his integrity and urbanity endeared him to 
all his friends." This is almost worthy to be placed beside that 
of the man who on ending " his social career " is stated to ha\'e 
" endeared himself to all his friends and acquaintances by the 
charm of his manner and his elegant performance on the bassoon." 
, Curious, what things people used to think proper to put up in 
churches ! One of the oddest is at Harewood in Yorkshire, 
where, under a bust of Sir Thomas Denison, who is represented in 
a wig, his widow writes that " he was pressed and at last pre- 
vailed on to accept the office of Judge in the Kings Bench, the 
duties of which he discharged with unsuspected integrity." 
Doubtless she meant with an integrity which was above suspi- 
cion, but it reads so very much as if those who knew him had 
never for a moment suspected him of possessing the virtue 
mentioned. For other examples see Chapter V. 

After Horkstow we come to South Ferriby, where a chalk road 
leads along the edge of the cliff towards a little landing stage 
on the water's edge, giving a pretty view over the wide estuary 
to the Yorkshire continuation of the Wold, and the little village 
of North Ferriby opposite. 

The church of South Ferriby, which is dedicated, as many 
coast churches are, to St. Nicholas, the patron Saint of children 
and fishermen, has its nave running north and south, and a 
bit railed off at the north end for the altar, though that is now 
placed at the south end. 

The name suggests a ferry over the Humber, but the locality 
seems to forbid" this, for in no place is the Humber wider until 
you have almost reached Grimsby, and from Barton to Hessle, 
about three miles further down stream, it is only about half 
the width, and there, no doubt, there was a ferry. The reason 
of this great width is that the Humber has made inroads here 
and washed away a good deal of land which used to be between 
Ferriby Hall and the water. This being partly deposited on 
the " old Warp " sand bank, once the breeding place of rnany 
sea birds, has formed a permanent pasture there, now claimed 
by the Crown and called " Reads Island." 

A hundred years ago the ' hoy,' a sloop-rigged packet, used 
to take passengers from Barton Waterside Inn, just north of 

i88 THE BARTON HOY chap. 

Barton, to Hull; and Sir J. Nelthorpe notes in his pocket book, 
under date August 9th, 1793, " arrived at Scawby after a very 
bad passage over the Humber, having been on the water five 
hours, and at last forced to run on shore in Barrow Haven, not 
being able to make Barton, owing to the negligence of the boat- 
men in not leaving Hull in time ; my horses, seven in number, 
remained in the boat from four o'clock in the morning till seven 
at night, before they could be landed." 

Coming back from the Cliff Edge road, we turn up the hill 
for Barton-on-Humber , and from the top of the Wold, which 
here comes to an end, we get a really beautiful and extended 
view in all directions. But we must now speak of Barton, 
with its two old churches. 


Barton-on-Humber had a market and a ferry when Domesday 
Book was compiled, and was a bigger port than Hull. At the 
Conquest it was given to the King's nephew, Gilbert of Ghent, 
son of Baldwin Earl of Flanders, whose seat was at Folkingham. 
The ferry is still used, and the Hull cattle boats mostly start 
from Barton landing-stage, but most of the passenger traffic 
is from the railway pier at New Holland, four miles to the east. 
The town is a mile from the waterside. It has two fine churches, 
of which St. Peter's is one of the earliest in England ; curiously 
one of the same type of Saxon church is also at a Barton; Earl's 
Barton in Northants, and not far from it is another of similar 
date, at Brixworth, which is held to be the most noteworthy 
of all the early churches in England. Barnack and Wittering 
in the same county are also of the same style and of the same 
antiquity, and at Dover, at Bradford-on-Avon, and at Worth 
and Sompting in Sussex are others similar. Stow, near Lincoln, 
Broughton near Brigg, and Hough-on-the-Hill, and the two 
Lincoln towers and Bracebridge, are of similar age, but these 
last, like Clee and so many in the neighbourhood of Grimsby, 
Caistor and Gainsborough, have little but their tower or part 
of their tower left that can be called Saxon, while at Stow, and 
some of the churches in the other counties mentioned, there 
is more to see of the original building. 

The last restoration of St. Peter's, Barton, in 1898, has put 
the church into good condition and left the old work at the west 


end much as it was a thousand years ago ; probably the church 
at first was very like what we may still see at Brixworth. The 
tower outside is divided into panels by strips of stone, which 
go deep into the walls and project from the rubble masonry, 
as at Barnack. This has been aptly termed " Stone carpentry," 
but cannot really be a continuation in stone of a previously 

The Avon at Barton-on-Humber. 

existing method of building with a wooden framework, such 
as we see in the half-timbered houses of the south of England, 
because that method of building was later. It is possibly a 
method imported from Germany ; certainly the double light 
with the mid-wall jamb came from Northern Italy to the Rhenish 
provinces, and may have come on to England from thence. 
Hence it has been termed " Teutonic Romanesque." 

Of the four stages of the tower the lowest has an arcading of 



dressed stone, as there is at Bradford-on-Avon, and on the east, 
south and west sides a round-headed doorway, and on the north 
a triangular-headed one, with massive " Long-and-Short " work. 
The next stage exhibits triangular arcading with double lights 
and a massive baluster and capital under a triangular arch. 

S^. Pt'h'r's, r'arton'On-JJiinil'cr. 

The third stage has no arcading, but a similar two-light window. 
The fourth stage is not Saxon but early Norman in style. From 
the west of the tower projects a sort of annexe, fifteen feet by 
twelve, of the same width as the tower and coeval with it, 
having quoins of " Long-and-Short " work, this is pierced with 
two small rude lights north and south, and with two circular 
lights on the west. These circular lights are of extraordinary 


interest, for they still have in them, across the top of the upper 
opening and at the bottom of the lower one, a portion of the 
old original Saxon oak shutter, perforated with round holes to 
let in light and air, a thing absolutely unique. A chancel, whose 
foundations have been recently discovered, projected from the 
tower eastward, and just below the floor, near the north wall, is 
a curious bricked chamber, which might have been a small tomb. 
The tower has four doorways irregularly placed and all differing 
from each other : it is fitted up for daily morning service, for 
which it has been used intermittently for over a thousand years ; 
for no doubt the original church consisted simply of the tower 
and the two chambers east and west of it. At present, from the 
interior of the spacious Decorated nave, with its added Perpen- 
dicular clerestory, when you look up at the west end and see the 
rude round-headed arches of the first and second stages of the 
tower, and the double triangular-headed light of the next stage, 
all of which come within the nave roof, you see at the same time 
two deep grooves cut in the tower face for the early steep- 
pitched roof. These start from the double light and finish by 
cutting through the upright stone strips which run like elongated 
pilasters up the whole height of the tower on either side. The 
tower and its annexe is of such absorbing interest that one hardly 
looks at the rest of the church, or stops to note its beautifully 
restored rood screen with a new canopy to it, which serves to 
hide the wide ugly chancel arch. But we shall perhaps be able 
to make up for this if we go on to St. Mary's Church, which was 
the church of the people of Barton, and served by a secular 
priest, St. Peter's being an appanage of Bardney Abbey. The 
churches both stand high, and are quite near one another. St. 
Mary's was a Norman building, as the north arcade testifies ; 
the south arcade was rebuilt in the Early English period, to 
which the massive tower also belongs, the parapet being later. 
Once the nave and chancel had a continuous roof till the clere- 
story was added, and were of the same width, and built of brick 
and stone intermingled and set anyhow. The four-light win- 
dows in the chancel are handsome. The north arcade has five 
round arches, and one, at the west end, pointed. The south 
arcade has only four arches, but larger and with slenderer 
columns, consisting of eight light shafts round a central pillar. 
On the south the chantry chapel extends the whole length of the 
chancel, and has beside the altar an aumbry and, what is very 



unusual in such a chapel, sedilia. The aisles are wide and out 
of proportion to the building in both churches. The east win- 
dow is white, with one little bit of old glass in it, and on the floor 
is a full-sized brass of Simon Seman Sheriff of London, in Alder- 
man's gown. Some Parliamentarian soldiers' armour is in the 



Si. Marys^ Bar{on-on-Htnnbcr, 

vestry of St. Peter's. There are also two fine oak chests, one hol- 
lowed out of a section of a large tree with the outer slab of the tree 
several inches thick as a lid. A similar, but smaller, chest is in 
Blawith church vestry, near Coniston Lake, Lancashire.^ 

1 At Mellor in Derbyshire is a pulpit of very early date, hollowed out of 
the trunk of a tree and carved in panels. 


In Barton St. Peter's the Rector has provided a very full 
account of the history of the church, for which all who visit it 
must be extremely grateful. 

It is very pleasant to find that the number are so decidedly 
on the increase of clergymen who take an interest in the past 
history of their churches, and write all they can find out about 
them, either in their parish magazines or in a separate pamphlet. 
Some of these, too, take pains with their old registers, and if 
only the rector, or someone in the parish whom he could trust 
to do the work with skill, care, and knowledge, would copy the 
old sixteenth and seventeenth century registers in a clear hand, 
the parish would be in possession of the most interesting of all 
local documents in a legible form, and the originals could be 
safely housed in a dry place, which is by no means the case with 
all of them at present, and no longer be subjected to the wear 
and tear of rough handling and the decay from damp which 
has been so fatal to the earliest pages of most of them. 

The printing and placing more frequently in the church of a 
card, pointing out the salient features and giving what is known 
of the history of the building, would also be a boon to those 
visitors who know something of architecture, and would stimu- 
late a taste for it in others, and a respect for old work, the lack 
of which has been the cause of so much destruction under the 
specious name of restoration in the earlier half of the past 
century. Things are much better now than they were two genera- 
tions ago, but ignorance and want of means may still cause 
irreparable damage, which, if the above suggestion were uni- 
versally carried out, would become less and less possible. 

Amongst those who take the greatest interest in their churches 
I am especially indebted to the Rev. G. G. Walker, Rector of 
Somerby near Grantham, the Rev. Canon Sutton, of Brant 
Broughton, the Rev. F. McKenzie, of Great Hale near Sleaford, 
and the Rev. C. H. Laing, of Bardney, who has done such good 
work in the excavation of the famous abbey. The writer, too, 
of letters in The Spilsby and Horncastle Gazette, on town and 
village life in Lincolnshire, brings together much interesting 
information. From him I gather that as far back as 668, when 
Theodore was Archbishop of Canterbury, local provision was 
made for the village clergy who were then, of course, but few in 
number. His wise arrangement, that those who built a church 
should have the right of choosing their pastor, initiated the 



system of private patronage and thereby encouraged the build- 
ing and endowing of churches^ so that it is not surprising to hear 
that in Domesday Book — 400 years later than Theodore's time 
— the county of Lincolnshire had no less than 226 churches. 
The original patron often gave the right of presentation to an 
abbey, which was a wise plan, as it ensured to the people a 
pastor, and to the pastor an adequate means of living, and 
provided for the building and upkeep of the church, which was 
often larger than the population of the village warranted either 
then or since. 



Winteringhara — Alkborough and "Julian's Bower" — Burton-Stather — 
Scunthorpe and Frodingham — Fillingham and Wycliff— Glentworth 
and Sir Christopher Wray — Laughton — Corringham — Gainsborough — 
The Old Hall — Lea and Sir Charles Anderson — Knaith and Sir 
Thomas Sutton — A Group of Early Church Towers — Lincolnshire 

It is quite a surprise to the traveller in the north of the county 
to find so much that is really pretty in what looks on the mapi 
from the artistic point of view, a trifle " flat and unprofitable," 
but really there are few prettier bits of road in the county than 
that by " the Villages " under the northern Wolds, and there is 
another little bit of cliff near the mouth of the Trent which 
affords equally picturesque bits of village scenery combined 
with fine views over the Trent, Ouse, and Humber. 

From SouLh Ferriby a hyw&y runs alongside the water to 
Wintcringham, from whence the Romans must have had a ferry 
to Brough, whence their great road went on to the north. 

In Winteringham church there are some good Norman arches, 
and a fine effigy of a knight in armour, said to be one of the 
Marmions. The road hence takes us by innumerable turns to 
West Halton, where the church is dedicated to St. Etheldreda, 
who is said to have hidden here from her husband Ecgfrith, 
when she was fleeing to Ely, at which place she founded the 
first monastery, in 672, six years before the building of the 
church at Stow. Murray notes that in the " Liber Eliensis " 
Halton is called Alftham. 

Three miles to the south-east we find the large village of 
Winterton, just within a mile of the Ermine Street, and it is 

»9S 2 


evident that a good many Romans had villas on the high ground 
looking towards the Humber, for both here and at Roxby, a 
mile to the south, good Roman pavements have been found, 
and another, four miles to the east, at Horkstow. Roxby 
church shows some pre-Norman stone work at the west end 
of the north aisle, and a fine series of canopied sedilia in the 
chancel, with unusually rich and lofty pinnacles. At Win- 
terton a Roman pavement was noticed by De la Pryme in 1699, 
and another with a figure of Ceres holding a cornucopia was 
discovered in 1797. The churchyard has an Early English 
cross, and the tower, which is engaged in the aisles, is of the 
primitive Romanesque type, with the Saxon belfry windows 
in the lower stage, and elegant Early English ones above. An 
early slab is over the west door, the nave has lofty octagonal 
pillars with bands of tooth ornament. The transepts are un- 
usually wide and have rich Decorated windows. A Holy 
Family, by Raphael Mengs, forms the altarpiece. 

From here we go west to Alkborough, and on a grassy headland 
overlooking the junction of the Trent with the Ouse, we find a 
saucer-shaped hollow a few feet deep and forty-four feet across, 
at the bottom of which is a maze cut in the turf by monks 800 
years ago. It is almost identical in pattern with one at Wing, 
near Uppingham, in Rutland, and unlike those " quaint mazes 
on the wanton green " mentioned in "A Midsummer Night's 
Dream," which " for lack of tread are undistinguishable," it 
has been kept cleared out, and a copy of it laid down in the 
porch, as we find to be done on one of the porch piers at Lucca 
Cathedral, and in the nave of Chartres Cathedral. These 
mazes were Christian adaptations of the Egyptian and Greek 
labyrinths, and were supposed to be allegorical of the mazes 
and entanglements of sin from which man can only get free if 
assisted by the guiding hand of Providence, or of Holy Church. 
Hence in a Christian Basilica in Algeria the words " Sancta 
Ecclesia " are arranged in a complicated fashion in the centre 
of the maze. Other mazes used to exist at Appleby, Louth, 
and Horncastle in Lincolnshire, and at Ripon one of the same 
pattern, but half as large again as the Alkborough maze, was 
only ploughed up in 1827. At Asenby in Yorkshire is a similar 
one still carefully kept clear. That on St. Catherine's Hill, 
Winchester, is quadrangular and much simpler. At Leigh in 
Dorset is a " Miz Maze." Northants, Notts, Wilts, Beds, 


Cambridge, and Gloucestershire, all had one at least. Com- 
berton in Cambridge has one of precisely the same pattern, 
and at Hilton, in Huntingdonshire, is one called by the same 
name as that at Alkborough, " Julian's bower." This is thought 
to be a reminiscence of the intricate ' Troy ' game described in 
Virgil, Am. v., 588-593, as played on horseback by lulus 
and his comrades : — 

" Ut quondam Creta ferUir Labyrinthus in alta 
Parietibus textum caecis iter, ancipitemque 
Mille viis habuisse dolum, qua signa sequendi 
Falleret indeprensus et irremeabilis error. 
Haud alio Teucrum nati vestigia cursu 
Impediunt texuntque fugas et proelia ludo. " 

And the fact that a labyrinthine figure cut in the turf near Burgh 
on the Solway by the Cumberland herdsmen was called " the 
walls of Troy " somewhat favours the interpretation. But it 
seems rather a far-fetched origin. Doubtless they served as an 
innocent recreation for the monks who lived at St. Anne's 
chapel hard by, and the idea of such labyrinthine patterns is 
found in many churches abroad, for they are executed in coloured 
marbles, both in Rome and in the Early church of St. Vitale at 
Ravenna. The mazes formed of growing trees, as at Hampton 
Court, are more difficult to make out, as you cannot see the whole 
pattern at one time. 

The church at Alkborough was, hke Croyland, a bone of 
contention between the monks of Spalding and Peterborough, 
each claiming it as a gift from the founder Thorold, in 1052. 
Tradition says that it was partly rebuilt by the three knights, 
Brito, Tracy, and Morville, who had taken refuge in this most 
remote comer of Lincolnshire, where one of them lived, after 
their murder of Becket in Canterbury Cathedral. The original 
Early tower and tower-arch remain, and a fragment of a very 
early cross is now to be seen by the north pier. One of the bells 
has this inscription : — 

" Jesu for yi Modir sake 
Save all ye sauls that me gart make." 

In the village is a really beautiful old Tudor house of brick, 
with stone mullions, called Walcot Old Hall, the property of 
J. Goulton Constable, Esq. The little isolated bit of chalk 
wold which begins near Walcot is but four miles long, and in 


the centre of it is perched the village of Burton-Staiher . The 
church stands on the very edge of the cliff, and a steep road leads 
down to the Staithe, a ferry landing stage, from which the village 
gets its name. Here, at a turn in the road, close to the village 
pump, still in universal use by the road side, we stopped to 
admire the wide and delightful view. The Trent was just 
below us. Garthorpe, where the other side of the ferry has its 
landing place, was in front, across the Trent lay the Isle of 
Axholme, green but featureless, and beyond it the sinuous Ouse, 
like a great gleaming snake, with the smoke of Goole rising up 
across the wide plain, and beyond the river, Howden tower ; 
while, on a clear day, Selby Abbey and York Minster can be 
seen from the churchyard. .We leave the village by an avenue 
of over-arching trees, and cross the Wold obliquely, passing 
Normanby Hall, the residence of Sir B. D. Sheffield, many of 
whose ancestors are buried in Burton-Stather church, and 
leaving the height, descend into a plain "filled with smoke from 
the tall chimneys of the Scunthorpe and Frodingham iron fur- 
naces. To come all at once on this recent industrial centre is 
a surprise after the bright clear atmosphere and keen air in 
which we have been revelling all day. But we soon leave the 
tall chimneys behind and find that the road divides ; the left 
passing over to the " Cliff " at Raventhorpe near Broughton on 
the Ermine Street, and continuing south past Manton, where 
the black-headed gull, " Larus Ridibundus," the commonest 
of all the gulls on the south coast of England, breeds on land 
belonging to Sir Sutton Nelthorpe of Scawby, to Kirton in 
Lindsey, and so by Blyborough, Willoughton, Hemswell, and 
Harpswell, to Spital-on-the-Slreet ; and thence by Glentworth 
and Fillingham to Lincoln. 

Of these places Blyborough is curiously dedicated to St. 
Alkmund, a Northumbrian Saint, to whom also is dedicated 
a church founded in the ninth century by the daughter of 
Alfred the Great in Shrewsbury. Willoughton once had a 
preceptory of the Templars, founded in 1170. 

Harpswell in its Early Norman, or possibly pre-Norman, tower 
has a mid-wall shaft carved with chevron ornament, similar to 
that in the upper of two sets of early double lights on the south 
side of the tower of Appleton-le-Strey near Malton in York- 
shire. It also possesses a clock which was given in memory of 
the victory at Culloden, 1746. Moreover it contains several 



fine monuments ; but Glentworth and Fillingham are of more 
interest than all these. Glentworth, for its very interesting 
church, and Fillingham, because from 1361 to 1368 it was the 
home of the great John Wyclif, who held the living as a ' fellow ' 
of Balliol College, Oxford. 

Wyclif was made Master of Balliol in 1360, and became 
rector of Fillingham in the same year. In 1368 he moved to 
Ludgershall in Bucks, and in 1374 to Lutterworth, where he 
died on December 31, 1384. He was a consistent opposer of 
the doctrine of transubstantiation, for which he was condemned 
by the University of Oxford ; and he renounced allegiance to 
the Pope, who issued no less than five Bulls against him. The 
Archbishop of Canterbury persecuted him in his latter years, 
and forty-four years after his death his bones were exhumed 
and burnt by order of the Synod of Constance, and the ashes 
cast into the Swift. He made the first complete translation 
of the Bible into English from the Vulgate, and in this he was 
assisted by Nicolas of Hereford, who took the Old Testament, 
Wyclif doing the New. Chaucer, who died in 1400, thus des- 
cribes him in his Prologue to the " Canterbury Tales " :— 

A good man was ther of religioun, 

And was a poure Persoun of a toun ; 

But riche he was of holy thought and werk. 

He was also a lerned man, a clerk 

That Christes gospel trewly wolde preche. 

Wide was his parische, and houses fer asonder, 
But he ne lefte not for reyne ne thonder, 
In sicknesse nor in mischiefe to visite 
The ferrest in his parische, muche and lite, 
Upon his feet, and in his hand a staf. 
This noble ensample to his sheep he gaf. 
That first he wrought and afterward be taughte. 
Out of the Gospel he the wordes caughte 
And this figure he added eek thereto, 
That if golde ruste, what shal iren do ? 

A better preest, I trowe, ther nowher non is, 
He wayted after no pompe and reverence, 
Ne maked him a spiced conscience, 
But Christes lore, and his apostles twelve. 
He taught, but first he folowed it himselve. 

Glentworth has a typical pre-Norman tower, built of small 
stones with dressed quoins. It has the two stringcourses, the 
first being two-thirds of the way up from the ground with only 


thin slits for lights below it and with the usual mid-wall shaft 
in the belfry window above it, but with an unusual impost ; a 
slab with a boldly-cut cross on it forms the jamb in the light over 
the west window, and the south side shows ornamentation 
similar to that which we noticed at Stow. Besides the tower, 
the chancel-arch and a narrow priest's door are all that remains 
of the Early work. The monument to Sir Christopher Wray, 
who lived here from 1574 to 1592, is a very fine one. The judge is 
represented in his robes and hat, with ruff, which his wife also 
wears, she having a hood and gown with jewelled stomacher. 
Four daughters are figured kneeling below, while the son kneels 
above in armour. Marble pillars with Corinthian capitals 
support the arch over the recess in which the figures lie, and it 
was once richly coloured and enclosed by a screen of wrought 

The right hand road from Scunthorpe runs down the centre 
of the plain half-way between the Cliff and the Trent, through 
a number of villages. Of these Ashby still maintains a Duck 
Decoy near the Trent. Bottesford has a fine cruciform church, 
with a handsome chancel, having narrow deep-set lancet win- 
dows of unusual length, ornamented with tooth moulding, a 
singular arrangement of alternate lancet and circular windows 
in the clerestory, and stone seats round the Early English arcade 
pillars, as at Claypole. Messingham, with its stained-glass and 
oak furniture collected by Archdeacon Bailey from various 
churches in his Archdeaconry and elsewhere, as also Scatter 
and Scotton, are but milestones on the way to Northorpe, where 
are two good doorways, one Norman, and one, in the south 
porch, Decorated, with fine carved foliage, and the old door 
still in use. The western bays of the arcade are built into the 
walls of the Perpendicular tower, which has been inserted 
between them. A sepulchral brass with inscription to Anthony 
Moreson, 1648, has been inserted into an old altar slab, shown as 
such by its five crosses. Thanks to Mrs. Meynell Ingram the 
church of Laughion, three miles west of Northorpe, was beau- 
tifully restored by Bodley and Garner in 1896. Here is a very 
fine brass of a knight of the Dalison (D'Alengon) family, about 
1400, which, like that of Thomas and Johanna Massingberd at 
Gunby, has been made to serve again by a parsimonious Dalison 
of a later century. 

Roads lead both from Northorpe and Laughton to CorringJiam. 


This village is on the great east-and-west highway from Gains- 
borough to Market-Rasen, and here, too, the fine Transition 
Norman church has been magnificently restored by Bodley at 
the sole cost of Miss Beckett, of Somerby Hall. It now has a 
fine rood-screen, good modern stained-glass windows, and a 
painting of the adoration of the Magi for a reredos. There is 
here a brass in memory of Robert and Thomas Broxholme, 
1631, placed by their brother and sister, Henry and Mary, 
who all had " lived together above sixty years and for the most 
parte of the time in one family in most brotherly concord." 
A long rhymed epitaph goes on to say : — 

" Though none of them had Husband Child or Wife 
They mist no blessings of the married life ; 
For to the poore they eva were insteed 
Of Husband Wife and Parent at their need." 

From Corringham a turn to the right brings us after four miles 
to Gainsborough. From this town on the extreme edge of the 
county four roads and four railway hnes radiate, and the Trent 
runs along the edge of the town with a good wide bridge over 
it, built in 1790, for which a stiff toll is demanded. It is de- 
scribed by George Eliot in "The Mill on the Floss," as " St. Oggs," 
where the ' Eagre ' or ' bore ' is thus poetically referred to. 
" The broadening Floss hurries on between its green banks to 
the sea ; and the loving tide, rushing to meet it, checks its passage 
with an impetuous embrace." Constantly overrun by the 
Danes, the town was eventually looked on as his capital city 
by Swegen, who, with his son Canute, brought his vessels up 
the Trent in 1013, and died here, " full King of the Country," 
in 1014. In the Civil War it was occupied first by the Royalists 
and afterwards by the Parliamentarians, and one of 
Cromwell's first successful engagements was a cavalry skirmish 
at Lea, two miles to the south, when he routed and killed General 
Cavendish, whom he drove " with some of his soldiers into a 
quagmire," still called ' Cavendish bog.' The place has some 
large iron works and several seed-crushing mills for oil and oil- 
cake, and much river traffic is done in large barges. Talking 
of barges, Gainsborough has the credit of having owned the first 
steam-packet seen in Lincolnshire waters. This was the ' Cale- 
donia,' built at Glasgow, and brought round by the Caledonian 
Canal, to the astonishment of all the east coast fishermen, in 




1815. She was a cargo boat, but she took passengers to Hull, 
and was a great boon to the villages on the Trent. 

River traffic below Gainsborough is somewhat hampered 
during the time of spring tides b)' the Eagre, which, when the 
in-rushing tide overcomes the river current and rides on the 

-^> satJ.-sj;-^-- C-J .ir-^** 


1 i-^' "•*.■■'• ;v-^--r''^>.'i-^'~^V^''^'i"^ 

Aori/i Side, Olii Hall, Gainsborough. 

surface of the stream, rising in a wave six or seven feet high, 
rolls on from the mouth of the Trent to Gainsborough, a dis- 
tance of more than twenty miles. The long street leading to 
the bridge is so dirty and narrow that you cannot believe as 
3'ou go down it that you are in the main artery of the town. 
But when you have crossed the bridge and look back, the long 
riverside with its wharf and red brick houses, boats, and barges. 



The great sight 
a grassy plot of 

has a ver}' picturesque and old-world effect. 

of the town is the Old Hall, which stands on 

some two acres, with a very poor iron railing round it,' and a 

road all round that. In the middle of this rough grass-grown 

plot in the heart of the town is a charming old baroniaf hall, 

Hmth SiJi; Old Hall, Ouui.^u.-ou^n. 

rebuilt in the times of Henry VII. and Elizabeth, after its de- 
struction in 1470, and still occupied as a private residence. 
There was doubtless a building here before the time of the 
Conquest, and here it would be that Alfred the Great stopped 
on the occasion of his marriage with Ethelwith, daughter of 
Ethelred, and here, too, it would be that Swegen died, and his 
son Canute held his court. The present building is of brick 


and timber with a fine stone-built oriel on the north side, as 
the centre of a long frontage, and is of various patterns, having 
tall chimneys and buttresses on the west, and a brick tower on 
the north-east, and two wings on the south projecting from a 
magnificent central hall with much glass and woodwork, and a 
lantern. The large kitchen with its two huge fireplaces is at 
the end of this hall. Henry VIII. and Katharine Howard were 
entertained here by Lord Burgh, whose ancestor rebuilt the 
hall in Henry VII. 's time, c. 1480 ; and another of his Queens, 
Katharine Parr, was often here, being at one time the wife of 
Lord Burgh's eldest son. 

The wide area round the hall, with its untidy grass and the 
miserable iron fence, gives a singularly forlorn appearance to a 
beautiful and uncommon-looking building. It is supposed 
that the famous master-builder, " Richard de Gaynisburgh," 
was born at Gainsborough, with whom, then styled " Richard 
de Stow," the Dean and Chapter of Lincoln in 1306 contracted 
" to attend to and employ other masons under him for the new 
work," at the time when the new additional east end or Angel 
Choir as well as the upper parts of the great tower and the 
transepts were being built. He contracted " to do the plain 
work by measure, and the fine carved work and images by the 
day." One of the Pilgrim Fathers was a Gainsborough man, 
and a Congregational Chapel has been built as a memorial to 

From Gainsborough, going north, we come at once to 
Thonock Hall, the seat of Sir Hickman Bacon, the premier 
baronet of England, and Morton is just to the west, where the 
church has a very good new rood screen and five Morris windows, 
from designs by Burne-Jones. Between Morton and Thonock 
is a large Danish camp, called Castle Hills, with a double fosse. 
On the other side of the town the westernmost road of the 
county runs south by Lea, Knaith. and Gate Burton to Marton, 
and thence to Torksey, which in early times was a bigger place 
than Gainsborough, and so on to Newark, but another road 
branches off by Torksey to the left, for Saxilhy and Lincoln, 
twelve miles distant. 

Lea church stands high, and has a chantry in which is a cross- 
legged knight, Sir Ranulph Trehampton, 1300, and some good 
early glass of about 1330. Of Trehampton's manor-house 
only the site remains, but the hall, which is full of antiquarian 




treasures, was the home of that well-known Lincolnshire worthy 
Sir Charles Anderson, Bart., the county antiquarian, 1804-1891. 
He was a charming personality. The following story, referring 
to him, was told me by that delightful teller of good stories, the 

Gainsborough Church, 

Very Rev. Reynolds Hole, Dean of Rochester. At the time 
when a railway was being cut (between Lincoln and Gains- 
borough probably, for that passes through Lea), but at all events 
in a part of the county in which Sir Charles took a great interest, 
he was visiting the works, when an insinuating Irish navvy 


stopped and looked at him and then said, " So you're Sir Charles 
Anderson, are ye ? Sure now there's scores of Andersons where 
I come from ; there's one now in Sligo, a saddler. Ach ! he's 
a good fellow is that; the rale gintleman. He gives without 
asking." Then, after a pause, " You've a look of 'em." The 
Andersons lived in Lincolnshire from the days of Richard 11.^ 
first at Wrawby then at Flixborough, temp. Henry VII. 

Knaith is noticeable as being the birthplace, in 1532, of 
Thomas Sutton, the founder of the Charterhouse in London, 
where he is buried. The church has what is not at all common 
in English churches, a baldacchino over the altar, but in fact 
it is not an ordinary church, being just a part of an old Cister- 
cian nunnery, founded by Ralph Evermue, about 1180. 

Thomas Sutton was of Lincoln parents. He served in the 
army and was made inspector of the King's Artillery. Having 
leased some land in the county of Durham, he proceeded to work 
the coal there, and became very wealthy, in fact the wealthiest 
commoner in the realm, and with at least £5,000 a year, so that 
he was able to give Lord Suffolk £13,000 for the house then 
called Howard House in Middlesex, which had been the original 
Charterhouse, founded in 1 371 by Sir Walter Manney and dis-. 
solved in 1535. This was in May, 1611. He wished to do some- 
thing to benefit the nation, but he left the details to the Crown. 
He died in December of the same year, but his charity was 
arranged to support eighty poor folk, and to teach forty boys, 
being, like Robert Johnson's foundation at Uppingham, both 
a hospital and a school. The hospital remains in its old buildings 
in London, the school was moved in 1872 to Godalming, where 
it greatly flourishes. 

A central road runs through the middle of the flat country, 
half-way between the Lincoln-and-Gainsborough road and the 
Ridge. This takes us from Corringham by a string of small 
villages to Stow, and thence by Sturton to Saxilby, and so back 
to Lincoln. Of those villages Springthorpe and Heapham both 
have the early unbuttressed towers, described in Chapters 
XXII. and XXIII. , the former with herring-bone masonry, the 
latter, like Marton, is unfortunately covered with stucco. In the 
next village of Upton again we find herring-bone masonry ; at 
Willingham-by-Stow, the base of the tower is early Norman; 
so that in spite of the ruthless way in which succeeding styles 
destroyed the work of their predecessors, we have a large group 


in this neighbourhood of churches whose early Norman or even 
Saxon work is still visible. At Sturion is a good brick church 
by PearsoHj reminding one of that by Gilbert Scott at Fulney^ 
just outside Spalding. 

A few years ago, when the first motor made its way into 
Lincolnshire, the road from Gainsborough to Louth was one 
long stretch of small loose stones. It had never even dreamt 
of a steam roller, and there were always ruts for the wheels, 
and as Lincolnshire carriage wheels were set three or four 
inches wider apart so that they could accommodate themselves 
to the cart ruts, when we brought a carriage up from Oxford- 
shire it was found impossible to use it till the axles had been 
cut and lengthened so that it could run in the ruts. But this 
was a great improvement on the days my grandmother re- 
membered, when it took four stout horses to draw a carriage 
at foot's pace from Ingoldmells to Spilsby (and this was only 
100 years ago), or when Sir Charles Anderson saw a small 
cart-load of com stuck on the road and thatched down for the 
winter there, doubtless belonging to a small farmer who had 
but one horse, which could not draw the load home. Mention 
is made in this chapter of Scunthorpe. The iron workers there 
appear to be keen footballers, for I notice that there is now 
(December, 1913) one family there of eleven brothers between 
the ages of 18 and 43, ten of them experienced players, who 
challenge any single family anywhere to play two matches, 
one at the home of each team. I wonder if any family of eleven 
stalwart sons will be found to take them on. 



Epworth and the Wesleys — " Warping " — Crowle —St. Oswald — St. 

The Isle oj Axholme, or Axeyholm, is, as the name when 
stripped of its tautology signifies, a freshwater island, for Isle, 
ey and holm are all English, Anglo-Saxon, or Danish, for " island," 
and Ax is Celtic for water. The whole region is full of Celtic 
names, for it evidently was a refuge for the Celtic inhabitants. 
Thus we have Haxey,^ and Crowle (or Cruaih = \\sxA, i.e., terra 
firma), also Moel ( = a round hill), which appears in Melwood. 
Bounded by the Trent, the Idle, the Torn, and the Don, it 
fills the north-west corner of the county, and is seventeen 
miles long and seven wide. The county nowhere touches the 
Ouse, but ends just beyond Garthorpe and Adlingfleet on 
the left bank of the Trent, about a mile above the Trent falls. 
The northern boundary of the county then goes down the 
middle of the channel of the Humber estuary to the sea. Once 
a marsh abounding in fish and water-fowl, with only here and 
there a bit of dry ground, viz., at Haxey, Epivorth, Belton and 
Crowle, it has now a few more villages on Trent side, and two 
lines of railway, one going south from Goole to Gainsborough, 
and one crossing from Doncaster by Scunthorpe and Froding- 
ham to Grimsby. 

An unfair arrangement was made by Charles I. by which 
the Dutchman Vermuyden, the famous engineer who after- 
wards constructed the " Bedford Level," undertook to drain the 
land, some of which lies from three to eight feet below high 
water-mark, he receiving one-third of all the land he rescued, 
the king one-third, the people and owners only the other third 


between them. This gave rise to the most savage riots ; and 
the Dutch settlement at Sandtoft, where it is said that the 
village is still largely Dutch, was the scene of endless skirmishes, 
sieges, and attacks. A good insight into the lawlessness of 
the time is obtained from a book called " The M.S.S. in a Red 
Box," published by John Lane. The ancestors of Thomas 
Mowbray Duke of Norfolk, whose banishment with Boling- 
broke in lieu of trial by combat, is described in the opening 
scenes of Shakespeare's " Richard II.," had a castle in Norman 
times near Owston, between Haxey and East-Ferry on the 
Trent : so that both the would-be combatants were Lincoln- 
shire men. 

Bolingbroke in the play is banished 

" till twice five summers have enriched our fields," 

and Mowbray's sentence is pronounced by the king in these 
words : — 

" Norfolk, for thee remains a heavier doom. 
Which I with some unwillingness pronounce : 
The fly-slow hours shall not determinate 
The dateless Hmit of thy dear exile. 
The hopeless word of never to return 
Breathe I against thee, upon pain of life." 

Richard II. , I. 3. 

Norfolk was banished in 1398, and died in Venice in the 
following year, and in Act IV., Scene i of the play, when Boling- 
broke announces that he shall be " repealed " : — • 

"and, though mine enemy, restored again 
to all his lands and signories." 

The Bishop of Carlisle answers : — 

" That honourable day shall ne'er be seen. 
Many a time hath banished Norfolk fought 
For Jesu Christ ; in glorious Christian field, 
Streaming the ensign of the Christian cross 
Against black Pagans, Turks and Saracens ; 
And, toil'd with works of war, retired himself 
To Italy ; and there at Venice gave 
His body to that pleasant country's earth,^ 
And his pure soul unto his Captain Christ, 
Under whose colours he had fought so long." 

' Nearly five hundred years later his tombstone was discovered in the 
pavement of St. Mark's and brought to England. 



In the church of Belton is a fine effigy of a knight in chain 
armour, an hour-glass -stand on a pillar near the pulpit^ as at 
Leasingham, and a monument to Sir Richard de Belwood. 
Temple Belwood, in the centre of the island, was a preceptory 
of the Knights Templars. Efworth is the chief town, and is 
famous as the birthplace of John Wesley. His father, Samuel, 
was the rector of S. Ormsby when he published his heroic poem 
in ten books on the Life of Christ, which caused him to be 
hailed by Nahum Tate, the Laureate of the day, as a sun new 
risen, before whom he and others would naturally and con- 
tentedly fade to insignificance. 

" E'en we the Tribe who thought ourselves inspired 
Like gUmniering stars in night's dull reign admired, 
Like stars, a numerous but feeble host, 
Are gladly in your morning splendour lost." 

Queen Mary, to whose " Most sacred Majesty " the poem was 
dedicated, bestowed on him the Crown living of Epworth, 
to which he was presented in 1696, two years after her death. 
But, though he owed his living to the Whigs, rather than side 
with the dissenters, he voted Tory, and was accordingly perse- 
cuted with great animosity by high and low, thrown into 
prison for a debt, his cattle and property damaged, and in 
1709 his home burnt down, which made a deep impression on 
his six-year-old son John, who never forgot being " plucked as 
a brand from the burning." 

John, the fifteenth child, was the middle brother of three, 
who all had a first-rate public school and university education, 
getting scholarships both at school and college : John at 
Charterhouse, the others under Dr. Busby at Westminster, 
and all at Christchurch, Oxford, whence John, at the age of 
seventeen, wrote to his mother " I propose To be busy as long 
as I live." Eventually he became a Fellow of Lincoln. The 
whole family were as clever as could be, and the seven daughters 
had a first-rate education from their father and mother at 
home. Mrs. Wesley was a remarkable woman, a Jacobite 
— which was somewhat disconcerting to her husband, who had 
written in defence of the Revolution — and a person of strong 
independence of spirit. Of her daughters, Hetty was the 
cleverest ; and she is the only one who gives no account of the 
famous " Epworth Ghost," which is significant, when both 
her parents and all her sisters wrote a full account of it. 


Hetty's poems are of a very high standard of excellence, and 
it is more than likely that she wrote the verse part — for it is 
partly in prose dialogue — of " Eupolis' Hymn to the Creator," 
which is far better than anything else attributed to Sam Wesley. 
He died in 1735, and John, who had been curate to him at 
Epworth and Wroot (the livings went together), left the neigh- 
bourhood ; and the place which had been the home of one of 
Lincolnshire's most remarkable families for nearly forty years 
knew them no more. {See Appendix I.) 

Lincoln, however, saw John Wesley, for he preached in the 
Castle yard in 1780, as his father had done seventy-five years 
earlier, when he was spitefully imprisoned for debt. He was 
preaching at Lincoln again in 1788, and again in July, 1790, 
in the new Wesleyan Chapel. Eight months later he died. 
His last sermon was preached at Leatherhead, February 23, 
1791, and his last letter was written on the following day to 
Dr. John Whitehead. He died on March 2, aged 88, having, 
as he said, during the whole of his life " never once lost a 
night's sleep." A memorial tablet to John and his brother 
Charles was placed in 1876 in Westminster Abbey. But there 
is also a fine statue of him as a preacher in gown and bands, 
showing a strong, rugged and kindly face, and at the base 
an inscription : " The world is my parish." This is in front 
of the City Road Chapel, which he had built in Moorfields, 
and where he was buried, but not till 10,000 people had filed 
past to take their last look at the well-known face as he lay 
in the chapel. 

Dean Stanley visiting this once, said that he would give a 
great deal to preach in the pulpit there, and when, to his query 
whether the ground was consecrated and by whom, the attendant 
answered, " Yes ; by holding the body of John Wesley," he 
rejoined, " A very good answer." 

John Wesley himself had been denied access to Church of 
England pulpits for fifty years, 1 738-1 788. Even when he 
preached at Epworth in 1742, it was from his father's tomb- 
stone ; and in most cases his congregations, which were often 
very large, were gathered together in the open air. We hear 
of him preaching to a large assemblage in the rain at North 
Elkington, on April 6, 1759 ; and also at Scawby, Tealby, 
Louth, Brigg and Cleethorpes ; but in June, 1788, he notes 
in his diary : " Preached in church at Grimsby, the Vicar 

p 2 


reading prayers (a notable change this), not so crowded in 
the memory of man." Each president of the Wesleyan Con- 
ference sits in Wesley's chair on his inauguration, and has 
Wesley's Bible handed to him to hold, as John Wesley himself 
holds it in his left hand in the statue. 

We have alluded to the process of warping which is practised 
in the isle. The word is derived from the Anglo-Saxon 
Weorpan ( = to turn aside) ; it indicates the method by which 
the tide-water from the river, when nearly at its highest, is 
turned in through sluices upon the flat, low lands, and there 
retained by artificial banks until a sufficient deposit has been 
secured, when the more or less clarified water is turned back 
into the river at low tide, and the process may be continuously 
repeated for one, two, or three years. The water coming up 
with the tide is heavily charged with mud washed from the 
Humber banks, and this silt is deposited to the depth of some 
feet in places, and has always proved to be of the utmost 
fertility. The process is a rather difficult and expensive one, 
costing £io an acre, but it needs doing only once in fourteen 
years or so. A wet season is bad for warping, and 1912 was 
as bad as 1913 was good. 

At Crowle is a church of some importance, for in it is a bit 
of very early Anglian carving, probably of the seventh century. 
It is part of the stem of a cross, and has been used by the 
builders of the Norman church as a lintel for their tower arch. 
On it are represented a man on horseback (such as we see on 
the Gosforth cross, and on others in Northumbria), some inter- 
lacing work and a serpent with its tail in its mouth. Also 
two figures which I have nowhere seen accurately explained, 
but explanation is easy, for if you go and examine the great 
Anglian cross at Ruthwell in Dumfriesshire, you will find just 
such a pair of figures with their names written over them thus : 
" S. Paulus et S. Antonius panem fregerunt in Deserto." The 
figures are so similar that they would seem to have been carved 
by the same hand, and the cross at Ruthwell can be dated on 
good evidence as but a year or two later than that at Bew- 
castle, whose undoubted date is 670. 

The church is dedicated to St. Oswald, not the archbishop 
of York who died in 992 and was buried at Worcester, but 
the sainted king of Northumbria who died in battle, slain by 
Penda, King of Mercia, at Maserfield, a.d. 642. His head 

xvin ST. OSWALD 213 

arms and hands were cut oii, and set up as trophies, but were 
afterwards kept as holy relics, the hands at Bamborough, while 
one arm was for a time at Peterborough. The head was at 
Bamborough, and later at Lindisfarne in St. Cuthbert's 
Cathedral, where the monks placed it in St. Cuthbert's coffin. 
He had died in 687, and this coffin, when the Danes pillaged the 
cathedral, was taken away by the monks to Cumberland and 
carried by them from place to place in their flight, according 
to St. Cuthbert's dying wish ; and from 690 to 998, when it 
finally rested in the cathedral, it was kept in the coffin which 
is now in Durham Library. For 100 years, 783 to 893, it rested 
at Chester, and then passed to Ripon, and so to Durham, where 
it was enshrined and visited by hundreds of pilgrims. The 
marks of their feet are plain to see still. In 1104 the coffin 
was opened, and St. Oswald's head seen in it. In 1542 the 
shrine being defaced, the body was buried beneath the pave- 
ment. In 1826 it was again opened, and some relics then taken 
out are now in the Cathedral Library — a ring, a cup and 
patten, the latter about six inches square, of oak with a thin 
plate of silver over it, and a stole. This was beautifully 
worked by the nuns at Winchester 1,000 years ago, and intended 
for Wulfstan, but on his death given by them to King Athelstan, 
and by him to St. Cuthbert's followers. 

The late Dean Kitchin described to me how, in company 
with a Roman Catholic bishop and a medical man, he had 
opened what was supposed to be St. Cuthbert's tomb about 
the beginning of this century. The old chronicler had related 
how he was slain in battle, how the body was hastily covered 
with sand and afterwards taken up, and for fear of desecration 
was carried about by the monks whithersoever they went, 
until at last it was laid in a tomb, and a shrine built over it in 
Durham Cathedral. He also said that the saint suffered from 
a tumour in the breast, the result of the plague in 661, which 
latterly had got better. It was known where the shrine was 
and the reputed tomb was close by. The tomb slab was 
removed ; beneath it were bones enough to form the greater 
part of one skeleton, and there were two skulls. " What 
do 5'ou think of that ? " asked the dean ; the bishop at once 
rephed " St. Oswald's head." The doctor then said, " This 
body has never been buried." " How do you make that 
out ? " " Because the skin has not decayed but dried on 

214 ST. CUTHBERT'S TOMB CH. xviii 

to the limbs as you see, as if it had been dried in sand," just 
as tradition said. " Also," he said, " there is a hole in the 
breast here which has partly filled up, evidence probably of 
a tumour or abscess which was healing," again just what the 
chronicler stated. One of the skulls showed a cut right through 
the bone, like the cut of axe or sword, again corroborating 
the story of the death of St. Oswald in battle. The whole 
account seemed to me to be most interesting, and certainly 
it would be difficult to obtain more conclusive proof of the 
veracity in every detail of the old chronicler. 



Thornton Curtis— Barrow— The HuU-to-HoUand Ferry— Goxhill— Thorn- 
ton Abbey — Immingham — The New Docks — StaUingborough — The 
Ayscough Tombs — Great Cotes — Grimsby — The Docks — The Church, 
Cleethorpes — Legend of Havelock the Dane. 

We will now return to the north-east of the county. 

From Brocklesby a good road runs north by Ulceby, with 
its ridiculously thin^ tall spire, and Wootton, to Thornton Curtis 
and Barrow-on-Humber . 

Thornton Curtis is a place to be visited, because it possesses 
one of the seven black marble Toumai fonts like those at 
Lincoln and Winchester. This stands in a wide open space 
at the west end of the church, mounted on a square three- 
stepped pedestal. The four comer shafts, like those at Ipswich, 
are of lighter colour than the central pillar and the top. The 
latter has suffered several fractures owing to its having been 
more than once moved, and the base is much worn as if it 
had been exposed to the weather. The sides are sculptured 
with griffins and monsters, and on the top at each corner is a 
bird. Of the church the groined porch has been renewed, 
but the doorway is old and good, and part of the ancient oak 
door remains with the original fine hinges, and a design in iron 
round the head of the door. On the floor near the south- 
west comer of the church is a sepulchral stone slab with a 
half effigy of a lady in deep relief showing at the head end. 
There is a fine wide Early English tower arch, and the hand- 
some arches of the nave are borne on clustered pillars, which 
are all alike on the north side, but of different patterns on the 
south side, and with excellent boldly cut foliage capitals, 


the western capital and respond being especially fine. The 
north aisle is very wide;, and the church unusually roomy. 
The pine roof and the oak seats were all new about thirty 
years ago. The light and graceful rood screen is also new, 
and has deep buttress-like returns on the western side, as at 
Grimoldby. The chancel has late twelfth century lancets, one 
with a Norman arch, the others pointed, showing the transition 
period ; once the church was all Norman, but it was extended 
westwards early in the thirteenth century. There are two 
charming piscinas of the same period, with Norman pilasters 
and round-headed arches, but the western one has had a later 
pointed arch, apparently put on in more recent times. 

In the north aisle wall there are three arched niches for 
tombs, and on the north side of the chancel outside is a wide 
Norman arch with a flat buttress curiously carried up from 
above the centre of the archway, as in the Jews' House at 
Lincoln. Near the south porch is a mural tablet carved in 
oak, with old English lettering, which reads thus :^ 

In the yer yat all the stalles 
In thys chyrch was mayd 
Thomas Kyrkbe Jho Shreb 
byn Hew Roston Jho Smyth 
Kyrk Masters in the yer of 

In the churchyard is half of the shaft of a cross, octagonal, 
with rosettes carved at intervals on the four smaller sides. 
Like the font, it is mounted on a broad, square three-stepped 

At Barrow, two miles further north, there was once a mon- 
astery, founded in the seventh century by St. Ceadda, or Chad, 
on land given by Wulfhere King of Mercia. This is an inter- 
esting corner of the county. New Holland, where the steam 
ferry from Hull lands you, is but three miles to the north, 
and near Barrow Haven station, between the ferry pier and 
Barton, is a remarkable ancient Danish or British earthwork 
called " The Castles " — a large tumulus-topped mound with 
a wide fosse, and with other mounds and ditches grouped 
round it, which, when occupied, were surrounded by marshes 
and only approachable by a channel from the Humber. The 
claim that this is the site of the great battle of Brunanburh 
in 937 cannot be looked upon as more than the merest conjecture. 


Both Barton and Barrow have been claimed for it ; and 
" Barrow Castles " might or might not have had some connec- 
tion with the great battle, which certainly is referred to as 
near the Humber in Robert de Brunne's chronicle, as follows : — 

" He brought the King Anlaf up the Humber 
With seven hundred ships and fifteen, so great was the number. 
Athelstan here saw all the great host, 
He and Edward his brother hurried to the coast. 
At Brunnisburgh on Humber they gave them assault, 
From Morning to Evening lasted the battle, 
At the last to their ships the King gave them chase 
All fled away, that was of God's grace." 

The Great Northern Railway runs south from Holland pier 
to Ulceby, and then splits right and left to Brigg and Grimsby ; 
and here let me warn anyone who thinks to bring a motor 
over by the ferry to or from Hull. The sloping stage at New 
Holland is fairly easy, though the boats' moveable gangv/ay 
is not provided with an inclined approach board, the simplest 
thing in the world, but each car or truck has to bump on and 
off it with a four-inch rise, and an extra man or two are required 
to lift the wheels of each loaded truck on or off — a childishly 
stupid arrangement which reflects no credit on the brains of 
the officers of the Central Railway, who own the ferry service ; 
but on the Hull side matters are much worse, and I don't 
think that any method of loading or unloading even in a remote 
Asiatic port can be so barbaric and out-of-date as that which 
the Central Railway provides for its long-suffering customers. 
To get a motor on board from Hull is both difficult and 
dangerous ; after threading an intricate maze of close-set pillars 
a car has to go down a very steep and slippery gangway, and 
when at the bottom has to turn at right angles with no room 
to back, and across a moveable gangway so narrow that the 
side railing has to be taken off and a loose plank added to take 
the wheels ; then, whilst the car hangs over the water on the 
slippery slope, several men lift the front part round to the left 
and then, with a great effort, drag the back wheels round to 
the right, and after filling up a yawning gap between the slope 
and the gang-plank by putting a piece of board of some kind, 
but with no fit, to prevent the wheel from dropping through 
or the car going headlong into the sea, the machine is got on 
to the deck ; and then all sorts of heavy goods on hand- 


barrows are brought on, four men Having to hang on to each 
down the shppery planks, and these are piled all round the 
motor, and all are taken off on the other side with incredible 
exertions before the motor has a chance to move. The crossing 
itself takes but twenty minutes, but the whole process of getting 
on, crossing and getting off, occupied us two hours, and a really 

big car would never have been able to get over at all. No 
one at the Hull Corporation pier seems to know anything about 
the use of a crane for loading purposes, and it is evident that 
passenger traffic with any form of vehicle is not to receive any 
encouragement from this anything but up-to-date railway 
company. Why do not the Hull Corporation insist on some- 
thing very much better ? The parallelogram between the 


railway and Humber, when it turns south opposite Hull, has 
a belt of marsh along the river side, and because it was in old 
times so inaccessible, it contains some fine monastic buildings. 

Two miles west of Barrow is Goxhill. Here there is a fine 
church tower, with a delicate parapet, and a mile south is 
the so-called " Priory," which was probably only a memorial 
chapel served by a hermit in the pay of the De Spenser family. 
Murray gives this entry from the bishop's registers for 1368 : 
" Thomas De Tykhill, hermit, clerk, presented by Philip 
Despenser to the chapel of St. Andrew in the parish of Goxhill, 
on the death of Thomas, the last hermit." It is now a picturesque 
ruin of two stories, the lower one vaulted and with three large 
Decorated windows at the sides, and a large double round- 
headed one at the end, all now blocked, the building being 
used for a bam. Two miles from this, and near Thornton 
Abbey Station, is all that is left of Thornton Abbey. A fine 
gateway, second only to that at Battle Abbey, and two sides 
of a beautiful octagonal chapter-house, with very rich arcading 
beneath the lovely three-light windows. Founded in 1139, 
for a prior and twelve Augustinian canons, it became an abbey in 
1149, and in 1517 a " mitred " abbey, the only one in the county 
except Croyland. And these two are now the most notable 
of all the monastic remains in Lincolnshire. One of its abbots 
was said to have been walled up alive, and Bishop Tanner, 
in his MS. account of the abbey, now in the Bodleian, says 
of Abbot Walter Multon, 1443 : " He died, but by what death 
I know not. He hath no obit, as other Abbots have, and the 
place of his burial hath not been found," and Stukeley, 1687- 
1765, says that on taking down a wall in his time a skeleton 
was found in a sitting posture, with a table and a lamp, but 
I am glad to think that though the tradition is not infrequent, 
— probably as an echo from the days of the Roman Vestal 
Virgins — there is no positive evidence of anyone ever being 
immured alive ; though an inconvenient dead body was doubt- 
less got rid of at times in that way. 

The principal remaining part of the abbey is the fine grey 
stone gateway, a beautiful arch flanked by octagon turrets, 
with a passage through them, and then other arches on each 
side, and beyond these two corner towers. Above the central 
archway there are two rows of statues in niches with canopies. 
The Virgin being crowned by the Holy Trinity is flanked by 


full-length statues of St. Antony and St. Augustine. Other 
figures are above these, but not easy to make out. Inside 
the gateway are guard rooms, and a winding staircase leading 
to the large refectory hall. An oriel in this contained an altar, 
as the piscina and a squint from an adjoining chamber testify. 
The approach over the ditch up to the gateway is by a curious 
range of massive brickwork, with coved recesses and battle- 
ments, all along on each side. The ruin is owned by Lord 

Than ton Abbey Gateway 

Yarborough, and is kept locked, but an attendant is always on 
the spot, as both the abbey and Brocklesby Park are favourite 
objects for excursions from Hull, Grimsby, and Cleethorpes. 

The abbey was a very magnificent one, occupying loo acres. 
Henry VIH. was so well entertained there in 1541 that when 
he had suppressed the abbey he bestowed the greater part 
of the land on a new foundation in the same building, a college 


of the Holy Trinity ; but a few years later, either in 1547 or 
1553, that in turn was dissolved, and the land granted to the 
pitifully subservient Bishop Henry Holbeche. Inside the 
gateway is a large square, on the east side of which stood the 
chapter-house, a handsome octagonal building, of which two sides 

Remains of Chapter House, Thornton Ahhey. 

remain, as does also a fragment of the beautiful south transept, 
and, still further south, the abbot's lodging, now in use as a farm- 
house. The church was 235 feet long and sixty-two feet wide, 
the transepts being double of that. The architecture was mainly 
of the best Decorated period. There are many slabs with incised 
crosses still to be seen, one of Robert Girdyk, 1363. 

East Halton lies east of the abbey, whence the road runs 


through North and South Killingholme, at the corner of which 
is a picturesque old brick manor-house of the Tudor period, 
with linen-pattern oak panelling and grotesque heads over 
the doors inside, and outside a remarkably fine chimney-stack 
and some fine old yew trees. The church has a very large 
Norman tower-arch, an interesting old roof and the remains 
of a delicately carved rood-screen. From here we go to Habrough 
and Immingham, where' some curious paintings of the Apostles 
are set between the clerestory windows. 

Immingham village is more than two miles from the haven, 
and here the most enormous works have long been in progress. 
Indeed, at Immingham a new port has sprung up in the last 
five years, and to this the Great Central Railway, who so utterly 
neglect the convenience of passengers with vehicles at the 
Hull ferry, have given the most enlightened attention, and by 
using the latest inventions and all the most advanced methods 
and laying out their docks in a large and forward-looking way 
to cover an enormous area, have created a dock which can 
compete successfully with any provincial port in England. 

A deep-water channel leads to the lock gates on the north 
side of what is the deepest dock on the east coast, with forty- 
five acres of water over thirty feet deep. It runs east and west, 
and it is about half a mile long. A quay 1,250 feet long, pro- 
jects into the western half of this, leaving room for vessels to 
load or unload on either side of it, direct from or into the 
railway trucks. A timber-quay occupies the north-west side 
of the dock, and the grain elevator is at the east end, while all 
along the whole of the south side runs the coaling quay. There 
are at least twenty-seven cranes able to lift two, three, five, 
ten, and one even fifty tons on the various quays, and on the 
coaling-quay eight hoists, on to which the trucks are lifted 
and the coal shot into the vessels, after which the truck returns 
to the yard by gravitation automatically. Each of these 
hoists can deal with 700 tons of coal an hour, and as each hoist 
has eight sidings allotted to it there are 320 waggons ready for 
each. One of these hoists is moveable so that two holds'of a 
vessel can be worked simultaneously. The means for quick 
and easy handling of the trucks, full and empty, by hydraulic 
power, and light for the whole dock also is suppHed from a 
gigantic installation in the power-house, near the north-west 
corner of the dock ; and this quick handling is essential, for 


the many miles of sidings can hold 11,600 waggons, carrying 
116,000 tons of coal or more, besides finding room for empties. 
The coal is brought from Yorkshire, Derbyshire, Notts, and 
Lincolnshire, and not far short of 3,000,000 tons of coal will 
be now sent out of England from this port alone. ^ It seems 
to the writer that to send away at this tremendous rate from 
all our big coaling ports the article on which all our industries 
virtually depend is a folly which no words are too strong to 
condemn. With coal England has the means of supplying 
all her own wants for many generations, but it is not inexhaust- 
ible, and when it is gone, where will England be ? Will any- 
thing that may be found ever take its place ? And, unless we are 
able to reassure ourselves on this point, is this not just a case 
in which a wise State would step in and prohibit export, and 
not allow the nation to cut its own throat like a pig swimming ? 
Large store sheds are now (1914) being built for wool to be landed 
direct from Australia. Thus Immingham will compete with 
Liverpool, where I have seen bales so tightly packed that when 
you knock with your knuckles on the clean-cut end of one it 
resounds like a board. 

Going on south from Immingham village we come, after 
three miles, to Stallingborough. 

The old church having fallen, the present brick parallelo- 
gram, with tower and campanile, was built in 1780. Inside, 
though destitute of any touch of church architecture, it is 
beautifully clean, and if you penetrate up to the very end you 
will be rewarded by seeing what the organ absolutely obscures 
till you reach the altar rail — a really wonderful alabaster tomb 
of the Ayscoughe, Ayscugh, or Askew family, at the north-east 
comer, inside the chancel rail. Above is part of a bust of 
Francis, the father, who lived at South KeJsey, near Caister, 
and who so basely, in terror for himself, betrayed his sister 
Anne's hiding-place, which resulted in her being first tortured 
and then burnt at Smithfield in 1546, her crime being that 
she had read the Bible to poor folk in Lincoln Minster. The 
whole story is too horrible to dwell upon. This cowardly brother 
is portrayed half length, in a recess, leaning his head on his 
left hand and holding in his right a spear. From this it will be 
seen that this is no ordinary sepulchral monument, but a work of 

^ The coal output in the United Kingdom in 1913 was 287,41 1, 869'tons, 
an increase of 27 millions on the previous year. 


art. Below him his son, Edward of Kelsey, 1612, lies supine 
in plate armour and a ruff, with bare head pillowed on a cushion, 
while on a raised platform, just behind him, his wife Esther, 
daughter of Thomas Grantham, Esq., leans on her right elbow ; 
she, too, in a ruff with hair done high and with a tight bodice 
and much-pleated skirt. The faces look like portraits, and 
Sir Edward has a singularly feeble, but not unpleasant, face, 
with small, low forehead. On the wall at his wife's feet is 
a painted coat of arms on a lozenge, with nineteen quarterings, 
and a real helmet is placed on the tomb slab below it. The 
slab is a very massive one, and below it is an inscription in gold 
letters on a black ground in Latin, which is from Psalm CXXVIII. 
" Thy wife shall be as the fruitful vine upon the walls of thine 
house, thy children like the olive branches round about thy table, 
lo thus shall the man be blessed that feareth the Lord " ; and 
beneath this, on the side of the tomb, are the kneeling effigies 
of six sons and six daughters. The whole thing — both the 
effigies and the inscription — is similar to the Tyrwhit tomb 
at Bigby. Above the mural monument of the father is the 
Ayscoughe crest, a little grey ass coughing, and under his half- 
effigy is a later inscription, which doubtless refers to his son, and 
not to himself, the poor, unhappy cause of his sister's dreadful 
sufferings. It runs thus:-- 

Clarus imaginibus proavum, sed mentis honestae 

Clarior exemplis, integritate, fide. 

Una tibi conjux uni quae juncta beatas 

Fecerat et noctes et sine lite dies. 

Praemissi non amissi. 
And a thing called on the monument an " Anigram," which 
is past the understanding of ordinary men, is also part of the 
inscription. The extraordinary state of preservation of the 
whole group is a marvel. 

Other inscriptions and brasses are in the church, though partly 
hidden by the organ and the altar, one to the second wife of 
Anne's father. Sir William, along with others of the sixteenth 
and seventeenth centuries. In the churchyard is the stem 
of a cross. 

Four miles further south the fine broad fifteenth-century 
tower of Great Cotes of rich yellow stone, attracts anyone who 
is passing from Goxhill to Grimsby, and it is a church which 
well repays a visit. 


In the churchyard, after passing under a yew-tree arch, 
you see a magnificent walnut on a small green mound. There 
is no porch. You enter by a small, deeply moulded doorway 
at the north-west end of the north aisle. The pillars of the 
arcades are clusters of four rather thick shafts, some with 
unusually large round capitals, but others various in shape, 
and all of a bluish grey stone. There are four bays, three 
big and one a small one ne.-it the tower at the west end. There 
is a flat ceiling, both in nave and chancel, which cuts off the top 
of the Early English tower arch ; hence the nave and aisles 
are covered, as at Swaton, near Helpringham, by one low, 
broad slate roof, reminding one of that at Grasmere. The 
chancel arch, if it can be called an arch at all, is the meanest 
I ever saw, and only equalled by the miserable, and appar- 
ently wooden, tracery of the east window. The chancel, 
which is nearly as long as the nave, is built of rough stones 
and has Decorated windows. On the floor is a curious brass 
of local workmanship probably, to Isabella, wife of Roger 
Bamadiston, c. 1420, and the artist seems to have handed on 
his craft, for the attraction of the church is a singular seven- 
teenth century brass before the altar, to Sir Thomas Bama- 
diston, Kt. of Mikkylcotes, and his wife Dame Elizabeth, and 
their eight sons and seven daughters. The children kneel 
behind their kneeling parents, who are, however, on a larger 
scale, and have scrolls proceeding from their mouths. Above 
them is a picture of the Saviour, with nimbus, rising from 
a rectangular tomb of disproportionately small dimensions, 
while Roman soldiers are sleeping around. A defaced inscrip- 
tion nms all round the edge of the brass, and in the centre 
is the inscription in old lettering : " In the worschypp of the 
Resurrectio of or Lord and the blessed sepulcur pray for the 
souls of Sir Thos Bamadiston Kt. and Dame Elizabeth his 

and of y' charite say a p' noster ave and cred 

and ye schall have a C days of p ^ don to yo' med " 

Another six miles brings us to the outskirts of Grimsby, the birth- 
place, in 1530, of John Whitgift, Queen Ehzabeth's Archbishop of 
Canterbury. This is not at all an imposing or handsome town, 
but the length of the timber docks, and the size and varied 
life in the great fish docks, the pontoons which project into 
the river and are crowded with fishing boats, discharging tons 



of fish and taking in quantities of ice, are a wonderful sight. 
165,510 tons of fish were dealt with in 1902 — it is probably 
170,000 now ; and 300 tons of ice a day is made close by. The 
old church is a . fine cruciform building, with a pair of ugly 
turrets at the end of nave, chancel, and transepts. Inside 
it is fine and spacious, and in effect cathedral-like. The tran- 
septs have doorways and two rows of three-light windows 
with tooth moulding round the upper lights and the gables. 
A corbel table with carved heads runs all round the church. 

The south transept Early-English porch had eight shafts 
on either side, in most cases only the capitals now remain. 
The south aisle porch is good, but less rich. The tower arches 
are supported on octagonal pillars, which run into and form 
part of the transept walls. They are decorated by mouldings 
running up the whole length. The nave has six bays, and tall, 
slender clustered columns and plain capitals, with deeply 
moulded arches. Dreadful to relate, the columns and capitals 
are all painted grey. 

There is a unique arrangement of combined triforium and clere- 
story, the small clerestory windows being inserted in the triforium 
into the taller central arches of the groups of three, which all have 
slender clustered shafts. This triforium goes round both nave, 
chancel and transepts, a very well carved modern oak pulpit 
rests on a marble base with surrounding shafts. The lectern 
is an eagle of the more artistic form, with one leg advanced 
and head turned sideways and looking upwards. I wonder 
that this is not more common, for I see it is figured in the 
A. and N. Stores catalogue. The sedilia rises in steps, as at 
Temple Bruer. A raised tomb carries the effigy of Sir Thomas 
Haslerton, brought from St. Leonard's nunnery ; he is in chain 
armour with helmet. A chapel in the north aisle has a squint 
looking to the high altar. This chapel is entered by a beautiful 
double arch from the transept, with Early capital to the mid 
pillar. The proportions of the whole church are pleasing, and 
its size is very striking. The tower has an arcaded parapet, 
and on each side two windows set in a recess under a big arch, 
between them a buttress runs up from the apex of a broad and 
deep gable-coping, which goes down each side of the tower, 
forming the hood-mould into which the gables of the nave 
transepts and chancel fit. All the doors, curiously enough, 
are painted green outside. There is in the churchyard a pillar 


with clustered shafts and carved capital, the base of which 
rests on a panelled block, which looks like an old font. Many 
bits from the old church, which was restored throughout in 
1885, are ranged on the low wall of the churchyard walk, some 
of which look worthy of a better place. 

The line from the docks runs along by the shore to Cleethorpes, 
where the Humber begins to merge into the sea. The wide, 
firm sands and the rippling shallow wavelets of the brown sea- 
water are the delight of thousands of children ; the air is fresh, 
food and drink are plentiful, and all things conspire to make 
a trippers' paradise, while the Dolphin Hotel, which, like the 
others, looks out on the sea, is no bad place for a short sojourn 
in the off season. 

The corporation had in old times two seals, one the common 
seal,^ and one the mayor's seal ; the latter showed a boar 
charged by a dog and a huntsman winding his horn, an allusion 
to an ancient privilege of the mayor and burgesses of hunting 
in the adjacent woods of Bradley Manor. The common seal 
bore a gigantic figure of a man with drawn sword and round 
shield, and the name ' Gryem,' the reputed founder of the 
town ; on his right a youth crowned, and the name ' Habloc,' 
and on his left a female figure with a diadem and the legend 
" Goldeburgh," the name of the princess he is said to have 

These two interesting and distinctive old seals have, sad to 
say, been discarded for one bearing the arms of the corporation, 
just like what any mushroom town might adopt. 

The figures on the old seal alluded to the tradition embodied 
in the old Anglo-Danish ballad of Havelock the Dane, which 
was borrowed from a French romance of the twelfth century, 
called " Le lai de Aveloc," which in turn was probably taken 
from an Anglo-Saxon original. It tells how Havelock, son 
of the Danish King Birkabeen, was treacherously put to sea 
and saved by one Grim, a Lincolnshire fisherman, who brought 
up the waif as his own. He grew to be of huge stature and 
strength and of great beauty, and, from serving as a scullion 
in the king's kitchen, he became betrothed to the king's 
daughter ; and his royal descent being discovered, the Danish 
king rewarded Grim with a sum of money with which he built 
a village on the coast and called it Grim's town or Grimsby. 

Q 2 



The Roman Castrum — The Church and the Hundon Tombs — Rothwell 
and the Caistor Groups of Early Church Towers, " Riby," "Wold," 
"Cliff" and "Top" — Pelham Pillar — Grasby and the Tennyson- 
Turners — Barnetby — Bigby — The Tyrwhit Tombs — Brocklesby — The 
Mausoleum — The Pelham Buckle. 

Caistor is the centre from which roads radiate in all directions, 
so much so that if you describe a circle from Caistor as your 
centre at the distance of Swallow it will cut across seventeen 
roads, and if you shorten the distance to a two-mile radius, it 
will still cross eleven, though not more than four or five of them 
will separately enter the old Roman town. For the town has 
grown round a Roman " Castrum," and the church is actually 
planted in the centre of the walled camp. A portion of the 
solidly grouted core of their wall shows on the southern boundary 
of the churchyard, and bits of it still exist to the east and west 
just beyond the churchyard boundary, and also a little further 
from the church on the north. Even the well which the 
Roman soldiers used, one of many springs coming out of the 
chalk, for Caistor is on the slope of the Wold, is still in use to 
the south-east of the church, and was included within the 
walls of the " Castrum." 

Dr. Eraser of Caistor, who takes a keen interest in the subject, 
kindly showed me a plan on which such portions of the wall 
as have been laid bare, in some half-a-dozen spots, were marked. 
He lives in a house belonging to the Tennyson family, the 
poet's uncle and his brother Charles having both tenanted it. 
The place has a long history. It was a hill fort of the early 



Britons, then it was occupied by the Romans till late in the 
fourth century, and, after their departure, it was a stronghold 
of the Angles, who called it, according to Bede, Tunna-Ceaster 
or Thong-caster, which might refer to its being placed on a 
projecting tongue of the Wold, just as Hym-Ceaster or Horn- 
castle is so named, because it is on a horn or peninsular, formed 
by the river. In 829 Ecgberht, King of Wessex, defeated the 
Mercians in a battle here, and offered a portion of the spoil 
to the church, if a stone dug up about 150 years ago with part 
of an inscription apparently to that effect can be trusted. Earl 
Morcar, who had land near Stamford, was lord of the manor 
in Norman times, and the Conqueror gave the church to 
Remigius for his proposed Cathedral. 

For the present church inside the Roman camp goes back 
to probably pre-Norman times. The tower has a Norman 
doorway, and has also a very early round arch, absolutely 
plain, leading from the tower to the nave, and it shows in its 
successive stages Norman, Early English, Decorated, and 
Perpendicular work. The lower part of the tower has angle 
buttresses and two string-courses, and, except the battlements, 
which are of hard whitish stone, the whole building is, like all 
the churches in the north-east of the county, made of a rich 
yellow sandy ironstone with fossils in it. This gives a beautiful 
tone of colour and also, from its friable nature, an appearance 
of immense antiquity. The north porch has good ball-flower 
decoration, but is not so good as the Early English south door 
with its tooth ornaments ; here the old door with its original 
hinges is still in use. The octagonal pillars stand on a wide 
square base two feet high with a top, a foot wide, forming a 
stone seat round the pillar, as at Claypole and Bottesford. 
The nave arcade of four bays is Early English with nail-head 
ornament. Since Butterfield removed the flat ceiling and put 
a red roof with green tie beams and covered the chancel arch 
and walls with the painted patterns which he loved, the seats, 
lilce the porch doors at Grimsby, have all been green ! This, 
to my mind, always gives a garden woodwork atmosphere. 
In the north aisle is a side altar, and near it are the interesting 
tombs of the Hundon family, while in the south aisle, behind 
the organ, is a fine marble monument with a kneeling figure 
in armour of Sir Edward Maddison, of Unthank Hall, Durham, 
and of Fonaby, who died in his looth year, a.d. 1553. His 

230 THE liUNDON TOMBS chap. 

second wife was Ann Roper, sister-in-law to Margaret Roper, 
who was the daughter of Sir Thomas More, and who — 

" clasped in her last trance 
Her murdered father's head." 

The Hundon tombs have recumbent stone effigies under 
recessed arches in the North wall, one being of Sir W. de Hundon 
cross-legged, with shield, and clad in chain-mail from head 
to foot. He fought in the last crusade, 1270,- Another, in 
a recess massively cusped, is of Sir John de Hundon, High 
Sheriff of Lincolnshire in 1343, and Lady Hundon his wife, 
in a wimple and the dress of the period. Sir John is in plate 
armour, with chain hauberk, and girt with both sword and 
dagger, and both wear ruffs. She has a cushion at her head, 
and a lion at her feet. He lies on a plaited straw mattress rolled 
at each end, and wears a very rich sword-belt and huge spurs, 
but no helmet. 

The singular cluster of very early church towers near Caistor 
are similar to those near Gainsborough, and to another group 
just south of Grimsby {see Chapter XXIII. ). South of Caistor 
is Rothwell, which we hoped to reach in a couple of miles from 
Cabouni, but could only find a bridle road, unless we were 
prepared to go two miles east to Swallow, or two miles west 
to Caistor, and then make a further round of three miles from 
either place. The church, which keeps the register of marriages 
taken in Cromwell's time before Theophilus Harneis, Esq., J. P., 
after publication of banns " on three succeeding Lord's Days, 
at the close of the morning exercise, and no opposition alleged 
to the contrary," has two very massive Norman arches, the 
western bays with cable moulding. The tower is of the un- 
buttressed kind, and exhibits some more unmistakable " Long- 
and-Short " work than is at all common in the Saxon-built towers 
of Lincolnshire churches, built, that is to say, if not by Saxon 
hands, at least in the Saxon style, and in the earliest Norman 
days. The village is in a depression between two spurs of the 
Wold, and a road from it, which is the eastern one of three, 
all running south along the Wold, leads to Binbrook. The 
middle road is the " High Dyke," the Roman road from 
Caistor to Horncastle, and has no villages on it. The western 
one goes by Normanby le Wold, Walesby, and Tealby, and joins 
the Louth-and-Rasen road at North-Willingham. From this 


road you get a fine view over the flats in the centre of the 
county, as indeed you do if you go by the main road from Caistor 
to Rasen. This takes you through Netileion, where there is 
another of these early towers, but not so remarkably old-looking 
a specimen as some. A buttress against the south wall of the 
tower is, noticeable, being carefully devised by the mediaeval 
builders so as not to block the little window. Usselby, three 
miles north of Rasen, lies hidden behind "The Hall," and is 
the tiniest church in the county. It has a nave and chancel 
of stone, and a bell-turret, and hideous brick-headed windows. 
At Claxby, close by, some fine fossils have been found. The 
eastern main road to Grimsby has most to show us, for on it 
we pass Cabourn and Swallow, both of which have towers 
like Rothwell, as also has Cuxwold, which is half-way between 
Swallow and Rothwell. All these unbuttressed towers are 
built of the same yellow sandy stone, and generally have the 
same two-light belfry window with a midwall jamb. Cabourn 
was the only church we found locked, and we could not see why, 
and as the absence of the rector's key keeps people from seeing 
the inside, so the presence of his garden fence, which runs 
right up to the tower on both sides, keeps them from seeing 
the west end outside — a horrid arrangement, not unlike that 
at Rowston. The tower has a pointed tiled roof, like a pigeon 
cote, a very small blocked low-side window is at the south- 
west end of the chancel, and the bowl of a Norman font with 
cable moulding, found under the floor of the church, has been 
placed on the top of the old plain cylinder which did duty as 
a font till lately. The view from Cabourn hill, which drops 
down to Caistor, is a magnificent one. To the north the lofty 
Pelham Pillar, a tribute to a family distinguished as early 
as the reign of Edward III., stands up out of the oak woods, 
a landmark for many a mile. 

Swalloiv has no jamb to its belfry window. But it has a very 
good Norman door, and round-headed windows. The south 
aisle arches have been built up. During the recent restoration 
two piscinas, Norman and Early English, were found, the 
former with a deep square bowl set on a pillar. The next 
church has the singular name of Irby-on-Humber, though the 
Humber is eight miles distant. Here we find Norman arcades 
of two arches with massive central pillars, thicker on the north 
side than the south, and Early English tower and chancel 


arches. An incised slab on the floor has figures of John and 
Elianora Malet, of the late fourteenth or early fifteenth centuries. 
In the south aisle there is a blocked doorway to the rood loft, 
and a piscina. The east window is of three lancets. All the 
woodwork in the church is new and everything in beautiful 
order. Laceby Church, two miles further on, has a Transition 
tower, and an Early English arcade with one Norman arch in 
the middle. There are some blow-wells in the parish, as at 
Tetney. John Whitgift, Archbishop of Canterbury, at the end 
of Elizabeth's reign, was formerly rector here. 

A mile to the left as we go from Irby to Laceby, lies the fine 
and well-wooded park of Riby Grove, the seat of Captain 
Pretyman, M.P. The Royahsts won a battle here in 1645, in 
which Colonel Harrison, the Parliamentary leader, was slain. 
He was buried at Stallingborough. Riby of late years has been 
famous for the flocks and herds of the late Mr. Henry Dudding, 
which at their dispersal in July, 1913, realised in a two days' 
sale 16,644 guineas. Over 1,800 Lincolnshire long-wool sheep 
were sold, the highest price being 600 guineas for the champion 
ram at the Bristol and Nottingham shows, who has gone to 
South America, in company with another stud ram who made 
eighty guineas, and several more of the best animals. But 
though the ram lambs made double figures, as the best had 
been secured before the sale the prices on the whole were not 
high, the sheep on the first day averaging just over £4 gs. 
Among the shorthorns 160 guineas was the highest price ; this 
was given for a heifer whose destination was Germany. It 
is owing to men like Mr. Dudding that Lincolnshire farming 
and Lincolnshire flock and stock breeding has so great a name. 

About five miles further, we come to the suburbs of Grimsby, 
and the road runs on past Ciee to Cleeihorpes. 

It is curious how different localities, though in the same 
neighbourhood, have their own special and different terms for 
the same thing, thus : alongside the ridge north of Lincoln, 
each village has its bit of " Cliff," and from Elsham to the 
Humber each has its bit of " Wold," while on the continuation 
of the Wold near Caistor from Barnetby to Burgh-on-Bain 
the same thing is called neither " Cliff " nor " Wold," but 
" top " ; and we have Somerby, Owmby, Grasby, Audleby, 
Fomaby, Rothwell, Orby, Binbrook, Girsby and Burgh " top," 
etc. There is an Owmby " Cliff " as well as an Owmby " top," 


but the words sufficiently indicate the position of the villages 
— one (near Fillingham) on the Ermine Street, and one (near 
Grasby) north of Caistor. 

There is no view, I think, in the county so wide all round 
as that from the top of the Pelham Pillar. It stands on one 
of the highest points of the Wold, from whence the ground 
falls on three sides. In front are the woods of Brocklesby 
and the mausoleum, with the Humber and Hull in the distance ; 
on the right Grimsby, the Spurn Point, and the grand spire of 
Patrington in liolderness, and on the left the wide mid- 
Lincolnshire plain as far as " the Cliff." Of the Wold villages 
between Caistor and Barnetby, where the Wold stops for a 
couple of miles and lets the railway and the Brigg-to-Brocldesby 
road through on the level, none affords a better view than Grasby. 
But the whole of this road is one not to be missed. As we 
pass along it we first reach CUxby, which shows, or rather hides, 
a tiny church in a thick clump of trees by the road side, where 
is a churchyard cross, restored after the model of Somersby. 
The little stone church has been once very dilapidated, and is 
now renewed with a double bell-turret in brick — no wonder it 
hides itself in the trees. There is also a remarkable modern 
graveyard cross of dark stone, of a very early primitive shape, 
such as is seen on some of the incised grave stones of Northumbria. 
North of CUxby is Grasby. This church was the home for over 
forty years of the poet's brother Charles Tennyson-Turner, 
the author, with Alfred, of the " Poems by Two Brothers," 
and afterwards of many sonnets written at Grasby. It would 
be difficult to surpass the charm of one called ' Letty's Globe ' : 


When Letty had scarce passed her third glad year, 
And her young artless words began to flow, 
One day we gave the child a coloured sphere 
Of the wide earth, that she might mark and know, 
By tint and outline, all its sea and land. 
She patted all the world ; old empires peeped 
Between her baby fingers ; her soft hand 
Was welcome at all frontiers. How she leap'd 
And laugh'd and prattled in her world-wide bliss, 
But when we turned her sweet unlearned eye 
On our own isle, she raised a joyous cry, 
' Oh ! yes, I see it, Letty's home is there ! ' 
And while she hid all England with a kiss, 
Bright over Europe fell her golden hair. 


A white marble tablet of chaste design on the wall of the 
nave shows a couple of sprays of bay or laurel beneath the 
Christian monogram, bending to right and left over the inscrip- 
tion, on the left to " Charles Tennyson Turner, Vicar and Patron 
of Grasby, who died April 25, 1879. 

True poet surely to be found 
When truth is found again." 

and on the right to " Louisa his wife, died May 20, 1879. 

More than conquerors through him that loved us. 

They rest with Charlotte Tennyson in the cemetery at 
Cheltenham." Charlotte was his brother Horatio's first wife ; 
his wife Louisa was the sister of Lady Tennyson, the two 
brothers having married two Miss Sellwoods, nieces of Sir John 
Franklin. Tennyson's grandfather had married Mary Turner of 
Caistor, and Charles succeeded his uncle Sam Turner. 

The church, with its low broached spire, has a nave and a 
north aisle, but has little of the old left in it, except the south 
doorway and some Early English clustered pillars, and a 
curious plain font set on four little square legs mounted on steps. 
The church was rebuilt, and the schools and vicarage built 
de novo by the Tennyson-Turners, for until his time the vicar 
had lived at Caistor. Under the east window outside is a stone 
let into the wall with three dedication crosses on it. 

We must follow this Caistor and Brigg highway along the 
edge of the Wold to Bigby, where it turns to the left, and only 
a byway runs north to Barnetby le Wold which looks down on 
Melton Ross, so named from the Ros family to whom Belvoir 
came by marriage with a d'Albini heiress in the thirteenth 
century. Sir Thomas Manners — Lord Ros — was created Earl 
of Rutland in the sixteenth century. 

Barnetby Church has a most ancient appearance ; it stands 
high in a field by itself, the village lying below. A long, high 
wall of brick and stone, grey with lichen, a low tower and a 
flat roof and windows irregularly placed, make up a building 
of undoubted antiquity. Inside, and lately recovered 
from the coal-hole, is a Norman lead font, thirty-two inches 
across. This is unique in Lincolnshire, though twenty-eight 
others are known in other counties, the best being that at 
Dorchester-on-Thames. From Barnetby we must retrace our 
steps for a couple of miles to see Bigby, which is well placed 


on the edge of the Wold. The church has corbels all round, 
as at Grantham, under a parapet of later build and of a lighter- 
coloured and harder stone. The old thick tower is of the yellow 
stone, with a good two-light window to the west. The porch 
is of oak with panelled sides. The nave has an Early English 
arcade of three bays, with slender octagonal pillars. The 
tower arch is low, the chancel arch lofty. Here we find two 
fonts, not superimposed, as at Cabourn, but one in each aisle. 
One is low and formed of grey marble, the other has an old 
carved stone bowl of nine panels on a new pedestal. This 
number of sides is unique. Near it is placed an incised slab 
showing the figure of a lady of the Skipwyth family, 1374, and 
another lady of the same name has a recumbent effigy in the 
chancel, c. 1400. The nave and chancel roof are one,^ and in 
the chancel are some more interesting monuments. On the 
floor a brass of Ehzabeth Tyrwhit, wife of William Skipwyth 
of Ormsby, c. 1520. On the north side a large altar tomb 
with alabaster effigies of Sir Robert Tyrwhit of Kettelbie, 1581, 
and his wife. He is on a plaited mattress rolled at each end 
for his head and feet, and below his feet a wild man or " Wode- 
howse " on all fours and covered with hair. Two of these 
support the feet of Ralph Lord Treasurer Cromwell in the fine 
brass at Tattershall, and the Willoughby chapel at Spilsby 
shows one. His wife lies nearest the wall, with a lion at her 
feet and a cushion for her head ; both wear ruffs, and he is in 
armour, but without helmet. In many respects the monument 
resembles the tomb of Sir John and Lady Hundon at Caistor, 
but is still more like the Ayscoughe tomb at StaJlingborough. 

On the two ends and front of the tomb are figures of their 
children, twenty-two in number, two or three infants in cradles, 
the rest all kneeling, and above them is the old metrical version 
of the 128th Psalm, running round three sides of the tomb. The 
front or middle portion bears the following lines : — 

Like fruitful vine on thy house side 
So doth thy wife spring out. 
Thy children stand like Oliveplantes 
Thy table round about. 
Thus art thou blest that fearest God, 
And he shall let thee see 
The promiesed Hierusalem 
and his felicitie. 

' As at Grantham, 

236 BROCKLESBY chap. 

Inside the chancel rails is a mural monument with life-size 
figures of a man and his wife kneeling, but the lady's head is 
gone. The man is Robert Tyrwhit, who made a runaway match 
with Lady Bridget Manners, maid of honour to Queen Elizabeth, 
who was highly incensed at it, and doubtless used language 
appropriate to the occasion. At the back of the sedilia two 
or three little brasses have been inserted, one to Edward Nayler, 
rector 1632, with wife and seven children. He is described 
as " a painefull minister of God's word." 

From Bigby four miles brings us to Brigg, passing near Kettleby, 
the home of the Tyrwhits, who kept up a blood feud with the 
Ros family till the beginning of the seventeenth century — not 
a very neighbourly proceeding — and as they only lived four 
miles apart their combats and murders were perpetual. 

The road which runs north from Caistor goes along the top 
of the Wold as far as " Pelham's Pillar," where the real High 
Wold stops. It is then 460 feet above sea level. Caistor itself, 
on the western slope, is only 150 feet up, but the High Wold 
keeps rising south of Caistor till it attains its highest point 
between Normanby-le-Wold and Stainton-le-Vale, at about 
525 feet. From " Pelham's Pillar" the road forks into three, 
and runs down into the flat at Riby, Brockleshy, and Kimington, 
where there is a church with a bright green spire sheathed 
with copper. Brockleshy, Lord Yarborough's seat, has a deer 
park more than two miles long. It is entered on the west 
side through a well-designed classical arch, erected by the 
tenantry in memory of the third lord. Extensive drives 
through the woods planted by the first lord, who married Miss 
Aufrere of Chelsea, and was created Baron Yarborough in 
1794, reach as far as the " Pelham Pillar," some six miles 
from Brockleshy. On the pillar it is recorded that twelve and 
a half million trees were planted. The planter, who rivals 
" Planter John," he who laid out the many miles of avenue at 
Boughton near Kettering, was an Anderson, whose grandmother 
was sister of Charles, the last of the Pelhams, hence the family 
name now is Anderson-Pelham. 

The mausoleum on the south side, designed by Wyatt in 
1794 in memory of Sophia, first Countess of Yarborough, is in 
the classical style, with a flat dome rising from a circular balu- 
strade supported on twelve fluted Doric columns. It stands 
on an ancient barrow, in it is a monument by Nollekens, of the 



Countess. The house, part of which was rebuilt after a fire in 
1898, has the appearance of a brick and stone Queen Anne 
mansion. In it are some of the exquisite wood carvings by 
Wallis of Louth, some of whose work was admired in the first 
" Great Exhibition " of 1851, attracting almost as much 
attention as the Koh-i-noor Diamond, then in its rough form, 
as worn by " .-Vkbar the Great," by Nadir Shah, and by "The 



li''cilafid. near Fulncy, Spaldhig 

Lion of the Punjab," Runjeet Sing. It is now in the crown 
of the Queen of England, and, being re-cut, is much smaller, 
but far more briUiant. In addition to a fine hall and stair- 
case there is a picture gallery- built in 1807 to take the paintmgs 
and sculptures which had been collected by Mr. John Aufrere 
of Chelsea, father-in-law of the first Lord Yarljorough. The 
gem of this collection is the antique bust of Niobe, purchased 
in Rome by Nollekens the sculptor, who has himself contributed 



a fine bust of tlie first earl's wife. In a conservatory are portions 
of another once famous collection of antiques, tombs, altars, 
and statues, made by Sir Richard Worsley and kept as a kind 
of classical museum till 1855 at Appuldurcombe in the Isle 
of Wight. 

Religious houses abounded here. Thornton Abbey is only 
five miles off, and here, outside the park to the north-west, 
is Newsham Abbey, 1143, perhaps the earliest Premonstra- 
tensian house in England. On the east was the Cistercian 
nunnery of Colham, and just at the south of the park, in the 
village of Limber, was an alien priory belonging to the Cistercian 
house of Aulnay in Normandy. Newsham abbey, which was worth 
twice what the other two were, became part of the spoil which 
was absorbed by Charles Brandon Duke of Suffolk. The gardens 
have some fine cedars, and the church with its curious tower 
and small spire is in the garden grounds. There are some 
Pelham monuments in it of the sixteenth and seventeenth 
century : one to Sir John and one to Sir William and Lady 
Pelham and their seventeen children. At her feet is the head 
of_ a king and the Pelham " Buckle," commemorating the 
seizure by a Pelham of King John of France, at the battle of 

Tkornton Abbey Gateway. 



Louth Church — "The Weder-Coke" — The Pilgrimage of Grace — Letter 
read in Lincoln Chapter-House from Henry VHI — "The Lyttel 
Clause " — The Blue Stone— Turner's Horse-fair — The Louth Spire — ■ 
Louth Park Abbey — Kiddington^- Roads from Louth — Cawthorpe and 
Ilaugham — Dr. Trought's Jump — Well Vale — Starlings. 

Louth spire is one of the sights of Lincolnshire ; it is a few 
feet higher than Grantham, which it much resembles, and 
in beauty of proportions and elegance of design one feels, as 
one looks at it, that it has really no rival, for Moulton, near 
Spalding, though on the same lines, is so much smaller. 

The way in which it bursts upon the view as the traveller 
approaches it from Kenwick, which lies to the southward, is 
a thing impossible to forget. Taking the place of originally 
a small Norman, and later a thirteenth century building, the 
present church of St. James dates from the fifteenth century. 
Louth once had two, if not three, other small churches, dedi- 
cated to St. John, St. Mary, and St. Herefrid ; but no certain 
traces of these remain, and only the north and south doorways 
of the thirteenth century church are now visible. Excava- 
tions made at the last restoration in 1867 revealed the pillar 
bases of this church and some fragments of eleventh century 
moulding of the earlier one. The present building has nothing 
of interest inside — it is only the shell from which the living 
tenant has long been absent. Once its" long aisles were filled 
with rich chapels, and the chancel arch was furnished with 
a rood-loft and screen, and the church was unusually rich in 
altars, vessels, vestments, and books, of which only the inventory 
remains. In the vestry an oak cupboard has medallions carved 

240 THE KING'S LETTER chap. 

in the panels of Henry VII. and Elizabeth of York ; and that 
is all. The steeple, with its large belfry windows, was doubt- 
less built for its clock and bells ; there were at first but three, ■ 
which in 1726 were increased to a full peal of eight, but the 
clock and its chime was there as early as 1500. The spire was 
not completed till 1815 ; the weathercock was fixed then, but 
no lightning-rod until 1844 after the spire had been struck 
and damaged three times, in the sixteenth, seventeenth and 
nineteenth centuries ; in the eighteenth it escaped. 

The first of the Louth churchwardens' books has an ill- 
written entry of the year 1515-16, the time of the second (or 
thirteenth century) church, which tells us that one Thomas 
Taylor, a draper, bought a copper basin in York and had it 
made at Lincoln into a " Wedercoke " for the church. This 
is very interesting, for the basin had been part of the spoil 
taken from the King of Scots at Flodden. 

Twenty years later the vicar of Louth was hanged with 
others, at Tyburn, for his part in the Lincolnshire rebellion, 
when 20,000 men took up arms in defence of the pillaged 
monasteries. Concerning this rebellion, there is a graphic 
account of the receipt of Henry Vlllth's letter in response to 
the people's petition, which was read in the chapter-house at 
Lincoln, on October 10, 1556. Moyne tells how, when they 
thought to have read the letter secretly among themselves 
in thie chapter-house, a mob burst in and insisted on hearing 
it : " And therefore," he goes on to say, " I redd the Kynges 
letter openly and by cause there was a lyttyl clause therein 
that we feared wolde styr the Commons I did leave that clause 
unredd, which was persayved by a Chanon beying the parson 
of Snelland, and he sayde there openly that the letter wais 
falsely redd be cause whereof I was like to be slayn." Eventu- 
ally they got out by the south door to the Chancellor's house, 
while the men waited to miirder them at the great West door, 
" And when the Commons persayved that wee were gone from 
theym another way, they departed to ther lodgings in a gret 
furye, determynyng to kill us the morowe after onles wee wolde 
go forwards with theym." 

The " lyttyl clause " referred to as likely to " styr the 
Commons," was wisely omitted, for it is that in which the 
king expresses his amazement at the presumption of the " rude 
commons of one shire, and that one of the most brute and 

Bridge Street, Louth, 


beastly of the whole realm and of least experience, to take 
upon them to rule their prince whom they were bound to obey 
and serve." 

This rebellion, which was called the Pilgrimage of Grace, 
brought disaster on many Lincolnshire families. Over sixty 
of all conditions were put to death for it in Louth alone, and 
others at Alford, Spilsby and Boston, and at all the monasteries, 
and the vicars of Cockerington, Louth, Croft, Biscathorpe, 
Donington and Snelland and some others, as well as John Lord 
Hussey at Sleaford, suffered for their religion and were canonized 
as martyrs by the Pope. A list of more than one hundred 
victims is given in " Notes and Queries," IIL, 84. 

The town has a museum of some interest, and outside of it 
may be seen a large boulder of some foreign stone, probably 
brought by an icefloe from Denmark or Norway. This used 
to stand at a street corner in the town, but was afterwards 
removed to the inn-yard at the back, and painted blue, and was 
known for many years as the blue stone. Speaking of stone, 
we have a record that a good deal of the stone for building 
the church spire in the sixteenth century was landed at Dog- 
dyke, and drawn thence on wheels or carried on pack horses 
on flag pavements across the fen. The stone is of good quality 
and adapted for carving. 

There is notably good openwork on the east gable of the 
church, much resembling that at Grimoldby and Theddle- 
thorpe-in-the-Marsh, a few miles to the east of Louth. Turner's 
picture of the horse fair at Louth shows the spire, which was 
no doubt the motive of the picture, and until one has seen it, 
both from a distance and from the street of Louth itself, one 
can have no notion how beautiful a thing a well-proportioned 
spire can be, one is never tired of looking at it. 

An old statue of Edward VL over a doorway in the Westgate 
indicates the grammar school where Alfred and Charles 
Tennyson spent a few uncomfortable years. The school seal 
shows a boy being birched, with the motto " Qui parcit virgam 
odit filium," and date 1552. Among other pupils were Governor 
Eyre, one of the victims of British sentimentality, and Hobart 
Pasha. Thomas of Louth gave a clock to Lincoln Minster 
in 1324, and William de Lindsey, Bishop of Ely, 1290, who has 
there a beautiful monument, was also a Louth native. 

Louth Park Abbejr, about a mile and a half to the east of the 


towrij was built on a site belonging to the Bishops of Lincoln, 
and was given to the Cistercian colony from Fountains Abbey, 
who found Haverholme too damp for comfort, by Bishop 
Alexander in 1139. The Cistercians built themselves a large 
church, 256 feet long and sixty-one feet in width, with transepts 
which more than doubled this : parts of these and the chancel, 

Hubbard's Mill, Louth. 

also a portion of the west front and one nave pillar, are all that 
is left of it, but the ground plan has been excavated, which 
shows that there were no fewer than ten bays to the nave, and 
massive circular piers. There was a cloister on the south, 
surrounded by monastic buildings, and east of these a chapter- 
house with groined roof springing from six pillars. A very 
lar^e gateway stood at the south-west, and outside was a 

E 2 


double moat to which the water from St. Helen's Spring was 
conducted by what is still known as " the Monk's Dyke." 
It flourished greatly at the beginning of the fourteenth century, 
having then sixty-six monks and 150 lay brethren. The Louth 
Park Abbey Chronicle, though very valuable, is . not exactly 
contemporaneous with the things it mentions, for it was all 
written by a scribe in the fifteenth century. It covers the 
years from 1066 to the death of Henry IV. in 141 3. 

Near the abbey, but on the other side of the canal, is 
Keddington, where the arch of the organ chamber is made of 
carved stones, no doubt brought from the abbey. The church, 
which is built of chalk and greensand, is older than any in 
the immediate neighbourhood, and has a Norman south door. 
It has a remarkable lancet window on the south side, in the 
upper part of which is a carved dragon, and has also what is 
very rare, a wooden medieval eagle lectern. 

Half-a-dozen main roads radiate from Louth, one might 
call it eight, for two of the half-dozen divide, one within a 
mile, and one at a distance of two miles from the town. They 
go, one north to Grimsby, twenty miles of level road along the 
marsh, and one west to Market Rasen, by the Ludfords and 
North Willingham, fifteen and a half miles. One mile out, 
this road divides and goes west and then south to Wragby by 
South Willingham, sixteen and a half miles. Both of these 
roads, as well as that which runs south-west to Horncastle, 
fourteen and a half miles, cross the Wolds and are distinctly 
hilly, rising and falling nearly four hundred feet. The fifth 
road, which goes due south to Spilsby, sixteen miles, though 
seldom as much as 250 feet higher than Louth, which stands 
• about seventy-five feet above sea level, affords fine views, and 
is a very pleasant road to travel. But all these highways 
must be dealt with in detail later. The sixth road from Louth 
runs south-east to Alford, and keeps on the level of the marsh, 
and the seventh and eighth roads run eastwards across the 
marsh to the sea, one branching off the Alford road at Kenwick 
and avoiding all villages, comes to the coast at Saltfleet ; the 
other, starting out from Louth by Keddington and Alvingham, 
loses itself in many small and endlessly twisting roads which 
connect the various villages and reaches the sea eventually 
at Donna Nook and Saltfleet, places five miles apart, with no 
passage to the sea between them — nothing but mud flats. 


samphire beds and sea birds. There is a charm about " the 
waste enormous marsh," and also about the high and windy 
Wolds, which never palls, but before we journey along either 
of the highways from Louth I should like to introduce one of 
those byways which form the chief delight of people who love 
the country. 

We will leave Louth, then, by the Spilsby road, and when 
we reach the second milestone, 147 miles from London, turn 
and look at the beautiful spire of Louth Church rising from 
a group of elms in the middle distance of a wide panorama. 
From our height of 300 feet we look across the whole marsh to 
the sea, ten miles to the east, and far on beyond Louth we 
look northwards towards Grimsby and the Humber, the 
perpetually shifting lights and shades caused by the great 
cumulus clouds in these fine level views, the many farm- 
steads and occasional church towers — 

" The crowded farms and lessening towers " 

of our own Lincolnshire poet — all combine to make a very 
satisfactory picture to which the wonderfully wide extent which 
lies unrolled before us, lends enchantment ; and always the eye 
reverts to rest with delight on that perfect spire standing so 
high above the trees by the banks of the river Lud. 

At length we turn and pursue our way, but soon quit the 
Spilsby road and go down the hill to the left, past the entrance 
to Kenwick Hall, till we reach the Alford road, and, turning 
to the right, come to the pretty little village of Cawihorpe. 

This is not a bad centre for country walks. You can walk 
on a raised footpath all along the side of the curious water- 
lane, and if you go out in the opposite direction the road to 
Haugham takes you through two miles of as pretty a road as you 
could desire ; it is called " Haugham Pastures," but it is really 
a road through a wood, without hedges, reminding one of the 
New Forest or the " Dukeries." On the right, going from 
Cawthorpe, the trees extend some distance with oak and fern 
and all that makes the beauty of an English wood; on the 
other side it is only a belt of trees through which at intervals 
a grassy tract curves off from the road and leads to the fields ; 
and as we passed in September we could see the corn-laden 
waggons moving up towards us or the teams going afield among 
the sheaves. No county could supply a prettier series of 



pictures of simple pastoral beauty than this byway through 
" Haugham Pastures." A deep lane near the little brick- 
built manor-house is noticeable as the site of a famous jump. 
The roadway is about fifteen feet wide, with steep sides and 
a low hedge, the top of which is nine or ten feet above the 
roadway. Over these Dr. Trought of Louth, on a famed hunter. 

The Lud at Louth. 

once jumped for a wager, flying from field to field, a distance 
of some twenty feet. 

One of the charming peculiarities of Cawthorpe is that here 
the " Long Eau " stream runs between hedge-banks over a 
level sand and gravel bed and forms a water street, which extends 
for about a furlong. There is a similar thing at Swaby, six 
miles to the south, where the " Great Eau " runs along a 


street or road through the village. At Cawthorpe the water 
is always running and usually about six inches deep. The 
village lies in a hollow with curiously twisting little roads in 
it, and is very picturesque with its farms and trees and quaint 
little brick manor-house standing near the church at the three 
cross ways. 

Rising from the hollow, the small byway runs with here 
and there beautiful trees and often on the right a tall hedge 
or narrow strip of plantation, reminding one of the roadside 
" shaws " in Hampshire, while on the left there is always a 
view down over cornfields and beyond the tops of the Tothill 
oak woods right across the fertile belt of the. marsh to the 
shining line of the distant sea. With many a twist the byway 
runs on through Muckton village to Belleau, where it crosses 
the above-mentioned Swaby or Calceby beck and looks down 
on the picturesque church, standing in the grassy meadows, 
and on the brick turret and groined archways of the old Manor- 
house, and so on to South Thoresby, where the broken ground 
and the fine trees tell of an old mansion which stood there till 
last century ; and past Rigsby, till it meets the Spilsby and 
Alford highway just below Miles-cross-Hill, whence it runs on 
through the avenue of elms to Well. And all the way, as it 
has run along the top of the eastern escarpment of the Wold, 
it has afforded us an outlook over a wide expanse of the 
marsh such as none of the other roads on the high wolds can 
equal. True, the Lincoln cliff road gives a finer view and 
runs further, but I don't think there is any prettier ten-mile 
stretch in the county than this ' Middle road ' from Well to 

At the entrance gate of Well Vale Hall the road divides, 
either route ending at Alford. Well Vale, a fine sporting estate 
and also a famous stronghold for foxes, the residence of Mr. 
Walter H. Rawnsley, is, I venture to think, the prettiest spot 
in the county. For a mile or more a grassy track descends 
from the top of Miles-Cross-Hill through a wooded valley 
where fine beeches stretch out their long arms, and pines and 
larch crown the chalky turf-clad sides, till the mouth of the 
Vale opens out into a park, whose rolling slopes are studded 
with handsome trees, and as you near the mansion, the front 
of which looks out across its brilliant flower-beds and quaint 
pinnacled gateway upon the Uttle church flanked by branching 

248 HISTORY OF WELL chap. 

elms on the summit of a grassy hill, you see a fine sheet of water 
fed by a copious chalk stream which passes the house and is 
then conducted to a still larger lake on the garden side, stretch- 
ing with a double curve from the giant cedars on the lawn to 
a vanishing point, of which glimpses only are caught through 
the stems of the Scotch firs and oaks in the distance. The 
history of Well goes back to Roman times, and has been told 
fully by the Rev. E. H. R. Tatham, Rector of the neighbouring 
parish of Claxby, where the site of a Roman camp is still visible, 
another being at Willougliby, two miles off eastwards in the 
levels, where the marsh begins. 

The name was derived in Saxon times from the strong spring 
which wells out from the chalk and feeds the lakes on either 
side the house. The names Burwell and Belleau in the im- 
mediate neighbourhood are of similar origin, though the latter 
is a Norman name. At the time of the Conquest Well and 
Belleau were both bestowed on Gilbert de Gaunt, the Con- 
queror's nephew, and were let by him to one Ragener, whose 
family took the addition " de Welle " and lived here for four 
centuries. In the thirteenth century we hear of a church at 
Well, and William de Welle (the third of the name) in 1283 
obtained a licence for a market and fair at Alford, His son 
Adam was summoned to Parliamenc as a baron in 1299. In 
the fifteenth century the name was changed from Welle to 
Welles, and Leo Lord Welles fell at Towton in 1461. The title 
was now combined with that of Willoughby d'Eresby, and 
Leo's son, Richard, who took it jure uxoris, he having married 
the Willoughby heiress, was the Lord Welles who was so 
basely put to death in 1470 by Edward IV. for complicity 
in the Lincolnshire rebellion, together with his son-in-law, 
T. Dymoke, and his son Robert. See Chap. XXXIII. 

Leo, who fell at Towton, had married for his second wife, 
Margaret Duchess of Somerset, and her son John joined 
Henry VII., and after the battle of Bosworth the king restored 
to him the Welles estate which had been forfeited after Robert's 
execution, made him a viscount, and gave him the hand of 
Cicely, daughter of Edward IV. and sister to his own queen, 
in marriage. It is interesting to read in Mr. Tatham's paper 
that " This lady carried the heir-apparent. Prince Arthur, at 
his baptism at Winchester in i486." She subsequently married 
one of the Kyme family of Kyme Tower near Boston. John 


Viscount Welles died in 1499, and the male line of the Welles 
became extinct, but the Willoughby line went on, for Cicely, 
the sister of the unfortunate Richard Welles, had married Sir 
R. Willoughby, and her grandson William succeeded to that 
title as the ninth Lord Willoughby. He was the father of 
Catharine Duchess of Suffolk and subsequently wife of Richard 
Bertie, whose monument occupies so large a space in the 
Willoughby chapel at Spilsby. The Welles estate remained 
with the Willoughbys (who in 1626 were created Earls of 
Lindsey) till 1650, when the extortionate fines levied on Royalist 
famiUes by the Parliament made it necessary for Belleau and 
Welle to be sold. Belleau went to Sir H. Vane, and Well to 
W. Wolley, who sold it about 1700 to Anthony Weltden, a man 
who had a romantic career in the early days of the Hon. East 
India Company. From him Well passed to James Bateman, 
one of whose sons became Lord Bateman. Another, James, 
succeeded to the estate and built the present house about 
1725, a wing of which was pulled down about 1845. This 
James married Anne, daughter of Sir Robert Chaplin of Tath- 
well, who also came to live and die at Well. Bateman's daughter 
and heiress married a Dashwood in 1744 — probably it was he 
who planted the Vale (he died in 1825) — and in 1838 the estate 
was purchased by Mr. Christopher Nisbet Hamilton, whose 
daughter, Mrs. Hamilton Ogilvy, has just sold it to Mr. Walter 
H. Rawnsley. 

The following lines were written on the gate at the top of 
Well Vale by a traveller taking his yearly tramp from Horn- 
castle for a dip in the sea at Mablethorpe, a good twenty miles. 

Some say " All's well that ends well," 
But here Well begins well. 
They say too " Truth is in a well," 
But here there is in truth a Well. 
Welcome then Well ! since I well come along to her, 
For well I've known Well and the charms that belong to her 
Passing well to the view looks the Vale of fair Well, 
And I, passing Well too, must bid her farewell 
'Till again I'm this way ; or perhaps for aye. 
Farewell then (or ' vale ') to fair Well Vale. 
Farewell ! fair Well ! 

This is more than a mere assemblage of puns — there is some 
poetry in the old fellow, and the penultimate line has an added 
pathos from the fact that only a few months later the poet 

250 THE STARLINGS , chap, xxi 

bid his final farewell to life, on November lo, in the same year, 
at the age of seventy-six. 

Speaking of Well Vale, I think I have seen and heard more 
starlings collected together in a young larch plantation there 
than I ever came across at once elsewhere. The only multitude 
of birds at all comparable to it was the army of cranes I have 
seen covering half a mile or more of sandbank in the Nile, near 
Komombos, while clouds of them kept dropping from the sky. 
They have black wings and white bodies, so that aloft they 
looked black, but standing on the sandbank as close as they 
could pack they looked all white. 

But to return to our starlings. It is a very curious thing 
this massing of countless thousands of these birds amongst the 
osiers ^ in the fenny parts of the county, or iii some of the planta- 
tions in the Wolds. If you take your stand about sunset near 
one of these, when the wood pigeons, after much noisy flapping 
of their wings, have settled down to rest, a loud whirring noise 
will make you look up to see the sky darkened by a cloud of 
these birds, which will be only the advance portion of the multi- 
tudes that will quickly be converging from all sides to their 
roosting quarters. They have been feeding in many places, 
often at a considerable distance ; but each night they assemble, 
and for a quarter of an hour or more the noise of their chatter- 
ing and fluttering as each successive flight comes in will be 
indescribable. If a disturbing noise is made, myriads will 
rise with one loud rush, but nothing will prevent their return 
and, when the noise and movement has at length subsided, 
the trees will be black with their living load, which will sleep till 
sunrise, and then again disperse for the day in quest of food, 
returning every night for several weeks, till the call of spring 
scatters them for good. 

■' Where there were no osiers they took to the reeds. A Ramsay man, 
now in his 95th year (1914), remembers the reed-harvest at Whittlesey Mere 
being frequently injured by the clouds of starlings who roosted in them. 


Anglo-Saxon, Norman and Mediseval Art — Fonts. 

When we talk of Anglo-Saxon art it is not to be implied 
that no artistic work was done before Saxon time in Britain. 
But if we speak of churches, though doubtless British churches 
were once to be found here, there are certainly none now existing, 
and we cannot get back beyond Saxon times. The British 
churches were built probably of wattle, or at the best of stones 
without mortar, and so were not likely to be long-lived. Still, 
Stonehenge is British work, and domed huts, like beehives, 
similar to but smaller and ruder than those to be still seen in 
Greece, were made by the ancient Britons. It was the Romans 
who first introduced architecture to our land. They had learnt 
it from those wonderful people, the pioneers of so much that 
we all value, the Greeks, who in turn had got their lessons from 
Egypt and Assyria. That takes us back eight thousand years, 
and we still profit by the art thus handed down through the 
centuries. When the Romans left us, all the arts at once 
declined in our islands, and notably the art of building. 

In speaking of the churches in the south of the county, I drew 
attention to the number in which traces of Saxon work were 
still visible and spoke of the two remarkable specimens only 
three miles over the border at Wittering and Barnack. It is 
pleasant to hear so good an authority as Mr. Hamilton Thompson 
say that Lincolnshire is more rich than any other county in 
churches which, though only in few instances of a date indis- 
putably earlier than the Conquest, yet retain traces of an 
architecture of a distinctly pre-Norman character. We do not 
vie with Kent and Northumbria, for we cannot show any- 
thing which can be referred to the first century of Anglo- 

252 SAXON TOWERS chap. 

Saxon Christianity associated with the name of Augustine, 
nor had St. Ninian, St. Kentigern, St. Oswald, St. Cuthbert, 
or St. Wilfrid any work to do in Lincolnshire. St. Paulinus 
alone, by his visit to Lincoln, connected the province of Lindsey, 
which was part of his diocese of York, with the religious life 
of Northumbria. But the only existing trace of this is the 
dedication of the church in Lincoln to St. Paul, i.e., St. Paulinus. 

Still, Saxon architecture was a real thing in the two centuries 
preceding the Norman invasion, and we have in Lincolnshire 
an unusually large number of churches (I can mention no 
less than thirty-eight at once), which represent a late state 
of Saxon architecture carried out probably by Saxon work- 
men for Norman employers and bearing traces of Norman 
influence. At Stow, near Lincoln, is some very fine Saxon 
work, but there the Norman overlies the Saxon more decidedly 
than it does in the notable church of Barton-on-Humber ; 
both of these have been discussed in previous chapters. But 
we may here draw attention to the less magnificent Saxon 
remains in the county, and notice how often the churches 
with Saxon work still visible, lie in groups. Thus, quite in 
the north we have Barton, Winterton, and Alkborough, with 
Worlaby not far off. Then in the course of ten miles along 
the road from Caistor to Grimsby we have Caistor, Cabourn, 
Nettleton, Rothwell, Cuxwold, Swallow, Laceby, Scartho, and 
Clee ; with Holton-le-Clay and Waith just to the south on the 
road to Louth. On the west, near Gainsborough, we have 
a group of five close together at Corringham, Springthorpe, 
Harpswell, Heapham, and Glentworth ; and Marton and Stow are 
not far away, one by the Trent and the other on the central 
road between the Trent and the ' Cliff.' 

Lincoln has its two famous church towers of St. Mary-le- 
Wigfords and St. Peters-at-Gowts. Near it, to the south, 
are Bracebridge, Bramston, Harmston and Coleby, the two 
latter close together, and all with traces of " Long-and-Short " 
work ; and if we continue our way southwards, we shall pass 
Hough-on-the-Hill between Grantham and Newark, with its 
interesting pre-Conquest stair turret, and so finish our Saxon 
tour by visiting three churches on or near the river Glen, at 
Boothby-PagneTl, Little Bytham and Thurlby. This is not 
an exhaustive list, for Great Hale near Heckington must be 
included, and Cranwell near Sleaford and Ropsleynear Grantham, 


both show " Long-and-Short " work. But the more closely the 
churches mentioned are examined, the more clear it becomes 
that, though the dates of the building, when we can get at 
them, mostly point us to the eleventh century, the art is of a 
pre-Conquest type, and could only have been executed before 
the general spread of Norman influence which that century 
witnessed. We are therefore quite justified in speaking of 
this work as Saxon. 

Here, perhaps, the term " Long-and-Short " work should 
be explained. 

It is often said that the Saxon architecture was the develop- 
ment in stone of the building which had previously been done 
in timber and wattle, and thus in Barnack, and Barton, and 
at Stow, but nowhere else in Lincolnshire, parallel strips of 
stone run up the tower at intervals of a couple of feet, as if 
representing the upright timbers. This theory, perhaps, will 
not bear pressing ; still, though the arch over a window is often 
triangular, made by leaning two slabs one against another, 
not unfrequently a square-ended stone projects from the top 
of a rounded arch, which seems to be a reminiscence in stone 
of the end of a wooden beam. This may be seen at Barnack 
on the south side of the tower. The towers have no buttresses, 
and though the stones between the upright strips are small 
and rubbley, the stones at the angles of the tower are fairly 
large and squared. When these are long-shaped, but set 
alternately perpendicular and horizontal, this is called " Long- 
and-Short •'' work, and is definitely " Saxon," even though 
built by Norman hands. The herring-bone work, as seen at 
Marton, is Romanesque and a sign of Norman builders. They 
also copied the Romans in facing a rubble core with dressed 
stone, whereas the Saxons only used dressed stones at the 

The enormous activity of the Norman builders in every part 
of the kingdom has thrown previous architectural efforts into 
the shade ; but the Normans found in England a by no 
means barbarous people. Anglo-Saxon or Anglian art had 
exhibited developments in many directions, in metal work and 
jewellery, in illumination of MSS., in needlework, in stone- 
carving, as well as in architecture ; and when Augustine 
landed in 597 it was not to a nation of barbarous savages, 
but to people quite equal in many ways to those he had lived 



among in Italy 
^ or conversed with 
g in Gaul J that he 
■4 had to preach the 
"& tenets of Chris- 
I tianity. As proof 
^ of this we can 
■§ point to the beau- 
I tiful carved stone- 
^ work of the 
I Anglians of North- 
^ umbria on the 
j^ great crosses of 
J Bewcastle and 
^ Ruthwell, and the 
B cross of Bishop 
S Acca of Hexham^ 
I now in the Durham 
J library, all of the 
I seventh century ; 
g and to the Lindis- 
t fame Gospels of 
^ St. Wilfred's time 
i which was only 
.5 some nfty years 
I later ; whilst to 
5 show the con- 
w tinuity of Anglo- 
's Saxon art we have 
:- the St. Cuthbert 
i stole in the Dur- 
;^ ham Cathedral 
I library, a triumph 
I of needlework by 

the nuns of Win- 

1 Chester in the 
i« days .of Athel- 
1 Stan ; and, besides 
■g the celebrated 
^ Alfred Jewel, 

a silver trefoil 


brooch^ found at Kirkoswald in Cumberland, which, for 
purity of design, richness of ornamentation and beauty of 
execution, it would be difficult to match in any age or 
country, and the cloak chain, found at Fiskerton, described in 
Chapter XIV.; all these are quite first-rate in their different 
lines, and should make us speak with respect of our Saxon 

Having already noted the Gainsborough group (Chap. XVII.) 
and the Caistor group (Chap. XX.), we will now make our way 
towards a third group of pre-Norman towers to be seen on the 
Louth and Grimsby road. 

In Norman times strongholds and churches were built all 
over the country', and doubtless many domestic houses which 
did not aspire to be more than ordinary dwelling-places. It 
is curious how almost entirely these have vanished ; one at 
Boothby Pagnell and three in Lincoln are among the very few 
left. In Lincoln ' The Jews' House,' ' Aaron's House,' and 
' John of Gaunt's Stables ' or ' St. Mary's Guild ' go back to 
the beginning of the twelfth century. They none of them 
would satisfy our modem notions of comfort, but neither do 
the much later houses, such as the mediseval merchant's house 
called " Strangers' Hall," in Norwich, which is so interesting 
and so obviously uncomfortable. When King John of France 
was confined at Somerby Castle in the fourteenth century 
he had to import furniture from France to take the place of 
the benches and trestles which was all that the castle boasted, 
and to hang draperies and tapestries on the bare walls ; and 
though some of these were supplied him by his captor, comfort- 
able furniture seems to have been not even dreamt of at that 
time in England. 

For the churches the Normans did surprisingly well, as far 
as the building and stonework went, but the beautiful wood- 
work, which is the glory of our Lincolnshire marsh churches, 
is mostly the work of the men of the fifteenth and early six- 
teenth century. We see this mediaeval workmanship sometimes 
in the bench ends and stalls and miserere seats, but most 
notably in such of the rood screens as have escaped the succes- 
sive onslaughts made on them in the sixteenth and seventeenth 
centuries, whilst the shameful neglect of the eighteenth and 
the shocking ignorance of both clergy and laity in that and the 
* Figured in Lyson's Cumberland p. ccvii. 

2s6 ROOD-SCREENS chap. 

first part of the nineteenth century^ have swept away much 
that was historically of the utmost interest, and which the 
better informed and more responsible guardians of the churches 
to-day would have preserved and treasured. This mediaeval 
woodwork is found most frequently in the more remote parts 
of the country. The best rood loft I have ever seen is in a little 
church in Wales, near Towyn, and some of the finest rood screens 
with canopies are in the churches of Devon ; of these, Mr. 
Hubert Congreve, in his paper contributed to the Worcester 
Archffiological Society, notes that at Stoke-in-Teignhead there 
is one of the fourteenth century, carved in the reign of Richard II. 
From this the loft has been removed, and it was generally the 
case that when this was taken away as idolatrous, the screen 
itself was not objected to. 

Many of these screens in the Devon churches have an 
extremely rich and deep cornice, and they often extend right 
across the nave and both the aisles. Perhaps the finest of these 
is in the famous parson Jack Russell's church at Swymbridge. 
This is of the fifteenth century. From the same source we 
learn that Bovey Tracey has a similar screen, but it has had to 
be greatly restored since the Commonwealth destruction, and 
that Atherington has a lovely screen in the north aisle, with fan- 
shaped coving springing from figures of angels holding shields. 
The cornice is delicately carved, and there is some fine canopy 
work over the parapet, with niches which once held figures 
of the saints. This screen was originally in the chapel at 
Umber] eigh Manor, and is perhaps the only screen in the county 
which has never been painted. When I visited lately the 
quaint little town of Toines I saw what is most uncommon — ■ 
a stone screen. This dates from 1479, and is richly and 
beautifully carved, much after the pattern of the screen in the 
Lady Chapel at Exeter Cathedral. 

All this fine mediaeval work suffered terribly fron the ultra- 
Protestant mania for iconoclasm which exhibited itself in the 
reign of Edward VI., in 1547, and again under Elizabeth in 1561. 
Finally, under the Parliament both in 1643 and 1644, was 
issued "An ordinance of the Lords and Commons assembled 
in Parliament for the utter demolishing, removing and taking 
away of all Monuments of superstition and idolatry." 

This Act provided specifically for the taking away of all 
altar rails and the levelling of the " Chancel-ground " and the 


removal of the Communion table from the east end, and the 
destruction of all stone altars, so that it is always noticeable 
when we find one such, either in a side chapel or in the pave- 
ment, with its five and occasionally six dedication crosses cut 
on the stone. Norwich has one in which a small black slab 
bearing the crosses is let into the large altar slab. 

All images, " representative of the persons of the Trinity 
or of any Angell or Saint " were to be " utterly demolished," 
and all vestments " defaced " : with the quaint proviso that 
the order should " not extend to any image, picture or coat-of- 
arms set up or graven onely for a Monument of any King, 
Prince or Nobleman, or other dead person which hath not been 
commonly reputed or taken for a saint." 


In our English churches the most noticeable bit of mediaeval 
work is in many cases the font, which has often escaped when 
all the rest of the building inside and out has been defaced by 
neglect or destroyed by restoration. Much destruction followed 
on the Reformation, and even in Elizabeth's reign, in spite 
of a royal mandate to preserve the old form of baptism " at 
the font and not with a bason," attacks were constantly made 
on the fonts, and especially on the font-covers, which makes 
the preservation of the Frieston font-cover with a figure of the 
Virgin Mary on the top very remarkable. We have in the 
churchwardens' accounts in various places this contemptuous 
entry : — 

" Item.: For takynge doune ye thynge ower thefunt XII"*." 

Parliamentarian soldiers went to greater lengths and broke 
up the font itself in very many churches. The bowls were 
often cast out or buried in the churchyard. At Ambleston 
in Wales the font pedestal was only ten years ago found in use 
by a farmer as a cheese-press, and the bowl on another farm 
doing duty as a pig-trough. 

Still many have escaped with the loss of their carved covers, 
and how great the loss is can be judged when we see the beauty 
of such work as the cover which we still have at Ufford in 
Suffolk, eighteen feet high, or the similar ones at Grantham 
and Fosdyke and Frieston in our own county, or at Ewelme 
(Oxon), and Thaxted (Essex), and again in Suffolk at Sudbury- 



St. Gregory and Hepworth, and one at Thirsk in Yorkshire 
which rises to the height of twenty-one feet. Sometimes the 
cover takes the form of a canopy, as at Swymbridge in Devon, 
and more beautifully in that erected by Bishop Cosin at Durham 
in 1663. The Sudbury font-cover has doors in it, as we see in 
the Jacobean cover in Burgh-le-Marsh church, and in the 
beautiful modern cover at Brant Broughton, both in Lincoln- 

There were at one time many Saxon fonts, most of which 
were swept away and replaced in a different form by the Normans. 
One of the earliest we have is in St. Martin's Church, Canterbury, 
the lower part of which, built of twenty-eight wedge-shaped 
stones, is Saxon or Romano-British, the upper part being 
Norman put on to heighten it, with the old Saxon rim crowning 
it, though by some this is called Transitional. This font was 
inside the church when King Ethelbert was baptised by St. 
Augustine in the ninth century. But we get back still further 
when we find runic inscriptions, as on the wonderful square 
tub font at Bridehirk, Cumberland, and on the little low 
hollowed stone at Bingley, Yorkshire, attributed to the eighth 
century, and having three lines of runes which are read thus : — 

" Eadbert, King, ordered to hew this dipstone for us, pray 
you for his soul." He reigned 737 to 758, when as yEthelred 
King of Mercia in 675, had done at Bardney Abbey in the 
previous century, he resigned the crown and took the tonsure. 
Mellor, in Derbyshire, has a Saxon font, but without inscrip- 

The remarkable font at Bag Enderby, Lincolnshire {see 
Chap. XXX.), with its Scandinavian myth, is unique among 
fonts, though it has counterparts on many of the pre-Norman 
crosses in Northumbria. The font at Deerhurst, Gloucester- 
shire, is also a very early one, and covered with Celtic scroll- 
work, this, though of the same kind, is bigger than the usual 
plain little stone tubs which, as a rule, mark the Saxon period. 

The Norman fonts also are mainly of tub form, but often 
ornamented with cable moulding and arcading, as at Silk 
Willoughby, Lincolnshire. 

The lead fonts, twenty-nine of which are in existence, are all 
Norman ; most of these have arcading all round and figures 
within the arches ; perhaps the best is at Dorchester, Oxon, 
showing the apostles. But at Brookland, in Romney Marsh, 


there is a double row of arcading with tlie signs of the Zodiac 
above, and figures cleverly emblematic of the months below. 
At CMldrey, Berks, the figures are without arcading and 
represent bishops with crosiers, all quaintly of the same 
attenuated shape., and in very high relief. Berkshire and 
Oxon have several of these lead fonts, and Gloucestershire 
exhibits six, all cast in the same mould ; Lincolnshire has 
only one at Barnetby-le-Wold, which is noticeable, however, 
as being the largest of them all, thirty-two inches in diameter ; 
that at Brookland being the deepest with sixteen inches. 

The Tournai group of black marble or basalt with thick 
central pedestal and four comer shafts, of which that at 
Winchester is the best, are described under Lincoln, in Chap. 
XIX. This form of support is pretty general through the 
thirteenth century, often with much massive carving and 
ornamentation on bowl and shafts, until the shafts developed, 
in some cases, into an open arcade round the central pillar, 
as best seen at Barnack, Northants. The tallest fonts and 
finest in design are of the fifteenth century, and are mostly 
octagonal pedestal fonts and frequently mounted on steps 
as in the churches of the Marsh near Boston, e.g., Beningion 
and Leverton. Some bowls are found with seven panels as at 
Hundleby, six as at Ewerby, Heckington and Sleaford, nine as 
at Orleton, in Herefordshire, and at Bigby, in Lincolnshire, 
thus giving eight panels for figures, and allowing one to be 
placed against a wall or pillar ; and ten, twelve, fourteen, and 
sixteen are not unknown. In our own county we have mem- 
tioned the font in nearly every case when describing a church, 
and will only now recall a few instances of the best. In addition 
to the Tournai font at Thornton Curtis and that of lead at 
Barnetby, the finest specimens of Early English will be found 
at Thorpe St. Peter's near Wainfleet — a very chaste design ; 
the supporting shafts are gone, but the capitals show heads of 
bishop, king, and knight, and a knot of flowers supporting the 
bowl ; and at Weston, near Spalding, where is one of singularly 
graceful form, standing on steps with a broad platform for the 
priest. At Thurlby, near Bourne, is a tub of Barnack stone 
which has pilasters all round it, and curious carved work 
dividing the panels, the whole being set on four square stone 

Of Decorated fonts, Ewerby is remarkable ; hexagonal, with 


sides going straight down from the bowl, each panel represent- 
ing a window with tracery, tending in design to Perpendicular, 
so that it probably dates from the end of the fourteenth century. 
The windows are filled with diaper work, and surrounded by 
a border of quatre-foils and flowing foliage. Other good 
Decorated fonts are at Strubhy and Maltby-le-Marsh and Hutfqft, 
all near Alford. The Perpendicular period is best seen at 
Covenham St. Mary, North Somercotes, Bourne, Pinchbeck, 
Leverton, and Benington. 

It is on the panels of the handsome fifteenth century fonts 
that the seven sacraments are carved, leaving one panel for 
any appropriate subject, and these panels are often real 
pictures of the methods of the time, and form most valuable 
records ; the pedestal usually has its panels filled with Apostolic 
figures. \ 

It is curious that nearly all the thirty " seven sacrament 
fonts " in the kingdom are found in East Anglia ; those of 
Walsoken, Little Walsinghani, East Dereham, and Great Glenham 
in Norfolk, and Westall in Suffolk, are specially fine. And the 
churchwarden's accounts for East Dereham show that no 
expense was spared on the making ; the total of £12 145. 2d., 
being equivalent to over £200 of our money. 

The sacraments depicted are Baptism, Confirmation, Penance, 
The Eucharist, Holy Orders, Holy Matrimony, and Extreme 
Unction. But to return to our own county. 

Utterby, near Louth, has an open channel to drain the water 
off from the font into the churchyard — a very uncommon 

Wickenby, near Wragby, retains the old bar and staple to 
secure the font cover, at the time when the fonts were all 
ordered to be locked to prevent possibility of the water being 
tainted by magic. " Water bewitched " is a familiar expression 
for weak tea. I wonder if it comes from this. 

Of later fonts the quaintest is in Moulton church, near Spalding, 
and now disused. It represents the trunk of a tree carved 
in stone, the branches going round the bowl and the serpent 
round the trunk, with Adam and Eve, rather more than half 
life size, discussing the apple. It dates from 1830, and seems 
to be a copy of one in the church of St. James', Piccadilly, 
said to have been carved in marble by Grinling Gibbons. 

Mr. Francis Bond, in his charming book on porches and 


fonts, says that some of the fonts in our most ancient Lincoln- 
shire churches, Cabourn, Waith, Scartho and Clee, look older 
than they are by reason of their coarse workmanship. He 
notes that the cover of the Skirbeck font belonged to a larger 
one destroyed by the Puritans, the present font having been 
put up in 1662. 

The material of all the fonts described above is either stone 
or lead. We have very few of any other material, but of these 
by far the most interesting are those made of solid oak, of 
which specimens are extant at Dinas-Mawddwy (pronounced 
Mouthy) and Evenechtyd in Wales. But one might go on long 
enough talking about fonts, and I would only urge readers to go 
themselves and study them, and if they would pick out a few 
of the finest they should visit the fonts and font covers we have 
mentioned, and especially such typical fonts as are to be found 
at Winchester >and Durham, at Walsoken in Norfolk, at Fishlake 
in Yorkshire, and Bridekirh in Cumberland, whenever they 
happen to be in those neighbourhoods. 

The worst of fonts is that they are so easily removable. 
Even in such out-of-the-way places as Crowle the font has not 
remained, though the Norman south wall with its beautiful 
doorway is in quite good repair. 



The Grimsby Group of Pre-Norman Towers — Waith — Holton-le-Clay — 
Scartho — Clee — Humberstone — Tetney — Ravendale — Ashby-cum- 
Fenby — Roads to Lincoln and Horncastle — Hainton — Glentham^ 
West Rasen — The Pack-horse Bridge — Toft-next-Newton and Newton- 
by-Toft — Gibbet-posts — Middle Rasen — The Labourer — Market Rasen 
— North Willinghatn — Tealby and Bayons Manor — Bishop Odo — 
South Elkington — Road from Horncastle — The South Wolds — 
Tathwell — Jane Chaplin. 

The road from Louth to Grimsby, in its first part, is described 
elsewhere ; but north of Ludborough it passes through a 
succession of small villages in each of which is a very early 
church tower. These are all somewhat similar to the two 
primitive churches in Lincoln and to the famous one at Barton- 
on-Humber, but they have no " Long-and-Short " work which 
is distinctive of the Saxon towers, and so the term Romanesque 
perhaps best describes them. They are certainly pre-Norman. 
Similar groups have been described near Caistor and Gains- 
borough in Chaps. XVII. and XX., and others mentioned 
in Chap. XXII. It was a bright and breezy morning early in 
June when we set out from Well to visit this remarkable group. 
The trees were at their best, chestnuts and may trees still in 
bloom, and in the wayside gardens the laburnum with its 
" dropping-wells of fire " was a joy to see. As we passed 
along the wind brought the strong scent of the mustard fields 
and the delicious perfume of the beans, not badly described 
by the Barber to his wife as " just like the very most delicious 
hair-oil, my dear." The pastures were golden with butter- 
cups, but the most wonderful sight of all was the profusion 

CH. xxiii JUNE FLOWERS 263 

of chervil, or cow-parsley (Anthriscus), which, with its lace- 
like flowers, at times filled the space of grass between the road 
and the hedge with mile upon mile of its delicate white blossom, 
and in places lined every hedge, showing above the ordinary 
low-cut Lincolnshire fence, or, where the hedge was higher, 
whitening the lower half in lines of flowery loveliness. It 
nowhere encroached on the cultivated land, but every hedge 
and ditch and roadside was marked out by it in a profusion 
of soft white blossoms which was quite astonishing. We note 
that the " tender ash " is still, as our Lincolnshire poet has it, 
delaying ' to clothe herself when all the woods are green,' but 
a few days of such balmy sunshine will woo even her leaves 
from out the bud, and full summer will be with us. The red 
cattle are feeding in little herds, and the sheep, white froni 
the hands of the shearer, are dotted about the fields. The 
labourers seem, most of them, to be at the same work, weeding 
the com ; but as we get further on to the heavy lands whence 
Holton-le-Clay so aptly gets its name, we see teams of four 
horses abreast harnessed to the " Drags," by which the great 
clods are broken up. 

The first of the group of towers we look at is Waith, a small 
cruciform building in a churchyard thickly planted with trees, 
two fine cedars among them. There are some Early English 
arcades to the nave, but outside, the tower alone is ancient. 
This originally was just the width of the nave, and has no 
openings in the north and south walls. It is also built, not 
of rubble with quoins, but of dressed stones throughout, solidly 
but roughly built, with a tiny opening low down ; and above 
the invariable string course, a double light of two small round- 
headed arches supported by a stout mid-wall shaft with heavy 
impost. Coming away, we note on a tombstone the curious 
and possibly Roman surname ' Porcass.' Two miles south- 
west is Gminsby where, as at Clee and Scartho, the stones bear 
the red marks of Danish fire, and where, inside the tower, is 
an old boulder stone. Two miles north, on the Grimsby road, 
is Holton-le-Clay, where the tower of the church is of similar 
antiquity, all but the top storey above the string-course. The 
west side has only one very small window, but it has on the east 
side a good tall Romanesque tower-arch, and there is an Early 
Norman or Saxon font. The rest of the church is of the poorest 
in all respects. 

264 SCARTHO chap. 

As we proceed, the tall windmill with six sails shows above 
the Waltham woods on our left, and we pass a roadside inn 
with the sign of " The Old Pop Shop." Three miles more 
and we reach Scarlho, a village which is beginning to take 
the overflow of Grimsby and is full of new buildings. This 
is the only living in the north or east of England which belongs 
to Jesus College, Oxford. The church is very interesting on 
account of its tower, which is Saxon in all but the absence 
of " Long-and-Short " work. The stones of the tower are of 
all shapes and kinds, the quoins alone being of hewn stone. 
Below are only the tiny windows common to all Saxon towers, 
and above, the belfry has two-light windows with the usual 
mid-wall shaft. In the west of the tower is a doorway with a 
round head of large stones and massive imposts. 

There is a deep, narrow archway from the nave into the tower, 
with a little window looking into the nave, and there have 
been originally tall arches in both the north and south walls, 
narrow of necessity so as to leave wall enough at each angle 
for the tower to stand on. A charming original font is there, 
but hideously placed on a modern inverted stone bowl. The 
tower and the font are the only things worth looking at, but 
both of these are of unusual interest. The parapet is Perpen- 
dicular and built of different stone, and it is easy to see from 
the red appearance of many calcined stones used in the tower 
that it has been rebuilt from the old materials after a former 
church had been burnt by that scourge of Lincolnshire — the 
Dane. The principal entrance is now through a big doorway, 
but in the thirteenth century was in the south wall of the tower. 

Leaving Scartho we quickly reach the outskirts of Grimsby, 
and, turning to the right on the Cleethorpes road, we come in 
a couple of miles to the church of Clee. This is the best of the 
group we have been visiting. It is one of the earliest churches 
in the county, and is highly interesting, not only for the vener- 
able antiquity of its tower, but for the fine and varied early 
Norman and Transition architecture in the body of the church. 
As a rule there is nothing left of any antiquity in these pre- 
Norman churches but the tower. 

There is a narrow western doorway and a much taller one 
of similar character opening into the nave ; each has Vous- 
soirs set in double rows. Just above the belfry on the west 
face is a keyhole light made of top and side stones, and a circular 


light in the south face. Mr. Jeans, in Murray's " Lincolnshire/' 
notes that they have all similar characteristics — " Rubble 
walling with large quoins, a bold string-course dividing them 
into stages, tall, narrow doorways with rude imposts and 
coupled belfry windows with a massive mid-wall shaft." All 
this we find at Clee, and the red calcined^stones in the wall tell 
of the Danish fire here as at Scartho. The early Norman arcade 
in the north of the nave has square piers with shafts at the 
corners, one of them twisted, like the work in Durham Cathedral. 
All are different in their structure and in the carving of their 
capitals. The south arcade has thick round columns of later 
Norman work with chevron, billet, and very thick cable 
moulding. The arches are round, and the stones of the 
moulding, as at Somerby, being cut by various hands and 
without plan or drawing, fit together, but are hardly any two 
of them of the same sized pattern. This is quite usual in 
Norman arch mouldings. I noticed it lately over the west 
doorway of the fine tower of New Romney, Kent. The arches 
at the east of each aisle which give upon the transepts are pointed, 
but with Norman mouldings, and the transept arches are the 
same ; the transepts themselves and the low central tower 
and the chancel are all modem. The old tower is, as usual, 
at the west end. On the shaft of one of the south arcade 
pillars is a very interesting record of two notable Bishops of 
Lincoln. It is in Latin, cut on a small tablet of marble about 
six inches by eight, and let in flush with the pillar. It says 
that " the Church was dedicated in honour of the Holy Trinity 
and the blessed Virgin by Hugh Bishop of Lincoln in the year 
1192, in the time of King Richard and re-dedicated after 
restoration by Bishop Christopher Wordsworth in 1888." 
1 192 was the same year in which Bishop Hugh began the choir 
at Lincoln, which is pure Early English, but doubtless the 
nave at Clee was built some years before it was dedicated. 
The font is a massive Norman one, and a portion of the shaft 
of an early cross stands just inside the door. 

The pathway to the church is lined on either side with tall 
fuschias, not a usual sight near the east coast. This church 
is the old parish church of Cleethorpes, which is the most crowded 
of the Lincolnshire watering-places, the goal of endless excur- 
sions from all the neighbouring counties, but not a place of 
any attraction for residents. Six miles due east across the 



river Humber is the revolving light of the Spurn Head light- 
house, plainly seen from the hill above Alford, thirty miles away. 
Between the Louth and Grimsby main road and the sea another 
road runs south from Clee by Humberstone and Tetney, thence 

to Covenham and Alvingham and so to Louth. Huinberslone 
is a parish which goes with Holton-le-Clay, though they are 
about three miles apart. It is remarkable for its fine avenues 
of trees, and has a good Perpendicular tower. But in this 
respect it is surpassed by the extremely well-built and well- 
designed tower at the next \'illage of Tetnev. This, unlike the bodv 


of the church, is entirely of good, hard, grey Yorkshire stone. 
Some " Blow Wells," which are circular pits of very blue water 
100 feet deep, are in a field half a mile to the south-east of the 
church. There are others at Laceby and Little Cotes, both 
in the valley of the Freshney river, six miles off. The water 
comes through faults in the limestone ridge four or five miles 
to the west. A stream also flows through Tetney, which 
comes out of the Croxby pond near Hatdiffe, the only piece of 
water in the neighbourhood. The roads we have been writing 
of are all entirely in the flat ground, but from the Louth and 
Grimsby main road a branch goes off to the left, after crossing 
a fourteenth century bridge with ribbed arches, at Utterby, which 
runs north along the western edge of the Wold past Brocklesby 
to Barrow on Humber. This, when it is opposite to Waith, 
has on its left a place called Ravendale, and, on its right, a little 
hidden away village, called Ashby-cum-Fenby. At Ravendale 
there was once a priory belonging to a Premonstratensian 
abbey in Brittany. It was seized by the Crown with other 
alien priories in 1337 to form part of the dowry of Joan of 
Navarre, Queen of Henry IV. Ashby-cum-Fenby has ver\' 
pretty Early-English two-light windows in the belfry, set 
round with dog-tooth moulding. A Crusader effigy of 1300 is 
at the west end of the tower, and two fine monuments to two 
sisters of the Drury family are in good preservation ; one to 
Sir F. and Lady Wray closely resembles the Irby monument 
at Whaplode, and, as the families are related, probably the work 
is by the same sculptor. That of Susannah Drury in the 
chancel is a good piece of sculpture, but the whole has literally 
been whitewashed, which does not improve it. The church- 
yard is for the most part deplorably neglected, and a few 
sheep would greatly improve it. A row of almshouses with 
tiny gardens, made like the Workmen's row at Tattershall, 
adjoins the west side of the churchyard. 

The road after this passes nothing of importance near it, 
till it reaches Brocklesby. 

Close to the bell ropes in the tower at Tetney is a neat little 
brass which aptly commemorates a fine old parishioner as 
follows : — 

Matthew Lakin 
bom 1801 died 1899 One of the regular bellringers of 
Tetney for 84 years and sometime Clerk and Sexton. 

268 HAINTON chap. 

The highway which goes out of Louth on the west, after 
passing Thorpe Hall, within a mile of the town, soon splits into 
two, the one going up the hill to the right has, at first, a north- 
easterly course, but after passing through South Elkington 
leaves North Elkington on the right and goes on due east to 
Market Rasen and Gainsborough, and is the great east-and- 
west road of North Lincolnshire : the only other roads which 
take that direction being the Boston-Sleaford-and-Newark 
and the Donington-and-Grantham roads in the southern part 
of the county, and the great Sutton-Holbeach-Spalding-Bourne 
and-Colsterworth road. But none of these run so straight. 

The other road from the foot of South Elkington hill goes 
on at first due west till, passing Welton-le-Wold on the right 
and Gay ton-le- Wold on the left, it drops into the picturesque 
little village of Burgh-on-Bain (pronounced Bruff). So far we 
have had a wide Wold view, but no blue distances over fen 
or marsh ; but Grimblethorpe and Burgh-on-Bain are in two 
parallel little valleys, and when the road turns here, at seven 
miles distance from Louth, to the south-west, a quite different 
type of country is entered, beginning with the woods of Girsby, 
the seat of Mr. J. Fox, quondam joint Master of the South- 
wold Hounds, and Hainton Hall and park, where the Heneage 
family have been seated since the time of Henry IIL The 
church tower has some of the characteristics of the early 
Norman or pre-Norman groups, and both church and chantry- 
chapel are rich in monuments of the sixteenth and seventeenth 
centuries, and brasses of still earlier date. The altar tombs 
of 1553 and 1595 are magnificent, and the kneeling effigies 
of 1559 and 1610 are in excellent preservation. The helmets 
and spurs over the effigy of John (1559), and the gilded armour 
of Sir George (1595), are especially noticeable, as also are the 
varied spellings of the name — in 1435 Henege, in 1530 Hennage, 
and in 1553 Henneage. 

From here a road leads to the left to South WilUngham and 
Benniworth ; but the main road runs through East and West 
Barkwiik, with those fine grass borders, each wider than the 
road, which are characteristic of the Wold highways, for five 
miles to Wragby, eleven miles from Lincoln. Near East Bark- 
with Station is Mr. Tumor's residence, Panton Hall, and from 
West Barkwith a road goes to the Torringtons. Here Gilbert 
of Sempringham was rector, and established one of his Gilbertine 

xxiii GLENTHAM 269 

houses. The road on either side of the rather town-Uke village 
of Wragby is uninteresting, till suddenly, at a distance of eight 
miles, the towers of Lincoln Minster appear, not in front, but 
away to the left, and then again disappear from view. But 
the road turns, and after four miles, lo ! again the Minster, 
straight in front ; and as you approach from the north-east 
you see all three towers at the end of the long road, getting 
ever finer as you approach and are able to make out the details 
of the architecture. Only too quickly you come to the top of 
the hill, and gaze at the splendid upper windows of the great 
bell tower, now close on your right, then sweep down the curve 
and, passing through the Minster yard by the Potter and 
Exchequer gates, go out northwards by the old Roman Ermine 
Street. We soon reach the turn to Riseholme, where from 
1830, when Buckden was given up, the bishops resided, until 
Bishop King built the present house in the Old Palace grounds 
in Lincoln, and where in the churchyard are the tombs of her 
much-revered Bishops Kaye and Wordsworth, though their 
monuments are in the cathedral. After this we pass nothing, 
the road running straight on for over thirty miles, and on much 
the same level all the way. But we will only go to the thir- 
teenth milestone and turn to the right at Caenby Corner, where 
the Gainsborough and Louth road crosses the Ermine Street, 
and so make our way back by Market Rasen. The first village 
we shall come to is Glentham, which contains in chancel and 
chantry several monuments of the Tourney family from 1452. 
It is believed that the church was originally dedicated to " Our 
Lady of Pity," hence, over the porch is a beautiful little 
carving of the Virgin holding the dead Christ, and the Tourney 
arms below it. A brass to Ann Tourney has the following 
play on words : — 

" Abiit non obiit, preiit non periit." 

Till the early part of last century, a rent charge on some 
land in the village provided a shilling each for seven old maids 
every Good Friday for washing the recumbent effigy of a lady 
of the Tourney family which is under the gallery, with water 
from " The New Well." This singular survival of the custom 
of washing an effigy of the dead Christ for a representation 
of the entombment is now abandoned, as the laifd was sold 
in 1852 without reservation of the rent charge on it. The 

270 THE TOURNAYS chap. 

effigy was known as " Molly Grime," a corruption of " Mal- 
graen," which means in some ancient tongue or dialect the 
' Holy-Image-Washing.' (" Lines. Notes and Queries/' I., 125.) 

The church is rather a curiosity, being seated throughout 
with box pens and having a gallery at the west end. Even 
the font is painted, and is a cheese-shaped stone on three legs 
placed on a round block. The door is old and has an unmis- 
takable sanctuary ring on it, as at Durham, and the porch 
has a pretty httle two-light window on each side. 

The Tournays of Caenby are one of the genuine old county 
families, having held land in it certainly since 1328. John 
Tournay, in the sixteenth century, married a Talboys co-heiress, 
and was brother-in-law to Sir Christopher Willoughby and 
Sir Edward Dymoke. 

The manor of Caenby-cum-Glentham, given in the thirteenth 
century to Barlings Abbey, and at the dissolution, along with 
so many other things, bestowed by Henry VIII. on Charles 
Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, was purchased by Edward Tournay 
in 1675, but he had inherited another manor in Caenby, or 
Cavenby through a long line of ancestors from the family of 
Thornton, of whom one Gilbert de Thornton was Lord Chief 
Justice of the King's Bench, 1289-1295. The present repre- 
sentative of the Tournays, or Tornys, who, to suit both- 
spellings, have a tower for a crest and a chevron between 
three Bulls for their coat of arms, is Sir Arthur Middleton of 
Belsay Castle, Northumberland, who parted with the property 
at Caenby in 1871. 

Three miles beyond Glentham we reach " Bishops' Bridge " 
inn. Here a fourteenth century bridge crosses the stream at 
the junction of the River Rase with the Ancholme. Thence, 
after several turns, the road reaches West Rasen, where there 
is a most picturesque and interesting Pack Horse Bridge of 
the same date, with three ribbed arches, placed at right angles 
to the present road. The church has heavy embattled turrets 
and some curious carved figures in the chancel. 

Going south from here, a roundabout road takes you to 
Buslingihorpe, passing by the two oddly-named villages of 
Toft-next-Newton and Newton-by-Toft, each apparently, like 
Tweedledujn and Tweedledee, leaning for support on the other. 
Two miles to the west, on the Normanby road, is Gibbet-post- 
house. The name Gibbet-post or Gibbet-hill is not uncommon, 


but I doubt if a single post remains. Eighty years ago some 
still held their ghastly record. My uncle, Edward Rawnsley, 
who was bom in 1815, told me once that he had passed one 
with a skeleton hanging in chains, as he rode from Bourne to 
Wisbech. The Melton Ross gallows was renewed in 1830. 

Only two miles east of West Rasen we reach Middle Rasen, 
which has an interesting church. It once had two, one on each 
side of the stream ; the existing one, which belonged to Tup- 
holme Abbey, has a very fine Norman south door and Norman 
piers to the chancel arch, and a deeply moulded Early Enghsh 
arcade, on which is a singular beaded moulding. There is also 
a low-side window and a beautiful Perpendicular rood screen, 
also a fourteenth-century effigy of a priest with vestments 
and chalice. In the churchyard is the font of the other church. 

In the days of toll-bars there were two at Middle Rasen ; 
usually they were let to the highest bidder, and the man who took 
the main road gate in the year 1845 is still living, at the age 
of eighty-nine, in 1912. A toll-bar keeper in the days before 
railways, when all the com went to market by road, had little 
rest at night, as waggons full or empty passed through at all 
hours. In his early days food was dear — tea eight shillings 
a pound — and wages were low, and bread and water and barley- 
chaff dumpling were the common fare. He is now a rate- 
collector and, of course, can read and write, but he never went 
to school, and at eight years of age he began to earn a little 
by " scaring crows." At fifteen he was mowing and using the 
flail at his native village of Legboume. In a field, near where 
the station now is, he remembers a man mowing wheat for 
six days on bread and water, and the crop yielded six quarters 
to the acre. A woman of ninety-three, now living in the Wolds, 
remembers when flour was 45. 6d. a stone, and a loaf cost u^d. 
instead of aji. They mixed rye with wheat flour and baked 
at home; and a labourer who eamed enough to buy a stone 
of flour a day thought he could live well. 

Only the other day I heard of a labouring family living just 
between the Wold and the Marsh, seven sons of a retired 
Crimean soldier. The clergyman used to make them a present 
at the christening if he might choose the name, and he gave 
them grand historic names for them to live up to, e.g., Wash- 
mgton and Wellington, and the plan certainly answered, for 
they all took to the land and by steadiness, hard work and good 

272 MARKET RASEN chap. 

sense raised themselves first to a foreman's position and then 
to that of small occupiers, with the result that the family now 
farms three or four hundred acres between them. Yet they, 
as children, had had a hard struggle, and never knew either 
luxury or comfort. Their cottage had but two rooms, and 
half the family having gone to bed with the sun, habitually got 
up when night was but half over and came and sat round the 
fire whilst the other half went to bed. The conditions of life 
have improved since then, but the men of to-day can't have more 
of the right stuff in them. 

Another instance of the same kind which goes to prove that 
no walk of life is without its chances, if only the man is 
strenuous and sober and gifted with good sense, is that of a 
family in the Louth neighbourhood, three grandsons of a 
labouring man, who in two generations have raised them- 
selves to such purpose that they now farm between them some 
10,000 acres. Of course the great factors in such successful 
careers are steadiness and industry, and that shrewd good 
sense which is so characteristic of the best Lincolnshire natives. 

Not many years ago I talked with a small farmer in Hamp- 
shire, whose wages as a labourer used to be ten and sixpence 
a week, when a pair of boots cost eighteen shillings ; but then, 
he said, they did wear well. The family lived, year in year out, 
on hot water with barley in it and a sprinkling of salt. And 
yet, incredible as it may seem, he and his wife had brought up 
a family of ten. There was some grit in those people. 

From Middle Rasen it is little more than a mile to Market 
Rasen. Men still living there can recall the Shrove Tuesday 
football, when the whole male population of the village, aided 
by friends from outside, spent some strenuous hours in trying 
to get the ball into Middle Rasen. The windows were boarded 
up all along the road, and the struggle of hundreds of rough 
fellows was more concerned in pushing their opponents into 
the beck by the roadside than in keeping on the ball. 

The town has an unusual number of schools in it. The De 
Aston School, founded 1401 at Spital, was set up here in 1862 
as a middle-class school, and has been most successful ; and 
the church school and still larger Wesleyan school between 
them can accommodate nearly 400 children. 

From Market Rasen three miles of low country brings us 
to North Willingham. The Hall, the home of Mr. Wright, 

xxiii BAYONS MANOR 273 

was for over a hundred years the residence of the family of 
Boucherett, whose former mansion stood a couple of miles 
to the west. The present house with its pretty bit of water 
faces the road. In the village we may see a blacksmith who, 
at the age of ninety, can still shoe a horse. We are now twelve 
miles from Louth ; a road to the left goes to Tealby and Bayons 
Manor, and to the right by Sixhills to Hainton ; and here, 
instead of going right on up the sweep of the hill, we will make 
the round by Tealby and come back to the high road at Ludford 

Tealby is quite an ideal village, with beautiful trees, a fine 
and well-placed church, a stream and bridges and picturesque 
cottages. One road leads from it up the steep " Bully hill," a 
300 feet rise, another road takes us to Bayons Manor, the seat 
of the Tennyson d'Eyncourt family. Originally there was an 
old eleventh or twelfth century fortified dwelling about a 
hundred yards up the hill, traces of which may still be seen 
in bank or dyke. This was replaced about the sixteenth century 
by a fairly large house, at one time thatched ; part of this 
remains as the nucleus of the present castellated mansion built 
in the romantic era of the Waverley novels and completed 
with drawbridge and barbican in the middle of the last century 
by Charles Tennyson, M.P., uncle of the poet, who, after the 
death of his father, George Tennyson, took the name of 
d'Eyncourt. His grandson, E. Tennyson d'Eyncourt, now 
lives there. The house has a fine open-roofed hall, and is 
replete with interesting mementoes of the Tennysons as well as 
of the ancient family of d'Eyncourt. The site is good, with 
a charming garden sloping to the park, in which is a fine piece 
.of water. The name Bayons is derived from its first Norman 
possessor, Odo, Bishop of Bayeux. He was half-brother to 
William the Conqueror on the mother's side, and he was so 
exalted a personage that he was called " Totius Angliae Vice- 
dominus, sub rege." Thus he was on occasions the king's 
representative, and seems to have had as much land in Lincoln- 
shire and elsewhere granted to him by William, as Charles 
Brandon Duke of Suffolk had under Henry VIII., for we hear 
that he held seventy-six manors in the county and 463 in other 

It is interesting to know that Bulwer Lytton in 1848, when 
he was trying to recover his seat for Lincoln, wrote his historical 



romance " Harold " here, making good use of his friend Mr. 
Tennyson d'Eyncourt's fine collection of early English chronicles. 

A little north of Tealby is the temporarily disused church 
of Walesby, where once Robert Burton (1577-1640), author 
of the " Anatomy of Melancholy," was rector, before he went 
to Segrave in Leicestershire. It is hoped that this church 
may soon be in use again. 

One of the many roads across the Wolds from Rasen to 
Grimsby passes through Walesby to Stainton-te-V ale and 
Thorganby, another goes through Tealby, Kirmond-le-Mire, 
and Binbrook, once a market town, and near to Swinhope, 
the ancestral seat of the Alingtons. Both roads after this 
unite and pass by East Ravendale, Brigsley, Waltham and Scariho. 

A clear stream flows north through a narrow valley from 
Kirmond top through Swinhope, Thorganby, Croxby pond, 
Hatcliffe, and almost to Barnoldsby, and thence east to 
Brigsley, and so across the marsh to Tetney Haven. 

Leaving Tealby, we climb to the top of the Ludford ridge, and, 
turning to the right, come to the Market Rasen and Louth 
highway at Willingham Comer, thence, to the left, by Ludford 
Magna with its cruciform, church on the infant ' Bain.' To 
the right we notice Wykeham Hall, further on to the left the 
church of Kelstern, standing solitary in a field, and soon we 
reach the singularly beautiful and well- wooded approach to 
Louth by South Elkington, the seat of Mr. W. Smyth. The 
church here, whose patronage goes with the Elkington estate, 
was given about 1250 to the convent at Ormsby, which pre- 
sented to it until the dissolution, when it 'fell to the Crown, 
and was given, in 1601, by Queen Elizabeth to the famous 
John BoUe of Thorpe Hall. This Hall we now pass on our 
approach to Louth, and a splendid picture awaits us when 
we see that lovely spire of Louth church, standing up out of 
a grove of trees, and eventually presenting itself to our eyes, 
in its full height and beautiful proportions, as we come into the 
town by the west gate. 

The highway from Louth to Horncastle is best traversed 
the reverse way. Starting from Horncastle with its little river 
— the Bain — its cobble-paved streets and its pretty little thatched 
hostel, the King's Head, the Louth road brings us soon to West 
Ashby. Then, at a distance of four miles from Horncastle, 
we come suddenly on the unpretending buildings of the South- 




wold Hunt kennels. These are in the parish of Belchford, 
which lies half a mile to the right. 
We now climb 300 feet up Flint Hill, a name which tells us 

Westgate, Louth. 

that we are on an outlier of the chalk wolds, and a fine view 
opens out on the left which we can enjoy for a mile, after which 

T 2 

276 TATHWELL chap. 

the road turns to the right and discloses a totally different 
scene. In front lies the snug village of Scamblesby, and behind 
it the south-eastern portion of the South Wolds, sweeping 
round from Oxcombe's wooded slope in a wide curve to Redhill, 
behind which the Louth and Lincoln railway emerges near 
Donington-on-Bain. It is a fine landscape. 

We descend to the village, and passing in the wide valley 
the turn to Asterby and Goulceby on the left, set ourselves 
to climb the main ridge of the Wolds by Cawkwell. On the 
top of the hill we pass a cross road which runs for many miles 
right and left without coming to anything in the shape of a 
village ; and naturally so, for the road like the Roman streets 
in the Lake District, keeps sturdily along the highest ground, 
and who would care to live on a wind-swept ridge ? 

To the right the Wold runs up to nearly 500 feet, but our road 
only crosses it, and after little more than a mile we see the 
level of the marsh and the tall spire of Loijth five miles ahead 
of us. The road here forks, and forsaking the direct route 
by Raithby we will take the right-hand road and in a couple 
of miles find ourselves dropping to the village of Tathwell. 
This we circle round and arrive at the lane which leads to the 

This little church, dedicated to St. Vedast, who was Bishop 
of Arras and Cambray {circa 500), was once a Norman building, 
but the Norman pilasters supporting the round tower-arch 
of the eleventh century are all that is left of that period, 
unless the four courses nearest the ground of large stones of 
a hard, grey, sandstone grit can be referred to it. Upon 
these now is built a structure of brick with a broad tower at 
the west and an apse at the east ; but the charm of the place 
is its situation, on a steep little hill overlooking a good sheet 
of clear chalk-stream water. You look westwards across this 
to a pathway running up the slope opposite which is fringed 
with a fine row of beeches, and just below you at the edge of 
the little graveyard you see the thatched roof of a primitive 
cottage, whilst beyond it the ground is broken into steep little 
grass fields, the whole most picturesquely grouped. 

We leave the secluded little village, and turning to the 
right, pass between the Danish camp on Orgarth Hill and the 
six long barrows on Bully Hill (the second hill of the name, the 
other being near Tealby). These are all probably of the same 


date ; the latter in a field adjoining the road. A mile more 
and we turn to the left at Haugham, where is another and 
larger tumulus, after passing which, on the left, we soon come 
to the main Louth and Spilsby road. 

The number six seems to have been a favourite one with the 
Vikings. Eleven miles to the west of Bully Hill is " Sixhills," 
between Hainton and North Willingham, and another place 
of the same name near Stevenage in Hert^rdshire shows a 
fine row of six tumuli close to the road side. 

On October 25 there was a funeral in the Tathwell church- 
yard, when, in presence of her surviving grand-children and 
great-grandchildren Jane Chaplin was laid to rest beside 
the husband who had died forty years before. She was not 
only of a remarkable age — it is seldom that a coffin plate bears 
such an inscription : — 

"Jane Chaplin, bom 24th June, 1811, died 21st October, 1913 "— 

but during all that long life she was always cheerful and 
kindly and full of interest, and up to the very last, within 
two hours of her death, she was bright and happy, lively with 
talk and merriment, and in full possession of all her faculties. 
On her 102nd birthday she received her relatives and delighted 
them with her reminiscences of the days before they were 
bom, telling the writer how she remembered Alfred Tennyson 
asking her to dance at the local ball, and adding that she was 
still able to read and to paint, though she had of late years given 
up reading by candlelight for fear of trying her eyes, and sayijig 
how thankful she was that she felt so well and had no pains 
and was, in fact, much better than she used to be fifty years 
ago. She had left Lincolnshire and lived of late years at 
Bournemouth and then at Cheltenham, where she literally 
' fell on sleep ' and passed from this life to the next, without 
any illness or straggle, in the happiest possible manner. Truly, 
we may say with Milton — 

Nothing is here for tears, nothing to wail 
Or knock the breast. 



Willoughby and Captain John Smith — Grimoldby — South Cockerington — 
Sir Adrian Scrope's Tomb — Alvingham — Two Churches in one Church- 
yard — Yarborough — The Covenhams — Hog-back View — Milescross 
Hill to Gunby — Skendleby — South Ormsby and Walmsgate — Belchford 
— Thorpe Hall — The Elkingtons. 

The Romans had a road from the sea probably by Burgh 
and Gunby and then on the ridge by Ulceby cross-roads to 
Louth, and so on the east edge of the Wold north to the Humber. 

It is not a particularly interesting route, but if at Gunby 
we turn to the right we shall pass Willoughby with its old sand- 
stone church in a well-kept churchyard, a somewhat rare thing 
on this route. The church (St. Helen's) has some Saxon 
stones in the south wall of the tower, and a double arch on 
the north side of the chancel, a Norman arch in front of a four- 
teenth century one. Here, in 1579, was born the redoubtable 
Captain John Smith, president of Virginia and the hero of the 
famous Pocahontas! story, a man whose life was more full of 
adventure than perhaps any in history. The interest which 
Pocahontas created when she came to England is evinced by 
the number of inn signs of " The belle Sauvage." The church 
has a singular slab with the head and shoulders of a man, 
name unknown, in relief cut on it at one end — his feet showing 
at the other, something after the fashion of a " sandwich-man." 
The huge belfry ladder is also noteworthy, being made of two 
trees, whole, with stout, rough timber spiked to them for steps. 

From Willoughby to Alford and on by Saleby, Withetn, 
Gayton-le-Marsh, Great and Little Carlton, and Manby, the 
road is not remarkable ; but, after crossing the main road 

^ She saved Smith's life, subsequently married an Englishman, John 

Rolfe, and died at Gravesend, where two windows have just — July, 1914 

been put up to her memory. Her most distinguished descendant is 
Sir R. S. Baden-Powell. 

278 ■ 



from Horncastle to Saltfleet, which has come over the Wold 
via Scamblesby, Cawkwell and Tathwell, it arrives at Griinoldby. 
Here the church is noteworthy for the size and excellence of 
its gargoyles. Outside it has heavy battlemented parapets, 
a good gable-cross with pent-house over it, as on the Somersby 
cross, and the entire shaft of a churcliyard cross. Inside, 
the nave is whitewashed, but the fine old roof remains, and 
on one of the beams is the pulley block for the rood Ught, as 
at Addlethorpe and Winthorpe. The door is old and has 
been enriched with car\ing and there is the lower part of a good 


rood screen with three returns, possibly for lights, projecting 
twelve inches westwards. This arrangement is also found in 
the rood screen at Thornton Curtis. In the north porch is 
a fine holy water stoup. 

For the ne.xt six miles churches are to be found at every mile. 

South Cockerington has a little holy water stoup just inside 
the door. Part of a handsome rood screen is stowed away 
under the tower, the rest being in Manby Church. The church 
has had a profusion of consecration crosses — a dozen have 
been noticed, some of which still remain cut in the stone and 
filled with dark cement. Nearly all the churches about here 
are in two styles — Decorated and Perpendicular ; and though 


Grimoldhy exhibits only one style, it Is the transition between 
these two. The most noticeable thing in the church is the 
alabaster altar tomb to Sir Adrian Scrope, with effigies of his 
five sons over whom is the legend ' similis in prole resurgo,' and 
two daughters and an infant, over whom is written ' Pares et 
impares.' Does this mean "Like in face but different in 
character," or " Like their father but not so good-looking " ? 
The knight is represented armed and half reclining on one 
elbow, with his helmet behind him and his mailed glove by 
his knee, the head and face very Kfe-like, the hands and fingers 
extremely delicate. On a brass plate he is described as the thrice 
honourable Adrian Scrope, Kt., etc., and this verse follows : — 

Tombs are but dumb day-books, they will not keepe 
There names alive who in these wombes doe sleepe, 
But who would pen the virtues of this knight 
A story not an epitaph must write. 

It was not easy to find the way to South Cockerington as the 
road to it Kterally forms a square, and then passes on from the 
churchyard gate right through a farm ; but to reach North 
Cockerington you seem to go round at least five sides of a square 
or squares, then cross the Louth River, and then a bridge 
just above a water mill, and passing by two gates through 
a farmyard you arrive in a grass field, in which, devoid of any 
sort of fence on the north and west sides, the plain-looking 
church of Alvingham stands ; a gate leads to the south door, 
near which a few yards of grass is mown, but the rest of the 
churchyard is a tangle of long grass and tall nettles ; and amongst 
them, within a stone's throw, stands a second and larger church 
of North Cockerington, in which no service is held. " There is 
some wildernesses ! " was the apt remark of our driver as we 
reached the churchyard gate. 

Two churches in one churchyard are to be found at Evesham 
in Worcestershire, and at Reepham in Norfolk. These I have 
seen ; others are at Willingate in Essex, and at Trimley in 
Suffolk. At Evesham there is even a third tower for the bells. 
This is of stone, but in a few other places, as at Brookland in 
Romney Marsh, the bell tower is a separate timber erection. 
The reason for two here was that Alvingham, dedicated to St. 
Adelwold, is the parish church, but there was once a Gilbertine 
priory for monks and nuns close by, to which the other church 
served as a chapel. This was also the parish church of North 


Cockerington at a very early date, mention being made of 
it in a charter of about 1150. 

Tlie Alvingham Cartulary or priory book, once in possession 
of F. G. Ingoldby, Esq., is now in Louth Museum, and among 
the charters is a curious entry of an agreement between the 
joint occupiers of a meadow that their men should meet on 
a certain day at Cockerington Church and there fix a day for 
beginning to mow. 

The next village is one which gives his title to Lord Yarborough. 
The church, like so many in this neighbourhood, Grimoldby 
and South Cockerington being honourable exceptions, is locked, 
but the chief point of interest is to be seen outside. This is 
a beautiful example of a richly carved doorway. The mouldings 
of the square head are good and set with little ornaments, and 
very bold and original carvings run round the arch of the door- 
way. The space between the arch and the outer square head 
mould is filled with shallow carved work representing on the 
left, the fall, with Adam, Eve, the Serpent, and much good 
foliage carving ; and on the right the Lamb and the emblems 
of the Passion. An old English inscription runs round the 
arch of the doorway, but is only in part decipherable ; the stone 
is a white hardish sandstone, and the surface a good deal worn, 
but the whole design is most elegant and unusual. 

A mile more brings us to the two churches of Covenham, 
within a quarter of a mile of each other, and both locked. 
Covenham St. Mary seems to be built of a hard chalk. There 
are mason-marks high up on each pilaster of the porch. The 
other church, of St. Bartholomew, was once a cruciform building. 
It is made of the same white material, but the tower is now 
covered with Welsh slate, and one transept is gone. The fonts 
in both churches are good. That in St. Mary's is, for beauty 
of design and boldness of execution, the best in the neigh- 
bourhood, but they do not compare for beauty and size with 
those in the Fen churches, which are lofty and set on wide 
octagonal basements of three or four steps. Here, the brass 
to Sir John Skipwyth, who died at, or in the year of, Agincourt, 
1415, is in exceptionally good condition. He is armed and has 
both the long dagger and sword, the latter suspended from his 
left arm by a strap. The tail of the lion on which he stands 
is erect between the leg of the knight and his sword. 

The rest of the route by Fulston, Tetney and Humberston 

282 A ROMAN 'HOG'S BACK' chap. 

to Grimsby is not of any interest until we come to Clee, which, 
with its intei'esting Saxon church tower, we have already 

In the Wold country the main roads usually run along the 
ridges of the Wolds and afford views on either side. One of 
the best of these, " Hog's Back " views is obtained from one 
of the byways which starts from the Spilsby and Alford road 
at the top of Milescross hill, and runs south till it reaches Gunby. 
It skirts the wooded belt of the Well Vale estate, and drops into 
the village of Ulceby which, like most of the tiny Wold villages, 
lies on the bank of a small stream in a wooded hollow, where 
the church and farm anda few cottages form a pleasing picture 
of rural retirement. 

Mounting again, the road turns to the left and goes straight 
ahead on what is evidently a portion of a Roman " street," 
giving on the left a view of the " Marsh " towards Mablethorpe, 
with its grey shimmering line which denotes " the bounding 
main," and on the right a still more distant prospect over the 
fiat " fen " lands in the direction of Boston, whose columnar 
tower rises far up into the sky. The blue haze of the marsh, 
the purple distance over the fens, with, in the autumn, the 
long, drifting lines of grey smoke from the burning " quitch," 
or " twitch " as they usually call it here, make a delightful 
impression ; and then if we turn fenwards we drop into the 
leafy hollow of Skendleby village, where once the Conqueror's 
friend, Gilbert de Gaunt, resided, and to which William of 
Waynfleet, the famous Bishop of Winchester, was presented as 
vicar by the convent of Bardney in 1430. It is a pretty village 
with its church and manor-house, and thatched, white-washed 
cottages bright with flowers, and its well-stocked farm. A tall 
windmill crowns the next height ; this is Grebby Mill, and it 
is interesting to find that there has been a windmill there for 
600 years. 

For Grebby is old enough to be mentioned in Domesday Book, 
and in 1317 we have mention of a windmill there belonging to 
Robert de Willoughby and Margaret his wife. 

From the windmill one looks down to the old brick tower 
of Scremby church, which is the last building on the edge of the 
slope from which the endless levels of the fen begin and run 
south till they reach Crowland and Peterborough. From whence 
the great cathedral, with its splendid west front, looked out 


in the disastrous August of 1912 over miles and miles of corn- 
land where the tall sheaves stood up out of a vast expanse of 
water, the result of the abnormal rains and the burst dyke 
which made Whittlesea Mere once more resume its ancient 

Below Scremby the road runs to the left to Candlesby, and 
so rejoins that starting-place of so many byways — Gunby. 

There was a church at Scremby in Norman times ; at the 
dissolution the manor came to the all-acquiring Duke of 
Suffolk. Now-a-days the handbook dismisses it as " of no 
special interest," but eighty-five years ago it was thought 
worth while to mention that " at the west end of the nave 
is a neat and commodious singing-gallery." 

Those who wish to see the beauties of the country must 
leave the high ridge every here and there and make a round 
into the Uttle villages which lie at the foot of the Wolds, 
mostly on the western slopes where they escape the strong sea 

From the Spilsby-and-Louth road a byway branches west- 
wards, close to Walmsgate, which will illustrate this, for it 
quickly drops into the pretty village of South Ormsby, and, 
skirting the park on two sides, runs on to the village of Tetford 
with its red roofs and grey-green church tower nestling under 
the hill. Thence the white line of road goes north over Tetford 
hill to BucMand and Haugham, and so rejoins the main road 
again about four miles north of Walmsgate. 

But before leaving Tetford we should take a look at the 
fine grassy eminence of " Nab hill " with its entrenched camp, 
behind which lie the kennels of the Southwold hounds at 

The road from Alford to Louth, by Belleau and Cawthorpe, 
which runs along the eastern edge of the South Wold and gives 
such a fine view over the marsh, is interrupted at Louth, and 
you must go out for the first four miles on the Louth and 
Grimsby main road, but on reaching Utterby a turn to the left 
will bring you to a road which goes all the way to Brocklesby 
without passing through any village but Keelby in the whole 
sixteen miles. This solitary road begins better than it ends 
for when it gets opposite to Barnoldby-le-Beck, which is just 
half way, it sinks to the level of the marsh. 

There are plenty of roads between Louth and Caistor, to the 

284 FOTHERBY TOP CH. xxiv. 

north-west, along the Wolds, which are here some eight miles 
wide ; and it would be well worth while for the sake of the view 
over the marsh to take a little round from Louth, starting out on 
the Lincoln road by Thorpe Hall, the interesting home of the 
Bolles family, the ffytches, and, later, of some of the Tenny- 
sons. By this route you soon come to the parting of the ways 
to Wragby and Market Rasen, and taking the right hand road 
by South Elkington, the charming residence of Mr. W. Smyth, 
you climb up to a height of 400 feet, and taking the road to the 
right by North Elkington — ^whose church has a fine pulpit 
copied from one still to be seen at Tupholme Abbey, near 
Bardney — reach Foiherby top, from which for a couple of 
miles you can command as fine a view of the marsh from 
Grimsby to Mablethorpe as you can desire. Then leaving 
the height you can go eastward by North Ormsby, and, joining 
the Grimsby-and-Louth road at JJtterby, run back to Louth. 
All approaches to Louth are rendered beautiful by the splendid 
views you get of that marvellous spire ; and as the road drops 
steeply into the town you will hardly know whether the approach 
from this northern side or from Kenwick on the south forms 
the most striking picture. 



The byway which runs west from the Spilsby and Alford 
road, at the foot of Milescross hill near Alford station, after 
passing Rigsby, comes to a farm with an old manor-house 
and tiny church in a green hollow to the left. A deep sort 
of cutting on this side of the church has, along its steep grassy 
brow, a line of very old yew trees, not now leading to anything. 
This is all there is of the hamlet from which an ancient and 
notable family derived its title, the Bolles of Haugh. 

Haugh church is a small barn-like building of chalk ; the 
nave twenty-four feet, and the chancel twenty-one feet long, 
with an enormously thick, small, round-headed arch between 
them. The chancel is floored with old sepulchral slabs and 
stone coffin tops, several with Lombardic lettering, and all 
apparently of the Bolle or Bolles family who lived partly at 
Haugh in the old manor close to the church, and partly at 
Thorpe Hall, Louth. 

The family of Bolle seemed to have lived at Bolle Hall, 
Swineshead, from the thirteenth century till the close of the 
reign of Edward IV., 1483, when, by an intermarriage with the 
heiress of the Hough family, the elder branch became settled at 
Hough or Haugh, near Alford, and one of the younger branches 
settled at Gosberkirke (Gosberton) and spelt their name Bolles. 
The men of both branches were active both in civil and military 
positions. Sir George of Gosberton succeeded to the manor 
of Scampton, near Lincoln, from his father-in-law. Sir John 
Hart, Lord Mayor of London, 1590. He too became Lord 
Mayor in 1617, both men being members of the Grocers' Com- 


285 SIR JOHN BOLLES chap. 

pany. He was knighted by James I., after withstanding his 
majesty in the matter of travelling through the city of London 
on a Sunday, on which occasion his conduct somewhat recalls 
that of Judge Gascoigne in Shakespeare's " Henry IV." He 
died in 1621, and his monument is in St. Swithin's church, 
London. His son John was made a baronet by Charles I., 
and his son George is commemorated on a monument opposite 
to that of his grandfather, in a pretty Latin inscription 
beginning — 

Nil opus bos cineres floriim decorare corollis ; 
Flos, hie compositus qui jacet, ipse fuit. 

We hear of a Sir George Bolle being killed at Winceby in 1643, 
fighting against Cromwell ; certainly George's brother. Sir 
Robert of Scamp ton, was one of the jury in 1660 for trying 
the regicides^ and at the death of his son. Sir John, in 1714 the 
title became extinct. The distinctions of the elder branch, 
who settled at Haugh, were more military than civil. Their 
name also has passed away, their lineal descendants being 
named Bush, Ingilby, Bosville and Towne. The earliest 
monument to this branch is on a brass plate in Boston Church 
to Richard Bolle of Haugh, 1591, son of Richard Bolle of Haugh 
and Maria, daughter and heiress of John Fitzwilliams of 
Mablethorpe. He was thrice married, and his only son Charles 
died a year before him, 1590, and is commemorated at Haugh. 
His daughter Anne married Leonard Cracroft, the others 
married John and Leonard Kirkman of Keel. His son Charles, 
whose mother was a Skipworth of South Ormsby, had four 
wives, his first wife a daughter of Ed. Dymoke of Scrivelsby, 
and his fourth a daughter of Thomas Dymoke of Friskney. 
His only son, John, was the son of number two, Brigitt Fane ; 
and his daughter Elizabeth of number three, Mary Powtrell. 
To this son John, there is also in Haugh Church a well-preserved 
monument, which shows him kneeling with his wife, attended 
by their three sons and five daughters, in the usual Jacobean 
style; date 1606, Aet. suse 46. Sir John built Thorpe Hall, 
and was a famous Elizabethan captain. He was at the siege 
of Cadiz under Essex, 1596, and had custody of the young 
lady of high position who goes by the title of the Spanish Lady 
or the Green Lady, and whose story is told in Percy's " Reliques " 
in the ballad of " The Spanish Lady's love for an Englishman." 


Sir John BoUe is the hero of the story. The lady fell in love 
with him, but on hearing that he had a wife at home, she 
retired to a nunnery and sent rich presents to his wife of 
tapestry, plate and jewels, and her picture in a. green dress. 
The jewels are now in the hands of many of Lady Bolle's 
descendants, the necklet of 298 pearls being, it is said, in the 
Bosvile family at Ravensfield Park, Yorkshire. The last 
warden of Winchester College was called Godfrey BoUes Lee, 
and was related to the Bosviles ; and, curiously enough, in 
the Cathedral of Winchester is a brass plate giving an account 
of the death of Colonel John BoUes. It seems that Charles, 
the elder of the three sons whose effigies are on Sir John's 
monument in the quaint little church of Haugh, was a Royalist, 
living at Thorpe Hall, Louth, where he raised a regiment of 
foot, which was commanded by his brother John, a soldier 
of unusual gallantry. Charles once saved his life when pursued, 
by hiding under the bridge at Louth. The regiment was 
engaged at Edgehill and other places, and finally cut to pieces 
in a most bloody engagement inside Alton Church in Hamp- 
shire. Clarendon tells us that Sir William Waller, finding 
that Lord Hopton's troops lay quartered at too great distance 
from each other, had, by a night march, come suddenly upon 
the Royalist forces at Alton. The horse made good their 
escape to Winchester, and Colonel BoUes, who was in command 
of his own regiment of 500 meh, being outnumbered, retired 
with some four score men into the church, hoping to defend 
it till succour arrived. But the enemy, as he had not had time to 
barricade the doors, entered with him, and some sixty of his 
men were killed before the rest asked for quarter ; this was 
granted, but Colonel BoUes refused the offer, and was kiUed 
fighting. Alton is seventeen miles from Winchester, and the 
little brass plate on the eastern pillar of the north arcade of the 
nave in Winchester Cathedral, just where the steps go up to 
the choir, has a counterpart in Alton Church. The inscription 
on it was composed almost fifty years after the event by a 
relative who describes himself M.A., but he does no credit to 
the learning of the time, for it is full of errors, both of spelling 
and of facts ; for instance, he caUs the gallant Colonel, Richard 
instead of John, and gives the date of the fight as 1641 instead 
of December, 1643 ; but it is too quaint a thing not to be 
transcribed in fuU, 


A Memoriall. 

For this renowned Martialist Richard Boles of ye Right 
Worshipful family of the Bolleses in Linkhornsheire ; collonell 
of a ridgment of Foot of 1300 who for his gratious King Charles 
ye first did Wounders att the Battell of Edgehill : his last 
action, to omit all others, was at Alton in this County of Sough- 
thampton, was sirprised by five or six thousand of the Rebells, 
which caused him there Quartered, to fly to the church, with 
near fourscore of his men, who there fought them six or seven 
houers, and then the Rebells breaking in upon him he slew 
with his sword six or seven of them, and then was slayne himselfe, 
with sixty of his men about him. 


His Gratiouse Souveraigne, hearing of his death, gave him his 
high comendation in ye pationate expression. Bring me a 
Moorning Scarffe ; i have Lost one of the best Comanders in 
this Kingdome. 

Alton will tell you of that famous Fight 
Which ye man made and bade this world goodnight, 
His Verteous life feared not Mortalyty, 
His body might, his Vertues cannot die. 
Because his blood was there so nobly spent 
This is his Tombe, that church his Monument. 
Ricardus Boles Wiltoniensis in Art Mag: 
Composuit Posuitque dolens 
An Dom 1689. 

A somewhat similar bit of spelling is this from a private 
diary : — 

" The iiii day of Sept 1551 ded my lade Admerell wyfife in 
Linkolneshire and ther bered." 

The third brother, Edward, died and was buried at Louth, 
1680 A.D., at the age of seventy-seven. He left £600 to purchase 
land, the rents " to be divided among the poorest people of 
Louth at Christmas, Easter and Whitsuntide for ever, and to 
be disposed of ' in other charitable and pious uses for the good 
of the said Toune.' " The income of the bequest is now worth 
£85 a year. 

Sir Charles, the elder brother, had a son and a grandson called 
John, the last of the name. This John's half-sister, Elizabeth, 
whose mother was a Vesci, married Thomas Bosvile, rector 


of Ufford, and was buried at Louth in 1740 ; their daughter 
Bridget also marrying a Bosvile. The children of Bridget's 
elder sister Elizabeth married into the families of the Ingilbys 
and the Massingberds, while another sister, Margaret, married 
James Birch, James Birch's daughter married a Lee, and his 
grandson. Captain Thos. Birch, assumed the name of Bosvile 
and sold Thorpe Hall. He died in 1829. Sir Charles also had 
a daughter Elizabeth, who married Thomas Elye of Utterby, 
whose granddaughter Sarah married Richard Wright of Louth, 
whence are descended the Wrights of Wrangle. Canon Wright, 
her great great grandson, has a picture of this Sarah Elye in 
which she is represented as wearing a ring which was one of the 
Spanish jewels, some of which are in possession of the Canon's 
family now. The picture of the Green Lady was unfortunately 
sold at the Thorpe Hall sale, and it is said that another small 
picture of her, painted in the corner of a portrait of Sir John 
Bolles by Zucchero, was lost when the picture was restored and 
considerably cut down, in the last century. 



West Theddletliorpe — Saltfleetby — All Saints — Skidbrook — South Somer- 
cotes — Grainthorpe — Marsh Chapel. 

An inconspicuous little byway starts from near Alford 
station and runs parallel with the line about a mile north- 
wards to Totkby, where it bends round and loses itself in a net- 
work of lanes near South Thoresby. At Tothby, under a weeping 
ash tree on the lawn in front of the old Manor House farm, 
is an interesting relic of bygone days. It is a stone about a 
yard square and half a j'ard thick, once shaped at the corners 
and with a socket in it. Evidently it is the base of an old church- 
yard, wayside, or market cross of pre-reformation times. And 
it has been put to use later as a plague-stone, having been for 
that purpose placed on its edge and half buried probably, and 
a hole seven inches by five, and two and a half inches deep, 
cut in the upper side. This was to hold vinegar into which 
the townspeople put the money they gave for the farm pro- 
duce brought from the country in times of plague. 

The great desire was to avoid contact with possibly plague- 
stricken people. So the country folk brought their poultry, 
eggs, etc., laid them out at fixed prices near the stone and then 
retired. Then the town caterer came out and took what was 
wanted, placing the money in the vinegar, and on his retiring 
in turn, the vendors came and took their money, which was 
disinfected by its vinegar bath. The buyers, of course, had to 
pay honestly or the country folk would cut off the supplies, 
and they probably appointed one of their number as salesman. 


On the whole the plan is said to have answered well enoughj 
and the stone is an interesting relic of the time. There is one 
in situ at Winchester, not so big as this, and now built in as 
part of the basis to the Plague Monument outside the West 
Gate of the city. It is, I believe, plain to distinguish, being 
of a darker colour than the rest of the monument ; but you 
cannot now see the hole in it any more. That stone was used 
in 1666, the year after the great plague in London. The Croft 
register speaks of 1630 as the plague year, but a plague seems 
to have visited Partney in 1616 ; at Louth 754 people died in 
eight months in 1631. At Alford the plague year was 1630. 
On the 2nd of July in that year the vicar, opposite the entry 
of Maria Brown's burial has written " Incipit pestis " (the 
plague begins), and between this date and the end of February, 
1631, 132 out of a population of about 1,000, died, the average 
number of burials for Alford being 19 per annum, so that the 
rate was 100 above normal for the nineteen months ; indeed, 
for the rest of 1631 only eight burials are registered in ten 
months. July and August were the worst months, six deaths 
occurring in one family in eleven days. It has been said that 
the stone was placed on the top of Miles-Cross hill, whence the 
folk from Spilsby and the villages of the Wolds, when they 
brought their produce, could look down on the plague-stricken 
town from a safe distance. But that would be a long pull 
for the poor Alford people, and it is more likely that it was 
placed near where the railway now crosses the high road ; 
certainly the Winchester stone was barely 100 yards from the 

We can now go back to Alford and start again on the Louth 
road. To get to the fine Marsh churches of the east Lindsey 
district, four miles out we turn off to the right near Withern, 
and pass two little churches on the border of the district called 
Strubby and Maltby-le-Marsh. Each of these has, like Huttojt, 
a remarkable font, but that at Maltby is extraordinarily good — 
angels at each corner are holding open books, and their wings 
join and cover the bowl of the font, below an apostle guards 
each corner of a square base. There is in this church, too, a 
cross-legged effigy of a knight. In Strubby are some good 
poppy-head bench ends and a fourteenth century efiigy without 
a head, and on the south wall near the door a curious inscrip- 
tion in old English letters hard to decipher. There is also a 

u 2 



small re-painted Jacobean monument with effigies of Alderman 
W. Bailett, aged ninety-nine, his two wives and nine children. 
The whole of the region between the Alford-and-Louth 
road and the coast is a network of roads with dykes on either 
side, which never go straight to any place, but turn repeatedly 
at right angles, so that you often have to go right away from 
the point you are aiming at. That point is always a church 

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Aieiblethorpe Church. 

Steeple standing up with its cluster of trees from the wide 
extent of surrounding pasture-land. The only direct road in 
the district is that which runs north-east to Mableihorpe, close 
on the sea. This is quite a frequented watering-place. Here, 
as at Trusthorpe and Sutton, the sea has swallowed up the 
original church, but the present one, half a mile inland, has 
some sixteenth century tombs and brasses ; one notable one 
of Elizabeth FitzwilUam, 1522, which represents her with long, 



flowing hair as in that of Lady Willoughby in Tattershall 
Church, and Sir Robert Dymoke at Scrivelsby. There is here 
a seaside open-air school for invaUd children. 

Three miles north is West Theddlethorpe (All Saints), one of 
the largest and finest of all the Marsh churches. Here, as 
elsewhere, the green-sand, patched with brick, on which the 
sea air favours the growth of grey lichen, gives a delightful 
colour to the tower. The battlemented parapets are of 
Ancaster stone, and were once surmounted at short intervals 
by carved pinnacles, and the nave gable, as at Louth, is beauti- 
fully pierced and worked, with carved bosses and rosettes set 
in the lower moulding. There are five two-light clerestory 
windows on either side, and inside are many good bench ends, 
both old and new, and a Perpendicular chancel screen with doors, 
and two chantries, each still keeping its altar slab in position, 
and having good oak screens ornamented with rich and unusual 
Renaissance carved open-work panels. In one of these chantries 
is a shallow recess with a beautiful carved stone canopy which 
once held a memorial tablet. A list of the vicars from 1241 
to 1403 gives first the name of William Le Moyne (the monk), 
and in 1349 we have Nicholas de Spaigne on the nomination of 
Edward III. An important little brass of Robert Hayton, 1424, 
shows, as Mr. Jeans tells us, the latest instance of " Mail Camail." 
In the churchyard is a most singular tombstone to Rebecca 
French, 1862, the stump of a willow carved in stone about 
four feet high with broken branches and — symbol of decay — 
a large toadstool growing from the trunk. 

Three miles further north, and still close by the sea bank, we 
come to the church of Saltfleetby- All-Saints. A most pro- 
voking habit prevails, possibly with reason, but none the less 
trying to those who come to see the churches, of keeping the 
keys of the locked-up church at some distance off, even when 
there is a cottage close at hand. The church' is in a sadly 
ruinous condition, and the picturesque porch literally falling 
to bits. On it is a shield bearing a crucifixion. The tower, 
which leans badly to the north-west, has two Early English 
lancet lights to the west and double two-light windows above. 
The gargoyles are very fine, and cut, as usual, in Ancaster stone. 
In the north aisle are two beautiful three-light windows with 
square heads and embattled transoms. There are some Norman 
pillars and capitals, also a good rood screen and a handsome 


Decorated font set on a reversed later font. This church, 
like so many in the Marsh, is only half seated, though even 
so it is too big for the population, as probably it always has been. 

Within a mile to the north-east we pass Saltfleethy-St- 
Clements, a church which has been moved from a site two 
fields off, and very carefully rebuilt in 1885, and shows an 
arcade of five small arches beautifully moulded resting on massive 
circular columns. It has also a good font on a central shaft 
with clustered columns round it, and in the vestry, part of a 
very early cross shaft. Hence we soon reach the sea at Salt- 
fleet on a tidal channel, as the name indicates. Here is a 
remarkable old manor-house. 

The parish church of Saltfleet is at Skidbrohe, which stands 
in the fields a mile inland. In the churchyard is a tall granite 
cross in memory of Canon Overton of Peterborough. The 
church is of Ancaster stone which has a much longer life than 
the green-sand, but the parapets of the nave are of brick now, 
with stone coping. The belfry of all these churches is approached 
by rough and massive ladders. In the west of the tower is 
a good doorway. The chancel is a poor one. 

Two miles through the rich meadows brings us to South 
Somer cotes, remarkable as having a spire, but of later date than 
the tower. Here the chancel is absolutely bare, with painted 
dado and red tiled floor and no fittings of any kind. It looks 
something like a G.N.R. waiting-room, without the table. 
There is a very elegant rood screen, and an exceptionally tall 
belfry ladder or " stee," also, as in the two churches just visited, 
ancient tablets in memory of the family of Freshnej'. The 
family still flourishes ; and at the Alford foal show, September 
1912, a Freshney of South Somercotes carried off several 
prizes. Unlike Skidbrooke, the church has houses and even 
shops close to it. We saw here a fell-monger's trolley drive 
up with a strange assorted cargo from the station of Saltfleetby- 
St.-Peters. There were several packages and, sitting amongst 
them, several people all huddled together. It stopped at the 
■village corner to deliver a long parcel draped in sacking — it 
was a coffin. 

A few miles north is Grainihorpe, the old roof lately reno- 
vated. The whole church well cared for, and in the chancel 
a mutilated but once very beautiful brass, with a foliated 
cross, probably in memory of Stephen-le-See, who was the 


vicar about 1400. The stem is gone, the head shows some 
very delicate work, and the base stands on a rock in the sea 
with five various fishes depicted swimming. It was once 
seven feet high ; and, if perfect, would be the most beautiful 
brass cross extant. 

Three miles north we reach the fine church of Marsh Chapel. 
This was once a hamlet of Fulstow, four miles to the west 
on the road to Ludborough. It is Perpendicular from the 
foundation. Here, as at' Grain thorpe, is a rood screen partly 
coloured, the lower part being new. The church is seated 
throughout in oak, and evidently used by a large congregation. 
The capitals of both arcades are battlemented. On the chancel 
wall is an exquisite little alabaster tablet put up in 1628, 
representing Sir Walter Harpham, his wife and little daughter 
■ — quite a gem of monumental sculpture. The parents died 
in 1607 and 1617. The lofty tower has a turret staircase 
with a spirelet — a rare feature in Lincolnshire, though common 
in Somersetshire — and the church is all built of Ancaster 

Going north we reach North Cotes and Tetney lock, where 
we can see part of the Roman sea bank, though Tetney haven 
now is almost two miles distant. The Louth river, which is 
cut straight and turned into the Louth Navigation Canal, 
runs out here. 

The by-road we have been following from the south ends 
here; but a branch running due west passes to Tetney village 
and thence joins the Louth and Grimsby highway at Holton- 


Dan Gunby and The Ballad of the Swan. 

There is no great quantity of native verse in this county, 
and children's songs of any antiquity are by no means so 
common with us as they are in Northumbria, but there is The 
Lincolnshire Poacher with its refrain, " For 'tis my delight 
of a shiny night in the season of the year," the marching tune 
of the Lincolnshire Regiment ; and there is an old quatrain 
here and there connected with some town, such as that of 
Boston, and that is all. 

It was my luck, however, to know, fifty years ago, a man who 
wrote genuine ballad verses, some of which I took down from 
his lips. They have never been printed before, but seem to 
me to be full of interest, for the man who wrote them was a 
typical east-coast native, a manifest Dane, as so many of these 
men are — unusually tall, upright, with long nose and grey 
eyes, and a most independent, almost proud, bearing. He 
was a solitary man, and made his living, as his earliest fore- 
fathers might have done, by taking fish and wild fowl as best 
he could ; and, for recreation, drinking and singing and playing 
his beloved fiddle. It seemed as if the runes of his Scandi- 
navian ancestors were in his blood, so ardently did he enjoy 
music and so strongly, in spite of every difficulty, for he had 
had little education, did he feel the impulse to put the deeds 
he admired into verse. 

It is something to be thankful for that, in spite of railways 
and Board Schools, original characters are still to be found 
in Lincolnshire. They were more abundant two generations 
ago, but they are still to be met with, and one of the most 




remarkable that I ha\'e personally known was this typical 
east-coaster, whose name was Dan Gunby. It was in September, 
1874, when I was a house master at Uppingham, under the 
ever-famous Edward Thring, that my dear friend, R. L. 


Southend, Has ton. 

Nettleship, then a fellow of Balliol, came to our house at Halton, 
and after a day or two there, we passed by Burgh over the 
marsh to Skegness, eleven miles off. 

We were making for the old thatched house by the Reman 
bank, for this belonged to our family, and here, with one old 
woman to " do " for us, and with the few supplies we had 

298 DAN GUNBY chap. 

brought with us and the leg of a Lincolnshire sheep in the 
larder, we felt we could hold out for a week whilst we read, 
unmolested by even a passing tradesman. Sundays we spent 
at Halton, walking up on Saturday and down again on Monday, 
after which we took off our boots for the rest of the week. 

One night about ten o'clock, as we were sitting over our 
books, a step was heard on the plank bridge, and a loud knock 
resounded through the house. I went to the door and opened 
it. It was pitch dark, and from the darkness above my head, 
for Dan was a tall man, came a voice : " Ah've browt ye sum 
dooks. Ye knaw me, Dan Gunby." We gratefully welcomed 
them as a relief from the sheep, and after a talk we agreed 
to go over and see Dan in his home at Gibraltar Point, where 
the Somersby Brook, " a rivulet then a river," runs out into 
Wainfleet haven. Accordingly, on the 12th of September, 
1874, we set off, going along on the flat dyke top for four miles 
till we came to what seemed the end of the habitable world. 
Here the level, muddy flat stretched out far into the distant 
shallow sea, groups of wading shore-birds were visible here and 
there, and an occasional curlew flew, with his melancholy cry, 
overhead, or a lonely sea-gull passed us — 

" With one waft of the wing." 

We came to a small river channel with steep, slimy banks ; 
just beyond it was an old boat half roofed over, and, sitting 
on it, was our friend Dan mending a net. We shouted to ask 
how we were to get to him, and he said, " Cum along o'er, 
bottoms sound." We pulled off our boots and got down without 
much difficulty, but to get up, " Hie labor, hoc opus est." But 
Dan shouted encouragement : " Now then, stick your toas in, 
and goo it." We did ' goo it,' and soon landed by the old 
boat, and sitting on it, we asked him if he always slept there, 
and what he did for a living. He answered " Yees, this is my 
plaace, an' it's snug, an all. Ye see I hev a bit of a stoave here." 

" Is that your duck-shout (the name for a sort of canoe 
for duck shooting) and gun ? " 

" Yees, ye sees I'm a bit of a gunner, an' a bit of a fisher- 
man, an' a bit of a fiddler." 

" And a bit of a poet, too, aren't you, Dan ? " 

" Well, I puts things down sometimes in the winter evenings 



" About your shooting, isn't it ? " 

" YeeSj moastlins." 

" And you have got tunes to them ? " 

" Yees. It's easy to maake the tunes up 0' the fiddle, but 
the words is a straange hard job oftens." 

" Well now, will you let us hear one of them ? " 

"To be sewer I will," and he took his fiddle and sat on the 
gunwale, while we listened to the following : — 

It was in the iambic metre — which befits a ballad — with 
occasional anapsests. 

" It's called The Swan this 'ere un," he said, and, with a 
preliminary flourish on the fiddle, he went off. 

I should say that we got the words in his own writing after- 
wards spelt as I give them. 


Now it Gentel men hall cum lisen to me, 
And ile tell you of a spre, 
When Sam and Tom Gose in there boats, 
Tha never dise a Ore. 

For the Halls they are upon the spre, 
Tha'U do the best tha can. 
Am when tha goa to sea my boys 
Tha means to shoot a Swan. 

Then a storking down clay-'ole,^ 
And laying as snug as tha can, 
For it' Slap Bang went both the gims 
And down come the Swan. 

Now Sam and Tom 'as got this Swan, 
Tha do not now repent ; 
Tha will pull up to Fosedyke Brige, 
And sell him to Hary Kemp. 

Now Sam and Tom they got a shere 
Tha dow not see no Feer, 
Tha will call too the Public-house, 
An git a Galling of Beer. 

Sam says to Tom here's luck my lad. 
We will drink hall we can ; 
And then wele pull down Spalding sett 
To loke for another Swan. 

1 Near Boston Haven. 

300 YOUNG JIM HALL chap. 

There's young Jim Hall he has a fine gun 
Tha say it weighs a ton, 
And he will pull down Spalding Set 
To have a bit of fun. 

For the Halls they are upon the spre, 
Tha'U do the best tha can, 
And when tha goa to sea my boys 
Tha means to shoot a swan. 

And when tha hev got side by side 
Tha moastly scheme and plan, 
Tha mean to shoot either dack or goose 
Or else another swan. 

Jim, Bill an Tom was storking 
At thousands of geese in a line, 
Tha fired three guns before daylight 
An killed ninety-nine. 

(My eye ! they did an' all.) 

The old man larned the boys to shoot 
Without any fere or doubt. 
And young Jim Hall he was the man 
Who made the Gun and Shout. ^ 

There's young Ted Hall he's fond of life, 
His diet is beiif and cream 
He cares nothing about shooting 
He'd rayther goa by steam. 

Captain Rice, he's dead an gone, 
We hope he is at rest, 
All his delight was guns and boats, 
And he always did his best. 

He was a hearty old cock 

As ever sailed on the sea. 

He has paid for many a galling of ale 

When he was in company. 

For the Halls tha are upon the spre, 
Tha'U do the best tha can. 
An when tha goa to sea my boys 
Tha means to shoot a swan. 

^ The ' shout ' was a sort of flat-bottomed canoe, sometimes covered 
fore and aft with canvas painted grey in which one man lay with his hands 
over the sides so that by using short paddles he could approach the ducks 
unseen. It is not likely that Hall made the gun, but no doubt he fitted it 
to the shout. 


Dan paused for some time after he had finished the ballad, 
and then said with much feeling in look and voice, " Captain 
Rice, poor chap, he died after I'd gotten yon lines finished, 
and I had to alter them, ye knaw. It took me three weeks to 
get 'em altered." 

The captain was well remembered ; he had " paid for many 
a galling of ale." But the family that Dan most admired 
were the Halls, the old man and his three eldest sons — Jim, 
Bill and Tom. Young Ted he despised ; he cared nothing 
about shooting, he would rather sit in a train ! 

He tells in two other short ballads of how they hunted the 
seal on the bar or on the long sand, and there is a poetic touch 
in the way he makes the seals taUc, and in the description of 
their eyes and teeth. 

But " The Swan " is Dan's great achievement, and is a real 
good folk song, and has lines with the true ballad ring. " Down 
come the swan " is a fine expressive line, and " He was a hearty 
old cock, As ever sailed on the sea " has a ring in it like Sir 
Patrick Spens. 

When Dan came to the astonishing kill of ninety-nine he 
never failed to make the ejaculation I have given above ; the 
geese were Brent geese and were feeding in a creek or wet 
furrow. There was a big gun used in the " Gruft holes " or 
deep channels in the sands going seaward, where the gunner 
sat waiting for the " flighting " of the ducks. This was called 
a " raille," and was fired from the shoulder. The gun which 
weighed a ton is a poetic exaggeration ; but the old duck- 
shout guns were more than one man would care to lift, and 
about six to eight feet long. The man lay on a board to sight 
and fire this miniature cannon or demi-culverin, which was loaded 
to the muzzle, and the rusty piece of ordnance shot back 
with the recoil underneath him ; had it been made fast to the 
canoe or duck-shout it would have torn the little boat to bits. 

The ballads of the seals are as follows : — 


There is two seals upon the bar, 
Tha lay like lumps of lead. 

When tha see Sam and Torn coming 
Tha begins to shaake their head. 


For the Halls tha are upon the look out 

Tha love to see a seal, 
An when tha git well in my boys 

He's bound to taaste a meal. 


The owd seal said unto his wife, 
Yon's sumthing coming sudden, 

We must soon muster out o' this 
Or we shall get plum-pudden. 

For the Halls they are upon the look out 

Tha love to see a seal, 
An when they git well in my boys 

He's bound to taaste a meal. 


Bill and Jim was shoving down the North 

And keepin close to the land, 
Jim says to Bill, we'll pull across, 

Right ower to the Long Sand.^ 

Chorus, after each verse. 
For the Halls tha are upon the look out, 

Tha love to see a seal. 
An when tha git well in my boys. 

He's bound to taaste a meal. 


And when tha hed got ower 

Tha hed a cheerful feel. 
Bill says to Jim " What great head's yon ? " 

It must be a monstrous seal. 


For his eyes like fire they did shine 

An his teeth was long an white, 
Then slap bang went boath the guns. 

An he wished 'em boath good-night. 

Well done, my lad ! We've hit 'im hard. 

He'll niver git ashore. 
For I knaw his head will ake to-day 

And 'twill be very sore. 

■* On the outer side of Boston Deeps opposite Friskney Flats. 


Fov the Halls tha are upon the look out, 

Tha love to see a seal, 
An when tha git well in my boys 

He's bound to taaste a meal. 

Seals are more common on this coast than one would think. 
Only this autumn, 1913, great complaints have been made 
by the fishermen of the destruction of soles, etc., in the ' Wash ' 
by the increased number of these unwelcome visitors. 

Dan Gunby, in spite of'his fiddling and attendance at all the 
dances in the neighbourhood, was not of a jovial nature. His 
life was hard and his outlook on it was always serious, and 
any humour which he had was of the dry order, which is so 
frequent in the northern counties. Terse remarks with a 
touch of humour, sly or grim, he doubtless showed at times, 
but a real hearty laugh he would seldom allow himself. We 
find this same almost unconscious habit of saying a biting 
thing in a sly way frequent in the counties north of Lincoln- 
shire, as for instance, when in Westmorland a man meeting 
a friend says, " I hear Jock has gotten marriet " and the 
rejoinder, which expresses so much in so few words, both 
about the man in question and the subject of matrimony 
generally, is " Ah'm gled o' that, ah niver liked Jock." 
Another time, a man meets a ' pal ' and for a bit of news says, 
" We'm gotten a chain for oor Mayor," and the answer, " Han 
yo ? We let yon beggar of oum go loose " is far more funny 
than was ever intended. But Gunby and his likes, of whom 
there are more in the regions of the hills and fells than else- 
where, have not only the seriousness of those who live solitary 
and have leisure to do a deal o' thinking, but dwelling apart 
in places where they can commune with Nature and the stars 
they get the poetic touch from their surroundings. The 
mountain shepherd goes up on to the heights and spends long 
hours with his dog and sheep. He marks the great clouds 
move by. and listens to the voice of the streams. He knows 
"the silence that is in the starry sky;" the great constellations 
are his companions ; he sees the rising moon, and the splendours 
of the dawn and sunset. Those sights which fill us with such 
delight and wonder when beheld now and then in a lifetime, 
are before his eyes repeatedly. Now he watches the storm 
near at hand in all its fury, the thunder echoing round him 

304 NATURE'S POETS CH. xxvii 

from crag to crag ; soon the clouds roll off and disclose the 
brilliant arch of the rainbow across the glistening valley, each 
perfect in its different way. At one time he must be out on 
the slopes sparkling with snow, at another his heart gladdens 
at the approach of spring, and he feels himself one with it all. 
And so the changing seasons of the year cannot fail to touch 
him more than most men, and what the heart feels the lips will 
strive to utter. In the same way Dan Gunby used to watch 
the wide sunsets across the marsh, and see the floods of golden 
light on the shore, and the ebbing and flowing of the far-spread 
tide about his anchored cabin. He saw, at one time, the ripples 
crested with gold by the sun's last rays, at another the red orb 
rising from the sea on a clear morning ; or, in the mist which 
closed him in, he listened to the cries of the sea-birds sweeping 
by invisible. At times, when the wind was up and the tide 
high, he heard the roar of the waves dashed on the sand ; or, 
upon a calm night, he looked out on a gently moving water led 
by the changing moon. There were always some voices of the 
night, and usually some visions both at eve and morn ; and 
with his observant eye and ear, and his leisure to reflect, while 
Nature was his one companion, how could he fail to be in some 
sort a poet ? 

I lately heard of a shepherd or crofter who was quite a case 
in point ; but as he was not a Lincolnshire native but lived 
in the Scotch Lowlands, I put the account of him and his poetry, 
which, by the help of a Scotch lady, I have succeeded in collect- 
ing, small in quantity but some of it very good, I think, in 
quaHty, into an appendix at the end of the volume. 



Alford — Markby — Hogsthorpe — Addlethorpe — Ingoldmells — Winthorpe — 
Skegness — The Bond Epitaph — Croft— The Parish Books — Burgh-le- 
Marsh — Palmer Epitaph — Bratoft^The Armada — Gunby — The 
Massingberd Brasses. 

Starting from Alford, a little town with several low thatched 
houses in the main street, and a delightful old thatched ivy- 
clad manor, we will first look into the church which stands 
on a mound in the centre of the town, to see the very fine rood 
screen. Before reaching the south porch with its sacristy or 
priests' room above, and its good old door, we pass an excellent 
square-headed window. Inside, the bold foliage carvirig on 
the capitals at once arrests the eye. The pillars, as in most of 
these churches, are lofty, slender and octagonal. The steps 
to the rood loft remain, and a squiiit to the altar in the north 
aisle chapel. On the other side is a carved Jacobean pulpit 
of great beauty, east of which is a low-side window, and east 
of that again a tomb with recumbent alabaster figures of Sir 
Robert Christopher and his wife, date 1668, in perfect condition. 

From Alford a road goes north to Louth, branching to the 
right three miles out, to run to Mablethorpe, the favourite 
seaside resort of the Tennysons when living at Somersby. 
But we will follow the road to Bilsby, where Professor Barnard 
keeps his unapproachable collection of Early English water- 
colours. From here we can reach Markby, a curious thatched 
chapel standing inside a moat, and now disused. Then we 
can look in at Huttoft to see the extremely fine font which 
resembles that at Covenham St. Mary, and Low Toynton, 

3°5 X 



near Horncastle ; after whichj passing by Mumby, we will make 
for the first of the typical Marsh churches at Hogsthorpe. 

Markby vicarage goes with Hannah-cum-Hagnahy rectory. 
Once there was an Austin or Black Friars priory at Markby, 
and at Hagnaby — a hamlet in Hannah or Hannay — an abbey 
of Premonstratensian or White Canons, which was founded 
in 1175 by Herbert de Orreby and dedicated to St. Thomas 
the Martyr. 

The registers at Markby are among the earliest in the 

Markby Church. 

kingdom, beginning in 1558, those in Hannay dating from 1559. 
The first year of their institution was 1838. 

The Huttoft font is of the fourteenth century, and is four 
feet eight inches high, so it needs a step like those at Wrangle, 
Benington, and Frieston, and that at Skendleby. On the bowl 
are represented the Holy Trinity, the Virgin and Child, the 
Virgin holding a bunch of lilies, and the Child an apple. On 
six of the panels are the Apostles in pairs, as at Covenham 
St. Mary. The under part has angel figures all round support- 
ing the bowl. The shaft has eight panels with figures of popes, 
bishops, and holy women, and at the base are symbols of the 


four evangelists. The string-courses show three different roofs 
to the nave. 

Hogsihorpe, like most of the churches in the neighbourhood, 
is built of the soft local green-sand, which is found near the 
edge of the marsh where the Wolds die away into the level. The 
tower shows patches of brickwork which give a warm and 
picturesque appearance. The south porch is here, as is the rule, 
built of a harder stone, and is handsome and interesting. A 
pair of oblong stones of no great size are built in on either side 
above the arch with an inscription in old English letters, 
beginning, oddly enough, both in this church and in one at 
Winthorpe a few miles off, with the right hand stone and finishing 
on the left. The words are, " Orate pro animabus Fratrum 
et Sororum Guilde S"'" Mariae hujus Ecclesiae quorum expensis 
et sumptibus fabricata est haec porticus." The church has 
had its roof renewed in pine wood. It also has the worst 
coloured window glass I have ever seen, an error of local piety .^ 
The registers begin in 1558. 

From here the road, with countless right-angled turns, runs 
between the reedy dykes to the Perpendicular church of 
Addleihorije (St. Nicolas). Here the south porch is unusually 
good, with figures of angels on the buttresses and beautiful 
foliage work carved on the parapet. On the apex is a well- 
cut crucifix and, as at Somersby, on the back is a small figure 
of the Virgin and Child. A large holy- water stoup stands 
just within the door. There is a window in the porch, also a 
niche and a slab with the following inscription : — 

The Cryst that suffered 
Grette pangs and hard 
hafe mercy on the sowle 
of John Godard 
That thys porche made 
and many oder thynges dede 
There-for Jsu Cryst 
Qwyte hym hys mede. 

Over the buttresses of the north aisle are gargoyles holding 
scrolls ; one has on it " Of Gods saying comes no ill," another — 

God : for j_ihs : nTcy : bryng : he : to : blys : 
y* : ha : pd : to : ys : 

The gift of a late parish clerk. 

X 2 


Cut with a kiiile on the western pilaster of the porch is— 

" January 1686 
Praise God." 

The glory of this church is its wealth of old wood work, in 
which it is not surpassed by any in the county, though its neigh- 
bour, Winthorpe, runs it hard. 

The chancel here, as at the older Decorated church of 
IngoldmellSj which is within half a mile, has been pulled down. 



AddictJiorpe and Ingoldinells. 

and the rood screen acts as a reredos. There are two extremely 
good parclose screens, and old benches with carved ends through- 
out the church. Another fine oak screen goes across the tower 
arch, inscribed, " Orate pro animabus Johannis Dudeck Senior 
et uxor ejus." The noble roof is the original one. The pulley- 
block for lowering the rood light is still visible on the easternmost 
tie-beam but one, as it is also at Winthorpe and Grimoldby. 
A new rafter at the west end has painted on it^ " Struck by 
fireball June 27, 1850." 
The Boston wool trade is alluded to in the epitaph 


" Hie jacet Ricardus Ward qdm. Mfctor Stapali Calais 

A slab in the north aisle to Thomas Ely, 1783, has a singular 
inscription on it : — 

" Plain in his form but rich he was in mind. 
Religious, quiet, honest, meek and kind." 

Evidently a real good fellow though he was plain. 

The following extracts from the churchwarden's accounts 
between the years 1540 and 1580 are curious. 

Itm payde to the Scolem'' (Schoolmaster) of All- 

forde for wryting of Thoms Jacson Wylle . . iiij'' 

Itm payde unto Thoms Wryghte for dressynge 

the crosse ij'' 

Itm payde for a horsse skyne for bellstryngs . . ij' i"" 

Itm payde to the players iiij"" 

Itm reseuyd . (received) for ye Sepuller lyghte 

gatheryd in ye cherche ii' i*" 

Itm reseuyd for ye wyttworde^ of Rycharde Grene xij'' 

Itm Receuyd of Anthony Orby for his wyffs yere- 

day ^ xij*" 

Itm payde un to Wyllm Craycrofte for the rente 

of ye Kyrke platte ij' v" 

Itm payde for washing the corporaxys ^ . . . . iiij"" 

Itm payd for a ynglyghe suit' [an English 

psalter] xx* 

Receuyd of Thomas Thorye for on thrughestone iij' iiij'' 

Itm payde for the Sepulcre x' 

Itm for a paire of Sensors x' iiij'' 

Receuyd of John Curtus for his Wyff lying in ye 

churche _^ vi' viij*" 

Receuyd * of ye said John for on thrughstone xx*" 

It Reed for ye sowll of John Dodyke xiii' 

It Reed for ye sowll of Syr Gregory Wylk . . vi'' 

Impmus [In primis] payd for certeffyenge of 

ye Rodloffe xij' 

1 Wytteworde may have meant the warning notice of a funeral. ^ Yereday = 
the anniversary of a death. ' Corporaxys is the plural of corporax = a linen 
cloth for the consecrated elements. {See Chap. XXIII.) 

* Spelt indifferently Reseuyd, Receuyd, Reseauyd, reseueade, Resauyd, 
resevyd, Recevyd. 

310 INGOLDMELLS chap. 

Itm payd for dyssygerenge [query dressing] of 

ye Rod loffte iij' iiij" 

It given to ye men of mumbye chappelle for 

carryinge of ye lytle belle to Lincolne . . xij" 

It Layde oute for a lytle booke of prayer for 

Wednesdays and frydayes iij'' 

The church has six bells. 

From the account of the charities left in Addlethorpe we 
find that in 1554 a gift of land was sold for £4 an acre, but in 
1653 an acre situated in Steeping let for 155. 

The adjoining parish with its mellifluous name of Ingoldmells , 
(pronounced Ingomells), has had its suflfix derived from the 
Norse melr, said to mean the curious long grass of the sandhills. 
It might perhaps be more correctly considered as the saihe 
suffix which we have on the Norse-settled Cumbrian coast at 
Eskmeals, or Meols, where it is said to mean a sandy hill or 
dune, a name which would well fit in with the locality here. 
Thus the whole name would mean the sand-dunes of Ingulf, 
a Norse invader of the ninth century. A farmer we met at 
Winthorpe, next parish to Ingoldmells, alluded to these sand- 
hills when he said, "It is a straange thing, wi' all yon sand 
nobbut hafe a mile off, that we cant hav nowt but this mucky 
owd clay hereabouts : not fit for owt." But the Romans found 
the clay very useful for making their great embankment along 
the coast. 

Ingoldmells church, though good, is not so fine as Addlethorpe ; 
but it has a very interesting little brass, dated 1520, to " William 
Palmer wyth ye stylt," a very rare instance of an infirmity 
being alluded to on a brass. The brass shows a crutched stick 
at his side. The porch has a quatrefoil opening on either side, 
and a niche ; and a curious apse-like line of stones in the brick 
paving goes round all but the east side of the fine front. Round 
the base of the churchyard cross is a later inscription cut in 
1600, J. 0. Clerk. " Christus solus mihi salus," and figures 
run round three sides of the base, beginning on the north 

I, 2, 3 ; and on the east 4, 5, 6 ; none on the south, but on the 
west 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, at the comer 10 ; and again on the north, 

II, 12. Doubtless it was a form of sundial, the cross shaft 
throwing its shadow in the direction of the figures. Of the 
four bells one has fallen and lies on the belfry floor. One has 



on it, according to Oldfield, " Wainfleet and the Wapentake 
of Candleshoe, 1829," " Catarina vocata sum rosa pulsata 
mundi " (I am called Catherine, the beaten rose of the world) ; 
and on another is the rhyme — 

"John Barns churchwarden being then alive 
Caused us to be cast 1 705 : " 

At Partney a bell has the same Catarina legend, but with 
dulcata {= sweet) instead of -pulsata. S and C are often inter- 

The Roman Bank at Wintkorpe. 

changed, and I think the ' p ' is really a ' d ' upside down on 
the Ingoldmells bell, especially as the bell is of about the 
same date and was also cast by the same man — Penn of 
Peterborough. I must admit, however, that pulsata on a bell 
with a clapper has something to be said for it ; still, dulcata 
(sweet) is the obviously proper epithet for rose. 

From this church the road runs to the sea bank near Chapel, 
and gets quite close to it. You can walk up the sandy path 
amongst the tall sand-grass and the grey-leaved buckthorn, 
set with sharp thorns and a profusion of lovely orange berries, 
till from the top you look over to the long brown sands and the 


gleaming shore, where a retiring tide is tumbling the cream- 
coloured breakers of a brown sea. Returning to the road we go 
for some distance along ' the old Roman bank, which we leave 
before reaching Skegness in order to get to Winthorpe {St. Mary). 
This Decorated church was restored in 1881 by the untiring 
energy of " Annie Walls of Boothby," but not so as to spoil 
its old woodwork, which is remarkably fine. In the body of 
the church, all the seats have their old carved fifteenth century 
bench eftds; and in the chancel are four elaborately carved 
stall-ends. In one of these, amidst a mass of foliage, St. Hubert 
is represented kneeling, as in Albert Diirer's picture, before 
a stag who has a crucifix between his antlers, from which the 
Devil, who appears just behind him, in human shape but 
horned, is turning away. The poppyhead above this panel 
is exquisitely carved with oak leaves and acorns, and little 
birds, with manikins climbing after them. The old roof, with 
the rood-light pulley-bloCk visible on one of the tie-beams, 
still remains, and the rood screen, too, though its doors have 
been foolishly transferred to another screen at the west end, 
and ought to be put back in their place ; and at the end of 
each aisle, as at Addlethorpe, are good parclose screens. Within 
one of these, the roof of the north aisle has a painted pattern 
on the rafters and good carved bosses once painted and gilt. 

The seventeen steps to the rood loft are all there, also an 
aumbrey ; and we are told that one of the chantries was founded 
and endowed by Walter De Friskney, 1316, and dedicated to 
St. James. 

In the south wall of the tower is a singular fireplace, origi- 
nally used for baking the wafers. 

In the north chantry is an altar slab with three consecration 
crosses on it, and a sepulchral slab to " Ricardus Arglys 
(Argles ?), Presbyter, De Bynington " (near Boston) who died 
on the 20th of November, 1497 ; and there are, in the nave, 
brasses to Richard Barowe with his wife Batarick and their 
three children, 1505, and to Robert Palmer, 1515, doubtless 
a relative of " W. Palmer with ye stylt " in Ingoldmells. 

The inscription on the former is " Richard Barowe sumtyme 
marchant of the stapyll of Calys, and Batarick his wyfe, the 
which Richard decissyd the XX day of Apryle the yere of 
owre Lord A.MCCCCC and fyve, on whose soullys Ihu have 
mercy Amen for charitie." 



The Barrows were an old and notable family, one of them was 
Master of the Rolls and Keeper of the Great Seal, 1485. They 
were long settled at Winthorpe, and in 1670 Isaac Barrow was 
Bishop of St. Asaph, and his nephew was well known to history 
as the Master of Trinity, 1672-1677, and a celebrated divine. 

One of Robert Palmer's descendants, Elizabeth of Winthorpe, 
married George Sharpe, who was Archbishop of York in 1676, 
so Winthorpe furnished a bishop and an archbishop's wife in 
the same decade. 

William Palmer was apparently part donor of the south 
porch of Winthorpe, which is very like those at Addlethorpe 
and Hogsthorpe, having a gabled and crocketed parapet carved 
with graceful flowing foUage ; and on the two stones, lettered 
in Early English as at Hogsthorpe, are the lines : — 

Robert Lungnay and Wyll' P 
aim' : thay payd for thys 
God in hys mercy 
bryng them to his blys. 

Over the east gable of the nave is a sanctus bell-cot, and in 
the tower are four good bells, three of which are thus inscribed : — 

1. 1604 I sweetly tolling do men call 

to taste of meat that feeds the soul. 

2. Jesus be our speed. 

3. Antonius monet ut Campana bene sonet. 

In the west of the south aisle is the well-carved head of the 
churchyard cross, of which, as usual, only half of the shaft 
remains. On the head is a crucifixion, and on the other side 
the Virgin and Child. This head was found in 1910 a mile 
and a quarter from the church. It closely resembles that still 
standing intact at Somersby. 

Opposite, in the west end of the north aisle, are two bases 
of columns belonging to a former church of the thirteenth 
century, which church is first mentioned in the donation of it 
by William de Kyme to the abbey of Bardney, 1256. 

The registers of the church begin in 1551. 

From the foregoing it will be seen how extremely interesting 
these Marsh churches are, and these four are not the only ones 
in this part of the Marsh, Croft and Burgh being both within 
three or four miles of Winthorpe. Theddlethorpe, north of 
these, is a finer building, as is Burgh-le- Marsh ■ but I doubt 


if any other church has such a wealth of old carved wood- 
work as Addlethorpe or Winthorpe. There is, cut on the 
south-east angle of Winthorpe tower, a deep horizontal line 
with the letters " H.W. 1837." This indicates the level of 
high-water mark on the other side of the sea bank, and as the 
mark on the tower is eight feet nine inches from the ground, 
though the 1837 tide was an exceptionally high one, it gives 
some idea of what this part of the Marsh must at times have 
been in the days before the Romans made their great embank- 
ment. A plan for improving the drainage of the land at Win- 
thorpe was made as early as 1367, and a rate was exacted of 
IS. an acre. 

Skegness, now, next to Gleethorpes, the best known and 
most frequented by excursion " trippers " of all the east coast 
places, used to be fifty years ago only a little settlement of 
fishermen who lived in cabins built on the strip of ground 
between the road and the ditches on each side. A lifeboat 
shed and an old sea-boat set up on its gunwale for a shelter, 
with a seat in it, and a flagstaff close by, used chiefly for signal- 
ling to a collier to come in, were on the sea bank. Behind it 
was an hotel, and one thatched house just inside the Roman 
bank, built by Mr. Edward Walls about 1780. This was 
cleverly contrived so that not an inch of space was wasted any- 
where. It was only one room thick, so that from the same 
room you could see the sun rise over the sea and set over the 
Marsh. It was here that Tennyson saw those " wide-winged 
sunsets of the misty marsh " that he speaks of in " The Last 
Tournament," and took delight in their marvellous colouring. 

The house rose up from the level behind and below the bank, 
and the back door was on the ground floor, with a porch and 
hinged leaves to shut out the terrific wind from N. and E. 
or N. and W. as required, but on the sea front, access was 
obtained by a removable plank bridge from the bank top 
which landed you on the first floor. Here was the summer 
home of all our family — a children's paradise — when you 
ran straight out bare-foot on to the sandy bank and so 
across the beautiful hard sands and through the salt-water 
creeks down to the sea. This at high water was close at hand 
with tumbling waves and seething waters, but at low tide, far 
as eye could reach was nothing but sand, with the fisherman's 
pony and cart, and his donkey and boy at the other end of 


the shrimp net, moving slowly like specks in the distance along 
the edge of the far-retreating sea. 

This enchanting desolation is now the trippers' pla5r ground, 
with Stalls and donkeys and swings and sham niggers and a 
pier and Unes of shops. It must be admitted that it has all 
its old health-giving breezes, and also a fine garden and a cricket 
field and golf links of the very best. A new line from Lincoln 
has just been opened (July 1st, 1913), which runs through 
Coningsby, New Bolingbroke and Stickney, to join the old 
loop line between Eastville and Steeping, and for a shilling fare 
will bring thousands from Lincoki, Sheffield and Retford, to 
have a happy day of nine hours at what the natives call 
'.' Skegsnest." 

We have seen that the Romans had a bank all along this 
coast to keep out the sea, and besides their five roads from 
Lmcoln, one of which went to Homcastle, they had a road from 
Homcastle to Wainfleet ; and a road, part of which we have 
noticed, from Ulceby to Burgh and; Skegness. Skegness lies 
midway between Ingoldmells, which is the most easterly point 
of the county, and Gibraltar Point, from which the coast sweeps 
inland and forms the northern shore of the Wash. Across, 
on the further side of this, was the Roman camp at Brancaster 
(Branodunum), and here at Skegness there seems to have 
been a Roman fort which has now been swallowed up by the 

Near Ingoldmells, about fifty years ago, the sea, at low water, 
laid bare some Roman potteries, so called, from which the 
Rev. Edward Elmhirst got several specimens of what were 
called " thumb bricks." These were just bits of clay the size 
of sausages, but twice as thick, some as much as two and a half 
inches thick and four inches high, which had been squeezed 
in the hand, the impress of the fingers and thumb being plainly 
visible ; the extremities, being more than the hand could take, 
were rather bigger than the middle. They were flat enough at 
each end to stand, and had doubtless been used to place the 
pottery on when being burnt in the kiln. 

It is more than probable that these potteries were pre-Roman. 
They are about a quarter of a mile south of the Ingoldmells 
outfall drain, and half way between high and low-water mark. 
They are only exposed now and then, and appear to be circular 
kilns about fifteen feet in diameter, with walls two feet thick, 

3i6 ROMAN CASTRUM chap. 

and now only a foot high. The reason of their existence is 
found in a bed of dark clay which underlies all this coast. 

The only pot found has been a rough, hand-made jar with 
rolled edge and marks of the stick or bone with which the 
outside had been scraped and trimmed. Now, doubtless the 
Romans used the wheel. Moreover, these kilns are far outside 
the Roman bank, and not likely, therefore, to be for Roman 
use. Tree roots are found in the walls and inside the circle 
of the kilns, of the same sort as those of which at one time 
a perfect forest existed, the stumps of which are sometimes 
visible at low tide. At the time the Romans made their sea 
bank the sea must have come right over this forest, so that 
we may perhaps say that those thumb-bricks bear the impress 
of the fingers of the earliest inhabitants of Britain, and are 
therefore of extraordinary interest. 

On the eastern side of South Lindsey the running out of the 
roads, from Burgh and Wainfleet, to the coast always seemed 
to point to the existence of some Roman terminus near Skegness. 
Some years after he had noted this as probable, the Rev. E. H. R. 
Tatham, who has made a study of Roman roads in Lincoln- 
shire, discovered that in the court rolls of the manor of Ingold- 
mells, the mention is made of a piece of land called indifferently 
in a document dated 1345, " Chesterland," or " Castelland " ; 
and again in 1422, four acres of land in " Chesterland " are 
mentioned as being surrendered by one William Skalflete 
(Court Rolls, p. 248), this land is never mentioned again, and 
the presumption is that it was swallowed by the sea. And 
in 1540 Leland mentions a statement made to him, that 
Skegness once had a haven town with a " castle," but that 
these had been " clene consumed and eaten up with the se." 

These terms " Chester " and " caster " point to a Roman 
fort or " castrum," and the fact that the names " Chesterland " 
and " Castelland " exist in medieval documents dealing with 
the land in the immediate neighbourhood seems to go a long 
way towards confirming Mr. Tatham's conjecture of the exist- 
ence of a Roman fort near Skegness, over which the sea has now 

From Skegness we will now turn inland, and after about 
four miles reach Croft (All Saints) by a road which keeps 
turning at right angles and only by slow degrees brings a 
traveller perceptibly nearer to the clump of big, shady trees 

xxvlil AN EARLY BRASS 317 

which hide the church, parsonage and school. Large trees 
grow in all parts of the forlorn churchyard, and the church 
when opened has a musty, charnel-house smell, but one soon 
forgets that in amazement at the fine and spacious fourteenth 
century nave and clerestory, its grand tower and its large 
and lofty fifteenth century Perpendicular chancel and aisles. 
The wide ten-foot passage up the nave between the old poppy- 
head seats fitly corresponds to the large open space round the 
font, which rises from an octagonal stone platform as big as 
that of a market cross. There is a quantity of old woodwork 
besides the seats. A good rood-screen — though like all the 
others, minus its coved top and rood-loft — shows traces yet 
of its ancient colouring ; birds and beasts of various kinds 
are carved both as crockets above and also in relief on the panels 
below, and two good chantry screens fill the eastern ends of 
the aisles. A very fine Jacobean pulpit and tester was put 
up by Dr. Worship, the vicar from 1599 to 1625, in memory 
of his wife Agnes, whom he describes in a brass on her tomb, 
dated 1615, as " a woman matchless both for wisdom and 
godlyness." The two greatest treasures in brass are the 
extremely fine eagle lectern, its base supported by three small 
lions, which was found in the moat of the old Hall, the seat 
of the Browne family, flung there probably for safety and then 
forgotten ; and a notable half-effigy, head and arms only, of 
a knight in banded mail, with a tunic over the hauberk, and 
hands joined in prayer. The legend round him is in Norman 
French, but his name is lost ; the date is said to be 1300, so that 
this is, next to that at Buslingthorpe, the earliest brass in 
the county. 

The Browne family are perpetuated in the chancel, where 
on the north wall are two similar monuments of kneeling 
figures facing each other, both erected about 1630. The first 
is to Valentine Browne, a man with a very aquiline nose, and 
his wife Elizabeth (Monson), with effigies in relief of their 
fifteen children. He is described as " Treasurer and Vittleter 
of Barwick, and Dyed Treasurer of Ireland." Barwick is 
" The March town of Berwick-on-Tweed." The tomb was 
erected c. 1600 by his second son John who lived at Croft, 
and whose effigy is on the other tomb along with his wife 
Cicely (Kirkman), of whom we are told " she lived with hini 
but 20 weeks and dye without issue setatis 21 Ano Domini 


1614," just a year before Agnes Worship, the vicar's wife. 
Another monument, a marble slab eighteen inches square, has 
this inscription : — 

" Here lyeth Willyam Bonde Gentleman, whoe dyed Ano 
Dom 1559 leaving two sonnes, Nicolas Docter in £)ivinitie, 
and George Docter in physicke, the elder sonne, who dyed 
the et etatis and here is buryed. TE 

which in remembrance of his most kynd father haith erected 
this lytle moniment " 

Bondus eram Doctor Medicus nunc vermibus esca, 

Corpus terra tegit, spiritus astra petit, 
Ardua scrutando, cura, morbis, senioque 

Vita Molesta fuit : Mors mihi grata quies. 

The guide-books say that this was erected by Nicolas, D.D., 
who afterwards became president of Magdalen College, Oxford. 
But clearly it was by George the M.D., and he left spaces for 
his own death date, which were never filled ; perhaps he is 
not buried at Croft, but he must have been near his end when 
he wrote the Latin lines which are all about himself, and may 
be thus translated — 

I was Bond a Physician, now I am food'for worms, 
The earth covers my body, my spirit seeks the stars. 

From difficult studies, anxiety, diseases and old age 
Life was a burden ; death is a welcome rest to me. 

There is a note in the church accounts to the effect that the old 
bell was (re-)cast at Peterborough by Henry Penn in 1706 and 
inscribed " prepare to die." 

This church is, for spaciousness and for the amount of good 
old woodwork, and for its monuments, one of the very best. 
As we leave it we notice carved on the door, " God save the 
King 1633." 

I believe that Bishop Hugh-de-Wells who was appointed 
Bishop of Lincoln in 1209, but who, mistrusting King John, 
did not take up the work of his See till 1218, when John was 
dead, was a native of Croft. 

The parish books of Croft show " The dues and duties belong- 
inge and appertaininge unto the office of the clarkes of Crofte. 
A.D. 1626." 

He collected the Easter gratuities of the neighbours in the 
parish ; he got twenty shillings a year for looking after the 
clock, " to be paid by the churchwards." 


" For skowringe and furbishinge the eagle or ' brazen lectorie ' 
2/6 by the yeare. Sixpence for ' evry marriadge/ fourpence 
' for the passinge bell ringeinge for every inhabitant &c that 
are deceased." 

And " Item the privilege of makeinge the graves for the 
deceased before any other yf he will take the paines and canne 
doe yt." 

Evidently the clerks were old men and not always capable 
of wielding the spade and pick ; and now comes an entry which 
lets one into the secret of why the registers were often so ill- 
kept. Instead of the entries being made by the parson at the 
time, the clerk put them down " from time to time," and 
they were copied from his notes once a year. Under this system, 
of course, there were both mistakes and omissions, often for 
many months and even years together. 

This is the entry : — 

" Itm for the Register keepinge from tyme to tyme of all 
Christnings Marriadges and burialles from Ladyday to Ladyday 
until they be ingrossed : two shillings and sixpence a year." 

Possibly " from tyme to tyme " may mean on each occasion, 
but it sounds precarious. 

His fixed salary, besides fees, was, in 1773, thirty shillings 
and two strikes (—4 bushels) of com out of the two quarters 
(—sixteen bushels) which was given from the glebe every 
Easter to the poor by the parson. 

The Sexton's wages at the same date were given thus :— 

as Sexton 2. 10. o. 

for dogs wipping o. 7. 6. 

Dressing church round o. 2. o. 

For oyle o. 2. 4. 

For ringing the bell at 8 and 4 . . . . i. o. o. 

04. 01. 10. 

The " Parish Clerk " in Lincolnshire was, as a rule, a rougher- 
looking individual than he appears in Gainsborough's splendid 
picture in the National Gallery, but he was generally an original 
character, both in word and deed. I heard of one in Ireland 

320 BURGH-LE-MARSH chap. 

wlio announced, " There will be no sarmon this afternoon as 
the Bishop has been providentially prevented from praching," 
and many a quaint saying is recorded of those Lincolnshire 
clerks of the last century. Boys were their special aversion. 
In the old days at Spilsby the clerk kept a stick, and during 
the sermon would go down to the west end of the building, 
and the sound of his weapon on the boys' heads quite waked 
up the slumberers in the seats nearer the pulpit. One hears 
of a clerk putting a stop to what he considered an unnecessary 
afternoon service and saying to the clergyman, " We ha'en't 
no call to hev sarvice just for you and me, sir." " Oh, but I 
thought I saw some people coming in." " Just a parcel of 
boys, sir ; but I soon started they." But it is not the clerks 
only who show an intelligent interest in the parson and the 
services, though from generations of somewhat slovenly per- 
formance, the churchgoers had difficulty at first in appreciating 
the high-church ritual which here and there they saw for the 
first time. One kindly old woman on seeing in one of the Fen 
churches some unexpected genuflexions and bows, said after- 
wards, " I was sorry for poor Mr. C.,; he was that bad of his 
inside that he couldn't howd hissen up." And another I knew 
of who, when asked how they got on with the new ritualistic 
clergyman, and whether he hadn't introduced some new methods, 
replied, " Oh, yis, he antics a bit ; Iput we looves him soa we 
antics along wi' him." 

From Croft we turn north to Burgh-le-Marsh (SS. Peter and 
Paul) whose fine lofty tower, with its grand peal of eight bells, 
stands on the extreme edge of the Wold and overlooks the 
marsh, and, hke " Boston Stump," is visible far out to sea, 
The exterior is very fine, and the church, hke Croft, has retained 
its chancel, so ruthlessly destroyed in the case of Addlethorpe 
and Ingoldmells. The nave is wide and lofty, but the pillars 
poor. It is all Perpendicular, and has much interesting screen 
work which has been a good deal pulled about, even as late as 
1865, the year in which similar destruction was wrought at 
Ingoldmells. The rood screen now stands across the tower 
arch, and the chancel screen is a patchwork. There are two 
porches, north and south, the latter of brick, a good pulpit 
and a canopied font-cover which opens with double doors, 
dated 1623. On the north aisle wall is a plain brass plate 
with the following dialogue in Latin hexameters : — 



Quis jacet hie ? Leonardus Palmerus Generosus. 
Quae conjux dilecta fuit ? Catherina. Quis haeres ? 
Christopherus (cui nupta Anna est). Quis filius alter ? 
Robertus. Gnatae quot erant ? Tres, Elizabetha 
Ac Maria, ac Helena. Ansuperant? Superant. Ubi mens est 
Defuncti ? Rogitas. Dubio procul astra petivit. 
obiit Die Martis octavo 
Anno Domi 1610. 
aetatis suse 70. 

Who lies here ? Leonard Palmer, Gentleman. 
Who was his beloved wife ? Catherine. Who his heir ? 
Christopher (whose wife was Anna). Who was his second son ? 
Robert. How many daughters were there ? Three, Elizabeth 
and Mary and Helen. Are they living ? Yes. Where is the spirit 
of the departed ? You ask. Doubtless it has sought the stars. 
He died Mar. 8, 1610, aged 70. 

At Burgh the straight road from Skegness to Gunby turns 
to the left to pass through Bratoft. This church with pictur- 
esque ivy-clad tower has a good font, a chancel and parclose 
screens, and the rood-loft doorway. It has been well restored 
in memory of C. Massingberd, Squire of Gunby, and contains 
a very curious painting on wood which now hangs in the tower ; 
it was once over the chancel arch, and by its irregular shape 
it is clear that it was originally made to fit elsewhere. It is 
signed Robert Stephenson. The Armada is shown as a red 
dragon, between four points of land marked England, Scotland, 
Ireland and France with the following lines : — 

Spaine's proud Armado with great strength and power 

Great Britain's state came gapeing to devour, 

This dragon's guts, like Pharoa's scattered hoast 

Lay sphtt and drowned upon the Irish coast. 

For of eight score save too ships sent from Spaine 

But twenty-five scarce sound returned again 

non Nobis Domine. 

Bratoft Hall, the residence of the Bratofts and Massing- 
berds, was built in a square moated enclosure of two acres, 
which stood in a deer park of two hundred acres. It was taken 
down in 1698, and the Hall at Gunby built about the same 
time. The bridge over the moat of two brick arches was 
standing in 1830 intact. 



The twisting byeways lead from here back into the Skegness, 
Burgh, and Spilsby road. The Hall at Gunby ' is a fine brick 
mansion, the home of the Massingberds. A pretty little church 
stands in the park, in which are two very valuable brasses of 
the Massingberd family, one dated 1405, of a knight. Sir Thomas, 
in camail and pointed Bascinet, and his lady Johanna, in a 
tight dress and mantle. The other of William Lodyngton, 
Judge of the Court of Common Pleas, in his judicial robes, 1419. 
The Massingberd brass has had its incised inscription beaten 
out, and, with a new inscription in raised letters, has been 
made to serve for another Thomas and Johanna Massingberd 
in 1552, the figures, costumed as in 1400, serving for their 
parsimonious descendants of 150 years later. A precisely 
similar case of appropriation by two Dallisons with dates 1400 
and 1546 and 1549, may be seen in Laughton church near 
Gainsborough ; and again on a stone slab of the Watson family 
in Lyddington, Rutland. About 1800 Elizabeth Massingberd, 
sole heiress of Gunby, married her neighbour. Peregrine Langton, 
son of Bennet Langton, the friend of Dr. Johnson, who on 
marriage took the name of Massingberd. Their grandson 
was the Algernon Massingberd, born 1828, who left England 
in 1852, and since June, 1855, was never again heard of. In 
1862 his uncle, Charles Langton Massingberd, took possession 
of the estate. 

From Gunby various small by-roads lead literally in all 
directions ; you can take your choice of eight within half a mile 
of the park gates, and Burgh station, on the Boston and Grimsby 
line, is only just outside the boundary. 

' This is Gunby St. Peter ; Gunby St. Nicholas is between N. Witham 
and the Leicestershire border. 



Spilsby to Wainfleet— Little Steeping— Tomas-de-Reding — Monksthorpe— 
The Baptists — Thomas Grantham — Firsby — Thorpe— Churchwarden's 
Book — The " Dyxonary "—Wainfleet — Wilham of Waynflete— Halton 
Holgate— Sire Walter Bee— Village Carpentry. 

The record of the churches in the marsh land of the South 
Lindsey division would not be complete without some mention 
of Wainfleet. The Somersby brook, which, winding " with 
many a curve " through Partney and Halton, becomes at last 
" the Steeping river," is thence cut into a straight canal as 
far as Wainfleet, and then, resuming its proper river-character, 
goes out through the flats at Wainfleet Haven, near that positive 
end oT the world, " Gibraltar Point." 

Little Steeping has just undergone a most satisfactory -restora- 
tion in memory of its once rector. Bishop Steere, who succeeded 
Bishop Tozer of Burgh-le-Marsh as the third missionary bishop 
in Central Africa, and there did a great work as a missionary, 
and also built the first Central African cathedral in what had 
previously been the greatest slave market of the world — 
Zanzibar. The restorers have had a most interesting find this 
year (1912), for the chancel step, when taken up, proved to be 
the back of a fine recumbent effigy of a fourteenth century 
rector. Doubtless the monument v/as taken from the arched 
recess in the north wall of the chancel and thus hidden to save 
it from destruction in the sixteenth or seventeenth century. 
The masons who fitted it into its new bed had no scruple in 
knocking off the inscribed moulding on one side, and a bit of 
the carved stone got broken off and was found in the rectory 

323 V 2 


The figure represents a robed priest, with feet curiously 
clothed in what look like socks. The face is good and in excel- 
lent preservation. The work was probably local, for the ear 
is of enormous size. The mutilated inscription read originally : 
" Tomas de Keding priez qe Dieu pour sa grace de sa alme eyt 
merci." The letters in italics are missing. Thomas de Reding 
was presented to Little Steeping in 1328. There is a very 
good font, and the south porch outer arch is remarkable for 
the very unusual depth of its hollowed moulding on both of 
the outer porch pilasters. ■ The canopied work over the head 
of the inner doorway is good, but quite of a different character, 
and the wide projection of the north arcade capitals is notice- 
able. A stone on the outer wall marked " 1638 W P & R G " 
gives the date of a destructive restoration, when tomb slabs 
were cut up for window-sills and some ruthless patchwork 
put in on the north side of both aisle and chancel. A good 
rood screen with canopy has been put in, old work being used 
where possible, and a new churcliyard cross erected on the 
old base, with figures of St. Andrew and the Crucifixion, under 
a canopy like that at Somersby. The octagonal font in rich 
yellow stone has figures difficult to make out, and a small niche 
over the north-east pier of the nave arcade is to be noted ; 
probably it contained some relic or image. The stone brackets 
for the rood loft remain, but there is no trace left of the stair- 
case. The seats and pulpit of dark stained deal are interesting, 
as they were all made by Bishop Steere himself. The tower is 
patched with the old two-inch bricks, which always look well, 
and with some of the larger modern kind, which seldom do. 

Our best way now is to return to the Spilsby-and-Firsby 
road at Great Steeping, which will take us past Irby to Thorpe- 
St.-Peter and Wainfleet. 

The hamlet of Monksthorpe in Great Steeping parish indicates 
by its name the fact that Bardney Abbey had an estate here. 
No trace now remains of the manor built by Robert de Wayn- 
flete, when he retired in 131 7 from the abbey and had the 
proceeds of the estates in Steeping and Firsby and two cells 
in Partney and Skendleby assigned to him for the maintenance 
and clothing of himself and family. But part of the moat 
is visible, and one may see here in a chapel enclosure a baptist's 
pool bricked and railed round on three sides with one end open 
and sloping to the water, for the Baptists walked into the 


pool and did not believe in the efficacy of infant baptism. This 
was doubtless one of the places which was ministered to by the 
famous leader of the " General Baptist Church " who suffered 
such shameful and repeated persecution in the days of Cromwell 
and Charles II., Thomas Grantham, for he was a native of 
Halton, where the name still exists, and throughout a long 
life showed himself a man of a truly religious and eminently 
courageous heart, of whom his native village may well be proud. 
He died in 1692, aged seventy-eight, at Norwich, and was 
buried inside the church of St. Stephen, as a memorial to 
him set up therein states, " to prevent the indecencies threat- 
ened to his corpse," such as, we read on a tombstone in Croft 
churchyard, had been perpetrated on the body of his friend 
and fellow-Baptist, Robert Shalders, whose body was disinterred 
on the very day of his funeral by inhabitants of Croft, and 
dragged on a sledge and left at his own gates. Doubtless the 
clergyman was privy to this, so hot was the feeling for religious 
persecution in- those days, and took credit to himself for it, 
for in the parish book of Croft we may read as follows : — 

" Dec 20th, 1663. These persons here underwritten, viz. 
Roger Faune, Gent., Robert Shalders, Anne Montgomerie, 
Cicilie Barker, Alice Egger, were excommunicated in the parish 
church of Croft the day and year above written, 
" per me R. Clarke Curate Ibid 

Philip Neave | „, , , „ 
John Wells / Churchwardens. 

Two miles east of Steeping a good road to the right goes to 
Firshy, where is a small church built by Mr. G. E. Street to 
show how an entirely satisfactory building adapted to the 
needs of quite a small parish could be put up at a very small 
cost. The whole church cost under £1,000, and was built in 
less than six months, and opened November 5, 1857. In 
Thorpe we find a graceful font, a well-carved Perpendicular 
screen and a good Jacobean pulpit. The place belonged after 
the Conquest to the Kyme family. The Thorpe churchwardens' 
book commences in 1545, and in 1546 contains such items as 
these about the rood light and the light in the Easter Sepulchre : 

" An° reg° reg* Hen. VIII, xxxvij. 

" By thys dothe ytt appr what Symon Wyllyson & Roger 

Hopster hath pay" & layd for the cherche cocernyng the 



rode lyght & ye Sepulture lyght in ye xxxvj yere of ye rene 

off ower Sofferat lorde king Hery ye viij. 

fyrst payd by y" hands off y" forsayd Rog' for 
one powd.waxe makyng and a half agenst 
lent j^d 

Item payd to Gurwycke Wyffe for brede and 

ale to ye waxe makyng for y° supulture lyght xiiijd 

Item payd for j powde waxe maykyng for the 

rode lyght agast esf jd 

Item payd to y" dark for kepping off y° sepul- 
ture lyght ijd." 

In the reign of Edward VI the churchwardens seem to have 
had a jumble sale of all the odds and ends in the church, which 
they called the " offalment " or rubbish. 

" An° Reg E. VI" V'°. 
" Howffulment in the church soulde & delyvered by ye 
hands of John Greene & Robert Emme cherche masters." 

Amongst the various items of metal and woodwork, vestments, 
chests, books, &c., we have : — 

" Item off John Wolbe y° elder for an Albe and 

an old pantyd cloth iiij° 

Item to John Wolbe all y" boks in y" cherche. . ij° iiij* 

Item sowlde to W'° Keele ij altar clothes, a robe v° 

Item sowlde to Sir John Westmels curate, ij robes iiij' 
Item Sowlde W" Sawer ij corporaxs ^ w' otre of el- 

ment iij" viji'' " 

They were probably restoring their church, for we have 
two years later : — 

" It" p* for a wayn and iiij beasts for sand to 

the cherche viij'' " 

This was in the first and second year of Queen Mary, and 
they were then busy putting back what they had sold in 
Edward's reign, making side altars, etc., hence we find : — 

"If" p'' for y° clothe y° roode was paynted on xiiij'' 

It™ p** for paentyng off the roode ij' viij* 

' The corporax or corporal was the linen cloth to go under or over the 
vessel containing the consecrated elements. 



It'" p" to y" man that mayd the svd aulters in 

wageys ' xij'' 

It"" p" to Thomas hymlyn Wyffe for meat & 
dryncke too them that mayd the saide 
aulters ij« viij'' 

If" p" to y" man that makg. the Roode in prte 

ofpaementt xij'"' 

Other interesting items are — 

" It" payd to y" players off cadylmesse day . . viij" 

It'° payd in y" same year to y" players whytche 
playd off y" Sonday next after Sant Mathyes 
day vj'' " 

One might make quite an amusing " story of a dictionary " 
from the various entries in the Thorpe churchwardens' book 
about an Elliott's Dictionary which, in the middle of 
the sixteenth century the vicar bequeathed to his successors 
in perpeiuo. It is described as " one boke called a dyxonary," 
and evidently exercised both vicar and wardens a good deal 
until one vicar bethought him of the device of " delivering " 
it to the parish to be kept along with various volumes of 
homilies, and expositions and the paraphrases of Erasmus. 

But it is time to leave Thorpe ; and two miles will bring 
us to Wainfieet which, as its name declares, though now a 
couple of miles from the sea, was once a haven for sea-going 
ships, for " Fleet " means a navigable creek. This little place 
gave its name in the fifteenth century to a great man, William 
of Wainfieet, or Waynflete, Headmaster of Winchester, and 
first headmaster and Provost of Eton, successor to Cardinal 
Beaufort as Bishop of Winchester and Lord Chancellor of 
England under Henry VI. He was a great builder, for he 
possibly planned, and certainly completed, Tattershall Castle, 
built Tattershall church, and founded Magdalen College, Oxford, 
in 1457, the first college to admit commoners, a wise and far- 
seeing innovation of Waynflete's ; and in his native town erected 
in 1484 the Magdalen College School, a fine brick building 
seventy-six feet by twenty-six with its gateway flanked by 
polygonal towers recalling the entrance to Eton College. In 
the south tower is a remarkable staircase, and in the north a 

His adoption of St. Mary Magdalen as the patron of his 

328 WAINFLEET chap. 

school at Wainfleet and his college at Oxford may have 
originated in his having been appointed by Cardinal Beaufort 
to the mastership and chantry of St. Mary Magdalen hospital 
on Magdalen Down outside Winchester. 

The bishop lived to the reign of Richard III., and died 
in i486. He erected a monument to his father, Richard 
Patten. The son is called either Patten or Barbour, for he 
bore both names indifferently, though he soon discarded them 
both for the name of his birthplace, as was commonly done 
from the eleventh to the sixteenth century ; his brother also 
taking the name of Waynflete. This monument was in the origi- 
nal church of All Saints, for the second church of St. Thomas had 
long been destroyed. But All Saints' church, built cruciform 
and with a light wooden spire on account of the soft nature 
of the soil on which it stood, was destined to the same fate, 
for the foolish inhabitants having, in 17 18, put a heavy brick 
tower to it, with five bells in it, the weight brought a great 
part of the building to ruin. Subsequently it was pulled down, 
and the present church was set up at some distance from the 
old site in 1820, when the inhabitants added vandalism to their 
folly and wantonly demolished this fine tomb. The broken 
bits were collected and placed in the Magdalen School, and 
later were, by the intervention of the rector of Halton Holgate, 
Rev. T. H. Rawnsley, obtained for the President and Fellows 
of the Bishop's College at Oxford, and are now on the north 
side of the altar in the College Chapel. The figure has its 
feet resting on a bank of flowers and its head on a cushion 
and pillow supported by his two sons, John the Monk and 
William the Bishop. The face of the latter resembles the 
father, but is not so broad or so old as that of John. It is 
to be noted that Lincolnshire has produced two Bishops of 
Winchester, each of them the founder of a college at Oxford 
■ — Bishop Fox and Bishop Waynflete. 

The town is older than Boston and existed in Roman days, 
possibly under the name of Vannona, and apparently a 
Roman road ran from Doncaster to Wainfleet, passing through 
Horncastle and Lusby. Certainly " Salters road," which crosses 
the East Fen, was a Roman road, and the Romans made a good 
deal of salt from the sea-water in the immediate neighbour- 
hood of Wainfleet. In the charter rolls of Bardney Abbey 
{temp. Henry III.) we read that Matthew, son of Milo de 


Wenflet, paid annually " to God, Saint Oswald and the Monks 
of Bardney 4 shillings and eighteen sextaires of salt by the 
old measure " for the land he held in the village of Friskney. 

Later we find that {temp. Edward II.) Hugh le Despencer 
held lands in Wainfieet in 1327, and we know that a Robert 
le Despencer did so in Burgh in the time of Edward I. In the 
reign of Edward III. Wainfieet furnished two ships and forty 
seamen for the invasion of Brittany. 

Wainfieet St. Mary's lies one and a half miles to the south. 
The church is a massive structure with five arches on the north 
and four on the south of the nave. 

We have now completed the round of the Marsh churches, 
and in so doing, on leaving Gunby, we struck into the Spilsby 
and Wainfieet road, just where the Somersby brook, there 
called the Halton river, is crossed by an iron bridge. This 
we did not cross, but keeping always to the left bank we 
followed the stream to Wainfieet. We must now go back 
and cross this iron bridge, and trace the road thence for four 
miles and a half to Spilsby. This will take us on to the Wold. 
We shall only pass one village, but this is one of infinite charm. 

Halton Holgate stands on the very edge of the Wold, where 
the green-sand terminates, and looks far across the Fen to 
Boston. The name of the village is always properly pronounced 
by the natives Halton Hollygate, i.e., hollow gate or way ; 
for the descending road has been cut through the green-sand 
rock, and where the cutting is deepest a pretty timber foot- 
bridge is thrown over it, leading from the rectory to the church- 
yard. The garden lawn has, or had, two fine old mulberry trees. 
These were once more common — for in the reign of James I. 
an order went out for the planting of mulberry trees in all 
rectory gardens with a view to the encouragement of the silk 
trade by the breeding and feeding of silkworms, whose favourite 
diet is the mulberry leaf. From the garden, " Boston stump " 
is visible eighteen miles to the south. The church is a parti- 
cularly handsome one with massive well-proportioned tower, 
and large belfry windows, eight three-light clerestory windows 
on either side and a fine south porch of Ancaster stone. The 
rest is built of the beautifully tinted local green-sand, with quoins 
of harder Clipsham stone. Inside it is spacious, with lofty 
octagonal pillars. It is seated throughout with oak, and has 
several good old oak poppy-heads and some large modern 



ones copied from Winthorpe and carved by a Halton carpenter. 
Here it is worth notice that for the last hundred years Halton 
has never been without wood-workers of unusual talent. 

South of the chancel two tall blocked arcades, leading to a 
Lady chapel long pulled down, were opened by the Rev. T. 
Sale, rector in 1894, who had reseated the chancel and filled 
the east window with good stained glass. The chapel, which 
now holds the organ, was rebuilt in memory of the two previous 
rectors, Rev. T. H. Rawnsley (i825-i86i)and R. D. B. Rawnsley 

Briage over the Hollow-Gate. 

(1861-1882), and their wives Sophia Walls and Catharine 
Franklin. The fine effigy of a Crusader, called Henry de 
Halton, had been buried for safety and forgotten, like that 
of the priest at Little Steeping, and the sepulchral slab with 
Lombardic lettering, of Sir Walter Bee, of the late twelfth 
or early thirteenth century, is the oldest monument in the 
neighbourhood. The inscription is : " Sire Walter Bee jist 
ici de ki alme Dieu ait merci." There is a fine peal of six bells, 
and a " tingtang," a thing very common in Lincolnshire, and 
reminiscent of the pre-Reformation Sanctus bell. 
We have so often seen, owing to the negligence of church 



authorities, damp church walls, and wet streaming down from 
gutter or stack-pipe, which is blocked with growing grass or 
sparrows' nests, to the great detriment of the building, that 
it is pleasant to record the useful activity of the Halton 
churchwardens, of whom one has carved, and the other put 
together, a fine oak screen, with the names and dates of all 
the known rectors, churchwardens and clerks of the parish. 

Halton Church. 

In the north wall of the chancel is a priest's door, which has 
always been in constant use. It is a beautiful bit of Perpen- 
dicular work with an exceptionally good hood-moulding and 
lovely carving of waved foliage in the spandrels. These north 
side doors are sometimes called " Devils' doors," as they were 
not only to let the priest in but also to let the Devil out, being 
left open at baptisms to let him fly out when the infant 
renounces the Devil and all his works, and becomes the child 
of grace. The idea that the north was the Devil's side had 


possibly something to do with the repugnance, hardly yet 
quite overcome, to a burial on that side of the churchyard. 

An avenue of elms, planted by the Rev. T. H. Rawnsley 
about 1830, starting from the " Church Wongs," ^ leads past 
the tower at the west to the Hollow-gate road, close to where 
a pit was dug by the roadside to get the sandstone for repairing 
the tower ; and to-day, as we pass along to Spilsby, we shall 
see a wall of sandstone rock exposed on the right of the road, 
and a lot of blocks cut out and hardening in the air prepara- 
tory for use at Little Steeping, and we shall naturally be reminded 
of the words of Isaiah, " Look unto the rock whence ye are 
hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence ye are digged." 

We have said that the restoration of Halton Holgate church 
was carried out by the Rev. T. H. Rawnsley about 1845, and 
it is remarkable that it was done so extremely well ; ior at 
that particular time the art of architectural restoration was 
almost at its lowest. As far as they went there were no 
mistakes made by the restorers at Halton, and the carved work 
for the seats was copied from the best models to be seen in 
any Lincolnshire church, and executed under the eye of the 
rector and his son, Drummond Rawnsley, by a Halton 
carpenter. That is just as it should be, and just as it used to 
be, but it is not often possible of attainment now. 

Jesus College chapel at Cambridge underwent a much needed 
restoration at the same bad period, i.e., in 1849, ^^d here too, 
by the genius of the architect, excellent work was done, some 
good old carving being preserved and very cleverly matched 
with new work well executed, and by a very curious coinci- 
dence, the shape of some of the poppy-heads and the plan of 
the panel carving is almost identical with that which was 
executed at Halton, after the Winthorpe pattern. 

^ Wong = field. In Horncastle there is a street called " The Wong." 



Spilsby Market-town — The Churches and Willoughby Chapel — The Frank- 
lins — The Talk of the Market — Lincolnshire Stories and Others — 
Byways — Old Bolingbroke — Harrington Church — The Copledike 
Tombs — The Hall — Bag-Enderby — Remarkable Font — Somersby — 
The Churchyard Cross — The Brook — Ashby Puerorum. 

Spilsby is the head of a petty-sessional division in the parts 
of Lindsay. The name is thought by some to be a corruption 
of Spellows-by, to which the name of Spellows hill in the 
neighbourhood gives some colour. The old gaol, built in 1825, 
had a really good classic portico with four fluted columns and 
massive pediment. Most of the buildings behind this im- 
posing entrance were pulled down after fifty years, and all 
that it leads to now is the Sessions House and police station. 
The long market-place is interrupted in one place by a block 
of shops, and in another by a mean-looking Com Exchange ; 
but at one end of it still stands an elegant, restored market 
cross, and at the other a bronze statue by Noble of Sir John 
Franklin, the most famous of Spilsby's sons, the discoverer 
of the " North West Passage." His hand rests on an anchor, 
and on the pedestal are the words : " They forged the last 
link with their lives." Just beyond the town a fine elm-tree 
avenue leads to Eresby, the seat whence the Willoughby 
family take their title. In Domesday Book, 1086, Spilsby 
and Eresby are said to belong to the Bishop of Durham. His 
tenant Pinco, or one of his sons, the Fitz Pincos, acquired it ; 
and about 1166 a Pinco heiress married Walter Bee, whose 
grandson has a sepulchral slab in Hal ton church, c. 1243. In 
1295 a John, the son of Walter, was created Baron Bee of 


Eresby, the younger brothers being Antony, Bishop of Durham, 
and Thomas, who was consecrated Bishop of St. David's at 
Lincoln in 1280. Lord Bee died in 1302, in which year Sir 
Wilham of Willoughby (near Alford), who had married his 
daughter and heiress Alice, obtained a charter for a market 
at Spilsby every Monday. Their son Robert was the first 
Baron Willoughby De Eresby, who died in 1316. His son 
John fought at Crecy 1346, and in 1348 founded the College 
of the Holy Trinity at Spilsby, and the chantry which, when 
he and his successors in the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries 
with their huge altar tombs filled up the chancel of the old 
church, even blocking up the entire chancel arch with the 
stone screen of the Bertie monument, became eventually the 
chancel of the parish church. For the old church consisted 
of a nave and chancel into which the west door opened direct ; 
it had probably a narrow north aisle, and certainly a large 
south aisle was added with the Trinity chapel at the east end 
of it. This aisle and chapel are now the nave and chancel 
of the church, which was restored in Ancaster stone in 1879, 
and a new south aisle added, the tower alone remaining of 
green-sand with lofty hard-stone pinnacles. ' In this the bells 
have just been re-hung, in December, 1913. John, second 
Baron Willoughby (1348), also the third (1372), who fought 
at Poictiers, and the fourth, with his second wife. Lady Neville, 
at his side (1380), have huge altar tombs with effigies in armour ; 
he died 1389. A brass commemorates his third wife (1391), 
and another fine one, said to be Lincolnshire work, the fifth 
baron and his first wife (1410). Both these ladies being of 
the family of Lord Zouch. The gap between the fifth and 
the tenth Lord Willoughby is accounted for thus : — 

The sixth Lord was created Earl of Vendome and Beaumont 
and died 1451. His second wife was Maud Stanhope, co-heiress 
of Lord Cromwell of Tattershall. The seventh and eighth, 
best known by their other title of Lord Welles, were both put 
to death for heading the Lincolnshire rebelhon against 
Edward IV., the father by an act of bad faith on the king's 
part, who had taken him, together with Dymoke the Champion, 
out of the Sanctuary in Westminster ; and the son because, 
in revenge, joining Sir Thomas de la Launde, he had fought 
the Yorkists and been defeated at the battle of Loose-coat- 
field near Stamford, 1470. The ninth lord was William, who 


was descended from a younger son of the fifth Baron Willoughby, 
since Richard Hastings, whom Joan, the sister and heiress of 
the eighth Lord Welles, had married, left no issue. There is 
a monument in Ashby church near Spilsby, though in a very 
fragmentary condition, to William and also to Joan and 
Richard Hastings. WilUam married Katherine of Aragon's 
maid-of-honour, Lady Mary Salines, for his second wife, and 
by a will, dated Eresby 1526, desired to be buried and have 
a monument erected to himself and his wife at Spilsby, but 
this was never done. The stone screen with its supporting 
figures of a hermit, a crowned Saracen, and a wild man, erect, 
set up in 1580, is in memory of his daughter and heiress, 
Katherine Duchess of Suffolk, and her second husband, Richard 
Bertie, her first husband being that Charles Brandon who 
obtained so huge a share of the estates confiscated by Henry VIII. 
in Lincolnshire. They lived at Grimsthorpe, on the west side 
of the county, which the king had given to Katherine's parents ; 
and thenceforth that became the chief seat of the Willoughby 
family, and the series of monuments is continued in Edenham 
church. But there is one more monument, in what is now 
called the Willoughby chapel at Spilsby. This is to a son 
of the duchess, Peregrine Bertie, tenth Baron Willoughby; 
he died at Berwick in 1601, and was buried at Spilsby as directed 
in his will ; his daughter. Lady Watson, died in 1610, and, 
as she wished to be buried near her father, Sir Lewis Watson 
of Rockingham erected a monument to both father and 
daughter, the latter reclining on her elbow, with the baby, 
which caused her death, in a little square cot at her feet. 
Peregrine was so named because he was born abroad, his 
parents having fled from the Marian persecutions. His wife 
was the Lady Mary Vere who brought the office of chamberlain 
into the Willoughby family. It was claimed by her son Robert, 
the eleventh baron, who in 1630 was made Earl of Lindsey, 
and thus the barony became merged in the earldom, the fourth 
earl being subsequently created Duke of Ancaster. 

Eresby Manor was burnt down in 1769, and only the nioat 
and garden wall and, at the end of the avenue, one tall brick- 
and-stone gate-pillar surmounted by a stone vase remain. 
At the suppression of the college and chantries the Grammar 
School was founded on the site of the college, just to the north 
of the church, Robert Latham being the first master, in 1550. 

336 THE FRANKLINS chap. 

At the south-west end of the church are three tablets to 
three remarkable brothers born in Spilsby towards the end 
of the eighteenth century. 

Major James Franklin, who made the first miUtary survey 
of India, and contributed a paper to the Geological Society 
in 1828, died in 1834. Sir WilHngham Franklin who, after 
a distinguished career at Westminster and Oxford, died, with 
wife and daughter, of cholera, 1824, at Madras, where he was 
judge of the Supreme Court. And Sir John Franklin, the 
famous Arctic navigator, who fought at Trafalgar and Copen- 
hagen, and died in the Arctic regions on June 11, 1847, before 
the historic disaster had overtaken the crews of the Erebus 
and Terror. His statue stands in his native town, and also 
in Hobart Town, where he lived for a time as Governor of 
Tasmania, and is one of the two statues in London which were 
set up by the nation. On his monument in Westminster 
Abbey are the beautiful lines by his friend and neighbour, 
and relative by marriage, Alfred Tennyson. 

Not here ! the white North has thy bones ; and thou, 

Heroic sailor-soul, 
Art passing on thy happier Voyage now 

Towards no earthly pole. 

The Other brother, Thomas Adams Franklin, raised the Spilsby 
and Burgh battalion of volunteer infantry in 1801. Major 
Booth followed his good example and raised a company at 
Wainfleet to resist the invasion by Napoleon, and the men 
of the companies presented each of them with a handsome 
silver cup. Five Franklin sisters married and settled in the 
neighbourhood ; and Catharine, the daughter of Sir Wilhngham, 
married Drummond, the son of the Rev. T. H. Rawnsley, 
vicar of Spilsby. Thus quite a clan was created, insomuch 
that forty cousins have been counted at one Spilsby ball. 
Drummond succeeded his father as rector of Halton, and very 
appropriately preached the last sermon in the old church at 
Spilsby at the closing service previous to its restoration, 
speaking from the pulpit which his father had occupied from 
1813 to 1825. His sermon, a very fine one, called " The Last 
Time," was from i St. John ii. 18, and was delivered on 
Trinity Sunday, 1878. 

The time to visit Spilsby is on market day, when, round the 
butter cross, besides eggs, butter and poultry, pottery is dis- 


played " on the stones/' stalls are set up where one may buy 
plants and clothes, and things hard to digest like " bull's eyes," 
as well as boots and braces, and near " the Statue " at the 
other end, are farm requisites, sacks, tools, and the delightful- 
smelling tarred twine, as well as all sorts of old iron, chains, 
bolts, hinges, etc., which it seems to be worth someone's while 
to carry from market to market. It is here that the humours 
of the petty auctioneer are to be heard, and the broad Doric 
of the Lincolnshire peasant. In the pig market below the 
church hill you may hear a man trying to sell some pigs, and 
to the objection that they are " Strange an' small," he replies, 
" Mebbe just now ; but I tell ye them pigs 'uU be great 'uns," 
then, in a pause, comes the voice from a little old woman who 
is looking on without the least idea of buying, " It 'ull be a 
straange long while fust," and in a burst of laughter the chance 
of selling that lot is snuffed out, or, as they say at the West- 
morland dog trials, " blown off." 

There is an unconscious humour about the older Lincoln- 
shire peasants which makes it very amusing to be about among 
them, whether in market, field or home. My father never 
returned from visiting his parish without some rich instance 
of dialect or some humorous speech that he had heard. 
Finding a woman flushed with anger outside her cottage 
once, and asking her what was amiss, he was told " It's them 
Hell-cats." " Who do you call by such a name ? " " Them 
Johnsons yonder." " Why ? What have they been doing } " 
" They've been calling me." " That's very wrong ; what have 
they been caUing you ? " " They've bin calling me Skinny." 
At another time a woman, in the most cutting tones, alluding 
to her next-door neighbours who had an afflicted child, said, 
" We may-be poor, and Wanty [her husband] says we are 
poor, destitutely poor, and there's no disgraace in .being poor, 
but our Mary-Aim doant hev fits." Another time, when my 
sister was recommending a book from the lending library 
describing a voyage round the world, and called " Chasing 
the Sun," a little old woman looked at the title and said, " Naay, 
I weant ha' that : I doant howd wi sich doings. Chaasing the 
Sun indeed ; the A'mighty will soon let 'em know if they gets 
a chevying him." In the same village I got into conversation 
one autumn day with a small freeholder whose cow had been 
ill, and asked him how he had cured her, he said, " I got haafe a 


338 MORE STORIES chap. 

pound o' sulphur and mixed it wi' warm watter and bottled 
it into her. Eh ! it's a fine thing I reckon is sulphur for owt 
that's badly, cow or pig or the missis or anythink." Then, 
with a serious look he went on, " There's a straange thing 
happened wi' beans, Mr. Rownsley." " What's that ? " 
"Why, the beans is turned i'the swad " ( = pod). "No!" 
" Yees they hev." " How do you mean ? " " Why they 
used to be black ends uppermost and now they'r 'tother waay 
on." " Well, that's just how they always have been." " Naay 
they warn't. It was 8i they turned." They do lie with the 
attachment of each bean to the pod, just the way you would 
not expect, and having noticed this he was convinced that 
up to then they had really lain the way he had always 
supposed they did, so difficult is it to separate fact from imagi- 
nation. The similes used by a Lincolnshire native are often 
quite Homeric, as when an old fellow, who was cutting his 
crop of beans, the haulm of which is notoriously tough, resting 
on his scythe said, " I'd rayther plow wi two dogs nor haulm 
beans." Then they have often a quiet, slow way of saying 
things, which is in itself humorous. I remember a labourer 
who was very deaf, but he had been much annoyed by the 
mother of a man whose place he had succeeded to. He was 
working alongside of his master and apropos of nothing but 
his own thoughts, he said, " Scriptur saays we should forgive 
one another ; but I doant knoa. If yon owd 'ooman fell i' 
the dyke I doant think I should pull her out. I mowt tell some 
'un on her, but I doant think I should pull her out howiver." 
There is some kindliness in that, though in quantity it is rather 
like the Irishman's news : " I've come to tell you that I have 
nothing to tell you, and there's some news in that." But the 
Lincolnshire native is a trifle stern ; even the mother's hand 
is more apt to be punitive than caressing. " I'll leather you 
well when I gets you home, my lad," I have heard a mother 
say to a very small boy, and I have heard tell of a mother 
who, when informed that her little girl had fallen down the 
well, angrily exclaimed, " Drat the children, they're alius i' 
mischief ; and now she's bin and drownded hersen I suppose." 
In Westmorland it is the husband who will take too much 
at market on whom the vials of the wrath of the missis are 
outpoured, and they generally know how to " sarve " him. 
One good lady, on being asked " Yio-wever did you get him ower 


t'wall, Betty ? " replied " I didna get him ower at a' — I just 
threshed him through th' hog-hole " (the hole in the wall for 
the sheep, or hoggetts, to pass through). 

Speaking of tippling, there is no more delightful story than 
this from Westmorland, of a mouse which had fallen into a 
beer vat and was swimming round in despair, when a cat looked 
over, and the mouse cried out, " If ye'll git me oot 0' this ye 
may hev me." The cat let down her tail and the mouse 
chmbed up, and shaking herself on the edge of the vat, jumped 
off and went down her hole, and on being reproached by the 
cat as not being a mouse of her word, answered, " Eh ! but 
ivry body knaws folks will say owt when they're i' drink." 

There are several pretty little bits of country near Spilsby, 
but the most interesting of the by-ways leads off from the 
Horncastle road at Mavis Enderby, and, going down a steep hill, 
brings us to Old Bolingbroke, a picturesque village with a 
labyrinth of lanes circling about the mounded ruins of the 
castle, where, in 1366, Henry IV. " of Bolingbroke " was bom. 
It was built in 1140 by William de Romara, first Earl of Lincoln, 
and was, till 1643, when Winceby battle took place, a moated 
square of embattled walls, with a round tower at each corner. 
Here Chaucer used to visit John of Gaunt and the Duchess 
Blanche of Lancaster, on whose death, in 1369, he wrote his 
" Book of the Duchess." The castle, after the Civil Wars, 
sank into decay, and the gate-house, the last of the masonry, 
fell in 1815. The road onwards comes out opposite Hagnaby 
Priory. William de Romara, who three years later founded 
Revesby Abbey, had for his wife the second Lady Lucia, the 
heiress of the Saxon Thorolds, an honoured name among 
Lincolnshire families. She brought him, among other posses- 
sions, the manor of Bolingbroke. Her second husband was 
the Norman noble, Ranulph, afterwards earl of Chester. The 
Thorolds were descended from Turold, brother of the Lady 
Godiva. There apparently were two Lady Lucius, whose 
histories are rather mixed up by the ancient chroniclers. The 
earlier of the two was, it seems, the sister of the Saxon nobles, 
Edwin and Morcar, and of King Harold's queen Ealdgyth. 
Her hand was bestowed by the conqueror upon his nephew, 
Ivo de Taillebois (= Underwood), who became, according to 
Ingulphus and others, a monster of cruelty, and died in 11 14. 

There are several by-ways to the north-west of Spilsby, which 

z 2 



all converge on Harrington. Here the church contains several 
monuments of interest. At the east end of the nave, a knight 
in chain armour with crossed legs and shield is said to be Sir 
John Harrington {circa 1300) ; and against the chancel wall, 
but formerly on the pavement, is the brass of Margaret Cople- 
dike (1480). Her husband's effigy is missing. Under the 
tower window is the monument to Sir John Copledike (1557), 
and in the chancel south wall a canopied tomb with a brass 
of Sir John Copledike (1585). Opposite is a Jacobean monu- 
ment, which testifies to the illiteracy of the age with regard to 
spelling, to Francis Kopaldyk, his wife and two children (1599). 
In the time of Henry III. it was spelt Cuppeldick. A Perpen- 
dicular font with the Copledike arms stands against the tower 

Close to the church is Harrington Hall, with its fine old 
brick front and projecting porch. Hanging over the doorway 
is a large dial with the Amcotts arms, a curiously shaped 
indicator, and the date 1681. On either side of the porch 
which runs up the whole height of the house, are twelve 
windows, under deep, projecting, corbelled eaves. Inside is 
an old oak-panelled room, most richly carved. The house is 
the property of the Ingilby family, and at present the residence 
of E. P. Rawnsley, Esq., who has been for many years Master 
of the Southwold Hunt. 

Somersby is but two miles off, and we may without hesitation 
turn our thoughts to the terraced garden of this delightful 
old hall when we read in Tennyson's " Maud " : — 

' ' Birds in the high Hall-garden 
When twilight was falling, 
Maud, Maud, Maud, Maud, 
They were crying and calling. 

The poet loved to tell how, when he was reading this and 
paused to ask, " Do you know what birds those were ? " a 
lady, clasping her hands, said, " Oh, Mr. Tennyson, was it the 
nightingale ? " though in reading it he had carefully given 
the harsh caw of the rooks. 

To get from here to Somersby you pass through Bag Enderby, 
where there is a fine church, now in a very ruinous state. The 
very interesting old font, which stands on two broken Enderby 
tombstones, has some unusual devices carved on it, such as 
David with a viol, and the Virgin with the dead Christ. One, 



the most remarkable of all, is a running hart turning back 
its head to lick off with its long tongue some leaves from the 
tree of life growing from its back. This symbolism is purely 
Scandinavian ; and that it could be used on a Christian font 
shows how thoroughly the two peoples and their two religions were 
commingling.^ The large number of villages about here ending 
m " by " — Danish for hamlet — is sufficient evidence of the 
number of settlers from over the North Sea who had taken 
up their abode in this part of the county. 

Somershy Church. 

The green-sand, which underlies the chalk, and of which 
almost all the churches are built, crops out by the roadside 
in fine masses both here and at Somersby and Salmonby, as 
it does too at Raithby, Halton, Keal, all in the immediate 
neighbourhood of the chalk wolds. Inside the church, slabs 
on the floor of the chancel retain their brass inscriptions to 
Thomas and Agnes Enderby (1390), and Albinus de Enderby, 
builder of the tower (1407) ; and on the wall is a monument 
to John and Andrew Gedney (1533 and 1591). The latter 

' The most notable instance of this is on the Gosforth Cross in Cumber- 
land, where the same figure represents both Odin and Christ. Here too 
was a permanent Norse settlement. 


represented in armour and with his wife and family of two 
sons and two daughters. The wife, whose name is spelt first 
Dorithe, then Dorathe, " died the 7th of June 1591 and 
Andrew " the blank being left unfilled. 

The knives and scourges of Crowland Abbey {see Chap. XLIV.) 
are seen in the old glass. The custom of giving little knives 
to all comers at Crowland on St. Bartholomew's Day was 
abolished by Abbot John de Wisbeche in the reign of Edward IV. 
In the tower is a fine peal of disused bells. 

Dr. Tennyson held this living with Somersby. This is a 
smaller building, but it retains in the churchyard a remark- 
able and perfect cross, a tall, slender shaft with pedimented 
tabernacle, under which are figures, as on the gable cross at 
Addlethorpe and on the head of the broken churchyard cross 
at Winthorpe — the Crucifixion is on one side and the Virgin 
and Child on the other. 

From Somersby there are two roads to Homcastle — each 
passes over' the brook immortalised in "In Memoriam " and 
in the lovely little lyric, " Flow down cold rivulet to the sea," 
and branching to the left, one passes through Salmonby, where 
Bishop William of Waynflete is said to have been rector. This 
is doubtful, but probably he was presented to the vicarage of 
Skendleby by the Prior of Bardney in 1430. The other and 
prettier road goes by Ashby Puerorum and Greethxim., and both 
run out into the Spilsby and Homcastle road near High 
Toynton. Ashby Puerorum (or Boys' Ashby) gets its name 
from an estate here bequeathed to support the Lincoln Minster 
choir boys. At this place, and again close by Somersby, the 
hollows in the Wold which this road passes through are among 
the prettiest bits of Lincolnshire. 



Tennyson's Poetry descriptive of his home — Bronze Bust of the Poet — 
Dedication Festival — A Long-lived Family — Dialect poems. 

This little quiet village, tucked away in a fold of the hills, 
with the eastern ridge of the Wolds at its hack and the broad 
meadow valley stretching away in front of it and disappearing 
eastwards in the direction of the sea, had no history till now. 
It was only in 1808 that Dr. George Clayton Tennyson came 
to Somersby as rector of Somersby and Bag Enderby, incumbent 
of Beniworth and Vicar of Great Grimsby. He came as a 
disappointed man, for his father, not approving, it is said, 
of his marriage with Miss ffytche of Louth (a reason most 
unreasonable if it was so) had disinherited him in favour of 
his younger brother Charles, who became accordingly Charles 
Tennyson d'Eyncourt of Bayons Manor near Tealby. 

Dr. Tennyson's eldest son George was born in the parsonage 
at Tealby, in 1806, but died an infant. Frederick was born 
at Louth in 1807, and the other ten children at Somersby. 
Of these, the first two were Charles (1808) and Alfred (1809). 

They were a family of poets ; their father wrote good verse, 
and their grandmother, once Mary Turner of Caister, always 
claimed that Alfred got all his poetry through her. Her 
husband George was a member of Parliament and lived in the 
old house at Bayons Manor. 

From the fourteenth century the Tennysons, like their 
neighbours the Rawnsleys, had lived in Yorkshire ; but Dr. 
Tennyson's great-grandfather, Ralph, had come south of the 
Humber about 1700 to Barton and Wrawby near Brigg, and 

344 THE TENNYSONS chap. 

each succeeding generation moved south again. Thus, Michael, 
who married Elizabeth Clayton, lived at Lincoln, and was the 
father of George, the first Tennyson occupant of Bayons Manor. 
He had four children : George Clayton, the poet's father ; 
Charles, who took the name of Tennyson d'Eyncourt ; Eliza- 
beth, the " Aunt Russell " that the poet and his brothers and 
sisters were so fond of ; and Mary, the wife of John Bourne of 
Dalby, of whom, though she lived so near to them, the Somersby 
children were content to see very little, for she was a rigid 
Calvinist, and once said to her nephew, " Alfred, when I look 
at you I think of the words of Holy Scripture, ' Depart from me, 
ye cursed, into everlasting fire.' " At Somersby, then, the poet 
and all the children after Frederick were born in this order : 
Charles, Alfred, Mary, Emilia, Edward, Arthur, Septimus, 
Matilda, Cecilia, Horatio. They were a singularly fine family, 
tall and handsome, taking after their father in stature (he 
was six feet two inches) and after their mother (a small and 
gentle person, whose good looks had secured her no less than 
twenty-five offers of marriage) in their dark eyes and Spanish 
colouring. She was idolised by her eight tall sons and her 
three handsome daughters, of whom Mary, who became 
Mrs. Ker, was a wonderfully beautiful woman. Frederick, 
who outlived all his brothers, dying at the age of ninety-one 
after publishing a volume of poems in his ninetieth year, alone 
of the family had fair hair and blue eyes. Matilda is alive still 
at the age of ninety-eight. 

The three elder sons all went to the Grammar School at 
Louth in 1813, when Alfred was but seven. Frederick went 
thence to Eton in 1817, and to St. John's, Cambridge, in 1826 ; 
Charles and Alfred stayed at Louth till 1820, and they left it 
with pleasure for home teaching. Few could have been better 
qualified to teach than the Doctor. He had a good library 
and he was a classical scholar ; could read Hebrew and was not 
without a knowledge of mathematics, natural science and 
modem languages ; also he was a rigid disciplinarian, and, like 
all good schoolmasters, was held in considerable awe by his 
pupils. I should like to have heard him had anyone in his 
day outlined to him as the method of the future the Montessori 
system. This power of terrifying a whole class and causing 
each one of a set of ordinarily plucky English lads to feel for 
the space of half an hour that his heart was either in his 


mouth or in his shoes, would be incredible, were it not that 
there are so many English gentlemen now living who have 
experience of it. How well I remember the 'terrible, if irrational, 
state of funk which the whole of any class below the upper 
sixth was always in, when going up for their weekly lesson 
to that really most genial of men, Edward Thring, and it was 
the same elsewhere, and given the same sort of circumstances, 
the grown-up man could feel as frightened as the boy ; witness 
this delightful story of the Iron Duke. No one could call him 
a coward, but on his return from Waterloo he went down on 
the fourth lof June to Eton, and first told some one in his club 
that he meant to confess to Keate that he was the boy who 
had painted the Founder's Statue or some such iniquity, the 
perpetrator of which Keate had been unable to discover. His 
friend extracted a promise that after his interview he would 
come and report at the club. He came, and being questioned 
by a group of deeply interested old Etonians, he said, " Well, 
it was all dififerent, not at all like what I expected. I seized 
the opportunity when Keate came to speak with me by the 
window and said, " You remember the Founder's Statue 
being defaced, sir ? " " Certainly. Do you know anything 
about it ? " he said sharply". " No, sir." " You don't mean 
to say you said that ? " " Certainly I do, and what is more, 
every one of you would, in the circumstances, have said just 
the same," and then and there they all admitted it ; so difficult 
is it to shake off the feelings of ea,rlier days. And yet he was not 
naturally terrible, and I who write this, never having been under 
him, have, as a small boy, spoken to Keate without a shadow 
of fear. 

This reminds me of a remark of Gladstone's, who was giving 
us some delightful reminiscences of his days at Eton, and, 
speaking enthusiastically of Alfred Tennyson's friend, Arthur 
Hallam, when on my saying that I had spoken with Keate, 
he turned half round in his chair and said, " Well, if you say 
you have seen Keate I must believe you, but I should not 
have thought it possible." He had forgotten for the moment 
that Keate, after retiring from Eton, lived thirteen years at 
Hartley Westpall (near Strathfieldsaye), where my father was 

To return to Somersby. We read in the memoir of the 
poet an amusing account, by Arthur Tennyson, of how the 

346 EARLY VOLUMES chap. 

Doctor's approach when they were skylarking would make 
the boys scatter. 

In 1828 Charles and Alfred went up to Trinity, Cambridge. 
Frederick was already a University prize-winner, having got 
the gold medal for the Greek ode, and Charles subsequently 
got the Bell Scholarship, and Alfred the English Verse prize. 
The boys' first poetical venture was the volume " Poems by 
Two Brothers," published in 1826 by Jackson of Louth, who 
gave them £20, more than half to be taken out in books. To 
this volume Frederick contributed four pieces, the rest were 
by Charles and Alfred. The latter used very properly to speak 
with impatience of it in later years as his " early rot." And 
it is quite remarkable how comparatively superior is the work 
done by Alfred as a boy of fourteen, and how little one can 
trace in the two brothers' volume of that lyrical ability which 
in 1830 produced Mariana and The Arabian Nights, The Mennan, 
The Dying Swan and the Ode to Memory. The majority of these 
poems were written at Cambridge, but there is much reference 
to Somersby in at least two of them, and the song, " A Spirit 
haunts the year's last hours," was, we know, written in the 
garden there with its border of hollyhocks and tiger-lilies. In 
the Ode to Memory he invokes her to arise and come, not from 
vineyards, waterfalls, or purple cliffs, but to 

" Come from the Woods that belt the grey hill side, 
The seven elms, the poplars four 
That stand beside my father's door, 
And chiefly from the brook that loves 
To purl o'er matted cress and ribbed sand. 


O ! hither lead thy feet ! 
Pour round mine ears the livelong bleat 
Of the thick fieecM sheep from wattled folds, 

Upon the ridgid wolds." 

This is reminiscent of Somersby. 

Then again. Memory calls up the pictures of " the sand-built 
ridge of heaped hills that mound the sea " at Mablethorpe, 
and the view over " the waste enormous marsh." 

In 1831 Dr. Tennyson died, aged fifty-two, and his sons left 
Cambridge. His widow lived on for thirty-four years, dying 
at the age of eighty-four, in 1865. They stayed on in the 
Somersby home till 18-37, and a new volume came out in 1832, 


with a whole array of poems of rare merit, showing how much 
the poet's mind had matured in that last year at Cambridge. 
This volume, like the Louth volume, is dated for the year 
after that in which it was really published. It carried Alfred 
to the front rank at once, for in it was The Lady oj Shalott, 
The Palace of Art, The Miller's Daughter, (Enone, The May 
Queen, New Year's Eve, The Lotus Eaters, A Dream of Fair 
Women, and the Lines to James Spedding, on the death of 
his brother Edward. Only think of all these wonderful poems 
in a thin book of 162 pages written before he was twenty-three. 
To Mablethorpe and Skegness on the Lincolnshire coast 
we find frequent allusions in many poems, e.g., he speaks in 
The Last Tournament of " the wide-winged sunset of the misty 
marsh," and when the Red Knight in drunken passion, trying 
to strike the King overbalances himself, he falls — 

" As the crest of some slow arching wave, 
Heard in dead night along that table shore, 
Drops flat, and after, the great waters break 
Whitening for half-a-league, and thin themselves, 
Far over sands marbled with moon and cloud. 
From less and less to nothing. " 

A most accurate picture of that flat Lincolnshire coast with its 
" league-long rollers," and hard, wet sands shining in the moon- 
light. In another place he speaks of " The long low dune 
and lazy-plunging sea." 

In his volume of 1832 there are many pictures drawn from 
this familiar coast, e.g., in The Lotus Eaters, The Palace of Art, 
The Dream of Fair Women ; and in his 1842 volumes he 
speaks of 

" Locksley Hall that in the distance overlooks the sandy flats 
And the hollow ocean ridges roaring into cataracts." 

A relative of mine was once reading this poem to the family 
of one of those Marsh farmers who had known " Mr. Alfred " 
when a youth, and who lived in the remotest part of that coast 
near the sandy dunes and far-spread flats between Skegness 
and " Gibraltar Point " ; but she had not got far when at the 
line — 

" Here about the beach I wandered, nourishing a youth sublime, 

With the fairy tales of science " 

she was stopped by the farmer's wife. " Don't you believe 
him, Miss, there's nothing hereabouts to nourish onybody, 

348 IN MEMORIAM chap. 

'cepting it be an owd rabbit, and it ain't oftens you can get 
howd of them." 

In Memoriam has many cantos descriptive of Somersby, 
both of the happy summer evenings on the lawn, when Mary 

"brought the harp and flung 
A ballad to the bright'ning moon," 

or of the walks about home with Arthur Hallam — 

by " Gray old grange or lonely fold, 

Or low morass and whispering reed, 
Or simple stile from mead to mead. 
Or sheepwalk up the windy wold." 

Or the winter nights when 

' ' The Christmas bells from hill to hill 
Answer each other in the mist." 

And nothing could be more full of tender feeling than this fare- 
well to the old home in Canto CI., beginning — 

" Unwatched, the garden bough shall sway, 
The tender blossom flutter down, 
Unloved, that beech will gather brown, 
This maple burn itself away. " 

And in Canto CI I. — 

' ' We leave the well-beloved place 

Where first we gazed upon the sky ; 
The roofs that heard our earliest cry 
Will shelter one of stranger race. 

We go, but ere we go from home 

As down the garden walks I move, 

Two spirits of a diverse love 
Contend for loving masterdom. 

One whispers ' here thy boyhood sung 

Long since its matin song, and heard 

The low love-language of the bird ' 
In native hazels tassel-hung.' 

The other answers, ' yea, but here 
Thy feet have strayed in after hours 
With thy lost friend among the bowers, 

And this hath made them trebly dear.' 

These two have striven half the day. 

And each prefers his separate claim, 

Poor rivals in a loving game. 
That will not yield each other way. 


I turn to go : my feet are set 

To leave the pleasant fields and farms ; 
They mix in one another's arms 

To one pure image of regret." 

Other sections speak of Arthur Hallam, and as each Christmas 
comes round, or each birthday of his friend, the poet's feelings 
are voiced in such a way that, if we read it with care, the poem 
gives us a good deal of the author's own life history. 

Arthur Hallam died on September 15, 1833, at Vienna, and 
his remains were brought home at the end of the year and 
interred at Clevedon in Somersetshire on January 4, 1834. 

" The Danuhe to the Severn gave 

The darken'd heart that Ijeat no more ; 
They laid him by the pleasant shore 
And in the hearing of the wave." 

Immediately after his death Tennyson had turned to work 
as the one solace in his overwhelming grief, although, but for 
those dependent on his aid, such as his sister Emily who was 
betrothed to Hallam, he said that he himself would have gladly 
died. He wrote the fine classic poem Ulysses, in which he 
voiced the need he felt of going forward and braving the struggle 
of life, and then, before it had reached England, he wrote the 
first section of In Memoriam No. 9 addressed to the ship with 
its sad burden. 

" Fair ship that from the Italian shore 
Sailest the placid ocean plains 
With my lost Arthur's loved remains, 
Spread thy full wings and waft him o'er." 

At some later time, possibly many years later, for In Memoriam 
was sixteen years in the making, he added section 10 — " T hear 
the noise about thy keel " — which carries on the subject, and 
also alludes to Somersby church 

" where the kneeling hamlet drains 
The chalice of the grapes of God." 

For the time he wrote no more sections, but busied him- 
self with The Two Voices, only towards the end of 1834 he wrote 
section 30, which he afterwards prefaced by sections 28 and 29, 
all describing the sad first Christmas of 1833, the first since 
Arthur's death* In 28 he hears the bells of four village steeples 
near Somersby rising and sinking on the wind. He had more 


than once wished that he might never hear the Christmas bells 
again, but the sound of church bells had always touched him 
from boyhood, just as the words " far, far away " which 
always set him dreaming. In section 29 he bids his sisters, 
after decorating the church, make one more wreath for old 
sake's sake, to hang within the house. 
Then section 30 tells how they wove it. 

" With trembling fingers did we weave 

The holly round the Christmas hearth ; " 

After this we hear how they made a " vain pretence " 

" Of gladness with an awful sense 
Of one mute Shadow watching all." 

They attempt the usual Christmas games, but they have no 
heart for them, and all pause and listen to the wind in the 
tree-tops and the rain beating on the window panes. After- 
wards they sit in a circle and think of Arthur, they try to sing, 
but the carols only bring tears to their eyes, for only last year 
he, too, was singing with them. After this Alfred sits alone 
and watches for the dawn which rises, bringing light and hope. 
Section 104 brings us to another Christmas. Four years 
have elapsed since that last described. The Tennysons have 
left Somersby, with what regret they did so is beautifully 
told in the four sections immediately preceding this. And 
now, listening as of old for the Christmas bells, he hears not 
" four voices of four hamlets round," but only 

" A single peal of bells below, 

That wakens at this hour of rest 
A single murmur in the breast, 
That these are not the bells I know." 

The following section continues the subject. They are living 
at High Beech in Essex " within the stranger's land." He 
thinks of the old home and garden and his father's grave. 
The flowers will bloom as usual, but there, too, are strangers, 

" And year by year our memory fades 
From all the circle of the hills. " 

The change of place 

■ " Has broke the bond of dying use." 

They put up no Christmas evergreens, they attempt no games 
and no charades. His sister Mary does not touch the harp 



and they indulge in no dancing, though it was a pastime of 
which they were extremely fond. But as of old Alfred looks 
out into the night and sees the stars rise, " The rising worlds 
by yonder wood," and receives comfort. All this points to 
the sad year 1837, when they left the well-beloved place of 
his birth. And now in section 106 we have a New Year's 
hymn of a very different character. It has a jubilant sound, 
and was certainly written some years after its predecessors. 
In 1837 he was in no mood to say " Ring happy bells across 
the snow." But there is no allusion in this spleiidid hymn to 

Te7tnyson's Nome, Soniershy. 

Arthur Hallam at all, and in the following section they keep 
Arthur's birthday, not any more in sadness, but 

" We keep the day, with festal cheer, 
With books and music, surely we 
Will drink to him, whate'er he be 
And sing the songs he loved to hear." 

But to return to Somersby. 

The quaint house with its narrow passages and many tiny 
rooms, the brothers' own particular little western attic with 
its small window from which they could see the ' golden globes ' 
in the dewy grass which had " dropped in the silent autumn 
night," the dining-room and its tall gothic windows with 


carved heads and graceful gables, the low grey tower patched 
with brick, just across the road, (for the " noble tall towered 
churches " spoken of in The Memoir are not in this part of 
the county,) and the pre-Reformation (not " Norman ") cross 
near the porch, all these may still be seen much as they were 
one hundred years ago. 

True, the church has been lately put in good repair, and a 
fine bronze bust of the poet placed in the chancel. This was 
unveiled, and the church re-opened on Sunday, April 6, 1911, 
being the fulfilment of the plan projected on the occasion "of 
the centenary celebration two years previously. On that 
Sunday the little church was more than filled with neighbours 
and relatives who listened to sermons from the Bishop of 
Lincoln and the Rev. Canon Rawnsley. Next day was Bank 
Holiday, and in a field near the rectory hundreds of Lincoln- 
shire folk of every kind — farmers, tradespeople, gentry, 
holiday makers — assembled to do honour to their own Lincoln- 
shire poet, and for a couple of hours listened intently to speeches 
about him and laughed with a will at the humours of the 
" Northern Farmer " read in their own native dialect, just as 
the poet intended ; whilst the relatives of the poet and those 
who were familiar with his works looked with glad interest 
upon a scene of rural beauty which brought to the mind the 
descriptions in The Lady of Shalott, seeing on the slopes before 
them the promise of crops soon to " clothe the wold and meet 
the sky," while far away to the left stretched the valley which 
pointed to Horncastle, the home of the poet's bride, and on 
the right was the churchyard where the stern " owd Doctor " 
rests, and the church where for five and twenty years he 
ministered. The whole was a remarkable assemblage and a 
remarkable tribute, and the setting was a picture of quiet 
Enghsh rural life, one which the poet himself must often have 
actually looked out upon, and such as he has himself beauti- 
fully described in The Palace of Art : — 

"And one an English home — gray. twilight pour'd 
On dewy pastures, dewy trees. 
Softer than sleep— all things in order stored, 
A haunt of ancient Peace. " 

The spirit of the poet seemed still to be a haunting presence 
in the place, and as then, so now and for all time his works 
speak to us. But three-quarters of a century have passed 


since a Tennyson has had his home in Somersby. They left 
in 1837, and though Mary went back at times to see the 
" beloved place," Alfred never set eyes on it again. Charles 
married in that year Louisa Sellwood, whose mother was a 
sister of Sir John Franklin, and thirteen years later Alfred 
married her sister Emily. They left Somersby ; but Lincoln- 
shire still kept possession of Charles, who took the name 
of Turner in addition to his own, and ministered happily at 
Grasby near Caistor, being both" vicar and patron of the living ; 
and he and his wife both died there in the spring of 1879, he 
at the comparatively early age, for a Tennyson, of seventy- 
one, for the family have been a remarkably long-lived one. 

The Mother . . . . . . . died in 1865, aged 84 

Charles ,, >, 1879 „ 71 

Mary „ „ 1884 „ 74 

Emilia „ „ 1889 „ 78 

Alfred died on October 6, 1892 ,, 83 

Emily Lady Tennyson . . . . died in 1896 „ 83 

Frederick „ ,, 1898 „ 91 

Arthur died in June, 1899 „ 85 

Horatio died in October, 1899 „ 80 

Cecilia died in 1909 „ 92 

Matilda, who was bom before Cecilia and Horatio, still sur- 
vives. I went to see her in the summer of 1913. I found 
her well and full of early memories. She was a girl in the 
schoolroom when she first saw Arthur Hallam, an event of 
which she had a vivid recollection. I said, " I suppose you get 
out every fine day for a drive." " Oh," she said, " I go out for 
a walk every day and take the dog." I thought that rather 
wonderful at her age. " Yes, I am ninety-seven," she said, 
" and I mean to live to be 105." I told her how Queen 
Victoria, who was always looking forward to reunion with 
the dear departed — but ever a ceaseless worker — used to say, 
" my dear, you should always act as if you were going to live 
for ever." 

Alfred, who succeeded Wordsworth as Poet Laureate in 1850, 
was raised to the Upper House in 1884. He is buried in 
Westminster Abbey side by side with his great contemporary, 
Robert Browning, and on his grave was laid a wreath of bay- 
leaves from a tree derived from the bay which flourishes over 

A A 


Virgil's tomb near Naples, and on the wreath were Tennyson's 
own magnificent lines, written at the request of the Mantuans 
for the nineteenth centenary of their poet's death (1881). 

" I salute thee, Mantovano, 

' I that loved thee since my day began, 
Wielder of the stateliest measure 
Ever moulded by the lips of man." 

The recent appearance (October, 1913) of a notable volume 
of Tennyson's poems, introduced by a Memoir and concluding 
with the poet's own notes, may well serve as the text for some 
remarks on his poems generally. The volume bound in green 
cloth is priced at los. 6d. The Memoir is somewhat abbreviated 
from the two interesting volumes published by his son in 1897, 
which appeared again as the first four volumes of Messrs. 
Macmillan's fine twelve-volume edition of 1898. There are, 
however, a few additions, notably a letter from the Master of 
Trinity, Cambridge, telling how he once, years ago, asked 
Dr. Thompson, the Master, whether he could say, not from 
later evidence, but from his recollection of what he thought 
at the time, which of the two friends had the greater intellect, 
Hallam or Tennyson. " Oh, Tennyson," he said at once, 
with strong emphasis, as if the matter was not open to doubt. 
This is very high praise indeed, for Gladstone said that Hallam 
was far ahead of anyone at Eton in his day, and Monckton 
Milnes thought him the only man at Cambridge to whom he 
" bowed in conscious inferiority in all things." The Notes 
first appeared in the very pleasant " Annotated Edition " 
edited also by Hallam Lord Tennyson within the last five years. 
The present generation can never know the delight of getting 
each of those little green volumes which came out between 
'32 and '55, and sequels to which kept following till '92. But 
for general purposes it is far more convenient to have a one- 
volume edition, such as we have had for some time now. This 
new edition, however, with its Memoir, gives us what, as the 
years go by, is more and more valuable, enabling us to read 
the poet in his verses and to know what manner of man he was, 
and how his environment affected him at the different stages 
of his life. The Notes add an interest, and though it is seldom 
that in any but the In Memoriam Cantos any explanation 
is needed to poems that are so clear and so easily intelligible, 
one gains information and finds oneself here and there let into 


the author's secrets, which is always pleasant. The book 
runs to over a thousand pages, and is so beautifully bound 
that it lies open at any page you choose. There is an interesting 
appendix to the Notes, giving the music to "The Silent Voices," 
composed by Lady Tennyson and arranged for four voices 
by Dr. Bridge for Lord Tennyson's funeral at the Abbey, 
October 12, 1892. Also a previously unpubUshed poem of 
his later years, entitled " Reticence." She is called the half- 
sister of Silence, and is thus beautifully described : — 

" Not like Silence shall she stand, 
Finger-lipt, but with right hand 
Moving toward her lip, and there 
Hovering, thoughtful, poised in air." 

Then comes a facsimile of the poet's MS. of " Crossing the 
Bar," finally, besides the usual index of first lines, the book 
ends with an index to In Memoriam, and, what we ha\e always 
wanted, an index to the songs. 

Undoubtedly in the future this new edition will be the 
Tennyson for the library shelf, and a very complete and compact 
volume it is. Personally, I like the little old green volumes, 
liut if I were now recommending an edition not in one volume, 
I would say, " Have the Eversley or Annotated Edition in 
nine volumes, which exactly reproduces the page and type 
of those old original volumes with the added advantage of 
the Notes." It is hardly to be expected that the spell with 
which Tennyson bound all English-speaking people for three 
generations should not in a measure be relaxed, but though 
we have a fuller chorus of singers than ever before, and an 
unusually appreciative public, the attempt so constantly made 
to decry Tennyson has no effect on those who have for years 
found in him a charm which no poet has surpassed, and, 
indeed, it will be long before a poet arises who has, as Sir 
Norman Lockyer observes, " such a wide range of knowledge 
and so unceasing an interest in the causes of things and the 
working out of Nature's laws, combined with such accuracy 
of observation and exquisite felicity of language." Let me 
give one more criticism, and this time by a noted scholar, 
Mr. A. Sidgwick, who speaks of his " inborn instinct for the 
subtle power of language and for musical sound ; that feeling 
for beauty in phrase and thought, and that perfection of form 
which, taken all together, we call poetry." That perfection 


was the result of labour as well as of instinct. He had an ear 
which never played him false, hence he was a master of melody 
and metre, and he was never in a hurry to publish until he had 
got each line and each word right. " I think it wisest/' he 
wrote to one of his American admirers, " for a man to do his 
work in the world as quietly and as well as he can, without 
much heeding the praise or dispraise." He was a lover of the 
classics, and in addressing Virgil on the nineteenth centenary 
of his death, as quoted above, he himself alludes to this. 
Without being what we call a great scholar, in his classic poems 
he is hard to beat, while in his translations of Homer he 
certainly has no equal. Then in his experiments in classic 
metres, whether in the " Metre of Catullus " or in the Alcaics 
in praise of Milton, his perfect accuracy is best understood if 
we turn to the similar experiments by living poets, who never 
go far without a blunder, at least none that I have ever read do. 

To the Lincolnshire folk, his dialect poems, written in the 
dialect which was current in his youth at Spilsby and in the 
country about it (and still used there, I am glad to say, though 
not so universally or so markedly as of yore), give genuine 
pleasure, and are full of humour and of character, and it is a 
tribute to his accurate ear and memory that, after an absence 
of some twenty-seven years, he should have got the Lincoln- 
shire so correct. He did it all right, but for fear he might have 
forgotten and got wrong, he asked a friend to look at it and 
criticise ; unfortunately the friend lived in the north of the 
county and knew not the dialect of " Spilsbyshire," so he 
altered it all to that which- was spoken about Brigg, which 
is more like Yorkshire, and it had to be put back again. But 
some of the northern dialect has stuck, and in " The Northern 
Farmer Old Style " the ' o ' is seen in ' moind,' ' doy,' ' almoighty,' 
etc., where the Spilsby sound would be better rendered by 
using an ' a.' This ' o ' is never found in any of his subsequent 
dialect poems, and in a note to the text in the " Northern 
Cobbler " the poet points out that the proper sound is given 
by 'ai.' 

One sign of the remarkable way in which our Lincolnshire 
poet has made himself the poet of the English-speaking race 
is the extraordinary number of familiar quotations which he 
has given us. For the last fifty years in book and newspaper, 
in speech and sermon, some line or some phrase of his has 



constantly occurred wliich the user felt certain that his hearer 
or readers would recognise, until our literature has become 
tessellated with Tennvsonian expressions, and they have 
always given that satisfaction wliich results from feeling that 
in using his words we have said the thing we wished to say in 
a form which could not be improved upon. In this respect 
of " daily popularity and application," I think Shakespeare 
alone excels him, though Pope and Wordsworth may run him 

[.ittte Sleeting. 



Road to Louth— Partney— Dr. Johnson — His letter on Death of Peregrine 
Langton — Dalby — Langton and Saucethorpe — View from Keal Hill 
with Boston Stump — "Stickfoot Stickknee and Stickneck " — The 
Hundleby Miracle— Raithby— Mavis Enderby— Lusby— Hamering- 
ham — The Hourglass Stand— Winceby — Horncastle — The Horse Fair 
— The Sleaford Road — Hagnaby — East Kirkby — Miningsby— Revesby 
Abbey — Moorby — Wood Enderby — Haltham — Tumby Wood — 
Coningsby — Tattershall — Billinghay — Haverholme Priory. 

The four roads from Spilsby go north to Louth, and south to 
Boston, each sixteen miles ; east to Wainfleet, eight miles ; and 
west to Horncastle, ten miles. The Wainfleet one we have 
already described and two-thirds of that from Louth. The 
remaining third, starting from Spilsby, only goes through 
two villages — Partney and Dalby. Partney lies low in the 
valley of Tennyson's " Cold rivulet," and those who have 
driven across the flat meadows between the village and the 
mill after sundown know how piercingly cold it always seems. 

The place has a very long history. Bede, who died in 725, 
writing twelve hundred years ago and speaking of the Christian- 
ising of Northumbria by Paulinus, who was consecrated Bishop 
of York in 625, and his visit to the province of Lindissi, i.e., 
" the parts of Lindsey " and Lincoln in particular, says that 
the Abbot of Peartaney ( = Partney, near Spilsby, which was 
a cell of Bardney) spoke to him once of a man called Deda, 
who was afterwards, in 730, Abbot of Bardney and a very 
truthful man " presbyter veracissimus," and said that Deda 
told him that he had talked with an aged man who had been 
baptised by Bishop Paulinus in the presence of King ^dwin, 
in the middle of the day, and with him a multitude of people, 


CH. xxxu PARTNEY 359 

in the River Treenta, near a city called in the language of the 
Angles, Tiovulfingaceaster ; this was in 627. Many have 
taken the place to be Torksey, though that in the Anglo-Saxon 
chronicle is^urcesig. Green suggested it was at the ford of 
Farndon beyond Newark, but it was far more likely to be 
at Littleborough Ferry, two miles north of Torksey, where 
the Roman road (" Till bridge Lane ") from Lincoln crossed 
the river. But certainly Torksey is the nearest point of the 
river to Lincoln, and the Fossdyke went to it, as well as a road, 
so that communication was easy and inexpensive, and on the 
whole I should be inclined to say that Torksey was the place 
of baptism. ^ 

But to return to Partney. In addition to its being a ' cell ' 
of Bardney Abbey, we know there was a very fine hospital at 
Partney, dedicated to St. Mary Magdalene, before 1138, and 
among the tombs recently uncovered at Bardney is one of 
Thomas Clark, rector of Partney, 1505. It appears to have been 
a market town when Domesday Book was compiled, at a time 
when Spilsby was of no account ; but the Black Death in 1349 
or the plague in 1631, when Louth registered 500 deaths in 
two months, and in the Alford neighbourhood Willoughby 
also suffered, severely decimated the place, and tradition has 
it that some clothing dug up eighty years after burial 
caused a fresh and violent outbreak. Whenever it happened, 
for no records exist, the consequence was that the glory of 
Partney as the next market town to Bolingbroke departed, 
and Spilsby grew as Partney dwindled. Of course the healthy 
situation of Spilsby had much to do with it. Yet Partney 
still retains the two sheep fairs on August i for fat lambs and 
September 19 for sheep, and they are the biggest sheep fairs 
in the neighbourhood. Two other fairs take place, on August 25 
and at Michaelmas, and it is noticeable that three of the four 
are held on the eve of the festivals of the Virgin Mary and 
Mary Magdalen. In 1437 we find that Matilda, wife of 
Thomas Chaucer, the eldest son of the poet, had a share of an 
eighteenth part of the Partney market tolls. Fine brasses to 
her and her husband exist in Ewelme church, near Oxford. 
On fair days sheep are penned all along the streets and in 
adjoining fields, and " Beast " on the second day are standing 
for half a mile down the Scremby road. 

The church is dedicated to St. Nicolas, the most popular of 


all church patrons, who was Bishop of Myra in Lycia in the 
fourth century. As patron of fishermen he has many sea 
coast churches, and he is also the peculiar saint of children, 
who know him by his Dutch name of Santa Klaus.* One of the 
oldest oaks in England is in the churchyard. The chiming 
church clock, put in in 1869, is a monument to the skill of a 
clever amateur, Sidney Maddison, Esq., who fitted it with 
" Dennison's three-legged escapement," which was then a 
new and ingenious invention of the late Lord Grimthorpe. 

-In 1764 Dr. Johnson walked over from Langton with his 
friend, Bennet Langton, to see Bennet's Uncle Peregrine. He 
died two years later aged eighty-four, ,and the doctor wrote 
to his friend : "In supposing that I should be more than 
commonly affected by the death of Peregrine Langton you were 
not mistaken : he was one of those I loved at once by instinct 
and by reason. I have seldom indulged more hope of any- 
thing than of being able to improve our acquaintance to 
friendship. Many a time have I placed myself again at Langton, 
and imagined the pleasure with which I should walk to Partney 
in a summer morning, but this is no longer possible. We 
must now endeavour to preserve what is left us, his example 
of piety and economy. I hope you make what enquiries you 
can and write down what is told you. The little things 
which distinguish domestic character are soon forgotten : if 
you delay to enquire you will have no information : if you 
neglect to write, information will be in vain. His art of life 
certainly deserves to be known and studied. He lived in 
plenty and elegance upon an income which to many would 
appear indigent, and to most, scanty. How he lived, there- 
fore, every man has an interest in knowing. His death I hope 
was peaceful : it was surely happy." 

After Partney the road goes up the hill to Dolby. Here the 
old house where Tennyson's aunt, Mrs. Bourne, lived, was 
burnt down in 1841, and the thatched barn-like church swept 
away in 1862. The charm of the present house lies in its 
beautiful garden. 

Having got on to the chalk wold a fine view opens over the 
wide vale to the left as far as the next ridge, which stretches 
from Spilsby to Hagworthingham. About a mile further on, 
a road goes sharply down to the left into Langton, and across 
a watersplash to Colonel Swan's residence at Sausthorpe, 



where again we find cross-roads near the pretty little church 
built by Gilbert Scott, with a crocketed spire, the only spire 
m the neighbourhood. The roads lead back to Partney on 
to Raithby over the stream, to Horncastle and to Harrington 
all by-ways. But to return to our Spilsby and Louth highway! 
From the turn to Langton we keep rising and see some tumuli 
on our left, and then another left turn to Brinkhill where 
from a steep and curiously scarped hillside, roads descend 
nght and left to Ormsby and Harrington ; but we will keep 
on the highway for another mile till we find that the Louth 
road by Haugh goes off to the left, and the Roman road to 

.jJ"^? ,r^? "S^*' ^"'^ ^^^ ^^y straight forward comes to 

Well Vale and Milecross hill, and so drops into Alford. The 
rest of the road to Louth we have described in the Louth 

The other roads from Spilsby are, south to Boston and west 
to Horncastle. The Boston road is noticeable for the wonder- 
ful view of the fen, with the " Stump " standing far up into 
the sky, which you get from Keal Hill, where the green-sand 
ends and the road drops into a plain which is without a hill 
or even a nse for the next fifty or sixty miles. After Keal 
the road passes by Stickford, Stickney and Sibsey—tht last having 
a very handsome transition Norman tower, and a ring of eight 
bells— and comes into Boston by Wide Bargate. The road is 
uninteresting throughout, and so monotonous that a story is 
told of someone driving in a coach in years gone by, when 
roads were deep and miry, who put his head out and asked 
the name of each place they came to. " What is this ? " 
"Stickford, sir." "And this.?" "Stickney, sir." "Stick- 
foot ! Stick-knee ! we shall come to Stick-neck next ; you had 
better turn back." 

The Horncastle road from Spilsby goes out along the green-sand 
by Hundleby, from the tower of which I remember a man falling 
to the ground and receiving no hurt at all, the nearest approach 
to a miracle any one need wish to experience. Much of the 
money for the re-building of the church was raised by the 
untiring industry and beautiful needlework of Mrs. Ed. 
Rawnsley of Raithby; for Raithby, with its pretty broken 
ground and ornamental water and its beautifully kept church 
filled with good modern glass, was for half a century the home 
of the Rev. Edward Rawnsley. The old stable adjoins the 



churchyard, and by an anomalous arrangement the loft over 
the stable is fitted up as a VVesleyan chapel, the use of it for 
that purpose having been granted in perpetuo to John Wesley 
by his friends, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Carr Brackenbury. The 
road goes on straight from here by Hagworthingham or turns 
to the left to Mavis Enderby, and so strikes a parallel route, 

both of them unite at the top of the hill which runs down b^' 
High Toynton into Horncastle. The name Mavis was originally 
Malbyse, a name more characteristic than complimentarv, 
for it means evil beast. The word byse, or bys, exists in Bison, 
and the name of the unpleasant one is found again in the village 
of Acaster Malbis, near York. There is nothing of special 
interest on the " Hag " road, but the Mavis Enderby road leads 


US to Lusby and Winceby ; of these Lusby has a most interest- 
ing little church, thoroughly well restored, with a good deal 
of Norman work and some unmistakable Saxon work in it. 
There are two blocked doorways on the north-west, one with 
Norman zigzag moulding in green-sand showing how durable 
a material it is when properly laid and not exposed to wet. 
Some singular arcading of a very early type is seen on the 
west of the walls on either side of the round-headed chancel 
arch, which is not in the centre of the wall. It has been 
renewed in green-sand of various colours. This work may have 
been Saxon, for there was a church here when Domesday 
Book was written, and there is certainly a definite bit of 
" Long and Short " work on the right hand side of the blocked 
south doorway, and a fragment of a Saxon stone inside, closely 
resembling the Miningsby Stone, but it is difficult to speak 
with certainty, as the early Normans made use of Saxon orna- 
mentation. Outside there are two courses of big basement 
stones running on both sides of the nave — one bevelled and set 
back a little. Inside is a low-side window, two or three 
aumbreys, two arched recesses for tombs, a niche near the 
chancel arch, and a very good stone head of a queen projecting 
from the south-east window in the nave. There is also a 
remarkable little " Keyhole " window high up in the north wall 
of the chancel. The masonry is rough and amorphous, but 
very solid. The old rood-screen of three arches is very hand- 
some. Under the Communion table is a sepulchral slab with 
an inscription in old lettering, mostly obliterated, from which 
the brass tablet has been removed and put up on the wall. 
It is singular, being a dialogue between a deceased wife and her 
husband : — 

[She] My fleshe in hope doth rest and slepe 

In earth here to remain ; 
My spirit to Christ I give to kepe 
Till I do rise againe. 

[He] And I with you in hope agre 

Though I yet here abide ; 
In full purpose if Goddes will be 
To ly doune by your side. 

Going on two miles along the Roman road to Horncastle 
we come to Hameringham. Here, as at Lusby, there is no tower, 
but a. little slated bell-turret. Two large arches and one beautiful 

364 WINCEBY FIGHT chap. 

little pointed arch at the west end on small octagonal pillars 
divide the nave from the aisle. The western pillar is of the 
local green-sand, and dates from the thirteenth century. The 
other pillar is of whitish stone, and the small eastern respond 
is of the same. These date from the fourteenth century, and 
have boldly foliaged capitals. Close together on the abacus 
are two distinct marks of bullets which must have come in 
through the aisle window. There is a good fifteenth century 
font, and on the Jacobean pulpit is the original hour-glass stand, 
and with an old church hour-glass in it. These stands are still 
to be seen at Bracebridge, Leasingham, Sapperton and Belton 
in the Isle of Axholme. The traces of a blocked priest's door 
are visible on the north side. Oddly enough the dressings 
of the porch, etc., are of red sandstone from Dumfries. It 
is a good hard stone, but there is much to be said for always, 
if possible, using the stone of the country. 

The next village is Wincehy, where " Slash Lane " com- 
memorates the place of Cromwell's cavalry-battle in 1643. 
In the south chapel of Horncastle church, some four miles on, 
we shall see a goodly array of scythes on long straight handles, 
which are said to have been used with deadly effect in this fight. 
This church has five three-light clerestory windows on each side 
of the nave, but in the chancel, six on the south and only five 
on the north side, the eastmost one being larger than the rest. 
There is an outside belfry staircase with a cone to it built against 
the middle of the south wall of the tower. Inside, the pilasters 
of the tower arch die away into the arch moulding without 
capitals. The brass in the north wall, to Lionel Dymoke, is 
remarkable (date 1519) ; and in the north chapel a tomb to 
Sir Ingram Hopton " who paid his debt to Nature and duty 
to his King and Country in the attempt of seizing the arch 
rebel in the bloody skirmish near Winceby, October 6, 1643." 
This should be October 11. The arch rebel was Cromwell, 
who was unhorsed and nearly taken prisoner by Sir Ingram. 
He afterwards slept at Horncastle in a house in West Street. 
This battle secured Lindsey and the Wolds for Cromwell, Boston 
and the Fens were never Royalist. The River Bain, which 
rises in Kelston near the Louth and Rasen road, gave its name 
to the Roman station of Bano vallum. It flows through Gayton- 
le-Wold, Biscathorpe, Donington-on-Bain and Goulceby to 
Horncastle, and out by Coningsby and Tattershall to the River 

xxxil HORNCASTLE 365 

Witham, and it makes a peninsula at Horncastle, whence 
the name of Hyrn-ceaster, = the camp at the horn or bend. 
Portions of a Roman wall still exist near the market-place, 
and at the south-west corner of the churchyard. The manor 
was sold in 1230 to the Bishop of Carlisle for the use of the 
see ; it served as a refuge when border invasions made the 
diocese of Carlisle undesirable as a peaceful home, and during 
the fourteenth century was the usual episcopal residence. 

The celebrated horse fair is not what it used to be. Lincoln 
fair is more accessible, and is now the more important of the 
two. But it still affords two or three days of wild excite- 
ment/ with horses tearing about the streets. At one time the 
fair lasted three weeks. August was a thirsty month, and the 
number of beer-houses had to be increased pro. tern, to meet 
the need of both buyers and sellers ; so five-shilling licenses were 
issued called bush or bough licenses, a bush being hung out for 
a sign, a custom once common in England and still prevalent 
on the Continent. Hence, the proverb, " Good wine needs 
no bush," i.e., no advertisement. The Hon. Edward Stanhope 
of Revesby, who was Minister for War in 1868, has a statue 
in the market-place, near the house in which the Sellwoods 
lived, two of whom, Louisa and Emily, married Charles and 
Alfred Tennyson. 

Leaving the market-place for the Lincoln road you pass what 
is an unusual feature in a town — an elm tree overhanging the 
street, and having in it several rooks' nests. It is near the 
" Fighting Cocks " inn. There is a similar tree loaded with 
nests in the town of Staines. 

When the river was used for navigation there was a high 
arched bridge with a towing-path under it, and the bridge, 
though now flat, is still called " the bow bridge." 

At that time the church was filled with box pews and lofts, 
and the front row of pews in the lofts were sold to different 
families by auction and would fetch as much as £80, the second 
row reaching £40. But though there were ardent church- 
goers in the town, the villages around were very indifferently 
served, having in quite a dozen instances in that one neigh- 
bourhood no parsonage house arid consequently no resident 

It is interesting to know that a good deal of the carving in 
the church was done less than fifty years ago by a carpentry 

366 EAST KIRKBY chap. 

class of young men who took lessons for the purpose from a 
clever carver called Thomas Scrivener. 

But we have one other road to speak of, which is the way from 
Spilsby to Sleaford. 

The Boston road from Spilsby, after it reaches the edge of 
the green-sand, where it suddenly breaks down at West Keal 
into the level fen, divides at the foot of the hill, and the right- 
hand road goes westwards by Hagnaby, East Kirkby, Revesby, 
Coningsby, Tattershall and Billinghay to Sleaford. TThis is all 
a level road. Hagnaby Priory, two miles from West Keal, 
is the residence of Mrs. Pocklington Coltman. The house is 
modern, in fact, there never was a priory here, but near Alford 
there was once an abbey of Hagnaby, so the name is suggestive 
of Priors. 

Another two miles brings us to East Kirkby : the turn to the 
right takes us to the church which, having been entrusted to 
the capable hands of Mr. W. D. Caroe, is a model of what 
church restoration should be. He has put square-headed 
clerestory windows in the chancel with good effect. The 
tower has a beautiful two-light early Decorated window. The 
piers of the nave are remarkably slender. There is a good font, 
and the early Perpendicular rood screen is a very graceful one. 
In the north wall of the chancel is a two-light low-side window 
and a curious recess, possibly an Easter Sepulchre. It is 
covered with diaper work, and with wild geranuim, oak leaves 
and acorns excellently carved in stone, and below this, some 
half-figures of the three Maries, each holding a heart-shaped 
casket, of spices perhaps for embalming. A basin projecting 
from the front is thought to have been a receptacle for the 
Easter offerings. A similar basin, as Mr. Jeans in Murray's 
Guide points out, is attached to the tomb of Edward II. at. 
Gloucester. A little further on is the tiny church of Miningsby, 
only to be approached by footpaths over grass fields. It 
has in it a pre-Norman slab of very uncommon character with 
figure-of-eight intertwined knot work and a herring-bone border. 
A fragment with similar figure-of-eight work is in Mavis Enderby 
church, on a coped stone which has been cut to make a door- 
step, and a smaller bit like it is in Lusby church — probably all 
the work of the same Saxon mason. In a house near the 
church is a stone with the initials " L. G., 1544," which must 
refer to the Goodrich family; for East Kirkby was the birthplace 

xxxii REVESBY 367 

of Thomas Goodrich, Bishop of Ely, 1534, Lord Chancellor, 

1550, and coadjutor in the first Communion Office with 

The next place on the Spilsby and Sleaford road is Revesby 
Abbey (Hon. R. Stanhope), a fine deer park with a modern 
house, built by J. Banks-Stanhope, Esq., 1848. The previous 
house had been the residence of the great naturalist, Sir Joseph 
Banks, P.R.S., who died in 1820, and took part with Rennie 
in devising and carrying out the drainage of the East Fen. 
The abbey, founded in 1143 by W. de Romara, Earl of Lincoln, 
was colonised from Rievaulx, and was itself the parent of Cleeve 
Abbey in Somerset. The abbey was a quarter of a mile south- 
east of the present church, in which are preserved the few 
fragments now extant of a building which was once 120 feet 
long and sixty feet wide. The Hon. Edward Stanhope in 
1870 discovered the tombs and bodies of the founder and his 
two sons. The founder, who had become a monk, had requested 
to be buried " before the high Altar," and his tomb was inscribed, 
" Hie jacet in tumba Wiellielmus de Romare, comes Lincolniae, 
Fundator istius Monasterii Sancti Laurentii de Reivisbye." 
The site of his re-burial is marked by a granite stone. Among 
the abbey deeds is one by which the Lady Lucia's second 
husband, Ranulph Earl of Chester, gives to the abbey " his 
servant Roger son of Thorewood of Sibsey with all his property 
and chatells." I don't suppose that Roger found the abbey 
folk bad to work for ; they certainly did much for the good of 
the neighbourhood, notably in keeping up the roads and bridges, 
which was one of the recognised duties of religious houses ; but 
all this came to an end when in 1539, like so many other Lincoln- 
shire estates, it was granted by Henry VIII. to his brother- 
in-law the Duke of Suffolk. The Duke died in 1545, and was 
buried at Windsor; his two sons both died in one day, July 16, 

1551, in the Bishop of Lincoln's house at Buckden. 

The road past the park gates is very wide, with broad grass 
borders on either side, and a fine row of wych elms bordering 
the park, at each end of which are some model farm buildings 
of the best Lincolnshire kind ; and, to take us more than a ■ 
thousand years back, we have two large tumuli quite close to 
the road. There were three, but one, after being examined 
by Sir Joseph Banks in 1780, was levelled in 1892 ; later the 
existing two were explored and one was found to contain a 

368 MOORBY chap. 

clay sarcophagus, which possibly once contained the remains 
of a British king. 

Just past the tumuli is the inn, at the four cross-roads. That 
to the left runs absolutely straight for eleven miles to Boston ; 
to the right is the Horncastle road through Moorby and 
Scrivelsby, with the barn-like church of Wilksby in a grass 
field behind Moorby. Both these churches have good fonts ; 
that at Moorby is the later of the two, having two crowned and 
two mitred heads at the four comers, and with very remark- 
able figures of the Virgin and Child learning, with open book 
and scourge ; the sun and moon being depicted on either side 
looking on complacently, evidently they had never heard of 
the Montessori system, also there are six kneeling figures and 
two angels watching the dead body of the donor. A stone 
in the vestry, about fourteen inches by eight, exhibits two 
women and a man vigorously dancing hand in hand to the 
bagpipes, all in fifteenth century head-dresses and costumes. 
Moorby is in the gift of the Bishop of Manchester, it having 
been assigned presumably by Carlisle when the new see was 
carved out of parts of older ones. How Carlisle came to have 
patronage here may be^ briefly told. On St. George's Day, 
April 23 — a day memorable as the birth and death day of 
Shakespeare, and the death day of Wordsworth — in the year 
1292, John-de-Halton, who may well have come of the family 
who gave the name to Halton Holgate near Spilsby, being then 
Canon of Carlisle, was elected bishop. Within a month, a fire 
having destroyed the cathedral and all the town, he set to 
work and rebuilt the cathedral, and encouraged others to 
rebuild the town ; and by the year 1297 Robert Bruce swore 
fealty to the king in his presence in the newly risen pile. He 
was a man of mark, and was mediator between Edward I. 
and John of Balliol in the claim to the Scottish throne. He 
planned Rose Castle, the palace of the Bishops of Carlisle.. 
In 1307 he received at his cathedral, from the sick king's hands, 
the horse-litter which had brought him to the north ; and 
within a few days saw the king, who had bravely mounted his 
charger at the cathedral door, borne back a dead man on the 
shoulders of his knights from Burgh Marsh (pronounced Berg) 
on the Solway shore. In 1318 he was driven from his diocese 
by Robert the Bruce, and came to the manor of Horncastle, 
which, as mentioned above, had belonged to the see since 1230, 



and got the Pope to attach the living of Horncastle and with 
it that of Moorby and probably some others to his see as a 
means of support for him whilst in exile and poverty, and up 
to the middle of last century Horncastle so remained, whilst 
Moorby is now in the gift of the Bishop of Manchester. John 
de Halton died in the year 1324. 


If we went west from Moorby we should pass by Wood Enderby, 
the only church in this neighbourhood with a spire, as Sausthorpe 
is in the Spilsby neighbourhood, and should reach Haltham 
on the road from Horncastle to Coningsby. Here the small 
church with its old oak seats has an early Norman doorway 
with a quaintly carved tympanum. Going north from Moorby 



we should pass Scrivelsby, but this must have a chapter, to 
itself, so we will get back to the main road at Revesby and go 
through Mareham-le-Jen to Coningsby, passing Tumby Wood, 
the home of the wild lily-of-the-valley and the rare little 
smilacina or Maianihemum bifolium, which also grows near 
Horncastle. Across the entrance to Coningsby, the Great 
Northern Railway Company have just built a new line from 
Lincoln to Skegness, by which tens of thousands of " trippers " 

Ta-ttershall and Coningsby. 

will be taken for a shilling and turned out to enjoy the sea 
shore and the splendid expanse of hard sand. Skegness, once 
a delightful solitude, is now disfigured by all that appertains 
to those who cater for the hungry multitudes. 

From the bridge over the Bain at the other end of Coningsby 
village a pretty picture of water and willows is crowned by the 
view of Tattershall church and castle, both of whicli are 
described later. Coningsby church, built, like Tattershall, all 


of Ancaster stone, has a singular tower which stands on tall 
arches and allows free passage under it from three sides. In 
the west of this tower is a large circular window. Passing 
through Tattershall village with its open space and market cross, 
near which three roads meet, and where the Horncastle canal 
unites the Bain and Witham, we cross the Lincoln and Boston 
railway, and also the Ri\'er Witham which, from the next 
station of Dogdyke, was cut straight by Rennie, and runs like 
a great dyke to Langrick, and then with only two bends to 
Boston. At Dogdyke is a bit of undrained swamp, the home 
of several good bog-plants, such as the bladderwort, water- 
violet, meadow-rue (Ophelia's " Herb o' Grace ") and the bog- 
stitchwort. The road on to Sleaford, across the fen for fourteen 
miles, is quite uninteresting, except for the very Dutch appear- 
ance of the village of Billinghay on the banks of a large drain 
called the Billinghay Skirth, near which, at North Kyme, we 
pass alongside the old Roman Carr Dyke, and, crossing it, 
arrive at Anwick, which has a pretty church with broach spire 
and good Early English doorway. Here, on our left, on the 
River Slea, is Haverholme Priory (Countess of Winchelsea), 
founded 1137 by Bishop Alexander, who afterwards moved 
the rheumatic Monks to Louth Park, and gave the priory 
to his chaplain Gilbert, founder of the order of Gilbertines, 
who had also a priory at Alvingham near Louth. There is 
nothing left of the priory, in which it is said that Archbishop 
Thomas a Becket once took refuge from Henry H. Four 
more miles bring us to Sleaford, whose spire has long been 
visible across the flats. 

Tattershall Church. 

B B 2 



The Hereditary Grand Champion of England — History of the Dymokes — ■ 
Siward the Saxon— Simon de Dryby— The Abbot of Kirkstead— 
Robert de Tateshalle— John and William de Bernac — Ralph, Baron 
Cromwell builds the brick Castle and founds the College and Alms- 
houses at Tattershall — The Carved Mantelpieces — Bishop Waynflete's 
brick buildings — Esher Place — Tattershall Church — Stained Glass 
Windows — The Brasses — The Castle safe at last. 

The manor which carried with it the title for its possessor 
of " Hereditary Grand Champion of England," was a very 
interesting old house till the year of the Coronation of George III., 
when it was destroyed by fire. An arched gateway remains 
near the house, where once a moat, drawbridge, and portcullis 
protected the courtyard. The picturesque Lion Gateway at 
the entrance to the park from the Horncastle road, opposite 
to which under some trees are seen the village stocks, was set 
up by Robert Dimoke about 1530. It is built of rough stones 
but has a fine stone lion, passant and crowned, above it, and 
a rebus of an oak tree (Dim oak) carved at the side of the arch- 
way. The manor with this peculiar privilege attached was 
given by the Conqueror to his steward " Robert the Dispenser," 
Lord of Fontenaye and ancestor of the De Spencers and the 

Sir Walter Scott speaks of the Marmion of his poem, though 
he was an imaginary character and of much later date, as — 

' ' Lord of Fontenaye 
Of Lutterward and Scrivelbaye 
Of Tamworth tower and town." 

In the Scrivelsby parish church of St. Benedict is a mutilated 





recumbent stone figure clad in chain-mail with sword and 
shield, and by his side a lady in the severe costume of the time, 
with muffled chin and plain head-dress. The warrior is Philip 
Marmion, the last of the Marmions of Scrivelsby, who died 

The Lion Gate at Scrivelsby. 

1292, the family having acted as champions from the time 
of William the Conqueror to Henry III. Together with the 
championship, Philip Marmion had the right of free-warren 
and gallows at his manor at Scrivelsby. 

Philip having no son, his estates were divided among his 


four daughters. His second daughter, Mazera, married a 
Ralph Cromwell, ancestor of the Lord Cromwell who built 
Tattershall Castle, and the Scrivelsby estate fell to Joan, the 
youngest, who married Sir Thomas Ludlow. His son, Thomas, 
left one daughter, Margaret, who married Sir John Dymoke 
and brought the Championship in 1350 into the family, which 
has held it now for upwards of 560 years. It was probably 
their son John who married the daughter of Sir Thomas 
Friskney, whence descended the Dymokes of Friskney and 

At the coronation of Edward 11., 1307, and Edward III., 
1327, the Championship appears to have been in commission, 
but at that of Richard II., 1377, Sir John Dymoke claimed 
it in right of his wife. Baldwin Freville counter-claimed as 
Lord of Tamworth, but the office was awarded to Sir John. 

There are many Dymokes buried both in the church and 
churchyard, the most notable monument being an altar tomb 
in the chancel with a brass on it of Sir Robert Demoke. 
Edward IV. had beheaded his father along with Lord Welles 
after he had taken them under pledge of safety out of sanctuary 
at Westminster, and he tried to make amends by heaping 
favours on the son, who lived in five reigns — Edward IV., 
Edward V., Richard III., Henry VII., and Henry VIII. ; and 
acted as Champion at the coronation of the last three, in 1483, 
1485, and 1509. The brass presents him in armour and spurred, 
but bareheaded and with short neck, long flowing hair, and a 
huge beard ; he stands on a lion, and the inscription runs 
thus : — 

" Here Hethe the body of Sir Robert Demoke of Scrivelsby 
Knight and Baronet who departed out of this present 
lyfe the XV day of April in ye yere of our Lord God 
MDXLV upon whose sowle almighte god have m'ci Amen." 

The words " Knight and Baronet " have puzzled many, but in 
spite of the fact that Sir Brien Stapilton at Burton Joice, 
Notts., and Sir Thomas Vyner at Gautby, Lincolnshire, 1672, 
are described as Knight and Baronet, and though 'they may 
have been first Knights and then Baronets, in this case of Sir 
Robert Dymoke, of 1545, it can hardly have been so, for the 
title baronet was not in use until after 1603, and we must 
suppose that the words were originally " Knight Banneret," a 



distinction which was conferred on Sir Robert by Henry VIII., 
and that the present wording was probably a correction by 
an ignorant restorer in the seventeenth century, after damage 
done in the civil wars. The eldest son of the Champion who 
had been so unjustifiably put to death by Edward IV., was 
Lionel, who died before his father, and whose brass in Horn- 
castle church represents him kneeling on a cushion in full 
armour, holding a scroll in his hand, date 1519. The figure 
is kneeling in a stiff attitude, armed and spurred, and bare- 
headed, a scroll from his mouth says : — 

" S'cta Trinitas Unus Deus Miserere nob : " 

The inscription on the brass is : — 

" In honore S'cie et individue Trinitas orate p' 'aia Leonis 
Dyinoke milit' q' obijit xvij die Me'se Augusti ao D'ni M'cccccxlx: 
cui ai'e p' piciet DE' Amen." 

Below on either side were figures of two sons and three daughters. 
The sons are now missing. 

Lionel's brother Robert was only ten when he obtained the 
title. He was succeeded by his son Edward, who performed 
the office of Champion for the three children of Henry VIII. 
His son Robert, though never acting at any coronation, deserves 
mention as a martyr, in Elizabeth's reign, to his religious 
convictions. This queen, always dreading a Romish reaction 
in favour of her rival, Mary Queen of Scots, allowed a Puri- 
tanical bishop to persecute any Catholic in his diocese, and 
Robert, though in feeble health, was stout of heart and kept 
firm to his faith and died a prisoner at Lincoln, 1580. 

The mother of Edward Dymoke who was Champion to 
Charles II. was buried at Leverton in 1640. Sir Edward 
was summoned in 1660 before the Parliamentarians at West- 
minster and accused of " delinquency " because he bore the 
Royalist title of King's Champion. He was fined £7,000, an 
enormous sum for the time, and he had to pay between four 
and five thousand. Hence the impoverishment of the Dymoke 
family. He lived to see the Restoration, and officiated for 
Charles II. in 1660. dying in 1663. He was knighted in 1661 
" for his loyalty and great sufferings both in person and estate." 

A brass plate commemorates his son. Sir Charles Dymoke, 
who died in 1686. He officiated at the coronation of James II. 

376 Westminster hall chap. 

in 1685, and getting off his horse in order to walk up to kiss 
the king's hand he fell full length. Whereupon the queen 
said, " See, love, what a weak Champion you have ! " He 
was buried at Scrivelsby, November, 1686. 

Of other memorials there is a marble bust to Lewis, the 
Champion to George I. and II., in 1714 and 1727, who died in 
1760, AEtat.90. His widow Jane endowed a school at Hemingby 
" to teach the children of the poor of the parish to read, write, 
spin and card wool." Finally, there is a memorial to John, 
Champion in 1761 to George III. Henry Dymoke who acted 
for his father, a clergyman, on the accession of George IV., 1821, 
was the last who rode into Westminster Hall in bright armour 
and flung down his glove and dared to mortal combat any 
who disputed the right and title of the king. Then, having 
backed a little, he turned his horse and rode out, holding in his 
hand the gold cup in which the king had pledged him and he 
had in turn drunk to the health of his majesty. Since then 
the quaint historic ceremony has fallen into abeyance, but the 
title of " the Hon. the King's Champion " remains, and 
at the coronation of Edward VII. he was appointed to carry 
the royal banners. Sic transit gloria niundi. 

The following is a description of the championship ceremony 
at the banquet in Westminster Hall written at the time of the 
coronation of George IV., 1821, and taken from Allen's History 
of the County : — 

" Before the second course was brought in the deputyappointed 
to ofificiate as King's Champion (this was the son of the cham- 
pion, who was himself disqualified, being a clerk in holy orders), 
in his full suit of bright armour, mounted on a horse richly 
caparisoned, appeared under the porch of the triumphal arch, 
at the bottom of Westminster Hall. Everything being in 
readiness, the procession moved in the following order : — 

" Two trumpeters with the Champion's arms on their banners, 

" The Sergeant Trumpeter with his mace on his shoulder, 

" Two Sergeants-at-Arms with their maces on their shoulders. 

" The Champion's two Esquires, in half armour, one on the 

right hand bearing the Champion's lance, the other on the left 

hand with the Champion's target and the arms of Dymoke 

depicted thereon. 

" A Herald, with a paper in his hand, containing the Challenge. 



" The Deputy 
Earl Marshall (Lord 
Howard of Effing- 
ham) on horseback, 
in his Robes and 
Coronet, with the 
Earl Marshall's 
staff in his hand, 
attended by a page. 

The Lord High 
Constable (The 
Duke of Welling- 
ton), in his Robes 
and Coronet and 
Collar of his Order, 
on Horseback, with 
the Constable's 
Staff, attended by 
two pages. 

The Champion 
( Henry Dymoke, 
Esq.) on Horse- 
back, in a com- 
plete suit of Bright 
Armour, with a 
Gauntlet in his 
hand, his Helmet 
on his head, 
adorned with a 
plume of feathers. 
" Four Pages richly apparelled, attendants on the Champion. 
At the entrance into the Hall, the Trumpets sounded thrice, and 
the passage to the King's table being cleared by the Knight 
Marshall, the Herald, with a loud voice proclaimed the 
Champion's Challenge, in the words following : — 

" ' If any person of what degree soever, high or low, shall 
deny or gainsay our sovereign Lord King George the fourth, 
of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Defender 
of the Faith, son and next heir to our Sovereign Lord King 
George the third, the last King, deceased, to be the right heir 
to the Imperial Crown of this United Kingdom, or that he ought 
not to enjoy the same, here is his Champion, who saith that 
he lieth, and is a false traitor, being ready in person to combat 
with him, and in the quarrel will adventure his life against 
him on what day soever he shall be appointed.' 

" Whereupon the Champion threw down his gauntlet : which 
having lain a short time upon the ground, the Herald took it up, 
and delivered it again to the Champion. They then advanced 
to the middle of the Hall, where the ceremony was again per- 
formed in the same manner. 

" Lastly they advanced to the steps of the throne, where the 
Herald with those who preceded him ascended to the middle of 
the steps, and proclaimed the challenge in the like manner ; when 
the Champion having thrown down his gauntlet and received 
it again from the Herald, made a low obeisance to the King : 
Whereupon the Cupbearer, having received from the officer of 
the Jewel-house a Gold Cup and Cover filled with Wine, presented 
the same to the King, and his Majesty drank to the Champion, 
and sent to him by the Cupbearer the said Cup, which the 
Champion (having put on his gauntlet) received, and having 


made a low obeisance to the King drank the Wine ; after 
which, making another low obeisance to his Majesty and being 
accompanied as before, he departed out of the Hall, taking 
with him the said Cup and Cover as his fee." 

Driby, Tumby, and Tattershall. 

The amount of work done by the Normans in England has 
always astonished me. Not only did they build castles and 
strongholds, but in every county they set up churches built 
of stone, and not here and there but literally everywhere. They 
apportioned and registered the land, measured it and settled 
the rent, and, though hard task masters, they showed them- 
selves efficient guardians, nor was any title or property too 
small for the king and his officers to inquire into. Hence, 
in quite small out-of-the-way places in the county we find monu- 
ments in little and almost unknown churches which attest 
the activity of our Norman forefathers and which, when examined 
by the aid of documents from the Public Record Office or the 
abbey or manor rolls, old wills and all the early parchments in 
which the industrious bookworm revels, often unfold chapters 
of early history of extraordinary interest, if not for the general 
public, at least for students and for the local gentry who still 
haunt the places where once the armed heel of the knight rang 
and the monastery dispensed the unstinted doles of a period 
which would have held up both hands in astonishment at the 
luxury of our poor laws, the excellence of our roads and the 
enormity of our rates and taxes. Take, for instance, the little 
village of Driby in the Lincolnshire wolds, a village the early 
denizens of which my old friend, the late W. C. Massingberd, 
has taken the trouble to make acquaintance with, and to whose 
labours I am indebted for what little I know about it. He 
tells us how even in Saxon times a notable man lived at Driby, 
one Siward, not perhaps the great Northumbrian Thegn 
mentioned in Macbeth, but a later Siward who helped Hereward 
and his fenmen to oppose the Normans at Ely. Whoever he 
was, he held Scrivelsby and a large acreage in the Wolds. Next 
we find the great Lincolnshire Baron, Gilbert de Gaunt, 
succeeding Siward at Driby, holding, as Domesday Book (1086) 
shows, direct from the king. 

Early in the next century Simon de Driby comes before us ; 


and his son Robert — the eldest son was nearly always altern- 
ately Simon or Robert — grants some lands in Tumby to the 
abbey of Kirkstead. Robert's father is called sometimes 
Symon de Tumbi and sometimes Simon de Driby, and it seems 
that he had obtained disposal of this land in Tumby by a grant 
from Robertj son of Hugh de Tattershall, just as his forefather 
had held land in Driby by the grant of Gilbert de Gaunt. On 
February 25, 1216, a Simon de Driby made his submission to 
King John at Lincoln, and Ralph de Cromwell, whose descendant 
of the same name eventually married the heiress of the Simon 
de Dribys and held the castle of Tattershall, also submitted 
at Stamford on the 28th and gave his own eldest daughter as a 
hostage for his good behaviour. The submissive Simon died 
in 1213, and his son, the inevitable Robert, made an agree- 
ment with Hugh, the Abbot of Kirkstead, by which the abbot 
was allowed to have his big cattle and sheep dogs, mastiffs 
they were termed, in the warren of Tumby at all times of the 
3'ear, but no greyhounds or lurchers (leporarios vel alios canes 
preier mastivos), and if the latter turned riotous and chased 
game they were to be removed and others put in their place. 

Robert's son Simon obtained by marriage additional lands 
near Driby, at Tetfdrd, Bag Enderby, Slainsby, and Ashby 
Puerorum on the wolds, as well as some of the rich marsh land 
at Wainfleet. Henry III. granted to Robert Tateshalle license 
to cren elate his house at Tateshall, " quod possit kernelare 
mansum suum " in 1239 ; and we may here note that Tatters- 
hall Castle in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries and 
half of the fifteenth was a stone building. Just at the close 
of the reign of Edward I. a Robert de Driby married Joan, 
one of the three co-heiresses of Robert de Tateshale or Tatters- 
hall, the last male representative of the family, and Joan tried 
to settle the castle and manor of Tattershall on her youngest 
son, Robert, instead of on the rightful heir. Until the heir 
was of age Edward had granted them to his wife. Queen 
Margaret, a sign that the property was valuable. She, moreover, 
when a widow, had the manor of Tumby for her dower house. 

When the third Edward was on the throne one of the parsons 
who served Driby was a fellow of Merton College, Oxford, 
William Merle by name, who is worthy to be remembered 
because he was the first Englishman to keep a diary of the 
weather. He was appointed in 1330, and at that time one 


Gilbert de Bernak was the parson at Tattershall, whose relative 
William de Bernak, Kt., married Alice, the daughter of Robert 
de Driby and Joan Tattershall, and, her three brothers dying 
without issue, Alice came into possession of the manor of Driby. 
Their son, Robert de Bernak, presented a man of the same name 
to Driby in 1347, who died probably of the Black Death, for he 
presented again two years later. Robert in some way made 
himself unpopular, and in 1369 we hear of his being spoiled 
and beaten at Driby, with many of his men grievously wounded, 
and his reeve and his butler both killed. 

In 1374 he founded a chantry in Driby church endowed 
inter alia with rents from land in Driby and Friskney. His 
wife is called in his will Katherine de Friskney. This Robert 
de Bernak was the only one of the name who held the manor 
of Driby, for his elder brother John appears not to have done 
so, and to have died in 1346. 

The uncle of these de Bernaks, John de Driby, shortly before 
his death had granted the castle of Tattershall and the manors 
of Tattershall and Tumby away from his sister Alice to John 
de Kirton, who was knighted by Edward II., and summoned to 
Parliament in the sixteenth year of Edward III., 1343 ; so none 
of the de Bernaks ever held Tattershall, and it was through 
the direct interposition of the king that the descendants in the 
female line of the Driby and Bernak families got the property 
back. The way it came into the female line was this : The 
John de Bernak, eldest son of William de Bernak and Alice 
de Driby, had married Joan, the daughter of John Marmion 
of Wjntringham, and had two sons and a daughter Matilda, 
who eventually was his sole heiress. She married Ralph 
second Baron Cromwell, and the presentation to her uncle, 
Robert de Bernak's, chantry at Driby was left to her and to 
her son Robert Cromwell after her. 

Then, at her mother's death in 1360, she succeeded to her 
mother's property in Norfolk, Tumby Manor and Tattershall 
Manor and Castle reverted to her on the death of John de 
Kirton in 1367 and Driby Manor with Brynkyl on her uncle, 
Robert De Bernak's, death in 1387 ; so she held Driby, Tumby, 
and Tattershall, as well as property in Norfolk. 

In 1395 and 1399 we find her husband, Ralph Cromwell, 
presenting to the chantry of the Holy Trinity in the church 
at Driby. They were large landholders, for, in addition to the 



manor of Cromwell and his other lands in Notts., he and his 
wife held the manor of ' Kirkeby in Bayne ' with what are called 
the appurtenances to those various manors, i.e., lands in many 
parts of the wolds and marsh. 

Matilda died in 1419. Her son, Ralph Cromwell, was baptised 


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Tatiershall Church and the Bain. 

on July 15, 1414, a day memorable for a very high tide on the 
Lincolnshire coast which inundated all the land about Huttoft. 
He only lived to be twenty-eight, and was succeeded by his 
cousin, Ralph third Baron Cromwell, the grandson of Matilda. 
This Ralph Lord Cromwell had been appointed Lord High 


Treasurer of England under Henry VI. in 1433. He married 
Margaret, daughter of John fifth and last Baron d'Eyncourt, 
but had no issue. He it was who replaced the old castle by the 
splendid brick building which was, and is, the finest in England. 
He presented to Driby in 1449, and was the founder of the college 
and the almshouse at Tattershall, for which he obtained leave 
from the Crown to turn the parish church into a collegiate 
church in 1439, when he rebuilt it "from the ground and endowed 
it with^ several manors, Driby being one, so in 146 1 and until 
1543 the warden of the college of Tattershall was the patron 
of Driby. The almshouse has still an endowment of £30. 
He died in 1455, as the brass in Tattershall church records, 
and his nieces, the daughters of Sir Richard Stanhope, succeeded 
to his estates, but Driby remained with the warden of Tatters- 
hall. The nieces were Joan Lady Cromwell (for her husband 
Humphrey Bourchier, son of the first Earl of Essex, was 
summoned to Parliament as Baron Cromwell jure uxoris) and 
Matilda Lady Willoughby d'Eresby. One of his executors, 
William of Waynflete, the famous Bishop of Winchester, held 
the manor of Candlesby in 1477 for the use of this Lady 
Matilda, and soon afterwards obtained a grant of it to his newly 
founded college of Magdalen, Oxford, with whom it remains. 
Matilda Lady de Willoughby presented to Candlesby in 1494, 
eight years after the bishop's death. Since then the living has 
been in the gift of the college. 

At the dissolution of the monasteries, in 1545, Driby was 
granted to the Duke of Suffolk, then it passed to Sir Henry 
Sidney of Penshurst, who sold it to the Prescotts, a Lancashire 
family, about 1580, with appurtenances of lands and rents 
in " Brynkhill, Belchford, Orebye, Grenwyke, Ingolmells, 
Bagenderbie, Asbie Puerorum, ffuUetsbye, West Saltfletby 
alias Sallaby, Sallaby AUsaints, Golderbye, Tathwell, Thorpe 
next Waynflet, Sutterbye and Scamlesbye." There are two 

' The astounding list of Manors and advowsons handed over to " the 
Master or custodian and the Chaplains of the College and almshouse of 
the Holy Trinity of Tattershall and to their successors " was the following : — 
"The Manors of Wasshyngburgh, Ledenham, fifulbeck, and Driby, and 
the advowsons of the Churches of the same Manors, and the Manors of 
Brinkyll, ffoletby, Boston, Ashby Puerorum, Withcall Souche, Withcall 
Skypwyth, Bynbroke, called Northall, Woodenderby, Moreby, Wylkesby, 
Conyngesbye, Holtham, the moiety of the Manors of Swynhope, Willughton, 
Billingey and Walcote and the advowson of the Church of Swynhope. " 


small brasses in the church to James Prescott and his wife, 
who was a Molineux of Lancashire. They died in 1581 and 
1583. In 1636 Sir W. Prescott sold the manor of Driby to 
Sir John Bolles, and in 1715 it was bought by Burrell Massing- 
berd and still goes with the Ormsby estate of that family. 

A few words must be added about Tattershall. The great 
brick building which rises so magnificently out of the flat is 
one of the most impressive things in this or any country. I have 
walked all day partridge shooting on the estate, and however 
far you went you never seemed able to get away from the im- 
mediate presence of the magnificent pile ; you only had to look 
round and it was apparently just at your shoulder all day long. 
Then if you enter it and go up, for even the first floor is several 
feet above the level of the quadrangle, you are astonished at 
the size of the great chambers one above the other, thirty- 
eight feet by twenty-two, and seventeen feet high ; and finally 
you come on the second, third, and fourth story to the most 
beautiful brick vaulting and mouldings in the small rooms 
and galleries running round the big central rooms in the thick- 
ness of the walls. The whole is of exquisite workmanship, 
and finished by very deep and handsome machicolations and 
battlements. The bricks are apparently Flemish, thinner and 
of finer quality than the English bricks ; similar ones were used 
in building Halstead Hall, Stixwould. The windows are dressed 
with stone, these are large and arched, having mullions and 
the heads filled with stone tracery like church windows. This 
shows how the nobleman's castle was changing into the noble- 
man's palace or mansion. The building is at one comer of a 
quadrangle, and is itself a parallelogram, and, including the 
turret bases, eighty-seven feet long by sixty-nine wide, and 
112 feet high to the parapet of the angle turret. The walls, 
which are built on massive brick vaulting, are immensely 
thick, being fifteen feet above, and even more on the ground 
floor. The windows of the basement chambers are close on 
the water of the moat, for several small chambers were made 
in the thickness of the walls, in which, too, are the four chimneys. 
The spiral staircase is in the south-east turret, and has a con- 
tinuous stone handrail let into the brick wall, very cleverly 
contrived, and giving a firm and easy grasp. Each turret is 
octagonal, going up all the way from the ground and being 
finished with a cone. In each turret is a fireplace — a comfort 

384 THE CASTLE chap. 

to the warders, and useful at a pinch for heating the supplies 
of oil and lead which could be poured down through the machico- 
lations on the heads of a too assiduous foe. From turret to 
turret, and projecting somewhat over these machicolations, 
runs a loopholed gallery, and here, too, the vaulting and the 
rich brick mouldings are better than anything else of the kind 
in England, with the exception of the smaller but elaborately 
enriched wall surfaces of Barsham, near Walsingham in Norfolk. 
There are little rooms in the turrets, on each floor, and the 
galleries on the second and third are divided into rooms, so that 
in the whole building there were some forty-eight rooms. The 
large central rooms would be hung with tapestry, the lowest 
being used for an entrance-hall, meals being served in the fine 
banqueting hall adjoining, the second for a hall of audience 
or withdrawing room, and the third for the state bedroom. 
The fireplaces are, in the large rooms, of great width, and the 
restored mantelpieces, the barbarous removal of which lately 
caused such a stir, show a number of most interesting coats-of- 
arms of the families who have been connected with Tattershall 
down to the time of Henry VI. The treasurer's purse figures 
alternately with the shields, which bear the arms of the Crom- 
wells, Tattershalls, and d'Eyncourts, of Marmion, Driby, Bernak, 
and Clifton ; and on the second floor one panel represents the 
combat between Hugh de Neville and a lion. Neville and 
Clifton were the second and third husbands of Matilda Lady 
Willoughby, which points to the fact that these mantelpieces 
were not carved until after the Lord Treasurer's death, 1455, 
when Bishop Waynflete was in charge of the work. Sir Thomas 
Neville was killed at the battle of Wakefield, 1460, and Sir 
Gervasse Clifton at Tewkesbury in 147 1. 

There are three other brick buildings, which always strike 
me as being worthy to rank along with Tattershall. The first, 
but following longo intervallo, is the Bishop of Lincoln's palace 
at Buckden in Hunts., built by Bishop Hugh of Wells about 
1225. Another is the beautiful old Tudor manor-house already 
alluded to at Barsham, near Walsingham, which Lord Hastings 
has just advertised for sale (November, 1913). This has more 
exquisite brick diaper work and mouldings on the outside of 
both house and gate-house than Tattershall Castle has even 
in the passages and vaulted rooms on the upper floor inside, 
and is a miracle of lovely brick building. But it is not nearly 

xxxiii ESHER PLACE 385 

so big as Tattershall. The other bit of fine bricklaying which 
is of the same rather severe character as Tattershall and 
Magdalen School at Wainfleet, is the gate-house of Esher Place, 
occupied by Cardinal Wolsey October, 1529, to February, 1530. 
It belonged to the Bishops of Winchester, and Wolsey then held 
that see together with York. Waynflete, who was bishop 
1447-1486, and finished Tattershall about 1456, a year after 
the Lord Treasurer Cromwell's death, had partly re-built Esher 
Place in his inimitable brickwork, about seventy years before. 
He used bricks for the lintels and mouldings, and even put 
in the same sunk spiral handrail, which we have noticed as 
so clever and remarkable a device in the turret staircase at 
Tattershall. Waynflete's arms, the lilies, so familiar to us 
at Eton and Magdalen, were found by the Rev. F. K. Floyer, 
F.S.A., only last year (1912), when some plaster was removed, 
on the keystone of the curiously contrived vaulting over the 
porch. It is noticeable that Henry Pelham, who bought the 
house in 1729, has introduced also his family badge, the Pelham 
buckle, which is cut on the stone capitals of the door. This 
badge we have spoken of in the chapter on Brocklesby. So 
we have two Lincolnshire families of note, each of which has 
left his cognisance on the gateway of the once proud Esher 
Place, the " Asher House " in that magnificent scene of Act III. 
in Shakespeare's " Henry VIII." 

Norfolk. " Hear the king's pleasure, cardinal ; who commands you 
To render up the great seal present!)' 
Into our hands : and to confine yourself 
To Asher-house, my lord of Winchester's, 
Till you hear farther from his highness." 

Tattersliall had a double moat, the outer one reaching to the 
River Bain. Over both of them the entrance would probably 
be, as it certainly was over the inner one, protected by a draw- 
bridge and portcullis. This was still to be seen in 1726 at 
the north-east corner of the quadrangle. All that is now left 
is this one great pile of the Lord Treasurer's and one guard- 
house of the fifteenth century. The original castle was begun 
200 years earlier, when Robert, the direct descendant of Hugh 
Fitz Eudo — founder in 1138 of the Cistercian abbey of Kirk- 
stead, who had received the estate from William the Conqueror 
— obtained leave from Henry III. to build a castle there. We 
have seen how the castle became the property of Joan who 

c c 




married Sir Robert Driby, whose daughter Alice consigned 
it at her marriage to Sir W. Bernak, and their daughter Matilda 
married Lord Cromwell, whose grandson was the High Treasurer 
to Henry VI. He built the brick castle, but died soon after 
doing so, leaving his collegiate church to be finished by his 

Tatterskall Ckurck and Castle. 

executors. The college he had founded was to consist of a 
warden, a provost, six priests, six lay clerks, and six choristers, 
and the almshouse was for thirteen poor of either sex. The 
original building for this still exists, and is of very humble 
appearance, having, it is said, been put up to serve first as a 

xxxiii THE BRASSES 387 

lodgment for the masons engaged on the castle and church. 
Of these the latter is singularly well built, as any building 
supervised by Bishop William of Waynflete was sure to be, 
and evidently of very good stone ; and the two buildings being 
close together are striking specimens of the secular and ecclesi- 
astical architecture of the period. 

The Treasurer's wife, who was sister and coheir of William 
fifth Baron d'Eyncourt, died a year before her husband. They 
are buried in the church, and two very fine brasses once marked 
the spot. He was a K.G., and this shows him with the Garter 
and Mantle of his Order, but the brass is sadly mutilated now ; 
while her effigy is, sad to say, lost entirely. 

Two other fine brasses of this family are in the church. One, 
of the Treasurer's niece, Joan Stanhope, who married first Sir 
Humphrey Bourchier, son of the Earl of Essex, who was made 
fourth Baron Cromwell in her right in 1469 ; and secondly, after 
her first husband had been slain at the battle of Barnet, 147 1, Sir 
Robert Ratcliffe. She died in 1479, ^"d was succeeded in the 
property by her sister Matilda, who had married Lord Willoughby 
d'Eresby. Her brass has also been a particularly fine one. 
She died in 1497, and ten years before this the Tattershall 
estate had passed to the Crown. The inscription on her brass 
is filled in by a later and inferior hand, and no mention is made 
of her two next husbands. 

There is a very fine brass also of one of the last provosts or 
wardens of the college, probable date between 1510 and 1520. 
In 1487 Henry VIII. granted the manor to his mother, Margaret 
Countess of Richmond, and, the Duke of Richmond having no 
issue, Henry VIII., in 1520, granted it with many other manors 
in the neighbourhood to Charles Duke of Suffolk. This grant 
was confirmed by Edward VI. on his accession in 1547, but the 
duke and his two sons having died, he granted it, in 1551, to 
Edward Lord Clinton, afterwards Earl of Lincoln. The Clintons 
held it till 1692, when it passed, through a cousin Bridget, to 
the Fortescue family under whom both church and castle 
have suffered severely. Amongst other vandalisms. Lord 
Exeter, when living at Revesby,.was allowed to remove the 
fine stained glass windows to his church of St. Martin's in 
Stamford, in 1757. He paid £24 2s. 6d. to his steward for 
white glass to be put in in their stead, but the glass was not 
put in, and for eighty years the church was open to the wind 

c c 2 


and rain. The removal at all was a disgraceful business, and 
no wonder the Tattershall folk threatened to kill the glazier 
who was employed to take the windows out. 

The castle is now (191 2) the property of Lord Curzon, who is 
putting it into repair. The story of its sale quite recently 

Tattershall Church. 

to a speculator, and the ruthless tearing out by his creditors 
of the fine historic mantelpieces is one which reflects little credit 
on any concerned in it. They are now replaced. 

But " All's well that ends well," and Lincolnshire may con- 
gratulate herself that the finest old brick building in the country 
is in such good hands, and that the needed restoration is being 
carried out so admirably. It was no easy task to find oak trees 



to supply the beams which carry the floors, as each had to be 
twenty-four feet long and eighteen inches square. ^ The floors 
are now in, and the roof, which had been off for 250 years, 
reinstated. In the inner ward the ground plan of the kitchen 
has been laid bare ; this was close outside the south-east angle 
of the keep and connected with it by a covered passage leading 
from the staircase turret. The turrets and parapets are repaired, 
and the floors and roof being again in place and the moat refilled 
with water, though not what one would call a comfortable 
residence, it will be a most interesting place to visit, and never 
again, we trust, be likely to fall into the neglect which it has 
suffered for the last two hundred years. Enough pottery and 
metal has been found to form the nucleus of a collection which 
will be preserved for visitors to see. But no collection will 
ever be half as interesting as the sight of this magnificent brick 
building itself, and the close examination of all its structural 

1 They all came from Lord Middleton's park in Nottinghamshire. 

Scrivelsby Stocks* 



The Excavations — The Title ' ' Dominus" — Barlings — Stainfield — Tupholme 
— Stixwould — Kirkstead Abbey — Kirkstead Chapel — Woodhall Spa — 
Tovver-on-the-Moor — Charles Brandon Duke of Suffolk. 

The fens were always a difficulty to the various conquerors 
of England, and, probably owing to the security which they gave, 
they, from the earliest times, attracted the monastic bodies. 
Hence we find on the eastern edge of the Branston, Nocton, and 
Blankney fens, and just o3 the left bank of the Witham river 
when it turns to the south, an extraordinary number of abbeys. 
For Kirkstead, Stixwould, Tupholme and Bardney, with Stain- 
field and Barlings just a mile or two north of the river valley, 
are all within a ten mile drive. Of these, Kirkstead was 
Cistercian, and Stixwould and Stainfield were nunneries. They 
were all most ruthlessly and utterly destroyed by Thomas 
Cromwell at the dissolution, so it is only the history of them 
that we can speak about. 

Stixwould and Kirkstead were originally as much in the fen 
as Bardney ; but since the " Dales Head Dyke " was cut 
parallel with the Witham and about a mile to the west from 
" Metheringham Delph " to " Billinghay Skirth," the land be- 
tween it and the river is known as the " Dales." 

By far the oldest and the biggest and most interesting of 
the group was the great Benedictine Abbey of Bardney. This 
was founded not later than the seventh century. Some of the 
chronicles say by ^Ethelred, son of Penda, the pagan king of 
Mercia ; but it may have been by his brother Wulfhere, who 
reigned before him. ^thelred's Queen Osfrida, niece of the 


11. XX\IV 



sainted Oswald, the Northumbrian kinj; who had defeated 
Cffidwalla at Hevenfield in 635 and was himself killed in battle 
by Penda at Maserfield in 642 — had before her marriage brought 
the relics of her uncle in 672 to Bardney, where they became 
the centre of attraction for pilgrims, and St. Oswald's name as 
patron was added to those of St. Peter and St. Paul to whom 
the abbey was dedicated. Osfrida herself having been murdered 
by the Danes in 697, was buried here, and vEthelred, who in 

Kii kstcad Cliapel. 

701 founded Evesham Abbey, following the example of half- 
a-dozen Anglian and Saxon kings, gave up his throne after a 
reign of thirty years and entered Bardney as a monk in 704. 
In the quaint words of the chronicle he " was shorn a religious/' 
i.e., adopted the tonsure, and died twelve years later, after 
ruling for four years as Abbot of Bardney. One of the frescoes 
in Friskney church represents him resigning his crown to 
become a monk. St. Oswald's arm, which had been preserved 
in St. Peter's church at Bamborough, and which never witha-ed, 
was afterwards transferred to Peterborough Abbey, according 

392 A ROYAL ABBOT chak 

to Gunton, a little before the Conquest. A monk of the period 
wrote the following lines about it ; — 

" NuUo verme perit, nulla putredine tabet 
Dextra viri, nullo constringi frigore, nullo 
Dissolvi fervore potest, sed semper eodem 
Immutata statu persistit, mortua vivit." 

In which the monk, as usual, made a " false quantity." In 
870 Hingvar and Hubba, the Danes, in spite of its fancied 
security, utterly destroyed the abbey and put some 300 monks 
to death. They also destroyed Peterborough, Croyland, Ely, 
Huntingdon, Winchester, and other fine and wealthy monastic 
houses in the same barbarous manner. Bardney after this 
lay desolate for 200 years ; after which, Gilbert De Gaunt, on 
whom the Conqueror had bestowed much land in mid-Lincoln- 
shire, with the aid of the famous- Bishop Remigius of Lincoln, 
restored it, and endowed it with revenues from at least a dozen 
different villages, amongst thern Willingham, Southrey, Partney, 
Steeping, Firsby, Skendleby, Willoughby, Lusby, Winceby, 
Hagworthingham, Folkingham, and Heckington. This would 
be about 1080. In 1406 we read of Henry IV., our Lincoln- 
shire king, spending a Saturday-to-Monday there, riding fij)m 
Horncastle with his two sons and three captive earls of the 
Scots, Douglas, Fyfe, and Orkney, and a goodly company. 
The Bishop of Lincoln " with 24 horses " and the " venerable 
Lord Willoughby " came to do homage in the afternoon. The 
abbey stood on slightly rising ground, with a moat and 
deep ditch lined with brick, as at Tattershall, and enclosing 
twenty-four acres. It was half a mile from the present church. 
On the east side of the abbey is a large barrow on which was 
once a handsome cross in memory of King iEthelred, who is 
supposed to have been buried there, and it is quite possible 
that he was. The name of a field close by "Coney garth" 
is no doubt a corruption of Koenig Garth, which is much the 
same as the " King's Mead fields " near Bath Abbey, immorta- 
lised in Sheridan's " Rivals," as the place of meeting between 
Captain Absolute and Bob Acres, and where Sir Lucius O'Trigger 
inhumanly asks Acres " In case of accident . . . would you 
choose to be pickled and sent home ? or would it be the same 
to you to lie here in the Abbey ? I'm told there is very snug 
lying in the Abbey." 
The site of the abbey when excavations were begun in 1909 

xxxiv BARDNEY ABBEY 393 

was apparently a grass field with a moat ; but since then the 
whole of the great monastic church has been laid bare to the 
floor pavement, which was about four and a half feet below 
the surface. The Norman bases of the eight chancel columns 
and twenty pillars of the nave are now visible, and also of 
the four large piers which supported the tower arches ; these 
must have been very beautiful, each nave pillar having round 
a solid core a cluster of twelve, and the tower piers of sixteen, 
columns. All down the church, which is 254 feet long and over 
sixty-one feet wide, tombs were found in situ, with inscriptions, 
the earliest being that of Johanna, wife of John Browne of 
Bardney, merchant, 1334, and the handsomest that of Richard 
Homcastel, abbot, 1508, which measures eight feet by four, is 
seven inches thick, and weighs three tons. This had been 
already moved, and it is now fixed against the south wall of 
Bardney church. Adjoining the south side of the nave is the 
cloister ; and the chapter-house, parlour, dormitory, dining-hall, 
cellar, kitchen, well and guest-house are all contiguous. A 
little way off are the infirmarj'-hall and chapel, with three fire- 
places and some tile paving. Not much statuary was found, 
but various carved heads and iron tools, pottery, etc., one 
headless figure three feet high of St. Laurence and, most inter- 
esting of all, the reverse of the abbey seal which was in use in 
1348, showing St. Peter and St. Paul beneath a canopy and the 
half figure of an abbot with crozier below. We know that 
the obverse had on it a figure of St. Oswald, but that has not 
yet been found. It is made of bronze or fatten. 

The huge extent of the buildings and the beauty of the column 
bases and the plan of this, the earliest of English monasteries, 
with its moat enclosing the whole twenty-five acres, and its 
king's tumulus, make a visit to the site very interesting, and 
the vicar. Rev. C. E. Laing, has worked hard with his four men 
each year since 1909, and with the help of kind friends has 
managed to purchase three acres, but is greatly hampered 
by want of funds, which at present only reach one quarter of 
the sum required. 

Mr. Laing has published a little shilling guide to the excava- 
tions at Bardney, with photographs, which explain the work 
very clearly and show the tombs with their inscriptions. From 
this it will be noticed that Abbot Homcastel is called on his 
tomb " Dompnus," i.e., Dominus, and Thomas Clark, rector 

394 THE TITLE "DOMINUS" chap. 

of Partney, has this title " Dns.," and also Thomas Goldburgh, 
soldier, has the same. This is the same name as that on the 
old Grimsby Corporation seal of the princess, who is said to 
have married Havelock the Dane {see Chap. XIX.). Dominus 
is a difficult title to translate, for if we call it ' Sir,' as the old 
registers often do, it is misleading, as it has no knightly signi- 
ficance, and it probably meant no more than " The Rev.," or 
in the case of a soldier " Esq." or " Gent." It certainly does 
not imply here that the owners of the title belonged to " the 
lower order of clergy," and yet that is the recognised meaning 
of it in many old church registers, e.g., in the list of rectors, 
vicars, and chantry priests of Heckington, taken from the 
episcopal records at Lincoln. Some of the vicars and most of 
the chantry priests are called " Sir," and this generally implies 
a non-graduate. So also in the chapter on the clergy with the 
list of rectors and curates given in Miss Armitt's interesting book, 
" The Church of Grasmere " (published 1912), pp. 57-60 and 
p. 8r, we find that the tythe-taking rector is termed " Master," 
and bears the suffix " Clerk " ; while " Sir " is reserved for the 
curate, his deputy, who has not graduated at either university. 
This view is upheld in Dr. Cox's " Parish Registers of England," 
p. 251. The Grasmere book speaks of " Magister George 
Plumpton," who was son of Sir William Plumpton, of Plumpton, 
Knight, and rector of Grasmere, 1438-9. In 1554 Gabriel Croft 
is called rector, and his three curates for the outlying hamlets 
are put down as — 

" Dns. William Jackson, called in his will ' late Curate of 
Grasmer.' " 

" Dns. John Hunter. 

" Dns. Hugo Walters." 

This entry is followed by — 

" Sirre Thomas Benson curate " who witnesses a will in 
1563 ; and in 1569 we have " Master John Benson Rector." 
In 1645 we have a " Mr. Benson " doing the duty as rector during 
the Commonwealth, and in 1646 we have " Sir Christopher 
Rawling," who had probably served as curate for some years, 
as he is, at his child's baptism in 1641, styled " Clericus." 
Clearly this word " Sir " is here the translation of the Latin 
" Dominus," and the previous entries bear out the statement 
that the prefix ' Sir ' here betokens the lower order of clergy 
who had not graduated at either university. But that this was not 


a plan universally followed is made quite clear from the monu- 
ments at Bardney, where we find a rector and an abbot and a 
soldier all called " Dominus." Perhaps in neither of these 
cases is it necessary to translate the word by ' Sir/ why not 
leave it at " Dominus " ? From a letter in The Times, May, 
1913, I gather that this word " Dominus " is responsible for the 
title " Lord Mayor." The words " Dominus Major " are first 
found among the City of London Records for i486, in an order 
issued for the destruction of unlawful nets and coal sacks of 
insufficient size. The words only meant " Sir Mayor," but in 
course of time they came to be translated " The Lord The 
Mayor," which easily passed into " The Lord Mayor," a title 
which did not come into general use till 1535. 

Barlings Abbey stood a mile west of the Benedictine nunnery 
of Stainfield, which was founded by Henry Percy in the twelfth 
century. The abbey was founded about the same time by 
Ralph de Hoya for Premonstratensian canons. This term is 
derived from the " Premonsiratum " Abbey in Picardy, i.e., 
built in a place " pointed out " by the Blessed Virgin to be 
the headquarters of the Order. This was in 1120, and the 
Order first came to England in 1140. At the dissolution they 
seem to have had thirty-five houses here, Tupholme Abbey 
being one of them. The canons lived according to the rule of 
St. Augustine, and wore a white robe. In the revolt against 
the suppression of the smaller houses, known as " the Lincoln- 
shire Rebellion," or " the Pilgrimage of Grace," in 1537, the 
prior of Barlings, Dr. Matthew Makkerell, a D.D. of Cambridge, 
took a prominent part, and under the name of Captain Cobbler, 
for he took that disguise, he led 20,000 men. They were dis- 
persed by Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, and the prior was 
hanged at his own gate. 

The abbey is sometimes called Oxeney, because the founders 
removed the canons from Barling Grange to a place called 
Oxeney in another part of the village, but the name followed 
them and Oxeney became Barlings. 

Barlings and Stainfield are both near Bardney to the north, 
and Tupholme and Stixwould just as near on the south. 
Tupholme, like Barhngs, has a Premonstratensian house, 
founded 1160. A wall of the refectory with lancet window, 
and a beautiful stone pulpit for the reader during meals is all 
that is left. It is close to the road from Horncastle to Bardney. 



Stixuwidd is three miles to the south, and was, like Stain- 
field, a nunnery. It was founded by Lucia the first, the wife 
of Ivo Taillebois. Nothing is left of it ; but in tlie parish church 
are some stone coffins, a good parclose screen, used as a reredos, 




Konains 0/ Kirkstcad Abbey Church. 

and a remarkable font, \\'hose panels, bearing emblems of the 
Evangelists and of the first four months of the year, are divided 
by richly carved pinnacles with figures of lions and flowers. 
Near by is Halstead Hall (" Ifawstead "), a fifteenth century 
moated house of the Welby family, from which Lincoln, Boston, 
and lieckington are all visible. 


Kirkstead is three miles further south, and here is one of the 
most beautiful little thirteenth-century buildings in the county. 
It is near the ruin of the abbey, of which only a gaunt fragment 
remains. This chapel of St. Leonard is a real gem of Early 
English architecture. It is an oblong chamber with vaulted 
roof adorned with tooth and nail-head ornament, springing 
from bosses low down in the wall. The wall is arcaded all round, 
and the capitals exquisitely carved. Bishop TroUope speaks 
of the western door as " one of the most lo^■ely doorways imagin- 
able, its jambs being first enriched by an inner pair of pillars 
having caps from which spring vigorously and yet most delicately 
carved foliage, and then, after a little interval, two more pairs 
of similar pillars carrying a beautifully moulded arch, one 
member of which is worked with the tooth moulding. Above 
this lovely doorway, in which still hangs the coeval delicately 
ironed oak door, is an arcade of similar work, in the centre 
of which is a pointed oval window of beautiful design. The 
inside is still more beautiful than without." 

Inside, part of a rood screen with lancet arcading is earlier 
than anything of the kind in England, except the plain Norman 
screen in the room above the altar in Compton Church, Surrey. 
A mutilated effigy of a knight with a cylindrical saucepan- 
shaped helmet and a hauberk of banded mail, shows a rare 
instance of thirteenth-century armour. It is thought to be 
Robert, second Lord of Tattershall, who died about 1212. 

The ruinous state of this lovely little building, which was 
used for public worship until Bishop Wordsworth prohibited 
it, as the building was unsafe, has long been a crying scandal ; 
the owner always refusing to allow it to be made safe by others, 
and doing nothing to prevent its imminent downfall himself. 
The present Act of 1913 has, it is devoutly hoped, come in time 
to enable proper and prompt measures to be taken to put it 
into a sound condition. 1 

Quite near to Kirkstead is the newest Lincolnshire watering- 
place — Woodhall Spa. 

A deep boring for coal in 181 1 found no coal but struck a 
spring or flow of water, which is more highly charged with 
iodine and bromine than any known spa. This has been 
utilised, and a fine range of baths, on the principle of those at 
Bath, has been set up, though the water, unlike that at Bath^, 
^ This is now being clone. 



or at Acqui near Genoa, does not gush out boiling hot, but has 
to be pumped up 400 feet and then heated. All the various 
kinds of baths and appliances for the treatment of rheumatism, 
etc., are now installed, and quite a town has arisen on what 
was not long ago a desolate moor. The air is fine, the soil dry 
and sandy, the heather is beautiful around the place, and the 
Scotch fir woods and the picturesque " Tower-on-the-Moor " 

Kii-kstcad CJia/'cL 

^a watch-tower or part of a hunting-lodge built by the Crom- 
wells of Tattershall— add a charm to the landscape, though the 
'' greatc ponde or lake Isrickid about," mentioned by Leland, 
is gone. 

The Duke of Suffolk, to whom his sovereign gave so many 
Lincolnshire manors, was son of Sir W. Brandon, the king's 
standard-bearer who fell at Bosworth field. Henry VIIL had 
a great liking for him and made him Master of the Horse a 


viscount, and afterwards a duke. Like his royal master, he 
was the husband of several wives, the third of four being Mary 
Queen of France, widow of Louis XII. and second sister of 
Henry VIII. He resembled the king, too, in being a big man ; 
indeed he was remarkable for his bodily strength and feats of 
arms, and was victor in several tournaments. The pains he 
took to quell the Lincolnshire Rebellion greatly pleased the 
king, who showered rewards on him with lavish hands. He is 
said to have somewhat resembled him, his countenance being 
bluff and his beard white and cut hke the king's. He was 
good-tempered and fortunate in never giving offence. Hence, 
on his portrait at Woburn Abbey he is said to have been 
" Gratiose withe Henry VIII. Voide of Despyte, moste fortu- 
nate to the end, never in displeasure with his Kynge." 



Brotheitoft or Goosetoft— In Holland Fen — ^John Taylor's Poem — Fen 


Primitive peoples have been always rather prone to estab- 
lishing themselves on swampy ground, probably because they 
felt secure from attack in such places. They passed in their 
coracles easily from ctoe little island of dry ground to another 
and found plenty of employment in taking fish and water- 
fowl, in cutting grass for fodder or hay, reeds for thatch and 
bedding, willows to make their wattled huts, and peat for fuel, 
all of which were close at hand and free to everyone. It was 
not such a bad life after all. 

The earliest inhabitants of the Lincolnshire fens came from 
the mouths of the Meuse, Rhine, and Scheldt, so they lived by 
choice in low land and knew how to make the most of, the situa- 
tion. They clung for habitation to the islands of higher 
ground, and the names of rnany villages in the low part of the 
county, though no longer surrounded by water, bear witness 
by their termination to their insular origin, e.g., Bardney, 
Gedney, Friskney, Stickney, Sibsey, ey, as in the word ' eyot ' 
(pronounced ait, e.g., Chiswick Eyot), meaning island. In time 
the knots of houses grew to village settlements, and raised cause- 
ways were made frorn one to another, which served also as 
banks to keep out the sea at high tides. And we know that 
they did this effectually ; hence we find the churches mostly 
placed for safety on that side of the causeway bank which is 
furthest from the sea. You will see this to be the case as you 
go along the road from Boston to Wainfleet, where the churches 
are all west of the road, or from Spalding to Long Sutton, where 


they are all south of the road, and this explains how the Lincoln- 
shire name for a high road is " ramper," i.e., rampart. There 
are other sea banks which were thrown up purposely to keep 
out the sea, not necessarily as roads. These are very large and 
important works, fifty miles in length and at a varying distance 
from the sea, girdling the land with but little intermission from 
Norfolk to the Humber. Such large undertakings could only 
have been carried out by the Romans. 

This bank, when made, had to be watched ; for both in 
the earliest ages, and also in Jacobean times when the fens 
were drained, all embanking and draining works were violently 
opposed by the fen-men who lived by fishing and fowling, and 
had no desire to see the land brought into cultivation. 

The Romans were great colonisers ; they made good roads 
through the country wherever they went to stay, and in Lincoln- 
shire they began the existing system of " Catchwater " drains 
which has been the means of converting a marshy waste into 
the finest agricultural land in the kingdom. The Roman Carr 
(or fen) dyke joined the Witham with the Welland, so making 
a navigable waterway from Lincoln in the centre to Market 
Deeping in the extreme south of the county ; and by catching 
the water from the hills to the west it prevented the overflowing 
streams from flooding the low-lying lands, and discharged them 
into the sea. 

Rennie, at the beginning of last century, used the same 
method in the east fen ; but modern engineers have this 
advantage over the Romans that they are able by pumping 
stations to raise the water which lies below the level of the sea 
to a higher level from which it can run off by natural gravi- 
tation. Still the Romans did wonderfully, and when they 
had to leave England, after 400 years of beneficent occupation, 
England lost its best friends, for, not only was he a great road 
and dyke builder but, as the child's " Very First History Book " 

" If he just chose, there could be no man 
Nicer and kinder than a Roman." 

The Romans themselves were quite aware of the beneficial 
nature of their rule, as far as their colonies were concerned, 
and were proud of it. Who can fail to see this feeling if he 
reads the charming lines on Rome which Claudian wrote, about 
400 A.D., when the Romans were still in Britain. 

D D 

402 THE SAXONS chap. 

" Haec est in gremium victos quae sola recepit, 
Humanumque genus communi nomine fovit 
Matris non Dominae ritu, civesque vocavit 
Quos domuit, nexuque pio longinqua revinxit." 

Alone her captives to her heart she pressed, 
Gave to the human race one common name, 
And — mother more than sovereign— fondly called 
Each son though far away her citizen. 

W. F. R. 

The whole country soon became a prey to the freebooters 
who crossed the North Sea in search of plunder. Of these, 
the Saxons under Cedric besieged Lincoln about 497 and, the 
Angles from the Elbe joining with them, made a strong settle- 
ment there which became the capital of Mercia and received a 
Saxon king. To these invaders, who came as plunderers but 
remained as colonists, we also owe much. In east Lincolnshire 
they certainly fostered agriculture, and like the Romans made 
salt-pans for getting the salt from.sea water by evaporation. 

The Saxons dominated the country for about the same time 
as the Romans, and were then themselves ousted with much 
cruelty and bloodshed by the Danes or Norsemen. But during 
their time Christianity had been introduced at the instance 
of Pope Gregory I., who sent Augustine and forty monks to 
Britain at the end of the sixth century to convert the Anglo- 
Saxons, and as Bertha, wife of .(Ethelbert, King of Kent, 
was a Christian, he met with considerable success, and became 
the first Archbishop of Canterbury. He was followed early 
in the seventh century by Paulinus, who came from York and 
built the first stone church at Lincoln. When, a hundred and 
fifty years later, the Danes made their appearance they foimd 
in several places monasteries and cathedrals or churches which 
they ruthlessly pillaged and destroyed ; and they too, having 
come for plunder, remained as indwellers, settling in the eastern 
counties, not only near the coast but far inland, just as the Norse- 
men settled and introduced industrial arts on the west coast in 
Cumberland. Dane and Saxon struggled long and fiercely, 
the Danes being beaten in Alfred's great battle at Ethandune 
in Wilts, 878, but only to return in Edmund's reign and defeat 
the Saxons at Assandun in Essex under King Canute, 1016, 
after which, by agreement, they divided the country with 
Edmund Ironsides, and withdrew from Wessex, the region south- 



west of Watling Street, but the whole country north-eastwards 
from the Tees to the Thames was given over to them and called 
the Danelagh, or country under Dane law. Thus Lincoln 
became a Danish burgh, and in the next year, on Edmund's 
death, Canute became sole King of England. None of the 

Darlow's Yard^ Sleaford. 

Fenmen of Lincolnshire had been subdued till in 1013 Swegen, 
King of Denmark, invaded the county in force and pillaged 
and burnt St. Botolph's town (Boston), and they appear to have 
maintained their independence all through the Norman times. 
For the dynas;ty of Danish kings did not last long, and both 
they and the kings of the restored Saxon line were effaced by 

D D 2 

404 THE NORMANS chap. 

the Norman invaders who, like all their predecessors, found the 
Fenmen a hard nut to crack. Hereward, who was not son of 
Leofric, but a Lincolnshire man, had many a fight for Hberty, 
and held the Isle of Ely against the repeated attacks of the 
Normans, and, when at last the Fenmen were beaten, they 
still maintained a sort of independence, and instead of becoming 
Normans in manners and language they are said to have kept 
their own methods and their own speech, so that there may 
well be some truth in the boast that the ordinary speech of 
the East Lincolnshire men of " the Fens " and " the Marsh " 
is the purest English in the land. 

Holland Fen and Fen Skating. 

In the Fens there were always some tracts of ground raised 
above the waters which at times inundated the lower levels 
there. These are indicated by such names as Mount Pleasant, 
or by the termination ' toft,' as in Langtoft, Fishtoft, Brother- 
toft, and Wigtoft in the Fens ; and similarly in the Isle of 
Axholme, Eastoft, Sandtoft, and Beltoft. Toft is a Scandi- 
navian word connected with top, and means a knoll of rising 
ground. When the staple commodities of the Fens were 
" feathers, wool, and wildfowl," these knolls were centres of 
industry. Sheep might roam at large, but in hard weather 
always liked to have some higher ground to make for, and 
human beings have a preference for a dry site, hence a cottage 
or two and, if there was room, a collection of houses and possibly 
a church would come into existence, and the grassy knoll would 
be often white with the flocks of geese which were kept, not 
so much for eating as for plucking ; and we know that the 
monasteries always had ' vacheries ' or cow-pastures either on 
these isolated knolls or on rising ground at the edge of the 
fen. One of the most notable of these island villages was 
called at one time Goosetoft, now Brothertoft, in the Holland 
Fen about four miles west of Boston. Here on the 8th of July, 
O.S., all sheep " found in their wool," i.e., who had not been 
cUpped and marked, were driven up to be claimed by their 
owners, fourpence a head being exacted from all who had no 
common rights. 

The custom survives in Westmorland, where in November 
of every year all stray Herdwick sheep are brought in to the 


shepherds' meeting at the ' Dun Bull ' at Mardale, near Hawes- 
Water, and after they are claimed, the men settle down to a 
strenuous day, or rather two nights and a day, of enjoyment ; 
a fox hunt on foot, and a hound trail whatever the weather 
may be, followed by feasting and songs at night, keep them 
all " as merry as grigs." But where there are ten people at the 
Dun Bull there were one hundred or more at Brothertoft, 
people coming out fron) Boston for the day or even for the week, 
and all being lodged and fed in some thirty large tents. 

John Taylor, ' the water poet,' wrote in 1640 an account 
of Goosetoft which is worth preserving : — 

In Lincolnshire an ancient town doth stand 

Called Goosetoft, that hath neither fallow'd land 

Or woods or any fertile pasture ground. 

But is with wat'ry fens incompast round. 

The people there have neither horse nor cowe, 

Nor sheep, nor oxe, nor asse, nor pig, nor sowe ; 

Nor cream, curds, whig, whey, buttermilk or cheese, 

Nor any other living thing but geese. 

The parson of the parish takes great paines, 

And tythe-geese only are his labour's gaines ; 

If any charges there must be defrayed 

Or imposition on the towne is lay'd. 

As subsidies or fifteenes ^ for the King, 

Or to mend bridges, churches, anything. 

Then those that have of geese the greatest store 

Must to these taxes pay so much the more. 

Nor can a man be raised to dignity 

But as his geese increase and multiply ; 

And as men's geese do multiply and breed 

From office unto office they proceed. 

A man that hath but with twelve geese began 

In time hath come to be a tythingman ; 

And with great credit past that office thorough, 

His geese increasing he hath been Headborough, 

Then, as his flock in number are accounted, 

Unto a Constable he hath been mounted ; 

And so from place to place he doth aspire, 

And as his geese grow more hee's raised higher. 

'Tis onely geese then that doe men prefer, 

And 'tis a rule no geese no officer. 

Fen Skating. 
The Fen skaters of Lincolnshire have been famous for 
centuries. In the Peterborough Museum you may see two 
1 A tax of a fifteenth levied on merchants' goods in King John's reign. 

406 FEN SKATING chap. 

bone skates made of the shin bones of an ox and a deer ground 
to a smooth fiat surface on one side and pierced at either end - 
with holeSj or grooved, for attachment thongs. The regular 
fen skates, which are only now being ousted by tlie more con- 
venient modern form were like the Dutch skates of Teniers' 
pictures, long, projecting blades twice as long as a man's 
foot, turned up high at the end and cut off square at the heel. 
They were called " Whittlesea runners," and were supposed 
to be the best form of skate for pace straight ahead ; and no 
man who lived at Ramsey loo to 200 3'ears ago or at Peter- 
borough or Croyland was without a pair. The writer has been 
on Cowbit Wash (pronounced Cubbit), near Spalding, when 
the great frozen plain was in places black with the crowds of 
Lincolnshire fenmen, mostly agricultural labourers, all on 
skates and all thoroughly enjoying themselves, whilst ever and 
anon a course was cleared, and with a swish of the sounding 
" pattens " a couple of men came racing down the long lane 
bordered with spectators with both arms swinging in time to 
the long vigorous strokes which is the fenman's style. The 
most remarkable thing about the gathering was the splendid 
physique of the crowd. Could they all have been taken and 
drilled for military service they would have made a regiment 
of which Peter the Great would have been proud. 

The best ice fields for racing purposes are Littleport in 
Cambridgeshire, and Lingay Fen and Cowbit Wash in Lincoln- 
shire. Before it was drained in 1849, Whittlesea Mere in 
Huntingdonshire was the great meeting ground, and the Ramsey 
and Whittlesea men were famous skaters. By dyke or river 
one could go from Cambridge to Ramsey on skates all the way. 
The best speed skaters — and speed was the only aim of the 
fen skater — for many years were the Smarts of Welney, near 
Littleport. " Turkey " Smart beat Southery, who won the 
championship in the last match on Whittlesea Mere from 
Watkinson of Ramsey, and after him " Fish " Smart held the 
record at Cowbit Wash for a whole generation from 1881 to 

In 1878 and 1879 the frost was long and hard, and the prizes 
at the great skating match near Ramsey took the form of food 
and clothing for the frozen-out labourers. The course was 
down a road which a heavy fall of snow, followed first by a 
thaw and then by a frost, had made into an ideal skating course. 


Whatever year you take you mil find that the prize-winners 
for fen skating come from the same district and the same 
villages; Welney, Whaplode, Gedney, Covirbit, and Croyland 
are perpetually recurring names, the last four being all situated 
in the south-eastern corner of Lincolnshire which abuts on the 
Wash between the outfall of the Welland and the Nene. 

In the severe frost of 1912;, which lasted from January 29 
to February 5, the thermometer on the night of February 3 
going down to zero, Cowbit Wash saw the contest for both the 
professional and the amateur championship for Lincolnshire. 
The Lincolnshire professional race on Saturday, February 3, 
over a course of one mile and a half with one turn in it brought 
out two Croyland men, H. Slater first and G. Pepper second, 
F. Ward of Whaplode being third. The winning time was 
4 minutes 50 seconds. 

On Monday, February 5, W. W. Pridgeon of Whaplode won 
the Lincolnshire amateur championship over a mile course 
with a turn and a terrific wind in 3 minutes 40 seconds, two 
Boston men coming next. On the following day, February 6, 
the ice from the thaw, though wet, had a beautiful surface, 
and in the great " one mile straightaway " race open to amateurs 
and professionals alike, eight men entered, all of whom beat 
Fish Smart's record of 3 minutes. F. W. Dix, the British 
amateur champion winning in 2 minutes 27 1-4 seconds, with 
S. Greenhall, the British professional champion, second in 
2 minutes 32 2-15 seconds. 

F. W. Dix showed himself to be first-rate at all distances, 
for besides this mile race, he won the mile and a half on 
February 2 at Littleport, with five turns in 4 minutes 40 seconds, 
and next day at the Welsh Harp he secured the prize for 220 
yards in 22 4-5 seconds. S. Greenhall had won the British pro- 
fessional championship on the previous day at Lingay Fen 
over a course of one and a half miles, coming in first by 170 yards 
in 4 minutes 44 4-5 seconds. 

In all these races the wind was blowing a gale, and those 
who won the toss, and could run close up under the lee of the 
line of spectators had a decided advantage, and as a matter of 
fact they won in every case. 

Since this Dix has won in the Swiss skating matches of 1913, 
and here it may be of interest to add the following, which 
appeared in The Times of February 3, 1913: — 

4o8 A WORLD'S RECORD CH. xxxv 

International Race in Christiania. 
(From our Correspondent.) 

Christiania, Feb. i. 
" The International Skating Race held here to-day over a 
course of 10,000 metres was won by the Norwegian skater, 
Oscar Mathieson. His time was 17 min. 22 6-10 sec, which is 
a world's ' record.' The Russian, Ipolitow, was second, his 
time being 17 min. 35 5-10 sec. The previous world's 'record' 
was 17 min. 36 3-5 sec." 

' Metres ' fairly beat me, but I take it that 10,000 of them 
would be about six miles. 

But anyone who likes to worry it out can postulate that the 
length of a metre is 39'37o79 inches. This was originally 
adopted as a " Natural unit," being one ten-millionth of the 
distance between a pole and the Equator. Butj as an error 
has been found in the measurement of this distance, it is no 
longer a " Natural unit," but just the length of a certain rod 
of platinum kept at Paris, as the yard is the length of a rod 
kept at Westminster. 



Friskney — Frescoes in the Church — Its Decoys — Wrangle — John Reed's 
Epitaph — Leake — Leverton — Benington — Frieston — The Font-Cover 
— Frieston Shore — Rare Flowers — Fishtoft — Skirbeck — Boston — The 

The two centres for " The parts of Holland " are Spalding 
and Boston. From the latter we go both north and south, 
from Spalding only eastwards, and in each case we shall pass 
few residential places of importance, but many exceptionally 
fine churches. 

We will take the district north of Boston first. 

Friskney, which is but three and a half miles south of Wain- 
fleet, where we ended our south Lindsey excursion, is really 
in Lindsey. It stands between the Marsh and the Fen. The 
road from Wainfleet to Boston bounds the inhabited area 
of the parish on the east, and another from Burgh, which runs 
for ten miles without passing a single village till it reaches 
Wrangle, does the same on the west. Outside of these roads 
on the west is the great "East Fen," reclaimed little more 
than loo years ago, and on the east is the " Old Marsh," along 
which went the Roman Bank, and east of which again is the 
" New Marsh," and beyond it the huge stretch of the " Friskney 
flats," over which the sea ebbs and flows for a distance of from 
three to four miles ; the haunt of innumerable sea birds, plovers 
(locally pyewipes), curlew, redshanks, knots, dunlins, stints, 
etc., as well as duck and geese of many kinds and even, at times, 
the lordly swan. 

Thus surrounded, Friskney stands solitary about half way 
between Wainfleet and Wrangle, and if only the northern 
boundary of Holland had been made the " Black Dyke " and 


" Gout " as would have been most natural, Friskney would have 
been the north-eastern point of Holland, instead of being the 
south-eastern point of Lindsey. Since their discovery by the 
late rector, the Rev. H. J. Cheales, the most noticeable thing in 
the fine Perpendicular church is the series of wall paintings 
above the arcades of the nave, date 1320, most of them are faint 
and hard to make out, but there are drawings of them, and 
an account was published in 1884 and 1905 in the " Archaeo- 
logia," vols. 48 and 50. The subjects are the Annunciation, 
Nativity, Resurrection, and Ascension, and the Assumption 
of the Virgin, on the north arcade ; on the south are the Offering 
of Melchizedek, the Gathering of the Manna, the Last Supper, 
one possibly of Pope Gregory, one of King ^thelred entering 
Bardney Abbey, and a most curious one of Jews stabbing the 
Host. There are two Norman arches in the aisle wall, and a 
beautiful tower arch with steps from the nave down into the 
tower, the lower part of which is transition Norman, the next 
stage Early English, and the next Perpendicular ; there are 
six bells in it. The nave is very high, the clerestory, on which 
the paintings are, having been added early in the fourteenth 
century. The old roof has been preserved, and the chancel 
screen and two chantry screens, which are unusually high to 
match the nave. The rood stairs, as at Wrangle and Leake, 
are on the south side. The pulpit is dated 1659. The north 
chantry is entered by a half arch, and there is a squint and a 
curious low-side window placed oddly on the north side of the 
chancel arch. Some unusually fine sedilia with diaper work 
at the back, and a trefoiled aumbry and piscina are in the chancel, 
which has been nearly ruined by bad restoration with a new 
roof in 1849. It has large handsome windows and finely canopied 
niches on each buttress, with ornamentation carved in Ancaster 
stone. This chancel was the gift of John Mitchell of Friskney 
in 1566. 

An effigy of a knight of the Freshney family (a local pro- 
nunciation of Friskney), of whom we have seen so many 
monuments in the Marsh churches at Somercoats, Saltfleetby 
and Skidbrooke, is at the west end, and a restored church- 
yard cross stands near the south door. 

The family of Kyme, who had a manor near Boston and two 
villages called after them between Sleaford and Dogdyke, held 
land in Friskney through the thirteenth century and until 


I339j when it passed by marriage to Gilbert Umfraville, whose 
son, the Earl of Angus, married Maud, daughter of Lord Lucy. 
She afterwards became the second wife of Henry Percy, first 
Earl of Northumberland, father of the famous " Hotspur," 
whose wife, together with her second husband, Baron Camoys, 
has such a line monument in Trotton church near Midhurst, 
Sussex. Hence, in the east window of the north aisle of 
the church at Friskney are the arms, amongst others, of 
Northumberland, Lucy, and Umfraville. 

The Earl's grandson, the second Earl of Northumberland, 
who was killed at the battle of St. Albans fighting for Henry VL, 
May 22, 1455, possessed no less than fifty-seven manors in 
Lincolnshire, many of them inherited from the Kymes. 

William de Kyme, uncle of Gilbert Umfraville, left a widow 
Joan who married Nicolas de Cantelupe. He founded a chantry 
dedicated to St. Nicolas in Lincoln Cathedral, and she, one 
dedicated to St. Paul. 

It is melancholy to hear of old-fashioned employments fading 
away, but it is the penalty paid by civilisation all the world 
over. Friskney in particular may be called the home of lost 
industries. For instance, " Mossberry or Cranberry Fen," in 
this parish, was so named from the immense quantity of cran- 
berries which grew on it, and of which the inhabitants made 
no use until a Westmorland man, knowing their excellence, 
taught them ; and thence, until the drainage of the fens, 
thousands of pecks were picked and sent into Cambridgeshire, 
Yorkshire, and Lancashire every year, ^s. a peck being paid 
to the gatherers. After the drainage they became very scarce 
and fetched up to 50.?. a peck. 

Similarly, before the enclosure of the fens there were at least 
ten Duck Decoys in this part of the county, of which five were 
in Friskney, and they sent to the London market in one season 
over 31,000 ducks. Eighty years ago there were still two in 
Friskney and one in Wainfleet St. Mary's, and I remember one 
in Friskney which still maintained itself, in the sixties, though 
each year the wild fowl came to it in diminishing numbers. 

Bryant's large map of 1828 shows a decoy near Cowbit Wash, 
no less than five near the right bank of the River Glen in the 
angle formed by the " Horseshoe Drove " and the " Counter 
Drain," and two on the left bank of the Glen, all the seven 
being within a two-mile square, and two more further north 


in the Dowsby Fen, and four in the Sempringham Fen probably 
made by the Gilbertines. 

The decoy was a piece of water quite hidden by trees, and 
only to be approached by a plank across the moat which sur- 
rounded it, and with a large tract of marshy uncultivated ground 
extending all round it, the absence of disturbing noises being 
an essential, for the birds slept there during the day and only 
took their flight to the coast at evening for feeding. The 
method of taking them was as follows. The pond had half- 
a-dozen arms like a star-fish, but all curving to the right, over 
which nets were arched on bent rods ; and these pipes, leading 
down each in a different direction and gradually narrowing, 
ended in a purse of netting. All along the pipes were screens, 
so set that the ducks could not see the man till they had passed 
him, and lest they should wind him he always held a bit of 
burning turf before his mouth. Decoy birds enticed by hemp 
and other floating seed flung to them over the screens kept 
swimming up the pipes followed by the wild birds, and a little 
dog was trained to enter the water and pass in and out of the 
reed screens. The ducks, being curious, would swim up, and 
the dog, who was rewarded with little bits of cheese, kept 
reappearing ahead of them, and so led them on to follow 
the decoys. At last the man showed himself, and the birds — 
ducks, teal, and widgeon — rushed up the pipe into the purse 
and were taken. The decoy was only used in November, 
December, and January, and it is not in use now at all. But 
there are still two of the woods left round the ponds at Friskney, 
each about twelve acres, and the water is there to some extent, 
but the arms are grown over with weeds and are barely trace- 
able. Indeed it is a hundred years and rather more since the 
famous old decoy man, George Skelton, Kved and worked here 
with his four sons. His great grandson was the last to follow 
the occupation, but when the numbers caught came to be only 
three and four a day, it was clear that the business had " given 
out." Absolute quiet and freedom from all the little noises 
which arise wherever the lowUest and smallest of human 
habitations exist was necessary, for at least a mile all round 
the wood, and as cultivation spread this could not be obtained. 
Nothing is so shy as wild-fowl ; and Skelton said that even 
the smell of a saucepan of burnt milk would scare all the duck 
away. The mode of taking birds in " flight nets " is still 



practised on the coast, the nets being stretched on poles at 
several feet above the ground, and the birds flying into them 
and getting entangled. Plover are taken in this way, and the 
smaller birds which fly low in companies along by the edge 
of the sea, or across the mud flats. 

A decoy still exists near Croyland, and another at Ashby 
west of Brigg, in the lower reaches of the Trent ; and formerly 
there were many in Deeping Fen and other parts of Holland. 
But wild-fowl were not the only birds the Fenmen had to rely 
on, and Cooper's " Tame Villatic Fowl," and the goose and 
turkey in particular, are a steady source of income, as the 
Christmas markets in the Fens testify. 

From Friskney we run on about four miles to Wrangle. 
What the road used to be we may guess from the constable's 
accounts for the parish of Friskney, in which the expenses for 
a journey to Boston are charged for two days and a night " being 
in the winter time." The distance is thirteen miles. In the 
eighteenth century corn was still conveyed to market on the 
backs of horses tied in strings, head to tail, Kke the camels in 
eastern caravans. The name of Wrangle is Weranghe, or 
Werangle, in Domesday, said to mean the lake or mere of 
reeds, from "wear," a lake, and " hangel," a reed. A friend 
of mine passing Old Leake station (which was first called " Hob- 
hole drain," but, at the request of the Wrangle parishioners, 
because the name deterred visitors, was altered afterwards 
to Leake-and -Wrangle), observed that this name reminded 
him of the words of Solomon that the beginning of strife is 
like the letting out of water.^ The place used to be a haven 
on a large sea creek, and furnished to Edward III. for the in- 
vasion of France, in 1359, one ship and eight men, Liverpool 
at that time being assessed at one ship and five men. The 
church is large, and the rectors have been for over a hundred years 
members of the family of Canon Wright of Coningsby, a nephew 
of Sir John Franklin. The outer doorway of the south porch 
has a beautiful trefoiled arch with tooth moulding, and curious 
carvings at the angles. Near this is a fine octagonal font with 
three steps and a raised stone, called a ' stall,' for the priest to 
stand on. This is not uncommon in all these lofty Early 
English fonts. The tower was once much higher, as is shown 
by the fine tower arch with its very singular moulding. The 
1 Prov. 17. 14. 


tracery in the clerestory windows marks a period of transition, 
being alternately flowing and Perpendicular. There is a good 
deal of old glass of the fourteenth century in the north aisle, 
quite two-thirds of the east window of the aisle being old, 
with the inscription " Thomas de Weyversty, Abbas de Waltham 
me fieri fecit." There is a turret staircase for the rood-loft 
stair at the junction of the south aisle and chancel, hence the 
door to the rood loft is on that side. The pulpit is Elizabethan. 
The Reed family have several monuments here, and it is probable 
that the three first known parsons of Wrangle — William (1342), 
John (1378), and Nicolas (1387) — were chaplains to that family. 
On a large slab in the chancel pavement to " John Reed sum 
time Marchant of Calys and Margaret his wyfe," date 1503, 
are these lines : — 

This for man, when ye winde blows 

Make the mill grind, 

But ever on thyn oune soul 

Have thou in mind. 

That thou givys with thy hand 

Yt thou shalt finde. 

And yt thou levys thy executor 

Comys far behynde. 

Do thou for thy selfe while ye have space. 

To pray Jesu of mercy and grace, 

In heaven to have a place. 

Sir John Reade, the great-grandson of John and Margaret, 
who died in 1626, is described as " eques aureus vereque Xianus 
eirenarcha prudens," etc., the last substantive meaning Justice 
of the Peace. 

There is an old Bede-house founded 1555, which we shall 
pass now on our way to Leake, and we may perhaps trace 
the old sea-bank just behind it. There was once one also at 
Benington, a few miles further on, called " Benington Bede." 
But before leaving so much that is old we may delight our 
eyes, if we are lucky enough to find Mr. Barker (the vicar) or his 
wife in the church, with a sight of some most exquisite modern 
church embroidery in the form of an altar cloth, lately made 
by the ladies of the rectory. 

Leake, little more than a mile from Wrangle, has a most 
massive Perpendicular tower which was fifty-seven years 
building and never completed ; here, too, there was a sea- 
way to the coast. The south aisle of the church and the nave 



have been restored, but the north aisle is still in a ruinous 
condition, and reflects little credit on the patrons who are, 
or were, the governors of Oakham and Uppingham schools. 
There is a magnificent clerestory of six windows with carved 

Lt:akt: l.'hurch. 

and canopied niches between each window, %\v\r\<^ a very rich 
effect ; and, as at Wrangle, there is an octagonal rood turret 
and spirelet at the south-east of the nave. The wavy parapet 
of the nave gable reminds one of the similar work round the 
eastern chapel at Peterborough Cathedral, and the tall nave 
pillars resemble those at Boston. Only a \'ery little Norman 


work remains from an earlier church. A knight in alabaster, a 
good Jacobean pulpit, and a remarkable old alms-box made 
out of a solid oak stem are in the church, and round the church- 
yard is a moat with a very large lych-gate on the bridge across 
it. A mile and a half east of this are the remains of an old 
stone building of early date, called the Moat House. 

Two of the Conington family were vicars here in the seven- 
teenth century, and a Thomas Arnold was curate in 1794. 

Leverton is but two miles from Leake, and Benington only 
one mile further. The churches in this district have no 
pinnacles. Leverton was thatched until 1884, when the present 
clerestory was built. The chancel has some beautiful canopied 
sedilia, which are spoken of by Marrat in his " History of 
Lincolnshire " as " three stone stalls of most exquisite work- 
manship, to describe the beauties of which the pen seems not 
to possess an adequate power." At the back of one of these 
is an aumbrey, or locker. The windows are square-headed, 
the font is tall and handsome, but the greatest charm of the 
building is the sacristy or Lady chapel to the south of the 
chancel — a perfect gem of architecture, the carved stone work 
of which is rich and tasteful. Crucifixes surmount both gables 
of this, and also that at the chancel end, this profusion being 
a consequence of the church being dedicated to St. Helena. 
Whether she was the daughter of a Bithynian innkeeper or 
a British princess, she was the wife of Constantius Chlorus and 
mother of Constantine the Great ; and the legend is that, 
being admonished in a dream to search for the Cross of Christ, 
she journeyed to Jerusalem, and, employing men to dig at 
Golgotha, found three crosses, and having applied each of them 
to a dead person, one of the crosses raised the dead to life, so 
she knew that that was the one she was searching for. The 
church of North Ormsby is also dedicated to her. At Leverton 
the rood-loft steps exist on the south of the chancel arch, and 
the churchwarden's book, which begins in 1535, gives the bill 
for putting up the rood loft and also for taking it down. At 
the beginning of last century Mrs. A. Skeath, of Boston, made 
a new sea-bank three miles long, which effectually reclaimed 
from the sea 390 acres for this parish. 

The village of Benington has a fine church with a good porch 
and a turret stairway to the north-east of the nave. The roof 
retains its old timbers with carved angels. In the chancel 



are the springers for a stone roof. The pillars of the nave 
have a very wide circular base, and in the Early English chancel 
are sedilia with aumbries and piscina, and also an arched recess 
which may have been used for an Easter sepulchre. The tall 
red sandstone font is singularly fine, both bowl and pedestal 
being richly carved with figures under canopies. 

Lcz'cytcn II 'iiuiinitt. 

The practice of putting inscriptions into rhyme is exemplified 
in the windows of these churches. 
Benington has a Latin couplet : — 

Ad loca .Stellata 

Due mc Kathcrina beata 

Levertoa one in Norman French : — 

Pour Tamour de Jhcsu Christ 
Priez par luy q nioy fatre fist. 
(Pray for him who caused nic lo be made.) 

A lane here leads eastwards to Benington-Sea-End, which is 
close on the Roman bank. And, as the main road to Boston 

4i8 ■ 


is devoid of interest, we will bend to the left hand, and pass 
through Butterwick to Frieston and so to the shore. An old 
register records in rhyme the planting of the fine sycamore 
tree in Butterwick churchyard, in 1653. The name Butter- 
wick occurs in the East Riding of Yorkshire, and is derived 

Frieston Priory Church. 

probably from the Dane Buthar, as are Buttermere in Cumber^ 
land, and Butterlip-How in Grasmere. At Frieston, which, 
like Friskney and Firsby, is said to indicate a colony of Fries- 
landers, the present church is the nave of a fine old priory 
church of the twelfth century founded by Alan de Creon for 


Benedictines and attached as a cell to Croyland, where his 
brother was abbot. It had a central tower adjoining the east 
of the present building ; the west piers of this tower are visible 
outside. Inside there are six Norman and three pointed arches, 
the latter leading to a massive western tower with a stone 
figure in a niche dating from the fifteenth century. The south 
aisle is now all of brick, the Norman stone corbelling being 
replaced above the eight large three light clerestory windows. 
The most remarkable thing in the church is the beautiful carved 
wood font-cover, at least twelve feet high, and surmounted by 
a figure of the Virgin. This is similar, but superior, to that 
at Fosdyke, but in no way equal to the beautiful and richly 
carved example ten feet in height at Ufford church in Suffolk. 
The font itself has carved panels and two kneeling-steps for 
priest and sponsor. The churchyard is an extremely large 
one. The sea once came close up to Frieston, the coast bending 
round to Fishtoft and towards Skirbeck ; at the present time 
the Frieston shore is two and a half miles off. The road runs 
close up to the sea-bank. A long old-fashioned hostelry, with 
a range of stables telling of days gone by, stands under the 
shelter of the bank, on mounting which you find a bench on a 
level with the bedroom windows of the inn, whence you look out 
towards the sea, which forms a shining line in the far distance, 
for it is over two miles to ' Boston deeps,' far over a singular 
stretch of foreshore channelled with a network of deep clefts by 
which the retreating tide drains seaward through the glistening 
mud. The first part of this desolate shore is green with sea- 
grasses, visited daily by the salt water, and along the fringe 
of it there are here many rather uncommon flowers growing 
just below high-water mark, such as the yellow variety of the 
sea aster (Aster tripolium var. discoideus), and the rare Suceda 
frvttcosa ; and in the ditches leading inland the handsome 
marsh-mallow (Althcea officinalis) flourishes, as it does on 
Romney Marsh, near Rye. At high water all looks quite 
different ; and a sunrise over the lagoon-like shallow water 
gives a picture of colour which is not easily forgotten. 

From Frieston shore one gets by a circuitous three-mile route 
to Fishtoft. Here once was a Norman church. The present 
one has two rood screens ; one, at the west end, having been 
purchased from Frieston, which, however, retained its two 
aisle screens. There is a good small figure of St. Guthlac, 

E E 2 

420 BOSTON STUMP CH. xxxvi 

the patron saint^ over the west window of the tower, much 
Uke that at Frieston. On a tombstone in the churchyard is 
the following : — 

Interred here lies Anne the wife 
Of Bryon Johnson during life 
The 25* day of November 
In 68 he lost this member. 

He only survived her two months, and the next inscription is : — 

Now Bryon is laid down by Anne 
'Till God does raise them up again. 

This rhyme might do for Norfolk or Devonshire, but is not 

And now two miles more bring us to Skirbeck on the out- 
skirts of Boston. The only interesting feature of the church 
here is in the columns of the nave, which have four cylinders 
round a massive centre pillar, all four quite detached except 
at the bases and capitals, which last are richly carved. We 
shall find exactly similar ones at Weston, near Spalding. We 
now follow the curving line of the Haven with its grassy banks 
right into Boston. The splendid parish church, the sight of 
whose tower is a never-failing source of delight and inspira- 
tion, stands with its east end in the market-place, and its tall 
tower close on the bank of the river. It has no transepts as 
the Great Yarmouth church has, but, apart from its unapproach- 
able steeple, it is longer and higher and greater in cubic contents 
than any parish church in the kingdom. The tower, 288 feet, 
is taller than Lincoln tower or Grantham spire, and is only 
exceeded in height by Louth spire, which is 300 feet. The 
view of it from across the river is one of the most entirely 
satisfying sights in the world.^ The extreme height is so well 
proportioned, and each stage leads up so beautifully to the next, 
that one is never tired of gazing on it. Add to this that it is 
visible to all the dwellers in the Marsh and Fen for twenty miles 
round and from the distant Wolds, and again far out to sea, 
and is as familiar to all as their own shadow, and you can guess 
at the affection which stirs the hearts of all Lincolnshire men 
when they think or speak of the ' Owd Stump,' a curious title 
for a beloved object, but so slightly does it decrease in size 

' See Frontispiece. 

I 1 

."i-iii .^- 


A ' 

Boston Chicrch from the N.E. 

' ~i-?!5^ -' 



as it soars upwards from basement to lantern, that in the 
distance it looks more like a thick mast or the headless stem 
of a gigantic tree than a church steeple. 

There was once here a church of the type of Sibsey, said to 
date from 1150, of which but little has been discovered.- The 
present building was begun in 1309, when the digging for the 
foundation of the tower began "on ye Monday after Palm 
Sunday in the 3'^ yr of Ed. II." They went down thirty feet 
to a bed of stone five feet below the level of the river bed, over- 
lying " a spring of sand," under which again was a bed of clay 
of unknown thickness. The excavation was a very big job, 
and the " first stone " was not laid till the feast of St. John the 
Baptist (Midsummer Day) by Dame Margaret Tilney, and she 
and Sir John Truesdale, then parson of Boston, and Richard 
Stevenson, a Boston merchant, each laid £5 on the stone " which 
was all ye gifts given at that time " towards the expense which, 
we are told, was, for the whole tower, under £500 of the money 
of those days. Leland, Vol. VIII., 204, says : " Mawde Tilney 
who layed the first stone of the goodly steeple of the paroche 
chirch of Boston lyith buried under it." The work of building 
up the tower was interrupted for fifty years, and the body of 
the church was taken in hand, the present tower arch serving 
as a west window. Then the tower began to rise, but it was 
finished without the lantern. In the middle of the fifteenth 
century the chancel was lengthened by two bays, and the parapets 
and pinnacles added to the aisles. The parapet at the east end 
of the north aisle is very curious and elaborate, being pierced 
with tracery of nearly the same design as that on the flying 
buttresses of Henry VII. 's Chapel at Westminster. There were 
several statues round the building on tall pedestals rising from 
the lowest coping of the buttresses to about the height of the 
nave parapets ; one is conspicuous still at the south-east 
corner of the tower and above the south porch. The tower 
has three stages, arranged as in Louth church, and then the 
lantern above. In the first stage a very large west window 
rises above the west doorway, and similar ones on the north 
and south of the tower, and all the surface is enriched with 
panelling both on tower and buttresses. The next stage is 
lighted by a pair of windows of great height, finely canopied 
and divided by a transom, on each side of the tower ; this forms 
the ringing chamber, and a gallery runs round it in the thick- 


ness of the wall communicating with the two staircases. On the 
door of one of these is a remarkable handle, a ring formed by 
two bronze lizards depending from a lion's mouth. The clustered 
shafts and springers of the stone vault were built at the begin- 
ning, but the handsome groined roof with its enormous central 
boss 156 feet from the ground was not completed until 1852. 
The next story has large single-arched windows of a decidedly 
plain type. These are the only things one can possibly find 
fault with, but probably when the tower had no lantern the 
intention was to exhibit the light from this story, the bells 
being hung below and rung from the ground. Eventually 
the eight bells were hung in the third story, and the lantern, 
by far the finest in England, was added, which gives so queenly 
an effect to the tall tower. Before this was done four very 
high pinnacles finished the building, subsequently arches were 
turned diagonally over the angles of the tower so as to make 
the base of the octagonal lantern. The roof of the tower and 
the gutters round it are of stone and curiously contrived. The 
lantern has eight windows like those in the second stage of 
the tower, but each one pane longer, and the corners are sup- 
ported by flying buttresses springing in pairs from each tower 
pinnacle. The whole is crowned with a lofty parapet with 
pierced tracerj' and eight pirmacles with an ornamented gable 
between each pair of pinnacles. Inside was a lantern lighted 
at night for a sea mark. The church of All Saints, York, has 
a very similar one, and there the hook for the lantern pulley 
is still to be seen. 

Inside, one is struck by the ample size and height of the 
church and its vast proportions. The choir has five windows 
on each side. But the nave is spoilt by a false wooden roof 
which cuts off half of the clerestory windows. It is a pity 
this is not removed and the old open timber roof replaced. 
In the chancel are sixty-four stalls of good carved work, and 
the old and curiously designed miserere seats, often showing 
humorous subjects as at Lincoln, are of exceptional interest. 
Of the once numerous brasses most are gone, but two very fine 
ones are on either side the altar : one to Walter Peascod, 
merchant, 1390, and one to a priest in a cope, c. 1400 ; an 
incised slab of 1340 is at the west of the north aisle. The 
Conington tablet in memory of John Conington, Corpus Pro- 
fessor of Latin in the University of Oxford, on the south wall 




of the chancel is to be noticed, and the Bolles monument in the 
south aisle, and, near the south porch, the chapel which was 
restored by the Bostonians of the United States as a recogni- 
tion of their Lincolnshire origin. Close to this is a curious 
epitaph painted on a wooden panel, which reads as follows : — - 

My corps with Kings and jMonarchs sleeps in bedd. 
My soul with sight of Christ in heaven is fedd, 
This lumpe that lampe shall meet, and shine more Ijriglil 
Than Phcebus when he streams his clearest light, 
Omnes sic ibant sic imus ibitis ibunt. 

Rich. Smith obiit 

Anno salutis 1626. 

if ^^^^-^-J"^ 

Boston Siiiinp. 

ST. botolph's town 

The River Witham — Drayton's Polyolbion — The Steeple at Boston — 
Monastic Houses — Merchants' Guilds— Dykes and Sluices — The Fens 
reclaimed — Great Floods — High Tides — The Hussey and Kyme 
Towers — John Fox— Hallam and Conington — ^Jean Ingelow — Lincoln- 
shire Stories. 

A NOT unapt parallel has been drawn between Boston and 
Venice for, like the Campanile, Boston steeple is a sort of 
Queen of the Waters, and before the draining of the Fens she 
often looked down on a waste of waters which stretched in all 

Leland, who wrote in the reign of Henry VIII., in Vol. VII. 
of his Itinerary, speaks of " the great Steple of Boston," and 
describes the town thus : " Bosstolpstoune stondeth harde on 
the river Lindis (Witham). The greate and chifiest parte of 
the toune is on the este side of the ryver, where is a faire market 
place, and a crosse with a square toure. Al the buildings of 
this side of the toune is fayre, and Marchuntes duelle yn it ; 
and a staple of wuUe is used there. There is a bridg of wood 
to cum over Lindis, into this parte of the toune, and a pile of 
stone set yn the myddle of the ryver. The streame of yt is 
sumtymes as swifte as it were an arrow. On the West side of 
Lindis is one long strete, on the same side is the White Freies. 
The mayne sea ys VI miles of Boston, Dyverse good shipps 
and other vessells ryde there." 

Michael Drayton, who wrote in Elizabeth's reign, was quite 
enthusiastic about the merits of the Witham, which runs out 
at Boston, and makes her speak in her own person thus : — 



From Witham, mine own town, first water'd with my source, 

As to the Eastern sea I hasten on my course. 

Who sees so pleasant plains or is of fairer seen ? 

Whose swains in shepherd's gray and girls in Lincoln green. 

Whilst some the ring of bells, and some the bagpipes play, 

Dance many a merry round, and many a hydegy.' 

I envy, any brook should in my pleasure share. 

Yet for my dainty pikes, I am without compare. 

No land floods can me force to over proud a height ; 
Nor am I in my course too crooked or too streight ; 
My depths fall by descents, too long nor yet too broad, 
My fords with pebbles, clear as orient pearls, are strow'd 
My gentle winding banks with sundry flowers are dress'd, 
My higher rising heaths hold distance with my breast. 
Thus to her proper song the burthen still she bare ; 
Yet for ray dainty pikes I am without compare. 

By this to Lincoln town, upon whose lofty scite 
Whilst wistly Wytham looks with wonderful delight, 
Enamour'd of the state and beauty of the place 
That her of all the rest especially doth grace. 
Leaving her former course, in which she first set forth, 
Which seem'd to have been directly to the North, 
She runs her silver front into the muddy fen 
Which lies into the east, in the deep journey when 
Clear Bane, a pretty brook, from Lindse.y, coming down 
Delicious Wytham leads to lively Botulph's town. 
Where proudly she puts in, among the great resort 
That there appearance make, in Neptune's Wat'ry Court." 

Polyolbion. Song 25. . 

We have no definite information of what Boston was in 
Roman times, but as the Witham was the river on which their 
colony at Lincoln stood, it is more than probable that they 
had a station at Boston to defend the river-mouth, and what- 
ever they may have called it, it is certain that it has got its 
name of Boston or Botolph's town from an English saint who 
is said to have founded a monastery here in 654, which was 
destroyed by the Danes in 870. St. Botolph was buried in 
his monastery in 680, and his remains moved in 870, part to 

' Hydegy Hay-de-guy or guise lit. Hay of Guy or Guise, a particular 
kind of hay or dance in the i6th and early 17th century. Spenser, Shepherd's 
Calendar " Heydeguyes " ; Drayton, Polyolbion, "dance hy-day-gies" 
among the hills. Robin Goodfellow in " Percy Reliques," &c. English 
Dictionary, Murray. Hay (of uncertain origin) a country dance with winding 
movement of the nature of a reel. 



Ely and part to Thorney Abbey. The name as a town does 
not appear in Domesday Book^ though " Skirbec " does, and 

Custom House Quay, Boston. 

Skirbeck covered all the ground that Boston does, and almost 
surrounded it. As the old distich declares — 

Though Boston be a proud town 
Skirbeck compasseth it around. 

This name for pride or conceit, whether deserved or not, seems 
to have stuck to Boston, for a rhyme of later day runs thus : — 

428 BOSTON PORT chap. 

Boston Boston Boston ! 

Thou hast nought to boast on 

But a grand sluice, and a high steeple. 

And a proud conceited ignorant people, 

And a coast which souls get lost on. 

And certainly Boston once had some reason to be proud, for 
though the town was quite an infant till the beginning of the 
twelfth century, in 1113 " Fergus, a brazier of St. Botolph's 
town " was able, according to Ingulphus in his " Chronicles 
of Croyland Abbey," " to give 2 Skillets (Skilletas) which 
supplied the loss of their bells and tower." The gift, what- 
ever it was (probably small bells), must have been of consider- 
able value to Croyland, which had been burnt down in 1091, 
and argues much prosperity among Boston tradespeople. 
Indeed, the town and its trade rose with such rapidity during 
the next hundred years that when, in the reign of King John, 
a tax or tythe of a fifteenth was levied on merchants' goods, 
Boston's contribution was £780, being second only to the £836 
of London. For the next two centuries it was a commercial 
port of the first rank, and merchants from Flanders and most 
of the great Continental towns had houses there. 

When in 1304 Edward I. granted his wife Queen Margaret 
the castle and manor of Tattershall to hold till the heir was of 
age, he added to it the manor of St. Botolph and the duties 
levied on the weighing of the wool there. This was set down 
as worth £12 a year. A wool sack was very large — one sees 
them now at Winchester, each large enough to fill the whole 
bed of a Hampshire waggon — but at (>s. Sd. a sack the duties 
must have been often worth more than £12, for there was no 
other staple in the county but at Lincoln, and that was after- 
wards, under Edward III. in 1370, transferred to Boston, and 
whether at Boston or Lincoln, when weighed and sealed by the 
mayor of the staple, it was from Boston that it was all exported. 

When a staple of wool, leather, lead, etc., was established 
at any town or port it was directed that the commodities should 
be brought thither from all the neighbourhood and weighed, 
marked and sealed. Then they could be delivered to any other 
port, where they were again checked. In 1353, during the 
long reign of Edward III., the staple was appointed to be held 
in Newcastle, York, Lincoln, Norwich, Westminster, Canterbury, 
Chichester, Winchester, Exeter and Bristol. Of these, York 




and Lincoln sent all the produce when weighed to Hull and 
Boston, Norwich to Yarmouth, Westminster to London Port, 
Canterbury to Sandwich, and Winchester (by water or road) 
to Southampton. In 1370 some of the inland towns — York, 
Lincoln and Norwich — were deprived of their staple, and Hull 
and Queensborough were added to the Ust ; and, though 

South Square, Boston* 

Nottingham, Leicester and Derby petitioned to have the 
staple at Lincoln, which was much more convenient to them, 
the answer they got was that it should continue at St. Botolph's 
during the king's pleasure. 

In Henry VIII.'s time, when the king passed through Lincoln- 
shire after " the pilgrimage of grace " and the chief towns made 
submission and paid a fine, Boston paid £50, while Stamford 
and Lmcoln paid £20 and £40 respectively. 


In 1288 a church of the Dominican or Black Friars which had 
been recently built was burnt down^ and a few years later a 
friary was re-established, which was one of the many Lincoln- 
shire religious houses granted by Henry VIII. to Charles Brandon 
Duke of Suffolk. In 1301, under Edward I., a Carmelite, or 
White Friars, monastic house and priory was founded ; and 
in the next reign, 1307, an Augustinian, or "Austin," friary; 
and only a few years later, under Edward III., a Franciscan, 
or Grey Friars, friary was established. All these three were 
granted by Henry at the dissolution to the mayor and burgesses 
of Boston. He also granted the town their charter under the 
great Seal of England, to make amends for the losses they 
sustained by the destruction of the religious houses. It is a 
document with fifty-seven clauses, making the town a free 
borough with a market on Wednesday and Saturday, and two 
fairs annually of three days each, to which are added two 
" marts " for horses and cattle. The ground where the grammar 
school stands is still called the Mart-yard, and there you may 
still see the beautiful iron gate which was once part of a screen 
in the church, and is a very notable piece of good seventeenth- 
century work. 

The charter also gave the corporation, among other things, 
" power to assess the inhabitants, as well unfi;ee as free, with a 
tax for making a safeguard and defence of the borough and 
church there against the violence of the waters and rage of the 

In the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries there were no less 
than fifteen guilds in the town, six of them with charters. The 
hall of St. Mary's guild still exists, the names of 'St. George's 
Lane and Corpus Christi Lane is all that is left of the others, 
but the old names indicate the localities. 

In 1360 we have mention on the corporation records of 
William de Spayne, one of a family of merchants of repute, 
after whom Spayne's Place and what is now Spain Lane were 
named. William was an alderman of the Corpus Christi Guild, 
and sheriff of the county in 1378. Spain Lane had a row of great 
cellars, some of which were rented by the abbeys, and a quantity 
of wine was shipped from Bordeaux to Boston. King John of 
France had 140 tuns at one time, the carriage of which to 
Boston, and some part of it to the place of his detention at 
Somerton Castle {see Chap. XIII.), cost close upon £500. This 



large supply was sent to him from France, partly for his own 
consumption and partly to be sold in order to bring in money 
to keep up his royal state, and when we read of the silk curtains 
and tapestries, the French furniture for dining-hall and bed- 
rooms which displaced the benches and trestles of an English 
castle, the horse trappings and stable fittings, and the enormous 

Spain LanCy Boston. 

amount of stores and confectionery used at Somerton, we 
realise that his daily expenditure must have been a very large 
one. The cellars which stowed these large cargoes of wine 
were in Spain (or Spayne) Lane, and most of them were, in 
1.590, in accordance with Boston's usual suicidal custom, 
destroyed, though the corporation still held two in 1640 which 
had once belonged to Kirkstead Abbey. 


In the sixteenth century several trade companies — cord- 
wainers, glovers, etc. — received charters. In this century 
Queen Elizabeth gave the mayor and burgesses a " Charter of 
Admiralty " over the whole of the " Norman Deeps " to enable 
them to repair and maintain the sea marks, and to levy tolls 
on all ships entering the port. But trade was then declining 
owing to the silting up of the river. This, in 1569, when the 
town was made a Staple town, had been in good order, and 
navigable for seagoing ships of some size, the tide water running 
up two miles inland as far as Dockdyke (now Dogdyke), and 
then a large trade was done in wool and woollen goods between 
Boston and Flanders. Hence it was that when, in the reign 
of Henry VII., a council was held to discuss the two great needs 
of the town, viz., the restraining the sea water from flooding the 
land, and the delivery of the inland waters speedily to the sea, it 
was to Flanders that the Boston men turned for an engineer, 
one Mahave Hall, who built them a dam and sluice in the year 
1500. This is called the Old Sluice, and was effectual for a 
time. But in Queen Elizabeth's reign the river below Boston 
was getting so silted up again that the waters of South Holland 
were brought by means of two " gowts " (go outs), or " clows," 
one into the Witham above Boston at Langrick, and one below 
into the harbour at Skirbeck, to scour out the channel. The 
Kesteven men, from a sense of being robbed of their waters, 
opposed, but their objections were over-ruled by the chief 
justices. In 1568-9 the " Maud Foster " drain was cut and 
named after the owner, who gave easement over her land on 
very favourable terms. 

In the map to the first volume of the " History of Lincoln- 
shire," published by Saunders in 1834, the Langrick GoWt 
(or gote) finds no place ; but the " Holland Dyke " is probably 
meant for it. The Skirbeck dyke is marked very big and 
called " The South Forty- foot," which, along with the North 
Forty-foot and Hobhole drains, and others of large size, aided 
by powerful steam pumps, have made the Fens into a vaist 
agricultural garden. 

But the Elizabethan expedient was only successful for a time, 
and in 1 751 a small sloop of forty to fifty tons and drawing about 
six feet of water could only get up to Boston on a spring tide. 
To remedy this and also to keep the floods down, which, when 
the outfall was choked, extended in wet seasons west of the 


town as far as eye could see, an Act of Parliament was passed 
to empower Boston to cut the Witham channel straight and 
set to work on a new sluice. This " Grand Sluice/' designed 
by Langley Edwardes, had its foundation carried down twenty 
feet, on to a bed of stiff clay. Here, just as, near the old Skir- 
beck sluice, where Hammond beck enters the haven, at a depth 
of sixteen feet sound gravel and soil was met with, in which 
trees had grown ; and at Skirbeck it is said that a smith's 
forge, with all its tools, horseshoes, etc., complete, was found at 
that depth below the surface, showing how much silt had been 
deposited within no great number of years. The foundation 
stone of the present Grand sluice was laid by Charles Amcotts, 
then Member of Parliament and Mayor of Boston, in 1764, 
and opened two years later in the presence of a concourse 
of some ten thousand people. He died in 1777, and the Amcotts 
family in the male line died with him. In Jacobean times 
much good embankment work under Dutch engineers had been 
begun, and had met with fierce opposition from the Fen men, 
and the same spirit was still in existence a hundred and fifty 
years later, for when, in 1767, an Act was passed for the en- 
closure of Holland, the works gave rise to the most determined 
and fierce riots which were carried to the most unscrupulous 
length of murder, cattle maiming, and destruction of valuable 
property, and lasted from 1770 to 1773. But at length common 
sense prevailed, and a very large and fertile tract of land to 
the south-east of Boston was acquired, which helped again 
to raise the fortunes of the town to prosperity. Following 
on this in 1802 a still larger area was reclaimed on the other 
side of Boston in the East, West, and Wildmore Fens. But, 
as in all low-lying lands near the coast which are below the level 
of high-water mark, constant look-out has to be kept even now, 
both to prevent the irruption of the sea and the flooding of the 
land from storm-water not getting away quickly enough. 

The Louth Abbey " Chronicle," a most interesting document, 
extending from 1066 to the death of Henry IV., 1413, records 
disastrous floods in the Marsh in 1253 and 1315, and a bad 
outbreak of cattle plague in 1321. From other sources we 
have notice of a great flood at Boston in 1285 ; another in 
' Holland,' 1467 ; and again at Boston in 1571 a violent tempest, 
with rain, wind, and high tide combining, did enormous damage. 
Sixty vessels were wrecked between Newcastle and Boston, 

F F 

434 ■ GREAT FLOODS chap. 

many thousands of sheep and cattle were drowned in the 
Marsh, the village of Mumby-Chapel was washed into the sea 
and only three cottages and the steeple of the church left 
standing. One " Maister Pelham had eleven hundred sheep 
drowned there." At the same time "ashippe" was driven 
against a house in the village, and the men, saving themselves 
by clambering out on to the roof, were just in time to save a 
poor woman in the cottage from the death by drowning which 
overtook her husband and child. So sudden and violent was 
the rise of the flood that at Wansford on the Nene three arches 
of the bridge were washed away, and " Maister Smith at the 
Swanne there hadde his house, being three stories high, over- 
flowed into the third storie," while the walls of the stable were 
broken down, and the horses tied to the manger were all 

At the same time the water reached half way up Bourne 
church tower. This shows the tremendous extent of the flood, 
for those two places are forty-four miles apart. This is the 
" High tide on the Lincolnshire Coast " sung by our Lincoln- 
shire poetess, Jean Ingelow. She speaks of the Boston bells 
giving the alarm by ringing the tune called " The Brides of 
Mavis Enderby." 

The old Mayor climbed the belfry tower, 

The ringers ran by two by three ; 
' Pull if ye never pulled before, 

Good ringers, pull your best,' quoth he. 
Play uppe play uppe, O Boston bells ; 

Ply all your changes, all your swells, 
Play uppe "The Brides of Enderby." 

This tune, which Miss Ingelow only imagined, was subse- 
quently composed, and is now well known at Boston, for, 
besides the ring of eight bells, the tower has a set of carillons 
like those at Antwerp. They were Set up in 1867, thirty-six 
in number, by Van Aerschodt, of Louvain, but not proving 
to be a success, were changed in 1897 for something less complex, 
and now can be heard at 9 a.m., and every third hour of the 
day playing " The Brides of Mavis Enderby." 

A violent gale is recorded on February 16, 1735, which did 
much damage, and in 1763-4 there was a great flood, not owing 
to any high tide but simply, as in 1912, from continued heavy 
rains, and we are told that the flood lasted for many weeks^ 

xxxvil AND HIGH TIDES 435 

Just lately-j in 1912, this was aggravated by the bursting of a 
dyke in the Bedford level which flooded miles of fenland. In 
August, 1913, the land was parched by drought, but in 1912 
it was a melancholy sight to see, in August, on both sides of 
the railway between Huntingdon and Spalding the corn sheaves 
standing up out of the water, and the farm buildings entirely 
surrounded, while the rain continued to fall daily. Even after 
three weeks of fine weather in September, though the drenched 
sheaves had been got away, water still covered the fields, 
stretching sometimes as far as eye could see. In 1779, when 
the reclamation of the Holland ' Fens ' had been carried out, 
many vessels are said to have been driven by a violent gale 
nearly two miles inland on the ' Marsh.' This was long spoken 
of as " The New Year's Gale." 

Exceptionally high tides, each four inches higher than its 
predecessor, in the streets of Boston are recorded for October 19, 
1801, November 30, 1807, and November 10, 1810. This last 
accompanied by a storm of wind and rain. On this occEision 
the water was all over the streets of Boston and flowed up the 
nave of the church as far as the chancel step, being nearly a 
yard deep at the west end. Since then high- water marks 
were cut on the base of the tower showing how deep the nave 
was flooded in 1883 and 1896. In 1813 another high tide 
caused the sea-bank assessment to rise to 13^. 8i. an acre, the 
normal rate then, as it is now, for the drainage tax in the east 
fen, amounting to 35. an acre. Even that seems to be pretty 
stiff, £15 a year on a hundred acre farm ! Of course it is an 
absolute necessity, and has been recognised from the earliest 
times. We know that in the reign of Edward I. an assessment 
was levied on all who had land to keep the drains in repair. 
This was as long ago as 1298. 

The great feature of Boston is the wonderful church tower. 
But the town is from many points very picturesque. The 
deep-cut channel of the tidal river goes right through it. 
Passing close up against the western side of the great steeple, 
it goes with houses almost overhanging its eastern bank down 
to the bridge, a structure of no beauty. After this it runs 
alongside the street. From the windows you look across and 
see the masts of the small sea-going craft tied up to the bank, 
which, with all the old weed-grown timbers of landing-stage 
and jetty, the natural accompaniments of a tidal river, make 




quaint and effective pictures. In another street the boys in 
their old-fashioned blue coats and brass buttons let you into 
the secret of Boston's many educational charities. One is in 

The Ilai'dt^ Boston. 

Wormgate (or Withamsgate), one in White Friars Lane, dating 
from the beginning of the sixteenth century, and another in 
Shodfriars Lane. The ^•ery names of the 'streets in Boston 
are full of history, and the recently-restored " Shod Friars 
liali;' to the south-east of the Market Place, helps, with its 



abundant timbers and carved gables, to take one right back 
to the fourteenth century, though the name was only recently 
bestowed on this particular building. 

TJie GulldktiU, Boston. 

But alas, not only all the monastic buildings, but nearly all 
the domestic buildings which once made Boston like a medieval 
Dutch town are gone, though the fifteenth-century brick Guild- 


hall remains. The citizens seem to have had a fatal mania 
for pulling down all that was most worth preserving of their 
old buildings. Gone, too, is much else which Bostonians 
might well have preserved. Such, for instance, as " the pro- 
digious clock bell which could be heard many miles round, 
and was knocked to pieces in the year 1710." It is but a few 
years ago that some of the Boston Corporation plate was sold 
in London for immense prices, and when astonished people 
asked how it came to the hammer they heard a miserable tale 
how the fine collection of civic plate, and it was unusually fine, 
had been sold in 1837 for £600, nothing approaching to its value, 
by the corporation itself, for the purpose of liquidating some 
civic debt. But any sin Boston may commit, such as the crude 
colouring of the interior of the much-renovated Guildhall, and 
painting and graining of the deal panels only last year, will be 
forgiven, so long as they have their uniquely glorious church 
tower to plead for them. 

Lord Hussey's tower and the Kyme tower are ruins, built 
about the end of the fifteenth century, and at the end of the 
eighteenth century a big house was still standing which may 
have been Lord Hussey's. The brick tower stands near the 
school fields, not far from the Public Gardens, which are a credit 
to Boston, and have some first-rate salt-water baths close by, 
which belong to the corporation. 

The Kyme tower is also called the Rochford tower, that family 
having held it before the Kymes. It is a massive tower, also 
of brick, as may be seen from the illustration. It stands about 
two miles outside the town to the east. 

Of celebrated folk born in Boston we have, to begin with, 
John Fox, author of the " Book of Martyrs," who was born there 
in 1517. He was sent to Brasenose, Oxford, and worked very 
hard, but was expelled as a heretic when he forsook the Roman 
Catholic religion. The Warwickshire family of Sir Thomas 
Lucie, a name made famous by Shakespeare, gave him shelter 
and employment as a tutor; and later he tutored the children 
of the Earl of Surrey who, in the reign of Queen Mary, helped 
him to escape from Bishop Gardiner's deadly clutches. Like 
so many who suffered persecution for their religion, he made 
his home at Basle till Elizabeth's accession allowed of his return. 
He then spent eleven years on his " Acts and Monuments," 
and died in 1587. 



At about this time the plague raged at Boston, 1585, and broke 
out again in 1603. Boston and Frampton had, as the Registers 
show, suffered an unusual mortality in 1568-9. The water was 
not good, and as late as 1783 a boring to a depth of 478 feet was 
made in a vain search for a better supply. The town was at 
that time supplied from the west fen through wooden pipes. 

Hallam, the historian, and Professor John Conington, whose 
monuments are in the church, were both of Boston families, 
as was also Jean Ingelow ; and the statue near the church 
preserves the memory of John Ingram, Member of Parliament 

Hussey's Toiver, Boston, 

for the town, and founder of the llluslrated London News. 
Saunders tells us that Oliver Cromwell lay at Boston the night 
before he fought the battle of Winceby, near Horncastle, 
October 10, 1643. He must have been up betimes, for a crow 
couldn't make the distance less than sixteen miles, and fen 
roads at that time were a caution. 

Boston is a great centre for the fen farmers, and, as at Peter- 
borough, you may see and hear in the market much that is 
original. It was at Peterborough that the " converted " sailor 
made his famous petition when asked to do a bit of praying 
in the open : "0 Lord ! bless this people ! bless their fathers 
and mothers ! and bless the children ! Lord bless this 

440 "MY OWD SON" cii. xxxvii 

place ! make it prosperous, send thy blessing upon it and make 
it — make it, O Lord ! a sea-poort-town ! " Boston having 
the Marsh farmers as well as the Fen-men meeting in her market, 
preserves a more racy dialect. I was once in the Boston Station 
waiting-room as it was getting dusk on a winter evening ; 
three people of the sea-faring class were there — a tall, elderly 
man standing up, his son asleep on the floor, and the son's 
wife sitting and apparently not much concerned with anytliing. 
The father, seeing me look at the sleeper, said " He'll be all 
right after a bit. My owd son yon is. He's a bit droonk 
now, but he^s my owd son. A strange good hand in a boat 
he is, I tell ye. They was out lass Friday i' the Noorth Sea 
and it cam on a gale o' wind, they puts abowt you knooa, an' 
runs for poort. The seas was monstrous high, they was, and the 
gale was a rum un, an' the booat she was gaff-hallyards under. 
The tother men ' She's gooing ! ' they says, ' She's gooing ! ' 
But my owd son he hed the tiller. ' She's all right,' he says, 
and mind ye she was gaff-hallyards under, but ' She's all right,' 
he says, and he brings her right in. Aye he's a rare un wi' a 
booat is my owd son, noan to touch him. He's a bit droonk 
now, but he's my owd son." 

On another occasion at Boston I heard one farmer greet 
another with " Well, Mr. Smith, how's pigs ? " a very common 
inquiry, for in Lincolnshire pigs fill a large space on the agri- 
cultural horizon. Witness the reply of an aged farmer, prob- 
ably a little unmanned by market-day potations, to a vegetarian • 
who, with a cruelty hardly to be suspected in the votary of so 
mild a diet, had attacked him with " How will you feel at the 
day of Judgment when confronted by a whole row of oxen whose 
flesh you have eaten ? " " 'Taint the beasts I'd be scared on ; 
it's the pigs ; I've yetten a vast o' pigs." 



Potato Trade — Bulb-growing — The Welland — Ayscough Fee Hall — The 
Gentleman's Society — The Church — Pinchbeck — Heraldic Tombs — 
The Custs — Surfleet — Leaning Tower — Gosberton — Churchyard Sheep 
— Cressy Hall — Quadring — Donington — Hemp and Flax — Swineshead 
^-Bicker — Sutterton — Algarkirk. 

Three main roads enter the town of Spalding, the last town 
on the Welland before it runs out into Fosdyke Wash. They 
come from the north, south, and east. The west has none, 
being one huge fen which, till comparatively recent times, 
admitted of locomotion only by boat. The southern road 
comes from Peterborough and enters the county by the bridge 
over the Welland at Market Deeping, a pleasant-looking little 
town with wide market-like streets and its four-armed sign- 
post pointing to Peterborough and Spalding ten miles, and 
Bourne and Stamford seven miles. 

From Deeping to Spalding the road is a typical fen road — ■ 
three little inns and a few farm cottages and the occasional 
line of white smoke on the perfectly straight Peterborough 
and Boston railway is all there is to see save the crops or the 
long potato graves which are mostly by the road side. 

The potato trade is a very large one. Every cart or waggon 
we passed at Easter-time on the roads between Deeping and 
Kirton-in-Holland was loaded with sacks of potatoes, and all 
the farm hands were busy uncovering the pits and sorting the 
tubers. Donington and Kirton seemed to be the centres of 
the trade, Kirton being the home of the man who is known 
as the potato king, and has many thousands of a«res of fenland 
used for this crop alone. Spalding itself is the centre of the 
daffodil market, and quantities of bulbs are grown here and 



annually exported to Holland, it is said, to find their way back 
to England in the autumn as Dutch bulbs. I do not vouch 
for the truth of this, but certainly the business, which has 
been for years a speciality of Holland, where the lie of the 
land and the soil are much the same as in the South Lincoln- 
shire and Cambridgeshire Fens, is now a large and lucrative 

Tlie Wetland at Ctnvbit Road, Spalding, 

industry here, and is each year expanding. The Channel and 
Scilly Islands and Cornwall can, of course, owing to their 
climate, get their narcissus into bloom earlier, but the con- 
ditions of soil are better in the Fens. Still, a liberal supply 
of manure is needed to insure fine blooms, and sixty or seventy 
tons to the acre is none too much, a crop of mustard or potatoes 
being taken off after its application before planting the bulbs. 



Hyacinths are still lel't to Holland, in one part of which, at 
liillegom, near Haarlem, the soil has just that amount of sand 
and lime which that particular bulb demands. Tulips, how- 
ever, are grown in England with great success ; crocuses are 
seldom planted as they make such a small return on the outlaj'. 
For this outla}- is very considerable, nine or ten women are 
needed to each plough for planting, which alone costs 455. 

The Welland at High Street^ Spalding. 

an acre, and then there is the constant weeding and cleaning 
of the ground, the picking, bunching and packing, which needs 
many hands at once ; also there is the heavy cost of the bulbs 
themselves for planting. Narcissus poeticus will cost £50 an 
acre of 400,000 bulbs, but 270,000 of Golden Spur will cost 
£300 and fill the same space ; others will cost prices halfway 
between these two. Tulips want more room, and at 180,000 
to the acre some will cost as much as £500. Growers like to 


advertise big bulbs, but the harder and smaller English-grown 
bulb will often give as fine a bloom as the larger imported article. 
The whole industry is comparatively new, and a very pleasant 
one for the many women who are employed. 

The town is a very old one, and the Welland going through 
it with trees along its banks and the shipping close to the road- 
way gives it rather a Dutch appearance. It is noteworthy 
as being the centre from which we shall be able to see more 
fine churches, all within easy distance, than we can in any other 
part of the county or kingdom. As early as 860 the fisheries 
of the Welland, together with a wooden chapel of St. Mary 
here, which became the site afterwards of the priory, were 
given by Earl Alfgar to Croyland. Ivo Taillebois, the Con- 
queror's nephew, with his wife Lucia the first, lived here in the 
castle in some magnificence as Lord of Holland. They 
were both buried in the priory church, founded by Lady 
Godiva's brother, Thorold of Bokenhale, and over possession 
of which Spalding and Croyland had frequent disputes. One 
of the priors subsequently built Wykeham chapel. The Kings 
Edward I. and II. stayed at the priory, and from Bolingbroke, 
John of Gaunt and Chaucer were not infrequent visitors. The 
building was on the south side of the Market-place, and a shop 
there with a vaulted roof to one of its rooms had probably some 
connection with it. At the dissolution it was valued at £878, 
a very large sum, and next only to Croyland, which was by far 
the richest house in the county and valued at £1,100 or £1,200. 
Thornton Abbey was only set at £730. 

The river is navigable for small sea-going vessels, and 
many large barges may generally be found tied up along 
its course through the town, discharging oil cake and cotton 
cake, and taking in cargoes of potatoes, both being transhipped 
at Fosdyke from or into coasting steamers running between 
Hull and London. 

But water carriage though cheap is limited in that it only 
goes between two points, whereas Spalding is the meeting- 
place of at least three railways, making six exits for Spalding 
goods to come and go to and from all the main big towns in 
Northamptonshire, Cambridgeshire or Norfolk, as well as to 
all those in our own county. Thus there are twice as many 
ways out of Spalding by rail as there are by road. 

The Welland, carefully banked by the Romans, is now bridged 




for one railway after another, and runs with a street on either 
side of it and rows of trees along it right through the town. 
On your right as you enter from the south vou see across the 
river, looking o\-er the top of a picturesque old brick wall, the 
well-clipped masses of ancient yew trees which form the shaded 

Aysc{ntgh Fee Hall Gardens, Sj'ij 

walks in the pretty grounds of Aysamgli Fee Hall. The house, 
built in 1429, but terrilily modernised, is now used as a museum, 
and the grounds form a public garden for the town. Murray 
tells us that Maurice Johnson once lived in it, who helped to 
found the Society of Antiquaries in 1717, and founded in 1710 
the "' Gentleman's Society of Spalding," which still flourishes. 

446 SPALDING CHURCH CH. xxxviii 

Among its many distinguished members it numbered Newton, 
Bentley, Pope, Gay, Addison, Stukeley, and Sir Hans Sloane, 
and Captain Perry, engineer to the Czar, Peter the Great, who 
was engaged in the drainage of Deeping Fen. 

Close to it is the fine old church, the body of which is as wide 
as it is long owing to its having double aisles on either side of the 
nave. It was founded to take the place of an earlier one which 
was falling to ruins, in the market-place. It dates from 1284, 
and was once cruciform in plan, with a tower at the north-west 
corner of the nave. The transepts, which now do not project 
beyond the double north and south aisles, had each two narrow 
transept aisles, but the western ones have been thrown into 
the aisles of the nave. The inner nave aisles are the same 
length as the nave, but the outer ones only go as far west as the 
north and south porches, the tower filling up the angle beyond 
the south porch. The chancel is so large that it was used by 
Bishop Fleming (1420-30) for episcopal ordinations. 

The east end wall is not rectangular, but the south chancel wall 
runs out two feet further east than the north wall, as it does 
also in the church of Coulsdon, near Reigate, in Surrey. The 
reason of this is that it is built on the foundation of an older 
chapel. The flat Norman buttresses are still to be seen out- 
side the east end. The tower leans to the east, and. when 
examined it was found to have been built flat on the surface 
of the ground with no foundation whatever. It seems in- 
credible, but the intelligent verger was positive about it. The 
spire has beautiful canopied openings in three tiers, the lower 
ones having two lights and being unusually graceful. Standing 
inside the south porch and near the tower, and looking up the 
church, you get a most picturesque effect, for the church has 
so many aisles that you can see no less than twenty-three 
different arches. The north porch is handsome, and had three 
canopied niches over both the outer and the inner doorway, 
and a vaulted roof supporting a room over the entrance. A 
five-light window over the chancel arch is curious. There is 
a rood-loft and a staircase leading to it, and going on up to the 
roof. The Perpendicular west window is very large and has 
seven lights. This dates from the fifteenth century, when the 
nave was lengthened and the pillars of the nave considerably 
heightened and the old caps used again, and what had previously 
been an " early Decorated " church with only a nave and 

Spatiitng Chu7-ch from the S.E. 

448 THE " HOLE IN THE WALL " chap. 

transepts, had Perpendicular aisles added. - The large south- 
east chapel which, until 1874 was used as a school, was founded 
in 1 3 1 1 . An erect li f e-size marble figure commemorates Elizabeth 
Johnson, 1843. There are no other important monuments. 
The tower has eight bells and a Sanctus bell-cot at the east 
end of the nave. There are stone steps to enable people to 
get over the brick churchyard wall, as there are also at Kirton 
and Friskney. Some stone coffin-lids curiously out of place 
are let into one of the boundary walls of the churchyard. ' Close 
by is the White Horse, a picturesque old thatched and gabled 
inn. There is another inn here called " The Hole in the Wall." 
I wonder if this title is derived from Shakespeare's play, " The 
tedious brief scene of young Pyramus and Thisbe," who, says 
the story, " did talk through the chink of a wall," or does it 
refer to some breach in the sea wall ? To come from fancy to 
fact, the real name seems to have been Holy Trinity Wall, 
the house having been built up against a wall of that church 
which, with half a score of others in Spalding, has been 
dismantled and utterly swept away. Another puzzling sign 
I passed lately was "The New Found out." The writer of an 
article in The Times of April 8, on the fire at Little Chesterford, 
thinks the sign of one of the burnt public-houses, " The Bushel 
and Strike," a very singular one, not knowing that the strike, 
like the bushel, is a measure of corn. 

Si. PauVs, Fulney, to the north of the town, is a handsome 
new brick-and-stone church, by Sir Gilbert Scott, who also 
restored the old church and removed every sort of hideous 
inside fitting, where galleries all round the nave came within 
four feet of the heads of the worshippers in the box pews. At 
that time £11,000 was spent on the restoration. This was in 
1866, in which year the vicar, the Rev. William Moore, died, 
and he and his wife are buried in the nave ; his parents, who 
had done so much for the church, are buried at Weston. 

About two miles from Fulney is Wykeham chapel,^ built 
in 1310 and attached to a country residence of the priors of 
Spalding ; it is now only a ruin. 

Going out of Spalding northwards, three miles bring us to 

Pinchbeck, which was an important village in Saxon times, 

and attached to Croyland Abbey, where a fine tower with six 

bells leans to the north-west. It is approached by a lime avenue. 

' See Illustration, page 1 80. 



Tliere are two rows of diaper carved work round the base of 
the tower, and large canopied niches on either side of the west 
door. The old roof on the north aisle is good, the pillars of 
the nave are spoilt by a hideous coat of purple paint. A 

iW. Szc^e, Spalding Church. 

delightful old brass weathercock is preserved in the church, 
and over the south porch is a dial. The high narrow tower- 
arch is a pleasure to look on. The altar tomb of Sir Thomas 
Pinchbeck (1500) has heraldic shields all round it, but is quite 
outdone by a brass of Margaret Lambert, a very ugly one, but 



adorned with twenty-se\'en heraldic coats of arms of her 
husband and fifteen of her own. The ten fine Perpendicular 
clerestor)' windows of three lights give the church a handsome 
appearance, and show the large wooden angels in the roof. 


who used to hold shields bearing the achievements of the house 
of " Pynchebek." 

The Custs. 

There is another name connected with this place, for 
one of the oldest Lincolnshire families is that of the Custs, 
or Costes, who have held land in Pinchbeck and near Bicker 
Haven for fourteen generations : though the first known 

xxxvni THE CUST FAMILY 451 

mention of the name is not in the fens but at Navenby, 
where one Osbert Coste had held land in King John's reign. 

The neighbourhood of Croyland Abbey, of Spalding Priory, 
and of Boston Haven, with its large wool trade, made " Holland " 
a district of " considerable importance, and led some of the more 
enterprising mercantile families to settle in the neighbourhood. 

The same causes occasioned the building of the fine fen 
churches, which still remain, though the great houses have 
disappeared. Custs settled in Gosberton and Boston as well 
as at Pinchbeck. At the latter place, what is now the River 
Glen was in the fifteenth century called the " Bourne Ee," 
or Eau, and the road by it was the " Ee Gate." Here Robert 
Cust in 1479 lived in " The Great House at Croswithand," in 
which was a large hall open to the roof and strewed with rushes, 
with hangings in it to partition off sleeping places for the guests 
or the sons of the house, the daughters sharing the parlour 
with their parents. Robert is called a " Flaxman," that being 
the crop by which men began to make their fortunes in Pinch- 
beck Fen. He continually added small holdings to his modest 
property as opportunity arose, and his son Hugh, succeeding 
in 1492, did the same ; buying two acres from " Thomas 
Sykylbrys Franklin " for 50s. and one and a half from Robert 
Sparowe for £5, and so on. Hugh is styled in 1494 " flax 
chapman," in 1500 he had advanced to " Yeoman." He then 
had three farms of sixty -nine acres, and by economy and industry 
he not only lived, but lived comfortably, and had money to 
buy fresh land, though his will shows that things were on a 
small scale still, so that individual mention is made of his 
" black colt with two white feet behind." After the death 
of his two sons, Hugh's grandson Richard succeeded in 1554, 
and married the juvenile widow, Milicent Slefurth nee Beele, 
who brought him the lands of R. Pereson, the wealthy vicar 
of Quadring, with a house at Moneybridge on the Glen, which 
she left eventually to her second son, Richard. His grandson 
Samuel took to the legal profession, and, disdaining the parts 
of Holland after life in London, left the house there to his 
brother Joshua, who was the last Cust to live at Pinchbeck. 
The family were by this time wealthy, and had a good deal 
of land round Boston and elsewhere. Samuel's son, Richard, 
married in 1641 Beatrice Pury, and had a son called Pury, 
whence spring the Purey Custs. The Pury family then lived 

G G 2 

452 GOSBERTON chap. 

at Kirton, near Boston. He left the law for a soldier's life, 
and was " captain of a Trained Band in the Wapentake of 
Skirbeck in the parts of Holland." He succeeded his father 
in 1663 and lived, after the Restoration, at Stamford. In 1677, 
by interest and the payment of £1,000, he obtained a baronetcy. 
His son, Sir Pury Cust, who had been knighted by William III. 
in 1690, after the battle of the Boyne, in which he commanded 
a troop of horse under the Duke of Schomberg, died in 1698, 
two years before his father. His wife, Ursula, the heiress of 
the Woodcock family of Newtimber, had died at the age of 
twenty-four in 1683. Her monument is in St. George's church, 
Stamford. She traced back her family to Joan, " the fair maid 
of Kent," through Joan's second husband, John Lord Holland, 
if we are to take it that she was really married first, and not 
simply engaged when a girl to Lord Salisbury. At all events, 
her last husband was the Black Prince, by whom she was mother 
of Richard II. Her father was Edmund of Woodstock, Earl 
of Kent, the sixth son of Edward I. 

In 1768 Sir John Cust was Speaker of the House of Commons. 
The present head of the Cust family is the Earl of Brownlow. 

Close to Pinchbeck, on whose already sinking tower the 
builders had not dared to place their intended spire, is Surfleet, 
where the tower and spire lean in a most threatening manner. 
Arches have been built up to support it, and by the well-known 
power of old buildings known as " Sticktion," it may last for 
many generations, but it presents a very uncomfortable appear- 
ance. For the next twenty miles we shall be constantly 
crossing the great dykes which drain the fens, all running east- 
wards. The road which divides after crossing the Hammond 
Beck and the Rise-Gate-Eau passes through Gosberton, once 
called Gosberdekirk, a large village with a very fine Perpendi- 
cular church. You enter by a richly moulded doorway from 
a very wide porch, over the entrance to which is a figure. To 
the right of the porch, arched recesses are seen under each 
south aisle window. There is a central tower with large 
transepts and a lofty crocketed spire. A Lady chapel adjoins 
the south transept. The clerestory is a later addition, and 
the ground has been filled up so that the beautifully carved 
bases of the nave pillars are two feet below the present paving. 
A trap-door is lifted to show one of them. The rood stair- 
case is on the south side, and in the south transept is a particu- 



larly fine window, with two carved cross-muUions, The 
moulding of the nave arches is carried right down the pillars, 
which depri\es them of capitals and gives them a very feeble 
appearance. A similar absence of capitals is found in the 
tower arches at Homcastle. The roof under the belfry is 
groined, and a fine screen separates the chapel of St. Katherine 


from the bodv of the church. In this, there is an old plain 
chest with three iron bands. An elegant recumbent stone 
effigy of a ladv and another of a knight in armour, with a shield 
bea'ring a Red Cross, are the only monuments of interest. As 
early as 1409, in the reign of Henry IV., Gosberton was a fat 
living, for in that year we find that the warden of the hospital 
of St. Nicholas at Pontefract exchanged the manor of Methley 



in Yorkshire for the advowsons of Gosberkirk, Lincolnshire, 
and Wathe, Yorkshire. This manor, before the end of that 
century, became the property of Sir Thomas Dymoke. 

The church is very well cared for, and I was glad to see sheep 
in the churchyard, the only way of keeping the grass tidy 
without going to an unwarrantable expense. 

I know quite well the objections which can reasonably be 
urged to this plan, that the sheep make the paths and the porch 

Sur/Ieet WindiitUL 

dirty and may damage the tombstones ; l)ut the porch can have 
wire netting doors, and the paths can be cleaned up and the 
sheep excluded for Sunday ; and in those church)'ards which 
are worst cared for there are generally no tombstones which 
would be liable to any hurt. 

Certainly in one church)'ard where I ha\'e seen sheep for 
many years I never knew of any damage, and they did keep 
the grass neat where it would have cost much to keep it trimmed 
up by hand. 

Not far from Gosberton station is Cressy Hall, a modern red 



brick house, built on the site of a very ancient one. It had 
been a manor of the Creci family from Norman times, and passed 
from them to Sir John Markham, who entertamed there the 
Lady Margaret, mother of Henry VII. 

Dr Stukelev, towards the end of the eighteenth century, 
saw the old oak bedstead on which she slept. It was then in 
a farm-house, called Wrigbolt, in the parish of Gosberton, and 
was very large and shut in all round with oak panels carved 
outside, two holes being left at the foot big enough to admit 
a full-grown person-a sort of hutch in fact. The property 
subsequently came to the Heron family, who hved there for 
three centuries. They kept up a large heronry there and we 
read of as many as eighty nests in one tree, but since the family 
left the manor, at the beginning of last century, the birds- have 

been dispersed. . ^ , . ■ „„ 

The next village to Gosberton is Quadnng, a curious name, 
said to be derived from the Celtic Coed ( = wood). The western 
tower and spire are well proportioned, and the tower is quite 
remarkable for the way in which it draws m narrowing all the 
way up from the ground to the spire. The rich embattled 
nave parapet and the rood turrets and staircase are also notice- 
able and, as usual with these Lincolnshire churches, a fine row 
of large clerestory windows gives a very handsome appearance 
This church has in it a fine chest, as have Gosberton and 
Sutterton. The latter very plain, and both with three iron 
straps and locks, while at Swineshead is a good iron chest ot 
the Nuremberg pattern. 

Four miles will bring us to Domngton, once a market town 
and the centre of the local hemp and flax trade, of which con- 
siderable quantities were grown both here and round Pmchbeck 
It was the flax trade that attracted the Custs to Pmchbeck 
in the fifteenth century. r • ;„ 

Up to the last century Donington had three hemp fairs m 
the year, in May, September, and October and the land bemg 
mostly wet fen, the villagers kept large flocks of geese, one man 
Tn ng as many as i,ooo " old geese." These, besides goshngs 
fielded a crop of quills and feathers, and the poor birds were 
plucked five times\ year. The sea shells m the soil mdicate 
that before the sea banks were made the land was just a salt- 
water fen and it is probable that the men of Donington had 
TnavigTble cut to t^he sea near Bicker or Wigtoft, for the 

456 DONINGTON chap. 

Roman sea-bank from Frieston curved inland to Wigtoft and 
thence ran to Fossdyke, and the sea water no doubt came up 
to the bank. 

The Romans did much for this village, which lies between 
their sea-bank and the Carr Dyke. The former kept out the 
sea water, and the latter intercepted the flood water from the 
hills. This was more effectually done later by the Hammond 
Beck, which, coming from Spalding, ran northwards a parallel 
course to the Roman Dyke, and with the same purpose, but 
some four or five miles nearer to Donington, after passing which 
place it bends round to the east and goes out at Boston. Thus 
farming was made possible, and potatoes now have taken the 
place of flax and hemp. 

A large green, bordered by big school buildings, now fills the 
Market Square. The church, dedicated to St. Mary and the 
Holy Rood, is late Decorated and Perpendicular, and has a 
splendid tower and spire 240 feet high, which stands in a semi- 
detached way at the south-east of the south aisle and is sur- 
mounted by a very fine ball and weathercock. The lower 
stage forms a groined south porch, over which as well as on 
each buttress are large canopied niches for statues, and over 
the inner door is a figure of our Lord. The pillars in the nave 
are octagonal. There is a large rood bracket, and the rood 
staircase starts, not from behind the pulpit, but from the top 
of the chancel step. The walls of the Early English chancel 
are of rough stone, with no windows on the north, but the 
east window is a grand five-light Perpendicular one, and three 
large windows of the same style are at the west end. In all of 
these the tracery is unusually good. A doorway at each side 
of the altar shows that the chancel once extended further, 
and there is a curious arched recess at the north-east corner 
with high steps, the meaning of which is a puzzle. A little 
kneeling stone figure is seen in the wall of the north aisle. The 
responds of the nave arcades, both east and west, have very 
large carved bosses. The roof is old and quite plain. In the 
church are many memorial slabs to members of the Flinders 
family, among them one to Captain Matthew Flinders,'^ 1814, 

' This Matthew Flinders, of Donington, was a notable hydrographer. He 
was sent as lieutenant in command of an old ship the Xenophon, renamed 
the Investigator, to explore and chart the coast of S. Australia in 1801-3. 
And he took with him his young cousin John Franklin who had just 


one of the early explorers, who, in the beginning of last century, 
was sent to map the coast of Australia, and having been 
captured by the French, was kept for some years in prison in 

The Blacksmith's epitaph, mentioned in the account of 
Bourne Abbey, is also found in the churchyard here, with 
bellows, forge, and anvil engraved on the stone.' 

Swineshead is but four miles further on, with Bicker half 
way. The latter has a far older church than any in the neigh- 
bourhood. It is dedicated to St. Swithun. It is a twelfth- 
century cruciform building with massive piers and cushion 
capitals and fine moulding to its Norman arches over the two 
western bays of the nave. The clerestory has Norman arcading 
in triplets with glass in the centre light. The east window 
consists of three tall Early English lancets. A turret stair- 
case in the south aisle gives access to another in the tower. 
The north aisle oak seats have been made out of portions of 
the rood screen. The Early English font, being supported on 
four short feet, is interesting, as is a holy water stoup in the 
porch. This church has been well restored by the Rev. H. T. 
Fletcher, now ninety-three years of age, who has been rector 
for half a centur5^ In the last half of the thirteenth century 
a Christopher Massingberd was the incumbent. It is kept 
locked on account of recent thefts in the neighbourhood. As 
you go to Swineshead you pass a roadside pond with a notice, 
" Beware of the Swans." The village, like Donington, was 
once a market town, and has still the remains of its market 
cross and stocks. The low spire of the church rises from a 
beautiful battlemented octagon which crowns the tower and 

returned from the battle of Copenhagen where he distinguished himself as 
a midshipman on the Polyphemus, — Captain John. Lawford. Under 
P'linders he showed great aptitude for Nautical and Astronomical observa- 
tions and was made assistant at the Sydney observatory, the Governor, 
Mr. King, usually addressing him as " Mr. Tycho Brahe." These two 
natives of Lincolnshire, Flinders and Franklin, are of course responsible 
for such names on the Australian Coast as Franklin Isles, Spilshy Island 
in the Sir Joseph Banks group. Port Lincoln, Boston Island, Cape Doning- 
ton, Spalding Cove, Grantham Island, Flinders Bay, &'c. 

The Investigator proving unseaworthy. Flinders, with part of his crew, 
sailed homewards on the Cumberland ; and touching at St. Mauritius was 
detained by the French Governor because his passport was made out for 
the Investigator. He was set free after seven tedious years on the island, 
1803-1810, and died at Donington 1814. 




is tJie feature of the building;. There is a similar one at the base 
of the spire of the grand church of Patrington in Holderness. 
The tower is at the west end of the nave, and at each of its 
corners are \-cry high pinnacles. The belfry is lighted by 

The ireUamf at ^Ifarsh Road, Spaldine:. 

unusually large three-light Perpendicular windows, and the 
clerestory by large windows with Decorated tracery. The 
south aisle windows, too, are Decorated, those in the north aisle 
Perpendicular. The roof is old, and though plain in the nave, 
is richer in the north aisle. The clustered columns in the nave 
are slender, and the long pointed cliancel arch, having no 

xxxvni SUTTERTON 459 

shoulders, is curiously ugly. The old iron chest has been 
already mentioned. 

At Swineshead the road goes east to Boston and west to 
Sleaford. This we will speak of when we describe the six roads 
out of Sleaford, of which the Swineshead road is by far the most 
interesting. But we must go back by Bicker, to which the 
sea once came close up, as testified by the remains of the 
Roman sea-bank only two miles off ; and perhaps, too, by the 
name " Fishmere End," near the neighbouring village of Wigton. 
After seeing Bicker we will retrace our steps through Donington 
by Quadring and Gosberton, till we reach the " Gate Eau," 
then turning to the left, strike the direct Spalding and Boston 
road. This, after crossing " Quadring Eau-Dyke " — a name 
which tells a fenny tale — passes over the Roman bank as it 
leaves Bicker, and making eastwards after its long inland curve 
from Frieston, proceeds to Sutterton and Algarkirk. The names 
go together as a station on the Great Northern Railway loop line, 
and the villages are not far apart. They were both endowed 
as early as 868, as mentioned in the Arundel MSS. The churches 
of both are cruciform. Sutterton has a tall spire thickly 
crocketed, and a charming Transition doorway in the south 
porch. That of the north is of the same date. The Early 
English arcades have rich bands of carving under the capitals 
of their round pillars ; the two eastern pillars, from the thrust 
of the tower, lean considerably to the west ; and, showing 
how much of the building was done in the Transition Norman 
time, the pointed arch of the chancel is enriched with Norman 
moulding. The large Perpendicular windows are very good, 
but the tracery of the Decorated west window is not attractive. 
The level of the floor has been so filled up that the narrow 
transept-arch pillars are now buried as much as three feet. 
The fittings are all pinewood, which gives one a kind of shock 
in so fine an old church. There are eight bells and a thirteenth- 
century Sanctus bell with inscription in Lombardic letters. 
The wood of the massive old iron-bound chest is sadly decayed. 

Algarkirk, the church of Earl Alfgar, stands within half a 
mile of Sutterton, in a park. The parish is a huge one, and the 
living was, till recently, worth £2,000 a year, but having been 
purchased from the Berridge family and presented to the Bishop 
of Lincoln, its revenues have gone largely to endow new churches 
in Grimsby, and the present incumbent has only one quarter 



of what his predecessors had. Like Spalding, Algarkirk had 
double aisles to the transepts, but the eastern aisle on the south 
side has been thrown into the transept. The Decorated windows 
of each transept are ver)' fine ones, and those at the east and 
west ends of the nave are extremely large and good, that at 

the west filling the whole of the wall space. The clerestory 
has ten three-light windows, and the transepts have similar 
ones. Outside, the nave, aisles and transepts are all battle- 
mented, which gives a very rich appearance. The fittings 
are all of oak, and there are six bells. E^-ery window below 
the clerestory has good modern stained glass, and, taken as a 


whole, the church is one of the most beautiful in the 

It was Easter time when we visited Algarkirk, and the rookery 
in the park at the edge of the churchyard was giving abundant 
signs of busy life. The delightful cawing of the rooks is always 
associated in my mind with the bright spring time in villages 
of the Lincolnshire wolds. In the churchyard I noticed the 
name of Phoebe more than once, but I doubt if the parents, 
when bestowing this pretty classic name on their infant daughter 
at the font, ever thought of her adding to it, as the tombstone 
says she did, the prosaic name of Weatherbogg. 

At Sutterton two main roads cross, one from Swineshead to 
Holbeach, crossing the Welland near Fosdyke ; the other 
from Boston to Spalding, crossing the Glen at Surfieet. 

From Swineshead two very dull roads run west to Sleaford, 
and north to Coningsby and Tattershall, to join the Sleaford 
and Horn castle road. This, after crossing the old Hammond 
Beck, sends an off-shoot eastwards to Boston, whose tower is 
seen about four miles off. It then crosses the great South- 
Forty-foot drain at Hubbert's bridge, named after Hubba the 
Dane, and the North-Forty-foot less than a mile further on, 
and, passing by Brothertoft to the Witham, which it crosses 
at Langrick, runs in a perfectly straight line through Thomton- 
le-Fen to Coningsby. An equally straight road goes parallel 
to, but four miles east of it, from Boston by New Bolingbroke 
to Revesby. 

From what we have said it will be seen that the road from 
Spalding northwards is thickl)' set with fine churches ; but that 
which goes eastwards boasts another group which are grander 
still. They are all figured in the volume of " Lincolnshire 
Churches," which deals with the division of Holland. This 
was published in 1843 by T. N. Morton of Boston, the excellent 
drawings being by Stephen Lewin. His drawing of Kirton Old 
Church shows what an extremely handsome building it was before 
Hayward destroyed it in 1804. 

One ought not to close this Chapter without some reference 
to the term " pinchbeck," meaning sham, literally base metal, 
looking like gold, and used for watchcases.^ Some Pinchbeck 
natives still have it that it was a yellow metal found rather 

'■ The Times, alluding to the Ulster Plot, spoke of " The Pinchbeck 
Napoleons of the Cabinet." 




more than a century ago near Pinchbeck, and now exhausted. 
But fen soil has no minerals, and really it was a London 
watchmaker, who was either a native of Pinchbeck or else 
called Pinchbeck, who invented the alloy of 80 parts copper 
to 20 of zinc. I remember hearing of a case at Spilsby sessions, 
where a man was accused of stealing a watch. The robbed 
man was asked, "What was your watch? a gold one?" 
" Noa, it weant gowd." "Silver then?" " Naay, it weant 
silver, nither." " Then what was it ? " " Why, it wor pinch- 

On a later occasion the thief, asking the same " lawyer 
feller" to defend him, said, byway of introduction, "You 
remember you got me off before for stealing a watch." " For 
the alleged stealing of a watch, you mean." " .Vlleged be 
blowed ! I've got the watch at home now." 

At FtiUiey. 



Weston^The Font — Fertile Country — Colman's Factory — The Woad Plant 
— 'Twixt Marsh and Fen — MouUon — The Spire — The EUoe Stone — 
Whaplode — Holbeach — Fleet — Gedney — The Mustard Fields— Long 
Sutton — Groups of Churches — Foss-dyke Old Bridge — Kirton — 
Frampton — Wyberton— A Storm — Agricultural Statistics, 1913 — A 
Legend of Holbeach. 

The road which runs east from Spalding passes out of the 
county to reach King's Lynn. But before it does so, it goes 
through a line of villages along which, within a distance of ten 
miles, are six of the finest churches which even Lincolnshire 
can show. Going out through Fulney we begin, less than four 
miles from Spalding, with Weston, where we find an unusually 
fine south porch with arcading and stone seats on either side. 
At the east end are three lancet lights of perfect Early English 
work and four slender buttresses. The nave dates from the 
middle of the twelfth century, and has stout round pillars in 
the south and octagonal in the north arcades, each set round 
with slender detached shafts as at Skirbeck, united under 
capitals carved with good stiff foliage. The aisles and transepts 
are later, and the tower later again. 

The Early EngHsh font is a splendid specimen and stands 
on its original octagonal steps with half of the circle occupied 
by a broad platform for the priest. Two good old oak chests 
stand on either side of the tower arch, and near the south door 
two curious musical instruments of the oboe type are hanging, 
and seem to be worthy of more careful preservation. 

The whole of our route to-day lies through a perfectly flat 
land, mostly arable and of extraordinary fertility. The corn 
crops at the end of May were standing nearly two feet high, 


464 'MARSH' AND 'FEN' chap. 

and all around bright squares of yellow made the air heavy 
with the scent of the mustard flower. I lately went all over 
the great mustard factory of Messrs. Colman at Norwich, in 
which the beauty and ingenuity of the machinery for making 
and labelling the tins, for filling bags and boxes, or for sorting 
and folding up in their proper papers the cubes of blue (of 
which there is a factory contiguous) were a perfect marvel. 
The works cover thirty-two acres, and everything needed for 
the business is made on the premises. The mustard of commerce 
is a mixture of the brown and the white, both of which, and 
especially the best brown, are grown in the greatest perfection 
in the fields round Holbeach. It is a valuable crop. In 
October, 1912, I saw a quotation of los. 6d. to 135. 6d. a 
bushel for brown, and 8s. to 8s. 6d. for white ; 1913 was a 
much better year, and so I suppose prices ruled higher. But 
to return. 

Here and there we passed a field with an unfamiliar crop 
of stiff purplish plants which showed where the cultivation of 
the Isatis tinctoria, the woad plant, which added so much to 
the attractiveness of our earliest British ancestors, was still 
kept going. This fiat country is not without its trees, and 
near the villages park-like meadows, the remains of ancient 
manors, showed a beautiful wealth of chestnut bloom, whilst 
the cottage gardens were gay with laburnum and pink May. 
This was especially the case with the most easterly villages of 
Holbeach, Gedney and Long Sutton, but all along this line 
of road from Weston to Sutton there were, at one time, manors 
of the Irby, Welby, Littlebury, and other families, of which 
nothing now remains but this heritage of trees. The line of 
road is a very remarkable one, for it divides what once might 
have been described as the waters that were above from the 
waters that were below ; in other words the Fen from the Marsh. 
If you look at a good map you will see to the north of the road, 
from west to east successively. Pinchbeck Marsh, Spalding 
Marsh, Weston Marsh, Moulton Marsh, Whaplode Marsh, 
Holbeach Marsh, Gedney Marsh, Sutton Marsh, and Wingland 
Marsh. The last of these lies between Sutton Bridge and 
Cross-Keys, on the county boundary ; and since the new 
outfall of the river Nene was cut, a rich tract has been gained 
for cultivation where once the sea had possession, and just 
where King John lost his baggage and treasure in his disastrous 


crossing of the Cross-Keys Wash, at low tide, shortly before his 
death in 12 16. There is now a good road there. 

Now look at the map again and you will see to the south of 
this Holbeach road the same names, but with Fen instead of 
Marsh — Moulton, Whaplode, Holbeach, and Gedney Fen. 

The Marsh country is far the most interesting, and it is clear 
both from the nature of the land and from the names of the places 
that the Wash used to come several miles further inland than 
it does now, running up between Algarkirk and Gosberton as 
far as Bicker, and penetrating up the Welland estuary to 
" Surfieet seas end," and up the Moulton river to " Moulton 
seas end," to Holbeach Clough, to Lutton Gowt, which is north 
of Long Sutton on the Leam, and to the Roman bank which 
is still visible at Fleet and again further east between Cross- 
Keys and Walpole. This bank probably came by Tydd 
St. Mary, through which a Roman road from Cowbit also 
passed. But this was long ago, and many centuries elapsed 
before this Spalding and Lynn road, passing between Marsh 
and Fen, came into being, with its many magnificent churches, 
mostly the work of great monastic institutions between the 
twelfth and fifteenth centuries, and therefore built with excep- 
tional magnificence. 

After Weston less than two miles, through a country bright- 
ened by the many red and white chestnut trees in bloom, 
brings us to Moulton, lying a little to the south of the main road. 
Here we have a beautiful Perpendicular tower and crocketed 
spire, reminding one, by its graceful proportions, of Louth, 
though not much more than half the height. The nave has 
six bays of Transition Norman work with pillars both round 
and clustered, resting on large millstone-like bases, the two 
western piers having tall responds built into them, which prob- 
ably supported the arch of an earlier tower. The Early 
English carved foliage on the capitals is like that at Skirbeck, 
or in the Galilee Porch at Ely and the transept of York Cathedral. 
Some most graceful old work has been restored in the lower 
part of the rood-screen, and a new and well-designed canopy 
added. The doorway to this rood-loft is on the south side. 
A curious old oak alms-box is near the south door, and against 
the western pier of the north arcade is a singular font which 
has been displaced by a modern square one of no particular 
merit. In the older one the bowl stands on the trunk of a tree 

H H 

466 MOULTON chap. 

carved in stonCj on either side of which are figures about three 
feet high of Adam and Eve, and the Serpent is curling round 
the tree.i The wooden cover with the figure of a stout Rubens 
angel flying and grasping the top has fallen into disrepair. A 
list of the vicars from 1237 is in the north aisle. 

The clerestory windows are handsomely arcaded outside, 
with round Norman arcading on the south and pointed arcades 
on the north side, and ugly Perpendicular windows inserted 
at intervals which occupy the space of two arcades. 

The great beauty of the church is the Perpendicular tower 
and spire, built about 1380. It has four stages, and over the 
great west window are some canopied niches, two of which still 
contain their statues. The buttresses have also niches and 
canopies, and the tower finishes with a rich battlement and 
pinnacles which are connected with the spire by light flying- 
buttresses ; the whole is beautifully proportioned, and as it 
stands in a very wide street one can get a satisfactory view of it. 

The dividing of each side by set-off string courses, three on 
the west and four on the north and south sides, the canopy 
work of the buttresses at each stage, the pleasing varieties 
in the size of the windows, the canopied arcading on the west - 
front, the panelled parapet and deep cornice, the elegant pinnacles 
at the corners of the coped battlements from which the light 
flying-buttresses spring up to the richly ornamented spire, 
all help to delight and satisfy the eye in a manner which few 
churches in any county can hope to rival. 

In a bridge half a mile from the church on the south side 
of a lane called ' Old Spalding Gate,' or ' Elloe Stone lane,' 
at the fifth milestone from Spalding, still stands the Elloe Stone. 

The Shire Mote or hundred court of the Elloe Wapentake, 
which is a huge one embracing the whole of Holland between 
the Welland and the Nene, used to be held at the four cross- 
roads near this stone, in pre-Norman times. The manor courts 
were introduced by the Normans. 

Boy Scouts were very much in evidence when we were in 
Moulton ; they number over thirty there alone, and I never 
saw a smarter lot. 

From Moulton we get back to the main road and go on two 
short miles to Whaplode. In Domesday Book this is spelt 
Quappelode, the cape on the lode or creek, the village being 
1 See Chap. XXII. 



built on a spit of land ele^'atcd abo\e the fens and encircled by 
drains, or lodes, to keep it free from inundation. 

The church here was built hv the abbot of Cro^iand in rivalry 
with Moulton, which was the work of the prior of Spalding. 

UliaploJc Clnirdi. 

The nave, of no less than seven bays, is narrow and no feet 
long, and exhibits in the low chancel arch and four adjoining 
arcades quite the most interesting Norman work in ' ITolland.' 
The massi\-e Xorman pillars are built in pairs of different 
patterns. The three western arches are Transitional and 

H H 2 

46S HOLBEACH cti. XxxiX 

pointed ; of this period the chief feature is the west door with 
a fine series of mouldings and a double row of eight detached 
shafts on either side, set one behind the other. 

The tower is very fine and is in a most unusual position, 
being south of the eastmost bay of the south aisle and almost 
detached, though once joined by a transept. We quite agree 
with Mr. Jeans when he says "Probably it was intended to 
have two transeptal towers like Exeter and Ottery, the only 
two churches in England with them, but a late Perpendicular 
transept occupies the place of the North one." The lower Transi- 
tion stage is richly arcaded, the next two Early English stages 
have lancet arcading, and the belfry stage, which is early 
Decorated, has coupled lights and a parapet above them. The 
choir-screen stood, curiously, a bay in front of the rood loft, 
the stairs to which are on the south side. The pulpit is Jacobean, 
the font a copy of a Norman one, the chancel is of the meanest, 
and all the windows except one at the east of the north aisle 
are incredibly ugly. Some stone coffins are placed in the west 
end, where also is the fine canopied monument of Sir Anthony 
and Lady Elizabeth Irby with large figures of their children 
kneeling at the side. See Ashby-cum-Fenby , p. 267. 

Another three miles along this wonderful line of grand churches 
brings us to the church of All Saints, Holbeach, a magnificent 
building all in the latest Decorated style throughout. The 
spire without crockets, though higher than Moulton, is rather 
dwarfed by the large tower without pinnacles. The nave is 
very spacious and light, having large aisle windows with no 
stained glass, and no less than fourteen pairs of clerestory 
windows. The flamboyant tracery in the east window is very 
good. The nave has seven very lofty bays on tall, light, clustered 
pillars, and the eastern bay does not reach the chancel arch, 
but leaves a wall space of six feet to accommodate the require- 
ments of the rood loft. There is a very large north porch of 
singular construction, with heavy, round battlemented turrets 
like the flanking bastions of ' a castle gateway. Above is a 
parvise. In the north aisle is a well-preserved altar tomb to 
Sir Humphrey Littlebury, c. 1400, and two brasses ; one of 
Joanna Welbye, 1458, for both these families once had manors 
at Holbeach. 

The approach to the town is through a well-wooded country, 
and a row of pink chestnuts in bloom lined the churchyard. 





FU'ci Church. 


as we saw it early in June. Like Moulton. the parish is a very 
large one, containing, according to Murray, 21,000 acres of 
land and 14,000 of water. Somewhere in this huge parish 
was born, in 1687, William Stukeley, the antiquarian, who 
became in his later years the rector of Somerby, near Grantham. 

The " Legend of Holbeach " was probably unknown to him, 
but it is of some antiquity, and it is printed at the end of the 
chapter in the rhyming form which was given to it more than 
a hundred years ago by Thomas Rawnsley of Bourne, D.L. 

A mile off the road to the right, is seen the spire of Fleet 
church. This, too, is mainly in the Decorated style with Early 
English arcades and a Perpendicular west window. The tower 
stands apart from the rest of the church at an interval of fifteen 
feet. Other instances of detached towers are at Evesham in 
Worcestershire, at Elstow near Bedford, and, I think, at 
Terrington in Norfolk ; but a detached spire is very rarely seen. 

All the churches on the main road are at intervals of three 
miles, and that distance will bring us to the tall slender Giotto- 
like tower of Gedney, ninety feet high with very small buttresses. 
This, like Whaplode, was built by the abbots of Croyland. The 
spacious nave has twelve Perpendicular three-light clerestory 
windows of unusual beauty, divided by pinnacles rising above 
the parapet. There are six lofty bays and a fine Early English 
tower arch. As at Holbeach and Sutton, there is a parvise 
over the south porch. The tower was to have had a spire 
instead of its present little spirelet, but only the base of it was 
built. Possibly this was because the foundations were not 
trustworthy, and, indeed, it may be said to have no foundations 
but to be built on a raft ,in the peat bog on which it floats 
securely, as did Winchester Cathedral before the deep drainage 
trench was cut along the north side of the close. At Gedney, 
if you jump on the floor of the porch you will distinctly perceive 
the vibration of the ground. 

It is enriched at the first stage by lancet windows, then by 
an arcading. with pointed arches, above which come beautiful 
twin windows, each with two lights ; and the upper. Decorated, 
stage of the tower — above the line where the Black Death so 
obviously and effectually stopped the work, as described in the 
next chapter — has two lofty canopied and transomed windows 
in each face, which give a very handsome appearance. There 
is no west door, 



Within is a ' low-side ' window at the south-west end of the 

Gtdiify Church. 

chancel which is sometimes called an ' Ichnoscope,' and in the 
vestry is a ' squint,' A thirteenth-century cross-legged knight, 


the fine brass of a lady (1390), recently discovered, and the 
richly coloured alabaster monument of Adlard and Cassandra 
Welby (1590) are all worthy of notice ; while the abbots' 
inscription over the door, " Pax Xti sit huic domui et omnibus 
habitantibus in ea, hie requies nostra," is to be contrasted with 
the worldly-wise motto of John Petty on the old bell-metal 
door lock, " Be Ware before, avyseth Johannes Pette." Let 
into the door is a very remarkable crucifixion in ivory. 

As we left Gedney and looked back over the fields the tall 
and Italian-looking campanile, whose bells, however, cannot 
vie with the eight bells of Holbeach, made a unique and memor- 
able picture. I doubt if there is anything quite like it in 
England. We passed on eastwards another three miles by 
Gedney Marsh, with its " Cock and Magpie " inn, while the 
strong summer scent of the brilliant mustard fields recalled 
the apt description of our great Lincolnshire poet : 

" All the land in flowery squares, 
Beneath a broad and equal-blowing wind, 
Smelt of the coming Summer." 

As with Shakespeare, once let anything be described by 
Tennyson, and no other form of words can ever again seem 
so fit and inevitable. How often does one notice this ! 

But now we are at Long Sutton, or Sutton St. Mary's, and 
find there perhaps the most interesting of this wonderful sequence 
of exceptional churches. 

Again we have a long nave of seven bays, with Norman 
pillars, both round and octagonal. A flat Norman arch to the 
chancel, and on each side of the chancel a slender column and 
two tall arches leading to chancel transepts. The rood stair- 
case goes up from the pulpit on the north side, and above the 
nave arcades is a Transitional clerestory with arcading, which 
now serves as a triforium, being surmounted by another 
clerestory of the Perpendicular period ; indeed the outside of 
the church, from its aisle and clerestory windows, has just the 
appearance of a Perpendicular building, so that when on 
entering one finds oneself in a fine Norman nave, the sight, 
as Mr. Jeans says, is quite startling. 

At the north-east angle is a curious two-storied octagonal 
vestry, or sacristy, with a winding stair of fourteenth century 

l.i'm^- Sutfo>i Church. 


date, having a small window into the chancel. The tower 
is Early English and is curiously placed at the south-west 
angle of the south aisle. That at Whaplode is at the south- 
east angle. Both tower and spire are in their original con- 
dition (the latter of timber covered with lead) and are the best 
and earliest specimens of their period. The tower stands on 
four magnificent arches now blocked, above which outside is 
a rich arcading like that in the north transept of Wells Cathedral. 
Above this the belfry windows are double, having a three- 
light window inside, with a two-light window outside, the 
muUion coming down to the outer edge of the splay ; a very 
unusual arrangement. The spire is clasped at each corner by 
a spirelet, and rises to the height of 162 feet. Altogether this 
church is the fitting crown to our long string of stately churches. 
There are larger single churches with twelve to even twenty 
clerestory windows in Norfolk and Suffolk, but I doubt if any 
group in the kingdom can rival these, though the Sleaford 
group runs them hard. And certainly the Marsh churches 
between Boston and Wainfleet, and the still more characteristic 
group round Burgh-le-Marsh and Theddlethorpe have a charm 
• — owing a good deal to their old oak fittings — which " can only . 
be described in superlatives." Next to these for interest I 
would put the Pinchbeck group in the triangle formed by 
Boston, Spalding, and Donington, and the group of old pre- 
Norman towers like Clee which are found near together to the 
south and west of Grimsby. Of course, Lincoln Minster with 
Stow, Grantham with Hough-on-the-Hill, Boston Stump, and 
Louth spire, stand outside every group in unapproachable 
greatness. Long Sutton is not without neighbours. Two miles 
to the north is Lutton, where Dr. Busb)'-, the famous headmaster 
of Westminster, was born. He died in 1695. The large inlaid 
Italian pulpit with elegant canopy, put up in 1702, was probably 
his gift. 

Three miles east is Sutton bridge, only separated from 
Norfolk by the uninhabited Wingland Marsh, while three miles 
to the south is the village of Tydd-St.-Mary, the last village 
on the Wisbech road which is in Lincolnshire, Tydd-St.-Gtles 
being over the border in Cambridgeshire ; for both Norfolk 
and Cambridge here touch the county ; Wisbech, which is 
itself the centre of a grand group of churches, being in the latter 


To finish our da)' and get into " the parts of Lindsey/' we 
take the north road from Holbeach over Fosdyke bridge to 
Boston. In the church at Fosdyhe we may see a remarkable 
font with a tall Perpendicular oak cover similar, but not equal 
in beauty, to that at Frieston. 

Before 18 14, people who wished to go from Boston into the 
eastern half of Holland and on to Cambridge and Norfolk had 
to cross the Welland estuary by ferry or go round by Spalding, 
but in 181 1 an Act was passed for erecting a bridge at Fosdyke 
Wash and making a causeway to it over the sands. The work 
was designed by Rennie, who had an excellent patron in Sir 
Joseph Banks. The account of it, written at the time, is curious. 
The bridge was 300 feet long and had eight openings, the three 
in mid-stream being thirty feet wide, and the centre one opened 
with two leaves, which, having a counterpoise, were easily 
moved from a horizontal to a perpendicular position by means 
of a large rack-wheel and pinion wound by a common hand- 
winch. The nine piers were each made of oak trees driven 
in whole in clusters of six. These trees were none of them 
less than thirty feet long and eighteen inches in diameter, 
rather larger than the beams used to carry the floors in Tatter- 
shall Castle.i Those in the four central piers were enormous, 
being forty-two feet long and nineteen inches in diameter. 
They were driven in twenty to twenty-two feet below the 
bottom of the river and bolted together with timbers a foot 
thick. All was carried out in oak, the roadway planks being 
three inches thick. I went to see this stout old timber bridge 
and was disgusted to find that a grey-painted iron structure 
had taken its place. 

From Fosdyke the road passes Algarkirk and strikes the 
Spalding and Boston main road at Sutterton, where it turns 
north to Kirton. After passing Kirton — the magnificent church 
of which place was so strangely altered and mutilated by a 
ruthless architect called Hayward, in 1804, who pulled down 
its noble central tower and its double-aisled transept and built 
of the old materials a handsome but new tower at the west 
end — we soon see on the right, first Frampton and then Wyberton, 
the latter only about a mile south of Boston. 

^ These were cut in Nottinghamshire ; but I see that Sussex is to supply 
the oak for the roof timbers of Westminster Hall. 


Frampton, once cruciform with a good tower and spire, has 
lost its north transept, its tall Early English pillars now support 
arches of a later style, but a fine oak roof and tall screen remain. 
There is an odd monument of ecclesiastical power on a buttress 
outside at the angle of the transept. A figurehead grotesquely 
carved, with the inscription, " Wot ye whi I stad her [know 
ye, why I stand here] for I forswor my Savior ego Ricardus 
in Angulo," probably a lasting reference to some ecclesiastical 

Frampton Hall, a good Queen Anne house, is close to the 
church. Here, as in several of the Marsh churches, rings to 
tie horses to during service may be seen in the wall. Not a 
mile away northwards is Wyberion, which, if built as planned, 
would have been a very fine edifice. When it was restored 
by G. Scott, Jun., in 1881, the floor of the chancel being lowered 
brought to light two magnificent pillar bases. These, with 
the grand chancel arch, are indications that a fine cruciform 
church was projected but apparently never carried out. Tall 
arcades with clustered and octagonal columns and a good 
Perpendicular roof with carved bosses and angels are there 
now, and signs that an earlier building existed are visible in 
stones either lying loose or built into the walls. A slab to Adam 
Frampton is dated 1325. 

The font is a very rich one of the same period as those to 
the north-east of Boston, at Benington and Leverton. The 
registers begin as early as 1538. We pass now through Boston, 
and crossing the sluice bridge, get a fine view of the tall 
tower by the water-side and soon strike the Sibsey and Spilsby 

A grand black thunder-cloud rolls up across the fen, and 
having discharged a tempest of hailstones on the Wolds, 
descends upon us between Sibsey and Stickney in torrents 
of rain. It passes, and the bright sunshine — the " clear shining 
after rain " of the Hebrew prophet — contrasted with the dark- 
ness of the moving thunder-clouds as they roll seawards, makes 
a fine picture, and one which in that flat land you can watch 
for miles as it moves. 

The agricultural statistics for Lincolnshire in 1913 show 
that there were in Lindsay about 860,000, in Kesteven 419,560, 
and in Holland 243,200 acres under cultivation. The various 
crops in each were in thousands of acres as follows : — 


Agricultural returns 



Oats. Barley. 




Clover, f,,,,^ 

Vetches, °"'='^ 

&c. "°V^- 

In Lindsey . 
,, Kesteven. 
„ Holland . 






1 25 J 









109 1 7 

46i 3f 
15 12S 

The table shows that Holland grows a good deal of wheat 
and oats, but not much barley compared with the two other 
divisions, and very few " roots." But in 1913 it grew 40,370 
acres of potatoes, which is 5,000 acres more than all the rest 
of the county ; and this was a decrease on the previous year's 
crop of 2,479 acres. Then the big item in Holland under " other 
crops " shows the mustard, while 2,500 acres in that column for 
Lindsey are taken up with " rape." The amount of bare fallow 
last year was, in Lindsey, 22,940 acres ; in Kesteven, 15,385 ; 
and in Holland, 5,311. This, and the number of horses employed 
on the land — Lindsey, 26,930; Kesteven, 12,412,- Holland, 
10,892 — when it is remembered that the acreage of the three 
divisions is in the proportion of 4, 2, and i, shows how highly 
cultivated the Lincolnshire fen-land in Holland is. The arable 
land in that division is more than two-thirds of the whole 

Another thing this report brings out is the marked decrease 
in 1913 in the number of cattle, sheep and pigs, and especially 
of sheep in every part of the county. This decrease was — 


Sheep. [ Pigs. 

In Lindsey 

,, Kesteven 

,, Holland 










This shows that Holland suffered more decrease in proportion 
than the other two divisions in all respects, and especially in 
the number of pigs. Of course the season must always be 
answerable for a good deal, and the numbers may all go up this 
year. But the enormous drop in the number of cattle and 

478 THE REVELI.ERS chap. 

sheep, telling a tale of the absence of " roots " and " feed/' 
will hardly be made good in one year. 

a true story. 
Made into this rhyme by Mr. Ravvnsley of Bourne, about the year 1 800. 

In the bleak noxious Fen that to Lincoln pertains 

Where agues assert their fell sway, 
There the Bittern hoarse moans and the seamew complains 

As she flits o'er the watery way. 

While with strains thus discordant^ the natives of air 

With screams and with shrieks the ear strike, 
The toad and the frog croaking notes of despair 

Join the din, from the bog and the dyke. 

Mid scenes that the senses annoy and appal 

Sad and sullen old Holbech appears, 
As if doomed to bewail her hard fate from the Fall, 

Like a Niobe washed with her tears. 

From fogs pestilential that hovered around, 

To ward off despair and disease, 
The juice of the grape was most generous found. 

Source of comfort, of joy, and of ease. 

At the " Chequers" long famed to quaff then did delight 

The Burghers both ancient and young. 
With smoking and cards, passed the dull winter night. 

They joked and they laughed and they sung. 

Three revellers left, when the midnight was come. 

Unable their game to pursue. 
Repaired, most unhallowed, to visit the tomb 

Where enshrouded lay one of their crew. 

For he, late-departed, renowned was at whist. 

The marsh-men still tell of his fame, 
Till Death with a spade struck the cards from his fist 

And spoiled both his hand and his game. 

Cold and damp was the night ; thro' the churchyard they prowled, 

As wolves by fierce hunger subdued, 
'Gainst the doors they huge gravestones impetuous rolled 

Which recoiled at such violence rude. 

From the sepulchre's jaws their old comrade uncased, 

(How chilling the tale to relate), 
Upreared 'gainst the wall on the table was placed 

\ corpse, in funereal state. 


By a taper's faint blaze and with Luna's faint liglit 

That would sometimes emit them a ray, 
The cards were produced, and they cut with delight 

To know who with " Duiiiby" should play. 

Exalted on basses the bravoes kneeled round 

Exulting and proud of the deed, 
To Dumby they bent with respect most profound 

And said " Sir ! it is your turn to lead. " 

The game then commenced, when one offered him aid, 

And affected to guide his cold hand 
"While another cried out, " Bravo ! Dumby, well played, 

I see you've the cards at command. " 

Thus impious, they joked devoid of all grace. 

When dread sounds shook the walls of the church, 

And lo ! Dumby sank down, and a ghost in his place 
Shrieked dismal " Haste ! haste ! save your lurch ! " 

Astounded they stared ; but the fiend disappeared 

And Dumby again took his seat, 
So they deemed 'twas but fancy, nor longer they feared 

But swore that " Old Dumb should be beat." 

Eight to nine was the game, Dumby's partner called loud 
" Speak once, my old friend, or we're done 

Remember our stake 'tis my coat or your shroud 
Now answer and win — caji you one ? " ^ 

" What silent, my Dumby, when most I you need 

Dame Fortune our wishes has crossed," 
When a voice from beneath, howled, "your fate is decreed 

The game and the gamesters are lost." 

Then strange ! most terrific and horrid to view ! 

Three Demons thro' earth burst their way : 
Each one chose his partner, his arms round him threw 

And vanished in smoke with his prey. 

' An expression used in " Long whist." 




Mention being made in the last chapter of the Black Death, 
the disastrous effects of which were so visible in the tower 
of Gedney, it will be not inappropriate to give some short 
account of it here. 

Edward the Third had been twenty years on the throne when 
a great change came over the country. The introduction of 
leases of lands and houses by the lord of the manor had created 
a class of " farmers " — the word was a new one — by which the 
old feudal system of land-tenure was disturbed, the old tie of 
personal dependence of the serf on his lord being broken^ 
and the lord of the manor reduced to the position of a modern 
landlord. And not only was an independent class of tenants 
coming into existence who were able to rise to a position of 
apparent equality with their former masters, but among the 
labourers, too, a greater freedom was growing, which was 
gradually loosing them from their local bondage to the soil, 
and giving them power to choose what place of employment 
and what master they pleased. This rise of the free labourer 
following naturally on the enfranchisement of the serf had 
made it necessary for the landlord to rely on hired labour, and 
just when it was most essential for them to have an abundant 
supply of hands seeking employment, all at once the supply 
absolutely and entirely failed. 

The cause of this was the Black Death, which, starting in 
Asia, swept over the whole of Europe and speedily reached 
these shores in the autumn of 1348. No such swift and univers- 
ally devastating plague had ever been known. One half of the 
population of every European country perished, and in England 
more than half. In one London burying-place above 50,000 
corpses were interred.- 



In Norwich, then the chief east-coast port north of the 
Thames, we hear of 60,000 deaths. We hear, too, of whole 
villages being wiped out, and nowhere were sufficient hands 
left to cultivate the soil. 

Crops were ungathered, cattle roamed at will. The pesti- 
lence lasted through the whole of 1349, after which, though 
occasionally recurring, it died away. 

In Lincolnshire it was very bad, and some knowledge of it 
can be gathered from the memoranda of the Bishop of Lincoln, 
John G3mewell, who held office from September 23, 1347, to 
August 5, 1362 ; the appalling frequency of the institutions to 
the various benefices in his diocese give some measure of the 
severity of this dreadful visitation. 

It began at Melcombe Regis in Dorset in the month of July, 
1348, but did not reach Lincoln until May, 1349. It got to 
London in January of that year, and was at its height there 
in March, April, and May. In May, in the town of Newark, we 
read that " it waxes day by day more and more, insomuch that 
the Churchyard will not suffice for the men that die in that place." 

From his palace at Liddington, in Rutland, Bishop Gynewell 
went in May to consecrate a burial ground at Great Easton, 
which, being only a chapelry to the parish of Bringhurst, had 
no burial ground of its own. The licence was granted only 
during the duration of the pestilence. The bishop in his 
preamble says : " There increases among you, as in other places 
of our Diocese, a mortality of men such as has not been seen 
or heard aforetime from the beginning of the world, so that 
the old grave-yard of your church [Bringhurst] is not sufficient 
to receive the bodies of the dead." 

The enormous number of clergy who died in the Diocese of 
Lincoln is attested by the fact that in July alone 250 institu- 
tions were made and all but fifteen owing to deaths, a number 
which is considerably more than the whole for the first eighteen 
months of Bishop Gynewell's episcopate. The average is over 
eight a day. 

The most singular thing which the statistics point to, is that, 
on the high ground round Lincoln and in the parts of Lindsey 
the mortality among the clergy was far higher than in other 
parts of the diocese, whilst in the low lands and fens round 
Peterborough, and in the parts of Holland, the percentage of 
deaths was almost invariably low, twenty-seven and twenty- 



four per cent, as compared with fifty-seven for Stamford and 
sixty for Lincoln. The worst months in Lincolnshire were 
July and August, yet even then, in spite of the seveirity of the 
plague and the disorganisation which it occasioned in all the 
social and religious life of the age, ordinary business, we are told, 
went on, and the bishop never ceased his constant journeys 
and visitations to all parts of his enormous diocese, reaching as 
it did from Henley on the Thames to the Humber, and including 
besides Lincoln, the counties of Northampton, Rutland, Leicester, 
Huntingdon, Bedford, Hertford, Buckingham, and Oxford. 

That the nation was not more depressed by this state of things 
was doubtless due to the feeling of national exaltation occasioned 
by the battle of Cressy in 1346, and the capture of Calais in the 
next year and the subsequent truce with France. 

One of the results of this plague was the absolute cessation 
of work for want of hands, which threw land out of cultivation 
and suspended all building operations. At Gedney, as the 
architect who restored the church in 1898, Mr. W. D. Caroe, 
pointed out to me, the history of the Black Death is distinctly 
written on the tower, and you may plainly see where the four- 
teenth-century builders ceased and how, above the present 
clock, the work was recommenced by different hands, with 
altered design and quite other materials. 

Gsdni^y, from FkcU 



St. Guthlac — Abbot Joffrid — Boundary Crosses— The Triangular Bridge — 
Figure with Sceptre and Ball — Lincolnshire swan-marks. 

As you pass in the train along the line from Peterborough 
to Spalding, and have got a mile or two north of Deeping 
St. James station, you can see to the east in a cluster of trees 
a broad tower with a short, thick spire standing out as the only 
feature in a wide, flat landscape. This, for all who know it, 
has a mysterious attraction, for it is the sorrowful ruin of a 
once magnificent building, a far-famed centre of light and 
learning from whence came the brains, the piety, and the wealth 
which, issuing over the fens of south-east Lincolnshire, not 
only supplied the first lecturers to Cambridge, but planted 
those splendid churches for which the " parts of Holland " 
are famous to this day. For this is the great Abbey of Crow- 
land, or Croyland, the home of the good St. Guthlac, to whose 
memory this and many another church was dedicated, and to 
whose shrine pilgrimage was made for several centuries. It 
stands alone on a once desolate and still sparsely inhabited 
and seemingly endless fen, and past it the Welland flows down 
to the long serpentine lake beloved of skaters, which is spelt 
Cowbit, but called by all Lincolnshire folk " Cubbit Wash." 

Croyland is an older name than Crowland, and the fine church 
and monastery to which it owes its fame was set up in the 
eighth century, by King .^thelbald, in grateful memory of 
St. Guthlac. Nq^ St. Guthlac is no legendary saint ; he was 
a member of the Mercian royal house, who, tired of soldiering, 
sought a retirement from the world ; and certainly few better 
places could be found than what was then a desolate, reedy 

483 112 



waste of waters at the point where Cambridgeshire, Northamp- 
tonshire and Lincolnshire meet by the edge of Deeping Fen. 
No road led to it, and the fenmen's boats were the only means 
of passage. 

Guthlac was, we are told, the son of Penwald, a Mercian 

Cowbit Church. 

nobleman, and he was very likely born not far from Croyland. 
After nine years' military service he entered the monastery of 
Hrypadon, or Repton, and after two years' study resolved to 
take up the life of an Anchorite. So, in defiance of the evil 
spirits who were reputed to have their abode there, and who 


were probably nothing but the shrieking sea-gulls and the 
melancholy cries of the bittern and curlew, he landed on a bit 
of dry ground two miles to the north-east of Croyland, now called 
Anchor-Church-Iiill, just east of the Spalding road. Here were 
some British or Saxon burial mounds, on one of which he set 
up his hut and chapel, while his sister Pega established herself 
a few miles to the south-west, at Peakirk. He had landed on his 
island on St. Bartholomew's Day, August 24, 699, a young man 
of twenty-six, and here he was visited by Bishop Hsedda, who 
ordained him in 705. In 709 ^thelbald being outlawed by his 
cousin King Coelred, took sanctuary with St. Guthlac, who 
prophesied to him that he would one day be king, and without 
bloodshed. St. Guthlac died in 713 or 714, but ^thelbald, 
who had vowed to build a monastery for Guthlac if ever he 
could, did become king in 716, and in gratitude built the first 
stone church and endowed a monastery for Benedictines at 
Croyland. Naturally St. Guthlac was the patron saint, and to 
him was joined St. Bartholomew, on whose day he had first 
come to Croyland. 

St. Guthlac is represented in his statue as bearing the scourge 
of St. Bartholomew, on whose feast day each year little knives 
were given away emblematic of his martyrdom by flaying. 
The custom was not abolished till 1476. Pictures of the scourge 
and knives are found in the stained glass of old windows ; for 
instance, at Bag-Enderby, near Somersby. In 866 the Danes 
burnt the monastery. Eighty years later the chancellor of 
King Edred, whose name is variously given as Turketyl, or 
Thurcytel, restored the church and monastery, and became the 
first abbot in 946, about which time he founded the Croyland 
library. The first church was built on a peat bog ; oak piles 
five and a half feet long being driven through the peat on to 
grave], and above the piles recent digging has shown alternate 
layers of loose stone and quarry-dust, above which the stone 
foundation of the tower were found to go down fifteen inches 
below the surface, and to rest on a mixture of rubble and stiff 
soil which was brought in boats a distance of nine miles. 
Thurcytel's church, which was cruciform and of considerable 
size and held one large bell, has almost, if not entirely, dis- 
appeared. The monastery was finished after his death by 
his successor, Egelric, who added six other bells in 976. The 
Danes, by cruel and repeated exactions, ruined the abbey 


which Thurcytel had left so riclily endowed, in the time of 
Egelric's successor, Godric, about loio. This Egelric must not 
be confused with the Peterborough abbot of the same name, 
who became Bishop of Durham and made the great causeway 
from Deeping to Spalding in 1052, probably to give work to 
the peasantry in the year of the dreadful famine, 1051. 

On so treacherous a foundation the monks wisely built in 
wood rather than stone when possible, but they had no pre- 
servatives for wood in those days, hence, in 1061, Abbot Vlfcytel 
had to rebuild the wooden erections which were attached to the 
monastery. He was greatly helped by the famous Waltheof, 
Earl of Northampton and Huntingdon, and when, on the 
false accusation of his infamous wife Judith, sister of William I., 
Waltheof was beheaded at Winchester, the monks got leave 
from the Conqueror to have his body buried at Croyland. In 
1076 Ingulphus became abbot, and, owing to the carelessness 
of some plumbers — an old and ever-recurring story — the whole 
of the buildings were again burnt down and the library of 
700 MSS. destroyed. It is to the Chronicle of Ingulphus that 
we owe most of our knowledge of the early history of Croyland, 
and even if the Chronicle were written three centuries after 
his death, it still contains much sound and reliable information. 
Certainly after the fire his building was patched up for a genera- 
tion, and the Abbot Joffrid, a man of extraordinary learning, 
zeal, and skill, built in 1109 what may well be called the third 
abbey. Most of Thurcytel's work which had escaped the fire 
was taken down, and the foundations carried down to the 
gravel bed below the peat. Of this building, which was carried 
out by Arnold, a lay monk and a very skilful mason, the two 
western piers and arch of the central tower remain, but an 
earthquake in 1113 damaged the nave, and when in 1143 it was 
partly burnt down again, for the third time. Abbot Edward 
restored it. King Henry had sent for Joffrid (or Geoffrey) 
from Normandy. Among other remarkable deeds he sent four 
learned monks to give a course of lectures on grammar, logic, 
rhetoric and philosophy in a barn which they hired in Cam- 
bridge, or Grantbridge as it was then called. Sermons were also 
preached there in French and Latin, both by the monk Gilbert 
and by the abbot himself, of whom we are told that, though his 
numerous hearers understood neither language, the force of his 
subject and his comely person excited them to give amply 


towards his building fund. The account of the laying of the 
first stones of his new abbey is very remarkable. Five thousand 
persons were assembled and feasted on the spot, and many 
distinguished people took part, each laying one stone and 
placing on it a handsome offering of money, or titles to property, 
or patronage, or land, or possession of yearly tithes of sheep, 
gifts of corn or malt or stone, or the service for so many years 
of quarriers at the stone pits, with carriage of stone in boats. 

Croyland lost a good friend by the death of Queen Maud, 
wife of Henry I., in 1118. She had been the especial patroness 
of the abbot Joffrid, and had founded the first Austin priory 
in England in 11 08. Twenty years later King Stephen gave 
a fresh charter to the abbey, in the time of Abbot Edward, 
who commenced to re-build the abbey in 1145. The beautiful 
west front of the nave, some of which remains, was possibly 
planned by Henry de Longchamp in 1190, but was not finished 
till the time of Richard de Upton, 1417-1427. His prede- 
cessor, Thomas de Overton, had rebuilt the nave in 1405, and 
it was during his abbacy that Croyland became a mitred abbey. 

The architect and master mason under Richard de Upton 
was one William de Wernington, or William de Croyland, 
whose monument is in the tower now. The effigy wears a 
monk's cowl and long robe, and holds a builder's square and 
compasses and has this inscription : " ICI : GIST : MESTRE 

The noble west window, which has lost all its mullions and 
tracery, must have been one of the very finest in England. 

In the days of Henry II. a dispute arose between the Abbot 
of Croyland and the Prior of Spalding, the prior going so far 
as to claim Croyland as a cell to Spalding. This quarrel continued 
through the reigns of Richard I. and John, when the Abbot 
of Peterborough joined the fray with a fresh dispute about the 
rights of common and pasture, and the payment of tolls at 
Croyland bridge. In these controversies Croyland generally 
was worsted. 

John de Lytlyngton succeeded Abbot Upton and ruled for 
forty years. In his time Henry VI. and Edward IV. both visited 
Croyland, the latter being on his way to Fotheringay. A three 
months' frost, followed by two years of famine, and later a 


great flood, followed by a pestilence and a fire which destroyed 
nearly all the village, but spared the abbey, are among the 
records of his abbacy. He vaulted the roofs of the aisles, 
glazed the windows, had the bells recast, and gave the choir 
an organ ; also he built the great west tower for the bells and 

Croyland Abbey. 

the porch with its parvise. He died in 1469. The short steeple 
was added to the tower later. The last abbot was John Welles 
alias Bridges. Another campanile had been built beyond the 
east end of the choir by Abbot Ralph Marshe, 1260, which gave 
the abbey two separate peals, as once at Lincoln. After these 
many vicissitudes the greater part of the beautiful building 


was destroyed at the dissolution in 1539, the nave, of nine 
bays, being preserved for a parish church. The north aisle 
had been used for the purpose before, and is so still. Besides 
this there is left now the west front, consisting of a tower with 
short spire and a very fine Perpendicular window, and all but 
the gable and window tracery of the beautiful ornate west end 
of the nave. This had originally no less than twenty-nine 
statues under canopies, in seven tiers, covering the wall on 
either side of the doorway and window, and also above the 
window. The handsome doorway is entered by a deeply 
moulded single arch enclosing two smaller ones, and in the 
tympanum is a large quatrefoil illustrating the life of St. Guthlac. 
The tower has a western porch under a six-light window. Much 
has been done by the rector, the Rev. T. H. Le Bceuf, to pre- 
serve this magnificent ruin, and since i860, under Sir G. Scott 
and Mr. J. L. Pearson, sound restoration has been carried out. 
Besides the west front and the western tower and spire, 
one of the most remarkable parts of the abbey still existing 
is the stone screen which, contrary to usual custom, filled the 
west arch of the central tower, and is pierced by two doors, 
one on either side of the altar. Of this the side looking west 
is plain and probably had wooden panelling, but the eastern 
side is handsomely carved and panelled in stone. The north 
aisle has Lytlyngton's groined roof, five large Perpendicular 
windows, and a rood-screen. Of St. Guthlac's Shrine, which 
was destroyed in 870 and newly erected in 1136, and moved 
in 1 1 96, nothing remains. 

Of the old glass fragments have lately been found buried in 
the churchyard. 

An epitaph on the north wall, dated 1715, has the following 
apt lines : — 

Man's life is like unto a winter's day, 
Some brake their fast and so departs away ; 
' Others stay dinner then departs full fed, 
The longest age but supps and goes to bed. 

The boundaries of Croyland, which in iEthelbald's Charter 
were rivers, were staked out more definitely when disputes 
between this abbey and Peterborough arose, by stone crosses ; 
and though these are in part destroyed or broken down, six 
crosses, or parts of them, are still standing in fields or hedges, 
which are all mentioned by name, in later charters. One of 



them, "Turketyls or Thurcytels Cross," is placed at the 
junction of Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire. In this, as in 
all the others, the cross is missing. The shaft is of obelisk 
form, on a shapely base, and has been restored. Parts of other 
crosses are " Guthlac's Stone," near the Assendyke, four miles 
from Croyland ; " Finestone," or " Fynset," " Greynes," 
" Folwardstaking," and " Kenulph's Stone." One of the 
boundaries mentioned as early as the charter of Edred, a.d. 943, 

Croyland Bridge, 

is " The Triangular Bridge." The present is an extremely 
curious thirteenth- or fourteenth-century structure, doubtless 
replacing an earlier one. Like the triangular lodge near Rothwell, 
in Northamptonshire, it was probably intended to be emblematic 
of the Trinity. It has three pointed arches, with a way for a 
stream to flow under each, and three roadways over the arches, 
but the arches are too low, and the roadways too narrow for 
vehicles and too steep for any convenient traffic. Hence it 
may have been the basement of a large cross approached by 
three flights of steps, where now we have the steep inclines. 


The parapet walls are perhaps a later addition. Still it served 
as a bridge too. Roads from Stamford, Peterborough and 
Spalding meet at the bridge, and tributaries of the Welland 
and Nene, now covered in, flow under it. The height of the 
arches is nine feet, and their span sixteen and a half. It would 
not require that span now, but the streams were bigger when 
this bridge was built, for we are told that Henry VI. came to 
Croyland by water in 1460, and that Edward IV. embarked 
at the wharf just below the bridge, in 1468, for Fotheringay 
Castle, which is on the banks of the Nene, a distance of some 
two and twenty miles by water. 

There is a stone bench along the left side of the bridge parapet, 
as you approach from Peterborough, and on this you find an 
ancient stone figure seated : it is often called jEthelbald holding 
a globe in his hand or a loaf of bread ; but it is far more likely 
that it is the figure of our Lord, from the centre of the gable 
above the great west window of the nave, holding in his hands 
what Shakespeare in the lines below calls " the sceptre and the 
ball." The shallowness of the statue and its height — six feet 
when seated but even the knees only projecting ten inches — 
make it certain that it was only meant to be seen from the 
front and at a good height. Moreover, the workmanship of 
the statue corresponds with that of the other statues on the 
west front of the abbey. 

The rector states as a fact that the west gable of this west 
front was taken down in 1720, and the statue placed on the 
bridge, where it must be admitted that it looks very much out 
of place and uncomfortable. The bridge is said to be in three 
counties — Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire 
— so, though the abbey is entirely in Lincolnshire, we can in 
a few steps leave the county of which Croyland is the last place 
we have to describe. 

The " ball," or orb, is carried by the monarch at the corona- 
tion service in one hand and the sceptre in the other as symbols 
of imperial power. There is no finer passage in English htera- 
ture than the soliloquy of King Henry V. on the eve of the 
battle of Agincourt, the last part of which runs thus : — 

'Tis not the balm, the sceptre and the ball, 
The sword, the mace, the crown imperial, 
The intertissued robe of gold and pearl, 
The farced title running 'fore the king, 


The throne he sits on, nor the tide of pomp 

That beats upon the high shore of this world, 

No, not all these, thrice-gorgeous ceremony, 

Not all these, laid in bed majestical. 

Can sleep so soundly as the wretched slave. 

Who with a body fill'd and vacant mind 

Gets him to rest, cramm'd with distressful bread ; 

Never sees horrid night, the child of hell, 

But, like a lackey, from the rise to set 

Sweats in the eye of Phoebus, and all night 

Sleeps in Elysium ; next day after dawn, 

Doth rise and help Hyperion to his horse. 

And follows so the ever-running year. 

With profitable labour, to his grave : 

And, but for ceremony, such a wretch, 

Winding up days with toil and nights with sleep, 

Had the fore-hand and vantage of a king. 

The slave, a member of the country's peace, 

Enjoys it ; but in gross brain little wots 

What watch the king keeps to maintain the peace, 

Whose hours the peasant best advantages. 

Henry V., Act IV. Scene i. 

In the Museum of the Record-office is a long brown-paper 
roll with a double column of swans' heads, the bills painted red 
and showing in black the marks of the different owners in two 
counties^ of which Lincolnshire is one. These marks were in 
use in the years 1497-1504, a few being added for the 
year 1515. 

One of the plainest to read is the name of Carolus Stanefeld 
de Bolyngbroke ; among others are the marks of the parsons of 
Leek and Leverton, the vicars of Waynflete, Frekeney and 
Sybsa, the Bayly of Croft, the abbot of Revysbye and Philip 
abbas de Croyland. 



Brocklesby — Burton — Blankney and Southwold — Note by Author. 

Except the fen country and a small corner in the extreme 
north-westj the whole of Lincolnshire is hunted by fox-hounds. 
Four packs, namely, the Brocklesby (Lord Yarborough's), the 
Burton, Blankney and Southwold hunt entirely in Lincoln- 
shire ; while the Belvoir and Cottesmore hunt partly in Lincoln- 
shire. Premier position must be given to the Brocklesby. It 
is one of the very few packs maintained entirely by the master, 
and for over 150 years the Earls of Yarborough have done this 
for the benefit of the residents and farrriers in the large tract 
of country they hunt over. The country hunted extends from 
the Humber on the north to a line drawn from Louth to Market- 
Rasen on the south, and from the sea on the east to the river 
Ancholme on the west. The country is mostly wold, and 
consequently plough, but very open, the only big woods being 
those that surround Brocklesby itself. The hounds having 
been so long in one family are of the best, and there are few 
kennels in England but have a large infusion of the Brocklesby 
blood, famous for nose, tongue, and stoutness. For upwards 
of 100 years the family of Smith carried the horn and did much 
to establish the notoriety of the pack, while in more recent 
years Will Dale, a great huntsman and houndman, and Jem 
Smith, no relation of the former huntsman, have kept it up. 
Possibly sport in the country was never better than when 
W. Dale and Mr. Maunsell-Richardson each hunted one pack ; 
when one was hunting the other was always out to render 
assistance, and as both knew the country perfectly, the result 


was more good runs and more foxes caught at the end of them 
than was ever done in the country before or since. 

With the exception of Brocklesby there are not many 
residences in the country, though the Upplebys of Barrow, 
the Ahngtons of Swinhope, the Nelthorpes of Scawby in old 
days joined the chase ; and it is related of the first, grandfather 
of the present owner of Barrow, that after a good run he was 
found riding on his pillow shouting at the top of his voice. 
" Mind you keep your eye on Blossom," a noted bitch at that 
time in the pack. At the present time a great supporter is 
Mr. Haigh of Grainsby, who cannot have too many foxes, 
though he does all his hunting on foot. Mr. Pretyman's covers 
at Riby are equally well stocked ; while Bradley Wood, the 
property of Mr. Sutton-Nelthorpe, is the key of all that side 
of the country. Probably hunting will continue longer over 
cultivated country, such as the Brocklesby, than in most parts 
of England. There are few railways, the country is not adapted 
to small holdings, the farmers are all sportsmen, and occupy 
large farms, delighted to have a litter of cubs reared on their 
land and to see a couple of fox-hound puppies playing in their 
yards, while such a thing as a complaint about hounds and field 
crossing their land is unknown. 

The Burton comes next in point of antiquity, and takes its 
name from Burton, Lord Monson's place near Lincoln, where 
Lord Monson first started the hounds in 1774. Many notable 
sportsmen have held the mastership. The old Burton country 
was of very wide extent, stretching from Brigg on the north 
to Sleaford on the south, and from Stourton by Horncastle 
on the east to the Trent on the west. It is now divided into 
Burton and BlanJmey, the present southern boundary of the 
Burton being the river Witham and the Fossdyke. The most 
notable Masters of the country when undivided were Mr. Assheton- 
Smith, Sir Richard Sutton, Lord Henry Bentinck, who bred 
a pack of hounds which for work were unequalled, and their 
blood is still treasured in many kennels, and Mr. Henry 
Chaplin, to whom Lord Henry gave his hounds, and when the 
old Burton country was divided Mr. Chaplin took this pack with 
him. The Burton country as it is now was established in 187 1 ; 
Mr. F. Foljambe being the first master, a great houndman 
with a thorough knowledge of the science of hunting, he very 
soon established a pack, and with Will Dale as huntsman, 


sport of the highest order was the result. Mr. Foljambe was 
succeeded by Mr. Wemyss, Mr. Shrubb and again Mr. Wemyss 
for short periods ; then Mr. T. Wilson came, and for twenty- 
four years presided over the country. He bred an excellent 
pack of hounds, and sport, especially during the latter part of 
his reign, was very good ; the country, when he gave up, being 
better off for foxes than it had ever been ; this was in 1912. 
Sir M. Cholmeley succeeded Mr. Wilson. The Burton country 
is a fair mixture of grass and plough, with some very fine wood- 
lands on the east side of it, known as the Wragby woods. It 
is far the best scenting country in Lincolnshire, and being little 
cut up with railways or rivers, is the best hunting country 
in all the shire. There are not many residences in the country, 
but excellent support in the way of foxes is given by the land- 
owners. The Bacons of Thonock have ever assisted ; then the 
Amcotts family of Hackthom and Kettlethorpe, the Wrights of 
Brattleby, the owners of most of the Wragby woods, and of 
Toft, Newton and Nevile's gorses are perhaps most conspicuous ; 
but the whole country is well provided. 

The Blankney was first formed as a separate country in 1871, 
when Mr. Henry Chaplin took comniand, and as he brought 
the pack given to him by Lord H. Bentinck, and H. Dawkins 
as huntsman, very good sport was shown. On Mr. Chaplin 
giving up he was succeeded by Major Tempest. Then followed 
Mr. Cockbum, and for a short time Lord Londesborough joined 
him ; Mr. Lubbock followed, then an old name in Lord Charles 
Bentinck ; Mr. R. Swan came next and is still in command. 
Changes have been rather frequent, as in many countries. 

The Blankney country is now a good deal intersected by 
railways, and the vale towards the Trent has two rivers, the 
Brant and Witham, which cut it up further. The Wellingore 
vale is looked on as the best part, having a large proportion of 
grass, " the heath," in the centre, is all light plough and very 
bad scenting country, while, on the east there is a strip of country 
bordering on the fen of good hunting character, and a portion 
of the Belvoir country towards Sleaford, which is lent to the 
Blankney, is also very fair. 

The Southwold was the last part of Lincolnshire to be estab- 
lished as a separate country (later, that is, than either the 
Brocklesby or the Burton) ; it was not till 1823 that it was hunted 
regularly. It has a wide range, extending from the sea on the 

496 THE SOUTHWOLD chap. 

east to the river Witham on the west, and from Market-Rasen 
and Louth on the north to the fens on the south. It is probably 
more varied than any part of Lincolnshire. The marsh with 
its wide ditches comes on the east ; the wolds, mostly light 
plough, in the centre ; while on the west they dip into a mixed 
country of grass and plough. The fen country, all ditches 
and plough, is in the south ; hounds, however, only occasionally 
get into it, as there are hardly any covers. Very short master- 
ships have been the rule, but a committee ruled for nearly 
twenty years (1857-76), at the end of which time foxes were 
very scarce in the country. Mr. Crowder then came for four 
years, and in 1880 Mr. E. P. Rawnsley took the country, and is 
still master. With latterly the aid of Mr. J. S. V. Fox, and now 
of Sir W.Cooke, so great an alteration has taken place that whereas 
formerly four days a week sufficed to hunt the country, now it 
is always hunted six days. Sir W. Cooke taking the north side 
and Mr. Rawnsley the south. Sir W. Cooke has a pack of his 
own, while Mr. Rawnsley hunts the pack which belongs to the 
country and has been bred from all the best working strains 
of blood obtainable. Though there are some very big woods 
on the edges of the country, the centre is all open ; there are 
few railways and no rivers, the scenting conditions are fair, 
and it is probably the second best hunting country in Lincoln- 

Conspicuous supporters of the hunt are the Heneages of 
Hainton, and the large extent of covers and country owned by 
them has always been open to hounds. The Foxes of Girsby 
and Mr. Walter Rawnsley of Well Vale have been the same. 
The late Captain J. W. Fox was for many years chairman 
of the committee when it ruled the affairs of the hunt, and his 
son was for seven years joint master with Mr. Rawnsley, during 
which time the sport was of higher average merit than it had 
ever attained. Many more residents now come out than was 
formerly the case, and everywhere the stock of foxes is far 
better than thirty years ago.. 

Somersby, the birthplace of Tennyson, is situated in the 
centre of the hunt, but we never heard of the Poet Laureate 
joining the chase in his young days. Then Spilsby, the birth- 
place of Sir John Franklin, and Tattershall Castle, noted as one 
of the finest brick buildings in England, are both of them in 
the Southwold country. 


By Author 

It appears that Mr. Charles Pelham, who was the last of the 
Brocklesby Pelhams, was the first M.F.H. of The Brocklesby, 
at first as joint and then as sole master, till his death in 1763. 
Also that Lord Yarborough hunted what is now the Southwold 
country for a month at a time in spring and autumn, having 
kennels at Ketsby until 1795, by which time his gorse covers 
round Brocklesby had grown up and he was able to dispense 
with the country south of Louth. Then till 1820 a pack of 
trencher-fed harriers hunted fox and hare indiscriminately. 
These from 1820 to 1822 were called " The Gillingham," and 
were hunted by Mr. Brackenbury from Scremby, after which 
the kennels were transferred to Hundleby and the name changed 
to " The Southwold." They now kept to fox entirely, and the 
Hon. George Pelham, then living at Legbourne, was the first 

The following is a complete list of the masters of the South- 
wold up to the present date, 1914 : — 

Hon. G. Pelham 1823-6 

Lord Kintore 1826 

Mr. Joseph Brackenbury 1827-9 

Sir Richard Sutton, combining it with the 

Burton 1829-30 

Captain Freeman, who brought hounds from 

" The Vine " 1830-32 

Mr. Parker 1832-35 

Mr. Heanley, who brought his own hounds 1835-41 

Mr. Musters, who brought his own hounds 1841-43 

Mr. Hellier 1843-52 

Mr. Henley Greaves 1852-53 

Mr. Cooke • • -1853-57 

A Committee, presided over part of the time 

by Captain Dallas York 1857-76 

Mr. F. Crowder 1876-80 

Mr. E. Preston Rawnsley 1880 

K K 


From this it will be seen that until the days of the committee 
no one hunted the pack for even five years, with the exception 
of Mr. Heanley and Mr. Hellier, until the present master, 
Mr. E. P. Rawnsley. 

With the reign of the committee central kennels were estab- 
lished for the hunt at Belchford in 1857. Previously each master 
fixed his kennels as it suited him, either at Louth, Horncastle, 
Hundleby or Harrington. 

Now, April 1914, Sir William Cooke having given up. Lord 
Charles Bentinck has succeeded him. He brings his own pack 
with him, and the country no longer is divided into north and 
south, but hunted as a whole again. 


The altar tombstone from which John preached is near the 
chancel door. Epworth people will tell you that the mark of his 
heels is still visible on the stone. Really they are segments of two 
ironstone nodules in the sandstone slab. The inscription is a 
remarkable one : 

" Here lieth all that was mortal of Samuel Wesley, A.M., who 
was Rector of Epworth for 39 years and departed this life 15th of 
April, 1735, aged 72. 

As he lived so he died, in the true Catholic faith of the Holy 
Trinity in Unity, and that Jesus Christ is God incarnate and the 
only Saviour of mankind.^ — Acts 4, 12. 

Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord : yea, saith the 
Spirit, that they may rest from their labours ; and their works do 
follow them. — Rev. 14, 13." 

K K 2 


Dr. Wm. Stukeley, 1687- 1765, was a famous Lincolnshire 
antiquarian. He practised medicine, first at Boston and then at 
Grantham from 1710 to 1726. He was made an F.R.S. in 1717, and 
in that or the following year he helped to establish the Society of 
Antiquaries in London, and was for the first nine years secretary 
to that Society. In 1719 he became an M.D. of Cambridge and 
was made a member of the " Spalding Gentlemen's Society " in 
1722. In 1727 he took Holy Orders and from 1730 to 1748 oflficiated 
as Vicar of All Saints at Stamford, where he founded the short- 
lived " Brazenose Society." He was a great friend of Sir Isaac 
Newton and kept up his interest in scientific matters to the end, 
inasmuch as he put off his service on one occasion in order that his 
congregation might watch an eclipse of the sun. Whilst still Vicar 
of Stamford he was made Rector of Somerby near Grantham, 
I739-I747) but he retired from both livings in 1748, and spent the 
rest of his life in London, where at the age of 75 he preached his 
first sermon in spectacles, taking as his text " Now we see through 
a glass darkly." He wrote five volumes of Notes of the proceedings 
of the " Royal Society," which are now in the library of the 
" Spalding Gentlemen's Society," and he dedicated his " Itinerarium 
cunosum" to Maurice Johnson, the founder of that society. He 
took, for many years, antiquarian tours all over England ; writing 
at some length on Stonehenge and the Roman Wall, and often 
illustrating his articles, for he was a skilful draughtsman. He died 
in London in his seventy-ninth year. 




I HAD not long ago a couple of poems put into my hands by one 
who, knowing the author, told me something of his life and circum- 
stances. Being much struck by the poems I set to work to 
make inquiries in the hope of getting something further. But he 
seems to have written very little. His nephew copied out and 
sent The Auld Blasted Tree and added " I made inquiry of my 
aunt if she had any more ; she says those you have seen along with 
this one I now enclose were all he wrote, at least the best of them." 
The relatives allowed me to see the account of his funeral with an 
appreciation of the man as it appeared in the local newspaper. It 
ran as follows, and was published in The Peebleshire Advertiser, 
July 7, 1906. 


Our obituary of Saturday last contained the name of one whose 
memory will be for long in this district. We refer to the late 
Alexander Forrester Farquharson. His "mid name" takes us 
back to the first baptismal scene of by-gone long occupants of 
Linton Manse, viz., the Rev. Alexander Forrester, whose father, 
too, was minister before. Born in Carlops sixty-nine years ago, 
there are but few now amongst us who were children then. When 
six years old, his father, of the same vocation as himself, removed 
to the picturesque hamlet at the foot of the " Howe," and here his 
lifetime was spent. Married to one of a family of long pastoral 
connection with our district, who still survives to cherish the happy 
memories of their long sojourn together, in this, their quiet and 
peaceful home, they reared their family. By his departure, there 
has gone from amongst us one of the finest types of Scotchmen 
that our country districts develop, both, it may be said, in linea- 
ments of feature and character. But, added to the possession 
generally of the best features of our race, there was in him truly a 


502 ALLAN RAMSAY app. 

special element, which seemed to be gathered from the classic 
scenes in which he was reared. It is not too much to say that his 
manner and language (quaint to a degree) were a living, embodied 
personification of the genius of the place, as pictured in the pages 
of the immortal Pastoral of Ramsay. Gifted with musical powers 
and some inspiration from the Muses — which, however, not often 
saw the light — these were fostered in his wanderings amid the 
lovely scenes, o'er moor and fell, whither his daily vocations led. 
And with such characteristics, added to his stores of local lore and 
story, and knowledge of bird, beast, and fossil, it may be gathered 
how entertaining were the " cracks " in the homesteads he visited, 
and how much these would be looked forward to and welcomed. 
And not less so were those in the cosy home in the " Bield," ^ to 
which many a one of kindred spirit specially pilgrimaged. Evi- 
dence of this was ample from the large gathering from all parts to 
his resting-place with his " forbears " in Linton's auld kirkyaird." 

Thus far the newspaper of 1906 ; and a correspondent who knew 
the family writes under date March 18, 1912, "Alexander Forrester 
Farquharson (the subject of the foregoing notige) was born on 
Sept. 26, 1836, and was named Forrester after the minister of West 
Linton Parish. He was the son of Andrew Farquharson, mole 
catcher and small Farmer, and Isabella Cairns, both natives of the 
Carlops district who lived there at a house called Lonely Bield. 
Alexander lived in the same house, and followed his father's occupa- 
tion. His son died lately and the mother has now left the House." 
From this somewhat meagre account we may gather that the whole 
of his life was spent in Nature's lonely places 

"up on the mountains, in among the hills" 

and in this respect he resembles Allan Ramsay who drank in 
the poetry of Nature when a boy at Leadhills high up on the 
Crawford moor in Lanarkshire, where hills, glens, and burns, 
with birds and flowers and ever-changing skies were his to 
watch and study and take delight in, at the impressionable 
season of boyhood ; whereby Nature herself laid the founda- 
tions of his poetic fancies. And this opportunity to walk with 
Nature came also to Farquharson, in even a greater measure than 
it did to Ramsay ; for he, like Burns, lived and laboured in the 
country after he had grown to manhood. But Farquharson had 
not so good an education as the other two, nor did it fall to him, as 
it did to them,to-have at the outset of his career books put into 
his hands which directed his attention more especially to poetry. 
Thus, what the selection of English Songs, which he called his 
Vade mecum, did for Burns, Watson's collection of Scottish poems 
did for Ramsay, and among these, notably, one by Robt. Semphill 

' Or " Shelter," which, from its name, " Lonely Bield," was probably far 
from any other human habitation. 


called "The life and death of the Piper of Kilbarchan" and another 
by Hamilton of Gilbertfield, "The last dying words of Bonnie 
Heck." Later, Hamilton, who by this poem first inspired Ramsay 
with the desire to write in verse, heartily recognised his merit and 
■himself wrote of him 

" O fam'd and celebrated Allan ! 
Renowned Ramsay ! canty callan ! 
There's nouther Hieland man nor Lawlan 

In poetrie, 
But may as soon ding doun Tantallan 
As match wi' thee." 

This source of inspiration from books of poetry never, as far as we 
know, fell to the lot of Farquharson, whose education was 
altogether on a lower plane. He was born and died just a 
Scottish peasant ; but his communing with Nature gave him the 
power of observation, whilst the love of reading, which has for 
generations been the heritage of the Scots even in the humblest 
walks of life, taught him how to express the thoughts which came 
to him, and he had undoubtedly a gift for verse. His poems on 
his old " Hardie " fiddle, and on the Sundew are so good that they 
might have been written by Burns. But, like Burns and Ramsay 
too, he is best when he sticks to the vernacular. When he begins 
to write English he is less convincing. It is well to remember that 
Ramsay could owe nothing to Burns, as he died in 1758, the year 
before Burns was born ; but Farquharson, whose widow is still 
alive, died only the other day, and was acquainted with the works 
certainly of one and probably of both of them. This does not, 
however, make him less deserving of notice ; for little as he wrote, 
the two poems just mentioned show, I cannot help thinking, a high 
degree of poetic merit, being not merely surprising as the work of 
a peasant, but — extremely good per se, and serve to show how the 
true poetic gift may lurk unsuspected in a country village. In his 
poems Fair Hobbies Howe (or hollow) and MonKs Burn he refers to 
the fact that the descriptions of Nature in Allan Ramsay's pastoral 
The Gentle Shepherd are taken from the Carlops district, about 
twelve miles from Edinburgh, in which he himself lived. The second 
scene of the first act of The Gentle Shepherd begins thus : 

Jenny. Come, Meg, let's fa' to wark upon this green, 
This shining day will bleach our linen clean ; 
The waters clear, the lift's unclouded blue 
Will make them like a lily wet wi' dew. . 

Peggy. Gae farer up the burn to Habbie's Howe, 

Where a' the sweets o' spring an' simmer grow : 
Between two birks, out o'er a little lin,^ 
The water fa's an' maks a singan din : 



A pool breast-deep, beneath as clear as glass, 
Kisses wi' easy whirls the bord'ring grass. 
We'll end our washing while the morning's cool ; 
An' when the day grows het, we'll to the pool, 
There wash oursells — 'tis healthfu' now as May, 
An sweetly cauler on sae warm a day. 

The Gentle Shepherd, the poem on which Allan Ramsay's reputa- 
tion is mainly founded, is a pastoral of great beauty and charm. 
The original MS. was presented by the author to the Countess of 
Eglinton. It is a folio Vol. of 105 pages, clearly written by his 
own hand, and has a few comic pen-and-ink sketches added at the 
beginning or end of the acts, and at the close is this note : 

" Finished the 29* of April, 1725, just as eleven o'clock strikes, 
by Allan Ramsay. 
All glory be to God. Amen." 

We will now turn to the seven bits of verse we have been able to 
collect by the Shepherd of Lonely Bield. 

(May be sung to the tune " Craigielea," with first verse as the Chorus). 

O Habbie's Howe ! Fair Habbie's Howe, 

Where wimplin' burnies ^ sweetly row ; 
Where aft I've tasted nature's joys, 

O Habhie's Howe ! Fair Habbie's Howe. 

Roond thee my youthfu' days I spent, 

Amang thy cliffs aft ha'e I speil'd. 
Thou theme 0' Ramsay's pastoral lay ; 

O hoary, moss-clad Craigy Bield. 

The auld oak bower, wi' ivy twined, 

Adorns thy weather-furrowed brow, 
A trysting-place where lovers met 

When tenting flocks in Habbie's Howe. 

When April's suns glint through the trees. 

The mavis lilts his mellow lay ; 
And, deep amid thy sombre shades 

The owlet screams at close of day. 

Amang thy cosy, mossy chinks, 

The fern now shows its gentle form 
And through thy caves the ousel darts. 

To build his nest in early morn. 

' "A trotting burnie wimpling thro' the ground," Allan Ramsay's 
Gentle Shepherd, Act I., Sc. 2. 


The scented birk, and glossy beech, 

Hang o'er thee for thy simmer veil ; 
And gowany haughs ' aroond thee bloom, 

Where shepherds tauld love's tender tale. 

Sweet Esk, glide o'er thy rocky path, 

And echo through thy classic glen ; 
Where can we match, in flowery May, 

Fair Habbie's Howe, and Hawthornden? 

, „. , , „ Alex. Farquharson. 

Lanely Bield. Carlops, 1885. 


Doon in Monk's bonnie verdant glen 
A sparklin' birnie murmurs through 
Dark waving pines, 'mang hazel shaws 
Decked with the hawk-weed's golden hue. 

It ripples aft 'neath ferny banks 
With fragrant birks and briers spread 
Till o'er the linn its echo sings, 
Deep cradled in a rocky bed. 

Here Auld Dame Nature gaily haps 
Frae ilka side her crystal streams ; 
And soaring high o'er leafy bowers. 
On hovering wing, the falcon screams. 

Aboon Glaud's yaird the burnie meets 
Esk dancing to the morning sun. 
An' glintin' bonnie through Monk's Haugh,^ 
Where Pale and Peggie * aft hae run ; 

Noo joined wi' silv'ry limpid Esk, 
Gangs merrily singing tae the sea. 
Ilk bird and flower the chorus join 
Till wilds and braes resound wi' glee. 

Sing on, ye warblers 'mang the trees, 
Bloom fair, ye blue-bells on the plains. 
And deck the banks of infant rills 
That wander through my native glens. 

Alex. Farquharson. 
Lanely Bield, i6th January 1S86. 

^ Daisied slopes. ^ Vale. 

2 Characters in The Gentle Shepherd. 



The blasted ash tree that langsyne grew its lane, 

Whilk Ramsay has pictured in his pawky strain, 

Wi' Bauldy ^ aboon't on the tap o' the knowe, 

Olowrin' doon at auld Mause^ in aneath, spinnin' tow, 

Is noo whommilt doon ower the Back Buckie Brae, 

Baith helpless, an' lifeless, an' sair crummilt away, 

'Mang the bonnie blue speedwell that coortit its beild, 

Tho' its scant tap e'en growin' but little could yield. 

For years — nigh twa hunner — it markit the spot 

Whaur Mause the witch dwalt in her lanely wee cot ; 

But dour Eichty-sax sent a drivin' snaw blast. 

An' the storied link brak 'tween the present an' past. 

Tho' in summer 'twas bare, an' had lang tint its charms, 

Scarce a leaf e'er was seen on't to hap its grey arms. 

Yet it clang to the brae,^ rockit sair, sair, I ween, 

Wi' the loud howlin' winds that blaw doon the Linn Dean. 

An' mony a squall warsled at the deid 'oor o' nicht. 

When Mause took in her noddle to raise ane for a flicht. 

On her auld besom shank, lowin' at the ae en', ^ 

That she played sic pranks on when she dwalt i' the glen ; 

Some alloo she could loup on't clean ower Carlops toon, 

Gawn as heich i' the air as Dale wi' his balloon, 

Wi' nocht on but her sark an' a white squiny much — 

A dress greatly in vogue in thae days wi' a wutch. 

But thae fashions, like wutches, hae gane oot o' date 

E'en the black bandit squiny has shared the same fate. 

The lint-wheels they span on are just keepit for fun. 

Or tae let lasses see the wey hand-cloots were spun. 

Feint a trace o' the carlin' there's noo left ava — 

Her wee hoosie's doon, an' the auld tree an' a'. 

That waggit ayont it for mony a year 

Ere anither bit tiramer took thocht to grow here. 

A. Farquharson 
Lanely Bield( 1 887?). 


Gin August wiles oot wi' her smile 
Auld Reekie's sons when freed frae toil, 
There ane' comes here tae bide awhile, 

A clever chield ; 
Ilk place he's paintit in grand style, 

E'en oor wee bield. 

^ Characters in The Gentle Shepherd. ^ Brow. 

'' Flaming at one end. 

Lanely Bield. 


He's craigs an' castles, cots an' ha's, 
Lint mills, auld brigs, an' water fa's, 
Auld stumps o' trees an' cowpit wa's ■■ 

A treat to see't. 
O'er vera hills he's gi'en a ca', 
Frae RuUion Green yont ta' Mentma' ; 
An' brawer pictures I ne'er saw, 

They're fair perfection : 
They'd even mense ^ a baron's ha' 

That rare collection. 
Thanks tae ye, noo, for paintin' bonnie 
The " Lanely Bield," whaur dwells a cronie. 
Wha likes a nicht wi' ane sae funny 

An' fu' o' glee : 
I trow Auld Reekie has nae mony 

Tae match wi' thee. 
It mak's me dowie the news I hear 
That ye're no comin' cot this year ; 
They tell me that ye're gaun tae steer 

For Lunnon toon : 
Losh, man, I'll miss ye sair I fear 

No' comin' doon. 
But gif I'm spared wi' health ava, 
A holiday, or may be twa, 
I'll tak' an' come tae see ye a'. 

An' bide a' nicht ; 
An' faith we'll sing tae the cock's craw 

At "grey daylicht." 

Alex. Farquharson. 


(One of the insect-eating plants). 

Wha e'er wad think sae fair a flow'r 
Wad be sae pawky ' as to lure 
A midge intae its genty bow'r 

O' bristles bricht, 
An' syne at leisure clean devour 

It oot o' sicht ? 
Your crimson colour's sae enticin' 
In simmer gin the sun be risin' 
I daursay they'll need nae advisin' 

Tae step in ow'r 
Tae view an' find the plan surprisin' 

O sic a bowf'r. 

Ruinous walls. '' Grace. '' Cunning. 


For oot again they canna vvun ; 

Tho' wee an' gleg/ they're fairly done, 

I ,wad they'll get an awfu' stun 

Gin its deteckit 
They've death tae face an' no' the fun 

That they expeckit. 
It serves them richt, the wicked crew, 
De'il gin the lave were in your mou' ! 
For oh ! they're ill tae thole the noo 

When bitin' keen, 
Dingin' their beaks intae ane's broo 

Up tae the een ! 
Ilk foggy ^ sheugh aroond ye scan. 
An' nip as mony as ye can, 
'Twill help a wee tae gar ye stan' 

The winter weather, 
For fient a midge ye'll pree^ gin than 

Amang the heather. 
I kenna hoc ye'll fend ava 
Gin a' the muirs are clad wi' snaw. 
I doot ye'll hae tae snooze awa' 

Sax months at least. 
An' aiblins then your chance is sma' 

Tae get a feast. 
But gin I happen ere tae stray 
Neist August roond by Jenny's Brae, 
I hope tae see ye fresh an' gay, 

Wee muirlan' plantie ! 
Wi' routh * o' midges then tae slay 

Tae keep ye cantie. 

Lanely Bield. 

A. F. 


Ae blink at you an' ane could tell 
That ye're nae foreign factory shell, 
But a Scotch mak', an', like mysel'. 

Made gey and sturdy ; 
An' as for tone, there'll few excel 

Ma guid auld Hardie. 
Ye've been ma hobbie late and sune, 
Noo sax an' twenty years come June, 
An' noo and than I tak' a tune ; 

Yet gin I weary. 
Altho' it's but a kin' o' croon, 

It keeps ane cheery. 

1 Quick. 2 Hollow. 3 Taste. ■* Plenty. 

Hi To His FlDbLE 

Gin ower ye're thairms ' I jink the bow, 
Bright notions bizz intae ma pow, 
For worl'y cares ye them can cow, 

An' a' gangs richt. 
When ower I stump ^ 'Nathaniel Gow,' 

Or ' Grey daylicht.' 
Wi' reek an' rozet noo ye're black 
An scarted sair aboot the back, 
But what tho' tawdry ye're ne'er slack 

Tae lilt a spring " 
Wi' ony far fecht fancy crack 

They e'er will bring. 
In silk-lined cases ower the seas 
Scrawled oot an' in wi' foreign lees 
Aboot their S's, scrolls, an' C's,'' 

An' eke a name 
Wad tak' a child that's ta'en degrees 

Tae read that same. 
An'" noclit but bum-clocks^ at the best 
Wi' shinin' coats o' amber drest ; 
Och ! what o' that ? their tones but test ! 

Sic dandie dummies ! 
Lyin' in braw boxes at their rest, 

Row'd up like mummies. 
For a' the sprees ye hae been at, 
Haech ! nae sic guide-ship e'er ye gat, 
But took your chance tho' it was wat, 

Ay, e'en wat snaw 
I've seen or noo a denty brat •■ 

Oot ower ye a'. 
I never kent ye tak' the gee,' 
But aye sang sweet at ilka spree, 
Tho' I played wild at times a wee 

Gin I gat fou. 
The fau't lay wi' the wee drap bree,* 

An' no' wi' you. 
Sae noo I trust gin I'm nae mair, 
Some fiddlin' frien' will tak' guid care. 
And see that ye're nae dauded ' sair, 

When frail an' auld ; 
For Hardies noo are unco rare 

Sae that I'm tauld. 
Lanely Bield. A. F. 

' Catgut, fiddlestrings. ^ Play. 

^ A tune. ^ .Stradivariuses and Cremonas 

" Chafers. " Thick covering (of snow). 

' Offence. ' Brew = whisky. 
Knocked about. 


510 SONNET APP. Ill 


Gone ! noble spirit, from our mortal view, 

The still form shaded by the sombre yew 

In Mary's Bower, a spot remote from din, 

Save when in flood the shrill gush of the linn 

From wailing waves is wafted o'er her tomb, 

Retiring soft round her parental home, 

Where trained with pious care to womanhood, 

Henceforth her motto. Ever doing good ; 

Gentle with youth, and comforting the old, 

In faith and hope to gain the promised Fold. 

Alas ! the link has snapped in Friendship's chain. 

Kind Ora's call we'll sigh for now in vain, 

Amid her native flora laid to rest, 

The modest speedwell a remembrance on her breast. 

A. Farquharson. 
Lanely Bield. 


Compiled mainly by Miss Rotha Clay, author of Medieval Hospitals of England 
and Hermits and Anchorites of England. 


Addlethorpe, 307-12 

Aedwin, King, 93, 114, 354 

Agricultural returns, 477 

Alexander, Bp., 76, 95, 371 

Alford. 305 

Algarkirk, 32, 459-61 

Alkborough, 196-7 

Allington, E. and W,, 70 

Almsbox, 69 

Almshouses, 13-14, 16, 186, 206, 267, 414. 

See also Hospitals 
Altar stone, 41, 142, 200, 257 
Alton church fight, 287 
Alvingham, 280, 371 
Anatomy of Melancholy, 274 
Ancaster, 88-9 
Ancholme, R., 183 
Anderson, Sir Charles, 205-6, 207 
Angel Hotel, Grantham, 56 
Anglo-Saxon ornaments, 254-5 
Anglo-Saxon remains, 168-9. ^^^ ^^^^ 

Anwick, 371 

Aragon, Katherine of, 31 
Architecture, Different Styles, 6. Saxon 

and Early Romanesque, 19, 29, 43, 

46, 71-2, 85, 90, 126, 139, 148, 164, 

188-9, ip6) 230,251-5, 252-4. Norman 

Domestic, 51, 122, 124, 255 
Armada picture of Bratoft Church, 321 
Arras and Cambray, St. Vedast, Bp. of, 

Ashby near Spilsby, 335 
Ashby-cum-Fenby, 267 
Ashby Puerorum, 342, 379 
Askew (Ayscoughe), family of, 223-4 
Axholme, Isle of, 4, 5) 198, 208-12 
Ayscoughe Fee Hall, Spalding, 445 


Baden-Powell, Sir R. S., 278, note 

Bain, R.,_274, 364-5, 371, 385 

Bacon, Sir Hickman, of Thonock, 204, 405 

Baptists in Lincolnshire, 325 

Bardney, 390-3 

Barholm, 19 

Earkston, 65-6 

Barkwith, East and West, 268 

Barlings Abbey, 143, 395 

Barnadiston, family of, 225 

Barnetby-le-Wold, 234, 259 

Bamoldby-le-Beck, 283 

Barrow-on-Humber, 216-7 

Barrowby, 70 

Barton -on- Humber, 7, 188-93 

Earsham, Norfolk, 384 

Bassingham Saxon font, 148 

Bassingthorpe, 40 

Baston, 29 

Eaumber, 144 

Eayons Manor, 273 

Beacon, 48, 167, 423 

Beaufort, Lady Margaret, 12, 49 

Bee, Sir Walter's grave, Halton, 330 

Thomas and Antony, Bishops, 97, 160 
Belchford, S.W.H. Kennels, 275, 283 
Belleau, 247-48, 249 
Bells, 19-20, 60,99, 126, 197, 311, 313, 318, 

434. 438, 459 
Belton, 64-s, 210 
Belvoir Castle, 69-70 
Benington, 416-7 
Benniworth, 268 
Bertie, family of, 19, 30-1, 335 
Bicker, 457, 459 
Bigby, 183, 235 
Bigby font and TyrwhiL Monuments, 




J^illingborough, 35 

Bilsby, 305 

Bitchfieid, 40 

Binbrook, 274 

Black Death, 480-2 

Blankney, 149 

Bloody Oaks, battle of, 11, 18 

Blow wells, 232, 267 

Boat, ancient, 184-5 

Bolingbroke, Old, 339, 359 

BoUes, family of, 284-8 

Bond family monuments at Croft, 318 

Books, chamed, 60 

Boothby Graffoe, 162 

Boothby Pagnell, 51 

Bore, the, 201-2 

Boston, 420-40 

"stumpj" 60, ic8, 420-3 

guilds, 430 

religious houses, 430 

silting of the river, 432-3 
Hottesford, 200 
Botolph, St., 426 
Boiicherett, family, 273 
Bourne Town and Abbey, 23, 27 ; manor, 

21-4, 32 
Braceborough Spa, 22 
]-iracebridge, 164 
Braceby, 42 

Bramfield, Subdean, Murder of, 104 
Brandon, Chas., Duke of Suffolk, 399 
Brant, Broughton, 90, 148, 151-4 
Brasenose Coll., Stamford, 14 
Brasses, 171-2, 225, 235, 294-5, 31?) 

334, 387 
Brasses, earliest in County, 146, 317 
Brasses twice used, 200, 322 
Bratoft, 321 

Bridges, ancient, 129, 270, 490 
Brigg, old boat at, 184-5 
Brigsley, 274 
Brocklesby, 236-8 
Bromhead and Chard, 131 
Brothertoft, 404 

Broughton near Brigg, 71, 183-4 
Browne family, Monuments at Croft, 317 
Browne, Williaui, 12, 13 
Brownlow family, 64-5 
Buckden, 109, 117, 384 
Buckland, 283 
Bulb trade, Spalding, 441-4 
Bull-running, 11 
Bullyhill, 276 
Burgh-le-Marsh, 320 
Burgh-on-Bain, 268 
Burghley House, 12 
Burleigh, Lord of, 16-17 
Burton Goggles, 40 
Burton Pedwardine, 85 
Burton Stather, 4, 198 
Buslingthorpe, early brass, 146 
Butterwick, 418 
Eytham, Castle, 44-5 

maypole ladder, 44 
Bytham, Little, 40, 44, 46 

Bytham fanners' motto, 46 
Byways, 245-7 

Gabourn Hill, 231 

Gaenby, 269-270 

Gaistor, 7, 228-30, 236 

Callis, (Almshouse), 13 

Candlesby, 283, 382 

Ganwick, 149 

Gareby and Carlby, 40 

Carlton Scroop, 67 

Carlton Gt. and Little, 278 

Carr, use of word, 183-4 

Garr Dyke, 23, 28-g, 34, 40, 44, 87, 165, 

^ ^83, 371, 401, 456 

Carre Family, 77 

Gasewick Hall, 19 

Casterton, Great, 7 

Cathedrals Compared, 98-9 

Cawdron Monuments, 85 

Cav/kwell, 276 

Cawthorpe, 245-7 

Caytiiorpe, 67-8 

Ceremony of Championship, 376-8 

Chalice, Priest's, 83 

Champion of England, Grand, 334, 372-8 

Chantries, 63 

Chaplin, Jane, aged 102, 277 

Chartelary, Alvingham, 281 

Charterhouse, Founder of, 206 

Chaucer, 199, 339, 359, 444 

Cherry Wilhngham, 143 

Church Clock at Rowston, 150 

Churchwardens' Books, 83-4, 137, 240, 

257, 260, 309-10, 318-19, 325-7 
Claxby, near Alford, 248 
Claxby, near Rasen, 232 
Claypole, 71, 74-75 
Glee, 264-6 
Cleethorpes, 227, 265 
" Cliff," 159, 183, 198, 232-3 
Clixby, 234 

Cockerin|;ton, ([North, South), 279-81 
. Coifi, Chief Priest, 113 
Coleby, 141, 162-3 

Colsterworth, Newton Chapel, 46-47, 66 
Compton Church, Surrey, 397 
Coningsby, 370-1 
Conington, Prof., 423 
Corby, 31, 40 
Corringham, 200-1 
Cotes-by-Stow, 141-2 
Cotes, Great, and Barnadiston Brasses, 

Cotes, Little, 267 
Cotes, North, 295 
Country Seats near Grantham, 64 
Covenham, St. M. and St. B., 281 
Cowbit, 406, 483-4 
Cowpaddle, The, 149 
Crabbe, Rector of Allington, 70 
Cranwell, 90 



Cressy Hall, 71, 454-5 
Creton, Stone coffins at, 40 
Cripple, Memorial Brass to, 310 
Croft, 316-19 

Cromwell, Oliver, 20T, 364, 439 
his letters, 54-55. 364. 439 
Cromwell, Ralph, 380-382, 384 385 
Crosses, Stone, 33, 57, 71, 74, 79, 80, 134, 
139, 150, 196, 342 

Queen Eleanor, 9, 62, 134, ^74 

Boundary, 489-90 
Crowie, 212, 261 
Croxby Pond, 267, 274 
Croyland Abbey, s, 342, 483-9 

Bridge, 490-1 
Curfew, 14^ 

Cust, Family of, 64-5, 450-2 
Cuthbert Bede, 40 
Cuthbert, Sl, 213-14 
Cuxwold, 231 

Dalby, 360 
Danegelt, 7 
Danish occupation, 8-9, 20, 32, 140, 201, 

204, 263-5, 276, 402-3, 485 
Dashwoods and Batemans at Well, 249 
Deeping Fen, 21-2 
St. James, 20, 29 
Denton, 69 
Devil's door, the, 331 
Devil looking over Lincoln, loi 
Dictionary, Elliott's, 327 
Digby, 150 

Disney, family of, 171-3 
Doddington Hall, 173-6 
Dog-whippiog in church, 83, 319 
Dominus, use of word, 394-5 
Donington, 455-6 

on Bain, 276 
Dorchester (Oxon), bishopric of, 93, 140 
Drainage and embankments in fen and 

marsh, 28, 209, 314, 432-5, 44O, 456. 

See also Roman Works 
Drainage opposed by Fenmen, 433 
Drayton, AI.. quoted, 426 
Driby, 378-83 

"Droves," all E. and W., 44 
Duck-decoys, 200, 411-13 
Dunham Bridge, 137-8 
Dunsby and Dowsby, 34 
Dunston pillar, 148, 167 
Durham priory, 8 
Durobrivae Roman station, 7 
Dymoke, family of, 80, 334, 372-7 

Eagle, 173 

" Eagre " or bore in R. Trent, 201-2 
Early church towers, group of, 198-9, 230, 

252, 262 
Easter Sepulchre, 21, 41, 75, 82, 106, 162 
Easton, 48, 50 
Eden, R., 40, 41, 43 

Edenham, 29-30 

Eleanor, Queen, 9, 103, 116, 174 

Elkington, South, 274, 284 
North, 284 

Elloe stone, 466 

Elsham, 3, 185-6 

Kmpingham, battle at, 11, 18 

Enderby, Bag, 258, 340, 379 

Enderby, Mavis, 362, 434 

Enderby Wood, 369 

Epworth, 210 

Eresby, 335 

Ermine Street, High Dyke, 3-4, 7, i8, 50, 
88, 90, 92, 122, 129, 149, 151, 154, 157, 
^59) 178, 182-4, ^9^1 230, 269 

Ewerby, 60, 78-9, 85, 259 

Farquharson; A. F., 501-10 

Fens, 2, 5, 23, 34-35, 400-8, 464-5 

Ferriby, South and North, 186-7, ^9^ 

Ferries over the Trent, 138 

Ferry at Hull, 217-8 

Fillingham, 199 

Firsby, 325 

Fishtoft, 419-20 

Fiskerton, 143, 168-9 

Fleet, 470 

Flinders, Matthew, 456-7, note 

Flodden Field, 240 

Floods, in the fen, 433-5 

Floss, mill on, 201 

Flowers in June, 262-3, 4^4 

Rare, 370-1, 419 
Folkingham, 32 

Folk-song, Lincolnshire, 296-303 
Font covers, 257-8, 419, 475 
Fonts, 64-5, 69, 108, 215, 234-5, 257-61, 
291, 305, 306, 340-1, 368, 417, 463, 
Football, a family team, 207 
Fosdyke, Rennie's Bridge at, 475 
Foss Dyke, 134, 137 
Foss Way, 92, 148, 173 
Fotherby Top, 284 
Fox, John, born at Boston, 438 
Fox-hounds, 493-8 
Frampton, 476 
Franklin, family of, 336, 457 
Friaries, 124, 430 
Frieston, 257, 418-9 
Friskney, 380, 409-11 

duck decoy, 411-12 
Frodingham, 198 
Fulbeck, 68 
Fulney, 448 
Fulston, 281, 295 

Gainsborough, 138, 201-4 
Gautby, 144 

L L 



Gaynisburgh, Richard de, 204 

Gayton-le- Marsh, 278 

Gay ton -le- Wold, 268 

Gedney, 470-2 

Gelston Cross, 74 

Gentleman's Soc. of Spalding, 445-6 

Giantess, Lincolnshire, 34 

Gibbets, 270-1 

Gibraltar Point, 298, 315 

Gilbert de Gaunt, 32 

Gilbert of Sempringham, St., 35-8, 371 

Girsby, 268 

Glass, ancient, 12, 33, 43 

Glen, R., 19, 29, 39-41, 43-4, 51 

Glentham, 269-70 

Glentworth, 109-200 

Gobeaud family, 34 

Godiva, Lady, 444 

Gonerby Hill, 71 

Goosetoft, 404-5 

Gosberton, 452-4 

Gowts, 126, 432 

Goxhill, 218-19 

Grainsby, 263 

Grainthorpe, 294-5 

Grandiloquent writing, 109 

Grantham, 5, 52-63, 73 

Grantham, Thomas, of Halton Baptist, 

Grasby, 233-4 
Great Humby, 34 
Grebby, 282 

Green lady, the, 286, 289 
Greatham, 342 
Gretford, 19-20 
Grey friars at Grantham and Lincoln, 

62, 128 
Grimblethorpe, 268 
Grimoldby, 216, 242, 279, 281 
(5rimsby, 225-7 

Corpoiation seals, 227 
Grimsthorpe, 30-1 
Grinling Gibbons, 65 
Gnilds and charters, 430, 432 
Gunby, Dan. 296 
Gulls breeding at Manton, ig8 
Gunby St. Peter, 283, 322 
Guthlac, St., 483-5 
Gynewell, Bishop, 481 


Habrough, 222 
Hacconby, 31 
Haceby, 42 
Hagnaby, 306, 366 
Hagworthingham, 362 
Hainton, 268 
Hale, Great, 71, 84-5 
Hallam, historian, 439 
Halstead Hall, 396 
Haltham, 369 
Halton, East, 221 

Halton, West, 195 

Halton Holgate, 329-32 

Halton, John de, Bp. of Carlisle, 368-g 

Hameringham, 363-4 

Harlaxton, 68-9 

Harmston, 164