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" The Battles of Hertfordshire" 

"On This High Wold" "Chateaux en Espagne" 

&>c, 6r>c. 

With many Illustrations 

Bemrose and Sons Limited, 4 Snow Hill, E.C. 


[All Rights Reserved} 


The Earl of Clarendon, g.c.b. 








THE present volume has no pretensions to rank 
as a history of the County of Hertford. It 
has, indeed, been planned upon entirely other 
lines, the central idea of which is to endeavour to 
present a series of vivid word-pictures descriptive of the 
most striking and most picturesque events in Hertford- 
shire's chequered story. If the Editor has been partially 
successful in executing the plan adopted, he is content. 

To this end, a number of well-known and approved 
specialists on the various subjects have co-operated to 
produce a volume of " Memorials " not unworthy, it is 
hoped, to be considered as an important contribution to 
the annals of our counties. At the same time, an 
endeavour has been made to preserve, as far as possible, 
the due order of sequence of the different chapters, so 
that a certain continuity of epoch or period might be 
observed throughout. 

The Editor desires to express his grateful thanks to 
his many able contributors for their generous collaboration, 
and feels sure that the results of their painstaking 
research and the literary excellence of their writings will 
not fail to be appreciated by the public, and especially by 
the lovers of Old Hertfordshire. 


Historic Hertfordshire . 
Hertford Castle .... 

Saint Alban, Briton and Proto- 

The Hertfordshire Pope 

The Church of St. Alban . 

Stortford Castle .... 

The Franciscan and Benedictine 
Monasteries of Ware 

The Queen Eleanor Memorial : 
Waltham Cross, Herts . 


The Battles of St. Albans and 


Berkhamsted Castle 

Queen Elizabeth in Hertfordshire . 
Moor Park 

St. Michael's Church, Bishop's 


Hatfield, and other Great Houses 
The Rye House and its Plot 
Some Hertfordshire Worthies 
The Archaeology of Hertfordshire 

Folk-Lore and Legend . 

Note on the Great Bed of Ware . 



By the Editor . . i 
By Rev. Canon Benham, 
M.A., F.S.A. 

By the Editor 
By F. A. Lumbye, Esq. 
By Rev. W. Wigram, M.A 
By J. L. Glasscock, Esq 

By H. P. Pollard, Esq 
By Rev. J. H. Stamp 

A.K.C. (Lond.) . 
By H. R. Wilton Hall 

Esq. . 

By the Editor 

By E. H. Stewart Walde 

Esq. . 
By the Editor 
By Rev. P. H. Ditch 

FIELD, M.A., F.S.A. 

By Rev. H. J. Lane 
By the Editor 
By R. T. Andrews, Esq 
By the Editor 
By W. B. Gerish and 
H. P. Pollard, Esqs 
By the Editor . 
By W. F. Andrews, Esq 










Hatfield House {From a Photograph by F. Downer & Sons) Fro7itispiece 

Facing Page 
Hertford Castle . . . (From a Photograph by Elsden) 12 

The Shrine, St. Albans Abbey . . . . .22 

(From a Photograph by F. Doxvner & Sons) 
St. Albans Abbey . . (From a Photograph by F. Downer &> Sons) 36 

Remains of Stortford Castle . . . . -44 

(From a Photograph lent by J. L. Glasscock, Esq.) 
Ware Priory . . . (From a Photograph by Elsden) 54 

Queen Eleanor Cross, Waltham . . . . 58 

(From a Photograph by IV. G. Bennett) 

Ruins of Sopwell . . (From a Photograph by F. Downer &> Sons) 74 

Moor Park . . . (From a Photograph lent by Lady Ebury) 108 

Drawing Room, Moor Park (From a Photograph lent by Lady Ebury) 1 1 4 

Kneb WOrth .... (From a Photograph by Elsden) 128 

Cassiobury . . . (From a Photograph by F. Downer 6- Sons) 1 32 

The Grove, Watford . (From a Photograph by F. Downer &> Sons) 134 

Early Map of Hertfordshire . . . . .154 

(From a Drawing lent by The East Herts A rchceological Society) 


By the Editor 

NE of the earliest notices of Hertfordshire 
that we have is the capture of the city of 
Verulamium (or Verulam), now St. Albans, 
by the British Queen Boadicea in the year 
A.D. 61. We know that at that period the counties of 
Hertfordshire and Essex were peopled by the tribe of 
warlike Britons known as Trinobantes, who laid the 
foundations of Londinium (London) ; wnile the neigh- 
bouring counties of Norfolk and Suffolk were inhabited 
by the Iceni. The reader will have no difficulty in 
remembering that in 61 the Queen of the Iceni, Boadicea, 
raised her wild but powerful tribe in revolt against their 
Roman conquerors. Dion Cassius describes Boadicea as 
being of " the largest size, most terrible of aspect, most 
savage of countenance, most harsh of voice ; having a 
profusion of yellow hair, which fell down to her hips ; 
and wearing a large golden collar, a parti-coloured floating 
vest drawn close about her bosom, over this a thick mantle 
connected by a clasp, and in her hand a spear." Tacitus 
does not describe her at all. 

Taking advantage of the fact that the Roman 
Governor, Suetonius Paulinus, was absent in Anglesea, the 
Iceni, Trinobantes, and adjacent tribes leagued together, 
and collected in arms to the number of a quarter of a 
million men. Their attack was directed against the three 
populous cities of Camalodunum (Colchester), Londinium, 
and Verulamium. The first-named place, which was 
garrisoned by Roman veterans, and contained a statue of 

2 Memorials of Old Hertfordshire 

Victory dedicated to the Emperor Claudius, was assailed 
first. " 111 omens " preceded the attack, among which may 
be mentioned the fall of the statue of Victory without 
any visible cause, and " fearful howlings " heard in the 
temple. These occurrences were probably contrived by 
the Druids. 

After a siege of several days, Camalodunum was 
carried by assault, and its people were put to the sword 
without distinction of age or sex. When, all too late, 
Petilius Cerealis came to oppose the victorious Britons 
with the Ninth Legion, six thousand strong, the Romans 
were utterly routed. The Britons next turned their 
attention to Londinium, which was even then a place of 
importance, and was thickly populated. It was barely 
twenty years since the Romans had begun to build towns 
and fortresses in Britain ; yet Verulamium was already 
a municipal city. In building, the Romans generally 
chose sites on which " the natives had planted their 
stockades and their hill forts, or carried on a small 
commerce by the vessels that sailed up the great estuaries 
of the Thames and Colne" At this period the Colne — 
one of Hertfordshire's most picturesque rivers to-day — was 
continually in flood, it is said. 

The army of Boadicea slaughtered the inhabitants of 
Londinium, and razed that city to the ground. An equally 
savage massacre took place at Verulamium. In the words 
of Tacitus, " they would neither take the vanquished 
prisoners, nor sell them, nor ransom their lives and 
liberties ; but hastened to massacre, torture, and crucify 
them, as if to avenge themselves beforehand for the cruel 
punishments which the future had in store for them." It 
is to be feared that some at least who were friends of 
the Britons perished in this indiscriminate butchery. As 
many as seventy thousand men, women, and children 
perished in those three cities, and it was not until the 
following year that Suetonius was enabled to march 
against and crush the Britons. 

Historic Hertfordshire 3 

Queen Boadicea was by no means the only British 
leader who opposed the Roman cohorts in Hertfordshire. 
Their resistless advance was gallantly contested by the 
celebrated Cattuellani tribe, the heroic Cassivalaunus, 
from whom the name of Cassiobury, Lord Essex's 
splendid seat at Watford, is supposed to be derived. This 
fierce resistance to the Roman conquerors has left portions 
of the county rich in early British remains. The most 
noteworthy of these, Grim's Dike, commences near 
St. Albans (Verulam), indicating the existence of a 
big British camp at that centre. But Hertfordshire is 
noted for its Roman not less than for its British remains, 
as exemplified in the well-known Roman roads — Ermin 
Street, Icknield Street, and particularly Watling Street, 
which are dealt with in the chapter of this volume devoted 
to the archaeology of the shire. They are intensely 
interesting remains. "All is silent," as Dr. Bruce has 
picturesquely said, " but dead indeed to all human sym- 
pathies must the soul of that man be who, in each 
broken column, each turf-covered mound, each deserted 
hall, does not recognise a voice telling him, trumpet- 
tongued, of the rise and fall of empires ; of the doom and 
ultimate destiny of man." Of the three great Roman 
arteries, Watling Street enters Hertfordshire near Elstree, 
and leaves it south of Dunstable. The Ermin Way 
traverses the county from south-west of Theobalds to the 
vicinity of Royston ; while the Icknield Way, entering 
Hertfordshire just north of Lilley, continues its course into 
Cambridgeshire via Royston. 

After the Roman occupation, we have little further 
record of Hertfordshire until A.D. 303, when the martyrdom 
of St. Alban occurred, to be commemorated by repentant 
Saxon Offa, King of Mercia, to whom we owe the real 
beginnings of what is now the magnificent fane known 
as St. Albans Abbey. Under the Saxon Heptarchy, 
part of Hertfordshire was included in the kingdom of 
East Saxony (A.D. 52/) and part in Mercia (A.D. 582). 

4 Memorials of Old Hertfordshire 

Then came the long wars between Saxon and Dane, 
which carried fire and sword into every quarter of 

A battle was fought in Hertfordshire in 896 between 
Alfred the Great and the Danes, the details of which are 
extremely vague. But even allowing that the old chroni- 
clers invariably number their slain by thousands, never 
by hundreds, this must have been a very severe battle. 
Alfred had swept the country clear of these freebooters 
(as it seemed), and was resting after his labours, when 
fresh hordes appeared on the scene — hordes who acknow- 
ledged no leadership and had no ideal save plunder. 
Having marched through Gloucestershire, they entrenched 
themselves at Boddington, whence they were speedily 
driven by the Saxon army. But so numerous were they 
that even so they had strength sufficient to split up into 
a number of formidable bands. Alfred wisely decided to 
give chase to the largest of these forces, which went 
plundering and burning into Hertfordshire. 

It was in the "approaching harvest time " of 896, and 
it was imperative that Alfred should prevent these robbers 
from gathering the corn. He came up with them in the 
locality of what we now call Watford, and here the 
decisive action was contested. The reader can imagine 
that the Danes — fighting, as it were, with halters round 
their necks — made a desperate resistance. But Alfred's 
prowess told, and the Danish raven again was vanquished. 
Many were slain, and the few survivors escaped on board 
the fleet of Sigefort, a Northumbrian Dane. King Alfred 
now pursued them on to their own element — the sea — 
captured twenty ships, and afterwards hanged the 
prisoners at Winchester. Next year he restored thorough 
tranquillity to the kingdom. 

On the accession of Edward the Elder, he fortified the 
towns of Hertford and Witham (A.D. 910). We are told 
that these fortifications were superior to earthworks, being 
constructed of stone. Certain it is that they assisted to 

Historic Hertfordshire 5 

keep Hertfordshire and Essex free from foreign foes for 
a period of one hundred years. 

A hundred and fifty years slipped away. Hastings 
was fought and won by the Norman hosts, and the 
Conqueror settled in England. After that great victory, 
while marching on London with the flower of his army, 
finding that the Saxon Earls, Edwin and Morcar, were 
stirring up the Londoners to resist him, William the 
Conqueror suddenly crossed the Thames at Wallingford, 
and entered Hertfordshire. By this masterly movement 
he threatened to cut off the two nobles from their 
Earldoms, and William issued orders to the Norman 
soldiery to begin burning and plundering ; whereupon the 
principal nobility and prelates, headed by Aldred, Bishop 
of York, hastened to Berkhamsted, and there did homage 
to the invader. 

It was the month of December, 1066. In the 
picturesque language of old Camden, the Saxons yielded 
" victori Normanno multa et magni pollicenti " — to the 
Norman conqueror, on his promising many things and 
of great value. Berkhamsted has unquestionably been a 
rare place for regal conferences in bygone days. 

In the period immediately following the Norman 
Conquest, Hertfordshire witnessed divers stirring and 
stormy scenes. Its three powerful fortalices of Hertford, 
Berkhamsted, and Bishop's Stortford (each of which is 
separately dealt with in this volume) all saw spilling of 
blood during the civil wars of King John's unhappy reign. 
Stortford Castle was destroyed by John, while the castles 
of Berkhamsted and Hertford fell into the hands of the 
Barons. More pleasing and less lurid is the recollection 
that about this period Hertfordshire gave to Rome the 
only Englishman who has ever filled the chair of St. Peter 
— the great and good Nicholas Breakspeare of Abbots 
Langley, better known as Pope Adrian IV. It was this 
Pope who gave his imprimatur to Strongbow's invasion 
of Ireland in 1 1 72 ; it was Strongbow's great-grandson, 

6 Memorials of Old Hertfordshire 

Earl of Pembroke, who fell to earth at Ware, pierced 
to the heart by the steel-clad lance in what should have 
been a friendly tourney. 

To a slightly later period belongs the beautiful Holy 
Cross at Waltham, one of the memorials erected by 
England's sorrowing King on the funeral journey of the 
good Queen Eleanor. In the rose garden at Langley — 
the birthplace of Edmund de Langley — took place the 
famous scene between Richard's Queen and the gardener, 
so familiar to every student of Shakespeare, in which she 
learns of the success of Bolingbroke. Shakespeare makes 
the gardener in Richard II. break to the Queen the news 
of Bolingbroke's success and the King's discomfiture. It 
is the gardener who, speaking in the Duke of York's 
garden at King's Langley, philosophically says : — 

Go, bind thou up yon dangling apricocks, 

Which, like unruly children, make their sire 

Stoop with oppression of their weight. 

Give some supportance to the bending twigs. 

Go thou, and like an executioner, 

Cut off the heads of too-fast-growing sprays, 

That look too lofty in our Commonwealth : 

All must be even in our government. 

You thus employed, I will go root away 

The noisome weeds, that without profit suck 

The soil's fertility from wholesome flowers. 

Poor Queen ! so that thy state might be no worse, 
I would my skill were subject to thy curse — 
Here did she fall a tear; here in this place 
I'll set a bank of rue, sour herb of grace : 
Rue, even for ruth, here shortly shall be seen, 
In the remembrance of a weeping Queen. 1 

St. Albans was the scene of a formidable riot in 1265, 
the year of the struggle between King Henry III. and 
Simon de Montfort. Gregory de Stokes, the Constable 
of Hertford, was beheaded by the men of St. Albans, and 

^Richard 11. , Act iii., Scene 4. 

Historic Hertfordshire 7 

his head stuck over the city gates. For this, St. Albans 
had to pay to the King a fine of a hundred marks — 
about £1,500 of our present currency. "The townsmen," 
naively says a modern writer, " were at this time in a very 
excitable condition." 

About A.D. 1380, the internal troubles that eventually 
led to the deposition and death of poor Richard II. 
affected Hertfordshire greatly. " The townsmen," we are 
told, "appealed in vain to the King and his justiciars, and 
waylaid the Queen on her passage to the Abbey to lay 
their complaints before her. When the widespread 
popular discontent found vent in the Wat Tyler and 
Jack Straw risings, the men of St. Albans were only too 
ready to join in them. In 1 381, with one William 
Grindecobbe as leader, the townsmen rose on the Abbot, 
and forced from him a formal discharge from ' all services 
and customary labours,' and the surrender of various 
muniments and deeds of service. The townsmen put 
themselves in communication with the rebel priest, John 
Ball, and Walsingham gives a curious letter which Ball 
sent to the town. It was directed to John Nameless, 
John the Miller, and John Carter, and ' biddeth him that 
thei ware of gyle in borugh and stondith togiddir in 
Goddis name, and biddeth Peres Ploughman go to his 
worke and chastise well Hobbe the robber, and taketh 
with you Johan Treweman and all his felaws, and no mo.' " 

Johan the Miller hath ygrownde, smal, smal, smal, 

The Kingis sone of hevene shall pay for alle. 

Be ware or ye be wo, 

Knoweth your frende fro youre foo, 

Haveth ynowe, and seythe Hoo : 

And seketh pees, and holde therynne. 

And so biddeth Johan Trewman and all his felawes. 

This revolutionary outbreak was suppressed by 
Richard II. in person, and John Ball was taken to 
St. Albans, and there hanged, drawn, and quartered in 
the market place. " Four of the chief burgesses, and 

8 Memorials of Old Hertfordshire 

about eighty of less mark, were committed to prison, but 
eventually pardoned." Every concession made by the 
Abbot was revoked, and on St. Margaret's Day "all the 
Commons and the County" over fifteen years of age 
were made to appear before King Richard in the Great 
Hall of the Abbey and take the oath of allegiance and 

Next we come to the fifteenth century and the Wars 
of the Roses — a period of surpassing interest in Hertford- 
shire history. No fewer than three great battles of that 
unhappy time were contested on this county's soil — the 
battle of St. Albans, the battle of Barnard's Heath (also 
known as the second battle of St. Albans), and the 
crowning triumph of the Yorkist cause at Barnet Field 
in 1 47 1. It has been thought well to treat these stirring 
and fascinating scenes separately and at considerable 
length in the present volume. 

Many of the kings of England have visited St. Albans, 
and after the battle of Poictiers, King John of France 
was a prisoner in the Abbey. 

The original Moor Park, near Rickmansworth, was 
erected by George Nevil, Archbishop of York, and brother 
of the famous " king-making " Earl of Warwick. Here 
the Archbishop — who may, I think, be justly criticised for 
pitching his domestic tent so far from his diocese — 
frequently (one account which we have before us says 
" constantly ") entertained King Edward IV., who granted 
him the " Manor of Moor." It was during one of these 
numerous visits into Hertfordshire that Edward narrowly 
escaped being assassinated or kidnapped — an event which, 
however, is touched upon in another place. The Arch- 
bishop died in 1476 — of grief, as is supposed, for having 
been committed to the Tower by the ungrateful Edward in 
consequence of the disaffection of the Earl of Warwick, 
his brother — for which, surely, His Grace of York was not 
responsible. The Manor of the Moor continued to be held 
by the Crown until the reign of Henry VII., who sold 

Historic Hertfordshire 9 

it to the Earl of Oxford, the latter having led the van 
of Richmond's army at Bosworth Field. The last great 
historic figure associated with the history of Moor Park 
is the sternly pathetic one of Cardinal Wolsey, whose 
saddle is preserved there. The reader will, however, find 
a separate paper devoted to the history and traditions of 
Moor Park. 

In Tudor times, Queen Elizabeth frequently journeyed 
into Hertfordshire, to be the guest of the Earl of Essex at 
Cassiobury, and also to visit Theobalds, where " the 
Queene laye, at Lord Burghley's charge, sometimes three 
weeks and a month together." To Theobalds also came 
her successor, James L, who used it as a royal residence ; 
while Hatfield — the birthright of the Cecil family, and one 
of Hertfordshire's noblest possessions — really dates from 
the days of Elizabeth's illustrious Chancellor. 

It is asserted that Oliver Cromwell slept at the Old 
White Horse Hostelrie, near St. Albans, where, in the 
nave of the venerable abbey, it is authenticated that " Old 
Noll " quartered his buff-clad and sour-visaged troopers ; 
and a few miles away, in Cheshunt's old palace, died 
Richard Cromwell, weak son of a great sire. He lingered 
here for some time after relinquishing his brief and feeble 
tenure of the Protectorate, to die in an obscure retirement, 
where none save a few cronies deemed it expedient to visit 

In the Basing House at Rickmansworth dwelt for a 
time. William Penn and his wife, and Penn scratched his 
name on one of the windows, with the date " 1676." In 
1675, Richard Baxter preached at Rickmansworth, and 
entered into a warm religious controversy with Penn, of 
which Baxter's own considerably biassed account says : 
" The country about Rickmansworth abounding with 
Quakers, because William Penn, their captain, dwelleth 
there, I was desirous that the poor people should for 
once hear what was to be said for their recovery, which 
coming to Mr. Penn's ears, he was forward to a meeting, 

io Memorials of Old Hertfordshire 

where we continued speaking to two rooms full of people, 
fasting, from ten o'clock till five : one lord, two knights, 
and four conformable ministers, beside others, being 
present, some all the time, some part. The success gave 
me great cause to believe that it was not labour lost." 

With the Restoration of the House of Stuart in the 
person of Charles II. came the " Rye House Plot," which 
the reader will find treated in a paper dealing with the 
celebrated Rye House on the river Lea. It is by no means 
the least important of the many contributions made by 
this county to England's history. 

Hertfordshire is able to claim two famous eighteenth 
century poets in Dr. Edward Young, the author of Night 
Thoughts, and William Cowper. The latter was a Hert- 
fordshire man by birth, while Edward Young, though not 
born within the confines of the shire, penned his magnum 
opus on Hertfordshire soil, as related in our chapter on 
Worthies of the County. 

We find dear old Izaak Walton moralising upon matters 
piscatorial as he prepares to cast his magic rod into one 
of the well-stocked streams of this familiar fishing country. 
Thus, then, the Corn-pleat Angler: — 

PiSCATOR : You are well overtaken, gentlemen ; a good morning to 
you both ; I have stretched my legs up Tottenham Hill to overtake you, 
hoping your business may occasion you towards Ware, whither I am 
going this fine fresh May morning. 

Venator : Sir, I for my part shall almost answer your hopes ; for 
my purpose is to drink my morning's draught at the Thatched House in 
Hodsden, and I think not to rest till I come thither, where I have 
appointed a friend or two to meet me. 

That " friend or two " live again, let us hope, under 
the style and title of the Old Waltonian Angling Club, 
who fish one or two of the streams of Hertfordshire, at the 
same time that they fittingly immortalise — if any such 
immortalisation were needed — " Old Izaak's " connexion 
with the county that we love. 

Coming to the nineteenth century and the Victorian 

Historic Hertfordshire ii 

era, Hertfordshire sheltered from time to time at least four 
Prime Ministers of England in Melbourne, Palmerston, 
Disraeli, and Salisbury. But of these, the late Marquess 
of Salisbury belonged more essentially to the county 
herself, by right of his birth and home at Hatfield, the 
cradle of the Cecil family. Diplomacy, during the same 
period, was represented by Lord Clarendon at The Grove, 
Watford, and by the Earl of Lytton at Knebworth. In 
Bulwer Lytton, however, literature had a greater repre- 
sentative than had statesmanship, and few Hertfordshire 
people can read without a thrill of pardonable pride 
in the county of their birth, those memorable scenes 
in Bulwer Lytton's Last of the Barons, wherein he depicts 
with such wealth of local detail the last stand and death 
of Warwick the King-maker on Barnet Common. 

George Eliot, too, resided at Rickmansworth while 
more than one of her immortal romances was in the 
making ; and close to the same spot one of the greatest 
soldiers of the Victorian Epoch, Lord Clyde (Sir Colin 
Campbell), spent part of the brief autumn of his days. 
Our county likewise claims Gerald Massey, the poet in 
whose work some critics have discovered merits not 
unworthy to rank with the Swinburnian muse. And last, 
but scarcely least, we have to make mention of the Baron 
de Rothschild, of Tring Park, which his taste and the 
power of his wealth united to transform into a veritable 
fairyland and palace of delight, even though it was already 
one of the most charming spots on the Hertfordshire 


By the Rev. Canon Benham, D.D., F.S.A. 

ERTFORD is not an important town, as 
compared with other shire capitals ; but it 
is very picturesque and quaint, mediaeval of 
aspect, and with pretty neighbourhood, and, 
considering how near it is to London, it seems to me 
rather neglected. It must be confessed that it is not the 
easiest place in the world of access. 

Hertford is an ancient town. It was known to the 
Romans, and was a place of great importance in the 
time of the Saxons. A record which should specially 
interest us is that on the 24th of September, 673, 
Theodore, Archbishop of Canterbury, convened a great 
national council at Hertford, and with a strong purpose. 
England was still divided into several kingdoms, and the 
Church was not unlike it. There were Welsh Bishops, 
there were Bishops in the North who followed the uses 
of the Churches founded by Aidan and other Scottish 
missionaries, and Theodore desired to have uniformity of 
practice and organic unity of the whole Church of 
England. Two kings of the Heptarchy attended the 
council, so did the Bishops of Rochester, Winchester, 
and Mercia (middle England), and other prelates, mitred 
abbots, and nobles of the realm. The Archbishop called 
upon them to realise how much stronger the Church would 
be as a missionary Church, if all would agree to be 
governed by the ancient Canons. This principle being 
acquiesced in, he produced a book containing ten Canons 

Hertford Castle. 

Hertford Castle 13 

which he judged essential. It was subscribed without 
murmur, and thus old controversies and strifes were 
brought to an end. From this Council we reckon the 
unity of the Church of England. The Bishops in the 
several kingdoms promised canonical obedience to the 
Archbishop of Canterbury ; and thus a good example 
was set, which deeply moved all the people in the country, 
and directly led to the unity of the nation as well as of 
the Church. Archbishop Theodore, therefore, had very 
much to do with the gathering of Angles, and Saxons, 
and Jutes, into one nation, which has lasted to this day. 

In the year 905, Edward the Elder built Hertford 
Castle. He was a great king, but is somewhat eclipsed 
by' the greatness of his father, Alfred. That king, after 
much fighting, had come to a settlement with the Danes, 
and gave up to them the land of Eastern England. The 
arrangement was partially successful. They became 
Christians, and mixed with the people ; but there were 
fresh arrivals, and King Edward had to see to it that 
he might make his kingdom secure ; and this is how he 
came to build Hertford Castle, and to fortify the town, 
which from that time quietly prospered. In Domesday 
Book it is given as containing a hundred and forty-six 

William the Conqueror, according to his usual method, 
gave the castle to one of his Norman knights, Peter de 
Valoignes, who married Albreda, sister of Dapifer, 
Henry I.'s steward. What happened in so many cases 
happened in this : their descendants went on for several 
generations, till there was only a daughter left. By law, 
the King had the disposal of her in marriage, and in the 
case before us, King John gave Gurona, the Valoignes 
heiress, to a powerful baron named Robert Fitzwalter. 
I need not say that those were troublous times. Fitz- 
walter was not hindered by any feeling of personal 
obligation from joining the rebellious barons in resisting 
John's tyranny, and therefore the King seized the castle, 

14 Memorials of Old Hertfordshire 

and gave it to one of his partisans, Walter de Godarvil. 
This was the year of Magna Charta. Next year the King 
died, and the country was at that moment under invasion ; 
for the angry barons, seeing that the King had no 
intention of keeping the Charta, invited the King of 
France to take the kingdom. He sent over his son, 
Lewis, who was actually marching through England 
when the false king died. Among his other successes he 
laid siege to Hertford Castle on St. Martin's Day, 
November nth, 1216. Walter de Godarvil defended it 
with obstinate valour, and made great slaughter among 
the French ; but he was outnumbered, and on 
St. Nicholas' Day (December 6th) he had to surrender 
the castle. 

Then Robert Fitzwalter, whom John had dispossessed, 
made claim that it should be restored to him. But Lewis 
replied that he had been a traitor to his King, and could 
not be trusted now ; nevertheless, after he had subdued 
the kingdom, he would reconsider the matter, and do 
justice to everybody. That time of subjugation never 
came, for the English nobles returned to their allegiance, 
and Lewis went off in dudgeon. 

Then King Henry III. gave it to Gilbert Seagrave, 
who had served the office of High Sheriff both of Herts 
and Essex. But for a while the gift was not in fee- 
simple : it was a tenancy for life only, and several holders 
are named. In the thirty-second year of his reign Henry 
gave it in permanence to his half-brother, William de 
Valence, who took advantage of the opportunity to make 
a violent entry into the park of Hatfield, then belonging 
to the Bishop of Ely. He hunted the park very effec- 
tively, and killed many deer ; then he paid his attentions 
to the palace itself, invited himself to a luxurious 
banquet, broke open the cellar doors, and, after he and 
his companions had regaled themselves on the choicest 
wines till they could drink no more, they pulled the 
spigots out of the casks, scoffed at the hapless domestics, 

Hertford Castle 15 

and reeled away to sleep themselves sober. Matthew 
Paris tells it all : it is a characteristic specimen of the 
lawlessness of King Henry III.'s reign. When King 
John died, his widow, who apparently had been as 
faithless to him as he had been to her, married one of 
her old lovers, Hugh, Count of la Marche, and by him 
had five sons : one was this William de Valence whose 
heroic deed I have just described. Another notable 
episcopal appointment of this monarch will be remem- 
bered : Boniface of Savoy, the uncle of Henry's Queen, 
Eleanor, was made Archbishop of Canterbury. It was 
he who built the beautiful chapel of Lambeth Palace in 
expiation of his outrageous conduct towards the Prior 
of St. Bartholomew's, Smithfield. 

The rich monument of William de Valence in West- 
minster Abbey can no more hide his deeds of violence 
than can that of his son Aymer. They are two of 
the most lovely of the thousand attractions of West- 
minster Abbey. Aymer's, too, was a life on which it is 
not a delight to dwell, and there is no need here to do 
so. He died childless, though thrice married ; his widow 
gave up Hertford Castle into the hands of the Crown. 
In the days of Edward III. it had three royal occupants. 
One recoils from the wickedness of Edward II. and his 
infamous companions, and no less from the selfish heart- 
lessness of his wretched Queen, Isabella, the " she-wolf." 
After her young son, Edward III., had succeeded in 
emancipating himself from her evil rule, he had the good 
feeling to hush up her shame, made her a competent 
allowance, and gave her Hertford Castle to dwell in. 
She died here on August 23rd, 1358. More honourable 
tenants were David, King of Scotland, and John of 
France, who were for a while imprisoned here in 1348. 
Edward II. gave the castle to his celebrated son, John 
of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, and from him it came direct 
to his son, Henry IV, who gave it to his second wife, 
Joan of Navarre. She lived here a good deal after his 

1 6 Memorials of Old Hertfordshire 

death in 143 1, and for a while was friendly with his son, 
Henry V., but presently things went wrong. It is 
impossible to state with certainty what was the truth. 
But it seems clear that her children by her first husband, 
the Duke of Brittany, were unfavourable to Henry's 
designs of French conquest. She had no children by 
the second, and her sympathies were all French. She 
was accused of attempting her step-son's death by the 
arts of witchcraft and sorcery, and was placed for some 
years in confinement. Henry V., as we know, married 
Katherine of Valois, and she was crowned at Westminster, 
after which the King settled the castle and borough of 
Hertford upon her. The Chronicle tells of high jinks 
held here in those days. 

Henry V. died, leaving a baby son, who, while only a 
child of seven, kept Easter, 1429, with much ceremony at 
Hertford. In the nineteenth year of his reign he con- 
firmed to the burgesses of Hertford and their successors 
a right which Edward III. had granted them of holding 
a market in Hertford every Thursday and Saturday, on 
which days no other market was to be held within seven 
miles ; and if any corn or merchandise should be sold 
at Ware, the same should be seized by the bailiffs of 
Hertford and confiscated. In the twenty-third year of 
his reign he married the formidable Margaret of Anjou, 
and conferred this castle and town upon her. From time 
to time she held grand courts at the castle, and by her 
charter, dated 30 Henry VI., she ordained that the horse 
fair should be held in such place within the town as 
the bailiffs and constables should judge most convenient. 

The mention of the Wars of the Roses must not alarm 
the reader. They occurred ; and Hertfordshire, not to 
its joy, had more than one fair field laid desolate for 
the time being in the course of them. Henry VI. had 
to give place to the rival House of York, and still death 
continued to hold his feasts of blood. Passing on through 
the reigns of Edwards IV. and V., we come to Richard III. 

Hertford Castle \y 

Henry Stafford, Duke of Buckingham, was the chief 
agent in putting Richard on the throne. He was at that 
time the most powerful noble in England, and Richard, 
recognising this, showered gifts upon him ; among them 
he gave him Hertford Castle, along with the title of 
Constable of England. At Richard's coronation his 
retinue eclipsed all others in magnificence. Yet within 
a month he was plotting against the King. The reasons 
are unknown. The young princes had been shut up in 
the Tower at his recommendation ; some think that he 
was shocked at learning that Richard meant to kill them ; 
others that he realised how strongly public opinion 
revolted against what was being done. Others, again 
{e.g., Professor Gairdner), think that he had such ambitious 
views that he was turning over in his mind the possibility 
of claiming the crown for himself, as being descended 
from John of Gaunt and Katherine Swynford. It was 
whilst he was thus musing that the murder of the two 
boys in the Tower took place, and Buckingham led off 
the proposal that Henry Tudor, Earl of Richmond, should 
marry Elizabeth of York, and, by uniting the two rival 
houses, bring peace. We know that this plan was 
carried out successfully, but Buckingham did not live to 
see it. He gathered an army for Henry in Hereford- 
shire ; King Richard issued a proclamation calling him 
" a traitor, the most untrue creature living " ; his army 
deserted him, and he fled into hiding, but was discovered, 
carried to Salisbury, and beheaded in the market-place 
on Sunday (!), November 2nd, 1483. 

When the Earl of Richmond at length obtained the 
crown, Hertford Castle was his of right, as belonging to 
the House of Lancaster, and it remained the property 
of the Crown until King Charles I., in 163 1, granted it 
to William Cecil, second Earl of Salisbury, his heirs and 
assigns for ever. To his family it belongs still. 

Such is the outline of the history of Hertford Castle 
which I have been able rapidly to gather together. It 

18 Memorials of Old Hertfordshire 

is now a handsome modern house to look at, with pleasant 
gardens and grounds. Outside there is the moat, deep 
and wide ; and there are ruined walls in plenty, all most 
picturesque. It is rented now on rather a curious tenure. 
The tenant is understood (not, I believe, by any legal 
deed, but by courtesy) to sub-let the place to the county 
for the use of the judges when the assizes are held. 
I have even heard how much he receives by his sub- 
letting ; but as this would be mere gossip, I need not 
repeat the figures. But I saw the High Sheriff escort 
His Majesty's judge with a guard of militia and blare of 
trumpets, and land him within the castle, which is his 
residence so long as any prisoners remain to be tried 
or civil disputes remain unsettled. It was an interesting 
sight ; so it was to see the judge go forth to divine 
service at church before undertaking his solemn duties. 


By the Editor 

lO Hertfordshire belongs the honour of having 
given birth, as well as death, to " the first who 
died for the faith in England." Albanus was 
born near Verulamium, in the third century, of 
Pagan parentage. During his adolescence he paid a visit 
to the Eternal City, and there joined the Roman army. 
By a coincidence as fatal as it was remarkable, he entered 
the army controlled by that fierce tyrant, Diocletian, under 
whose persecution he was destined to die. The young 
soldier returns to Britain, and during the stormy period 
of Diocletian's persecution of the Christians there, he 
affords protection and shelter to one Amphibalus, a 
Christian deacon flying from torture and death. Alban 
not only receives the fugitive into his house (thereby 
incurring a fatal risk), but is by him converted to the 
true faith. 

Anon came the officers of Diocletian to search the 
house, whereupon the noble-minded Alban changed clothes 
with Amphibalus. Being dragged before the Roman 
governor "in that clergyman's robe," Alban was com- 
manded to advance to the altar, and make sacrifice to 
the pagan deities. As he refused, and steadfastly affirmed 
himself (though unbaptised) to be a Christian, 1 he was 
ordered to be first scourged, and then beheaded. En route 

1 My name is Alban, and I worship the only true and living God. — Bede. 


20 Memorials of Old Hertfordshire 

to the place of execution (continues the legend), Alban 
miraculously dried up a river (the Ver) when the crowd 
congested the bridge, and he also introduced a fountain 
in order to assuage his thirst. 

Arrived at the place of execution, says the Venerable 
Bede, the intended executioner is suddenly converted to 
Christianity, and begs permission to die either with Alban 
or for him. He was permitted to die with him. All 
accounts agree that the martyr suffered death by decapi- 
tation. The year of the occurrence was probably A.D. 303 
or 304; but others quote A.D. 283 and 284; while Foxe 
gives June 22nd, 287. June 22nd is the generally-accepted 
date, known to the English Church as " St. Alban's Day." 
Gildas, writing in 560, says the event occurred under 
Diocletian in 304. Eusebius, Lactantius, and Sozomen 
deny that there was any persecution under the Emperor 
Constantius. Geoffrey of Monmouth connects Alban's 
name with the city of Caerleon. The remains of the 
martyr were first interred at Ely. " St. Alban of Britain 
and Gildas, St. Patrick, and St. Petroc, are the four 
British saints who find entrance into Saxon and early 
Continental calendars." St. Albans Cathedral was 
founded by the pious Saxon King Off a in the year 793, 
as near the supposed scene of the martyrdom as possible. 

That scene is described by Bede with an accuracy 
"which was evidently derived from personal observation 
of the hill of St. Albans, whose gentle slopes, clothed 
with flowers, delighted the imagination of the venerable 
monk of Jarrow." But the Italian poet writes of Alban 
two centuries before Bede. By the one, Alban himself 
is said to have bestowed the name Amphibalus — literally, 
" man in the cloak " — upon the fugitive whom he sheltered. 
Another account declares Alban to have been " a young 
Roman of good family and of the ancient religion." And 
Milton " the brief " informs us that — 

Diocletian, having hitherto successfully used his valour against the 
enemies of his empire, uses now his bloody rage in a persecution against 

Saint Alban, Briton and Protomartyr 21 

his obedient and harmless Christian subjects ; from the feeling whereof, 
neither was this island, though most remote, far enough removed. Among 
them here who suffered gloriously, Aron (sic) and Julius, of Caerleon upon 
Usk, but chiefly Alban, of Verulam, were most renowned : the story of 
whose martyrdom, soiled and worse martyred with the fabling zeal of 
some idle fancies, more fond of miracles than apprehensive of truth, 
deserves not longer digression. 

Amphibalus appears to have shared Alban's fate at 
Redbourne, four miles from St. Albans. The author of 
Cathedral Churches states that Alban was buried " at 
the place of doom," that his ashes were solemnly exhumed 
during the visit to England of Germanus of Auxerre and 
Lupus of Troyes, and that " a little wooden chapel " was 
erected on the spot. 

Another contemporary account which I have been 
enabled to consult states that — 

Alban was a native of Verulam, one of the most populous cities in 
Roman Britain, where he held military rank. When Diocletian's perse- 
cution extended to Britain, Alban was yet a heathen ; but having sheltered 
a Christian priest, who was striving to escape persecution, was by him 
converted to the Truth. The Roman Governor, hearing that the priest 
was concealed in Alban's house, sent soldiers to take him. When Alban, 
having secured the priest's retreat, presented himself in the dress of his 
late guest, he was led before the Governor, scourged, and then beheaded 
— after his saintly demeanour had won another convert to the Gospel, 
in the person of the soldier appointed to behead him. The noble church 
which bears his name was founded at the place of his Martyrdom, by 
Offa, King of Mercia, in 793, in the room of one which had been destroyed 
by the pagan Saxons. Part of Offa's work still remains, and there are 
few spots so interesting to the English Christian as St. Albans Abbey. 
The Romish Church celebrates his memory on June 22nd — the Church of 
England on June 17th. 

There is a Latin poem on the life of St. Alban from 
the pen of Robert Dunstable, about A.D. 1 145 ; it is in 
two books, in elegiac verse. Foxe, in his monumental 
work on martyrology, says that Alban was " of a very 
humane disposition " — evidence which, surely, all must 

Dean Spence's History of the Church of England 

22 Memorials of Old Hertfordshire 

adds nothing whatever new to the story of St. Alban. 
The Dean says : — 

The scene of the trial was a striking one. Led into the presence of 
the Imperial magistrate, who was sitting surrounded by all the stately 
insignia with which Rome was in the habit of investing her great officers, 
the altar of sacrifice before him, the statue of the Emperor and the images 
of the gods were solemnly brought into the magistrate's presence ; the 
incense and the wine to accompany the supplication were placed ready. 
The soldier Alban was then charged with the grave offence of attempting 
to conceal a proscribed and sacrilegious rebel against the Emperor. Alban 
not only refused to betray the hiding-place of his guest, but publicly 
declared that he too was one of the proscribed Christians. 

The Dean of Gloucester's picture is a graphic one, but it 
is a fancy picture after all. 

Alban seems to have been one of the principal 
citizens of Verulamium. 

Though a stranger to the Christian faith, he was hospitable and com- 
passionate, and in recompense of his charitable disposition God was pleased 
to conduct him to the light of the Gospel and to discover to him the 
inestimable jewel of immortal life. He was yet a Pagan when the edicts 
of the emperors against the Christians began to be put rigorously in 
execution in Britain. A certain clergyman, called by some writers 
Amphibalus, sought by flight to escape the fury of the persecutors, and 
Alban afforded him a shelter. . . . Our saint was much edified by 
the holy deportment of this stranger, and admired his faith and piety, 
and in particular his assiduity in prayer, in which the faithful servant of 
God watched night and day. Alban was soon engaged to listen to his 
wholesome admonitions and instructions, and in a short time became a 
Christian. And with such ardour did he open his spirit to the divine 
grace, that he was at once filled with the perfect spirit of this holy 

From this it will be perceived that, as far as can be 
ascertained by researches in every direction, St. Alban 
directly came under Christian influences for the first time 
when, out of his pure kindliness of heart, he sheltered 
the fugitive Amphibalus in his house at Verulam. If for 
no other reason than this, the British proto-martyr is 
entitled to one of the highest places in the long roll of 
the blessed saints who were also martyrs for the Church 
of Christ. 

The Shrine, St. Albans Abbey. 


By F. A. Lumbye 

ilCHOLAS BREAKSPEARE was born towards 
the close of the reign of William Rufus, or 
in the early years of the reign of Henry L, about 
A.D. I ioo. His father, Robert Breakspeare, 
als. De Camera, seems to have belonged to a family 
which was seated at Harefield, near Uxbridge, where 
there is a mansion and park called " Breakspeares," and 
also where there was, on the banks of the River Colne, 
a camera or preceptory named " Moor Hall," belonging 
to the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, of which there 
are still some remains. Robert Breakspeare afterwards 
became a monk at St. Albans Abbey, where he was 
" camerarius," or chamberlain. Either the camera or his 
office was probably the reason for his second name. 
The presumably elder branch of the family owned 
" Breakspeares " from very early times, but became extinct 
in the male line in 1430, when the heiress, Margaret 
Breakspeare, married George Assheby. The property 
remained in this family until 1769, when it again passed, 
by an heiress, into the Partridge family, and from them, 
through another heiress, to the present possessor, 
Mr. Tarleton. 

It seems probable that other descendants of the 
Breakspeares who still exist in Hertfordshire and Middle- 
sex belong to the Pope's family. At the consecration 
of the Catholic Church at Watford a few years ago, the 
mason who assisted at the placing of the relics in the 
altars was named Nicholas Brakspeare. He is a Catholic, 


24 Memorials of Old Hertfordshire 

and, I believe, lives at Abbots Langley. Also, in 1818, 
Pope Pius VII. offered the title of a Roman Count to 
Mr. W. H. Breakspeare, who died at Henley in 1882 
{Notes and Queries, seventh series, Vol. I., 1886), but 
the offer was refused on religious grounds, as the family 
were Protestants. This gentleman's sister, Elizabeth, 
married the Comte de Savatte, and resided in France. 
She sheltered many Legitimists in her house in 1832, 
after the unsuccessful rising of the Duchess de Berri. 

The constant tradition of the neighbourhood is that 
the Pope was born in a house now called " Breakspeares," 
at Bedmond or Bedmont, a hamlet of Abbots Langley. 
In a letter to Monsignor Casartelli from Mr. T. Armstrong, 
a local resident, dated June 17th, 1898, the writer 
states •. — 

The building on the outskirts of the hamlet of Bedmond, in the parish 
of Abbots Langley, which is called Brakespeare's, is held to be the place 
where Adrian IV. was born. It is known that he was born in the parish, 
and I think the tradition with regard to this particular spot may be 
accepted. The building is of brick, and is now divided into two or three 
cottage dwellings. It is not probable that any part of it is of the date 
of the Pope's birth, though pictures of the interior seem to be older than 
the outside walls, which are comparatively modern. 

Mr. Armstrong had a water-colour painting made of it ; 
he presented it to Pope Leo XIII., who ordered it to 
be placed in the Vatican. It seems probable that Robert 
Breakspeare may have been a younger son of the then 
proprietor of Harefield, and therefore had left there, and 
taken up his dwelling at Abbots Langley. 

The youth Nicholas seems to have received his early 
education at the St. Albans Monastery. "William of 
Newburgh " states that — 

... He frequented the monastery daily for his bare subsistence ; this so 
enraged his father that he fell to taunting his son bitterly for his laziness, 
and at last drove him indignantly away, destitute of means. 

Another account states that he sought admission to the 
community as a monk, but was rejected by the abbot 

The Hertfordshire Pope 25 

on account of his youth, ignorance, or poverty. When 
he next visited St. Albans Abbey he was Cardinal, Bishop 
of Albano, and Papal Legate. 

Bitterly disappointed at his rejection, and utterly 
destitute, but full of ardour for study, he begged his way 
through London, past Rochester and Canterbury, to 
Dover, from whence he obtained a passage to France, and 
made his way to Paris, where he, for a time, studied in 
the University there, then the most famous seat of 
European learning. After a few years, probably about 
1 125, he left Paris and proceeded southwards, across the 
Rhine, to Aries; where he also frequented the celebrated 
schools of that city. He seems also, for a time, to have 
been in a monastery of the White Canons of St. Norbert, 
or Premonstratensians. He afterwards went northwards 
to Avignon, where he obtained admission, at first in a 
menial position, to the Abbey of the Canons Regular of 
St. Rufus, the ruins of which are still visible near 
Avignon, it having been destroyed by the Calvinist 
Huguenots in 1562. St. Rufus was the son of St. Simon 
of Cyrene. According to one tradition, he was a com- 
panion of St. Mary 'Magdalene, St. Martha, St. Lazarus, 
and St. Joseph of Arimathea in the boat without sails, 
oars, or rudder, in which they were placed by the Jews, 
which drifted from Palestine to the south of France. 
Another tradition says that St. Rufus went with St. Paul 
to Rome, and is mentioned in the Epistle to the Romans 
(xvi. 13). However, both traditions agree that he was 
the first Bishop of Avignon. The Order of St. Rufus 
was founded in 1039 by some canons who seceded from 
the Cathedral of Avignon because the discipline had 
become relaxed. It had at one time many houses in 
France and other countries, and also in the East in 
Crusading times, but afterwards it seems to have fallen 
into decay, and become relaxed in discipline. It was for 
a time united to the Order of St. Lazarus, and was finally 
suppressed in 1773 b y p ope Clement XIV., who seems 

26 Memorials of Old Hertfordshire 

to have had a partiality for suppressing Orders ; but it 
is probable that it would not have survived the storm of 
the French Revolution even if he had not done so. It 
was an Order of Canons Regular, following the rule of 
St. Augustine ; the habit was white, something like the 
Norbertines, but with a sash from the right shoulder to 
the left side, similar to a deacon's stole or the grand cross 
ribbon of an order. 

In this monastery Nicholas stayed for some years. 
" William of Newburgh " says that — 

By every means in his power he strove to ingratiate himself with the 
abbot and brothers, and being a man of much personal beauty, cheerful 
in spirit, cautious of speech, and always obedient to authority, he suc- 
ceeded in pleasing everyone. 

After two or three years he was admitted into the Order, 
and the Abbot dying in 1 137, the brethren unanimously 
elected Nicholas as his successor. The discipline having 
become relaxed, the new abbot restored the rigid original 
rules, and soon became unpopular. The consequence was 
a serious mutiny in the monastery, which culminated in 
two appeals to Rome, carried by Abbot Breakspeare 
himself and a deputation of the hostile monks. The 
pontiff at the time was Blessed Eugenius III., the friend 
and disciple of St. Bernard, whose family name was 
Bernardi. [I am inclined to think, but am not quite 
certain, that a scion of this family in after times met 
with great misfortunes in England, being imprisoned in 
Newgate, for loyalty to his legitimate sovereign, from 
1696 to his death in 1736.] At the first deputation, the 
Pope effected a reconciliation between the Abbot and his 
unruly monks, the litigants returning home in peace ; but 
very shortly the disaffection broke out worse than ever. 
The second appeal to the Holy See, in 1146, had a very 
different ending. The Pope said to the monks, with 
some severity : — 

I know, brethren, where the seat of Satan lieth ; I know what has 
stirred up this tempest among you. Depart ; choose for yourselves one 

The Hertfordshire Pope 27 

with whom you can be, or rather are minded to be, at peace ; for this 
one shall no longer be a burden to you. 

The canons departed, and the Pope retained Breakspeare 
at his own court. Monsignor Casartelli says : — 

The startling and dramatic sequel is eloquent testimony to the keen 
penetration of character and promptitude of action of the Cistercian Pope ; 
for almost immediately he raised Nicholas at one bound to well-nigh the 
highest dignity which it was in his power to bestow, creating him straight- 
way one of the six Cardinal Bishops with the suburbican title of Albano. 

It is believed that Cardinal Breakspeare accompanied 
the Pope to Paris in 1 147, when Blessed Eugenius III. 
went to give the cross to King Louis VII. on the eve 
of the second Crusade. In 11 52 the Pope appointed the 
Cardinal Apostolic Legate to the Scandinavian kingdoms, 
where his name is writ large in their annals, and where, 
until the Reformation, he was revered as saint and 

Pope Anastasius IV. died on December 2nd, 11 54. 
The day after his death the Conclave met in St. Peter's, 
and immediately, with unanimous voice, elected Nicholas 
Breakspeare, the English Cardinal, to be his successor. 
Boso Breakspeare relates that he at first refused the office, 
but all the clergy and laity alike, taking no heed of his 
words, shouted : " Pope Adrian, elected by God ! " 

The great crisis of Adrian's pontificate was his struggle 
with the Emperor of Germany, Frederic Barbarossa, who 
was advancing towards Rome at the head of a powerful 
army. Negotiations ensued between the Pope and the 
Emperor, which resulted in the capture of Arnold of 
Brescia by the Emperor's troops, and his imprisonment in 
the castle of St. Angelo. An agreement was made that 
Frederic should swear to protect the Pope and Cardinals 
against aggression, to uphold the papal dignity, and not 
to usurp any of its functions. In return, the Pope 
promised to meet the Emperor, and escort him in state 
to Rome for his coronation. During the absence of the 

28 Memorials of Old Hertfordshire 

Pope from Rome, the governor of the castle of St. Angelo, 
fearing a revolt in the city in favour of Arnold of Brescia, 
caused him to be led out on June 18th, 1 1 55, and burnt 
alive at the stake before the Porta del Popolo. 

Adrian IV., on June 9th, 1 1 55, advanced in state from 
his castle at Nepi to meet the Emperor, riding, as was 
the Pope's custom, on a white palfrey ; but on their 
meeting, the haughty Emperor refused to dismount and, 
according to custom, hold the stirrup of the Pope while 
assisting him to dismount. Adrian calmly kept his seat, 
and refused to move until the due act of homage had 
been rendered. Frederic was angrily obdurate, and 
murmurs arose amongst his soldiers, which so alarmed 
the Cardinals that they fled, leaving the Pope to face 
the storm alone. Ultimately, with great dignity he dis- 
mounted himself, and allowed the Emperor to conduct 
him to the seat prepared for him. On this he sat, and 
allowed Frederic to kneel and kiss his feet ; but when 
Frederic arose to receive in return the kiss of peace, 
Adrian calmly but firmly declined to give it or to crown 
the Emperor until full homage had been rendered him, 
and after a heated argument returned unmolested to Nepi. 
After his departure, Frederic, whose great ambition was 
to be crowned in Rome by the Pope, suffered himself to 
be persuaded by his entourage to yield to the Pontiff's 
demands. On June nth, he followed the Pope to Nepi. 
Adrian once more rode out to meet him, and the haughty 
Emperor, advancing on foot, took hold of the Pope's 
stirrup, and helped him to alight. The Pope then 
embraced him, and gave him the kiss of peace. The 
Emperor and Pope afterwards entered Rome side by side 
in triumph, and on June 18th Frederic was solemnly 
crowned in St. Peter's by Adrian. Immediately after- 
wards a serious riot broke out in the city, but after a 
desperate battle Frederic's troops were victorious. 
Shortly afterwards he and his army departed northwards, 
and at Tivoli Pope and Emperor separated with mutual 

The Hertfordshire Pope 29 

expressions of goodwill, though the peace between them 
was of a hollow kind. " So," says Monsignor Casartelli, 
"ended the first round in the mighty struggle between 
Empire and Papacy, and it must be admitted that Adrian 
had had the best of the contest." 

As soon as Adrian's election became known in 
England, King Henry II, who had just ascended the 
throne, sent a deputation, consisting of the Abbot of 
St. Albans and three bishops, to offer his congratulations 
to the English Pontiff. They carried with them many 
rich gifts. His Holiness received them with every expres- 
sion of goodwill, and showed them signal honour. He 
good humouredly remarked to the Abbot of St Albans : — 

I refuse to accept your gifts, since when I once fled to the shelter of 
your religious house, and begged to be invested with the monk's hood, 
you refused to accept me. 

The Abbot replied : — 

My Lord, we could never have taken you in, for God, in His all- 
seeing wisdom, willed it otherwise, since He had set apart your life for 
a higher position. 

The Pope was highly pleased with these words, and 
responded s — 

An elegant and a courteous reply, but, my dearest abbot, pray ask 
out boldly for what you want ; you know that the Bishop of Albano 
could never refuse anything to St. Albans. 

The Abbot obtained from him the exemption of the 
monastery from the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Lincoln, 
and other favours. 

Shortly after the departure of the Emperor from Rome 
Adrian became involved in another difficult and dangerous 
contest with the Norman King, William of Sicily. Just 
one year before, William had caused himself to be crowned 
King at Palermo without previously obtaining the papal 
sanction. This was an act of rebellion, as the Holy See 
claimed then, and claims now, the feudal overlordship 

30 Memorials of Old Hertfordshire 

of Southern Italy. On Adrian's accession, William sent 
the customary congratulations ; but Adrian was not the 
man to brook any diminution of the rights of his office, 
and he promptly declined to recognise William, who 
replied by an invasion of papal territory. Adrian at once 
excommunicated him, and though William paid at first 
little heed to the censure, the offer of the Greek Emperor 
of Constantinople to form an alliance with the Pope 
against him alarmed him, and after long negotiations, on 
June 9th, 1 1 56, he submitted, and did homage and swore 
fealty to the Holy See, being then absolved from his 
excommunication and confirmed in his kingdom. 

Adrian's last days were darkened by a fresh and more 
serious conflict with the Emperor Frederic Barbarossa, 
who had divorced his childless wife and taken a fresh 
one. In 11 57 two Cardinal Legates were insulted in the 
Emperor's presence by Otho von Wittelsbach and other 
nobles, and were driven ignominiously out of the country. 
Frederic afterwards invaded Italy a second time, and 
endeavoured to become the despot of the whole of Italy. 
He sacked Milan and other cities, and appointed a new 
Archbishop of Ravenna without the consent of the Pope. 
Adrian dauntlessly upheld the rights of the Church and 
the Holy See, and prepared for war. He fortified and 
strengthened his own castles. Adrian also forwarded an 
ultimatum to the Emperor, demanding that he should 
recognise the absolute dominion of the Pope in Rome, 
and that other portions of the Papal States which had 
been seized should be given up. Frederic returned a 
procrastinating reply, demanding a conference, but this 
Adrian refused. The Pope also sent a fiery letter to the 
Archbishop and electors of Germany, in which he com- 
mended them for their faithfulness to the Holy See. 
Mr. Tarleton says 1 — 

Having delivered himself of this message, Adrian prepared to excom- 
municate the Emperor. The man was ready. He was on the point of 
opening the campaign and waging a war to the knife in support of the 

The Hertfordshire Pope 31 

claims of the Church, when the summons came to him that his day's 
work was over, and his earthly troubles at an end. No more was 
Christendom to hear his powerful voice, no more was the Church to feel 
his strong support. Frederic for the time was to be freed. Overtaken 
at Anagui by an attack of quinsy, the great Pope, the true honest man, 
breathed his last on the ist September, 1159. He died at his post, a 
glorious representative of the Church militant, face to the foe, upholding 
the standard of his Master, faithful to his principles, staunch to his 
supporters, and above all, true to himself. 

It has been asserted that he was poisoned, but this 
theory never had a shadow of evidence to support it. 
The Emperor's party invented a silly tale that he was 
choked, while drinking, by a fly. This idle story is 
frequently found in modern books whose writers ought 
to know better. 

His body was taken to Rome, and buried in a red 
marble sarcophagus in the nave of the old basilica of 
St. Peter's. In 1607 it was removed to the new basilica, 
and is now in the crypt of St. Peter's in a large sarco- 
phagus of red marble, with the deer's skull — the sign of 
St. Albans — and two roses to represent England, in bas- 
relief, with the simple inscription : " Hadrianus Papa IIII." 
On the occasion of the translation the body was exhumed, 
and was found, together with the pontificals in which it 
was arrayed, incorrupt. 

On the Feast of St. Francis Xavier, 1904, being the 
seven hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the election of 
Pope Adrian IV. to the See of St. Peter, a small party, 
including myself, visited Bedmond and Abbots Langley. 
The nave of the church at Abbots Langley is Norman 
work, and probably dates from the Pope's time ; but there 
is no doubt that he was baptised either in the present 
building or a previous one on the same site, Domesday 
Book stating that there was a church there. On our 
arrival at the picturesque hamlet of Bedmond we visited 
the house where tradition says the great Pontiff was born. 
It is now much modernised, but I am inclined to think 
that possibly in the foundations there might be some 

32 Memorials of Old Hertfordshire 

remains of the original structure. Notwithstanding that 
the English people seem content to allow the memory of 
Adrian IV. to be consigned to oblivion, he is not forgotten 
in his native village. The house is called " Breakspeares," 
and in the grounds attached to it there is a holy well, the 
water of which is of great repute in the neighbourhood 
for the cure of bad eyes ; we were informed that the 
people came from miles round to visit it. It seems a 
pity that some effort is not made to acquire the Pope's 
house, and to preserve it as a memorial of the great 
illustrious Englishman, who alone of our race has occupied 
the throne of St. Peter at Rome. 


By the Rev. Woolmgre Wigram, Canon of 
St. Albans 

Abbey, a.d. 790 — Parish Church, 1539 — Cathedral, 1877 

1 HE Abbey of St. Alban was the nucleus around 
which the town grew ; the two together have 
been associated in a manner truly remarkable 
with nearly every great epoch of English history. 
The Roman, the Saxon, and the Norman nations have 
all left their mark here. St. Albans was connected with 
the very first introduction of Christianity into this island, 
about the year 300 ; with two religious persecutions, each 
organised by the government of the day — the Diocletian 
and the Marian ; with two civil wars, in the fifteenth and 
seventeenth centuries ; one peasant rising, in the four- 
teenth century ; two terrible visitations of pestilence — the 
leprosy and the Black Death ; with the whole of that 
lengthy and complicated development of national life 
described as the " monastic system " and the * feudal 
system " ; finally, St. Albans maintained a grammar school 
from a very early period, possibly from the tenth century ; 
it owned a school of historians in the thirteenth and four- 
teenth centuries ; and the printing press, the third set up 
in England, was at work here in 1480. 

The outlook from the west front of the great church 

recalls these past centuries in a very striking manner. 

Towards the south-west the ground falls directly to the 

little river Ver ; on the opposite slope are the remains of 

D 33 

34 Memorials of Old Hertfordshire 

Verulamium, the Roman successor of a British stronghold 
yet more ancient ; the two hills are connected by a cause- 
way, clearly artificial, across the marsh and the Ver, 
blocking its stream so as to form a lake on the northern 
face of the Roman town, and to provide a road for its 
garrison to the country beyond. It was along this cause- 
way, as is believed, that St. Alban walked to his death ; 
and without doubt, Baeda's description accords altogether 
with the shape of the ground, and the distance from the 
centre of the church to the causeway where it crosses the 
stream (as measured in a straight line upon the Ordnance 
map) agrees with his figures exactly. 

Towards the west and in the foreground stands the 
great gateway. It was built by Thomas de la Mare 
(Abbot 1349-96), in whose time Jack Straw's mob captured 
the abbey, and destroyed all its charters and other 
evidence of feudal rights. Beneath this gateway are very 
large store cellars and prisons ; for the Lord Abbot was 
king within his own boundaries : he possessed all powers, 
excepting that of coining money ; his gallows stood on 
" No-man's Land," his pillories and stocks wherever they 
were needed. Since 1870 the gateway has been occupied 
by the Grammar School. 

Adjoining the gateway is " Rome-land," a large open 
space originally, but portions have been enclosed as a 
burial-ground and for the use of the school. It is con- 
nected very intimately with the second martyr who has 
died in St. Albans for conscience sake. George 
Tankerfield was brought hither on August 26th, 1555, 
during the Marian persecution, and burned alive under 
circumstances of exceptional cruelty. 

Fish-pool Street, long, narrow, and tortuous, climbs 
up the hill into Rome-land ; it witnessed the beginning 
of the second great battle of St. Albans. The first battle, 
in 1455, began at the south-east gate of the town, about 
a quarter of a mile from the Abbey. At the second 
battle, in 1461, the Lancastrians made their original, but 

The Church of St. Alban 35 

unsuccessful, attack by the way of St. Michael's Church 
and Fish-pool Street, across Rome-land. 

Two hospitals for lepers were maintained by the 
abbey — that of St. Julian for men, that of the Pre for 
women. They stood on the Watling Street, the one to 
the south, the other to the north of the town, each of 
them about a mile from the gateway. 

The Building: Interior. 

The ground plan preserves unaltered the main struc- 
tural arrangements of a Benedictine church. The 
monastic " presbytery and choir " extended from Abbot 
Walyngforde's high altar screen to the stone rood loft 
built during the fourteenth century (upon which the organ 
now stands), and thus comprised what we call the chancel, 
the transepts, and three bays of the nave, with the aisles. 
These together form the Cathedral of to-day. 

West of the cathedral proper is the great parish church, 
ten bays in length. East of the great screen come (1) the 
Saints' Chapel ; (2) the retro-choir or ante-chapel ; (3) the 
Lady Chapel ; so that the entire building consists of five 
churches on end ; and within its walls with those of the 
chapter-house, etc., adjoining, there were in 1478 no less 
than twenty-nine altars and above a hundred tombs. 

On the south stood the Monastery, an immense range 
of buildings, reaching down from the gateway to the 
modern silk mill, where was the water gate, and on the 
other side, including the Deanery, etc. ; the whole area 
enclosed by a battlemented wall, which was continued up 
the hill into the modern High Street. 

The Builders. 

Paul of Caen, the first Norman abbot, pulled down 
all that he found, and rebuilt both church and monastery. 
He was aided with money by Archbishop Lanfranc ; he 

36 Memorials of Old Hertfordshire 

used Verulamium as a quarry of Roman bricks, and 
worked up the materials for a new church provided by 
the later Saxon abbots, as can be seen in the triforium. 
The tower, the transepts and twelve arches and a half, 
west of the tower, are his work. 

John de Cella (1195-1214) began to rebuild the abbey 
church from the western end ; but the times were bad, 
money fell short, the work stopped, the abbot died. His 
designs were carried on by his immediate successor, 
William de Trumpington, but at reduced expense and in 
diminished beauty. The work done by these two men 
is intermingled very curiously ; in each case it is stopped 
abruptly against, or even runs out over, the work of an 
older abbot. 

John de Hertford (1235-60) altered Paul's Norman 
apses into an English square east end, and apparently 
laid the foundations of the Lady Chapel ; but it is 
extremely difficult to trace out the architectural history 
of this portion of the church. 

The five beautiful bays of Decorated work at the 
eastern end of the nave are due to Hugh d' Eversden and 
his successor, Michael de Mentmore, in the first half of 
the fourteenth century ; the rebuilding being brought 
about by the fall of two great columns. Also Abbot 
Hugh continued the Lady Chapel. 

Thomas de la Mare followed (1349-96), and in his 
days, apparently, the abbey reached its greatest splendour. 
He built the gateway and the wall of the close ; he spent 
very large sums upon the church and its services ; his 
monks were kept busy upon books and book-binding ; 
his painter, Hugh, was summoned by the King to decorate 
St. Stephen's, Westminster. He was President of the 
General Chapter of the Benedictines throughout England. 

In the fifteenth century, John de Wheathampstead 
inserted large Perpendicular windows, which have been 
removed by later hands ; decorated the roof of the presby- 
tery ; built the chantry tomb of Humphrey, Duke of 

The Church of St. Alban 37 

Gloucester ; and, in an evil hour, altered the Norman 
triforium west of the tower, as appears by comparing 
what we now have with the single bay (north of the 
organ) which he left untouched. We may conjecture 
that he placed here the " pair of organs " which he gave 
to the church, and that his windows were intended for 
stained glass. 

William de Walyngforde (1476-84) crowned the work 
of all his predecessors by building " the great screen," 
unsurpassed in England, which now stands restored to its 
original beauty. 

The shrines of St. Alban and of St. Amphibalus belong 
to' the fourteenth century. Only three chantry tombs 
remain, all of late fifteenth century work — those of 
Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, and of Abbots Wheat- 
hampstead and Ramryge. Almost all the smaller 
memorials have been destroyed, and the brasses stolen 
or greatly injured, with the exception, happily, of that of 
De la Mare. The decorations of walls and roof were 
beautiful in both thought and execution ; but they have 
suffered, as might be expected. 


The abbey was surrendered, by its fortieth abbot, to 
Henry VIII., on December 5th, 1539. St Albans saw 
the dark side of the Reformation period : its sacrilege, its 
oppression, its ruthless plunder, were all felt here in their 
intensity. The monastery was granted to Sir Richard 
Lee, and destroyed ; its endowments were handed over 
to court favourites ; the church was plundered : its fabric 
alone was spared, and that because it was bought by the 
town for £400 ; the gateway was used as a court-house 
and prison ; the Lady Chapel became a school ; a public 
footpath was made right through the church from north 
to south (two windows being cut down into open door- 
ways), in the western portion of the Lady Chapel, for 

38 Memorials of Old Hertfordshire 

the convenience of the schoolboys, and as a short cut for 
pedestrians from the Market Place to St. Stephen's. So 
the sixteenth century passed away. 

Its violence was repeated in the seventeenth century, 
when the great church was used as a military prison for 
the defeated cavaliers ; and the eighteenth century, in its 
turn, brought the religious apathy and the sordid neglect 
which were so prevalent throughout the country. Still the 
church was used for worship ; the congregation was 
sheltered from draughts by that arrangement of pews, 
galleries, and panelling which was customary at that time, 
and which hid from sight any defects in the old walls 
which were unpleasant to recollect. If a window was 
blown in or any other mischief obtruded itself, the place 
was bricked up as soon as might be convenient, but the 
building received no further attention. 

The Restoration in the Nineteenth Century. 

The work commenced in 1870 revealed startling facts, 
viz., that in the four great piers below the tower there 
existed a stratum of inferior mortar, due, probably, to 
damage by frost or by rain while they were being built 
originally ; that the south wall of the long nave was more 
than two feet out of the perpendicular, due to the 
destruction of the buildings which had acted as buttresses 
on this side, and possibly also to disturbance of the 
foundations ; that the south-east pier had been under- 
mined with the deliberate intention of throwing the tower 
down, for there was a cave beneath it large enough for 
a man to enter, and the struts remained with which he 
had supported the weight while he worked below ; all 
four of the Norman piers had been weakened seriously 
by cutting back their outer casing to a height of thirty 
feet, and both north and south walls of the presbytery 
had been pierced by large openings in such a manner as 
to destroy all bond with the piers. 

The Church of St. Alban 39 

The first grave warning came in 1832, when a mass 
of the upper wall of the nave fell down through the roof 
of the south aisle. Funds to the amount of £4,500 were 
raised and spent in repairs. 

The great danger culminated in 1870, when it became 
clear that the whole tower itself was settling. There were 
cracks in all directions, the north-east pier had burst, the 
chantry of Abbot Ramryge and the groining of the north 
aisle had been split open, and were being crushed. Then 
arches were bricked up hastily ; timber was inserted at 
every available point, but the heavy baulks bent like reeds 
as the pressure increased ; men stuck bravely to their 
posts — they worked day and night ; but the pier crumbled 
and crumbled, for the tower was actually on the move ; 
but at last they succeeded : the east and north-east arches 
were trussed up, and complete ruin averted. Then the 
whole tower, from top to bottom, had to be examined 
and carefully repaired, which involved a vast amount of 
additional work. 

In the nave an engineering feat of extraordinary 
courage was performed. The weight of the roof was lifted 
off the walls ; the north wall was stiffened by timbers, 
so as to be equal to any strain ; iron rods designed like 
railway couplings were fixed from the north wall across 
to the south, screw-jacks were applied on the outside ; 
and thus the entire mass was dragged up in one piece 
and in a single motion, and held in its place until it 
could be adequately under-pinned and buttressed. Ulti- 
mately, the roof was rebuilt as we see it at present. 

The funds at disposal were now spent, and every 
available source of supply was exhausted, but the work 
was very far from being finished. Then the late Lord 
Grimthorpe made his offer — to complete the whole restora- 
tion at his own sole charge, provided that he was secured 
legally from all outside interference. This offer was 
accepted, and the bargain was carried out. During the 
next fifteen years or so every portion of the building 

40 Memorials of Old Hertfordshire 

passed under review : the pavement, the walls, the 
windows, the turrets, the internal fittings, etc. ; whatever 
Lord Grimthorpe thought necessary was done according 
to his plans and at his cost. The sum total thus spent 
is absolutely unknown. The largest individual item, 
probably, was the west front, which is altogether new ; 
the most successful, undoubtedly, is the Lady Chapel, 
then first completed, for the original builders had never 
erected the beautiful groined ceiling which they had 

Two points call for special notice. The great screen 
built by Abbot William de Walyngforde had been ruined 
so pitilessly that of all its seventy-three statues not one 
was left ; and of all its beautiful canopies, etc., there 
remained only sufficient to guide the restorer ; neither was 
there any record of what had been there ; hence the 
choice and arrangement of the figures is a new composi- 
tion. For the whole of this restoration the church is 
indebted to Lord Aldenham. 

The two shrines — those of St. Alban and of St. Amphi- 
balus — were broken up utterly, and used as mere rubbish 
with which to close certain archways, etc. More than 
three thousand of these fragments have been recovered ; 
they have been assorted and put together, so that the 
shrines have (to a great extent) grown again under the 
hands of the workman — an act of true " restoration " such 
as can never be surpassed. 

At the same time the abbey gateway was re-purchased, 
and the Grammar School moved into it, out of the Lady 

The Cells of the Great Abbey. 

The territorial influence of the Abbot of St. Albans 
must have been very great. A single Charter issued by 
King John enumerates more than fifty manors, estates, 
etc., over which he had rights, varying from petty fees 
to aid his housekeeping up to powers of the pillory and 

The Church of St. Alban 41 

the gallows. Cells were monastic houses subordinate to 
the main foundation, varying in size and importance, 
administered usually by priors ; but of the twenty-six cells 
and sub-cells belonging to St. Albans, several were 
entitled to display a coat-of-arms, and ten of their priors 
had votes at the election of an abbot. A visitation of 
the whole entailed a journey from Hertford through 
Norfolk to Tynemouth, and back by the way of Pembroke. 
The great man's outfit, his attendants, his reception, and 
the length of his stay in any cell, were carefully regulated. 
Tynemouth Priory was of importance almost equal to the 
town of Newcastle. The royal permission had to be 
obtained before the abbot might venture so near to the 
hostile kingdom of Scotland. Nothing is left now but 
a ruin, beautiful in its decay, and the names of two towns, 
North and South Shields, with above 150,000 inhabitants, 
upon the spot where the prior built the " Shielings " for 
his fishermen. 

Another cell, Monkton, by Pembroke, has a very 
curious history. Founded by an Earl of Pembroke at 
a time when Normandy was part of England, it was 
attached to the Abbey of St. Martin, at Seyes ; when 
Normandy returned to France, Monkton became an 
" alien house," and its revenues were appropriated by 
the Crown whenever there was war with France. All 
alien priories were suppressed by Henry V. ; and this 
one was given to his brother Humphrey, of Gloucester, 
and by him to John of Wheathampstead, Abbot of 
St. Albans. It fell with the abbey under Henry VIII. ; 
but nine hundred years after its original foundation it 
was restored to its primitive beauty, and dedicated anew 
to worship, in the presence of Edward VII. 

Diocesan Memoranda, etc. 

St. Albans, like the greater part of Hertfordshire, was 
originally in the Diocese of Lincoln. As a mitred abbey, 

42 Memorials of Old Hertfordshire 

it was exempt, practically, from episcopal rule ; at the 
Dissolution it was transferred to the Diocese of London ; 
in 1845 t0 tnat or " Rochester; and in 1877 the existing 
See of St. Alban was founded. The first Bishop was 
Dr. Claughton, transferred from Rochester ; Dr. Festing 
the second ; the Right Rev. Edgar Jacob the third and 
present occupant of the See, by translation from that of 

The Deanery was founded in 1900, the Very Rev. 
Walter John Lawrance being the first Dean. There are 
twenty-four Canons, all of them honorary. The episcopal 
throne was erected in 1904 as the diocesan memorial to 
the late Bishop, Dr. Festing. Eight of the stalls were 
given in 1892, thirty-six in 1904. Several of these are 
memorials ; others are gifts to the Cathedral. 


By J. L. Glasscock 

F the buildings of Bishop's Stortford Castle and 
the prison nothing now remains above the 
ground ; but about fifty years ago, when some 
alterations were being made at the dwelling-house, 
some of the foundations of the old walls were discovered. 
On the summit of the mound the ruins of the outer walls 
of the keep are still to be seen. The castle, with its 
keep and courts, occupied an area of about four acres, 
and was surrounded with a moat, which was crossed by 
a drawbridge. There was also a gatehouse, the exact 
position of which I do not know, but it was in existence 
as late as 1621, as in that year George Montaign, the 
then Bishop of London, had a law-suit with the widow 
and administratrix of the previous Bishop, relative to the 
repairs of " Stortford Gate House," and, therefore, I think 
we may assume it formed part of the Bishop's castle 
here. 1 

We are told by various authorities that William the 
Conqueror built Stortford Castle, and from the way in 
which Chauncy mentions this in his History of Hertford- 
shire, some might infer that he thought William also 
raised the mound : " King William the Conqueror built 
a small castle upon a firm artificial mount, made very 
steep after the usual mode of the Norman buildings in 
that age." 2 I only mention this for the purpose of saying 
that we may at once dismiss that idea as untenable. 

1 State Pap., Dom. 1621, James I., vol. cciii. 

2 Chauncy, Hist. Herts., vol. i., p. 323. 


44 Memorials of Old Hertfordshire 

If at the present day we proposed to erect a building 
with such massive walls as these undoubtedly were, we 
should not select as a site a recently raised mound of 
earth And Norman masons would not do so either. But 
because the Normans did not raise the mound it does not 
follow that they would not make use of it. As a matter 
of fact, we know that they frequently adopted ancient 
defensive earthworks as sites for their castles, and I think 
they did so in this instance. We may, therefore, assume 
that when the Normans came here they found an 
existing mound, not as high, perhaps, as at present, but 
firmly consolidated, and which had been in existence at 
least one and probably more centuries. Therefore, in 
our endeavour to form some opinion as to the origin of 
the mound, we shall start with the assumption that the 
mound is pre-Norman. Then the question arises : At 
what period in our history and for what purpose was this 
mound originally raised? To this question, at present, 
no definite answer can be given. Until a careful 
exploration of the interior of the mound shall have 
revealed its secret, we can only surmise and form our 
opinions as to its origin and purpose by a comparison 
with other and similar earthworks of which something 
more is known. I have recently read what has come 
within my reach upon the subject of grave mounds and 
ancient defensive earthworks, and while it is not my 
intention to assume any knowledge of this particular 
branch of archaeology, or to commit myself, in the absence 
of exploration, to any particular opinion as to its origin, 
I may perhaps be permitted to mention two possible 
theories for consideration. 

(i) It may possibly be a Celtic barrow or grave 
mound, its shape being due either to its being what is 
termed a long barrow, or to two barrows having been 
subsequently united when it was first used for defensive 
purposes ; or it may have developed this shape owing 
to secondary and subsequent interments around and upon 

Stortford Castle 45 

the primary barrow. If we adopt the Celtic barrow 
theory for its origin, we may then, I think, fairly assume 
that it was afterwards used both by Roman and Saxon 
for defensive purposes, and the fact that traces of a 
Roman occupation of the site have been found tends to 
confirm this assumption. On the other hand, a strong 
argument against the theory of a Celtic origin, in my 
opinion, is the site. Celtic barrows are not, as a rule, 
found in the bottom of a river valley, and the marshy 
nature of the ground hereabouts does not, I think, lend 
itself to the theory of a grave mound. 

(2) The second theory is that it is not a grave mound, 
but what is known as " a moated mound " or " buhr," 
raised in Saxon times for defensive purposes. In con- 
nection with this I may be asked to account for traces 
of Roman occupation. My reply is, so far as we are 
aware there are no remains of Roman walls or buildings 
to be found upon the mound. The pieces of tile found 
in the walls, if Roman, may easily have been, and were, 
probably, taken from some adjacent building and again 
used, as was frequently the case, by the Norman builders. 

A careful examination of the site suggests the idea 
that the whole of the area occupied by the castle 
buildings and yards, etc., was also encompassed with a 
moat and bank, having a circular shape towards the 
south, which was probably somewhat modified at the time 
the causeway from Hockerill to Stortford was made. 
The track of the moat, I suggest, may still be traced in 
the existing ditch, but all traces of a bank have now 
disappeared. This, however, was not the case in the year 
1800. In that year the Rev. T. Kerrich, who was the 
keeper of the Public Library at Cambridge, visited 
Stortford, and made some notes and sketches of the 
earthworks. In one of these he shows a moat and bank 
on the east side, and he says in his note : " There yet 
remains towards the east a large vallum and ditch." The 
conclusion I arrive at is that whether the mound be of 

46 Memorials of Old Hertfordshire 

Celtic origin or not, the whole site was an ancient 
defensive earthwork previous to the Norman invasion, 
and that the Normans altered and adapted it to suit their 

Leaving the history of the mound for the present still 
veiled in the mists of antiquity, let us look at it as it 
presents itself to us to-day. The contour having been 
somewhat altered even during the last fifty years by the 
falling masonry and other causes, it is somewhat difficult 
to give its proper and accurate dimensions. It is about 
250 feet long by about 195 feet wide ; the base is oval, 
and occupies an area of about 5,000 yards. The area of 
the summit is about 610 yards, and it is 42 feet high 
above the natural level of the ground, which at this spot 
is about 187 feet above O.D. 

Now as to the castle, of which only the ruins of an 
old shell keep can now be seen above ground. We are 
told, as I mentioned before, that the castle was built 
by William the Conqueror. Possibly it was ; at the 
same time, I do not think we ought to accept this state- 
ment as an undoubted fact, especially as the remains are 
of such a fragmentary character that it is difficult to 
assign them positively to Norman or earlier times. The 
late Mr. Walford, writing in his Antiquarian Magazine, 
states his opinion that "the castle of Hertford and 
probably that of Stortford also was built by King Alfred's 
son, Edward the Elder, who divided his time between 
those places and Winchester, then the capital of the 

Salmon, who, as is known, was resident in Stort- 
ford when he wrote his history in 1728, also favours 
the idea of a Saxon building. Mr. Cussans, also, is 
inclined to attribute the masonry to the Saxon rather 
than the Norman period. It is, however, certain that a 
castle of some kind existed here at the time of the 
Conquest, as we learn from a grant or charter of William 
the Conqueror to Maurice Bishop, of London, that the 

Stortford Castle 47 

King granted to the Bishop "the castle of Esterteferd 
and all the land which his predecessor, Bishop William, 
held of me." 1 It appears strange, then, that Stortford 
Castle is not mentioned in the Domesday Survey. The 
explanation may be that the castle mentioned in the grant 
was an inconsiderable one, and that it was subsequently 
enlarged. Although Domesday Book does not mention 
Stortford Castle, it tells us that the town belonged to 
Eddeva the Fair, the wife or mistress of Harold, and that 
she sold it to William, Bishop of London. 

When William the Conqueror came upon the scene he 
appears to have annexed it, in common with everything 
else that was worth having in those days, and whether he 
built the castle or not, he subsequently gave it and the 
town to Maurice, Bishop of London, and his successors, 
thus restoring to the See what he had taken from 
Maurice's predecessor ; and it is recorded that he also 
gave certain manors and lands to the Bishop to support 
it, the tenants being charged with certain rents called 
castle guard. 

We hear very little more of Stortford Castle in the 
eleventh century, but in the next it must have been a 
place of some importance. 

During the troublous reign of Stephen, when the 
country was devastated by the civil war between Stephen 
and Maud the Empress, the daughter of Henry I., I find 
that in the year 11 39 Maud, in order to win over 
Geoffrey de Mandeville, whom Stephen had made Earl 
of Essex, to her side, covenants with him that if she 
could obtain this castle in exchange from the Bishop of 
London she would confer it upon him for ever; and 
that in the event of her not being able to obtain it, she 
would demolish it. Now, the Bishop of London at this 
time was one Robert de Sigillo, who was preferred to 
the See by Maud, and therefore we may imagine would 

l Dugdale's Monasticon, vol. iii., p. 308. 

48 Memorials of Old Hertfordshire 

be inclined to favour her views. But subsequent history 
proves that she did not obtain it, and she did not carry 
out her threat of demolishing it i that pleasant occupation 
was reserved for another and later monarch called John. 
In reference to this covenant, Mr. J. H. Round, in his 
Geoffrey de Mandeville, says : — 

It implies a peculiar antipathy to this castle on the part of Earl Geoffrey 
— an antipathy explained by the fact of its position, lying as it did on the 
main road from London to Walden, and thus cutting communications between 
his two strongholds. We have a curious allusion to this episcopal castle a 
few years before (1137), when Abbot Anslem of St. Edmunds, who claimed 
to have been elected to the See, seized and held it. 

The Bishops of London then continued to enjoy the 
possession of the town and castle until early in the 
thirteenth century. In or about the year 1207, William, 
the Bishop, offended the King by the opposition he offered 
in reference to the election of Stephen Langton to the 
See of Canterbury, and also because he, with other 
Bishops, by command of the Pope, executed an inter- 
diction upon the whole realm. This so enraged John that 
he revenged himself upon the Bishop by seizing his castle 
and town of Stortford; the castle he demolished, and 
taking the town into his own hands, he made it a 
borough, and authorised the inhabitants to send two 
burgesses to represent them in Parliament. John either 
soon repented of his rashness, or the power of the Bishops 
was too much for him, for in 1 2 1 3 he issued a letter patent 
authorising William, Bishop of London, to rebuild his 
castle whenever he wished. This, however, did not satisfy 
his lordship, as I find in 12 14 John issued another letter 
patent, in which he acknowledges his own responsibility 
to repair or rebuild the castle of Stortford " as well and 
as strong as it was at the beginning of the discord 
between us and the clergy of England " ; and in this 
same year he gave to the Bishop the manor of Stoke, 
near Guildford, in amends for destroying his castle of 
Stortford. Although the Bishop regained his castle, he 

Stortford Castle 49 

lost the town, which remained a borough for one hundred 
and fifty or more years, and was for some time in the 
King's hands, but subsequently the Bishops regained their 
possession of the manor. 

King John, having patched up his quarrel with the 
Bishop, came here himself in 1216, possibly to see whether 
the rebuilding was completed properly, and he stayed 
here one night, on March 29th. As the hotel accom- 
modation was somewhat limited in those days, I presume 
he put up at the Bishop's castle. It was probably at 
this time that the Bishop built his gaol or prison in 
connection with the castle. 

In the fourteenth century it appears that an officer 
was appointed by the Bishops called the Constable of 
the Castle of Stortford ; he in all probability resided in 
the castle. In 1305, I find one John de Solio filled the 
office; and in 1338, Stephen Gravesend, Bishop of 
London, appointed William Attewood as Constable. 
Though not concerning the history of the castle, it may 
be worthy of notice that I recently found it stated in an 
old chronicle that Stephen Gravesend died at Stortford 
in the year 1338 "in domibus rectoris," and was buried 
in St. Paul's, London. 

In the reign of Edward III. an inquisition on castles, 
with a view of putting them in a proper state of defence, 
was held; and I find that in 1345 a license was granted 
to the Bishop to crenellate or fortify his castle at Stort- 
ford. Within the castle there was a chapel dedicated to 
St. Paul, and in 1352 Ralph de Stratford obtained the 
King's license to found and endow a chantry of secular 
priests within his chapel of St. Paul in his castle of 

Little more is known of the history of the castle 
during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, and the 
references to it are chiefly those relating to the gaol. 
This prison of the Bishop of London appears to have 
been used as a gaol for all the parishes under the Bishop's 

50 Memorials of Old Hertfordshire 

bailiff, called the liberty of the Bishop of London. 
Salmon says the liberty comprised, besides Stortford, 
the parishes of Great and Little Hadham, Albury, the 
three Pelhams, Meesden, Datchworth, Ashwell, Stevenage, 
Graveley, and Chisfield. I have evidence that it was 
used by the Bishops as a convenient place to which to 
send persons charged with heresy and other ecclesiastical 
offences, and Bonner, we are told, found it very useful 
for convicted Protestants. 

I n 1 535» John Chaunsey, the bailiff of the liberties 
of Middlesex, Surrey, and Sussex, was paid £6 i$s. ^d. 
for the cost of bringing twenty convicted prisoners to 
the castle of Stortford. Altogether, it seems to have 
served a somewhat extensive area, and must have been a 
fairly capacious and rather an important place in those 
days. It is said that the dungeon was dark and deep ; 
probably it was ; but of one thing I am certain — its 
sanitary condition left much to be desired, and in this 
respect it was only a type of other prisons of the period. 

There is in the Public Record Office a series 
of old accounts called ministers' accounts, and among 
these are some relating to Stortford Castle and Gaol. 
I cannot, in a paper like this, go minutely into these, but 
I may say they extend over a period of some hundred 
and thirty years, from 1344 to 1474, and are full of 
interesting information. To give you some idea of what 
the Bishop's prison was like, I will quote from the first 
of these accounts, viz., that of William Priour and James 
Hanekyn, the keepers of the gaol and farmers of the 
manor, for the year beginning at Michaelmas in the 
twentieth year of Edward I. : On the 29th September 
there were no less than fifty prisoners confined here, and 
their maintenance cost a shilling per day for the fifty, 
so the diet was not what is known as " high." To these 
fifty must be added seven fresh prisoners received during 
the year, and of this total of fifty-seven no less than 
twenty-nine died in the prison during the year, and were 

Stortford Castle 51 

buried in the precincts. The names of the prisoners are 
all entered in the account. The cost of burying them 
amounted to the sum of a penny each. The prisoners 
appear to have been ironed in all cases, some being 
chained to the walls and some to posts. Again, in the 
years 1347-48, I find there were from twenty-five to thirty 
prisoners here, of whom nine died and were buried during 
the year. In the sixteenth century the number appears 
to have fallen off, as I find from a survey of the Bishopric 
of London in 1539 that there were only eleven prisoners 
in the Bishop's prison here at that time. Human remains 
have frequently been found very near to the surface, 
between the mound and the site of the prison, and fifty 
years ago it was thought that these were the remains 
of men slain in strife and hastily interred. After reading 
the accounts I have referred to, I think there is very 
little doubt that they are the remains of the Bishop's 
prisoners who died and were buried here. Their 
proximity to the surface may, perhaps, be explained by 
the amount paid for burial, viz., a penny in each case. 
While the Bishops maintained their prison here, they 
seemed to have allowed the castle to fall into decay, as 
John Leland, writing about the year 1 549, mentions " the 
ruins of a few pieces of the walls of Stortford Castle." 
This, I take it, he intends to refer to the keep only, as 
he goes on to observe " the Bishop's prison there is no 
part of the castle." Norden, in his survey of Hertford- 
shire, tells us that " Bonner made great use of the prison 
adjourning the castle, where he kept convicted Pro- 
testants in a deep and dark dungeon " ; and Chauncy 
tells us, upon the authority of Thomas Leigh, who was 
Vicar here in his time, that one was burnt in Queen 
Mary's reign on a little green near the prison called 
Goosemeat. After Bonner's time, the Bishops of London 
made very little use of their prison here, and their 
temporal powers being curtailed, the building gradually 
fell into decay; and in 1647, when the Parliamentary 

52 Memorials of Old Hertfordshire 

survey of the manor of Stortford was made, it is 
described as " a house very much destroyed, belonging 
to Stortford Castle, the material whereof are valued at 
£$0." This was subsequently sold in 1649, an< ^ tne 
purchaser pulled it down with the bridge, and erected " a 
fair inn near unto it," which was probably more appre- 
ciated by the Stortford folk than the Bishop's prison. 

What I have said with regard to the recorded history 
of this ancient building must be considered as by no 
means exhaustive. I am convinced that there is a large 
field still open for original research among the vast stores 
of historical documents preserved at the Parish Registry 
Office, from which much information relative to the castle 
and town of Bishop's Stortford may be gained. 


By Harry P. Pollard 

I. — The Franciscan Priory 

HE statement made by some writers that this 
Priory was founded about A.D. 1234 has 
probability to support it, especially when it is 
remembered that the Franciscans arrived in 
England in 1224, and overran the country in a very few 
years. The earliest documentary evidence of the presence 
of the Franciscans at Ware is of the time of Edward III., 
some hundred years later than the date of their arrival 
in England. The priory seal also seems to show that 
the latter date is the period of this foundation. The 
documentary evidence above referred to is from the 
Patent Roll 12 Edward III., pt. 1, membrane 32. "Of 
making an oratory in Ware for the Friars of the Order 
of Minors " wherein the King grants and gives license to 
Thomas Wake, of Lidell, "that he may be able to give 
and grant one messuage and seven acres of land with 
appurtenances in Ware to the Friars of the Order of 
Friars Minors for newly erecting an oratory, houses, and 
other buildings there necessary for the habitation of the 
Friars of the Order aforesaid." The priory seal is oval, 
and from an etching done about 18 19 appears to represent 
the Ascension, with a figure on the right, probably a 
Franciscan, and on the left a knight kneeling, whose 


54 Memorials of Old Hertfordshire 

head is protected by a camail, and who wears a complete 
suit of mail with surcoat ; on his left arm is a shield 
bearing the Wake arms. These figures are supported on 
a canopy, in the centre of which is a cinquefoil headed 
arch, with the head of a man, perhaps the then prior, 
looking to the right within. The impression of the seal 
is damaged. On the right side are the letters " S CARDIAI," 
on the left " MINORUM DE WAR," the remainder of the 
inscription being illegible. The Wake arms appearing on 
the shield seem to point to the fact that Thomas Wake 
was the founder. 

All that remains of the priory buildings is the western 
portion of the southern part of the cloister and rooms 
to the south and west. The walls are of flint and rubble, 
the windows of clunch. When Weaver wrote his Funeral 
Monuments, remains of the church appear to have been 
visible ; he describes the ruins of the Friary as " not 
altogether beaten down," and mentions two brasses. The 
work in the entrance hall has been supposed to mark an 
earlier date than the fourteenth century. The original 
roof of one portion of the building remained fairly intact 
till about the middle of last century. The length of this 
portion, which had a story below, was 48 ft. 6 in. ; width, 
23 ft. ; height from floor to the top of the rafters 26 ft. ; 
height from floor to centre of tie beam, 10 ft. 2 in. The 
tie beams were 12 ins. by \\\ ins.; king posts, 5 \ ins. 
octagon shaft and 5 J ins. by 5 \ ins. above cap ; this roof 
is now concealed by plaster. The apartment has been 
converted into an additional story, and two of the king 
posts and their tie beams removed. This apartment may 
have been either the dormitory, refectory, or common 
room — which, it is difficult to say, as the Franciscans did 
not adhere strictly to the usual form for conventual 
buildings. The line of the cloisters on the south may be 
assumed from the position of the arches in the hall, and 
the further extent of the house eastwards was ascertained 
by the discovery of foundations in 1 892 ; the western 

The Monasteries of Ware 55 

portion of the cloisters is thought to be indicated by a 
long rise in the ground. 

The cemetery appears to have been at the western 
extremity of the Priory grounds ; the remaining portions 
of the buildings are at the east part. In 1802, four stone 
coffins were found nearly opposite the mill, now a factory, 
on the north side of Mill Lane, close to the wall of the 
Priory. All the coffins were found at a depth of 
three feet, and lay east and west ; three in a row, north 
and south ; and the remaining coffin twenty feet west 
of the others. The first contained a skeleton ; in the 
second the body appeared to have been laid in a kind 
of shell, as there was a quantity of fine brown dust, and 
portions of lime and mortar which adhered to the coffin 
appeared to bear the marks of a winding sheet. The 
third coffin contained a skeleton, the skull, however, 
missing ; in this coffin was more lime and wood dust. 
The skull was also missing from the fourth coffin, the 
contents of which resembled the third. The coffins were 
made of yellowish stone, full of fossils ; on one of the 
skulls were some remains of hair, short and tufty, 
adhering to the back. 

This Priory was surrendered before 1545, in which 
year the King granted to Thomas Byrche all the site of 
the late house, formerly of the Friars Minors, commonly 
called the Grey Friars of Ware, now dissolved, also all 
the houses, buildings, cemetery, gardens, orchards, etc. 
After passing into the possession of various owners, whose 
alterations have not been improvements, it came, in 1881, 
into the possession of the present owner, who not only 
preserved every feature of interest, but has rectified, so 
far as it is possible, the effects of his predecessors' work. 

II. — The Benedictine Priory 

This Priory was founded by Hugh de Grentmesnil 
about the year 1081, as a cell to the Benedictine Abbey 

56 Memorials of Old Hertfordshire 

of St Ebrulf at St. Evereux, in Normandy ; the founder 
granting to the abbey at the same time the church, all 
tithes, and two carucates of land. The Abbot of 
St. Ebrulf was Lord of the rectorial manor of Ware, and 
the Prior of Ware was appointed Procurator for all the 
English possessions of the parent house. These consisted 
of the church of Roell and land in Gloucestershire ; three 
churches, an impropriate rectory, and land in Northampton- 
shire ; land in Leicestershire ; at Over Pillarton, in 
Warwickshire ; and the church of Thundridge, near 
Ware. Shortly after the election of Pope Gregory IX., 
in 1227, the parishioners of Ware complained to that 
prelate that the Prior of Ware refused to let the cure 
of the church be served by a sufficient vicar, but kept 
back from the vicar the usual pension of ten marks, the 
tithes of the mills, woods, corn, and hay. Gregory sent 
a commission to the Bishop of London and others to hear 
the matter, with the result that the vicarage was again 
endowed with the usual small tithes and the great tithes 
of the farm belonging to Richard de Ware the elder. 
This endowment was confirmed in 1231 by Roger le Noir, 
Bishop of London. In the early part of the reign of 
Henry III., Margaret, widow of Saher de Quincy, improved 
the buildings of the monastery by the addition or 
rebuilding of the great hall, great chamber, chapel, and 
other rooms. Unfortunately, no traces of the domestic 
buildings remain, and so far as is at present known there 
is no documentary evidence as to their situation ; but it 
appears probable that the priory stood immediately east 
of St. Mary's Church, on the site bounded by Dead Lane 
on the east and north, and West Street on the south, as 
a barn called Corpus Christi barn adjoined Dead Lane. 
With regard to the chapel, it may be mentioned that the 
fabric of the chancel of St. Mary's was found, at the 
1849 restoration, to be of the Early English period, and 
in view of the fact that the number of monks in an alien 
priory was usually very small, the idea of a chapel at 

The Monasteries of Ware 57 

their own establishment and another in the parish church 
is somewhat improbable ; and it is a fair assumption that 
the chapel on the south of the chancel was that used by 
the Benedictine monks. Until 1849 the twenty-four 
panels of the ceiling of this chapel were partly filled with 
tracery decorated with gold and colour, their centres being 
occupied by figures of the Apostles and minor prophets, 
with Latin texts. The arrangement for the reredos, the 
piscina, and sedile, the screen at the west end (of restored 
Perpendicular work), all indicate that more attention than 
usual had been paid to the adornment of this part of the 

■ About the year 1340 the Priory was seized by 
Edward III., and farmed at £200 per annum, in order 
to raise money for the French war; and, on the sug- 
gestion of Archbishop Chichele, all the alien priories were 
suppressed in 14 14 by an Act of Parliament. Henry V. 
presented the Priory of Ware and Church of Thundridge 
to the Carthusian Priory at Shene, the Prior of the latter 
house becoming Lord of the rectorial manor. The King 
also granted £100 annually from the priory farm to the 
Carthusian convent of Montgrace, Yorkshire, and directly 
afterwards leased the farm to Nicholas Champeney, the 
late Prior, and others. Henry VI. attached the posses- 
sions of the dissolved house to the Abbey of St. Mary, 
Leicester, for a short period ; but the Shene Carthusians 
again obtained possession of the property, and it con- 
tinued in their hands till the general suppression in 1540, 
when the living of Ware was granted by Henry VIII. 
to the Master and Fellows of Trinity College, Cambridge. 


By the Rev. J. H. Stamp, A.K.C., Curate of 
Waltham Abbey 

Time-mouldering crosses, gemmed with imagery, 

Of costliest work and Gothic tracery ; 

Point still the spots, to hallowed memory dear, 

Where rested on its solemn way the bier 

That bore the bones of Edward's Eleanor, 

To mix with Royal dust at Westminster. 

—The Mirror. 

LEANOR OF CASTILE, the beloved consort and 
faithful companion of King Edward I., accom- 
panied her royal husband on his march to 
subjugate Scotland seventeen years after his 
accession to the throne of England. Shortly after her 
arrival at Herdeby or Harby, in the parish of North 
Clifton-upon-Trent, five miles from Lincoln, she was taken 
ill with a slow fever, and died at the close of November, 
1290. Her body was immediately removed to Lincoln, 
and there embalmed. A portion of the royal remains was 
placed in a copper casket on December 2nd, and interred 
in the Lady Chapel attached to that cathedral. The 
brethren of the great Dominican house of Blackfriars, 
London, craved the heart of their royal patroness, and 
on the twelfth of the same month it was deposited in 
a silver casket, and solemnly interred in the chapel which 
had been constructed for its reception at that monastery. 
By the king's express command, the body of his chere 


Queen Eleanor Cross, Waltham. 

The Queen Eleanor Memorial 59 

reyne (dear queen) was conveyed in state to the capital 
for interment with all due honours at Westminster Abbey, 
which had served as the royal tomb or mausoleum from 
the day on which its pious founder, King Edward the 
Confessor, found his last resting-place within its sacred 
precincts. The coffin containing the remains of departed 
royalty was carried in solemn procession from the north 
to its destination in the south. 

The funeral cortege started from Lincoln in the 
morning of December 4th, six days after the death, and 
instead of taking the most direct road to London, it 
proceeded by a circuitous route, in order to pass through 
populous towns and districts where the Queen was well 
known and beloved, and where a convenient resting-place 
might be found at every stage of the journey in a great 
church or religious house, so that the faithful might 
assemble in large numbers to pray for the repose of her 
soul, in accordance with the pious custom of those days. 
The bereaved monarch took his place at the head of 
the procession as chief mourner, and the funeral train must 
have presented one of the most solemn and impressive 
spectacles ever witnessed in England. It was received 
with tokens of the most profound respect and reverence 
at every halting-place, both by clergy and people. Solemn 
requiems were chanted all night in the churches where the 
body rested, and, shortly after its departure on the 
morrow, a suitable site was selected and consecrated for 
the erection of a memorial cross, in accordance with the 
earnest desire of the king to perpetuate the memory of 
his beloved partner. The following places were most 
probably selected for this honour : — Lincoln, Grantham, 
Stamford, Geddington, Northampton, Stony Stratford, 
Woburn, Dunstable, St. Albans, Waltham, Westchepe or 
Cheapside, and the village of Cherrynge or Charing, 
which probably derives its name from the endearing title, 
chere reyne. The distance from Lincoln to Westminster 
by this circuitous route was about a hundred and sixty 

60 Memorials of Old Hertfordshire 

miles, which were traversed in the course of thirteen days 
— an average rate of twelve miles a day. 

The record of two typical occurrences, both of which 
took place in Hertfordshire during this impressive funeral 
march, provides us with a glimpse of the solemnities 
observed at each resting-place. The first incident is 
described in the Annals of Dunstable, which was probably 
the work of an inmate of the famous priory in that parish. 
The mediaeval chronicler here relates that the queen's 
body reposed in that religious house for one night, that 
two rich cloths of baudekyn and above four score pounds 
of wax were given to the priory, and that when the proces- 
sion departed from the church, the bier or /terse, as it 
was called, remained in the midst of the choir or chancel 
until the King's Chancellor and other eminent persons had 
selected the site of the proposed memorial cross, " the 
prior being then present, and sprinkling the ground with 
holy water." The second event recorded took place at 
St. Albans, where, according to the ancient historian of 
that venerable monastery, the procession was met at the 
entrance to the town near St. Michael's Church by the 
whole of the conventual assembly, who were robed in 
their sacred vestments and copes. The abbot and monks 
then conducted the mourners and their attendants to their 
famous abbey church, where the royal body was placed 
on a funeral bier, which occupied a space in front of the 
high altar, and the brethren were engaged during the 
whole night in keeping holy vigil and chanting solemn 
requiems for the repose of Queen Eleanor's soul. 

On the departure of the funeral procession from 
St. Albans in the morning of December 13th, it wended 
its way through Cheshunt, Herts., to the abbey of Waltham 
Holy Cross, which is situated in the county of Essex, and 
on the borders of Hertfordshire and Middlesex. This 
famous monastery, standing about thirteen miles from 
London, afforded the only suitable resting-place for 
another night that could be found near the city, the 

The Queen Eleanor Memorial 6i 

distance from St. Albans being too great to allow of that 
early entrance into the metropolis which was necessary 
on account of the large concourse of nobles and prelates, 
clergy and people, who intended to meet the procession 
at the gates of the city. The abbot of Waltham and his 
Augustinian monks, following the example of their 
brethren at St. Albans, probably met the mourners near 
the site afterwards occupied by the cross, where the 
funeral procession turned aside from the high road in 
Hertfordshire to rest awhile at the royal monastery of 
Waltham, in Essex, about a mile distant. Here the royal 
bier was assigned a place in the midst of the choir, as 
at .Dunstable, and, during the night of December 13th, 
remained near the tomb of King Harold II., the pious 
founder of the collegiate church of Waltham, whose body 
was interred here after the fatal battle of Senlac or 
Hastings. The King, however, did not accompany the 
body of his beloved Queen to Waltham, but shortly after 
its departure from St. Albans he hastened to London by 
way of Barnet, that he might make the necessary 
preparations for its proper reception in the capital on 
the day after its sojourn in the abbey church of Waltham. 
At daybreak on December 14th, the mournful procession 
retraced its steps to the high road, passing from Waltham 
in Essex and Cheshunt in Hertfordshire into the county of 
Middlesex. On its arrival in the city, it was received with 
demonstrations of sorrow, affection, and reverence by the 
King and an immense concourse of citizens and subjects, 
who were attired in black hoods and cloaks. The body 
was not conveyed immediately to Westminster, but rested 
in a religious house on the road until December 17th, 
when the final funeral rites were solemnised, and it was 
interred near the shrine of Edward the Confessor, at the 
east end of Westminster Abbey. A magnificent altar 
tomb of grey Petworth marble was eventually erected 
over the grave, the top of which is covered with a plate 
of gilt copper, ornamented with a statue of the Queen, 

62 Memorials of Old Hertfordshire 

also of copper, and richly gilded. Around it, hanging 
from oak leaves, are the coats-of-arms of England, Castile, 
and Ponthieu, which are also represented on the Waltham 
Cross memorial, constructed during the same period. The 
epitaph, in Norman French, now almost obliterated, has 
been translated as follows : " Here lies Eleanor, some 
time Queen of England, wife to King Edward, son of 
King Henry, daughter of the King of Spain and Countess 
of Ponthieu, on whose soul God, in His pity, have mercy. 

Some writers consider it strange and unlikely that 
the funeral procession should go out of its way, on 
arriving at Cheshunt, in Hertfordshire, to rest for the 
night at Waltham Abbey, in Essex, when it was within 
a day's journey of its destination. Salmon, in his History 
of Hertfordshire, conjectures that the Queen's body 
rested for the night at the manor house of Arthur, Duke 
of Brittany, and Earl of Richmond, formerly standing on 
the site now occupied by the old wayside inn, which still 
shows the quaint device — 

TJe ouffce $oure JJwannee gosfefrte 
®nno ©omini 1260. 

The learned author considers it most likely that this manor 
house provided the last resting-place in the county for the 
royal corpse because " of the antiquity of that building and 
its neighbourhood to the cross erected in honour of Queen 
Eleanor. For," he adds, " we may suppose the body rested 
and the company were entertained at the most considerable 
place in the town." 1 It seems, however, quite contrary to all 
the traditions of that solemn funeral march that the royal 
body should be deposited for the night in a manor house 
or wayside inn, and it would have defeated the chief 
object which the King had in view in deciding on the 
circuitous route to London. It is evident that he was 

l Hist. Herts., page 10. 

The Queen Eleanor Memorial 63 

anxious the body should be taken to the great religious 
centres on its way to Westminster, in order to secure 
the suffrages of the brethren and the faithful for the repose 
of the soul of his dear Queen. There can be no 
reasonable doubt that Waltham was selected as one of 
the halting places, for the memorial cross erected at the 
spot where the funeral procession diverged from the high 
road is a standing proof of the fact. The very desig- 
nation, "Waltham Cross," places the question beyond all 
dispute. If the body of the good Queen had been 
deposited for the night in the Manor House of Cheshunt, 
the structure, which has always been known as Waltham 
Cross, would surely have been called Cheshunt Cross, 
especially considering that it stands on ground which is 
part and parcel of the ancient parish of Cheshunt Gough, 
the famous antiquary of the eighteenth century, writes : — 

The Cross, commonly called by the name of Waltham Cross, is really 
situated in the parish of Cheshunt, at the head of the road which turns down 
from the high North Road to the town of Waltham, the latter parish not 
beginning till we have crossed the river Lea, which is the boundary both 
of the parishes and counties. 1 

The claims of Waltham Abbey to the honour of 
providing a temporary resting-place for the royal remains 
were many and great. It was in high repute in those days 
both with King and people as the greatest monastery near 
the metropolis, and the common resort of pilgrims and 
the devout in the vicinity of London. It was in a two- 
fold sense a royal foundation, as it was originally endowed 
as a minster or collegiate church by King Harold II., 
whose royal tomb was then in existence before the high 
altar, and whose heroic deeds had, doubtless, won the 
sympathy and admiration of King Edward I., "the first 
of kings after Harold who had an English name and an 
English heart." It had, moreover, been raised to the 
dignity of an abbey by the King's own ancestor, Henry II, 

1 Vetusta Monumenta, vol. iii. 

64 Memorials of Old Hertfordshire 

and its Lord Abbot was one of the most powerful prelates 
and peers of the realm. The King had also become 
greatly attached to Waltham, like his father, Henry III., 
before him, and had spent many pleasant days with his 
beloved consort under the shadow of its venerable walls. 
It is related that only a few months before her lamented 
death, Queen Eleanor had spent Easter at Waltham with 
her royal spouse, who sought relief from the cares of 
state in the quiet country parish, which, on account of 
its proximity to Epping Forest, had served as a royal 
hunting seat from the earliest times. It is not at all 
strange, then, considering the fame and importance of the 
abbey of Waltham, and its close connection with royalty, 
that the body of Queen Eleanor should be brought to 
rest near the tomb of King Harold, just as, fifteen years 
later, the corpse of her beloved husband also found a 
temporary resting-place at the same sacred spot, where, 
for the space of three months, it was kept above ground, 
until the war with the Scots was concluded, in accordance 
with his dying command, and then it was finally interred 
near his wife's grave at Westminster. 

After the funeral obsequies of Queen Eleanor, the 
King directed that the memorial crosses should be set 
up as soon as possible. The site of each cross on the 
high road and near the halting place had already been 
carefully chosen and solemnly consecrated. The abbot 
of Waltham Holy Cross had probably followed the 
example of his brother prelate of Dunstable in sprinkling 
with holy water the site chosen for the Waltham memorial 
in the neighbouring parish of Cheshunt. This structure, 
after its erection, conferred its designation of Waltham 
Cross on the locality in which it stands. The similarity 
of names has frequently led to confusion, writers referring 
to both places as one and the same parish, whereas they 
are distinct and separate parishes, and situated in different 
counties. Waltham Holy Cross, more generally known as 
Waltham Abbey, stands in Essex, and owes its title of 

The Queen Eleanor Memorial 65 

Holy Cross to the dedication of the old parish church 
founded by Tovi, Canute's Standard Bearer, and rebuilt 
in the Norman style by Earl Harold, afterwards King. 
But Waltham Cross is in Hertfordshire, and derives its 
name from the Eleanor memorial, as already stated, and 
although now a separate ecclesiastical parish, it is still 
situated in the urban district of Cheshunt. The Eleanor 
cross at Waltham was commenced early in 1291, and was 
not completed until Michaelmas, 1292, as the last payment 
for labour in connection with its erection was made during 
that term. At the time of its construction, and for some 
years afterwards, it stood in the centre of a triangular 
green on the high road. But encroachments were sub- 
sequently made at the south-east of the cross, and 
buildings sprang up so close to the memorial as to shut 
out from view that portion of the monument. These 
obstructions have recently been removed, and the road 
re-opened. This beautiful memorial of the tender 
affection of King Edward for his deceased Queen 
belongs to the Decorated style or period of English 
architecture. It is a hexagon, and consists of three 
elegantly constructed stories or compartments, partly solid 
and partly open, and decreasing progressively at every 
stage. Each division is finished by an embattled frieze 
or cornice, and at every angle is a graduated buttress, 
ornamented with foliated crockets and finials. The com- 
partments immediately above the broad substantial base 
are adorned with tracery mouldings imitative of the forms 
and designs of the church windows of the period ; and 
each compartment, consisting of two panels, is charged 
with the arms of England, Castile and Leon, and Ponthieu, 
in shields pendent from different foliage. Gough, the 
antiquary, who died in 1809, and was interred in the 
churchyard of the adjoining village of Wormley, also 
supplies the following architectural details : — 

Over these compartments is a quatrefoil, and over that, in the point 
of the whole, a trefoil. The pediment of each compartment is richly 


66 Memorials of Old Hertfordshire 

frosted with leaves. The spandrils of each pediment are carved with 
eight-leaved flowers in lozenges, and the panels are parted by pursled 
finials divided by two niches. The cornice over the first story is com- 
posed of various foliage and lions' heads, surmounted by a battlement 
pierced with quatrefoils. The second story is formed of twelve open 
tabernacles, in pairs, but so divided that the dividing pillar intersects the 
middle of the statue behind it, as in the other two crosses (Geddington 
and Northampton). These tabernacles terminate in ornamented pediments, 
with a bouquet on the top, and the pillars that supported them are also 
pursled in two sections. This story also finishes with a cornice and 
battlement like the first, and supports a third story of solid masonry, 
ornamented with simple compartments in relief somewhat resembling 
those below, and supporting the broken shaft of a plain cross. The 
statues of the queen are in an attitude similar to the others, crowned, her 
left hand holding a cordon and her right a sceptre or globe. 1 

This broken shaft was subsequently restored with the 
cross which now surmounts the whole structure as in its 
early days. The decorated parts of the monument were 
prepared in London, and then sent to Waltham. The 
three statues of the Queen, which are remarkable for their 
elegant proportions, were most likely designed by William 
Torel or Torelli, a London goldsmith of genius and renown, 
or copied from his admirable work on the tomb at West- 
minster, and carved by Alexander of Abingdon and 
Dymenge de Legeri, who were engaged on the cross at 
Waltham or by William of Ireland, who made the statues 
for the Lincoln and Northampton crosses. The principal 
person engaged in the work at Waltham was Dymenge 
de Legeri or Dominic of Leger, who is styled in the 
ancient accounts Nicholas Dymenge de Reyne or Rheims. 
His chief assistant was Roger de Crundale, who eventually 
completed his brother's work at Charing Cross. Alexander 
de Abingdon, sculptor, also assisted, and Robert de Corfe 
rendered valuable help by supplying the capital. Other 
names are also mentioned in the accounts, and among 
these appear Richard de Crundale, the builder of the 
original Charing Cross, which stood on the site now 

1 Vetusta Monumenta, vol. iii. 

The Queen Eleanor Memorial 67 

occupied by the statue of King Charles I. in Trafalgar 
Square ; Roger de Walecote, one of Queen Eleanor's 
bailiffs ; and Moses of Waltham, where his family had 
been resident for a century. Henry Mauger and Richard 
de Blund or Blount are also mentioned in connection with 
the payment for a supply of petra de Kam, or Caen stone. 
The other materials used were Sussex and Petworth 
marble. The cost of the whole structure, according to 
the royal accounts, amounted to £95, equivalent to the 
modern sum of £1,000, a larger amount than that 
expended on the memorials situated at a greater distance 
from London, and showing that it was richer in details 
and workmanship. The King probably arranged that the 
memorials of his chere reyne in or near the capital should 
excel in workmanship and general design the monuments 
erected in the provinces, as they would be under the 
constant observation of his courtiers and most eminent 
subjects. Thus the architecture of the crosses at Waltham, 
Westchepe or Cheapside, and Charing were of a higher 
order and more ornate than could be found elsewhere. A 
small chapel seems to have been erected in connection 
with the cross to serve as a chantry. In this small 
sanctuary masses were probably said and prayers offered 
for the repose of the Queen's soul until the suppression 
of chantries in the reign of Edward VI. It most likely 
occupied the site until the troublous period of the 
Commonwealth, as its previous existence was mentioned 
shortly afterwards. Fragments of Purbeck marble and 
other remains have been unearthed near the cross during 
recent excavations, pointing to the former existence of 
a building of this description. 

The Queen Eleanor memorial at Waltham Cross is 
one of the three monuments which alone have escaped 
the ravages of time, neglect, and vandalism. It has been 
providentially preserved, like its sister memorials at 
Geddington and Hardingstone, near Northampton, from 
the destruction which has swept away the remainder of 

68 Memorials of Old Hertfordshire 

the structures erected in memory of his amiable consort 
by King Edward. In the early days of the Reformation 
movement it lost its chantry and endowments, which 
provided for memorial services and alms for distribution 
among the poor. But it was allowed to stand even at 
that most critical period of our national history, when the 
ancient Church and Throne of England were set aside, 
and seven or eight of the Eleanor crosses were swept 
away by the fierce storm of the great rebellion under 
Cromwell. It is a remarkable fact that it was left 
untouched when the Ironsides and Iconoclasts of those 
stirring times marched past in 1642 on their way to the 
Abbey Church of Waltham Holy Cross, where, in their 
misguided zeal, they defaced the monuments, destroyed 
an old painted window because they considered it an 
incentive to idolatry, as it contained a picture of King 
Harold, and destroyed three service books of the Reformed 
Church of England as tending to superstition. It is most 
likely, however, that they found public opinion in the 
neighbourhood too strong to allow of their wreaking their 
vengeance on this memorial as they had done on the 
crosses at Cheapside, Charing, Dunstable, Stony Strat- 
ford, Woburn, Grantham, Stamford, and Lincoln. 
Reverence for the memory of the good Queen, who 
had been so well known and beloved by their ancestors, 
had not died out among the people in this locality, and 
we are probably indebted to them for the preservation 
of this elegant national monument during those turbulent 
days. The chapel or chantry was probably demolished 
on account of its close connection with the superstition 
of the middle ages ; for we find that half a century later, 
in 1698, the Bishop of London granted permission to 
Robert Bradley, of Waltham Cross, to erect a shop on a 
piece of waste land, " upon which formerly stood a 
chappell." The roadway on the south-east of the cross 
was afterwards obstructed by the erection of an inn, 
originally styled the Peacock Inn, but eventually called 

The Queen Eleanor Memorial 69 

the Falcon Hotel. Gough, the antiquary, observes that 
" the resort of travellers rendering more houses of enter- 
tainment necessary near this spot, the cross has been 
almost taken into the end of the second inn, erected 
contiguous to it, whereby much of its beauty is concealed 
and its ornaments damaged." 

The cross has suffered more from neglect and 
injudicious repairs than from time, exposure, or encroach- 
ments. The first repairs on record were undertaken in 
1720 and 1757, but these were of a most trivial character. 
In 1720, some posts were presented by the Society of 
Antiquaries for the purpose of protecting the memorial 
from passing vehicles, and the cross was slightly repaired. 
About thirty years later the posts were removed by order 
of the Commissioners of Turnpikes, who probably regarded 
them as unnecessary obstructions to the traffic, and the 
base of the cross was again left unprotected. The learned 
Secretary to the Society of Antiquaries, Dr. Stukeley, 
then wrote to Lord Monson, Lord of the Manor of 
Cheshunt, praying his lordship to erect brickwork around 
the foundation and base, and to replace the posts for 
protection. The noble lord was pleased to comply with 
this request, and received the thanks of the Society, with 
an engraving of the cross. 1 Dr. Stukeley expressed the 
opinion that the base was originally surrounded by ten 
steps, although other writers mention six, seven, or eight 
as the more probable number. These steps were 
eventually reduced to three, but during the restoration 
thirteen years ago the number was again raised to six. 
In 1795 — the year which witnessed the demolition of the 
last remains of the old palace of Theobalds, where King 
James I. breathed his last, and his unfortunate son, 
Charles I, was proclaimed — an ill-advised attempt was 
made by Sir George William Prescott, Bart, Lord of the 
Manor of Cheshunt, to remove the cross into his grounds 

1 Vetusta Monumenta, vol. ii., fol. 13. 

70 Memorials of Old Hertfordshire 

at Theobalds Park. This undertaking most happily could 
not be carried into effect, for after removing the upper 
tiers of stones, the workmen found it too hazardous to 
proceed with their task on account of the decayed state 
of the ornamental portions. In the following year the 
monument was thoroughly examined and found to be in 
a ruinous condition. The owner of the Falcon Hotel 
consented to the removal of the corner of his house, 
which nearly touched the memorial, and when this portion 
of the inn was rebuilt it was set back a few feet from 
the cross. About the same time the local authorities 
attached a guide board to the lower story of the structure, 
with a hand directing travellers " To Waltham Abbey." 
In 1832 the first modern restoration was inaugurated 
by W. B. Clarke, Esq., architect, who generously gave his 
time, talent, and services without fee or reward. He 
entirely rebuilt the two upper stories with the tracery 
work, but, unfortunately, he used Bath stone, which is 
unfit for outside work. The lower divisions were refaced 
where necessary, and the base was surrounded by iron 
rails. Several guns, the gift of Mr. Batho, of Cheshunt, 
were also set up outside the rail as symbols of protection. 
The architect reproduced some of the steps, and restored 
the terminal shaft with the cross, which for many years 
had been wanting. Sir Abraham Hume, Bart., of Worm- 
leybury, the chief contributor to the Restoration Fund, 
prevailed upon Queen Adelaide, the consort of King 
William IV., to defray the cost of restoring the statues 
of Queen Eleanor, and the work was entrusted to 
Sir Richard Westmacott, R.A., Professor of Sculpture, 
and the successor of Flaxman at the Royal Academy. 
This eminent artist reported that " two out of the 
three statues in the Waltham Cross were in a fair 
state of preservation, and required but little to be done 
to them ; but the other, which occupied the western 
niche, had been much injured and its head destroyed." 
He further stated that he had taken this defective statue 

The Queen Eleanor Memorial 71 

to his studio in London, where he intended to work out 
the drapery, and make new hands and head with the 
most scrupulous regard to the original. As it consisted of 
Caen stone, he intended to send to Normandy for pieces 
to match it, and he hoped to be able to replace the statue 
in its new niche, but old site, with all its original expres- 
sion and truth. 1 The architect, who had endeavoured 
carefully to follow the original design, completed his task 
before the end of 1834, when the sum expended, the 
result of a public appeal, amounted to £1,200. The Bath 
stone used in this restoration soon showed symptoms of 
decay, and in the course of fifty years was in urgent need 
of complete renewal. 

In the year 1885 an Eleanor Cross Restoration Com- 
mittee was formed, under the presidency of Sir Henry 
Bruce Meux, Bart., of Theobalds Park, who generously 
promised to purchase and pull down the premises which 
obstructed the view of the cross on the south-east, and 
to re-open the roadway on that side, on condition that a 
sufficient sum of money was raised for the preservation 
of the monument, that the work be entrusted to 
C. E. Ponting, Esq., of Lockeridge, Marlborough, Wilts., 
architect and diocesan surveyor, and that it be carried 
out in a proper manner, without any vandalism or 
sacrilege to the style of architecture. The architect 
prepared a very elaborate report on the ruinous state of 
the structure, and recommended that the greatest care 
should be used in dealing with this gem of mediaeval art, 
that the old stone work should be preserved as far as 
possible, without actual loss to the design, intact, and that 
any renewals should be confined to those parts which had 
totally disappeared, or which it was necessary to reinstate 
in order to preserve to future ages the original design. 
He also suggested that " all the sound old fragments 
which could be found should be restored to their 

1 Literary Gazette, 1834. 

72 Memorials of Old Hertfordshire 

ascertained previous positions, and the new work which 
displaced them removed, and that such other of the new 
stone that might be found unsound or out of harmony 
with the spirit of the old work should be repaired or 
renewed with faithful regard to this leading principle." 
Mr. Harry Hems, the well-known sculptor of Exeter, was 
appointed to carry out the work, under the direction of 
the architect. The restoration, which dealt particularly 
with the second and third stages, proceeded slowly through 
lack of the necessary funds, but it was at length brought 
to a satisfactory conclusion in 1892, at a cost of £1,130, 
raised by public subscription, as on the previous occasion 
in 1832-4. This sum included a donation of £25 from 
her late Most Gracious Majesty, Queen Victoria, who had 
inspected the cross in company with the Prince Consort 
in 1843, when on their way to Cambridge. During the 
progress of the work, several fragments of the original 
carved stone work, which had been inserted in the wall 
of the old Falcon Inn in 1833, were restored to their 
original position in the monument, and the Bath stone 
used by Mr. Clarke was removed to the grounds of the 
Four Swans Hotel. Remains of the old chantry were 
discovered during the excavations, and a large quantity 
was conveyed to Theobalds Park. These relics of the 
past included springs of Gothic archways and fragments 
of Purbeck marble. Portions of the concrete and flint 
foundation were also discovered, together with pieces of 
the original Caen stone. The concluding portion of the 
work comprised the restoration of the six steps at the 
base of the cross, and the fixing of new and elegant rails 
around the monument. The lowest step is a fac-simile 
of the bench which still exists underground ; and the 
wrought-iron fence was designed partly from the grill 
enclosing Queen Eleanor's tomb at Westminster, and 
partly from the fence which protects the tomb of King 
Henry III. One of the most important improvements 
effected during this restoration was the removal of the 

The Queen Eleanor Memorial 75 

old Falcon Inn, which obscured the south-east view, and 
the opening up of the old roadway on that side. The 
memorial consequently occupies once more its ancient 
position in the centre of a triangular space, at the entrance 
to the road by which Queen Eleanor's funeral procession 
passed to Waltham Abbey, and, as in early days, this most 
elegant and best preserved of the three existing monu- 
ments now stands out clearly to view on every side. The 
success of the whole undertaking was celebrated by public 
rejoicings on New Year's Eve, December 31st, 1892 — 
exactly six hundred years after the erection of this 
venerable structure — when Lady Meux, standing on the 
new steps at the base of the cross, revived the ancient 
custom of distributing alms in memory of the good Queen, 
and presented three hundred and sixty shillings, fresh 
from the Mint, to the aged and deserving poor of the 


By H. R. Wilton Hall 

[OPWELL ruins, as they appear to-day, are more 
suggestive of the " fate of sacrilege " than of the 
decay of the " ages of faith." We approach them 
from the city of St. Albans by an old lane, still 
known as Cotton Mill Lane, which stood on the river Ver 
as late as the middle of last century. They stand on 
slightly rising ground overlooking the river, the abbey 
church crowning the hill on the opposite side of the stream. 
The ruins are neither very picturesque in themselves, nor 
very romantic in their surroundings. They do not suggest 
a time-worn, ivy-mantled, religious house, beautiful in its 
decay, situated in the midst of natural beauty, " fair as 
the garden of the Lord." They stand bare, gaunt, and 
rugged, and suggest nothing more romantic than a dis- 
mantled nineteenth century mill or "works," which a few 
years of exposure to the elements have robbed of a little 
of its utilitarian ugliness. Ivy covers certain portions of 
the buildings ; but, for the most part, the walls stand 
uncompromisingly and aggressively stark and bare. 

They are not the ruins of the nunnery of Sopwell, 
but of the house which Sir Richard Lee built on the site 
of the convent in the sixteenth century. He was one of 
that host of house builders made rich out of the spoils of 
the religious houses after their suppression by King 
Henry VIII. He was a man of action in stirring times, 
and saw a good deal of service for the King, both in the 
north of England and in Scotland ; but it was owing to 


,. ,, '?T 


Sopwell 75 

the influence which his handsome wife had with the 
lascivious King, rather than to his beneficial services to 
the State, that he received valuable grants of monastic 
lands and buildings in this neighbourhood — including 
Sopwell — on easy and profitable terms. It was from the 
monastery of St. Albans and Sopwell Nunnery that he 
obtained the building material for his house here. In this 
house he lived, while his brother lived close by at 
St. Julian's, another of the abbey spoils. Parts of the 
wall with which he enclosed his domain are still to be 
traced. He died in the year 1575, and was buried in 
St. Peter's Church. 

- He had two daughters, and Sopwell passed to the 
elder of the two, who married Edwin Sadleir, of Temple 
Dinsley. The second son of this marriage, Richard 
Sadleir, lived here, and the property in due course 
descended to his son, Robert Sadleir. Robert bequeathed 
it to his daughter Helen, who married Thomas Saunders, 
of Beechwood. Here the connection of Sopwell with the 
Lees ends ; for it was then sold to Sir Harbottle 
Grimston, through whom it has descended to its present 
owner. The house fell into decay, and the records 
concerning it are very meagre. In 1793, a part of the 
remains of Sir Richard Lee's house had been converted 
into a smaller dwelling, and was then occupied by a 
Mrs. Clark. At Salisbury Hall — a moated house not very 
far away, in Shenley parish — are ten circular medallions, 
representing certain Roman emperors. These are said to 
have been removed there from Sopwell in the reign of 
King Charles II., when Sir Richard Lee's house was 
dismantled. By the year 181 5 the buildings had become 
so much dilapidated that no plan of the place could 
then be traced. About the year 1847 a crypt, or under- 
ground cellar, was found here, but it seems to have led 
to no interesting discoveries respecting Sir Richard Lee's 
house or the earlier nunnery. 

In the twelfth century, Abbot Geoffrey de Gorham 

76 Memorials of Old Hertfordshire 

founded the nunnery for Blessed St Mary of Sopwell 
for thirteen women, who were to live under the 
Benedictine rule. But there had been a settlement of 
women here long before that date. Tradition says that 
there were two holy women who lived in a little hermitage 
which they had constructed at Eywood, close by the Ver ; 
and tradition also asserts that the spring from which these 
good women drank, and in which they soaked their dry 
bread, gives the name Sopwell to the place! In King 
William the Conqueror's time one Henry de Albeney gave 
the nunnery two hides of land in the manor of Cotes, 
in Beaulieu. The legend of the two women and the holy 
well seems to point to much earlier times, before the days 
of Christian recluses, and is probably connected with the 
cult of wells and streams of a much older faith than that 
professed by the women for whom the Norman abbot 
provided a home and a constitution. 

The history of Sopwell Nunnery has nothing in it to 
mark it out very distinctively from many other such 
houses. During the last four hundred years or so of its 
existence we get occasional glimpses of disorder and 
laxity of rule. But such were not the normal conditions 
of life in a nunnery. In the course of our individual lives 
the bright spots stand out vividly — the golden days are 
remembered and the days of dull dreary routine and 
humdrum work are blurred and indistinguishable from 
each other. But in the history of institutions the reverse 
is the case. Local tradition usually fastens upon a choice 
piece of scandal, and in the course of centuries weaves 
into it much that is absurd and impossible. The remains 
of sewers found between the sites of old religious houses 
and the nearest water-courses are fondly regarded as a 
subterranean way by which " those old monks " travelled 
for miles underground on errands of wickedness. The 
belief in such underground passages still exists in 
St. Albans ; for less than a century ago one was known 
to exist between St. Albans monastery and the river Ver. 

Sopwell 77 

As the Ver flows between the sites of the monastery and 
the nunnery, sewers will account for the passages, and 
well-known scandals in both houses, remembered against 
them from age to age, coupled with a love of the marvel- 
lous, sufficiently account for the legend that St. Albans 
monastery and Sopwell Nunnery, some three-quarters of 
a mile apart, were connected by an underground passage, 
which must of necessity have passed under the bed of the 
river Ver! 

But of the quiet, uneventful years, when there were 
no scandals to record, when the humdrum life went on, 
week in, week out, as the seasons rolled round — of these 
there are no legends. 

Such houses as Sopwell Nunnery satisfied a very real 
want of their day and generation, even when the " religious 
life " in them may have been somewhat obscured or at 
a very low ebb. They served many useful purposes, 
which commended them to the common sense of those 
who founded them or added to their endowments from 
time to time. 

Nunneries, for example, were frequently used as 
temporary asylums for " heiresses " and wards, concerning 
whose disposition in marriage overlords had difficulties. 
It was a great convenience to be able to place the young 
lady where she could live according to her "degree," and 
be kept out of the way of " undesirables " and " detri- 
mentals." A baron, called away on the king's service, 
or leading his men on a crusade, could only provide for 
the safety of his daughters during his absence in one of 
his own castles or in a nunnery ; and the latter was 
usually the safer place of the two. The sanctity of a 
religious house was a very real protection in such cases. 

But not always. There was, for instance, a certain 
Geoffrey de Berneville who had two daughters. He was, 
for some reason, anxious to keep Maud, the younger of 
them, out of the way of one John de Marston, who was 
in love with her or her prospective fortune. Geoffrey 

78 Memorials of Old Hertfordshire 

made arrangements for Maud to be lodged for a while 
here in Sopwell Nunnery, under the care of the abbess. 
But John de Marston, with the help of his brother, Thomas, 
and some adventurous friends, watched their opportunity. 
They lay in wait at Hedges, on the king's highway, not 
very far from Sopwell. They attacked the escort which 
was bringing Maud to Sopwell, " and with force and arms " 
carried her away. Whether Maud was a consenting party, 
and regarded John de Marston as a gallant knight and 
" her own true love," or whether she " married to sorrow," 
we cannot tell. 

Other ladies came to find rest in the religious life of 
the nunnery. Margaret, Duchess of Clarence, and sister- 
in-law to King Henry V., was such a one. She became 
a nun here after the death of her husband at the battle 
of Beauge. 

In later times, especially after the Black Death, 
nunneries often took in boarders, who were no part of 
the religious establishment. They brought " grist to the 
mill," and such " paying guests " helped the finances of 
the household. But they often introduced lax living and 
irregularities of various kinds into otherwise quiet homes, 
which had a very damaging effect upon the professed 
sisters in many cases, leading them to be flighty, trouble- 
some, and impatient under restraint. 

It is sometimes said that woman's best weapon is her 
needle ; and certainly that weapon was largely employed 
in most nunneries. We do not know that needlework 
was a speciality here, as it was at Syon ; but Sopwell 
nunnery has a unique claim for distinction before all others. 
In the fifteenth century, Dame Juliana Berners, the head 
of Sopwell Nunnery, made excursions into the world of 
letters and literature, dealing with subjects which did not 
bear very closely upon the ordinary routine of a nun's 
life in the early days. This literary lady may have been 
typical of her age, or may have been in advance of her 
age. Whether it is the intrinsic merit of her work, or 


the fortunate circumstance that the "pore scholemaster " 
printer of St. Albans happened to be in want of " copy " 
for the humble printing press which he had set up under 
the shadow of St. Albans monastery, and probably under 
the protection of that powerful ruler, which led to the 
printing of her literary efforts or not, we do not know. 
Whether Dame Juliana was a patroness and supporter of 
the new art, and he printed her literary efforts in recog- 
nition of her countenance and patronage ; or whether he 
perceived that there was " money " in the reverend lady's 
work, we cannot say. We do not know what fortunate 
chain of circumstances led to the production of the series 
of treatises on hawking, hunting, fishing, and heraldry, 
which go to make up Dame Juliana's Book of St. Albans. 
The subjects have no apparent connection with the 
profession of the lady to whom their authorship or editor- 
ship is attributed, and have nothing to do with monastery, 
nunnery, or town of St. Albans ; yet the crowning glory 
of Sopwell is the Book of St. Albans. The unknown 
St. Albans printer and the literary Sopwell prioress stand 
side by side in the front rank of the pioneers of printing, 
and of the modern art and craft of book-making. 


By the Editor 


HAT period of England's history which covers 
the Wars of the Roses is, unfortunately, one of 
the scantiest in historical authorities. We have 
the valuable Paston Letters, the Croyland Con- 
tinuator, the works of Fabyan, William of Worcester, and 
The Arrival of Edward IV., this last being edited by 
Mr. Bruce for the Camden Society. But these are almost 
the only records we have — and in parts they are strangely 
conflicting — of a civil war which deluged England with 
blood and cost a hundred thousand lives. 

Preceded by the unsuccessful rebellion of " Jack Cade," 
it is a matter of history that this war broke out in the 
spring of 1455, and that the first battle of St. Albans 
was also the opening engagement of the strife. For nine 
months King Henry VI. had been well-nigh insane. 
During that period Richard, Duke of York, acted as 
King-Regent, and the Duke of Somerset (the King's 
principal adherent) was committed to the Tower. On the 
King's recovery, York resigned his office, Somerset being 
released and restored to power. Seriously alarmed at 
this — Somerset being his bitterest enemy — York retired 
to Ludlow Castle, and assembled his vassals. On this 
point there is no little controversy : he certainly enjoyed 
the co-operation of the Duke of Norfolk, the Earl of 


The Battles of St. Albans and Barnet 8i 

Salisbury and his son, Richard Nevil, Earl of Warwick 
(afterwards styled "the King-maker"), but the forces 
collected by York are variously estimated at from three 
thousand to ten thousand. The former estimate is pro- 
bably the correct one. Richard's partisans became known 
as fighters for the " White Rose," and all bore some badge 
of white in their helmets ; the supporters of the House 
of Lancaster, similarly, wore a badge of red or crimson. 
York at first confined his demands to a reformation of 
the government and the removal of the Somerset party. 

Meanwhile, the Queen (Margaret of Anjou) had raised 
a little army of three thousand men, which included some 
of the highest names in the land. With these, she and 
the King issued forth from London against the Yorkists, 
who were already advancing on the capital to enforce 
their leader's claims. Having reached St. Albans and 
halted there, the Royal troops were about to recommence 
their march on the morning of May 22nd, 1455, when 
York's banners were seen in the distance, and his followers 
were perceived to be occupying the hills overlooking the 
high road. 

The Yorkists having halted in a field close to the 
city, the Duke of Buckingham was sent forward in the 
King's name to demand why they were assembled in arms. 
In reply, York (who subsequently affirmed that he sub- 
mitted to the King letters proposing an accommodation, 
and that Somerset and one Thorpe, ex-Speaker of the 
House of Commons, suppressed such letters) despatched 
a herald with the following message: — That he and his 
followers came as friends and servants of the King, but 
were firmly resolved to remove the Duke of Somerset 
and his partisans from serving His Majesty, whatever it 
might cost ; and Richard's further demand was that the 
obnoxious Somerset should be given up to him. To this 
was answered that King Henry "would not abandon any 
of the lords who were faithful to him, but rather would 
do battle upon it at peril of life and crown." 


82 Memorials of Old Hertfordshire 

York was ordered to lay down his arms, which, of 
course, he refused to do ; and both parties made ready 
for battle. The odds looked in favour of the Lancas- 
trians, who were in possession of the city, and had 
strongly barricaded its narrow streets. On the other 
hand, the most warlike leaders were on the side of York, 
who now drew up his plan of attack. While he in 
person furiously assailed the barricades at the entrance 
to St. Albans, Warwick sought the outskirts of the city 
for a vulnerable spot ; and this he is said to have found 
with the assistance of some local sympathisers with York's 
cause. Crossing gardens and other obstructions, War- 
wick's retainers burst unexpectedly on the flank of the 
Royalists, with loud cries of " A Warwick ! A Warwick ! " 
Nevil's crest — " the rampant bear chain'd to the ragged 
staff " — was seen in the forefront of the battle. Almost 
simultaneously, York's troops broke through after severe 
fighting, and with enthusiastic shouts of " A York ! 
A York ! " The hated Somerset was encountered by 
York himself, and — 

Underneath an alehouse' paltry sign, 
The Castlel in St. Albans— 

was killed. 

Most of the battles of that crude age were, as is 
well known, won by the skill of the English archers, and 
this battle was no exception to the rule. King Henry was 
wounded in the neck, the Duke of Buckingham and Lord 
Dudley in the face — all by arrows. The Earl of Wilt- 
shire was also wounded. The Earl of Northumberland, 
the Lord Clifford, and Lord Stafford (Buckingham's 
eldest son), hoping to retrieve the fortunes of the day, 
headed a desperate charge. Clifford was shot dead by 
an archer, after killing York's charger ; Northumberland 
shared a similar fate ; and Stafford received an arrow 
in the arm. There was, in fact, fearful slaughter among 

1 The Duke had been told to beware of a castle. 

The Battles of St. Albans and Barnet 83 

the Lancastrian leaders, while hardly a man of note fell 
on the opposite side. The King's army gave way after 
about an hour's fighting, and fled in hopeless confusion, 
leaving many prisoners behind them. There was not 
much attempt at pursuit. 

Such was the first battle of St. Albans, memorable 
as being the opening fight between York and Lancaster. 
With regard to the numbers of the slain, the old 
chroniclers are again at variance. Edward Hall states 
the number at eight thousand, and Stow (1 525-1605) 
reckons it at five thousand. On the other hand, Crane, 
who was present at the battle, writes to his cousin, 
John Paston, that the slain numbered but " six score " ; 
while Sir John Stoner says only forty-eight bodies were 
buried in St. Albans. Assuredly, if we take into account 
the relative forces engaged, five thousand is far too high 
an estimate ; still, this battle was undoubtedly something 
more than the " skirmish " which some writers have 

King Henry was discovered after the fight, wounded, 
in the house of a tanner. The Duke of York, on his 
knees, renewed his broken oath of fealty, and " con- 
gratulated " Henry on the death of Somerset. The Duke 
then conducted the King first to the shrine of St. Alban, 
and afterwards to an apartment in the abbey precincts. 
In a few days the parties proceeded to London, and the 
quarrel was, to all appearances, patched up. Three years 
later, in 1458, the King visited Berkhamsted, where he 
made the following award with reference to the battle 
of St. Albans : — That the Duke of York should pay to 
the Dowager Duchess of Somerset and her children the 
sum of five thousand marks ; that the Earl of Warwick 
should pay to the young Lord Clifford the sum of one 
thousand marks ; and that the Earls of Salisbury and 
Warwick should, within two years, found a chantry for 
the repose of the souls of the three lords killed in 

84 Memorials of Old Hertfordshire 


After the first blood spilt at St. Albans, Queen 
Margaret's party continued in the ascendant for two or 
three years. But in 1459 the Duke of York suddenly 
laid claim to the crown of England, and in September 
his principal adherent, the Earl of Salisbury, routed the 
Lancastrian army at Bloreheath, in Staffordshire. Shortly 
afterwards, however, the Duke of York's party, seized 
with an incomprehensible panic, dispersed, he and his 
friends fleeing to France and Ireland for refuge ; but next 
year they returned, entered London at the head of 
twenty-five thousand men, marched northwards, and 
defeated the Lancastrians at Northampton, where King 
Henry fell into their hands. The Queen now approached 
with a large force, and gained a brilliant victory at 
Wakefield, but sullied it by the execution of the Duke 
of York, who was taken prisoner, and several other 
Yorkist leaders. The young Earl of March, York's son 
(afterwards Edward IV.), succeeded to his father's title and 
pretensions. Wakefield was fought on December 30th, 1460. 

On New Year's Day, Queen Margaret turned her 
steps towards London, having the Lord Clifford for her 
chief lieutenant. Her army was mainly composed of the 
Northern Borderers, who were guilty of great excesses 
en route, and who are said to have been promised the 
spoil of " the counties south of the Trent " as the price 
of their adhesion. They entered Hertfordshire about the 
middle of February, and on the 17th encountered an 
army of Yorkists under the Earl of Warwick. 

The issue was again to be decided in the vicinity of 
St. Albans. Warwick, marching out of the capital, had 
posted his troops on the shallow hills south-east of the 
venerable city, where he awaited the coming of the 
Royalist forces. His own soldiers — nearly all Kentishmen 
— were numerous, and had been strongly reinforced by 
volunteers, for most of the Londoners had been Yorkist 

The Battles of St. Albans and Barnet 85 

sympathisers since the suspicious death of the Duke of 
Gloucester some time before. The unfortunate King 
Henry accompanied Warwick's army as a prisoner. 

Remembering their previous success on almost the 
same battle-ground, the partisans of York prepared to 
dispute the Queen's march on London with all their 
strength. The Royalists were repulsed in their first 
headlong charge by the skill and steadiness of Warwick's 
archers, though they penetrated to the city cross. On 
this, the Lancastrians forced their way through St. Albans 
by another street, and a sanguinary contest took place on 
Barnard's Heath, betwixt St. Albans and Barnet. Fiercely 
led on by Lord Clifford and his eager subordinates, the 
Queen's Borderers gradually made an impression on the 
enemy. Still, they would certainly have had their work 
cut out but for the unexpected treachery of Lord Lovelace, 
who deserted Warwick in the grip of the fight, and took 
his followers over to Margaret. Then the Yorkists fairly 
began to give way, leaving only the gallant Kentishmen 
to fight for a retreat ; and it is to the honour of the hop 
county that its representatives scarcely needed the 
presence of Lord Warwick to animate them. It was not 
until nightfall that they finally broke and dispersed. 
Dr. Maunder says that the Yorkists left no fewer than 
two thousand three hundred dead behind them ; at any 
rate, their losses amounted to two thousand — a far more 
sanguinary and decisive affair than the first battle of 
St. Albans. These must all be reckoned as killed, if 
we allow for the savage nature of the Northern Borderers. 
The Lancastrians also lost a good many men, including 
Sir John Grey of Groby, whose widow, the Lady Eliza- 
beth Grey, was destined to become the Queen of 
Edward IV. 

An impartial review of the second battle of St. Albans 
must elicit the fact that the Yorkists ought to have 
rendered an excellent account of the Lancastrians. 
Whereas, however, the Royalists bore themselves as 

86 Memorials of Old Hertfordshire 

fully intending to win, their antagonists fought in half- 
hearted fashion, with the notable exception of the men 
of Kent. To illustrate this, Shakespeare makes the Earl 
of Warwick say : — 

Our soldiers — like the night-owl's lazy flight, 
Or like a lazy thresher with his flail — 
Fell gently down as if they struck their friends. 
I cheered them up with justice of our cause, 
With promise of high pay and great rewards. 
But all in vain : they had no heart to fight, 
And we, in them, no hope to win the day ; 
So that we fled. 

Most probably, too, Warwick's Londoners regarded 
the Queen's recent victory at Wakefield as an evil omen, 
and they cannot have been insensible to the fate in store 
for them if captured by the inhuman Lord Clifford, for 
the Lancastrians slaughtered their prisoners. 

King Henry was discovered in a tent under the care 
of Lord Montague, his chamberlain, and Lord Bonville. 
The last-named had been ordered by Warwick to look to 
the " safety " of the King during the engagement. 
Although a Yorkist, Lord Bonville was agreeable to Henry, 
who begged him to remain, and assured him of the royal 
protection ; but as soon as the " she-wolf of France " 
arrived upon the scene, she caused the unfortunate 
nobleman to be put to death, along with Sir Thomas 
Kyriel, a gallant soldier, distinguished in the wars in 
France. An immediate advance on London might 
possibly have ended the long agony of " the pale and 
of the purple rose " ; but any such action was frustrated 
by the action of the Queen's Borderers, who, having been 
promised plunder, were bent on obtaining it ere doing 
anything further. They immediately pillaged St. Albans, 
raided the surrounding country, and looted the splendid 
abbey. This last gross act of sacrilege incensed 
Whethamstede, the famous Abbot of St. Albans, to such 
a degree that he went over to the Yorkist faction. The 

The Battles of St. Albans and Barnet 87 

Londoners now closed their gates against the northern 
plunderers, and declared for Edward of York, whom the 
Queen meanwhile declared a traitor by the style of " the 
late Earl of Marche," and many former Lancastrian 
sympathisers became alienated. Margaret, who appears 
to have established her headquarters at the neighbouring 
village of Barnet, demanded of the Londoners that they 
should send in supplies for her army. When the Lord 
Mayor would have consented, however, the citizens would 
not. Four hundred cavalry, who were despatched to back 
the royal demand, did, indeed, pillage the northern suburbs 
of London, but were driven off from the capital by the 
exasperated populace. 

The intolerable situation created by the proximity of 
the Lancastrian forces could not last long. York, having 
won a battle at Mortimer's Cross, in Herefordshire, 
marched rapidly Londonwards, united with Warwick, and 
entered the capital amid scenes of the utmost rejoicing, 
whereupon the Queen made haste to break up her camp 
at Barnet and return to the North, narrowly escaping a 
collision with Edward's formidable army. Here really 
ended the stormy reign of Henry VI. Once more to 
borrow from Shakespeare : — 

I, Henry, born at Monmouth, 

Shall small time reign and much get, 

But Henry of Windsor shall long time reign and lose all ; 

But as God wills, so be it. 


Warwick. Alas, I am not coop'd here for defence : 
I will away towards Barnet presently 
And bid thee battle, Edward, if thou darest. 
K. Edward. Yes, Warwick, Edward dares, and leads the way — 
Lords, to the field : Saint George and victory ! 

— King Henry VI. Part iii., Act v. 

The battle of Towton was fought on Palm Sunday, 
1461, and the battle of Hexham followed on May 15th, 

88 Memorials of Old Hertfordshire 

1464. In both encounters the Lancastrian party were 
routed with great slaughter. King Henry was consigned 
to the Tower of London by Warwick the King-maker ; 
but five years later occurred the defection of Lords 
Warwick and Clarence from the Yorkist cause, and the 
release of Henry from the Tower, when Edward IV. 
incontinently fled abroad. 

Thanks to the Duke of Burgundy, however, Edward 
was enabled to land at Ravenspur, in Yorkshire, early in 
1 47 1, at the head of two thousand men. He immediately 
moved southwards, and was rapidly joined by many who 
dropped away from the Lancastrian cause. Near Coventry 
(March 29th) Warwick's army stood ready to oppose him ; 
but the Duke of Gloucester visited " false, fleeting, 
perjured Clarence " in the night, with the result that the 
latter's twelve thousand men were in line next morning 
on Edward's side! This hideous treachery enabled the 
Yorkists to march on London without hindrance from the 
furious Warwick. A few days later King Edward entered 
the capital, and ex-King Henry " once more passed from 
the throne to the dungeon." The Commons undertook 
to furnish Edward with fourteen thousand archers. 

Warwick, " desperate of a reconciliation," and having 
the co-operation of his brother, the ambiguous Marquis 
of Montague, the Duke of Somerset, the Earl of Oxford, 
Henry, Duke of Exeter, and others, determines to put 
matters to the issue of a general action. He accordingly 
moves after Edward and concentrates his forces in a good 
position at Barnet, twelve miles north of London. Such 
artillery as he had he posted to the best advantage. To 
do the perfidious Clarence justice, he now sent to Warwick 
with offers of an accommodation, for the wife of Clarence 
was Warwick's daughter, and she felt anxious, for her 
father's sake, to avert further bloodshed. But the stately 
King-maker sternly replied to the representations of the 
messenger : " Go, and tell your master that Warwick, true 
to his oath, is a better man than the false and perjured 

The Battles of St. Albans and Barnet 89 

Clarence ! " Both parties were so embittered that no 
earthly mediation could be accepted now. 

King Edward feeling strong enough to fight outside 
the capital, the two armies came together at Barnet 
Common 1 late on Easter Eve, April 13th, 1471. That 
of the King was accompanied by Friar Bungey, the 
infamous necromancer and swindler, in whose charge was 
poor King Henry. 

The Yorkists had to form line of battle in the dark ; 
consequently, their right wing, instead of being placed 
opposite the Lancastrian left, confronted their centre, 
and Edward's left, therefore, stretched away to the west- 
ward without any opponents whatever! Indeed, if Friar 
Bungey had not opportunely raised a thick fog on the 
following morning, this serious mistake must have been 
discovered, and Edward would have paid the penalty. 
As it was, when the left wing of each army advanced 
through the mist (about four o'clock on Easter morn), 
they found no enemy. Both thereupon wheeled round 
towards the main army, and Warwick's left, under the 
Earls of Oxford and Montague, opened the battle most 
auspiciously by completely crushing the Yorkist right 
under Hastings, and driving it through Barnet in the 
direction of London, where the White Rose partisans 
spread the news of King Edward's discomfiture. 

As on a former memorable occasion, Warwick (per- 
suaded this time by Montague) slew his coal-black destrier 
with his own hand, and fought on foot. The Yorkist left 
came up to the assistance of their centre ; Edward, greatly 
exasperated by the Commons' attachment to the Earl, 
issued orders to spare nobody, and to slay the leaders in 
particular. He and the deformed Richard of Gloucester 
raged in the forefront of the fight, and their war-cries 
rent the air. Yet they would certainly have suffered 
defeat but for the occurrence of one of those dreadful 

1 Warwick's head-quarters were on Gladsmuir Heath, a chase " stocked 
with beasts of game." His outriders were followed past St. John's 
Church by those of the King. 

90 Memorials of Old Hertfordshire 

catastrophies which too often decide the fate of battles. 
The device of Edward's people, emblazoned on their 
surcoats, was a sun with rays diverging from it ; that 
of Warwick's lieutenant, the Earl of Oxford, being a star 
with rays, emblazoned on both back and front of his 
retainers' coats. Now, Oxford had chased the Yorkist 
right a little too far. He was hastening back through the 
fog (after the manner of Prince Rupert in later times) 
to make up for his prolonged absence, when Warwick's 
people mistook his cognizance — the star — for the sun of 
Edward, and attacked him with fury. In an instant all 
was confusion. Shouts of " Treason ! " arose, and Oxford, 
naturally believing himself to be betrayed, fled amain with 
eight hundred of his men. 

This mistake was such a one as, in modern days, cost 
the life of Stonewall Jackson at Chancellorsville, or 
crippled Longstreet in the Wilderness ; and it proved 
fatal to the Red Rose. The exultant Edward rode 
furiously about, bringing all his available force to bear 
upon Warwick's remaining troops. The " stout Earl " 
knew full well that it had become a war of extermination 
— that there was no hope of quarter. So he prepared to 
die as he had lived. Exeter was already down, wounded 
by an arrow. Both wings of the Lancastrian army had 

Edward, " mounted on his white steed, with his teeth 
firmly set, the spur pressing his charger's side," seemed 
omnipresent. Seeing that the moment had arrived to 
strike a decisive blow, he brought up his reserves and led 
them into action. " This," exclaimed the undaunted 
Warwick, " this is their last resource. If we withstand 
this charge, the day will yet be ours." But alas! scarcely 
one remained to respond to the Nevil war-cry. Warwick 
and Montague — the latter acquitted himself nobly here — 
slowly retreated to the neighbouring wood, where they 
made a last stand. Bulwer Lytton represents them as here 
dying side by side, surrounded by heaps of Yorkist slain. 

The Battles of St. Albans and Barnet 91 

Ten thousand is too high an estimate of the Lancas- 
trian loss at Barnet. It included twenty-three knights 
(among them Sir William Tyrrell) and three thousand 
righting men. Dr. Maunder and Mr. J. G. Edgar both 
tell us that the victors themselves lost fifteen hundred 
fighting men, besides the Lords Say and Cromwell, 
Sir John Lisle (son of Lord Berners), Sir Humphrey 
Bourchier, etc. The dead were buried on the spot, and 
a chapel was erected there. Few of Warwick's colleagues 
escaped, the two principal exceptions being the Earl of 
Oxford and the Duke of Somerset ; these went to join 
the Earl of Pembroke, the former especially having hair- 
breadth escapes. The Duke of Exeter was picked up on 
the field for dead ; but when found to be still alive, was 
conveyed to the sanctuary of Westminster by his 
domestics. King Edward must have violated the sanc- 
tuary, however, as the unfortunate nobleman's corpse was 
afterwards found floating in the sea off Dover. The 
corpses of Lords Warwick and Montague were carried 
to London in the same coffin, and were exposed naked 
for three days on the floor of St. Paul's Cathedral, " as 
a striking warning against subjects interfering with kings 
and crowns." They were then transported to the burial 
place of the Nevils at Bisham Priory, Berkshire. Unhap- 
pily, Bisham Priory was destroyed at the Reformation, 
leaving no stone to mark the resting-place of " The Last 
of the Barons." 


By E. H. Stewart Walde 

jN any descriptive account of Hertfordshire, the castle 
at Berkhamsted is justly entitled to a more than 
passing mention. As an historic fortress it must, 
perhaps, yield pride of place to that of the county 
town, and in archaeological interest can hardly claim 
comparison with St. Albans. But its massive, if somewhat 
scanty, remains have, unlike those of its sister of Hertford, 
fortunately escaped the hand of the builder and restorer, 
and guard to this day a secluded site that has stood 
untouched for nearly five hundred years. At what date 
fortifications were first erected here cannot be determined 
without further excavation. Its vicinity to the great bank 
of " Gryme's Dyke " would seem to indicate that even in 
prehistoric times its defensive value must have been 
recognised ; and the discovery of a coin of Cunobelin — 
grandson of Julius Caesar's opponent, Cassivellaunus — and 
of others of the Roman Empire, suggests that the begin- 
ning of our era found it inhabited. Attempts, indeed, have 
been made to identify the site with that of Durocobrivis, 
the ancient British " city of the marshy stream." And 
though we may be disinclined to endorse this conjecture, 
the strategic importance of the place cannot be denied. 
Berkhamsted lies at the southern end of the principal valley 
of the central Chilterns — that of the Bulbourne, a tributary 
of the Colne — at a point where it widens to receive a brook 
that descends from the common on the north-east of the 
town. It would, perhaps, be more correct to say 


Berkhamsted Castle 93 

" descended " ; for, as so often occurs in a chalk country, 
the actual stream has now sunk beneath the surface, and 
at the present day emerges only a few yards from its 
outfall. Originally, however, its appearance was far 
different. Flanked by woods and impenetrable under- 
growth, it debouched upon the main valley as a marsh 
of some breadth, and uniting with a similar morass formed 
by the main stream, extended to within a furlong or so 
of the Roman road, Akman Street, which, even more than 
Watling Street, gave the pass of easiest communication 
between north-western England and London. It is no 
mere accident that the main line of the London and North- 
western Railway and the Grand Junction Canal both lie 
within a stone's throw of the ruins ; that the latter now 
receives the water from the castle moat, while the former 
here found considerable difficulty in securing the founda- 
tion of its embankment. 

During Roman times, in fact, the junction of these two 
streams constituted an obvious point of observation for 
defending the highly-civilised country that surrounded 
Verulamium from the inroads of the wild tribes of central 
England. And, as if to emphasise this advantage, from 
the midst of the marsh, just before the confluence of the 
brook with the Bulbourne, rises a low oval bank of gravel 
that, once guarded, must to the feeble artillery of the 
primitive Britons have been impregnable. We are 
perhaps, then, justified in imagining that the soldiers of 
the empire passing west would see here on the right some 
form of permanent military encampment, occupied by a 
detached outpost of their legions, and communicating with 
the main road by a causeway built through the morass 
along the line of the modern Castle Street. 

On the withdrawal, in A.D. 400, of the Roman arms 
from Britain, the district offered some resistance to the 
attack of the invader from the north and east. Rallying 
round Verulamium, the Romanised Celts repelled for 
nearly a century the incessant inroads of the East Saxons, 

94 Memorials of Old Hertfordshire 

who, after once passing the forts of the Saxon shore, 
proceeded to establish their dominion more and more 
firmly throughout Essex and Eastern Hertfordshire. But 
with the capture and subsequent sack of St. Albans, central 
England lapsed back into barbarism or utter desolation, 
and the last civilised inhabitants which our valley saw 
for many years were the fugitives that haunted its hills 
and forests after the fall of the capital city. Whatever 
settlement may have existed on the present site disap- 
peared. Two centuries passed before we begin to find 
even legendary indications of human habitation : then 
the new name of the town appears, probably without due 
reason, in connection with the great council held by 
Wihthraede, King of Kent, in 697. But the earliest 
indubitable mention of Berkhamsted only occurs, far later 
still, in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle of the end of the 
ninth century. The castle itself, however, must have 
been of considerably more ancient foundation than 
the town, if, rejecting the derivation from " berg," a hill, 
we accept the usual interpretation of the name — the 
" homestead of the burg," or tower. For that name 
proves, through all its fifty and more accredited ways of 
spelling, that the settlement was created by and grew up 
under the shelter of the fortress. 

We are, then, fairly justified in supposing that, com- 
paratively early in Anglo-Saxon times, the castle site was 
occupied by some form of defensive and residential 
enclosure, co-extensive with the gravel bank, which is 
some feet higher than the surrounding ground. These 
defences would be of no very elaborate character; but, 
failing a mound and trench of Roman occupation, must 
have at least defined the area by a low earth-work 
surmounted by a wooden palisade and protected by a 
ditch. Such was the appearance of the spot when, after 
the long period of consolidation that followed the great 
invasions, it was finally incorporated with the Anglian 
Mercia — a conglomerate kingdom that occupied the whole 

Berkhamsted Castle 95 

of central England — and here, in its south-east corner, 
marched with that of the East Saxons. A tradition of 
some authority has actually represented it as frequently 
visited by the Mercian kings, and it is tempting to 
suppose that within its walls may have resided Offa, who 
alone of English sovereigns before Alfred enjoyed a 
European reputation. It is clear, at any rate, that this 
frontier position enhanced the importance of Berkhamsted, 
and doubtless involved it as a key fortress in many a 
prehistoric struggle between the Mercian power and that 
of the West Saxons before the latter, under Egbert, 
secured the supremacy of England. 

Then came the irruption of the Danes, and at the peace 
of Wedmore in 878, Berkhamsted, as a close neighbour to 
Watling Street and the head waters of the Lea, once more 
became practically a frontier town. During the succeeding 
century of war between the English and the Danelaw 
its military value must rather have increased than 
diminished, and in the year of the Norman Conquest it 
appears as an important native stronghold. After the 
battle of Hastings, William marched up the south 
bank of the Thames to Wallingford, crossed there, and 
chose Berkhamsted as the place of encampment from 
which he could best command the three great highways 
of the north and west — Watling Street, Ermine Street, 
and Icknield Street. This attempt to isolate London was 
completely successful. Edwin and Morcar, the northern 
leaders, either could not or would not help the south. 
With as good a grace as might be, the English leaders 
acquiesced in their helplessness, offered William the crown, 
and Berkhamsted thus became traditionally the scene of 
the meeting that inaugurated the new epoch in our history. 
In the division of spoil that followed, we learn from 
Domesday Book that Berkhamsted fell to the share of 
the Conqueror's half-brother, Robert, Count of Mortain, 
who was created Earl of Cornwall. To him is attributed 
by Camden the actual building of the castle. Rather 

96 Memorials of Old Hertfordshire 

should we consider that he merely re-constructed it, and 
that in his or immediately succeeding hands it more 
definitely assumed the character of a Norman fortress. Of 
this we have for important evidence the fact that it is in 
many respects a typical specimen of the Saxon castles 
that were " converted " subsequent to the Conquest. 
Those of purely Norman origin consisted, as at Dover, of 
three concentric rings of defensive works. First, a moat 
and outer wall encircling the whole, and giving entrance to 
the outer bailey. or ballium, in which stood the church or 
chapel — a space sufficiently large for the whole garrison 
to be marshalled for defence within it. Secondly, a trench 
and inner wall surrounding the enclosure known as the 
inner bailey or ward, which contained the offices for 
servants and retainers, the granaries and storehouses. 
And, finally, inmost of all, the keep — a square or 
rectangular building of great height and strength, which, 
based at times on an artificial mound, formed a last resort 
when the outworks had been taken. 

At Berkhamsted we look in vain for such regularity. 
In the first place, there is no outer bailey, and the whole 
oval of some 170 yards north and south by 100 yards east 
and west is occupied by the inner ward. Secondly, the 
artificial truncated mound of about sixty feet in height, 
on which the keep once stood, so far from being doubly 
enclosed, actually breaks the circuit of this single ward 
at the north end, and gives directly on to the moat. 
Lastly, the keep itself, which the main ditch isolated from 
the ward by a loop that has now been filled up, was, to 
judge from recent excavation, roughly circular and not a 
rectangle. It is not too much to suppose, then, that these 
departures from the distinctively Norman type prove that 
the work of the reputed founder was merely an adaptation 
and extension largely based on defences already existing. 
On no other theory can the comparatively exposed position 
of the keep be explained. 

Under these circumstances we should expect to find 

Berkhamsted Castle 97 

a compensating strength elsewhere. And we are not 
mistaken. The inner ditch, or moat, as we have termed 
it, is of great depth, and in width nowhere less than 
fifty feet ; while at the south-east and south-west, instead 
of following the oval contour of the ward, it broadens to 
such an extent that the whole becomes a rude triangle, 
with the keep as apex at the north. Bounding this rises 
a steep narrow earthwork — the middle bank — which, 
constituting, so to speak, the rudiments of an outer ward, 
expands at the two southern corners into mounds that 
stand some twenty feet above the general level. Just 
half-way between these, facing Castle Street, was the main 
entrance, of which two parallel fragmentary walls are still 
to be seen. Yet another water defence — the outer ditch 
— and an outer bank projecting at intervals into great 
bastions — if such, indeed, they are — complete the fortifica- 
tions, which measure, roughly, 330 yards in length by 
220 in breadth. 

Such a complex system of water and earthworks, 
affording as it did little ground from which to proceed 
to the assault of the inner defences when the outer had 
been taken, must have presented insuperable difficulties to 
the besieger of early times. And when, by damming the 
stream and so flooding the exterior base of the outer bank, 
the castle was still further isolated, it must have been 
impregnable except to blockade. At the date, however, 
with which we are now dealing, the fortress was not so 
formidable. Taking over the inner ward and keep, the 
Norman founder seems to have added the middle bank 
and the trench that guarded it. There his work ceased. 
The outer bank can hardly be earlier than the reign of 
Henry III., and may be later still. 

The first Earl of Cornwall was succeeded by his son 
William, and one or the other is stated by Matthew Paris 
to have been present at the hunting in the New Forest 
in which the Red King lost his life. In the reign of 
Henry I. it was this Earl William who joined his cousin 

98 Memorials of Old Hertfordshire 

Robert, Duke of Normandy, in the rebellion that ended 
with the battle of Tenchebrai. Like that leader, he was 
captured, his estates were confiscated, and the new castle 
razed to the ground. The manor, thus reverting to the 
Crown, now enters on a period of apparent dissociation 
from the Earldom of Cornwall, during which it appears 
held directly from the King, as over-lord, by various 
individuals, generally the chancellors or justiciars of the 
realm. Of this series the first is the chancellor Randulf, 
who, receiving the castle by grant of Henry I., rebuilt it, 
and, according to the chronicler Henry of Huntingdon, 
died of a fall from his horse when proudly conducting 
the King to lodge as a guest within its walls. But it 
was under that monarch's grandson, Henry II., that Berk- 
hamsted, escaping with other ancient foundations the fate 
of the 1,115 "adulterine" or illegal castles that had 
devastated the country during the reign of Stephen, began 
to receive more particular marks of royal favour. Two 
years after his accession he granted to the town a regular 
charter that freed the inhabitants from all tolls and duties 
throughout his English and Continental dominions ; and 
probably about the same date the wardenship of the 
building was conferred on no less a person than Thomas 
of London, better known to posterity as Thomas a Becket. 
On his appointment in 1 162 as Archbishop of Canterbury, 
Becket resigned the office of chancellor much in opposition 
to Henry's wishes, but would not resign the manors of 
Eye and Berkhamsted, " which," says Stubbs, " were usually 
held as part of the endowment of the chancellor." And 
it was this refusal to part with " two of the finest pieces 
of the secular patronage of the Crown," as the same author 
terms them, that in a measure led to the great quarrel 
which ensued between the King and Archbishop. After 
the fall and death of Becket, Henry himself is said to 
have not seldom resided and held his court at Berkhamsted. 
During the reign of Richard I., the most non-resident 
of English kings, the history of the castle, like that of so 

Berkhamsted Castle 99 

much of the country, is virtually blank ; but with the 
accession of his brother John we enter upon what is, 
perhaps, its most interesting period. The first act of the 
infatuated prince was to divorce his wife, Hadwisa, or 
Avice, of Gloucester, to whom he had been married ten 
years, and contract an alliance with Isabella of Angouleme, 
whose hand was already promised elsewhere. To the 
latter lady the castle was given as a jointure-palace, but 
almost immediately afterwards granted at a high rental 
to Geoffrey FitzPeter, Earl of Essex, justiciar of the realm. 
The justiciar, a politician of the stern school of Henry II., 
had held the supreme power during the latter part of 
Richard's absence, and was little likely to view John's 
mismanagement of affairs with equanimity. His death in 
1 2 1 3 was hailed with relief by the King, who was beginning 
to be involved in his famous quarrel with the barons. 
" By God's Feet," said he, " now am I for the first time 
King and Lord of England." To this enmity the son, 
also a Geoffrey, succeeded. He enraged the King by 
marrying the divorced Avice of Gloucester, and, declaring 
for the barons, was deprived of Berkhamsted and his other 
estates. The signing of Magna Carta in 12 15 brought no 
relief to the political tension, and when civil war became 
inevitable, the castle, among others, was put in a state of 
defence under the King's personal supervision. After his 
death, Louis of France, to whom the barons had offered 
the crown, having reduced Hertford, advanced to the siege 
of Berkhamsted in December, 12 16. The garrison, which 
seems to have been insufficiently provisioned, held out 
for a fortnight against overwhelming numbers, and after 
making two successful sorties in one day, surrendered on 
honourable terms. But Louis's success was of short 
duration. Defeated in person on land at Lincoln, and 
deprived of his reinforcements by Hubert de Burgh's naval 
victory off Dover, he was obliged to leave the country, 
and the castle falling once more into royal hands was 
granted by Henry III. to his younger brother Richard, 
Earl of Cornwall, afterwards King of the Romans — that 

ioo Memorials of Old Hertfordshire 

is to say, heir-elect to the Holy Roman Empire. It was 
at Berkhamsted that this famous prince died in 1272, where 
already, in 1243, Hubert de Burgh, the great justiciar and 
hero of Dover, had breathed his last. Richard's son and 
successor, Edmund, seems to have somewhat neglected the 
building, which, as he died without issue, reverted to 
Edward I., and by him was given as dower to his second 
wife, Queen Margaret. Under Edward II. it was granted 
to the favourite, Piers Gaveston, who was created Earl of 
Cornwall, and was the scene of his marriage to the 
King's niece. During that worthless monarch's reign it 
experienced other changes which hardly call for notice, 
and its glories were only renewed when the great 
Edward III., choosing it as a royal residence, put it once 
more in thorough repair. Among State papers still exist 
two documents, the first containing the King's command 
for an inquisition into the state of the building, the second 
the report of the inquisition itself. 

We are now arrived at the date when the association 
with the Earldom of Cornwall, which had been so marked 
a feature of the previous history of the castle, was formally 
and finally confirmed by the grant of it to the most famous 
holder of the title, the Black Prince. On him, as Duke 
of Cornwall, and his heirs, and on " the eldest sons of the 
heirs of the kings of England," the castle was conferred 
and, from him descending in unbroken succession to our 
own times, remains a royal domain, granted at a nominal 
rent by our present sovereign to Earl Brownlow. Hence 
it was at Berkhamsted that the most chivalrous of English 
princes long resided ; that, as we may still read in the 
pages of Froissart, an eye-witness, in 1361 he received in 
state and bade a last farewell to his mother, Queen 
Philippa ; and that John, King of France, taken prisoner 
by him at Poitiers, was for a time held in honourable 
captivity. Under his son, Richard II., a name not less 
illustrious in a far different sphere, though borne by a 
clerk of the royal works, is connected with the castle — 
that of Geoffrey Chaucer. 

Berkhamsted Castle ioi 

The fortress, having passed successively to the three 
Henrys of Lancaster, was by the first Yorkist King, 
Edward IV., assigned as residence to Cicely, Duchess of 
York, mother of that king and Richard III, and grand- 
mother of the princes murdered in the Tower — all of whom 
she survived. On her death in 1495, the building, 
probably left untenanted, soon fell into decay, and when 
visited by Leland in 1538 the "old castle in a roote 
of a hill, standing somewhat low," was already " much 
in mine." And when, finally, Sir Edward Cary, in the 
reign of Elizabeth, built Berkhamsted Place, decay seems 
to have been assisted by destruction. It can hardly be 
doubted, in view of the absence of dressed stone among 
the ruins, that the castle became a quarry for the erection 
of the Elizabethan mansion that stands on the hill to-day. 
Thus stripped of its outer covering, the core of chalk, 
flint, and mortar could offer little resistance to the attacks 
of time and weather. Of the containing wall of the inner 
ward much still remains, including a curtain that leads up 
to the mound on which stood the keep. Some slight 
excavation of the latter has recently taken place, and 
brought to light the foundations, a fireplace, and the well. 
These, with the fragments of the outer gate or barbican, 
constitute all that, without further search, is to be seen 
of the noble building which, with its "great painted 
chamber " or hall, its three chapels, and its " divers towers," 
was so long considered a residence worthy of royal 
occupants. For the rest, its magnificence can only be 
re-constructed from the evidence of the earthworks which 
we have described, and the pages of the antiquaries who 
actually beheld it. But, overgrown by and embowered in 
trees, and surrounded by its moats, the site of the castle 
is strikingly beautiful, and still has its uses. The great 
expanse of the inner ward, affording a suitable scene for 
local festivities and athletic sports, carries on, in a more 
peaceful and humble guise, the traditions of that pomp 
and chivalry which for so long distinguished it. 


By the Editor 

And here againe out of the kingly streame 

They passe by Roydon through little Estwycke quite. 

Then they salute Hunsdon, the nurserie, 

And foster-house of thrice-renowned Swannes (Swains?) 

Whose honour, and whose noble progenie, 

Gives glorie to that honourable house. 

Lord, how they live, all glorious as the sunne, 

With types and titles fit for their degree, 

As kinsman to our most redoubted Queene, 

And men of high desert unto the State. 

— Tale of Two Swannes. 

I HAT the Virgin Queen always entertained a 
genuine affection for Hertfordshire and for its 
people, we know well. At Hunsdon, indeed, she 
lived with her governess or nurse, Lady Bryan, 
" during the time of her teething M1 ; nor do the years so 
spent appear to have been inordinately happy or hilarious 
ones. Hunsdon House, in which they were passed, was 
built (A.D. 1447) by Sir William Oldhall, knight, and was 
of brick. We even know the exact cost of its erection — 
that is, provided we may accept the word of Humphrey 
Paris, Sir William's wardrobe keeper, who states it at 
seven thousand marks, eight shillings, and twopence half- 
penny. But such sordid matters need not concern our 
narrative. Sufficient for our purpose that the three 
children of Henry VIII. — Prince Edward, Princess Mary, 

1 Miss Strickland, Lives of the Queens. 

Queen Elizabeth in Hertfordshire 103 

and Princess Elizabeth — were all brought up at Hunsdon, 
Mary even remaining until Lady Jane Grey was pro- 
claimed Queen. 

For a Royal Princess to be in absolute need of 
necessary clothing is an almost unique experience, one 
would think. Yet this was the strait to which the poor 
little Princess Elizabeth was reduced by the divorce and 
death of her unhappy mother, Queen Katherine of Arragon. 
We find Lady Bryan writing as follows, in sore perplexity 
(but, unhappily, the letter is undated), to Lord Cromwell, 
the Chancellor ; — 

Beseeching you to be good lord to my lady and to all hers ; and that 
she may have some raiment. For she hath neither gown nor kirtle nor 
petticoat, nor no manner of linen, nor foresmocks nor kerchiefs nor sleeves 
nor rails, nor body stitchets nor mufflers nor biggins. . . . God 
knoweth my lady hath great pain with her great teeth, and they come 
very slowly forth. Good my lord, have my lady's Grace and us that be 
her poor servants in your remembrance. 

I cannot say what may have been the reply to Lady 
Bryan's piteous appeal ; but we may surely assume that 
the Lord Cromwell did not prove adamant in the matter 
of clothing for the Princess. Besides, Elizabeth bore the 
home of her childhood no ill-will ; for long after she 
became Queen, in 1572, we find her re-visiting Hunsdon 
House as the guest of her kinsman, Lord Hunsdon, the 
son of Mary Boleyn. In that year the Queen travelled 
to Hunsdon in great state, and attended by Leicester, 
Burleigh, Howard, and the other splendid courtiers of that 
time. Four years later, Elizabeth was here again, the 
parish registers showing that she stood sponsor to one of 
Lord Hunsdon's daughters. In the old church is still 
shown the pew occupied by Her Majesty. 

But meanwhile, when Edward VI. had come to the 
throne, he had granted to his favourite sister, Elizabeth, 
Ashridge, near Berkhamsted, that great historic mansion 
which so justly ranks among the ancestral homes of 
England. The Princess Elizabeth resided at Ashridge 

104 Memorials of Old Hertfordshire 

for more than ten years. In 1553 she quitted her retreat 
for a brief period to be present at her sister's coronation ; 
and in January, 1554, Mary, suspecting her of complicity 
in the Wyatt rebellion, sent a peremptory message for 
her immediate return from Hertfordshire. This summons 
found Elizabeth lying on a bed of sickness ; but the 
commissioners despatched by Mary, who waited upon the 
Princess at ten o'clock at night, compelled her to travel. 
In a fainting condition, she accordingly started from 
Ashridge on the following morning, but could only travel 
a few miles, resting that night at Radburn and the next 
at St. Albans, where she was the guest of Sir Ralph 
Romlatt. 1 She did not reach the capital until 
February 28th. Froude describes her at this time as a 
"magnificent girl, already the idol of the country." 

Theobalds was another of the stately homes of Hert- 
fordshire best entitled to be termed "royal." Lord 
Burleigh, then Sir William Cecil, commenced to build it 
in 1560, and between 1564 and 1596 Queen Elizabeth 
honoured him with a visit no fewer than eight times. 
Her visit of 1583 was the most gorgeous in effect, as 
she was attended by a large following, and made a stay 
of four days. Burleigh died in August, 1598, covered 
with years and honours, and the Queen is said to have 
held Court at Theobalds immediately afterwards. " Her 
Majestie sometimes had strangers and ambassadors come 
to see her at Theobalds," says The Compleat Statesman, 
" where she hath byn sene in as great royalty, and served 
as bountifully and magnificently as at any other time or 
place, all at his lordship's chardg." The knighting of 
Cecil took place here in 1593. Each of the royal visits 
cost him from £2,000 to £3,000 — a great sum in those 
days. One of these visits was of six weeks' duration! 
A pretty story is told of how the Queen once circum- 
vented Burleigh by conferring seven knighthoods in 

1 Memorialised in St. Albans Abbey. 

Queen Elizabeth in Hertfordshire 105 

* inverse ratio," the Secretary of State having placed the 
seven candidates for the royal favour in such order that 
the lowliest born would have taken precedence of the 
highest. This democratic attempt the Queen wittily 

Theobalds is still better known in English history, 
however, as the deathplace of King James I., whose 
enthusiasm for the palace outrivalled that of his predeces- 
sor. He made it his favourite hunting and country 
residence — he sported and revelled here with " Baby " 
and " Steenie," with the King of Denmark and the Duke 
of Saxe-Weimar — and he died here on March 27th, 1625. 
Charles I. occasionally lived here ; but alas ! not a single 
stone or solitary vestige of Royal Theobalds now remains, 
it having been razed to the ground on the sale of Crown 
lands in 1649. Well was it written, as long ago as 1734 — 

Thro' Theobalds passing, we the bounds remark, 
Of a once Royal Court and stately Park, 
But now from its primaeval pride decay'd, 
Villas of wealthy Cits possess the shade. 

But to return to the subject of Queen Elizabeth's 
connection with Hertfordshire. Another among the 
lordly homes of the county which she honoured by her 
preference was Gorhambury, the seat of her Chancellor 
and the world's philosopher, Nicholas Bacon. Sir Nicholas 
built himself Gorhambury between 1563 and 1568, at the 
total cost (if we may trust a Lambeth Palace MS.) 
of £1,898 11s. gld. Some of the freestone used in its 
erection was procured from St. Albans Abbey, from 
which we may suppose that the latter building was at 
this period in the throes of one of its repeated "restora- 
tions." Over the facade of his residence the erudite 
Bacon wrote as follows: — 

Haeccum perfecit Nicolaus tecta Baconus 
Elizabeth regni lustra fuere duo ; 
Factus eques, magni custos fuit ipse sigilli 
Gloria sit soli tota tubutu deo. 
Medicocria firma. 

106 Memorials of Old Hertfordshire 

It is on record that the Queen once remarked to 
Sir Nicholas : " My lord, your house is too little for you " ; 
to which his happy and courtier-like rejoinder was : 
" No, madam, but 'tis your Highness hath made me too 
great for my house." Great or not, Bacon was forced to 
entertain his Queen from time to time on a scale of 
exceeding magnificence. To entertain her four days cost 
him £$77, or about one-third of the cost of building 
Gorhambury House! Here are a few of the items 
consumed on that occasion : — 

Flour, j£47 12s. 6d. ; beer, £24 16s. 8d. ; wine, ^57 5s. 8d. ; milk, 
6d. ; lights, £40 18s. id.; meat, ^77 15s. 2d.; fowl, ^105 12s. nd. ; 
fish, ^37 18s. 6d. ; wood and coals, ^24 is. 8d. ; and to London cooks, 
_£i2. The guests or servants stole pewter to the value of £6 15s. 6d., 
and napery valued at £2 os. 6d. 

King's Langley, Standon, Tewin, and Knebworth were 
each similarly immortalised by Queen Bess at one time 
or another, though it is observable that her investigations 
were, for the most part, confined to the east side of the 
county. Knebworth, the seat of the Bulwer Lyttons, 
stands upon the most elevated ground that Hertfordshire 
contains. In Norman times it was a stern fortalice, 
sternly guarded by one Eudo Dapifer. Finished at the 
time of the Spanish Armada scare by Sir Rowland de 
Lytton, Lord Lieutenant of Herts, and Essex, Knebworth 
had the honour of receiving Her Majesty, who occupied 
a sleeping-chamber known to this day as " Queen Eliza- 
beth's Chamber." At King's Langley may still be seen 
a few tumbled ruins of the palace built for King 
Henry III., where Edward III.'s son Edmund was born, 
and where ill-fated Richard II. stayed one Christmas. As 
for Tewin, this is now the seat of the Abel Smith family ; 
Elizabeth is understood to have visited the old place 
known as Queen Hoo Hall. At Standon, Sir Ralph and 
Sir Thomas Sadleir respectively entertained Elizabeth 
and James I. Sir Thomas was Sheriff of the county. 

Last, but by no means least, Hertford Castle was the 

Queen Elizabeth in Hertfordshire 107 

scene of one of Queen Bess's visitations. But it may 
be supposed that stern necessity brought her to the even 
then old-world town of Hertford, for London was deci- 
mated by a fearsome pestilence, and twice within a 
decade Parliament was moved from the capital to 
Hertford Castle. And did not Her Majesty entertain 
herself and her retinue, as if to compensate for the fatigue 
of bringing her and them from London ? In sixteen days 
she ran through ^1,920. Among the MSS. in the British 
Museum is one of rare interest, dated " Hertford, 
Dec. 20, 1545." This proves to us as nothing else could 
what a marvellous scholar Elizabeth must have been : 
the matter contained in the tiny volume having been 
translated by her into Latin, Italian, and French. For 
Elizabeth the Princess as well as Elizabeth the Queen 
knew — and, we may surmise, did not love — Hertford, one 
historian telling how " a small chamber is shown in the 
highest tower of the Castle as being the place of 
Elizabeth's captivity." Princess Mary was at the Castle 
in 1539, when Cromwell asked, but did not obtain, her 
consent to a marriage with Duke Philip of Bavaria; and 
Prince Edward (Edward VI.) sojourned here with Eliza- 
beth some half-dozen years after. Edward was in 
Hertford Castle, in fact, when the Earl of Hertford 
arrived post-haste to inform him of King Henry's death 
and his own accession. Elizabeth was destined to become 
very popular here (as where was she not?), conferring 
numerous " rights and liberties " upon the county town, 
and granting it the Saturday market and four fairs 
annually, which still obtain. To take at random from old 
Vallens s — 

Thence backe again unto the chiefest towne 
Of all the Shire, and greatest of accompt, 
Defended with a Castle of some strength, 
Well walled, dyched, and amended late, 
By her, the onely mirror of the world, 
Our gracious Queene and Prince Elizabeth. 

108 Memorials of Old Hertfordshire 

In Berkhamsted Parish Church is preserved Queen 
Elizabeth's coat-of-arms, surmounting this quaint inscrip- 
tion : — 

This mighty Queen is dead and gone, 

And leaves the world to wonder 

How she a maiden Queen did live, 

Few Kings have gone beyond her. 


By Rev. P. H. Ditchfield, M.A., F.S.A. 

EW houses can rival Moor Park in its historical 
associations, the home of Lord and Lady Ebury, 
the lineal descendant of the great house famous 
in English annals, with which everybody who 
was anybody and every event worth recording seem 
somehow to have been connected. Lord Bulwer Lytton 
loved to people it with the shades of the mighty warriors 
in his Last of the Barons. In an autograph letter written 
to Lord Ebury in 1871, which lies before me, he says : 
" I suppose there is no historical romance existing which 
adheres so rigidly to accuracy in detail as The Last of 
the Barons. And I may say that now without vanity, 
for instead of deeming it a merit, I deem it a fault." 
Sir Walter Scott, Shakespeare, and other writers have 
made it the background of their romances, and many a 
scene recorded in true history more remarkable than 
fiction has taken place here on this site. 

The present house owes its birth to the unfortunate 
Duke of Monmouth, a natural son of foolish Charles II, 
a man who added to his crime of rebellion against the 
King, for which he lost his head in an uncomfortable 
fashion on Tower Hill, the terrible fault of pulling down 
the old mansion, the home of romance and chivalry, for 
more than two centuries the magnificent abode of monarchs 
and princes. The estate of Moor Park became the 
property of the Crown on the attainder of the Duke, but 
was granted to the widowed Duchess by James II. as 
some compensation for the harsh treatment she had 


no Memorials of Old Hertfordshire 

received from her sovereign. In 1720, after having 
married and buried another husband, she sold Moor Park 
to Benjamin Hoskins Styles, who had amassed a large 
fortune in the South Sea Bubble, and, unlike most of the 
speculators in that hazardous enterprise, managed to sell 
his shares when they were at their highest value, and 
thus became enormously wealthy. He mightily trans- 
formed Moor Park, encasing it in Portland stone, erecting 
a magnificent portico, adding two wings connected with 
the house by colonnades in the Tuscan style. Sir James 
Thornhill was the director of the work, and an Italian, 
Leoni by name, was the chief designer of the alterations. 
Solid marble doorways! ceilings painted and gilded, 
magnificent pictures, galleries and staircases adorned with 
paintings remain as noble monuments of Mr. Styles's 
work at Moor Park. Admiral Lord Anson bought the 
place from the representatives of the Styles family, and 
added lustre to the mansion, expending vast sums on the 
house and grounds, employing in the latter that arch- 
priest of destroyers of old gardens, " Capability Brown." 
Here in his beautiful home the gallant sailor used to 
recount his victories in the war with Spain, his adventurous 
voyage round the world, his captures of Spanish galleons, 
and his wonderful exploits which made him a prince of 
sailors. Here came Dr. Johnson to stay with the Admiral, 
and was not impressed by the gallant sailor's stories. He 
hated Whigs, to which party Lord Anson belonged. He 
loved to hear his own voice, and perhaps could not get a 
word in when Lord Anson was describing his fights and 
his victories. Hence his sarcastic epigram : — 

Gratum animum latido. Qui debuit omnia vcntis, 
Quatn bene ventorum surgcrc templa iubet. 

Sir Laurence Dundas, Bart., next acquired the property 
in 1763. He was commissary-general and contractor to 
the army in several wars, and amassed a large fortune. 
He added much to the decoration of the mansion, and 

Moor Park hi 

entertained here the Prince of Wales, afterwards 
George IV. A Mr. Rous wrought much evil, pulling 
down the wings and colonnades, with the chapel and 
offices. He was a sorry vandal, and his memory at Moor 
Park is not revered. The next owner was Mr. Robert 
Williams, a man who raised himself by his own exertions 
from an upholsterer's apprentice to a distinguished position 
in the East India Company, and became the head of the 
banking house which is now known as that of Williams, 
Deacon & Co., and the owner of Moor Park. His son sold 
the house to Robert, Earl of Grosvenor, afterwards Marquis 
of Westminster. This is not the place to record the annals 
of this distinguished house, which has left its mark on 
many a page of England's history. Here the Marquis 
entertained right royally King William IV. and his Queen. 
On the death of the Marchioness of Westminster the 
property passed to her third son, Lord Robert Grosvenor, 
who was created Baron Ebury in 1857, a great benefactor, 
the friend and colleague in many charitable enterprises 
of the good Lord Shaftesbury. Here Queen Victoria and 
the Prince Consort came to pay a memorable visit in 
1854. On the death of the first Lord Ebury, at the great 
age of ninety-two years, Moor Park passed into the 
possession of his eldest son, the present Lord Ebury. 

We have recorded briefly the history of the present 
mansion. We will now visit the site of the old palace, 
of which the moat and an old brick wall partly surrounding 
an orchard are the only visible remains. Here we must 
construct again in imagination the great house which once 
stood there, and people it with the host of kings, princes, 
cardinals, prelates, and warriors who once thronged its 
magnificent hall. This mansion was of brick, the chief 
buildings forming a square court, which was entered by 
a gate-house flanked with towers. 1 

l This information is derived from a MS. letter by Mr. J. A. Froude 
in the possession of Lord Ebury, quoting from Singer's edition of 
Cavendish's Life of Wolsey, p. 245. 

ii2 Memorials of Old Hertfordshire 

Originally the property belonged to the Abbey of 
St. Albans, having been granted by Offa, King of Mercia, 
in atonement for the murder of Ethelbert, King of East 
Anglia. Here a cell of the abbey was established, and 
the tenant was obliged to provide a horse for the abbot 
whenever he wished to visit Tynemouth, near Newcastle. 

The real history of the Park begins with its 
acquisition by that powerful ecclesiastic, George Nevil, 
brother of the great Earl of Warwick, styled " the 
King-maker," Archbishop of York in 1464, and Lord 
Chancellor of England. He obtained a license from 
Henry VI. to enclose six hundred acres in the parishes 
of Rickmansworth and Watford, and built the mansion 
which was destined to witness some of the great events 
in English history. Lord Lytton thus describes it : — 

A magnificent Palace of stately architecture, embellished with a facade 
of double arches, painted and emblazoned in the fashion of old Italian 
houses. Through corridor and hall, lined with pages and esquires, passed 
Marmaduke and Marmion until they gained a quaint garden, the wonder 
and envy of the time, planned by an Italian of Mantua, and perhaps the 
stateliest of the time in England ; straight walls, terraces and fountains, 
clipped trees, green alleys and smooth bowling-greens abounded ; but the 
flowers were few and common, and if a statue was here and there found, 
it possessed none of the art so admirable in our early ecclesiastical archi- 
tecture, but its clumsy proportions were made more uncouth by a profusion 
of barbaric painting and gilding. The fountains were, however, especially 
curious, diversified and elaborate ; some shot up as pyramids, others coiled 
in undulating streams, each just chasing the other as serpents, some again 
branched off in the form of trees, while mimic birds, perched upon the 
leaden boughs, poured water from their bills. 

The Archbishop was a mighty prelate. His mansion 
was a court of great magnificence, and thither, as to a 
Medici, fled the men of letters and art. His palace was 
more Oriental than European in its gorgeousness. By 
the influence of " the King-maker " and the Chancellor, 
Edward IV. was at length seated upon the throne, and 
the monarch often was entertained at " the More." All 
power in the kingdom seemed to have been absorbed by 

Moor Park 113 

the Nevils. The King was actually in their power, and 
was sent as a prisoner to the castle of Middleham, in 
Yorkshire, but in a few days he was allowed to escape, 
accompanied by the Archbishop and the Earl of Oxford. 
They tarried at "the More," where Edward forbad them 
to go with him further, and rode to London. In 1470 
the Archbishop attempted to entrap the King at his 
house. Edward was received with loyal protestations, 
but as he was washing his hands Sir John Ratcliffe 
contrived to whisper to him that a hundred armed men 
were ready to seize him and take him prisoner. He 
determined to attempt flight. With noiseless steps he 
gained the door, sprang upon his steed, and dashing right 
through a crowd assembled at the gate, galloped alone 
and fast, untracked by any human enemy, but goaded by 
that foe that mounts the rider's steed, over field, over 
fell, over dyke, through hedge, and in dead of night reined 
in at last before the royal towers of Windsor. 

We need not follow the startling events of the Wars 
of the Roses, the rapid change of fortune, the death of 
" the King-maker," " the greatest and last of the barons," 
on the blood-stained field of Barnet. The owner of " the 
More," by a time-serving policy, contrived to retain the 
apparent friendship of the King, who was secretly plotting 
his ruin. It was accomplished in this wise. Edward 
invited the prelate to Windsor, and when they were 
hunting in the forest the guest told his royal host of some 
extraordinary game which he had at Moor Park. The 
King expressed his pleasure to see it, and promised to 
come for a day's sport. The Archbishop returned to his 
house in high spirits, and prepared a mighty feast, 
bringing together all the plate which he had hidden 
during the wars, and borrowing some from his friends. 
When everything was ready, a royal summons was 
delivered into his hands, ordering him to repair to 
Windsor. He was arrested, and sent a prisoner to 
Calais. The King seized his estate, his plate and 

ii4 Memorials of Old Hertfordshire 

property, and the temporalities of his see. His mitre, 
which glittered with precious stones, was converted " into 
a crown, and the jewels that shone at Moor Park were 
applied to adorn the royal diadem, and perhaps still 
sparkle there." Their former owner did not long survive 
his disgrace, and soon was brought home to die. He lies 
buried in his minster, but no tablet marks the memory 
of the powerful prelate who, with his brother, once ruled 
England, but was at heart a craven and unscrupulous 
time-server. Warkworth, in his chronicles, speaking of his 
great wealth and short-lived prosperity, concludes : " Such 
goods as were gathered in sin were lost in sorrow." 

The estate remained to the Crown until the reign of 
Henry VII., who granted it to John de Vere, the thirteenth 
Earl of Oxford, to whom he was principally indebted for 
his throne. De Vere was the hero of Bosworth Field, and 
led the gallant archers in that memorable fight which 
sealed the fate of the despicable Richard III. He received 
abundant reward for his prowess and faithfulness, and 
amongst the confiscated lands bestowed upon him was 
Moor Park. He died without issue in 15 13, and his 
property reverted to the Crown. Henry VIII. used it as 
a royal residence, and gave it to Cardinal Wolsey, who 
enlarged or rebuilt the mansion, and often lived here in 
magnificent state. Hither came cardinals, ambassadors, 
nobles, and princes, and on several occasions King Henry 
came, and was entertained with royal splendour. In 1529 
King Harry and his first Queen stayed a whole month 
at the More, and though Anne Boleyn was in her train, 
Cardinal Campeggio failed to detect any wanderings in 
the affections of his majesty or any jealousy on the part 
of Queen Catherine. 

An event of historical interest occurred at the house, 
where, in 1523, a Treaty of Alliance between England 
and the French King, Francis I., was signed, called "the 
Treaty of the More." The provisions of the treaty we 
need not concern ourselves with, save to notice that the 

Drawing Room, Moor Park. 

Moor Park 115 

astute Cardinal secured for himself a good round sum 
for the arrears of pension due to him for resigning the 
bishopric of Tournay, and a hundred thousand crowns of 
gold "for great and reasonable services," 

Never before had Moor Park seen such magnificence. 
The Cardinal's chambers were garnished with the finest 
tapestry. His couch and table-cloth were covered with 
gold, and he dined amidst the subtle perfumes of musk 
and sweet amber. His dishes were silver, full of the 
daintiest viands, and he drank his wine always from silver 
and gold vessels. But his days were numbered, and his 
disgrace nigh. The charms of Anne Boleyn had made an 
impression on the capricious king. The divorce was 
sought and much delayed. Campeggio comes to "the 
More," and long and deep are the confabulations of the 
two cardinals over the matter. They hasten together to 
the court at Grafton. Wolsey is denied a lodging in the 
court. The Cardinals return to Moor Park, sad and 
sorrowful. Campeggio hastens away to London. No 
sooner has he gone than hurried messengers arrive at the 
Moor in search of some of Henry's love letters to Anne 
Boleyn, which that lady had missed from her boudoir. 
They ride after him, and do not overtake the Nuncio 
until he arrives at Calais, where they search his baggage ; 
but the letters are not found. They are on their way 
to Rome, and remain until this day amongst the archives 
of the Vatican. 

Alarmed, anxious, and depressed, Wolsey passed his 
days at the More, dreading the outbreak of the hostility 
of the King. You can see the chair at the mansion 
wherein he sat and dreamed of his approaching fate, and 
the saddle on which he rode, and the old cardinal's oak 
under which he sat brooding over his troubles. He left 
his lovely home for London, never to return, and ere long 
his ambitious heart found rest within the cloister shade 
of Leicester Abbey. You can see in the British Museum 
a long inventory of the Cardinal's goods — his carpets and 

u6 Memorials of Old Hertfordshire 

hangings, his beds and hats and vestments — which, 
together with the property, fell into the King's hands. 
The poor abandoned Queen Catherine stayed a night 
at Moor Park on her way to exile from the Court, and 
to the grave that soon awaited her at Peterborough. 
Then came the rule of the Bedfords, John Russell, the 
first Earl, being appointed Ranger. The State Papers 
contain some letters from the Earl to his friend, Thomas 
Cromwell. One of them, dated May 1st, 1535, mentions 
that the park palings at " the More " are in decay, that 
the deer are escaping, and immediate repair much needed. 
He reports that he has felled two hundred oaks, but he 
requires money and special directions what to do. 1 He 
continues : — 

Sir, — The garden goeth to great ruin. By my Lord Cardinal's days 
it cost him forty or fifty Pounds or a hundred marks2 for the keeping 
thereof, and since it hath been in the King's hands, it hath cost his Highness 
forty or fifty marks a year, as Mr. Hennage can show you, and now it is 
utterly destroyed, and all the knots marred. Wherefore if it be not looked 
on betimes it will be past recovery. Sir, if the King will give 8 Pence a 
day, I will see that it shall be well kept, that his Highness shall be well 
contented, though it cost 6 Pence a day on my own purse. And also for the 
keeping of the fish there, it hath been chargeable unto me hitherto ; 
whereupon if there be not a trusty fellow to have the keeping of the 
garden that shall have the oversight thereof there will be much displeasure 
done, and but little fish left, for I had never so much ado to keep it as 
I have now. Sir, I put you always to pain, but you may command me as 
your own. Whereupon I heartily desire you as you will do me pleasure 
that you would solicit the King's Highness as well for the paling of the 
Park as for the garden and the keeping of the fish, — for an his Highness 
should come thither and see it so far in ruin as it is, his Highness would 
lay it to my charge and think the fault were in me, which were greatly to 
my rebuke and shame as knoweth our Lord who keep you. 
At Charley Wood, the first day of May 

Your assuredly to my power 

J. Russell. 

1 State Paper Office, Miscellaneous Correspondence, Second Series, 
vol. 36, temp. Henry VIII. 

2 A sum equal to ^700 at the present time. 

Moor Park 117 

It is hoped that the good ranger obtained his money 
and a good " trusty fellow " for the garden ; otherwise, 
when Henry and his fifth Queen, Catherine Howard, came 
five years later, he would certainly not have escaped the 
anger of the passionate King. The royal pair stayed 
three weeks, and seem to have courted seclusion rather 
than the usual courtly pleasures. The second Earl had 
to fly for his life from the burning questions of Queen 
Mary's reign, but after her death returned to enjoy his 
own again, both as owner of his ancestral home at Chenies 
and as ranger of Moor Park, which was subsequently 
granted to him by the Queen, at the request of Sir William 
Cecil, on the payment of an annual rent of £120. 

The third Earl who ruled at Moor Park was the 
grandson of the second Earl of Bedford. His sprightly 
Countess was a favourite of the Court, where she bloomed 
as " the crowning rose in a garland of beauty." James I. 
granted to him the estate absolutely. The Countess 
constructed the famous gardens celebrated by Sir William 
Temple, of which no trace remains. She was immensely 
extravagant, and was forced to sell the place to William, 
Earl of Pembroke, in 1626. He was succeeded by his 
brother, Sir Philip, in 1630, who deserted King Charles, 
and joined the rebels. A year later he sold the property 
to Robert Cary, Earl of Monmouth. The Duke of 
Ormond, a faithful supporter of the royal cause, purchased 
it in 1663, whose eldest son took his title from the estate, 
and was styled " Lord Butler of Moor Park." In 1670 it 
was sold to the unhappy Duke of Monmouth, who, as 
I have already stated, pulled down the old house, which 
had so many noble and illustrious owners, and had 
witnessed so many scenes of splendour and magnificence. 
The old house is gone, but its glories remain imprinted 
on many a page of English history. Its lineal descendant 
lives on, a palace worthy of its distinguished ancestry, 
owned by a family as illustrious as any of those which 
have preceded it. The Grosvenors have deserved well 

u8 Memorials of Old Hertfordshire 

of their country, fought its battles, and contributed to 
its prosperity. May the tenure of the scions of that noble 
family whose lot it is to dwell in one of the fairest of 
Hertfordshire manors continue far longer than that of 
many of their predecessors, whose varied fortunes and 
vicissitudes I have attempted to trace. 1 

1 1 am indebted to Lady Ebury for the loan of many valuable papers 
which have been most useful in the' preparation of this sketch of the history 
of Moor Park. Amongst them are some interesting letters by Mr. J. A. 
Froude and Lord Bulwer Lytton, Mr. Henry Mitchell's paper on "The 
History of the More," and Mr. R. Baynes' "Moor Park." I beg to 
acknowledge my indebtedness to these writers for much important 


By the Rev. H. T. Lane 

USSANS says that "there are few churches in 
Hertfordshire which for beauty and justness of 
proportion are superior to Bishop's Stortford." 
The precise date of the building is not known. 
Richard III. reigned from 1483 to 1485, but as the 
churchwardens' accounts begin in 1482, it would seem that 
the church must have been built before that year. 

Cussans makes the astonishing statement that it was 
built in the early part of the fourteenth century. He 
surely means the fifteenth. This mistake was continued, 
probably on his authority, into a well-known series of 
guides, in which I suggested the emendation of fifteenth 
for fourteenth ; but I do not know if my suggestion was 

There was, of course, an earlier church, but we know 
nothing about it. The Norman font must have been the 
font of the original church. It seems probable that there 
was a church here from the time of the Norman Conquest. 
A resident priest is mentioned in Domesday Book, and 
the list of vicars goes back to A.D. 1332. The value of 
the vicarage is mentioned in 1291 as £13 6s. 8d., with 
temporalities, valued at 155-. Sd. and 2s., due from the 
priories of Tremhall and Latton respectively; and at the 
dissolution of religious houses in 1534 it was valued in 
the King's Book at £12. The present value is about £300. 


120 Memorials of Old Hertfordshire 

There was a chantry of St. John Baptist founded and 
endowed in the second year of the reign of Richard III. by 
Baldwin Victor, who was buried in the church. Mr. J. L. 
Glasscock has furnished me with an extract from chantry 
certificates in the time of Edward VI., which speaks of 
the chantry as having been founded by Baldwin Victor, 
and mentions it as being within the parish church of 
Bishop's Stortford, "whereof Thomas Symson is incum- 
bent, a man of honest behaviour and indifferently learned, 
and of the age of xxxiii years." This chantry, according 
to Cussans, was, of course, swept away fifty years later. 
" Queen Mary upon her accession granted an annuity of 
£6 to Thomas Simpson, late incumbent of the chantry." 

The founding of the chantry within the church in 
1484 shows that the church was built, at all events, before 
that date. About 1700, Sir Henry Chauncy speaks of the 
edifice as very ancient, "for there are yet visible on the 
west window on west side of the belfry the names and 
pictures of King Athelstan, St. Edward, King Edward, 
and no other later kings in that or any other window." 
He goes on to describe the fragments of stained glass 
existing in the other windows, from which it appears that 
formerly every window but one in the church was filled 
with stained glass. Mr. Clark's report, in 1868, speaks 
of the building as having " suffered from modern efface - 
ment and additions, but it is capable of perfect restoration 
and of being made one of the finest structures in this 
part of the country." Cussans quotes Chauncy to the 
effect that nearly all the windows were filled with stained 
glass, representing saints, scenes from Bible history, and 
arms and memorials of private individuals connected with 
the parish. These have all long since disappeared : 
probably destroyed in 1709, when the Grammar School 
was erected and the chancel restored and beautified. 

Formerly, and indeed down to the last century, this church possessed 
much of its former beauty. A great part of the glass escaped the fury 
of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. The roofs were open and no 

St. Michael's Church, Bishop's Stortford 121 

galleries existed. There is a living record of the quality and beauty of 
the painted glass which existed, and it has been described as like to 
King's College Chapel, Cambridge. And truly it must have been a noble 
sight, as the windows appear to have been full of Kings, Priests, Saints 
and Martyrs. The three shrines, that of St. Michael, with its tabernacle 
work, on which much cost was bestowed, of St. Mary, and St. John the 
Baptist, were of course destroyed and despoiled with the rest of the 
ornaments in the time of Elizabeth and the Commonwealth, with all the 
brasses, tombs, wall paintings, and other objects of interest. — (Mr. Clark's 

From the beginning of the eighteenth century there 
were constant repairs and alterations. In 1727 an organ 
loft was erected in the west end, and was removed in 
1869. The mitre from the organ is now upon the bishop's 
seat in the sanctuary. Subsequently (there is a little 
discrepancy in dates here : Mr. Clark writes as if it was 
in the eighteenth century ; Mr. Glasscock puts it in the 
early part of the nineteenth) the church was filled with 
high square pews and galleries, the piers and stonework 
being cut away for the same. 

In 1 81 2 an Act of Parliament was obtained for 
repairing. The Act states that the church tower and 
spire are in such a ruinous condition that it has become 
dangerous for the inhabitants to attend divine service. 
It appoints trustees and gives them power to raise money. 
The ideas of church restoration in those days were 
peculiar, and looking back we can accuse the repairers 
of having wasted much of the money in work for the 
undoing of which money had to be spent afterwards. 
The spire, portions of tower, and gargoyles were taken 
down. The tower was made higher, and the present spire 
erected. The roof was repaired and re-covered, and the 
whole of the fabric from top to bottom was covered with 
cement. The floor was re-boarded, galleries and high 
pews were erected, all the oak beams of the roof were 
ceiled over, etc. It is wonderful how much mischief can 
be done by the perverted ingenuity of men dealing with 
a subject which they do not understand. (There are 

122 Memorials of Old Hertfordshire 

pictures showing the difference within and without 
between what was and what is.) 

In 1845 the chancel arch was re-opened and the roof 
of the chancel uncovered. In 1869 there was a careful 
restoration under Mr. Clark, which was an undoing, as far 
as possible, of the mischief accomplished during the early 
years of the century. In the following year the chancel 
aisle was built, and the south vestry, instead of one 
previously existing at the north side. In 1885, further 
work was done under the direction of Sir A. Blomfield : 
the walls of the chancel were raised eight feet, the 
clerestory windows were inserted in the chancel walls ; 
the chancel arch existing at the time was removed, and 
the present arch, which is 4 ft. 6 in. higher, was substi- 
tuted ; the organ chamber was built (the organ, by 
Kirkland, was added three years later) ; an oak canopy 
was put upon the screen, whose rood loft had been taken 
down in 1 560 ; an oak altar, designed by Sir A. Blomfield 
and made by Kett, was placed upon the ancient altar 
stone, which had been put in its present position in 1 869 ; 
the east window was removed and put in the south 
chancel wall, and replaced by the existing east window. 
The mosaics in the reredos, representing the Transfigura- 
tion, were added at the same time. 

It is worth noting that although Chauncy mentions an 
east window, there was none visible in 1850. The east 
wall was at that date covered with boarding, upon the 
removal of which the remains of an old oak window were 
discovered. In 1853 tne window referred to already as 
having been removed in 1885 was inserted. The present 
east wall is five or six feet east of the original east wall. 
The extension was discovered at the time of the restora- 
tion of the old north vestry some years ago. It has 
been supposed that this extension was made at the end 
of the seventeenth or beginning of the eighteenth century. 

During the removal of the chancel arch in 1885 a 
stone was found which was formerly part of a window ; 

St. Michael's Church, Bishop's Stortford 123 

the date of this stone has been conjectured to be about 
A.D. 1280. 

The south porch has a niche for a holy water stoup, 
and a stone carved in the shape of a horse hoof, of which 
no quite satisfactory explanation has been given. The 
north porch is said to have had a holy water stoup also, 
but there is no trace. The north porch has a fine doorway 
and old oak door; the spandrels outside are filled with 
representations of archangels, and the ends of the 
mouldings have the emblems of the four Evangelists. 

The west window was erected in 1877 as a memorial 
to the Rev. F. W. Rhodes and his wife. Mr. Rhodes 
was vicar from 1849 to l ^>7^>- He was father of the late 
Right Hon. Cecil Rhodes, of African fame. The window 
contains the figures of St. Michael, St. Gabriel, 
St. Athanasius, and St. Archelaus. 

In 1699 a faculty was granted for the erection of a 
pew to be annexed to a house in Water Lane. Cussans 
says that the faculty "recites that Eleazar Bounds, who 
was then owner of considerable estate, with a dwelling or 
mansion house at Stortford, had not a convenient seat or 
pew in the parish church for himself and family to sit, 
stand, or kneel in, and for the due worship of God during 
the time of divine service and sermon there. The 
churchwardens and inhabitants were thereupon cited to 
appear, who, failing to show any cause to the contrary, 
the Commissary granted E. B. permission to build a pew, 
the exact position and dimensions of which are given, 
which should be appropriated to the aforesaid dwelling- 
house for ever." This pew was replaced by two open 
seats at the time of the re-seating of the church ; and 
these seats having come into the possession of Mr. John 
Slack Taylor shortly before his death, were by him made 
free, as I am thankful to say most of the seats in the 
church are now. 


By the Editor 

The great Diana chaste, 

In forest late I met, 
Did me command in haste, 

To Hatfield far to get. 
And to you six a-row, 

Her pleasure to declare ; 
Thus meaning to bestow 

On each a gift most rare. 

— Sir J. Harrington to Queen Elizabeth. 

I do not know how it is, but every year that I visit these scenes I 
have more need of their solace .... It would be strange indeed if this 
noble remnant of past times had not, in the progressive ages and amid 
the varying fortunes of its owners, gradually surrounded itself with 
traditions. One of the strangest of these was that of Jenny Spinner or 
the Hertfordshire Ghost, which is the title of a very interesting little 
book published at the beginning of the present century, and which tells 
the story of the nightly visits of the ghostly housewife that haunted the 
old mansion of Knebworth, and thrilled the hearts of the sleepless, o'nights, 
with the sound of her spinning wheel. — Bulwer Lytton on Knebworth. 

HE history of the Cecil family is in great part 
the history of Hatfield House — that stately 
mansion on the banks of the Lea which was 
acquired from King James I. in 1607 by the 
first Earl of Salisbury in exchange for Theobalds. But 
prior to this Hatfield had a history, and, as we shall see, 
an interesting one, too ; for I am about to plead guilty 
to the charge of having purposely refrained from including 


Hatfield, and other Great Houses 125 

Hatfield in the section to which I give the general title 
of " Queen Elizabeth and Hertfordshire." I adopted this 
course because it seemed to me that the circumstances 
of the "good Queen's" connection with Hatfield Palace 
as a place of residence or a prison were sufficiently 
entertaining and instructive to merit separate treatment. 
In Domesday Book, Hatfield is described as Hetfelle 
(" high field "), though some of our most erudite 
authorities contend that the name is derived from 
Heathfield, " the cleared heath." In quite early Saxon 
times, Hatfield was occupied by the Abbots of Ely, to 
whom it was granted by King Edgar. We read of the 
Abbot having " pannage " for two thousand hogs ; and 
the Hatfield church of to-day (restored by the late 
Marquis of Salisbury) goes back to that period a full 
thousand years ago. In the reign of Henry I., that 
priest-ridden monarch allowed himself to be persuaded to 
promote Ely to the dignity of a bishopric, and the 
excellent Abbot signalised his accession by dividing (very 
unequally) the fair lands of Hatfield between himself and 
his friars. Successive Bishops of Ely continued to make 
Hatfield Palace their headquarters, and we know of one, 
at least (Hugh Balsham, A.D. 1269), who allowed himself 
to be consecrated to the high office without the consent 
of King Henry III. first had and obtained. This slight 
to royalty, real or accidental, was not permitted to pass 
unrequited, as the Earl of Pembroke, determined to 
reward this " pestilent priest " in his own coin, broke into 
the park, " hunted the deer, and refreshed himself and 
his companions rather well than wisely on the contents 
of the episcopal cellar." In the time of John Morton, 
Bishop of Ely, however, this prelate rebuilt and refur- 
bished Hatfield Palace, which became for the nonce 
" Morton's Palace," and of which the archway, banqueting 
hall, etc., remain to this day. Bishop Morton attained 
well-deserved favour with Edward IV., who elevated him 
to the dual positions of Archbishop of Canterbury and 

126 Memorials of Old Hertfordshire 

Chancellor of England, and singled him out for honours, 
public and personal, such as had probably fallen to no 
churchman's lot since Becket. 

On June 17th, 15 17, the mother of Lady Jane Grey 
was born within Hatfield Palace. The residence was 
already, it will be observed, merging much of its episcopal 
character, and twenty years later Goodrich, Bishop of Ely, 
was " invited " to " exchange " it with Henry VIII. for 
" certain other lands." We do not doubt that His Majesty 
reaped much the best of the bargain. Hatfield now 
became closely associated with the children of Henry VIII. 
— Elizabeth and Mary and Edward, the former of whom 
was first brought here at three months old. It may easily 
be imagined that the princess, as she grew up, proved a 
decided tax upon the patience, as upon the inventive 
genius, of her governor, Sir Thomas Pope. One has to 
say " governor " advisedly, seeing that so long as her 
sister was Queen, Elizabeth's residence at Hatfield was 
no more than a gilded imprisonment. However, 
Sir Thomas did his level best, alternately soothing and 
entertaining his wayward charge, whose detention here 
appears to have been marked by one long succession of 
masques, revels, and the like, contrived for her especial 

At last came the end of Mary, which was corres- 
pondingly the beginning of Elizabeth. Seated under 
the " Hatfield oak " in the great park, the young queen 
received in queenly fashion the news of her accession. 
In crossing from the park to the palace, there to digest 
the momentous tidings and prepare for departure, 
Elizabeth dropped her hat, and tarried not to have it 
restored to her. To-day, that self-same headgear is one 
of the most treasured possessions of the Cecil family. 
So also is that self-same oak, which we see surrounded 
by a stout paling, against the pryings of up-to-date 
Philistinism. About fifty years ago, Queen Victoria 
visited Hatfield, and carried away with her an acorn 

Hatfield, and other Great Houses 127 

from Queen Bess's Oak to plant at Windsor. The hoary 
tree has never shed an acorn since. 

The Cecils now come upon the scene. It would be 
difficult to exaggerate or belittle Elizabeth's regard and 
esteem for the man whom she made her Lord High 
Treasurer, and whom she so frequently visited in Hert- 
fordshire. It was reserved for Burghley's son (who, as 
stated before, having inherited Theobalds from his father, 
exchanged it for Hatfield) to make the most sweeping 
alterations and additions to the place, though he did 
not live to enjoy it. In four years Cecil laid out no less 
than £7,631 I IX 3^. in re-building, re-stocking, and 
beautifying — a really vast sum for the beginning of the 
seventeenth century. The roof was made of lead, Caen 
stone to the value of £500 was procured from France, 
and twenty thousand vines were likewise brought across 
the Channel to stock the vinery. Apropos of this last, 
Pepys, the celebrated diarist, who was here in 1661, tells 
how he " walked all down to the vineyard, which is now 
a very beautiful place again." James I. stood godfather 
to Cecil's heir, but the child did not live to grow up to 
manhood; and Cecil's successor in 161 2 was his second 
son, William, of whom we have little record, authentic 
or otherwise. Perhaps this is partially because the Cecil 
family have not cared to advertise the fact that one of 
their house — a house built up by Tudor and Stuart — 
espoused the cause of the people in the great Civil War! 
Yet such is the melancholy truth. Nor was the third 
Earl of Salisbury particularly gracious to royalty and its 
demands; for did not the Duke (afterwards James II.) 
and Duchess of York proffer payment for the scanty 
refreshment which they received at Hatfield in 1679, an( * 
was not such payment accepted ? " Pity 'tis, 'tis true." 
It is good to know, however, that George III. received 
a right royal reception when, on the scare of a French 
invasion in 1800, he arrived at Hatfield to review the 
yeomanry and fencibles of Hertfordshire, and, by way 
of appropriate accompaniment, to be banquetted. 

128 Memorials of Old Hertfordshire 

Wild horses should not induce the present chronicler 
to quit this noble theme without at least a passing 
reference to the graceful poem in which Tennyson tells 
the perfectly authentic story of the romantic court- 
ship of the great-grandfather of the late Marquis of 
Salisbury. The young " lord of Burghley " lost himself 
near the Shropshire village of Bolas Magna, where he 
found shelter 'neath the roof of a Thomas Hoggins, and 
fell irrevocably in love with his host's beautiful daughter, 
Sarah. They married, and as " Mr. Jones " the heir of 
the Cecils lived on in the village for two years, at the 
end of which time his father died, and the deception was 
brought to light. But, alas! the new-made Countess 
could not live under the weight of an honour " unto which 
she was not born," and she slowly but surely drooped. 

Three fair children first she bore him 

Then before her time she died. 
Weeping, weeping late and early, 

Walking up and pacing down, 
Deeply mourn'd the Lord of Burghley 

(Burghlev-house by Stamford town), 
And he came to look upon her, 

And he look'd at her and said : 
" Bring the dress and put it on her 

That she wore when she was wed." 
Then her people, softly treading, 

Bore to earth her body, drest 
In the dress that she was wed in, 

That her spirit might have rest. 

A very beautiful story this, and one possessing the 
added charm of truth. 

Sorrow came to Hatfield in the November of 1835, 
when a fire destroyed the west wing and the venerable 
Dowager Marchioness perished. James, second Marquis 
of Salisbury, died in 1868, to be succeeded by the late 
Marquis, whose noble career as a great statesman will 
occupy a prominent place in the history of our national 
annals. He was succeeded by the present Marquis in 1902. 

Hatfield, and other Great Houses 129 

And why seek to describe the manifold glories of 
Hatfield House and Park? Many pens have done so, 
and doubtless most of those who read these words will 
be fully conversant, by personal acquaintance, with their 
Hatfield. Here may be seen the simple couch on which 
Oliver Cromwell reclined ; the elaborate bed that received 
the unwieldy body of James I. ; the saddle, hat, stockings, 
and cradle of Queen Elizabeth; a couple of Wolsey's 
letters, "written with the Cardinalle's own hand after his 
fall " ; the fine marble effigy of the first Earl, erected 
by his own instructions. The Great Hall may be missed 
by no visitor, either for its own sake or the rich memories 
which it holds. The manuscripts extend from Edward I. 
to the Georges, and their importance, like their intrinsic 
value, is enormous. The pictures, too — by Vandyck, 
Velasquez, Zucchero, Reynolds, Butler, and others — are 
a veritable dream of bygone England as of bygone 
Hatfield. The Salisbury chapel dates from 161 8, and is 
of rare antiquity ; while, quitting the house, your feet must 
instinctively stray towards the red ruins of Bishop 
Morton's palace on the one hand, and the grey pile of 
the village church on the other. The park is redolent 
with memories of the time when good Roger Ascham 
patiently instructed his royal charges, and of the time 
when one king of England after another came a-hunting 
the red deer at Hatfield. 

Of the half-dozen residences of Hertfordshire that 
may justly be styled "great," KNEBWORTH, the home of 
the Lyttons, fittingly comes after Hatfield in point of 
historical and, therefore, of public interest. Situate on 
a most remarkable elevation (for so " flat " a shire as 
Hertfordshire), it is two miles south of Stevenage, and about 
thirty from London. Though we know it as a formidable 
fortress in Norman times, we hear little more concerning 
Knebworth until Edward 17s reign. Granted to the fifth 
son of that warlike ruler, Thomas de Brotherton, it passed 
successively to Sir Walter Manny, K.G. — whose wife was 

130 Memorials of Old Hertfordshire 

de Brotherton's daughter and heiress — to his widow- 
created Duchess of Norfolk), to her daughter Anne, to 
Sir John Hotoft (Henry VI.'s Treasurer), Sir Thomas 
Bourchier, and Sir Robert de Lytton of Lytton in the 
Peak. The rule of the Lyttons once begun, they spared 
no pains or expense in extending and improving their 
possession, and it was finally completed, in the Tudor 
style, by Sir Rowland de Lytton, Lieutenant of Herts 
and Essex, whose guest Elizabeth so often was. Like 
his neighbour of Hatfield — truly, Hertfordshire's " loyalty " 
contrasted feebly with the defence of Berkhamsted and 
Hertford castles in John's time! — the Sir William Lytton 
of Charles Stuart's period embraced the Parliament's 
cause, and met John Hampden, John Pym, and Eliot in 
conference in the oak drawing-room at Knebworth. The 
visitor is, in fact, shown the room where the patriot 
Hampden slept ; it is known as " the Hampden chamber." 
Until late in the reign of George III., Knebworth main- 
tained a kind of nondescript appearance, semi-fortress or 
castle, semi-residence. But in 1811, Mrs. Bulwer com- 
menced a thorough restoration, pulling down a vast deal 
of the old, but restoring the battlemented wing originally 
built by Sir Robert de Lytton. And so, in the fulness 
of time, the great Bulwer came into possession, and 
he, by the will of his mother in 1843, adopted the surname 
" Lytton " definitely by sign-manual. Bulwer Lytton, 
uniting in himself the characters of dramatist and poet, 
statesman and romancist, sought and found much of his 
matchless inspiration in and around his splendid ancestral 
home. Elsewhere we have paid his Last of the Barons 
the highest compliment that words can pay ; it was by 
no means his solitary contribution to the history of 
Hertfordshire. " All so solitary and yet so eloquent ! " 
he writes in Knebworth Park. " Now the fern waves on 
the slope, and the deer comes forth, marching with his 
stately step to the water-side to pause and drink. 
O nymphs! O fairies! O poetry! I am yours again." 

Hatfield, and other Great Houses 131 

"Knebworth Church of St. Mary" (we again quote 
Lord Lytton for a moment) " is worn and grey, in the 
simplest architecture of ecclesiastical Gothic, and standing 
on the brow of the hill its single tower, at a distance, 
blends with the turrets of the house, so that the two 
seem one pile." 

What, then, that is new can we find to say of 
PANSHANGER, the lordly seat of the Cowper family, poets 
and statesmen ? " The Cowpers, perhaps, suffered more 
from the deadly malice of political opponents than any 
other family of this period," the period referred to being 
the early Georgian. The family is of illustrious descent, 
dating back to Edward IV. Almost from the beginning 
it won " fields of fair renown " in the « world of politics, 
and its first eighteenth century representative, Sir William 
Cowper, was so distinguished as to be appointed succes- 
sively Lord Keeper of the Great Seal (1705), Baron 
Cowper of Wingham (1706), Lord High Chancellor 
(1707), Lord High Steward (17 16), and created Viscount 
Fordwick and Earl Cowper (17 17). Was ever distinction 
so rapid or reward so swift? We should have mentioned 
that the first Baronet was so created by Charles L, to 
whose cause he adhered so faithfully in good report as 
in evil that the Parliamentarians clapped him in prison, 
along with his son and heir, the latter unhappily dying 
ere released. The poet Cowper was son of Sir William 
Cowper, M.P. for Hertford, and brother to the Spencer 
Cowper who achieved so unwelcome a notoriety by reason 
of his alleged complicity in the suspicious death of 
Miss Stout, a member of an eminent Quaker family. 
The unhappy girl was seriously enamoured of Mr. Spencer 
Cowper, who at the time was a married man, and who 
did his utmost to evade her attentions. At the trial he 
easily proved an alibi; but, nevertheless, the Stout 
family pursued him with much acerbity, and an endeavour 
was made to render the feud a political one. The 
situation must have come back vividly to Spencer 

132 Memorials of Old Hertfordshire 

Cowper's mind when, in after years, he was raised to 
the judicial bench, and had the task of trying men who 
stood where he himself had once stood. His record of 
humanity in administering the law is, if honourable to 
his memory, at least equally understandable. 

The family home of the Cowpers only became so 
some thirty years ago, Colne Green, a neighbouring 
estate of theirs having hitherto served their needs. The 
picture gallery is its principal adornment, including more 
than one Raphael ; while of another painting — Fra 
Bartolommeo's " Infant Christ " — the discriminating 
Waagen has said : " This is the most beautiful picture that 
I am acquainted with by this friend of Raphael." If 
Hatfield Park boasts a great oak tree, so, too, does 
Panshanger Park. This hoary habitant of the " forest 
primeval" was christened the Great Oak in 1 709. At the 
distance of five feet from the ground it has a girth of 
seventeen feet. 

Watford, the manor of which once pertained to 
St. Albans monastery, is the largest and most important 
commercial town of Hertfordshire. It can claim two 
great historic houses in CASSIOBURY, the home of the 
Earls of Essex, and THE Grove, belonging to the Earls 
of Clarendon. Of these two, the first-named is slightly 
the more interesting, both by reason of its pretensions 
to antiquity and the magnificence of its surroundings. 
In Domesday Book we find the bald, but none the less 
valuable entry, that "the Abbot of St. Albans holds 
Caisson," though it is claimed for Cassiobury that long 
ere this it was the native retreat of the British chieftain 
Cassibelanus, leader of the Cassii. This may or may not 
be the derivation of the name ; but certain it is that the 
Abbots of St. Albans continued to enjoy the lands and 
revenues thereof until the dissolution of the monasteries. 
Sir Richard Morison — knighted and otherwise rewarded 
for his diplomatic services abroad — then received it from 
Henry VIII., and this Sir Richard began the building 

Hatfield, and other Great Houses 133 

of the present Cassiobury, only to be interrupted by the 
religious persecutions of Tudor times, so that he fled 
abroad, and there died, leaving his building labours half 
finished, to be carried to completion by his son. The 
Capel family came into possession about the middle of 
the seventeenth century, owing to the marriage of 
Sir Arthur Capel with Elizabeth, the great-granddaughter 
of Sir Richard Morison. The Capels now come upon the 
scene. Their genealogical tree stretches back to the 
thirteenth century, when history (A.D. 1260) speaks of 
one Sir Richard Capel as discharging the duties of Lord 
Justice of Ireland. Coming down to Tudor times — those 
troublous days bulk largely in Hertfordshire's history 
indeed — the Sir John Capel of that period was twice 
Lord Mayor of London, and was otherwise distinguished 
in the busy hive of the great capital, whence we get the 
name " Capel Court." But of all the great ones of this 
line, the gallant, ill-fated Sir Arthur Capel of Stuart times 
was greatest. For his devoted adherence to the falling 
fortunes of King Charles he was created Baron Capel 
of Hadham, but his estates were estreated by the revolted 
Parliament in 1646. Returning to England, he was 
permitted to retire to Hadham ; but his loyal spirit could 
not rest while his King's fortunes were waning, and it 
was he who, in conjunction with Lord Norwich and 
Sir Charles Lucas, raised four thousand troops, and held 
Colchester against the Roundheads. As students of 
Stuart times are aware, the unscrupulous Fairfax shot 
Sir George Lisle and Sir Charles Lucas literally " at 
sight " on getting possession of Colchester Castle, the 
siege of which, to all intents the closing incident of that 
bloody civil strife, lives a glowing page in England's 
annals. Lord Capel escaped from the Tower, only, 
however, to be re-taken, and, after cruel delay had 
dragged on cruel delay (during which Lady Capel 
petitioned Parliament in his behalf), beheaded. We 
must think, however, that this devoted servant of the 

134 Memorials of Old Hertfordshire 

King, having nothing to reproach himself with, died far 
happier than would have been the case had he not 
assisted in that last splendid effort — the defence of 
Colchester — which really signed his death-warrant. It 
has been well said of Lord Capel that in every relation 
of his earthly existence he lived up to the coat-of-arms 
of his family. 

Thus lion-like, Capel undaunted stood 
Beset with crosses in a Field of Blood. 

It was while incarcerated in the Tower that the 
philosophic Capel composed the following lines : — 

That which the world miscalls a jail 

A private closet is to me ; 
Whilst a good conscience is my bail, 

And innocence my liberty, 
Locks, bars, and solitude together met 
Make me no prisoner, but an anchoret. 

Singularly enough, this fine character's son and 
successor was destined to a similar fate by reason of 
his complicity in what is known as the Rye-house Plot ; 
but this subject demands separate treatment from another 
pen. Suffice it to add here that this latter unfortunate 
nobleman was the second Baron Capel and the first Earl 
of Essex, being so created in the year following the 
Restoration. Cassiobury, the house and the park, as we 
see them now, are exceedingly beautiful and sumptuous. 
It is true that the present mansion only dates from 1800, 
in which year it was re-erected by the fifth Earl. The 
park is noted, firstly, for its area of seven hundred acres, 
and, secondly, for its wealth of magnificent beech and 
fir trees. 

THE GROVE is picturesquely situated on the river 
Gade. The Earl of Clarendon's collection of art 
treasures is so noteworthy that he has been offered from 
£15,000 to £20,000 for a single Vandyck. The family 
name is taken from a park near Salisbury, where, in 1 1 64, 

Hatfield, and other Great Houses 135 

Henry II. convened the great gathering of notables 
known in history as the Constitution of Clarendon, and 
at which were sown the seeds of that fatal dispute between 
the monarch and his favourite, a Becket, which was only 
destined to terminate with the latter's foul murder. 
Anciently, The Grove belonged to the Heydon family, of 
whom the demise of one John is recorded in 1408. 
Passing away from this family, the estate " experienced " 
various owners until 1753, when Lord Donneraile sold it 
to the Hon. Thomas Villiers, younger son of the Earl of 
Jersey. From the first this family were born diplomatists 
and politicians. George II. created Mr. Villiers Baron 
Hyde of Hindon in 1756, George III. promoting him 
to the dignity of " Earl of Clarendon," by patent, twenty- 
one years later. Upon this nobleman the King of Prussia 
subsequently conferred the distinction of permitting him 
and his issue to bear the eagle of Prussia as a mantle 
to their arms. It was this first Earl of Clarendon who 
cemented an alliance with the Capel family by wedding 
Charlotte, a daughter of Lord Essex. The honours, 
diplomatic and otherwise, showered upon subsequent Earls 
of Clarendon are too widely known to call for recapitula- 
tion here. 

The Manor of ASTON — which, after a long and 
chequered history, passed into the possession of Mr. D. J. 
Hoste O'Brien, of Eastwick, in the eighteenth century — is 
contiguous to the little town of Stevenage, and is set in 
one of the most picturesque corners of the county. Hard 
by are situated the celebrated Six Hills, which to this 
day are severally denominated Roman, Saxon, and Danish 
— a fact that has always been in dispute. As illustrating 
the antiquity of the place, it is related in Domesday Book 

The Bishop [Bayeux] holds Estone. It answered for ten hides. Four 
hides are in the demesne, and there are four ploughs there and a fifth 
may be made. There are six cottagers and four bondmen. Meadow for 
two ploughs ; pasture for the cattle ; pannage for 200 hogs. Its whole 

136 Memorials of Old Hertfordshire 

value is 18 pounds : when received, 14 pounds ; in the time of King 
Edward, 20 pounds. Three vassals of Archbishop Sigurd held this manor 
and might sell it." 

After this, however, events moved swiftly with the 
already ancient manor. William the Conqueror promptly 
confiscated it ; Henry I. presented it to his second wife, 
Adela ; and she gave it to the Benedictine monks of the 
abbey of Reading, who were successful in holding it down 
to the dissolution of the monasteries, when Henry VIII. 
made it over to Sir Philip Boteler. The Boteler family 
possessed it until they sold it to Sir Thomas Rumbold 
in 1778. 

There have been Rectors of Aston since A.D. 1296, 
and the interesting church used to have a stained-glass 
window dated 14 14. 

As for the Manor House of Aston Bury itself, this 
dates from the sixteenth century. It is long and narrow 
in shape, with particularly fine chimneys and renaissance 
staircases. At the top of the house is a room of enormous 
size, a hundred and thirteen feet in length, supposed at 
one time to have done duty as a ball-room. There is 
a drawing of Aston Bury in the British Museum dated 
1805. The view from the mansion is one of the very 
finest in all Hertfordshire. 


By R. T. Andrews 

[OT much is known of the Manor and Castle 
of Rye before the time of 33 Henry VI, and 
diligent research has only given us a little more 
than that which is a matter of everyday 
history ; but there is some additional information which 
may prove interesting and useful. We learn from the 
Calend. Inquis. Post Mortem, 33 Henry VI, No. 25, that 

Andreas Ogard, Miles, held Le Rye Maner, Thele Maner, et Advoc. 
Eccli. Colleqiat ; Newgates Maner, Heyleigh Maner, and Thele Amwell, 
Hoddesdon, Ware, Widdeford, Onesdon, Estwike et Stansted Abbotts 
[i.e., free warren], and that in the whole there were 10 messuag, 8 tofts, 
100 acres peat, 200 acres past., 200 acres bosc, et 40 credd. Affisibm. 

The Calendar also states that he owned Bockenham 
Castle and Bockenham (Nova Maner) in Norfolk. He 
had a wife named Alice and a son, Henry, who was only 
four years old on the death of his father on October 13 th, 
1454. From The Antiquary we find that Sir Andrew 
Ogard was Baron of Deville Pays de Court, Normandy, 
also Baron Beaufort, Lord of the Castle of Ouvilliers in 
Anjou, and of Merveille, near St. Savory de Yffe, near 
Tewke, having an income from the dues of his castles 
of fully £1,000 a year. 

Also from Secunda Patent ac Anno n Regis Henrici 
Sexti M. 1 3 we learn " Dacus factus est indigena," i.e., that 
he was a Dane not exactly naturalised, but denizised ; 
and in this it would be very interesting to know if there 


138 Memorials of Old Hertfordshire 

could have been any possible connection between him 
and the Danes who sailed past this island manor fully 
five hundred years before. It is believed that he was 
the successor of the William de Albini in title, who was 
the founder of the Priory of Wymondham, in Norfolk. 
Ogard had a quarrel with the Abbot of St. Albans about 
that priory, and was the means of Wymondham becoming 
a separate abbacy. For in the " Annales of Monasterii 
de S. Albini," compiled by Johanne Amundisham, 
Monacho about A.D. 1421-1440, occurs this passage: — 

Litera Missa Domini Johanni Stoke Abbati Hujus Monasterii, per 
Magistram Stefanum London suum obedientiariarum causa exemptionis 
Celiac de Wymondham. 

A footnote to the same says : — 

The occasion of this singular letter may be gathered from the account 
given in Dugdale's Monasticon. — Ed. Ellis III. p. 326. 

Weaver says : — 

John Stoke the 7th of that Christian name, Abbot of St. Albans, 
could not endure a certain monk of the church whose name was Stephen 
London, because he would tell him of his faults ; therefore to be rid 
of his company (his admonishments being distasteful) he persuaded the 
Archdeacon to take upon him the charge of the Priory of Wymondham, 
then void of a Prior. The Archdeacon accepted of it, and was admitted 
a Prior by the Bishop of Norwich in 1446; and being a worthy man, 
pleased both his flock and Sir Andrew Ogard, Knt., his founder, very 
well ; which more displeased the Abbot, who within a year sent express 
command to discharge him of his Priorship. This was but ill-taken by 
himself and his patron, insomuch that in 1447 the Prior and Sir Andrew 
petitioned the King that they might have his licence to obtain a bull 
from the Pope to erect Wymondham into an abbey, and set forth that 
the founder, William de Albini, had reserved liberty in the foundation 
deed for the King and the Patron to do so at any time. They complained 
also that the Abbots of St. Albans had presented monks of St. Albans 
to the Priorship contrary to the founder's intentions, which had tied the 
office to the election of monks of Wymondham out of their own number. 
The King licensed Sir Andrew Ogard to procure a bull from the Pope, 
which he did from Nicholas V. in 1448, when Wymondham was con- 
verted into an independent Abbey ; Stephen London, the then Prior, 
was made the first Abbot. 

The Rye House and its Plot 139 

By the Calendar of Patent Rolls of 1461, M. 14, we 
find there was made, on June 22nd, a 

Grant to Lawrenee, Bishop of Durham, of the custody of Henry Ogard, 
"the son and heir of Andrew Ogard," during the minority of the said 
Henry, and his possessions (his father being dead), with his marriage ; 
and rendering a sum to be agreed upon before Christmas with the 

This, according to M. 22, February 4th, 1462, was altered 
and explained — 

All his possessions and lands within the realm, with the marriage of 
the heir, without rendering anything to the King, in lieu of a similar grant 
by letters patent, dated 22nd June, surrendered. 

From the same calendar we learn that Ogard held the 
Norfolk lands in chief by the service of being butler to 
the King at his coronation ; but by a deed of M. 6, 
January 25th, 1463, there is shown a 

Grant to George, Duke of Clarence, and his heirs, from Michaelmas 
last past of several manors ; inter alia, the manors and lordships of the 
Rye, Co. Hertford, late of Henry Ogerd, son and heir of Andrew 
Ogerd, Knt. 

So that this manor must have been held in fee simple 
of the Crown unto heirs male only, as the widow of 
Andrew does not seem to have possessed it, and it also 
appears that the son had either died before 1463, or, 
being a minor (then only about thirteen years of age), 
the Crown held his estates as trustee. This is the more 
probable, as there is a will of Sir Henry Ogard at 
Somerset House, together with his father Andrew's will 
of 1454, and another of an Andrew in 1526. We have 
before noted that Andrew Ogard obtained a license from 
King Henry VI. to impark his manor of Rye, and to 
build a castle thereon. We will, therefore, go on to speak 
of its boundaries, which included a hundred and fifty-six 
acres of land and free warren, etc. He (Andrew Ogard) 
was to build the castle on his manor of Rye, also called 
the Isle of Rye ; but the space of ground at present 

140 Memorials of Old Hertfordshire 

occupied by the castle gateway and its adjuncts is only 
three acres three roods thirty-nine poles, all contained 
within the area of the moat. This we may call the first 
island, and was most likely the one known by the name 
of the Isle of Rye (proper), but that designation had no 
reference to any particular space of ground, for on looking 
to a sale plan of the year 1867 we find the west border 
to be the River Lea, and the east border to be the first 
ditch which runs almost parallel to it on the east side, 
and which encloses another space which may be called 
the second Isle of Rye ; but this leaves out the Rye farm 
and the fields called in the sale particulars " The Warren," 
now used as a sewage farm for Ware town. So on the 
east side of the Rye farm we see another ditch, which 
runs nearly north and south from the river Lea into the 
river Stort, and this forms the third Isle of Rye, and is 
estimated to include a hundred and fifty-six acres three 
roods nine poles of ground, and which, therefore, is 
believed to be the actual boundaries of the manor of 
Rye in ancient times. On the east side of this largest 
island the land has always been called common land, so 
that, generally speaking, the parish boundary of Stanstead 
at this part was the boundary of this manor ; and, as we 
have before mentioned that the sewage farm is known 
as " The Warren," we have a partial proof of its having 
been included in the manor, as the name has survived to 
this day, Ogard having been given " free warren " over 
this and other manors and lordships. 

The Rye House is the place near which the ancient 
north-west corner stone boundary of Epping Forest is 
situated, at the junction of the rivers Lea and Stort ; 
and which important forest Mack, the owner of the Rye 
House, it is said, a few years since restored at "his own 
cost." He has also ever given his best services towards 
the preservation of the ancient rights and privileges of 
His Majesty and those of the Corporation of the City 
of London, in and over Epping Forest, as well as to 

The Rye House and its Plot 141 

the protection of the wild beasts, birds, and fish apper- 
taining to this royal forest. The rivers Lea and Stort 
form its north-west boundary, as determined by the 
Royal Inquisition in the time of Charles I. Also, in the 
immediate vicinity, is the renowned " Oak Tree Field," 
the favourite fishing ground of that worthy citizen, Isaac 

This manor was possessed by Edward Barsh, a 
descendant of him of the same name who, as appears 
by his epitaph in Stanstead Church, had been a General 
Surveyor for the victuals of the Navy Royal of the 
Marine Establishment under Henry VIII, Edward VI, 
Mary, and Elizabeth. Edward, the first of the family 
who possessed this estate, died in 1653 without issue, 
and was succeeded by his brother Ralph, who for his 
zeal in the royal cause was made a Knight of the Bath. 
He was followed by his son Edward, who was knighted, 
and he in 1676 sold this manor to Edmund Field, who 
was Member of Parliament for Hertford in the twentieth 
year of Charles II. At his death it came into the 
possession of Paul Field, one of the burgesses of the 
town of Hertford, and there it remained for many years, 
until at last it came into the ownership of Anthony Upton, 
who was a wine merchant, and partner in trade with 
Henry Rumbold at Puerto Sta. Maria; and in 1857 the 
manor was sold and divided up, twenty-four and a half 
acres being purchased by the late Mr. W. H. Teale for 
about £5,000. Carthew's History of West and East 
Brandenham gives copious notes on the family of 
Ogard. The family failed in the male line towards the 
end of the seventeenth century, but the present families 
named Haggard, Hoggard, Hagard, etc., claim their 
descent from a junior or collateral branch of the original 
Ogard. His arms were azure a mullet of six points 
argent ; but his arms in the spandrels of the gateway at 
the Rye are so decayed as to be practically undecipher- 

142 Memorials of Old Hertfordshire 

The following is taken from the itinerary of 
William Botoner, or William of Worcester, and pub- 
lished from MS. in the library of Corpus Christi College, 
Cambridge : — 

Nobilitas Andreae Agard, Chevalier, qui obit Anno Christi 1454, die 
Sancti Kalixti, apud Bockenham. De proporcione et mensura manerii 
de Rye, per 16 miliaria de London, in Essex ; memorandum, ye utter 
court at Rye ys 75 steppys yn length, and yn brede 60 steppys. The 
hede of ye mote ys 20 steppys. Item, From ye utter gate to ye logge 
paled and parked yn every side, ys yn length 360 tayllors yardes. Aula 
continet yn longitudine 34 pedes, et yn latitudim 24 pedes. Item, Claustri 
longitudo continet 17 virgas et dimidiam, et latitudo continet 13 virgas. 
Longitudinis quadrati principalis. Andreas per 8 annos in Anglia existens 
custodiebat ; capellam in domo sua de presbeteris ad expensas 100 libr. 
per annum. Item, Dedit Ecclisiae Wyndham Abbey, XV. capas de 
panno auro, colons blodii ; cum les orfleys, cum suit armis. Perquisitu 
Manerii de Rye contrabat 1130 libr. Item, Granarum 16 equi., et 30 
vaccae, cum le storehows mercandigarum 2000 marcarum. 

Cussans, in his Part I., Hundred of Braughin, gives 
us the following translation in part only : — The outer 
court is seventy-five paces in length and sixty in breadth. 
The head of the moat is twenty paces. From the outer 
gate to the lodge, parked and paled on every side, is in 
length 360 yards. The courtyard is 34 feet long and 
24 feet wide. The length of the enclosure is \j\ rods 
and the width 13 rods. The principal court is 28 rods 
in length on the north side and 39 rods on the east. 
The purchase of the manor amounted to £1,130; the 
granary, sixteen horses, and thirty cows, with the store- 
houses, two thousand marks ; building the inner court 
with brick, and the rooms, together with the enclosure 
and repairs, two thousand marks. 

The range of artillery during the reign of Henry VI. 
is clearly exemplified by the erection of a castle at the 
Rye. It is completely commanded by the heights of 
Stansteadbury, not a mile distant. That which Cussans 
has omitted is : " That Andrew for the last eight years 
of his life in England had a chapel in his house, with 

The Rye House and its Plot 143 

clerks and choristers, and his expenses were £100 per 
annum, and that he gave to the church at Wymondham 
Abbey fifteen scarlet and gold coloured copes with their 
orphreys, by his own hands." The house and grounds of 
the manor of Rye formerly occupied a considerable space, 
which was surrounded by a moat, and was partly filled 
in, so that it formed a small island, and was accordingly 
sometimes named the " Isle of Rye." Again, another 
says : — 

When the Castle was built the site was called the " Isle of Rye," and 
the founder had free warren there, and also in the villages of Stanstead, 
Amwell, Hoddesdon, Ware, and Widford. 

'This place, perhaps, bore the ancient name of Isle 
since the time of the Danes, when the meadows on both 
sides were covered with water. There is yet a part of 
the old building standing; at least, something built in 
the old form when the first decayed. It seems as if this 
castle was built to awe that neighbourhood, and that the 
lords of the vills were disaffected to the then possessor 
of the Crown, and therefore that the King's authority was 
exerted to invade their privileges. Regarding the deriva- 
tion of this name of Rye, it may be said that the root 
Rhe or Rhin is connected with the Gaelic Rea, i.e., Rapid, 
and with the Welsh Rhe, i.e., Swift ; thus we have the 
river Rhee in Herts., the Rey in Wilts., Ray in Oxon, 
etc. But Edmunds gives us a more likely source, viz., 
Ray, Rea, Rei, Reigh, Rey, from Ree, English for a 
stream, as Rayleigh, Essex, the place at the stream ; 
river Rea, Warwick ; Reigate, a gate or fort at the 
stream ; Reydon, the hill at the stream ; or R. Y. from 
Rih, i.e., Hough, as Hi-Nacla of the Saxon Chronicle, 
Ryhall in Rutland, i.e., the hall in the rough place ; and 
Wagner says it is so called from the Rye on which it 
stands, Rye being an old English term for a common, 
and derived from Ree, a water-course ; hence Peckham Rye. 

In 1685 was published and printed by Thomas 

144 Memorials of Old Hertfordshire 

Newcomb, one of His Majesty's printers, "A true 
account and declaration of the horrid conspiracy against 
the late King, His present Majesty, and the Government ; 
as it was ordered to be published by his late Majesty." 
It contains all the evidence adduced at the trial of the 
conspirators. Portraits are given of Titus Oates and 
King James II., and a plan of the Rye House, castle, 
and grounds, as produced at the trial, with a view of 
the buildings, malthouse, corn chambers, stables, and 
their surroundings. 

There is also " A particular account of the situation 
of the Rye House," as follows : — 

The Rye House, in Hartfordshire, about 18 miles from London, is 
so called from the "Rye," a meadow near it. Just under it there is a 
bye-road from Bishops Strafford [sic) to Hoddesdon, which was constantly 
used by the King when he went to or from Newmarket, the great road 
winding much about on the right hand by Stansted. The house is an 
old strong building, and stands alone, encompassed by a mote, and 
towards the garden has high walls, so that 20 men might easily defend 
it for some time against 500. From a high tower in the house all that 
go or come may be seen both ways for near a mile's distance. As you 
come from Newmarket towards London, when you are near the house 
you pass the meadow over a narrow causeway, at the end of which is a 
tollgate, which having entered, you go through a yard and a little field, 
and at the end of that through another gate you pass into a narrow lane, 
where at that time two coaches could not go abreast. This narrow 
passage had on the left hand a thick hedge and a ditch, on the right a 
long range of buildings used for corn chambers, and stabies with several 
doors and windows looking into the road, and before it a pale, which 
then made the passage so narraw, but is since removed. When you are 
past this long building you go by the mote and the garden wall, that is 
very strong and has divers holes in it, through which many men might 
shoot. Along by the mote and wall the road continues to the Ware river, 
which runs about twenty or thirty yards from the mote, and is to be 
passed by a bridge. A small distance from thence another bridge is to 
be passed over the New River. In both of which passes few men may 
oppose great numbers. In the outer courtyard, which is behind the long 
building, a considerable body of horse and foot might be drawn up 
unperceived from the road, whence they might easily issue out at the 
same time into each end of the narrow lane, which was also to be stopped 
up by the overturning of a cart. 

The Rye House and its Plot 145 

From the plan produced at the trial of Lord William 
Russell, in 1685, we find that the castle was of con- 
siderable extent, the gatehouse occupying only the south- 
east angle. On the north side of this were two small 
rooms, each about 12 feet square, and a kitchen about 
22 feet by 14 feet ; to the west of which was a small 
staircase, and next to it a hall 30 feet long and 24 feet 
wide. At the west end was a great parlour, 35 feet 
long and 20 feet wide, and a smaller one, about 17 feet 
by 16 feet, with other apartments or passages ; and a 
large open well-hole staircase in the north-west angle. 
All these, except the gatehouse, are entirely demolished, 
and the site covered either wholly or in part by modern 
buildings. The malting-house now used as a dining hall 
is of as ancient a date as the castle gateway itself, being 
no doubt built by Ogard at the same time. The most 
interesting part of the castle is the gatehouse, which, even 
after so many years, shews what the builders of 1440 
could do. 

The centre battlement is built differently from the 
rest. The front one carries an iron bar or spike, on which 
it was said the head of Colonel Armstrong was placed 
after his execution for his share in the Rye House plot 
of 1683. On the west wall is left the only one of the 
beautiful Tudor chimney shafts, which must, in the early 
time of the castle, have made the building a highly 
ornamental one; although the elevation of 1683 does not 
give any idea of such being the case. 

The castle (which has now disappeared) commanded 
the ford of the river Lea, and was surrounded by a moat. 
The openings for the chain of the drawbridge are still 
visible on either side of the arches over the doorway. 

In a view published in 1778 the barn which appears 
in views of 1772, 1774, and 1784 also, was in existence, 
just beyond the gate which now stands at the end of 
the road towards Stanstead Church. It had a small 
lean-to on its end, and a very sharp pitched roof; it 

146 Memorials of Old Hertfordshire 

was apparently about 25 feet square and 10 feet high at 
the eaves, and opposite to it stood the elm-tree on which 
it is said Rumbold was hung. By 1795 the brickwork 
above the arcade on the gateway tower was gone, and 
the chimney is shown in the view of that date as larger 
at the top than at the bottom. 

When the house was to have been used for the 
purpose of the supposed Protestant plot in 1683, it was 
tenanted by a man of the name of Rumbold, a maltster, 
who, it was alleged, was to have secreted the conspirators 
in his house, and afforded them an opportunity of retreat 
after their purpose had been effected. The method 
according to information of Joseph Keeling, a Salter, was 
to waylay the King on his return from Newmarket, and 
to shoot him and the Duke of York. 

Cussans says that " the Rye House Tavern is built 
in the ancient forecourt upon the bank of the Lea." 
Another observes that " Time has dealt well with the 
picturesque tavern and its quaint surroundings " ; whilst 
Isaac Walton speaks of it as " an honest ale-house, where 
we shall find a cleanly room, lavender in the windows, 
twenty ballads stuck about the wall, and a hostess both 
cleanly, handsome, and civil." The castle was formerly 
used as a workhouse for the poor of Stanstead, in which 
parish it is situated; and until about 1805 was still 
inhabited by some of the old women who occupied it 
before the Poor Law Amendment Act rendered it neces- 
sary to provide other accommodation for the paupers of 
the Union to which the parish of Stanstead belongs. 
From Mackintosh's James II., pp. 31, 32, we find, by 
warrants dated October 27th and 28th, 1685 — 

That the body of Richard Rumbold, who had been convicted and 
executed at Edinburgh under a Scotch law, was brought up from London. 
The Sheriffs of London were commanded by royal warrant to set up one 
of the quarters on one of the gates of the city (Aldgate), and to deliver 
the remaining three to the Sheriff of Hertford, who was directed by 
another warrant to place them at or near Rumbold's late residence at the 
Rye House (at Hoddesdon, the Rye, and Bishops Stortford). 

The Rye House and its Plot 147 

The Rye House was supposed to communicate with 
Nether Hall by a subterranean passage, as it was a 
fortified baronial building of the same period, and stood 
just within the Essex border. One writer says 

That both Nether Hall and the Rye House have a history ; and great 
deeds have probably been done in them, for which their names are noted ; 
and it is quite possible that secret means of communication existed between 
the two buildings. 

Another says 

That the two buildings are three-quarters of a mile apart as the crow 
flies, and any passage must necessarily be tunnelled under the River Stort. 
It appears from history, and the best obtainable information, that the 
valley of the Lea and Stort was more subject to floods formerly than it 
is now, and therefore any work of this kind, though not impossible, was 
very improbable, as along the whole line it would be a tunnel of water. 


By the Editor 

UR county can boast claims of more than average 
interest to the possession, either by birth or 
adoption, of a number of " worthies " belonging 
to every rank and station in life. We possess 
the solitary Englishman that ever occupied the throne of 
St. Peter — Nicholas Breakspeare, known to history as Pope 
Adrian IV. — whose parentage is proudly claimed by the 
picturesque little town of Abbots Langley ; just as the 
neighbouring village of Kings Langley witnessed the birth 
of Edmond de Langley, Duke of York, the warlike son 
of his warlike sire, Edward III. 

Similarly, Aldenham claims for its own the father of 
Lucius Carey, Lord Falkland, whose talented and lovable 
son was destined to so cruel a fate in the internecine civil 
strifes of his country. Cardinal Wolsey (whose saddle is 
still reverently treasured in the mansion), the unfortunate 
Duke of Monmouth, and that bluff old mariner, Lord 
Anson, all in due turn occupied Moor Park. Again, the 
Munchausen-like Sir John Mandeville is claimed for 
St. Albans, Thomas Stanley (the erudite author of Lives 
of the Philosophers) for Cumberlow, the chivalrous 
Sir Walter Nanny for Knebworth, Sir Thomas More for 
Gobions, Sir Ralph Sadler for Standon, and — in more 
modern times — Charles Lamb for Mackery End, and the 
brilliantly clever Fynes Clinton for Welwyn. Whether 
Strutt, the famous old chronicler and antiquary, was a 
Hertfordshire bred man, we are unable to say. Anyhow, 
the scene of his romance of Queen Hoo Hall — on which 


Some Hertfordshire Worthies 149 

Scott was destined to found his two perhaps most 
celebrated romances — is laid in the locality of Welwyn, 
already so famous as the spot where took place the great 
massacre of the Danes in Saxon times. 

The honour of having given birth to the pious and 
unswerving Bishop Ken has been claimed for both 
Great Berkhamsted and Little Berkhamsted — two places 
situate, singularly enough, at opposite sides of the county. 
Careful investigation puts it beyond doubt, however, 
that Thomas Ken saw the light at or near the latter 
hamlet. At thirteen years old he was sent to Winchester 
College, and in the old registers of the college is to be 
seen the following entry : " Thomas Ken de Barkham- 
stead in com Hertford annorum 13 ad festum Michaelis 
1650, admissus est Jan. 30, 165 1." His name, cut by his 
own hand, with date 1656, can still be seen in the college 
cloisters. From Winchester he went to New College, 
Oxford, and in 1657 was elected a probationer Fellow ; 
took his degree, and was Comptroller of the Household 
to Charles II. In 1666 he was elected Fellow of his old 
college of Winchester, where he went to reside. He was 
afterwards made Rector of Brixton (Isle of Wight), and 
in 1669 elected to a prebend in Winchester Cathedral. 
Bishop Ken's journey through Italy and visit to Rome, 
where he was accompanied by his nephew, Isaac Walton, 
was in a sense the turning-point in his life, for he used 
to remark "that he had reason to thank God for his 
travels, as he had returned with a more thorough con- 
viction of the purity of the reformed religion." That he 
was a man of the most sterling qualities, firm mind, and 
of high moral character, is beyond question, for when the 
Merry Monarch and his court went to pass the summer 
(Dr. Ken had been appointed King's Chaplain) of 1684, 
his prebendal house was selected as the residence of 
the celebrated "Nell Gwynne," but the Doctor flatly 
refused to allow her to enter, and she was forced to find 
other accommodation. However, King Charles did not 

150 Memorials of Old Hertfordshire 

resent his Chaplain's action, but shortly afterwards made 
him Bishop of Bath and Wells. He was one of the seven 
Bishops committed to the Tower for opposing James II. 's 
action in reference to liberty of conscience. But when 
William of Orange was proclaimed king he refused to 
transfer his allegiance, preferring to resign his see. He 
was a man of considerable literary attainments, and also 
skilled in music. He died March 19th, 17 10, and was 
buried in Frome Selwood churchyard. 

It has seemed to the Editor just and reasonable — 
albeit the poet-preacher was a Hertfordshire worthy only 
by adoption — that the illustrious author of Night Thoughts 
should be allotted some notice among these " worthies." 
Dr. Edward Young was " one of that illustrious constel- 
lation that added glory to the reign of Queen Anne " ; 
and yet he lay so long fallow — was so long neglected 
while his intellectual inferiors were steadily passing him 
in the race — that he grew accustomed to say of himself 
that he " had been so long remembered he was forgotten." 
What an eloquent comment upon a life spent for God 
and his country! 

Young was a Hampshire man by birth. He did not 
take Holy Orders until the age of forty-seven, and in 
1728 he — already known for his poetic output — was 
appointed chaplain to George II. In July, 1730, he was 
presented by his college (All Souls', Oxford) to the 
rectory of Welwyn, Herts. — then valued at £500 per 
annum — and in the year following he married Lady 
Elizabeth Lee, daughter of the Earl of Lichfield, and 
widow of Colonel Lee : a connection that arose out of 
his father's acquaintance with Lady Anne Wharton, who 
was co-heiress with Sir Henry Lee, of Ditchley, in Oxford. 
The first ten years of his life at Welwyn passed with 
nothing particular to mark them. The poet was happy 
in his domestic life, and diligent in his pastoral duties. 
He seems to have been a striking and powerful preacher 
— one who felt deeply the subject on which he was 

Some Hertfordshire Worthies 151 

discoursing. It is related of him that once, while 
preaching before the Court at St. James's, not being 
able to command the attention or arouse the feelings of 
his audience, he burst into tears. 

In 1 74 1 Dr. Young sustained a great bereavement by 
the death of his wife, the " Lucia " of his poem. She 
was the daughter of Lord Lichfield, and was, at the 
time of her marriage with Young, a widow with two 
children ; but she loved her second husband devotedly. 
She left him one son, Frederick, who does not appear to 
have been much comfort to his father ; indeed, for some 
years before his death the latter refused to see him, though 
he ( ultimately sent him his forgiveness, and made him 
his heir. It was in his bereavement that he solaced 
himself with writing the great poem that made his name : 
The Complaint ; or Night Thoughts. The whole of this 
great poem was composed either at night or when riding 
on horseback. We can picture him riding along the 
green lanes of his parish, his thoughts far absent from 
the scenes around him ; or see him, while the world 
around is sleeping, " wake and waking climb night's 
radiant scale from sphere to sphere." 

Born at Great Berkhamstead in 173 1, the boyhood of 
the poet Cowper was partially passed at a school in 
the village of Markyate, on the Watling Street, between 
Dunstable and St. Albans — and a particularly unhappy 
school life it seems to have been ; so much so, that he 
subsequently " immortalised " it in his bitter Tirocinium, 
or A Review of Schools. Of his existence at Dr. Pitman's 
seminary at Markyate, the poet pathetically writes : — 

My chief affliction consisted in my being singled out from all the other 
boys by a lad of about fifteen years of age, as a proper object upon which 
he might let loose the cruelty of his temper. I well remember being afraid 
to lift up my eyes upon him higher than his knees, and I knew his shoe- 
buckles better than any part of his dress ! 

Cowper's bones are laid, not in the county of his birth, 
but at East Dereham, in Norfolk, where he died, and 

152 Memorials of Old Hertfordshire 

where a memorial window to him was unveiled in 1905 
by the Cowper Society. 

And now, what time ye all may read through dimming tears his story, 
How discord on the music fell, and darkness on the glory ; 
And how when, one by one, sweet sounds and wandering lights departed, 
He wore no less a loving face because so broken-hearted. 

The most acute stage of the poet's mental affliction 
was passed at a sanatorium in St. Albans. We of 
Hertfordshire are pardonably proud of him, and it was 
Lady Austen who suggested to him the theme of the 
immortal ballad of John Gilpin. 

It is not, perhaps, altogether defensible to include 
in a chapter dedicated to " worthies " any reference to 
James Lucas, " the Hertfordshire Hermit." Still, there is 
nothing tangible to urge against this eccentric gentleman, 
who elected to go into " retirement " at Great Wymondley, 
near Stevenage, for no other or better reason than the 
death of his mother — reason enough, as I hope many of 
my readers may be heard to say. Mr. Lucas's mother 
died on October 26th, 1 849 ; her son was at that time 
thirty-six years of age. He would not permit his mother's 
body to be buried until considerations of expediency 
demanded it ; and then he straightway proclaimed himself 
an anchorite of the most pronounced and (we must add) 
sordid type. But our description of the hermit had better 
be borrowed from an eye-witness — a writer in London 
Society of 1 862 : — 

What is this dark object which is brought into dull relief by the feeble 
light of the fire? It is a form of someone crouching over the flame, and 
rubbing his skinny outstretched arms in evident enjoyment of warmth 
too scant to be kindly, too uncertain to be genial. You might think him 
some dusky savage, only half-weaned as yet from the wild habits of his 
native woods ; or perchance some poor outcast of reason, trembling and 
shivering lest the indulgence he has obtained by stealth should be harshly 
terminated by intrusion. He is none of these, however : neither untamed 
Indian nor " poor Tom " ; he is the genius loci — the hermit himself. 
He rises as he sees we have come to speak with him ; drawing himself 
up hastily, and falling back a step or two from the fireplace, so quickly 

Some Hertfordshire Worthies 153 

that the outline of his form can no longer be discerned against the uncertain 
background of smoky gloom. His eyes, however, shine out brightly, 
and the eyeballs look strangely white in the midst of the ever-deepening 
obscurity of the narrow room. 

And yet Mr. Lucas was a man of more than respectable 
birth and parentage. The story of his life and death is 
an almost, if not quite, unique example of the effects of 
acute filial grief. He died as he had lived, on April 19th, 
1874, having endured five and twenty years of — presumably 
unwilling — existence as the Hermit of Hertfordshire. 
Requiescat. 1 

1 Chas. Dickens visited Mr. Lucas once, and wrote an account of 
the incident. 


By W. B. Gerish and H. P. Pollard. 

HE earliest evidence of the presence of man in 
the district which is now known as Hertfordshire 
seems to point to the fact that the dweller in 
this region was somewhat inferior in intelligence 
to the inhabitant of other districts, as for example, Sussex. 
The Palaeolithic implements found in Hertfordshire, prin- 
cipally in the valleys of the Lea and Gade, are numerous, 
but of exceedingly rough workmanship ; the Neolithic 
implements, in which finer workmanship might be 
expected, are also very poor, with the exception of some 
highly-polished arrow-heads and celts found at Abbots 
Langley, Albury, Anstey, Bennington, Ware, and Watton. 
Of the Celtic period, one of the few traces is the 
Hundred of Cashio and the Manor of Cassiobury, which 
latter, probably, marks a stronghold of the Cassii or 
Catieuchlani. The names of most of the rivers (Ash, 
Kime, Lea, Ver, etc.) are of Celtic origin. On the 
invasion of the Belgae, circa 350 B.C., a large portion 
of what is now Hertfordshire was occupied by the 
Trinobantes. In 54 B.C., Julius Caesar landed for the 
second time near Deal, and forced the Britons, under the 
leadership of Cassivelaunus, chief of the Trinobantes, to 
retire on Verulamium. The destruction of this town by 
the Romans, and the failure of the British attack on the 
naval camp, resulted in the island becoming a tributary 
of the Roman empire. Hertfordshire formed part of the 


The Archeology of Hertfordshire 155 

province of Flavia Cassariensis, and Verulam was the 
third town whose garrison was slaughtered in the rising 
under Boadicea, A.D. 61 ; the Ninth Legion, which was 
stationed in the district, is said to have been almost 
wholly destroyed. 

Three important Roman roads pass through the 
county. The Icknield Way, which runs from Land's 
End to Yarmouth, enters the county a little north of 
Lilley, runs in a north-easterly direction to Wilbury Hill 
(leaving the large earthwork at Ravensburgh a little to 
the north), thence by Baldock to Ashwell (south of the 
latter are some tumuli), and thence to Royston, where 
it enters Cambridgeshire. The Ermine Street enters 
Hertfordshire at the south-west corner of Theobalds 
Park, runs north-east through Broxbourne Woods, and 
close to the tumulus on the golf links to Ware Lock ; 
it then continues across the Bury Field to the south-east 
corner of Poles, from which point it coincides with the 
present road to Royston. Braughing, where the Ermine 
Street and Stane Street cross, is the site of an important 
Roman station, which, judging from the agreement in 
distances with Antonine's Itinerary, was probably Caesaro- 
magus. An isolated hill, apparently of artificial 
construction, called Larks' Hill, seems to have been the 
site of the Roman camp, and was of sufficient area to 
contain an entire legion. Part of the vallum is still to be 
traced : the form is quadrilateral, rounded at the south- 
western angle, and defended on the north and most 
exposed part by a triple rampart. Judging from the 
discoveries that have been made here and in Larksfield 
adjoining, systematic excavation would most likely show 
that the place was equal in importance to Verulamium. 
The Watling Street enters the county at Elstree, and runs 
in a north-westerly direction to St. Albans (Verulamium), 
thence via Redbourn and Kensworth to Dunstable, leaving 
the county just south of the latter town. In addition to 
these main roads there are traces of smaller connecting 

156 Memorials of Old Hertfordshire 

ways. One of these runs from St. Albans in an easterly 
direction, via Welwyn and Watton, to Braughing ; another, 
the " Via Militaris," runs from Bishops Stortford to 
Baldock by Braughing and Ardeley. These lesser roads 
and trackways are practically an unexplored field of 

Evidences of the Roman occupation have been dis- 
covered practically all over the county. Large finds of 
pottery and coins have been made at Braughing, Cheshunt, 
Hitchin, Hertford, Royston, St. Albans, and Welwyn. 
At Radlett a kiln was discovered containing pottery 
stamped with the makers' name : this latter discovery 
is of great interest. Urns and amphorae have been found 
at Datchworth, Hoddesdon, Sawbridgeworth, Stanstead 
Abbots, and many other places. The tumulus at Youngs- 
bury, near Standon, and that at Widford, probably belong 
to the Roman period ; those at Limekiln Farm, Ware, 
Broxbournebury, Easneye, near Stanstead, and the Seven 
Hills at Stevenage, may be Danish. The cave at 
Royston, discovered in 1742, is probably a relic of 
Roman occupation. It is suggested that it was first 
formed by shafts sunk into the chalk in the period anterior 
to Christianity, and was used as a Roman sepulchre. 
During the Crusades it received the greater part of its 
present decoration, and was then, if not before, converted 
into a Christian oratory, to which a hermitage was 
attached. It was partly filled up at the Reformation, 
and forgotten. 

During the persecutions under Diocletian, St. Alban, 
the first British martyr, is said to have suffered death 
near Verulam on June 17th, A.D. 303, a church being 
shortly afterwards erected upon the place of his martyr- 
dom. St. Faith's Well at Hexton, Emma's Well at 
Amwell, and the Church Well at Bramfield, mark the 
sites of very early churches, probably of this period. 

During the Saxon period, Hertfordshire was divided 1 
the eastern portion formed part of the kingdom of Essex, 

The Archaeology of Hertfordshire 157 

the remainder being in Mercia, and part of the boundary 
line between these two kingdoms can be seen near 
Broxbourne and at Cheshunt, where " the Bank," as it 
is called, still marks the existence of two systems of the 
devolution of copyholds in cases of intestacy. Evidence 
of this period of occupation is to be found in the large 
number of Saxon place-names, numerous earthworks in 
the neighbourhood of Reed, and in the well-defended 
mounds at Anstey, Bennington, Great Berkhamsted, and 
Hertford Castles, and specimens of ecclesiastical archi- 
tecture in St Albans Abbey, St. Michael's (St. Albans), 
Bengeo, Reed, Little Hormead, and Great Munden. 

In A.D. 866 the Danes overran Mercia. King Alfred is 
supposed to have prevented an attack upon Hertford by 
drawing the water from the Lea by means of trenches. 
The almost obliterated earthworks on the south side of 
the valley, a little east of Amwell church, and on the 
opposite side of the river, may be part of Alfred's defen- 
sive scheme. By the treaty of Wedmore, part of the 
boundary of the Danelagh was to be " upon the Thames, 
and then upon the Lea (Ligan) and all along Ligan 
unto its source." The bold earthworks at Ravensburgh, 
near Hexton, and the tumuli before mentioned, are prac- 
tically all the remaining traces of this period. The 
massacre on St. Brice's day, November 13th, 1002, is stated 
to have commenced near Welwyn. 

After the battle of Senlac, the Norman Conqueror 
crossed the Thames, and encamped at Great Berkhamsted, 
where a Saxon deputation offered him the English crown. 

Many of the Hertfordshire churches contain archi- 
tectural features of the Norman period, especially those 
of Amwell, Anstey, Bengeo, Hemel Hempsted, Kens- 
worth, Redbourn, and Great Wymondley. The iron work 
on the north door at Little Hormead Church, and that 
on the doors of Letchworth and Norton, probably belong 
to this period. Anstey, Sandridge, and Wormley possess 
fine Norman fonts. Bishops Stortford, Broxbourne, 

158 Memorials of Old Hertfordshire 

Buckland, Stanstead, Thorley, and Great Wymondley have 
plain examples of the same date. 

In 1 147, Pope Eugenius III., King Louis VII., and 
one hundred and thirty brethren were present at the Paris 
chapter of the Knights Templars, when Bernard de 
Balliol granted the Order fifteen librates of land at Temple 
Dinsley, near Hitchin. An effigy, supposed to be that of 
Balliol, is in the window east of the doorway in the north 
aisle of Hitchin church ; full-length figures at Eastwick 
and Walkern, and the very small one at Letchworth, are 
the only other examples in the county of military effigies 
of this period. 

One of the earliest events of interest in the Plantagenet 
period is the appointment of Thomas a Becket to the 
rectory of Bramfield by the Abbot of St. Albans. The 
church key is known as Becket's Key, and the rectory 
pond is called Becket's pond. In 12 15, Robert FitzWalter 
was appointed Governor of Hertford Castle by the King, 
and shortly afterwards removed, owing to his hostility to 
his sovereign. On May 22nd, 121 5, the Barons encamped 
near Hertford, on their way to London, under the leader- 
ship of FitzWalter, who was one of the twenty-five barons 
appointed to enforce the observance of Magna Charta. 
Hertford Castle was besieged by King Louis from 
November nth to December 6th, when it capitulated. 
Berkhamsted castle fell into the hands of the French 
King shortly afterwards. In 12 17, Fulk de Breaute, 
formerly governor of Berkhamsted Castle, completely 
defeated the French, and thus concluded the war. In 
the middle of the thirteenth century, Henry III. built 
himself a palace at Kings Langley, a portion of the outer 
walls of which still exist. The castle at Anstey, it is said, 
was destroyed in 1254 by order of Henry III., in revenge 
for the part taken by Nicholas d'Anestie in the Barons' 
War ; but from references to the castle in the reign of 
Edward III., the keep seems to have remained until after 
1400. In 1348, the Black Death reached England, and 

The Archaeology of Hertfordshire 159 

ravaged the land. In Hertfordshire, some fifty of the 
clergy, in addition to the abbot of St. Albans and forty- 
seven of his monks, died. The first visitation ceased on 
September 29th, 1349, and on the north side of the tower 
at Ashwell church is an inscription referring to the 
scarcity of labour caused by the Black Death. On 
August 15th, 1 361, the sickness returned, but its effects 
were much less severe. On St. Maur's Day, January 15th, 
1362, it is recorded by Piers Ploughman that "the south- 
westrene wynd on Saterday at even " did enormous 
damage. The Ashwell inscription also refers to this 
tempest. The second visitation of the Plague ceased on 
May 3rd, 1362, and a third visitation lasted from July 2nd 
to September 29th, 1369. 

The churches of Ashwell, Stevenage, and Wheathamp- 
stead are fine examples of the Early English period 
(1 189-1280). Digs well, Furneaux Pelham, Layston, Letch- 
worth, and Great Munden also contain much work 
of the same date. The font at Standon is almost the 
only Early English example in the county. Flamstead 
Hatfield, North Mimms, and Ware are good specimens 
of the Decorated period (1 280-1 377). Hitchin, Offley, 
and Ware possess fonts of this date, the last-men- 
tioned being the finest in the county. At Stevenage 
are effigies of a lady and two sons {temp. Edward I.). 
At Anstey is a small effigy of a lady with twin babes 
(temp. Edward III). At Albury, Bennington, Hitchin, 
Little Munden, and Sawbridgeworth are effigies of knights 
with their ladies (temps. Edward III.-Henry VI.) ; while 
at St. Ippollitts is the fine figure of a priest. The best 
known monument of the reign of Edward I. is the 
Eleanor cross at Waltham (a similar cross which existed 
at St. Albans was destroyed during the Civil War). 

The first battle of the Wars of the Roses took place 
at St. Albans, May 23rd, 1455, the Yorkists being 
victorious; but on February 17th, 146 1, the Lancastrians 
made up for the defeat on the 2nd of February by a 

160 Memorials of Old Hertfordshire 

victory over the Earl of Warwick at Bernards Heath. 
St. Peter's churchyard was used as a burial-place for some 
of the slain, and a helmet and shackles (the latter, however, 
of much more recent date) were dug up therein, and are 
now in the vestry. By the Battle of Barnet, April 14th, 
1 47 1, the Lancastrians were hopelessly defeated; a 
monument was erected in 1740 to mark the site. 

The churches of Bennington, Bishops Stortford, Brox- 
bourne, Hitchin, Kings Langley, and Watford contain 
much work of the Perpendicular period (13 77- 1547), and 
fonts of this date are to be seen at Ardeley, Bygrave, 
Caldecote, Little Hadham, Little Hormead, Meesden, 
Newnham, Norton, Rushden, and St. Paul's, Walden. 

In i486, Caxton printed The Book of St. Albans, 
containing treatises on hunting, hawking, heraldry, etc. 
In 1496, the book was reprinted by Wynkyn de Worde, 
with the addition of The Treatyse of Fysshynge wyth 
an Angle. These articles were the work of Dame Juliana 
Berners, prioress of the nunnery at Sopwell, in the chapel 
of which, it is said, one of Henry VIII.'s marriages was 
solemnised. This King had a predilection for the 
county, possessing houses at Hunsdon and Hatfield, and, 
it is said, considering the question of making Hertford 
Castle a residence. He paid a visit to the college of 
Bonhommes at Ashridge shortly before the Dissolution. 
This latter event was the chief feature of archaeological 
interest of his reign. The Benedictine monastery at 
St. Albans, founded by King OfTa about A.D. 793, was 
surrendered by the forty-first abbot, Richard Boreman de 
Stevenage. St. Albans was one of the twenty-four mitred 
abbeys, the abbot sitting as a baron in the House of 
Lords. The priory of Kings Langley was the wealthiest 
Dominican house in England at its suppression ; it was 
founded in 1308 by Edward III. Queen Mary 
endeavoured to restore it in 1557, and placed therein 
a community of nuns, but in the first year of Elizabeth's 
reign they were ejected, and the buildings granted to 

The Archeology of Hertfordshire 161 

Edward Grimston, who razed them to the ground, so that 
the site can only be conjectured. The Benedictine priory 
at Hertford was founded by Ralph de Limesi, nephew 
of the Conqueror : the site and buildings were granted 
to Anthony Denny. Some twenty years ago the 
foundations were discovered, and a few fragments of 
carved stone and encaustic tiles were found, and are 
preserved in the Hertford Museum. At Hitchin was a 
Carmelite priory, founded temp. Edward II. by John 
Blomvil, Adam Rouse, and John Cobham. Soon after 
the Dissolution, it came into the possession of the 
Radcliffe family : the present building, with the excep- 
tion of some portions of the walls, is a modern erection 
on the site. There was also a brotherhood with a house 
in Bancroft, and a Gilbertine nunnery south-east of the 
church. The founder of the latter is not known, but it 
was probably suppressed in 1538, although the deed has 
not yet been discovered : the present building on the site 
known as "The Biggin" is scarcely earlier than 1600. 
At Royston a Dominican friary was founded by Eustace 
de Merc about 11 80, and granted, in 1539, to Robert 
Chester ; remains of the friary church are to be seen in 
the present parish church. Ware possessed an alien 
Benedictine priory, founded circa 1081, and a Franciscan 
house founded in the time of Edward III. Considerable 
remains of the cloisters and a building (now used 
as a drapery store) belonging to the latter are in 
existence. At Little Wymondley, a Dominican friary 
was founded by Richard d'Argentine in the reign of 
Henry III. ; some few traces of the establishment are to 
be found in the house occupying the site. Rowney 
Priory, near Great Munden, is a modern mansion on the 
site of the priory for Benedictine nuns founded by Conan, 
Duke of Brittany, in the early part of the reign of 
Henry II. In the reign of Henry VI. the church and 
buildings had become so dilapidated that the prioress and 
nuns petitioned for liberty to resign. This was granted, 

162 Memorials of Old Hertfordshire 

the estate sold, and with the proceeds a chantry maintained 
in the parish church, which, at the suppression, was valued 
at £13 10s. gd. per annum. 

St. Albans possessed, in addition to the monastery, 
the following houses: — Sopwell Nunnery, founded by 
Geoffrey, sixteenth abbot, about 11 19. A permanent 
building took the place of the hut of bark and withes 
which had formed a shelter for the first two sisters. It 
was always a small house, for the nuns were but thirteen 
in number : the present ruins are those of a later 
dwelling-house on the site. The Hospital of St. Mary de 
Pre, founded by Warren de Cambridge, twentieth abbot, 
for leprous nuns of the Benedictine order was suppressed 
by Cardinal Wolsey, and subsequently fell into the hands 
of the King. St. Julian's, founded by Abbot Geoffrey as 
a hospital for lepers, was granted to Sir R. Lee at the 
Dissolution, and all traces of it have long since disap- 
peared. Leper hospitals also existed at Baldock (its 
situation was near the present station) and at Hoddesdon 
(in the locality of the Gas Works). The priory of 
St. Trinity in the Wood, or Markyate Cell, a nunnery 
situate at Markyate Street, near Caddington, was founded 
in 1 145 by Geoffrey de Gorham. It was valued at the 
Dissolution at ^114 6s. id. Portions of the cells remain 
in the present house. At Cheshunt was a Benedictine 
nunnery ; the date of its foundation is uncertain. It was 
granted to Anthony Denny by Edward VI. ; traces of the 
walls, etc., are to be seen embodied in the present 
Nunnery Farm. The Knights Hospitallers possessed 
houses at Bengeo Temple, Temple Dinsley, near Hitchin, 
and a preceptory at Standon. Having refused to yield up 
their establishments, an Act (32 Hen. VIII, c. 24) was 
passed to compel the surrender. The only remains of 
these buildings is the hospice at Standon, now the National 

Typical examples of houses of the Tudor period are 
Mackery End, near Wheathampstead, Queen Hoo Hall, 

The Archeology of Hertfordshire 163 

Aston Bury, Furneaux Pelham Hall, and Hadham 
Hall. Mackery End House appears to have been con- 
siderably altered about 1553; the oldest portion is of 
half-timbered work. Queen Hoo Hall, near Bramfield, is 
a picturesque building with bays on the south front, 
carried up to the roof ; the gables have brick fmials cut 
in star-shape facets. A mural painting in an upper room 
represents, apparently, the Elizabethan play entitled 
"Abraham, Melchizedek, and Lot." Aston Bury is a 
mid-sixteenth century structure ; the south front has 
projections which contain very fine staircases. A room, 
no feet long and 17! feet wide, runs the entire length 
of the upper floor. Hadham Hall is an Elizabethan 
brick building with hexagonal towers on either side of 
the front entrance. It possesses a gallery 135 feet long 
with mullioned windows ; the rooms leading therefrom 
contain good stud work. It has recently been restored 
with marked taste and judgment. 

Representative houses of the Jacobean period are 
Hatfield House, Rawdon House, Hoddesdon, Water End 
(near Ayot St. Lawrence) and Brent Pelham Hall ; but 
many other manor houses were rebuilt about this time. 
Typical Georgian buildings are Moor Hall, Rickmans- 
worth, Wormleybury, Moor Place, Much Hadham, and 
Cassiobury ; but numbers of earlier buildings were refaced 
and remodelled in this heavy, ugly style. 

The foregoing necessarily brief account of the anti- 
quities of the county indicates that while not especially 
rich in remains of the past, Hertfordshire will, for its size, 
bear favourable comparison with any of the home counties. 


By the Editor 

In April, 

Sing he will ; 

In May, 

Sings all day; 

In June, 

Changes his tune ; 

In August, 

Go he must, he must, he MUST. 

— Old Hertfordshire Song to the Cuckoo. 

It is my wedding-day, 

And all the world would stare, 
If wife should dine at Edmonton 

And I should dine at Ware. 

— John Gilpin. 

LEASE, mum, any ribbints for our garlants ? " 
My friend from London stands aghast at 
these extraordinary words, which are uttered 
by the spokeswoman of a troop of somewhat 
poorly-clad girls. I hasten to translate the words into 
" Please, ma'am, have you any ribbons for our garlands ? " 
and to explain that it is still customary, in some parts 
of Hertfordshire, for the girls of the village to make an 
annual tour of the place on each first of May, armed with 
large garlands of spring flowers, and singing the most 
remarkable doggerels. This is well enough — indeed, it 
is a quaint and pretty custom. But it is slightly embar- 
rassing for one to be waited upon by troop after troop 
of these girls, the one desire of whose hearts is for 
" ribbants for our garlants," as regularly as the month of 
April comes round. In fact, of such frequent occurrence 



are these predatory incursions that I have suspected 
certain of these young ladies of calling upon me more 
than once or twice in the month. Nor are they always 
content to confine their demands to " ribbints " : anything 
in the way of dress that will make them look smart is 
thankfully received, and with many a curtsey do they 
depart to make ready for the festival. And the authori- 
ties at the village school regularly allow their girl pupils 
a holiday on " May Day," such holiday being regarded by 
the scholars as of right. 

More surprises remained for my town-bred friend. 
We, being denied the pleasures of a " London season," 
live rationally in the country, and rise early. But, early 
or not, punctually at seven a.m. on every first of May 
comes a loud knocking at our door; and then the voices 
of the garland girls are heard joined in the following 
doggerel : — 

The First of May has come again, 

The best time of the year, 
And we have all come round once more 

To taste of your strong beer ; 

If you have not got any strong, 

We'll be content with small ; 
We'll take the cup and drink it up, 

And thank the Lord for all ! 
O a garland, a garland, a very pretty garland, 

As ever you wish (sic) to see : 
It's fit for the Queen Victoria, 

So please remember me. 

The sentiment of this ditty is as vague as the tune is 
monotonous. Some of the voices are quite sweet, while 
others, I must confess, are like 

Sweet bells jangled, out of tune and harsh, 

and ofttimes there are disputes between members of the 
awkward squad — the garland bearers travel in knots 
varying from two to eight in number — as to who is and 
is not singing "proper." One little girl (their ages vary 
from five to fifteen), asked who taught her the above 

166 Memorials of Old Hertfordshire 

doggerel, replied, " Our mother " ; and when pressed as 
to whence " our mother " derived her knowledge, stated 
that it was " Our grandmother." This answer tends to show 
that the custom at least possesses the charm of antiquity. 

Not unfrequently the garlands are very beautifully 
constructed, handsomely designed, and gay with the 
aforenamed " ribbints." They generally take the shape 
of wreaths borne between two children, so as not to injure 
the blossoms. These consist of cowslips, primroses, marsh 
marigolds, blue-bells, " wall-flowers," wild orchids, " ladies' 
smocks," etc., crowned, of course, by the inevitable branch 
of " may," whenever obtainable. I must not omit to 
mention that the collecting of flowers for their garlands 
entails upon the girls a deal of tramping to and from the 
neighbouring woods. 

With regard to personal adornment, the girls deck 
themselves with the "ribbints," wreaths, etc. In one 
village it is a sine qua non that every child shall be 
dressed in white, and shall wear a wreath of Spring flowers. 
In yet another hamlet the custom still obtains of making 
the children dance as well as sing — no mean feat this, 
when we remember that their boots are of leather, heavily 
nailed and "tipped." At the larger houses they are 
regaled with cake, milk, etc., and I remember a recent 
occasion when they were requested to leave their garlands 
and posies at the " big house " to be sent to the London 
hospital — a better fate than usually befalls them, when 
the luckless girls are surrounded by the ungallant small 
boys of the village (as soon as twelve noon has struck), 
and their garlands destroyed and scattered. The girls, 
it is only fair to add, return this compliment with interest 
on November 5th, when it becomes their privilege, at the 
same hour of noon, to do their best in destroying the 
boys' "guys." 

Notwithstanding the onward march of " civilisation " 
— in railways, waterworks, church restorations, and so 
forth — this quaintly pretty custom holds good in several 


parts of the county, and is not likely to become obsolete 
just yet. As the already tired garland children clatter 
down the dusty road in the early morning, their voices 
die away into an almost mournful cadence : — 

Awake, awake, good people all, 

Awake and you shall hear 
How Christ the Saviour died for us, 

Who loved us so dear. 
So dear, so dear, has Christ loved us, 

And for our sins was slain, 
We had better leave off our wickedness 

And turn to the Lord again. 
Goodbye, goodbye, I must be gone, 

I can no longer stay ; 
God bless you all, both great and small, 

And send you a joyful May. 
O a garland, etc. 

The custom is a very old one indeed, and in certain 
districts it dies hard. 

A writer in one of the county newspapers, a few years 
ago, shed some interesting light upon a few of the legends 
that still obtain in certain villages. He said : — 

I was admiring what seemed to me to be a very fine specimen of a 
herb, with which I was cockney enough not to be very familiar. " That 
be rosemary, sir," said the worthy cottager ; " and they do say it only 
grows where the missis is master, and it do grow here like wildfire." 
Strolling in the garden of another villager, I saw a mouse, not one of the 
little devouring animals so abhorred by clean and careful housewives, but 
a pretty taper-snouted out-door resident, quite as destructive in his habits, 
lying dead upon one of the paths. No marks of violence were visible upon 
it, an'd I was earnestly assured that these mice, whenever they attempt to 
cross a footpath, always die in the effort. Putting an incredulous face 
upon this piece of information, I was met by the reply, " Ah ! you 
Lunnuners doant know everything; why I've found 'em dead upon the 
paths scores o' times, and I know they can't get across alive." During 
a short visit on Easter Sunday in last year on her eightieth birthday, the 
rain fell copiously for some hours ; remarking upon which, the old dame 
exclaimed, " They do say in these parts 

' A good deal of rain on Easter-day 
Gives a crop of good grass, but little good hay ; ' 

and I'm much afear'd it'll be so to-year" 

168 Memorials of Old Hertfordshire 

Old Samuel Salter, the founder of the brewing firm 
of Salter & Co. (now carrying on business at Rickmans- 
worth), early in the present century bequeathed a barrel 
of beer daily to thirsty wayfarers. But the wayfarers 
proved to be both exceedingly " thirsty " and exceedingly 
numerous; and finally (about 1852) free fights around 
the mystic butt became so frequent, and drunkenness so 
prevalent, that the bequest was, to the great relief of the 
neighbourhood, discontinued. In Rickmansworth parish 
church, by the way, an inscription tells how "ye wicked 
youths of Rickmersworth " broke down certain graven 
images, set up by order of Mary the Queen. 

While concerned with this fascinating subject of folk- 
lore and legend, it may be not without profit if we 
include an extraordinary and barbaric cure for the King's 
Evil, which we take from an old book written by one 
William Ellis, a farmer of Little Gaddesden, near Hemel 
Hempstead, who flourished about the middle of the 
eighteenth century: — 

A girl at Gaddesden, having the evil in her feet from her infancy, at 
eleven years old lost one of her toes by it, and was so bad that she could 
hardly walk, therefore was to be sent to a London Hospital in a little 
time. But a beggar woman coming to the door and hearing of it, said 
that if they would cut off the hind leg, and the fore leg on the contrary 
side of that, of a toad, and she wear them in a silken bag about her 
neck, it would certainly cure her ; but it was to be observed, that on the 
toad's losing its legs, it was to be turned loose abroad, and as it pined, 
wasted, and died, the distemper would likewise waste and die, which 
happened accordingly, for the girl was entirely cured by it, never having 
had the evil afterwards. Another Gaddesden girl having the evil in her 
eyes, her parents dried a toad in the sun, and put it in a silken bag, 
which they hung on the back part of her neck ; and although it was thus 
dried, it drawed so much as to raise little blisters, but did the girl a great 
deal of service, till she carelessly lost it. 

It would appear that the observance of St. Valentine's 
Day in Hertfordshire villages has almost died out ; but 
, in his year book, 1832, says : — 

\ On 

the fourteenth of February it is customary in many parts of Hert- 
fordshire for the poor and middling classes of children to assemble 


together in some part of the town or village where they live, whence they 
proceed in a body to the house of the chief personage of the place, who 
throws them wreaths and true lover's knots from the window, with which 
they entirely adorn themselves. Two or three of the girls then select one 
of the youngest amongst them (generally a boy), whom they deck out 
more gaily than the rest, and, placing him at their head, march forward 
in the greatest state imaginable, at the same time playfully singing : — 

Good morrow to you, Valentine ; 

Curl your locks as I do mine, 
Two before, and three behind, 

Good morrow to you, Valentine. 

This they repeat under the windows of all the houses they pass, and 
the inhabitant is seldom known to refuse a mite towards the merry solicit- 
ings of these juvenile serenaders. I have experienced much pleasure from 
witnessing their mirth. They begin as early as six o'clock in the morning. 

Another version has it : — 

Mother, Mother Valentine, 

Curl your locks as I curl mine — 
One before, and one behind, 

Mother, Mother Valentine. 

Ware is redolent with memories of John Gilpin's 
famous ride, and certainly this picturesque neighbourhood 
is fit environment for that doughty citizen and equestrian 

Came because his horse would come. 

Old inns, with old signboards and old sun-dials, serve 
as much as anything to keep warm our recollection of 
Hertfordshire's "folk-lore and legend." At Chorleywood, 
near Rickmansworth, we have the sign of The Gate, for 
example, with its sprightly old greeting — 

This Gate hangs well 

And hinders none : 
Refresh and pay, 

And travel on. 

And over the entrance to the old Eight Bells in a 
neighbouring town is inscribed the motto — 

Poor Trust is dead — 
Bad Pay killed him ; 

170 Memorials of Old Hertfordshire 

whilst, of course, there are innumerable " Pay to-day and 
trust to-morrow," " Short reckonings make long friends," 
etc. The old inns of Hertfordshire furnish an interesting 

The custom of horn-blowing during harvest, we 
believe, still exists, and seems to be peculiar to Hertford- 
shire, and in no less than twenty places in the county 
the gleaning bell is still rung, if it has not very recently 
been discontinued. 

We have sundry folk-rhymes which are worthy of 
being recorded. On a beam at Mappershall, near 
Shefford, which is on the border of an isolated portion 
of Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire, there is this quaint 
rhyme : — 

If you wish to go into Hertfordshire, 
Hitch a little nearer to the fire. 

There is a little rustic joke here or play on the word 
Hertfordshire or Hearthfordshire. 

Untold wealth is suggested in the following lines : — 

No heart can think nor tongue can tell 
What lies between Brockby Hill and Pennywell. 

It appears that many old coins have been found in 
this district. 

And the excellence of Hertfordshire breezes is told in 
the lines : — 

They who buy a house in Hertfordshire, 
Pay three years' purchase for the air. 

Among the proverbs peculiar to Hertfordshire may 
be enumerated : " Herts' kindness," " Herts' clubs and 
clouted shoon," " Herts' hedgehogs," and " Ware and 
Wade's Mill are worth all London." 


By W. F. Andrews 

SNa building in the Rye House grounds is the great Bed 
m, of Ware. For many years the bedstead was at the 
2) Saracen's Head Hotel, Ware, in a room which had 
a low ceiling, and consequently it is said that the 
height of the corner posts was reduced. After a sale at 
the hotel in 1864, the proprietor of the Rye House bought 
the bedstead and other articles. It was popularly believed 
that the bed was round, and that it could accommodate 
twenty-four people ; but as the bedstead is rectangular, 
such a number of persons could not sleep on it very 
comfortably. Shakespeare alludes to it in Twelfth Night, 
Act III., Sc. 2, where Sir Toby Belch says : " Go, write 
it in a martial hand ; be curst and brief ; it is no matter 
how witty, so it be eloquent and full of invention ; taunt 
him with the licence of ink ; if thou ' thou'st ' him some 
thrice, it shall not be amiss ; and as many lies as will lie 
in thy sheet of paper, although the sheet were big enough 
for the bed of Ware in England, set 'em down : go about 

Perhaps the earliest recorded mention of this " piece 
of furniture " is in the Poetical Itinerary of Prince Ludwig 
of Anhalt-Kohten, who visited this country in 1596, five 
years anterior to Twelfth Night. His reference to the 
bed may be thus rendered : — 

At Ware was a bed of dimensions so wide, 
Four couples might cosily lie side by side 
And thus without touching each other abide. 

172 Memorials of Old Hertfordshire 

According to Cussans' history of the county, the great 
bed was originally in the Crown Inn at Ware, but was 
transferred to the Bull Inn, and thence to the Saracen's 
Head. The style of carving does not indicate a period 
much earlier than Queen Elizabeth, and the date, 1463, 
painted at the head, is comparatively modern. The bed- 
stead and panelling are of English oak, and are probably 
of considerable value. The bedstead is nearly square, each 
side being about eleven feet in length. The posts are plain 
at the bottom, and about two feet from the ground are 
four pillars, one at each angle of the posts. The pillars 
support four arches, above which the posts, elaborately 
carved, continue for about four feet more, the total height 
being about eight feet. The canopy and the head are 
finely carved with human figures, fluted work, heraldic 
roses, and Gothic arches. There is a fine engraving of 
the bedstead in Clutterbuck's History of Hertfordshire, 
also in Shaw's Specimens of Ancient Furniture. It seems 
to be the general opinion that the great bed was originally 
in the Manor House at Ware Park, formerly the property 
of the Fanshawe family, persons of note, and was removed 
from that house to the Crown. 

It was probably a State bedstead. 


Abbeys, monasteries, priories and con- 
vents in Hertfordshire: — 
Bengeo Temple, 162. 
Cheshunt, 162. 
Hitchin, i6r. 
King's "Langley, 160. 
Markyate, 162. 
Royston, 161. 
St. Albans, 8, 33, 42. 
Sopwell, 74. 
Standon, 162. 
Temple Dinsley, 162. 
Ware, 53, 57. 
Abbot of St. Albans, John Stoke, 138. 
Abbots Langley Church, Norman nave 

in, 31. 
Alban, St., Briton and Protomartyr, 19. 
Alexander of Abingdon, Statues of 
Queen Eleanor carved by, 66. 
Alfred the Great, Battle at Watford be- 
tween the Danes and, 4. 
Angling Club, Old Waltonian, 10. 
Anjou, Hertford Castle conferred upon 

Margaret of, 16. 
Anson, Purchase of Moor Park by 

Admiral Lord, no. 
Anstey Church, Norman architecture of, 

Amphibalus, a Christian Deacon, shel- 
tered by St. Alban, 19. 

Amwell Church, Norman architecture of, 

Free warren in village of, 143. 

Appointment of Thomas a Becket to 
Bramfield Rectory, 158. 

Archaeology of Hertfordshire, 154. 

Archbishop of York, George Nevil, 8. 

Ashridge, Residence of Queen Eliza- 
beth at, 103. 

Visit of Henry VIII. to the Col- 
lege of Bonhommes at, 160. 

Aston, The Manor of, confiscated by 
William the Conqueror, 136. 

Aston, Domesday survey of, 135, 

possession of D. J. Hoste 

O'Brien, 135. 

Barbarossa, Frederic, Emperor of Ger- 
many, advances against Pope 
Adrian IV., 27. 

Capture and imprisonment of 

Arnold of Brescia by, 27. 

crowned in Rome by Adrian IV., 


Second invasion of Rome and 

death of the Pope, 30. 
Basing House at Rickmansworth, 9. 
Battles in Hertfordshire : — 
Barnard's Heath, 8, 80, 84. 
Barnet Field, 8, 87. 
St. Albans, 8, 34, 80. 
Watford, 4. 

Barnet, Friar Bungey, the infamous 
necromancer and swindler, at, 

Death of Warwick, " Last of 

the Barons," at, 91. 
St. Albans, Queen Margaret of 

Anjou at, 81. 
Duke of Somerset killed be- 
neath the sign of " The Castle " 

at, 81. 
Barnard's Heath, second battle of 

St. Albans : 

Sanguinary contest on, 85. 

Dr. Maunder's description of, 

Shakespeare's description of, 

Watford, between Alfred the Great 

and the Danes, 4. 
a Becket, Appointment to Bramfield 

Rectory of Thomas, 158. 
Bede, St. Alban's execution described by 

Venerable, 20. 




Bedford at Moor Park, Grandson of 
Second Earl of, 117. 

Bed of Ware, Great, at " The Saracen's 
Head" Hotel, 171. 

Beheading of Gregory de Stokes, Con- 
stable of Hertford, 6. 

Benedictine Nunnery at Cheshunt, 162. 

Priory at Ware, 55. 

Berners, Dame Juliana, Head of Sopwell 
Nunnery, 78. 

Book of St. Albans, written by, 

Bequest of Samuel Salter, founder of the 

firm at Rickmansworth, 168. 
Berkhampsted, a frontier town on the 

Lea, 95. 
Great and Little, claim to birth- 
place of Bishop Ken of, 

Parish Church, Queen Elizabeth's 

coat-of-arms in, 108. 
Place, built by Sir Edward Cary, 


Appearance of, 93. 

Cassivellaunus, Julius Caesar's 

opponent at, 92. 
Council held by Wihthraede, King 

of Kent, at, 94. 
M e n t i o n in A nglo - Saxon 

Chronicle of, 94. 

Remains of Castle, 92. 

Strategic importance of, 92. 

Birthplace of Bishop Ken, Rivalry for 

being the, 149. 
of Nicholas Breakspear, Pope 

Adrian IV., 148. 

of Cowper the poet, 151. 

of Edmond de Langley, Duke of 

York, 6, 148. 
Bisham Priory, Burial of Warwick, 

"Last of the Barons," at, 91. 
Bishop of St. Albans, Dr. Claughton, 

first, 42. 
Bishops Stortford Castle, Area of, 43. 
built by William the Conqueror, 


Chauncy's description in History 

of Hertfordshire of, 43. 

demolished by King John, 48. 

Pre-Norman mound, 44, 45. 

Rev. T. Kerrich's notes and 

sketches of earthworks, 45. 

Salmon's History on Saxon build- 
ing of, 46. 

Boadicea, Army of Queen, razes Lon- 
dinium, 2. 

Capture of Verulamium (or Veru- 

lam) by Queen, 1. 

Boadicea, Description by Dion Cassius 

of Queen, 1. 
Breakspear, Nicholas, of Hertfordshire, 

Pope Adrian IV. : — 
Admitted into Order of Canons 

Regular of St. Rufus, 26. 
Appointed Apostolic Legate to 

Scandinavia, 27. 
Birthplace of, 24, 148. 
Casartelli, Monsignor, describes 

Creation as Cardinal. 27. 
Contest with King William of Sicily, 

Death during second struggle with 

Barbarossa, 31. 
Description by " William of New- 
burgh, 26. 
Early education at St. Alban's 

Monastery, 24. 
Elected Abbot of Canons of St. 

Rufus, 26. 
Struggles with Frederic Barbarossa, 

Emperor of Germany, 27-30. 
Studies in the University of Paris, 25. 
Submission of King William of 

Sicily, 30. 
Success in first struggle against 

German Empire, 29. 
Unanimous election as Pope, 27. 
Visit to St. Albans as Papal Legate, 

2 5- 

Broxbourne Church, Norman font in, 

" Bull Inn," Great Bed of Ware trans- 
ferred to the, 172. 

Burghley, Romantic courtship of the 
Lord of, 128. 

Burial-place at Bisham Priory of War- 
wick, " Last of the Barons," 

Burleigh, Building of Theobalds by 
Lord, 104. 

Campeggio at the More, Cardinal, 114. 
Canon Wigram, of St. Albans, 33. 
Capture of Verulamium (or Verulam) by 

Boadicea, 1. 
Cardinal Wolsey's magnificence at the 

More, 115. 
Carey, Lord Falkland, Fate of Lucius, 

Carmelite Priory at Hitchin, 161. 
Cary builds Berkhamsted Place, 

Edward, 10 1. 
Cassiobury, Watford, historic home of 

Earls of Essex, 3, 132. 
Cassivellaunus, Julius Caesar's opponent, 



J 75 

Cathedral Church of St. Albans, 33. 
Celebrated Oaks in Hatfield and Pans- 
hanger Parks, 132. 
Chauncey, Sir Henry, Description of 

ancient church of St. Michael, 

by, 120-121. 
Chaunsey, John, bailiff of the liberties of 

Middlesex, Surrey, and 

Sussex, 50. 
Cheshunt, Benedictine Nunnery at, 162. 
Chorleywood, Quaint sign of " The 

Gate " at, 169. 
Church of St. Michael, Bishops Stort- 

ford, 119. 
Consecration of Watford Catholic, 

2 3- 

of St. Mary, Knebworth, 131. 

Queen Elizabeth's coat-of-arms in 

Berkhampsted Parish, 108. 
Clarendon, Earls of, The Grove, Wat- 

'ford, historic home of, 132, 


Clarke, Report on St. Michael's Church 
by Mr., 120. 

Club, Old Waltonian Angling, 10. 

Clutterbuck's History of Hertfordshire, 
Fine engraving of Great Bed 
of Ware in, 172. 

Colne Green, Estate of the Cowper 
family at, 132. 

Colne, Picturesque River, 2. 

Complaint ; or, Night Thoughts, The, 
by Dr. Edward Young, 151. 

Consecration of Catholic Church at Wat- 
ford, 23. 

Cowper, William, celebrated Hertford- 
shire poet, 10. 

Birthplace of, 151. 

Pathetic description of his life 

at Dr. Pitman's Seminary, 


Society, Memorial window at East 

Dereham unveiled by the, 

i5 2 - 
Suggestion of "John Gilpin" by 

Lady Austin to, 152. 
family, Sufferings from political 

malice of the, 131. 
Cromwell, Oliver, at the " Old White 

Horse Hostelrie," 9. 
Cross at Waltham, Eleanor Memorial, 

"Crown Inn," Great Bed of Ware at 

the, 172. 
Cussans, Quotation from Faculty by, 

I2 3\ 

Translation from itinerary of 

William Botoner, 142. 

Dean of Gloucester's graphic picture of 

the story of St. Alban, 22. 
Death at Barnet of Warwick, " Last 

of the Barons," 91. 
Destruction of Stortford Castle by King 

John, 5. 
de Worde, reprint of The Book of St. 

Albans, by Wynkyn, 160. 
Dion Cassius describes Queen Boadicea, 1. 
Dominican Friary at Royston, 161. 
Duke of York's garden at Kings Lang- 

ley, 6. 
Dundas, Moor Park acquired by Sir 

Laurence, no. 
Dunstable, Poem on the life of St. 

Alban, by Robert, 21. 

Eastwick, D. J. Hoste O'Brien, of, 135. 
Ebury, Moor Park, celebrated home of 

Lord and Lady, 109-1 11. 
Edmond de Langley, Birthplace of, 6. 
Effigies and monuments in Hertfordshire 

Churches : — 
Eastwick, 158. 
Hitchin, 158. 
Letchworth, 158. 
Walkern, 158. 
Eleanor Memorial Cross at Waltham : — 
Alexander of Abingdon, Statues 

carved by, 66. 
Attempt to remove cross by Sir 

George William Prescott, 69. 
Description of funeral ceremonial, 

Annals of Dunstable, 60. 
Waltham Cross, by Gough, 

the famous antiquary, 63, 65, 

Epitaph on Cross, 62. 
First modern restoration, by W. B. 

Clarke, 70. 
Funeral procession passing through 

Cheshunt, 60. 
Last resting-place in Hertfordshire, 

described by Salmon, 62. 
Lord Monson restores memorial, 69. 
Moses of Waltham's work on, 66. 
Remains of old chantry removed to 

Theobalds Park, 72. 
Eliot, George, at Rickmansworth, n. 
Elizabeth in Hertfordshire, Queen : — 
Captivity in Hertford Castle, 107. 
Childhood's days at Hunsdon, 102. 
Coat-of-arms in Berkhamsted Parish 

Church, 108. 
Entertained at Standon by Sir 

Thomas Sadleir, 106. 
Guest of Lord Burleigh at Theo- 
balds, 104. 



Elizabeth in Hertfordshire, Queen : — 

Guest of Sir Ralph Romlatt at St. 
Albans, 104. 

Historic residence at Ashbridge, 
near Berkhamsted, 103. 

Holds court at Theobalds, 104. 

Letter from Lady Bryan to Crom- 
well, 103. 

Preference shown for Gorhambury, 

"Queen Elizabeth's Chamber" at 
Knebworth, 106. 

Reference to Hunsdon, quoted from 
" Tale of Two Swannes," 

Sponsor to Lord Hunsdon's daugh- 
ter, 103. 

Visit in State, as guest of Lord 
Hunsdon, 103. 

Visit to Queen Hoo Hall, 106. 
Entry into Hertfordshire of William the 

Conqueror, 5. 
Ermine Street, important Roman road in 

Hertfordshire, 3, 155. 
Essex, Cassiobury, historic home at Wat- 
ford of the Earls of, 3, 132. 

Fanshawe family, Ware Park, formerly 

property of the, 172. 
First Bishop of St. Albans, Dr. 

Claughton, 42. 
Folk-lore and Legends, r64. 
Fortified Towns of Old Hertfordshire :— 
Berkhamsted, 5, 92. 
Bishops Stortford, 5, 43, 52. 
Hertford, 5. 
Witham, 4. 
" Four Swannes Hostelrie," site of Duke 
of Brittany's old manor house, 
Franciscan Priory at Ware, 53. 
Free warrens in villages of Amwell, 
Hoddesdon, Ware and Wid- 
ford, 143. 
Friar Bungey at the battle of Barnet, 89. 
Friary at Royston, Dominican, 161. 

Gade, Palaeolithic implements found in 
the Valley of the, 154. 

Gilpin, Famous ride to Ware of John, 169. 

Gladsmuir Heath, " a chase stocked with 
beasts of game," 89. 

Gorham, Abbot Geoffrey de, founder of 
Sopwell Nunnery, 75. 

Gorhambury, Preference of Queen Eliza- 
beth for, 105. 

Gough the antiquary describes W T altham 
Holy Cross, 63, 65, 69. 

Great Bed of Ware at the " Saracen's 
Head" Hotel, 171. 

Gregory de Stokes, Constable of Hert- 
ford, 6. 

Grosvenor, Moor Park passes to Lord 
Robert, nr. 

Grove at Watford, historic home of the 
Earls of Clarendon, The, 132, 

134. . 
Gate, Quaint sign at Chorleywood of, 
The, 169. 

Hadham Hall, Elizabethan mansion of, 163. 

Hatfield Church restored by the late 
Marquis of Salisbury, 125. 

Park, Celebrated oak in, 132. 

The Lea at, 124. 

Tennyson's poem on romantic 

courtship of " The Lord of 
Burghley," 128. 

Tragic death of the Dowager 

Marchioness of Salisbury at, 

Visit of Queen Victoria to, r26. 

Hertford Castle, built by Edward the 
Elder, 4, 13. 

besieged by Prince Lewis of 

France, 14. 

conferred upon Margaret of 

Anjou, 16. 

Death of Queen Isabella in, 15. 

David, King of Scotland, im- 
prisoned in, 15. 

John, King of France, im- 
prisoned in, 15. 

given by Henry III. to Gilbert 

Seagrave, 14. 

to Henry Stafford, Duke of 

Buckingham, 17. 

granted to William Cecil, Earl of 

Salisbury, 17. 
" Hertfordshire Hermit," Description by 

an eye-witness of James 

Lucas, the, 152, 153. 
Hitchin, Carmelite Priory at, 161. 

Church, Effigy in, 158. 

Hoddesdon, Free warren in the village 

of, 143. 
Home of the Lyttons at Knebworth, 129. 
Hunsdon House, Queen Elizabeth's 

childhood days at, 102. 

Icknield Wav, important Roman road in 

Hertfordshire, 155. 
Imprisonment of King John of France 

in St. Albans Abbey, 8. 

James I., Death at Theobalds of, 105. 



John Gilpin suggested to Cowper by 
Lady Austin, 152. 

Ken, " Nell Gwynne " refused residence 
by Dr., 149. 

Rivalry for being birthplace of 

Bishop, 149. 

Kerrich, Notes and sketches of earth- 
works, Bishops Stortford 
Castle, by Rev. T., 45. 

King's Langley, Duke of York's garden 
at, 6. 

Wealthy Dominican Priory at, 


Knebworth, Church of St. Mary, 131. 

Home of the Lyttons, 129. 

originally built by Robert de 

Lytton, 130. 

Langley, Edmond de, Duke of York, 
Birthplace of, 6, 148. 

Lea, Berkhamsted as a frontier town on 
the River, 95. 

at Hatfield, 124. 

West border of Isle of Rye, the 

River, 140. 

Lee, Sir Richard, builder of Sopwell 
House, 74. 

Little Geddesden, A cure for King's 
Evil, by William Ellis, of, 

Londinium razed by army of Queen 
Boadicea, 2. 

Lucas, Sir Charles, shot by Fairfax, 133. 

James, " The Hertfordshire Her- 
mit," Description by an eye- 
witness of, 152, 153. 

Ludwig, Early mention of Great Bed of 
Ware by Prince, 171. 

Lupus of Troyes, Visit to England of, 

Lytton, Robert de, original builder of 
Knebworth, 130. 

Rowland de, Lord Lieutenant of 

Hertfordshire and Essex, 106. 

Lyttons, Home of the family at Kneb- 
worth,, 129. 

Margaret of Anjou, Hertford Castle con- 
ferred upon, 16. 

Martyrdom of George Tankerfield at 
St. Albans, 34. 

Massory, Gerald, a Hertfordshire poet, 

Maud, Civil war between Stephen and 

Empress, 47. 
Maunders, Description of Barnard's 

Heath battle by, 85. 


May-Day, A Hertfordshire holiday for 
girls, 165. 

Memorial Cross, Queen Eleanor, 58. 

Memorial window erected in St. 
Michael's Church by father of 
Rt. Hon. Cecil Rhodes, 123. 

Mercia, Offa, pious Saxon King of, 3. 

Monmouth, Moor Park built by Duke 
of, 109. 

Monson, Lord, Lord of the Manor of 
Cheshunt, restores Eleanor 
Memorial, 69. 

Moor Park built by Duke of Mon- 
mouth, 109. 

acquired by Sir Laurence Dundas, 


Cardinal Campeggio at, 114. 

Description by Lord Lytton of, 


granted to St. Albans Abbey by 

Offa, King of Mercia, ri2. 

Grandson of second Earl of Bed- 
ford ruler at, 117. 

historic home of Lord and Lady 

Ebury, 109- in. 

passes to Lord Robert Grosvenor, 


purchased by Admiral Lord 

Anson, no. 

Queen Catherine at, 116. 

Treaty of the More signed at, 114. 

Moses of Waltham's work on Queen 
Eleanor Memorial, 66. 

" Nell Gwynne " refused a residence in 
Dr. Ken's house, 149. 

Nether Hall, Subterranean tunnel be- 
tween Rye Castle and, 147. 

Nevil, George, Archbishop of York, 8. 

Norman architecture and fonts in Hert- 
fordshire Churches at : — 
Amwell, Anstey, Bengeo, Brox- 
bourne, Buckland, Bishops 
Stortford, Great Wymondley, 
Hemel Hempstead, Sandridge, 
Stanstead, Thorley, Wormley, 

nave of Abbots Langley Church, 

3 1 - 
Nunnery at Cheshunt, Benedictine, 162. 

O'Brien'of Eastwick, D. J. Hoste, 135. 

Offa, Saxon King of Mercia, 3. 

grants Moor Park to St. Albans' 

Abbey, 112. 
Old Waltonian Angling Club, 10. 
"Old White Horse Hostelrie," Oliver 

Cromwell at the, 9. 



Ogard, Andrew, builds a castle at Rye, 

Notes on the family of, 141. 

Panshanger Park, Celebrated oak at, 132. 

seat of the Cowper family, 131. 

Peculiar proverbs of Hertfordshire, 170. 
Poet Cowper, Birthplace of the, 151. 
Prescott, Sir George William, Attempt 

to remove Memorial Cross to 

Theobalds by, 69. 
Prior of St. Bartholomew's, Smithfield, 15. 
Priory at Hitchin, Carmelite, 161. 

at Ware, Benedictine, 55. 

Franciscan, 53. 

of King's Langley, 160. 

Quaint sign of " The Gate " at Chorley- 

wood, 169. 
Queen Hoo Hall near Bramfield, 163. 

Rhodes, Memorial window erected in 
St. Michael's Church by 
father of Rt. Hon. Cecil, 123. 

Rickmansworth, Basing House at, 9. 

Parish Church, Inscription in, 


River Colne continually in flood, 2. 

Romanised Celts rally round Verula- 
mium, 93. 

repel inroads of East Saxons, 93. 

Roman Roads in Hertfordshire : — 
Ermin Street, 3, 155. 
Icknield Way, 3, 155. 
Watling Street, 3. 

Royston, Dominican Friary at, 161. 

Ruins of Sopwell House, 74. 

Russell, Plan of Rye Castle produced at 
trial of Lord William, 145. 

St. Alban, " First who died for the 

faith in England," 19. 
St. Albans Abbey: — 

Builders of, 35. 

Canons of, 42. 

Cells of the great Abbey, 40. 

Diocesan memoranda, 41. 

Dr. Claughton, first Bishop of, 42. 

Dr. Festing, second Bishop of, 42. 

Dr. Jacob, present Bishop of, 42. 

Interior of 35. 

John de Hertford alters Norman 
apses, 36. 

John Stoke, Abbot of, 138. 

John de Wheathampstead, Abbot of, 

inserts Perpendicular win- 
dows, 36. 

St. Albans Abbey : — 

King John of France a prisoner in, 8. 
Lawrence, Very Rev. Walter John, 

first Dean of, 42. 
Lepers hospitals maintained by, 35. 
Restoration in nineteenth century, 

Surrender and desolation of, 37. 
Sadleir, Sir Thomas, Sheriff of Herts, 

entertains Elizabeth at 

Standon, 106. 
Salmon on Saxon building of Bishops 

Stortford Castle, 46. 
Salter, Samuel, founder of firm at Rick- 
mansworth, 168. 
Saxon King of Mercia, Offa, pious, 3. 
St. Mary, Knebworth, Church of, 131. 
Salisbury, Restoration of Hatfield 

Church by late Marquis of, 

Tragic death of the Dowager 

Marchioness of, 128. 
" Saracen's Head " Hotel, Great Bed of 

Ware at, 171. 
Seagrave, Gilbert, holder of Hertford 

Castle under Henry III., 14. 
Shakespeare's description or battle of 

Barnard's Heath, 86. 
Sopwell, Ruins of, 74. 
Grant of land during time of 

William the Conqueror, 76. 
Nunnery founded by Geoffrey de 

Gorham, 75. 

History and traditions of, 76. 

Dame Juliana Berners, head of, 


writes " Book of St. 

Albans" at, 79. 
House, Sir Richard Lee, builder 

of, 74. 
Stevenage, near Knebworth, 129. 
Church, a fine example of Early 

English period, 159. 
Stoke, John, Abbot of St. Albans, 138. 
Stortford Castle destroyed by King John, 

" Tale of Two Swannes," reference to 
Hunsdon in poem, 102. 

Tankerfield, George, Martyrdom at St. 

Albans of, 34. 
Tenchebrai, Battle of, 98. 
Tennyson's poem on romantic courtship 

of " Lord of Burghley," 128. 
Theobalds, death-place of King James I., 

historic home of Lord Burleigh, 




Theobalds, Queen Elizabeth holds Court 

at, 104. 
Park, Attempt to remove 

Memorial Cross to, 69. 
Remains of old chantry 

conveyed to, 72. 
'* Treaty of the More " signed between 

England and France, ir4. 

Unhappy reign of King John, 5. 

Venerable Bede describes conversion of 

St. Alban's executioner, 20. 
Verulamium, Britons forced to retire on, 


(or Verulam), Capture of, 1. 

Romanised Celts rally round, 93. 

Walton, Izaak, celebrated Hertfordshire 
worthy, 10. 

Favourite fishing ground of, 141. 

Ware, Benedictine Priory at, 53. 

Franciscan Priory at, 53. 

Granted to Thomas Byrche 

in 1545, 55. 
Remains of Priory build- 
ings, 54- 

Weavers' description of 

Friary ruins, 54. 
Ware, Benedictine Priory at: — 

Addition or rebuilding by Margaret, 

widow of Saher de Quincy, 56. 

Complaint to Gregory IX. against 

the Prior of, 56. 
Commission sent by Gregory to 

Bishop of London, 56. 
Founded by Hugh de Grentmesnil, 

Presented to Carthusian Priory at 

Shene, 57. 
Seized by Edward III., 57. 
Site of the Priory, 56. 
Vicarage re-endowed with tithes, 56. 


Free warrens 

in village of, 

-Great Bed of, r7r. 

at the " Saracen's Head " 

Hotel, 171. 

" Crown " Inn, 172. 

Early mention by Prince 

Ludwig, 17 r. 

fine engraving in Clutter- 
buck's History of 
Hertfordshire, 172. 

transferred to " Bull " Inn, 

formerly property of the 


Fanshawe family, 172. 
Warwick, " The Last of the Barons," 

Death at Barnet of, 90-91. 
Watford, Battle between Alfred the 

Great and the Danes at, 4. 
largest commercial town in Hert- 
fordshire, 132. 
Watling Street, important Roman road 

in Hertfordshire, 3. 
Wheathampstead Church, fine example 

of Early English period, 159. 
Widford, Free warren in village of, 


Wihthraede, King of Kent, holds great 
council at Berkhamsted, 94. 

William the Conqueror enters Hertford- 
shire, 5. 

Grant to Sopwell Nunnery in 

time of, 76. 

Witham, fortified by Edward the Elder, 


Wolsey, Anxiety at the More of Car- 
dinal, rr5. 

denied a lodging at Court, 115. 

Magnificence at the More of Car- 
dinal, 115. 

Young, Dr. Edward, author of " Night 
Thoughts," 10, 150. 

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With Notes and 71 Plates and Illustrations of Examples found in 
the British Isles. Demy 8vo, cloth. Price 7/6 net. 

" Really a work of art. The slabs selected by the author for her well-drawn 
illustrations number about seventy. In the introductory chapters a good deal of 
information is given which will help "visitors to churches where these monuments of 
piety have escaped the spoilers' hands to fix approximately the dates of the slabs. We 
almost believe that some of the parish priests, who at present are not much inclined to 
value such treasures, may be led to take more care of them if they will learn from 
Miss Styan what there is to admire in them." — Church Times. 


By George Eley Halliday, F.R.I B. A., Diocesan Surveyor of 
Llandaff, with 59 illustrations in line and half-tone. Royal 8vo, 
cloth Price 12/6 net. 

" A thoroughly good contribution to the history of Church Plate." — Reliquary. 


from 1566 to 181 2. Copied by Mary E. Noble, Editor of the 
" Bampton Parish Registers" and Author of "A History of 
Bampton." Demy 8vo, cloth. Price 21/- net. 
These Registers contain many interesting entries of the Sandford, 
Myddleton, Collinson, Bowman, Law, Holme, Wilkinson, and 
Langhorne families, and others, and some reference to Parochial 
events. A list of Vicars is included, and some Local Notes. 

" Miss Noble has followed up her admirable edition of the ' Bampton Parish 
Registers' by copying and publishing the Registers of the adjoining parish of Askham, 
which go back to the year 1566. She has discharged her self-imposed task with her 
accustomed care and ability, and the handsomely printed and substantially bound 
volume of 250 pages is not merely a record of marryings, buryings, and christenings 
in this ancient parish . . . but a valuable contribution to the history of the border 
land."— TJU Carlisle Patriot. 


An Outline Guide to Topographical Records, Manuscripts, and 
Books. By Rev. J. Charles Cox, LL.D., F.S.A. Fourth Edition. 
Crown 8vo, buckram. Price 3/6. 


An Account of the Principal Megalithic Remains in the Morbihan 
Archipelago. By T. Cato Worsfold, F.R.Hist.S. Second 
Edition. With numerous additions and Illustrations. 
Size 9 in. by 6 in., cloth. Price 5/-, 

" Mr. Worsfold has compressed into a small space a great amount of interesting 
detail with regard not only to the megalithic and other stone monuments, but also to 
the Roman and early Mediaeval remains in the district he has sought to illustrate. 
His style is easy and attractive, and his little work may induce visitors to France who 
are interested in objects of remote antiquity, to take the opportunity of seeing a part 
of the country which abounds with them." — Athenceum. 

Xon£>cm : 

BEMROSE & SONS LTD., 4, Snow Hill, I 
and Derby. 


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