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FROM THE 

BRIGhUT LEGhACY. 

Descendants of Henry Bri^lit, jr., who died at Water- 
town,Mas8., in i686,are entitled to hold scholarships in 
Harvard CoUeg^e, established in iSSo under the will of 

JONATHAN BROWN BRIGHT 
of Waltham, Mass., with one half the income of this 
Legacy. Such descendants failing, other persons are 
eligible to the scholarships. The will requires that 
this announcement shall be made in every book added 
to the IJbrary under its provisions. 

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THE 



MONTHLY 



CHRONICLE 



OF 



NORTH-COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND 



3r. 



1888 



Printed and Published for Proprietors of the " Newcastle Weekly Chronicle " by 

WALTER SCOTT, NEWCASTLE-ON-TYNE, 
AND 24 WARWICK LANE, PATERNOSTER ROW, LONDON. 






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Page 

Geom Cooper Abbes • 1 

The Toad in the Hole. By James Clephan 4 

Sir Guy the Seeker 7 

Cockle Park Tower 9 

The Cockle Park Traflredy 11 

Thomas Bewick 12 

Nevison the Highwa3rman. By Lieut. -Col. J. R. 

Campbell 18 

The Ride to York 22 

Hexham Town and Abbey 22 

The Battle of Hexham 26 

William Emerson, Mathematician 29 

Speed's Plan of Newcastle 33 

'nie Newcastle and Carlisle Railway 35 

Mbn of Mabk Twixt Ttnb and Twkbd. By 
RiOHABD Wklpord :— 

Mary Astell, Henrv Atherton 36-37 

George Clayton Atkinson 38 

Henry Atkinson, Charles Attwood 55-56 

Thomas Atthey, Charles Avison 107-109 

Sir George Baker 110 

John Bailey, George Balmer ; 156-157 

Joseph Barber 158 

Isaac Basire, D.D 193 

Thomas Wentworth Beaumont 194 

Thomas Richard Beaumont 196 

Thomas Bedmgfeld 197 

Ambrose Barnes, Ralph BeUby 258-260 

Thomas Belt, F.G.S 262 

Matthew Bell, John Bell, Thomas Bell 30&>309 

Benjamin Bennett, Roger Bertram 354-356 

John Bewick 356 

The Rt Rev. John William Bewick, D.D 357 

Robert Bewicke, Charles William Bigge 418-419 

Rev. Thomas Binney 421 

SirWimamBlackett(l),(2),(3) 442-444 

Sir Walter Calverley Blackett 445 

John Erasmus Blackett 498 

John Fenwick Burgoyne Blackett 499 

John Blackwell 500 

John Blakiston," John Blenkinsop 539-541 

Thomas John Bold, Henry Bourne 542 

The Old Dragon, Harrosrate 40 

The North-Countby Gabland op Song. By John 
Stokoe :— 

"The Twelve Days of Christmas" 41 

"Jocko' the Syde" 68 

"Swalwell Hopping" 102 

" Robin Spraggon's Auld Grey Mare " 170 

" Johnnie Armstrong's Last Good-N igh t " 218 

"O! the Oak and the Ash and the Bonny Ivy 

Tree " . 251 

" Bob Cranky 's 'Size Sundav '" !."'. .7 ..".."!!..!..!! ! 316 

"TheBalbidof ParcyReed"" 371 

" Derwentwater's Farewell " 404 

"The Bonnie Pit Laddie" 460 

"Buy Broom Buzzems" and Blind Willie 516 

"God Rest You, Merry Gentlemen " 562 

John Forster : A Sketch. By William Lockey Harle 49 
The Volunteer Movement in the North 54 



Page 
Notes and Cohhxntabiks :— 

Cock6ghtinp: "A Welsh Main"— Mr. Ruskin 
at Wallmgton— John Martin— Highest Habi- 
tations in Great Britain 42 

A Tale of the Press Gansr — Monument at Kirkley 
Hall— A Remarkable Tree— George Clayton 

Atkinson— Speed's Plan of Newcastle 91 

Mr. Lockey Harle— The Roman Remains at 
Lanchester — Apprentices and Salmon — A 

Vicar's WiU 138 

The Lodge of Industry— The Hetton Coal Com- 
pany — Byron's Marriage Signature — Body- 
Snatching. 185 

The Senna Wells — Greorge Balmer — Simeon of 
Durham— Jobling's Gibbet— The Press Gang 

in the North 235 

The Derwentwater " Relics " — Fox Hunting in a 
Coal Pit— Miss Roche and Sir Francis 

Delaval— Sandgate— Whittingham Fair 285 

Feanrus O'Connor — The Centenary of the 

Panorama 330 

Robinson Boutflower— Buffaloes at Alnwick 378 

The Wreck of the Saldanh a— Cumberland States- 
men 426 

The Capping Well— Sale of St. Paul's Chapel, 
Newcastle— Whickham School— The Reeds 

of Troughend 474 

Westgate Street, Newcastle — A Sunderland 

Epitaph— The Newcastle Pillory in 1758 522 

Wesley's Orphan House, Newcastle — Blind 

Willie — Alexander Davison 570 

North-Country Wit and Humour :— 43, 91. 138, 187, 236, 

284, 330, 378, 4Zr, 476, 523, 570 

North-Country Obituaries :— 44, 93, 139, 188, 237, 285, 

331. 379, 428, 477, 524, 571 

Record of Events :-45, 94, 141, 189, 238, 286. 332. 380, 

429, 478, 524, 572 

The Northumbrian Burr. By R. Oliver Heslop 59 

The Forged Assignats 61 

Robin of Risingham 63 

Lord Byron at Seaham Harbour 65 

Brinkbum Priory 70 

Views of Lanchester .- 74 

John Gully. Pugilist and Legislator 74 

The Streets of Newcastle:— 

Introductory 34 

Pilgrim Street 77 

The Offshoots of Pilgrim Street Ill 

The SandhiU 159 

Sandgate 222 

Pandon 255 

The Manor Chare 321 

Mosley Street and Dean Street 342 

. Westgate Street 406 

Westgate and Westgate HiU 451 

The Bigg Market 494 

The Groat and Cloth Markets 554 

The Murder of Nicholas Fairies : The Last Gibbet in 

England 83 

The Tradition of Too Much Salmon. By James 

Clephan 85 



n. 



CONTENTS. 



Paffe 

Hylton and the HyltonB. By J. R. Boyle 86 

The Cauld Lad of Hylton 88 

The Uncle Toby Picture : 90 

Crowley's Crew 97 

The Birth of Middleabrough - 103 

The White Lady of Blenkmsopp 104 

Hazlitt the Highwajrman 114 

Body-Snatchera 115 

Pirn's FoUy 118 

Hume Priory, Northumberland 119 

Ancient Remains at Chibbum 122 

Meg Merrilies 123 

The Fighting Fifth 126 

Views in North Northumberland. By W. W. 

Tomlinson 128 

Old Tyne Vessels 131 

Henry Russell : ** Man the Lifeboat " 131 

Northumbrian Saints. By Richard Welford : 

St. Alchmund 132 

St. Bartholomew, St. Bede 133 

Denton Chare, Newcastle 135 

The Back Row, Newcastle 137 

The Explosion on the Town Moor, Newcastle 145 

Holy Wells in the North 148 

The Headless Ghost of Watton Abbey 151 

Wallsend Old Church 153 

Witches at Wallsend 154 

Oliver Goldsmith on the Tyne and Wear 154 

Reminiscences of Stockton 164 

The Countess of Deiwentwater. 165, 205 

James Clephan 171 

The Grieves of Alnwick 173 

Peggy Potts. By William Brockie 175 

Crows in Newcastle. By James Clephan 179 

The Hawick Flood 183 

MarskeHaU 184 

Friarside ChapBl 184 

Gretna Green MarriAges 198 

Rowland Burdon 201 

The English Home of the Washingtons 203 

The German Sword-Makers at Sbotley Bridge 212 

The Story of Mary Nicholson 214 

Mrs, Arkwright in the North 215 

Johnnie Armstrong 215 

Joseph Richardson, Dramatist 220 

King Arthur on the Derwent 220 

Thomas EUiott Harrison 227 

Solway Moss 229 

Sir Cuthbert Sharp 230 

A Bit of Old Newcastle 232 

Elswick Haughs .'. 233 

Robert Gilchrist. Newcastle Poet 234 

Sims Reeves's First Appearance in Newcastle 234 

Wild Beast Shows in the North 241 

Wombwell's Menagerie 242 

Manders and Maoomo 244 

A Revengeful Elephant 244 

"Buried in WooUen" 245 

Fair Maiden Lilliard 245 

Benedict Bisoop 245 

St. Bede's, Jarrow 247 

The Austin Friars 250 

The Matfen Murder 252 

Feargus O'Connor in Newcastle 254 

Grace Darling 263 

Contemporary Account of the Wreck of the For- 
farshire 267 

William Darling's Narrative 268 

Grace Darling's Boat 269 

Shanky Elwes, Baronet and Informer 269 

John Scott and Bessie Surtees 271 

An Old Soldier 274 

John Levden, M.D 275 

An Old Newcastle Physician, Dr. White 278 

County Palatine of Durham 279 

Old Bishopwearmouth 279 

Coldstream: Its Marriages, &c 280 

Joseph Lillie Thornton 282 

Woolerandits Environs 289 

The Legend of Percy's Cross 290 



Sir Henry Havelock, K.C.K ai 

La Peyrouse and the Stockton Captains 293 

The Great North Road 294 

Map of the Great North Road 298 

Judge JefiFreys in Newcastle 300 

A Sunderland Character : Thomas Sanderson 301 

Chester-le-Street 303 

The Birthplace of Bede 311 

Armstrong Park, Newcastle 311 

Drummoad, the Sunderland High wajrman 317 

The Starling in the Northern Counties 319 

Lamberton Toll-Bar 320 

Bunal at Cross Roads 324 

The Raid of Reidswire 325 

The Turf Hotel, Newcastle: The Old Coaching Days. 327 

The Prophet Wroe 337 

Morton, the Dramatist 342 

Shields Ghosts 345 

The Earldom of Northumberland 348 

The Duke of Wellington in the North 349 

Paul Jones's Plan of the Tyne 351 

Grainger's Plan of Newcastle Improvements 354 

George ind Robert Stephenson 359 

Thrushes, Blackbirds, Fieldfares, and Redwings. 366 

Dicky ChUton 367 

The Death of Parcy Reed 370 

The Battle of NewDurn 373 

A Typical Peel Tower 376 

The Linnels. By R. Oliver Heslop 385 

Surtees of Mainsforth 388 

Surtees's Tricks in Ballad Composition 389 

Daniel O'Connell in Newcastle 390 

Five Amateur Pitmen 392 

Edlingham Castle 393 

The Witch of Fxllingham 393 

Boy Bishops 396 

The Lambton Worm 398 

The Pensher Hill Monument 400 

Featherstone Castle 401 

Bowrie Charlton 402 

Tower at Long Horsley 405 

Pallas's Sand Grouse 413 

Jack Crawford's Memorials 414 

Sir Henry Taylor's Reminiscences of his Family 423 

More Berwick Characters 424 

An Ancient Comet 425 

The Ducking Stool, the Branks, and the Pillory 433 

Mungo Park, the African Traveller 436 

Belsay Castle 430 

SwarlandHaU 441 

Charles Waterton. Naturalist 447 

Waterton at Tudhoe 450 

LongLonkin 459 

Bums in Northumberland 461 

The Bjaydale Banks Tragedy 461 

Peter Waggy 462 

Sunhope Castle, Weardale 463 

HowickHaU 466 

The Gibeide Column and Statue 466 

The Crossbill 468 

Stella Hall. By Joseph Cowen 469 

Castle Eden Dene 473 

The Thomgraf ton Find. By J. CoUingwood Bruce, 

LL.D 481, 529 

Thomas Doubleday 485 

Oliver Cromwell in the North 488 

Recollections of Lion Tamers. By Wm. Yellowly ... 490 

The Ring Ouzel 493 

John Wesley and Grace Murray 503 

" Lucy Grav of Allendale " 510 

Bamborough Castle 510 

RabyCastle 514 

The Village of Staindrop 515 

North-Country Vampires 518 

Wull the Slowan at Harbottle 519 

Honister Crag and Crummock Water 520 

"Johnny Newcome in the Navy " 521 

"Belted WiU Howard" 532 

Naworth Castle 538 

Lanercost Priory 538 



ILLU8TBAT10N8. 



ui. 



Page 

A Theatrical Incident 539 

North Berwick 544 

Nent Force Level 546 

Joseph Ritson 546 

The Great Fire in Newcastle and Grateshead 549 

A Northumbrian Flower Garden 554 



The Battle of Flodden M7 

"What Will Mrs. Grundy Say?" 563 

The Ghostly Bridal of Featberstone Haugb 564 

The Murder of Bishop Walcher 566 

B. R. Haydon in Newcastle 567 

Stonechats, Whinchats, and Wheatears 568 



miuitvatiani. 



Page 

Cleadon, Reeidence of the late G. 0. Abbes 1 

Dunstanborough Castle 8 

Cockle Park Tower, Northumberland 9 

Bewick's Workshop, Newcastle 15 

Cherrybum 16 

Ovingham Church 17 

Tower at Hexham 23 

Hexham Market Place 24 

Hexham Abbey 25 

The Queen's Cave 29 

Speed's Plan of Newcastle 33 

Old Dragoon Hotel, Harroffate 40 

University of Durham College of Medicine, Newcastle 46 

Cunningham's New Tombstone 48 

Robin of Redesdale 63, 64 

S^bam Hall, Durham 65 

Brinkbum Priory 72 

Views of Lancbester 73 

Jesmond Chapel 78 

All Hallows' Church, Newcastle 79 

Pilerim Street, Newcastle 80 

Pilgrim Street Gate 81 

Hylton Castle (West Front) 88 

Hylton Castle (East Front/ 89 

Thomas Knight Hospital, Blyth 95 

Winlaton, Durham 97 

WinlatonMill 101 

Middlesbrough in 1832 104 

Blenkinsopp Castle 105 

Royal Arcade, Newcastle, in 1888 112 

Catholic Chapel, Carliol Square, Newcastle, in 1833. .. 113 

Hulne Priory 120 

Chibbum 121 

Mumps' HaU 125 

Alnwick 128 

Vale of Whittingham 129 

ChiUingham 129 

Ford Castle 130 

The Cheviots 130 

Denton Chare, Newcastle 136 

Back Row, Newcastle 137 

Soeneof the Town Moor Explosion, 1867 145 

Shotley Spa, 1837 150 

Watton Abbey 152 

Wallsend Old Church 153 

The Sandhill and the Guildhall, Newcastle 160 

View of the Sandhill 161 

Statue of James II 162 

Wine Pant 164 

Stocks and Whipping Post at Stockton 164 

Dilston Castle 168 

Amelia, Countess of Derwentwater 169 

Dwelling of Peggy Potts at Sunderland 177 

Naval lUndezvous, Sunderland 178 

Crow's Nest on the Pinnacle of the Exchange 180 

MarskeHall 184 

Friarside Chapel 185 

Byron's Marriage Signature 186 

Gretna Hall 200 

Simon Lang'a House, Springfield, Gretna Green 201 

The Countess of Derwentwater's Camp at Dilston ... 208 

The Countess and Her Henchman 209 

Sijprnature of the Countess 211 

Gilnockie Tower 216 

Johnny Armstrong's Farewell (H. H. Emmerson's 
Picture) 217 



The Sand Gate, Newcastle Sl 

The Swirle. Newcastle 224 

Sandgatd. Newcastle 225 

A Bit of Old Newcastle 232 

Elswick Haughs 233 

St. Bede's, Jarrow 248 

Austin Friars, Newcastle 249 

St. Bede's Chain Jarrow 250 

Pandon Gate, Newcastle 255 

.Carpenter's Tower, Newcastle 256 

'Akenside Hill or Butcher Bank, Newcastle, 1880 257 

Wreck of the Forfarshire 264 

Grace Darling's Tomb, Bamborough 265 

St. Cuthbert's Chapel, Inner Fame 268 

Surtees's House, Sandhill, 1887 272 

Fireplace: Aubone Surtees's House 273 

Old Bishopwearmouth from the Gill, 1800 280 

Coldstream 281 

View of Wooler 289 

Entrance to Gosforth 296 

Three Mile Bridge, Gosforth 297 

Gateway, Gosforth Park 298 

Map of the Great North Road 299 

Chester-le-Street (Two Sketches) 304 

Church of Chester-le Street 305 

Effigies of the Lumleys, Chester-le-Street 305 

Antoeraph of John Bell 308 

The Cascades, Jesmond Dene, Newcastle 312 

Benton Bridge, Jesmond Dene, Newcastle 313 

Old Tower, Armstrong Park, Newcastle 314 

Rustic Bridge, Armstrong Park 315 

The Starling 319 

Lamberton ToU-Bar 320 

Holy Jesus Hospital, Manors, Newcastle 321 

Entrance Gate, Newcastle Gaol 323 

Newcastle Gaol, 1826 324 

The Turf Hotel, Newcastle 328, 329 

Crow Trees, Barras Bridge, Newcastle 335 

Prophet Wroe's Birthplace, Boiling, Bradford 337 

Old Theatre Royal, Mosley Street, Newcastle 344 

The Wellington Chimney Breast, Sund erland 350 

Paul Jones's Plan of theTyne 352 

Grainger's Plan for the Improvement of Newcastle . . . 353 
George Stephenson's Birthplace, Wylam-on-Tyne ... 359 

Intenor of otephenson's Birthplace 360 

Dial House. Killingworth 361 

Stephenson 8 Autog^ph 362 

The Thrush, Blackbird, Fieldfare, and Redwing... 366, 367 

Dicky Chilton's House, Bishopwearmouth 369 

Newbum-on-T3me 376 

S epical Peel Tower 377 
etherington Memorial, Sunderland 382 

Linnels BridKe... 385 

Inscription on Linnels Bridge 387 

Edlingham Castle 393 

PensherHill Monument 400 

Featherstone Castle 401 

Old Tower, Long Horsley 405 

Westmoreland rlace, Newcastle 408 

Entrance to the Grammar School, Newcastle, 1843 ... 409 

Pallas'sSand Grouse 413 

Jack Crawford Memorial 415 

The Battle of Camperdowu 416 

Birthplace of Jack Crawford, Sunderland 416 

Siurrender of Admiral de Winter to Lord Duncan 417 

Jack Crawford's Tombstone 417 



IV. 



PORTRAITS. 



Page 

Scold's Bridle and Drunkard'g Cloak 435 

View of Pillory made in Newcastle in 1812 434 

A Ducking Stool 435 

Belsay Castle, Northumberland 440 

Swarland House, Northumberland 441 

Walton Hall, Yorkshire 449 

The Old Vicarage, Newcastle 452 

Westgate Street, Newcastle 433 

The Assembly Rooms, Newcastle 456 

The West Gate, Newcastle 457 

Stanhope Castl& Durham 464 

Howick Hall, Northumberland 465 

Gibside Column, Durhi^i 467 

The Crossbill 460 

Stella Hall, Blaydon-on-Tyne 472 

Castle Eden Hall, Durham 473 

Presbyterian Church, Jesmond, Newcastle 479 

Bronze Vessel (Thomgraf ton Find) 482 

Parish Church, Berwick-on-Tweed 488 

Cromwell's Cottage, Stella-on-Tyne 489 

TheRingOuzel 493 

Fighting Cocks Yard, Bigg Market, Newcastle, 1846. 494 

Old Inns, Bigg Market, Newcastle, 1843 495 

Bigg Market, Newcastle, 1820 496 

The Old Flesh Market, Newcastle, 1820 497 

The Orphan House, Newcastle 504, 505 

Bamborough Castle, Northumberland 512 



Baby Castle, County Durham 513 

St Mary's Church, Stidndrop 515 

Entrance to Raby rark 515 

Staindrop 515 

Honister Crag, Cumberland 520 

Crummock Water. Cumberland 521 

Fleming Memorial Hospital, Newcastle 525 

Children's Hospital, Gateshead 526 

St. George's Church, Jesmond, Newcastle 527 

Coins (Thomgrafton Find) 529, 530, 531, 532 

Naworth Castle, Cumberland 536, 537 

Belted Will's Tower, Naworth 538 

Lanercost Priory 538 

Autograph of John Blakiston 541 

North Berwick Abbey 544 

The Lady's Walk, North Berwick 544 

Dirleton Castle, North Berwick 545 

The Bass Rock, North Berwick 545 

The Great Fire in Newcastle and Gateshead 552 

Chillingham Castle Gardens 563 

Plan of Flodden 560 

Twizell Bridge 561 

Stonechat 568 

Whinchat aud Wbeatear 569 

College of Science, Newcastle 575 

High School for Girls, Gateshead 576 



^ttvivfiiii. 



George Cooper Abbes (Frontispiece) Page 

Thomas Bewick 13 

William Emerson 32 

John Dorrian 44 

William Lackey Harle 49 

John Forster 53 

Charles Attwood 57 

George Clayton Atkioson 91 

S. B. Coxon 93 

Thomas Attbey 107 

Henry RusseU 131 

Dr. R. G. Gammage 139 

John Bell (Iron Master) 140 

John Gallon 140 

Dr. O'Callaghan 141 

J. L. Wharton, M.P 143 

Colonel Duncan, M.P 144 

John MawBon 147 

Thomas Bryson 148 

James Clephan 172 

PeKgy Potts 176 

John Storey 189 

Alfred Russel Wallace 189 

Dr. R. W. Felkin 190 

Harry Furniss 190 

Emperor William of Germany , 192 

Thomas Wentworth Beaumont, M.P 194 

Rowland Biirdon 202 

Thomas Elliott Harrison 227 

Sir Cuthbert Sharp 230 

Robert Gilchrist 234 

George Wombwell and Mrs. Wombwell 243 

Benedict Bisoop 246 

Mark Akenside 257 

Thomas Belt 262 

Grace Darling and William Darling 264 

Charles Mcintosh (Old Soldier) 274 

John Leyden, M.D 276 

Dr. White 278 

Joseph Lillie Thornton 282 

Sir Henry Havelock 292 

Thomas Sanderson 302 

Matthew Bell 306 

John Bell (Bookseller and Antiquary) 308 



Page 

ThomasBell 310 

Emperor Frederick of G^many 336 

Prophet Wroe 340 

Stephen Kemble 345 

Benjamin Bennet ." 355 

John Bewick 357 

Bishop Bewick 357 

Greorge Stephenson 364 

Robert Stephenson 365 

Dicky Chilton 368 

Thomas Hetherington 382 

F. H. O'DonneU 384 

C. S. Lindsay 384 

Robert Surtees 388 

Five Amateur Pitmen— John Reay, Grant, George 

Cooper Abbes, F. H. Johnson, J. G. Grant 392 

Jack Crawford 414 

Charles William Bigge 420 

Thomas Binney 421 

Sir Henry Taylor 423 

Wull Strength, the Last of the Stuarts 424 

G. Ourrjr, Schoolmaster 425 

Theophilus Wood Running 428 

Mungo Park 437 

Alexander Davison , 441 

Sir Walter Blackett, Bart. 446 

Charles Waterton 448 

VicarSmith 453 

Joseph Hamilton 463 

Jacky Robinson, Whickham 475 

Dr. Luke Armstrong 477 

Thomas Doubleday 485 

John F. B. Blackett 500 

Alderman John Black well 500 

Blind Willie 516 

Lord William Howard (Belted Will) 533 

Lady Elizabeth Dacre 534 

Joseph Ritson 546 

Benjamin R. Haydon 568 

Princess Louise 574 

The Marquis of Lome 574 

Professor Gamett 575 

W. D. Stephens 575 









tCbe /Ifcontbli^ Cbronicle 



OF 



NORTH-COUNTRY»LORE'AND«LEGEND 



Vol, IL— No. 11. 



JANUARY, 1888. 



Prick 6d. 



^tavst €aaptv lihhti. 




IJCXr a leaf nor even a chapter, but rather, so 
to speak, a volume, and almost an encjrclo- 
peedia, of living unwritten local history, was 
lost on the morning of the 28th of March, 
1878, when the Rev. George Cooper Abbes passed peace- 
fully away from this world, at Cleadon Hall, half-way 
between Sunderland and South Shields, in his eightieth 
year. It is told of Robert Surtees, the historian of Dur- 
ham, that he said on his death-bed it was hard to die in 
spring ; and certainly Mr. Abbes, but for his patient and 
perfect resignation, might well have had the same natural 



feeling, with the noisy rooks busy building above his head, 
and the primroses bursting forth in bloom at the foot of the 
trees surrounding his sheltered mansion, by far the best 
old house in the neighbourhood. A truer lover of nature, 
in all her phases, never existed than this excellent old 
worthy, who was well-known all the country round, not 
only for his amiable eccentricities, but for his inexhaustible 
store of knowledge in every department of natural history, 
his rare stock of anecdote and folk-lore, his readiness to 
communicate what he knew, and his general kindness 
and urbanity. 




MONTHLY CHRONICLE. 



{ 



Jamuiy 



G«orgo Cooper Abbei (who always ipelt his name this 
way) was the eldest son of Mr. Bryan Abbs, and grandson 
of the Rev. Cooper Abbs, of Monkwearmoath, whom 
Hotchinson, in his "History of Durham,'* inserts in the 
list of curates of that parish, but who^ says Surtees, had 
no other daim to that distinction than the circumstance 
of his gratuitously, and almost constantly, performing the 
duty, both regular and occasional, for the Rev. Mr. 
Wilkinson, who held the living, but was a perpetual 
absentee. The original family residence was the old 
*'RAd House," in Thomas Street, Monkw«annouth, 
not far from the Wheat Sheaf Inn. This house, which 
seems now going to wreck, was formerly the residence of 
some of the Hyltons, and the grandfather of the subject 
of our memoir, or perhaps rather his great-grandfather, 
is said to have been an intimate friend of the last of the 
Hyltons of that ilk, commonly called Baron Hylton. Mr. 
Abbes's father, Bryan Abbs, went to live at Cleadon 
Hall in 1813. The estate had been purchased from an 
Italian gentleman named Dagnia, who had built the 
mansion-house and laid out the gardens and grounds. 
Previous to removing thither, Mr. Abbs lived as tenant 
in more than one place in the County Palatine, and it was 
while he was temporarily occupying Walworth CasUe^ 
near Darlington, that his eldest son, George Cooper, first 
saw the light of day in the year 1798. 

George Cooper's education began at a boarding-school 
for young boys, kept at the parsonage at Ovingham- 
on-Tyne by the vicar, the Rev. James Birkett. Here 
he was about a mile from Cherrybum, the birth- 
place of Thomas Bewick, with whom he afterwards 
became intimately acquainted. From Ovingham he 
went to the famous boarding school at Witton-le-Wear, 
under the Rev. George Newby, which, like the Grammar 
School at Houghton-le-Spring, ranked among the best and 
largest boarding schools in the North of England, the 
head-master and his five assistants having generally under 
their care from eighty to ninety pupils, the '* hopefuls " 
of the lower gentry and upper middle-class of the county. 
Here he had, amongst others, for school-fellows, the lata 
Mr. Ralph Park Philipson, of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and 
Mr. Frederick Horn, barrister-at-law, of Sunderland. 
From Witton-le-Wear, Mr. Abbes proceeded and pro- 
gressed to the still more famous classical school at Rich- 
mond, then kept by the Rev. James Tate, A.M., who^ 
during the thirty-seven years he was master there, sent 
forth many of the most distinguished men of his day. 
On leaving Richmond, Mr. Abbes entered St. John's 
College, Cambridge, in which ha took his Bachelor^ 
degree in 1821. 

Having resolved to enter the Church, he was ordained 
deacon in 1823^ the examiner, we believe, having been 
the afterwards well-known Dr. Philpotts, then Rector of 
Stanhope, who tackled him stoutly on the subject of 
baptismal regeneration and other polemical problems. 
Mr. Abbes was shortly afterwards ordained priest 



by the then Bishop of Durham, Dr. Shuta Bar- 
rington. His first coxmqy was at Dalton-le-Dale, 
under the Rev. William SmouU Temple, A.M., of Dur- 
ham, a son of the Simon Tampla, from whom Temple- 
town, South Shields, took its name, and who lived in 
great style for some time at Hylton .Castle. He became 
curate of Gateshead, in 1825^ under the Rev. John Collin- 
son, afterwards rector of Boldon, and father of Admiral 
CoUinson, the Arctic explorer. Here he lodged in West 
Street, a few doors above the house occupied by Thomas 
Bewick and his daughters. Mr. Abbes was at Gates- 
head during the first visitation of the cholera, and dis- 
tinguished himself throughout the awful affliction by great 
activity, seal, and fearlessness. He did nothing by halves, 
and, havingahigh idea of the importance of his functions, 
laboured, in season and out of season, to bring consola- 
tion to the bere a ved as well as to the dying. The exten- 
sive parish of Gateshead was then undivided, and, seeing 
Blr. Abbes was the only curate^ his parochial labours, 
irrespective of the cholera^ were by no means light. A 
succeeding rector, who kept three curates, once expressed 
his surprise to Mr. Abbes that Mr. Collinson got 
through the work with only a single one. " Sir," said 
Mr. Abbes, "you are mistaken; Mr. Collinson was 
another curate himself 1" Mr. Abbes is stated in a clergy 
list to have been curate of Whitburn in 1836, but this 
is believed to be a mistake. Living in the parish close by, 
he often " took duty," as it is termed, lac Mr. Baker, 
who had married the daughter of Mr. CollinsoiL He did 
the same thing occasionally for the Rev. Richard Wallis 
(" Guinea Dick ") at Seaham, and, during an illness, for 
the Rev. Benjamin Kennioott at Monkwearmouth. Blr. 
Abbes always preached plain practical good sense, and 
had a great aversion to ever preaching unprepared. 
Another thing which he could not abide was read- 
ing the prayers and lessons for the day in the 
style of an auctioneer's derk reciting the articles 
of sale. He always read deliberately, distinctly, and 
reverently, taking the utmost possible pains to make the 
service impressive. He was the private chaplain of the 
Earl of Beverley when heir-presumptive to the princely 
dukedom of Northumberland. He never had a bene- 
fice^ though he had in his gift a small living, with 
a net income of £49 per aimum, at a place called 
Ingleby Amecliff, between Stokesley and Thirsk, in the 
North Riding of Yorkshire. It was a perpetual curaoy, 
and Mr. Abbes, who had a small estate there, was the 
(Mktron and lay impropriator, but seldom, we beheve, paid 
it a visit. 

The truth was that hardly any preferment would have 
tempted him to leave Cleadon, which was within a 
walking distance (often walked) from both Dalton-le-Dale 
and Gateshead. Newcastle was another attraction, as it 
always is to those who have lived in or near it, or have 
mixed much with its people. Few men were better 
known at the library of the Lit and PhiL in Westgata 




^^«w ^ 






GEORGE COOPER ABBES. 



Sc€ '* Monthly ChronicU;' 1888, page 4. 



From a Sketch by W, B. ScoTT. 



J«nii%i7 



} 



NORTH'COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND. 



Street, where he was sure of meeting literary friends. 
He was, as might be taken for granted, no mean cla srical 
scholar; bat no ode of Horace ever pleased him 
half so much as some of our racy local songs, amongst 
which "SwalweU Hopping," "Gappy," and "Spottee" 
were special favourites. All Mr. Abbes's friends and 
acquaintances were more or less scientiBc, or artistic, or 
literary. He was on intimate terms with Thomas Bewick, 
of whom he was a great admirer, as was likewise his 
3roanger brother, Mr. Cooper Abbe, derk to the Sunder- 
land magistrates, who was a keen dog fancier, and quali* 
fied to give the great artist hints as to dog portraiture, if, 
indeed, he had needed them. Mr. Abbes was also a great 
friend of Dr. Charlton, Dr. Bruce, Dr. Headlam, Dr. 
Brady, Mr. John Hancock, Mr. Joshua Alder, Mr. 
T. M. Richardson, Mr. William Bell Scott, Mr. Robert 
Whiter Mr. James Clephan— in fact, all ihe Newcastle 
and Tyneside notabilities. He was a competent geolo- 
gist, and predicted the failure of an attempt made 
some thirty years ago to drain Boldon Flats by 
sinking down to a fissure in the limestone. He had a 
perfect repertory of plant lore, and could tell the 
virtues of every herb that grew in the neighbourhood. 

The grounds in front of the Hall he had suffered to 
return almost to a state of nature, like those of Squire 
Waterton, the celebrated Yorkshire naturalist, the 
captor of the live cayman, with whom we believe he 
was well acquainted. It was, therefore, a favourite 
resort and breeding-place for the birds, including 
many rare species, such as the golden oriole, the 
siskin, and others not elsewhere seen or heard in the 
neighbourhood. They found an asylmn there, such as was 
to be had nowhere else perhaps in the county. In 
fine weather Mr. Abbes would take his breakfast out 
of doors, with quite a company of feathered friends 
round him; and in winter time he regularly fed the 
birds, like Uncle Toby's disciples, so that some of 
those which would otherwise have migrated southward 
in the cold weather remained with him the whole 
year. Most of them were, indeed, about as tame 
as chidcens. When a hawk was hovering in the air, they 
would flee to him for protection, and remain close beside 
him till the danger was passed. He knew all their haunts 
and habits, and could discourse lucidly about them. In 
the lower part of the grounds, surrounded and over- 
hung by a dense thicket, there was a large pond abound- 
ing with water lilies, in which at one time there was 
A number of water hens ; but some idle fellows from the 
neighbour^ig colliery robbed him of these. A like shame- 
ful trespass was committed by some of the navvies em- 
ployed on the construction of the Tyne Piers. One time, 
a bird found its way through a broken pane (of which, by 
the by, there was generally a good number in the upper 
rooms), and built its nest on the mantel-piece. He would 
on no account allow it to be interfered with. As for the 
swallows^ their nests were innumerable, and they came 



back to them regularly year after year, so that many 
generations of the hirundine race were nurtured 
under his guardianship. Mr. Abbes made a point of 
never missing the meeting of the Tynwide Naturalists' 
Field Club^ when held at Marsden, which was always 
one of his favourite resorts, and where in the last two 
or three years he met with congenial society, not only 
from Newcastle, but from Shields, Sunderland, and 
further afield. 

When visited at home, he was generally to be seen 
walking about his grounds with a rake in his hand, 
to dear away whatever was out of place, or with a 
long pole instead of a staff, which he used for various 
purposes best known to himsdf. He would point out 
with some natural pride two larch trees, which he said 
had been brought from Italy by Mr. Dagnia, and were 
the first that were planted in this part of the country. 
Entering the house, you found it quite a museum, with 
curiosities of all kinds quite indescribable; and the 
floors of some of the rooms upstairs were literally car- 
peted with heaps of papers and pamphlets, which, if cd- 
lected and bound in volumes, would have been invaluable 
to the local historian, but which, we understand, were^ 
after Mr. Abbes's deat^ put into sacks and sent to 
the paper milL One of the rooms was fitted up with 
furniture brought from Hylton Castle, a reminiscence 
' of the old barons, Mr. Abbes used to tell that the 
two "Babbies," as they were styled, which now 
adorn Roker Park, were brought over by his 
ancestors, with ten more, from Germany, and set up 
to adorn the entrance of their house in Monkwearmouth. 
Mr, Abbes's knowledge of men and things was wonderfuL 
On scarcely any subject could he be said to be absdutdy 
devoid of information. Besides, he loved to talk, and 
no man could talk better or be better worth hearing. 
When discussing geolocpcal subjects, he always con- 
trived to steer dear of Moses. Once when asked by a 
pert young gentleman if he did not think the six days of 
creation must have been very much longer than our days, 
he replied : — " Well, sir, you have the story ad I have it. 
I wasn't there when the world was made, and neither my 
father nor my grandfather was. You can consult the 
good old book for yourself." He had no patience with 
pretentious humbug, but was very tderant of modest 
mediocrity. An earnest inquirer could scarcely go 
wrong to him ; but he took no interest in theological 
hair-splitting, and avoided all points of controversy 
through his natural good manners. 

Many stories are told of what may perhaps be called 
the eccentric ways of Mr. Abbes. Thus it is said that he 
was so much absorbed in study at times that he even 
forgot the day of the week. One Sunday morning, 
according to popular report, he inquired in Bridge 
Street, Sunderland, why the shops were dosed I 
One of Mr. Abbes's weaknesses was an insurmout- 
able dislike to have his portrait taken, and when Sir 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE. 



{ 



Jftoauy 



Walter Calverlej Treveljan asked him to sit for a 
painting now at Wallington— one of a series of historical 
pieces by Mr. W. B. Scott— he only consented on the 
understanding that the artist should not make a portrait, 
but only a general resemblance. , Mr. Soott, however, 
made an exact and admirable likeness of him, in the 
charactM* of " St. Cuthbert refusing the Bishoprio of Lin- 
disfame." It is from a charming sketch of this portrait, 
kindly furnished us by the artist himself, that our en- 
graving is taken. 

Cleadon Hall, in Mr. Abbes*s time, had all the appear- 
ance of a haunted house. So completely were the trees 
and shrubs allowed to have their own way that the front 
door was almost blocked up. Mr. Abbes once told a 
friend that some of the trees had spoiled his peaches. 
"But,** said he, *'one can always buy peaches; not so 
with trees." Mr. H. C. Abbs, the present proprietor, 
nephew of the genial old naturalist, has of course much 
reduced the redundancy of nature. The hall at present 
(as may be seen from the accompanying sketch, for which 
we are greatly indebted to Mr. Robert Blair) has a plea- 
sant and picturesque aspect. 

|£RMS of life, visible and invisible to the 
naked eye, wander through space. They 
float in the atmosphere of our planet, drift 
in its tides, and 611 its stagnant pools. 
Percolating water bears along with it these b^nnings of 
animated life ; and there is no recess of the earth beyond 
their reach. Not your dull toad alone finds himself, on 
the threshold of his career, inhabiting strange quarter^ 
dark and deep ; no crevice or cranny of the globe but has 
its occupants of various kinds ; although to him alone, by 
popular belief, is it especially assigned to be the tenant 
for centuries of solid blocks of stone. All other creatures 
have their term. They begin and cease to be, their brief 
lives bounded by a mortal span. But he, privileged 
beyond the rest, may live for ages without food or fuel, 
an alien from the outer air ! ** Rooted and slumbering 
through a dream of life," cycles of time are his, only 
ending in his fatal discovery. In his living tomb, dark 
and profound, he is safe. But ever and anon the toad — 
the "toad in a hole" — comes to the surface in the 
newspapers, like the floating island of Derwentwater, and 
is paragraphed and perishes. Some may have the hardi- 
hood to deny that he was ever immured in the heart of 
the rock from which he is said to have been set free, but 
these are a minority. It is vain to contend with the 
majority ; vain to argue that if accessible to the air he 
must breathe and die, for that life is but the beginning of 
death ; while, on the other hand, it is impossible for him 
to exist in suspended animation for centuries, and return 
to active life when the walls of his dungeon are rent 
asunder The advocates of the *' toad in a hole " will 




point to the cavity here, the crawler there, and trium- 
phantly ask you to get over these two facts if you can. 
He offers you a nut to crack, and defies you to the teeth, 
confident that your grinders will never meet over the 
problem. "For an elucidation of the history of toads 
buried for ages, as conjectured, in stones, or in the heart 
of giant trees," (we quote the NatioruU Cydopctdia,) ** see 
Dr. Buckland in Zoologieal Journal, voL v. His experi- 
ments prove that under utter deprivation of air and 
food the toad soon perishes." Yet despite this proof, 
some new edition of the old story is ever having its 
currency and credence. The toad continues to be dis- 
lodged from his hole, and transferred to paper and print, 
as the years roll on ; and so long as the world is in love 
with wonders, he and his orifice in the rook will have 
their day. We have had the curiosity to make a note 
of his appearances for a considerable course of time ; 
and here at our elbow we have both toad and frog, 
who are close cousins, embedded in sandstone and 
marble; in coal and chalk; in the stones of andent 
buildings; in trees, and tar, and potatoes! The 
schoolboy, exhibiting his knowledge of natural history, 
rattles out the rhyme : — 

In fir tar is, in oak none is ; 
In mud eels is, in clay none is. 

But your toad is in eversrthing. He is ubiquitous. Every- 
where he is turning up. The only question it* as to his 
turning out. He makes his appearance on a hundred un- 
expected occasions ; but was he the living inhabitant of 
every hole in tree or stone which claims to have har- 
boured him for untold generations ? That venerable an- 
tiquary, Abraham de la Pryme, whose Diary forms 
one of the volumes of the Surtees Society, carries us 
back to a Sunday in 1697 (May 23), when he was at 
Brigg, and met "a very ingenious countiyman," who 
told him that "a while ago he himself saw a huge ash 
tree cut in two, in the very heart of which was a toad, 
which dy'd as soon as it got out. There was no place for 
it to get in. All was as firm about it as could be. I have 
heard," adds the Yorkshire diarist, "of a great many 
toads that have been found so likewise." And others 
have been hearing the same, from the dasrs of the Stadt- 
holder to own. That the " ingenious countryman" saw 
the prisoner in his tomb may very well have been ; and 
the bystanders may have fancied the poor toad to have 
died in the moment of his liberation ; but it is not in the 
course of nature that he should have lived till the sawyer 
came to set him free ; and the naturab'st may be left to 
more than doubt. Taking possession of the hole in his 
youth, the toad grew bigger while his doorway dimin- 
ished ; and he was gradually grown in. 

The " toad in a hole " belongs, like the Sea Serpent, to 
the romance of nature. There is no knowing where or 
when his house will open. No magician has more strange 
or unexpected surprises than the toad. He springs up in 
the most unlooked-for places. As the conjuror amazes 



-^■ssr} 



NORTH-COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND, 



his audience by disoovering some borrowed coin or trinket 
endoaed in box within box, the hermit toad has been 
found in hole within hole. When enterprise was on foot 
among the magnesian cliffs of the coast of the County 
Palatine, and cutting operations were in progress in 
*'Spottee's Hole," renowned in northern song, "a small 
round hole was reached, and out hopped a fine lively toad, 
looking as though he had lived on the fat of the land, 
instead of occupying a barren inheritance in the middle of 
a limestone rock." There had the hermit dwelt, 
Far in a wild, unknown to public view, 
joint tenant with "Spottee," the one all unconscious of 
the near presence of the other ; the occupier of the smaller 
tenement much quieter, moreover, than the restless hero 
of the Bishopric Garland I 

In this age of steam, when railways are made in all 
directions, and villages transformed into towns, the toad 
has less secure possession of his retreats than in former 
times. The "navvy," drawing long furrows on the face 
of mother earth — " delving his parallels " with pick and 
spade — displaces a multitude of living things, the se- 
cluded toad suffering his full share of this summary evic- 
tion. The quarryman bores into the massive walls and 
floors of the sphere on which we are whirling round the 
sun, and prepares his shot. The charge is fired ; the rock 
flies in pieces ; and the scored toad scampers from the 
wreck, if we may use a verb so active to express his 
hastened crawL The instant inference is drawn that the 
genius of gunpowder has freed the fugitive from his 
ancient abode in the shattered mass ; his hole discover- 
able, with a little ingenuity, among the frsgments lying 
all round about. 

The toad is not a very lively-looking animal, yet how 
great the activity which he gives to the imagination I 
Where'er he takes his walks abroad, thoughts of his 
'* hole " pursue him ; and it is apt to be supposed that he 
has escaped from "central gloom." On a spring mom- 
ing in a year long gone, he was met on the Town Moor, 
with a rumour at his heels that he had just been exhumed 
from solid clay. Fortunately, a careful inquirer was 
at hand, and he was traced back to a very different haunt. 
He had been discovered by some workmen in a drain 
about a dozen years old, " very large, and apparently in 
first-rate condition, so that," as a Newcastle journal 
observed at the time, " it evidently bad been within the 
influence of the elements of life." 

Yes ; toad or trencherman, " the elements of life" must 
reach the table, or there will soon be an end of the one 
or the other. Yet the world was excited, some twenty 
years ago, by the story of a toad that had spent fifty or 
sixty centuries buried in a rock ! " The means whereby 
we live " were wanting, and still his life had been pro- 
longed. "A toad 6,000 years old ! " was the newspaper 
heading of the amazing chronicle. The animal had been 
" embedded in a block of magnesian limestone stratum, at 
a depth of twenty-five feet from the surface of the earth." 



Cut out of its ancient bed by a wedge, the mass was being 
reduced in size by a workman, " when a pick split open 
the cavity in which the toad had been incarcerated." 
" Full of vivacity" was this Rip Van Winkle of the rock, 
and, "appeared, when first discovered, desirous to per- 
form the process of respiration, but evidently experienced 
some difiSculty, and the only sign of success consisted of a 
' barking ' noise, which it continued invariably to make 
on being touched." 

The discovery having been made in April, the wags did 
not fail to circulate the joke that the toad had come to 
light when the month was young. Never was any mem- 
ber of its race the subject of greater attention. It was 
paragraphed in all directions ; it was photographed ; it 
was lodged in an aquarium at the Hartlepool Musetmi, 
and the observed of all observers. Three monthf long 
it had a succession of visitors, till at the dose of the 
month of June it died, not without suspidon of foul 
play, on the day of a railway trip from Newcastle. It 
then became the subject of verse in the NeweatUe DaUp 
Chronicle, The first toad, perchance, that had ever been 
photographed, it was probably the first also to have its 
epitaph written. Within three days of its death there 
appeared an 

EPITAPH ON "the TOAD." 

Here lies a toad which lived and growed 

Deep in a Permian bed. 
All in the dark, before the ark 

Was floating overhead. 

A workman hie the rock ; it split ; 

And from his ancient niffht 
The hermit toad now crawled abroad. 

And saw at last the light. 

This lonely soul had kept his hole 

Six thousand years, tney say ; 
Or more or less ; they cannot guess 

His lifetime to a day. 

But sure this toad must wdl have knowed 

The times before the Flood ; 
So old the stone around him grown. 

Where he'd ne'er air nor food. 

Lon^ ages used to be refused 

Meat, drink, and candlelight. 
How well he could have stoutly stood * 

A stubborn jury fight ! 

Kept in the dark, without a spark 

Of li^ht, or air one breath. 
His livmg tomb had nought of gloom. 

Nor fear of life or death. 

But when his ni^ht gave place to light. 

And an aquanum cool 
He for his hot old quarters got, 

At briny Hartlepool ; 

And poor old toad, who'd never knowed 

What "company" was before, 
Must lionize before all eyes, 

He found this world a bore. 

Three months of sight, and air, and light 

Destroyed the vital spark 
Of him who'd borne, without one mom. 

Six thousand years of dark. 

Farewell, poor toad ! thy weary load 

Of sun and moon shine o'er. 
Nought harms thee now : the hammer's blow 

Shall break thy sleep no more. 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE. 



f Jftauftrr 



Don't nxdely moTO old friends yon love, 

If you'd prolong their days : 
Hiimani, like toeds, can't stand inroads 

Upon their lifelong ways. 

The popular mind places no limits to the existence of 
toads in the bosom of the earth. The Deluge is not older 
than the " oldest inhabitants " of the rocks. Before the 
largest island of the seas was discovered by civilized man, 
there were numbers of them immured in its subterranean 
chambers; and since it received its name of Australia 
toads have come to light under circumstances which seem 
to countenance the common belief. One of our paragraphs 
tells us of frogs that have been found in the gold diggings. 
In the '* Golden Horn" claim of Geelong, two hundred 
feet down, they were met with in blue stone ; but not 
one of them could rival the frog discovered in the country 
which "whips creation." There, some years ago, the 
toad stories of the Old World were decisively trumped ; 
for not only was " a frog knocked out of an envelope of 
stone, where he had been quietly inumed for hundreds of 
years," but *' an ancient Aztec coin was knocked out of 
the frog!" There was a likeness and legend on the 
piece, and it would have been interesting and instructive 
if they could have been identiBed ; but, unhappily, no 
one could say whose image it wiis, or what the inscrip- 
tion ! 

Prior to this marvellons American coinage, forming a 
fact at once for the naturalist and numismatist, there had 
occurred a remarkable surprise on the shores of the Tyne. 
In a cask which had been six months in bond was dis- 
covered a large toad immersed in Archangel tar ; and " it 
was supposed that it had existed as found for nine 
months." So addicted is this animal to make its way 
into strange, out-of-the-way places I No hollow would be 
left in the barrel by this hapless member of the intrusive 
family, to mark the spot of its long sojourn. Others of 
its kind, ^hose story immures them in marble or other 
monumental material, have abiding beds— nests in the 
rook— to which appeal can be made in maintenance of the 
fact. Such, for example, is the case of the Northumbrian 
toad commemorated in county history. The tale is told 
by Wallis and Hutchinson. It is quoted in Gough's 
Oamden (1789) : — *' In one of the ground rooms of Chil- 
lingham Castle is a marble chimneypiece, in sawing 
which was found a live toad. The nidus in which he lay 
has been since plastered over. The other part, with the 
same mark, makes a chimneypiece at Horton." Hutch- 
inson, moralising on the marvel, exdaims, " How incom- 
prehensible is the existence of this animal 1— shut up in 
the bosom of a mountain, cased in a rock of marble, per- 
haps a hundred feet from the surface ; living without aii, 
or such only as should pervade the veins of this stone ; 
existing without other diet than the dews which might 
pass through the texture of marble ; deprived of animal 
consolations, without light, without liberty, without an 
associate of its kind. If deposited here when the matter 



which enclosed it was soft, and before it gained its con- 
sistency as marble, how many years ought we to number 
in its life ; for multitudes of years must have passed to 
reduce any soft substance^ in a course of nature, to the 
state of this stone ? One may ask, why did it not perish 
in the universal wreck of animal existence? and at what 
age of the world were these mountains of marble first 
formed ? The inquiry leads to a maze of perplexity ; like 
the ingenious Mr. Brydon's inspection of the strata of 
Etnsean lava, all adopted chronology sinks in the view ; 
and years are extended on the age of creation beyond 
everything but Chinese calculation." 

Nothing is too wonderful to be told of the toad. It has 
even been affirmed of him, after his discovery in some 
hole, that he had no mouth I But, breathing through his 
coat when he chooses — skin and lungs acting in har- 
monious concert— he can afford to keep his mouth dose 
shut. Let no unwary fly, however, come too near. The 
threshold of a spider's parlour is a less perilous spot. 
The lips swiftly part ; the victim is whisked within them ; 
and the sly toad seems to have no mouth as before. 

One more story about him and we have done. We have 
seen in what singular places he is to be found. Weird and 
" uncanny" in his aspect, his attitude is characteristically 
described in Milton's well-known line. 

Squat like a toad, dose at the ear of Eve. 
People are ready to receive any story that is told of him, 
and wide acceptance has been given to the strange sop- 
position that he can live for ages hermetically sealed in 
the rocky framework of the hills t Gravdy was related in 
a court of law, in the last century, a tale of a toad which 
revives our youthful recollections of the '* Arabian 
Nights." It has the sparkle of our old friend of the 
Wonderful Lamp. Surely Aladdin discovered not in his 
cave anything more dazzling than *'the toad in the hole" 
in Building Hill ! In Garbutt's History of Sunderland 
the author adverts to the trial that took place in the last 
century, in the course of which one of the witnesses, a 
woman, having stated that her father went to the hill at 
night, and saw a *' Waugh," proceeded to say that when 
a man of the name of Coward was "digging this rock 
about ninety years before, he found in a cavity, several 
fathoms from the surface, a large toad alive, with a nob in 
its head as big as an egg, full of diamonds, and thereby 
got a great deal of money I " This discovery carries us 
back to the preceding century, beyond the day when the 
Yorkshire antiquary was making his note of the " inge- 
nious countryman" and the "huge ash tree," and recalls 
the belief that existed in the world in Shaknpeare's time— 
an article of popular faith immortalised by his alchemy 
in lines of gold : — 

Sweet are the uses of adversity. 

Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous, 

Wears yet a predous jewel in its head. 

Not a solitary gem, however, but a whole duster, shone in 
the forehead of the toad whose prison-house was broken 



Jumaj 



} 



NORTH'COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND, 




open by the Fortmuitiu of Boilding HiU ! The rommnoe 
fitly doiee our artide. It f ormi a brilliant chapter in the 
hiatory of "The Toad in a Hde"— « history which well 
ezemplifies the nimblenea of the hnman mind in jumping 
from solid facts to oondnsions which they will not carry, 
and which must necessarily gi^e way. 

Jamsb Olbphan. 



Jbir 0tts t!te Jbeeiier# 

|LL who have travelled by land or sea, road 
or rail, between Newcastle and Berwick 
are likdy to have seen Dunstanborough 
CasUe. It stands on a conical eminence, 
dose to the sea, about six and a half miles north-east of 
AlnwidE. It must have been a noble structure once, but 
nothing now remains of it above ground except the out- 
works on the west and south sides, which, with the stupen- 
dous sea-cliffs on the verge of whidi it is built, enclose a 
square area of about nine acres. When behdd from the 
sea, it is a very striking object, and it is not less interest- 
ing when dosely examined. The whinstone rocks on the 
north side rise in a columnar form, " black and horrible," 
many feet sheer ; and on the east side, where the castle 
wall has been undermined and carried away by the sea, 
they are still more rugged. The waves make fierce 
assaults in stormy weather against the foot of the cliffs, 
particularly in one place called the Bumbling Chum, a 
perpendicular gulley or chasm in the rocks, sixty feet 
long and forty feet deep, which has a very awful appear- 
ance when viewed from the walls of the eastern tower, 
which is still standing. 

Dunstanborough was probably a British stronghold, 
and afterwards a Roman castdlum. The Angles and 
Danes doubtless occupied it when they hdd Northumber- 
land, and it seems to have had its name from them. But 
it is not mentioned in history till the early part of the 
fourteenth century (a.d. 1315), when it was rebuilt by 
Thomas Earl of Lancaster, general of the Confederate 
Army against Edward 11., and the most opulent and 
powerful subject in Europe in his time. In his family it 
remained, with one short break after his death, till the 
year 1492, when Edward IV., fighting against Queen 
Margaret and her Lancastrian adherents, took it by 
storm after three days' assault, dismantled it, and as 
much as possible battered it into ruins, in which state 
it has ever since continued. It appears by the escheats 
of Queen Elizabeth to have been in the po ss e ss ion of the 
Crown in her reign. James I. granted it to the Greys of 
Wark, but it is now the property of the Earl of Tanker- 
ville. 

Tradition has not failed to people Dunstanborough 
with beings shadowy and terrific Lewis, whose mis- 
directed genius produced the "Monk," and who^ by the 
publication of his "Tales of Wonder," first brought the 



high talents of Sir Walter Scott into notice, has versified 
one of these legends in his tale of "Sir Guy the Seeker," 
which he wrote while staying at Howick, the Seat of Earl 
Grey, in the near neighbourhood. Mr. James Service, of 
Chatton, published in 1820 a poem on the same subject, 
called "The Wandering Knight of Dunstanborough." 
A third version, which has not, however, been printed, 
so far as we know, was written by Robert Owen, formerly 
of North Shidds. And, fourthly, in the " Metrical Le- 
gends" there is a poem by William Gill Thompson, called 
"The Coral Wreath, or the Spell-Bound Knight," in 
which the author has freed the fair captive of Dunstan- 
borough, still left enchanted in the other ballads. Lewis's 
version— of which, we must confess, we do not think very 
much, though it i» perhaps the best of the four— has been 
often reprinted, and has also been translated into the 
German, Danish, and other languages. 

Plainly tdd, the legend is this :— A beautiful captive 
dame lies enchanted in a crystal tomb, in a vast subter- 
ranean halL It is somewhere under the castle ruins, but 
no one can tdl exactly where. She is bound by the spell 
of the potent wizard Merlin, and can be disenchanted 
only by some valiant Christian knight, whose task it shall 
be to penetrate into that dreadful place— to brave the 
supernatural beings he will encounter there, such as fiery 
serpents, dragons, ban-dogs, lions, phantoms, and incar- 
nate fiends— and to cut the worse than gordian knot of 
the poor lady's destiny by means of the Damascus blade, 
with its handle crusted over with rare jewels, and the 
horn of ivory, silver-mounted, which he will find hanging 
n the hall, and of which he must make very good use. 

Sir Guy, who had shed Paynim blood on the vine-clad 
hiUs of Andalusia in the wars against the Moors, was 
travelling in these parts one winter night, when he vras 
overtaken by a dreadful storm in the neighbourhood of 
Dunstanborough. Hurrying towards the castle, which 
loomed through the darkness in ruined pageantry on its 
lofty sea-girt mound, he made his courser fly up the hill, 
hoping to find some shdter. But he sought it long in 
vain. Each portal vras fast barred, and proof against his 
efforts. At length, however, he descried a porch, close 
beside a lonely yew tree which threw its baleful branches 
around the place. Binding his Barbary steed to the 
trunk of this tree, he took refuge under the doorway, laid 
aside his casque, shook the rain from its plume, and 
waited in mournful mood for two mortal hours, expecting 
the tempest to cease. When lo ! at the midnight hour, 
which spirits call their own, the door was suddenly burst 
open by a thunderbolt, revealing the innermost recesses 
of the mysterious vault, which he was invited to enter by 
a grizzly-bearded old giant enveloped in flames. "With 
beckoning hand, which flamed like a brand," this hellish 
apparition led the way, and Sir Guy followed, as in 
honour bound. Ever close in front and on all sides there 
were sights and sounds unearthly or terrific ; but nothing 
could daunt the brave adventurer. He pushed on till he 



8 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE. 



(Jmaauf 



reached the place where the enchanted lady lay, in a lofty 
crystal tomb^ between two giant skeleton kings, one of 
whom held a falchion in his right hand, and the other 
held a horn in his. 

A form more fair than that prisoner's ne'er 

Since the days of Eve was known ; 
Every glance that flew from her eyes of blue 

Was worth an Emperor's throne ; 
And one sweet kiss from her roseate lips 

Would have melted a heart of stone. 

Pity, love, and rage almost robbed Sir Guy of his rea- 
son. There was no way of bursting that crystal wall but 
breaking the enchanter's spell, and no way of breaking 
that but using the sword and trumpet aright It was left 
to his own option which to use first, and unfortunately, as 
in all such cases, he decided wrong. He seized the trum- 
pet and blew a loud note, when suddenly the lights were 
extinguished. The cries of defiance he had heard before 
were changed to those of derision, and voices came from 
all sides of the vault, mocking the craven who called for 
aid when his own right hand should have achieved the 
adventure. A blue and dank vapour, *' whose poisonous 
breath seemed the kiss of death," diffused through the 
air. The knight sank senseless; and when morning 
dawned, and Sir Guy awoke, he found himself lying in 
the porch, with his limbs stiff as with rheumatism, and 
his horse still tethered to the yew tree. 

But still in his heart he felt the dart 
Which shot from the captive's eyes, 

and with his mental eye he still saw the huge chests of 
gold and silver, which, together with the lady's hand, 
would have been his guerdon had he freed her from Mer- 
lin's spelL So he sprang from the ground, and began to 
run hither and thither among the ruins, peeping into 



each nook and cranny with an anxious eye. But though 
he wandered about hour after hour, day after day, ^eek 
after week, month after month, and year after year, never 
again could he find the winding stair up which he climbed 
to see the enchanted lady. For to no one is it given to 
have a second chance of winning that lady's hand and the 
wealth that will go along with it. 

Far from being overcome with his ill success, however, 
or abandoning his vain pursuit in despair. Sir Guy con- 
tinued, as long as he lived, to wander up and down the 
ruined castle. 

The earliest ray of dawning day 

Beheld his search begun ; 
The evening star mounted her car, 

Nor yet his search was done. 

And when he died and was buried in the nearest church- 
yard, his ghost still continued to walk the earth. 

So still he seeks, and aye he seeks, 

And seeks, and seeks in vain ; 
And still he repeats to all he meets, 

"Could I find the sword again ! " 
Which words he fc^ows with a groan, 

As if his heart would break ; 
And oh ! that flrroan has so strange a tone, 

It makes all hearers quake. 
The villagers round know well its sound. 

And when they hear it poured, 
" Hark, hark ! " they cry, *' the seeker Guy 

Groans for the wizard's sword ! " 

There is not an old crone in the parish of Embleton that 
has ever heard tell of the lady being disenchanted, as 
William Gill Thompson fancifully represents her to have 
been. So that, if she was ever there at all, she is most 
likely there stilL No boy about Dunstanborough likes to 
go near the castle after nightfall, for he might happen to 
see Guy. **He never meddles wi' onnybody," he will 
say, '* but aa wad rather not hev his company." 




DUNSTANBOROUGH CASTLK. 



Jaouary 



} 



NORTH'COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND. 



9 




lOCKLE PARK TOWER stands about three 
or four miles north from Morpeth, on the 
right hand side of the great North Road. 
It was formerly a mansion or manor-house 
of the Bertrams, barons of Mitford, who held it in the 
time of Edward L as a dependency of the barony of 
Bothal, in which parish it is situated. It was built ac- 
cording to the fashion of most of the ancient capital 
dwellings in the county of Northumberland, that is, with 
a reduit or permanent fort, to which the tenants on the 
estate might retire for safety, and under which they 
might drive their flocks and herds upon a sudden inva- 
sion of Scots or mosstroopers. 

Grose, in his account of the place, says:— "These 
robbers (the mosstroopers) lurked about the large unculti- 
vated heaths between the two countries, and indififerently 
made incursions into either ; taking shelter in England 
when they had plundered the Scots, and flying into Scot- 
land with their booty taken from the English ; by which 
means they carried on their depredations with impunity ; 



the mutual animosity of the two nations not suffering to 
see it was their common interest to destroy such aban- 
doned miscreants. The usual object was cattle ; not bat 
that they sometimes carried off men, women, and children, 
from whom they often exacted considerable sums for 
ransom. On account of the first, that is, the frequent 
incursions of the Scots, persons inhabitin«r within twelve 
miles of Scotland were, by Act of Parliament, permitted 
to keep in their houses cross-bows, hand-guns, hacbuts, 
and demi-hakes; and against the second, divers laws 
were enacted in the reign of James I., when an Act 
passed for the abolishing of Hostilities between the Eng- 
lish and the Scots, both being then subjects of the same 
king. Notwithstanding these, the mosstroopers, taking 
advantage of the confusion previous to the Civil War, 
again gr6w formidable, insomuch that in the 14th of 
Charles L an Act of Parliament was passed purposely 
for their suppression, wherein they are described as lewd, 
disorderly, and lawless persons, being thieves and 
robbers, bred and residing in the counties of Northumber- 
land and Cumberland, taking advantage of large waste 
grounds, heaths, and mosses. By another Act, which 
was to remain in force for five years, from Michaelmas, 




COCKLE PARK TOWER, NORTHUMBERLANa 



10 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE. 



IJmuwrr 



1662, the jostioeB of these two counties were aathorised to 
leTy Sams of money within their respectiye jurisdiotions^ 
that raised in Northumberland not to exceed £500 per 
annum, nor in Cumberland £200— with which money 
they were to hire thirty able men for Northumberland 
and twelve for Cumberland, who were to search for and 
apprehend these robbers, and bring them to justice. To 
guard against these and other IncursionB, persons were 
stationed on high towers or other eminences, who, by 
Uowing a horn, alarmed the country, and gave notice of 
the coming enemy. By this service, called oomage, they 
held certain lands; as it seems, occasionally received 
pecuniary stipends ; a tax or imposition for oomage being 
formerly payable out of many estates in this or other 
bordering counties.** 

Standing on an eminence— the Cock Law— the building 
seen in our sketch was eminently fitted to serve the 
purpose of a watch tower. In Speed's map, it is 
called Cockley Tower, and is surrounded by a park. 
It has now rather a naked appearance, having no 
plantations round it ; but it has long been useful as a 
sea mark. Our view shows the north and east fronts. 
The outside dimensions of the east front are about 78 
feet, of the north 54. The oldest part of the structure 
is the tower, which projects about 9 feet from the other 
apartments, and has round corbelled turrets at the 
north-east and north-west comers; the corbels are also 
continued between the tun^ts, where they have 
supported a machicolated parapet, used for pouring 
boiling lead, pitch, hot water, &c., upon the assailants. 
The south-east comer of the tower contains a 
circular stone staircase, bearing the anns of Ogle 
quartering Bertram, with the usual crest and supporters 
of the Lords Ogle, which show that no part of the present 
building is older than 1461, in which year Sir Robert 
Ogle was advanced to the dignity of the peerage. 

" William of Cookperce " was one of the Border English 
knights appointed in 1241 to sit with twelve Scottish 
knights, to make laws for the regulation of the marches 
between the two kingdoms ; and the Lawson copy of the 
aid granted to Henry IIL to knight his eldest son 
makes "Cockeloke** one of the manors of the Bothal 
barony. But the catalogue of fortresses in Northumber- 
land made in the begrini^iiifir o^ ^^^ reign of Henry 
YL notices no tower or fortalice as existing here 
at that time. "On my visit here in 1810," says Mr. 
Hodgson, "I was told that Mr. Brown, agent to 
the Duke of Portland, and brother to the celebrated 
Capability Brown, had heard an account that the 
southern part of the building bad, some five hundred 
years ago, been destroyed by fire. Such an event 
may have occurred, but tradition is a great amplifier 
of time. Traces of arches of windows are certainly 
observable above the entrance, where some considerable 
repairs or enlargement of the building have been made. I 
was also at the same time assured by the farmer of the 



place, who resided in the tower, and was an intelligent 
and observant person, that the building had formerly 
extended further to the south, as strong underground 
foundations still testify ; but a stone which he showed 
OS, bearing the arms of Ogle quartering Bertram, 
proved that the building in which it had been placed 
could not be older than the time of the marriage of 
Sir Robert de Ogle and Helen Bertram, the heireas 
of Bothal, about the year 1360, though it might be much 
more recent. The windows (one above another for three 
stories on the east side), as given by Grose, were square- 
headed, and divided into four lights with mullions, and 
having transoms of stone, in the same way that the 
mullions of six lights, now walled up, are on the 
west front. They are of the style of the sixteenth cen- 
tnxy, in the forty-third year of which Sir Robert Ogle, 
Lord Ogle, among ocher possessions, by will settled 
Cockell Park and Tower upon his wife Jeyne, with 
remainder after her death to her son Cuthbert for life. 
Prior to that time they had been in the occupancy of the 
Lady Anne Ogle, mother of this Sir Roberti who was 
slain at the battle of Ancrum Moor a few days after 
making his wilL" The present windows of the south and 
east sides were put in about the year 1780. A projection 
on the west side of the tower, which had small windows 
in it, fell in 1828, when the opening thus occasioned was 
filled up in a line with the rest of the wall; and the 
mantel-piece of one of the two curious old chimneys 
formerly in the tower, and cleverly decorated with 
dentils and mouldings, was inserted high up in the gap^ 
on the outside, by way of curiosity and ornament. 

Regular occupancy as a farm-house has preserved this 
edifice from the fate that has befallen many of its kind — 
that is, from falling to ruin. For, being no longer needed 
for defence, these Border towers, so characteristic of the 
rude and troublous times in which they were raised, are 
now mere picturesque objects in a peaceful landscape, 
where their existence only serves to bring the past in 
striking contrast with the present, and to heighten 
the gratitude of the dwellers in the Border lands for 
the peace and security they now enjoy. '*In such 
houses,** said Lord Monboddo to Dr. Johnson, when 
they were standing before his wild-looking tower in 
Scotland, "our ancesters lived, and tmly were better 
men than we.** '* No,** said the doctor, ** we are as strong 
as they, and a great deal wiser.** 

The manor passed, as we have intimated, from the 
Bertrams to the Ogles . in the reign of Edward III., 
when Robert Bertram, Governor of Newcastle and 
Sheriff of Northiunberland, died without male issue, 
and his daughter and heiress, Helen, married Sir 
Robert Ogle, and transferred her barony of Bothal 
and its dependencies to her husband's family. His son, 
also Robert, afterwards settled it upon his younger 
son John, whom he sumamed Bertram, being desirous 
that his estate should go in that name, and his 



JftDomry 



} 



NORTH-COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND. 



11 



posterity eojoyed it till his male isroe failed in 
Cathbert, Lord Ogle, wherenpon Catherine, his daughter 
and heiress, who had married Sir Charles Cavendish, 
Knight, brought it into the possession of the family of 
the Earl of Oxford, through the marriage of the Lady 
Margaret CaTendish, daughter and heiress of [Henry 
Cavendish, who was the son and heir of William, first 
Duke of Newcastle, to Edward Harley, Earl of Oxford, 
founder of the Harleian Library, who died in 1741, 
when the baronial honours and estates, including 
Cocklaw Park, deyolved on the Portland family, by 
the marriage of the only daughter and heiress of this 
pair to William, third Duke of Portland. 



Sri)e (Sockle $ark STragebg. 

Cockle Park was the scene of a dreadful parricide 
in 1845. On the 9th of December in that year, a man 
named Robert Joicey, sixty-seven years of age, died 
suddenly in one of the cottages attached to the farm ; 
and, in consequence of suspicious circumstances, his son 
Ralph, who lived with him, was soon after apprehended 
and charged with his murder. 

The deceased, who had been a shepherd on the neigh- 
bouring farm of Tritlington, occupied by Mr. Davidson, 
removed from that place in the month of May preceding, 
together with his wife Isabella, his son, who had got a 
situation as hind at Cockle Park, and a young woman 
named Eupbemia Johnson, who was engaged to serve as 
bondager. Eupbemia stayed only a short time, and then 
Ann Richardson came and stayed till Martinmas. The, 
old man's daughter Margaret came home in August, so 
that after that there were five of a family. They all 
lived in one room, and, putting feminine delicacy out of 
the question, they seem to have been a quarrelsome lot. 
There was likewise a good deal of illness in^the house. 
Old Joicey, who had now no regular employment, was ill 
in the summer with pains in the arms and prickling in 
his fingers; and his wife also was often unwell. Li 
October, they were both attended by Dr. Arthur Hedley, 
of Eelton, who at sundry times supplied them with 
medicine, that had been left till it could be forwarded at 
a public-house called the Portland Arms, on the road 
between Morpeth and Felton, and about two miles from 
Cockle Park. On one occasion, about the latter end of 
November, the old shepherd went to see the doctor at his 
own house, and brought home a box of pills and some 
powders, which he took. The pills were a compound ot 
aloes, jalap, rhubarb^ ginger, soap, Epsom salts, and 
carbonate of magnesia; the powders were common 
effervescing powders. 

On the afternoon of Monday, the 1st of December, a 
neighbour named Isabella Brown, wife of Thomas Brown, 
labourer, brought in a light parcel about the size of an 
ounce of tea, and it was found to contain, when opened, 
two unequally sized powders, the larger one of a slate 



colour, the smaller of a snuff colour. She said she had 
got it from a lad named John Mitchinson, to whom it 
had been handed by the people at the public-house. 
These people stated that it had been left there by a man 
in a fustian coat, with a plaid wrapped round him, whom 
they did not know in the dark, as he walked briskly 
away, but who had told them it was for old Joicey from 
Dr. Hedley. 

Thinking all was right, Joicey mixed the larger 
powder with gin, drank it off, and went to bed. This 
was about nine o'clock. His wife followed him a few 
minutes after, and found him apparently fast asleep. 
She fell asleep likewise. But about half-past ten 
o'clock, she was awakened by her husband making, as 
she afterwards expressed it, *'a great work." He was, 
in fact, groaning and writhing in pain. On asking him 
what was the matter, he said he was sick, and in- 
stantly began to vomit. He vomited a good deal, and 
continued doing so till about four in the morning, 
when the paroxysm abated for a while. The second 
powder— the snuff-coloured one— was not taken, as the 
other had made him so ill. Joicey told his wife she 
might bum it if she had a mind, so she put it into the 
fire. 

On the Tuesday morning, the old man still continu- 
ing dreadfully sick and ill, Mrs. Jdcey desired her son 
Ralph, who was going in company with another hind 
to Newton-on-the-Moor, to call on Dr. Hedley as he 
went through Felton, and tell him what had happened. 
Ralph promised to do so, and when he came back in 
the afternoon he brought a dozen powders, one of which 
was to be taken every four hours. 

On the Sunday night, the old man being in great 
agony. Dr. Hedley was sent for express (Ralph being the 
messenger) by Mr. Dickinson, the Duke of Portland's 
bailiff, who had heard from Walter Weallans, the farm 
steward, how ill the patient was. Dr. Hedley came 
about midnight, and at once went to see Joicey in com- 
pany with Weallans and Dickinson. The patient told 
him that he had never been well since he had taken 
one of the powders that had come from the Portland 
Arms. Dr. Hedley was much astonished at this, for he 
had never sent any powders. He thought at the time 
that the old man was suffering from metallic or irritant 
poison; but how he had taken it, or by whom it had 
been administered, he had, of course, no idea. 

A paper was slipped into his hand, however, by some 
one in the house, and he handed it to Mr. Dickinson 
to keep, as he was a constable. Another was brought 
to the bailiff next day by a lad named John Thompson, 
who had found it in the pocket of an old overcoat 
belonging to young Joicey that was hanging up in the 
stable. These papers turned out to be in the younflr 
man's handwriting. One of them read as follows :— 

Ralph Joicey is the man that did the deed, and 
bought the Arsenic on Creton (Creighton) the Chemist, 



12 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE. 



{•"fgg' 



and there was jallop in amongst it ; there was no one 
auquent (acquainted) with it but my self. It was bought 
about two months since for the purpus. and there is sum 
hng (lying) in abus between Casey rark road eud and the 
turn of the hellem bank, on the west side of the road in a 
buss near the helm turn in a bleu paper. 

Next day, Monday, old Joicey grew worse. Remedies 
had no effect, and he died about eleven o'clock at night. 
Ralph was present at the time, and seemed very much 
affected. 

The father and son, it was notorious, had long been on 
bad terms. Ralph had on several occasions been heard to 
say that his father was an out-of-the-way man; that he 
wished to God he was gone from the place a corpse; that 
he should not shed a tear. A great noise of voices was 
often heard in the cottage. Sometimes it was the old 
couple that had a row. At other times old Joicey and 
his daughter fought During the month of October, Dr. 
Hedley, called in to attend Mrs. Joicey, asked her if she 
had taken anything to make her unweU. Then Ralph 
spoke up, and said the cause of her illness was bad treat- 
ment she had suffered from her husband. The daughter 
said the same thing. The old man repelled the charge; 
but the wife shook her fist and said he was not speaking 
the truth. 

On Saturday, the 13th December, five days after old 
Joicey*s death, Mr. Weallans was sent for to the 
cottage. Ralph and his sister Margaret were there. 
Ralph told him he had sent for him to confess. 
** Confess what?" said Mr. Weallans. *'I did the 
deed!" was the reply. **What deed?" asked the 
other. *'I poisoned my father," was the rejoinder. 
Ralph went on to say there was no other person 
guilty but himself. Asked what was his motive, he 
replied that he was so much irritated by the old 
man almost pushing him into the fire one night 
that he made up his mind to go to Morpeth and 
purchase some stuff to settle him. Having got some 
arsenic and jalap at the shop of a chemist in Morpeth 
named Creighton, he went straight through the fields 
to the Portland Arms Inn, and gave it to a young 
woman there to be sent at the first opportunity to 
Cockle Park, after which he came home by Tritling- 
ton. He also told Weallans there was part of the 
stuff in a thorn bush on the west side of the road, 
near the Helm-on-the-HiU turn. Weallans having told 
him he would be under the necessity of telling Mr. 
Dickinson, who was a constable, what he had just 
confessed to him, Ralph said he would leave the place, 
but he would like to take his clothes with him. 

No means having been taken to stop the self-con- 
demned murderer, he absconded that night, and made 
his way to Newcastle. There he was apprehended at 
three o'clock next morning, in his brother's house in 
Hutton's Court, Pilgrim Street On the road to Mor- 
peth gaol, the prisoner recapitulated what he had told 
Mr. Weallans, adding that he got no peace, for he 



thought he saw his father wherever he was. The con- 
stable searched his prisoner, and found a couple of razori 
in a case, £3 13s. 6d. in money, and a paper on which 
was written *' To Carlisle— to Liverpool— and then to 
New York." 

On February 26, 1846, Ralph Joicey was tried and 
convicted before Mr. Justice Coleridge. The facts we 
have summarised and thrown into narrative form came 
out in evidence, as did many more particulars not 
material to the case. We may mention, however, 
that just about a week after old Joicey died, Thomas 
Brown, another of the hinds at Cockle Park, having 
been to Newton for lime, made a search on his way 
back on the west side of the turnpike road, near the 
Helm-on-the-HiU turn, and there, in a thorn bush at 
the dyke side, he found a parcel containing some 
powder, as indicated in the scrap of writing quoted 
above. The powder was handed to an analytical chemist, 
by whom it was pronounced to be a mixture of arsenic 
and jalap. The contents of the murdered man's stomach 
had also been analysed, and symptoms of arsenical 
poisoning detected. 

The sentence of death having been duly pronounced 
upon him, Ralph Joicey was executed at Morpeth on 
the 18th of March, 1846. 

|HOMAS BEWICK was bom on the 10th, 
11th, or 12th of August, 1753, at Cherry- 
bum, in the county of Northumberland, but 
on the south side of the Tyne, about twelve 
miles west of Newcastle. His father rented a small land- 
sale colliery at Mickley Bank, in the neighbourhood of 
his dwelling, and it is said that, when a boy, the future 
wood-engraver sometimes worked in the pit When 
little more than an infant, he was sent to Mickley 
school, not so much, he tells us in his " Autobiography," 
with a view to his education, as to keep him out of harm^ 
way. At a proper age he was sent as day scholar to a 
school kept by the Rev. Christopher Gregson, at Oving- 
ham, on the opposite side of the Tyne. The parsonage- 
house in which Mr. Gregson lived is pleasantly situated 
on the edge of a sloping bank immediately above the 
river; and many reminiscences of the place are to be 
found in Bewick's cuts. The gate at the entrance is in- 
troduced, with trifling variations, in three or four different 
subjects ; and a person acquainted with the neighbour- 
hood will easily recognise in his tailpieces several other 
local sketches of a similar kind. He was very fond of 
introducing his native cottage into his vignettes. That 
cottage, however, has been sadly transformed. William 
and Mary Howitt paid a visit to Cherrybum about 
thirty-five years ago^ accompanied by the artist's 
daughter. Miss Bewick, who died only the other 




Junrary 
1888. 



} 



NORTH-COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND. 



13 



year; and William, some years afterwards, contributed 
a long and interesting account of their pilgrimage to the 
weekly journal he then conducted. His account of 
Bewick's birth-place, as it then appeared, is as follows :— 

It is a single house, standing on the south side of the 
Tyiie, and at some distance from the river. A little 
rustic lane leads you up to it, and you find it occupying 
a rather elevated situation, commanding a pleasant 
view over the vale of the Tyne. The house is now 
a modest farmhouse, still occupied by Ralph 
Bewick, a nephew of the artist's; and, as Miss 
Bewick observed on approaching the dwelling, 
"May the descendants of the present possessor 
continue there in all timis to come ! " The 
house, in the state in which it was when Thomas 
Bewick passed his boyhood in it» was as humble 
a rural nest as any son of genius ever issued from. 
Twas a thatched cottage^ containing three apart 
ments and a dairy or milk-house on the ground 
floor, and a chamber above. The east end of this 
house was lately pulled down, and the rest is now 
converted into stables. The new house is a plea- 
sant and commodious one, and the inhabitants 
seem to possess all the simple virtues and hos- 
pitality of the Bewicks. They spread their country 
cakes before us, and were glad to talk of tibeir 
celebrated kinsman. They have a portrait of 
him in his youth hanging in their parlour. Below 
the house on the descending slope, lies the old 
garden, shrouded with trees, and a little stream 
running at its bottom. One felt sure that this 
was just the spot to attract the boyish fancy of 
Bewick, and^ mdeed, there we found a trace of 
his hand which marked his attachment to it, and 
no doubt the connection which it held in his 
memory with some of the pleasantest hours and 
sweetest affections of his youthful existence. It 
was the gravestone of his father and mother— one 
of those heavy, round-headed, and carved stones 
that you see so often in his designs. By some 
accident this stone had been broken, and his filial 
piety led him to erect a more modem and enlarged 
one to his parents, on the left hand of the path 
leading to the porch in the churchyard of Oving- 
ham, when, instead of suffering it to be destroyed, 
he had it brouj^ht and put down here. It had a 
singular look m the rustic garden, but it spoke 
strongly of the man. He could not suffer any 
thing to be destroyed that had been connected 
with the history of life and death in his own 
family circle. He was fond of recording the dates 
of family events on his vignettes ; and the curious 
observers, who have wondered what such a date, 
carved as it were on a rock or rude stone, meant, 
would find, if they could have the matter traced 
out, that it marked the passing of some domestic 
event of deep interest to him. Thus in the Fables, 
at page 162, this inscription in a vignette, " Died 
20 Feb. 1785,'* is the date of his mother's death; 
and at page 176, "Died 15 Nov. 1785, " is that of 
the decease of his father. It is equally interest- 
ing to know that the words at pa^e 152 of the 
same volume, " O God of infinite wisdom, justice, 
and mercy, I thank thee," were those with which, 
he told his family, he was accustomed to preface 
his petitions to the Great Disposer of events, and that 
they and the Lord's Praver comprised the substance 
of his prayersj and seemed to him more comprehensive 
than human wisdom could introduce into other language, 
however long and wordy. 

Mr. Howitt crossed the Tyne by the ferry at 
Eltringham, where Bewick used to cross it when he 
went to Mr. Gregson's school ; and as the visitors 
approached the village of Ovingham, Miss Bewick 
pointed out to them the scenes which had been intro- 
duced in her father's designs, and related anecdotes 



connected with the characters of his old acquaintances 
or others that had been made to figure in his 
works : — 

There was the old soldier who used to tell him of his 
wars, and so often of the battle of Minden. that he went 
by the name of "The Old Soldier of Minden." On one 
occasion of Bewick visiting Ovingham, the old man was 




Thomas Bewick. 



dead ; and as he approached the village he saw the broad 
hat and old veteran^s coat, that had so often covered the 
worn limbs of his old friend, then hoisted on a pole as a 
scarecrow, and thus they show in one of his tailpieces. 
There was the drunkard that made a vow never to enter 
a public-house again, but used to call at the door and 
dnnk as he sat on his horse. These, and the houses 
where others had lived, were pointed out to us. As we 
drew near the village, it was like looking at one of 
Bewick's own scenes. It stands beautifuUv on the steep 
bank of the Tyne. Gardens clothe the banks to the 
water's edge, and lofty trees add the richness of their 
shrouding foliage to the spot. In the river you see 
willow islands, and those snatches of shore scenery that 



14 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE. 






are so delightfol in his Natural Histoij. The sandpiper 
and kingfisher go by with their pecuhar cries ; and here 
and there a solitary angler sits as naturally on the sednr 
bank as if Bewick himself had fixed him there. The 
village is just such a place as vou wish and expect it- 
quiet^ old-fashioned, and retired, consisting prmcipally 
0$ the parsonage, # a few farm houses and labourers' 
cottages. The diurch is large for a village, and built in 
form of a cathedraL Wherever you turn, yott reconiise 
objects that have filled the imagination and employed the 
brain of Bewick. Those old, neavy. and leaninfl[ head- 
stones—it was certainly on them that the boys m rush 
caps and wooden sworas rode, acting dragoons. That 
gate of the parsonage you have seen before. The very 
churchyard is the one which is so beautifully and 
solemnly depicted in the silence of a moonlight night. 

Bewick's school acquirements did not extend far 
beyond English reading, writing, and arithmetic. He 
tells us that as soon as he reached fractions, dec im a ls , 
&C., he was put to learn Latin; and in this he was 
for some time complimented by his master for the great 
progress he had made; but, adds he, "As I never 
knew for what purpose I had to learn it, and was 
wearied out with getting off long tasks, I rather flagged 
in this department of my education, and the margins of 
my books and every space of spare and blank paper 
became filled with various devices or scenes I had met 
with; and these were accompanied with wretched 
rhymes explanatory of them. As soon as I filled all 
the blank spaces in my books^ I had recourse, at all 
spare times, to the gravestones and the floor of the 
church porch with a bit of chalk, to give vent to this 
propensity of mind of figuring whatever I had seen. 
At that time I had never heard of the word 'drawing,' 
nor did I know of any other paintings besides the king's 
arms in the bhnrbh, and the signs in Ovingham of the 
Black Bull, the White HorM^ the Salmon, and the 
Hounds and Hare. I always thought I could make a 
far better hunting scene than the latter; the others 
were beyond my hand. I remem b er once of my 
master overlooking me while I was very busy with my 
chalk in the porch, and of his putting me very greatly 
to the blush by 'ridiculing and calling me a conjuror. 
My father, also, found a deal of fault for 'misspending 
my time in such idle pursuits,' but my propensity for 
drawing was so rooted that nothing could deter me 
from persevering in it; and many of my evenings 
at home were spent in filling the flags of the floor 
and the hearth stone with my chalky designs. 
After I had long scorched my face in this way, , 
a friend, in compassion, furnished me with some 
paper upon which to execute my designs. Here I had 
more scope. Pen and ink, and the juice of the Ivamble- 
berry, made a grand change. These were succeeded 
by a camel-hair pencil and shells and colours ; and, thus 
supplied, I became completely set up ; but of patterns or 
drawings I had none. The beasts and birds which en- 
livened the beautiful scenery of woods and wilds sur- 
rounding my native hamlet, furnished me with an end- 
less supply of subjects. I now, in the estimation of my 



rustic neighbours, became an eminent painter, and the 
walls of their houses were ornamented with an abundance 
of very rude productions, at a very cheap rate. These 
chiefly consisted of particular hunting scenes, in which 
the portraits of the hunters, the horses, and of every dog 
in the pack, were^ in their opinion, as wdl as mp oion, 
faithfully delineated. But while I was proceeding in this 
way, I was at the same time deeply engaged in matters 
nearly allied to thi^ propensity for drawing ; for I early 
became acquainted, not only with the history and the 
character of the domestic animals, but also with those 
that roamed at large." 

Bewick goes on to relate his experiences in the fox- 
hunting field — ^his vermin-hunting excursions— his diver- 
sions during the winter months— his scraping acquaint- 
ance with all kinds of beasts and birds, wild and tame^ 
common and rare— his pleasant varied avocations each 
season of the yeai^-his imitations, in boyish zest, of the 
wild savages to be read of in "Bobinson Crusoe"— his 
breaking-in vicious and runaway horses — ^the severe 
floggings he got at school for drawing instead of de- 
clining and conjugating— his oard-playing in company, 
for which he was taken to task by a bigoted old woman, 
who called the cards the "devil's books"— his falling in 
love with Miss Betty Gregson, his master's daughter — 
his becoming a bee-fander and wasp^iestroyer— his 
walks about the neighbourhood, drinking in knowledge 
from the fountain-head. BSs account of the fell-side 
neighbours is extremely graphic, but too long to 
quote. Such capital pen and ink portraits as those he 
gives of Anthony Liddell, Thomas Forster, John Chap- 
man, John Newton (the Laird of the Neuk), John Cowie^ 
and Ben Garlic, are not to be met with every day in our 
literature. 

As Bewick's taste for drawing seemed to his father to 
be incurable, it was determined to place him as an 
apprentice with Mr. Ralph Beilby, an engraver living 
in Newcastle, to whom, on the 1st of October, 1767, he 
was bound for a term of seven years. His father said 
to him at partings" Now, Thomas, thou art going to 
lead a different life to what thou hast led here: thou 
art going from a constant fresh air and activity to 
the closeness of a town and a sedentary occupation; 
thou must be up in the morning and get a run." And 
Thomas followed faithfully, for it chimed exactly with 
his own bent, his father's injunction. Every morning, 
rain or shine, often without his hat, and his bushy head 
of black hair ruffling in the wind, he would be seen 
scampering up the street towards the country; and 
the opposite neighbours would cry, "There goes 
Beilby 's fond lad." These morning excursions he 
kept up during his life. 

Mr. Beilby was not a wood engraver ; and his business 
in the copper-plate line was of a kind which did not allow 
of much scope for the display of artistic talents. He en- 
graved copper-plates for books when any by chance were 



Jaauuj \ 
1W8. / 



NORTH-COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND. 



15 



offered to him; and he also executed brais plates for 
doors, with the names of the owners filled up^ after the 
manner of the old " niellos, " with blaok sealing-wax. 

Bewick's attention appears to have been first directed to 
wood-engraving in consequence of his master having been 
employed by Dr. Charles Hutton, then a schoolmaster in 
Newcastle^ to engrave on wood the diagrams for his 
** Treatise on Mensuration.** The printing of this work 
was commenced in 1768, and was oomideted in 1770. The 
engraving of the diagrams was committed to Bewick, who 
is said to have invented a graver with a fine groove at the 
point, which enabled hmi to cut the outlines by a single 
operation. Bewick, during his apprenticeship, paid nine- 
pence a week for his lodgmgs in Newcastle, and usually 
received a brown loaf every week from Cherrybum. 
On the expiration of his apprenticeship, he returned to 
his father's house at Cherrybum, but still continued to 
work for Mr. Beilby. About this time he seems to 
have formed the resolution of applying himself exdu- 
fdvelyin future to wood engraving; and with this view 
he appears to have executed several cuts as specimens 
of bis ability. In 1775 he received a premium from the 
Society for the Encouragement of Arts and Manufac- 
tures for a cut of the "Huntsman and the Old Hound,** 



which he probably engraved when living at Cherry- 
bum, after leaving Mr. Beilby. It was first printed in 
an edition of Gay's "Fables," published by T. Saint, 
Newcastle, 1779. 

In 1776, when on a visit to som6 of his relatives in 
Cumberland, he availed himself of the opportunity of 
visiting the Lakes ; and in after-life he used frequently 
to speak in terms of admiration of the beauty of the 
white-washed, slate-covered cottages on the banks of 
some of the lakes. His tour was made on foot, with a 
stick in his hand and a wallet on his back ; and it has 
been supposed that in a tailpiece (to be found at page 177 
of the first volume of his "British Birds," first edition, 
1797), he has introduced a sketch of himself in his travel- 
ling costume, drinking out of what he himself would have 
called the fi,ipc of his hat In the same year he went to 
London, where he arrived on the Ist of October. But, 
after a sojourn of a twelvemonth, be returned to 
Newcastle, and entered into partnership with his former 
master, Ralph Beilby. 

Bewick did not like London ; and he always advised 
his former pupils and North-Country friends to leave the 
"province covered with houses" as soon as they could, 
and return to the country, there to enjoy the beauties of 




BEWICK'S WORKSHOP, ST. NICHOLAS* CHURCHYARD, NEWCASTLE. 



16 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE. 



/January 
\ 1888L 



nature, fresh air, and content. In a letter to Christopher 
Gregson, he thus expresses his opinion of London life : — 
, " Ever since you paid your last visit to the North, I have 
often been thinking upon you, and wishing that you 
would lap op and leave the metropolis, to enjoy the 
fruits of your hard-earned industry on the banks of the 
Tyne> where you are so much respected, both on your own 
account and on that of those that are gone. Indeed, I 
wonder how you can think of turmoiling yourself to the 
end of the chapter, and let the opportunity slip of con- 
templating at your ease the beauties of nature, so bounti- 
fully spread out to enlighten, to captivate, and cheer the 
heart of man. For my part, I am still of the same mind 
that I was in when in London, and that is, I would 
rather be herding sheep on Mickley Bank Top than 
remain in London, although for doing so I was to be 
made the Premier of England." 

After his return from London to Newcastle, Bewick 
applied himself chiefly to engraving on wood, and he 
evidently improved in the art as his talents were exer- 
cised. Thus the cuts in his " Select Fables, " 1784, are 
much inferior to those in '* Gay's Fables'' in 1799. The 
animals are better drawn and engraved; the sketches 
of landscape in the background are more natural ; and 
the engraving of the foliaf^ of the trees and bushes is 
not onfrequently scarce inferior to that of his most 
mature productions. Such an attention to nature in 
this respect is not to be found in any woodcuts of an 
earlier date. In the best cuts of the time of Durer and 
Holbein, the foliage is generally neglected ; the artists 
of that period merely gave general forms of trees without 



ever attending to that which contributes so much to 
their beauty— the particulars of minute details and 
individual peculiarities. The merit of introducing this 
great improvement, and of depicting the birds and 
beasts in their natural forms and with characteristic 
expression, is undoubtedly due to Bewick. His illus- 
trations to the "History of Quadrupeds," and to the 
"History of British Birds, comprising the Land Birds,'* 
all exhibit an accuracy of obmsrvation, a brilliancy of 
conception, and a correctness of execution, which few 
subsequent masters of the art of wood engraving have 
reached, and none on the whole surpassed. As for the 
vignettes and tailpieces with which the volumes are 
profusely adorned, we scarcely expect ever to see any- 
thing equal to them from any other hand. "Many of 
these happy little embellishments," says an able critic, 
"are connected with the manners and habits of the 
animals near which they are placed; others, again, 
merely exhibit the fancies and dry humour of the 
artist, his particular notions of men and things par- 
taking both of the droll and pathetic, as, for instance, 
a ragged, half -starved sheep, picking at a besom; a 
troop of Savoyards, weary and footsore, tugging a poor 
bear to the next fair; a broken-down soldier, trudging 
with stem patience through the slant rain storm; a 
poor travelling woman, looking wistfully at a muti- 
lated mile stone ; a blind old beggar, whose faithful dog 
stops short with warning whine on the broken plank 
that should have crossed the swollen brook; youngsters 
flying their kites ; a disappointed sportsman, who, by 
shooting a magpie, has lost a woodcock; a horse vainly 




ciiEimrBitRii. 



'^ 



JaoauT 



NORTH-COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND. 



17 



endeavouring to reach the water ; a bull roaring near 
a Btile which he cannot surmount ; a poor mendicant 
attacked by a rich man's mastiff; and so forth,— all 
delineatory of scenes true to nature." 

Through perfecting this hitherto, comparatively speak- 
incr* neglected art, Bewick did more perhaps towards 
elevating the i)opular taste in this country for cheap 
illustrated literature than 
any other person. Before he 
gave a new life, vigour, and 
beauty to it, wood engraving 
was all but extinct, having 
ceased to be used for the 
embellishment of books, and 
being chiefly retained for 
the rude ornament of the 
most wretched songs, and 
the imprint of ships, the 
gallows, or a man running 
away with knob-stick and 
bundle, in newspapers. 
Bewick saw all that it was 
capable of, and introduced 
it into works of taste, the 
best known and most per- 
fect specimens of which are 
his own Natural Histories. 
The whole public were as- 
tonished and charmed with 
the effect. George III., who 
was, according to Peter Pin- 
dar, filled with amazement 
at the way that the apples 
could have got into the 
dumplinfr, was, if possible, 
still more amazed at the en- 
gravings of Bewick. When 
they told him they were 
done on wood, he declared 
that he would not believe it 
till he saw the blocks. 

Bewick's ** Autobiogra- 
phy " abounds with beauti- 
fully suggestive passages on 
almost every topic that con- 
cerns humanity ; for, like 
that oft-quoted cosmopoli- 
tan character in our old tor- 
mentor Terence, he con- 
sidered nothing human alien 
to him. It is a book that 
every young man ought to 
read ; it does equally hiffh- 
hononr to its author's head 
and heart Our readers, 
we think, after perusing 



the following passage, will be inclined to believe, with oi, 
that Bewick might have been a sweet poet had he not 
been a great engraver :— " In all the varied wajrs by 
which men of talent are befitted to enlighten, to charm, 
and to embellish society, as they advance through life— if 
they entertain the true feeling that every production 
they behold is created, not by chance, but by design — 




OVINGHAM CHURCH. 



18 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE. 



\ 188a 



they will find an increMing and endless pleasure in 
the exhaostless stores which nature has provided to 
attract the attention and promote the happiness of her 
votaries during the time of their sojourning here. The 
painter need not roam very far from his home, in any 
part of our beautiful isles, to meet with plenty d 
charming scenes from which to copy nature, either on an 
extended or a limited scale, and in which he may give 
full scope to his genius and to his pencil, either in 
animate or inanimate subjects. His search will be 
crowned with success in the romantic ravine, the placid 
holme, the hollow dell, or amongst the pendant foliage 
of the richly ornamented dene, or by the sides of bums 
which roar or dash along, or run murmuring from pool 
to pool through the pebbly beds ; all this bordered per- 
haps by a background of ivy-covered hollow oaks (thus 
clothed as if to hide their age), — of elms, willows, and 
birch, which seemed kindly to offer shelter to an under- 
growth of hazel, whins, broom, juniper, and heathers, 
with the wild rose, the woodbine, and the bramble, and 
beset with clumps of ferns and foxglove ; while the edges 
of the mossy braes are covered with a prof usion of wild 
flowers, * bom to blush unseen,' which peep out amongst 
the creeping groundlings— the bleaberry, the wild straw- 
berry, the harebell, and the violet. How often have I, in 
my angling excursions, loitered upon such sunny braes, 
lost in ecstacy, and wishing I could impart to others the 
pleasures I felt on such occasions ; but they must see 
them with their own eyes to feel as I felt." 

In the summer of 1828. Bewick revisited London, but 
he found it as little to his taste as evet. and soon came 
home again. He was then evidently in a declining state 
of health, and he had lost much of his former energy of 
mind. Nothing could be a greater proof of this than his 
declining to alight for the purpose of visiting the collec- 
tion of animals in the gardens of the Zoological Society, 
when his friend William Bulmer drove him, almost on 
purpose, to the Regent's Park. On his retum to New- 
castle, however, he appeared for a short time to enjoy his 
usual health and spirits. On the Saturday preceding hia 
death, he took the block of " The Old Horse waiting for 
Death" to the printers, and had it proved. On the fol- 
lowing Monday he became unwell, and after a few days' 
illness he ceased to exist. He died at his house on the 
Windmill Hills (now West Street), Gateshead, on the 
8th of November, 1828, aged seventy-five. 

The great engraver was buried at Ovingham. There 
he lies beside his wife, and bis brother John, who 
died before he had acquired the fame to which he 
would have arrived, but not before he had proved that 
he possessed much of the genius that had so widely 
spread the name of his surviving brother. A square 
plot of ground adjoining the west end of the church 
is enclosed with handsome iron palisades. The grave« 
of the deceased are covered with flat stones, and on the 
church wall above stand, side by side, these inscrip- 



tions : — " In memory of John Bewick, engraver, who 
died December S, 1795, aged 35 years. His ingenuity 
as an artist was excelled only by his conduct as a man." 
"The burial-place of Thomas Bewick, engraver, of 
Newcastle. Isabella, his wife, died Ist February, 1826. 
aged 72 years. Thomas Bewick died 8th of November, 
1828, aged 75 years." 

Our engraving of Ovingham Church is copied from a 
charming sketch by Birket Forster, which appeared some 
years ago in the Transactions of the Natural History 
Society of Newcastle. For permission to reproduce John 
Bewick's drawing of Cherrybum we are indebted to the 
courtesy of Messrs. Ward and Sons, Newcastle, the 
owners of the copyright of Thomas Bewick's Auto- 
biography. 



iHt^i^nxi Xht Itt^isItUiAijmam 



IJS |:imt.*eolonel 3. y. Campbell. 

n^BSniF the lives of those sooimdrels who in by- 
u KH n ^^^^ times were the terror of travellers, and 
llJ^Mr^ were facetiously termed "knights of the 
^^feo^Sl road," few strike one as so remarkable as 
that of William Nevison, whose real name is supposed to 
have been John Brace, or Bracy. More than one of the 
strange incidents in his career have been falsely associated 
with Richard Turpin by writers of fiction— that is to say, 
if we are to take the histories of the two men as given in 
the old book, "Lives of the Most Notorious Highway- 
men, Robbers, and Murderers," as at all approaching the 
truth. 

William Nevison was bom of well-to-do parents at 
Pomfret, in Yorkshire, in the year 1639, and kept at 
school till he was thirteen, at which early age his criminal 
career may be said to have commenced. He thus re- 
ceived the rudiments of a decent education, for he was a 
boy of considerable talent. But he appears to have been 
innately vicious, and to have from childhood exhibited 
the ruling passion which accompanied him through life ; 
his constant aim being to enrich himself at the expense of 
other people — not excepting his own father. 

William commenced his depredations by stealing one 
of his father's silver spoons ; but he was found out, and 
his parent, not liking to flog the boy himself, requested 
the schoolmaster to do sa Probably the punishment 
was tolerably severe. At any rate it kindled in the boy's 
mind a keen desire to be revenged on his elders, and he 
spent a sleepless night in brooding over his plan. The 
schoolmaster had a favourite pony, which was kept in a 
paddock, and William's scheme was to injure the poor 
teacher by taking away this pony. He therefore rose 
early in the morning, moved quietly into his father's 



Janoary i 
18((& J 



NORTH'COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND, 



19 



closet, stole his kejrs, and, having supplied himself with 
cash to the amount of £10, and a saddle and bridle, 
which he took from his father^s stable, he hastened to the 
paddock, saddled and bridled the pony, and then rode o£f 
at full speed towards London. History does not say 
what halts he made on the road, but, at all events, he 
reached the capital at last, after— for fear of detection — 
cutting the throat of the poor animal a mile or two short 
of his destination. This act was, perhaps, the most 
cruel of all he ever committed as a youth. In London he 
changed his name, and there succeeded in obtaining em- 
ployment with a brewer. Although compelled for a while 
to be industrious, in order to obtain the necessaries of life, 
William's mind was always on the stretch to invent some 
more expeditious mode of acquiring money than the 
simple one of waiting for his annual pay; accordingly, 
he often attempted to rob his master, albeit for a long 
time without success. One evening, however, the 
brewer's clerk was drunk and asleep in the office, when 
William, who had been watching him, found an oppor- 
tunity of robbing him of his keys, with which he opened 
the desks and helped himself to about £200. Then, 
without waiting to discover who would be blamed for the 
theft when the fact became known, he sailed for Holland. 
He was now, probably, verging into a young man, al- 
though the story of his life from which I extract the pre- 
sent account (given in the book I have mentioned) it 
generally silent as to dates. 

Change of climate had no effect in changing William's 
nature. Through his instigation, the daughter of a re- 
spectable citizen robbed her father of a large sum of 
money and a quantity of jewels, and eloped with the 
Englishman. They were, however, pursued, taken, and 
committed to prison ; and Nevison would certainly, then 
and there, have finished a short but villainous career had 
he not managed, somehow or other, to effect an escape. 
With no small difficulty he crossed into Flanders, and 
there enlisted into a regiment of English volunteers, 
under the command of the Duke of York. As a soldier 
he behaved himself well, and even acquired some money 
which might be called his own ; but his restless disposi- 
tion and craving for wealth did not permit him to remain 
long with the army. He deserted, went over to Eng- 
land, purchased a horse and other highway neecMsaries, 
and commenced his depredations in a systematic form. 
FTin success as a highwayman was uncommon ; every day 
he found means to replenish his coffers and to nourish his 
extravagance. Nor would he unite with any other rascal 
who — from selfish motives — might feel disposed to partici- 
pate in William's lucrative employment. 

One day Nevison (who also went by the name of John- 
son), while scouring about in search of a prize, met two 
countrymen, who informed him that it was very danger- 
ous for him to proceed on his way, for that the road was 
beset by highwaymen, three of whom had' plundered 
them, about half a mile off— takmg from them £40. 



*' Turn back with me," replied William, ** and, my life to 
a farthinflr, 111 make the rascals return you your money." 
This they consented to do^ and all three rode in company 
until they came in sight of one of the thieves. Then 
Nevison ordered the countrymen to halt where they were, 
while he rode up to the man. '*Sir," said he to him, 
" by your garb and the colour of your horse you should 
be a man I'm looking after ; and, if bo» my business is to 
tell you that you've borrowed forty pounds of two of my 
friends, which they desire me to demand of you, and 
which, before we part, you must restore." "How!" 
cried the robber, ** forty i)ounds ! Why, the fellow must 
be mad!" "So mad," replied Nevison, "that if you 
refuse you shall die." And he thereupon drew a pistol 
and clapped it to the rascal's breast. Seeing that Nevi- 
son had also hold of his horse's rein, and that he could 
not get at either sword or pistol of his own, the thief was 
obliged to yield, and own that his life was at Nevison's 
mercy. ** I don't want your life," replied Nevison, " but 
only the money you took from my friends." The thief was 
obliged to disgorge his share of the robbery ; the rest of the 
money, he said, was with his two companions, who were 
further down the road. Nevison made the fellow dis- 
mount, and, taking away his pistols, left him in charge of 
the countrymen, who by this time had come up, while he 
(Nevison), mounting the captive's horse and leaving his 
own with the men, galloped after the other scoundrels. 
He soon came up with them, for they, mistaking him at 
first for their companion, stopped as soon as they saw 
him approach. It was in the* middle of a common, and, 
possibly, after dark. Nevison quickly undeceived them 
respecting who he was, and told them that their 
comrade had sent him for the ransom of his life ; adding 
that, if they refused to stimip up, he meant to have a 
little dispute with them at sword and pistoL On hearing 
this, one of the robbers fired at Nevison, but, missing his 
aim. received Willam's bullet through the shoulder, 
which disabled him. Our highwayman was then on the 
I)oint of shooting the other ; but he called for quarter, and 
the affair ended in their both delivering up their money 
on Nevison's promising to send them their comrade. He 
took from them £150, rode back to the countrymen, and 
released their prisoner; telling them, while he restored 
to them their £40, to be more careful of it in future, and 
not to show themselves such cowards as they had been by 
surrendering a large sum on such easy terms. 

Lawless as he was, there appears to have been some 
good points in Nevison's character, which were wanting 
in most men of his profession— notably in Dick Turpin. 
He was always tender with the fair sex, and bountiful to 
the poor. He was a true loyalist, in so far as he would 
never levy a contribution from a royalist. 

Several remarkable highway robberies, committed by 
Nevison, are recorded in his history, and there were, 
doubtless, a host of others of lesser importance of which 
we have no account. One day (or, perhaps, rather one 



20 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE. 



/January 



night), he stopped the carriage of a rich Jewish money- 
lender, and compelled him to hand him over sixty pieces 
of gold. But, such a paltry sum not satisfying William* 
he frightened the Jew into drawing a bill upon sight for 
£500 on a lawyer, and then— leaving hi<i victim on the 
road— galloped off to London and got the bill cashed 
before any advice of the robbery reached the Jew's friend. 
Some time afterwards he robbed a rich grazier of £450 — 
a huge sum in those days; and then, apparently con- 
tented with the great success he had had, Mr. Nevison 
made up his mind to ''retire from business." Singular 
as it may appear, he actually carried out this resolution— 
at least for a time. He returned home, and was joyfully 
received by his father, who, it may be hoped, had not 
heard of all his son's exploits durint; the seven or eight 
years he had been absent from the parental roof; indeed, 
he had long been accounted dead. Nevison remained 
with his father until the old man's death, living soberly 
and honestly, as if no act of infamy had ever sullied his 
reputation. Upon the death of his father, however, he 
returned to his former courses, and in a short time his 
name was a terror to every traveller on the road. To 
such an extent did he carry his plans, that carriers and 
drovers willingly agreed to leave certain sums, at such 
places as he chose to appoint, to prevent their being 
stripped by him of all they possessed. 

It seems strange, when we consider how many gentle- 
men of courage, and well armed, were, up to the begin- 
ning of the present century, stopped by highwaymen, 
that so few of these scoundrels were paid off with lead 
instead of gold. But it is a fact that, as a rule, they 
ended their unusually short lives, not by the pistol, but 
by the rope. Still there have been exceptional cases 
where the robber has met his match, and the following is 
one. A certain nobleman, whom I shall call Lord A. (as 
I forget his real name), was wont to declare that no high- 
wajrman should ever rob him; and it would appear that 
this bit of bravado got to the ears of the robbing frater- 
nity. For, as the story goes, one night, as his lordship 
was travelling in a carriage, a highwayman rode up and 
thrust a pistol through the window before Lord A. could 
seize one of his own— albeit he bad a brace close to his 
hand. Demanding his money or his life, the rascal added, 
Rneeringly, "I think, my lord, you've declared that no 
highwayman should ever rob you ? " " True, " replied the 
nobleman, looking steadily through the window, "nor 
should I let you rob me now, wtre it not for that dark 
^gure behind you," Now, there was really no such thing 
as a "dark figure," but the words staggered the villain, 
and he involimtarily turned and glanced behind him. It 
was but for a moment, but that moment was enough ; 
Lord A. raised his pistol, fired, and shot his assailant 
dead. 

To return, however, to Nevison. Continuing his evil 
courses, he was at last apprehended, thrown into 
Leicester Gaol, put in irons, and strictly guarded. But 



the management of a prison in those days was very 
different from what it is now, and, in spite of all the 
precautions taken to prevent his escape, he did escape, 
and in the following ingenious manner. William had 
certain trusty friends, and one day two or three of them 
were allowed to pay him a visit. One of these gentlemen 
was (or professed to be) a doctor ; and he, after seeing 
William, gave out to the prison authorities that their 
captive had got the plague, and that if he were not 
removed to a larger room, where he might enjoy fresh 
air, he would not only perish himself, but oonmiunicat^ 
the disease to all the inmates of the gaoL This 
hightened the gaoler's wife immensely. Thanks to her, 
William was removed to a larger apartment, into which 
she prohibited her husband from ever entering. The 
prisoner and his friends had, therefore, a good oppor- 
tunity of concocting their plans, and canying out a most 
remarkable scheme. The "doctor " came twice or thrice 
a day to see his patient, and after a time declared the 
case hopeless. At last a painter was brought in, who 
painted William's body all over with spots, similar to 
those produced by the real plague ; and a few days later 
—having first given his friend a sleeping draught— the 
" doctor " informed the gaoler that poor William was 
dead. There was a sort of inquest on the body, but the 
coroner's jury durst not approach it, so great was the 
fear of infection. The verdict was that the prisoner had 
died of the plague. On this his trusty friends at once 
demanded his body, and had it carried out of the gaol in 
a coffin. You may be sure William did not remain long 
in the coffin after they had got it out of sight of the 
prison walls. 

The coffin adventure only rendered Nevison more 
callous and daring in vice than ever. Once more a high- 
wayman, he renewed his depredations with increased 
vigour, informing the carriers and drovers who had been 
in the habit of paying him blackmail before his incarcera- 
tion that he must now increase their "rents," in order 
to refund his expenses in gaol, and his loss of time. It 
was at first supposed that it was Nevison 's ghost who 
carried on the same pranks that he had done during his 
lifetime ; but the gaoler began to doubt there being any 
truth in such an idea, and finally offered £20 reward to 
any one who should restore him his late prisoner. 

Resolved to visit the capital, Nevison set out on a 
journey thither. On the road he met a company of cant- 
ing becrgars, pilgrims, and other idle vagabonds ; and for 
some time he continued in their company. The life they 
led struck him as being such a merry one that, at last, he 
suggested their receiving him as a member of their 
"honourable fraternity," on which their leader, after ap- 
plauding his resolution, addressed him as follows : — " Do 
not we come into the world arrant beggars, without a rag 
upon us ? And do we not all go out of the world like 
beggars, saving a sheet over us? Shall we, then, be 
ashamed to walk up and down the world, like beggars. 



January 
1S8& 



} 



NORTH-COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND. 



21 



^th old blankets pinned about us? No, no, that would 
be a shame to us, indeed. Have we not the whole king- 
dom to walk in at our pleasure? Are we afraid at the 
approach of quarter day ? Do we walk in fear of sheriffs, 
bailiffs, and catchpoles? Whoever knew an arrant 
beggar arrested for debt ? Is not our meat dressed in 
every man's kitchen ? Does not every man's cellar afford 
us beer, and the best men's purses keep a penny for us to 
jpend?" 

Having by these words, as he thought, fully decided 
William to become a beggar, he communicated to his 
<x>mpany their new friend's intention, at which there was 
universal joy. The first question put to Nevison was 
whether he had any Umre in his hung ; but he, not being 
well up in their slang, could not make out what they 
meant, until they kindly informed him they meant money 
in his purse. He told them he had but eighteenpence, 
which he would bestow on them willingly. This sum was 
then voted to be spent in a booze to celebrate his initia- 
tion. He was then ordered to kneel down, and while on 
his knees was baptised with a gage of booze (t.^., a quart of 
•drink), which was poured over his head by one of the 
chiefs. ** I do, by virtue of this sovereign liquor, instal 
thee in the Boage" said the chief, *' and make thee a free 
•denizen of our ragged regiment. Henceforth, it shall be 
lawful for thee to cant, only observing these rules : — 
First, that thou art not to wander up and down all 
•countries, but to keep to that quarter that is allotted thee ; 
and, secondly, thou art to give away to any of us that 
have borne all the offices of the wallet before ; and, upon 
holding up a finger, to avoid any town or country village 
'where thou seest we are foraging for victuals for our army 
that marches along with us. Observing these two rules, 
we take thee under our protection, and constitute thee a 
brother of our numerous society." 

The leader having ended his oration, Nevison rose up, 
■and was congratulated by the company, who, in the 
words of the historian, hung about him like so many 
<log8 about a bear, making such a hideous noise that 
their chief was obliged to command silence while he 
addressed William again, as follows : — *' Now that thou 
4U^ entered into our fraternity, thou must not scruple to 
act any villainies, whether it be to cut a purse, steal % 
cloak-bag or portmanteau, convey all manner of things, 
whether they be chickens, sucking-pigs, ducks, geese, or 
hens ; or to steal a shirt from the hedge ; for he that 
will be a quier cove (t.«., a professed rogrue) must observe 
these rules" — quite tmneoessary advice to have given 
William, one would think, had he but told them who 
he was. *' And because thou art but a novice in beg- 
Ifing," continued the chief, "and understandest not the 
mysteries of the canting language, thou shalt have a wife 
to be thy companion, from whom thou mayest receive 
instruction." Thereupon the chief singled out, as a bride 
for Nevison, a girl of about seventeen years of age. The 



idea tickled William immensely, and the two were mar- 
ried by the patrieo or gipsy priest, after the following 
simple manner. They took a hen, and, having cut off its 
head, laid the dead body on the ground, Nevison being 
placed on one side of it and his bride on the other. This 
done, the patrieo^ standing by, with a loud voice, bade 
them live together till death did them part Then the 
happy pair shook hands and kissed one another, and, the 
solemn ceremony being over, every one gave way to joy. 
Night approaching, and all the money spent, the crowd 
of vagabonds made for a bam not far off, wheie, after 
broaching a barrel of beer, they went to sleep. Let the 
reader now compare this incident of Nevison among the 
canting beggars with that recorded by Harrison Ains- 
worth of his hero Dick Turpin, in *' Rookwood " (book iii. 
chap. 5), which resembles it so closely that we are bound 
to consider the author's idea to have been taken from 
Nevison's life. 

We left Nevison in the bam. When, all the other 
rogues were asleep, he quietly slipped out, took a horse, 
and posted directly away. But, coming to London, he 
found there was too much noise about him to permit of 
his tanying there ; so he returned into the coimtry, and 
fell to his old pranks again. But his crimes soon became 
so notorious that, at last, a reward was offered to any 
who would apprehend him. This induced many men to 
waylay him, especially two brothers named Fletcher, 
one of whom our highwayman shot dead. Nevison, 
however, could not— at all events did not— long escape 
the fate he had done so much to deserve. He was 
ultimately taken by a Captain Hardcastle, for a paltry 
public-house robbery at Milford, near York, and sent to 
York Gaol, where, on the 15th March, 1684, he was 
tried, convicted, and finally executed on a gallows near 
Micklegate Bar, aged forty-five. 

In a short account of this remarkable highwayman, 
given in the NevxMstle Weekly Chronicle of March 7th, 
1885, the following passage occurs : — "The main point of 
interest about the man (William Nevison) now-a-days is 
that he was in reality the person who performed the feat 
traditionally attributed to Dick Turpin ; that, namely, of ' 
riding from London to York in one day. The date 
cannot be precisely fixed ; but it was probably in the 
summer of 1675. He had committed a robbery in 
London, just before da^vn, and was recognised. He 
made for the North at once. By sunset— say fifteen 
hours later— he entered York, having ridden the one 
mare two hundred measured miles. There he was 
captured and brought to trial, when it was proved that 
he had been seen in the bowling green at York on the 
evening of the same day that the robbery had been com- 
mitted in London ; and both judge and jury accepted 
this as a sufficient cUHn, with the result that he was 
acquitted." But in the " Lives of the Highwaymen" no 
mention is made of Nevison's having performed the feat. 



22 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE. 



{ 



Jsnaary 
U88. 



although it is therein stated that Turpin oould not have 
done sa Turpin was tried but once, and then hanged. 



Slje lltbe to Sorh. 

According to Defoe, the merit of riding from London 

to York must be denied to Nevison as well as Turpin. 

The name of the highwayman was Nicks. Defoe's * * Tour 

Through Great Britain " relates the account thus :— 

From Gravesend we see nothing remarkable on the 
road but Gad's Hill, a noted place for robbing of seamen 
after they have received their pay at Chatham. Here it 
was that famous robberv was committed in the year 1676. 
It was about four o'clixsk in the morning when a gentle- 
man was robbed by one Nicks, on a bay mare, just on the 
declining part of the hill, on the West side, for he swore 
to the spot and to the man. Mr. Nicks, wno robbed him, 
came away to Gravesend, was stopped by the difficulty of 
the boat, and of the passa^ near an hour ; which was a 
great discouragement to him, but was a kind of bait to his 
horse. From thence he rode across the county of Essex, 
through Tilbury, Homdon. and Biterecay to dhelmsford ; 
here he stopped about hali-an-hour to refresh his horse, 
and give nim some balls; from thence to Braintre, 
Bocking, Wethersfield ; then over the downs to Cam- 
bridge, and from thence, keeping still the cross roads, 
he went by Fenny Stanton to Godmanchester and Hunt- 
ington, where he baited himself and his mare 
about an hour. Then, holding on the North Road, 
and keeping a full larger gallop most of the way, he came 
to York the same afternoon, put off his boots and riding 
cloaths, and went dressed as if he had been an inhabitant 
of the place, not a traveller, to the bowling-green, where, 
among other gentlemeiL was the Lord Mayor of the city ; 
he, singling out his lordship^ studied to do something par- 
ticular that the mayor might remember him b^, and 
accordingly lays some odd bet with bim concerning the 
bowls then running, which should cause the Mayor to re- 
member it the more particularly, and takes occasion to 
ask his lordship what o clock it was ; who, pulling out his 
watch, told him the hour, which was a quarter before, or 
a quarter after eight, at night. Some other circumstan(>Bs, 
it seems, he carefully brought into their discourse which 
should make the Lord Mayor remember the day of the 
month exactly, as well as the hour of the day. Upon a pro- 
secution which happened afterwards for this robbery, the 
whole merit of tne case turned upon this single point. 
The person robbed swore as above to the man, to the 
place, and to the time, in which the fact was committed, 
namely, that he was robbed on Gad's Hill in Kent, on 
such a day, and at such a time of the day, and on such a 
part of the hilL and that the prisoner at the bar was 
the man that robbed him. Nicks, the prisoner, denied the 
facts, called several persons to his reputation, alleged 
that he was as far off as Yorkshire at that time, and that 
particularly, the day whereon the prosecution swore he 
was robbed, he was at bowles on the Public Green in the 
City of York ; and to support this he produced the Lord 
Mayor of York to testify that he was so, and that the 
Mayor acted so and so with him there as above. This 
was so positive and so well attested, that the jury 
acquitted him on a bare supposition that it was impossible 
the man oould be at two places so remote on one and the 
same day. There are more particulars related of this story, 
such as I do not take upon me to affirm ; namely, that 
King Charles II. prevailed on him, on assurance of pardon 
and that he should not be brought into any further 
trouble about it, to confess the truth to him privately, 
and that he own'd to his Majesty that he committed the 
robbery, and how he rode the journey after it, and that 
upon this the king gave him the name or title of Swift 
Kicks instead of rucks. 

No doubt Mr. Harrison Ainsworth in his novel of 

*' Rookwood " was indebted to Defoe— another proof of 

Mr. John Foster's statement about how much successful 

novelists owe to Daniel Defoe. Nibbkt, London. 




H^e^riiAm nrffUitT wXn %Vbt^. 



|VERY visitor to Hexham, with the least 
grain of archaeological sentiment, remarks 
the quaint and antique character of many of 
the buildings of that town. The view of 
the Market Place which is taken from Thomas Allom's 
"Westmoreland, Cumberland, Durham, and Northumber- 
land,*' published by Fisher in 1833, in twenty-six quarto 
parts, price two guineas, shows the east side of that 
square, with a massive old stone building in front, now 
called the Moot HalL Very little appears to be really 
known of the history of this ancient building. Mr. C. C. 
Hodges, however, thinks it gets its modem name from 
the fact that it was used for holding all courts pertaining 
to the Regality of Hexham. 

The ancient house seen to the right of the square tower 
was called the Manor House. On the front of it, saya 
Hutchinson, writing in 1779, " are three coats of armour 
in plaster- work ; opinions are various as to what they 
denominate : the most probable is, that the dexter arms is- 
that of the Dean and Chapter of York ; the centre the 
cross of St. Andrew, to whom the church was dedicated \ 
and the sinister one, being one of the arma cantarUuiy or 
rebusses, anciently adopted, comprehending the name of 
some great Churchman." " Beneath these," adds Hutch- 
inson, "is a legend divided into three jjortions, which I 
read ma— nk — ria — ; perhaps importing the Manor 
House, and probably was the mansion of some of the- 
bishops of York." 

At the right hand side of Allom's plate is seen what 
used to be considered "a convenient piazza," covered with 
blue slate, the back part of which was divided into movable 
stalls for the butchers, while other parts served to accom- 
modate the butter and poultry markets. This piazza was 
built for the use of the town by Sir Walter Calverley 
Blackett, Bart. It was raised against some irregular 
buildings, and the ruins of St. Mary's Church, of which, 
says Wright, "few vestiges remain." In front of the- 
shambles, that is the piazza, stood the Pant, an octan- 
gular pillar, ornamented at the top with a small globe, 
and with a large oblong stone trough for the surplus 
water to flow into. The water was conveyed to this 
"fluent fountain," as Hutchinson calls it, by lead pipes, 
from a copious well about a quarter of a mile to the- 
southward, and it issued from the mouths of two uncouth 
human figures, over which was a plate of copper, with 
the following inscription:— "Ex Dono Roberti Allgood 
Armigeri Anno D.M. 1703." Hexham Market Place 
has been much changed since Allom made his drawing of 
it. The picturesque houses then adjoining the gateway 
have given place to modem stone buildings ; while the 
characteristic pant is gone. 

Besides the ancient tower seen in Allom's view, another 
equally ancient edifice is figured on the next page. Mr. 



•"•ssr} 



NORTH-COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND, 



23 



Hodgson thinks this old building is the Tunis de 
Hexham mentioned in the list of castles in 1460; and 
for the special purpose of an exploratory tower, its posi- 
tion on the brow of a hill overlooking the valley of the 
Tyne towards Corbridge and Newcastle was sufficiently 
commanding. Its walls are nine feet thick, a striking 
external feature being the boldly projecting corbels, 
which must originally have supported a platform or gal- 
lery extending round the whole of the building. Access 
to it was obtained through the fine old gateway, promi- 
nent in Allom's view— the Hall Gate — beneath which, as 




^^:^i 



Sydney Gibson says, "the ecclesiastical lords of Hexham, 
their noble visitors, and many a person of historic fame, 
must have passed." 

Both the tower seen in the Market Place and that de- 
picted in our smaller engraving are believed to have 
formed part of the ancient fortifications of Hexham. '* A 
careful examination of the site and surroundings of these 
two curious buildings," says Mr. Hodges, 'Meads us to 
the conclusion that they once were in connection with 
and surrounded by a wall, and the .space within this wall, 
answering to that now known as the Hall Gate, would be 
a bailey like those of the larger castles." 

Concerning the Manor Office, a curious discovery 'was 
made some years ago. Certain repairs and alterations 
were in progress in the old building, when, in the upper- 
most apartment, there was brought to light a wooden 
mantel-piece on which was carved (rudely but intelli- 
gibly) a statement relative to the reasons why the tower 
was built, and the uses to which it was to be put. This 
inscription, as deciphered by the late Mr. Ralph Carr 
Ellison, is supposed to convey something like the follow- 
ing story:— As the general history of Hexham informs 
ns, the monastery was plundered by the Scots, and a 
great i)ortion of it burned to the ground. There was a 
kindred monastery in Yorkshire, at a place called Kirby 
Wiake, the monks of which, moved with a profound com- 



passion for their afflicted Hexham brethren, sent effi- 
cient help in the shape of artificers and materials for 
building a tower which would be a place of refuge for 
them if they should ever be thr^tened with a similar 
disaster. The tower was duly built, and must have, in 
some sense, answered its purpose, as one hears no more of 
any hostile attempt to disturb the monastery by any free- 
booting raid from the North. The old mantel-piece 
which is presumed to convey this information was after- 
wards removed to Newcastle, where it was deposited in 
the head offices of Mr. W. B. Beaumont, the Lord of the 
Manor of Hexham. 

Our limited space precludes us from dealing with 
Hexham Abbey in that full and complete manner which 
so interesting a remnant of the grandeur and glory of 
past ages would well merit. It is said by an able 
archseologrist to form "the very text-book of the Early 
English period of Gothic architecture, as it comprises 
every distinctive feature that makes the style, combining 
a simplicity and grandeur of effect not excelled by any 
other edifice in the kingdom." We shall avail ourselves, 
for brevity's sake, of what Dr. Bruce says about it in his 
admirable Wallet Book of the Roman Wall :— 

About the year 674 Bishop Wilfred built a church here. 
In 680 Hexham was raised to the dignity of an episcopal 
see, an honour which it retained, under a succession 
of twelve bishops, until A.D. 821. The only portion of 
Wilfred's buildmg that remains is the crypt ; the church 
itself seems to have been laid in ruins by the Danes in 
867, in which state it long continued. The present 
church is an exceedingly beautiful specimen of the Early 
English style. It was probably erected at the close of 
the twelfth or beginning of the thirteenth century. The 
nave was destroyed during an incursion of the Scots in 
1296, and it has never been rebuilt.* The chancel has 
recently been repaired and refitted with considerable care. 
The eastern termination has been entirely rebuilt. The 
Lady ChapeL which was of late decorated work, being in 
an exceedmgly dilapidated condition, has been removed. 
This church had the privilege of sanctuary. The Saxon 
frid-stool, or seat of safety, is preserved in the church 
One of the peculiar features of the church, and one which 
is coeval with the building, is a massive staircase at the 
end of the south transept. It leads to a platform which 
has three doorways, one going up to the bell-tower, 
another taking to the scriptorium over the chapter-house 
(the same as at Fumess Abbey), and another leading to 
the relic and plate closet over the groined passage pro- 
ceeding from the cloisters to the south side of the chancel. 
Mr. Longstaffe has thtown out the idea, which is ex- 
ceedingly probable, that in this part of the church persons 
claiming the risrht of sanctuary were accommodated. 
The chancel is the earliest part of the church, and is ex- 
ceedingly light and elegant The rood-screen, which is of 
the later perpendicular style, will attract attention. It is 
covered with paintings, amongst them being several of 
the subjects of "The Dance of Death." In the church 
are preserved, though not in their original situation, the 
shrine of Prior Rowland Lechman, who ruled the con- 
vent between 1477 and 1499, and the tomb of Robert 
Ogle, who died in 1410. In the north transept is a cross- 
legged effigy, which is probably that of Gilbert de 
Umfreville, who died in 1307. Beside this effigy are 
two others of nearly the same date. One is that of a 



* Other snthorities contend, however, that there Is no evidence 
of the destruction of the nave. Mr. Hodges, indeed, maintains 
that indications, both apparent and dooumentaiy, go to show that 
this portion of the church was never completed. 



24 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE. 



[Jannaty, 1888. 




JaoQaJTt 188&] 



NORTH-COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND, 



25 



liif 




!i I ' 



V 






MONTHLY CHRONICLE, 



f Jannarj 



188& 



lady with a wimple. The other is the figure of a knight, 
who, from his heraldic bearings— three garbs on a fess — 
is supposed to be one of the family of Aydon. 

The original church, dedicated to St. Andrew, was 
erected by masons brought by St. Wilfred from Rome. 
Richard, Prior of Hexham, gi?es the following accotmt of 
it, derived, of course, from older authorities, it having 
been in ruins in his time (a.d. 1143) : — 

He began the edifice by making crypts, and subter- 
raneous oratories, and winding passages through all parts 
of its foundations. The pillars that supported the walls 
were finely polished, squares and of various other shapes, 
and the three galleries were of immense height ana 
length. These, and the capitals of their columns, and 
the bow of the sanctuary, he decorated with histories and 
images, carved in relief on the stone, and with pictures 
coloured with great taste. The body of the church was 
surrounded with wings and porticos, to which winding 
staircases were contrived with the most astonishing art. 
These staircases also led to long walking-galleries, and 
various winding passages so contrived that a very great 
multitude of people might be within them, unperoeived 
by any person on the ground floor of the church. 
Oratories, too, at secret as they were beautiful, were 
made in all parts of it, and in woich were altars of the 
Virgin, of Michael, St. John the Baptist^ and all the 
Apostles, Confessors, and Vir^ns. Certam towers and 
block houses renudn unto this day, specimens of the 
inimitable excellence of the architecture of this structure. 
The reliques, the religious persons, the ministers, the 
great library, the vestments, and utensils of the church 
were too numerous and mairnificent for the poverty of 
our language to describe. The atrium of the cathedral 
was girt with a stone wall of great thickness and 
strength, and a stone aqueduct conveyed a stream of 
water through the town to all the offices. The majipaitude 
of this place is apparent from the extent of its ruins. It 
excelled, in the excellence of its architecture, all the 
buildings in England ; and in truth there was nothing 
like it, at that time, to be found on this side of the ^ps. 

This magnificent edifice is said to have been the third 
stone church erected in England, and the first that was 
constructed with chancel and aisles. The Rev. H. H. 
Bishop, in his ** Pictorial Architecture of the British 
Isles," after mentioning that Wilfred built it "according 
to the Roman fashion,*' and brought books, pictures, 
music, vestment^ practice, and ritual from Rome, states 
that ** in the crypt are many stones taken from the 
Roman station near at hand, and one which may still be 
seen forming the roof of a bend in one of the narrow 
passages has a strange interest. Once it was inscribed 
with the names of Caracalla and Oeta, who^ when their 
father Septimus Sevenis died at York in 211, became 
joint emperors of Rome, But Caracalla murdered Greta, 
and ordered that all traces of his memory should be 
effaced from one end of the empire to the other. And 
the name of Geta has been chipped out." 

Down till a comparatively recent time, Hexham 
Abbey, as restored in the Middle Ages, was shame- 
fully concealed and disfigured by a crowd of wretched 
buildings that had been suffered to nestle ignobly round 
it. Even pig-styes and other such erections were set up 
•gainst its venerable walls. Happily, a better taste has 
sprung up within recent years, and these abominations of 
desolation have been swept away. 




Wxt %KXX\t 0f 9l?evii«m« 



gFTER the bloody battle of Towton, in 
which the Lancastrians suffered a total 
defeat at the hands of the Yorkists, the 
poor demented king, Henry the Sixth, 
and his clever, energetic, high-spirited, truly Amazonian 
queen, Margaret of Anjou, accompanied by the chiefs of 
their party, six in number, fled northward from York 
with great precipitation, first to Newcastle, then to 
Berwick, and subsequently into Scotland. Here they 
were received by the Scottish regency, and by the 
queen-dowager, Mary of Gueldres, in the most friendly 
manner, partly, perhaps, on account of the close blood- 
connection between the fugitive royal pair and the 
Scottish royal family, and partly, doubtless, because 
Henry had agreed to give up to the King of the Scots 
the town and castle of Berwick, which the English 
had held without any considerable interruption for 
the space of one hundred and twenty-eight years. 
The refugees managed to raise a considerable number 
of volimteers in Scotland, with the assistance of George 
Douglas, Earl of Angus, whom they had attached to 
their interest by the promise of a grant of English 
land and an English dukedom. 

The volunteers were chiefly Borderers, to whom a raid 
into the South Country always offered a pleasant pros- 
pect, but whose usual habit it was to fight, like Hal of 
the Wynd, for their own hands, and who were not much 
to be depended on if they had an opportunity of slipping 
away home with a rich booty. So Queen Margaret 
sailed across to France, anjd did her best to induce Louis 
XL, her kinsman, to send over some more reliable 
military aid. But the French monarch contented himself 
with giving the Seneschal of Normandy, the Sieur Pierre 
de Br^z^— an active soldier of fortune, newly returned 
from the Holy Land, who had incurred his displeasure 
somehow or other, and was then lying in prison — per- 
mission to enter into the service of the exiled Queen's 
father, Ren^ titular King of Sicily and Jerusalem, and 
Duke of Maine and Anjou, with the view of pro- 
ceeding to England with such men as he could enlist. 
These recruits were principally from the broken mer- 
cenary bands of " Clippers " and " Flayers," who had, a» 
few years before, inflicted great sufferings on the French 
people, seizing castles and towns, and plundering and 
laying waste the country at their pleasure. 

After a hard passage the French general landed on 
the coast of Northumberland with about five hundred 
men at arms. He marched directly upon Alnwick, of 
which he got possession without a fight. The castles 
of Dunstanborough and Bamborough also fell into the 
Lancastrians' hands, and Henry, returning from Scot- 
land and rejoining his heroic wife, held his shadowy 
court, in which he was now, as he had long been, only a 



"?a7} 



NORTH-COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND, 



piappet, for some time at Alnwick. He had with him 
the queen's chief adviser, Henry Duke of Somerset, who 
had commanded in the unfortunate battle of Towton, 
the Earl of Pembroke, the Earl of Kyme (Tailbois), Sir 
John Fortescue, Chief Justice of England, the Lords 
Hungerford, De Ros, and Molins, Humphrey de 
Neville, and several lords and knights of Franoe. But 
the Yorkists soon collected their strengrth, under Sir 
Ralph Grey of Heaton and Chillingham, High Sheri£F of 
Northumberland, Lord Hastings, and Sir John Howard. 
It seems to have been considered too great a risk to 
run to suffer Henry and Maigaret^ and their young son 
I^ince Edward, to be shut up in Alnwick. The Sieur 
de Br^z^ therefore, together with Lord Hungerford, 
was entrusted with the keeping of that castle, with a 
garrison of three hundred men. The Duke of Somerset, 
the Earl of Pembroke, Lord Bos, and Sir Ralph Percy 
had the keeping of the castle of Bamborough, with a 
garrison of like number. Some others of less note kept 
the castle of Dunstanborough, with one hundred and 
twenty men. And the king and queen, with the Prince 
of Wales, retired to Berwick. 

The siege of Alnwick, which was first undertaken, 
afforded the Earl of Angus an opportunity to exert 
himself in the service of his royal patrons. Having 
been appointed warden of the Scottish East March, he 
collected a numerous body of horse, and advanced with 
them very suddenly into the neighbourhood of the 
beleaguered fortress. Br^z^, on learning his near 
approach, bravely sallied out with his handful of 
Frenchmen, and, meeting with no opposition from the 
besiegers, who are said, indeed, to have previously come 
to a secret understanding with the Scottish leader, 
retreated undisturbed across the Tweed. The castle 
was entered by King Edward's men — Robert Lord Ogle 
and others, knights and squires of the county — on the 
30th of July, 1462. 

Finding that the succours which had come from France 
were too inconsiderable to encourage the men of the 
North to join her in sufficient numbers, Margaret sailed 
over again to that country, in the spring of 1463, from 
the port of Kirkcudbright, with a convoy of four 
Scottish ships. Having obtained the loan of twelve 
thousand crowns from the Duke of Bretagne, she next 
procured from King Louis a further advance of twenty 
thousand livres, and a contingent of two 'thousand men, 
on a promise of the surrender of Calais as soon as Henry 
should be restored to his throne. With these troops she 
set sail once more for the North -East Coast of England, 
and landed in October at Tynemouth, with the intention 
of going to Newcastle ; but being denied admission there, 
and not being strong enough to force her way, she sailed 
northwards, and landed near Bamborough, in the belief 
that the i)opu]ation would rise to assist her, and that she 
would be immediately joined by the Scottish auxiliaries. 
She was greatly disappointed, however, as comparatively 



few Northumbrians welcomed her arrival or responded 
to her call to arms. Alnwick Castle, indeed, fell into 
her hands, either on account of the scarcity of provisions, 
or the treachery, as some alleged, of Sir Ralph Grey, who 
had been made governor of the place after the French 
left it in the preceding smnmer. 

Hearing of these events. King Edward set out from 
London on the last day of November (St. Edward's Day), 
and hastened past York and Newcastle to the scene of 
action with a numerous army. On his approach. Queen 
Margaret found it necessary again to take refuge in 
Scotland. For this purpose she went on board the little 
fleet that had brought her from France, and Pierre de 
Br^ accompanied her with some part of his forces, 
leaving Lord Hungerford and his own son to keep 
Alnwick Castle. But, a violent tempest suddenly arising, 
the queen, not without danger, escaped into the port of 
Berwick ; while Br^ was driven ashore at Holy Island, 
where his ships were burnt, and four or five hundred of 
his men were either made prisoners or killed. Br^ 
himself escaped in a fishing boat» which conveyed him 
to the queen at Berwick. 

Edward, on arriving in Northumberland, finding no 
enemy in the field, caused siege to be laid at once to the 
three castles held by his enemies. The reduction of Aln- 
wick was entrusted to the Earl of Warwick, better 
known as **the Kingmaker," the Earl of Kent, Lord 
Powis, Lord Cromwell, and Baron Greystock ; that of 
Bamborough to the Earl of Worcester, the Earl of 
Anmdel, Lord Ogle, and Lord Montague (Sir John 
Neville), Warwick's brother; and that of Dunstanborough 
to Lord Hastings, Lord Wenlock, and other lords — the 
forces under them amounting, according to Stowe's 
" Chronicle," to upwards of twenty thousand men. Bam- 
borough was surrendered on Christinas Eve, and the 
Duke of Somerset, who had held it for Henry, but seems 
now to have despaired of his cause, submitted to the 
conqueror's mercy, and was pardoned and taken into 
favour, while the Earl of Pembroke, Lord Roe, and Sir 
Ralph Percy made their escape, or were suffered to retire 
into Scotland ; Dunstanborough (wherein were Sir 
Richard Tunstal and others, with only a weak garrison) 
was 3rielded three days after; and Alnwick was taken 
on the 6th of January, Br^z^ having attempted in vain 
to relieve it at the head of some of his own countrymen 
and a considerable number of Scots. 

The chronology of these events is, it must be confessed, 
very much embarrassed by the inconsistent accounts of 
the English and Scottish chroniclers, both as to persons 
and dates ; but the above narrative is the best that can 
be compiled, from a diligent comparison of the chief 
authorities. 

Once more in the following spring (1464) Margaret 
renewed her efforts. The ruling party in Scotland had 
by this time, however, concluded a fifteen years' truce 
with Eling Edward, one of the conditions being that Scot- 



28 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE. 



(jMoaiy 
1888. 



land should give no further Msistance or countenance to 
Henry or his family. The Earl of Angus, in whom 
Margaret had placed something like implicit trust, and 
the queen-mother, who had been her fast friend through- 
out, were now both dead. Still, through the interest 
which she had cultivated with several of the Scottish 
cheftains, and the hopes entertained by the lawless 
Borderers of obtaining booty, owing to the license 
accorded to them of almost indiscriminate plundering, 
she was able again to enter Northumberland at the head 
of a numerous army— raw and undisciplined, it is true, 
but unexceptionably brave. She left her son Prince 
Edward behind at Berwick for a while, but soon after- 
wards sent for him, as well as for his father, now weaker 
than ever in both mind and body— in fact, "almost 
an innocent,** "too simple for a saint," as Pope 
Julius afterwards said of him— in order that their pre- 
sence with the army might encourage her motley fol- 
lowers. The traitor Sir Ralph Grey, as Edward's party 
deemed him, managed to surprise the castle of Bam- 
borough, which, as well as that of Alnwick, was in the 
keeping of Sir John Astley, and, having garrisoned it 
with Scotchmen, held it for the queen. The Duke of 
Somerset, animated by the accounts he received of 
Margaret's numbers and successes, deserted Edward, 
and joined her, with some foUowers. Edward, alarmed 
by these and other defections, marched to York himself, 
accompanying his chief nobility and a large army. But 
before he got any further north, the tables had been 
turned on the Borders by the vigour and bravery of Lord 
Montague, whom Edward had, in the preceding summer, 
appointed warden of the Eastern March. Montague had 
got considerable reinforcements from the interior of the 
kingdom, and aocordinqriy, though not in a position to 
stem the first brunt of the tumultuous inroad, he felt him- 
self strong enough to hold the invaders in check by 
following them closely on their march, and watching for 
an opportunity to strike. 

On the 15th day of April, 1464, Montague encountered 
a detachment of the Lancastrians under Sir Ralph Percy, 
with the Lords Hungerford and Ros, at a place called 
Hedgley Moor, not far from the little village of Bewick, 
on the high road between Morpeth and Woder. Hunger- 
ford and Ros on this occasion, being apparently seized by 
panic, deserted Percy, who, with very different spirit, 
counting it disgraceful to flee, fell fighting like a lion 
on the field of battle, several of his faithful attendants 
sharing his fate. In memory of his fall there was 
erected, about sixty paces eastward from the road, a 
cross, still standing, called Percy's Cross, bearing rude 
sculptures on its four sides of the armorial ensigns of 
the Percy and Lucy families, both of which were repre- 
sented by the Northumbrian heru ; and at no great dis- 
tance westward is a gap called Percy's Leap, across 
which Sir Ralph's horse is said to have sprung during 
the engagement. 



Montague was so encouraged by his success that, 
though further reinforcements were on their march to 
join him, he yet ventured with his own troops alone to 
attack the main body of the Lancastrians. He found the 
enemy encamped, "with all their power of people," 
French, Scots, and Northumbrians, five thousand stnmg, 
on a piece of level ground on the south side of the Devil's 
Water, between Dukesfield and the Linnels, and about 
three miles south-east of Hexham. After a short but 
bloody engagement, victory declared for him. The day 
(15th May, 1464) ended in the total rout of the Lancas- 
trians, and their annihilation in the North as an 
organized force. Henry owed his immediate escape to the 
swiftness of his horse. He wandered about for twelve 
months among the moors of Lancashire, getting shelter 
and protection from some devoted followers ; but he was 
caught at last and consigned to the Tower of London, 
where he remained for six years, a neglected and despised 
prisoner, till liberated for a little while, in 1470, by the 
redoubtable king-maker Warwick — ^the man who may 
truly be said to have deprived the poor king of his crown, 
but who now, having quarrelled with Edward, sought to 
reinstate the silly old man on the throne. 

The queen and the young prince took refuge in the 
adjoining forest. Hume, copying Monstrelet, tells us she 
was "beset, during the darkness of the night, by robbers, 
who, either ignorant or regardless of her quality, 
despoiled her of her rings and jewels, and treated her 
with the utmost indignity.'* " The partition of this rich 
booty,** the historian adds, " raised a quarrel among the 
robbers ; and while their attention was thus engaged, she 
took the opportunity of making her escape with her son 
into the thickest of the forest, where she wandered for 
some time, overspent with hunger and fatigue, and sunk 
with terror and affliction. While in this wretched condi- 
tion she saw a robber approach with his naked sword ; 
and, finding that she had no means of escape, she 
suddenly embraced the resolution of trusting entirely for 
protection to his faith and generosity. She advanced 
towards him, .and, presenting to him the young prince, 
called out to him, ' Here, my friend, I commit to your 
care the safety of your king's son.* The man, 
whoee humanity and generous spirit had been obscured, 
not entirely lost, by his vicious course of life, 
was struck with the singularity of the event, was 
charmed with the confidence reiiosed in him, and vowed 
not only to abstain from all injury against the 
princess, but to devote himself entirely to her service." 
By this man*8 means, Margaret dwelt for some time 
hid in a wretched cave, which lies in an extremely 
secluded situation, beneath the southern bank of the 
little river that runs past Dilston Castle, exactly opposite 
to the Black Hill farm-house. She was at last conducted 
to the sea coast, whence she made her escape to Sluys, in 
Flanders. From the Low Countries she passed to the 
court of her aged father at Aix, in Provence, where she 



Jukoary 



} 



NORTH-COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND. 



29 



lived several years in privacy and retirement, before 
returning to England to create new troubles. 

The Northumbrian cave in which she lay concealed still 
retains the name of the Queen's Cave. The roof ia 




C^u frn's Ceiv<- 



supported by a pillar of rude masonry. According to 
tradition, the pillar forms part of a wall which divided 
the cave into apartments, for the accommodation of the 
devoted lady and her luckless son, the titular Prince of 
Wales, who was so cruelly murdered by King Edward 
and his m3rrmidons after the battle of Tewkesbury in 
1471. According to a survey made in 1822, the cave does 
not exceed thirty-one feet in its greatest length and 
fourteen feet in breadth, while the height will scarcely 
allow of a person standing upright. In connection with 
Margaret, besides the cave, there is a small runner 
between Hexham and the Devil's Water, where it is said 
her horse fell, and which is still called " the Queen's 
Letch." 

The battle of Hexham decided the long struggle be- 
tween the rival houses of York and Lancaster, so far as 
the North of England was concerned. 

Lord Somerset, the Lancastrian genera], was taken 
prisoner, and decapitated at Hexham. The Lords Ros, 
Molins, Hungerford, Findem, and two others unnamed, 
were also captured, tried by a drumhead court-martial, 
and beheaded on the Sandhill at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 
their bodies being deposited in the burying cnrounds 
attached to the convents of the Augustine and Grey 
Fnars. The Earls of Kyme, Grey, Neville, and J^ichard 



of Dunstable, with many others, managed to escape ; 
but the Earl of Kyme was taken in Reedsdale a 
long time afterwards, and was executed at Newcastle. 
Humphrey Neville remained in hiding up Derwentwater, 
then a very wild district, for the space of five years, but 
was eventually taken in Holdemess, and beheaded at 
York. Sir Ralph Grey, who had held Bamborough to 
the last against King Edward's besieging force, was car- 
ried captive to Doncaster, and there deprived of the 
honour of knighthood. The gilt spurs were hewed from 
his feet by the master cook, his sword and all the armour 
he had on were broken and taken from him, and then he, 
too, was beheaded. 

Such of the Lancastrians as escaped from the battle- 
field endured misery in every shape and hue till death re- 
lieved them, or they could make their way to the Conti- 
nent As an example of how they fared when in the 
latter case, Philip de Comines says:— "I have seen the 
Duke of Exeter on foot and bare-legged after the Duke of 
Burgundy's train, begging his bread for God's sake : but 
he uttered not his name." 

Two days after the Battle of Hexham, Lord Montague 
was, in reward for his great services, created Earl of 
Northumberland, and received a grant of the forfeited 
estates of the Percy family. 

^xatx^axi^ tfte iH«titem«ttctam 

JURWORTH, about three miles from Dar- 
lington, has the honour of having given 
birth to the greatest mathematician of his 
time, William Emerson. This truly original 
genius was born on the 14th of May, 1701. His father, 
Dudley Emerson, possessed a small estate in the parish, 
bringing in some sixty or seventy i)ounds a year, and he 
also kept a school, being ** a tolerable master of the 
mathematics." The boy received at the old man's 
hands the elements of a good English and commercial 
education, and was enabled to make some little acquaint- 
ance with the Greek and Roman classics through the 
assistance of the curate of the place, who lodged in his 
father's house. But so far from being attached to his 
books, or exhibiting any symptoms of those superior 
faculties which he afterwards exerted with so much 
energy, he was more than ordinarily careless and inat- 
tentive to the acquisition of knowledge, his only delight 
being rough boyish sports and pastimes. 

When about twenty years of age, his mind became alive 
to the beauties of science. He placed himself under the 
ablest masters he could find in Newcastle, and afterwards 
in York. And after studying in these towns for some 
time with considerable ardour, he returned to his native 
place, where he continued to pursue his studies under his 
father's directions, and likewise assisted him in teaching. 
At his father's death, he attempted to continue the 




30 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE. 



{ 



jMBo»nr 



school; but it did not flourish under his management, and 
he soon gave himself up to an uninterrupted pursuit of 
his mathematical studies, contenting himself, so far as 
income went, with his small paternal inheritance. 

In the thirty-second year of his age, he married a niece 
of the rector of the parish. Dr. John Johnson, who was a 
very great man in his way, being not only rector " in his 
own right" (whatever that may mean), but likewise vicar 
of Mansfield, prebendary of Durham, domestic chaplain 
to Caroline Princess of Wales, and Justice of the Peace for 
the County of Durham and the North Riding of Yorkshire. 
From this period we must date the commencement of 
Emerson's public career as a mathematician, for what he 
had previously done was merely for his own amusement. 
An incident connected with his marriage brought into 
prommence his hitherto latent genius, which would pro- 
bably otherwise have never shown itself to the world, or 
led him to the composition of those works which have 
made his name famous. It was this : Dr. Johnson had 
promised to give his niece, who lived with him, five 
hundred pounds as a marriage i)ortion, and, some few 
months after the wedding had taken place, Emerson took 
an opportunity to remind the worthy man of his promise. 
The doctor did not recollect, or did not choose to re- 
collect, anything of the matter, and treated the mathe- 
matician with contempt. Emerson, whose patrimony, 
though not large, was equal to his wants, would easily 
have got over the pecuniary disappointment, but this 
contemptuous treatment stung him to the very souL He 
immediately returned home, packed up his wife's 
clothes, and sent them off to the doctor in a wheel- 
barrow, saying he would scorn to be beholden to such a 
fellow for a single rag, and swearing at the same time 
that he would prove himself to be the better man of the 
twa 

Emerson had acquired a great relish for mathematical 
science, which he would willingly have cultivated for its 
•own sake, but which he had now an additional stimulus to 
pursue and master. With the deep fervour of a religious 
devotee, he set himself to conquer the whole circle 
•of the exact sciences; and, after having carefully 
planned, digested, revised, and completed the work to 
his own satisfactioi\, he published, in the forty-second 
year of his age, his book on the Doctrine of Fluxions. 
The work, it is true, did not meet with immediate 
encouragement, coming, as it did, from an unknown 
hand. And roost probably Emerson would have been 
deterred by its want of success from publishing any 
more, if a gentleman of the name of Montague bad not 
happened to discern its merits, in consequence of 
which he procured its author the patronage of Mr. 
John Nourse, bookseller and optician, who, being him- 
self skilled in the more abstruse branches of mathe- 
matics, immediately engaged Emerson to compile a 
regular course of them for the use of students. 

Accordingly, Emerson made a journey to London in 



the simmier of 1763, to settle and fulfil this agreement, 
which was carried out faithfully on both sides. He con- 
tinued afterwards to go up to the metropolis at short 
intervals with a contribution to a mathematical journal, 
or a treatise on some branch of his favourite study, which 
he had most studiously elaborated in his retirement at 
Hurworth, and which, as the sheets came from the press, 
he most laboriously corrected in some obscure lodging. 
His works, which were long considered to be the best 
extant upon the subjects of which they treat, constitute a 
series of thirteen volumes, intituled, "Cydomathesis; or, 
an Easy Introduction to the Several Branches of the 
Mathematics." The first volume appeared, as we have 
said, in 1743; the twelfth and last, in 1776. 

Most of these treatises, which were iUustrated with 
numerous plates, went through several editions, some of 
which are now very scarce. The best known is the 
'* Mechanics," although it by no means so well represents 
the range and accuracy of the author's attainments as his 
"Method of Increments," his "Doctrine of Fluxions," 
and some others of his numerous contributions to the 
mathematical sciences. By the strictly scientific manner 
in which he established the principles and demonstrated 
the truth of the method of Fluxions invented by Newton, 
he added another firm and durable support to the noble 
edifice of the Newtonian philosophy ; and though that 
method is now superseded by the method of integrals and 
differentials, Emerson's great merit as an exponent and 
interpreter of it -remains intact His "Trigonometry," 
likewise, abounds in curious theorems, and in useful 
practical deductions from them, though it must be con- 
fessed the whole is unfortunately delivered in so awkward 
a mode of no^iktion as to render the reading of the book 
tiresome. 

Besides his great serial work, Emerson wrote many 
ftigitive pieces in'^the Lady^s Diary^ MUcdianea Curiota 
Mathematieau, and other periodical works, sometimes 
under the signature Merones, formed by a transposition 
of the letters of his name, and sometimes under the still 
more whimsical one of " Philofluentimectandalgegeomas- 
tralongo." "Merones" remained "an unknown corre- 
spondent" for many years ; but some ingenious person at 
last discovered his identity with Emerson, through trans- 
posing the letters. In a poem on "The Old Elm at 
Hurworth," in the OenUenuifCt Magazine for 1750, we are 
told how— 

Beneath the shelter of the silent elm. 
His native elm (to sapience still a friend) — 
Merones loves, and meditates beneath 
The verdure of the leaves. 

"See there," adds the rhymster — 

How silently he sits ! and, lost in thought ! 
"Weighs in his mind some great design ! Revolves 
He now his subtle Fluxions ? or dis]jlays 
By truest signs the Sphere's Projection wide? 
Wide as thy sphere, Merones, be thy fame ! 

Emerson's devotion to the philosophy of Sir Isaac 

Newton was so uncommonly strong, that every im- 



^^^} 



NORTH-COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND. 



31 



pugner of that great man was treated by him as **dull, 
blind, bigoted, pirejudiced, or mad?; for the fire and 
impetuosity of his temper betrayed him, when provoked 
by such "nincompoops,'* into language far distant from 
the strictness of mathematical demonstration. 

Well skilled in the science of music, the doctrine of 
sounds, the various musical scales, diatonic, harmonic, 
major and minor, ascending and descending, ancient 
and modem, he was yet only an indifferent musician, 
though he had a most profound acquaintance with the 
construction and properties of musical instruments, from 
the sackbut and psaltery, the harp and the bagpipes, to 
the violin, the pianoforte, and the organ. He often tried 
to practise the effect of his mathematical speculations 
by constructing a variety of instruments, mathematical, 
mechanical, and musical, upon a smaU scale. A spin- 
ning wheel which he made for his wife is. represented 
in his Book of Mechanics. 

It is pretty certain that if any reward or recompense 
had been offered to Emerson for his scientific labours, 
he would not have accepted it, unless it came to him in 
his own way. Thus he did not wish to be admitted a 
member of the Royal Society, ''because," he said, "it 
was a d — d hard thing that a man should bum so 
many farthing candles as he had done, and then have 
to pay so much a year for the honour of F.R.S. after 
his name; d— n them, and their F.R.S. too!" 

The writer of the Memoir which was prefixed to his 

"Mechanics," published in 1825, says :— 

In person, Emerson was something below the common 
stature, but firm, compact, well made, active, and strong. 
He had a good, open, expressive countenance, a ruddy 
complexion, a keen and penetrating eye, and an ardour 
and eagerness of look indicative of the texture of his 
mind. His dress was very simple and plain, or what by 
the generality of people has been called grotesque or 
flhabby. A veiy few bats served him through the whole 
course of his life; and when he purchased one (or, 
indeed, any other article of dress), it was a matter of 
perfect indifference to him whether the form and fashion 
of it was that of the day, or of half a century before. 
One of these hats, of immense superfioes, had, m length 
of time, lost its elasticity, and the brim of it be^;an to 
droop in such a manner as to prevent him from viewing 
the objects before him in a direct line. This was not to 
be endured by an optician ; he, therefore, took a pair of 
shears, and cut it close round to the body of the hat. 
leaving a little to the front, which he dexterously rounded 
into the shape of a jockey's cap. His wigs were made of 
brown or dirty flaxen-coloured hair, which at first 
appeared bushy and tortuous behind, but grew pen- 
dulous through age, till at length it became 
quite straight, having, probably, never undergone the 
operation of the comb ; and, either through the original 
mal-conformities of the wig, or from a custom he had of 
frequently inserting his hand behind it, his hind-head 
and wig never came into any close contact His coat, or 
more properly jacket, which he constantly wore without 
any waistcoat, was of a drab colour. His linen came not 
from Holland or Hibemia, but was spun and bleached by 
his wife, and woven at Hurworth, being calculated more for 
warmth and duration than for show. He had a singular 
custom of frequently wearing, especially in cold weather, 
his shirt with the wrong side before, and buttoned behind 
the neck. But this was not an affectation of singularity ; 
he had a reason for it ; he seldom buttoned more than 
two or three of the buttons of his jacket, one or two at 
the bottom, and sometimes one at the top, leaving' all the 



rest open. In wind, rain, or snow, therefore, he must 
have found the aperture at the breast inconvenient if his 
shirt had been put on in the usual manner. His breeches 
had an antique appearance, the lappet before not being 
supported by two buttons placed on a line parallel to the 
honzon, but by buttons placed in a line perpendicular 
to it. In cold weather he used to wear, when he 
grew old, what he called shin-covers. Now, these 
shin-covers were made of old sacking, tied with a 
string above the knee, and depending before the shins 
down to the shoe ; they were useful in preserving his legs 
from being burnt when he sat too near the fire (whi^ 
old people are apt to do) ; and if they had their use, he 
was not solicitous about the figure or appearance they 
might make. 

This singularity of dress, together with his character 
for profound learning, and knowledge more than human, 
caused him to be considered by the ignorant and illiterate 
people in the neighbourhood as a wise or cunning man, 
or conjurer. It is related that, by virtue of a magic 
spell, he pinned a fellow to the top of his pear or cherry 
tree, who had got up with a design to steal his fruit, and 
compelled him to sit there a whole Sunday forenoon, in 
full view of the congregation going to and returning from- 
church. That he did compel a man to sit for some time 
in the tree was a fact ; not, however, by virtue of any 
maffic spelL but by standing at the t)ottom of the tree 
with a hatchet in his hand, and swearing that he would 
hag (i.f., hew) his 1^ off if he came down. This opinion 
of his skill in the Slack art was of service in defend- 
ing bis property from such depredations; and 
therefore it would have been impolitic to dis- 
courage it ; but he was apt to lose his patience when 
he was applied to for the recovery of stolen goods, 
or to investi^te the secrets of futurity. A woman came 
one day to him to inquire about her husband who had 
ffone SIX years before to the West Indies or America, and 
had not been heard of since. She requested, therefore, 
to be informed whether he was dead or living, as a man 
in the neighbourhood had made proposals of marriage to 
her. It was with much difficulty the supposed prophet 
repressed his growing fury till the conclusion of the ^e ; 
when, hastily rising from his tripod, or three-footed 
stool, on which he usually sat, in terms more energetic 
than ever ivued from the shrine of Delphi, he gave this 

Slain and unequivocal response — " D — — thee for a b— h ! 
'hy husband's gone to hell, and thou may go after him !" 
The woman went away, well pleased and satisfied with 
the answer she had got, thinking she might now listen to 
the proposals of her lover with a clear conscience. 
Emerson was by some people looked upon as an atheist, 
but he was as much an atheist as he was a magician. 

The diet of Emerson, was as simple and plain as his 
dress; and his meals gave little interruption to his 
studies, employments, or amusements. Durmg his days 
of close application he seldom sat down to eat; but 
would take a piece of cold pie or meat of any kind in his 
hand, and, retiring with it to his place of study, would 
satisfy his appetite for knowledge and food at the same 
time. He catered for himself, and, when his stock of 
necessaries ran low, he would slin^ a wallet obliquely 
across his shoulders, and on the Monday set forward 
for the market at Darlington. Having provided the 
necessary articles, he did not always make directly home- 
wards: for if he found good ale and company to his 
mindj he would sit down contented in a pubhc-house the 
remainder of the day, and sometimes aid not arrive at 
bome until late on Tuesday, or even Wednesday, during 
which time he remained talking and disputing upon 
various topics — mechanics, politics, or religion ; varying 
the scene occasionally witn a beefsteak, a mutton chop, or 
a pan of hot cockles. 

The last time he made an excursion to Darlington with 
his wallet, our philosopher made a figure trulv con- 
spicuous. This was the only time he ever rode thither, 
and he was then mounted upon a quadruped whose 
intrinsic value, independent of the skin, might be fairly 
estimated at half-a-crown. Being preceded and led by a 
boy, hired for that purpose, he crawled in slow and 
solemn state, at the rate of a mile and a half in an hour, 
till in due time he arrived at Darlington, and was con- 



32 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE. 



IMS. 



ducted, in the same state, to the great entertainment 
of the spectators, through the streets to the inn 
where he wished to refresh himself and beast. What 
idea Emerson himself entertained of the velocity with 
which the animal could move appears from this, that 
when a neighbour of his from Hurworth asked him, 

towards the evening, if he was going home, **D n 

thee," said he : **what dost thou want with my eomg 
home?" "Only," said the man, "because I should be 
glad of vour company." " Thou fool, thou !" rejoined the 
other, "thoult be at home long enough before me, man. 
Thou walks, and I ride ! " 

He was yety fond of angling; and whilst he thus 
amused himself, he would stand up to his middle in water 
for several hours together. When he wrote his 
" Treatise on Navigation," he constructed a small vessel, 
in which he and some young friends embarked on the 
river Tees ; but the whole crew got swamped so often, 
that Emerson, smiling, and alluding to his book, said, 
" They must not do as I do, but as I say." 

DurincT the greater part of his life, Emerson enjoyed 
strong and uninterrupted health ; but as advancing years 
stole upon him, he suffered most excruciatingly from stone 
and gravel. In the agony attendant upon such a painful 
malady, he would crawl round the floor upon his hands 
and knees ; sometimes praying, and at other times utter- 
ing his usual expletives, and, during his intervals of ease, 
devoutly wishing that the mechanism of the human 
frame had been so contrived that the "soul mipht have 
shaken off its rags of mortality without such a olitter-me- 
clatter." 

The following anecdote is among the many curious 
stories current about the eccentric mathematician : — 

John Hunter was a common bricklayer, residing 
in Hurworth ; he first became the pupil, and afterwards 
the friend, of Emerson, from whom, by constant assucia- 
tion, ho acquired the same brusqueness of manner 
which characterised his master. One day, as 
John Hunter was engaged in repairing the roof of 
Emerson's house, and the philosopher was serving him 
below with lime and mortar, a post-chaise drew up to the 
door, from which stepped out two gentlemeiL who in- 
quired if the great Mr. JEmerson lived there. Great or 
fittle, I am the man," was the answer. They stared a 
little, bowed, and informed him that they were a deputa- 
tion from the University of Cambridge, and had brought 
a difficult problem which they inquired if he could solve. 
Casting hw eye upon it for a moment, he called to bis 
pupil on the top of the ladder. "John Hunter, come 
down, and do thou answer this." The mathematical 
mason descended from his elevation, and, after a few 
minutes of silent calculation, produced the answer, written 
with a piece of chalk upon the crown of his hat. This 
Emerson was about to hand, unlooked at, to the collegians, 
but, a little offended, thev requested him at all events to 
revise it, on which ho glanced at it for an instant, and 
then pronounced it quite correct. The collegiaiw not 
readily understanding Hunter's solution of their problem. 
Emerson, impatient at their dulness, testily told thein to 
"take the hat homo with them, and return it when they 
had discovered the explanation." 

Thomas Carlyle has left behind him a characteristic 
account of the mathematician. The fragment appears in 
a book published in 1887— the Life of Anne GUchrist. 
"A strange character," writes Carlyle, "Uving in the 
country on £70 a year; his wife spinning with her dUtaff 
while her husband wrote; and, his treatise written, he 
would come up to London to sell it. Got bald ; could not 
bear the idea of wearing other people's hair, so made a 
wig of flax and clapped it on his head. Burnt his shins 
with sitting close to the fire; contrived some kind 
of shield, which he called 8hin-eover$ / The Duke of 
Manchester took Emerson up ; got him to come and live 
with him; offered him a seat in his carriage. Emerson 



asked what did the duke want with that whim-wham? 
He would walk. The country people thought him a sooth- 
sayer. An old woman came to ask what had become of 
her husband (long gone away), she wishful, perhaps, to be 
free. 'He has been in hell these three years past.' 
Emerson was a freethinker, who looked on his neighbour 
the parson as a humbug. He seems to have defended 
himself in silence the best way he could against the noisy 
clamour and unreal stuff going on around ; retreating to 
his mechanics and fluxions, which he knew to be real." 

Emerson died on the 28th of May, 1782, in the 81st year 
of his age, his wife surviving him nearly two years. He 
was buried in Hurworth churchyard, where a monument 
was raised to his memory, with an ixiscription upon it in 
Hebrew and Latin, for the benefit of the few and the 
puzzlement of the many. Jn English it would read as 
follows :— " As it happeneth to the fool, so it happeneth 
even to me : and why was I then more wise ? That which 
lies buried and neglected under your feet was once 
William Emerson, a man of primitive simplicity, the 
utmost integrity, the rarest genius, a consummate mathe- 
matician. If you have read his writings, to what intent 
speaks this stone? If you have not read them, read 
them, that you may know." 




Emfr50i|,'''^ 



Some time before his death, Emerson had been per- 
suaded, with much difficulty, by his friend Dr. Cloudes- 
ley, of Darlington, to sit for his portrait, which was taken 
by an artist named Sykes. This portrait is now in the 
possession of Mr. Scott Surtees, of Dinsdale, who bought 
it at a sale in Darlington. It is from a photograph of 
Mr. Surtees's picture that our own sketch is copied. 



Jsnnuy 



} 



NORTH-COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND, 



33 




)HN SPEED, in his '* Theatre of Great 
Britaine," published in 1610, gives the 
earliest extant plan of Newcastle-on-Tyne. 
We produce a fac-simile copy of it^ trans- 
ferred from the comer of the plan that accompanies the 
Bev. John Brand's standard history of the town. It 
bears to have been " described by William Matthew," 
who is mentioned. Brand informs us, in an inquisition 
taken in the 18th year of James I. into the condition of 
the old Castle of that date. The limited extent of the 
town in those days will be seen at a glance. It had 
scarcely as yet begun to extend beyond the walls, which 
had served it so well as a defence during the long Border 
war times. The first locality shown on the plan is the 



King*s Manor, so called because the house of the Austin 
Friars, after the dissolution, was reserved for the King's 
nse, for his council in the Northern Parts : hence the 
Manor Chare, leading from Pilgrim Street to Jesus' 
Hospital, and from thence to the head of the Broad 
Chare. The King's Lodgings most likely refers 
to the Knight's house on the right bank of the Lork 
Bum, in which King James I. was entertained at the 
town's expense for the best part of a week, during his pro- 
gress southwards to take possession of the throne of 
England, on which occasion he was delighted '* with the 
manner and beauty of the place, the bridge and key, being 
one of the fayreste in all the North parts," and in token 
of his satisfaction released all the prisoners in the gaol, 
"except for treason, murther, and papistrie," giving sums 
of money withal for the release of many that lay there for 



NBWECASXLE 




\ T^r^\ --^ ' 



SPEED'S PLAN OF NEWCASTLE IN 16ia 



A— Kino's Maker. 
B— King's Lodgings. 
C— Grammbr School. 
D— The Manner. 
E— Newehousb. 
H— Black Friers. 



I— Saint John's. 
K— High Castle. 

L— Almes Houses. 
M— Saint Nicholas 
N— Alhallows. 



O— Trinitie House. 
P— Pandon Hall. 
Q— The Wall Knoll. 
R— The Stone Hill. 
S— The Maisen Deeu 



T— Almose Houses 
V— West Spittle. 
W— White Friers. 
X— Scottish Innb. 
Z— Newe Yate. 



3— West Gate. 
4— Pandon Yate. 
fr— Sandoate Yate. 
7— Close Gate. 
8— The Key. 



34 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE. 



{Janoarf 
188& 



debt. The Grammar School, marked on the plan, wai 
situated on the north-east side of St. Nicholas's Church- 
yard, on a site which, as Brand periphrastically informs 
us, afterwards "experienced the fate of Baal's temple of 
old." The Manner, marked D, stood adjacent to the 
King's Lodgings, almost opposite to the White Cross in 
Newgate Street, near the entrance to Low Friar Street, 
and just before coming to a row of houses which stood 
nearly in the middle of the street, anciently styled the 
Cockbour or Cokstole Bothes, and afterwards the 
Hucksters* Booths, where the inmates of the religious 
houses and the other people in this part of the town were 
supplied with provisions. The Newe House (F), situated 
in a fine "plesaunce*' on' the left bank of the bum, was 
built in 1580 by Robert Anderson, merchant, out of the 
offices, and nearly upon the site, of the old Franciscan 
priory. It was selected for the head-quarters of General 
Leven, during the captivity of Charles L at Newcastle. 
After several mutations of fortune, and sundry architec- 
tural increments, it was christened by its possessor. 
Major Anderson, Anderson Place, and under that name 
it existed for a good while. It afterwards became the 
seat of Sir Walter Blackett, and fine engravings of it 
when so occupied exist. (See Monthly Chroniclt, voL L, 
page 337.) But it was demolished about fifty yean 
ago to make way for new streets. The priory of the 
Black Friars, or Dominicans, marked H, occupied, with 
the surrounding garden groimds, most of the space jiut 
inside the town wall between the Westgate and the head 
of Newgate Street ; and the principal entrance to it 
seems to have been from the latter street. St. John's 
Church, the High Castle, St. Nicholas's, All Hallows, 
and the several gates, viz., Newe Gate, West Gate, 
Pandon Yate, Sandgate Yate, and Close Gate, need 
no particular mention here. The "Almes Houses" 
shown on the plan consisted of several small thatched 
cottages, inhabited by poor religious women, not far from 
the King's Manor, on the west side of Pilgrim Street. 
They were founded about the middle of the sixteenth 
century by Christopher Brigham, merchant, Sheriff and 
twice Mayor. Pandon Hall stood inside the comer of the 
town wall, near the place where the wall crossed 
Pandon Bum. Gray, in his "Chorographia^" tells us 
that after the departure of the Romans, the Kings of 
Northumberland kept their residence there, and that "it 
was a safe bulwarke, having the Picts' Wall on the north 
aide; and the river of Tine on the south." The Wall 
Knowle, or Knoll, so called, says Bourne, from the 
Roman Wall going along it, still retains its old name. 
Brand defines it as "a street that winds up a high hill 
from the ancient Fisher Gate." The house or priory of 
St Michael de Wall Knoll, marked O on the plan, was 
acquired by the Corporation of the Trinity House in 
1582, and some vestiges of the old buildings, doorways, 
Ac, still remained when Brand wrote in 1789. The 
Stone Hill, or Stoney Hill, was the old name of the 



extension of the Cowgate to the foot of the Manor 
Chare. It was likewise called Duck HiU. The Maison 
de Dieu, Maison Dieu, or "House of God," stood 
on the south side of the SandhilL It was founded 
about the beginning of the reign of Henry IV. by Roger 
Thornton, "a most opulent merchant, representativo 
in Parliament^ and great benefactor to the town,** 
which, if tradition is correct, he entered as a yoang 
adventurer, " with a hap and a ha'penny and a lamb 
skin." It is the only public place or building on the 
Sandhill that is marked on the plan as existing in 161Q. 
The Lork Bum, represented as passing on the east 
side, has long since been arched over and built upon. 
The West Spittle, or Spital, stood in Westgate Street, 
nearly opposite to St. John's Church. The original 
house of the Carmelite or White Friars, marked W, 
was in the Wall Knoll; but the rebuilding of the 
town wall having encroached on a part of the ground, 
they were permitted to move to the house of the Friars 
of the Sac, or of " The Penance of Jesus Christ," which 
stood near the foot of Westgate Street, in the plaoe 
indicated by the letter V. The Scottish or Scotch Inn 
stood in Newgate Street, directly opposite to an old 
inn called the Turk's Head. Boume describes it as an 
"ancient building, with a large gate," which had 
formerly been a piece of stately workmanship. It 
was the plaoe where anciently the kings, nobility, 
and gentry of Scotland lodged, in time of tmoe or 
league with England. Finally, the Key or Quay, at 
the time this plan was executed, was bounded on the 
south side by the town waU, which, in this place, was 
perforated by a great number of small gates, called 
water-gates, which were ordered to be locked up every 
night, all except one or two, which were strictly 
watched till morning, for the masters and seamen to 
go to and from their ships. 




JTfte Mvttti nt |3eU)ca^tIe. 



INTRODUCTORY. 
HE ancient town and county of Newcastle- 
upon-Tyne is interwoven with the political, 
ecclesiastical, military, and social records 
of the country. Shaven priests have 
chanted their psalms in its streets; grim soldiers have 
bivouacked in its impromptu barracks ; kings are 
associated with its history, sometimes as conquerors, 
sometimes as captives; scholarly men have in quiet 
piumied their labour in seclusion at one period ; 
fierce mobs have rejoiced, after their fashion at another, 
the while the red wine ran like water through its 
gutters. Truly, a wonderful microcosm is this good old 
town and county of ours. Now, its history is written in 
its streets ; and yet it is not too much to say that many 



-\ 



Juiuaiy 1 



ins. 



NORTH-COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND. 



35 



of its inhabiUBts know comparatively little about them. 
It may not be amisi, then, for us to survey, with the 
mind's eye, and with the aid of patient historians of the 
past, some of the more interesting highways and by- 
ways whose pavements we so often unthinkingly tread. 

We shall find much to interest, something to amuse, 
not a little to appal, in the record we propose. Old 
traditional forms may seem to start again into shadowy 
life. Boger Thornton, for instance, Newcastle's great 
benefactor in the middle ages, cannot be forgotten as we 
wander up and down the Westgate or study the busy life 
of the SandhilL Eldon, Stowell, and Collingwood will 
revisit us again. Friars of all colours, black, white, and 
grey, will return to the scene of their former labours. 
The ancestors of our county families of to-day will look 
pridefnlly on the quaint old shops and warehouses where 
they laid, by honest toil and skill, the foundations of 
their families* prosperity. In the mind's eye we shall 
note honest sportsmen carrying along our ancient streets 
the heads of foxes slain within one or other of the four 
great parishes of Newcastle, to nail them to the church- 
door, and receive for so doing a shilling a head. We 
shall discover that the great ones of the past were 
very human ; that Bishop could wrangle with Mayor, 
and Mayor with the Queen's Jiutice of Assize; and 
that even the sacred person of the Town Clerk could not 
escape buffets at times. We shall note, moreover, 
that in the oHen days kind hearts beat under sober 
coats, as well as under the gay trappiogs of others in 
authority. Unfortunately, we shall find also that the 
charities founded by these benevolent ones have, in 
some cases, been swept away for good and alL We 
shall wend our way in the comjmny of pilgrims to the 
shrine of the Virgin at Jesmond, and anon watch a 
melancholy procession set forth with a criminal from 
the Castle, by way of the Back Row, to the West 
Gate, there to be unceremoniously done to death. 
Another grim procession shall we note from time to 
time on its way to the Town Moor, and so giving 
cause for the ugly name of Gallows' Gate. Again, we 
shall find that our citizens of old were not averse to 
hard blows, and that their Mayors had enough 
to do to keep them in good order. We shall peep, 
too^ into the books of the incorporated companies, and 
remark their quaint devices for the due ordering of 
trade. As we stand on the site of our ancient 
markets, we shall note how Acts of Parliament sought 
to regulate their prices in the days of old, and how 
unavailing all such interference was. 

Especially shall we observe how certain districts of 
Newcastle scarce known to ears (and noses) polite were of 
brave reputation in the olden time. In the neighbour- 
hood of Pandon was the burial place of the Northumbrian 
kings, *'an acre sown with royal seed." Royalty 
had its temporary abode in this district when going 
to and from Scotland. Charles I. was for nine 



months a prisoner in Pilgrim Street, whence he unsuc- 
cessfully endeavoured to make his escape, and where at 
last he was given up to the Scots for £400,000, whilst 
playing at chess. Oliver Cromwell dined at Katy's 
Coffee-House on the Sandhill, when going to or return- 
ing from Scotland. James IL's statue was unceremoni- 
ously kicked into the Tyne on the arrival of William of 
Orange, while the coronation of George IV. was cele- 
brated by a drunken saturnalia. We shall see, too, how 
the town has been gradually changed in character— by 
water (as at the time of the great flood in 1771) ; by fire 
(as in 1854) ; by the enterprise of builders ; by corporate 
negligence; and by the advance of civilization. 

In fine, it is impossible to wander through the streets 
of Newcastle without coming upon suggestive contrasts 
of the past and present Here the Britons have con- 
gregated to stem the tide of invasion, and to receive the 
blessing of the Druids. Saxons and Danes have con- 
tended here. The polished Romans have left their 
impress here, deeply marked. The cannon of Newcastle 
has thundered against the legions of the Solemn League 
and Covenant ; and fierce was the fight between the com- 
batants. Those times are past and gone now ; yet still 
we may not unprofitably consider from month to month, 
as we propose to do, 

The memories and things of fame. 
That do renown this city. 







REAT interest was excited in Newcastle and 
throughout the adjoining district on Mon- 
day, March 9, 1835, by the opening of the 
Newcastle and Carlisle Railway. The morning proved 
unconmionly fine, and at an early hour numerous 
groups of persons were seen bending their steps in 
the direction of Blaydon, from which place the pro- 
cession was annotmced to start at ten o'clock. Private 
carriages, coaches, and various other conveyances were 
put in requisition to convey the railway tourists, and 
the new Scotswood Road presented a gay and lively 
scene, which had not been equalled smoe the open- 
ing of that useful approach to the town. Numerous 
flags, with inscriptions of ** Prosperity to the Railway " 
and other appropriate mottoes, gave gaiety and animation 
to the scene. At Blaydon, a large concourse of persons 
lined the roads and fields near the railway, and a great 
number of the most respectable and influential 
inhabitants of Newcastle assembled to witness the 
auspicious commencement of this great undertaking. 
Tickets of admission had been previously given to the 
shareholders and their friends for the accommodation of 
nearly seven hundred persons. The river poured forth its 



36 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE. 



(•^TST 



tribute of respect to the railway, bearing on its surface 
the stately barge of the Corporation, with the Mayor 
(J. L. Hood, Esq.) and a numerous party of friends. 
At a quarter before eleven, the first train of car- 
riages left Blaydon, drawn by the Rapid locomotive 
engine, and it was foUowed by the Comet engine, 
leading the second train, at six minutes before eleven. 
Both engines were made in Newcastle, the former by 
Messrs. Stephenson and Co., and the latter by Messrs. 
Hawthorn. The procession proceeded towards 
Hexham, at an average rate of from twelve to 
fourteen miles an hour ; but, the arrangements for 



supplying water being incomplete, some delay neces- 
sarily occurred. An immense assemblage of people 
welcomed the procession at Hexham. The visitors 
who had travelled on the railway were invited to 
partake of a cold collation provided at the Black 
Bull, White Hart, and Grey Bull, where the well- 
supplied tables presented an ample feast to upwards 
of six hundred guests. At twenty minutes past three, 
the procession left Hexham, and returned to Blaydon, 
one uninterrupted trip of seventeen miles, in one hour 
and ten minutes, without any material accident occurring 
to lessen the enjoyment of the day. 



IBs Iticljarti Saelford, 
Author of " A History of Ncwoastli and Gatkshiad,** &o. 




POLBMIOAL WBITRB. 

N the seventeenth century there lived in New- 
castle a family named AstelL Little note 
is taken of them in local history, but we 
know from parish records that they were 
persons of substance. One of the name, Thomas, was 
vicar of Haltwhistle in 1626, when Thomas Harriman, 
** clerk," who had called him " ass and fool," was brought 
before the High Commission Court at Durham on a 
charge of keeping an alehouse and being addicted to 
drinking. •*Here lies John Astell, Esquire, and Mary 
hU wife : she died the 17th day of March, 1633 [♦], aged 
73 ; he, the 22nd May, 1658, aged 95," is the translation 
of an inscription in St. John's Church, Newcastle, which 
was the family burying-place. And beside or above it 
is a rhyming epitaph to the memory of William Astell, 
Under-sheriff of the town, a noted royalist, who died on 
the 14th September^ 1658 :— 

Stay, reader, stay, who wouldst but canst not buy 
Choice books, come read the church's libranr. 
Which like Sybelline leaves here scattered flies 
Perus'd. alas, here by men's feet that lies 
In single sheet^ then neatly to be bound 
By Gai's own hand, when the last trump shall sound ; 
Amongst the rest glance on this marble leaf, 
Tis Astell's title i^ge^ and therefore brief. 

Hero lie the relioues of a man. 

But who was truly Christian, 

Whose sounder judgment frantic zeal 

Never hurried on her wheel 

Of giddy error ; whose heart bled 

When rebel feet cut off their head. 

And great good Shepherd humbly lay 

To his mad flock a bleeding prey. 

Who cheerfully sustained the loss 

Of idl for his great Master's cross. 

Triumphant Charles he's gone to see 

For militant praise heav'n's victory. 

Another member of the family, Ralph Astell, was a 
Master of Arts, and occurs as curate of St Nicholas*, 



Newcastle, in 1667. Brand, quoting from Bishop Cosin's 
register, states that he was "suspended for bad be- 
haviour" in 1677, and Longstaffe supplies, from the church 
books of Gateshead for the year before, an ominous line : 
—"One pint of sack when Mr. Astell preached. Is. 2d." 
His burial is recorded in St. John's register, under date 
December 5, 1679 ; where also are entries of the inter- 
ment of " Thomas Astell, gent," March 5, 1674-75, " Mr. 
John Astell," August 6, 1676, "Peter Astell, gent," 
March 21, 1678-79, "Mrs. Mary AstcU," October 10, 
1684, and lastly, "Mr. Peter Astell, from the Side," 
January 2, 1710-lL 

Into this fanuly, " about the year 1668," Mary AateU 
was bom. Her father, " a merchant at Newcastle-upon- 
Tyne," gave her a good education, and "an uncle, a 
clergyman of the Church of England, perceiving her apti- 
tude for learning, instructed her himself in philosophy, 
mathematics, and logic, and to these acquisitions she 
afterwards added the Latin language." Brand suggests 
that the benevolent uncle was Ralph, the curate of St 
Nicholas'; upon which it is to be remarked that if he 
were her tutor, and the date of her birth is even approxi- 
mately given, she must have been a precocious child, for 
he died when she was about eleven years old. It is 
stated, further, that she left Newcastle and went to 
London when she was twenty, "about the time of the 
Revolution," and for the rest of her life she resided 
there. 

Every biographical book of reference contains some ac- 
count of the life, the labours, and the character of Mary 
Astell, for this young Newcastle girl rose to be a famous 
literary woman— a writer whose trenchant pen left its 
mark upon current controversies, and brought her into 
friendship or conflict with the leading wits, divines, and 
philosophers of her day. 



•\ 



Janirary \ 
1881 / 



NORTH-COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND. 



37 



Her first publication was an anonymous treatise entitled 
" A Serious Proposal to the Ladies for the Advancement 
of their True and Greatest Interests.** It made its 
appearance in 1694, and was followed, in 1697, by a 
supplementary pamphlet containing proposals *'for the 
improvement of their minds.** Dedicated to the Princess 
of Denmark, afterwards Queen Anne, these essays de- 
veloped a scheme for establishing a college in which 
women were to be educated, weaned from the frivolities 
of the sex, and preserved from the dangers of the world. 
It is probable the scheme would have been launched if 
Bishop Burnet had not interfered. That distinguished 
prelate thought he saw the germs of a nunnery in the 
proposed institution, and his disapproval marred the 
project ; the ungenerous satire of the TaXUr killed it 
outright. The town approved, doubted, sneered, and 
dismissed the subject. 

While the '* Serious Proposal** was being discussed, 
Mary AsteU entered into a friendly controversy with a 
clergyman, the Rev. John Norris, rector of Bemerton, 
and in 1695 their correspondence was published under 
the title of "Letters concerning the Love of God, 
between the author of 'Proposals to the Ladies* and Mr. 
John Norris, wherein his late discourse, shewing that the 
love of God ought to be entire and exclusive of all other 
love, is cleared and justified.'* Her next pamphlet was a 
htmiorous effusion in defence of her sex— -*' A Letter to a 
Lady, Written by a Lady.** In 1700, smarting under a 
more serious disappointment than Bishop Burnet had 
given her— the failure of a matrimonial engagement with 
a clergyman— she issued " An Essay in Defence of the 
Female Sex ; being Reflections on Marriage.** Attracted 
by Dr. D*Avenant*s ''Moderation a Virtue,** she wrote a 
quarto pamphlet on " Moderation Truly Stated ; or, the 
Occasional Conformist Justified from the Imputation of 
Hypocrisy,** and as her arguments were considered to be 
unduly hard upon Dissenters, she followed them up in 

1704 by issuing "A Fair Way with the Dissenters and 

their Patrons ; not written by Mr. L g, or any other 

furious Jacobite, whether Clergjrman or Layman, but by 
a Moderate Person and Dutiful Subject to the Queen.** 
Her loyalty and conformity were further exemplified the 
same year in "An Impartial Inquiry into the Causes of 
Rebellion and Civil War in this Kingdom, in an Examina- 
tion of Dr. Kenrick*s Sermon, January, 1703-4.** 

Replying to an attack by Lady Masham upon the 
correspondence with Mr. Norris, Mary Astell issued in 

1705 the book by which she is best known — "The 
Chnstian Religion as professed by a Daughter of the 
Church of England.** Whatsoever may be the defects 
or demerits of this elaborate work, it was generally ad- 
mitted that the argumentative skill of the writer was 
very remarkable. There seems to have been an impres- 
sion that learned ladies were not the real authors of the 
works issued in their name. Locke was supposed to 
have indited Lady Masbam*s treatise, and Mary Astell 



attacked his philosophy in her book as if she believed the 
rumour. She in turn was suspected of deriving literary 
assistance from Bishop Atterbury ; indeed "The Chris- 
tian Religion,** &c., was in several quarters attributed to 
his pen. Lord Stanhope wrote to him, "I am informed 
that you have put out in print a mighty ingenious pamph- 
let, but that you have been pleased to father it upon one 
Mrs^ Astell, a family friend and witty companion of your 
wife.** The suspicion was amusing, because, just before, 
the bishop, wincing under her criticisms, had written to 
a friend no very flattering account of the lady. 

In 1706 Mrs. Astell published " Six Familiar Essays 
upon Marriage, Crosses in Love, Sickness, Death, 
Loyalty, and Friendship.** She also wrote against Til- 
lotson*s sermon on the "Eternity of Hell's Torments,'* 
and a " Vindication of the Royal Martyr.*' To her pen 
is attributed "Barthelmy Fair, or an Inquiry after Wit** 
(issued originally in 1709, and republished in 1722 with 
the words "Barthelmy Fair** omitted), as well as other 
pamphlets and essays, but as she generally published 
anonymously it is not always easy to identify them. 

In her later years she suffered from a cancer in the 
breast An operation was performed, but she did not 
recover. "As she perceived her dissolution draw near, 
she gave orders for her coffin and shroud to be placed 
near her bed as a memento of her approaching fate. Oc- 
cupied entirely by her devotions for some days previous 
to her death, she refused to admit to her chamber even 
her most intimate friends, lest they should discompose 
the serenity of her mind.*' She died on the 11th of May, 
1731, and was buried at Chelsea. 



Henrfi ^tljerton, 

town's fhtsioian. 

August, 1592, Paid to John Colson, surgjrnte, for his 
ccustomed fee for helping to « 
—granted by Mr. Maior, 408. 



accustomed fee for helping to cure the mamed poore folks 
-granted by Mr. Maior, 408. 
February, 1593-94, Paide for the borde wages of a boy 



which was cutt of the stone, 4s. ; paide for a strakin 
short fstrait jacket] to him, and for sewing ytt, 16d. 

Apru, 1594, Paide for the relief of the bojr, &c., 2s. 6d.; 
paide and geven him to spend att his departing out of the 
towne, 4d. 

October, 1594, Paide to a woman sargint in parte 
payment of 5s. for helinge 1 Anne Grensworlle of a 
disease, com : 2s. lOd. 

These extracts from the records of the Corporation of 
Newcastle show that before the days of infirmaries and 
dispensaries the sick and suffering poor received medical 
and surgical assistance at the public expense. The Mayor 
seems to have been the municipal almoner, and his dis- 
pensing powers were elastic and comprehensive. When 
he commanded or "granted " a payment out of the Cor- 
porate treasury his faithful brethren honoured his bill 
and set dovni to his credit in their books of account both 
the sum expended and the act which prompted the 
expenditure. 

Within no long time after the date of the entries above 
quoted the Mayor and burgesses found it necessary to 



38 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE. 



f Japnaij 



1888. 



bestow medical charity in more systematic fashion. They 
added to the number of their salaried officiab a '* Town's 
Physician/' whose duty it was to prescribe for the poor, 
and, possibly, supply them with medicine. An entry in 
their books, dated 1599, seems to point to the first person 
who held the office. '*Paide to Mr. Robert Smithe, 
phisition, for one quarter fee due at Candlemas last, £5." 
He is not designated by the title which subsequent 
physicians bore, but he evidently was in receipt of pay- 
ment for services continuously rendered in a medical 
capacity. About the next entry, however, there can be 
no doubt. " 1632, Paid Mr. Henderson [Henryson] 
the townes physition, his ^ yeares stipend due at lady- 
day, £20." 

Turning now to Brand's "History of Newcastle," we 
find a regular succession of official doctors serving under 
the Corporation down to the beginning of the eighteenth 
century, when the office merged into that of Town's Sur- 
geon. On the death of Henryson, Samuel Rand, M.D., 
received the appointment. Dr. Rand was a son of James 
Rand, A.M., vicar of Norton, and when the Civil War 
broke out he took so decided a stand against the Royalists 
that the Corporation deprived him of his office. His dis- 
placement occurred in 1643, and the following year the 
House of Commons bestowed upon him the Mastership 
of Greatham Hospital, describing him in their journals 
as " a person that hath approved himself a constant friend 
to the cause, and suffered great losses by the enemy." 
He was re-admitted to be Town's Physician in 1652, but 
died a few months later, and was biiried at Gateshead, 
leaving a claim upon the Corporation for arrears of salary, 
amounting to £320, which his nephew, William Hilton^ 
tried to enforce. 

After a lapse of six years, in 1660, Dr. George Tunstall 
was appointed, and held the office till 1664. Dr. Richard 
Luck succeeded him, and on the 17th August, 1682, the 
appointment was given to Dr. Henry- Atherton, who had 
been educated at Christ's College, Cambridge, and (in 
1673) incorporated at Oxford. 

Dr. Atherton was a Comishman, who, after a brief pro- 
fessional career at Truro, had settled in Newcastle, and 
added to the practice of physic the observance of great 
devotion to Church and King. At the time of his ap- 
pointment he had written a volume of directions for a 
religious life, which was published in the early part of 
the year following, under the title of **The Christian 
Physician, by H. A., MD." It was "printed by T. 
James for William Leach, at the Crown in Comhill," and 
was issued as a small octavo in two parts, containing in 
all 387 pages. 

Like many other learned and official personages 
throughout the country. Dr. Atherton could not be 
reconciled to the Revolution of 1688. The Vicar of New- 
castle, John March, set him an ill example. It was not 
until the Corporation threatened to withhold his salary 
that Mr. March was induced to pray publicly for King 



William and Queen Mary by name. But, although the 
vicar yielded to financial pressure, the doctor was not to 
be won over. He and his wife continued firm in their 
opposition to the new order of things. They indulged in 
language respecting it which, in November, 1693, brought 
them into the King's Bench, where their exuberant loyalty 
to King James was punished by a heavy fine. 

The doctor's pen was busy in another direction at this 
time. Morton, in his *• Pyretologia Pars Altera," pub- 
lished an account of a case of small-pox, contributed by 
Dr. Atherton, under date Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Novem- 
ber 22, 169^— the month of his conviction in the King's 
Bench. 

At Christmas, 1697, Dr. Atherton presented to the 
Church of All Saints a piece of communion plate, de- 
scribed in the inventory as the lesser flagon. Bourne, 
who was educated at Christ's College, Cambridge, under 
Dr. Atherton's son Thomas, describes the doctor as "a 
man very knowing in his profession, and of great piety 
and religion." He adds that after the doctor's death the 
place of town's physician was disposed of "to such a 
number of surgeons to attend the poor as the Mayor, for 
the time being, thinks proper." Other historians also 
mention Dr. Atherton as the last person who held the 
office. Tet Brand informs us that he was succeeded by 
" Dr. Robert Grey, who must have died before March 
31st, 1701, when a motion was made in the Common 
Council to appoint either Dr. Thomas Davison or Dr. 
Richard Huntley to succeed him, but without effect, for 
the Corporation never appointed another." A r«ferenoe 
to the register of burials at St. Nicholas' shows how 
all this came about On the 22nd January, 1699-1700, 
appears the entry "Mr. Henry Atherton, Dr. of Phisick 
and Phision of Newcastle-on-Tyne," and on the 11th 
March following, "Mr. Robert Grey, a practr. of Phisick 
and Phisition of the town— St John's." Technically, 
therefore. Brand is right, and Bourne wrong. Dr. Ather- 
ton was not the last town's physician, but his successor 
held office for so short a time that without any material 
derogation from historical accuracy he may be excluded 
from the enumeration. 

NATURALIST ANT» MBTKOROLOOIOAL OBSERVEB. 

The art of seeing is God's gift, but its true education is 
active, self -helping life, erappling with nature herself, not 
merely with printed books about her — CharUs Kingaley, 

Prominent among the younger men who founded the 
Natural History Society of Newcastle was George 
Clayton Atkinson. He was the eldest son of Matthew 
Atkinson, of the Temple Sowerby family ; his mother 
was a Littledale, of Whitehaven; and he was bom in 
Westgate Street, Newcastle, on the 5th of April, 1808. 
At Carr's Hill, in the outer suburbs of Gateshead, his 
father's permanent residence, and at Ovingham Vicarage, 
where Bewick, the engraver, had been educated half a 



"> 



Jmaxuaj 



} 



NORTH-COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND. 



39 



century earlier, hia boyhood was spent. From Ovingham 
he was sent to St Bee's School, and having at the Char- 
ter House completed his education he returned to Tsme- 
side, at about the age of sixteen, to qualify himself for 
the more serious business of life. 

From a child Mr. Atkinson had been a student of 
nature. His chief pleasure as a boy had been to ramble 
with a younger brother through the woods and pastures of 
the Tyne, collecting birds' eggs, insects, and whatsoever 
was new, curious, or interesting to an inquiring mind. 
As he grew up to manhood, the study of nature and 
natural phenomena became his principal recreation. In 
the development of his taste in this direction he was 
assisted by the personal friendship of Thomas Bewick. 
The venerable engraver taught the young man how to 
observe, and how to turn to practical account the know- 
ledge acquired in his observations. '* I used to be with 
him two or three times a week,** wrote Mr. Atkinson, 
*' and always met with the same cordial welcome or kind 
reproval for not coming more frequently." The year 
before he died, Bewick indulged his friend with a little 
bit of pleasantry which is too good to be omitted. 
"When I was with him one morning, after some con- 
versation on indifferent subjects, he said 'Are you a 
collector of relics, Mr. Atkinson ? ' Scarcely knowing to 
what this tended, I answered in the affirmative. ' Should 
you like to possess one of me?' I expressed the high 
satisfaction I should experience in a memorial of him, 
and he took from the drawer of the table he was en- 
graving at a small packet of paper, which, on being 
unfolded, displayed— a tooth I The paper contained the 
following inscription : — ' I departed from the place — from 
the place I held in the service of Thomas Bewick, after 
being there upwards of 74 years, on the 20th November, 
1827.' On the back was written— * Bewick's tooth. 
November, 1827.'" 

In July, 1829, the year after Bewick's death, a circular 
was issued suggesting the formation of a Natural History 
Society in Newcastle. To that document were appended 
the names of Mr. Atkinson and most of the leaders in 
science and literature upon Tyneside. The appeal met 
with a hearty response, the society was founded, and Mr. 
Atkinson was elected a member of the committee of 
management, and an honorary curator of the ornitho- 
logical department. At a meeting on the 15th June, 1830, 
Mr. Atkinson read a paper— the sixteenth of the series — 
selecting for his theme **The Life and Works of the late 
Thomas Bewick." 

While the Natural History Society was shaping into 
form, a process of re-organisation was taking place in a 
well-known manufacturing establishment on the Tjrne. 
Started at Lemington and Sugley in 1797, the Tjrne Iron 
Company had become one of the largest concerns of its 
kind in the district. Mr. Atkinson, senior, was a part- 
ner; the managing owner, Mr. Charles Buhner, lived 
at Deckham Hall, adjoining Carr's Hill ; and there was 



much friendship between the two households. When, 
therefore, it became advisable to settle Mr. Atkinson in 
business, his father purchased for him a share in the 
great firm at Lemington. The arrangement was in every 
respect satisfactory. It provided Mr. Atkinson with 
moderate occupation, and did not divert his mind from 
its natural bent towards scientific research and explora- 
tion. In 1831, the year after he entered into the partner- 
ship, he went on a tour to the Hebrides and St Kilda, 
accompanied by his brothers, Richard and Isaac, and 
Edward Train, the artist The following year, with 
William Hewitson and Edward James, he visited the 
Shetlands : in 1833, with William Isaac Cookson and Mr. 
Proctor, he explored the Lewis, the Faroe Islands, and 
Iceland. Of these pleasurable expeditions he wrote 
copious accounts, [some of which are illustrated by Train, 
and others by the elder Richardson. One result of them 
is seen in the Transactions of the Natural History Society 
and the Catalogue of the Museum. In the former ap- 
pears *' A Notice of the Island of St Eilda, by Mr. 6. 
C. Atkinson, read January 16, 1832"; in the latter, 
entries of various gifts are attached to his name, all testi- 
fying to his enterprise and zeal in the department of re- 
search which he had chosen. 

In 1833, on his return from Iceland, Mr. Atkinson was 
induced to enter into the rough-and-tumble life of the 
municipality of Newcastle. It was at an unusually 
stormy Michaelmas meeting of the burgesses in that year ' 
that he was elected to the Shrievalty, beating his oppo- 
nenty Mr. (afterwards Sir) John Fife, by a substantial ma- 
jority. He soon found that studious habits and scholarly 
tastes had nothing in common with the noisy declamation 
of a Town CounciL Into the Reformed Corporation, 
begun two years later, he did not venture. 

Some time before his marriage, which occurred in 1840^ 
Mr. Atkinson settled at West Denton Cottage, overlook- 
ing the Tyne, and within easy distance of Lemington and 
Newcastle. There and at Wylam Hall, to which he 
afterwards removed, he conducted a series of observations 
of rainfall, snowfall, and temperature, which were main- 
tained with great patience and care for five-and-thirty 
years. The records of these observations appear, with 
other notes from his pen, in the Transactions of the Tyne- 
side Naturalists' Field Club, of which organisation, from 
its inception in 1846, he was an active member, and, in 
his turn, president 

One branch of natural history to which Mr. Atkinson 
devoted the later years of his manhood was the practice 
of arboriculture. He knew the trees of the four Northern 
Counties well, and took an especial interest in "the 
monarchs of the forest" All the trees of the district 
remarkable for their size or other peculiarities he had 
photographed, and by an instrument of his own devising, 
that could be carried in the pocket, calculated their 
altitudes. He studied also the timber-producing qualities 
of trees, was skilful in the art of ornamental turning, and 



40 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE. 



f January 



1MB. 



invented vMrious improvemento in the 
mechanism and adjuncts of that ancient 
and valuable machine, the turner's lathe. 
Nor did he neglect the art of metallurgy, 
with which, as an ironmaster, his indus- 
trial interests were closely identified. In 
this department of science he invented a 
ball and socket joint for the tuyeres of 
blast furnaces, which had previously been 
coupled with leather hose. 

Mr. Atkinson was a magistrate of the 
borough of Newcastle, and a justice of 
the peace for the County of Northumber- 
land. He became a director of the New- 
castle and Carlisle Railway Company in 
1845, and so remained until the absorption 
of that line into the freneral system of 
the North- Eastern Railway Company, in 
July, 1862. He was also for some years 
a member of the Newcastle Society of 
Antiquaries, though he took no active 
part in the proceedings of that body. 

In 1874, Mr. Atkinson removed from 
Wylam Hall, which he had occupied for 
twenty years, and came to reside in 
Windsor Terrace, Newcastle. There, on 
the 14th April, 1877, he died, and was 
buried in Jesmond Cemetery. 



N the Wttkly Chronicle of 
October 22 and 29, 1887, 
there appeared extracts from 
the "Autobiography and Reminiscences ** 
of Mr. W. P. Frith, R. A- It was^therein 
stated that the Frith family removed in 
1826 from the little village of Aldfield, 
in Yorkshire, to Harrogate, where the 
father of the artist became landlord of an 
ancient rambling inn called The Dragon. 
It was in this inn that Mr. Frith, as a 
boy, made a copy of an engravmg of a 
dog which earned him sixpence, the 
promise of a similar reward for another 
effort, and his start in life as an artist. 
The father, a blunt Yorkshire worthy, 
but with sufficient artistic taste to 
appreciate the drama, had a fondness for 
collecting eng^vings. Pleased with his 
son's drawing of the dog, the innkeeper 
was inspired with the idea that young 
Frith might make his way in the 





J&muuy \ 



NORTH-COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND. 



41 



world through the art which he himself so much es- 
teemed. The worthy parent lost no time in acting on 
this impression, and at the age of sixteen, accordingly, 
the lad found himself as a pupil in a London art 
school, on the first rung of the ladder which he was 
destined to climb to the summit. Interested in the 
story as related in the WetULy ChronieU, Mr. John Storey, 
who happened to be staying at Harrogate, went out and 
made the sketch which, by the kindness of the artist, we 
are enabled to present to our readers. The hotel has now 
the appearance of an old tumbledown dwelling, and the 
guests are principally rats, which hold high festival in the 
roomy cellars. Though now a perfect wreck, the groimds 
covered' with weeds and brambles so that one can 
scarcely walk in them, The Dragon was once the head hotel 
in Harrogate, containing ninety bed-rooms and thirty 
sitting-rooms, with ball-room, kitchens, cellars, outbuild- 
ings, and stables. The autobiography of the Bev. 
Alexander Carlyle, minister of Inveresk, contains an 
interesting account of the company he met at the Old 
Dragon a century ago. 



nize in mirth and good fellowship, as the old song, 
"Drive the Cold Winter Away," has it :— 

When Christmas-tide comes in like a bride, 

With holly and ivy dad. 
Twelve days in the year much mirth and good cheer 

In every household is had. 
The country guise is then to devise 

Some g^ambols of Christmas play. 
Wherein the young men do the best that they can 

To drive the cola winter away. 

Songs relating to festivals and customs possess a special 
interest not adequately measured by their poetical pre- 
tensions ; and such good old carols as the ** Twelve Days 
of Christmas," although now banished to the nursery, 
were formerly great favourites, and were played as 
forfeit games, each player in turn havinir to repeat the 
gifts of a day, incurring a forfeit for every mistake. 

The music of the first and last verses only are given, 
and it will be observed that each verse not only celebrates 
the gifts of each day, which are accumulative, and 
requires a good memory on the part of those who make 
their first attempt in it as a forfeit game. The tune 
for each gift is the same in all repetitions, so .that 
the last verse contains the whole of the music. 



Che i^ffrtft^Cffttntrg (SavInttTr 
at ^artq. 



|88 Joljn J&tokoe. 




|T is intended, under this title, to continue to 
introduce to our readers a succession of the 
best and most sterling of the songs and 
ballads of the Border Counties, each accom- 
panied with the original melody, in the hope that the 
addition of the latter feature will be an improvement 
which will materially add to the interest of the lyrics. 

The legendary, the historical, or the domestic ballad, 
the strains that enliven our festivals, the love ditties of 
youth, the humorous song of the district, will each in 
due season receive attention ; and as the material at 
command is extensive, and in some instances unique, 
no pains will be spared to make the series worthy of 
permanent preservation. 

The following ballads, with music, appeared in the 
first volume of the MorUhly Chronicle ;— ** D'ye ken John 
Peel?" "Hawick Common Riding Song," "The Keel 
Row," "Cappy's the Dog," "Jemmy Joneson'sWhurry," 
" Elsie Marley," and "The Sword Dancers' Interlude." 



THE TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS. 

The Twelve Days of Christmas, extending from Christ- 
mas to Epiphany, were usually, in olden times, the days 
oi the whole year wherein to make merry, and to frater- 



^j -P ■ ' ..=- m g- 

The flnt day of Christmas my 




ni^ 



^^^ 



:35^ 



true love sent to 



i^ 



2E 



partridge 



a 



pear 



The first day of Christmas, my true love sent to me 
A partridge on a pear tree. 

The second day of Christmas, my true love sent to me 
Two turtle doves, and a partridge on a pear tree. 

The third day of Christmas, my true love sent to me 
Three French hens, two turtle doves, and 
A partridge on a pear tree. 

Tlip fourth day of Christmas, my tnie love sent to me 
Four colly birds, three French hens, 
Two turtle doves, and a partridge on a pear tree. 

The fifth day of Christinas, my true love sent to me 
Five gold rings, four colly birds, three French hens. 
Two turtle doves, and a partridge on a pear tree. 

The sixth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me 
Six geese a-la3ring, five gold rings. 
Four colly birds, three French hens, 
Two turtle doves, and a partridge on a pear tree. 

The seventh day of Christmas, my true love sent to me 
Seven swans a-swimming, six geene a-laying, 
Five gold rings, four colly birds, three J* rench hens. 
Two turtle doves, and a partridge on a pear tree. 

The eighth day of Christmas, my true love sent to mo 
Eight maids a-milking, seven swans a-swimming. 
Six geese a-laying, five gold rings, 
Four colly birds, three French hens. 
Two turtle doves, and a partridge on a pear tree. 



42 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE, 



\ 1868. 



The ninth day of ChriBtmas, my true love sent to me 
Nine drummers drumming, eight maids a*milking, 
Seven swans a-swimming, six %^^»% a-laying, 
Five g^ld rings, four colly birds, three French hens, 
Two turtle doves, and a partridge on a pear tree. 

The tenth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me 
Ten pipers piping, nine drummers drumming^ 
Eight maids a-milking, seven swans a-swimmmg. 
Six ^i&^aiQ a-laying, 6ve gold rings. 
Four colly birds, three French hens. 
Two turtle doves, and a partridge on a pea rtree. 

The eleventh day of Christmas^ my true love sent to me 
Eleven ladies dancing, ten pipers piping. 
Nine drummers drumming, eight maids a-milking. 
Seven swans a-swimming, six geese a-laying. 
Five gold rings, four colly birds, three French hens. 
Two turtle doves, and a partridge on a pear tree. 

The twelfth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me 
Twelve lords a-leapin^, eleven ladies dancixig, 
Ten pipers playing, nme drummers drumming, ^ 
Eights maids-a-milking, seven swans a-swimming, 
Six geese a-laying, five gold rings, 
Four colly birds, three French hens, 
Two turtle doves, and a partridge on a pear tree. 



fe 



d= 



^^ 



^^?^^ 



The twelfth day of 



Christ • mM, my 



t 



~^ 



=P-~~>~P~ 



true love sent to 



me Twelve lords a 



leap • ing. 



i 



Ele.- ren la • dies danc • ing, 



-k 



Ten pi • pers 



pi . ping. 



Nine drum %iners 



i 



=t 



drum • ming, Eight maids a 



milk • ing, 



i 



-A-i— -^ 



i 



sev • en swans a 



swim • ming. 



Six geese a 



^^ 



l*y * >Dgf ^ve gold rings. Four col • ly 



i 



a--£: 



birds. Three French hens, 



Two tur • tie 



^^^m 



^tit 



doves, and a par • tridge on a pear tree. 

This old carol was early in the century a favourite 
New Year's pastime in the North of England, but has 
almost died out of memory. Our copy of the music was 
originally collected by the late ^Ir. John Bell, of Gates- 
head, about eighty years ago. 



COCKFIGHTING : " A WEMH MAIN.** 
What was called " a Welsh main " was a sort of grand 
match by which two sets of cocks were gradually brought 
down, by " the survival of the fittest," to a couple. Six- 
teen pairs of cocks were pitted against each other. The 
sixteen victors next fought against each other, then the 
eight victors, next the four conquerors fought, and lasUy 
the two remaining birds were pitted against each other, 
and the surviving bird carried away the prize. 
In the Newcastle papers about a century ago, 
such disgusting contests are regularly recorded as a 
matter of course. Mr. Heavisides, in his " History of 
Stockton," says:— "In the beginning of the present 
century, when I resided at Darlington, there were two 
cock-pits at that phice, one at the Hole-in-the-Wall Inn, 
and the other at the Talbot, then the head hoteL The 
latter pit was very commodious, with tiers of seats all 
round, 'which used to be well attended by Sir Harry 
Vane, Lord Boynton, and other sporting gentlemen. 
The meetings at these pits were generally held for four 
days ; three days for battles at £10 each, and the fourth 
day for a battle royal or Welsh main for £100. During 
these four days about one hundred and thirty noble 
birds were murdered, amidst the horrid oaths and im- 
precations of those who were called gentlemen. It ia 
well the Legislature put a stop to a practice so cruel and 
revolting." Charles Ross, Newcastle. 

MR. RUSKIN AT WALLINGTON. 
The last chapter of the second volume of Mr. Ruskin't 
autobiography is entitled "Otterbum." But no account 
of that place occurs in the text. There is, however, 
a reference to Wallington and Sir Walter and Lady 
Trevelyan, to whom Mr. Ruskin seems to have paid a visit 
about 1849-50. It may be mentioned that Paulina, Lady 
Trevelyan— Mr. Ruskin's Pauline — was a daughter of the 
Rev. Dr. Jermyn, and a lady of many accomplishments. 
She was married to Sir Walter in 1835, and died in Switker- 
land on May 12, 1866. Here is what the great critic has 
to say about Wallington : — 

I have no memory, and no notion, when I first %aim 
Pauline, Lady Trevelyan; but she became at once a 
monitress-friend in whom I wholly trusted (not that I 
ever took her advice !), and the happiness of her own life 
was certainly increased by my books and me. Sir W^ter, 
being a thorough botanist, and interested in pure science 
generally, did not hunt, but was benevolently useful, as a 
hsmdlord should be, in his county. I had no interests in 
county business at that time ; but used to have happy 
agricultural or floral chats with Sir Walter, and entirely 
admired his unambitious, yet dignified stability of rural, 
and celestial, life, there amidst the Northumbrian winds. 

Wallington is in the old Percy country, the broad 
descent of main vallev leading down by Otterbum from 
the Cheviots. An ugly house enough it was ; square sec, 
and somewhat bare wiuled, looking down a slope of rough 
wide field to a bum, the Wansbeck, neither bright nor 
rapid, but with a ledge or two of sandstone to dnp over. 



^y^a^} 



NORTH-COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND, 



43 



or lean against in pools ; bits of orag in the distance, worth 
driving to, for sigot of the sweeps of moor round them, 
and breaths of breeze from Carter Fell. 

There were no chDdren of its own in Wallington, but 
Lady Trevelyan's little niece, Ck>nstanoe Hilliard, nine 
years old when I first saw her there, glittered about the 
place in an extremely quaint and witty way; and took 
to me a little, like her aunt. Afterwards her mother and 
she, in their little rectory home at Cowley (near Hilling- 
don), became important among my femimne friendships, 
and gave me, of such petting and teasing as women are 
good for, sometimes more than enough. 

A., Newcastle. 



JOHN MARTIN. 
Mr. W. P. Frith, the eminent artist, mentions, in his 
recently published Recollections, John Martin as among 
the frequent visitors to Mr. Sass's. Martin, whose por- 
trait was given on page 433 of the Monthly Chronicle 
for 1887, was, he says, "certainly one of the most 
beautiful himian beings I ever beheld. ** 

Rita, Newcastle. 



HIGHEST HABITATIONS IN GREAT BRITAIN. 
"The Ordnance Survey of the County of Durham," 
sheet 30, shows " Manorgill House," Teesdale, as close 
upon 2,000 feet above mean water at Liverpool. In- 
deed, the 2,000 feet line seems to touch the house as re- 
presented on the sheet or map. There are other elevated 
houses in this locality— for instance, "Grasshill House," 
which is only a very few feet below the 2,000 feet line. I 
live in one myself which is 1,800 '2 feet above sea level, and 
there are several others shown on this sheet higher than 
the old hostelry at Eirkstone Pass. 

Ralph Feathsbstone Raob, Ashgillhead. 

irffrtftsCffUiTtrgaffiKt^ ^^maut* 

MARIE STUART. 

Scene: Bazaar and Exhibition at Stockton. Two 
women examining a doll ticketed, "dressed in the style 
of Marie Stuart." No. 1 loq. : "Mary Stuart? ItOl 
be hor 'at*s dressed the doll. Aa wonder whor she 
leeves?" No. 2, confidently: "She leeves beside the 
oemetorry 1 " 

A SKUNK. 

A rather heated debate between two workmen occurred 
the other day in a manufactory on Tyneside. In the 
course of it one accused the other of some very mean 
action, and called him "a skunk." " Whaat's a skunk? 
Aall back ye divvent knaa whaat it means," said his 
opponent. "Aa knaa aa divvent," retorted the other, 
" but whativver it is, yor it ! " 

SHEEP AND SHEPHERD. 

Not far from Barrington, Northumberland, there 
livedi a Primitive Methodist minister. At that colliery 



the men were not allowed to walk on the engine plane. 
One day the back-overman came upon our worthy minis- 
ter walking on the forbidden plane, when the official 
exclaimed, "By gox ! aa divvent wondor at the sheep 
when aa*ve catched the shepherd ! " 

THE NAWT'S feet. 

One Sunday morning, a farmer was walking down 
towards the Bridge of Aln, on the Alnwick and Comhill 
Railway, when he saw a navvy coming out of a hut with 
bis boots on the wrong feet. The farmer addressed the 
navvy thus : " Aa say, ma man, you've got yor buits on 
the wrang feet" The navvy looked down, saw matters 
were not right, and exclaimed : "Hang'd if aa knaa, but 
them's the only blooming feet aa've got I" 

UNCLE toby's picture. 

On Saturday evening, November 19th, 1887, when the 
demand for the Ifewcastle Weekly Chronicle was so great, 
owing to the presentation of a coloured picture of Uncle 
Toby and His Little Friends, a gentleman entered the 
shop of a newsagent in Newcastle and asked the man in 
charge whether be had any Uncle Toby pictures left 
"Noa, sor," answered the shopman; "if we had, they 
wad aall hev been selt, tee I " 

the KEBLXAN and the FBBNOHlfAN. 

A keelman, having moored alongside a French lugger, 
wanted a rasher of bacon cooked for breakfast, but, 
having no cooking utensils on board, he tried to borrow 
the Frenchman's gridiron in the following manner: — 
" Parley-voo, Francey ; canny man, will ye len* us yor 
gridiron ?" The Frenchman replied to the first query : — 
"Oui, oui," to which the keelman retorted: "Whe, 
whe, ye frog-eating beggor ? wey, me, me !" 

THE METEOR. 

Not a hundred miles from the Blue Bridge, Seaham 
Harbour, in a certain cabin, a number of trimmers were 
discussing a meteor that had lately been seen, when one 
of their number asked, "Whaatan a meter was't? 
Was't a gas meter, or whaat ? " 

THE NEXT WORLD. 

In a workshop, not one hundred miles from Gateshead, 
some men were giving their opinions about the next 
world. One terminated the conversation by saying, 
"Well, lads, if the next warld is ne better than this, aall 
not gan !" 

THE sow AND THE THIRTEEN PIOS. 

A young North-Country farmer had occasion to call 
upon a neighbour with a message from his father. On 
his arrival he found the family at dinner, and the young 
fellow, having stated his business, had then to answer the 
usual string of questions as to how they were all at home, 
how the crops were looking, and so forth. The old gentle- 
man, who, though well-known to be wealthy, was reputed 
to be very stingy, omitted to ask his visitor to join them at 
table, so he sat talking till his budget was about exhausted. 
"Thenyehevnowtmair to tell us. Jack?" queried the 



44 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE. 



{ 



Jaonmry 



old farmer. '* Aa think not» except it be the aad 8oo*8 
pigfC'd, " anBwered the young man. " Hes't a good litter, 
then? '' was the next question. **Thorteen ; but the warst 
on't is, it hes oney twelve tits." "Aye," laughed the old 
gentleman: "whaat dis the thorteenth yen de then?" 
** Oh ! just what aa's deein noo— sits and leuks on ! " 

'*A HXAVT L0B8." 

A worthy little man living within the proverbial fifty 
miles of Newcastle had, as is often the case with small 
men, a wife of gigantic proportions. The latter died 
recently, and the bereaved survivor, in reply to the con- 
dolences of a sympathetic friend, exclaimed: **Aye, 
hinny, it's bin a heavy loss," and proudly added in the 
next breath, " She weighed sixteen stane !" 



00rt!t::C0untrt)i <!^&ituavCe«{* 



On the 2nd of November, 1887, after a long and painful 
illness, Mr. Henry Scholefield, merchant and shipowner, 
of Newcastie, died at the Ben Rhydding Hydropathic 
Establishment. Since 1862, he had freely identified him- 
self with several local movements of a social and philan- 
thropic character. In January, 1881, he entered the City 
Council as one of the representatives of St. Nicholas's 
Ward, but in November, 1886, he was compelled to resign 
his seat on account of continued ill-health. The deceased 
gentleman, who was also a zealous advocate of temper- 
ance, was seventy years of age. 

On the same day, Mr. George Eli Mellor, builder, died 
suddenly at Stockton. Mr. Mellor was, on the 19th of 
April, 1887, elected a member of the Town Council of the 
borough, but at the annual election on the 1st November 
last, he was unsuccessful in his candidature. During 
the contest he was seized with the illness which resulted 
in his death. 

Mr. George Ridley, who sat as one of the members of 
Parliament for Newcastle from February, 1856, to No- 
vember, 1860, at which latter date he was appointed a 
Copyhold Commissioner, died at his residence in Lon- 
don, on the 4th of November. The deceased gentleman, 
who was uncle of Sir Mathew White Ridley, was sixty- 
nine years of age. 

Dr. William Carr, an apprentice of the late Sir John 
Fife, and a member of the Royal College of Surgeons, 
England, who had long carried on practice in Newcastle, 
died in that city on the 7th of November, in the seventy- 
seventh year of his age. 

On the 9th of November, Dr. John Carrick Murray, a 
physician formerly well known in Newcastle, and a son- 
in-law of Dr. G. N. Clark, of that city, died at Stranraer, 
whither he had removed. The deceased gentleman was 
fifty-four years of age. 

The death was announced, on the 10th of November, of 
Mr. John Wood, a native of Longbenton, in Northum- 
berland, the event having taken place at Newcastle, 
New South Wales, to which he had emigrated in 1854, 
and with the progress of which he had for many years 
been associated. 

On the 14th of November was announced the death, 
which bad taken place some days previously, near Dar- 
lington, of Mr. John T. Dixon, who was agent for several 



estates on North Tyne and at Newbiggin-by-the-Sea, and 
whoee advice was often sought by all grades of agricol- 
torists. 

Captain Henry Bell, of Woolsington, brother of the 
late Mr. Matthew Bell, who was so well known as a 
member of Parliament for Northumberland, and as 
colonel of the Northumberland Yeomanry, now the 
Northumberland Hussars, died at his seat at Woolsing- 
ton, on the 17th of November, in the eighty-fifth year 
of his age. Captain Bell served in the 29th and 36th 
Regiments, and had seen some active service in India. 

Mr. Joseph Young, who joined the Newcastie police 
force m 1836, when the old watch was in existence, and 
who was one of the oldest police officers in Northumber- 
land, died on the 18th of November. The deceased was 
seventy-six years of age. 

On the 21st of November, was received the announce- 
ment of the death, which had taken place at Launoeston, 
Tasmania, on the 5th of October, of Mr. John Dorrian, 
journalise, formerly of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Com- 
mencing his professional career in Jarrow, he subse- 
quentiy secured an appointment on the NeweastU Daily 
Chroniek. After a short sojourn in London, whither he 




i-^^ c^''^:" f' 



^dS^^W^^, 



had removed for the benefit of his health, he returned 
to Newcastie, and became assistant-editor of the Weekly 
Chrtmide, This position he held until the month of 
October, 1886, when, owing to continued illness, he 
emigrated to Australia. He readily succeeded in 
obtaining professional employment, but the expecta- 
tion that the change would result in restored health 
was, unhappily, doomed to be disappointed. The de- 
ceased gentleman, who was only thirty-one years of age, 
was an accomplished journalist and a sincere and stead- 
fast friend. 

On the 24th of November, at the age of fifty-two, died 



y 



Juraary 



} 



NORTH-COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND. 



45 



Mr. WilUam Turner Moor, formerly cabinet-maker and 
builder in Newcastle. The deceased gentleman was 
named after the Rev. William Tamer, minister of the 
Unitarian congregation in Hanover Square, who was an 
intimate friend of Mr. Moor's father. 

Mr. George Smith Boggon, with one exception the 
oldest inhabitant of Seaham Harbour, and who had been 
employed under the Londonderry family during the 
whole period of his residence there, died on the 2Sth of 
November, at the age of seventy-eight years. 

Captain Holmes, of the Allendale Oampany of the 1st 
V.B.N.F., and one of the first who joined the volunteer 
movement in 1859, died at Allendale Town on the 26th of 
November, in the seventieth year of his age. 

On the 29th of November it was announced that Mr. 
Burt, M.P., had received a letter conveying intelligence 
of the death of Mr. Joseph Fairbaim, of Streator, U.S. 
The deceased left the neighbourhood of Bedlington for 
America about sixteen years aga He lately became 
manager of a mine in Streator, and it was by an explo- 
sion of gas that the injuries which resulted in his death 
were caused. Mr. Fairbaim took a prominent part in 
the Northumberland Miners* Union in its earlier days. 

On the 25th of November, and in the eighty-first 
year of his age, Mr. John Ridley, inventor of the reap- 
ing-machine usually associated vrith his name, died at 
Belsize Park, London. The deceased gentleman, who 
was a native of Boldon, near South Shields, became a 
settler in South Australia shortly after the founding of 
that colony. Returning to this country about thirty 
years ago, he took up his residence at Stagshaw Hall, 
near Hexham. 

On the 30th of November, there were buried at Eas- 
ington Churchyard, the remains of Mr. Toseph Raine, 
farmer, of North Pierpool, near Haswell, believed to be 
the last survivor of those who were in some way per- 
sonally associated with the visit of Lord Byron to Sea- 
ham Hall and his marriage with Miss Milbanke. 

On the 3rd of December was announced the death of 
Mr. John Stobbs, who, a few days previously, bad been 
found dead in bed, at his residence in London, at the age 
of seventy-five. He was the author of several well- 
known Tyneside songs, such as "Tynemouth Abbey," 
the "Bells of St Nicholas' Tower," eta 

On the 6th of December, at a little over ninety years of 
age, died Mr. John Peel, son of the huntsman of the same 
name immortalised in the hunting song, '* D'ye ken John 
Peel?" which, with the music, was published in the 
Monthly Chronicle^ vol. L, p. 184. The deceased gentle- 
man, who was familiarly known as *' Youn^ John Peel," 
died at Ruthwaite, Cumberland. 

The death was announced, on the 7th of December, at 
the age of sixty-one, of Mr. Henry Charles Silvertopv 
of Minsteracres, who in 1859 was High Sheriff of 
Northumberland. 

Mrs. Ellis, widow of Mr. Mark Ellis, mother of Mr. J. 
Baxter Ellis, Sheriff of Newcastle, and lister of the late 
Mr. Joseph Barker, theologian and politician, died at 
Bramley, near Leeds, on the 7th December, in the 
seventy-eighth year of her age. 

Mr. Henry Watson, J.P., and head of the firm of 
Messrs. Watson and Sons, brassfounders and engineers. 
High Bridge, Newcastle, died on the 12th of December. 
The deceased gentleman, who was seventy-one years of 
atce, was an active supporter of the Infirmary and other 
philanthropic institutions. 



5l«0vTr u( (Irbtnt^, 



|lortl)*€oimtr|| ©ccurrencej*. 



NOVEMBER, 1887. 
L— The foundation stone of a new church to be dedi- 
cated to All Saints, was laid at Harton Colliery, by the 
Ven. H. Watkins, D.D., Archdeacon of Durham. 

—The trial of Police-Constable Endacott at the Central 
Criminal Court, on the charge of perjury in connection 
with the arrest of Miss Cass, formerly of Stockton, ended 
in a verdict of acquittal. 

— In Newcastle, for the first time, the annual muni- 
oipal elections took place under the new arrangement 
which necessitated the retirement of one member from 
each of the sixteen wards into which the borough had 
recently been divided. There were contests in West All 
Saints', St. Nicholas', Westgate South, and Heaton 
Wards, the gentlemen returned in each case being Mr. 
W. Smith, Mr. B. J. Sutherland, Mr. Harkus, and Mr. 
H. Waller. The newly-created borough of West Hartle- 
pool had its first municipal election. There were contests 
in all the six wards into which the town was divided, 
each returning three members, and the election was car- 
ried out on a political basis. 

2. — At Durham Assizes, James Crane, 24, for brutally 
outraging a little girl at Gateshead, was sentenced to 
twenty years' penal servitude. In the same court, Peter 
Gradon, a constable in the Durham County Constabulary, 
was sentenced to five years' penal servitude for foi^gery. 

3. — John Anderson, miner, for an outrage on his 
daughter at Bishop Auckland, was sentenced by Lord 
Chief-Justice Coleridge, at Durham Assizes, to penal 
servitude for life. On the same occasion, William 
M*Nally, 36, labourer, was sent to penal servitude for 
ten years, for the manslaughter of Margaret Louigi, at 
HartlepooL 

— <lommander Hugh C. D. Ryder R.N., was ap- 
pointed to the conmiand of the Wellesley Training 
Ship in the Tyne. 

— An analysis of a bridal cake, from eating of which 
several persons had been seized with illness at Jarrow, 
indicated the existence of arsenic in the icing. 

— At the Durham Assizes, Mary Ann Scrafton, 46, 
widow, and Eliza Foxall, 26, married woman, were 
charged with conspiracy to murder Henry Foxall, bar- 
man, at Bishopwearmouth, and husband of the latter- 
named prisoner, by poisoning him, between May and 
September last. It was proved that Scrafton, who was a 
fortune-teller at Hartlepool, had supplied Mrs. Foxall 
with poison, which she had administered to her husband. 
The jury, on the second day of the trial, found both pri- 
soners guilty of administering poison with intent to do 
grievous bodily harm, but recommended them to mercy. 
In consequence, however, of an objection raised to the 
viUidity of the indictment, sentence was postponed pend- 
ing the consideration of the point. 

— Patrick Gourkin, 39, glass-cutter, was sentenced to 
twenty years' penal servitude at Durham Assizes, for an 
outrage upon his daughter, at Gateshead. John James 
M*Ewen, 35, bank-manager, was on the same occasion 
sentenced to ten years' penal servitude for embezzlement 
at Jarrow. 

5.— The foundation stone of a new building for the Dur- 
ham College of Medicine, designed by Messrs. Dunn 



46 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE. 



fjwawj 



1888. 



and Hansom, and situated in Bath Road, New- fellow- workman, named Patrick Logan, was serioualy 

castle, was laid by the Duke of Northumberland, in injured, by a fall of stone in the fiusby Main Seam of 

presence uf a large number of distinguished scientists, Tanfield Lea Colliery. 



UmMhJm^kii dyi f^^^^^^ 




medical and otherwise, and of representatives of civio 
and other bodies in the district. 

—The tenth series of People's Concerts was com- 
menced in the Town Hall, Newcastle. 

—About 160 members of the Newcastle police force 
were entertained to a knife-and-fork tea, by Sir Benjamin 
Browne, Mayor, the remaining men being similarly 
treated on the 8tK 

— ^The Newcastle cow market was transferred from 
Newgate Street to Marlborough Crescent. 

— A Fine Art Exhibition was opened in the Borough 
Hall, Stockton, by the Marquis of Londonderry, Lord 
Lieutenant of Ireland. 

— Lord Chief-Justice Coleridge, at Durham Assizes, 
sentenced Peter Toner, 36, bricklayer, to ten years' penal 
servitude for the manslaughter of his wife, Catherine 
Toner, at Felling, on the 9th of October, 1887. 

6. — A body cf Socialists, in compliance with a mani- 
festo previously issued, attended service at St. Nicholas' 
Cathedral, Newcastle, for the purpose of calling attention 
to the condition of the unemployed. A large police force 
was present, but the proceedings were orderly. In the 
afternoon a meeting was held in the Bigg Market, when 
some exciting spesches were delivered. 

7.— The Hon. and Rev. F. R. Grey, rector of Mor- 
peth, was preser ted by his parishioners with an illumi- 
nated address and a cheque for £286, and Lady Elizabeth 
Grey, his wife, was presented with a gold bracelet, on the 
attainment of M* . Grey's jubilee as a priest. 

— Dr. F. R. Ijees, of Leeds, delivered the first of a 
series of temperance lectures in Newcastle, in reply to a 
paper by Dr. W. Murray, on **TheDanger of Regular 
Habits." 

8.— Nicholas Carr, 23 years old, was killed, while a 



9. — The annual election of Mayors and other dvio 
ofiScials took place throughout the district, the following 
being the results in the boroughs of Northumberland and 
Durham : — ^Newcastle, Mayor, William Davies Stephens, 
Sheriff, Joseph Baxter Ellis ; Morpeth, -George Young ; 
Tynemouth, George Dodds; Berwick, Alderman Dar- 
ling ; Gateshead, George Davidson ; Hartlepool, Alder- 
man Richardson ; West Hartlepool (first election) William 
Gray, J.P. ; Stockton, J. Kindler ; Durham, Alderman 
Blackett; Darlington, T. T. Sedgwick; Sunderland, 
Edwin Richardson ; South Shields, txeorge Scott ; 
Jarrow, Alderman John Price. At South Shields, the 
election was decided by the casting vote of the retiring 
Mayor, 14 votes each having been recorded for Mr. 
Scott and Mr. Mabane. 

13. — A series of festival services was commenced in St. 
Nicholas' Cathedral, Newcastle, in celebration of the dedi- 
cation of the new reredos and the completion of the east 
end of the church. Mr. Percy Westmacott, of the Els- 
wick Works, had generously given £4,000 to pay for the 
reredos, sedilia, and screens. Mr. Robert J. Johnson was 
the architect. Sermons were preached morning and even- 
ing by the Archbishop of York (Dr. Thomson) ; and, it 
being Corporation Sunday, the Mayor (Mr. W. D. 
Stephens) and members of the City Council attended on 
the former occasion in their official capacity. The col- 
lection taken on behalf of the medical charities amounted 
to £169 7s. 9d. ; the sum realised in the evening, £45 4s., 
being in aid of the Restoration Fund. The services were 
continued altogether over eight days, the other preachers 
being the Bishop of Carlisle ; the Bishop of Southwell ; 
the Dean of York ; the Bishop of Chester ; the Bishop of 
Manchester ; the Bishop of Sodor and Man ; the Bishop 
of Durham; and the Bishop of Newcastle. The total 
collections on behalf of the Restoration Fund amounted 
to £370 8s. 5d., the sum required being £3,000. 



JanmiT \ 



NORTH-COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND. 



47 



13. — A small party of men, under the direction of the 
local branch of the Social Democratic Federation, again 
attended the morning service in St Nicholas' Cathe- 
dral ; and a meeting, similar to that which took place on 
the preTioos Sunday, was held in the afternoon in the 
Bigg Biarket. 

15.— A plumber, named Peter Dixon, was knocked 
down and killed by an engine on the High Level Bridge, 
Newcastle. 

— Afire, by which stock and property estimated at about 
£20,000, were destroyed, occurred in Pandon, Newcastle. 
It broke out in the fish-curing establishment of Mr. Tripp, 
and extended to Councillor T. Richardson's flour ware- 
house as well as to Mr. George Harle's stores beneath the 
warehouses. Two firemen were seriously. injured. 

18. — ^At a meeting of the Newcastle Board of Guardians, 
an estimate was submitted showing the total number of 
persons out of employment in the city to be about 1,200, 
and it was decided to institute a fund upon the lines 
adopted the previous winter by the Board and its officers. 

— Mr. John Hanunond, station-master at Chevington, 
on the North-Eastem Railway, was accidentally killed 
by a passing train, while he was crossing the line at that 
I>lace. 

— ^About this time, 120 trees, presented as jubilee gifts, 
ware planted in the grounds of St. George's Church, Cul- 
lercoats. 

— ^The drapery establishment of Todd Brothers, Dar- 
lington, was destroyed by fire, the damage being esti- 
mated at £6,000. 

— ^A superbly executed chromo-lithograph of Unde 
Toby and his Little Friends was issued as a gratis sup- 
plement to the Weekly Chronicle of to-day. It was found 
impossible to fully supply the demand, which was far in 
excess of what had been anticipated ; and in many cases 
copies were sold at considerably enhanced prices by street 
vendors. To-day, too, the Big Book of the Dicky Bird 
Society, containing the names of all the children who 
had been enrolled as members of that great organization, 
was exhibited at the Art Gallery, where it attracted a 
large amount of attention. 

— ^A Rotterdam steamer, the W. A. Scholten, was sunk 
by collision with another vessel, supposed to be the Rosa 
Mary, of Hartlepool, off Dover. There were on board the 
unfcntunate steamer 214 persons, comprising crew and 
passengers, of whom 89 were saved by the steamer Ebro^ 
of Sunderland. Three male passengers, named respec- 
tively Appleby, Stepney, and Robson, from Newcastle, 
were among the rescued. 

— At a delegate meeting of the Northumberland 
Miners' Association, it was decided to rescind the late 
decision of the county with respect to the salaries of 
Messrs. Burt and Fenwick. (See voL i.. Sept 6, page 
386» and Sept. 23, page 430.) It was also resolved to give 
notice to terminate the sliding scale at the end of the 
year. 

20. — ^Damage to the extent of £2,000 was done by a 
stack-fire on the farm of the Coxlodge Colliery Company. 

— William Quinn, fish curer, died at the Infirmary 
from the effects of injuries received through falling 
from the window of a house in Dog Bank, New- 
castle, during an altercation with a woman named 
Hannah Gleeson, who was much injured at the same 
time. 



22. — By a fire which occurred at his office in Church 
Way, North Shields, Mr. Henry Bailie Thompson^ 
borough rate collector, aged 74 years, lost his life. 

— ^An empty foy boat, bearing the name of William 
Dowey, of South Shields, was picked up off the Tyne ; 
and three men, named Donkin, Sadler, and M*Gee, had 
been drowned. 

— Lord Northbrook addressed a political meeting at 
Durham, and the following evening he spoke at Bishop 
Auckland. 

23.— On this and the following day, an adjourned 
National Conference of Miners was held in Newcastle, 
under the presidency of Mr. Thomas Burt, M.P. On the 
latter day a resolution was adopted, recognising the 
"unanimity of the districts represented " on the subject 
of the Edinburgh resolutions with regard to the restric- 
tion of output ; but, inasmuch as South Wales and Dur- 
ham were not present to take joint action with them, it 
was agreed to appoint a committee to seek the co-opera- 
tion of those two important centres. It was further 
decided that negotiations should, in the meantime, be 
opened with the employers of the various counties asking 
that the alterations proposed in the Edinburgh reso- 
lutions should come into operation on January 1. The 
president expressed his stronor opinion that restriction 
was imsound in principle, and impracticable. 

24.— The coroner's jury which inquired into the deaths 
of eight men killed by the Walker Colliery explosion de- 
cided that the explosion was the result of pure accident. 

25.— Formation of a Tyneside Geographical Society, 
with Mr. F. W. Dendy as chairman, and Mr. G^rge 
Smithson as secretary. 

28. — The temperance party of Tynemouth presented a 
tea and coffee service to Mr. George Dodds, to com- 
memorate his election as Mayor of the borough. 

— Mr. Auberon Herbert delivered a lecture in New- 
castle, on ** Individualism," following it up by a series of 
similar lectures in other parts of the district 

— At a meeting held in Newcastle, presided over by 
Mr. J. C. Stevenson, M.P., and addressed by Mr. 
Acland, M.P., it was resolved that an association repre- 
senting the manufacturing industries and educational in- 
stitutions in the locality, and others interested in the 
question, be formed to co-operate with the National Asso- 
ciation for the Promotion of Technical Education. 

— ^At a town's meeting held in Gateshead, to consider 
the condition of the unemployed, a resolution was 
adopted calling on the Council and the Board of Guar- 
dians to commence certain works. 

29. — ^A reunion of temperance reformers of fifty years' 
standing was held in the Central Hall, Newcastle. In 
the afternoon, there was a conference, during the first 
portion of which Dr. Rutherford presided, the chair 
being afterwards taken by Alderman Hindmarsh, of 
Gateshead. Mr. George Dodds and Alderman Barkas 
were among the speakers. A *' jubilee demonstration " 
was held in the evening, under the presidency of Mr. 
Dodds. There were present at the conference 32 who 
had been total abstainers for 51 years, 8 for 53, 2 for 55, 
4 for 58, 2 for 60, 1 for 62, and 1 for 63 years. There 
were, besides, 120 who had been teetotalers from 5 to 
49 years. 

DECEMBER. 
2. — The foundation and comer stones of the Gateshead 
Children's Hospital w%re laid by Mr. W. H. James, 



48 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE. 



/Janaary 
1 188a 



M.P., Mrs. Davidson, the Hon. Mrs. Peanen, Mrs. 
Joioey, and Mrs. Robinson. 

3.— The Auckland District Jubilee Bridge across the 
river Wear was opened by the Bishop of Durham. 

6. — ^The domestic chapel built at Benwell Tower, the 
residence of the Bishop of Newcastle, was opened by the 
Bishop of Lincoln. 

7. — A new bridge over the river Tweed, at Norham, 
erected at a cost of £10,000, was opened by Mr. John 
Craster, chairman of the Tweed Bridges Trustees. 

10.— A six-days* bicycle contest in Newcastle ended in 
Battensby, of Blyth, having accomplished 792 miles 3 
laps, and Young, of Glasgow, one lap less. 

12. — A new tombstone over tbe grave of John Cunning- 
ham, the pastoral poet, in St. John's Churchyard, New- 
castle, to replace the worn-out memorial originally erected 
by Mr. Thomas Slack, founder of the NewcoitU Chronicle, 
to which the poet was a frequent contributor, was un- 
veiled by Dr. Thomas Hodgkin. The expense of the 
stone had been defrayed by public subscription, the 




movement having been initiated by Mr. John Robinson, 
assisted by Mr. Wm. Lyall, of the Literary and Philo- 
sophical Society. An address was also delivered by the 
Rev. Dr. J. C. Bruce, and letters of apology for absence 
were read from Sir M. W. Ridley, M.P., and Mr. Joseph 
Cowen. Memorial trees were afterwards planted round 
the poet's grave by Dr. Hodgkin, Dr. Bruce, the Sheriff 
of Newcastle (Mr. J. Baxter Ellis), and Councillor 
William Smith. 

— A Liberal conference in the afternoon, and a public 
meeting at night, were held at Sunderland, both gather- 
ings being addrened by Sir George Otto Trevelyan, M.P. 



Seiutal Gtcnxxtnw. 

NOVEMBER. 
10.— A warrant having been issued by the Government 
for the arrest of Mr. Pyne, M.P., that gentleman forti- 
fied himself in his castle at Lisfinny, L:eland, and there 
defied the authorities for several weeks. 



12. — Four Anarchists, named Parsons, Engel, Spies, 
and Fischer, were hanged at Chicago, U.S. Another 
condemned Anarchist, named Lingg, committed suicide 
in his cell a few days previously by exploding a fulminat- 
ing shell in his mouth. 

13. — On this day, two French aeronauts, MM. L*Haste 
and Mango, 28 and 20 years of age respectively, ascended 
in a balloon from Paris. After successfully descending 
and landing a passenger at Quillebceuf, near Honfleur, 
one hundred and fourteen miles from Paris, they re- 
started at noon, crossing over Tancarrille and Cape 
d*Autifer, north of Havre. At one they were passed by 
the steamer Georgette, forty-two miles from Dieppe, and 
at half -past four were sighted somewhere off the Lde of 
Wight by the steamer Prince L-eopold» from Newcastle 
for Lisbon, since which time they have not been seen. 

— Serious riots occurred in London. Sir Charles War- 
ren, the Chief Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, 
having issued an order prohibiting the holding of meet- 
ings in Trafalgar Square, a large body of police was placed 
on duty in the neighbourhood. An attempt was, never- 
theless, made to hold a meeting at oner o'clock p.m., the 
ostensible purpose being to protest against the imprison- 
ment of Mr. O'Brien, M.P. The police interfered, and 
some desperate fighting took place. Shortly after four 
o'clock p.m., bodies of the Ist Life Guards and Grenadier 
Guards put in an appearance and cleared the square. 
Many persons were arrested, including Mr. Cunningham 
Grahame, M.P., and John Bums, a well-known Socialist. 
Conflicts with the police took place in other parts of 
London. 

14. — ^Alarming reports of the condition of the Crown 
Prince of Germany were received about this time. His 
Imperial Highness's complaint being cancer in the 
throat, much concern was felt throughout Europe. 

n.-^Valentine Baker Pasha died at Tel-el-Eebir of 
fever, aged 62 years. 

22. — Intelligence was received that the menairerie of 
Mr. P. T. Bamum, the American showman, had been 
destroyed by fire at Bridgeport, Connecticut. Three 
elephants, all the lions, tigers, and other quadrupeds, all 
the trained animals, stallions, ponies, &c., and a large 
number of monkejrs and cats, perished in the flames. 
The loss was estimated at 700,000 dollars. 



DECEMBER. 

2. — The Lord Mayor of Dublin was committed to 
prison for publbhing in the Nation, of which he is pro- 
prietor, reports of meetings of suppressed branches of the 
National League. 

— M. Jules Gr^vy, President of the French Republic, 
announced his resignation. The same day the National 
Assembly proceeded to the election of a new President 
M. Sadi Camot, grandson of the ** organizer of victory," 
was chosen by a large majority. 

10.— A desperate attempt was made by a man named 
Aubertin to assassinate M. Jules Ferry in the lobby of 
the French Chamber. Aubertin fired three shots from a 
revolver. One of the bullets missed ; the others struck 
M. Ferry, but only produced contused wounds. 



Printed by Walter Soott, Felling-on-Tyne. 



"X 




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Ube /Rontbli? Cbronicle 



OF 



NORTH-COUNTRY'LORE«AND«LEGEND 



Vol. II.— No. 12. 



FEBRUARY, 1888. 



Price 6d. 



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|Kfi SB. Ilockes lark 




I HE sketch which is here reprinted was con- 
tributed to the Neweaitlt Daily ChronicU 
by the late Mr, Alderman Harle on the 
occasion of John Forster's death in 1876. 
William Lockey Harle was bom in the city of York, 
although his parents really belonged to Stockton. He 
received his education in the latter town, where hi9 
father held an important position in the Excise. His 
scholastic education finished, young Harle was sent to 
Newcastle. There, under the eminent solicitor, Mr. John 
Adamson, he served his articles, and was admitted to 
practice as an attorney in 1833. There were at that time 
many grievances to redress and many abuses to rectify, 
and the able and eloquent young solicitor with both 
tongue and pen advocated Parliamentary reform, muni- 
cipal reform, the abolition of the Com Laws, &c., 
with a zeal and energy which soon made him famous. 
He was an admirable speaker, clear and forcible, and 
with a most pleasing delivery. In November, 1841, he 
was first elected to the Town Council for St Nicholas' 
Ward. He kept his position until 1853, when he was 
defeated ; and it was not until May, 1857, that he 
regained a seat for his old ward. In the November 
following he was superseded by the late Mr. John 
Harrison ; but in the following year he contested All 
Saints' East Ward, which was perhaps the most 
memorable and exciting municipal election that ever 
occurred in Newcastle. Great numbers of persona- 
tions were proved against his opponent (Mr. David 
Bum), and the result was that Mr. Harle gained 
the seat. He was elected Sheriff in 1864, and alder- 
roan in 1868. Few more energetic and hard-working 



members than Mr. Harle have ever occupied a 
place in the Council Chamber. Socially, he was 
a most pleasant and agreeable companion, while 
his literary attainments, as his sketch of John Forster 
shows, were of no mean order. Mr. Harle pub- 




7 ^~- if^^W^-^'^'**^"'' 



lished, in 1854, a volume entitled ** A Career in (he Com- 
mons," being a series of letters to a young member of 
Parliament on ** the conduct and principles necessary to 
constitute him an enlightened and efficient representa- 
tive." Moreover, he was u frequent contributor to the 

D 



60 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE, 



|Febjuj^ 



looU litentore of his day. Mr. Harle, who had deeply 
endeared himself to a wide circle of friends, died at his 
residence, Victoria Square, Newcastle, on the 18th of 
January, 1868, at the age of sixty -seven years. 



ME. HARLE*S PAPER. 

Biographer, historian, essayist, critic, journalist, John 
Forster accomplished, in some respects, more than any 
other man of his time. He died in London, on February 
1, 1876, labouring for fame at the age of 65 as earnestly 
as he had laboured in Green Court, Newcastle, at 16. 
Knowing him, as I did, personally, and familiar as I am 
with the saliant points of his surprising career, it is 
worth while for the sake of every earnest and ambitious 
student to throw licrht on the mode by which an obscure 
Newcastle boy became the friend, guide, and adviser of 
the most brilliant men of his time — of poets, historians, 
novelists, orators, statesmen, artists, and actors. 

John Forster owed everything as regards formation of 
character to the town of Newcastle. He was trained in 
classics at the Grammar School by the Rev. Edward 
Moises, and in mathematics by a very able teacher — Mr. 
Henry Atkinson. No aspiring youth could anywhere 
obtain more accomplished tutors. Mr. Moises was very 
proud of Forster. I remember in the summer of 1826, 
as a small boy, visiting Mr. Moises at his bouse in 
Jesmond Bank. His whole conversation turned that 
summer night, as he sat in his garden, on the merits of 
the youth Forster, and the witty speeches of Mr. 
Wentworth Beaumont during the long election at 
Alnwick. 

John Forster's father was a butcher, and his uncle 
John Forster, usually termed "Gentleman John," was 
also a butcher. The tmcle was a bachelor. I remember 
him, a tall, florid man, with a stick, and quick, fussy 
step ; easy, natural, pleasant manners, and of course 
possessed of great reliance on the future eminence of his 
sparkling nephew, John. The uncle spared no expense in 
procuring the best tuition for his favourite. The boy 
John had a brother, Christopher, a merchant, and two 
sisters, Jane and Elizabeth. They were all Unitarians, 
and members of Mr. Turner's congresration in Hanover 
Square. All John Forster's relatives are dead. I knew 
Christopher and the two sisters. John, in after life, 
assisted them ; but they were all very much afraid of 
him, and spoke of him as a **star that dwelt apart" 

Newcastle, between 1825 and 1830, had considerable 
mental activity among her young men. The new 
library in Westgate Street (the Lit and Phil.) had 
been recently opened. It was the fashion for young 
men to read and cultivate literature and the arts. 
Politics had no attraction. Newcastle entertained no 
relish for town elections. The Freemen were satisfied 
with a Ridley and an Ellison to represent them ; and 
it was difficult to decide whether the politic* of the 



place were "blue, black, white, or brown." There 
was a good theatre. Richardson, Parker, Carmichael, 
Good, Balmer, and Bewick formed an artistic body of 
no mean order ; and Thomas Doubleday was writing 
dramas and elegant essays in Blaekwood'8 Magazine. 
He was not known then as a politician, and he 
cultivated general literature with considerable success. 
The newspapers were dull, and cost sevenpence each. 
The Courant advertised for everybody, but gave 
opinions upon nothing. The Chronicle was grave and 
decorous. The Tyiie Mercury had political leaders, 
local articles, and general criticism ; but all were 
heavy and dull, and nobody read them. The Editor of 
the Mercury, Mr. W. A. Mitchell, was a Grand Vizier 
at the Blue Bell, at the head of the Side, every 
evening, and smoked and discussed the topics of the 
day with great solemnity. A shilling mt^azine was 
also published monthly by Mr. Mitchell, and into this 
humble repository much of the juvenile literature of 
the town found its way. 

Before the Forsters removed to Green Court, they 
resided opposite to the old Dispensary in High Friar 
Street The late Mr. Francis Bennett, the eminent 
surgeon in Gateshead, served his apprenticeship under 
Mr. Wilkie at this Dispensary, and as a youth became 
acquainted with his opposite neighbour, John Forster. 
It was at Mr. Bennett's house in Gateshead that I 
subsequently became acquainted with Forster. Mr. 
George Burnett, of Gallowgate, one of the founders of 
the eminent manufacturing firm of Hugh Lee Pattinson 
and Company at the Felling, was also an early friend 
of Forster, and a warm admirer of his vigour and 
talent. 

Newcastle, as I have described it, saw Forster a boy at 
the Grammar School in the Spital ; and I fancy he must 
have been about 17 or 18 when I first heard of him as an 
aspirant for literary distinction. I was passinsr under 
the portico of the old Theatre in Moslev Street, when I 
noticed on the poster, in the usual black wooden frame 
hanging on the wall, an intimation that a new drama 
in two acts, entitled "Charles at Tunbridge, or the 
Cavalier of Wildinghurst," written by a gentleman of 
Newcastle, would be acted %hat evening. My curiosity 
was excited, and I found on inquiry that the "gentle- 
man of Newcastle *' who wrote the play was young John 
Forster — the favourite of Mr. Moises at the Grammar 
School— an intense student of Byron and Scott — an 
enthusiastic antiquary and collector of ballad poetry, and 
always seen with a book under his arm. I cannot say 
whether the play was successful I did not see it, but I 
remember the title as well as if I had noticed it on the 
poster last Monday. I knew also the leading theatrical 
critic of that day. He was an assistant to Mr. Lead- 
bitter, a chemist, in what was then termed Middle 
Street His criticisms were clever and sparkling, and 
were published in the Durham Chronicle, then edited by 



Ftbruary \ 
188a / 



NORTH'COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND, 



51 



poor Veitch. This dramatic critic and hero of the pestle 
had a g^reat admiration for Forster, and assisted in 
nurturing that taste for the drama which characterised 
Forster through life. 

The uncle — **6entleman John" — was advised to send 
his promising nephew to Cambridge ; and to Cambridge 
young Forster accordingly went, A University educa- 
tion was an important matter in those days. Newcastle 
butchers were not the people to waste their money over 
Oxford and Cambridge. An exception was made, how- 
ever, in favour of Forster ; and it was anticipated that, 
after the careful training of Mr. Moises and Mr. Atkin- 
son, he would acquire additional laurels on the Cam. 
Such was not the case. He was a very short time at Cam- 
bridge. Whether his uncle's finances were tmequal to the 
demand made upon them, or the people at the University 
were unsuited to Forster, or he unsuited to them, I do 
not know; but he soon withdrew from Cambridge, and 
went to London, and there he commenced that career 
which became po remarkably successful. 

Brougham and Campbell (the poet) had succeeded in 
establishing a university in Gower Street, more on 
Scotch principles than on those of Oxford and Cam- 
bridge ; and soon after 1828 many young men crowded 
to this London University, especially to the law class, 
of which Mr. Amos was the first professor. In 
November, 1828, Forster wrote *' Remarks on Two of 
the Annuals," and sent them to Mr. Mitchell for pub- 
lication in the HetDCctsUe Magazine, They are dated 
from London, and appeared in January, 1829. In his 
notice to ** Readers and Correspondents ** for that 
month, Mr. Mitchell, the editor, alluding to Forster's 
contribution, says:— "Our London correspondent, who 
communicates the review of two of the annuals, hints 
something about carelessness in his composition, in 
consequence of the short time occupied in preparing 
the article. We do not think our readers will agree 
with him. They would rather attribute the apology to 
his modesty than to any other cause." This, I should 
tay, is one of the earliest— if not the earliest— appear- 
ances of Forster in print. The writing is not parti- 
cularly good ; and, as the work of a youth in his 
teens, the confident tone of the criticism, and the 
modes in which censure and praise are alike distri- 
buted, are really entertaining. Forster also studied in 
the chambers of Mr. Chitty, the eminent special 
pleader ; but neither Mr. Chitty in private, nor Pro- 
fessor Amos in public at the London University, 
appears to have charmed John Foister with the aspect 
of lenral study. 

Chief Justice Whiteside, of the Irish Queen's Bench, 
was at the London University livith John Forster. 
They were much alike in many respects. Both were 
devoted to literature — both were fond of acting — and 
both were frequent speakers in the University Debat- 
ing Society. Whiteside, however, read more law than 



Forster, and obtained a prize for a special examination 
on Coke's Reports. Forster was considered the better 
declaimer of the two ; and if he had continued the 
cultivation of public speaking he would have won ad- 
ditional lustre, both in Parliament and at the Bar. 
Whiteside returned to Ireland, and after a stormy 
career settled down as Chief-Justice of the Queen's 
Bench. As an interesting historical fact, I may 
mention that Whiteside, in the December number of 
the NeweatUc Magazine^ 1829, published a sketch of Mr. 
Peter Burrows, of the Irish Bar; and Forster, doubt- 
less, obtained this contribution from the future Lord 
Chief-Justice of Ireland for his friend, Wm. Andrew 
Mitchell, of the Newcastle Magazine, 

It is clear that at this time Forster had decided on 
a literary course of life. He was young, bold, and 
energetic ; and he determined to write a book and 
connect himself with the periodical press. Wherever 
young men are gathered together, there is a tendency 
to contribute to a magazine, especially if a publisher 
can be found to introduce the juvenile efforts to the 
world. The London University had its magazine, and 
to this Forster copiously contributed. Mr. Taylor, the 
University bookseller, published this little work ; and 
it was as good as such crude and rash speculations 
usually are. It died very early ; and at the end of 
1832 Forster had ceased all connection with the 
University, and had become the theatrical and literary 
critic both of the Examiner and of the daily True 
Sun. 

The latter, an evening papier, may be said to have been 
the offspring of the great Reform Bill, and of the intense 
political excitement around that great measure. It was a 
sevenpenny journal, overflowing with talent. In the 
drama and literature of the True Sun Forster reigned 
supreme. Mr. John Bell, a man of great force of 
character, told me some years after the True Sun had 
ceased to exist that Forster dealt with the theatres and 
books in a great measure as he pleased. Mr. Bell was the 
political economist of the paper, and wrote leaders. Mr. 
J. C. Symons was the editor, and both Mr. Daniel 
Whittle Harvey and the Unitarian minister, Mr. W. J. 
Fox, were connected with this joumaL Mr. Albany 
Fonblanque was editor of the Examiner, Political 
writing wholly occupied his attention, and Forster thus 
became possessor of the literary and dramatic authority of 
the great weekly Examiner^ the reputation of which had 
been created by the brothers John and Leigh Hunt. 

Certain men of genius — authors and actors — were then 
gradually rising into fame. Forster, with the True Sun 
in one hand and the Examiner in the other, was equal to 
the occasion. He became a ** ruler in Israel," and held 
the power of aiding or retarding these men by the vigour 
of his criticism. Edmund Kean died utterly exhausted 
in 1833. Forster attended his funeral. Macready was 
ambitious of holding the sceptre that had been wielded by 



52 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE. 



{ 



FebmATj 



Kean. Forster od all occoKions, in the Trat Sun and 
Examiner, vigorously supported Macready. Bulwer, the 
author of "Pelham,** "The Disowned," and "Eugene 
Aram," was rising into celebrity; and Forster gave him 
great encouragement in his literary progress. Buh\er 
was a member of Parliament with a high social position. 
He was the leader, too, of a powerful dramatic party 
opposed to the monopoly of the two great patent theatres 
— Drury Laue and Covent Garden. Young Forster, 
with the daily and weekly press at his command, became 
tlio centre of a little solar system, round which several 
unquestionable stars gladly revolved. Macready, Bul- 
wer, Leigh Hunt, Sergeant Talfourd, Biaclise, Sheridan 
Knowles, W. J. Fox, were all persons who recognized 
and acknowledged the influence of Forster. Charles 
Dickens at this time was in obscurity. He was reporting 
for the Morning Chronicle, and wrote occasionally those 
slight sketches which appeared in the monthly magazines 
and elsewhere over the signature of "Boz." I have 
personally at this time (1876) the means of knowing the 
influence of the young gentleman from Newcastle in the 
literary circles of London. 

Mr. Charles Atkinson, a young man who had received 
an excellent education under the father of Dr. Bruce, 
commenced business in Newcastle as a tailor. He dis- 
liked the pursuit, and became literary in his tastes. 
He WTote in two volumes an historical novel, as was 
then the fashion, after Walter Scott. This work, 
" Derwent water, a Tale of the Year 1715," found a 
London publisher, and Atkinson determined to devote 
himself to literature as a livelihood. He engaged 
a room at Kenton for the sake of solitude, and 
commenced the composition of another novel. This 
was published in three volumes under the title 
of "Otterbum," and was also, as its title indicated, 
of the historical class. He went to London in 
1832, to follow the example of John Forster, and 
obtain an engagement on the periodical press. I was 
(me of thof^e who advised him to confer with Forster. 
He did so. Forster kindly seconded his aspirations, and 
gave him a letter of introduction to Leigh Hunt, with a 
view to an appointment on the Timet as a Parliamentary 
reporter. Atkinson, poor fellow ! had acquired short- 
hand, and was accustomed to tax his friends to read to 
him sermons and speeches in the exercise of his new art. 
I saw Leigh Hunt's letter to Atkinson. It spoke most 
kindly of Forster, and expressed the writer's sorrow 
that he saw his old friend so seldom. Armed with 
Leigh Hunt's introduction, Atkinson saw Mr. Barnes, 
the manager of the Timet, and was at once placed on 
the Parliamentary reporting staff of the great morning 
journal. Atkinson went into the gallery of the House 
of Commons in the middle of 0'Connell*s great harangue 
at the opening of the reformed Parliament in 1835 on 
the " bloody, brutal, and unconstitutional " address to 
the king. Atkinson, it may be imagined, was in a 



great fright. At that time the work of each reporter 
of a debate in the Tim^ was marked the next morning. 
Atkinson's portion of O'Connell was either imperfect or 
incorrect. He never went into the gallery again. He 
reported minor matters, and became a very humble 
brother of the great literary guild. He wrote a drama 
on the Polish question, and urged me to compose two 
songs for his play, as he had not the rhjrming faculty. 
But, alas ! the play was never performed and my songs 
were never sung. An affection of the eyes overtook 
this industrious and worthy man. His literary schemes 
failed. Forster gave him employment in a subor- 
dinate capacity on the Examiner. After I left London, 
news came to the North that the author of "Otter- 
bum " had been found lifeless in a field at Teddington. 
The boots of the deceased contained the name of a 
kind and considerate donor who had been at Mr. 
Bruce's school with Atkinson ; and thus the identity of 
the dead was traced. Atkinson— a most worthy, 
blameless, and assiduous follower of literature of the 
same rank of life as Forster in Newcastle— unlike that 
remarkable young man, failed in the great arena of the 
London press. Such are the vicissitudes of literary 
exertion ! 

Dr. Dionysius Lardner — who had been a Lecturer on 
Natural Philosophy at the Loudon University— planned 
a cyclopaedia in monthly volumes which should com- 
prise science, history, biography, and treatises on the 
useful arts. It seemed to be an imitation of "Con- 
stable's Miscellany " and "Murray's Family Library." 
Walter Scott undertook to write a history of Scotland, 
and Thomas Moore a history of Ireland. John Forster, 
scarcely out of his teens, undertook the lives of eminent 
British statesmen connected with the Commonwealth. 
Grodwin, D'lsraeli the elder, and Lord Nugent had 
previously laboured in the quarry of Charles L» 
Cromwell, and the Commonwealth; but Forster's 
volumes were the most successful regarding the era in 
question, and certainly constituted the most popular 
portion of Lardner's scheme. Forster in after years 
enlarged the life of Sir John Eliot; but the Statesmen 
of the Commonwealth, as they appeared in Lardner, are 
still read, while Scott and Moore's respective histories 
are utterly forgotten. 

At this period Forster had secured elegant chambers 
on the ground floor of 59, Lincoln's Inn Fields. 
These chambers were expensively furnished, and his 
collection of books was enormous. The "Lives of the 
Statesmen," the Examiner, and the True Sun had 
placed him on a pedestal of great importance in the 
eyes of literature and art in London. No critic 
assisted Macready more in realising fame than John 
Forster. He not merely wrote up Macready, but 
ridiculed all other rivals near Macready 's throne. 
Forest, the American tragedian, was mercilessly 
flayed by Forster in the Examiner, Fonter's own 



^sar} 



NORTH'COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND, 



53 



style of speaking in private became an imitation of 
the tones and inflections of Macready. I met Forster 
at dinner at the house of an old friend in Gateshead 
about this time. Forster had nothing of the pale and 
thougtful aspect of the intense student. He was bluff, 
broad-chested, with large features, and bushy light 




Jo^n ror^fe^rf^' v-r-f; .- 1--'^^' 



hair. His voice was strong and emphatic ; his informa- 
tion copious and interestmg upon almost every 
topic. A young lady entered the room, whom he 
had known in her girlhood. **Is this Mary?" said 
he, in the tone and style of Macready as Virginius, 
the Roman father ; ** why, you're a woman now ! " 
is a mode that intensely amused the lady, and con- 
vulsed the host and myself. Most of the London 
actors were indeed afraid of Forster s ' authority as a 
critic. Mr. Ternan related to me a quotation from 
Shakspeare by poor Elton, the actor — drowned at the 
wreck of the Forfarshire — who had been rudely handled 
by Forster : 

This butcher's cur is venom mouthed, and I 
Have not the power to muzzle him. 

One little romance occurred in the early days of John 
Forster. He was engaged, I believe, to L. £. L. — Letitia 
Elizabeth Landon— the contemporary of Mrs. Hemans, 
and the beautiful lady minstrel of the Literary Gazette, 
Miss Landon was very popular in her day ; and her 
** Troubadour" and ** Golden Violet" were read every- 
where by the young and enthusiastic The cause of the 
separation of L. £. L. and John Forster was never clearly 
ascertained. She married Mr. McLean, the Governor of 
Cape Coast Castle — the well-known deadly settlement in 
Africa She went there with her husband, and soon 
after her arrival was found on the floor of her apartment 
poisoned with prussic acid. She took prussic acid, it 
appeared, occasionally, as a medicine; but whether 



finally she swallowed an overdose, or was wilfully 
poisoned by a black woman, is one of those tragic 
mysteries that will never in this world be fully unfolded. 

Soon after Charles Dickens rose into fame as the 
humourist of his day, he became the fast friend of John 
Forster. That friendship continued through life. The 
practical, soimd sense of Forster, and his experienced 
critical acumen, were of immense service to Dickens. 
We know from the "Life of Dickens," as written by 
Forster, how largely the novelist drew on the wsdom of 
the arch-critic of the Examiner, Forster advised on the 
construction of the stories, negotiated terms with pub- 
lishers, and in fact in every point of importance Dickens 
appeared to rely on the judgment and experience of his 
friend. 

In the midst of his growing reputation, John Forster 
invited me to spend a day with him in Lincoln's Inn 
Fields. We breakfasted together, and the rest of the 
morning was devoted to conversation and books. The 
extent of his reading and his knowledge of the literary 
men of his time utterly astonished me. He showed mo 
a Shakspeare, presented to him by Coleridge the poet, 
with MS. marginal notes of the poet and philosopher. 
He showed me the proof sheets of the novel of 
"Crichton," which the author, Mr. Ainsworth, had sent 
to him, and there was a note, I remember, to the preface 
which expressed the authdr's pleasure and satisfaction 
that he was happily a contemporary of John Forster. 
I saw, too, the proof sheets of the "Duchess de la 
Valliere," by Bulwer, a gorgeous play, which Forster 
said had been re- written in a fortnight by the dis- 
tinguished author to meet some structural objections 
which had been made by John Forster. While Forster 
and I were inspecting a grand full-length portrait of 
Macready as Macbeth by Maclise, Mr. Albany Fon- 
blanque entered the room. I was introduced by John 
Forster; but the great political light .of the Examiner 
—a tall, thin, delicate man — was obliged to leave us 
to keep another appointment. 

John Forster was called to the Bar by the Inner 
Temple in January, 1843. I offered him business as 
a barrister in my professional capacity. He declined 
all connection with law excepting the name of barrister. 
In a note couched in the most courteous and friendly 
terms, he expressed his thanks for my attention ; but 
he added that it wa<3 not his intention to practise at 
the Bar, and he considered it wrong to deprive those 
gentlemen of fees who made the law their livelihood. 
Lord Chancellor Cranworth appointed Forster secre- 
tary to the Lunacy Commission at a salary of £800 
per annum, and eventually he succeeded to a com- 
missionership at the same Board with a salary of 
£1,500 per annum. These appointments were not 
laborious or exacting, and left Forster ample leisure, 
after he had retired from journalism, to cultivate his 
literary inclinations. He married Mrs. Colborne— the 



54 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE. 



{Febniarjr 
1888c 



-% 



widow of Mr. Henr>' Colborne, the well-known publisher 
— and it was understood that this lady was possessed of a 
considerable fortune. John Forster, in the latter years 
of his life, occupied the Palace Gate House, Kensington— 
a most agreeable place; and there, in the enjoyment of 
the society of the most accomplished men of his time, he 
was largely courted and admired. 

There is little to add touching the intercourse of John 
Forster with his native town during the last twenty 
years of his life. As a Commissioner in Lunacy he came 
and went — he risited officially the asylums at Dunstou 
Lodge, Coxlodge, and Morpeth ; but nothing was known 
of him in Newcastle, and all his early friends appeared to 
have passed away. When Dickens and his party acted 
" Not so Bad as we Seem," as written by Bulwer for the 
benefit of the Guild of Literature and Art, Forster did 
not accompany the troup of anoateur performers to 
Newcastle. He had played John Hardman in the piece 
in London and Manchester; but he did not appear in the 
large Assembly Room of Newcastle. Mrs. Dickens, I 
remember, called on Miss Forster in the Shieldfield ; and 
this was all that occurred to connect John Forster with 
the visit to Newcastle by the brilliant literary party that 
lavished their histrionic talent for an object in principle 
so praiseworthy and so noble. 

The career and the writings of Forster are woven for 
ever with the history of great names. Opinions may 
differ as to the quality of Forster^s work ; but his name 
must go down to posterity in association with Dickens 
Walter Savage Landor, Goldsmith, and Bulwer Lytton. 
He made himself a part of their intellectual struggles. 
In the cases of Dickens and Landor, their biographies, as 
written by Forster, prove how much those great men 
relied on his guidance and opinions. In un artistic sense 
—as a specimen of finished literature — the " Life of Gold- 
smith" is, I think, Forster's finest effort. The prevailincr 
excellence of his books is their fulness of detail. He 
always seemed to exhaust his topic, even at the expense 
of symmetry and due proportion. His style cannot be 
said to equal the facile clearness of Southey or Macaulay, 
or the rich flow of his friend J. A. Froude. He seems 
occasionally cumbrous in manner ; but an earnest student 
in search of information respecting the period can no- 
where find it so complete as in the Lives of Eliot, Crom- 
well, and Defoe. The " History of the Grand Remon- 
strance" is a masterpiece of historical research. To me, 
however, it seems John Forster was greatest as a peri- 
odical critic on literature and art between 1830 and 1850. 
The criticisms themselves may be forgotten ; but the bad 
taste he ridiculed, and the genius in others he elevated, 
improved, and cherished, proved the power of his position 
nnd the value of his labour. 

He sleeps now near his favourite sister Elizabeth in the 
vault at Kensal Green. Two of the greatest living his- 
torians, Carlyle and Froude, followed him to the grrave. 
I>!rd Lytton, the son of his early friend Bulwer, formed 



a part, also, of the melancholy train; but the most 
touching incident at the funeral was the presence of some 
of the children of Charles Dickens. John Forster had 
known them as children while they played round the 
knee of their illustrious father; and it was grateful, 
tender, and fitting that both boys and girls should 
witness the closing scene of that father's friend. My 
humble \vreath is woven and placed with reverence on 
the tomb ; and long after that wreath shall fade and be 
forgotten, Newcastle will remember among her most 
distingfuished sons the biographer of Dickens, the friend 
of Bulwer, and the profound historian of the Common- 
wealth of England. 



MR. GILMORE^S NOTE. 
An interesting note in the handwriting of the late Mr. 
J. T. Gilmore, photographer, formerly well-known as a 
public man in Newcastle, may be seen in a copy of John 
Forster *s "Life of Goldsmith," belonging to the library 
of the Literary and Philosophical Society. The writer 
was related to the Forster family. It may be added that 
the promise held out in the last sentence was never ful- 
filled. Mr. Gilmore*s note runs as follows :— 

The author of this book (Mr. Forster) was bom in & 
little yellow coloured house, standing immediately behind 
the residence of John Clayton (Town Clerk), in Fenkle 
Street, which was pulled down by R. Grainger to make 
way for Clavton Street. Thence the family removed to 
Low Friar Street, an old-fashioned O. G. gabled house, 
upon the site of which there now stands a soi^ and 
candle factory. From this house they went to one in 
Green Court (now a public-house, which stands back to 
back with David Donkin's ironworks), and from it to a 
house still standmg in the lane behind Pandon House, 
and the last of that block as ^ou leave Buxton Street to 

go to Sall3rport. Here his father, Robert Forster, 
utcher, died. His brother (Christopher Forster, of the 
firm of Slack and Forster, Quayside) died very suddenly 
here also ; and the remainder of those at home — viz., his 
mother (a gem of a woman, although the daughter of a. 
Gallowgate cow-keeper), his sister Jane (who was the 
first victim of cholera in 1853), and his uncle (commonly 
called Gentleman John, butcher)— removed to a little 
house in Shieldfield, where they all died^ leaving the 
author in London, and his sister Elizabeth m service as a 
governess. The minute history of all their trials, 
troubles, and successes shall one day appear, but not yet, 
by G. 




HE birthplace of the Volunteer movement— in 
the provinces at least— was North Shields. 
The First Northumberland was embodied, as 
near as I can remember, twenty- seven years ago, when 
several hundreds of young men were enrolled. The 
late Mr. Edward Potter, of Cramlington, was the com- 
manding officer, and under him served Colonel Filter 
and others who are still officers of the Tynemouth 
Volunteers. Mr. W. J. Millen, who was well known in 
Newcastle thirty-five years ago as a recruiting officer, was 
the first drill instructor. The cottage in Percy Square, 



Febrnary 
1888 



} 



NORTH-COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND, 



55 



Tynemoath, where he still resides, was the first armoury, 
and the ball-room of the old George Tavern, in King 
Street, was the first drill halL I well remember my 
initial military instruction there. It was truly soldiering 
under difficulties, and a very different affair from the pre- 
sent Volunteer regime. The Government of the day gave 
little or no assistance, only supplying a very stinted 
number of cartridges per man. We were looked 
upon by many as a lot of enthusiasts, and were 
sneered at and shouted at throusrh the streets as 
** noodles.'' It was some time before we were provided 
with rifles, and in the meantime we were drilled with old 
muskets, ship blunderbusses, fowling-pieces, or, indeed, 
an3rthing in the shape of a gun that could be obtained. 
My own ** arm ** was a Ck>8sack'8 carbine which my 
father got at the capture of Sebastopol, and which 
had once been a " flint and steel " firelock. We 
were expected to pay for our own drill, our clothes, 
and our practising ammunition. I purchased a pair of 
bullet moulds, and made my own cartridges. I was one 
of about a dozen who first fired at the butt at the rifle 



range in Spittal Dene (north of Tynemouth Park). 
To make the range longer, part of the mound which 
formed the mill-dam of the corn-mills of the monks of 
Tynemouth was cut away. Some time after its forma- 
tion, it was resolved to divide the corps into two — the 
rifles and the artillery. The latter was the favourite 
branch, and has continued strong and efficient to the 
present day, possessing a splendid drill-hall at the north 
end of the town. The "rifles " soon ceased to exist. 
The First Northumberland was present at the great 
review at Edinburgh, and, as the premier and oldest 
corps, its officers were the first presented to her Majesty. 
Some years ago it was proposed to merge it into a corps 
at Newcastle, of which it was to be a division, and which 
I believe is now known as the First Northumberland. 
But the original "First" indignantly refused, and would, 
I believe, have been dissolved had the arrangement been 
carried out. The War Office yielded to che pressure 
brought against it, and the corps is now known as the 
Tynemouth Volunteers. 

J. G. Maodonald, North Shields. 



iHetr af iHarii ^JCtoiyt %i^m airtr JCtoeetr* 



|88 ilwl)arb JHelfort, 

Author of ** A History of Nkwoastlb and Gateshbad,*' &o. 




MATHEHATIOIAN Aim ESSATIST. 

|R. ROBERT WHITE, in a paper from 
which the following sketch is chiefly taken, 
cites Woodburn in Redesdale as a place that, 
in the beginning of the century, was asso- 
ciated with the early life of more mathematicians than 
almost any other country village in the United Kingdom. 
Edward Riddle, who was headmaster successively of the 
Trinity House School in Newcastle, and the Mathematical 
School at Greenwich, and author of a well-known work on 
navigation ; William Rutherford and Stephen Fenwick, 
of the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich ; Thomas 
Bum, John Riddle, Cuthbert and Henry Atkinson, all 
men of mark in " the science of number and quantity " 
(though Bum and John Riddle died young), were either 
natives of, or spent their youthful days in, that happy 
valley, immortalised by Scott in ** Rokeby," 

Where Rede upon his margin sees 
Sweet Woodbum's cottages and trees. 

About seven miles south-east of Woodburn is the village 
of Great Bavington, and there, on the 28th of June, 1781, 
Henry Atkinson was bom. His father, Cuthbert 
Atkinson, was one of those famous Northumbrian school- 
masters—hard-headed, intellectual men— whose genius for 



figures led them to victory through many a bewildering 
problem in the Diaries and other publications of their day 
Henry was a precocious boy, and his progress in study 
was such that when he was thirteen his father considered 
him capable of teaching. He, therefore, opened a school 
at West Woodburn, and carried it on in conjunction with 
the establishment at Bavington, father and son taking 
charge alternately of both places. The arrangement con- 
tinued for three years, and then, Bavington being 
abandoned, a new school was opened at West Belsay, the 
alternate superintendence remaining as before. In 1802, 
Henry and his sister Mary commenced a school at Stam- 
fordham, which they carried on with varying success for 
six years. On the 13th November, 1808, resigning his 
country pupils to his father, Henry Atkinson settled in 
Newcastle. 

The phange was a fortunate one. Residence in 
Newcastle gave him access to books and to men ; 
there was no teacher in the town distinguished 
by mathematical acquirements ; a clear course was 
before him, and he made good use of his opportunities. 
Elected a member of the Literary and Philosophical 
Society in June, 1809, Mr. Atkinson gave early proof of 
his attainments by contributing to their proceedings in 
August following a paper entitled "A New Method of 



56 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE. 



\ Febraary 



Extracting the Roots of Equations of the Higher Orders.'* 
During the next year be prepared and read to his fellow- 
members an elaborate essay *'0n the Eclipses of Jupiter's 
Satellites, and on the Mode of determining the Longitude 
by these Means." In 1811 he read two papers— 1st, an 
ingenious proof of two curious properties of square num- 
bers, and, 2nd, a demonstration that no sensible error 
can arise in the theory of Falling Bodies from assuming 
Gravity as an uniformly accelerating Force. During the 
five years following he contributed essays ** On the Comet 
of 1811," "On Proportion," " On the Difference between 
the Followers of Newton and Leibnitz concerning the 
Measure of Forces," " On the Possibility, and, if possible, 
on the Consequences of the Lunar Origin of Meteoric 
Stones," and '* On the Nature and Connexion of Cause 
and Effect." Diverging into metaphysics, he produced in 
1818 an "Essay on Truth." In 1819 he explained **a 
new mode of investigating Equations which obtain 
among the Times, Distances, and Anomalies of Comets 
moving around ^e Sun as their Centre of Attraction in 
Parabolic Orbitft " ; and in 1820, turning his attention to 
Political Economy, he read "An Essay on the Effects 
produced on the Different Classes of Society by an 
Increase or Decrease in the Price of Com." 

His marriage with Isabella Riddle, sister of Edward 
Riddle, the mathematician (in December, 1822), and the 
increasing pressure of school duties and private tuition, 
absorbed most of his time for the next three years ; but in 
1824 he produced papers " On the Utility and Probable 
Accuracy of the Method of Determining the Sun's 
Parallax by Observations on the Planet Mars near his 
Opposition," and "On the True Principles of Calculating 
the Refractive Powers of the Atmosphere." His pen 
rested again for a while, and then (1826) he wrote a long 
paper "On Suspension Bridges, and on the Possibility of 
the Proposed Bridge between North and South Shields," 
and contributed to the newly-formed Mechanics' Institute 
of Newcastle, which he had helped to establish, a paper 
"On the Strength and Elasticity of Iron." During the 
spring of 1827, he delivered in the room of the Literary 
and Philosophical Society a course of nine lectures on 
Astronomy, which in the summer he condensed and read 
to the members of the Mechanics' Institute. The two 
papers produced in 1824 (on the Sun's Parallax, and on 
the Refractive Powers of the Atmosphere) he presented 
in an, enlarged form to the Royal Astronomical Society, 
and they appear in the Transactions of the Society, vol. 
ii., pages 27 and 137. 

Soon after his settlement in Newcastle, Mr. Atkinson 
began to contribute to the mathematical department of 
the Ladies' and Gentlemen's Diaries. From 1810 to 1823 
he answered nearly all the questions proposed in the 
Ladies' Diary, and three times received prizes for his 
solutions. In 1819 he received the Gentlemen's Diary 
prize. Occasionally he contributed, also, to the mathe- 
matical column of the Ifeweattle Magazine. For the use 



of his pupils he published a set of copy books, on the 
cover of which were minute directions about holding the ■ 
pen, and other details calculated to produce plain and 
legible penmanship. 

Towards the dose of the year 1827, Mr. Atkinson's 
health gave way, and he died of limip disease on the 31st 
of January, 1829. His remains were interred in the 
north-west comer of St Andrew's churchyard, where 
a tombstone preserves his memory as "an eminent 
mathematician and successful schoolmaster," whose 
"excellent natural talents and extensive scientific attain- 
ments are known and highly appreciated by the learned 
throughout Europe." 



THK RADICAL IBONHASTEB. 

The career of Charles Attwood belongs for the most 
part to the county of Durham. He was neither a native, 
nor for long an inhabitant, of the district which the 
Tweed shuts off from Scotland, and the Tyne separatee 
from the rest of England. But he was so near a neigh- 
bour, and took so active a part in the commercial and 
political life of Tyneeide, that he cannot fairly be ex- 
cluded from our list. A man of rare ability, indomitable 
energy, and unconquerable will, he helped at a critical 
period to fight what was called "freedom's battle" in 
Newcastle. And although with increasing years his re- 
forming zeal abated, and the 83rmpathies of his early man- 
hood were chilled by disappointment and soured by dis- 
trast, he retained to the last an active interest in all 
public movements that tended to promote local enterprise 
and encourage local endeavour. 

Son of an ironmaster in Shropshire, where he was bom 
in the year 1791, Charles Attwood came, at the age of 
twenty, to Gateshead, and obtained a share in a small 
manufactory of window glass. In three years he had 
bought out his partners, and was a glass maker on his 
own account, with a large stock of new ideas to work 
upon, and sufficient capital to carry him safely through it 
He patented one of his inventions, and had good prospects 
of success, for it enabled him to give a transparency 
to glass which it had not previously possessed. Three 
years of assiduous labour, however, were consumed in per- 
fecting the process, and before he could make any profit 
he was involved in a lawsuit When the case was de- 
cided in his favour, after nine years' litigation, he found 
that the persons from whom he should have recovered his 
costs were mere men of straw; so he moved along quietly 
until his patent rights had expired, after which the 
principle was taken up by others, such as Mr. Chance, of 
Birmingham, and Mr. Hartley, of Sunderland, in whose 
hands it was worked out with highly profitable results. 

Deprived of the first fruits of his enterprise in the glass 
trade, Mr. Attwood turned his attention to the business 
which his father and grandfather had followed before 



Febniwy 



} 



NORTH-COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND. 



57 



him. Railway development was creating a demand for 
iron, and at the same time facilitating its manufacture 
and distribution. With the Barings, of Jjondon, at his 
back, Mr. Attwood obtained a lease of the ironstone 
underljdng the wide-spreading manors of Wolsingham 
and Stanhope, erected blastfurnaces at Tow Law, and 
commenced life afresh as an ironmaster. In this de- 
partment of industry he was as successful as in the 
production of glass he had been unfortunate. Under 
his management the Weardale Iron and Coal Com- 
pany, as the firm was called, rose to be one 
of the greatest manufacturing concerns in the district. 
Ironstone mines and lead mines ; collieries and quarries ; 



furnaces, forges, and rolling mills ; industrial populations 
at Tow Law, Stanhope, and Tudhoe— all these owe their 
origin, their development, and their prosperity, to the 
restless energy and the inventive skill of Charles 
Attwood. 

Busy as he was with schemes of commercial and manu- 
facturing advancement, Mr. Attwood, from the outset of 
his career, was an active politician. Into the agitation 
which preceded the Reform Bill of 1832, he threw him- 
self energetically. He was a member of both the Birming- 
ham and the North of England Political Unions. With 
his brother Thomas he helped to roude the Midlands; 
with Fife and Doubleday, Headlam and Larkin, he led 




C/^^O^ ii2^/i^c^z^^^ 



58 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE. 



{ 



VUniury 



the van in Newcastle. He presided at the meeting in 
the Music Hall at which the Northern Political Union 
was laonched, pledged himself " to support the friends of 
the people," and *' to em|doy all legal means in procuring 
the reform of monstrous and mischievous abuses, whether 
in our dvil or ecclesiastical establishments.'' Of this 
organisation he was made treasurer, and very soon it had 
branches all over the Northern Counties. When the 
House of Lords, in October, 1831, rejected the Reform 
Bill, the Northern Political Union became the 
most potent political force in the district, and 
Mr. Attwood was its inspiring genius. Ten days 
after the Lords had ** defied the country,'* the Northern 
Political Union met and defied them. Only once before 
had such a demonstration been seen in the streets of 
Newcastle. Mr. Attwood was drawn in his carriage 
from his house at Whickham to the rendezvous in West- 
gate Street, and proceeded to the Town Moor, accom- 
panied by 50,000 people. Over that vast assemblage he 
presided, expressing in bold and vigorous language senti- 
ments which Eneas Mackenzie, John Fife, W. A. Mit- 
chell, Thomas Hepburn, W. H. Brockett, and Charles 
Larkin in equally vigorous tones supported. 

When Parliament re-assembled and the Reform Bill 
was again introduced, the Northern, imitating the 
example of the Birmingham, Union passed a resolution 
which practically affirmed the right of the people to 
refuse payment of taxes until the bill became law, Mr. 
Attwood declaring that " if the aristocracy will withhold 
from the people their rights, we wash our hands of it ; 
but the people are determined to be free." In May, 1832, 
the famous Spital meeting was held, a meeting memor- 
able for the impassioned speech of Mr. Larkin, in which 
King William IV. was reminded of the fate of Louis 
XVI., and Queen Adelaide was warned that a fairer head 
than hers had rolled upon the scaffold. Mr. Attwood re- 
buked his colleague for indulging in language which he 
thought likely to injure their cause, but the meeting was 
probably more in harmony with the orator than with his 
critic Next month the Reform Bill became law. Fife 
and the Whigs were satisfied ; Attwood, Doubleday, and 
T/^rkifi accepted it as an instalment only of 
greater reforms to come. Hence arose dissensions 
and the breaking up of the Union. Fife resigned, 
and, in a manifesto which he issued to his late colleagues, 
he put Mr. Attwood in the forefront of the offenders 
whose conduct had led to his resignation. "Mr. 
Attwood," he wrote, "required from me a declaration that 
I would not at any future time attempt to make the 
Union the tool of the Whigs ; I appealed to my character 
and conduct against so insulting a suspicion, but without 
hesitation gave my pledge. In return I required from 
Mr. Attwood a declaration that he would never attempt 
to make the Union the tool of Cobbett ; he appealed to his 
character and conduct, but refused his pledge." 

The Parliamentary elections followed. Sir M. W. 



Ridley and Mr. John Hodgrson (afterwards Mr. Hodgson 
Hinde), were the candidates for Newcastle. They had 
been returned without opposition the previoas year, ami 
now it appeared to the Radicals that the representation 
was to be divided between the two old parties, and 
that they were to have no share in the victory. 
To prevent this combination from succeeding, they 
presented a well-signed requisition to Mr. Attwood, 
and on Saturday, the 8th December, only three days 
before the nomination, he consented to stand. That 
evening he issued his address to " the Worthy and 
Independent Free Burgesses and Inhabitant House- 
holders of Newcastle-upon-Tjme," announcing himiK»lf in 
favour of household suffrage and the ballot, and the 
following, among other, reforms : — 

I am for expunging from the statute book that in- 
famous enactment, the Septennial Act, and for reverting 
to, at least. Triennial Parliaments 

I am for a real abolition, or extinction of the Tithe Tax, 
which is not^ at present, a tax upon the landlords, as has 
been deceptively pretended, but a tax on bread. 

I am eternally hostile to the Com Laws as another 
bread-tax ; a tax the most inhtmmn and execrable tiiat 
the genius of fiscal t3rranny has ever yet invented, and 
existmg in the present case without so much as a pretence 
of pubBc use, masmuch as it goes not into the public 
treasmry, but into the pockets of the owners of the soiL 
m plunder of the people generally, and to the actual 
starvation of the poor. 

I am a decided reformer of Corporations, generally, and 
though at present unacquainted with details, I am 
sufficiently aware that the Corporation of this town is in 
need of it as much as any. 

Mr. Attwood*8 friends mustered in the Music Hall on 
the Monday evening, and on the following day they 
march^ down in long procession to the hustings. There 
the show of hands was in his favour, and great were their 
rejoicings. They met again on the Wednesday evening 
exchanged congratulations, and made exultant speeches. 
They covered the walls with handbills headed " Attwood 
for ever, "and even indulged in a little mural humour such 
as- 
Independent Electors of Newcastle! Haste to the 
Poll, and show the Son of Hodoe what you Wood be 
Att! 

But all their enthusiasm was unavailing. The poll 
opened on Thursday morning, December 13th, and at 
noon the figures were-Ridley, 900 ; Hodgson, 743 ; Att- 
wood, 467. When night fell the position was not much 
better, and, although at an early hour next morning "the 
enemies of corruption who have not polled " were told that 
they must "rally round the standard to-day— Attwood 
and Liberty!" the close of the poll showed that Sir M. W. 
Ridley had received 2,105, Mr. Hodgson 1,678, and Mr. 
Attwood 1,092 votes. 

A defeat so decisive had not been expected. Mr. 
Attwood and his friends beUeved that the enthusiasm of 
the crowd was the voice of the electorate, and like many 
other politicians, both before and after, were deceived and 
disappointed. The rejected candidate issued a vale- 



Fttbruiy 



} 



NORTH-COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND. 



69 



diotory address, in which ho threw all the blame upon the 
Whigs. Thus he began :— 

The cause of your independence, the cause of public 
principle, the cause of integrity and liberty, has been, 
for a time, defeated by the return of Blr. Hodgson to the 
House of Commons. In opposition to tout wishes, 
in defiance of your feeling^ in open and outrageous 
insult to the freedom of election, all whom influence 
could persuade, or intimidation force, or interest compel, 
have been made to swell the ranks of the few internally 
and conscientiously opposed to your desires, till the 
heterogeneous torrent became of ma^itude sufficient to 
drown the expression of the public voice. 

It is not merely to Torv corruptionists and corporation 
peculators that you, ^^tfemen, and your imrepresented 
fellow-townsmen are indebted for your late defeat, . . . 
assisted as thejr have been by threatening or cajoling 
parsons, by intimidating tjrant-masters, and Puritans 
whose cantmg cadences distil so suitably from lying lips. 
No, gentlemen, it is the false reformers whose apostate 
voices have determined the victory in favour of 
corruption and of mock reform. You owe it truly 
to those recreant Whigs — that renegade faction — who 
have found their way to power by favour of the people 
under a parti-coloured gparb of Liberal professions, which 
they are now afraid that you may force them to 
redeem. It is the deed and device of tnis imbecile Cabal 
of double^lealing Patriots, to have mocked your intention 
of sending to the House of Commons a Kepresentative 
scarce worthy of yourselves it may be, but one at any rate 
whose boast it is that he is as far unlike to them as Forti- 
tude, Intellect, and Honour are opposed to Meanness, 
Incapacity, and False Pretences. 

Although defeated, the Radical party were by no 
means despondent. They considered that, under the 
circumstances, Mr. Attwood hod made a respectable 
fight, and they determined to relieve their feelings by 
entertaining him at a public banquet. Four hundred 
persons and more sat down to dinner, and the proceedings 
were as enthusiastic as if the participants had been cele- 
brating a victory rather than a defeat. 

From this time forward Mr. Attwood's participation 
in public affairs was less conspicuous. He devoted him- 
self to the development of his undertakings in Weardale, 
and Tyneside saw little of him. But when the Russian 
war was raging his voice was heard in Newcastle once 
more. The Northern Tribune for September, 1854, tells 
us that ''his speech, denouncing ' the traitor Aberdeen,' 
and unveiling the drivelling and fatal policy of the Coali- 
tion, has sounded through the land, and its thoroughly 
English sentiments have been echoed by all true 
patriots from 'canny Newcastle' to Land's End." 
Those of us who heard him on that occasion for 
the first time remember well the flouts, the jibes, the 
sneers, and the bitter sarcasm in which he indulged, 
the bold and defiant attitude which be assumed, 
and the uproarious applause with which his fiery invec- 
tive was received. He had become a disciple of David 
Urquhart then, and, under the inspiration of that remark- 
able personage, he occasionally afterwards "took up his 
parable " against the Government and its administration 
of foreign affairs. In February, 1863, he addressed a 
meeting in the Music Hall on behalf of Poland, then 
in insurrection, and this was probably his last public 
appearance in Newcastle. He took part in the South 



Durham election of 1865, and after that he was heard no 
more. On the 25th of February, 1875, at his beautiful 
home near Wolsingham, in his 85th year, he passed 
away, and on the 3rd of Mareh four of his old servants 
carried his remains to their resting-place in Wolsingham 
churchyard. 

Mr. Attwood's portrait is copied from an engraving 
kindly lent by Mr. C. W. Wawn, of Hollywood House, 
Wolsingham. 




JCfte ^0rt)ttttif6rti(tT 3Bttn% 



JTRONG in its individuality, the Northum- 
berland dialect is marked off from its neigh- 
bours. ** The northern limits of *the burr,' '* 
says Dr. Murray ("Dialects of the Southern 
Counties of Scotland," p. 86, 87), "are very sharply 
defined, there being no transitional sound between 
it and the Scotch r. From Carham eastwards 
the boundary follows the Tweed, which it leaves, 
however, to include the town and liberties of 
Berwick, which in this, as in other respects, now 
adheres to the southern in preference to its own side of 
the Tweed. Along the line of the Cheviots, the Scotch r 
has driven the burr a few miles back, perhaps because 
many of the farmers and shepherds are of Scottish origin. 
In the vale of the Reed we suddenly enter the ehroup 
country in the neighbourhood of Otterbum (Otohr-bohm)." 
Continuing Dr. Murray's line, we follow the burr down 
North Tyne, crossing to its western limit just about a 
mile beyond Bardon MilL Turning eastward, we follow it 
a little to the south of Hexham, from which the line may 
be drawn to Lanchester, and continued through Northern 
Durham, skirting Chester-le-Street, north-eastward by 
Washingrton, on to Jarrow, passing to the west of North 
Shields, and so to seaward. Within this boundary line we 
have the distinctly-marked dialect of Northumberland. 
South Shields, Sunderland, and south-westward by the 
Tees Valley are marked off by their own peculiarity of 
dialect, which grows more pronounced as we advance 
southward, widening out from the coast, westward, by 
the valley of the Tees. In South Durham, as we leave 
the more mixed population of the large coast towns, 
the dialect assumes the strong Danish peculiarity 
which changes the article the into a simple t'— " t'top 
o't'hiU," for the top of the hill, &c Wedged, as it ' 
were, between this pecularity of speech and that 
characteristic of Northumberland, is the dialect of 
Weardale, markedly differing from that of Northumber- 
land, but distinct from that of Teesdale on the other side 
— ^yet, in the upper part of Weardale, passing into the t* 
peculiarity of its neighbour dale. To follow again Dr. 
Murray, we will quote from his summary, p. 89: — "At the 
political division of the Northan-hymbra-land, between 



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MONTHLY CHRONICLE. 



j Febra»ry 



England and Scotland, the 'Inglis of the Northin lede ' 
was still written as one language from Doncaster to 
Aberdeen. It is still most typically represented within 
the ancient limits of Bemicia — the Forth, the Solway, 
and the Tyne — the language south of the Tyne having 
been greatly affected by the Norse of the Denalagu, and, 
in later times by the literary Midland English, while 
that of the West and North-East of Scotland has been 
modified by the Gaelic and Cymric dialects which slowly 
receded before it" 

The " harrying, garrying ** sound — as it is called in 
John de Trevisa — has at all times been apparent to the 
stranger, and the Northumberland burr has attracted 
attention more than any other peculiarity of the the folk- 
speech because it is a strange sound, and, therefore, 
striking to an outsider, just as the Scottish and German 
eh, and the Welsh U^ appear to be the marked because 
unfamiliar sounds. We have references to this guttural 
from an eariy period. In 1553, in Thomas Wilson's **Arte 
of Rhetorique," "This man barks out his Northern 
English" is the description given of Northumbrian speech. 
In the " Travels in the Cotmties of Durham and North- 
umberland," published 1727, and attributed to Daniel 
Defoe, the writer says — "I must not quit Northumber- 
land without taking notice, that the natives of this country, 
of the ancient original race or families, are distinguished 
by a Shibboleth upon their tongues, namely, a difficulty in 
pronouncing the letter r, which they cannot deliver from 
their tongues without a hollow jarring in the throat, by 
which they are plainly known, as a foreigner is, in pro- 
nouncing the th: this they call the Northumberland r, 
and the natives value themselves upon that imperfection, 
because, forsooth, it shows the antiquity of their blood." 
Under the name of Stephen Oliver, the Younger, Wm. 
Andw. Chatto published, in 1835, a valuable little book 
with the title of ** Rambles in Northumberland and on 
the Scottish Border." It is full of appreciation and keen 
observation of the county and its peculiarities, and the 
writer tells us — ** The dialect of the people of Newcastle, 
and Northumberland generally, is distinguished by the 
broad pronunciation of the letter r, which they utter 
more graeco, with a full aspiration." This concurrent 
testimony shows how the stranger is affected by the sound 
of the folk-speech of Northumberland. Let it be stated, 
however, that there is no ** difficulty" experienced by the 
Northumberland man in pronouncing the letter ; there is 
visrour and emphasis, as if it rolled behind his tongue like 
a sweet morsel, or were ground out with " harrying and 
garrying," rather thau trolled out, as the Scotchman does 
it, with a tip-tongue-trill, but there is no hesitancy or 
effort. 

Political events in past ages gradually pent up North- 
umbrians within the limits of the present county. 
Driven in upon themselves, in such compact isolation, 
we should expect to find the idiossmcrasies of the people 
strongly marked. And such is the present-day fact, 



no way more noticeable than in the folk-speech, with 
its sharply defined line following along a mark which is 
an actual historical division, overlapping on part of its 
southern border the northern part of the county of 
Durham. Within this circle of demarcation, amid some 
considerable variations in other modes of speech, one 
habit is constant and invariable, and that is the burr. 
It might, therefore, be naturally inferred that this 
peculiarity was an original racial inheritance in these 
parts, not a later acquisition or affectation. It does not 
exist in Deira or in other parts where the strongest im- 
pregnation of the Dane is apparent, so that its origrin 
cannot be from that quarter. Dr. Murray (p. 86) has 
described the sound as an exaggeration of the r — '* pro- 
duced by a gentle and almost inappreciable tremor of 
the tongue, into a rough vibration of the soft palate. 
The sound is more advanced than the Arabic ffrhain, and 
in a softer form is common in French and German. " 

The subject of the guttural sound of the letter r ha.s 
been exhaustively treated by Professor Moritz Tr%ut- 
mann, in "Anglia"(Max Niemeyer, Halle, 1880, voL 
iij., page 211, et, teq). His conclusions are so important 
in their bearing upon the pronunciation of our North- 
umberland words, that a somewhat lengthened reference 
to them is desirable. Professor Trautmann describes the 
ways in which the letter r is sounded. There is what Dr. 
Murray calls "the tip-tongue-triU " — familiar to us as 
the peculiarity of the Scotchman or the North Tynedale 
man. Then there is the "tongue r "—which we bear in 
the ordinary speech of Englishmen, except in one small 
area. "This small area is a part of Northumberland, 
the town of Newcastle, and neighbourhood. Here, " con- 
tinues Professor Trautmann, " universally the tonsil r is 
spoken, which we hear nowadays so much in Germany. 
Englishmen call the r of Newcastle and neighbourhood 
the Northumberland burr, and hold it rightly as a dis- 
agreeable provincialism." 

Some authors have supposed this burr to be of remote 
antiquity ; as, for instance, Mr. John Richard Green, 
who describes St Cuthbert speaking with "the rough 
Northumbrian burr." ("Short History of English 
People," 1876, p. 25.) And M. Rapp ascribes the tonsil t 
—or burr— to the Anglo Saxons. (" Versuch einer 
Physiologie der Sprache," 1836-41, ii., U6, preface.) 
Other authors have maintained the same opinion, but 
Prof. Trautmann shows the fallacies on which such an 
assumption has been based, and demonstrates that the 
old Northumbrian r was a labial r, and not the burr as 
we know it. "Even for later periods," he adds, "the 
Northumbrian burr cannot be insisted upon; to nie 
at least it is unintelligible upon what data one is to 
base the proof of its existence. I believe that the North- 
umbrian burr is of rather young years, and I am confirmed 
in this view by the fact that the tonsil r— the bun^ 
in France and Germany has sprung up in recent times." 
Professor Trautmann goes on to prove the exact date cf 



1 



February) 



NORTH-COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND, 



6! 



the introduction of the burr to Parisian society. It began 
a few decades before 1670 as a coterie speech with the 
" Pr^ieusea^' of the court. **Thi8 people, which covered 
their healthy hair with artificial hair, and stuck up their 
healthy skin with plasters, — the Pr^ieu$es, who set 
themselves to the task — *de vulgarizer la langue' — acted 
exactly in the spirit of their times when they spoke, not 
simply and naturally, but with the greatest possible 
affectation. It was particularly characteristic of the 
Prieieute that he should burr " (schnarrte). Professor 
Trautmann goes on to show the rapid spread of the 
borr, which had become the manner of fashionable society. 
To imitate it was the outward mark of the gentility of 
the period. " The Prdeieuies, who were all atwist, had a 
pleasure in making the false r the right one, and to speak 
different from other people." (Trautmann, p. 216.) 
About the middle of the seventeenth century the existence 
of numerous "rueWca"— that is coteries of Pricieuue — 
imported the burr to most of the large French towns. 
" It has so much extended that now-a-days not a single 
bom Parisian can be found to speak the tongue r. If at 
present a Parisian were to speak the tongue r, it would be 
considered intolerably * pritentieux* ; and the singing 
masters of the French capital have great trouble in 
teaching their .scholars the tongue r." (Trautmann, 
p. 217.) 

The burr thus established in the capital and the chief 
towns of France was imported to Grermany, where its 
spread became wide during the seventeenth and eighteenth 
centuries, and where, according to Professor Trautmann's 
eleborate investigations, it seems likely to spread yet 
more extensively and more rapidly. After thus following 
the course of the burr on the Continent, Professor 
Trautmann returns to our Northumbrian burr, and asks, 
"When does it occur first? I am not capable," he 
adds, *' of giving a positive answer to this question ; 
the example of Germany and France makes the supposi- 
tion possible that it is not old yet. Samuel Johnson has 
not the word burr in its particular significance at the date 
of his dictionary. And what do we know about the 
manner of the genesis of this peculiarity ? Is it original, 
or has it come from without ? There I roust refrain even 
from supposition." 

Referring to these investigations by Professor Traut- 
mann, Dr. Murray (whose ** New English Dictionary" is 
the gn^eat work of the century) writes at page 376 of 
" The Anglia?' :— "The tradition is that the Northumbrian 
burr began as a personal defect of the celebrated Hotspur, 
was imitated by his companions, and by the Earldom as a 
whole." Dr. Murray is of opinion, after considering the 
investigation of Professor Trautmann as to the origin and 
spread of the burr in France and Germany, that the tradi- 
tional origin in Northumberland becomes possible and 
even probable. And this conclusion seems to be borne 
oat by a passage in the second part of Shakspeare's 



"Henry IV." (act ii., scene 3). Lady Percy is there- 
made to say of the dead Hotspur : — 

He was, indeed, the glass 
Wherein the noble youth did dress themselves. 
He had no legs that practised not his gaic ; 
And speaking thick, which Nature made his blemish,. 
Became the accents of the valiant ; 
For those that could speak low, and tardily. 
Would turn their own perfection to abuse, 
To seem like him : So that, in speech, in gait, 
In diet, in affections of delight. 
In military rules, humours of blood. 
He was the mark and glass, copy and book. 
That fashioned others. 

Rd. Oliver Heslop. 



JCfte dTDrrgetr ^${${tgtTat${« 




I HE following paragraph from " Ten Thousand 

Wonderful Things," for the authenticity of 

which Mr. F. F. King, M.A., makes himself 

responsible, shows the extraordinary method adopted by 

the National Assembly of French, during the first. 

Revolution, for raising money : — 

In the year of 1789, at the commencement of the great 
Revolution in France, Talleyrand proposed in the National 
Assembly a confiscation of all Church property to the 
service of the State. The Abbd Maury opposed thi* 

Sroject with great vehemence, but, being supported by 
lirabeau, it received the sanction of the Assembly 
by an immense majority on the 2nd November. 
The salaries fixed for the priesthood were small^ 
and, moreover, were not sufficiently guaranteed ; 
whence originated much misery to all classes of priests, 
from the archbishops down to the humble cur^; 
and, as monastic institutions were treated in the same 
way, monks and nuns were suddenly placed in precarious 
circumstances regarding the means of subsistence. Here, 
however, an unexpectea difficultv sprangup ; the National 
Assembly were willing to sell church property, but 
buyers were wanting ; conscience, prudence, and poverty 
combined to lessen the number of those willing to 
purchase, and thus the urgent claims of the treasury 
could not be satisfied. Applications for loans were^ 
not responded to ; taxes had been extinguished ; 
voluntary donations had dwindled almost to nothing; 
and 4OO,0OCL00O of livres were necessary for the vast 
claims of tne year 1790. The municipalities of Paris 
and other cities sought to ameliorate the state of 
affairs by subscribing for a certain amount of Church pro- 
perty, endeavouring to find private purchasers for it»and 
paying the receipts into the national exchequer. This, 
however, being but a very partial cure for the enonnity of 
the evils, the National Assembly fell upon the expedient 
of creating state-paper, or bank-notes, to have a forced 
currency throughout the kingdom. Such was the birth 
of the memorable assi^at. Four hundred millions of 
this paper were put in circulation, and a decree was 
passed that Church property to that amount should be 
neld answerable for the assignat. 

It was at this period that forged assignats were- 

imported into France from England, in the hope that 

they would be confused with the genuine assignats of the* 

French Government. K, R., Newcastle. 



That forged French assignats were printed in England 
during the French Revolution is no mere tradition, but 
an historical fact; the more the pity, for, though every- 



62 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE. 



{ 



Febniary 



thing is supposed to be fair in love and war« the stratagem 
was not a very creditable one to those concerned in it. 
The forgeries, it is said, were made at the instance of 
the Government of Mr. Pitt. Cobbett, in his "Paper 
against Gold," quotes the following law case from 
••Espinasse's Keports," Mich. Term, 36 Geo, III., 1795:— 

Strongitharm against Lakyn. Case on a Promissory 
Note.— Mingay and Marryattfor the plaintiff; Erskine 
and Law for the defendant. The acceptance and endorse- 
ment having been proved, Erskine, for the defendant, 
stated his defence to be that the note was given for the 
purpose of paying the plaintiff, an engraver, for the en- 
graving of copper plates upon which French astignats 
were to be forged, and contended that, as the consideration 
of the note was a fraud, it contaminated the whole trans- 
action, and rendered the note not recoverable by law. 
Caslon, an indorser of the note, called as a witness, 
proved that the defendant, having it in contemplation to 
strike off impressions of a considerable quantity of 
assignats to be issued abroad, applied to him for the pur- 
pose* of recommending an engraver, representing to him 
that they were for the Duke of York's army. He applied 
to Strongitharm. who at first declined the busmess 
totally, but, being assured by the witness that it was 
f<anctioned by Government, at length undertook the 
work. 

This is, perhaps, as much as it is essential to quote, 
unless we add to it one significant sentence from Lord 
Kenyon's summing up : — ** Whether the issuing of these 
assignats, for the purpose of distressing the enemy, was 
lawful in carrying on the war, be was not prepared to 
say." 

In addition to the evidence furnished by this trial, we 
have, in NoU$ and Queries for 1858, the following from 
Sir W. C. Trevelyan :— " The paper for the assignats was 
manufactured at Haughton Paper Mill (built in 1788), 
a few miles from Hexham, in a very picturesque 
part of Northumberland. The transaction was 
managed for Mr. Pitt by Mr. (afterwards Alderman) 
Magnay, whose family was and is connected with that 
part of the country. One of the moulds in which the 
paper was made is still in the possession of the proprietor 
of the mill, in whose family some of the assignats were 
also long preserved, but they have now been lost. The 
assignats were probably printed in London. The mill is 
still standing, but it is not at present in operation.*' 

Another authority whom it will be well to quote from 
at some length, seeing that he gives not only the 
rait(m d*etre of the forgery, but explains in his usual lucid 
way the precise meaning of the word "assignat,** is 
Thomas Doubleday, who in his "Financial History of 
England** tdls i 



The grand reliance of the Minister [Pitt] was upon 
the notoriously desperate state of the French finances, 
and the consequent destitute condition of their armies, 
if armies they could be called, which consisted of 
hasty levies of undisciplined volunteers, unprovided 
with the commonest necessaries for a campaign, and 
marching in the snow destitute of shoes and stockings. 
The truth certainly was that, in the judgment of 
all men, the mone^ affairs of the French Convention 
were, at that period, quite ^ desperate. Finding it 
impossible amidst the vicissitudes of the times to 
collect any sufllcient amount of taxes in metallic or real 



•\ 



money, the Revolutionary Grovemment, after the seizure 
of the property of the Church and the emigrant noblesse, 
issued a paper money secured upon these now "national 
domains,'* and styled "assignats,** because to the holdeiv 
of this paper was assigned a certain lien upon these 
immense estates. This, abstractly considered, forms a 
better security for a paper currency than the world had 
ever before, or has ever since, seen, without any exception 
whatsoever ; but when the Austrian and Prussian veterans 
prepared to cross the French frontiers, even this security 
began to lose its credit rapidly ; and when England at 
length joined the ill-omened confederation^ that 
decline was vastly accelerated. In the meantime the 
necessity of increased preparation, and the rise in 
prices which the increased issue and growing de- 
preciation of the paper caused, hurried on the whole 
towards the final catastrophe of panic and total discredit^ 
which Pitt at last contrived to render complete. When 
he joined the war, Pitt had predetermined to complete 
the discredit of the assignats by forging and distri- 
buting the forgeries over France ; which he did. The 
consequence was that the assignats became "waste 
paper,^' and they may to this hour [1847] be seen pasted 
against the walls of cottages in France, as memorials of 
the time when they fell. This act of Pitt has been con- 
fidently denied ; and it has been asserted that, if done, it 
was not with the knowledge of the heads of the Govern- 
ment. Both denial and assertion are, however, false. In 
consequence of a fraudulent dishonour of a bill of ex- 
change, the whole was divulged in a court of law ; 
and the paper of which the forgeries were made 
is now known to have been manufactured, bv 
direct order of Government, at Langley Paper Mill 
situate near the city of Durham, a site chosen, probably, 
for this purpose on account of its remoteness from the seat 
of government; and indeed the whole transaction was 
worthy of the genius of the Minister who was singularly 
destitute of military notions, exceptins[ in so far as they 
were intertwined with the grand question of " ways an^ 
means.** The blowing up of the French currency of 
" asfeignats** was the first and last of Mr. Pitt's triumphs. 

It will be noticed that Mr. Doubleday declares the 
paper to have been made at Langley Paper Milh*. 
Another authority says it was made at Dartford, near 
London. The Government order may have been divided 
amongst the three mills mentioned — Haughton, Langley, 
and Dartford. From Sir Walter Trevelyan's communica- 
tion, Haughton at least appears to have had a share. 
AVherever the real spot may have been, this is certain, 
that popular tradition in our neighbourhood has little or 
no hesitation in assigning the credit, or discredit, of the 
manufacture of the paper to the owner of the North TyTie 
Paper Mill. John Oxberrt, Jux., Felling-on-Tyne. 



The paper mill on North Tyne was occupied some 
time by the undersigned, and the owner of the mill, 
Mr. Smith, of Haughton Castle, had the mould in 
his possession from which the paper was made. On 
two occasions Mr. Smith brought it to the mill, 
to have a few sheets made to give to his friends. Of 
course it was only blank paper, with the French wire 
mark in it. The notes were sent to a midland town to be 
printed. The object the Government had in view was 
to get them circulated in France, so as to depreciate the 
value of French paper, and also to pay the expenses of 
our army. It apparently had the desired effect, for the 
French paper money came down to one* fourth of its 



i 



'is'^) 



NORTH-COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND, 



63 




nominal valae, as stated in the House of Commons by the 
Chancellor of the Exchequer, November 30, 1794. 

T. FoBDTCE, Newcastle. 

It should be added that another story ascribes the 
forged assignats to the royalist refugees who were then 
residing in England. Editor. 



IJISINGHAM, "fast by the river Reed," is 
an ancient Roman station, formerly called 
Habitancum. It was the first station 
north of Hadrian's Great Wall, from which 
it was about twelve miles distant, and stood on the Wat- 
ling Street, about the same distance from Brememum, 
now Rowchester, on the direct road into North Britain, 
through a pass in the Cheviot Hills. The place is not 
mentioned in Antonine's Itinerary, or in the Notitia ; 
yet it must have been occupied by the Romans 
about the time of the Emperor Lucius Aurelius An- 
toninus, otherwise named Commodus, the unworthy 
son of the philosopher, Marcus Aurelius, who was 
poisoned by his favourite mistress, Martia, in the 
year 193. This is evident from inscriptions and coins 
found on the site of the station and in its near neighbour- 
hood. 

In the year 1607 two stone altars were washed out of 
the river bank during a flood. They were dedicated to the 
god Mogon, or Magon, of the Cadeni, or Gadeni, the 
British tribe who occupied the country on both sides of 
the fells, and from whom the rivers Jed and Caddon are 
supposed to take their names. Mogon, or Magon, is 
believed to have been the young hunter god of the Celts, 
likewise the sun god, worshipped by the Pagan Irish 
nnder the denomination of Mogan, the Young Hero, and 
Maon, the Hero; and by the Cambro-Britons styled 
Mabon — the Celtic Apollo. In Camden's time the in- 
habitants of the place had a tradition that Magon was a 
great giant who defended the station a long while against 
some Soldan or Pagan prince ; but there is no trace now 
remaining of any such legend. 

The modem name Risingham is synonymous with the 
Grerman Riesenheim — "the habitation of giants. *' About 
half a mile distant from Risingham, upon an eminence 
covered with scattered birch trees and fragments of sand- 
stone rock. Sir Walter Scott, in his historical romance of 
** Rokeby," tells xis how, upon— 

The moated mound of Risingham 
Where Reed upon her margin sees 
Sweet Woodbiun's cottages and trees, 
Some ancient sculptor's art has shown 
An outlaw's image on the stone ; 
Unmatch'd in strength, a ^iant he. 
With quiver'd back, and kirtled'knee. 



Ask how he died, that hunter bold. 
The tameless monarch of the wold. 
And age and infancy can tell. 
By brother's treachery he fell. 

This refers to a remarkable figure, in high relief, called 
Robin of Risingham, Reedsdale, or Redesdale, cut upon 
the face of a huge piece of rock, that has fallen from the 
cliff above, on the side of the hill, a few yards to the west 
of the Watling Street, near a place called the Park 
Head. It originally represented a hunter, with his bow 







raised in one hand, and in the other what seemed to 
casual observers to be a hare. He had a quiver at his 
back, and was dressed in a long coat, toga, kilt, or kirtle 
— for so it was differently denominated, according to the 
different ideas with which antiquaries regarded it. This 
coat, however, unlike the Highland kilt, came down to the 
knees, and was bound round the figure with a girdle or belt, 
buckled in front. On his head he wore what some called 
a helmet and others a Phrygian bonnet. Dr. Horsley, 
who, as Scott's says, "saw all monuments of antiquity 
with Roman eyes," inclined to think Robin represented 
the Emperor Commodus as the Roman Hercules 
triumphant and victorious, and that it must have been 
sculptured about the time when that priuce assumed the 
name Britannicus after the disturbances in Britain had 
been quelled by his lieutenant Pertinax. Horsley like- 
wise fancied that the square stone beside the principal 
figure was an altar, and that what he carried in his right 
hand was a club ; while the quiver and arrows on his left 



64 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE. 



{^isr 



Bhoulder, and the bow in bis left hand, agreed with the 
character given of Commodus by Herodian, wbo describes 
him as the most comely man of his age, a perfect athlete, 
and a moflt excellent archer, who had slain not only stags 
and fallow deer (elcphantaa kai dorkadas) and wild bulls, 
but also lions and panthers, attacking them in front and 
aiminj? only at the heart, and never needing to use a 
second arrow. The historian likewise tells us that he 
ordered himself to be called Hercules, the son of Jupiter, 
and, laying aside the habits of Roman princes, 
dressed himself in a lion's skin and carried a club in his 
hand, making himself a public laughing stock, and 
ordering statues to be set up to himself in this guise all 
over the city of Rome, which ridiculous adulation, wemay 
conclude, most likely extended to the provinces, and even as 
far as the high lands of the Gadeni. At any rate, there 
is little reason to doubt that Robin of Risingham 
dates' from the Roman era, though the rudeness of the 
figure seems to indicate that it was executed by a native 
artist. 

Warburton, in his map of Northumberland, published 
previous to 1727, appears to have been the first to give an 
engraving of the figure, to which he subjoins the following 
brief notice : — "This antick figure I find cut on a rock in 
Risingham, in Reedndale, called the Soldier's Stone.** 
The stone was five-sided, six feet on the base, eight feet 
high, five feet on the two sides to the right of the middle of 
its front, seven feet on the uppermost side to the 
left, and four on the lower, and about six 



feet in thickness. The figure itself was about 
four feet high, and had a panel above it about twenty- 
nine inches long and twenty broad, as if intended for an 
inscription. In Horsley's time the figure was still perfect, 
but the only part of it which nows remains is from the 
waist downwards, that portion of the stone which con- 
tained the trunk and head having been broken off about 
the beginning of this century. In the dedicatory epistle 
to "Ivanhoe," Scott informs Dr. Dryasdust that "a 
sulky churlish boor" had entirely destroyed Robin, 
whose fame, it seems, had attracted more visitants than 
was consistent with the growth of the heather upon a 
moor worth a shilling an acre. The yeoman who perpre- 
trated this vandalism, to prevent learned or inquisitive 
strangers from passing over a few yards of his ground to 
visit Robin, was one John Shanks, of Whitston House. 

The popular tradition in Sir Walter Soott*s time was 
that the figure represents a giant who lived at Risingham, 
and who had a brother of like stature at Woo4bum. They 
subsisted by hunting. One of them, however, finding the 
game grrowyig scarce, saw no remedy but to get rid 
of his brother, and accordingly poisoned him. The story 
went on to say that the monument was engraved to 
perpetuate the memory of the murdered man, who, like 
Nimrod, was a mighty hunter. 

Descending to modem times, we find several personagee 
distinguished by the name of Robin of Reedsdale. One 
of the Umfravilles, Lord Prudhoe, Robert with the 
Beard, on whom the Conqueror bestowed the Forest of 




NORTH-COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND. 



65 



Beedsdale, aod the castlei of Otterbtirn and Harbottle, 
Jto., to be held for ever by the seryice of defending the 
cu unt ry against thievtt and wolves, was popularly known 
as Bobin of Rcedsdale. So, some oentnries afterwards^ 
was a man named Robert ECillyard, who, in the time of 
Bdward IV.. was a friend and follower of the king-making 
Earl of Warwick. 

Oor sketches are taken — the smaller one from 
Hatehinson's "View of Northumberland," and the 
larger from Dr. Brace's "Roman WalL" 



l^iirir Ssrfftt at Jl^eaitaiit* 

ILL the world knows that the marriage of 
H^^H Lord Byron and Miss Milbanke was a 
yery unhappy one. He was the spoiled 
child of fame and fortune ; she the spoiled 
ehild of her own family. His weakness was to be thought 
strong ; hers to be prim and prudish. It was written of 
them, long: after their union had been broken up for 
ever : — " He morbidly exaggerated his vices, and she 
her virtues; his monomania lay in being an impossible 
■inner, and hers an impossible saint. In the decorous 
world's eye, he was the faulty, and she the fault- 
less monster of romantic fiction. He in his mad 
moods did his best to blacken his own reputation, 
while her self-delusions invariably tended to foster the 
fond persoAsion that the strict pharisaical principles in 
wMdi her mother had brought her up obliged her to 
supp iu BS her natural feelings, whenever these would 
have prompted her to comply with the world's fashions." 




While leading a thoughtless, dissipated life, too common 
among those of his age and rank, Byron's inner life was 
distressingly lonely. He was as conscious as any one 
could be that the path he was treading was the road to 
ruin; and, in a passage in his journal, speaking in 
admiration of some lady whose name he left blank, he 
wrote — "A wife would be the salvation of me." Under 
this conviction, which not only himself, but all his 
real friends entertained of the pradence of his taking 
timely refuge in matrimony from those perplexities (to 
call them by the gentlest name) which form the sequel of 
all less reg^ular ties, he began to turn his thoughts seriously 
to marriage, at least, says Moore, as seriously as his 
thoughts were ever capable of being so turned. But ever 
and again new entanglements, in which his heart was the 
willing dupe of his fancy and vanity, came to engross for 
a time the young poet, and still as the usual penalties of 
such illicit pursuits followed, he found himself once more 
sighing for the sober yoke of wedlock as some security 
against their recurrence. Two or three women of rank 
at different times formed the subject of his confused 
matrimonial dreams. 

The lot at length fell on Anne Isabella, only ohUd 
of Sir Ralph Milbanke, of Halnaby, county York, 
and of the Hon. Judith Noel, daughter of Sir 
Edward Noel, Viscount Wentworth. The first time 
Byron saw his future wife was at Lady Mel- 
bourne's in London. He told Captain Medwin long 
afterwards that in going upstairs on that occasion he 
stumbled, and remarked to Moore, who accompanied 
him, that it was a bad omen. On entering the room, he 
observed a young lady, more simply dressed than the rest 




66 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE. 



{ 



Frtmiuy 



of the aoembly, rittmg alone upon a sofa. He took her 
for a humble compamon, and aoked quietly if he waa right 
in hifl conjecture. "She is a great heireea," said his 
friend, in a whisper, that became lower as he proceeded; 
"you had better marry her and repair the old place, 
Newstead." There was something piquant^ and what we 
term pretty, about Miss Milbanke. Herfeatures were 
■mall and feminine, though not regular. She had the 
fairest skin imaginable. Her figure was perfect for her 
height^ and there was a simplicity, a retired modesty, 
about her, which was T«ry characteristia She interested 
the young poet-peer exceedingly. It U unnecessary to 
detaU the progress of their acquaintance. He became 
daUy more attached to her, and ended in making her a 
proposal of marriage, which, however, was not accepted, 
though every assurance of friendship and regard accom- 
panied the refusal, and a wish was even expressed that 
they should continue to write to each other. A 
correspondence, somewhat singular between two young 
persons of different sexes, consequently ensued, but love 
was not the subject of it. 

Meanwhile, a person unnamed, but said to have been 
Sheridan, who had for some time stood high in Byron's 
confidence, observing how cheerless and unsettled was the 
state both of his mind and prospects— his family estates 
being heavily mortgaged, and his matutinal reflections, 
intensified by headaches, very distressing-advised him 
Btrenuously to get married. After much discussion, 
he consented. The next point for consideration was- 
Who was to be the object of his choice ? While his friend 
mentioned one lady, he himself named Miss MUbanke. 
To this, however, his adviser strongly objected, remarking 
that Miss Milbanke, though niece to Lady Melbourne, 
cousin to Lady Cowper, and heirpresumptive to old Lord 
Wentworth, had at present no fortune; that his embar- 
rassed affaire would not allow him to marry without one; 
that she was, moreover, a learned Udy, which would not 
at aU suit him. In consequence of these representations, 
he agreed — half in jest, half in earnest— that his 
friend should write a proposal for him to another 
lady named, which was accordingly done; and 
one morning shorUy afterwards, as they were once more 
titting together, an answer from her arrived, containing 
a refusal " You see," said Lord Byron, " that after al^^ 
Miss MUbanke is to be the person;— I will write to her." 
He accordingly wrote on the moment, and, as soon as he 
had finished, his friend, remonstrating stiU strongly 
against his choice, took up the letter, but, on reading it 
over, observed, "Well, reaUy, thU is a very pretty 
letter; it is a pity it should not go. I never 
read a prettier one." "Then it thaJl go," said 
Lord Byron; and, so saying, he sealed and sent 
off on the instant what proved to be the fiat of his 
destiny. 

This time he was accepted, and there could be no 
drawing back, whatever misgivings he might have as to 



the sequel On the day the answer arrived be was Bitting 
at dinner, when his gardener came in and presented him 
with his moth^s marriage ring, which she had lost many 
years before, and which the gardener had just found in 
digging up the oKmld under her window. Almost at the 
same moment the letter from Miss Milbanke was handed 
in, and Lord Byron exclaimed, "If it contains a 
consent, I will be married with this very ring!" Ife 
did contain a very flattering acceptance, and the omen 
was hailed as a happy one, though his mother's experience 
would not have borne that out. 

Ck>ntemplating his apfuroaching union, Byron wrote ^- 
" I must, of course, reform thoroughly ; and, seriously, 
if I can contribute to her happiness, I shall secors 
my own. She is so good a person that — ^that, in shorty 
I wish I was a better." Again:— "I certainly did not 
address Miss Milbanke with mercenftry views, but it is 
likely she may prove a considerable ^ri%. All her 
father can give, or leave her, he will ; and from 
her childless unde, Lord Wentworth, whose barony, it 
is supposed, will devolve on Lady Milbanke (his siBter). 
she has expectations. But these will depend upon his own 
disposition, which seems very partial towards her. She 
is an only child, and Sir Ralph's estates, though dipped (?) 
by electioneering, are considerable. Part of them are 
settled on her ; but whether that will be dowered now I 
do not know — though &om what has been intimated to 
me, it probably will The lawyera will settle this among 
them." 

Byron had the satisfaction of being told that Miss Mil- 
banke had refused six suitore in the mea n time 
which certainly was a salve for his lordship's not 
unnatural vanity ; for be had now given to the world the 
first two cantos of "Childe Harold," "The Giaoor," 
"The Bride of Abydos," and "The Corsair," and had 
gained for himself the very highest name among the 
poets of the day. In due course he received Sir Ralph's 
invitation to proceed to Seaham, the worthy baronefs 
seat in North Durham, in his capacity as an accepted 
lover. Somehow or other he had still misgivings. 
Though Miss Milbanke had "great expectations." she 
was possessed at the time of but little money, while the 
poet stood in need of a great deal He declared that hit 
head was in a state of confusion; only, having 
made the venture, he was willing to take ths 
risk; and so his "mind was made up — ^positively 
fixed, determined." " Of course," continued he, "I am 
very much in love, and as silly as all single gentlemen 
must be in that sentimental situation." Adverting to his 
approaching marriage, "it should have been two yean 
earlier," said he, "and if it had, it would have saved a 
deal of trouble. But. as it is, I wish it were well over, 
for I hate bustle, and there is no marrying without some ; 
and. then, one must not marry in a black coat, and I hats 
a blue one." 
The affianced couple were now only waiting lawyers, 



Tabraary 



} 



NORTH-COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND. 



67 



and settlements, and other formaHties, all necessary when 
the parties to be nuule one have worldly wealth, or the 
prospect of it, either on the one side or the other. At 
this time Byron wrote of Miss Milbanke : — *' She is a 
very superior woman, and very little sxwiled, which is 
strange in an heiress — a girl of twenty — ^a peeress that is 
to be, in her own right — an only child, and a aavarUe^ who 
has always had her own way. She is a poetess — a mathe- 
matician — a metaphysician, and yet, withal, very kind, 
generous, and gentle, with very little pretension. Any 
other head would be turned with half her acquisi- 
tions and a tenth of her advantages." There need 
be little doubt that this high-flown praise was 
somewhat deserved in the young lady's case. 
Byron, on another occasion, long afterwards, said '* there 
never wais a better, or even a brighter, a kinder, or a more 
amiable being." Miss Milbanke herself unquestionably 
dreamed, and was taught perhaps by her mother to ex- 
pect, that she would wean Byron from his evil courses, 
and convert him into a good Christian, or at least a re- 
putable member of society, and a staunch adherent of the 
Established Church, like her father. 

A walk is still pointed out in Seaham Dene which the 
the bridegroom expectant used to frequent, probably to 
court the Muses. It is a very retired spot, and is still 
known as " Byron's Walk." The only thing he wrote, so 
far as we know, while waiting for the tying of the nuptial 
knot, was the piece commencing — "When some brisk 
youths a tenant of a stall "—referring to Joseph Blackett, 
an unfortunate child of genius, dubbed by Byron 
"Cobbler Joe," whose last days were soothed by the 
generous attention of the Milbanke family, and whose 
orphan daughter, whom he styled "the shoemaking 
Sappho," Miss Milbanke used to visit in what she senti- 
mentally styled the "Cottage of Friendship." 

The marriage was performed by special license, on the 
2nd of January, 1815, in the drawing-room of Seaham 
HalL No sooner was the ceremony over than the 
happy pair set out for Halnaby, Sir Ralph's country seat 
in Yorkshire. Lord Bjrron long afterwards told Captain 
Medwin he was surprised at the arrangements for the 
journey, and somewhat out of hiunour to find a lady's 
maid stuck between him and his bride. " But it was 
rather too early," added he, "to assume the husband; 
so I was forced to submit, but it was not with a 
very good grace. Put yourself," he went on to 
say, "in a similar situation, and tell me if I 
had not some reason to be in the sulks. I have 
been accused of saying, on getting into the carriage, 
that I had married Lady Byron out of spite, and 
because she had refused me twice. Though I was for a 
moment vexed at her prudery, or whatever you may 
choose to call it, if I had made so uncavalier, not to say 
brutal, a speech, I am convinced Lady Bjrron would 
instantly have left the carriage to me and the maid (I 
mean the lady's). She had spirit enough to have done 



so, and would properly have resented the affront." This 
seems to be the true version of the affair. But wo are 
likewise told that» when the newly wedded pair were on 
the point of setting off for Halnaby, Lord Byron said to his 
bride, to the horror of the lady's confidential attendant^ 
who pronounced it to be a bad omen — " Miss Milbanke, 
are you ready? " And of evil omen, it truly was, though 
a mere natural misadvertence. 

We are told in Mrs. Beecber Stowe's wholly un- 
reliable narrative of a hideous confession made by 
his lordship, as soon as the carriage doors were shut, 
and of its terrible effect upon the poor lady. Miss 
Milbanke's former lady's maid, Mrs. Minns, who had the 
close confidence of her mistress during the long period of 
ten years, who had quitted her service only some months 
before on the occasion of her own marriage, and who had 
been asked to return and fulfil once more the duties of 
lady's maid, at least during the honeymoon, preceded 
Lord and Lady Byron to prepare for their reception at 
Halnaby HaU. She was present when they arrived at 
that mansion in the afternoon of the day, and saw them 
alight from the carriage. At that moment, accord- 
ing to Mrs. Minus's testimony. Lady Byron 
was as buoyant and cheerful as a bride should 
be, and kindly and gaily responded to the 
greetings of welcome which poured upon her from the 
pretty numerous group of servants and tenants of the 
Milbanke family who had assembled about the entrance 
to the mansion. And Lord Byron's confidential servant, 
Fletcher, who was the only other person that accompanied 
the newly married pair from Seaham to Halnaby, but 
who, of course, sat upon the box, not inside, informed 
Mrs. Minns that a similar scene had occurred at Darling- 
ton, at the hotel where they changed horses. 

The happiness of Lady Byron, however, was of brief 
duration. Even during the short three weeks they spent 
at Hahiaby, the irregularities of her husband occa- 
sioned her the greatest distress, and it is said 
she even contemplated retviming to her father. 
Mrs. Minns was her constant companion and 
confidante during this painful period, and she did not 
believe that her ladyship concealed a thought from her. 
With laudable reticence, the old lady, when interviewed 
by a correspondent of the NevjcaatU Chronicle in her 
eighty-fifth year, absolutely refused to disclose the parti- 
culars of Lord Byron's misconduct at the time. She gave 
Lady Byron, she said, a solemn promise not to do so; but 
language, adds the interviewer, would be wanting to 
express the indignation with which she repudiated the 
gross explanation which Mrs. Stowe has given of the 
matter. So serious, however, did Mrs. Minns consider 
the conduct of Lord Byron, that she recom- 
mended her mistress to confide all the drcum- 
stancee to her father— "a calm, kind, and most 
excellent parent"— and take his advice as to her future 
course. At one time Mrs. Minns thought Lady Byron 



68 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE. 



{ 



Febnaary 



had resolved to follow her ooaxiBel, and impart her wrongs 
to Sir Ralph Milbanke ; but, on arriving a« Seaham Hall, 
her ladyship strictly enjoined Mrs. Minns to preserve 
absolute silence on the subject — a course which she fol- 
lowed herself, so that when, six weeks later, she and Lord 
Byron left Seaham for London, not a word had escaped 
her to disturb her parentis tranquillity as to their 
daughter's domestic happiness. Lord Byron, conversing 
with Captain Medwin, allowed that his honeymoon was 
not all sunshine. 

On the 2nd February, Byron wrote as follows to Moore : 
— ** I have been transferred to my father-in-law's doAiicile, 
with my lady and my lady's maid, &c, &c., &a, and the 
treacle moon is over, and I am awake, and find myself 
married. My spouse and I agree to — and in— admiration. 
Swift says * no wm man ever married ;' but, for a fool, I 
think it the most ambrosial of all future states. I still 
think one ought to marry upon Uau ; but am very sure I 
should renew mine at the expiration, though next term 
were for ninety and nine years." 

It was after their return to Seaham, that the humdrum 
sort of life they were expected to lead there tried Lord 
Byron's mercurial temper beyond endurance, and 
rendered him more than ever perversely rebellious against 
conventional restraint. He wrote to a correspondent : — 
" Upon this dreary coast, we have nothing but country 
meetings and shipwrecks ; and I have this day dined upon 
fish, which probably dined upon the crews of several 
colliers lost in the late gales. My papa, Sir Ralpho, 
has recently made a speech at a Durham tax meeting ; 
and not only at Durham, but here, several times since, 
after dinner. He is now, I believe, speaking it to himseif 
(I left him in the middle) over various decanters, which 
can neither interrupt him nor let him fall asleep, as mitrht 
possibly have been the case with some of his audience." 
And he adds in a postscript :—" I must go to tea— danm 
tea." 

Li another letter he says :— " What an odd situation 
and friendship is ours ! — without one spark of love on 
either side, and produced by circumstances which in 
general lead to coldness on one side, and aversion on the 
other." 

A great quarrel occurred in the sixth week of their 
marriage. During a jealous mood, superinduced by her 
husband's actual or imafdned infidelities, Lady Byron 
fearfully resented a hasty remark of his. ** I deeply 
regret to know," he said, "that my beloved Mary 
Chaworth was very unhappy in her marriage. Ah, 
it might have been different had we married I" Upon 
hearing this remark. Lady Byron instantly arose, and in 
great anger uttered the fatal words, "Mary Chaworth 
rejected you for your deformity, as I did once, and it had 
been better if I had still rejected a man with a 
devil's foot" And with these words she left the apart- 
ment. To Lord Byron, sensitive as the quivering 



aspen leaf upon that very fact of his deformity—his 
"curse of life," as he once said to Trelawney— the 
words were as daggers. From that moment there ceased 
all marital intercourse between the newly-wedded pair. 
Both kept their own apartments, and communed only 
with their [own friends, brooding over their respective 
wrongs; and thenceforward, though the forms of out- 
ward decency might be observed before strangers, a fixed 
determination to part, at least for a time, ^lerhaps for 
ever, was entertained by each. 

But into the particulars of their actual separation, 
which took place in London, on the 15th of January, 
1816, we have no intention to enter here. Their married 
life had lasted only one year and thirteen days. 



Cite Hffrtft^Cmttttrfi <9arlan)r 



*8 l^!)tt Jfttokoe. 




JOCK O' THE SYDE. 
CCORDING to Sir Walter Scott, " the subject 
of this ballad, being a common event in the 
troublesome and disorderly times of the 
Borders, became a favourite theme of the ballad-makers." 
Several poems on the rescue of prisoners have been 
written, the incidents of which nearly resemble each 
other, and, indeed, some verses are common to two or 
three of the ballads. 

The story rests solely upon tradition. Jock o' the Syde 
seems to have been nephew to the Laird of Mangerton, 
cousin to the Laird's Jock, one of his deliverers, and pro- 
bably brother to Chrystie of the Syde, mentioned in the 
list of Border Clans, 1597. Like the Laird's Jock, he is 
also commemorated by Sir Richard Maitland in his poem 
against the thieves of Liddesdale. 

He is weel kend, Johne of the Syde, 
A greater thief did never ryde : 

He nevir tyris 

For to brek byris ; 

Our muir and myris, 

Ouir gude ane guidei, &c. 

Jock o' the Syde appears to have assisted the Earl of 
Westmoreland in his escape, after his unfortunate in- 
surrection with the Earl of Northumberland, in the 
twelfth year of Elizabeth. "The two rebellious rebels 
went into Liddesdale, in Scotland, yesternight, where 
Martin EUwood (Elliot) and others that have given 
pledges to the Regent of Scotland, did raise their forces 
against them, being conducted by Black Ormeeton, an 
outlaw of Scotland, that was a principal murtherer of the 
King of Scots, where the fight was offered and both 
parties alighted from their horses; and, in the end, 
EUwood said to Ormeston, he would be sorry to enter 
deadly feud with him by bloodshed ; but he would chaige 



Febnuxy 



} 



NORTH-COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND. 



him and the rest before the Regent for keeping of the 
rebels ; and if he did not pot them oat of the coontry 
the next day, he would doe his worst again them; 
whereupon the two earls were driven to leave Liddesdale, 
and to fly to one of the Armstrongs, a Scott upon the 
batable (debateable) land on the Borders, between 
Liddesdale and England. The same day the 
Liddesdale men stole the horses of the Ckmntess 
of Northumberland, and of her two women, and 
ten others of their company ; so as, the earls being 
gone, the Lady of Northumberland was left there 
on foot) at John of the Side's house, a cottage not 
to be compared to many a dofc kennel in England. At 
their departing from her, they went not above fifty horse, 
and the Earl of Westmoreland, to be the more unknown, 
changed his coat of plate and sword with John o' the 
Side, and departed like a Scottish borderer.*' (Adver- 
tisements from Hexham, 22d December, 1568, in the 
CiihaUt, p. 160.) 

The present ballad, and two others entitled 
"Dick o' the Cow" and "Hobbie Noble," were first 
published in 1784 in the ffawiek Afuseum, a provincial 
miscellany, to which they were communicated by John 
Elliott, Esq., of Reidheugh, a gentleman well skilled in 
the antiquities of the Western Borders. They are con- 
nected with each other, and appear to have been written 
by the same author. 

The tune given in Sir Walter Scott's *' Mmstrelsy " to 
'•Dick o' the CJow" was a very poor one, and wholly 
unfitted for use to this ballad. Robert Chambers pub- 
lished in 1843 "Twelve Romantic Scottish Ballads," 
with the original airs, where this ballad is given, but the 
melody is little better than that of the "Minstrelsy." 
The tune given below is the one to which the ballad was 
invariably sung in Liddesdale, and is much the best of 
the three. It was taken down by the late Mr. James 
Telfer, of Saughtree, in Liddesdale, and sent by him, 
with several other border tunes, to the Antiquarian 
Society at Newcastle in 1857. 



■ ^J- \^ ^ ^ 



n:iui^ 



Now Lid • des -dale has rid -den a raid. But I 



i 



3^3E 



-V-ii^-y- 



=f^=^ 



p 



wat they had bet-t«rha'e staid at hame, For 



^^ 



Mich ^ ael o' Windeld 



he is dead And 



$ 



m 



-^^^ — 0- 



=IW^ 



^ 



Joek 0* the Syde is pris - on • er ta'en. And 

— N — ^ — K 



m. 



fc=^ 



f=r^=f=^ 



Joek & the Syde if 



pris • on - er ta'en. 



For Mangerton House Lady Do?mie has gane^ 

Her ooats she has kilted up to her knee, 
And down the water wi' speed she rina. 

While tears in spates* fa' fast f rae her e'e. 

Then up and spak our gude auld lord — 

" What news, what news, sister Downie, to mef 

" Bad news, bad news, my Lord Mangerton ; 
Michael is killed, and they hae ta'en my son Jofamiitf' 

" Ne'er fear, sister Downie," quo' Mangerton ; 

"I hav4 yokes of ousen, eighty and three ; 
My bams, my byres, and my faulds a' weel fiUed« 

I'll part wi' them a' ere Johnnie shall die. 

" Thtee men 111 send to set him free, 

A' hameist wi' the best o' steil ; 
The English louns mav hear, and drie 

The weight o' their braid-swords to feeL" 

" The Laird's Jock ane, the Laird's Wat twft ; 

O I Hobbie Noble thou ane maun be I 
Thy ooat is blue thou hast been true. 

Since England banish'd thee to me." 

Now Hobbie was an English man. 

In Bewcastle-dale was bred and bom : 
But his misdeeds they were sae great 

They banish'd him ne'er to return. 

Lord Mangerton them orders gave — 
" Tour horses the wrang way maun be shod ; 

Like gentlemen ye maunna seim. 
But look like oem-cadgersf ga'en the road. 

" Tour armour gude ye maunna shaw. 

Not yet appear like men o' weir ; 
As country lads be a' arrayed 

Wi' branks and brechaml^ on each mare." 

Sae now their horses are the wrang way shod 
And Hobbie has mounted his grav sae fine ; 

Jock his lively bay, Wat's on his white horse behind. 
And on they rode for the water o' Tyne. 

At the Cholerford they a' light down 
And there wi' the help of the light o' the moon ; 

A tree they cut, wi' fifteen nogs on each side 
To dimb up the wa' of Newcastle toun. 

But when they cam' to Newcastle toun. 

And 'twere alighted at the wa'. 
They fand their tree three ells ower laigh,n 

They fand their stick baith short and sma*. 

Then up and spak' the Laird's ain Jock — 

" There's naething for't ; the gates we maun foroe/ 

But when they cam the gates untiU, 
A proud porter withstood baith man and horse. 

His neck in twa the Armstrangs wrang ; 

Wi' fute or hand he ne'er played pa ! 
His life and his keys at anes they ha'e ta'en. 

And cast his body ahind the wa'. 

Now suin they reach Newcastle jail 

And to the prisoner thus they call : 
" Sleeps thou, wakes thou, Jock o' the Syde, 

Or art thou weary of thy thrall ?" 



• Torrents. 

t Ck»m oarriers— com was carried in sacks laid over the horse's 
back in front of the rider. 



t The leather collar and the wooden staves called 
which the harness is attached. 

OLow. 



■branks" to 



70 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE. 



rFebniMy 



Jock amwen thus, wi' dulefu* tone ; 

** Aft, aft I wake — I seldom sleep ; 
But wha's this ken's my name sae weel. 

And thus to me8e§ my waes does seik? " 

Then out and spak' the gude Laird's Jook, 
" Now fear ye na, my oillie," quo' he ; 

"For here are the Laird's Jock, and the Laird's Wat, 
And Hobble Noble, come to set thee free." 



For 



Now baud thy ton^e, my gude Laird's Jook, 
For ever^ alas ! this canna be : 
or if a' Liddesdale were here the ni^ht, 
The mom's the day that I maun die. 



'* Full fifteen stane o' Spanish iron, 

They bae laid a' right sair on m^ 
Wi' locks and keys I am fast bounOi 

Lito this dungeon dark and dreane." 

*' Fear ye nae that," quo' the Laird's Jock, 

"A faint heart ne'er wan a fair ladye; 
Work thou within, we'll work without. 

And 111 be sworn we'll set thee free." 

The first stran;; door that they cam' at. 

They loosed it without a key ; 
The next chained door that they cam' at. 

They garr'd it a' to flinders flee. 

The prisoner now upon his back 

The Laird's Jock s gotten up fu' hie; 
And down the stairs, him, aims, and a', 

Wi' nae sma' speid and joy, brings he. 

"Now Jock, my man," quo* Hobble Noble, 
**Some o' nis weight ye may lay on me." 

" I wat weel, no." quo' the Laird^s ain Jock, 
"I count him lighter than a flee." 

Sae out at the gates they a' are gane. 

The prisoner s set on horseback hie ; 
And now wi' speed they've ta'en the gate^ 

While ilk ane jokes fu' wantonlie. 

" O Jock ! sae winsomely's ye ride. 

With baith your feet upon ae side ; 
Sae weel ye're hameist, and sae trig — 

In troth ye sit like ony bride." 

The night, tho' wat, they didna mind. 

But hied them on fu' merrilie ; 
Until they cam' to Cholerford brae. 

Where the water ran like mountains hi6k 

But when they cam' to Cholerford, 

There they met wi' an auld man ; 
Says — " Honest man, will the water ride ? 

Tell us in haste if that you can." 

" I wat weel no." quo' the gude auld man, 
" I hae lived here thretty years and thno, 

And I ne'er yet saw the Tyne sae big, 
Nor running anes sae like a sea." 

Then out and spak' the Laird's saft Wat, 

The greatest coward in the companie — 
" Now halt^ now halt ! we needna try't. 

The day is come we a' maun die." 

" Puir faint-hearted thief !" cried the Laird's ain Jook, 
" There'll nae man die but him that's fey ; 

111 ^de you a' right safely thro' ; 
Lift ye the prisoner on ahint me." 

Wi' that the water they hae ta'en ; 

By ane's and twa's they a' swam thro' : 
" BLere are we a' safe," quo' the Laird's J^ock, 

" And pair faint Wat, what think ye noo r* 



(Soothe. 




They ioaroe the other brae had won. 

When twenty men they saw pursue : 
Frae Newcastle toun they had been sent, 

A' English lads baith stout and true. 

But when the landnsergeant the water saw, 

"It winna ride, my lads," quo' ho ; 
Then cried aloud— "The prisoner take. 

But leave the fetters, I pray, to me." 

'* I wat weel no," quo' the Laird's ain Jock. 

" 111 keep them a' ; shoon to my mare theyH be ; 
My gude bay mare — for I am sure. 

She has brought them all right aear frae thee." 

Sae now they are on to Liddesdale 

E'en as fast as they oou'd them hie ; 
The prisoner's brought to's ain fireside. 

And there o's aims they mak' him free. 

'* Now Jock, my billie," quo* all the three, 

"The day is comed thou was to dee. 
But thou's as weel at thy ain fireside 

Now sitting I think 'twixt thee and me." 

They hae garred fill up ae punch bowl. 
And after it they maun hae anither ; 

And thus the night they a' hae spent 
Just as they'd been brither ana brither. 



ilRINKBURN PRIORY is delightfully situ, 
ated on a small peninsula formed by the 
river Coquet, about four miles south-east 
of Rothbury. The learned antiquaries, 
Hutchinson and Grose, were both stmck with admira> 
tion on viewin&r its ruins. Thus the former says — "Thii 
is the most melancholy and deep solitude, chosen for a 
religious edifice, I ever yet visited." The latter, whil* 
observing that the building, upon the whole, except 
about the doors, which had circular arches richly adorned 
with a variety of Saxon ornaments, is remarkably plain, 
goes on to say that "it has a sober and solemn mi^estj 
notalwa3rs found in buildings more highly decorated.'* 
Grose adds that perhaps it may owe part of this to its 
romantic situation, which is "the most proper in the 
world for retirement and meditation." 

The m'alls of the priory are washed by the dear waters 
of the meandering Coquet ; the steep grassy bank 
behind it recedes just sufficiently to leave a level 
space large enough to accommodate the buildings ; 
and the opposite shore of the river is bounded by a semi- 
circular and lofty ridge of shaggy rocks, mantled with 
ivy, and beautifully overhung by a variety of fine trees, 
shrubs, ferns, and other plants. The only approach is by 
a slant path, cut out of the rook, on the west side, or \sf 
following the bed of the river on the east. The visitor 
does not get a glimpse of the place till he oomes within a 
few yards of the door of the church, which forms part of 
the old monastio pile. The priory, affording one of the 
finest examples extant of what is known as the later tran- 
sitional style of architecture, between the Saxon and the 
Gothic, prevalent in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, 



VibnufT \ 

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NORTH-COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND. 



71 



was restortd, so far as suoh a venerable relic of antiquity 
ooold be fittingly and tastefully restored, through the 
pUms munificenoe of its proprietor, about thirty, years 
ago. 

Hidden as the priory is at present, it was even more so 
in ancient times, a dense forest having overspread the 
whole neighbourhood, so that not a turret could be seen 
by the passer-by. There is a tradition that, once upon a 
time — ^the date is uncertain— a party of Scottish 
borderers, laden with the spoils of a successful foray, 
were on their way home by the Devil's Causeway, which 
crosses the Coquet a little below the priory. It was the 
intention of the marauders to make a raid on the monks, 
who were always understood to be well provided with this 
world's goods, although they had, of course, taken the usual 
vow of poverty. They entered the forest in search of the 
seduded pile ; but, being unable to find it, they returned 
to the road, and so proceeded on their way towards merry 
Teviotdale. The monks, who had heard of the raiders' 
approach, naturally felt overjoyed at their discomfiture. 
So the great bell of the priory was rung to assemble the 
brethren to offer up thanks for their deliverance. But, 
imfartunately for the monks, the Scots had proceeded 
only a short distance from the spot, when the sound of the 
bell struck their ears, revealing the situation of the pious 
retreat. The band soon penetrated the thicket, broke 
into the priory, and put the monks to flight Every 
corner of the building was searched, and every valuable 
taken. The Scots then fired the place, and the 
flames consumed everything but the solid walls. On the 
retirement of the incendiaries, the monks hastened from 
their hiding-places ; but they found the destruction so 
far complete that they had no place left in which to lay 
their heads. Thus they had to be beholden to their 
kindly tenants for board and lodging, till such time as 
the priory could beat least partially restored through the 
liberality of the faithfuL So runs the story. 

At the time of the suppression of the monasteries in 
England, Brinkbum Priory was inhabited by ten black 
canons, or canons regular of the order of St. Augustin ; 
and its annual revenues were then valued at £68 19s Id. 
according to Dugdale, and £77 acoordinsr to Speed. In 
the fourth year of King Edward VI. it was granted to 
George, Earl of Warwick, who disposed of it shortly 
afterwards to George Fen wick, a Commissioner of Enclo- 
sures for the Middle Marches. The last male descend- 
ant of this gentleman was another George Fenwick, whose 
daughter and heiress Elizabeth married Roger Fenwick, 
of Stanton, and one of her descendants, William Fenwick, 
of Bywell, was its proprietor in 1776, when Hutchinson 
wrote his "View of Northumberland." Mr. Fenwick 
■old the Brinkbum estate to a Mr. Hetherington, of 
London, from whom it descended to his brother, John 
Hetherington, of Brampton, Cumberland, and afterwards 
to Major Hodgson, of Moorhouse Hall, in the same county, 
who sold it to William Grey, of Backworth. In the year 



1828 it had become the property of Dixon Dixon, of 
Unthank Hall, who occasionally resided in the ancient 
mansion which is shown in our view, standing near the 
south-west angle of the church. This mansion is said 
by some to have been built in the time of Queen 
Elizabeth out of part of the remains of the monastic 
buildings. Others aver, however, that it is of greater 
antiquity, having been, they say, perhaps as old as the 
monastery itself, probably the private residence of the 
prior, who had, for his conveniency, a subterraneous com- 
munication between it and the priory. If so, it is possible 
that the whole cluster of buildings on the river bank 
suffered in one conflagration at the time of the Border 
raid, and that this house was rebuilt afterwards from the 
ruins of the others, even as it is not unlikely that the 
priory itself was built, at least partly, from the ruins of 
still more ancient edifices, dating back to the Roman 
period. The prior's residence, if such it was, was again 
rapidly falling into ruin, when Mr. Hetherington began a 
complete repair, which was finished by Major Hodgson 
Cadogan. It is now the residence of Mr. C. Hodgson 
Cadogan, J.P. 

The Brinkbum bells, tradition sa3rs, were sent to Dur- 
ham after the suppression of the monastery. They are 
believed to have been possessed of great power combined 
with sweetness ; but they cannot have been of any great 
size, since we are told they were despatched on their way 
to their new destination in the charge of some trusty 
men on horseback, and that they were lost in the attempt 
to ford the river Font, when in high flood, and only 
recovered miraculously afterwards through the prayers of 
certain holy men. But we are afraid there is some 
anachronism in this tale. Wallis, in his "History of 
Northumberland," affirms, indeed, that the Brinkbum 
bells found their way to Durham ; James Hardy, a good 
authority, tells us it is a sa3ring in Coquetdale to this day 
that they are still to be heard there ; while Mr. Wilson, 
in the fourth volume of the "Proceedings of the Ber- 
wickshire Naturalists' Club," states positively that a 
fragment of one of the lost bells was found some years 
ago buried at the root of a tree on the opposite side of 
the river from Brinkbum. How much or how little 
troth there may be in these contradictory stories we 
cannot tell. 

The view which we have copied from Allom shows the 
priory as it appeared from the north in 1832. The 
original sketch was drawn by the late Mr. John Dobson 
for Mr. Allom, who published his work in 1833. Grose 
gives a fine copperplate view of the priory, as seen by him 
in 1776 ; Hutchinson has a small plate, drawn by Bailey ; 
and there is likewise a view, taken from the opposite side 
of the river, in Richardson's "Local Historian's Table 
Book," As we have said, the priory was restored some 
thirty years ago; but lovers of the picturesque will 
probably prefer its appearance in the ruined state as seen 
by Mr. Dobson. 



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February 1888. 



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I'llllliii 



£1 ! 




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Febmary 1888. 



NORTH-COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND. 



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ANCHESTEB ii ntuated about six miles 
north-west from the city of Durham. The 
locality abounds in subjects alike interesting 
to the antiquary and the architect. Great part of the 
village or town, as well as the present church, is com- 
posed of the pagan masonry of a neighbouring Roman 
station, so that, so far as the materials of construction are 
concerned, Lanchester may, says Surtees, daim preced- 
ence even of Jarrow. 

The church of All Saints was first built during the 
Norman period, but was shortly after destroyed, or nearly 
so ; for the chancel-arch is alleg^ to be the only portion 
of it now remaining in its proper position The columns 
of the porch, and the arch of a zigzagged doorway 
now forming the canopy of an ancient monumental 
efBgy of Anstell, Dean of Lanchester, belonged to the 
Norman building; but the present church is bodily of 
the Early English style^ with additions or insertions 
of a later date — the side windows being of the 
Decorated period. A door on the north of the 
chancel, leading to the vestry, has a sculpture of the 
Virgin, adored by angels, with the devil prostrate 
beneath her chair. Till the time of Anthony Bek the 
church was rectorial, but he, in 1283, erected Lan- 
chester into a collegiate church, consisting of a dean and 
seven prebendaries. Some of the founder's statutes 
are remarkable, such as this : — " None of the vicars shall 
braol or chide in the quier or without, but let them keep 
silent; not mormoringe, gainsainge, or contendinge 
with one another; neither yett laughing, gleeing, 
staring, nor casting vagabonde eyes towards the people 
remaining in the churche. Let the vicars read and also 
sing alowde, distinctly, with full voice, and without ever 
skipping or cutting the wordes, making a good pause in 
the mydest of every verse, beginninge and endinge alto- 
gether, not protractinge nor drawinge the last syllable 
too longe ; not hastily running it over, much less inter- 
minglinge any strange, variable, profane, or dishonest 
speeches." 

The Roman station occupies a lofty site half a mile 
to the west of the village, on a tongue of land formed by 
the jtmction of the Browney and the Smallhope Beck. 
On three sides the ground falls from the camp ; on the 
west only is it commanded by a high moorland 
hill, whose prospect ranges from the Cheviots to 
the chain of the Cleveland and Hambledon hills. 
The station forms a parallelogram of a hundred 
and eighty-three yards from north to south, and 
one hundred and forty-three yards from east to west, and 
indudes an area of about eighty acres. The wall or ram- 
part is stiU in some places almost perfect, and is nowhere 
totally destroyed. Whatever the depredations the spot 
may have formerly suffered, it is now preserved with 



care. The vallum has been probably nearly twelve feet in 
height. The outside is perpendicular, built of ashlar work 
in regular courses, the stones being about nine feet deep 
and twelve long ; the interior is also of ashlar worik, 
formed of thin stones, laid tier above tier, slanting, 
and covering each other featherwise. The thickness of 
the vallum at the present surface is eight feet, bat 
diminishes gradually by parallel steps to about four Umt 
at the summit. It has a deep fosse on the west, and on 
the other sides the advantage of the sloping hill. 
The angles of the walls appear to have been 
guarded by round towers, and, like every Roman camp^ 
there have been entrances in the middle of each side. 
Vestiges of the Prstorium may be still traced over the 
north gate. The area of the station presents to a conmun 
observer a level close of eight acres, enclosed by a 
mouldering rampart. Watling Street is still visible near 
Lanchester. The great highway may be traced through 
Porter's Vale, over the high grounds towards Ebchester, 
and from thence to the Tyne. 

The drawings which accompany this article were 
made by Mr. John Wallaoe in the winter of 1886-7. 
In the centre is a general view of the village from the 
railway station. Above are two drawings of the church ; 
at the left is a sketch of the church gateway ; and below 
are shown part of the Roman camp, and two of the 
bridges in the village. 




JOHN GULLY was bom at Wick, in Glouces- 
tershire, where his parents kept the Crown 
Inn, on the 21st of August, 1783. When he 
was still but a little lad, the family removed 
to BristoL John was brought up to his father's business, 
that of a butcher, but the old man died before he was 
out of his teens. On his attaining his majority, his 
mother, who had been carrying on a shop in the mean- 
time, got him to relieve her of her charge. The business, 
however, which in his father's time had been good, had 
latterly been far from prosperous, owing to bad bargains, 
bad debts, and miscellaneous losses : so that the young 
man was under the necessity, in the very first year after 
starting for himself, to take lodgings in the King's Bench 
Prison. ''Here," says one of his biographers, '*he was 
in a fine open situation, where he found room enough to 
exert his muscles in the active amusement of rackets." 
Bristol had long been celebrated, like its rival city Bath, 
for keen and spirited boxing matches. Gully had been 
one of the local notabilities in the sport, and this circom- 
stance procured him the "honour," while detained in 
safe custody for what we believe were rather his father 
and mother's debts than his own, of a visit from Henry 
Pearce, "the Game Chicken," at that time champion 



'^ssri 



NORTH'COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND. 



75 



boxer of England, uid a Bristolian like himself. Gully 
had a set of Brongtonian mufflers to while away his time 
with ; and to fill up the chasm in the afternoon's amuse- 
ment the host and guest must have a "set-to/' Good 
humour prevailed, as it always shotild ; but Gully did not 
fail to give the Chicken a few severe hits. In short, he 
became proud of his success, and immediately took it 
into his head that it was perhaps not impossible to beat 
the champion. Mr. Fletcher Reid, of Shepperton, a 
great patron of the prize-ring, soon got scent of the 
budding pugilist "Gully," said he, "shall fi«rht the 
Chicken." His debts were accordingly discharged by the 
" Corinthians,'' or fashionable patrons of the P.R., and 
he was taken to Virginia Water, about two miles beyond 
Egham, to be put into training. 

Gully was firm and athletic in build. His height 
was nearly six feet ; his weight we do not find stated in 
the books. In point of muscular development, he hardly 
seemed framed and fitted for fighting ; but he had an 
infinite amount of pluck and perfect confidence in 
himself. Pearce's friends backed the champion for six 
hundred guineas to four hundred. After some inter- 
ruptions and disappointments, the fight came off on the 
8th of October, 1805, at Hailsham, a small village in 
Sussex, between Brighton and Lewes. At that time, be 
it remembered, the brutal pastime was as fashionable as 
racing or pigeon-shooting is now. The number of 
spectators was immense, the Downs being covered with 
equestrians and pedestrians, persons of royal and 
aristocratic rank being in full force. The Duke of 
Clarence, afterwards William IV., often referred to wit- 
nessing this combat. Gully was seconded by Tom Jones 
and Dick Whale ; Pearce had Clarke and Joe Ward for 
his attendants. During the fight, the odds rose from 
3 to 1 on the Chicken to 10 to 2, and then fell to 6 to 4. 
After a contest of one hour and seventeen minutes, 
during which there were sixty-four rounds. Gully yielded 
the palm to Pearce. Both combatants were dread- 
fully battered, being hardly able to see out of either 
eye. Soon after Gully had given in, Pearce came up to 

him, shook hands with him, and said — "You area 

good fellow ! I'm hard put to it to stand. You are the 
only man that ever stood up to me." This was, as Pearce 
afterwards said in private conversation, the severest 
battle he ever fought. Gully showed all the tactics of a 
good general, backed by weight, strength, youth, and 
resolution. "He must," said the Chicken, in his rough 
but figurative language, "be a sharp chap, and get up 
early, as beats John Gully, I can tell you." 

When Pearce was impelled by severe bodily illness 
to abdicate the position of champion, John Gully was 
regarded by the "fancy" as his legitimate successor. 
He does not, however, seem to have publicly desired 
the title, which was nevertheless freely conceded to 
him. At any rate, he had become a " distimruished 
favourite." His fame stood so high that upwards of 



two years elapsed from the time of his fight with the 
Chicken before any one had the temerity to call on 
him to defend his title to the championship. At length 
he entered the lists with one Gregson, a boxer who had 
been picked out by his friends in Lancashire as likely 
to lower the crest of the Bristol butcher. Gregson's 
size was considerably in his favour, he being nearly six 
feet two indbes high, and of prodigious strength. More- 
over, he had signalised himself in several pugilistic 
affairs. The fight took place on the 14>th October, 
1807, in a valley called Six Mile Bottom, on the New- 
market Road. A vast number of people thronged from 
every direction to witness it. Gully was seconded by 
Tom Cribb, afterwards champion of England, Crossley 
acting as bottle-holder. Richmond was Gregson's 
mentor, and ELarry Lee his bottle-holder. The odds 
at first were 6 to 4> in favour of Gully, but 
rose after the second round to 100 to 20. After 
the eighth round, the odds changed in favour of 
Gregson, and after the twenty-third they rose to 
8 to 1 in his favour. Subsequently, the betting 
became even. At length the combatants met like two 
inebriated men, helpless and almost incapable of hold- 
ing up their hands either to stop or hit ; and every 
round finished by both rolling down together. But, in 
the thirty-sixth round. Gully struck a blow which, 
although feeble, was sufficiently strong to prevent 
Gregson rising again to time. The defeated Lancas- 
trian lay for some minutes, incapable of either moving 
or speaking; but Gully, even then, elated with victory, 
leaped for joy. It would have been hard to say which 
was the more disfigured. 

Notwithstanding that Gregson was so severely beaten 
that he was forced to call in medical aid, he still felt some 
confidence that in the event of another battle he would 
prove victorious. His friends gave him all encourage- 
ment, and he sent Gully a challenge, which was for- 
warded to him at Norwich, where he was staying. After 
some correspondence, "the big fight for the champion- 
ship," and £250 a-side, was fixed to take place ; and, in 
spite of veiy active preventive means taken by the 
county magistrates, it was fought on May 10, 1808, 
in Sir John Sebright's Park, in Hertfordshire, about 
seventeen miles from Ashley Common, the place 
originally chosen. Almost the whole extent of the 
I)ark was covered with onlookers. The good people 
around, when they saw the strangers invading them, 
fancied the French had landed, and called out the volun- 
teers. Both men fought in silk stockings, without shoes, 
and with white breeches. Captain Barclay, the cele- 
brated pedestrian, was appointed umpire. Gregson fell 
like a log at the close of the first round, and the odds 
were 6 to i on Gully. At the sixth round they were 2 to 
1. But the combat was not decided till the twenty- 
eighth round, after which Gregson was too much 
exhausted to be brought to the mark in time. The 



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MONTHLY CHRONICLE. 



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nbrawj 



battle lasted one boor and a quarter. Gregson was 
dreadfully battered and braised, while Gully was in 
oomparatively good condition. Before putting on bis 
outer dotbes be advanced to the ropes and addressed 
the referee and leading patrons of the ring to the effect 
that, being now in business in a tavern in Carey Street, 
Lincoln's Inn Fields, he was in hopes that he should haye 
enjoyed peace unchallenged ; that he had not intended 
to fight again, nor would he have done so in this instance 
had he not considered himself bound in honour to 
accept Gregson's challenge ; that he had fought with 
a partially disabled left arm ; and that Gregson 
surely would not urge him to another combat. Gully 
then dressed himself, and was taken to town in 
Lord Barrymore*8 barouche. The following morning 
he was facetiously answering questions respecting 
the fight and serving his numerous customers at 
the Plough in Carey Street. Mr. James Silk Bucking- 
ham, in his autobiography, thus describes his visit to 
him :— '* In him we saw a tall, handsome young man, 
his head fearfully battered, many cuts in his face, and 
both eyes recovering from intense blackness, but full of 
gaiety and spirits at his last triumph ; he wore a little 
white apron before him, and served the visitors with 
whatever drink they required, while his young wife, an 
exceedingly pretty woman, though of the St. Giles's style 
of beauty, assisted in the most smiling and gracious 
manner." 

The following month (June, 1808), Gully and Cribb 
took a joint benefit at the Tennis Court. Here the 
former repeated his declaration of retirement from the 
ring. During his short career as a pugilist, he had 
earned a niche in the temple of pancratic fame; for 
though his battles were not so numerous as those of 
many other professors have been, they were contested 
with an amount of science rarely equalled, perhaps never 
excelled, since Dares and Entellus fought at the funeral 
games of Anchises, as Virgil tells us. 

After a few years passed in the occupation of a London 
tavern-keeper, in which he earned general respect, Gully 
was so fortunate in turf speculations, and so well 
served by sound judgment in racing matters, that he 
became the purchaser of Hare Park, in Hertfordshire, 
And afterwards of Ackworth Park, in Yorkshire. Here 
he associated with the first circles of the country on 
terms of intimacy and friendship. Naturally acute, ob- 
servant, intelligent, plastic, kindly, and good-humoured, 
hough having had a very poor education to commence 
with, he succeeded, according to all accounts, in uniting 
the easy manners of a well-bred gentleman to the modest 
deportment which befitted his early associations and 
pursuits. No man could be more above vain pretence, 
or less shy at any allusions to his career as a pugilist It 
was his habit, on the contrary, to enter freely into many 
entertaining portions of his history, answering all ques- 
tions with perfect good nature. He had permanent 



lodffings at Newmarket^ well and tastOy furnished, and 
dispensed his hospitality to his friends with no sparinic 
hand, "passing the claret and slicing the pines, "as the 
famous sportsman "Sylvanus** writes, '* as if he had 
been foaled at Knowsley or Bretby." 

In the course of a few years, Mr. Gully became known 
throughout the kingdom as a spirited breeder and race- 
horse proprietor. He began in a small way, but smiling 
Fortune soon put it in his power to latmch forth on a 
great [scale. Appointed principal betting agent and 
adviser to the Prince of Wales, afterwards George IV., he 
made a deal of money by betting on commission for various 
noblemen and gentlemen connected with Newmarket. 
He was the owner of some of the finest raoe-horsee of the 
day ; and the extreme readiness and good humour with 
which, at Doncaster, in 1829, he paid losses to the amoand 
of £40,000 upon his celebrated horse Mameluke^ raised 
him high amongst the most honourable members of Uie 
turf. 

On referring to the Ra/cvng Calendar, we find that he 
won the following great races r^ — 

1846. With Pyrrhus the First,* ridden by S. Day. 
1854. With Andover, ridden by A. Day. 

THE OAKB. 

1846. With Mendicant, ridden by S. Day. 

DONOASTSB BT. LBOBR. 

1832. With Margrave, ridden by J. Robinson. 

NBWMARKST TWO THOUSAin) OUINIAB. 

1854. With Hermit, ridden by A. Day. 

Thus he won the two great events at Epsom and the 
Newmarket races in one year. His nett winnings in 
1854, in stakes alone, exclusive of any sums for runnings 
second or third, we find set down at £10,590. In the 
same season, Mr. Howard won £17,594; Lord Derby, 
£14,151 ; the Duke of Bedford, £7,185; Mr. J. Osborne, 
£4,306; Lord Chesterfield, £3,640; Messrs. Saxon and 
Barber, £3,582; Lord Eglinton, £2,720; Lord Wilton, 
£1,675; Baron BothschUd, £1,540; Lord Lonsdale, 
£805; Lord Glasgow, £775; Lord Caledon, £367; and 
the Duke of Rutland, £270. Mr. Gully was also con- 
federate, we have heard, with Mr. Robert Ridsdale, who 
won the Derby in 1832 with St. Giles, and that of 1839 
with Bloomsbury. 

Mr. Gully was elected to the first Reformed Parlia- 
ment in 1832, being returned to the House of Commons 
as representative of the Earl' of Mexborough and Mr. 
Monckton-Milnes's pocket borough of Pontefract. He 
took his seat on the Liberal side of the House, and was a 
warm supporter of Joseph Hume in his life-long war 
against wasteful public expenditure. His speeches, how- 
ever, were neither numerous nor brilliant. The most that 
could be said of him was that, like Tom Sayers oo the 
stage, he acted moderately and sensibly. His letters dur- 
ing this period, however, are said to express in vigorous 
and excellent language his views of men and measures in 
those stirring days. Mr. Buckingham, whom we have 



Febnury 
188& 



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NORTH'COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND. 



77 



already quoted, speaks of him about this time as 

foUowB : — 

In 1832, or thereabouts, Lord Milton, heir to the 
Earldom of Fitzwilliam, came of age, and, acoording to 
the custom of that princely family, a grand entertain- 
ment was giren at Wortley House, near Rotherbam, in 
Yorkshire. As I was at that time one of the members 
for the newly-enfranchised borough of Sheffield, I re- 
ceived an invitation as a matter of course, and went with 
mv colleague to share in the Fitzwilliam hospitalities. 
The scene was one of the most splendid I Dad ever 
witnessed. Among the groups, however, that passed 
from room to room in the ffeneral promenade, there was 
one that attracted universal attention. It was formed of 
three persons ; the central one a fine, athletic, yet well- 
formea and graceful figure, and resting on either arm two 
of the loveliest women of all the assembled multitude, 
about 18 or 20 years of ai^ dressed in pale green velvet, 
without ornaments of any kind, but with such exouisite 
figures, beautiful features, blooming complexions, oright 
eyes, rich and abundant hair, as might make either a 
worthy representative of the Venus of Cnidus. They 
were so little known that the question was perpetually 
whispered, "Who are they?— who can they be?" At 
lengtn it was discovered that they were Mr. Gullv, the 
ci-aevant prize-fighter, and his two daughters ! He was 
then member for Pontefract, had acquired a large 
fortune, and most honourably, it was believed, on the 
turf, being an excellent judge of horses — had purchased a 
large estate, and wss living in a style of great elegance 
at Ackworth Park, near Pontefract^ respected by all his 
neighbours. 

It is said that his return to Parliament arose from a 
bet that he made with a certain noble lord, the latter 
laying a wager of several thousands that Mr. Gully 
could not get a seat in the House of Ck>mmons. The 
wager was accepted, and, of course, won. Mr. Gully 
occupies a prominent place in Sir Greorge Hayter's his- 
torical picture of the meeting of the First Reformed Par- 
liament in 1833. 

It IS as a spirited colliery owner and venturesome 
sinker of new pits that we have now to regard him. Un- 
like his quondam friends, Messrs. Beardsworth and Rids- 
dale^ whose career ended in bankruptcy and ruin, after 
each had had an unprecedented run of success on the 
turf, Mr. Gully, with more sedate prudence, gradually 
withdrew from all directly gambling pursuits, and in- 
vested a good portion of his winnings in the coal works of 
the North, as well as in land. Henceforth his lilac 
jacket was seldom seen on the race course. Some time 
after the Hetton Company was formed to work the coal 
in that now famous Durham royalty, Mr. Gully bought 
a number of shares in the concern at a comparatively low 
price. The original spsculation was a hazardous one, as 
prerioos to that time it was a common opinion among 
geologists that the quality of the coal under the Permian 
strata was so deteriorated as not to be worth working. 
The leading spirits in the concern were Captain Archi- 
bald Cochrane, of Eppleton Hall, a younger brother of 
the celebrated Lord Cochrane, afterwards Earl of Dun- 
donald; Arthur Mowbray, of Bishopwearmouth, son of 
the old Mr. Mowbray, banker, whose daughter Lord 
Cochrane had married; Mr. Baker, of Elemore; and sub- 
sequently Mr. Nicholas Wood, who went to Hetton to 
manage the colliery in 1844. '* W« will see whether we 



cannot make Wallsend coals,'* said Captain Cochrane, 
and he did so ; for the sanguine speculators by-and-by 
obtained a higher price in the London market than the 
original Wallsend brought We have seen it stated that 
Mr. Gully got his Hetton shares, of which he had a con- 
siderable number, as the result of a bet Whether this be 
true or not we cannot say, but we know that he retained 
them for several years, till they had risen to a high pre- 
mium. He then joined Sir William Chaytor, Mr. 
Thomas Wood, Mr. John Burrell, and others, and 
sank the Thomley Collieries. This was about the year 
1838. He maintained his connection with the new concern 
until the pits were sold to a limited liability company. 
He also held an interest, with Messrs. Wood and Burrell, 
in the Trimdon Collieries ; but he sold it to Mr. Thomas 
Wood, having previously bought the Wingate Grange 
estate and collieries, in the year 1862. Thebe he con- 
tinued to hold as sole proprietor to the day of his death. 

Mr. Gully lived in Hampshire immediately preceding 
his purchase of Wingate, having some few years before 
disposed of his fine estate of Ackworth Park, near Ponte- 
fract, to his old friend, Mr. Kenny HilL But he now 
removed to Cocken Hall, near Durham, where he stayed 
about a year and a half. Then the infirmities of old age 
induced him to change his residence to the adjoining 
Cathedral City, where he died on the 9th of March, 1863, 
in the 80th year of his age. He wss buried at Ackworth 
Hall, near Pontefract, on the 14th of the same mwith. 

Mr. Gully was twice married, and had in all twenty- 
four children — twelve by each wife. 




Pilfirim JStreet. 

yiR, said Dr. Johnson, "let us take a walk 
down Fleet Street" We propose to our 
readers a walk up Pilgrim Street We 
shall find *'much matter" as we journey 
up the gentle hill, "the longest and fairest street in the 
town," according to William Gray, whose "Cfaoro- 
graphia " was printed in 1649. 

This street, still one of the most interesting in the 
town, derives its name from the pilgrims who lodged in 
it when on their way from all parts of the kingdom to 
worship at Our Lady's Chapel at Jesmond. The founders 
of the chapel are unknown, but we know that it was in 
existence in 1351, for then we find Sir Alexander de Hilton 
and Matilda, his wife, presenting the chaplainship to 
Sir William de Heighington, who shortly after resigned 
it, believing he had no right or title to it. In Edward 
YI.'s time, the Corporation obtained possession of the 
chapel, and forthwith sold it to Sir John Brandling. 
In olden days, pilgrims trooped to it from all parts 
of the kingdom. Such pilgrimages were popular in 



78 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE. 



{ 



th« early middle afires. For illostration, we may 
point to the will of William Xcopp, Rector of 
Heslarton, Yorkshire, who» amongst other things, be- 
queathed provision for a pilgrim, or pilgrims, to set out 
inmiediately after his burial to various shrines, at each 
of which 4d. was to be offered. The list of places is 
too long to be quoted in its entirety; but the extent 
of ground to be covered may be imagined when we find 
that Canterbury, London, Lincoln, Lancaster, Scar- 
borough, York, "Blessed Mary of Jesmond," Carlisle, 



are only at its foot) with the church of All HallowB, or 
All Saints, on our right. 

With curious eyes must successive pilgrimi have 
gazed on the church, which in the thirteenth century 
looked down on the stately buildings of the Austin 
(or Augustine) Friars, the burying-plaoe of the 
Northumbrian kings, and afterwards "the king's 
manor house." The ancient church first finds mentioB 
in 1286. From a painting of it still preserved in the 
vestry, we can gather an idea of its appearance^ 




JXSlf OND OHAFEL. 



and Galloway, figure therein. (See Mr. R. Welford's 
interesting "Newcastle and Gateshead in the 14th and 
15th Centuries," voL i, p. 364.) Bourne gravely tells 
OS that the reason the pilgrims took this road was 
because there was a house of call ready to respond to 
their wants. "There was an inn in this street which 
the pilgrims were wont to call at, which occasioned their 
constant coming up this street, and so it got its name, 
as the inn did that of Pilgrim's Inn." Brand fancies 
that there were more pilgrim's inns than one; for, in 
1564, mention is made of the execution of one Partragn 
for coining false money in "the greate innes in Pilgrim 
Street." There was, says an old manuscript quoted by 
Hodgson, a place of sanctuary near the Pilgrim's Inn ; 
and, according to Bale's "Life of Hugh of Newcastle," 
a famous Francisan, pilgrims visited also certain relics 
of St, Francis, preserved in the Grey Friars' Convent 
near the head of the street. At present, though, we 



which, sooth to say, cannot have been imposing. It 
was low and very broad, 166 feet by 77, and of 
Decorated English architecture. The tower was high, 
and out of proportion to the rest of the church. But 
as it bore the storms of five centuries, and could not 
even then be loosened without the aid of gunpowder, 
its strength was unquestionable. No true Novo- 
castrian can regard with indifference the church of 
All Hallows, for with it are bound up memories of 
some of Newcastle's greatest names. Roger Thornton, 
Sir Matthew White Ridley, Lord Eldon, Lord 
Stowell, the Ravensworths, the Collingwoods, lUlison, 
Brandling, Clavering, W. Blackett, and other per- 
sons and families of note are all associated with this 
ancient (though now restored) parish church. How is 
this ? The present vicar, the Rev. A. S. Wardroper, in 
his lecture on "All Saints', the Old and the New," gives 
the answer. " In their day, merchants and their families 



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NORTH-COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND. 



79 



lived where they worked. The wealthy part of the oom- 
mtmity liyed, many of them, in Pilgrim Street. This 
may be inferred on examining the staircases in Stewart's 
Court, or the one oyer the Eldon Boom ; the chimney- 
pieces and oak balustrades in the largest common lodging 
boose; the quaint work on ceilings of rooms over the 
Bake House Entry ; besides the crests over doorways 
and gateposts in Clayton's Court, Painter Heugh, and 
Akenside Hill, in addition to the armorial bearings on 
the tombstone? in the churchyard." John Wesley 
generally worshipped in All Hallows when in Newcastle ; 
and in his journal he records that he found more com- 
municants therein than an]rwhere else in England, save 
Ijondon and BristoL The sacramental cup handed to 
him is the same now in use at All Saints' in the office of 
Holy Communion. There were seven chantries in All 
Hallows, adorned with precious stones and other gifts. 
There were also portraits of benefactors on stained glass. 
The civil wan swept away all these. In 1780, the old 




ALL HALLOWS OHUBOH. 

building became shaky ; in 1785, its south pillars gave 
way ; in July, 1786, service was celebrated in it for the 
last time. A new church was resolved upon, and David 
Stephenson was chosen as architect. The body of the 
new building was opened in 1789, but the spire was not 
finished until 1796. 

A foolhardy feat signalised the completion of the spire. 
One John Burdikin, a private in the Cheshire Militia, 
stood on his head on the round stone at the top of the 
steeple, and remained in that inverted position for some 
time, 195 feet above the ground. The man was after- 
wards a barber in Gateshead. His son, a bricklayer, did 
the same thing in 1816, when some repairs were in hand. 
Truly, they did not "set their lives upon a pin's fee." 



The new church of All Saints* has been condemned by 
some as unchurchlike ; even Mackenzie has a fling at it 
as ''certainly a neat^ smart, modem structure, but 
totally devoid of that solemn religious grandeur which 
distinguishes the ancient Gothic churches." Others agree 
with Thomas Sopwith— no bad authority — in regarding it 
as "the most splendid architectural ornament in thia 
town, equally conspicuous for the convenience and 
novelty of its interior arrangements, as for the variety 
and splendour of its decorations." 

The spire of the church was severely shaken in May, 

1884, by a wind-storm which elsewhere left its mark 

behind it. Divine service was being celebrated in 

church at the time^ which was Sunday morning; and 

it is a rather curious fact that a very considerable 

crowd gathered outside to watch the oscillations of th« 

imperilled spire, which seemed likely to topple down 

at any moment on the devoted heads of the kneeHng 

worshippers beneath it The service, however, 

was carried on to its conclusion in seemly and 

reverent fashion ; but the very next day the 

work of restoration was taken in hand in good 

earnest. The shattered stones were taken down 

(some of them are preserved inthe church ground 

now, and are no uninteresting objects) ; and in 

time the spire was restored, stronger than 

ever. By way of oonmiemorating this work, a 

stone was placed at the summit, bearing 

this inscription: "This spire was restored 

\ and partly rebuilt, June, 1884. Rev. A. S. 

^^ Wardroper, vicar; Collingwood F. Jackson, 

r^A. Peter Carr, Thomas Stamp Alder, Thomaa 

Morgan, churchwardens." 

The churchyard has of late years been pret- 
tily and becomingly laid out as a flower garden, 
at the expense of Mr. R. S. Donkin, now 
member for Tynemouth. Mr. John Hall 
has also proved himself a generous friend to 
the church, presenting it with its dock, and also 
with a pair of lamps. The latter were formally 
handed over to the churchwardens by Mr. 
Joseph Cowen, then member for Newcastle, who de- 
livered an address from the church steps on the occasion, 
as did also Archdeacon Watkins, who was senior curate 
at the handsome salary of five shillings a year. 

Opposite to the west stairs of the church, Elizabeth 
Nykson, widow, founded an almshouse about the begin- 
ning of the sixteenth century, for the use of the poor of 
the parish, " on condition of an annual dirge and soul 
mass being performed in that church." Four women, 
who lived in it, were allowed 20s. a year for coals. In 
Bourne's time (the beginning of the eighteenth century), 
the poor inmates had eight chaldrons of coal and 12b. a 
year ; but the house was then "going fast to ruin." 
We now pass Silver Street on our right, leaving it and 



80 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE. 



fFebniM7 
\ 1888. 



all the other offshoots of our main road alone for the pre- 
sent, and opposite Painter Heugb are face to face with the 
fine old house with which Lord Eldon's name is still asso- 
ciated. John Scott, afterwards Lord Eldon, intended 
occupying this house, as he at one time expected to be 
Recorder of Newcastle. Things becoming brighter for 
him in London, he gave up the idea, and turned over the 
bouse to his brother Henry. II must then have been 
a mansion, in- 
deed ; for even 
in its decad- 
ence there are 
remnants of its 
ancient beauty. 

Note on our 
left hand that 
quaint little 
barber's shop 
with its pro- 
jecting pole. 
Well, that iA, 
as the notice 
in the window 
proclaims, *'ye 
oldeste shav- 
ing shop in ye 
citye." But it 
has an inter- 
est independent 
of this fact, 
for here it was 
that Tobias 

Smollett discovered and unearthed the 
original of his immortal Strap, as related 
in the Monthly Chronicle, vol. i., page 342. 

We are now in the vicinity of some old- 
fashioned posting houses of the past ; the Fox 
and Lamb, described by Mackenzie as in 
his day (his history was published in 1827) 
"a respectable, well-frequented inn"; the 
old Robin Hood, whither William Purvis, 
better known in bis day as **BHnd Willy," 
was accustomed to journey for hia beloved 
"bonny beer"; the old Queen's Head; and 
the Blue Posts. The two latter have been 
modernised in their internal arrangements; 
with them indeed "old times are changed, 
old manners gone." But our ancestors had 
their jovial nights there ; cakes and ale were 
plentiful, and ginger hot i* the mouth too. 
Thug, at the Blue Poets, the Newcastle Lodge 
of Free and Easy Johns held its meetings. 
It was the third lodge of its kind in the 
kingdom, being preceded only by those of 
London and Dover. It was first formed in 
1778, and could soon boast of more than a 



thousand members. The association was formed merely 
for convivial puri>oses ; but there was a ceremony of 
initiation, a grip, a pass-word, and so forth. In August, 
1784, Charles Brandling, then one of the members for 
the borough, presented the lodge with a large silver 
goblet, on which his arms were engraved, with a suit- 
able inscription. 
We now pass the new City Road, Mosiey Street^ 




PILGRIM STREET. 



TtHntarj 



} 



NORTH-COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND, 



81 



and the Arcade— the latter associated with the grim 
tragedy of 1830, for which Archibald Bolam received 
tramportation for life, being found guilty of the man- 
■laoghter of the bank-clerk, Millie, under circumstances 
which excited profound attention at the time, and 
■uggested the gravest doubts as to the moral character 
of the murderer ; for so he was generally regarded. 
And next we come to Pilgrim Street with its dean 
face on; its rags and tatters we have now pretty well 
turned our backs on. On our left hand is the George 
Inn — ^in Mackenzie's time, *'a travellers* house, and 
often used for bankrupt meetings." A little above is 
the Queen's Head Inn, at one time the chief posting- 
house in the town, now the Liberal Club. Riders and 
oat-riders, in their showy dresses, have often rested 



Mayor of Bordeaux, who was the first to hoist the 
White Flag in France, arrived here on his way to visit 
his relative, John Clavering of Callaly. "The populace," 
again says Mackenzie just quoted above, "assembled 
before the Queen's Head, and congratulated this Boor- 
bonist with repeated huzzas on the defeat of Bonaparte 
at Waterloo. " Two years later, in October, 1817, a gather- 
ing of a different character took place, John George 
Lambton in the chair, when a superb service of plate was 
presented to Sir Humphrey Davy, ** for his invaluable 
discovery of the safety lamp," by " a numerous company 
of gentlemen connected with the coal trade." This 
meeting, let us remark in passing, did not pass with- 
out its counteracting gathering ; for, in January, 
1818, " a respectable party of gentlemen dined at the 




PILGRIM STBEET GATE. 



carriages of four and sometimes of six horses here ; 
royalty has feasted herein, and men of mark in the 
scientific world have here assembled to do honour to 
kindred worth. Thus in August, 1819, Prince Leopold 
and his suite arrived here, and in the evening 
visited the Northumberland Glass House. On the 
next day, which chanced to be the Assize Sunday, 
he attended divine service at St. Nicholas' Church, 
accompanied by Sir William Scott (Lord Stowell), 
after which he partook of a collation at the Man- 
sion House, and then set off for Alnwick Castle, 
to dine with the Duke of Northumberland. "The 
public," we are told, " showed him much respect, and he 
was sainted by the guns of the Castle." In 1815, there 
was another royalist demonstration of its kind in front of 
this same inn. In the June of that year, Count Lynch, 



Assembly Booms, Newcastle, C. J. Brandling, Esq., in 
the chair, on the occasion of presenting a piece of plate 
to Mr. George Stephenson, for the service rendered to 
science and humanity by the invention of hia safety- 
lamp." 

Nearly opposite the Queen's Head is the Friends^ 
Meeting House, a neat, plain, substantial building, bear- 
ing on its frontage the date 1698, and presenting a 
clean and comfortable appearance worthy of "the people 
of God called Quakers," as they are designated in 
a Durham Quarter Sessions document issued in 1689. 
The passer-by, though, must not suppose that the 
present building is identical with that of 1698. Not 
so; that was pulled down in 1805, and the present one 
built. It was considerably enlarged in 1812. 

Further up the street, on the same side as the Friends* 

P 



82 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE. 



{'isr 



MeAting House, are the offices of the Board of 
Guardians, onoe the town house of the Peareths of 
Urpeth. 

We come next to the New Police Court. At the 
head of the steps from the principal door is a very 
fine stained glass window of Justice, blind, and 
scales in hand. On the left hand, on. entering from 
Pilgrim Street, is the Chief -Ckmstable's private office ; 
behind is the office for the detective department^ con- 
taining some curious illustrations of the tools of those 
with whom the detectives are at chronic war ; and then 
the office proper, where imfortunates in the hands of the 
law are "run in," and forthwith duly charged and 
caged. Away from this room are the cells, where 
persons apprehended may be temporarily lodged for the 
night. In the upper part of the building are resting 
rooms for the policemen, where they may read the news- 
papers, indulge in innocent games, and i^actise the 
latest breaks and cannons in the noble art of billiards. 
The sculptured figures on the exterior of the building 
were executed in Edinburgh. 

On the same side as the Police Court is the Conserva- 
tive Club, previously the residence of Mr. George Hare 
Philipson (who died there), father of Mr. John 
Philipson, the head of the well-known coachbuilding 
firm of Atkinson and Philipson, and of Dr. G. H. 
Philipson, the eminent physician. The house, a com- 
fortable and substantial one, was originally built by 
Dr. Askew, who practised in his profession for nearly 
fifty years in Newcastle with the greatest approbation 
and success. 

By the side of the Conservative Club is the entrance to 
the celebrated works of Messrs. Atkinson and Philipson, 
a striking evidence in their way of Newcastle skill, 
energy, and enterprise. The Atkinsons of the firm have 
long been dead. Mr. John Philipson is now the sole 
proprietcn:. The concern was founded in 1794. Mr. 
Philipson takes a generous and enthusiastic interest in 
his business ; but it would convey a wrong impression 
of him altogether to suppose that he has no interest in 
anything else. On the contrary, long before the City 
and London Guilds and Gresham College took the sub- 
ject up, technical education was made a great feature 
in these works. Hence the establishment has aptly 
been described as a training school for coachbuilders. 
A volume on "Harness as It has Been, as It Is, and 
as It Should Be," is from Mr. Philipson's pen. It met 
with a very favourable reception when first published. 
In it war is declared, root and branch, against the 
bearing rein, as an instrument of torture for that noble 
but often ill-used animal, the horse. 

Nearly opposite to the present Conservative Club 
stood the once celebrated Anderson Place. The build- 
ing was erected almost on the site of the Franciscan 
Priory. The Franciscans were divided into two parties 
— the Conventuals and the Observants. Our Newcastle 



Franciscans were of the latter persuasion. According to 
Leland, their house stood by Pandon Gate; "it is a 
very faire thing." Mackenzie maintains that this is an 
obvious mistake, for this reason:— "The site of tiiis 
monastery must have been somewhere in Major Ander- 
son's grounds, adjoining the High Friar Chare, which 
must have conducted to it. The Milbum MS. says ifc 
stood near Pilgrim Street Gate." He goes on to point 
out that Brand found, built up in the wall of a house 
adjoining this site, the fragments of a gravestone, with 
a sword marked on it. Now, this house stood in 
Pilgrim Street, at the comer of High Friar Lane. 
This, then, seems to settle the Observant site pretty 
clearly. Besides that, we have the testimony of an 
old Pilgrim Street standard. On, or nearly npon, 
it was a brave mansion built by Eobert Ander- 
son, merchant^ in 1580. In 1610 it was called 
the Newe House. Somewhat later it became the 
headquarters of General Leven during the cap- 
tivity of Charles I. in Newcastle. There is a 
popular tradition that the king attempted to escape 
from this house by the passage of the Lort Bum, 
a stream which then ran down on the east side 
of the Sandhill, and that he managed to get as far as 
the middle of the Side, when he was caught in an 
attempt to force an iron gate commimicating with the 
sewer. A ship was said to have been in readineae 
to transport him beyond sea. William Murray pro- 
jected the scheme, and communicated it to Sir Bobert 
Murray. Somehow the secret became known ; and 
thereafter the king was guarded by soldiers within and 
without his chamber, who annoyed him much by their 
continual smoking. He shared his royal father's anti- 
pathies in that respect. The house passed in 1815 to 
Sir William Blackett, of Matfen, from Sir Francis 
Anderson. In 1785 it was sold to George Andm-son, a 
wealthy architect^ and thence it passed to Major 
Anderson. A princely house was this Anderson Place, 
according to Gray ; whilst Bourne dilates on its walks 
and grass plots, its images and trees, its shady avenues 
and curious and well-painted ceilings. (For a view of 
Anderson Place, see the MfynXhly ChronieUf voL i, page 
337.) 

But now we approach the goal of our sauntering ; for 
here before us, at the head of the street, stood the onoe 
formidable Pilgrim Gate, "remarkably strong, clumqr, 
and gloomy." In the troublous times of old, it was, 
doubtless, a valuable means of defence when hostile foes 
threatened the beleaguered town. But when more 
peaceful days followed, when the mail-clad soldier no 
longer clanked through the now peaceful street, it by 
degrees dawned on the inhabitants that this once valued 
defence had degenerated into naught better than a pnUio 
nuisance. Such ideas, however, do not take root in a 
day or a year. It was felt that the arch was so low as 
to obstruct the passage of waggons, and that it interfered 



FebniUT 



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NORTH-COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND, 



83 



with the free circulation ot the Mr in the town. But the 
day of its doom was still distant, even when these 
opinions more and more made way. The Joiners' Com- 
pany had their haU above the gate ; wherefore it behoved 
its worshipful members in 1716 to repair and beautify it, 
and the old relic of former days obtained respite. In 
1771 another attempt was made to reconcile its preser- 
vation with the demands of the time ; convenient foot- 
passages were opened out on each side. But these 
expedients did not answer their purpose, and in 1802 the 
whole [gate was levelled to the ground. A cannon-ball 
was found in the wall on the occasion of the demolition. 
It was supposed to have been fired during the siege of 
Newcastle in 1644, when the (rate was nobly defended. 

Our sketch of Pilgrim Street Gate (page 81) is taken 
from the engraving which appeared in the first volume of 
Brand's "History of Newcastle." 



iWurtfer zi mit^uiXjii iTairleiJ* 




%\^t ^ziA. (gibbet in (SfitflUcnb. 

||NE day in the month of September, 1856, 
what was stated to be the last gibbet 
erected in England was demolisbed by the 
workmen who were employed in construct- 
inif Tyne Dock for the North-Eastem Railway 
Company, upon Jarrow Slake, near the high end of 
South Shields. 

The person who was gibbeted on Jarrow Slake was one 
William Jobling, a pitman, thirty years of age, who had 
been convicted at the Durham Midsummer Assizes in 
1832 of being concerned with another pitman, named 
James Armstrong, in the murder of Mr. Nicholas 
Pairles, a well-known magistrate of South Shields, on 
the 11th June in that year. Armstrong absconded im- 
mediately after the deed was done, and was never heard 
of again, though it was shrewdly suspected that many of 
his fellow-workmen knew quite well where he was. 

The murder of Mr. Fairies arose out of the pitmen's 
strike of 1832, which lasted for several months, and bred 
very bitter feelings between masters and men. Many 
hundreds of families were turned out of their cottages, 
jind forced to camp in the lanes and by the road sides for 
months. The collieries bad to be protected by military 
and special constables, notwithstanding which outrages 
upon non-union men took place almost every night At 
one of the great meetings of the strikers, held in the 
spring, the Marquis of Londonderry attended on horse- 
back, with the view of inducing them to return to work. 
He took the precaution, however, to have a company of 
soldiers placed in ambush in a neighbouring hollow— a 
measure which the pitmen deemed an indirect but real 
insult. And so determined were the unionists that the 



man who held the head of the marquis's horse while his 
lordship was addressing the meeting had a loaded pistol 
concealed up his sleeve for the purpose of blowing out 
his brains in case he should call out the soldiers. 
Fortunately, the marquis thought better of it than to 
require this perilous aid, and so he was allowed to ride ofif 
the field unharmed. But all were not so lucky as Lord 
Londonderry ; for, during the continuance of the strike, 
no less than three murders were committed by the pit- 
men, and poor old Mr. Fairies, who had made himself 
obnoxious through his zeal, as a county magistrate, in 
endeavouring to maintain the law, fell a victim to the 
enmity of the miners. 

About five o'clock on the afternoon of the day above 
named, as Mr. Fairies was quietly riding round Jarrow 
Slake from his own house at Shields to Jarrow Colliery, 
he was accosted by two pitmen, under pretence of asking 
charity. One of them took hold of his hand, the other 
seized him by the leg and dragged him off his horse. 
Then one of them gave him a violent blow on the 
head with a brick, which completely stunned him. 
Not content with this, the ruffians felled, kicked, and 
beat him so unmercifully that they left him on the 
road in an almost lifeless state. The affair having 
bene observed from a house that stood only a short 
distance away, assistance was immediately sent to Mr. 
Fairies ; but from the dreadful nature of the wounds he 
had received, particularly on his skull, he expired, after 
lying ten days, on the 21st June. Jobling was arrested 
on the evening of the outrage, on Shields Sands, where he 
made a desperate resistance to his capture. But Arm- 
strong, as we have said, was never caught. The follow- 
ing advertisement, signed by Lord Melbourne, was 
issued from Whitehall on June 16 : — 

FOUR HUNDRED POUNDS REWARD. 

Whereas it hath been humbly represented to the King, 
that, on the evening of Monday, the 11th day of June 
instant, between the hours of five and six, a most daring 
and brutal assault was committed by two men on the 
person of Nicholas Fairies, Esq., a Magistrate for the 
County of Durham, on the King's Highway, near to the 
Toll Bar, on the Slake side, in the Township of Westoe, 
in the said County, whilst he was riding on a Pony, 
from the Barnes Colliery towards Jarrow Colliery, m 
discharfi^e of his Mai^sterial Duties, and that the Injuries 
which ne has received have placed his Life in serious 
dajiger : 

His Majesty, for the better apprehendingand bringing 
to Justice the Persons concerned in the Felony before 
mentioned, is hereby pleased to promise His most 
Gracious Pardon to any one of them (except the Persons 
who actuaUy committed the said Assault) who shall 
discover his Accomplice or Accomplices therein, so that 
he, she, or they may be apprehended and convicted 
thereof. 

And, as a further Encouragement, a Reward of 

THREE HUNDRED POUNDS 

is hereby offered to any Person (except as aforesaid) who 
shall discover the Offender or Offenders^ so that he, she. 
or they may be apprehended and convicted of the saia 
Offence, such Rewfurd to be paid by the Right Honour- 
able the Lords Commissioners of his Majesty's Treasury. 
And whereas Ralph Armstronjg, a well-known Pitman, 
late in the emplo^ent of Jarrow Colliery, stands 
charged (together with another Person namea William 



84 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE. 



(Vtbmtar 
\ 188a 



JobliDg, now committed for trial at the ensuing Assizes 
for this County) for having committed the said Assault : 
A further Reward of One Hundred Pounds is hereby 
offered for the Apprehension of the said Ralph Arm- 
strong, which Reward will be paid by the Vestry of St. 
Hilda's Church, South Shields, on such Apprehension 
and Commitment. 

The said Ralph Armstrong is about 44 years of age, 
5 feet 9 inches high, stout made, dark Complexion, blue 
Eyes, large Mouth, large tumed-up Nose, and brown 
Hair. Melboubne. 

A coroner's inquest was held on the body of Mr. 
Fairies, at Mr. Oyston's inn. South Shields, and after a 
patient investigation, in which Dr. Winterbottom, of 
Westoe, Dr. Brown, of Sunderland, and Messrs. W. K. 
and J. Eddowes, surgeons, of South Shields, were 
examined, together with several persons who had wit- 
nessed the furious assault, the jury returned a verdict of 
wilful murder against Jobling and AroHstrong. 

It having been announced by a mourning placard that 
the funeral of Mr. Fairies would take place on Wednes- 
day, the 27th of June, all the principal inhabitants of 
South Shields and the neighbourhood] expressed their 
wish to take part in the procession. On the morning of 
the appointed day, the flag on the steeple of St. Hilda's 
Church and the flags of the several ships in the harbour 
were hoisted half-mast high, and most of the shops in 
the town were closed. The Mayor of Newcastle 
(Archibald Reed, Esq.), accompanied by Mr. Surtees, 
the Sheriff, and Mr. Alderman Sorsbie, the Chairman of 
the County Durham Quarter Sessions ; the Rev. Thomas 
Baker, Rector of Whitburn ; the Rev. John Collinson, 
Rector of Gateshead ; the Rev. Nathaniel John Hollings- 
worth, Rector of Boldon ; Bryan Abbs and William 
Loraine, Esqs., magistrates ; James Edgcome, Esq., 
Collector of the Customs at Newcastle; together with 
the churchwardens, vestrymen, and a large number of 
respectable householders, joined the family of the 
deceased in following his remains to the grave. The pall 
was borne by the Rev. Robert Green, of Newcastle; 
Lieutenant-Colonel Craster; Cuthbert Young, Jeremiah 
Archer, Christopher Bainbridge, John Straker, Henry 
Major, and John Hedley, Esqs. The funeral service was 
performed in a very impressive manner by the Rev. 
James Carr, Perpetual Curate of South Shields, and 
several members of the Choral Society assisted. The 
coffin was made out of a tree, cut down for the purpose, 
which had been planted when Mr. Fairies came of ase. 
It bore the following unostentatious inscription : — 
*' Nicholas Fairies, died 21 June, 1832, aged 71 years.'* 

William Jobling, having been duly tried and found 
guilty of the murder, was sentenced to be hanged at 
Durham on Friday, the 3rd of August, his body to 
be afterwards hun^r in chains near the scene of the 
murder. This was in accordance with a statute which 
had lately been enacted, reviving the old law that con- 
denmed a murderer to the gibbet. Jobling was the only 
person, we believe, gibbeted under that Act, which was 
Boon afterwards repealed. Subsequent to his condemna- 



tion, be acknowledged the justice of his sentence, 
though he denied having been the principal in the 
fatal transaction which led to his ignominious death. 
His step was firm as he mounted the scaffdd; but 
his power of articulation failed him, and he was in 
consequence unable to address the spectators, as he 
had stated it to be his intention to do. Jobling coold 
neither read nor write ^ but he had got a friend to 
transcribe some scraps from books which had been read 
to him in the gaol, and these he wished to scatter among 
the crowd. This, however, he was dissuaded from doing. 
Just as the fatal bolt was about to be withdrawn some- 
body near the scaffold cried out, "Farewell, Joblmg!" 
and he instantly turned his face in the direction whence 
the voice proceeded. The action displaced the cord, and 
consequently protracted his sufferings, which continued 
for some minutes. After hanging an hour, the body was 
cut down and conveyed into the gaol, where it remained 
until the gibbet was ready. It was a very wet day, con- 
sequently the crowd was not so numerous as had been 
anticipated. Fifty of the 8th Hussars mounted, and 
fifty of the 15th Regiment of Foot, were drawn up in 
front of the drop, where they remained until the body 
was cut down. A portion of these regiments had 
marched from Newcastle to Durham for the purpose, as- 
weU as to escort the body to Jarrow Slake. The clothes 
were taken off the corpse, which was then covered with 
pitch, and the clothes replaced. 

On Monday morning, August the 6th, at seven o'clock^ 
the body was taken from Durham in a small four-wheeled 
waggon, drawn by two horses, escorted by a troop of 
hussars and two companies of infantry, Mr. T. Griffith, 
the under-sheriff; Mr. Frusherd, the gaoler; officers of the 
gaol, bailiffs, &c The procession proceeded by way of 
Chester-le-Street^ Picktree, over the Bhick Fell to White 
Mare Pool, and thence by the South Shields turnpike 
road to Jarrow Slake, where it arrived at half -past one 
o'clock. The spectators were not numerous, and there 
were but few pitmen amongst them, on account, it was 
supposed, of a meeting the men were holding that day 
on Boldon Fell. On the arrival of the cavalcade at the 
Slake, it was joined by Messrs. Bryan Abbs and William 
Loraine, magistrates for the county. The soldiers were 
then drawn up, and formed two sides of a square, the 
cavalry on the right and the infantry on the left. The 
body was cased in flat bars of iron of 2^ inches in 
breadth. The feet were placed in stirrups, from which a 
bar of iron went up each side of the head, and ended in a 
ring by which the corpse was suspended. A bar from the- 
oollar went down the breast, and another down the back. 
There were also bars on the inside of the legs which com- 
municated with the above, and cross bars at the ankles, 
the knees, the thighs, the bowels, the breast, and the 
shoulders. The hands were hung by the sides, and 
covered with pitch. The face was pitched and covered 
with a piece of white cloth. Being then laid on a hand- 



Febnuiyl 
188a / 



NORTH-COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND. 



85 



barrow, the body was conveyed at low water across the 
sludge to the gibbet, which was fixed nearly opposite the 
spot where the murder was committed, and about a 
hundred yards within the Slake from high water mark. 
The gibbet^ which was fixed in a stone 1^ tons weight 
sunk in the mud,' was formed of a square piece of fir 
timber, twenty-one feet long, and a top piece projecting 
about three feet, with strong bars of iron up each side, 
to prevent its being sawn down. At high water the tide 
covered the gibbet about four or five feet, leaving sixteen 
or seventeen feet visible. The body having been hoisted 
ap and secured, a police guard was placed near the spot» 
and remained there for some time. 

But during a very dark night, between the 31st of 
August and the Ist of September, and therefore little 
more than three weeks after the gibbeting, Jobling's 
body was secretly removed by some persons unknown. 
It was well understood, however, that the removal was 
effected by a small party of the imfortunate man's 
brother pitmen from Jarrow or St. Hilda's. What 
became of the body was never really known, though the 
impression at the time was that it was either taken out 
to sea or buried under the walls of the old monastery 
at Jarrow. 

The gibbet on Jarrow Slake was not the last that 
remained after 1856 to disfigure the land. An account 
of another gibbet, known as Winter's Stob, part of 
which is still standing on Rimside Moor, was given 
in the MorUMp Chronicle, voL i., page 186. But the 
gibbet on Jarrow Slake was the last thing of the kind 
erected in England. 



Zftt Zm^itian of Zaa Mucft 



STORY of the latter end of the eighteenth cen- 
tury, bearing the title of ** The Thing which 
Hath been Shall be," appeared in the AtlaiUie 
Monthly for April, 1875. Turning over its leaves, we 
came to a passage inviting us to an echo of the author's 
words, "The thing which hath been shall be." Here, 
on the other side of the Atlantic, was the tradition that 
for generations has been associated with Newcastle-upon- 
Tyne. "Salmon in those days," we read in this New"* 
England story, "were far more plentiful than shad 
now; and I have heard that farm servants, hired for the 
season, made it a clause in their agreements that they 
should not be fed on that unctuous fish more than four 
days in a week ! " 

Two days in a week, if we rightly remember, is the 
traditionary limitation of the Newcastle apprentice; 
though the lads of other rivers may have submitted to 




one or two days more. Doubtless various lines were 
drawn by the juveniles of our country : for the stand 
against too much salmon is not peculiar to the Tyne. 
The Fishery Ck>mmi88ioners, who went to and fro in the 
island, some years ago, prosecuting their inquiries, met 
with the salmon story everywhere, but the indentures 
nowhere. And so with ourselves. We have heard and 
read of the Newcastle apprentices times without number, 
but never once have we been able to catch sight of a copy 
of the contract, or to meet with any fortunate antiquaiy 
who had. 

**Too much of a good thing," is a proverb that may 
apply to salmon as to other delicacies ; but the royal fish 
has ever been in great and general request in our own as 
in other districts. The priory of Finchale had its salmon 
fishery in the days of Coeur de Lion ; and that thorn in 
the side of the monks, Philip de Pictavia, broke down 
the weir. In subsequent episcopates salmon flourished 
in the stream as of yorQ, and were eagerly caught and 
gladly consumed. At the great Whitsuntide festival of 
134-7, in the cathedral city, the banquet on the board 
comprised twelve fresh and thirty salted salmon, the cost 
of the former being 5s. 6d., and of the latter 7s. 6d. Up- 
wards of 50 dozen were bought of the prior of Finchale 
in 1531 ; and in little more than six weeks of 1532, 175 
salmon were cooked in the convent kitchen. Durham 
was a good customer of the fisheries of the Wear and 
other rivers. Salmon, fresh and salted, were consumed 
in great numbers ; and various other kinds of fish besides. 
Here, we susjiect, is to be found the clue to the resistance 
of unlimited salmon. When fish entered in larger pro- 
portions than at present into the diet of the people, and 
society was much more dependent on cured or salted food, 
it is probable enough that apprentices and others strove 
for protection, by hard and fast lines, against too many 
returns, not of the "unctuous fish«" but of the salted 
oonmiodity; the cured captives, perchance, not being 
always kippered salmon, but often the dry " stock fish," 
so common on the tables of our forefathers. 

Very plentiful were salmon in our northern rivers in 
the olden time. Scanty was then the population as com- 
pared with modem numbers ; roads were bad ; steam- 
ships and steam-coaches had not come; and great' 
"takes," and small, must chiefly be consumed in the dis- 
trict. Even in modem times catches have been abundant. 
Over 2,400 were taken in one of the days of 1755 above 
Tyne Bridge. In 1760, when a salmon was caught in 
the Tyne weighing 541be., shoals were secured so vast 
that the price fell to three farthings a pound. The num- 
ber exposed for sale in Newcastle market on a summer's 
day of 177, exceeded 4,000 ; and two or three years earlier 
(in 1768), the largest salmon of the Tyne on record was 
made prisoner, weighing 571b6. In the present century 
there have been hauls as great as in former times. In 
the year when steam traffic first began on the Tyne, 
Berwick market had 10,000 salmon for sale on a day in 



86 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE. 



fFebmaty 



August ; and, now that the paddle and the screw circum- 
navigate the globe, and the iron horse has a highway 
between the Atlantic and Pacific shores, our waters still 
retain their fulness. But there is no longer any chance 
of a salmon on the Sandhill at three farthings a 
pound. Customers are vastly more numerous ; captives, 
as they leave the net, are whisked away by steam ; and 
the youths of Newcastle are no longer in peril of a surfeit 
of salmon. 

We have returned to the ancient tradition of the Tyne, 
prompted by the reminiscences of the Amercian writer, 
who makes us aware that the good Old English story has 
a footing in New England. ** The thing that hath been 
shall be." Probable enough it is, as we are now disposed 
to think, that another legend of the Old Country, which 
sets our sires a-making of their wills before starting on a 
journey, may also have crossed the seas. It is a Tale of 
of our Grandfathers ; as it was also a tale of theirs. It 
is a story of the far past, never told of the near present. 
It recedes as you pursue it, and cannot be run down. 
You hear it related of the old coaching days. In the 
time of the stage coaches, it retreats to the period of the 
bridle roads ; and so back it goes, as elusive as the sal- 
mon proviso of the apprentices* indentures. You track 
it into the eighteenth century, and chase it with your 
handful of salt into the seventeenth ; and still the tale 
retires. Pepys heard of it with surprise in the 
reign of Charles IL It was told to him in the pleasant 
May time of 1669. He had been annoyed in the early 
morning by a freak of Mrs. P., who was off at day-dawn 
in her coach with the maid, " to gather May dew." But 
he dined in the afternoon with Lord Crewe, and was 
happy. There was ** a stranger, a country gentleman, " at 
table, with whom he got into conversation ; and he learnt 
from him *' what he had heard his father say, that in his 
time it was so rare for a country gentleman to come to 
London, that when he did come he used to make his will 
before he set out." 

So, we see, the custom belonged to older days than 
those of the Restoration ; and if we ascend to the time 
of Charles I., we find Sir John Oglander lamenting, 
about the year 1647, over the changes -which had come 
over his beloved Isle of Wight since he was young, when 
people were so little given to going from home that "men 
made their wills when they went to London, thinking it 
like an East Indian voyage." Thus do we reach the reign 
of James or Elizabeth, and need not despair of becoming 
within hearing of some remoter sigh over departed days, 
wafting us to our travelling ancestors and their wills still 
higher up the stream of history. 

" The thing that hath been shall be." The myths and 
the marvels of the morning time, the good old stories and 
legends, the tales of our grandfathers and of theirs, shall 
for ever be a human heritage. 

James Clephan. 




I!?i)lt0it ffittr tfte |!?Bttan^. 

lEISS than a hundred yards from the old 

turnpike road from Monkwearmouth to 

Gateshead stands Hylton Castle, for more 

than six centuries the home of one of the 

oldest, richest, most powerful, and best allied families 

in the county of Durham. The Hyltons had a faboloua 

genealogy, extending back to the times of Athelstan, 

and a genuine pedigree which commenced in the reign of 

Henry II. The origin of the family is unknown. There 

is, however, a legend that, whilst the Saxon lord of 

Hylton was far away in Eastern lands making love to a 

Syrian maid, his daughter, left 

In her gloomy hall by the woodland wild, 

was wooed and won by a Danish knight, who first came 

to her in the dissruise of a raven. Fair Edith, "in 

her saddest mood," had climbed to the battlements of 

her ancestral home — 

A gentle breath comes from the vale, 
A sound of life is on the gale ; 
And see — a raven on the wing 



Circling around in airy ring. 
Hovering about in doubtful flight — 
Where, where will the carrier of Odin alight? 

The raven has lit on the flagstaff high 
That tops the dungeon tower. 

And he has caught fair Edith's eye. 

And gently, coyly, venturing nigh, 
He flutters round her bower. 
For he trusted the soft and maiden grace 
That shone in that sweet young Saxon face ; 
And now he has perched on her willow wand^ 
And tries to smooth his raven note, 
And sleeks his glossy raven coat, 
To court the maiden's hand. 
And now, caressing and caressed. 
The raven is lodged in Edith's breast. 

'Tis innocence and youth that makes 

In Edith's fancy such mistakes ; 

But that maiden kiss hath holy power. 

O'er planet and sigrillary hour ! 

The elvish spell hath lost its charms. 

And the Danish knight is in Edith's arms : 

And Harold, at bis bride's request, 

His barbarous gods foreswore — 

Freva, and Woden, and Balder, and Thor. 

And Jarrow, with tapers burning bright, 

Hailed her gallant proselyte. 

The story is pretty, and may have led the last baron of 
Hylton to adopt the raven as his badge, and with 
gigantic representations in wood of Odin's messenger to 
mantle the east and west doors of his mansion. In 
history, however, we first meet with the Hyltons in the 
year 1157, when Romanus, " the Knight of Heltun,* 
agreed with the prior and convent of St. Cuthbert, at 
Durham, that he and his heirs might have a priest 
appointed to his chapel at Hylton. The ruined chapel, a 
few yards north of the castle, can scarcely have 
any portion which is older than the present castle 
itself, of the date and builder whereof I shall 
speak presently, unless it be a few courses of 
masonry in the east wall of the chancel, which 
have certainly a Norman look about them, and may ^ell 



'^ssr} 



NORTH-COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND. 



87 



be believed to have been raised at the will of that 
ancient knight, Homanus. 

One William de Hylton, almost certainly the grandson 
of Romanus, about 1198 married one Beneta, daughter 
and heiress of Germanus Tison, the great-grandson of 
Gilbert Tison, who is described as the great standard- 
bearer to William the Conqueror. 

William's son and heir, Alexander, was one of a 
number of English nobles, who in 1241, *' took leave of 
their firiends, and, commending themselves to the 
prayers of religious men, set out in great pomp on their 
way towards Jerusalem." From this expedition, there is 
every reason to believe, Alexander de Hylton never 
returned. 

In 1264, Robert de Hylton was one of the knights of 
the county of Durham who were present at the battle of 
Lewes. He took part with the barons against the king, 
and with the rest of the insurgents forfeited his estates. 
They were all, however, permitted to redeem their confis- 
cated property. His son, also Robert, was summoned to 
the Parliaments of 1295, 1296, and 1297. 

The present castle was built either by William de Hyl- 
ton, who died in 1435, or by his son Robert, who died in 
1447. It is first mentioned in the inquisition taken after 
the death of the latter, and is therein spoken of as *'a 
house, built of stone, called the yatehous." 

In the account rolls of the masters of the cell of Monk- 
wearmouth we have frequent notices of gifts bequeathed 
to that church as "mortuaries " by the barons of Hylton. 
The mortuary banner, standard, and coat armour of 
Baron William Hylton, who died in 1505 or 1506, were 
removed a few years later from Wearmouth to grace the 
walls of the Cathedral of Durham. Here they remained 
until July, 1513, when they were lent by the prior to the 
then baron, another William, who, in the following 
October, fought in his sire's armour, and beneath his 
nxe's banner, on the field of Flodden. 

This latter William's son, Sir Thomas Hylton, joined 
in the famed Pilgrimage of Grace in 1536. In the reign 
of Philip and Mary he was Governor of T3meraouth 
Castle. In 1558, a complaint was made against him that 
he had illegally detained a vessel from Flanders laden 
with salt, and that he was in the habit of taking such 
wares out of ships passing Tynemouth on their way to 
Newcastle as he was wishful to possess or dispose of to 
bis own advantage. 

Sir Thomas Hylton died in 1561, and was succeeded in 
the Hylton estates by his brother William. Sir Thomas 
had patronised a certain Dr. BuUejoi, an eminent physi- 
cian of that day. Whilst Bulleyn was in London, Sir 
Thomas died, and his brother accused the doctor of 
having poisoned him. Bulleyn was arraigned before the 
Duke of Norfolk, but was honourably acquitted. 

The misanthrope of the family, however, was one 
Henry Hylton, who died in 1641. By his will he 



left the whole of his paternal estate for ninety-nine 
years to the Lord Mayor and four senior alder- 
men of London, in trust, that they should pay thereout 
£24 per annum to each of 38 parishes, £28 a year to the 
Mayor of Durham, £50 a year to the Vicar of Monk- 
wearmouth, an annuity of £100 to his brother Robert 
Hylton, and £50 a year to his brother John. The resi- 
due he leaves to the city of London, chargfing them to 
bind yearly five children of his own kindred to some 
honest trade. They were to raise £4,000 out of Hylton 
rents, the interest whereof was to be employed in ap- 
prenticeing orphans bom in the manors of Ford, Biddick, 
and Barmston. After 99 years, his estates and the first- 
mentioned £4,000 were to go to his heir-at-law, **provided 
he be not such a one as shall claim to be the issue of the 
testator's own body." There were legacies to his servants 
and to the family of Shelley of Michell Grove, in Sussex. 
He then appoints Lady Jane Shelley his executrix, and 
desires to be buried in St. Paul's Cathedral, "under a 
fair tomb, like the tomb of Dr. Dunn," to erect which 
he leaves £1,000. For thirty years before his death he 
had been separated from his wife, and a scarce tract of the 
period states that the charitable bequests of his will 
were made in order " to merit pardon for thirty years' 
vicious life led with the Lady Shelley." It is needless 
to say that Hylton's paramour never raised the tomb for 
which his morbid vanity craved. 

Thus encumtjered, the estates of the Hyltons, during 
three generations, only enabled their owners to maintain 
the dignity of unostentatious country gentlemen. During 
this period the greatest prudence was manifested in the 
management of the various properties, with the result 
that in 1739 the estate and its possessors emerged from 
the difiiculties under which they had struggled for a 
century. But the last Hylton, a bachelor, was then the 
owner, and he by will left the home of his ancestors 
and all other of his possessions, to his sister's son, Sir 
Richard Musgrave, on the condition of his taking the 
Hylton name. The last baron died in 1746, and was 
buried in the chapel at Hylton. In 1750 Sir Richard 
Musgrave obtained an Act of Parliament enabling him to 
sell the estates by auction. These estates covered 
5,600 acres, and the annual rental was estimated at a 
little over £3,000. The Hyltons, it is said, owned almost 
all the land which could be seen from the battlements of 
their own castle. 

It only now remains to describe the castle and the 
ruined chapel. The architectural features of the 
former indicate that its erection took place shortly 
before the middle of the fifteenth century. It is 
described in 1447 date as *' the gatehouse," though there 
is evidence to show that the rest of the castle build 
ings stood north and south of a coiurtyard befort 
its grand west front. Hylton castle is noted 
for its heraldry. Besides the royal arms of England 
as borne from the reign of Henry Y. to that of Elizabeth, 



88 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE. 



(Vebnwtf 



we hftve on the west front the banner of the Hyltons 
beneath a ledsre of canopied work, and the shields of the 
many noble families with which the Hyltons were allied. 
On the east front is a fine sculptured roebuck, at one time 
the Hylton badge. Beneath is the Hylton shield under a 
helmet, over which is the later Hylton crest, a head of 
Moses in profile, homed with triple rays. Of the origin 
or meaning of this extraordinary heraldic bearing I can 
offer no suggestion. 

The west front is surmounted by four octagonal turrets 
with machicolations on every side. There is a round 
turret at each end of the east front. The central oblong 
tower of the east front rises a story higher than the rest 
of the building, and has a floor on the level of the leads, 



barons of Hylton, their wives and their children, fonnd 
rest Their retainers were consigned to the graveyard 
outside. The chancel vault is now broken open, and the 
bones of the Hyltons have been scattered, no one caring 
whither. A thigh bone, said to have been that of the last 
baron, is preserved m the castle, (now the property and 
residence of Colonel Briggs), and the whereabouts of some 
other osseous reliques is known. J. B. BOTLB. 



^\)t (ITattlb %&b of Isltom 

Hylton Castle has long had the reputation of being 
haunted by a bar-guest or local spirit, of the same genua 




H;ifoq Cisffi: Weir hifir.... -'"■ ^■-':''^"'''^j:^^^^i!m^^''^'s'r;'--'i^- ■^.:^^^ 



"\ 



which we may conveniently call the guard room. Each 
turret has independent access from the roof. The 
octagonal turrets are even provided for defence against an 
enemy who might have dimed to the battlements. 

The portion of the chapel which remains is only the 
chancel of the original structure, and was probably built 
by Sir William Hylton, who died in 1457. Its two 
transepts are additions of Tudor date. Each is of two 
stories, though the dividing floors are gone. The upper 
stories were reached through doorways in the east wall, 
now closed with masonry. The western extremity now 
is the ancient chancel arch, walled up in the last baron's 
days, with a doorway altogether of his time beneath, and 
portions of what was probably the nave's western 
window clumsily utilized above. Within the walls 
of this now ruined and abandoned — though episoopally 
consecrated— edifice, the mortal part of many of the 



as used formerly to haunt almost every old feudal residence 
in the kingdom. The goblin was seldom seen, but was 
heard nightly by the servants, who got so accustomed to 
him that they were not the least frightened. If the kitchen 
had been left in perfect order on their retiring to rest, 
they would hear him amusing himself by hurling the 
pewter about in all directions, and throwing everything 
into confusion. But if, on the contrary, the apartment 
had been left in disarray (a practice which the 
maids found it both prudent and convenient to 
adopt), the indefatigable goblin set about arranging 
everything with the greatest precision, so that what was 
'* confusion worse confounded " the night before, was in 
'* apple-pie order " on the following morning. But 
though the Oau'd Lad's pranks seem to have been at all 
times perfectly harmless, they at length became weari- 
some to the servants, who determined to banish him from 



February I 
188a I 



NORTH-COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND, 



89 



the castle by the usual means employed in such cases, 

that is, not by priestly exordsm, but by leaving, for his 

express use, some article of clothing, or some toothsome 

delicacy to tempt his palate. The Cau'd Lad somehow 

got an inkling of their intentions, and was frequently 

heard to recite, in the dead of the night, in fancied 

security, the following consolatory stanzas : — 

Wae*s me, wae's me, 
The acorn is not yet 
Fallen from the tree 
That's to grow the wood 
That's to make the cradle 
That's to rock the bairn 
That's to grow a man 
That's to lay me. 

However, the goblin reckoned without his host ; for the 
usual means of banishment were provided, viz., a green 
cloak and a hood, which were laid before the kitchen fire. 
At the dead hour of midnight the sprite glided gently in, 
stood by the smouldering embers, and surveyed the gar- 
ments provided for him very attentively, then tried them 
on, and appeared delighted with their graceful cut, frisking 
about the room, and cutting sundry somersaults and 
gambadoes ; until at length, on hearing the first crow of 
the cock, twitching his green mantle tightly round him, 
he disappeared with the appropriate valediction of 

Here's a cloak and here's a hood, 

The Cau'd Lad o' Hilton will do no more good ! 

But long after tnis, although he never returned to dis- 
arrange the pewter or set the house in order, yet his 
voice was often heard at midnight singing a melancholy 
melody: — 

fere's a cloak and here's a hood, 

The Cau'd Lad o' Hylton will do no more good I 



The genuine brownie is supposed to be an unembodied 
spirit, that has never borne the human form ; but the 
Cau'd Lad has, through the commoh process of myth- 
development, been identified with the apparition of an 
imfortnnate domestic who was slain by one of the barons 
of Hylton in a moment of passion or intemperance. This 
baron, having ordered his horse to be ready on a parti- 
cular occasion, and it not being brought out in time 
to soothe his ruffled impatience, proceeded to the 
stable, where he found the boy fast asleep and the horse 
unsaddled. Seizing a hay -fork, he struck the lad a blow 
which proved mortaL Horrified at what he had done, he 
covered the body with straw till night, and then threw 
it into a pond, where, many years afterwards, in 
the last baron's time, the skeleton of a boy was dis- 
covered, which was held to be a confirmation of the tale. 
This pond was afterwards drained, and a cottage was 
built on the site. 

Perhaps this story, which was communicated to Bobert 
Surtees, the compiler of the "History of Durham,", by 
Mr. J. B. Taylor, may have had its origin in the fact 
recorded of a coroner's inquest having been held, 
on the 3rd July, 1609, on the body of Roger 
Skelton, who was killed with the point of a scythe, 
accidentally, by Robert Hylton, of Hylton, for which 
that gentleman obtained a free pardon on the 6th of 
September following. 

The baUad of "The Cau'd Lad o' Hylton "—a quite 
modem production— tells how the murdered lad, Roger 
Skelton, used to pace o' nights round the castle hall, with 
his head literally in his hand, singing, " soft and low," 




,v;4jAi^^^ 



HylfbnrasTU. East Fronr. " ^.,'" n..-l 






90 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE. 



{ 



Febmary 



notwithstandiDg the severance of the Urynx from the 
lungs, the following prophetic words of dread :— 

Hylton's line dishonoured falls ; 

Lay with the dust proud Hylton's walls. 

Murder blots the household sword ; 

Strip the lands from Hylton's lord, etc, etc. 

If we are to believe Surtees's informant, however, the 
Gau'd Lad held full possession of the house several years 
after the death of the last Baron Hylton, and was not 
finally exorcised until the beginning of this century by 
the hospitality of the late Mr. Simon Temple, a wealthy 
coalowner, from whom Templetown, at the high end of 
South Shields, takes its name, who for some years 
occupied the castle, which, but for his interposition, 
would have been demolished, it having been condemned 
to be taken down for the sake of the materials. 

If the ballad -writer speaks truth, the Cau'd 
Lad did not confine his pranks wholly to the 
castle. He tells us in a note that the goblin sometimes 
took a fancy to row people across the Wear at night, in 
the ferry boat stationed near. He would take them over 
half way, and then of a sudden disappear, leaving the 
passengers, though they might be women and children, 
to shift for themselves ; then, after some time, he would 
make his re-appearance, and after rowing them up and 
down the river a mile or two, would land them on the 
same side they started from, always making them, how- 
ever, pay their fare, though what he could do with the 
money no man could tell. In pursuing this sort of mis- 
chievous amusement, the Cau'd Lad seems to have dis- 
played rather the characteristics of the Scottish kelpie 
than the brownie, only that he does not seem ever to have 
gone the length of drowning the passengers he deceived, 
as the kelpie would at least have tried to da Another 
freak of his was to sit astride a beer barrel in the cellar to 
guard the precious liquor. When John, the butler, went 
down to tap a cask, he often averred that he had found 
him there. But this latter circumstance is probably 
borrowed from similar tales told of the familiar spirits 
in various parts of Scotland and Ireland. 

Another supernatural visitant is reported to have 
appeared in the castle shortly before the death of the 
last baron. When that dignitary was one night enter- 
taining a large company, a grejrhound, which nobody had 
previously seen, rushed into the dining-room, and, neg- 
lecting those present, fawned upon the baron, who saw 
roimd its neck a collar of gold, inscribed with magical 
characters, which he alone could read, and which were 
found to purport that his father, who had been dead 
twenty-five years, had sent the dog to him to announce 
his approaching death, and also the speedy downfall of 
the Hylton family, after a series of twenty descents, 
stretching throuirh five centuries. The dog disappeared 
before morning as unaccountably as it came ; but the 
event soon proved the truth of the dismal warning. 




Cite HtTcU ^ETcribg f^itivxt, 

I HE picture of Unde Toby and his Little 
Friends, which is given away with the 
February Part of the Monthly Chronicle, was 
originally prepared for gratuitous distribution with the 
NewccutU Weekly Chronicle. Owing to the immense and 
totally unexpected demand for that paper on the date the 
work was issued, it was found impossible to meet the 
wants of the public. With the view of furnishing another 
opportunity of obtaining the picture, it was resolved to 
re-issue it with the Monthly Chronicle, The picture re- 
presents a group that appeared at two great children's 
demonstrations which took place in the Tyne Theatre, 
Newcastle, on July 26 and 29, 1886. An account of that 
demonstration, and of the Dicky Bird Society which 
Uncle Toby established in 1876, has been jirinted in the 
Monthly Chronicle, vol. i., page 443. As regards the 
artistic merits of the picture, the subjoined testimonies 
from eminent members of the Royal Academy may be 
accepted as conclusive. 



SIR J. B. MILLAIS, B.A. 

Bimam Hall, Bimam. N.B., Dec. 24, 1887. 
Sir J. Everett Millais presents nis compliments to the 
Editor of the NeucasUe Weekly Chronicle^ and returns him 
many thanks for sending him the beautiful illustration of 
the Dicky Bird Society. The delicacy and colouring are 
quite exquisite. 



SIR JOHN GILBERT, R.A. 

Vanbrugh Park, Blackheath, Dec 29, 1887. 

Dear Sir,— I beg to thank you for sending me copies of 
the Weekly Chronicle and the coloured picture. 

The Supplement gives much curious and valuable 
matter ; a vast quantity of most varied and amusing^ 
reading. 

The picture is a most excellent specimen of the art of 
colour printing, in parts very admirable, especially where 
the colour is oroken and varied in tint and tone, as in 
green back of chair, the bird, and other parts. 

Indeed, on looking again carefully over the entire work, 
I see that the faces are expressive and varied, and very 
naturid, the drawing careful and good all through. 

The only shadow of a shade of fault I see is that it is 
throughout rather too clean for nature. — Yours truly, 

John Gilbert. 



MR. W. p. FRITH, R.A. 

Mr. W. P. Frith, the eminent artist, writin(|^ to the 
Editor of the Weekly Chronicle, says that the picture of 
Uncle Toby is "a very remarkable example of colour 
printing." "The picture," he adds, "is so well drawn 
and so full of individual character as to contrast, much to 
its advantage, with similar productions that have come 
under my notice. I sincerely congratulate you and your 
Bubecribers upon it." The same great authority writes in 
a second leti«r : — " I shall only be too glad to bear public 
witness to the excellence of your chromo-litho^rapn. It 
is certainly one of the very best things of the kind I ever 
saw." 



PROFESSOR HODGSON, R.A. 

Mr. J. K Hodgson, R.A., Professor of Painting in the 
Boyal Academy, writing of the Uncle Toby Picture, 
says :— ** The chromo is the best I have seen." 



7ebra&ry 
1888. 



} 



NORTH-COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND, 



91 



A TALE OF THE PRESS GANG. 
A correspondent of the Netocastle Weekly Chronicle 
lately asked for "information relating to a seaman who 
met his death by the press gang in April, 1804." 
John Babington Stodart, the seaman 'in question, was 
my mother's brother. On his arrival from sea he came 
up to Newcastle to see his relatives one Sunday. 
The press gang was lying in wait for him. My uncle 
took to the water to swim to Gateshead. The press 
gang threatened to shoot anyone who should attempt 
to go to his assistance, and when he neared the opposite 
shore he was himself shot in the head by the press gang. 
I have heard my mother say that it was the last time the 
press gang durst appear in Newcastle, the populace being 
so incensed against them. I subjoin some lines which were 
written by an unknown person and put up at the end of 
the street, namely, the Wall Knoll, where the family, 
consisting of a widowed mother and her two daughters, 
resided : — 

Oh ! how he fled. 

But death the lovely victim led, 

Hard followed by a murdering crew 

Of bloody nifOans not a few. 

Well might the echo "Murder I" crj' aloud — 

When fast pursued by a murdering crowd, 

A crew that Justice ought to hang, 

Bloody Moody and his gang. 

Ye weeping friends, dry up your tears ; 

The youth is freed from warlike fears, 

His soul is lifted up on high, 

Though in the dust his body lie. 
I am in possession of several of the victim's letters, 
showing the incessant trouble and dread of the press 
gang, and sometimes relating an escape from them ; also 
various family letters relative to his melancholy death, 
showing how much he was respected. 

Eliza Hutchinson, Cliflf Cottage, Jarrow. 



MONUMENT AT KIRKLEY HALL. 

A monument at Kirkley Hall, Northumberland, erected 
by Newton Ogle, Dean of Winchester, in commemora- 
tion of the landing of William of Orange, bears the fol- 
lowing inscription :— 

VINDICAT-E LIBERTATIS PUBLICiE 

ANNO CKNTESIMO 

8ALDTIS MDOOLXXXVIII 

NEWTON OGLE 

P 

J. 0„ Newcastle. 



A REMARKABLE TREE. 
A remarkable ash tree was cut down in the park of 
Bradley Hall, near Wylam, a short time ago. The bole 
end was 14 feet in length, 6 feet in diameter, and con- 
tained 242 cubic feet of timber. Altogether the tree 
measured nearly 600 cubic feet of timber, two of the limbs 
each containing 40 cubic feet. The tree had to be cut 



down because it covered an area of nearly an acre, and 
was extending to a building in which valuable prize 
cattle were housed. It was feared that during the 
winter storms it might cause great damage by being 
blown down. Two men were employed a couple of days 
in felling this veteran of the park. 

John McKay, Newcastle. 



GEORGE CLAYTON ATKINSON. 
A biographical sketch of this gentleman appeared in 
the present volume of the Monthly Chronicle^ page 38. 




■^ :^'■%^r.v^^^^^■■■.■..i^ 



'eo^o 



e Ci.'*i 



% 



rTQN Jirf<iNSOhi 



The portrait now presented to the reader is copied from a 
photograph kindly lent by Mr. Atkinson's son, Mr. 
Blatthew Hutton Atkinson, of Windsor Terrace, New- 
castle. Editor. 



SPEED'S PLAN OF NEWCASTLE. 
There are two errors in the article on Speed's Plan of 
Newcastle (Monthly Chronide^ vol. ii., page 34), which it 
would be as well to correct. Anderson Place was the seat 
of Sir Walter Blackett before it came into the possession 
of Major Anderson. The Priory at the Wall Knoll does 
not appear ever to have been the property of the Trinity 
House. A., Newcastle. 



|80rtft^C0tttttr8a2lft^ I^um0tti\ 



"aad nanny." 
A few years ago, in a village in the neighbourhood of 
Pensher, a funeral party were assembled to pay the last 
tribute of respect to the remains of an old lady who had 



92 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE. 



fFebraaqr 



been known by the name of ''Aad Nanny.'* Among thoee 
present was a young man who (after all present had taken 
a last look at the well-remembered face) was engaged in 
screwing on the lid of the coffin. During this opearation, 
he was observed by those present to be vainly endeavour- 
ing to suppress a fit of laughter. This excited the indig- 
nation of the mourners, who asked him the reason for 
such an unseemly proceeding at so solemn a time. He 
replied :— '* Aa really cannot helpt. Aa wes just think- 
ing o' the time when aa wes a lad, an' used te plague . 
aad Nanny, an' she tell'd us then that when she deed she 
wad haant us, an' aa've just thowt that she cannot haant 
us noo becaase aa've screwed hor doon ower tight ! " 

A HOT BS8IDKN0E. 

Some years ago there resided, at a short distance from 
Newcastle, an elderly colliery viewer, who was kind at 
heart, although gruff in manner. On one occasion he was 
much perplexed, owing to want of proper accommodation 
for his workpeople. A miner's wife made bold to approach 
him and ask what she was to do for a house. The charac- 
teristic reply was, " Go to blazes I " The poor woman at 
once walked avn^y. A minute afterwards another miner's 
Mrife accosted him on the same matter. He at once re- 
plied, " See yon woman, away yonder" (pointing to the 
one he had previously dismissed) ; *' get one next door to 
her." The poor woman, quite pleased, ran after the first 
applicant, and made the inquiry, '* Whor are ye te put 
up? He says aa's te getahoose next te ye." **Wey, 
woman!" replied the other, '*he says aa've te gan te 
blazes!" 

THE LB8S0N Gt ICABTTBDOM. 

WhUe Foxe's ** Book of Martyrs " was being examined 
in a Sunderland household on a certain Sunday, a little 
boy overheard his father explaining to his elder brothers 
that the punishments shown in the ghastly pictures were 
inflicted because of the martyrs reading the Bible, which 
was then a prohibited book. At night little Johnny 
was heard saying to his sister, "Aa waddent lam te 
read the Bible for onnything. If aa de, aall be sure te 
get cut te pieces 1 " 

A GOOD COOK. 

A T3meside maiden, on applying for the first time for a 
situation as maid-of -all- work, was asked by her prospec- 
tive mistress if she could cook. With a look of 
astonishment she promptly replied : " Aa shud think se ! 
Aa wonder whe kuiks ma fethor's reed har'n aad tetties !" 
MABBiSD nr BBOnONS. 

A would be happy couple, travelling from a colliery 
district, called at a register office with a view to wedlock, 
** Dis Mistor Register leeve here, sor ? " inquired the en- 
amoured swain. Being answered in th^ afllrmative, he 
continued, "Aa want te knaa whaat ye ohairge for 
myeking two foak intiv one, sor 7 " The cost of a special 
licence was explained to him. "Had thy hand, mar- 



row," he exclaimed; " thoo sees aa's come 'speshly te gel 
wed, but aa find, on tyeking stock, that aa's half a croon 
short. Mebbies ye cud manish to marry us as far as the 
brass gans ! " 

BODT-BKATCHINO. 

Many years ago two body-snatchers were plying their 
vocation one dark winter morning. A baker was passing 
close to the churchyard with his basket on his shoulder, 
when suddenly a corpse was dropped from the tc^ 
of the walL With a yell of terror, he dropped his basket 
and ran at his utmost speed. The body^-snatcher, think- 
ing it was a veritable resuscitation of the corpse, said to his 
mate: "Hey, BiU, we'll hevte hev another; that yen's 
bolted!" 

BAD MEAT. 

"Are ye in want of a lad, sor?" said a young farm 
labourer to a farmer at a Newcastle hiring. " I am not," 
replied the latter, " but why are you leaving Farmer N. ? 
I'm sure he is a good master r "Themaistor isall reet," 
said the lad, " it's the meat that's bad. Six months sin', 
we had an aad coo deed, an we eat hor. Then the aad 
soo deed, and we eat hor. Yesterday the roaistor's mother 
deed, and aa runn'd away !" 

AN AWFUL TWIST. 

At a mining village within a hundred miles of Sunder- 
land, there lived a pitman by name Greordy. One 
morning— being in the fore shift— he found that he had 
overslept himself, and that it would only be by the utmost 
expedition he would reach the mine in proper time. In 
his haste he managed to get his breeches on back to fronts 
and in this trim proceeded " in by " to hb caviL He had 
not worked long, however, until by some over-exertion or 
accident he gave his side a severe wrench, so much so that 
he had to lie down. His " marrow" went to see what was 
the matter. "HeUo! Geordy," said he, "whaat's the 
matter, man?" "Oh, man, aa've gi'en mysel a rare 
twist," he replied. His "marrow," seeing the position of 
his breeches, exclaimed : " Twist ! Geordy, by gum, aa 
think thoo hes ; wey, thoo's twisted reet roond ! " 

QUALmOATIONB FOB A TOWN OOUNOILLOB. 

A certain candidate for the Council recently went into a 
house within the usual hundred miles of the Close, New- 
casUe. He found the free and independent elector in a 
very bad temper, nor could he move him by the nloat 
flattering words. At last the elector's son caught the 
eye of the office-seeker. Here was his opportunity to get 
at his man's feelings, so he remarked : — " A very fine 
boy, that of yours, Mr. Brown." Mr. Brown admitted 
the soft impeachment in a very gruff manner. " What 
might you be going to make of him?" ingratiatingly 
pursued our &iend. Mr. Brown growled out that he waa 
going to make him a councillor. " A councillor ! Why V 
" Wey," said Mr. Brown, with a grunt, "when he wet 



Febni«T7 



} 



NORTH-COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND, 



93 



three yeors aad, he cud guzzle like a shork ; when he wes 
fire, he fit like a lion wiv onnything an* iworything ; an' 
noo he's sivin he lees maist aaful, and the way he corses 
an* sweors wad change the colour o' yor watch chain \" 



^ffrtftsCffutTtrfi ^\^iiyx9xiti. 



Mr. Bertram Paget Ord, of Gateshead, died very sud- 
denly on the 14th of December, 1887. He was well known 
in local commercial circles. For upwards of twenty 
years, the deceased had been cashier and chief clerk 
in the office of the Washington Chemical Company. 
Mr. Ord, who was fifty years of age, was also a promi- 
nent Freemason. 

At the age of fifty-four, on the same day, died Mr. 
Robert Carverhill, of the firm of Messrs. Chapman and 
OaryerhiU, Gloucester Foundry, Newcastle. 

On the 14th of December, there also died, in his sixty- 
fourth year, Mr. John Lowry, senior partner in the firm 
of Messrs. John and William Lowry, builders and con- 
tractors, Corporation Street, Newcastle. The deceased 
had, in conjunction with his brother, carried on business 
in the town for forty years. 

Mr. John Patterson, widely known as a workman, a 
trade unionist, and a Radical politician, died atChop- 
pington Colliery, on the 14th of December, in the 
seventy-third year of his age. 

On the 15th of December, Mr. William Lawther, an 
ardent Liberal in politics, and an active member of the 
Northumberland Colliery Enginemen's Association, died 
at Choppington Colliery. 

On the 16th of December, the funeral took place in 
Jesmond Cemetery of Mr. William Robson Lund, who 
bad carried on business for many years as a grocer in 
Mosley Street, Newcastle, but had latterly been living in 
retirement. The deceased, who was one of the oldest 
tradesmen of the old school, was aged seventy -one years. 

The Rev. Thomas Nattrass, a native Weardale, died 
very suddenly in the Wesleyan Chapel, Bowden, on the 
18th of December. 

On the same day died Mr. John A. Wiggins, landlord 
of the Express Inn, Newcastle, and well known for his 
genuine interest in the musical affairs of the neighbour- 
hood. 

Mr. Greorge A. Middlemiss, a well-known architect 
and auctioneer, expired at his residence, Ashbrooke 
Tower, Sunderland, on the 20th of December, in his 
seventy -third year. The deceased gentleman, who was 
for several years a member of the Town Coimcil, designed 
some of the principal buildings in Sunderland, among 
them being the Theatre Royal, in Bedford Street. 

Mr. John Caldwell, retired shipowner, and at one time 
a well-known figure on the Quayside of Newcastle, died 
at Inverness, on the 21st of December, in the seventy- 
eighth year of his age. 

On the 23rd of December, the death was announced, at 
the age of between eighty and ninety years, of John 
Pybus, an eccentric character in Sunderland, better 
known as ** Jack the Sweep." The deceased, according 
to a Sunderland corresx)ondent of the Weekly Chronicle, 
was the son of Jane Jameson, who was hung on New- 



castle Moor for the murder of her mother — ^a deed bru- 
tally accomplished, in a drunken fury, by means of a red- 
hot poker. Jack was the sole witness, and by his evi- 
dence his mother was condemned to death. 

The death was announced, on the 24th of December, of 
the Rev. E. L. Pincott, M.A, vicar of Bolam, and 
formerly chaplain of Brinkbum Priory, the rev. gentle- 
man being in the fiftieth year of his age. 

On Christmas Day, Mr. William Smith, blacksmith, 
and the first maker of the street-sweeping machines and 
road-scrapers, which have since been improved upon and 
used in nearly all parts of the world, died at Barnard 
Castle, at the age of seventy-five years. 

Mr. William Cairns Hardy, architect, Morpeth, died 
from rheumatic fever, on the 27th of December, at the 
early age of twenty -four years. 

On the same day occurred the death of the Rev. Henry 
Oakley, for twenty-one years Congregational minister at 
Chester-le-Street. 

On the 28th December, Mr. S. B. Coxon, mining en- 
gineer, formerly connected with this district, during his 







residence at Usworth Hall, died at West Kensington, 
London. The deceased gentleman was an intimate friend 
of Sir George Elliot, M.P., to whose mining property in 
Nova Scotia he had paid several professional visits ; and 
he was similarly consulted by Lord Aberdare with regard 
to that nobleman's collieries in South Wales. For a con- 
siderable time past, however, Mr. Coxon had retired from 
the more active pursuit of his profession. 

Mr. David Kaye, builder, and a member of the Jarrow 
Town Council, since November, 1883, died in that town, 
on the 30th of December, aged forty-nine years. 

Mr. Greorge Scott Wallace, who had settled at Seaham 
Harbour as one of the early tradesmen, and commenced 
business as a cooper about forty years ago, died on the 
2nd of January, 1888, in the sixty-second year of his age. 



94 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE, 



\ laes. 



On the 2nd of January, the remains of Mr. Robert 
Potts, on« of the oldest tradesmen in the Felling, where 
he had been in business as a clothier for many years prior 
to his retirement, were interred at Heworth. The de- 
ceased, who had held seats at different times on the 
Local Board, the Board of Guardians, and the School 
Board, was sixty-seven years of age. 

Intelligence was received in Sunderland on the 3rd of 
January, that Mrs. Webb, formerly of that tovm, had 
died on the previous day at Harrogate. The deceased 
lady was a sister of Mr. Christopher Webster, of Pallion 
Hidl, and was once well known in Sunderland as the wife 
of the famous Rector Gray. 

On the 3rd of January, Mr. Christopher Boak, for many 
years chief in command of the local Coastguard, first in 
the city of Dublin, afterwards at Craster, and finaUy at 
Holy Island, died at Rothbury, of which yiUage he was a 
native. The deceased gentleman, who was a cousin of 
Mr. Samuel Donkin, late of Bywell Felton, was eighty- 
six years of age. 

Mr. C. Macnally, formerly well known as a school- 
master, died suddenly in Durham, on the 3rd of January, 
at the age of sixty -six years. 

On the same day, died, also at the age of sixty-six, Mr. 
Robinson Mitchell, of Cockermouth, who was the first to 
introduce cattle auction marts into the North of England. 

At the age of fifty-five years, Mr. John William Brown, 
Provincial Grand Tyler of Freemasons for Durham, died 
at Sunderland on the 5th of January. 

On the 6th of January, the body of Mr. Archibald 
M'Neill, a London journalist, and formerly on the staff 
of the Newcastle Chronicle, was found on the shore at 
Boulogne. The deceased gentleman, who had gone over 
to France on professional business, had been missing 
since the 20th of December, 1887. Foul play was sus- 
pected. 

Mr. Wilkinson Rowell, engineer to the Marquis of 
Londonderry's collieries, died at New Seaham, on the 7th 
of January, in the sixty-second year of his age. 

On the same day died Mr. John Oldroyd, contractor, 
an alderman and justice of the peace for South Shields. 
The deceased gentleman was about seventy years of age. 



ffilwffrlf oi ^htniii. 



|lortl)^€oiitttrs fficcurretuejj. 



DECEMBER, 1887. 

13.— Mr. Richard S. Wilson, grocer, was accidentally 
drowned while endeavouring to go on board a vessel in 
the North Dock, Monkwearmouth. 

14. — ^After three days of intense suffering from symp- 
toms consistent with the presence of hydrophobia, Mr. A. 
T. Rogers, B. A, tutor with Mr. J. H. Bramwell, of the 
Bow School, North Bailey, Durham, died at that address. 
Mr. Rogers, who was a native of the South of England^ 
had, during his holiday in August last, rescued a little 
boy from an attack by a collie dog, and in doing so had 
been several times bitten in the hand. 

15. — Mr. George Noble Clark, after a connection of 
forty years with the Newcastle Savings* Bank, retired 
from the treasurership of that institution; Mr. Henry 



Cooke, barrister, and son of a former treasurer, being ^>- 
pointed his successor. 

— It was announced, under this date, by advertisement, 
that the Home Secretary had granted a druit license to 
Sir W. G. Armstrong, Mitchell, and Company, Limited, 
of the Elswick Works, for a factory for making up quids- 
firing gun ammunition for her Majesty's Gk>vemment. 

16. — ^Lord Herschell, ex-Lord Chancellor, presided at 
the annual dinner of the Newcastle Liberal Club, and in 
the evening addressed a political meeting in the Town 
HalL 

17.— There being no cases for disposal at the Newcastle 
Police Court, the Mayor (Mr. W. D. Stephens) and 
other city magistrates were each presented with a pair of 
white gloves. 

— A new lifeboat, the gift of the cyclists of Great 
Britain, was launched at Hartlepool. 

— A new co-operative store, erected at a cost of £3,000^ 
was opened at Consett 

20.— The new church of All Saints, erected at Epple- 
ton, Hetton Dovms, at a cost of about £3,000, was oonae- 
crated by the Bishop of Durham. 

— It was intimated, by telegram from Sir J. W. Pease, 
M.P., that the man Joseph Tumbull, convicted of the 
murder, in March, 1873, of Martin Hagan, at WiUington, 
but whose sentence of death was subsequently commuted 
to penal servitude for life, would be released on the usual 
license. The man was liberated accordingly from Port- 
land prison, on the 22nd inst., and next day he arrived 
quietly at his old home at Willington. 

21. — Several trees were planted at Houghton-le-Spring, 
in celebration of the jubilee of the Queen. 

22. — About 1,200 school children were entertained to 
tea by Sir George Elliot, in celebration of the fifty yean 
which had elapsed since he worked as a viewer at Wear- 
mouth Colliery. 

— Messrs. Howard and Wyndham's fifth annual i)anto- 
mime, entitled "The Babes in the Wood,** was produced 
at the Theatre Royal, Newcastle. 

23. — A branch association of military gentlemen was 
formed in Newcastle, for finding employment for old 
soldiers. 

— ^The jurors' awards in connection with the Royal 
Jubilee Exhibition at Newcastle were issued, there being 
34 gold, 214 silver, and 208 bronze medals. 

— A hulk named the Providence, outward bound from 
Newcastle Quayside, with petroleum for Middleebroagfa, 
was leaving Shields harbour in tow of the Tyne tug, the 
Flying Scotchman, and was just off the pier end^ when 
the oil was seen to be in flames. The crew, consisting of 
two men, saved themselves by their boat, and the hulk 
was shortly afterwards burnt to the water's edge. 

— The sixteenth annual dinner of the North of England 
Commercial Travellers' Association was held in New- 
castle, under the presidency of Mr. Gainsford BruoQ, 
Q.C. 

— A report was published as to the testing, at Sir W. 
Armstrong, Mitchell, and Co.'s proof range at Silloth, ol 
the largest gun ever'mounted on a disappearing carriage. 
The gun and its carriage had been manufactured at 
Elswick for the Government of Victoria. 

24. — A beautiful model of a carriage, the workmanship 
of Messrs. David Bell and R. Mills, an address, and a 
piece of plate were presented to Mr. John Philipson, J.P., 
of the firm of Messrs. Atkinson and Philipson, coach- 
builders, Newcastle, in recognition of his services aa 



F«bnai7 I 
188a / 



NORTH'COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND. 



95 



chairman of the division devoted to " Sundry Industries" 
at the kbte Exhibition. 

—The half-yearly conference of the delegates of the 
Durham Miners' Political Association was held in the 
Miners' Hall, Durham, Mr. J. Hogg, Hetton, being 
re-elected president. 

The first performance took place, in presence of a 
large audience, at the Tyne Theatre, Newcastle, of Mr. 
Augustus Harris's Christmas pantomime, entitled "The 
Fair One with the Golden Locks," written by Mr. 
William Younge. 

— It was announced in the N€fvoc4UiXt Daily Chronicle 
that it had been decided to utilize a " blower" of gas 
which had for some time been flowing to waste at one of 
the gas collieries in the county of Durham, the intention 
being to convey the gas to the boilers and use it for firing 
purposes. In 1840, a company was formed to supply gas 
from the Wallsend Colliery for lighting local towns, and 
in November of that year an attempt was made to light 
" Carville Station on the Newcastle and North Shields 
Railway " ; but owing to the impurity of the gas the ex- 
periment proved a failure. 

25. — About a thousand street arabe were entertained to 
breakfast in the Town Hall, Newcastle, by the Sheriff 
(Mr. J. Baxter Ellis) and Coimdllor Hepworth. 

26.— A fine art and industrial exhibition was opened by 
Earl Percy in the Assembly Rooms, Alnwick, in aid of 
the building fund of the St. Andrew's Mission Hall and 
Institute. The exhibition, which dosed on the 7th of 
January following, realised a profit of about £200. 

27. — John Mernls, aged ten years, and James Gordon, 
a boy about the same age, were drowned while testing 
the bearing capacity for skating of an ice-covered brick- 
pond at Jarrow. 

— In the Evening Chronicle, it was announced that the 
award of Mr. Jacob Wilson, as umpire in the case of the 
Newcastle Post Office authorities and the property 
owners in Westgate Road, Newcastle, had been issued, 
the result being that, for the 1,324 square yards of ground 
required for the contemplated extension of the Post 
Office, there had been awarded a sum of £27,340. 

28.— A scheme of commercial education in connection 
with the Grammar School was adopted by the Schools 
and Charities Committee of the Newcastle Corporation. 

— The Thomas Knight Memorial Hospital, erected at a 
cost of £2,000, and possessing an endowment of £6,000 







^^^Mg^j^-.- 



bequeathed by Mrs. Knight, widow of Mr. Thomas 
Knight, was opened at Blyth by Lady Ridley. 

— Michael Warriner, 29 years of age, died in Newcastle 
Infirmary from the effect of injuries received by the ex 
plosion of a xuiraffin lamp at Byker, on the 19th of the 
same month. 



28. — A singular explosion of gas took place in the open 
thoroughfare of Percy Street, Newcastle, the force being 
such as to blow up about two yards of the road, and to 
lift up the carriacre-way to the extent of nearly ten yards. 
On the 2nd of January, 1888, another explosion near the 
same spot, and supposed to have b^en caused, as before, 
by the dropping of a lighted match into a leaking portion 
of the main, took place. The accident was not so serious 
as on the previous occasion, but the report greatly 
alarmed the show-proprietors and the many pleasure- 
seekers assembled at the hoppings. 

29. — The first of the series of medals awarded to ex- 
hibitors at the Newcastle Exhibition was issued, as 
manufactured by Messrs. Reid and Sons, Grey Street. 
On the front of the medal was a very tasteful design of 
the Newcastle coat -of -arms, while on the reverse were 
cleverly depicted views of the High Level Bridge, the 
Castle, and other prominent surroundings. 

—The first tree was planted in a new park for Spenny- 
moor, by Mr. T. M. Reay, of Whitworth House. 

— ^The top-stone of the tower of the new Town Hall, 
Middlesbrough, was laid by the Mayor of that town, Mr. 
T. Sanderson. 

— The Tyne Improvement Commissioners, on the re- 
commendation of their engineer, Mr. P. J. Messent, 
resolved to carry the North Pier at the mouth of the 
Tyne to a total length of 2,955 feet, and the South Pier to 
a final length of 5,153 feet, the width between the ends of 
the piers being 1,300 feet. 

30.— A collision took place on the Jarrow and Pontop 
Railway, near Monkton, between some waggons and a 
horse and cart, with the result that the cart was smashed 
to pieces, and the horse killed, while half a-dozen wag- 
gons were thrown off the line and dashed to atoms. The 
fireman, Nathaniel Holme, who was riding on the front 
part of the foremost waggon, sustained a compound frac- 
ture of both legs, one of wliich had to be amputated. 
Peter Collins, the owner of the horse and cart with which 
the trucks came into collision, was afterwards appre- 
hended on a charge of stealing coals on the Pontop and 
Jarrow Railway. The fireman, Holme, died from thr 
effects of his injuries, in the Memorial Hospital, Jarrow, 
on the 4th of January, and on the 6th, the coroner's jury 
returned a verdict of manslaughter against Collins. 

30. — ^Mrs. Robert Lamb was severely injured by the 
collapse of a portion of a railway embankment and the 
consequent fall of her horse, while she was hunting with 
Mr. Fred. Lamb's hounds at Washington Hall. 

31. — A new lifeboat arrived at Seaham Harbour from 
the Royal National Lifeboat Institution. 

— A fire, causing damage to the extent of upwards of 
£200, broke out in the ptmiping engine-house of the Tees 
Hetton Coal Company at Evenwood, the building being 
completely destroyed. 

— A skiff race over the Tyne championship course was 
rowed between Charles Carr, of Newcastle, and W. G. 
East, of Putney, the stakes being £50 a-side. The young 
Tyneside sculler took the lead almost from the outset, 
and ultimately passed the winning point at Scotswood 
Suspension Bridge by fully a dozen lengths. 



JANUARY, 1888. 
1. — In Newcastle and district, the New Year, which 
fell upon a Sunday, was ushered in amid the customary 



96 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE. 



(Vthnuaj 
\ 1888. 



demonstrations; but the usual watch-night service in 
St. Nicholas' Cathedral was, on this occasion, disx>en8ed 
with. The Mayor (Mr. W. D. Stephens) entertained a 
large number of poor children to a free breakfast in the 
Bath Lane Hall. 

— The Rev. Walter Walsh entered on the pastorate of 
the Rye Hill Baptist Church, Newcastle. 

—St. George's Parochial Hall, Osborne Road, New- 
castle, was opened by the Bishop of Newcastle. 

— In connection with the jubilee of Pope Leo XIIL, 
special services were held in all the Catholic churches of 
the diocese of Hexham and Newcestle. 

2. — ^The first cargo of petroleum oil in bulk which has 
been brought to the Tyne arrived at South Shields by 
the 8.S. Petrolia. 

—Thomas Spence, aged 22 years, son of Mr. R. Spence, 
greengrocer, was drowned by falling from the back of a 
horse which he had taken into the sea to wash at Seaham 
Harbour. On the same day, a man was drowned by 
falling into the river Wear from the Lambcon Drops at 
Sunderland. 

— ^A largely attended united temperance demonstration 
was held in the Town Hall, Newcastle, under the auspices 
of the Newcastle Temperance Society, Central Hall Blue 
Ribbon Army, United Kingdom Alliance, and the New- 
castle Temperance Federation, the chair being occupied 
by the Mayor of Newcastle, Mr. W. D. Stephens. 

—The Rev. W. C. Eraser, of Selkirk, entered upon 
duty as new minister of the Caledonian Church, Argyle 
Street, Newcastle. 

3. — ^A letter was received from Lord Camperdown, en- 
closing £25 as his subscription to the Crawford memorial. 
His lordship also announced his desire to present to the 
town of Simderland the silver medal commemorative of 
the heroic deed at the battle of Camperdown, which 
was presented by his fellow-townsmen to Jack Crawford 
in March, 1798, but which since 1860 had been in posses- 
sion of Lord Duncan's descendants among other memo- 
rials of the memorable action. The full story of Jack 
Crawford and of the gallant exploit which has rendered 
him famous was told in the first number of the Monthly 
Chronicle (March, 1887, page 8), and in that sketch the 
suggestion of a monument to his memory at Sunderland 
bad its origin. 

— A Local Government Board Inquiry was held at 
Gosforth in reference to a proposed Provisional Order to 
include in the South Gosforth Local Government D^trict 
all that part of the township of South Gosforth which is 
at present included in the Rural Sanitary District of the 
Castle Ward Union. 

— ^Mr. W. E. Knollys, one of the inspectors of the 
Local Crovemment Board, opened an inquiry in the 
Guardians' Board Room, Pilgrim Street, Newcastle, into 
certain matters connected with, and arising out of, the 
recently reported outbreak of scarlet fever in the Work- 
house. The hearing of evidence was completed on the 
5th, and the inquiry was formally closed on the 7th inst. 

♦. — ^At a meeting of the Hedworth, Monkton, and 
Jarrow School Board, Mr. J. R. Carr-Ellison announced, 
by letter, his intention to give in advance £10 for three 
years (£30) for establishing a scholarship to be called the 
"Carr-Ellison Scholarship." 



6.— About 900 persons, chiefly young people, were shown 
over the Natural History Museum at Barras Bridge, 
Newcastle, Alderman Barkas, F.G.S., acting as guide to 
the party. 

7.— The final official lists of the collections on behalf of 
the Newcastle Hospital Fund for 1887 were issued, the 
total sum realised being £3,516 15s. 7d. 

8.— The steamer Shoreham, of Newcastle and London, 
was run into by another vessel off the Kentish Knock, 
and seven of the crew were drowned. 



ffimeml ©cnirrencejBJ. 



DECEMBER, 1887. 

13. — Moscow University closed in consequence of riots 
by the students. 

15. — Sentence of three months' imprisonment passed on 
the director of the Paris Opera Comique, where a fire 
occurred causing the deaths of 300 persons. He was also 
ordered to pay compensation to the extent of £2,300. 

16. — Panic on the Vienna Bourse in consequence of war 
rumours. 

20.— The Rev. A. H. Mackonochie was found dead in 
Scotland. 

— An immense raft of logs was being towed bom 
Canada to New York, when it went to pieces in a gale. 
The dimensions were as follows: — Length, 560 feet; 
breadth, 65 feet ; depth, 38 feet. Number of logs, 27,000. 

— Advices received at Bombay from Afghanistan an- 
nounced that the Boundary Commission had settled the 
new line of frontier between Russia and Afghanistan ap 
the river Murghab. 

27. — Mr. Gladstone was snowballed by a crowd at 
Dover, while on his way to the Continent. 

29.— The Grand Theatre, High Street, Islington, Lon- 
don, was burnt to the ground. No lives were lost. 

3L — A powder magazine exploded at Amoy, ChinA. 
Fifty soldiers and one hundred civilians were blown to 
atoms. 



JANUARY, 1888. 

1. — A solemn public mass in commemoration of the 
fiftieth anniversary of Pope Leo was held at Rome. 

4. — Severe gale on the Irish coast, causing numerous 
shipwrecks and much loss of life. 

6. — Parliamentary election at Winchester, owing to the 
death of Colonel Tottenham. Result : Moss (C), 1,364 ; 
Vanderbyl (L.), 849. At the last election the figures 
were as follows :— Tottenham (C), 1,119 ; Groves (H.R.) 
783. 

7. — ^Reports of a terrible disaster in China in November 
were received about this time. The river Hwang Ho 
burst its banks about 300 miles from the coast, entirely 
deserting its former bed. It poured its floods upon a. 
thickly populated plain, and forced an entirely new road 
to the sea. Fifteen hundred villages were submeiged, 
and millions of lives were said to have been lost. 

9. — Serious outbreak amongst the crofters of Lewis, 
Scotland. A raid was made upon a sheep farm for the 
purpose of clearing the entire stock off it. The raiders 
came into conflict with a military force stationed on the 
island, and several men on both sides were injured 



Printed by Waltkb Scott, Felling-on-Tyne. 












Uhc /Iftontblis Cbronicle 



OF 



NORTH-COUNTRY»LORE^AND»LEGEND 



Vol. II.— No. 13. 



MARCH, 1888. 



Price 6d. 



Cralules^ij €ve\n. 



IncewaDt, day and ni^ht^ each X;rater roan 
Like the volcano on Sicilian shores ; 
Their fiery wombe each molten mass combine, 
Thence, lava-like, the boiling torrents shine; 
Down the trenched sand the liquid metal holds. 
Shoots showers of stars and fills the hollow moulds. 

[|UCH is the description that an old local 
historian applies to an institution which was 
famous and important once, but has fallen 
into desuetude now, and lives only as a 
cherished but ever-fading retrospect in the traditions of a 
village. About the beginning of the present century 
foondries and smelting furnaces would not be the matter- 
of-course things they seem at present, and one can quite 
sympathise with the poet whose imagination bodied 
forth, with so much prodigality of metaphor, the above- 




quoted lines. The works deemed worthy of such dis- 
tinguished mention were those of Messrs. Crowley, 
Millington, and Co., at Winlaton and Swalwell, then 
one of the most important industries of the district, and 
perhaps the most important as a steel and iron manu- 
factory. 

As the foundation of the factory dates about two hun- 
dred years back, local history is reticent respecting the 
details of that event. All we can gather is that its birth 
was attributable to the commercial enterprise of one 
Ambrose Crowley. This fact in itself, however, is a 
most interesting one, inasmuch as Ambrose Crowley was 
one of the most notable figures in the commercial world 
of his time. Commencing life as an anvil-maker at 




98 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE. 



{ 



Maivh 



Dudley, in Staffordshire, he graduallj acquired wealth, 
and in 1680 or 1662 we find him at Sunderland, engaged 
in founding there a factory for the fabrication of 
various kinds of iron utensils. But he did not find the 
banks of the Wear suitable, and about 1690 he transferred 
his "Cyclopean colony," as it was called, to Winlaton. 
It would seem that in the new situation the works 
thrived and were extended, for in 1607 there is found in 
the Postboy (No. 510) the following advertisement 
indicating that the ordinary sources of supply were not 
sufficient to meet the demand for hands at the Winlaton 
establishment : — 

MR. CROWLEY, at The Doublet, in Thames Street, 
London^ Ironmonger, doth hereby give notice, 
that at his Works at Winlaton, near Newcastle-upon- 
Tyne, any good workman that can make the following 
Goods shall have constant Imployment and their Wages 
every week punctually paid (vizA Augers, Bedscrews, 
Box and Sad-Irons, Chains, Edge-Tools, Files. Hammers, 
Hinges, Hows for the Plantations, Locks, especially Ho- 
Locks, Nailes, Patten Rings, and almost all other sorts 
of Smith's Ware. 

Crowley resided in London, and grew rapidly in wealth 
and position ; but whether this was entirely attributable 
to the revenue accruing from the Winlaton factory we 
cannot discover. His importance as a merchant was 
crowned by the distinction of knighthood, which was 
conferred upon him on the 1st of January, 1706, and in 
the following year we read of Sir Ambrose Crowley as 
enjoying the triple honours of Sheriff of London, Alder- 
man of the City, and Member of Parliament for An- 
dover. His admission to the ranks of the titled and 
fashionable class was not unnoticed by the wits of the 
time, who found in his humble extraction a fruitful, 
though to them not very creditable, theme for the exer- 
cise of their powers of travesty. It is believed that Sir 
Ambrose is immortalised under the name of Sir John 
Anvil in No. 299 of the "SpecUtor,"a contribution at- 
tributed to Addison.* If this be so, and there were really 
any foundation of truth for the satirical portrait drawn 
by the writer, one might see a justification for the 
raillery of the heauz e$priit ; but it is difficult to reconcile 
the administrative genius which conceived the constitu- 
tion of the Winlation community and the commercial 
eminence that culminated in knighthood, with the social 
and domestic inanity ridiculed by the "SpecUtor." 
With reference to Sir Ambrose, it is only necessary to 
add that he died in 1713, leaving estotes and £200,000, 
besides his factory. 

Sir Ambrose died, but his works at Winlaton went on 
and were the means of ipi^Vi^g his nama a household 
word in the northern district for nearly aaother century 
and a half. From "a few deserted cottages" they in 
the course of time transformed Winlaton into a 

* Sir John Anvil **began the world with a smsll parcel of rusty 
iron ; and being gifted in the aequisition of wealth, was knighted 
in his 3bth jear. and being Intent on making a famfly (with a dash 
6t good blood in their veini) married a woman of fashion, who 
changed his name to Bnville, and confined her husband to the 
cookloCt when she had visitors of quality." 



populous and well-to-do trading centre, rivalling 
in importance and excelling in substance many 
of the large towns. In comfort, education, and intel- 
ligence the workmen were far ahead of the labouring 
population of the time. Under the sjrstem instituted 
by Sir Ambrose Crowley they could scarcely have been 
otherwise. They wero governed by a code of lawa 
which established a coomaunity of interests between 
master and men, and bound the whole of the employees 
together by a kind of family tie. While every person 
was subjected to defined and strictly enforced regula- 
tioDF, individual freedom remained unrestricted, and a 
spirit of bold independence was fostered amongst the 
men which distinguished them singly and collectively 
from all others. One of the notable peculiarities of 
the factory was the registration of the workpeople. 
Every man employed upon the place had not only bis 
name entered upon the register, but also his age, 
religion, height, complexion, place of birth, and last 
place of residence. But this was not alL Whether 
or not he indulged in the use of what is by very much 
courtesy called the "fragrant weed'' was also noted 
down, but whether any pains and penalties were attach- 
able to smoking we are unable to state. Neither was 
personal history nec^lected in this curious chronicle. 
Many strange incidents are recorded opposite the names 
of the employees, women as well as men, for work was 
found for females on the premises. One case may be 
quoted showing that modem accomplishments were 
not entirely unknown even in the early part of last 
century. Anne Partridge, of Dudley, we are told» 
came and sojourned three weeks, during which time 
**8he got into all the debt she could, then ran away — 
an arrant rogue." This deeply-interesting volume, we 
regret to say, along with other valuable business 
documents of the firm, was cast into a furnace and 
destroyed in 1862 at the command of the then pro- 
prietor, when he resolved to obliterate the principles 
which up to his time had ruled the prices and contracts^ 
in order that he might dictate the terms of labour 
according to his own interests and wilL As we 
have already indicated, the factoiy was governed 
by an elaborate code of laws, which exerted a 
power beyond the mere details of business, and 
superseded the law of the country in regard to 
matters which are now dealt with in County Courts 
and at Petty Sessions. The conduct of the busi- 
ness of the firm was confided to what was called the 
** Committee of Survey." This body consisted of the 
head agent and the two surveyors, and their duties were 
to read all letters and issue directions respecting the 
work to be done in the different departments. This 
committee conducted the correspondence of the firm, and 
all letters wero headed '* Committee of Survey,*' followed 
l^ the number of the week. Dates on correspondence 
were regulated not according to our present system based 



Mareb 
188& 



} 



NORTH'COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND. 



99 



upon the Gregorian calendar, but by the number of weeks 
which had elapsed since the factory was established. 
Thus, the last bundle of letters sent out by the firm under 
its primitive constitution were dated "Week 9,234." 
Next to the "Committee of Survey" stood "The 
Council,'' which was composed of the officials already 
named, with the addition of the cashier, the ware-keeper, 
and the iron-keeper. They met every Thursday at ten 
o'clock, and their duties were to deal with complaints 
about the work and questions or disputes connected with 
wages. " Crowley's Court" was the chief tribunal of the 
factory. It bore the character of both a criminal and 
dvil authority, and dealt with the delinquencies, dis- 
putes, and debts of the workmen. Infractions of the 
factory laws and breaches of social order were here 
punished, quarrels were adjusted, and civil claims heard 
and adjudicated upon. If a tradesman wished to recover 
a debt due from any of the men, he brought the matter 
before "Crowley's Court," and if he established his 
claim, an order was made for a fixed sum to be 
deducted periodically from the man's wages towards 
the liquidation of the debt. In like manner 
bastardy claims were settled. Legal rights were thus 
cheaply and promptly secured, and circumlocutory and 
extortionate processes of the regular law courts were 
avoided. With rare exceptions, the orders made and 
the penalties inflicted by the court were thoroughly 
effective. The men had either to submit to them or 
sacrifice the constant and well-paid employment afforded 
at the factory ; and, in those times of restricted trade, 
the first alternative was the more acceptable of the two. 

The social arrangements of the factory were con- 
ceived in the same benevolent and intelligent spirit. 
Ample inrovision was made for the sustentation'of those 
who were sick or otherwise incapacitated for work. A 
rate of 9d. in the pound earned by each employee was 
levied, and the product of this tax served to feed, 
house, and clothe the aged or permanently disabled, 
and to provide an allowance for such as were thrown 
off work by illness. The pensioners were known as 
"Crowley's Poor," and they wore a badge on the left 
arm on which the words "Crowley's Poor" were 
moulded. About the beginning of the present century, 
however, during a time of intense depression in 
trade, the workmen were reduced to an impoverished 
condition, and, being unable, in many cases, tu provide 
for their own individual wants, they were compelled to 
desert the system under which "Crowley's Poor" were 
maintained. The workhouse then became the only 
resort of the infirm, until, in 1826, a Blacksmiths' 
Friendly Society was formed, and it supplied the place 
of the ancient institution. It is almost superfluous to 
remark that the education of the young was not 
neglected. A schoolroom, which served also for the pur- 
poMs of a church, was part of the scheme of the foimder 
of the factory. The minister's stipend was provided out 



of the wages of the workpeople, an amount being de- 
ducted from the earnings of each person at the rate of 
2^. in the pound. Originally the firm gave £10 
annually towards this object, but afterwards an arrange- 
ment was made by which £20 remained for the support of 
the school after the clerg3rman's salary had been paid. 
It is worthy of note that the first chaplain of the factory 
was the Rev. Edward Lodge, who became afterwards 
headmaster of the Newcastle Grammar School. A 
gallery in Ryton Church was also reserved for "Crowley's 
Crew " exclusively. In 1819, the workmen established, at 
Winlaton, a library containing 3,000 volumes. 

Freemasonry in the North probably owes a great deal 
to "Crowley's Crew." It is a matter of conjecture 
whether Sir Ambrose introduced it or whether it was 
a pre-existing institution ; but, at any rate, it became 
active after the establishment of the works. Here 
the Lodge of Industry (No. 48), certainly the most 
ancient in the North, and probably the oldest in 
the provinces, was founded. Its records attest its 
vigorous condition at the beginning of last century, 
and show that it was in connection with working 
Masonry, and, moreover, that it possessed from the 
earliest times many peculiar privileges of the craft. 
Rather more than a century ago one of the ancestors of 
the late Mr. Joseph Laycock, of Low Gosforth Hall, was 
master of the lodge, and since 1720 the succession of 
masters has continued to the present day. The Lodge 
of Industry has been removed from Swalwell to Gates- 
head. 

Thus far we have been occupied with the pretty 
portion of the picture. The laws by which the factory 
was governed, the institutions which grew up under 
their auspices and the intelligent spirit in which laws 
were enforced and the institutions conducted, were, no 
doubt, admirable ; yet the actual character of the men 
was scarcely in consonance with the theoretical excel- 
lence of their government. "Crowley's Crew," we are 
told, "were the terror of the country." Be it under- 
stood, however, they were not a party of predatory 
picaroons. Although their ideas about the rights of 
property were very much in advance of the time, they 
were not accustomed to put them into unjust operation. 
But the men were a compact and independent body. 
Endowed, too, according to the requirements of their 
craft, with the highest average of physical capacity, 
and holding ideas upon political and social rights 
which many even in our own day would call re- 
volutionary, they had nothing to fear from other 
bodies of workmen, and were an object of dread 
to the surrounding squirearchy. There were no 
rural police in those days, and by Crowley's Crew the 
Game Laws and other legal restrictions whose just- 
ness was debatable, were over-ridden with impunity, 
although not without rough encounters occasionally. 
There are many instances on record where the sturdy 



100 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE, 



fUMtch 



Winlaton blacksmithB consulted oonvenienoe to the detri- , 
ment of equity. For instance, when provisions became 
very dear, they were wont to take possession of the 
market carts as they passed through the vilhige on the 
way to Newcastle, and there and then dispose of the 
goods at what they considered reasonable prices. They 
were honourable enough to return the unlucky proprietor 
the proceeds of the sale, and he, accepting it with the 
best grace possible, would probably return home, men- 
tally resolving to choose a safer, even if a more cir- 
cuitous, route when next he went to town. An incident 
of a kindred character, but showing more emphatically 
the reckless boldness of Crowley*s Crew occurred about 
the close of last century. Butcher meat, and, indeed, 
meat of every kind, had risen to a very high price. There 
was not, apparently, a corresponding increase in wages, 
and the Winlaton people began to feel the pinch of want. 
Accordingly, a meeting was convened, and, acting upon 
resolutions there passed, a formidable body of men 
marched in martial array to Newcastle. Proceeding 
straight to the market on the Sandhill, they took sum- 
mary possession of the stalls and market carts, and 
with a haughty disregard of the cost of production, 
import duties, and retailers' profits, assimied the 
. functions of salesmen. The rightful owners of the 
goods were astounded and terrified by the audacity of 
the act. The whole town was in a turmoil. What was 
to be done ? To combine and attempt to recapture their 
property was a course which the traders dare not 
adopt unless they were inclined to risk broken bones 
along with the loss of property. Besides, the sudden 
reduction of prices had, as a matter of course, brought 
the blacksmiths a host of grateful allies. Only one 
resource was left to the upholders of the law. The 
military would have to be called out. The military 
were called out, and they came. People held their 
breath in awe, dreading a fearful and sanguinary con- 
flict. But the blacksmiths were no less deficient in 
diplomacy than in daring. Their leader mounted an 
extemporised platform and addressed the military. 
Unfortunately history contains no report of that speech. 
Its effect, however, was electria From dangerous 
opponents it changed the soldiers to cordial confede- 
rates, and they who had come to punish the marauders 
stayed to share in the pillage. Instead of restoring 
the illegally-seized goods to the rightful owners, they 
became ready purchasers of the cheapened provisions. 
The common amusements of the men were in con- 
formity with the rugged and reckless spirit 
indicated above. Code - fighting and bull - baiting 
were favourite recreations, and these were varied 
by boxing encounters on Barlow FelL In the latter 
accomplishment the Winlaton men were eminent, 
and they have reckoned among their body some of the 
pluckiest and cleverest pugilists that ever '* tapped the 
claret" Their love of sport was very keen, but they did 



not combine with it the knavery and malice which apper- 
tains too often to that propensity. 

Having learned so much of the character of these men* 
the reader will readily apprehend that they played a coa- 
spicuous part in periods of political excitement. Thej 
were the leaders both of thought and action in every 
agitation for political rights. Pronounced and oatspoken 
democrats, they were a perpetual sooroe of alarm to the 
powerful Toryism of the time, and they took care to 
aggravate this feeling by exerting the utmost energy to 
arouse and foment the wrath of the people against the 
governing classes. In the agitation for annual Parlia- 
ments and universal suffrage which shook the country 
after the downfall of Napoleon and the restoration of 
European peace, they played a prominent part in local 
demonstrations. The first great meeting in this locality 
was held in the Parade Ground, Percy Street, on the 11th 
of October, 1819. It was computed that there were 
80,000 persons present on that occasion, and con- 
spicuous amongst them all were Crowley's Crew. 
They had mustered in great force, and they wore 
white hats lined with green underneath the 
turned up rims — green and white being the old 
Newcastle Radical colours. The meeting voted a series 
of resolutions in which reform was recommended, and 
**the outrage at Manchester" was denounced, after 
which the people dispersed in the best of order. The 
richer classes, however, were much alarmed by the 
demonstration, and as showing the extent to which the 
Winlaton men contributed in frightening them we may 
quote a letter sent on ^he 17th of October to Viscount 
Sidmouth, the Home Secretary, by the Mayor of New- 
castle. The Mayor wrote : — ** It is impossible to con- 
template the meeting of the 11th inst. without awe, more 
especially if my information is correct, that 700 of them 
were prepared with arms (concealed) to resist the dvil 
power. These men came from a village about three 
miles from this town; and there is strong reason to 
suspect that arms are manufactured there: they are 
chiefly forgemen." The Mayor's information was quite 
correct. Crowley's men — for it was to them he referred 
— ^had taken stem precautions to provide against another 
Peterloa Not only did they make pikes in large 
numbers at Winlaton, but they also manufactured an 
ingenious instrument for the purpose of embarrassing 
cavalry movements. This was a four-pronged instru- 
ment which, however it might be thrown upon the 
groimd, would have one sharp point sticking np, 
and as this would penetrate the feet of horses 
cavalry were rendered almost ineffective. These, 
together with pikes, were supplied to the agitators in 
order that they might be enabled to resist the inter- 
ference to which the authorities were sometimes inclined 
to subject them. During the whole of the Reform agita- 
tion, and also in the Chartist movement, Crowley's men 
were very active, and from their ranks were supplied 



MMXth 



} 



NORTH-COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND. 



101 



•ome of the ablest and boldest of the leaders. At 
election times Crowley's Crew were the deyoted 
champions of the popular candidate, and in the warlike 
scenes which often occurred under the old system of 
election they were held in considerable respect by the 
goyeming classes. The influence of these men must have 
been very strong. Their perfect organization and the 
power which it put into their bands could not fail to 
•extort the admiration of the labouring population which 
surrounded them. 

With the adyance of the present century and the 
growth of trade competition, the prosperity of the old- 
fashioned works at Winlaton and Swalwell began to 
wither. Enjoying almost a monopoly of Gk>yemment 
contracts, along with their widely-spread trade fame, 
they experienced a most successful' career for about 
^ century and a half. During the greater por- 
tion of that time their chief products were 
-the articles enumerated in the advertisement already 
quoted, supplemented by others invented as time 
went on. About the year 1810, they introduced the 
process of steel manufacture discovered by Benjamin 
Himtsman, of Attercliffe* and for many years after 
Cro^ey*s "German Blister*' could not be surpassed, 
large quantities of it being sent even to Sheffield. This 
industry constituted the prop of the concern for a long 
time. As showing the magnitude of the works in the 
zenith of their fame, it may be mentioned that upwards 
of a thousand different articles were made in them. Here 
the whole of ^e hardware outfit of Franklin's and also of 
Host's expedition was manufactured, and the English 



navy was likewise supplied with most of its necessaries 
of a similar kind. Towards the middle of the century, 
however, the prosperity of the firm began to wane. 
Younger firms, more advantageously placed, and 
characterised by all the energy and enterprise of youth, 
were competing successfully against them. The old 
factory was founded to a great extent upon monopolies 
and ancient privileges, and as these one by one were torn 
from beneath it, it sank. Enervated by long repose, it 
could not at once recover spirit and activity enough to 
keep abreast of its young rivals, who were braced 
for every emergency. Therefore, it passed gradually 
out of sight, out of repute, and out of memory. In 
its last struggles it robbed the workmen of their 
privileges in the manner we have adverted to above ; 
but that did not afford it even a temporary halt 
in its descent, and ultimately the concern was wound 
up in 1872. 

The firm in later years was known as that of "Crow- 
ley, Millington, and Co." Sir Ambrose Crowley's son, 
John, succeeded him as proprietor. Upon the death 
of the latter, his widow, Theodosia^ succeeded to the 
ownership, and she took into partnership her London 
agent, Isaiah Millington, whose name was thenceforth 
incorporated with the firm. Mr. Millington survived 
till 1806, when he died at Greenwich at the age of 81 ; 
but Theodosia, with whom the name of Crowley 
became extinct, died in 1782, devising the bulk of her 
property to the Earl of Ashbumham, her son-in-law, 
and to his son and daughters, her then only surviving 
grandchildren. 




102 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE, 



fMareb 




Cite itffrtitsCfftttTtrfi iSarlatitr 

1*8 |o|)tt j&tokoe. 



SWALWELL HOPPING. 
I HE scenes described in this song are now un- 
known. A few gingerbread and fruit stalls 
form all that remains of the glories, such as 
they were, of Swalwell Hopping; but the 
song itself is worthy of a place in our collection as being 
descriptive of the customs of a century ago. 

John Selkirk, the writer of ** Swalwell Hopping," 
"Bob Cranky's 'Size Sunday," and "Newcastle Fair," 
local songs highly popular in their day, was born in 
Gateshead about the year 1783. His father was a hair- 
dresser in the Close, Newcastle. Of Selkirk's early life 
little is known, excepting that he was for some time a 
clerk in the office of Messrs Straker and Boyd, during 
which period, in all probability, he wrote the songs to 
which his name is attached in John Bell's "Rhymes of 
the Northern Bards," published in 1812. He afterwards 
removed to London, where he carried on business as a 
merchant, in which he appears to have been unsuccessful, 
as he returned to Newcastle about the year 1830 in very 
reduced circumstances. Little more is known about him 
from that date until about May, 1843, when he applied 
to Mr. Andrew Heslop, joiner, of St Anne's Street, 
Newcastle, for leave to lie at night in his work- 
shop amongst the shavings. This poor request was 
granted, and shelter, such as it was, he had there until 
his death ; the neighbours occasionally relieving him 
with food. Mr. David Hamilton Wilson, an official of 
the Poor Law Guardians, kindly sought him out, and 
offered him parish relief. This he respectfully but firmly 
declined ; but about a month after Mr. Wilson's visit, 
Selkirk sent to him for the loan of a sovereign, promising 
repayment out of the proceeds of some property in 
Cannon Street, Gateshead, in which he had an interest. 
The money was immediately sent to him. Thereafter 
until the night of his death little is known of his doings. 
He was left by Mr. Heslop in his shop as usual about 
five o'clock on the evening of November 11th, 1843. 
Sometime afterwards he appears to have gone with a tin 
can to the Tyne for water. This was the last seen of 
him alive. Shortly before eight o'clock he was found in 
the river drowned. At the inquest which was held his 
brother James attended and identified the body, but 
could erivo lio information as to the circumstaaocs of his 
death, there having apparently been little intercourse 
between them. Selkirk at the time of his death was in 
his 60th year. His remains were interred in the Ballast 
Hills Burial Ground. 



The tune to which this ballad is sung is the Irish air 
of "Paddy's Wedding," a well known and favourite jig* 
tune. 



m 



s==t 



M * 



Lsds ! myek a ring, an' hear huz sing The 



i 



fc= 



-»=? 



sport we had at 



Swal - well, O ; Wor 



fi^-^-^y 



rjzj^ 



->— ^- 



- fr - ft- 



* ■ 



i 



mer -ry play o* tlie Hop -pin* day. Ho' way, 
li mm I _ -=^ N- 



^ 



=P 



mar - rows, an' aw'll 



tell ye, O. The 



^^ 



-\— 



sun shines warm on 



Whick • ham Bank, Lef i 



^^^ 



i 



all lie doon at Dol - ly's, O, An' 



W=4-^ 



hear "boot mon -ny a fun • ny prank, Play'd 




di-dee, O. 



Fal the dal la, Fal the dal la. 



Fal the dal the 



di . dee. 



There was Sam, O zoons, 
Wiv his pantaloons. 
An' gravat up ower his gobby, O ; 
An' Wmie, thou 
Wi' the jacket blue 
Thou was the varry Bobby, O. 
There was knack-knee'd Mat, wiv's purple suit, 

An' hopper hipp'd Dick, a' yellow, O ; 
Greet Tom was there, wi' Hepple's awd coat. 
An' buck-shin Bob frae Stella, O. 



•\ 



Mai^l 



NORTH-COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND. 



103 



When we wor drest 
It was coofeet 
We Bhem'd the cheps f rae Newcasael, ; 
So away we set, 
To wor toon Kyet, 
To jeer them a' as tney pass'd us, O ; 
We shooted some and some dnng doon, 

Lobstroplos fellows we kicked them, O ; 
Some cuUs went hvem^some crush 'd to toon, 
Some gat aboot by Whickham, O. 

The spree cam' on — 
The luBkt was won 
By carrot<pow*d Jenny's Jackey, ; 
What a feyce, begok ! 
Had muckle-mouth'd Jock, 
When he twined his jaws for the baooy, O. 
The kilted lasses fell tid pell mell 

Wi' Tally-i-o the Grinder, O : 
The smock was gi'en to slavering[ Nell— 
Ye'd dropped nad ye been behind her, 0. 

Wor dance beffan 
Wi' buck-tyuth'd Nan, 
An' Geordy, thou'd Jen Ck)llin, O ; 
While the merry black, 
Wi' monny a crack. 
Set the tamboureen a-rolling, O 
Like wor fonro hammer we bet sae true 
An' shuk Raw's hoose se soundly, O ; 
Tuff canna cum up wi' Crowley's crew. 
Nor thump the tune se roundly, O. 

Then Gvetshead Jack 
Wiv's bloody back 
Wad dance wi' gonrleeyed Mally, O ; 
But up cam Nick 
And g^v him a kick 
An' a canny bit kind o' fally, O. 
That day a' fiawks's blacks may rue, 

They got monny a varry sair danker, 0« 
Can they de owse wi' Crowley's crew 
Frey a needle tiv an anchor, O ? 

What's that to say 
To the bonny f rav 
We had wi' skipper Kobin, ; 
The keel bullies a' 
Byeth greet an' sma' 
Myed a beggarly tide o' the hoppin', O. 
Gleed Will cried ** Ma-a !"♦ up lap aad Frank 

An' Robin that married his dowter, O ; 
We hammer'd their ribs like an anchor shank, 
They fand it six weeks ef ter, O. 

Baldpyet Joan Carr 
Wad hey a bit spar 
To help his marrows away wid, O ; 
But, poor aad fellow, 
He'd getten ower mellow. 
So we doon'a b^reth him an' Davy, O. 
Then Petticoat Robin jump'd up agyen, 

Wiv's eully to marcykree huz, O ; 
But Winiaton Dan laid him flat wiv a styen, 
Hurrah ! for Crowley's crew, boys, O. 

Their hash was sattled. 
So off they rattled. 
An' we jigged it up se hearty, O ; 
Wi monny a shiver, 
An' lowp se diver. 
Can Newcastle turn out sic a party, O ? 
When quite dyun ower, the fiddlers went. 

We staggered ahint, se murry, O ; 
An' throa wor toon, till fairly spent, 
Roued "Crowley's crew an' glory, 0.'* 



* The cry of ** Ma-a" to a keelman gave great offence, from its 
aSiision to a predatory transaction about the year 1710, when ood- 
sMerable loseee were sustained by the farmers on the banks of the 
Tyne from the mysterious disappearance of a large number of 
lambs that were accidentally traced to the keelmen. (See 
jr<mUUy CkrvnidU, toL L. page 47a) 




jjIDDLESBROUGH, the progress of which has 
been most extraordinary, was begun half a 
century ago. Houses existed on the site at a 
much earlier date, and in 1801 the population numbered 
twenty-five souls ; but as a place of any importance it 
owes its origin to the invention of the locomotive. 
George Stephenson's steam-engine made it possible to 
reach Middlesbrough from the South Durham coal-field 
at a comparatively small cost, and so Middlesbrough 
became a port for the shipment of coals. It was 
Mr. Joseph Pease, the first Quaker member of 
Parliament, son of Mr. Edward Pease, the first pro- 
moter of railways, who conceived the idea of making 
marshy, agricultural Middlesbrough a coal-shipping port. 
Mr. Pease was a colliery owner, and he desired to take 
his coals to Middlesbrough, owing to the inadequate 
facilities for exporting at Stockton, where ihe Tees was 
8o shallow that it was only with difficulty that small ships 
oould get to it. The first public railway in the 
world was opened on September 27, 1825, and on May 
23, 1828, Parliamentary sanction was obtained to a bill 
for the construction of a line between Stockton and Mid- 
dlesbrough, induding a bridge across the Tees at the 
former town. The length of the line, which was opened 
in 1830, was about four miles. In 1829, Joseph Pease, T. 
Richardson (of Overend, Gumey, and Co.'s Bank), H. 
Birkbeck, S. Martin, Edward Pease, jun., and F. Gibson, 
all members of the Sodety of Friends, purchased 500 
acres of land at Middlesbrough, from William Chilton, 
a well-to-do farmer, the price paid being less than £1 
an acre. The gentlemen acquiring the land had no 
use for 80 large a quantity ; they merely required 
a strip of the riverside for shipping purposes; 
but Chilton would only part with the whole 
of the estate. Consequently, the six Quakers, who 
styled themselves the Middlesbrough Owners, obtained 
possession of land which, in a few years, was destined to 
become the site of a busy town. When Messrs. Pease 
and Partners purchased Middlesbrough, the population 
consisted of 25 persons. But the construction of the 
railway and the erection of coal-shipping staiths brought 
a number of people to the place. Huts were quickly run 
up for the shdter of navvies and the men employed at the 
wharf or staiths, and in 1831 the number of souls at 
Middlesbrough reached 131. The first ship loaded 
was the Sunnyside, and she took in her cargo 
in December, 1830. This was the commencement 
of commercial life in Middlesbrough. The little 
sketch of Middlesbrough as it appeared in 1832, 
copied from a picture of the period, shows what may be 
called rather a settlement than a town. Those who are 
familiar with the place bdieve that the picture represents 
the site of Stockton Street, North Street, and West 



104 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE. 



Str«wt. It was not till some yean after 1832 that the iron 
trade was established in Middlesbroagh ; it was not till 
1850 that the first ironstone was worked in Clevehmd, 
with the exception of workings near Whitby ; and it was 
not till 1858 that the first iron ship was built at Mid- 
dlesbrough. A new dock of great magnitude was com- 
pleted in 1842, and there are several staiths, communi- 
cating with a platform and the railway, by which yessel* 



West and Middle Marches. Under the protection 
of their castles, the people of this neighbourhood so 
strongly resisted the Act of Parliament made in 
Henry Vll.*s time to incorporate them with the 
county of Northumberland, that in 1550 it was reported 
to Government that the sheriffs of the county had often 
to ride to attack offenders at Thirlwall, Blenkinaopp^ 
and other places on the South Tyne; "for both thaj 




MIDDLESBBOUOH IN 1832. 



can be loaded and unloaded index>endent of the fluctua- 
tions of the tide. There are also extensive shipbuilding 
yards and factories, and the whole place may be re- 
garded as one of the marvels of industrial enterprise in 
the North. 



Wi\iiXt Hairs erf BUttSiinsi0jpjp. 



jHE hoary fragments of the old castle of 
Blenklnsopp— the little blind man's dene — 
stand on a knoll on the south side of the 
River Tippalt, about half-way between 
Haltwhistle and Greenhead, in the midst of a country 
naturally cold and naked, though its immediate surround- 
ings are not devoid of sylvan beauty. 

It was the seat of the ancient family of Blenkinsopps, 
and is supposed to have been built in 1339, when 
Thomas de Blenkinsopp had a license to fortify his 
mansion on the Borders of Scotland. It occurs as the 
residence of John de Blenkinsope in the list of Border 
castles about the year 1416 ; and in 1488 its proprietor of 
the same name, and his son Gerard, committed the 
custody of it to Henry Percy, Earl of Northum- 
berland, who at that time was Warden of the 




and the people of North Tindale always claimed and 
used their old liberties, and were, therefore, more 
obedient to the keeper of Tindale, or the Lord Warden, 
than to the sheriffs of Northumberland.'' In 1542, the 
castle is described as a tower of the inheritance of John 
Blenkinsope, damaged in the roof and not in good 
repair. History is thereafter silent as to the building 
until 1727, in which year it came into the possession of 
the Coulsons of Jesmond by the marriage of William 
Goulson with Jane Blenkinsopp, the heiress to the 
estate. In 1785, the names of the two families were 
blended, and John Blenkinsopp Goulson left the estates 
to his nephew, Golonel John Blenkinsopp Goulson, who 
built for his residence Blenkinsopp Hall, adjoining. 
Golonel Goulson was called the *' heather chieftain,** 
from having ridden to Morpeth at the head of the voters 
of South TynedsJe, during the fiercely-contested election 
of 1826, with a sprig of heather in his hat He died 
in 1863, and was succeeded by his son, Gaptain John 
Blenkinsopp Goulson, who married the eldest daughter 
of the seventh Lord Bjrron, representative of the cele- 
brated poet. Gaptain Goulson died in 1868; but the 
name and fame of the family are still worthily upheld 
by Golonel William Lisle Blenkinsopp Goulson, now of 
Jesmond Manor House, the old rebidence of his ances- 
tors. Our view of the castle, with the modem residence 
attached to it, is reproduced from a photograph.. taken 



188a / 



NORTH'COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND, 



106 



by Mr. J. P. Gibson, the well-known landscape photo- 
grapher of Hexham. 

Like almost all the old Northumbrian castles and 
peels, Blenkinsopp has the reputation of being haunted. 
A gloomy vault under the castle is said to liave buried 
in it a large chest of gold, hidden in the troublous 
times : some say by a lady whose spirit cannot rest 
so long as it is there, and who used formerly to appear 
— though not, that we have heard, for the last four or 
£ye decades — clothed in white from head to foot, and 
so was known as "The White Lady.*' 

About the beginning of this century, several of the 
least ruinous apartments in the castle were still occupied 
by a hind on the estate and some cotters. Indeed, 
two or three of them continued to be so down to the 
year 1820 or thereabouts. The visits of the White 
Lady seem to have been unfrequent latterly, and for 
eome considerable time they had ceased. One night, 
however, shortly after retiring to rest, the hind and 
his wife (so the story goes) were alarmed on hearing 
loud and reiterated screams coming from an adjoining 
Toom, in which one of the children, a boy of about eight 



years of age, had been laid to sleep. On hastily rushing 
in to see what was the matter, they found the boy 
sitting trembling on his pillow, terror-struck and bathed 
in perspiration. " The White Lady I the White Lady ! *' 
he screamed, as soon as he saw them. *' What lady ? " 
cried the astonished parents, looking round the room; 
"there is no lady here." "She is gone,** replied the 
boy, "and she looked so angry at me because I would 
not go with her. She was a fine lady, and she sat 
down on my bedside and wrung her hands and cried 
sore. Then she kissed me and asked me to go with 
her, and she would make me a rich man, as she had 
buried a large box of gold, many handred years since, 
down in the vault; and she would give it to me, as 
she could not rest so long as it was there. When I 
told her I, durst not go, she said she would carry me, 
and she was lifting me up when I cried out and 
frightened her away." The hind and his wife, both 
very sensible people, concluded that the child had been 
dreaming, and at length succeeded in quieting him and 
getting him to sleep. But for three successive nights 
they were disturbed in the same manner, the boy 




106 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE. 



/Marab 

\ laaa. 



repeating the same story with little Tariation, so ttiat 
they were forced to let him sleep in the same apart- 
ment with themselves, when the apparition no longer 
nsited him. The effect upon the boy's mind, how- 
ever, was such that nothing erer afterwards would 
induce him to enter into any part of the old castle 
alone, even in daylight. 

The legend of the White Lady is not one of those 
that unsophisticated country people wilUngly let die ; 
and the belief that treasure lies hidden under the grim 
old ruin, waiting to be disinterred, is probably still 
entertained by not a few. Indeed, there is hardly a 
place of the kind, either in this country or any other, 
regarding which some such impression does not exist 
(See Layard on the subject.) 

About fifty years since, we are told, a strange lady 
arrived at the villaere of Greenhead, and took up her 
quarters at the inn there. She told the landlady, in 
confidence, that she had had a wonderful dream, to 
the effect that a large chest of gold lay buried in the 
vault of Blenkinsopp Castle, and that she was to be the 
person to find it. She stayed several weeks, awaiting the 
return of the owner of the property to ask leave to 
search ; but she either got tired of waiting, or could not 
obtain permission, and so she went away without 
accomplishing her purpose, and the hidden treasure, if 
there be such a thing there, remains for some more 
fortunate person to bring to the light of day. 

Tradition accounts for the alleged hiding of the gold in 
the following way : — One of the castellans in the middle 
ages, named Bryan de Blenkinsopp, familiarly Bryan 
Blenship, was as avaricious as he was bold, daring, and 
lawless. He was once heard to say, when taunted with 
being a fusty old bachelor, that he would never marry 
until he met with a lady possessed of a chest of gold 
heavier than ten of his strongest men could carry into his 
castle; and fate, it seems, had ordained that he would 
keep his word. For, going to the wars abroad, whether 
to the Holy Land to fight against the Saracens, or to 
Hungary to oppose the Turks, we cannot tell, and 
staying away several years, he met with a lady in some 
far country who came up to his expectations, courted 
her, married her, and brought her home, together with 
a chest of gold which it took twelve strong men to 
lift. Bryan Blenship was now the richest man in 
the North of England ; but it soon transpired that his 
riches had not brought him happiness, but the reverse. 
He and his lady quarrelled continually— a fact which 
could not long be concealed ; and one day when the un- 
happy couple had had a more serious difference than 
usual. Sir Bryan was heard to utter threats, in reply to 
his wife's bitter reproaches, which seemed to indicate that 
he meant to get rid of her as soon as he could without 
any more formality or fuss than if they had merely been 



"handfasted,** that is, pledged to each other for a year 
and a day. The lady muttered something in return, 
which could not be distinctly heard by the servants, and 
so the affair, for the nonce, seemed to end. But a very 
short time afterwards — possibly the next night — the in- 
dignant, ill-used lady got the foreign men-servants wha 
had accompanied her to the castle to take up the precious 
chest and bury it deep in some secret place out of her 
miserly husband's reach, where it lies to this day. Ac- 
counts differ as to what followed. Some say Sir Bryan 
disappeared shortly after he discovered his loss; others 
say the lady disappeared first ; but it is affirmed that 
they both disappeared in a mysterious manner, and that 
neither of them was ever afterwards seen. It was, more- 
oyer, sagely hinted that the lady was '* something un- 
canny," in plain terms, an imp of darkness, sent with her 
wealth to ensnare Sir Bryan's greedy souL At any rate 
folks were sure that she was an infidel, for she never went 
to church, and used on Sundays to sing hymns to 
Mahoun, or some other false god, in an unknown tongue 
in her ovm room. 

The late Mr. William Pattison, of Bishopwearmouth, 
who tells the tale somewhat differently in Richardson's 
** Table Book," mentions that a few years before he 
wrote the vaults of the keep of the castle were ordered 
by the occupier of the neighbouring farm to be cleared 
out for the purpose of wintering cattle in. 

On removing the rubbish, a small door-way was dis- 
covered on a level with the bottom of the keep. On 
clearing out the entrance, the workmen were surprised by 
the appearance of a larffe swarm of meat flies, and thie- 
place itself smelt damp and noisome. The news soon 

Spread that the entrance to the " Lady's Vault" had been 
iscovered, and people flocked in great numbers to see it. 
Of the whole number assembled however, but one man 
was found willing to enter. He described the passage as 
narrow and not sufficiently high to admit of a man walk- 
ing upright. He walked in a straightforward direction 
for a few yards, then descended a flight of steps, after 
which he again proceeded in a straightforward course- 
nntil he came to a doorway ; the door itself had fallen to 
pieces, the bolt was rustmg in its fastening, and the 
hinges clung to the poet with palsied firrasp. At this 
juncture the passage took a sudden turn, and a length- 
ened flight of precipitous steps presented themselves. 
Opening his lantern and turning the light, he peered 
down the stairs into the thick darkness, but^ encountering 
thick, noxious vapours, his candle was extinguished, and 
he was obliged to grope his way back to his companions. 
He made another attempt, but never descended the se- 
cond flight of stairs ; and so little curiosity had their em- 
ployer about the matter that he orderea it to be closed 
up, and the contents of the vault remain undiscovered to 
this day. 

When Mr. Pattison saw the place some time after this 
adventure, the hole had been partially opened by some 
boys, who were amusing themselves with tossing stones 
therein, and listening to the hollow echoes as they rolled 
in the depths of the mysterious cavern, which matter-of- 
fact people may reasonably suspect was nothing more nor 
less than the castle draw-welL 



\ 



Marotil 
188& / 



NORTH-COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND, 



107 



iSitxi ff( iHsrit ICtoiyt Cfitre anlf Ctoeeir* 



kD," &0. 



SELECTED THREE-VOL SETS 

IN NEAV BROCADE BINDING. 
6j. per Set, in Shell Case to nttitck 



0. W. HOLMES SERIES- 

Autocrat of the Breakfast- 
Table. 

The Professor at the Break- 
fast-Table. 

The Poet at the Breakfast 
Table. 

LARDOR SERIES- 

Landor*s Imaginary Conver- 
sations. 
Pentameron. 
Pericles and Aspasia. 

THREE EHBU8H ESSAYISTS- 

Essays of Elia. 
Essays of Leigh Hunt. 
Essays of William Hazlitt 



THREE CLASSICAL HORAUSTS 

Meditations of Marcus 

Aurelius. 
Teaching of Epictetus. 
Morals of "Seneca. 

WALDER SERIES- 

Thoreau*s Walden. 
Thoreau's Week. 
Thoreau's Essays. 

FAMOUS LETTERS- 

Letters of Burns. 
Letters of Byron. 
Letters of Shelley. 

LOWELL SERIES- 

My Study Windows. 
The English Poets. 
The Biglow Papers. 



London: Walter Scott, 24 Warwick Lane, Paternoster Row. 



laas was given to nim in tne local school, and as soon as 
he was able to work his parents sent him down the pit 
to increase the family earnings, which at that period were 
none too plentifoL His intelligent looks and inquiring 
ways took the fancy of the master oorver of the colliery, 



er undergoond, he was "brought to 

^Aught the art of making corves— 

B in which, before the days 

I, coals were brought out of 

ilways a " curious *' boy — fond of 

I, and as he rose to manhood a taste 

«w upon him. When the weather 

9 was spent at Prestwick Car, a 

»ar Ponteland, which has long since 

There he fished, and shot water 

id having taught himself the art of 

36 mounted them in cases, which he 

ielf, and soon gathered together an 

ble collection. There also he met 

and received from that eminent 

encouragement in his pursuits. 

1 natural history had the effect of 

?homas Atthoy's ideas of obtaining 

ted to be near some populous centre 

books, and yet be in the country 

lature. Kenton fulfilled both these 

ae arrived when there was no room 

He removed to Wideopen, a ham- 

>th Road, near the upper end of 

IS residing there when a situation 

hester was offered to him, and he 

is collection of birds and curiosities 

rated to the metropolis of cotton, 

f life anew. 

Mr. Atthey returned to the North, 

. short time in Newcastle, went to 

3 opened a grocer's shop. He had 

tural history while in Lancashire, 

Msil remains there, improved the 

)m observation by attentive read- 

ided himself with a microscope, 

stigate deeply and systematically 

onus of vegetable and animal life 

him. Among the many objects 

scrutiny was the vast family of 

s which includes structures rang- 

uiy feet in length to submerged 

eye. Those who notice in ponds 

and ditches a moss-like growth of a brownish colour 

will see nothing very striking or attractive. But 

to Thomas Atthey these muddy stains were full 

of interest. He knew theoi as a group of 

organised beings endowed with curious powers of 



108 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE. 



IHtrdi 



motion, and he set himself the task of searching 
out the mystery of their production and the manner of 
their existence. Prestwick Car, over which he fished and 
shot in his younger days, now afforded him another field 
for his observations, and the varieties of freshwater algss 
to be found there became the object of his study. To the 
diatomaoes and desmidiaoeae, those beautiful forms of 
microscopic plants which have such a charm for the stu> 
dent and the collector, he devoted himself very closely, 
and gathered together specimens of nearly all the species, 
both freshwater and marine, to be found in this neigh- 
bourhood. Eminent co-workers in the boundless fields 
of microscopical research were attracted by these dis- 
coveries of the Cramlington grocer. They • encouraged 
him in his studies, exchanged specimens, and consulted 
him in cases of doubt and difficulty. A form which he 
discovered on Cresswell Sands was made into a new genus, 
and named after himelf Attheya, by his friend, Mr. 
Tuflfen West. 

It was, however, in the fauna of the coal measures that 
Mr. Atthey was destined to win his greatest triumphs. 
He was one day at Newsham Colliery, near Blyth, and 
with his usual acuteness of observation, saw upon the pit 
heap a piece of shale covered with ooprolitic incrustations, 
which he judged to be the remains of fish. He secured the 
specimen, sent it to a friend for analyis, and was gratified 
to find that his conjectures were correct. Thenceforward 
the shale of Newsham pit became the one absorbing 
object of his investigations. It proved to be an 
unrivalled storehouse of fossil remains. To secure speci- 
mens, he sought the co-operation of the owners, the officers, 
and the miners of the colliery. The officials gave direc- 
tions that the shale should be deposited at a particular 
8i>ot where Mr. Atthey could always depend upon finding 
it, and some of the men brought him now and then speci- 
mens from below, which they thought likely to gratify 
hiin. Thus, in a few years, with infinite care and 
patience, he unfolded the life history of fish and amphi- 
bian which the coal measures had concealed, and opened 
out a comparatively new world to the admiration of man- 
kind. 

In the sunset of life, Mr. Atthey removed his business 
from Cramlington to a house on the eastern outskirts of 
his native parish of Gosforth — one of a short row which 
faces the road leading from Gosforth Colliery to Long 
Benton. There, while his family looked after the shop, 
he pursued his paloeontological studies. With increasing 
years his interest in them seemed to grow, rather than to 
diminish. Day by day, and year by year, he devoted 
himself to his labour of love, until he had accumulated 
cabinets full of specimens, and his modest dwelling had 
become an object of interest to great geologists, eminent 
anatomists, and leading men in kindred branches of 
scientific research. At one time he had in his "study,** 
as he called it, as many as three thousand objects 
mounted for the microscope. They were all of his own 



preparing, for very early in life, as has been already 
noted, he taught himself not only how to ob- 
serve and secure, but how to preserve and 
exhibit '*! never saw a specimen 'prepared," he uaed 
to tell his visitors, ** but I sent to London for one, and 
although it was a bad one, I saw how the thing was dome, 
and did it." He "didit^'so well that when some special 
mounting was required for the Museum at Kew Crardens, 
the authorities there could think of no man in the king- 
dom better qualified totmdertake the work than Thomas 
Atthey, and he performed it to their entire satisfaction. 
The Linnean Society honoured him and honoured them- 
selves by enrolling his name in the list of their associates. 

Devoted to his pursuits, and proud of the collections 
which he had made, Mr. Atthey could seldom be per- 
suaded to part with his treasures. He would exchange, 
but never cared to sell, and he went on accumulating until 
his little room would scarcely hold his fossil trophies. 
Such a policy may appear selfish, but it is sound. It is 
to his propensity for keeping his treasures that the North 
of England is indebted for their preservation. In the 
Natural History Museum of Newcastle, by the liberality 
of Lady Armstrong, the marvellous collections of this 
self-taught naturalist, suitably arranged and classified, 
find an appropriate home. 

If Mr. Atthey had been as ready with pen and pencil as 
he was in picking the skeleton of a fish from its coaly 
environments, the world would have known more about 
him. But like Dick of Thurso, Edwards of Banff, and 
scores of other workers in the by-paths of science, he 
was of a retiring disposition, and had no literary aspira- 
tions. Fortunately he was favoured with the advice of 
competent friends, who assisted him to make his re- 
searches and discoveries known through the medium of 
the Natural History Society of Newcastle. Among them 
were the brothers Albany and John Hancock, Dr. 
Embleton, Mr. J. W. Eirkby, and Mr. Richard Howse. 
The papers which he contributed to the transactions of 
that society were mostly written in conjunction with Mr. 
Albany Hancock, to whose pencil also is due the beauti- 
ful plates which illustrate them. After the death of 
Mr. Hancock, the illustrations are from the pencil of Mr. 
Wm. Dinning. 

After a protracted illness, brought on by his self-im- 
posed labours, Mr. Atthey died at his house, near 
Gosforth Colliery, on Wednesday, the 14th of April, 1880, 
and a few days later was buried in Gosforth Churchyard. 
Within view pf his modest grave are monuments of de- 
parted worthies, and spike-topped vaults that hold the 
historic dead. Many of those who are thus honoured 
were good men and true, and it is well that their names 
should be kept in remembrance. Yet it may be ques- 
tioned whether any of them were able to say, with the 
same confidence as Thomas Atthey said : ** I have seen 
scarcely any life more pleasant than my own, and no 
pursuits so gratifying, so ennobling.'* 



Mareh\ 
18881 / 



NORTH-COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND. 



10^ 



MU8I0AL OOMFOBIB. 

Down to the end of last oentory the hiBtory of mnsicml 
oompoeition in Newcastle centred around the nameaof 
Charles Avison and his popU William Shield. They 
were the only Tyneside musicians who had written 
standard music— the only local composers whose work 
was known beyond the limits of the Northern Oounties. 
Shield was in some sense "native, and to the manner 
bom," for he was the son of a singing master at Swal- 
welL Avison could not daim a local origin, for it is said 
that he first saw the light in the western part of the 
county of Cumberland. But the days of his manhood 
were spent and the fame of his genius was won in New- 
castle. While Shield displayed his gifts in Scarborough, 
in London, and other places, Avison remained in the 
town of his adoption, and, saving the accident of birth, 
was essentially a Newcastle man. 

Charles Avison was bom, as we learn from his tomb- 
stone, in 1710. About his parentage, bpyhood, and youth 
history is mute. It is believed that he studied the theory 
and practice of music in Italy, and it is known that after 
his return he became a pupil of Geminiani, who had 
seUled in England about the year 17U. Wheresover he 
may have received instmction, he was, at an early age, 
an accomplished musician. In 1736 an org^anist was 
wanted for St. John's Church, Newcastle, and on the I2th 
of July in that year he was elected to the office. He was 
only twenty-six years of age ; but his mastery over the 
"king of instruments'* and his devotion to his art were 
■o evident that, three months after his appointment, he 
was selected to succeed Thomas Powell as organist at St. 
Kichdas'— to occupy, in fact, the leading position among 
the musicians in the town. 

As soon as he had settled down to his duties at St. 
Nicholas', Mr. Avison took the lead in organising a series 
of subscription concerts — the first that had been given in 
Newcastle. They were held in the Assembly Rooms in 
the Groat Market, commencing soon after Michaelmas, 
1736^ and continuing through the winter. The following 
jrear there was a concert in the Race Week, atfother on 
the Wednesday in the Assize Week (the latter for Mr. 
Avison's benefit), and the subscription concerts were 
repeated. In 1738, he had again a benefit concert in the 
Assize Week, and took upon himself the sole liability of 
the subscription concerts. Next year the concerts were 
renewed with increased success. They were continued 
under the management of Mr. Avison until his death, 
and afterwards by his sons. 

When thus engaged in fostenng a love of music among 
the inhabitants of Newcastle, Mr. Avison published a 
series of concertos for the violin. For one of them he 
wrote some prefatory observations on the art of playing, 
but the design extended itself into a dissertation upon 
music and musical composition, which was too long for 



his purpose. By the advice of friends he withheld the 
part which related to the performance of full music, and 
in 1752 published the rest in a volume entitled ''An Essay 
on Musical Expression." 

The partiality which the essay exhibited for French 
and Italian music provoked a reply from an anonymous 
writer, who was afterwards identified as Dr. Hayes, 
P^fessor of Music at Oxford. Dr. Hayes wrote with 
needless asperity, accusing Avison of ignorance respecting 
established rules of musical composition, of neglecting the 
old masters, of depreciating Handel, and of dependence 
upon abler pens for his style, and no small part of his 
matter. Avison answered his critic in a similar strain of 
sarcasm and abuse, and, in 1753, issued a second edition 
of the Essay, including his reply to Dr. Hayes, and ''A 
Letter to the Author concerning the Music of the 
Ancients," which it is now known was written by Dr. 
Jortin. 

Mr. Avison's admiration for Maroello induced him to 
issue proposals for publishing, by subscription, selections 
from the fifty psalms which that eminent composer had 
set to music. In the Essay he describes these productions 
as containing "the tmest idea of that noble simplicity 
which probably was the grand characteristic of the 
ancient music^" His design was to publish such speci- 
mens of Maroello's work as would illustrate " the various 
styles in musical suppression." For example—the grand, 
including the sublime, the joyous, and the learned ; the 
beautiful, including the cheerful, the serene, and the pas- 
toral ; the pathetic, including the devout, the plaintive, 
and the sorrowful The work was to contain one hundred 
folio plates, and the price was to be £1 5s., " to be paid 
on delivery of the book." It does not appear that the 
public shared Mr. Avison's enthusiasm for Marcello. 
The psalms were published afterwards, but it was Dr. 
Garth, of Durham, who undertook the responsibility, and 
Avison assisted him. 

With his own compositions he was more fortunate. 
The concertos, of which he issued five sets, containing 45 
pieces, were favourably received, as were also two sets of 
sonatas to be played upon the harpsichord and two 
violins, a combination which was comparatively new to 
English musicians at that time. For some years after 
his death the concertos continued to be performed in 
Newcastle. They are described as light and elegant — ^the 
style being avowedly founded on that of Geminiani— but 
lacking force and originality, though there were not want- 
ing admirers who contended that their expressive mix- 
ture of harmony and grace entitled them to rank among 
the best modem compositions of their class, and their 
author to a high position among English composers. 
Such, however, is the rapidity of change in musical taste 
that not one of them survives. All that has been handed 
down to us of the many compositions which Avison's 
genius put forth is the vigorous air known as " Miriam's 
Song," or "Sound the Loud Timbrd,'' which is some- 



110 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE. 



i¥»«dk 



188& 



times used as a concluding volantary, and, until recently, 
appeared in most books of psalmody. 

1= 



m 




^& 



^^ 



Among his contemporaries Avison was held in great 
esteem. A writer in the OerUleman'i Magazine for May, 
1808, describes him as *' an ingenious, polite, and culti- 
vated man, who, having been in Italy, was more partial 
to the compositions of Geminiani and Marcello than to 
those of Handel," and adopted and imitated Rameau*s 
harpsichord concertos in preference to those for the organ 
by *'the great Saxon Timotheus who despotically reigned 
in England. ** Being *' an agreeable, well-informed, and 
gentleman-like man of the world, he directed the musical 
opinions of his circle to his own taste, and, in some in- 
stances, prejudices." Dr. Brown, who became vicar of 
Newcastle in 1761 ; Dr. Jortin ecclesiastical historian ; 
and Mason, the poet, were among his wannest friends. 
Giardini, who was regarded as one of the best violinists 
of the day, came to Newcastle and performed at one of 
bis benefits. His old master, Geminiani, cherished a 
deep affection for him, which was heartily reciprocated. 
One of the last things which Avison did before death was 
to send a letter to the Literary Register for December, 
1769, "On Viewing a Portrait of the Lite Celebrated 
Geminiani," in which, apostrophising the picture and 
contrasting politics and music, he wrote : — 

While contending nations alarm the world abroad, and 
interior oonmiotions at home, I peruse thy pacific page, 
and wonder where the powers of music are fled not to 
harmonise the passions of men ; yet still the dulcet 
strains will live m congenial souls, to smooth the path of 
life which Providence has given to hours of harmony. 

Greminiani, on his part, sounded the praises of his 
pupiL When discussing the merits of Handel, he used 
to say, " Charley Avison shall make a better piece of 
music in a month's time." In extreme old age, just 
before he went to Ireland to die, he came to Newcastle, 
paid Avison a visit at his house in Green Court, near St. 
Andrew's Church, and was so delighted with the per- 
formance upon the harpsichord of Avison*s eldest son, 
Edward, then thirteen years of age, that ho took him in 
his arms, and turning to the father, said, **My friend, I 
love all your productions. You are my heir ; this boy will 
be yours ; take care of him ! To raise up geniuses like 
him is the only way to perpetuate music." 

Dr. John Gregory, the well-known Scottish physician 
and miscellaneous writer, introduces Avison's character 
into his '* Comparative View of the State and Faculties of 
Man with those of the Animal World." The author of 
the scurrilous " Will of a certain Northern Vicar " also 
brings in the composer's honoured name, but only to 
besmirch it with his wretched satire. Lastly, in our own 
time, Robert Browning, in "Parleyings with Certain 
People of Importance," uses Avison's career to illustrate 



a theory that, while all other arts are fixed, and proceed 
by well-established rules, the ideal of music changes from 
age to age. The poet reprints a grand march of Avison's, 
which at the time was considered very fine, but is now 
forgotten, and blends with it some stirring lines, com- 
mencing— 

Fife, trump, drum, sound I and singers then 
Marching say, ** Pym, the man of men ! " 
Up heads your proudest— out throats your loudest — 

Somerset's Pym. 

What remains to be told of Charles Avison is a mere 
record of deaths and burials. On the 14th of. October, 
1766^ he lost his wife, and buried her at his parish church 
of St. Andrew. Four years later, in May, 1770, he was 
laid beside her, leaving a daughter and two sons to 
preserve his name. Edward, the eldest son, succeeded 
his father at St. Nicholas', and as manager of the Sub- 
scription Concerts. Being converted to Methodism by 
the preaching of John Wesley, he became, in 1772, one 
of the trustees of the " Orphan House " which Mr. 
Wesley erected outside Pilgrim Street Gate, and in 1776^ 
at the age of 29, he died. After an interval of 13 years, 
during which Matthias Hawdon presided at the organ in 
St. Nicholas', Avison's second son Charles (who had been 
for a time organist at St. John's, first as his father's 
deputy, and afterwards on his own account) received the 
appointment He held it until 1793, when he also died, 
and the musical genius of the family appears to have ex- 
pired with him. Upon two monuments in St Andrew's 
Church are recorded the deaths, ages, and other particu- 
lars, of Avison and his children. His race appears to 
have ended with a third Charles, his grandson, who died 
February 19, 1816, aged 25 years. 

j&ir (5eor§e |8aker, 

BIOOBDBB OF NBWOABTLB. 

One of the "gallant defenders "of Newcastle, during 
the Civil War, was George, second son of Oswald Baker of 
the city of Durham. He was baptised on the 18th May, 
1596, at the Church of St Mary-le-Bow in that city—the 
church in which his father and his mother, Mary Heion, 
had been married four years before. In May, 1806, 
Oswald Baker died, and, within six monthf of her 
bereavement, his widow married again, selecting as her 
second spouse William Smith, counciUor-at-law, one of 
the seneschals of the Bishop of Durham, and Clerk of the 
Bishop's Court of Chancery. Mr. Smith proved to be a 
kind and watchful stepfather. He superintended George 
Baker's education, directed his studies towards the lucra- 
tive profession which he himself followed, and made a 
good sound lawyer of him. At the proper time the young 
man was called to the bar, and soon afterwards made a 
fortunate marriage. On the 5th February, 1621-22, be 
was united at Lamesley Church to Elizabeth, daughter of 
Alderman Thomas Liddell, of Ravensworth Castle. 

Mr. Baker had not been long married when Mr. 



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NORTHCOUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND, 



111 



Smith retired from the Chancery clerkship in his 
favour, and the obliging bishop gave him the appoint- 
ment. In 1631, Mr. Smith died, and Mr. Baker, 
with his share of his father's fortune, his wife's dowry, 
his stepfather's legacy, and his clerkship, was able to 
acquire landed estate. The vill of Crook in the parish 
of Lanchester, formerly belonging to the descendants of 
Roger Thornton, was offered to him by its owner — one of 
the Shaf toes— and he purchased it. Thither he removed 
his household, and founded the family known in local 
history as the Bakers of Crook HalL 

Sometime between the capture of Newcastle in 1640, 
and the siege of the town in 1644, Mr. Baker was elected 
Recorder of Newcastle. Local history is silent as to the 
date. But we know that on Sept. 8, 1643, he received the 
honorary &«edom of the Corporation. He was then " Sir 
George Baker, Knight, Recorder of Newcastle," the title 
having been bestowed upon him, it is supposed, by the 
Earl of Newcastle, who, on the 29th June, 1642, was 
appointed Governor of the town. 

While the town was beleaguered. Sir George was the 
chief adviser of the municipal authorities. At the end of 
the eighth week of the siege, when the Earl of Leven 
summoned the garrison to surrender, he was appointed, 
with Sir John Marley and Sir Nicholas Cole, to treat 
with the invaders. They did not succeed, and, as we 
know, the town was stormed and taken on Oct. 19. 

The subsequent career of Sir George Baker is not trace- 
able. On the 20th November, 1644 — a month after the 
surrender — the House of Commons ordered that he and 
twenty-seven other leading Royalists in Newcastle should 
be sent up to London in custody ; on the 5th December 
he was formally displaced from his office, and Edward 
Wright, of Gray's Lm, appointed to succeed him ; on the 
13th of the same month he was committed to Southwark 
Compter. We hear no more of him till the Restoration, 
when he and others, who had been deprived of their free- 
dom of Newcastle, received a renewal of their privileges ; 
nor afterwards, natil 1667, when he died in obscurity at 
Hull, and was buried in the great church there. 



Cite ibixttXi oi ^etajdifjtu* 

Sr^ #ff)d|ootiK of ^tlfrim jStreet. 

|E may once more take the Church of All 
Hallows as our starting point on our present 
expedition. And first, our attention is at- 
tracted (if that be not the wrong word) to 
Silver Street^ which runs parallel with the church and 
flraveyard from Pilgrim Street to the Stockbridge. This 
street, as anybody may see for himself who looks at its 
houses, was once the residence of substantial citizens, 
and amenable to good influences. But, first, wherefore 
Silver Street ? Well, if we may trust the title deed of an 




attorney who resided there, many of the Jews who lived 
at the Jew Gate (another name in old writings for this 
same street), near the church, traded in silver plate and 
silver ware. Silver Street has also been called in ancient 
times All-Hallowgate and Templegate, by reason of its 
communicating with the parish church. 

The most notable name associated with Silver Street is 
that of Henry Bourne, appointed curate of All Saints in 
1722, and one of the historians of Newcastle. In this 
street it was that he had his residence, and wrote his 
well-known book. He was a native of Newcastle, and a 
tailor's son. After only an ordinary education, he was 
bound apprentice to a glazier in the Side, in which 
humble situation he manifested a marvellous aptitude in 
acquiring knowledge. Some friends, noticing his apti- 
tude, obtained his release from his indentures, and he 
was again sent to school, and thence to Christ's College, 
Cambridge, where he was admitted as sizar in 1719 or 
1720. In due time he took his B.A. and M.A. degrees, 
and returned to Newcastle, where he wrote "Antiqui- 
tates Vulgares," which became very scarce and sold at a 
high price. It was accordingly re-published, with addi- 
tions. In 1727 he wrote a '* Treatise on the Collects, 
Epistles, and Gospels," which induced the parishioners in 
the following year to found a lecture for instruction in the 
rubrics and liturgy, which foundation was most appro- 
priately settled upon him. His great work, however, was 
his *' History of Newcastle," published in 1736 — three 
years after his death— by subscription, for the benefit of 
his young children, Henry and Eleanor. 

Other families of repute lived in Silver Street in former 
days, amongst them the Claphams. This family gave to 
Newcastle a few years ago a sheriff, Henry Clapham, 
whose unexpected death in his year of office, and when 
engaged in matiiring that most admirable institution, the 
Clapham Home, was the subject of much marked regret 
and general sympathy. 

If we remember rightly, a very different character once 
dignified Silver Street with his presence— *' Jack the 
Beadle." Some thirty years or so ago Newcastle in 
general, and All Saints in particular, were horrified at 
the discovery that the graves in the churchyard had been 
systematically violated for the sake of the lead of the 
coffins. The thief turned out to be the parish beadle. 
Of course he was apprehended. Intense was the feeling 
against him. Had the populace got hold of him, they 
would have rent him almost limb from limb. In due 
time be was tried in the Guildhall, before Mr. Justice 
Keating, for his ghoulish work, and, being found guilty, 
was sentenced to eighteen months' hard labour. The 
street lads of the period kept the matter before the public 
mind for some time in their own way, by the following 
doggerel, suggested by a comic song then popular ; — 

If you want to rob the deed, 

Gan to Jack the Beadle ; 
He's the man that stole the leed. 

Pop goes the weaseL 



112 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE, 



r March 



It may be news to some that there was also at one time 
a plaoe of worship in Silver Street. The members of St. 
James's Chapel (Scotch Presbyterian then) had their 
meeting-house here. Its trustees had deeds of convey- 
ance from the time of Edward VI. The building was at 
first a malting-house, but was converted into a chapel in 
1744. In 1825, the trustees resolved to build a new chapel 
on the south side of Blackett Street, towards the east, 
which was accordingly done. Curious are the metamor- 
phoses of time. The Silver Street St. James's was at 
first a malting-house ; the Blackett Street St. James's is 
now a restaurant. WhUst the Rev. James Shields was 
minister of the Silver Street Chapel (1765-1785), a Mr. 
George Fife, one of the members of the congregation. 



gave £10, the interest of which was to be paid for ever 
to the minister for the time being. The donor left the 
chapel in 1779, and accordingly offered to present the £10 
to Mr. Shields, who declined it on the ground that it 
would be an act of dishonesty both to the congregation 
and to the succeeding ministers. '* No account of this 
gift can now be obtained," says Mackenzie quietly. 
When the St. James's congnregation migrated from Silver 
Street, the Primitive Methodists purchased the. premises 
for £305. This congregation has also left Silver Street, 
which can only now call the Church of England Mission 
Room its own, as devoted to the cause of social and moral 
reform. 
Higher up on the opposite side of Pilgrim Street is the 




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NORTH-COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND. 



113 



Painter Heugh, leading down to Dean Street, and con- 
taining some houses which must have been of no mean 
reputation in their day. It is now given np to small 
hucksters, and the houses are let in tenements to a very 
hmnble class. The peculiar name of this bank is ac- 
counted for by Bourne thus: "Painter" is a rope by 
which boats are moored, and "Hugh'' is a steep 
hill or bank ; and of course his theory is that boats 
were fastened by painters to this hill, when the tide 
flowed up the Dean (or Dene) to the Low Bridge, 
before the river was embanked by the Quay. A 
little higher up again, on the same side, is the Low 
Bridge, which also leads into Dean Street ; and a con- 
tinuation on the other side of this street leads into St. 
Nicholas* Churchyard. The thoroughfare derives its 
name from the fact that a bridge (once called the Nether 
Dene Bridge) formerly at this point crossed the Lort or 
Lork Bum. The structure, which was pulled down in 
1788. had a high and ancient arch, by some supposed to be 
of Roman architecture. Brand, however, says in a note : 
"There was preserved in the town's hutch, among other 
writings preserved there, A.D. 1565, a grant by one King 
Richard for the building of Nether Dene Bridge." 
Bourne adds that " formerly the river ebbed and flowed 
above this bridge, and the boats came under it with the 
wares and commodities of the merchants." Like the 
Painter Heugh, the Low Bridge is now given up to small 
shopkeepers and humble tenants. 

On the opposite side of Pilgrim Street (further north), is 
the Arcade, a modem structure, which at the time of its 
opening was pronounced to be one of the most elegant of 
its sort in the kingdom. Its foundation was laid in June, 
1831. Mr. Grainger had already taken in hand Eldon 
Square and the Leazes Terrace. He meant the Arcade 
to be of a more public character, and planned it with that 
object in view. It coat £40,000. The Ute Mr. John 
Dobeon was the architect. Here the General Post Office 
was located, and the traffic was very considerable. Now 
it is given up to old curiosity shops, furniture brokers, 
and the like. The Savings Bank in the Arcade was the 
scene of a tragedy on December 7, 1838, when Archibald 
Bolam killed Joseph Millie. On the 4th of March in the 
following year the manslayer was transported for life. 

Bell's Court, higher up on the same side, is a conve- 
nient thoroughfare to Carliol Sqiuure, or Croft, to use the 
old word. Not much else about it is noteworthy, but it 
may be interesting to some to know that here the last of 
the sedan chairs (so popular with our grandmothers) were 
to be hired. Wellington Place is a little higher up. It 
ifl now c^ven up to business premises. Here at one time 
lived Mr. Bainbridge, whose daughter Sir John Fife 
married. The place was .built by Joseph Bainbridge for 
hia own occupation. In 1839, it was utilised for teaching 
the blind, thus becoming the nucleus of the present Blind 
Asylum. 

We come now to the High Bridge, which is on our left 



hand side in walking up Pilgrim Street. It was also 
called the Upper Dean Bridge. This thoroughfare was 
of greater importance in our forefathers' time than it is 
to-day ; but, as it rons from Pilgrim Street to the Bigg 
Market, bisecting Grey Street in so doing, it is still found 
a convenient short cut by bu^ness men. Between Pil- 
grim and Grey Streets the High Bridge is occupied by 
bootmakers and cheese merchants, French polishers 
shaving saloons, and similar establishments; there is 
also a co-operative printing business established here. 
The Cordwainers' Company had their hall in the High 
Bridge. This company had a sturdy sense of indepen- 
dence. Its members placed in their hall a large board to 
inform all time to come that "oppression's iron hand 
ought ever to be legally resisted." This was done in 1773, 
when at the assizes an important dispute between the 
magistrates and the burgesses respecting the Town Moor 
and Leazes was compromised. The victory — ^for so the 
arrangement was regarded— was with the popular cause ; 
and great were the rejoicings in consequence. Houses 
were illuminated ; and the legal champion of the bur- 
gesses, Serjeant Glynn, was conveyed to his lodgings in 
the Forth in great triumph. 

Nearly opposite the High Bridge is Worswick Street, 
named after a popular Catholic priest, the Rev. 
James Worswick. St. Andrew's Roman Catholic 
Chapel, situated below the new Police Courts, is the 
present representative of another place of worship which 
formerly stood in the same neighbourhood. Of this 
we give a small engraving, for which we have to thank Mr. 
R. J. McKenzie. The premises for the latter stracture 




were bought by Mr. Worswick, in 1797, from Mr, 
Richard Keenlyside, surgeon, whose property and 
residence they were. The building was opened for 
divine service in February, 1798. Solemn high mass 
was celebrated, for the first time in Newcastle, it 
was understood, since the Reformation. In the choir 
were the Rev. John Yates, of Esh, subsequently Vicar- 
General; the Rev. John Bell, author of the "Wander- 
ings of the Human Intellect" (Newcastle, 1814) ; the Rev. 

H 



114 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE. 



{ 



ICtKh 



Basil Barrett, author of the " Life of Cardinal Ximenes" 
(Newcastle, 1813) ; and many others. All of them had 
been at one time prisoners in France. Some French emi- 
grant dergjrmen also assisted in the service. The major 
portion of the expenses in connection with the building 
of this chapel was generously borne by Father Worswick. 
Amongst the other subscribers were Sir John Lawson, 
Bart, Yorkshire (£80) ; John Silvertop, Minsteracres 
(£80) ; Thomas Riddell, Swinburne Castle (£100) ; John 
Errington, Beaufront (£50) ; and Bishop Gibson (£100). 
Some able men have officiated in Worswick Street Chapel, 
notably the late Father Aylward, regarded as a scholar 
of wide reading and cultured taste; Father Rodolph 
Suffield, now a Unitarian preacher in the South of Eng 
land; and Father Williams, now holding high office in 
the South alsa 

The only other offshoot of Pilgrim Street calling for a 
word is Hood Street. Its principal building, the Central 
Hall, once Salem Chapel, associated with the name of 
Joseph Barker, is the head-quarters of the Temperance 
Reformers, among whom the present Mayor (Mr. W. D. 
Stephens) is a leading and genial light. Above it, nearer 
the Pilgrim Street end, Sir John Fife had his house at 
one time. Subsequently, the late Dr. Newton (a man of 
mark in his day) resided in the same locality. 

lATESHEAD FELL, as the name implies, 
was once a wild common, over a portion of 
which lay the road between Durham and 
Newcastle. The loneliness of the bleak 
moorland was quite enough to invest it with terror to 
travellers a hundred years ago, and occasionally there 
were incidents that served greatly to enhance the evil 
repute of the locality. One of these incidents occurred in 
1770, when a highwayman named Hazlitt perpetrated the 
crime for which he suffered the extreme penalty of the 
law. 

The man's real name was Hudson. According to his 
own account, he had been a clerk in the employment of 
Mr. Samuel Bamford, Philip Lane, London ; but, having 
lost his situation, he bethought himself that he might 
better his fortunes by a visit to the North, whither he 
betook himself by sea towards the end of July in the 
above-named year. Arriving at Shields, he would appear 
to have cast about him for some mode of replenishing his 
exchequer, but without much success. At the expiration 
of about a week, matters growing desperate with him, he 
invested his remaining cash in the hire of a horse. We 
conclude that he paid in advance, for the Shields job- 
masters must have altered exceedingly if any one of the 
faculty was ever so accommodating and considerate as to 
lend an animal on speculation to a gentleman so much 
out-at-elbows as Hazlitt was. Possibly he left his boots 




and greatcoat as a deposit, for he was minus these articles 
of apparel when he arrived on Crateshead FelL But the 
borrowed beast, according to one authority, was such a 
soiry jade that even the coat and boots of a man in great 
impeounioeity might be considered quidTproq^. Anotb^ 
account, however, is preserved in the MS. autobiography 
of the late Mr. Doubleday, who sajrs that his father pur- 
chased the horse, and that it was not only a very power- 
ful and spirited animal, such as it behoved a highway 
robber to have, but had, moreover, been taught sundry 
curious tricks likely to serve its master at a pinch. 
This version assumes or implies that Hazlitt was a 
professional robber, and there is little to show to the 
contrary, except the excitement he laboured under when 
actually making his felonious demands, as will presently 
appear. 

A well-to-do lady, name unknown, had been to Durham 
in a postchaise on private business, and was returning to 
the neighbourhood of Newcastle, in the dusk of the sum- 
mer night, when her progress was suddenly interrupted. 
On looking out of the window, she discovered, to her 
horror, that a real flesh and blood highwayman was 
menacing the postilion with a pistoL This menace taking 
due effect, the robber opened the door of the chaise, pre- 
sented the weapon at the lady's head, and demanded her 
purse, watch, and whatever other portable property she 
had about her. The robber was trembling from head to 
foot, and this circumstance no doubt greatly abated the 
good lady's alarm. At any rate she found her tongue, 
and made good use of it. She explained to him that she 
had no such matter as a watch in her possession, and that, 
having been to Durham on affairs which required her to 
spend rather than to receive money, it so happened that 
she had no surplus, save half a guinea and some halfpence. 
The robber grimly secured the gold and gallantly re- 
turned the coppers. He was slightly incredulous about 
the watch, but at last agreed to take her assurance on the 
subject, and so left her. 

The robbed lady proceeded on her homeward journey, 
not much the worse for the attack, but with all the cau- 
tion of her sex in full play. After going some distance, 
she met the mail-bag carrier. It was not until a some- 
what later period that mails were carried by coach, and 
in this instance the postman was on horseback. The lady 
stopped the mail agent to apprise him of the peril await- 
ing him, and urged him either to turn back or to pit>vide 
himself with some means of protection. Turn back he 
would not ; but, in deference to the lady's admonition, he 
inquired at the toll-house for a pistoL Not getting what 
he wanted, he boldly made up his mind to go forward at 
all risks. Presently he came up with a man on horse- 
back, whom, from his appearance, he took for a rustic 
making homewards after the labours of the field. To this 
simple peasant he opened his troubled mind so far as to 
tell of the dreadful highwayman lurking about, and to 
confess his regret that he was unarmed. The wayfarers 






NORTH-COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND. 



116 



beguiled the night watch with desultory talk through the 
8i>ace of a couple of miles or so, when the weary peasant 
suddenly, but with gentle voice, intimated to bis fellow- 
traveller that he must have the bags. The postman 
thought it an excellent joke ; but when his friend pro- 
duced a pistol, and commanded him to dismount and 
throw the mail down on the road, he felt that he had 
been labouring under some mistake. He did as he was 
told, not daring to look behind him, for this had been 
strictly forbidden on pain of immediate death. With his 
bulky spoil the shivering thief retired to a lonely spot, 
and there examined the bills, letters, &c, selecting such 
as he thought convertible into money. An hour or two 
later he made a third exi)6riment — this time on a post- 
chaise belonginir to Mr. Nelson, of Newcastle, but found 
it empty and the postilion not worth plundering. Then 
he must have gone on to Newcastle instead of returning 
to Shields, for on the following day he was arrested in 
the former town, and in his possession were found many 
of the more valuable contents of the mail. 

The Durham Assizes occurring within a week, no time 
was lost in bringing Hudson, oZtcM EEazlitt, to trial. On 
being arraigned before Baron Perrott for the highway 
robbery of the lady in the chaise, he pleaded guilty ; but 
at the instance of the judge he withdrew that plea, and 
put himself upon his country by the plea of not guilty. 
He was, however, convicted after the evidence had been 
fully given. He was next arraigned for robbing the maiL 
To this he boldly pleaded not guilty ; but, after two 
hoars* trial, the outrage was clearly brought home to him, 
and, according to the barbarous usage of the time, he 
was condemned to death. His own version of the affair, 
given on his examination before the magistrates, was that 
it was a confederate, named Hewitt, who had perpetrated 
the mail robbery, and that they had shared the plunder 
between them. But in the interval before the trial Sir 
John Fielding had been communicated with, and that 
zealous magistrate had discovered that Hewitt was in 
London at the time the offence was committed. The 
judge, on passing sentence, expressed his belief that the 
prisoner was the man who had, two months before, robbed 
his lordship himself while travelling in the neighbourhood 
of London. Hazlitt was left for execution, but sentence 
was stayed tmtil the judge had left the circuit. After 
his condemnation, he sent to Baron Perrott a £20 
bank note, together with a bill at sight for £12 or £14. 
These had been skilfully concealed about his person, and 
their surrender completed the recovery of the valuables 
stolen from the mail, so that all were satisfied he could 
have had no accomplice. He also informed the judge 
that the other contents of the mail, together with the 
bags, were in a certain cornfield, where, accordingly, they 
were searched for and found. After this disclosure and 
penitential restitution, the unhappy man appeared to 
become more resigned to his fate. The day for his execu- 
tion was fixed for Tuesday, the 18th of September, and 




on the morning of that day he was hanged near Durham. 
After hanging the usual time, his body was taken down 
from the gallows and conveyed to Gateshead Fell, where 
a gibbet had been erected close to the scene of his 
crimes. It was there hung in chains. Several robberies 
with violence are recorded to have occurred in the imme- 
diate neighbourhood of the gibbet while yet the body 
was in the early stages of its sickening decay. The evil 
deed and worse fate of the wretched robber were long 
commemorated in the name of Hazlitt's WelL 



SiiTrtj^j^naUiierf;. 



|ALF a century and more ago, people were 
being every now and then horrified by 
tales of bodies of the newly-buried dead 
having been stolen at night out of their 
graves — stolen by vile miscreants whose object it was 
to make money by selling them to the doctors for 
anatomical purposes, and who were commonly known 
as Resurrectionists or Body-Snatchers. These fellows 
usually travelled about, it was said, in gigs, so that, 
in country places, every stranger using that mode of 
conveyance was looked upon with suspicion. It was 
not a new thing, indeed, but new to that generation. 
For, during the long French war, professors, schools, 
and students of anatomy had as plentiful a supply 
of subjects as they could well desire from the 
bloody continental battlefields. But, after the 
general peace, this supply was, of course, cut off, and 
they had to resort to body-snatching in default of 
legitimate purchase, the number of bodies obtainable by 
fair means being quite insufficient for the wants of 
science, and the strong prejudices of the time preventing 
the friends of deceased persons from even suffering post- 
mortem examinations to be made. 

Parties of yoimg students, therefore, were alleged to go 
forth to suburban graveyards on nocturnal expeditions, 
furnished with shovels, ropes, sacks, &c., having hired 
a gig, and probably preconcerted arrangements with the 
gravedigger. Lecturers on anatomy employed merce- 
nary agents, who undertook to procure what they 
wanted at a certain price. Loose characters took 
up the trade on adventure, and carried such bodies 
as they were able to snatch to the nearest medical 
college, by which they often realised handsome 
sums. Neither, if all tales were true, did they 
confine their robberies to the dead, for they were 
sorely belied if they did not occasionally seize and carry 
off the living as welL Common report said they used to 
supply themselves with pitch plasters, which they would 
dap on the mouths of such xmfortunate wretches as 
encountered them in lonely places, and either were taken 



116 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE. 



{ 



Mftrth 



tmAwares or could not defend themselvae. There was at 
Ust Boaroely a gravedigger in the kingdom who was not 
more or lees generally suspected of beim? an aocomplioe 
with the violators of the tomb, if not himself an actual 
body-snatcher. And to the common terrors of death, 
which are to the majority of mankind great enough, was 
added the terrible dread of being dragged at midnight 
out of one's coffin, thrust into a sack, thrown into the 
bottom of a gig, and sold to the doctors. 

Never, perhaps, was the public mind more violently 
excited than it was from this cause. Every suspicious- 
looking person observed near a churchyard was at once 
set down for a resurrectionist. In most parishes meet- 
ings were held to devise measures to stop outrages. The 
male parishioners, armed with guns, took watch by turns. 
Watch-houses were built for their accommodation. The 
walls of the cemeteries, like those of flower gardens and 
orchards, were raised to keep out robbers, and fenced at 
the top with broken glass, iron spikes, or sharp palisad- 
ing:. A heavy iron frame, box, or safe, made for the 
purpose, was laid on each grave, immediately after 
interment, so as to ensure the dead lying there undis- 
turbed. But even this precaution was believed to be 
insufficient, as the rascals devised instruments wherewith 
they could still reach the coffin, lay hold of the corpse, 
and drag it out. And then, to prevent the robbery from 
being found out, they spread sheets on the ground, and 
laid the earth and sods upon them till they had effected 
their purpose, after which they re-made the grave with 
more or less neatness. 

A case of this kind which occurred in Sunderland made 
a great sensation at the time. On Monday, the 29th of 
]:>eoember, 1823, Captain Hedley, of Burleigh Street, 
whose daughter, aged ten years, had been buried on 
Christmas Eve, wishing to remove her body to another 
part of the churchyard, found the coffin empty. Further 
examination being made, it was discovered that the body 
of an infant, two years old, which had been buried at the 
same time, near the same spot, had also been removed. 
Suspicion immediately attached to two strangers, whose 
frequent visits to the churchyard, particularly at 
funeral times, had been observed ; and one of them was 
apprehended that afternoon. It was with difficulty he 
was got through the streets to the police court room, for 
the mob which gathered, eager to take the law into its 
own hands, would have stoned him to death ; and it was 
not till he was threatened with being handed over to 
the infuriated populace for summary punishment that he 
would acknowledge where he lodged. On his at length 
doing so, the constables proceeded thither, and secured 
his aocomplioe too. Hedley's daughter's corpse was 
found in a comer of the room, covered with straw, 
but carefully packed up, and addressed to Mr. James 
Jamieson, Leith Street, Edinburgh. On another part of 
the package the address was Mr. Alex. Anderson, Leith 
Street, Edinburgh. A number of human teeth, and 



some memoranda of the men's daily expenditure, were 
also found in the room. It appeared from these that 
they had been about a month in Sunderland, and bad 
during that time paid for six boxes, several mats, 
and a quantity of oakum and twine; and as the 
body of Mrs. Comer, aged forty-two, was the only 
one missing from the churchyard, in addition to the 
two already mentioned, it was presumed that their 
nightly visitations had not been confined to Sunder- 
land, but had been extended into the country round, 
particularly as one considerable item of their expendi- 
ture was cartage. On the Tuesday morning ihey were 
brought before the magistrates, and conmutted to 
Durham GaoL One of them represented himself to 
be Thomas Thompson, of Dundee, and the other John 
Weatherley, of Renfrew-^-both names, there was reaeo n 
to believe, fictitious. Tried at the Durham Sessions in 
the ensuing week, they were sentenced to three months 
imprisonment, and ordered to pay a fine of sixpence 
each. The lenity of this punishment caused much sur- 
prise, and simply increased the popular alarm. 

Sunderland Churchyard was suitable hunting ground 
for the body-snatohers, because it was not overlooked 
by any dwelling-houses, and was close to the Town 
Mopr. Besides, it was more than whispered that one 
of the parish officials was an active co-agent in such 
affairs. Further, one of the bellringers, a pipemaker 
to trade, but who kept a public-house, had the reputa- 
tion of being a regular body-snatoher. Under such 
drcumstanoes the plan began to be generally adopted 
of interring the dead in coffins secured by iron bars. 
It was likewise very common to fill up the grave with 
straw, weighted down with a long heavy plank, secured 
by strong wooden stakes. As additional security, the 
friends of buried persons used to wateh all night with 
lanterns, both in Sunderland Churchyard and the Gill 
Cemetery, where they might have been seen from the 
road making their melancholy and weaiy round. 

One Sunderland resurrectionist was caught in his own 
trap. He had got a body, said to be that of a young 
woman, put it into a sack, fastened a rope round the 
middle, and carried it to the churchyard wall, in order to 
drop it over. The wall was only about three feet high on 
the inside, but fully twice as high on the Moor side. So 
when the man had lifted the body on to the cope-stone, 
and was getting over the wall himself, the rope somehow 
■lipped over his head, and ho fell and hung suspended on 
the side towards the Moor, while his sack, unfortunately 
for him, fell back towards the churchyard. He waa 
found thus by one of the watohers going his rounds. The 
body-snateher was sdll alive when he was cut down, bat 
soon afterwards died. His memory still survives among 
okl Sunderland folks as ** Half -Hanged Jack." 

Mr. James Thomson has told in the NtvMU&t Weekly 
Chronicle a story he heard from the son of an old sexton 
at the Border village of ComhilL One morning early in 



18881 / 



NORTH-COVNTRY LORE AND LEGEND. 



117 



December, about 1830, Jamie Maroball, the sexton in 
question, was roused from sleep by a loud knocking at the 
cottage door, and a voice that he seemed to recognise 
called out '* Get up, Jamie 1 For €k)d*s sake, be quick, 
man !** When the blacksmith opened the door he saw the 
son of a well-known farmer lately deceased. The young 
man was at the time studying medicine in the XJniveraity 
of Edinburgh. Before he uttered a word, MarohaU 
noticed ^at his arm was through the bridle-rein of a 
horse, from whose side the steam rose in douds, whilst 
the young man's face was haggard and pale. The sex- 
ton's impression was that the young man had lost his 
reason; and the visitor's first word seemed to convey 
this idea, for he called out, " Get your spade and mat- 
tock, and come with me to the churchyard quickly." 
The blacksmith took his tools in silence, and followed, 
not daring to remonstrate. On the way, the young man 
exclaimed, "111 be satisfied soon whether it is him or 
not. Think, Jamie, of having your ain father laid out 
on the dissecting board for you to cut up. I had the 
knife in my hand when I saw it was my father. But 
111 be satisfied before I sleep. I left the hall, and have 
lidden here, J/jnie, to satisfy myself." When his 
father's grave was reached, he took a spade, and helped 
the bewildered sexton to open it. The coffin having been 
reached, he called, "Break the lid with your mattock, 
and put in your hand." Marchall did as he was ordered, 
and put his hand inside. "Is he there, Jamie?" was the 
anxious inquiry. " Aye, aye, he's a' right. Naebody's 
fashed him, Robert ; ye ha'e been mista'en," was the sex- 
ton's reassuring reply. 

In the month of February, 1824, two resurrection men 
were apprehended in Manchester, with no fewer than 
six bodies, recently disinterred, hi their possession. The 
prisoners, who were men of a tolerably respectable 
appearance and good address, were sentenced at the 
ensuing Quarter Sessions to a short term of imprison- 
ment. The packages which contained the bodies were 
directed to different persons in London. 

Many still recollect how dreadful a sensation was 
caused all over the kingdom by the foul atrocities of 
Burke and Hare in Edinburgh, and by a wretch named 
Bishop in London. We mention them here solely in 
connection with our topic But Burke, it was said, 
worked some time at Sunderland as a labourer while the 
piers were building. Hare, it was understood, made 
his way to Newcastle, where his identity was lost 
'through his changing his name. A foolish surmise at the 
time of the Bumopfield murder revived sundry old 
myths about him, which died away when their base- 
lessness was demonstrated. 

Helen Macdougal, Burke's paramour and accomplice, 
had two almost equally infamous forerunners in 
Edinburgh. In the year 1751, Helen Torrence, 
residenter, and Jean. Waldie, wife of a stabler's servant, 
were tried at the instance of the King's Advocate for 



stealing and murdering John Dallas, a boy of about eight 
or nine years of age, son of John Dallas, chairman. One 
of them decoyed Dallas's wife into a neighbouring house 
to drink, while the second conspirator stole away the boy, 
who was ill, and murdered him by suffocation. The 
women received from some surgeon-apprenticeB two 
shillings and tenpence for their trouble. Found guilty 
and sentenced to death, they were hanged in the Grass 
Market of Edinburgh, on the 18th of March, 1752, 
"both acknowledging their sins, and mentioning undean- 
ness and drunkenness in particular." 

Twenty-four years after this, so necessary was the 
trade of body-snatching considered for the purpose of 
science, that it was carried out in London without the 
smallest attempt at concealment. The OtnXLemMCi 
Magazine in March, 1776, says :-^" The remains of more 
than twenty dead bodies were discovered in a shed in 
Tottenham Court Bead, supposed to have been deposited 
there by teachers to the surgeons, of whom there is one, 
it is said, in the Borough, who makes an open profession 
of dealing in dead bodies, and is well-known by the 
name of * The Resurrectionist. ' " 

Mr. John Ghisthart, writing to the NewcatUe WeeMy 
ChronieU in January, 1888, describes some of the means 
that were formerly adopted to protect the dead. We 
make the following extracts from his communication : — 

There are few persons living who can relate personal 
experience of the excitement caused by the discovery of 
the Burke and Hare tragedies ; but many there are who 
can recall the fireside stories of a grandmother about 
living victims being seized for the dissecting-room, or of 
churchyard burglars who pilfered the "narrow house" 
and dragged its tenant from the last resting-place to be 
sold to the faculty for gold. 

Who can think of tnlB without horror? One, indeed, 
may be disposed to ask, "Did such men live?" Truly, 
they lived and acted, and the police force of the time 
was unable to cope with them. The only means of 
defence against such deeds lay with the people them- 
selves, who organized " Watch Clubs," the conditions of 
membership being a pledge to do duty by watching in 
any churchyard where a member was buried, for one or 
more nights, as necessity required. I know that these 
organizations were not defunct forty-four years ago, for I 
was then appointed substitute for a membsr to watch, in 
ComhiU Cnurchyard, the bodies of two men, named 
Logan and Tindalj who were accidentally killed near 
Pallinsbum, on theur return from Wooler fair. 

So far as I remember, the watch-house, provided for 
concealment and shelter, was without comforts, except a 
fire-grate and coals. Two men were considered a staff, and 
each was provided with a blunderbuss, powder, and shot, • 
kettle ana f^;ying-pan being common to both. My com- 
panion, Johnson by name, was much my senior, and, of 
course, my leader. We were instructed to visit the grave 
with a dark lantern at intervals during the night, and 1 can 
say we did our duty — ^as two lovers at the trusting-place, 
punctual to the moment sworn. Nothing disturbed the 
tranquillity of the churchyard that night but the howling 
winds, upon which a blunderbuss has no effect ; conse- 
quently our weapons were never used. 

Tramtion has furnished me with some strange facts in 
my own family history of these sad times, and on a 
recent visit to Lowick I had ocular demonstration of 
the truth of what I had been told in my childhood. 
My first duty on New Year's Day, 1888, was to pay 
the last tribute of respect to a dear uncle, and on 
my way to the chamber of death I had to pass the church- 
ym, where I felt sure the grave would be r«tdy to 



118 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE. 






native him. Knowing that my anctstora for man^ 
generations slept there, I resolved to take notes of their 
respective ages and dates of death from the tombstones 
before the eorUge arrived. I was surprised to find two 
men at work inreparing the grave. On looking into the 
grave I perceived the sextons were guarding against 
a fall. Some soil had then fallen, and nad laid 
bare about ten inches of an iron oar some three 
inches wide, which the sexton was striking with his 
spade, trying to disconnect it &om a wooden spile which 
interfered with his progress. The spile was crumbling to 
dust, but the iron hoop on the top showed that it had been 
about three-and-a-half inches in diameter. Now the 
whole affair would have been a puzzle to me if I had 
never heard my grandmother's stories about Burke and 
Hare. To defeat the intentions of midnight prowlers 
my father had laid iron bars around the top and alonff 
the sides of the coffin to prevent it being broken ana 
the body drawn out. Besiaes, spiles were driven into the 

S}und to the level of the coffin lid, and an iron bar 
d over all was made fast to the spiles to prevent 
the coffin from being lifted entire. We must not doubt 
the necessity for these precautions. The sensible men of 
the time would certainly be the best judges, and such 
things go far to i)rove that the bonds of family affection 
were strong, even in death. 



kUss^i iTtfUfi^ 




jJHE hamlet of the Three Mile Bridge, situated 
on the Morpeth road, is so called because of 
its supposed distance from Newcastle. Asso- 
ciated with this village is the memory of *'Figg*s Folly." 

One John Pigg was town's surveyor for Newcastle, and 
road surveyor for the county of Northumberland. It 
was said he was well known to both Charles IL and 
the Duke of York; and his eccentricities gave him a 
more than ordinary notoriety among the folks of New- 
castle. The writer of the "Life of Ambrose Barnes'* 
has the following concerning him : — " He usually wore a 
high-crowned hat, a strait coat, and would never ride, 
but walk't the pace of any horse, hundreds of miles on 
oot, with a quarter-staff fenced with an iron fork at one 
end. He would not only go to prison when he needed 
not, but conceitedly chused the vilest part of the prison 
for his apartment, where he continued a long while when 
he might have had his liberty whenever he pleased. But 
as much of Heaven's favourite as this visionary fancy'd 
himself, everybody knew him to be cursedly covetous, and 
the end he made answered the disgrace he had thrown 
upon sufferings for religion, this Pig dying in his stye in 
drcumstanoes not unlike those who lay hands on them- 
selves, or die crazy and distracted." 

Alderman Hornby, also, Mr. Welford tells us in his 
"History of Gosforth," girded at John Pigg, Hornby 
adding that "his name and peculiarities were the theme 
of conversation so late as the middle of last century." 
Mackenzie, however, says that "being a Puritan was 
sufficient to entitle him to the scoffs of the profane and 
the hatred of bigots of a different class." 

It appears that Pigg was in the habit of walking every 



morning from his house in Newcastle to Three Mile 
Bridge, where he raised a column as a token of gratitude 
for the health and pleasure that he derived from his daily 
promenade. This column he inscribed with moral lessons 
for the benefit of all who travelled along the road. It 
was a square stone pillar, twelve and a half feet high, 
and stood within the hamlet, " between the forge and the 
joiner's shop." The pillar bore three sun-dials, and, in 
addition to being covered with scraps of holy writ, had 
this inscription at the foot in praise of wisdom : — 

Who would not love thee while they may 
Enjoy thee walkingp? For thy way 
Is pleasure and delight ; let such 
As see thee choose thee, prize thee much. 

At that time, says Mr. Welford, the turnpike road, 
after crossing the Ousebum, turned abruptly to the left, 
passed through the hamlet, came out again near a sand- 
bank, crossed over to the grounds of Low Gosforth, and 
ran inside the present plantations to the north-west end 
of High Gosforth. " Pigg's Folly" was a notable object, 
therefore, in a crooked comer, and attracted much atten. 
tion tmtil the year 1829, when the road was straightened, 
and the stone was broken up and used for making the 
wall of the adjoining garden. 

John Pigg seems to have been regarded by his neigh- 
bours as a fool; but his charity should outweigh his 
eccentricity. He left a will, dated October 27, 1688, by 
which document he bequeathed "three dwelling-houses 
and appurtenances, situate in Pilgrim Street, nearly op- 
posite Major Anderson's gates, with his estates in North- 
umberland and Durham, to certain merchants, in trust 
for charitable purposes." The poor people who were to 
benefit by the legacy were, in the terms of his will, to be 
" only such as fear God, and are of the Protestant religion, 
and have not cast themselves into poverty by their idle- 
ness, nor reduced themselves to beggary by their own 
riotous prodigality ; but are by age, sickness, or decrepi- 
tude disabled from work, or where men have children too 
numerous for their work to maintain ; for I have always 
observed if men will not be idle they need not want." A 
Parochial Return of Charitable Donations made to Par- 
liament in 1787-8 reported that John Pigg " left the pro- 
duce of his real and personal estates (except £5 per 
annum to the minister of Earsdon, and £5 to the over- 
seers of the highways of the County of Northumberland, 
and such sum or sums of money to his niece, Ann Rea, as 
his trustees should think proper) to such poor in the 
Counties of Durham, Northumberland, and Newcastle. 
upon-Tyne, and in such proportions, as the trustees of his 
will should think fit. By a decree of Chancery, part of 
his lands in Earsdon, and ene-third of his personal estate, 
were awarded to Ann Bea, and the remainder to the uses 
of his wilL" The proceeds have been devoted for many 
years past to the assistance of the funds of the Newcastle 
Infirmary. According to the Abstract of Accounts of the 
Infirmary, for the year beginning January and ending 



lUMb 



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NORTH-COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND. 



I>eoember Slst, 1886^ John Pigg*8 property produced in 
the period indnded between the two dates no lets a som 
than £448 178. 



119 



1l?ttlne ^ficisxi^. 




lULNE PBIOBY, near Alnwick, if we might 
belieye tradition, bad a romantic origin. 
'* Among the British Barons, ** says Grose, 
"who went to the Holy Wars in the 
of Henry UL were William de Vescy, Lord 
of Alnwick, and Bichard Gray, two eminent chieftains 
m the Christian army. Led by cariosity or devotion, 
they went to visit the Friars of Mount Carmel, and 
there unexpectedly found a countryman of their own, 
one Kalph Fresbom, a Northumberland man, who had 
distinguiBhed himself in a former crusade, and, in con- 
sequence of a vow, had afterwards taken upon him the 
monastic profession in that solitude. When Vescy and 
Gray returned to Kngland, they strongly importuned 
the superior of the Carmelites to let their countryman 
aooompsny them ; which was at length granted upon 
oonditian that they would found a monastery for Car- 
melites in their own country. Soon after their return, 
Freeborn, mindful of their engagement, began to look 
oot for a place for their convent. After eTamining all 
the circumjacent solitudee, he at length fixed on the 
p reee n t spot, induced, it is said, by the great resemblance 
which the adjoining hill bore to Mount Carmel \ and, 
indeed, whoever looks into Maundrel's travels will find 
that the draught of that mountain bears a strange like- 
nev to this before us.** 

'Hds legend is too attractive to be altogether discarded, 
mioa^ historically discrepant, it may have some f ounda- 
tkm in fact, and that part of it which relates to Fresbom 
may be substantially true. But William de Vescy, the 
Lofd of Alnwick, does not i^pear in any crusade. One 
crusade there was in his time, led by Frederick IL of 
Germany, about 1238, but Englishmen do not seem to 
have joined it. A William de Vescy, who took port in 
the defence of Northumberland against the inroad of 
WilUam the Lion, and who, probably, was an illegitimate 
•on of the first William de Vescy, accompanied Richard L 
in the crusade of 1191 ; and John de Vescy was a dis- 
tinginBbed crusader under Prince Edward in 1270, 
Nttther of these dates, however, corresponds with the 
time when the priory was founded. 

FoDer tells a different and Mr. George Tate, the 
historian of Alnwick, thinks a truer story. Ralph 
Fiesbom, he says, who was bom in Northumberland, 
where he possessed a large estate, and who had been l»ed 
% soldier and scholar, accompanied Richard, the Earl of 
OomwaO, to the Holy Land, and there became ac- 
quainted with the friars living on Mount CarmeL 
Pitying their condition, and impressed with their piety 



and morals, he brought them over with him into England, 
and built them a house at Hulne, in a place not unlike 
Mount Carmel in Syria ; for Carmel had a hill with the 
river Kishon running under it, and a forest beside it. 

The brethren, who for more than three centuries dwelt 
in their secluded home at Hulne, belonged to the order of 
Carmelite Friars, who derived their name from Mount 
Carmel, in Palestine, where they were first established 
in 1122, by Albert, Patriarch of Jerusalem, but from 
whence they were driven about 1238 by the Saracens. 
They were also called White Friars from the colour of 
their vestments, consisting of a white cloak and hood, 
beneath which was a coat with a scapulary; but persecu- 
tion for a while obliged them to wear parti-coloured 
garments, till, after the lapse of half a century, they 
resumed their original colour. Their rules and discipline 
were rigorous; they chose wild solitudes for their 
homes; each friar had a coffin in his cell, and he slept 
on straw, rising in winter at five and in summer at six 
o'clock, and every morning he dug a shovelful of earth 
for his grave; on his knees he crept to his devotions ; he 
maintained long silence, kept himself much in his cell, 
continued long at his prayers, ate but twice a day, never 
tasted animal food, and endured frequent fasts. Inno- 
cent IV. so far relaxed these rules as to permit the friars 
to taste flesh meat. The order was never numerous ; only 
fcvty houses belonged to it in England and Wales. 
, Little indeed do we know of the old history of the 
priory beyond its endowments. The lordly abbots of 
Alnwick adjoining oppressed their humble neighbour 
by appropriating the wax and oblations which rightly 
belonged to Hulne ; but this grievance was remedied 
by a deed made by the abbot in 1355. Ralph Fres- 
bom was the first prior of Hulne ; and he rose to be 
provincial of the Carmelite order, a dignity enjoyed by 
him during fourteen years. While at Hulne, he wrote 
learned epistles, pious exhortations, and other books 
relating to the worship of God. He died in 1254, and 
was buried within the priory. Some time after, Ralph 
Alcman, who was the principal ruler of all the Car- 
melites, and a man distinguished for his learning and 
purity of manners, lived for four years in the solitudes 
of Hulne, and wrote there some of his works; he died 
in 1277. Robert de Populton, who was prior in 1364, 
seems to have had literary tastes, for he gave several 
books to the library of the convent He died at Wark- 
worth Castle in 1368, and was buried in the priory. 
Another Northumbrian, Robert Lesbury, was provincial 
of the order in 1519. 

After the dissolution of the monasteriee, Henry VIII. 
demised to Robert Elleker, knight, for the term of 
twenty-one years, the site of the house or late priory, 
vulgarly caUed "lez Blake freres de Hull Parke," with 
the land and pasturage and tenements belonging to it, 
excepting the great trees and woods. In the 6th of 
Elizabeth they were granted to William Rivet; and in 



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ibiB record the title also is, " the hoose of late priory of 
f rian preachers commonly called the Black Friars of Hull 
Park." It is strange that in both documents the name 
Black Friars is g^ven, when their proper name from the 
colour of their habits was White Friars. In the same 
year these possessions were purchased of Anthony Rone, 
auditor, and Mr. Richard Ashstone, Queen's receiver, by 
Thomas, seventh Earl of Northumberland ; but on his 
attainder they were g^ven by the Queen to Sir John 
Forster. In 1618 they were in the occupation of John 
Salkeld, gentleman, who must have become proprietor of 
part, at least, of the Hulne property, for his name 
appears in connection with the priory in lists of free- 
holders for the years 1628 and 1663. Subsequently, 
however, the priory was purchased by the Percy family, 
to whom the whole of its property now belongs. 



SCtTtwtrt ilemaitT!^ at Cftififittrir* 



BOW CHIBBURN is a farmstead about a 
mUe north-east of Widdrington, North- 
umberland, and two or three miles distant 
from the Widdrington Station of the North- 
Eastem Railway. The commandery of the Elnights 
Hospitallers, the remains of which are still seen at 
Chibbum, was a very strong building, surrounded 
by a moat, which could easily be filled with water 
in times of danger by the diversion of the rivulet 
which passes it. Sixty years ago the walls of the 
chapel were still entire and covered with a thatched 
roof. The once sacred building was then used as a 
bam by the tenant, Mr. Robert Latimer, who occupied 
the ancient house adjoining, approached from the north 
by a strong arched gateway, and surrounded by a thick 
walL "The building," says one authority, *' formed a 
hollow square, entered by a single gateway. On the 
west was the principal dwelling-house (still almost 
perfect). This was one of two storeys, with the windows 
on the upper floor projecting upon corbels, the better to 
attack the assailants beneath. On the south was the 
chapel of St. John, of excellent ashlar work ; an upper 
floor extended half its length eastwards. The place was 
used in later times as a dowager-house of the Widdring- 
tons. It is now divided into cottages." Our sketch, 
taken from a water-colour drawing by Mr. Robert Wood, 
of Newcastle, shows its present condition. 

The history of the knights who once occupied this 
place is exceedingly interesting. They were a military- 
religious order, first known as Hospitallers of St. John of 
Jerusalem, afterwards as Knights of Rhodes, and sub- 
sequently as Knights of Malta. About the middle of 
the 11th century, some merchants of Amalfi, in Italy, 
trading to the Levant, obtained leave of the Caliph of 
Egypt to build an hospital at Jerusalem, for the recep- 



tion of the pilgrims who came from Europe to visit the 
Holy Sepulchre. They were at first simple men-nuiBes, 
but afterwards formed themselves into a military body, 
whose constitution was confirmed by the Pope, and the 
members, by the advice of their first superior, not only 
took vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience to the 
Church, but likewise added to their obligations those of 
fighting against the infidels and defending the Holy 
Sepulchre. During the first crusade, under Geoffrey of 
Bouillon, they gave material aid to the sick and 
wounded, and their ranks were recruited by persons of 
noble birth and weighty influence. On the conquest of 
Jerusalem by Saladin, the Hospitallers retired to Mar- 
gat in Phoenicia, whence the progress of the infidel arms 
drove them first to Acre, and afterwards to Limisso, 
where the King of Cyprus assigned them a residence. 
In the year 1370, the knights, under their grand master, 
Foulkee de Villaret, in conjunction with a party 
of crusaders from Italy, captured Rhodes and seven 
adjacent islands from the Greek and Saracen pirates, by 
whom they were then occupied, and they carried on 
from thence, for about two hundred years, a not unsuc- 
cessful war against the Turks. In 1523, however, they 
were compelled to surrender Rhodes to Sultan Solyman. 
After they had found temporary refuge, first in Crete 
and subsequently in Italy, the Emperor Charles V. 
made over to them, in full sovereignty, the island of 
Malta. But after the Reformation, a moral de- 
generacy seems to have overspread the order, and it 
rapidly declined in political importance. By their 
statutes, the brethren consisted of three classes— knights, 
chaplains, and serving brothers, these last being fighting 
squires who followed the knights in their expeditions. 
The order was divided into eight languages — Provence, 
Auvergne, France, Italy, Arragon, England, Germany, 
and Castile. Each nation possessed several Grand 
Priories, under which were a number of commauderies, 
each under the government of an eminent knight, whose 
duty it was to instruct the neophytes in their duties, and 
to lead them into action when need required. 

The chief establishment in England was the Priory at 
Clerkenwell, whose head had a seat in the Upper House 
of Parliament, and was styled First Baron of England. 
St. John's Gate, Clerkenwell, and St. John's Wood, relics 
of their possessions, perpetuate their memory in the me- 
tropolis. The order was suppressed in England in 1540, 
restored in 1557, and again suppressed in 1558. The lands 
then belonging to it were at the same time confiscated, as 
they likewise were at the Reformation in such of the Con- 
tinental States as threw off the Papal yoke. Malta con- 
tinued under the dominion of the knights till the year 
1798, when, through the treachery of some French mem- 
bers of the order, and the cowardice of the grand-master 
D'Hompesch, the island viras surrendered to the French, 
and the order as a sovereign body became extinct. 

The brethren at first wore a long black habit with a 



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1888. / 



NORTH-COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND. 



123 




pointed hood, adorned with a cross of white silk, of the 
form called Maltese, on the left breast, as also a golden 
cruBs in the middle of the brtast. In their military 
capacity they wore red surooats with the silver cross 
before and behind. The badge worn by all the knights 
is a Maltese cross enamelled white and edged with gold ; 
it is suspended by a black ribbon, and the embellish- 
ments attached to it differ in the different countries 
where the order still exists. 

The name of the order has of late years been given in 
England to a philanthropio movement of a valuable 
character. The society known as the St John's 
Ambulance Association was instituted in 1834, its 
objects then being to provide convalescent patients of 
hospitals with nourishing diet. More recently the 
organization has been extended under the name of the 
National Society for the Aid of the Sick and Wounded 
in War, and has thus been the means of founding 
ambulance corpse cottage hospitals, and convalescent 
homes. 

|E6 MERRIUES is a master-piece of the 
great Magician of the North. The very 
conception of the character is copyright, 
although, by frank admission on the part of 
the great genius who created it, features, clothing, habits, 
and incidents have been borrowed from real persons to 
trick out the original picture. To add one lineament to a 
fancy portrait so complete and startling would savour of 
presvmption. It would be like touching up Titian or 
modifying Michael Angela As a work of art and off- 
spring of genius, the gipsy of *' Guy Mannering " may be 
criticised, analysed, and illustrated. A reproduction is 
only possible by faithful transcription. But as Sir 
Walter acknowledged, and as many people suspected 
before his acknowledgment, there was a fair substratum 
of fact under the glowing fiction. Some critics asserted 
that they had discovered the original of the portrait in 
Flora Marshall, consort royal of Willie, the King of the 
Western Lowland Gipsies. She was one of seventeen 
wives to whom in succession the vigorous King William 
was married. He lived to the age of 120, notwithstand- 
ing the wild and exposed life he led. Of Flora it is told 
that while her husband was being tried for some of his 
numerous crimes, the watchful wife, true to the instincts 
of her race, and mindful of her duties as Queen of the 
Gipsies, was stealing the hood from the robe of the pre- 
siding judge. But, romantio as were the character and 
career of Floora, she is not the real Meg Merrilies. 

In the first volume of Blaekw)od*8 Magazine appeared 
an article from the pen of Sir Walter Scott, while as yet 
he was unknown as the author of Waverley, on the sub- 
ject of Meg's original, and as Sir Walter embodied this 



article in the preface of the last edition of his works pub- 
lished in his life-time, it must be accepted as the veritable 
account of the genesis of Meg Merrilies. But in the 
same article was comprised a contribution from another 
writer, which shows how readily the picture of fiction 
brought to mind the family of gipsies out of which Scott 
had concocted or created his famous gipsy witch. The 
writer says :— " The late Madge Gordon was, we believe, 
a grand-daughter of the celebrated Jean Gordon, and was 
said to have much resembled her in appearance. The 
following account of her is extracted from the letter of a 
friend, who for many years enjoyed frequent and favour- 
able opportunities of observing the characteristic peculi- 
arities of the Yetholm tribes :—' Madge Gordon was 
descended from the Faas by the mother's side, and was 
married to a Young, She was a remarkable personage — of 
a very commanding presence and high stature, being 
nearly six feet high. She had a large aquiline nose, 
penetrating eyes, even in her old age, bushy hair that 
hung around her shoulders from beneath a gipsy bonnet of 
straw, a short doak of a peculiar fashion, and a long staff 
nearly as tall as herself. I remember her well — every 
week she paid my father a visit for her awmous, when I 
was a little boy, and I looked upon Madge with no com- 
mon degree of awe and terror. When she spoke vehe- 
mently (for she made loud complaints), she used to strike 
her staff upon the floor and throw herself into an atti- 
tude which it was impossible to regard with indifference. 
She used to say that she could bring from the remotest 
parts of the island Mends to revenge her quarrels, while 
she sat motionless in her cottage; and she frequently 
boasted that there was a time when she was of still more 
considerable importance, for there were at her wedding 
fifty saddled asses, and unsaddled asses without number. 
If Jean Gordon was the prototype of the character of 
Meg Merrilies, I imagine Madge must have sat to the 
unknown author as the representative of her person.'" 
The former part of this supposition was correct; how 
far the latter was so may be doubted. The real substance 
of which the gipsy in "Guy Mannering" was the ex- 
panded and gigantic shadow, was the older of the two 
mentioned. 

No better account of Jean Gordon exists than the one 
already alluded to, as proceeding from the pen that pour- 
trayed Meg Merrilies, and published in the first volume of 
Blaekwood*8 Magazine, which is as follows :— "My father 
remembered old Jean Gordon of Yetholm, who had great 
sway among her tribe. She was quite a Meg Merrilies, 
and possessed the savage virtue of fidelity in the same 
perfection. Having been hospitably received at the farm- 
house of Lochside, near Yetholm, she had carefully ab- 
stained from committing any depredations on the farmer's 
property. But her sons, nine in number, had not, it 
seems, the same delicacy, and stole a brood sow from 
their kind entertainer. Jean was mortified at this un- 
grateful conduct, and so much ashamed of it, that she 



124 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE, 



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abeented herself from Loohaide for several years. It hap- 
pened in oonrse of time that in consequence of some tem- 
porary necessity, the goodman of Lochside was obliged to 
go to Newcastle to raise some money to pay his rent. 
He sacceeded in his purpose, bat returning through the 
Cheyiots he was benighted and lost his way. A light 
glimmering through the window of a large waste bam, 
which survived the farm-house to which it had once be- 
longed, guided him to a place of shelter, and when he 
knocked at the door it was opened by Jean Gordon. Her 
remarkable figure— for she was nearly six feet high— ren- 
dered it impossible to mistake her for a moment, though he 
had not seen her for years ; and to meet with such a charac- 
ter in so solitary a place, and probably at no great distance 
from her clan, was a grievous surprise to the poor man, 
whose rent (to lose which would have been ruin) was about 
his person. Jean set up a loud shout of joyful recogpiition 
—'Eh, sirs! the winsome gudemanof liochsidel Light 
down, light down ; for ye mauna gang forward the night, 
and a friend's house sae near.' The farmer was obliged to 
dismount and accept of the gipsy's offer of supper and a 
bed. There was plenty of meat in the bam, however it 
might be come by, and preparations were going on for a 
plentiful repast, which the farmer, to the great increase of 
his anxiety, observed was calculated for ten or twelve 
persons of the same description, probably, with his land- 
lady. Jean left him in no doubt on the subject. She 
brought to his recollection the story of the stolen sow, and 
mentioned how much pain and vexation it had given her. 
Like other philosophers, she remarked that the world 
grew worse daily ; and like other parents, that the bairns 
got out of her guiding, and neglected the old gipsy regu- 
lations, which commanded them to respect, in their de- 
predations, the property of their benefactors. The end 
of aU this was, an inquiry' what money the farmer had 
about him, and an urgent request, or command, that he 
would make her his purse-keeper, since the bairns, as she 
called her sons, would be soon home. The poor farmer 
made a virtue of necessity, told his story, and surrendered 
his gold to Jean's custody. She made him put a few 
shillings in his pocket, observing it would excite suspicion 
should he be found travelling altogether penniless. This 
arrangement being made, the farmer lay down on a sort 
of shakedown as the Scotch call it, or bedclothes disposed 
upon some straw, but, as will easily be believed, slept not. 
About midnight the gang returned, with various articles 
of plunder, and talked over their exploits in language 
which made the farmer tremble. They were not long in 
discovering they had a guest, and demanded of Jean who 
she had got there. ' E'en the winsome gfudeman of Loch- 
side, puir body,' replied Jean ; ' he's been at Newcastle 
seeking siller to pay his rent, honest man, but de'il 
be-lickit he's been able to gother in, and sae he's gaun 
e'en hame wi' a toom purse and a sair heart.' ' That may 
be, Jean,' replied one of the banditti, ' but we mun rip his 
pouch a bit, and see if the tale be trae or no.' Jean set 



up her throat in exdamations against this breach of 
hospitality, bat without producing any change in their 
determination. The fanner aoon heard their stifled 
whispers and light steps by his bedside, and understood 
they were rummaging his dothes. When they found the 
money which the providence of Jean Gordon had made 
him retain, they held a consultation if they should take 
it or no, but the smallness of the booty and the vehe- 
mence of Jean's remonstrances determined them in the 
negative. They caroused, and went to rest. As soon as 
the day dawned, Jean roused her guest, produced his 
horse, which she had acoonmiodated behind the AoKofi, 
and guided him for some miles till he was on the high 
road to Lochside. She then restored his whole property, 
nor could his earnest entreaties prevail upon her to 
accept so much as a single guinea. I have heard the old 
people at Jedburgh say that all Jean's sons wore ood- 
demned to die there on the same day. It is said the jxury 
were equally divided, but that a friend to justice who had 
slept during the whole discussion, waked suddenly, and 
gave his vote for condemnation, in the emphatic words, 
* Hang them a' I ' Unanimity is not required in a Scot- 
tish jury, so the verdict of guilty was returned. Jean 
was present, and only said, 'The Lord help the innocent 
in a day like this.' Her own death was accompanied 
with drcumstances of brutal outrage, of which poor Jean 
was in many respects wholly undeserving. She had, 
among other demerits, or merits, as the reader may 
choose to rank it, that of being a staunch Jacobite. She 
chanced to be at Carlisle on a fair or market day, soon 
after the year 1746, where she gave vent to her politioal 
partiality, to the great offence of the rabble of that city. 
Being zealous in their loyalty when there was no danger, 
in proportion Xm the tameness with whidi they had sur- 
rendered to the Highlanders in 1745, the mob inflicted 
upon poor Jean Grordon no slighter penalty than that 
of ducking her to death in the Eden. It was an opera- 
tion of some time, for Jean was a stout woman, and, 
struggling with her murderers, often got her head above 
water; and, while she had voice left, continued to exclaim, 
at such intervals,. 'Charlie yet ! Charlie yet 1 ' When a 
child, and among the scenes whidi she frequented, I have 
often heard these stories, and cried piteously for poor 
Jean €k)rdon." 

According to Robert Chambers, in his interesting 
work entitled " Illustratious of the Author of Waverley," 
published in 1822, Jean was married to Patrick Faa, a 
gipsy chief, by whom she had three daughters, as well as 
the nine sons alluded to above, nearly all of whom died at 
the hands of the common hangman. In 1714 one of the 
"bonnie lads," Alexander, was murdered by another 
gipsy, Robert Johnston, who escaped, but after ten years 
was brought to trial for the crime. He was sentenced to 
be executed, but escaped from prison. But the gipsies 
were on his track. Jean, according to tradition, followed 
him like a bloodhound through Holland and Ireland. In 



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NORTH-COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND. 



126 



the latter country she hud hands on him and hrou^ht him 
back to Jedhurgh, where she had the satisfaction of seeing 
him hanged on the GrallowahilL Some short time after 
the ezecation, Jean being at Sourhope, a sheep farm on 
Bowmont Water, the goodman said to her, *' Weel, Jean, 
je hae. gotten Rob Johnston hanged at htft, and out of 
the way?" "Ay, gndeman,'* replied the gipsy, lift- 
hue up her apron as she spoke, "and a' that fu* o' gowd 
has*na done't,"— an incident and speech that tallies pretty 
closely with the conduct of Meg Merrilies in the novel 
when she uses the expression " poke fu' o' jewels." 

There is yet another candidate for the honour of being 
the prototype of Meg Merrilies. This was Marg^aret 
Carrick, mother of Meg Teasdale. The latter presided 
over a public-house near to Gilsland Spa, known then and 
still as Mumps' (or Beggars') Ha'. All visitors to the 
Spa for many years past have had pointed out to them 
the old house in which Sir Walter Scott localised the 




VUMPS' HALL. 

incident of Dandie Dinmont telling Meg Merrilies of the 
death of Ellangowan. It well deserved to be selected as 
ft scene in so tragic a noveL The wood engraving which 
aooompanies this article, and for the loan of which we 
are greatly indebted to the Rev. Dr. Bruce, represents 
the back of the house as it stood a few years ago. 

The Meg of the lonely wayside hostelry was a cruel 
thi^ who used (so the story goes) to drug travellers, 
and, having murdered and robbed them, throw their 
bodies into a deep tarn or pond a little way from 
the house. It was said that, in consequence of the 
presence of so large a mass of decaying human bones, the 
surface of the accursed pool was covered with a blue, 
phosphorescent light, visible to the affrighted wayfarer 
after nightfalL 

A ■omewhat different account to this will be found in 



the earUer editions of Dr. Brace's celebrated work on the 
Roman Wall, published in 1851 :— 

In the inunediate neighbourhood of Rose Hill is Mumps' 
Hall, formerly the residence of the Meg Merrilies of Sir 
Walter Scott. 

"Mumps' Hall," says Hodgson, ^according to tradi- 
tion, was once a public-house, kept by a notorious person 
of the name of Meg Teasdale, who dragged to death such 
of her guests as had money. In 'Guy Mannering' she 
glares in the horrid character of Meg Merrilies. But cer- 
taJnlv all this tradition is deeply coloured with unpar- 
donable slander against the ancient and respectable 
family of the Teasdales of Mumps' Hall." 

Sir Walter Soott was in early life an occasional resident 
at Gilsland. The broad, flat stone is pointed out, a little 
above the Shaws Hotel, on which tradition asserts he was 
standing when he declared to the subsequent Lady Soott 
the emotions that agitated his bosom. He had therefore 
the opportunity of becoming acquainted with the district 
and its traditions. 

The small thatched cottage, opposite the road leading 
from the railway station, is usually pointed out as the 
residence of Meg ; but it is not the one that was occupied 
by her. She lived in the larger buildingbeyond, round 
which the road bends at a ri^t angle. TThe hx>nt of the 
house is modernized, but the back of it still 
retains the character of a Border fortress. 
My information on this and other subjects 
respecting her has been derived from an 
individual residing in the district whose 
mother knew Meg well, and visited her 
upon her death-bed. Although the heroine 
of Mumps' Hall was cast in a mould some- 
what smted to the state of the district at 
that time, she was not the fiend-like woman 
that she is generally represented. One 
murder, howeyer, the tradition of the 
country lays to her charge. A pedlar bavins 
called upon Meg's brother, who kept a school 
at Long Bvers (midway between Rose Hill 
and Greenhead), accidentally presented to 
him a box filled with guineas instead of his 
snuff-box. The traveller was requested to 
oonvev a note to Mumps' HaJl, which he 
did, but was not seen alive after wMds. 
Suspicion arising, the house was searched, 
and the body found concealed among hay 
in the barn ; but the parties who made the 
discovery durst • not reveal it, for fear of 
injury to themselves and families. About 
six weeks after, the body was found lying 
upon the moors. My informant added to 
his narrative — " probably the laws were not 
so active in those days as at the present, 
for these things could not escape now." 

When Meg was upon her death -bed, the 
curiosity of the neighbourhood was excited, 
and many of her cronies visited her, in hopes of hearing 
her disburden her conscience respectinc[ the death of the 
pedlar. They wer& however, disappointed : for when- 
ever she attempted to speak upon the subject, some 
one of the family, who alwavs took care to be present, 
placed a hand upon her mouth. 

Upper Denton Church is hard by. It is evidently a 
very ancient building, and possibly exhibits some Saxon 
work. It is one of the smallest churches in England, and is 
as damp and mouldy as felons' dungeons used to be. Meg 
and several of the members of her family lie in the 
churchyard. Four tombstones, ranged in a row, mark 
their resting-places. 

In Sc6tt's notes to "Guy Mannering" will be found 
an account of a real Dandie Dinmont— known as 
Fighting Oharlie of Liddesdale. The tale given there 
is substantially as follows :— Charlie had been to Stag- 
shawbank Fair, where Meg's spies had spotted him as 
likely to be money-laden when homeward bound. While 
tarrying at the old ale-house. Mumps' Ha', Meg adroitly 



126 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE. 



/Manii 



drew the charges from his pistols, substituting tow. 
Charlie lingered over his stoup of ale till nightfall, and 
then set forth across the Waste of Bewcastle. Being a 
wary borderer, he suspected his pistols might have been 
tampered with, an(f on trjring them found his suspicions 
correct. He drew the tow and re-loaded. In a short 
time he found himself hemmed in by robbers. He put 
spurs to his horse and presented his pistoL '* Damn your 
pistol— I care not a curse for it," said the foremost robber. 
"Aye, lad," replied Charlie, "but, mind, tht tow's out 
now." It is scarcely needful to say that the robbers de- 
camped. 

The prime mover of these reputed outrages is said to 
have died a natural death (Sir Walter says some of the 
family suffered hanging), and was buried at the age of 98 
in Upper Denton Churchyard, with the following epitaph 
on her tombstone : — 

What I was once fame may relate. 
What I am now is each one's fate. 
What I shall be none can explain. 
Till he that called me call again. 




€ftt ;fisfitins J^iftft. 



ilORTHUMBERLAND FUSILIERS is the 
new territorial name bestowed on the troops 
connected with our northern county. "The 
Old and Bold," or the Fifth Regiment of Foot, whose 
head-quarters are now in Newcastle, was raised during 
the reign of Charles IL, in 1674, for service in Holland, 
where for some years it foUowed the fortunes of the 
Prince of Orange. Later on the Fifth was engaged in the 
defence of Gibraltar during one of its sieges. At this 
battle the fire was so hot that it is related no fewer than 
70 cannon and 30 mortars burst in the batteries. The 
regiment acquired great fame in the action at 
Groebenstein, and in the woods of Wilhelmsthal : 
the Grenadiers of France, the Royal Grenadiers, 
the regiment of Aquitaine, and other corps— being the 
flower of the French Infantry— after one fire surrendered 
to the Fifth. 

Throughout the whole of our unfortunate contest with 
America, ib was the lot of the Fifth to stand principally 
engaged. In no instance was it mcnre conspicuous for 
gallantry than in the action of Charlestown — commonly 
called Bunker's EUIL During that unhappy but well- 
fought day, Captain George Harris (afterwards the 
conqueror of Mysore) was severely wounded in the head 
whilst he led on the grenadiers. On that occasion. Lord 
Francis Rawdon, who was lieutenant of the company, 
kept up the spirit of intrepidity that had been displajred 
by his disabled captain, and retired with the remnant 
of his brave followers after having received two shots 
through his cap. 



Then came the campaign in the Peninsula. The 
year 1811 witnessed the combat at El Bodon, an inci- 
dent which deserved and enjojred the rare credit of 
the special praise of Lord Wellington. The Duke was 
generally very chary of expressions of admiration ; he held 
to the doctrine that praise, if too lavishly administered, 
becomes a matter of indifference to its objects. His 
expressed approbation, therefore, was the more valu- 
able for its rarity, and henoa when he said that the 
action of El Bodon offered a memorable example of 
what could be done by steady discipline and con- 
fidence, he paid the troops engaged the highest com- 
pliment they could receive. The facts of the caw 
are simply these :— The 5th and 77th Regiments of the 
line were employed during the blockade of Cindad 
Rodrigo, prior to the siege in 1812, on the heights near 
the village of El Bodon. They were associated with the 
11th Light Dragoons, a Portuguese regiment of Caca- 
dores, and some Portuguese artillery. This small force 
was suddenly attacked by a doud of French cavalry and 
fourteen battalions of infantry with six guns ; the Portu- 
guese guns were captured in the fray, the Fifth gallantly 
recovered them, and when the Fifth and Seventy-Seventh 
were assailed by the cavalry, they charged cmd overthrew 
the horsemen/ Could any infantry in the world have 
accomplished more ? 

The assault of Badajoz, in which also the Fifth Regi- 
ment was engaged, took place at 10 p.m. on April 
6th, 1812, and perhaps the annals of war scarcely furnish 
a more striking example of daring attack and earnest 
resistance. The following extract from the stirring nar- 
rative of Napier is worth recording: — "Still swaiming 
round the remaining ladders, these undaunted veterans 
strove who should first climb, until, all being overturned, 
the French shouted victory, and the British, baffled but 
untamed, feU back a few paces and took shelter under the 
rugged edge of the hilL Here, when the broken ranks were 
somewhat reformed, the heroic Colonel Ridge, spring- 
ing forward, called with a stentorian voice on his men 
to foUow, and, seizing a ladder, once more raised it 
against the castle ; yet to the right of the former attack, 
where the wall was lower and an embrasure offered some 
facility, a second ladder was soon placed by the Grenadier 
officer, Canch, and the next moment he and Ridge were 
on the ramparts. The shouting troops pressed after them ; 
the garrison, amazed and in a manner surprised, were 
driven fighting through the double gate into the town, 
and the castle was won. A reinforcement sent from the 
French reserve then came up, a sharp action followed, 
both sides fired through the gate, and the enemy retired ; 
but Ridge fell, and no man died that night with more 
glory— yet many died, and there was much glory." 

The " Fighting Fifth " contributed to the restoration of 
the empire in India during the Mutiny, as the following 
incident will show:— In August, 1857, two companies 
under the command of Captain F. W. L*E8trange, with 



lUreh 



} 



NORTH'COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND. 



127 



three gmiB under Major V. Eyre, of the Bengal Artillery, 
defeated a large force of the rebels, and efifected the relief 
of Arrah. In September, the head-quarters of the 
regiment marched from Allahabad under Major E. 
Simmons, joined Major-Greneral Havelock*s force, and 
was present in the engagements at Pundoo Nuddee, 
Muttgulnar, and Alum Bagh. It was also present 
at the stormincT of Lucknow and the first relief of 
the Residency's fc&rrison, and was afterwards engaged in 
the defence of the new position taken up outside the 
Residency. On the approach of Sir Colin Campbell with 
his relieving force, the Fifth took a prominent part in the 
storm and capture of the enemy's posts at the Eling's 
Stables, Engine House, and other places. It afterwards 
became part of Sir James Outram's force at the Alimi 
Bagh, and was constantly employed in repelling harassing 
attacks of the rebels, and in many successful sorties, until 
March, 1858, when it was engaged in the final assault 
and capture of Lucknow under Sir Colin Campbell. 

With reference to the battle of Arrah, fought in 
August, 1857, here is a letter from Captain L'Estrange 
to the Assistant Adjutant-General, Dinapore :— *' I 
have the honour to report that on the arrival of the 
detachment Fifth Fusiliers (160 men) under my 
command at Buxar, I found that our services were 
required to ooK>perate with Major Eyre, Bengal Artil- 
lery, to march on Arrah, where we understood some 
2,000 or 3,000 of the mutineers had assembled. On the 
followinfir evening the force, consisting of 3 grtms, 154 men, 
with Captain Scott, Ensigns Lewis, Oldfield, and Mason, 
all of the Fifth Fusiliers, under my command, and 12 
mounted volunteers of the Railway and Engineer De- 
partment> the whole under command of Major Eyre, left 
Buxar en rwiU for Arrah. We came on the enemy on 
the morning of the 2nd August. We found that they had 
assembled in immense force, and the woods for miles 
round seemed to be swarming with rebel Sepoys. Major 
Eyre immediately fired some rounds of shell among the 
enemy who were in front, and sent a skirmishing party, 
under the command of Captain Scott, to drive the rebels 
out of the woods. In consequence of an extensive swamp 
on the left of the road, our skinmshers were delayed for 
a short time, but at length reached the woods under a 
very heavy fire from the mutineers. Our skinmshers 
soon cleared the woods on the right and left of the road, 
during which time the right skirmishing party sustained a 
severe cross fire, and three men of the Fifth were wounded ; 
our whole force then gained the open country, but with 
the loss of a considerable quantity of baggage. The 
enemy had surrounded us on all sides, and, our main body 
being within the enemy's rifle range, the drivers left the 
elephants and baggage carts and made off into the 
woods. A mile further on we found that the Beebee- 
gunge bridge had been completely destroyed by the rebels, 
who had there concentrated their forces, and were deter- 
mined to dispute our further advance. Finding that 



the reconstruction of the bridge in face of such a 
a large force of the enemy was impossible, and that 
the river could not be forded, we made a flank 
movement so as to gain the railway embank- 
ment on our right, and thus proceeded direct to 
Arrah. The enemy immediately left their position be- 
hind Beebeegunge bridge, and proceeded in a parallel 
direction with us : they kept up their fire on us, but the 
ground being favourable for our skirmishers, who were 
judiciously led by Captain Scott, no great difficulty was 
experienced by our force until we arrived to within 300 
yards of the railway embankment. The ground here being 
very much broken, and as we were unable to get the guns 
on to the railway line, the rebels clearly saw the difficulties 
we had to encounter, and made certain of our complete 
destruction. Notwithstanding Major Eyre having 
opened on the enemy with shot and shell, and although 
our skirmishers made excellent practice with their 
Enfields, still no impression could be made on the rebels, 
who advanced in large numbers, and came rushing on to 
the mouths of the guns. In the wood on our left an 
immense body of the rebels had assembled, and poured a 
tremendous fire upon our line, the left of which with two 
guns occupied a slope, and the right was dose up to the 
railway bank under shelter of some brick kilns and other 
sort of cover ; our line was then about 400 yards in length, 
and the enemy came pouring down on us in larg^ num- 
bers. At this time we were in imminent danger, when 
Major Ejrre ordered us to charge the enemy. This move- 
ment was perfectly successful, and, our line advancing at 
the charge, the mutineers fled from the woods, from 
whence emerging Major Eyre opened on them with grape, 
and the enemy cleared off in all directions. One officer 
and eight men were wounded during the operations of the 
day, which commenced at about 6 a.m., and lasted until 
about 3 p.m." 

It cannot be thought superfluous to make an observa- 
tion relative to the apparent contradiction which is mani- 
fested between the actual situation in the line of the 
Fifth Regiment with regard to the Sixth, the latter, from 
the date of its establishment, appearing to be an older 
regiment The same singular circumstance attends the 
Fourth, or Eling^s Own, which, in point of original forma- 
tion, is junior to the Fifth. These seeming contradic- 
tions are accounted for in the following manner :— When 
the regiments in question were first raised, they were not 
placed upon the British establishment, but sent by Charles 
n. for the service of the States-General. On the abdication 
of King James 11. and the subsequent election of William, 
Prince of Orange, the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth were 
numbered and taken into the line according to the periods 
at which they landed from Holland. Thus, for instance, 
the Fourth, which had originally been raised after the 
Fifth, arrived in England before that corps, and took 
precedence. The Sixth, which had been levied before 
the Fifth, returned to its native country at a later period 



128 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE. 



fMuefa 
\ ia88. 



than either, and wm consequently placed according to 
that date. 

The Fifth bears on its coloon : — St. Greorge and the 
Dragon, with the motto : " Quo Fata Vocant " ; the rose 
and crown; the king's crest; and the following distinc- 
tions : — Wilhelmsthal, Roleia, Vimiera, Corunna, Busaco, 
Ciudad Rodrigo, Badajoz, Salamanca, Yittoria, Nivelle, 
Orthes, Toulouse, Peninsula, Lucknow. 

N. L., Hexham. 

I^ietoi^ itf |9inrt!t iSartitums 
jberlfftTtr. 




LONG the new line of railway which was 
lately, opened between Alnwick and Corn- 
hill are some of the finest scenes in the 
county of Northumberland, together with places of cn^at 
historic interest. A few uf these are represented in the 
accompanying sketches. 

The first is a view from Clayport Bank of the quaint 
old town of Alnwick, which, sloping gradually upward 
from the southern bank of the Aln, forms the centre 



" wick " or village on the Alain, or ** bright " river, to 
the close of the fifteenth century, the tempests of Border 
warfare were always sweeping around it. The capture of 
WUliam the Lion, the death of Malcolm Canmore, the 
march of the English armies northward and of the Scottish 
armies southward, the flight and pursuit of notable moss- 
troopers, the ruins of smouldering villages, the move- 
ments of troops in the civil wars, Yorkists and Lan- 
castrians, Royalists and Roundheads — these were the 
spectacles witnessed by the ancient burghers of Alnwick. 
Besieged at one time and burned at another, in spite of 
its towers and walls and gfuardian-like castle, what 
wonder that the growth of the town was somewhat 
hindered ! Alnwick, within recent years, has overstepped 
its ancient boundaries very considerably. Much, how- 
ever, remains to recall the past : the grim-looking gate- 
way tower, blocking up the principal thoroughfare, the 
plain-fronted and strongly-built old houses, with their 
quaint inscriptions and sculptured badges, the charac- 
teristic hostelries of the old-fashioned coaching days, 
fragments of weathered masonry, the venerable church 
of Michael's with its curious watch-turret, and, above 
all, the "palace-castle" with its unaltered barbican, its 




ALNWICK. 



of a beautiful North-Country landscape. Its history, 
bound up in a measure with that of the baronial home 
of the Percies, is a record of strife and bloodshed. 
From the time when a few heather- thatched hovels 
with day-daubed walls, clustering together beneath the 
stockaded burgh of the Saxon chief, became known as the 



mural towers and shell-formed keep, more picturesque, 
it may be, though not more imposing than the solid 
rectangular keeps of Bamborough and Newcastle. 

The prospect seen from the railway about half a mile 
from Edlingham Station is represented in our second 
sketch. The xoansion-house in the foreg^und, which 



J% 



Bf»reh\ 

isaa / 



NORTH-COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND, 



129 



stands on an elevation of three hundred feet, is Lem- 
mingtoQ Hall, the property of Mr. W. J. Pawson, of 
ShawdoQ. Its east wing is an andent peel tower re- 
ferred to in the Survey of 1460 as the " turns de Lema- 
ton" — a building 53 feet square, having walls about 6 



the son of Hardicanute, who had been sold as a slave 
to a certain widow at Whittingham, was redeemed and 
made king of Northumbria in the thirteenth year of 
King Alfred's reign. 

Our third sketch gives a view of the spacious courtyard 
of Chillingham Castle, with its stone stair- 
leadiug up to the dinisg-roonL, ita 
baluBtraddd portico, om»meuta(I with the 
effi^ea of Britiah warriors, and its rounded 
arcbea opening into a corridor where the 




VAi-E ojr wnrrmNoirAM- 



f^t 6 inches thick. Beneath it stretchea the 

cultivated vale of Whittinghaii], a sceno of 

beauty, shut in on the north by 

Titlinjrton Mount and Jenny 

Lautem HilU with Glanton Pike 

and the poatoral hilU of Fawdon 

and Ryle, and on the south by 

the Tbrunton and C&Llaley Crags, 

and the heathery uplands of 

Eun^de Moor. Fields of wavii^g 

oereak, meadows, and pastures all 

dott^ with cattle and ahc^i^: 

villageB, hamletd^ and farmste^ilH, 

with ccnintiy houses and patcht^i^ 

of woodland— these are the du- 

taila of the outspread picture. 

The little mral capital of the 

vale, nestling amid treeo and 

gardens on the lovely bonks of 

the Aln, poaseaeeA two objects of 

the greatest antiqu^an intert^st 

— the Saxon church and the me- 

dieeval peel tower- According 

to Roger de Hoveden, Cuthred, 



richly- celebrate "toad-Htone" is now depoailed, Th 

idylUo teUated mansion^ dej^igued by Inigo Junea at 



13 CHS- 

time 




OHILLTNORAIC 



130 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE. 



/ March 



when the Itftlian style of domeBtio architecture had 
somewhat superseded the Elizabethan, is quadrandrular 
in form, consisting of four ancient Border towers, con- 
nected by more modem buildings and surmounted 




^^^^Mk'M: 



FORD OASTLS. 



by embrasured parapets. The narrow baronial prison, 
with the dark dungeon underneath its floor, may 
yet be seen. Chillingham, of which some account has 
already been g^ven in the Monthly Chronicle (vol, i., p. 272), 
was formerly held by the family of the Greys, until, by 
the marriage of the heiress, daughter of Ford Lord Grey, 
with Lord Ossulston, it became a possession of the Tanker- 
viUes. The surroundings are very beautiful : the mossy 
little dell at one side, watered by the Chillingham burn, 

the splendid gardens and shrubberies at 

* the other, the magnificent carriage-drive 
with its avenue of lofty limes, and the 
far-famed park, two thousand acres in 
extent, undulating upwards to the summit 
of Roe Castle, with its feeding-grounds for i 
the wild cattle and its pmewood clumps ' 
and plantations. I 

Chillingham was an imitation of Ford ^ 

Castle, the earliest example between the 
Tees and the Tweed of a quadrangular 
building with a square tower at each 
comer. Our fourth sketch is a view of '\-\ . 
the north and west fronts of this famous g^f^^pSS^^^^^^^^*"^ 
border stronghold. Burnt down by the ^i^^ ^.^-^^i^ ^t\ 
Scottish King James IV. a short time 
before the battle of Flodden, Ford was 
partially restored a few years after, and 
re-built il in 1761-4. The oxily remnants 



of the ancient castle are two grim towers, one of which 
■Stands by itself a little to the south-west (see Monthly 
Chronide, vol. L, p. 455), and supports on its walls a 
tower-like superstructure for raising the flagstaff above 
the generally flat skyline of 
the building. The other is 
at the north-west comer of 
the mansion, and contains 
in its uppermost storey the 
chamber where King James 
is said to have slept on the 
night before Flodden. The 
tradition, however, is a very 
doubtful one. The view 
from the window of the 
valley of the Till and the 
pine-clad heighta of Flod- 
den, with the high, green 
Cheviots in the background, 
18 remarkably fine. In the 
basement of the tower, on 
the north, the artist has 
represented the small tre- 
foil-headed slit which ad- 
mits the light into the " dun- 
geon" — a vaulted chamber 
of fourteenth century con- 
struction, probably the most 
interesting feature of the castle. A sweeter little village 
than Ford, which is close to the gates of the castle, 
could hardly be imagined outside of Arcadia. There is 

Nought around but images of rest, 
Sleep-soothing groves, and quiet lawns between. 

The cosy-looking, red -tiled cottages, half hidden in foliage 
and flowering tendrils, are approached through the 
prettiest and trimmest of gardens, while the model little 
school-room is not only cheerful and attractive on the 



$mi 




THE OHSVIOTB. 



Marahl 
1888. / 



NORTHCOUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND, 



131 



outeide, .but rendered equally so in the inside by the 
frescoes of the Marchioness of Waterford illustrative of 
the " lives of good children." 

Our fifth and last sketch is a view from the Akeld and 
Kirknewton road of Yeavering Bell and the Glendale 
hills — the northernmost ^heights of the Cheviot range.' 
They are chiefly of porphyry, conical in shape and 
connected with each other by rounded ridges, or separated 
by deep, short valleys and glens. The summit of 
Yeavering Bell is surrounded by the fortifications of the 
ancient Britons, whose circular dwellings may still be 
traced on the lower slopes of the hill. Beneath it, at old 
Yeavering, is a cottage containing some ancient masonry, 
which is supposed to be a remnant of King Edwin's 
palace of Ad-6ebrin, where Paulinus abode when catechis- 
ing and baptising the inhabitants of Glendale. A large 
upright stone in the centre of a field to the south-west 
commemorates the battle of Getering, where the Scots 
were defeated in 1415 by Sir Robert de Umfraville. 
Coupland Castle is on the other side of the valley. 

W. W. TOMLINSON. 



©iTr f:|)iTe itsti^tXi. 




JHE Register Book of Shipping for the year 
1811-2 has the following entries, the date of 
the entries being 76 years ago, and long 

phor to any controversies as to the age of the various 

vessels named : — 

Amphiteite, brig, 221 tons ; Captain Stephenson, 
owner Elder, built at Shields 1776, crew 15, single deck 
with beams ; new bottom, new deck and upper works 
1802, also new bottom and damages repaired 1807. Class 
E 1, in London transport service. 

Betsey Cains, ship, 176 tons; Captain N. Garden, 
owners captain and others, built at King's yard, 1690. 
crew 12 ; rebuilt 1722, raised and thoroughlv repaired 
1802, some repairs 1807. four twelve carronaaes. Class 
A 1, surveyed 1810, in Pljrmouth transport service. 

Bbotherlt Love, 198 tons ; Captain Kirby, owner D. 
Heady, built at Ipswich 1764, crew 15, single deck with 
beams ; damages repaired 1807 and 1808, large repairs 
1811, four three-pounders, surveyed 1811. Class 1-1, in 
Shields and London trade. 

Feee Love, ship, 329 tons ; Captain Thompson, owner 
J. Carbin, built at Whitby 1785, single deck with beams ; 
new top sides and thoroughly repaired 1809, 16 crew, 
eight nme-pounders, surveyed 1810. Class E 1, in Lon- 
don transport service. 

Taking another of Lloyd's Annual Registers of Shipping, 

that for 1849, a date mid-way between the one already 

quoted and the present time, I find the following 

entry : — 

Amphitrite, snow, 305 tons ; Captain Armstrong, 
built at Newcastle, 1776, owner Laing, North Shields, 
voyages Shields and London ; part doubled 1820, part 
1848, lengthened 1820, large repairs 1844, new deck and 
large repairs 1849. Class M 1, surveyed January, 1849. 

The difference in the tonnage of the Amphitrite in the 
years 1811 and 1849 is accounted for by her being length- 
ened in 1820, and the operation of the new Measurement 
Act which came into force on January Ist, 1836. It is 



evident from the quotations given that, if the whole 
series of Lloyd's Annual Registers for the past century 
be inspected, much of the history of "old Tyne vessels " 
can be obtained. 

Whilst on the subject of old ships it may be interesting 
to note that built in the same year as the Brotherly Love 
was the ship Truelove, an old whaler of Hull which 
was only condemned and broken up about eight or nine 
years ago. She was built at Philadelphia in the year 
1764. She made her first trip to the Arctic regions in 1784, 
and went to Davis Straits as recently as 1866. She had 
made over 70 voyages to the Arctic seas. In 1873, when 
109 years old, she visited Philadelphia, the port of her 
birth, and was enthusiastically received by its citizens, 
who presented a centenary flag suitably inscribed. 
Another old ship running in the early part of this century 
was the Volunteer, built at Whitby in 1756, and 'sailing 
from that port to the Greenland seas. Tradition says she 
was an old transport. Being sold, she was employed in 
the Greenland trade for about half a century, sailing 
during that time from Hull and Whitby. 

J. S. Y., Hull. 

pRITING in the NewecLstle Weekly Chronicle on 
Oct. 22nd, 1887, Robin Good fellow mentioned 
that an old concert progranune had been placed 
in his hands. This programme announced performances in 
the Music Hall, Newcastle, by Mr. Henry Russell, 
the most popular composer and vocalist we have ever had 









'■ ■■/# 

in England. Mr. Russell gave two concerts in the hall 
named on the Ist and 2nd of December, 1845. 




132 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE. 



/Hwch 



itta. 



It was stated in the annoanoement that half of the 
reoeipts would be f^ven for the benefit of the Infirmary. 
Tickets were to be hod of Mr. Richardson, of 44, Grey 
Street. A note at the foot of the programme informed 
the public that a separate and commodious entrance to 
the resenred seats had been made through the Claren- 
don Hotel, Grainger Street. This hotel was situated 
near the Monument. The building became afterwards 
the Union Olub, and is now the business premises of Mr. 
John Moses. The Northumberland Hall was at one time 
the "long room'' of the Clarendon. It adjoins the 
Music Hall, which has become the Gaiety Theatre, and 
to which there was formerly an entrance from the hoteL 
Among the famous songs Mr. Russell was announced to 
sing in 1845 were :— "Life on the Ocean Wave," "The 
Old Arm Chair, " The Gambler's Wife," " The Maniac," 
and "Some Love to Roam." Robin Goodfellow added 
that Mr. Kussell was still in the land of the living, though 
advanced in years, having been bom at Sheemess in 1816. 
The paragraph in the Weekly Chronicle attracted the 
notice of Mr. Russell himself, who subsequently wrote 
the following letter, from which it will be seen that his 
celebrated song, "Man the Lifeboat," was composed 
at Tynemouth : — 

TO THE EDITOR OP THE WEEKLY CHRONICLE. 

Sir, — I have read with much interest your note on a 
very early performance of mine at Newcastle, a city of 
which I preserve some of the happiest recollections of my 
life. I do not know that I ever gAve an entertainment in 
any town in the United Kington in which my efforts to 
entertain the public met with more generous and (I may 
add) more intellectual appreciation. It gives me pleasure 
to think that vour reference to my name should be coupled 
with an act illustrative of the sincere good wishes I have 
ever felt towards the large-hearted people of the North. 

It may interest your numerous readers to know that one 
of my compositions, "Man the lifeboat," which I am 
happy in my old age to know has proved of material ad- 
vantage to the noble mission of life saving, was written at 
Tynemouth, and this single song, I may venture to think, 
inspired as it was in a neighbourhood in which the life- 
boat had its first beinff, establishes a link between New- 
casUe, its district, ana mjrself, the perpetuation of which, 
as I may gather from your friendly reference, is likely to 
be enduring. 

I am much interested in the changes which you indicate. 
I very well recollect the old building in which I gave my 
entertainment Long vears elapsed before I revisited 
your city, and the manifold transformations of time were 
forcibly illustrated to me by the spectacle of handsome 
streets replacing the old narrow ways which I recollected, 
and I would piurticularly instance the magnificent bridge 
of Robert Stephensoxi. which had no existence in the days 
to which your note refers. 

Your reference has recalled so much to me that 3rou 
must forgive me for thanking you for accentuating one of 
the most pleasant of my agreeable recollections.— I am, 
&c, Henrt Russell. 

St. Lawrence^n-Sea, Ramsgate, Oct. 27, 1887. 

The words of the celebrated song, "Man the Lifeboat," 
which were written by Blrs. Crawford, may appropriately 
be appended : — 

Man the lifeboat, man the lifeboat. 

Help ! or 3ron ship is lost ; 
Man toe lifeboat man the lifeboat, 

See how she's tempest toes'd. 



No human power, in such an hour. 

The c^lant bark can save. 
Her mainmast gone, and hurrying on. 

She seeks her watery grave. 
Man the lifeboat, man the lifeboat. 

See the dreaded signal flies ; 
Ha I she's struck, and from the rock 

Despainng shouts arise. 

And one there stands and wrings his hands^ 

Amidst the tempest wild. 
For on the beach he cannot reach. 

He sees his wife and child. 
Life-saving ark ! yon doomed bark 

Immortal souls doth bear ; 
Not gems, nor gold, nor wealth nntold. 

But men, brave men, are there. 
Oh ! speed the lifeboat, speed the lifeboat^ 

Oh ! God, their efforts crown ; 
She dashes on, the ship is gone 

Full forty fathoms down. 

Ah, see ! the crew are struggling now 

Amidst the billows' roar ; 
They're in the boat ! they're all afloat ! 

mirrah ! they've gained the shore. 
Bless the lifeboat bless the lifeboat ! 

Oh ! Grod, thoult hear our prayer. 
Bless the lifeboat bless the lifeboat ! 

No longer well despair. 



^avthumhvian ^ainti, 

|Sj2 |itci)Arb SBelforb. 

ST. ALCHMUND, 

SEVENTH BISHOP OF HEXHAX. 

|CCA, fifth Bishop of Hexham, was buried, a» 
we have seen {Monthly Chronicle, voL i., 
p. 76), in September, 740. His successor,. 
Frethbert governed the church twenty-two 
years and was foilowed by Alchmund, who was oonse> 
crated on the 24th April, 767. Alchmund, who is de- 
scribed as "a man of eminent holiness; a prelate of 
many and surprising virtues," ruled the bishopric for 
thirteen years, and, dying on the 7th of September, 
781, was buried near Acca, at the east end of the parish 
church. 

Seven bishops had now presided over the see of Hex- 
ham— Wilfrid, Eata, Tymberth, John, Acca, Frethbert, 
and Alchmund — ^and of these seven, Eata, Acca, Freth> 
bert, and Alchmund had been buried in or near "that 
stately shrine which was without a peer on this side of 
the Alps." In after years they were canonised, and their 
bones were taken up and reverently preserved as relics. 
The story of the discovery of Alchmund 's remains is a 
curious one. Early in the eleventh century, Alured. 
sacrist of Durham, endeavoured to concentrate the relics 
of Northern saints within his own monastery. He col- 
lected the bones of Boisil from Melroee, Oswin from 
Tynemouth, and Bede from Jarrow, besides those of 
other saints from Tyningham and Coldingham. While 
he was thus engaged, a person of note in Hexham 




March \ 
188a / 



NORTH-COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND. 



133 



dreamed that a magnifioent being stood before him, glit- 
tenng with light* who bade him go to Alured and desire 
him to remove his remains to a more honourable position 
in the church. The sleeper inquired who it was that 
addressed him. The visionary personage replied that he 
was Alchmund, and, describing his burial place, vanished. 
Alured, informed of this dream, went to Hexham, found 
Alchmund's bones, and laid them for the night in the 
porch. His zeal, however, outran his discretion. He 
bad quietly removed one of Alchmund's fingers to carry 
away to Durham, and the saint resented the mutilation. 
When, next day, the bearers attempted to remove the 
coffin, they found the burden too heavy for them. All 
their efiforts failed, and at eventide they had made no 
progress. Then, when all Hexham was sleeping, 
Alchmund appeared again to the dreamer, showed his 
fingerless hand, and demanded that his bones should 
be buried entire. Next morning Alured was infonned of 
the vision, restored the purloined finger, and, with hymns 
and canticles, and other suitable services, the body was 
interred. 

In 1154 there was a solemn translation of the relics of 
Alchmund and other bishops who had been buried at 
Hexham. The bones were put into three coffers bearing 
leaden plates inscribed with the names of the prelates, 
and set up close to the high altar in a suitable receptacle 
richly adorned with sculpture and colour. There they 
remained till, on the 8th April, 1296, the Scots came and 
plundered Hexham. The marauders burnt the church 
and convent, tore open the coffers, stole the gems and 
precious metals, and threw the rest of the contents into 
the flames. So perished the bones of Alchmund, the 
dust of Acca, and all the relics which had made Hexham 
famous among the shrines of Northumberland. 



ST. BARTHOLOMEW, 

PBISST, HONK, AND HERMIT OF FAENB. 

Bartholomew, the hermit of Fame, was bom at 
Whitby, towards the middle of the twelfth century. 
In youth he went to Norway, where, resisting importuni- 
ties to marry, he put himself under the tuition of a priest ; 
and, having himself been raised to the priesthood, he 
returned to England, and officiated at a church in North- 
umberland. Thence he made his way to Durham, 
entered the monastery, and became a monk under the 
name of Bartholomew, by which name he was afterwards 
known. While there he dreamed that St. Cuthbert 
appeared to him, and bade him go to the Island of Fame 
and live the life of a hermit. He left the monastery in 
the first week of Advent, 1151, and took up his permanent 
abode upon the solitary rock to which St. Aidan loved to 
retire, and upon which St. Cuthbert died. 

Sailors from Norway and Denmark occasionally sought 
shelter in .the creek or haven of his island, and fishermen 
from the coast would not unfrequently land there to pray 



in St. Cuthbert's oratory. Bartholomew took the oppor- 
tunity to instract them and minister to their wants as 
best he could from his own little store. Once, when the 
storm was prolonged, he had his cow killed to feed them. 
The fame and odour of his sanctity spread, and men of 
all ranks, the high bom and the lowly, came sin-burdened 
and contrite from all parts to confess to him, and be ab- 
solved and directed by him. A strong familiarity, too, 
sprung up between the anchoret and the sea fowl— the 
cormohmt, the bittern, the eider duck, the puffin, and 
thegulL 

When he had been five years at Fame he was joined 
by Thomas, Prior of Durham. There was some friction 
between the two at first, and Bartholomew went back to 
the cathedral city which Thomas had left. But all diffi- 
culties were smoothed over, and he returned to the island 
and lived in harmony with his colleague until the ex- 
prior's death left him once more alone. 

After spending 42 years at Fame, the weakness of old 
age fell upon Bartholomew. On Ascension Day, 1193, he 
fell ilL His brethren from Lindisfame visited him and 
attended to his simple wants. For the last seven weeks 
of his life he neither ate nor drank ; he rarely spoke, but 
was rapt in prayer and contemplation. It was his ex- 
press wish to be buried where he had fought and fallen. 
No one was near when he departed. Close by, a coffin 
of stone was found, which he had prepared for himself. 
In this his body was reverently laid, and deposited, with 
many tears, on the south side of St. Cuthbert's Chapel, 
and dose to St. Cuthbert's Fountain. 



ST. BEDE, 

**THB VENEBABLB." 

About the year 673, when the Grovemment of England 
was a Heptarchy, when Adeodatus, the God-given, was 
Pope, and when Egfrid was king and Wilfrid bishop of 
Northumbria, there was bom, within the territory 
of the monastery of St. Peter at Wearmouth, a 
child who was destined to become a great man, 
and to be known all the world over as the Venerable 
Bede. The abbot of the monastery was Benedict Biscop, 
who had founded the establishment, and was labouring 
to extend its privileges northward to the banks of the 
Tyne. To him, and to the brethren under his rule, the 
boy, when seven years old, was entrusted— dedicated by 
his kinsfolk at that early age to the service of the altar 
and the discipline of the cloister. 

By the time Bede was eleven or twelve years old, the 
indefatigable abbot had succeeded in extending his 
monastery to Jarrow. Twenty-two of the brethren, 
including Bede, were sent to the new foundation, and 
there, with Ceolfrid as abbot, they built up the monastery 
of St Paul. Thenceforward the organization was known 
as the monastery of St. Peter and St. Paul at Wear- 
mouth and Jarrow. Very soon after their arrival on the 



134 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE. 



r March 



18S& 



bankd of the Tyne a pestilence swept away the monks 
until there remained only Ceolfrid and Bede, and these 
two, the abbot and the postulant, kept up the cele- 
bration of the Divine office until the vacant stalls began 
to be re>occupied. 

Eagerly availing himself of the literary treasures with 
which the zeal and enterprise of the founder had endowed 
the united monastery, Bede spent his tranquil youth 
in the acquisition of learning. An apt scholar, he 
quickly attained proficiency in chanting, acquired a 
knowledge of theology, and made fair progress in Latin, 
Greek, and Hebrew. Abbot Ceolfrid rewarded his pious 
diligence by reoonmiending him to the favour of his 
diocesan, John, Bishop of Hexham, better known in 
history by his after name of St. John of Beverley. When 
he was nineteen years old, Bishop John admitted him to 
deacon *s orders — a high, if not unprecedented honour, for 
the rules of the Church prescribed twenty-five years as the 
minimum age at which the office of deacon might be con- 
ferred upon the qualified novice. Eleven years were 
devoted to meditative study in his sequestered home at 
Jarrow, and then Abbot Ceolfrid presented him once 
more to the appreciation of the bishop, and he was 
ordained priest. With his admission into the second 
order of the ministry his life-work began. Bede the 
monk became Bede the author, — a writer of books for the 
instruction of his brethren, books which have won the 
admiration of mankind, and given him an imperishable 
fame. 

The writings of Bede comprise about forty separate 
treatises; but it is chiefly upon one of them, "The 
Ecclesiastical History of our Island and Nation," 
that his fame^ rests. Lingard lells us that upon 
its completion this history was received with univer- 
sal applause; **by succeeding generations it was 
piously preserved as a memorial of the virtue of their 
ancestors ; and by Alfred the Great was translated into 
Saxon for the instruction of his more illiterate country- 
men. That it is a faithful record of the times has never 
been doubted ; and if to some critics the credulity of the 
writer with respect to miracles appear a blemish, yet his 
candour, sincerity, and piety must please and edify every 
reader.** 

Bede*s tranquil life on the Tyne, entirely devoted as it 
was to his official duties and his literary labours of love, 
affords no material for a biography adequate to his re- 
putation and his place in history. We know him only by 
his writings, though the late Bishop Bewick, in the 
"Biographical Series** of the Catholic Truth Society, 
quoting from "a very old and very good authority,** 
grives a pleasant description of his personal appearance. 
According to this authority, he was of goodly stature and 
grave deportment, having a handsome face and pleasing 
countenance, in which severity was blended with a cer- 
tain charm of sweetness— a man of fluent speech gifted 



with a fine tenor voice, &o. And then the good bishop 
draws a picture of him as he may have been seen standing 
at the altar, saying mass, sitting in his stall in choir 
chanting the divine office, pacing the cloisters, walking 
in the gardens and shrubberies by the side of the little 
river Don, strolling on the sands of the Slake when the 
tide was out, or occasionally sailing with his fellow 
monks up and down the Tyne in one of the coracles or 
fishing boats of the monastery. 

But, if there is no proper record of the life of the great 
ecclesiastical historian, we have a narrative of his closing 
scene which shows the beautiful simplicity of his charac- 
ter, his unaffected piety, and his earnest devotion to the 
work whereunto he was called, in terms of moving pathos. 
It was wntten by Cuthbert, one of his pupils, to a fellow 
reader named Cuthwin. After describing the progress of 
the malady with which the dying monk was afflicted, 
during the fortnight before Ascension Day [May 26^ 
735, when he died, the writer proceeds : — 

The Tuesday before the Ascension of our Lord came he 
began to suffer still more in his breath, and a small swel- 
lini? appeared in his feet ; but he passed all that day and 
dictated cheerfully, and now and then among other thines 
said, '* Go on quickly, I know not how long I shall hold 
out, and whether my Maker will not soon take me awav.** 
But to us he seemed very well to know the time of his 
departure. And when the morning appeared, that is 
Wednesday, he ordered us to write with all speed what 
he had begun; and this done we walked till the third 
hour with the relics of saints, according to the custom of 
that day. There was one of us with nim who said to 
him, "Most dear master, there is still one chapter 
[of St John's Gospel] wanting ; do you think it 
troublesome to be asked anv more questions ? " 
He answered, " It is no trouble. Take your pen 
and make ready, and write fast.*' Which he did, but at 
the ninth hour he said to me, " I have some little articles 
of value in my chest, such as pepper, napkins, and in- 
cense : run quickhr and bring the priests of our monas- 
tery to me, that I may distribute amon^ them the gifts 
which Grod has bestowed on me. The nch in this world 
are bent on giving gold and silver, and other precioas 
things. But I, in charity, will joyfully rive my brothers 
what God has given unto me." * * * Having said much 
more he passed the day joyfully till the evening ; and the 
boy above mentioned saia, " Dear master, there is jret 
one sentence not written.** He answered, "Write 
quickly.'* Soon after the boy said, " The sentence is now 
written.** He replied. "It is well; you have said Uie 
truth. It is ended. Receive my head into ^'our hands, 
for it is a great satisfaction to me to sit facmg my holy 
place where I was wont to pray, that I may also sitting 
call upon my Father.*' And thus on the pavement ot 
his little ceU. singing " Glory be to the Father, and to 
the Son, ana to the Holv Ghost,** when he had named 
the Holy Ghost he breathed his last, and so departed to 
the heavenly kingdom. 

The remains of Bede were buried under the south 
porch of the conventual church at Jarrow, within sight 
of the humble cell in which he had yielded up his spirit. 
They were afterwards removed to a more honourable 
place within the sacred edifice, and for a long time were 
the object of great veneration. Pilgrims from great dis- 
tances, and the faithful throughout the Northern Counties, 
visited Jarrow to pray, to see the chair in which Bede 
was accustomed to sit, and to view the stone upon which. 



MarebV 



NORTH'COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND. 



135 



in the intervals between the hours of refirular discipline, 
he loved to meditate. 

Two centuries and a half after the deatb of Bede the 
church at Durham was founded, and during the episco- 
pate of Eadmund, second bishop of that see, the priest 
Alured, already mentioned in connection with St. Alch- 
mund, was collecting the remains of saints for the enrich- 
ment of St Cuthbert's shrine. It was his custom every 
year to go on a pilgrimage to Jarrow with some of his 
brethren, and to return with them. On one of these 
occasions, having spent some days in the church in 
solitude, praying and watching, he returned to Durham 
in the early morning alone, and without the know- 
ledge of his companions. Thenceforward he visited 
Jarrow no more. When he was asked by his friends 
where were the bones of Bede, he would reply, " No one 
can answer that question so well as I. You may be 
assiu^ my brethren, beyond all doubt that the same^hest 
which holds the hallowed body of our father Cuthbert 
also contains the bones of Bede our reverend teacher and 
brother." And so it proved, for, after all those at Jarrow 
who could have reclaimed them had departed, the relics 
were found in the coffin of St. Cuthbert, where Alured 
had secreted them. 

At a later time, when that munificent prelate Hugh 
Pudsey occupied the throne of the Northern See, the 
bones of St. Bede (for he had been canonised in the mean- 
time) were deposited in a shrine of gold and silver which 
stood within St. Cuthbert's feretory. In 1370 the shrine 
was removed to the Galilee, where the Reformation 
found and destroyed it. The bones, or such of them as 
remained (for portions of St. Bede's relics were widely 
dispersed), were buried by order of the king's commis- 
sioners beneath the site of their previous exaltation, and 
the large table monument which we see in the Galilee was 
placed over them. Upon that monument was cut in the 
year 1831 an inscription, the penultimate word of which 
is said to have been supplied by an angel, while the old 
monk, who was trying to compose it, exhausted by his 
effort to fill up the hiatus, was sound asleep :— 

HAO SUNT IN FOSSA, BED£ VENEBABILIS 08SA. 



gggaENTON CHARE was the principal thorough- 
D BQB V fare from Westgate Road into St. Nicholas' 
■ ^S^ Square, Newcastle, before Collingwood 
maaB^Sk Street was constructed. Persons now living 
remember the chare as a brisk place of business. 
Many of the houses now present a very different aspect 
to what they did some half century ago ; indeed some 
of them have been wholly, or in great part, rebuilt. 
When certain changes contemplated by the Corpora- 
tion, the Post Office authorities, and the North-Eastem 



Railway Company are carried into effect, the appear- 
ance of this part of Newcastle will be again consider- 
ably modified. A few particulars about some of the 
old houses and the persons who occupied them some years 
ago, may not, therefore, be uninteresting. 

The house now occupied by Mr. Pape, the gunmaker, 
though not facing Denton Chare, may be considered as 
once forming a part of it It was formerly in the occu- 
pancy of Dr. Fife, Sir John Fife's father, and afterwards 
of another medical practitioner* the late Alderman 
Gregson. The next house was occupied by Tilly, 
a cabinetmaker; then came the register office kept 
by one Fairbairn ; and following that was the shop 
of Tumbull, an old man who made violins. Above 
were the back bedrooms of the Turf Hotel. Further 
along there was a very old building in which two 
men carried on the business of "hecklers." One of 
them was called Tom Grierson, who made some addition 
to his income by acting as check-taker at the theatre in 
Mosley Street ** Heckling " was the dressing of the tow 
or lint for spinning and weaving. The ** heckle " was a 
wooden block nvith steel spikes about six inches in length, 
and very sharp at the pomt. The tow was lashed upon 
the spikes, and then drawn rapidly away from them, by 
iKhich means all the knots and impurities were removed 
from the tow or lint. Manual labour in this trade 
has been superseded to a great extent by machinery. 
It is believed that the last persons who carried on the 
trade of ** hecklers" in Newcastle were two brothers 
of the name of Preston, whose shop was near to the Head 
of the Side. 

The neighbour of the "hecklers" was a coffin-maker 
named Younger, who had a wooden leg. He dabbled in 
medicine to some extent, and enjoyed the reputation of 
being a more trustworthy man than the ordinary run of 
quack doctors. Not being a qualified practitioner him- 
self, he was determined that one of his sons, who ex- 
hibited a similar taste for the curative art, should 
nut labour under his disadvantages : so he spared 
no expense in his education, and the son was 
duly qualified. A man named Routledge, a tallow 
chandler, occupied the house next to Younger, and his 
neighbour was a fruiterer and provision dealer, called 
Hopper. Buddie, a grocer, was the tenant of the end 
shop on the north side. The shop at the opposite comer 
was occupied by two brothers named Brown. William 
Brown, one of the brothers, afterwards took the Turf 
Hotel, remaining there for nany years. Two or 
three shops intervened between Brown's shop and 
the Cock Inn, one of them a noted pie shop, 
which many elderly local gentlemen may still remem- 
ber, for it was patronised by almost all the boys of 
the town. The house is now in a ruinous conditio^. The 
Cock was a very old inn and posting house. Thomas 
Heron, the landlord, took great pride in his horses, and 
it was one of the sights on a Sunday to watch the 



136 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE. 



FMarah 



departure of the Tynemouth coach, to which were 
hameoed four beautiful ateedi. A coach left the Cock 
for Morpeth Cattle Market on Tuesdays. Heron's eldest 
daughter married one of the Ogles of Northumberland. 
This old hostelry was much frequented by pitmen, 
who assembled here to arrange the cock "mains." Is 
was also a house of call for operative masons. On his 
road from Benwell to the Cock, Billy Oliver, as related in 
the local song, went "alang biv Denton Chare.*' 



Next to the Cock was one of the principal 
fruiterer's shops in the town, kept \ij a man named 
TumbulL Then there were two or three private 
dwelling-bouses. In one of them lived a constable 
named Usher, who afterwards became Chief-Constable 
of Gateshead. What is now the Gloucester Inn at 
the west end of Denton Chare was formerly a 
clothier's shop. Some sixty years ago it was 
occupied by Messrs. Laidler and Dunn, who carried 




^^__y ■ii^L'.jaiv- ■ T, -y 



M^ 



<i"--^ ;x~-"-. 




rmnf 



Marabl 
188a / 



NORTH-COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND, 



137 



CD a Incratiye buBiness. The Duke of Gloucester, 
when passinfT through Newcastle, tarried for a short 
time at the Turf HoteL Some buttons had come off his 
royal highnesses coat, and a waiter was despatched to the 
-establishment of Laidler and Dunn, who replaced them. 
Shortly after this event the words *' Tailors to the Duke 
of Gloucester'' appeared in large letters on their sign, 
and the firm was not a little proud of the distinction. 
When the house became an inn, it followed as a natural 
sequence that the name selected for the sign was that of 
the Duke of Gloucester. Laidler, the head of the clothing 
firm, built a residence on Arthur's Hill, and called it 
*' Gloucester House," but it was popularly known as 
"Cabbage Hall," in sly allusion to the owner's trade. 
The business afterwards came into the hands of Hutton 
and Rhind, and is now represented by Hutton and Sons, 
of Mosley Street, Newcastle. 

An old local resident informs us that on the night 
of the "Battle of the Forth " he was in Denton Chare. 
The greater part of the inhabitants were standing 
about discussing the great topic of the day, when 
someone fired a pistol in the chare, causing great com- 
motion among the dwellers of that otherwise peaceful 
locality. A moment afterwards a mounted Dragoon, 
with drawn sword, dashed into the chare, and scattered 
the people right and left, clearing the thoroughfare in 
" the twinkling of an eye.** No one was hurt, but much 
indignation was expressed against the person who had 
•discharged the firearm. 



Cite Bffcii 2l0lti, ^elti(acitle. 




HE locality known as the Back Row has 
Uit more than half a century borne an 
evil reputation in Newcastle. It is situated 
in what at one time was a fashionable part of the 
town, and many of the houses still retain evidences of 
former importance. In late years the large residences 
have been let out in tenements, the result being that the 
occupants are of a mixed class, and, in many cases, of 
dubious character. But in consequence of certain contem- 
plated improvements by the North-Eastem Railway 
Company, the Corporation, and the Post Office, the whole 
of the houses in the Back Row are now being pulled 
down. 

Two of the most distinguished of our citizens once re- 
sided in the Back Row. Here it was that the Rev. John 
Brand, the historian of Newcastle, served his time with 
Anthony Wheatley, cordwainer. Here, too, was the 
school of Charles Hutton, who, at the time, described 
himself simply as " writing-master and teacher of mathe- 
matics," but who afterwards became professor in the 
Military College, Woolwich, from which position he 
retired with a pension of £500 per annum. 

The accompanying sketch shows part of the south side 
of the street, looking towards the old Castle. 













i^^^ 



I'vWfflsri'f a(»T;'nt. <lff7 



138 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE. 



i Mftn^ 



1M8. 



maXti aiiTr ^axaxatnXKxiti, 

MR. LOCKEY HARLK 
The little sketch uf Mr. Lockey Harle which appeared 
in vol. ii. of the MorUhlp ChronicUf pacre 49, was scarcely 
lengthy enough to do full justice to his great abilitien, 
especially as a speaker. Mr. Harle's exceedingly pleasing 
delivery, and his command of well-chosen language, made 
it a treat to listen to him. He was especially happy 
when addressing young men of the working class. I 
have heard him more than once say that a steady, indus- 
trious, capable workman was pretty sure of constant 
employment, and able (if willing) to lay by a store for old 
age. It was his belief that England was the best country 
in the world for the working man. Mr. Harle died on the 
18th January, 1878— not 1868, as was inadvertently 
stated. W. W. 



of apprenticeship of my great-grandfather, apprenticed 
in Newbum in 1740, which I have before me. 

D. OuvzB, Kew. 



THE ROMAN REMAINS AT LANCHESTER. 

Concerning the remains of the Roman Station at Lan- 
Chester, described on page 74, vol. ii, of the Monthly 
Chronicle, Surtees states in his "History of Durham," 
published in 1820, that the late proprietor of the farm 
at Hollingside recollected the site of the station, which 
occupied eight acres (not eighty, as previously stated), 
when it was covered with fallen pillars, and when the 
towers of the wall were still visible. The stone employed 
in building the station was brought from a hill about a 
mile to the east of Lanchester. The ruins supplied 
materials for the church at Lanchester, the village, the 
farm-houses, and the stone fences of the neighbouring 
enclosures. It is said the masons preferred the lettered or 
sculptured stones for ** throughs," and frequently placed 
them in walls with their faces inwards. The station was, 
in fact, the general quarry of hewn stone for the whole 
district. S. 



APPRENTICES AND SALMON. 
It is remarkable that no direct evidence exists, no in- 
denture with the stipulation intercalated, limiting the 
number of days weekly on which Newcastle apprentices 
might be obliged to eat salmon. Otherwise surely such 
evidence would have reached Mr. Clephan. However, I 
do not see how we can set aside the clear statement of our 
worthy townsman, Thomas Bewick (Memoir, 1862, p. 
222) :— " From about the year 1760 to '67, when a boy, I 
was frequently sent by my parents to purchase a salmon 
from the fishers o' the * strike * at Eltringham ford. At 
that time I never paid more, and often less, than three- 
halfpence per pound. ♦ ♦ « Before, or perhaps 
about this time, there had always been an article inserted 
in every indenture in Newcastle, that the apprentice was 
not to be obliged to eat salmon above twice a week, and 
the like bargain was made upon hiring ordinary servants." 
I may say there is no reference to salmon in the indenture 



A VICAR'S WILL. 

On a fly leaf of my copy of the ** Parochial History and 

Antiquities of Stockton-upon-Tees," by the Rev. John 

Brewster, there is in MS. the following copy of a will, 

said to be that of the Rev. John Skelly, who was vicar of 

Stockton from 1742 to 1772, and who died at Alnwick. 

While at Stockton, he put a stop to the inhuman custom 

of throwing at cocks on Shrove Tuesday. Here is the 

will:— 

What, Morgan dead ! Upon my life, 
We have another chance, my wife ; 
And as, my dear, they die so soon, 
I'll make my will this afternoon : 
To four good men give each a daughter, 
To Dr. Riddal my cask of porter ; 
My hat and wig won't do for beaux. 
But very well to fright the crows : 
My gown and band to some old ^rson, 
My tything book to good friend Lawson, 
My boots and spurs put up by lot. 
Wno gets vour snuffy coat ? A Scot, 
For there he'll forage for a year ; 
So let it not be brushed, my dear. 
My shoes to John, I've but two pair. 
To old Will Wright pray give my mare. 
Ill keep this will in case I live ; 
I may perhaps have more to give. 
Which shall be added when I've time. 
And can compose another rhyme ; 
Sign'd, sealed, published, witness three, 
My wife, my daughter Bess, and me. 

W., Durham. 



0ffrtits€ffttittri) Wiit$f l^tttitour. 

A valentine's dress. 
Not many miles from Chester-le-Street, two young men 
were about to send a valentine to a young woman, when 
one asked the other if he knew her address, to which hia 
friend replied, '* Aye, aa believe she sometimes weers a 
black yen ! " 

MUTINEERS. 

Some young women, in the vicinity of Shotton Colliery, 
were discussing the events of a mutiny that had occurred 
on board a man of war, when one of them, less informed 
than the rest, asked, ** Wey, whaat countrymen de ye call 
the mutineers?" "Divvent ye knaa, SaDy?' replied 
another ; ** them's sailors ! " 

BILLY STRETCHER. 

About five and thirty years since Jarrow could boast 
of rather an eccentric general dealer, and it was a common 
by-word that Billy Stretcher had everything to selL 
Some pitmen, lounging about the Short Row, made a bet 
that Billy hadn't a case for a wheelbarrow that was 
standing by. So to Billy they went with the barrow. 
On stating their demand, Billy coolly wheeled the 
article into his warehouse, locked the door, and, turning 



March I 
188& } 



NORTH-COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND, 



139 



round to his castomers, said, ''That's a case for it, 
himiies ; that's a case for it." There was no getting over 
Billy in any shape. He saw a customer helping himself 
to some eggs that stood on the counter, and took no 
notice. Just, however, as the customer was leaving, 
BiUy gave him a clap or two on the pocket as he 
whi8X)ered, *'6ude neet, gude neet, hinny; yell sune 
gi'es a caall agyen ! ^ 

HAIB-BBUSHIKO MACHINE. 

One day a miner was passing down a street in Hough- 
ton*le-Spring, when he chanced to look into a barber's 
shop, where the barber was brushing a customer's hair 
with a machine. Never having seen the operation before, 
the miner called out to his mate, '* Aa say, Geordy, cum 
here, man. Here's the barber cutting a chep's hair wiv 
a buzzom ! " 

THE NEW HUSBAND AND THE OLD ONE. 

A Newcastle widow, after the death of her first hus- 
band, took to herself another mate, who in due course 
hung up his hat in the widow's house. Among the 
pictures which adorned the walls was an oil painting of 
the '*late lamented." One day the new husband, 
who was sitting on the sofa underneath the portrait, 
struck his head a(?ain8t the massive frame. Rubbing the 
part which had been struck, and looking up at the picture 
which had caused the temporary pain, he addressed it 
thus, ** Oh ! aall suen hev thoo up in the garret I " 
A violinist's admibeb. 

One Saturday night, a successful penny concert was 
inven at Cullercoats, at which there was a large audience, 
principally fisherfolk. Amongst the performers was the 
well-known local violinist, Mr. J. H. Beers. After 
the concert, an old fisherman was asked by a gentleman 
how he had enjoyed the performance. This was his 
reply : — " Forst class, mistor. The fiddlin' o* that chep 
was the clivvorest aa ivvor hard ; it wes worth paying a 
penny te hear him alejm !" 



i^mrtit^^^CffutTtrs <!l&ttttirvieci. 



Dr. Peter Henry M^aren, a medical practitioner at 
Bedlington, died on the 8th of January, from the efifects 
of an ordinary dose of chloral, which he had taken to 
procure sleep, as he had a heavy day's work to undertake 
on the following day. 

On the 10th of January, Mrs. Waddilove, of Beacon 
Grange, Hexham, wife of Vice-Admiral Charles D. 
Waddiluve, died at the Admiralty House, Sheemess. 
The deceased lady, who had given birth to a son on 
New Year's Day, was a daughter of Mrs. Blackett-Ord, 
of Whitfield Hall. 

The Right Rev. Br. Ryan, Rector of Stanhope. Wear- 
dale, died there, after a long illness, on the 11th of 
January. Dr. Ryan, who was formerly Bishop of the 
Mauritius, and afterwards Vicar of Bradford, was about 
seventy-two years of age. 



On the 13th of January was announced the death, in his 
eighty-third year, of George Davidson, printer. Castle- 
gate, Berwick, who had witnessed the jubilees of George 
III. and Queen Victoria, in that town, of which he was a 
freeman. 

The Rev. Charles Henry Ford, J.P., Vicar of Bishop- 
ton, near Stockton, died at that place on the 16th of 
January. He was between fifty and sixty years of age, 
and had held the living since 1858. The deceased gentle- 
man was chairman of the justices of Stockton Petty 
Sessional Division. 

Mr. Robert Cropton, an old Sunderland shipowner, 
died on the 16th January, at his residence. Park Place 
East, Sunderland, in the seventy-seventh year of his age. 

Dr. R. G. Gammage, a medical gentleman who 
formerly resided and practised in Sunderland, died at 
Northampton, his native town, on the 7th of January. 




The deceased was one of the leaders in the Chartist 
movement, and in company with Mr. Ernest Jones and 
others visited the principal towns and cities in the 
United Kingdom, lecturing on the points of the People's 
Charter. He subsequently published a history of the 
agitation, and he lately furnished a narrative of his 
personal reminiscences to the Ntxocastle Weekly Chronicle. 
The deceased gentleman, who was sixty-five years of age, 
had studied medicine in Newcastle. 

On the same day, the death occurred at the Royal 
Infirmary, Newcastle, of Nurse M*Intyre, better known 
as Nurse Ellen, who for nearly a quarter of a century 
bad been engaged as nurse, principally in the Magdalen 
Ward of that institution. The deceased lady, whose 
remains were removed to Leith for interment, was 
seventy -four years of age. 

On the same day. Dr. James Scott, one of the oldest 
medical practitioners in Newcastle, died at his residence, 
Westmoreland Road, in that city. The deceased gentle- 
man, who was a native of Govan, near Glasgow, was 
sixty -one years of age. 

Mr. John Thompson, one of the most prominent agri- 
ctUturists on the Borders, and a very successful breeder 



140 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE, 



/Mareh 



188& 



Mid exhibitor, died at Baillieknowe, near Kelso^ on the 
16th of January. 

Mr. ChriBtopher Stephenson, head agent for the Earl 
of CarliBle'a estates, and a member of a well-known Tyne- 
side family of farmers, died on the 17th of January, at 
his residence, Four Gables, near Naworth Castle, Cum- 
berland. 

On the 18th of January, at the age of forty-nine years, 
died Mr. Alfred T. Gorringe, a son of Mr. (rorringe who 
for many years was proprietor of the Shakspeare Hotel, 
Newcastle. The deceased was one of a baud of Tjme- 
side young men who joined Garibaldi's army in the 
struggle for the liberation of Italy in 1860. 

Mr. John Bell, of Rushpool Hall, Saltbum-by-the-Sea, 
died suddenly, of heart disease, at Algiers, on the 21st 
of January. The deceased gentleman commenced his 
conmiercial career at Walker Iron Works, belonging to 




Mr. JoliTi Bell. 



0- !ih 



the firm in which his father, Aid. Thomas Bell, for- 
merly of Newcastle, was a partner. Soon after this he 
joined the house of Bell Brothers, then recently founded 
by his brother, Sir Isaac Lowthian Bell, when he devoted 
his attention to the mining interests of the two firms. 
The deceased gentleman was sixty-eight years of age. 

Mr. Henry M. Bamett, who for many years had car- 
ried on business as an artist in stained glass, in West- 
moreland Street, Newcastle, and whose work bore a high 
reputation for beauty of design and delicacy of touch, 
died on the 26th of January, at his residence, Percy 
Gardens, Tynemoutb. 

The death was announced, on the 27th of January, as 
having taken place on the 4th of that month, at Pitts- 
burg, U.S., of Mr. Charles Bell, late ot Consett, at the 
early age of twenty-four years. The deceased, who was a 
successful Wesleyan local preacher, left Consett for 
America in the beginning of November, 1886. 

Mr. William Hope, plumber and gas-fitter at the works 
of Sir W. G. Armstrong, Mitchell, and Co., at Elswick, 



was accidentally crushed to death between a crane and 
pillar at that establishment on the 27th of January. The 
deceased, who belonged to Blyth, and was only thirty- 
four yearn of age, was well known and admired in musi(^ 
circles at that seaport, where he was for a longtime 
precentor in the Bridge Street Presbyterian Church. Mr. 
Hope had just been appointed to a similar position in 
Westmoreland Road Presbjrterian Church, Newcastle. 

On the 1st of February, the death was announced, as 
having taken place on the 28th ult., of Mr. William 
Robinson Robinson, of Silksworth Hall, in the County of 
Durham. The deceased gentleman, who was a justice of 
the peace and a deputy lieutenant for the county of Dur- 
ham, was eighty-three years of age. 

Mr. William Rawling, a member of the Houghton 
Local Board, died at his residence there, on the 28th of 
January, at the comparatively early age of forty-nine 
years. The deceased had been an active advocate of the 
right of the working men to a large participation in the 
management of local affairs, and he was also a prominent 
Primitive Methodist 

On the 6th of February, the death was announced as 
having taken place suddenly, of Mr. George Hill, who 
for many years had been head-master of the schools 
established in connection with the Elswick Works, New- 
castle. The deceased gentleman was sixty-four years 
of age. 

The. Rev John Low Low, Vicar of Whittonstall, and 
Honorary Canon of Newcastle, died on the 8th of Feb- 
ruary. The rev. gentleman, who was seventy-one years 
of age, was ordained in 1844 by Bishop Maltby, and the 
first curacy he held was that of St. Margaret's, Durham. 

Mr. John Gallon, for thirty years a member of the 
Newcastle Board of Guardians, died at his residence, 
Westgate Road, in that city, on the 9th of February. 






fc 




11.' i ' r ; n ' t ' 

m 



March \ 
1888. / 



NORTH-COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND. 



141 



The deceased, who was eighty-foor yean of age, was a 
shoemaker, and was a native of Longhorsley, Northum- 
berland, whence he removed to Newcastle in 1825. Mr. 
Gallon was a keen politicism, and was in early life a 
member of the Northern Political Union. 

On the 12th of Febmary, Mr. H. S. Sewell, solicitor, 
Newcastle, who had served his articles with Messrs. 
Hoyle, Shipley, and Hoyle, and who had been in practice 
since 1860, died at Whitley.' 

Mr. Mark William Carr, engineer, died suddenly on 
the 5th of February, at Morelia, Mexico, whither he had 
gone to examine and report on some mines. Mr. Carr, 
who was a son of the late Mr. John Thomas Carr, a 
former Sheriff of Newcastle, was sixty-six years of age, 
and was a member of the. Institution of Civil Engineers. 

On the 13th of February, Mr. W. Young, maltster, 
died at Berwick, of which he was believed to be the 
oldest inhabitant, his age being ninety-six years. The 
deceased gentleman was a member of the first Town 
Council after the passing of the Reform Bill. 

Mr. Thomas Gray, an alderman of the Jarrow Town 
Council and a member of other local bodies, also died on 
the 13th of February. Mr. Gray, who was a farmer, and 
was a native of CUfton, near Morpeth, was sixty-four 
years of age. 

Mr. John Corbitt, of the firm of Messrs. Dixon and 
Corbitt, rope manufacturers, Gateshead, who had been 
admitted into the Newcastle Royal Infirmary suffer- 
ing from a compound fracture of the arm accidentally 
received, died in that institution on the 15th of Februaiy, 
aged seventy-two years. 



12. — ^It was announced that Sir William Grossman, 
M.P., of Cheswick House, and lord of the manor of Holy 
Island, had, with the permission of the Commissioners of 
Woods and Forests, commenced a series of excavations, 
with a view of laying bare the foundations and walls of 
the ruins of the monastic buildings outside the old Priory 
Church, Lindisfame. The operations resulted in the 
discovery of a number of archaeological relics, including 
the foundation stones of three magnificent columns, like 
Burham Galilee Chapel 

13. — According to a local journal of this date, a plough- 
man named Kemp, while engaged at that work a few 
days previously in the Camp Field at Flodden, discovered 
two large freestone slabs, which it was afterwards found 
formed the covering of an ancient burjring-place. 

14. — ^Messrs. Stephenson and Co., engineers, in their 
new capacity of shipbuilders, launched the first steamer 
from their yard at Hebbum, the vessel being named the 
Endeavour, by Lady Pease. 

16.— Mr. F. W. Wyndham, lessee of the Theatre 
Royal, Newcastle, was entertained to a banquet at the 
Crown Hotel, and was presented with a cheque for £250. 
Mr. Wyndham, in the course of the speech which he 
made, said he was bom on the stage, and two days after- 
wards he was carried across the stage of the old Adelphi 
Theati^ Edinburgh. There was a fire at the theatre at 
the time, and he was christened '* Phoenix" in conse- 
quence. His real name was Frederick William Phoenix 
Wyndham ; but he was subjected to so much chaff that 
he eventually dropped the ** Phoenix " altogether. 

18. — The new Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle was 
consecrated at Rome to-day. Dr. O'Callaghan was 
bom in London, and is 60 years of age. He was 



fdetmrTr al <E?iietTtsi« 



|lortl)*(IotintrB ©crarrettcejij. 



JANUARY. 

9. — On the occasion of his eightieth birthday, Mr. Wm. 
Hedley, J. P., of Bumhopeside Hall, laid the foundation 
stone of a new misrion church and infant school which he 
had undertaken to build for the benefit of his workpeople 
and their children at Craghead and Holmside Collieries, 
near Chester-le-Street. 

10. — A fog of extraordinary density prevailed for 
several hours in the morning in Newcastle and neigh- 
bourhood. 

—Mr. Sleeman, travelling inspector of the Veterinary 
Department of the Privy Council, visited Newcastle, on 
business connected with the investigations being carried 
on throughout the country as to the healthfulness and 
safety of the sources of the milk-supply. 

—The Gateshead Board of Guimlians accepted the 
tender of Mr. Walter Scott for the erection of a new 
workhouse for £41,000. 

11. — Advertisements were issued inviting tenders for a 
further issue of £125,000 Newcastle-upon-Tyne Corpora- 
tion Stock, at 3^ per cent., making, with £890,000 pre- 
viously taken up, the total amount of stock issued 
£1,015,000. 




educated at St Edmund's College at Ware, and was 
ordained in London. He has been rector of the English 
College in Rome for nearly 25 years. In 1884, he was 
appointed domestic prelate to his Holiness the Pope. 



142 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE, 



/March 
\ 1888. 



Through his energy, there has been bailt a beautiful 
church in Rome, which is known as that of St. Thomas of 
Canterbury, and which is attached to the English College. 
The cost of this erection was about £25,000, the sum 
being raised by subscriptions and contributions 
from all parts of Europe. It takes the place of the 
church destroyed by the French on entering the 
Holy City at the end of the last century. Our portrait 
of Dr. O'Callaghan is copied from a photograph taken 
in Rome. 

— The new lecture-hall and vestries erected in connec- 
tion with Dilston Road Wesleyan Chapel, Newcastle, 
were opened for public use. 

—At a meeting of the Sunderland Town Council, a 
letter from the Earl of Camperdown, intimating his in- 
tention of presenting to the borough of Sunderland the 
medal presented to Jack Crawford by his fellow-towns- 
men after the battle of Camperdown in recognition of his 
bravery and gallantry in nailing Admiral Duncan's 
colours to the mast,- was referred to the Museum Com- 
mittee. 

— The dedication took place of a new reredoe, the gift 
of an anonymous donor, at St. Cuthbert*s Church, 
Newcastle. 

19.— As the local authority under the Explosives Act, 
1875, the Tyne Improvement Commissioners granted per- 
mission to Sir W. G. Armstrong, Mitchell, and Co. to 
establish in the river opposite Elswick a factory for 
making up quick-firing gun ammunition for her Majesty's 
Government, the leave being for the limited period of six 
months, and on condition that the applicants shotUd pay 
to the Tyne Commissioners the sum of £250. 

— A new market for North Shields, erected at a cost of 
£6,000, and fitted up with the Gtilcher electric light, was 
opened by the Mayor and Corportion of that borough. 

—Mr. T. W. Backhouse, of West Hendon House, and 
Mr. Frank Caws, architect, reported the result of their 
inquiries into the cause of a series of earth-tremors at 
Sunderland, the occurrences being attributed to a subsi- 
dence of the Hendon Valley. Three reasons were sug- 
gested for the phenomenon — colliery workings, the en- 
croachment of the sea, and the instability of the limestone 
formation. 

— A handsome new reredos, given by an anonymous 
donor for the adornment of St Mary's Church, Gates- 
head, was dedicated by a special service, the sermon being 
preached by the Rev. Canon Body. 

—The Mayor of Newcastle (Mr. W. D. Stephens) was 
presented with a handsome silver-mounted ivory order- 
keeping hammer, by the directors of the Shipping Insur- 
ance Associations, of which he was president. 

— The annual dinner of the Bewick Club was held at 
the Exhibition Galleries, Pilgrim Street, Newcastle ; and 
on the following evening the exhibition of pictures was 
inaugurated by the Earl of Ravensworth. 

—At a sittmg of the Sunderland County Court, Judge 
Meynell gave judgment, holding the diiectors of the 
Universal Building Societies liable for a sum of about 
£93,000, alleged to have been illegally advanced from one 
society to another, but his Honour granted a case for 
appeaL 

20.— The screw-steamer Frederick Snowdon ran into 
and sank the Tyne Commissioners* steam hopper No. 1 in 
the river off Jarrow. 



20. — At a meeting held in the Town Hall, Newcastle, 
under the presidency of the Mayor, and addressed by 
CoL Duncan, M.P., a centre was formed of the St. John's 
Ambulance Association. 

2L — A representative body of coalowners, presided over 
by Mr. R. O. Lamb, met at the Coal Trade Office, New- 
castle, to receive a deputation of the miners with reference 
to the resolutions passed at the late conference, with a 
view to effecting a restriction of the output. (See voL iL, 
page 47.) The chairman said he was sorry that they 
could not comply with the resolutions of the men. 

22. — ^At the invitation of the Mayor, the Sheriff, Town 
Clerk, and members of the Corporation, together with 
representatives of the Board of Guardians and other pub- 
lic bodies, attended service in their official capacity in 
Brunswick Place Wesleyan Chapel, Newcastle, the ser- 
mon being preached by the Rev. Albert Bishop. 

— A stained -glass window to the memory of Mr. G. T. 
Chinnery, who was killed by the explosion at the Red- 
heugh Tar Works on the 3rd of December, 1886, was un- 
veiled in St. Cuthbert's Church, Bensham, by the Bishop 
of Durham. 

23.— As the result of an address delivered by the Rev. 
Herbert V. Mills, it was resolved to form in Newcastle a 
branch of the Home Colonization Society, for bu3ring np 
tracts of land and establishing industrial villages and 
colonies, peopled by men and women picked out of the 
ranks of the unemployed. 

— A little boy, named Louis Gelt^harp, aged seven 
years, died from the effects of injuries resulting from the 
burning of a carpet and some wearing apparel, to which 
he and his little sister had set fire on the previous day at 
the house of their parents. North View, Heaton, New- 
castle. 

24. — A conference was held in Newcastle in support of 
State-directed Colonization, the chair being occupied by 
the Bishop of the diocese. Dr. Wilberforoe ; and at niffht 
there was a public meeting in furtherance of the same 
object, presided over by Mr. J. C. Laird, chairman of the 
Trades CounciL 

25. — In celebration of the one hundred and twenty- 
ninth anniversary of the birth of the poet Robert Bums, 
a dinner was held in the County Hotel, under the auspices 
of the Newcastle and Tyneside Bums Club, the chair 
being occupied by Mr. Adam Carse, and the vice-chair by 
Dr. Adam Wilson. 

— In the course of the report, read by Dr. Hodgkin, at 
the annual meeting of the Newcastle Society of Anti- 
quaries, held at the Old Castle — the Earl of Ravensworth 
presiding — reference was made to the publication of 
another volume of Mr. Wei ford's valuable work, **The 
History of Newcastle and Gateshead." Mention was 
also made of the issue of '* Vestiges of Old Newcastle," 
by Mr. W. H. Knowles and the Rev. J. R. Boyle, and 
(continued the document) '*the Monthly Chronicle is 
usefully rescuing from oblivion some of those fragments 
of information as to the manners and customs of past 
times which till now have been too often buried out of 
sight in the cumbrous files of country newspapers." **To 
these and to other fellow-workers in the field of antiqua- 
rian research," the report added, *'we offer our hearty 
good wishes." The report was unanimously adopted. 

26.— Berlioz's great work, "Faust," was produced for 
the first time in this district, in the Victoria Hall, 



Mftrchl 
188a / 



NORTH-COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND. 



143 



Sunderland, under the auspices of the Philharmonio 
Society of that town. On the following evening, it was 
given by Dr. Rea at bis third subscription concert in the 
Town Hall, Newcastle. 

27. — After a long course of remarkably mild weather, 
snow began to fall in Newcastle, and a vivid flash of 
lightning, followed by a loud peal of thunder, was ob- 
served. At Jarrow, the storm was accompanied by a 
whirlwind, by the force of which a trap, containing two 
young men, named George Atkinson and James Teasdale, 
was overturned, and the driver was lifted from the 
ground, carried a short distance, and thrown down again. 
Mr. Atkinson, who is a butcher in the Market Square, 
Jarrow, stated that he was lifted out of the vehicle, and 
carried straight down the street a distance of 150 yards 
before touching the ground, and was then deposited on 
his back, his leg, which came in contact with the corner 
of a house, being badly hurt. Teasdale was also projected 
from the trap against some iron rails near a shop window 
further down the street, but beyond a slight shock he did 
not receive any injury. Five fishermen, who had gone 
off to the Fame Islands to shoot wild ducks, were de- 
tained by the storm on the rocks all night, whence they 
were rescued next morning by the Grace Darling life- 
boat. 

28. — A total eclipse of the moon, commencing about 
8*30 p.m. and terminating shortly after 1 o'clock next 
morning, was observed under most favourable conditions 
in Newcastle and neighbourhood. 

31. — It was announced that an anonjrmous donation of 
£1,000 had been given towards the fund for completing 
the interior restoration of the Cathedral Church of St. 
Nicholas, Newcastle. 



FEBRUARY. 

1. — A banquet, in celebration of the centenary of 
Messrs. Lambton and Co., bankers, Grey Street, New- 
castle, was given in the Assembly Rooms, Westgate 
Road, in that city. There were upwards of a hundred 
guests, and the chair was occupied by Mr. Henry Ralph 
Lambton, senior member of the firm. The toast of 
*' Health and Success to Lambton's Bank " was proposed 
by the Earl of Ravensworth. 

— At a meeting held in the Council Chamber, under 
the presidency of Dr. Burdon, a now society was formed 
under the title of " The Newcastle-upon-Tyne Literary 
Club," Dr. Hodgkin being elected as the first president 
The following gentlemen were selected vice-presidents : 
—Mr. W. E. Adams, Mr. John Morley, M.P„ Dr. 
Bruce, and Mr. Richard Wei ford. 

2.— It was announced that, in connection with the issue 
of £125,000 3i per cent, stock by the Newcastle Corpora- 
tion, tenders had been received for £682,140, the average 
price obtained being £102 2s. 8d. 

3.— A large flour mill at New Shildon, belonging to the 
Bishop Auckland Co-operative Society, was destroyed by 
fire, the damage being estimated at about £10,000. 

—Mr. Miles Walker Mattinson, Recorder of Black- 
bum, and a native of Newcastle, was elected member for 
the Walton Division of Liverpool. 

6.— Mr. Childers, M.P., delivered a political speech at 
Bishop Auckland. 

—The new building of the Sunderland Girls' High 
School, erected by the Church Schools Company, at a 
cost of £5,000, was opened by the Bishop of Durham. 



6.— At the fourth annual meeting of the Bishop of New- 
castle's Fund, it was stated that nearly £63,000 had been 
contributed for the purpose of church extension in four 
years ; and it was unanimously resolved to keep the fund 
open for other five years. 

8. — On the occasion of his semi- jubilee as minister of 
Blackett Street Presbyterian Church, Newcastle, the 
Rev. Richard Leitch was presented by his congregation 
with an illuminated address, a purse containing 134 new 
sovereigns, and four comer plates for Mrs. Leitch. From 
friends outside the congregation he received a dining- 
room clock, with omaments to match, and 50 sovereigns. 
The Rev. Robert Stewart, as Moderator of Presbytery, 
presented an address on behalf of that body. 

9. — At a meeting of the Tyne Improvement Commis- 
sioners, it was announced that, owing to the heavy rent 
demanded. Sir W. G. Armstrong and Co. had abandoned 
the projected ammunition factory on the Tyne at New- 
castle. 

— Parliament opened to-day. Lord Armstrong spoke 
for the first time in the House of Lords, in seconding 
the Address in reply to the Queen's Speech. The Address 
in the Commons was moved by Mr. John Lloyd Wharton, 
member for the Ripon Division of Yorkshire, and seconded 
by Colonel Francis Duncan, member for the Holborn 
Division of Islington. Mr. Wharton has long been con- 




VR. J. L. WHARTON, M.P. 

nected with the political and other affairs of tbe County of 
Durham. Several times a candidate for the Cathedral 
City, he was only once successful. He was, however, 
returned for the Ripon Division in 1886. Mr. Wharton 
is chairman of the Durham County Quarter Sessions. 
Colonel Duncan, a distinguished artillery oflScer who 
rendered important services during the expedition up the 
Nile, has also had political connections with the district. 



144 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE, 



/M»rah 



When Mr. Burt was first returned for Morpeth, the 
gallant officer was the Conservative candidate. Subse- 
quently be was an unsuccessful candidate for Sunderland 
and Durham City. 




COLONEL DUNCAN, H.P. 

10. — A dividend of 6^ per cent, was declared at the 
half-yearly meeting of the North-Eastem Railway Com- 
pany at York. 

— At a meeting of the Newcastle Board of Guardians, 
letters were read from the Local Government Board inti- 
mating that, as the result of the recent inquiry into the 
outbreak of fever at the Workhouse, the medical officer 
(Dr. Hardcastle) and the master of the Workhouse (Mr. 
Howitt) had been called upon to resign their respective 
appointments. 

11. — About midnight, a fire broke out in the Theatre 
Royal, the property of Mr. Richard Fynes, at Blyth, in- 
volving the total destruction of that building. 

12. — ^The first of a series of Sunday evening lectures was 
delivered at Darlington, by Mr. Fred. Yilliers, of the 
Grapkic, 

14.— Intimation was received at Durham from the 
Home Secretary that George Beesley, convicted, with 
three other men, of the murder of William Waine at 
Spennymoor in 1872, but whose sentence was after- 
wards commuted to penal servitude for life, had been 
granted a free pardon. Two of the persons concerned in 
the crime, Hugh Slaine and John Hayes, were executed, 
the third, a man named Rice, being reprieved on account 
of his youth. 

—About 56,(X)0 valentines passed through the New- 
castle Post Office, being, as compared with 1887, a de- 
crease of 14,000. 



15.— Three men were severely injured by the sudden 
collapse, while in the coarse of demolition, of the South 
Court of the Nevrcastle Exhibition. 

— It was stated in a local journal that a gentleman 
at Goeforth, near Newcastle, had succeeded in growing a. 
quantity of tobacco. 



Seneral Occvrrencejt. 



JANUARY. 

18. — ^Mr. Cunninghame Graham, M.P., and Mr. John 
Bums were sentenced to six weeks' imprisonment each, 
without hard labour, for riotously assembling in Trafalgar 
Square, London. 

19. — ^Rear- Admiral Lewis Hutton Versturme committed 
suicide at Falmouth, by thrusting a red-hot poker into 
his bowels in four places, whilst in a paroxysm of suicidal 



22. — Whilst speaking at an Anarchist meeting at 
Havre, France, Louise Michel was fired at and wounded 
in the head. 

24.— A colliery explosion took place at Wellington 
Mines, Vancouver Island, when 34 white men and 41 
Chinamen were killed. 

27.— The Variedades Theatre, Madrid, was burnt to 
the gnround. 

28. — Mr. Joseph Richard Cox, M.P., was sentenced to 
four months' imprisonment for making a speech in a pro- 
claimed district of Ireland. 

31. — A bo3rcotted farmer, named Fitzmaurice, was 
murdered on the high road near Tralee, in the presence of 
his daughter. 

FEBRUARY. 

2.— Severe shocks of earthquake were experienced 
about this time in England and Scotland. 

3. — A man named Samuel Hill Derby poisoned himself, 
his wife, and six children, at Salford. 

—A treaty of alliance between Germany and Austria- 
Hungary was published to-day, and caused a great sensa- 
tion in political and diplomatic circles. 

5.— Prince Bismarck delivered an important speech in 
the Grerman Reichstag in reference to the relations of 
Russia and Grermany. 

9.— The third session of the twelfth Parliament of 
Queen Victoria was opened by Royal Commission. 

— The operation of tracheotomy was successfully per- 
formed upon the Crown Prince of Germany. 

10.— Mr. James Gilhooly, M.P., and Mr. Jasper 
Douglas P3me, M.P., were arrested in London, outside 
the House Commons, for offences under the Crimes Act 
in Ireland. Both had avoided arrest for some time. Mr. 
Pyne was afterwards sentenced, at Kilmacthomas, Ire- 
land, to three months' imprisonment without hard labour. 
Notice of appeal was given. As the hon. member was 
leaving the courthouse, he was re-arrested on a charge of 
making a speech at Clonmel, infringing the provisions of 
the Crimes Act. The same night, while Mr. Pjme waa 
being escorted from Waterford Gaol to the railway 
station en rwU for Clonmel, stones were thrown at the 
police, one stone striking Mr. Pjme on the head, cutting 
him severely. 



-\ 



Printed by Walteb Scott, Felling-on-Tyne. 



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tibe /Iftontbl^ Cbronfcle 



OF 



NORTH-COUNTRY»LORE»AND.LEGEND 



Vol. II.— No. 14. 



APRIL, 1888. 



Price 6d. 



Zftt &fplttiiian an tftt €a\}in HSlaaVf |3eltiricsitU« 




JWENTY yean ago, a terrible accident 
occurred on the Town Moor, resulting in 
the deaths of eight persons, two of them 
esteemed and prominent citizens of New- 
castle. Not since the Gateshead explosion had any- 
thing happened which startled and shocked the town so 
much as this singular and remarkable fatality. The 
story will not take long in the telling. 

In December, 1867, the attention of the police was 
called to the fact that a quantity of explosive material 
was stored in a cellar in the White Hart Yard, New- 
castle. On examination this proved to be nitro-glycerine, 
a compound produced by the action of a mixture of 
strong nitric and sulphuric acids on glycerine at low 
temperatures. The material was contained in nine 



large tins or canisters, each holding 241bB. ; and the 
police were told that it was intended for blasting pur- 
poses in mines and quarries, and for this purpose 
it was doubtless useful, as exposure to flame 
did not cause it to explode, though explosion 
instantly followed a strong blow or concussion. The 
police-superintendent having conferred with the authori- 
ties, an order was given that the nitro-glycerine should be 
at once removed from the town or destroyed. Tlie 
railway company, however, would have nothing to do 
¥nth it, and it was ultimately resolved that it should be 
taken to the Moor, and there poured into the depressions 
caused by the workings of the Spital Tongues Colliery. 
The Sheriff of Newcastle, Mr. John Mawson, and the 
Town Surveyor, Mr. Thomas Bryson, determraed to 



Sccnfi of rhcTou/M Moor Explosion,j)4C:n.i86i 



.*i;»M'i!Ti?::^;"«»:: 



i-*i JT 4i in I ff SSl .g^j -i^^ ^> 





U6 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE, 



/April 
1 1868. 



accompany the material to its destination. Accordingly, 
on the 17th December, 1867, Thomas Appleby, cartman, 
a labourer named James Shotton, Constable Donald 
Bain, and Sub-Inspector Wallace, set out with the 
canisters in a cart, Messrs. Mawson and Bryson following 
in a cab. 

When the party reached the Town Moor, the tins 
were taken out of the cart, and the contents of some 
of them poured into the depressions mentioned, 
which were situated at no great distance from the 
Grand Stand, and close to a wooden building that had 
been erected for use as a temporary hospital in the event 
of a visit of cholera. It was then found that a portion of 
the nitro-glyoerine in three of the canisters had crys- 
tallised and was adhering to the sides. Mr. Mawson 
expressed a wish to have a sample of the compound 
to take away for further examination. A piece of the 
crystal was accordingly broken off, and Mr. Mawson 
put it into the pocket of his overcoat. He then said to 
the men, "Bring these three tins away, and we will 
bury them under the other hill" — referring to a part 
of the Moor distant a few yards away. Mr. Mawaon, 
Mr. Bryson, the policeman Bain, and Appleby and 
Shotton then went over to the hill indicated, leaving 
Sub-Inspector Wallace engaged in covering up the 
liquid compound with soil. What followed after this 
will never be rightly known. 

Just as Mr. Wallace had finished his task, and was 
about to join the others, a terrible explosion occurred. 
Fragments of clothing and human remains were sent 
flying high into the air. Though dreadfully startled 
and alarmed, Wallace was uninjured, having been 
sheltered by a bank which lay between him and his 
unfortunate companions. On hurrying to the scene, 
the first thing he found was the mutilated and shat- 
tered remains of poor Bain, portions of the body 
having been actually blown away. He next came to 
the cartman, Appleby, fearfully disfigured and lifeless; 
and near to him was the mutilated body of the 
abourer, Shotton, likewise dead. In a hole of the ground 
above was found a boy, named Waddley, who, as well 
as another lad named Stonehouse, had followed the cart 
to the Moor from curiosity. Close to this poor lad was 
found the body of a man, appcurently about forty, whose 
name was unknown, and who had also followed the cart 
to the Moor. Lying on the side of tiie bank was Mr. 
Bryson, and on the top of the same place was Mr. 
Mawson, both gentlemen being alive, but fearfully 
njured. 

Mr. Wallace hurried with all speed into the town, 
where he informed Dr. Fife and Dr. Heath of the 
terrible affair. These two gentlemen set out at once for 
the scene of the accident. It happened that, just as the 
explosion occurred, a young surgeon named Walpole was 
walking on the Moor only a short distance from the spot 
Dust, stones, fragments of clothing, &c, suddenly fell all 



around him. About three hundred yards from whore the 
catastrophe had occurred, he found the foot of a human 
being, supposed to be that of poor Bain. Hunting 
forward, Dr. Walpole next discovered Mr. Bryson in one 
of the excavations, and to all appearance dead. Stimu- 
lants having been administered, however, he began to 
show some signs of Ufe. Dr. Walpole then placed Mr. 
Mawson, Mr. Bryson, and the boy Waddley in the cart 
which had brought the terrible explosive to the ground, 
and they were conveyed to the Infirmary. Two hours 
after his admission, the boy succumbed ; and at half-past 
one o'dock next morning Mr. Bryson died, Mr. Mawaon 
surviving him an hour and twenty minutes. 

It is really impossible to adequately describe the 
excitement and consternation which this awful accident 
caused in Newcastle. Mingled with the sorrow and 
sympathy felt for the victims there was a great amount 
of indignation against those who had stored the fatal 
agent in the very centre of a large town. A Mr. 
Spark, an auctioneer, commission agent, &c, had settled 
in the town a few months before, and had taken an 
agency for nitro-glycerine from a Mr. Burrell, who had 
resigned it. Some little time before, Burrell had 
prevailed upon the ostler of the White Hart lun to 
allow him to store several tins of the explosive in the 
cellars of that hostelry. This fact coming to the know- 
ledge of the police, they seized the tins, with the terrible 
result that we have recounted. The day after the 
explosion Mr. Spark presented himself before the magis- 
trates in order to explain his possession of the material. 
Little blame seems really to have attached to him, 
since at the time of the occurrence he was not the 
regularly appointed agent, and was still necrotiating 
with the firm to which the nitro-glycerine belonged. 
A great deal of evidence was given at the inquest which 
was subsequently held, and the jury returned a verdict 
of *' Accidental death." In all eight persons perished in 
the explosion — the Sheriff, the Town Surveyor, P.C. 
Bain, Thomas Appleby, James Shotton, the boys 
Stanley Waddley and James Stonehouse, ' and a man 
whose name was never ascertained. 

The terrible nature of the accident was discussed all 
over the country. It was about the time of the Clerken- 
well outrage, and, of course, till the full particulars were 
explained, the Fenians were suspected of causing the 
calamity. 



John Mawson, a native of Penrith, was apprenticed to 
a cbetnist and druggist in Sunderland. When he had 
finished his appenticeship, he began business on his own 
account in that borough, but was not successful. He 
shortly afterwards removed to Newcastle, where he 
opened a shop, and here he also failed. This failure, how- 
ever, was due to his having stood bond to a large amount 



April 1 
1888./ 



NORTH'COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND, 



147 



for a friend, who left Mr. Mawion to pay the money. 
Nothing daunted, he tried business once more, this time 
in Modey Street, where he remained till his death. 
Here he was more fortunate, and began to make fight 
against hia debts, having resolved to pay everybody to 
the last farthing. He stoutly refused to take *'tbe 
benefit of the Act,** and, like most men who stick to 
a good resolution, he ultimately achieved his purpose^ 
And he deserved to succeed, for he worked with great 
energy and determination. His first successful venture 
was the introduction into Newcastle of Rothwell's Fire 
Fuel, which he afterwards got a patent to manufacture. 
With this material he did a very large trade. His next 
venture was in German yeast, which was first imported 
into the North of England by Mr. Mawson. The writer 
remembers the crowds of people who used to go to his 
> shop for this indispensable commodity, as that was the 
only place in the town where it could then be purchased. 
Mr. Mawson, in partnership with his relative, Mr. 
Joseph Wilson Swan, famous a few years later for the 
invention of the electric appliance known as the Swan 
Lamp, produced a series of very great improvements in 
photography. 

Now that the tide had turned, Mr. Mawson saw his 
way to the great object he had always held in view— the 
discharge of every farthing of his debts. Such were the 
honour and probity of the man, that he seemed to work 
for this sole object. But he had his moments of despair. 
"I shall be eighty before I can pay all I owe," he once 
said to an old friend. Before he was forty, however, he 
had succeeded in his laudable purpose. A splendid 
bookcase, filled with valuable books, was presented to 
him on the occasion by his gratified creditors. This took 
place, we believe, in 1849. Thereafter, till his sad and 
tragical death in 1867, Mr. Mawson's career was one of 
unbroken prosperity and public usefulness. 

Mr. Mawson was twice married. His first wife, to 
whom he was united in 1838, was Miss Jane Cameron, 
of Sunderland. This lady, after a long and severe illness, 
died in 1844. She was a singularly amiable and ex- 
emplary woman; and two years after her death, Mr. 
Brown, of Barnard Castle, and the well-known Br. F. R. 
Lees, compiled from her diary and correspondence a 
** Memoir of Mrs. Jane Mawson." Some years after 
her untimely death, Mr. Mawson married the niece 
of his first wife, and the sister of his partner, Mr. 
Swan. Of this marriage there was a family of five or 
six children. 

Elected to the Newcastle Town Council for West All 
Saints' Ward in 1858, Mr. Mawson was allowed on 
aU hands to be a faithful and zealous representative. It 
was during his absence on the Continent that he was 
elected to the office of Sheriff, on the 9th of November 
preceding his death. 

From a very early age Mr. Mawson was a zealous re- 
former. In Newcastle he always supported the Radical 



candidates for Parliament, and he seconded Sir Joseph 
Cowen at that gentleman's first election. Those who are 
old enough to remember the Old Lecture Room meetings, 
where there was always so much public spirit and hearti- 
ness displayed, will also recollect that John Mawson's 
pleasant smiling face was seldom absent. He was a hard- 




Jokn ^ftu;«oa. 



working temperance reformer, too, and frequently tra^ 
veiled with other zealous teetotallers amongst the North- 
Country pitmen, doing his best to make converts to the 
cause. As a member of the Peace Society, he attended 
several of the international conferences which were held 
from time to time in different parts of Europe. 
But perhaps, after all, it was as the friend of the 
slave that he was best known. He was for many 
years the earnest and willing helper of George 
Thompson, William Lloyd Garrison, William Wells 
Brown, and other eloquent advocates of negro redemp- 
tion. During the terrible war between the Northern 
and Southern States, when the slaveholders found so 
many friends in England, and even great statesmen 
prophesied the ultimate success of the South, John 
Mawson remained a constant adherent of the Northern 
cause, and never wavered in the opinion that slavery 
would be blotted out for ever. When the war 
was at length at an end, his life-long friend, Mr. 
Garrison, came to Newcastle, where he was entertained 
at a soiree in the Assembly Rooms. 

For this sketch of the career of Mr. Mawson, we have 
been much indebted to an article which appeared in the 
DaHy Chronicle at the time of his death. We cannot do 



148 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE. 






better than qaote here the few concluding lines of the 
biography, which form a summary, as it were, of the 
deceased gentleman's many good qualities : — " Honest in 
business, intelligent as a politician, earnest in publio 
matters, faithful at all times to his convictions, Mr. 
Mawson was certainly one of the most esteemed citizens 
of Newcastle. The integrity of his conduct, the ex- 
cellenoe of his public, the spotless purity of his private, 
life, and the tragic manner of his death, all conspire to 
claim for John Mawson a distinguished place in the 
catalogue of Newcastle worthies." 



Mr. Bryson was a native of Tweedmouth, and was 
Apprenticed as a stonemason in that town. While still 
a very young man, he left the little Border town, and 
was employed for some time at Howick Hall, the seat 
of Earl Grey. Subsequently he was engaged by Mr. 
Richard Grainger, who was then carrying out his great 
improvements in Newcastle. Mr. Bryson showing great 
practical ability, Mr. Grainger appointed him to a place 







\ 



of trust and responsibility. While engaged on some 
work at the Exchange Buildings, Grey Street, he slipped 
from the scaffold on which he was standintr, and fell a 
distance of 38 feet. He was dreadfully injured, and 
lay for some time unconscious. It was several months 
iiefore he recovered from the effects of this serious 
accident ; but when his health was sufficiently restored, 
he entered into the service of the Newcastle Cor- 
|ioratiun as Superintendent of Works under Mr. 




Wallace. This position he occupied until 1854, when 
important changes were made in the duties of the 
officials. Mr. Wallace was appointed Corporation Pro- 
perty Surveyor, and Mr. Bryson was promoted to the 
position of Town Surveyor. In the performance of his 
duties he displayed the most zealous care for the interests 
of the town. Many incidents which occurred during his 
useful life illustrate his kind and benevolent disposition. 
Mr. Bryson was interred in Jesmond Old Cemetery on 
December 21, 1867. A very large number of friends, as 
well as members of the Council and other influential 
inhabitants, followed his remains to the grave. Dr. 
Butherford (with whose congregation the deceased 
gentleman had been connected for many years) con- 
ducted the service. Mr. Bryson was 62 years of age at 
the time of his untoward death. 



»0lfi aaelW in tfte |90rtft« 



JHOURNE tells us, in his Antiquities of the 
Common People, that ** in the dark ages of 
Popery, it was a custom, if any well had an 
awful situation, and was seated in some 
lonely, melancholy vale, if the water was clear and 
limpid, and beautifully margined with the tender grass, 
or if it was looked upon as having a medicinal quality, 
to gift it to some saint, and honour it with his name." 
*' Hence it is," he adds, '* that we have at this day wells 
and fountains called, some St. John's, St. Mary Mag- 
dalen's, St. Mary's Well, &c To these kind of wells 
the common people are accustomed to go, on a summer's 
evening, to refresh themselves with a walk after the toil 
of the day, to drink the water of the fountain and enjoy 
the pleasing prospect of shade and stream. Now this 
custom, though at this time of the day very commend- 
able, and harmless, and innocent, seems to be the remains 
of that superstitious practice of the Papists, of paying 
adoration to wells and fountains ; for they imagined 
there was some holiness and sanctity in them, and so 
worshipped them." 

But the veneration of wells dates from much further 
back than Christianity itself, being a prominent part of 
that worship of the powers of Nature which seems to 
have been the first form of religion in the world. We 
find traces of it among the Hebrews : witness David's in- 
tense longing to drink of the water of the well of Bethle- 
hem. The Greeks had their Hippocrene, their Aganippe, 
their Arethusa. The Arabians have their Zem-zem. The 
Hindoos make frequent pilgrimages to the sources of 
their sacred rivers. The Romans, who extended their 
worship to almost every object in nature, did not forget 
in their ritual the due homage to fountains. Consult 
Horace in his '*Ode to the Fountain of Blandusia." 



NORTH-COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND. 



149 



The Ancient Britons venerated the fine springs of 
water with which this country abounded. One of 
our episcopal sees, that of Bath and Wells, takes 
its double name &om two famous fountains. All 
over Wales and Ireland, and throughout the High- 
lands of Scotland, there are wells now dedicated to the 
Virgin Mary, or to one or other Christian saint, which 
were held sacred in pagan times to the presiding spirit 
of the element of water, Neithe. The Anglo-Saxons and 
Danes, like the Teutons and Scandinavians from whom 
they sprung, were all strongly addicted to what they 
called ^'weU-worthying," which we rather choose to call 
well-worship; and after they had been nominally con- 
verted to Christianity, they still retained their old in- 
clination to bring alms and offerings, or to make vows, at 
the holy wells which had been held sacred and visited in 
pilgrimage from time immemoriaL The first Christian 
missionaries and teachers, unable to conquer this in- 
veterate habit, strove to give it a new form, motive, and 
purpose, by consecrating these wells to the Holy Virgin, 
the Blessed Trinity, St. Michael the Archangel, St. Law- 
rence, St. Chad, St. Cuthbert, St. Oswald, or some other 
saint of oecumenical or local reputation. 

The Northern Counties of England, and particularly 
Ncnrthumberland, abound with mineral springs, many of 
which had been held sacred from the earliest times down 
to that comparatively recent date which is marked by 
the memory of the oldest inhabitant. Such of them as 
are impregnated with common salt have, indeed, been 
largely utilized, wherever that could be done with 
pecuniary profit. But the Holy Wells are now holy 
in name alone, and some of them do not even retain a 
trace of their once great natural beauty. 

The village of Halliwell or Holywell, in the parish of 
Earsdon, derives its name from one of these once sacred 
springs, Our Lady's Well, or St Mary's Well, which is 
in the immediate vicinity. The medicinal properties of 
the water of this well were formerly much esteemed. It 
possesses the singular quality of becoming of a purple or 
pale colour when galls are infused into it. 

Another Holy Well, in the township of Warksbum, 
has also medicinal virtues, being, it is said, an effectual 
cure for the gravel and other obstructions, as well as for 
that now almost extinct and forgotten malady, the ague, 
banished by the most ruthless of all utilitarians, the 
scientific farmer, with his deep drains, sheep drains, and 
furrow drains. A neighbouring spring, under the pre- 
cipitous and almost inaccessible Raven's Heugh, bubbles 
beneath a scraggy cover of natural arch work, the sides 
in summer shaded with dwarf stone ferns, the adit stored 
with that wholesome and agreeable salad, the watercress, 
and all around it the ruins of hutre rocks, beaten down by 
storms, and lying in the wildest disorder. 

Adjacent to the village of Holystone, on the Coquet, 
in the neighbourhood of Harbottle Pike, is a very 



copious spring, called the Lady's Well, in former times 
"Our Lady's Well" It is a favourite place for 
pic-nics, being in the midst of a small plantation, 
"remote from public view," and beautifully shaded 
with trees and shrubs. The sides of the well are lined 
with a wall of hewn freestone or ashlar work, part of 
which has been broken down. In the midst stands (or 
stood) a stone figure, intended for Paulinus, wliich 
was brought by some pedantic €roth or Hun from 
Alnwick in 1780, so says Stephen Oliver the Younger. 
The bottom is of fine sand, through which the water 
bubbles up in numerous small jets, and in such abun- 
dance, that, after it leaves the well, it runs in a stream 
BuflBciently powerful to turn a small com milL The 
following account of the well, painted on a board, was 
to be seen some years ago, nailed to one of the neigh- 
bouring trees :— " In this fountain, called the Lady's 
Well, on the introduction of Christianity, in the Saxoo 
reign of Edwin, and early in the seventh century, 
Paulinus, an English bishop, baptised about three 
thousand people." About a quarter of a mile off, in 
the village of Holystone, there was once a small Bene- 
dictine priory, inhabited by six or eight nuns ; the 
well was in their sisterly keeping, and doubtless utilised 
by them for sacred or at least monastic purposes. 

At Wall-Town, properly Well-Town, two or three miles 
north-west of Haltwhistle, and nearly on the line of the 
Foss or Earth Wall, between .^Hsica and Mngrns is 
another fine clear fountain, which has been partly en- 
closed, and in which tradition has it that the same 
worthy man, Paulinus, baptised one of the Saxon kings, 
perhaps Edwin himself, in whose reign Bede tells us 
there was such perfect peace in Britain, wheresoever his 
dominion extended, that "a woman with her new-born 
babe might walk throughout the island, from sea to sea, 
if she would, without receiving any harm." Edwin also 
" took such care for the good of his people, that in several 
places where he had seen clear springs near the highway, 
he caused stakes to be fixed, with brass dishes hangring at 
them, for the refreshment of travellers; nor durst any 
man touch them for any other purpose than that for 
which they were designed, either through the dread they 
had of the king or for the affection which they bore 
him." This well, on the verge of the old Fossway, was 
doubtless one of these thus considerately furnished by the 
greatest of Northumbrian kings. 

The particularly fine springs of Houghton, in the 
county of Durham, from which the town receives its 
distinctive appellation of le-Sprinfff are all chalybeate. 
One of them, situated in Newbottle Lane, is still called 
the Holy Well. This name is said to have been imposed 
upon it in the year 700, when the Venerable Bede and his 
attendants passed through Houghton, and regaled them- 
selves with " the pure beverage of nature" at this parti- 
cular fountain. 



150 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE. 



i 



April 



Near Jarrow, the reputed birth-plaoe of Bede, there ia 
a famous well which bears his name. Its waters were 
long in great repute for their health-giving properties. 
As late as the year 1740, says Brand, it was a prevailing 
custom to bring children troubled with any disease or in- 
firmity to it. A crooked pin was put in, and the well 
laved dry between each dipping— a curious instance of 
the association of ideas, for here, as at the Pool of Be- 
tbesda, beside the sheep market in Jerusalem, only one 
patient could receive benefit, it seems, after each 
troubling of the waters. Brand's informant had seen 
twenty children dipped in Bede's Well, at which also, on 
Midsummer Eve, there was a great concourse of neigh- 
bouring people, with bonfires, music, dancing, and other 
rural sports. This and other merry customs have been 
long discontinued. But still, when the well is occasion- 
ally cleared out, a number of crooked pins (a few yean 
ago a pint) are always found among the mud thrown into 
the sacred fount for some purpose or other, either in a 
general way as charms for luck, or to promote and secure 
true love, or for the benefit of sick babies. In days when 
ague was so common, the usual offering at this and other 
holy wells was a bit of rag tied to the branch of an over- 
hanging tree or bush : hence Rag Well. 

Bourne tells us how when a gentleman named Coulson 
enclosed St. Mary's Well, in the village of Jesmond, near 
Newcastle, for a bathing place, it was no sooner done 
than the water left it. "ThiB,** says he, "occasioned 
strange whispers in the village and the adjacent places." 
This well, which had as many steps down as there are 
articles in the Creed, had always been esteemed of more 
sanctity than common, and therefore the failing of the 
water could be looked upon as nothing less than a just 
revenge for so great a profanation. But, alas ! the 
miracle was soon washed away, for the water returned 
in the course of a little while in as great abundance 
as ever. 

A sudatory or sweating bath, supplied from a hot 
spring at Benwell, the Condercum of the Romans, was dis- 
covered in Horsley's time. A similar bath, under Whit- 
ley Castle, on the Maiden Way, in the parish of Kirk- 
haugh, was filled from a clear and plentiful spring which 
now empties its waters into a tributary of the South 
Tyne. 

The Hally Well at Shotley, having in course of time 
formed a sort of bog, was drained away into the Derwent 
about the year 1806; and for many years it was un- 
known, except to the villagers and their children, some 
of whom used to drink the water renowned in the days 
of their grandmothers, and long before. The sides of 
the channel from the drain were then always quite of a 
vermilion colour, indicating the presence of a consider- 
able quantity of iron in the water. Old people could 
still remember their infantine sports around the Hally 
Well, where the younglings used to repair sometimes 
and drink the water for the purpose of seeing each other's 



grimaces, caused by the nauseous taste. Half a century 
previous, people from distant parts used to come occa- 
sionally to drink the water, and carry some of it away ; 
but it was always understood to be most efficacious when 
taken fresh from the spring. An old rhyme conveyed the 
then universally-received opinion : — 

No scurvy in your skin can dwdL 
If you only drink of the Hally WelL 

The original spring or well-head was recovered in 1837 
by Mr. Jonathan Richardson, who instituted a dih'geut 
search for the purpose, and under whose auspices Shotley 




^A^ti4.y iTyi^TT/^X 



Spa was inaugurated. The recorded cases of cure from 
the use of the waters, especially of scorbutic or scrofulous 
affections, are numerous. 

The Lady's Well at Berwick Ib a beautiful spring, of 
great medicinal properties, on the banks of the Tweed, at 
a few hundred yards distance above the old stone bridge. 
Some guardian spirit once enclosed it with a stone foun- 
tain, and attached a metal pipe for its waters to flow 
through ; but sacrilegious hands soon broke down the 
wall and choked up the channeL This is a brutal form 
of ioonodasm, which is confined to no age or country. 

In that portion of Rothbury Forest north of the 
Coquet, in the township of Debdon, there are some fine 
chalybeate springs, the waters of which are considered 
to be efficacious in cleansing the blood. These wells lie 
on the north side of the road leading from Rothbury to 
Alnwick, and used at one time to be visited by weary 
and languid health-seekers from far and near. Not far 
from Debdon fulling mill, about three-quarters of a mile 
east of Rothbury, Ib the famous Riever's Well, where 
many a moss-trooper of the olden time, and many a 
horse or cattle thief more lately, has halted to refresh 
himself on his way home to Hepple or Ditcbbum Barony, 
or the wastes beyond. 

Near Wooler, on the flanks of the Cheviots, there is a 
spring, locally known as the Pin WelL Most of the 
country maids, as they pass this spring, drop a crooked 



IB?} 



NORTH-COVNTRY LORE AND LEGEND. 



151 



pin into it. There is also a Pin Well in Westmoreiind, 
into the waten of which rich and poor drop a pin in 
passing. This is understood to have been originally a 
present to the spirit of the fountain, who required to be 
propitiated in that way. The crooked pin, like the 
crodced sixpence, was supposed to be lucky. The pin 
cflsring is by no means confined to this part of the 
kingdom. 

There is a sprinir in the neighbourhood of Alnwick, 
known as the Senna Well, because the e£Fects on those 
who drink the waters of it resemble those produced by 
drinking senna tea, to boys and girls the most nauseous 
of healing beverages, next to salts. 

Wingate Spa^ near Longhorsley, is said to be the 
strongest chalybeate spring yet known in England, as a 
pint of it contains six grains of iron, fourteen of alum, 
and nine of an ochreous earth. 

Wallis, in his *' History of Northumberland,*' mentions 
a petrifying spring near Simonbum, which has this 
angular property : — '* Its terrene salts make a change in 
some plants, and not in others, though growing in a 
group together— mosses and liverworts becoming stony, 
and primroses and geraniums holding up their heads and 
retaining their native form and hue." 

Roger Hovedon speaks of **a fountain adorned with 
extraordinary workmanship, sweet to the taste and dear 
to the eye," near the top of the rock at Bamborough. 

It would take a volume to describe all the mineral and 
other valuable and noted springs in the two North- 
Eastem Counties. In Northumberland alone, besides 
those already noticed, there are Thornton Well, between 
Hartbum and Mitford ; the Thurston- Wells, near Long- 
witton ; St. Stephen's Well, near Belford ; Conchilton 
Well, about a mile north from Simonbum ; Hulne Park 
Well, near Alnwick; the Shrillhope Well, near Long 
Framlington ; the Deadwater Wells, near Kielder ; Bing- 
6eld WeU, in St. John Lee Parish ; Dukesfield Well, 
near Harland Pike ; Swallowship Well, near Hexham ; 
St Mary's Well, at Newbrough; the Spinner's Well, 
near Bedlington ; Fleetham Well, near Bamborough ; 
St Mary's Well, at Tweedmouth ; ComhiU Well, on the 
north-west border of the county, opposite Coldstream; 
Ax Well, in the Derwent Valley; the Chill Well, near 
Gateshead, &c 

Then we have almost innumerable ColdweUs, as Cald- 
wells, CauldweUs, Springwellf, Creeswells, Greenwells, 
Saltwells, and Whitewells or Whitwells, besides Hawk- 
wells, HasweUs ChopweUs, Bywells, Fulwells, &a, 
furnishing a very considerable part of the local nomen- 
clature of the district, and testifying to the instinctive 
respect, approaching to veneration, which simple, un- 
sophisticated, ingenuous minds are ever ready to pay to 
these priceless gifts of old Mother Earth. W. B. 




P ATTON is a small place about half way between 
Beverley and Driffield on the line from Hull 
to Bridlington, Filey, Scarborough, Whitby, 
SaJtbum, and Redcar, and a society of nuns is said to 
have been estabUshed there as early as the seventh cen- 
tury. It was visited by St John of Beverley in the time 
of Heriburg, the abbess, but no further notice is made of 
Watton or its monastery until the Norman conquest, 
although there are said to be strong reasons for believing 
that the monastery was destroyed by the Danes at the 
same time as Beverley monastery. 

About the year 1148 Watton Abbey was refounded by 
Eustace Fitz-John, as a penance for his crimes, and dedi- 
cated to the blessed Virgin. It supported 13 canons and 
36 nuns of the Gilbertine order, but subsequent benefac- 
tions considerably increased the number. Eustace Fitz- 
John gave to the monastery the lordship of Watton, in 
pure and perpetual alms, for his salvation and that of his 
wife, and for the souls of bis father and mother, his sons 
and daughters, his brethren, and his servants and friends, 
to hold freely for ever. 

The canons and nuns inhabited buildings within the 
same enclosure, but separated from each other by a party 
waU. The ladies who inhabited the convent were nu- 
merous, and in 1326 William de Melton, Archbishop of 
York, consecrated fifty-three nuns at one time. They 
did not, however, escape censorious reflections. The 
public opinion of their conduct and morals was that they 
were rather loose, and a reform was demanded before 
matters were pushed to the extremity of dissolution. The 
site of the abbey was granted in the third year of 
Edward VI. to John, Earl of Warwick ; in the reign of 
Elizabeth, John Famham had possession ; and afterwards 
King James confirmed the abbey and manor to Sir 
Thomas Earlkyn, Knight, from whom the property passed 
to the Bethell family. At the present time the abbey 
exhibits no traces of its early erection. It is composed of 
brick and stone, and may probably have been rebuilt in 
the early part of the Tudor period. It consisted of the 
abbey, a large and massive building, with towers and 
pointed arch windows, and an oriel or bay window of im- 
posing appearance ; a nunnery of the same, surrounded 
by a range of cloisters and other buildings, which are now 
entirely dilapidated and gone to decay ; the whole sur- 
rounded by a moat which endowed over twenty acres of 
land, one branch of which ran under both the monastery 
and the convent, each being furnished with private stair- 
cases, within the buildings, which communicated with the 
water— so broad and deep, by the way, as to be navigable 
for a small boat Nearly a hundred years ago, as the 
rector of Lockington, a small parish town close by, was 
sitting at dinner with one of the Betbells at Watton 



152 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE. 



/Apia 



i£ia 



Abbey, they were BorpriBed by an extraordinary noise 
beneath the dining table, for which they could not 
account, and they were at length so much annoyed by it 
that they sent for a workman to take up the floor, when 
they found, to their great astonishment, that an otter, 
which inhabited the moat underneath the abbey, had 
established her nest under the boards of the floor, and had 
there deposited her litter of young ones. The whole area 
within the moat is full of old foundations, showing how 
extensive the original buildings had been. About 250 
years ago the materials of these decayed buildings were 
consigned to the Corporation of Beverley, and conveyed 
away by them to repair the Minster. 

Tradition says that a subterranean passage existed in 
olden times, which formed a communication between the 
convent and a holy well at Kilnwick, dedicated to the 
blessed Virgin, and caUed "The Lady's Well," and that 
the nuns performed many wonderful cures by the agency 
of this miraculous water. A chamber is pointed out in 
the abbey, said to have been the scene of a most atrocious 
murder during the Civil Wars. This room is faced 
throughout with a strong wainscoting of panelled oak, in 
one side of which is a closet door, corresponding so ex- 
actly with the wainscoting as not to be observed. It was 
doubtless, in its primitive state, a secret entrance, which 
opened by a private spring, and communicated with a 
narrow staircase, still in existence, that descended into 
the moat or river which runs underneath the buildings. 
A lady of distinction, so says the legend, during the un- 
happy contest between Charles I. and his Parliament, 
secreted herself in Watton Abbey, with her infant child. 



and jewels and other portable property to a great amount. 
Her retreat having been discovered, a few soldiers, at 
dead of night, proceeding in a boat to the staircase which 
led to her chamber, entered it by the secret door, and, 
unmoved by her tears and supplications, cruelly murdered 
both mother and child, and took possession of her valu- 
ables. The bodies were removed by the secret staircase, 
and were never heard of more. 

This legend has given rise to a belief that the wains- 
coted room is haunted. The lady appears without her 
head (which, it is hence supposed, was severed from her 
body by the ruffians), bearing the infant in her arms, 
and, placing herself at the foot of the bed, stands for 
some time inanimate as a statue, and then suddenly dis- 
appears. So fond is the murdered lady of this chamber, 
that she pays it a nightly visit, and appears to regret the 
occupation of it by any other individual ; for, though she 
never attempts to disturb its sleeping or waking inmates, 
whenever the bed is left vacant she does not fail to take 
possession of it for the night ; and it is generally found 
pressed and disordered in the morning, although no 
earthly being has entered the room. So runs the story. 
It is, however, asserted that some years ago a visitor at 
the abbey, who knew nothing of this tradition, slept in 
the wainscoted room, and in the morning declared that he 
had been disturbed by the supernatural appearance of a 
lady, whose garments were stained with blood, and whoee 
features bore a striking resemblance to those of a female 
portrait which hung in the same room. The apparition 
must, therefore, have been furnished with that append- 
age, equally useful and ornamental — ^the he:vd. 




^^} 



NORTH'COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND, 



153 



Having read in Allen's "Yorkshire** these particulars, 
which appeared to have been obtained from Oliver's 
''Beverley," I was naturally surprised to learn thart such 
an extraordinary stcny was attached to this country 
residence, which some years ago I had been in the habit 
of passin? daily in my journey between Bridlington and 
HulL I am afraid it will have to be confessed that the 
ghost story is nothing but a myth, for the son of Mr. 
Beckit, the present occupant of the abbey, says he has 
frequently slept in the so-called haunted room, but that 
his slumbers have never been disturbed by any ghost. 

Albert Pickeriko. 



WiTsXiitxCti ^Ilr Citttrcit. 



I HE remains of the Church of the Holy 
Cross, of which we give an engraving, are 
situated at some distance to the north of 
the Tyneside village of Wallsend, which of 
course derives its name from the Roman WalL The 
church and churchyard occupy a plateau which is really 
on the general level of the land about it; but deep 
ravines surround the site on three sides, the ascent from 
which is from 70 to 75 feet. The whole enclosure sug- 
gests a Roman station ; and, though there is no direct 
evidence that it was used as such, it seems almost cer- 
tain that the Romans would place an outpost on the 
spot to prevent surprise by an assembly of hostile 
natives in the ravines. It will be seen from our drawing 
that little of the sacred edi6ce remains. The stones of 
which it was built were evidently brought from the 
Roman Wall; some of them are indisputably Roman. 
It is supposed that the church was erected about the 
middle or the close of the twelfth century, and that it was 




contemporaneous with the Norman Keep of Newcastle. 
The style is between early and late Norman. Whether 
it was preceded by a Saxon building on the same site 
cannot be determined. Wallsend was included in the 
parish of Jarrow, and it is well known that the monastery 
and church of Jarrow originated in Saxon times. 
About ninety years ago the church had become so 
dilapidated that a gentleman named Clarke, who then 
owned the Wallsend estate, conceived the idea of repair- 
ing it, and for that purpose took the roof off, after which 
divine service was performed for some time in the school- 
room ; but, having soon after disposed of the property, 
Mr. Clarke abandoned his project, and left the vener- 
able building to go to wreck, which process was 
accelerated by a quantity of the fallen stones 
being taken to assist in re-building the bam 
and stable adjoining the parsonage - house. The 
parishioners by-and-by procured an Act for build- 
ing a new church — the church of St Peter's near by — 
which was consecrated in 1809, by the Lord Bishop of 
St. David's. The ordnance survey gives the name of 
the church as that of the ** Holy Cross." Ryton 
Church bears the same name. No other instances of 
this name occur in the district. There is a story 
afloat that the neighbouring villagers used many of 
the old gravestones in the construction of ovens, 
and that ancient Wallsend loaves have borne such 
inscriptions as "Sacred to" and "In memory of." 
But similar tales are current in other places 
where there are ruined burial grounds. Of the 
dozen gravestones which are now to be found 
in the churchyard all are in a wretched condition. 
The following are the inscriptions on two of them : — 
" Here lyeth the body of Edward Henzil, senior, Broad 
Glassmaker, of Houldinpans, who departed this life the 
24th day of January, Anno Domini 1686, aged 64 years ; " 







154 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE. 



{"n 



•* Here lyeth the body of Edward Henzell, Broad Glass- 
maker at Houdoanpands, who departed February ye 19, 
1734-5, aged 62 years.*' The Henzells wiere connected 
with the Tsrzacks, and were immigrants from Alsace or 
Lorraine. For many of the particulars given above we 
are indebted to a paper which was read by Mr. Septimus 
Oswald, at a meeting of the Society of Antiquaries. 



nSitcl)e^ at aEUlUmb. 

Bums made Alloway Kirk eternally famous in his 
weird tale of **Tam o* Shanter*'; but Old Wallsend 
Church, which is said to have been at least once the scene 
of a still more strange adventure with witches than 
heroic Tam^ has not loimd a bard like the Ayrshire 
ploughman to celebrate it in verse. We can therefore 
only give a plain, unvarnished, prosaic account of the 
affair, as it used to be told, doubtless with much more 
pith than we can put into it, by that extraordinary 
humourist and mystery-man. Sir Francis Blake DelavaL 

At T^hat definite period the witch adventure took place 
it IB impossible now to telL Sir Francis died in 1771, and 
already in his day it was ** once upon a time," and '*one 
uf the Lords of Seaton Delaval," without further specifi- 
cation as to when and to whom it occurred. The adven- 
turer, whoever he was, is said to have been returning 
home from Newcastle after nightfalL When turning 
up the road past Wallsend, at the foot of the emi- 
nence on which the old church stands, he was 
surprised to observe the interior of the edifice brilli- 
antly lighted up. Being, of course, curious to know the 
cause of this untimely illumination, he rode to the gate 
of the bur3ring-ground, left his horse in charge of a 
servant, and walked forward to a window, where, like 
Souter Johnnie's drunken crony, *'Wow, he saw an 
unco sicht." 

Upon the communion table, at each comer of which 
was placed an inverted human skull containing some in- 
flammable substance that bumed brightly, he saw ex- 
tended the body of a female, uncofi^ed, and partly un- 
rolled from the winding sheet, while around it, appar- 
ently occupied in the preparation of charms, sat a number 
of withered hags, one of whom was at that instant employed 
in cutting with a knife the left breast from the corpse. 
The beldam who operated as dissector, and who, with 
stubbly beard, ugly buck teeth, red fiery eyes, and 
withered, wrinkled skin, seemed the likest imaginable 
counterpart of one of Macbeth*s witches, handed the 
severed breast to one of the other hags, who went off 
with it in the direction of the belfry, where she was lost 
to sight Delaval, who believed he saw before his 
eyes only a set of detestably wicked old women, fit to be 
bumed at the- stake for their dealings with the foul fiend, 
as well as for their desecration of the consecrated 
building, determined that he would make an effort to 
stop their proceedings. So he applied his strength to 



the door of the church, burst it open, and rushed in, to 
the utter consternation of the assembly. Each of the 
hags endeavoured to save herself by flight. Some 
climbed up to the roof, and took their departure through 
the openings in the belfry. Others managed to get out 
at the door or the windows. But Delaval succeeded in 
laying fast hold of the beldam in whose hand the knife 
still gleamed, and managed to tie her hands behind her 
back with his pocket handkerchief, in spite of her hard 
struggles and horrid curses. 

When Delaval had taken a hasty look at these devilish 
preparations for love and hate, charms and ini*nntatinns, 
be hastened off with his captive, and boond her on 
horseback behind the aervaot. He kept her securely 
imtil die oonld be brought to trial, whether at the 
assizes, the sessions, or the baron's own court tradition 
sayeth not; but certain it is that she was fully con- 
victed of being a witch, as well as a sacrilegious person, 
and sentenced to be burnt on the seashore in the vicinity 
of Seaton DelavaL 

And now followed the most marvellous part of the 
story — so marvellous, indeed, that we must beg our 
readers to take it, as we ourselves do^ with a grain of 
salt When the sentence was about to be carried into 
execution, the witch requested to have the use of two new 
wooden dishes, which were forthwith procured from the 
neighbouring hamlet of Seaton Sluice. The wood and 
combustibles were then heaped on the sands, the culprit 
was placed thereon, the di^es were given to her, and fire 
was applied to the pile. As the smoke arose in dense 
columns around her, she placed a foot in each of the 
utensils, muttered a spell, cleared herself from the fasten- 
ings at the stake, and soared away on the sea-breeze like 
an eagle escaped from the hands of its captors. But when 
she had risen to a considerable height, one of the dishes 
which supported her lost its efficacy from having been, by 
the young person who procured them, dipped unthink 
ingly in pure fresh water ; and so, after making several 
gyrations, the deluded follower of Satan fell to the 
ground. Without affording her another chance of es- 
cape, the beholders conveyed her back to the pile, where 
she perished amidst its flames 



ants Witav* 

||T is well known that Oliver Gk>ldsmith was 
no economist During the greater part of 
his life, he lived from hand to mouth. 
Moreover, we can hardly with confidence rely on the 
accuracy in detail of the account given of a great 
part of his life by his biographers, because it was only 
when "poor Noll" had become the "great Dr. Goldsmith" 
that stories were related of his childhood and boyhood. 




1S?^ 



NORTH-COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND. 



155 



Only then was it that it was worth while for the 
■cboolmistren of lissoy, good Mis. Eliaabath Delap, 
to boast even on her death-bed (thirteen years after the 
aothor of the '* Traveller" and the *' Deserted Village" 
was in his grave) that she had taught him his letters, and 
that there "never was so dull a boy," or for old Jack 
Fitzsimmons to take a pride in having abetted him In 
many a boyish prank at sohooL Up to the period when 
he became a literary lion, the narrative of his adventures, 
misfortunes, and escapades is probably tinged with exag- 
geration, depending as it does on his own relation ; for, so 
far from desiring to appear in the eye of the world to the 
best advantage, he took more pains to be esteemed worse 
than he was than most people do to appear better than 
they are. But the episode of bis short visit to the North 
of England is told with sufficient diBtinctness to warrant 
us in giving credit to its chief circumstances. Still, Mr. 
Prior, his biographer, seems to have entertained doubts 
regarding their accuracy. Such as we have them, how- 
ever, we give them. 

After spending two winters at Edinburgh, studying 
medicine, attending the theatre, and enjoying himself 
with his rollicking fellow-students, he suddenly left the 
Scottish capital about the beginning of 1754, ostensibly 
for the purpose of finishing his studies in Paris, where 
the great Farheim, Pepit, and Du Hammel de Monceau 
had gathered round them a multitude of diligent students, 
whom they professed to instruct in all the branches of 
medicine, as then understood. Washington Irving, in- 
deed, remarks that Goldsmith's real motive was doubtless 
his long cherished desire to see foreign parts, and 
that this was the case seems to be dear from the 
sequeL 

When at Edinburgh his good-natured, thoughtless dis- 
position had involved him in difficulties from which his 
precarious and limited income, dependent on the gener- 
osity of his unde Contarine, who^ of all his relatives, 
never lost faith in him, ought to have kept him free. 
In particular, he had become security to a tailor named 
Barclay for the payment by a student friend named 
Kennedy of what was to him a considerable sum of 
money, and this forced him to leave the dty more pre- 
dpitately than he might otherwise have done. He tells 
the story himsdf in a letter to his unde. *' Some- 
time after the receipt of your last,*' he writes, 
"I embarked for Bordeaux, on board a Scotch 
ship, called the St. Andrews, Captain John Wall, 
master. The ship made a tolerable appearance ; 
and, as another inducement, I was let to know that six 
agreeable passengers were to be my company. Well, we 
were but two days at sea, when a storm drove us into a 
dty of England called Newcastle-upon-Tyne. We all 
went on shore to refresh us after the fatigues of our 
voyage. Seven men and I were one day on shore ; and, 
on the following evening, as we were all very meny, the 
room door bursts open; enters a sergeant and twelve 



Grenadiers with their bayonets screwed, and puts us all 
under the king's arrest. It seems my company were 
Scotchmen in the French service, and had been in Scot- 
land to enlist soldiers for the French army. I endeavoured 
an I could to prove my innocence ; however, I remained 
in prison with the rest a fortnight, and with difficulty 
got off even then." 

Oliver entreated his unde to keep this all a secret, or 
at least say the arrest was for debt ; for if it had been 
once known at the university that he had been taken for 
a Jacobite, he would hardly have got a degree. He 
reckoned his escape quite providential, for the ship, sail- 
ing for Bordeaux before he was released from prison, was 
wrecked in a great storm at the mouth of the Garonne, 
when every one of the crew was drowned. 

*' Nothing," says Mr. Prior, *' imparts a better idea of 
the philosophical indifference of the poet to evils merely 
temporary or physical than the little concern expressed 
about an event that would have been, to other men, a 
theme of loud and angry complaint — the being imprisoned 
a fortnight on an unfounded suspicion. His only anxiety 
seems ta have been respecting his degree ; and, however 
consdous of innocence, he probably believed, from the 
equivocal situation in which he was found, and the 
general attachment to the Stuarts then prevailing in Scot- 
land, that difficulties might occur in proving it to the 
satisfaction of the college authorities. It is believed that 
testimonials of conduct and character from his acquaint- 
ance in Edinburgh were found necessary previous to his 
final enlargement." 

After he had been liberated, he seems to have found his 
way to Sunderland, where he is said to have taken up his 
residence in Bodlewell Lane, which leads down from the 
High Street to the Wear. Here a bailiff found him out, 
and arrested him for debt at the suit of Barclay, the 
tailor. He had thus fallen out of the frying-pan into 
the fire. Luckily, however, it struck him to have 
recourse to two of his fellow-students to relieve him from 
a dilemma that threatened to blast any prospects he 
might have of getting on in the world. One of these was 
Dr. Joseph Fenn Sleigh, an amiable and intelligent 
Quaker, and the other Mr. Lauchlan Madeane, a 
former associate at Trinity College and at Edinburgh 
University, and afterwards Under-Secretary of State for 
the Southern Department in the Grafton Ministry. By 
the kindness of these two gentlemen, he was ddivered 
out of the hands of the bailiff. Finding that there 
was a ship Ijring in the Tyne ready for Holland, he em- 
barked therein, and in nine days arrived at Rotter- 
terdam, whence he travelled by land to Leyden. 

The vessel bound for Bordeaux having sailed with a 
portion of his baggage on board, he is said to have been 
recommended to follow her, when he exclaimed, with 
characteristic simplidty, ** What would be the use of 
that ? Sure it will be sent after me anvwhere !" 



156 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE. 



/April 



\ \VA. 



£Sitxi ai iHsrii ^Ctoi^rt ^is^t sntr Stoe^Tr* 



IBs ilul)arli aBelforH, 
AuTHOB or '* A H16TOBT OF Nkwcastlb and Gatesbiad,*' &ai. 




3ol)tt |8aiUa, 

ABTI8T and aqrioultubist. 

And he gave it for his opinion, that whoever oonld 
make two ears of com, or two blades of gr^ss, to grow 
upon a spot of ground where only one grew before, would 
deserve better of mankind, and do more essential service 
to his country than the whole range of politicians put to- 
gether. — 5t0^ 

|OHN BAILEY, known in early life as an 
enflrraver, and in maturer age as an agricul- 
tural reformer, was a son of William Bailey, 
of Bladesfield, in the parish of Bowes, near 
Barnard Castle. Evincing in childhood a precocious talent 
for drawing, he was placed under the tuition of Godfrey, 
the engraver, and became a promising artist. His uncle, 
Mr. George Dixon, a celebrated mathematician (the first 
person, it is said, who used coal gas for illuminating pur- 
poses), resided at Cockfield, about six miles north-east of 
Barnard Castle, and with him young Bailey went to reside 
as a tutor. There he improved his knowledge of mathe- 
matics, and relieved, by engraving and land surveying, 
the tedium of teaching his cousins. Among other things 
he engraved the views which illustrate Hutchinson's 
two volumes of ** The History of Durham," and, in 1776, 
published a view of Darlington. (A copy of this latter 
appropriately embellishes Mr. Longstaffe's history of the 
town.) Two years later he accepted a situation as 
mathematical tutor with the Rev. John Farrar, the 
famous clerical schoolmaster of Witton-le-Wear, a man 
whom Lord Chancellor Thurlow commended as the 
greatest curiosity he had seen in the North of England, 
yet conveniently forgot to promote. While at Witton, 
he married Mary, daughter of Nicholas Greenwell, of 
Witton Castle, and thus became linked with one of the 
oldest families in the county of Durham. 

As an artist, a mathematician, an experimentalist in 
chemistry and mechanical construction, a good land sur- 
veyor, and an excellent draughtsman, Mr. Bailey com- 
menced married life with every advantage in his favour. 
Nor was it long before his abilities brought him pro- 
motion. The stewardship of the extensive estates of the 
Tankerville family became vacant. Recommended by his 
acquirements and aided by the influence of his father- 
in-law, he obtained the appointment, and removing to 
Chillingham, the seat of the Tankervilles, entered upon a 
career of enterprise and daring that very soon was the 
talk of the country side, and eventually interested all 
England. 

Only a dozen years before Mr. Bailey's removal into 



Northumberland the farmers there had been pillofried by 
plain-speaking Arthur Young. In that remarkable book 
of his, '* A Six Months' Tour through the North of Eng- 
land," he described them as men of contracted minds, 
addicted to slovenly husbandry, treading perpetually in 
the old beaten tracks, and retaining barbarous practioea 
which tended to damp, if not to extinguish, the very 
spirit of improvement. Mr. Bailey found that Arthur 
Young's stigma was not altogether undeserved, and he 
determined to work a reformation. Every new discovery 
in the practice of agriculture that promised to succeed 
upon the vaiying soils of North NorthumberlanJ, he 
adopted; every new process that tended to ease the 
labour of the farmer and help him to overcome the ad- 
verse forces of nature, he submitted to the test of experi- 
ment, and, if he found them satisfactory, caused them to 
be put into active operation. In a comparatively few 
years a great and beneficial change was effected. Adjoin- 
ing londowers did not become all at once enamoured of 
Mr. Bailey's schemes, which were too comprehensive and 
much too costly to be taken on trust. But when they 
saw fertile pastures emerging from Wooler Haughs (upon 
which, during thousands of recurring floods, the Till and 
the Glen had discharged superabundant waters), they 
recognised the foresight with which Mr. Bailey's plans 
of drainage and embankment had been conceived, and he 
had the satisfaction of knowing that at Ewart, at Dod- 
dington, and other places, hundreds of acres had been 
brought into cultivation which aforetime were abandoned 
to flags and rushet. So was it with the farmers. At first 
they shook their heads and shrugged their shoulders ; but 
when they discovered that Mr. Bailey's improvements 
meant increased production and more profit to them- 
selves, they gradually followed his teachings. Part of 
the success which attended his efforts was undoubtedly 
due to the simplicity of heart and mildness of manners 
which characterised his advocacy of agricultural reforms. 
Those who came to criticize and condemn remaintnl to 
approve and adopt 

The labours of Arthur Young in the South, Mr. Bailey 
in the North, and Sir John Sinclair in Scotland gave 
force and direction to a general demand for improvements 
in rural economy. In 1793, a private association was in- 
corporated under the name of the ** Board of AgriculUire 
and Internal Improvements," and, being assisted by an 
annual parliamentary grant, it became a sort of semi- 
official institution. One of its first proceedings was to 
commence a survey of all the English counties on a uni- 



1888./ 



NORTH-COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND, 



167 



form plan, which brought oat for the information of the 
class most interested in adopting them, improved practioes 
originatinK in individual enterprise or intelligence in par- 
ticular districts. The survey of Durham was written by 
Mr. Bailey alone ; those of Northumberland and Cumber- 
land were written by Mr. Bailey and Mr. George Oulley. 
Maps and drawings of implements, cattle, sheep, farm 
buildings, &c, are freely given, while, to aid the distant 
reader, explanations are afforded of local words and 
idioms. It is hardly possible to conceive of work better 
done than is exhibited in these surveys. Not the least 
interesting portion is Mr. Bailey's description of the Chil- 
lingham wild cattle, with a picture— his own drawing — 
showing three of the animals scampering across the park 
in front of a concealed sportsman. 

In 1795, Mr. Bailey published an octavo volume of 
72 ])ages, printed by S. Hodgson, Newcastle, and dedi- 
cated to Lord Tanker ville, entitled '*An Essay on the 
Construction of the Plough, deduced from Mathematical 
Principles and Experiments. With an Appendix contain- 
ing the Description of a Drill upon a New Construction, 
for Sowing all Kinds of Grain, in any Quantity, and at 
any Distance.^ The book abounds in mathematical de- 
monstrations — indicating a writer of exact and practical 
mind— and is accompanied by plans drawn to scale and 
minutely figured. 

The author of this valuable treatise lived to see the 
fruition of his labours, and to enjoy the respect and con- 
fidence which are accorded to recognised public bene- 
factors. During his later years he had a wide practice in 
sorvesring, valuing, and improving the "broad acres ^ of 
the North, and was regarded as one of the most successful 
advocates of high fanning and liberal management of 
landed estate in the three kingdoms. If not, in the 
ordinary meanmg of the term, a great man, he was, in 
the truest sense of the term, a good man. His intel- 
lectual grif ts were directed and controlled by great moral 
integrity ; entrusted with vast powers, he was upright 
and straightforward, just and impartial ; he left the world 
with clean hands and a dean conscience. 

Mr. Bailey died at Great Bavington, on the 4th of 
June, 1819, in the 68th year of his age. His daughter, 
Mary Susannah, married Mr. John Langhome, a banker 
at Berwick, and became the mother of Mr. John Bailey 
Langhome, of Richmond, Yorkshire, who (in conjunction 
with Mr. M. W. Lambert and Mr. Tliomas Bourne) pur- 
chased the NewcatUe Chronicle from the Hodgsons, and 
remained for several years one of its proprietors. 



«eorje |8alnur, 

ABTIST. 

A sketch of the life of this gifted painter was written 
by his friend John Wykeham Archer (whose own career 
has been already simmiarised in the Monthly Chroniele, 
vol. i., page 451). It was published in the "Art 



Union " for October, 1846, and has formed the basis of all 
other sketches of Balmer and his work. The following 
is a copy of it : — 

Mv first acquaintance with Balmer [bom at South 
Shields in 1805J happened about the year 18^, at which 
time the Exhibition of Pictures in Newcastle-upon-iyne 
was considered about the best of the provincial exhibitions 
in England. He had then be^pun to perceive his tme 
vocation ; for he was originally mtendea to carr^ on the 
business of his father, a respectable house-pamter in 
North Shields. However, his earliest predilections were 
such as disaualified him for mechanical pursuits, and he 
had meanwhile practised the decorative part of the busi- 
ness with Coulson, of Edinburgh. Here ne had an oppor- 
tuni^ of observing the progress of Ewbank, whose pure 
and nuent productions suggested the kindred but more 
powerful style, which, at the time I have mentioned, made 
Balmer's pictures a feature in the Newcastle Exhibition. 

With several lesser works of great merit, he then ex- 
hibited a more ambitious production in point of size ; this 
was "A View of the Port of Tyne." It was purchased by 
T. Batson, of Newcastle. Soon after this, Balmer removed 
his easeJL and took up his abode in the neighbourhood of 
the exhibition, then under the management of the elder 
Richardson and Mr. H. P. Parker. 

About the year 1831^ an exhibition of water-colour 
drawings was produced m Newcastle, in which appcNured 
several performances in that style by Balmer, especially 
some exouisite views of the scenery in the neighbourhood 
of Rokeby. one of which, purchased by Dixon Dixon, 
Esq., was the gem of the exhibition, and will yet be re- 
membered by many as "The Juicy Tree Bit." Another 
of these drawings was beautifully engraved by Miller for 
the "Aurora Borealis," an annual produced bv some 
members of the Society of Friends in Northumberland. 

The honourable rivalry and friendly intimacy which 
existed between George Balmer and J. W. Carmichael 
induced these two painters to unite their efforts in one 
great work, the subject of which was "The Heroic 
Exploit of Admiral CoUingwood at the Battle of 
Trafalgar," a well-chosen subject, and one which came 
with an especial grace from the hands of the two men, 
who, themselves an honour to their native county, have 
thus honoured its renowned hero. This capital picture is 
now in the Trinity House, Newcastle. 

Presently, after the completion of the large picture, my 
friend began to look for more extended means of study 
and improvement, and he took his departure for a tour 
on the Continent, sketching industriously as he pro- 
ceeded. He visited several parts of Holland, and then 
proceeded up the Rhine, and traversed Switzerland, 
when, having made some valuable studies among the 
Alps, he turned a longing eye towards Italy, but hesitated 
ana postponed that enterprise to a period which never 
came. 

He then set off for Paris in order to study the master- 
pieces in the Louvre Gallery. In Paris Balmer remained 
several months, observing much, and copying from Cuyp, 
Claude Lorraine, Paul Potter, and Ruysdad. From the 
latter he produced a masterly copy, the subject being " A 
Stormy Offing, with Vessels Scuddine before the Squall." 

Immediatmy on his return to England he came to me 
and announced his intention of setting up his staff in 
London, and from that time we were seldom apart. 
During this period I had ample occasion for admiring his 
zeal for art, and the assiduity with which he toiled to do 
justice to the opportunities he had enjoyed, and to 
embody the result of his travels in such a shape as would 
brinff him honourably before the public in the London 
exhibitions. 

A larro " View of Bingen "; a " View of Rotterdam," 
of which there is an engraving ; " Haarlem Mere " ; a 
large "Moonlight," purchasea by Miss Clayton, of 
Newcastle; and a new picture of "St. Goar," were 
among the first fruits of his application. At this time he 
found a kind patron in Mr. Harrison, an opulent mer- 
chant and accomplished gentleman of Liverpool. This 
gentleman, whom he had met abroad, enabled him, by 
his purchases and recommendation, to pursue his object 
steaoily and without those pecuniary misgivings which 



158 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE. 



{1SS! 



Oppress while they cruelly goad the artist who would earn 
an honourable fame, but who, being mortal, must pro- 
vide withal for the baker and the fashioner of raiment. 
While the beauties of the scenery he had visited re- 
mained strong[ upon his mind, Balmer worked assiduously 
from his foreign sketches ; but manv of them remained 
unused, for the original feeling ana desire to repre- 
sent the scenery of the Britisn coast returned after 
a time. My old friend was never so much in his 
element as when painting a stranded ship, an^ old 
lighthouse, or the nppling of the waves on a shing^ly 
coast. He was much under the influence of early associa- 
tions, and such were the objects to which he nad been 
accustomed from childhood. An old mill was like- 
wise a favourite subject of his pencil : and this was but 
another reminiscence of early days, when he ofttimes so- 
ioumed with bis uncle, the miller at Plessy, near Blyth. 
His pictures containing an old mill, with the scenery of 
the nver Wansbeck, chiefly moonlights, are among his 
happiest productions. 

In 1836^ Balmer proposed to Messrs. Finden, 
a publication entitled "The Ports and Harbours of 
Great Britain," a work which was spiritedly com- 
menced, and contained many views, chiefly on the 
North Coast, from his drawings. However, the 
publication dwindled in other hands, and ended tamely 
enough. 

About this time m:^ friend found himself in drcum- 
stanoes which made him independent of his profession ; 
and a diffidence with reg[ard to the merit of his own pro- 
ductions caused him to give up several commissions ; and 
thenceforth, to the reffret of many who admired his 
talent and worth, he aoated his efforts, painting only a 
s^ht bit from time to time to keep his hand in, or as 
fldns to his friends. But his interest in art did not 
diminish with his own exertions ; and the knowled^ 
which he had acquired was imparted to his hiends in 
kind and manly advice, judicious help, or words of 
encouragement* which were the more prized for their 
sincerity ; for he never flattered nor compromised his in- 
tegrity by an unmeaning comment upon any work of art 
which might be shown to him. It is nearly four years 
since Balmer retired from London, and settled near 
Bavensworth. in the county of Durham, where be was 
assailed in tne prime of lite by the malady which ter- 
minated his career on the 10th of April, 1846. 



|oj<epI> IJarber, 

BOOKBELLSB AND OOPPEB-PLATE PBINTEB. 

In the NevfcastU CwtranJt of the 29th November, 1740, 
a copper-plate engraving was advertised to be published 
by "Joseph Barber, music and copper-plate printer on 
the SandhilL" The subject was " A Curious Draught of 
the famous managed Horse called the Marbled Persian, 
made a present of to the Chevalier de St. Greorge*s eldest 
son, by the (late) Duke of Or d now in exile ; en- 
graved by the best hand in England." The advertiser 
humbly hoped that gentlemen would encourage the 
undertaking, " it being the first of the copper-plate kind 
ever performed in Newcastle-upon-Tyne." In the same 
paper for February 14th, 1741, the plate was announced 
as being ready for delivery, price one shilling. A couple 
of years later the following advertisement appeared in 
the same journal : — " This day is published and ready to 
be delivered to the subscribers, dedicated to John Simp- 
son, Esq., Mayor, and the Recorder, Aldermen, and 
Sheriff, &c., of Newcastle, by Joseph Barber, copper- 
plate printer, in HumUe's Buildings, Newcastle, being 



just arrived from London, the curious copper-plate print 
of the equestrian statue of King James IL (printed on 
two large sheets of Genoa paper) which was erected on 
the Sandhill, and destroyed at the RevolutioQ by a funoos 
mob. Taken from an original painting in the posseesioo 
of Sir Hans Sloane, Bart, and illustrated with near 200 
coats of arms neatly engraved, being the arms of such 
of the subscribers as came to hand in time.** 

The enterprising tradesman who ingeniously tried to 
interest the representativee of county families in his 
speculation by promising them engravings of their arms 
(and afterwards, as we learn from local annals, cut oat 
the arms for book plates), was a native of the sister 
island. He was a son of John Barber, of SummerfaiD, 
Dunshaughlin, a village near Dublin, and was baptised at 
Plunkett Street Presbyterian Church in that city, in 
November, 1706. How be came to settle upon Tynesida 
does not appear. His name was not a common one be- 
tween l^e and Tweed ; in some of the few local records 
wherein it does find entry, a misprint for " Barker " may 
be suspected. But here he was, established in business 
in 1740, among the printers and booksellers that clustered 
round the end of Tyne Bridge, and introducing to the 
patrons of the fine arts in the Northern Counties the first 
copper-plate printing "ever performed in Newcastle." 

By the year 1746, Mr. Barber had removed his shop to 
the centre of the town — "at the head of the Flesh 
Market, on the High Bridge." There he entered into a 
new speculation. He had been the pioneer in copper- 
plate printing, and now be was the first (it is said) to 
start a circulating library in Newcastle. In no long time 
he found it desirable to remove his establishment from the 
High Bridge to Amen Comer, in the south-west angle dt 
St. Nicholas* Churchyard, where he sold books, prints^ 
tea, and other commodities, and offered a choice of over 
1,250 volumes of standard literature to his subscribers. 

Success like Mr. Barber's could not long remain un- 
challenged. William Chamley, who had been five yean 
in partnership vdth his old master, Martin Bryson, and 
two years in business upon his own account, removed 
from the Bridge End to the foot of the Flesh Market at 
the beginning of the year 1757, and opened a rival 
establishment. He had 2,000 volumes to lend, he an- 
nounced, to all who subscribed 12s. a year, or 3s. a 
quarter. This was nearly 750 volumes more than were 
offered at Amen Comer. Mr. Barber met the com- 
petition by reducing his terms to 10s. a year, or half- 
a-crown a quarter, and by advertising his "grand 
original" library as deserving of continued and un- 
divided support. 

Mr. Barber, like so many of his countrirmen, was an 
extensive reader and a fluent talker. He knew Greek 
and Latin, could converse in French, and was well 
acquamted with the "Belles Lettres,'* or polite litera- 
ture. For many years his shop and that of William 



NORTH-COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND. 



159 



Chamley were tbe resort of all the well-read men of 
tbe district. Thither came, at one time or another, 
faunouB Dr. John Brown, the scholarly and unfortunate 
Vicar of Newcastle, and his successor. Dr. Fawcett; 
Matthew Ridley, five times member for Newcastle, and 
his son. Sir Matthew, afterwards eight times recipient of 
the same honour; Edward Montague, from Denton 
Hall; Sir Francis Blake Delaval, wildest Lothario of 
his time; Thomas Bewick, the engraver; Moises, the 
great schoolmaster ; Askew, the famous doctor; Slack, 
the printer, and his son-in-law, Solomon Hodgson; 
Avison, the composer ; Thomas Cook, the mystic ; 
Aubone Surtees, the banker ; Aldermen Hornby, Moeley, 
and John Erasmus Blackett, with Charles Brandling, Dr. 
Rotherham, Matthew Prior, Nathaniel Bayles, Isaac 
Thompson, "Esq.,** aud perhaps John Cunningham, and 
the Rev. James Murray. Those who strolled into Mr. 
Barber's shop on market days might hear the proprietor 
discussing with his patrons the new volumes of Hume, 
Sterne, Johnson, and Adam Smith, or the latest produc- 
tions of the local press, while the chimes of St. Nicholas* 
rang out the quarter-hours, and the maids chattered over 
their skeels at the pant hard by. 

Mr. Barber's success in business enabled him to pur- 
chase the premises at Amen Comer, and eventually to 
erect a private residence for his family at the top of 
Westgate Hill. Upon the latter he bestowed the name 
of " Summerhill," in remembrance of his Irish home, and 
that name, with the addition of "Grove," the locality 
bears to this day. 

At the good old age of seventy-four, Mr. Barber died. 
He had been three times married, and was the father of 
six children. One of his daughters, Maria^ was united to 
her father's apprentice, Edward Humble, who suc- 
ceeded to the business at Amen Comer. Her brother, 
Robert Barber, was for more than thirty years organist 
of St. Ann's Church, Manchester, and died there on the 
16th June, 1815. Joseph, eldest son of the old bookseller, 
settled in Birmingham, and from the marriage of his 
daughter to Mr. T. J. Lightfoot comes Joseph Barber 
Idghtfoot, D.D., Lord Bishop of Durham. 

In bis will, dated July 3, 1781, Mr. Barber left his wife, 
Eleanor, the shop at Amen Comer, with all his stock-in- 
trade, ready money, book debts, the circulating library, 
plate, linen, and all his personal estate, she paying there- 
out to bis daughter, Margaret Baker, £10, and to his 
three grandchildren, Ann Pritchett, Mary Baker, and 
John Baker, £10 each. He directed that his remains 
should be buried in his new vault in St. Nicholas' Church- 
yard *' in a strong oak coffin, one inch thick, covered with 
black baize," that his age and time of dying should be 
*' cut deep upon a tombstone," that thexe should be no 
IxUlbearers, and that the coffin should have '*two dovetails 
across the breast, and be fixed with screw nails," to 
frustrate, one may suppose, the designs of body-snatchers. 




Site §iivttVi ai iKeto(siJtIe. 

(HE SANDHILL cannot be omitted in any 
view of the streets of Newcastle. Its name 
explains itself. Before the Tyne was em- 
banked by the quay, this place was nothing 
better than a hill of naked sand, where the inhabitants 
used to assemble for purposes of recreation. 

There is an ancient plan of Newcastle by Speed, 
whereon only one public place is marked on the Sandhill, 
namely, the Maison de Dieu. This house, founded by 
the munificent Roger Thornton in 1412, has already been 
described in the Monthly ChronieU. (See vol. i, p. 56.) 
The Merchants' Guild used to hold their courts at '* The 
Maison Dieu Hall" on the last Thursday in every month, 
their head meeting day on the Thursday after Mid-Lent 
Sunday, and went in procession on Corpus Christi Day, 
after high mass was done, to assist in the performance 
of their mystery-play, '^Hogmagog," the Mayor, Sheriff, 
and Aldermen, with their officers, having first attended 
upon the holy sacrament. 

The Sandhill had its tragedies also, and notably in 
1464. The Battle of Hexham leaves its grim traces in 
Newcastle records. In this disastrous battle were taken 
—amongst many others, "knights, esquires, and other 
men"— the Lords Ros, Molins, Hungerford, Findem, 
with two others (who would appear, according to the 
Arundel MSS., to have been Edward Delamere and 
Nicholas Massam). '* Their heads were out off, " says the 
Year Book, 4 Edward IV., "at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 
in a place called Sandhill; and they lie in the Friars 
Minors and Augustine." 

Adjoining the Maison de Dieu stood the Exchange, alM> 
built by Roger Thornton, according to Bourne, and occu- 
pying the site on which now stands the Guildhall. It 
was "a square haul place for the towne,"says old Leland, 
who visited Newcastle somewhere about the year 1540 ; 
but it was pulled down in 1655, and the present Exchange 
and Guildhall were erected by Robert Trollop, of York. 
His covenant for expenses amounted to £2,000; but 
Bourne was informed that the actual cost would be about 
£10,000. Some local wag wrote a doggerel epitaph on 
Trollop, which read as follows :— 

Here lies Robert Trollop. 
Who made yon stones roll up ; 
When death took his soul up, 
His body filled this hole up. 

On a line with the Guildhall was the passage from the 

Sandhill to the river known as the Water Gate ; though 

in the Common Council Books of 1649 it is called the 

Windowes Gate. Nearly opposite to the Water Gate 

was the once famous Bella's Coffee House, which in 1648 

was the house of Thomas Bonner, then Mayor. In his 

year of office, a riotous affray occiirred, thus recorded in 



160 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE. 



April 18SS. 




April 1888. 



NORTH-COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND. 



161 




VIEW OF SANDHILL, NEWCASTLE, 1888. 



From a Picture by Robt, Job ling. 



162 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE, 



{^S? 



the Common Coancil Books: — ^'Thomas Bomier, Esq., 
Mayor-elected, oomiiig from the Spittle (October 2) to 
go to his dwelling house upon the Sand-Hill, the 
Serjeants carrying torches lighted in their hands, one 
Edmund Marshall threw a long stick at the said lighted 
torches, and struck divers of them out, and it being dark, 
stones, &C., were flimg," and so forth. 

Katy*s Ck)ffee House was another famous place of resort 
with our forefathers. It stood on the east side of the 
Sandhill, on or near the spot now occupied by the Royal 
Exchange buildings. The Lork or Lort Bum flowed 
past it. This bum ran down the Side, and over the 
Sandhill into the river. The street was thus divided into 
the Side and the Flesher Row, in the latter of which the 
butchers conducted their business, as well as in the 
Butcher Bank. Over the Lork Bum and opposite Katy's 
a small bridge was thrown, and here, it is said, the town's 
waits, or musicians, used to stand and play whilst Oliver 
Cromwell was entertained at dinner, either on his 
progress to or his return from Scotland. 

A gn^est of another sort had been welcomed on the 
Sandhill a little earlier. In 1617, James I., on his way 
to Scotland, was met here by the Mayor, Aldermen, 
and Sheriff ; and, after an oration from the Town Clerk, 
"was presented by the Mayor, in the name of the 
whole Corporation, with a great standing bowl, to the 
value of an hundred Jacobuses, and an hundred marks 
in gold; the Mayor carrying the sword before him, 
accompanied by his brethren on their foot-cloths. On 
Sunday, May 4th, following, his Majesty, with all his 
nobles, dined with the Mayer, when it pleased the 
King to be served by the Mayor and Aldermen. The 
King left the town on Monday, the 5th of May." 
(Brand.) Thus was the first James ministered unto. 
His son, the first Charles, was caught in an unsavoury 
sewer, in an attempt to escape from his Scotch custo- 
dians. The second Charles we may still gaze upon in 
effigy as we pass the Exchange, habited as an ancient 
Roman. Let us conclude the record as it concerns this 
family, by adding that James II. had also his statue 
on the Sandhill, " on the south side of the bull-ring, 
and opposite to the court stairs." It was cast in copper, 
and stood on a white marble pedestal; and, according 
to Boume, it cost the town £1,700. In May, 1689, when 
William and Mary had been crowned about a month, away 
went this fine statue into the river. It was, however, fished 
up, and rendered of some use, as witnesses this extract 
from the Council books :—" April 1, 1695. All Saints' 
parish humbly lequest the metal of the statue [of James 
II.] towards the repair of their bells. Ordered, that 
All Saints' have the metal belonging to the horse of 
the said statue, except a leg thereof, which must go 
towards the casting a new bell for St. Andrew's parish." 

Another house on the Sandhill of some note in its day 
is the Bee Hive. At one time it must have been occu- 
pied by well-to-do people, as its marks of ancient 



grandeur attested. There was, for instance, a large 
wainscotted room on the first floor, wherein was a very 
curious carved chimney-piece. This was presented 
by the owner, Ralph Naters, to the Corporation, and 
placed by that body in the oak room of the Mansion 
House. Other houses were remarkable for their excellent 
carvings alsa There was Number 33, for instance, 
which boasted of a mantelpiece of most elaborate 
carving, bold in proportion, and in high sculptured 
relief. In the centre the royal arms were placed ; and. 




arranged in separate compartments, were to be seen the 
four elements personified, with representations also of 
Samson slaying the Philistin<?8 with the jawbone of an 
ass, and David cutting off the head of Goliath. The 
carving was of the time of Charles II. Tradition hath it 
that this house was at one time the town residence of 
the Earls of Derwentwater ; another tradition gives them 
a " local habitation in Westgate Road." 

Among these interesting buildings is that known as the 
Old Custom House, now a public-house, with one en- 
trance from the Quayside and the other from the Sand- 
hill. So far back as 1281, we find that the keeper 



NORTH'COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND, 



163 



of the "cockets" at Newcastle charged a duty of 6e. 8d. 
tipon 300 woolled skins, the same sum upon a sack of 
wool, and ISs. 4d. upon a last of leather. In 1440, 
Robert Rhodes (a benefactor of St Nicholas' and All 
Saints' in his time) was made comptroller of the customs 
and subsidies of the King in the port of the Tyne. The 
new Custom House was built in 1765. It is curious to 
learn that an Independent congregation once worshipped 
in the Old Custom House Entry, having separated from 
" the church of Silver Street," at the time of the pastorate 
of the Rev. James Shields (1765-85). 

The old house to the left of our engraving on page 160 
was that of Surtees the banker, associated in local 
history with the names of its *'£onnie Bessie," and her 
faithful swain, John Scott, afterwards first Earl of 
Eldon. The story of the elopement hence will have to be 
told another time. 

On more than one occasion coronation festivities have 
been celebrated on the Sandhill. When the second Greorge 
was crowned in October, 1727, the bells were rung, the 
magistrates donned their scarlet gowns, and went from 
the Guildhall to church, music playing and cannon 
firing, " accompanied by the Common Council, clergy, 
and gentry." Then they dined sumptuously, and 
returned to the Guildhall, where the healths were a 
second time drunk of the King, Queen, and Royal 
Family, "with many other loyal toasts," the cannon 
firing at each healtb. **A conduit ran wine all the 
time for the populace." A great " bonefire " was burnt, 
the ladies had a ball in the evening ** at the Mayor's 
house," and the proceedings concluded with "rejoicings, 
bonefires, illuminations, ringing of beUs, and all other 
demonstrations of joy." 

An alarming bread riot occurred some thirteen years 
later. Provisions were very dear. The militia were 
called out; at their head Alderman Ridley announced 
that the com factors had set a certain fixed price on 
their grain ; and the tumult was stayed for the time. 
But for a time only. Some of the factors vanished from 
the town ; the rest kept their shops closed. " The pit- 
men, keelmen, and poor of the town," accordingly 
plundered the granaries, and stopped a vessel about to 
sail with a load of rye. This was on the 2l8t of June, 
1740. On the 25th, the militia were disbanded. As 
a consequence of this strange step, an immense multi- 
tude assembled on the Sandhill the very next day, 
whilst the Mayor and Aldermen were consulting in the 
Guildhall on the steps to be taken in the emergency. 
The mob became unruly. They were fired upon ; one 
rioter was killed, and several others wounded. The 
Guildhall was thereupon invaded ; most of those assem- 
bled there were wounded; the court and its chambers 
were ransacked. Many of the public writings and 
accounts were destroyed, and a very large sum of Cor- 
poration money was carried off. Then the rioters 
traversed the streets, and "threatened, with horrid 



execrations, to bum and destroy the whole place." The 
military were summoned from Alnwick; forty of the 
rioters were arrested, whilst the others were suffered to 
disperse ; and at the next Assizes six of the ringleaders 
were each transported for seven years. This riot is said 
to have cost the Corporation £4,000. 

In 1745, war was proclaimed on the Sandhill (amongst 
other places) against France, " the Mayor and Aldermen 
attending in their scarlet gowns, accompanied by their 
proper officers." In April, 1749, there was a general 
thanksgiving for the peace which followed, and wine 
again ran from a fountain on the Sandhill for a consider- 
able time. Three volleys were fired from the Exchange 
by three regimental companies. Wine again flowed fr»m 
a Sandhill fountain in November, 1760, "when George 
the Third was King." Mayor and magistrates were to 
the fore " in their scarlet robes, preceded by the town's 
band of music and the regalia," and attended by the 
colonels and officers of the two regiments of Yorkshire 
militia then stationed in Newcastle. "Many loyal 
healths were drunk " ; there were the usual " joyful 
acclamations " ; and the rejoicings concluded with a ball 
and illuminations. The pillory was brought into use in 
1766, when one Jean Grey, convicted of perjury, was 
paraded there for an hour, pursuant to her sentence. In 
1768, a too adventurous sailor was killed here by an 
infuriated bull which the populace were engaged in 
baiting. 

The coronation of Geoi^e IV. was celebrated in 
grand style on the 19th July, 1821. Strangers poured 
into the town in thousxmds to take part in the 
rejoicings. Royal salutes were fired from the Castle; 
flags and colours were everywhere displayed ; and the 
church bells rang their merriest peals. In honour of 
the occasion, the Mayor (Mr. George Forster) ^as 
invested with the gold chain and medallion still worn 
by our chief magistrates on state occasions. Every- 
where there were mirth and jollity— of their sort. An 
ale-panfran in the old Flesh Market (which was next 
to the Cloth Market) ; it was demolished whilst the 
beer was running. A similar fate befel the Spital ale- 
pant; indeed, the mirth and jollity were not without 
their attendant disorder in all parts of the town. It 
is, however, with the proceedings on the Sandhill en 
this day that we have at present to do. 

In the centre had been erected an elegant pant, twelve 
feet high, which was surmounted by a handsome crown. 
From this it was intended to supply the populace with 
wine. The Mayor and magistrates went dutifully to St. 
Nicholas' Church, where Vicar Smith preached them a 
sermon. This done, they returned to the Sandhill, and 
appeared at the great window of the Town's Court to 
drink the king's health, to the accompaniment of a royal 
salute from the Castle. This was to be the signal on 
which the wine was to flow with regal lavishness from the 
pant. It speedily became a pant of Panderaonium I 



164 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE, 



/Awil 



Fair it was to look upon in the early day, being painted 
to resemble stone, and displaying full gaily its showy 
cupola of copper bronze, and its crown and crimson 
velvet cap of State turned up with ermine. But the 
Sandhill had its thirsty souls then, as indeed it has now. 
One of them climbed to the top of the pant, sat down on 
the cupola, and placed its 
crown on his own head. 
This served to amuse the 
waiting multitude while the 
magistrates were at their 
devotions. When the signal 
was given that the wine 
should flow, off came the 
crown from the adventurer's 
head, and away into the 
river it was speedily kicked. 
The original idea was that 
the Mayor and Corpora- 
tion should drink the 
Royal health at the pant; 
but this they found it im- 
possible to do by reason of 
the surging crowd. The 
wine, however, poured forth 
its ruby stream at the signal 
^ ^ from the Castle ; and then 
'j!^-^ ensued an indescribable 
'"^'^'^ scene. Hats, caps, vessels of 
all descriptions were brought into requisition ; and might 
was right that day. Amongst other things, a man 
got upon the tub set below the spout, and endeavoured 
to wrench the latter off. The reeling mob would 
not have this. They tore off his upper clothing; 
they did not even spare his "unmentionables." The 
wine ran for about an hour, and then it "gave out,'* 
as our American cousins would say. Forthwith, the mob 
began to throw about the pots and the soaked hats and 
caps. Finally, they tore down the pant bodily. 

The Sandhill has, to this day, a peculiar character of 
its own. Its open-air public meetings each Sunday morn- 
ing may be regarded as so many self-acting ventilators 
for the diffusion of the grievances and the crotchets of 
those who ara not much in the habit of troubling church 
or chapel with their attendance. Much sound sense and 
much nonsense, too, have been talked at these meetings. 
Eccentric preachers, such as David Davies, the best 
known of them all, can there discourse at length on 
things in generaL The teetotallers are ever in earnest 
here, though it is long since they lost the services of 
Tommy Carr, a Tyneside philosopher whose racy utter- 
ances it was impossible for anybody to resist, so redolent 
of the native Doric were they. Thus the historic ground 
trodden by kings and king-makers in the past has become 
the open-air conference room of the toiling masses of to- 
day I 





^txainvittxitti ai Jbtociiton* 



JIOME little time ago, I was inquiring 
when the old "stocks" were removed 
from Stockton, but no one knew any- 
thing about them. The punishment of setting people 
in the stocks was general in former times, being a frequent 
order by the justices in Quarter Sessions. We are told 
by the antiquaries that stocks were used in Anglo-Saxon 
times, and anyone who owns a copy of the "Records of 
the North Riding" will learn their use at a very early 
period, with particulars, also, of the whipping-post, a 
punishment to which women, as well as men, were con- 
demned. At a Quarter Sessions in 1651, .the inhabitants of 
a parish near Easingwold were fined for not having a pair 
of stocks in their constablewick. I remember having seen 
men in those at Stockton, bit do not remember seeing 
anyone whipped. The stocks and whipping-post were at 
the south-west comer of the Town Hall. I have made a 
drawing of both, which I remember welL 




The market of that day was very thinly attended ; 
the butter-sellers were all on the north side of the Cross, 
and the com market at the north side of the shambles. 
There were a few stalls for the sale of different kinds of 
dothing and very small hooks; also carts with vegetables, 
&C. On the west side were all kinds of odds and ends. 
On one occasion a man got on to one of these stalls and 
called a public auction for the sale of his wife. The 
woman was sold for 2s. 6d. The affair caused a great 
noise in the town. 

The rage for improvement has cleared away another 
mark of an old pastime in Stockton. That was a flat stone 
about three feet square with a pin in the centre, to which 
in former days was attached a ring with a chain for 



IS?} 



NORTH-COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND, 



165 




holding a boll to be baited. This was near a public pump, 
and on the west side of what was called the Coal Hill, 
where carts with coals, for the supply of the town, usually 
stood for sale on the Wednesdays and Saturdays. 

W. Fallows. 



Sitr ^nviXiXtH ai SBertoenttoaUn 



% |8olb j&troke for /orttme. 

|ETWEEN a story and its sequel, in a general 
way, the interval is seldom very long. It 
has been left for the history of Tyneside, 
however— with its many marvellous recitals 
of battle and foray — to furnish a curious and conspicuous 
exception. The third £arl of Derwentwater ranged 
himself under the banner of the Pretender in 1715, and, 
after a brief experience of futile rebellion, yielded his life 
to the headsman on Tower HilL Under ordinary cir- 
cumstances, the whole of his estates would have been* 
forfeited to the Crown; but, as it was proved by a 
marriage settlement that he possessed only a life interest, 
the vast territories in the Nortftiem Counties descended 
to his infant son John. There was a gentle mother to 
watch over the career of the yoxmg heir, and she deter- 
mined to reside, for a time, away from the district which 
had been so disastrous to her high-spirited husband. 
London and Paris were in turn selected for the residence 
of the bereaved family; but, owing to Hanoverian 
jealousies and Jacobite unrest, the home was more 
frequently in France than in England. After much 
inconvenience, and no little discomfort, the youthful 
owner of the Dilston domain returned to our own 
capital, and secured an abode in the house of his grand- 
father. Sir John Webb, in Great Marlborough Street 
While living there, in 1731, he underwent a painful 
surgical operation, and shortly afterwards succumbed to 
the disease from which he had been suffering. This, in a 
nutshell, is the accepted version of the Derwentwater 
episode, and it is one which Northumbrians never tire of 
telling. 

The sequel began a century and a half later, and cannot 
be BO briefly narrated. It was more of a comedy than a 
tragedy, and was meant to secure the aggrandisement of 
an individual rather than the success of a party or a 
cause. But though the motives which influenced the earl 
and his would-be successor were vastly dissimilar, there 
was a link— or rather a supposed link — between them, 
which elicited as much kindly sympathy for the claimant 
to an honoured name in 1865 as there was for the un- 
doubted possessor of it in 1715. Amelia Raddiffe — or 
•* the Countess '* as she was invariably designated— made 
her ddAil in the Tyne valley under what may be con- 



sidered exceptionally favourable circumstances. She 
professed to be a descendant of the dead earl, and 
was fortified with wills, deeds, and family treasures 
which seemed abundantly to substantiate her statements. 
Though no man could specify whence she came, this lack 
of information was not regarded as i&iportant. She had 
dropped from the clouds, as it were, and yet the 
people of Blaydon were so effectually dazzled by the 
splendour of her aspirations, that there was scarcely a 
doubt raised as to the genuineness of the title she pre- 
ferred. The eccentric dress of the lady, and a certain 
flightiness in her utterances, were peculiarities that 
might have been expected to engender suspicions. 
As none were aroused, it would appear as if 
surprise at her romantic recital had completely* 
thrust prudence into the background. Though 
looking more than five-and-thirty — the age she gave 
herself— the lady's appearance was sufficiently prepossess- 
ing. She was pleasant in speech, amiable in demeanour, 
accomplished in arts, and, on every subject save one, an 
entertaining and agreeable companion. It is not sur- 
prising, therefore, that in all directions, and by all sorts 
of people, she was greeted with cordiality. Shelter, 
money, and even personal servitude, were voluntarily 
tendered, and each in its turn was accepted. Looking at 
the matter now, the whole craze appears incredible. But 
twenty years ago— when the genealogical tree seemed 
faultless, when portentous legal documents were open for 
inspection, and when rumours as to priceless relics filled 
the air — there seemed a reasonable excuse for the faith 
that possessed the populace. Had not the deeds and set- 
tlements been seen? Had not the relics been valued? 
Could not ** her ladyship " talk of the Waldsteins, the 
Waldeofs, the Mouravieffs, the Sobieskis, and other 
noble ancestors for hours at a stretch ? It was this blind 
confidence in the judgment of their wealthier neighbours 
that led the labouring section of the community astray. 
They believed that the stranger's credentials had been 
carefully investigated, and that persons of intelligence — 
possessing an extensive knowledge of the world, and with 
a fair share of native shrewdness— had applied tests to 
the story which were certain to detect any possible 
species of imposture. Added to this, they knew that 
large sums of money had actually been advanced by these 
well-informed coteries, and that such trustfulness would 
certainly have been lacking if the chances of victory had 
seemed doubtful. With the general public thus be- 
guiled, and with her immediate friends entranced by the 
illustrious glamour that surrounded her case, it must be 
admitted that the path of the gentle claimant was 
singularly free from impediments. 

As I have already indicated, the generally accepted 
explanation about the Derwentwater succession was that 
the son of the decapitated earl died in London in 1731, 
and that the direct line thus ceased. There was, how- 
ever, one significant exception. Charles Radcliffe, an 



166 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE, 



{IS? 



uncle of the unfortunate young man, declined to so 
understand the turn events had taken. Though im- 
plicated in the rebellion of 1715, and condemned to death, 
this personage contrived to escape from Newgate. After 
reaching France, and finding many distinguished friends, 
he married the Countess of Newburgh in 1724, and had 
by her a son called James Bartholomew. On the death 
of his sufifering nephew, ** Charles assumed the tiUe, and 
claimed the estates under the entail created by the 
marriage settlement of Earl James." Nothing resulted 
from this move, and, in November, 1745, the matter was 
unexpectedly disposed of by the capture of both father 
and son when on their way to join the rising in Scotland. 
Charles was speedily beheaded under his old attainder ; 
but James Bartholomew— on account of his youth and 
foreign birth— was allowed to escape, and eventually 
became Earl of Newburgh. His long-pending claim to the 
Derwentwater property was compromised in 1788, when 
an Act of Parliament — though vesting the estates in the 
Commissioners of Greenwich Hospital — g^ranted an an- 
nuity of £2,500 to Lord Newbui^gh and his heirs male. 
In 1814, his lordship's successor died without issue, and 
the direct race of the Raddiffes ended. 

Such, briefly stated, was the case for the English 
Government in 1865. It had the merit of being straight- 
forward and simple, and was calculated to discourage 
any further attacks on the possessions which the Lords 
of the Admiralty then administered. But the new 
claimant was not an ordinary person, and it was not 
to be supposed she would submit an ordinary title. 
She admitted that the descendants of Charles Radcliffe 
were clearly done with ; but as her own claim dated from 
the son of the third earl himself, there was nothing 
to bar her right to the dismantled castles of her ancestors. 
A more astounding story was probably never told. 
According to her version, John Radcliffe did not die in 
1731. He fled to Germany, in order to avoid the plots 
directed against him by British intriguers, and married 
the Countess of Waldstein, at Frankfort-on-the-Main, 
in 1740. Eleven children were the issue of this union, 
but all died young with the exception of two — James, 
who became fifth earl, and John James, who succeeded 
him. This latter person was married to the Princess 
Sobieski on the 4th of June, 1813, and had six children. 
The eldest, a boy, was distinguished as the seventh earl ; 
but he died unmarried in 1854, and willed his interest 
in the property to his only surviving sister—Amelia. 
This was the lady who took up her residence at Blaydon in 
1865, and who so completely won the hearts of her ad- 
miring friends and confidantes. 

Few pedigrees are more elaborately detailed than that 
which the Countess placed before her partizans, and 
her tongue was ever ready for the elucidation or explana- 
tion of any perplexing doubts that might be raised. In 
her conversations — which were both long and frequent — 
t>he devoted considerable attention to the history of the 



fourth earL This was the pivot of her contention. If 
his death occurred in London, as the English Executive 
maintained it did, there was clearly an end of her pre- 
tensions. If no death took place, then almost any con- 
tingency was possible. By her ladyship's statement, 
John Radcliffe was not in London in 1731, and conse- 
quently could not have expired there. In 1732, however, 
she admitted there was a report which alleged that he 
had fallen from his horse in Paris, and had been picked 
up dead. This rumour, also, was without foundation. It 
was nothing more than a well-matured rvat iot the 
mystification of the young nobleman's enemies, and it 
succeeded admirably. Dame Dorothy Forster, of Bam- 
borough— the heroine of Walter Besant's novel— hap- 
pened to be in the French capital at the time, and she 
promptly added to her already high reputation. This 
intrepid lady— after riding the length of England behind 
an Addlestone blackamith^had demonstrated her zeal 
and daring by effecting the release of her brother, General 
Forster, from Newgate Gaol, and she now applied her 
wits for the safety of an old comrade's offspring. Securing 
a coffin, she had it filled with sawdust) and interred 
amid the lamentations of properly instructed mourners. 
This solemn farce enabled the fourth earl to reach 
Germany without molestation, and he there lived in 
honour till 1798, as the head of a numerous family. His 
objects were said to be two-fold. First, he sought to 
escape from the machinations of the Hanoverians ; and,, 
second, he desired to keep a promise, made to his mother, 
that while he would never abjure the claims of the 
Stuarts to the English throne, he would always abstain 
from taking up arms in support of their pretensions. 
It was for these reasons— as the Countess would have had 
us believe— that John Radcliffe voluntarily became as 
one dead to the world : that he allowed his enormous 
wealth to drift into other hands ; and that he made no 
effort, even when the Stuart troubles were all over, to 
secure a home for his children on their own beautiful 
estates in Northumberland. The story may be true» 
but, to say the least, it is highly improbable. 

If this pedigree was fictitious, as is now supposed^ 
then who was the claimant? Who^ indeed! As well 
ask "who was Junius?" or "who was the Man in the 
Iron Mask?" The antecedents of the trio are equally 
mysterious, and they are likely to remain so. It was 
asserted, in some quarters, that she was the daughter of 
an Irish soldier-of -fortune named Burke ; and, in others, 
that she had gained her knowledge of the peerage while 
engaged as a lady's maid. I can add nothing in the way 
of confirmation for either story. It is sufficient f^ my 
purpose that the Lords of the Admiralty — after innu- 
merable inquiries on the Continent— averred that the- 
Countess's allegations were utterly preposterous, and 
that many matter-of-fact people have since endeavoured 
to substantiate their view. One doubting personage, 
for instance, secured the aid of the Burgomaster 



isl-} 



NORTH-COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND. 



167 



of Frankfort, and, even when thus allied, failed to 
discover the marriage register on which the bulk of 
her ladyship's contention rested. Another took excep- 
tion to the deeds she quoted, and a third denied the 
genuineness of the relics to which she attached so much 
importance. As to the documentary evidence, it was 
avowedly incomplete. The explanation of this deficiency 
was both startling and romantic. Several of the most 
valuable papers, it was asserted, had been sent to Lord 
Palmerston for scrutiny, and that statesman, in the 
interests of the national exchequer, rather shabbily 
declined to return them. I am' far from saying that 
this account is unreliable, as the Cknintess, to my know- 
ledge, somewhat recklessly entrusted her remaining 
manuscripts to anyone who gave her sympathy. But 
the incident is noteworthy as indicating that a serious 
flaw was recognised in her title. 

As for the much- vaunted relics, they were a source of 
wonder to the uninitiated, and carried conviction where 
nu)re pertinent testimony failed. They were paraded as 
of enormous value, and were said to have survived some 
extraordinary usage. In the main, they consisted of 
jewellery, plate, pictures, and furniture. All were sup- 
posed to have been gathered together at Dilston by the 
widow of the third earl, and thence conveyed, by way of 
Blaydon, to that lady's residence at Louvaine. When 
war broke out between France and Germany, towards 
the close of the last century, they were again removed for 
security to a secret vault in Hesse-Darmstadt There 
they remained till the beginning of 1866, when the 
Countess brought them once more to Tsmeside — only just 
in time, we were assured, to prevent their capture by the 
victorious Prussians. Many of the valuables had 
suffered seriously from damp and decay — especially the 
paintings— and it was pitiable to see the work of Rubens 
and Rembrandt, Titians and Teniers, Vandyke and Velas- 
quez, in such a state of woeful dilapidation. The armour 
was not so seriously deteriorated ; and the inlaid cabi- 
nets, the oak and iron coffers, the dainty frames, looked 
none the worse for their long absence from the light 
of day. It was not my good fortune to see the trophies 
when they were first brought back for the rehabilitation 
of the old halls of Dilston, and I can offer no inde- 
pendent judgment as to their merits. But I did see 
them at a subsequent period, and sorrowed over the 
hacking to which many beautiful objects had been sub- 
jected by a reckless and unskilful hand. The furniture 
fairly bristled with unsightly inscriptions, and the 
" family portraits '' were blurred by famous names that 
no artist ever placed upon them. It is possible to con- 
ceive that all might have been what they were repre- 
sented to be, and that the spoiling was due to an insane 
desire to place their identity beyond dispute. It 
is also conceivable that they emanated from the store of 
some dealer in old curiosities, and that they had 
been prepared for the campaign that was known to be 



impending. On this matter I offer no opinion. I merely 
repeat the suggestions that were current at the time, and 
that afterwards seemed to receive corroboration from the 
contemptuous indifference with which they were regarded 
by experts. When competent critics refuse to give more 
than 50s. for a Rubens which, if authentic, would have 
realised more than its weight in gold, there is ample 
justification for suspecting that the work was spurious. 

But it is needless to particularise too minutely the 
weakly links of an utterly unreliable chain. It is 
sufficient to say that many of the inhabitants of Blaydon, 
and a large section of the people of Tyneside generally, 
accepted the claimant at her own estimate, and supported 
her with a zeal that merited a happier denouement. 
Despite an assertion that, in jewels and goods, she was 
worth nearly £200,000, they lavished their own resources 
upon this already wealthy lady, and thus provided the 
funds necessary for her war against a "powerful and 
unscrupulous Grovemment." And what a momentous 
struggle they initiated ! Though a trifle passive, perhaps, 
while unexciting appeals were being addressed to the 
justice of the Crown, they became enthusiastic when the 
battle was boldly carried into the enemies* stronghold. It 
was on a cheerless September morning, in 1868, that the 
fateful expedition for the capture of Dilston Castle was 
undertaken. There was nothing startling in the number 
of those engaged, and nothing very terrible in their 
equipment. The baggage train was an ordinary furniture 
van, and in it were the essential requisites for 
campaigning. A chair, a box or two, some material for 
despatches, and a few family portraits, comprised the 
bulk of this impedimenta. The bodyguard consisted of a 
railway porter and a keelman. At a convenient height 
above her trappings sat the lady to whom the enterprise 
was so vitaL On her head was a wide-brimmed straw 
hat, surmounted by large plumes of ostrich feathers ; 
from her shoulders drooped the ample folds of an Austrian 
military doak ; and from a sparkling waist-belt dangled 
the ** sabre of her sires." Anjrthing more calm, patient, 
or resolute than the quaintly-attired leader it would be 
difficult to imagine, and the loyal steadfastness of her 
henchmen was equally worthy of admiration. In Michael 
Carlton and Andrew Alston, the Cotmtess had poor but 
devoted friends, and they accompanied her upon this 
midnight raid with perfect confidence in the validity and 
justness of her claims. 

The outlook was bleak and dreary when the party left 
Blaydon on the 29th, and it did not improve much during 
the continuance of darkness. With the dawn, however, 
there came many delightful views of the Tyne valley, 
and many smiling tracts of territory that once formed 
part of the ancestral domain. Though Dilston was not 
reached till half -past seven o'clock, the defenders of the 
venerable castle were reposing in blissful ignorance of the 
threatened attack. This was fortunate for the assailants, 
as it enabled them to secure a lodgement without the 



168 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE. 



April 1888 



i H r Mum ' 



fil . « 







ftf} 



NORTH-COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND. 



169 



necessity of striking a single blow for their rights. 
In itself, the crumbling home of the Raddiffes was not 
much to boast aboat. As a picturesque feature above the 
charmingly wooded banks of the Devil^s Water, it 
possessed undoubted claims to attention. As a residence, 
it left very much to be desired. The basement of the 
tower had long been used as a cattle fold, and was neither 
dean nor fragrant The upper rooms were roofless, 
windowless, and rendered ahnosc inaccessible by the 
dilapidation of the staircase. But it was a remnant of 
the coveted old homestead, and that fact compensated for 
many defidencies. After unloadinfr the goods, the 
stalwart servitors carried them to the ruin, deposited 
them on the moss-dad flooring of the largest apartment, 




and then hdped to enthrone their mistress in the snuggest 
oomer. With a tarpaulin overhead, and with bundles of 
hay in the empty window spaces, the keenest of the 
autumnal blasts were acceptably tempered; but there 
still remained many rents and crannies through which 
the rain could penetrate with impunity. In this strange 
domicile — with the Derwentwater banner fluttering over- 
bead, and the Derwentwater portraits staring like 
**mute warders" from the walls— the Cknmtess took her 
place with evident contentment, and prayed, no doubt, 
for the more complete triumph that the future was 
expected to bring. 

That she had won a famous victory, her ladyship 
entertained not the remotest shadow of a doubt. This 
was made manifest by the nussives 
indited to her friends and assod- 
ates. She had scarody been in- 
stalled, indeed, before her reflec- 
tions on the situation were hastily 
jotted down— the "first scrawl," 
as she expresses it^ being for the 
benefit of well-wishers "at the 
vicarage." In some particulars, 
the recital Ib pathetic enough, and 
her allusions to the " i^asterless 
walls," the "death-like repose," 
and the " associations of this lone, 
lone, hearth," are introduced with 
considerable power and effective- 
ness. It is with something akin 
to exultation that she proclaims 
the fact that "Radcliffe's flag is 
once more raised " ; but the jubi- 
lation IS replaced by a tone of 
pitiful sadness when she speaks of 
the destruction that ambitious 
princes have wrought in the 
homes and hopes of their people. 
Bitter denunciation of her foes, 
appeals to heaven for succour, and 
tearful expressions of womanly 
weakness, all find an outlet in this 
first moment of success, and they 
cannot be read even yet without 
feelings of the deepest interest 

The Ckmntess had not been 
many hours in residence at Dilston 
before her claim as either owner 
or tenant was disputed. Mr. 0. 
6. Grey — the representative of 
the Greenwidi Hospital Com- 
missioners — was not long in dis- 
covering that he had secured an 
uninvited guest, and he became 
anxious to make himself ac- 
quainted with the antecedent! 



170 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE. 



{Ifi? 



of his visitor. Proceeding to the ruin, he asked for 
an interview, and the request was promptly granted. 
In a few minutes he had learned that it was ht^ and 
not the lady^ who was an intruder on the Derwent- 
water domain, and that the Queen was holding 42 estates 
in the Barony to which she was certainly not entitled. Out 
came the Countess's documents in support of her assertion, 
and ofif went the agent in bewilderment and dismay. 
Having been made aware of her intentions, Mr. Grey 
had no alternative but to conmiunicate them to the 
Admiralty; and, during the respite thus obtained, his 
tormentor wrote perpetually on the chances of the con* 
troversy that had been so ** auspiciously " begun. 
'* Under officials " were always ignored by this dignified 
and punctilious stickler for etiquette. Even judicial 
luminaries were held in contempt. What she desired 
more than all else was a personal interview with her 
Majesty; and this dangerous ambition might have 
settled the whole difficulty, perhaps, if she had "called 
at the palace gates " instead of communicating by end- 
less letters. 

But though she treated Mr. Grey as a person of very 
small consequence, the Ck)untess was speedily made 
familiar with that gentleman's energy and power* 
Writing to "my dear Augusta,'* on the 30th of Septem- 
ber, she intimates that "a star has darkened" in her 
earthly horizon. She was, in fact, a prisoner in her own 
halls. The agent had stopped all egress, and food 
for the trespasser and her retainers was cut off by 
"the woodmen, and other sublime monsters," who so 
jealously guarded the padlocked gates. Though stiU 
resolutely defiant, and able to " summon up the courage 
of a warrior," the lady was doubtful about the endurance 
of her squires. This circumstance kept her on "tenter 
hooks." As an evidence of her condition, she wrote : — 
"I feel weak and ill this morning. I am cold, did not 
dare to sleep, and feel the want of some warm food. I 
have no maid with me, and could not ask the meanest 
peasant girl to share the discomfort of this roofless 
home, though I hear Mrs. Aiston is very unhappy at 
being shut out from my misery." Then on the 1st of 
October there is a lengthy epistle to "my dear and 
muse Elizabeth," in which she speaks of the gloomy 
night she has passed through, and the damp and bluster- 
ing breezes that battled overhead. She felt neither 
hunger nor cold, however, in consequence of a some- 
what peculiar spectacle. As she sat gazing skjrward, 
the branches of the trees kept moving outside, and the 
reflected light of the moon formed — from the shadows 
of the leaves — "three most lovely and picturesque 
figures, which quite illuminated the opposite wall of 
the room." Comforted by this vision—" which to many." 
she admits, " would appear foolishness " — she proceeds 
to deal with other and more business-like aspects of 
the question. All through her correspondence, at this 
period, there are references to the pain she endures. 



and expressions of gratitude that ner " bitter sufferings 
are hid from the sight of human eye." With her friends 
turned back, her letters delayed, and her tears mingling 
with the raindrops that fell from heaven, what wonder 
that she was interested in the disabled young pigeoa 
which occupies so prominent a position in the picture^ 
(p. 169) we have reproduced from her own book 1 Despite 
her trials and disappointments, however, the Countess 
showed no signs of wavering. She had adopted 
a course which she believed to be right and de- 
fensible. The narration of her exploits was being 
read with astonishment in all parts of the land ; and 
this awakened interest in her claim and in her strugglea 
was well calculated to inspire confidence and satisfaction. 
Scores of people journeyed to Dilston on the chance of 
seeing the lady and her stalwart knights. They ooold 
gratify their curiosity over projecting straw sheaves and 
a faded banner; but there was nothing to indicate the 
hopes and fears that were finding expression behind 
the shattered walls. Though there were dogged waiters 
within the tower, and diligent watchers without, neither 
disputants nor sightseers could do more than hazard a 
guess as to the ultimate issue of the contest. 

But the details of this ultimate issue must be reserved 
for a second and concluding article. 

William Lonostaff. 



0f itaxi^. 



Hb 3ol)tt ^tokoe. 




ROBIN SPRAGGON'S AULD GREY MARE. 

||£ are indebted for the preservation of this 
ballad to the late Mr. Fairless, of Hexham, 
who wrote it down from memory many 
years ago, and gave it to the Rev. Dr. 
Bruce, who in his turn has delighted thousands by 
reciting it at his popular lectures on Northumberland 
Musia Mr. Fairless was a man of the most kindly dis- 
position, an earnest student of antiquarian lore, a lover 
of the smallpipes and their music, and an authority 
upon the customs and folk lore of Hexham and the 
localities around. The song, sung to the accompaniment 
of the smsdlpipes, was a standing favourite at the feasts 
and gatherings in the neighbourhood named, such as 
"Fourstones Pansy Cake" and the "Corbridge Plough 
Nights," which have now either sunk into insignificance 
or dwindled away altogether. To these meetings people 
of all degrees used to come, class mingled with class, and 
friendly sympathies were awakened; and when, in 
addition to the strains of the smallpipes or the fiddl«\ 
some rustic musician was enabled to produce a ballad 
bearing upon the events of the day, or exposing the 



n 



NORTH-COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND. 



171 



foiblee of 8om« of the penonages of the district, the 
merriment of the gathered crowds greatly increased. Of 
this kind is the ballad respecting "Robin Spraggon's 
Auld Grey Mare." Felton in Northumberland is the 
district to which it refers, and it was written over a 
century ago. The ballad takes the form of the last will 
and testament of an old mare that seems to have been 
very badly used in her latter days. The tmie to which 
we have heard it sung is of a much older date than the 
song, and is found in **The Shepherd's Oracle," by 
Francis Quarles, 1646, under the title of " Hey ! boys, 
up go we r* It was a great favourite in the North- 
Country, and we have seen it in several local manuscript 
music books, from 1694 downwards, under the above- 
named title, and also under that of '* The Clean Contrary 
Way." It will also be found in some of the ballad operas 
of the early part of last century. 




^^■ 



^^m 



± 



The Mil - ler of O • gie bred me, as 



i 



:t=3s= 



w p 






:F=^ 



I have heard them say. And gal • lant- ly he 



i 



■^- 



it 



-;■ J ;■ I r- \ 



^ 



fed me with the best of corn and hay, 



i 



s 



#=p= 



For meal and malt I want • ed not when 



i 



^ 



in his CU8 • to 



i 



dy, But now Tm 



Bobia Sprag • gon's auld grey mare, ae 



=(= 



in 



how 



ed 



he's gmd 

Sometimes he took his gowpins, sometimes he took his 

hat, 
Sometimes he took the mouter dish to where the toll was 

put; 
For meal and malt I wanted not when in his custody. 
But n«w I'm Robin Spraggon's auld grey mare, ae how 

he's guided me ! 

Spraggon sets the pads upon my back sae early in the 

mom, 
And rides me down to Felton without either hay or com ; 
When a' the rest get hay enough there's now never a bite 

forme. 
For I'm Robin Spraggon's auld grey mare, ae how he's 

guided me ! 

Our thrifty dame, Mally, she rises soon at mom. 
She goes and tells the master I'm pulling up the corn ; 
He clicks up the oxen gad and sair belabours me. 
For I'm Robin Spraggon's auld grey mare, ae how he's 
guided me ! 



When aa loup the dyke, to Pepperhaugh they bound me 

backaffam, 
For a' the dogs of Pepperhaugh sae weel they do me ken ; 
They run me to the lairy bog and round about the lea, 
For I'm Robin Spraggon's auld grey mare, ae how he's 

guided me ! 

There's Tallyho Trevillian, he hunts upon the hill, 
111 leave to him my carcase to be his aogs a fill. 
To make them hunt sly Renny until the day they dee, 
For I'm Robin Spraggon's auld grey mare, ae how he's 
guided me I 

There's fussy parson Olivant his coat is growing thin, 
I'll leave to hmi my battered hide to roll him cosy in. 
To keep him warm in winter, as oft it has done me. 
For I'm Robin Spraggon's auld grey mare, ae how he's 
guided me ! 

Then there's sturdy Willy Hemley is a ploughman good 

and true, 
111 leave to him my hind legs to be stilts unto his plough. 
To be stilts unto his plough, my lads, for he s often 

riving lea ; 
For I'm Kobin Spraggon's auld grey mare, ae how he's 

guided me ! 

There's canty Matthew Arkley, whiles works about the 

dykes, 
111 leave to him my small bags to be a pair of pipes. 
To play the lasses merry tunes, to make them aance wi' 



For I'm Robin Spraggon's auld grey mare, ae how he's 
guided me ! 

There's blythsome Tibby Richison, she is a bonny lass ; 
The water trough, where oft aa drank, may serve as 

keeking fflass. 
To see to set her pinner straight, as oft it stands aglee. 
For I'm Robin Spraggon's auld grey mare, ae how he's 

guided me ! 

Then there's dourhty Tom, the blacksmith, set the shoes 

upon my heel, 
111 leave to him my other bones to grind to havermeal. 
To grind to havermeal, my lads, I think they've sJl a 

share. 
For I'm Robin Spraggon's auld grey mare, and I can 

leave ne mair ! 



And as for Robm Spraggon, I've left him not a plack, 
"" p many a time he's sp ' 
lickea m v back ; 



For many a time he's spurred my sides, and sore he's 




But, worst of all, he pinched my waim, which caused me 

to dee, 
I was Robin Spraggon's hungered jade, and ill he used me. 



j]N old and esteemed journalist and antiquary, 
Mr. James Clephan, many of whose quaint 
and thoughtful productions have adorned the 
pages of the Monthly Chronicle, died in Newcastle on 
Feb. 25, 1888. His somewhat short stature and round-set 
shoulders, coupled with an invariably serene and compla- 
cent coimtenance, had rendered Mr. Clephan a familiar 
figure in Newcastle and Gateshead for more than half a 
century. 

Mr. Clephan was bom at Monkwearmouth Shore, Sun- 
derland, on March 17th, 1805, so that he had nearly com. 
pleted the advanced age of 83 years. Like so many other 
journalists of the olden time, Mr. Clephan commenced 
his career as a printer. It was, we believe, at Stockton- 
on-Tees that he served his apprenticeship ; and, as was 



172 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE. 



{IS? 



costomary in those days, be acquired a knowledge of 
the cognate branches of bookbinding and bookselling. 
Thoroughly master of the combined professions, he pro- 
ceeded to Edinburgh, and succeeded in finding employ- 
ment as a compositor in the establishment of Mr. 
Archibald Constable, one of the leading printers in 
that city. Here it was that the earliest novels of Sir 
Walter Scott, which have so long fascinated readers in all 
parts of the world, were first put in type, and it was Mr. 
Clephan's privilege to assist in that agreeable work. 
From his youth an extensive reader and thoughtful 




student, he had laid up a large and varied store of in- 
formation, to which, as the result of close observation, he 
added a general knowledge of the world and of men. In 
this way he fully qualified himself for the higher sphere 
at which he aimed ; and, abandoning the compositor's 
case, he accepted, in the course of time, a position on the 
editorial staff of a paper in Leicester, with which town 
he was connected by a family tie. 

In his new vocation he gave the highest satis- 
faction to his employers; but a vacancy presenting 
itself in the editorship of the Oateikead Observer, he was 
offered and accepted that post. He thus returned once 
more to his native county. This was about the end of 
1837 or bejrinning of 1838 ; and, there being then no access 
to the North by railway, Mr. Clephan, as he himself has 
often narrated, made his first entry into Gateshead upon 
the old '* Times " coach. He was not long in making his 
mark in his new sphere. By the proprietor, the late Mr. 
W. H. Brockett, he had been installed as sole master of 
the situation ; and with its short leaders and pithy para- 
graphs the Gateshead Observer soon earned far more than 
a local reputation. No paper was more frequently quoted 
by its contemporaries, both at home and abroad ; and the 
well-directed but never-wounding wit with which the 
general matter was interspersed, and for which the 
reader was prepared by the familiar typographical index 



fist, sometimes secured for it the soubriquet of the local 
Punch. 

Amid his numerous professional engagements, Mr. 
Clephan did not forget his responsibilities as a citizen ; 
and with several movements, having for their object 
the amelioration of his fellow-townsmen, he promi- 
nently identified himself. Great, however, as was the 
mental and physical energy which he brought to the 
discharge of his multiform and arduous duties, the 
long-continued strain of years began to tell their tale. 
Paradoxical, too, as to some, it may appear, the era of 
daily papers, which dawned about 1858, increased rather 
than diminished the work of the old weeklies. It was, 
consequently, no matter for wonder or surprise that, 
about the beginning of 1860, and after a continuous 
application of two-and-twenty years, the editor of the 
Gateshead Observer began to show signs of bodily weari- 
ness and fatigue, though happily his mental powers re- 
mained unimpaired. Wise in time, he tendered his 
resignation of the post which he had so much adorned, 
and resolved to seek recovery in a period of temporary 
retirement. 

It was natural that on such an occasion the 
services of so useful and zealous a public servant 
should not go unrecognised or unrewarded ; and accord- 
ingly a movement was initiated by what was known as 
the Northumberland and Durham Press Club, of 
which he was president, with a view of presenting him 
with a parting testimonial To the appeal put forth by 
Mr. Samuel Charlesworth, the secretary, then editcnr 
of the NewcoMfle Courant, a ready and generous response 
was rendered ; and the presentation took place at a 
pleasant social gathering held in the Mechanics' Institute, 
Gateshead. The substantial expression of esteem and 
good-will consisted of a cheque for £280 and a silver ink- 
stand ; and as the subscripticm list represented, in about 
equal proportions, both sides of the Tyne, the two- 
fold gift was, by a happy arrangement, presented by 
the late Alderman Blackwell and Alderman Greorge 
Crawshay, the Mayors of Newcastle and Gateshead, 
respectively, for the time being. 

Rest and retirement had the wished-for effect, and, 
with a full restoration to health, there was manifested 
a long^ing to return to that work which he loved so well. 
By the end of 1861 the public were once more reaping 
the benefit of Mr. Clephan 's pleasing and familiar pen. It 
was through the medium of the Newcastle Chronicle that 
he now buckled on his professional armour. During 
many subsequent years he was a regular contributor to the 
daily issue of that journaL But about twelve or thirteen 
years ago, he began gradually to loosen, and at length 
finally severed, the link which bound him to the Daily 
Chronicle, To the columns of the NeiocoMe Weekly 
Chronicle, however, he contributed ** Leaves for the Local 
Historian," besides many other articles on quaint and 
out-of-the-way subjects. And so he continued to write 



ML 



NORTH-COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND, 



173 



rogularly for that paper until about mz yean ago, when he 
withdrew almost entirely from joomalistio life. 

But even in his retirement Mr. Clephan was far from 
idle. With a yaried and well-stocked library of his own, 
he nerer was at a loss to find occupation for his learned 
leisure ; and his store of information he often supplemented 
by recourse to the ridi resources of the Literary and Philo- 
sophical Society, of whidi he had for so long a period been 
an actire member and office-bearer, and to which, while 
health and strength permitted, he was an almost daily 
-visitor. Occasional poems were printed for distribution 
among Ms friends. Moreover, he supplied numerous 
papers to the ofiicial publications of the Newcastle 
Society of Antiquaries. Not a few articles from his 
pen have also appeared in the Mofni^y Chronicle during 
the [past year : others in due course will be rescued 
from undeserved obscurity. In all that he wrote, Mr. 
Clephan aimed at scrupulous exactness ; and no effort 
or trouble did he esteem too great to attain that end. 
like Dr. Wendell Holmes, '*The Autocrat ci the 
Breakfast Table," he was ''a very particular person" 
about having all that he wrote printed as he penned it. 
He required to see a proof, a revise, a re-revise, and, if 
neoeesary, a double re-revise, so that the utmost accuracy 
might be secured. 

Mr. Clephan was married in 1832 to Miss Jane Pringle, 
of Stockton ; but this lady died as far back as 1849, 
IcAving no children. 

The private and social virtues of Mr. Clephan those 
who knew him most intimately and best will long re- 
member and cherish. He had the rather rare knack of 
suiting himself to the society of all with whom he 
was brought into contact ; and it was almost impos- 
sible to be in his company for any length of 
time without being infected by the genial and cheerful 
disposition of which he was invariably the happy 
possessor. 

The remains of the honoured old joumaUst were in- 
terred in Jesmond Cemetery, when a very large number 
of literary and other friends from near and far attended 
to pay their last respects to one of the worthiest men that 
ever trod the streets of Newcastle. 



€ftt evitbti at mtttoicii. 

|R. GEORGE TATE, in his "History of 
Alnwick," says:— ** Not being a Parlia- 
mentary borough, Alnwick had not that 
intense selfish interest in politics which 
small corporations usually felt, where freemen's votes 
oould be bought in the market ; yet there was a pretty 
large number of a better class of voters— freeholders — 
living in the town, who were entitled to vote for 
members of the county ; and Alnwick being, moreover, 
the town where the poll was taken for the whole county. 




it became a scene of uproar and commotion— drinking 
and wild extravagance— when a contested election 
occurred." The self -elected Four-and-Twenty naturally 
entered keenly into all such contests ; and Mr. Tate 
gives us, in sundry parts of his work, somewhat full 
and particular accounts of the unseemly squabbles which 
took place from time to time. 

The Grieves, an important though not numerous family 
that flourished in Alnwick for upwards of a century, 
furnished more than one member who, in a compara- 
tively narrow sphere, emulated in spirit and act the 
leaders of the Long Parliament The first of the family 
on record we find to be Balph Grieve, who was admitted 
to the Fellowship of Merchants in 1667. He seems, 
however, to have been a scrivener, for he was employed 
professionally by the Corporation to draft the conveyance 
of several doses of land, part of the Town Moor, to the 
extent of about forty acres^ to the chamberlains (virtually 
aldermen) for the time being, their heirs and assigns for 
ever; and for this service he charged and was paid the 
moderate sum of eight shillings. 

Old Ralph had several sons, of whom one, Richard, 
was an attorney like his father, and a notable and in- 
fluential man in the town. He lived in a large house 
in Fenkle Street, which is now the Star Inn. He 
either inherited or acquired by purchase the estates of 
Swarland and Swansfield, as well as several houses in 
Alnwick ; and he bought from the family of Archbold, 
of Cawledge Park, certain lands known as St. Thomas's 
lands, which had belonged in the olden time to Aln- 
wick Abbey. In the election of 1748, when Lord 
Ossulston and Lancelot Allgood were candidates to fill 
the place made vacant by the death of John Fenwick 
—Ossulston being the Whig and Allgood the Tory- 
Mr. Grieve, who was a Whig in principle, acted as 
Lord Ossulston's chief election agent. But the sjrm- 
pathies of the majority of the Four-and-Twenty 
were strongly in favour of the Tory candidate, 
and they did not hesitate to adopt extraordinary 
measures to promote his interests. The poll was 
taken on the 18th, 19tb, 20tb, 23rd, and 24th days of 
February ; but while keen canvassing was going on, and 
the note of preparation heard for the struggle, the Four- 
and-Twenty met on the 4th of February and passed 
resolutions to aid the cause of Allgood. Suspecting, 
according to their own account, that several persons 
intended to vote who were not legally qualified, they 
ordered five of their number to view the freeholds of such 
disputed persons, estimate their value, and report the 
same to another meeting. At the same time they 
determined that Mr. Allgood's party should have the 
sole use of the Town Hidl and the rooms adjoining during 
the election. These measures, however, were not carried 
unanimously, only fourteen names being signed to the 
order. One bold man there was at the meeting— Richard 
Grieve— who set the majority at defiance, and who told 



174 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE, 



r April 



them that he would mob them and take the Town Hall 
by force. The Four-and-Twenty accordingly prepared 
for war ; but though they strengthened their defences by 
procuring a cross-bar for the Tolbooth, Grieve carried his 
threat into effect. On the morning of the election, at the 
head of a party of Ossulston^s friends, armed with 
bludgeons, he attacked Allgood's party, and after a des- 
perate struggle and some bloodshed drove them out of 
the Town Hall. The sheriff, at the close of the poll, made 
return of a majority of twenty -six for Lord Ossulston ; 
but the opposite party petitioned against his ruling, on 
the ground that he had rejected twenty-six of Allgood's 
votes in an arbitrary manner ; and Lord Ossulston, 
probably aware that this was quite true, did not 
appear to answer the petition, wherefore the House of 
Conomons decided that Lancelot Allgood was duly 
•elected. But, as a contemporary critic observed, "the 
rogue of a sheriff got off scot free." "Great joy," says 
Mr. Tate, "filled the corporate bosom when their 
cause triumphed, and it found expression, as was 
usual, in jollification ; the Town Hall was illuminated, 
and they squandered away £8 15s. 6d. for punch and 
ale to themselves, and £5 4s. for ale given to the 
populace." The conduct of Richard Grieve could not 
be overlooked. The Four-and-Twenty met two days 
■after the election, and pronoimced a crushing sentence 
upon him, to the effect that his conduct had been 
"partial and villainous, and in defiance of all ties, 
both human' and divine," so as to render him unfit to 
be a member of society. They therefore disfranchised 
him, and declared his seat in the Ck)mmon Council 
vacant ; and, not content with this, they ordered a 
suit to be entered against him, " touching the want of 
repairs at the Far Moor House Farm," which he 
occupied as a tenant 

Richard Grieve married Elizabeth Davidson, and died 
in 1765, aged 84 years. His eldest son, Davidson 
Richard, to whom he left Swarland, Swansfield, and 
other property, resided at Swarland, and died there in 
1793. George, the younger son, who was bom at 
Alnwick on the 9th of March, 1748, inherited part of 
the Alnwick property left by his father, and lived for 
some time at Swansfield. He was a prominent actor on 
the Liberal side, both in corporation and county affairs. 
At the great Parliamentary contest in 1774, he was one 
of the leading personages. The most notable man on the 
other side was Mr. Collingwood Forster, who was 
steward of the baronial courts, and chief electioneering 
agent of Lord Percy and his colleague. The gentry of 
the county were willing enough that Algernon Percy, 
eldest son of the Duke of Northumberland, then a young 
man travelling abroad for the sake of his health, should 
be one of their representatives, but they claimed the 
privilege of choosing the other, and they were indignant 
when, contrary to arrangement, Sir John Delaval, who 
had, while in Parliament, supported the duke's views, 



was brought forward in conjunction with Lord Percy. 
At a county meeting held at Morpeth on July 26th, 1774, 
George Grieve was the principal orator, and he boldly 
charged the chief of the opposite party with broken faith 
and illegal interference. By a large majority, Sir 
William Middleton and William Fenwick were declared 
fit representatives of the county. So spoke the popular 
voice ; but both parties went to the poll, and for thirteen 
days Alnwick was the scene of wild contention, which 
resulted in the election of Percy and Middleton, Sir John 
Delaval polling within 16 of Sir William Middleton, and 
Fenwick being at the bottom. 

When George Grieve applied for his freedom in 1769, 
the wrath of the Four-and-Twenty against the father had 
not yet grown cool, for he was refused admission to the 
freelege, on the plea that Richard, his father, was dis- 
franchised upwards of twenty years before. Bnt George 
sought legal redress, and obtained it too. In the end, 
the Four-and-Twenty had to pay, besides^ their own 
expenses, £104 7s. 3d., the taxed costs of their opponent. 
Mr. OoUingwood Forster, the duke's agent, had stoutly 
opposed the Grieves, both father and son, when they 
were vindicating their alleged rights. But the time came 
when George Grieve had hit full revenge. The Four- 
and-Twenty had, in a very irregular manner, rewarded 
Forster by giving to him and his heirs what they had no 
right to ahenate — three acres and twelve perches of 
land, part of Alnwick Moor, which was thenceforward 
known as Forster's Close. This land was enjoyed by 
Forster and his descendants during sixteen years; but 
when Greorge Grieve took up his freedom in 1772, after he 
had gained his case, and rode the boundary of the moor 
on St. Mark's Day, he, along with other young freemen, 
broke gaps in the dose and rode round it as parcel of the 
oonmion. The fence, indeed, still remained, and Greorge 
was far from satisfied to let it do so. So, on the 2l8t of 
October, 1778, he invited the freemen to meet him in the 
Town Hall, and it was then resolved to remove the fence 
entirely. Accordingly, on the following day, George 
Grieve, aided by numbers of the freemen, effectually 
pulled it down, and restored Forster's Close or Intake to 
the common. 

Subsequently, however, falling into pecuniary difficul- 
ties, George Grieve sold his share of the Alnwick 
lands, and went abroad, about the year 1780. He had 
been a great admirer of John Wilkes, and a strenuous 
asserter of the principle of civil and religious liberty, 
as subsequently formulated by the founders of the 
association called Friends of the People. Disgusted 
with the turn which public affairs took, and firmly 
persuaded that Britain was in a rapid and hopeless 
decline, Grieve fotmd his way across the Atlantic, 
where the thirteien British-American provinces had 
declared themselves "free, sovereign, and indepen- 
dent" Here he became a citizen of the United 
States, and formed an acquaintance with Franklin, 



ISH} 



NORTH-COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND. 



175 



Jefiferson, and Paine, who held opinions similar 
to 'his own. After a residence of some years in 
America, where he seems to have, at least partly, 
supported himself by the execution of literary work, 
he returned to Europe, and found his way to 
Paris, about the time of the conclusion of the Peace 
of Versailles. He became a member of the Jacobin 
Club; he was on intimate terms with Marat, whom 
he had possibly met at Newcastle; and he held 
friendly intercourse with Robespierre, Couthon, and St. 
Just, the three chief actors in the Reign of Terror. 

Grieve's career in France has been sketched by the 
author of an article on ** English Actors in the French 
Revolution ** — understood to be Mr. J. W. Alger, a jour- 
nalist connected with the Paris office of the Timu — ^pub- 
lished in the Edivimrgh Review for October, 1887. The 
writer says : — 

There is no trace of Grieve*s activity till 1792, when 
he took UD his quarters at an inn at Louvedennes, the 
hamlet inhabited by Madame du Barry. Here he formed 
a club, which, the lady being in England in quest of her 
Ftolen jewels, audaciously met in her drawing-room. Her 
Hindoo servant Zamore, whom she had brought up, had 
stood sponsor to, and luul named after one of Voltaire's 
tragedies, proved imfaithful. She had loaded him with 
kindness, and as a boy he used, dressed like Cupid, to 
hold a parasol over her as she went to meet Louis XV. in 
the garden ; but Grieve wormed all her secrets out of him. 
got an order for seals to be placed on her property, ana 
placed her name at the head of a list of persons to oe ar- 
rested. 

The power of the municipality to make arrests was, 
however, questioned, and for seven months Madame 
du Barry remained free, though in perpetual anxiety. 
On July 1, 1793, Grieve escorted the municipality to tne 
bar of the Convention, vehemently denounced ner, and 
obtained authority to apprehend her ; but a petition from 
the villagers, who had profited by her residence, procured 
her release. Thereupon Grieve issued a pamphlet de- 
scribing her luxurious life, and holding her up to odium 
as a conspirator. He signed himself ^'Man of Lettcors, 
Officious, Defender of the Brave Sansculottes of Louve- 
ciennes. Friend of Franklin and Marat, Factious (faetieux) 
and Anarchist of the First Water, and Disorganiser of Des- 
Dotism for Twenty Years in Both Hemispheres." Madame 
du Barry, who had already dismissed one treacherous ser- 
vant, now dismissed Zamore also. In September, Grieve 
secured a fresh warrant against her, and singfularly 
enough rode part of the way to Paris in the hackney car- 
riage with her. What passed between them is a mystery. 
Was he enamoured of her, and repelled with horror, or 
did he offer life and liber^ if she disgorged? In any 
case it is strange that Madame du Barr}^ whose last lover 
but one had been an Englishman — Henry Seymour, 
nephew of the Duke of Somerset, the Sunday evening 
dancing in whose park at Prunay was remembered by 
old women still living in 1870~shou]d have been hunted 
to death by another Englishman. The inhabitants 
affain petitioned for her liberation, but this time in vain, 
(rrieve superintended the search for jewels concealed in 
dungheape, and got up the case against her. His manu- 
scripts, still preserved at the National Archives, are in 
irreproachable French. Not merely did he collect 
eviaence, but he was himself a witness, and had it not 
been for his relentless persecution it seems likely that she 
would have been left unmolested. 

Grieve was to have dined with Marat on the very day 
of his assassination, and he unwarrantably denounced the 
Jacobin ex-priest Roux as Charlotte Corday's accomplice, 
on the ground of having met him at Marat's house and 
seen him "look furious^'; but this denunciation had no 
effect. He is said, however, to have boasted that he 
had brought seventeen persons to the guillotine. If the 



vaunt was true, it can only be hoped that his reason was 
temporarily impaired. Five months after Robespierre's 
fall, he was arrested at Amiens and taken to Versailles, 
where twenty-two depositions were given against him ; 
but on unknown grounds the prosecution was stopped. 
His tool and confederate Zamore, also arrested after 
Robespierre's fall, but said to have been released on 
Grieve's representations, lived, morose, miserable, and a 
vilifier of his benefactress, till 1820. 

Flying from France in 1795, Grieve made his way 
back to the United States. He was residing in Alex- 
andria, in Virginia, in the following year, and there 
he seems to have employed part of his time in trans- 
lating into English the ** Travels in North America " 
of the Marquis de Chastellux, a work of very great 
interest, giving a deal of information relative to the state 
of the British colonies during the Revolutionary War, but 
which, unknown to him, had already been done into 
English, in 1787, by one John Kent. It has been said by 
a careless writer that Grieve " came over to England in 
order to assist Jack the Painter in firing the arsenals of 
his native country " ; but Jack was hung in chains at 
Portsmouth Dock gate on the 10th of March, 1778, which 
was about two years before Grieve left England for 
France. After a residence of a year or two in America, 
Greorge Grrieye came back to Europe, and, though there 
is some uncertainty as to his movements, it has been 
ascertained that he settled definitely in Brussels, where 
he continued to reside till the day of his death— February 
23, 1809— at the age of 61. 



MARGARET POTTS, better known 
as "Peggy Potts," who, for many years, 
was one of the principal public characters 
of the town of Sunderland, died on Sunday, 
the 10th October, 1875, in a house in Aikenhead Square, 
on the Low Quay, aged eighty-six. So at least says 
her obituary in the local paper ; but it is commonly be- 
lieved that she died in the workhouse. Peggy was a true 
"daughter of the soil," for she had lived in the town all 
her life. Her maiden name was Havelock, and she was 
second cousin to the celebrated Greneral Havelock, the 
hero of Lucknow, her father — a sailor, and afterwards a 
fisherman— having been full cousin to the general's 
father. Peggy's husband, who predeceased her by 
several years, was likewise a fisherman, and latterly a 
pilot, and he had the reputation of being a somewhat lazy 
fellow, who was glad to supplement his gains by those of 
his more energetic wife. However this may have been, 
Peggy managed to make a "good fend" for herself. 
That she was eccentric goes without sasring, as the phrase 
is ; but her eccentricity took a practical turn, which not 
only furthered her own ends in making a livelihood, but 
made her a universal favourite wherever she went. She 
was wonderfully ready- vntted ; and her command of the 




176 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE. 



/April 



SimderlftDd vemacolar, which she never dreamt of spoiling 
by any sort of refinement, was so perfect as to give a 
zest to every word she uttered. 

Those who knew Peggy in her youth testified that she 
was a very handsome, well-favoured, buxom lass ; and 
she retained to the last the traces of having been so. She 
was of middle stature, and rather stout. Her dress 
latterly, when attending to her usual vocation, was a blue 
bedgown, a flannel petticoat of the same colour, an old- 
fashioned black silk bonnet that set ofif her comely face to 
advantage, a silk handkerchief round her neck, and a 
snow white apron. She was always remarkably clean — 
"as dean as a pin." 

For many years she made a living by selling fish and 
other things, and for some time she had a small shop in 
the Market, where, on Saturdays, she sold cheese. Her 



custom was to go to the wholesale establishment of 
Messrs. Joshua Wilson and Brothers, and there buy a. 
quantity of stale cheese, which they let her have at a 
very cheap rate, as they could not sell it to their regular 
customers, though it was often of the finest and richest 
quality. This cheese she would sell at 4d. per pound 
when it was selling at lOd. in the shops, and good 
"peg" cheese she would let her friends have for 
2d. per pound. One day a friend of the writerV 
went to her stall, when she addressed him 
thus:— "Noo, then, hoo are ye the mominT The 
reply being, "I am very bad i* my stomach," she 
instantly rejoined, "Eat a bit rotten cheese, hunny. Aa 
had a bit mesel this momin', an* aa'm nicely noo. Thor'a 
nowt like a bit o' rotten cheese for mendin' the stomach." 
In the old palmy days of contraband trade, Peggy ia 



v^lKfe 




^, <? yy-^^ 



3&lui!E>- 



IS?} 



NORTH-COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND, 



177 



Mud to have turned over hundred! of pounds in the 
smuggling line. She had her regular oustomers whom 
she supplied with goods that had never paid toll to the 
Imperial Revenue ; and no one could more deftly than 
Peggy outwit the custom-house officers, however keen on 
the scent. Also, when contraband stuff was not forth- 
coming, Peggy would go to old Solomon Chapman's and 
get a temporary supply (of course along with a permit), 
and go round and dispose of it as smuggled. 

Once upon a time, when she was tramping into the 
country with a small keg of whisky to serve a friend, she 
was met by an officer, who^ guessing what it was she 
carried, made her turn back, meaning to take her before 
his superiors. She went along quietly for a good way, 
when she begged the officer to walk forward a bit. He 
did so. No sooner was his back turned than she emptied 
the keg, re-fiUed it with water, and walked on quickly 
with it after the officer, on reaching whom she trans- 
ferred it to his custody, telling him she was tired of 
carrjring it. On arriving at the custom-house, the keg 
was found to contain nothing but the pure element. 
The laugh was turned against the officer, and Peggy 
came off chuckling. 

Another time, when there was an uncommon scarcity 
of fish, owing to a continuance of rough weather prevent- 
ing the fishermen from getting to sea, Peggy was passing 
along the sands in company with a friend, when they 
found a dead codling which had been washed off the 
rocks. She eagerly seized on it as a prize, and said she 
would make a good penny out of it. ** Why, it's not 
fresh," said her friend. "That's nowt," replied Peggy; 



''aall tyek it up to Greneral Beckwith's, an' the hoose- 
keeper 11 jump at it. The cyuk can syeun makk't aall 
reet. " So saying, she lost no time in walking up to Silks- 
worth, only calling at a butcher's shop by the way, and 
daubing over the gills with blood, so as to give it a 
fresh look. The bait took, and Peggy pocketed a good 
price. 

Peggy's ready wit was unfailing. It was truly redolent 
of the place. Once in a rencontre with the late Mr. David 
Johnasson, when he treated her rather gruffly, she told 
him very sententipusly that *' London was ruled by Jar- 
mins, and Sunderland by Jews, but still they were not te 
forget that they wor foreigners ! " 

A story is current that she once got into trouble through 
imputing incontinency to a woman of quality for which she 
was served with a citation from the Consistory Court of the 
Bishop of Durham, which she not only treated with con- 
tempt, but actuaUy burnt. These ecclesiastical courts, 
however, were not to be defied with impunity, and Peggy, 
so it is said, was forthwith delivered over to the secular 
arm, lying for eighteen weeks in Durham Gaol, until 
released by the interposition of the good Rector Grey, 
whose memory is still green in Sunderland for his many 
acts of charity and mercy. 

On the Saturday after the death of Henry Esmond, a 
well-known street preacher, who was a hunchbacked little 
man, with legs seemingly too long for his body, Peggy, 
meeting with an acquaintance, a member of the 
Methodist body, broke out characteristically with— 
" ThooTl hev hard o* powr Henry Esmond's deeth, 
hunny. Aye, hunny, there'll be a cruickt angel i' hiven 










TMf piwlLkfr^^ €JTt' *S[c(,v PotF* o k ^T »*C iO^ilUAY dUNQfi. R L Af4 ^ 



M 



178 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE, 



(IJS! 



te-day." Her belief in the immediate transmission of 
idiosynprajsiea, both of body and mind, to the regions, 
whether of bliss or woe, beyond the grave, was as full and 
implicit as in the existence of the sun and moon. 

P^S7 ^*^ A characteristic way of expressing her dis- 
likes. "AaVe hed a dream," said she once, **a fearfu' 
dream. Aa thowt aa wes in hell, an* saw Boney there ; 
an' aa wasn't surprised at that. An' aa saw a lot o' mair 
folks besides him, that aa knaa'd or disna knaa— aall bad 
rascals ; an' aa wasna surprised at that. But aa %d<u sur- 
prised when aa saw Mr. Peters there I " . Mr. Peters was 
Rector of Sunderland. 

On the morning when the news arrived of the death 
of the Duke of Wellington, Peggy entered the shop of 
Mr. John Hills, grocer, High Street, when, finding 
that gentleman absent, she entered into a jocular con- 
versation with the shop assistants. ** Aa've some bonny 
dowters," said she. "Aa wish some o' ye wad come 
doon an' look at them. Aa'm sure they'll myek 
good wives, if they only get canny, decent men." 
While thus speaking, in came Mr. Hills, who was a very 
sedate, solemn, and strictly religious man. Instantly 
Peggy changed her tune. **Aa wus just sayin' teyor 
lads," she observed, " that Satan 11 hev a bonny job in 
hand te-day. The Dyeuk o* Wellin'ton's deed, an' ne 
doot gyen doon belaw ; an' whatll be the upshot when he 
meets wi' Boney ? Aa doot the Aad Yen 11 ha' to get 
iron cyages myed for them, te shut them up in, an' keep 
them from teerin' each other's thrapples oot." 

Peggy was an early riser, and never was ofif her feet 
from sunrise to sunset. Here is the way in which she 
used to arouse laggards in cases when, as after a storm on 
the coast, valuable things were to be had for the picking 
up — first come first served (the reference is to a man 
named Billy Peacock, a fishmonger of her acquaint- 
ance) :— " Billy, get up, ye greet lyeazy beast ! What are 
ye lyin' snoosdn' an* snorin' there for? There's coals i* 
the Bight as big as byesins ! Gret up, an' take yor share 
o' them." 

She was frequently before the magistrates, but in most 
cases rather in the character of an informant or wit- 
ness than as a misdemeanant. Many were the scenes 
enacted in the police court which derived their chief 
attraction from her unrestrained self-confidence and 
mother wit *' What's your husband ?" asked Mr. Joseph 
Simpson (vulgarly called Joe) one day, when she appeared 
before him. "A pilot," was the answer. "How long 
has he been a pilot ?" " Ever since he was as big as a 
lobster," shouted Peggy. When a new magistrate came 

to sit on the bench, Peggy would say, ** Aye, Mr. , 

hunny, aa knaa'd yor father, an' he w<u a daycent man ; 
the best wish aa can wish ye is that ye may come up te 
him." 

Her name was once taken in vain by the editor of a 
local paper, who, on the occasion of two solicitors' wives 
having a quarrel and a match at fisticuffs and eye- 



scratching, took the liberty to say the mel^ was ** worthy 
of Peggy Potts." On hearing this, the irate fish woman 
hastened to the newspaper office, and demanded to see 
the editor. "Bring him oot te me," said she, 
"an aa'll suen give him a settlin'. The im- 
pident rascal, te compare me tiv onny o' yer Bmm- 
magum ladies. Aall let him knaa whose nyem he's been 
tyekin liberties wi'. Bring him oot, therecklies." "But 
he's engaged, Peggy," said the man in the office, "and 
you cannot see him just now." "Aa must see bim, 
though," replied the virago, "an' see him aa wilL" 
"If you mean to prosecute us for a libel," siud the cleiic, 
"you should send your attorney." " Them's my 'iomies, 
sor, "shouted Pegsry, branduBhingher ten fingers, armed with 
good long nails. But after some further parley, she was 
sent away pacified, only declaring that she reckoned it a 
perfect disgrace to be likened to two such upsetting trash 
as the belligerent solicitors' wives. 

Peggy's favourite seat on a fine summer's night was the 
steps of the Rendezvous, next door to where she lived. 
Here she knitted stockings and gossiped with her neigh- 
bours. This Rendezvous was formerly the quarters of the 
Press Gang, and the captives used to be conveyed 
secretly away through passages and stairs in the rear ap 
to the High Street. 




Naval I|(indfiiV0USj,LowSrr€€f,SunJfrlancl, 
Used Dj fhc Press-Gang. 



2>oe was naturally very proud of her reJationahip to 
General Havelock. Speaking of him she would say: — 
"Ye knaa he's yen of wor family." When introducing 
herself to strangers, it was her habit to say she was 
"Margaret Havelock, cuzzin te the greet general." She 
was fond of airing her grievances in not having been 



NORTH-COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND. 



179 



rightly treated in respect to pecuniary matters by her 
blood relations ; and she often interviewed the officers at 
the Barracks for the purpose of detailing, in her charac- 
teristic way, the peculiar claims which she thought she 
had on the consideration of the higher powers. In her 
old age, she still retained the lines and traces of the 
beauty of her younger days, and that not without a 
certain air of determination in her countenance, accom- 
panied, as some one has said, * ' with a promptness, decision, 
and energy in her actions which might serve to help those 
who saw the Havelock in a bed-gown and blue skirt to 
form some idea of the Havelock in tartan trews." 

The Sunderland lads used to annoy the old lady in her 
latter years by shouting after her — 

Peg^ Potts sent to jail, 
Sellmg fish without a taiL 

Holding up a large gully to her tormentors, Peggy would 
exclaim— ** If aa ony could catch ye, aa wad cut yer 
throat frae ear te ear, ye scoundrels." 

Peggy was a great favourite with the distinguished 
strangers who visited Sunderland from time to time, as 
well as with the most respectable of the town's folks, who 
were imiformly courteous and kind to her, and most of 
whom could enter heartily into the humoiur of the genial 
old woman. George Hudson, the Railway King, might be 
seen walking arm-in-arm with her at election times ; and 
she was always one of the foremost women in Sunderland 
to take off the men's shoes on Easter Monday. The fol- 
lowing paragraph, cut from an old Sunderland Times, will 
illiistrate this curious custom: — "The fisherwomen of 
Sunderland, having ascertained that Mr. Hudson would 
arrive at Sunderland on Easter Monday, determined 
that the hon. member should ' pay for his shoes' ; and 
accordingly a party of them proceeded to Brockley 
Whins, where, on the hon. gentleman changing car- 
riages, he was at once pounced upon, and told that he 
could not enter the railway carriage until he had com- 
plied with the ancient custom. Having done so with his 
accustomed mimificence (50s.), he was allowed to proceed. 
On his arrival at Monkwearmounth, another batch, 
headed by the redoubtable Peggy Potts, not aware that 
they had been outwitted, were found in waiting ; and, 
much disappointed, gave vent to loud denunciations at 
being so cleverly * done ' by the nine adroit members of 
the sisterhood of fisherwomen who had proceeded to 
Brockley Whins, and who, we must not omit to mention, 
rode home in first-class carriages, highly elated with their 
success." 

A few years before her death, Peggy was removed to 
the workhouse. She was very indignant that the Queen 
should let the cousin of Grenerai Havelock go to such a 
place. The matron of the workhouse, in assigning her a 
dormitory, had to place her in the bed next the door, the 
room being full ; and Peggy complained bitterly next day 
of the draught she felt, and demanded to have her bed 
changed. But when the matron pointed out the state of 



the case, and asked her, ** Whose bed must I take to put 
you in ?" the poor woman saw the force of the appeal, and 
resigned herself to her fate. 

One day, a well-known doctor in the town met Peggy 
when she had got leave to be out, and she began to 
entertain him with heavy complaints as to the hard- 
ships of workhouse life. And on his manifesting 
some impatience to get away, she said : *' Oh, doctor, 
hunny, could thoo give us thrippenoe to get a little bit o' 
tea ; for tea, thoo knaas, is the staff o' life to a poor aad 
body like me." The money was, of course, freely dis- 
bursed, and the doctor proceeded to make his calls. But, 
on his return, he saw Peggy coming out of a public-house. 
"Ah, Peggy, "said he, "I thought you told me that tea 
was the staff of life." " Wey, se it is, hunny," answered 
I*®OT>y» "but thoo knaas whisky's life itseL" 

A clever yoimg Sunderland artist — Mr. J. Gillis 
Brown, jun.— has contributed the sketches which ac- 
company this article. William Brookie. 

€va\xii in 0t\xicaitU. 

Its tl)e late lamejt ®Upi)an. 

j|R. JOHN HANCOCK, in his "Catalogue 
of the Birds of Northumberland and Dur- 
ham," discourses through several pages on 
that dark -plumed family, the Corvidce:— 
(1.) The Raven, though still a resident in the two 
counties, is nearly banished. Newcastle knows it no 
more. Tet "in the latter part of the last century 
a raven annually built in the steeple of St. Nicholas' 
Church." (2.) The Carrion Crow "is rapidly disap- 
pearing under the persecution of the game preservers"; 
to whom Mr. Hancock "earnestly recommends the 
perusal of the article on this crow in Waterton's 
Essays on Natural History." (3.) Its close cousin, the 
Hooded Crow, with which it often breeds, is " a com- 
mon visitant"; "seen everjrwhere in October; most, 
frequently on our sea-shores, and by the margin of 
our rivers." (4.) The Rook, once frequent in New- 
castle, still breathes his familiar note in the open 
country around ; as, for example, at Benwell, on our 
very verge. "There is scarcely anywhere a well- 
wooded domain in the two counties without its rookery. 
Indeed, it almost seems that this resident species is 
increasing since its natural check, the larger birds of 
prey, have been removed. Some years ago, there were 
three or four rookeries in Newcastle." One, namely, in 
the Close, near the end of Tyne Bridge, over against 
the Redheugh rookery beyond the river; another in 
Vicar's Garden, Westgate Street; a third in Percy Street, 
whose site is still called the Crow Trees ; and a fourth 
within the railed enclosure of St. Thomas's Church; 
to all of which we shall give due attention in the course 




180 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE. 



{iSg 



of this article. (5.) The Jackdaw, '*a very common 
resident ^ in Northumberland and Durham. "Up to 
the time of the reparation of St. Nicholas', Newcastle, 
1867, numerous jackdaws built their nests regularly, 
year after year, in that structure. A pair or two rear 
their young in the steeple of the Scotch Church in 
Blackett Street." 

The quaint Exchange on the Sandhill of Newcastle, 
designed and erected by Robert TroUope in the latter 
days of the Commonwealth, to which we now direct our 
notice, had a tower and spire, surmounted by a vane or 
weathercock, fixed to a hollow tube, and revolving round 
a rod rising out of the pointed stone work. At each end 
of the tube was an ornamented scroll of iron, stretching 
out on every side. Nearer to the Tyne Bridge than the 
Exchange, stood the ancient church of St. Thomas ; and 
at the opposite (or western) side were ** Captain 
Stevenson's trees," with the colony of crows alluded to by 
Mr. Hancock in his Catalogue — a populous ' rookery^ 
The sable folk dwelt together in unity in the main. 
Occasionally, however, they had their contentions and 
controversies. They ruffled their feathers and exalted 
their voices. Divisions arose which could not be healed ; 
ringleaders were expelled or seceded; and in the year 
1783, when one of these quarrels ran high, two of the 
number, with the world before them, gave eccentric 
preference to the pmnacle of the Exchange, the 




nearest similitude of a tree that was at hand. 
Not, however, on the summit of the rod, as de- 
picted in some local engravings, but round the moving 
pipe, as shown by the careful annalist Sykes, they 



attempted the building of a nest, with the topmost scroll 
as their support-in-chief. Their late companions were 
hostile to the enterprise. All the arts of obstruction were 
resorted to against the outlaws. The half -finished work 
was sometimes wrecked by the active enemy. But the 
experiment was always resumed, and it prospered in the 
end. On the fanciful tracery fashioned by the smith on 
his anvil, which served the builders as a base, they laid 
their fotmdation ; ** spars and rafters whose ends rested 
upon each other, and then others upon them, but some- 
what longer, especially on the side of the tube directly 
opposite to the'vane, which was intended to contain the 
body of the nest, then smaller pieces interwoven there- 
with, and these wattled together pretty tightly round the 
tube, so that the nest turned round with the vane ; and, 
let the wind blow from whatever quarter, it was con- 
tinually direct against the nest, still supported on the 
opposite side by the spire and tube, so that the wind 
could never discompose it or blow it down, unless it had 
blown down the vane, and perhaps the pinnacle also." 

It was in the month of March, 1783, that this triumph 
was achieved. Eggs were soon laid and hatched ; a 
little family was reared ; and there was now a second 
rookery at the end of Tyne Bridge. But what became 
of the brood ? There was but one nest on the Exchange ; 
and either the youngsters must have been welcomed to 
Captain Stevenson's trees, or have gone farther afield. 

Hexham Abbey, to which we digress for a moment, has 
its rookery : — 

See where the daws above the clock 
Wheel circling round ! and now alights 
Upon the topmost of the heights 

The Wilfrid of the sable flock. 

The jackdaws have also solitary nests in Hexham town, 
whose young ones are in due season admonished to de- 
part; and if the hint be not taken at once, they are 
unceremoniously tumbled into space; whereupon they 
wing their way to the hospitable church, and enrol 
themselves in the general ranks. The same process 
went on, perchance, on the Sandhill and at the Bridge 
End. 

Preparations were made for a second adventure in 
1784. It was a failure. The parent stock were this 
time successful in their resistance. Gathering in arms 
against the innovation, the newfansrled roundabeut waa 
suppressed. It was not to be endured, and all attempts 
to renew it were in 1784 defeated. The outlaws found 
themselves houseless. What became of them for the 
remainder of the year is a blank. There is no record. 
But in 1785 they were proudly wheeling round the 
weathercock again, achieving the object of their ambi- 
tion. They were housed about the spire at the time of 
the Vernal Equinox ; and the discovery was made, on 
Friday, April 22, "that their nest had young ones in it, 
and the crows were bringing food to them with the 
greatest industry." There was also another nestfal in 
1786— a sore trial to the legitimate rookery. A campaign 



X} 



NORTH-COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND, 



181 



was now organiBed to prevent the hatching of crows on 
weathercocks. The enemy took the air betimes in 1787. 
Battle was given to the lawless outcasts ; and it went 
against the tyrant majority. The brave pair won. 
The nest was completed by the 31st of March, "not- 
withstanding the very violent opposition its ardiitects 
had met with from the envy and rapacity of their 
neighbours," 

In 1789, the Rev. John Brand, with his invaluable 
quartoes, plays his part with the newspapers in noting 
the nest of the lonely rookery over the Exchange. It 
was tenanted, as he states, in 1788 ; and he remarks that 
'*the same crows, as it was thought," had been year by 
year the builders— a surmise which must be left, of 
course, an open question. "The novelty of the spec- 
tacle drew at first," as a paragraph of the time bears 
witness, " thousands of spectators, some of whom 
imagined it portentous," though what the omen fore- 
shadowed is left in darkness. At last the omen, mean 
what it might, wore out. The singular experiment, the 
subiect of so much excitement in Captain Stevenson's 
plantation, came to an end. With much heat and vio- 
lence the crows had unsuccessfully conspired together to 
put it down, and it died away of itself, like so many 
other things in this world that we worry ourselves about, 
when, if we would let them alone, they would depart in 
peace. 

The exact circumstances under which the spectacle 
on the spire became extinct are not to be recovered. 
A correspondent of Sykes, after describing the first 
building of the nest in 1783, goes on to say :— " It was 
remarked that in the succeeding year there was a 
severe storm of frost and snow, when the T3me was 
three times frozen over in one winter (a circumstance 
not before remembered by the oldest person living), 
during which the crows had a comfortable habitation ; 
and, having prolonged their residence for some year^ 
they all of a sudden, without any visible cause or 
molestation, quitted their wonderful building, and 
never resorted to it again. A short time subsequent 
to their departure, the Exchange took fire, which, had 
they remained, might probably have destroyed them, 
as well as their curious erection." Elsewhere we read 
that, "the year before the steeple gave way through 
age, they quitted their dangerous position." Oonceive 
the congratulations that ran from tree to tree in the 
rookery, when the rumour came that the spire was 
failing because of years and infirmity, and the unlawful 
game was up 1 — that the rebels were in jeopardy by 
rickettiness— in peril of wreck, unless they discovered 
that their perch was not nestworthy ! 

Some years ago, on the Marsden coast, a tree was 
forsaken by rooks, with no apparent cause. Their 
landlord, an ardent naturalist, regretted their flight, 
and perplexed himself for an explanation. It came to 
him after not many days. A storm broke over his 



domain; the forsaken tree was thrown down by the 
wind ; it was rotten at the core, and could not with- 
stand the blast. The branches on which the birds had 
built were found to be untrustworthy — ^their strength 
and stability gone. His tenants had betaken themselves 
to a tree more secure. " It's an ill wind, that blows 
nobody good." The storm had thrown down to his 
feet the solution of the problem that had puzzled him. 

Before quitting the Exchange and its crows, the 
reader may be glad to have one of the tales of the 
time to which they gave rise. There is a story in the 
Newcoitlt Chronicle of April 19, 1783, when the brave 
builders were nursing their first brood. Two travellers 
were coming down Gateshead, one of whom ploughed 
the land, the other the waves. Jack, anathematizing 
his eyes in nautical fashion, asked his companion how 
it happened that the Exchange was for sale. "For 
sale!" exclaimed the rustic; "what makes you ask 
that question?" "Don't you see," said the mariner, 
" the besom is on the mast ?" 

The "besom " had its day, and was swept aside. The 
voice of the rooks ceased to be heard over the old Ex- 
change ; and it was silenced, also^ among the branches 
that shaded the captain's home. "Reduced to a single 
tree," even this yielded to the decree of Time, and 
followed its faded and fallen companions. Tower and 
trees, all are now gone. So, too, is the Vicar's Garden, 
with its rookery. In the days of the Rev. Henry 
Bourne, one of the hlBtorians of Newcastle, James 
Bell, the postmaster of the town, whose massive hostelry 
in the Bigg Market stood at the comer of the Pudding 
Chare, had a spacious garden behind his house, only 
surpassed by the pleasant enclosure of the neighbouring 
Vicarage, where the Savings Bank now stands. Here 
the rooks lived in community when Blenheim was won ; 
and they were lingering in " a large willow " in the year 
of Waterloo. "This tree," says Mr. Hancock, "was 
blown down in 1816; but the crows had nearly all 
deserted it in the previous year." A September gale 
did great injury to trees, &c. ; and there is a note in 
the diary of Mr. James Losh of the overthrow of 
"The Vicar's Ash"— "the large ash tree," adds the 
observant Sykes, "which had for many generations 
stood in the west comer of the garden," whose once 
swarming rookery had come down to " a solitary pair." 

A third rookery, as Mr. Hancock states in 1874, " was 
in existence within the last twenty or thirty years, in a 
small clump of trees in the grounds of a house in Percy 
Street, still called the Crow Trees. These trees, one 
after another, decayed ; and as they died out the colony 
en^adually took possession of two or three large ash trees 
on the opposite site of St. Thomas's Churchyard. I 
have counted as many as sixteen nests in these trees; 
but, alas ! the unfortunate rooks were not allowed to 
rest in peace, though so near the church and within its 
fence. No street arab could pass the clustering nests 



182 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE, 



{ 



AprU 



without haviDg a 'shy' at them with a stone. The nestf*, 
in the course of a few years, were reduced to two or 
three ; and soon afterwards, the birds, being ruthlessly 
persecuted and their nests destroyed, entirely disap- 
peared. This happened in 1866; and thus terminated 
the last rookery in Newcastle." 

The rooks, who had crossed the road for sanctuary in 
former years, may have felt, as lawful descendants of 
ancestors who floated aloft over old St. Thomas's on Tyne 
Bridge, that a prescriptive right was theirs to haunt the 
shadows of its modem successor. But from Barras 
Bridge as from Sandhill the rooks had to vanish, and 
Newcastle be left at last without a rookery. Some 
consolation, however, still remained; and the NtwcattU 
Chronicle dwelt upon it. "The crows are gone from the 
end of Tyne Bridge," it remarked in 1864 ; ''gone from 
Westgate Street; gone from Barras Bridge. They are 
not gone, however, from Newcastle. The tall tower of 
St. Nicholas, which rises high above all other buildings 
in one of the busiest parts of the town, would seem to 
be considered quite safe by the corvine race, who are so 
fond of the society of man. The * silken, sly, insinuating 
jaeks^^ make their way into the high recesses of the vener- 
able steeple, and bmld their nests and rear their young ; 
and if there be no tree at hand in which to sit and swing 
in the open air, are there not the wires of the Universal 
Private Telegraph Company? On these extended lines 
the daws will perch in a row, and look around them on 
the unfeathered bipeds who move along the thorough- 
fares below, paying higher rents for their lower homes, 
and troubled with more anxious cares. Long may the 
old tower stand which gives dwellimr-plaoes to the daws ; 
and may they never alarm us for its safety by their 
ominous desertion of its hospitable roof !" 

Vanity of vanities ! The decade was not ended in 
which the prayer was uttered before the daws had said 
farewelL The restoration of the tower had been some 
years in progress; the internal work was completed by 
the summer of 1870; the daws believing their reign to 
be renewed after a long season of disturbance, returned 
in great force at breeding time ; but, to their sore dis- 
appointment and disquietude, they found the old walls 
made so spick-and-span new and smooth — so free from 
holes and crannies — that never a nook for a nest could 
they find—not a crevice for twig or egg or chick. Their 
ooenpation was gone. St Nicholas' Church was no longer 
a home for the daws ! 

A persistent couple, revisiting the tower in the course 
of 1879, found lodgment for a nest by the side of the 
clock stairs ; but either it was too lonely, or the domicile 
had some other defect. Some objection it had, not to be 
ascertained too certainly. At any rate it was deserted by 
its builders. 

It might have been supposed that the towering spire of 
All Saints' Church would have attractions for the archi- 



tects of the air ; and the daws would seem not to have 
been without a sense of its eligibilities. They have been 
seen prospecting. Sailing round the taper heights, they 
have often surveyed them round and round ; and, per- 
chance, they may have achieved their wishes in some 
recess inaccessible to human observation. But no nest— 
that we can learn— has ever been found. 

One haunt, however, not yet mentioned, the daws still 
have in Newcastle. Of late years they have nested in 
the old Castle. The venerable Keep, built in the latter 
half of the twelfth century, has found favour in the eyes 
of our friends the jacks, unwilling to pass altogether away 
from the neighbourhood of Tyne Bridge. Within the 
massive framework of the Plantagenet stronghold they 
have constructed their houses of whatever materials were 
at hand. With scraps of shoe leather ; heel-plate, toe- 
plate; rusty nails; pen-case long lost to its owners 
pocket ; with waif or stray, of whatever kind, that bill or 
claw could grip and wings could bear away, the home of 
the ingenious bird has been reared ; a marvellous marine 
store; a quaint curiosity shop; product of instinct or 
reason, which you wilL In such queer contrivances the 
docile daws have from time to time hatched their young, 
whose ancestors were here before the Conqueror, and 
whose race for generations had trees enough, and to spare, 
where the wreck of the old Castle is now scattered over 
the slope on which Rufus and Robert raised their walls. 



It may be interesting to add the result of our own. 
inquiries on the same subject, showing how the jackdaws 
have comported themselves in Newcastle since Mr. 
Clephan's paper was written. Four buildings in the city 
are still favoured by the birds — the Old Castle, the 
Black Gate, the tower of St. Nicholas, and the Wood 
Memorial HalL Last year (1887) three pairs of daws 
built their nests and reared their progeny in the crevices 
of the Castle, every care being taken by the keeper, Mr. 
Gibson, that their operations should not be disturbed. 
Last year, too, a pair of starlings selected one of the guns 
on the roof of the Keep for a nesting place. Unfor- 
tunately, the nest was disturbed by some thoughtless 
visitor, and the birds deserted it. Daws last year com- 
menced building operations on the stairs leading to the 
belfry of St. Nicholas ; but the place being overlooked by 
the bellringers as they passed to and fro, the suspicious 
jacks sought more secluded quarters elsewhere. During 
last season, one or two pairs of the same birds nested in 
the Black Gate, and brought forth their young in 
safety. The Wood Memorial Hall has frequently 
found favour in the eyes of the daws, a pair of which 
have again this spring (March, 1888) been seen prospect- 
ing there. Editob. 



Apri. 



NORTH-COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND. 



183 




Site l^ata)ic& ^riairtr. 



HE traveller from Newcastle to Edinburgh by 
the Waverley route, soon after crossing the 
Border, sees on the right hand, when ap- 
proaching Shankend Station, a hill called Wineburgh or 
Windburgh Hill, 2,000 feet high. This conspicuous 
member of the Cheviot range sends down from its 
southern slope one of the four feeders of Slitrig Water, 
a tributary of the Teviot, which it joins at thd town 
of Hawick. In its ordinary state the Slitrig is a 
very slender rivulet, though the Hawick people 
contrive to make it do a considerable amount of 
work ; but when swollen by sudden thaws and heavy 
rains high up among the fells, it becomes a wild, 
unruly torrent, and sends its waters roaring down, " like 
the foam of a chestnut steed," upon the busy manufactur- 
ing town. On more than one occasion, too, the fury of 
the river-god has been roused by another cause. Several 
of the beautiful green hills in this part of the Cheviots 
have great peat bogs, or marshes, on or near their 
summits ; and among this number is Windburgh Hill, 
from which, as we have said, the Slitrig draws a gn^eat 
part of its supplies. 

The months of July and August, 1767, were exces- 
sively rainy, and great damage was done by the flooding 
of the low lands in various parts of the kingdom. Thus, 
the river Aire, at Leeds, rose upwards of two yards per- 
pendicular height in the space of an hour ; the Wharfe 
rose higher than had been known within living memory, 
and carried away bridges, mills, houses, oxen, horses, 
and sheep, almost totally ruining many farmers; the 
Nidd and other West Yorkshire rivers did likewise "an 
incredible deal of mischief," as we are told in the "An- 
nual Register " for the year. This calamity took place 
on the 4th of August, early in the morning, when people 
were still in their beds. On the same day, but at a 
different hour, Hawick was visited by one of the most 
remarkable floods ever witnessed in this country, a 
flood almost as sudden as that which devastated 
Holmfirth, near Huddersfield, in the year 1852, when 
the Bilberry Reservoir burst its banks. Little or no 
rain had fallen that day, or for some days before, in 
the district immediately round Hawick, and the river 
Teviot, which flows past the town, dividing it from 
the suburb of Wilton, was fordable in several places. 
The Slitrig, however, began to rise about four o'clock 
in^ the afternoon, and continued increasing till after 
fix, when the water was twenty-two feet higher than 
usual. The consternation of the townspeople is scarcely 
to be conceived, for the water rushed into the streets 
with irrepressible violence, threatening universal deso- 
lation. Fifteen dwelling-houses, with the corn-mill at 
the end of the town, were presently swept away ; and 



the very rock on which they were founded was washed so 
clean that not a bit of rubbish or vestige of a building 
was left. As no human assistance could avail, the parish 
minister called the people to church to supplicate Heaven 
to avert the judgment that seemed to threaten them all. 
The flood lasted only about four hours and a half, and at 
the end of that time the river had fallen nearly to its 
usual size. 

While the flood was at its height, a servant maid in the 
household of one of the leading merchants of the town 
recollected that her master had in the house, which was 
then surrounded with water, about £300 in gold. The 
master being from home, the g^rl acquainted the neigh- 
bours, and begged their assistance to recover the pro- 
perty, but none of them would risk their lives to do so. 
The girl herself thereupon waded boldly into the house, 
and got hold of the bag with the money ; but, when 
leaving the house, she was carried down with the stream, 
and was cast ashore a little below the town, having the 
money grasped in both her hands so fast that it was 
removed with some difficulty. It is recorded in James 
Wilson's valuable "History of Hawick," that a 
bed was carried away by the flood, and left 
upon the haugh on the north side of the Teviot, 
and that in it lay a cat, which had the good 
luck not to wet its feet during its perilous voyage. 
The good lady who owned the cat was long celebrated 
in the recollections of that eventful day. After 
the flood had commenced its ravages, and the tenement 
in which she dwelt was crumbling down among the 
waves, she clung to the "crook tree" up the chimney, 
and refused to let go her grip, exclaiming that it was 
the house of her father and her father's father, and she 
bad made up her mind to share its fate ; but, happily, 
her friends forced her away. Scarcely had they got 
outside the threshold with the woman struggling in their 
arms, when "the patrimonial inheritance of her family 
disappeared in the water." A little above the town 
three houses were quite submerged, all but the chimney 
tope ; but they were in an eddy« which saved them from 
demolition. It is stated that most of the town records, 
which went back to an early date, and were curiously 
minute, were carried away by the flood, and, of course, 
irrecoverably lost. 

When the waters abated, some of the narrow lanes 
were blocked up with large trees which had been torn up 
by the roots from the woods about Stobs Castle. 
Enormous boulders were carried for miles down the 
stream, and deposited here and there on the low lands. 
The whole of the houses in one of the streets were swept 
away. It is related of a person who had been at St. 
James's Fair, held on the green opposite Kelso the 
following day, that, while returning home, he saw several 
articles of his household furniture floating in the Teviot, 
several miles below Hawick; and of another, that he 
found his own signboard lying on the banks of that river, 



184 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE. 



{ 



a considerable distance from his house, which had com- 
pletely disappeared from the spot where it had stood. 

The tradition of the district is to the effect that this 
outburst of the tiny river was called forth by a shepherd 
on Windburgh Hill casting a stone into a lake on the top 
of the mountain, believed to be the resort of fairies, who, 
having been disturbed in their revels, burst open the side 
of their subterraneous habitation, and sent down the 
enclosed waters amain. This tradition is, of course, 
founded on the idea long prevalent on both sides of the 
Border, as well as elsewhere, that such deep lakes and 
pits, or, as they are sometimes called, "kettles" and 
** pots," on the tope of mountains or in other out-of-the- 
way places, are the porches or entrances to caverns deep 
underground, in which the "good people" reside, and 
from which, if all old tales be true, confused murmurs, 
the cries of children, moaning voices, the ringing of 
bells, and the sounds of musical instruments have not 
unfrequently been heard. 



fei^ixHiit l^all. 




jJARSKE HALL, a marine residence of the 
Earl of Zetland, is situated near the village 
of Marske, in Cleveland, Yorkshire, and not 
close to the shore of the North Sea. It is a venerable- 
looking edifice, built by Sir William Pennyroan during 
the reign of Charles I., and presents an excellent speci- 
men of the massive formal architecture of the period. 

In the village of Marske there is a stone or cross which 
was removed from the old church, built, it is supposed, 
before the Conquest. Of this church no traces now 
remain. The stone was placed in its present position by 
Mr. John Black, of the Farm, Marske, who found it 
lying among some rubbish. It is thought to have been a 
sepulchral cross or rude monument. Tradition runs that 



the cross, of which this stone forms a part, was erected 
two hundred years ago, when, the plague having nearly 
depopulated the town of Guisborough, the market was re- 
moved to Marske. In the churchyard lies the body of 
James Cook, day labourer, the father of the immortal 
circumnavigator. 

Marske was formerly the scene of many terrible 
smuggling encounters, in one of which a man named 
Minto, belonging to the preventive service, cut down two 
of his prisoners after they had surrendered, one of whom 
died from the blows of his cutlass. 

Our engraving of Marske Hall is taken from a sketch 
by Mr. Robert Blair. 



SxxKX^Ktit Citap^L 




EARLY midway between Rowland's Gill 
and Lintz Green, two stations on the Con- 
sett branch of the North-Eastem Railway, 
travellers will often have noticed a roofless ruin 
standing in the middle of a large pasture field. 
The ruins are the remtdns of what is now called 
Friarside Chapel. 

Surtees, in his "History of Durham," tells us that 
nothing is known of the foundation of the place. This is 
somewhat remarkable, because, without doubt, the his- 
torian would make some attempt to discover its origin. 
The earliest mention made of it occurs in 1312, in 
"Kellawe's Register," which recorded the collation of Sir 
John Eryum to the Chantry of Frere Johanside, nigh 
Derwent. An entry occurs in the Boldon Buke (1183) of 
one Robert de loltune holding the lands of the Hermit 
nigh Derwent ; but whether this refers to the same place 
or not is not certain. Some of the lands near it. are still 
called Jockside. In 13S0, it is recorded as possessing 







IfiH} 



NORTH-COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND, 



185 



twenty-seven acres of land at Frosterley. It was 
annexed, in 1439, by Bishop Neville, under the title of 
the Hospital at Frereside, to the Chantry of Famaeres, 
foonded in 1429 by Sir Robert Umfraville. The last 
appointment of a Joint Chaplain to the united Chantries 
was in 1S38. This chaplain was granted a pension of £5 
at the dissolution of the monasteries. 

The following description of the ruin was given in 
the NewcaxtU Magazine for September 2S, 1872 :— " Its 
dimensions are, length 49 feet, breadth 20 feet. There is 
no divisional mark apparent to indicate separation of 
nave and chancel, which in so small a building was hardly 
to be expected. The east gable is the most prominent 
feature of the ruin. It remains nearly, if not quite, to its 
original height, and is flanked by diagonal buttresses 
terminating at the rise of the window arch. The east 
window is Early Decorated, of three lights, and is 5 feet 
2 inches wide. The base of the mullions remains. 
There is a window in the south wall 2 feet 9 inches 
wide, of two lights, cinque-foiled. On the head is a 
circle enclosing a three tre-foiled light. The moulding is 
very c^ood, and terminates with a mock ornament and 
double chamfer." There were formerly two large ash 
trees growing within the walls of the chapeL These were 
cut down about 25 years ago, as it was feared that the ex- 
pansion of the roots of the tre^ would overturn the waUs. 

At the dissolution of the monasteries the place was 
granted to the Liddells, by whom, in 1600, it was con- 
veyed to Nicholas Tempest, of Stella, and from him, in 
1606, it passed to the Blakistons of Gibeide, of which 
estate it still forms a part. 



The accompanying sketch of the eastern portion of the 
building, copied from a photograph, shows the present 
state of the ruins. Jas. F. Robinson, Bumopfield. 

iRoiti atttr ^ammtnisxiti, 

THE LODGE OF INDUSTRY. 
Lodge of Industry, No. 48, mentioned m the article on 
Crowley's Crew, was removed from Swalwell in 1845, 
first to the Black Bull, thence to the Grey Horse, Gates- 
head. From the Grey Horse it went to the Masonic 
Hall, West Street, in 1869. In 1877 it was transferred 
temporarily to 34, Denmark Street, and in January, 1882, 
to its own premises, Jackson Street, where it remains. 

R. W., G^ateshead. 



THE HETTON COAL COMPANY. 
The sketch of the life of John Gully in the Monthly 
Chronicle mentions Arthur Mowbray as being the son of 
the banker; but a correspondent informs us there was 
only one Arthur Mowbray, at least in this century. 
Captain Cochrane, of Hendon, afterwards of Hetton 
Hall, married A. M.'s daughter and only child. The 
Cochranes now interested in Hetton Colliery (Admiral 
Lord Cochrane was one of the owners) are children of 
the marriage. There were also two very handsome 
daughters, who made a sensation in London about 1834 
or 1835. When the colliery was dividing large dividends 
Arthur Mowbray was a land agent as well as banker ; 
and though not very highly educated, he was a man of 




186 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE. 



V 



great originality and enterprise. The idta of sinking a 
colliery at Hetton emanated from him. John George 
Lambton and the Durham ooalowners were extrenfely 
angry about it. The original partners were by no means 
wealthy, and great difficulties had to be overcome, both 
financially and in the sinking of the colliery. In 1835 or 
1836 Mr. Gully held four shares, which were valued at 
rather more than £20,000 each. Editor. 



BYRON'S MARRIAGE SIGNATCJRE. 
It has already been explained in the Monthly Chronicle 
(voL ii., p. 65) that Lord Byron was married to Miss 
Milbanke at Seaham Harbour on the 2nd of January, 
1815. The ceremony took place in the drawing-room of 
Seaham Hall; but the record of the marriac^e is, of course, 
preserved in the parish register. A copy of the entry 



him on the face and hands until the blood poured out of 
them. The sight of the gore only increased the fury of 
the crowd. Shouts of '* Kill him ! " were raised, and an 
attempt was made to seize him so that he might be 
drowned in the loch. My father, who was chief constable 
for the county, interfered, and by sheer strength saved the 
unfortunate man from the populace — not, however, with- 
out receiving some injury from flying missiles — and had 
him locked up in the gaol for security. 

Meanwhile, the horse and trap had been taken to the 
town-cross and there searched. In the trap were found 
the bodies of a man, a woman, and a child about six years 
of age. I well remember the manner in which the bodies 
were tied up. The lower limbs were lashed to the thighs 
and both legs fastened to the body, thus craving the ap- 
pearance of rotundity to each corpse; otherwise, the 









therein, traced by the Rev. A. Bethune, vicar of Seaham, 
is printed above. One of the witnesses to the contract- 
John Cam Hobhouse — was of course the well-known 
friend of the poet, afterwards a Cabinet Minister, and 
created Lord Broughton towards the close of his public 
career. B. 

BODYSNATCHING. 

The excellent article which has appeared in the MomJLMy 
Chronicle on body-snatching (page 115) reminds me of a 
case which came within my own experience some sixty- 
four years aga 

I was then a boy at school at Linlithgow. One after- 
noon, in the month of June, a farmer's lad residing at 
Gilston, about five miles from Linlithgow, saw two ipen 
with a gig taking some bodies out of a dunghill in a field. 
The boy ran off and acquainted his master, who at once 
got a horse, and went after the body-snatchers. They, 
however, had decamped. He then rode into Linlithgow, 
and, finding the men with the gig at the west end of the 
town, shouted to the townspeople, *'Stop the gig ; there's 
corpses in the gig!" One of the men jumped 
off, and got clear away. The other drove on, 
the fanner foUowing. The gig was stopped in 
the centre of the town. The man was dragged out of 
the conveyance on to the road, and the people proceeded 
to vent their rage upon hinL At first they pulled up 
gooseberry bushes from adjacent gardens, and thrashed 



body-snatchers could not have stowed them into the box 
of the gig. The bodies were laid out in the Town Hall, 
and were subsequently identified. They had been ex- 
humed from a churchyard situated a few miles west 
of Linlithgow. The same night the crowd 
got hold of the gig and smashed it to atoms. They 
made a bon-fire of the pieces, and cut the harness and 
burnt it also. The delinquent was locked-up in what was 
called '* the black-hole " of the gaol, and such was the 
feelingagainsthim that aman was caught in the act of 
putting sulphur into the ventilator of the cell with the 
avowed intention of suffocating him. After this a strict 
watch was kept at the gaoL The authorities had to 
exercise great caution in taking him to Edinburgh to be 
tried. The man was sentenced to nine months' imprison- 
ment. Upon examining the dunghill at Gilston, the day 
after the men were seen taking the bodies away, three 
more corpses were found which had been taken from the 
same churchyard. 

The inhabitants of Linlithgow became thoroughly 
alarmed after these events. A public meeting 
was held, and arrangements were made to have 
a regular watch upon the churchyard. A watch- 
house was built, and two men from the town, furnished 
with firearms, attended in the winter, from sunset to sun- 
rise, while the same number of men from the country did 
duty in the summer. I have several times acted as 



April 



\ 



NORTH-COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND, 



187 



watchman. Other precautions were taken, such as in the 
use of the mortsafe (containing the coffin), which was a 
metal frame mad6 to fit the grave. It consisted of inter- 
lacing rods, and upon it was placed a metal cover weigh- 
ing about twelve hundredweight, which was rivetted 
on to the frame. A number of these were in use, 
and belonged to a Mortsafe Society, which undertook the 
guarding of coffins on payment of a small sum per annum. 
After being in position for about six weeks, they were 
generally removed, as decomposition was supposed to be 
sufficiently advanced to make it not worth the while of a 
body-snatcher to exhume the bodies. 

John MoKat, Newcastle. 



^crrtft^CcrutttrsIitit^ l^umour. 



THE DBBDOEB. 

When one of the dredgers belonging to the Tyne Com- 
missioners was at work between the North and South 
Piers, a miner on a visit to Tynemouth was observed in- 
tently watching the operations of the machine. At length 
he caUed the attention of a companion to it. **Man," 
said he, " yon must be a varry deep pit they're warkin* 
ower the way. AaVe coonted a hunnerd buckets a'ready, 
and they're gannin' on yet ! " 

THE landlady's OAT. 

Ab a gentleman was walking to Witton Gilbert 
Station, he overtook some little girls who were dis- 
cussing the merits of various members of the feline tribe 
belonging their respective houses. The climax came 
when one declared that she was sure their cat was the 
wisest of the lot, for when it got into the cupboard on 
a marauding expedition, it never stole her mother's 
butter, but always the lodger's ! 

DOGS AND DUOKS. 

Danish ship's steward, who spoke just ''a leetle Eng- 
gleesh," to watchman at Newcastle Quay : "Yil you get 
me two dugs, please ? " " Certainly, " said the watchman, 
who promptly went to a friend's house close by and 
brought to the ship two young terrier dogs. The foreigner, 
on seeing the dogs, became rather excited, and, striking an 
attitude, said : "Me no want dugs *bow wow,' me want 
dugs *quack, quack ' ! " 

A CAPITAL SITUATION. 

A Newcastle labourer, when taking one of hiB walks 
abroad, met a well-to-do lady friend. After the usual 
salutations, the conversation turned on the welfare of the 
workman's son, who had a day or two previously entered 
upon the duties of a new situation. " I hear," remarked 
the lady, *' that you have managed to get your boy into a 
first-class situation." "Yes," replied the labourer, "aa 
hev; a reel errand job, ma'am." "Well, John," con- 



tinued his friend, "he deserves it, after the capital educa- 
tion you have gfiven him ; but what does he do ? " " Wey, 
ma'am," answered John, "he blaas the buzzor doon at 
the factory !" 

THE FISHEBMAN'S BONO. 

The other Saturday night a concert was given at Culler- 
coats, when songs were sung by fishermen and others. 
One old man sang very weU. " That was a very nice song 
you gave us, Jack," said a promoter of the entertainment. 
"D'ye think se? But, come noo, ye're codding." said 
Jack. "No," was the reply, "it really was well sung." 
"Well," said Jack, "if aahedhed a nip o' rum afore 
gannin' on, it wad hae been a difforent tune aaltegithor ! " 

THE LINCOLN HANDICAP. 

A couple of pitmen met a short time ago in a public 
house in Jarrow, when the conversation turned upon 
racing matters. "Man, Geordy," says one, "aa'vegetten 
a good thing for the Lincoln Handicap : a real sortinty— 
cannot be bet. It's fairly ma heed tiv a nut-shell on't." 
"Wey, Harry, lad," responded his friend, "that's ne 
use ; it's oney even bettin'; yell hae te giv us a bit odds, 
or aa cannot gan on ! " 

SEEKING FOB TOTES. 

At a recent School Board election held within a 
hundred miles of Newcastle, two canvassers were going 
their rounds soliciting the promise of votes in favour of 
their particular candidate. They entered the house of a 
voter, where they found a young man about twenty years 
of age and a younger brother. The canvassers explained 
the object of their visit. The elder brother exclaimed : 
"Beggor'd if aa kmaa whor the votes bides." Then, 
turning to the younger man, he said : " Lad, had away; 
seek wor lass, and see if she knaas whor them votes is ! " 

ECONOMY. 

A Hexham farmer, being tired of his life, went into his 
bam and hanged himself with a new halter. Being 
missed, his wife and servantman, going in search, found 
him suspended. The servant drew his pocketknife, and 
was going to cut the rope, when the old woman cried 
out : " Diwent spoil that new halter ? Lowse the 
knot !" 

A BUZZABD. 

During one of the great snowstorms in March two 
women, out marketing in Sunderland, were caught at 
the comer of a street, and almost blown away. While 
one gave a sharp scream, the other, who had evidently 
been reading about blizzards in America, cried : " Oh, 
dearl oh ! ow-o-o-oh, deary me ! What a buzzard 1 Ma 
word, we diwent want ne buzzards squaallin' here ! " 

A POSEB. 

In a mixed company assembled in a public-house at the 
Felling, not long ago, a stranger to the district was lord- 
ing it somewhat strongly over those present, monopolising 
the conversation, explaining every difficulty that turned 
up, and openly avowing that he knew everthing. " Thoo 
knaaiworything?" said one: "wey, man, aa diwent 



188 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE. 



{^S? 



knaa much ower and abune the way te the pit and the 
road te the yell-hooee, but aa de knaa three words that 
thoo cannot explain." " That you do not, *' said the clever 
one. "But aa de,** said the interrogator. "Noo, 
whaat'8 the meanin' o* claggum ? That's the forst. When 
ye tell us that, aall ask ye whaat's grozers, and whaat's 
darts!" 

0HA8TI8EMINT. 

Not long afro, in the vicinity of Houghton, there lived 
a man who had but crude ideas as to the wisdom of a 
Supreme Being. It unfortunately happened that the 
poor fellow was run over by a coal train, and he received 
injuries of such a severe character that it became neces- 
sary to send for a minister to talk with him on the good- 
ness of the Creator. Amongst other things, the minister 
told him that GUxi had various ways of chastising his 
children, that he sometimes took one thing, and some- 
times another. The poor man listened with wonder to 
the spiritual consolation of the preacher, and then ex- 
claimed, "Mistor priest, that may be aall varry true; 
but the Lord might hev ta'en a cannier thing nor a 
chalder waggon te me ! " 



itirrtii::CimtTtrs ^bitumrUi^* 



Mr. Robert Mann, for nearly sixty years connected 
with the firm of John Ismay and Sons, wholesale chemists 
and druggists, Newcastle, died in that city, of which he 
was a native, on the 13th of Januaiy. The deceased 
gentleman, who was seventy-six years of age, was one of 
the founders and one of the first members of the Pharma- 
ceutical Society of Great Britain. 

Mr. Edward Potts, a well-known local musician, and 
for twenty-three years bandmaster to the First Newcastle 
Rifles, now the Third Volunteer Battalion Northumber- 
land Fusiliers, died in Newcastle, on the ITlh of Feb- 
ruary, in the sixty-sixth year of his age. 

The death was announced on the 18th of February of 
Mrs. Harry Collier, wife of the popular comedian and 
pantomimist, who had just concluded an engagement at 
the Tyne Theatre, the stage name of the hidy being Miss 
May Whitfield. 

Mr. John Coleman, for many years editor of the farm- 
ing department of the Fidd. newspaper, who, as assistant- 
commissioner to the Royal Commission on Agriculture, 
had investigated the condition of agriculture in the 
northern district of England, including the counties of 
Northumberland, Durham, Cumberland, Westmoreland, 
Lancashire, and Cheshire, died at his residence, the 
Mount, York, on the 19th of February, in the fifty- 
seventh year of his age. 

On the same day, at the age of sixty-one years, died 
Mr. Nathan Race, chairman and advocate of the Wear- 
dale miners, and a local preacher of thirty years' stand- 
ing in the Primitive Methodist body. 

The Rev. William Ephraim Houldey, Rector of Ether- 
ley, near Bishop Auckland, and Vicar of St John's 
parish, Newcastle, from 1874 to 1886, died on February 23, 
at the early age of forty-seven years. During his minis- 



terial connection with Newcastle, which was only severed 
by ill health, Mr. Houldey succeeded, with the assistance 
of the late Alderman Thomas Robinson and others, in 
restoring the interior of St. John's Church. The de- 
ceased gentleman was the author of several useful books, 
including a history of St John's Church in 1875. 

Mr. James Clarke, proprietor and editor of the Ckridian 
World, died at his residence. Beech Hanger, Caterham, 
Surrey, on the 24th of February, at the age of sixty-two 
years. Mr. Clarke was engaged as sub-editor on the 
Iforthem Daily Expreu, in Newcastle, about thirty years 
ago, and on several spedal oocasionr he had been attached 
to the reporting department of the IfeweatUe CfhronicU. 

On the 24th of February, his seventy-eighth birthday, 
died Mr. John Dreaden, who for many years had been 
connected with the Tyne Steam-Shipping Company in 
Newcastle. 

Mr. James Clephan, the esteemed and genial journalist 
of the North, died at his residence, Picton Place, New- 
castle, on the 25th of February. (See p. 17L) 

Mr. John White, an old inhabitant and Justice of the 
Peace of South Shields,, also died on the 25th of February, 
his age being upwards of seventy years. When South 
Shields was incorporated in 1850, Mr. White was elected 
a member of the first Town CounciL 

On the 28th of February, Mr. Charles Jackson, con- 
tractor, of Newcastle, died at Cullercoats. 

On the same day, Mr. Henry Peele, member of the 
Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, died at West 
Hartlepool, where he had bem in practice about twenty- 
four years. The deceased gentleman was a son of the 
late Mr. Edward Peele, clerk to the Dean and Chapter 
of Durham, and brother of the present clerk. 

Mr. Joseph Fothergill, shipowner. Quayside, New- 
castle, died at Tynemouth, on the 1st of March, at the' 
age of about fifty-seven years. Mr. Fothergill was 
formerly fitter for Cowpen Colliery. 

Mr. Joseph Young, originally a fireman on the well- 
known ** No. 1 " engine on the Stockton and Darlington 
Railway, and one of the oldest drivers in the employment 
of the North-Eastem Railway Company, died at Stockton 
oa the 29th of February, in the seventieth year of his age. 

Mr. Joseph Prosser, a well-known local architect, died 
at Oateshead on the 2nd of March. After spending some 
time in the pursmt of his profession in the office of Mr. 
Bonomi at Durham, he came to Newcastle, and joined 
the late Mr. John Dobeon, whom he assisted in the pre- 
paration of the various drawings for the Central Station. 
Mr. Prosser was subsequently retained as architect by 
the North-Eastem Railway Company. The deceased 
gentleman, who was a native of London, was upwards ci 
seventy years of age. 

On the same day was announced the death, which had 
taken place at Liverpool, of Mr. Thomas Tate, an emi- 
nent mathematician and man of science. He was bom 
in 1807, and was the son of Mr. Ralph Tate, of Alnwick. 
The father was a builder, and it was intended that the 
son should carry on the same business ; but at an early 
age he abandoned that occupation, and adopted science 
as his profession. After working as lecturer on chemistry 
at Newcastle and at York, he was in 1840 elected Pro- 
fessor of Mathematics and Chemistry in the Battersea 
Training College, and in 1849 he was appointed head- 
master in the mathematical and scientific department at 
Eiieller Hall College, then under the care of the present 
Bishop of London. In 1856 he retired, with a pension 



A 



tg?} 



NORTH-COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND, 



i89 



from Grovemment, into private life, and devoted himself 
to literary and scientific parsuits. Mr. Tate, like so 
many other men of the North who have distinguished 
themselves as mathematicians, was almost entirely self- 
taught. 

Mr. Rowland W. Bolsover, solicitor, Stockton, died in 
that town on the 5th of March, aged 43. 

Mr. John Storey, a well-known artist of Newcastle, 
died at Harrogate, whither he had gone for his nealth, on 
the 9th of March. The deceased gentleman, who was 




sixty years of age, was tne son of Mr. John Storey, of 
Picton House Academy, afterwards of St. Mary's Place. 
He received his early education at home, and, after a 
pupilage under Mr. T. M. Richardson, the great water- 
colour painter, he entered upon the active pursuit of his 
profession. His principal productions were two large 
water-colour paintings, "Newcastle in the Reign of 
Queen Elizabeth," and "Newcastle in the Reign of 
Queen Victoria." The chief ecclesiastical edifices of the 
district were also painted by Mr. Storey, who drew 
fetches of most of the remains of the Roman Wall 
for the illustrations in Dr. Bruce's "Wallet Book." 
A sketch of the Old Dragon, at Harrogate, drawn 
by Mr. Storey, appeared in the Monthly ChronieU, 
page 40. The portrait gfiven above is copied from a 
photograph taken in 1878. 

The Rev. Edward Rust, a well-known Primitive 
Methodist minister, died at Crook, in the seventy-fifth 
year of his age, on the 10th of March. 

Mrs. Shepherd, wife of the Rev. R. Shepherd, vicar of 
St. John's, Weardale, and formerly of St. Philip's, New- 
castle, died suddenly in the vestry of her husband's 
church on the 11th of March. 

On the 14th of March, intelligence was received of the 
death, which had taken place at Leadville, Ck>lorado, of 
Mr. Joseph Newton, formerly of Gateshead, in the public 
affairs and institutions of which he long had taken a pro- 
minent and active part. 



H^cmrtr at ehtnti. 



fiotili'^ounitji ©cnxrrencejj. 



FEBRUARY. 

15. — A football match played between the Tyne 
Theatre and Theatre Royal pantomime companies, New- 
castle, resulted in the victory of the Tyne. 

16. —Another accident took place at the Newcastle 
Exhibition buildings, a man named William Marshall 
having been seriously injured by the fall of some 
material connected with the temporary theatre. He 
died on the 3rd of March. (See page 144.) 

17.— At a meeting held in South Shields, under the 
presidency of Aid. Eltringham, it was decided to erect a 
memorial to Messrs Wouldhave and Greathead, the 
inventors of the lifeboat, in 1889, the centenary of the 
Royal National Lifeboat Institution. 

18. — On this and the two following days a severe snow- 
storm prevailed in Newcastle and generally throughout 
the North of England, several blocks taking place on the 
North-Eastem Railway, between Kirkby Stephen and 
Barnard Castle. 

19. —The lecture at the Tyne Theatre this evening was 
delivered by Dr. Alfred Russel Wallace, who shares 




with Darwin the honour of having suggested the great 
theory of Natural Selection. The subject of Dr. 
Wallace's address was "The Darwinian Theory." 

20. — A workshop occupied by Mr. E. TumbuU, 
auctioneer, and the oil store of Mr. Taylor, in Clive 
Street, North Shields, were destroyed by fire. 



190 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE, 



{ 



Apnl 



21, — An announcement appeared in the local papers to 
the effect that Miss Grold, a Northumberland lady, who 
was one of the survivors of the wreck of the Dutch 
emigrant ship the W. A. Scholten, off Dover, in 
November last, and who had shown great bravery on 
that occasion, had been married at Winchelsea, Sussex, to 
Mr. T. Mitchell, Van Buren, Bonaparte, in the United 
States, the wedding being the result of an advertise- 
ment which the bridegroom had inserted for a wife in 
England. 

23.— It was reported that the Turf Hotel, CoUingwood 
Street, Newcastle, had been sold to Mr. James Hind- 
marsh, of the same city, for £22,000. 

24.— Dr. Felkin, r.R.G.S., inaugurated the meetings 
of the Tyneside Geographical Society in the hall of the 




Dr. R.W.Fellf.n. 



liiterary and Philosophical Society, Newcastle, by a 
lecture on "Equatorial Africa," the chair being occupied 
by the president, Lord Percy. 

— The annual meetinsr of the local branch of the Society 
for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was held in the 
Central Hall, Hood Street, Newcastle. The Mayor, the 
Sheriff, and other speakers referred in congratulatory 
terms to the great success of the Dicky Bird Society 
•established and carried on in the columns of the Ntio- 
ecutle Weekly Chronicle, 

25. — The fourth annual conference of the National 
Association of Journalists was held in the Council Cham- 
ber, Newcastle, under the presidency of Sir Algernon 
Borthwick, M.P. The association, it was stated, num- 
bered 700 members, of whom 50 were contributed by the 
Northern Counties Branch. The members dined together 
at the County Hotel, in the evening, the chair being 
■occupied by the new president, Mr. H. G. Reid. 

—The Mayor of Newcastle (Mr. W. D. Stephens) was 



presented with a handsome black marble timepiece, with 
antique mountings and bronze relievings, by the members 
of the hall and benefit club in connection with the Blue 
Ribbon Army temperance meetings in the Central Hall, 
Hood Street, Newcastle. 

26. — Mr. Harry Fumiss, the well-known caricaturist of 
Punch, lectured on " Art and Artists " to a crowded 




M n \ H &n*j Ft; rn i ss . '^S^^ 



audience in the Tyne Theatre, under the auspices of 
the Tyneside Lecture Society. Mr. Fumiss 's mother 
was a daughter of the well-known Newcastle publisher 
and politician, Eneas Mackenzie, the author of a popular 
" History of Newcastle " and *' History of Northumber- 
land." 

— A woman named Margaret Grant, 50 years of age, 
died from the effects of injuries received by the upsetting 
of a paraffin oil lamp in the Low Bridge, Newcastle. 

27. — ^Norvell, of Swalwell, and Pearce, of the Thames, 
contested in boats on the Tyne, for a stake of iSlOO, the 
result being a victory for the London oarsman. 

28. — Information was received in Durham of the release 
of Terrence Rice, one of the four men sentenced to death 
at Durham Assizes, in 1872, in connection with the murder 
of Henry Waine at Spennymoor. (See p. 144.) 

29. — At a meeting of the Sunderland Council, it was 
announced that the medal g^ven to Jack Crawford by the 
town of Sunderland had been presented by the Earl of 
Camperdown to the town. 

— At the Gateshead County Police Court, 181 miners 
were summoned, 32 for absenting themselves from work 
at Wardley Colliery for four days, and 149 for absenting 
themselves from work at Felling Colliery for one day, no 
notice or explanation having been g^iven in either case. 
Fines of 5s. per day and costs were imposed in the 
majority of the cases. The men stated that they did 
not intend to pay the fines ; but the dispute was shortly 
afterwards amicably settled. 

— As an incident of Leap Year, a ball was given in the 
Lambton Arms, Chester-le-Street, by the ladies, at which 
all the usual customs and courtesies were reversed. The 



% 



NORTH-COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND. 



191 



ladies provided the rooms, refreshments, and music, while 
Miss Wheatley acted as mistress of the ceremonies. 



IkJARCH. 

2. — It was announced that a gaa "blower" at Heb- 
bum Colliery, which broke out last June, and which had 
since proved a source of considerable trouble and danger 
to the working of the A Pit, had been successfully 
utilised, being made available as fuel for one of the four 
large boilers at the bank-top. (See p. 95.) 

3. — Mr. James Eltringham, a traveller, fell over the 
difif, near the Dial House, Cullercoats, and was so seri- 
ously injured that he died shortly after his admission into 
the Newcastle Infirmary. 

4. — ^A fire was discovered to have broken out on the 
High Level Bridge between Newcastle and Gateshead, 
but it was suppressed before any damage was done. 

5. — The new church dedicated to St. Aidan, in Henry 
Nelson Street, South Shields, was consecrated by the 
Bishop of Durham. 

6. — At a meeting of the Newcastle Presbytery, a call 
from Crouch Hill Presbyterian Church, London, was 
accepted by the Rev. J. B. Meharry, B.A., of Trinity 
Presbyterian Church, Newcastle. 

— Major Ropner, at a meeting of the West Hartlepool 
Town Council, presented that recently-organised body 
with a silver mace ; and the Mayor (Aid. Gray) presented 
a gold chain for the use of the mayors. 

—Ralph Cummings and Samuel White, two boys aged 
respectively 15 and 13 years, met with a shocking death 
by having been, as was believed, carried down into the 
interior of a fiery slag and cinder heap near Darlington 
Steel Works. 

7. — A sample of sulphur recovered from waste alkali 
by means of a process invented by Mr. A. M. Chance, of 
Birmingham, was shown on 'Change at Newcastle. 

— A living representation of Uncle Toby's picture, 
in the original dress from the Tyne Theatre, was among 
the attractions of a bazaar held in the Bridge Street 
Unitarian Chapel, Sunderland. 

— The proposed plan for dividing Gateshead into ten 
wards of nearly equal voting power, instead of five un- 
equally strong wards, as at present, was unanimously 
adopted by the Town Council of that borough. 

— Messrs. Hawks, Crawshay, and Sons, of Gateshead, 
tapped, for the first time, a new 25-ton steel furnace at 
their works in that town 

8.— The Right Rev. Dr. O'Callaghan, the newly-ap- 
pointed Ronuui Catholic Bishop of Hexham and New- 
castle, arrived in Newcastle. On the 13th of the same 
month, his lordship was enthroned with great pomp in 
St. Mary's Cathedral Church, Newcastle. The service 
took place in the presence of the canons and nearly all 
the clergy of the diocese, to the number of about 150. 
The sermon was preached by the Father Humphrey, S. J. 

— About a hundred Chinese sailors arrived in New- 
castle, to take charge of some gunboats built by Sir W. 
G. Armstrong, Mitchell, and Co. 

— ^A town's meeting, held in the Town Hall, Newcastle, 
the Mayor in the chair, protested against the proposed 
re-election of the surgeon and master of the Workhouse. 
Both the officers were re-elected, by considerable majori- 
ties, at the meeting of the Board of Guardians on the 
the following day. 



— At Durham Assizes, Mary Ann Scrafton, fortune- 
teller, was sentenced to seven, and Elizabeth Foxall to 
five years' penal servitude, for attempting to poison 
Henry Foxall, the husband of the latter prisoner, at 
Bishopwearmouth, last summer. (See page 45.) 

— By a majority of 22 votes to 4, the Gateshead 
Town Council resolved to open the reading rooms con- 
nected with the Free Library on Sunday afternoons and 
evenings. 

9. — Dr. Thomas Hodgkin inaugurated the Newcastle 
Literary Club, in the rooms of the Bewick Club, by an 
address on "Prose Style, with special reference to 
Gibbon, Macaulay, and Carlyle." 

— Peter Collins, cartman, was sentenced to eighteen 
months' hard labour, at Durham Assizes, for the man- 
slaughter of Nathaniel Home, at Jarrow, on the 30th of 
December last. (See page 95.) 

10.— The last of the eleventh series of People's Concerts 
was g^ven in the Town Hall, Newcastle. 

— A large number of ladies and gentlemen asembled in 
the Town Hall, Gateshead, in order to take part in a 
presentation to Mr. J. W. Swinburne, in celebration 
of the completion of the thirtieth year of his Town 
Clerkship of the borough. The presentation consisted of 
a life-size portrait of Mr. Swinburne, for the town, and a 
reduced replica for himself, painted by Mr. J. Hodgson 
Campbell, and an address in the form of an illuminated 
albimo, with drawings by Mr. R. Jobling. There was also, 
for Mrs. Swinburne, some silver plate, consisting of a 
solid silver tea-urn, and a set of fish knives and forks, in 
an oak case. The Mayor (Mr. George Davidson) pre- 
sided. 

— Mr, Thomas Burt, M.P., issued an address to the 
members of the Northimiberland Miners' Union, on the 
subject of the payment of members. The hon. member 
remarked that, if the system broke down in Northumber- 
land, it would probably be shaken, if not destroyed, 
elsewhere. 

11. — A disastrous fire occurred at Langley Park Col- 
liery, resulting in the wreck of the whole of the screens, 
disintegrators, and two engines by which they were 
worked. 

12. — A man, apparently of the working class, was 
found lying on the snow-covered fells near Ramshaw, a 
village two or three miles west of Blanchland, his condi- 
tion being so exhausted that he shortly afterwards 
expired. 

13. — A new steel screw-steamer, named the Tynesider, 
and possessing every possible appliance and arrangement 
for the convenience and comfort of passengers between 
Newcastle and London, was launched for the Tyne Steam 
Shipping Company, from the shipbuilding yard of 
Messrs. Schlesinger, Davis, and Co., at Wallsend. 

14. — ^During a snowstorm and gale of extraordinary 
violence, the steamer Czar, of Hull, was driven ashore at 
Whitley, and the steamer Andalusia, from London, was 
stranded at Hartlepool ; but in neither case was there 
any loss of life. Work was interrupted in several ship- 
yards on the Tyne, and some of the local lines of railway 
were temporarUy blocked by snow-drifts. On the follow- 
ing day (15th) the storm continued with increased in- 
tensity. Owing to the heavy downfall of snow, the tram- 
car service in Newcastle had to be suspended in the 
evening. On the local lines of railway the traffic was 
carried on with difficulty. Two down trains were em- 
bedded in the snow on the East Coast route between 



192 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE. 



(i^ 



Morpeth and Berwick. One of them was the *' Flying 
Scotsman," which was held fast near Longhirst. Among 
the passengers travelling in this train was the Duke of 
Arg^lL An up train on the same line was also blocked. 
Traffic was stopped on the Wansbeok Valley and 
Rothbury lines, two trains being snowed up on the 
former. Trains were also stopped on the Consett, the 
Tebay, and the Blyth and Tjme branches. A Danish 
barque went ashore at North Sunderland, seven of the 
crew being drowned, and three saved. On the 16th, a 
snow-plough belonging to the North-Eastem Railway 
Company came into violent collision with one of the em- 
bedded trains near Annitsford, a representative of the 
NeufoasUe Chronicle and other three frentlemen wh« were 
occupants of the plough-chamber narrowly escaping with 
their lives. The blocked lines were not thoroughly 
cleared until the 19th. 

15. — At South Shields, two men, named Stanger and 
Tate, were showing a revolver to Mary Jackson, when 
the weapon exploded, causing the instant death of the 
woman. 



dnural ®crarrmce^. 



FEBRUARY. 

15. — Serious fire in Lea Halles Centrales, the great 
Paris market, when no less than 100,000 birds of one kind 
or another were burned. 

20. — About this time a dispute! arose between the 
Grovemments of England and Venezuela respecting 
doubtful territory between British Guiana and Vene- 
zuela, and diplomatic relations were suspended. 

— A disastrous cyclone swept over the town of Mount 
Vernon, Illinois, U.S., by which one-half of the place 
was levelled to the ground. Five hundred houses were 
wrecked, eighty-six persons killed, and many injured. 
The loss was estimated at 500,000 dollars. 

28. -^A disastrous explosion took place on a ferryboat at 
South Vallejo, California. The fuel used for the boiler 
was petroleum ; this caught fire, and the vessel was burnt 
down to the water's edge. Thirty persons were burnt to 
death. 



The following Parliamentary by-elections took place in 
February -.—West Division of the Borough of South- 
wark— Robert R. Causton, Gladstonian Liberal, 3,638; 
Aug^ustus Beddal, Conservative, 2,M4; majority, 1,194. 
West Division of Edinburgh~R. Buchanan, Gladstonian 
Liberal, 3,294 ; Thomas Raleigh, Unionist Liberal, 3,248 ; 
majority, 46. Doncaster— Hon. J. W. Fitzwilliam, 
Unionist Liberal, 5,634; Spencer Balfour, Gladstonian 
Liberal, 5,423 ; majority, 211. Deptford— Charles Dar- 
ling, Q.C., Conservative, 4,345 ; Wilfrid Blunt, Home 
Ruler, 4,070; majority, 275. 



MARCH. 
1. — M. Wilson, son-in-law of M; Jules Grevy, late Pre- 
sident of the French Republic, was senteneed to two 
years' imprisonment, the payment of a fine of 3,000 francs, 
and deprivation of civil rights for the period of five years, 
on a charge of trafficking in decorations of the Legion of 
Honour. 



4.— Severe fighting took place at Suakim. The rebela, 
led by Osman Digna, were forced to retire, leaving be- 
hind them several hundred killed and wounded. Colonel 
W. H. Tapp, commanding the third battalion of the 
Egyptian army, and five soldiers, were killed. 

8* — Much sensation was caused by the publication of 
two letters from her Majesty to Miss Gordon in refer- 
ence to the late General Gordon, in which the Queen 
said : ** That the promises of support were not fulfilled 
which I so frequently and constantly pressed on those 
who asked him to go, is to me grief inexpressible." 

9.— The Emperor William of Germany died at Berlin, 
aged ninety-one, in the twenty-eighth year of his reign. 




EMPEROR WILLIAM. 

The Crown Prince, who was at San Remo, Italy, where 
he had undergone an operation upon his throat, at once 
returned to Berlin, where he issued a proclamation to the 
German people on his assumption of power as the Emperor 
Frederick. 

14. — Telegrams received from New York about this 
time gave particulars of a great snowstorm of almost un- 
precedented severity. Business was at a standstill, 
nearly all the trains were stopped, and navigation was 
entirely suspended. Enormous drifts were formed in the 
streets by the snow, and at times pedestrians became 
bewildered and lost their way. Seventy-five trains were 
snowed up within a radius of fifty miles of the city. On 
one line alone over two thousand persons were snow- 
bound. Many persons were frozen to death. 



Printed by Walter Scott, Felling-on-Tyne. 






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XLhc /Ifcontbli? Cbronicle 



OF 



NORTH-COUNTRY»LORE»AND«LEGEND 



Vol. II.— No. 15. 



MAY, 1888. 



Price 6d. 



Mtn at Mavfi ^Clnifrt Csm atttr Sln^^tr. 



AUTHOB OF *• A HlSTOBX OF NEWCASTLE AND GaTESHKAD." &C 




Zjt(aac ^Afixxt, p.p., 

ABCHDEACON OF NOBTHUMBERLAND. 

PROMINENT among the local clergy who 
suffered for their opinions during the Oom- 
monwealth, as Ambrose Barnes suffered 
fur his at the Restoration, was the eminent 
Churchman who bore the name of Isaac Basire. He was 
a native of Rouen, where his father, Jean Basire, a petty 
nobleman, bore the title of Sieur de Preaumont. Bom in 
1607, he went first to a college at Rotterdam and then to 
the UniYersity of Leyden, to study for the Church. As 
soon as he had completed his studies he came over to 
Bhigland, and, finding a patron in Thomsts Morton, Bishop 
ol- Coventry and Lichfield, was admitted into holy orders. 
The bishop made him one of his chaplains, and when he 
was translated to the See of Durham, in 1632, he brought 
him— duly naturalised as a British subject— to the North 
of England. Here Mr. Basire obtained rapid preferment. 
In 1635 he married, and the following year the living of 
Eggleediffe was given to him. In July, 1640, he took 
his degree of D.D. at Cambridge; two years later he 
\i«B collated to the seventh stall in Durham Cathedral ; 
vid in August, 1644, was appointed Archdeacon of 
Northumberland and Rector of Howick. The following 
year he obtained the rich living of Stanhope, and, had 



the times been peaceful, he would probably, with no 
long tarrying, have received a bishopric 

But the rapid progress of civil war put an end to his 
promotion. It was only by special appointment of the 
king that he obtained Stanhope, and before many months 
had passed over, the king was in the hands of the Scots, 
and Dr. Basire was confined in Stockton Castle. 

As soon as he obtained his release. Dr. Basire went 
abroad, leaving his wife and family to subsist upon the 
** fifths of estate and goods, ** which the Committee ot 
Sequestrations appropriated to the sustenance of delin- 
quent clergymen— fifths, which one writer facetiously 
tells us were paid at sixes and sevens, and another 
asserts were for the most part distributed at the 
rate of tens and twelves. He went first to Rouen, 
where he was joined by young Thomas Lambtouy 
of Lambton, and two other pupils, who were to accom- 
pany him on a long tour in Italy. Thence he wrote to 
his wife in a despondent mood, addressing one of hit 
letters to the care of "Eleazer Pots, next to the 
Rose Taveme, upon the Kays side in Newcastle." 
One by one, their education being completed, his pupils 
left him, and in 1650 he was free to carry out a 
plan which he had formed of traversing countries in 
which he could note the progress of Christianity from the 

N 



194 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE. 



{^ 



earliest ages, and propagate the doctrines of the English 
Church. The Rev. W. N. Darnell, whose "Corre- 
spondence of Isaac Basire, D.D." is the authority for all 
the dates and facts herein quoted, traces him during the 
next few years at Messina, Smyrna, Antioch, Jerusalem, 
Aleppo, and Constantinople. While at the latter place 
in August, 1654, he received an invitation from George 
Raooczi, Yaivode of Transylvania, to repair thither and 
take the chair of Theology in the University of Weissem- 
bburg, with an annual salary of 1,800 Hungarian florins 
and a residence. The invitation was accepted, and he 
remained in Transylvania till the death of his patron, 
and the restoration of Sling Charles II., which happened 
about the same time, brought him back to England. 

Dr. Basire returned home in the summer of 1661. 
^is loyalty was rewarded by the restoration of his 
preferments. Re-appointed to his stall at Durham, to 
the livings of Egglescliffe and Stanhope, and to the arch- 
deaconry ot Northumberland, he devoted himself to the 
discharge of his ecclesiastical duties. A lebter from the 
Bishop of Durham, dated December 8, 1668, commends 
his zeal " for the suppressing of the seditious and numer- 
ous assemblies at Newcastle," and expresses a wish that 
he and Chancellor Barwell or Dr. Carlton would take 
the pains to go thither "to confer with the Mayor 
(Ralph Jenison), whose wife, the Dean of Carlisle says, 
by a strong report, was present at the last conventicle of 
3,000 people, . • . and with the rest of the governors 
and justices of the peace in that town, urging them 
earnestly to put the laws now in force against the four 
principal heads and ringleaders of the faction," who, as 
we know from another letter of the bishop's, addressed to 
the Mayor and aldermen, were Mr. Gilpin, Mr. Durant, 
Mr. Leaver, and Mr. Pringle. A great deal of corre- 
spondence of a similar character was flying about amongst 
the Vicar of Newcastle, the Bishop, the Archdeacon, and 
the Mayor, some of which, together with a letter of Dr. 
Basire's respecting the repairs of Gosforth Chapel, are 
printed in Bourne's History. The letters serve to show 
that, for a man of Basire's temperament, the Arch- 
deaconry of Northumberland was not a bed of roses. 
What with the indolence of the clergy, the supineness 
of the laity, and the aggressiveness of the Dissenters, he 
met with many rebufifs, aAd suffered much disappoint- 
ment. While his health and strength lasted, however, 
he continued his labours, making two visitations of the 
county on horseback every year in spring and autumn, 
and preaching in various parts of the diocese. In the 
summer of 1676 he was ill beyond the reach of medicine, 
and on the 12th October he died. 

Dr. Basire was the author of several published books 
and tractates. 1. Disputation concerning Purgatory and 
Indulgences. Leyden : 1627. 2. Sacrilege arraigned 
and condemned by St Paul. Oxford : 1646. 3. The 
Ancient Liberty of the Britannic Church. Bniges: 
1656. 4. Letter to Sir Richard Browne, Resident at 



Paris [concerning his travels in exile]. 1653. 5. History 
of the English and Scotch Presbytery. 1659. 6. The 
Dead Man's Real Speech [sennon at the funeral of 
Bishop Cosin, with an account of his life and actions} 
London : 1673. 



Sri)oma)i( MenttDortI) ISeattmont. 

A POLITICAL REFORM£B. 

At the General Election of 1818, upon the retirement of 
Colonel Beaumont from the representation of the county 
of Northimiberland, his son, Thomas Wentworth, a 
young man of five-and-twenty, a B.A. and fellow-com- 
inoner of St. John's CoU^^, Cambridge, was appointed 
to succeed him. Trained in the political principles of 
his father, Mr. Beaumont sought the suffrages of the 
electors as an adherent of the Tory party, then in power, 
and under the auspices of that party he entered Paxlii^ 
ment In Northumberland, as elsewhere, the electioD 
passed off quietly ; Mr. Beaumont and his coUea^e, Sir 
Charles M. L. Monck, Bart, were returned without 
opposition. 




w-fKtSm^fn^^fJW ^ 



Mr. Beaumont had not been many months in Parlia- 
ment before a commercial crisis occurred, and gr^at dis- 
content and agitation prevailed. In the midst of the 
strife, on the 29th December, 1820, George IIL died, 
and a new election became necessary. 

Mr. Beaumont's conduct in Parliament had not given 
satisfaction to his friends and supporters. Being a 
young man of sanguine temperament and impulsive 
nature, he found himself unable to concur in some of the 



MftTl 



NORTH-COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND, 



195 



measures which the Government adopted, and notwith- 
standing bis pledges, he voted frequently with the 
Whigs. When, therefore, he came down to Northumber- 
land for re-election, he was met by reproaches of insta- 
bility and tergiversation, and Mr. Charles John Brand- 
ling, who had represented Newcastle in the four Parlia- 
ments preceding that of 1812, was brought out to oppose 
him. A severe struggle was anticipated, but Sir Charles 
Monck declined to enter into a contest for his seat, and 
Mr. Beaumont and Mr. Brandling were returned un- 
opposed. 

Mr. Beaumont and his colleague had an easy time. 
Under the influence of eternal peace and commercial 
prosperity, party violence subsided into friendly con- 
tention. During 1824 and 1825 a remarkable inflation 
of credit created a fool's paradise among all classes 
of the community. Money could be had for anything. 
No foreign loan was too hopeless ; no domestic scheme 
was too quixotic to weaken speculation. Credit became 
the general currency. Everyone made haste to be rich, 
and, revelling in dreams of cupidity, troubled no longer 
about political changes or social reforms. 

But, as is always the case, rapid rise brought rapid 
falL By the end of 1825 a mercantile reaction had set in 
with violence. Bank after bank went down with a crash ; 
commercial confidence was destroyed; a panic ensued. 
While the crisis was in its acute stage, on the 1st of 
February, 1826, Mr. Charles John Brandling somewhat 
suddenly passed away, and a new colleague for Mr. 
Beaumont had to be found. 

First in the field was the Hon. H. T. Liddell, after- 
wards first Earl of Ravensworth, who, the day after Mr. 
Brandling's decease, issued an address to the freeholders. 
Lord Howick, the present Earl Grey, foUowed suit, 
though in less than a fortnight he withdrew his candida- 
ture, and retired from the contest. On the 11th, Mr. 
Matthew Bell, of Woolsington, a relative of the deceased 
member, solicited the suffrages of the electors. The show 
of hands was in Mr. LiddelPs favour, and a poll was 
demanded. At the close of the thirteenth day Mr. 
Liddell declined to gfive his friends any further trouble, 
and Mr. Bell was returned by a majority of 36. 

While the by-election was proceeding, canvassing for 
the general election, which it was known would take 
place in the summer, had begun. On the 7th February 
Mr. Beaumont issued an address protesting against the 
injustice that would be done to him if the candidates in 
the by-election obtained promises of support for the later 
contest, and on the 13th he issued a declaration of his 
principles, "I shall feel it to be my duty if again 
returned to Parliament,*' he wrote, "to do all that lies 
in my power for obtaining a reform in the House of 
Commons, the total extinction of slavery, and for placing 
our Roman Catholic fellow-subjects on the same footing 
with ourselves." On the 23rd, while the poll for the by- 
election was being taken. Lord Howick announced his 



candidature, and early in March, Mr. Liddell and Mr. 
Bell were again in the field. 

Within reasonable limits it is not possible to describe 
the events of the *' Great Election of 1826." The more 
prosaic details— speeches, addresses, &c. — ^are to be found 
in the Poll Book, a volume of 380 pages, published by 
William Davison, of Alnwick; the "poetiy" of the 
contest is enshrined in '* A Choice selection of the Most 
Popular Songs, &c., written in Favour of the Different 
Candidates"— a book of 122 pages, printed in Newcastle ; 
the humours of the fight are preserved in bursting folios 
of handbills collected by the brothers Thomas and John 
Bell and other industrious gatherers of such trifles. 

In this memorable contest each candidate fought for 
his own hand. Mr. Bell was a sincere Tory ; Mr. Liddell 
served under the same flag, but was willing, with 
Canning, to concede privileges to Catholics; Lord 
Howick came forward as a Whig ; Mr. Beaumont throw- 
ing over both Whigs and Tories, stood as an independent 
Reformer, or advanced Liberal Not only was there no 
coalition of forces, no unity of action among them, but 
the candidates that were apparently nearest in aim and 
feeling were the most bitterly opposed to each other. 

The real business of the election began on the 13th 
June. Mr. Beaumont was nominated by Mr. Joseph 
Lamb and Mr. T. R. Batson ; Mr. Bell by Sir Charles 
Loraine and Mr. Charles John Clavering ; Lord Howick 
by Sir M. W. Ridley and Mr. Wm. Ord, M.P. ; Mr. 
Liddell by Mr. Thoe. Cleimel and Mr. Wm. Clark. The 
show of hands was declared to be in favour of Mr. 
Beaumont and Mr. Liddell, and after a -week silent in 
preparation the poll was opened. Thereafter, every 
morning from all the centres of population in the county 
separate conveyances set out for Alnwick to take voters 
to the poll; every afternoon at four o'clock, when the 
voting for the day ceased, each of the candidates 
addressed the electors from the hustings ; every evening 
the vehicles went back to their place of departure, 
delivering news of the polling at all the villages and 
cross-roads leading to villages, which were passed on the 
journey. And this process went on for fifteen days, 
excluding Sundays. The mental strain, the bodily 
fatigue, and the monetary pressure were dreadful. Some 
of the electors died of sunstroke, for beer was plentiful 
while water was scarce. The parish clerk of Grosforth, 
forgetting his duties in overpowering sleep one sultry 
Sunday, startled the congregation by exclaiming, "Bell 
for ever !" instead of making the appropriate response. 
Public houses were filled day and night by thirsty and 
noisy partisans ; the markets were turned into hunting 
grounds for votes ; work was generally neglected ; 
nothing was talked about, nothing was cared for, but 
news of the wavering fortunes of the four candidates 
fighting their battle at Alnwick. 

At the close of the tenth day's poll — Friday, June 30— 
an episode occurred which led to a duel between Mr. 



196 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE. 



(S? 



Beaumont and Mr. J. G. Lambton, afterwards first Earl 
of Durham, a warm supporter of Lord Howick. The 
hostile meeting took place near Bamborough, and ended 
barmlesslr. 

When the twelfth day's polling came to an end, Lord 
Howick retired. He had received 976, Mr. Beaumont 
1,241, Mr. Bell 1,331, and Mr. Liddell 1,485 votes. At 
length, on Thursday, July 6, the last day allowed by 
law, Mr. Liddell was returned with 1,562 votes, Mr. Bell 
with 1,350 votes, and Mr. Beaumont was beaten by 45 
votes. 

The rejected of Northumberland did not remain long 
out of Parliament. The borough of Stafford returned 
him as one of its representatives in January, 1827, and 
he continued to sit for that place till the death of George 
rV. produced the general election of 1830. Then he came 
back to Northumberland, where his Parliamentary votes 
and his promises of support to the measures of reform 
then under discussion made him so formidable an oppo- 
nent that Mr. Liddell declined a contest. On the 14th 
September Mr. Beaumont was elected as the colleague of 
Mr. BeU. 

Li 1831, by the death of his mother, Mr. Beaumont suc- 
ceeded to the great estates of the Beaumonts and the 
Blacketts in Yorkshire and Northumberland, and it was 
supposed that as ** the richest commoner in England " he 
would be (me of the peers created at the coronation of 
William IV. But that was not to be, and Parliament 
being dissolved on the question of the Reform Bill, he 
came down to Tsmeside for re-election. On this occasion 
the freeholders rallied round the house of Grey, Mr. Bell 
declined to go to a poll, and Mr. Beaumont and Viscount 
Howick were returned. With that election ended the 
representation of the undivided county. When the 
Reform Bill came into operation, Northumberland ob- 
tained the right to elect four members— two for the 
Northern and two for the Southern Diviuon. Lord 
Howick went to the North and was elected with Lord 
Ossulston without a contest ; Mr. Beaumont stood for the 
South, with Mr. William Ord, and was returned at the 
head of the pdl, though Mr. Bell, and not Mr. Ord, came 
iu as his colleague. In 1835 there was no opposition ; in 
1837, on the accession of the Queen, Mr. Beaumont 
retired, and his place was filled by Mr. Christopher 
Blackett 

Throughout his career, Mr. Beaumont remained faith- 
ful to the advanced principles which, after his first two or 
three years' experience of politics and parties, he had 
adopted. He is said to have been one of the founders of 
the WeatminMUr JUvieWf started in 1824, to advocate 
the utilitarian views of philosophical Radicals like 
Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill, and it is be- 
lieved that he contributed several articles to its pages. 
He had written verses in youth for the Mu$cb EUmenBe$, 
and at all times took an active interest in the advance- 



ment of literature and the fine arts. Among his tenantry, 
and generally with the freeholders of South Northumber- 
land, he was a great favourite ; his frank disposition and 
impetuous generosity excited their admiration, and woo 
their affections. How many Northumbrians owe their 
advancement in life to his munificent liberality will never 
be known, nor would it be pertinent to inquire. 

Mr. Beaumont married Henrietta, daughter of J. 
Atkinson, Esq., of Maple-Hayes, and died at Bourne- 
mouth, CO the 20th December, 1848, leaving issue four sons 
and two daughters. The eldest son, Wentworth Blackett 
, Beaumont, was sent to Parliament by the electors of 
South Northumberland at the first election that took 
place after he had attained his majority, and (excepting 
the interval between the general elections of 1885 and 
1886) he has continued to be a representative of some 
portion of the county ever since. 

Our likeness of Mr. Beaumont is copied from an 
engraved portrait kindly lent by Mr. W. R. Trotter, of 
HexhauL 



^oxma yAcl^Axb ISeamnont, 

LORD OF THB MANOR Or HKXHAM, AND M.P. 

Li the early part of last century a Yorkshire baronet 
came to Newcastle for a wife. The lady of his affections 
was a Northumbrian baronet's daughter — Diana, eighth 
child of the second Sir William Blackett. Fortune 
favoured the wooing. The lover had an ample estate, 
the lady had great expectations ; there was no impedi- 
ment in the way : when the usual settlements had beeB 
made, Diana Blackett became the wife of Sir William 
Wentwortb, of Bretton Hall, Wakefield. 

Like most other wealthy people, the BUcketts and the 
Wentworths were desirous of perpetuating their race 
and name. But in no long time it came to pass that 
their desires were frustrated. There were eight children 
bom to Sir William Blackett, besides Diana, and only 
one of them — Lady Calverley — had issue. There were 
five sons bom to Sir William and Lady Wentworth, and 
none of them were married. So it happened that m 
1777, when Lady Calverley's son. Sir Walter, who had 
taken her family name, died, the whole of the vast 
estates entailed by Sir William Blackett passed over to 
Sir Thomas Wentworth, the unmarried heir of Lady 
Diana. He, like Sir Walter Calverley, added the sur- 
name of Blackett to his 'own, but with him the process 
ended. Being the last in the entail he did what he 
pleased with the property. Dying at Bretton on the 9th 
July, 1792, he devised the Yorkshire estates of his 
family, and the greater part of his Blackett inheritance 
in Northumberland, to Diana, wife of Thomas Richard 
Beaumont. 

Mr. Beaumont— bom 29th April, 1758— was the eldest 
son of Thomas Beaumont of the Oaks, in Darton, York- 



NORTH-COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND. 



197 



•hire ; one of a long gncoeesion of country squires, related 
by marriage if not by descent to the Beaumonts of 
Whitley Beaumont in that county. Burke states that 
Diana his wife was a daughter of Sir Thomas Wentworth- 
Blackett; Hodgson evades the question of relationship; 
so also does Bir. Straker, who in 1819 published an 
elaborate pedigree of the Blackett family. But whatso- 
ever may have been her relationship, she became, under 
Sir Thomas's will, the undoubted possessor of the 
Wentworth estate at Bretton, and of the wide-spreading 
lands of the Blacketts, with their underlying mineral 
treasures, m the south-west comer of Northumberland. 

Early in life, Mr. Beaumont entered the army as a 
comet, and rising step by step attained to the rank of 
lieutenantKX>lonel of the 2l8t Light Dragoons, which he 
raised as a fendble corps among his Northern tenantry* 
Three years after hifi wife entered into possession of her 
magnificent property, he transferred his corps to the line 
and entered public life as a pditidan. On the 7th of 
July, 1795, Sir William Middleton, one of the representa- 
tives of the County of Northumberland in Parliament^ 
died, and on the 14th August Colonel Beaumont ob- 
tained the vacant seat. The same honour awaited him at 
five successive elections— those of 1796, 1802, 1806, 1807, 
and 1812. On each of those occasions there was no 
contest— he and his various colleagues, Charles Grey, 
Viscount Howick, Earl Percy, and Sir Charles Miles L. 
Monck were returned without even an attempt at opposi- 
tion. Of his Parliamentary career nothing is recorded ; 
to all appearance it was uneventfuL He represented the 
Tory interest of the county, voted consistently with his 
party, and did not mix himself up in local controversies, 
or meddle with purely local affairs. 

Although residing mostly at Bretton, Colonel Beau- 
mont paid regular visits to his Northumbrian property* 
and kept up the fine old mansion of the Blacketts — 
Hexham Abbey— until, on the 24th September, 1818, it 
was destroyed by fire. Common report speaks favourably 
of his administration of the estates which it was his wife's 
(rood fortune to obtain. Although proud of his wealth, 
and of the influence which it brought him, he is said to 
have been a liberal and considerate landlord, living on 
good terms with his agricultund tenantry, and enjoying 
the respect and attachment of the intelligent toilers in 
his mines and smelt miUs. Entertaining chivalrous ideas 
of honour and patriotism, he was throughout his life a 
soldier in thought and feeling, while in the domestic 
cirde, and among his friends, he was a courteous gentle- 
man of the old school— a man of polished manners and 
good sense. 

Colonel Beaumont retired from the representation of 
Northumberland in 1818, and was succeeded by his son. 
From that date he lived a somewhat retired life at 
Bretton, where, on the 31st July, 1829, after a protracted 
illness, he died. A local chronicler, recording the event, 
adds that ** his kind and gentlemanly manners, joined to 



the most friendly disposition, had obtained for him the 
sincere esteem of a wide circle of acquaintance." 



ONB OF THS MINOB LOCAL PORTS. 

Dedicated to Sir Walter Scott, who had expressed a 
wish to see it in print, the publisher of the Nevoeattlt 
ChffmieU issued, in 1815, a volume of poetry by Thomas 
Bedingfeld and George Pickering. Mr. James Ellis, of 
Otterbum, a friend and companion of both the writers, 
edited the book, and, in an introductory chapter, told the 
story of its authors' lives. 

Thomas Bedingfeld, second son of Mary, daughter of 
Sir John Swinburne, Bart, of Capheaton, by her 
marriage with Edward Bedingfeld, younger son of Sir H. 
A. Bedingfeld, Bart, of Oxborough, Norfolk, was bom at 
York, on the 18th of February, 1760. Educated abroad, 
he was admitted into the office of the Messrs. Davidson, 
a firm of eminent attorneys in Newcastle, to study con- 
veyancing. There he met with two congenial spirits — 
George Pickering (son of a gentleman who had been land- 
steward to Sir Lancelot Allgood of Nunwick and Sir 
William Middleton of Belsay), and James Ellis, son of 
the town sergeant of Hexham. The younger Messrs. 
Davidson were themselves attached to literature, and a 
sort of literary companionship grew up amongst them, 
not very common in a lawyer's office. 

Mr. Bedingfeld completed his term of probation with 
the Davidsons in 1784, and entered Lincoln's Inn, where 
be continued his study of the law under the direction of 
another eminent Newcastle lawyer, Matthew Duane, who 
had left the town and settled in London. Towards the 
latter end of 1787, he commenced practice on his own ac- 
count in the Inner Temple as a conveyancer and chamber 
counsel, for, being a Roman Catholic, he was incapable 
of exercising the full privileges of the bar. He was rising 
rapidly in his profession when his hopes and those of his 
friends were terminated by his death, which took place on 
the 5th of November, 1789. 

Like many other poets, Bedingfeld was of a sanguine 
and impulsive temperament, easily excited, and at times 
bending all his energies in the direction of his feelings. 
Although one of the best tempered of men, he argued, 
Mr. Ellis tells us, upon any subject on which he felt 
himself interested with an earnestness and fervour 
almost tumultuous, that occasioned many a smile and 
much good humoured raillery amongst his friends. In 
person he resembled William Pitt, and was sometimes 
mistaken for that statesnum by the London populace. 
His opinions did not^ however, harmonise with those 
of the great Prime Minister, for. he ridiculed him in 
a skit *' On the Anniversary of Mr. Pitt's Appointment 
to the Premiership," which he managed with such dex 
terity that, though it contains eighteen rhymes to Pitt, 
not one is repeated. 



198 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE, 



\ isS 




A 



^vttna evttn iKarrtageii* 



|TRAN6ERS going the round of Newcastle 
with Dr. Bnioe's Handbook as their guide 
easily make the acquaintance of the old 
house in the Sandhill from which, on a 
November night in 1772, Bessie Surtees descended by a 
ladder to her expectant lover. They readily recognise 
the door in the window at which she appeared to the 
future Lord Chancellor, with whom she was about to 
cross the Borders by post-chaise, and qualify herself for 
the coronet that was yet in the distance ; and if they be 
meditative minds they may ponder, perchance, over that 
romance of history in which one of his lordship's prede« 
cessor's on the woolsack had the fortune to carry the bill 
oonceming banns that led the way to Border marriages, 
and in which a Chancellor who succeeded him was the 
author of the measure that brought them to an end. 
Hardwicke—Eldon— Brougham — these are the three 
great men whose names are bound up with our present 
subject. 

In the time of the second George, when Lord Hard- 
wicke was Chancellor, the marriage law of England and 
Scotland was essentially xpuch the same. Consent of 
parties in the public eye sufficed, and thousands of 
couples were content to dispense with all other ceremony. 
Great license prevailed. Irregular marriages grew into 
gross abuse. When Queen Anne reigned in England, 
Fleet marriages went on, without authority or banns, at 
the rate of eighty a week ; and, towards the end of the 
same century, Pennant, writinfir the book of his old age, 
recalls their frequency in the dayv of his youth. In 
walking along Fleet Street in London, prior to the 
passing of Lord Hardwicke's Bill, he had often been 
tempted by the question, " Sir, will you be pleased to 
walk in and be married?" "Along this most lawless 
space was hung up the frequent sign of a male and female 
hand conjoined, with Marriages Performed Within written 
beneath. A dirty fellow invited you in. The parson 
was seen walking before his shop— a squalid, profligate 
figure, dad in a tattered plaid night-gown, with a fiery 
face, and ready to couple you for a dram of gin or a roll 
of tobacco." ** Our great Chancellor, Lord Hard wicke," 
adds Pennant in 1790^ *' put these demons to flighty and 
saved thousands from the misery and disgrace which 
would be entailed by these extemporary and thoughtless 
unions." 

Some few years before Pennant was bom, the Weekly 
Journal was giving facts and figures in lUustration of the 
ancient abuse. "From an inspection into the several 
registers for marriages kept at the alehouses, brandy- 
shops, &C., within the Rules of Fleet Prison, we find," 
itaid the writer (June 29, 1723X "no less than thirty-two 



couples joined together from Monday to Thursday last, 
without license, contrary to an express Act of Parliament 
against clandestine marriages, that layv a aerere fine of 
£200 on the minister officiating, and £100 eadi on the 
persons so married in contradiction to the statute. 
Several of the above-named brandymen and Tictaallers 
keep clergymen in their houses at 20s. per week, bit or 
miss ; but it is reported that one there will stoc^ to no 
such low conditions, but makes at least £500 per annum 
of divinity jobs after that manner." 

"Marrying," observes the historian, "was now become 
as much a trade as any mechanical profession." Ale- 
houses had their priests; while "some," we read, "car- 
ried on the business at their own lodgings, where the 
clocks were kept at the canonical hours ; but the majority 
were employed by the keepers of the marriage houses, 
who were generally tavern-keepers. The parson and 
landlord (who usually acted as parish-clerk) divided the 
fee between them (unless the former received a weekly 
wage), after pajring a shilling to the plyer or tout who 
brought in the customers." 

The business was conducted by open advertisement 
thus :—" At the true chapel, at the old Red Hand and 
Mitre, three doors up Fleet Lane, and next door to the 
White Swan, marriages are performed by authority, by 
the Rev. Mr. Symson, educated at the University of 
Cambridge, and late chaplain to the Earl of Rothes.— 
N.B. Without imposition." 

Marriages, if required, were antedated for a considera- 
tion; parties were decoyed into matrimony; shoals of 
sailors fell into the net ; and from generation to genera- 
tion the abuse ripened for destruction. "All classes 
flocked to the Fleet to be married in haste. Its registers 
contain the names of men of all professions, from the 
barber to the officer in the Gruards, from the pauper to 
the peer of the realm." 

The measure of the wrong was filled up in the year 
1753, which witnessed the passing of Lord Hardwicke^s 
Bill. The bill to which the Lord Chancellor gave his 
powerful name proposed to render all marriages (save 
marriages by license) invalid that wero not preceded 
by threefold publication of banns during divine service, 
and solemnized in churoh. Fierce was the fight over 
this sweeping remedy of the evil. Within and without 
the walls of Parliament the measure was resisted. The 
establishment of an ecclesiastical monopoly in marriage 
was denounced. Various wero the grounds of opposi- 
tion. The officiating priests of the great matrimonial 
marts— Mayfair and the Mint, tlie Fleet and the Savoy — 
wero stout in defence of their privileges. Keith, 
one of the foremost of the band, threatened the Bishops 
in his wrath that he would buy two or three acres of 
ground and " underbury them " in rovenge ! The 
Spiritual Peers, however, were not alarmed into sur- 
render. The bill was pressed upon Lords and Com- 



Mav 



\ 



NORTH-COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND, 



199 



moDs, Midy overooming all oppodtion, received the Royal 
Anent. 

The caoae of all this agitation, the Act of 26 George 
II., cap. 33, came into operation from and after March 
2Sk 17S4, and, whatever good efifect it had, gave new life 
to Border marriages. Such marriages had blossomed 
before, and now they flowered. All England had the 
nin of them ; and the post-chaise was in motion for the 
Solway and the Tweed from every comer of our country. 
Here we may quote an historical article on the subject, 
from the CarlitU Journal of May 7, 1872, apropos of the 
death of "Old Simon Lang,'' which had occurred on the 
24th of April preceding, at Felling-on-Tyne. The 
joomalist had to tell of one "John Morray, the dogger, 
in the Langtoon," on the English side, who troubled the 
worthy minister of Graitney, or Gretnai in the early 
years of George IL, by writing certificates for enamoured 
youth, with fictitious names attached. There was also, 
afterwards, "a sharp-witted fellow named Scott," who 
systematized the practice, '* hitting on the ingenious idea 
of opening a place on the Borders for uniting runaway 
couples." He "commenced his career at the Rigg, in 
Gretna Parish, about the year 1753"— the year of the 
panning of Lord Hardwicke's Bill. "His successor or 
rival in trade was an old soldier called Gordon," who 
"appeared at the altar" in ancient regimentals— " a 
huge cooked hat and red ooat^ jack boots," with 
*' generally a ponderous sword dangling by his side." 
This venerable warrior had his day,. and aspirants for the 
office were not few when he ceased to marry; but "Joseph 
Paaley (or Paisley), fisherman, smuggler, tobacconist, and 
reputed Macksmith," bore away the belles. The lion's 
share of the business was his. Blacksmith by repute was 
Pasley, but he was no son of Vulcan save in a meta- 
phorical sense ; he achieved the name by his despatch in 
welding impatient lovers in wedlock ; and on one or more 
grand occasions he won the munificent fee of a hundred 
guineas by his hammer, "as David Lang also succeeded in 
domg some years afterwards." The ceremony, when any 
was used, was that of the Church of England ; and at its 
conclusion a certificate, miserably written, if possible 
worse spoiled, and signed by witnesses under fictitious 
names, was handed over to the parties. The following is 
a copy of one of these certificates : — 

This is to sartfy all persons that may be concamid. 
that A. B. from the parish of O. in the county of D., and 
E. F. from the parish of G. and in the county of H., and 
both comes before me dedayrd themselves both to be 
single persons, and now maryried by the forme of the 
Ki» of Scotland, and agrible to the Church of England, 
and givine ondre my hand, this 18th day of March, 1793. 

After the death of Pasley in 1810, the field lay open 
for competition in the trade, and the different candidates 
resorted to different means to acquire the best share. 
One of the rival practitioners, Robert Elliott, a North- 
umbrian bom, married Pasley's granddaughter, and fell- 
heir to his office. Another, John Linton, who established 



himself in 182S at Gretna Hall,* and converted it into 
an inn for the comfort of lovers, performed the ceremony 
in an imposing costume, with a certain solemnity, and 
down to the year 1851 kept a register, which his widow 
informed the Registrar-General contained over 1,000 
entries. In 1843 one Murray, who kept a turnpike gate 
on the English side of the Border, effected a revolution 
by representing to English visitors, always in hot haste, 
that the further journey of two miles to Gretna Green 
was superfluous, as the wedding in his presence on the 
Scotch side of the Border was equally valid. The argu- 
ment was held to be conclusive ; and Murray continued 
his operations uninterruptedly until 1858. In the year 
1854 he registered no less than 746 marriages, 42 in one 
day ; in the year 1856 the numbers rose to 757. Then 
passed Lord Brougham's Act, by which it was provided 
that no irregular marriage contracted in Scotland by 
declaration, acknowledgment, or ceremony, should be 
valid, unless one of the parties had, at tbe date thereof, 
his or her usual residence there, or had lived in Scotland 
for 21 days next preceding such marriage. In con- 
sequence of this salutary change in the law, the entries 
in Murray's register fell to about 30 in 1857, and 41 in 
1858. Murray continued his vocation till his death in 
186L 

The dynasty of the Langs began in 1792. David and 
Simon, father and son, held the office of high priest 
for a period of over four-score years. The former, 
a native of the parish, was in early life a draper and 
pedlar, travelling over a wide area. It was war time ; 
and the press-gang, never very scrupulous, laid hands on 
David Lang, and carried him off to sea. His ship fell in 
the way of an historical character not more nice than 
the recruitmg rovers who had made the merchant into a 
mariner. She was boarded by a free-lance in the form of 
Paul Jones, who bore his prize into a French port, 
where inducements were held out to the prisoners to 
pass into the American service; but David got safe 
home, and would go no more a-cruising either as a 
seaman or pedlar. He turned priest, and wore the 
cassock for about forty years. Legions of lovers flocked 
to his shrine^ and went away in wedlock. Humble and 
lofty, all were welcome. Lord Erskine was there, with 
a fee of a hundred guineas. " David succeeded in joining 
several scions of noble and powerful houses, including 
the Beaudercs, the Coventrys, and others of almost 
equal standing. He was cut off rather suddenly, in 
his seventy-second year, from the effects of a severe 
cold, caught in 1827 while attending the great sensa- 
tional trial at Lancaster of Edward Gibbon Wakefield 
for the abduction of Miss Turner, a rich heiress, fifteen 



♦ The little sketch of Gretna Hall, which is now occu- 
pied by Bir. Joseph Rome, a Carlisle draper, is taken 
from a photograpn kindly lent to us by Bir. W. A. 
Shiach, of Carlisle. (See next page.) 



200 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE, 



{^ 



yeara old.*^ His son Simon at once entered on the 
vacancy— not without competitors, but eclipsing them 
all — and continued in his office down to 1871, a period 
of some four and forty years. Simon's house, shown in 
our sketch, was situated at Springfield, a mile or so from 
Gretna proper. 

But the "marriers,** as they are called at Gretna, have 
not even yet died out. The local Registrar of Births, 
Deaths, and Marriages was interviewed on the subject 
at the end of 1887. "Willie Lang, the post runner,'* 
said that official, "has married a dozen couples these 
last twelve months. There used to be six or seven 
'marriers,' but Willie gets almost all the work now. 
His patrons are mainly servants who come over after 
Carlisle Fair ; but there are, of course, others. The mar- 
riages usually take place at ' term ' time. Willie charges 
variously. Sometimes Ss., sometimes 7s. 6d. ; occasionally 
he may get two, three, or five guineas. The parties just 
engage a room at a public-house, and after they have 
signed Willie Lang's roll he gives the bride a certificate." 
Another authority informs us that formerly at fair time 
in Carlisle "nearly all the cabs were in requisition for 
Gretna Green, as many as thirty or forty of them, each 
with its couple in haste to get married. 

Of Gretna as the goal of lovers there is repeated 
mention in the files of the Netocastle ChrcmicU from its 
beginning in 1764. The bill of 17S3 had made the Great 
North Road famous for its racing and chasing. Strephon 
and Chloe, debarred from the Fleet, called a post-chaise, 
and, putting the postillion on his mettle, hurried with 
smoking steeds to a more obliging clime— a clime in 

* David appeared in the witness box at the trial dressed 
in a decent-looking black coat, a velvet waistcoats black 
knee-breeches, and a shining pair of top-boots. Accord- 
ing to the Times report, "he seemed a vulgar fellow, 
thouffh not without shrewdness, and that air of 
famiuarity which he might be supposed to have 
acquired by the freedom necessarily permitted, by 
persons of a better rank of life, to one who was 
conscious he had the power of performing for 
them a guilty, but important ceremony." On entering 
the witness-box, he leaned forward towards the counsel 
employed to examine him, "with a ludicrous expression 
of gravitjT upon his features, and acoompknied every 
answer with a knitting of his wrinkled brow and a 
significant nodding of his head, which gave a peculiar 
force to his quaintness of phraseology, and occasionally 
convulsed the court with laughter.^' Interrogated by 
31r. Scarlett and Mr. Coltman in succession, he acknow- 
ledged having seen Edward Gibbon Wakefield and Ellen 
Turner at Lmton's, and having married them after the 
old Scotch form, putting the ring on the lady's fin^r, 
and joining their hands as man and wife, after which, 
said he, " I think I told the lady that I generally had a 
present from 'em, as it might be, of such a thing as 
money to buy a pair of gloves," whereupon she gave him. 
"with her own hand, a twenty-shilling Bank of England 
note to buy them." The gentleman having asked what 
sort of wine they had in Linton's house, Lang re|>lied 
that they had three kinds, " with the best of sheempine " 

i champagne). A bottle being ordered, Lang finished it. 
[n reply to Mr. Brougham, who was also engaged in the 
case, LBJug said he had got thirty, forty, or fifty pounds- 
he could not say to a tew pounds— for doing the Wake- 
field job. 



which,, if marriages were commonly celebrated (as they 
were) with the publication of banns, the less regular 
union could also be extemporised. Runaway weddings 
were consequently contributing paragraphs, ever and 
anon, to the columns of Newcastle newspapers in the last 
century, nor altogether withholding their interest after 
a new century had come in. 

Among the more remarkable enrolments is one of the 
autumn of 1793. The "envied of many wooers"— the 
swain who had secured the preference of a Cumbrian 
belle — was apprised that she was imprisoned by her 
father, but had devised a way of escape. She woold be 
"drawn up the chimney !" "Love laughs at lums and 
locksmiths." She was willing to face the soot rather 
than be baulked in her purpose; and accordingly, at 
a convenient hour, her lover came within the shadows 
of her home near Carlisle, with the ordinary appendage 
of a chaise, and the extraordinary accompaniment of a 




sailor. Up to the roof climbed young man and mariner ; 
a rope was lowered to the captive's chamber ; and, attach- 
ing herself by "a true lover's knot" to the friendly 
coil, she was hoisted into freedom, and whisked away 
to the Borders. A parallel case is recorded in the Neio- 
castle Chronicle of 1804, when Cumberland was again the 
scene, but the gentleman was the prisoner. The en- 
amoured youth was a minor, and his father had put him 
under lock and key. While the door, however, was 
secured, the chimney was left unguarded ; and by this 
dark avenue he escaped to his lady-love and the black- 
smith. 

Common was the chaise on the old post roads; com- 
mon, also, was the highwayman; and the traveller was 
sometimes disturbed by the apparition of a pistol at the 
window. A characteristic illustration of those exciting 
times occurred in the month of March, 1765. Bride and 
brideg^room were returning home from Scotland. On 
the wings of love and of wheels they had flown to the 
wedding-anvil, and now they were on their more leisurely 
way back. Newcastle had been left behind; Durham 
was neared ; and an innkeeper's tout was on the look-out 




JS£} 



NORTH-COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND. 



201 



for customen. It was the fashirm of the day to be thus 
ready in advance with an offer of a change of horses 
at the Cathedral City; and the lynx-eyed courier, 
espying the coming chaise, rode up to the window and 
thrust in his master's card— "a practice,'* says the 
ChronieUn "now much in vogue." The poor bride, 
mistaking the pasteboard for a pistol, fell back into her 
husband's arms in hysterics; and some hours were lost 
on the road ere she could be recovered from the conse- 
quences of her fright. 

A less tender record, which has the air of an advertise- 
ment, occurs in the summer of the same year. "A few 
dftys a^o," writes a Yorkshire correspondent, *'the 







widow lady at Colnedge, who sells the never-failing 
remedy for the bite of a mad dog, was married in Scot- 
land to an amiable gentleman about twenty years of age, 
a playmate of her sons." 

In the course of the year 1770, when Barras Bridge 
was hardly reckoned a part of the town of Newcastle, 
it had a Border marriage :— " Tuesday morning, June 5, 
Mr. Watson, of the Barras Bridge, adjoining this town, 
took a trip to Scotland with his neighbour. Miss Peggy 
Bell, by way of Chollerford, the nearest road to con- 
nubial happiness, and were married at Gretna Green 
the next day." 

One November night in 1772, a post-chaise rolled 
along Tyne Bridge in haste for the Borders. In swift 
pursuit came a second chaise, bearing along a man- 
servant, who overtook the runaways in the town of 
Morpeth, and under the pressure of a pistol compelled 
the companion of the lady, a Suffolk maiden, to go on his 
way in the world alone. It was two days subsequent 
to this eyent that John Scott and bessie Surtees, the 
course of true love running more smooth, drove un- 
hindered through the ancient Northumbrian borough, 
and succeeded in crossing the Tweed into Scotland. 
There, on the 19th, at Blackshiels, near Fala, were they 
married according to the rites of the Church of England 
by the Rev. Mr. Buchanan, Episcopal clergyman of 



Haddington. And on the 19th of January, 1773, the 
ceremony was followed by a second marriage in the 
church of St. . Nicholas, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Years 
afterwards, when John Scott, Earl of Eldon, had been 
elevated to the woolsack, George the Third plumed him- 
self on the distinction which he enjoyed in being able 
to say—what no former king could do— that he stood 
between a Lord High Chancellor and an Archbishop of 
Canterbury, both of whom had run away with their wives. 
It is a remarkable circumstance that three Lord 
Chancellors of England, out of four in succession, were 
married in this clandestine fashion— Erskine, Eldon, and 
BroughanL Brougham was married at Coldstream, Eldon 
at Bhickshiels, and Erskine at Gretna Green. The latter 
ran off with Miss Moore when he was barely twenty years 
of age, and only a poor ensign. Local tradition has it 
that, after Erskine had risen to great eminence at the bar, 
he was anxious that the children which his wife had 
borne him during the currency of their irregular union 
should be legitimatised, and the plan was chosen of 
furnishing the lady with a gown of such ample skirt, 
distended by a larflre hoop, as to admit the whole of 
her interesting progeny under it, and then, the marriage 
ceremony having been duly performed in canonical hours 
by a beneficed clergyman, the stain of illegitimacy was 
held to be wiped off. 



ilatolatTtr iSurtran. 



jOWLAND BURDON, of CasUe Eden, was 
the tenth in descent, in imbroken succession, 
from Thomas Burdon, of Stockton, who 
flourished in the reign of Edward IV. 
His father, whose Christian name was likewise Rowland, 
having prospered greatly as a member of the Company of 
Merchant Adventurers of Newcastle, purchased, in 1758, 
the manor of Castle Eden, with the church living attached 
to it, from a gentleman of the name of Bromley. The 
owners of the estate had been non-resident for a century 
and a half ; and Mr. Burdon found it waste and unen- 
closed, the chapel in ruins, and not a vestige remaining 
of the mansion house ; so one of his first duties was to 
endoee and improve the lands, rebuild the church from 
the ground, and erect Castle Eden House, an extensive 
mansion, remarkable for the simple elegance of its 
structure, and situated on an eminence commanding a 
good land and sea prospect. Some years previous to his 
removal to Castle Eden, he had married Elizabeth, 
daughter of George Smith, Esq., of Bum Hall, in 
Brancepeth parish, who had taken orders in the Nonjuring 
Church, and was made titular bishop of Durham, and 
who, moreover, was a famous antiquary, and editor of the 
first folio edition of Bede's works, printed at Cambridge, 
in 1722. 




302 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE. 



{^ 



The flubject of our memoir, who was an only child, 
■ocoeedea to his father on the 25th October, 1786, 
aod entered upon a career which entitled him to be dis- 
tunfpiished as ''beyond all comparison the most illustrious 
of his race." As a private gentleman, he did much 
towards the improvement of hii estate, following in the 
steps of his predecessor; and in particular he rendered 
the wild beauties of Castle Eden Dene—the queen of the 
magnesian limestone denes— accessible by a good road, 
carried for three miles from the mansion house to its 
mouth on the coast of the German Ocean. The turnpike 
road from Stockton to Sunderland was procured by his 
exertions; previous to its opening there was no con- 
venient direct route between these two important 
towns. He represented the County of Durham in 
the House of Commons in three successive Parlia- 
ments, from 1790 to 1806^ and only retired in the 




latter year owing to drcumstances over which he could 
exercise no control, and which made him, to use his own 
words, "the victim of misplaced confidence,'' a large 
amount of his assets having been invested in the bank of 
Messrs. Surtees and Co., which failed in 1806. He was 
Mayor of Stockton two successive years (1793-1794), and 
by virtue of his office during his Mayoralty, in the Com- 
mission of the Peace and also a Justice of the Court of 
Pleas at Durham, besides being entitled to style himself 
an alderman of the borough, so long as he continued in 
the possession of burgage property. 

It is to the patriotism of the subject of oar notice that 
we owe that magnificent, and till lately unequalled, 
structure, the bridge over the Wear at Sunderland, 
originally known as Wearmouth Bridge. (See Monthlif 
ChronieU, vol. i., page 401.) Previous to its erection, 
no such place as that now popularly called Sunderland 
existed. There was then, as there is still, the town of 
Sunderland-near-the-Sea, or Sunderland properly so 
termed, familiarly said to be "the road to no place," 



half a seaport and half a fishing village^ aod 
then, as now, incapable of extension and dif- 
ficult of improvement. It was not until Wear- 
mouth Bridge was built^ joining together the small 
and separate places of Sunderland and the Wear- 
mouths, and connecting them with the surroanding 
country on either bank of the river, that the 
town can be said to have had a beginning, and all 
its growth and prosperity may be dated from, and 
ascribed to, the opening of this once wonderful and yet 
magnificent structure, which the late Mr. Robert 
Stephenson, M.P., in an article on "Iron Bridges, "in 
the " Encyclopeedia Britannica, " characterises as probably 
one of the boldest examples of arch construction in 
existence. 

The whole cost of the bridge was £34,000, of 
which Mr. Burdon subscribed £30,000. The foundation 
stone was laid on the 24th of September, 1793, when the 
following inscription was deposited in it : — " At that time 
when the mad fury of French citizens, dictating acts 
of extreme depravity, disturbed the peace of Europe 
with iron war, Rowland Burdon, Esq., M.P., aiming at 
worthier purposes, hath resolved to join the steep and 
craggy shores of the river Wear with an iron bridge. He 
happily laid the foundation on the 24th day of September, 
in the year of human salvation 1793^ and the 33rd of the 
reign of George III., in the presence of William Henry 
Lambton, Esq., M.P., P.G.M., with a respectable circle of 
the Brethren of the Society of Free and Accepted Masons, 
and of the Magistrates and principal gentlemen of the 
County of Durham, attended by an immense concourse of 
people. Long may the vestiges endure of a hope not 
formed in vain." The mode of putting together the 
ribs was so simple and expeditious that the whole 
bridge was thrown over the river in ten days ; 
but the work was not completed till about throe years 
afterwards, the fitst time of the bridge being opened for 
passengers being on the 9th of August, 1796, when the 
Freemasons, the volunteers, the magistrates, the principal 
gentlemen of the county, and an immense concourse of 
people attended and marched over it. His Royal 
Highness the Duke of Gloucester assisted at the 
opening, and it was computed that eighty thousand 
spectators witnessed the splendid Masonic ceremony 
which took place on the occasion. 

Mr. Burden's interest in the bridge was disposed of by 
lottery, for £30,000, in October, 1816 ; and the gentlemen 
who thus acquired the property naturally sought to re- 
imburse themselves for their outlay by continuing to exact 
tolls. Mr. Burden's object had been to get the bridge 
toll-free as soon as possible, and on the 27th December, 
1836, when it was proposed by his friend Bir. Bramwell 
and others to get up a testimonial to him, he wrote to the 
printer of the SutuUrland Herald as follows : — " The ob- 
ject yet remains to be obtained of seeing Wearmouth 
Bridge toll-free. If the Commissioners will be pleased to 



SK} 



NORTH-COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND. 



203 



look steadily at the object, and by raising money at a 
lower rate of interest, or suoh other means as may ocoor 
to them, would Endeavour to discharge the daims of those 
who have by lottery obtained an injurioos power over the 
tolls, it would give me more substantial satisfaction than 
any memorial UiAt could be raised by means which the 
public would have a right to consider a misi^plication of 
their funds." 

Mr. Burdon outlived most of his old contemporaries, 
bavinir died on the 17th September* 1838, in his eighty- 
second year. He was twice married— first, to Margaret, 
daughter of Charles Brandling, Esq., of Gosfortb, by 
whom he had an cmly daughter, Elizabeth, who died in 
her ninth year, and was followed three weeks afterwards 
by her mother ; and second, in 1794, to Cotsford, daughter 
and sole heiress of (general Richard Matthews, by whom 
he had issue— Rowland, who succeeded him, but died 
without issue in 1875 ; Richard, who also died without ' 
isHue; John, who now possesses the estate; Gotsford, 
Elizabeth, Anne, Frances, and Mary Cotsford. 

Our portrait of Bir. Burdon is taken from a miniature 
which has been obligingly lent to us by one of his 
sons — Mr. Cotsford Burdon, of Parkhurst . House, 
Haslemere, Surrey. The original sketch, we believe, 
was made by Monsieur Bouet, a drawing master 
in Durham. Mr. Burdon*s autograph appears on a 
magisterial certificate dated July 12, 1824. 






lis tl)e late %tLXCit% <!rUpl)an. 




|ATIONS, like individuals, look back to the 

home of their origin. The Englishman of 

to-day peers out of hib doudland, and over 

the Northern Sea, in search of the shores 

whence his forefathers came in quest of fortune ; and the 

American of the nineteenth century sends his thoughts 

out of the New World to the Old, or comes by screw and 

calnn across the Atlantic, to find, if he may, his ancestral 

halls. Behind every human heart is the early home of 

which the poet sings : 

In every dime, the magnet of the soul. 
Touched by remembrance, trembles to that pole. 

An evidence of this common feeling of our nature oc- 
curred some years ago, in the form of an illustrated paper 
on the ** English Home of the Washingtons," published 
in Harper^t Moffozine, The author began with the re- 
mark, "Perhaps no place in the *old country' is calcu- 
lated to be of more interest to Americans than the parish 
of Brington in Northamptonshire, its old church contain- 
imr, as it does, memorials the most curious and suggestive 
of the Washington ancestry ; while at Althorp House and 



the village of Little Brington there are mementoes of 
the same family no less interesting.'* 

The church has its inscribed monuments of the Wash- 
ingtons, and their names are written in the parish regis- 
ter. It is recorded of *'B(fr. Lawrance Washington," by 
the parochial penman, that he was "buried the 15th day of 
December, 1616 ** ; and in the pavement of the chancel 
lies a stone slab beanng the inscripton : — 

Here lieth the body of Lavrence Washington, sonne 
and heire of Robert Washin^^ton, of Sovl^ve, in the 
oountie of Northampton, Esouier, who married Margaret, 
the eldest daughter of William Butler, of Tees, in the 
ooantie of Sussexe, Esouier, who had issue bv her 8 sonns 
and 9 daughters ; whicn Lavrence deceased tne 13 of De- 
cember, A. Dm. 1616. 

Those that bv cbanoe or ch^yoe of this hath tUgltit, 
Know life to death resigns as daye to night ; 
Bat as the sonns retome revives the day. 
So Christ shall as, though tamde to dust and day. 

Beneath the inscription are the arms of Lawrence 
Washington, impaled with those of bis wife ; and near his 
memorial, but in the nave, is the brass of his brother 
Robert, with a family shield '^bearing the blazon. Argent, 
two bars gules, in chief three mullets." ** This Lawrence 
Washington,** observed the visitor from afar, ** was the 
lineal ancestor, presumably the great-great-grandfather, 
of Geoige Washington, the first President of the United 
States.** 

The Rev. J. N. Simpkinson, some time rector of Bring- 
ton, has a theory, we are told, with reference to the 
settlement of this branch of the Washington family in 
North Hants, which is a little pUusible. He says : — 
" In the reign of Henry Vin., Lawrence Washington, of 
Warton in Lancashire, left his native village and settled 
eventually in the town of Northampton, where he soon 
obtained the influence and position which an active and 
acute mind is sure to achieve in times of social and 
political change. He was a member of the Society of 
Gray's Inn, having been there brought up to the profes- 
sion of the law. It is probable that at the instance of 
his unde Eatson** (connected with the Spencer family by 
the marriage of a daughter), " a merchant of London, he 
turned his attention to the wool trade, which was rapidly 
rising to importance in the Midland Counties; and he 
soon raised himself to such consideration and influence 
that in 1532 he was elected Mayor.** ♦ ♦ "The 
ancestors of these Washingtons were people of position 
in Lancashire, where they possessed property, and were, 
it is conjectured by Irving and Sparks, an offshoot of 
the Washington family of the county of Durham, which 
became extinct there about the b^^ning of the fifteenth 
century.** 

One other quotation from the American magazine has 
reference to the arms of the family, foreshadowing the 
famous Stars and Stripes of the great Republic of the 
West. Much doubt there cannot be— if doubt at all — 
"that the arms of the family, as emblazoned on the 
tomb-slabs in Brington Church— (in the language of 
heraldry. Argent, two bars gules, in chief three mullets 



204 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE. 



{£ir 



of the second)— BUgflrested the Stars and Stripes of the 
American flxig. ** " Edmondsley *8 * Heraldry* gives the fol- 
lowing as one of the varieties of the armorial bearings of 
the Washingtons: — *In Buckinghaaishire, Kent, War- 
wickshire, and Northamptonshire, Argent, two bars 
gules, in chief three mullets of the second : crest, a raven, 
with wings indorsed proper, issuing out of a ducal coro- 
net, or.* This was the variety used by General Washing- 
ton, and is still to be seen attached to the commissions of 
some of the earlier officers of the Army of Independence. 
Can any one reasonably doubt that these insignia sug- 
gested the Stars and Stripes and the spread eagle of the 
national ensign, and that those on whom it devolved to 
choose the national emblem paid a well-merited compli- 
ment to the father of their country by adopting the arms 
and crest of the family ? ** 

Which arms of America, let us add, by one of the 
strange vicissitudes of history, were forecasted in ima- 
gery from the cloisters of Durham Cathedral ! For the 
" Washington ** of the Bishopric— the plot of ground so 
called in the union of Cheeter-le-Street— is the English 
home of the family that first appears in our island with 
this heraldic distinction. 

Surtees, the historian of the Palatinate, describes the 
little colony, in 1820, as "a scattered village, on irregular 
broken ground.*' A railway runs by the side of it in 
modem days; and is it not, moreover, within a mile 
or two of that classic hill on the Wear which marks the 
scene of the ancient legend of the Lambton Worm ? At 
the time of the " Boldon Buke ** (1138), the "Domesday*» 
of the patrimony of the Bishopric, William de Hertbume 
held Washington, save the church and its. lands, in ex- 
change for Hertbume (or Hartbum), now a township in 
the parish of Stockton-on-Tees. He rendered £4 to the 
Bishop, and went in the great chase with a couple of 
greyhounds. When a common aid was required, he was 
also to bear his part in the assessment ; but it was not to 
exceed a single mark. 

The great chase of the Prince Bishop was an affair of 
no mean moment ; for we read, as to Aucklandshire, that 
at the hunts all the villans found, for each oxgang, one 
rope, and made his lordship*s hall in the forest (of the 
length of forty feet and of the breadth within the posts 
of sixteen feet), vdth a buttery and hatch, and a chamber, 
and a chapel forty feet long and fiftee^\broad, with a 
fence round the lodges. They had of charity c*«ro shillings ; 
and on the Bishop's departure a whole tun of b^er, or a 
half one, if it should remain ; and they guarded the aeries 
of hawks which were in the district of Ralph the Crafty, 
and made eighteen booths at the fairs of St. Cuthbert. 
All the villans, moreover, and farmers, attended the roe- 
hunts at the summons of the Bishop, and also took part 
in the work of the mills of Aucklandshire. 

Such is a glimpse, afforded us by the Boldon Book, of the 
life of the Bishopric in the days when the knightly Wil- 



liam held Washington, or " Wessyngton," in exchange for 
Hartbum. 

"It seems probable,*' Surtees remark^ "that either 
William de Hertbume, or his immediate desoendants, 
assumed the local name ; for William de Weanngton 
occurs as a witness to charters of Bishop Bobert de 
SticheU (1260-74) and de Insula (1274-83). William de 
Wessyngton, chivaler, had license to settle the manor on 
himself, his wife Elatharine, and his own right heirs, in 
1350, and died in 1367 seized of the whole manor and vill 
by the above-mentioned free rent of £4, leaving William 
his son and heir, who held by the same tenure under 
Bishop Hatfield's survey (1380).** But, " before 1400 the 
direct male line expired in another William. Arms, 
Arg. two bars and three mullets in chief grules.** "It is 
possible,'* adds the county historian, " that from cadets 
of this ancient house descended the Washingtons of 
Adwicke-le-Street, oa Tork, whose pedigree appears in 
Dugdale, 1666, and those of Leicestershire, ancestors of 
the American patriot, Greorge Washington,** 

In the century of the Boldon Book, and some fifty years 
before it was compiled, there were flourishing in the 
diocese of Durham the Amundevilles, probably of the 
same family with William de Hertbume, their arms being: 
similar. Of John de Amundeville there is mention in Uie 
time of Henry L ; and with another John this noUe 
house decays in the reign of the second Edward. Amun- 
deville, or Mundeville— " Coatham Mundeville "— is in 
the parish of Haughton-le-Skeme, where Adam de Selk^ 
was holding to farm the demesne in the days of Bidhop 
Pudsey, with the condition of finding at Darlington a 
litter for his lordship on his joumejrs. 

It is probable — (may we not say certain?) — that the 
Norman settlers, Amundevilles, Hartbumes, and Wash- 
ingtons, brought over the waves their Stars and Ban? 
Adventuring in the train of Norman William for the 
conquest of England, they won rich lands for themselves 
and those that came after them, successors of theirs car- 
rying across a broader ocean than that of their forefathers 
the cognizance that was to float over land and sea on the 
banner of the American Republic ! 

One of Pudsey's successors. Bishop James, became, in 
process of time, lord of the manor of Washington. In 
1617, when the Stuart King was in Durham on the occa- 
sion of hii visit to his native land of Scotland, the Bishop 
was in the Royal train ; and on the crown of Elvet Bridge 
a city apprentice recited a doggerel poem in which the 
author had a gird at his lordship ; for the prelate was no 
favourite with the citizens, having run counter to thdr 
municipal advancement^ and also to their endeavours 
after representation in Parliament : — 

Tet what our Royal James did grant herein, 
William our Bishop hath repugnant been. 

King and Bishop came into angry collision. So roughly 
and roundly was the Count Palatine scolded by his 
sovereign on the 8th of May, in his own Castle of Durham, 



USD 



NORTH-COUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND, 



205 



'' thftt he retired to Auckland, and died of a violent fit of 
stone and Btranguary, brought on by perfect vexation, 
three days afterwards." 

Washington remained behind in the Bishop's family — 
its parish church having a large south porch, the burial- 
place of the lords of the manor, adorned with the arms of 
the see and of James. " The whole roof was panelled in 
compartments with arms and a profusion of (rold stars, 
which made it resemble a sort of Camtra Stdlata ; all the 
performances of Mrs. Dorothy James, in the good days 
when widows and spinsters worked the family arms on 
chair covers, and occasionally changed their hand from 
decorating the great hall with King Alexander's triumph, 
or the history of David and Goliath, to illustrating the 
family pedigree in needlework." 

But clouds come over the fairest skies ; and '* Dorothy 
James's starry heaven," as Surtees commemorates with 
his characteristic humour, "is now covered by a Via 
LaeUa of whitewash." 

Those who are so inclined may now turn to the lives of 
George Washington by Jared Sparks and Washington 
Irving, the latter of whom was marked out at the font as 
a biographer of the generaL The first chapter of Irving's 
book of 1855 is devoted to the *' Genealogy of the Wash- 
ington family," at the head of which is placed "William 
de Hertbum, the progenitor of the Washingtons," and 
the line is traced down its course, passing Prior Wessyng- 
ton, who in 1446 " was buried like a soldier on his battle- 
field, at the door of the north aisle of his church, near 
the altar of St. Benedict." Worthy of grateful remem- 
brance is John Washington, Prior of Durham, " of whose 
compilations relative to the see, and the order professed 
by its monks," sayv the late Rev. Dr. Raine, in his " Saint 
Cuthbert " (1828), " I have so frequently availed myself.' 
Diligently and lovingly " he wrote on the subject of his 
church." He "did more." Great and liberal services 
he rendered it in a variety of ways over a long course of 
years, and his name is honourably written in its annals. 
InddentaUy we learn that in the time of Prior Washing- 
ton the cathedral of Durham had a dock ; for there was 
then expended Tls. Ud. for the construction of a window 
jtuda horologiwn The edifice had also the instrumental 
music which is now so conmion in our churches, £26 13s. 
4d. having been paid for "the making of divers pairs 
(.sets] of organs." 

Passing from the Prior to the President, whose blood 
"came in with the Conqueror," there are in the "Ar- 
chaeologia .Miana" (ii., 120, 1857), among the Transac- 
tions of the Newcastle Society of Antiquaries, letters 
which connect the general with the county of Durham 
after the War of Independence. They were read before 
the members in 1857 by Mr. W. H. D. Lomrstaffe, the 
historian of Darlington, and annotated for the archives. 
To one of them, written by Sarah Addison to her brother, 
Washington Smirk, in 1836, is appended a copy of the 
register of their parents' marriage at Washington in 



1780 :— " Edward Smirk and Hannah Washington, both 
of this parish, married, by banns duly published, on the 
22nd day of May, 1780, by me, E. Wilson, rector." 

Of the remaining letters, seven in nimiber, one was 
written by General Washington, April 6, 1787, at Mount 
Vernon, and concerns the estate of Colonel Thomas 
Colville, under whose will he was executor. Two others, 
bsistling with italics, and having a touch of small capitals, 
are from the pen of Sir William Appleby, "one of the 
Peg Nicholson knights" of English history.* He de- 
scribes Washinfirton as "the modem Fabius, in war as 
well as exeetUorihips,** and is as peppery as he is preju- 
diced and unjust. 

In a note to the letter of General Washington, the 
editor says : " It is evident from the sequel that Colonel 
Colville was nearly related to the ColviUes of White 
House, near Gateshead," purchased by Ed Ward, son of 
Adam Colville, of Boldon, Gent. Edwaid Colville, 
Butcher and Hoastman of Newcaatle, died in 1750, aged 
105. Twice married, he had sons and daughters. His 
son John, baptized in 1708, resided at White House. One 
of his sisters, Camilla, baptized in 1698, married Charles 
Bennet, Viscount Ossulston, who succeeded his sire as 
Earl of TankerviUct 



Cite €ttunttM ot Sertoenttoater 

Sri)e (Sfnb of a |lonumttc <9tntggle. 

|T was with a feeling of extreme astonishment 
that the country learnt, in the autumn of 
1868, that Dilston Castle— a ruined strong- 
hold in Northumberland — had been forcibly 
seized by a lady who deemed her title to its possession 
indisputable. By this simple recurrence to the free- 
handed methods of the unscrupulous old Borderers, 
Amelia Raddiffe— as the claimant called herself — 
had at one stroke acquired undying fame. I have 
already (see page 165) described her supposed relationship 
to the rebellious Earl of Derwentwater, and indicated the 
character of the documents and relics on which her case 
rested. I have described, also, the mysterious nature of 
her appearance at Blaydon, the singular warmth of her 
welcome there, the strength and stedfastness of the fol- 
lowers she enrolled, and the secresy of the midnight raid 
which put her in possession of " the roofless home of her 
ancestors." It is not an exaggeration to say that^ twenty 
years ago, all classes of the English people were deeply 



* Marffaret Nicholson made an attack on the life of 
Geoige IlL in 1786, whereuix>n many loyal and dutiful 
addr^ses were presented to his Majesty, his Majesty, in 
return, making a large number of new knights. Hence 
" Peg Nicholson knights. " 

t See Monthly ChronicU, voL L, p. 274 — "Camilla of 
the White House." 




206 



MONTHLY CHRONICLE. 



{isar 



Stirred by the novel recitaL They could imagine the 
quaint figure— with its plumed head and sword-bedecked 
girdle — sitting, Quixotically, beneath a piece of 
old tarpaulin, and glorying in the triumphs achieved* 
They could sympathise with the sufferings the lady 
endured, and deplore the mental unrest that possessed 
her. But, in the midst of abounding pity, there were 
many anxious inquiries as to the ultimate issue of the 
struggle, and as to the methods by which the Lords of 
the Admiralty— the then administrators of the property — 
would rid themselves of their troublesome guest. 

In one important particular the suspense was not 
unduly protracted. It was decided to eject the tres- 
passer, and Mr. 6. C. Grey, the resident agent, made 
his preparations with a due regard to the stately 
and chivalrous character of his opponent. Supported 
by an overwhelming array of force, he presented him- 
self at the "Castle Gateway," on the 1st of October, 
1868, and was there met by the lady who so valorouHly 
disputed his right. After a curious interview— in which 
all pacific overtures were disr^arded — Mr. Grey 
intimated that he would return in two hours, and 
then order a forcible removal if such a course was ren- 
dered necessary. At the end of the armistice, as might 
have been anticipated, the attitude of the parties revealed 
no variation. The trespasser declined to submit to a 
technical assault for the purposes of a test action, and the 
signal was thereupon given for a clearance of the build- 
ing. After overcoming some slight resistance from the 
Countess's body-guard, the assailants gained a footing in 
the tarpaulined parlour, took down the pictures from the 
crumbling walls, carried away the boxes, and then pro- 
ceeded to lower the canopy imder which the lady her- 
self was seated. This indignity was too great to be 
quietly endured. Seizing her sword — for she was armed 
like an Amazon— the Countess drew it from the scabbard, 
and slashed lustily at the devastating band. Luckily 
there was no calamity. By a strategic movement on 
flank and rear, the tmscientific fencer was safely dis- 
armed, and it was then supposed that the beleagured gar- 
rison would march out with the honours of war. 

But the Countess's vocabulary contained no such word 
as surrender. As she stubbornly refused to leave her 
comer, there remained only one course for the party of 
law and order. Taking a firm grip of the chair on which 
the somewhat bulky lady was seated, they lifted it 
carefully from the floor, and carried it with mingled 
tenderness and anxiety down the broken staircase. It 
was with a sigh of relief that they reached terra Jirma, 
and proposed to escort their visitor in a more dignfied 
fashion from the grounds. But, though defeated, the 
claimant was not subdued. She would do nothing to 
facilitate her own departure, and scornfully rejected all 
offers of food or conveyance from the Admiralty or its 
employees. Disappointed, and perhaps chagrined, the 
ejectors at once resumed their task. They assumed a 



jaunty air as they now raised her ladyship^ and 
it was with unmistakable alacrity that they trotted 
her across the lawn, hitched her over the 
boundary line, and set her sharply down on the 
open highway. Springing wrathfully from her 
chair, she denounced the villainy of the Ministerial 
myrmidons, deplored the callousness of the sovereign, 
and wound up with an assurance that neither Crown nor 
Parliament should any longer fatten on the wealth of 
that " noble earl, of the elder lineage," from whom she 
claimed descent. 

As if to illustrate the unalterable character of her reao- 
lution, she at once gave instructions for the formatian of 
a camp. Placing her seat across a neighbouring ditdi, 
and suspending her tarpaulin from the hedgerow behind 
it, she was speedily in possession of a shelter in which to 
hide from the public gaze. It was not half as comfortable 
as the wigwam of a Red Indian, and an Esquimaux 
would have deemed it dangerously draughty even for his 
dog. Nothing daunted, however, the strong-minded 
lady took her place without a murmur of complaiot» 
and faced the rigours of a dismal night with the 
calm indifference of an old campaigner. With her body 
chilled, with her limbs cramped, and with absolutely no 
place to lay her head, she did not flinch from her self- 
imposed vigils. Though her first move had failed, and 
many of her fondest hopes had been shattered, she 
entered upon the long hours of darkness with an un- 
moved countenance, and without a trace of the terrible 
anguish that possessed her. 

I shall never forget my first interview with the 
Countess under that wretched stretch of tarpaulin. All 
told, the occupied site did not exceed 12 feet by 7, 
and in no single spot was the covering more than 4 feet 
from the ground. It was impossible to enter witboilt 
inconvenience, and there was no alternative but to 
crouch or kneel when you got there. I made my dSbut 
on the 2nd of October, and, though matters had been 
slightly improved since the previous night, there were 
still many gaping chinks through which the cold air 
whirled in distressing gusts. In addition to the 
capacious folds of her military doak, the recluse had 
been compelled to seek the protection of a substantial 
umbrella, and as she sat there, in the dim religious light, 
it was impossible to resist a feeling of intense pity 
for her misery and infatuation. But if the lady's 
surroundings were gloomy, the animated character 
of her conversation was su£Bcient to atone for all 
other defects. Except on the subject of her claim, there 
was nothing of vagueness or incoherence about her utt^- 
ances. She spoke pleasantly of her friends, was pleased 
by the popular sympathy that her cause had evoked, and 
never wearied of expressing her gratitude for the kindly 
gifts that people of every degree showered upon her. 
While delighted with these tokens of good will, however, 
she adhered doggedly to her own resolves. A fcM^ble 



nn) 



NORTHCOUNTRY LORE AND LEGEND. 



207 



removal of the camp must be followed by a summons for 
obstruction, and this proceeding— as she professed to 
hope — woold necessitate a searching investigation into 
matters connected with the Admiralty title. It was for 
this she braved the elements for five-and-thirty days, and 
remained^in fadr weather and fool, amid frosts and 
thaws, sunshine and storm— a central figure in a picture 
that is unique in my experience. 

After allowing the entire locality to be kept in 
a turmoil for more than a month, the legal authori- 
ties at last screwed up their courage for action. 
On the 5th of November, Mr. Henry Wilson and Mr. 
Pattinson, the representatives of the Hexham High- 
way Board, proceeded to carry out the tardy instruc- 
tions of the magistrates. Accompanied by Superin- 
tendent Wookey, of the Northumberland police, these 
gentlemen obtained an interview with the road ob- 
structor, and failed, of course, to convince her that 
a quiet abandonment of her position would be 
the wisest course to pursue. As her ladyship was 
oblivious to either threats or cajolery, there remained 
no alternative but to '* abate the nuisance " by force