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Frontispiece to Vol. 1. 


See " Monthly Chronicle," page 22O. 







Printed and Published for Proprietors of the " Neiv castle Weekly Chronicle" by 



To the Reader 1 


Introductory 3 

Akenside, Mark 4 

Addison, Rev. Berkeley 6 

Addison, Thomas 7 

Adamson, John 53 

Airey, Joseph, Thomas, and Sir George 54 

Acton, Richard 101 

Acton, William 101 

Acton, William, junioi- 102 

Acton, Lawrence 103 

Alder Joshua 103 

Allan, James 145 

Akenhead, John 146 

Allgood, Sir Lancelot 147 

Alexander, James, M.D 193 

Alnwick, William of . . 194 

Alvey, Yeldard 194 

Anderson, Bertram 241 

Anderson, Francis 243 

Anderson, Sir Francis 244 

Anderson, Henry 289 

Anderson, Sir Henry 291 

Anderson, George 337 

Anderson, James, D.D 339 

Angas, George Fife 385 

Angus, Henry 387 

Angus, Jonathan 388 

Archer, John Wykeham 451 

Askew, Adam, M.D 452 

Askew, Anthony, M.D 453 

Askew, Sir Henry, K.C.B 454 

Athol, Sir Aymer de 454 

Jack Crawford, the Hero of Camperdown .... 8 

The Vicar of Lesbury 11 

Centenarians of the Northern Counties 12 

Joseph Saint, the North Tyne Centenarian 13 

Laplanders at Ravensworth Castle 14 

Mrs. Jameson in Newcastle 15 

Lambert's Leap 16 

The Murder of Ferdinando Forster 18 

Over the Churchyard Wall. By James Clephan 20 

Charles I. in Northumberland.... . 22 
Old Tyne Bridge 23 


Reymond, Lully at Raby Castle 

The Hawks Family. By William Brockie 28 

Houghton Feast 31 

The Betsy Cains 31 

Ralph Lambton and his Hounds 33 

Coals in the North 33 

Old Newcastle Tradesmen : Alder Dunn, Hadwen 

Bragg .. 35 

Hadwen Bragg's Kinsmen and Decendants 36 

My Lord 'Size : The Author, the Accident, &c 37 

Castle Garth Stairs 40 

The Bowes Tragedy 41 

Cock -Fighting in Newcastle 42 

Rules and Regulations of the Cock-Pit 43 

North-Country Wit and Humour 44, 93, 141, 188, 

236, 283, 331, 380, 428, 478 
North-Country Obituaries 45, 93, 142, 189, 237, 284, 

332, 380, 429, 478 

Record of Events 46, 94, 143, 190, 238, 285, 333, 

381, 429, 479 

Jean Paul Marat in Newcastle. By James Clephan.. 49 

The Maison Dieu, Newcastle 56 

A North Shields Mystery 58 

The Story of Park and Watt 60 

Spotty's Hole, Sunderland 63 

Andrew Mills and the Merrington Tragedy 65 

Old Newcastle Booksellers : James Watson, George 

Rutland 68 

Otter Hunting : John Gallon 69 

MadMaddison 70 

The Black Gate 72 

The Birtwhistle Wicht 74- 

Northumbrian Saints. By Richard Welford 

St. Acca, St. Aelred, St. Aidan 75 

Salt Mines, at Middlesbrough 78 

Joseph Lambton, Martyr 


The Auld Fisher's Fareweel to Coquet 79 

The Side, Newcastle 80 

Willie Carr, the Strong Man of Blyth 82 

Meg of Meldon 84 

The Story of Mary Clement 86 

King John's Palace 88 

A Romance of the French War 90 

The Gathering of the Whigs 90 

Lord Keeper Guilford in the North. By J. Clephau. . 97 

The Pickled Parson 100 




The Town's Hutch 105 

The EUdon Tragedy 106 

Tom Spring :. 108 

The Faas or Faws :.. 109 

Northumbrian Man-Stealers 109 

John Hatfield, Forger 110 

Notable Coal-Hewers Ill 

The Old Mansion House, Newcastle Ill 

The Mansion House Clock 114 

The Mayor's Clock 115 

North-Country Clockmakers 115 

The Last of the Newcastle Clockmakers 115 

The Fiery Clock-Fyece 116 

A Tweedmouth Patriarch (Jemmy Strength) 116 

Frederick Sheldon, Author of " The History of 

Berwick" 119 

The Norman Keep, Newcastle 120 

Riding the Stang. By William Brockie 122 

A Scene at Staindrop 125 

A Welsh Incident 126 

Peter Allan and Marsden Grotto 126 

Recollections of Marsden. By Wm. Yellowly 130 

Mrs. Elizabeth Montagu 132 

Blue Stockings 135 

Denton Hall 135 

Silky, the Ghost of Denton Hall 136 

Mr. Doubleday 's Narrative 137 

Bogie Engine 140 

Edward Waterson, Martyr 14-0 

Willie Carr, the Blyth Samson 141 

Lady Peat and the Herrington Tragedy 148 

The Mitfords of Mitford 152 

Drunken Jack Mitford 153 

Dr. Mitford & his Daughter, Mary Russell Mitford 154 

Dr. Graham, the Earth Quack 157 

Emma Lyon, Lady Hamilton 160 

The Forth, Newcastle 167 

Mr. Richardson's History uf the Forth 169 

A Book with a History 172 

The Inventor of the Panorama 173 

Count Boruwlaski, the Polish Dwarf 173 

The Willington Ghost 177 

Mr. Hudson's Story 179 

The Tower on the Bridge 181 

The Newcastle Chare Story 181 

A Famous Hunting Song : " D'ye Ken John Peel ?" 182 

Sark Weddings 186 

Stoney Bowes and the Countess of Strathmore 196 

A Romance of Tyne Bridge : The Story of Dr. 

Oliphant 202 

A Contemporary Account of the Fall of Tyne Bridge. 206 

Hawick Common Riding. By J. C. Goodfellow 207 

Witchcraft in the North. By James Clephan 211 

Tynemouth Priory 215 

Jingling Geordie's Hole. By William Brockie 218 

Curiosities of Dialect 220 

Thomas Pigg, Mathematician 221 

Joe the Quilter 221 

Pudding Chare, Newcastle 225 

The False Alarm 226 

Warden Law 229 

The Story of Captain Cook 230 

Captain Cook's Family 233 

Van Amburgh 245 

Hell's Hole, Cheviot Hills 247 

Sunderland Lighthouse 249 

TheLongPack 250 

The Legend of the Monk's Stone 254 

The Battle of Neville's Cross 256 

William Hutton on the Roman Wall 260 

Durham Cathedral 263 

History of the Keel Row. By John Stokoe 266 

Cutty Soams 269 

William Wealands Robson 270 

Chillingham Castle and Cattle 272 

Camilla of the White House 274 

A Remarkable Accident at the High Level Bridge... 275 

AGateshead Anchoret 276 

John Cunningham, Poet 277 

Paradise and the Flood ... 280 


The Keelmen's Strike, 1822 280 

Stote's Hall '. 282 

Alderman Cookson's Cross-Exammation 282 

TheSoutersof Selkirk 293 

Bowes Castle 293 

The Story of Dotheboys Hall ' 294 

Thomas Spence 296 

The Spital Tongues Tunnel 302 

Holy Island Castle and the Erringtons 303 

The Invention of the Lifeboat '. 305 

The Chesapeake and Shannon 309 

Cappy's the Dog 311 

Alnwick Castle 311 

Early Printers on the Tyne. By James Clephan 314 

Daniel Defoe in Gatesnead 318 

Scott, Morritt, and Rokeby 319 

Flint Jack 323 

Lady Strathrnore 325 

The Sunken Treasure in Broomley Lough 325 

Keilder Castle : The Cout of Keilder 326 

St. Thomas's Chapel 329 

Half- Hanged Macdonald 330 

Roderick Random in the North 340 

William Martin, Anti-Newtonian Philosopher 343 

Lunardi in Newcastle 349 

Farthing Pants 350 

The Grey Man of Bellister 351 

The Hell Kettles 353 

The Belaney Poisoning Case 356 

Cragside 359 

Early Booksellers on the Tyne. By James Clephan.. 362 

Lord Tankerville at Darlington 365 

Absent-Mindedness 366 

A Newcastle Prison-Breaker" 367 

The Beginning of Railway System 368 

Dr. Clanny and Mary Jobson 379 

The Invention of the Reaping Machine 373 

Northern Superstitions 374 

Kate Babington 375 

Jemmy Joneson's Whurry 377 

The Poind and his Man 389 

Master Humphrey's Clock 389 

George Hudson, the Railway King 392 

The White Horses of the Hambleton Hills 397 

Elsie Marley 398 

The Devil's Punch Bowl 599 

Berwick Characters 400 

Thomas Paine and Sunderlaud Bridge 401 

Midsummer Bonefires 404 

Border Thieves 405 

St. Godric, the Hermit of Fincliale 406 

Lindisfarne Cathedral 407 

St. Cuthbert and the Fair Sex 410 

St. Cuthbert's Burial-Place 411 

More about Early Booksellers on the Tyne 412 

Harriet Martineau at Tynemouth 415 

Jonathan Martin and York Minster 418 

Mr. Baron Graham 421 

Candle Superstitions 421 

Durham Mustard 422 

Dr. Paley at Bishopwearmouth 422 

Tynedale Apprentices 424 

Tanfield Arch 424 

A Gosforth Freebooter 426 

Old News 426 

Relics of Captain Cook 426 

John Martin, K.L 433 

The Martin Family 436 

Epitaph on an Engineer 436 

The Delavals of Delaval Hall 437 

The Dicky Bird Society. By Uncle Toby 443 

Ford Castle 455 

Raven s worth Castle 458 

The Early Press of York. By James Clephan 459 

Elihu Burritt in the North 462 

Notes on the Sword Dancers' Song and Interlude. 

By John Stokoe , 462 

The Cotton Ball Duel 466 

Cobbettin the North 467 

Cuddy Alder's Goose Pies 469 




A Tale of the Press Gang 470 

The Bewcastle Cross 470 

Highest Habitations in Great Britain ... . . 473 

The Helm Wind 474 

St. Cuthbert's Native Place 474 

A Newcastle Institution 475 

Ralph Ward Jackson 475 

Jenny Lincl in Newcastle 476 

Muckle Jock Milburn 476 

Churchill at Sunderland 477 

St. Cuthbert's Burial 477 


"My Lord 'Size" .' 91 

"A Nation of Shopkeepers" 91 

Jack Crawford 91 

TheHawkses 91 

Houghton Feast 92 

Winter's Gibbet 186 

Hatfield, the Forger 187 

Riding the Stang 187 

Blenkards 188 


TheToboggan 236 

Notable Coal Hewers 236 

"Jacky-Legs" .'...'.'...'..'.'.'.' 

Captain Cook 282 

Byker Folly '.'.'.'".'.'." 283 

A Privateering Incident 331 

The Howick Slogan 331 

BlythFolly ' 331 

Stote'sHall 373 

Peter Allen's Raven 373 

Flint Jack ' 373 

The Centrifugal Railway 379 

The "Keel Row "in Old Manuscript . 379 

The Author of "My Lord 'Size"....: 379 

An Old Newcastle Pedestrian 427 

Curious Party at Wynyard 427 

The Hassocks 427 

The Hell Kettles |] 427 

A Sunderland Challenge 428 

Thunder Mutton 428 

FRONTISPIECE" The Magic Gates Opened. ' 

Akenside's Birthplace, Butcher Bank 6 

Lambert's Leap 17 

The White Cross 19 

Old Tyne Bridge after the Great Flood, 1771 24 

Old Tyne Bridge (from Richardson's Etching) 25 

The Wreck of the Betsy Cains 32 

'Castle Garth Stairs 40 

t Cock-Fighting 42 

' The Maison Dieu Hutch 56 

'The Maison Dieu, Newcastle, 1823 57 

Spotty's Hole, Roker Gill, Sunderland 64, 65 

'The Black Gate in 1877 72 

The Black Gate in 1887 73 

The Side, Newcastle 80 

The Side, from Queen Street, Quayside 81 

King John's Palace 88 

King John's Well 89 

1 The Town's Hutch 105 

Old Mansion House from the River, 1887 112 

Old Mansion House from the Close 113 

Castle Keep, Newcastle, 1810 120 

Castle Keep, 1887 121 

Riding the Stang 124 

MarsdenRock 128 

Marsden Grotto 129 

Denton Hall 136 

Dr. Johnson's Walk, Denton Hall 137 

Ruins of Mitford Castle 152 

Buck's "S.E. Prospectof Newcastle," 1745 167 

Oliver's Plan of Newcastle, 1830 167 

Front View of the Forth Tavern 168 

West End of the Forth Tavern 169 

Back View of the Forth Tavern 170 

Count Boruwlaski in the Cathedral Yard, Durham... 176 

The Haunted Mill, Willington-on-Tyne, 1887 177 

The Tower on Tyne Bridge 181 

John Peel's Tombstone 185 

Gibside, Derwent Valley, Durha.u 200 

Benwell Tower 201 

Hawick Common-Ridmir, 1846 208 

Tynemouth Priory, Exterior View 216 

Tynemouth Priory, Interior View 217 

Joe the Quilter's Cottage 224 

Pudding Chare, Newcastle 225 

- Birthplace of Captain Cook 233 


Hell's Hole, Cheviot Hills 248 

Sunderland Lighthouse 249 

The Monk's Stone 256 

Neville's Cross, 1885 257 

Durham Cathedral : From College Green 264 

Durham Cathedral : From the South-West 265 

Chillingham Castle 273 

A Poet's Tombstone 280 

The Keelmen's Strike, 1822 281 

Lord Armstrong's Birthplace 286 

Blagdon Hall, Northumberland 287 

Bowes Castle 293 

Holy Island Castle 304 

Model of Willy Wouldhave's Lifeboat 307 

Wouldhave's Tombstone 308 

Wouldhave's Chair 309 

Alnwick Castle : View from Barneyside 312 

Alnwick Castle : The Octagon Tower 313 

Mortham Tower 320 

Keilder Castle 328 

St. Thomas's Chapel, Newcastle 329 

Interior of St, Thomas's Chapel 330 

Anderson Place, Newcastle- on-Tyne, 1780 337 

Jonathan Martin's Providential Escape 345 

William Martin's High Level Bridge 348 

William Martin's Lion 34-9 

Bellister Castle 352 

The Hell Kettles 353 

Cragside: From the South-West 360 

Cragside: From the South 361 

Stephenson's Old Killingworth Engine, "Billy" 368 

First Railway Train 368 

First Railway Passenger Coach, 1825 369 

Don Haselrigg, Kt. of ye Codled Braine 376 

A Haunted House at Gateshead 382 

Master Humphrey's Clock 392 

Iron Bridge, Sunderland, 1842 401 

Finchale Priory 408 

Lindisfarne Cathedral 409 

Tynemouth, 1840 417 

Tanfield Arch, Durham 425 

Chapel of Our Lady, Seaton Delaval 437 

View of Delaval Hall 440 

Seaton Sluice 

Uncle Toby and His Little Friends 

Ornamental Envelope 447 



Procession of D.B.S. Children in Newcastle 
Scene at D.B.S. Children's Demonstration .. 

Ford Castle 

Ravensworth Castle 


... 448 
... 449 
.... 456 
... 457 


Sword Dancers : from Ralph Hedley's Picture 464 

Bewcastle Cross 472 

Kirkstone Pass Inn 473 

A Newcastle Orange Woman 475 

Mark Akenside 

Rev. Berkeley Addison 

Joseph Saint , 

Jean Paul Marat 

John Adamson 

James Watson 

K. D. Davis 

Joshua Aider 

James Stuart (Jemmy Strength) 

Mrs. Montagu 

James Allan 

Mary Russell Mitford 

Lady Hamilton 

John Woodcock Graves 

J.ihn Peel 

Sir Matthew White Ridley 

Dr. Alexander 

Andrew Robinson Bowes 

John Kyle, Hawick Cornet in 1885 
Captain Cook.. 

R. W. Younge """..; 

William Wealands Robsun 

John Cunningham 

Thomas Spence 

Page p are 

... 5 William Wouldhave 305 

Henry Greathead I."!"!"""""""" 306 

... 13 Flint Jack 324 

... 49 Right Rev. Provost Consitt ...333 

. 53 Rev. Dr. Anderson 340 

.. 68 William Martin 344 

. 93 Dr. Clanny " 359 

..104 George Fife Angas 386 

Henry Angus '.'.':'.'.'.'. . 387 

.. 132 Jonathan Angus 333 

.. 145 George Hudson . ... 393 

.. 157 Hairy Jaimie 400 

.. 161 Alex. Mitchell " 400 

.. 183 Thomas Paine 403 

..184 William Charnley '""." 413 

Kinerson Charnley 414 

. . 193 Harriet Martineau 

.. 199 Dr. Paley '" 424 

.. 209 John Martin . 435 

.. 232 Anthony Askew, M.D. 454 

William Cobbett "!!!."!"!!!"""".'" '". 468 

.. 272 Ralph Ward Jackson 475 

.. 278 Jenny land .....J........^....... 476 

Ube Monthly Chronicle 



VOL. I. No. 1. 

MARCH, 1887. 

PRICE 60. 


HE scope and intention of the Monthly 
Chronicle can be briefly explained. A 
few sentences will do it. To collect 
and preserve the great wealth of history 
and tradition, legend and story, poetry 
and song, dialect and folk-lore, which abounds in the 
ancient kingdom of Northumbria this is the scope 
and intention of the Monthly Chronicle. As no dis- 
trict in the British Isles is richer than our own in 
singular character or romantic incident, so no district, 
it is thought, will .have a stronger desire than our own 
to see those characters and incidents presented in 
some accessible and preservable form. 

It has happened that the Newcastle Weekly Chronicle, 
during the last fifteen years, has unearthed for the enter- 
tainment and instruction of Northumbrians of the present 
day a vast mass of local information that had previously 
lain buried in forgotten histories or had been kept alive 
only in the traditions of the people. The reader may 
get some idea of the immense richness of the 
Ream which has thus been worked when wo state 
that there have been published during the tima 
mentioned 59 articles on "Our Old Families," 107 articles 
on " Northern Worthies," 3C5 articles under the title of 
" Traditions and Mysteries of the North," besides many 
hundreds of songs in the vernacular of Northumbria, each 
accompanied by biographical sketches of the authors and 
historic notices of the circumstances which inspired their 
muse. The columns devoted to " Notes and Queries " in 
the same journal have also in the period named been the 

means of bringing to light facts and incidents which 
would otherwise have never been put on record. 
These efforts to revive interest in the character and the 
doings of our fore-elders have been received with much 
favour. At the same time, it has always been a subject 
of regret that so much valuable and interesting material 
should, after all the trouble and cost of collecting it, be to 
a large extent lost in the ponderous and unwieldy columm 
of a newspaper. That this regret is really general and 
genuine is shown by the repeated applications made to the 
Editor of the Weekly Chronicle, averaging many scores in 
the course of a few months, for particulars of some story 
or tradition which has already been told, and in not a 
few cases even retold, at sufficient length in his own 

But the seam to which reference has been made is by 
no means exhausted. Every week fresh materials are 
being extracted, fresh facts discovered, fresh stores ac- 
cumulated. These materials and facts and stores, or at . 
any rate the best and most important of them, it is in- 
tended to reproduce, witli such corrections, condensations, 
or extensions as may be deemed needful, in the pages of 
the Monthly Chronicle, so that they may be treasured and 
preserved without the use of scissors and paste, or file 
and scrap book. If nothing further were intended, the 
Monthly Chronicle, it is believed, would perform a useful 
service, since it would give an enduring value to what is 
now too often merely read, admired, and then lost and 
The intention is, however, besides gathering together 


( M.r<*. 
\ 1887. 

the choicest contributions from the current issues of the 
Weekly ChrmitU, to fall back from time to time upon 
the rich, ample, and practically inexhaustible stores we 
have at our disposal in the files of that journal, thus 
restoring to public use and enjoyment the abundance of 
antiquarian and other literature which has there been 

Nor shall we disdain to preserve such specimens of 
North Country wit and humour, whether of ancient or 
modern date, whether in prose or verse, as may serve to 
illustrate the life and character of the people. These 
and other lighter fragments of tlie folk speech of the 
district will scrra to vary and enliven the graver and 
more recondite matter which will occupy our pagps. 

Original papers, contributed by competent writers on 
subjects of abiding attraction for North-Country readers, 
will also form part of our scheme. 

It may happen, too, that we (hall on occasion, 
though not very often, make excursions beyond the 
ancient borders of Northumberland. When a suitable 
piece comes within our grasp, we do not propose to be 
restricted by geographical considerations from submitting 
it to our readers. 

Many of the articles we shall publish will be accom- 
panied by illustrations of the places and scenes described, 

or portraits of the perrons wbo career* are sketched. 
Here, again, we shall avail ourselves of the resources of 
the Weekly Chronicle. The pictures which have appeared 
in that journal have proved an interesting feature 
of its contents. Such of these pictures as are deserving 
of reproduction will be transferred to the Monthly 
Chroniolt, where they will of course be printed in a 
manner much superior to that in which they first saw the 
light. Advantage, too, will be taken of any modern dis- 
covery that may come to hand for the purpose of increas- 
ing by pictorial effect the interest of any written story or 
description that may appear in these pages. 

Such, then, is a general explanation of the aims and 
purposes of the Monthly C/ironiele. We have reason to 
believe that the effort will be appreciated by that large 
and increasing part of the public which is interested in the 
ancient lore, the mediaeval superstitions, and the modern 
literature of Northumbria. The scholar, the archaeologist, 
and the general reader these and many other classes 
besides will perhaps find in our venture much to enter- 
tain and more to instruct them ; for all we shall print 
will, we hope, be well worthy of permanent preservation 
on the bookshelf of the cottager or in the library of his 
richer brother. 

5H)e (Bitor. 

March. \ 
1887. | 


at JBCarfc 'Ctof^t 

mi* Cfoertr. 

$8 |5icl)arb ffielforb, 


How pleasing wears the wintry night, 
Spent with the old illustrious dea<i ! 
While by the taper's trembling light, 
I seem those awful scenes to tread 
Where chiefs or legislators lie, 
Whose triumphs move before my eye 
In arms and antique pomp arrayed. 


OPE'S dictum that "the proper study 
of mankind is man " receives sanction 
and support in the attentive regard 
which mankind bestowes upon published 
records of human life and character. 
Be they stories of earnest striving after 
fame, of commercial enterprise in the race for wealth, 
of sacrifice and suffering in the cause of truth, or of 
patience and self-denial in performing the ordinary duties 
of life ; be they even narratives of misplaced activity in 
wasted careers, they attract if they do not benefit, and 
interest if they do not instruct the reader. Nor is the 
reason far to seek. "As in water, face answereth to face, 
so the heart of man to man." Saints and tinners, sages 
and simpletons have lived in all ages, and in every clime, 
and the records of their triumphs and their failures 
naturally interest those who succeed them and inherit 
their qualities. For, although it may be trua, as Tenny- 
son sings, that 

' through the ages one increasing purpose runs, 

And the thoughts of men are widened with the process of 
the suns, 

yet human nature has been much the same always, and 
remains so everywhere. We are moved to-day by the same 
general impulses and desires as those which influenced 
mankind in the days of Moses, as those which will operate 
five thousand years hence, if the race exists so long. Now, 
as then, ambition fights its way to power, perseverance 
ends in achievement, and industry leads to competence. 
Now, as then, love and hate, hope and fear, joy and 
sorrow, alternate and intermingle in the complexities of 
existence. It is through this universal kinship that 
narratives of the lives of men become attractive to men, 
and that we emulate, neglect, or shun the examples which 
they set before us, according to our need, our strength, 
and our opportunity. 

In the whole range of literature, therefore, there is 
nothing more attractive than well-written biography, and 
there is nothing more wholesome and instructive than 

biographies of the good and wise. Memoirs of men who 
have risen, who have done something to make the world 
better and wiser, expand the intellect and stimulate the 
will. From two of the leading literary forces of our time 
political journalism with its pitiful rancour, and ama- 
tory fiction with its enervating passion we turn to the 
records of well-spent lives, and receive a quickening im- 
pulse within our minds like that which the breeze of the 
sea, and the air of the upland, exert upon our physical 

"British biography," writes Dr. Smiles, "is studded 
over, as 'with patnes of bright gold,' with illustrious 
examples of the power of self help, of patient purpose, 
resolute working, and stealfast integrity, issuing in the 
formation of truly noble and manly character, exhibiting 
in language not to be misunderstood, what it is in the 
power for each to accomplish for himself ; and illustrating 
the efficacy of self-respect and self-reliance, in enabling 
men, of even the humblest rank, to work out for them- 
selves an honourable competency and a solid reputation." 
In the North of England this spirit of self reliance, 
leading to successful achievement, has received fruitful 
expansion, and here, between the banks of the Tyne 
and the shores of the Tweed, has found prolific de- 
velopment. Northumbria may not have given to the 
world eminent statesmen, although it was tb* ancestral 
home of Eldon and Grey ; nor learned divines, 
although it claims to have been the birthplace of Duns 
Scotut, who wrote books so learned that "one man is 
hardly able to read them, and no one man is able to under- 
stand them"; nor notable philosophers, beyond the harm- 
less eccentric, William Martin, who styled himself the 
"Philosophical Conqueror of Nations," and displayed his 
prolific profundities in twopenny tracts at the street 
corners ; nor distinguished poets, although it gave birth 
to Mark Akenside, who pretended to be ashamed of his 
origin, and to avoid and repudiate his native town ; but 
discoverers and inventors, leaders of industry and pioneers 
of commerce, workers and improvers in the wide fields of 
scientific research and mechanical construction, have been 
produced here abundantly. No one will dispute that our 
national wealth, and the source of our maritime power, are 
traceable to the discovery of the commercial uaes of coal ; 
it was upon Tyneside that the coal trade originated, 
and the easiest and safest methods of winning, working, 
and transporting mineral fuel were devised and established. 
The greatest achievement of modern times, if not the 


\ 1887. 

greatest in history, was the application of steam to loco- 
motion ; it was in Northumberland that the iron horse 
was mccessfully yoked to "the rapid car," and that 
a new er in the life of the world began to dawn. To 
men of mark in this district, therefore, we owe all 
civilized nations owe most of the commercial facilities, 
domestic comforts, and personal convenience, which 
make life worth living. In strictest truth William 
Howitt described the metropolis of the North as "one 
of the most remarkable towns in the British empire." 
Without exaggeration the greatest of living Englishmen 
was able to say of Tynesida "I know not where to seek, 
even in this busy country, a spot or district in which we 
perceive so extraordinary and multifarious a combination 
of the various great branches of mining, manufacturing, 
trading, arid shipbuilding industry ; and I greatly doubt 
whether the like can be shown, not only within the 
limits of the land, but upon the whole surface of the 

It has been said that the world knows nothing of its 
greatest men. But about the men who have made the 
name of Tyneside famous the world knows a great deal. 
The struggles and triumphs of George and Robert 
Stephenson are familiar stories everywhere ; the achieve- 
ments of Admiral Lord Collingwood are known in all 
lands where naval warfare and maritime adventure are 
appreciated ; the labours of Thomas Bewick are re- 
cognised wherever pictorial art is valued and under- 
stood. At least two of the biographical works re- 
lating to this district Twiss's Life of Lord Chancellor 
Eldon, and Haine's Memoirs of the Rev. John Hodgson 
rank among standard literature. And if we are 
acquainted in a lesser degree with the doings of other 
local notables, it is not because their labours have found 
scanty recognition. Abundant details of their lives and 
works are enshrined in portly volumes of history and 
biography, and are plentifully strewed through the 
pages of those wonderful collections of records and 
annals with which the Northern, above all other counties 
of England, have been favoured. Therein we may read, 
and never tire of reading, about Andersons and Arm- 
strongs, Blacketts and Brandlings, Carrs and Coliing- 
woods, Halls and Hodgsons, and so on, through Ords and 
Ogles, Kiddells and Ridleys, Selbys and Swmburnes, to 
the end of the alphabet. In the columns of the Weekly 
Chronicle, under the heading of "Northern Worthies," 
the lives of our most notable men have been already 
sketched, with as much local and family detail as space 
permitted. Here, also, in articles bearing the title of 
"Our Old Families," the origin and uprising of great 
houses in the two upper counties of England have been 
traced, the wide ramifications of northern consanguinities 
have been explored, and the lifework of the more il- 
lustrious members of local septs has been briefly narrated. 
A few years azo, an attempt was made by a young Tyne- 
eider to gather the leading celebrities of his native valley 
into a book, and a very creditable attempt it was 

creditable not only to his literary abilities, but also to 
his local knowledge, and to his comprehension of North- 
Country life and character. It cannot be said, therefore, 
that biography is inadequately represented in local litera- 
ture. Whoso seek* may find it in profusion, 

From these capacious storehouses, and from hitherto 
unexplored sources, the writer proposes to extract mate- 
rial for short sketches of persons who have at various 
times filled positions of honour and trust " 'twixt Tyne 
and Tweed," and have contributed, or endeavoured to 
contribute, something to national progress, social improve- 
ment, domestic happiness, or rational amusement. And 
not only sketches of such persons as may have been 
"native and to the manner born," but of others who, 
although born elsewhere, have been for a time denizens of 
the classic laud which is bounded by the Bishopric and 
the Border. Among them are notables with whom local 
archives enable us to claim a considerable acquaintance. 
So copious and so minute, indeed, are the details which 
annals, wills, and conveyances of property afford respect- 
ing some of them that we can reproduce them in the very 
clothing they wore as they deliberated in council, slept in 
the sanctuary, chaffered in the market place, served in the 
shop, and ruled in the household. Of others little is 
known, beyond the facts or feats that brought them into 
prominence, and we must be content with such bare 
recitals as are common to all collections of biography. 

Throughout the series no attempt will be made to illus- 
trate or enforce any political idea, religious doctrine, or 
literary " fad." The questions to be answered in writing 
a brief epitome of a man's life are " Who was he ?" 
" What did he do !" " How did he do it ?" Within the 
compass of those three queries lies everything that the 
impartial biographer needs to illustrate, and all that the 
judicious reader cares to know. 

Of the two principal methods of writing personal his- 
tory, the alphabetical is in some respects better than the 
chronological ; but a combination of the two is best of all. 
In these sketches the alphabetical arrangement will be 
generally followed as to surnames, and when there are 
several persons bearing the same cognomen, the elder 
will precede the younger in chronological sequence. 



Newcastle was the birthplace of at least one recognised 
poet Mark Akenside. The family from which he sprung 
had been established at Eachwick, in the parish of 
Heddon, for many generations. It was old, respectable, 
and, in its later developments, Puritan. " 1716, Deo. 18. 
Abraham, son to Thomas Akenside, of Eachwick, a 
Dissenter, said to be baptised by somebody," is the dis- 
respectful entry of a member of the family which Mr. 
Cadwallader Bates quotes (" Archseologia ^Eliana," vol. 
xi.) from Heddon Church registers. Mark Akenside, a 
younger son, came from Eachwick to Newcastle, and 

March, 1 
1387. / 


having served liis apprenticeship and taken up his free- 
dom, commenced business as a butcher. On the 10th of 
August, 1710, he married, at St. Nicholas" Church, Mary 
Lumsden. Eleven years afterwards, on the 9th Novem- 
ber, 1721, at their house in AH Hallow Bank, or Butcher 
Bank, the second son of this marriage was born. It was 
arranged that he should bear his father's name, and three 
weeks from the date of his birth he was taken to the 
Close Gate Meeting House, where the family worshipped, 
and was baptised by the learned and godly pastor of the 
congregation. Brand quotes the entry of this interesting 
event: "Mark Akenside, born the 9th November, 1721 ; 
baptised the 30th of the same month by the Rev. Mr. 
Benjamin Bennett." 

There was at that time in Newcastle one William Wil- 
son, a member of the community that assembled at Close 
Gate Chapel, an amiable and scholarly man, who kept a 
private school, and occasionally preached for the minister. 
With him, after a short course at the Royal Grammar 
School, young Akenside was placed to complete his 
elementary education. The boy was a cripple, through 
an injury to his foot by a cleaver falling on it while play- 
ing in his father's shop at the age of seven, and this defect 
assisted the natural bent of his mind towards books and 
study. It soon became apparent that he was gifted be- 
yond the common run of Newcastle boys. Before he was 
sixteen ho had written verses that gave promise of future 

success in literature, and his father and his father's 

friends encouraged him to adopt a literary career, with 

the dissenting pulpit as the stepping-stone to competence. 

Towards the close of April, 1737, the editor of the 

Gentleman's Maquzinc received a letter and a poem 
from Newcastle that attracted his attention, and he 
printed them both. The poem was, entitled "The 
Virtuoso, in Imitation of Spenser's Style and Stanza.," 
and the letter was as follows : 

Newcastle-on-Tyne, April 23. 

I hope, sir, you'll excuse thn following poem (being 
the performance of one in his sixteenth year) and insert 
it in your next magazine, which will oblige yours, &C., 


The writer was young Mark Akenside, the butcher's son, 
William Wilson's scholar. 

Thus encouraged, Akensida followed up his maiden 
effort in print by an ingenious fable, called "Ambition and 
Content." It appeared in the succeeding issue of the maga- 
zine, and in July he contributed " The Poet, a Rhapsody." 
This was followed by "A British Philippic " against the 
Spaniards, which was BO much to Mr. Urban's taste that 
he issued it in folio as a separate publication at sixpence a 
copy. The Newcastle boy had become an acknowledged 

As yet a child, nor yet a fool to fame, 

[He] lisp'd in numbers, for the numbers came. 

And now the time arrived when the hopes of his friends, 
and the yearnings of his own ambition, wera to be 
gratified. He was in his eighteenth year, and must go to 
college. Akenside the elder was only a small tradesman 
(a brother at Eachwick had paid young Mark's education 
hitherto), and the expense of a collegiate course was 
beyond his means. But some members of the dissenting 
congregation (removed in the meantime from Close Gate 
to Hanover Square) were wealthy ; tiiera was a fund for 
training pious youths to be ministers ; and, believing that 
Mark Akenside, junior, would be an ornament to Noncon- 
formity, they provided what his father lacked, and sent 
him to Edinburgh University to qualify himself for the 
Presbyterian ministry. Before he had been there many 
weeks he discovered his mistake. The restraints of a 
pulpit were not for him. Ho had begun to climb 
Parnassus, and could not encumber himself with the small 
clothes of theology nor wear the fettera of the sects. For 
one term only did he pursue the course of study marked 
out for him. Then he repaid his father's friends their 
generous loan, and entered himself as a medical student. 

In the study of medicine, however, Akenside made less 
progress than his friends desired. Not only were his 
hours of study interrupted by poetic digressions, but his 
ambition soared away beyond both poetry and physic. 
Ho looked forward to a political career and a seat in Par- 
liament. With this object he took a leading part in the 
discussions of the Edinburgh Medical Society, and in the 
opinion of Dugald Stewart, one of his fellow-students, 
was "eminently distinguished by the eloquence which he 
displayed in the course of the debates." But, as he him- 
self sung in later years 

The figured brass, the choral song, 

The rescued people's glad applause. 

The listening senate, aud the laws 

Kixed by the counsels of Timoleon's tongue, 

Are scenes too grand for fortune's private ways. 


t March. 
\ 1887. 

And, as time went on, his ideas became more practical. 
When lie returned to Newcastle be had probably made up 
his mind to follow the profession of medicine, and to com- 
bine with it, as far as was compatible, the cultivation of 
the poetic muse. He styles himself " surgeon" in a letter 
from Newcastle dated August 18, 1742, though it is not 
known that he ever practised in the town. His bio- 
graphers believe that he was chiefly occupied on his 
return from the University in the composition of 
his great didactic poem, " The Pleasures of Imagina- 
tion." There is no douot that he completed it in its 
original form in the summer of 1743, for at that time, 
with the MS. in his possession, he went to London to find 
a publisher. Fortune assisted his adventure. Dodsley 
bought the poem for 120, and in January, 1743-44, it was 
published anonymously. The favour with which it was 
received raised the author, at the age of twenty-three, to 
a recognised position among British poeta. 

Elated by his literary triumph, Akenside went to Ley- 
den, and at the University of that town on the 16th 
May, 1744, took his degree of doctor of physic. Return- 
ing to England, he commenced practice at Northampton 
as a physician ; thence proceeded to London, and by 
the aid of a college friend (Jeremiah Dyson, Clerk to 
the House of Commons, who allowed him 300 a year) 
settled there. From this period his connection with his 
native town came to an end. If he did not actually 
disown his birth-place, he ceased to identify himself with 
it, and his career thenceforward belongs to general rather 
than to local history. In 1753, he was admitted to a 
doctor's degree at Cambridge, and was elected a Fellow of 
the Royal Society. In the following year he became a 
Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, in 1759 physician 
to St. Thomas's Hospital (where his rudeness, not to say 
brutality, to the patients shocked his contemporaries), and 
in 17G1 one of the physicians to Queen Charlotte. Ha 
died of fever on the 23rd June, 1770, and was buried in 
St. James's Church, Westminster. 

"Akenside," writes one of hi biographers, "had 
a pale and rather sickly countenance, but manly and 
expressive features. The formality of bis deportment, 
the precise elegance of his dress, his ample wig in 
stiff curl, his long sword, his hobbling gait, and 
his artificial heel rendered his appearance far from 
prepossessing. ... In general society bis manners 
were not agreeable. He seemed to want gaiety of heart, 
and was apt to be dictatorial in conversation. But when 
surrounded only by his intimate friends he would instruct 
and delight them by the eloquence of his reasoning, the 
felicity of his allusions, and the variety of his knowledge. 
He had no wit himself, and took ill the jests of others. 
He was gifted with a memory of extraordinary power, 
and perfect readiness in the application of its stores. With 
the exception of Ben Jonson, Milton, and Gray, it would 
be difficult to name an English poet whose scholarship 
was of a higher order than Akenside's." 
Akenside's poems have been published in various forms, 

and are included in all the collections of British poets 
that have been'issued since his decease. Biographies of 
him have been written by Charles Bucke (1 vol., 8vo, 
1832) ; Dr. Johnson (" Lives of the Poets ") ; Dr. Lardnor 
("Cabinet Cyclopoedia ") ; Alexander Dyce ("Aldine 
Poets"); P. H. Gosse ("Dictionary of National Bio- 
graphy "), and others, and every history and handbook of 
Newcastle contains more or less copious sketches of his 
career. The street in which he was born has been re-named 
" Akenside Hill," and a modern thoroughfare in Jesmond 
is called "Akenside Terrace." Unfortunately his birth- 


place in Newcastle has been pulled down, and the house 
rebuilt. But before it succumbed to the restorer the old 
place was the scene (in 1821) of a centenary demonstration, 
whereat enthusiastic Novocastrians recited turgid verse 
and dined merrily. 

Newcastle is proud of Mark Akenside, although Mark 
Akenside's pride hindered him from being proud of New- 


On the 13th of January, 1882, at Jesmond Vicarage, 
in his 67th year, died Canon Berkeley Addison, M.A., 
Vicar of Jesmond. He was the second son of the ROT. 
Jos. Addison, of Shiffncll, Shropshire, and was educated 
at St. Peter's College, Cambridge, where he was classical 
prizeman in 1836, and graduated B. A. in 1839. Ordained 
deacon in 1839, and priest in 1840, he held brief 
curacies at Brighton and Kensington, and in 1843 settled 
in Edinburgh as curate under Dean Rarmay, editor of 
the well-known books on Scottish wit and humour. 
There he remained twelve years, preaching with great 

March, 1 
18S7. / 


acceptance. In 1855 he was appointed rector of Colly- 
hurst, near Manchester, and it was from thence, when 
Jesruond Church was completed, at the close of 1860, 
that he was brought to Newcastle. 

The story of the erection of Jesmond Church, as a 
protest against the election of Vicar Moody to the Mas- 
tership of the Mary Magdalene Hospital, will be told here- 
after. It is sufficient to say. in this connection, that Mr. 
Addison was unanimously appointed to the living, and 
that his ministrations justified the choice of the trustees. 
An eloquent preacher, a fluent platform speaker, and a 
liberal-minded man, he soon became popular in New- 
castle. When the School Board was formed in the town, 
he was put forward as one of the Church candidates, and, 
of the fifteen representatives elected, was returned tenth 
on the poll. His fellow members elected him to be the 
first vice-chairman of the Board, and on the death of Mr. 
Falconar, he succeeded to the chairmanship, a post which 
he occupied until hia retirement in 1877. From 1874 to 
1880 he was proctor for the Archdeaconry of Northumber- 
land, and in the meantime was presented with an honorary 
Canonry of Durham. The congregation at Jesmond cele- 
brated the twentieth anniversary of his ministry by pre- 
senting him with a purse of gold containing 320, and an 
address (signed by John Cutter and James Thompson, the 
churchwardens), in which his faithful services were recog- 


nised, and a hope was expressed that he might be long 
spared to uphold and expound those great principles of 
the Reformation which Jesmond Church was founded to 
Canon Addison was not a voluminous writer, but he 

had a ready pen, and frequently used it. He was the 
author of two goodly volumes, "The Ark of Israel " and 
"The Rod of Moses." He also published various 
pamphlets against the tendencies of Romanism, and a 
series of addresses entitled " Manchester Lectures." 



About the time when George Stephenson was sending 
his son Robert to Rutter's School, at Long Benton, 
Joseph Addison, grocer, in that village, was arranging for 
his younger son Thomas to study medicine in the Edin- 
burgh University. Mr. Addison was a member of a 
family of yeomen that had been settled for generations at 
Lanercost, in Cumberland, and, knowing the value of 
education, as Cumberland dalesmen usually do, he gave 
his children the best that his station in life as a village 
grocer permitted. He had them educated by the younger 
Moises at Newcastle Grammar School. Thomas was a 
promising pupil at the old institution in the Spital, and, 
desiring to be a doctor, went to the university as a 
medical student when he was seventeen years of age. In 
Edinburgh he made quick progress, and within five years 
of his entry graduated M.D. He wrote for his inaugural 
treatise " De Syphilide," and, devoting himself to the 
study of the special disease which that treatise covers, he 
obtained the appointment of house surgeon to the Lock 

Afterwards, although an M.D., he entered himself as a 
student at Guy's Hospital, and in due time was elected 
one of the assistant physicians of that institution, and 
lecturer on materia medica. In 1837 he was promoted to 
be one of the physicians of the hospital, and entered upon 
a career of remarkable success as a clinical lecturer. 
" Addison of Guy's " became a famous name, and the 
hospital itself attained a high character as a school of 
medicine. In 1S55 he made one of the most brilliant 
medical discoveries of the century the existence of 
diseate in the supra renal capsules. These organs had 
not been previously suspected to be the seat of disease, 
but Dr. Addison showed that ihey were capable of pro- 
ducing a fatal malady, indicated by special symptoms, 
one of which is a discoloration of the skin. For some 
time the medical world was incredulous, and inclined to 
doubt the physician at Guy's ; but in a few years the 
truth of his theory was demonstrated and confirmed, and 
the affection is now universally known as "Addison's 

Dr. Addison published several important treatises, and 
contributed valuable papers to the medical societies. He 
died at Brighton on tne 29th June, 1860, and was buried 
at Lanercost Abbey among his ancestors. A collection of 
his writings, edited by Drs. Daldy and Wilks, was issued 
in 1808. 


f March, 

1 1887 

Sacfc Crafof orfc, Hit 

HE heroism of Sunderland sailors has 
morn than ones received ample illus- 
tration. Hardy sons of the North, 
enjoying the excellent physical de- 
velopment peculiar to the inhabitants 
of this severe locality, trained to battle 
with the elements in peaceful times, they were ever valu- 
able for intrepidity, skill, and daring, when "wild war's 
deadly blast" called men from industrial occupations. 
Their valour has not passed without recognition in well- 
informed and influential quarters. A committee of the 
House of Commons, in the year 18?0, paid the sailors 
employed in the coal trade the following high compliment 
by resolution : " That the number of men obtained in the 
course of the war, from Newcastle and Sunderland, does 
not indeed bear a great proportion to the whole of the men 
employed and raised in the same time for the navy ; but 
their value is not altogether to be estimated by their 
number. The diilicukies of the navigation in the coal 
trade are admitted to give the seamen derived from it, in 
point of skill and experience, patience of fatigue and hard- 
ship, an incontestable superiority over those drawn from 
other maritime trades of the kingdom. During the late 
war, our naval officers gave a decided preference to sailors 
bred up in the coal trade." 


Jack Crawford, the hero of Camperdown, was born in 
what is now called the Pottery Bank, Sunderland, in the 
spring of 1775. His father was a keelman on the Wear. 
The boy was fond of the sea, and served a regular appren- 
ticeship in the Peggy, of South Shields. A difference in 
his family occurring about 1796, Jack left Sunderland, 
and entered on board a man-of-war. In the following year 
he became famous by the daring deed which he performed 
on boatd Admiral Duncan's flag-ship, the Venerable. 


The battle of Camperdown, one of the famous naval 
victories won by British sailors when "wooden walls", 
were in their glory, was fought between the English and 
Dutch fleets on the llth October, 1797. The fleets were' 
commanded, on the English side by Admiral Duncan, and 
on the Dutch side by the famous D< Winter. Duncan 
had been blockading the Dutch coast for months, and he 
found it necessary to proceed to Yarmouth to refit, leaving 
only a small squadron of observation under the command 
of Captain Trollope. Scarcely had the Admiral reached 
the Roads when a vessel at the back of the sands gave the 
cpirit-stirring signal that the enemy was at sea. Not a 
moment was lost in getting under sail, and early on the 
morning of the llth be was in sight of Captain Trollope's 
squadron, with a signal Hying for an enemy to leeward. 

He instantly bore up, made signal for a general chase, and 
soon came in sight of the enemy, meanwhile forming in 
line on the larboard tack, between Camperdown and Eg- 
mont, the land being about nine miles to leeward. Each 
fleet consisted of sixteen sail of the line, exclusive of 
frigates, brigs, and other craft. As they approached each 
other, the British Admiral gave orders to his fleet to 
break the enemy's line and engage to leeward, each ship 
to choose its opponent. The signal was promptly obeyed, 
and, getting between the enemy and the land, the action 
commenced about half-past twelve, and, by one, was 
general along the whole line. The Monarch was the 
first to break through. The Venerable, Admiral 
Duncan's ship, failed in an attempt to pass astern of 
De Winter's flag-ship, the Vryheid. As the Venerable 
came up, the States-General, another vessel of the 
enemy, filled the gap through which Duncan had in- 
tended to pass. The Venerable, although the original 
intention failed in execution, was not to be denied, and, 
immediately pouring a destructive broadside into the 
States-General, compelled that vessel to abandon the 
line. Admiral Duncan then engaged the Vryheid, and 
a terrible conflict ensued between the two commanders- 
in-chief. But it was not a single-handed fight. The 
Dutch vessels, Leyden, Mars, and Brutus, in con- 
junction with the Vryheid, poured broadside after 
broadside into the Venerable till Duncan deemed 
it expedient to give ground a little, although he 
did not retreat. Meanwhile, the Triumph came to 
the Venerable's assistance, when the two vessels 
gave a final blow to the gallantly-defended Vryheid, 
a terrific broadside bringing the masts by the board, 
and reducing the ship to an unmanageable hulk. 
De Winter struggled a little while longer on what was 
left of his gallant craft ; but further opposition was fruit- 
less, and, it is said, he pulled his flag down with his own 
hands, remarking, when he presented it to Admiral Dun- 
can, that he was himself the only man left unwounded 
on the quarter-deck of the Vryheid. Throughout the 
rest of the line the contest was not less fiercely sustained. 
But with the surrender of the Dutch flag-ship hostilities 
ceased : nine vessels were captured by the English ; and 
De Winter was brought on board the Venerable a prisoner 
of war. Shortly after the States-General had received 
the fire of the Venerable, she escaped from the action, and, 
along with two others, was carried into the Texel. The 
carnage on board the two admirals' ships was fearful. 
Not fewer than 250 men were killed and wounded in each. 
The total loss of the British was 191 killed and SCO 
wounded, while the loss of the enemy was computed 
to have been twice as great. At the conclusion of 
the battle the English fleet was within five miles off 

March, 1 
1887. I 


the shore, where many thousand of the Dutch witnessed 
tha defeat and destruction of their fleet. Admiral 
Duncan was created a peer of Great Britain by the title 
of Viscount Duncan of Cainperdown and Baron Duncan 
of Lundie, to which estate he had succeeded by the 
death of his brother. A pension of 2,000 a year was 
granted his lordship for himself and the two next heirs 
of the peerage. The thanks of both Houses of Parlia- 
ment were unanimously voted to the fleet, and Lord 
Duncan was presented with the freedom of the city of 
London and a sword valued at 200 guineas. Gold 
medals were struck in commemoration of the victory, 
and presented to the admirals and captains of the fleet. 
People wore " Camperdown " ties, hats, and ribands, and 
the story of the battle was on the lips of all. 


When the Venerable was hard pressed in the unequal 
combat, with four vessels concentrating their energies for 
her destruction, an incident occurred which was dwelt 
upon with just pride by chroniclers of the engagement, 
which called forth the most enthusiastic popular applause, 
and which in itself was a proud illustration of the bravery 
of the British tar. The fiercest cannonade rattled through 
the shrouds and rigging of the vessel. It came from all 
sides, slashing and tearing, bearing death and destruction 
on its wings of fire, and sadly crippling the gallant seventy- 
four which carried Admiral Duncan's flag. Several times 
had the colours been shot away, and as often had their 
place been promptly supplied. At last, part of the mast 
which bore them came crashing down on deck with the 
"red rag " still clinging to the broken spar. The Admiral 
was near when the accident occurred. Coolly stooping 
down, he tore the flag from its fastenings, and, looking 
round, sought for some one who would once more replace 
the ensign. It could no longer be run up in the usual 
way, since tlie necessary part of the mast had succumbed 
to the enemy's fire. He called for some one to mount the 
rigging and nail the colours to tha broken mast. It was a 
dangerous duty, and he who dared it look his life in his 
hand. A pause ensued before a volunteer appeared, but 
the pause was short, and there stood befoi-e the Admiral 
one whom he had learned to trust, and whose townsmen 
he had come to respect for their resolute bravery and skill. 
" Here, John," he said, handing the colours to the sailor, 
"nail them up, and save further orders about them." 
Armed with a marling-pike as hammer, " John" climbed 
the rigging, ropes and rattlings dangling uselessly, and 
bullets cutting those that remained of service to shreds be- 
fore him. Up, up he went, bearing as it seemed a charmed 
life, for the shot went harmlessly past him as the battle 
raged fiercely down below. Clinging to the broken timber, 
he literally nailed the colours to the mast, nimbly slid 
down the topmast backstay, and jumped on deck amid the 
cheers of his comrades and the approbation of his com- 
mander. The sailor was Jack Crawford, of Sunderland. 
Sir John Hamilton, who was in command of the Active, 
which acted as tender to the Venerable, saw Crawford go 

aloft, and then understood the reason of Duncan's par- 
tiality for North-Country seamen. Jack had not escaped 
scatheless. He was shot through the cheek, the missile 
inflicting a wound which proved rather troublesome to 
heal. But hs had done his duty, and vindicated the 
honour of England. 


There is a different account of the daring act from the 
one we have just given. We have assumed that Admiral 
Duncan gave the order to nail the flag to the mast ; but 
some local accounts agree in saying that Jack Crawford 
performed the act of heroism on his own account. In the 
sketch of Jack's life written by the late Captain Robinson 
it is stated that Duncan gave the order, but the circum 
stance is thus referred to in Richardson's Local History 
and in the Percy Anecdotes :" In the memorable 
enzagement which Admiral Lord Duncan had with the 
Dutch fleet on the llth of October, 17U7, the flag of the 
Venerable, Lord Duncan's ship, was shot away by the 
Dutch Admiral De Winter. John Crawford, a sailor be- 
longing to Sunderland, then on board the Venerable, 
upon observing this, immediately ran up the shrouds 
(amidst the fire of the enemy) with a marling-spike in 
his hand, and, with the greatest coolness and intrepidity, 
nailed the Venerable's flag to the topgallant mast-head." 
Whichever account be the correct, one, enough of glory 
remains to stamp the act as one of the boldest which 
a man could dare to do. 


If the news of the victory at Camperdown was recaived 
with great enthusiasm throughout the country, the sensa- 
tion created by the intelligence in Sunderland seems to 
have been more intense than could have been generally 
prevalent. At that time the post arrived in the town at 
eleven o'clock in the forenoon. The news arrived on 
Sunday, when the good folks of Sunderland were at wor- 
ship. A loyal citizen, elated with tlie joyful intelligence, 
in passing St. John's Church, opened the north door and 
shouted at the top of his voice, ( * Admiral Duncan's 
defeated the Dutch fleet at Camperdown !" The congre- 
gation were at prayers at the time, when Mr. Haswell, 
the organist, immediately struck up the national air of 
"Rule Britannia." and the congregation responded to 
heir organist's enthusiasm by trising while tho spirit- 
stirring air was performed. Prayer was then quietly 


These demonstrations of joy were mada in utter 
ignorance of the gallant exploit of the Sunderland 
sailor, and further satisfaction was in store for the 
inhabitants when they learned what Jack Crawford 
had done. Ordinary expressions of delight failed to 
satisfy the public appreciation of tha sailor's bravery, 
and in March of 1798, the year after tha battle, an 
elegant silver medal was presented to Crawford, at the 
expense of the town. On the one side was engraved a 
view of two ships in action, with a scroll on the top 



I March, 
X 1887. 

bearing the emblem "Duncan and Glory." The reverse 
bore coat-of-anns, quadrant, and on the shield ap- 
peared the motto " Orbis est Die," while below was 
engraved, "The town of Sunderland to John Crawford, 
for gallant services, the llth of October, 1797." Craw- 
ford received many other marks of honour. So far down 
as July, 1802, we find it recorded that at a dinner given 
by the friends of Mr. Rowland Burdon, M.P. for the 
county of Durham, at the Gray's Inn Coffee House, 
London, Sir Frederick Merton Eden, Bart., in the chair, 
among the toasts given was the following, which received 
an enthusiastic response: "Jack Crawford, the Sunder- 
land sailor who nailed the British colours to the mast-head 
in the action off Camperdown." When the great National 
Demonstration was observed in London, soon after the 
battle, to commemorate the victory of Camperdown, 
Jack Crawford was not forgotten. It was arranged 
that there should be an open carriage in the procession 
with a sailor bearing the Union Jack, and this sailor was 
to have been the gallant Crawford ; but he could not be 
found when wanted, having, as Robinson puts it, gone 
" on the spree with his Poll." As the carriage passed 
through tho streets it was one of the most interesting 
features of the procession. The crowd showered into it 
money of all kinds, and the sailor reaped a rich harvest. 
This was but a too true illustration of the carelessness 
of his own interests which Jack, with sailor-like thought- 
lessness, practised during his life. He had no ambition. 
He did his duty like a man and a British sailor, and 
he was not solicitous to reap material advantage. It is 
said that when in London a member of the Royal Family 
asked what he could do for him Jack requested, in 
reply, that a keel should be bought for him, and that 
he should be allowed to go and ply it in his native 


When Jack left the navy he received a pension of 30 a 
year. He returned to Sunderland, and there followed the 
avocation of a keelman. Generous and sociable, his com- 
pany was courted, and he often yielded to temptations 
which surround men of his quality who have done 
something to win the admiration of their fellows. 
His habits often left him in hard straits for money, 
and eventually he pledged his medal, which lay for 
29 years at a Mrs. Dunn's before it was redeemed. 
Speaking of the medal, Jack's son, a keelman on the 
Tyne, said to his father's biographer : " I ought to have 
had that now ; after my father died, I had it for a few 
months, but my mother said she had more right to it than 
me, and that I should have it at her death, which hap- 
pened about six years after my father. I never saw it 
ny more. I was told that Mr. Robert Burdon Cay, 
the attorney, gave my mother 5 for it ; from Mr. Cay 

it became the property of the late Mr. John Moore ; 
from Mr. Moore it passed into the hands of another 
gentleman of the name of Moore, a relative, I believe, of 
Mr. Moore, and by whom, 1 have been told, it was given 
to the Earl of Camperdown, in whose possession it now 
is. I should like to have kept it in the family, but I am 
too poor a man ever to think of being able to purchase it 
from its wealthy possessor." The medal really passed 
into the hands of the Duncan family, by whom it is re- 
tained, together with the colours that Crawford 
nailed to the stump of the mast head, and the 
colours which the Dutch admiral presented to the Eng- 
lish commander. Jack was present at the burial 
of Nelson, and walked in the procession with his 
medal on his breast, before hard times had obliged him to 
part with this mark of his townsmen's honour and esteem. 
It is stated that when Vauxhall waa in its glory one of 
the exhibitions consisted of a representation of the battle 
of Camperdown. Crawford was offered 100 per week to 
exhibit nightly in the act of nailing the colours to the 
mast, but he replied, "No, I will never disgrace the real 
act of a sailor by acting like a play fool !" and the enter- 
prise of the managers could not tempt him aside. 


Jack was married at St. Paul's Church, London, in 
1808. His wife's maiden name was Longstaff, daughter 
of a shipbuilder of that name in Sunderland. He had a 
family of several sons, and at least one daughter, who 
married in Sunderland. The eldest son became a keel- 
man on the Tyne, and other two, who were sailors, 
left Sunderland many years ago. It is supposed they 
went to Australia. Jack Crawford died at Sunder- 
land in 1831. In that year the cholera broke out 
on the coast, and the hero of Camperdown was the 
second victim. He lived in a locality of the town and 
amid surroundings calculated to invite the pestilence, 
and he succumbed to the fell disease. As the first 
visitation of cholera to this country took place in that 
year, and as Sunderland was one of the towns first 
attacked, Crawford was among the first Englishmen who 
died at home of the pestilence. It is supposed that his 
remains lie near the grave of the late Rev. Robert Gray, 
rector of Sunderland. No stone marks the spot. Poor 
Jack had to struggle with poverty in the decline of life. 
He was a great bird fancier, and spent much of his time 
in catching the feathered warblers. Some years ago a 
movement was commenced in Sunderland to erect a 
monument to his memory. Subscriptions were promised 
or received, but the proposal fell through. A lithograph 
representation of Jack nailing the colours to the broken 
mast of the Venerable was published in Newcastle soon 
after the event. 

March, \ 
1887 / 





HE spiritual oversight of the pariah of 
Lesbufy, near Alnwick, was committed, 
in the first year of the reign of King 
James the First, to a wonderful man of 
the name of Patrick Makel Wian, or 
M'llwaine, who has somehow escaped 
the notice of the indefatigable Sykes, and of whom we 
should have known nothing, nor even so much as have 
heard, but for the equally industrious and more famous 
Fuller, who gives some account of him in his " Worthies." 
While fulfilling the duties of chaplain to the king's 
army, and accompanying the troops from place to 
throughout the country, Fuller employed himself in 
collecting materials for his immortal work, and one of the 
gentlemen whom he found to give him valuable informa- 
tion was Alderman Atkins, of Windsor, who wrote to him 
as follows : 

Windsor, Sept. 18, 1057. 

There is an acquaintance of mine, and a friend of yours, 
who certified me of your desire of being satisfied of tiie 
truth of that relation I made concerning the old minister 
iu the North. It fortuned, in my journey to Scotland, I 
lay at Alnwick, in Northumberland, one Sunday, by the 
way ; and, understanding from the host of the house 
where I lodged that this minister lived within three miles 
of that place, I took my horse after dinner and rode 
thither, to hear him preach, for my own satisfaction. I 
found him in the desk, where he read unto us somn parts 
of the Common Prayer, some of holy David's Psalms, 
and two chapters, one out of the Old, and the other out of 
the New Testament, without the use of spectacles. The 
Bible out of which he read the chapters was a very small 
printed Bible, He afterwards went into the pulpit, where 
he prayed, and preached to us about an hour and a half. 
His text was, "Seek ye the kingdom of God, and all 
things shall be added unto you." In iny poor judgment, 
be made an excellent good sermon, and went clearly 
through, without the help of any notes. After sermon, I 
went with him to his house, where I proposed these several 
following questions to him : Whether it was true the 
book [the alderman does not say what book] reported of 
him, concerning his hair? Whether or no he had a new 
set of teeth come? Whether or no his eyes.ght ever 
failed him ? He answered me distinctly to all these, and 
told me he understood the news-book reported his hair to 
have become a dark brown again, but that it is false. He 
took his cap off and showed me it. It is come again like 
a child'.-*, but rather flaxen than either brown or grey. 
For his teeth, he had three come within these two years, 
not yet to their perfection ; while he bred them he was 
very ill. Forty years since he could not read the biggest 
print without spectacles, and now he blesseth God there is 
no print so small, or written hand so small, but he can 
lead it without them. For his strength, he thinks himself 
as strong now as he hath been these twenty years. Not 
long ago he walked to Alnwick to dinner, and back again, 
six North-Country miles. He is now one hundred and 
ten years of age, and, ever since last May, a hearty body, 
very cheerful, and stoops very much. He had five children 
after he was eighty years, four of them lusty lasses, now 
living with him: the other died lately ; his wife yet hardly 
fifty years of age. He writes himself Machel Vivian. He 
is a Scottish man, born near Aberdeen. I forget the 
town's name where he is pastor. He hath been there 
fifty years. Your assured loving friend, 


There is inserted in Wanley's " Wonders of the Little 
World, or General History of Man," a quarto volume, 
printed in 1791, for 0. Taylor, opposite to Brook Street, 
Holborn, a letter from the aged pastor himself, giving 
the most distinct and satisfactory information that we can 
obtain. This letter was addressed to one William Leal- 
kus, a citizen of Antwerp, and handed over by him to the 
Dutch physician, Dr. Vopiscus Fortunatus Plempius, 
whereupon it was inserted by him in bin "Fundamenta 
Medicine," an esteemed work in its day. It is dated from 
Lesbury, October 9th, 1657, ani reads as follows : 

Whereas, you desired a true and faithful message 
should be sent from Xewcastln to the parish of Lesbury, 
to inquire concerning John Macklin : I give you to under- 
stand that no such man was known ever to be or hath 
lived there these fifty years past, during which time I, 
Patrick Makel Wian. have been minister of that parish ; 
wherein 1 have all that time been present, taught, and 
do yet continue to teach there. But that I may 
give you some satisfaction, you shall understand 
that I was born in Galloway, in Scotland, in the 
year 154fi, bred up in the University of Edinburgh, 
where- I commenced Master of Art ; whence, travelling 
into England, I kept school, and sometimes preached ; 
till, in the first of King Jam- -8, I was inducted into the 
church of Lesbury. where I now live. As to what con- 
cerns the change of my body, it is now the third year since 
I had two new teeth, one in my upper, and the other in 
my nether jaw, as is apparent to the touch. My sifjht, 
much decayed many years ago, is now, about the hundred 
and tenth year of my age, become clearer. Hair adorns 
my heretofore bald skull. I was never of a fat, but a 
slender, mean habit of body. My diet has ever been 
moderate ; nor was I ever accustomed to feasting or 
tippling. Hunger is the best sauce ; nor did I ever use 
to leed to satiety. All this is most certain and true, which 
I have seriously, though over hastily, expressed to you, 
under the hand of 

PATRICK MAKEL WIAN, Minister of Lesbury. 

The perusal of what is contained in Wauley's book, 
which was put into his hand by a person at Alnwick, 
led the generous and eccentric Percival Stockdale, who, 
in the last century, resided nine or ten years in the 
village as vicar of the parish, to make many inquiries 
concerning him, but to very little effect. Those who had 
heard of him could give no information but what was 
vague and trifling ; and many were not acquainted even 
with his name. One day Stockdale aaked his next-door 
neighbour, the inheritor of a small patrimony, whose an- 
cestors had lived in Lesbury from time immemorial, if 
any account had ever been given to him of Patrick Makel 
Wian, an old vicar of the parish, who was remarkable for 
his great longevity. He replied that he had never 
heard his name mentioned. The same answer was 
made to the querist by several intelligent persons, 
likewise old residents, from whom he had expected 
some satisfactory account. So much for the permanence 
of the memory of even remarkable men, when trusted to 
the keeping of local tradition. Patrick Makel Wian was 
worthy of being remembered for his virtus and piety, as 



\ 1887 

well as for his very great age : yet there is not even a 
simple freestone slab, far less a marble tablet, erected in 
commemoration of him in or near the church in winch lie 
faithfully ministered for considerably more than lialf-a 
century. Mr. Stockdale sought to find the spot where 
this venerable clergyman was buried. An old farmer in 
the village conjectured, but with great uncertainty, that 
he was interred in the church near the altar, betwixt the 
chancel door and the passage to the vestry. He likewise 
told Mr. Stockdale that, about forty years before, Mr. 
Thompson, the curate of Lesbury, copied some inscription 
or other, which might have been over the remains of the 
old vicar, from a flat stone in the space indicated. The 
floor was carefully examined, but not the faintest trace of 
an inscription could be discerned. As the clergyman of 
the parii-h, he should certainly, as Mr. Stockdale observes 
in his brief account of his fruitless explorations, have been 
buried in the chancel ; "but, perhaps," he adds, "in those 
days they were not so accurately respectful on euch 

The old Vicar's grand-dausrhter was buried, it seems, at 
the northern extremity of the churchyard, opposite the ( 
parlour window of the vicarage ; and it is not improbable 
that this was the place of his own interment also. Mr. 
Stockdale had the tombstone at thn head of the grave 
taken up. as he supposed that some part of the inscription 
upon it might have been sunk through time. On the lap 
of the stone was the name of William Gair, who died on the 
27th of May, 1719. This man married the granddaughter 
of the centenarian. She kept a school in a house which 
was afterwards the pari-;h poor-house. It was recollected 
of her that she was a "terror of a schoolmistress," on 
which Stockdale makes a brief comment "A female 
Busby in severity ; but not, I apprehend, in learning." 
William Gair, her husband, was a carpenter ; and in one 
instance, at least, he exercised his profession in a somewhat 
remarkable way. He made a coffin for himself, and 
another for his wife, probably at times when work was 
slack ; and these grim mementoes were lodged in his house, 
ready for the event certain to come, many years before 
either of them died. 

An old register book deposited in the vestry chest in 
Lesbury Church contains (or contained) the following 
entry : 

Agnis Machel Wyan, of Lesbury, 
Buried the 17th of May, 1701. 

The likelihood is that this woman was the daughter of 
the venerable vicar. 

One anecdote of the old man, communicated to Mr. 
Stockdale, does credit to his memory. The terrible plague 
which devastated London in the year 1GG5, and oi which 
Defoe gives such a graphic account, reached the remotest 
parts of the kingdom, and among other places Lesbury. 
It occasioned a considerable mortality in the village, which 
was then, we believe, inure populous than it is now. 
Such of the villagers as were infected with the dreadful 
malady were removed to tents, which were elected for 

their reception on the neighbouring moor ; and there the 
pious and venerable pastor, though apptoacbing his 
hundred and twentieth year, attended the sufferers with 
great assiduity, consoling them with his prayers, and 
assisting in procuring for them such medicines as their 
nalady required. 

Centenarian* in tjje 

The late Sir George Cornewall Lewis was not a believer 
in the common accounts of extraordinary longevity, such 
as Mr. Mukel Wian's. He disputed th correctness of 
parish registers, as well as of old people's recollections as 
to their own age. In the main, doubtless, he may have 
been right ; but, in the present case, there seems very little 
ground for rational scepticism. And if we accept only a 
tithe of the accounts which we have of persons who have 
lived far beyond what is termed the allotted, and is cer- 
tainly the usual, term of human life, in Northumberland 
and Durham alone, we shall find ourselves in the presence 
of a very considerable army of centenarians persons who 
have survived their hundredth year, and in some cases 
nearly reached a hundred and forty. Sykos records tha 
names of 173 man and women who lived to above 
a hundred in the two North-Eastern Counties, be- 
tween 1057 and 1799, and of 250 between 1800 and 1831. 
Latimer, in his continuation of Sykes, enumerates 116 
from the latter year down to 1855. And Mr. William 
Brockie, in his "Folks of Shields," gives a list of 72 
old psople who died at North Shields, Monkseaton, 
Tynemouth, Cullercoats, CollinRwood Main, Percy 
Main, \Vhitley, Chirton, Preston, South Shields, and 
neighbourhood, previous to 1857 the eldest on record 
in that district, John Ramsay, mariner, having lived to 
one hundred and fifteen, and none of the others to less 
than a hundred. Some particulars, not in Sykes, with 
regard to three or four of these exceptionally long-lived 
persons may be added. In a curious book, printed at 
Salisbury by James Easton, who was also its compiler, 
the name, age, place of residence, and year of decease of 
1,712 persons who attained a century and upwards, from 
A.D. 66 to 1799, are recorded, with anecdotes of the most 
remarkable. Of Adam Turnbull, who died at Wooler, in 
July, 1744, at the age of 112, Mr. Easton tells us that ho 
was able to walk twelve miles a day till within three years 
of his death. He had married four wives, and the last 
when he was over a century old. Ralph How, omitted 
by Sykes, died at Piukley Hill, near Bishop Auckland, in 
1768, aged 103. James Palmer, of Newcastle, fisherman, 
who died in the following year, aged 106, never had a 
day's illness in his life. John Nicholls, of Darlington, 
died at that place in 1773, in his 112th year ; and Mrs. 
Cooper, of Chirton, who departed this life in the same 
year, was only eight years his junior. Margaret Wilkin- 
son, of Chester-le-Street, who died in 1780, reckoned her- 

1687 I 



self 107 years old. And, finally, Mrs. Kerr, of Akeld, 
Northumberland, who died in 1780, aged 111, retained her 
mental faculties to the last. 

|o$cpl) j&atnt, tlje Jlortf) f&gnt (JTentenarkn. 

Mr. Joseph Saint died on Monday, April 26, 1886, 
at Chollerton, North Tyue, in the 103rd year of 
lii-i age. The deceased was born at Haltwhistle, on 
February 21st, 1784. He left Haltwhistle at an early 
period in his life, and settled down at Chollerton. He 
had passed upwards of seventy years in the house in which 
he died. Although so long past the allotted span of 
human life, Mr. Saint preserved almost to the last a fair 

measure of health and strength. A presentation was made 
to him on his hundredth birthday, the ceremony taking 
place in his house in the presence of tlie Rural Dean, the 
Rev. Canon Rogers, of Simonburn, and a few friends. 
When the Northern Political Union was an active force, 
Mr. Saint was a prominent politician on North Tyne. Nor 
had he, even an late as 1885, lust interest in political 
questions ; for he was among the voters who participated 
in the contest for the Hexham Division in that year 
probably the only centenarian who exercised the ballot 
throughout all England at the general election then 
held. Mr. Saint's portrait, as here given, was copied 
from a photograph taken by Mr. Thomas Scott, of 
Haltwhistle, a fe-.v months before the worthy old gentle- 
man's death. 




I 1887. 


at llabr iroU)0vtlT 

On May 24, 1786, Sir Henry George Liddell, Bart., of 
Ravensworth Castle, (rreat grandfather of the present Earl 
of Ravensworth, embarked at Shields, on board the 
Gothenburg Merchant, Captain George Fothergill, on a 
tour throueh Sweden, Swedish Lapland. Finland, and 
Denmark. He was accompanied by Mr. Stoney Bowes 
and Mr. Matthew Consett, and an account of the tour, 
written by the latter gentleman, with plates by Bewick, 
furnishes particulars of a remarkable experiment. 

It is said that this tour, which extended as far as 
Tornea, at the head of the Gulf of Bothnia, was under- 
taken in consequence of a wager made by the baronet 
that he would visit Lapland, return thence in a certain 
time, and bring home with him two females of that 
country and two reindeer. Whatever truth there may 
have been in this report, it is certain that he fulfilled 
the specified conditions, having brought two Lap girls 
and two reindeer to England, within three months of 
the time of his leaving home. The party returned to 
Ravensworth after a pleasant journey, at ten o'clock on 
the evening of the 17th August, or twelve weeks and a 
day alter he had set out. 

They were first met with at Igsund, in Western Noor- 
land, between twenty and thirty miles south-west of Her- 
iio-.-ui' 1. This small place, at which the travellers lodged 
for the night both in going and returning, is stated to have 
been the property of Class Grill, Knight of the Order of 
Vasa, and chief director of the Swedish East India Com- 
pany. That gentleman received them most politely, 
treated them hospitably, and put Sir Henry in the way of 
getting the two reindeer he wanted, as well as two suit- 
able females to attend upon them. The girls' names were 
Sigree and Anea, and they were natives of Jokmo, on the 
Lulea Elv, a little way below the Lulea Troesk, in Lulea 
Lapmark. With respect to their persons, they were low in 
stature, with broad features, like the rest of their country- 
women. Sir Henry had no difficulty in persuading them to 
undertake the enterprise. They seemed so satisfied that his 
intentions were good, and relied so entirely on the Imronet's 
promise that he would send them safely back again to 
their friends and country, that they made very little 
opposition to his proposals. In all probability the poverty 
of 'these females, joined to an enterprising spirit, occa- 
sioned their easy acquiescence. Mr. Consett says : " As 
their minds were entirely uncorrupted by the influence of 
foreign intercourse, as they had never travelled beyond 
their native mountains, and as their return was at least 
uncertain, it is very remarkable that they should so easily 
be prevailed upon to leave their friends and connections, 
their huts and their flocks, to undertake a dangerous, or 
at least a tedious, journey and voyage, to visit a country 
of which they were ignorant, and reside among a people 
whose manners and customs they could not know." 

" Many unfair and uncharitable censures," he tells us, 
" were thrown upon these innocent Laplanders. The 
voice of busy rumour is not often silent upon nuch sub- 
jects. An easy constitutional temper, joined to good 
health and good spirits, is very apt to ba misinterpreted 
by the morose and censorious. But it is cruel malevolence 
to attempt to depreciate innocence from mere suspicion. 
And that this was the only foundation for any reflections 
upon the Lapland girls, I dare venture to affirm." 

The parents consented without much ado to their 
daughters undertaking this arduous journey. They did 
so without any bribe or other consideration than the 
faithful promise of the baronet. They dropped, indeed, 
some natural tears, but wiped them soon. From Igsund, 
they accompanied their children a part of the journey, 
then took an affectionate leave and returned home. This 
extraordinary confidence of the old people was founded on 
the idea that their daughters would return laden with 
opulence. Probably nothing else could have tempted 
them to part from them, though even this is not apparent, 
as they were not so mercenary as to expect to be bribed 
into consent. " Will it be allowed me to reason from 
hence," asks Mr. Consett, " that the nearer we approach 
to a state of nature, the less the human mind is subject to 
suspicions?" The two adventurers, with three more 
females as companions, walked on foot with the five rein- 
deer near 600 miles before they reached Gothenburg, 
where the English tourists met them, and they embarked 
all together for England. 

The dress they wore when engaged was that of their 
countrywomen. They had never in their lives used any 
kind of linen. They had on close breeches, or rather 
trousers, of coarse cloth or " wadraal," reaching down to 
the shoes, which were made of uutanned skin, pointed 
and turned up before, and so roomy that in winter they 
could put a little hay in them, as our old-fashioned North- 
Country ploughmen used formerly to do. Their doublets 
were made to fit their shape, and open at the breast. 
Over the doublet they wore a close fur-bordered coat with 
narrow sleeves, the skirts of which reached down to the 
knees, and which was gathered round them by a leathern 
girdle, embroidered with brass wire, and ornamented with 
tin plates. In this girdle they had long knives stuck, 
as well as a flint and frizzle, tobacco, pipes, and other 
smoking apparatus. They wore their coarse black hair 
either coiled up under close-fitting peaked caps, or hang- 
ing down in the loose fashion lately called water-falls by 
ladies of the present day. 

Mr. Consett tells us that the reindeer bred after their 
arrival in England, and were likely to become very pro- 
lific. This expectation, however, was not realised. The 
animals perished in a succeeding winter, mainly, we 
believe, from the carelessness of those in whose charge 
they were left. 

The female Laps were received in this country as great 
curiosities, and were visited by all ranks of people. They 
were not only lively and cheerful, but graceful and un- 

March, \ 

1*87. f 



affected. During their stay in Northumberland, they lost 
none of those natural accomplishments which they brought 
along with them. Though introduced to people of 
distinction, they lost none of their modesty and humility; 
though distant from their native land, and possibly 
uncertain of their return, they lost none of their liveliness. 

The time came when they were to return, and they re- 
embarked in the same ship that brought them, reaching 
Sweden in safety, after an absence of several months. 
Their appearance at Gothenburg, Stockholm, and other 
towns they passed through excited considerable interest. 
The curiosity of the Swedes was great, and their interro- 
gatories many, concerning the reception they bad met 
with in England. To all these questions they were able 
to give the most satisfactory answers. Their comfortable 
new English clothes, and the little stock of riches they 
brought back with them, testified to the manner in which 
they had been treated. When Charles, Duke of Suder- 
mania, brother of Gustavus III., heard of their arrival in 
Stockholm, he expressed a desire to see them. They 
were accordingly ushered into his presence. The duke 
went very particularly into all the circumstances of their 
journey. The whole of their replies tended to the honour 
of England, and they did not conceal their reluctance to 
leave our hospitable country. 

When they returned to their native huts among the 
pine forests of Lapmark, they found themselves possessed 
of fifty pounds sterling quite a fortune in their country. 
Nor was this all their riches ; for they had, besides, many 
beautiful presents of trinkets, both valuable and various. 
It is understood that they married advantageously, and 
"lived very happy ever after." 

Sir Henry George Liddell also brought over a Lapland 
sledge, a figure of which illustrates the chapter " Of the 
Reindeer " in Bewick's volume of the " Natural History 
of Quadrupeds," and forms the frontispiece to Consett's 
"Tour." Unfortunately this sledge was allowed to be 
sold at a sale of the furniture of Ravensworth Castle, 
when the old place was pulled down in 1808 to make room 
for the present edifice. 


Mrs. Jameson, the celebrated authoress, resided, when 
young, some time in Newcastle. Her father was named 
Murphy. Mr. Murphy was t, miniature painter, and lived 
in this town a few years, early in the present century. 
He painted a portrait of Thomas Bewick, the wood 
engraver, and also one of William Charnley, bookseller, 
both of which were engraved. The former portrait is 
among the Bewick relics in the Natural History Museum, 
Newcastle. WM. DODD, Newcastle. 


In the year 1802 the father of Mrs. Jameson, Mr. 
Brownell Murphy, came to live in Newcastle to carry 
on his profession of miniature painting. Mr. Murphy 

soon became known and esteemed in Newcastle, and 
acquired many friends. His daughter Anna, the future 
Mrs. Jameson, was eight years old at this time. During 
the first year of their residence in Newcastle, the 
children were sent to stay at Xenton, whilst their father 
and mother were in Scotland. Thinking that the people 
in charge ot them were not kind to her little sisters, Anna 
arranged for them all to walk to Scotland to join their 
parents, and they actually set out, carrying slices of bread 
and bundles of clean clothes for Sunday, as it happened 
to be Saturday. They were soon observed and safely 
brought back. F. H., Newcastle. 


Mrs. Jameson's maiden name was Murphy. Her father 
win an Irishman and an artist. He was connected with 
the United Irishmen, and was a friend of Wolfe Tone, 
Lord Edward Fitzgerald, Napper Tandy, and other men 
of "98. He married an English lady, and for family 
reasons he was compelled to come to thia country, and by 
that means probably escaped the fate that befel his 
political associates. He took up his residence, first, at 
Whitehaven, where he lived for a short time. Then he 
came to Newcastle on -Tyne, and was here for some 
years. He lived above the shop of Richard Miller, 
a bookseller in Mosley Street. Mr. Murphy left 
Newcastle for London about 1S01 or 1S05. Mrs. Jame- 
son's husband was a barrister, and at one time held a 
judicial position in the West Indies, and afterwards in 
Canada. The marriage was not a happy one, but there 
was no formal separation. Her first essay in literature, 
however, was occasioned by a difference (which waa after- 
wards settled) that took place between her and her hus- 
band. It is to be regretted that there are no trustworthy 
details of the life of Mrs. Jameson, who was one of the 
most remarkable women of this century. She had a great 
aversion to publicity, and many of the materials which 
would have constituted interesting matter for her 
memoirs she destroyed. Her niece, who married a 
descendent of Macphorson, the translator of " Ossian," 
published a story of her aunt's life some ten years 
ago. Mrs. Macpherson was prompted to do this for 
the purpose of answering some charges made by 
Miss Martineau against Mrs. Jameson. Mrs. Jameson 
never lived in Newcastle after she left with her father 
when a child, but she visited this district several times, 
and in her memoirs, and in those of Miss Martineau, there 
is some interesting correspondence between the two ladies 
when Miss Martineau was living at Tynemouth, curing 
herself, as she thought, by mesmerism. Mrs. Jameson 
was at one time a very intimate friend of Lady Byron. 
I remember seeing her and hearing her speak at the 
Social Science Congress at Bradford in 1859. She was 
then a remarkably handsome old lady, and she greatly 
impressed the audience by her earnestness and eloquence. 

C., Newcastle. 

The following further account of the escapade at 



( Mrch, 
I 1SJJ7. 

Kenton is given in Mr. Welford's "History of Gos- 
forth " : 

Mr. Murphy, with his wife, being frequently absent 
from home, his four daughters, o f whom Anna (Mrs. 
Jameson) was the eldest, wore left in charge of a gover- 
ness named Yokeley. In 1803, when Anna was nine 
years old, the father and mother went on a journey to 
Scotland, and the governess accompanied the children to 
lodgings at Kenton for the benefit of the air. But, writes 
Mrs. Jameson's biographer, Miss Yokeley, in her turn, 
accepted an invitation to visit friends, and the little girls 
were left alone for two or three days under the charge of 
the people of the house in which they lived. These 
temporary guardians interfered to prevent some delight- 
ful composition of mud pies on which the young children 
had set their hearts, and the wail that followed the 
prohibition came to the ears of the elder sister, who had 
not a momenl's hesitation in proposing that they should 
all start that very evening to join their father and mother 
in Scotland. They must be sure and eat all the bread 
and butter they po-aibly could at tea, and stow away in 
the front and pockets of their frocks whatever amount of 
slices could be secretly abstracted from the plates ; then, 
each provided with a tiny bundle containing a change for 
Sunday, they wonld start on their journey. All went as 
smoothly as possible, no suspicions were aroused, and tho 
little girls stole softly from the house and hurried one 
after another down the village utreet. But the unusual 
appearance of the party soon attracted attention, and 
first one and tnen another wondered to see the little 
Murphys running off by themselves. Some gossip more 
energetic than the rest took it upon herself to give the 
alarm, and, greatly to Anna's chagrin and disappoint- 
ment, they were pursued and captured before meeting 
with a single adventure, save that one of the little bundles 
fell into a ditch, and a little red shoe was lost for ever. 


In all the history of Newcastle there is nothing more 
curious than the strange series of three almost similar 
accidents which befel at the place named after the first of 
them, "Lambert's Leap." 

A hundred and twenty-eight years ago, on the 20th 
September, 1759, young Outhbert Lambert, of his 
Majesty's Customs, son of the famous Newcastle physi- 
cian, Dr. Lambert, of Pilgrim Street, was riding along 
Sandyford Lane, when his mare took fright and bolted in 
the direction of Benton Lane. At that time the little 
burn, which, rising somewhere near Brandling Village, 
flowed open through the fields into the Drop Well 
ravine and joined the Ouseburn opposite Heatou llaugli, 
was crossed by a bridge at the junction of Sandy- 
ford and Benton Lanes, where there was a rather 
awkward turn. The frightened mare, instead of taking 
this turn, flew straight ahead in the line of Sandyford 
Lane, and jumped the parapet of the bridge into the 
ravine below, " making a leap of forty-five feet and thirty- 
six perpendicular." Luckily for the rider, the fall was 
somewhat broken by the projecting branch of an old ash 
tree, so that he managed to keep his seat to the bottom, 
and miraculously escaped without any further injury than 
a severe shaking. The poor mare, however, was not so 
fortunate, for every joint of her back bone was dislocated, 
and she died almost immediately. The event caused a 

profound sensation, and we may imagine how the New- 
castle people would flock to the scene of the accident, the 
very place where the leap occurrred being afterwards 
marked by the words " Lambert's Leap," cut on one of 
the coping stones of the bridge. 

It caused a sensation even so far off as London, where 
a Mr. Pollard, in 1786, published a large print of the 
incident, afterwards copied and engraved by Mr. John 
Scott for the "Sporting Anecdotes." The piint, how- 
ever, like some of the pictures in tho sensational illus- 
trated papers of the present day, was evidently drawn 
from imagination ; for, says Sykes, "it is neither a view 
of the place, nor does it give the true version of the 
facts." The yiew we give is a copy of the print, so that 
the reader will be able to judge for himself as to how far it 
agrees, or disagrees, with the true story as we have related 
it. For many years past the same pictorial version has 
been displayed on the sign of the "Lambert's Leap" 
public-house in Sandyford Lane. 

Twelve years after Mr. Lambert's adventure that is to 
say, on the 18th of August, 1771 another similar acci- 
dent took place at the very same spot. A servant of 
Sir John Hussey Delaval, of Seaton Delaval, was riding 
into Newcastle from his master's seat, when his horse took 
fright at the Barras Bridge, and ran away with him along 
Sandyford Lane. Some people attempted to stop it at the 
bridge ; but it sprang over the parapet into the dene 
below, just as Mr. Lambert's mare had done. Again the 
rider escaped with very little damage. The horse, how- 
ever, was shot to put it out of pain, so much was it injured. 
The man, though he fell beneath the horse's body, was 
saved by landing between two large stones, which pre- 
vented its weight from crushing him. 

Fifty six years or thereabouts passed away, and again, 
for the third time. Lambert's Leap was the talk of the 
town. It was on the 5th December, 1827, that a young 
Newcastle surgeon, Mr. John Nicholson, was riding along 
Sandyford Lane. Again the horse took fright, and again 
it leaped over the parapet, in so doing kicking down the 
incised coping stone : but time it was the horse which 
escaped injury, and the rider who was killed. Mr. 
Nicholson died the same evening from the effects of the 

Another engraved coping stone soon replaced the ori- 
ginal, which had been broken by falling into the dene, 
and still it may be seen, and still we may look over the 
parapet and see the deep ravine below, the scene of 
these three accidents. The course of the burn north 
of the bridge has long since been arched over 
and covered in, and the landmarks round about have 
strangely altered. No more can we see the little lane 
which used to lead from the end of Shield Street to 
Lambert's Leap, by the side of which stood tho " bump- 
ing stone," or " lucky stone," on which as boys we 
laid our ear to hear the "witches roaring," or "the 
devil washing his dishes," and suffered for our credulity 

1887. _/ 




at the hands of our comrades. No more exists the 
pleasant lane which led from Lambert's Leap, past 
Shieldfield House, towards Stepney. No longer is 
Sandyford Lane the Sandyford Lane of yore, with its 
garden palinps and hedges rich in moths and " logger- 
heads" on one side, and its cornfields and dreaded 
stable where the man l:ung himself on the other. And 
doubtless soon the Drop Well ravine itself, where used to 

grow such glorious store of red -cheeked apples and luscious 
pears, will be filled up ; and there will be no more need of 
the parapet wall, and it too shall be levelled and cleared 
away. When that day comes we hope the stone inscribed 
in memory of Lambert's Leap may be preserved in some 
place where we and those who come after us may be abl* 
to look upon this memorial of the strange and startling 
incidents we have described. E. J. C. 


S *!a 





I March, 
I 1887. 

gutter of J^rlrinacnlr0 

HE Forsters and the Fenwicks were 
eaually ancient, and almost equally 
important, Northumberland families. 
The former rose to the highest position 
short of ennoblement when James I. 
beatowed upon them the castle and 
manor of Bamborough, and they fell from this high es- 
tate along with their neighbour and relative, Lord Der- 
wentwater, in the rebellion of 1715. Thomas Forster, 
who took so prominent a part in that unfortunate rising, 
was the son of Frrdinando Forster, of whose tragic fate 
we have now to write. The Fenwicks have been famed in 
Border legend ever since Northumberland and South 
.Scotland had scribes to indite their rude annals, or poets 
to sing their deeds of robbery, love, and war. They are 
of far-dated Saxon origin, and derived their name as a 
clan from their ancient fastnesses in the fenny lands 
about Stamfordham. The House of Percy from of old 
looked upon the Fenwykes (such was the original spelling) 
aa amongst its most faithful and foremost retainers. 
From the dawn of history they were in the van of all 
the border fights, and the slogan or gathering cry, " A 
Fenwyko ! a Fenwyke ! a Fenwyke !" was a deadly 
sound in the ears of the Scotch invaders. From the 
time of Henry IV. to that of William III., the head seat 
of the Fenwyke family was Wallington. But they were 
evidently a prolific as well as a powerful clan, for their 
roots struck out far and wide until their name is so truly 
Northumbrian that a Fenwick would be hailed as a son of 
the far North by Englishmen all the world over. 

In the year 1701 one John Fenwick was residing at 
Rock Hall, near Alnwick. His wealth appears to have 
been derived in some considerable measure from a colliery 
at Kenton, near Newcastle. He was regarded as a man 
of high position, and in this capacity, as was natural, his 
name figured in the grand jury lists of the county. He 
had been summoned to serve in Newcastle at the Summer 
Assizes, and was in attendance on this .duty. Ferdinando 
Forster, of Bamborough Gaatle, Member of Parliament 
for Northumberland, was in town on the same service. 
On the 22nd of August, the Grand Jury dined together at 
the Black Horse Inn, then the best house of entertainment 
in Newcastle, but since taken down to make way for the 
present Clayton Street. Tradition glorifies these banquets 
at Assize time as among the most festive re-unions for 
county gentlemen the period afforded. The Whigs of the 
day swore by the Act of Settlement and the Protestant 
Succession, whereas the Tories plotted and brooded over 
their treason in the hope that one day it would be hatched 
into a new revolution. Moat of the Fenwicks were inclined 
to the Jacobite cause, and it may be assumed that the 

Forster who took part in the Derwentwater rising was not 
the first of his name who had favoured the hopeless causa 
of the Stuarts. 

Only three years before the date of our tale, Sir John 
Fenwick, of Wallington, had been beheaded on Tower 
Hill for "compassing and imagining the death of the 
king, and adhering to his enemies " a crime which was 
specially created by Act of Parliament to secure his con- 
demnation. We need not suppose, then, that the gentle- 
men of the grand jury quarrelled about politics over their 
cups in the hostelry of the Black Horse ; but it is clear 
that there was some sort of family feud between Mr. 
Forster, of Bamborough, and this particular Fenwick, 
of Rock. It may have been an old family quarrel, 
or some dispute about lands and territorial ritrhts. 
One tradition points to a gambling transaction as the 
origin of the bad feeling between the two squires. 
It is more than probable that there had been an 
old grudge rankling in one or other or both hearts, and the excitement of the gaming table had stirred 
the smouldering fire to Same. According to the version 
given by Mr. Edward Collingwood, Recorder for New- 
castle, to Alderman Hornby and purporting to have 
been transmitted from the Recorder's father, who was an 
eye-witness of the quarrel, if not of the actual tragedy 
the immediate provocation was that Mr. Fenwick came 
into the dining chamber hilariously singing a partizan 
song, of which the refrain was "Sir John Fenwick's the 
flower among them," and as this ditty was in glorification 
of the Fenwick clan as compared with the Forsters and 
many other North-Country families, the member for the 
shire took umbrage at the arrogant sentiment. Heated 
words were exchanged, and matters would have been 
speedily carried to extremity but for the intervention of 
the rest of the company. 

So far as appearances went, the mediation was success- 
ful, but unfortunately events proved that the wounds in 
the feelings of both gentlemen had only been skimmed 
over. They quaffed " the cup of kindness " together, but 
it was a simulated healing of the feud. The next day 
Mr. Fenwick and Mr. Forster met by accident in New- 
gate Street, on a spot where a white thorn grew, and near 
to the Old White Cross. Here the ill blood of the pre- 
vious night began to grow hot once more. Angry words 
were exchanged. Both gentlemen wore swords as did 
all who pretended to the quality of gentlefolk in those 
days and in a few minutes they were engaged in fierce 
combat. Mr. Forster was killed, and Mr. Fenwick fled 
for his life. 

Another account says that the quarrel of the dining- 
room issued in a challenge, which was accepted on the 

1887 f_ 



spot, and while the two enraged squires were going out to 
fight in the open air, Fenwick came stealthily behind 
Forster and stabbed him in the back. This would seem 
to be the more likely version, because in those days fatal 
results from duelling were rarely, if ever, construed into 
murder, as was the case in this instance. It also tallies 
better with the tradition that Mr. Fenwick became a 
fugitive, and was only captured after a long search. An 
entry in the old register of St. Andrew's shows that a 
reward of forty shillings was actually paid to a man as a 
reward for pursuing and taking Fenwick after the fatal 
affair at the white thorn tree. 

But whether it was a dastardly assassination or a stand- 
up fight, it is obvious that the slayer of so important a 
person as Mr. Forster a knight of the shire would be 
sure in the first instance to aim at concealment and escape. 
It is probable that he did not get very far ; indeed, it is 
Baid that he was almost instantly taken in a garden 
attached to a house in Gallowgate. 

The Assizes were still proceeding, so that the pre- 
liminary examination before the magistrates led to Fen- 
wick being forthwith put upon his trial before the very 
judge with whom a few days before he had been engaged 
as an assessor and dispenser of justice. He was found 
guilty and sentenced to be hanged an extreme instance 
of legal vengeance, if we are to assume the fact of a duel, 
but unexceptionable on the supposition of cowardly stab- 
bing. It is quite in accordance with the custom of that 
day that he should have been sentenced to be hung on the 

actual scene of his crime ; and hence may have originated 
the statement that ho was hanged near the white thorn 
tree. The Collingwood account preserved in the manu- 
script notes of Alderman Hornby, which professes to be 
in correction of the common report relied on by Brand in 
his "History of Newcastle," represents the execution as 
having taken place on a scaffold erected for the purpose 
between the gaol and the governor's house. Both ver- 
sions agree in the story of the town gates being shut prior 
to and during the execution. One of them alleges as the 
reason for this extra precaution the great veneration felt 
throughout the northern part of the county for the name 
of Fenwick a reverence which, in these lawless times, 
was very apt to show itself in open defiance of judge, 
gaoler, and hangman. The other account assigns a more 
specific object of fear to the minds of the authorities. 
The Kenton pitmen were employed by Mr. Fenwick, and 
it was thoueht that they would create a riot, under cover 
of which they might rescue their unfortunate master. 
There appears to be no doubt, however, that the gates 
were shut, and this fact alone would show what solemnity 
the justices attached to an occasion on which a Fenwick 
was to suffer death for the murder of a Forster. 

The White Cross, the scene of the tragedy we have 
described, is figured in the little woodcut we print below. 
It was removed many years ago ; but the site it occupied 
in Newgate Street, immediately opposite Low Friar 
Street, is marked by a circle of stones in the middle of the 






her tfte Chttrcftgarlr 

The interesting paper which is here presented to our 
readers was contributed to the Newcastle Weekly 
Chronicle in July, 1885. The initials at the end of it 
are those of n esteemed contributor to that paper, 
the now venerable JAMES CiEPHAJf. 

Over tho churchyard wall, and through the iron rail- 
ings, peep the tombstones of St. John, Newcastle. On tho 
one side, the city of the living : on the other, the city of the 
dead. The throng and hurry of warm life is here the 
quick step and the passing salutation ; and there, dust 
and ashes and unbroken silence. The lettered stone 
looks over the wall, with its remembrance of death and 
departure, appealing to young and old as they pace 
the way their fathers hare gone ; but with unconscious 
gaze they hasten by, heedless of the admonition. " Jack 
Scott," Lord Chancellor of an after day, scaled the fence 
with his playmates, and bestrode ^the headstones with 
mimic horsemanship, over against the school in which he 
got his learning ; and now, near upon the churchyard 
path, is the recorded death of one of his neighbours in the 
days of his youth. Barbara Bowes, born before the 
Rebellion of 1745, and of about the same age as Lord 
Stowell, lived on the opposite side of the thoroughfare 
where dwelt his parents, and, as the sculptured memorial 
tells, died May 29, 1834, aged 90. Lord Eldon was wont 
to say, when sitting in Chancery, that he ought not to 
complain of the narrowness of his court, having been born 
" in the foot of a chare." Narrow enough was Love 
Lang narrower even than now when the youthful 
Barbara ran up stairs and down under the parental roof ; 
for she would gossip with her grandchildren in the 
nineteenth century, not without some pardonable sense 
of pride, how she had often shaken hands with Eldon 
and Stowell, and their brothers and sisters, reaching over 
the way to each other from the upper windows of their 

Farther away from the street than the grave of Barbara 
Bowes, and unmarked by any monument, repose the re- 
mains of William Thomas under the churchyard path. 
Coming to Newcastle a poor lad, extensive estates were 
gradually committed to his charge ; and while he was 
living in Denton Hall, and when the proposal of a canal 
between the eastern and western sea was commanding 
public attention, he was the first to suggest that preference 
should be given to an iron road. At the monthly meeting 
of the Literary and Philosophical Society of Newcastle, 
February, 1SOO, when Thomas Bewick (whose tailpiece of 
the boys mounted as racers on the churchyard stones 
preaches of the contrast and companionship of life and 

death) had been nominated as a member, William Thomas 
read a paper in which he not only recommended the con- 
struction of a railway, but that it should be made for the 
conveyance of passengers, as well as for the transit of 
minerals and general merchandise. Mr. Thomas died on 
the 20th of April, 1824, at the age of 66, when the world's 
earliest passenger railroad, the Stockton and Darlington, 
was approaching completion ; and he was laid to rest it: 
the churchyard of St. John ere the Newcastle and Car- 
lisle project was realised. 

Not tar distant had been interred, in 1773, John Cun- 
ningham, the pastoral poet, whose lines, 

In the barn the tenant cock. 
Close to tartlet perched on high, 

and so on to the end of " The Day," the boys of the Stock- 
ton Grammar School, when I was one of them, were piping 
in the ears of the master from Lindley Murray's " Reader," 
till he was doubtless weary of the tune. Undisturbed by 
the prompter's call, tho " poor player " rests from his voca- 
tion, and no longer treads our streets with purse ill-lined, 
in the worn form portrayed by Bewick when death was 
walking by his side. 

Close against the churchyard wall, catching the eye in 
Westgata Street, is the brief record of William Charnley, 
apprentice of that 

Martin Bryson on Tyne Brig, 

An upright, downright, hone.-it Whig, 

with whom Allan Ramsay, author of this rhyming postal 
address, rejoiced to hold correspondence. His indentures 
fulfilled, the apprentice joined his fortunes with those of 
his master, and afterwards succeeded him in the business 
carried on from 1716 over the great tidal highway of tho 
Tyne. There, the poems of Cunningham were " sold by 
W. Charnley" in 1765; and there, with his trumpet at 
his ear, the bookseller was found, in 1771, by the over- 
whelming flood which ruined the viaduct in a November 
night, and brought loss and embarrassment to many a 
prosperous shopkeeper whose trade lay on the picturesque 
roadway over the river. Not until the close of the year 
1773, "by the kind assistance of his friends," was 
Charnley "enabled to begin business" anew at the bridge 
end ; and thence, in 1777, he removed to the Groat 
Market, where, on the site at present occupied by the 
entrance to Collingwood Street, he died at the age of 76, 
on the 9th of August, 1803. Not the most delicate of 
trumpets could now bring the music of the human voice to 
"the dull, cold ear" that lies mouldered over the church- 
yard wall at the foot of his memorial stone. 

The new thoroughfare undertaken in 1809, notwith- 
standing the protests of those who stood by the ancient 
ways, "that it would lt the west wind into the town !" 

March, 1 
1847. / 



was Burned in honour of the great admiral born at the 
head of the Side, who died on the 7th of March, 1810, 
'while it was in course of formation ; and now, not remote 
from the tombstone of William Charnley, but nearer the 
Cunningham window, Frances Oviston, wife of a Colling- 
wood Street "bookseller and stationer," has her graven 
note of kindly remembrance, reminding elderly Novo- 
castrians of the delight which they derived in their young 
days from the attractive pictorial panes opposite the Turf 
Hotel, when the mail-coach and its guard were in their 
roseate glory. 

"The burial-place of Edward Chicken, twenty-five-years 
clerk of this parish," lies between the south wall of the 
church and the flagged footway, the parochial registrar 
passing in 1746 from his pulpit within to his resting-placo 
without. Author of "The Collier's Wedding," he also 
earned for himself, as arbiter and peacemaker, the 
honorary and honourable title of "The Mayor of the 
White Cross." 

Over the churchyard wall lie bookseller and poet, parish- 
clerk and railway projector, and Barbara Bowes of the 
Quaysids chare, who shook hands with the Scotts over 
the narrow way, all finding, with the dust of generations, 
a common home round the old church of St. John. " In 
the chancel, much defaced," in the time of Brand, was 
the storied monument of the Astells, writ in prose and 
verse, in Latin and English. William Astell, flourishing 
under the Monarchy and the Commonwealth, was a 
devoted Royalist, 

, . . whose heart bled 
When rebel feet cut o!f their head. 

Some years he survived the fall of Charles on the Fcaffold; 
and when time had softened his sorrows, and his wounds 
were healed in death, he was laid to rest, "till the last 
trump shall sound," with an inscription invoking the 
attention of the living to the memorials of the dead that 
were strewn around : 

Stay, reader, stay, who would'st but canst not buy 
Choice books, come read the Church's Library, 
Which, like sibylline leaves, etc. 

Another parishioner, who also found commemoration in 
the chancel in the seventeenth century, was Oswald Chay- 
tor, a worthy predecessor in the reading desk of Edward 
Chicken. Bravely he had played his part in the pitiless 
pestilence that fell upon Newcastle after the Armada. He 
was among the heroes of the hour, and one of its recorders. 
When Drake and Howard, and the winds of heaven, had 
scattered the invading fleet of 1588, the plague, a more 
formidable foe, took the field in 1589. Seldom long absent 
from the land of our forefathers, it now swept into the 
grave in Newcastle upwards of seventeen hundred men, 
women, and children, about one fifth of whom were buried 
at St. John's. The curate of the parish, and the grave- 
maker, were of the number. Chaytor's first entry oc- 
curs on the 8th of June, 1589 : " 1 child and 1 woman 
died in the plague." On the 4th of July : " A poor man 
buried, the first which died in the plague." It was in 
October that the pest attained its most fatal height. In 

this single month, 128 of the parishioners were devoured 
by the epidemic ; " whereof," says the parish clerk, "three 
score and three were children, thirty-two young men and 
maids, and thirty-three married folks." Far down into the 
reign of Queen Elizabeth's successor, the exemplary official 
outlived the sweeping mortality, " departing to the mercy 
of God, July 21, 1623, aged 68 years," during 3S of which 
he had held and justified his appointment. He had also 
followed the vocation of a linen-weaver, and thus repre- - 
sented two callings now extinct within the shadowy mural 
boundaries of Old Newcastle, and food for antiquaries. 

What materials for history are to found within the 
circuit of one of our closed burial-grounds ! Here, going 
back beyond William Astell and Oswald Chaytor, is John 
Wilkinson, the Sheriff of 1555, the Mayor of 1561, who 
was making his will on the 1st of February, 1571, in our 
now departed " Middle Street," and unconsciously giving 
us our first historic mention of the monarch of musical 
instruments in the parish churches of Newcastle ; desiring 
(says Bourne) " to be buryed in Saincte John Churche, on 
the noi'the syde of the same churche, nyghe where the 
organes doithe stande. " One of the merchant adventurers 
and drapers of the borough, besides remembering the poor 
and needy, he instructs his executors to provide a dinner 
at his funeral for his brethren and neighbours in the 
Middle Street, where he had his house and place of busi- 
ness. Mixed and multifarious were the commodities in 
which he dealt thread and "thymble," saffron and 
"synemount," tape and tacks, trenchers and playing 
cards, " catechismes " and "a-be-cees," "quyck -silver" 
and " pyk " [pitch], silver goods and lead, with " yron " 
of all kinds and countries, and everything else besides. 

At what date the music of the organ was first heard on 
the Tyne, at St. John's or elsewhere, is not on record ; 
but from the second volume of Mr. Welford's "History of 
Newcastle and Gateshead," pp. 239, 240, it is to be learnt 
that the Dissolution under Henry VIII. found the instru- 
ment in the religious houses. After the surrender of the 
monastery of the White Friars, overlooking the Close, 
January 10, 1539, there was an inventory of "the stuff 
and other things " comprised therein ; with, " In the 
Quire, a pair cf organs" ; and also, " In the Lady Chapel, 
a pair of organs." " Pair of organs " was a familiar form 
of speech at a period when the instrument, exposing its 
inner life to view, and not compactly imprisoned in a 
case, conveyed to the eye but little sense of unity. " Pair " 
was used indeed, in many directions, synonymously with 
set. The widow of Lord Fitzhugh, of Ravensworth 
Castle, Richmondshire, Constable of England at the 
coronation of Henry the Fifth, making her will in the 
autumn of 1427, touchingly bequeaths to " Geg " (a name 
of fond endearment) " a paire "(or string or set) "of bedes 
of gold." (Wills and Inventones : Surtees Society.) Nor 
is the phrase yet altogether obsolete amongst us, if less 
common than once it was. We still hear, occasionally, of a 
pair (or flight) of stairs, a pair (or chest) of drawers, ic. 
Speech, however, varies as generations come and go ; 



I 1887. 

and not the tongue alone is mutable. All around the 
venerable church of St. John, gardens and orchards for- 
merly flourished. From their home in Rosemary Lane, 
embowered among flowers and fruit trees, when Georfce 
III. was king, the Collingwoods looked over the church- 
yard wall on the grey old tower and the mounds of the 
slumbering dead. Here, in 1775, died Cuthbert Colling- 
wood, "formerly a merchant in this town," his widow 
Milcah, " mother of Captain Collingwood, of the Mino- 
taur," surviving down to 1788. In June, 1791, the future 
admiral and peer, when in command of H.M. frigate 

Mermaid, married the eldest daughter of John Erasmus 
Blackett, Mayor of Newcastle for the fourth time ; of 
whom it is noteworthy to state that, when appointed to 
the office of Sheriff in 1756, he had no predecessor on the 
municipal roll, in either capacity, bearing two Christian 
names. Camden says, indeed, that when King James 
crossed the Tweed, in 1003, there were but two of his 
English subjects who had been thus endowed at the font. 
But he who reads a newspaper in the light of the present 
day sees how common it is to have two or more. 

J. O. 


In the spring of 1639, King Charles I. passed through 
Northumberland with a strong army to negotiate with, 
and if necessary fight, the covenanting Scots, who were 
threatening to invade England. In his train was Edward 
Norgate, a courtier full of humour and full of spirit. 
Norgate wrote to Secretary Windebank and others very 
copious accounts of the royal progress, and of the some- 
what tedious proceedings which culminated in the short- 
lived Treaty of Berwick. Usually State papers are not 
very entertaining reading, but in those of 1639 Norgate's 
jaunty letters lighten up the page, and give animation to 
an otherwise monotonous record. Here is an extract 
from one of his letters dated Newcastle, May 9th : 

The king prepares for his march hence on Wednesday 
next, against which time all are commanded to be in 
readiness to attend his person and to take up their 
lodgings as he doth, in the fair fields sub dio, to which 
purpose the army is moving before, to be ready upon the 
way some five or six miles hence, with whom the king in- 
tends to march their slow pace and easy journeys, about 
seven or eight miles a day, till we come to Berwick, which 
is already so full as little shelter will be allowed to any 
but some few of the principal servants, and to mend the 
matter there are no villages near, nor friendly bush nor 
brier to lend assistance. 

Yesterday inarched through this town about seven or 
eight companies of foot with some horse, before whom 
rode the Lord General gallantly mounted and vested d 
la Soldado, with his scarf and panache, with many brave 
attendants, who brought the foot to their first quarter a 
few miles hence. The Earl of Holland and the horse 
troops have gone forward two days since, and this day 
the gross of the army, yet behind, pass on to their fellows. 
Much discourse here is whether we shall fight or no. At 
Durham the bishop feasted the Lord General, the Lord 
Chamberlain, and other grand seigniors, amongst whom 
it pleased him to call me. 

I remember a great man said that he mp.rvrlled why 
the Sects did think we should be so in love with their 
country as to seek to take it from them, that 
many of that nation were gallant soldiers and deserving 
men, whom he valued and honoured according to their 
merits ; but for his part he never saw anything in Scotland 
worthy the fighting for. 

The following is an extract from a letter dated Berwick 

At Newcastle there was great debate about the king's 
gsing forward or staying there till the army was in teadi- 
neis. My lord of Bristol was very earnest for his stay 
there, producing a Scot who offered to be hanged if they 
did not see ten or fifteen thousand Scots upon their march 
liitherward, and how unsafe it was to venture the king's 

person among an untaught and inexperienced army, unen- 
trenched, and, perhaps, as ill fed as taught, was easy to 

However, the king went on Ascension Day to Morpeth, 
12 miles, and thence to Alnwick, 14, where he lay that 
night, with intention to be at Berwick the next, which 
was 12 miles to Belford and as far thither. The next 
day I followed, intending that night to lodge at Alnwick, 
whence I supposed the king gone the morning that I set 
out from Newcastle, but, riding through Morpeth, I was 
stayed by my lord of Bristol, whom I found walking in 
the street. He wished me to go no further, for the king 
made a halt at Alnwick, and would, contrary to his first 
purpose, stay there all that day and the next, upon some 
alarm that was in the camp, whereof he received informa- 
tion from the Lord General, so that persons of great 
quality lay in their coaches, carts, &c., the town being 
very little and the company great. So at Morpeth 1 
stayed, but the next day went on to Alnwick, whence 
the king was that morning gone to the army at Goswick, 
for the alarm was false. 

The next morning, passing through Belfort (nothing like 
the name either in strength or beauty), it being the most 
miserable, beggarly, sodden town or town of sods that ever 
was made, in an afternoon, of loam and sticks, there [ 
stumbled on Mr. Murray, one of the cupbearers to his 
Majesty, who had taken up the every and only room 
in the only alehouse. Thither he kindly invites me to a 
place as good as a death's head or memento fur mortality, 
the top, sole, and sides being all earth, and four beds no 
bigger than so many large coffins ; indeed, it was, for 
beauty and convenience, like a covered sawpit. Our host- 
ess was a moving uncleanly skeleton. 1 asked him who 
had condemned him thither. He said durum telum 
necessitous, that he with four score other gentlemen of 
quality, a horse troop, being billeted the nieht before at a 
little village three miles further, coming to the place after 
a long and weary march, found no other accomodation 
than a dark and rainy night, in all the town not one loaf 
of bread, nor quart of beer, not a lock of hay nor peck of 
oats, and little shelter for horse or man ; only a few bena 
they roasted and ate without bread, but not without 
water. Their horses had nothing. He told me I should 
find the army in little better condition, the foot companies 
having stood in water up to the ankles, by reason of the 
rain ; that in forty-eight hours they had no bread, no 
other lodging but on the wet ground, the camp being low, 
near the seaside, nor any shelter but the fair heavens. 
After dinner, 1 rode to the army, where I think there was 
not above 7.000 foot, the horse elsewhere disposed into 
villages, about 3,000. [Margin, " 1,000 horse in all here."j 
There I found the cause of the late want was for lack of 
carriages to bring bread to the army, but now they wera 
better accomodated, yet lay sub dio. 

The king was in his tent, about which some of the lords 
had pitched theirs. I think none who love him but must 
wish the army ten times doubled, and those ten fifteen 
times better accomodated, especially seeing this town as ill 
provided as the other, and the hourly reports of the Scots 
advancing 10,000 in one place and 15,000 in another to 
second their fellows. Yet we are told th'V come with a 
petition ; but it seems they mean to dictate the reference 

March, 1 
1887. / 



themselves, wherein, I believe, Sir Edmund Powell will 
have little to do. To this town I came last night, whore 
Sir John Burrows and I could hardly get a loaf of bread 
for supper ; a black cake we got, scarce edible ; I went to 
Mr. Secretary's to beg one, and had it given me with inucli 
difficulty, Mr. May protesting that his master was glad to 
send to my Lord Governor for bread for him and his the 
day before, and that he got but two small halfpenny 
loaves. This day our host, fetching us some for dinner, 
had it snatched from him by one of the soldiers, who 
much complain. The people here say that if some speedy 
order be not taken, they shall want bread for their 
families, the soldiers devouring what can be got, and the 
Scots, by whom it seems this town was formerly supplied 
with victual of all kinds, and that in a plentiful manner, 
and cheap, being now debarred, they fear extremely the 
want of provisions, the country on the Northumberland 
Bide being very barren, but plentiful beyond the bound 
rod [boundary rod] towards Scotland. 

As at recent Exhibitions at South Kensington and 
Edinburgh the ghosts of "Old London" and "Auld 
Reekie" revisited the glimpses of the moon, so, on New- 
castle Town Moor next May, when the Royal Jubilee 
Exhibition opens, we may expect to find the " counterfeit 
presentment" of OldTyne Bridge spanning the still waters 
of Lodge's Reservoir, or what is left of it, as the original 
did the swirling stream of coaly Tyne in days gone by. 
It will be a notable and a cheering spectacle in the eyes 
of those of antiquarian taste, as affording a rare example 
of what Mackenzie calls the " improving spirit of the 
age" diverted from its usual channel of destruction into 
the opposite one, the revival of old things 

It would perhaps have been going too far back to have 
attempted to show the similitude of the Roman bridge of 
A.D. li!0, which Hadrian threw across the Tyne, and 
which, as far as we know, though doubtless with many 
patchings and repairings, seems to have lasted for 1,130 
years. But in the reproduction of the edifice which suc- 
ceeded this and lasted up to 1771, we can look with more 
sympathising eyes, as being nearer our own epoch, and 
ws may say almost linked to it by memory; for are 
there not men now living who have known and 
conversed with those who were familiar with, and per- 
haps even lived on, Old Tyne Bridge? The original 
and its copy are, in a certain way, linked together by a 
curious coincidence ; for the one was erected during 
the reign of the first English monarch who saw the jubilee 
year of his accession, as the other will be, if all goes well, 
during the reign of the last who has enjoyed a similar 
rue experience. 

It was in 1250, in the reign of Henry III., that Old 
Tyne Bridge was built of stone, on the site of its pre- 
decessor, which, as recorded by Matthew Paris, was de- 
stroyed by fire in 1248. What a wealth of romantic 
incident and historic association is there not bound 
up with the story of the oM bridge which stretched 
across the Tyne, and formed part of the high road 
between North and South for over five hundred years 

commencing on the eve of the summoning of Eng- 
land's first representative Parliament, and ending on 
the eve of the American War of Independence \ When 
we look on its restored form, what pictures could not be 
conjured up from the dark recesses of the past of the 
structure and its fortunes and changes, and of the suc- 
ceeding generations which have in turn passed over it and 
out of ken, save for the glimpses we catch of them now 
and again by the faint and uncertain light of the torch of 
history \ 

The bridge itself we may see, in our mind's eye, in pro- 
cess of evolution into a hanging street houses being 
added and extended, altered and rebuilt, as the 
years passed on. We may see the massive tower 
near the centre, with its portcullis and frowning 
arch, degenerating from a military work into a 
house of detention for thieves and vagabonds. We 
may see its lonely hermit in his cell, praying, as en- 
joined, for the soul of that Newcastle worthy of worthies, 
old Roger Thornton. We may see the gateway built at 
the south end, where was once a drawbridge, and the 
rising of the magazine gate at the north end, where was 
set up by loyal hands and pulled down by the Parlia- 
mentarians the statue of King James I., and where, after 
the Restoration, was placed the statue of the Merry 
Monarch now to be seen in our Guildhall. We may see, 
too, on occasion, spectacles gruesome enough in all 
conscience, evidences of barbarous ages at one time 
the severed right arm of Scotland's betrayed champion, 
Sir William Wallace, displayed upon the battlement 
of the Bridge Tower : at another, and that as late 
as the reign of Elizabeth, the head of Edward 
Waterson, a seminary priest who suffered in Newcastle, 
elevated on a spike on the same place ; many a time and 
oft such common sights as the heads of a few Tynedale 
mosstroopers bleaching there in the wind and rain " for 
the encouragement of the others." But we may see a 
more cheering sight the gorgeous pageant of the nup- 
tial procession of Margaret of England, daughter of 
Henry VII., pass over the bridge on its way north, 
where the fair princess was to wed the King of 
Scots who afterwards fell on Flodden Field. We 
may, still in imagination, hear the doleful scream 
of that poor servant maid of Dr. James Oliphant, 
who, one mid day in 1764, leaped from her master's 
cellar window, to find her death in the deep waters of the 
Tyne. (The four-storey house of Dr. Oliphant stood over 
the southernmost arch of the bridge the cellar, so called, 
hanging below the arch, its floor very little above the 
level of the stream.) We may see the changing crowds 
passing and re-passing along the narrow roadway of the 
bridge, with the timbered houses towering high above and 
almost meeting overhead. Wo may see them stopping, 
perhaps, to cheapen the goods in the shops milliners', 
mercers', hardwaremen's, booksellers', cheesemongers' 
which line the bridge on either side. We may see, per- 
chance, the fire which destroyed the shop of "upright, 


[Mar. 1887. 

Mai. 1887.1 




From an Etching by T. M. Itichardtm, Sen. 



r March, 

downright, honest" Martin Bryson, bookseller, and friend 
of Allan liamsay. And, last scene of all, we may see 
the destruction of the whole quaint fabric in 1771. 

On Saturday morning, the 16th of November in that 
year, the bridge stood perfect, presenting the aspect we 
see in the copy of an etching by T. M. Richardson, sen., 
made from an ideal sketch by his son George. At 
night, the river, swollen by the recent rains in the 
west country, rose to an extraordinary height, 
and, as darkness fell, was heard rushing with 
fierce violence through the arches, so that the bridge 
quivered and shook in an alarming way. Before daybreak 
next morning Old Tyne Bridge was no more. The story 
of its fall, of the tragic fate of some of its dwellers, and 
of the exciting adventures of others fortunate enough to 
escape, has often been told. The other view we give, 
which is taken from a plate in Brand's "History of 
Newcastle," will convey some idea of the ruins as they 
appeared a few days after the catastrophe. 

Soon a sturdy successor arose from the ruins the Tyne 
Bridge which most of ua remember well, and which was 
replaced in 187b' by the present Swing Bridge. 

R. J. C. 


According to an old tradition, Raymond Lully, sur- 
named the Enlightened Doctor, one of the most famous 
philosophers of the thirteenth century, visited the North of 
England, in the course of his long, weary wanderings. It 
was not only the object of his travels to proclaim the 
necessity of a fresh crusade for the recovery of the Holy 
Land from the Saracens, and to labour, wherever he went, 
earnestly and persistently, in season and out of season, to 
convert infidels to the true faith, but likewise to 
utilise his special ability as an alchemist or 
chemist, and also as a physician, he being 
deeply versed in those secret arts which the Arabians 
had long cultivated, and acquainted, moreover, with the 
standard medical works of Celsus, Galen, Avicenna, 
Averrhoes, and, of course, Hippocrates and Aristotle. 
He had been conversant at one time of his life, either as 
pupil or friend, with the celebrated Roger Bacon. 

Making bis way towards Durham, on the invitation of 
its powerful prince-bishop, Antony Bek, through the 
North of England, then in a very disturbed state, owing 
to the seemingly interminable troubles in Scotland, he 
fell into the hands of Ranulph de Neville, Lord of 
Raby, Keverstone, Brancepeth, and Middleham, who 
was then at feud with the proud and haughty 
prelate, and who carried thel accomplished foreigner 
to Raby, in hopes that he might there be induced to make 
use, for his host's special benefit, of bis alleged art in 
transmuting the baser metals into pure gold. This secret, 

it was understood, Lully was willing to utilise, for the 
benefit not of himself personally, but of others, and 
particularly of such as professed themselves willing to 
assume the Cross, and use their utmost endeavours to pro- 
pagate the true religion, whether as soldiers or otherwise. 
For his own enjoyment, it was certain, he wanted 
no worldly wealth, having devoted himself entirely 
to the duties of a Christian missionary, and to 
the study of the most recondite branches of science 
and philosophy then known, so as to qualify himself to 
reform both, and thereby the world itself. The son of a 
Spanish nobleman, in high favour at the Court of 
Aragon, Raymond, while yet a youth, entered the army, 
where he soon became celebrated at once for his valour 
and his gallantries. But, having been led to see that the 
license of a soldier's life was incompatible with the good 
of his soul, he suddenly passed from one extreme to 
another, threw up his military appointment, withdrew 
from the court, and retired, like John the Baptist, into 
a wilderness, where he fancied himself to be illuminated 
in heavenly visions, being visited, as he averred, 
by fiery seraphs, who called him to the highest work 
in which a man can possibly be engaged the conversion 
of the human race from the worship of Satan in its in- 
finitely varied forms to that of the true God. Returning to 
the busy haunts of men, he gave himself up to science and 
devotion. He graduated at the University of Paris, and 
studied alchemy under Arnold de Villanova, who taught 
that there are three elemental substances mercury, 
sulphur, and arsenic the potent and penetrating qualities 
of which enabled them to dissolve, precipitate, sublimate, 
and coagulate all other substances. He showed his pupils 
how gold, the most incorruptible of metals, was 
dissolved by means of mercury, as water dissolves 
sugar ; and, presenting a stick of sulphur to hot iron, 
he let them see how it penetrated the metal like a spirit, 
and made it run down in a shower of solid drops, a new 
and remarkable substance, possessed of properties belong- 
ing neither to iron nor to sulphur. 

Raymond Lully's life, from the period of his entering 
upon what he deemed to be a special mission, was one of 
rigorous asceticism, unwearied labour, and enthusiastic 
enterprise. He was in great danger over and over again : 
on one occasion he was nearly stoned to death, and more 
than once he was cast into prison and subjected to 
dreadful torments. But nothing could tame his indomit- 
able spirit. 

Ranulph de Neville was a very ambitious man, and 
pugnacity was not the least potent element in his 
disposition. He was one of those who fomented the hot 
disputes then going on between Bishop Bek and the 
people of the Palatinate, or Haliwerk-folk, touching the 
right of the prince-bishop to order them to the wars in 
Scotland under St. Cuthbert's banner, maintaining that 
their fealty to the See of Durham required them to take 
up arms only when the bishopric was invaded. He like- 
wise quarrelled with the Prior of Durham, respecting the 

March, 1 
1887. / 



offering of a stag every year, upon St. Cuthbert'a day, by 
which service, and a yearly rent of four pounds, he held 
Kaby, with the eight adjoining townships. He not only 
required, as a matter of right, that the prior should 
feast him and all the company he chose to 
bring with him, at the offering of that stag, but 
that the prior's own menial servants should be set 
aside on that occasion, and his lordship's should be put 
in their stead. The prior, on the other hand, adduced 
proof that the Nevilles had never enjoyed such a privilege, 
and that before this Ranulph's time none of them ever 
made any such claim, the fact being that, when they 
brought the stag into the hall, those who carried it only 
had a breakfast ; nor did tha lord himself ever stay to 
dinner, unless ha was invited. How this dispute ended, 
we have not ascertained, but most likely the proud baron 
had to yield the point. 

Lully's profound skill as a mediciner enabled him to 
act, while at Raby, as the family leech or physician ; 
and, though his lodgmant there seems to have been at 
first compulsory, he became an honoured guest before 
long, having restored to health, by means of his sage 
treatment, the son and heir of the lord of the mansion, 
who had fallen into a decline, then deemed incurable. 
To enable him to carry on his chemical investigations, a 
complete laboratory was fitted up for his use, in a re- 
mote room at the top of one of the castle towers, which 
was eo constructed as likewise to serve as an observa- 
tory. Here furnaces of a novel description, invented 
by Lully, and known as athanor furnaces, were built 
for the purpose of fusing the most intractable metals 
and minerals. They were so constructed as to maintain 
a uniform and durable heat, having a lateral tower 
attached to them close on all sides, which was kept 
filled with fuel, so that as the fuel below was consumed 
that in the tower fell down to supply its place. In the 
same chamber, a number of retorts, receivers, and con- 
densers were kept at work for the purpose, amongst other 
objects, of sublimating, and distilling, and liquifying 
drinkable gold (aurum votabilit), the virtues of which, 
when swallowed in proper quantity, not only ensured the 
participant any conceivable amount of worldly wealth, 
but likewise perpetual rejuvenescence. Chemists now 
know that this potable gold was nothing less or more than 
gold dissolved in nitro-hydrochloric acid, or aqua reyia; 
but, in those days, it was firmly believed to be the 
very elixir of life, capable of transforming the most 
infirm old man, sunk into second childhood, into a hale, 
robust, and highly accomplished youth. The stoker's part 
in Lully's marvellous furnaces was performed, it is said, 
by a strange creature called a salamander, which was en- 
gendered therein, owing to the fire having been kept up, 
without extinction, for a sufficiently long term. This 
monstrous reptile was not only able to endure the hottest 
fire without being consumed, but its very existence 

depended on the presence of intense heat, and it was under- 
stood to do some essential service in the occult processes 
of transmutation. 

Lord Ranulph is said to have been an intimate friend 
of John de Baliol, of Barnard Castle, that one of the com- 
petitors for the North British crown to whom Edward 
Longshanks awarded it, in preference to Robert Bruce, of 
Hartlepool; and although he is said to have paid but little 
attention to secular affairs, spending much of his time in 
conversation with the Prior of Coverliam, who was his 
near neighbour at his Yorkshire seat of Middleham, he ac- 
companied the king, as in duty bound, in hia Scottish cam- 
paigns, having met his sovereign at York, with a 
hundred lancers in his company, and his quota of men-at- 
arms, archers and other retainers. 

The story goes that the Spanish alchemist had before 
this time produced, in presence of Lord Neville, and 
of his reverend guests, the prior and sub-prior of 
Coverham, a massive ingot of pure virgin gold 
equal in weight to a quantity of coarse, inferior 
base metal which they had just seen him throw into a 
crucible. And, this fact having been reported to King 
Edward, he carried him off, on his return from Scotland, 
and lodged him sumptuously and honourably in the 
Tower of London, where tradition says he produced, to 
meet the king's urgent need, by his alchemical labours, 
from the baser metals, six million pieces of gold, or fifty 
thousand pounds weight of bullion, the nett value of which, 
in current coin of Victoria's mintage, would be 193,750, 
sterling. The king is said to have ostensibly required this 
liberal subsidy to defray the cost of another crusade against 
the Saracens, which he had vowed to undertake, but which 
the Fates had destined him never even to enter upon. 

It has never been ascertained when, where, or how 
Raymond Lully died. Some say he retired to his native 
country, Majorca, to spend the last days of his life, and 
that he expired there peaceably in his own home, having 
previously fallen into dotage ; others say he was stoned to 
death in Algeria by a fanatical Mussulman mob ; while 
others again maintain that he was alive in England as 
late as 1332, which was the fifth year of the reign of King 
Edward III. However this may have been, and how- 
ever many myths may have gathered round his name, it 
can scarcely be questioned that he was one of the most 
notable foreigners that ever took up his temporary abode 
in the North, as he was one of the (most daring 
experimentalists of the age he lived in. He was one of 
the very few who, though devoutly religious, according to 
the light of his time, sought to free philosophy from the 
sway of theology and the despotism of the school-men, 
contending that reason, instead of either being chained to 
faith or fettered by authority, should set out from doubt, 
study nature at first hand, accept the truth wherever it is 
found, and seek to know rather than to believe. 




( March, 


1 HE name of Hawks has been honourably 
identified for considerably more than a 
hundred years with one of the most im- 
portant of the great staple industries 
of the North of England. It was 
about the year 1745 the famous High- 
lander year that a few forges were first established 
on the south shore of the Tyne, below Gateshead, to 
work up the old iron which the collier vessels at that 
time brought from London in lieu of ballast at the 
merely nominal freight of a shilling per ton, and to 
supply the shipping which the coal trade was every 
year attracting more largely to the port of Newcastle 
with chains and anchors. Tlie speculation was beeun 
by Mr. William Hawks, who was originally a work- 
ing blacksmith, and who first commenced business, it 
is said, with Mr. Michael Longridge, a gentleman of 
great spirit and business capacity, who then carried 
on the Bedlington Iron Works, which were among the 
oldest and most extensive in this part of the kingdom. 
After this connection was dissolved, Mr. Hawks pro- 
ceeded on his own account. His industry being equal to 
his ingenuity, he soon created a thriving business in the 
production of wrought and cast iron, chain cables, anchors, 
steam engines, boilers, and general smith work ; and 
during some years he was ably assisted by his son William, 
who was, if not, like the cooper of Fogo, " his father's 
better," at least his equal in general ability. 

A story is told of William Hawke which may bo 
worth relating here, although we dare not presume to 
vouch for its literal truth. Tha chain and anchor smiths 
in his time, and for a good while afterwards, were a very 
drunken lot, or, as one of them was once heard to express 
himself, they were "tigers for beer." It was customary 
in those days for the more speculative men amongst 
them to take from the master such jobs as he 
had on hand, and associate with themselves a sufficient 
number of their mates, so as to get the work done within 
the time stipulated ; and when they had got it finished, 
the money due to them was laid out upon the anvil, and 
each man came forward and took up his share. William 
Hawks could make a deal of money in this way ; but he 
spent the greater part of it in a certain public-house, the 
precise locality of which our informant could not specify ; 
and one day. when he had exhausted his stock of ready 
money all but a penny, he stepped into a neighbouring 
baker's shop, and bought a penny roll. He then 
came in and sat down again, and began to 
eat it. The landlady had something very savoury 
in the process of being cooked, and. tempted 

by the appetising smell, the hungry man dipped his roll 
in the gravy to the landlady's great disgust. His angry 
hostess called him some ugly name, and ordered him out 
of the house ; and, after a vain attempt to pacify her, he 
went away, metaphorically shaking the dust off his feet, 
and vowing that she should have no more of his custom, 
and that he would certainly be revenged upon her for the 
shabby way she had acted, after she had got so much of his 
money. Being a man of strong will and determined pur- 
pose, he gave up the habitual use of beer from that day 
forward ; and it was not long before he had laid 
by money enough to begin business for himself. In 
the course of a few years, when he had risen to a 
prominent position in the manufacturing world, the pub- 
lic-house from which he had been so summarily driven 
came to be in the market, and Mr. Hawks bought it. 
He lost no time in calling on the old landlady, and told 
her what he had done, on hearing which the poor woman 
concluded that she would have to quit the premises 
at the first term. " You will, perhaps," said Mr. Hawks, 
"remember that I said I would be revenged upon you, 
and I am now come to fulfil my threat. But I mean to 
do it like a good Christian, and return good for evil. If 
it had not been for your treating me in the way you did, I 
might have been going on all this time spending my 
money in public-houses ; but you led ma to think what a 
fool I was, and I resolved to put my earnings to better use. 
So you have really been the best friend I ever had ; and 
I think I cannot better repay you for the service you un- 
wittingly did me than by letting you sit rent free in this 
house as long as you live." Thus far our informant, who 
is one of the oldest chain and anchor makers in the 
North, but now for many years retired from business. 

The works at New Deptford, Gatesbead, were nob the 
only establishment of the kind which the Hawks family 
took in hand. The firm carried on for some time exten- 
sive works in wrought iron at Bebside and Bedlington on 
the river Blyth, where the ironstone was found lying 
thickly embedded in the strata of indurated clay in the 
coal measures, and where the cost of shipment 
of the manufactured article, in the shape of chain 
cables, bars, and sheet iron, &c., was comparatively 
light, owing to the near vicinity of the port of Blyth. 
About the year 1780, William Hawks got Robert Fen- 
wick of Sunderland, to join him in buying Lumley Forge, 
where the very best description of iron for Government 
purposes was then made ; and, an intelligent manager for 
that concern being required, a clerk in the Gateshead 
office, Mr. John Wight, was sent to take charge of it. ThU 
gentleman subsequently took the place on his own respon- 
sibility, and carried it on until the forgo was dismantled. 



between fifty and sixty years ago, on account, it is said, of 
the noise of the forge hammer being considered a nui- 
sance at Lumley Castle. Somewhat extensive iron- 
works on the Teams, at Urpeth, near Chester-le- 
Street, were another of Mr. Hawks's undertakings. Tha 
Bedlington works, which the firm had purchased from the 
Malings of Sunderland, who had been very unsuccessful 
in their management, were eventually disposed of to a 
London firm, after having been considerably extended 
by Messrs. Hawks and Co. 

During the long French war, a deal of work was 
done at New Deptford and other places where the firm 
had establishments for the service of Government in 
anchor and mooring chains, cannon, and other requisites 
of the largest description then made. The firm like- 
wise executed several large contracts of the same kind 
for the East India Company. It was not, however, until 
the Scotch pig iron trade rose into importance that 
rolling mills were erected, and bar iron manufactured 
to any extent at the Gateshead works, although, as 
far back as the year 1793, Mr. William Hawks wrote, 
in reply to a customer, " We will certainly roll the iron 
to the dimensions you mention," so that rolling mills 
were probably introduced in this quarter a very short 
time after their invention by Cort, who patented tbo 
rolling of bar iron in 1VS3. 

It was not until the discovery of the rich beds of iron- 
stone in Cleveland, that the Tyna manufacturers were 
able to compete successfully in some of the most profitable 
departments of their trade with the Welsh, Staffordshire, 
Lanarkshire, and other great works of the kingdom. 
The transformation consequent on this discovery led to 
the connection of the Hawks firm with a branch of tho 
well-known family of Crawshay, the most powerful of tho 
"iron kings" of Wales, whose Merthyr-Tydvil and 
Cyfarthfa works are celebrated all over the world. The 
designation of the firm was thenceforth changed into 
Messrs. Hawks, Crawshay, and Sons, and its operations 
became more extensive than ever. The Crawshays, like 
the Hawkses, owed originally little or nothing to what is 
termed the favour of fortune, but everything to their own 
splendid talents, great practicality, and indomitable per- 
severance. Mr. George Crawshay, of Haughton Castle, 
a leading member of the Gateshead firm, is, we 
believe, the great-grandson of Mr. Richard Crawshay, 
who, about the middle of the last century, came into 
possession of the Cyfarthfa works, then comparatively in- 
significant, and quickly raised them in extent and impor- 
tance, under his own direct superintendence, till they 
became the largest in Wales. 

Mr. William Hawks died on the 4th December, 1810, 
aged eighty years. His son William had predeceased him 
by about three years, at the age of thirty-five; and another 
son, Thomas, had died two years previously, aged twenty- 
eight. His eldest surviving son, Robert Shafto Hawks, 
thus became the second head of the firm. He was a 
very active man, and carried on the works most success 

fully. He was knighted by the Prince Regent, afterwards 
George the Fourth, at Carlton House, in April, 1817, on 
the occasion of presenting an address from the borough 
of Gateshead, at the time of the suspension of the Habeas 
Corpus Act, consequent on the notorious Green-Bag 
Inquiry. Sir Robert died at his house, 4, Claverine 
Place, Newcastle, on the 23rd February, 1840, aged 
seventy-one ; and his widow, Lady Hannah Pembroke 
Hawks, died on the llth November, 1803, aged ninety- 
seven. His son, David Shafto Hawkes, who lost his 
sight in early infancy, was a true musical genius. He 
performed the service on the organ at the Gateshead 
Church in 1798, when he was only seven years of age ; 
and on the 15th of April, 1827, he presided at the opening 
of the organ in Gateshead Fell Church, to the building 
of which his father had been a chief contributor. 
He was likewise a composer of music, and wrote, 
although he did not publish, at least one overture, said to 
contain some very brilliant passages ; also, variations on 
the "Keol Row." Sir Robert took a leading part in 
everything of a public nature that occurred in Gates- 
head. In May, 1821, he presided at the dinner in the 
Black Bull Inn, on the occasion of the perambulation of 
the parish boundaries a formality which had not been 
observed since the year 1792. He was a man, like Yorick, 
of infinite jest, and several good anecdotes are still 
currently told of him. Thus, on tho death of ona of 
the workmen, who had left a widow and family, 
the eldest being a girl, he got one of the 
other men's wives, who was what is called a notable 
woman, to train her for domestic duties, with a view to 
taking her into his own service ; and sometime after- 
wards, happening to meet her on her way to the 
works, carrying the workman's dinner, he asked 
her how she was getting on, and what she 
could do. The reply was, "Please, sir, I can tally." 
" You can what ?" asked Sir Robert. " I can tally, sir. " 
"What in the devil's name is it you can do?" rejoined 
the knieht ; but the only answer he could get was, " I can 
tally, sir." Of course the poor girl meant that she could 
use an Italian iron. Another day, Sir Robert and 
his son were entering the works when the men were 
about leaving, and he said to a lad who was 
passing out, , in high-flown English : " Tell your 
father I want him directly." The boy looked at him in 
amazement, not being able to understand his meaning, 
whereupon young Mr. Hawks smiled and said : " Shoot 
o' thee feythur, lad," a request which was thoroughly 
comprehended and instantly obeyed. 

Two of the Hawks family, George, son of William and 
Elizabeth Hawks, and William Stanley, son of George, 
died at Lee, in the county of Kent, a few miles from 
Greenwich, within a few days of each other, in the month 
of June, 1820, the father aged fifty-four years and the son 
thirty-one. They were both interred in one grave. 
William Stanley Hawks was a great favourite with the 
men, and there is a monument dedicated to his memory. 



I March, 
\ 1887. 

on the south pillar at the entrance into the chancel of 
Gateshead Church, erected by the Hawks's Manufac- 
turers' Benefit Society, as " a mark of their sincere sorrow 
for his loss, and in grateful remembrance of a kind and 
generous benefactor." 

On the death of Sir Robert Shafto Hawks, the chief 
management of the works devolved upon his nephew, Mr. 
George Hawks, the son of John Hawks, master 
mariner, and Jane Longridge, of Sunderland, and grand- 
son of William Hawks, the founder of the concern. He 
inherited all the ability and tact of his predecessors, 
and worthily sustained the dignity of the honourable 
name he bore. Besides the time necessarily devoted by 
him to his own business, he found leisure to do a vast deal 
of work in the service of the public. He was the first 
Mayor of Gateshead, having been chosen to fill that 
honourable office in 1835, on the incorporation of the 
borough under the Municipal Reform Act ; and he was 
elected to the chief magistracy a second and third time, 
in 1848 and 1849. During his public career he 
did good service to the cause of political progress. 
He was a firm supporter of Mr. Hutt, after- 
wards Sir William Hutt, whom he generally nominated 
at the elections for the borough. By the men at 
the iron works he was most devotedly esteemed. 
He took the chair every year at the annual meetings 
of the sick and burial benefit society in connection 
with them, and in every way imaginable was the staunch 
friend of those under his charge. He was likewise a most 
liberal supporter of the local schools and charities. Of a 
genial disposition, he was fond of relating incidents con- 
nected with the rise and progress of the establishment of 
which he was one of the chiefs. One of his anecdotes was 
that his grandfather, the founder of the business, used to 
stand at the water-side wharf and see the iron landed 
from the vessels on the Tyne, and inspect every pig of 
iron that was set down on the shore ; that the works were 
then so different from what they are now that a 
stream of clear water ran bubbling through the 
midst of the factory ; and that the notes of the black- 
bird might be heard in the immediate neighbourhood 
on pleasant summer evenings. This excellent man 
died on Thursday, the 12th November, 1863, in his sixty- 
third year, at his country house at Pigdon, near Morpeth, 
to which he had removed from his usual residence at Red- 
heuxh, about ten days before, for a short sojourn. His 
death was universally lamented by all with whom he 
had ever come into contact. Mr. Hawks left behind 
him a widow and a family of three sons and two 

To enumerate the large undertakings contracted 
for and successfully carried out by the firm 
of Hawks, Crawshay, and Sons in the course of 
the last fifty years, would occupy several columns. We 
can only specify a few. The contract for the metal work 
of the High Level Bridge over the Tyne at Newcastle 
was taken by them for 112,000. The total weight of iron 

employed was 5,050 tons ; and the last key of the noble 
structure was driven into its place by Mr. George Hawks, 
then Mayor of Gateshead, on the 7th June, 1849, thereby 
closing the sixth and last arch, the first segment of the first 
of which arches had been fixed not twelve months before. 
It is said that, some opposition having been offered to the 
band of the Gateshead works playing at the inauguration 
of the noble structure they had raised, Mr. Hawks vowed 
that if his baud did not appear neither the Queen nor 
anybody else should the bridge being then still the 
property of the firm. 

About the year 1842, the firm erected a cast-iron 
bridge at York, which spans the river Ouse in one arch 
of 172 feet in width. They also reconstructed Rowland 
Burdon's famous iron bridge at Sunderland, which con- 
sists of a single arch of about 237 feet span, at a level of 
about 90 feet above high water mark. They constructed 
the wrought iron gates for the Northumberland Docks, 
and the iron lighthouses at Gunfleet, Harwich, and 
Calais ; and supplied the materials for the iron pier at 
Madras a work of considerable magnitude. 

At the time of the visit of the British Association to 
Newcastle in 1803, there were fifteen hundred hands 
employed in the works, and up to that time the firm had 
completed 92 marine and 58 land engines of 5,000 horse 
power in the aggregate. The number of puddling furnaces 
they had then in operation was thirty-three. 

We have seen it stated that the first iron boat ever built 
was a row-boat, in the year 1821, on the river Tyne, at the 
Gateshead Ironworks. The inventor was a man named 
Samuel Thyne, who is said to have died in poverty at 
South Shields between twenty and thirty years ago. 
Three brothers and two other persons joined him in the 
experiment ; and when their employer, Sir Robert Shafto 
Hawks, found out what they were buying sheet iron for, 
he made them a present of as icuch as was required. 
When the tiny vessel was launched, cannons were fired, 
and quite a demonstration made. The boat afterwards 
ran races successfully against wooden boats of the same 
capacity ; but a party of twelve having ventured on board 
of it on Ascension Day, 1826, to accompany the Mayor's 
barge, according to ancient custom, it was unfortunately 
upset by a steam vessel on the return in the evening, a 
little above the Crooked Billet, and a young man and a 
young woman named John Lambton and Mary Gregg 
lost their lives. This caused the owners of the boat to lay 
it up, and it rusted away. 


About seven or eight years ago ths firm of 
Hawks, Crawshay, and Sons was destroying many 
of its old books, and, like some others, I had the 
curiosity to look into a few of them. On the 
inside of the back of one of the books was written a 
memorandum, of which I subjoin a copy. As it had 
evidently been written by the late Mr. George Hawks, 

March. 1 
1837 j 



it may be of some interest. I am sorry I did not 
keep the original, but simply took a copy of it at the 
time. I might also say that I believe the family of which 
I am a member has been in the employ of the said firm 
from its commencement ; if not, certainly very shortly 
after that time. THOMAS TIXDALE, Gateshead. 


The present firm of Hawks, Crawshay, and Sons was 
commenced by Mr. William Hawks, who commenced 
bu-iness with a few blacksmiths' shops near New Dept- 
ford, in or about the year 1747. 

Signed by G. HAWKS, 

January 7th, 1827, 

Grandson of the last named Win. Hawks. 
Attested by Elias Henderson, aged 81 years, the 
oldest servant of the Company, from his own 
knowledge and that of his elders. 

The rolling mills, erected to roll hoop iron some time 
about 1SOO, were afterwards altered to roll bolts, &c. 

The testing machine, some time about 1813, and believed 
to be the first one erected in England, The present 
machine was opened 1st January, 1818. 

William Hawks, senior, and Co., commenced making 
studded cable chains in 1813. Short link-chain (without 
studs) were in use before this time for mooring ships to 
quays nd wharfs. 

Houghton Feast was originated in the time oJ Queen 
Mary by Barnard Gilpin, Rector of Houghton le-Spring. 
When the rector provided the feast, he generally killed a 
bullock, and with that and other articles of food he feasted 
the poor. Gilpin was ordered to be beheaded according 
to the decree of Queen Mary, and was on his way to 
London for that purpose when the horse on which he 
was travelling fell down, and, through the fall, Gilpia 
had his leg broken. He was taken care of by an inn- 
keeper. During his illness, Queen Mary died, and Queen 
Elizabeth, who succeeded her, ordered all clergymen who 
happened to be prisoners at the time to be set free. 
After his demise, the feast at Houghton continued to be 
observed by the people. It gradually got to assume greater 
importance, and strolling players visited the place on the 
anniversary of the day on which Gilpin had enter- 
tained the poor. The feast falls between the 5th and the 
10th of October. 

WILLIAM ROBSON, Fence Houses. 


Durine the hearing of a case in the Admiralty Court, in 
December, 1855, Dr. Lushington remarked that, some- 
where about forty years before, he was engaged in a suit 
in which the identical vessel that brought over William 
the Third from Holland was concerned. That vessel was 
the Princess Mary. According to the most reliable 
accounts, she was built on the Thames in the earlier 
part of the seventeenth century. There is a popular 

story to the effect that she was afterwards purchased by 
the Prince of Orange, or his adherents, as an addition to 
the Dutch-built fleet which was destined to play so essen. 
tial a prelude to the Revolution of 1C88. The prince, it 
was said, expressly selected this vessel to convey hims'elf 
and suite to England ; and he bestowed upon her the 
above name, in honour of his consort, the daughter of 
James the Second. 

When the Revolution was an accomplished fact, the 
claims of the Princess Mary to the royal favour were not 
overlooked. During the whole of William's reign, she 
held a place of honour as one of the king's yachts, and, 
after his demise, she was regularly used as the pleasure 
yacht of Queen Anne. By this time, however, her 
original build had been much interfered with, through 
the numerous and extensive repairs she had from time to 
time undergone. On the death of the Queen, she came 
into the possession of that "wee bit German lairdie," 
his Majesty King George I., and, by his order, she 
ceased to form part of the royal establishment. About 
the middle of last century, she was sold by the Govern- 
ment to the Messrs. Walters, of London, from whom she 
received the name of the Betsy Cains, in honour, we are 
told, of some West Indian lady of that name. After 
having been long and profitably employed by her 
new owners in the West India trade, she was sold 
to another London firm of the name of Carlins ; 
and, alas for the mutability of fortune ! the once 
regal craft was converted into a collier, and 
employed in the conveyance of coals between New- 
castle and London. Through all her varied vicissi- 
tudes, however, she is said to have still retained her 
ancient reputation as "a lucky ship and fast sailer." 
About the year 1823, she was transferred by purchase to 
Mr. George Finch Wilson, of South Shields, and finally, 
on the 17th of February, 1827, having sailed from Shields 
with a cargo of coals for Hamburg, she met with a heavy 
pale from the east-south-east, and was obliged to put back 
for the Tyne. When she reached the bar, however, the 
sea was breaking tremendously upon it, and she was 
driven npon the Black Middens, near the Spanish Bat- 
tery, at the north side of the entrance. It was for some 
time expected that the tough old craft would be got off, 
but the weather continuing tempestuous she finally went 
to pieces. The crew were taken out of the vessel by the 
Northumberland lifeboat. 

The news of the disaster to the Betsy Cains excited a 
very lively sensation throughout the North-Country. She 
had always been regarded, especially by the sailors, with 
an almost superstitious feeling of interest and veneration ; 
and, at the time of the wreck, this feeling was doubtless in 
no small measure enhanced by the quotation of one of 
those " memorable " prophecies which are every now and 
then cropping up, and which was said to be associated 
with this particular vessel's fortunes, viz., " that the 
Catholics would never get the better while the Betsy 
Cains was afloat !" The Catholic Association was then 



\ Js87 

threatening to convulse the kingdom, and Catholic 
Emancipation came two years afterwards. 

While the vessel was lying in a wrecked state, many 
strangers visited the spot to take a more or less minute 
survey of her. After she broke up, the folks of Shields 
were inundated with applications for portions of her 
remains. The applications on the part of the Orange 
lodges were especially importunate. Snuff-boxes, knife- 
boxes, candle-boxes, and souvenirs of various kinds were 
made in large numbers of bits of the wreck, and such 
as were sold by their makers brought exorbitant prices. 
Each of the members of the Corporation of Newcastle 
was presented with a snuff-box. 

A painting of the Betsy Cains, which waa made by 
Mr. James Ferguson, of North Shields, was, at one 
time, in the possession of Mr. Henry Hewison, of Seaton 
Burn. A lithograph was subsequently executed from 
the picture by Mr. William Davison, of Sunderland. 
A carved figure, part of the night-heads, is still in the 
possession of the Master and Elder Brethren of the 
Trinity House of Newcastle, and a beam with gilt mould- 
ings, which formed part of the principal cabin, was 
among the rich antiquarian treasures of the late Mr. 
George Rippon, of Waterville, near North Shields. 

As already indicated, it was long a popular belief that 
the Betsy Cains was the ship in which the Prince of 
Orange took passage to England. Even Dr. Lushington, 
as we have seen, shared in the general impression. It 
was this belief that led the Orangemen of the North to 
place so much value on mere scraps of the wreck. There 

is no reason to think that the impression that has been so 
thoroughly ground into the popular mind can be easily 
and speedily eradicated. Nevertheless, the Betsy Cains 
had really no claim to the honour, if we may so call it, 
that was conferred upon her. When the late Mr. Robert 
Sutherland, of Shields, related the story in the Newcastle 
Weekly Chronicle in 1875, a correspondent from Sunderland 
hastened to correct it. Calling attention to Macaulay's 
description of the passage of the fleet up the Channel, 
wherein the historian says that the vessel in which 
William landed at Torbay was a frigate named the Brill, 
the Sunderland writer went on to say that, some years be- 
fore, a gentleman, then well-known in Newcastle, wrote 
to Mr. Macaulay, directing his attention to certain para- 
graphs anent the Betsy Cains that had appeared in the 
local newspapers. Macaulay's reply, which was not 
published till the Sunderland correspondent forwarded it 
to the Weekly Chronicle, settled the matter. A copy of 
the historian's statement is here appended : 

Albany, London, Jan. 31, 1856. 

Sir, There must be soma mistake about the ship you 
mention. She may have been one of the Royal yachts in 
the seventeenth century, and William may have come 
over in her to rnarry his cousin, the Princess Mary, in 
1677. It is probable that the vessel received its name on 
that occasion. But it is quite certain that the voyage of 
William from Helvoetsluys to Torbay, 1688, was per- 
formed, not in a yacht, but in a man-of-war named the 
Brill. That voyage was no pleasure excursion. There 
was every reason to expect a battle, and the Prince hod 
made all his arrangements in anticipatiun of buch an 
event. The fact that he sailed in the Brill is established 
by a mass of evidence, against which no tradition can be of 
the smallest avail. I have the honour to be, sir, your 
faithful servant, T. B. MACAULA'V. 


From a Picture by J. W. Carmichael. 

Mrch, 1 
1887. / 




Something like twenty or thirty years ago, Mr. Ralph 
Lambton, of Morton House, and his renowned foxhounds 
were yet well remembered, and often gleefully alluded to, 
by many an old stager in Durham county, who in times 
past had eagerly followed this rattling pack on "shankey's 
naig," or, perchance, astride some " shaggy naig ta'en frae 
the pleugh." Now, alas ! of these there remain but few 
(and they are far advanced in life) that are left to tell of 
the exploits which they witnessed in the chase with the 
Lambton hounds, when, in the " twenties " and earlier, 
the redoubtable owner and master of the hounds, with hia 
burly huntsman, Jack Winter, provided such royal sport 
for the hunting fraternity within the Palatinate. 

Mr. Lambton, like a fit and proper M.F.H., and not 
unlike the great Bonaparte in generalship, though it was in 
hunting which the Iron Duke said possessed all the 
excitement of war, with a tithe of its dangers knew the 
name and character of every dog in his kennels ; and, 
moreover, it has been stated, could recognise the par- 
ticular voice of any hound that chanced to " give mouth " 
when in cover. His lusty " Hark ! to Brevity " a 
hound of fine scent has been heard more than a mile 
away when the pack has been ranging the Ryhope Dene. 
Here, one day, when the dene had apparently been 
drawn blank, that notorious character, Dicky Chilton, 
late of Bishopwearmouth, wildly threw up his hat, and 
bawled out, ".Stole away !" (An old lady, brambling, it 
seems, had just informed Richard that the fox had, 
some time that morning, startled her by the cover side !) 
Dicky's welcome cry at once attracted Lambton, who, 
with the hounds and a hundred horsemen in scarlet, came 
dashing around to the opposite side of the dene, where 
Chilton, like the boy in the wolf story, stood. " Where 
did you see the fox, Chilton ? " demanded the impetuous 
squire, suspiciously, on recognising the hallooer. " I 
didn't ice the fox, sir; an old woman told me," coolly 
answered this Merry Andrew, who would have cheeked 
the Grand Seignor himself. " An old woman told you ! " 
said Lambton, grinning, and grasping bis weighty whip. 
"Do you always believe an old woman'* story, you 
traitor ? " 'VNo, sir," said Dick promptly he was eyeing 
the whip " nor a young woman's either, an' it please 
your honour." Chilton was gifted in repartee, and, 
withal, was as cute as the vixen. His diverting reply is 
said to have tickled and somewhat appeased the old fox- 
hunter, who would have thought little of giving Dicky 
Chilton as sound a flogging as he once gave to Tommy 
Clegram, the earth-stopper, in Tunstall Hope. 

Two other anecdotes are related of Mr. Lambton, 
which are especially characteristic of this honest, out- 
spoken squire of old. in his capacity as a proud master of 
his own well-trained hounds. On one occasion, when 
hunting, Mr. Ralph had been more than usually "put out" 

during the day by a group of recklesi men on horseback, 
who would persist in getting in advance of the hounds, and 
even, sometimes, heading the fox, in their wild career. 
At last, losing all patience with these pests to every hunt, 
the old fox-hunter cried loudly to his huntsman, in his 
own deliberate and most sarcastic tones, " Call my hounds 
off ! Call my hounds off, Jack Winter ! The gentlemen 
will catch the fox ! " Sometimes, however, the gentleman 
fox-hunter, a member of the hunt, would be severely 
rebuked by Mr. Lambton, who was no respecter of persons, 
if he at all transgressed the laws of the chase. It so 
happened that a Northern gentleman, well-known in 
hunting circles, did so transgress ; in fact, like Byron's 
hero to the letter, it is said : 

He broke, 'tis true, some statutes of the laws 
Of hunting for the sagest youth is frail ; 
Kode o er the hounds, it may be, now and then, 
And once o'er several country gentlemen ! 
At least, in misadventure the old huntsman's son told 
me this fiery rider from the North rode over two or 
three of the famous hounds, when, of course, the grand 
old M.F.H. reproved him wrathfully. Mr. Harley, I 
shall call him, who was, at that day, full of youth, re- 
torted somewhat sharply ; and Mr. Ralph, in return, told 

him to be d d. " I did not come here to be d d, 

Mr. Lambton," said the young gentleman, soothingly. 

"Then, go home! Go home, Harley, and lie d dl" 

enjoined the Lambton Nimrod, in a voice of thunder. 

REN, Fence Houses. 

Crral tit tfte 

Coal is said to have been known in this district in the 
time of the ancients. The discovery of ashes in the 
Roman stations at Ebchester, Lanchester, and other 
places, is recognised as conclusive testimony to the use of 
coal by that people. 

Fordyce, in his " History of Durham," says : " One of 
the earliest documents in which coal is mentioned, relative 
to the county of Durham, ia the Boldon Book of Bishop 
Pudsey, 1180, in which, though the term 'wodlades' fre- 
quently occurs, are the following notices of coal : At 
Bishopwearmouth, ' the smith has twelve acres for the iron 
work of the carts, and finds his own coal ' ; and at Sedge- 
field, the smith has one oxgang upon similar conditiona. 
At Escomb, near Bishop Auckland, a collier holds a toft 
and croft, and four acres, providing coals for the cart-smith 
of Coundon." He goes on to say that the earliest 
workings of coal in the county of Durham are understood 
to have been by drifts at its outcrop, " along its western 
limit, which passes by Heleyfiold, Broomshields, Wol- 
singham Common, Bedburn, Woodlands, and Barnard 

With regard to the early shipment of coals from the 
North, the following incident, which is related in the 
Shipping World for November, 1883, proves that there 



was not only a coal trade on the Tyne five centuries and 
a half ago, but a foreign coal trade, however limited it 
may have been in its scope and character : " During 
the night of the 31st of July, in the year 1325, 
when Edward II. had exhausted the patience of the 
nation, Thomas Rente, a merchant of Pontoise, was sail- 
ing in the North Sea, homeward bound. Suddenly he found 
himself surrounded by armed ships, and taken as a French 
prize into the harbour of Yarmouth. Rente petitioned 
the king and Parliament for the recovery of his goods, 
affirming that he was a liege man, who had been to New- 
castle with a cargo of wheat, and was returning with a 
cargo of coals, and had nothing to do with the king's 
troubles in France. The petition was preserved, and 
printed in the Rolls of Parliament." The same article 
goes on to say : " By the time that the first Stuart 
monarch in England was established on his throne, four 
hundred English ships were engaged in carrying coals from 
this river to various parts of his Majesty's dominions, 
besides foreign vessels that came in fleets of fifty sail at 
once," as often and rapidly as wind and weather permitted, 
to convey the staple produce beyond the seas. 

MARK NOBLE, Blackhill. 

The statement that Henry III. granted license to the 
good men of Newcastle to dig coals, &c., is probably an 
historical fiction. It was originally made by Ralph 
Gardiner in his " England's Grievance Discovered," and 
has been faithfully copied ever since. Brand found some 
difficulty in accepting the statement, for, in quoting it, he 
adds, *' which, however, on a search in the Tower of 
London, I could not find." No one seems to have taken 
any further trouble in the matter till Mr. Robert L. 
Galloway, making a searching investigation into the early 
history of the coal trade for a paper he was about to read 
before the Society of Antiquaries a few years ago, dis- 
covered that Gardiner was wrong. Instead of the grant 
being made by Henry III. in 1238, it was not until 1350 
that the men of Newcastle obtained it, and the monarch 
who gave it them was Edward III. Here is the proof 
from Mr. Galloway's paper in the Archceologia jEliana, 
vol. viii., p. 184 : 

We have now arrived at the period when the men of 
Newcastle obtained their first license from the king to 
dig and to take coals and stone in certain portions of land 
outside the walls of the town, and to make their profit 
therefrom in aid of their fee-farm rent. In the year 1350, 
upon supplication made, they obtained a grant on the 
following terms : " The king to his beloved Mayor and 
bailiffs and good men of our town ot Newcastle upon- 
Tyne, greeting. Because on your part petition has been 
made to us that, since you hold the town aforesaid from 
us at fee-farm, we may be willing to concede to you that 
in the common ground of the town aforesaid, without the 
walls of the same town, in places called the Castlefield 
and the Frith, you may have the power to dig and to 
take coals and stone from thence, and to make your profit 
of the same in aid of your farm aforasaid, as often and in 
such way as may seem to you to be expedient ; we, 
favourably acceding to your petition in this matter, have 
caused a license of this kind to be granted to you. And 
this to you, and others whom it may concern, we signify 
by the present letter ... to have effect during our 

good pleasure. Witness as above [witness the king at 
Westminster, the first day of December], by the king 
himself and Council, and for 20s. paid into the haniper." 

The above payment is acknowledged in the Exchequer 
Roll for the same year : ' Maior ballivi et probi homines 
ville Novi Castri super Tynam dant viginti solidos solutos 
pro licencia fodiendi carbones et petram in communi ville 
predicte extra muros ejusdem ville." 

The license recited above occurs on the Patent Roll of 
the twenty-fourth year of Edward III. That this is the 
license usually stated to have been granted to the men of 
Newcastle by Henry III. on the h'rst day of December, in 
the twenty-third year of his reign, is evident, not only 
from the terms of the grant, but also from the circum- 
stance that Gardiner [upon whose sole authority the 
statement seems to rest], having given it as belonging to 
the reign of Henry III., makes no allusion to it under the 
reign of Edward III., among the rolls of whose reign it 
is now to be found. Several writers have noticed 
a difficulty in connection with the date which Gardiner 
has assigned to this grant ; but, the patent roll for the year 
to which it was referred happening to be one of the few 
which are missing, the detection of the error was more 
difficult. The Exchequer roll for the twenty-third year 
of Henry III. is, however, extant, and there is no such 
payment from the men of Newcastle entered upon it. 

In regard to the second grant stated by Gardiner to 
have been made to Newcastle by Henry III., in the 
thirty-first year of his reign, it need only be remarked 
that it is evidently a mistaken reference to that given to 
the town by Edward III. in the thirty-first year of his 

The Patent and Charter Rolls for the thirty -first year of 
Henry III. are in existence, and in neither of them is 
such a grant to be found. 

Those who care to investigate the early records of the 
coal trade should read Mr. Galloway's paper, which is the 
most exhaustive treatise of the kind that we possess. In 
the meantime, readers of this note will promote the 
accuracy of local history if they will make a marginal 
reference to Mr. Galloway's discovery in the following 
publications : 

Bourne's History of Newcastle, pa^e 146. 

Brand's History of Newcastle, vol. ii., pages 140 and 252. 

Mackenzie's History of Newcastle, page 603. 

Sykes's Local Records, under date T239. 

Richardson's Local Historian's Table Book, vol. i., page 72. 

Industrial Resources of the Tyne, Wear, and Tees, paue 17. 

Brace's Handbook to Newcastle, 1886 edition, pa^e 7. 


At about the close of the twelfth century William the Lion 
(whose reign terminated in 1214 A.D.) granted the monks 
of Holyrood Abbey the tithe of the colliery of Carriden, 
near Blackness, along with the tithe of the harbour at 
the same place. This seems to be the first reliable 
record in the history of coal mining. In the sama 
reign (between 1210 and 1214) the monks of Newbattle 
Abbey received the grant of a colliery and quarry on 
the sea-shore at Preston, in the lands of Tranent, a 
district which from that early period downward con- 
tinued to be famous for its production of coal. 

Previous to the reign of King John, there appear to 
be no allusions to the existence of a coal-trade in Eng- 
land. At the close of his conflict with the barons, 
when, by the granting of Magna Charta (1215), a greatly 
increased security was given to subjects in the possession 
of these lands and rights, wa have evidence of a com- 
mencement having been made to work coal and to convey 
it from the North to London. As early as the year 1228 


h, 1 

. / 



a lane in the metropolis is mentioned under the name of 
Seaoole Lane, clearly showing that some trade in sea 
coal was at that time in progress there. 

In 1230, the monks of Newminster Abbey, near Mor- 
peth, in Northumberland, received a grant of some land 
on the sea-shore near BIyth, with a right-of-way to the 
shore to obtain seaweed for tillage, and sea coal wherever 
it might be found. In 1240, the same monks received 
another charter authorising them to get sea coal for use 
of the forge at one of their Granges. Prom this time for- 
ward references to the working and use of coal are 
frequently to be met with. 

The earliest allusion to the coal trade at Newcastle- 
upon-Tyno appears to be in 1268-9, when a number of 
persons were brought before the justices to answer the 
complaint of tha Prior of Tynemouth for "having vi et 
armia come to the Prior's mills, at Shields, burned them 
down, threatened and maltreated some of the monks, and 
seized and taken away a ship of the Prior's, lying there 
laden with sea coal." In 1281, the town was returned as 
worth 200 (temp. Edward I.) to the burgesses, the 
advance in its value being ascribed to the new trade in 
sea coal. 

The working of coal soon became general throughout 
the kingdom, and, at the close of the reign of Edward I. 
(1307), the mineral was being dug, though doubtless on a 
small scale, in most of the coalfields of England, Wales, 
and Scotland. J. M. RCSSELL, Liverpool. 


Ever since Mr. Grainger's time, Newcastle has had a 
high reputation for handsome shops in almost every 
branch of business. In that respect, at least, few towns 
in the kingdom can equal it. Thirty or forty years ago 
many of the tradesmen had made a name for their 
specialities, and their customers believed in them as the 
draper, the clothier, the hatter, par excellence, and 
patronised them accordingly. The old class of pitman 
was a true conservative in his dislike of change, and 
stuck to certain shops which had gained his confidence, 
most religiously. A friend would ask, " Where did ye 
buy that bonny goon, Janey ?" "At Alder Dunn's ! Aa 
wadn't gan ne way else," would be the answer. " That's 
aclivvorcap.Geordie. Whor did ye buy't ? '' "At Palmer, 
Franks's ; aa elwis gan thor," Geordie would likely reply. 
The once noted tradesmen whom we here mention have 
long since retired from business, and joined the great 
majority, so that we cannot be said to be puffing either 
them or their wares. 

Of the three great drapery establishments in Market 
Street, one was, for several years, occupied by Mr, 
William Alder Dunn. Although it is close upon thirty 
years since that gentleman retired into private life, 

elderly ladies still grow animated and aglow with 
pleasure at the mere mention of his name. Most gentle- 
manly and courteous in his manners, with a smile and 
bow for the poorest and the humblest, Mr. Dunn was tha 
very prince of " shop-walkers." The elderly lady, who 
is still fond of a little occasional shopping, will tell you 
that, although there are many fine gentlemanly men still 
in the great drapery establishments of Newcastle, there is 
not one who can " hold a candle" to Alder Duun. 
For many years, Mr. Dunn was one of the best- 
known figures in Newcastle. He was to \>% 
seen at his shop-door in Market Street from 
morning till night, bareheaded, smiling, and pleasant, 
ready to take charge of his lady patrons and introduce 
them to the salesmen they wanted. His pleasant manner 
never varied. He was as bland and courteous to the fish 
or basket woman who wanted a yard of cheap calico as to 
the lady customer alighting from her carriage. It is 
pleasant to be able to add that Mr. Dunn's admirable 
courtesy was not on the surface ; for he was a most kind 
and indulgent master. He certainly took care that his 
employees did their work with civility and attention, and 
so far he was very strict. But his old shop assistants still 
speak of him witli the greatest of respect and liking ; and 
all who had business dealings with him admit that he was 
an upright and honourable tradesman. 

Mr. Dunn first began business in the Side, nearly 
fifty years ago. He was the first draper in the district 
who accommodated his customers with chairs, and the 
innovation, it is said, was received with great surprise. 
After leaving the Side for Market Street, he entered 
into partnership with Mr. E. M. Bainbridge, now head 
of the establishment of Bainbridge and Co. This would 
be about forty years ago ; and on dissolving partnership 
with Mr. Dunn, Mr. Bainbridge, in company with Mr. 
Muschamp, entered on the great and flourishing business 
now so widely known. Left alone, Mr. Dunn conducted 
a successful trade for many years, under the style of W 
Alder Dunn. It was somewhat peculiar that the shop 
was never called by customers Dunn's, or Mr. Dunn's, 
but always " Alder Dunn's" pronounced as though it 
were one word, 

Mr. Dunn, having realised a fortune, gave up business 
in September, 1858, and the large concern passed into 
other hands, retaining, however, the name under which it 
has ever since been conducted. 


As the large and handsome establishment of Bragg and 
Co., Pilgrim Street, has just entered upon the hundredth 
year of its existence, completing its centenary at the end 
of 1887, a sketch of the founder of the concern may per- 
haps "be found more than usually interesting. 

Hadwen Bragg was one of the " people called Quakers," 
and a native of Cumberland. He came to Newcastle 
when a very young man, and first began business as a 
draper at the east end of Mosley Street, in the year 1788. 



\ 1B87. 

Before long Mr. Bragg felt himself justified in entering 
upon larger premises, and so he purchased from the 
Misses Peareth a small portion of the building now occu- 
pied by the firm. He had by this time gained the repu- 
tation of an honest, upright tradesman, and a man of 
great business capacity, and, of course, all the confidence 
which such a character brings with it. He had married 
a lady who was a prominent member of the Society of 
Friends, and a preacher, or what was then called 
a "minister," in that connexion. By this marriage 
he had two sons and two daughters one of the 
Utter marrying a Mr. Priestman. This gentleman 
we believe to have been the late Mr. Jonathan 
Priestman, who was well-known in Newcastle, in his 
younger days, as the "handsome Quaker," but better 
till as forward in almost every good and philanthropic 
work in the town. 

The life of a quiet, gentle, sedate man of business, such 
as Mr. Hadwen Bragg's seems to have been, presents 
little material for a biograpliy. Like most of tha 
Friends, of his time especially, he interested himself in 
all the various charities and good works of the town. 
" Not slothful in business,' he always found time for 
public usefulness, and in tins lie had the ready and willing 
assistance of his admirable wife. 

Mr. Hadwen Bragg died about 1823, and at his decease 
the name of the firm was altered to Margaret Bragg and 
Sons i.e., John Hadwen Bragg and Charles Bragg. On 
the death of their mother, and for some vears after, tho 
two sons conducted the business under the st-le of 
Charles Bragg and Co. About the year 1840, Messrs. 
Bragg purchased the business and stock of Messrs. 
Dearman, Robson, and Co., Market Street. To assist 
them in this, they engaged a young man named Thomas 
Foster Potts, who remained with the firm until the death 
of Mr. Charles Bragg, which took place in 1874, when Mr. 
Potts became sole proprietor. Prior to this, very large 
additions (including the premises of the old Newcastle 
Courant) were added to the already extensive concern. 

Mr. Potts survived Mr. Charles Bragg only five years, 
having died in 1879. On his decease, his widow and 
nephew (Mr. Murton) succeeded to the business, and are 
now the sole proprietors of the extensive concern. 

While going over the large and handsome establishment 
in Pilgrim Stree f , the writer could not help looking 
back fcrty or fifty years, and seeing, aa it were, the 
busy printers, and all the flurry, excitement, and bustle 
of a publishing night (inseparable from even an old- 
fashioned weekly paper), and contrasting it with tin 
quiet calm of an aristocratic drapery establishment. 
The old building recalled also the kindly, pleasant 
face of Edward Walker, who lived on the premises (as 
nearly all tradespeople did in his day), and who was noted 
for his hospitality and as a good and generous employer. 
The house itself, with its broad staircase of black oak, its 
beautiful carving, and the fine tracery of the ceilings of its 
rooms, is still pretty much as it was sixty years ago, 

save for the different uses to which the several apartments 
are now put. We dare say that but few of our readers 
will remember the sad death of Mr. Walker, who expired 
while at dinner in his own house, from suffocation, due to 
a fish-bone having lodged in the throat. 

It is interesting here to mention that the respected 
general manager of the North-Eastern Railway Company, 
Mr. Henry Tennant, was, when quite a young man, 
employed in the counting-house of the Messrs. Bragg. He 
left that firm to fill a subordinate position on the North- 
Eastern Railway ; but his merits soon procured him promo- 
tion, until he attained the high position which he now 
so worthily fills. 

Those unacquainted with old Newcastle will be hard to 
persuade that, sixty years ago, there was a large garden 
in Railway Bank, which extended down to dull, gloomy 
Manor Street. Yet such was the fact, and we mention 
it to call attention to a robbery committed in Messrs. 
Bra^f's old premises in 1817, the thieves gaining admit- 
tance from the garden at the back. We copy a quaint 
little bill, which is framed and glazed and still kept in 
the office of the firm : 


Whereas, on Saturday night or Sunday morning last, 
the shop of Mr. Hadwen Bragg, of Pilgrim Street, New- 
castle-upon-Tyne, was feloniously broken, and the follow- 
ing valuable articles stolen therefrom : Several dresses of 
printed sarsinets, principally dark blue ground, or 
white ; several also on light blue ground ; somo of 
each with borders, for robes. Several imitation Indian 
scarf shawls, with pine and white ground, crimson, 
scarlet, and emerald green ; and set short scarfs or 
mantlets of the same description. 

A handsome reward will be paid for the discovery or 
apprehension of the offender or offenders, and the restora- 
tion of the property, on the conviction of such offender or 
offenders, by application to the Mayor's Chamber, where 
information is requested to be communicated. 

It is particularly requested that if any goods of the 
above description be offered either to pawnbrokers or 
drapers, they will detain the parties, and give notice, &c., 
as above. 

Mayor's Chamber, Newcastle-on-Tyne, Oct. 13, 1817. 

Captain Nicholls and his merry men would be surprised 
if such a bill as the foregoing were to emanate from 
the Mayor's Chamber now-a-days. It is gratifying to 
mention, however, that the " offenders" concerned in the 
above robbery were afterwards captured in Dublin, and 
were treated to a long sea voyage at the expense of the 
Government. W, W. W. 

$jabroeit iiragg'* p.tngmm ani) 

I have read with much interest the article on Hadwen 
Bragg which appeared in the columns of the Newcastle 
Weekly Chronicle of January 22. To the people of New- 
castle and Tyneside generally it must be gratifying to 
know that the founder of one of the oldest established 
concerns in the district was, as W. W. W. observes, " an 
honest, upright tradesman, and a man of great business 
capacity "; but the name of Hadwen Bragg should have 
an interest for hundreds of readers in other parts of 
the country who never heard of the firm of Bragg and 

1887. J 



Co., now completing its centenary. I, therefore, ask per- 
mission to tall something about "the quiet, gentle, 
sedate man of business" who commenced life as a draper 
in Mosley Street in the year 1788. 

At the beginning of last century there lived at 
Netherand, in Cumberland, one Isaac Bragg, and he bad 
a son named John Bragg, who, in the year 1749, married 
at Colthouse, near Hawkshead, in North Lancashire, Mar- 
garet Hadwen, the daughter of one John Hadwen. This 
pair had fire sons and two daughters ; one of the sons 
being Hadwen Bragg, the Newcastle draper. W. W. 
W. says " He married a lady who was a prominent mem- 
ber of the Society of Friends, and a preacher, or what 
was then called a 'minister' in that connection." The lady 
thus referred to was Margaret Wilson, a daughter of 
Isaac and Rachel Wilson, of Kendal ; and the marriage 
took place at that town probably in the Friends' Meeting 
House in the year 1790, thebridegroom being then 27 years 
of age, and having bean two years in business in Newcastle. 
How, it may be asked, did Hadwen Bragg, of New- 
castle, and Margaret Wilson, of Kendal, become acquain- 
ted ? In those days Newcastle and Kendal were not in 
easy communication with each other. Even now a rail- 
way journey between the two towns consumes a consider- 
able part of a day. The origin of the acquaintance 
between the pair may be found in the fact that both 
belonged to Quaker families. Kendal was then, as it is 
now, a stronghold of the Society of Friends ; and there 
was, doubtless, frequent intercourse between the Friends 
there and those scattered over Cumberland and in New- 
castle and Darlington. There was, moreover, already a 
connection between the Braggs and the Wilsons for twelve 
years previously. Margaret Wilson, the first cousin of the 
wife of Hadwen Bragg, had married Isaac Bragg, who, if 
I mistake not, was an elder brother of Hadwen. After 
a useful life, Mr. Hadwen Bragg died in 1820, leaving 
sons and daughters. W. W. W. says, " One of the latter 
married a Mr. Priestman. This gentleman we believe 
to have been the late Mr. Jonathan Priestman, who 
was \iv\\ known in Newcastle in his younger 
days as the ' handsome Quaker,' but better still as for- 
ward in almost every good and philanthropic work in the 
town." This is so. Mr. Priestman, who was the son of 
Mr. David Priestman, was born in 1787, and in 1814 be 
wedded Miss Rachel Bragg, then in her 24th year. In 
.the following year there was born to them at Summerfield 
a daughter, named Elizabeth Priestman, after her paternal 
grandmother. Other sons and daughters followed, all 
born at Summerfield, and the name of Priestman is not 
likely soon to become extinct. In 1839 the name became 
linked with another name probably destined to have an 
enduring place in English history. In that year a young 
Quaker from Rochdale, named John Bright, came to 
Newcastle and wedded the Elizabeth Priestman already 
mentioned, the grand-daughter of Hadwen Bragg. Their 
married life was, however, but of short duration, for Mrs. 
Bright died in 1841. It was when overwhelmed with 

grief for the loss of his young wife that Mr. Cobden saw 
Mr. Bright, and urged him to join in the battle for the 
repeal of the Corn Laws, with the result which all 
students of history know. Mrs. Bright left one daughter, 
named Helen Priestman Bright, who married, in 1866, 
Mr. William Stephens Clark. 

Allow me another paragraph in which I may say some- 
thing about other kinsmen of Mrs. Hadwen Bragg. Her 
brother, John Wilson, married Sarah Dillworth ; and one 
of the sons of this pair, Isaac Wilson, married Mary 
Jowett, of Leeds, by whom he was the father of Mr. 
Isaac Wilson, the present M,P. for Middlesbrough. 
Dorothy Wilson, an elder sister of Mrs. Hadwen Bragg, 
married, in 1764, John Whitwell, and was the mother of 
Isaac Whitwell, who was the father of Mr. John Whit- 
well, for a number of years M.P. for Kendal. Rachel, a 
sister of Isaac Whitwell, and, of course, a niece of Mrs. 
Hadwen Bragg, married at Kendal, in 1796, Mr. Edward 
Pease, of Darlington, and was thus the grandmother of 
Sir Joseph Whitwell Pease, M.P. for the Barnard Castle 
Division of Durham, and of Mr. Henry Fell Pease, M.P. 
for the Cleveland Division of Yorkshire ; and the great- 
grandmother of Mr. Alfred Pease, the member for the 
city of York. ZBTA, Carlisle. 


Tyneside is celebrated for its songs. One of the moat 
famous of these is undoubtedly the lyric which narrates 
the adventure of Mr. Baron Graham, one of the judges 
of Assize, in the River Tyne. Home account of the 
author, now partly printed for the first time, together with 
a few particulars of the accident, will give additional 
interest to the words of the song. 


The author of " My Lord 'Size " was a tradesman of 
Newcastle John Shield, who, along with his brother 
Hugh, was in business for many years as a wholesale and 
family grocer. It was in Middle Street, which stood on 
the site of the present Corn Market, that the shop of the 
firm was situated. The brothers, according to the account 
of one who knew them well, were very different in 
character. While John was remarkably quiet and in- 
offensive, full of the "milk of human kindness," Hugh, 
though of a generous disposition, was of so warm a temper 
that any attempt to take advantage of him, or offer him 
slight or insult, aroused his ire at once. 

A story in point has come to us from the authority to 
which we have referred. When the erection of the Corn 
Market was first mooted (the old building, of course, not 
the present Corn Market), the brothers had thoughts of 
retiring from business. One day, however, a fussy 
attorney entered the shop, and, unfortunately for him, 
was received by Mr. Hugh Shield. "Ah I" said the 



\ 1887. 

lawyer, rather haughtily, "your shop, Mr. Shield, is 
wanted for a public purpose. So you must think of 

moving. We have agreed to give you " (mentioning 

the sum). For a moment Mr. Shield glared at him, and 
then burst out, " Ye hev agreed to gie. Whe are ye ? 
Ye beggor, ye shanna ha'd ! Get oot ! " The Corn 
Market Committee of that day, however, would doubtless 
have power to claim the site in question ; but the solicitor 
for Messrs. Shield found some legal flaw in the deeds, and 
he was instructed to fight the question in the law courts. 
The subsequent litigation was costly, for the expenses 
came to much more than the brothera would have 
willingly taken for their property. The Corn Market 
Committee lost the action, and, of course, had to pay all 
the costs on both sides. 

Hugh Shield, on retiring from business, bought a small 
estate at Broomhaugh, near Hexham, where he resided 
for many years. He was a bachelor, and on his death he 
left this estate to his brother John, who had previously 
been living in Newcastle. Mr. John Shield removed 
to Broomhaugh, and died there in 1848 at the venerable 
age of 80 years. 

The following kindly and appreciative notice of Mr. 
Shield appeared in the Newcastle Ch.ron.ide of 
August 11 in that year : " Mr. Shield was a highly- 
respected and most worthy man. For a long series of 
years ho occupied a very prominent position in New- 
castle, and, in addition to his many amiable and social 
qualities, he possessed poetic gifts of no mean order, 
and added largely to our stock of local songs. Most 
of his writings were distinguished by a rich vein 
of humour, mixed occasionally with keen strokes 
of satire, and always displaying a lively imagi- 
nation and good feeling. But it was not in songs 
alone that he was distinguished, for he wrote many pieces 
of a higher character, which were also deservedly 
admired. As an example of his different styles, we are 
sure we need only mention ' The Drowned Judge,' and 
the verses addressed to Mr. Greathead, as the inventor of 
the lifeboat, to prove the versatility of his talent, and re- 
call to the minds of the elder portion of our readers the 
pleasure they were accustomed to derive from the pro- 
ductions of Mr. Shield's muse. He was indeed one of 
our Newcastle worthies, whose memory will ever be held 
in veneration," 

Besides his local songs, which were certainly among the 
best and most humorous in the dialect, Mr. Shield was 
the author of various pathetic pieces of very considerable 
merit. " Poor Tom, the Blind Boy," and the address to 
Mr. Greathead, mentioned in the preceding paragraph, 
were, perhaps, among the best of his fugitive pieces. 
The first time "My Lord "Size" appeared in print, we 
believe, was in a collection published in 1827 by the 
author's friend Akenhead. 

From all that we can learn, however, it would seem 
that Mr. Shield's song-writing proclivities did not com- 

mend themselves to the members of his family. The 
ladies of his household, we are assured, did all they could 
to discourage his poetic nights. It thus happened that 
he generally wrote his songs when he wai away from 
home on hia frequent business journeys in the country. 
He thus accumulated a great number of manuscript 
pieces which were never printed. This was well-known 
to one or two friends. When the furniture and library 
at Broomhaugh were eold by auction, after hia 
death, a near relative instructed the auctioneer to 
buy the precious manuscript, naming a price which he 
thought would effectually debar competition. Another 
gentleman, however, gave a commission to buy the book 
at any price, and, of course, got it. The purchaser, we 
believe, is still alive. If this notice should meet his 
eye, it may be hoped that he will allow at least a 
selection from his store to be given to the public. 

The Shield family has been widely respected in New- 
castle for many generations. One of the sons of Mr. 
John Shield is still in the land of the living, as well as 
several of his grandchildren. Mr. Hugh Shield, the 
eminent barrister, until lately member.of Parliament for 
Cambridge, is a grandson of the poet. 


The accident to Mr. Baron Graham, in describing 
which the author of " My Lord "Size " no doubt took 
the usual poetic licence, occurred many years ago. The 
Mayors of Newcastle at that time occupied the 
Mansion House in the Close, where they entertained 
his Majesty's judges. According to veracious history, 
bis lordship was about to take a trip on the river, pretty 
much as Roger North describes the trip of Lord Guilford. 
While in the act of stepping into the handsome Corpora- 
tion barge lying at the Mansion House stairs, he fell into 
the Tyne, but was, of course, immediately fished out. 
Like Mr. Pickwick, after his bath, the learned judge was 
put to bed, and accommodated with a glass of hot brandy 
and water. Next morning, doubtless, he was able to be 
introduced to several gentlemen who were by no means 
covetous of that honour. 

As far as we can ascertain, there appears to be no 
contemporary account of the disaster. According to 
Mackenzie, Mr. Baron Graham paid four visits to New- 
castlein 1800, 1804, 1806, and 1810, his first visit being 
paid in the year he was elevated to the judicial bench. 
From official documents to which we have kindly been 
allowed access, we learn that " Sir Robert Graham, 
Knight, one of the Barons of our Lord the King of his 
Court of Exchequer," was accompanied, in August, 
1810, by Sir Alan Chambre, one of the judges of the 
Court of Common Pleas. It was probably in that year 
that his lordship was Boused in the Tyne. Certain it 
that he never came back again. The affair does not seem 
to have attracted the attention of the newspapers. 
At all events, there is no mention of it in the 

March, 1 
1887. I 



Newcastle Chronicle of the date specified. This is ex- 
plained by the fact that every effort was made by the 
authorities to keep the accident from coming to the 
knowledge of the public. It came out at last, however, 
with the result we all know. 

The official calendar, signed by " Fler. Rigge, Clerk of 
Assize for the Northern Circuit," shows that five 
persons were tried before Mr. Baron Graham and Mr. 
Justice Chambre for what were then capital crimes : 
two for burglary, two for horse stealing, and one 
a woman named Ann Shell for " feloniously stealing a 
cow of the price of five pounds." All were sentenced to 
be hanged ; but four of them were afterwards reprieved. 
The fifth John Bowman, " guilty of horse stealing " 
was presumably executed. Here we get a glimpse of the 
sort of justice that was meted out to common thieves 
sixty or seventy years ago. 

Concerning Mr. Baron Graham, the following bio- 
graphical sketch is given in Foss's Lives of the Judges : 
"Graham, Robert, was the son and heir of James 
Graham, Esq., of Dalston, in Middlesex, and was born at 
Hackney, on October 14, 1744. He was educated at 
Trinity College, Cambridge, and, entering the Inner 
Temple in 1766, he was called to the bar in due course. 
After many years' practice, he was, in February, 1793, 
made Attorney-General to the Prince of Wales, and 
King's Counsel in the April following. In June, 1800, he 
was raised to the Bench of the Exchequer, on which he sat 
for nearly twenty-seven years. He was not considered a 
very efficient judge, and that his previous reputation as a 
lawyer was not very high appears from Sir Edward Law's 
remark when he was appointed, ' That he put Mr. Justice 
Rooke upon a pinnacle.' His principal distinction was 
his equanimity of temper. So great was his politeness 
and urbanity to every one, that Jckyll said of him, ' No 
one but his sempstress could ruffle him.' His dignity 
must have been somewhat disturbed by an unlucky acci- 
dent which befell him at Newcastle, while judge of assize 
there, and which was made the subject of a humorous 
song, from the pen of Mr. John Shield. He resigned in 
February, 1827, in his eighty- third year ; but lived several 
years afterwards, and died at his sister's, at Long Ditton, 
in Surrey, when he was beyond ninety." 


Ona line in the song, it will be seen, refers to Bold 
Archy, a noted Newcastle character sixty or seventy years 
ago. Bold Archy, whose real name was Archibald 
Henderson, was, according to Sykes, " a man of great 
stature and muscular power," though he is stated to have 
been "inoffensive in his manners." He is immortalised 
in several of the local songs of the day. Moreover, he 
forms one of the group of " Newcastle Eccentrics" which 
was painted by H. P. Parker. Bold Archy died in May, 
1828, in the 87th year of his age. 


The gaoler, for trial, had brought up a thief. 

Whose looks seemed a passport for Botany Bay ; 

The lawyers, some with and some wanting a brief, 

Around the green table were seated so gay : 

Grave jurors and witnesses, waiting a call. 

Attorneys and clients, more angry than wise, 

With strangers and town's-people, thronged the Guildhall, 

All waiting and gaping to see my Lord 'Size. 

Oft stretched were their necks, oft erected their ears. 
Still fancying they heard of the trumpets the sound, 
When tidings arrived which dissolved them in tears, 
That my lord at the dead-house was then lying drowned ! 
Straight left t6te-&-t&e were the gaolor and thief ; 
The horror-struck crowd to the dead-house quick hies ; 
Even the lawyers, forgetful of fee and of brief, 
Set off, helter-skelter, to view my Lord 'Size. 

And now the Sandhill with the sad tidings rings, 
And the tubs of the taties are left to take care ; 
Fishwomen desert their crabs, lobsters, and lings, 
And each to the dead-house now runs like a h:ire. 
The glassmen, some naked, some clad, heard the news, 
And off they ran smoking, like hot mutton pies ; 
Whilst Castle Garth tailors, like wild kangaroos, 
Came tail-on-end jumping to see my Lord 'Size. 

The dead-house they reached, where his lordship they 


Pale, stretched on a plank, like themselves out of breath ; 
The coroner and jury were seated around, 
Most srravely inquiring the cause of his death. 
No haste did they seem in their task to complete, 
Aware that from hurry mistakes often rise ; 
Or wishful, perhaps, of prolonging the treat 
Of thus sitting in judgment upon my Lord 'Size. 

Now the Mansion House butler thus gravely deposed : 
" My lord on the terrace seemed studying his charge ; 
And when, as I thought, he had got it composed, 
He went down the stairs and examined the barge. 
First the stem he surveyed, then inspected the stern, 
Then handled the tiller, and looked mighty wise ; 
But he made a false step when about to return, 
And souse in the water straight tumbled Lord "Size." 

Now, his narrative ended, the butler retired, 

Whilst Betty Watt muttering, half drunk, through ner 


Declared, " In her breast great consarn it inspired, 
That my lord should sae cullishly come to his deeth." 
Next a keelman was called^on, Bold Archy his name, 
Who the book as he kissed showed the whites of his eyes ; 
Then he cut an odd caper, attention to claim, 
And this.evidence gave them respecting Lord 'Size : 

" Aa was'setting the keel, wi' Dick Stavers and Matt, 
An' the Mansion House stairs we were just alangside, 
When we a' three see'd somethin', but didn't ken what, 
That was splashing and labbering about i' the tide. 
' It's a fluiker,' ki Dick : ' No,' ki Matt, ' it's owre big ; 

" Sae aa huiked him, and hauled him suin into the keel, 
And o' top o' the hud dock aa rowled him aboot ; 
An' his belly aa rubbed, an' aa skelped his back weel, 
But the water he'd drucken it wadn't run oot. 
Sae I brought him ashore here, an' doctors, in vain, 
Forst this way, then that, to recover him tries ; 
For ye see there he's lying as deed as a stane, 
An' that's a' aa can tell ye aboot my Lord 'Size." 

Now the jury for close consultation retired : 
Some " Death accidental " were willing to find ; 
Some " God's visitation " most eager required ; 
And some were for " Fell in the river " inclined. 
But ere on their verdict they all were agreed, 
My lord gave a groan, and wide opened his eyes ; 
Then the coach and the trumpeters came with great 
And back to the Mansion House carried Lord Size. 



I March, 
I 1887. 

Cattle (Sartfr 

Standing upon the Swing Bridge over the Tyne at 
Newcastle; and looking up at the steep hill on which 
stand the Castle and the Moot Hall, it is hard to imagine 
the state of the declivity before its face was covered by 
the blocks of houses which now crowd it Still harder is 
it, looking up the Castle Garth Stairs, hemmed in as they 
are on either side by high buildings, to 
recall the time when it was a mere footpath 
running up the wooded side of the hill to 
the ancient British fort perched on its 
summit. Yet it is not unreasonable to 
suppose that such was the case, and that 
the footpath occupied this very site. 
However this may have been, there is no 
reason to doubt that there was here a road- 
way up the hill at least as early as A.D. 120, 
when Hadrian built his bridge across the 
Tyne, for it would be the nearest means of 
access from the bridge to the Roman castle, 
which was built where the Moot Hall now 
stands. It is probable, too, that staira 
were then formed, and that they have ever 
since followed the same line. 

At what period houses were first built on 
either side of the stairs it would be hard, if 
not impossible, to determine ; but it ia 
unlikely, as long as the eminence abovo 
was occupied by fortifications tit for ser- 
vice, that any buildings would be allowed 
here to form a sort of covered way for an 
attacking enemy. What was the nature of 
the buildings on the hill top in Saxon times, 
when Newcastle was the abode of religion 
and went by the name of Monkchester, 
we know not ; but, in the time of the Con- 
queror, his eldest son Robert erected a 
castle here, afterwards rebuilt by William 
Rufus, and again replaced, in the reign 
and under the direction of Henry II., by 
the magnificent pile of which the Keep and 
some other portions still remain. 

The Postern which stands near the head 
of the stairs, as shown in our illustration, 
and which Dr. Bruce says is the only 
Norman Postern extant in England if its 
circular arch is original, is a proof of the 
importance attached to this climbing road- 
way. The arch does not go straight 
through the gate tower, but, for greater 
security against an attacking force, changes 
its direction about half way, and goes off at an obtuse 
angle from its original course- So we re. ay safely 
conclude that for some time after the building of the 
Castle no houses were built upon the stairs. But 
we know bow the Castle Wardens in time began to 

neglect their duties, and suffered the place to 
fall into disrepair ; for, when Edward III. came 
to the throne, "the castle of Newcastle-on-Tyne 
was BO decayed that there was not in all the castle a 
single house or room where one could be received, nor 
one gate which could be closed." Of all this neglect 
advantage would doubtless be taken by enterprising 
citizens ; and so dwellings and shops would be erected on 

the stairs. King Edward set to work with vigour, and 
repaired the castle ; but, as the town walls were now com- 
pleted, there was less need of the inner fortress, and the 
clearing of its approaches might not be thought so neces- 
sary as before. 

Mirch, 1 
1887 J 


The history of the Castle after this period is a 
history of decadence and decay. People in time were 
allowed to do pretty much as they pleased around it, and 
its precincts became a resort and sanctuary for debtors 
and offenders against justice ; for, being; within the 
liberties of the County of Northumberland, the town 
authorities had no jurisdiction here. In the Castle Garth, 
tradesmen who were not members of any of the New- 
castle Guilds, and who could not engage in business in the 
town, opened shops in defiance of the burghers and their 
laws. Tailors and shoemakers seem always to have pre- 
dominated in the locality. There is mention of the extra- 
ordinary gathering of cobblers here in the reign of 
Charles II., and down to our day we may notice 
the same peculiarity. Not so numerous as we can 
remember them, but still to be seen in goodly numbers 
on either side of the steep stairs, are the open shop 
fronts with row upon row of boots, shoes, and clogs, 
new and second-hand, displayed to allure the passer-by, 
just as foot coverings of another fashion were shown in 
the reign of the merry monarch, and probably long before. 
Many of the shops, we are sorry to say, are now closed, 
depression in trade having evidently reached even this 
out-of-the-way spot. It is a place, nevertheless, worth 
visiting on occasion ; for there is an old-world quaintness 
about the shops and the street of steps not often to be 
met with now-a-days, even in old towns. 

The Postern alone is a sight an antiquarian would travel 
many miles to see. Above it used to stand the gaoler's 
house, and there is a tradition that once upon a time a 
subterranean passage led from it to the Keep hard by. 
Just below the Postern a lane runs from the stairs west- 
ward, under the outer wall of the Castle, and a 
little further down another (now called "Low Way") 
runs nearly parallel with it. There is no thorough- 
fare now through either of them ; both are blocked up 
as being unsafe by reason of the ruinous state of the 
adjoining building ; but at one time they used to lead out 
to near the head of the Long Stairs, and the upper one is 
probably tha lane mentioned by Mackenzie, called in its 
east part Bankside, and in its western part Sheep's Head 

We hope it may b* long before the fate of these lanes 
befalls the Castle Stairs themselves, for we could ill afford 
to lose such a relic of the past life of our old town and its 

The old castle of Bowes, situated on the little river 
Greta, which flows into the Tees at Rokeby, is sup- 
posed to be the " Tunis de Arcubus " of mediaeval records, 
built by Alan, first Earl of Richmond, in the time of the 
Conqueror. It stands on the north-east edge of that high, 
hilly, and solitary tract called Stainmore, or the Stony 
Moor, a forest without trees, which extends from the 

neighbourhood of Barnard Castle to Kirkby Stephen, in 

In the early part of the last century Bowes was the 
scene of a tragedy which William Mallet, originally 
Malloch, a Scotchman from Crieff settled in London, and 
characterised as " a vainglorious, worthless parson, but a 
goed poet and facile miscellaneous] writer," made the 
subject of a popular ballad "Edwin and Emma." 

On the publication of this ballad, in the year 1760, 
Mallet subjoined an attestation of the truth of the facts 
related in it, which Thomas Evans, in his " Old Ballads, 
Historical and Narrative," published in 1784, gives his 
readers literally. It is an extract of a letter from the 
curate of Bowes to a Mr. Copperthwaite, who is said to 
have lived at Merrick, a village situated on the Swale, 
about eight miles above Richmond, and who had, it 
appears, inquired into the particulars of the affair. 

It seems there was living at Bowes, at the date to which 
the story refers, a young man named Edwin Wrightson, 
whom the ballad-maker represents to have been "the 
pride of swains, a soul that knew no art." His father, 
who had by his toil as a husbandman acquired what was 
considered in those days ah andsome competency, expected 
and required that his son should marry suitably that is to 
say. a girl with money. But Edwin had fixed his heart 
unalterably on a pretty young creature named Emma 
Railton, who lived in a humble cottage, "fast by a 
sheltering wood," in the vale of the Greta, with her 
mother, a poor widow, 

Whose only wish on earth was now 
To see her blest, and die. 

Emma was as modest and unassuming as she was lovely 
and innocent, being one of those rare women who 

Though by all a wonder owned, 
Yet know not they are fair. 

Edwin and Emma were both much of the same age, that 
is, growing up to twenty. In point of birth there was no 
disparity, but in point of worldly pelf, much. For 
Emma's father had died poor, while Edwin's was, as we 
have said, pasting rich. Between this interesting pair, 
who saw each other every day, "a mutual flame was 
quickly caught." But, though this was soon known and 
acknowledged on both sides, their courtship was all by 
stealth, as Edwin rightly divined that his parents would 
never approve of it, and he could not make up his mind to 
marry without their consent, and so be cut off in his 
father's last will and testament with a shilling, as was the 
orthodox rule in such cases. 

After the love-meetings had continued for about a year, 
the secret was found out by old Wrightson, who had, 
indeed, for some time suspected that they were enamoured 
of each other, but had pre-determined that nothing 
should come of it. His wife cordially joined him in his 
cold, calculating, mercenary views ; and a hunchbacked 
daughter, named Hannah, would have gone many miles 
out of her way to blight the matrimonial hopes of Emma . 
Ever ready and keen to work mischief, in which she took 
delight, she employed every art to induce her brother to 




oreak off his connection with his chosen sweetheart, be- 
sides circulating nil sorts of lies about her behind her 
back, treating her, when she met her, with notable con- 
tempt, and flouting at her on all occasions, at if she were 
a worthless baggage who had nothing but her fair face to 
recommend her. In short, the trio held it as a maxim, 
that blood was nothing without groats. 

The result was that old Wrightson sternly forbade his 
son ever to meet Emma again in private, and told him 
he would never, on any consideration, consent to his 
marrying a penniless wench. And now the ballad tells 
us that 

In Edwin's gentle heart a war 

Of different passions strove ; 
His heart, that durst not dinobey, 

Yet could not cease to love. 
Denied her sight, he oft behind 

The spreading hawthorn crept. 
To catch a gleam, to mark the spot 

Where Emma walked and wept. 

Oft, too, in Stainmore's wintry waste, 

Beneath the moonlight shade, 
In sighs to pour his softened soul. 

The midnizht mourner strayed, 
His cheek, where health with beauty glowed, 

A deadly pale o'ercast ; 
So fades the fresh rose in its prime, 

Before the northern blast. 

In short, the young lover sickened, and took to his bed 
about Shrove Tuesday ; that festival fell on the 13th of 
February in the year 1714, and he died on the Sunday 
seven-night after, the 25th of the month. On the la.t 
day of his illness, when his parents 

with late remorse, 

Hung o'er his dving bed ; 

And wearied Leaven with fruitless vows, 
And fruitless sorrow shed, 

he desired that, if "sweet mercy yet could move their 
souls," they would instantly send for her whom he so 
dearly loved. 

She came ; his cold hand softly touched, 

And bathed with many a tear ; 
(Fast falling o'er the primrose pale, 

So morning dews appear). 
But oh ! his sister's jealous care 

A cruel sister she ! 
Forbade what Emma came to say : 

" My Edwin, live for me." 

" It is true," says the good curate of Bowes, " the 
young woman was civilly received by the mother, who bid 
her welcome when it was too late ; but her daughter Han- 
nah lay at his back, to cut them off from all opportunity 
of exchanging their thoughts." 

As Emma want homewards, hopeless and weeping 
bitterly, along tha churchyard path, 

the death-bell smote her ear, 
Sad sounding in the gale. 

She knew it was tolling for her lover's departure from this 
weary, wicked world. "He is gone!" she exclaimed, 
" and I shall see him no more ! " 

On reaching her aged mother's dwelling, which was not 
many yards off, she screamed aloud that her heart was 
burst, sank powerless to the ground, and expired some 
moments after. 

The then curate of Bowes inserted it in his register that 
they both died of love, and were buried in the same grave, 
March 15, 1714, old style. 

There is a monument to the lovers in the churchyard of 
Bowes, which is famous also as being the supposed scene 
of Dickens's famous Dothebovs Hall. 


A century ago every number of the Newcattle Chronicle 
contained at least half-a-dozen advertisements of cock- 
fights in the various " pits " in the town. Seventy, 
fifty, and a hundred pounds were the sums generally 
fought for. We copy one announcement from the 
Chronicle of December 1, 1770, and the same paper 
contains six similar advertisements, the prizes in the 
Aggregate amounting to 720 a large sum in those 
davs : 

TO be Fought for, at Mr. Mor- 
due' New Pit in the Flesh 
Market, on Monday, the 31st of 
December, FIFTY POUNDS, by 
Cocks and Stags, 31bs, 14oz. 
On Tuesday, the 1st of Januarv, 


Cocks and Stags, 41b. 2oz. 

On Wednesday, the 2nd, by Cocks, Stags, and Blenkards, 
41b. 2oz. 

To weigh the Saturday oefore. between Ten and Twelve 
o'clock, and fight with fair Silver Spurs. The Stags for 
the Monday to be allowed one ounce ; Tuesday, the Stage 
to be allowed one ounce and a naif ; and on Wednesday, 
the Stags to be allowed one ounce, and Blenkards one 
ounce and a half. 

N.B. Whereas, there have been many complaints 
made by the Gentlemen of the Sod in regard to their 
Cocks fighting with Candle Light, tc prevent which for 
the future Mr. Mordue is determined to have a pair of 
Cocks upon the Sod precisely at Ten o'clock each Day. 

Dr. Bruce's excellent " Handbook of Newcastle-upon- 
Tyne" contains the following remarks upon this once 
popular pastime : " Cock-fighting was a favourite pas- 
time of the inhabitants of Newcastle from an early 
period. Even during the Commonwealth, when other 
sports were rigorously interdicted, if we are to credit 
tradition, a cock-pit flourished at the Westgate, just out- 
side of the Corporate jurisdiction. As early, at all 
events, as 1712, we have an advertisement of cock-fighting 
in this locality, at the Crown, without the Westgate, 
contemporary with which was a cock-pit at Dunston Bank. 
Shortly afterwards we find covered cock-pits attached to 
many of the principal inns of Newcastle, the arena of those 
of an earlier date being uncovered. At first the sports 
were carried on at very short intervals during the season ; 
but by degrees the principal attendance was concentrated 
in the Race Week, when the fighting was introduced under 
more imposing auspices, tha gentlemen of Northumber- 
land appearing as the competitors of the gentlemen of 
Durham, Cumberland, or Yorkshire. "Gentlemen" is 
rather an elastic term ; but the "mains" between indi- 
viduals show that the pastime was then patronised by 
persons of the highest rank and station, up, at all events, 

March, 1 
1887. / 



to the cloe of the last century, without any impeach- 
ment of their refinement or humanity. Amongst the 
competitor! in Newcastle cock-pits were the Duke of 
Hamilton, Sir Henry Liddell, General Beckwith. Mr. 
Fanwick of Bywell, Mr. Brandling, 4c. In 1790, a long 
main was fought at Hexham, between the Duke of 
Northumberland and Mr. Fenwick; and another main 
the same year at Alnwick, between the Duke of Northum- 
berland and Charles Grey, Esq. (the late Earl Grey), 
jointly, and Mr. Fenwick. In this district, at least, after 
the death of Sir Harry Vane in 1813, the sport was in a 
great measure left in the hands of persons of a very 
different class in society." 

When cock-fighting waa a legal sport, the maina were 
mostly fought during the first half of the year. Cock- 
lists were printed, containing the entries, &c,, which wera 
sold to the spectators at 6d. each. About fifty years ago, 
and down to the time of the prohibition, most of the cock- 
pits in Newcastle, were in Forth Street, Newgate Street, 
and Gallowgate. The pit was simply the centre of a large 
room, the spectators sitting on seats rising above each 
other. In an inner circle, railed off from the birds, were 
the betting men or bookmakers, and there waa always 
a deal of betting over the various fights. The most 
celebrated of the bookmakers at one time was named 
Sinclair, and he was .noted for his marvellous 
memory. He would take or give the odds thirty or 
forty times, and never use pen or pencil, with- 
out ever making a mistake as to the wagers. 
Fighting or game cocks were bred and trained 
as carefully and as regularly as greyhounds and race- 
horses are now-a-days. They were bred, in most cases, 
by pitmen, and, when old enough to be fought, were 
brought into the town, where they were taken in charge 
by the " feeders." These men looked after them, fed 
them, kept them in practice and in training, and wera 
expected to bring them to the cock-pit in fit condition for 
the fray. The birds were always provided with silver 
spurs, which they freely used, and often with deadly 
effect, during the fight, although Nature has provided 
them with a formidable weapon of their own. 

Of course, wherever there is sport, no matter of what 
sort, from pitch and tots to horse racing, the pitman is 
always found to be in it. Many of the old school of 
miners were especially .Jfond of cock-fighting ; and on the 
pay Saturdays a special tournament was got up for 
Geordie's delectation. And it paid, in spite of the almost 
prohibitive price (2s. 6d. was charged for admission), for 
the different pits were always crowded by eager and in- 
interested pitmen. 

Like the prize ring, cock-fighting was long ago declared 
illegal ; but mains continued to be fought in spite of law 
and police. There was a cock-pit in Gallowgate for years 
after the sport became unlawful ; but frequent raids by 
the police, followed by heavy fines, ultimately put an 
end to its existence. Many gentlemen of position in 
Newcastle, long after the sport was condemned by Act of 

Parliament, took great interest in cock-fighting, and 
were quite willing to pay for their favourite amuse- 
ment. A well-known alderman and magistrate, who 
died within the last few years, kpt game cocks ; and, thi 
back portion of his house being well screened from public 
view, ha frequently had a private " fight " for his own 
entertainment and that of a selact number of friends, 
amongst the latter being a certain learned judge, who ws 
always delighted to assist in breaking the law to that 
extent at least when he travelled tha Northern Circuit. 

The English are a law-abiding psopla, however, and 
when a thing has bten declared illegal it soon ceasas to 
be respectable. Just as tha prize-ring has been left to 
blacklags and the most disreputable of tha sporting 
fraternity (although time was when the "manly art" 
was patronised by the nobility and gentry, and not a few 
of the clergy), so has cock-fighting been gradually extin- 
guished. Perhaps it was not more cruel than pigeon- 
shooting, or greyhound coursing, or even fox-hunting; 
but still there are very few who lament its abolition, or 
who would care to see it revived. M, H. 

Usf anb Regulations of th.e (lock=pt. 

The first and most important point in cock-fighting was 
the weight of the birds. In most agreements for a cock- 
fight " articles for a cock-match" was the technical 
phrase it was stipulated that no cock should weigh less 
than 31bs. 6oz. or more than 31bs. 8oz. When the cocks 
on each side had been weighed, the next thing was to pair 
them. This was done by matching all the cocks, on either 
side, whose weights came within one ounce of each other. 
The lightest pair of cocks were always made to fight first, 
and then those gradually heavier, until the heaviest pair 
fought last. This venerable rule had been in use since 
the days of King Charles II. Although the limbs of the 
birds were always cut, they had to appear " with a fair 
hackle, not too near shorn, nor cut, nor with any other 
fraud." The spurs were usually of silver, at least in the 
great matches. 

At the time appointed for the cock-fight to begin, "the 
masters of the match " took their seats opposite to each 
other, on either side of the cock-pit, accompanied by two 
officials termed the " setters-to." Then tha two " feeders" 
appeared, each carrying a cock. After due examination, 
the birds were made over to the setters-to, and they 
handed them to the masters of the match, who started 
the " fun" by putting the cocks upon the mat on the floor of 
the cock-pit. Tha next part of the business the cocks 
managed for themselves. 

The " noble sport" now began in earnest, and some- 
times two good birds would fight until one cock had killed 
the other, or thrashed him to helplessness. But not un- 
commonly, after a sharp round, both cocks would suspend 
hostilities to gain breath, and, withdrawing to a little dis- 
tance, each would watch the other in the hope of catching 


\ 1887. 

him in a careless or listless moment. For a short time 
this rather added to the excitement of the spectators; 
but human patience Boon became exhausted when two 
cocks stood solemnly eyeing each other. 

Now the limit of time for cocks to ogle without fighting 
was fixed at the interval during which an official, called 
" the teller of the law," could count 40. When this limit 
was passed, human science was brought to the assistance 
of the birds. The settars-to then caught them, and, car- 
rying them to the middle of the pit, " delivered them on 
their legs, beak to beak." If either of them had been 
blinded in the prerioua battle, their heads were to be 
made to touch each other. If one cock refused to fight, 
he was tried ten times, and he had to refuse to fight as 
many times before he was considered beaten. 

It sometimes happened that the cock which would fight 
died from his wounds before his adversary had refused 
ten times, and in that case the craven bird was consi- 
dered to have won the battle. The law, further 
provided rules in caae both cocks refused to fight, 
as well as in other cases, which it is hardly neces- 
sary that I should enumerate ; but they were nearly 
all based on the principle that the teller of the law 
should count 40, 20, or 10, according to circumstances, 
between the interval of the fights. O 

Cock-fighting was fashionable in Greece at least 500 
years B.C., and it was probably a very ancient sport in 
China, where it is still highly popular. In India, again, 
cock-fighting is an institution of very great antiquity. Both 
Henry VIII. and James I. were fond of "cocking" ; Oliver 
Cromwell legislated against it, but Charles II. revived it. 
The Royal Cockpit at Westminster, which was the head- 
quarters of cock-fighting, was established by Henry VIII., 
and even in the present century mains have been fought 
in it. 

It is said that a thousand game cocks have boon killed 
in fights during one week in Newcastle. 

KENNETH, Dumfries. 

ji!0rtft=Cmwtrg Witt & ftumauv 


Thomas Binney, the popular preacher, was once visit- 
ing the scenes where his early youth had been spent in 
Newcastle, and in bis search came upon an old friend, 
whom he found installed as landlord of a small public- 
house in Pandon. Going into the bar, the divine waited 
patiently until his old friend Watty had filled sundry 
whiskies and " gills o' yell " ordered by previous entrants. 
Tba landlord then turned with his usual brisk air, and 
looked expectingly for the new-comer's order for a glass 
of something, " Don't yon know me ? " said the preacher. 
"Don't you remember Thomas Binney?" "Bliss me 
BOW! ! " replied the astonished Watty, " is that ye, 
Thomas? Whaat'U ye hey ? " 


A facetious miner, residing near Newcastle, had the 
misfortune to lose his dog, and, from information received, 
had reason to think that he had " strayed " into one of 
the pork establishments of the town. Consequently he 
repaired thither in search of his canine friend. His 
inquiries leading to little satisfaction, he bawled out at 
the top of his voice, " Pincher ! " and, according to the 
account of the worthy pitman, "the sassages aall 
trimmill'd agyen." " Lads alive," says he, " whaat mair 
did aa want ? " 


During a Shakaperian revival at a Newcastle theatre, 
a man not accustomed to stage performances was in- 
duced to accompany some friends to witness the repre- 
sentation of " King Lear." Not understanding the play, 
he bore with the appearance of Lear for some time in 
patience. At length, when the old king once more 
tottered on to the stage, he exclaimed in despairing ac- 
cents to his friends : " Tut, tut, tut ! here's that fond aa'd 
man agyen ! " 


A few years ago a pitman went to the Central Station, 
Newcastle, with a return ticket for Seghill. He presented 
himself at the first platform, and got into the south train. 
Before starting, the guard inquired at the door " All for 
the south?" Geordie exclaimed, "Aa's for Seghill." 
The guard consequently told him to come out. Geordie 
sallied off, and then got into the Sunderland train, with 
the same result. Next time he strolled to the opposite 
end of the station, and got into the Carlisle train. He 
now, quite bewildered, inquired of a porter, and then 
found that he had got to the wrong station. He at last 
arrived at the Blyth and Tyne terminus, and got all 
right. Seating himself beside some acquaintances, he, 
with a volume of strong oaths, detailed to them his mis- 
fortunes, to the evident annoyance of a minister, who 
accosted Geordie with, "My good man, do you know 
where you are goine to?" "Ay," says Geordie, "aa's 
gante Seghill." "No, my good man, you are going to 
hell ! " says the minister. " Whaat 1 " cries Geordie ; " in 
the wrang train agyen!" and thereupon jumped out, 
when the train started and left him to find his road to 
Seghill on foot. 


A pitman in full dress, and with some savings in his 
pocket, arrived in London, and, deeming that money makes 
or mar> a man, he thought that for once he would try to 
enact the gentleman. Scorning the idea of entering a 
public-house, he betook himself to an hotel, and, entering 
the coffee-room, which until then was empty, he took a 
seat, but scarcely had he composed himself before in 
walked a smart " commercial." In answer to a summons 
from the bell, the waiter appeared for orders. "A glass 
of brandy, waiter," said the gentleman. "Fetch me a 




glass o' brandy an' aall," says the pitman. On tha waiter's 
return, the gentleman said, " Waiter, bring me the news- 
papers." "Waiter, fetch me sum newspapers an' aall," 
cries Geordie, determined to make the behaviour of 
the traveller his own line of conduct. After a brief 
lapse of time the rope of the bell was once more agitated. 
" Waiter," says the gentleman, " serve me with 
some tea and a chop." "Waiter," says the pitman, 
"bring me some tea an' a chop." The gentleman, 
evidently annoyed, bub restraining his anger, more hastily 
than usual finished his repast. Geordie, quite equal to the 
occasion, as speedily devoured his meal. The traveller, 
determined to administer a rebuke, and at the same time, 
to deliver a hint to his neighbour, rang the bell with a tug 
which soon again brought in the attendant. "Waiter, 
bring me a boot-jack," said he. " An' waiter," says the 
pitman, without any delay, "fetch me a boot-jack, tee.' 
The commercial, now thoroughly aroused, and no longer 
able to control his indignation, fiercely looked at his un- 
abashed companion, and sternly demanded, "Fellow, 
what do you want with a boot-jack, when you have a pair 
of low shoes on?" "Low shoes or high shoes," replied 
the offended pitman, "that's na bissiness o' yors; aa'll 
back aa can eat a boot-jack as weel as ye ! " 

About the close of the Old Year the deaths were 
announced of Mr. J. H Mole and Mr. T. A. Prior, 
both natives of Newcastle, though they had long ceased 
to reside there. The former gentleman, though self-taught, 
attained considerable eminence as a painter in water 
colours. At the time of his death he was vice-president 
of the Water Colour Society. Mr, Prior served his time 
with the late Mark Lambert, and soon after the termina- 
tion of bis apprenticeship went to London, where he met 
Turner, and was entrusted by the great landscape painter 
with the engraving of a drawing of Heidelberg. Mr. 
Prior was engaged about seven years upon the plate, 
which sold for 800. 

A local paper of January 1st announced tha death at 
Morpeth of Margaret, better known aa Peggy, Douglas, 
one of the old stock of Yetholm gipsies, at the advanced 
age of 86. Her grandfather was a Faa of Yetholm ; but, 
on coming to Morpeth, he changed his name to Young, 
which his descendants still retain. 

There died at Hexham, on Sunday, January 2nd, 
one of the oldest inhabitants of the town, Mrs. Ann 
Hedley, at the ripe age of 95 years. She was able to 
attend to her household duties until her 93rd year. 

On the 4th of January, Old Mark Aynsley, a well- 
known character in Coqu?tdale, died at his son's house at 
Rothbury, in the 79th year of his age. He was a native 
of that town, and had lived all his life in it. By trade a 
shoemaker, he was exceedingly fond of the rod and Hue, 
in the use of which he was very proficient ; and he often 
boasted of having taught Sir William Armstrong to fish. 

The death by suicide, at Aberdeen, was reported on the 
8th of January of Mr. Alexander Adam, formerly pro- 
prietor of the South Tyne Paper Mills at Hexham, where 
he carried on a large business. The deceased gentleman, 

who was 64 years of age, had for thirteen years been an 
inmate of the Lunatic Asylum at Aberdeen. Mr, Adam 
by his will, left 5,000 to tha English Presbyterian 
Church at Hexham, of which for many yars he had been 
an elder. 

Mr. W. E. Franklin, bookseller, Mosley Streat, New- 
castle, died on the morning of the 8th of January, at his 
residence, 4, Belgrave Terrace. Tha deceased gentlamau 
was a native of Berkshire, and was intended for the 
Church, but afterwards drifted into business. Many 
years ago, he opened premises in the Central Station, at 
Newcastle, for the sale of books and newspapers, and had 
also charge of tho various bookstalls at all the stations 
between Newcastle and York and between Edinburgh 
and Newcastle. He afterwards gave them up in favour 
of a London firm who in turn gave way to Messrs. Smith 
and Son and started business in Neville Street, as well as 
at North Shields. On account of tho improvements in 
West Grainger Streat, the Neville Street shop was 
removed to make way for the new thoroughfare. Mr. 
Franklin transferred iiis business to temporary premises 
in the Arcade, and afterwards opened a shop in Mosley 
Street, which he occupied till the time of hia death. The 
deceased gentleman, who was 63 years of age, took an 
active interest in the affairs of St. Nicholas's Church, 
in which for some time he filled the post of sidesman. 

At a late hour on the evening of the 8th of January, a 
telegram was received in South Shields, announcing the 
death, at San Remo, in Italy, of Mr. Collin Wawn, 
solicitor. The deceased gentleman, who was only 28 
years of age, and unmarried, had left Tyneside some time 
previously for the benefit of his health. He was a son of 
the late Mr. Christopher Wawn, solicitor, South Shields, 
and a relative of the late Mr. J, T. Wawn, who repre- 
sented the borough in Parliament many years ago. Mr. 
Collin Wawn was an enthusiastic bell-ringer, and took an 
active interest in getting a new peal of bells for St. 
Hilda's Parish Church. 

On the 9th of January, the Rev. Alexander Reid, for 
many years pastor of St. Paul's Congregational Church, 
Arthur's Hill, Newcastle, died at the residence of his son, 
the Rev. Stuart J. Reid, at Wilmslow, in Cheshire. A 
native of St. Andrews, in Scotland, Mr. Reid came 
to Newcastle in 1829, as minister of the old chapel 
in the Postern. On the removal of that place of 
worship to make way for the High Level Bridge 
approaches, service was carried on for a time 
in tha Lecture Room, Nelson Street, in the Zion 
Chapel, Westgate Street, and afterwards in Weat Clayton 
Street Church, until, in 1854, Mr. Reid and his congrega- 
tion removed to St. Paul's, which had formerly been used 
as a chapel-of-ease for St. John's Parish Church. Having 
completed fifty years of ministerial work in Newcastle, 
the rev. gentleman, conscious of increasing infirmity aud 
advancing years, retired from the pastorate in 1880, and 
shortly afterwards left Newcastle to reside with his son in 
Cheshire. Mr. Reid was eighty-two years of age, and 
among his other sons is Mr. T, Womyss Reid, for many 
years editor of the Leeds Mercury, and now manager of 
the firm of Messrs. Cassell and Co., publishers. 

Mrs. Richard Wellington Hodgson, of North Dean t 
Gateshead, widow of the late Alderman Hodgson, J.P., 
son of the Rev. John Hodgson, the historian of North- 
umberland, passed away on Thursday, January 10th. 
She was eighty years of age. 

On the llth of January there were interred in the- 
little village cemetery of Whitburn, in Scotland, the re- 



mains of James Nicolson, one of the survivors of the crew 
of the steamer Forfarshire, who were so gallantly rescued 
by Grace Darling, when the vessel was wrecked off the 
Fame Islands in 1838. Nicolson was in the 71st year of 
his age. Another of the crew of the ill-fated vessel, and 
probably the last survivor, is now residing within a few 
miles of the county town of Forfarshire. 

Mr. Charles Binns, J.P., of Clay Cross Hall, near 
Chesterfield, a contemporary and fellow-worker with 
George Stephenson, died at that place on the 14th of 
January, in the 74th year of his age. 

On the 19th of January Mr. Moses Pye, who, for up- 
wards of a quarter of a century, was well known in the 
borough of Tynemouth and in Newcastle as an auctioneer 
and valuer, died at North Shields, in the 75th year of his 

Mr. Christopher Scott, clerk to the Tynsmouth Board 
of Guardians, and about 40 years of age, died on the 22nd 
of January, at his residence in North Shields. 

The remains of Mr. Wm. James Barker, who for many 
years had carried on the business of an ironmonger, in 
Blackett Street, Newcastle, and who was also an excel- 
lent musician, were, on the 25th of January, interred in 
Jesmond Cemetery, the deceased having died two or 
three days previously from the effects of a fall upon the 

On the 24th of January was announced the death of the 
Rev. Joseph Lee, Unitarian minister of Barnard Castle, 
of which place he was a native. Mr. Lee, who had 
formerly been in business, was 67 years of age. 

On the 25th of January, died, at the age of 78, Mr. 
John Buchan, for upwards of 47 years in the employ- 
ment, in the public works department, of the Corpora- 
tion of Newcastle. The deceased came to Newcastle 
first to work for Mr. Brown, contractor, who built St, 
Thomas's Church. 

The Rev. Father D. Jordan Riley, O.P., formerly of 
St. Dominic's, Red Barns, Newcastle, died on the 3rd of 
February, at the Holy Cross Priory, Leicester. 

On the 4th of February was announced the death of 
Mr. W. J. Clarke, of Sunderland, son of the late Mr. 
George Clarke, of the South wick Engine Works. The 
deceased gentleman was a Justice of the Peace for the 
Borough of Sunderland, and had also served on one or two 
local public bodies. 




1. Clear, bracing, frosty weather prevailed in New- 
castle and district on New Year's Day ; and many thou- 
sands of people found seasonable and invigorating exercise 
on the ice in the parks and elsewhere. On the evening of 
New Year's Day, the Newcastle Temperance Society and 
the Central Hall Blue Ribbon Army held a very success- 
ful united gathering in the Town Hall, under the presi- 
dency of the Bishop of Newcastle (Dr. Wilberforce). 

Arrival at Dundee of James Gordon, a man who 
had wheeled a " barrow " from that town to London and 
back, passing through Newcastle and other Northumbrian 
towns in going and returning. 

6. Presentation of watch and address to Mr. George 
Tunnah, on his retirement from the office of superin- 

tendent of the detective department of the Newcastle 
police force. 

The Bishop of Newcastle, to-night, opened the new 
St. Andrew's Hall (late Church Institute), in Percy Street, 
Newcastle, to be used for parochial purposes for St. 
Andrew's Church. 

6. Dedication by the Bishop of Durham of St. Alban's 
new Mission Church at Trimdon Grange. 

8. The final official list in connection with the New- 
castle Hospital Fund was issued to-day, the result 
showing the total collections in October, 1886, to have 
been 3,889 19s. 6d., as compared with 3,412 5s. Id. in 
the previous year. 

Mr. Charles Mitchell, of Jesmond Towers, Newcastle, 
laid the corner-stone of St. George's Church at Jesmond, 
the entire cost of the erection of which he has undertaken 
to provide. 

9. The Rev. Arthur O. Medd, new Rector of Roth- 
bury, was publicly instituted to that living by the Bishop 
of Newcastle. 

10. A party of sword-dancers left Jarrow en route 
for London and back, a large crowd following them out of 

13. At the Newcastle Assizes, John Henry Penning 
was tried, and acquitted, on the charge of having mur- 
dered Elizabeth Tail, in the Low Bridge, in that city, on 
the 27th of November last. 

Conclusion, after successive adjournments extend- 
ing over six days, of an inquiry before Mr. A. E. Owen, 
barrister-at-law, as to the re-arrangement of the wards of 
Newcastle, on the principle of the creation of sixteen 
wards, each returning three representatives, as proposed 
by a committee of which Mr. William Temple was chair- 

A destructive fire broke out in the ironmongery shop 
of Messrs. Harrison and Co., Market Place, Hexham, the 
damage done amounting to considerably over 2,000. 

The final report of the Royal Commission on Trade 
Depression was issued to-day ; and Sir C. M. Palmer, 
M.P., while signing the report of the whole Commission, 
as one its members, appended a special report of his own. 

14. A special committee appointed to investigate the 
financial position of the Newcastle Infirmary issued its 
report to-day. Among the suggestions it contained was 
a recommendation to abolish admission letters, thereby 
converting the Infirmary into a free institution. 

A new hall in connection with St. George's Parish 
Church, Cullercoats, was opened by Canon Lintott, of 

15. The South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade cele- 
brated its twenty-first anniversary. 

17. James Sanderson, a miner employed at the Bessy 
Pit, near Morpeth, left that town, pushing a pit-tub 
before him, on a journey to London and back. 

18. Henry Mullen died in Newcastle Infirmary from 
injuries received through the fall of some scaffolding on 
the Ouseburn Railway Viaduct, on the works for the 
widening of which he was employed, another workman 
being somewhat severely injured on the same occasion. 

There were no cases for hearing at the Gateshead 
County Police Court to-day an occurrence which had 
not taken place for many years previously. 

Her Majesty's gunboat Firm ran ashore on tho 
rocks at Beadnell Point, on the Northumberland coast, 
during a severe south-easterly gale and snowstorm. 

19. A coroner's inquest into a disaster at Elemore 
Colliery, in the county of Durham, which occurred on the 

March, 1 
1687. I 



2nd of December, 1886, resulting in the loss of 28 lives, 
terminated, after a aeries of adjournments, to-day, 
when the jury found that there was not sufficient evidence 
to show the cause of the explosion. 

20. At the Newcastle Assizes, the jury returned a 
verdict for the plaintiff, with 75 damages, in the case of 
Taylor v. Stephenson, which was an action for malicious 

21. The office of the J arrow Guardian newspaper, 
belonging to Mr. Jackson, was destroyed by fire, the 
damage being estimated at 2,000, which, however, was 
covered by insurance. 

22. An action was suddenly interrupted in the New- 
castle County Court, by the announcement of the death 
of the plaintiff, Mr. Frank Renner, fish merchant, who 
had, that morning, been found dead on Newbiggin Moor. 

24. The members of the Northumberland Hunts enter- 
tained the Council of the Eoyal Agricultural Society to a 
grand banquet in the Banqueting Hall, Jesmond Dene, 
Newcastle, under the presidency of Earl Percy. 

25. At the Durham Assizes, Thomas Tnompson (39), 
joiner, was charged with the wilful murder of his son, a 
lad about 4 years old, on the 16th inst. The prisoner had 
at the same time attempted to take the life of an older 
son, who, however, escaped. The defence set up was one 
of insanity ; but the jury found the prisoner guilty, and he 
was sentenced to death. The convict eventually received 
n reprieve, followed by a commutation of sentence. 

Sir William Armstrong was examined before the 
Royal Commission on Warlike Stores. 

For the first time in the history of the Royal 
Agricultural Society, a show of thoroughbred stallions 
was held in the Jubilee Exhibition Buildings, at New- 
castle, and proved very successful. Five prizes, each of 
200, were awarded; and thirty-eight animals were entered 
for competition. 

26. John McCann (31), miner, was convicted, at Dur- 
ham Assizes, of the murder of John Dixon, at Houghton- 
le-Spring, on New Year'% Eve. The two men had been 
drinking together, and the defence was that there was no 
intention on the part of the prisoner to commit the 
murder, but that the result was occasioned by a struggle 
for a knife which McCann held in his hand. Tho jury 
accompanied their verdict by a strong recommendation to 
mercy, and sentence of death was passed in the usual 
form. The sentence was subsequently commuted into 
one of penal servitude for life. 

26. The first meeting of a newly-formed Newcastle 
Parliamentary Debating Society was held in the Northum- 
berland Hall, Mr. Temperley being elected Speaker. 

27. At a town's meeting in Gateshead, it was resolved 
to erect a Childreo's Hospital in commemoration of Queen 
Victoria's Jubilee. 

Mr. Albert Grey met with a somewhat serious 
accident by being thrown from his horse, while hunting, 
at Tetbury, in Gloucestershire. 

Commencement of a general strike in the Northum- 
berland coal trade, the men having refused to accede to a 
reduction of 15 per cent, in wages demanded by the 
masters. The number of mon who voted for acceptance 
of the employers' terms, as ultimately reduced to 12J per 
cent., was 2,167, and for a strike 9,745. A second ballot 
shortly afterwards took place, on a proposal, suggested by 
Mr. John Morley, M.P., who had intervened at the 
request of the Mayor of Newcastle, to offer to accept a 
conditional reduction of 10 per cent. The result was 

for 10 per cent, reduction, 1,850 ; for a continuance of the 
strike, 8,238. On the 7th of February, the officials of the 
Miners' Li nion, headed by Mr. Thomas Burt, member for 
Morpeth, issued a circular, expressing their readiness, on 
account of indications of dissatisfaction, to put the ques- 
tion of confidence or want of confidence in their conduct 
to the test. The question was subsequently submitted 
to the collieries, when 126 votes were recorded in favour 
of the officials, while 51 were given for calling a delegate 

In a local paper, to-day, it was reported that a 
marriage had just been celebrated at Lamberton Toll, the 
scene of many a similar ceremony in olden times, the 
officiating " priest " being " Germin Jim," a Berwick 

28. The wife of Thos. F. 0. Townsend, shoemaker, 
was safely delivered of two girls and a boy, in Hill Street, 
Newcastle. The customary donation of 3 from the 
Queen was afterwards remitted to the parents. 

29. Workmen employed at the Cleveland Steel Works, 
to the number of about 2,000, came out on strike, an 
advance of 10 per cent., for which they had asked, having 
been refused by the masters. The strike was brought to 
an end on the 12th of February by the men agreeing to 
accept the masters' ofer of 2J per cent, advance in their 


1. At the annual meeting of the Literary and Philo- 
sophical Society, Newcastle, held to-night, under the 
presidency of Sir W. G. Armstrong, Dr. Robert Suence 
Watson, one of the hon. secretaries, explained a scheme 
for affiliating the Newcastle University centre with Cam- 
bridge University, and it was adopted. A resolution 
was also passed, agreeing to an exchange of the vacant 
ground at the rear of the building for a piece of ground to 
the east of the institution, belonging to the North-Eastern 
Railway Company, the company paying the society 5,500 
as compensation. 

A strike commenced to-day in the North and 
South Shields branches of the North of England Seamen 
and Firemen's Society, for a rise of from 28s. to 30s. on 
the weekly boats, and from 3 10s. to 4 on the monthly 
boats. A strike took place at Sundeiland for the same 

2. The Marquis of Hartington visited Newcastle, and 
addressed a meeting in the Town Hall, on the Irish 
question, under the presidency of the Earl of Durham. 

3. At the meeting of the Northumberland magistrates, 
held in Newcastle to-day, it was announced that Superin- 
tendent Stephenson, believed to be the oldest police 
officer in the country, had retired. 

A heavy gale of wind passed over Newcastle and 
district, and a good deal of damage was done to property. 

4. At the half-yearly meeting of the North-Eastern 
Railway Company, a dividend of 6J per cent, was de- 
clared for the half-year ending December 31, 1886. 

A party of so-called Greek gipsies arrived in 
Durham, and took up their quarters in the Parson's Field 
at the head of Old Elvet. 

5. The body of Mr. Watson, who had been missing 
from Gateshead since December last, was found, to-day, 
in a pond at Washington Station. 

7. Mr. John H. Amos, who had for upwards of twenty 
years been connected with the Corporation of Newcastle, 





holding, during a considerable portion of that time, the 
office of Committee Clerk, was unanimously elected clerk 
to the Tees Conservancy Commissioners. 

At the annual meeting of the Bishop of Newcastle's 
Fund, it was reported that the subscriptions received dur- 
ing the year bad amounted to 7,964 8s. 9d., bringing the 
total up to 58,823 15s. lOd. 

10. Mr Septimus Scott was appointed clerk to the 
Tynemouth Board of Guardians. 

At a meeting held under the presidency of the Bishop 
of Newcastle, a new association, called the Newcastle- 
upon-Tyne Temperance Federation, was established. 

11. A fire, which did considerable damage, broke 
out at the residence of Mr. H. F. Swan, shipbuilder, 
North Jesmond House Newcastle. 

12. At a meeting convened in Newcastle by the Duke 
of Northumberland, as Lord Lieutenant of Northumber- 
land, and presided over by Earl Percy, a resolution was 
adopted in favour of the Imperial Institute by which it is 
proposed to celebrate the jubilee of Queen Victoria's 

14. Seventy thousand valentines passed through the 
Newcastle Post Office, being a little in excess of those of 
last year. 

Central Occurrences;. 


1. A telegram was received from Madras, stating that 
a fire had occurred in the People's Park in that city. 
Several hundred people were burnt or crushed to death. 

2. A large gas meter exploded at Cambridge Barracks, 
Portsmouth, killing four soldiers and wounding a dozen 

Mr. G. J. Goschen joined the Conservative Ministry, 
accepting office aa Chancellor of the Exchequer, vacated 
by the resignation of Lord Randolph Churchill. 

The Delegates from Bulgaria visited England, and 
were the guests of the Marquis of Salisbury and the Earl 
of Iddesleigh. They were also entertained by the Lord 
Mayor of London at the Mansion House. 

3. Government prosecution in Ireland of Messrs. John 
Dillon, David Sheehy, Matthew Harris, W. K. Red- 
mond, Daniel Crilly, and William O'Brien, for conspiring 
to solicit tenants not to pay rents. 

G. The Earl of Iddesleigh resigned the office of Foreign 

12. Conference of miners at Birmingham, under the 
presidency of Mr. Thomas Burt, M. P. 

Introduction of a bill into the German Reichstag 
to increase the standing army. The bill, which was 
strongly supported by Prince Bismarck, was subsequently 
rejected, and the Reichstag thereupon dissolved. 

Sudden death of the Earl of Iddesleigh. His lord- 
ship visited Lord Salisbury at bis official residence in 
Downing Street. On arriving at the top of the stairs, he 
was observed to gasp. Assisted to a seat, he expired 
shortly afterwards, the cause of death being syncope. 

13. Terrible eviction scenes reported from Kerry, Ire- 
land. Some of the tenants were emaciated with hunger, 
and half -naked. 

19. A terrible disaster occurred during an amateur 
entertainment at the Jewish Club, Princess Street, Spital- 
fields, London. About 500 persons were present, mostly 
Jews. A cry of fire was raised, the gas was extinguished 
at the meter, and a panic ensued. The whole audience 
rushed to the doors in a solid mass, struggling and fighting 
to get out. Seventeen persons were killed, being either 
trodden to death or suffocated. The alarm was without 
cause, inasmuch as there was no danger at any time. 

23. Death of Sir Joseph Whitworth, engineer. He was 
distinguished for his improvements in guns and tools, and 
was the first to introduce the "uniform" system of 
screws. He was created a baronet in 1869. 

26. Mr. Goschen having become a candidate for the 
Exchange Division of Liverpool, rendered vacant by the 
death of Mr. David Duncan, the result of the election 
was made known to-day. Mr. Goschen was defeated, 
his opponent, Mr. Ralph Neville, having a majority of 
only seven votes. 

27. Meeting of Parliament. The principal event was 
a speech by Lord Randolph Churchill, in which he gave 
his reasons for resigning as Chancellor of the Exchequer 
and leader of the House of Commons. 

30. Riots at Belfast. The police and people were 
engaged in a conflict which at one time appeared to be 
serious. There were, however, no fatalities, although the 
police fired on the crowd. About thirty persons were ar- 

31. News received that the emigrant ship Kapunda, 
with nearly 300 persons on board, had been sunk by 
collision off the coast of Brazil. Only about eight persons 
were saved. 


2. Panics on the European Stock Exchanges, caused 
by rumours of war between France and Germany. 

5. A new opera by Verdi, entitled "Otello," was 
produced in La Scala, Milan. 

8. Serious riots in the Blantyre district of Lanark- 
shire, Scotland. A numerous body of miners on strike 
attacked the shops of tradesmen, carrying off all 
the eatables. The Riot Act was read, the mob was 
charged by the police, and a body of cavalry was des- 
patched to the scene of the disturbance. 

9. Reported bomb outrage at San Francisco. During 
a concert, a man, supposed to be insane, attempted 
to take a package from beneath a seat, when a loud explo- 
sion took place, the only person injured being the in- 
dividual himself. It was supposed that it was his inten- 
tion to throw the explosive at Madame Adelina Patti, 
who was at the moment singing upon the stage. 

Lord Algernon Percy having retired from the repre- 
sentation of St. George's, Hanover Square, London, Mr. 
Goschen contested the seat, the other candidete being Mr. 
Haysman, GJadstonian Liberal. The result was declared 
to-day as follows : Goschen, 5,702 ; Haysman, 1,545 ; 
majority for Goschen, 4,157. 

10. Death of Mrs. Henry Wood, novelist. 

Renewal of the riots in Lanarkshire. Another 
provision shop was looted. A number of arrests were 
made, including twenty women, who had some of the 
stolen property in their possession. 

12. Death of M. Raoul Duval, French politician. 

Piinted by WALTEB Scorr, Felling-on-Tyne. 

/lfcontbl dbronicle 



VOL. I. No. 2. 

APRIL, 1887. 


Seatt ftawl 


TOWNSMAN of Newcastle, going to and 
fro in his daily rounds, saw lying on the 
ground four pages of what seemed to him 
familiar print, and picked them ap. His 
conjecture was verified. He held in his hand a fragment 
of " The Chains of Slavery " of Jean Paul Marat, slain by 
Charlotte Corday in the summer of 1793. Printed in Eng- 
lish in 1774, presentation copies of the book were sent to 
incorporated companies and others in Newcastle. Of these 
last-century gifts, some few are yet in existence ; and to 
one of the number, passing away as waste paper, the stray 
leaves had probably belonged a crumpled waif, in which, 
apparently, butter or bacon, or other commodity, had 
been handed over the counter to a customer, with no 
consciousness on either side of the rarity of the wrapper. 
Such are the vicissitudes of literature ! 

Marat, a native of Switzerland, was born at Neufchatel 
in 1744 ; and, coming over to England in his early man- 
hood, passed many years of his life in this country, tarry- 
ing for a time in Newcastle, frequenting the circulating 
library of Robert Sands in the Bigg Market, and leaving 
behind him the reputation of a man familiar with horses 
and their ailments. He had studied medicine in Paris, 
and plumed himself on his veterinary skill. There is a 
lingering legend of hU having had a hand in the institution 
of the Literary and Philosophical Society, and even a 
confused tradition of his presence at the laying of the 
foundation stone of its building in the West Gate. But as 
he had left our island some time before 171)3, the year in 
which the society was founded, and as the erection of the 
building was not begun until 1822, the two-fold tale, like 
many others of the kind, falls a prey to dates. Coming 

into collision with "chiels that winna ding," it suffers 
wreck. Those, however, who believe that traditions have 
always some fact to fall back upon, may have their theory 
supported by this story as to Marat. There was estab- 
lished somewhere in the West Gate, in 1775, a Philoso- 

phical Society which debated such knotty problems as 
" What is Virtue ?" It was at one of its meetings that the 
author of " The Spencean System" undertook to prove 
"Property in Land Every One's Right" ; it was at the 



1 April, 

X 1887. 

next that poor Spence was expelled ; and it is nut at all 
improbable that Marat may have attended one or two of 
the fortnightly discussions of this club. 

We turn to the Newcastle Chronicle of 1793, hoping to 
find, in connection with the record of his assassination, 
some reminiscence or other of his sojourn on the Tyne ; 
but his fate had prompted in the printer no recollections 
sending him to his types ; not a gleam of the visit of the 
French revolutionist lights up the page. The hope, in- 
deed, was idle. The provincial papers of the period were 
not addicted to such efforts. They gave not a line to 
many a local subject which would now command a column. 
Either the "printer" (there was no "editor" then) 
thought it needless to relate what his neighbours already 
knew, or he had some other reason for not going into town 
gossip: we cannot say. Certain it is that the old files 
mingle marvellously little of home incident with their 
news from afar ; and of Marat iu Newcastle they indulge 
us with next to nothing. 

The soiled and greasy scrap of his " Chains of Slavery," 
blown about our streets by a March wind of 1878, com- 
prises pp, 35-38 of the edition of 1774. Only two copies of 
the work have come under our notice. One of these had 
been sent (doubtless by the author) to the Skinners and 
Glovers' Company of Newcastle, the obliterating hand of 
Time having dimmed the donor's words of dedication 
until hardly a powerful glass would make them decipher- 
able on the cover. The other, after having long reposed 
among the antiquarian collections of the late Mr. Thomas 
Bell, was secured by the vigilant librarian of the Literary 
and Philosophical Society for the vast storehouse of 
literature in Westgate Road. 

We learn from the " Historical Studies " of Mr. Her- 
man Merivale, published in 1865, that the early appear- 
ance of Marat's essay a pamphlet in form, but a volume 
in fact was announced in Woodf all's paper, the Public 
Advertiser, May 3, 1774 ; and also in the Gentleman's and 
feats Magazine of the same month the price to be 12s. 
Thus runs the title : 

A Work wherein the Clandestine and Villainous 
Attempts of Princes to ruin Liberty are pointed 
out, and the dreadful Scenes of Despotism dis- 

To which is prefixed, 

An Address to the Electors of Great Britain, in 
order to draw their timely attention to the Choice 
ol proper Representatives in the next Parliament. 

Vitam impendere vero. 

London : Sold by J. Almon, opposite Burlington 
House in Piccadilly ; T. Payne, at the Mews 
Gate ; and Richardson and Urquhart, near 
the Royal Exchange. 


The author's name is not given ; and the book purports, 
as it goes <>n, to be written by an Englishman. Thus, in 
a chapter on " Fruitless Efforts of the People," the writer 
remarks (page 127) : " In our civil wars of the last cen- 
tury, it was the constant artifice of the Court to BOW dis- 

sension among the Tories and Whigs ; among Papists, 
Anglicans, and Presbyterians." And again, where he is 
treating of the "Folly and Inconsideration of the People," 
having observed that " it is the folly of all nations to 
exult in the pretended wisdom of their own laws," he 
adds (page 195) : " What people did ever deserve this 
last reproach more than ourselves ? We never cease 
boasting of the excellencies of our Constitution ; and, by 
continually extolling it, we are not sensible of its defects, 
and neglect to reform them." 

At the time when the book was written, a dissolution of 
Parliament was in prospect, and was casting its shadows 
before, in the shape of agitation and excitement. A few 
weeka after the newspaper and magazine advertisements 
of the month of May, there appeared a paragraph in the 
Newcastle Chronicle recording the arrival of presenta- 
tion copies : " Yesterday (May 27), the Company of 
Bricklayers, the Company of Goldsmiths, and the Lumber 
Troop in this town, received each, by the fly, two large 
quarto volumes, from an unknown person in London, 
entitled ' The Chains of Slavery," with a prefatory 
address to the electors of Great Britain, in order to 
draw their timely attention to the choice of proper 
representatives in the next Parliament. The work is 
spirited, and appears through the whole a masterly 

Previous to the arrival of the work thus summarily 
disposed of, there had been organized in Newcastle a 
" Constitutional Club," the points of whose Charter were 
Triennial or Shorter Parliaments, a reduction in the 
number of placemen and pensioners in the House of Com- 
mons, a more equal representation of the people, and the 
rescinding of the resolution which seated Luttrell for 
Middlesex in the place of Wilkes. The month of May 
saw also the formation of another and similar club, " The 
Independent " ; its members (who were Free Burgesses) 
rejecting every bribe, emolument, treat, &c., from any 
candidate, and resolving to vote for none who would not 
give a pledge to restore the House of Commons to its 
pristine state. This second club assembled at Shevillu's 
in the Bigg Market ; and a " third society of patriots," 
formed in June, met at Hume's in the Close. 

Before, therefore, the Dissolution came in September, 
the electors were actively preparing for the fray. The 
men in municipal office had been challenged to a trial of 
strength by the independent electors ; and each party 
had two leaders, known as the Magistrates' and the 
Burgesses' candidates. The corporate champions were 
Sir Walter Blackett, "The King of Newcastle," and 
Sir Matthew White Ridley ; and the other two were 
Mr. Thomas Delaval and the Hon. Constantine John 
Phipps. The Incorporated Companies were great 
centres of political action in those days ; and they were 
eagerly wooed by the prune movers, freemen of the 
borough being the sole electors of ita Parliamentary 
representatives. Not the least active and energetic were 
the members of the Bricklayers' Company, to whom 

April. \ 
1687. / 



Marat had sent a copy of his " Chains of Slavery." 
They admitted Phippa and Delaval to the freedom of 
their incorporation ; and, having made them Bricklayers, 
they presented to the Arctic navigator and his colleague 
silver trowels and mahogany hods ! Of all the companies 
in the borough, only the Bricklayers and the Joiners, 
when the time came, gave a majority of votes to both the 
Burgesses' Candidates, Delaval and Phipps. 

Throughout the summer of 1774, the agitation went on, 
the two parties exerting themselves to the uttermost ; 
but, notwithstanding the ammunition of Marat's bulky 
quarto, the Magistrates' Candidates defeated the Bur- 
gesses by a vast majority. Two to one was the proclama- 
tion of the poll, the voting running on from the llth to 
the 19th of October. 

Another October came the October of 1775 and 
there was inserted on the 21st, at the head of a column of 
local news in the Newcastle Chronicle, in larger type than 
was vouchsafed to the neighbouring paragraphs, an an- 
nouncement of a further edition : " 43T Next week will 
be published, price 10s. 6d., and sold by the booksellers in 
Newcastle, THE CHAINS OP SLAVERY, written by Dr. 
MARIOT. A work well worthy the attention of the 
public." The name of the author was now given ; but it 
was not then so familiar to the world as it was one day to 
become, and the erring printer spelt it amiss. 

In due time the advertisement of the woik appeared ; 
with, in addition to London publishers, the names of 
North-Country booksellers. It was inserted on the 28th of 
October and 4th of November : 

This day is published, price 10s. Od., 
And sold by J. Almon in Piccadilly ; T. Slack, \V. 
Charnlev, and E. Humble, in Newcastle ; J. Graham, 
in Sunderland ; J. Pickering, in Stockton ; N. Thorn, 
in Durham ; E. Lee, in Hexham ; and A. Graham, 
in Alnwick, 

THE CHAINS OF SLAVERY. A work in which 
the clandestine and villainous attempts of Princes 
to ruin Liberty are pointed out, and the dreadful scenes 
of Despotism disclosed. 

To which is prefixed, 

An Address to the Electors of Great Britain, in order to 
draw timely attention to the choice of proper represen- 
tatives. By j T MAI!ATi M .D. 

Vitftm impendere vei'o. 

The surname of the author was now printed accu- 
rately, but not the initial of his second Christian name. 

Not unlikely Marat was in Newcastle when this an- 
nouncement was made ; and, if so, it is more than prob- 
able that he attended tho meetings of the Philosophical 
Society set on foot in 1775, and kept in existence for two 
or three succeeding years. On Wednesday, the 25th of 
October, its members discussed the question, " Which is 
the better form of Government, a Limited Monarchy, as 
in Great Britain, or a Republic ?" and it was decided, by 
a majority of two, "that a Eepublic might be formed pro- 
ductive of more real advantage to the governed than can 
be effected by a Limited Monarchy like our own." 

Seldom was England in a state of greater unrest and 
excitement than at this moment. The American revolu- 

tion was on foot; the battle of Lexington had been 
fought ; and our countrymen had everywhere taken sides 
on the great question of the day. At the next meeting of 
the club that had decided by a narrow majority in favour 
of a Republic, held on the 8th of November, the members 
were debating, "Whether are Charters granted to Par- 
ticular Companies, of a Free and Exclusive Trade to 
Particular Places, an Advantage or Disadvantage to the 
Nation that grants Them ?" The division on this occasion 
was still closer. It was so close that the casting vote of 
the President was called for ; and he gave it on the side 
of disadvantage. Whereupon a question for the next 
fortnightly meeting was appointed, viz., "What is 

Leaving the philosophers puzzling themselves with 
this enigma, we return to Mr. Merivale's "Studies," 
a book which casts some light on both editions of " The 
Chains of Slavery." From his "Few Words on Junius 
and on Marat," we learn that in the autumn of 17i)2, 
our visitor of a former day, enamoured of the quarto he 
had circulated among our forefathers, and having, after a 
lapse of far on to twenty years, extended resources at his 
command, again committed it to print in the city of Paris. 
"In the well-known handsome type which had been con- 
secrated to Government purposes," he brought out a 
French edition of his "Chains of .Slavery" and 
"Address to the Electors of Grsat Britain," with a 
preface, or notice, containing particulars relating to 
himself. In the prefatory pages he describes his 
herculean labours of 1774 how his reading, extracting, 
adapting, translating, and printing " was an affair of 
three months," during which period he " laboured regu- 
larly one and twenty hours a day." " I scarcely allowed 
myself," says he, "two for sleep; and, in order to keep 
myself awake, I made such excessive use of coffee with- 
out milk that it nearly killed me, and injured me more 
than excess of work. . . When I had sent it ['The 
Chains of Slavery '] to the publishers, thinking I had 
nothing more to do than to wait quietly for its success, I 
fell into a kind of mental annihilation or stupor ; all the 
faculties of my soul were stricken down ; I lost my 
memory and intelligence, and remained thirteen days in 
this state, from which I was delivered only by the help 
of music and rest." He then states that on his recovery 
he found to his surprise that his publishers had failed to 
perform their engagement, and tried others, who put him 
off in various ways. At last, when he had got " on 
the right scent," he " discovered, too late, that the 
Minister had bought up printer, publishers, and news- 
papers," and " had no difficulty in tracing this to its 
source." His " printer was a Scotchman, attached to 
Lord North, to whom he transmitted the sheets as they 
came from the press." "Indignant at the difficulties 
placed in the way of my publication, I adopted (he states) 
the course of sending almost the whole edition, in pre- 
sents, to the patriotic clubs of the North of England, 
which passed for the ourest in the kingdom. The copies 




\ mi 

addressed to them were punctually delivered by the 
carriers." The " fly," as we have eeen, bore presentation 
copies to the Goldsmiths, Bricklayers, and Lumber Troop ; 
and others, it would seem, were borne into Northutubria 
by the historic "Newcastle Waggon." 

These were of the first edition ; we shall now come to 
the second, of which we have seen no copies. 

Mr. Merivale, continuing his abstract of the "notice" 
accompanying the Parisian volume, says: "The narra- 
tive now gets wilder and wilder. Lord North set spies 
to watch Marat, bribed his landlord and servant, and 
intercepted his letters. To put the persecutors otf the 
track, he went over to Holland, and came back to London 
by the North of England, visiting by the way the clubs to 
which he had sent his books. H stayed three weeks 
at Carlisle, Penrith, and Newcastle. Three clubs sent 
him letters of admission in a golden box, which an 
<-inissary of the Minister stole ; tliat of Newcastle pub- 
lished a new edition of his work ; but the appearance of 
this edition was delayed by Government at an expense 
which, a member of Parliament afterwards assured him, 
did not fall short of eight thousand guineas. It was not 
allowed to appear until after the elections, and then the 
author's intention of influencing them waa altogether 

Fact and fancy may be blended in Marat's romantic 
narrative, written after the lapse of far on to twenty 
years from the occurrences he recalls. But the h'le of the 
-Newcastle Chronicle shows that copies of his book came to 
Newcastle, as he stated, in 1774, and also that a republica- 
tion was announced in 1775, when no election was at 
hand, and when the title-page was altered accordingly. 
It gives us, however, no glimpse of an intended local 
re-issue in 1774, with a view to influencing the fortunes of 
the contested election of that year. Weighty as was this 
massive tract, it could, indeed, count for little in the 
scale. There was no contending against so royal a 
canvasser as Sir Walter, "acknowledged by all who 
knew him to stand unrivalled." "All competition with 
him for the representation of Newcastle," said Captain 
Phipps, was hopeless ; and on his death, which oc- 
curred in 1777, his nephew, Sir John Trevelyan, won 
the vacant seat. 

We cannot close our article on Marat and leave un- 
touched the notice bestowed upon him by the late Dr. 
Lonsdale, of Carlisle. In his admirable volume of 1873 on 
"The Worthies of Cumberland," including "TheLoshes 
of Woodside," he dedicates halt a score of his pagea to 
"James Losh, Kecorder of Newcaatle-npon-Tyne," 
born iu the summer of 1763. " His love of liberty, not 
!esa than a desire to improve his educational status, in- 
duced him to visit France during the throes of the great 
Revolution in 1792." " H attended the meetings of the 
Convention, listened to the classical appeals of Vergniaud 
and the Girondists, and saw that ' grim son of France 
and son of Earth,' as Carlyle describea Danton, and pro- 
bably beard bu stentorian voice proclaim, II noutfaut de 

Faudace, et encore de Vaudace, el toujours de I'audacc ' to 
dare, and again to dare, and without end to dare 'words 
that ' thrilled abroad over Franc* like electric virtue.' The 
daring of the mob soon merged into a Sansculotte despotism, 
encouraged by the 'Commune,' whose conscience was 
Marat. This came home to Mr. Losh whilst walking 
along the Rue de Richelieu. Let it be premised that he 
waa a handsome and conspicuous figure, and elegantly 
dressed. His hair, lustrous and abundant, hung in long 
tresses over his shouldera. Such a personality, savouring 
of aristocratic life, could not fail to attract the Sansculottes, 
one of whom stared and growled, and then exclaimed, 
Aristocrat I quelle belle tele pour la lanlerne I A pretty 
compliment, forsooth, to a man's head, that it would 
grace a lamp post ! Mr. Losh smiled, and continued his 
walk ; yet he must have heard of Foulin'a fate at the 
lamp-iron, at the corner of the Rue de la Vannerie the 
convenient gallows for carrying out the Jeddart law of the 
Reign of Terror. His confidence in hia own safety 
probably rested on his favourable opinion of the French 
character, and not, as has been supposed, on the pro- 
tective influence of Marat, who had resided in Newcastle, 
and gained much esteem there, before Mr. Losh wag out 
of his nursery at Woodside." 

Dr. Lonsdale adds, in a foot-note : "Jean Paul Marat 
studied physic in Edinburgh, and probably graduated 
there as M.D. He practised both human and veterinary 
medicine in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, about the years 
1770-73. His knowledge of horse-flesh gave him an entree 
to the higher circles, whilst his politics pleased the ear 
of the populace ; and it has been generally believed that 
his philanthropic services during the prevalence of an 
epidemic gained him the honorary freedom of the town. 
It was difficult for me to conceive the sallow man, with 
pock-pitted countenance, black flat hair, blood-shotteo 
blinking eyes, and spasmodically-twitching mouth the 
incarnation of the repulsive so highly regarded ; and thia 
difficulty was increased by another statement, admitted 
to be valid, that Mr. Croker, of the Quarterly, on a visit 
to Paris in 1847, called on a sister of Marat, who felt the 
compliment as part of the respect shown by the English 
to her brother, and then showed what purported to be 
the diploma of the freedom of the town of Newcastle. 
Mr. Croker probably took her statement for granted, 
and did not examine the document. Thinking it well 
that this matter should be cleared up, I applied to 
Mr. Cail, the present Mayor of Newcastle, who kindly 
caused a full search of all the books of the Corporation, 
but found no such name as Marat's on the list of freemen. 
Further inquiries, aided by my friends Mr. James 
Clephan and Mr. Joseph Cowen, the proprietor of tho 
Newcattle Chronicle, revealed the existence of several 
patriotic clubs in the North of England, in part, if not 
wholly, organised by Marat, to which and to various trade 
guilds in Newcastle he sent his famous quarto volume, 
' The Chains of Slavery,' in the year 1774. These cluba 
he afterwards, aa he states, personally visited, staying 

April. \ 
leSI. i 



three weeks at Carlisle, Penrith, and Newcastle. Three 
of these clubs sent him letters of admission in a golden 
box, which, according to his belief, an emissary of the 
English Minister stole. Now the probability is that the 

document in the possession of Marat's sister in 1847 
emanated from one of the Newcastle patriotic clubs the 
parchment and big seal and other flourishes misleading 
Mr. Croker.' 

JHen of 

Cgne anir 



j]EW men were better known in Newcastle 
during the first half of the present century 
than John Adamson. Whether in business 
as a lawyer and an official of a railway com- 
pany, or in literature as a scholar, and the life-long secre- 
tary of two learned Newcastle societies, he was equally a 
man of light and leading in the Tyneside community. 

John Adamson came of a good stock. His great Brand- 
father, Cuthbert Adamson, of the city of Durham, 
married on the 30th January, 1703, Jane, daughter of 
Henry Eden, gentleman, of Shincliffe, where a branch of 
the Edens of West Auckland and Windleston had been 
seated for many generations. His grandfather, Blythman 
Adamson, a member of the Trinity House of Newcastle, 
married at St. Andrew's Church on Aug. 21, 1724, 

Eleanor, daughter of Taylor Thirkeld, of the Nolt 
Market, gentleman, a descendant of the Thirkelds of 
Denton. His father, Cuthbert Adamson, was a lieutenant 
in the navy, and was in the Racehorse in Capt. Phipps's 
voyage (1773) to the Arctic Regions Nelson being a 
midshipman in the Carcass, her consort. He was twice 
master of the Trinity House of Newcastle in 1775 and in 
179. r >. John Adamson was the issue of Cuthbert s 
second marriage, his mother's name being Mary 
Huthwaite. He was born at Gateshead on the 13th 
September, 1787. 

When at the age of sixteen he left the Royal Grammn r 
School, where his education had been superintended by 
the Rev. Edward Moises, he %vas sent to his elder brother 
Blythman, who had established himself as a merchant in 
Lisbon It was intended that the brothers should unito 
in the business there, but the unsettled state of the 
country in prospect of a French invasion rendered that 
project impracticable, and John returned to Newcastle, 
and was articled to Thomas Davison, attorney, and 
clerk of the peace for the county of Northumberland. 
Mr. Davison was a man of culture, and encouraged the 
pursuit of literature. Thomas Bedmgfield and George 
Pickering, local poets, and James Ellis, the editor of 
their published poems, had been clerks in his 
office, and when John Adamson entered it he found in 
his employer and his employer's sons congenial and ap- 
preciative minds. While in Lisbon he had mastered the 
language of Portugal, and formed a strong attachment to 
the poetry and literature which it unfolded to him. 
Among other Portuguese stories Nicola Luis's tragedy of 
" Dona Inez de Castro" impressed him, and in 1808 he was 
encouraged to publish a translation of it. Twoyears laterhe 
issued a small collection of sonnets, chiefly translated from 
the minor works of Camoens. Having served his articles 
with Mr. Davison, he entered the office of Mr. Walter 
Heron, who, in 1807, had succeeded Nathaniel Punshon in 
the under-shrievalty of Newcastle. Mr. Heron died in 
1811, and Mr. Adwnson, obtaining his office of under- 
sheriff, and one or two minor appointments, commenced 



\ 1SS7. 

business in Newcastle on his own account. At the cloae 
ni the following year be married his cousin, Elizabeth 

There was at that time in Newcastle an energetic col- 
lector of coins and other old and curious objects, who con- 
ceived the idea of forming a society for the study of 
records and memorials of the past. He issued circulars, 
signed by his now familiar name of John Bell, but met 
with scant response until Mr. Adamson joined him, and 
then the Newcastle Society of Antiquaries was founded. 
The little band of inquirers (with Mr. Adamson and the 
Rev. John Hodgson as joint secretaries) obtained leave to 
meet in the Castle, but were driven from it by cold and 
general discomfort, and then they held their meetings in 
Mr. Adamson's office, and distributed their treasures 
round the grass plot in his back garden. For 
two-and-forty years the name of John Adamson 
appears as that of one of the secretaries of the society. 
His official connection with it ceased only with his life. 

Stimulated probably by the example of John Bell, Mr. 
Adamson became an omnivorous collector in several de- 
partments of research. Numismatics waa one of his earliest 
hobbies, and by-and-by he had as many as three thou- 
sand different specimens of coinage in his cabinets. Con- 
chology was a favourite study, and to encourage it he pub- 
lished a number of conchological tables, which were in- 
tended to be useful to amateurs in that fascinating depart- 
ment of natural history. To Portuguese literature he was 
always devoted, and in a few years had gathered together 
a library of Portuguese authors which was probably with- 
out equal in the kingdom. Fossils and minerals also were 
carefully collected, identified, and assorted in such manner 
as to combine something educational or instructive with 
the curious and the beautiful. 

Organisation was one of the leading features in Mr. 
Adamson's career. He was a founder of the Newcastle 
Law Society, which, originally started in 1815, expanded, 
in 1826, into the Newcastle and Gateshead Law Society. 
When in 1828 the Corporation of Newcastle sanctioned 
the formation of the Incorporated Company of Scriveners, 
he was one of the seventeen attorneys whose names ap- 
peared on its first roll of members. The following year 
he assisted to found the Natural History Society of 
Northumberland, Durham, and Newcastle, and received 
the thanks of the inaugural meeting for his spirited exer- 
tions. On the death of the Kev. Anthony Hedley in 
1825 he undertook the duties of co-secretary of the 
Newcastle Lit. and Phil. Society, and discharged them 
until his death. To him (and to Mr. J. T. Brocket!) the 
Typographical Society of Newcastle owed its origin ; he 
wrote three of its publications and edited half a dozen 
others. And all the labours which these various offices 
and undertakings involved were performed whilst follow- 
ing the profession of a lawyer, occupying several public 
offices, and, in particular, acting in a capacity in which at 
that time no experience of other men was forthcoming 
namely, as secretary of a railway company ! 

Late in life Mr. Adamson suffered from a great and 
widely-regretted calamity. His Portuguese library and 
many other books and papers were burnt in a disastrous 
fire which occurred at his residence in 1849. He survived 
the loss of his treasures six years. On the 27th Septem- 
ber, 1855, in his 68th year, he died, and two or three days 
afterwards was buried in Jesmond Cemetery. 

His principal literary worka are : 

Dona Ignes de Castro. Translated from the Portuguese 
of Nicola Luis. Newcastle, 1808. 

bonnets from the Portuguese of Luis de Camoens. 
Newcastle, 1810. 

Catalogue ot the Library of the Newcastle Society of 
Antiquaries. 1816. 

Memoirs of the Life and Writings of Luis de Camoeni. 
2 vols. London, 1820. 

Conchological Tables, compiled principally for the use 
of Shell Collectors. Newcastle, 1823. 

Bibliotheca Lusitana : or Catalogue of Books and Tracts 
relating to the History, Literature, and Poetry of Portu- 
gal. Newcastle, 1S36. 

Lusitana Illustrata : Notices of the History, Antiqui- 
ties. Literature, &c., of Portugal, with Biographical 
Sketches of the Authors. Two parts. Newcastle, 1842-46. 

A Collection of Sonnets. Newcastle, 1815. 

The literary tastes which Mr. Adamson cultivated 
have been inherited in various degrees by three of big 
four sons. The Rev. Edward Hussey Adamson, vicar of 
St. Alban's, Heworth, has given us Scholos Novocastremu 
Alumni, and is an active contributor to the Arcticeoluyia 
QSliana; Major William Adamson of Cullercoats, has 
written " Notices of the Services of the 27th Northum- 
berland Light Infantry Militia " ; Mr. Charles Murray 
Adamson, of North Jesmond, has contributed to local 
literature some charming books on ornithology. 

Outside of Northumberland and Durham John Adamson 
is best known by his Portuguese studies. His memoirs of 
Camoens, published in two vola. in 1820, brought him 
into prominence both at home and abroad, and in dua 
time procured his enrolment among the knights of the 
Order of Christ and of the Tower and Sword of Portugal. 
Here upon Tynenide he is more faithfully remembered as 
tho promoter of learned societies, and the representa- 
tive of culture and taste in what may be called the 
by-paths of busy lives. To those whose remem- 
brance extends beyond the great fire and explosion 
which devastated the river sides of Newcastle and Gates- 
head, in October, 1854, there are few more pleasing 
memories than those of the annual meetings of the New- 
castle and Carlisle Railway Literary Institute, where, 
with his foreign orders on his breast, the English biogra- 
pher of Camoens, venerable in age, counselled the young 
men of his day to cultivate the graces and refinements o 

The Aireya of Newcastle are conspicuous in local his- 
tory through their association with the family of Ambrose 
Barnes, the Puritan alderman, and for the remarkable 
fidelity with which, down to recent years, they adhered to 

pril, \ 
1887. f 



the principles and practice of Nonconformity. It was 
through their instrumentality that the valuable manuscript 
life of Ambrose Barnes was preserved, and it was from 
their bands that the Rev. William Turner, pastor of the 
Unitarian church which they attended, received the pre- 
cious document, and transferred it to the Literary and 
Philosophical Society of Newcastle, which he was mainly 
instrumental in establishing. They formed a somewhat 
numerous family, and Sir Cuthbert Sharp found it difficult 
to link the various branches of it together. Their names 
appear in the commercial records of Tyneside, " writ 
large," as merchants, bankers, lawyers, coalfitters, master 
mariners, and so on. We shall look in vain for them in 
the records of the municipality. They were sturdy and 
uncompromising Dissenters, and the sacramental test was 
in force. So they kept out of the Corporation, and were 
spared the guzzling and quarrelling which were the con- 
comitants of municipal government in the last century, 
and after. 

The connection of the Aireys with Ambrose Barnea 
arose through the marriage of George Airey (described, in 
1693, as a mercer, and, in 1710, as a gentleman) with 
Barnes's second daughter, Ann. It was not a fortunate 
union, for George Airey failed in business, his wife grew 
peevish and discontented, and the Puritan patriarch was 
sadly impoverished. " She married a man " so runs the 
"Life" "who begun the world with a good estate, but 
all was blasted, and he broke," which breaking left 
Ambrose Barnes "involved in so many debts and bonds 
for him to answer as swept away almost all he had in the 
world." There were four or five children, issue of tha 
marriage, and two of them Joseph and Thomas became 
leading citizens of Newcastle. Joseph married his 
cousin, Ruth Hutchinson. daughter of Mary, Ambrose 
Barnes's eldest daughter, and Jonathan, eldest son of 
Barnea'a friend and relative, William Hutchinson. 
The intertwining of Barnes, Hutchinson, and Airey 
seems to have been approved and encouraged by 
the respective families. For when Thomas Barnes, 
clerk, youngest aon of Ambrose, was making his 
will, in 1731, he made Joseph and Ruth Airey his 
executors, and gave them his property in Sidgate, 
his two mills called " Chimney Mills," with the 
houses, fields, &c., in the Castle Leazes, his books 
and papers, and all his real and personal estate. Joseph 
Airey left no family, and his widow, dying in 1767 (buried 
at All Saints', November 8), bequeathed 200 to the 
Unitarian Church and the Charity School. Thomas 
Airey was coalfitter to Lord Ravensworth. He was 
buried at All Saints', February 1, 1771. Hia son, 
Joseph, a banker in partnership with Ralph Carr, of 
Dunston Hill, waa one of three or four persons who 
originated Newcastle Infirmary, and was the first 
treasurer of the institution. Another son, Henry, fol- 
lowed his father's calling of a coalfitter, and resided at 
Benwell, while a third, Jonathan Airey (named after hia 
relative, Jonathan Hutchinson), was a coalfitter like his 

father, and one of the elder brethren of the Trinity 
House, of which company he filled, in 1765, the honourable 
post of Master. It was in Thomas Airey's family that 
the manuscript " Life " of Barnes was preserved. A 
curious correspondence respecting it, edited by Mr. 
George Noble Clark, sureeon, forms No. 82 of the publica- 
tions of the Newcastle Typographical Society. Brand 
had borrowed the MS. for his "History of Newcastle," 
and in the preface to that work he acknowledges his 
indebtedness to " Jonathan" Airey. Ten years after the 
history was published, John, son of Henry Airey, of Ben- 
well, wrote to Brand asking for the return of the document. 
He informed the historian that Jonathan Airey, his uncle, 
had nothing to do with the MS., or the lending of it ; 
that it belonged to his father, Henry Airey, who had 
entrusted it to Alderman Hornby for Brand's use, and 
that the thanks to his uncle were misplaced. Brand 
replied that he conceived the memoirs had been lent by 
Jonathan Airey to Mr. Saint (printer and publisher of 
the Newcastle Courant), who in turn lent them to him ; 
that the MS. had followed him to London in one of his 
boxes, and had narrow escapes of being taken by the 
French and lost in a storm ; that he would return it by 
Mr. Robert Punshon, then in London, if Messrs. Henry 
and Jonathan Airey would request him to do so in a ioint 
letter acknowledging that the ascription of proprietorship 
to the latter was a mistake. There Mr. Clark's pam- 
phlet left the question, and all that was known was that 
the MS. came back to Newcastle, and was given by John 
Airey to the Rev. William Turner. But in 1885 the 
present writer became the owner of Brand's own copy of 
his history, and there, fastened to the preface, as Brand 
may have placed it eighty-eight years before, was a 
receipt for the MS. in the following words : 

Sir, Be pleased to deliver the MS. you had from 
Mr. Brand to Mr. Henry Airey, who lent it to him, and 
1 have no business with it. Sir, your obedient servant, 

Newcastle, 19th June, 1796. 

Received the above mentioned book for my father, 
Mr. H. Airey. JOHN AIHKY. 

Rt. Punshon, Esq. 

One of Jonathan Airey's sons became a famous soldier 
in the Peninsular War, and rose to the position of Sir 
George Airey. He was born in Newcastle about 1760, 
and went to the Royal Grammar School. The Rev. 
Hugh MoUes was head master then, and young Airey 
received the severe but manly training which Mr. Moises 
gave to his scholars throughout his career. His school- 
days ended at a most eventful time. Europe was ablaze, 
fighting against Bonaparte, and the military spirit pre- 
dominated in all ranks of society. George Airey was 
caught by it, and with thousands of other British youths 
desired nothing so much as to go out and fight Napoleon. 
Jonathan Airey did not, apparently, discourage his son's 
aspirations, and, in 1779, the great-great grandson of 
Ambrose Barnes entered the service as ensign in the 91st 
Foot. Promotion was rapidly gained in those days of 



conflict, and, after a few months' experience in the West 
Indies, where he showed both tact and courage, he was 
sent out to the Mediterranean with an important 
command. The French were besieging Porto Ferrajo, the 
capital of the island of Elba, and George Airey was 
appointed commander of the British troops there. He 
held the town against the besiegers until the peace of 
Amiens in 1802, when Ferrajo was evacuated, and then, 
his occupation being gone for a time, he returned to 
England. But the peace of Amiens proved to be only a 
temporary adjustment, and in 1803 England had to 
grapple alone with her implacable foe. Lieutenant- 
Colonel Airey was sent as military secretary with General 
Fox to Gibraltar, and acted for a time as Adjutant- 
General in Sicily. Whilst there, his old master, Mr. 
Moises, died, and he joined a number of old pupils in 
erecting the elegant monument in St. Nicholas's 
Church, Newcastle, which preserves Mr. Moises's 
likeness, and the record of his scholastic attainments. 
From 1811 to 1813 Lieutenant-Colonel Airey com- 
manded the Ionian Islands, and, when Napoleon had 
been finally crushed, he was appointed quartermaster- 
general to the forces in Ireland. He became colonel of 
the 39th Regiment in 1823, and ten years later, on the 
18th February, after 54 years spent in the service of his 
country, he died in Paris. His son, known in our own time 
as Sir Richard Airey, the Crimean quartermaster-general, 
and afterwards as the first and last Baron Airey in the 
peerage of England, died September 14, 1881. 


|| HE Hospital of Saint Katherine, or, as it was 
generally termed, the Maison Diju or 
Maison de Dieu, was situated upon the 
Sandhill, Newcastle-on-Tyne, to the east of the 
Guildhall. It was founded by royal licence, June 
10, 1412, by the celebrated Roger Thornton, for 
a warden (being a priest), nine poor men (brethren), 
and four poor women (sisters), who were to be pro- 
vided with meat and clothing in this " House of God," 
where they should pray daily for the health of the mayor, 
sheriff, aldermen, and commonalty of Newcastle, and, 
after their respective deaths, for their souls, the souls of 
the father and mother of the founder, and of all the bene- 
factors f the hospital. 

Dedicated to Saint Katherine, the institution was 
also called Thornton's Hospital. Mackenzie and other 
historians inform us that Roger Thornton, by will 
dated 1429, bequeathed to this place, which he 
styles " The Meson-Dieu of St. Katberine of my 
foundation, for their enorments," twenty pounds. In 
1456, the son of the founder granted to the Mayor and 
community the use of the hall and kitchen belonging to 
this hospital "for a young couple," says the Millbank 

MS., "when they were married, to make their wedding 
dinner in, and receive the offerings and gifts of their 
friends ; for at that time houses were not large." The 
establishment was dissolved in the 37th year of the reign 
of Henry VIII., but the property still remained in the 
Thornton family. 

In Speed's plan of Newcastle, the Maiaon Dieu is 
the only public place, or building, marked on the Sand- 
hill. Grey, in his " Chorographia," printed in 1649, says 
that " the Merchants' Court was built upon the Maison 

The building was at a later period converted into 
warehouses ; but in 1823 it was pulled down altogether. 
It was when the place was being demolished that T. M. 
Richardson made the sketch which is shown on the 
next page. 

Sflje latch. 

An old oak chest, or "hutch," was formerly kept in the 
Maison Dieu, in which money and valuables were placed 
for safe keeping. As an interesting relic of days gone by, 
a drawing of it (kindly lent us by the secretary of the 
Society of Antiquaries) is here given. Bound with 
strong iron bands, and secured by a formidable padlock, 

the hutch is a veritable "strongbox." It is about four 
feet long, by nearly two feet broad, the height being about 
two feet, and may be seen any day in the museum of the 
Newcastle Society of Antiquaries at the Old Castle. So 
far as we can ascertain, the "hutch " has no individual 
history ; it served its purpose, and is now relegated to the 
company of curiosities and antiquities. 

The hutch derives its name from the French huche, a 
hutch, trough, meal-tub. It .retains its name as such in 
France, where it now serves, as in England, for country 
people for keeping flour. In very early times, down to 
the 15th century, it was called a trunk (or la/iut in 
French). From that date, trunk and hutch seem to have 
been synonymous. In the Middle Ages no chamber was 
without its trunk. In it was enclosed either clothing, 
silver, linen, or precious objects. It served at times as a 
table or bench, and formed, with the cupboard, press, and 
the bedstead, the principal piece of furniture of rich as 

April, \ 
1887. I 



well as poor people. In the dependencies of churches, 
such as sacristies, chapter-houses, friars' vestries, trunks 
were placed. There were enclosed in them hangings, 
tapestries, curtains destined for the decoration of choirs 
on festive or solemn days, parchments, charts, Acts, &c. 

The most ancient trunks are strongly bound with 
wrought iron, often forged with great luxury, the wood 
being covered with skins or well-painted linen cloth. 
The ordinary fixed trunk was a long coffer, placed 
upon four short legs, furnished with one or more locks, 
according to tha preciousness of the objects enclosed. 
The trunk was a coffer, hutch, bench, sometimes a bed 
press, and treasury, and it was the most common piece 
of furniture in the Middle Ages. In the 13th century, 
the "Huchers" formed part of the corporation of car- 
penters, for whom there were special regulations. There 
is a large number of these chests (cists), trunks, or 

hutches still preserved in the kingdom, and an immense 
number in France. The plainer or massive ones, bound 
with iron, are not unfrequently seen in the offices of 
solicitors. The richer ones, beautifully panelled and 
carved in their fronts, are found in vestries of churches* 
There is a fine one in the old church at Aliiwick, and 
I have an exquisite one, which I rescued from being 
used as a bacon chest at Thropton, which had formerly 
contained vestments at Brinkburn Priory. Lincolnshire 
abounds with them in farm-houses and the like, where 
they are used as blanket chests, whence many of them 
are being bought by old furniture-dealers for sale. 

The hutch now in the Old Castle contained, no doubt, 
some of the documents or precious things belonging to 
the Maison Dieu. 

Author of " The Churches of Lindisfarne," &c. 




I 1887. 


j|OHTU Shields has often been the scene of 
mysterious disappearances. Its commanding 
view of the German Ocean appears to have 
exerted an irresistible fascination over the fancy of 
successive generations, while its activity and prosperity 
in shipping business must at all times have given this 
fascination an exceedingly practical turn in the shape 
of allurements to fortune-hunters. Being from the 
earliest times the resort and lounging-place of Jack 
ashore, it was inevitable that tales of the sea and of 
the distant lands teeming with wealth and wonders 
should often complete the enchantment already at work 
in youthful minds. Many a tender-hearted mother has 
had t mourn the long absence, and some the utter 
loss, of runaway boys, who had secretly nursed in 
their souls a passion for the sea, until it won the 
mastery over filial love and the strong attraction* of 
home. For the most part, however, these scapegraces 
have either been heard of as dead, or have come back 
bronzed, hardy, brave, and sometimes successful. But 
of all the sudden and mysterious disappearances which 
have occurred within the memory of the living, none 
ever produced such a profound sensation, or pave rise 
to more painful surmise, than that of young Slargetts 
sixty years ago. 


This young man was apprenticed to Dr. Greenhow, and 
had almost completed the terms of his probation, when 
the tragic occurrence took place of which an account is 
now to be given. He resided with the doctor in Dock- 
wray Square. He was of a steady, plodding, unro- 
mantic disposition, and had at no time displayed any 
of those Highly notions of a seafaring life which have 
led o many Shields boys to run away from home. In 
the middle of the night, between Wednesday and 
Thursday, 21t and 22nd February, 1827, Dr. Greenhow 

was summoned to attend a Mrs. G , who had been 

taken suddenly ill. It was only a short distance pro- 
bably not more than eighty or a hundred yards and 
it would have been practicable tor the doctor to have 
made the distance shorter by passing through his own 
back premises. Having visited the woman, he returned 
to his surgery, made up a prescription, and awoke his 
apprentice to take the medicine to the ailing woman's 
house. Margetts hastily rose, and, it being dark, 
and the distance not great, be just drew on hia trou- 
sers and coat carelessly, and ran out on his errand 
without hat or stock, slipshod and half awake. He 
delivered the medicine ; but from that moment he was 
never again seen or heard of in North Shields. The 
morning had not far advanced when he was missed. Of 
course, inquiries were made at the patient's house, and 
resulted in the information that be had been there, but 
had not stayed a moment longer than was necessary. 
Naturally, both bis employer and his parents, who lived 

in the next street, were anxious to know what had be- 
come of him, but before long ugly whispers began to get 
abroad. It was a period of universal panic on account of 
the atrocities of Burke and Hare, and more than one 
circumstance pointed to the conclusion that he had 
suffered violence. Rumour begat rumour, and the brood 
of horrible imaginings speedily threw the whole town 
into the utmost excitement. As no syllable either of in- 
formation or confession has ever reached the public, there 
is still, as at first, unlimited scope for the indulgence of 
fancy ; but, from those who were alive and old enough at 
the time of the occurrence to know what passed in con- 
nection with it, we gather that there were three prin- 
cipal attempts to explain the mystery. To each of 
these solutions attaches its own set of facts or fancies 
for and against the supposition. 


This was the readiest guess in such a town as Shields, 
but beyond the general probability of a Shields boy 
making for the sea at one time or other there was nothing 
whatever to lead up to such an opinion. On the contrary, 
it was pointed out at the time that he had never indicated 
any special yearnings in this direction ; and that, had he 
felt any such desire, there were daily and hourly oppor- 
tunities of gratifying it without rushing off while on an 
errand of urgency, half dressed, hatless, bootless, watch- 
less, and penniless. Further, it was considered a freak 
altogether out of keeping with his character, and there 
was absolutely nothing to sway him towards such a 
singular course. He stood well with his employer, was 
very nearly out of his time, and was greatly attached to 
his parents. Why should he take such" a foolish frolic 
into his head? Some year or two after he was missed, 
there was a flying rumour that a letter had been received 
from him dated from some place in America, and giving 
an account of his well-doing. It was said that the Utter 
attributed his disappearance to a sudden temptation. A 
vessel was lying in the river all ready to sail that day, 
and he took it into his h*ad to go just as he was. 
Whether such a letter was aver received or not, the family 
ol the missing man persisted in denying all knowledge of 
his whereabouts. 


One report was that two suspicious persons had been 
seen hanging about the end of the street near the time 

he would be due at Mr. G 'a shop, and while this 

gave rise to one hypothesis, the two persons declaring 
themselves originated another and more serioui suspicion. 
Taking the suppositions in the order of their rise, we 
are confronted first with the theory that the young 
man was kidnapped or pressed for naval service. Eng- 
land was not at that time engaged in any imperial 
war, so that it could not have been what is usually 
understood, by " pressing " ; but it was no uncommon 
thing, if all stories are to be believed, for the crimping 
agents of the Hon. East India Company to kidnap likely 
men for service abroad. It was conjectured, then, that 

April, \ 
1887. f 



the two persona noticed were part of an irregular press- 
gang, and that, bavin); waylaid young Margetts and 
stunned him, they bore him off to some ship where he 
would lie under hatches until the hue-and-cry had died 
away. So plausible did this explanation appear to bis 
friends and neighbours, and so firm was its hold on the 
public mind, that for years the East India Company's 
offices in Leadenhall Street were deluged with letters of 
inquiry, suggestion, or advice. And more than once in 
succeeding years there arose reports, more or leis true, 
which seemed to lend some slight confirmation to this par- 
ticular explanation. In vain did the officials of the Com- 
pany repudiate all knowledge of such a man in their 
employment ; in vain even did Sir George Grey, as Presi- 
dent of the Board of Control, assure his teasing cor- 
respondents in the North that the matter bad been 
thoroughly investigated, and that the name of Margetts 
was not to be found in any of the Company's registers. 
One likely-looking fact was more influential with public 
opinion than any amount of ministerial and official denial. 
News came that, along with Lady Sale, Sir George Law- 
rence, and others, an army surgeon named Macgrath bad 
been captured by the Afghans, and the sanguine relatives 
of Margetts .jumped to the conclusion that, under this 
slightly disguised name, their lost one had been found, 
only to be lost once more. After an interval of several 
years, when the mystery had assumed a very serious 
aspect for the family of the woman at whose house the 
lost ona was last seen, tidings came that a returned 
soldier of the East India Company, residing in Carlisle, 
had seen Margetts in India. No time was lost in hunt- 
ing up the Carlisle man. A meeting was forthwith 
organised by the principal inhabitants of North 
Shields, with the view of disabusing and quieting 
the public mind in reference to the obnoxious 

and suspected family of G . At this meeting, 

the soldier from Carlisle stated that he bad known 
Margetts in India, where he held the rank of army sur- 
geon, and that thay had talked together on the subject of 
bis kidnapping. So far good. The people had almost 
sickened under the gloomy misgivings which pointed to a 
more tragic solution, and they were glad to accept assur- 
ance so positive, without troubling themselves to under- 
stand how Margetts had allowed his relatives to remain 
so long ignorant of his fate. But wonder upon wonder, 
mystery upon mystery, and suspicion upon suspicion 
this man not long afterwards wrote a letter to the papers 
confessing that he had trumped up the whole story, and 
that he bad been offered 100, besides a fair daughter 
of the suspected family in marriage, to come forward, 
and, by means of falsehood, restore them to the shat- 
tered respect and confidence of their neighbours. This, 
then, leads directly to the last of the three suppositions. 


It will be remembered that two persons were said to 
have been teen loitering in the immediate locality of 
(i 'B shop. These two were in all probability the man 

and woman who afterwards came forward and stated 
that they saw Margetts enter the house, but that he never 
came out. When this terrible version of the mystery got 
abroad, there was indescribable excitement in the town, 
and several reports took wing which tended further to 
inculpate the family residing in the fatal house. It was 
told from one to another with bated breath how a little 

boy, the son of G , had blurted out in school that 

" they had soon done for Margetts, and put him in 
a box." It was observed also, or rumoured, that Mrs. 

G , who had been so seriously ill during the night, 

was up and about in the morning as if nothing had 
ailed her. The interpretation put upon all these things 
by a half-crazy public was that the sickness was a 
ruse, and that the young man, having entered the 
house, was suffocated, and his body despatched to the 
College of Surgeons in Edinburgh by those fearsome 
ministers of science known as "resurrection men." The 
feeling in the town became so exasperated against the 
supposed culprits that before very long they were in 
danger of their lives, and were compelled to flee the 

town. But, before leaving, Mr. G brought two 

actions for defamation of character, in one of which he 
obtained 5 damages, and in the other 1. It must 
have been some time after this that the house was partly 
renovated, and, there being occasion to dig deep in the 
garden behind a skeleton was discovered. This affair 
getting into the papers, revived all the old suspicion 
and horror ; thoueh a little reflection would have pre- 
vented or lessened the general agitation. If the bones 
found were those of Margetts, there was an end to 
the burking theory, for his body, according to that 
supposition, had been sent to Edinburgh ; and 
what other possible motive could have induced any- 
one to murder a half-dressed young man out on 
an errand of mercy ? Of course, the skeleton was 
duly examined, and was found to be that of a New- 
foundland dog, which had been a great favourite with a 
former tenant, who had buried it in his garden. Reason 
or no reason, a perfect panic took possession of people in 

all grades of society. The house of G was regarded 

as worse than haunted. While the perturbation was still 
at its height, an unfortunate wight came to reside in 
the town, and brought with him certain long boxes of 
ominous weight and shape. He got a man to help him 
in carrying them upstairs, and then adjourned to the 
nearest public-houae in order to recompense the little 
service in the usual way. But baleful Panic had been 
before them. The publican was aghast with fright, and 
refused to draw them a glass of ale, and bade them begone 
for a couple of villainous murderers. Ths poor fellow, 
guessing the cause of this agitation, persuaded the publi- 
can and some of the quickly-gathered mob to inspect his 
boxes, and they were somewhat relieved to find that the 
contents were not clay-cold corpses, but machinery for 
spinning worsted. The fright-fever extended to the edu- 
cated and well-to-do ; at all events, after nightfall, hardly 




\ is 

any in the town could honestly declare exemption from 
the spell. 


The Margetts family naturally became the objects of 
the warmest sympathy, and, their humble station in life 
gave ample excuse for alms, they derived no little prac- 
tical advantage from the romantic nature of their loss. 
After a time the fickle public got the notion that 
the family knew what had become of the lost one, but 
withheld the information lest the stream of chanty should 
suddenly dry up. For this suspicion, however, there was 
no room in the actual facts of the case. The mother be- 
came completely insane. Day after day, she would make 
her way to a neighbouring ash-heap, and spend a consider- 
able time in poking about for the slippers of her dead son. 
The fattier also sank into premature dotage and imbe- 
cility. One of the sons, '.fourteen years ago, was a lunatic 
pauper in the Tynemouth Workhouse. No light, how- 
ever, has ever pierced the mystery from the day of its 
occurrence to the present hour. 


By way of illustrating the feelings of the people, and as 
a proof that popular ballad-making on such theories was 
not confined to the " Bards of Seven Dials," we append a 
copy of a few versos written by William Patton, of Monk- 
seaton, and printed for the author by J. K. Pollock : 

Good people, to my tale give ear, 
Had, shocking news you soon shall hear, 
For I have my darling son. 
Alas ! alas ! I am undone, 

1 fear he it no more. 

Could I once more behold his face, 
Which often shone on me with grace ; 
But oh, alas ! he is no more, 
And I am left for to deplore, 
For he is dead. 

Dead do I say can it be so ? 
Then, after him I soon shall go, 
For I have done a mother's part, 
And this, I'm sure, will break my heart. 
Who can but feel for me ? 

Two ruffians stole my son away, 
Twas on the twenty-second day, 
At five o'clock on Thursday morn. 
My heart ! my heart ! my son is gone, 
And now he is no more. 

He with some medicine was sent, 
To cure the sick was his intent, 
When these two ruffians seiz'd their prey, 
They bound my son took him away 
And never yet was found. 

Two persons saw these villains stand, 
But little thought what was in hand ; 
The instant he had left the door 
They bound his hands he spoke no more, 
For he is dead. 

Oh ! if these villains I could see, 
No human beings they could be ; 
My tongue can't tell my pen can't write 
The feelings which my mind excite, 
For my sun is no more. 

Now, with a mother share a part. 
And judge the feelings of my heart 
As I am left for to deplore 
My dearest son I'll see no mon? 
I hope he's happy now. 

an* OTtett 

j]HE accounts which every post brought from 
the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies in 1856-7 
were truly heart-sickening. It seemed as if 
it bad been intended to read a lesson to the 
world upon the state to which despotic government may 
bring a nation. Since the miseries andured by Rome 
under Caligula, hardly any case had occurred in which 
civilization had been outraged with such atrocity, or in 
which a people had been reduced to a condition of such ex- 
treme unhappiness. Every day wholesale arrests were 
made in the streets arrests of men who had given the 
Government no other cause of suspicion than the fact that 
they belonged to the middle or upper and more intel- 
ligent class, and that they did not hold office under Fer- 
dinand II. (otherwise King Bomba) or swell the ranks of 
his flatterers. No man's life or liberty was safe for 
a day. Public and private amusements were sus- 

pended. No one went to the theatres, lest he should be 
arrested for same unconscious act or word, such as 
applauding or not applauding, which might be con- 
strued into treason by a police for ever on the watch 
to find criminals and to invent crimes. Nobody dared 
enter a coffee-house for a quarter of an hour to look at 
a journal or sip a cup of chocolate, lest the establish- 
ment should be closed in the meanwhile, and he himself 
be carried off to prison. The carnival, so joyous a 
festival in other Catholic countries, and in happier 
days a scene of festive riot and wild enjoyment in 
Naples itself, passed away under the Bourbon in the 
gloom and silence of a Puritan Sabbath. The prisons 
more properly styled dungeons were crowded, till the 
police had nowhere to stow any more captives away. 
The poor creatures were left there to rot, till such time 
as the tardy courts found leisure to try them, and in 



most cases their trial, when it did take place, was a 
mere farce, like those before our own Judge Jeffreys 
at the Bloody Assize. 

The course of misrule on which Ferdinand entered soon 
became so bad that his utter ruin seemed imminent. The 
grand idea of a United Italy, of which Mazzini was the 
chief apostle, and which Count Cavour was intriguing to 
bring about in a somewhat different fashion from that 
contemplated by the author of "The Duties of Man," 
became even more and more of a fixed principle and 
motive of action in the niinds of all intelligent, honest 
Neapolitans ; and it did not need much foresight to enable 
any one to predict that, whether by absorption into an 
Italian Republic or accession to the Kingdom of Sardinia, 
the Two Sicilies were doomed to a fundamental change of 
condition. More than one insurrection broke out, to be 
suppressed with difficulty ; and several expeditions were 
planned and set afoot, from other parts of Italy, with or 
without the connivance of the Sardinian Government. 

One of these expeditions was led by two daring friends 
of Mazzini, Pisacane and Nicotera. (Colonel Pisacane 
was afterwards shot, but Baron Nicotera became later a 
distinguished member of the Italian Parliament.) The 
adventurers sailed from Genoa on board the steamer 
Cagliari, belonging to a Genoese company, managed by 
Signer Robertini. The vessel was bound for Tunis, and 
had on board the Bey of Tunis's family doctor. The 
captain, a Genoese, had all his property in money and 
goods on board, and is said to have been ignorant of thj 
design of the passengers to invade Naples. The chief 
and second engineers were two Englishmen, named re 
spectively Henry Alexander Watt and Charles Park. 
These men knew nothing of any conspiracy. A few 
hours before leaving port, Pisacane discovered the 
nationality of the engineers, and, as he could not speak 
their language, he dictated to Miss Jessie Meriton White 
(now Madame White Mario) the following manifesto in 
Italian, which that lady translated into English, giving 
copies to the men to carry about them, in proof of their 
innocence, in case anything untoward should happen : 

We desire to avoid the shedding of blood. Our only 
object is to liberate our brothers from the horrible prisons 
of Bomba, King of Naples, so justly abhorred by the 
English. By assisting our efforts, you will acquire the 
consciousness of having done a good act, an act which 
will be approved by the two nations, Italian and English. 
You will also have the merit of preserving this vessel 
fur your employers. All resistance is useless. We are 
resolved on accomplishing our enterprise, or on dying. 

The following is an account, in Mr. Park's own words, 
of what happened on the voyage : 

On the night on which the rebels rose on board of the 
Cagliari, 1 was on deck with the captain. A number of 
men, dressed in red, suddenly appeared. "What is the 
matter?" I said; and, turning to one of the men, I 
asked, " What are you after ?" "You will soon know," 
was the reply. I went and spoke to Watt, saying that 
something serious was going on. and told him that we 
must prepare for the worst. A letter was given to me, 
which, as it was dusk, I could scarcely read. It con- 
tained menaces against our lives if the machinery was not 
kept in perfect order, and we did not do our duty. I 
managed to decipher it, and read it to Watt. I was 

followed down by five or six men, armed with pistols 
and daggers. They remained below, whilst another 
guard was placed above. On passing Admiral Lyons's 
fleet, fears were entertained that we might signal 
them, and additional precautions were taken, for we 
were not permitted to come up. When we approached 
Sapiri [on the Gulf of Policastro], we were told that 
we must join the revolutionists; but we answered that 
we were not fighting men, and that our duty was to 
manage the vessel. Later on the voyage, on seeing some 
Neapolitan vessels, the rebels thought that they had been 
betrayed, and counselled together to murder passengers 
and crew. Eleven were about to do so, but at this 
moment one of their number fell down in an apoplectic 
fit. It was regarded as an interposition of Providence ; 
all fled to the boats. Some of the rebels came to me and 
asked how much coal we had on board. I told him a less 
quantity than we really had, and the answer was that I 
must make it, together with the wood, last so many 
Lours, or we should be murdered. We were returning to 
Naples when we were captured. Our intention was to 
deliver ourselves up and state the whole case, for we had 
not coal enough to enable us to escape had we been dis- 
posed to do so. A Neapolitan officer came on board, and 
I delivered to him the letter which I had received from 
the rebels. lie said, " You had better keep it for your 
exculpation." I went down and made a correct copy of 
it, and then gave the original to the officer. The copy 
was left in my cabin in the hurry of my arrest and 

Mr. Watt, it appears, was only the substitute of another 
man, vr ho was kept at home by sickness ; and he did not 
know any length of time beforehand that he would have 
to proceed on the voyage. This fact disposes of the 
question of any complicity he could have with the 

The object of the expedition, which embarked on the 
5th of July, 1S57, was to liberate the political prisoners 
confined on the island of Ponsa, which object was 
effected. It was while returning to Naples that the 
Cagliari was captured by a Neapolitan war vessel on 
the high seas. On arriving at Naples, all on board, ex- 
cepting the two Englishmen, were handcuffed and taken 
to prison. In the cell allotted to Park and Watt they 
were stripped naked, whilst other prisoners were looking 
through the iron bars which separated them from 
the new coiners, laughing and joking at their ex- 
pense. They were then examined and cross-examined 
with regard to tha letters found upon them, and 
on which the accusation against them was after- 
wards based. The gaolers afterwards led them 
round chambers and cells fearful to look upon, 
and said that if any guilt was proved against them 
they would be put in these. Finally, they were 
confined in a separate cell, damp and dark, the 
only window there was being high up in the wall. 
During the hot summer weather, the stench was 
insufferable. For three months they were not even 
allowed to change their clothes. The prison fare was a 
soup which they could not drink, bread so hard and bad 
that they could not digest it, and a few beans. In fact, 
they were compelled to beg for money for their support 
from sympathisers outside. At their earnest entreaty 
they were put into another cell, and at length they were 
removed to Salerno to await their trial. They were 
handcuffed, and that severely, and bound by ropes round 




\ 1887 

their arms so tightly to each other that their flesh was 
black and blue for five days after. Watt, who was a 
strong man with much feeling, was very indignant ; and 
in his agony he lost for a time the control of his reason. 
The poor fellow, while in this state, attempted his life 
with a razor. Blood flowed from the wound, and Park, 
who was in a nervous state, fell to the ground in a swoon. 
The captain of the Cagliari wrested the razor from Watt's 
hand, and thus saved his life. The effect of the close 
confinement, bad fare, and cruel treatment was such as to 
give a great shock to the constitutions of the men. Park 
became subject to violent palpitations of the heart, and 
was evidently affected in his bead. He was bled, in 
consequence of his nervous sensitiveness, by the Bey 
of Tunis's doctor, who was his fellow-prisoner, and who 
believed he had thereby saved his life. Watt, also, 
was bled once, if not twice. Park, in his delirium, gave 
away a portion of his clothes among the prisoners, 
who were probably worse clad than himself. 

Reports of the state of the English engineers oozed 
through the walls of the prison, and were sent in due 
course to the London papers by their Naples cor- 
respondents. The excitement caused by the news in 
this country was intense, particularly in Newcastle, 
to which town Mr. Watt belonged. Indignation meet- 
ings were held to demand the intervention of the 
English Government. One of theae, convened by the 
Mayor of Newcastle, Mr. Anthony Nichol, was held 
on the 23rd November, 1857, and was addressed by the 
late Sir John Fife, the late Dr. Newton, Mr. Joseph 
Cowen, Jun., Mr. R. B. Reed, Mr. Robert Warden, 
Mr. Ralph Curry, Mr. Thomas Gregson, and others. 
The matter was frequently brought before Parliament, 
where Mr. George Ridley, then member for Newcastle, 
was foremost in pressing the subject upon the attention 
of Ministers. Indignant appeals were also made to 
the sense of the honour of England in the House of 
Commons by Mr. Monckton Milnes, Mr. Kinglake, 
Mr. Headlam, Mr. Roebuck, Mr. Horsman, Mr. Glad- 
stone, and Lord John Russell. It was urged that 
the capture of the Cagliari on the high seas by Neapoli- 
tan cruisers was contrary to the law of nations, and that, 
whether or not, the continued imprisonment of the Eng- 
lish engineers, without trial, was illegal. The unfortunate 
prisoners were atill in confinement when the Government 
of Lord Palmerston, defeated on the Conspiracy Bill in 
1858, gave place to that; of Lord Derby. When fresh 
appeals were made in Parliament, Mr. Disraeli pleaded 
that the jurisdiction of the Neapolitan Government not 
having been disputed at first, they were precluded from 
opening the question now, and it seemed to him that all 
they could do was to take the 'most efficient steps to 
obtain prompt justice for their unfortunate countrymen. 
Mr. Roebuck characterised this language as unworthy of 
a British Minister. Mr. Gladstone took much the same 
ground, while Lord John Russell pointed out that, even 
if the capture of the engineers had been lawful, there 

was no justification for the barbarities under which 
one man lost his health and the other his reason. 

Mr. Park, the second engineer's father (who had re- 
moved with his family from Glasgow to Genoa when his 
eon was about four years old), went to Naples himself, 
with letters from Lord Clarendon ; and, after some little 
demur, got leave to visit the prisoners. He found them 
in one small room, about seven feet by twelve, five of 
them viz., the two engineers, the captain and mate of 
the Cagliari, and the commander appointed by the insur- 
gents. Three beds and a small table took up most of the 
floor, leaving a space of four feet square, on which they 
could walk, and which they had worn down with their 
footsteps. Mr. Park, who went in company with Mr. 
Acting-Consul Barber, the British Vice-Consul at 
Salerno, and two Neapolitan officials, was frightened at 
the pale, nervous, feverish, excited looks of the prisoners. 
The captain of the Cagliari seemed regularly broken 
down. He protested his perfect innocence. He had, he 
told the friendly visitors, a young wife and two children 
at Genoa one having been born since his arrest and 
they were in a state almost of destitution, for the bulk of 
his property, with which he meant to trade, had been 
on board his ship, and was now in the _hands of the Nea- 
politan Government. 

Forced to vigorous steps by public opinion, and by the 
tone and attitude of many of their staunches t supporters, 
the British Government at length interfered in a more 
spirited way ; and the result of a note delivered to the 
Neapolitan Conrt was the immediate liberation of Watt 
whose mind had been most dangerously affected, and an 
assurance that the trial of Park should proceed with all 
possible despatch, in order that he might speedily be set 
at liberty and enabled to return to England with his 
fellow-prisoner. The poor fellows were only released 
after seven months of horrible torture. 

The opinion of the Crown lawyers was then taken, and 
they were unanimous in declaring that the detention and 
imprisonment of Park and Watt was illegal. In conse- 
quence of this, the Government, "after full delibera. 
tion," addressed a despatch to the Minister of the King 
of Naples, Signor Carafa, demanding compensation for 
the grievances which had been experienced by our two 
countrymen. An unsatisfactory answer having been 
received, the Earl of Malmesbury, then Secretary for 
Foreign Affairs, forwarded a second despatch, in which 
he declared that, if the Neapolitan Government per- 
sisted in its refusal of compensation to the engineers, 
England would resort to reprisals, and would immedi- 
ately place an embargo on Neapolitan vessels. The 
result was that Signor Carafa, after consultation with the 
King at Gaeta, where his Majesty then was, accepted 
unconditionally the proposals of England. The follow- 
ing despatch was then sent to Lord Malmesbury : 

Naples, June 8th, 1858. 

My Lord, In reply to the letter which your Excellency 
has done me the honour of addressing to mo, under th 
date of the 25th of May last, I hasten to acquaint you 

April, 1 



that the Government of the King, my august master, 
has never imagined, or been able to imagine, that it 
could find means to oppose the forces which the Govern- 
ment of her Britannic Majesty has at its disposal. 
Setting out from the point suggested by the tenor of 
the said letter, that the affair of the Cagliari, as your 
Excellency clearly expresses it, "can to no one be of 
greater importance than to Great Britain," the Neapolitan 
Government finds that it has neither any argument to 
propound nor any opposition to make to it. 1 have 
the honour of informing your Excellency that the sum 
of three thousand pounds sterling, paid into th mer- 
cantile house of Pook (sic), is at the disposal of the 
English Government. As far as concerns the men 
forming the crew of the Cagliari, now under trial before 
the Grand Criminal Court of Salerno, and the Cagliari 
herself, I have it in my power to announce to you that 
the men and the vessel are at the disposal of M. Lyons ; 
they are consigned to him, their departure will depend on 
him, and orders have been given to the competent 
authorities. This being settled, the Government of his 
Sicilian Majesty has no need to accept any mediation, 
and it delivers up everything to the absolute will of 
the British Government. I have the honour to be, witii 
the highest consideration, your Excellency's most devoted 
and obliged servant, CAHAFA. 

This satisfactory termination left no diplomatic question 
open between England and Naples. 

Within a few weeks of the surrender of the Cagliari, 
and the compulsory release of the innocent prisoners, the 
judges received instructions no longer to defer the trial of 
the insurgents. According to the letter of the law, the 
leaders of the enterprise alone had become liable to capital 
punishment ; but the king had determined to make a 
theatrical display of his merciful disposition, and so the 
Court of Salerno was ordered to sentence seven of the 
prisoners to death, that their doom might be afterwards 
ostentatiously commuted. Which it was. 

Mr. Watt, who was a young man of twenty-five when 
the capture of the Cagliari took place, is now living with 
his sister, Mrs. Innis, Percy Street, Newcastle. Although 
his physical health is still good, his relatives declare that 
his mind has really never recovered from the effects of the 
ill-treatment he received at the hands of the agents of 
King Bomba thirty years ago. As to Mr. Park, he was 
by last accounts continuing his occupation as engineer at 
one of the Italian ports. 

j|ROM a little to the north of Hartlcpool to a 
little to the north of Sunderland, the East 
Coast of Durham is broken or indented by 
deep ravines locally called "denes," or, when they 
are small, "gills." Castle Eden Dene is famous all over 
the North of England ; but Roker Gill, in the parish of 
Monkwearmouth, three-quarters of a mile to the north of 
Sunderland Harbour, has not attained more than a paro- 
chial celebrity, and that much only in connection with a 
now somewhat dubious and almost mythical personage 
called Spotty. 

But, first of all, who was Spotty ? Incredulous people 
are to be found who daringly say with Betsy Prig that 

"tbere never was no such person." Sir Cuthbert Sharp 
observes in a note to the song called "Spottee"in his 
"Bishoprick Garland ":" Spottee was a poor lunatic, 
who lived in a cave between Whitburn and Sunderland,' 
which still retains the name of Spottee'sHole." Garbutt' 
in his " History of Sunderland," says : " The name of 
Spotty's Hole, by which this place is now generally 
distinguished, is derived from a foreigner who, some 
years ago, having probably left some vessel in the 
harbour, took up his residence in this dreary abode. 
Being unable to speak the English language, his daily 
subsistence was gained among the farm-houses in the 
neighbourhood, where he endeavoured to make himself 
understood by means of signs, and was known by the 
name of Spotty, on account of the variegated spots on 
his upper garment." Tradition and probability, accord- 
ing to the late Mr. W. Weallands Robson, are on the 
side of Garbutt, who, so far, is right, and Sir Cuthbert 

Spotty was, in fact, a vagabond of the Lascar genus. 
But Garbutt is as far wrong himself as Sir Cuthbert when he 
goes on to add : "Having lived for some time in this sub- 
terraneous habitation, he suddenly disappeared, and was 
supposed either to have died suddenly, or, by advancing 
too far into the cavern, to have fallen a prey to foul air." 
That Spotty suddenly disappeared is beyond doubt, but 
whether he died suddenly and prematurely, or whether 
he died a lingering death at the close of the ordinary 
span of life, nobody ever pretended to be able to say. 
One thing is very certain, that he did not die in his hole, 
where his body might and would have been found, and it 
is now quite clear that, for the very best of all possible 
reasons, he could not have advanced so far into the cavern 
as to have fallen a prey to foul air. The truth was that 
Spotty kindled a fire at the mouth of his hole to keep 
himself warm. Wood was then and long afterwards 
plentiful enough on the beach just above high-water 
mark, and the glare of Spotty's fire, being mistaken for 
the light of the town, lured a small ship to its destruc- 
tion, upon which Spotty prudently disappeared. 

On the principle of omnc ignotum pro magnifico, the 
most absurd and exaggerated ideas were formed of the 
extent of Spotty's Hole. Nobody knew exactly how far 
it did, or rather did not, go, and therefore everybody felt 
free to make it go as far as he pleased. Some had it 
that it was a subterranean passage to the ancient monas- 
tery of Monkwearmouth ; others would have it that it 
went as far as Hylton Castle ; and probably, if the 
notion had been suggested, we would soon have had it 
going all the way to Jarrow, or to Finchale, or to 
Durham Abbey. It actually went nowhere at all ! 
Garbutt gravely says : " This secret way, which most 
probably has been wrought by the monks, with a view 
of eluding their enemies in times of invasion or civil 
commotion, was some time ago partially explored by 
three of the inhabitants of Monkwearmouth. After they 
had advanced a little way from the entrance, they found 



the passage perfectly good, in general allowing them to 
walk upright, and entirely hewn out of the limestone 
rock, with which this place is surrounded. Having 
proceeded a considerable distance in the direction of 
the site of the monastery, without meeting with any 
considerable impediment, they thought it prudent to 
return, on account of the danger of coming in contact 
with foul air, to which they mieht have been exposed 
by a further progress." Alas for the credit of veracious 
history ! In all human probability, the three faint- 
hearted or vain-glorious inhabitants of Monkwearmouth 
thought it most prudent never to go in at all. Their 
whole story was a fib, or a fiction, or a fancy, as 
much so as Don Quixote's account of the Cave of 

When the present Sir Hedworth Williamson succeeded 
to his patrimonial estate, he unfortunately resolved to 
test the truth of the stories he had heard in the nursery : 
so the worthy baronet employed some men to explore 
the cavern. They "howked" a little marl out to facili- 
tate their entrance, and soon brought their labours to an 
end with the end of the cavern ! The romance of the 
place was destroyed directly. The unfathomable aper 
ture, the secret way wrought by the monks, turned out 
to be nothing else than an ordinary natural fissure in the 
rock, not very much more than would have fitted it for 
the burrow of a badger or the earth of a fox 1 

The present appearance of Spotty's Hole may be 
gathered from the accompanying sketches of it. Our 
artist was informed that the cavern is used as a sort of 
store-house for something or other. But the whole char- 
acter of the neighbourhood has lately been changed. 
Roker Gill now forma part of Roker Park, while a 
substantial new bridge across the ravine has been con- 
structed to afford an easier mode of communication 
between Whitburn and Sunderland than formerly 

We subjoin the song which Sir Cuthbert Sharp printed 

in the " Bishoprick Garland." The Jacob Spenceley 
mentioned in it was an ancestor of the late Captain Burne 
of Bishopwearmouth, who married one of the Allans of 
Blackwell Grange. He was a man of considerable property 
i .Si mdcrlun d, some of which descended to, and wa sold by, 
Captain Burne. The name of Spenceley is still preserved 
in Spenceley's Lane, otherwise called Bet Cass's Entry. 
Laird Forster we take or conjecture to have been either 
Alderman Forster, the owner of a good deal of land at 
Whitburn which was inherited by his nephew, Mr. 
Thomas Barnes, or some predecessor in name and estate of 
Alderman Forster. "Floater's flood" is the local name 
of a great flood which carried away Floater's Mill, near 
Houghton. The " carcasses" spoken of were the woed- 
work of which the North Pier of Sunderland Harbour 
was built, and which was replaced by stone some forty 
or fifty years ago. Sir Cuthbert Sharp, Knight, the pre- 
server of the song, was Collector of Customs at Sunder- 
land, and afterwards at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, where 
he died in 1849. 

The following note prefaces the song in the " Bishoprick 
Garland " : " This curious ditty is printed from a copy 
found in the papers of the late Thomas Clerke, Esq., of 
Sunderland land possibly written by him). He was a 
gentleman of powerful convivial talents, and the author 
of several spirited and anacreontic songs which are now 
attributed to others. He was a cheerful member of society, 
and his poetical contributions were remarkable for their 
ready wit and sparkling humour. His 'Sons of the Wear ' 
is bold and enlivening, his ' Musical Club ' is full of good- 
natured point and playful fancy, and his ' Ode to Silver 
Street' is a pungent and lively portrait." 

And now for the song itself : 

Come all ye good people and listen to me, 
And a comical tale I will tell unto ye, 
Bulanging yon Spottee that lived on the Law Quay, 
That had nowther house nor harbour he. 

The poor auld wives o' the north side disn't kuaw what 

for te de, 
For they dare not come to see their husbands when they 

come to the Quay ; 

They're feared o' their sel's, and their infants, tee, 
For this roguish fellow they call Spottee. 

But now he's gane away unto the sea-side, 

Where mony a ane wiahes he may be weslied away wi' the 


For if Floutter's flood come, as it us'd for te de, 
It will drive his heart out then where will his midred be ? 

The poor auld wives o' Whitburn disn't knaw what for le 

For they dar not come alantr the aands, wi' their lang tail 

skates in their hands, to J acob Spenceley's lauding, 

as they us'd for te de. 
They dare not come alang the sands, wi' their swills in 

their hands. 
But they're forced to take a coble, and come in by the sea. 

As Laird Forster was riding alana the sands, 

As he or ony other gentleman might He, 

Spottee cam' out, his tanter-wallups did flee, 

His horse teuk the boggle, and off flew he. 

He gathers coals in the day-time, as he's well knawn for 

te de, 
And mak's a fire on i' the neet, which kests a leet into the 


April. } 



His heart went like a pair o' bellows, and he didn't knav, 
what for te de. 

Which gar'd the poor Sloopy cry, " Helem a-lee," 
And a back o' the carcasses com poor she. 

"Alack and a well-a-day," said the maister, "what shall Johnny Usher, the maister, wad ha' carried him away 

we de ? " But the ship's company swore deel be their feet if they 
Trust to Providence," said the mate, " and we re sure to wad with him stay ; 

(?et free ; " We'll first forfeit our wages, for ganging to sea, 

Before we'll cran wi' that roguish fellow they call Spottee. 

There was a poor lad that had come a trial vaige to sea, 


From a Special Sketch. 

|HE story of Andrew Mills is one of the oldest 
and most generally known traditions of the 
North. While retaining a place in local 
history, it has never ceased to interest the popular 
mind. Resting on a firm basis of fact, it has, however, 
been covered over by fiction till the original elements of 
the story are scarcely discernible among the contributions 
of time. That such a tragedy did take place is beyond 
a doubt. The stone in the churchyard of Merrington, 
the entry in the parish register, and the united testi- 
mony of many competent historians, combine to prove 
the fact that a person of weak mind, named Andrew 
Mills, in January, 1GS3, murdered the son and two 
daughters tho whole family of John and Elizabeth 
Brass while thn parents were absent OD a Christmas 
visit. That the murderer was executed, and then hung 
in chains, is likewise a fact about which the authorities 
are agreed. The rest of the tradition varies according 
to the fancy of the narrators. In what follows wa 
have adhered to the main current of the legend, filling 
out what is imperfect, and arranging the circumstances 
so as to satisfy the requirements of common sense. 
The scene of the tradition is situated in the County of 

Durham, not far from Bishop Auckland. In the parish 
of Meirington, in the year 1CS3, John Brass, and Mar- 
garet Brass, his wife, occupied the Hill House, and 
farmed the land adjacent. Let us suppose that theirs 
had been a prosperous life that children had followed 
wedlock, that seed-time and harvest had come in their 
seasons, and that cattle and means had increased. At 
the time when our story opens, let us imagine that their 
son John, aged 18, had come to be of use on the farm 
that one hand less was consequently required, and one 
yearly wage was saved in the cultivation of the fields. 
We still continue our hypothesis. At one time old Brass 
had to employ a hired hand to do the work which his son 
was now able to perform, and in his later years his own 
labours were lightened and his own heart cheered by 
the presence of immediate help from one of his own 
blood. Nor was Mrs. Brass less fortunate in her house- 
bold affairs. The eldest daughter, Jane, was now twenty 
years of age, and well fitted to play a woman's part in the 
peculiar work which then fell to a woman's share. While 
an adept in the duties of the kitchen, she would occa- 
sionally lend a hand to business which more particularly 
pertained to the male portion of the household. She was 
all the more apt to concern herself in these matters from 
the fact that her brother manifested a weak and easy 




character. He was valuable in carrying out orders 
which he was able to perform, but he could neither 
devise nor execute on his own account. The father 
was blind to his faults indeed, rather liked them 
for few fathers in those days, any more than 
in the present, cared to see a spirit in their sons 
which coo soon showed itself independent of parental 
control. With more force of character than her brother, 
and less partiality than her ire, Jane, with a woman's 
instinct, divined the state of matters and acted accord- 
ingly. There was, moreover, a dash of the heroic in her 
nature, combined, as it often is, with a full now of animal 
spirits, rendered brighter by perfect health, and made 
temptingly beautiful by an archness of manners which 
tantalised the young farmers who spent evenings at the 
Hill House. Jane was not long to waste her young years 
in single wretchedness, looking after her mother's dairy 
and making the farm-house bright and clean a beacon to 
all the young swains of the neighbourhood. She had 
already given her heart and hand to one who 
was worthy of both. The anticipated break-up 
in the household, while a cause of somewhat 
tearful joy, wis not looked upon as approaching 
desolation, principally for the very practical reason 
that Mrs. Brass had another daughter, Elizabeth, aged 
eleven, gradually coming up to take the place of her who 
was soon to enter upon a new world of interests and re- 
sponsibilities. Elizabeth was a lively rural maiden, 
somewhat saucy, as maidens about her years generally 
are, but kind-hearted and wise above her years. These 
three, with the parents and a servant lad of some eighteen 
or nineteen summers, formed the household of the Brasses. 
The servant lad, the Andrew Mills aforesaid, was 
reckoned quiet and inoffensive, and was credited at the 
same time with deficiency of intellect and a partial de- 
rangement of that which he had. Mills and Elizabeth 
took kindly to each other. She humoured his fancies, 
and seldom tried to irritate him, as the others of the 
household and casual visitors would sometimes do. 
Although quiet when let alone, he was wild enough when 
in anger, and when in this mood a dangerous light flashed 
from his usually dull eye. But exhibitions of temper 
were few and far between, and he was never so sullen or 
so fierce that Elizabeth could not lure him into peaceful- 
ness, and engage him in some girlish game. 

Christmas came with its hallowed festivities. Merring- 
ton had taken its part in the general enjoyment. And 
Christmas festivities in those days were something to be 
talked of for a twelvemonth. At one time Christmas was 
observed in England not as now on one hurried day 
snatched from the fleeting moments of a year rushing past 
at lightning speed but a whole decent week or two was 
quietly appropriated to upend and be spent in social com- 
munion. The people of the Hill House farm were, we 
should imagine, no exception to the general rule. Mr. 
and Mrs. Brass valued the sweet uses of hospitality, and 
joined heartily in the good customs of the period. Besides, 

Mr. Brass loved well a talk over fanning matters along 
with liia brethren in agriculture ; and at that time, when 
Charles II. was drawing near his end, when nobles were 
being executed every day and plots discovered every hour, 
there was much to engage men's minds round the social 
board, although the rate at which news travelled wag ex- 
cessively glow, and people in rural districts were, as a rule, 
a few months behind events. 

One evening, about the 26th or 28th of January, 1683, 
the good couple left home to attend one of their neigh- 
bourly festivities. The two daughters, the gon, and the 
servant lad Mills remained in the house. What followed 
is buried in the deepest mystery. No account could be 
got of the matter but that furnished by Mills in his con- 
fession as to the part he took in the fearful tragedy. 
The only thing definitely known is the fact that before 
the unhappy parents returned their whole family had been 
murdered by the half-witted creature who had been 
hitherto considered so inoffensive. He gave no motive 
for his crime beyond declaring that he had done all at 
the suggestion of the devil. He appears by one tradi- 
tion to have chased the two sisters and their brother into 
an inner room, whither they had run expecting to escape 
his fury. Reason would say that the son and eldest 
daughter should have been something like a match for 
one younger or, at least, not older than themselves, 
had not alarm unnerved them. The son, true to the 
character we have given him, stood aloof from the 
struggle till his more heroic sister was murdered and 
his own turn came to die. Once inside the room, the 
first thought was how to secure the door, o that the 
maniac should not follow. The elder daughter is here 
credited with an act of most determined heroism which 
well justifies our estimate of her character. No bolt 
being available, she thrust her arm through the 
capacious staples, and thus barred the approach of the 
murderer for a time. One can well appreciate, and 
shudder while the thought is present, the feeling of the 
few fearful moments which sufficed to break the poor 
girl's arm and burst open the door which stood 
between the family and death. The door once open, 
and Andrew's principal antagonist so maimed that 
further resistance was fruitless, the elder girl and the son 
were immediately killed. A gleam of his old favour for 
the little girl, Elizabeth, stems to have shone through the 
madness of the moment, and he spared her life at least 
till she had time to plead for mercy. With artless 
simplicity, and with a wisdom quite precocious amidst 
such a scene of terror, she promised him bread, butter, 
sugar, and toys, if he would not take her life. He left 
her disarmed of his] evil intentions ; but, as he said 
himself, the devil again met him in the passage, and the 
words, " Kill all 1 Kill all I" so rung in his ears that 
he returned to the fatal chamber, dragged the poor child 
from below the bed where she had hid herself, and 
finished his work by dashing out her brains. One ac- 
count says Mills made no attempt to escape, but remained 

April, \ 
1667. / 



among his mangled victims till their parents returned; 
.another tradition says he ran to Ferryhill, wher hia wild 
appearance and incoherent statements caused him to be 
arrested; and a third relates that ho met the parents 
at the place where he was afterwards gibbeted, and at 
a spot where the horse on which the couple rode was 
BO terrified by the unearthly bowlings of dogs and 
screechings of owls that the animal had refused to 
proceed further on its way home. Here Mills is said 
to have been seized by some troopers on their march 
from Darlington to Durham. 

Whatever truth there may be in the story of his 
arrest, there is no doubt the wretched Andrew was 
arrested, tried, executed, and hung in chains on what 
was at that time a common about a mile and a half 
to the north of Ferryhill. Justice in those days required 
the criminal to suffer in full view of the scene ol 
his crime, and in the case of Mills the requirement 
seems to have been, rigidly carried out. Juries in the 
seventeenth century were not so humane as they are 
now. Were an Andrew Mills of our time to murder a 
family and lay the blame on the devil, there are not 
twelve men in England who would agree to hang the 
murderer. He would be immediately voted insane, and 
kept from doing mischief to his fellow-creatures during 
the rest of his natural life. And there cannot be a doubt 
that ours is the better plan. The execution of Mills 
seems to have been more instrumental in making him 
famous than the fact of the triple murder. It is around 
his gibbet that most of the romance of the story hangs. 

Popular tradition has it that the poor sinner was sus- 
pended alive that day after day, as life ebbed fast 
and hunger grew keen, his cries of agony were heard 
for miles adjacent, till the people about Ferryhill and 
the neighbouring hamlets abandoned their homes, unable 
to bear his piteous wailing, and only returned when 
death had silenced his voice and assuaged his suf- 
ferings. It is said likewise that Andrew's life was 
prolonged by the kind offices of a sweetheart, who nightly 
fed him with milk through the iron cage in which 
his limbs were bound. And, still further to pile up the 
agony, one story relates how a loaf of bread was placed 
within his reach, but with an iron spike so arranged that 
it entered his throat every time he endeavoured to allay 
the pangs of hunger. One wonders how such tales of 
ingenious cruelty could originate. Edgar Allan Poe and 
the Spanish Inquisition could scarcely have been more 
fertile in devising means of human torture. It is needless 
to say that all these tales are, without exception, false. 
Yet Andrew Mills, on account of his deeds, and still more 
on account of his fabled sufferings, is a name to conjure 
by in Durham even to the present day. Foolish mothers 
frighten refractory children by mention of tho long dead 
and half-crazed creature's name. They impress upon the 
" young idea" that its dreaded owner can be at any time 
called from his long sleep to punish disobedience or compel 
theperformaneo of disagreeable tasks. Nothing could 

prove more conclusively than this the strong hold which 
the tradition still retains on the minds of the people. 
Even the remains of the gibbet were pressed into the 
service of surviving humanity. A portion of the erection, 
known as "Andrew Mills's Stob," remained standing 
for many years. Splinters taken from it were supposed 
to be instrumental in removing such serious troubles 
as ague, toothache, and similar ailments. This being the 
case, it was not to be expected that a source of so much 
value in removing the ills which flesh is heir to would be 
left unvisited, or allowed to stand without being robbed 
of the virtues which ,it was supposed to poisess. Never- 
theless the tough old stick held out to the last, and did 
not succumb to the suffering and credulous persons who 
used it, till Mr. Laverick, who purchased the property, 
removed it bodily report sayeth not where. 

Some light is thrown upon the tragedy by the table 
monument in Merrington Churchyard, which bears the 
following inscription : 

Here lie the Bodies of 
John, Jane, and Elizabeth, children 

of John and Margaret Brass, 
who were murdered the 28th of Jan., 1GS3, 

by Andrew .Mills, their father's servant, 
for whicli he was executed and hung in chains. 

Reader, remember, sleeping 

We were slain ; 
And here we sleep till we must 

Rise again. 
'* \\ hoso sheddeth man : s blood, by man shall his 

blood be shed." 
44 Thou shalt do no murder." 

Restored by subscription in 1789. 

Another tomb in Merrington Churchyard records the 
death of the mother, Margaret Brass, in 1703, and of the 
father, Jonn Brass, in 1722. Tim inscription is rather 
quaint, and may be transcribed as follows: 

1703. Margaret Brass, wife of John Brass. 
In peace therefore lie downe will I 

Takeing my rest and sleep 
For Thou only wilt me, Lord, 
Alone in safety keep. 

Dun By Me, A. Kay. 

Here lieth the body of John Brass of Ferryhill, 
who departed this life Jan. 22nd day 1722. 

Although it is stated on the tombstone of the murdered 
family that it was restored by subscription, it is well 
known that this work was done at the expense of Mr. 
George Wood, Senior Proctor of the Consistory Court of 
Durham, who died in 1799. Surtees, in a foot-note in his 
4< History of Durham," says : " He restored Brass's tomb, 
though he chose to state that it was done by parochial 
subscription, and he gave the old parish register a gallant 
new cover of Russia, wisely considering that a good coat 
sometimes saved an honest man from neglect." 

The inscription on the monument to the children indi- 
cates a belief that they were killed in their sleep ; but 



\ 1887. 

neither tradition nor the following extract from "Bee's 
Diary " would appear to bear it out : 

Jan. 25, 1683. A sad cruell murther committed by a 
boy about eighteen or nineteen years of age, nere Ferry- 
hill, nere Durham, being Thursday at night. The maner 
is by report : When the parents were out of dores, a 
young- man, being sonne to the house and two daughters, 
was kil'd by this boy with an axe, having knoekt ym in ye 
head, afterwards cut their throats; one of ym being asleep 
in ye bed. about ten or eleven years of age ; the other 
daughter was to be married at Candlemas. After he had 
killed the sonne and the eldest daughter, being above 
twenty years of age, a little lass, her sister, about ye age 
of eleven years, being in bed alone, he drag'd her out in 
bed and killed her alsoe. This same Andrew Millns, 
alias Miles, was hang'd in irons upon a gybett near Ferry- 
hill, upon the loth day of August, being Wednesday this 
year, 1683. 

As no quarrel or provocation, or other motive, was ever 
known to have instigated the murder, Surtees asks the 
question whether it is not likely that jealousy may have 
had some share in producing the horrible catastrophe. 
" Andrew Mills," he says, " was alone with the girl who 
was to be married at Candlemas ; and, during this 
nocturnal conference, might not his sleeping passions 
have been roused into madness by some rejection or dis- 
appointment ?" In the first place, however, it nowhere 
appears that Mills and the girl were alone at any 
"nocturnal conference," and if jealousy had had any part 
in the tragedy, the fact has been entirely overlooked by 
all the traditions on the subject. 

It is right and necessary to add that the names of tho 
murdered Brasses in the parish register of Merringion 
show them to have been respectively of the ages which we 
have indicated at the beginning of this paper : ' Jane, 
daughter of John Brass, of Ferrihill, baptised Feb. 22, 
1GG2 ; John, ye sonne, &c., Aug. 29, 1605 ; Elizabeth, 
daughter, &c., 1672." W. B. 


James Watson came from London (where he was born, 
educated, and served his apprenticeship) to Newcastle 
about the year 1848. He was, we believe, a cork-cutter to 
business ; but, shortly after coming to the North, he opened 
a. book-stall in the Green Market, with a very small 
stock-in-trade. However, he was not a likely man to 
remain satisfied with his small stock and little business. 
He soon let it be known that he did not intend to de- 
vote all his energies to the retailing of old books. He was 
a keen politician, an energetic platform speaker, well read 
and intelligent. He was a Chartist, as a matter of course, 
and his services were in constant demand for public 
meetings, not only in Newcastle, but in the neighbouring 
towns and villages. Forty years ago, the demand for 
political reform was universal. Quiet, moderate men, 
who could not go as far as the Charter, freely ad- 
.mitted the necessity of lowering the franchise, as well 

as abolishing the many abuses of that time. Mr. Wat. 
son, however, was not a moderate man, at least 
not in that sense. Ho employed his bitter, sarcastic 
tongue in denouncing the Government, and in demanding 
the most radical changes. Ha was most thoroughly in 
earnest, although his fame as an agitator helped him 
greatly in his business. He made many friends in the 
colliery villages, and the pitmen, not unmindful of his 
services, gave him their custom freely. At that time, if 
the penny daily paper was not in existence, there were 
publications of a high class, though at a low price, pleading 
the cause of the working man. Such writers as George 
Julian Harney, Thomas Cooper, Ernest Jones, and 
other intellectual giants, were eagerly read, and their 
works were always to be found on Mr. Watson's stall. 

His business extended ; he added largely to his stock of 
books ; and, being a careful, thrifty man, he soon placed 
himself beyond the reach of want, and in what are called 
comfortable circumstances. But he did not. as many do, 
become more Conservative as he advanced in prosperity. 
About twenty years ago Mr. Watson retired from his 
bookstall in the Market, and took a shop in Blackett Street 
(now occupied by Johnston Brothers). Here he conducted 
a news agency and general bookselling and stationery 
business, and with such success that he was enabled in a 
few years to retire to the pleasant village of Gosforth on a 
handsome competence. Here he enjoyed his well-earned 
leisure for some time ; but he was suddenly seized, for the 
first time in his life, we believe, by severe illness. This 

Anril, A 
1887. I 



necessitated a most peculiar and very severe operation, 
which only a man of strong, robust constitution could have 
survived. Mr. Watson recovered, and for a short time 
seemed almost himself again. What he had undergone, 
however, had been too much even for his stron? frame, 
and his lone and useful life was brought to a close on March 
27, 1883, at the age of 68. Mr. Watson's business 
made him acquainted with the more thoughtful and 
studious class of workmen ; but none had a better know- 
ledge than he of the North-Country pitman. He 
was to be seen, every pay Saturday at least, surrounded 
by a knot of eager talkers and listeners. Several 
years ago, when talking with a London journalist, 
Mr. Watson told him that his best customers for 
really good books, and more especially mathemati- 
cal works, were miners. This found its way into 
nearly all the London papers even the mighty Times 
itself and occasioned some astonishment and comment, 
especially amongst those who believed that Geordie's only 
recreations were pitch and toss, his bull-dog, and his 
" bool." Many young men who afterwards filled high 
positions were indebted to Mr. Watson for advice and 
counsel as to the employment of their scanty leisure time, 
and the study of the most suitable books to fit them for 
the battle of life. 


For many years, the late Mr. George Rutland was well- 
known to book-buyers of every class, from the man of 
large means, who bought handsome volumes as he bought 
beautiful furniture, because it was the fashion and he 
could afford it, to the poor student, or humble workman, 
who sometimes picked up a bargain from the extensive 
stock of books temptingly displayed on the well-known 
stall in the Market. 

Mr. Rutland was thoroughly acquainted with his 
business. No one knew what a book was worth and 
what it would fetch better than he. He was thoroughly 
honest and fair-dealing, also ; and often astonished 
a poor man, compelled to part with his little library, 
by the large price he offered, if it contained some 
literary treasure that George knew would "fetch a 
penny." But he scorned to take advantage of a person's 
ignorance either one way or the other. If he bought cheap 
at an auction, he sold cheap ; and if he gave a large price 
for a work, he would keep it for years rather than sell it 
for less than its value, though he rarely made a mistake 
about the worth of a book. With rare books and rare 
editions he was most familiar, perhaps no man in 
England more so. At his stall were to be found 
lawyers, doctors, bishops, priests, and deacons in fact, 
all sorts and conditions of men, a class who would not 
know their way to the Market now-a-days, though that 
locality is perhaps more than ever the resort of dealers in 
old books and rare engravings. Mr. Rutland took great 
delight in handsome bindings ; and if a first-class work, 

or rare edition, came to him in a rather dilapidated con- 
dition, he would send it off to Edinburgh to be re-clothed 
in morocco, calf, or Russia. 

It is about twenty-five years since Mr. Rutland gave up 
the stall in the Market which he had conducted so 
successfully, and opened a handsome shop in Blackett 
Street. Here everybody was made welcome. A person 
might enter the shop and stay as long as he liked, and 
take down and examine any book, and never be asked to 
purchase. Of course, the shop did not contain a fourth of 
Mr. Rutland's stock, as his house he lived on the pre- 
miseswas always packed with books. The list of new 
additions to his stock, which appeared once a week in a 
local paper, often caused people to smile at the quaint 
and curious way in which it was written ; but it was 
always eagerly read, and brought him great numbers of 
fresh customers. 

Mr. Rutland, as everybody else does in time, found that 
he was getting old ; but, unlike a great many people, he 
found that he had realised enough from his industry and 
great knowledge of books to spend the remainder of his 
days in comfort. He sold his business to an enterprising 
firm in Grey Street, and retired into private life. But he 
could not live idle. He was to be seen at every great book 
sale, on the look-out, on behalf of an old customer, for 
some choice work a scarce county history or the first 
edition of a Bewick. 

We do not suppose that Mr, Smiles would have thought 
it worth while to include the subject of this brief sketch 
amongrtt those who have raised themselves from a humble 
position to one of wealth and influence. Yet there is 
something cheerful in Mr. Rutland's career. Commencing 
life a poor little orphan lad, almost friendless, and with- 
out education, he managed to get a few books together, 
worth only a very few shillings. From this humble 
beginning, he got from less to more, earning not only 
a great reputation amongst scholars and antiquaries for 
his large acquaintance with literature in every department, 
but, better still, a high character for honesty and fair- 

Towards the end of 1884, Sir John Swinburne requested 
Mr. Rutland, in whom he had great confidence, to arrange 
his library at Swinburne Castle. While engaged in this 
work the old bookseller was seized with a fit, and died in a 
few hours December 2, 1884 aged 62 years. His remains 
were interred in All Saints' Cemetery. W. W. W. 


: Scrim 

|ANY a glorious day's otter-hunting have I en 
joyed along with the late Mr. John Gallon f 
who was drowned in the river Lugar, South 
Ayrshire, on the IGth of July, 1873, while hunting the 
otter in the company of Mr. Morton Macdonald, of 
Largie Castle, and other sportsmen of North Britain. 
For many years previous to his untimely death ha 



frequently hunted tho North Tyne, Reed, Coquet, 
Wansbeck, and other rivers of Northumberland. 
Mr. William Turnbull, the renowned otter-hunter of 
Bellingham (now of James Street, Jarrow), for twenty - 
seven years accompanied Mr. Gallon in nearly all his 
Border otter-hunting excursions. He describes him as 
the model otter-hunter, a man of undaunted courage, a 
veteran in the hunt, and a thorough gentleman in manner. 
For my own part, I don't think Mr. Gallon could swim a 
stroke, but when the otter was afoot and the hounds 
were in full cry, I have seen him plunge into 
the deepest pool, and he appeared to keep himself 
afloat by the aid of a long pole. Scorning the 
use of the spear, he would tail the otter in the centre of 
the pack, and, amid the cheers of his followers, bring the 
prize to land, and in fair combat try the courage of some 
favourite terrier. Long will our Border sportsmen hold 
in remembrance the name of the gallant sportsman who 
lies interred in Elsdon Churchyard, near Otterburn ! 
The following lines were written by Mr. James Arm- 
strong, author of " The Wild Hills of Wanny " : 

Some sing of bold Napoleon, that man of warlike name. 
Of Wallace, Bruce, and Wellington, all heroes of great 

fame ; 

Ye otter-hunters, one and all, in chorus join with me. 
And we will of John Gallon sing, in numbers wild and 


Although John Gallon is no more, yet of him 
we will sing, 

That eallant sportsman to the core, the otter- 
hunter king. 

Norlhumbria's brave and dauntless son so gaily takes his 


To hunt the Lugar's fatal stream, at the first break of day. 
With Starlight, Hopwood, Ringwoodj.too, those hounds of 

glorious fame, 
When Ormidale and Waterloo the otter's drag proclaim. 

Through shaggy cleugh, by willow stump, they hunt each 

hover true, 

Old Wellington and Mitford still the wily game pursue ; 
The music of each favourite hound the sleeping otter 

wakes ; 
He dives and tries his wildest shifts as his dark path he 


The sportsmen all join in the hunt. See where the bells 

they rise ! 
The otter's up and breathes ! Hurrah ! The cheers they 

reach the skies. 
He's down again, and down the stream, by rugged rock 

and scaur, 
The gallant pack pursue their game in imag'ry of war. 

Through darksome cleft, by thundering linn, are hounds 

and otter gone ; 

John Gallon, too, so bold and true, to follow him not one. 
But, oh ! in deep and treacherous pool, unseen to mortal 

He's down, the daring hunter brave, he's down no more to 

rise ! 

No more we'll hear his cheery voice, so early in the morn, 
No more he'll wake the echoes wild, or wind his bugle 

horn ; 
No more the sportsmen of the North, with Gallon will 

To hunt the otter in the streams of Wansbeck, Reed, and 


OTTEB-HUNTEK, Wellington. 

YKES'S "Local Records," under the date 
September 16th, 1694, states that the following 
entry is said to have been found at Durham : 
" Lord Atkinson, of Cannyside Wood, was killed by 
Ralph Maddison, of Shotley Bridge. He was after- 
wards hanged for the murder." Lord would seem to be a 
mistake for Laird, the Northumbrian and Cumbrian 
as well as Scotch term for a proprietor of land, how- 
ever small his estate, and whatever its tenure, while 
Cannyside may have been Consido or Consett, which 
name is said to be a corruption of Conkesheved. 
Ralph Maddison, who was the laird's murderer, and who 
suffered the last penalty of the law for the deed, was one 
of those turbulent characters to whom the unsettled con- 
dition of the North of England for centuries previous to- 
the union with Scotland had given birth. The end of his 
career was quite in keeping with its whole tenor. Behind 
his back he was never called by his Christian name, but 
was dubbed by common consent "Mad Maddison." Most 
of his pranks were played for the pure fun of the thing, 
but in many of them he displayed what may be termed 
Satanic malevolence. He lived, we are told, immediately 
opposite the village of Shotley Bridge, on the Northum- 
berland bank of the Derwent, at the confluence of the 
Rothley Burn, in a plain, good house, which stood where 
the offices attached to Shotley Hall now stand. He had 
considerable estates in the neighbourhood, and officiated 
for some time as a sort of warden of the district. A 
worse choice for such an office could scarcely be imagined ; 
for old and young, male and female, who were forced to 
go near his residence, or any place he was accustomed to 
frequent, were in more or less fear and dread of him. 

One of the fords across the Derwent, near Shotley, is 
said to have been the scene of a characteristic exploit of 
his. The river was flooded one day from heavy rains, but 
still not so high as to be impassable on horseback. Mad- 
dison, on coming down to ride across, found standing on. 
the bank an old woman, who was very anxious to get over 
the Htream, but saw it would be madness to attempt it by 
wading. Tho bridge was a good way round about, and 
she was in a hurry. Maddison, after hearing her story, 
volunteered to take her across behind him, if she durst 
trust herself on his spirited nag's back. The woman was 
very willing to do so, saying she was very glad to have 
met with such a "canny man," and adding that she had 
been much afraid of meeting Mad Maddiion, whom, it 
appears, she had often heard of, but never seen. The 
" canny man" got her mounted on the crupper, and 
plunged into the river. But when he reached the middle, 
he pushed her off into the flood, and, laughing heartily, 
like a genuine water kelpy, left her to sink or swim. The 
poor creature was carried a long way down, but providen- 
tially gained the shore. That she was not drowned out- 
right and her corpse carried down to Derwenthaugh, was. 
no thanks to MaJ Maddison. 

April, 1 
1887. / 



Another form which his madness took was to plague 
the neighbouring lairds and tenants by overturning their 
stacks of hay and corn in the night, especially if it was 
likely to rain, or if the wind blew very strong. One old 
man, whom he had often annoyed in this way, foiled his 
malevolence one season by building his stack round the 
stump of an ash tree. Maddison, who was not aware of 
this, came one dark night to " coup ower " the old man's 
rick, but found that it resisted his utmost strength. 
Dare-devil though he was, he was very superstitious, and 
so, after repeated attempts made to no purpose, he con- 
cluded there was some witchcraft in the case, and " ran 
away in great fear." 

On another occasion, seeing two webs of linen laid 
out to bleach, he went deliberately past the woman who 
owned them, lifted one of the webs, and was carrying it 
off. The woman had the hardihood to protest that he 
would have to pay dearly some day for what he was 
doing, whereupon Maddison seized the other, saying, 
with an oath, '' Then I will have both, for it is as 
well to hang for a hog as a halfpenny." And away he 
strode with them. 

The common failing of the village lairds in those days 
was addiction to the bottle. Their leisure hours, which 
were many, were commonly spent in the ale-house. 
Almost every night, most of them went to bed more or 
less muddled, and sorely needed next morning a hair 
of the dog that had bitten them. Joviality, degenerating 
into senseless brawling, rude hectoring, and outright 
homicide occasionally, was a prominent feature of country 
life under the Merry Monarch, and for a long time after- 
wards. Mad Maddison was, of course, one of the fore- 
most among the Derwentwater royster-doysters. He was 
"sudden and quick in quarrel." He had never been 
taught, and had never even tried, to govern his temper 
or curb his humour. While he was yet a boy, his father. 
instead of taking the least pains to "mould the coinage 
of his fevered brain," chuckled at his mischievous tricks, 
his habitual disobedience to his mother, his pert and 
saucy stable-boy insolence to the servants, his wild horse- 
play with other and less robust youths in short, did all 
he could to spoil him. And as he grew up to manhood, 
he grew, not in grace, but in gracelessness. So that when 
men talked of him they shook their heads, and whispered 
one another in the ear, the hearers making " fearful 
action with wrinkled brows, with nods, with rolling 
eyes," as Shakspeare gays of threatening news-bearers 
and their terrified auditors. He had " no leaning on the 
prudent side." In him, every inch that was not fool was 
rogue. To use the words of Dryden, the midwife might 
have laid her hand on his thick skull, when she brought 
him into the world, with this prophetic blessing : 

Be thou dull ; 

Drink, wear, and roar; forbear no lewd delight 
Fit for thy bulk. 

There was no pause in his career of wickedness, and 
the discretion was not in him to spare his own kith 
and kin, or those who were nearest and should have 

been dearest to him. Thus, one time when his son-in- 
law and himself had been indulging freely in the 
bridge-end public-house at Shotley, and the former, 
who had the weaker stomach and head of the two for 
carrying strong drink, had got unsteady on his legs 
and faltering in his speech, Maddison proposed that 
they should go home, and that he would himself walk 
while the other should ride. So his own wild horse, a 
gallant dapple grey, the swiftest ever known in the 
country round, and of particularly high temper, having 
been brought out, he set his poor, helpless son-in-law 
on the impatient beast's back, with his face to the tail, 
and put a bunch of thorns where they made the horse 
frantic. The infuriated animal darted across the river, 
with its rider clinging like grim Death instinctively to 
its back, and, instead of making for Shotley Hall, it 
galloped right away past Black Hedley, near which 
place it threw and killed the unfortunate man. 

The widow, who is said to have been a beautiful 
woman of great talent, having thought proper to marry 
again, her father attempted the life of her second 
husband by shooting, either because he did not approve 
of the match or out of some sudden passionate freak. 

The reprobate was hauled up at last for a murder most 
likely committed under the influence of drink. The 
scene of the catastrophe was probably the bridge end 
ale-house, though that is uncertain. About Laird Atkin- 
son, Maddison's victim, tradition has handed down 
nothing, except only his place of residence, and that but 
approximately. Whether he was a quiet, inoffensive man, 
on whom the bully had managed to fasten a quarrel, or 
a rude, drunken fellow like himself, can never be known. 
But, at any rate, he fell dead under the madman's hand. 

No constable or county-keeper daring to beard him in 
his den, and, Maddison loudly declaring that he would 
shoot any man that ventured to come near with a magis- 
terial warrant to take him, a troop of soldiers was sent to 
protect the civil power. Hearing this, the fellow took 
to flight. His horse happened to be grazing in a field 
occupied by one of his tenants. He made his way 
thither as fast as he could, and, getting the nag saddled 
and bridled, away he darted up the road towards Eddy's 
Bridge, contident he would get clear off into the Cumber- 
land wastes. But on entering Muggleswick Park, his 
long-tried horse refused, for the first time, to answer 
either spur or rein. Finding he could not get the horse 
to proceed, he dismounted, and fled into the neigh- 
bouring wood, hoping to conceal himself there. But the 
soldiers, after much search, found him ensconsed in a 
large yew tree, from which they dragged him forthwith, 
and carried him bound to Durham, where, at the ensuing 
assizes, he was tried, found guilty, and sentenced to 
death, which sentence was duly executed. 

" Mad Maddison will catch you !" " Mad Maddison, 
come and take the naughty bairn !" these were among 
the exclamations that were long beard on the banks of the 
Derwent, uttered to frighten froward children. 




JJHE Black Gate, tbe principal entrance to the 
Castle of Newcastle-on-Tyne, was built by 
King Henry III. in 1248, about seventy 
years alter the completion of the keep and other 
parts of the fortress by Henry II. It still stands, at 
least the lower part of it, a splendid specimen of the 
beautiful architecture of the age which produced it. The 
upper portion, the work of later times, is scarcely less 
interesting, telling, as it dues, the story of the varied for- 
tunes of the gateway after the close of its military career. 
In its original condition it must have formed a noble 
spectacle, as pleasing to the 
eyes of its friends as it 
was formidable to those of 
its foes. 

Around the platform of 
the castle, an area of three 
acres, the enclosing curtain 
wall was drawn, with gates 
and posterns at various 
points, and here, at the 
imrthern angle, towered up 
the massive form of the 
main gateway, known in 
later days as the Black 
Gate. Outside the wall on 
this side was a fosse or 
moat, and access to the 
gate was by a drawbridge, 
defended by a barbican. 
impregnable we may well 
consider this entrance to 
have been. Say that an 
enemy had forced the bar- 
bican, driving back its de- 
fenders, and had crossed 
with them the drawbridge 
before it could be hoisted, 
there were the two port- 
cullises of the main gate 
to bar his further way, 
while the defenders hurled 
down upon him, through 
the openings for the pur- 
pose in the vaulted arch 
above, the heavy missiles 
or molten lead held in re- 
serve for such emergency. 
Even could he have passed 
the portcullises, and pene- 
trated the curved way, with 
high massive walls on 
either side, be would have 
come upon another Rate- 

way to be carried before he found himself within the 
cast'.e yard. 

This second gateway stood at the further end of the 
present narrow curved street within the Black Gate the 
street is commonly called the Castle Garth but no trace of 
the gateway now exists. On either side of it stood one of 
the castle prisons. That on the north-east side was called 
the " Great Pit " ; that on the opposite side the " Heron 
Pit." There is some interesting information concerning 
the prices of material and the wages of working men of 
the period in the accounts of repairs to these prisons 
in the reign of Edward III. Candles, we learn, were IJd. 
per pound; "trees of great timber," for joists, were 2s. ; 
and great trees of 44ft., for sills, were 3s. 4d. each. " Est- 


April, 1887.] 







landbord " (Baltic timber), for flooring, was 3d. per piece. 
The blacksmith received (id. per stone for working 
Spanish iron, bought of Adam Kirkharle, into bolts, 
bands, crooks, staples, manacles, and fittings for the 
stocks. Carpenters' and masons' wages were 2s. 6d. per 
week in November, reduced to 2s. Id. in March ; 
labourers received Is. 9d. per week in the former, reduced 
to Is. Gd. in the latter month. The timber was bought of 
John Wodseller, and was landed at Gaolegrip (now the 
Javel Group) in the Close. Sand was brought from the 
Sandgate, and lime from the " lyme-kilnes," and both 
were led by "Adam the lym-leder." 

After the completion of this work, there is very little 
mention in history of the Black Gate until the reign of 
James I. By this timo the whole castle had fallen 
into a miserable state of dilapidation. The only houses 
in the castle yard were a herald's house, the gaoler's 
house, and two houses near the Black Gate. The keep 
was used as a prison, " wherein," as a grant of King 
James puts it, "is kept the sons of Belial." One Master 
Alexander Stevenson, a papre of the king's bedchamber 
and " a Scottish man," we are told, " begged the castle 
of the king," and obtained a lease of it, with the 
exception of the keep and Moot Hall, for fifty years at 
forty shillings rent. He began to build, upon the ruins 
of the Black Gate, the upper portiwn with the 
square mullioned windows still to be seen, and 
the building was completed by one Pickle, who 
kept a tavern in the Gate House. Jordan, a Scotch- 
man, and a sword-slipper to trade, built a house on the 
south side of the gate, and Thomas Reed, a Scotch pedlar, 
took a shop on the north side. Soon the vicinity of the 
Castle Gartli became a thriving business place, principally 
inhabited by tailors and shoemakers, as it continued 
down to quite recent days. On Stevenson's death, his 
uncompleted lease came into the possession of one Patrick 
Black, and it is from him that the gateway probably 
derives its name. 

In 1732, the Black Gate had again fallen into a state of 
great decay, caused by the neglect of the Newcastle 
Corporation, which had, after many attempts, obtained a 
lease of the Caetle Garth. This lease came to an end 
in the year named, and another was 1 granted to 
Colonel George Liddell, afterwards Lord; Ravens- 
worth. In 1739, part of Stevenson's work, on the 
eastern side of the gate, fell with a great crash, and 
was re-built in a mean way with brickwork. From this 
time the building seems to have been let off in tene- 
ments, and to have gradually fallen into the wretched 
state in which it remained until 1884, when the New- 
castle Society of Antiquaries restored it and adapted it 
for use as a museum. Our illustrations show it as it 
appeared before and after this restoration. 

A visit to the Black Gate is a rare treat to those who 
delight in relics of past times. The outside aspect of 
the ancient tower is full of interest. There before us 
we still see the work of Edward III. ; then above that 

the portions added by Masters Stevenson and Pickle - r 
the whole surmounted by the red-tiled roof sa 
judiciously added by the Antiquaries. Under the 
archway we see the beautiful trefoil arcades, and the 
vaulted chamber on either side. Then, inside, there is 
glorious store of antique wealth. Relics of all periods, 
from the Stone Age to the age of tinder boxes and 
sulphur matches, are here gathered together. Roman 
altars and inscribed stones, with which, by means of 
drawings, scholars in all parts of the world are familiar, 
and which they would sacrifice much to look upon in 
their reality, stand here, close by the very doors of the 
people of Newcastle. Verily the Black Gate is " rich, 
with the spoils of time." R. J. C. 

23irttoiu(We OTicftt 

||HE subject of this song, or rather ballad,. 
which is supposed to have been written by 
Mr. Robert Surtees, the historian of Durham, 
is said to have been Andro <>' the Birtwliistle, who 
flourished in the reign of Henry VII., and was one of 
the most noted mosstroopers of his time. According 
to popular tradition, he was a man as famed for gallantry 
with the fair sex as for successful raiding and foraging ; 
and he was so fortunate in It is wild vocation as to 
escape all the wardens and country-keepers on both 
sides of the Border ; so that be died at last, well 
stricken in years, " in his awn hoose at hyem," and left 
behind him a numerous hopeful progeny, to walk, as far 
as circumstances permitted, in their father's footsteps. 

I rede ye tak tent o' the Birtwhistle wicht ; 

He forays by day, and he raids by the nicht ; 

He cares na for warden, for baillie, or reeve : 

Ye may post him at kirk, and he'll laugh in his sleeve ; 

He'd harry, tho' Hairibee tree* were in sictit, 

So daring'a chiel is the Birtwhistle wicht ! 

The Tyne and the Tarras, the Tweed and the Till, 
They never could stop him, and, troth ! never will ; 
At the mirk hour o' midnicbt, he'll cross the dark fen ; 
He knows every windin' o' valley and glen ; 
Unscathed he can roam, tho' na star shed its licht. 
For wba wad dare question the Birtwhistle wicht : 

The proud Lord o' Dilstont has deer in his park ; 
He has keepers to watch them, and ban-dogs J to bark ; 
The Baron o' Thirlwall has owsen and kye, 
And auld Gaffer Featherstone's If pigs i' the stye 
The priest canna claim them or tytne them of richt, 
But they a' will pay ty the to the Birtwbistle wicbt. 

* Hairibee, or Harraby Hill, about a mile and a half south by 
east of Carlisle, was the site of the gallows upon which, in the good 
old times, ' hundreds of lewed, disorderlie, and lawlesse persons, 
commonlye called moss-troopers," had the ill-luck to be "justi- 
fied," after reciting their " neck-verae," with the assistance of a 

t The ancestor of the Earls of Derwentwater, Sir Edward Rat- 
cliffe, who, by his marriage with Joanna Claxton, daughter of Sir 
Robert Claxton, got possession of the Dilston, Wittpnstall, and 
other estates in Northumberland, adding them to his ancestral 
domain of Derwentwater in Cumberland. 

t The ban-dogs he kept in his castle were a large, fierce kind, 
kept chained by day and let loose at night, and, when taken out by 
th keeper, held by a learn or band whence the name. 

Thirlwall o! that ilk, on the Tippal Burn, near Gilsland. 

"j Feathergtuiiehaugh of Feathentone Castle. 


il, \ 
. / 



The Prior o' Brinkburn is telling his 1 > ad.s ; 

He patters his avrn, and mutters his creeds ; 

At each pause o' the choir he starts when the breeze 

Booms its dirge thro' the tower, or sichs through the 

trees ; 

He prays to the Virgin to shield him thro' nicht. 
From the powers o' Hell and the Birtwhistle wicht ! 

Fair lasses o' Cheviot, he bodes ye na gude ; 
He'll ne'er kneel at altar, nor bow to the roode, 
But tell ye your eyne ha' the gowan's bright sheen, 

The whiles he's preparin' your mantles o' green 

He'll grieve ye and leave ye, alas, for the plioht ! 

For reckless in love is the Birtwhistle wicht. 

O ! gin he were ta'en to the Hairibee tree, 

There'd be starers and gazers of every degree ; 

There'd be shepherds from shielings arid knichts from 

their ha's, 

And his neck-verse would gain him unbounded applause : 
But it's na in a hurry ye'll witness that sicht, 
For wary and 'cute is the Birtwhistle wicht. 

JUch.arb S 



Amongst the notable men who, after the Saxon conquest 
of Britain, strove to fan the nickering embers of 
Christianity into a lively flame, history assigns a high 
place to Wilfrid, priest and bishop, founder of the church 
and monastery of Hexham. Ambitious and darine, Wil- 
frid fought vieorously for the faith that was in him, 
sparing in his schemes of church extension and aggrandise- 
ment neither king nor noble, prelate nor patrician. 
Living in a time of widespread dissension, his career was 
one of great vicissitude, and his fortunes rose and fell 
like the tide that beat upon the shores of his native 
Northumbria. A few men, earnest and self-denying sons 
of the Church, merging their individuality in his pre- 
eminent genius, remained faithful to him in all the fluctua- 
tions of his life. Of them was Aoca, a priest, whose 
youth had been spent in the household of Bosa, supplanter 
of Wilfrid in the bishopric of York. Identifying himself 
with the cause which Wilfrid had at heart, Acca accom- 
panied his friend and patron throughout his mid-life 
wanderings. At Rome, whither Wilfrid journeyed twice 
to plead his cause with the Pope, Acca was his faithful 
coadjutor, living with him there on the last occasion for 
thirteen years. When, in his old age, the victorious pre- 
late returned to his restored bishopric of Hexham, Acca 
settled with him on the banks of the Tyne, and assisted 
him in his administration of the see. So they continued 
until, in October, 709, death divided them. Acca succeeded 
his patron in the episcopal chair of Hexham, and entered 
into possession of the fruitful lands through which the 
Devil's Water and the Allen on the one side, and the 
North Tyne on the other, join the greater river in its 
journey towards the sea. 

The Venerable Bede, who compiled his " Ecclesiastical 
History " at Jarrow during Acca's episcopate, writes 
lovingly of his diocesan, with whom he seems to have been 

personally and familiarly acquainted. He describes him 
as a most active administrator, "great in the sight of 
God and man ; most learned in Holy Writ, most pure 
in the confession of the Catholic faith, and most observ- 
ant in the rules of ecclesiastical institution." Imbued 
with the spirit of his departed master, Acca spared no 
pains to adorn and beautify the edifice which the master 
had created. He made it his business, Bede tells us, to- 
procure relics of the blessed apostles and martyrs from all 
parts, and to place them upon altars divided by arches in 
the walls of his church, and " industriously provided 
holy vessels, lights, and such like things as appertain 
to the adorning of the house of God." And being a 
scholarly man, desirous to encourage learning, stimulated 
thereto perhaps by Bede himself, he gathered together the 
histories of holy men and of their sufferings, and with 
them and other ecclesiastical writings created a " most 
numerous and noble library." Himself an "expert 
singer," he endeavoured to improve the services of the 
church by introducing at Hexham the solemn and stately 
tones of Pope Gregory. To that end he invited "a cele- 
brated singer, called Maban, who had been taught to sing 
by the successors of the disciples of the blessed Gregory 
in Kent, for him to instruct himself and his clergy, and 
kept him twelve years to teach such ecclesiastical songs 
as were not known, and to restore those to their former 
state which were corrupted either by want of use or 
through neglect." 

To Acca, Bede dedicated his " Hexameron" and his 
" Commentary on St. Mark's Gospel >: ; to him also he ad- 
dressed a poem on the Day of Judgment. The commentary 
was written at Acca's suggestion, as was also- 
a similar treatise on Luke. Bede was re- 
luctant to undertake this last-named work, because 
St. Ambrose had written on the subject before 
him, whereupon Acca wrote to him a friendly remon- 
strance, exhorting him to proceed, and authorising him 




to affix the hortatory epistle to his book. Bede's modesty 
yielded to the scholarly and genial appeal of his bishop, 
and in due time Acca was able to include St. Luke's 
Gospel among the series of commentaries from Jarrow 
that enriched his Hexham library. 

The lines fell to Acca in pleasant places, and he had 
a goodly heritage. The turbulence and disquietude which 
marked Wilfrid's tenure of office had passed away, and 
he governed Hexham in peace. For twenty -four years he 
held the see, and then, for some reason which has never 
been explained, was deprived of his office. It is remark- 
able that Bede, who lived for two years afterwards, does 
not record the circumstances under which Acca was 
superseded. Nor is the " Anglo-Saxon Chronicle " much 
more communicative. The events of the year 733, in 
which his deprivation occurred, are summarised in that 
document with tantalising brevity: "This year Ethel- 
bald conquered Soinerton, and the sun was eclipsed, and 
the whole disc of the sun was like a black shield. And 
Acca was driven from his bishopric." Prior Richard, who 
wrote a history of the church at Hexham, is scarcely leas 
laconic. He records the fact that Acca was expelled 
[furjatus est], and adds nothing but a vague traditiou that 
the bishop went from Hexham to re-establish the 
see of Whithern, in Galloway. That he was not in 
disgrace may be inferred from the reverence paid to 
his remruus, when, on the 19th of September, seven years 
afler his deprivation, he was summoned to his reward. 
His body was brought to the church he had helped to 
build and beautify, and at the eastern end, "adjoining 
his sanctuary," was reverently interred. In memory of 
him the mourning monks set up t\vo stone crosses, 
" wondrously carred" one at his feet and the other at 
his head, the latter bearing an inscription indicating that 
in that place he was buried. A beautifully floriated lintel 
at Dilston, and a similar stone found some years ago in the 
chancel at Hexham, are supposed to have formed part of 
tha memorial crosses which told the pilgrim and the 
Etranger where the friend of Bede and Wilfrid lay. 

The silent flight of Time hath home 

Lonjf centuries of years away, 

Since Acca sang his dying lay, 

And monks their pastor's parting wept 

His parting for celestial plains, 
Which, if more fair than those outspread 
On every side where'er we tread, 
How glorious thy unseen domains. 

James Clephan. 

Acca had lived the life of a saint, and in due time his 
name was entered in the calendar. Three hundred years 
after his death hii tomb was opened, and portions of the 
linen in which he had been buried, " clean and incorrupt" 
as on the day when they were wound round his corpse, 
were taken to Durham and devoutly preserved. In the 
wide territories which he had ruled so well, the fame of 
St. Acca ranked with that of Aidan and Cuthbert, 
Wilfrid and Bede. Miracles were wrought by his relics, 
his intercession was invoked by the faithful far ind near, 

and children received his name in baptism. For many 
centuries the 19th of February St. Acca's Day was ob- 
served as a great festival in the diocese of Hexham, and 
throughout the North Humber land. 


At the close of the eleventh century the ruined abbey 
of Hexham was in the hands of a race of hereditary pro- 
vosts and priests the former superintending the lands, 
and the latter the ordinances of the church. The last of 
these priests was Eilaf (son of Eilaf, surnamed Larwa), 
who succeeded his father somewhere about the year 1090. 
He was a man of energy and resolution, and devoted the 
first years of his control to restore, as far as possible, what 
remained of Wilfrid's beautiful edifice. We read that he 
covered the whole church with tiles, whitewashed the 
walls, renewed the mural paintings, laid down a pavement 
at the east end, on which an altar was set up, and pre- 
pared a shrine to receive the relics of the saints of Hex- 
ham Acca, Alchmund, and Eata which, through all the 
disasters of the church, had been carefully preserved. 

To Eilaf three sons were born, one ef whom was 
destined to become famous in the religious life of his 
country. Brought up among the ruins of Hexham, filled 
with the history and traditions, the glories and disasters of 
that sacred pile, the boy Eldred was imbued with a love of 
the religious life which never deserted him. His father did 
not foster his yearnings, but sent him to be a member of 
the suite of Prince David, afterwards King of Scotland. 
At the Scottish court his promotion was rapid, and 
he was raised, it is said, to the exalted position of High 
Steward of the Household. But in time the gaieties of 
the court wearied him, and his heart turned towards the 
solace of the cloister. Leaving his royal master and the 
court of Dunfermline, and crossing his native county and 
the bishopric, he entered the newly-founded Cistercian 
Abbey of Rievaulx, in the North Riding of Yorkshire. 
There Eldred the courtier became Aelred the novice, and 
conformed to the austerities of the order with the zeal of 
a convert and the devotion of a saint. 

Eilaf had surrendered Hoxham to Augustinian canons 
appointed by Thurstan, Archbishop of York, and in 1138 
lay on his death-bed at Durham. Aelred was there and 
assisted his father through the dark valley. Perhaps he 
revisited the scenes of his infancy on the Tyne, and renewed 
the friendships of childhood among the cells of Hexbam. 
Be that as it may, we hear little of him during his early 
career at Rievaulx. But in 1143, being then thirty-four 
years of age, he went with eleven brethren to Revesby, in 
the Lincolnshire fens, to establish another society an 
offshoot of the Yorkshire foundation. He headed the 
colony, and the brethren made him their first abbot. 
When he had held this honourable office a couple of 
years, his old superior, the Abbot of Rievaulx, died. The 
brethren selected a successor from among their number, 

April, \ 
1887. / 



who soon resigned his office. Then, with one consent, 
they sent for Aelred, and elected him to reign over 
them Aelred, Abbot of Kievaulx. 

In the new and exalted position to which he had 
attained the mental energy and physical endurance which 
marked Aelred's life as courtier and as novice found 
abundant scope. He travelled far and wide, at home 
and abroad, spreading the principles of his order, and 
labouring to strengthen the faith of his fathers among 
men and in the hearts of the rulers of men. What 
Bernard was to France, that was Aelred, while his 
strength lasted, to England ; for, afflicted by a distress- 
ing malady, his life had no late ending. All too soon 
the time came when the weak flesh could not respond to 
the calls of the willing spirit. In 1166 he passed 
away, and the Church, whose devoted servant he had 
been, perpetuated hia good name and godly life by 

Aelred compiled several biographical and devotional 
works : " The Mirror of Charity," " Lives of the Kings 
of England," " Life of St. Edward the Confessor," 
"Life of St. Margaret," "Life of St. Ninian," "The 
Battle of the Standard," ''The Life of King David," 
and " Miracles Wrought by the Saints of Hexham." 
This latter, the most interesting, locally, of all 
hia writings, i reprinted by Dr. Raina in vol. i. 
of "The Priory of Hexham." ,The learned doc- 
tor describes the work as faulty and confusing in 
arrangement, and turgid and weak in style, but excuses 
these defects by explaining that it was the author's 
intention to make it partly an historical document, 
partly a record of the miracles of the saints of Hex- 
ham church. " The miracles," he adds, " are derived 
from some legend that was preserved at Hexham, and 
seem to be merely re-cast in a new shape, to the intent 
that they might be perused by the convent. And when 
the canons heard the wondrous narrative recited to them, 
some, if not all, would call to mind with pride and gratifi- 
cation how, before the day of their own learned priors, 
Aelred of Rievaulx had lived and prayed within those 
walls, and that it was from the pen of an aged 
Ciatercian abbot that the praises of their beloved saints 
had come." 


When, after the battle of Havenfelth, or Heavenfield, 
near Hexham, in the year 633, Oswald came to the throne 
of the Northumbrian Provinces of Bernicia and Deira, 
he determined to encourage Christianity among his 
people, and to spread a knowledge of it* advantages in 
those parts of his dominions to which it had not before 
penetrated. While in banishment across the Border he 
had been baptised, and, now that he needed help in con- 
verting his subjects, he sent to Donald, King of Scotland, 
for a missionary. Donald sent him Gorman, a monk of 

lona very learned and very pious ; but Gorman made no 
impression upon his hearers, and gave up the task in dis- 
gust. He returned to lona and reported to the assembled 
brethren the failure of his mission. The Northumbrians, 
he said, were so ignorant as to be incapable of compre- 
hending Christianity, and their habits were so inveterate 
that even if they had made greater progress in civilization 
they would probably reject the leading precepts of the 
Gospel with contempt. There was present in the conclave 
a monk named Aidan, who did not endorse all that Cor- 
man reported of these benighted people, who thought that 
the preaching of the baffled missionary might not have 
been simple enough for them, and who had the courage to 
stand up and say so. His words made an impression 
upon his brethren, and they unanimously agreed that he 
should be sent to resume the work which Gorman had 
abandoned. Invested with the office and dignity of a 
bishop, Aidan left lona and sought the court of King 

On the arrival of Aidan in Northumbria, "the king ap- 
pointed him his episcopal see in the isle of Lindisfarne as 
he desired, which place, as the tido Hows and ebbs twice 
a day, is enclosed by the waves of the sea like an island, 
and again twice in the day when the shore is left dry be- 
comes contiguous to the land." Lmdisfarne, no doubt, 
attracted Aidan by its resemblance to lona, by its security, 
and by its contiguity to the royal castle of Bamborough. 
Oswald assisted heartily in Aidan's enterprise, conde- 
scending even to interpret for the benefit of the people the 
bishop's Scottish dialnct. Aidan on his part laboured 
earnestly to win the hearts and touch the consciences of 
the scarce-reclaimed savages he had undertaken to teach, 
and, if possible, to save. Bode writes of him that "He 
was wont to traverse both town and country on foot, 
never on horseback, unless compelled by some urgent 
necessity ; and whenever in his way he saw any, either 
rich or poor, ho invited them, if infidels, to embrace 
the mystery of the faith, or, if they were believers, 
to strengthen them in the faith, and to stir them up by 
words and actions to alms and good works. All those 
who bore him company, whether they were shorn monks 
or laymen, were employed in meditation, that is, either in 
reading the Scriptures or learning psalms. If it happened, 
which was but seldom, that he was invited to eat with the 
king, ho went with one or two clerks, and, having taken a 
small repast, made haste to be gone with them either to 
read or write." 

In Aidan's hands the work prospered. Assistance came 
from Scotland, and soon he was surrounded by a 
goodly band of missionaries, earnest and self- 
denying men like himself. Northumbrian stubbornness 
was subdued by the patience and kindness of the new 
teachers. The message which the strangers brought was 
believed. Young and old were received into the Church 
by baptism, and the joys of marriage and the solemni- 
ties of death were celebrated with Christian rites. 
Churches were built and monasteries were founded, and 



( April. 

to each of theso latter a school was attached to provide a 
succession of priests and teachers. Aidan and his col- 
leagues gave their spare time to the education of native 
youth for the ministry, and among those whom they 
taught were some who rose to eminence notably Eata, 
who became the first native Bishop of Lindisfarne, and 
Chad, successively Bishop of York and Lichfield. 

For eight years after Aidan came to Lindiifarne there 
was peace in Northumbria. Then Penda, King of Mercia, 
invaded Oswald's territories, and, in revenging the insult, 
Oswald was slain. His death led to a division of the 
Northern kingdom. Oswy, his brother-in-law, reigned in 
Bernicia, and Deira was governed by Oswin, son of 
Osric, a former king of the province. Very soon they 
quarrelled, and Oswin, whose cause Aidan supported, was 
assassinated. Aidan was at Bamborough when the evil 
tidings came to him. Stunned by the loss of his patron, 
he sickened, and in a hut at the west end of Bamboroueh 
Church, on the 31st of August, 651, in the seventeenth 
year of his episcopate, and only twelve days after Oswin's 
murder, he disd. His body was taken to Lindiafarue and 
buried, first in the cemetery of the monastery, and after- 
wards in the church on the right side of the altar. He 
was canonized in due course, and, in the opinion of Dr. 
Raine, who, in the "History of North Durham," has 
written a graphic account of his life and labours, 
the calendar bears not upon its page the name of a 
brighter saint than that of Aidan, the first Bishop of 


ESSRS. Bolckow, Vaughan, find Co., in boring 
for water, at Middlesbrough, first discovered 
salt in 18G2. They tried to win the salt by 
sinking a shaft ; but, finding the expenditure larger than 
they expected, they finally abandoned the experiment. 
In 1374, Messrs. Bell Brothers, on the opposite side of 
the river Tees, sank a bore-hole for the purpose of ascer- 
taining whether the salt extended to their premises. They 
found a bed of rock-salt, 65 feet thick, at a depth of 1,127 
feet, or about 80 feet less deep than Messrs. Bolckow, 
Vaughan, and Co. had found it. For some reason or other, 
probably expense, the matter remained in abeyance till 
1881, when a member of the firm of Messrs. Bell Brothers 
suggested the present mode of winning the salt. It was 
afterwards discovered that the same method was being 
adopted in France. 

A bore-hole is sunk, and lined with iron tubing, down to 
the bottom of the bed of salt. That part of the tubing 
which penetrates the salt is pierced with holes. An inner 
tube is then put down, and pierced with holes only near 
the bottom. Fresh water is sent down the space formed 
between the outer and inner tubes, and finds its way, 
through the boles, to the rock salt, which it converts 
into brine. The brine is raised by a pump, through the 

inner tube, from the bottom of the bole. It is then con- 
veyed in pipes to large salt pang, where the moisture is 
evaporated by firing, and partly, in the case of Messrs. 
Bell Brothers, by wate gases from the blast furnaces. 

There are now four firms producing salt on the north 
side of the Tecs. Messrs. Bolckow, Vaughan, and Co., 
following the example of Messrs. Bell Brothers, are th only 
firm producing it on the touth side. The greater part of 
the salt.produced is used by chemical works on the Tyne ; 
but one of the firms on the north side of the river makes 
dometic and other kinds of salt. The present total out- 
pat of the district approaches 3,000 tons weekly. 

J. R. S., Middlesbrough. 

(]HE number of Catholics who suffered death 
for their religion, in Durham and Northum- 
berland, during Elizabeth's sway, is put 
down at 13 ; while throughout England, from 1577 
to 1U03, no less than 124 priests and 57 laymen and 
women fell victims to the Act which was passed in 
the 27th year of the Queen's reign, forbidding, under 
pain of death, any priests made by Roman authority 
to come over into England or remain here. Thus, 
on May 27th, 1590, Richard Hill, John Hagg, and 
Richard Holyday, all natives of Yorkshire, and Edmund 
Duke, born in Kent the four being Roman Catholic 
priests were all executed at Durham. And according to 
the Durham historians, on the 27th July 1593, Joseph 
Lampton or Lambton, a member of the family at South 
Biddick, suffered likewise in defence of his religion during 
Queen Elizabeth's attempt to extirpate the Catholic 
priesthood from the land. 

This gentleman was of a family distinct from the 
Lambtons of Lambton, on the north side of the Wear, 
though apparently sprung from a branch of the latter, 
who anciently spelt their name Lampton. Joseph Lamp- 
ton was educated at the college at Rheims, whence he 
went to the English college at Rome in 1589. Being 
ordained a priest, he was sent to England, where he was 
immediately apprehended, tried, and condemned. He 
suffered at N ;wcastle in the flower of his age, and in sight 
of his friends and relatives. Being cut down alive, a felon 
attempted to rip him up, but his heart so failed him that 
oven this wretch preferred to die rather than proceed in 
the barbarous operation. A butcher from the neighbour- 
ing village was then prevailed upon by the Sheriff to 
execute the cruel sentence. An account of the martyr- 
dom ot Joseph Lampton is to be found in the " Memoirs 
of Missionary Priests," by Bishop Challoner, vol. i., page 

Mary Lambton, only daughter and heiress of 
Nicholas Lambton, was the last of the family of the 
martyred priest who enjoyed the South Biddick estate. 
She left it, and other considerable property, by will, to 

Arril, \ 
1887. / 



John Dawson, who had been in her service, and who 
afterwards assumed the name of Dawson Lambton, and 
had a grant of arms. The estate was sold by auction 
to the Marquis of Londonderry, who afterwards disposed 
of the hall and lands to the Lambtons of Lambton. 

The village of South Biddick, I may add, was for- 
merly inhabited by banditti, who set all authority at de- 
fiance. The officers of Excise were afraid to survey 
the two public-houses, unless protected by some of the 
most daring of the colliers, who were always well rewarded 
for their trouble. There were in the village about ten 
shops or houses where contraband spirits were publicly 
sold without any license. The press gang were at one 
time beaten out of the place with the loss of two men, 
and never more were known to enter into it. If the gang 
were known to be approaching, the " Biddickers" used 
to sound a horn, the signal to fly to arms. Fires 
were lighted in various places ; the keels iu the river were 
seized and formed into a bridge of communication with 
Fatfield, a place on the opposite side of the Wear as law- 
less as their own ; and the villagers kept watch and ward 
till the danger was past. In consequence the village be- 
came a resort for such as had violated the laws of 
their country. 

An old native of South Biddick, whom I knew inti- 
mately a relation of Dawson Lambton, by the way and 
who died quite recently, used often, with evident pride, 
to declare to me, when alluding to his origin, that he was 
one of the "Bloody Biddickers," which, he said, ws 
the veritable epithet by which they were a century 
ago commonly distinguished. It was here the unfor- 
tunate James Drummond, Duke of Perth, took sanctuary 
after the rebellion of 17-45-6, under the protection of 
Nicholas Lambton, Esq., of South Biddick ; and here he 
lived in obscurity and concealment till 17S2, when he died 
And was buried at Painshaw. 

N. E. R., Fence Houses. 


PEAKING at the dinner held to commemorate 
the opening of the Newcastle Free Library, 
the late Sir Charles Trevelyan recommended 
his hearers to read Robert Roxby's poem, "The Auld 
Fisher's Fareweel to Coquet," which we now publish for 
the benefit of those of our readers who may be interested 
in it. This spirited song is one of the " The Fisher's 
Garland," to which Robert Roxby and Thomas Double- 
day were the best known contributors. The manly pathos 
which breathes through every line of the effusion, and the 
high poetic spirit which pervades it, have rendered the 
song one of the most popular of the authors' productions, 
Two hundred and ninety copies were printed forEmmerson 
Charnley, on the 2Gth of March, 1825, and " one hundred 
copies were presented to t!ie author " (Robert Roxby), 

though the "Garland" is the joint work of Roxby and 
Doubleday. Robert Roxby was born at Needless Hall, 
Reedsdale. Having lost his father at an early age, he 
was confided to the care of Mr. Gabriel Goulburn, a 
farmer in the neighbourhood. About the year 1798 he 
became a clerk in the banking-house of Sir W. Loraine 
and Co., Newcastle, and on the failure of that establish- 
ment he entered the bank of Sir M. W. Ridley and Co. 
In 180S, he published by subscription his famous poem, 
' The Lay of the Reed water Minstrel," and subsequently 
produced, in conjunction with Mr. Doubleday, the series 
of lyrical pieces from which the song now given is a selec- 
tion. Mr. Roxby died at Newcastle on July 30th, 1846, 
in his 79th year. Mr. Doubleday's life was spent on 
Tyneside, where he distinguished himself by his attain- 
ments in literature, and as an active participator in the 
great political movements of the present century. This 
estimable man died at his residence, Bulman Village (now 
called Gosforth), on the 18th of December, 1870, aged 81 

Come, bring to me my limber gad 

I've fished wi' mony a year, 
An' let me hae my weel-worn creel, 

An' a' my fishing gear ; 
The sunbeams glint on Linden-Ha', 

The breeze comes frae the west. 
An' lovely looks the gowden morn 

On the streams that 1 like best. 

I've thrawn the flee thae sixty year, 

Ay, sixty year an' mair, 
An' monie a speckled troutie kill'd 

\Vi' heckle, heuk, an' hair ; 
An' now I'm auld an' feeble grown, 

*'My locks are like the snaw," 
But I'll gang again to Coquet-side, 

An' take a fareweel thraw. 

O Coquet! in my youthful days 

Tliy river sweetly ran, 
An' sweetly down thy woody braes 

The bonnie birdies sang ; 
But streams may rin, and birds may sinj, 

Sma' joy they bring to me ; 
The blithesome strains I dimly hear, 

Tiie streams I dimly see. 

But ance again the weel-kenned sound 

My minutes shall beguile, 
An' glistening in the airly sun 

I'll see thy waters smile ; 
An' Sorrow shall forget his sigh, 

An' Age forget his pain, 
An' ance mair by sweet Coquet-side 

My heart be young again. 

Ar.;^ mair I'll touch wi' gleesome feet 

Thy waters c'ear and cold, 
Ance mair I'll cheat the gleg-e'ed trout 

An' while him frae his hold ; 
Ance mair at Weldon's frien'ly door 

I'll wind my tackle up, 
An' drink ''Success to Coquet-side," 

Though a tear fa' in the cup. 

An' then fareweel, dear Coquet-side 1 

Aye gaily may thou rin, 
An' lead thy waters sparkling on, 

An' dash frae linn to iinn ; 
Blithe be the music o' thy streams 

An' banks through after-days. 
An' blithe be every Fisher's heart 

Shall ever tread thy braes. 



f April, 
I 1887 

jjUR illustrations of the Side, or rather the 
reminiscences they are calculated to awaken, 
carry us back to a period in the history of New- 
castle when the commerce of the town had for its arena not 
the Tyne itself, but the Lort Burn, a stream which, 
according to Grey's "Chorographia," was navigable to 
the very doors of the Cloth Market, in the line of Dean 
Street and Grey Street, as far as the High Bridge. 
"In after times," Grey adds, "the merchants removed 
lower down towards the river, to the street called the 
Side and the Sandhill, where the trade remaineth to this 
day." This was penned in the seventeenth century, and a 
hundred years later, we learn from Bourne, the Side was 
" from one end to the other 611ed with shops of merchants, 
goldsmiths, milliners, upholsterers, &c." Still anotuer 
hundred years passed away, and we find Mac- 
kenzie, in 1S27, speaking of the ascent being 
very steep; and "this, added to its extreme 
narrowness, and the dingy houses on each side, 
projecting in terrific progression, rendered the 
passage inconceivably gloomy and dangerous. 
Yet, before the erection of Dean Street, ic 
formed the principal communication with the 
higher parts of tho town." At tins date, we 
read, it was mostly inhabited by cheesemongers. 
Hearing in mind the fact that the Lort Burn 
flowed down by the High Bridge, the Low 
Bridge, and the Sandhill, the origin of such 
names as Dean Street is easily explained. 
But the name of the Side, unless it be 
the side or steep bank of a river, has long 
been a source of perplexity. There is a tra- 
ditionary story of a stranger who, receiving 
a Newcastle letter dated " Head of the Side," 
took it to be a slip of the pen, and wrote b:u-): 
to the " Side of the Head " the Saracen's i>r 
some other Head, as he imagined. The Side .".s 
we know it is vastly altered ; indeed, our vieuv, 
one of which is taken from the entrance to 
Queen Street, looking towards the Old Grapes 
Hotel, represent a scene which is undergoing 
a constant process of change. Dean Street, 
spanned at the foot by the imposing Railwav 
Arch, has invaded it, and year by year o.J 
buildings give place to new ; yet some of the 
projecting houses and gabled roofs still survive 
to awaken recollections of the time when the; 
principal traffic of the town passed this way, 
over the Old Tyne Bridge, and up the steep 
scent. H'*re, too, were witnessed State pro- 
gresses between the English and Scottish capi- 
tals. The two illustrations which we give are 
substantially the same, the only difference 
being that the one represented with little or 

no traffic is taken from a higher elevation at 
Queen Street. Perhaps, with the lantern tower of 
St. Nicholas's iu thebackground, it would be difficult to- 
find, in less space, so many distinct architectural features, 
the peculiarity being that palatial buildings, worthy of 
the most noble thoroughfares, are here mingled with the 
picturesque remnants of long ago. In proof of the 
interesting historic character of the ocene, we may con- 
clude with the following, culled from Grey's " Choro- 
graphia," that small quarto of a few precious pages printed 
in the year 1649: "In the lower part of the street called 
the Side standeth a faire crosse, with columnes of stone 
hewn, [the roof] covered with lead, where is sold milk, 
eggs, butter. In the Side is shops for merchants, drapers, 
and other traders. In the middle of the Side is an ancient 
stone house, an appendix to the Castle, which in former 
times belonged to the Lord Lumleys before the Castla 
was built, or at least coetany with the Castle." 


April, 1887.] 






W&illit Cart, tfte g>tvan$ itlan 
al Ulgtfr. 

BABY was born at Hartley Old Engine, on 
April 23, 1756, that was destined to cut a 
great figure in the world in more senses than 
one. Whether the auspices of his birth afforded any 
foreshadowing of future greatness is not recorded; but 
his early childhood must have furnished the buddings of 
the stature, weight, and strength, which, by the time he 
reached the years of manhood, had developed into the 
qualities of a Hercules, a Milo, and a Daniel Lambert all 
combined. The name of this portentous individual was 
William Carr a name that even yet awakens a sort of 
tremulous reverence in the minds of all who can appre- 
ciate gigantic physical force and fleshly proportions. But 
Carr was no mere man-mountain, and still less was he of 
the weak-kneed race of giants who go about in shows. He 
was a true, bold, clever, and witty fellow every inch a 

By the time he was seventeen years of age, Garr was six 
feet three inches in his stocking feet, and weighed sixteen 
stone. He was serving his apprenticeship to a black- 
smith, and, while the trade was one admirably adapted to 
the development of his powers, it also brought him almost 
daily opportunities of exhibiting the enormous muscular 
energy and toughness on which his celebrity principally 
rests. He did not, however, content himself with the 
exertion of his marvellous bodily faculties, but so applied 
his mind to the trade he had adopted that he became a 
famous craftsman ; and when at length he set up at Blyth 
on his own account, he turned out such capital harpoons 
that the whalers of the North-Eastern ports could not 
satisfy themselves that all was right with them unless 
they had some of Blyth Willie's implements of fishing as 
part of their equipment. His work, then, was mainly the 
forging of harpoons, but ha was quite up to the general 
requirements of his trade in all its ordinary branches. 

Carr's lifting and throwing soon became objects of keen 
interest to his neighbours far and near. He could raise 
with his arms not far short of sixty stones avoirdupois. 
He could " put " a weight of sixty pounds a distance of 
eight yards. When he was yet quite a young man, his 
amazing powers naturally provoked emulation, or doubt, 
or envy at any rate competitive ambition of some sort 
amongst those who had a name to lose, or were desirous 
of winning one at his expense. One Mick Downey 
belonged to the former class. He had a great reputation 
for muscular prowess ; and he would fain measure muscle 
with " the pride of Blyth " the Samson of the North. 
But after a contemplative survey of Carr's form and 
figure, as they revealed themselves in readiness for the 
tussle, Mick discreetly retired without bringing matters 
to the test of actual experiment. 

In those merry old days Seaton Delaval Hall was a 
favourite resort of fait young bloods, and a centre of 

fashionable gaiety in all its phases. Lord Delaval, 
naturally enough, was not a little proud to have as a 
neighbour, and at first as a tenant, a man who was 
superlative in one particular line. For the amusement 
and edification of his South-Country guests he would 
often have Willie up at the hall to display his magnificent 
torso and his astonishing strength. On one occasion his 
lordship invited Big Ben, a noted prizefighter of the day, 
to contest the honours of "the ring" with the gigantic 
man of Blyth. Everything was made ready for the sport 
the ground marked out, the ropes stretched, the seconds 
and umpire all in waiting. His lordship, wishing to 
make matters as pleasant as possible, persuaded the 
would-be pugilists to shake hands as a sign of friendship 
before the struggle began. Nowise bashful, Big Ben 
advanced to show good fellowship. Carr, always hearty 
and energetic, whatever he took in hand, no sooner got a 
grip of the boxer's fist than he put on the screw as if 
working a vice, and squeezed his new friend's hand till 
the blood spurted from the tips of his fingers. This was 
quite enough for Ben. He was wise, as well as brave and 
strong. Accordingly, he hinted to his bottleholder to 
throw up the sponge before the business began. The gay 
young bloods tried to hearten him to the fight by jeers 
and bribes and other like incentives ; but Ben quietly re- 
marked that he should " prefer a kick from a horse to a 
blow from such a fist as Carr's." 

Mendoza, another champion of no mean or shortlived 
fame, also came down at the instance of Lords Strath- 
more and Tyrconnel to have a look at the giant, probably 
with a view to trying conclusions with him. If that was 
his notion or the object of those who brought about the 
meeting, "the better part of valour" happily got the 
better of rash bravery, and Mendoza went to the place 
whence he came to meditate on muscle, and carefully 
prune whatever excess of self-confidence he laboured 

His lordship of Delaval evinced ttie genuine interest he 
had in his humble friend, " the village blacksmith," by 
having a splendid portrait taken of him, and hanging it 
in the gallery of his ancestral home. Subsequently it was 
transferred to the gallery at Gibside, and remained there 
during the tenancy of the estate by Lord Tyrconnel. 
Carr's fashionable patrons had occasionally more direct 
and less pleasant proofs of his amazing strength than such 
as they witnessed in experiment! upon others. He early 
won the nickname of Lord Haddo, from the circumstance 
that, the nobleman of that name having struck him with 
his whip on Morpeth race-course, Carr instantly dragged 
him off his horse with such force and ease that his lord- 
ship was not likely to repeat the insolence. 

By the time he reached the age of 30, he had attained 
his full development weighing 24 stone, and measuring 6 
feet 4 inches in height. His brawny handi and mighty 
arms were a sight to see and a caution to feel. It was 
not mere fat, as in other memorably obese men and 
women, but largely the solid bone and the leathery 



cords of muscle that pulled the scale against 336 pounds 

Another feat of his illustrates his humour quite as 
much as his strength. He was one of the best tempered 
men that ever lived, and never otherwise than peaceably 
disposed. So far he resembled the general run of giants, 
and strong, capable men. It is the weakling or the mal- 
formed who is most given to peevishness and bad temper. 
On one occasion Willie happened to fall foul of a gang of 
gipsies or vagrant muggers. These gentry menaced the 
big man. By way of silencing them with a specimen of 
what he could do if they carried matters to extremes, he 
laid his big hands on their donkey as it waa meekly 
browsing on the thistles by the side of the tramway, and 
quietly chucked it into an empty coal-waggon, leaving 
his enraged enemies in great wonder at the feat, and in 
great perplexity as to how they should recover their steed 
from the deep truck. 

Some of his useful feats are still remembered with a 
sort of shuddering awe. In those days, as now, coal 
trucks would sometimes get off th* line, and stoppage of 
traffic occur as the natural consequence. Where, then, 
was the lever to hoist them on to the track again? Well, if 
it happened anywhere handy, no lever was so ready or so 
useful as Carr's strong back and legs. He had but to 
stoop beneath the slipped waggon till he could get a good 
prise on it, and he then lifted it cleverly on to the rail 
again. It is told among the long-shore men of Blyth, to 
this day, how once five sailors belonging to the good ship 
Minerva were puzzling their heads as to the best means 
of removing their vessel's anchor with a piece of chain 
cable attached, then lying on the beach. The anchor and 
chain weighed half a ton, and, while they were wondering 
how to get it away, Willie walked in upon the circle of 
debate, and without more ado lifted up the iron, put it 
over liis shoulder, and trudged away with it to his father's 

Willie's powers of enduring fatigue -or, rather, of con- 
tinued labour without showing symptoms of exhaustion 
were most extraordinary in the days of his full vigour. 
He was once known to work for 132 consecutive hours, 
then sleep 12 hours, and resume with unabated vigour for 
120 hours more. His powers of consumption, as regards 
victuals and drink, were on a pur, of course, with the rate 
at which he expended his strength. H certainly was not 
a dissipated man in any sense, especially was he no 
drunkard ; albeit he now and then put out of sight a 
quantity of strong waters, quite sufficient to drown some 
men, without seeming much the worse for the dose. It is 
(old of him that once upon a time business called him to 
North Shields. When the business was finished, or 
possibly by way of facilitating the affair, ha swallowed 
84 glasses of gin, and reached his home at Blyth the 
same evening quite sober. The buiineie which led to this 
potation deep and strong was quite remarkable enough 
without the incredible number of "goes of gin" to make 

it memorable. He had been dilatory in completing an 
order for harpoons, and the good ship Euretta was likely 
to be detained for want of this important part of a 
whaler's equipment. The day fixed for sailing had ar- 
rived, and the harpoons were still in Willie's shop on 
the south side of the Blyth Salt Pans. Carr took them 
to the carrier's, but found that the worthy man had 
departed much before his usual time. Willie made no 
more ado, but hoisted the hundredweight of harpoons on 
to his shoulders and marched off with them to North 
Shields, ten good miles away. After such a feat, the 
84 glasses of gin will perhaps stand a chance of being 
swallowed by the public as having been swallowed by 

Another feat of his liad about it a smack of gallantry. 
It is told that on one occasion he tucked a plump youn* 
woman under his arm, and, thus handicapped, leaped a 
five-barred gate. 

Considering his remarkable physical powers, and also 
the great demand for "likely fellows" at the end of the 
last century and the early part of the present, it is not 
surprising to learn that the Strong Man of Blyth was 
again and again wanted to serve the King But Carr 
had other views; he was fond of home fonder still of 
liberty and honest toil. If the King wanted him, the 
King's men would have to come and fetch him at 
their peril. The press-gang was a permanent institution 
in those days, prowling about seaports great and small, 
and picking up hands for the navy, both likely and 
unlikely ; for hands are scarce when wars are plentiful. 
They had evidently set their hearts on Willie, and 
staked their professional pride on capturing him. But 
they seldom got a fair chance with him, and when they 
did his own wit and weight of fist made it no chance 
at all. A friendly grip of his hand was generally suffi- 
cient to elicit a, hearty farewell from any captain of 
the press-gang whose valour had led him so far towards 
the great man's capture. 

One capital story is told of his actually getting caught, 
and of his characteristic escape from the snares of the 
King's fowlers. He could swim as well as he could 
hammer. His lead-like weight ashore was buoyant as a 
cork in the water. Having fallen into the gin set for him 
by the cunning pressmen possibly the snare was gin, as 
that was his favourite drink and his own weakness 
Carr was handcuffed and taken on board a boat lying in 
the harbour ; but when on his way to the tender lying off 
the coast, he inquired of the coxswain, in a comical way, 
whether that worthy could swim. "Why do you ask 
such a question?" rejoined the officer, instead of giving a 
straightforward answer. " Because," said the giant, " we 
shall all be swimming just now." And before the warn- 
ing was well out of his mouth, he bowed himself, as did 
Sampson of old in the temple of Philistia, and split the 
boat in two with the strain of his back and legn. In a 
moment the crew were floundering and splashing in the 



t 1887. 

sea, while the giant was leisurely paddling himself back 
to liberty and home. 

Up to the grand climacteric of his vigorous life, that is, 
to the end of his sixty-second year, Carr preserved a con- 
siderable measure of the force that had made him famous. 
But in that year he was seized with paralysis, and, 
though he lingered seven years longer, he never more left 
his bed. His ingenuity as a mechanic came to his relief 
when thus helplessly bedridden. Having made for him- 
self what was in all probability the first iron bedstead 
ever manufactured, he contrived a clever and easily 
worked apparatus by which he could lift himself in and 
out of bed, or in such a way as to change his position 
without troubling anyone to help him. He finally rested 
from life's troubles and turmoil on 6th September, 1825, 
having reached within half a year the proverbially legiti- 
mate span of human existence. 

HO was Meg of Meldon, and wherefore was her 
troubled spirit doomed to haunt the moonlit 
banks of the Wansbeck ? There may be little 
real history, but there is much tradition and more 
mystery in the legend of the miserly witch. The facts 
if facts they are make but a slender skeleton on which 
to hang the robes of fable. 

It is said that she waa ona Margaret Selby, a daughter 
of William Selby, of Newcastle. Her father was a 
money-lender, and it may be that Meg inherited from 
him not only the fruits of life-long avarice, but the taint 
of avarice itself that leavened and damaged her better 
nature, till her name passed into a proverb for cruel 
greed. Her dower on marrying Sir William Fenwick, 
of Wallington, was a heavy mortgage on the fair 
estate of Meldon the fettered inheritance of young 
Heron. Whether she unduly pressed or unkindly 
foreclosed, after underhanded schemes for prevent- 
ing the young heir from obtaining the money 
for the discharge of the mortgage, none can now 
tell j but if she did not do one or other of these 
things, or all three, it is not easy to account for the bad 
odour in which her memory was preserved, nor yet for 
the story of her subterranean coach-road between Ilart- 
in/ton and Meldon. For the tale goes that, beneath tho 
beetling stone on which the castle maidens used to poss 
the clothes they wished to bleach, there was a descent 
to this underground coach-road, whereby, whenever she 
would, she could pass to and fro unobserved. She was 
a solemn and stately dame, and deported herself as 
became one who had brought great wealth to prop a 
falling house, and was the mother of at least one brave 
Fenwick, who died fighting for his king two hundred and 
thirty years ago. The now ruined gallery of Seaton 
Delaval contained, some seventy years ago, an authentic 
portrait of this famous lady. With her heavy ruff, her 

vandyked sleeves, furbelowed skirts, and broad hat tied 
down at the sides, over her ears, she certainly favoured 
Mother Redcap and other ladies renowned for their 
proficiency in magic arts. 

Either she ruled while her husband reigned, or she lived 
long in widowhood; for throughout the greater part of 
her protracted life she must have held the purse and held 
it tight. Assuming that there must be some basis for all 
the stories told of her, it will be safe and fair to describe 
her as exceedingly fond of money. She had a huckster- 
ing, speculating, hoarding spirit. Her great hoards of 
gold were never brought forth save to buy corn and beeves 
in the day of plenty, to be sold at great profit in the days 
of the "lean kine." At all ends she screwed out gain 
from the honest poor, but they could only curse her in 
their whispered prayers, for she held them tight in her 
cruel grasp. Growing, buying, grinding, selling, she 
sought gold and yet more gold, though its getting cost 
life itself to the oppressed from whom she wrung it. 
She doubtless desired to live alway ; but though her 
barns were full and her press was groaning, and her gold 
lay in heaps, she could sometimes hear the far-off mut- 
terings of the voice that soon should say, "Thou fool, 
this night." So she thought the more of the gold that 
had cost her her soul, and, with eager cunning, plotted 
that none should possess it when she should have paid 
forfeit to the King of Terrors, and her strong clutch grew 
lax. With magpie instinct she sought out secret places 
where she could hide her treasure, and she chuckled as 
she thought how men would seek in vain to grasp her 
much-loved gold. She knew not that her sleep of death 
would be broken with woful trouble for this same gold, 
until some worthier than herself should find it and put it 
to good uses. Yet this was what the story shows. Men 
whispered to each other, when the burial was over, that 
Meg of the Moneybags was doomed to wander in strange 
shapes to and fro between the secret places of her hoards, 
flitting here and there for seven long years, then resting 
seven, only to begin the dreary round once more ; and 
this was to be her fate till all the hidden wealth was once 
more passing, as wealth should ever do, in wage for 
honest toil. When the wealth was once more wandering, 
the poor witch's wanderings ceased for ever. ** 

Near the south-east tower of Meldon there was a draw- 
well, deep and old. In her life Meg had packed a bullock's 
hide with pieces of gold and cast it into the sleeping water 
of the well. So, often after death, her shadowy form was 
seen now sitting, now kneeling, by the well, with arm bent 
over it. as if wistfully peering into its gloomy depths, but 
ever troubled as though with arduous penance and a grief 
that could not be comforted. Year by year the penance 
went on, but the spell was unbroken, the soul was un- 
shriven. One night, in the visions of sleep, a strange 
summons came to a poor hind of the Meldon lands, bid- 
ding him search for the treasure in the well. He was very 
poor, his heart was courageous and his conscience clear, 
so he gave heed to the message. Saying never a word to 

April, \ 
1887. I 



neighbour or wife, he went in the midnight to Meldon 
well. There he saw a mysterious figure, and his brave 
heart would have prompted him to speak, but he had been 
forbidden to utter a word on pain of losing his gold. He 
had brought with him chains and grappling hooks. These, 
with the aid of his silent helper, were soon adjusted to the 
handle and roller by which the well was usually wrought. 
Fearless, he trusted himself to the chain, and passed 
down and down till, to his wonder, he touched the ground, 
for the water had gone. There lay the long-hidden pile 
of gold, and soon the grappling irons were clutching it as 
though the spirit of covetous Meg had passed into their 
cold and cruel fangs. Swiftly he climbed the stretched 
chain and reached the upper world. Then the twain set 
to work at the wheel and axle with a will. Up came 
the lunging bag of gold to the music of creaking wood 
and clanging chain. When at length it came within 
sight, the poor fellow, overjoyed with the thought of the 
blessing he was about to call his own, forgot the in- 
junction to silence, and cried exultingly, " We have her 
now. " Fatal words ! The charm was gone. The dream 
vanished. The hooks released their precious burden, 
and down it went with a rush and a thud, sinking deep 
into the slimy clay ; so deep that no mortal can ever 
raise it again, or even reach it. 

The poor peasant lost his boon by an untimely word of 
triumph spoken at the well ; and, perhaps, old Meg 
bethought her that it was not kind to enjoin such hard 
conditions on poor human nature. 'At all events, the next 
disclosure she made of her secret stores was made without 
conditions, and it was made to lads at school, who must 
needs have lost it, every penny, had they been prohibited 
from shouting aloud their boyish glee on pain of losing all 
the hoard. The school-house at Meldon was old a century 
ago, and the wayfarer might have imagined it haunted by 
the ghosts of dead boys, who in the days gone by had 
sinned and suffered beneath its moss-grown roof, or 
sported in its long-drawn shadow when thej|day's work 
wa done. None ever dreamed of seeing or hearing Meg's 
ghost at school any more than at church. Nor did she 
walk in visible mist, or flit like marsh-fire round the 
school-house yard. Yet it was one of her hiding-places. 
Cunningly she had secreted pile after pile of unhallowed 
gold beneath the rafters, and just above the ceiling of 
the school-house. Ceilings were solid and tough in 
those days, plenty of thickness, plenty of well-tempered 
mortar, and plenty of cow-hair to bind the plaster 
together. But scores of romping lads in each generation 
had done their utmost to shake the rafters and walls 
asunder. As the years went on the plaster was loosened 
from its laths ; and if it had hardly borne the weight of its 
golden burden at first, it was every day becoming 
weaker and weaker. It chanced then that the dominie 
had gone in by to devour his scanty dinner. Most of the 
lads were following the example of the worthy master in 
this one respect so commendable in their young eyes. 
A few, however, had brought their dinners with them. 

These were the sons of outlying farmers and farm 
labourers who had far to come for their schooling. Their 
pasties, or sandwiches, or cold meat pies, with bread and 
cheese to follow, were soon out of their bags and soon out 
of sight in the secret cavern to which parental foresight 
had destined them. Then began the romp and the riot 
that were to hurry on digestion, so that they should not 
sleep on their surfeit, but be ready for work or whacks 
as the case might be. They chased each other over the 
desks, under the desks, and round about the benches 
until the old walls thrilled as if with coming ague, 
and the cracked ceiling split as if in laughing sympathy 
with their merry mischief. But what was that ? All 
stand agape and wondering, [as a shower of dust fills 
one corner of the school-house, and a sound as of 
muffled thunder fills the air. They had brought the 
old ceiling down with a bang. Oh, dear, whatever 
would dominie say ? and, alas ! what would not dominie 
do? When the crash was over and the flying lime- 
dust began to settle, one bolder than the rest drew 
near to see for himself the extent of the mischief done. 
Hark ! he screams, but not in pain. He is down on 
his knees amongst the rubbish, and stuffing the plaster 
cobs into his pocket as fast as he can. "What is it?" 
" Cry halves ! " " Come on, lads ! " resound through the 
school-room, and then ensued a general rush. All are 
now rummaging and scrambling and fighting over the 
heap of dust, like lads of a later age over halfpennies 
thrown out of railway trains into the mud or dust of 
the street below. What is it they are striving and 
riving for like a lot of eels in a basket ? It is gold 
it is the boon and the bane of all the world ; gold for 
which men risk their lives and barter their souls. And 
shall boys be preached at because, when gold falls at their 
feet, like beech leaves in autumn, they fight and struggle 
and grow black in the face with the strife? And now 
they rise from the crush to count their winnings. Two 
or three still potter on in the heap for the chance of a 
coin or two missed in the scramble ; but even they get 
up in time to make safe their spoil before the master 
sets foot on the scene. 

Meg's spirit rests now, for all her stores save that of 
Meldon Well have been found and spent for human good ; 
but tradition tells how with changeful form she haunted 
many a well -known spot. Meldon Bridge she was used to 
cross in shape of a little dog; but when she had crossed it 
either way she would assume the form of a lovely woman, 
graceful and sweet, but ever sad. At times she would sit 
on the great stone trough at Newminster, an ancient 
coffin doubtless, and, therefore, a fit halting-place for one 
who was doomed to walk this nether world in expiation 
of her guilt while living. When any strange sight 
attracted the notice of the passing peasant, he would say, 
"There goes Meg of Meldon," whistle, and, fearless, 
trudge home to tell his wife and bairns. And thus the 
legend lived and grew and died away. Its basis of fact 
was little more than that the lady of Meldon was an 



austere dame, who knew her rights and made them good. 
In doing so she may have ousted a popular young squire 
for are not all ruined families the objects of romantic 
sympathy on the part of the poor ? Does not misfortune' 
invest their patrons with a sort of sanctity, and doei not 
the gilding of success seem to them like dross when it is 
made to adorn the stranger in the land ? Meg may have 
brought a trading spirit into the quiet farm lands and 
rustic hamlets of the Wansbeck Valley a spirit of gain- 
loving and gain-getting which, though more useful, is also 
less popular, than the humours of a spendthrift. And 
thus the memory of one who was probably no worse than 
many another of her rank has come to be blurred by the 
hatred and curses of the ignorant. 

Meldon Hall passed to the unfortunate Derwentwaters, 
and thence through forfeiture to the Greenwich Hospital 
Commissioners, from whom Isaac Cookson, alderman of 
Newcastle, purchased it for the goodly sum of 56,900 
guineas. There the bearers of his name emulate his 
generous administration of wealth, thus effectively 
redressing whatever wrongt the ancient Dame of Wal- 
lington inflicted on the poor. W. S. 

(Ore J^trrrg at 


ARLINGTON, in the year 1730, was little 
more than a village in size ; but with its mag- 
nificent church second only to Durham 
Cathedral among all the ecclesiastical edifices of the 
county its connection with the coal trade through the 
Allans, and its importance as a resting-place for wayfarers 
along the great North Road, it was worthy to rank as a 
town of much promise and fair repute. It had a post- 
office, and this office had for its master one Clement, 
who, by dint of diligence and thrift, contrived to rear a 
fine family on a stipend of fifty pounds a-year. Some 
short time previous to 1730, Mary, daughter of this bloom- 
ing household, was apprenticed to Mrs. Rennie, a child's 
coatmaker, whose shop and dwelling were in Pall Mall, 
the very centre and heart of London fashion. She 
brought with her to the purlieus of the Court the perilous 
portion of beauty, grimly watched, however, by the 
stately griffin to whom the maiden was bound in busi- 
ness pupilage. For a time all went well, and the maiden 
plied her tasks industriously to the great content of 
watchful Mother Rennie, varying the routine of a hard 
life by peeps at the great and gay world as it ebbed and 
flowed around the shop, and by occasional strolls in the 
palace park hard by. 

It chanced, however, that Mrs. Rennie, like almost 
all persons in that quarter who were engaged in the 
shop-keeping business, gave up part of her house as 
gings for "young bucks," Parliament men, and 
loungers on the outskirts of privilege waiters on 
Providence, whose providence just then, as the " Court 

Guide" would tell them, was Sir Robert Walpole, the 
famous Premier of a stupid king and a corrupt 
Parliament. It further chanced that this same Sir 
Robert had for his second son a youth who, having 
completed the grand tour under the eminently advan- 
tageous auspices of England's real ruler, had come 
home to look about him, to pick and choose, to angle 
in richly-stocked and strictly-preserved waters for the 
fattest fish his father could give him. Like others of 
his age and station, Edward Walpole felt that living at 
home was only moping, and that, in order to take up 
bis freedom as a citizen of the world, it was above all 
things necessary that he should possess a lodging 
and latch-key all his own. Mrs. Rennie had a 
lodging, and both she and it bore a good repute. 
Young Walpole could not do better than take her 
unimpeachably genteel apartments.* He could not come 
and go very long between his lodgings and the park 
without getting to know that beneath the roof of his 
new home there dwelt a maiden more beautiful than 
all the hooped and patched minxes he daily encountered 
in the Mall or danced with in marble halls. Having 
seen her, he could not fail to wonder at bar sparkling 
charms ; and when he saw that all this outward radiance 
was the fit expression of a flawless gem within, his 
wonder changed to love. . 

Thus it was with Edward. But how fared Mary's 
fluttering heart through all this warm summer of love ? 
And what thought the griffin who guarded the treasure of 
the postmaster's lovely daughter? What, above all, 
would the proud Premier say of his son's weak passion 
for the Darlington lassie? He was not yet a peer of 
the realm, though he was created Earl of Orford 
in 1742 ; but he was the maker of peers, the dispenser 
of Court favour, the mirror of royal smiles, the patron of 
all good things for which men of the world were ever 
agape, as they crowded his gates, with incense of praise 
and proffers of service. Besides, his stock was of the 
oldest in the land. When as yet there was no Norman 
in all fair England, his fathers had hold sway like kings 
in Norfolk, and all through the history of his country his 
ancestors had played a notable part, winning glory and 
wealth as warriors, statesmen, and bishops. It was not 
likely that he would lightly give his blessing to such an 
ill-assorted match as that for which his son soon came to 
long repiningly. He was wise above all men in the 
wisdom of the world. He deemed it but a sowing of wild 
oats, and so long as there was no talk of housing the 
harvest thereof in hie stately barns be had nothing to 
say against it. The freak would come and go, the 
passion would cool, the fancy would fade, the toy would 
in due time be broken and thrown aside ; then his son 
known to the ladies of Italy as the "handsome English- 

* It should be mentioned that Mr. Longstaffc, who tells the 
story in his " History of Darlington," states that Walpole had 
house of his own opposite Mother Rennie'j. 



man" would play the man and mate with a daughter of 
some princely house. But it was not to be. 9 

Mother Rennie had not lived so near to the very palace 
gate without becoming wise in her measure, aye, every 
bit as wise as the great Minister himself, BO far as loving 
hearts were in question. She could read the dangerous 
courtesy as if every bow and every smile were large print 
in a book. She was old, but had been young, and she 
could judge with truth each rising of the maiden's colour, 
and every flash of her beautiful eye beneath the gaze of 
him whn had become the sun of her life. Prudently, 
than, she summoned the postmaster away from his office 
and home, to resume the trust she felt herself no longer 
able to keep. The worthy father rushed post haste to the 
rescue of his precious child. He would not for worlds 
that a breath should sully the honest name she bore, or 
that blight should fall upon the sweetest flower of his 
home. So he came to Madame Rennie's, at the bottom of 
Pall Mai), and sent for the lovely delinquent. Not with 
anger, but in tears, he bade her com* to his arms that he 
might bear her far away from the perils gathering round 
her. And Mary wept perhaps because she saw her 
kind father weeping perhaps still more because she 
regarded his affectionate appeal as in truth her 
sentence of doom. Till that moment she had 
never known how warped her heart had become with 
the weft of another's affection and life. The call to 
forsake him revealed to her the wondrous strength of 
the tie that had grown like tough ivy between them. 
The sly puss ! She dried her tears ; she made believe 
that the old voice of father-love had lost none of its 
power to charm or to constrain because of her long 
listening to the tenderer tone* of a man's strong love. 
Yes, she would obey in meekness, thankfulness, fear, 
and inward grace. She would go back with her father 
from the edge of the gulf into which she 
had nearly fallen. She would go home to household 
cares, and homely fare, and hard work, and the mill- 
round of life in a country town. With her rosy lips 
and tear-gemmed eyes, she was once more the dutiful 
child. But beneath the placid look of obedience there 
was a throbbing volcano of passion, and it must break, 
or she must die. The griffin and the father went into 
a little room at the back of the shop for a quiet talk 
about this business, now so happily and in such good 
time ended ; and, while they were crowing over their 
triumphant sagacity, the love-smitten maiden slipped 
out of the shop as she was, and ran like a bounding 
gazelle along Pall Mall to the new home of her lover 
at the other end of the street. 

Edward Walpole was out when the runaway girl 
reached the place of refuge. She had found her way to 
the dining-room, and the table was ready set, so she 
knew she would not have long to wait. And yet it 

seemed an ago till she heard the well-known footfall. 

Edward greeted her with equal wonder and gladness. 

"You here ! " he exclaimed, in tones which told only of 

satisfaction and gratitude. Her tale needed no great 
while or many words for its telling. She loved and was 
beloved, and the moment was come for the di to be 
cast. She had thrown for life : was it to be a blank, or 
a prize the world might envy her ? Not long had she to 
wait for such answer and assurance as her lover could 
give. He folded her to his heart ; then, leading her to 
the head of the table, placed her at its head, installing 
her as mistress of his home. And that post she never 
quitted. It was a doubtful honour ; yet in those days it 
was not, as now it would be, deemed sheer dishonour. 
Her lover had fair talent, it may be ; but he had been 
trained from infancy to depend upon hia powerful and 
exalted father, and every vista of life was lighted only 
with that father's influence and favour. He was for a 
short time Chief Secretary for Ireland, and was known 
thereafter as Sir Edward Walpole ; but what else 
he held, did, or enjoyed in the way of parental favour, 
this story needs not to inquire. Enough to know that 
he found in his mistress a nature which entranced 
his whole being, as well as dazzled his fancy. He 
lavished kindness on all her kin. He lived for her, and 
would at any moment have died for her, could he have 
saved her a pane or a tear. j 

Mary Clement bore him three daughters and a son ; but 
when the son was born the beloved and idolized mother 
passed away. The daughters, endowed with nearly all 
their mother's beauty, were carefully educated in all that 
could make them worthy to bear, and able to redeem, her 
cherished name. The eldest, Laura, was in due time 
married to the Hon. and Rev. Frederick Keppel, brother 
to the Earl of Albemarle, and afterwards Bishop of 
Exeter. This marriage straightway secured the entrance 
to society for her sisters. It gave to Maria, the second 
daughter, the crowning grace she had previously lacked 
in the eyes of the haughty Earl of Waldegrave, while 
the youngest of the sisters, Charlotte, became 
Countess of Dysart. Lord Waldegrave was not 
very young, neither was he overwhelmingly hand- 
some ; but he deeply loved the nameless daughter of 
Mary Clement, and he made her a peeress. During their 
rather brief union, her blameless and beautiful behaviour 
amply justified every risk he might bethought to have 
run. When the earl died, the widow found herself still 
beautiful and young, besides enjoying rank and high 
repute. She became the object of universal attention. 
Society caressed and petted her. The Duke of Portland 
laid siege to her heart, but he was beaten off. Next came 
a scion of royalty, and he took the well-guarded fort by 
summons of trumpet. Frederick William, Duke of 
Gloucester, made love to the granddaughter of the 
Darlington postmaster, and made her a royal duchess. 
In course of time she gave birth to a prince and princess 
of the blood-royal, and it was on the cards (though the 
chance has long since passed away) that the Darlington 
maiden's descendants might sit on the throne of 



I April, 
\ 1887. 

j)HE old ruin in Heaton or Armstrong Park, 
Newcastle, popularly known as King John's 
Palace, has long been a subject of much 
mystery and speculation, more especially since the 
grounds in which it is situated have become public pro- 
perty. Even now nobody can clearly explain how it trot 
the name it bears. Whether King John ever saw it is 
uncertain. But it has been reserved for Mr. Cadwallader 
J. Bates to discover what seems to be the true history 
of the ruin. Mr. Bates thus explains his discovery in a 
letter to Mr. Alderman Young, dated November 10, 
1886 : 

In the Patent Bolls (52 Henry III., memb. 31), I find 
that on the 5th December, 1267, King Henry the Third 
granted at Westminster a license to John Comyn to en- 
close his principal seat (camera) in the manor of Tarset, 
on the North Tyne, with a moat and a wall of lime 
and stone, and to crenallate and fortify the same, on the 
remarkable condition that it should be enclosed, fortified. 
and crenellated in the same manner as the camera of 
Adam de Gesemuth (Jasmond) at Heaton. 

This Adam de Gesemuth was in that very year High 
Sheriff of Northumberland, as he had been for three for- 
mer yean, viz., 1262-1264. He acquired the same odious 

character tor peculation and extortion that was common 
to all the sheriffs of that time, except John de Plessis and 
Robert de Insula, who were appointed by the party of 
Simon de Montfort. The unfortunate Roger Bertram of 
Mitford, who was taken prisoner while fighting in the 
cause of Justice and Liberty at Northampton, had to make 
over to Adam de Gesemuth his lands at Benridge and the 
advowson of Mitford. In the winter of 1265, Adam de 
Gesemuth was one of the northern barons summoned to 
treat for the liberation of Prince Edward, who had been 
taken captive by Earl Simon's party after the battle of 
Lewes. This shows his great personal importance, as he 
held most of his property as a feudal tenant of the barony 
of Ellingham. In 1269 he had a grant of a market and 
fair in his manor of Cramlington ; but all his wealth and 
influence did little to preserve his memory. He ap- 
parently left no family, as Ralph de Stikelowe, chaplain, 
and Marjory de Trewick appear as his heirs in 1275. 

There can, it would seem, be little doubt but that the 
ruins in Heaton Park are those of the camera of Adam 
de Gesemuth. The evil deeds of the sheriffs of the 13th 
century required that they should have the protection of 
strong walls ; and probably Adam de Gesemuth had been 
permitted to fortify his house in consequence of being, 
like John Comyn, a devoted adherent of the King. 
Guischard de Charrun, who succeeded Adam de Gese- 
muth as sheriff, and bore an equally unamiable character, 
procured a license to crenellate his manor house at 
Horton, near Bedlington. 

The ruins of a stronghold of a forgotten local tyrant, 
who did all he could to oppose the Parliamentary system 
of Karl Simon, are perhaps no inappropriate monument 
to be carefully preserved in the park of a free city. 


" Je Welt of l&ing |oljn." 

Lest controversy should hereafter arisa as to the 
antiquity of "Ye Well of King John," a drawing of 
which appears on the adjoining page, it may be desirable 
to explain here the origin of the construction. When the 

Corporation of Newcastle, through the generosity of Sir 
William Armstrong, came into possession of the Heaton 
estate, excavations were made around the ruins of King 
John's Palace. Among the relics then and there found 
was an old stone trough. This trough one of the sur- 

April, \ 

1887. / 



veyors of the borough at the time Mr. A. M. Fowler or 
Mr. John Fulton proposed to utilise in connection with 
a spring in a remote and secluded quarter of the grounds. 
The proposal was adopted ; the place was christened King 
John's Well, and a stone with an inscription that was 

considered appropriate was erected over it. This, then, 
is the origin of " Ye Wll of King John." We may add 
that Hie spring is situatd in a pretty and rarely visited 
part of Armstrong Park, near the northern entrance 
from Jesmond Dene. 





ELATING his recollections of Sunderland 
between sixty and seventy years ago, a 
venerable native of that town, who assumes 
the name of Robinson Crusoe, mentioned, in the course of 
an article published in the Newcastle Weekly Chronicle on 
the 21st of May, 1881, that a house in Vine Street, 
Sunderland, was onoe occupied by Mr. Avery Hornsby. 
" This gentleman," he says, "was, seventy or eighty years 
ago, master-mariner and owner of the two brigs, Friends- 
Regard and Isabella. It was in the latter vessel, when 
commanded by himself, that he fought a desperate action 
with a French privateer." The incident was described at 
length in the Weekly Chroniele on January 28th, 1873. 

While steering for the Hague, the Isabella fell in 
with the Marquis of Braneas, a Trench privateer, with 
a crew of seventy- five men, and armed with ten 
guns and eight swivels, besides three hundred small 
arms. The Isabella's crew consisted of five men and two 
boys. She carried four guns and two swivels. Upon 
observing the privateer, Captain Hornsby asked his men 
to stand by him, which they promised to do to the last. 
He then hoisted the British colours, and returned the fire 
of the enemy's chase with his two swivels. The French 
man called upon him to strike. He coolly returned an 
answer of defiance. Upon this, the privateer poured such 
showers of bullets into the Isabella that her crew retreated 
to close quarters. Twice the enemy attempted to board 
on the larboard quarter ; but Hornaby, by a turn of the 
helm, frustrated their attempts. The Frenchman still 
kept firing upon him. The action had lasted an hour, 
when the privateer, running furiously upon the Isabella's 
larboard bow, entangled his bowsprit among the shrouds. 
The captain of the privateer bawled out "Strike, you 
English dog !" Hornsby challenged him to come on 
board and strike his colours if he durst. The Frenchman 
then threw twenty men on board ; but & general dis- 
charge of blunderbusses from the Isabella's crew soon 
caused them to retreat. 

The vessels now got disentangled, and the privateer 
tried to board on the starboard lide, when Hornsby 
and his mate shot each his man as they were lashing 
the ships together. The Frenchman again commanded 
him to strike. Upon his refusal, twenty fresh men were 
ordered to attack the crew in their quarters with 
hatchets and pole-axes ; but Hornsby and his crew, 
from their close quarters, kept up a constant fire, and 
a second time the Frenchmen retreated, hauling their 
dead after them with hooks. 

The ships being still lashed together, the enemy kept 
up a constant fire upon their close quarters ; Hornsby 
returned the fire with spirit and effect. Observing 
them crowding together behind their mainmast for 
shelter, he aimed a blunderbuss, which happened 
to be doubly loaded, through a mistake, with twice 

twelve balls. The weapon burst, and threw him 
down ; but in an instant he was able to get up, though 
much bruised. The blunderbuss made terrible havoc 
among the Frenchmen ; they disentangled the ships, 
leaving their pistols, pole-axes, and grapplings behind 
them. Hornsby then fired his two starboard guns into 
the enemy's stern. ' 

The ships had been engaged with each other for 
two hours, yard-arm to yard-arm. The Isabella's hU, 
masts, yards, sails, and rigging were shot through and 
through, and her ensign dismantled. A shot strik- 
ing the Braneas between wind and water, she 
sheered off. Hornsby, erecting his shattered ensign, 
gave the Frenchmen three cheers. The privateer, 
returning, fired a dreadful volley into the stern 
of the Isabella. Captain Hornsby was wounded in 
the temple, which bled profusely. He called to 
his men to stand to their arms ; and, taking close 
quarters, they sustained the shock of three most tremen- 
dous broadsides, returning the fire. The privateer again 
sheered off. The Englishmen cheered, and set up again 
their ensign, which had a second time succumbed to the 
fire. The Frenchman returned, and fired two broadsides, 
summoning a surrender. A final defiance was hurled at 
him. The captain of the privateer ran his ship alongside, 
but his crew refused to board. He then cut the lashings 
and sheered off. Hornsby fired a gun, upon which the 
Frenchman's magazine blew up, and the privateer went 
to the bottom. Out of 75 men, 36 were killed or wounded ; 
all the rest perished in the deep except three. 

For this heroic exploit, Captain Hornsby was presented 
by the reigning sovereign with a gold medal. When 
Napoleon was sent to Elba, in 1814, and the English 
prisoners of war had returned from France, the house 
adjoining that of Mr. Hornsby in Vine Street was, 
says Robinson Crusoe, "occupied at the top by Henry 
Allington, who had been for nine years in a French 
prison. On Allington's return to Sunderland, an effigy of 
Bonaparte was hung out of the top window at the end of 
a spar." 

STfte tiatfcering at tfte 

The late Mr. William Garret, bookseller and publisher, 
Newcastle, was a noted bibliopole in his day, who like- 
wise took a keen interest in public affairs, both local and 
imperial. He contributed at least one item to the 
Newcastle Typographical Society's publications, viz., 
" An Klegy to the Memory of the Princess Charlotte," 
of which, if we have not been misinformed, only some 
half dozen copies were printed, so as to entitle it to be 
classed " rarissimus " in book catalogues. The following 
song was written by him on the eve of the election 
consequent on the demise of George IV. and the accession 
of William IV. The gathering purported to be holden in 
Sir Matthew White Ridley's Committee Rooms. The ditty 




is closely modelled on the Scottish song denominated "The 
Chevaliers Muster Roll," which is believed to have been 
made and sung about the time when the Earl of Mar 
raised the standard for King James III. in the North, 
in 1715, and which Sir Walter Scott imitated under the 
ame title " Little wat ye wha's comiu'" on the occa- 
sion of King George IV. 's visit to Scotland, in August, 
1822. The roll of Whig notabilities made up by Mr. 
Garret contains some names which, at this distance of 
time, it is difficult to identify ; the following, however, 
may be particularized : " Dan o' Blagdon Ha' " was Mr. 
Daniel Turner, land agent, Shotton Edge; "Canny 
Mr. Mayor" must have been Mr. Archibald Reed, 
thirty-eight years alderman, six times mayor ; then we 
have Col. Robert Bell, Long Benton : Mr. Robert Boyd, 
banker, Pilgrim Street, Newcastle ; Dr. T. E. Headlam, 
once the leader of the Whigs; Mr. John Hemsley, 
of Elswick West Cottage ; Mr. William Andrew Mit- 
chell, printer and publisher of the Tyne Mercury and 
Newcastle Magazine ; Mr. Armorer Donkin, solicitor ; 
Mr. Emerson Charnley, bookseller; Mr. Ralph Park 
Philipson, solicitor; Mr. John Trotter Brockett, solicitor, 
best known by his invaluable "Glossary of North- 
Country Words" ; Mr. William Coates, wine and spirit 
merchant ; Alderman Cramlington, of Pilgrim Street ; 
his near neighbour, Mr. Isaac Hamilton, haberdasher and 
hosier ; Mr. Thomas Smith, rope manufacturer ; Mr. 
Robert Rayne, iron founder ; Mr. Matthew Wheatley, 
iron merchant ; Mr. Richard Burden, Shieldtield ; Mr. 
Thomas Hodgson, printer and publisher of the Newcastle 
Chronicle; the Rev. William Turner, Unitarian minister; 
Mr. Rowland Hodge, shipowner; Mr. Elrington Lax, 
hay merchant ; Mr. Dixon Dixon, coal-fitter ; Mr. Wm. 
Archbold, commission agent ; Mr. Thomas Wright, but- 
cher ; Mr. Thomas William Keenlyside, solicitor ; Mr. 
William Redhead, com merchant; Mr. Joseph Pollard , 
corn merchant ; and Mr. William Armstrong, corn mer- 
chant. Sir Matthew White Ridley (vulgo Matty) held 
the principles of the old Whigs, and the colours his 
friends sported were gold and blue. 

Little wat ye wha's comin ; 
Dan o' Blandon Ha's comin, 
Harry's comin, Scaife's comin, 
Henderson and a's ccmin. 
Canny Mr. Mayor's comin, 
Cornel Bell an' a's comin, 
Bobby Bojrd an' a' the Bank, 
Canvas Bags an' a's comin. 
The Doctor an' his Hat's comin, 
Patent- Felt an' a's comin, 
Hemsley's None an' Mitchell's Prose, 
And Charlie Pot an' a's comiu. 
Donkin an' his Dog's comin, 
Charnley an' Liddell's comin, 
Ralph Park, an' mony mair, 
For a' the Friends o' Cuddy s comin. 

Brockett an' his Gig's comin, 
Coates an' his Son's comin, 
Cramlington an' Hamlington, 
Smith o' Heaton Ha's comin. 

Rayne's comin, Wheatley's comin, 
An' every wiser head's comin, 
Burdon e'en frae Jesmond Dean, 
With Cockelorum Ha's comin. 

Hodgson's comin, Turner's 1 comin, 
Chronicle an' a's comin, 
Rowley Hodge, an' Toney Lodge, 
With Elly Lax an' a's comin. 

Dixon's comin, Gibson's comin, 
Archbold an' a's comin, 
Men o' might, wi' Tommy Wright, 
An' Keenlyside an' a's comin. 

Redhead's comin, Pollard's oomin, 
Armstrong an' a's comin ; 
Young gold an' blue they'll a' pursue 
When Matty's Whigs are a' comin. 

They're comin in frae far and near, 
A' straggling in disorder. 
They've nae forgot the days o' Scott, 
Wi' th' Blue Bonnets o'er the Border. 



This celebrated song appeared in print, as Mr. Thomas 
Allan reminds us, some years earlier than the publication 
of Akenhead's collection. It will be found on page 
23 of "Rhymes of Northern Bards," edited by John 
Bell, Jun., and printed by M. Angus and Son in 1812. 
Thus the song had general currency about two years after 
the accident to Mr. Baron Graham. 

This phrase is commonly ascribed to Napoleon I. The 
saying originated with Bertrand Barrfere, who, in bis 
report to the Committee of Public Safety, after the 
battle called Lord Howe's Victory, June 1st, 1794, tried 
to show that the victory was with the French, and then 
exclaimed, " Qua Pitt done Be vante de sa victoire a sa 
nation boutiquiere." Napoleon I. never said it. 


A correspondent of the Sunderland Daily Post, alluding 
to the " full and interesting record of Jack Crawford in 
the Monthly Chronicle," states that there is in the Borough 
Museum of Sunderland "aglas jar labelled as contain- 
ing the heart of the hero of Camperdown." Jack's only 
monument, the writer adds, in, as far as he knows, "a 
wooden one, over a beer-shop at the corner of Whitburn 
Street, Monkwearmouth." Here is a hint for Sunder- 
land folks. Who among them will initiate a movement 
to erect some more suitable memorial of Crawford's 
daring exploit? EDITOR - 


Two or three mistakes, I find, occurred in the paper on 
the Hawkses. I stated that Mr. George Hawks became 
the manager of the ironworks on the death of his cousin, 
Sir Robert Shaftoe Hawks, whereas it appears that, after 
the death of Mr. William Stanley Hawks, his younger 



brother Joseph, who inherited his shares, became manager, 
and continued to be so up to the time of his retirement, 
when the Crawshays bought his shares and those of Sir 
Robert ; and it was only from that time that Mr. George 
Hawks undertook the management. Again, the first iron 
boat ever built, which I was led to believe, on what I 
considered good authority, was constructed under the 
supervision of a man named Samuel Thynne, was 
designed, it seems, by another of the workmen named 
James Smith, Thynne only "playing second fiddle." 
Neither did Thynne die so far back as I had an impression 
he did. I wrote that it was some twenty or thirty years 
ago ; but Mr. Watson Walker, of Jarrow, who was a 
fellow-worker with him, and who tells us he watched the 
building of the little iron row-boat or gig (which was 
named the Vulcan) with great interest, says he has not 
been dead, as near as he can remember, over twelve years, 
as he had a visit from him about that time. Regarding 
the accident which took place on Ascension Day, 1826, 
there is a third mistake. It was not the Vulcan that was 
upset, drowning two persons, a young man and his sweet- 
heart, but a pleasure-boat, built by the same James 
Smith, which was manned by twelve or fourteen hands, 
comprising the rowers of the Vulcan. The whole of 
those on board being very tipsy, and the flag having got 
entangled with the ropes, Smith got up the mast to put it 
right, when the drunken men, rolling about the boat, 
caused it to upset. Smith, being fast among the ropes, 
lost his life, as did also the young man Lambton and the 
young woman Greig. The crew of the iron gig, which 
hailed from the South Shore, consisted of six only, besides 
the pee-dee or coxswain. So writes Mr. Walker, who, 
with two other lads, towed behind the pleasure-boat up to 
Lemington and back to the Crooked Billet, where they 
parted for home. The public-house where old William 
Hawks was ordered out by the irate landlady was 
situated about fifty yards east of New Woolwich gate, 
and it was kept, Mr. Walker thinks, at the time to which 
the anecdote re c ers, by the father of James Smith, the 
designer of the Vulcan, which was built in a garden 
behind it. Smith's wife's mother. Old Sally Hunter, as 
they used to call he r, kept the house for many years prior 
to her son-m-law becoming its tenant. The whole of this 
property was pulled down over forty years ago, when 
forges, foundries, &c., were bilt on the ground. For 
these particulars we are indebted to Mr. Walker, who was 
born in one of the cottages built by Mr. Hawks in the 
year 1812, who was educated in a school built by him 
for the benefit of his workmen's children, and who has 
been member for over fifty-two yars of Hawks's 
Manufactory Friendly Society, which is still in existence. 



With Houghton-le-Spring the name of Bernard Gilpin 
will be ever associated ; in sooth, civilized Houghtou 

dates from his advent. The "Apostle of the North," 
moreover, has been often mentioned in connection with 
the annual and most ancient feast of Houghton. But 
Bernard Gilpin did not "originate" Houghton Feast, as 
has been but recently repeated. 

Country feasti, which are usually observed on the 
Sunday after the saint's day to whom the parish church 
is dedicated (Houghton to St. Michael, 29th Sep- 
tember), took their rise from a letter written by Pops 
Gregory the Great, in the sixth century, to Melitus 
Abbott (who was sent into England with St. Austin) in 
these words, quoted by Bede in his Ecclesiastical His- 
tory : "It may, therefore, be permitted them (viz., the 
English) that on the dedication day, or other solemn days 
of martyrs, they make themselves bowers about their 
churches, and, refreshing themselves and feasting to- 
gether after a good religious sort, kill their oxn now 
to the praise of God and increase of charity, which before 
they were wont to sacrifice to the devil," Ac. Thus, by 
ascertaining the date of the original church at Houghton, 
ws may arrive somewhere near the time when the feast 
was first celebrated. The first Rector of Houghtou of 
whom I can find any record was, according to Hutchin- 
son, named Renaldus (1131), who flourished four cen- 
turies before the truly Christian Gilpin, as twentieth 
Rector, so thoroughly realised, in his great charity, the 
idea of the good Saint Gregory when he, nearly a 
thousand years prior, instituted, with good intent, feasts 
and wakes. 

Every Sunday, from Michaelmas till Easter, says the 
Durham historian, was a sort of public day with Bernard 
Gilpin. During this season he expected to see all his 
parishioners with their families. For their reception he 
had three tables well covered. The first was for gentle- 
men, the second for yeomen, and the third for day 
labourers. This piece of hospitality he never omitted, 
even at seasons when its continuance was rather difficult 
to him. He thought it his duty, and that was a deciding 
motive. When he was absent from home, no alteration 
was made in his family expenses : the poor were fed as 
usual, and his neighbours entertained ; and he was always 
glad of the company of men of merit and learning, who 
greatly frequented his house. He attended to everything 
which he conceived might be of service to his parishioners. 
He was assiduous to prevent all law suits. His hall, it is 
said, was often thronged with people who came to sub- 
mit their differences to his judgment. His hospitable 
manner of living was the admiration of the whole country. 
He spent in his family every fortnight 40 bushels of corn, 
20 bushels of malt, and a whole ox, besides a proportion- 
able quantity of other kinds of provisions. Strangers and 
travellers found in his house a cheerful reception. All 
were welcome that came ; and even their horses had so 
much care taken of them that it was humorously said, 
" If a horse was turned loose in any part of the country, 
it would immediately make its way to the Rector of 
Houghton." N. E. R., Fence Houses. 




The following conversation is recorded to have taken 
place between two pitmen : " Wey, man, what de ye 
think? Andra Blair's gotten a watch." "Hehes, hes he? 
Umph! Wey, he cannot tell the clock, let alyen the 

watch ! " 


A well-known Boniface in a Northern county had a 
goose presented to him for his Christmas dinner. On 
going into the pantry on Christmas morning, he found 
that " the bird had flown." He suspected three jovial 
friends, one of whom, after sympathising with him, 
said, "It wasoaly a lark." "Lark, be hanged!" said 
he ; " it weighed ten punds ! " 


Not a hundred miles from St. Peter's, Newcastle, 
two lovers of aquaties, who for the sake of distinction we 
will name Fred and Dick, were discussing the starts in 
the last Christmas Aquatic Handicap. Dick: "They're 
badly handicapped ; wey, aa could handicap them bettor 
even if Beaoh had bin amang the entries." Fred : "Get 
away, man ! whaat stairt wad ye hev gi'en me ?" Dick : 
" Ye? Wey, aa wad hev set ye away the neet afore ! " 

A workman was trying to enlighten two or three of the 
less informed on the question of capital. "As an illus- 
tration," he said, " we'll suppose a master puts a thoosand 
punds inte the warks ; he wants five or ten per cent, 
profit oot o' that." "Whaat's he want thaat for? "de- 
manded one of his hearers. " Oh ! becaas he hes te live ; 
he hes his wife and family te keep," was the reply. 
"That be beggored," said the other: " aa think he's 
weel off if he gets his thoosand pund back agyen. As 
for keeping his wife an' bairns, thor's plenty folk '11 tick 
him aall he wants ! " 


A ew place of worship has been erected in an eastern 
suburb of Newcastle, and the minister lately appointed 
has been zealous in seeking for persons to attend. One 
old porter pokeman was asked to come. " Wey," said he, 
"aa've nivvor been tiv a chorch since aa wes marriet. ' 
Various inducements were offered to hiuc, and he at last 
consented, remarking: "Wey, es thor's flagstanes aall 
the wey doon, a'll mebbies some ! " 


Two pitmen met tfce other night, when one of them, in 
reply to a question as to his destination, said, " Aa's gan 
te sing at a singing contest, but aa's a bit freetened, 'caas 
thor's a chep coming whe's a grand singor." The same 
pitman, meeting the vocalist the next evening, asked, 
"Hoodid ye come on 'up yondor?" "Wey," said his 
friend, "tuthor chep bt us. Aa sang 'The Anchor's 
Weighed ' tiv an oonce, but ha sang ' The Village Black- 
smith ' that wel that the varra sparks seemed te come 
oot o' his fingor ends !" 

Mr. John Thompson, for many years manager of Messrs. 
Bell Brothers' Fort Clarence blast-furnaces, died at his 
residence, Southfield Villa, Middlesbrough, on February 
18. Mr. Thompson, who was a native of Wylam, in 
Northumberland, was fifty-four years of age. 

Mr. Edward Dean Davis, the well-known theatrical 
manager, died on February 19, at his residence in Eldon 
Square, Newcastle, at the advanced age of 81 years. A 
native of the neighbourhood of Bath, in Somersetshire, 
the deceased gentleman made his first essay in 
theatrical management at Taunton, in March, 1895. In 
1846, he removed to the North of England, and in the 
autumn of that year he entered upon the lesseeship of the 
Theatre Royal, Newcastle. From that position he retired 
in 1870 ; but down to the summer of 1886 he continued his 
connection, as lessee, wilh a theatre in Sunderland. Mr. 
Davis was instrumental in bringing out some actors and 

actresses who afterwards achieved distinction in thoir 
profession ; and it was under his auspices that Mr. Henry 
Irving, the eminent tragedian, made his first appearance 
at the Lyceum Theatre, Sunderland, in September, 1866. 
Mr. Davis's last appearance on the stage was at the 
Theatre Royal, Newcastle, on the occasion of the 
second annual benefit of the lessees, Messrs. Howard 
and Wyndham, on the 1st of April, 1885. The 
deceased gentleman was a prominent Freemason, 
being probably the oldest member of that craft in the 
country ; and in 1886 he was appointed, by the Prince 
of Wales, G.S.B. of the Grand Lodge of England. The 
interment took place in Jesmond Cemetery, on the 22nd, 



in presence of a large assemblage of the Masonic brother- 
\ hood of Northumberland and Durham. 

Mr. Joseph Purvis, who had filled several parochial 
offices in connection with the district of St. Andrew's, 
Newcastle, and who was also a prominent Freemason, 
died on February 20, in the fifty-sixth year of his age. 

Mr. Thomas Atkinson, an old printer, who had served 
his apprenticeship with Mr. Mitchell on the Tyne 
Mercury, died in Newcastle, on February 21, in the 
eighty-first year of his age. The deceased was one 
of the founders of the Church of England Institute, New- 
castle, of which he ultimately became librarian. 

An old man, believed to be Robert Robson, who, 
on account of a supposed large fortune in Chancery to 
which he advanced himself as a claimant some years 
ago, was locally known as the " Hexham millionaire,'' 
was found dead in bed in a lodging-house at Spennymoor, 
in the county of Durham, on February 22. The coroner's 
jury returned a verdict of death from natural causes. 

Mr. John M'Alpine, who, until recently, had been 
for many years harbour master at Byth, died there on the 
22nd of February, in the sixty-fourth year of his age. 

Mr. John Clay, a former inhabitant of South Shields, 
and the first mayor of that borough, died at his residence, 
Oak House, Crawloy Down, Sussex, on February 23rd. 
He was, during his connection with this district, exten- 
sively engaged in commercial pursuits. Besides being the 
manager of the Northumberland and Durham District 
Bank, he was at the head of a shipbuilding firm ; and it 
was from his yard, about the year 1847, that the first iron 
ship built at South Shields was launched. When the 
borough was incorporated, he was elected a member of 
the first Town Council on the 1st of March, 1850, and on 
the 9th of the same month he was elected an alderman, 
and then mayor. Mr. Clay was born in South Shields in 
1802, and was, therefore, eighty-five years of age. The 
body was interred in the family vault at Crawley Down. 

The Rev. \V. Maon, vicar of Sacriston, died some- 
what suddenly on February 25. He had laboured in the 
parish for twenty-three years since its formation in 1864. 

On the 26th of February was announced the death, 
which had taken place at Sydney, New South Wales, of 
Mr. Henry George Moody, third son of the late Rev. 
Clement Moody, for many years Vicar of Newcastle. 

Mr. William Short, shipowner, of Alma, Place, North 
Shields, and a member of the Tynemouth Council, died in 
that town on February 26, his age being about forty years. 

Mr. John Brockat, Lloyd's principal engineer sur- 
veyor at Newcastle, and well-known in engineering and 
shipbuilding circles, died in Newcastle on February 26, 
at the age of 51, and his remains were removed for 
interment to Glasgow, of which city he was a native. 

Mr. George D. Menzies, who was very widely known 
among agriculturists as a good, sound, practical farmer, 
died on March 1 at bis residence at Quarrington Hill 
Farm, near Coxhoe, Durham. The deceased gentleman, 
who also took a keen interest in parochial matters, and 
was a member of the Durham Board of Guardians, was 
76 years of age. 

Mr. Robert Bagnall, landlord of the Crown and Can- 
non Hotel, Winlaton, who for upwards of half a century 
had been closely connected with the popular sports of the 
district, died on the 5th of March, at the age of 77. 

Major Waddilove, formerly of the Bengal Army, and a 
justice of the peace for the county of Northumberland, 
died at his residence, Brunton House, Wall, on March 6, 
in the sixty-fourth year of his age. 

On the 15th of March, there died at Hurworth-ou-Tees, 
in her 88th year, Louisa Arabella, widow of the Ven. 
Richard Charles Coxe, Vicar of Eglingham, Archdeacon 
of Lindisfarne, and Canon of Durham, formerly Vicar of 
Newcastle. The deceased lady had survived her husband 
twenty-two years. 

Mr. John Barnes, for many years proprietor of the 
Sunderland Daily News, died in Newcastle, on the loth of 
March, in the sixty-third year of his age. 

Mrs. Smith, wife of Councillor Wm. Smith, Newcastle, 
died on the 17th of March. 




7. The championship sculler race between George 
Bubear, of Hammersmith, and George Perkins, of Rother- 
hithe, for 200 a-side, and the silver challenge cup given 
by the proprietors of the Sportsman, was rowed on the 
Tyne, and resulted in the victory of Bubear by a boat's- 

14. The number of missives which passed through the 
Post-Office at Newcastle in connection with St. Valentine's 
Day was about 70,000, which, while showing a slight 
increase over last year's figures, was far below that 
experienced a few years ago. 

16. An appeal was issued by the Countess of Ravens- 
worth to the ladies of Newcastle and district for funds to 
establish a Home of Refuge for Fallen Women and Girls, 
under the supervision of the Sisters of the Good Shep- 
herd ; and, on the 21it, a meeting in furtherance of tha 
object was held in the County Hotel, under the presi- 
dency of the Rev. Provost Consitt. 

In reference to a long-pending question, Mr. B. C. 
Browne, as Mayor of Newcastle, wrote to the Rev. R. 
W. Snape, Lamesley, stating that neither out of Cor- 
porate funds nor out of the funds of the Hospital of St. 
Mary the Virgin were the Corporation able to make 
any provision for payment to the representatives of the 
late Dr. Snape. formerly Head Master of the Grammar 
School, of the sum of 1,500, or any other sum, adding 
that this reply must be considered final. 

Considerable excitement was created at West Cram- 
lington by an extraordinary attack made upon Mr. Robt. 
W. Bell, farmer, of that plaoe. He was riding on hore- 
back down a lane leading to Beacon Hall Farm, when he 
observed some men trespassing in a field. On being asked 
to leave, one of them raised a gun and fired at Mr. Bell, 
who, in attempting to defend himself, was wounded in 
the arm. which had afterwards to be amputated. Three 
men, John H. Potts (23), Albert Ludkin (20), and Row- 
ling Maughan (22), were subsequently arrested on the 
charge ; and, on the 18th, Robert Boak (27), a pitman, 
committed suicide by shooting himself at Dudley, leaving 
behind him several letters, in one of which he said, " I am 
the man that did the foolish action." At the coroner's 
inquest, the jury returned a verdict of felo de si, and the 
body was buried at Dinnington Village Church, without 
the usual funeral rites. The three men arrested on the 
charge of aiding and abetting in the attack made upon 
Mr. Bell were afterwards discharged. 

In connection with the strike of miners in Northum- 



berland, it was found, to-day, as the result of the circular 
sent out by the officials of the Union, that 51 lodges voted 
for, and 161 against, the convening of a meeting to accept 
the resignation tendered by the officers, who consequently 
continued to occupy their several positions. On the 18th, 
the first allowance from the funds of the Union was 
paid to the men, the sum distributed being about 14,000. 
The second distribution took place on the 4th March, 
when 10,131 2i. Sd. was paid out of the funds of the 
Union to the men on strike. On the 23rd, two brothers, 
named William and George Whitefield, were, in terms 
of ejectment warrants previously granted by the magis- 
trates at Tynemouth, evicted from their houses at Bur- 
radon, the proceedings being carried out in a perfectly 
peaceful manner. At Dudley Colliery, on the 24th, the 
men living in rented houses held a demonstration in 
the village, and adopted a " plan of campaign" with re- 
gard to rents. Mr. John Williams, a Socialist from 
London, as well as other Socialists, visited the district, 
and delivered a number of addresses to the miners and 
othen. The third payment of relief money to the men on 
strike was paid on the 18th March, at the rate of 2s per 
member. , 

About 3,800 poor children were, in accordance with a 
custom of several years' standing, treated to a free repre- 
sentation of the pantomime " Dick Whittington and his 
Cat" at the Tyne Theatre, Newcastle. Mr. R. W. 
Younge, the lessee, appeared on the stage in the dress 
which he wore on the occasion of Uncle Toby's demonstra- 
tion to commemorate the enrolment of 100,000 members 
of the Dicky Bird Society a humane society which was 
commenced in the Newcastle Weekly Chronicle in 1876. 

The Newcastle City Council rejected, by 30 against 
16 votes, a recommendation from the Parks Committee to 
purchase a portion or the whole of Beech Grove estate 
for the extension of Elswick Park, 

21. Tha Jubilee or fiftieth anniversary of the Theatre 
Royal, Gray Street, Newcastle, was celebrated to-night, 
.when, after the production of the pantomime, " Robinson 
Crusoe," Mr. F. W. Wyndham, one of the lessees, recited 
the address written by the late Mr. Thomas Doubleday, 
and spoken at the opening of the establishment in 1837. 

Mr. J. Barras, of Darlington, discovered in a cabinet, 
which he had bought in a sale-room, fourteen 100 and 
twenty-six 5 Bank of England notes, which proved to 
have been lost twenty yean previously by Mr. Benson, 
of London, to whose representatives he restored them, 
receiving back 10. 

22. The Dowager Marchioness of Londonderry laid 
the foundation itone of a new High School for Girls, in 
connection with the Church Schools at Sunderland. 

Mr. Cameron Corbett, M.P., addressed a well- 
attended meeting of shopkeepers and assistants in New- 
castle, in explanation of Sir John Lubbock's Compulsory 
Early Closing Bill, a resolution in favour of which was 
unanimously passed. 

23. The steamship Weatherall, of Newcastle, was run 
down by collision with the iron barque Vallejo, of Work- 
ington, abont five miles off the coast between Folkestone 
and Dover, one of the crew of the Weatherall, a man 
named Herrod, being drowned. 

A number of trees were planted in Priestpopple, 
Hexham, in commemoration of the Queen's Jubilee. 

A young man, named Patrick Finnerty, was burned 
to death in a shocking manner, while assisting in tapping 
some molten slag at the steel works of Messrs. Palmer and 
Co., Jarrow. 

24. The first number of the Monthly Chronicle was 
issued to-day. Such was the success of the undertaking 
that the first edition of 5,000 was sold out on the day of 
publication. The publisher had subsequently to go to 
press with two other editions of 5,000 each. 

At the fourteenth annual meeting of the Newcastle 
Branch of the Royal Society for the Prevention of 
Cruelty to Animals, a number of prizes, offered by the 
society and by Uncle Toby, were presented to the 
winners by the Rev. Canon Franklin. 

A fire broke out in the large malting warehouse of 
Messrs. John Barras and Co., situated in Tucker's 
Yard, West Street, Gateshead, the damage done 
being estimated at 2,000. On the same day, the pre- 
mises of Messrs. E. H. and A. Richardson, paper manu- 
facturers, Teams, Gateshead, were also the scene of a fire. 
The store was entirely gutted, and the roof of the lamp- 
black house fell in before the conflagration was sup- 

25. The Hexham Local Board sealed an agreement 
with Mr. W. B. Beaumont, M.P., in reference to Tyne 
Green, the hon. gentleman having, as a memorial of the 
Ruyal Jubilee, handed over to the Board his interest in 
the lands above the bridge over the Tyne, exclusive of his 
mineral rights. 

26. One of two 23-ton guns, to be placed in the Castle 
Yard at Tynemouth, was brought to the Tyne by her 
Majesty's ship Locksley. 

Mr. T. Wemyss Reid, a native of Newcastle, being a 
son of the late Kev. A. Reid, Congregational minister, 
brought to a close his connection with the Leeds Mercury, 
of which he had been editor for seventeen years, to enter 
on the position of manager for Messrs. Cassell and Co., 
publishers, London : and, before leaving Leeds, he was 
made the recipient of several valuable testimonials. 

27. A scene of a very unseemly character was wit- 
nessed on the occasion of the funeral of a sergeant of 
volunteers with military honours at Elswick Cemetery. 
In the struggles of the crowd to get within the gates, a 
number of women were knocked down and badly treated. 
Inside the cemetery, graves were trampled under foot, 
and plants were destroyed to a considerable extent. 

28. Details were received as to the sinking, while on a 
passage from England to Australia, of the emigrant 
ship Kapunda, on the 20th of January, among the numer- 
ous passengers who perished being a family named Reece, 
consisting of father, mother, brothers, and two sisters, 
who had gone from Spennymoor. 

Formal possession was taken, by the Executive 
Council, of the extensive building on the Town Moor, 
Newcastle, in which at a later period of the year it is pro- 
posed to hold a great exhibition in celebration of tha 
Jubilee of Queen Victoria's reign. 


1. Mr. B. C. Browne, Mayor of Newcastle, was pre- 
sented to the Prince of Wales at a levee held by his 
Royal Highness on behalf of her Majesty. 

2. A District Convention of the Methodist Free 
Church was held in Gloucester Street Chapel, Newcastle, 
when a paper was read by the Rev. Charles Hunt, of 
South Shields. 

A new Sunday School and Lecture Hall, erected in 
Durham Road, Gateshead, by the Primitive Methodist 
body, were formally opened by the Mayor of the borough, 
Mr. Davidson. 

3. A special meeting of the governors of the New- 



castle Infirmary was held to-day, for the purpose of 
considering a report from the House Committee and 
Medical Board on the future management of the institu- 
tion. Sir W. 6. Armstrong presided. The joint com- 
mittee recommended the abolition of letters of admission 
by making the hospital free, subject to the reservation of 
existing rights of life governors and to the receipt of 
regular periodical contributions from the workmen of 
Tyneside. The recommendation was unanimously 

Salt was reached in the Greatham mines at West 

7. Mr. Ralph Atkinson, of Angerton, Morpeth, and 
Mr. Gerald Percy Vivian Aylmer, of Walworth Castle, 
Darlington, were respectively appointed Sheriffs of North- 
umberland and Durham. 

Messrs. Gilbert and Sullivan's new opera " Ruddi- 
gore," first played in London on January 22, was pro- 
duced for the first time in the provinces at the Theatre 
Royal. Newcastle, to-night. 

8. At an influential meeting held in the Lecture 
Room of the Literary and Philosophical Society, 
Newcastle, under the presidency of the Duke of North- 
umberland, as Lord-Lieutenant of Northumberland, a 
resolution, moved by the Mayor of Newcastle (Mr. B. C. 
Browne), and seconded by Earl Percy, was adopted, ap- 
proving of the foundation of an Imperial Institute as 
a fitting memorial of the Jubilee of Queen Victoria's 
reign. The meeting further expressed an opinion that it 
was most desirable to establish in Newcastle a local 
branch of the Institute, whence information so important 
in all agricultural and commercial districts as to the con- 
dition and progress of the industries of the empire might 
be promptly and rapidly disseminated. On the 6th, a 
similar meeting was held at Durham, the Earl of Durham 
being in the chair ; and a resolution was passed in favour 
of co-operating with Northumberland and Newcastle in 
securing a local branch. 

A Peace Conference was held in Newcastle, under 
the presidency of Mr. James Richardson. 

9. In removing the flooring in All Saints' Church, 
Newcastle, the workmen discovered several pillars and 
arch-stones, base mouldings, and window joints of the 
fifteenth century, as well as one or two arch-stones of 
earlier date, probably of the twelfth century, and a piece 
of base of a mediaeval tombstone, in fine limestone. 

10. An inquest was held at Barnard Castle on the 
body of John Connor, a cattle drover, who it was alleged 
had been killed during a fight by Alexander Smith, a 
pedlar, aged 50, against whom a verdict of manslaughter 
was returned. Smith waa afterwards committed for 
wilful murder by the magistrates. 

II. A severe gale and snowstorm passed over New- 
castle and the North-East Coast. 

The Town Clerk of Newcastle (Mr. Hill Motum) and 
the Sheriff of the same city (Aid. W. H. Stephensou) were 
presented to the Prince of Wales, at a levet held by his 
Royal Highness on behalf of the Queen. 

12. The London Gazette contained the award of Mr. E. 
A. Owen as to the rearrangement of the boundaries of the 
municipal wards of Newcastle. 

Lord Charles Beresford, M.P., as one of the Lords of 
the Admiralty, paid an official visit to the port of the Tync. 

Mr. Henry Penman was presented with a series of 
gifts, on the attainment of his jubilee as a compositor, 

thirty years of his work having been connected with the. 
Newcatle Courant, and the remainiag twenty with thu 
Newcastle Chronicle. 

17. At a meeting held in the Town Hall, Gateshead, a 
committee was formed to cauvaee the town for subscrip- 
tions towards the Imperial Institute ; the Mayor, who 
presided, putting down his name for 100. 

General ccumnct<j. 


14. Reports received that a column of Italian troops 
had been massacred near Saati in Abyssinia. 

16. Celebration of Queen's Jubilee in India. At Cal- 
cutta, Bombay, and other towns there were brilliant 
festivals. 25,000 civil and military prisoners and 300 
debtors were released. 

19. Terrible explosion at Cwtch Colliery, Rhondda 
Valley, Wales. About sixty men were in the mine at the 
time of the explosion. Of these, thirty-seven were killed. 

21. Termination of miners' strike in Scotland, a 10 
per cent, advance in wages having been conceded. 

23. Earthquake shocks in South Europe. Great loss 
of life and damage to property in the Riviera. The town* 
of Bajardo and Diano Marina were destroyed. Nice, 
Cannes, and other places also suffered. For a time panic 
prevailed, the inhabitants camping out in the opan air. 
Great numbers of visitors exceeding, it is said, 25,000 
left the district. Slight shocks were experienced for 
about a week afterwards. 


1. Extensive war preparations by Austria in view of 
the threatening attitude of Russia. 

2. Military revolt in Bulgaria. The garrison of 
Silistria pronounced against the Government of the 
Regents. This was followed by an outbreak at 
Kustchuk. The insurrection was speedily suppressed, 
and several of the leaders were executed. 

3. A bill for the increase of the German army having 
been rejected by the Reichstag, that body was dissolved 
by the German Emperor. The new elections resulted in 
favour of the Government by a large majority. 

7. Resignation of Sir Michael Hicks-Beach, Chief 
Secretary fer Ireland, in consequence of ill-health. The 
Right Hon. A. J. Balfour was appointed in his place. 

8. Death of the Rev. Henry Ward Beecher, of Ply- 
mouth Congregational Church, Brooklyn, U.S., at the 
age of 74. 

9. Banquet to Mr. Schnadhorst, a noted Liberal 
organieer, at the Hotel Metropole, London, and presenta- 
tion to him of a purse containing 10,000. 

10. Terrible explosion of melenite, a new explosive 
used in the Frenah army, at Belfort, France. Six men 
wei killed and eleven weunded. 

13. Attempt on the life of the Czar of Russia. Six 
men were arrestsd near the Anitchkoff Palace, St. Peters- 
burg, where the Czar and Imperial family were residing. 
The conspirators had explosive bombs in their possession. 
The Ctar, Czarina, Czarevitch, and Grand Duke George 
attended a religious service at the church of Sfcs. Peter 
and Paul. Just before the Imperial sleigh left the Palace 
the would-ba assassins were secured. Several other 
arrests were made. 

Printed by WALTEB SCOTT, Felling-on-Tyne. 




VOL. I. No. 3. 

MAY, 1887. 


utlfjorrtr in tfte f30rtft. 


JHERE are few more readable or instructive 
biographies than the Life of the Right 
Honourable Francia North, Baron of Guil- 
ford, Lord Keeper of the Great Seal under 
Charles and James the Second. The tale is pleasantly 
and quaintly told by his youngest brother ; and he who 
reads it will not only enter into the peculiar character of 
its subject, but gain much information as to the times in 
which he lived. Tynesiders are especially indebted to the 
writer; for, being on circuit with his lordship in 1676, 
Roger North made a note of our colliery waggonways, the 
fruitful parent of the railroads which now gridiron the 

Francis, second son of Lord North, was one of a wide- 
branching family, "and no scabby sheep in it." Of but 
moderate abilities, he gave them the fairest chance by his 
patient industry. He had a genius for taking pains. He 
was assiduous, persevering, discreet, and achieved success 
in a profession to which the Norths had given members 
fr generations. He was successively Solicitor-General, 
Attorney-General, Lord Chief-Justice of the Court of 
Common Pleas, Lord Chancellor. With no high endow- 
ments, he scaled the loftiest heights, teaching a lesson 
which, happily, thousands of his fellow-men may learn 
the lesson that modest talents, allied with the quiet 
graces of diligence and constancy, commonly conduce to 
social advancement. 
When his lordship had become Lord Chief-Justice, bis 

first Assize Circuit was the Western, whereto his Boawelt 
accompanied him, and, reaching Launceston, pays us 
Northerners a pretty compliment. " The trade here," 
says he, "lying mostly with Londoners and foreigners, 
the people have a better English dialect than those of 
Devonshire, whose common speech, I think, is more bar- 
barous than in any other part of England, the North not 
excepted." "We were told that Saltash, three miles up the 
river from Plymouth, was anciently the port town; for, 
in old time, so high within land was safer than near the 
sea ; and well it might be so to small vessels. But ever 
since ships have been built larger, partly for better roads 
and partly for better pilotage, the port towns have crept 
nearer the main; as, they say, would happen upon the 
Tyne, and Shields would become the port town, if New- 
castle had not a privilege that no common baker or 
brewer shall set up between them and the sea." Yes ! as 
" they said," Shields has become a port town. Nay ! two 
port towns. But Newcastle is still a if not the "port 
town," although "baker and brewer" make bread and 
beer where they list. 

In the year 1676, the Chief-Justice, resolving " to turn 
uy the North," paid "the Lord Rutland at Belvoir 
Castle" a visit, and then proceeded on for York and 
Durham. Arriving in York, he saw "little of curiosity 
besides the metropolitan church, which is a stately ne 
indeed, only disguised by a wooden roof framed archwise, 
but manifestly seen. The gentry affect much t walk 




there, to see and be seen ; and the like custom is used at 
Durham. In these churches wind musick was used in the 
choir ; which I apprehend might be introduced for want 
of voices, if not of organs ; but, as I hear, they are now 
disused. . . . At Durham the Bishop [Lord Crewe] 
entertained, who is a sort of Sovereign or Count Palatine 
there, but much shrunk below the ancient authority and 
dignity. . . . The Bishop carried his lordship to his 
ancient seat, called Auckland, which is to Durham as 
Croydon is to Lambeth ; and the entertainment was in all 
points, while his lordship staid in the Palatinate, as I may 
term it, truly great and generous. And thence the road 
lay to Newcastle over a very delightful plain, having 
Lumley Castle in view, on the left hand, most part of the 

"His lordship," writes his brother, "was curious to 
visit the coal mines in Lumley Park, which are 
ihe greatest in the North, and produce the best 
coal, and, being exported at Sunderland, are distinguished 
as of that port. These collieries had but one drain of 
water drawn by two engines : one of three stories, the 
other of two. All the pits, for two or three miles to- 
gether, were drained into these drains. The engines are 
placed in the lowest places, that there may be the less 
way for the water to rise ; and if there be a running 
stream to work the engines, it is happy. Coal lies under 
the stone ; and they are twelve months in sinking a pit. 
Damps, or foul air, kill insensibly. Sinking another pit, 
that the air may not stagnate, is an infallible remedy. 
They are most in very hot weather. An infallible trial is 
by a dog ; and the candles show it. They seem to be 
heavy sulphurous air, not fit for breath ; and I have beard 
some say that they would sometimes lie in the midst of a 
haft, and the bottom be clear. The flame of a candle will 
not kindle them as soon as the snuff ; but they have been 
kindled by the striking fire with a tool. The blast is 
mighty violent ; but men have been saved by lying flat 
upon their bellies. When they are by the side of a hill, 
they drain by a level carried a mile underground, and cut 
through rock to the value of 5,000 or 6,000 ; and where 
there is no rock it is supported by timber." 

Thus does Roger North discourse on what he had seen 
and heard while passing over our coalfields in the days of 
Charles the Second. Jogging along by the side of his 
learned brother, he journeyed from the Wear to the Tyne, 
climbing up the Long Bank, and descending from Sheriff 
Hill to the valley. He tells us that " hia lordship's enter- 
tainment at Newcastle was very agreeable, because it 
went most upon the trades of the place, as coal mines, salt 
works, and the like, with the wonders that belonged to 
them ; and the magistrates were solicitous to give him all 
the diversion they could ; and one was the going down to 
Tinmouth Castle in the town barge. The equipment of 
the vessel was very stately ; for, ahead, there sat a four or 
6ve drone bagpipe, the North-Country organ, and a trum- 
peter astern ; and BO we rowed merrily along. The 
making salt I thought the best sight we had there. The 

other entertainment was a supper in the open air upon an 
island in the Tyne, somewhere above the town : and all 
by the way of ligg and sit upon the ground ; but provi- 
sions for a camp, and wine of all sorts, very fine. In 
short, all circumstances taken together, the cool of the 
evening, the verdant flatj of the island, with wood dis- 
persed upon it and water curling about us, views of the 
hills on both sides of the river, the good appetites, best 
provisions, and a world of merry stories about the 
Scots (which, by the way, makes a great part of the 
wit in those parts), made the place very agreeable, 
where [everyone walked after his fancy, and all were 

Thanks, Roger, for this seventeenth-century idyll of the 
Tyne and the King's Meadows ! He relates how "some 
of the Aldermen " told " strange histories of their coal- 
works ; and one was by Sir William Blackett, who cut 
into a hill in order to drain the water, and conquered all 
difficulties of such and the like till he came to clay ; and 
that was too hard for him ; for no means of timber and 
walls would resist, and all was crowded together ; and 
this was by the weight of the hill bearing upon clay that 
yielded. In this work he lost 20,000. Another thing 
that is remarkable is their wayleaves. For when men 
have pieces of ground between the colliery and the river, 
they sell leave to lead coals over their ground ; and so 
dear that the owner of a good rood of ground will expect 
20 per annum for this leave. The manner of the car- 
riage is by laying rails of timber from the colliery down 
to the river, exactly straight and parallel ; and bulky 
carts are made with four rowlets fitting these rails, 
whereby the carriage is so easy that one horse will draw 
down four or five chaldron of coals, and is an immense 
benefit to the coal merchants." 

Talk of the recent " invention of railways ! " Why, 
here they are in active operation before the Revolution 
of 168S ! All that has been added is but improvement, 
step by step, in detail. The biographer was a good 
listener) and observer, and had the great gift of a dis- 
a disposition to be readily pleased. Well, too, it was 
for us that he had also a capacity and a desire to put 
down on paper what he saw and heard. Thus do 
we learn all about the pleasant pic-nic of 1676 on the 
King's Meadows, where the Mayor, Sir Francis Ander- 
son, played the host so handsomely ; and, doubtless, 
among the many stories told to the strangers, his Worship 
did not forget to relate the legend of his family "The 
Fish and the Ring." 

" From Tinmouth his lordship went to dine at Seaton 
Delaval," where Sir Ralph Delaval entertained his guests 
" exceeding well "; showed them the little port he had 
"made for receiving small craft that carried out his salt 
and coal," the King appointing him " collector and sur- 
veyor, and no officer to intermeddle there " ; took them te 
see his salt pans at work, and "the petit magazines of a 
marine trade upon the wharf ; and so," says one of the 
party present, " he reaped the fruits of his great cost and 

1887. / 



invention ; and if, in the whole, the profit did not answer 
the account, the pleasure of designing and executing, 
which is the most exquisite of any, did it." 

It is not every ingenious man who can be so superior to 
loss as Sir Ralph Delaval. "At the beginning of dinner, 
a servant brought him a letter, wherein was an account 
of a bag of water which was broke in bis greatest col- 
liery ; upon which, holding up the letter, said he, ' My 
Lord, here I have advice sent me of a loss in a colliery 
which I cannot estimate at less than 7,000 ; and now 
you shall see if I alter my countenance or behaviour from 
what you have seen of me already.' And fell to discours- 
ing of these bags of water, and the method to clear them, 
as if the case had been another's, and not his own. He 
said his only apprehension was that the water might 
come from the sea ; and, said he, the whole colliery is 
utterly lost; else, with charge, it will be recovered. 
Whereupon he sent for a bottle of the water ; and finding 
it not saline, as from the sea, was well satisfied. After- 
wards we inquired if the water was conquered, and we 
were told it proved not so bad as he expected ; for ic 
seems that although 1,700 was spent upon engines, and 
they could not sink it an inch, yet 000 more emptied it, 
so that it had no more than the ordinary springs, and in 
about six weeks he raised coal again." 

The thieving of cattle is described by Roger North as a 
relic of " the Border trade." We are told of the " peel 
bouses " that were then common, built of stone, for the 
protection of householders who had anything to lose, " in 
the manner of a square tower, with an overhanging bat- 
tlement ; and, underneath, the cattle were lodged every 
night. In the upper room the family lived ; and when 
the alarm came they went to the top, and, with hot water 
and stones from the battlement, fought in defence of their 
cattle." The union of England and Scotland brought so 
much security to the Border Land that " the Lord Gray 
of Wark's estate, which before was not above 1,000 
per annum, hath since risen to 7,000 or 8,000." Still, 
however, " the Border trade" went on to some extent ; 
and to put it down " the Crown sent Commissioners of 
Oyer and Terminer, directed to an equal number of Eng- 
lish and Scotch," who " hang up at another rate than 
the Assizes ; for we were told that at one sessions they 
hanged eighteen for not reading sicut clerici." "Con- 
siderable reform" had thus been made ; but there yet 
was need of an officer called a "country keeper," who 
had a salary from the country, and was " bound to make 
good all the stolen cattle, unless found out and restored." 

"When his lordship held the Assizes at Newcastle," 
Lord Guilford's biographer continues, "there was one 
Mungo Noble, supposed to be a great thief, brought to 
trial upon four separate indictments ; and he was so much 
of a South-Country Judge as not to think any of them 
well proved. One was for stealing a horse of a person 
unknown ; and the evidence amounted to no more than 
that a horse was seen feeding upon the heath near his 
ihiel (which is a cottige made in open places of turf and 

flag), and none could tell who was the owner of it. In 
short, the man escaped, much to the regret of divers gen- 
tlemen who thought he deserved to be hanged ; and that 
was enough. While the Judge at the trial discoursed of 
the evidence and its defects, a Scotch gentleman upon the 
Bench, who was a Border Commissioner, made a long 
neck towards the Judge, and ' My Lord,' said he, ' send 
him to buzz, and yees ne'er see him mere.'" 

There was also brought up for trial one of the 
"Bedlamers," who sorely troubled the country with 
their lawless violence. Surprising one of his brethren 
asleep, he had killed him with a blow of his 
staff, and then bragged that he had given him "a 
sark full of sere benes." So Roger writes the dialect; 
and we also learn from him that the prisoner 
"would not plead to the country": that is, when 
placed before the jury, he would not say whether he was 
guilty or not guilty, "because there were horse-copers 
amongst them." But the "pre" being made ready 
(the apparatus for squeezing a man till he either pleaded 
or died) his resolution gave way, and the trial went 
forward, and ended in his conviction ; whereupon he waa 
hanged. These Bedlamers " were a great nuisance, 
frighting the people in their houses, and taking what they 
listed ; so that a small matter, with the countrymen [the 
jurors], would do such a fellow's business." 

Here, now, let us indulge in digression. We have been 
writing of Sir Francis North, who came to the Tyne in 
1G7G, and had a coin and dagger given to him on his 
departure from Newcastle. Leaving him to pursue his 
journey, we would go back about half a century, to the 
time when Sir James Whitelocke took tha Northern 
Circuit, and in his Liber Famelicus, printed by the 
Camden Society (volume 70), made an entry of his 
receipts and expenses. "The Northern Circuit was to him 
de claro this year (1627), 310 17s. Id. ; and his total net 
income of the year, 974 10s. lOd. " ; a result which 
prompts the devout ejaculation of his pen, Deo gratiat. 
He had " enterteynment " of the Bishop at Darlington, 
and Durham, with also a sum of 12. Nor did the Tyne 
fall short of the Wear. He had 

Of the towne of Newcastle 2 

Of the Shirif of Northumberland at leave- 

takinz, in gold 1 

Of the Maior of Newcastle at leave- 
taking, a spur royal in gold 15 

This "spur royal" was a coin of Elizabeth, bearing on 
the reverse a star resembling the rowel of a spur. (Nares's 
Glossary.) It was the parting gift of the Mayor; and 
he had enjoyed, besides, "enterteynment of the dyet of 
the towne during the assises for the countyes of the shire 
and the towne." " Of the Shirif of Cumberland, he had 
all charges and a dagger"; and "of the Shirif of Carlile 
a dudgeon dagger." 

This was in 1627, early in the reign of Charles the 
First. In the month of August, 1595, the Chamberlains 
of Newcastle, as appears by their accounts, " paid for 2 
old spurr riolls, given to the Judges of the Assizes, yeirlie 



. - 

accustomde, 15s. 6d. per.jjeece, 31s." The custom was at 
that time an established one ; and when and how it 
originated it might be hazardous to conjecture. In 1676, 
when a second Charles was King, Sir Francis North was 
in the track of Sir James Whitelocke ; and there was still 
on the Tyne this custom of the dagger, and still a pen at 
hand making a note of it. Nor, in our own day, has the 
image died out. Every Judge that comes this way re- 
ceives "dagger money" abroad coin, commonly of the 
seventeenth century. But when that century was 
running its course, "the Northumberland Sheriff," says 
Roger North, '' gave us all arms : that is, a dagger, a 
knife, penknife, and fork, all together ; and because the 
hideous road along by the Tyne, for the many and sharp 
turnings and perpetual precipices, was for a coach, not 
sustained by main force, impassable, his lordship was 
forced to take horse, and to ride most of the way to 

What his lordship saw on the road to Hexham is thus 
related: "We were showed where coal-mines burnt 
underground, but could discern nothing of it besides the 
deadness of the plants there. We were showed the Picts' 
[Roman] Wall. But it appeared only as a range or bank 
of stones all overgrown with grass, not unlike the Devil's 
Ditch at Newmarket, only without any hollow, and 
nothing near so big. Here his lordship saw the true 
image of a Border country. The tenants of the 
several manors are bound to guard the Judges through 
their precinct ; and out of it they would not go ; no, not 
an inch, to save the souls of them. They were a comical 
sort of people, riding upon ' negs,' as they call their small 
horses, with long beards, cloaks, and long broadswords, 
with basket hilts, hanging in broad belts, that their legs 
and swords almost touched the ground ; and every one in 
his turn, with his short cloak and other equipage, came 
up cheek by joul, and talked with my Lord Judge. His 
lordship was very well pleased with their discourse ; for 
they were great antiquarians in their own grounds." 

How admirably we have here given the materials for an 
historical picture ! And the artist would have choice of 
picturesque spots in which to group tha strange proces- 

The Judges " cam* at length to Hexham, formerly a 
metropolis of a famous shire of that name. From the en- 
tertainment and lodging there," observes the brother of 
the Lord Chief -Justice, "it might be mistaken, but 
whether for a Scotch or Welsh town may be a nice point 
for the experienced to determine. The rest of the 
country to Carlisle was more pleasant and direct, and, 
bating hunger and thirst, which will not be quenched by 
anything to be fastened upon there but what the bounty 
of the skies affords, was passed over with content. At 
Carlisle nothing extraordinary occurred but good ale and 
small beer, which were supplied to their lordships from 
the Prebends' houses ; and they boasted of brewing it at 
home. But, being asked with what malt, they made an- 
swer that it was South-Country malt. For, to say truth, 

the bigg (viz., a four-rowed barley) is seldom ripe; and 
the oats, which they call 'yeats,' are commonly first 
covered with snow. In Cumberland the people had 
joined in a sort of .confederacy to undermine the estates 
of the gentry by pretending a tenant-right ; which, there, 
is a customary estate, not unlike our copyholds ; and the 
verdict was sure for the tenant's right, whatever the case 
was. The gentlemen, finding that all was going, resolved 
to put a stop by serving on common juries. I could not 
but wonder to see pautaloons and shoulder-knots crowding 
among the common clowns. But this account was a 

"In the return homewards from Lancashire," the 
Chief-Justice "staid some days with Sir Roger Brad- 
shaw, whose lordship is famous for yielding the canal 
(or candle) coal. It is so termed, as I guess, because 
the manufacturers in that country use no candle, but 
work by the light of their coal fire. The property of it 
is to burn and flame till it is all consumed, without 
leaving any cinder. It is lighted by a candle like amber ; 
and the grate stands, not against the back of a large 
chimney, as common coal grates, but in the middle, 
where ballads are pasted round, and the folk sit about) 
it, working or merrymaking. His lordship saw the pits, 
where vaat piles of that coal were raised ; and it is a 
pity the place wants water-carriage, else London would 
be in the better part served with it." 

Turnpike roads canals railways all have come since 
the "merrymaking" round the cannel fire fell under 
the eye of Roger North; and now, not only "the 
better part," but every part of London is lighted with 
coal gas ! 

|| HE present Rectory House at Sedgefield, erected 
by the Rev. George Barrington, was preceded 
by a castellated edifice, which, after serving 
the purpose of a Rectory House for some years, was 
burnt down in 1792. During a lengthened period, 
previous to the destruction of the old house, the in- 
habitants of Sedgefield appear to have been greatly 
disturbed by the visits of an apparition known as tha 
" Pickled Parson," which, it was confidently declared, 
wandered in the neighbourhood of the Rector's Hall, 
"making night hideous." Whose wandering shade the 
ghost was supposed to have been is explained as 
follows: A rector's wife had the ill-luck to lose her 
husband about a week before the farmers' tithes fell due. 
Prompted by avarice, she cunningly concealed his death 
by salting the body of her departed spouse, and retain- 
ing it in a private room. Her scheme succeeded, she 
received the emoluments of the living, and the next day 
made the decease of the rector public. Since the fire of 
1792 the apparition has not been seen. 




ffittn JHarfc 'Etorijrt gm aulr 

Pg $ich,art> SKetforli, 


j|N the 14th and 15th centuries, for at least a 
hundred and fifty years, the name of Acton 
appears upon the roll of official persons 
in Newcastle. Richard Acton begins the 
list He was one of the bailiffs of the town in 1307, 
and filled the office four times between that date and the 
year 1322. By a fortunate marriage he acquired con- 
siderable wealth, and the possession of money being then, 
as now, a stepping-stone to position, he became a leading 
citizen. His wife was Maud, or Matilda, one of the 
daughters of Richard Emeldon, who, if local records are 
correct, was eighteen times Mayor of Newcastle. When 
Edward II. fled hither with his favourite, Piers Gaveston 
(1312), Richard Acton was one of the burgesses who 
sympathised with the indignant nobles, and assisted in 
Gaveston's downfall. And when the favourite was dead, 
and the king had come to his senses, he was one of 
eighteen Newcastle men who received a royal pardon. 

On the death of his father-in-law in 1333, Acton appears 
to have occupied the Mayor's chair for the remainder of 
the municipal year, and to have been re-elected in 1334, 
the mayoralty of John Denton intervening. It was during 
Den ton's mayoralty that Baliol swore fealty to Edward III. 
in the Black Kriars monastery, and Richard Acton was in 
all probability one of the spectators of that solemn and 
important ceremony. That he had property in the county 
is apparent, for in the escheats of 12 Edward II. he is 
entered as paying half a mark fine to the Crown for license 
to receive from John of Halton the manor of Wytingdon. 
Edward III. appointed him to superintend, in conjunction 
with Robert Shilvington, one of the bailiffs, the repair of 
the West Gate, Newcastle, which at that time (1337) was 
not only situated in the weaker part of the town wall, but 
was itself greatly broken and destroyed. 

During the stormy period which followed (stormy, that 
is to say, in Newcastle, for the Crown and the town wera 
at variance) he was one of fifteen victims of the Royal 
displeasure wealthy scapegoats who bore the sins of the 
whole community. When kings wanted money, they had, 
besides the ordinary resort to taxation, two excellent 
methods of obtaining it they sold privileges, and they ex- 
acted fines. It was a fine that the burgesses had to pay 
this time, and Acton's share was rather more than ten per 
cent, of the whole. He and his wife were called upon to 

pay 1GO, equal, perhaps, to about 1,500 in the present 
day. The fine was levied in 1342 the year in which Lord 
John Neville, of Hornby, captain of the Castle, with three 
hundred men, dashed out of a postern near the tower which 
bore his name, and captured the Earl of Murray, chief of 
the Scottish army, then encamped to the west of the 
town. When the fines were levied, the king was pacified, 
and not only restored to the burgesses the privileges that 
in his anger he had withdrawn, but sanctioned a code of 
laws for the good government of the town which Acton 
and his fellow-citizens had drawn up. 

With this year the name of Richard Acton . disappears 
from the municipal records, and the bearer of it must have 
died soon after. His widow, Emeldon's daughter, married 
Alexander, lord of Hilton, before 1351, for at that date, in 
conjunction with her second husband, she appointed a 
priest to the chapel of Jesmond, which had formed part of 
her father's estate. The only daughter of her marriage 
with Acton Elizabeth had married Hoger Widdrington, 
and among the Dodsworth MSS is one of 1340, in which 
Richard Acton and Matilda, his wife, give to Roger and 
Elizabeth Widdrington all the lands in Newton in 
Edlingtiam which were formerly Richard Emeldon's. 
And here the opportunity may be taken to correct a 
couple of errors relating to Richard Acton, which have 
crept into Welford's "Newcastle and Gateshead," vol. i. 
On page 179 he is erroneously supposed to have lived to lie 
M.P. for Newcastle in 1371 ; and on page 182, Elizabeth, 
his daughter, instead of her mother, is entered as marry- 
ing Hilton. 

Militant 3.cteit, 


William Acton occurs in 1331 as a grantee under the 
crown of a toft and 30 acres of land in West Swinburne, 
which formerly belonged to John Middleton, " the king's 
enemy." His relationship to Richard Acton is not clearly 
traceable, but it is likely that he was a nephew, son of a 
brother named William, for in 1345, under the name of 
"William, son of William de Acton," he granted to 
Roger Widdrington, who had married Richard Acton's 
daughter Elizabeth, 20 a year out of "Qwhynitkiisff* 
and Toggesdon," and 20 more out of " Wissardsheles " 
in Redesdale, and Roger, on his part, agreed that if a 
fine levied to him by William that year, of lands in West 
Swinburne, &c., ihould remain in force for five years, 




then these rents should cease. From the documents re- 
lating to this transaction we learn also that his wife's 
name was Mary, and that she was a daughter of Thomas 

Whatsoever may have been the relationship between 
these two Actons, they are found working together in the 
public life of Newcastle. In 1336 William's name 
appears upon the roll of bailiffs. He had at that time 
a house in the Castle Mote for which he paid sixteen- 
pence per annum, and a few months earlier he had given 
John Huntingdon a " title," or means of subsistence, to 
qualify him for ordination as a sub deacon. It is pretty 
clear from these and the foregoing evidences that he was a 
man of substance and position. 

Richard and William Acton were prominent men in 
Newcastle during an unusually eventful time. David 
Bruce and Edward Baliol were fighting for the crown of 
Scotland, and King Edward, having accepted the homage 
of Baliol, was assisting him with all the strength of tlio 
realm. Northumberland wa in a state of ferment and 
disorder, and vast armies were marching backwards and 
forwards, making Newcastle their rendezvous in both 
directions, and trying sorely the patience and the purses 
f the people. King Edward was frequently here himself, 
and whenever his back was turned the Scots revenged 
themselves by harryincr the Northumbrian farmers and 
laying waste their homesteads. In the winter of 1339-40, 
they came as far south as Durham, and their march was 
distinguished by the usual amount of murder, plunder, 
and destruction. Time and tempest had weakened the 
defences of Newcastle, but they were strong enough to 
warn off the marauders, and no doubt the Actons and 
their fellows kept a vigilant look-out, and were pre- 
pared to give the king's enemies a warm reception. The 
position of affairs was, however, critical, and the 
king adopted a favourite plan of his for obtaining 
an expression of public opinion. He summoned 
a hundred and fifty-four of the principal mer- 
chants of the kingdom to meet him in the season of 
Lent at Westminster, in order that he might have their 
advice " upon arduous and most urgent business, especially 
touching him and his honour, and the state and salvation 
f the realm." Nine burgesses of Newcastle were ordered 
to attend this conference, and among them was William 

A little before Christmas, the king came to the Tyne 
with a great army, and, through disaster to the naval part 
of his expedition, was detained in Newcastle a month. It 
was probably out of some disagreement occasioned by the 
prolonged presence of the army on the Tyne that the 
king the following year (1342) deprived the town of its 
privileges, and, as related above, fined the leading 
burgesses. By the time the fines were paid, or 
perhaps before, William Acton was re-elected bailiff, 
and he continued in office, if Bourne's list can be trusted, 
for ten years. During bis fifth term there was an inquiry 
concerning offences against the authority of the Bishop of 

Durham over navigation and liberty of fishing on the 
south side of the Tyne, and his name appears in a list of 
offenders. The following year he was elected one of the 
representatives of Newcastle in Parliament, and entered 
upon his duties just after the news came to the town of 
the victory at Cressy and the siege of Calais enterprises 
towards which the burgesses had contributed seventeen 
ships and three hundred and fourteen mariners. He 
would probably be still in London, when Bruce, taking 
advantage of Edward's absence marched through Cumber- 
land, wasted Lanercost, plundered Hexhain, captured 
Aydon Castle, and dashed through Ryton, to meet with a 
disastrous defeat at Neville's Cross. In 1350, the year 
before he retired from office, he and his fellow burgesses 
obtained their license from the king to dig coals and stones 
in the Castlefield and the Forth, and, so to speak, 
originated the coal trade. 

It is probable that William Acton died somewhere in 
the "sixties" of the 14th century. One of the last acts 
recorded of him is a pious one. In conjunction with his 
brother Lawrence, he founded a religious house (that of 
the Trinitarians) at the Wall Knoll, where three chaplains 
and three bedesmen were to pray for the health of him- 
self and Mary, his wife, while they lived, and for the 
repose of their souls after death ; and for the souls of his 
departed father and mother William and Isolda Acton 
as well as for those of his relatives, William and Dionysia 
Thorald, and other of his kinsmen and friends. 

EaltUtam Juton, 


William Acton, " junior," became bailiff of Newcastle, 
in 1352, in immediate succession to William, his father. 
In the same year, as kinsman and heir of William 
Thorald, he gave a rent of six marks per annum to the 
master and brethren of the Virgin Mary Hospital, and 
shortly afterwards acquired some property at Cramling- 
ton. Ten times altogether his name occurs in the annual 
list of bailiffs ; his last year of office being in 1365, when 
he was elected to represent his native town in Parliament. 
At least it is so conjectured, for the return is damaged, 

and only " William A " is discernible. The next year 

he was certainly sent to Parliament, and at Michaelmas 
was chosen mayor. Whether he occupied the post of 
mayor again in 1368 is not quite clear, but a deed, formerly 
to be seen in the vestry of All Saints' Church, Newcastle, 
proves that he was re-elected to the highest municipal 
office in 1373. 

While William Acton (2) was bailiff, King Edward III. 
came to Newcastle (1355), and spent Christmas. March- 
ing northward, he reduced the Scots to submission, 
and then went over to France, captured King 
John and one of his sons, and brought them 
across the Channel. Four years later, Acton 
being still in office, St. Nicholas' Church was so 
near completion that an indulgence of forty days was 


1B67. / 



granted to those who assisted in furnishing it and devoutly 
and reeularly attended mass, &c. When he became 
mayor (1366), the king ordered a load of coals. The coals 
were to be sent from Winlaton to Windsor, and the ac- 
countspreserved among the State Papers show that 
the coals cost, at 17d. a chaldron, 47 17s. 8d. ; lighterage 
from Winlaton to Newcastle, 5 18s. 6d. ; brokerage, 
2 143. ; freight, at 3s. 6d. a chaldron, 103 4s ; delivery, 
5 lls. altogether, 165 5s. 2d. In 1370 he was appointed, 
by royal order, one of two persons who were to impress 
ships of 12 tons and upwards into his Majesty's ervice in 
all ports and maritime places in the waters of the Humber, 
Trent, and Ouse, and other waters between those rivers 
and Berwick. A couple of years later he was ordered to 
have vessels ready at Southampton for the passage of the 
kine and his troops on a foreign expedition. After his 
mayoralty, in 1373-4, his name drops out of the records. 
Whether his mortal course was finished at the same date 
u his public duties, or whether he lived to see the long 
reign of Edward III. to its close, and the son of the Black 
Prince ascend the throne, is not known, for the day of hii 
death and the place of his burial find no entry in the 
annals of his time. 


The name of Lawrence Acton is repeated in local 
history for nearly a century. It is not easy to assign the 
events in which it appears to distinct individualities. 
There may have been two, or there may have been three, 
or even four, Lawrence Actons in the municipality of 
Newcastle during that time, The Lawrence Acton who 
joined his brother William in establishing a religious 
house at the Wall Knoll, in 1300, can hardly have been 
the game man who became bailiff of Newcastle, in 1374, 
whose name is attached to that office down to the end 
of the century, and who figures also among the mayors and 
M.P.'s in the last ten years of that period. There is 
nothing to show that the bailiff was the mayor, nor that 
either the bailiff or the mayor was the M.P. Such evi- 
dence as local records afford points contrariwise, for, in 
1387, mention occurs of a senior and junior, and a con- 
veyance of land to the latter is made by certain persons 
who seem to have been executors of the former. 

Leaving these conjectures, we come to the last Lawrence 
Acton who filled offices of honour and authority in New- 
castle, and about whose identity and continuity there is 
nothing to hazard and Ihtle to surmise. Before his 
advent into municipal life the office of bailiff had 
passed away. Henry IV. ascended the throne on the 
last day of September, 1399, and in the following 
May the burgesses of Newcastle obtained from him 
a charter which separated the town from the county of 
Northumberland, made it a county of itself, and gave the 
inhabitants the power of appointing a si eriff of their 
own. William Redmarshall was the first burgess who 

filled the office, and in 1421 the shrievalty was conferred 
upon Lawrence Acton. Thenceforward, so far as ha is 
concerned, all is clear. He rose to the office of mayor in 
1428, and was re-elected in 1432, 1433, and 1437. To the 
Parliaments which met in 1431, 1432, and 1437, he wa 
sent by his fellow- townsmen as the colleague of Robert 
Rhodes, the reputed originator of St. Nicholas' steeple. 
During his mayoralty in 1433, he was one of a royal com- 
mission concerning the prerogatives of Bishop Langley, 
afterwards Cardinal ; and tha following year, having been 
impleaded by the bishop for a debt, he received the king's 
pardon of a sentence of outlawry which the bishop ob- 
tained against him. In his mayoralty also the CarrMS. 
the most accurate codex of the mayors and sheriffs of 
Newcastle, their arms, c., that has ever been compiled 
commences. He occupied a house in Pilgrim 
Street, adjoining on the south the hall or meeting-house 
of the Tailors' Company, which then stood at the corner 
of Manor Street. There was also in the possession of the 
family a piece of ground on the east of the Castle, extending 
down to the Side, known for several generations as 
"Lawrence Acton's Waste." 

After 1437, the name of Acton is not seen in local 
history. It appears from the pedigree of Thirkeld and 
Amcoats, in Surtees's " History of Durham," that the 
Acton family merged into that of the Thirkelds, by the 
marriage of Jane, daughter of Lawrence Acton, with 
Christopher, sou of Lancelot Thirkeld, knight. 


In the genealogical history of Alnwick, the family of 
Alder ranks in age, if not in importance, next to that of 
Percy. There were Alders in Aluwick for three hundred 
years, with offshoots in various parts of the county. After 
the civil wars they were mostly Nonconformists, and, like 
other Puritans, adopted Scriptural names, displaying a 
marked affection for those of Caleb and Joshua. For more 
than a century there were both Caleb and Joshua Alders 
at Alnwick, and sometimes two or three of them together. 
One of the Calebs settled in Newcastle, and became an 
opulent tradesman. Among our local muniments is a, 
deed of co-partnership for seven years from November 1st, 
1762, between Caleb Alder, of Newcastle, gentleman, and 
Mark Harvey, of Newcastle, gentleman, who each contri- 
buted 500 for the purpose of " buying and selling of 
cheeses, bacon, ham, tallow, herrings, oranges, nuts, and 
apples [what a mixture !], and all such goods, wares, and 
merchandises as belong to the trade or business which the 
said Caleb Alder now carries on." This Caleb was most 
likely the person mentioned in Douglas's " History of the 
Baptist Churches in the North of England." It is recorded 
in that useful book that Mr. Caleb Alder, "a gentleman 
of great respectability," was baptized at Tuthill Stairs 
Chapel in 1765, and that, in 1780, he left the body, and, 
assisted by his son-in-law, William Robson, conducted 



Unitarian worship in a room at the North Shore, which 
afterwards expanded into Fandon Bank Chapel, with the 
Rev. Edward Prowitt as minister. Mackenzie confirms 
this account of Caleb Alder's secession, and adds that he 
afterwards removed to Alnwick. The business of "buying 
and selling of cheeses," &c., was continued by Joshua 
Alder, who, in the Newcastle Directory for 1787, and 
again in that of 1801, is located in the Side. 

It is quite likely that Joshua Alder, of the Side, was 
the father of Joshua, the subject of this sketch, but there 
is no positive proof of the fact. Conjectures founded 
upon similarity of names and professions are dangerous 
temptations to the makers of histories and genealogies, 
and should be used sparingly. All that can be said for 
certain in this case is, that Joshua Alder (No. 2) was born 
in Newcastle, in 1792. The Kev. Edward Prowitt, whose 
ministrations, as we have seen, Caleb Alder had been the 
means of securing to Newcastle, supplemented the scanty 
income of a Dissenting minister by keeping a school, or 

more probably lived by his school and preached for 
nothing. Under his care, at his house in Pilgrim Street, 
Joshua received the rudiments of education. From Mr. 
Prowitt's school he was sent to Tanfield, where a relative 
of his, the Rev. Joseph Simpson, conducted an educa- 
tional establishment of great repute. With him he 
remained till the age of fifteen, when hii services were 
needed in the business, and he came home and donned 
the apron of a tradesman. The year after his return 
his father died, and young Joshua was left to carry on 
the shop, and be the principal support and stay of his 
nuther and the rest of the family. The name of Joshua 

shortly afterwards disappeared from the title of the firm, 
and everybody who went down Dean Street saw in front 
of him, on the south line of the Side, the inscription, 
"Mary Alder and Son." 

Dr. Embleton, who, in the " Transactions of the Tyne- 
side Naturalists' Field Club," has sketched the lif ef 
Joshua Alder with a loving hand, states that his friend 
never liked the business which his father's death forced 
him to carry on. He was a youth of studious habit*, fond 
of drawing, of reading, of scientific experiments, and 
especially of such elementary science as the Rev. William 
Turner was teaching the people of Newcastle, in connection 
with the "New Institution" of the Literary and Philoso- 
phical Society. As years passed away the trade became 
more and more distasteful to him, and it was practically 
left to his faithful friend and assistant, Mr. John Robin- 
son, now of Roseworth Cottage, Gosfurth. As soon as he 
was assured of a moderate competence, about ths year 
1840, he threw off the trammels of commercial life, and 
gave himself up to his favourite studies. 

Turner's lectures and Bewick's books had attracted 
Joshua Alder, and other thoughtful young men, to search 
the books of Nature. In his early manhood he bad 
gathered together extensive collections illustrative of 
mineralogy, botany, and geology. He was accustomed to 
take long rambles, and to go upon distant excursions, 
rilling his sketch book and his wallet with treasures, and 
his mind with that best of all knowledge the knowledge 
which comes of personal experiment and observation. 
But, as Pope sings 

One science only will one genius fit ; 
So vast is Art, so narrow human wit. 

Gradually his tastes became less diffusive, and his 
thoughts and energies began to concentrate upon a 
special branch of study, viz., Natural History, and upon 
a particular department of it the Mollusca. Before 
he was forty he had acquired sufficient knowledge of 
molluscan structure to compile a catalogue of such 
of those interesting organisms as were to be found in 
the vicinity of his native town. The catalogue was pub- 
lished among the papers of the Natural History Society 
of Newcastle, and was a valuable and distinct gain to 
science. By the year 1838, he had compiled a supple- 
ment to the local list, and contributed notes 
upon the land and fresh water Mollusca of Great 
Britain. After he was released from the cares f 
business, his pen was seldom unemployed. No fewer 
than fifty-three separate papers relating to Conchology 
and British Zoophytes nineteen of them the joint pro- 
duction of himself and Albany Hancock bear his name. 
Some of them were translated into French, and others 
into German, and everywhere they were received as 
authoritative expositions ef the subjects to which they 
relate. One of his joint treatises that which deals with 
the British Nudibranchiate Mollusca, a handsome quarto 
volume with eighty-three coloured plates by Albany 
Hancock is a standard work, "which," writes Dr. 



Embleton, " will last as long as the study of Natural 
History shall be held in favour, and its praise is to be 
found in every published treatise on that science." 

Mr. Alder was one of the founders of the Newcastle 
Natural History Society in 1839, and of the Tyneside 
Naturalists' field Club in 1846. Of the latter organiza- 
tion he wag president in 1849, and was at all times 
a dilieent attender at its meetings, and a regular 
contributor to its stores. All contemporary na- 
turalists of note, at home and abroad, were at 
ome time or other in correspondence with him, 
and one genus (Alderia) and nine species of Mollusca 
were named in his honour. The general esteem in which 
his character and acquirements were held were touchingly 
manifested in 1857. when the failure of the Northumber- 
land and Durham District Banking Company swept away 
all his property. A memorial to the Government was 
signed by the best known men in various fields of investi- 
gation and research, and a pension of 70 a year was ob- 
tained for him from the Civil List. Private benevolence 
also came to his aid, and a sufficient sum was subscribed 
to place him in a position of comfort, and enable him to 
pursue the studies to which the greater part of his life had 
been devoted. He never, however, fairly recovered from 
the shock. On the 21st January, 1867, at the ripe age of 
74, be died. 

"In disposition," writes Dr. Embleton, "Mr. Alder 
was mild, genial, and unobtrusive, willing at any time to 
mpart his knowledge to others with much affability, and 
never allowing the opportunity to escape him of encourag- 
ing the young and inexperienced student. In conduct 
upright and honourable, he was in feeling, word, and 
deed, a gentleman." 


j]N the City Treasurer's Office, in Newcastle 
Town Hall, is still preserved the old Town's 
Hutch, formerly used for the safe keeping of 
the money, books, and documents of the Corporation. It 
is a massive oaken chest, iron bound, and in shape as 
shown in our illustration. Its dimensions are a> follows : 
Height, 34 inches ; width across, 40 inches ; depth from 
back to front, 4 feet. It is divided into two unequal com- 
partments by a strong lateral partition. The front com- 
partment, which is, roughly speaking, semi-circular in 
shape, is furnished with nine locks, and its massive lid, 
hinged, as may be seen in the drawing, is lined with iron, 
and has a slit in the centre for the admittance of money. 
.Beneath the slit is an ingenious iron guard to prevent the 
abstraction of the coin. The oblong compartment at the 
back of the hutch, probably intended for books and 
documents, is furnished with two locks, one on either 

This relic of antiquity for Dr. Bruce estimates its age 
at about 400 years is of course no longer in use ; but in 

former days it stood in the Guildhall on the Sandhill, 
then the seat of the municipal government, and into it 
the dues and other moneys of the town were dropped by 
the Clerk of the Chamber, after being duly counted by 
the two Chamberlains on duty. There were, under the 
old Corporation, eight Chamberlains annually elected by 
the burgesses, and each held the key of one of the locks of 
the hutch, the ninth being in the possession of the Mayor, 
BO that the strong box could not be opened except in the 
presence, or with the consent, of the whole nine persons. 
The Chamberlains were thus a check upon the Chamber 
Clerk, and they in turn were checked by the twenty-four 
Auditors, also annually elected, and sworn to "reasonably 
attend the accompts of the Chamberlains of this town for 
the present year, touching all manner of issues, profits, 
and commodities belonging to the Mayor and burgesses." 

Tim Tunbelly (W. A. Mitchell), in his famous letters to 
the Tyne Mercury (1822), throws much light upon the 
abuses of the Corporation at that time. He tells us that 
" the common practice is to put in as Chamberlains the 
deaf, the lame, and, worse than all the rest, the stupid, 
which persons are certainly unfit to manage such a 
revenue as 40,000 per annum. But this is not all. We 
have had several men who have filled the office with bad, 
very bad characters, and, of course, totally unfit for a 
place of such responsibility." The same writer gives a 
copy of a "curious document, written in an old hand," 
which was presented to him by Sir Matthew White 
Ridley, Bart. It is a list of " the places and officers of 
Newcastle, with their salaries and what such places were 
sold for by the Corporation," and in it we find "the 
keeper of the town chamber or hutch" receives no salary, 
but pays the Corporation 100 for his appointment to the 
office. Very suggestive, this, of perquisites. 

On one occasion the town's hutch was broken open and 
ransacked. This was during the riot about the scarcity of 
grain, July 2Gth, 1740, when the Corporation lost many of 
its records, charters, and books, and the sum of 1,200 
in cash. 

There is in the City Treasurer's office another object, 
very interesting in this connection, and also as being a 
splendid specimen of the work of a famous Newcastle 
artist. It is a half-length portrait in oils, by H. P. 




1 1387 

Parker, of Judith Dowlings, or " Old Judy," as she was 
called, the messenger to the hutch. She is represented 
leaning upon the formidable stick with which she was 
wont in the early years of this century to keep the pre- 
ciucta of the town's chamber clear of loitering boys or 
others having no business there. Very appropriately, the 
face of the old lady looks down on the chamber where 
stands the venerable hutch she guarded so well. 

E. J. C. 

Qtftt (SEl&Oan 

j|LSDON, a village on the Scottish borders of 
Northumberland, or rather a hamlet near it, 
was the scene of a terrible tragedy in 1791. 
Both the deed and the punishment the latter especially 
show an era of barbarism which, one would fain hope, 
has now gone by. The late Mr. Robert White collected 
the facts into a narrative, which, with some alterations 
and additions, is here presented to the reader. 

In the year 1791, Margaret Crozier, a woman advanced 
in life, occupied a portion of an old Feel House at a 
place called the Raw, near Elsdon. There she kept a 
small shop for the sale of drapery and other goods. On 
Monday night, the 29th of August, she was visited by 
Elizabeth Jackson, daughter of a farmer, and Mary 
Temple, noted in the neighbourhood as an excellent 
hand at needle work. The object of these visitors was 
merely to pass an hour or two in conversation with old 
Margaret before bed time. As they retired, they heard 
two or three dogs barking furiously around a pile of hay 
which was put up a short distance from the house. 
On being reminded to bolt the door for her safety, Mar- 
garet laughingly replied she " had naething to fear, as 
nae doubt aue o' Bessie's sweethearts was no far olF 
waiting to see her." It happened that on the fol- 
lowing morning Barbara Drummond arrived from a 
neighbouring house to purchase some little com- 
modity ; but she was deterred from entering Margaret's 
residence by observing some thread lying on the 
outside of the door. This circumstance being men- 
tioned to Elizabeth Jackson and William Dodds, 
a joiner, neither of whom had seen the old woman 
that morning, they went to ascertain the cause. The 
door was shut, but unbolted, and the dead body of Mar- 
garet Crozier was found in bed. The throat was cut, but 
the wound was scarcely so deep as to occasion death ; it 
was, however, bound up very tightly with a handkerchief. 
The palm of one of the hands was severely lacerated, 
nd a knife of the gully kind, stained with blood, was 
discovered amonest the bed clothes. The poor woman had 
apparently offered great resistance to the murderers. At 
the outside of the house was found a plough coulter, 
the point of which had been introduced at the edge of 
the door, by which means the oaken bolt had been 
thrust back from its hold, and the door forcibly 

thrown open. Sundry articles of wearing apparel, with 
a quantity of drapery, such as muslins, printed cottons, 
and handkerchiefs, were ascertained, by those with 
wliom the deceased was on terms of intimacy, to have 
been taken away. 

The excitement which such an act caused in a neigh- 
bourhood unaccustomed to any crime of a like nature, is 
not difficult to conceive. People of all ranks and con- 
ditions, even ab a distance of several miles, visited the 
spot on foot and on horseback; and the higher classes 
especially, both male and female, used every means they 
could devise in order to detect the murderer. The whole 
place underwent a rigid scrutiny ; an inventory was 
taken of the various articles known to have been in the 
house ; and the officers of the parish of Elsdon offered a 
reward of five pounds to be paid on conviction of the 
offender or offenders. 

When a deed of this description is committed, it is 
rather singular what proof may be deduced against the 
perpetrator, from some object or circumstance which, at 
tha time the former was seen or the latter took place, 
would appear to be scarcely deserving of notice On the 
day preceding the murder, two boys had observed a man 
and two women of suspicious appearance near a sheep- 
fold above the Whitlees farm house. They had with 
them an ass which was pasturing in the fold ; they 
themselves were at dinner ; a piece of fat mutton 
and bread formed their meal ; and one of the boys, 
Robert Hindmarsh by name, who lived at the 
farm at Whiskershield, took especial notice of a gully 
knife with which the man divided portions of the 
food for the females, and also assisted himself. The 
blade was not remarkable for length, but where it 
entered the haft the latter was secured from splitting 
by an iron hoop soldered with brass. Being seated on 
the grass, the man afterwards sung a song illustrative 
of the happiness of the life of a shepherd boy ; and 
Hindmarsh observed the singer's feet so closely as to 
recollect the kind (and, it is said, the number) of nails 
which appeared on the bottom of each of his shoes. 
It accordingly fell out that William Marshall, of Land- 
shott, who had received a summons to attend the 
inquest, chanced to be at Whiskershield, and the boy 
having mentioned these particulars, they were reported 
by Marshall to the coroner, who stayed the inquest 
until both the young witnesses were brought before 
him. Hindmarsh appears to have been the most 
discriminating of the two, for when the knife was 
produced which was found beside the murdered woman, 
he instantly recognised it as the same which he saw in 
the man's hand at the sheep-fold. The shoes which 
the man wore were also, by the boy's recollection, 
found to correspond with several footmarks which 
were traced near the house at the Kaw. Other persons 
had, on the same day, observed these wandering 
individuals in the neighbourhood, and on the day 
following they were seen driving a loaded ass near to 

May, 1 
18U7. I 



Harlow Hill. Moreover, a quantity of raisins and 
some peas were discovered beside a pike of hay, above 
the Whitlees, which were supposed to have been left 
by the party during their Sight ; and this also tended 
to indicate the direction they had taken. The man 
was nearly six feet high, strongly made, of a dark com- 
plexion, and his long black hair was tied in a club 
behind. He wore a light-coloured coat, with blue 
breeches and grey stockings. The women who accom- 
panied him were also tall and stout, one remarkably 
so. They were dressed in grey cloaks, had on black 
bonnets, and one of them wore a light stamped cotton 

At this period the constables for Woodside and Elsdon 
were John Brown, of Laing's Hill ; William Hall, of 
Elsdon ; and William Tweedy, of Hudspeth. Arrange- 
ments were made for these officers to go in pursuit of 
the suspected persons. Mounting on horseback, they 
directed their course to Tyneside. On passing Harlow 
Hill, and approaching a dingle called Whittle Dean, 
not far from Horsley, they observed a man wandering 
amongst some whin bushes ; and, guided by the descrip- 
tion given by Hindmarsh at the inquest, John Brown de- 
clared to his companions that this personage was the 
individual of whom they were in search. At a short 
distance some workmen were employed in building a 
stone wall, and one of the company rode forward to 
request them to be in readiness, should their assistance 
be required. John Brown then advanced on horseback 
to the stranger, laid his hand on his shoulder, and said, 
"You are my prisoner," to which he replied, **A poor 
prisoner you have of me," and forthwith surrendered 
himself to the charge of the party. They next proceeded 
in quest of the females, one of whom was apprehended 
about a couple of miles westward from Ovingbam. On 
bringing her and the male prisoner together, they denied 
all knowledge of each other ; but a dog which accom- 
panied the woman fawned upon the other prisoner on 
seeing him, and this slight incident afforded the officers 
cause to suppose they were acquainted. It was dis- 
covered that the prisoners were connected with what 
are called in Northumberland " Faw gangs " tribes of 
gipsies. The man's name was William Winter ; his 
father and brother bad in a former year been executed 
for robbery at Morpeth, and he himself had only a few 
weeks previously been liberated from some species of 
punishment which had been inflicted upon him for theft. 
The name of the woman was Jane Clark, the younger, 
otherwise Jane Douglass, whose family for some months 
in the winter season generally resided at Hedley Fell 
near Ryton, in the county of Durham. 

The prisoners were conveyed to Netherwitton for the 
purpose of being examined by Mr. W. Trevelyan, a 
justice of the peace ; but, that gentleman being absent, 
they were taken to Mitford and brought before Mr. B. 
Mitford. Marks of blood were observed upon Winter's 
shirt, which stains he alleged had been received in fighting 

with another of his tribe ; but Mr. Mitford remarked 
that, had he been engaged in an encounter of that kind, 
his shirt would in all likelihood have been thrown aside. 
The examination tended only to confirm the suspicion 
entertained against the prisoners, and they were com- 
mitted to the county gaol at Morpeth, on Saturday, 
the 3rd September. 

Search was made for the other woman, who was ap- 
prehended at Barley Moor in Tynedale, together with 
the mother or a relative of one or both prisoners. The 
former was called Eleanor Clark, otherwise Eleanor 
Douglass ; the name of the latter was Jane Clark the 
elder, otherwise Jane Douglass, otherwise Jane Gregg. 
Both were taken before Mr. Trevelyan, who committed 
them to Morpeth Gaol on the 14th of the same month. 

When Margaret Crozier had received a quantity of 
drapery goods from Newcastle on the 29th of July, 1791, 
and was showing them to Elizabeth Jackson, Jan 
Gregg, as she was commonly called, entered the house 
and looked round it in a very careful manner. When she 
went away, Margaret remarked she did " not like the 
appearance of that woman she gazed so much about 
her." On the night when the murder was committed 
Gregg lodged at the Huntlaw, a farm house north of 
Stamfordham, and would most likely meet Winter and 
the two women on the following day. She is said to have 
exerted herself in prevailing upon the younger branches 
of her family to put forth their hands to steal. If it were 
pointed out that danger was likely to be incurred by 
such a course of conduct, she usually observed, " What's 
five minutes' hanging to a year's pleasure?" 

At that time it was customary in the Northern Counties 
of England for the assizes to be held only once a year, in 
August; therefore the period from September, 1791, to 
August, 1792, afforded full scope to arrange and get 
together every information which could possibly bear on 
the subject of the murder. The trial took place early in 
the month in the Moot Hall at Newcastle. Very few of 
the particulars of the proceedings have reached us ; but 
the case occupied the court nearly sixteen hours, and the 
place was crowded almost to suffocation. The boy 
Robert Hindmarsh furnished the clearest evidence against 
the male prisoner, and Elizabeth Jackson identified a 
nightcap and apron, found in possession of the females, 
which she herself bad made for the murdered woman. In 
the course of the trial, when Mr. Trevelyan, who was 
bald-headed, was giving evidence, Winter, it is said, 
remarked that "his honour had great need of a wig. 
but," continued he, putting up his right hand, and 
raising his own dark and profuse locks, " he'll varry sum 
get my hair if he likes." It was satisfactorily proved that 
the crime had been committed by the party. Jane Clark 
the elder was liberated, and sentence was passed upon 
the others in the following manner: William Winter, 
Jane Clark the younger, and Eleanor Clark to ba execu- 
ted ; the body of the former to be hung on a gibbet near 



1 18 

to the place where the murder was perpetrated, and 
those of the females to be dissected. 

From the testimony he bore against the prisoners, the 
boy Hindmarsb, who was about eleven years of acre, was 
afterwards considered to be in great danger on account of 
the feelings entertained against him by Winter's tribe, in 
consequence of which Mr. Trevelyan took him under his 
protection. He remained at Netherwitton as a servant 
for several yearn. Once he was beset by his enemies as he 
was returning from Morpeth, between Pigdon and Ben- 
ridge Hagg ; but, being mounted on a spirited horse, be 
cleared the hedge by the way side, and escaped through a 
plantation. Mr. Trevelyan afterwards sent him to live 
with the Rev. Mr. Johnson, of Bywell, with the design 
of improving his education ; yet even here he was not 
deemed to be in safety, and he was ultimately removed 
to the residence of Colonel Baird, about 20 miles north 
of Aberdeen. When he had been in Scotland about 
the space of eighteen months, he became unwell, and 
was recommended to return home. He arrived at 
Berwick by sea, and from thence was conveyed in Mr. 
Trevelyan's carriage to Whiskershield, where his father 
resided, at which place, after lingering a few weeks, 
he died about the beginning of September, 1S03, aged 
22 years. 

Winter, in his confession, stated that the house was 
first robbed, and the old woman left alive; but, through 
fear of detection, he sent the females back to ascertain 
if she was not alarming the neighbours, and one of 
them on returning observed, " There is no danger : we 
have tied her up from her meat" a saying generally 
applied to the act of tying up a horse by the bridle 
or halter, when its owner is desirous it should not taste 

As a proof that Winter, notwithstanding his solitary 
confinement of eleven months, which must have shaken 
him considerably, was possessed of both nerve and 
courage, we may mention the following incident : The 
Moot Hall in 1792, and for many years afterwards, stood 
on the spot now forming the north angle of the area 
which extends in front of the present edifice of that 
name. All prisoners charged with offences committed in 
Northumberland appeared here upon trial, but were 
kept in the Old Castle for a short time previous to their 
undergoing that ordeal, and were taken back to it if 
found guilty. At the time when Winter and the two 
girls were about to be removed from the court, one of 
the latter, from the stunning nature of her sentence, 
had fainted, and Winter, although heavily ironed, raised 
her up and bore her in his arms to the door. Here, it 
is said, some individual, probably one of his own class 
who sympathised with the unfortunate man, stood ready 
with half a gallon of ale, and handed it to him. This 
he drank off, and moved onward with his unconscious 
bnrdsn across tha open space, which would measure 
about thirty yards, towards the old fortress. 
On Friday morning, the 10th of August, the town 

officers marshalled in front of the Castle, and the pri- 
soners, being placed in a cart, .were conveyed up the 
street, through Westgate. Immediately beyond this 
ancient portal, on the right of the road, a gallows was 
erected. Winter acknowledged he was guilty ; the 
women, however, protested their innocence ; but all were 
forthwith executed. The bodies, after hanging the usual 
time, were taken down : that of Winter was put into 
a long cart and conveyed northward to its place of 
destination ; those of the females were removed to the 
Surgeons' Hall. 

The body of William Winter was gibbeted at Sting 
Cross, near Harwood Head, within sight of the Raw, in 
the clothes he wore when he was executed. Bands or straps 
of iron bound the limbs and chest ; and these, at the top 
of the head, were connected with a swivel which was fas- 
tened to the arm or short beam projecting from the higher 
part of the upright shaft forming the gibbet. The 
shaft itself was about thirty feet high ; it was of an 
octagonal shape, and the lower part of it was driven full 
of large-headed spike nails. Great difficulty was en- 
countered in hoisting the body, and for this purpose a set 
of shearlegs had to be obtained from Carrick Colliery. 
Though a very disagreeable spectacle, it was visited by 
thousands. When the body began to decay, the smell 
was so offensive that the horses which travelled the road 
could scarcely be urged to pass the place. The clothes, 
by degrees, rotted away, and when the bones were loosen- 
ing from each other, they were hung up in a new sack, 
tarred inside and out to resist the action of the weather. 
This also decayed, so that the whitened remains dropped 
down piecemeal, and the neighbouring shepherds were 
accustomed to bury them. Thus in the course of time no 
vestige of mortality remained to be seen. A wooden 
figure bearing some resemblance to the human form was 
afterwards put up. When the figure fell to pieces, 
another of a still ruder construction was suspended : this 
also disappeared ; but the upright pole, known as 
" Winter's Stob," long remained on the spot where the 
body of the murderer of Margaret Crozier formerly hung. 

Random Shot, a correspondent of the Newcastle 
Weekly Chronicle, communicated the following additional 
particulars at the time the foregoing account originally 
appeared (Nov. 16, 1872) : 

There are few people who have not heard something 
or other about the palmy days of pugilism, when Tom 
Spring, Ben Caunt, Nat Langham, Jim Ward, and 
Johnny Broome were the heroes of the day. Amongst 
these men was one whose nature and feelings were 
a nsitiv* at least on one point, however callous and 
hardy he might be as a professional athlete. This man 
was a native of Northumberland, hailed from the 
neighbourhood of Elsdon, was a representative of the 
gipsy or Faa gangs, and was stung to the quick by 
the reflections cast upon bis family by those conversant 
with the facts ' connected with the murder of Mar- 
garet Crozier. Not being particularly enamoured 
with tha treatment vouchsafed to the relatives of the 
murderer, he determined to pack up his traps and 




venture to survey the world on a larger seals. After 
the fashion of Hugh, the gipsy, in "Barnaby Rudge," he 
obtained employment in London at a, mews, or stables, 
ofliciated as ostler for some time, then came out as a 
pugilist, and changed his name from Tom Winter to 
Tom Spring. William Winter, the murderer, and Tom 
Spring, of h'stiana memory, were thus own brothers ! 
This coincidence is well known in the locality of Elsdon. 
Having been in company with the redoubtable Tom, I 
can testify that he was " as smart a built fellow as could 
be met with in a day's march." Though rather thin in 
his understandings, he was powerful at the shoulders, and 
one of the most dexterous boxers of his time. In social 
life, Spring passed under the style of " a decent, quiet 
fellow," minus the bunkum and grossness common 
amongst the fraternity of which he was a conspicuous 
character. After his retirement from the ring, Tom kept 
a tavern in London, and attained a respectable position 
as a Boniface. To the best of my recollection Tom 
Spring died in 1852, at the age of 72. Tom Hood (the 
elder), in alluding to the coldness of the spring seasons, 
and quoting from Thomson's Ode the line 

Come, gentle spring, ethereal mildness, come, 
thus alludes to the great boxer : 

For spring;, I shrink and shudder at her name, 
I feel her a sad and bitter blighter, 

And suFr from her blows as if they came 
From Spring the fighter. 

iftrje /aas or 

The late Mr. Ralph Carr Ellison, writing to the Weekly 
Chronicle from Dunston Hill in 1875, gave the following 
as the origin of the designation bestowed on the gipsies 
of the Borders : 

At the beginning of the present century, up to 1820, 
Faws was the common name given to the gipsy folks of the 
Border by the gentry, and also by many of the farm 
labourers. They were afterwards called contemptuously 
tinkers or muggers by the farmers, with whom they 
were in great disfavour. But Faws (or Faas, as the 
Scotch wrote it) was clearly their older and more proper 
designation. And some families of them came to assume 
it as a surname, writing "John Faw," or the like, on 
their carts. The meaning, as originally designed, 
was assuredly nearly equivalent to "The Tawny 
Folk," their complexion being very different from 
thn ruddy countenances of the Border peasantry. The 
word is a contraction of fallow, tawny, yellow, 
(Anglo-Saxon falwe), as we have it in "fallow land," 
that is, land left with its tawny hue as upturned 
by the plough, and not covered by any vegetation. 
Again in "fallow deer," though this may have been an 
English rendering of the French bete-fauve. There is not 
a better name for a tawny greyhound or terrier than 
"Faw." The beautiful lesser Cheviots, known as the 
Fawdon Hills, are all clad with extensive beds of bracken, 
or brake-fern, which in autumn or winter confer the 
richest fallow or tawny tints on the landscape. And at 
Fallowden, the seat of Sir George Grey, the ancient 
natural woodlands, on a varied surface, must have been 
rich in tawny, fallow-tinted brake-fern. 

I HE slave trade may be said to have lasted in 
Northumberland, with brief intermissions, 
from the dawn of authentic history, down 
till about Queen Anne's reign. The Romans carried 
great numbers of the hardy Bernicians over to the 
Continent as slaves. Some centuries later, accord- 
ing to the famous story, a few beautiful Angli- 

can youths from Deira, standing in the slave mar- 
ket at Rome, attracted the notice of Gregory the 
Great, and led to the mission of St. Augustine 
to this country, and the conversion of the Anglo- 
Saxons to Christianity. In the eleventh century, Mal- 
colm, King of Scotland, carried over the Tweed im- 
mense droves of Northumberland captives, so that for 
a long time after scarce a poor cottage in Scotland was 
to be found without one or more miserable white slaves. 
AB the manners of the age softened, such whole- 
sale deportations ceased; but man-stealing still con- 
tinued to be practised, whenever opportunity offered, 
especially during the Border raids. After the dis- 
covery of America, and th iilantatiou of Barbadoes, 
Virginia, and other sugar and tobacco growing colonies, 
the demand for labour led to the transportation of 
petty malefactors from England, Scotland, and Ireland, 
to serve the planters for a longer or shorter term of yean. 
There was scarcely a goal delivery, a hundred years ago, 
from which a batch of unfortunate wretches was not sent 
across the seas, to wear out the rest of their days in hope- 
less bondage, on the banks of the Potomac, the Rappa- 
hannock, or the James River ; and not much 
further back than that, Manx, Scotch, Dutch, 
French, and other skippers, of the notorious type of Dick 
Hatteraick half-smugglers, half-pirates, thorough ruffi- 
ans were ever and anon spiriting away hapless youths 
to the West Indies or elsewhere, there to ba sold to the 

One sept of the clan Widdrington in particular, sadly 
degenerated from the chivalrous character and bearing of 
their noble ancestors, are said to have been in the habit of 
seizing by force able-bodied young men in Northumber- 
land, and getting them shipped off, as slaves, to the sugar 
plantations in the West India islands. They went so far 
as to pretend to have Government authority for so doing, 
like the press gang in later times ; and, under colour of 
ridding the country of idle, disorderly, or disaffected and 
dangerous persons, they carried on a lucrative trade with 
impunity for a good while, because no one who was ex- 
posed to danger from them dared to question the legality 
of their acts. The country people, unable to protect 
themselves, were hushed to silence by terror ; the nobility 
and gentry, Gallio-like, " cared for none of these things," 
if their own retainers were spared ; and the townspeople 
were also indifferent, the bulk of them being in no fear 
for themselves. On the disappearance of any incorrigible 
ne'er-do-weel, and the suspicion that he had been kid- 
napped by the Widdringtons, folks were usually disposed 
to exclaim, in terms something like those used by Sir 
David Lindsay with reference to the murder of the Arch- 
bishop of St. Andrews 

Although the deed's been foully doiie, 
The loon is well awa'. 

The very last of the man-stealing acts of these self- 
installed country-keepers used to be related by the well- 
known Mr. Henry Atkinson, schoolmaster in Newcastle. 



I 1S67. 

who died in 1828, and from whose mouth the late Mr. 
Robert White took it down, and afterwards communi- 
cated it to Richardson's Table Book. It seems that John 
Hall of Ottorburn (" Mad Jack Hall," who suffered a 
Tyburn, after the 'Fifteen, for high treason), had given 
directions to a young man in his service, on the eve of a 
Stagahawbank Fair, to meet him at the Bank at a certain 
time the next day. After sleeping all night at Cur- 
bridge Hall, on riding up to the fair next morning, he was 
surprised to see his servant in charge of a mounted 
horseman, who was turning into a lane leading to Sand- 
hoe. Hall advanced, and, addressing the young man, 
inquired the cause of his thus being taken into custody. 
The servant replied, his visage brightening at the same 
time, that he knew of no cause whatever ; he could only 
say that, whilst ho was waiting his honour's arrival, 
according to the instructions received on the previous 
day, the stranger on horseback came up to him, told him 
he was his prisoner, and dragged him away in thejmanner 
he now witnessed. This stranger Hall knew to be a 
Widdrington, and, on questioning him as to the circum- 
stances, the fellow replied that he would not be interfered 
with in the discharge of his duty, that the youth .was in 
his keeping, and that to no person would he be account- 
able for him, save only to her gracious Majesty the Queen 

Mad Jack at once divined the purpose for which his 
servant had been apprehended, for be had long heard of 
the masterful practices of the Widdringtons. He inter- 
ceded for the poor lad's liberation, with all the eloquence 
of which he was master, urging that he had an aged 
mother and a sister relying upon him for support. But 
the other was inexorable, and told Hall he mi^ht just as 
well hold his tongue and go his ways. This trooper- 
like insolence was not calculated to soothe the laird's 
rather fiery temper ; so he drew up his horse in 
front of that of Widdrington, and commanded him 
to produce credentials to prove that, in the pre- 
sent instance, he was acting conformably to the 
law. Any man in those days who could afford to purchase 
arms wore them at his pleasure, and, of course, both Hall 
and Widdrington wero armed. The latter at once drew 
his sword, and, brandishing it with the air of a practised 
bravo, exclaimed, " This is my commission." "Then we 
will test its truth !," said Hall, and ere another word was 
spoken both alighted from their horses. 

The spot they stood on was a piece of level green 
sward, adjoining the road to Sandboe. " To work they 
went," says the narrator oflthe "Table Book," "and, 
though Hall was an admirable swordsman, ha 
found himself for a time sharp enough beset by his 
adversary; yet he was cunnincr as well as skilful, and 
when he bad given him play for a brief period, he 
watched an opportunity, and, catching in his hilt the 
point of Widdrington's weapon, by a sudden jerk he 
wrenched it from his grasp, throwing it behind him to a 
distance of nearly twenty yards. The defenceless man 

now supplicated for mercy, and Hall was too much of a 
gentleman to deny him the request. Widdrington had 
scarcely partaken of the clemency of his conqueror when 
his life was again put in the most imminent peril, 
and in a much more disgraceful way. The encounter had 
drawn around a large concourse of people, to the greater 
part of whom his evil practices were known and by whom 
he was thoroughly detested, and these, witnessing or 
making known to each other the whole affair, attacked 
him so fiercely with sticks and stones that he had great 
difficulty to escape." 

The poor people of Northumberland, we are told, were 
thenceforth permitted to live unmolested, none of the 
odious clan ever daring to show face among them after- 
wards ; and Mad Jack Hall, for his prompt challenge and 
exposure of the infamous system which the scoundrels had 
practised so long, received the most cordial expressions of 
praise and gratitude. 

j]OHN HATFIELD, who acquired the appel- 
lation of the " Keswick impostor," and whose 
villainy excited almost universal hatred, was 
born at Mottram, Cheshire, in 1759, of low parent- 
age; but, possessing great natural abilities, he was 
considered handsome and (rented. After some domestic 
depredations, he quitted home, and got employment as 
rider to a draper in the North of England. In this 
capacity he became acquainted with a young woman, 
who was brought up with a farmer, but who was the 
natural daughter of Lord Robert Manners. His lord- 
ship promised her a dowry of 1,000 if she married to the 
satisfaction of her friends. On this becoming known, 
Hatfield paid assiduous court to the young lady and also 
to her friends. They were married, and he received 
1,500 on his wedding day. Shortly afterwards the young 
couple set off for London, and he there described himself 
as a near relative of the Rutland family 

The marriage portion being exhausted, he retreated 
from London, and was scarcely heard of for about ten 
years, when he revisited the metropolis, having left his 
wife and three daughters. He was soon afterwards com- 
mitted for a debt of 160 to the King's Bench Prison, 
where he ingratiated himself with a benevolent clergyman 
who visited the prison, and prevailed upon him to make 
application to the Duke of Rutland. His grace, re- 
membering about the marriage of his relative's natural 
daughter, made inquiries, and caused him to be released. 
In the year 1785, his grace was appointed Lord Lieutenant 
of Ireland, and Hatfield soon afterwards put in an ap- 
pearance in Dublin, stating that he was nearly allied to 
the Viceroy. As usual, he got into debt, and finally found 
himself in the prison of the Marshalsea. He then peti- 
tioned the duke, who, apprehensive that the fellew 

1887. I 



might continue his depredations in Dublin, released 
him on condition that he left Ireland at onca. Hat- 
field, goon after, found himself in prison in London 

After he had been in durance over eight years, a Miss 
Nation, of Devonshire, paid his debts and married him. 
He deserted her and two children at Tiverton, and 
turned up at Keswick, July, 1802, giving the name of the 
Hon. Augustus Hope, brother of the Earl of Hopetoun. 
From hero he made excursions to Buttermere. Staying 
at the Fish Inn, he engaged the affections of Mary 
Robinson, the innkeeper's daugh ter, known as the " Beauty 
of Buttermere." They were married at Lorton Church, 
near Cockermouth, 2nd October, 1802. An account of 
the event found its way into the newspapers, and was 
brought under the notice of the real Mr. Hope. Hatfield 
was tried at Carlisle in the following December for for- 
gery, &c., was found guilty and executed September 3rd, 
1803. He caused his coffin to be made prior to his execu- 
tion, and wished to be buried at Burgh from fear that his 
body should be " resurrectioned." But the inhabitants 
objected, and the body was taken back and interred in SI. 
Mary's grave-yard, the usual place for those who came to 
an untimely end. Wordsworth and Coleridge soueht an 
interview with him on the day of execution, but he re- 
fused to see Coleridge for some unknown reason. His 
execution did not take place till five in the afternoon on 
the Sands at Carlisle. 

E. THWAITKS, Bishop Auckland. 

JlOM ELLIOTT was a famous coal-hewer in the 
county of Durham over fifty years ago. I 
knew him when he hewed at Craghead 
Colliery, but at that time he had "buffed hi best," 
and was but an ordinary coal-hewer. Previous to that 
time, however, it was reported of him that he " put a 
wall ower" in a single ihift ; or, as the phrase went at 
that time, he " crushed a pillar of coal ower" in one 
day. How thick the " wall" was I have never heard 

Being at Chester-le-Street in the year 1SGO, I was in the 
Buck Inn, when some hewers came in, one saluting 
another in the following fashion : "Ho, Jack ! where's 
thoo warkin' noo, lad ?" " Doon at the Lady Ann," was 
the reply, meaning one of the Lambton collieries. " But," 
said he, "aa can work ony way ; beggor, aa wed hev the 
torn pike up if it was coal." He was a man of strong 
build, but not taller than 5ft. 8in. I afterwards learned 
that he was a "great hewer." 

It will be in the remembrance of many that one Tho- 
burn hewed against two men and won. This was at South 
Tan field. Thoburn had two boards, and his two men had 
one board each. 

In 1840 Joseph Rodham and Robert Whitfield hewed 

a match at Shield Row Colliery, whioh resulted in 
a victory for Rodham. They started back to back 
in a narrow board, each man driving a headway, 
one north and the other south. The match was arranged 
for a week of six days, but on the third day Rodham came 
upon some open " threads," the coal tumbling off at the 
touch of his pick. This was a piece of good luck for Rod- 
ham ; but I think he was, previous to this, something 
ahead of hig man. Whitfield then retired from the 
contest. No person was allowed to approach them closely 
while at work, but the men from other parts of the pit, at 
the end of their shift, congregated at the distance of a 
pillar from them, and cheered them with shouts of " Had 
away, Rodham !" and " Had away, Whitfield !" 

But I wish to state hero distinctly that mon who have 
hewed matches are not always the best hewers. In the 
year 1843, the year previous to the "great strike," the 
men had restricted their earnings to 3s. 4d. a day. At 
that time the five-quarter seam wan being worked at 
Cragliead Colliery, and there was one John Temperley 
who had never thought of hewing a match, and yet he 
proved himself an extraordinary hewer of coals. The 
men descended the pit at four o'clock in the morning, but 
Temperley would remain at home, have breakfast with 
his wife, and go down about eight, returning to bank be- 
fore many of the men who had been at work all the morn- 
ing, having been in the face two, or two and a half, hours 
for his "stint." Many a time was Temperley "cracked" 
to hew a match by men half his calibre, but he never 
accepted the challenge. JOHN ROWELL, Twizell. 

Eft* <Dltf JHattrfum 

IJEALTHY people were formerly content to 
abide in their respective towns and districts. 
To meet at certain times in their assembly 
rooms on the occasion of the race or assize balls, or to 
pay periodical visits to the local theatre, when the High 
Sheriff or the Mayor gave a "bespeak," were about 
the only dissipations they allowed themselves. New- 
castle was amongst the richest of the old Corpora- 
tiong, and for nearly 200 years bountiful hospitality was 
dispensed at the old Mansion House in the Close. To 
assist him to do credit to the town, as regards eating and 
drinking at least, a salary of 2,000 a year was paid to the 
Mayor, and a noble house, handsomely furnished, with a 
choice cellar of wines, was also provided for him. The 
Mansion House was built in 1691, and cost 6,000 ; but 
from time to time it was considerably enlarged afterwards. 
Besides this noble residence, there was provided for the 
use of the Mayor a handsome state coach, a barge, a 
valuable service of plate, an ample cellar of wine, &c. 

When the old close Corporations, with their many 
abuses, were swept away by the Municipal Reform Act, 
the Newcastle Mansion House did not long survive, 



(May, 138T. 

May 1887.) 



SBS^-i^m^T , p; * 
^b'-^ti^,^ jtgjj 






\ 18W. 

although its abolition was strongly opposed by 
many of the inhabitants. Public meetings were 
held, and numerous petitions were presented, but all in 
vain. The old residence, with its costly furniture, 
its pictures, books, plate, and wines all were sold by 
auction in January, 1837. Those opposed to the continu- 
ance of the old state of things maintained that the 
Mansion House bad too often been made the scene of 
dissipation and extravagance. At the meeting of the 
Town Council where this sweeping change was carried, 
the majority was narrow 25 for to 21 against. The 
matter was debated with great acrimony and bitterness, 
and ceitainly served to keep the town in a state of tur- 
moil for months. The catalogue of the sale, copies of 
which are still extant, consists of 100 pages, to which are 
added particulars of u the whole of the extensive cellar of 
fine port wine," extending to eight pages more. Messrs. 
John and George Ewart were the auctioneers, and the 
sale began on the 3rd January, 1837, and lasted fifteen 
days. There was but a small attendance of the public, 
and the sale realised only 2,000. The wines were not 
sold till the August following. 

It was at the meeting of the Town Council held on 
January 21st, 183C, that it was decided to " discontinue 
the Mansion House on the system heretofore practised." 
Future mayors, it was also resolved, should receive 1,000 
a year salary, " for the purpose of keeping up certain re- 
stricted hospitalities," &c. Newcastle was not then half 
the size it is now, nor had it half the population of the 
present day ; but still it could make a clamour when 
necessary, and the opponents of this scheme certainly 
made themselves heard. They affirmed that there was 
indecent haste, as well as trickery and deception, in carry- 
ing out the resolution of the Council. There was some 
force in the argument of those who contended that the 
great bulk of the property in the Mansion House was 
town's property, and should have been held in perpetuity 
for the use and benefit of the people. The pictures and 
engravings (most of them at least) were fine specimens 
of art ; many of the books were rare editions, and such 
works as D'Oyly and Mant's Bible, Horsley's 
" Britannia Romana," the Declarations and Treaties 
between Charles I. and his Parliament, Johnson's quarto 
Dictionary in 3 vols., besides several local histories, 
brought very much less than they would have done at the 
present day. Horsley's great work was sold for 5, 
and the Declarations and Treaties of Charles I. brought 
only 3. According to Brand, all the gifts to the Corporate 
body were to be by them held in trust for the use and benefit 
of the inhabitants of the town ; but this rule, which had 
been faithfully observed for more than two hundred years, 
was over-ridden when the contents of the Mansion House 
were gold. The silver plate weighed nearly 3,000 ounces. 
A tradesman in the town bought one piece, which was of 
splendid workmanship, of solid silver, and nearly five feet 
in circumference, for the price of old metal. Amongst the 
many wonderful things in the tine old mansion was a three 

hundred and sixty-five day clock, " an almost unique 
specimen of horology," according to the catalogue. There 
were also sold 38 pairs of blankets, 26 goose feather beds, 
47 pairs of linen sheets, a large number of hair mattresses, 
20 handsome bedsteads, and a vast quantity of glass 
17 dozen goblets, 47 dozen tumblers, 47 dozen wine-glasses, 
and over a hundred cut decanters, &n. 

The Mayor's salary remained at 1,000 for more than 
twenty years, although the late Alderman Gregson, with 
characteristic pertinacity, moved year after year for its 
abolition. He succeeded at last, however. The sum now 
allowed to the Mayor is 300, though he is always 
recouped for any large extra expenditure. This is a great 
falling off from the old days of which we have been writ- 
ing. The cost of the old Mansion House establishment 
amounted to over 3,000 per annum, and the interest on 
capital sunk to 400 more. From his private purse the 
Mayor often spent large sums; the annual ball and supper 
cost about 300 ; the entertainment of the judges, 500 ; 
and servants' wages and liveries not less than 250. 

How completely the glories of the old Mansion House 
have departed may be realised from the present appear- 
ance and condition of the building. It ii now occupied 
by a timber merchant. Deals and balks have taken pos- 
session of an edifice in which the chief citizens of New- 
castle once held their festivities. The old Mansion 
House, in fact, as may be seen from the accompanying 
sketches, is a bedraggled relic of ancient greatness. 

5fl)e |ttanjiion ijousse Clock. 

Amongst the many curious and valuable articles 
which were sold at the great Mansion House sale in 
1837, not the least interesting was the handsome clock, 
which had stood in the Mayor's Parlour for over 120 
years. This rare old timepiece became the property of 
the late Alderman Dunn, of Bath House, and is now 
in the possession of that gentleman's grandson (Mr. 
George Dunn, of London). That it is the clock, there 
is no manner of doubt, as it answers in every way to 
the description in the sale catalogue: "Lot 788: A 
three hundred and sixty-five day clock, in a singularly 
beautiful japanned case." Writing lately to a friend, in 
answer to some inquiries respecting this remarkable 
clock, Mr. Dunn describes it as standing nearly nine 
feet high, the case being decorated with old japanned 
work. The weights, which are very large, drive 
it for nearly eighteen months, with an available 
fall of less than five feet. The date on the clock is 1711, 
but there is no maker's name. The face is of brass, 
lackered and silvered, and beautifully engraved with the 
arms of the Newcastle Corporation, and the words : 
"Math. Featherstonhaugh, Esqre., Mayor; Francis 
Rudston, Esqre., Sheriffe." Besides this, there i a 
cherubim supporting arms (twice), the device of crown 
and crossed sceptres, and cherubs supporting, repeated 
four times. There is a tradition that the clock in the old 



Mansion House days was wound-up in stats by the 
Mayor every New Year's Night. The present proprietor 
continues the same custom, though, as he remarks, " with 
perhaps less pomp and ceremony." 

gflje |aaj>or':s Cloth. 

Another three hundred and sixty-five day clock, made 
about 1770, was purchased by the Newcastle Corporation 
in 1885, and was set up in the Mayor's Chamber in the 
Towi Hall, where it still stands. This clock was for- 
merly, and for many years, in the possession of Mr. 
Robert Watson, of the High Bridge Works, and of his 
nephew and successor, Mr. Henry Watson. It was con- 
structed by Walker, a member of an old family of clock- 
makers, whose place of business was in the Close, during 
the last century, aud one of whom, it is every way likely, 
was the maker of the famous Mansion House Clock. 
The Mayor's Clock is furnished with a plain but hand- 
some case ; the figures on the dial are still very distinct ; 
and we believe it is a correct and good timekeeper. 
Like many clocks made in the last century, it shows the 
phases of the moon, the day of the month, &c. ; but this 
part of its mechanism is now out of gear. An advertise- 
ment appeared in the Times, in 1827, offering a three 
hundred and sixty-five day clock for sale, the price being 
20. The advertiser stated that only three such clocks 
were known to be in existence, and mentioned the where- 
abouts of the other two. As that was neither the 
Mansion House nor Mr. Watson's residence, however, he 
was evidently ignorant of the fact that these rare time- 
pieces had sometimes been produced in Newcastle. 

The reputation in which a well-made English watch ia 
held all over the world, in spite of competition from the 
much cheaper productions of America, to say nothing of 
those of Swiss and French manufacture, speaks well for 
the skill and care which our artisans can still bestow upon 
their work. But if the watch of home manufacture still 
" goes " well in the markets of the world, the English 
clock has decidedly " run down " too much, and shows 
evident signs of an " untimely stopping " altogether. We 
have not space here to discuss the causes of the decay of 
English clock making, once a flourishing local industry at 
all events. It is merely our business to speak of the 
old Newcastle clockmakers at a time when the town 
possessed workmen who were unrivalled for their skill 
and ingenuity. In the first directory of Newcastle, 
printed by Whitehead in the year 1778, we find the 
names of no more than eight clock and watchmakers, 
of which the following is a list: Wm. Coventry, west 
end of Low Bridge ; Wra. Fenton, east end of Denton 
Chare ; Thos. Greave?, Quayside ; Hugh Stokell, Pilgrim 
Street ; John Scott, Sandgate Gate ; John Shipmen, 
King Street ; John Weatherston, Wool Market ; and 
John Walker, Close. In 1782 they had increased in 

number to twelve, the most important of whom were 
John Wilson, Flesh Market, and Andrew Strachan, 
High Bridge. Still later we find John Craig located 
in the Broad Chare, and Thomas Pearson in the 
Groat Market. But other towns and villages in the 
Northern Counties have been noted as the residence of 
ingenious horologists. Among the best known of these 
old clockmakers, whose names may still be seen on rare 
specimens of their workmanship, were the following : 
Joseph Atkinson, Bottle Bank, Gateshead ; John George 
Chambers, Pipewellgate, Gateshead ; John Carnaby, 
Hexhara ; John Bolton, Cheter-le-Street ; while in 
Sunderland the Gowlands attained great local fame. 
Horology is undoubtedly one of .the fine arts, and a 
first-rate timepiece is a marvellous piece of mechan- 
ism. It almost seems instinct with life. There is some- 
thing quite as pathetic as humorous in the story of the 
poor Highlander who had, for the first time in his life, 
become the owner of a watch, and who, when it stopped 
(which it did the next day, of course), took it back to the 
shopman, telling him sadly that it"dee'd yesterday." 
The once thriving and important business of clockmaking 
is dead, too, we are afraid (in Newcastle at least), and 
there is little chance of its ever being revived. 

of tl)e Heromstle Clockmaltcrs. 

In the top storey of an old house in the Side, just above 
the Dog Leap Stairs, there died one day in August, 1885 
(as announced in the Weekly Chronicle of the loth of that 
month), an old inhabitant of Newcastle Mr. Frank 
Graham, the last of the old race of Newcastle clock- 
makers. Old Frank, who used to declare that he would 
leave no successor to his craft, served his apprenticeship 
with Mr. T. Greaves, whose name we may still see on 
many a good old-fashioned clock yet held as authorities 
when exactness is required, although long since relegated 
from the parlour to the kitchen. After the death of Mr. 
Greaves, Mr. Graham commencd business for himself, 
working chiefly for the different watchmakers in the 
neighbourhood, so that his reputation as a master of his 
craft was necessarily confined to the few people who em- 
ployed him. In this quiet way, old Frank lived his quiet 
and uneventful life ; his leisure time being occupied in 
perfecting and completing a wonderful clock which was 
begun by his father and himself, and by which he hoped 
to establish his reputation as a mechanician. This clock, 
which was designed to rival the famous specimen in 
Strasbourg Cathedral, contained three dials, giving the 
time of day, the day of the month, the age of the 
moon, and the motion of the heavenly bodies, having 
an orrery in the centre portion. There were also two sets 
of musical barrels, and a variety of mechanical devices, 
such as a ship in full sail, figures to strike the hours and 
quarters, &c. The calculations for this clock, all 
worked out by Mr. Grahaoi himself with mathematical 
exactness while a young man, were sufficient to fill a 




goodly volume. Amongst other works Mr. Graham ex- 
cuted was a beautiful self-acting lathe for cutting the 
wheels used in his business, which performed the servica 
with perfect accuracy. The manner of his death was sin- 
gularly characteristic. Although above 80 years of age, 
he literally died in harness. A friend one morning entered 
the room which served him as a domicile and a workshop, 
and found the old man lying dead beside his lathe, with 
an unfinished piece of work upon it ! The mechanism of 
the human machine had fairly run down, while the task 
was yet unaccomplished. 


The clock in tiie tower of St. Nicholas's Church, New- 
castle-on-Tyne, was illuminated with gas on the night of 
December 5, 1829, when the Rev. John Dodd was "wor 
vicar." It was an event of sufficient interest at the time 
to give rise to two local songs. One of these songs was 
written by Robert Nunn ; the other, which is copied 
below, and which was sung to the tune of " The Bold 
Dragoon," was the production of William Oliver. 
The son of a cheesemonger, tha latter poet was 
born in the Side, Newcastle, on the 5th of February, 
1800. William was de.-tined to be a draper and hatter, 
and served his time with Mr. Bowes, of the Bridge 
End, Gateshead ; but he soon relinquished that line of 
business, and joined his brother, Mr. Thomas Oliver, 
at the corner of the High Bridge, in the Bigg Market, 
as a grocer. There he remained till his death, which took 
place on the 29th of October, 1848, and consequently ere 
he had completed his forty-ninth year. His mortal 
remains were buried in the Westgate Cemetery, Arthur's 
Hill. A collection of his songs and poems was published 
in 1829, and dedicated to Robert Bell, Esq., Mayor of 
Newcastle. The songs, which form but a small part of 
the work, are mostly local, all clever, and were long 
highly popular. Many of the characters mentioned in 
them have now faded, however, into the misty distance, 
and that naturally lessens the interest attached to the 
lyrics. "The Newcassel Props" is the best of the lot. 
Others are " The New Markets," " The Bonassus," " The 
Lament," and "The Newcassel Millers." Among tha 
poems are several inspired by tha Spirit of Liberty, 
evoked by the democratic movements in Spain and other 
Continental countries in 1S20 and thereabouts. 

Aa think there's nowt will noo amaze, 

Whatever comes to pass, 
Since Nichol, in his dohn' days, 

Hez lit his clock wi' gas. 
On a' wor decent, pious ways 

They seem determint te encroach, men, 
For noo they've rayed poor Nichol blaze 

Te suit them rips, the hackney coachmen. 
Like a' that te the Church belangs, 

They say it minds itsel' ; 
But wiser far, for, when it's wrang, 

It hez the sense to tall. 
Wor lazy parsons, yince a week. 

Invite the godly folk te slumber ; 

But Nichol preaches day an' neet, 

And bids the warld their moments number. 
A brother burgess luvs a byen, 

Some Corporashun job, 
Se they play'd the aad game ower ayen, 

Wi' Nichol for the hob : 
They painted, proppt, and myed him shine. 

Tho' not, aa'm shyure. before 'twas needed ; 
An' noo, te see hissel" se fine, 

The poor aad fellow's gyen leet-heeded. 

Time never went, sin' aa can mind, 

Se lightly on before ; 
Whe knaas but Fortune still may hev 

Some brighter hoors in store ? 
Wor thanks are due. for when wor fou, 

We'll see te carry hyem the likker, 
But, if ye've onny leet te spare, 

Oh, ninnies, 'luminate wor vicar. 

Ehwtrmuutft fjatrtarcft. 

j|ULLER'S "History of Berwick," published in 
1799, contains the following note, communi- 
cated in a letter to the author from the Rev. 
Andrew Thompson, minister of the Relief Congregation 
in that town, dated Berwick, February 1, 1797 : " In 
Berwick there are many that I know upwards of eighty : 
James Stuart, living in Shaw's Lane, and an old dragoon, 
was born in the year 1709." 

Had this been correct, James Stuart would have been 
in his ninety-first year at the commencement of the 
present century ; and, as his death did not take place till 
the year 1844, he would then have passed his hundred and 
thirty-fourth year. He would still have fallen far short 
of Old Parr, wlio is said to have been 152 years and some 
months old when he died, and of the yet more marvellous 
Henry Jenkins, who, if we may trust the authorities, 
lived till he was 1C9 years old. But he would have over- 
passed the average duration of man's vital lease in Britain 
by more than a hundred years, an Englishman or 
Scotchman's expectation of life, at tha hour of birth, 
being only thirty-three years. 

There is reason to believe, however, that the honest 
Relief Minister was mistaken in his date. For, according 
to Jemmy Stuart's own account in his latter days, and his 
generally received biography, published in the local news- 
papers during his lifetime and at his death, he was born 
on Christmas Day, 1728, at Charleston, in South Carolina, 
United States, seven months after the accession of George 
the Second. Assuming this to be true, he died in his 
116th year. 

William Howitt, in his " Visits to Remarkable Places." 
was the first to make the reading public of Britain aware 
of the existence of this aged Samson, but he had long 
been well known before that on both sides of the Border. 
He travelled for many years with a " cuddie-cairt'" 'round 
about the country as a higgler and carrier ; but age and 
infirmity forced him to give up his humble occupation. 
He then supported himself by his fiddle, on which he was 
a very indifferent performer. Sheldon, in his " History 

1887. / 



of Berwick," tells us he might often be ssen at the corner 
of Hyde Hill (the customary place of meeting of the 
farmers and corn factors on market days), on some fine 
market day in June, shivering out a trembling tune from 
his rude fiddle, for, like Scott'j Last Minstrel, "he an 
uncertain prelude made," anything but inviting to musical 

Howitt says of this old, old man : " Imagine me 
sitting in a lane near Berwick-upon-Tweed, and opposite 
to me James Stuart, the descendant of Scotland's ancient 
kings, the son of a general of a former century, the grand- 
son of the lady of Airlie, the spectator of Culloden and 
Prestonpans, the soldier of Bunker's Hill and Quebec, a 
man considerably more than one hundred years, and the 
reader must be satisfied that wonderful things have not 
yet ceased." 

Wonderful things, indeed ! If all that is told of this 
alleged scion of royalty be true, then is the trutli strange, 
stranger than fiction. His father, according to himself, 
was General John Stuart, a near relative of Prince 
Charles Stuart, the young Chevalier, eldest son of the 
Pretender. His mother's name was Ogilvie, and she was 
a daughter of that famous lady who is the heroine of the 
fine old Scotch ballad, " The Bonnie House of Airhe," 
commemorative of the burning of that ancient place, 
in Forfarshire, by the Marquis of Argyle, in 1G40. 
General Stuart is said to have been killed in America, at 
the head of his troops risings having taken place 
amongst the colonists ; and his widow subsequently re- 
turned to Scotland. This was when James Stuart was 
about seven years of age, and he, with his sisters, was 
brought up at the house of Airlie. In the ever-memorable 
year, 1745, he was at school, then aged fifteen. Having 
plenty of money, he ran away from school, being curious 
to see the upshot of events. He marched south with the 
Highland army, and was a spectator from the adjoining 
heights of the Battle of Prestonpans. In that short but 
eventful action, he saw the lamented Colonel Gardiner 
knocked off his horse by a ball, and his death-blow dealt 
by the miller of Invernayhale. He also witnessed 
Johnny Cope's Bight from the field, and, inspired by 
youthful enthusiasm, threw away his bonnet and ran into 
the thick of the fight, where he had a near look at the 
face of the adventurous Prince Charles Edward, his blood 
relation. He accompanied the rebels on their triumphal 
march back to Edinburgh, and when Charles took posses- 
sion of his ancestral palace, he had the honour to be intro- 
duced to him, and, according to his repeated statement, 
drank a glass of wine with him. He was also present on 
the field of Culloden, so fatal to the hopes of the Stuarts. 
How he managed to escape does not appear, but he seems 
soon afterwards to have changed sides. For, when in 
about his twentieth year, he enlisted in King George's 
service, in the 42nd Royal Highlanders. He remained in 
that regiment six or seven years. At the time of General 
Wolfe's expedition to Canada, he was serving as an en- 
sign, and he fought at the memorable battle of Quebec, 

1759. After the close of this war, he sold his commission, 
but again, in a short time, entered the service ; and when 
the North American colonies revolted, he was serving in 
the ranks. He was engaged in the bloody action which 
took place at Bunker's Hill on June 17, 1775 ; but shortly 
afterwards he changed his mode of life, and went to sea on 
board a man-of-war. In this capacity he served his king 
and country for about sixteen years. He was present 
when the gallant Admiral Kodney destroyed the French 
fleet under Count de Grasse, in the West Indies, on the 
12th of April, 1782. He bad hitherto escaped unscathed ; 
but in this action he was wounded on the head, in the 
thigh, and in both legs. Disabled for a time, he left the 
king's service. He afterwards turned to the mercantile 
marine, and served for some years as a common sailor on 
board several trading vessels. Then he joined a regiment 
of Fencibles, and coming with it to Berwick, about the 
time of the threatened French invasion (1703), he con- 
tinued ever after to reside in that neighbourhood. 

Down till within a year or two of his death he con- 
tinued to travel up and down the Northern Counties of 
England and the South of Scotland, first, as we have said, 
as a higgler, and latterly as a mendicant. It is averred, 
however, that he never asked alms, though he, of course, 
willingly took whatever was freely given him. He repaid 
his entertainers with his performances on the fiddle. His 
favourite airs were "The Lad with the White Cockade" 
and "The Campbells are Coming." More characteristic 
by far were his feats of almost superhuman muscular 
energy which he was wont to exhibit, with a not 
unnatural pride, for the astonishment of his friends and 
patrons. These feats, according to Sheldon, were such as 
the following : " Lifting with his teetli a kitchen or 
dining table, six or seven feet long ; raising from the 
ground on his hand men weighing about 20 stone (one 
gentleman informed the writer that he raised him and 
another person on his shoulders ; their united weight 
might have been from 24 to 27 stones) ; lifting from the 
ground 18 half-hundredweights fastened together on an 
iron bar with one hand ; and last, though not least, carry- 
ing, the breadth of a haystack, a cart loaded with hay, 
the cart estimated to weigh half-a-ton, and the hay one 
ton." At the time when he performed the latter feat 
(about 1812), he was, if the date of his birth is correctly 
stated, nearly eighty-four years old. He merited and 
obtained by such prodigious acts and deeds his nick-name 
of "Jemmy Strength," or "Jemmy Strong." 

Stuart was no monogamist ; for he married successively 
no fewer than five wives; and, had the laws of his 
country permitted, he might have had as many as 
Solomon. The names of these highly favoured women 
were: 1st, Catherine Bane, of a Caithness family; 2nd, 
Annie M'Donald, also of Celtic extraction ; 3rd, Nancy 
Riddle, of Spittal, near Tweed mouth ; 4th, Peggy Hewit, 
a Berwickshire lass ; and 5th, Isabel Dawson, a girl com- 
paratively, who was but 36 years old when her cen- 
tenarian spouse died. By these wives Jemmy had twenty- 



seven children, ten of whom were killed in battle four in 
the East India Company's service, two at Trafalgar, one 
in the Scots Greys at Waterloo, and two at Algiers with 
Admiral Sir David Milne. 

The following conversation between William Howitt 
and old Jemmy is highly interesting. We give it in 
Howitt's own words : 

" Gentlemen," he said, " were all very kind to me. Sir 
Walter Scott sent for me to go to Abbotsfurd. He sent 
to Mr. Robinson, the minister of Newton, near Cold- 
stream, desiring him to send me. So, at length, after 
many delays, I got a cuddie (jackass), and went but 
when I got there Sir Walter was dead, and all his family 
gone. It was a pity," he said, "for Sir Walter was a 
Justice of the Peace, and a Justice of Quorum too, and 
he might have been able to do summut for me." I told 
him it was a pity Sir Walter had not seen him, as he was 
a great writer, and would have made a figure of him in a 
romance The old man seamed to smile at the idea. 
" Would he really?" said he, but then added, " Weel, we 
must try to figure m another world." (Scott would 
undoubtedly have made him a hero in sonce novel, and 
conferred on him the same species of immortality he did 
on the Black Dwarf.) I told him he might live to reach 
1'JO. He said : " Weel, that is all a hidden mystery ; and 
it is as weel that it is, for it is our business to learn to put 
our whole trust in Providence. Aye," said he, " I have 
gone on above 100 years, and my faith is stronger than 
ever. If my eyes did not fail me, I should have the plea- 
sure of reading my Testament over a good many times 
yet. as I have done many times already, till I have it 
almost off by heart: but my wife reads it for me, and 
that's a great comfort." 

On many occasions Sheldon heard him repeat a series of 
chapters from the Old, and another series from the New 
Testament such was the wonderful tenacity of hia 
memory, even in the extremity of old age. The chapters 
recited were the first and succeeding chapters of Genesis, 
and the third and succeeding chapters of the Gospel of 
St. John. '' He went on," says the historian, " in a rapid 
and apparently mechanical muttering style, and we 
imagine we could trace back the acquisition of these extra- 
ordinary stores of Biblical lore to his earlier youth, from 
the broader Doric of his Scotch pronunciation manifested 
in repeating the passages of Scripture, than in his ordinary 
discourse. His emphasis was from this reason very 
peculiar. The words 'The deevil led him up into an 
exce-eding high mountain,' struck peculiarly on our ear. 
He could seemingly have gone on to any extent, but was 
stopt from dread of physical exhaustion." 

Through a notice which appeared in the Berwick and 
Keho Warder, the sympathy of several of the benevolent 
public, including her Majesty, was awakened in Jemmy's 
behalf, and a fund was raised for his relief, so that he 
spent his latter days in comparative comfort. He could 
read and write up to the last year of his life ; but for some 
months previous to his death he was childish and idiotic. 
The patriarch died on the llth of April, 1844, the immedi- 
ate cause of death being a fall, which injured his hip 
joint. Thousands went to look upon the patriarch of 115 
years, alleged to be the last of the Royal Stuarts, as he 
lay in his coffin. Jemmy's countenance once seen was 
never forgotten. It had, says one who knew him well, 
" cast of elongation, by which the uncropt chin pro- 

truded far down the bioad, square chest, while the large 
furrowed haffets of hoary eld, gigantic cheek bones, 
prominently attenuated, and the fitful glimmerings of 
eyes, hazy with age, were overshadowed with shaggy eye- 
brows. The head contained the notion of a giant fallen 
into decrepitude, and it was so closely poised between a 
pair of Atlantean shoulders, that it was obvious some 
stroke of bodily deformity had modified the frame of its 
owner ; the downward continuation of his figure consisted 
of two immense bony arms, a short squat trunk, and two 
short legs, with an ungainly bend, which, in vulgar 
parlance, is termed bow-houghed." A curious portrait of 
him, taken in the last year of his life, was printed on a 
broadsheet containing an account of his " strange, 
eventful history." Therein he is represented playing on 
the fiddle, with a crutch supporting his right side. This 
portrait is here copied. 

Pity it is to ditturb received and credited myths, but 
truth compels us to say that much of Jemmy's biography 
"lacks confirmation." The story of the Lady of Airlie, 
for instance, is apocryphal ; for the heroine of the 
Scottish ballad, born in 1596, was a grandmother in 
1640, and therefore no daughter of hers could have borne 
this modern Hercules in 172S, the apparent date of the 
old man's birth. Then, bonny Prince Charlie never had 
such a cousin as General John Stuart, though he had, as 
a companion-in-arms, in the '45, the gallant Colonel John 
Roy Stewart, who raised a regiment in Edinburgh for 
"the good old cause," during a stay of the Highland 
army in the Scottish capital. So General Stuart, if not a 



mere creature of the imagination, could have been kith 
and kin to the royal Stuarts only by many long removes. 
It is possible, however, that Jemmy's father may have 
held his Majesty's commission, and that he was killed in 
the South Carolinean troubles, which began in 1719 with 
bickerings between the Churchmen and Dissenters in the 
colony, and ended in 1728 by the lords proprietors resign- 
ing their chartered rights and the Crown assuming the 
direct government. To judge of Jemmy himself by his 
habitual bearing (no infallible way, it must be confessed), 
he had very little gentle blood in his frame. His manners 
were coarse and blunt. This may have been the result of 
his long association with wild, reckless characters in the 
army, navy, and elsewhere. But, as Phsedrus says of the 
empty wine cask, "some flavour of the liquor will still 
cling about the staves," so, if our hero had mixed in early 
youth with the best society of Scotland, if he had been 
college bred, as he was once heard to state, and had 
partly received his education at the Universities of St. 
Andrews and Aberdeen, it is inconceivable how he should 
not have retained some perceptible smack of it. 

James Stuart's funeral was attended by a groat num- 
ber of people, not only from the town of Berwick, Ibut 
from all the country round. All crowded forward to 
bear the coffin, if only but for a moment, that they might 
have the pleasure of saying thereafter they helped to 
carry the last of the Stuarts to the grave. His body was 
laid in Tweedmouth Churchyard, not far from the last 
resting-place of John Mackay Wilson, author of the 
famous "Border Tales." 


/rcuerick h.ti)on, ^.utljor of "h.e 

Sheldon's "History of Berwick," from which quota- 
tions concerning the Tweedmouth patriarch are given in 
the foregoing article, was the work of William Thompson, 
a strolling player who assumed the name of Frederick 
Sheldon. Correspondence on the subject occurred in the 
"Notes and Queries" of the Newcastle Weekly Chronicle 
in 1885. Two of the communications then printed are 
here appended. 

The first time I saw Frederick Sheldon was on the 
stage in front of Billy Purvis's show at Newcastle Kaces, 
nearly sixty years ago. His father was also there, though 
not in the capacity of an actor. After Billy had ex- 
hausted all his persuasive eloquence in 'calling upon the 
people to " come up and see wor show," the company re- 
tired to begin, with young Sheldon as sole musician, with 
his fiddle. The next time I saw Frederick was in 
Methuen's long room in Gateshead, at that time in the 
occupation of Messrs. Ferguson and Fisher, as managers 
of a strolling company of players. Sheldon was their 
violinist, and occasionally went on in minor parts. Al- 
though passionately fond of acting, Sheldon never was 
an actor. He came to Berwick about the year 1836, with 
Palmer's company. At that time Berwick possessed a 
snug little theatre, which was unfortunately destroyed 

by fire a few years after. On the boards of this old 
house many of our best actors of the olden time have 
performed, notably the Kembles, Macready, George 
Frederick Cooke, Gustavus V. Brooke, &c. When 
the latter first came here, he was a mere youth, accom- 
panied by his mother, and was announced in the bills as 
"Master Brooke." 

Sheldon continued to pay occasional visits to Berwick 
until about 1840, when he got married and settled down in 
the Border town. He had an old building fitted up as a 
theatre, which he conducted very successfully for a short 
time. During his brief management, he had a few stars 
engaged. Two I distinctly remember the African 
Roscius and Mr. Ternan from Newcastle. This specula- 
tion failing, Sheldon now gave himself up to literary 
pursuits, in which he was eminently successful. 

Besides writing a poem called " Mieldenvold " and 
publishing " The Minstrelsy of the English Border," he 
was the author, or, more correctly, the compiler, of a 
"History of Berwick -upon-Tweed." This volume was 
published in 1849 by Adam Black, of Edinburgh ; by 
Longmans, Brown, Green, and Longmans, London ; and 
by John Wilson, Berwick. It is an 8vo volume, demy, 
of 432 pp. In this work Sheldon thus winds up his 
preface: "In conclusion, I desire all critics to review 
my work lik scholars, not mangle it like butchers, ' to 
make it a dish for the gods, not a carcase for the 

I have some reason to remember Sheldon's literary 
labours. During his compilation of tho " Minstrelsy," he 
borrowed some books, which he forgot to return ; such 
also was the fate of a volume of playbills of the Theatre 
Royal, Newcastle, during Penley's management. These 
bills were printed on a quarto sheet of demy, forming two 
8vo pages, facing each other, being the second and third 
pages of the sheet when folded, so that at the end of the 
season they could easily be stitched or bound together, 
thus forming a compact and handy volume. Some 
years after Sheldon's death I came across part of une of 
these bills in a huckster's shop doing duty as waste paper, 
" To what base uses may we come at last." 

J. II., Berwick. 

I knew Sheldon well. His real name was William 
Thompson ; his father's name was James Thompson. 
The old gentleman was a cabinetmaker, who lived in 
Blenheim Street or Blandford Street, Newcastle, 
and used to eke out a living by making portable 
writing desks. His son was a strolling player, and 
used to pitch his^tent or booth in all parts of Durham and 
Northumberland. Thompson was always wretchedly poor, 
and oftentimes a little coarse mouthed. I have been told 
by the late Mr. W. Alder, publisher of the Blylh Weekly 
News, that when Thompson was in the neighbourhood of 
Blyth he would go and order a few bills for his pavilion, 
and sit in the workshop from morning till closing time, 
reading all the time, because, as Mr. Alder thought, he 
had nothing more substantial to feed upon. During my 
apprenticeship with Mr. J. Lee, in St. John's Lane, 
Newcastle, we used to "do up," that is, bind his 
" Mieldenvold " now and then, as he could only redeem a 
few copies at a time. I remember that several of our 
local men, such as Dr. Bruce, Mr. John Fenwick, and 
I think the Duke of Northumberland, were patrons of his. 

It was at times dismally amusing to hear him tell of his 
writing poetry under annoying hindrances, such as his 
wife washing the crockery that had been used at the last 




repast on one coiner of the table, while he was writing at 
the other corner. An accident was sura to happen. 
Perhaps one of the dishes would be broken, and he, after 
uttering a coarse word or two, would say, " How you 
startled me ! and, what is worse, you have startled a grand 
idea out of my head, and neither the good plate nor the 
good idea can be startled back again. They are gone, 
gone, gone for ever." 

Thompson used to say he had dropped into great 
wealth and honour when Longmans gave him 50 for his 
"Minstrelsy." He was very glad and proud of it. He 
was often called, playfully, " Berwick Bay," by those'.who 
could make free with him. This arose from his having 
written two rather curious lines in a ballad called " The 
Northern Star." The lines were : 

The sun went down in Berwick Bay, 

Down in the sea went he. 

I find from a cutting in my scrap book that he died at 
Stockton " on the 13th," but unfortunately I have 
neglected to note the month and the year. The cutting is, 
I think, from the Newcastle Chronicle of about twenty-five 
years ago, and the following is a copy of the notice : 
"At Stockton, 13th inst., Mr. Frederick Sheldon, aged 
34, author of 'The Border Minstrelsy,' 'History of 
Berwick,' &c," WM. MORAN, Newcastle. 

Cfte fJ0rmait 

jlHE first Norman Castle at Newcastle-on-Tyne 
was built by Robert Curthose, the eldest son 
of William the Conqueror, and was probably 
a mere wooden fort, raised upon an earthen mound. 
Robert's brother, William Rufus, built a more substantial 
fortress on or about the same site, and from it the town 
received ita present name. This latter fortress was 
improved upon, if not entirely rebuilt, by Henry II., who 
in 1172 erected the Keep, which still survives as restored 
in the beginning of the present century. 

The history of the Keep for many years preceding this 
restoration is a history of dilapidation and decay. In 
the reign of James I. (to go no further back), an inquisi- 
tion which was held complained that the great square 
tower was full of chinks and crannies ; that one-third of 
it was almost taken away ; and that all the lead 
and coverings which it had of old were embezzled and 
carried off, so that " the prisoners of the county of 


May 1887.] 






\ 1 


Northumberland were most miserably lodged by reason 
of the showers of rain falling upon them." Some repairs 
were made ; but the Keep got gradually worse, so that 
when Bourne wrote his "History of Newcastle" (pub- 
lished in 173C) it was roofless, while all the floors had 
fallen in, except the 6rst floor, which formed the roof of 
the gaol in the basement. 

In 1780, the chapel of the Castle was used as a beer- 
cellar by the landlord of the Three Bulls' Heads public- 
house; in other parts of the Keep there was an ice-house, 
as well as a currier's workshop ; and on the top of the 
walls (which were thirteen feet thick) was a cabbage 
garden. The lessee of the building in 1782, one Mr. John 
Chrichloe Turner, did his best to complete the degradation 
of the Castle by advertising it to be let as a windmill ! 
The advertisement ran as follows : " To be let, the OLD 
CASTLE in the Castle Garth, upon which with the greatest 
convenience and advantage may be erected a Wind Mill 
for the purpose of grinding Corn and Bolting' Flour, or 
making Oil, &c. There is an exceeding-'y good Spring of 
Water within the Castle, which renders it a very eligible 
situation for a Brewery, or any Manufactory that requires 
a constant supply of water. The proprietor, upon proper 
terms, will be at a considerable part of the expense. 
Enquire of Mr. Fryer, in Westgate-Street, Newcastle." 

Our illustrations are interesting as enabling us at a 
glance to contrast the present aspect of this venerable 
Norman work with that it presented before it was 
restored, and when it was at its lowest point of decay. 
Our smaller view is from Sir Walter Scott's " Border 
Antiquities," for which work it was painted by that 
famous Newcastle artist, Luke Clennell, and engraved by 
John Greig. The "Border Antiquities" was published 
in 1814, and the sketch must have been made before or 
during 1810, as alterations in the Castle-yard were begun 
in the latter year. The earthen heap in the foreground of 
Clennell's picture is "The Mound," which stood about 25 
yards south-west of the Keep, and may have been the 
site of the original fort of Robert Curthose. The square 
mass of masonry on the left is part of the Old Baillie 
Gate of the Castle, which stood facing the end of the 
street now called Bailiff Gate. The house on the right of 
the picture is now removed, and the door next it, with 
the ladder leading up to it, is now reached by a flight of 
stone stairs. The lower steps of these can be seen on the 
left hand side of our larger illustration, which shows the 
Keep as it stands at present. 

The old Keep was purchased by the Corporation of 
Newcastle for 000. It was, says Mackenzie, renovated 
in 1812. Alderman Forster was the moving spirit in this 
work. Many have found fault with him for adding the 
battlemented top, which is quite out of character with 
the architecture of the Keep ; but Newcastle folks may 
well overlook the incongruity in gratitude for the preser- 
vation of a rare relic of antiquity from utter ruin and 
destruction. R. J. 0. 


I N all parts of the world there is an unwritten 
as well as a written law, of which the former 
is the rough-and-ready outcome of the senti- 
ments of the common people, and the latter the 
deliberate calm expression of constituted authority. In 
England and Scotland, notorious breaches of decorum 
used formerly to be punished, both in town and country, 
by subjecting the misdemeanants to public ridicule, 
through causing them to " ride the stang," or, as it was 
termed in some parts of the South, to " ride Skimming- 
ton," a term of unexplained origin. The stang was some- 
times a piece of stout paling, borrowed from a neighbour- 
ing fence, but more generally a cowl-staff, such as was 
used to hang a water-vessel or cowl on, so as to enable it 
to be borne by two persons. " Where's the cowl-staff?" 
cries Ford's wife, in the "Merry Wives of Windsor," 
when she purposes to get Falstaff into a large buck-basket 
with two handles, and cover him up with foul linen, "as 
if it were going to bucking"; and when the staff or stang 
is produced and passed through the handles, the fat 
knight is borne off by two of Ford's men to Datchet 
Mead, like a barrow of butcher's offal, and there thrown 
into a muddy ditch, close by the Thames' side. 

Hereabouts in the North the cowl-staff or stang was 
used in a different fashion. Riding it was the usual 
punishment inflicted on husbands who thrashed their 
wives, and on wives who cowed their husbands, as well as 
on fornicators and adulterers. Such persons, also, 
as followed their occupations on Christmas Day, 
New Year's Day, or any other general holi- 
day, or at prohibited times when there was a 
strike among workmen, ran a great risk of having to go 
through the same ignominious ordeal, after which they 
very seldom recovered their character in the opinion of 
their neighbours. Over-reaching in trade was occasionally 
punished in the same rude way ; and it was not an un- 
common thing, a generation or two since, for a school- 
boy who had offended against one or other of the bye-laws 
enacted by his schoolmates to be stanged. The proper 
mode of carrying out the sentence of the mob lawgivers 
was by bearing the offender up and down, mounted 
backwards, upon the stang. On this fickle and painful 
seat he was borne about the neighbourhood, attended by 
a swarm of children and adults, huzzaing with all their 
might, and pelting him with every manner of filth. 

Mr. Longstaffe, in his " History of Darlington," iays 
he once witnessed the custom in that parish ; but he 
adds that it ended in such increased cruelty to the poor 
victim revenged (that is, we infer, to the brute of a man's 
wife) that he verily believed she died from grief, and he 
apprehended no such transaction would ever again take 
place there. It had become so obsolete at the time the 
Btang was last used in Darlington that one part of the 
ceremony, once considered essential, because emphatically 

May, 1 




adding insult to injury the demanding fourpence from 
the misdemeanant for giving him a ride was either 
forgotten or dispensed with. But riding the stang is 
still in fashion at Northallerton, where a case occurred 
not long since. 

At many places a stang-rhyme was recited in the 
course of the procession. Mr. Longstaffe gives the follow- 
ing fragment of one, composed for a druggist at Thirsk 
who had been convicted of beating his spouse : 
Hey Derry ! Hey Derry ! Hey Derry Dan ! 
It's neither for your cause nor my cause 

That I ride the stang ; 

But it is for t' Peg Doctor for banging his deary, 
If you'll stay a few minutes I'll tell you all clearly. 
One night he came home with a very red face 
I suppose he was drunk, as is often the case ; 
Be that as it may, but when he got in. 
He knocked down his wife with a new rolling pin. 
She jumped up again and knocked off his hat. 
And he up with the pestle, and felled her quite flat, 
She ran out to the yard and shouted for life, 
And he swore he would kill her with a great gully-knife. 
So all you good people that lives in this raw, 
I'd have you take warning, for this is our law ; 
And if any of you husbands your wives do bang, 
Come to me and my congregation, and we'll Ride the 

Stang. ' 

At Thirsk, Mr. Longstaffe tells us, a succession of 
ridings sometimes occupied a week ; but then each case 
needed three ridings on successive nights. The metrical 
harangue was changed each night by the leader of the 
stang band, an important officer of the town, indeed ; and 
the last night an effigy was burned before the offender's 
door, and the spokesman then proceeded to crave him for 
the groat, which was usually paid under the influence of 
fear or custom. 

Formerly, at Thirsk and other Yorkshire towns, where 
the practice long continued in full pomp, the spokesman, 
who was usually an improvisator himself, or the mouth- 
piece of one, was carried on a ladder on men's shoulders ; 
but latterly he used to be drawn along in a donkey cart, 
from which, at every stoppage, he entertained his audience 
with as much mock majesty as ever Thespis, the inventor 
of tragedy, can have displayed. The magistrates declined 
to interfere with the old custom so long as no property 
was damaged ; and, before the introduction of the rural 
police, they had scarcely any alternative but to wink at it. 
In some places, when they could not lay hold of the 
actual culprit, a boy was induced to mount the stang ; 
but, though attended by the same tumultuous cries, if not 
with increased shouts of acclamation, he was, of course, 
personally unmolested ; and the orator, as the crowd went 
along, kept vociferously proclaiming that it was not on 
his own account that the lad was thus treated, but on that 
of another person whose crime he took care to name with 
scrupulous particularity. The sketch on page 124, copied 
from an old engraving, represents this form of the cere- 

The late Mr. John Hopper, of Hurworth Place, who 
died about eight years since, used to tell how he often 
officiated as stang-man at Barnsley and other places 
where he had lived, and that he wrote out the Act. as it 

was called, to be recited on a memorable occasion at 
Hurworth. just forty years ago, when the wild justice of 
the villagers was executed in orthodox fashion, in pre- 
sence of our informant, Mr. Charles Hopper, of Croft, then 
a boy, on two married men and a single woman, proved 
to have been guilty of incontinence. The people peram- 
bulated the three townships of Hurworth, Hurworth 
Place, and Neasham, on three successive nights, loudly 
proclaiming the gross delinquency of the parties in set 
terms, and the third evening carrying with them in a 
farmer's cart the effigies of the trio, which were finally 
burnt in front of one of their houses. And then, to 
crown the whole, the parties were asked to pay fifteen- 
pence, the costs of the performance, which, if they had not 
done, a worse thing would doubtless havo come to them. 

The following is one of the speeches, or "nominies," 
used on the occasion of avenging the sufferings of a hen- 
pecked husband, who, like the little tailor of Tweedmouth, 
had been shamefully beaten by his wife. Poor Snip, we 
may interject, was not only soundly belaboured by his 
virago helpmate, but forced to take refuge under the table, 
and whenever he pseped out was kicked back again, in 
spite of his ever and anon muttering between his teeth, 
"I will look out as long as I'm a man." Here are the 

With a ran, tan, tan, 

On my old tin pan, 

Hey tickle, ho tickle, 

Hey tickle tang ! 

'Tis not for my fault nor thy fault 

That I ride the stane 

But for Mrs. and her good man. 

She banged him, she bang d him, 

For spending a penny when he stood in need ; 

She up with a three-legged stool ; 

She struck him so hard, and she cut so deep, 

That the blood ran down like a new stuck sheep. 

The accompaniment to this doggerel, which was varied as 
circumstances might require, was what was called " rough 
music," extracted from frying-pans, tea-kettles, bull's 
horns, marrow bones, cleavers, and other equally melo- 
dious instruments. 

John Trotter Brockett, in his " Glossary," says he had 
been witness to processions of this kind himself ; but 
nothing of the sort has been seen in Durham or North- 
umberland, so for as we can learn, for a good many years 

In Summers's "History of Sunderland " several in- 
stanced are given, but they belong to the latter part of 
last century. The most serious case occurred in 1783, at 
the close of the first American War. The sailors who 
had been impressed no sooner got back to their 
homes, on peace being proclaimed, than they deter- 
minded to avenge themselves on the informers, by whose 
means they had been kidnapped and forced on board the 
tender to serve in the royal navy. Such of those fellows 
as had not left the town were accordingly hunted up, and 
were mounted, when found, upon a stang, and carried 
through the principal streets, exposed to the insults of an 
enraged populace, the women, in particular, bedaubing 



1 It87. 

them plentifully with dirt, rotten eggs, potatoes and 
turnips, and whatever other missiles came ready to hand. 
The constables being powerless, and beaten off the field, 
the military had to be called in, when the mob dispersed, 
but not without threatening a renewal ot the man-hunt, 
which, however, the prompt measures taken by the 
magistrates happily prevented. Amongst the informers 
slanged at this time was Jonathan Coates, of 
Arras's Lane, Sunderland, commonly known as 
"Jotty Coates," who, after undergoing severe punish- 
ment on the stang, reached his home nearly dead. During 
the night, he heard a noise, which he supposed to be his 
tormentors coaling for him again, when he crawled into a 
narrow dog-leap or slip of waste ground between Arras's 
and Baines's Lanes, where he died. The popular fury rim 
so high that his relatives durst not attempt to bury him in 
daylight, and his body lay in his house for a whole week, 
until some soldiers were prevailed upon to carry it 
by night, by way of the " Back Lonnin," to Sun- 
derland churchyard, where it was interred with- 
out any funeral ceremony. About ten years sub- 

sequently, during a determined strike of the keelmen, 
who had succeeded in blockading the river for some days, 
one of their own number, a man named Nicholas Lowes, 
gave information to the coalHtters of the chief actors in 
the affair, for which offence the keelmen broke the win- 
dows of his house, which stood at the south-east corner of 
Wearmouth Green, and carried him through the town on 
a stang. Seven keelmen were arrested and committed to 
Durham Gaol for this outrage, and sentenced at the 
assizes in August, 1793, to be imprisoned for two years, 
and to find sureties for their good behaviour for other 

" To ride Skimmington" was the expression used for the 
burlesque procession which used to be got up in the South 
of England, in such cases as called for riding the stang in 
districts further North. It consisted in the man who hail 
allowed his wife to beat him, or, in his absence, his next 
neighbour, being set to ride on a horse behind a woman, 
with his face to the horse's tail, holding a distaff in his 
hand, at which he pretended to work, as indicative of the 
occupation to which he ought to buckle himself at home. 


Mar, I 

1887. J 



In the second part of the second canto of " Hudibras," 
there is a curious account of a cavalcade of this kind in 

mounted on a horned horse, 

One bore a gauntlet and gilt spurs. 

Tied to the pummel of a long sword 

He held reversed, the point turned downward. 

Next after, on a raw-boned steed, 

The conqueror's standard-bearer rid, 

And bore aloft before the champion 

A petticoat displayed and rampant ; 

Near whom thu Amazon triumphant 

Bestrid her beast, and on the rump on't 

Sat face to tail. 

When Hudibras, in the sequel, declares that he never 
in all his life till then had seen so profane a show, and that 
it must surely be a Paganish invention, Ralpho, to whom 
the sight was probably familiar, explained to him that it 
was "but a riding used, of course, when the grey mare was 
the better horse." 

Less than a century ago, it was quite common in Cum- 
berland and Westmoreland on Old Christmas Day, and in 
some parishes on the 1st of January, O.S., for people to 
assemble early in the morning with baskets and stangs, 
and whoever did not join them, whether inhabitant or 
stranger, was immediately mounted across the stang, and 
carried shoulder-high to the next public-house, where 
sixpence was demanded to liberate the prisoner. Women 
were seized in the same way, and carried to the ale-house 
in swills, where they were fined a pint of beer each. 

Riding the stang was practised among the Norsemen 
twelve or thirteen centuries ago. They used a " pole of 
infamy" or nidstaeng whereon to mount th guilty per- 
son ; and be who had once submitted to the exposure was 
thenceforward reckoned a Nidinrt, and excluded from all 
public employments. The nidstacny was sometimes used, 
however, to wreak the spite of a tyrant on an innocent 
person, and in such a case the infamy recoiled on the per- 
petrator of the insult. Thus it in on record that Eric, 
King of Norway, had to fly from the hatred of his people 
for inflicting this stigma on Egill Skallatrrim, a celebrated 
Icelandic bard. 

The custom of riding the stang was carried by the 
Goths into Spain, on their migration southwards from 
Scandinavia ; and Brand, in his " Popular Antiquities," 
gives a curious account, from an old writer, of the.way in 
which it was practised there. 



I witnessed the custom of riding the stang atStaindrop, 
in the county of Durham, in the year 1831. Ah me ! 56 
years ago. 

A too confiding damsel, having loved, " not wisely, but 
too well," found herself involved in the troubles of 
maternity before she had secured a husband, and had, 
therefore, to obtain from the magistrates an order for 
maintenance, which she saddled on a young fellow of the 
" ne'er-do weel " class. Young Graceless did not, how- 

ever, relish baring the honours of paternity thus thrust 
upon him ; nay, he resented the " soft impeachment," 
and even went so far as to say that an official of the 
church (the verger) was the real Simon Pure ; and, in 
consequence, he and his friends made it very hot and 
uncomfortable for the poor fellow. Amongst other things 
provided for his annoyance was riding the stang, which I 

First, towards evening a large quantity of straw, sticks, 
faggots, and all sorts of combustibles were piled up in the 
Market Place, near the Butchers' Shambles. Then, after 
dark, a group of men paraded about the streets and lanes 
ringing a bell, probably borrowed from the town crier for 
the occasion ; and as they proceeded the numbers increased 
till they had all the rabble of the place collected round 
them. They then went to a shed outside the town, 
and there procured a cart, whereon they placed a ladder 
crossways. On the ladder they set up an effigy of the 
verger in his church gown, and this was supported by 
young Graceless, who carried the bell and acted as fugle- 
man, on one side, and by a friend on the other. Willing 
hands were ready to draw the cart as they entered the 
town, with the bell ringing, the crowd thumping on pans 
and kettles, whistles, and trumpets, sometimes groaning, 
sometimes hurrahing, just as it took their humour. As 
soon as they were fairly within the street, there was a halt ; 
the bell was rung for silence, when young Graceless, in a 
loud voice, harangued them in a doggerel, some lines of 
which are too coarse to be repeated : 

Hi, Hi, Hi, Hi, 

Hi tinkle, Hi tinkle, Hi tinkle, Hi tinkle, 

Hi tinkle, Hi tinkle, tie up my left arm, 

It's well known through the town about Bess Wilson's 

bairn ; 
It was not the rector.ithe deacon the clerk, 

But only the verger 

It's known to Bess Wilson, if the truth'she would tell, 

Which the parson, the clerk, and the sexton know well ; 

But the stupid old beaks, to shelter the Church, 

Set the verger off free and left me in the lurch. 

Then come, jolly fellows, and rattle alang, 

For this is the reason we're riding the stang. 

So come, all good people, whoever you be, 

Follow up to the Shambles, and there you will see 

The wicked old verger will get such a blaze 

As you'll never forget to the end of your days. 

Then off they went, shouting, brawling, groaning, and 
making all the uproar possible, for a hundred yards or 
so. Then another halt and repetition of the oration. 
And thus they went up one side of the street and down the 
other, taking care to stop in front of the moat prominent 
houses, particularly those of the clergyman and others 
connected with the church, and giving the verger's house 
special attention. About ten o'clock they drew up in 
the market place, and the effigy was mad ; fast to a stake in 
the pile of faggots. Young Graceless again orated ; and 
than the fire was applied, the bell rung, the pans rattled, 
and the crowd yelled and danced round the flaring mass. 

No one interfered with them ; indeed, there was neither 
mischief nor danger. It was altogether a vulgar, low ex- 



hibition, and certainly more honoured in the breach than 
the observance. C., Leamington Spa. 


The following is a newspaper account of a recent oc- 
currence in Wales : 

On Monday afternoon (March 21st, 1887), at Llangefni, 
Anglesea, summonses were heard against seven men who 
had engaged in lynching Owen Owens, by causing him to 
ride the Ceffvl 1'ren (wooden horse) through the village 

of Rhostrehfa. The prosecutor lived apart from his wife, 
and the villagers, considering that an ancient Welsh cus- 
tom, now nearly obsolete, was required to vindicate the 
moral principles of the parish, procured a ladder, and, 
going to his house, dragged him out, laid him flat on the 
wooden horse, strapped him tightly down, and then, amid 
jeers, carried him around the neighbourhood. He was 
eventually released by the police. Prior to these interest- 
ing proceedings, the crowd had thoroughly searched the 
house of the lady who was said to be too fond of the 
prosecutor, but without finding the latter. The defendants 
escaped punishment. J. S., Leicester. 

JlETER ALLAN, who may be said to have 
created Marsden, was not the first to con- 
ceive the idea of making in that now almost 
world-famed locality a habitation in the rocks. That 
idea had been carried out before his time, on the 
identical spot which Peter afterwards chose, by an old 
Allenheads miiier and his wife. To the singular abode 
of this couple, in one of the caverns under Marsden 
cliffs, ladies and gentlemen from Shields and Sunder- 
Knd used to drive in their carriages so long ago as 
1782. In the summer of that year a man commonly 
known as "Jack the Blaster," then near eighty years of 
age, who had removed from Allenheads to South 
Shields some time before, finding the charge of house- 
keeping in town too heavy for his small means, retired 
with his wife to one of the magneeian limestone caves 
which abound on the coast between Shields and 
Sunderland. The romantic situation of the place, and 
the singularity of the old couple, drew, as we have 
said, numbers of people to visit them ; and Marsden 
thus became one of the sights of the neighbourhood. 
We do not know how long Jack the Blaster and his 
good wife stayed in their cave dwelling. But the spot 
to which they had given notoriety never from their 
time lost its local distinction ; and by-and-by a greater 
genius arose to give it still wider fame. 

The new dweller in the Rocks, Peter Allan, was a 
native of Tranent, in East Lothian, which his father left 
when Peter was a boy. The old man, who was a charac- 
ter in his way, was long a gamekeeper on the estate of Sir 
Hedworth Williamson, at Whitburn. He lived till he 
was more than ninety, with his almost equally aged wife, 
in that beautiful village, as a pensioner on the honourable 
baronet's bounty, though not by any means altogether so, 
for he had been a provident man all his days, and had 
secured to himself a weekly allowance from some mutual 

benefit society. He was also a bee fancier, and had a 
large stock of bees, which he kept in his house under 
glass hives, so that their operations and habits could be 
freely observed, allowing the industrious little insects 
egress and ingress by the sitting-room window. When 
he was above eighty years of age, so good was his 
eyesigtit still, and so steady his hand, that be could 
send a bullet through a bull's eye a hundred yards off. 


In early life, Peter Allan, junior, afterwards " the 
Hermit," entered the service of his father's master, as 
valet to Mr. William Williamson, brother to Sir Hed- 
worth. Afterwards he became a gamekeeper to the 
Marquis of Londonderry, and in that situation soon 
acquired, what be retained up to the day of his death, 
a reputation as a fearless and unerring shot. We next 
find him married and settled as a publican in Whit- 
burn, where he bought some property. He also went 
out, as occasion offered, to execute work by contract. 
In this manner he obtained employment at the North 
Dock, Monkwearmouth, during its construction in the 
years 1835-37. He likewise acted as foreman, for some 
time, to Mr. Mordey, of Wallsend, over aome eight or 
ten men employed in quarrying stone for the limekiln 
from the rocks about Marsden. 


It was while working in the latter capacity that the 
idea of taking up his abode on the shores of Marsden Bay 
first occurred to him. To a mind so acute and specula- 
tive as his. it was apparent that, if proper means of ac- 
commodation and refreshment were on the spot, those 
pic-nic parties might be indefinitely multiplied whom the 
amenity of the neighbourhood brought thither, almost 
every day, from the adjacent towns, to ramble along the 
shore, camp on the Velvet Beds, penetrate into the spa- 
cious caverns, walk at dead low water through the fretted 
arches of Marsden Rock, wash their hands and faces in 



the Fairy's Kettle, or try to climb to the top of one or 
other of those singular stacks or isolated rocks, such as 
Pompey's Pillar or Lot's Wife, which abound all along 
the coast between Frenchman's Bay and Byers's Quarry. 
Peter Allan, cogitating these matters with a practical 
purpose, came to the conclusion that a good. thing might 
be made, at small risk, out of the summer holiday-makers 
or pleasure-seekers, whom he saw frequenting the place ; 
and having on one occasion drawn a considerable sum, in 
the way of business, at Shields races, he bought a tent at 
Newcastle, planted it near the end of the lane which 
leads from the village of Cleadon down to Marsden Bay, 
and began to sell refreshments in it to the passers-by. 
Afterwards be set about making wholesale excavations in 
order to form a tolerably commodious house in the soft 
marly rock, near the south-west angle of the bay, where 
Jack the Blaster had been busy beforelhim. 


The lynx-eyed Excise were down upon him, however, 
in a jiffy. The supervisor himself came from Shields, 
and threatened to have him prosecuted for selling ale and 
porter in his house without a license. Peter, who had 
already spent too much time and trouble in the formation 
of his marine grotto to relinquish it very willincrly, and 
whose turn of mind it was never to give in till fairly com- 
pelled, applied to the South Shields magistrates for an ale 
and spirit license, and after a good deal of difficulty 
succeeded in getting it. But his troubles did not end 
here. When he took to living in the rock, the local 
authorities fancied he could have no^other end in view but 
to become a smuggler on a great scale, BO a reinforce- 
ment was added to the Coast Guard. But as this 
suspicion was not confirmed, and as Peter always showed 
himself a hearty good fellow, he was soon on the best 
possible terms with the preventative men, and continued 
to be so till the day of his death. 


While excavating the grotto, Peter had the occasional 
assistance of pitmen and others, at times when, from de- 
pression of trade, strikes, or otherwise, their ordinary 
employment was interrupted. But the bulk of the 
manual labour and the whole of the planning were his 
own. When the place had been made apparently secure 
against the storms of winter, by the formation of a solid 
quay in front, Peter sold his property at Whitburn for a 
considerable sum, and took up his permanent residence 
with his family in his marine home. Here he and his 
wife reared a family of eight children. Persevering for 
near a quarter of a century, and, in fact, making it the 
business of his life, Peter brought the place from the 
position of a bleak, deserted rock, which it was in 1828, 
to that of a unique yet comfortable place of entertain- 
ment. No fewer than eighteen skeletons are said to have 
been exhumed during Peter's operations. One of unusual 
size was some years ago preserved in the laboratory of 
Dr. Cargill in Newcastle. 


For some years, it was Mr. and Mrs. Allan's custom to 
remove during the winter season to Whitburn, and return 
in spring with the swallows ; but after a while they made 
the grotto their permanent abode, braving the rude 
North-Easters at their very worst, though they hurled 
huge bellowing breakers right up against the face of the 
cliffs. Not unfrequently, when impelled by a strong 
wind from that inclement quarter, the tidal wave 
would break into the house, sweeping everything before 
it. On one occasion, Mrs. Allan was sitting at the 
table, in the front bar, with her youngest daughter, 
then under three years of age, moving about, when 
suddenly the door was burst open, and a huge wave 
flung itself in. It fairly covered the child, who 
was saved only by the presence of mind of her eldest 
brother, who, happening at the moment to be in the 
act of mounting the stairs, saw what had taken place, 
and rushed down to the door, in time to catch 
the girl as she was being carried off by the retreating 
wave. Another time, Peter and a neighbouring farmer 
were seated in the back bar. Some navvies, then 
employed under our hero at the Monkwearmoth Dock, 
were in the front. The turmoil of the storm outside 
was terrible, and one of the labourers, a tall, broad- 
shouldered son of the Emerald Isle, went to the door 
to reconnoitre. A billow, more than breast high, was 
approaching, yea, was almost at his side. To clap to 
the door, bolt it, and prop it with his shoulders, was 
the work of an instant, but in vain. The wave burst 
open the frail barrier, and sent the poor Patlander 
bouncing like a top along the floor. Peter and the 
farmer jumped upon the table, and held on by the 
joists, laughing the while at the discomforture of the 
navvies, who all made their exit as speedily as possible, 
clambering up the rock like rats or rabbits, and calling 
on their "gaffer" to follow for his life. 


During a great snowfall that happened in the winter of 
1S46, when tiie railway traffic was for some time com- 
pletely suspended in Durham and Northumberland, and 
the Tyne at Newcastle, below bridge, was frozen over, so 
that the communication with Shields by boat was im- 
practicable for more than a week, the family at the 
grotto were put to hard shifts. Every entrance to the 
bay was blocked up. For six weeks they saw no human 
face but their own. Their friends at Whitburn had well 
nigh given them up for lost. Fortunately, they had just 
laid in, as usual at that time of year, provisions for a 
month, and that, with the help of a pig or two, which 
they killed, kept them in food till the roads were again 


" Approaching from the sands," says Mr. Smith, 
formerly of Sunderland, in an interesting account of 
Peter Allan, which he published in 1848, "you see the 
grotto at the south-western angle of the bay, nestling 




t 1*^7 

at the foot of the upward rocks. It is two stories in 
height. The front is a plain, whitewashed wall of 
built stone. Part of the roof is exterior to the roc'.:, 
and slated. Attached to the upper stories are wooden 
balconies, where visitors may sit in the free open eun- 
shine and enjoy their pipe, biscuit, and glass of ale, 
and the beautiful prospect seawards, enlivened by the 
fleets bound for and from the Tyne. The great 
weather-beaten brow of the rock beetles threateningly 
overhead, and in the face of it, on one side of the 
cottage, a flight of steps, almost perpendicular, is cut in 
ziz-zag fashion from the footpath on the top to the em- 
bankment below. On the other appears a range of 
apertures, which, on further inspection, you ascertain to 
be dovecots ; whilst beneath these, on the ground floor, 
so to epeak, is a row of massive grated windows ami 
doors, which you will guess admit air, light, and access to 
anything but a ball-room, yet such is the case. Entering 
the grotto, you are hailed by Peter with one of his 
blithest smiles, and invited forthwith to take a peep at 
the interior. This comprises eight dwelling apartments, 
besides the ball-room. In the latter, a very spacious 
apartment, with vaulted roof, and rude orchestra at one 
end in truth, as curious a salle de danse as 'fair women 
and brave men' could fancy the rock meets you on all 
sides ; in the former, in all but one. In one place the 
superincumbent rock is supported by pillars left intact as 
the surrounding mass was hewn away ; and as two-thirds 
of the rooms at least are furnished with doors, the whole 
is thoroughly ventilated. The height of the entire ex- 
cavation is about twenty feet, its breadth (i.e., into the 
solid) little under thirty feet, and its length, from the end 
of the ball-room to that of the cottage, about a hundred 
and twenty feet." There are now, if we mistake not, 
fifteen rooms in all, hewn out of the cliff. One of these is 
called the (iaol Room, from its grated windows ; another, 
the Devil's Chamber, from its being very dingy ; and, 
besides the large ball-room above mentioned, there are 
concert, dining, and sleeping rooms. 


Shortly after his settlement, Peter set about con- 
triving an ascent to Marsden Rock, so that visitors 
might easily get to its top, then quite inaccessible except 
to sea-fowl. This was a work of difficulty, seeing that 
the mass was 109 feet in almost perpendicular height, 
and that 25 feet of the rock, next the summit, had to 
be cut through. It waa accomplished, however, in a 
fortnight by Peter and two assistants. One of the trio 
lived during that time in a tent set up on the top, not 
descending till their task was finished, and his pro- 
vender was hoisted up to him by means of a rope. 
The 6rst lady who ventured to ascend the first of 
Eve's daughters, in fact, who set foot on the summit 
of Marsden Rock since it was violently severed from 
the mainland some centuries since was Miss Julia 
Collinson, of Gateshead, afterwards Mrs. de Winter. 
.Since that day, many thousands have scaled it 

by Peter's ladder of stairs. A party of young 
ladies belonging to the Sooiety of Friends were among 
the first to follow Mis Collinson's example. Peter 
used long to tell how enthusiastically they expressed 
their feelings. "They first looked up at the rock," 
said he, "and said a lot of poetry and stuff; and then 

they went through under it, and said some more poetry 
and stuff ; and then they mounted up the ladder, and 
walked about on the top, and said some more poetry 
and stuff; and they came down and turned round, and 
looked up at it again, and said some more poetry and 
stuff ; and then they bade me good day and went away, 
all the while repeating more poetry and stuff." Ths 
masj of magnesian limestone thus apostrophised is now 
about a hundred yards from the land, although, accord- 
ing to Mackenzie and Ross, it is not much more than 
a hundred years since the interval could be bridged by 
a single plank. At high water, Marsden Rock is now, 
and long has been, accessible only from a boat. At 
low water, a stretch of firm, dry sand intervenes, and 
visitors can not only reach it without wetting their 
feet, but can walk right through the huge apertures 
which form the archways under it. A poet says of 

Within the limits of the tidal stream 

A rock arises, bare and tempest-riven ; 
Such a huge ruin might, as poets dream, 

Be hurled by some proud giant against heaven. 
Its base is scooped in many a rugged seam, 

Through which the waves are by thj wild winds driven, 
And hollow arches, crusted o'er with shells, 
Are filled or dry, as the sea ebbs or swells. 


Notwithstanding the desolate appearance of the place 
during the winter season, the success of the venture soon 
verified the hermit's anticipations. His speculation 
turned out quite to his mind. Crowds of holiday-makers 
frequented the place. Music for the dance was always at 
hand. Mrs. Allan attended to the tea-kettle, and was 
famous for her spice cakes and singin' binnies. Every- 
thing was tidy, clean, comfortable, and moderate in 
price. To those who preferred stronger potations to " the 
cup that cheers but not inebriates," nappy liquor was not 
wanting, for, as a Newcastle bard once wittily sung 

Teetotal Moses struck the rock, and water gushed there- 

But Peter's yields John Barleycorn and good old English 




The hermit's free, open-hearted manner, and independent 
and fearless cast of mind, with the just pride he touk in 
the curious work of his own hands, combined to make 
him a general favourite. When in company with him, one 
could not but be struck with the genial character of the 
man. "His heart," says his friend Smith, "seemed all 
in a glow, and therein lies the chief secret of his success 
and popularity. He possesses a Scotchman's hereditary 
love of education, having Riven all his children the best 
he could, and even sent some of them for that purpose to 
a boarding-school in Newcastle. With humour he also 
combines no little fancy. He loves to tickle his young 
visitors' organ of Wonder by telling them that the fairies 
still haunt the bays and rocks, but that they make them- 
selves visible to children only under fourteen years of age. 
himself being the only one aoove that age to whom they 
extend the honour of their familiarity." 


Peter had a strong liking for pets, no matter of what 
species pigs, pigeons, or ravens. At one time he had a 
couple of pigs, of a peculiar breed, imported from Russia, 
and purchased when young from a ship captain. These 
he named "Jack "and "Jessie," and soon had them so 
tame that they would follow him like dogs, Jessie, 
particularly, used to be his companion even when he went 
to Sunderland or Shields, and we have heard say that he 
might sometimes be seen with her in the streets of these 
towns, with ft whole litter of pigs running at their 

mother's feet like kittens. Jack, again, used to scamper 
up and down the sands with four tame ravens on his 
back, evidently enjoying the fun. Perhaps Peter's prime 
favourite, however, was a wonderfully wise old raven, 
named Ralph, who had been taught to play innumerable 
pranks. Ralph unhappily lost a leg one day, having been 
shot at by an amateur sportsman, who had not the 
honour to be acquainted with him or his master, and who 
fired at him in sheer wanton ignorance, though the bird 
was as tame as a midden hen. He lived for several years 
after the limb was amputated, and was to be seen in 
all weathers hopping about familiarly in and near the 
grotto. He was at last, after about fourteen years' 
domestication, killed by an ill-natured greyhound, in 
whose kennel he roosted every night, and to whom he 
must have given some offence to provoke the fatal fight. 
A young man in Shields wrote poor Ralphy's epitaph in 
verse, and a dexterous taxidermist had his carcase 
cleverly stuffed. Peter tamed several of the same species 
in his time, but never did he meet with another like old 

It was not until the year 1848 that the owners of the 
adjoining property two gentlemen named Andrew Stod- 
dart and John Clay, the latter of whom, the first mayor 
of South Shields, died in February of this year, made any 
claim upon Peter for rent. The jolly hermit was, of 
course, like most of his fraternity, only a squatter, and 




liable to be ejected at any time. Peter, who had very 
naturally come to regard himself as the owner of the 
grotto and its appurtenances, which he alone had made 
worth anything, and of which he had been in uninter- 
rupted possession for upwards of 20 years, said " he would 
never give in as long as he could wag a leg." But the 
law was too strong for him, and he was forced to succumb. 
A suit having been commenced at the Durham Assizes 
in 1850 by Mr. Stoddart, who had erected a rival house 
of entertainment on the adjacent property, an arrange- 
ment was come to between the agents on both sides 
that Peter should pay fifty pounds towards the law 
expenses of the plaintiffs, and take a lease of the 
place for twenty years, at ten pounds a year. This 
was a sad blow to the poor man. He sank under 
it, lost heart, took to his bed, and never recovered, 
dying, after a few day's illness, on the 31st of August, 
1850, at the comparatively early age of 51. He may 
truly be said to have died of a broken heart. When 
his wife and children crowded affectionately round him, 
trying to cheer him up, he refused to be comforted. In 
the delirium which preceded his death, he still reverted to 
the loss of what he considered his property, mingled with 
broken and touching interjections that he bore the parties 
who had taken it from him no ill-will. About an hour 
before he died, he lost the use of speech, but afterwards 
recovered consciousness, and died calmly in the arms 
of his wife, and surrounded by his children. His remains 
were deposited in Whitburn Churchyard, his aged parents 
attending as chief mourners. 


Peter's widow continued to dispense hospitalities at 
the Grotto till her death about 1870. Afterwards, first 
her son, William Allan, and then her daughter, Mary 
Ann Allan, kept the Grotto. When the last of the 
Allan family was compelled to quit the premises, Mr. 
Sidney Milnes Hawkes became the occupant, renting the 
inn from the newly-formed Whitburn Coal Company, 
which had ;purchased the land thereabouts for the 
purpose of opening the colliery near Souter Point 


To the south of Marsden Grotto is a spacious cavern 
which gets its name of Smuggler's Hole from an aperture 
in the roof supposed to have been used in old days for 
hoisting contraband goods from the coast to the rocks 
above. The skeletons which Peter Allan unearthed may 
have dated from the smuggling period. The hole in the 
cavern was used afterwards for drawing up sea weed, 
which is still greatly prized by the farmers for manuring 
tbe land. Among the many stories current anent tbii 
locality is the following, which was related in Cham- 
beri't Journal for September 11, 1875 : 

A certain noted smuggler had arranged for a lugger to 
discharge its cargo here. As the time arrived at night 
that tbe vessel ought to be approaching the coast, and ft 
signal shown from the cave to indicate safety, a man long 
uspected of treachery was missing. Tbe (muggier, 

therefore, to warn the skipper to keep away, set his dogs 
barking and let off his gun, which brought the coastguard 
down (who turned out to be close by), but who were told 
by the smuggler that thieves had attempted to enter the 
hut. The skipper, taking the hint, had sheered off. The 
officers then made for Shields, and there found the vessel 
the next day, entered her, and seized some thirty casks of 
" Tobacco ?" no, of bilge-water. The facts were that, 
upon receiving tbe signal, and knowing that the legal posse 
were collected elsewhere, the captain tacked about, and 
the cargo was landed in a lonely cove near Souter Point, 
where it was packed, after the fashion of beetroot, in an 
open field, which the officers passed for days after without 
the knowledge of the prize within their reach. A few 
mornings after their attention was aroused by the sudden 
removal in the night of this heap, and then, and not until 
then, they recollected that its formation was equally 
mysterious. The story would not be complete without its 
touch of horror. For years after, moans were heard to 
proceed from this hole in the cliff, and no one would 
approach or pass it after nightfall. The cause assigned 
for these lamentations was, that the smuggler who 
attempted to betray the gang, being caught, was placed 
in a tub, and hauled up by a rope under the hole, and 
only let down once a day, to receive some scant food and 
the gibes of his mates, his situation being rendered yet 
more cruel from his position permitting him to witness 
his comrades i feasting, and being made a target for the 
refuse of their festivities. 


Another cavern in the Marsden CHffs is called the 
Hairy Man's Cave. A young sailor who had been dis- 
appointed in love took up his abode here, clothed himself 
in skins and let his beard grown long ; in fact, lived the 
life of a hermit in every way. He was known by the 
people as Peter Allen's Hairy Man. One night he had a 
very narrow escape from drowning, after which he left 
his wild mode of living and returned to his old avocation 
of a sailor. 

Jlccollectiong of 

Long before Peter Allan came to Marsden, a remarkable 
character known as " Jack the Blaster " part smuggler, 
part poacher, and part quarryman resided at the foot of 
the stairs opposite to Marsden Rock. It was said these 
stairs had been cut out of the cliff by Jack. Anyhow, 
they were known all round the country side as Jack the 
Blaster's Stairs. Here Peter Allan took up bis abode. 
When removing the rubbish for the foundation of Peter's 
new house, the workmen came upon some human bones, 
including two skulls, besides a pair of silver buckles. 
They were discovered between the outside wall of the 
ruins of Jack the Blaster's house and the face of the cliff. 
I remember seeing them, my aunt having taken me 
down with her from the farm at Marsden to see these 
ghastly relics. The bones were supposed to have been 
the remains of victims of foul play, the place having for- 
merly been noted for smuggling. 

After Peter Allan had got comfortably settled down in 
his new home, he conceived the idea of making a flight of 
stairs to the top of Marsden Rock. If my memory does 
not deceive me, I think the price agreed upon for the 
job was 11. One of tbe contracting quarrymen, having 
scaled the rock, had his camp, provisions, and workinsr 
gear hoisted up to him by block and pulley. He 



commenced to excavate the steps from the top, working 
downwards, while his mate worked upwards from below. 
On the completion of the work, Peter placed a couple of 
goats and several rabbits on the rock, the top of which 
is about half an acre in extent, and well covered with 

Peter was a great lover of animals, and always had 
one or two pets about him. He had a Russian pig, 
a dark, grizzly animal, named Jessie, which would follow 
him about like a faithful dog. When he visited Shields 
or Sunderland, Jessie was always at his heels, following 
him into shops or other places, where she was always 
welcome. At other times, when going between 
Marsden and Whitburn, where he kept an inn, 
Jessie would be seen trotting alongside, while a 
pair of tame ravens would accompany him all 
the way, flying before for a hundred yards or so, 
alighting en the stone walls till Peter came up, and 
then flying forward again, so as always to keep a little in 
front. These birds were taken from a nest a little to the 
south of the Grotto, and were perfectly tame. Once my 
grandmother got a terrible fright through one of these 
tame ravens suddenly perching on her shoulder while she 
was stooping to lay out some newly-washed clothes to 
dry on the whins. Peter at one time had on exhibition at 
the Grotto a gigantic human skeleton, quite perfect, 
which was discovered while digging out a cave. This 
discovery drew hundreds of sightseers to Marsden. 

Peter was a splendid shot. I remember accompanying 
him one afternoon in search of a few snipe. He 
wanted three or four brace for Lady Williamson, of 
Whitburn Hall. As all sportsmen know, snipe, from 
their rapid flight aud zigzag motion when first flushed, 
are most difficult to hit; yet that afternoon he never 
missed a shot. In appearance, Peter Allan was a noble- 
looking man, with tine Roman features, and thick curly 
brown hair, while his fine open countenance always had a 

Speaking of the ravens, I remember these birds nesting 
every year in the cliffs about a quarter of a mile .to the 
south of Marsden Rock. A pair had their eyrie 
beneath a shelving rock, where it could only be reached 
by nest harriers being lowered over the precipice with 
ropes. The ravens bred and reared their young for some 
years after Peter Allan came to reside at Marsden. My 
late uncles, who resided at Marsden Farm, above the 
famous rock (the family from my great-grandfather 
downwards having occupied the land for over seventy 
years), told me that the ravens had frequented the 
locality from time immemorial, and that they remembered 
cormorants and other sea birds breeding on Marsden 
Rock ; but these latter birds had deserted their old nest- 
ing places long before Peter came to reside there. I have 
frequently seen the ravens in early morning sailing in 
graceful circles at a great altitude above their neets ; and 
once I saw a pair of these sable marauders each carry 
off a gosling as large as a partridge, which they bore away 

to tlieir young in the cliffs. I was informed by my uncles 
that they not only lost chickens and goslings, but fre- 
quently had young lambs killed by these voracious birds. 
Ouring the lambing season, the ravens would sit near tha 
ewes, croaking the while ; and if an opportunity occurred 
they would at once seize and carry off the new-born 
lamb. And sickly and dying sheep have had their eyes 
lacked out by the same birds. But the ravens have long 
since departed from their haunts at Marsden. 

.fohn Allan, a brother of Peter's, who had only one 
hand, the other having been lost through a gun acci- 
dent, was sometimes lowered over the rocks to take the 
young ravens from the nest. On one of these occasions, 
some fishermen from Whitburn hurried up to the farm to 
procure a pair of cart ropes ; for, in lowering John over 
the cliffs, the rope had got fast in a crevice, and thn 
liahermen were afraid that the jutting edges would cut 
the rope, in which case the poor fellow would have been 
uashed to pieces, the cliffs being upwards of a hundred 
fset in height. However, he was got up without sustain- 
ing any serious injury. 

My uncles also remembered a nair of large blue 
hawks regularly nesting in the cliffs south of the 
ravens' eyrie ; but these birds, which were very wild, 
had disappeared before Peter Allan's time. Doubtlesj 
the hawks were peregrine falcons ( Falco percijrinus I. 
This noble falcon is now almost extinct in England. 
I once had the rare opportunity of seeing a large 
eagle sailing majestically along the rocky coast of 
Marsden. From its great expanse of wing and tawny 
hue it was very likely the white-tailed eagle, one of 
the largest of the genus. At that time Peter Allan's 
goats on the rock had kids, ana the royal bird 
hovered above the rock and over the bank tops 
adjacent nearly the whole of the morning. 

Foxes, if not numerous, were formerly far from 
uncommon around Marsden, where they had their 
earths in the fissures of the rocks. At the present 
time these graceful night prowlers have entirely dis- 
appeared from the neighbourhood. Stray foxes may 
now and again have been seen at long intervals ; but 
they are only wanderers in a strange land. Jack the 
Blaster told my grandfather a curious incident in 
connection with Reynard. While walking along the 
sands between Whitburn and Marsden, .accompanied by 
two greyhounds, he started a fox from beneath some 
large boulder stones. The greyhounds immediately 
gave chase. The fox, finding he could not reach his 
den, the dogs being close to his heels, took to the sea 
nearly opposite to Marsden Rock. After swimming 
out a considerable distance, he lay upon the surface of 
the water as if dead. Jack, on coming up to the 
hounds, waded into the water, and, getting a firm 
hold of Reynard, who still feigned death, brought him 
safely to shore, and ultimately had him fastened up 
with collar and chain. 

I have heard my uncles speak of another strange 






character, named Willie the Rover, who, between sixty 
and seventy years ago, resided for several years in a cave 
at Frenchman's Bay, a little to the north of the Velvet 
Beds, and about a mile and a half from Marsden. Willie 
lived by collecting kelp and mussels, cockles, limpets, 
and other shellfish from the rocks at low tide, which he 
termed excellent " rock beef." But Willie the Hover was 
not content with these ; for he took the mussels put 
down by the fishermen for future bait. At last these 
hardy fishermen rose up in arms against him, and drove 
him away from his haunts. 

W.M. YELLOWLT, South Shields. 

learning, judgment, and elegance, those of her name- 
sake Lady Mary Wortley Montagu. After her death, 
four volumes of her correspondence were published by 
her nephew. The press generally received them with 
pleasant testimony of approval, and naturally dwelt on 
the fact that the letters were genuine and authentic, 
which could not, they observed, be said of a similar 
collection then challenging the censure of the British 
public. The last letter in the series is dated September, 
1761, but the writer lived nearly forty years after 
that ; and, as she maintained to the end of her life a 

||XE of the most amusing as well as instructive 
of the gossipping volumes compiled by the 
late Dr. Doran is entitled, "A Lady of the 
Last Century, illustrated in her Unpublished Lette.-s." 
The lady who is thus mado substantially to tell her owa 
tale was Mrs. Elizabeth Montagu. She was the eldest 
daughter of Matthew Robinson, Esq., of West Laytnn, 
in Yorkshire, and Horton, in Kent ; and she married, in 
17-12, Edward Montagu, Esq., of Denton, in Northumber- 
land, M.P. for Huntingdon, who was grandson to the first 
Earl of Sandwich. Mr. Montagu was a man eminent for 
his acquirements in science, particularly in mathematics ; 
but his wife was destined to shed far more lustre on his 
name, on account of her extraordinary talents. Born at 
York in 1720, she resided during her early days at Cam- 
bridge, where her education was superintended by her 
grandmother's second husband, Dr. Conyers Middleton, 
author of the " Life of Cicero." Ker marriage with Mr. 
Montagu was a fortunate and happy one, but her only 
son, a very hopeful youth, died young ; and on her hus- 
band's death, in 1775, she was left in a position of great 
opulence, which she sustained by a munificent hospi- 
tality, of which the learned were the chief, though not 
the only, partakers. 

Mrs. Montagu was an excellent scholar, and pos- 
sessed a sound judgment and an exquisite taste. She 
assisted the first Lord Lyttietan in the composition of 
his celebrated " Dialogues of the Dead," and three of 
the best of these (those between Cadmus and Hercules, 
Mercury and a Modern Fine Lady, and Plutarch, 
Charon, and a Modern Bookseller) were solely hers. 
She also wrote an ''Essay on the Writings and Genius 
of Shakspeare," in answer to the frivolous objections of 
Voltaire ; and for this triumphant vindication of the 
Bard of Avon she received high praise from the most 
accomplished judges of the day, including Reynolds, 
Garrick, Johnson, the poet Cowper, and the French 
critic Villemain. 

But her peculiar talent lay in epistolary composition. 
Her letters equal, if they do not exceed, in point of 



lively correspondence, a secomi series was a desideratum. 
This was supplied through Dr. Dorau's instrumentality, 
for the letters written by herself and friends during 
the long and eventful interval between 1761 and 1800, 
form the chief portion of his volume. 

Writing in 1700, Mrs. Montagu tells us she was as 
merry as a grig in "sad Newcastle." In September of 
that year she wrote to her dear friend Lord Lyttleton 
that she was taking up her freedom by entering into 
all the diversions of the place. " I was," she says, " at 
a musical entertainment yesterday morning, at a concert 
last night, at a musical entertainment this morning; I 
have bespoken a play for to-morrow night, and shall go 
to a ball, on choosing a Mayor, on Monday night." 
The Mayor that year was Henry Partis, Esq. (his 
second term of office), who had the honour of proclaiming 

1887. I 



his Majesty King George III. on the 1st of November, 
at the Guildhall, the Flesh Market, and the White Crow 
in Newgate Street, "the usual places of proclamation," 
" amidst the joyful acclamations of several thousands of 

The hours of leisure between such orthodox dissipa- 
tions were employed by Mrs. Montagu in fulfilling all her 
duties as a woman of business, in connection with her 
husband's steward's accounts and the coal interests ; and 
she devoted the remainder of her time to the study of 
works in the loftiest walks of literature. In 1761, she 
wrote to Mrs. Elizabeth Carter, the translator of Epic- 
tetus famous in her own day, forgotten in ours that, 
whether in London or the country, she was become " one 
of the most reasonable, quiet, good kind of country 
gentlewomen that ever was. " 

A letter dated from Denton Hall, December 7th, 1766, 
contained the following remarks : " We have had a mild 
season, and this house is remarkably warm, so that I 
have not suffered from cold. Business has taken up 
much of my time, and as we have had farms to let against 
next May Day, and I was willing to see the new colliery 
begin to trade to London before I left the country, I 
had the prudence to get the bettor of my taste for 
society. I had this day the pleasure of a letter from 
Billingsgate (a polite part of the world for a lady to 
correspond with) that the first ships which were then 
arrived were much approved. At Lynne they have also 
succeeded, and these are the two great coal markets. So 
now, as soon as I can get all the ends and bottoms of our 
business wound up, I shall set out for London. 

The colliery here spoken of had been opened during 
the previous summer. Sykes tells us that on the 12th 
of July, 1766, a great entertainment was given at Denton 
Hall, on account of winning the coal at West Denton. 
The coal was esteemed equal in quality to that of Long 
Benton, which was then worked out. AH the workmen, 
with their wives, walked in procession to the great court 
before the hall, with colours flying and a band of music ; 
from whence, after a general salute of three huzzas, they 
proceeded to a field east of the house, where several long 
tables were placed, sufficient to contain all the company, 
consisting of 377 men and women, the tenants and work- 
men upon the estate. These tables were each furnished 
with a large piece of beef, mutton, and veal, to which 
were added twice as many fruit puddings, the size of 
which may be guessed at by the quantity of flour used for 
them and the pies, which was no less than two sacks ; the 
rest of the dinner consisted of two sheep, 1441bs. each, 
and several hundredweight of beef; one of the sheep was 
roasted whole, and the other, with the beef, boiled in a 
large brewing vessel. Abundance of ale, strong beer, and 
punch was consumed. Dinner being ended, the company 
again returned to the great court, and, being drawn up in 
a circle, with Mr. Montagu and his lady in the centre, 
they toasted the Royal Family, the donori, the coal 
trade, &c., accompanied with loud huzzas, after which 

they concluded the evening with country dances and 
other diversions. 

During the same year, Mrs. Montagu paid a visit to 
Scotland, which she enjoyed highly, and she carried south 
with her on her return the celebrated Dr. John Gregory 
and his two amiable daughters, who were her honoured 
guests for some time at Denton Hall. Dr. Gregory, who 
was one of the most distinguished persons of his dis- 
tinguished name, is perhaps best known now by his non- 
professional work entitled "A Father's Legacy to his 
Daughters," which must always be admired as the pro- 
duct of a kind and sensitive heart. Mrs. Montagu's 
evenings at Edinburgh, she tells us, passed very agreeably 
with Dr. Robertson, Dr. Blair, Lord Kames, and " divers 
other ingenious persons." She had carried with her into 
the North a lady with whose name many of us are still 
familiar, and whose delightful educational works 
some of us have perused with profit Mrs. Chapone" 
She likewise made the acquaintance of the Earl of 
Buchan Burns's correspondent who showed her great 
attention, as did also that true friend to agriculture and 
manufacture, Lord Kinnoul, and the munificent lord of 
Tayrr.outh Castle, Lord Breadalbane. 

Mr. Montagu, who had long been in declining health, 
died in May, 1775. The poor gentleman's death was im- 
mediately made the opportunity for speculation as to the 
prospects of his widow. "Mr. Edward Montagu is dead," 
wrote Mrs. Delany. " He has left the widow everything, 
both real and personal, only charging it with a legacy of 
3,000. If her heart prove as good as her head, she may 
do an abundance of good." Horace Walpole wrote to 
Mason : "The husband of Mrs. Montagu, of Shakspear- 
shire, is dead, and has left her an estate of 7.000 a-year 
in her own power. Will you come and be candidate for 
her hand ? I conclude it will be given to some champion 
at Olympic games." But she was content to remain in 
her widowhood, so that she might employ her wealth in 
her own way. Johnson, in reply to a hint that her 
charity was likely to be, or actually was, Pharisaical, 
said : " I have seen no beings who do as much good from 
benevolence as she does from whatever motive." 

In the July after her husband's death she wrote from 
Denton Hall : 

Near four score families are employed on my concerns 
here. Boys work in the colliery from seven years of age. 
I used to give my colliery people a feast when I came 
hither ; but as the good souls (men and women) are very 
apt to get drunk, and when drunk, very joyful, and sing, 
and dance, and hollow, and whoop, I dare not, on these 
occasions, trust their discretion to behave with proper 
gravity ; so I content myself with killing a fat beast once 
a week, and sending to each family, once, a piece of meat. 
It will take time to get round to all my black friends. I 
had fifty-nine boys and girls to sup in the court-yard last 
night on rice pudding and boiled beef ; to-morrow night I 
shall have as many. It is very pleasant to see how the 
poor things cram themselves, and the expense is not 
great. We buy rice cheap, and skimmed milk and coarse 
beef serve the occasion. Some have more children than 
their labour will clothe, and on such I shall bestow some 
apparel. Some benefits of this sort, and a general, kind 
behaviour, give to the coal owner, ae well as to them, a 



1 188? 

good deal of advantage. Our pitmen are afraid of being 
turned off, and that fear keeps an order and regularity 
ameng them that is very uncommon. I have not beon 
one moment ill since I set out on my journey. I walk 
about my farms, and down to my colliery, like a country 
gentlewoman of the last century. I rejoice in the great 
improvement of my land by good cultivation, but I do not 
like my tenants so well as those in Yorkshire. We are 
here a little too rustic, and speak a dialect that is dreadful 
to the auditor's nerves ; and, as to the colliery, I cannot 
yet reconcile myself to seeing my fellow-creatures descend 
into the dark regions of the earth ; though, to my great 
comfort, I hear them singing in the pits. 

The summer of 1776 saw Mrs. Montagu in Paris, 
welcomed to the first circles as a happy sample of an 
accomplished English lady. Voltaire, then in his dotage, 
took the opportunity of her presence to send to the 
Academy a furious paper against Shakspeare. The lady 
had a seat of honour amongst the audience while tlie 
vituperative paper was read. When the reading came to 
an end, Suard remarked to her, "I think, madam, you 
must be rather sorry at what you have just heard !" The 
English lady, Voltaire's old adversary, promptly replied, 
"I, sir? Not at all. I am not one of M. Voltaire's 
friends !" 

There was an exciting election in Newcastle in 1777, 
when Stoney Bowes, the Irish adventurer who had mar- 
ried Lady Htrathmore, was one of the candidates. Here 
is a glimpse at the affair from one of Mrs. Montagu's 
letters : 

La3y Strath more's conduct in Newcastle, in this elec- 
tion, is, perhaps, not generally known. Her ladyship 
sits all day in the window at a public-house, from whence 
she sometimes lets fall some jewels or trinkets, which 
voters pick up, and then she [rives them money for restor- 
ing them a new kind of ottering bribes. What little 
interest I have I gave to Sir John Trcvelyan, who, we 
hope, will carry the election by a good majority. My 
steward tells me he is very weary of the bustle and treat- 
ing of the voters ; and that the town is in a wild uproar. 
Mr. Stoney Bowes has sold 5,000 a year of his lady's in- 
come for her life, to procure himself 40,000. I believe 
this gentleman will revenge the wrongs Lord Strath- 
more suffered from her ladyship. 

He did, with a vengeance, as most people know. Sir 
John Trevelyan won the election, so Mrs. Montagu's hope 
was verified. 

Lord Kames came from Edinburgh in 1778 to spend a 
few days with his lady friend at Denton Hall. His lord- 
ship was a prodigy. At eighty-three he was as gay and 
nimble as he was at twenty-five. His sight, hearing, 
and memory were perfect. Mrs. Montagu promised to 
return his visit two years thence, but did not, for some 
reason or other, keep her promise. The lively old man 
survived till Christmas, 1782, when he had attained the 
great age of eighty-seven, vivacious to the last. 

At sixty-five, Mrs. Montagu did not consider herself 
too old to figure at Court. The poeta had not ceased 
to take interest in her, and make her the subject of 
their rhymes. At least Mr. Jerningham, who wrote 
well of " The Rise and Fall of Scandinavian Poetry," 
perpetrated the following lines on her falling down 

stairs at the Royal Drawing Room held in February, 

1785 : 

Ye valiant Fair ! ye Hebes of the day, 
Who heedless laugh your little hours away ! 
Let caution be your pride whene'er you sport 
Within the splendid precincts of the Court; 
The event of yesterday for prudence calls, 
'Tis dangerous treading where Minerva falls. 

The year following Mrs. Montagu was back again at 
Denton Hall, whence she writes : 

Here at my Gothic mansion near Newcastle, the 
Naiads are dirty with the coal-keeh, and the Dryads' 
tresses are torn and dishevelled with the rough blasts 
of Boreas. My lot has fallen on a fair ground, but it 
would be ungrateful not to own it is a goodly heritage, 
and makes a decent figure when it arrives at the shop 
of Hoare and Lee, in Fleet Street. We are always 
here plagued with high winds, and this season they 
have raged with great violence ; but, as this house was 
built in 1620, I hope it will not now yield to storms it 
has braved for now two hundred years. The walls are 
of immense thickness, having been built of strength to 
resist our Scottish neighbours, who, before the Union, 
made frequent visits to this part of the world. My 
Gothic windows admit light, but exclude prospect ; so 
that/ when sitting down, I can see only the tops of 
the trees. 

Mrs. Montagu made great alterations in Denton Hall, 
which was originally a dull, heavy building, and fitted 
up the interior very tastefully in the modern Gothic 

One of her acts of benevolence was to entertain the 
poor chimney sweepers and climbing boys of the metro- 
polis, every May Day, as regularly as it came round, 
with roast beef and plum-pudding, in the spacious lawn 
before her house in Portman Square, "which might well 
have been styled a palace. There are some verses in 
Hone's " Every-Day Book " on this kind custom of 

In conjunction with Mrs. Vesey, a warm-hearted Irish 
lady, and Mrs. Ord, daughter of an eminent surgeon 
named Dillington, and subsequently a wealthy widow, 
Mrs. Montagu had the merit of having founded parties 
in London, where conversation formed the chief, if 
not the only occupation, as opposed to card playing, 
then so much in vogue. The ladies were nicknamed 
Blue Stockings by persons who had not sufficient taste 
to value such entertainments, or could not manage to 
get an introduction to them. Among the notables who 
were to be seen more or less regularly at these parties 
were Burke, Johnson. Walpole, Reynolds, Wraxall, 
Mason, Garrick, Pulteney (Earl of Bath), Lord 
Lyttleton, James Boswell, Lord Macauley, Benjamin 
Stillingfleet (grandson of the bishop), Dr. Burney, 
Mrs. Carter, Mrs. Chapone, Wilberforce (whom Mrs. 
Montagu dubbed the "Red Cross Knight"), Hannah 
More, Mrs. Siddons, &c. How well the accomplished 
hostess could herself converse, Dr. Johnson has pour- 
trayed in a few characteristic words to Mrs. Thrale : 
" Mrs. M. is par pluribus. Conversing with her, you may 
find variety in one." To another he said, "Mrs. Mon- 
tagu, sir, does not make a trade of her wit, but she is a 
very extraordinary woman. She has a constant stream of 



conversation, and it is always impregnated it has always 
meaning." He further remarked, " That lady exerts 
more mind in conversation than any other person I 
ever met with. Sir, the displays such powers of ratio- 
cination, such radiations of intellectual eminence, as are 

Mrs. Montagu's literary career may be said to have 
lasted seventy years, if we may believe a story which 
has been attested by the best authority, and was always 
solemnly affirmed by Dr. Monsey, her old and con- 
fidential medical adviser, to the effect that she made 
so early a display of her tendency to literature that 
she had transcribed the whole of the Spectators, 
under Dr. Conyers Midclleton's eye, before she was 
eight years of age. 

But the period of her active career was drawing to 
a close. Her last effort to get together little comfort- 
able intellectual parties was made in 1798. " I have 
been at one bit of Blue here," wrote Dr. Burney to 
bis daughter. " Mrs. Montagu is so broken down as not 
to go out. She is almost wholly blind and very feeble." 
In the succeeding year. Mrs. Carter wrote to Hannah 
More : " She has wholly changed her mode of life, from 
a conviction that she exerted herself too much last year, 
and that it brought on the long illness from which she 
Buffered so much. She never goes out except to take 
the air of a morning ; has no company to dinner (I do not 
call myself company) ; and lets in nobody in the evening, 
which she passes in bearing her servant read, as her eyas 
will not suffer her to read herself." 

The good lady's last letter was dated Sandleford, one 
of her favourite country seats, in May, 1799. It was to 
Hannah More on the subject of female education, in 
which she took a warm interest, having established 
several girls' schools at Denton and on other of her 
estates, where the pupils were educated at her own 

Mrs. Montagu died on the 25th of August, 1800, in 
the eightieth year of her age, having survived her hus- 
band twenty-five years. She left her Northumbrian 
estates to her nephew, Matthew Robinson, a younger 
brother of Lord Rokeby, who had, by her desire, taken 
the name of Montagu. 


Any lady who takes an interest in literature, and 
does not confine her reading to the last new novel only, 
is apt to be dubbed a "blue stocking," and that by 
persons who have not the slightest idea of the origin or 
real meaning of the term. The manners and morals of 
the first half of th eighteenth century were certainly 
low and debased, and the "wits" and "men of fashion," 
the " beaux," and even the " belles," well deserved the 
vigorous satire which Pope and Swift dealt out to them. 
Books and reading were tabooed. Cards and other 
forms of gambling were only permitted in the "best 

society," which, of course, meant the aristocracy and 
people of fashion. The conversation was low and 
vulgar. The " fine gentlemen made coarse jokes 
and the fine ladies laughed at them," says 
Thackeray, and a volume could not better describe the 
society of that time. There were, however, .even in 
those days, a few pure-minded, intellectual women who 
rebelled against this state of things, and made an 
attempt to establish something better. As we have 
just seen, Mrs. Montagu was the chief of these social 
reformers, although Mrs. Ord, Mrs. Thrale, Mrs. Vesey, 
and other ladies of wealth also held similar gatherings, 
and amongst their guests none was more eagerly wel- 
comed or sought after than Mr. Benjamin Stillingfleet, 
a clever man and a capital talker. Indeed, the ladies 
made quite a lion of him, and when absent he was greatly 
missed. His dress, it appears, was very peculiar, and he 
always wori blue stockings. " Oh ! where is Blue Stock- 
ings? We can do nothing without Blue Stockings," the 
fair guests would exclaim, and so, by degrees, the name 
came to be applied to the ladies themselves. Dr. Brewer, 
however, in that wonderful book of information, " Phrase 
and Fable," traces the origin of the word to more than 
500 years back. In the year 1400, he says, there was 
formed in Venice a society of ladies and gentlemen who 
were [distinguished by the colour of their stcc'.;inss, 
which were blue, and called de la, calza literally, of the 
stocking. This society lasted till 1530, when it appeared 
in Paris, and was quite the raee amongst the ladies there. 
It is more than likely, however, that the harmless 
vanity of the amiable Mr. Stillingfleet in wearing blue- 
coloured hose earned for those who attended Mrs. Mon- 
tagu's assemblies this distinguishing title. Of Mr. 
Stillingfleet, Dr. Doran speaks in very high terms, as 
"the highly accomplished gentleman," "the philoso- 
pher," and a " thoroughly honest, modest, and accom- 
plished man." 


The Society of Antiquaries visited Denton Hall in 
June, 1S85, when Mr. W. A. Hoyle, brother of the 
present tenant, Mr. Richard Hoyle, read some notes on 
its history. Mr. Hoyle stated that the earliest records 
showed that the property belonged to a family named 
Denton, who, in the 13th century, held lands in the neigh- 
bourhood, as well as Newcastle Denton Chare being 
probably named aftar it. In 1336 John de Denton was 
Mayor of Newcastle. The latest mention of the family is 
in 1393, when John de Denton released his right in his 
lands in Northumberland to John de Widdrington. The 
manor of Denton, however, had been in 1380 granted to 
the Prior and Convent of Tynemoutb, and was used by 
them as a country residence or grange. The present 
Denton Hall was erected by the Prior in 1503, the 
materials being taken from the Roman Wall, which 
passed through the grounds. After the dissolution of the 
monasteries, the Erringtons appear as possessors. Their 




1 1887 

adherence to the cause of the Stuarts cost them their 
estates, which passed to one Rogers, related to the Earl of 
Sandwich. In 1760, by the death of Miss Rogers, Denton 
passed to her relative, the Hon. Edward Montagu. 
Mr. Montagu was a gentleman of eminent scientific 
attainments; and his wife Elizabeth resided at Denton 
Hall during the summer months, when Sir Joshua 
Reynolds, Dr. Johnson, David Garrick, and other 
eminent men of the time were, according to Mr. 
Hoyle, frequent visitors at Denton. To the east of 
the house is a sort of avenue which is known as Dr. 
Johnson's Walk, and a desk and bookcase which the 
great lexicographer used on his visits are still pre- 
served. On Mrs. Montagu's death, the estate went to 
her nephew, Matthew Montagu, afterwards Lord 
Rokeby ; and on the death of Lord Rokeby, in 1881, 
without male heirs, it passed to his grandson, the 
present owner, Lord Henry Faulett. 

, tljt 6h.o<st of Penton $iall. 

ven so late as the beginning of the present century, 
the inhabitants of rural Northumberland were firm 
believers in fairi s and ghosts. In remote hamlets, 
doubtless, many aged persons might still be found who 
love to recite blood-freezing tales of witches, warlocks, 
and uncanny sprites, of whose pranks they heard when 
they were children. Such traditions linger longest in 
regions of striking natural beauty, where the dense 
grove, the heather-clad moor, the deep ravine, and the 

splashing cascade make up the leading features of the 
landscape. If to these natural qualifications for 
romantic suggest! veness there be added a real history 
of raids, invasions, and battles, it may safely be taken 
for granted that stories of thrilling horror, of hidden trea- 
sure, lost heirs, and unshriven murderers will be found 
among the local traditions. Few sections of Northum- 
berland answer all these conditions better than the out- 
lying portions of Tindale Ward, especially Stamfordham, 
between the banks of the Tyne and the watershed in 
which the Blyth has its springs and contributing streams. 
There Nature has lavished her gifts in such a fashion as 
to predispose the mind to superstition and fancy ; there, 
too, the tide of war between Scotland and England ebbed 
and flowed for many a century, leaving havoc and wreck 
as it passed. Tales of actual suffering, of night surprises, 
of violent robberies, and so forth, would be told from sire 
to son with exaggeration and ever-increasing mystery, 
until they passed into the domain of the fabulous, and 
became the subject matter of ballad or romance. 

Thus originated, it may be conjectured, the several 
legends of Silky in the neighbourhood of Belsay, Black 
Heddon, and Denton. The Silky of Belsay haunted the 
greenwood, the waterfall, the lonely lanes, the isolated 
farmsteads, and the rude bridges, instead of confining her 
manifestations to a particular mansion ; and her delight 
was to perplex and enrage, or perhaps to terrify and 
confound, the ignorant peasant at his plough or with his 
team, or the milkmaid or the peasant's wife at their 
homely tasks, rather than to influence the destinies of 

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[From Photo by W. N. SIRAN.JEWAYS. 



people of wealth and station. The apparition was that 
of a female in glistening and rustling silks, and her habit 
appears to have been to rush like a sudden gust of wind 
in trees across the path of horseman, teamster, and 
ploughman, seemingly without any object, malicious or 
friendly; but hidden wealth, it would appear, was the 
real occasion for the unrest ; for it is told how one day a 
servant girl at Black Heddon was frightened almost into 
fits by something tumbling from the ceiling of an old house. 
Her cry waa that the Fiend himself was in the house ; 
but, if Fiend it was, he had reversed his traditional 
policy, for he was but a black bundle without, covered 
with cobwebs and dust, while within were heaps of 
shining gold old pieces that had probably been hidden 
in the days when the King of Scots passed that way 
before the battle of Neville's Cross. 

But the Silky of Denton Hall (whom Mr. W. A. 
Hoyle informed the Society of Antiquaries his brother 
had seen) has met with better historical fortune than 
her sister of Belsay and Black Heddon. At least one 
of the manifestations of this particular Silky has been 
admirably preserved in the version committed to writing 
by the late Mr. Thomas Doubleday, and we cannot do 
better than allow him to narrate the marvellous tale 
as told to him by an aged lady of his acquaintance. 


When about eighteen years of age (the lady relates), I 

went on a visit to the North of England to some friends 

of the name of Thomas, who lived within a short ride of 

the town of Newcastle, in Northumberland. They were 

persons of not great, but of considerable wealth, and in- 
habited at that period the old hall of Denton, a place of 
great antiquity, which at one time had been the mansion 
of the lord of the manor on which it stood, but which, in 
the mutations of centuries, had dwindled down to a 
place of quite secondary importance, and had, for some 
reason or other, I was told, for a great many years been 
uninhabited. It was built in the Elizabethan style of 
architecture, but with that excessive solidity which is the 
characteristic of all houses of great antiquity near the 
Border. Many of the windows, especially near the 
ground, resembled those narrow slits which distinguish 
the fortress rather than apertures to admit light and 
air ; and to this being added the massiveness of the 
chimneys, some of which projected more like embattled 
towers than conveyances for heat and smoke, the tout 
ensemble was more that of a castle than a manor house. 
There were traces of a moat which had once run round 
the house, but which now was partly a sort of terrace 
and partly an orchard. On the outside of the orchard 
walls stood several venerable old oaks, on which the 
rooks had built from time immemorial. The house 
commanded no extensive view. It stood in a valley, 
chiefly composed of pasture fields, through which a 
small brook winded its way to the river at some miles 
distant, amid undulating and lofty hills. A farmhouse 
or two were the only dwellings in sight, and the 
whole wore an air of deserted grandeur that was 
peculiarly striking. 

The family in which I now was were botii hospitable 
and gay, as gaiety and hospitality then were in 





I 1S87. 

the far North, before railways bad brought London 
tastes and manners, or even turnpike-roads had seen- 
their beet. They visited and were visited by such 
families as were seated in the neighbourhood ; and the 
entertainments of those days, though both the style and 
hours were different from those that now prevail, had 
much in them to interest the feelings as well as to 
administer to the pleasures of those to whom the saloon 
and the supper-room are matters of moment. A day or 
two after my arrival, and when all around was yet new 
to me, I had accompanied my friends to a ball given 
by a gentleman in the neighbourhood, and returned 
heartily fatigued, though, I confess, much delighted, at 
an hour which in those days was deemed late, though 
hardly so now by those who are used to metropolitan 
manners. At this time I need not blush, nor you smile, 
when I confess to you that my feelings had, perhaps for 
the first time, assumed a hue to which they had been 
before unaccustomed. Suffice it to say, that I on that 
evening met, for the second time, one with whose 
destinies my own were doomed to become connected, 
and that his attentions to me from that period became 
too marked and decided, to be either evaded or mis- 

We had returned, as I said, late, and I think I was 
sitting upon an antique carved chair, near to the fire, in 
the room where I slept, busied in arranging my hair, and 
probably thinking over some of the events of a scene 
doomed to be so important to me. Whether I had 
dropped into a half slumber, as most persons endeavour 
to persuade me, I cannot pretend to say, but on looking 
up for I had my face bent towards the fire there 
seemed sitting on a similar high-backed chair, on the 
other side of the ancient tiled fireplace, an old lady, 
whose air and dress were so remarkable that to this hour 
they seem as fresh in my memory as the day after the 
vision, or whatever the wise may please to call it. She 
appeared to be dressed in a flowered satin gown, of a cut 
then out of date. It was peaked and long-waisted, and 
not dissimilar to dresses, in this aspect, which have since 
that time been revived as new, though certainly copied 
from the manteaux of our female ancestors. The fabric 
of the satin had that extreme of glossy stiffness which 
old fabrics of this kind exhibit. She wore a stomacher. 
On her wrinkled fingers appeared some rings of great 
size and seeming value ; but, what was most remarkable, 
she wore also a satin hood of a peculiar shape. I can 
hardly describe it. It was of a glossy satin, like the gown, 
but of a darker pattern, and seemed to be stiffened 
either by whalebone or some other material for that pur- 
pose. Her age teemed considerable, and the face, though 
not unpleasant, was somewhat hard and severe, and 
indented with those minute wrinkles which are gi ven so 
wonderfully in Denner's heads of old women. I confess 
that so entirely was my attention engrossed by what 
was passing in my mind, and so little aware was I of 
how many members of the family I was in might be up 

at that time, not seen or noticed by me, that though I 
felt mightily confused I was not startled (in the em- 
phatic sense) by the apparition. In fact, I deemed it to 
be some old lady, perhaps a housekeeper or dependant 
in the family, and, therefore, though rather astonished, 
was by no means frightened by ray visitant, upposing me 
to be awake, which I am convinced was the case, though 
few persons believe me on this point. 

My own impression is that I stared somewhat rudely, 
in the wonder of the moment, at the hard but lady- 
like features of my aged visitor ; but she left me 
little time to think, addressing me, as she did, 
in that familiar style and half-whisper which 
age often delights in when addressing the young, 
but with that constant and restless motion of the 
hand which aged persons, when excited, often exhibit. 
" Well, young lady (said my mysterious companion), and 
so you've been at yon hall to-night (alluding to the seat 
of the gentleman whom I had been visiting), and highly 
ye've been delighted there. Yet if ye could see as I can 
see, or could know as I can know, troth ! I guess your 
pleasure would abate. Ah ! let those who know not the 
past admire the present ! 'Tis well for you, young lady, 
perad venture ye see not with my eyes." And at the 
moment, sure enough, her eyes, which were small, grey, 
and in no way remarkable, twinkled with a light so severe 
and strange that the effect was unpleasant in the extreme. 
" Ah ! (she continued) but ye enjoyed the bravery there. 
'Tis well for you and them that ye can count not the 
cost! Time was when hospitality could be kept in 
England, and the guest not ruin the master of the feast 
but that's all vanished now pride and poverty pride 
and poverty, young lady, are an ill-matched pair, 
Heaven kens." My tongue, which had at first almost 
faltered in its office, now found utterance ; and without 
any definite ideas why or wherefore, by a kind of 
instinct I addressed my strange visitant in her own 
manner and humour. "And are we, then, so much 
poorer than in days of yore?" were the words that I spoke, 
but whether as a sort of low interjection or whispered 
query I was hardly conscious. My visitor, however, 
seemed half to startle at the sound of my voice as at 
something unaccustomed, and went on, rather answering 
my question by implication than directly, " Ay, pride 
and poverty, young lady, I said the words ; and even 
so it is. Think ye I know not poverty when I see it? 
Though 'twas far enough when the rush was on the floor, 
and the tapestry on the wall ; when the oaken table 
groaned under the red venison and the forest boar ; 
when the home-brewed reamed in the silver-tipped horn, 
and the red wine ran from the silver goblet ; when the 
coat of the lord was worth more than the saddle-cloth 
of the steed, though both were laced in gold and studded 
in pearline. 'Twas not all hollownesi then (she ex- 
claimed, ceasing somewhat her hollow whispering tone) 
the land was then the Lord's, and that which teemed, 
wot. The child, young lady, was not then mortgaged 



in the cradle, and, mark ye ! the bride, when she kneeled 
at the altar, gave herself not up, body and soul, to be the 
bondswoman of the Jew and not the helpmate of her 
spouse." " The Jew !" I exclaimed, in surprise, for then 
I understood not the allusion. "Ay, young lady, the 
Jew," was the rejoinder. " Tis plain ye know not who 
rules. How should ye know, poor young thing? (these 
last words were almost inaudible). 'Tis all hollow 
yonder ! all hollow ! all hollow ! to the very glitter 
of the sideboard all false ! all false ! all hollow ! away 
with such make-believe finery! (and here again the 
hollow voice rose a little, and the dim grey eye glistened). 
Ye mortgage the very oaks of your ancestors ; I saw the 
planting of them ; and now 'tis all painting, gilding, 
varnishing, and veneering. Houses, call ye them ? 
Whited sepulchres, young lady, whited sepulchres. 
Think ye that he who was so brave to-night, knight of 
the shire though he be, helps the King to rule, or has 
any hand in tangling the meshes that once were for 
villains only when law was made by good men, and the 
lawyer pleaded for the weak against the strong ? I tell 
ye 'tis falsehood all. The serf has changed places : and 
the lords of the soil are lords in'name, but bond-slaves in 
deed. I tell ye (and here her voice assumed a startling 
energy), ye tread on ashes 'tis on ashes ye tread. 
Beware ! Trust them not ! They are Dead Sea fruits ; 
fair without, but the core is bitter ashes. What are your 
tinsellings, your gildings, and your flauntings? Your 
merchants are aping aristocracy one as hollow as tho 
other ; while the yeoman is sinking, and bankruptcy is 
on the mart to countenance ruin in the hall ! What is it 
all ? (she repeated) : 'tis the hectic of decline and not the 
bloom of health ; the convulsive spasm of the fever, not 
the activity of lusty manhood and strength ; again, I rede 
ye, young lady, beware ! Trust not all that seems to 
glister. Fair though it seems, 'tis but the product of 
disease oven as is that pearl in your hair, young lady, 
that glitters in the mirror yonder, not more specious than 
is all ay ! all ye have seen to-night !" 

As my strange visitor pronounced these words, I in- 
stinctively, or as driven by some sudden impulse, 
turned my gaze to a large old-fashioned mirror that 
leaned from the wall of the chamber. 'Twas but for a 
moment. But when I again turned my head, my 
visitant was no longer there ! I heard plainly, as I 
turned, the distinct rustle of the silk, as if she bad 
risen, and was leaving the room. 1 seamed distinctly 
to hear this, together with the quick, short, easy foot- 
step with which females of rank at that period were 
taught to glide rather than to walk ; this I seemed to 
hear, but of what appeared the antique old lady I saw 
no more ! I confess that the suddenness and strange- 
ness of this event for a moment sent the blood back to 
my heart. I felt very faint, and could I hav found 
voice I should, I think, have screamed but that was, 
for the moment," beyond my power. A few seconds 
recovered me. My impression was that my strange 

visitant must have suddenly left the room without my 
being quite aware. By a sort of impulse I rushed to 
the door, outside of which I now heard the footsteps of 
some of the family, when, to my utter astonishment, I 
found it was locked ! I now recollected that I my- 
self locked it before sitting down. 

It is almost needless to say that, though somewhat 
ashamed to give "utterance to what I really believed as to 
this matter, the strange adventure of the night was made 
a subject of conversation at the breakfast table next 
morning. On the words leaving my lips, I saw my host 
and hostess exchange looks with each other, and soon 
found that the tale I had to tell was not received with the 
air which generally meets such relations. I was not re- 
pelled by an angry or ill-bred incredulity, or treated as 
one of diseased fancy, to whom silence is indirectly recom- 
mended as the alternative of being laughed at. In short, 
receive it as you will, I was given to understand for this 
was not attempted to be denied that I was not the tirst 
who had been alarmed in a manner, if not exactly similar, 
yet just as mysterious ; that visitors, like myself, had 
actually given way to these terrors so far as to quit the 
house in consequence ; and that servants were sometimes 
not to be prevented from sharing in the same contagion. 
At the same time they told me this, my host and hostess 
declared that custom and continued residence had long 
exempted all regular inmates of the mansion from any 
alarms or terrors. The visitations, whatever they were, 
seemed to be confined to new comers, and to them it was 
only a matter of rare and by no means of frequent occur- 
ence. In the neighbourhood I found this strange story 
was well known ; that the house was regularly set down 
as " haunted " all the country round, and that the spirit, 
or goblin, or whatever it was that was embodied in these 
appearances, was familiarly known by the name of 

The warnings so strongly shadowed forth have been too 
true. I have sadly proved how false are appearances, 
and how hollow is much that passes for riches and pros- 
perity in modern England. The gentleman at whose 
house I that night was a guest has long since filled an 
untimely grave. In that splendid hall, since that time, 
sordid strangers have lorded it and I myself have long 
ceased to think of such scenes as I partook of that evening 
the envied object of the attentions of one whose virtues 
have survived the splendid inheritance to which he 
seemed destined. 

Whether this be a tale of delusion or superstition, or 
something more than that, it is at all events not without 
a legend for its foundation. There is some obscure and 
dark rumour of secrets strangely obtained and enviously 
betrayed by a rival sister, ending in deprivation of reason 
and death ; and that the betrayer still walks by times in 
th deserted hall which she rendered tenantlesi, always 
prophetic of disaster to those she encounters. So has it 
been with me, certainly ; and more than me, if those who. 
say it say true. It is many, many years since I saw the 




I 1887. 

scene of this adventure ; but I have beard .that siuce that 
time the same mysterious viaitings have been more than 
once renewed ; that midnight curtains have been drawn 
by an arm clad in rustling silks ; and the same form clad 
in dark brocade been seen gliding along the dark corridors 
of that ancient, grey, and time-worn mansion, ever pro- 
phetic of death or misfortune. 

BOGIE, or bogey, is a four-wheeled truck, 
supporting the front part of a locomotive 
engine or the front or hind part of a railway 
carriage, and turning beneath it on a central pin or pivot, 
so that it may be able to take sudden curves. It is also 
known as a bogie-frame. When fitted with an engine, 
it becomes a bogie engine. It was in Newcastle that the 
name was first applied to a coal waggon or truck so con- 
structed as to turn easily. The name is said to be derived 
from the term bogie, meaning a sprite or fiend, because, 
the coal waggon suddenly turning when least expected, 
people used to exclaim that the new waggon was " Old 
Bogey " himself. E. 

It appears that the bogie can be clearly proved to be 
an English invention, though an American origin is often 
claimed for both it and the equalizing beam. An account 
of the origin of the bogie, contained in a recent issue of 
the Railroad Ga:ctte. states that the first bogie used in 
America was placed, in 1829, under some granite cars 
used on the Quincy Granite Railway near Boston. Mr. 
John B. Jarvis, one of the best-known American civil 
engineers, claims that he invented a truck or bogie in 
1831, and that an engine with this bogie was put to work 
on the Mohawk and Hudson Railway in 1832. A second 
engine, on a similar plan, was put in operation on the 
Saratoga and Schencctady Railroad early in 1833. The 
front end of the engine rested on the frame of a four- 
wheeled truck, so arranged that, by means of a centre- 
pin passing through a transom beam, the upper frame on 
which the engine rested could follow the guide 
of the lower frame without necessarily being par- 
allel with it. Messrs. Robert Stephenson and Com- 
pany built two bogie engines, I believe, in 1833. They 
were ordered, January 12, 1833, by Mr. Stevens for the 
line referred to above, the Saratoga and Schenectady. 
The engines were sent away from Newcastle, April 6, 
1833, and were set to work in America, July 2, 1833. It 
has been stated, however, that they were not bogie 
engines, but merely four-wheel engines, with wood-plated 
frames and hornplates, round fire-boxes, and hand-gear. 
It was understood that the credit of the equalising beam 
and of the " egg motion " was due to Mr. Davison, who 
was draughtsman to Messrs. K. and W. Hawthorn, of 

The bogie engine seems to have been little known to 

English railway men until 1839 or 1840. In the early part 
of the first-named year three bogie engines, named 
respectively the England, Atlantic, and Columbia, were 
sent to this country by Norris, of Philadelphia, for the 
Birmingham and Gloucester line. They were tried in the 
first instance upon the Grand Junction, and were appa- 
rently not placed upon the railway for which they were 
intended until 1840. 

In a patent granted to W. Chapman, engineer, New- 
castle-on-Tyne, and E. W. Chapman, ropemaker, of 
Wallsend, on December 30, 1812, there is a clear descrip- 
tion of a four-wheeled truck. After describing various 
improvements in the rope -driving gear of a siz- 
wheeied locomotive, in which one pair of wheels 
is connected rigidly with the main frame, the 
specification continues : " The other pair are fixed 
on axles parallel to each other to a square frame, over 
which the bodie of the carriage shall be so poised that 
two-thirds of its weight should lie over the central point 
of the four wheels where the pivot is placed." It is re- 
ported that Chapman tried a locomotive engine in the 
vicinity of Newcastle, and there can be no doubt that it 
would be built on the lines of his patent ; we can therefore 
fairly claim that the first bogie was invented and built by 
a Newcastle engineer. J. A. H., Low Fell. 

, JHartgr. 

[JOSEPH LAMPTON, whose story was told on 
page 78 of the Monthly Chronicle, wa not the 
only Roman Catholic who fell a victim to the 
persecution of the age at Newcastle-on-Tyne. Edward 
Waterson was executed there on January 7, 1593. Chal- 
loner's " Memoirs of Missionary Priests " gives the 
following account of his career : " Edward Waterson was 
born in London, and, being come to man's estate, travelled 
into Turkey. Here a rich Turk, taking a liking to him, 
offered his daughter in marriage if he would renounce 
the Christian religion ; but this condition Mr. Waterson 
(at that time no Catholic) rejected with horror. Coming 
back from Turkey, he took Rome on his way homewards, 
and there was instructed and became a member of the 
Catholic Church. From Rome he went to the English 
College, then residing at Rheims, was admitted a student, 
and here lived for some years a pattern of humility, 
penance, and other virtues. Desirous of being mada 
priest, he was ordained during Lent, 1592, and sent 
into England the Whitsuntide following. Mr. Water- 
son was but a short time in this country, when he 
was apprehended, tried, and condemned for being 
made priest by Roman authority, and coming into 
England. He received the sentence of death, and 
suffered with joy and constancy. The Rev. Arch- 
deacon Throllope relates from the testimony of 
virtuous eye-witnesses, ' That whilst this blessed man was 



drawn upon the hurdle to execution, upon a sudden the 
hurdle stood still, and the officers, with all their whipping 
and striving, could not make the horses move, and, fresh 
horses passing by, they took and yoked them to it, yet 
they could not (tho' they broke the trasses) in any way 
move the hurdle ; and, seeing their attempts frustrated, 
they were forced to take the martyr and lead him on foot 
to the place of execution, saying it would be a note to the 
Papists what had happened that day.' Being come to 
the gallows, he was shortly after turned off the ladder, 
and, according to sentence, cut down, disembowelled, and 

Carr, tfte Elgtft 

I have read with great interest the story of Willie Carr, 
in the second part of the Monthly Chronicle, page 82. At 
the time of Willie's death I was four years old, and it was 
probably not long after that that I heard of the feats of 
strength performed by " The Strong Man of Blyth." As 
I heard the affair described, it was Willie who did not 
want to fight Big Ben. " He had nae ill will to the man," 
he said, "and what should he fight him for?" Lord 
Delaval, however, apparently overcame his scruples, and 
Willie remarked, " Wey, if we are to fight, we rr.un shak 
hands forst" with the result already described. 

I recollect another anecdote about Willie. One night, 
when a number of people were assembled at a public- 
house, one of the company, who was not altogether sober, 
began to joke with him in a manner which Willie did not 
like. Now Willie was a very quiet man ; he did not say 
much, but he took up the kitchen poker with his two hands, 
and, after viewing it contemplatively for an instant or two, 
the company looking inquiringly on, he suddenly rose and 
gave it a twist round his tormentor's neck. " It wad hae 
to bide there,'' he said, " till he could behave hissel, for 
naebody but the man that put it there could tak it aff 

I have heard my father say that Willie, after the time 
when he was stricken down, walked about, bent half 
double. He was said to have measured three fet across 
the shoulders. G. C. GREENWELL, Duffield, Derby. 


The following, printed on a small poster, was posted up 
in the streets of North Shields about forty-two years 
ago : " Whereas, several idle and disorderly persons have 
lately made a practice of riding on an ass belonging to 

Mr. , the Head of Ropery Stairs ; now, lest any 

accident should happen, he takes this method of informing 

the public that he is determined to ahoot his said ass, and 
cautions any person who may be riding on it at the time 
to take care of himself, lest by some unfortunate mistake 
he shoot the wrong one." 


The story of the exploits of Ned White and a squad of 
Hawks's men at the Battle of Waterloo appeared in Robin 
Goodfellow's gossip in the Newcastle Weekly Chronicle some 
time ago. It was taken down from the recitation of Mr. 
John Atlantic Stephenson. The astonishing narrative 
runs thus : Man, aa fell in wi' Ned White the other day. 
Ye knaa Ned and other twenty-fower o' Haaks's cheps went 
oot te the Peninsular War, whor Wellin'ton was, ye knaa. 
Se, as we wor hevin' a gill tegithor, aa says te him, " Ned, 
d'ye mind when ye wor in the Peninsular War? " "Aa 
should think aade," says he. " Did ye ever faall in wi' 
Wellin'ton ?'' says aa. "Wellin'ton!" says he; "wey, 
man, aa knaa'd him. Wey, just the day more the Battle 
o' Watterloo he. sent for me. ' Ned,' he says, ' tyek yor 
twenty-fower men,' he says, 'an gan up and shift them 
Frenchmen off the top of yon hill.' ' Aall reet,' says aa, 
' but it winnit tyek all the twenty-fower,' aa says. ' Ah ! 
but it's Napoleon's crack regimont,' he says ; 'ye'd bettor 
tyek plenty.' 'Aall reet,' aa says, 'we'll suen shift 'em.' 
Se doon aa cums te the lads, an' aa says : ' Noo, ma lads, 
Wellin'ton wants us te shift yon Frenchmen off the top of 
yon hill.' 'Aall reet,' they says. 'Heor, Bob Scott,' aa 
says, ' hoo mony Frenchmen are thorup yondor ?' ' About 
fower hundred,' lie says. Hoo mony on us will it tyek te 
shift them ?'aa axes. 'Oh! ten, 'says Bob. 'Wey, we'll tyek 
fifteen,' aa says, 'just te humour the aad man,' ' Aall reet,' 
they says. Se off we set at the double alang the lonuen ; 
but just as we torned the corner at the foot of the hill 
whe should we meet but Bonnipart hissei on a lily-whito 
horse, wi' a cocked hat on. ' Whor are ye off te, Ned ?' says 
he. ' Wey, te shift yon Frenchmen off yon hill ! ' 
' Whaat ! ' he says ; 'wey, that's my crack regiment,' he 
says. 'Nivvor mind that,' aa says ;' Wellington says we 
hev te shift 'em, and shifted they'll be, uoo ! ' ' Ye'ra 
coddin',' says he. 'Ne coddin' aboot it,' aa says ;.' we'll 
suen shift them off.' Aa says, ' Cum by ! ' ' Had on ! ' 
he says, and he gallops reet up the hill te them and shoots 
oot, ' Gan back, ma lads, gan back ! Heor's Ned White 
from Haaks's and his twenty-fower lads comin' up te shift 
ye. Ye hevvent a happorth of chance ! ' And back they 
went. Did aa ivvor see Wellin'ton ? Wey, man, ye shud 
think shyem ! " 


In the old days, when laying out the tubs led to a good 
deal of loss to the Northern pitman, a miner became 
exasperated on reaching bank to find that three tubs he 
had filled had been forfeited. In high dudgeon he forced 
his way into the office and laid his grievance before the 
owner, who had company. " How much did this man 
make last fortnight?" the owner asked the clerk. " Two 
pounds for eight days," replied that official. " Five shil- 


lings a day,'' remarked a gentleman who was visiting the 
owner ; " that's far more than my men make." " An 
whe's yor men ?" cried the pitman, turning fiercely round. 
" Weavers," was the reply. "Weavers!" shouted 
Geordy " weavers ! Wey, aa cud eat twe or three 
weavers ivvory day aa gan hyem frae the pit 1" 


A venerable and respected gentleman belonging the 
North of England, who is reputed to be a millionaire, 
and whose great fortune is expected to fall to a nephew, 
was lately asked for a subscription towards some charitable 
object. Having inscribed his name on the list for 5, the 
old gentleman's attention was called to the fact that his 
nephew had put his name down for 100. " Ah !" said he, 
"my nephew has great expectations ; I have none ! " 


Some years ago, in a village not far from Gateshead, a 
new public-house was opened, which became the subject 
of conversation with a few of the men folku of the vil- 
lage, as they stood at a lane end one Saturday afternoon. 
After discussing the merits of the house, the landlord, 
&c., it was proposed by one of the party to proceed to the 
new house to try the beer, which proposal was soon 
agreed to by four of the number. " Let's hev a quaart o' 
yor best beer, hinny," said the spokesman, as they each 
took a seat in the tap-room. The order was soon attended 
to, and when eacli had tasted the liquid the opinions ex- 
pressed concerning it were anything but favourable. 
However, they intended to give it a fair trial, and, as time 
went on, quart after quart was brought in ; when suddenly 
one of the company inquired, " Aa say, lads, hoo monny's 
this we've had?" " This is eicht, hinny," said one of the 
others, " an' aa'm hanged if aa feel onny different." " Or 
me, owthor," said a third. " Let's away oot o' this, an' 
we'll gan doon te wor aad hoose. We waddent ha' been 
thor aall this time wivoot being drunk." " Noa, aa's 
sure we waddent," said the first speaker. The party then 
rose to leave, but they all changed their opinions of the 
beer when they found themselves outside of the house ; 
for no sooner did they get into the air than they lost sight 
of each other, and at the same time their limbs refused to 
obey them. " Whor is thoo, Jack ? " said one of the 
bewildered ones. " Aa'rn hang'd if aa knaa," said Jack, 
" but aa'll tell ye whaat, mates, let's try te get into the 
hoose agyen ; that beer's a lang way bettor than aa thowt 
it wes. Aa's mortal wi' two quaarts ! " 


The other day a lad went into a Newcastle paint-shop 
and said: ''Aa want a pen'orth o' new green pent; 
fethor's gan te pent a Heelandor ! " 


After one of our winter storms, a pitman found it 
necessary to sweep the snow off the roof of an outhouse. 
Whilst engaged in this occupation, he slipped, and was 

unable to prevent himself fron. falling from the roof. HU 
first exclamation was " Marcy !" Finding himself nearer 
the edge of the roof, he yelled "Marcy on us !" and just 
before falling he was heard to exclaim : "Begox ! noo for 
the thump ! " 


" Let's hev a gill o' beer ! " said a pitman at the 
Marsden Grotto the other Saturday morning. " If aa'd 
knaan aa wes gan te be se dry the morn, aa wad ha e tyen 
an extra pint. last neet ! " 


A Newcastle man, troubled with a drunken wife, 
thought he would cure her of her bad habits by terror. 
When she was one day in a helpless state of intoxication 
he procured a coffin, placed her in it, and screwed the lid 
partially down. Waking up, but being unable to release 
herself, the wife demanded to know where she was. 
The husband informed her through the half-closed lid 
that she was in the regions of his Satanic Majesty. 
" And i thoo thor tee ? " she asked, " Ay." " And hoo 
lang hes thoo been thor?" "Six months." "And 
hoo lang hev aa been thor?" "Three months." "Had 
away, then," said the thirsty wife, "and get's a gill o' 
whisky : thoo kuaas the plyace bettor than aa de ! " 

Mr. J. F. Young, a well-known actor in the provinces, 
and, during the first two seasons of the Tyne Theatre, 
Newcastle, stage manager and leading actor at that 
house, died at Stirling. 

Alderman John Hunton, J.P., brick manufacturer, 
prominently connected with the Corporation and other 
public and philanthropic bodies in Stockton, of which 
he was mayor in 1875, died suddenly at his residence in 
that town, on the 19th of March, at the age of CO yean. 

On the 21st of March was announced the death, at the 
early age of 29, of the Rev. J. R. Howat, formerly a 
Presbyterian minister at Sunderland, and son of the Rev. 
Dr. H. T, Howat, of Liverpool. 

On the same day, died at Heavy Gate, Rowland's Gill, 
at the advanced age of 82 years, Mr. James Beveridge, 
baker, who for between sixty and seventy years had 
been prominently associated with the body of Free- 

The death was announced, on the 28th of March, of Mr. 
William Manners, of Norton, Stockton, formerly an 
ironmonger at Hartlepool, of which town he was mayor iu 
1845. The deceased gentleman was 84 years of age. 

Mr. John Coxon, one of the oldest and most respected 
farmers of the North, died on the 25th of March, aged 73, 
at Longdyke Farm, Shilbottle, near Alnwick. 

Mr. Francis Jackson, wine merchant, Market Street, 
Newcastle, and last surviving son of the late Mr. Francis 





Jackson, for many years financial manager to the ite Mr. 
Richard Grainger, died at Gosforth on the 28th of March. 

Mr. W. H. Atkinson, managing director and chairman 
of the North Shields Gas Company, died on the 1st of 
April, at Tynemouth, in the 64th year of hit age. 

Mr. Daniel Busby, one of the lessees, along with Mr. 
Turton. of the Newcastle Tramways, and more recently 
of the South Shields Tramways, died at Liverpool, at the 
advanced age of 74. 

Mr. John Chisman, an old inhabitant of Durham, who 
bad carried on business at the foundry at El vet Bridge, in 
that city, for a considerable number of years, died in the 
77th year of his age. 

Mr. Thomas Simpson, a member of the old firm of 
Messrs. Simpson and Sons, printers and itationers, Dean 
Street, Newcastle, died, after a short but severe illness, 
on the 9th of April. 




19. The foundation stone of St. Aidan's Church, 
South Shields, capable of accommodating 660 persons, 
and costing 3,880, was laid by Aid. Readhead, in pre- 
sence of a large gathering of clergy and laity. 

20. This being the twelve hundredth anniversary of 
the death of St. Cuthbert, special services were held in 
all the Catholic churches and chapels in the diocese of 
Hexham and Newcastle. A leading feature in the service 
in St. Mary's Cathedral, Newcastle, was the introduction 
of a portion of the coffin in which the body of the saint 
was reputed to have reposed, the relic being carried round 
the building, and afterwards exposed on the Lady Altar, 

Aid. Bark.-uf, Newcastle, completed his fiftieth year 
of entire abstinence from intoxicating drinks. 

A tire of a destructive character occurred early this 
morning on the premises of Mr. Jacob Goodfellow, 
draper, in Melville Street, Consett, resulting in the 
destruction of the establishment as well as of the stock- 

21. Some noisy and demonstrative proceedings took 
place at Coxlodge in connection with the strike of 
Northumberland miners, caused by the return of several 
men to work contrary to the wishes of the strike hands ; 
and on the same day considerable excitement was created 
in Dudley by a procession of women, which had its origin 
in a similar cause. 

A local branch of the Shelley Society was formed, 
with Dr. R. S. Watson as chairman, and Mr. F. G. 
Aylward as secretary. 

On this and the following day, Earl Morley, Mr. 
John Burnett, and other members of the Ordnance Com- 
mission, visited the Ordnance Works of Sir W. G. 
Armstrong and Co. , at Elswick, Newcastle. 

22. A very painful occurrence took place in the Town 
Hall Buildings, Newcastle, in the suicide of James 
Crewther, who had been for nearly thirty years in the 
employment of the Corporation as clerk in the City 
Engineer's Department, and who, while in charge of a 
detective, had been allowed to enter a closet, where he 
cut his threat with a razor. The deceased was 51 years of 

age ; and at the inquest held on his body, next day, (Ua 
jury returned a verdict to the effect that he had com- 
mitted the act which led to his death while in a despond- 
ing state of mind. 

24. This afternoon, in the presence of a large number 
of spectators, amongst whom were the directors of the 
company and the chairman (Mr. J. D. Milburn, New- 
castle), the BIyth New Dry Dock, which had been in 
course of formation for the past sixteen months, was 
formally opened by the screw-steamer Richard Cory, of 
South Shields, which was brought specially round for 
the purpose of entering the dock. 

25. Several persons were fined by the Newcastle 
magistrates for Sunday trading on the Quayside. 

20. The last of the ninth series of People's Concerts, 
under the auspices of the Corporation of Newcastle, was 
given in the Town Hall to-nisht, when there was a rery 
large audience. The Mayor (Mr. B. C. Browne) stated, 
in the course of the evening, that the average attend 
ance during the series had been 1,700, which was some- 
what higher than it had ever been before. 

Several men were fined at the Moot Hall Police 
Court for taking part in disorderly proceedings at Cox 
lodge, arising out of the strike of Northumberland 

28. It was announced to-day that the house in 
Buller's Green, Morpeth, in which Dr. Morrison, the first 
Protestant missionary to China, was born on the oth of 
January, 17S2, had been razed to the ground. 

29. A Workmen's Industrial and Loan Jubilee Ex- 
hibition, in aid of the funds of the Sunderland Infirmary, 
wai opened to-day in the Skating Rink, in that town, by 
the Earl of Durham, in the presence of a iarpe as- 
semblage. The workmen's exhibits were 75 in number. 

A public meeting, presided over by Mr. T. A. Potts, 
and addressed by Mr. A. Cameron Corbett. M.P., was 
held in the Central Hall, Newcastle, in support of the 
Shop Hours Regulation Bill. 

30. At a meeting of the master plumbers of Newcastle, 
under the presidency of the Mayor, it was resolved to 
establish a local guild for the registration of the members 
of the craft and the education of apprentices. 

The foundation stone of the buildings to be erected 
on the Singleton House site, in Northumberland Street, 
was laid by Mrs. W. S. Armstrong, wife of the lessee, 
copies of the Daily, Evening, Weekly, and Monthly Chroni- 
cles, with other papers, '.being deposited in the cavity of the 

31. A fire, attended with great destruction of property 
broke out in the timber yard and saw mills of Messrs. 
Kayner and Moller. on the east side of South Dock at 

Longhirst estate and Longhirst colliery, in the county 
of Northumberland, were publicly sold to Mr. Sample, 
Bothal Castle, for 53,000, on behalf of Mr. James 
Joicey, M.P, 


1. The members of the Northumberland Miners' 
Union received the fourth fortnight's strike allowance, 
full members getting 4s. ; half-members 2s. ; and children 
lid. At a meeting of delegates next day, it was resolved 
that the lodges be recommended to empower the Execu- 
tive Committee to re-open negotiations with the coal- 
owners. As the result of the ballot which followed, it 
was ascertained on the 7th of April that the voting was 
about equal for and against the proposal ; but, owing to 



dissatisfaction with the form of the voting paper, a nunv 
bar of collieries declined to take part in the ballot. 

The 23-ton guo in Tynemouth Castle Yard was fired 
for the first time since its arrival there. 

2 This afternoon, in the presence of a large assemblage 
of the inhabitants, the new supply of water for Swalwell 
was formally turned on by Mr. George Ramsey. 

The first of a series of four oratorios, { at popular 
prices, was given by Dr. Kea in the Town Hall, New- 

4. A fire, attended with extensive destruction of pro- 
perty, broke out in the paper mills of the Ford Works 
Company, at South Hylton, near Sunderland. 

The ceremony of breaking the ground on the site of 
a proposed new Presbyterian Church at West Jesmoiid, 
Newcastle, was performed by Mr. Thomas Crawford. 

A new bridge between North and South Stockton 
was opened without ceremony. 

5. Stockton Town Council declined to co-operate with 
the Durham County Committee in raising subscriptions 
towards the Imperial Institute, but resolved to present an 
address of congratulation to her Majesty on her Jubilee. 

G. A boiler explosion occurred in the main coal seam 
at Trimdon Colliery, killing ithe engineman, John 

A destructive fire broke out at the extensive glass 
bottle works of Messrs. Candlish and Sons at Seaham 
Harbour. Before the flames could be subdued, damage 
to the extent of 2,000 or 3,000 was done. 

8. A stage-carpenter named Robert Crowther died 
from the effects of injuries received the previous evening 
at tlie Tyne Theatre, Newcastle, by reason of a cannon- 
ball, used above the scenes to produce a thunder effect in 
the opera of '* Nordisa," falling on to his head. 

9. One of the most important events in the history of 
shipbuilding on the Tyne took place to-day, when 
H.M.S. Victoria was launched from the Elswick ship- 
yard of Sir W. G. Armstrong, Mitchell, and Co., in the 
presence of an immense concourse of spectators, estimated 
at one hundred thousand. It had been originally in- 
tended that the vessel should be called the Renown ; but 
subsequently the order was given that she should be 
named the Victoria, in commemoration of the Jubilea 
year of her Majesty's reign. In length the ship ii 340 
feet, and in breadth 70 feet. Her mean draught is 20 
feet 9 inches, and the displacement in tons is 10,500, 
while the total cost of the vessel will be 750,000. The 
christening ceremony was performed by Mrs. A. B. 
Forwood. wife of the Parliamentary Secretary to the 

11. It was resolved by the Executive Committee of 
the Northumberland Miners' Union to issue fresh ballot 
papers, embodying proposals as to whether the Wages 
Committee should be empowered to meet the coalowners 
with a view to effect a settlement, or whether the men 
should continue out on strike. 

A young man named William Walls, of Franklin 
Street, Newcastle, was drowned by falling from a boat 
in which he was sailing with a companion off Tyne- 

The memorial stones of a new Wesleyan Sunday 
School were laid by Mr. Miles Maclnnes, M.P., and 
other gentlemen, at Acomb, near Hexham. 

11. A meeting of Northumberland miners and other 
workmen was held at Horton, near Cramlington, for the 
purpose of forwarding the cause of Socialism, addresses 
being delivered by Mr. H. M. Hyndman, Mr. William 
Morris, Mr. J. L. Mahon, and other agents of the 
different Socialist organizations in London. 

eneral cenrrence;s. 


19. Father Keller, 'a Roman Catholic priest, having 
been summoned before the Dublin Court of Bankruptcy 
to give evidence, refused to do so on the ground that to 
answer certain questions would tend to violate confi- 
dences which he could not, in duty to his sacred pro- 
fession, betray. The rev. gentleman was, therefore, 
committed for contempt of court. 

20. Suicide of Mr. John Kynaston Cross, formerly 
member of Parliament for Bolton and Under-Secretary 
of State for India. Mr. Cross was 55 years of age. 

22. The ninetieth birthday of the Emperor William of 
Germany was celebrated in Berlin to-day with imposing 

A terrible colliery explosion occurred at Bulli, 
NewSoutli Wales. Eighty-rive miners lost their lives. 

23. The Queen visited Birmingham, where she received 
loyal addresses from the Corporation and other bodies, 
and laid the foundation stone of new Law Courts. Her 
Majesty was welcomed with the utmost enthusiasm. 

28. Mr. A. J. Balfour, Secretary for Ireland, intro- 
duced a new Coercion Bill for Ireland in the House of 

29. Father Ryan, another Irish Roman Catholic 
priest, having been cited before the Irish Bankruptcy 
Court, refused to answer questions, and was committed 
for contempt of court. 


4. A conference of representatives of the mother 
country and the colonies was opened at the Foreign 
Office, London. The Marquis of Salisbury, Prime 
Minister, delivered a speech on Imperial defence and 

10. Mr. Charles Newdigate Newdegate, who had 
represented North Warwick in the House of Commons 
for upwards of 42 years, died at the age of 71. The 
deceased gentleman, who was a Conservative in politics 
and a Protestant in religion, will be best remembered for 
his strenuous opposition to Mr. Bradlaugh in connection 
with the oath question. 

11. News was received to-day of another attempt to 
assassinate the Czar. As his Majesty and the Czarina 
were driving, on the 6th inst., from the Winter Palace to 
the Gatchina Railway Station, St. Petersburg, a student 
and a young girl were arrested. Several bombs were 
found in their possession. 

Great meeting in Hyde Park, London, to day (Easter 
Monday), to protest against the Irish Coercion Bill. It 
was estimated that 200,000 persons were present. 

12. It was reported to-day that 482 officers of the Rus- 
sian army were under arrest for supposed participation in 
the Nihilist conspiracy. 

Printed by WALTEB SCOTT, Felling-on-Tyne. 




VOL. I. No. L 

JUNE, 1887. 


at iHsrfe 'fttotvt Ci>t antf STtocctf. 





j|EMMY ALLAN the piper was born at 
Woodhouses, near Rothbury, in March, 
1734 youngest but one of a family of six 
gipsy children. He developed into a smart 
lad, and a local squire sent him to school to fit him for 
some better occupation than that of his father. But the 
gipsy blood within him could not brook the restraint of a 
school, and he did not stay long. Offers to take him into 
respectable employment failed for the same reason. The 
father, old Will Allan, besides being a noted vermin 
hunter, was a capital performer on the Northumbrian 
small pipes, and he taught the art to his son. "Music 
hath charms to soothe the savage breast," and it happened 
that, when Will Allan's boy had grown into maturer 
youth, he was so taken by the performance of the band of 
the Northumberland Militia at Alnwick that he forth- 
with enlisted as a substitute. 

Soldiering, however, he found to be rather worse than 
either school or service, and he soon deserted. He was 
taken some time afterwards at Stagshawbank fair, but 
managed to give his captors the slip, and his success 
in that manoeuvre encouraged him to enlist again, and 
desert again, until he became a practised hand at the pro- 
cess. He roamed through Northumberland and Durham 
with his pipes, indulging in all sorts of criminal adven- 
, tares, which need not be reproduced here. All accounts 
agree that he was a most skilful musician. His merits in 

that respect procured for him, in October, 1769, an 
appointment as one of the town's musicians at Alnwick 

J a /T? es jd [fen 

but the following Michaelmas he misbehaved himself, and 
was dismissed. Then he recommenced his wanderings, 
and varied his performances in sheep and horse stealing, 




I June, 


robbing his companions on tramp, breaking gaol, &c., 
with piping at fairs and weddings. Twice he was tried 
for fk>ny and acquitted, and it was many years before 
an effectual stop was put to his lawless proceedings. 
At last, in 1803, the end came. He had been drinking 
and playing his pipes one evening at the Dun Cow Inn, 
Quayside, Newcastle, and after the performance was over 
he proceeded to Gateshead, stole a horse, and took it 
"o'er the border and awa" with his usual expedition. 
Pursuit was given, the thief captured, and at the follow- 
ing Assizes he was found guilty and cast for death. The 
sentence was mitigated to transportation, but this punish- 
ment his age (69 years) and infirmities did not enable 
him to sustain, and he was imprisoned for life. After 
seven years' incarceration, he died in gaol on the 13th 
November, 1810. 

It is uncertain whether this roving vagabond was more 
popular in life than in death. His exploits were the com- 
mon talk of the country-side, both before and after his 
decease. The hawker of chap-books for many long years 
could always depend on selling a " Life of Jemmy Allan" 
to the shepherds and milkmaids in Northumberland. 
Mackenzie and Dent compiled an account of him, 
from the frontispiece to which our portrait (representing 
Allan performing on the Highland pipes) is taken. An- 
other publisher gathered together the piper's adventures, 
real and imaginary, and issued in a thick octavo volume 
the minute details of a life which had been much better 
left unwritten. 


There is, or was, a curious tendency among those who 
follow certain trades and callings to become gregarious, and 
to pursue their avocations grouped together in special lo- 
calities. Newcastle shoemakers and cobblers were at one 
time in pretty general occupation of the Castle Stairs and 
the Head of the Side ; vendors of milk clustered in Gal- 
lowgate and Percy Street ; furniture dealers held the 
lower half of Pilgrim Street ; tanners congregated be- 
tween St. Andrew's Church and The Friars ; the old 
booksellers established themselves upon Tyne Bridge. 
A satisfactory reason could, no doubt, be given for each 
and all of these groupings, though it might not be easy to 
say why vendors of literary wares preferred the highway 
athwart the river. They may have thought that, as 
everybody who entered or left the town by way of the 
county palatine must pass their shops, they had a better 
chance of selling their goods in that particular spot than 
could be found elsewhere. Or it may have been because 
the tenements on the bridge were of moderate size, and, 
therefore, well suited to a trade in which stocks were 
small, and the articles vended were compact and easily 

handled. Or again But conjectures are idle. The 

booksellers were on the bridge, and th must have found 
the locality suitable, or they would have selected other 

quarters. So early as the beginning of the eighteenth 
century, we find at least three well-known book shops 
doing business in the short space between the chapel of 
St. Thomas and the Blue Stone which marked the boun- 
dary of the palatinate. There Richard Randal and Peter 
Maplisden published Gilpin's " Deemonologia Sacra," 
Joseph Hall sold Vicar March's sermons and distributed 
his catalogues, while J. Button, a correspodent of Defoe, 
issued Benjamin Bennet's Discourses. And there, in 
1722, if not earlier, was established the progenitor of a 
race of bookselelrs in Newcastle Robert Akenhead. 

From the Commonwealth to the year 1708, when John 
White came hither, there had been no printer in New- 
castle, and for long afterwards, with one exception, there 
was no printing press at work between Trent and Tyne. 
The provincial bookseller in those days dealt in a variety 
of articles not strictly literary. But by the middle of the 
century, a period of considerable activity in printing and 
publishing had begun. The shelves of "Robert Aken- 
head, senior," at the sign of the "Bible and Crown," on 
Tyne Bridge, and those of his rivals in business there, 
were fairly well stocked with general literature, and 
with the gradually increasing productions of the local 
press. Printing and publishing had become a united 

The flood of 1771 swept away great part of Tyne 
Bridge, and drove the booksellers to other locations ; 
whither we do not now know. But when the present 
century arrived a firm bearing the name of David Aken- 
head and Sons was established on the north side of the 
Sandhill, facing the .doorway to the Guildhall, and the 
owners of it were among the principal printers, stationers, 
and booksellers in Newcastle. As was fitting to the 
locality, they were especially nautical booksellers. They 
published among other works the " Shipowners' Manual," 
a valuable book compiled originally by Hilton the poet, 
and, at the time to which we refer, passing into an eighth 
edition of over 400 octavo pages. They had " constantly 
on hand," in the year 1800, "a large collection of the 
most approved navigation articles for captains of ships, 
viz., Sea-Charts, Pilots, Neptunes, and Waggoners for all 
parts of the known world, by the best authors ; quadrants, 
compasses, telescopes for day or night, and a variety of 
other mathematical instruments, with the latest improve- 
ments ; epitomes of navigation, seamen's assistants, direc- 
tions for the coasting and foreign trades, log-books, 
printed or blank, journal books ditto, manifests, seamen's 
articles and affidavits, bills of lading, &c. ; papers and ac- 
count books of all kinds, maps and prints ; together with 
every other article of stationary [stc], and a great variety 
of books in the different branches of literature. Printing 
neatly executed. Genuine patent medicine of all kinds." 

David Akenhead was the head of the firm, and his two 
sons, John and Robert, assisted him in the business. 
They all lived at Gateshead, and were people of sub- 
stance. John was the practical man ; Robert was of a 

June. \ 
1887. / 



literary turn, and published, in 1809, in 12mo, " Liber 
Facstiarum," a collection of curious and interesting anec- 
dotes. Hannah, their sister, married Robert Shafto 
Hawks, chief of the great firm of engineers on that side 
of the water. He was knighted in 1817, and thencefor- 
ward Sir Robert and Lady Hawks were persons of dis- 
tinction on both sides the Tyne. By-and-by they 
removed to Newcastle, and, in the large double house 
next the railway at the north-east corner of Clavering 
Place, they lived till they died Sir Robert in February, 
1840, aged 71, and his widow in October, 1863, at the 
great age of 97. 

John Akenhead became the leading spirit of the estab- 
lishment when his father grew old, and he ultimately 
became the owner of the property, and carried the 
business on in his own way. With him the Rev. John 
Hodgson, who settled on the banks of the Tyne in 1806, 
commenced a friendship which was of long continuance. 
From Akenhead's press, in 1807, was issued, in a neat 
duodecimo of 150 pages, the first book which the historian 
of Northumberland published "Woodlands," a book of 
poetry. Five years later, Mr. Hodgson re-wrote for his 
friend a handbook to Newcastle which the Akenheads 
had originally put forth on their own account, and thus 
Tyneside obtained that model of typographical compila- 
tion, the 1812 edition of " The Picture of Newcastle-upon- 

John Akenhead was a remarkable man in more ways 
than one. He was strict and upright in all his dealings, 
punctual, methodical, and sober ; but he never could fol- 
low the spirit of progress, and lived as truly in the pre- 
vious century as if time had gone backwards with him. 
Every morning, at six o'clock, his shop was open for 
business ; every noon and every evening, at a given hour, 
he trudged home to Gateshead with a heavy parcel of 
work under his arm. Paper ruling by machinery was in- 
troduced in his time, but he would have none of it, and to 
the last had his paper ruled by hand. For Grainger's 
magnificent reconstructions in the centre of Newcastle he 
had no fancy. Once he was persuaded to go and see them. 
Starting from his shop on the Sandhill, he walked along 
the Side, turned into Dean Street, and then, like 

The King of France with forty thousand men, 
Went up a hill, and so came down again, 

entertaining opinions that have not been recorded. 

In " Newcastle Fifty Years Ago, " a series of papers 
contributed to the Weekly Chronicle, the late Robert W. 
Hetherington describes him as a thin, wiry old man of 
medium height, " attired in breeches, grey stockings, and 
low shoes (made much larger than seemed requisite for his 
feet), a ruffled shirt, and a brown wig with the orthodox 
curl behind. His face was clean shaven, and he wore a 
broad brimmed hat. Mr. Akenhead, his assistants, and 
workpeople, had all grown old together. He disliked to 
gee new faces about him, and when death deprived him of 
any workman, he rarely put another in his place. He 

never discharged a man except once, and that was his 
eccentric shopman, Joe Orton, who assumed the master- 
ship over his employer. The old man willingly obeyed 
Joe's orders swept out the shop every morning, cleaned 
the windows, and cleared the footpath in front, without a 
murmur, until the implacable Joe, not being satisfied 
with the manner in which this menial work was per- 
formed by his master, one morning seized the broom, and 
struck the old man with it so severely as to cause a serious 

Although of frugal habits, John Akenhead could upon 
occasion be liberal-handed. When St. John's Church, 
Gateshead Fell, was consecrated (Aug. 30, 1825), the Rev. 
William Hawks, son of Sir Robert Shafto Hawks, was 
appointed to be its first rector, and then the gratified 
uncle furnished the sacred edifice with a complete set of 
books at his own expense. One large folio Bible, and one 
folio Book of Common Prayer, in purple morocco gilt ; a 
folio Prayer Book for the clerk, in calf, and five others 
in octavo; two service books for the Holy Table, in 
purple morocco, and two books of Offices, in calf, testified 
to John Akenhead's generosity and affection. 

The stock-in-trade of the Akenheads was purchased by 
Messrs. M. and M. W. Lambert, and the old style and 
title died out. There came a morning when John Aken- 
head did not take down his shutters at six o'clock, and 
then, like that of William Heaton (another old-fashioned 
bookseller on the other side of the Sandhill), the familiar 
name of Akenhead disappeared from the list of Newcastle 

ir ^antclot ^.Ugoot), 


"The Allgoods of Nunwick are descended from John 
Allgood of Salerne, County Devon, living in 1386, who 
accompanied John, Duke of Lancaster, in his expedition 
to Spain against the pretended King of Castile." So 
writes Sir Bernard Burke. 

Lancelot Allgood, son and heir of Isaac Allgood, of 
Brandon White House, near the Breamish, and grandson 
of the Rev. Major Allgood, Rector of Simonburn, married 
22nd February, 1738-9, his relative, Jane, daughter and 
heir of Robert Allgood, of Nunwick. Robert Allgood had 
purchased Nunwick from the Herons of Chipchase, and 
when he died it came to Lancelot by virtue of his mar- 
riage. Through the estate runs the Simon Burn, and 
near the junction of that rivulet with the North Tyne 
Lancelot Allgood erected the mansion of Nunwick Hall, 
which has been ever since the residence of the family. 

In the year that " bonnie Prince Charlie " came over 
the water, Lancelot Allgood was Sheriff of Northumber- 
land. He was present at the reception of the Duke of 
Cumberland in Newcastle, and witnessed the ceremony of 
presenting him with the freedom of the town on his re- 
turn from the victory of Culloden. A few months later a 
vacancy occurred in the Parliamentary representation of 




i 1^7. 

Northumberland by the death of John Fenwick, and 
Mr. Allgood became a candidate for the seat. The old 
member was a Tory ; his colleague, Sir William Middle- 
ton, Bart., was a Whig. Parties were so evenly balanced 
in the county that the Whigs were encouraged to try for 
both seats. Mr. Allgood being a Tory, the Whigs put 
forward Lord Ossulston, son and heir of the Earl of Tan- 
kerville, to oppose him. The election took place at 
Alnwick in February, in 1747-48. It commenced on the 
18th of that month and lasted six days. At the declara- 
tion of the poll there was a squabble with the Sheriff, 
Nicholas Brown, and for a time it was uncertain which of 
the candidates had been elected. Allgood polled 982 
rotes, Ossulston 971 ; but the Sheriff rejected 27 of the 
Tory votes, and declared Lord Ossulston elected by a 
majority of 16. Thereupon Mr. Allgood presented a 
petition to Parliament, complaining of an undue return. 
Both parties were ordered to attend at the bar of the House, 
but the matter was postponed, and the House rose with- 
out deciding the question. Mr. Allgood renewed his 
application in November, and the 14th February, 1748-49, 
was fixed for the hearing, on which occasion Mr. Fox 
told the House that Lord Ossulston would give no further 
trouble in the affair, and Mr. Allgood was duly elected. 
At the next election, in 1754, he announced his willing- 
ness to submit his claims once more to the freeholders. 
His party, however, made no favourable sign, and, Lord 
Ossulston having succeeded to the earldom, Sir Henry 
Grey, of Howick, and the old member, Sir William Mid- 
dleton, were returned without opposition. 

While Mr. Allgood was in Parliament the one absorb- 
ing local question was the construction of roads. The 
rebellion of 1745 brought the great road-maker, Marshal 
Wade, to Newcastle, and inspired the freeholders of 
Northumberland to " mend their ways " in emulation 
of his achievements in Scotland. In 1747, Newcastle 
Corporation made the road across the Town Moor, and 
Parliament passed the first Turnpike Act for Northumber- 
land an Act which authorised the continuation of the 
Town Moor road from the borough boundary at Gosforth 
to Buckton Burn, near Belf ord. The road through Ponte- 
land followed, and ir. 1751 Mr. Allgood was entrusted 
with a petition for leave to bring in a bill authorising the 
repair and widening of the road "from Alnmouth to 
Alnwick, and by Lemington Coal Houses, and along 
Edlington Dikes to Rothbury, from thence to Coldrife, 
by Ewesley Gate to Cambo and Wallington, by Kirkharle 
and Little Bavington to Colwell, Chollerton, and Wall to 
Hexham, and also the road leading out of the aforesaid 
road between Alnwick and Rothbury to Jockey's Dike 
Bridge." Leave was given, and Mr. Allgood had charge 
of the measure through its various stages till it received 
th Royal Assent. Two similar bills one for a road 
from Longhorsley (through Weldon Bridge and Whit- 
tingham) to the Breamish, and the other for a road lead- 
ing from Morpath through Mitford, Long Witton, and by 

Rothley Park wall to the High Cross at Elsdon, were in 
charge of Sir William Middleton, with Mr. Allgood as a 
member of the committee to which the details were re- 

Upon the accession of George III., in 1760, Mr. Allgood 
received the honour of knighthood. The year following, 
on the 9th of March, when the newly-established con- 
scription for the militia was put in force, there was a 
dreadful riot at Hexham, in which Sir Lancelot was in- 
volved. It was reported that during the outbreak he and 
Mr. Christopher Reed, of Chipcbase, hid themselves in a 
hayloft ! In a notorious pamphlet, published shortly 
afterwards, entitled "The Will of a Certain Northern 
Vicar," this assumed escapade is satirised in halting 
rhyme : 

I give the corpulent Kitt Reed 

My lecture upon gingerbread, 

And leave him too (though not for Fun), 

For fear of Harm a Wooden Gun ; 

At the same time (in case of Riot), 

A Cockloft, for to keep him quiet : 

A Ladder too (Fame, do not tattle) 

To aid him in the day of battle. 

And to his worthy Comorade [Sir Lancelot], 

Who with 'im such a Figure made, 

A large Birch Rod, that He may be 

Tickled most exceedingly. 

Sir Lancelot Allgood died a few years later, and 
was succeeded by his son, James Allgood, LL.T)., Sheriff 
of Northumberland in 1786. Two of his daughters were 
married to Loraines Hannah, the eldest, to William, 
afterwards Sir William Loraine, and Isabella, the second 
daughter, to Lambton Loraine, his brother. One of Sir 
William Loraine's daughters by Hannah Allgood married 
Dr. Headlam, of Newcastle. 

aittr tft* 


pSS SMITH, of East Herrington (afterwards 
Lady Peat), lived in a large house on the left 
hand side of the road leading from Sunder- 
land to Durham. She was descended from 
ancient Catholic family the Smythes of Eshe, 
now represented by Sir Charles Frederick Smythe, 
Bart., of Eshe Hall, county Durham, and of Acton 
Burnall, Salop. She was the owner of extensive pro- 
perties in the county palatine, and was otherwise very 

One day in August, 1815, Miss Smith left home for the 
purpose of collecting the Lammas farm rents accruing 
from her estates of Colepitt Hall, the Flass, &c., near 
Eshe. Being of eccentric and very penurious habits, she 
kept only one servant, a young woman named Isabella 
Young ; and, to save coal and candle, it was arranged that 
the girl should sleep, during her mistress's absence, at a 
Mrs. Blackett's, on the opposite side of the road to- 


e, \ 




Herrington Hall. On the evening when Miss Smith was 
expected home, Isabella went to sleep in her own bed. 
Miss Smith, however, did not come. Some time during 
the night, the house was broken into and set on fire, and 
the poor girl murdered. It was supposed that the mur- 
derer or murderers had knocked at the front door, and 
that Isabella had gone to open it, as she was found by the 
neighbours, on the alarm being raised, lying dead in the 
passage, in her nightdress. She had seemingly been 
felled with a poker or other iron instrument, there being 
two large gashes on the back part of the head, and a 
fracture on the fore part of it, sufficient of itself to cause 
death. The fire was discovered about two o'clock on the 
morning of the 29th of August. It had not then reached 
the body of the girl ; but, there being no means at hand 
to quench the flames, the house was burned completely 
down, with the whole of the furniture, the walls only 
being left standing. Three strangers had been seen 
lurking about a few days before, and it was concluded 
that they must be the perpetrators of the horrid deed. 
Meanwhile, the poor girl's corpse was laid out on an old 
box, in a half-ruinous, tileless shed in the back-yard, 
and covered with a horsecloth, till such time as the 
coroner should come from Durham ; for, at that date, the 
body of anyone killed by accident or murdered had not to 
be removed from the spot till the coroner had issued an 
order to that effect, the law being that he was " to sit in 
the very place where the death happened." Miss Smith 
was brought from Flass ; and the first thing she set about, 
after the embers were cool enough, is said to have been to 
rake together all the old nails, hoops, hinges, bolts, locks, 
&c., and lay them in a heap to sell for old iron. To save 
the expense of paying for lodgings, she lay down to sleep 
on the old box in the shed, and covered herself with the 
horse cloth that had been placed over the corpse of the 
murdered girL In the middle of the night a high wind 
arose, and blew the charred wood, brick dust, and lime 
rubbish into the shed, which frightened the sleeper, so 
that she cried out for help. 

So mysterious an affair was sure to give rise to a 
variety of conjectures, surmises, assertions, and legends. 
One of these connected the fire, and indirectly the murder, 
with the gentleman who subsequently became Miss 
Smith's husband, Sir Robert Peat. This gentleman was 
a native of Hamsterley, where his father, a staunch 
Churchman, was a watchmaker and silversmith. The old 
gentleman gave his son a good education ; and, as the lad 
showed some talent, the bishop patronised him, and so, in 
due time, he was ordained deacon and priest. He served 
as a military chaplain, we believe, in Spain and Portugal, 
during the French War, and on his return home he be- 
came an intimate friend and boon companion of the Prince 
Regent, afterwards George IV., through whose influence 
the living of Brentford was conferred upon him. He was 
also a knight of the Order of St. Stanislaus, a distinction 
earned for eminent services done, not by himself, but by 

a near relative, to the last King of Poland, the unfortu- 
nate Stanislaus Poniatoffski, when in difficulties, either 
in Paris or London. He had three gold medals, won by 
his own merits, which, when in full dress, he wore on his 
breast. He had risked all he had at the gambling table 
and lost it. He was, consequently, in search of a wealthy 
heiress to recruit his fortunes ; and, having been told 
that there was such a one, a Miss Smith, living in the 
neighbourhood of Sunderland, longing for a title to crown 
her vanity, he came down to woo and win her, accom- 
panied by an Irish gentleman, an acquaintance of Dr. 
Clanny's, the inventor of the Clanny safety lamp. Dr. 
Clanny got Miss Smith to his house, and introduced her 
to Sir Robert. She was pleased with the title, and would 
have liked well to be styled Lady Peat; but she was 
afraid to put herself and her worldly wealth at the dis- 
posal even of a knight. So when the question was 
popped Sir Robert got a firm refusal, and he was heard to 
remark that he believed she would never marry as long 
as the old house stood. This was afterwards thought 
rather ominous. Sir Robert and his soldier friend are 
said to have been frequently seen about Herrington 
before the fire, and the gossips said he must certainly 
have had a hand in it, with a view to bringing his matri- 
monial affair to a crisis. However unlikely this may 
appear to us, there were plenty of people in the neigh- 
bourhood who believed it. 

The constables got hold of three men ; but there not 
being a tittle of evidence to incriminate them, they were 
all ultimately released. 

Immediately after the fire, Miss Smith removed to 
Bishopwearmouth, and took one half of Matthew 
Nesham's house, the front door of which opened into 
York Street. All her furniture being burnt, she began 
to attend sales to get cheap bargains. One of the first of 
these auctions was at Pallion Hall, belonging to Mr. 
John Goodchikl. At this sale a lady lost a valuable 
shawl, and on her making the fact known, the sale was 
stopped for a short time. But as soon as it was found 
that Miss Smith was in the room, she became "the 
observed of all observers "; and the lady soon descried the 
the corner of her shawl hanging down from under the 
kleptomaniac's dress. The late Parson Stephenson, 
who was at the sale, took her aside, gave her a sharp 
reprimand, and dismissed her. After this, she had to go 
to the furniture brokers, from whom she got well supplied 
with all she wanted. To give some idea of the amount of 
stuff she bought, it may be stated that she had twelve 
old tables in her best front room. 

When matters quieted down, Sir Robert and Dr. 
Clanny reverted to the marriage scheme, and eventually 
succeeded in overcoming the lady's financial scruples. 
Miss Smith's friends and advisers, Messrs. Robert Scur- 
field and Joseph John Wright, put into the marriage 
settlement that a full half of her income should be at her 
own absolute disposal, as we shall see presently ; but the 



I Juiw, 

I 18S7. 

reverend and gallant knight had 1,000 a year secured 
to him for his own private use. 

The day after the wedding, Sir Robert, who, during his 
stay in Sunderland, had lodged at the Bridge Hotel, took 
his lady up to London to introduce her to the town 
quality, in the hope of curing her of her bad habits, one 
of which was a disposition to appropriate whatever came 
in her way. At the first dinner party to which they were 
invited, she got out of the room after dinner. As soon as 
she was missed, the company began to look for her 
through the several rooms. As they did not succeed in 
finding her, Sir Robert began to be uneasy. He was 
afraid she might be taking stock of the silver plate in the 
butler's pantry, or peering into the ladies' dressing rooms 
and purloining their trinkets. But at length they found 
her in the kitchen, sitting upon a cracket close beside the 
fire, talking to the servants, eight or ten in number. This 
was his first and last trial to improve her ladyship's 
eccentric manners. 

Returning from London, the "happy pair" went to 
live in a large house in Villiers Street, which her ladyship 
furnished and provisioned in her own peculiar fashion. 
One day Sir Robert took it into his head to look into the 
larder, and there he frund a large number of mutton pies, 
all mouldy, the shank bone of a leg of mutton in a state 
of decomposition, and other exquisite dainties of a like 
kind ; so that he never poked his nose in there again. 

Lady Peat used to tell those whom she honoured with a 
call that she could live on twopence a day : one penny 
for bread and another for milk ; but she took good care 
to call on the neighbours about meal times, so as to get 
invited to partake of "pot-luck," when she was by no 
means so abstemious. Two sisters, named Wright, who 
kept a school for young ladies in a house with a garden in 
front, three doors below York Street, opposite the house 
she occupied after Herrington Hall was burned down, 
used to have her for a visitor every day about half-past 
two. Her habit was to inquire whether they had got 
dinner, and when the answer was "Yes," she would say, 
" Oh ! dear, would you make me a cup of tea ? " One day 
she came to see if they had an old broom shank they could 
let her have. When asked what she wanted it for, she 
replied that her servant was always stirring up the fire, 
wasting the coals, and the poker would have to go to the 
smith's shop for a new end, which she could not afford ; 
BO she wanted to give her a broom shank to stir the fire 
with, and then she would know how often she stirred it, 
because the stick would burn. It is only justice to the 
poor lady to say that about this time she lost something 
like 13,000 through the failure of a bank. 

Her ladyship was so notorious a thief that, wherever 
she went, she was watched, for fear she should steal 
the servants' aprons, towels, brushes, or anything else. 
Those who wished to make something out of her used 
to lay traps for her, putting things in her way. When 
she had got into a scrape, she would go to her attorney, 

Mr. Gregson, and beg of him to get her out of it. " You 
must get me through," she would say. "You will need 
money. You must have it." And so she had often to 
pay a hundredfold or a thousandfold for what she had 
stolen a year's rent of a farm for a silver spoon. On one 
occasion she got off more cheaply, but scarcely less to her 
chagrin and shame. In a then well-known shop in the 
High Street of Sunderland, removed some years ago for 
the accommodation of the railway, she was observed to 
slip a pound of butter into her pocket. Some wags in the 
establishment managed to place her near a rousing fire, 
and kept her there talking till the butter ran all down, 
her petticoats. 

Sir Robert Peat was a man who, like the David Price 
of the "Ingoldsby Legends," was "remarkably fond of 
everything nice " ; and as all the provender in the Villiers 
Street house partook of the mean ways and sordid habits 
of its mistress, it was impossible for him to live with his 
rich wife. So he got a bed and lodgings at a Mrs. 
Shield's in Nile Street. The next day he invited a few 
gentlemen to dine with him there at 7 p.m. ; and, not 
wishing to trouble his hostess with cooking, he called at a 
confectioner's shop kept by a man named George Wilson, 
and gave directions for all kinds of viands to be supplied. 
When the gentlemen arrived, Sir Robert ordered the 
dinner to be brought in ; but Mrs. Shields informed him 
nothing had arrived, although the knight, on calling at 
the shop a short time before, had been told that every- 
thing had been forwarded. Further inquiry was, of 
course, made. The errand boy, being asked what he had 
done with the two baskets he had been sent with, replied 
that he had taken them to Lady Peat's in Villiers Street. 
The lad was immediately set off in a canter to her 
ladyship's domicile. "I have made a mistake," said he 
to the servant; "I have brought the baskets to the 
wrong house." Lady Peat came out to see what was the 
matter. " The boy has got to the wrong door, my lady, 
and has come for the baskets." "Well, let him have 
them. I thought someone had been very kind, and sent 
the things to me." So the lad got the baskets, but the 
best of their contents was gone. 

Afterwards Sir Robert took up his permanent resi- 
dence in London, but came down regularly twice a year 
to receive his handsome allowance, which he enjoyed up 
to the time of his death. It was popularly believed he 
had to stay one night with his wife every year, or lose his 
income. However this may have been, his custom was to 
ride out with her when in Sunderland, to let people see 
that he cohabited with her. Local cynics said he had 
married Miss Smith's money and taken her for a witness. 

The knight is described as having been "a fine-looking 
little man, dressed in a coat and waistcoat that might 
have been made by a Stultz, a white necktie, knee 
breeches, and white silk stockings." He cut a good figure 
on horseback, being an expert rider. He was " highly 
distinguished for his accomplished manners and gentle 

June, 1 
1887. f 



manly bearing, an excellent scholar, and a warm and 
devoted friend." In short, he was just such a person 
as the Prince Regent would be pleased to honour. 

Sir Robert died at New Brentford on the 21st of April, 
1837. As soon as the news of his death reached Sunder- 
land, Mr. George Wright hastened to inform her lady- 
ship. "I come with bad news this morning," said he. 
" What is it ?" inquired the lady. " Sir Robert is dead," 
was the reply. "Bad news, did you say?" exclaimed 
she; "it's the best news I ever got in my life!" 
"Well, "said George, "I want you to get a new black 
dress, well made, and fit for a lady." "Yes, yes," cried 
Lady Peat ; " 111 go and get a new dress." So she went 
to Lieut. -Colonel Richard Markham's shop, near George 
Street, in the High Street, and bought a new dress of 
bright yellow cotton, and a bonnet, a feather, and ribbons 
to match. The shopman observed her slip a fine green 
ostrich feather into her pocket. She then paid for the 
dress and bonnet and walked away. The shopman let 
her get as far as Sans Street, and then stopped her. 
" You have taken away an ostrich feather and not paid 
for it." " Oh ! I have forgotten. What is the price of 
it?" "A guinea." "Well, here it is. Say no more 
about it." As soon as she had got the new dress and 
feather fitted on, she went on her regular rounds. One 
account says " she perambulated the principal streets of 
the town in her wedding dress, exclaiming to her friends, 
Oh ! what joyful news I have just received ; Sir Robert 
is dead ! ' " 

During the many years Lady Peat lived in the Villiers 
Street house, which was elaborately though far from 
elegantly or tastefully furnished, not a room was occupied 
nor a window cleaned, save one that of a cellar kitchen, 
which was the only apartment she occupied, with Bella, 
an old female domestic, to keep her company. The rest 
of the house was filled with an astonishing collection of 
articles she had purloined. Such was her parsimony, 
that she slept in a wooden box bed, which she seldom 
left during the last few years of her life. 

Mr. C. Douglas, of West Hartlepool, in a short sketch, 
communicated to the "Notes and Queries " of the New- 
castle Weekly Chronicle some time ago, gave the following 
account of her last hours, which he derived from her 
medical adviser : 

Dr. Gregory attended her at least once or twice a week 
for a period of twelve years, and every Christmas she 
gave him a sovereign for his professional services. The 
doctor accepted this sum as payment on account, and 
after her ladyship's death the trustees paid him 600. 
Among other racy incident* 1 which Dr. Gregory told with 
great glee, was the following : Having a party one even- 
ing, several ladies, who had never seen a kleptomaniac, 
expressed a wish that Lady Peat should be introduced to 
the company. An invitation was despatched, and in due 
course her ladyship, who was then blind, was led into the 
room by Bella, covered with jewellery. After the cere- 
mony of introduction had been performed, the doctor sug- 
gested that his guests should adjourn to the drawing- 
room, leaving her ladyship to enjoy herself. This motion 
was seconded by Lady Peat herself, the delicacies on the 

table being, she said, all the companions she wanted. 
The guests withdrew, leaving the drawing-room door 
sufficiently open to enjoy the fun. After the lapse of a 
few minutes, her ladyship asked Bella in a whisper if they 
were all gone. The domestic, according to a preconcerted 
arrangement, answered "Yes." Lady Peat then rose and 
filled tier capacious pockets with the choicest fruit and 
other good things on the table, without tasting any. 
When the company returned, she was asked how she had 
enjoyed herself. She replied that the fruits were deli- 
cious, particularly the apricots and peaches ; the grapes 
were also a treat, the flavour being specially good ! \Vhen 
her end was approaching, the eccentric lady sent for the 
Rev. Canon Kearney, who desired that she should consent 
to be removed to another room ; but she begged not to be 
disturbed, and expressed a wish to die in the room she 
had occupied so long. She pressed the canon to accept 
the bulk of her property, but he replied that he did not 
wish to alter the mode of distribution which she had pre- 
viously mentioned to him. She then asked him to 
name the amount of legacy that should be handed 
over to him ; and he suggested 18,000. This business 
being ended, her ladyship expressed a wish that the 
priest and the doctor should take tea with her, as it 
would in all probability be the last time they would 
meet on earth. Both excused themselves, but ultimately 
"accepted her hospitality." Hereupon Bella said, "My 
lady, there is no bread in the house. " Her ladyship re- 
plied, " But, Bella, there is some cold dumpling ; slice it, 
and they will enjoy it, I know." Both guests said it 
would be a treat. They sat down to a cold dumpling tea, 
and then bade her ladyship adieu for the last time. 

Lady Peat died on the 26th November, 1842, leaving 
personal property to the value of over 250,000. She be- 
queathed Colepitt Hall and the lands attached to a gen- 
tleman to whose tenth child she had stood godmother ; 
but Bella, who waited on her till her death, was not left 
a "single brass farthing." 

The perpetrators of the horrible murder at Herrington 
Hall were never discovered. Three men, however, were 
arrested, and tried, as we see from the following account 
in Sykes : 

At the assizes held in the city of Durham on t'ie 13th 
of August, 1819, John Eden, James Wolfe, and George 
Wolfe, his son, were put upon their trial for burglary, 
murder, and arson, at Herrington ; and, after the atten- 
tion of the Court had been occupied upwards of nine 
hours, a verdict of guilty was given against John Eden 
and James Wolfe, who were sentenced to be hanged on 
the 16th. After their conviction, some circumstances 
appearing in favour of Wolfe, some members of the 
Society of Friends instituted an inquiry into the parti- 
culars of the case, when an alibi was established, proving, 
by numerous affidavits, that James Wolfe was one 
hundred miles from Herrington when the murder, c., 
had been committed. On Sept. 26, he received a free 
pardon from the king, and was released from prison. 
The success attending their endeavours for Wolfe in- 
duced the same benevolent individuals to look into the 
case of Eden (who still persisted in his innocence) ; and 
they found, to their great joy, that this man had been 
falsely sworn to by James Lincoln, a seaman of Sunder- 
land, no doubt for the reward offered. Eden was also 
liberated, having obtained his Majesty's pardon. At the 
Bummer assizes held in the city of Durham August 4th, 
1820, James Lincoln was tried, and, upon the clearest 
evidence, was found guilty of wilful and corrupt perjury. 

The elder Wolfe was employed in Messrs. Mounsey 
and Richardson's coney-cutting establishment, in Queen 
Street, Bishopwearmouth. After his release from prison, 
he went about, as one who knew him tells us, "like an 
old scoundrel, abandoned by everybody." " He haunted 



I June, 
\ 1887. 

out-of-the-way places, such as Building Hill, and used to 
be met at untimely times, skulking about." 

Concerning the Wolfe family there is another mystery. 
A granddaughter of James Wolfe, "a canny, nice- 
looking girl " of nineteen years, named Catherine Hind- 
marsh, was found lying on the Lambton Railway, at the 
foot of the Rector's or Galley's Gill in Bishopwear- 
mouth, early on the morning of the 5th July, 1846. The 
unfortunate young woman, who lived in Crow Tree Lane, 
and left her home on the previous night for the purpose 

of making some trifling purchases. She was last seen 
with a man in the Royal Tent public-house, in Bishop- 
wearmouth High Street West. It was thought she had 
been thrown over the cliff into the gill below, a distance 
of fifty or sixty feet, the plate and money which she had 
taken from home with her having been found at the 
top (others say at the bottom) of the cliff. The man who 
did this dark deed could never be discovered, and the 
coroner's jury returned a verdict of "Wilful murder 
against some person or persons unknown." 

pTFORD CASTLE, the ancient stronghold 
of the Mitford Family, built by William 
Bertram in 1150-70, is situated on a pic- 
turesque eminence on the banks of the 
Wansbeck, near Morpeth. It was demolished by order 
of Edward II., in consequence of the treasonable practices 
of Gilbert Middleton, the then owner. Little more than 
a mere fragment now remains, as may be seen from the 

of JHitfrrlr. 

sketch we have taken from a photograph by Mr. John 
Worsnop, of Rothbury. The immense thickness of the 
walls of the ruin, however, still attest the vast strength 
of the edifice in its prime. 

The Mitfords were possessed of the vill and lordship 
from which they derived their name as early as the time 
of Edward the Confessor. This, says Mackenzie, is 
proved by undeniable evidence. When the Normans had 

June, \ 
1887. I 



effected the conquest of England, Sybile, the only daugh- 
ter and heir of Sir John Mitford, was given in marriage 
by William I. to Sir Richard Bertram, one of the adven- 
turers who had come over with him. The issue of this 
union was two sons, William and Roger, the eldest of 
whom succeeded to the manor and castle of Mitford and 
its dependencies, which were erected into a barony by 
Henry I. At times the castle and manor of Mitford have 
passed out of Mitford hands ; but they have always been 
recovered again by the family, as when Henry III. 
restored the barony to Roger Bertram, and when William 
Lord Brough, in Queen Mary's reign, " granted to Cuth- 
bert Mitford, and to his son Robert, for ever, all his lands 
at Mitford, reserving only to himself the scite of the 
<!astle and the royalties, which castle and royalties, 
being in the crown in the reign of King Charles II., 
were granted by his Majesty to Robert Mitford, Esq." 

As might be expected, so ancient a family as the Mit- 
fords has produced many remarkable characters. Some 
of these are mentioned in the following pages. The pre- 
sent representative of the family is Colonel John Philip 
Osbaldeston Mitford. 


One of the most eccentric characters of his day was 
John Mitford, commonly known as "drunken Jack 
Mitford," who died in St. Giles's Parish Workhouse, 
London, in December, 1831. He was born at Mitford 
Castle, near Morpeth, and was nearly related to the 
celebrated Mary Russell Mitford (authoress of "Our 
Village"), William Mitford (author of a "History of 
Greece"), and John Mitford, Earl of Redesdale. His 
father was John Mitford, of Low Espley Hall, brother 
of Bertram Mitford of Mitford. 

The younger son of a younger son, he entered the 
navy as a midshipman, and fought under Hood and 
Nelson. He was present at the battle of the Nile, and 
in many other engagements ; and honourable mention 
was more than once made of his name, as having per- 
formed gallant feats. After the general peace, how- 
ever, he seems to have left the service, and taken up 
the profession of a man about town, for which his 
natural disposition well fitted him. Fond of gay com- 
pany, fond of dress (so much so that he was called "a 
nautical fop"), passionately devoted to good living, 
freely indulging in the bottle, void of the barest rudi- 
mentary idea of economy, as selfish as he was inconsi- 
derate, he was the double in most respects of his rela- 
tive, Dr. Mitford, whose story will be related in subse- 
quent pages. 

Jack was a respectable classical scholar, and possessed 
some literary ability ; but, instead of devoting his talents 
to any useful purpose, he prostituted them to the lowest 
ends. Drink, drink, drink ! became his besetment, and 
from the day it did so his ignoble fate was sealed. For 

the last fourteen years of his life, " he had not where to 
lay his head," and we are told that he has been heard to 
say that, if his soul were placed on one table and a bottle 
of gin on another, he would sell the former to taste the 

Lord Redesdale, who, as we have said, was his near 
relative, took care to provide for his poor neglected wife 
and children, who must otherwise have been reduced to 
beg their bread, or go into the workhouse. For many 
years, Jack lived by chance on what he could pick up 
for odd jobs, and he slept o'nights in the open air, when 
his finances did not admit of his paying threepence for 
the teuantcy of a miserable den in St. Giles's. He was 
as ragged as an Irish beggar, and so dirty and loathsome 
that no decent persons would let him come into their 
house. A hundred efforts were made to reclaim him, 
but without avail. A printer and publisher named 
Elliot, who came from Northumberland like himself, 
pitying his wretched condition, once took him into his 
house, and endeavoured to make him decent. For a few 
days Jack was kept sober, and there seemed some slight 
hope of his reclamation. But a relative having lent him 
a suit of clothes, which enabled him to make a respect- 
able appearance, he soon broke through all restraint, 
went again "upon the loose," and fell into his former 
habits, as bad as ever. Mr. Elliot had got him to under- 
take editing a cheap periodical, called the Bon Ton 
Gazette, the profits of which, it was expected, would pay 
for his board and lodging ; but he was obliged, so long 
as the work continued, to keep Jack in a place, half 
kitchen, half cellar, where, with a loose grate tolerably 
filled, a candle, and a bottle of gin, he passed his days, 
and, with the covering of an old carpet, his 
nights never issuing from his lair but when the 
bottle was empty. Sometimes he got furious with 
the drink, and his shoes had to be taken from 
him to prevent his migrating. When they would 
not at once bring him a fresh supply, he would run out 
with his feet bare to the nearest gin shop ; and he has 
been known to take off his coat and sell it for half a pint 
of gin, even in the depth of winter. Having had a hand- 
some pair of Wellington boots given to him by some 
good Samaritan, he immediately sold them for a shilling. 
The fellow who bought them of him put them in pawn 
for fifteen shillings, and came back in triumph with the 
money. " Ah ! " said Jack, with a self-congratulatory 
shrug, "but you went out in the cold for it." 

Before he had sunk so very low, but was fairly on the 
inclined plane leading to beggary, he edited a satirical 
journal called The Scourge ; and at the time of his death 
he was editing another scurrilous penny production 
called the Quizzical Gazette. The titles are sufficient to 
indicate the nature of the contents of both. He was 
latterly employed, we are told, "by publishers of a 
certain description," by which epithet, we suppose, such 
miscreants as the Society for the Suppression of Vice 




\ 1SS7. 

aims at keeping in check are meant to be designated. 
On the same authority we learn that, " notwithstanding 
his habits, he was employed by some religious pub- 
lishers," a fact which, taken in connection with the 
other, is curiously significant, if only from a psycho- 
logical point of view. 

Mitford was likewise the author of a nautical novel, 
to some extent autobiographical, called " Johnny New- 
come in the Navy." The publisher of this work gave 
him a shilling a day until he finished it. Incredible as 
it may appear, he lived the whole of this time in Bays- 
water Fields, making a bed at night of grass and 
nettles. Two pennyworth of bread and cheese and an 
onion were his daily food ; the rest of the shilling he 
spent on gin. Thus did he pass forty-three days, 
washing his shirt and stockings himself in a pond, when 
he required clean linen. 

At the time when the Duke of Clarence came to the 
throne, as William the Fourth, he wrote a song " The 
King is a True British Sailor " to suit the prevailing 
taste. He managed to sell the manuscript to seven 
different publishers, and thus got an extra supply of 
gin. The ditty was very popular, and had a good run 
in the concert halls ; but all the grist it brought to the 
author's mill was some three or four half-crowns, which 
were speedily liquidated. 

A short time before his death he was admitted into St. 
Giles's Workhouses, through the instrumentality of Mr. 
James Green, of Wills's Coffee House, Portugal Street, 
London, who had been a brother officer of his, and had 
fought with him under Nelson. The following (copied 
from Sykes) is a copy of the last letter he ever wrote, 
addressed to one who had some hand in getting him into 
the house : 

SIR, I have been so changeable in my state, that 
sometimes I have not strength to hold a pen to thank you 
for the very great kindness I have experienced at your 
hands. The doctor is very humane and attentive, for I 
cannot forget what a wretched beggar I was for any of 
you to notice. My breath will never recover, and I 
firmly believe my lungs are decaying fast ; but I hope to 
get round and live yet a few years on Lord Redesdale's 
munificence, and my earthly saviour, Mr. Green's care. 
He said he would leave another sovereign but I have no 
extravagances to gratify ; fruits and other light things are 
all that I require ; paper, pens, &c. I wish to go as near 
the mark as possible, as I place no faith in my future 
hopes. The nurse is truly honest, and accounts to me for 
every penny. Mr. Green, perhaps, mentioned to you 
about some clothes for me to sit up in, which I am sure 
would hasten my recovery. He thought he had an old 
dressing gown. If you, sir, can favour me with your 
assistance on this great point, it will be an additional 
obligation conferred on an improvident poor wretch, who 
had no hope of twenty-four hours' life when you received 
him into this benevolent asylum. I am, sir, your truly 
obliged and obedient, humble servant, 


The miserable man, who did not long survive, was 
buried at the expense of his friend, Mr. Green, or of his 
relative, Lord Redesdale, in St. Giles's Churchyard, on 
the 30th of December, 1831. The funeral was " of a most 
respectable description," and a considerable sum of 

money was given to the parish paupers by the noble lord, 
who likewise provided for the wife and family of the 

Andrews, in his "History of British Journalism," 
characterises the subject of this memoir very pithily as 
"a poor, idle, straying, wilful, clever sot," who lived by 
his wits, and "left at his death not even a shadow upon 
the Christmas hearth of a friend." When he fell into his 
grave, he adds, he "tumbled none of the Christmas 
embers of his family to pieces." 

If all tales be true, Mitford had tried, among other shifts, 
Jonathan Wild's gentlemanly occupation in] his time ; 
for the writer of his obituary notice in the Annual 
Register says: "His name will be remembered in con- 
nection with Lady Perclval, in the Blackheath affair." 
To which Sykes adds : "For his share in which he was 
tried, but acquitted." 

Pr. |ttitforo ant) fyijs Paagljter. 

The father of Mary Russell Mitford belonged, like 
"Drunken Jack," to the Mitfords of Mitford. He 
was a man of incurable spendthrift habits of an 
over-sanguine and viciously speculative turn careless 
injudicious, and helpless to a degree moreover, 
coarse, showy, and profligate his talk having been, as 
we are told, " too often an offence, not to be tolerated in 
our day, when men have advanced beyond the brutish 
themes and language of Parson Trulliber's and Squire 
Western's table eloquence." 

Educated at Edinburgh to be a physician, Mitford 
became assistant to a notorious quack, whose career will 
be presently described. His regular practice was never of 
much account ; but, being what the French call "a man 
of lady's favours," and esteemed by those nearest him 
"the handsomest and cheerfulest of men," he married, 
at the age of twenty-five, a wife of thirty-six, the 
daughter of the Rev. Dr. Russell, of Overtown St. 
Mary, Hampshire, and the mistress of 28,000. This 
lady, "nobly connected, but somewhat characterless," 
was a gentlewoman in temperament as well as birth, 
"good-tempered, affectionate, and rather weak." Dr. 
Mitford and his wife settled in a nice house at 
Alresford, six or seven miles from Winchester, and 
thus became the near neighbour of Sir Henry Tich- 
borne, Bart., whose family became involved in the great 
litigation known as the Tichborne Case. There he 
immediately entered on an "eat, and drink, and be 
merry" sort of life, till he ran through his own money 
and his wife's, too, save and except 3,500, vested in the 
Funds, which the lady's trustee, dreading the upshot of 
the doctor's extravagance, would not give up. Being a 
schemer in bubble companies, which promised fairly to 
return cent, per cent, on the outlay, and a gambler in 
London whist clubs, where thousands of pounds sterling 
might be gained in a night, Dr. Mitford was always on 

June. \ 
1867. I 



the point of achieving a princely fortune. But at the end 
of nine or ten years of improvident living, the house 
at Alresford had to be given up, books and furniture were 
brought to the hammer, and the Mitfords removed to 
Lyme Regis, whence after a year, they went to London, 
where, at one time, they lived within the rules of the 
King's Bench prison. 

It was while her parents lived at Alresford that Mary 
Russell Mitford was born, in the month of December, 
1787. She gave early signs of precocity in memory, in 
quickness, and in avidity to learn. Her father used to 
"perch her on the breakfast table," when she was only 
three years old, in order that his guests might be edified 
by her reading racy paragraphs from the newspapers, and 
reciting the woeful ballad of "The Babes in the Wood." 
She was little more than eight years of age, when the 
family had to pay the penalty of her father's shameless 
extravagance, by taking refuge with him, as above stated, 
within the dismal walls of a debtor's prison. From this 
disgrace they were delivered by a strange freak of for- 
tune. Lotteries were still lawful in those days in the 
United Kingdom, as they still are in some of the Con- 
tinental States; and a friend presented little Mary 
Russell, on her tenth birthday, with a Dublin lottery 
ticket, of a particular number suggested by herself, 
which turned up a prize of 20,000. This windfall a 
conscientious father would have safely invested for his 
daughter's use. But nothing was further from Dr. 
Mitford's thoughts. He had no more scruple in 
spending his child's money than his wife's. He bought 
for a few hundred pounds of tho miraculously gotten 
money an old country houso close to Reading, called 
Graseley Court, in the midst of a pretty, pastoral 
country. It was of Elizabethan date, with wainscoted 
parlour, oriel window, high architectural chimney-piece 
adorned with busts and coats of arms, and a fine 
oaken staircase. There were two secret rooms, in 
which old priests and cavaliers had occasionally taken 
refuge ; but the place, though picturesque and con- 
venient, was altogether a good deal out of repair. 
Instead of restoring it, Dr. Mitford pulled it down, 
and built on its site, at a lavish cost, a tasteless red 
brick edifice, which he styled Bertram House. The 
doctor here set up a carriage, kept horses and grey- 
hounds, and lived the roystering life of an independent 
country gentleman. 

Little Mary was placed at a fashionable boarding 
school, kept in Hans Place, Chelsea, by a pair of 
French emigrants, assisted by an English lady, Mrs. 
Rowden, who took her pupils to the theatre, and 
turned their minds strongly in the direction of the 
drama. As a part of their tuition, they danced ballets 
and acted plays, and likewise composed verses, as their 
governess herself did. This clever lady, we are told, 
numbered among her pupils, at different times, besides 
Miss Mitford, such feminine celebrities as Miss 

Landon (L. E. L.), Fanny Kemble, and Lady Caroline 
Lamb, so that she may be said to have trained quite 
a bevy of literary ladies. Mary readily learned every- 
thing, except music, comprised in the curriculum of 
the school; but music she could never be brought to 
relish. She read all manner of books with great 
avidity, and wrote continually to her parents, who, In 
return, sent her the small talk of Reading, details of 
the doctor's whist club, coursing, &c. Her letters 
showed no common talent, though such terms as "dear 
old boy," "mum," "trumper," &c., addressed to her 
easy-tempered, affectionate, but woefully weak parents, 
manifested no iota of filial reverence. 

Miss Mitford, leaving school in the year 1802, 
went home to enjoy a country life, including dancing 
at the county race balls, hare-hunting, whist playing, 
accompanying her mother in a green chariot to make 
morning calls, and, to keep up her literary taste, 
"lying for hours on the sofa, reading novels at the 
rate of two volumes a day," besides, we will hope, 
better books. She is described at this time as "a fat, 
fair girl, with abundance of light curls." 

Dr. Mitford, it would seem, was soon surfeited of 
home pleasures, and found ho needed something much 
more exciting than either coursing or a quiet hand at 
whist with^his honest Berkshire neighbours. What was 
presumed to bo important business often took him 
away to London, where he was in the habit of making 
long stays, leaving his wife and daughter to their own 
meditations. The fact was, he was passionately 
addicted to play, and a dabbler in speculations which 
at length involved him in a chancery suit a thing 
then almost synonymous with ruin, after a weary 
interval of hope deferred. 

In the autumn of 1806, he brought his daughter (then 
nearly nineteen) to visit his family connections in the 
North, "doubtless influenced by the natural vanity of 
introducing her to his relations, and of letting her see 
the position in his native county which those relations 
held." He had a cousin, named Alice, daughter of 
Mr. George Mitford, surgeon, Morpeth, and heir to 
her great-uncle, Gawen Aynsley, of Little Harle 
Tower, who was .married at Reading, in 1793, to Lord 
Charles Murray, fifth son of the third Duke of Athole, 
and Dean of Hocking, who assumed the name of 
Aynsley by king's sign-manual after the marriage 
ceremony. Lord and Lady Charles were very friendly 
to their showy cousin and his interesting charge, and 
postponed a visit to Alnwick Castle in order to take 
the young lady there, as well as to Lord Grey's, at 
Howick, and other places worth seeing. The party 
started from Little Harle, full-dressed, at eleven 
o'clock in the forenoon, travelled thirty miles of 
dreadful road to the castle, and arrived barely in time 
for the five o'clock dinner. As soon as the visit bad 
taken place, Miss Mitford wrote a glowing account of 




it to her mother, telling her how she had kept her 
front hair in papers on the road, was not at all 
rumpled, and wore a beautiful set of Lady Charles's 
ornaments, and how she was received with particular 
distinction by the beautiful duchess and her charming 
daughters, the youngest of whom, Lady Emily Percy, 
never left her the whole day. "We sat down sixty- 
five to dinner, and I was within three of the duchess," 
she wrote. After dinner, Lady Emily showed her the 
state rooms, and the duchess finished by carrying her 
and Lady Charles to the Sessions Ball, where, how- 
ever, Miss Mitford declined to dance. They left at 
half-past ten, in consideration of their long journey 
homewards, and in course of time discovered that they 
had come about six miles out of their way. Lord 
Charles and a footman were obliged to walk before the 
carriage with candles until they found a cross country 
road. The party did not reach home till seven o'clock in 
the morning. "Seventy miles, a splendid dinner, and 
a ball, all in one day !" At eighteen, such adventures 
and misadventures are delightful. 

Dr. Mitford, having started off his daughter among 
his grand relations, took advantage of a summons 
from an election agent to leave her abruptly and 
return home. She was excessively annoyed, and wrote 
him a most peremptory exposulation, telling him every- 
body was surprised, and adding, "I call upon mamma's 
sense of propriety to send you back directly." How- 
ever, the doctor took his own time, as he always did. 

Before she was twenty years of age, "clever Miss 
Mitford," as she had come to be styled, published 
three volumes of poetry, stated in the preface to have 
been "composed with the applause of many friends." 
One of the longest pieces was " Sybille, a Northumbrian 
Tale," the scene of which was laid on the banks of 
the Wansbeck, near the old castle of her paternal 
ancestors, while the catastrophe may have been taken 
from Southey's beautiful episode of Lai la in "Thalaba," 
published in 1801. None of them were worth much ; 
but they met with rougher treatment at the hands 
of the Quarterly Review (November, 1810) than their 
juvenile elements justified. The young lady's least 
great sin, in the critic's eye, was her hav- 
ing ventured to intrude into "the thorny and 
barren field of politics, so unfavourable to the 
laurel of Parnassus," and having penned sundry 
" epainetic or commendatory " verses, praising certain 
flaming " patriots " of the day, such as Mr. Wardle and 
Lord Folkstone, as well as Pratt the " Gleaner " and her 
own father. Such as they were, Miss Mitford's first 
poetical essays brought her neither praise nor pudding ; 
and the rebuffs she met with from cautious publishers and 
captious stage-play licensers, as well as from carping 
critics, would probably have deterred any other woman 
from deliberately adopting literature as a profession. 

Cheated and overreached by a set of black-legs, and 

involved in litigations from which there appeared no out- 
let, Dr. Mitford gradually sank his family into im- 
poverishment : so that in the end they were obliged to 
remove from their twenty years' home, where they had at 
first lived in affluence, but latterly with a severe economy 
and a constant struggle against ruin. Taxes had fallen 
into arrears ; tradesmen refused to serve on credit ; and 
on one occasion Mrs. Mitford thanked her husband grate- 
fully for sending her ten pounds, which would go towards 
paying the baker and butcher. Footman, lady's-maid, 
chariot, horses, had one after another been parted with ; 
and every picture that adorned the walls was either taken 
by creditors' agents, at their own price, or sent up to town 
in a hurry to be sold by auction. 

In April, 1820, the family shifted into a cottage at 
Three Mile Cross, a pleasant little village on the borders 
of Berkshire and Hampshire. This humble dwelling 
Miss Mitford cheerfully described as " a messuage or 
tenement," on the turnpike road, consisting of a series of 
small rooms, the largest of which might be about eight 
feet square, standing between a public-house and a 
village shop, and facing a cobbler's. Behind was a 
garden, which she soon made a wilderness of sweets, and 
a long shed, which was soon made half green-house, 
half summer parlour. Here family love in a cottage was 
felt by her to be a blessed exchange for Bertram 
House shorn of its respectability, where her mother, 
who was become a careful manager, had at last 
implored in vain for even a one-pound note, as they were 
actually in want of bread. But for the funded 3,000, 
which the trustee refused to sell out, and a field large 
enough to save Dr. Mitford's franchise for the county, 
they had absolutely nothing left when they entered this 
new abode, with respect to which Miss Mitford wrote as 
follows : "I expect we shall be much benefited by this 
squeeze, though at present it sits upon us as uneasily as a 
pair of tight stays, and is just as awkward-looking. In- 
deed, my great objection to a small room always was its 
extreme unbecomingness to one of my enormity. I really 
seem to fill it like a blackbird in a goldfinch's cage. 
The parlour looks all me." But she afterwards wrote : 
"It is within reach of my dear old walks, the banks 
where I find my violets, the meadows full of cowslips, 
and the woods where the wood-sorrel grows." In- 
deed, every lane and field, and almost every nook and 
corner of the country round, every house and cottage, 
and almost every person in the neighbourhood, had long 
been familiar to her, through her daily long walks, which 
insensibly qualified her for the writing of those delightful 
descriptive sketches of English rural scenery and rustic 
life, which she afterwards gave to the world in " Our 
Village." Some of the earlier essays of what ultimately 
formed this classic work, which we can now read and 
re-read with unabated pleasure, were offered to the 
author of " The Pleasures of Hope," when he was editor 
of the jffcw Monthly Magazine, but peremptorily rejected, 

June, \ 
1887. / 



as being beneath the dignity of the periodical he con- 
ducted, and it was only after other rebuffs that they were 
fain to take shelter in the Lady's Magazine. Here their 
freshness, geniality, and faithfulness were recognised, 
and Miss Mitford, nothing loth, was called upon to 
publish them in a collected form. 

While Miss Mitford was writing incessantly to keep 
the wolf from the door, her poor infatuated father was a 
constant trouble to her. He was so inconsiderate and 
improvident that he was ever and anon making some 
foolish bargain, or getting into some awkward embroglio, 
from which his devoted daughter had to do her best to 
get him off scot-free. Publishers, moreover, failed oc- 
casionally ; one of them absconded ; and though she by- 
and-by got very good prices for her writings consisting 
of dramatic pieces chiefly, a three-volume novel named 
"Belford Regis," "Stories of Country Life," &c. yet 
she may be said to have been generally writing under a 
pressure of anxiety which left her not a moment's rest. 
Her mother became a confirmed invalid, almost fatuous, 
and her father, though a most kind and valuable nurse 
to her, was of little service in any other way ; besides 
that, his absolute inertness in ordinary matters an 
obstinacy in going on in the same way, difficult to 
describe compelled Miss Mitford to acquiesce in a way 


of living which, however inexpensive, was more than 
they oould afford, for fear of disturbing and killing her 
imbecile mother, now nearly eighty years of age. 

After Mrs. Mitford's death, which took place on New 
Year's Day, 1830, her excellent daughter devoted herself 
to her remaining parent ; and for the next twelve years 
he was her constant care. She was worried sometimes 
by invitations she could not accept, and visitors she 
could ill spare time to entertain. She needed the pro- 
ceeds of authorship, and yet had no leisure for it, except 
at night, after she had been reading to her father for 

hours. Yet injudicious or encroaching people "every 
idle person within twenty miles" would drop in for a 
little chat, and fancy they were doing her a kindness. 
Seven carriages might be seen at once at the door of the 
little cottage. 

Dr. Mitford's sight had failed him, so that he could 
not read, and though he took his place on the magis- 
terial bench every week, so that people could not 
. believe him the wreck he was, the ensuing reaction 
brought on alternate weakness and feverish irritability, 
very hard for both father and daughter to bear. 
Miss Mitford's devotion to him still increased ; and 
then he told people " his treasure was wearing 
herself out." It is a long lane, however, that has 
no turning ; and the too amiable man was fated to leave 
this wicked world before he had quite accomplished his 
daughter's premature end. He died in November, 1842, 
considerably in debt, and Miss Mitford thereupon wrote : 
"Every body shall be paid, if I sell my gown off my back, 
or pledge my little pension " At the suggestion of 
friends, a subscription was raised, headed by the Queen, 
to meet these liabilities. Then came leisure, rest, and 
listlessness. At fifty-five, Miss Mitford's health was 
completely broken. 

About three years before her death, she was hurt by 
the accidental overturning of her pony chaise, and thence- 
forth she was pretty much confined to her house ; but 
through her prolonged and hopeless suffering she retained 
her wonted cheerfulness, and even her old industry was 
continued, as she occupied herself, whenever able to work, 
in revising for a new edition the singularly fascinating 
work on which her fame is chiefly founded, "Our 
Village," and also in writing and compiling others. 

A pension, from the limited sum at the disposal of the 
Ministry, was accorded to her, with every gracious recog- 
nition of her claims. But the relief and ease came to her, 
BO to say, only a few brief hours before sunset. She was 
compelled, by the falling to ruin of the cottage at Three 
Mile Cross, to remove to a less comfortless home at Swal- 
lowfield, a few miles beyond it ; and there her death took 
place on the 10th of January, 1855, amid regrets aa 
general as they were sincere. 

Pr. (Sraljatn, tlje 

Dr. Mitford, as we have said, was at one time asso- 
ciated with a famous quack doctor a sort of Cagliostro, 
who operated in London and the provinces, including 
the North of England. 

T.his was a Scotchman named Graham, who dubbed 
himself Dr. Graham, though of what college or uni- 
versity, British or foreign, it would be hard to tell. He 
had a brother who became the second husband of Mrs. 
Catherine Macaulay, the author of a " History of 
England," in eight or nine octavo volumes, much vaunted 
by Horace Walpole, but now relegated to our library 
shelves, though written to serve the interests of Repub- 





licanism, Mrs. Macaulay being a sister of Alderman Saw- 
bridge, one of the most ardent Radicals of the last 
century. In or about 1780, Dr. Graham opened what he 
called a "Temple of Health," in a central house in the 
Adelphi Terrace, London, in which he expatiated nightly 
on the advantages of electricity and magnetism in the 
treatment of all the ills that flesh is heir to. The 
rooms were stuffed with glass globes, marble statues, 
medico-electric apparatus, figures of dragons, stained 
glass, and other theatrical properties ; while the air was 
drugged with incense, and the ear charmed with the 
strains of music. He also knew the attractive virtue of 
advertisements ; and the columns of the Morning 
Chronicle, the Morning Post, and the Morning Herald, 
then the only daily papers, bore frequent testimony to 
his transcendent abilities, which the iwhole world could 
not match. In one of these announcements, he professed 
to be able to explain " the whole art of enjoying health 
and vigour of body and mind, and of preserving and 
exalting personal beauty and loveliness; or, in other 
words, of living with health, honour, and happiness in 
the world, for at least a hundred years." No wonder, 
then that his rooms were well frequented daily by rich 
persons anxious to live to a patriarchal age, and mean- 
while to get rid of those maladies, more or less painful, 
which a violation of some natural law had superinduced. 

One of the doctor's means for ensuring health and 
longevity was the frequent use of mud batns : and that it 
might be evident that he practised what he preached, or 
that there could be no humbug in the matter, he was to 
be seen, in his garden, on stated occasions, immersed in 
mud to the chin, and accompanied by a lady to 
whom he gave the name of Vestina, Goddess of Health. 
This was no other than the notorious Emma Lyon, 
also known as Emma Hart, who afterwards be- 
came celebrated as the second wife of Sir William 
Hamilton, the British Ambassador at Naples, and 
the fascinating Cleopatra who infatuated Lord Nelson. 
While sitting in the mud-bath, she had her hair 
elaborately dressed in the prevailing fashion, with 
powder, flowers, feathers, and strings of pearls ; and 
the doctor, her companion of the order, appeared in an 
equally elaborate full-bottomed wig. Besides this novel 
bath, which was itself a sight to see, Graham erected 
in one of his sumptuously furnished apartments a 
Celestial bed, the virtues of which were such that it 
secured to any barren pair who lay in it for one night 
a beautiful progeny. One hundred pounds was the 
price at which this marvellous night's lodging could 
be obtained not a farthing less ; the mud-baths cost 
a guinea each ; and a competent supply of the elixir 
of life, prepared by the doctor's own hands, and 
certified to preserve those who drank it in health 
and vigour till they were at least a century old, 
barring accidents, could be had by [the payment of 
a thousand pounds in advance. Half the English 

nobility, we are told, patronised this miracle-working 
professor, who was in a fair way to become as rich as 
Croesus, if his expenses had not unfortunately been 
as great as his income; for he would soon have had 
no patients able to pay such enormous fees as he 
exacted, if he had not taken care to keep up a princely 
appearance in his establishment. 

From the Adelphi. Dr. Graham removed to Schomberg 
House, Pall Mall, which he converted, like his former 
abode, into a "Temple of Health and Hymen," most 
magnificently fitted up. Five shillings was the charge 
for admission ; yet it was crowded, day after day, by a 
charmed audience, to whom his impudent lectures on 
the ineffable secrets of Nature afforded a prurient 
excitement One of his audacious puffs ran as follows : 

If there be one human being, rich or poor, male or 
female, in or near this great metropolis of the world, who 
has not had the good fortune and the happiness of hear- 
ing the celebrated lecture, and of seeing the grand, 
celebrated State-bed, the magnificent electrical apparatus, 
and the supremely brilliant and unique decorations of this 
magical edifice, of this enchanting Elysian palace, where 
wit and mirth, love and beauty all that can delight the 
soul, and all that can ravish the senses will hold their 
court, this, and every evening this week, in choice and 
joyous assemblage, let them now come forth, or for ever 
afterwards let them blame themselves, and bewail their 
irremediable misfortune. 

Graham engaged the services of two gigantic porters, 
whom he stationed at the door in the showiest liveries 
covered with gold lace, and when off duty here it was 
part of their business to distribute bills from house to 
house about town, donned in the same grand costume, 
with enormous cocked hats. The front of the Temple 
was ornamented with a large gilt sun, a statue of 
Hygeia, and other attractive emblems. All the rooms 
were superbly furnished, and lighted up at night with 
large wax candles ; the walls were decorated with 
mirrors, so as to confer on the place an effect like that 
of an enchanted palace, such as one reads of in the 
"Arabian Nights." The doctor alternated his lectures 
with those of the "Goddess of Health," which were 
even more attractive than his own, and here is the style 
in which he advertised them : 

Vestina, the rosy goddess of health, presides at the 
evening lecture, assisting at the display of the celestial 
meteors, and of that sacred vital fire over which she 
watches, and whose application in the cure of diseases 
she daily has the honour of directing. The descriptive 
exhibition of her apparatus in the daytime is conducted 
by the officiating junior priest. 

The latter functionary was Dr. Mitford, whose story 
has just been related. 

London is a world in itself of incalculable wealth ; yet 
vast as it is, both in population and riches, it was too 
narrow a field to afford perennial nutriment to Dr. 
Graham's establishment. The unusual means he em- 
ployed to excite curiosity was successful for several 
years, but his two guinea audience could not be kept up 
for ever. So when that high main seam was exhausted, 
he dropped his price to one guinea; afterwards to half 

June, 1 
1887. f 



a guinea ; then to five shillings ; subsequently, as he said, 
"for the benefit of all, "to two shillings and sixpence; 
and, finally, when he could not "draw" at that reduced 
price, he exhibited the Temple at one shilling a head to 
daily crowds for several months. He, moreover, reverted 
to his earth-bathing practice, admitting spectators, 
during one hour every day, to view him and the 
Goddess of Health immersed naked in the ground to 
their chins. 

Finding that the great metropolis was at length 
beginning to fail him, Dr. Graham made a grand tour 
through England and Scotland, carrying his exhibition 
to every provincial town wherein he could obtain per- 
mission of the magistrates. The goddess, it is said, 
nearly fell a victim to the ante-mortem inhumation prac- 
tice, instead of drawing new life from it, like Antieus 
the Libyan giant ; and she, therefore, about this time 
parted company with her ^sculapian confederate. 

The doctor, on his way down to Edinburgh, of the 
University of which a writer in Hone's "Table Book" 
says he was a graduate, visited the principal towns in the 
North of England, including York, Darlington, Durham, 
Newcastle, Sunderland, &c. 

While in Newcastle, he exhibited the proper mode of 
administering the earth-bath, and lectured on its efficacy 
in the cure of diseases, having himself and a young 
woman, troubled with a scorbutic disorder, placed naked 
in the earth and covered up to their lips, in a field adjoin- 
ing Hanover Square, from twelve o'clock at noon till six 
in the evening. The same performance, but with two 
young women, seems to have been repeated in a garden 
outside the West Gate. Crowds of curious onlookers 
came to be delighted or shocked by the sight ; and in the 
evenings the doctor's magniloquent lectures were well 
attended likewise. 

A similar exhibition was given at Sunderland. Some 
years ago, a correspondent wrote to the Weekly 
Chronicle that one of the gentlemen who took the earth- 
bath in Sunderland was a medical practitioner named 
George Wilkinson. Dr. Wilkinson is, of course, long 
since dead. The place selected for the experimen , was a 
garden, then in the possession of Mr. William Wiseman, 
situate in High Street, behind the Sans Street Wesleyan 
Chapel. A local wag perpetrated the following joke at 
the time : 

When George into the earth descended, 
" Mother, behold thy son ! " he cried. 
The matron, at the claim offended, 
The little stinking object eyed ; 
Then out the dirty thing she threw ; 
Indignant wrath her bosom stung. 
" No son of mine," she said, " art thou : 
My sons are dust, but thou art dung ! " 

The old taunt "Physician, heal thyself ! "might 
have been pertinently launched against this Scotcn Cag- 
liostro. For in spite of the Elixir of Life, by taking 
which, he averred, a person might live as long as he 

pleased, Dr. Graham died in the neighbourhood of 
Glasgow, very poor, at the age of fifty-two. 

A sister of Graham's, we are told, became the wife of 
Dr. Thomas Arnold, a respectable Scottish physician 
settled in Leicester, who devoted himself to the investi- 
gation of mental disease, and published, in 1782, an able 
treatise entitled "Observations on the Nature, Kinds. 
Causes, and Prevention of Insanity." 

Two advertisements which appeared in the Newcastle 
Chronicle at the time of Graham's visit to the North will 
give a further insight into the methods the quack 
adopted to influence the credulous of the last century. 

(From the Newcastle Chronicle, July 9, 1791. ) 


In the Old Assembly-Room, in the Groat Market, New- 
castle, on Friday and Saturday evenings, 8tk and 9th of 
July, 1791, at Half-past Seven o'clock, and on Monday 
evenin'j, llth, for positively the very last time, 

PROPOSES to deliver a curious and most important 
Lecture (of about two Hours long) on the most 
natural and most certain Means of preserving perfect and 
uninterrupted bodily Health and Strength and the 
clearest and most delightful mental Sunshine and 
Serenity, till the very longest possible Period of our 
mortal Existence. 

In this very curious and important Eccentrically-Con- 
centric, Medical, Philosophical, Political, and Econo- 
mical LECTURE, will be condensed and exhibited a most 
simple, reasonable, and complete 

System of Health, long Life, and Happiness, 
In which the great and often fatal Errors that Mankind 
are almost continually committing in regard to Air, 
Food, Drink, Situation of Houses, Nature and Placing of 
Beds, Hours of Rest and Exercising, Sea and other 
Hathing, Evacuations, fashionable Indulgences, Passions 
of the Mind, &c., will be clearly and convincingly pointed 
out and reprehended ; or, in a word, Dr. GKAHAM will 
endeavour to lead his Audience gently and affectionately 
by the Hand along the sweet, simple, and obvious Paths 
of great, venerable, ever-constant, ever-young, ever-beau- 
tiful, and all blessing NATURE ! and of consequent tem- 
poral Happiness, up to that everlasting Felicity which we 
all hope tinally to obtain. 

Ladies and Gentlemen who are desirous to be informed 
of the absolutely infallible Secret of avoiding the Dangers 
<>{ damp and infected Beds, and against even the Possibility 
of receiving infectious Diseases of any Kind, are requested 
to come early. 

** Dr. G. will be particularly attentive not to utter 
any Thing that can possibly give even the smallest olfence 
',o the most delicate female Ear; and he holies now to be 
honoured with large Companies of Ladies, as well as of 
liberal Gentlemen. 

N.B. In order that the Time and Pocket of the Public 
may be taxed by Dr. GKAHAM as little as possible, in 
these Days of universal and intolerable taxing by the 
.State, and by our still more unreasonable and imperious 
Tax-masters our own inordinate Austs and Passions, he 
will condense into one Lecture of Two Hours more 
curious, eccentric, practical, and highly-important 
Matter than can be found, perhaps, in any Academical 
Course of six Months; yet the admission will be only 
to the Gallery. 

Dr. G. was honoured with the following Note the Day 
after his last Lecture at Edinburgh. 

SIR, Tho' last Night you disconcerted the Curls ot my Wig by 
declaiming against wearing them, I cannot avoid testifying my 
hearty Approbation of your Lecture. It is far more valuable than 
some of my Acquaintance, who have not heard it, give it Credit 
for being Your printed Recommendation of it has the Air of a 
Puff- but it is justly entitled to all the Recommendation you give 
of it, as I am confident every Gentleman of Candour and good 
Sense will acknowledge who does himself the favour of hearing it 
and it may be heard by the chastest Ear. PHILANTHKOPOS. 

It is earnestly requested that those Persons who labour 



< Jnne, 

1 1SS7. 

under any Disease, Weakness, Swellings, Sores, or Lame- 
ness, in this or the neighbouring Towns or Counties, 
which have baffled the Skill of other Physicians or 
Surgeons, will be very speedy in their Applications to 
Dr. Graham, as he proposes very soon to return to, and 
settle at, Edinburgh ; for if this opportunity of being 
cured be neglected, they may regret, with unavailing 
Anguish of Heart, that perhaps the only Person in the 
World who could have restored them, under God ! to 
perfect Health, Soundness, and Strength, is then so far 
distant from them. 

Dr. G. lodges, as usual, at the House of the late Mrs. 
Pearson, nearly opposite Mr. Brodie's ; and his Stay in 
Newcastle will be but very short. 

N.B. for the Benefit of the Country People who attend 
Newcaitle Market, 

Dr. G. and the young Woman will give one more 
Earth-Bathing Exhibition this Day, being Saturday, 
July 9th, most positively for the last Time, from 
Twelve at Noon till Six o'Clock in the Evening, in the 
large and commodious Field at the side of Hanover 
Square, Newcastle in order emphatically to recommend 
this most natural, most safe, and most radically effi- 
cacious Practice to the World in general, especially to 
Country People. 

(From the Newcastle Chronicle, July, 16, 1791.) 
By the earnest and repeated desire of many. 

FOR the Satisfaction of the Inhabitants of Newcastle 
and Gateshead who have not seen the EAKTH- 
BATHING, and for the Benefit of the Country People 
who attend Newcastle Market, 

Dr. GRAHAM, Physician, from Edinburgh, 
and two young Women, will give two more Earth- 
bathing Exhibitions on Friday and on Saturday, the 
15th and 16th of July (most positively for the last 
Time), from Twelve at Noon till Eight o'Clock in the 
Evening, in Mr. MUSGRAVE'S GARDEN, to the Left, 
without West-Gate, Newcastle, in order emphatically 
to recommend this most natural, most safe, and most 
radically efficacious Practice to the World in general, 
especially to Country People ; by which, could Dr. G. 
persuade diseased or decaying Persons, in general, to 
be wise enough to adopt it, he would in Fact be a 
far, far greater Benefactor to Mankind than all the 
Surgeons, Apothecaries, and Physicians, collectively, 
that ever lived in the World have been, or than if 
he solely built and endowed larger and richer Hospitals 
or Infirmaries in every Country and Province upon the 
Face of the Earth, than ever yet have been founded ; 
for it is really impossible that any Species or Degree 
of Foulness, Disease, Decay, or Corruption, can begin, 
go on, or continue, in any living numan or other 
animal Body that is planted amongst sweet, mellow, 
fresh, living, and life-and-strength-giving Earth. 

Dr. G. having for many Years past experienced, with 
Astonishment, that planting the naked human Body long 
and repeatedly in the Earth, most safely, speedily, and 
effectually cleanses it from all Impurities, abstracts from 
it every Species and Degree of Diseasedness, and charges 
it with the greatest Measure of Freshness, Sweetness, 
Strength, and Alacrity, which the Constitution of the 
Individual is susceptible of, has agreed to give the In- 
habitants of this Town and Neighbourhood two more 
public Proofs and Explanations of the Practicability and 
Safety of this Practice in his own Person, and in the 
Persons of two young Women, by sitting, covered up to 
their Laps, in the Earth, this Day and To-morrow being 
Friday and Saturday, from Twelve at Noon till Eight 
o'Clock in the Evening, regardless of any Rain or Cold 
that may happen : And he has given Orders, that in 
order to defray all the Expenses attending the public 
Exhibition of this most curious and most salutary Prac- 
tice of Earth-bathing, the Keeper of the Door shall not 
demand more than Sixpence a-piece from Ladies and 
Gentlemen, and only Two-pence each from the common 

NtB. One of the young Women is scorbutic, and the 
other has been afflicted with a dreadful Leprosy in her 
Face for nine Years, which has totally baffled the Skill of 

the best Physicians and Surgeons in Edinburgh and New- 
castle; having been fourteen Months in the Royal In- 
firmary of Edinburgh, and more than fourteen Months 
in the Newcastle Infirmary, and discharged from both 

H3- The Inhabitants of HEXHAM and of that Neigh- 
bourhood are respectfully informed, that Dr. G. proposes 
to lecture, in Hexham, on HEALTH and very LONG 
LIFE, next Monday and Tuesday Evenings, the 18th 
and 19th instant, at Seven o'Clock, and to exhibit and 
explain the Nature of EARTH-BATHING on Tuesday 
and Wednesday, from Noon till Six in the Evening. 

** Dr. G. may be consulted at his Apartments at 
Hexham during his very short Stay, in all internal and 
external Diseases. Dr. G. has been very strongly solicited 
to favour the Inhabitants of Hexham with a visit, as he 
has never yet in his Life been in Hexham. 

(Cntnta 5011, ILaty Hamilton. 

The story of Emma Lyon, wife of Sir William Hamil- 
ton, whose portrait by Romney is copied to illustrate this 
article, has often been told, but never with better effect 
than some years ago in Temple Bar. We have already 
mentioned that Emma Lyon was Dr. Graham's "Goddess 
of Health." For the rest of her story, as now condensed, 
we are mainly indebted to the writer in Temple Bar. 

Emma, Lady Hamilton, the offspring of poor parents, 
was born at Preston, in Lancashire, in 1764. Her father, 
Henry Lyon a labourer, it is asserted died while she 
was still an infant. Mrs. Lyon then removed to Ha- 
warden, in Flintshire, where she managed to support her- 
self and her child. Rags, bare feet, and hard fare were 
the child's portion. At thirteen she entered the service of 
an apothecary as nursery maid. After three years, she 
removed to London, where she entered the service of Dr. 
Budd, a physician attached to St. Bartholomew's Hos- 
pital. Tired of the young Budds, she obtained a situa- 
tion as general drudge at a fruiterer's shop in St. James's 
Market an open space of ground long since built over, 
lying beetween Pall Mall and King Street. Emma next 
appears as a servant at a tavern frequented by a Bohe- 
mian multitude of actors, artists, and hack authors. 
Here she received enough attention and flattery to have 
turned fifty heads. It was, however, the performance of 
an act of pure good nature that first led to her wander- 
ing from the path of virtue. 

The war between America and England was raging. 
A Welsh youth of her acquaintance was, one fine day, 
impressed into the naval service, and detained on ship- 
board off the Tower. On hearing of this, she at once 
presented herself before Captain (afterwards Admiral) 
John Payne, under whose superintendence recruiting 
was carried on, and entreated him to obtain her 
friend's release. The captain was bewitched by her 
beauty, and granted her prayer conditionally. Her 
scruples, if she had any, were overcome. She became 
his mistress. Their connection did not last long. We 
follow her now to Up Park in Sussex, where she li-d 
for a short time under the protection of Sir Harry 

June, \ 
1887. / 



Featherstonhaugh, an enthusiastic fox-hunter. She 
shared his taste. Mounted on a thorough-bred mare, 
she galloped across country with all the skill and cour- 
age of Diana Vernon herself. When the day's sport 
was over, she would entertain Sir Harry and his 
rollicking bachelor friends with theatrical mimicries 
and tavern jokes. She and her baronet spent money 
recklessly so recklessly, indeed, that hospitable Up 
Park had to be closed. Together they repaired to 
town, where they soon after separated, not apparently 
on the best terms. 

If we are to believe the author of her memoirs (an 
abusive book, published after her death), Emma Lyon's 
next experiences were very degrading. Be this as it may, 
at the close of 1781 she had found a new protector in Mr. 
Charles Greville, a son of the first Lord Warwick. 
Greville appears to have been deeply enamoured of his 
companion, and there is reason for supposing that he con- 
templated marrying her some day. He was, however, 
painfully conscious of her defects of education. Masters 
were engaged, therefore, and under their instruction she 
made progress, in singing especially. She was joined 
about this time by her mother, the widow Lyon, who for 
some reason or other, on arriving in town, took to calling 
herself Mrs. Cadogan, while Emma styled herself Mrs. 

Early in 1782, Emma sat for the first time to Romney, 
the portrait painter. From so lovely a face the artist 


eould not but derive inspiration. He painted her in 
every variety of character as Iphigenia, Cassandra, 
Calypso, Joan of Arc even as Saint Cecilia ! It was 

whilst thus posing for Romney that she acquired that 
power of attitudinising for which she became, later on, so 

At the end of six years Greville had fallen into pecu- 
niary difficulties. It naturally occurred to him that 
Emma, on the training of whose voice a round sum had 
been spent, might start as a professional singer. His 
maternal uncle, Sir William Hamilton, K.B., a wealthy 
widower, was British Ambassador at Naples. Might not 
Emma proceed thither to receive the necessary finishing 
lessons in the land of song itself, and under the paternal 
eye of Sir William ? Besides, she was the very person to 
represent to the Ambassador his nephew's necessitous 
condition, and ask his assistance. This scheme was to 
the fancy of all whom it concerned. Sir William was 
consulted, and approved of it. Emma and her mother 
were enchanted. Under the escort of Mr. Gavin Hamil- 
ton, the artist, who was returning to Italy, they made the 
journey to Naples in safety towards the close of 1787, and 
settled at a lodging taken for them near the Embassy. 
Here Emma pleaded Greville's cause with his uncle so 
irresistibly that the uncle had fallen in love with her. 
In the course of time Greville was informed that, if he 
gave up all claim to Emma, his debts would be paid. He 
was not in a position to hesitate. A bargain was there- 
upon struck between uncle and nephew, whereby the 
former obtained Mrs. Hart, encumbered by her mother, 
while the latter started free of debt. 

Sir William Hamilton was a son of Lord Archibald 
Hamilton, and nephew of James, fourth Duke of 
Hamilton ; his mother, too, was a Hamilton of the 
Abercorn branch. The rules of Neapolitan society 
were lax enough to allow of Sir William's making 
no secret of the character of his connection with 
Mrs. Hart. They were seen everywhere together. 
Madame Le Brun, the French artist, a refugee from 
her own troubled country, was at Naples in 1790. She 
mentions them both in her " Souvenirs " : 

I received a visit from the English Ambassador, Sir 
William Hamilton, who wished that the first portrait I 
took at Naples should be that of his mistress, Mrs. 
Hart, afterwards Lady Hamilton. I painted her as a 
Bacchante, reposing on the seashore, and holding in her 
hand a cup. Her lovely face was very animated. She 
had an enormous quantity of beautiful chestnut hair, 
which, when loose, completely covered her ; thus, as a 
Bacchante, she was perfect. 

The following year (1791) Mrp. Hart was taken to Eng- 
land by Sir William, who, notwithstanding the remon- 
strances of his patrician relations, had determined to 
marry her. She had profited much by her residence 
abroad. Her singing was equal to that of any operatic 
diva, she spoke Italian fluently, and French well enough. 
Her attitudes after classical models, and her dancing of 
the tarantella, were beyond praise. In addition to all 
this, she was in the full blaze of her beauty, while hel 
naturally open manners had acquired a sort of polish that 

enhanced their charm. London society was moved to its 




. 1887. 

centre by the arrival of such a paragon. Her old ac- 
quaintance, Romney, was in ecstasies, and wrote of he- 
to his friend Hayley in the following terms : 

She is the talk of the whole town, and really surpasses 
everything, both in singing and acting, that ever appeared. 
Gallmi (then managing the Italian Opera) offered her 
2,000 a year, and two benefits, if she would engage with 
him ; on which Sir William said pleasantly that he 
had engaged her for life. 

Putting all other work aside, Romney busied himself 
at a fresh series of portraits of the "divine lady," as he 
called her. He painted her again as Cassandra, and in 
divers other characters. Soon afterwards (on the 6th of 
September, 1791) she was married to Sir William Hamil- 
ton at Marylebone Church, she at the time being twenty- 
seven, and he sixty years of age. The bride immediately 
expressed her desire to be presented at Court ; but the 
Queen (Charlotte) refused to receive her. She derived 
some consolation for this slight from the reception 
accorded her at the Tuileries, for Sir William and she 
rtcjrcs:! ' - some days in Paris on their way to Italy. 
J>I*^ .ni;oii. te, who probably knew nothing of Lady 
Hamilton's previous history, granted her an interview, it 
is said, and entrusted her with a letter the last she 
wrote to her sister, the Queen of Naples. The new 
ambassadress, on reaching Naples, where she felt far 
more at home than in England, succeeded in gaining 
the good opinion of everybody. 

It is hardly likely that Marie Caroline, Queen of 
Naples the purity of whose life is not above suspicion- 
was prejudiced to any extent against Lady Hamil- 
ton, who won for herself by degrees the Queen's 
full favour, and ended by becoming her most intimate 
friend. Naples, in 1792, was the most ill-governed 
kingdom in Europe, which is saying not a little. The 
King's disposition was puerile and vacillating ; but the 
Queen has been credited with " great understanding and 
high spirit." The Prime Minister was an English 
baronet, Sir John Acton, who, owing his position 
entirely to her Majesty's favour, was obedient to her 
orders in everything. "The vilest and most impudent 
corruption," says Southey, "prevailed in every depart- 
ment of State, and in every branch of administration, 
from the highest to the lowest. " 

The successful progress of the French Revolution, now 
in full career, caused the Court of Naples a shock com- 
pared to which an eruption of Mount Vesuvius would 
have been as nothing. Two giant dangers presented 
themselves. A large and influsntial Republican party 
(ready to welcome any change whereby the existing 
odious form of government might be overturned) 
menaced the kingdom from within ; while the new 
French Directory, bent on revolutionising all Italy, 
bullied it from without. In this state of affairs, the 
Neapolitan Court trusted implicitly to the assistance 
cf England, whose one object then was to check the 
growing power of France. 

It was in September, 1793, that Captain Horatio 
Nelson, commanding the Agamemnon, arrived for the 
first time in the Bay of Naples. He had been sent 
thither by Admiral Lord Hood with despatches for 
Sir William Hamilton, relating to the recent surrender 
of Toulon to the British forces. Sir William, in his 
short official interview with Nelson, formed a high 
opinion of the future hero. He told Lady Hamilton 
that he was about to introduce to her "a little man 
who could not boast of being very handsome, but 
who would one day astonish the world." During his 
stay at Naples, Nelson received the most flattering 
attentions from the King, Queen, and Acton. He 
lived with the Hamiltons, and his hostess was all 
kindness, both to him and his stepson, Josiah Nisbet, 
at that time serving under him as midshipman. 

Nelson's animating sentiment, next to loyalty to his 
sovereign, was detestation of the French. In this Lady 
Hamilton fully shared, and she watched his career with 
ardent interest. It came to pass that she should contri- 
bute, in a great degree, to his after successes. The battle 
off Cape St. Vincent (1797), in which Nelson bore a bril- 
liant part, is distinctly traceable to her. It happened 
thus. The King of Spain, Charles IV., wrote privately 
to his brother, the King of Naples, in that year, stating 
his determination to drop his alliance with England, and 
make common cause with France. The Queen of Naples 
got hold of this letter, and showed it to Lady Hamilton, 
who of her own accord sent a copy of it to Lord Grenville, 
then Minister for Foreign Affairs in this country. The 
movements of the Spanish fleet were strictly watched in 
consequence, and a battle ensued, whereby the power of 
Spain at sea was effectually crippled. Sir John Jervis 
was created Earl St. Vincent for his services, while 
Nelson was made a Rear-Admiral of the Blue and a 
Knight of the Bath. 

Soon after the battle of Cape St. Vincent, circum- 
stances drew Emma Hamilton into still closer relations 
with Nelson. Early in 1798, a French fleet of 250 sail 
started from Toulon, conveying the young and rising 
general, Napoleon Buonaparte, and a large army. Its 
destination was not known ; but a descent on Malta, 
or possibly Sicily, was apprehended. At the same time 
the language of the French Envoy at Naples (Garat) 
became so overbearing that Sir William Hamilton could 
only liken it to that of a highwayman. Certain members 
of the Republican party were then in prison on a charge 
of treason. Garat insisted that they should be released ; 
and so cowed were those with whom he had to deal that 
he gained his point. 

The Queen, as she saw dangers thickening around her, 
felt that English aid must be invoked. At her instiga- 
tion, Lady Hamilton wrote to Nelson and to Lord St. 
Vincent (who commanded in the Mediterranean), repre 
senting the state of affairs. Her letter to Nelson is 
curious as being one of the first, if not the first, that she 

June, \ 
1887. / 



addressed to him, and aa showing the forcible epistolary 
style she used : 

We have still (she writes) the regicide Minister here, 
Oarrat, the most impudent, insolent dog, making the 
most infamous demands every day ; and I see plainly the 
Court of Naples must declare war if they mean to save 
their country. The Jacobins have all been lately declared 
innocent after suffering four years' imprisonment, and I 
know they all deserved to be hanged long ago, and since 
Garrat has been here, and through his insolent letters to 
Gallo, these pretty gentlemen, that had planned the death 
of their Majesties, are to be let out on society again. In 
short, I am afraid all is lost here, and I am grieved to the 
heart for our dear charming queen, who deserves a better 
fate. I trust in God and you that we shall destroy these 

Nelson had been selected to pursue the French arma- 
ment, and his secret instructions enjoined him to " take, 
sink, burn, and destroy it," if he could. The exciting 
chase began at once. The English fleet proceeded to 
Malta, then to Alexandria, then to the Syrian Coast ; 
but no French were to be seen. Chafing at his ill-luck, 
Nelson made sail for Sicily, and anchored at Syracuse. 
But here a difficulty arose which, thanks entirely to Lady 
Hamilton, was overcome. Fresh provisions were urgently 
needed by the fleet. Unless the ships were enabled to vic- 
tual and water where they were, they would have to run 
for Gibraltar, and abandon the immediate pursuit of the 
French. Nelson sent a messenger to Sir William begging 
him to obtain the Royal authority for his being supplied. 
Sir William did his best, but without success. By a 
treaty of peace then existing between France and Naples, 
no more than two English ships-of-war could enter any 
Neapolitan or Sicilian port. The King and his Ministers 
met in council to discuss the matter, but, not daring to 
break with France, refused Nelson's request. Meantime, 
Lady Hamilton, anticipating this refusal, ran off to the 
queen, and implored her passionately to authorise the 
supply of the fleet, since the safety of the kingdom de- 
pended on immediate action. Marie Caroline hesitated 
for some minutes ; but, finally, to the other's dictation, 
wrote and signed this order : "To all Governors of the 
Two Sicilies To receive with hospitality the British 
fleet, to water, victual, and aid them." 

The necessary supplies obtained, the Admiral wrote 
these grateful lines to the Hamilton* : 

22nd July, 1798. 

My Dear Friends, Thanks to your exertions, we have 
victualled and watered ; and surely, watering at the 
fountain of Arethusa, we must have victory. We shall 
sail with the first breeze, and, be assured, I will return 
either crowned with laurel or covered with cypress. 


Sailing next day, Nelson directed his course straight 
for Alexandria, where he found the enemy's fleet col- 
lected. He attacked it at once and annihilated it, in an 
engagement known as the Battle of the Nile. The news 
of this glorious victory reached Naples a month after- 
wards. Lady Hamilton had long been in a state of 
anxious suspense as to the possible result of the expected 
sea-fight; and now, when the joyful intelligence was 
communicated to her, she fell to the ground, it is said, 

"like one who had been shot." She, however, soon 
appeared in her open carnage, in company with Captains 
Capel and Hoste, who had brought the news, and 
paraded the main streets. Encircling her forehead was a 
white bandeau embroidered with the words, "Nelson 
and Victory." The populace quickly caught her enthu 
siasm, and greeted the party with hearty vivas. The 
shattered Vanguard herself, bearing the Admiral's flag, 
entered the bay a fortnight later. 

Nelson had been badly wounded at the battle of thf 
Nile, as indeed he had been in several previous 
engagements. His general health, too, was seriously 
shaken by all he had gone through. He sorely needed 
rest. This he obtained under Sir William's roof. 
Lady Hamilton nursed him so tenderly that a week 
after his return he was able to take part in a splendid 
fete which she gave in honour of his birthday. 
Eighteen hundred guests were present. Complimentary 
mottoes appeared on wall, pillar, and curtain. At the 
banqu. c w'.,!oh closed the festivities, the hostess 
! andishments on the hero at her side in a 
manner SM marked as to rouse the ire of Josiah 
Nisbet, who addressed some highly indecorous remarks 
to his stepfather, and had to be removed by his 
brother officers. 

Lady Hamilton was now no longer a sylph in form. 
She had become fat. Here is her portrait, sketched by 
the impartial pen of Sir Gilbert Elliot : 

She is the most extraordinary compound I ever beheld. 
Her person is nothing short of monstrous f<>r its enormity, 
and is growing every day. She tries hard to think size 
advantageous to her beauty, but is not easy about it. 
Her face is beautiful ; she is all Nature and yet all Art ; 
that is to say, her manners are perfectly unpolished of 
course very easy, though not with the ease of good breed- 
ing, but of a barmaid ; excessively good-humoured, and 
wishing to please and be admired by all ages and sorts of 
persons that come in her way. But, besides considerable 
natural understanding, she has acquired, since her 
marriage, some knowledge of history and of the arts ; and 
one wonders at the application and pains she has taken to 
make herself what she is. With men her language and 
conversation are exaggerations of anything I ever heard 
anywhere, and I was wonderfully struck with these in- 
veterate remains of her origin, though the impression 
was very much weakened by seeing the other ladies of 

Such was the woman who seemed a very goddess to the 
conqueror of the Nile. Henceforth she influenced all his 

Then followed a rupture between Naples and France, 
the flight of the Royal family to Sicily, the capture of 
Naples by the French, and the proclamation of a 
Republic. The Hamiltons accompanied the king and 
queen in their flight. Months afterwards, Nelson, who 
had assisted the Royal family to escape, returned to 
Naples with his fleet, having the Hamiltons with him. 
When the French had been expelled, Nelson and the 
Hamiltons returned to Palermo, where honours and 
rewards awaited them. Nelson (already a baron in 
England) was created Duke of Bronte in Sicily, and 




1 ]! 

was given an estate valued at 3,000 a year. The king 
also presented him with a diamond-hilted sword. As 
for Lady Hamilton, she received a miniature of the 
queen set in diamonds, with the motto Kterna 
Gfratitudine ; "two coach-loads of magnificent dresses, 
and a richly-jewelled picture of the king." Sir William 
and his wife between them got presents to the value 
of 6,000. Poor Lady Nelson in England was quite 
forgotten the while. Letters from her husband became 
rarer and rarer, till they ceased altogether. Mean- 
time, the Court, deferring its return to Naples, where 
executions were proceeding with unrelaxing severity, 
broke out in a round of gaieties. In these Nelson 
joined, led on by the enchantress Emma. 

The part taken by Nelson and his friends in Neapolitan 
affairs was disapproved of by the home Government. 
Sir William Hamilton, to his surprise and annoyance, was 
recalled from his post in 1800. Nelson had already got 
leave to return to England on account of ill-health. The 
Queen of Naples was in despair at losing such powerful 
supporters. As she was anxious, for political reasons, to 
proceed to Vienna, Nelson gave her, her three daughters, 
and her younger son, a passage in his ship the Foudroyant 
as far as Leghorn, where he struck his flag. Here the 
Queen was delayed a whole month, in consequence of the 
defeat of the Austrians by the French at Marengo, which 
made travelling north, by the route originally fixed on, 
dangerous for her. Nelson and the Hamiltons, who had 
promised to see her safe to her journey's end, remained 
with her. At length they reached Vienna. The Viennese 
vied with one another in showing attention to Nelson and 
his friends. They were entertained four days by Prince 
Esterhazy at Eisenstadt, the composer Hadyn, capcl- 
meister to the prince, giving a performance of his oratorio 
the " Creation " during their stay. Lady Minto, then 
English Ambassadress at Vienna, mentions them in a 
letter to her sister, Lady Malmesbury. She says : 

I don't think Nelson altered in the least. He has the 
same shock head, and the same honest, simple manners ; 
but he is devoted to Emma. He thinks her quite an 
angel, and talks of her as such to her face and behind her 
back ; and she leads him about like a keeper with a bear. 
She must sit by him at dinner to cut his meat, and he 
carries her pocket-handkerchief. 

The rest of the journey through Germany was one con- 
tinued ovation. The Archduke Charles did the honours 
of Prague to the travellers. Dresden was the next point 
reached. Here they were met at dinner, at the house of 
our then Envoy, Mr. Elliot, by an English lady (Mrs. 
St. George), who has treated them to some sharp adverse 
criticism : 

Lady Hamilton is bold, forward, coarse, assuming, and 
vain. Her figure is colossal, but excepting her feet, 
which are hideous well shaped. Her bones are large, 
and she is exceedingly embonpoint. She resembles the 
bust of Ariadne. The shape of all her features is fine, aa 
is the form of her head, and her ears ; her teeth are a 
little irregular, but tolerably white, her eyes bright blue 
with a brown spot in one, which, though a defect, takes 
nothing away from her beauty and expression. Her eye- 

brows and hair are dark, and her complexion coarse. Her 
expression is strongly-marked, variable, and interesting ; 
her movements in common life ungraceful ; her voice loud, 
not disagreeable. Her mother, Mrs. Cadogan, is what 
one might expect. After dinner, we had several songs in 
honour of Lord Nelson sung by Lady Hamilton. She puffs 
the incense full in his face ; but he receives it with 
pleasure, and snuffs it up very cordially. 

After spending eight days at Dresden, the travellers 
started down the Elbe in two great barges fitted with 
rooms. Mr. Elliot accompanied them to the point of 
embarkation, and the following was his account of what 
took place : 

The moment they were on board, there was an end of 
the fine arts, of the attitudes, acting, dancing, and sing- 
ing. Lady Hamilton's French maid began to scold about 
some provisions which had been forgot, m language quite 
impossible to repeat. Lady Hamilton herself began 
bawling for an Irish stew ; while her old mother set 
about washing the potatoes, which she did as cleverly as 
possible. They were exactly like Hogarth's actresses 
dressing in the barn. 

On arriving in London, Nelson met with a chilling 
reception from his wife. She seems to have been an ex- 
cellent woman ; but the knowledge that her husband's 
affection was now another's had soured her temper. One 
morning at breakfast, when he had been dwelling at un- 
conscionable length on the perfections of "dear Lady 
Hamilton," she burst out with pardonable petulance, " I 
am sick of hearing of dear Lady Hamilton, and am re- 
solved that you shall give up either her or me." They 
separated by mutual consent soon after. Lady Nelson 
went back to live with her father-in-law, and Nelson 
sought again the genial companionship of the Hamiltons. 
Yet, enslaved though he was, he could not long remain 
idle. Early the following year (1801) he joined the fleet 
at Plymouth, and in March sailed, as second in command 
to Sir Hyde Parker, to settle matters with the Danes and 
their allies off Copenhagen. 

It was during his absence at Plymouth that Lady 
Hamilton drove up one morning to a house in Little 
Tichfield Street, Marylebone, bringing with her a female 
child some three weeks old. A certain Mrs. Gibson, a 
nurse, lived at this house, and to her Lady Hamilton 
entrusted the infant, promising her handsome remunera- 
tion for rearing it. Two years later, this child was 
christened at Marylebone Church, receiving the names 
Horatia Nelson Thompson. That Nelson was the father 
of Horatia there remains no doubt, though he chose to 
write of her, at the time, as his "adopted daughter," or 
"little charge," and to make mystifying allusions to a 
non-existent individual, called Thompson, as her male 
parent. The question as to who the mother can have 
been has given rise to much discussion. The world has, 
of course, assigned that distinction to Lady Hamilton ; 
and, in spite of divers proofs to the contrary brought 
forward by Sir Harris Nicholas, and similar protestations 
on the part of Lady Hamilton herself to whom truth 
was of little account the world appears to have been 

While on service in the Baltic in 1801, Nelson be- 

June, \ 

1887. I 



came the purchaser of a residence called Merton 
Place, in Surrey. It was a pretty little property, and 
Lady Hamilton exercised all her ingenuity in embellishing 
the house. To Nelson the idea that a home prepared and 
inhabited by the Hamiltons awaited him in England, 
cheered him through many worries and anxieties. 
"Have we a nice church at Merton?" he inquires of 
Emma with a simplicity that provokes a smile. "We will 
set an example of goodness to the under parishioners ! " 
It was at Merton that the Hamiltons heard of their 
friend's victory at Copenhagen, and it was there that they 
welcomed him when he came back. From that time the 
house was always full. A needy aunt and cousins of 
Lady Hamilton, who had cropped up since her return 
from Italy ; Nelson's brother, sisters, and their families, 
were guests for weeks at a time. People from town, 
principally of the theatrical world, arrived in hosts to 
dinner. The hospitality was profuse ; the festivities 
often boisterous. 

In April, 1803, Sir William Hamilton died. His pen- 
sion of 1,200 a year died with him. By his will, he 
bequeathed his Welsh estates to his nephew, Grenville, 
charged with a jointure of 700 a year to his widow. 
This appeared a meagre income to Lady Hamilton. 
She petitioned the then Prime Minister, Mr. Addington, 
for the continuation of her husband's pension to herself 
n full, on the strength of the services she had rendered 
to the British fleet in 1798. Nelson used all his influence 
in support of her petition, as did other friends. Her 
claim, it would seem, was admitted; but nothing was 
done. A month after Sir William's death, Nelson was 
appointed to the command in the Mediterranean, and 
was absent from England for two whole years. In order 
to render his beloved Emma's circumstances as easy as 
possible, he settled on her, before starting, an annuity 
of 1,200, to be paid in monthly portions. For one 
with Lady Hamilton's notions of comfort, no fortune 
would have been adequate. In the course of 1804 she 
kept open house at Merton, and incurred heavy expense 
in making unnecessary additions and alterations. Mean- 
time, Grenville was backward in paying her annuity, and 
her chance of obtaining a Government pension seemed at 
an end. She bemoaned the state of her affairs when 
writing to Nelson ; and he, while counselling economy, 
consoled her in these words: "If Mr. Addington gives 
you a pension, it is well ; but do not let it fret you. 
Have you not Merton ? It is clear the first purchase 
and my dear Horatia is provided for ; and I hope, one 
of these days, that you will be my own Duchess of 
Bronte j and then a fig for them all ! " 

When Nelson did at last return to Merton in August, 
1805, it was but for a brief period some three weeks or 
more. Early one morning, intelligence arrived that the 
combined French and Spanish fleets, of which he had 
been in hot pursuit for the past ten months, were at 
Cadiz. Here was the chance for which he had been 

longing ! Should he offer his services at once, or enjoy a 
while longer the rest he had so well earned ? He was 
pacing up and down a path in the garden, thinking what 
he should do, when Lady Hamilton approached him. 
She asked why he seemed uneasy. On hearing his reply, 
she urged him at once to offer his services. " They will 
be accepted," she said, "and you will gain a quiet heart 
by it : you will have a glorious victory ; and then you 
may return here and be happy." Her voice was enough. 
" Brave Emma !" he exclaimed, " good Emma ! If there 
were more Emmas, there would be more Nelsons." The 
Admiralty gladly accepted his services. No name in the 
"Navy List " carried one quarter the weight that his did. 
Lord Minto was at Merton to take leave of him on the 
12th September. He says: "Lady Hamilton was in 
tears ; could not eat, and hardly drink, and near 
swooning, and all at table. It is a strange picture. She 
tells me nothing can be more pure and ardent than this 
flame. Nelson is in many points a really great man, in 
others a baby." 

The following night, Nelson left "dear, dear Merton" 
for Portsmouth, where he hoisted his flag on board the 
Victory. Four days later he writes to Lady Hamilton 
from off Plymouth: "I entreat you, my dear Emma, 
that you will cheer up. We will look forward to many, 
many happy years, and be surrounded by our children's 
children. God Almighty can, when He pleases, remove 
the impediment." The impediment thus slightingly 
mentioned was, of course, Lady Nelson. She was the 
innocent obstacle to Lady Hamilton's becoming the 
lawful sharer of Nelson's titles, honours, and rewards, 
present and future. On the 21st October, just before 
commencing the action in which he lost his life, the hero 
of so many victories drew up a sort of codicil to his will. 
In it he enumerates services which, in his opinion, en- 
titled Emma Hamilton to a reward from Government, 
and adds : 

I leave Emma, Lady Hamilton, a legacy to my king 
and country [trusting] that they will give her ample pro- 
vision to maintain her rank in life. I also leave to the 
beneficence of my country my adopted daughter, Horatia 
Nelson Thompson. These are the only favours I ask of 
my king and country at this moment when I am going to 
fight their battle. 

The death of Nelson was a grievous blow to Lady 
Hamilton, though her sorrow was of a loud, impetuous 
sort, not always the deepest. The world could afford her 
scant sympathy. Her name was held in disfavour in 
high places. Those who had found it convenient to 
seek her acquaintance while Nelson was alive, remem- 
bered now that there was an injured Lady Nelson, 
whose place she had usurped. There were some on 
whose gratitude she really had claims ; but they 
turned their backs on her, now that she could no 
longer be of use to them. Nelson's clergyman brother, 
the Reverend William, had, in his days of obscurity, 
been helped by her in a variety of ways. He and 



( June, 
\ 1887. 

his wife were as often with her at Merton as at 
home ; his cliildren he readily confided to her care. He 
used to address her as his " best and truest friend," and 
begged of her to watch, on his behalf, for " vacant 
prebends of six hundred a year with good houses." He 
favoured her, too, with a list of certain aged deans, into 
whose shoes he was prepared to step. After his brother's 
death, this mean personage, for whom the Battle of 
Trafalgar had won an earl's coronet and ample wealth, 
received the codicil written on board the Victory. He 
said nothing about it at first, fearing that Lady 
Hamilton might be provided for out of the sum which 
Parliament was expected to grant to the Nelson family. 
The joyful news that 120,000 had been voted for this 
object reached him as he sat at dinner at Lady Hamilton's 
table. He then, but not till then, produced the codicil, 
and, pushing it towards her, told her she might do with 
it as she pleased. She had the document registered next 
day at Doctors' Commons. 

There was one or two influential persons prepared to 
assist her if they could. Mr. George Rose, then Vice- 
President of the Board of Trade, stands first. Himself a 
personal friend and admirer of Nelson, he considered that 
compliance with the hero's dying entreaty was binding 
on Ministers. He busied himself in advocating her 
claims, first with Pitt (whose illness and death prevented 
his taking the matter up), and afterwards with Lord 
Grenville the "cold-hearted Grenville," as the indignant 
applicant herself called him. But his efforts were without 
result. In the end, both he and Canning (who was 
equally desirous of serving her for Nelson's sake) were 
obliged to deny her their further support, in consequence 
of some false statements respecting them which she had 
introduced into a memorial addressed to the Prince 

Meantime, counting no doubt on having her services 
some day suitably rewarded, she lived far beyond her 
means, which, though much narrowed, would have 
sufficed for any prudent person. The monthly allowance 
made her by Nelson had ceased at his death. There 
remained her Hamilton jointure, and the interest on 
4,000 which Nelson had wisely tied up for Horatia. 

In 1808, it became necessary to part with Merton. A 
valuation of the house and its contents was made ; but 
the sale of these, it was thought, would not cover the esti- 
mated amount of her debts. She implored that wealthy 
old rake, the Duke of Queensberry, who had honoured her 
with his senile attentions, to purchase the property ; but 
this he was not prepared to do. At length five gentle- 
men, anxious to help her, came forward with funds for 
her immediate necessities. Merton and her effects were 
assigned to them as trustees, with power to sell at such 
time and in such manner as might seem to them most 
advantageous. This arrangement afforded her but short 
relief. Her creditors pursued hr wherever she went at 

Richmond, at lodgings she took subsequently in Bond 
Street, and at Fulham, where she had taken refuge with 
her friend Mrs. Billington, the actress. Presently she 
found herself in the King's Bench prison. It was to a 
kind-hearted stranger, Alderman Joshua Smith, who 
provided the necessary heavy bail, that she owed her 
release thence, after ten months' incarceration. 

She was now once more at large ; but liberty was 
useless without security. A report that some unsatis- 
fied creditors were waiting to have her re-arrested forced 
her to put the sea between herself and them. Accom- 
panied by Horatia, she embarked secretly, one summer's 
evening in 1813, at the Tower, and, " after three days' 
sickness at sea," arrived at Calais. She took up her 
abode at a poorly-furnished house in the Rue Fran9aise. 

As the winter of 1814 drew on she was sometimes in 
absolute want. She had for some time been threat- 
ened with dropsy, and the disease now declared itself, 
rendering her incapable of any exertion. An English 
lady named Hunter was just then living at Calais. 
She was in the habit of ordering a little coarse meal 
daily at a butcher's for a favourite dog. The Englisl 
interpreter, a certain M. de Rheims, finding her one 
day thus engaged, made the following appeal in Lady 
Hamilton's behalf : " Ah ! madame, I know you to be 
good to the English : there is a lady here that would 
be glad of the worst bit of meat that you provide for 
your dog." Mrs. Hunter, after this, supplied the sick 
woman with many comforts, not allowing her to know 
whence they came. Lady Hamilton for long fancied 
that she was indebted for them to M. de Rheims; but 
hearing who had sent them, she expressed a wish to 
see her benefactress and thank her. Mrs. Hunter 
accordingly visited her, and found her very ill, and 
growing feebler every day. 

The still beautiful Emma Hamilton was, in truth, 
approaching that goal whence there is no returning. 
On the 15th January, 1815, she passed away. Her 
coffin was a plain deal box with no inscription ; over 
it was drawn a substitute for a pall made by Mrs. 
Hunter "out of a black silk petticoat stitched on a 
white curtain." At Mrs. Hunter's request (there being 
no English Protestant clergyman in Calais), a half-pay 
officer of Dragoons read the burial service over her grave. 
The place of burial was a piece of ground outside the 
fortifications, which had once been a garden attached to 
a house inhabited by the bigamist Duchess of Kingston. 
It had been consecrated, and was used as a public 
cemetery for some time afterwards. It has since been 
converted into a timber-yard, and no traces of its graves 

Horatia Nelson Thompson, the supposed daughter of 
Lady Hamilton by Lord Nelson, was married in 1822 
to the Rev. Philip Ward, Vicar of Tenterden, Kent, 
and died his widow on the 6th of March, 1881. 



Jfmrtft, Hetoocrftl*. 

[|O locality in Newcastle has excited more 
interest among the inhabitants than the 
open space called the Forth. It was for 
ages a playground for old and young ; there 
the children used to bowl their eggs at Easter ; and there 

Ned Corvan's songs was a lamentation for the loss of the 
Forth. That famous trysting-place, together with the 
Spital, has long since disappeared. The very eite of it is 
now but dimly remembered, even by the oldest inhabi- 
tants of Newcastle. Nevertheless, the interest in the 
subject is still great enough to justify an attempt to give 
people now living the best idea possible of the appearance 
and situation of the Forth. No sketches of the enclosure, 


the citizens used to enjoy the ancient game of bowls in as far as we are aware, are in existence. The only ap. 
summertime. Political meetings in later days were some- proach to anything of the kind is contained in Buck's 
times held in the enclosure. One of the most pathetic of "View of Newcastle," published in 1745. A rough 

outline of part of that 
"view" is here printed. 
A cross in the outline in- 
dicates the ForthTavern 
and the trees surrounding 
it. We give also a tra- 
cing from Oliver's Plan 
of Newcastle, published 
in 1830. This tracing 
shows that the Forth 
joined the Cattle Market, 
and was situated between 
the (Gunner lower, wnicn 
was removed in 1885, and 
the Infirmary, which still 
stands in the place it oc- 
cupied in 1830. Neville 
Street, the Central Sta- 
tion, and the North-East- 
ern Railway, in fact, 
^ have taken the place of 




$ June, 
I 1887. 

June, 1 
18S7. I 



the once popular resort. Besides these outlines we 
have pleasure in presenting our readers with three 
sketches of the old Forth Tavern, taken from original 
drawings preserved in a book that belonged to the late 
John Waller. The original drawings were made in 1843, 
shortly before the place was pulled down and the entire 
ocality transformed. It was in this tavern and under 
the verandah in front of it, that the citizens were accus- 
tomed to gather of an evening, there to watch the sports 
which were proceeding on the green sward of the Forth 
itself. The view of the west end of the tavern shows the 
steps which led up to the terrace overlooking the Forth 

our mayors and aldermen of the earlier days of Queen 
Elizabeth do not appear to have thought it beneath their 
dignity to witness and reward the exertions of "the 
fellyshpe of a shyp [of] Albroughe, dansyng in the 
Fyrthe," or even the pranks of a "player," who, it is 
gravely stated, was rewarded " for playing with a hobie- 
horse in the Firthe, before the maior and his brethren " ; 
and, though it is not specially mentioned where the cere- 
mony took place, yet we can hardly doubt that the bear- 
ward of Lord Monteagle, "him that had the lyon," and 
the " tumbler that tumbled before Mr. Maior and his 
brethern," one and all exhibited the capacities of them- 


I T ' ^ ' 


Walk. Mr. M. A. Richardson published in 1848 Alder- 
man Hornby's "Extracts from the Municipal Accounts 
of the Corporation of Newcastle." To these accounts he 
appended some historical notes, one of which furnishes 
the best description extant of the ancient playground of 
the Newcastle people. 

Dtjstors of tlje JTortl). 

The Forth has probably been in use as a place of 
recreation from a very early period, and that, too, counte- 
nanced by the governing body both in purse and person ; 


selves or of their respective charges in the presence of 
these worshipful sightseers in this ancient place of recrea- 
tion. In all these things we can discover a simplicity of 
manner, and an unbending of the sternness of justice at 
particular seasons, which cannot fail to impress us with a 
very favourable idea of the kindliness and easy inter- 
course of the magistracy with the commonalty at the 
period in question. 

Archery, too. it would seem, has been practised here by 
the stalwart youths of the town, for in July, 1567, we 
have a charge " for making up the buttes in the Fyrthe.' 




i 1887.1 

It seems probable, in fact, that the Forth has also been 
the campus martius of the town, or, at least, one of the 
places appropriated to the purposes of military array. 

On 25th Sept., 1657, the Forth and paddock adjoining 
were ordered to be leased out under the common seal at a 
rent not exceeding 20 per annum, for 21 years, the lessee 
to let it to those only who should be bowling green 
keepers, with a clause to permit all the liberties, privi- 
leges, and enjoyments formerly used there ; amongst 
these occur "lawful recreations and drying clothes." It 
is thus mentioned in a survey of crown lands, &c., in and 
about Newcastle, taken 29th Oct., 1649 : " Item, one par- 
cell of pasture grounde, called by the name of the Frith, 
lyeing on the west parte of Newcastle, conteynyng by esti- 
macon 4 acres and one rood, and worth per annum 42s. 6d. 
Both this and Castle-Leazes or Castle-Fields hath been 
time out of mynd in the possession of divers persons re- 

an old rental of the sheriff of Newcastle which appears 
about the age of Car. 1. "The Forth and Gooden-deane 
letten to Thomas Cook." 

About 1657, a bowling-green and house for the keeper, 
was made by contribution in part of the Forth ; around 
which on 29th July, 1680, the Corporation ordered a wall 
to be built, and lime trees brought out of Holland to be 
planted therein. On 25th Sept., 1682, there was an order 
of the same body " to make the Forth House suitable for 
entertainment, with a cellar convenient, and a handsome 
room, &c." On this occasion there was erected a stone 
inscribed "Nicholas Fenwicke, esq. maior, Nicholas 
Ridley, esq. sherriffe, anno Domini, 1682." In Brand's 
time it was affixed to the west end of the house, but was 
afterwards built into the parapet over the piazza. 

A keeper of the bowling-green was retained till about 
the middle of the last century. Whether bowling was 

-* ' ? ~ 

1 ^ W; , -L, J ^ 


siding in or neare unto Newcastle, and (as we are in. 
formed) holdeth the same of the crowne in fee-farme- 
Therefore, we have not valued the same, but leave them 
to better judgements." Mention occurs of the Forth in 

practised here previous to 1657, we have not been able to 
discover, but it is mentioned in 1690, and Thoresby, the 
historian of Leeds, who visited the town on 19th May 
1703, especially mentions having "walked to the very 

June, \ 
1887. I 



curious bowling-green, built at a public charge, and where 
the best orders are kept, as well as made, that ever I 

"It was an ancient custom," says Bourne, "for the 
mayor, aldermen, and sheriff of this town, accompanied 
with great numbers of the burgesses, to go every year at 
the feasts of Easter and Whitsuntide to the Forth, with 
the mace, sword, and cap of maintenance carried before 
them." They then unbent the brow of authority, and 
joined the festive throng. On the north side of the bowl- 
ing-green was the tavern, with a balcony projecting from 
the front, and a parapet wall, whence the spectators, 
calmly smoking their pipes and enjoying their glasses, 
beheld the sportsmen below. On Easter Tuesday, 1808, 
the holiday people assembled here were disturbed in the 
enjoyment of their annual amusements by an affray of 
a rather serious nature between some boys and a party of 
recruits of the Wiltshire Militia. The boys, according to 
annual custom, were amusing themselves with a game of 
football in the interior of the Forth, when the soldiers, no 
doubt for the sake of fun, interrupted them in their diver- 
sion, by running after them and tripping up their heels. 
The boys being reinforced by their friends, and encouraged 
by another party of military, set upon their opponents 
manfully, and with stones, brickbats, and other missiles, 
kept up such a determined discharge, that they compelled 
their antagonists, though superior in numbers, to seek 
safety in precipitate retreat. Luckily the scene of action 
being near the Infirmary, the wounded were conveyed 
thither. Two men received severe but not dangerous 
wounds on the head ; the other accidents were mostly 
slight. At Easter-tide, too, the children used to go to the 
Forth to " bowl their eggs." 

It seems pretty certain that the practice of several of 
the incorporated companies, of convening at the Forth 
and Forth-hill on their head meeting days, which during 
the latter half of the seventeenth century had become 
quite usual, was the traditional observance of a much 
earlier custom, and must, we think, have been derived 
from the assembling themselves together in former times 
of the body of burgesses, for the celebration of their pro- 
cessions and Corpus Christi plays. From the deficiency of 
very early records, and the paucity of the information 
given by those which do exist, we have not been able to 
trace any earlier mention of the custom than 1647, when 
the Cordwainers are enjoined to hold their head meeting 
on the Monday after Corpus Christi Day " in a place 
called the Forth, without the walls of our town, before 9 
of the clock in the forenoon." The Smiths, on 23rd June, 
1739, require that their company, which "heretofore 
usually on the head meeting day have gone to the Forth- 
hill to call the roll and gather in their fines," shall in 
future appear at their meeting hall for the same purpose. 
The Coopers, who had also met here for the adjustment of 
their business at seven in the morning, also discontinued 
the custom 7th June, 1710 ; and the Cordwainers, after 

the repair of their ancient meeting house in the Black 
Friars in 1728, in like manner abolished the practice from 
30th September that year. Scattered over the records of 
the incorporated fraternities are many amusing entries 
relative to these meetings, whereby we observe that they 
did not neglect creature comforts, or spurn the aid of the 
drinking glass or of the fragrant weed. The companies 
brought their muniment chests to the place of meeting, 
called over their respective rolls, and fined not only those 
who were absent, but such as misbehaved themselves 
whilst there. We have an unfortunate wight so punished 
for calling one of his brethren " three times a knave att 
the Forth-banck." As might be expected, the proximity 
of a tavern and a bowling-green tempted many from their 
sterner duties ; so we find that while one slips away to 
enjoy a pipe, a second is detected " playing at bowels " in 
the green, while "the twelve," or committee of his com- 
pany, were waiting for his presence in order to the due 
despatch of business, which was frequently further re- 
tarded by others neglecting to bring the company's box. 
After these disputes were over, they incontinently entered 
the adjoining tavern, and, in repeated draughts, would 
reward themselves for their continence during the by -gone 
hour ; a procedure no doubt often hastened by unpropi- 
tious weather to the satisfaction of all, especially as the 
cost was defrayed at the common charge "the raine 
causeing them in." 

As we have indicated, the Forth or Forth-field appears 
to have been used as a public drying ground, as also for 
the sweetening and airing of clothing of other descrip- 
tions. In 1685, the Cordwainers occur conveying thither 
" to aire " the cloaks, pall, and other burial paraphernalia 
of the fraternity, an economical expedient which in the 
following year is called " sunning." 

The Forth, especially so called, was of square form, 
enclosed by a low brick wall, within which was a broad 
gravel walk, shaded by two rows of lime trees, planted 
at equal distances. Bailey informs us that these limes, 
which formed a kind of Lyceum for the inhabitants in 
their morning and evening walks, were subsequently cut 
square over at about fifteen feet from the ground ; for 
years they shot out afresh, but by the latter part of the 
last century were going fast to decay ; that at the time 
he wrote (1801) the constant exercising of troops on the 
green, and putting horses and cattle on the neighbouring 
field, had greatly impaired the beauty of the place, and 
entirely subverted its original and peaceful intention ; but 
the Corporation prohibited these trespasses on the quiet 
enjoyment of the inhabitants, planted many young trees, 
and put the whole into excellent order, rendering it the 
most convenient and delightful promenade in the vicinity 
of the town. As such it was the daily resort of the in- 
habitants whose leisure permitted their making use of its 
pleasing features ; while on Sundays, between and after 
Church hours, it was crowded with a brilliant and gaily- 
dressed throng. 



I June, 
I 1887. 

After 1840 the Forth declined ; the green, which had 
been surrounded by a railing, and kept in a state of ex- 
quisite verdure, was broken in upon, and a footpath 
formed from one corner to the other by idle people as a 
short cut from gate to gate ; the seats, which were placed 
all around the enclosure for the convenience of the delicate 
and invalid, fell into decay, and were either torn up for 
firewood or intentionally removed ; and the trees, dying 
one by one, were cut down and not replaced. Subse- 
quently, the railing was overthrown, and " the green " so 
completely disappeared that hardly a blade of grass was 
discernible, and the interior of the Forth became a 
miry plunge. 

The open summit on which it was seated, the delightful 
views formerly to be had from it of the fine vales and 
extensive tracts of fell country in the distance, with its 
immediate contiguity to the western suburb, gave it all 
the advantages that could be desired for an evening resort 
in summer ; but, from many manufactories and other 
works having sprung up in its vicinity, the smoke rapidly 
destroyed the vegetation. Bourne, writing in 1735, tells 
us that the Forth is a " mighty pretty place, exceeding by 
much any common place of pleasure about the town. On 
the east side of it you have a prospect of part of the town's 
wall, through which is the common passage to and from 
this place, under a shady walk of trees ; on the west you 
view the grounds of the village of Elswick, which have a 
gentle ascent to the village itself ; a place at the proper 
season of the year much frequented by the town's people, 
for its pleasing walk and rural entertainment. From this 
quarter we view also, as we do on the south, the banks of 
the river Tyne, together with their villages." In Bourne's 
time there was nothing to hinder an uninterrupted view 
of the country south and west ; but now the very scenes 
upon which he expatiates are wholly shut out from obser 
vation, and covered with modern dwellings. 

The last tree, extending its gauntj leafless arms over 
the neglected swamp, as if pointing out deploringly the 
melancholy condition into which the place had fallen, was 
removed in November, 1842, when the workmen were 
engaged in cutting away the western side of the enclosure, 
for the purpose of adding to the ground occupied by the 
Cattle Market. On this occasion the wall was set into a 
line with the end of the tavern ; the old gate, which had 
posts to prevent the ingress of horses, was removed, and 
a new one built up against the house ; while among the 
mass of soil removed were found a great number of cows' 

It may be implied that there was not any tavern in the 
Forth previous to the year 1657, as in 1651 we find the 
whole fraternity of Smiths indulging in thirty-pence 
worth of " beare in the Foorth," a sum which includes the 
cost of "fetching it," a charge that would hardly have 
occurred under other circumstances. The same remark 
may possibly apply to expenditure of this kind at an 
earlier date. 

The enclosure appears originally to have been effected 
by a wooden railing, which we have reason to think was 
erected for the first time in 1654. Mention of the Forth - 
wall first occurs in 1681, when, or in the preceding year, it 
was originally built. Considerable renovations also took 
place in 1731, and the succeeding year. A "seat in the 
Firth " is first mentioned in 1681, after which period down 
to the close of the century, it occurs being kept in repair, 
or at least some acknowledgment made, by the company 
of Smiths. 

& $Jook roith. a jt$tor|>. 

The book from which our views of the Forth Taven 
are taken belonged to the late Mr. John Waller, proprie 
tor of the Turf Hotel, Newcastle. It is a copy of Mac- 
kenzie's " History of Newcastle," bound in two volumes, 
and interleaved with rare engravings and original sketches 
of old buildings, many of which have now disappeared. 
The work has twice passed through the hands of Mr. 
Robert Robinson, of the Bewick's Head, Pilgrim Street, 
in the course of his business. It is Mr. Robinson 
himself who relates the history of this literary trea- 
sure. The book originally belonged to a gentleman 
named Bacon, who was for half-a-century the respected 
agent of Messrs. Cookson, in the Close, and who resided 
not far from the office of the firm. Mr. Bacon amused 
himself for many years by collecting local engravings, 
&c., to illustrate the text of the historian. Furthermore, 
in 1843 he employed a scene-painter at the Theatre Royal 
to make drawings for him of old and picturesque buildings 
and places in Newcastle. When he had completed his 
task, Mr. Bacon informed two or three old friends, col- 
lectors like himself, that he intended to present the result 
of his " labour of love " to the Literary and Philosophical 
Society. These old friends heartily approved of his 
scheme. Urged by them to quit the Close for a more 
pleasant part of the town, Mr. Bacon took a house in 
Derwent Place, sent his book to a bookbinder to be 
bound, and then died. The gatherings of many years 
were shortly afterwards sold by auction by the late Mr. 
George Hardcastle, of Sunderland, in a room in the Royal 
Arcade. Endeavours were made at the time to get the 
Mackenzie volumes from the bookbinder, in order to 
present them to the Lit. and Phil. But the auctioneer 
would not assent to this proceeding, got possession of the 
books, and sold them with the rest of Mr. Bacon's collec- 
tion. The sale took place about thirty-six years ago, to 
the best of Mr. Robinson's recollection. Mr. Robinson 
bought the Mackenzie lot, which he sold afterwards to 
the late William Sidney Gibson, the author of the " His- 
tory of Tynemouth Monastery," &c. On the death of 
that gentleman the work fell a second time into the hands 
of Mr. Robinson, who sold it to Mr. Ketelle, music- 

June, \ 
1887. / 



master, at whose death it came into the possession of the 
late Mr. Samuel Neville. When Mr. Neville's library 
was dispersed, it was secured by the late owner, Mr. 
Waller. Such is the history of one of the most curious 
and interesting works extant. 

EttbewtDrr at tftr ftemrrsnta 

MONG the numerous inventions which New- 
castle men have given to the world, there ia 
one which is not generally known to be due 
to a Novocastrian one which, in the centenary of its 
birth, finds appropriate location at the Jubilee Exhibi- 
tion now being held on the Town Moor. I refer to the 
panorama in the North Gardens. 

A panorama proper is not the series of revolving paint- 
ings which are usually called by that name. They con- 
stitute a " moving panorama," while the genuine article is 
a system of pictorial display in which the picture is 
painted on the inner surface of a circle or semi-circle, in 
the centre of which is a platform for the spectators, 
covered overhead to conceal the light, and thereby increase 
the illusion and give greater effect to the painting itself. 
The erection on the Moor shows the true panorama. 

It is to Robert Barker, the son of an upholsterer in 
Newcastle, that the panorama owes its origin. He was a 
portrait painter and teacher of drawing in the town during 
the latter half of last century. By these accomplishments 
he earned a precarious livelihood, which he endeavoured 
to supplement by opening a shop. The place he selected 
for his venture was at the foot of Middle Street, where 
the Town Hall now stands. There he painted minia- 
tures, sold glass, china, colours and paints, and 
manufactured pomatum and other articles of per- 
fumery. Mackenzie describes him as a pecu- 
liarly active, inventive, and speculative man one of 
those gifted beings, no doubt, who are quite unfitted for 
the ordinary routine of business. His shopkeeping was a 
failure. After struggling on for a time he " broke" ; his 
effects were sold off, and, in 1784, he left the town. From 
Newcastle he went to Edinburgh, and tried his old pro- 
fession of a portrait painter. In that city he was more 
fortunate, and in 1787, three years after his arrival, he 
perfected an idea, at which he had been working for 
some time, and brought out the panorama, which 
he patpnted under the name of La Nature d coup 
(Tail Kature at a glance. The following year he 
opened a public exhibition of his new method of pictorial 
representation, and achieved a genuine success. Thence 
he removed to London, and, building a house for the 
purpose in Leicester Square, gave to panoramic display 
an enduring home. For eighteen years he continued his 
exhibitions in London, and after his death, in 1806, the 
business remained an unfailing source of attraction for a 
long period, under the management of one of his sons. 

In these days of School Boards, it is perhaps unneces- 
sary to add that panorama comes from two Greek words 
-pan, all, and orama, a view. 




USUALLY dwarfs have been characterised by 
oddity of habit and irritability of disposi- 
tion, and, more frequently] than not, diminu- 
tive size has been accompanied by deficient intellectual 
capacity, or else capacity has been perverted and de- 
praved. The famous little fellow who was known to the 
dons of Durham, and indeed to general society both in 
London and the provinces, as the Count Boruwlaski was, 
however of singularly pleasant manners, cultivated mind, 
and refined tastes. The trials to whicli in early life 
his abnormal stature exposed him, instead of souring 
his disposition, only polished him until he ripened into as 
thorough a little gentleman as could be found in any 
society, and prepared him for friendships which, for 
generosity and steadfastness, were a credit to human 

Joseph Boruwlaski was born near Chaliez, in Polish 
Russia, in November, 1739. There was no peculiarity 
about his parents to account for his Liliputian propor- 
tions; and yet three out of six children born to them 
were of dwarfish stature. The youngest was a daughter, 
and at her death, when she had reached the age of 
twenty-two, she measured only twenty-six inches in 
height. Joseph was only eight inches long when first he 
saw the light ; but he was a healthy child from his birth, 
and through his protracted life of nearly a century he 
was remarkable for his vitality and exemption from 
disease. At the end of his first year he was fourteen 
inches in height ; at six he had reached seventeen inches ; 
at ten, twenty-one inches ; at fifteen, two feet one inch ; 
at twenty-five, one inch less than three feet ; and at 
thirty, when he ceased to grow, three feet three inches. 
When in his sixth year, he lost his father ; but this be- 
reavement scarcely affected his situation in life, for he 
had already been adopted by a lady of wealth and quality 
in the neighbourhood. With this lady he remained for 
about four years, when he was transferred to a noble 
neighbour of hers, the Countess Humieska. 

Having formed a desire of making a tour of Germany 
and France, the countess resolved to make him the com- 
panion of her travels, and after some necessary prepara- 
tions he set out with her, at the age of fifteen, for 
Vienna. Here he had the honour of being presented to 
the Empress Queen, Maria Theresa, who was pleased to 
say that he far exceeded all the accounts she had heard of 



( Jur.e, 

1 1*87. 

him, and that he was one of the most astonishing beings 
she had ever beheld. That great princess was at the time 
at war with the King of Prussia, and Boruwlaski being 
one day in her apartment, when her courtiers were com- 
plimenting her on a victory obtained by her army, the 
empress asked him his opinion of the Prussian monarch. 
"Madam," replied he, "I have not the honour to know 
him, but were I in his place, instead of waging a useless 
war against you, I would come to Vienna and pay my 
respects to you, deeming it a thousand times more 
glorious to gain your esteem and friendship than to obtain 
the most complete victories over your troops." Her 
Majesty, who seemed highly delighted at this reply, 
caught Boruwlaski in her arms, and told his patroness 
that she thought her very happy in having such a 
pleasing companion in her travels. On another occasion, 
when, according to her desire, he performed a Polish 
dance in the presence of his sovereign, she took him upon 
her lap, caressed him, and asked him, among other ques- 
tions, what he thought most curious and interesting at 
Vienna. He answered that he had seen in that city 
many things worthy of a traveller's admiration ; but 
nothing seemed so extraordinary as what he at that 
moment beheld. "And what is that?" inquired her 
Majesty. " To see so little a man on the lap of so great a 
woman," replied Boruwlaski. The answer procured him 
fresh caresses. The empress wore a ring, on which was 
her cipher in brilliants of exquisite workmanship. His 
hand being accidentally in hers, he seemed to be looking 
attentively at the ring, which led her to ask whether he 
thought the cipher was pretty. "I beg your Majesty's 
pardon," replied Boruwlaski, "it is not the ring that I 
am looking at, but the hand, which I beseech your per. 
mission to kiss." With these words he raised it to his 
lips. The empress seemed highly pleased at this little 
specimen of gallantry, and would have presented him 
with the ring which gave occasion to it, but it was much 
too large. She called to her a young lady, five or six 
years old, who was then in the apartment, and, taking a 
very fine diamond ring from her finger, put it on 
Boruwlaski's. This young lady was the unfortunate 
Marie Antoinette, afterwards Queen of France. As 
may be easily imagined, Boruwlaski preserved this jewel 
with religious care. During a residence of six months at 
Vienna, the Countess Humieska availed herself of the 
opportunity to get her little charge instructed in dancing 
by M. Angelini, the ballet master to the Court, who 
afterwards obtained great celebrity by his extraordinary 
professional talents and his taste for literature. 

From the Austrian metropolis the travellers proceeded 
to Munich, where they were most graciously received by 
the Elector of Bavaria, and where the countess's little 
companion excited no less curiosity than he had done at 
Vienna. They next repaired to Luneville, at that time 
the residence of Stanislaus Leczinski, the dethroned King 
of Poland, who, as a compensation for the Polish Crown, 

had been put in possession of the Dukedoms of Lorraine 
and Bar. By this venerable monarch the travellers were 
received with his usual bounty and affability, and, being 
of his own country, they were by his order lodged in his 
palace. With this prince lived the famous Bebe, who 
was till then considered the most extraordinary dwarf 
that was ever seen. From Luneville Boruwlaski pro- 
ceeded with his benefactress to the gay metropolis of 
France, where they were received in the most flattering 
manner by the Queen, herself a native of Poland, and 
daughter of King Stanislaus. At this time Count 
Oginski, Grand-General of Lithuania, resided at Paris, 
and showed particular regard for Boruwlaski. He even 
carried his complaisance so far as to teach him the rudi- 
ments of music, and, conceiving that his pupil had a taste 
for that art, he prevailed on the Countess Humieska to 
engage for his master the celebrated Gavinies, who 
taught him to play on the guitar, an amusement which 
often solaced him in moments of trouble and disquietude. 
Count Oginski took great pleasure in having his little 
countryman near him. One day, when he gave a grand 
entertainment to several ladies of high distinction, he put 
Boruwlaski into an urn placed on the middle of the table, 
saying that he would treat them to an extraordinary 
dish. He forebore for a considerable time to uncover the 
urn, and the curiosity of the company was excited to the 
highest pitch. When the cover was removed, out sprang 
Boruwlaski, to the no small astonishment and diversion 
of the ladies. The travellers passed more than a year in 
Paris. They were visited and entertained by all the 
principal nobility and persons of opulence. Among the 
rest, M. Bouret, the farmer-general, so renowned for his 
ambition, his excesses, and his extravagances, gave an en- 
tertainment, and, to show that it was in honour of Boruw- 
laski, he caused everything, even the plate, knives, 
forks, and spoons, to be proportioned to his size. The 
ortolans, becaficos, and other small game of that kind, of 
which the entertainment entirely consisted, were served 
up on dishes adapted to their dimensions. 

The count reached the ripe age of five-and-twenty be- 
fore he succumbed to the passion of love. His first fancy 
was an actress attached to a French company performing 
at Warsaw. He was truly smitten. Day after day, and 
night after ni^ht, the little man carried his swelling 
heart to the feet of his mistress, whenever he could steal 
an opportunity without attracting the suspicion of his 
benefactress. For a time he deluded himself that he had 
made an appropriate impression on th affections of his 
idol ; but, alas ! he was doomed to smart under ridicule, 
after escaping it so long, in the very quarter where, had 
all the world despised him, he might have hoped for 
solace and protection. The naughty actress made fun of 
her passionate lover, and when he knew this beyond 
doubt, he withdrew into himself, like the injured snail 
into its shell. When he was forty, however, he again fell 
in love this time with a young companion to the 

June, 1 

1M7. I 



Countess Humieska, named Isalina Barboutan. She was 
long obdurate, but he persevered until his noble benefac- 
tress felt constrained to interfere. She tried confining 
him to his chamber, like a naughty boy ; but as he was 
inflexible, she at length sent him adrift into the wide 
world and despatched Isalina to her parents. The King 
of Poland granted him a pension of a hundred ducats, and 
this golden shower invested him, it was thought, with 
just sufficient advantage in the maiden's eyes or those of 
her relatives to outweigh all considerations of personal or 
general disadvantage. The marriage turned out an excel- 
lent thing for both parties. 

On the recommendation of trusted friends, he resolved 
to visit several of the Courts of Europe, and, being pro- 
vided by his sovereign with a specially constructed 
equipage, he and his wife set forth on their tour in 1780. 
The lady was confined at Cracow in January, 1781. 
When she was sufficiently recovered to travel, they re- 
newed their tour. The count's old patroness, Maria 
Theresa, was dead by the time he reached Vienna ; 
but he received generous entertainment and help from 
Prince Kaint, the celebrated Minister of State. After a 
brief sojourn at several capitals on the Continent, he 
came to England in the spring of 1782. Letters of in- 
troduction to the Duchess of Devonshire secured him 
access to the great and gay world of the English 
Metropolis, and even presentation at Court. For three 
years he exhibited himself for a livelihood. This was 
much against his grain, although he had the wit in most 
instances to give his entertainments something of a 
private, high-priced character. 

After a lengthened sojourn in Ireland the count crossed 
over to the Isle of Man and thence to Whitehaven. 
Finding little that was congenial to his tastes or promo- 
tive of his interests in Cumberland, he made his way 
eastward to Newcastle. Here he met with a very cordial 
reception, and considerable pecuniary benefit from his 
concerts. At Durham he formed a friendship with Mr. 
Ebdon, a famous cathedral singer of those days, and that 
friendship was destined to be the comfort and rest of his 
later days. After a long and pleasant visit to the capital 
of the Palatinate, in the course of which he gained the 
sympathy of many dignitaries of the Church, amongst 
others conspicuously that of Bishop Barrington and Pre- 
bendary Philpotts (afterwards Bishop of Exeter), he set 
out for Hull ; but, being invited to visit a gentleman 
named Smelt, at Northallerton, he met with what proved, 
after much that was extremely painful as well as still 
more that was pleasant, the crisis of his life and the ter- 
mination of his wanderings. Mr. Smelt, it appears, was 
a friend of the Duke of Gloucester's, and this royal person- 
age interested himself warmly in the count's affairs. 
Everything promised halcyon days for the now elderly 
dwarf. But misfortunes came tumbling in upon him one 
after another with signal severity. First his patron the 
duke died ; then the king became hopelessly imbecile ; 

and, to crown all, his benefactor Smelt no sooner reached 
home after his return from London than he fell down 
dead. The little man, seeing the cup of felicity thus 
dashed from his hand as he was on the point of putting it 
to his lips, gave way to despair. He resolved to emigrate 
to America ; but generous friends, who had long taken a 
warm interest in his welfare, interfered not only to pre- 
vent his design, but to render the remainder of his days 

The solid character of Ebdon's professed friendship for 
the Polish count showed itself m a pressing invitation to 
take up his abode with the Ebdon family in The Grove, 
Durham. Here he was made as welcome and happy as it 
was in the power of human kindness and refined courtesy 
to make him. It was not long, however, before his 
beloved friend Ebdon was removed by death. To his 
unspeakable relief, the daughters of his deceased friend 
urged him to continue his residence with them, and this 
he did for many years. His circle of friendship com- 
prised all the best and highest of the great folks attr ?'> , 
to the cathedral. He also enjoyed the closest intimacy 
with old Stephen Kemble, with whom it was his custom 
to stroll along the banks of the Wear in the summer sun- 
set, and to converse as only refined and accomplished 
men can converse in the long winter nights. Through 
Kemble he was introduced to Mrs. Siddons, and later on 
to the famous Charles Mathews, the elder. 

The count, on one occasion, was induced to visit his 
friend Mathews at Ivy Cottage. It so happened that 
during the time he was at Ivy Cottage, a gentleman 
offered the count his snuff-box, the size of which 
astonished him not a little ; so much so indeed that he 
ran off with it to his friend "Mattoos," exclaiming, "I 
nevare saw such a ting in my life ! Parbleau ! I tink I 
could put all my bus de soie and two tree pairs of satin 
culottes in him, upon my word, ha ! ha ! ha ! " At Mr. 
Mathews's, as at the prebendal houses, the count was 
supplied with miniature knives, forks, and spoons. At 
table he observed all the minutix of etiquette, but he 
was never known to imbibe either wine or spirits. One 
of Mr. Mathews's guests wished to take wine with the 
count, who made the following reply to the invitation 
courteously tendered : " Oh ! sare, vill you pardon my 
rudeness to refuse ? I nevare have drunk vine nor grog 
punch all the time vile I stay in your countrie. I don't 
require him. I leave him alone. Vat shocking ting for 
me to made tipsy myself to dis time of my day ; but I 
shall pledge you vid one glass of vater vid all my heart. " 

While on this visit, Boruwlaski seems to have had a 
very anxious desire to see the King (George IV.) in order 
to present him with a copy of his memoirs a handsome 
octavo volume very creditable to the literary power of its 
author. Years before he had been favoured with an in- 
terview with the king, then Prince of Wales. The pre- 
sent visit was in 1821, when the king was preparing for 
his coronation. The count had a horror of anything ap- 




preaching to patronage, and he was much afraid that the 
king might offer him money. He declared to Mr. 
Matthews that if the monarch did attempt to offer him 
money, "upon my vord, your friend will faint, expire 
dead as vail stone." They arrived at Carlton House, and 
were ushered into the presence, the interview taking 
place in the same room where the king and the Liliputian 

Pole were introduced to each other thirty years before. 
" He kissed me," says the count, " placed me on a chair 
next to him, and, at the close of the interview, presented 
me with a gold watch." The count's gratitude to Mr. 
Mathews for his kind agency in this matter appears to 
have been boundless. In his broken English he ex- 
claims to him, " Ah ! you are a good creature, upon 


Jane, \ 
1887. / 



my vord ; in Durham, I link you only funny Mattoos ; 
I say you are kind Mattoos, and very good to yoia- 

The count spent the last days of his life in com- 
parative seclusion. As long as he could get about he 
was an object of insatiable curiosity, especially on the 
part of the pitmen who came to Durham to do their 
marketing and holiday-making. At first he was much 
annoyed and even alarmed by their intrusiveness ; but, 
at length, he got to understand that their phrase 
"canny aad man" was one of endearment, and by no 
means rude in intention. The boys, of course, were a 
perpetual plague to him. But if they not seldom pulled 
his pigtail, he as frequently, or nearly so, caned their 
backs for them. When extremely old, he could no longer 
take the air ; but his closing days were enlivened and 
comforted by a large circle of intelligent and interesting 
visitors. In his later days the count lived in a pretty 
little stone house an appropriate nestling place for so 
small a man which peeps out from among a perfect 
bower of foliage about one hundred yards above the 
Prebends' Bridge. The river at that place makes a 
great bend as it turns direct eastward, after flowing 
almost due north, and the place is known as the Count's 
Corner. Old people still living remember how he used 
to stop lads or men from using profane language wherever 
he encounterd them in his rambles. A suit of his clothes 
is preserved in the museum at Durham. The amiable 
dwarf died on the 5th September, 1837, in the 99th year 
of his age. 

As lending some additional interest to the story ot 
Count Boruwlaski, we copy on the preceding page part 
of an old view of Durham Cathedral, published in 1821 
by James Edward Terry, miniature painter, and kindly 
lent us by Mr. William Sharp. 


pLLINGTON MILL, near North Shields, 
was the scene of one of the most popular 
ghost stories in the North of England, 
though many years have elapsed since anything un- 
canny has been seen or heard in the neighbourhood. 

It was about 1840 and the four or five succeeding 
years that the ghostly visitations attracted the greatest 
amount of public notice. At that time the house 
adjoining the mill was occupied by Mr. Joseph 
Procter, whose relatives appear to have bought the 
building in 1806. The mill itself was used then 
for grinding flour by Messrs. Unthank and Procter 
but is now occupied as a store for oilcake. The 
Procter family lived in the house till 1847, prior to 
which the "visitations" had become much less 
frequent. A rumour that the house was haunted 
gained some currency previous to the time of its 
purchase by Mr. Procter's relatives, although it is 
stated that nothing of the kind was noticed during 
the first twelve years of Mr. Procter's own residence 
there. At last, both the people outside and the family 
inside began to hear sounds often, and to see appari- 
tions frequently, for which there was no visible cause. 
The house was built in 1800, and there were reports of 
a deed of darkness having been committed by some 
one engaged in the work. Mr. William Howitt, whose 
narrative we shall presently quote, also mentions that 
Mr. Procter had discovered a book which made it 
appear that the same kind of thing went on in a 
house on the same spot about two hundred years 

The appearance of Willington Mill, as our illustration 
shows, is not particularly picturesque. Standing 




t 1887. 

between the Tynemouth branch of the North-Eastern 
Railway and the river Tyne, it occupies a position 
between two highways of commerce, which makes it 
anything but lonely, although forty years ago one can 
conceive that the neighbourhood was much more 
secluded than it is now. Situated in a deep hollow, 
which is spanned by a railway bridge of lofty arches, 
the famous habitation can be seen from the train by 
all travellers between Newcastle and North Shields. 
A dirty stream runs round its base and joins the 
river, after passing the mill, through acres of mud 
when the tide is low. 

Efforts were made at different times to unravel the 
mystery of the noises and strange apparitions which 
are said to have been observed in Mr. Procter's house. 
Perhaps the best known endeavour in this way was that 
made by Mr. E. Drury, a young surgeon, in 1840, par- 
ticulars of which were published in " Richardson's Table 
Book." Mr. Drury had arranged to pass a night in the 
haunted house along with a companion (Mr. Thomas 
Hudson, now the well-known chemist of South Shields), 
and the two arrived to execute their purpose on the 3rd 
of July. After the premises had been locked up, every 
corner of them was minutely examined. Drury and his 
friend had two lights by them, and were satisfied that 
there was no one in the house besides Mr. Procter, the 
servant, and themselves. What followed was thus 
described by Mr. Drury in a letter, dated Sunderland, 
July, 13, 1840, addressed to Mr Procter : 

I hereby, according to promise in my last letter, 
forward you a true account of what I heard and saw at 
your house, in which I was led to pass the night, from 
various rumours circulated by most respectable parties, 
particularly from an account of my esteemed friend, 
Mr. Davison, whose name I mentioned to you in a 
former letter. Having received your sanction to visit 
your mysterious dwelling, I went on the 3rd of July, 
accompanied by a friend of mine named T. Hudson. 
This was not according to promise, nor in accordance 
with my first intent, as I wrote you I would come alone, 
but I felt gratified at your kindness in not alluding to the 
liberty I had taken, as it ultimately proved for the best. 
I must here mention that, not expecting you at home, I 
had in my pocket a brace of pistols, determining in my 
mind to let one of them drop, as if by accident, before the 
miller, for' fear he should presume to play tricks upon me 
but after my interview with you i felt there was no 
occasion for weapons, and did not load them, after you 
had allowed us to inspect as minutely as we pleased every 
portion of the house. I sat down on the third 
storey landing, fully exrjecting to account for any 
noises I might hear in a philosophic manner 
this was about eleven o'clock. About ten minutes 
to twelve we both heard a noise, as if a number 
of people was pattering with their bare feet 
upon the floor ; and yet so singular was the noise 
that I could not minutely determine from whence it 
proceeded. A few minutes afterwards we heard a noise 
as if some one was knocking with his knuckles among 
our feet ; this was immediately followed by a hollow 
cough from the very room from which the apparition 
proceeded. The only noise after this was as if a person 
was rustling against the wall in coming upstairs. At 
a quarter to one I told my friend that, feeling a little 
cold, I would like to go to bed, as we might near the 
noises equally well there ; he replied that he would not 
go to bed till daylight. I took up a note which I had 
accidentally dropped, and began to read it ; after which 

I took out my watch to ascertain the time, and found 
that it wanted ten minutes to one. In taking my eyes 
from the watch they became riveted upon a closet door, 
which I distinctly saw open, and also saw the figure of a 
female, attired in greyish garments, with the head in- 
clined downwards, and one hand pressed upon the chest 
as if in pain, and the other, viz., the right hand, ex- 
tended towards the floor, with the index finger pointing 
downwards. It advanced with an apparently cautious 
step across the floor towards me ; immediately as it 
approached my friend, who was slumbering, its right 
hand was extended towards him. I then rushed at it, 
giving at the time, as Mr. Procter states, a most awful 
yell ; but, instead of grasping it, I fell upon my friend 
and I recollected nothing distinctly for nearly three 
hours afterwards. I have since learnt that I was 
carried downstairs in an agony of fear and terror. 

The story of an apparition seen in the window 
of the same house from the outside by four witnesses, 
who had the opportunity of scrutinising it for more 
than ten minutes, is given by Richardson. One of 
these witnesses was a young lady, a near connection of 
the Procter family (who for obvious reasons did not sleep 
in the house) ; another, a highly respectable man who 
was a foreman of the manufactory ; his daughter, aged 
about seventeen ; and his wife, who first saw the object 
and called out the others to view it. The appearance 
presented was that of a bareheaded man, dressed in a 
flowing robe like a surplice. After performing various 
antics, the ghost is said to have gradually faded away 
from the head downwards. 

Mr. Howitt, who visited Willington about 1840 or 1841, 
tells the following story in his "Visits to Remarkable 

One of Mrs. Procter's brothers, a gentleman in middle 
life, and of a peculiarly sensible, sedate, and candid dis- 
position, a person apparently most unlikely to be imposed 
on by fictitious alarm or tricks, assured me that he had 
himself, on a visit there, been disturbed by the strangest 
noises ; that he had resolved, before going, that if any 
such noises occurred he would speak, and demand of the 
invisible actor who he was, and why he came thither. 
But the occasion came, and he found himself unable to 
fulfil his intention. As he lay in bed one night, he heard 
a heavy step ascend the stairs towards his room, and 
some one striking, as it were, with a thick stick on the 
banisters as he went along. It came to his door and he 
essayed to call, but his voice died in his throat. He then 
sprang from his bed, and, opening the door, found no one 
there, but now heard the same heavy steps deliberately 
descending, though perfectly invisibly, the steps before 
his face, and accompanying the descent with the same 
loud blows on the banisters. 

My informant now proceeded to the room door of Mr. 
Procter, who he found had also heard the sounds, and 
who now also arose, and with a light they made a speedy 
descent below, and made a thorough search there, but 
without discovering anything that could account for the 

The two young ladies who, on a visit there, had also 
been annoyed by this invisible agent, gave me this 
account of it. The first night, as they were sleeping in 
the same bed, they felt the bed lifted up beneath them. 
Of course they were much alarmed. They feared lest 
some one had concealed himself there for the purpose of 
robbery. They gave an alarm, search was made, but 
nothing was found. On another night their bed was 
violently shaken, and the curtains suddenly hoisted up 
all round to the very tester, as if pulled up by cords, and 
as rapidly let down again, several times. Search again 
produced no evidence of the cause. The next day they 
had the curtains totally removed from the bed, resolving 
to sleep without them, as they felt as though evil eyes 

June, \ 
1837. / 



were lurking behind them. The consequences of this, 
however, were still more striking and terrific. The 
following night, as they happened to awake, and the 
chamber was light enough for it was summer to see 
everything in it, they both saw a female figure of a 
misty substance, and bluish grey hue, come out of the 
wall at the bed's head and through the head-board, in a 
horizontal position, and lean over them. They saw it 
most distinctly. They saw it as a female figure come 
out of, and again pass into, the wall. Their terror 
became intense, and one of the sisters from that night 
refused to sleep any more in the house, but took refuge in 
the house of the foreman during her stay, the other 
shifting her quarters to another part of the house. It 
was the young lady who slept at the foreman's who saw, 
as above related, the singular apparition of the luminous 
figure in the window, along with the foreman and his 

It would be too long to relate all the forms in which 
this nocturnal disturbance is said by the family to 
present itself. When a figure appears, it is sometimes 
that of a man, as already described, which is often very 
luminous, and passes through the walls as though they 
were nothing. This male figure is well known to the 
neighbours by the name of "Old Jeffery." At other 
times it is the figure of a lady, also in grey costume, and 
as described by Mr. Drury. She is sometimes seen 
sitting wrapt in a sort of mantle, with her head de- 
pressed, and her hands crossed on her lap. The most 
terrible fact is that she is without eyes. 

To hear such sober and superior people gravely relate 
to you such things gives you a very odd feeling. They 
say that the noise made is often like that of a pavior with 
his rammer thumping on the floor. At other times it is 
coming down the stairs, making a similar loud sound. 
At others it coughs, sighs, and groans like a person in 
distress ; and, again, there is the sound of a number of 
little feet pattering on the floor of the upper chamber, 
where the apparition has more particularly exhibited 
itself, and which for that reason is solely used as a 
lumber room. Here these little footsteps may be often 
heard as if careering a child's carriage about, which in 
bad weather is kept up there. Sometimes, again, it makes 
the most horrible laughs. Nor does it always confine it- 
self to the night. On one occasion, a young lady, as she 
assured me herself, opened the door in answer to a knock, 
the housemaid being absent, and a lady in fawn-coloured 
silk entered, and proceeded upstairs. As the young lady, 
of course, supposed it a neighbour come to make a morn- 
ing call on Mrs. Procter, she followed her up to the 
drawing-room, where, however, to her astonishment, she 
did not find her, nor was anything more seen of her. 

Such are a few of the questionable shapes in which this 
troublesome guest comes. As may be expected, the 
terror of it is felt by the neighbouring cottagers, though 
it seems to confine its malicious disturbance almost solely 
to the occupants of this one house. 

Mr. Drury's version of the adventure in the haunted 
house had been before the public for more than forty 
years ere Mr. Hudson consented to give his. The 
latter gentleman's narrative, reprinted further on, was 
first published in the Newcastle Wetkly Chronicle on 
December 20, 1884. How it happened that Mr Hudson so 
long remained silent on the subject was thus explained : 
When the permission of Mr. Procter was given to the 
visit in 1840, he requested the visitors not to make known 
their experiences, because of the difficulty he found in 
retaining domestic servants, who were naturally terrified 
at the idea of residing in a house that was reputed to 
be haunted. Mr. Hudson scrupulously observed Mr. 
Procter's injunctions. But the reason for silence had 
disappeared in 1884. Mr. Procter was dead, his family 
had removed from Willington, and the premises had 

been converted to other uses. There was, therefore, 
no longer any reason for reticence. So it happened 
that we have now Mr. Hudson's narrative of the inci- 
dents of the memorable night he spent in the haunted 
house nearly half-a-century ago. 

One Midsummer afternoon, in 1840, my young 
" governor "Mr. J. Ogilvie, jun., chemist, North 
Shields said to me in an off-hand way, "Tom, the 
doctor (Drury) is going to-night to make the ac- 
quaintance of the ghost at the haunted house at 
Willington. How would you like to go with him, 
and see that he doesn't come back with a cock- 
and-bull story about it?" To give the "powdered 
aloes" the "go-by" even for one afternoon was a 
prospect too tempting to give up, especially after 
having had for many hours the acute aroma of that 
dust in my nostrils. "Most willingly," was my ready 
reply. And not many minutes afterwards I bade the 
great mortar a joyful "good-bye," and set off for the 
mysterious mansion. 

That was before the days of railways, and as the New- 
castle omnibuses, which then ran hourly to and beyond 
Willington, charged two shillings for the journey, we 
elected to tramp it. It was a beautiful evening. 
Golden clouds shone in the sky, the air was rich with the 
scent of wild flowers, the trees anil hedges seemed clothed 
in gold, and the peaceful hum of the industrious bee in 
the green fields around us fell like dreamy music on the 
ear. These were the "delightful days of old," before 
" buzzers " were born ; when old Father Tyne kept 
sand beds right up the river for sleepy steamers to get 
stranded upon for hours daily at low tide ; and when fid- 
dlers were always part of the crew, for the amusement of 
the company on board. Palmer had not then built his 
palaces of labour nor his plantations of iron ships at 
Jarrow on the opposite shore. Even Willington had not 
heard the ghost of a whisper that the Weekly Chronicle 
had become the eighth wonder of the world ! Quietude 
reigned everywhere. There was nothing ghostly about 
except the memory of the many tales told of the headless 
old lady whom it was our vaunted ambition to accost on 
her nocturnal excursion from the other world. 

We arrived at the mansion by the mill at the appointed 
time eight p.m. and were most kindly entertained to 
supper by the genial and worthy miller, whose memory 
will long be revered on Tyneside. Mr. Procter told us 
he had never seen the apparition himself, but he had 
heard many utterly unaccountable sounds on several re- 
markable occasions. However, from the accounts given 
to him by his children (who felt not at all alarmed at the 
"old lady's" appearance by night or day) accounts 
which, he told us, agreed in every detail he was quite 
satisfied that the story of the supernatural appearance in 



f J;me, 
1 1S87. 

his house was founded on fact. "Moreover," said he, 
"the testimony of most trustworthy witnesses, such as 
friends, neighbours, and people on the premises, seem 
proof enough for the most sceptical." "If," continued 
our interesting and respected informant, "if you feel in- 
clined to stay all night on the chance of seeing it [as the 
visits, it seemed, were ever erratic], you are welcome to 
do so, or to return upon any future occasion when 
curiosity may call you here again." Having enjoyed a 
salubrious but anti-stimulative supper, we listened to the 
story of all that was known concerning the ghost for 
about two hours. Mr. Procter related incidents so un- 
mistakable and circumstantial as to be almost enough to 
forbid even a syllable of controversy afterwards. We 
were then taken through every part of the premises, so as 
to assure ourselves of the impossibility of any intrusion 
or hoax-playing. 

At ten o'clock, Mr. Procter and his housekeeper re- 
tired to rest. We had been previously led to the upper 
stairhead, where the "old lady" had been so distinctly 
seen by the children and others on many occasions. Here 
two chairs, a small table, two wax candles lighted, and 
two silk night-caps were kindly left for our use, as we in- 
tended to watch diligently till daylight. Four bed-room 
doors stood open around us. All the bed-rooms were 
furnished, but none of them was occupied on the 
night in question, Mr. Proctor's family being away 
from home at the time. Dr. Drury, being my senior, 
took the choice of seats, and sat upon one nearest the 
stairs, without, of course, any intention of beating an 
ignominious retreat at the advance of the ghost. So 
brave was he, indeed, that at my request he left his 
pocket pistol downstairs, being now assured that what- 
ever might appear would be skinless, and not sus- 
ceptible to shot. I occupied a central position, two 
rooms being to the right of me and two to the left, 
while the stairs were at a right angle. Both of us 
lixiked as profoundly philosophical as possible in the 
light of the two stately wax candles, and there was 
not a sound save the occasional creech of the old- 
fashioned snuffers. Two hours crept slowly by in this 
solemn silence. The clock struck the ghostly hour of 
twelve without a single incident having occurred 
worthy of a word of comment. Fifteen minutes 
afterwards, however, a most unearthly, hollow sound 
broke upon our ears. Knowing that coming events 
often cast their shadows before, we awaited breath- 
lessly in the anticipation that these sounds 
might be the prelude to sights. But we waited in 
vain. Later on sounds came in a sort of rumbling and 
unequal fashion, such as might have been caused by 
waggon wheels travelling over the skeleton of the Wil- 
lington Bridge, then in course of construction. Anon my 
friend was a little excited by a vibrating noise which he 
said sounded "like the fluttering of an angel's wing !" 
My answer was that it was more likely to be the echo of 

a steamer's paddle wheels on the adjoining river. Then 
there came another awfully perplexing sound, as if some- 
thing was trying to squeeze itself through the floor at 
our feet. This was simple as a matter of fact, yet it pro- 
duced in us a great degree of nervous uneasiness. 
Not, however, to an alarming extent, as we knew 
that the house was built upon piles, and was, 
therefore, more sensitive to sounds than other build- 
ings resting on more substantial foundations. This 
thought calmed our feelings. About a quarter to 
one the most unaccountable disturbance we had yet 
heard occurred in one of the rooms close by the room to 
my right hand. It was as if someone were really there, 
walking on his (or her) bare feet, and approaching us. 
But nothing met our vision. 

We had both been up from six a.m. the previous mom- 
ing, and now at last tired nature was weighing my eyelids 
down. Drury suggested that we should go to bed and 
keep watch from there. But to this I would not agree 
until daylight should appear. I suggested, however, that 
he might go to bed, and leave me as "captain of the 
watch." He refused somewhat testily, and not only so, 
but in a bad temper refused all further conversation, 
nursing his " pet" to keep it warm. To retaliate, lad- 
like, I took out a cigar in a strong spirit of independence, 
and jocosely remarked that I would take his white hat 
for a spittoon. This annoyed him, and he reminded me 
that we were engaged on too serious a matter for levity or 
laughter. Thus, after sitting there nearly three hours, 
without a book to read or a friend to chat with the 
doctor refusing to speak I naturally became exceedingly 
drowsy, yet I was awake enough for any emergency. I 
saw my friend reading a note which he had taken from 
his waistcoat pocket, and I closed my eyes for a few 
seconds only. I was quickly startled, however, by a 
hideous yell from Drury, who sprang up with his hair 
standing on end, the picture of horror. He fainted and 
fell into my arms, like a lifeless piece of humanity. His 
horrible shouts made me shout in sympathy, and I in- 
stantly laid him down and went into the room from 
whence the last noise was heard. But nothing was there, 
and the window had not been opened. So loud was his 
scream that two or three neighbours were awakened by 
it so they afterwards told me. Mr. Procter and the 
housekeeper came quickly to our assistance, and found 
the young doctor trembling in acute mental agony. 
Indeed, he was so much excited that he wanted to jump 
out of the window. Coffee was kindly given to us, and 
we shortly afterwards left for North Shields. 

Drury declared his unbounded belief in the ghost. He 
said he had seen the grey old lady in a grey gown proceed 
from the room at my right hand side, and slowly 
approach me from behind. She was, he said, just about 
to place her hand on my slumbering head, while he was 
strongly endeavouring to touch my foot with his, but 
though our feet were only a few inches apart, he had not 

June, 1 
1887. / 



power to do so. Instead, he shouted with all his might, 
and then swooned. My opinion, however, is that Drury 
saw the appearance of the mysterious lady, as others had 
seen her, in much the same way as Macbeth saw the 
ghost of Banquo and the dagger ; but whether it was or 
was not a spirit in form will remain a mystery to some, a 
fact to a few, and simply a mental delusion to many. 
The latter will be the more prevalent opinion in this age 
of materialism, when the question is asked, How can 
there be a shadow without -ubstance, or mind without 
matter, except in our dreaming eyes and foolish fancies? 


an tfte 

1 TYNE BRIDGE , the admirable model 
of which is now one of the great attractions 
at the Jubilee Exhibition in Newcastle, had 
three towers or gates the Magazine Gate 
at the north end, the Tower on the Bridge further south, 
and a third at the Gateshead end. We have here an 
engraving of the Tower on the Bridge, printed years ago 
in Sykes's " Local Records." The block is now the pro- 
perty of Mr. Richard Welford, who has kindly loaned it 
to us for reproduction in the Monthly Chronicle. The 
cut, as Sykes explained, was taken from an original 

drawing in the possession of M iss Hornby, daughter of 
Alderman Hornby, a well-known antiquary of a past 
generation. According to Grey's manuscripts, as we 
read in Richardson's Reprints, "the Tower on the 
Bridg was builded by G. Bird, mayor of this town : the 
Bird coots of Armes was upon it." As George Bird was 
Mayor of Newcastle at various times from 1493 to 1511, 

in which year he died, the structure must have been 
erected about the close of the fifteenth or beginning of the 
sixteenth century. The Tower was a temporary place of 
confinement for disorderly persons. It was also at the 
same time a storehouse for malt. Anent this the 
biographer of Ambrose Barnes, the famous Puritan 
Alderman, tells a well-known story. The alderman 
had committed to the Tower one Henry Wallis, a 
master shipwright, for drunkenness. Seeing in the 
grain the source of his trouble, Wallis cast the whole 
heap into the river, " merrily reflecting upon himself and 
saying" as he did so 

O base malt ! 

Thou didst this fault, 

And into Tyne thou shalt. 

While the workmen were taking down the ruins of the 
bridge, after the flood of 1771, they found in the pier on 
which the Tower formerly stood, four or five feet below 
the pavement, the bones of a human skeleton and an 
empty stone coffin without an inscription relics of the 
past of which nothing further is or ever will be known. 

Cftare Jbtcrrn. 

||NE of the old stories which have long been 
current on Tyneside was thus related recently 
in the leading columns of the Neiccastle Daily 
Chronicle : 

Mr. William Russel, who was deputy-surveyor of this 
ancient city, was giving evidence at the Guildhall, and, 



aware that on Tyneside the word " hubb'.eshew " meant 
"a concourse of riotous persons," that the narrow alleys 
or lanes of the old town were called by their inhabitants 
" chares," and that the lower end of each alley, where it 
opened on to the Quayside, was termed a "chare-foot," 
the judge, seeing only one part of the puzzle, inquired the 
meaning of the word "hubbleshew." " A crowd of dis- 
orderly persons," answered the deputy-surveyor. "And 
you mean to say," inquired the judge of assize, with a 
voice and look of surprise, "that you saw a crowd of 
people come out of a chair-foot?" "I do, my lord," 
responded the witness. "Gentlemen of the jury," said 
his lordship, turning to the twelve good men in the box, 
" it must be needless for me to inform you that this 
witness is insane I " 

Another version of the same story appears in the 
" Reminiscences of Sir F. H. Doyle, " as follows : 

While a trial for murder was going on in Newcastle. 
one witness had to detail what he knew. " Go on, 
witness ! " " Yes, my lawd ; then I saw thwee men come 
out of a chare-foot ! " Taunton, the judge, got very 
angry. "Mind what you're about, witness, and don't 
talk nonsense of that kind. Go on, now, and be careful." 
"Yes, my lawd ; yes, my lawd. Then I saw thwee men 
come out of a chare-foot." "Witness, you must be 
drunk. If you don't conduct yourself properly, I shall 
refuse you your expenses." Mr. Eenwick, a local bar- 
rister, attempted to explain, but the judge would have 
none of him. Ultimately, the judge was made to listen. 
He recovered his temper, and, let it be hoped, learnt a 
lesson in provincial English. 

The absurdity of the story is sometimes increased by 



I June, 
I 1887. 

the addition to the witness's statement, that he saw one 
man in the crowd eating a brick, brick being an old local 
name for a small loaf. Sir Francis Doyle's attempt to 
give the Newcastle pronunciation is, of course, an utter 
failure. As to the story itself, it seems to be really an 
invention. We can find no record of a judge of the name 
of Taunton ever having visited Newcastle ; nor have we 
been able to trace a deputy-surveyor of the name of 
Russel. For the rest, Dr. Bruce and Mr. John Clayton, 
both men of venerable age but sound memory, though 
they have been familiar with the story all their lives, can 
throw no light on it. Mr, Clayton's opinion, indeed, is 
that it was concocted years ago by a waggish member of 
the bar. Anyway, as far as we have been able to 
ascerta'n, there is no historic foundation for it. But the 
.story is good enough, for all that. 

$?utiit3 Jbmtcj;. 

fUn~ioijtt Pel r 

H HIS famous Cumbrian hunting song, which 
was written, about the year 1826, by the 
late John Woodcock Graves, then carrying 
on business as a woollen and stocking-yarn manufac- 
turer at Low Caldbeck, some six or seven miles south- 
south-east of Wigton, has long enjoyed a wide popu- 
larity, due not only to the words, but to the air, 
which is one of the old spirit-stirring Border lilts, seem- 
ingly " as old as the hills." It is certainly one of the best 
hunting songs in the English language, rich as our noble 
tongue is in lyrics of the sort, comprising, besides as 
many more good ones as would fill a volume, such rare 
gems as "Old Towler," "Tom Moody," "Tantivy, 
tantivy, tantara !" "Hark, forwards the cry," "Chevy 
ho !" &c. It has been chanted wherever English sports- 
men have penetrated in America, Australia, South 
Africa, and elsewhere as well as in the neighbourhood 
of the Caldbeck, Catlands, Brocklebank, Warnel, and 
other Cumbrian fells. Its hero, John Peel, a "states- 
man" who owned a small property in the parish of 
Caldbeck, was a real original "Nimrodof the North." 
Through the courtesy of Mr. George Coward, bookseller, 
Carlisle, and Messrs. Brash, proprietors of the West 
Cumberland Times, Cockermouth, we are enabled to give 
portraits and memoirs (the latter necessarily abridged) of 
both these notable men, as well as a sketch of Peel's grave- 
stone in Caldbeck Churchyard. The portrait of Graves, 
we may add, is copied from a photograph taken a short 
time before his death. 


John Woodcock Graves, born on the 9th February, 

1795, was the son of an ironmonger at Wigton, who also 

carried on the kindred trades of plumber and glazier, but, 

being somewhat erratic in temperament, was not prosper- 

ous in business, and died in the midst of financial 
entanglements, leaving an only son and some daughters 
to the care of his widow. John was then but nine years 
old. His mother strove heroically, amidst anxieties and 
troubles, to fulfil the obligations, monetary as well as 
domestic, which her spendthrift husband had left her sur- 
charged with ; and the one thing to which she gave 
special care was the education of her children. So John 
was sent to the nearest school, which was "in a clay 
daubin in a backyard " not a very promising place, to be- 
sure and here he learned the use of figures and became 
an expert writer. After leaving school, he went to 
Cockermouth, and remained there till he was twenty, 
under the care of an uncle, who was a house, sign, and 
coach painter, and likewise, with his wife, kept a bathing 
hotel at Skinburness. Here he learned little or nothing, 
his uncle leaving it to his foreman to initiate him 
into the art and mystery of handling the paint 
brush and plumbing tools, for which, as he afterwards 
confessed, he cared nothing. There was a pack of 
hounds in the neighbourhood, and it was his delight to 
follow them, of course on foot. His love for the chase 
grew with his growth ; and but for his falling in with a 
certain Joseph Faulder an old bachelor who lived 
with his sister in a house opposite the young man's 
lodgings, and who was a remarkable character in his 
generation, being an intimate friend of John Dalton, the 
famous discoverer of the atomic theory, which is un- 
doubtedly one of the most important contributions ever 
made to chemistry, and himself a good mathematician 
Graves might possibly have sunk down into something like 
vagabondage. But Faulder took a deep interest in him, 
and managed "to fix in him a love of truth, and bent his 
purpose to pursue it." By and by his uncle declined 
business, and young Graves, having all the world before 
him where to choose, as well as a taste for high art, was 
inclined to visit the classic lands of Southern Europe, to 
study painting and sculpture, working, tramping, and 
learning as he went on ; but his mother and sisters and 
other friends were so much against this course, and 
pressed him so much to settle at home, that he finally 
yielded, much against his will. He was not long in 
Wigton before he got married, but his wife lived only 
about twelve months. A few years afterwards he 
married again, this time to a very superior sort of 
woman, "comely in person and of cultured mind, " who 
brought him eight children, but of whom he wrote to a 
friend, some years after her death, "to tell the truth, 
I cannot say that we were by any means happily 
mated." The fact was, his erratic ways were more 
than enough to try the temper and exhaust the patience 
of the best wife in the world. He was constantly de- 
vising new schemes, none of which, when adopted, 
succeeded. He had always too many irons in the fire. 
Not content with managing a woollen and stocking- 
yarn factory at Caldbeck, he must needs begin specu- 

June, \ 
1887. / 



lating in coal mining in the West of Scotland ; and, 
having in this way ruined himself, he metaphorically 
threw up the sponge, leaving the wrecks of his pro- 
perty machinery, book debts, &c. in the hands of a 
relative, to provide for two daughters whom he left 
behind, and carried out his wife and four or five 
children to Tasmania, where he landed in 1833 with 
about 10 in his pocket. His course at the Antipodes 
was as wayward and unsuccessful as at home. Soon 
after the family arrived in Tasmania, Graves went o3 
to New Zealand and Australia, leaving his wife with- 
out any intelligence of his whereabouts for more than 
three years. It was his genius to form dazzling plans, 
which invariably came to nothing, or, at least, brought 
no grist to his own mill. One of his daughters, Mrs. 
Hubbard, "a shrewd, intelligent woman," who married 
a gentleman connected with the Melbourne Argus, 
and takes a great interest in the hospitals and 
charitable institutions in that city, wrote of him as 
follows, a year or so since : " My father was a 
man of very superior mental attainments, of vigorous 
constructive and inventive capacity, a geologist, botanist, 
astronomer, and, in fact, too scientific in his proclivities 
to be content to walk in the ordained course of everyday 
life." In the southern hemisphere, where every man is a 
labourer or an artizan all workers, striving for au 
independence he found no intellectual sympathy, and 
he occupied his mind, while rambling from one colony to 
another, in working out various mechanical inventions, 
some of which might be serviceable to others, but none 
whatever to himself. The natural result was that the 
burden of his family fell upon his wife, who, through 
patient perseverance, accompanied by staunch integrity, 
and sustained always by a spirit of independence, 
managed somehow to give all her children a liberal 
education, and got his eldest son trained to the pro- 
fession of the law, in which he rose to local eminence, 
but died before he reached the age of fifty ; while the 
second son nobly worked up his way from boyhood at 
hand labour to the position of a prosperous saw-mill pro- 
prietor and timber merchant, estimated, some years ago, 
to be " a thirty thousand pounds man." The whole of 
the daughters married well. After the death of his 
eldest son, the barrister, who inherited, with more mental 
ballast, the old man's love of sport, Mr. Graves had 
necessarily to be put on a regular limited allowance. 
Still retaining much of his bodily activity, he continued 
his reckless style of expenditure in the pursuit of Utopian 
or quixotic inventions and discoveries, often denying him- 
self the common necessaries of life, which gave outsiders 
the impression that he was neglected by his surviving 
family, which was by no means the case. On the con- 
trary, his wants were dutifully supplied, a neat cot- 
tage being bought for him in a beautiful situation, and 
a weekly income allowed him, sufficient for his real 
needs. But, under the misunderstanding in his native 

county that he was in great poverty, a subscription was 
raised among his old friends there, and the amount for- 
warded to him "in pauper-like doles," to the utter dis- 
may of his children, who shuddered at the prospect of 
their father being represented to their kinsfolk at home 
as a recipient of charity. The old man, truth to tell, was 
maintained to the last in a comfortable home. He died 
at his residence in the suburbs of Hobart Town, on the 
17th of August, 1886, in the ninety-second year of his age. 



A contributor to the Gentleman's Magazine, in writing 
of the hero of the song, says : " Old John Peel was 
for many years the hunting hero of Cumberland ; and 
Cumbrians who have never met before have grasped each 
other's hands, and joyfully claimed county kindred, in 
the Indian bungalow or the log hut of the backwoods, 
when one of them, being called on for a song, struck up 
' D'ye ken John Peel ?'" This remarkable man was born 
on the 13th November, 1797, at Greenrigg, a hamlet in 
High Caldbeck township, on the outskirt of the Caldbeck 
Fells, where his father was a small landed proprietor. 
He married, in his twentieth year, the daughter of a 
neighbouring yeoman, two years his junior, in spite of 
the banns having been forbidden in church, owing to the 
loving pair being "far ower young." Discountenanced 
by their parents, they went to Gretna Green, where they 
were summarily spliced by the world-renowned black- 
smith. The elopement, we are told, was planned 
with the young hunter's characteristic acuteness. 
On the appointed night he mounted his father's sturdiest 
nag, and rode over to Uldale, to the residence of the 



. 1887. 

bride, and planted himself and his steed, Binsey, under- 
neath her windows. Mary was duly on the look-out, 
all in readiness for the flight 

So light to the croup the fair lady he swung, 
So light to the saddle before her he sprung, 
" rihe is won ! we are gone ! when Binsey shows heel, 
They'll have swift steeds that follow, quoth young 
Johnny Peel. 

The match, though premature, was not unsuitable ; and, 
whether that had been the case or not, what was done 
could not be undone. So, to make all square, the loving 
couple were tied a second time by Parson Lynn, with the 
established ceremonies of the Church. The issue of this 
union was six sons and seven daughters, all of whom, with 
one exception, grew up to manhood and womanhood, 


and filled respectable positions in life. So that it was 
scarcely true of him, as the writer we have already quoted 
says, that he " seems to have come into this world only to 
send foxes out of it." Between him and John Woodcock 
Graves there was naturally a strong mutual attraction, 
born of common sympathies, in one particular at least. 
It was difficult to tell which of them was most passion- 
ately fond of the chase ; and, whenever it was not 
physically or morally impossible, they were constant 
companions in the hunting field. John Peel, though he 
stood more than six feet in his stocking soles, and had 

more than proportionate bulk of body and weight of 
limb, was an expert and fearless rider, who would take 
a leap without hesitation that even the Big Huntsman 
of Galtres might have boggled at. In the pursuit of 
crafty Keynard, he occupied [every day when the scent 
would lie ; and as a good pack of foxhounds is not kept 
for nothing, even when the master is his own hunts- 
man, he spent in this way a great part of his income. 
It is credibly stated that he got no assistance from 
the neighbouring gentry who followed his hounds, with 
the exception of an occasional bag of feeding stuff, and 
the cost of the excise license during two or three 
years, which was considerately defrayed by a brother 
yeoman, Mr. Joseph Jennings of Caldbeok. Unaided, 
he maintained the famous pack, usually comprising 
twelve couples of efficient hounds, for the long 
period of fifty-five years, and kept a pair of 
hunting horses besides. The outlay was necessarily 
great, and could not fail to pull heavily upon the 
income derived from his two estates the ancestral pro- 
perty at Caldbeck, and that of Ruthwaite, near Ireby, in 
the neighbourhood of the Binsey and Catland Fells, 
which came to him through his wife, and where he 
usually resided. His friend Graves says of him : " He 
was of a very limited education besides hunting. But no 
wile of a fox or hare could evade his scrutiny, and 
business of any shape was utterly neglected, often to 
cost far beyond the first loss. I believe he would not 
have left the drag of a fog on the impending death of a 
child, or any other earthly event. An excellent rider, I 
saw him once on a moor put up a fresh hare, and ride 
till he caught her with his whip. " He adds the follow- 
ing characteristic anecdote : "John had a son named 
Peter, about twelve years old, and somewhat dwarfish. 
When Peter was put upstairs to bed, instead of 
prayers, he always set out with the call to the hounds. 
From the quest upwards he hunted them by name till 
the view halloa, when Peel would look delighted at me, 
and exclaim, ' D n it, Peter has her off ! Noo he'll gan 
to sleep.' " Dying on the 13th November, 1854, John 
Peel had reached the patriarchial age of seventy-eight 
years ; and Mary, his wife, who died on the 9th 
August, 1859, lived till she was four years older. Their 
remains lie, with those of three of their children, in Cald- 
beck Churchyard. John Peel's funeral was, as may well 
be imagined, attended by a large number of people from 
near and far. His illness had not lasted above a week, 
and the last time he was out of doors was to take part in 
a hunt on the Bassenthwaite side, two or three miles from 
home. At the head of his grave stands a neat memorial 
stone, on which are carved emblems of the chase. The 
portrait here given has been acknowledged by those who 
knew him best to be a pretty faithful representation of the 
mighty hunter, sitting fully equipped for the field, with 
his whip and his horn, whose resonant blast, according to 
the song, brought Graves from his bed, and from which his 


1887 I 



eldest son, " Young John Peel," of Maxwell House, near 
Ireby, who was eighty -nine years of age on the 5th of 
October last, and who had been a hunter all his life, from 
the time he could be trusted astride a horse till within 
the last two or three years, was still able to draw a long, 
loud peal on his ninetieth birthday. 


The following is the history of the song by the mail 
who wrote it, communicated in a letter to Mr. Metcalf, 
of Carlisle Cathedral, who published, some ten years 
ago, a very fine arrangement of it to the old tune : 
"Nearly forty years have now wasted away since John 
Peel and I sat in a snug parlour at Caldbeck, among 
the Cumbrian mountains. We were then both in the 
hey-day of manhood, and hunters of the olden fashion, 
meeting the night before to arrange earth stoppings, 
and in the morning to take the best part of the hunt 
the drag over the mountains in the mist while 
fashionable hunters still lay in the blankets. Large 
flakes of snow fell that evening. We sat by the fire- 
side hunting over again many a good run, and recalling 
the feats of each particular hound, or narrow neck- 
break 'scapes, when a flaxen-haired daughter of mine 
came in saying, 'Father, what do they say to what 
granny sings?' Granny was singing to sleep my eldest 
son now a leading barrister in Hobart Town with a 

very old rant called 'Bonnie (or Cannie) Annie.' The 
pen and ink for hunting appointments being on the 
table, the idea of writing a song to this old air forced 
itself upon me, and thus was produced, impromptu, 
' D'ye ken John Peel, with his Coat so Gray ?' Im- 
mediately I sung it to poor Peel, who smiled through 
a stream of tears which fell down his manly cheeks ; 
and I well remember saying to him in a joking style, 
' By Jove, Peel, you'll be sung when we're both run to 

D' ye ken John Peel with his 

coat so grey? D' ye ken John Peel at the 

-- _ - 
-0-' -- 
reak of the day ? D' >e ken John Peel when he's 

far, far a - way, With his 

ttt==**=^n _^- --q =s= 

hounds and his horn in the morn - ing-? 


'Twas the sound of his horn brought 

me from my bed, And the 

cry of his hounds has me oft-times led ; For 

/7\ N 


Peel's view hoi - loa would wa-ken the dead, Or a 

fox from his lair in the morn - ing. 

D'ye ken John Peel with his coat so gray ? 

D'ye ken John Peel at the break of day ? 

D'ye ken John Peel when he's far, far away, 

With his hounds and his horn in the morning? 

"Twas the sound of his horn brought me from my bed, 
And the cry of his hounds has me oft-times led, 
For Peel's view-holloa would waken the dead, 
Or a fox from his lair in the morning. 




D'ye ken that bitch whose tongue is death ? 
D'ye ken her sons of peerless faith ? 
D'ye ken that a fox with his last breath 
Cure'd them all as he died in the morning ? 
Twas the sound of his horn, &c. 

Yes, I ken John Peel and auld Ruby, too, 
Ranter and Royal and Bellman as true ; 
Prom the drag to the chase, from the chase to the view. 
From the view to the death in the morning. 
Twas the sound of his horn, &c. 

And I've follow'd John Peel both often and far, 
O'er the rasper-fence, the gate, and the bar, 
From Low Denton Holme up to Scratchmere Scar, 
When we vied for the brush in the morning. 
'Twas the sound of his horn, &c. 

Then, here's to John Peel with my heart and soul ; 
Come fill fill to him another strong bowl ; 
For we'll follow John Peel thro' fair and thro' foul, 
While we're wak'd by his horn in the morning. 
'Twas the sound of his horn, &c. 


ARRIAGES that went by this name are 
described in the late John Timbs's "Things 
Not Generally Known." Thus he quotes 
the following from a correspondent of Notes 
and Queries: 

There is a vulgar error that if a woman who has con- 
tracted debts previous to her marriage leave her residence 
in a state of nudity, and go to that of her future husband, 
he, the husband, will not be liable for any such debts. 
Now, this opininion is probably founded, not exactly in 
total ignorance, but in a misconception, of the law. The 
text- writers inform us that "the husband is liable for 
the wife's debts, because he acquires an absolute interest 
in the personal estate of the wife," &c. (Bacon's 
"Abridgement," tit. " Baron" and "Feme.") Now, an 
unlearned person who hears this doctrine might reason- 
ably conclude that if his bride has no estate at all he will 
incur no liability ; and the future husband, more prudent 
than refined, might think it as well to notify to his neigh- 
bours, by an unequivocal symbol, 4hat he took no 
pecuniary benefit with his wife, and, therefore, expected 
to be free from her pecuniary burdens. In this, as in 
almost all other popular errors, there is found a sub- 
stratum of reason. 

There is also a reference to the subject in Burn's 
" History of Fleet Marriages." Alluding to the state- 
ment that a certain woman " ran across Ludgate Hill in 
her shift," the editor makes the following note : 

The Daily Journal of 8th November, 1725, mentions a 
similar exhibition at Ulcomb, in Kent. It was a vulgar 
error that a man was not liable to the bride's debts if he 
took her in no other apparel than her shift. 

REN, Fence Houses. 

The following instances of sark weddings are taken 
from an article by Mr. William Andrews : 

In the " Annual Register " for 1766, we are told : " A 
few days ago, a handsome, well-dressed young woman 
came to a church in Whitehaven to be married to a man 
who was attending there with the clergyman. When she 
had advanced a little into the church, a nymph, her 
bridesmaid, began to undress her, and by degrees stript 
her to her shift. Thus she was led, blooming and un- 
adorned, to the altar, where the marriage ceremony was 
performed. It seems this droll wedding was occasioned 
by an embarrassment in the affairs of the intended hus- 
band, upon which account the girl was advised to do this, 

that he might be entitled to no other marriage portico 
than her smock." 

Among Malcolm's "Anecdotes of London" is this 
story : *' An extraordinary method was adopted by a 
brewer's servant in February, 1723, to prevent his liability 
from the payment of the debts of a certain Mrs. Brittain, 
whom he intended to marry. The lady made her 
appearance at the door of St. Clement Danes habited in 
her shift ; hence her inamorata conveyed the modest fair 
to a neighbouring apothecary's, where she was completely 
equipped with clothing purchased by him, and in these 
Mrs. Brittain changed her name at the church." 

Again, the Chester Courant, of June 24, 1800, is 
quoted : " At Ashton Church, in Lancashire, a short 
time ago, a woman was persuaded that if she went to the 
church naked her intended husband would not be 
burdened with her debts, and she actually went as a bride 
like Mother Eve, but, to the honour of the clergyman, he 
refused the damsel the honours of wedlock." 

Other instances are cited as follows : " In Lincoln- 
shire, between 1838 and 1844, a woman was married 
enveloped in a sheet. And not many years back a similar 
marriage took place ; the clergyman, finding nothing in 
the rubric about the woman's dress, thought he could not 
refuse to marry her in her chemise only." George 
Walker, linen weaver, and Mary Gee, of the George and 
Dragon, Gorton Green, widow, were married at the 
ancient chapel close by, on June 25, 1738. She was in 
her shift sleeves during the ceremony, believing that 
would make him free from her debts. Nathan Alder 
married Widow Hibbert with only a smock on, for the 
same reason, at the old church in the adjoining parish of 
Ashton-under-Lyne, on March 7, 1771. 


The Ipswich Journal of May 12, 1764, had the follow- 
ing paragraph : 

On Monday last was married at Hickling, in Norfolk, 
Simon Greenacre, of that parish, aged 74, to Hannah 
Corbett, of the same parish, his fifth wife, aged 61. 
That he might not be encumbered with the demands 
of her former husband's creditors, he took her quite 
naked at one of the principal Cross ways in that 
parish ; after which they went to church f where the 
Ceremony was performed. The Road leading from his 
House to the Church, which is upwards of Half-a-Mile, 
was strewed with Flowers. A. D., Ipswich. 

atttf Cmnnmttaricd, 


It might have been added to the story of the Elsdon 
Tragedy (Monthly Chronicle, p. 106) that Walter Clarke, 
the father of Jane and Eleanor Clarke (hanged the pre- 
ceding year), was executed at Morpeth for burglary on 
August 14, 1793. A. 

The story of the Elsdon Tragedy, which was told in the 
Monthly Chronicle for May, reminds me that a year or 
two ago I crossed the moor on which the gibbet of the 
murderer Winter is still standing. I saw for some 
distance the remains, in the shape of a wooden head, 
of the last figure set up in place of the body. The day 
was windy, and the creaking noise of the chains was very 
hideous. ROBERT BLAIB, South Shields. 


Winter's gibbet is still standing, with the wooden head 
upon it, creaking as hideously as usual. Last November, 

June, \ 
1887. / 



I stood beneath it, late at night, for the purpose of 
experiencing a new sensation which the French would 
no doubt characterise as macabre. Judge of my 
chagrin when I learnt the next day that the 
original gibbet had long since gone the way of 
all wood, and was replaced about twenty years 
ago by the present one at the instance of the late 
Sir Walter Trevelyan. It was only the other day that 
I came across, at Cambo, the person who had put up the 
graceful structure and carved the wooden head. In 
regard to the old "stob,"a curious superstition connected 
with it is related by the Rev. J. F. Bigge, the late vicar 
of Stamfordham. He tells us that people from the 
village used to make pilgrimages to the weird spot for 
chips of the wood to place on aching teeth. Imagination 
must have been a very powerful factor in the cures which 
are said to have been effected. 

WM. W. TOMLIXSOS, Whitley. 

About twenty years ago, I was wending my way, at 
the close of an autumnal evening, over the dreary, wild, 
lonely road between Elsdon and Cambo, when I saw, for 
some two or three miles before I came to it, what appeared 
to be a gallows standing not very far from the highway. 
On arriving at it, I found it to be a gibbet, newly-made, 
stained, and varnished. Suspended from it by an iron 
chain was a wooden imitation of a man's head, of for- 
bidding countenance, painted in most ghastly colours. I 
concluded that some local highway authority had been 
unwisely at the expense of this renewal of an object 
which, to my mind, was a highly alarming one to a 
nervous passer-by. I learned then, however, on arriving 
at Wallington Hall, from Sir Walter Trevelyan himself, 
that he had ordered the erection of the new gibbet, to 
perpetuate the hanging in chains of the murderer Winter 
on this spot. Through the courtesy of the Rev. John J. 
Sidley, vicar of Cambo, I learn that the late Sir Walter 
Trevelyan fenced round the gibbet with substantial iron 
railings, that he found the head of the old effigy so worn 
and battered that he caused a new one to be made, and 
that this new one still exists in the place where it was 
originally fixed. FBKD. R. WILSON, Alnwick. 


Touching Hatfield the forger, I think Miss Words- 
worth says in her letters that Coleridge did actually see 
the rascal in Carlisle. The reason Hatfield avoided 
Coleridge in Keswick was this Hatfield was pretending 
to be a Devonshire man, and he knew that Coleridge, 
being from Devonshire, would detect his imposture by his 
speech alone. The writer of the little essay in the 
Monthly Chronicle for May did not mention the circum- 
stance that the crime for which Hatfield died was forgery 
an the Pott Office. The forgery consisted in franking let- 
ters under a false name. No doubt it was the scoundrel's 

audacity in this regard that deceived the people of 
Keswick, who knew the dreadful penalty. Thus, for 
bigamy, deception, seduction, desertion, &c., Hatfield 
was not punished ; but for using another man's 
name in posting his letters, he went to the gallows ! 
Hatfield was executed on the Sands at Carlisle. There is 
a vivid description of an execution at Carlisle in the 
"Heart of Midlothian." When Wordsworth and Cole- 
ridge passed through Carlisle, on the day of Hatfield 's 
death, they were on their way to visit Scott, and no 
doubt the events of that day were described to the great 
novelist. HALL CAINK. 


One of the latest examples of the old custom of Riding 
the Stang occurred at Northallerton on the last day of 
February. According to the York Herald, of March 1, 
1887, the cause of the display was that an ostler attached 
to a well-known hostelry had proved unfaithful to his 
bride. The usual doggerel was repeated, the usual hub- 
bub was witnessed, and the usual effigy was burned. 


* * 

Riding the stang used to be a very common occurrence 
in the district of Malton and Thirsk, until stopped by the 
police about four or five years ago. The case that then 
occurred was that of a carpenter, living at Welburn, 
near Malton, who had been beating his wife. Next 
morning she showed a pair of black eyes to the neigh- 
bours, and it was immediately settled by them that the 
young men of the village should be asked to ride the 
stang. Accordingly, the following evening an effigy was 
drawn through the village in a farmer's cart by a lot of 
men and lads, while two more rode in the cart to hold the 
"old man" in his place, and alternately repeating the 
following doggerel rhyme : 

Ran-a-dan, dan-a-dan, dang. 

It's not for my cause nor thy cause that I ride the stang, 
But it is for old Club Jack, who his wife did bang, 
He banged her, he banged her, he banged her, indeed, 
He banged the poor woman more than she stood need. 
Upstairs behind the bed such a racket there was led, 
Downstairs, behind the door, there he kicked her into 

the floor, 
Out at the door, into the green, such a race there ne'er 

was seen. 

If old Club Jack does not mend his manners, 
We'll skin his back and send him to the tanners' ! 
If the tanners don't tan him well, 

We'll nail him to the gate of h ! 

If the gate should happen to breck, 

We'll tie him on Old Harry's back ! 

If Old Harry should happen to run, 

We'll shoot him behind with a bottery gun.* 

Now, all good people that live in the raw, 
You must take warning, for this our law 
That if you do your wife so bang, 
We'll swell the cause and ride the stang. 

On this particular night, the police alleged that an ob- 
struction had been caused, and summonses were issued 

A bottery gun is made out of a stick of the elder tree 
really a pop-gun. 



/ June, 
1 1887. 

against the ringleaders. During the time between the 
issuing and the hearing of the summonses, a petition was 
drawn up and signed by many of the most influential 
villagers, praying that the case might be dismissed, as no 
obstruction was caused, and stating that it was an old 
custom which helped to keep men from beating their 
wives. The case was adjourned for the men to bring 
witnesses to prove that the signatures were genuine, and 
that the villagers did not object to the proceeding. 

The magistrates, however, decided, on the second hear- 
ing, that this sort of thing was illegal, but let the men off 
on payment of costs. Since then no case of riding the 
stang has occurred. 

WORKING MAN, Stoneclough, Manchester. 


When the barbarous pastime of cock-fighting flou- 
rished, this name was given to birds that had lost an eye, 
and was doubtless derived from "blink," or "blinker." 
The announcements in the Newcastle Chronicle, " To be 
fought for, by slags and blenkanh," &c., meant, there- 
fore, by young cocks and cocks with one eye. 

BORDERER, Newcastle. 



A man who was travelling with family Bibles happened 
to call at the house of a miner in Northumberland, 
when the following conversation ensued : Traveller : 
"Are you in want of a family Bible?" Miner's wife: 
"Wey, hinny, whaat's the use o' me buyin' a family 
Bible, when wor Geordie gets the Chronikll ivery week 
wiv aall the news o' the warld in't ? " 


Two rustic dames, who were on a visit to a local 
exhibition, were at a loss to decide the subject of 
a painting which peculiarly attracted their attention. 
Each at length came to an opposite conclusion, 
and stuck to it, till a lady came near who was pro- 
vided with a catalogue. The fair referee, turning to the 
number of the picture, informed them that it was " Peter 
the Great and his Empress." "Aye, aa tell'd ye se !" 
exclaimed one of the old connoisseurs, with an air of 
triumph, " aa said it was yen o' the 'postles !" 


A good anecdote is told relative to the educa- 
tion of miners in days gone by. Two men were 
working at a colliery, and one of them removed to 
another district. His neighbour went to see him 
and ascertain if it was any better place than the 
one he had left. He was told by his marrow it 
was a good deal better work. " Aa will gan te the 
inais tor's alang with ye, and get ye on if ye like." 

They both went to the master's, but he was not at home, 
and were told that he would not return that night. One 
was named Jack and the other Bill. Jack said, " Wey, 
thoo can gan te the maistor's the morn thysel, tell him 
aa hev twe lads, and ask him if hell send the colliery 
cairts te shift us, and write an let's knaa." Bill replied, 
"Thoo knaas aa canua write nyen." " Wey,"said Jack, 
"nivvor mind, let's away doon te the public-hoose. " 
After calling for some beer, Jack asked the landlord to 

write on an envelope, "John , Seghill Colliery." 

The landlord readily complied, and then left them to 
write the letter. Jack said to Bill, " Noo, if the maistor 
gies ua wark, fill this papor full of big O's on beyth 
sides ; if he's gan te send the cairts, put big O's and little 
o's aall ower the papor ; if hell not gie's wark, put crosses. 
If it's Tuesday myek twe marks, Wednesday three, 
Thorsday fower, and Friday five, just as ye mark the 
kaulking board." They left each other with this under- 
standing. Two or three days after this a letter went to 
John as addressed. No one being in the house but his 
wife, she got the letter; and, as she couldn't read, she took 
it from one neighbour to another, one of them being con- 
sidered a very learned man, because he took in the news- 
paper. None of them, however, could understand it. 
She next went to the schoolmaster ; he laughed when he 
saw it, saying, "Nothing but nonsense, mistress; some- 
body's making a fool of your husband." When Jack 
came home she railed at him about his " fine cronies to 
myek gam on him in that way, " shaking the letter in his 
face. " Aa's been at all the neebors, and the skeulmaister, 
and he says they're just myeking a feul on ye." " Had yor 
hand," said Jack ; " let's hev a luik at the letter. What's 
the fond skeulmaister knaa aboot wor affairs?" The 
moment he looked at the letter, and saw it was full of big 
O's and little o's, and four crosses at the end, he jumped 
up and said, " Had away, get the lend of a bed key, and 
let's hev the bed doon ; we're gan te shift, the cairts are 
coming the morn ! " 


A Tyneside labourer, the general nature of whose 
calling permitted him to consider himself connected 
with various trades or occupations, was subpoenaed as 
a witness in a case tried at Quarter Sessions. Some 
of the witnesses previously examined in the case had 
caused the Recorder much annoyance through their 
inability to understand the meaning of the most ordinary 
terms. The Recorder, addressing the labourer referred 
to, trusted that he would not cause so much trouble and 
delay as the previous witnesses, and that he would be able 
to answer the questions, which, he believed, would be 
plainly and clearly put to him. The following was the 
result : Counsel (to witness) : " What is your occupa- 
tion ?" Witness (looking with an inquiring gaze, first at 
counsel, then at the Recorder, and finally around the 
court): " Whaat's the man taakin' aboot ?" Counsel (per- 
plexed and annoyed) : " What do you do to obtain a live- 

June, \ 
1887. / 



lihood ?" Witness : "Maister, de taak plain ; aa divvent 
knaa whaat ye're drivin'at." Counsel: " I can scarcely 
credit that you are so ignorant as you seem to assume. 
What do you do to get a living?" Witness: "Ah ! aa 
see whaat ye're drivin at noo ; whaat's ma trade ? Had 
ye said that at f orst, aa wad hev knaa'd whaat ye wanted 
tebeat. Aa'sagraplor." Counsel: "A what?" Witness 
(vociferously): "Agraplor; a graplor for deed bodies." 
Counsel (looking wonderingly) : "Dead bodies! And do 
you ever get any?" Witness : " Oo, ay, sometimes ; we 
got yen the t'other day ; oney he wesn't reet deed." 
Counsel : " May I ask if you tried to bring him right 
alive again?" Witness: "Ay, sartinly; we riped his 
pockets, but only fund a thrupenny bit !" 


A keelman was sent at dusk of evening in search 
of a ship. On arriving at the place where the craft 
lay among a fleet of other vessels, he felt somewhat 
abashed at discovering that he could not be positive as to 
the correctness of the name entrusted to his usually 
treacherous memory. Deeming it prudent, however, to 
make some attempt to attract the attention of the crew, 
he called out in his loudest tones, "Latitude, ahoy! 
Latitude, ahoy !" A roving tar, slightly inebriated, 
coming up at the time, in sailor fashion, said to the keel- 
man, "Well, messmate, are you sure as how it ain't 
Longitude as you're a- wanting ?" "Wey," says the keel- 
man, "aa diwent knaa but what thoo's mebbies reet." 
Whilst rending the air with his cries for "Longitude 
ahoy," he was again brought to a stop upon hearing the 
sailor mutter, as he moved away, "Well, I reckon that 
fellow knows no more about latitude or longitude than a 
shark knows about gratitude." ' Gratitude !" cried the 
keelman, throwing the cap off his head : " wey, dash ma 
wig, man, that's the varry nyem aa want. Aa knaa'd it 
was the ootlandish nyem o' something wor owners didn't 
deal in 1" 


The following anecdote has been associated with 
the name of a well-known clergyman's helpmate 
in the North of England : The minister had been 
entertaining at dinner a clerical friend from some 
distance. The evening was unpropitious, and the friend 
was invited by the minister to remain during the night, 
and he accepted the invitation. They walked together 
for some time in the back garden. At dusk the minister 
asked his visitor to step into the house, while he would 
give directions to his man servant to get his friend's 
conveyance ready in the morning As the stranger 
entered the house, the minister's wife mistook him for her 
husband in the twilight , she raised the pulpit Bible, 
which chanced to be on the lobby table, and, bringing the 
full weight of it across the stranger's shoulders, she 
exclaimed emphatically, "Take that for asking that ugly 
wretch to stay all night ! " 


On the 16th of April was announced the death of Mr. 
William Brown, late superintendent of the North-Eastern 
Locomotive Works at Tweedmouth, who for close on half 
a century had been intimately connected with the rise 
and progress of railway enterprise in the North of Eng- 

Mr. Lawrence Baily, who was formerly Conservative 
member for the Exchange Division of Liverpool, and who 
at the General Election of 1874, unsuccessfully contested 
the representation of Sunderland, died on the 18th of 

Mr. Thomas Wilkinson, who in 1880 succeeded Mr. 
Hill Motum, now Town Clerk, in the office of Clerk to 
the Magistrates of Newcastle, died on the 25th of April, 
after a comparatively brief illness, at his residence in 
Osborne Road, in that city. The deceased gentleman, 
who was only 42 years of age, and whose services were 
much appreciated, had served his articles as solicitor at 
Liverpool, whither his remains were removed for inter- 

Mr. John Wilson, an old local tradesman, died at 
Thrift -Street, South Shields, on the 3rd of May, at the 
advanced age of 82 years. He and his brother, Mr. 
James Wilson, succeeded their father as worsted manu- 
facturers, in Hillgate, Gateshead, and for many years 
carried on business there. It was in their manufactory 
that the great fire which culminated in the disastrous ex- 
plosion on the 6th of October, 1854, first broke out. Mr. 
Wilson afterwards carried on business in Newcastle, and 
more recently in South Shields. 

At the age of 73 years, Mr. Thomas Oswald Small, 
artist, Newcastle, died on the 5th of May, at his residence, 
Gateshead. The deceased gentleman was originally an 
architect in the office of the late Mr. John Dobson ; and, 
as an artist, he numbered among his personal friends T. 
M. Richardson, Carmichael, and others. 

Mr. William Anthony Blakston, registrar of births 
and deaths for the district of North Bishopwearmouth, 
and reputed to be one of the best ornithological judges iu 
the North, died at Sunderland, after a short illness, on 
the 9th of May, his age being between 50 and 60 years. 

On the evening of the 13th of May, Mr. Charles Henry 
Young, alderman of Newcastle, died under exceedingly 
sad and sudden circumstances at his residence, Goldspink 
Hall, Jesmond Vale. Alderman Young for many years 
carried on the business of commission agent in the Close, 
Newcastle, and he had also been long identified with 
public affairs in the town, of which he was a native 
and a freeman. He entered the Town Council as one of 
the representatives of St. Nicholas's Ward on the 1st of 
May, 1868 ; and he continued to sit in that capacity till 
the 31st of May, 1882, when, on the death of his old 
friend, Alderman Ingledew, he was elected an alderman. 
In the municipal year 1873-4, he filled the office of 
Sheriff ; and since the 19th of May, 1874, he had held a 
position on the Commission of the Peace for the Borough 
and County of Newcastle. As a Churchman, Mr. Young 
manifested a warm interest in all that related to the 
parish of St. Nicholas; and, in conjunction with the 
late Alderman Dodds and others, he took an active part 
in the proceedings connected with the restoration of the 
tower and interior of the old church. He showed a keen 
appreciation of local antiquarian lore ; and on such sub- 



. 1887. 

jects he occasionally contributed useful information to 
the columns of the Newcastle Weekly Chronicle. The 
deceased gentleman was 65 years of age. 

The Rev. George Marsh Gurley, vicar of Blanchland, a 
position which he had held for nearly twenty-four years, 
died on the 16th of May, in the 63rd year of his age. 

Mr. James Elliott, detective-inspector of the Sunder - 
land police force, was found dead in bed on the morning 
of the 18th of May, apoplexy being supposed to have been 
the cause of death. The deceased, who was a native of 
Hartburn, in Northumberland, was 59 years of age, and 
had been a member of the Sunderland police force since 




11. Several new incidents occurred during April and 
May in connection with the miners' strike in Northum- 
berland. It was announced to-day that Mr. Burt, 
M.P., had received a letter from Mr. B. O Lamb, 
intimating that the owners would not submit the 
wages question to arbitration. On the 12th, the Ex- 
ecutive Committee of the miners issued a circular, de- 
tailing the past history of the dispute ; and, as the 
result of a new ballot-paper, there were found, on the 
15th, to have voted for a continuance of the strike 4,661 ; 
and for empowering the Wages Committee to make the 
best terms possible, 3,476. On the 18th, the Wages Com- 
mittee decided tc resign their position. At a meeting of 
coalowners, held at Newcastle on the 19th, it was resolved 
to open the pits forthwith, and let those who choose 
return to work on the masters' terms, viz., a reduction of 
12 per cent. On the 23rd ; the result of the voting on 
another series of questions submitted to the miners was 
made known. It was as follows : (1) That we make the 
owners a definite offer of 10 per cent, reduction, on con- 
dition that they pay Is. rent to men in rented houses, 
1,317 ; (2) That the new Wages Committee be empowered 
to meet the owners, with full power to settle on the best 
terms they can obtain, 1,382 ; and (3) That the strike be 
continued, 3,665 The men who had been convicted of 
taking part in disturbances at Dudley Colliery on the 
2nd of March were brought up for judgment at the Moot 
Hall, Newcastle ; but as there had been no renewal of 
the disorder, the defendants were discharged on the pay- 
ment of costs. The election of the new Wages Committee 
was completed on the 28th of April ; and at a meeting of 
delegates on the 2nd of May. it was resolved that the 
wages of all officials, committees, and delegates be reduced 
one-half during the strike. In reply to another ballot- 
paper sent out about the beginning of May, the men, by a 
large majority, decided in favour of arbitration; but, 
on this result being communicated to the masters on the 
7th of that month, they definitely refused to accept that 
mode of settling the dispute. 

13. A band of Greek gipsies, numbering in all 27 per- 
sons, were evicted by the police, acting on instructions 
from the Town Clerk, from an encampment in which 
they had taken up their position behind the Avenue 
Theatre at Sunderland. On the following day, the wan- 
derers took their departure for Durham ; and from the 

latter city, a portion of the requisite expense having been 
supplied by the Mayor, they were forwarded by train to 
London. They arrived in the metropolis on the 16th. 

At the annual meeting of the Tyneside Sunday 
Lecture Society, the treasurer's statement showed a 
balance in hand of 118 5s. 6d. 

Mr. Thomas Everatt, of the Newcastle Public Lib- 
rary, was appointed librarian of the Public Library at 

14. Mr. J. C. Stevenson, M.P., presided at the formal 
opening of a new Grammar School, erected in Westoe 
Lane, South Shields. 

The foundation stone of a new Infectious Diseases 
Hospital for Sunderland, to be built on a site about 12 
acres in extent, was laid by Councillor T. J. Rickaby, 
Chairman of the Health Committee of the Corporation. 

The Bishop of Durham consecrated the new church 
of St. John's at Hebburn. 

A life-size oil portrait, painted by Mr. H. H. 
Emmerson, of the Rev. Canon Wheeler, one of the 
founders, and for 21 years the hon. secretary, of the 
Cullercoats Life Brigade, was presented by his friends 
and admirers to the Brigade. 

15. A young woman, named Lily Armstrong, was 
playing with a rifle on board a steamer lying in the river 
Wear, when the charge exploded, the bullet lodging in 
the brain, and injuring her so seriously, that she died 
in the Infirmary next day. 

16. An undivided moiety or half-part of the freehold 
estate called "Ridge End," in the parish of Falstone, 
North Tyne, and containing 130 acres, was sold to Mr. 
Henry Arkle, of Gallowshaw, for 1,220. 

A fire, attended with considerable damage, broke 
out in the stables belonging to Messrs. Joshua Wilson 
and Brothers, provision merchants, North Durham Street, 

The freeholders of Newbiggin-by-the-Sea observed 
the ancient custom of riding the boundaries of their 

17. A communication was read in most of the churches 
and chapels in Newcastle from the Mayor, suggesting 
that, in whatever other manner it might be arranged to 
celebrate the Royal Jubilee on the 21st of June, there 
should be thanksgiving services in all the places of wor- 
ship in the city in the forenoon of that day. 

Considerable damage was done by a fire which 
broke out in the rear of the premises of Messrs. R. Ward 
and Sons, printers and publishers, Dean Street, New- 

18. The body of a man named Michael Hanley, 27 
years of age, who had previously told his wife he had 
dreamt he was drowned in the Tyne, was found drowned 
in that river, near the Swing Bridge at Newcastle. 

19. In presence of a large company, Lady Armstrong 
laid the foundation stone of the Fleming Memorial Hos- 
pital for Sick Children, in Burdon Terrace, Moor Edge, 
Newcastle ; the entire cost of the building, amounting to 
about 20,000, being provided by Mr. John Fleming, 
solicitor, in memory of his wife, Mary Fleming, who died 
on the 4th of March, 1882. 

At a meeting of the Wallsend Local Board, steps 
were taken for preserving and enclosing the portion of 
the Roman Wall forming part of the Buddie-Atkinson 
estate at that place. 

An ode, composed by Dr. Thomas Hodgkin, at the 
request of the Executive Committee of the Newcastle 

June, \ 
18S7. / 



Exhibition, and, by a similar arrangement, set to music 
by Dr. W. Rea, City Organist, was issued to the press 

20. A sum of a hundred guineas was voted by the 
Newcastle City Council to Mr. J. H. Amos, in recogni- 
tion of his long and faithful services to the Corporation, 
prior to entering upon his new office of Secretary to the 
Tees Conservancy Commissioners. 

21. In charging the Grand Jury at the Newcastle 
Assizes, Mr. Justice Manisty complained that the Vicar 
had declined to hold a special service on his account that 
morning at ten o'clock, on the plea that the ordinary ser- 
vices of the church at 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. could not be 
altered for the convenience of any individual. 

22. A very noisy town's meeting, which pronounced 
against the Irish Coercion Bill of the Government, was 
held in the Town Hall, Newcastle, under the presidency 
of Mr. W. D. Stephens. 

23. The last of a series of People's Oratorios was given 
in the Town Hall, Newcastle, under the management of 
Dr. Rea. 

The exhibition of Munkacsy's picture, "Christ on 
Calvary," after having been visited by 63,200 persons, 
was closed in Newcastle. 

25. At a meeting of the Newcastle Parks Committee, 
it was decided to accept a proffered gift of marble sta- 
tues by the late Mr. Lough, the eminent sculptor. 

An army reserve man, named Wass, a native of 
Bourne, Lincolnshire, and his wife, who hailed from New- 
castle, and whose maiden name was Barber, were found 
dead in bed with their throats cut m a common lodging- 
house in Peterborough. 

26. A little girl named Angelina Brown, four years of 
age, was accidentally killed on the tramway at Gates- 

Two check-weighmen were ejected from their houses 
at Ilebburn Colliery. 

Alexander Smith (50), labourer, convicted at Durham 
Assizes of the manslaughter of John Connor, at Barnard